Posts Tagged ‘World of Warcraft’

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Once a Tank Always a Tank!!!

December 23, 2008

My Paladin is my main miner/blacksmith and probably should have been my main starting tank.  I tanked all of the Burning Crusade normal 5 man Instances with her, doing more tanking in BC as a paladin than as a warrior (I tanked more as a Warrior in the Classic dungeons so he has the Mallet and the Scepter!!!). 

I ended up playing my shaman more in Burning Crusade because of how crap gear itemisation was pre-raiding for Paladin tanks, and I didn’t want to sacrifice +def for +HP, but groups never saw it that way and I didn’t get a shot at tanking heroics.  Besides, my ELE/RESTO Draenei Shaman got a head start by being levelled first, so ended up my Heroic and Raiding Character. 

Anyway, I’ve decided that the Alliance Raiding guild on Dragonblight are already too far away from me in terms of getting my 73 Human DK into a comfortable 5 man/raiding cycle because they have already been clearing Naxx and most hit 80 in 2-3 weeks (we were all in NAXX pre BC as well so it is no surprise).  They also limit you to one Raid Main, which misses the WotLK vibe of making raiding a hobby.  My Real Life friends from home are not really playing so much due to children, life etc.  So I’m going all out Horde for the foreseable future and leaving my fully Purple Shaman, my pre BC raiding Hunter and my 73 DK. 

Another interesting factor is my stepson is also on Earthen Ring EU, as an Alliance character, and I hope to see him on the PVP fields for some banter in the house!!!!  

My Paladin ‘Narielle’ made the cobalt tanking set for both my Death Knight and my Protection warrior, but she has been unfairly side lined in WOTLK so far, but no more.  What with Death Knights, and the awesome changes to Protection Warriors, she went down in the play order!!!  She would probably make an excellent main, if I wasn’t an Altoholic!! 

As my Blood Knight had not yet benefited from her Blacksmith skill, and tanks with Blacksmithing have a distinct advantage, she should be played for what she was made for.  I was also getting a bit bored trying to level my Orcs DK’s BS skills (I’ll come back to it at 80 I think!!).  So instead of mining for my Death Knight last night, I made her the Cobalt Tank set as well.  It is way better than all of the Burning Crusade blue tanking items (although I’ll miss the righteous dungeon set bonuses!!) and will help getting The Nexus quest tanking gear.

Once I had made the Cobalt set for her, I added the Scryers Shoulder enchant + 13 defence, and the Keepers of Time helm enchant + 16 defence + 9 dodge and with a blue tanking cape, blue rings and two nice blue tanking trinkets got her to a very respectable 541 +defence in primarily green tanking gear!!!  With the Burning Crusade blues, I hovered around 485-495 +defence. 

Fair enough she only has just under 11k health points unbuffed, (it was 9.5k with Blue Paladin Dungeon Set) but she is more than viable at 70 and should take hardly any damage!!!  It is a bit of deja vue though, despite the fact she’ll be potentially uncrittable I’m sure most groups wont see past the Health, but I think the Journey to 80’s tanking will be kinder.

Tonight I’ll try to add some Blacksmith Sockets and try to raise her HP by 1k with them and cook up some + STAM food.
So I’ve blown my plan of tanking as a Death Knight main, and having a DPS warrior (specced back to Prot) and a Paladin Healer (also specced back to Prot)….  I am tempted to try to compare all three characters at 80, and make that a focus for this blog.  Once a tank always a tank!!!

My new personal end game will be making 3 plate tanks, and looking for a friendly Horde guild on Earthen Ring EU.  If you know any nice small friendly Horde guiilds on that realm that want a multi purpose tanking player? 

oh noes…….. I’m now considering levelling my 21 Tauren Druid!!!   If I find enough time I will, and who knows… maybe in the future I’ll complete a tanking characters set!!!!!!

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Gone Fishing…..

December 22, 2008

At the moment I’m levelling up Cooking (done) / Fishing(275/300) / Blacksmithing (150) and Engineering (1.. ouch!!!)……. My Paladin is doing my mining 🙂

This will take a few weeks because I work full time and have a hectic Christmas and New Year schedule. I’m going to bonny Scotland for a wee break as well 🙂

More posts to follow in the New Year 🙂

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to one an all!!!!!

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Pondering Ghostcrawlers recent Death Knight Tanking Blue post

December 5, 2008

Points from Ghostcrawlers Blue post and my (opinionated!) view:!!

Ghostcrawler says:

1) Death knights seem to tank well when they have cooldowns available and take too much damage otherwise. The change here seems obvious – boost Frost presence’s mitigation while reducing the mitigation of some other abilities, especially Icebound Fortitude and Bone Shield.

2) One idea we have for Icebound Fortitude is to scale the mitigation based on defense skill. This lets the ability be less of a paladin bubble in PvP for dps knights, while still letting it act more like Shield Wall for tanks. It also has the side effect of making defense slightly more attractive to death knights. (Let me add before it’s asked that yes we understand Ferals have this problem too and we are working on it.)

3) Unholy is a very popular tanking spec, largely on the strength of Bone Shield. Expect to see some buffs to tanking talents in the Blood tree especially.

4) Rune Strike was intended to be a reactive tanking tool, not a rogue killer. We will probably chill its weapon damage and increase its threat.

5) We don’t like the behavior where DKs feel like they are supposed to drop Death and Decay to generate runic power before a pull. It just looks goofy. We will probably lower the runic power costs of Unholy Blight and Horn of Winter, which seem to be the primary reasons to generate RP. Horn of Winter will probably be something like no cost, 30 sec cooldown, generates 10 rp.

EDIT: I am refering to using DnD outside of combat just for the runic power (kind of like Bloodrage for warriors). It’s totally legit and intended to use it to start a fight to gain threat and hurt the bad guys.

6) There are some odd situations caused by Shadow of Death that we would like to fix. The talent isn’t designed to let you escape durability damage or rez by zoning into an instance.

7) There are some annoying parts of the non-pet ghoul. We want to lower the aggro range (for less accidental pulls) and spawn the ghoul in quicker when dismounting. The ghoul, at least Unholy’s version, could also use some AE avoidance like other pets.

My View..

I find a few days pondering a ‘blue post’ usually cuts out any initial gut reaction like ‘oh noes, they are nerfing us’!!!

Rather surprisingly the usual forum chatter after this one were a lot more positive than I expected. Many agreeing with the proposed direction Blizz ‘may’ be taking with DK’s (or lots of Rogues rolled DK!). Once again, it looks like PVP QQ’s lead to Blizzard class design questions. Although Ghostcrawler seems to have emphasised our tanking role here, and this is a good thing. As long as they don’t ruin DK tanking I’ll be happy, as PVP is way down my list of priorities.

From point 1, boosting Frost presence’s mitigation at the expense of Icebound Fortitude and Bone Shield potentially could increase our overall mitigation in longer fights, as both these abilities are for a limited duration. So this sounds positive. It’ll be hard to swallow if we don’t get something that will help against hard hitting bosses, but scaling Icebound Fortitude with +def from point 2 sounds like it may do that.

I hope they don’t break my Bone Shield as there is nothing more about this spell in this proposal. I like it as it is, if anything I’d like a lower cooldown, or more charges!! But I am realistic enough to appreciate that this won’t happen!! I’d actually like to see Bone Shield become a Death Knight spell rather than a feature of the Unholy talent build, with perhaps some extra charges/increase mitigation for Unholy DK’s due to their AOE role.

I’d guess point 3 is there because there are so many Blood specs running about… I’m unholy and I’d never moan about a talent boost to another tree where it is needed!! What I’d really like to see is Blizzard keeping their promise of dual talent specs because Blood could be an awesome single target tanking spec (and maybe already is… I’ve not played it yet). How cool would it be if we could have two specs one for AOE and one for single target tanking and they could be switched about as and when they were needed?

The proposed changes to ‘Rune Strike’ worry me a bit, they are 100% PVP driven. Rune strike is all you can do if you are AOE tanking with DnD and keeping up your diseases. I suppose increasing threat and decreasing weapon damage may allow this strike to scale… well I hope it does anyway.

I realised after reading this why I got so many ’spits’ from rogue players on my first walk to Ogrimmar after completing the DK start areas with my second DK, well one Rogue player did…. (and I know your name!!). In the light of this it probably wasn’t Role Play motivated!!

For Ghostcrawlers next point, I’ve not had too many issues with runic power myself, it favours a good rotation and actively using your abilities. However reducing cost of Unholy Blight will definitely make things easier! So this proposal got this DK smiling, I just hope they don’t reduce the time it is active for.

For point 6, I’ve enjoyed minimal repair bills so far, so I’d better get my Epic mount skills before they do this!! I (naively) thought that this was done purposely to help with the usual nightmare of paying tanking repair damage bills. It is perverse that a good tank keeps other players repair bills down by increasing their own…. Please think about this Ghostcrawler if you ever venture to this part of the bloggosphere!! I’d guess other tanks would find this hard to stomach but Plate armor upkeep is expensive…..

For point 7, perhaps they can look at making it easier to shift from a passive to a defensive pet… the pull behaviour is ‘unfortunate’ at best (despite my slightly Ironic post about it!!). That’s my main issue with Ghouls, well if I be honest pet classes should be actively using their pet bars and shouldn’t moan about behaviours that can be beneficial if used in the right context. Some AOE avoidance would definitely be a bonus for Unholy perma-pets.

All in all, it’s good of Blizz to keep us in the loop…. we’ll see what comes out of these proposals

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Crafting, the Auction House and ‘The Game’

November 11, 2008
Inspired by: http://bookofgrudges.wordpress.com/2008/11/09/wow-world-of-resource-management/
Resource management is a game a lot of people enjoy… indeed its a way of life, Capitalism!! I’ll paraphrase a quote from Danny Devito in ‘Other Peoples Money’ talking about ‘the game’, ‘Larry the liquidator’ (Devito) says you spend your life making pots of cash and whoever dies the richest wins! For some people dabbling on the Auction House is their end game. They get their ‘warm glow’ from watching their bank balance grow…. they are also playing ‘the game’!
Now I’m not knocking this, but just saying I’m happy if the ‘Larry’s’ are happy too. I play WOW for dungeons and quests. Questing, pre BC paid for my first epic mount not the AH, although I did drop off a few Blues to sell as I levelled!!! But in my defence I always undercut!!!!
Daily quests paid for my epic mount. Then doing the Netherwing dailies made so much gold it also paid for my alts flyer as well. The Daily quests were a bit like deja vue some days, but I didn’t mind because the reward was worth it.
My first 60 didn’t get an epic mount or flyer off their own back because I made most of my mistakes with him!!! Somewhat perversely using the Auction house means you need the auction house to continue developing, to get your Epic mounts. I think the AH is a shortcut, like a cheat code if you will. Some people use cheat codes, some don’t. It is also the place where gold farmers earn their crust. This I suppose is the another aspect of free market capitalism… a service economy if you like. One that some people get upset about. Eitherway I am not moralising here, but I cannot understand how someone can get a bit of pride flying around in something someone else ‘bought’ for them.
I now use a ‘live off the fat of the land’ method for my characters after realising the AH can be a ‘scam’, poses some moral dillemmas and crippled my first 60’s income pre-BC buying ‘yet another’ blue that I could have made myself!! I don’t waste gold in the AH, I do find it is a good place to find patterns so I may have funded a gold farmer in some of my recipe purchases, but I always got my crafting mats myself. The gold earned farming them made it worth it, and they filled the gap between raids alongside some fishing and cooking expeditions!!
Your first high level character can become a sugar daddy!! If you do your alt right and learn from your first characters mistakes, the Alt can end up paying for the sugar daddies mount as well!! Mounts are secondary fluff anyway…. they are only to get you to the dungeons!!! I am pleased I wont need to buy an epic ground mount for my Death Knight, and like the idea that the DK specific flyer upgrades with your riding skill! That means I have 22 levels (55 to 77) to earn 6k gold, 1k for the mount, 5k for the skill and there are lots of quests on that path…. Easy, even without Dailies I think!

The first thing I suppose most people do is get their alts some bags!!! I’ve gone a little further with my Death Knight, I’ve also bought some Glyphs while they are going so cheaply…. Glyph of Bone Shield 5g!! Glyph of Death Strike 1g! Erm yes I got them from the AH but farmers don’t sell cheap!! (I made my own bags though!!!!!!!)

For all my characters I use an armor crafting tradeskill for my ‘blues’, i.e. Tailoring, Leatherworking and Black Smithing. I have not yet gone for another trade skill on a character. Inscription, Enchanting and Jewelcrafting seem to almost be a secondary trade skill, one to level after you hit max level. And I am happy to’share the love’ with my guildies, free with your mats, and I’ve been lucky that we have good JC/ENCH in guild!! Guilds always felt the right way to play ‘the game’. Maybe I am a ‘Red in the bed’ commie!!!

The great thing about levelling with crafted ‘blues’ is I found them tricky to ditch in dungeons, because they were pretty good items as well. Indeed they got me my dungeon invites. I also made ‘entry level’ Raiding gear in both WOW Classic and Burning Crusade.

A perfect example is the Netherstrike set I made for my Shaman, I spent about 24-30 hours making it and yes it was grindy, but it did get exciting as I got closer to the finished product, I also waited and made all three pieces in one go (in Stormwind so people standing around could see three epics pop up!!!!!). The time obviously didn’t include skilling up Dragonscale leatherworking in the first place, but that was done in tandem to levelling, and it ‘forced’ me to go to dungeons for rep…. terrible huh!!! No it never felt grindy because there was always something useful at the end of it. With this set I got nearly two years of raiding, the trade ‘epics’ opened the door. I think I made two more items after that (nice epic boots and shoulders!), the rest of my gear dropped from bosses! That was the end game for crafting for me, I never felt tempted to dabble in the AH with my wares!!

Blacksmithing never felt as useful, my paladin and warrior are both as BS’ers (erm…), even the Armorsmith I had for my Pala, but I believe they have ‘fixed’ Blacksmithry in WotLK, so tanks can make decent entry level sets with decent +def ratings. Getting to 300 Blacksmithing with my Knight will be grindy starting at 55, but I will be doing that at the same time I go for my ‘Ambassador’ title. I am taking my time to get to Outland because I don’t want to have to go back, and I want to travel in style!! I’ll be getting to 375 BS in Outland.

I am also taking a hunter to 80, once my Death Knight Tank and Shaman Healer are 80, because the hunter will be the best class to allow me to start getting a secondary crafting skill, he is an engineer, miner. I did plan on dropping my 300 engineering for herbalism but after seeing the motorbike engineers can make, who knows, maybe I’ll be levelling him in shaman made mail, and making him my DPS’er instead of my gatherer!

I’ll be levelling cooking and fishing in tandem as well….

Lots of waffle today!! But all said because I believe that craft skills are essential for making an end game raiding character, they open the door for you, so don’t neglect them!! And if you make them your end game and dabble with the market…. enjoy!!!!