Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Hardcore players shouldn't mind easier

Some people have been up in arms about Blizzard's decision to nerf current raids.

As a member of the casual masses, I welcome this change but I can't understand why the hardcore players care.

Blizzard wants to have players experience the raid content, a fact made evident by the gear being thrown to players left and right during Wrath. While I loved the harder heroic 5-man instances released with ICC, they ended up being loot pinatas and threw the idea of hard-won gear out the window.

Reducing the difficulty of the current raiding tier with the release of 4.2 is brilliant. Serious players get a new raid, with new gear, while casuals basically get the same. Sure, we have access to the current raid content, but we never really got to the point of being able to consider it farming for gear. If we made it through (and our guild has yet to see many fights), it is tough each and every week. The difficulty has gotten to some of our raiders, apparently, because they stopped showing up on a regular basis.

By allowing for more mistakes during raiding, casuals can get a feel for it and learn at a lower level. Let's face it: right now, there is no place for a causal guild to learn how to raid.

Before anyone says it, I'm not complaining that Cata raids are too hard. Even though I haven't completed most of the raiding content, I still don't have a problem with the difficulty of the expansion. I'm a casual player and I don't expect to have easy access to all parts of the game without hard work.

As it stands, casual guilds can basically hit a brick wall trying to get a start into raiding. Rather than asking for loot pinatas, I would rather they make the old raid content easier. Not only will it allow more people access to the gear they will need to try to survive in Firelands, but it will give less experienced or less dedicated raiders a place to hone their skills. Casuals can hit a brick wall in raiding with Firelands, but now struggling guilds fall back to BWD and BoT.

Hardcore raiders should be thrilled that Blizzard isn't going to implement another set of 5-man heroics to help casuals gear up. Instead of worrying about a heroic instance putting out better loot than they are wearing, they can focus on Firelands. It also makes the current raid tier a place for us noobs to practice.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Storyline shortfalls

Matticus recently wrote about the story line shortfalls in Cataclysm and I have to agree with him.

I feel the same about the lack of connection to the current story and wanted to share my thoughts as well.

Granted, I never played Warcraft III and didn’t start World of Warcraft until Burning Crusade shortly before Wrath. As my wife and I leveled through Azeroth and Outlands, I enjoyed the stories and exploring this huge new world (though it didn’t feel as huge as Star Wars: Galaxies when we had to walk across contintents).

In Shattrath, I felt a connection to the Aldor, whom I viewed as the good guys (We’re playing Alliance) and wanted to help them out. I didn’t get into much endgame stuff as Wrath was around the corner. With Wrath, I felt like we delved into what made Arthas tick as we saw his downfall. By the time we hit the Icecrown area, I could tell Arthas was a bad mofo. I couldn’t wait for the Citadel to open so we could bum rush him.

By contrast, I feel nothing toward Deathwing, other than gratitude for cleaning up some things around the world. Through the various new questing areas, I have dislike of a few NPCs, but Deathwing hasn’t really affected me. I have little info on his background or motivations.

Now, I will admit I didn’t read each quest through each area, but I didn’t in Wrath either. Be it by cutscenes or whatnot, I understood the story and cared about it.

I don’t for Deathwing. But I hope the new questing hubs coming in 4.2 will change that.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Best stats for a Resto Shaman?

With the new changes to mastery for resto shamen in 4.1, I have to re-evaluate my stat choices.

Even with the change, it feels to me like haste should take the cake. The faster I can cast, the better chance I have of getting a heal off. When heals go off, people don't die.

Of course, you have to have spirit to go with haste. Earlier, I didn't realize this and stacked haste to the point my spirit couldn't keep up. Now, I scaled back and reforged off my haste because it was considered the least valuable stat.

But now, I have to rethink everything, since I want to be at the top of my game for raids.

And the Elitist Jerks site is no help. In their 4.1 discussion, they label Intellect as the most valuable stat, followed by Spirit. The problem is they don't take a stand on the stats I can do something about with reforging, haste, crit and mastery.

I recall reading other sites that suggest you get to 916 haste and then move onto other stats.

I guess I will stay away from reforging, outside of Spirit until I figure it out.

What stats are my fellow shamen prioritizing?