Friday, October 29, 2010

One Light in the Darkness

Last night we had our first ever attempts at Yogg with anything less than all four Keepers.

The night started off very frustrating, not in the least because of people spawning extra adds in phase 1. Phase 2 was equally frustrating, as it took about half our raiding night before we saw anything that looked like progress.

Eventually people settled in the ebb and flow of the fight and we found a strat that worked inside the portal rooms (a boomkin, 2 feral druids, and a rogue going to town).

We got to phase 3 on our last attempt of the night, but one of our healers went insane and started healing the boss and adds. We were down a couple people at that point, too, and just couldn't deal with it all.

I think we have a good feel for what needs to happen now, and I think next time we go in there, we'll make relatively quick work of it. Unfortunately that's going to be about 2 weeks away as I already have some other raid stuff lined up for next week and I don't want to want to be scheduling raids five consecutive nights. Raid-leading bears need their breaks, too.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The patch so far

It's been about 10 days now since I've been able to play around in 4.01. So far any group content I've done has been as a tank, so I still don't have any insights on Kitty DPS. But tanking hasn't been terrible.

So far I've tanked the headless horseman about a half dozen times, Heroic UP once, most of Ulduar (still working on that Ironbound Proto--only have Yogg left), ICC 10 up through Rotface and ICC 25 through the entire Plague wing and Princes.

The hardest part so far has been learning my new rotations. Although "rotation" isn't really an accurate representation of what I'm doing right now. I'm sort of hitting whatever isn't on cooldown since the only thing Bears do that doesn't have a cooldown anymore is Lascerate. I'm slowly settling into a prioritization system, though. It basically goes like this:
  1. If Lacerate is active and close to expiring and, refresh it.
  2. Get at least one stack of Fearie Fire (Feral) on the target.
  3. Mangle whenever it's available.
  4. Lacerate up to 3 stacks.
  5. Pulverize if the buff has less than 3 seconds on it.
  6. Get F3 up to a full 3 stacks.
  7. Lacerate
Also, I'll Maul anytime it's available and I have more than about 40 rage.

If I'm trying to hold more than two enemies, then Swiping any time it's available becomes top priority.

It's a very different style of playing Bear than I'm used to. If I lapse into auto-pilot I find myself making a lot of mistakes, still. But I'm getting better. Pretty soon this will be the norm for me. And then I'll hit 81 and will have to work Thrash into the mix.

AoE tanking is definitely harder now, but it's not as bad as I thought it was going to be. Swipe does a lot more threat than it used to, so even though I can't just spam it, it's usually enough to hold threat as long as the DPS don't go all out AoE before the mobs even get to me. It's definitely been a little harder in instances than in raids due to Vengeance not building as high or persisting as steadily there, plus the lack of any OTs to help out if my Growl and F3 are both on cooldown.

Bosses haven't been an issue at all. The only time I've lost control of something (even in that 30-45s range that some tanks seem to be having issues in) was when we did Vezax in hard mode last night. But that was to a Mage standing in the black goo of uber spell damage. So it's understandable.

I haven't done any reforging of my gear yet, mostly out of sheer laziness. But it hasn't been a problem so far. Maybe I could be doing better, but through the content I've tanked I've been doing well enough. With less than 6 weeks to go before the expansion, that's good enough for me.

I am anxious to get a few cracks in at the Lich King. I was really worried that defeating him post-patch was going to be really tough, but based on everything I've seen so far, it'll be easier than before.

Hopefully we'll have a few more Kingslayers in our guild before Dec 7.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Picture Day!

Just a dump of random screenshots and stuff I've been collecting over the last couple months (in no particular order).

Strange things happen in guild chat late at night. (Shaetano is a low-level mage I've been spending some time on lately.)

What is this? I don't even...

My partner's been playing a Paladin along with me on said Mage. Look at his shield, though. Kinda wanna jump on his back and steer him around...

<Insert "mount" joke here.>

A robe I picked up while questing. I understand the look they were going for, but it appears to be stitched into my skin.

Now I know how Patchwerk feels.

It's never good when my brain gets ahead of my mouth.

"I kept getting f'n..."

My warrior done got himself a new weapon.

Ratshag would be proud.

This one's for you, Karm.

It's the closest I'll ever get.

I was running along towards Feathermoon Stronghold when I suddenly realized how much the underside of those trees look like a facehugger.


Rigor mortis apparently sets in very quickly for DKs.

Either that or dude's got core strength like woah.

A few kitties waiting around to summon the raid.

I won't lie, this would probably intimidate the hell out of me.

Our guild leader is getting desperate.

Maybe we play WoW just a little too much...

Monday, October 25, 2010

Knowing is only half the battle

A lot of interesting stuff from BlizzCon this weekend, don't you think? I know it's hard to put out a lot of exciting WoW info when the Cata beta's been long opened and the full retail release is just over 6 weeks away. But there was still good stuff in there.

The Worgen cinematic they released is the first little bit of anything regarding the starting zone/questing that I've allowed myself to see. It has me salivating. I got those chills again that I missed from the opening cinematic.

While not WoW related, I also really, really liked the Demon Hunter cinematic for Diablo III. Excellent writing on that one. I've watched it several times now.

Anyway, they still managed to pump out a lot of info that I could talk about, but the one thing that really stood out for me is this:
Enhanced Maps
  • Detailed boss info will be added to the map, including loot, lore, and abilities! (Yep, in-game AtlasLoot)
  • You won't have to pull a boss and die anymore to find out what he does.
  • "We're not going to tell you how the boss works, but we want you to have an idea of what you're getting into."
As a raid leader, this information further enforces ideas that we've been hearing about ever since the first design goals of Cataclysm started being discussed openly. But before I delve into that, I want to share a little anecdote about one of my raiders.

For the sake of argument, we'll call her Tammy. Tammy, overall, is a pretty good raider. She knows her class well. She has good gear, good gemming/enchanting, and good rotation management. More often than not, she's a real asset in our runs. There's just one problem: Tammy won't install DBM. She considers it "cheating" and refuses to use it.

Okay, I can see where she's coming from. At the time of its creation, DBM probably was right on that borderline of "cheating." But here's the thing: DBM's been around for a long time now. I've been using it for 3 years and I'm sure it's been around longer than that, even. For at least that long it's been pretty much a required addon for any serious raider.

Blizz knows this. They knew this when they started raid development for Wrath and on all the way through. And if you don't think they've been programming their encounters around the knowledge that any serious raider is going to be running this addon, you're crazy.

Raid encounters have steadily moved away from testing people's ability to recognize an impending danger and react to it and towards the ability to be preemptive. Take LK. If you're not in proper position when a Val'kyr shows up or when a Defile is dropped, it's already too late.

But DBM only did so much for us. It would tell us what was coming, but we'd either have to run the encounter or go to a site like WowWiki, Wowhead, or Bosskillers to tell us what those abilities actually did. It still required leaving the game and doing some research.

Now Blizz is taking the absolute need to hit those sites out of the equation. Right there, in the game, we're going to be able to see all of a boss' abilities. And who can blame them? Every serious raider is already going to the sites mentioned to read up on abilities and plan strats around them. It's in Blizz's best interest to fully embrace this practice and design encounters around the knowledge that people are going to be checking this stuff out, anyway.

And anyone that's spent any amount of time on LK will tell you that all of this still does not equate to cheating. No amount of "knowing" what's going to happen during the LK encounter really prepares you for it. You have to be in there, experiencing it. Repetition. Practice. You still have to develop the skills required to get through it, and that's not easy.

It sounds to me like encounters in Cataclysm are going to continue to move in this direction. We have DBM. We have in-game descriptions of boss abilities. All this information is handed to us, and Blizz knows it. So they're going to be designing their encounters assuming that you're using this information to its fullest. Waltzing into a raid and face-rolling is not going to be an option. You have to be an educated, skillful player to succeed. Ignorance is no longer a viable excuse.

Be smart and be prepared.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

I'm just saying...

If the Deathwing fight at the end of Cataclysm doesn't include some mechanic that centers on ripping the adamantite plates off of Deathwing's body in order to make him fall to pieces, I'm going to be super sad panda.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Using PowerAuras to track Lacerate and Pulverize

I haven't written any 4.01 rotation guides yet because I'm still learning the rotations myself. I could easily regurgitate someone else's findings here, but I much prefer to actually understand things before I talk about them.

PowerAuras is one of those addons I've had for a long time, but have never really used to its full potential. I did a few simple and helpful things with it, but not much more. I think, though, that I'm going to start using it much more often.

One of the new things I've started doing with it is tracking Lacerate and Pulverize. These two abilities are tied very tightly with each other, but are hard to manage using the standard aura tracking because one shows as a buff on you and the other as a debuff on your target. Makes for a lot of eye movement. (Also, OmniCC doesn't seem to be working for me right now, which makes it even harder.)

If you expand the image, you can see how I set up PowerAuras to help out with this. Just to the left of my character I have two auras. The top one tracks the time left on my Pulverize buff. The lower tells me how many stacks of Lacerate I have on my current target.

As the Pulverize buff gets close to dropping off, I make sure I have the full 3 stacks of Lacerate (or as close as I can get) and then consume them and start building again.

One thing I think I may do is add a timer to the Lacerate aura so I can keep track of that as well as the stacks. The idea will be to drop Lacerate from my rotation when it's set to expire 2 seconds after Pulverize. That way I can maximize the bleed damage before consuming the stacks.

I don't know if that kind of min/maxing is really necessary, but it's a thought. Maybe once I get more comfortable with the rotation in general, I'll look at doing that.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

We're not special anymore

It's just come to my attention that one of the changes implemented in patch 4.01 is that Anzu can now be summoned without the aid of a Druid that's gone through their Epic Flight Form questline.

On one hand, it's nice that I can no longer be guilted into helping my non-Driud friends obtain it. (After soloing that place daily for about two months to get it, I never really want to go in there again.)

On the other, there's soon going to be a lot more Raven Lords running around Dalaran.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

How I would have done it

Continuing on yesterday's train of thought about the Cataclysm intro...

I spent most of my drive home from work daydreaming about what I would have liked to see in the trailer. If I was writing and/or directing it, what would I have included?

I looked back, and the intro cinematics tend to clock in around 3 minutes, give or take. So we have to set up reasonable expectations there. You want the cinematic to be smooth and cohesive, but you don't have a lot of time to get across whatever information you might want to present.

So I would have started the trailer in an Archive room similar to the ones in Halls of Stone or Ulduar, except this one would be in Uldum (new zone tie-in!). The Archive system would be explaining (to an empty room, because it technically isn't discovered until after the Shattering) how when the Titans were ready to leave Azeroth they created the five Dragon Aspects to watch over their creations. During this we'd see glimpses of Alexstrasza, Ysera, Maylgos, and Nozdormu. It wouldn't have to list their names or go into the specifics of what they guard, but seeing them would be good. We saw all of them to varying degrees during Wrath, and Alexstrasza and Ysera will both have roles in Cata. (Ysera got a new model.)

The Archive system would then mention Neltharion by name, explaining that we was the Black Dragon Aspect, and the one in charge of warding the physical earth.

Then it would ominously mention that he wasn't the only one to be making a home in his domain.

At this point we'd see Neltharion deep underground, tossing restlessly, like he was having a bad dream. Quietly at first, but growing in volume, we'd hear the whisperings of the Old Gods. As they get louder, the visuals would momentarily flash images of them and then back to Neltharion, who would be growing more violently restless as time passed until he finally snaps awake, roaring.

From here there would be a brief synopsis on the creation of the Dragon (Demon) Soul, Neltharion's betrayal during the War of the Ancients, his adoption of the name Deathwing, and the corruption of his physical body that forces him to have adamantium plates bolted to his flesh to keep him from falling apart. It would also mention that the eventual destruction of the Demon Soul forced him to flee into hiding deep in the elemental plane of Deepholm before the other Aspects could kill him. All this could probably be done in about 45 seconds.

Starting with the latter part of this synopsis, we'd see much the same thing we do in the current cinematic...Deathwing rumbling underground as he's fitted with said plates. Parts of the world cracking and heaving.

The Archive system would then warn that should Deathwing ever return to Azeroth, he would bring earth-shattering changes in his wake and that all life on Azeroth would be in great peril.

Of course, at this point we'd be seeing his flyovers and all the destruction left in his wake. The areas would appear more populated than they do in the current trailer, though. We'd also see glimpses of Kezan and Gilneas (new races!) in among the images already included in the trailer.

The final shot would still be him climbing over the walls of Stormwind and onto the Bridge of Heroes.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Color me disappointed

If you're reading my blog, odds are you've already seen the Cataclysm cinematic. Blizz officially released it on Sunday.

Just in case you haven't, though, here it is:

Visually, the trailer is stunning. Possibly their best yet. And I love catching glimpses of very familiar places rendered in a way I sometimes wish more of the game was. And seeing the steel plates being bolted onto Deathwing's body with battering rams is definitely cool.

But overall...I'm not impressed by this trailer. The writing killed it.

This is the third trailer to focus on the boss of the expansion, and the second to do so almost exclusively. But it failed in places where the last two succeeded.

Like the intro for BC, it's voiced in the first person by the boss. And, more than that, it's meant to encompass said boss' displeasure with the world at large.

But take a look at Illidan's words. They're tight, concise, and to the point.
Imprisoned for ten thousand years. Banished from my own homeland. And now you dare enter my realm? You are not prepared.
(Add to that the fact that despite being deep and growly, Illidan's voice still has a silky smooth undertone. Okay, I'll say's hot.)

Now Deathwing's opening lines:
Pain. Agony. My hatred burns through the cavernous deeps.
It's trite and cliché. "Cavernous deeps" sounds like the type of thing people say when they're making fun fantasy writing. And I literally cringe at the way he says "agony." It's

And the rest of it is just as bad, honestly.

Compare it to the Wrath cinematic, with King Terenas speaking on how great a king Arthas will eventually be. It's beautiful and haunting. The pacing and delivery is just right. And when juxtaposed against the actions Arthas is taking during the trailer, it's chilling.

Plus, after 2 years of hearing Arthas deliver long speech after long speech, I'm tired of hearing over-processed, too-deep voice acting. I understand we're dealing with a large, molten dragon here. There's not much else you can do to make it sound "right." But that doesn't mean it doesn't grate.

Another thing the Wrath trailer had over this one is that one "oh shit" moment where you get a real sense of how much of a badass this guy is. The scene with Arthas standing there, unflinching as Sindragosa rises out of the ice behind that moment you know this guy is serious business. And you don't have to know a thing about Arthas to understand that.

Yes, Deathwing is getting steel plates bolted onto his body. But unless you follow the lore and know about Deathwing, I don't feel it's really obvious that's what's going on in those scenes.

Illidan's final, growly "You are not prepared!" and pretty much the whole of the Wrath cinematic give me chills. Literally. Goosebumps up my arms and all. And the music for the Wrath trailer, especially, tugs on the heartstrings a little when I hear it by itself.

I don't get any of that from this trailer. Mostly I just want to kill Deathwing because he's already managing to annoy the crap out of me.

I never, ever thought I'd be in a position where I was accusing Blizz of having written something badly, especially something on the scale of a cinematic intro. But this time, they've managed to do exactly that.

Kind of a bummer.

Monday, October 18, 2010

So much to do, and yet...

Today's the first day I've been able to log into WoW since last Sunday. Incidentally, this means it's the first time I've been able to log in since the patch. (I had stuff going on in the evenings during the first half of the week, and then was out of town until late last night.)

So far my morning's been filled with jumping across all my characters, getting their specs redone, visiting trainers, choosing glyphs (thanks to my wonderful partner who sent each of my 80s every glyph he could make for them), reconstructing my action bars as much as I could without a complete overhaul, and then...not a whole lot.

I tanked the Headless Horseman. I did my Frenzyheart dailies. I played with some addons long enough to figure out that CBH Viewport is causing some weird rendering issues with the new water. And now...*shrug*

I think I'm going to go grab lunch and then get back to Lords of Shadow when I get home.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Super Dodge Bear is go!

I was about halfway done writing a whine-fest about how I felt like I let a large number of my raiders down because of my inability to help them get their Kingslayer titles while LK was still current and yadda yadda. Pity party stuff, yanno?

This I caught this (thanks to Dinaer posting it on our guild forums and calling specific attention to it):
Icecrown Citadel
  • The Chill of the Throne effect has been removed.
I've gone over the patch notes several times. I'm not sure how I hadn't seen that.

That should make things a little interesting in the next few weeks.

Other titles considered for this post:
Can't Touch This
If you can dodge a wrench...
Hot Seat

Saturday, October 9, 2010

And now it's stuck in your head forever

Have you see the preview of the Tier 11 Druid set? I have.

In case you're not like me, you could at least smell like me if you stopped using lady-scented body wash and switched to Old Spice.

Wait...dammit. Got off track there. Sorry.

As I was saying, in case you're not like me, here's the video for your viewing pleasure.

Not bad, right? It's kinda cool.

Here's the problem: the first thing that popped into my head when I saw it, and the one thing I can't not think about every subsequent time I see it is this. (I couldn't find a clip of just the specific only have to watch for about 20 seconds.)

Friday, October 8, 2010

It's the most wonderful time of the year

NFL season is in full swing. NHL is back. MLB is in the playoffs. NBA is right around the corner.

Game studios are starting the end of year blitz. Already Castlevania is impressing and Enslaved is surprising. Not much time to enjoy them, though, before Fable III and Force Unleashed 2 land.

Oh yeah, and there's that WoW thing, too. 4.01 and Cataclysm and all that. You know...if you're in to that sort of thing.

Doom and gloom is flying around the blogosphere about kitty DPS. It makes me sad, a little. But then I remember a few things:

1) I don't get to DPS much anyway. I mostly tank. So this isn't really hurting my core role.

2) I've gone through this before with the nerf of Bear health pools and armor with 3.0 and Wrath. And I'm still awesome.

Cats were a joke for DPS in BC. Seriously. We were less than second-rate. Bears got all the love on the Feral side. (Prior to BC, all of Feral was a joke from what I've heard. I wasn't end-game back then, but I'll believe it.)

Wrath came along and cats became damn good. A half-way capable cat could dominate trash dps (nothing currently in the game competes with kitty Swipe on large packs) and a good cat could challenge the pure DPS classes for meter spots on boss fights.

(Bears also became the best tanks in the game, I believe. But I'm biased.)

Now we're sliding back in the other direction a little bit (I'm told...still haven't seen for myself). It's only natural. When you're the best there is, the only way you have to go is down.

Did I really just say that? Ferals are the best?

I did.

Search your feelings. You know it to be true.

Step back and take a breath. Let Blizz do some final tweaking before the patch and let the theory crafters flex their muscle to help us find optimal rotations. If we're still truly so low, have faith that we'll be brought back up to competitive again. If Blizz can do it with Fury warriors and Frost mages, they can do it with kitties, too.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Raining Accomplishments

It's been a pretty good week for me WoW-wise, even though I haven't gotten to play much.

Maarken, my DK, finally dinged 80 on Saturday. It only took 23 months. I think I need to work up another herbalist as quickly as possible so I can leave this guy in the dust. Clearly he's not holding my attention. It'll be twice as bad come 4.01 when I can't even Blood DPS anymore (which I actually kind of enjoyed before switching him over to Unholy PvP for the last 3 levels).

Later that day Hotahinahu, my Tauren Warrior, hit 40 and got his Epic riding. Questing instantly became 67% more enjoyable.

On Sunday, after nearly 100 egg-hatchings, San finally got his Green Proto-Drake.

Moments later I spotted and killed Fulgorge to complete Bloody Rare. I started actually going for the achievement a month ago in a fit of boredom. At the time I had already found 2 of the 20 mobs needed to attain it. In the span of three sittings over that weekend I nabbed 16 of the 18 remaining.

I didn't get #19 until last weekend. And Fulgorge finally showed up on my patrol route Sunday.

For my next time-wasting achievement I've started the Scepter of the Shifting Sands questline. I've so far gotten the green piece and started working on the Blue.

Also, now that I don't need the Oracles for anything, I've started repping up with the infinitely cooler puppy-men. I mean, Wolvar. Frenzyheart. Whatever. About damn time. I've always liked them better, but I wanted that damn mount first.

Yesterday, on the last day of Brewfest, I finally got lucky and looted the Brewfest Ram from Coren's keg. I want the Kodo more. But at least I have one of the two now. That brings my mount count to 110.

Despite my best efforts, I can't summon up the will to continue farming ZG or Strath for any of the 3 mounts located there. I have a feeling they may all be lost to me forever unless they're offered through some other means come 4.03. It's just such a long, boring slog...

But yeah. That's how the game's been treating me over the last week. It's almost like it knows my attention is waning and it's doing everything it can to keep its claws sunk into me.

And hey...if this is the way it wants to do that, it's fine with me. Keep it coming.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Feral Builds: 4.01

Is it safe? Can I make a post like this now without it being obsolete in 3 days? Can I flex my mental muscles for more purpose than that of just flexing them? Let's try.

Patch 4.01 is coming up on us quickly. How quickly? A week, I believe. October 12. That seems likely, with a Release Candidate build only just released to the PTR a day ago.

Of all the things coming with the patch, the biggest is arguably the newly re-designed talent trees. Months (years, really) of work obsessing over current builds and squeezing every last bit of performance out of them is gone. Out the window. And now we're starting from scratch.

The patch puts us in an interesting place, though. We have all these new trees and skills. All our mechanics are changing to fall in line with the Cataclysm ideals. But we're still 2 months away from Cataclysm. We have to work all these class changes into a current game.

So let's play. Let's take a look at the talent trees and see what we might want to do with them for the two months before we start making the journey to 85.

Again, big caveat here. These are level 80 builds geared toward current content. These are not necessarily indicative of any decisions that will be made while leveling during Cataclysm or running in Cataclysm end-game content.

Also, I have not gone onto the PTR at all to actually test any of this. I haven't had the time or, honestly, the desire. (Largely because I'm trying to avoid spoilers of the in-game events leading to the Cataclysm.) I may very well have to revise these builds after playing with them in-game for a while.

As with all my build posts (to date) the intention here is to make the best possible build for raiding, even at the expense of dungeon- or solo-play.

Bear Build, Level 80, 4.01:


Bears are at an interesting place in 4.01. A couple of talents I would hardly consider taking under normal circumstances become somewhat delicious when combined with our 4pc T10 bonus.

Five points is a lot, though. Especially now that we only get 36 to work with at level 80. Will I get a big enough payout from these to make it worth it? I don't know. But it looks fun and I want to try.

Outside of those 5 points, the build is pretty basic. With Predatory Strikes, Nuturing Instinct, and Blood in the Water providing no tangible benefit to Bears, they're out.

Brutal Impact is looking really juicy. I'm salivating over the prospect of having my very own, reliable interrupt on a short cooldown. Once I lose my tier set, this is the first place I'm sticking some extra points. But for now, I've been getting by just fine without this and I can wait a little longer.

The same general logic went into going only 1/2 in Stampede.

As for Feral Aggression, it doesn't seem highly necessary for Bears just now. F3 is already a pretty regular part of our rotations. I don't think we're going to have a problem routinely stacking it to a full 3 applications (which is a new mechanic for this spell) and maintaining that stack in current content.

Now, if you don't have your 4pc T10 bonus, I would recommend taking the 5 points out of KotJ and PM and using them to fill out the 5 points I just mentioned above.

Cat Build, Level 80, 4.01:


Yeah, 33/3 seems to be the magic combo for Ferals at 80 in 4.01.

Just like the strict bear build, a strict cat build has 3 talents that can be all but ignored: Thick Hide, Natural Reaction, and Pulverize.

After that, though, things get tricky. Cat builds have a lot of possibility crammed into them, and we don't have benefit that Bears do in that their gear (via the set bonus) can very heavily influence the decisions we make with all the possibility.

The hardest part of this build (and this is going to sound so odd) was keeping points out of Nuturing Instinct. Wrath (ICC, specifically) has a lot of unavoidable damage flying around and I get the sense from several of the healing blogs I follow that healers are going to be facing the biggest change in play style out of all the roles. They're not going to be able to do the kind of spam healing they (and we) have grown somewhat accustomed to. So it feels like a couple points here would be hugely beneficial in current content. But I just don't know.

If my healers come to me and say, "San, getting a 20% boost to every heal we throw your way would help us a ton with keeping our mana reserves up," then I will happily take the 2 points I have in Feral Swiftness and put them here. But I don't want to make unnecessary assumptions about my healers and their ability to do their job.

My not putting any points into Brutal Impact follows the same logic as with my Bear build: I'm drooling over it, but I think I can wait 2 more months to have it. Current content just doesn't rely on us having those interrupts readily available.

Now you might be saying, "But Saniel. What about Master Shapeshifter? Why didn't you grab that?" And that's a legitimate question. 4% crit for 3 talent points is a pretty good trade-off. Especially given how crit reliant Cats can be. But here's what it comes down to: we just don't have enough talent points right now to do it.

Under the new mechanics we need a minimum of 31 points in the Feral tree before we even get access to the others. At level 80, that leaves 5 more points to spend. We need a total of 6 to pick up Master Shapeshifter (5 to unlock the second tier of talents, and the 6th to get it).

I have a feeling this is a very intentional design decision by Blizzard. They don't want us getting access to that talent again until Cataclysm. I don't know why, but that's moot point and I'm not going to speculate. Just rest assured that if we could get this talent in 4.01, I would.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Raid lockout changes! (And I'm still alive!)

Man...I stop makings posts for a week and a half and my daily readership falls like Niagra. :-P

Work and home have both been insane for me the past 10 days or so. I've hardly had enough time to log each night for a Coren Direbrew kill, forget about doing anything productive. Blogging time (and time for just about everything) has been nil. Hopefully by Monday I'll be back in my regular routine.

That being said, I just caught wind of the new raid lockout mechanics that will be implemented in 4.01 and carry through Cata.

I'd love to give my full impressions on everything there, but I don't have the time right now. Instead, I'm just going to sum it up this way: I'm crying tears of joy.