Archive for the Warcraft Category

Cataclysm Reading List

Posted in Cataclysm, Lore with tags , , on June 28, 2010 by Korzik

One of my guildies asked me which Warcraft books they should read in order to get caught up on lore for the expansion. I thought this was a really good question and that I’d share my answer with you. The spoiler-free answer will be before the break. Spoilers and more in-depth explanations will be after, so click through if you don’t mind reading some spoilers about both the books themselves and the Cataclysm expansion.

List of books:

All three (five if you count the Archive as individual books) of these books have story lines in them that you will see continue in Cataclysm. If you want to know the story to the upcoming expansion I highly recommend reading these books. If you don’t want to read them all, or want a brief run down of how they are connected to the Cataclysm expansion, then follow me after the break. I won’t be covering every little detail, but at least you’ll better understand how a few things fit together.

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Preparing for Cataclysm

Posted in Cataclysm with tags , , , on May 24, 2010 by Korzik

This  Shared Topic post was suggested by Nexdominus.

Cataclysm. It’s coming. Not soon, but you can already feel the effects within your server and guild. So, how do you prepare for it? There are several things to keep in mind when figuring out your pre-expansion plans.

But first, there are some questions you should ask yourself:
What will you be doing first? Are you racing to level 85 on your main, then getting raid ready before you start to explore the other changes? Or, are you going to roll that Goblin or Worgen and explore all of the new content? Want to cash in on the new expansion first before starting to level?

Each one of these scenarios has a long list of things you can start doing now to make your life easier come Cataclysm. However, I don’t think I can go into every little detail without turning this into a Greymane Wall sized post. So instead I’ll just run through a few general tips that I hope will get you thinking on what you can do specifically to help you with your goals:

  1. Clean out your bags and quest log. Keep only the essentials. Sell, store, or delete anything that you’ve been hanging on to ‘just in case’.
  2. Consumables can give you that little bit of an edge while leveling. Whether it is a level 83 quest or a level 13 quest, the right consumables can save the day.
  3. Professions. Stocking up on low level herbs for Horde or skinning bags for Alliance should net you some easy gold. Also, remember the days of 100G stacks of cobalt? Get your farmer ready if gold is your main priority.
  4. Save some gold. There won’t be any need to reach say, 50K, but keep a little bit more in your bags than you normally do. A lot of people are expecting this expansion to greatly increase how much gold the average player has. Therefore (assuming that turns out to be true) the gold you currently have will be worth less come Cataclysm, so no need to amass a huge amount; just enough to easily cover training costs.
  5. Research! Unless you don’t want to be spoiled (in which case, beware of this site), read everything you can get your eyes on pertaining to what you are wanting to do come launch. Knowing what to expect will go a long way towards being ready.

Now, that’s all fine and good, you may say. But am I doing? Well, thanks for asking! Unfortunately, I haven’t completely decided yet. I’m torn between getting raid ready, and then playing around while I wait for the rest of my guild to catch up, or doing several days of serious farming to set myself up rather nicely for the rest of the expansion. Either way, I’m starting to gather low level herbs, and accumulating a nice little bankroll.

However, there is one other thing that I plan on doing to prepare: finish Wrath of the Lich King! I have to kill Lich King on 25man or I will view WotLK as a failure on my part. I set a goal for myself at the start of this expansion to kill him on 25man, and I’ll accept nothing less. I would also like to get the “Battlemaster” title, but after doing some math and realizing I’ll need to play over 160 hours of battlegrounds to get all the wins I need, I’m not sure if that’s going to happen. Besides that, I’m thinking of leveling my warlock up to at least 75 and maxing her Tailoring.  That way, the only crafting profession I’ll be missing going into the expansion is Inscription.

Regardless of what your own Cataclysm plans are, I trust that this post has given you some ideas on where to start. And remember, it’s never too early to start preparing.

A Plea to Beta Testers

Posted in Cataclysm with tags , , , on May 19, 2010 by Korzik

With the Cataclysm Beta hopefully starting up soon and the Beta opt-in already active, I have a request to make of everyone who has signed up to get a possible invite:

There is a reason why they call it Beta Testing. You are there to test the new content and to give Blizzard feedback. Make liberal use of the leave feedback feature on the Beta (or any patch PTR). Even if you think the issue is well known, leave a comment about it.

Leave feedback on: your class balance, quests, items, zones, bugs, or anything else that just doesn’t feel right to you. No matter how small you think the issue might be, if it doesn’t seem to fit, let them know.  That is exactly why you’re there. It may not get changed but, at least they will be aware that not everyone likes how something works.

The opposite is also true. If you really liked a certain quest line, leave some positive feedback on it! Enjoy the new battleground? Let them know. Even Blizzard developers like to hear that they got something right even if it isn’t completely finished yet.

Don’t just be a contributor to the server stress tests. Leave your feedback, just remember to be constructive and, give a reason. Saying, “I really like this quest” isn’t nearly as helpful as “I really like this quest, because the objective is entertaining and provided a good amount of challenge without being frustrating”.

Setting the Dead Horse Straight

Posted in Cataclysm, Raiding with tags , , on May 13, 2010 by Korzik

I was really trying to avoid this post. The Cataclysm raid change post. However, after catching up on some podcasts I heard a lot of opinions that weren’t taking all of the changes into consideration. So, here we go:

First a link to the blue post over at MMO-Champion; I’ll wait while you refresh your memory…
Now, you can’t take any of these points as separate issues, as they play off of each other (something a lot of people have failed to recognize).  What I’m going to try to do is follow Blizzard’s thought process on the changes.

Let’s start with the loot and raid difficulty. By combining loot tables Blizzard eliminates the flaw that the current system has: 10 mans are a lot easier because they have to make it realistic for strictly 10 man players to complete the raid with only 10 man gear. The 10 mans (while still easier than 25s) are not a face roll if you only have 10 man gear from the previous raid. The reason why so many people view 10 mans as being a lot easier is because they are going into them with the superior 25 man gear. They can now balance 10s and 25s around the same quality of gear, thus making each raid relatively close in difficulty. This is where I believe the Dev team started the changing process at. They wanted to make 10s and 25s a lot closer in difficulty, and by having both share the same loot table, they will be able to do just that.

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Professor Putricide Says PvP is Good for Your Raid

Posted in Warcraft with tags , , , on May 7, 2010 by Korzik

PvP some people love it, others hate it.  Some raiders don’t care one way or another but, feel that it isn’t worth doing because it in no way will help them with their next boss.  To put it simply, those PvE heroes (I am a serious raider so I use that term in an affectionate way) are wrong.

There are many skills that PvP will help keep a lot sharper than Wrath’s raiding content will. And unless you work at it, those skills will be rusty on the occasions where they are called upon in an encounter.  Let’s take a look at a few:

  • Situational Awareness – This is likely the biggest one.  If you want to be successful in PvP you have to know where your enemies are and what they are doing.  Many people find it overwhelming to try to keep track of so much (how many are near you, how many friends are there, what class is everyone, who is moving towards an objective and, who are just there for killing, etc.)  But, if you can start to keep track of all of that information in a  battleground, a fight like Mimiron or Rotface will be a piece of cake.
  • Adaptation – Things rarely go as planed in any PvP encounter. You have to think on the fly and constantly adjust what you are doing depending on what cool downs you have and what ones they have. What spec they are and how they are playing it.  Not to mention terrain and other players joining the fight at any given time.  If you are used to thinking on your toes then it won’t be such a shock if you have to do something out of the ordinary in a fight. (say kiting blood beasts or, taking over someone’s role if they die mid fight)
  • Knowing your class – PvP requires you to know all of what your class is capable of and how to best use every ability in your spell book. There are very few combat abilities that do not have a use in PvP. In contrast there are several abilities that most think (think being the key word) aren’t useful in PvE. And to be fair, for the most part they are right.  However, Blizzard knows you have them and may require you to use them in a fight. So you had best know how to.
  • Key Binding – PvP will teach you the importance of keybinding all of your important abilities.  Both often used and, emergency. And nothing will teach you to mouse turn like fighting a sprinting rogue that is constantly circling you.  Learning how to effectively mouse turn and being familiar with all of your key binds will greatly improve your play in all aspects of the game.  You may think your doing ok, driving with you keyboard and clicking abilities but, you are a lot slower than someone intimately familiar with their key bound abilities and using the mouse to steer.

Those are only a few but, important reasons to try your hand at PvP. Even if you hate PvP I’m sure you know someone who enjoys it and can show you the ropes.  Do it for yourself.  Do it for your raid.

Badge Non-Change

Posted in Cataclysm with tags , , , on May 3, 2010 by Korzik

The announced change to the badge system could be a non-factor or a vast improvement depending on what is available for purchase (PvE wise) with the points.

But first, in case you missed it:

“We’re continuing to refine the badge/emblem and PvP point systems in Cataclysm and we’d like to share some of those changes with you today. Please enjoy!

Our primary goal when approaching badges in Cataclysm is to address a lot of the confusion that comes with these currency systems. To that end we’re changing badges to a more straightforward point system, similar to the ones we’ve used for a while for Arenas and Battlegrounds. There will be a total of four types of points you can earn in Cataclysm (two for PvE and two for PvP), and these will remain the same even as we introduce new content.

Here’s the breakdown:

PvE

  • Hero Points — Low-tier, easier-to-get PVE points. Maximum cap to how many you can own, but no cap to how quickly you can earn them. Earned from most dungeons. (most like the current Emblem of Triumph)
  • Valor Points — High-tier, harder-to-get PvE points. Maximum cap to how many you can own, as well as a cap to how many you can earn per week. Earned from Dungeon Finder daily Heroic and from raids. (most like the current Emblem of Frost)


PvP

  • Honor Points — Low-tier, easier-to-get PVP points. There will be a maximum cap to how many you can own, but no cap to how quickly you can earn them. Earned from most PvP activities.
  • Conquest Points — High-tier, harder-to-get PvP points. There will be a maximum cap to how many you can own, and a cap to how many you can earn per week. Earned from winning Rated Battlegrounds or Arenas. (currently called Arena Points)


When a new tier of raiding gear is released or a new PvP season begins, your higher tier of points will be converted into the lower tier. For instance, if a new tier of raid gear is released, your Valor points will be converted to Hero points, and similarly if a new PvP season begins your Conquest points will be converted to Honor points. Of course that means with these new releases you’ll always begin without any of the higher tier of points, and thus be unable to stockpile them.

As noted for Conquest points, the Rated Battlegrounds and Arenas will be sharing this same point type. Because of that, it will in fact be possible to get the best PvP items without setting foot in Arena; however, more powerful armor and weapons will of course require more Conquest points, so players who win their matches more often will still gear up faster. We’re removing personal rating requirements on almost all items; they’re definitely removed for weapons. We might offer a few items to the absolute best players based on personal rating, largely as cosmetic or ‘bragging rights’ type items. And you’ll have the option of purchasing the previous season’s gear with the more readily available Honor points.

We do plan to have a way to convert Honor points (PvP) into Hero points (PvE), and vice versa, at a loss. The conversions will be possible, but it won’t be a 1:1 rate, and you’ll have fewer points after the conversion process. We won’t allow the higher tiers to be exchanged for each other, however.

To explain the reasoning for the weekly cap on points for the higher tiers, this is to provide flexibility in how players choose to earn the points without feeling like they have to do all of the content as often as it is available. If your Valor income from raiding is sufficient, you may not feel the need to run Dungeon Finder every night, or perhaps even at all. Likewise, a PvP player could choose to participate in a lot of Rated Battlegrounds but no Arenas, or focus on both, and still be able to earn the points they want.

We realize that with any changes to progression pathways there are going to be questions. We’re eagerly awaiting any that we may have left unanswered. To the comments!” — Bashiok

My thoughts after the break:

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