Monday, January 17, 2011

"Minor" Glyph of Intimidating Shout

Do you know about the "minor" Glyph of Intimidating Shout?

Nope? Well neither did I.

Old time players have a love/hate relationship with Intimidating Shout--it was great back in LBRS--because it could buy your party the time it needed to kill some nasty pull. Unfortunately, using intimidating should was much like throwing a large rock into a pond. A sure as the tide, mobs frightened away would come surging back most of the time with friends.

In the cramped and tightly packed dungons before Cata, while a well time Intimidating Shout might buy a few precious seconds to kill some hard target, it almost always ended in a wipe.

Cata has enough room that there are at least a couple of places where Intimidating Shout can be used and send mobs scurrying.

Glyph it, though, and prot warriors can worry a whole lot less about the effectiveness of their CCers--any party can burn down a lot of mob in the duration of charge, shock wave and intimidating shout.

I haven't tried IS as a DPSer, yet. I know that fear traditionally generats a ton of agro so IS could keep a DPSing warrior uncomfortably high on a number of agro tables, but glyphed it can go along way to help "solve" the problem of warrior CC.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

In Defense of Lightwell

Cata has changed everything.

One of the biggest reminders of that is that Lightwell is one of the most potent heals in the game and a key heal that tanks should be aware of.

First a quick review of its behavior:

Its a Holy Priest talent.
It is on a 3 minute cool down.
It can be cast before combat--so technically it provides infinite healing per mana--because you shouldn't be pulling until the priest is back up to full. Even cast in combat it has a ridiculously mana efficient heal.
It has to be clicked on--but it has a HUGE click rage--15 yards. If you and your pack of mobs are anywhere vaguely near the Lightwell, everyone should be able to click it.
Lightwell has a limited number of charges (14 unglyphed I think, 18 glyphed) that apply a hot for 14k or so HP.
The HoT will stop if you take 30% of your HP as damage in a single blow--which is north of 35,000 HP in a single shot (after armor)--which is rare outside of raids.

When is the right time to click on the Lightwell?
Really any time you are taking damage is good. This is Cataclysm, not Wrath. Your HP pool is many times larger than any healers biggest heal. You will not be flash healed to full HP. I would say you are quite safe in clicking the Lightwell for a charge anytime you are down 50k HP (or 30kHP if you want to be aggressive).

I know the first couple of runs with the Former Horde Priest my situational awareness didn't particularly key on Lightwell and I underused it. Now I am quite aware of it and try and click a charge anytime it looks like it will help out the healer.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Cata Tanking Tips

Just a couple so far--only hit 85 last week and got Heroic qualified with Andrexxis yesterday.

5 man regulars may require some care here and there on trash pulls--but AoE isn't quite as dead as you may think.

In heroics there are trash mobs with over 1,000,000 HP and bosses can be north of 5m. Last stand has a cool down of 2 minutes. Use it early, use it often to help with mana conservation. Adrexxis is a pure healer, having a disc and holy spec. I don't know if its just priests, but mana management for them is huge. As a tank anything you can do to help them save mana is a good thing.

Which also means using the lightwell when it is down. Which means learning to notice it as positioning the mobs so that both you and your melee can easily get to it. Oh and the limitation that you can't be hit for more than 30% of your HP...not much of an issue in heroics. With just a couple of heroic blues equipped and a GS just over 329 I sport 128,999 HP. Unbuffed. There aren't a lot (if any) times that I am hit for close to 40k in a single shot.

And I am finding tanking rewarding and far more mentally taxing than back in Wrath. 2 instances am ok for, after a 3rd I am toast.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Tobold on EVE PVP

Tobold, generally a really good gaming blogger with a good head on his shoulders has insulted me and most other EVE players.

Here's what he did: he prepared to jump into a 0.0 system on the edge of low sec, knowing it was likely camped, got ganked and podded and then concludes that EVE PVPers are bullies.

There are 2 basic errors he makes in his evaluation. Firstly, he seems to single out EVE players as bullies--he's tried a number of MMOs and IIRC, has played WOW since launch. As I recall his first 60s were Horde side too.

What I don't know if he ever took part in the open world PVP: where the Alliance would attack the Horde side quest hubs in the Barrens and Tarren Mill, more or less forcing a Horde response. On my original server of Kargath these would end up as 120 vs 40 fights, Horde loosing and not even being allowed to res and get full HP. You would res by your body and get killed with in seconds. In know DAOC exhibited the same behavior on Albion. And I saw the same thing on Silver Hand.

To characterize EVE players a bullies because of behavior you can find any PVP game is unfair.

The other problem I have is with the method of his testing. He wondered into a strategically important system for a much more powerful group than himself and then evaluates PVP from that. Now I don't have a huge amount of PVP experience, but that is not at all how PVP worked for me on a nightly basis while I few for the Minmatar militia or Ushra'Khan in 0.0.

Most PVP I ended up in was of a roaming nature--where neither fleet would engage if they didn't think they had a chance of winning. Death, and even ship loss, is consequential in EVE. Briefly, it hurts. So most PVP isn't spent in lopsided fights, but going out looking for something where you can win while getting the enemy to engage. To measure EVE by a single suicide run at a gate camp is a useless action.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

ICC10: Don't It Just Figure

In our Monday night ICC 10 we got the 2 plague essences from Rotface and Festergut. Normally we can now one shot Rotface and we're iffy on Feseter. So of course, we FD reset Rotface to get his mark--and I wipe the raid as the 8 stack-of-gastric-bloat OT and eventually my 20k shield slams tear agro off the MT. This wasn't so bad but for the fact that he hit me with a 9th gastric and reset my timer.

We got him down to 8% before the tanks exploded.

The second time one of the 3 out people dies and Fester made the melee group--including both tanks---yak. Wipe.

Third time we actually got him, FD-reset Rotface and turned in the quest.

Then we one shot Rotface. Doesn't it just figure?

We've started on Professor Putricide--we were getting some P2 time but we need more practice. Looks like a tough movement fight.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Lum Is The Mad One: On The Star Wars MMO

Scott Jennings wrote over at"> that he was afraid for the MMO part of the gaming industry because EA seamed to be willing to stake $150,000,000 on the project (going from the fact that EA felt they needed 2 million subs to make a profit).

I think there are some great analogies to be made between the Hollywood studio system for creating movies and the studio system we are developing with games and their most recent and expensive iteration MMOs. Scott wonders if EA has priced all but a few top players out of the MMO market.

I say the answer is no--and that is obvious. We are learning how to run and price F2P games. WOW created a market is 20 times larger than anyone though possible. Remember that people though WoW would eat all of EQ and EQ2's player base. In fact both are still going concerns. Before WoW, if you had a niche game that might appeal to 1% of the MMO crowd, you were looking at 4,000 players. Now, post WoW you are looking at 80,000. I suspect that Star Trek, if it has legs, well help grow the MMOsphere with more new players. Star Wars: The Old Republic is, indeed, swinging for the bleachers--but the $150 million Scott projects requires a real marketing campaign and a mass media presence. Should SW:TOR meet a reasonable proportion of its expectations it to will make more room in the MMOsphere for the little games, the mid-market games and even the AAA tent pole games.

MMOs are a very new phenomenon and we are just learning how to segment the market and what expectations to have for a release. I don't think the MMO market is any less capable of supporting a range of experiences than the movie industry: think on Clerks, The Hurt Locker and Avatar.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Reading The BlizCon Tea Leaves

I think we can now confidently say that Cataclysm won't come out before Tuesday, October 26th of this year. You hold an event like BlizCon to build up the excitement for your product rather than just after you have released it when excitement is high. Besides you have serious WoW players paying serious money to go. You wouldn't want to conflict those fans with the choice of go or play.

I mean can you imagine Blizzard scheduling BlizCon for the weekend after release? Might not every dev there want to be working on bug fixes the? I would think its an all hands on deck period.

We haven't seen any leaked details on Cataclysm yet either so that makes me doubt that they are going to have it ready to go in less than 6 months.

I suspect though, that BlizCon will see the announcement of the launch date for some 4-6 months in the future-February to April of 2011--and the soon after BlizCon release of a 3.4 patch for Wrath with a raid instance.