Sunday, June 28

All Arms

I've been Prot for... what? Five or six months now? Going back to Arms is a strange yet familiar experience. I'm not exactly sure yet where my thoughts on the current state of Arms Warriors is at. Prolly won't be for awhile. This is just some initial random impressions.

I made the switch last week. Although with dual specs and a good gear manager (I use Outfitter, FWIW), "making the switch" isn't terribly difficult in a technical sense. Thar's two areas, though, that do make it... strange. :)

First is the mental switch. The difference in how you play as an Arms Warrior and how you play as Protection Warrior is huge! Bigger than I thought six months ago. They could almost be two completely different classes. From strictly a causal perspective, going from Arms to Prot is a lot easier than the other way around.

I'm missing pieces, of course. I haven't done a lot of either in PvP, for example. For PvE, the roles are obviously different. I think a PvP Arms Warrior is (was, Pre-Wrath?) more similar to Prot in that the job is to survive and take focus while keeping your head out of your ass. Now, I'm not suggesting that Arms PvE firmly inserts thier head... but the scope of what you have to keep track of is less than that of a Prot Warrior. Arms PvE can actually focus in optimizing ability priority and the target in front of them while mainly worrying about not standing in some bad guy's excretions. A tank has to worry about that... and making sure everyone else is doing the same.

So the mental switch is one where an Arms Warrior is going to be more inward and focused on personal performance. A Prot still has to do that, to a degree, but has to me more aware of taking care of everyone else (or at least keeping track of them) at the same time. The click from Prot to Arms is a little more difficult, at least in the short term. I didn't think it would be.

I still run up to a group of mobs and TC the crap out of them when it'd be wiser to set them up for a Bladestorm first. Couple of close calls put an end to that non-sense in a hurry. :)

Oh, but for you less than uber-geared Warriors out there, like me... The rage generation from Arms is astonishing! I never could get the hang of it as Fury. Never had enough. As Prot it was always a "get it going" sort of thing you just put into your priority list. As Arms you don't really think about it. You swing, you have rage. You swing again, you have too much Rage. The hardest part is waiting for 3 second swing timer. :)

Second is gearing. Going from worshiping Def, Dodge, Bock, Parry, Expertise to Hit, Expertise, Crit, AP is a gear nightmare.

I kept a lot of the quest rewards from when I was finish off Stormpeaks and Icecrown. I also managed to have Sons of Hodir and Argent Crusade rep finished, and a Revered status with Ebon Blade, before the switch. So I didn't start scratch. But I'm still wearing a couple of Def peices and spent close to 1500g buying, gemming and enchanting.

It's not bad, mind you. It's just something you have to consider if you dual spec. Your gear needs just doubled. Buy big bags.

Consider: As prot you'll have two armor sets. Assuming a few pieces are interchangeable, you're going to end up with most of a bag full of extra gear: one for survival, one for threat. Maybe three since for survival you might have both an avoidance and a stam/armor set. You might also have a resistance set. Like I said, many pieces will be used in two or more of those sets, but it's still a lot of titan steel to lugging around.

As Arms, I don't know yet, but I can see two sets already. For one thing... I'm wearing freakin' leather!!! Yah, the best crit/hit enchanting gloves I could find so far are leather. Geez! From looking at gear lists, some of the best dps gear a mid level Arms Warrior can grab is leather and chain. Wild, eh? Luckily, most leather and chain has plenty of Stamina, but I can still see a need where I'll have to have a dps plate set, as well. And yah, I'll be spot tanking occasionally, so at the very least I'll be hauling around my lovey shield and super wicked loveittillidie nelf axe.

Oh, and don't forget the resilience set. Gah!

I haven't even gotten into the change in priorities for abilities, of course. Retraining your fingies to hit the right buttons takes a lot of practice. I didn't realize how out of practice I'd gotten. As Prot you can literally just sit in Def stance the whole time. Arms seems to sit mostly in Battle Stance. That's fine, but if you dual spec, you're switching one for the other. The only tip I can give here is make common buttons stay where they are. If TC is on a particularly button as Prot/Defensive Stance, leave it there for Arms/Battle Stance.

Common sense, but... yah, I moved it. Then moved it right back. :)

Anyhoo, Arms is just a load of fun. I started Wrath that way and gushed about how much fun Blizz had made the class/spec. And I'll gush even more. Prot is a great spec to be now, but Arms is all about being a fun killing machine.

I <3 being an Arms Warrior.


Monday, June 22

LOLeveling, wut?!?

I haven't had a lot of time to play WoW of late. Mostly dailies here and there. Playing a lot with guildies who are leveling up or leveling alts. Which is WAY fun! :D I was going to write about some f#$ktard in a Nexas PuG I joined that announced to the group "She can't tank!" But there's been more than enough bitching about idiots like that. How many "Oh I got in a bad PuG, woah is me" posts can I make? One more apparently. Besides, my witty retorte was "I can so, moron!" Drop group.

Not my proudest moment.

So I figured I might as well break down and talk about leveling.


I like leveling.

I know, I know. Weird right?

I like the old world quests. I like the flashy-light poof-ding of a level up. I like having that goal in front of me.

Now it's just too damn fast.

I'm perfectly aware that Blizzard has to provide some boosts. New people to the game aren't going to hang around long if they just want to get to level cap and it takes them three months or more to get there. Of course, current players that want to play at cap certainly aren't going to tolerate that.

Yah, yah. I don't care.

To me, WoW without the long leveling, and all the adventures that go with it, just looses a lot of its charm and experience. Both my new warriors (and every other alt I have), for example, have skipped entire zones! And the zones they are doing, they only get maybe 1/2 to 3/4 of the zone done before they grey out. Gah!

The problem with leveling was never really an issue of speed. K, for some people it is. But for many the root of the problem is that old world Azeroth is WAY overdue for a make over.

Blizzard seems to be catching on a bit. Faster leveling through more xp per kill/quest wasn't really the answer. That's just slapping on a bandaid without actually addressing the real problem.

The original quests are designed to a) get you out in the world and b) get you to grind a bit. It's a big world with lots of stuffs that needs killings. You run for 19 days to go to some far away place... then spend 19 more days killing everything there. In the meantime, 19 freaks with exclaimation points over their heads are sending you off to other far away places.

I like the exploration parts. I do like the send you to far away places quests. But it's probably not the best way to go about it anymore. Contrast with Northrend where all the aforementioned needy freaks are in the same themed place and actually seem to be conizant of each other. At least to the point where freak #1 gives you a quest that compliments what freak #2 is doing. You don't get the new ones based on what level you've attained, but rather what you've accomplished for said freaks.

It makes more sense. It makes questing more entertaining.

So why not redo Old Azeroth that way?

The next fix I'd put in is no more free xp just for killing random stuff. Scale it back and add more in-game methods of gaining xp faster for those that want to do that. Heirloom items are a perfect example, but I suspect some players would like more.

Why not have a turn in? Finish a quest, get a token to save up and turn in for either a bit more golds/silvers, a better piece of gear, OR xp. The quest rewards for old quests are mostly horrible. Take a page from Outland and Northrend and provide a way to get better stuffs while you level. It's more fun.

(On a side note: please please please add something like the old gear upgrade quests to Northrend. I know they were a pain. I know they were hard. But for those of us that don't raid... well, throw us a bone here. Doesn't have to be uber-stuff. Just unique and powerful enough to make it worthwhile! Something that's not a daily grind, very hard and lengthy to get and is two ilevels below the current raid with new quests to upgrade that stuff when new raids come out. Wouldn't be terribly difficult and getting cap'd casuals back into Outland and old Azeroth for some of the chains would be a blast. Oh and let us upgrade our rep gear through the same epic journey/quest process! please?)

The horse upgrade is brillant. It's what I mean when I say Blizz is finally getting it, as far their millions of casual players go. At least partially. Do you have any idea how much better and more fun Duskwood is when you can ride?!? Yes! No this does not make it "easier," per se. Well, in a way it does, but I don't count more fun and less of a drag as being "easier." Your mileage may vary. But yeah For The Pony!

Add more optional xp gains, as well. Why can't lower level crafters make xp gear? I mean there's zero market for their wares as it is, why not create one? Enchant Weapon Street Smart Brilliance: Grants 2% XP bonus, with a chance on hit to give +5% xp bonus for 1 minute, on use grants 10% xp bonus for 10 minutes with a 2 hour cooldown. I'd buy something like that at level 40. yah.

Reworking the old world would, of course, be a major undertaking. But it's one I think Blizzard/Activiaion would see HUGE dividends in more players playing more.

Make it fun and easy, guys. Make two or three changes/additions a week (or even a month) and let players hunt them down.

"What?!? There's a daily level 30-40 PvP quest in Hillsbrad now? No there's not! Wait.. yes there is! How cool is that?!?"

"No there's no goblin teleporter to the Southern Barrens from Crossroads, noob! You just have to run. What?!? Wait... WTF?!? Where'd that come from?"

A bet there's a billion fun little improvements Blizzard could make to the Old World. If done a bit at a time it would be more than doable.

The problem, as I see it, isn't leveling itself ... it's that the leveling hasn't kept up with the players. You don't need to make it easier. You just need to make it more interesting and entertaining. There's a difference.


Sunday, June 7

Rules of Rage for non-Warriors

In an on going effort to bring The Light (and by "Light" I mean "Warrior Awesomesauce") to the unwashed classes, here's a quicky on Rage for the non-Warrior. Please feel free to contribute if'n I missed somethin'. (Which, let's face it, is pretty likely).

Rules of Rage (for non-Warriors)

1. Your Warrior IS Rage.

2. Everything your Warrior does requires Rage

3. Your Warrior is a sadist and likes to hit stuff to make Rage

4. Your Warrior is a masochist and likes to get hit by stuff to make Rage.

5. If your Warrior can not fill these basic needs, she gets no Rage. Sad Warrior.

6. Do anything to prevent your Warrior from fulfilling these basic needs and she gets no Rage. Angry Warrior!

Warrior tanks need aggro so that stuff will hit them and, thus, make Rage. Lots of Rage lets her hit stuff back really, really hard. Don't ever do anything that would prevent a Warrior tank from getting hit. Some Warrior tanks are SO good at not getting hit that they will take off their pants so that they get hit more. This is "normal." Don't run away and/or ogle their butt.


Damage Warriors do not need aggro, but they must be able to hit stuff to make rage. If you do something that prevents them from hitting stuff, they make no Rage and can not hit stuffs. Damage warriors REALLY like to hit stuffs. These are the boys and girls that, when children, were told by their teachers "We can't hit other people, sweetie" and thought "Sure I can! Watch!" THWACK!


Warriors like Bubbles. They do not deprive your Warrior of her Rage-fix. Bubble, preisty! Bubble!


Do not pull threat from your Warrior Tank, by accident, design, or stupidity. If you pull threat from your Warrior they will get less Rage. Less Rage means they will have less to pull threat back. Less threat for your Warrior means you will probably die. Your Warrior will then get threat back, makes lots and lots of Rage, and be very happy you are dead. Happy Warrior!


Only when your Warrior Tank asks for it. Which will be after they have lots and lots of threat and are punch drunk on Rage overload. AoE too early and you will take threat away. Taking threat away will make the Warrior have no Rage. Bad!


Do not CC the Warrior's target. She will either break the CC and scoff at you, or will not be able to hit the target and, of course, get no Rage. She will, in either case, be very put out.

Do not pull for your the Warrior unless asked. Your Warrior is wise and knows much more then you regarding the Tao of Pissing Off Bad Guys. You are an amatuer compared to your Warrior. A squeeky Padawan to her bitchy Jedi. Your Warrior is wisely plotting initial Rage and sorting out her masochistic/sadistic tendencies to generate more Rage. She'll pull when she's good and f&%@$#ing ready.

Did I miss anything?