Tricentennial

Posted in Priest, PvE, WoW on February 8, 2014 by Srsbusiness

*shakes off dust and cobwebs*

 

Three months ago at Blizzcon, Blizzard showed us their supplemental talent boards for all classes when they get to level 100. Much like current and previous tiers, each talent seems to have its merit depending upon what happens over the course of the fight. Whats interesting about these talents to me is each level 100 talents is drastically different from each other as far as play style goes. One turns you into a pseudo-shadow mage, the other gives you and additional DoT, for the envy of all of your warlock friends, and the other, elevates crit as a priority stat, away from the general haste trumping all concept. Here’s what they look like:

 

Divine Clarity:

 

Increases your damage by 40% to all targets not affected by your damage over time spells. In addition, your Mind Spike now reduces the cooldown of your Mind Blast by 1 second.  Direct damage shadow spells now benefit from Shadowy Recall (mastery.)

 

Shadow priests at heart may have twitched when looking at this talent choice, as being a dot class is what a shadow priest has become known in today’s playing.  But for a true single target fight, such as Jin’rokh in Throne of Thunder, this talent can have some appeal. That being said, there are some restrictions to what can be used with this talent. Such as, you would never want to have Divine Insight or From Darkness, Comes Light with this talent, as using these abilities would nullify the increased damage part of your talent, although your direct damage would still get benefit from mastery. Matching Power Infusion with this talent can make for some very quick burst when used, and your only filled would be Mind Fly insanity when you get to three shadow orbs. A very different direction from the usual shadow priest play style, and the thought of only having 5 buttons in usage instead of 8-10, certainly makes it appealing. It is almost assuredly geared for pvp in case of being locked out by interrupts and whatnot, but if you have a good mix of haste, crit and mastery, it may have some good situational pve use as well.

 

Power of the Void

 

Consume all shadow orbs to deal 250 (per orb) shadow damage every 3 seconds for 1 minute.

 

This is the part where we collectively wish for Mind Flay to act like Malefic Grasp, and make our dots deal a portion of their damage each time MF ticks. The interesting part here would be finding out what talent in tier 3 and 5 to take to make this talent most fruitful. With having 4 dots, haste and mastery rocket up in priority and crit becomes and after though as more ticks means more opportunities to get an additional proc on 4 dots at once. Instead of doing your normal DP -> MFI transition, you will have (about) every third going to use in Power of the Void, so will losing a MF:I every so often make From Darkness, Comes Light the choice to get, or will MFI still be supreme? Also, Divine Insight might be the winner in tier 5 if you really want to maximize your amount of how many MFIs you can get in 1 minute, and with high levels of haste and mastery, you should be getting a decent amount of ticks to make that happen.

 

Spiritual Guidance

 

Your shadow apparitions also grant you 1 shadow orb when they deal damage.

 

Well, overload isn’t a term usually thrown around when referring to shadow priests but, you can definitely have too much resource gain with this talent. If you get enough crit to the point you are sending out 4 shadow apparitions at a time, you will indeed be gaining resources faster than you can spend.  And unlike the other two talents, this one will absolutely center around crit being the predominant stat after haste, and even possibly equal to it in weight in early, entry level raids. If you are gaining too many orbs, you would probably shy away from using Divine Insight in conjunction with it for the sheer fact of having too many shadow orbs to not effectively use, possibly gravitating towards Power Infusion for quicker dot ticks, or Twist of Fate if many mobs are dying. With such high volume of shadow orbs at your disposal, Mind Flay: Insanity is the tier 3 choice to have if you are using this talent, unless you encounter another Thok-like boss.

 

Oddly enough, I am most looking forward to trying out the Divine Clarity talent, as I think it will be a nice change of pace compared to the cast 4 years of being a shadow priest and just weaving too many spells into the same rotation, with masteries tweaked and what not, although each spec has its clear strength and weakness and aside from pvp, should be changed depending on what the fight calls for. I would honestly love if one of the talents, and at such an early stage in development it wouldn’t matter which,  altered your mastery back to the wrath and cata version, where mastery increased the damage of your dots and Mind Blast, back to a time where priests were competitively in the top 5 if not the top source for damage.

 

As a priest, what talent are you most looking forward to try out and use in raids, and what do you think could be done to our talents to make them improve the quality of life for everyone else? As a non priest, what cant you wait for in the Warlord of Draenor expansion?

 

May your Garrison be fruitful!

Blizzcon Recap

Posted in Real Life on November 12, 2013 by Srsbusiness

Man, it feels like that plane just took off for California and here we all are back inside our homes, giddy with what awaits on the horizon for for our favorite Blizzard games.  2 days is just not enough sometimes to get around to every panel, play every game demo, or meet the people you want to meet up with. Although the mere sight of the Cheesecake Factory might induce some serious napping, the trip was everything I could have wanted and then some. The worst part about the entire trip, aside from it ending of course, was the first flight, where security told me my carry-on had to be checked as luggage, even though it was only a size of a back pack. Someone else was also lacking on coffee for that morning.

 

Change of Scenery if Nothing Else

 

Being that the convention was, unusually, held a month later this year compared to years past. This years trip helped relieve my disdain for suddenly cold weather, with temperatures in the 70s all weekend and sunshine, compared to the flurries that were falling when I was leaving the airport.

 

Hmm, snow or sunshine and relaxation. Almost hard!

Hmm, snow or sunshine and relaxation. Almost hard!

 

But the weather is only a small benefit to being around 30,000+ convention goers who all share avid enthusiasm with you, so, onto the con!

You Have Reached Your Destination

 

The Unmistakable Sign of Gaming

The Unmistakable Sign of Gaming

 

If for nothing else, conversing with nearby gamers who also make you feel bad for not being horde, the slow moving serpentine of a line leads to exuberance at the end, as gamers dive into their bags to see what they are getting this year. It was rather rewarding getting the extra two hours in of power napping in and not camping out a spot close to the front of the line this year, as the small group of people I was with spent about a total of 90 minutes in line from when the doors opened at 4pm. This left a lot of time for people to freshen up and head out of pre-con festivities on the town, before Friday’s kickoff.  A small group of friends and I headed out for dinner at the Cheesecake Factory (and this will be a recurring spot visited), to get something in us for the WoWInsider/WoWHead meetup. By the time out dinner had concluded and we made our way over to the Annabella, a line was already fully deployed outside of the Tangerine mezzanine. One of the staff memeber told us they were letting people inside in 10 minute intervals, and after being on a plan for 10 hours, and standing in line for an additional 2, this was a bit of a let down to us, and we decided to not partake in that meetup.

 

The Games and Panels This Year

 

Warlords of Draenor (WoW)

 

While WoW is the biggest timesink a lot of us might have, there was not too much that stood out from my perspective with the trailer and question panels. I really like the item squish that is finally being implemented, its been far too long, and was the biggest detail that stood out to me. The character model designs definitely have a more realistic look while maintaining the cartooniness we love.  The garrison is an interesting idea that has a lot of potential and a lot of us will be curious as to see what exact we can do with our personal in-game stead. I spent the majority of my time at the panels and discussions with Kaliope and Emylia of Llane, both of which were extremely ecstatic to be at the convention for the first time after only being able to watch the live stream in the years previous.

 

Give me Liberty... or a Bran Muffin!

Give me Liberty… or a Bran Muffin!

 

Reaper of Souls (Diablo 3):

 

While I was not able to play the PS4 version, the line at the PC version was non existent each time I passed by that way, so I was able to get a good amount of demo time in for a game I used to play a considerable amount. The new highlighted features of this expansion are the addition of the Crusader class, the new Act 5, nestled in scenic Westmarch, and of course the reason people keep coming back, the new loot 2.0 system. The graphics are still the same from the core game, and there is nothing too new or exciting, with the exception of the ray of death ability that was playable by the crusader. Seriously, badass. Speaking of Crusaders, they have a nice style of play that allows for almost a ranger like hybrid, being able to stand toe-to-toe in melee, or lash out and strike enemies with holy damage from afar. One thing that I was looking forward to was possibly seeing the Blessed Hammer ability, shades of the Paladin from Diablo 2, unfortunately, it was not implemented in game for that level range, but most people were quite pleased with the skills given to their disposal. And loot 2.0, oh how it made me loathe the system currently in game. Those legendaries, that were supposed to be rewarding after a long day of demon slaying? How about 3 in the span of a 15 minute demo? While I love the sight of shiny gear, a balance should be found, so that when trading games are available when the game goes live, there isn’t an oversaturation of gear available to players, like with the auction house.

 

The Nephalem, will stop you.  Except, no one can stop death.

The Nephalem, will stop you. Except, no one can stop death.

 

Hearthstone

 

Having had zero playing time on this game prior to the event, this was the game I was most looking forward to trying out, as the last time I played a game similar to this (Magic: The Gathering), was way back in the late ’90s. Much like the style back then, the first deck I built consisted of huge, bruising minions ready to crush an opponent after a few turns. Unfortunately, this always left me vulnerable, and usually dead, just like my first playthrough on the demo. Strangely enough, the priest deck felt clunky, but the mage deck really felt like being a true caster instead of a support/healbot, much more conducive to the role of preference carrying over from WoW. After a bit of practice I was able to string together 6 wins for the small prize at the booth, which was $20 off a purchase of $75 or more at the store there. Which would have been REALLY GREAT had I not been to the store right before going to the line. There is a lot of potential with this game as well. The suggestion I left, would be to make class specific legendaries for each hero, that added specific flavor to the game. Mages get Atiesh, Warriors Thunderfury, Hunters, Thori’dal, etc. Also, perhaps a small implementation of mana burn to sap your enemies ability to line up cards with a quick but inefficient monkey wrench as part of your mana would also be lost. Demo felt smooth and I very much enjoyed the game.

 

Stormpike Rifleman. Consider yourself hit for 2 damage.

Stormpike Rifleman. Consider yourself hit for 2 damage.

 

Heroes of the Storm (DotA/LoL)

 

The game that really got my attention at the opening ceremony was Heroes of the Storm. Combining everyone’s favorite heroes spanning the last two decades, the demo of this game instantly became something I wanted to experience before I left, as my ability with RTS games has been shaky at best. This game was wildly popular with the attendees this year, as the line forming seemingly wrapped around endlessly, like a python squeezing the life out of its prey. To my team’s delight, we were able to get in as the last group of players right as the convention was coming to a close. The event staff even came over to watch us rumble. I went with the Elite Tauren Chieftan, and was pleasantly surprised how great this character played. (Note: I am a shameless cheapskate in games like this, and characters that can stunlock [see: Chieftan, Tauren Elite] get bonus points from me.) I like the secondary objectives to create minions  or capture shrines to turn the tide of battle, its a dynamic element instead of camping creeps or the feed of enemies from each lane. One thing I have liked in previous generations of this game was the ability to equip and mold weapons and armor to have unique abilities, like lifesteal, cloaking, +regen, and +% weapon damage. The game itself right now is moderately dependent on using your abilities at the right time instead of hoping for a couple of big hits from an auto attack. Beta invites are live, and everyone is anxious and willing to get their e-hands on them!

 

Your favorites, all rolled together in one neat and bloodsoaked melee.

Your favorites, all rolled together in one neat and bloodsoaked melee.

 

Starcraft

I am not a huge starcraft buff, I play the campaign a bit, but there was nothing at the con that was interesting.  It is not a game I am gushing over.

Random Attractions

No, not Disneyland. A large contingent of our guild had made the trek to the convention, and we convened at the Meeting Stone at 4pm on Friday afternoon. We even tried to summon some guildmates who were not in attendance. In addition to that, how about 6 different meetups with groups, including 5 dinner get-togethers. And if cheeescake is even mentioned in the next week, I might pop. A high-light of the weekend was watching Sheepeater down a hot dog stirfry, with a vegetarian Alfredo sauce for a marinande. Both oddly appetizing, and yet extremely confusing at the same time.

After many attempts, we determined the summon was unsuccessful.

After many attempts, we determined the summon was unsuccessful.

 

So, now that all of the panels and games have been done, what else is a con-goer to do? Well, like in years past, everyone sooner or later found there way over to the Hilton lobby, where it got difficult to even move at times. And then, whats better than having a few drinks with your friends and new acquaintances. This is where a lot of people met up with each other some, for the first time, firmly etching in a memory that will not soon be forgotten. Too many people I was introduced to this year, outside of my guild, I met Anafielle, Arielle, Vidyala, Vosskah, Rhidach, Zerena, Novalas, Kaliope, Emylia, Hestiah, Ghemit, Elvine, and everyone’s favorite lead systems designer, GhostCrawler himself for the first time. I also met Sara, Kristin, Grumdy, Colin, Sheepeater, Serrath, and Sturm as people from in the guild for the first time. And lastly, I met with Shawnelle, Aerista, Jasyla, Kaleri, Chronis, and Tikari again at the convention. (And If I missed someone, I am sorry!) A lot of good people and interesting personalities were met and enjoyed, but as I said to my brother as I walked out of the airport and back to the world we know as normalcy, “It feels like I just got up, and should be getting on  a plane out, not coming back home.” It was an enjoyable 4 days away from home, and I look forward to returning next year and meeting up with hopefully even more people than before, but until next year: For the Horde!

 

To friends, fiood and fun.

To friends, food and fun.

Shadow Power

Posted in Uncategorized on October 22, 2013 by Srsbusiness

Gadzooks! Are those heirlooms I see you bringing to raid?! Yes indeed, even the most stalwart of raiders are benefiting from the use heirloom items as they progress into heroics for siege of Orgrimmar. While shadow priests haven’t had much in the way of overhaul of talents going into 5.4, they did receive a few sizable buffs to spells that brought them in line (supposedly) with what Blizzard was looking for.

 

One thing that is notable in fights this tier is there are a lot of intermissions, which are absolutely detrimental to us, as that time elapsing lets our dots fall off, and with our somewhat slow ramp-up time, leaves for lower numbers across the board. On the positive side, a lot of the fights have adds, or segments where the boss dips into execute phase and back to full again, making the tier 5 talent, Twist of Fate, which is now active at 35% which is a godsend, a really desirable option for most fights, something that hasn’t been seen since entry level progression on Mogu’shan Vaults.

 

Stats

 

Haste

With the normalization of haste regarding meta gems and trinket procs, haste no longer is superior to intellect once you get to the 14,873 haste plateau. In fact, anything after 17,200 haste is a detriment, as in haste will begin to put you under 1 second for your cast time, causing you to lose time between Global Cooldowns. Haste is still the superior stat for shadow priests, but given the bevy of gear with haste on it, it shouldn’t be too difficult to get to the final plateau before moving on to other stats.

 

Hit

Also not in short supply, there has been over abundance of hit since Throne of Thunder, and now with amplification trinkets boosting your hit via spirit, getting pieces of gear with two of haste/crit/mastery, makes for a much more acceptable venture when choosing gear.

 

Critical Strike and Mastery

Blizzard decided to throw us a nice curve ball when putting together the 2-piece tier set bonus for shadow priests.  The bonus increases the critical effect of your shadowy recall (mastery) effects by 40%. This bonus, in essence, gets better as you move away from haste and into both crit and mastery. Because of Mind Flay: Insanity  being a periodic effect and benefiting from mastery, you always want to have a slight edge in mastery over critical strike. Ive found a good balance between mastery and crit is keeping a 15 point difference in the two stats, raid buffed. An example would be having 25% critical strike and 40% mastery, and moving that ratio up as your gear improves.

 

Gemming

 

Finally, we begin to feel like the shadow priests of yore, getting rid of those horrid straight haste gems, in addition to some greens as well, and go back to pure intellect, with int/(haste/mastery/crit)[haste level depending] for oranges, and int/spirit for blues. Socket bonus are still worth going for in most cases, as they give intellect bonuses, with the exception being on the shoulder slot.

 

How We Are Faring in Raid:

 

In fights where there’s a few mobs up with cleaving, we seems to be at our best, with Immerseus, Protectors, Nazgrim and Galakras being our top fights. But after that we, start to dip off as your multi dot opportunities diminish and the amount of cleaving is limited, or non-existent, such as fights like Norushen, Sha of Pride, Iron Juggernaut, Malkorok, and Thok. These have been some of our weaker fights in the instance, countering our strengths on the previously aforementioned fights. That leaves us feeling, pretty average, to say the least. In fact, raidbots has us right in the middle in terms of how we are faring right now in raids. I am Ok with this. It certainly wasn’t the massive buffs we expected when we saw VT go up 20%, SW:P up 15%, and SW:D up 15%. But without those buffs, we would be in the bottom quarter of dps specs. We also get the short end of the stick on the legendary cloak, as the proc modifier for us ends up being the worst out of the specs that can use it. 

 

Extrapolating the Shadow Priest

 

I like the whole shadow orb resource, it gives us a different feel as opposed to being a mages with shadow spells. I do not think they are being used correctly though. A lot of people thoroughly enjoyed when shadow orbs gave a passive bonus to our dots, instead of having our dots have a chance to do a Tarecgosa and duplicate their damage. A quick fix could be to move the mastery back to periodic bonuses, much like affliction warlocks, but make the shadow orbs still required to cast Devouring Plague, while not giving the bonus to Mind Blast/Mind Spike. This sounds overly complicated, and I do believe the devs like having us do additional damage via mastery and shadow apparitions. I would like to personally have control over my mastery instead of leaving it up to a chance to duplicate.

 

Enter Shadow Power

 

My idea would be making our mastery increase the damage of our spells by X% and duration of shadow power by Y seconds, increased by mastery of course. We would get a new talent called shadow power which would become an ability the we can activate by casting Mind Blast, Mind Flay and Shadow Word: Death. Mind Blast generates 8 shadow power and 1 shadow orb, Shadow Word: Death generates 3 shadow power each time, and Mind Flay generates 3 shadow power. We can hold up to 100 shadow power, excess shadow power is lost. We can activate shadow power at any time to receive a bonus to all damage and healing for X seconds, depending on shadow power, where every point of shadow power grants .1 seconds of the buff (which would be increased in mastery). Basically, this gives us certainty on our mastery like a lot of classes have (see: aff locks, fury warriors, frost mages).

 

State of the Priest

 

I’m happy where we are at. While we aren’t the reigning dps champions we once were in Catacylsm, the versatility we have with Mass Dispel, Vampiric Embrace, Void Shift, and Angelic Feathers provides for a meaninful contribution to raids instead of sitting back being a stationary turret, although our lack of mobile dps is hurting, as we can only cast Shadow Word: Pain (and death when in execute). But as gear continues to improve and we move back to a solid intellect build over haste, you can expect to see your performance go from middle of the pack to front of the class.

Amped Up on Trinkets

Posted in Priest, PvE, WoW on September 30, 2013 by Srsbusiness

With 5.4, now 3 weeks in the books, most people have been able to get a feel for how the new raid has been playing out. Most notably for players gearing up through another gear of content, they were re-introduced to an old friend, the Internal Cooldown (ICD) trinket. Attached to these trinkets are amplification values, that raise the amount of Crit, Haste, Mastery and Spirit by x% (varying from raid finder to heroic warforged) of the amount you have on your gear.

 

This is a nice solution for 2 aspects: It allows all roles to better line up abilities for when the next proc should happen, and it also bridges gaps for people who are close to a break point (28% crit for frost mages, 14973 haste for shadow priests, etc). As a class that is dominated largely by haste, we, as well as other classes that stack one secondary attribute, benefit largely one the one stat, and as an added bonus, get a small boost to hit via spirit increase!  (Hybrid Tax? I hardly knew ye…)

 

This starts the debate of pushing to the next haste breakpoint, since higher level gear is now obtainable. The next haste breakpoint is 18,200, and it only gives you an extra tick on Vampiric Touch. (Thanks Totemspot!) Unfortunately, a few problems arise if we try to get to the next break point.   Even at 14,873 rating (the current level most ToT geared persons should have striven for), we have whittled down our cast time of Mind Blast and Vampiric Touch to 1.05 seconds.

 

This is to say, there is not a lot of room left to go before we end up seeing haste as a baseline detriment, due to our casts being faster than our GCD comes back up. We already encounter this problem when our meta gem activates (although its a great time to spam the living bajesus out of Mind Flay), and during heroism, but Heroism + meta gem is amazing for Mind Flay: Insanity, as you can squeeze 5 full casts of MFI off with that, detriment otherwise. Also, 3 of our spells got buffed in the patch, making intellect a more valued stat now, even though it is unaffected by amp trinkets. With that being considered, its is best to not go full blown haste as you will lose out in the long run. This will slowly start to make your crit and mastery levels rise, which is good, especially since our new 2 set bonuses places emphasis on having a good amount of crit and mastery.

 

The amplification trinket we seek comes from Immerseus, and is aptly called, Purified Bindings of Immerseus. The ICD timer is almost moot for us, as the only CD we have that can line up with that is shadowfiend. Good timing of Devouring Plague can allow you to get possibly 2 Cycles of DP and MFI out of it. The other three trinkets we can use are The Black Blood of Y’Shaarj (Haste and Stacking Intel Proc (RPPM)), Kardris’ Toxic Totem (Intel Proc and 15% chance to do 1/3 Damage of Spell Proc) and Frenzied Crystal of Rage (3.33 % Chance to Cleave and ICD   intel proc).  Initially, I really like the Black Blood Trinket because haste and intel, what ISN’T to love! And I basically wrote the other two off. However, after getting a first hand look at the Garrosh encounter, I can 100% see the merit of using the Frenzied Crystal of Rage because, oh man ALL OF THE ADDS AT ONCE.   So for those about to amp, we salute you, but just remember to not get too amped up on stacking one stat for you priestly folk, or you might be in line for a serious crash (SRS BZNS) at some point down the line when you are on the bench.

 

Eye-Popping, Vein Bulging Goodness. (Results May Vary)

Eye-Popping, Vein Bulging Goodness. (Results May Vary)

TWO YEARS, EXECUTUS! TWO YEARS!

Posted in Reasons I am Going Insane, WoW on August 22, 2013 by Srsbusiness

Its been that long, yet it doesn’t feel like I picked up this keyboard very long ago and began typing.

 

With that being said, happy birthday domain! Here’s to another year down, and another year forthcoming.  Looking back, I really got away from writing about shadow priesting a lot, mainly because we haven’t had any off-the-wall talents or abilities that can be used in non-explotative fashion. Hopefully, something from Siege of Orgrimmar or The Dark Below (and there could have be a infinitely better title choices, imo) will be added to the priest class that adds a new flare to our play style. When I began writing, I didn’t envision this site still being up two years later, as a lot of priest related topics are covered in depth, yet, I pushed myself to write at least one thing per month, no matter what it might entail. It makes me want to be a better writer, exploring avenues that others may not go down, even if it is unsuccessful, I gave it a shot.

 

Inspiration

 

I’d like to thank Arolaide, Jasyla, and Kaleri for getting me interested in writing my blog in the first place. They were the first three blogs I read after being immersed in the Warcraft Universe for well over 6 years at the time. And all of these three continue to write today! As well as getting to know some amazing people who encourage me to continue to not only write, but to improve my writing, like Discopriest, Zerena, and Devonie. And for anyone who reads or comments, thanks!

 

Going Forward

 

Last year, I tried to make a resolution of altering the style of writing at work, as well as taking a few cracks at myself. This year, we shoot for the stars! For starters:

 

  •  A Live Blogcast this year at Blizzcon 2013 with Kaliope from Llane!
  •  Guest Writers
  •  Multi-Chaptered Short Stories

 

There are a few other ideas as well that may happen, if they are even possible to accomplish. Its been fun to write so far, I just hope the topic I post about hit on something relevant to people out there on the internet.

 

Raise up your glass, and take off your pants, another year is in the books!

 

A toast.... for writing, exploration  (and for the horde!).

A toast…. for writing, exploration (and for the horde!).

Fifty Shades of Great (BDSM)

Posted in PvE, Real Life, Shameless Plugs, WoW on August 14, 2013 by Srsbusiness

In order for my story to take flight, we must travel through a parabola filled with blight, Reading another line of this text may make you sick, But I promise ….     nothing.

Okay, really not that deep at all, in any contrived sense. What makes something great? Is it keeping true to that new year’s resolution? Is it getting a promotion at work? Is it being at the top of the meters every raid night? These can all be shades of greatness, and the latest shade I have found myself (and a lot of other other players as well) closing in on a pinnacle of greatness, by killing Dark Animus heroic and going 11/13 in H ToT. And while it certainly isn’t the greatest shade to be in by that particular grade scale, it is for myself, as through any expansion, this tier has been the most productive for me in terms of heroic bosses killed before a new raid tier is released. That in itself has been its own form of greatness. In addition, our raid team completed the achievement for the meta skyscreamer for about half of our members. This leaves an interesting point left to be made, heroic Lei Shen is in our sights, and Ra-Den to follow, but with the announcement of a possible patch release date in two weeks, is that enough time left to master the encounter?

Should people invest time into fights if the results may not happen? What about the rest of the team? Should that time be used to help them get to the same level as everyone else so they can feel accomplished too?  This is an issue for a lot of guilds right now, as the patch looms, deciding whether to bear down and push as hard as they can, or ease off a bit and come back with a vengeance in the upcoming raid after a recuperation period. And how exactly does the BDSM acronym fit into this post effectively? Simple! (And it serves as the argument either to press onward, or help everyone else catch up.)

Who controls Whom?

Apotheosis has ran rough shot this tier of current content, namely the latest kill of Dark Animus in only a single night’s worth of work. For one of the harder heroics in the raid, due to its model of controlled chaos, one night in Animus was time well spent. Other heroics may have taken longer, but since killing them, there is relative little difficulty anymore as clearing the instance is less of a time per night issue versus time left until patching issue. No Anima Font tells us what do to and gets away with it.

Bondage/Restraints

The only thing binding us now is the time element. While I have no doubts we will be able to defeat both Lei Shen and Ra-Den in time, with only a few raid nights left it becomes a statistical long shot to kill one or both of them with the time restraint that has been set in place. Any group can defy the odds, just like an underdog winning against a heavily favored entity.

Dominance/Discipline

As stated earlier, we have made this tier work for us. (WHO DOES ToT WORK FOR?) While that dominance is now second nature, it didn’t happen overnight. It required a lot of wipes and discipline on our part to get there. To think that Lei Shen or Ra-den would be any different would be ill-advised to say the least. It is something to build on going forward into Siege of Orgrimmar, knowing full well we have the capacity to quickly adapt and learn non end-tier fights.

Sadism/Submission

Uncle? Uncle. There is no other way to describe what other dialogue the bosses could have after encountering us. Horridon was merely a setback? We set you back to the Dark Ages, Jalak. Submission is sometimes a double edged sword, and there has been our fair share of nights where the mechanics, for one reason or another, just completely decimated us. Like the dreaded Fist (fish) Smash. I guess wiping to farm content can be looked upon as sadistic, especially when you kill the boss mere moments from the enrage….

Masochism

This would be throwing ourselves against a brick wall (or glass case of emotions) repeatedly for the next however many raids, and ultimately coming up with nothing. Or, in the same vein, doing something over and over again, hoping that the result would change. The one saving grace here is that we don’t have to look at this content for 39 consecutive weeks like Icecrown Citadel, you know, the time frame where people took long standing and sometimes permanent hiatuses from the game, because after the 15th clear, it really becomes trivial, painful and insane (the same thing over and over hoping for change) to continue to move forward.

To highlight, raid teams as a whole are very strong and unified, and the can generally eliminate the obstacles before them. Its when elements outside of their control enter into the scheme of things, that plans change and decisions will be made that not everybody agrees on. Still, the raid stays cohesive and marches onward. Control – something at times that is so valuably desired, and at times is fleeting. And that begs the question, with so many things to consider, how we and many other guilds have done so far, what would you do to achieve that shade of greatness?

- Would you valiantly push on for Progression, Loot, Server firsts and complete dominance over those whom would doubt you?

or

- Would you remind yourself that you didn’t get here alone, and help those achieve the same greatness you have obtained, even if it means compromising some of your own goals?

This is the crux we (and perhaps other guilds) face at the moment when, with little provocation, the end of arena season was announced for August 27th. Kind of interesting how dedicated PvPers get an end date for their season, but new raid content is on a tentative. Let the cards fall and see what happens.

What would you do for your Fifty Shades of Great?

Confined to the binding that is reality.

Confined to the binding that is reality.

PvP is dead….. and Blizzard killed it.

Posted in Mage, Priest, PvP, WoW on July 31, 2013 by Srsbusiness

Once, a long, long time ago, there was a time when I actually enjoyed PvP combat. Even back to my vanilla and BC days as a hunter, I remember walking up behind some poor, unsuspecting mage and unleashing an aimed shot that would crit for 3900. (3900!!) and 1-shot my adversary back in vanilla. And then in BC, the old passage was to locate the hunter and mana burn them as fast as possible, rendering them useless. It became common to see hunters with intel enchants and full time running aspect of the viper for preservation purposes. Resilience was introduced here, and it provided a new element to pvp, mainly as a way to not completely wreck the opposing priest/mage/warlock by sundering off all of their armor.

 

Around the middle of Wrath, I underwent my identity crisis, and eventually became a full time priest. Nothing new was introduced in Wrath as far as elements to PvP (aside from death knights having a joyride of a time deathgripping the heck out of people), so the play stayed consistent from BC, although learning how to effectively juke people on my priest gave adversaries, and even my own teammate, terrors.

 

As cataclysm dawned upon us, I was no longer enjoying healing in arenas, and decided I wanted to be the one getting healed, so back to shadow I went. Priests were all the rage as the end of the expansion broke, and this was where I got my first taste of rated battlegrounds. And it was glorious. I lived and died by the sword. I was willing to take the risk of using my PvE-acquired gear, with no resilience, in favor of higher spell power, secondary stats and tier bonuses. This tactic worked with devastating effect, as I used my tier set bonus, which allowed you to gain 3 shadow orbs each time your shadow fiend or shadowy apparitions did damage. Back then, your shadow orbs modified how much damage your mind spike or mind blast did, and we had archangel as well, which increased the damage of those spells by an additional 20% for 18 seconds. Throw in a rogue for a stun, and dk for a ranged silence and necrotic strike and you had yourself one dead flag carrier. PvP was fun.

 

And then Mists of Pandaria came, and the game of PvP started to drastically change. The pre-patch introduced a baseline resilience of 40% to everyone. And this was okay, it allowed me to take less damage and survive a bit longer in an iffy situation. Although I could no longer dispatch opponents with swift efficiency,

 

As someone who is a PvE content player first, and PvP’er second, its a nice change of pace to be able to do a battleground here and there. It breaks up the tedium of dailies and the same raid over and over (I’m looking at you Icecrown Citadel). By no means am I a rookie or scrub when it comes to out-thinking an opponent, or experience in a battleground as I have 100,000+ lifetime HKs, the battlemaster achieve, and duelist achieve (s2). Its the last change of late that has really crushed any type of fun I once had with queuing up for a battleground.

 

In 5.3, Baseline resilience for characters has gone up from 40% to 65%, and in addition, all gear is scaled down to 496 if the item level is higher by default. Throw in your new and improved battle fatigue ability, which cuts healing done by 45%, and you have quite a situation for your-not-so-dedicated-to-PvP player. Interested in these changes, I decided if I further became an indestructible tank, bringing forth indiscriminate justice to his foes, or if something was greatly a miss. And it turned out, something was a miss. I lacked the gear and “required stat” of pvp power to have much effect on my opponents. It was like being a wet match, in a damp cave and trying to light. My spell power declined by over 40%, and my health by over 200,000. Players whom I would make short work of anywhere in the world if I saw them were now crushing me with literal ease, despite using crafted pvp armor and entry level weapons. PvP power is designed to give the user more damage and healing from their abilities, as opposed to having stronger gear. What does this mean? It means people who are like me, no longer get to have their cake and also eat it. People using last or current season PvP gear, not only do not suffer a penalty to using higher level gear, they also get a bonus versus players wearing higher gear (as they aren’t going to use PvP power for anything LFR or higher raid based).

 

People who “casually” do PvP, are put at a disadvantage, not because they are under geared, as someone who raids is not, but because this change has made PvP a fully separate entity from PvE. In order to be competitive in PvP, you must also grind out a full set of pvp gear as well. Which makes sense, if you want to be a Tyrannical Gladiator. But for someone who just wants to blow off steam from raids/dailies? It seems completely absurd to go this route to even be semi-competitive.  I mean, you don’t see people who queue up into LFR or heroics get their gear normalized down to 463/476/483 do you?

 

Here’s the gripe: We put in a lot of time and work, sometimes fruitless nights of fighting encounters for powerful rewards (and the content of course…..). Those players have earned the right to use that gear as they see fit (without exploiting game mechanics, etc). Why should they be punished for bringing them to pvp? Because new person X doesn’t want to get killed by heroic raider Y? Here’s something to consider: We have all been at that point at some point in the game. We were all once noobs (to whatever we did). I remember being on my hunter back in ’05 and thinking counterattack was the coolest thing ever and melee’d the heck out of stuff hoping for a parry (god it was awful). PvP is no different. If you are undergeared, you are going to get beat down by the people who have better gear while you get your ownself better. This is the rite of passage/initiation. Then, once you have the gear, you get to do the beating down, and the cycle continues.

 

The practical problem to this is gear inflation. Right now Ilvls are shooting up stats at an enormously large rate. And there are ways to fix this: (Queue idea for expansion planning)

 

- Since ilvls aren’t going away, continue with them but alter the storyline of WoW.

 

- The burning legion returns after Garrosh is ousted in Orgrimmar. In the midst of celebration, Ner’zhul’s agents return to Azeroth and kidnap Anduin Wryn and warp him back to their home planet. Varian decides to enlist his gnomish engineers to make transport to the planet, and being the cunning tactician, enlists Vol’jin’s help, or otherwise threatens to Destroy the new Warchief’s regime before it rebuilds.

 

- The fight takes place on the Eredar planet. The atmosphere is filled with bacteria that alters the state of anything entering into it. STAT CRUSH! All items and stats have their level reduced by 98%. This takes gear and damage down to around what people had around the early stages of Burning Crusade. Health pools of 600,000 drop to 12,000. DPS drops from 200,000+ to around 4,200 (PvE). This cuts the insta-gib factor down quite considerably. Since we travel back and forth between the planet. Traces of bacteria linger in our atmosphere and carry over to the old BGs. This means:

 

- Battle fatigue has been disabled on the planet and any battleground/arena.

- Players no longer have a baseline of 65% resilience.

- This accomplishes: People who travel the world and engage in World PvP get to have super inflated stats and the feel of crushing anyone. People who want to queue for battleground can either use pvp or pve gear effectively, because a 98% reduction of ilvl 700 vs 98% of ilvl 600, is very miniscule.

 

TLDR: This is a whiny QQ post because I feel I have lost the capacity to enjoy an aspect of the game because of gear normalizing, or as I call it challenge mode PvP. And because I want to be able to make a cake and eat it too.

 

Mmmmmm..... cake.......

Mmmmmm….. cake…….

 

Here, have some cake. All this talk of cake has made me hungry, and I am going to go bake my cake and eat it right now.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.