Mon 20 Oct, 2008
There’s nothing like a week of hind sight to get a real feel for how things are shaping up. Overall, I’m extremely pleased, but all the classes have changed. The achievement system has landed. And of course, those of us speed leveling through the content have a much easier road ahead. Nothing says loving like lots of things to do right before an expansion.
Don’t get me wrong…. its a very cool concept. I just kind of hate the achievement system right now. Its not that its broken. Its not that its unbalanced. Hell how can you get upset about a system that barely gives you anything but a few shiny baubles at the end of a long expensive grind??? What drives me nuts is the stupid announcements going off all night long…. so for those of you who find it extremely annoying…. a huge thanks to Siha from Banana Shoulder’s Blog for posting a solution to the problem.
Leveling Post Patch
I’m very torn on what they did with the XP changes in 3.0.2 patch. From one perspective I’m happy. My leveling goals for my characters will be extremely easy to attain. In one week I went from level 54 up to 62. Getting from 60 to 62 was extremely easy. I started Outland at level 58. My druid is currently level 62 and I still haven’t finished up Hellfire Peninsula. For my average XP/Hr rate, it looks like about 2-3 hours per level in Outland. I’m actually figuring that at the current rate of leveling I might hit 70 by the end of Terrokar forest.
I think the flip side of that is that so much really good content will go to waste. I know the goal of Blizzard has to be to get people to Northrend. So if its extremely easy to get to level 68 or 70, then you’re more likely to wander over to Northrend, but Netherstorm and Shadowmoon Valley had some of the best quest lines of the Burning Crusade. Its such a shame that so few newer players will ever see those zones. However I guess from another perspective if you wanted to, you could use those zones to really level to probably 72 or 73 and then make lots of money in Northrend doing quests at the max level.
This is an interesting profession. Thus far I’m not seeing a lot that really makes me jump up and down. Its nice to make my own glyphs, but as far as a profession goes, its just been kind of “meh”. I did find on the plus side that its extremely easy to level. I had a druid that I’ve been leveling up and I just kept all of his herbs. I ran into a few dead spots in leveling the profession, but overall its been extremely easy. He’s up to 325 inscription in a week. Not bad concidering he’s only level 62.
Some of the glyph combinations seem a little broken, but overall I think they’ll balance out. One interesting combination I’ve been playing with that seems to really amp my damage is using the Glyph of Starfire combined with the Glyph of Moonfire. Its an interesting combination. I feel this could be a great PVE/Raiding glyph combo. For mana efficiency as well as DPS it seems to give a decent amp. Boomkin have an ability to really DoT things up and then refresh their DoT using another spell. Its extremely mana efficient and keeps Moonfire doing a very consistently heavy DoT.
Overall its very difficult to select Glyphs because there are sooo many good ones. That’s both good and bad. While it provides a great deal of customization for play style, it also leaves you scratching your head some times to figure out exactly which would be best. I’m sure someone at Elitist Jerks has already done the math… I just haven’t gotten off my butt to go look it up. Better to play first and get serious second.
Class Round Up
Ferals got some nice buffs. Berserk is nice. The energy change is really nice for DPS druids. Overall for DPS it flows a lot smoother. They have a nasty DPS rotation now though. I’m all for having to learn complex rotations occassionally, but it plays like an If/Then/Else tree on steroids. Tanking is amazingly fun with the DPS boost, but feral still feels pretty gimpy given the amazing boosts other classes got. This is in part because some of their key abilities come in the expansion.
Boomkin and healer got some nice buffs. I brought my baby boomkin up from 54 to 62 in the last week. I converted him to boomkin once the patch landed just to see how it would work. The new Balance tree is amazing. I’m finding DPS is a lot higher, but it feels like its talent tree still has a bit of bloat. Not bad bloat, but bloat that makes it difficult to fit in all of the talents you want/need. Reading some of the patch notes on 3.0.3, it looks like this problem is fixed in the next patch at least a little.
Mana regen is just unbelievable. If you stack a decent amount of spirit you still do nice damage and need a lot less down time to drink. I clocked my DPS from normal questing. At level 61-62 I was doing about 300 DPS. Very respectable given that level. Typhoon is fun, yet very dangerous. The kick back can send mobs flying pretty far as you don’t realize how much of a range it has. You have to be extremely careful or you can pull a lot of adds.
There’s a problem with being the big wig. There’s a lot farther to fall. The warlocks have pretty much been reporting that destruction hasn’t really changed much and has seen almost no increase in DPS. Affliction locks are having a very good time. Affliction may be the new black when it comes to raiding… who knows? Either way, there doesn’t feel like a lot of loving here from what I’ve heard, but I am NOT a warlock.
One of our guild Warlocks is extremely happy about the changes another one is extremely unhappy. So call it a wash on the opinions thus far.
I have to say I’m extremely pleased with the changes to the mages, but odds are high they are a little broken. The fire mages have indicated in our guild roughly the same DPS as before. Frost mages are having a hell of a good time killing random elites in Outland. It seems like Frost is offering up some competition to fire mages.
Out of the blue though are Arcane mages. Once the redheaded step child, arcane spec is amazingly fun. I thought I’d take it for a test drive. Just picking stuff completely off the cuff, I took my level 64 mage out for a spin in Terrokar Forest. At level 64 in not a lot of dungeon blues (read mostly quest rewards…), I was able to sustain 450 DPS without breaking a sweat. That’s not using AOEs. That’s one on one equal level non elite mobs. While 450 DPS won’t win any awards, I’m extremely pleased with Arcane as I used to be ecstatic if my mages were doing 500DPS to start in Karazhan.
These seem like a really mixed bag. I respec’d down the combat tree and there just wasn’t anything that really excited me. Some of the talents were nice, but nothing that felt just amazing. Its kind of “meh” tree now in my opinion. I didn’t get to test drive the spec much though so I haven’t seen how much the DPS has changed. We have plenty of rogues in our guild, but they are all too busy playing other characters right now. I’m guessing that’s as good of a water mark as any…. if the rogues can’t be bothered to play their rogues.. it must not be that exciting.
Spining Red rings of death pops to mind. My warrior is still a baby at level 32, but oh my god are these guys unbelievable. I tagged along with a couple of warriors spec’d fury into Stratholme and Scholomance. Sure they were level 70, but watching those guys pin ball around just slaughtering the place was unreal. Watching them do their spinning red circly death thing was just humbling.
As the one guy in our party noted, “Um I don’t think the tanks will be able to keep up with you man…. you just frontloaded 16,000 threat.“ I tend to agree. As a tank I don’t think I could keep mobs off of a fury warrior.
The protection warriors were beaming too. In our guild the one was just overflowing with joy that he could do dailys up at the Isle of Gold and do decent DPS at the same time. That my friends is a win.
The exotic pet thing is nice, but really kind of gimicky. It was cool to get a chimera. I’ve wanted one forever, but overall DPS wise I feel like I took a hit on DPS. Not a big one, but not needing the shot macros and just pounding out steady shots and weaving in some new stuff I feel like I’m down by about 30-50 DPS. Being able to AOE consistently will buff our numbers overall, but raw DPS feels low in the Beastmaster tree. It could be that the pets I’ve been playing with are all new ones I’ve tamed. That could go a long way toward that decrease, but even when I took out my level 70 pet I just didn’t feel much excitement there.
Odds are high I’ll play with the other trees as I love the beastmaster tree, but right now it just kind of feels gimicky at the expense of DPS. I know eventually the gimick will get old as the core hound’s ground shake is already pissing me off. Can we please tame the ones that don’t shake the ground???
Shaman and Priests
Honestly I haven’t played much here. I won’t even comment because nobody in guild has really talked much about it.
Ok now this is an interesting phenomena. This very much reminds me of Warlocks at the start of Burning Crusade. Now given the content of the expansion we had to expect Paladin’s to rise in power. They are the opposite of Arthas so they have to play a prominent role, but oh my god…. there won’t be a tanking pally left…. DPS on retribution pally’s is so high right now everyone is playing them. Now granted we have a lot of paladins in our guild, but even I’m thinking of starting a paladin and have deleted no less than four paladins in the past.
I’m getting to see a lot of very interesting numbers from the various pally’s. With the exception of our two die hard healers, the rest all went Retribution. The average DPS of the ret pally’s seems to be around 1000 DPS. Now I’m counting that as the ones that were tanks/healers/etc and swapped to Retribution. I’m guessing that their DPS would be much higher if their gear was tuned for it. We used to have a retribution pally on our 25 man runs who would regularly do 1000 DPS in T5 and T6 content. I shudder to think of what he might be doing.
We had one guy in our guild who is leveling a pally. He swapped back to Ret and is around level 64. He’s messing around in Terokar forest and ran across three flagged horde’s. Two were more level appropriate and one was a level 70 warlock. The instant he flagged himself, they all broke and ran. I never thought I’d see the day that a warlock ran from anyone. They did come back and try to ambush him later, but got beat down 4-6 times before deciding it wasn’t worth the pain.
Generally I’ve been pretty happy with the changes. Breaking all my mods was a big loss, but it afforded me the opportunity to clean house and load up some new stuff. Coming Wednesday I’m going to walk through the process of rebuilding my basic interface.