Sunday, January 23, 2011

It's the Little Things ...

Hyaaah! Git along lil' doggy!

An update to the Resto changes on the PTR:

The tremor totem range change from 30 yards to 10 has just utterly disappeared. It was never officially altered in any patch updates. I went looking for the original information I read to make sure I wasn't dreaming, and best I could find was that the original post had been edited too.

The mana tide totem has been officially extended to raid wide, which is buff city. Just make sure you coordinate this with any other restos in the guild though.


How hard is raiding this expansion?
All in all, this tier of raiding in my opinion has been the hardest tier of raiding overall. There haven’t been many pushover bosses on Heroic difficulty, there hasn’t been any gating, there haven’t been any attunements and such - it has just been one big absolutely brutal grind.
- Paragon, after killing Lady Sinestra.

In part, they are talking about some very buggy encounters, and I'm sorta startled to learn that basically this World First kill was as good as beta testing the damn encounter. Blizzard was actively watching the fights and hotfixing the encounter between their pulls. Insane. But all in all, it's interesting to get a hardcore perspective on what is going on in game.

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Alchy Changes Afoot:

I wrote recently about the exorbitant costs of making flasks and the very next day, Blizzard announced that they would be reducing the herbs needed from 12 to 8 of each, while increasing volatile life from 6 to 8.  These are pretty good. But I wish they had taken the herbs down to 6 of each, then it would be a bit more similar to the Lich King expectations.

I sorta expect some change on the availability of Volatile Life. Right now, if my herbalist looks at a flower funny, it coughs up a couple of volatile life. No complaints, and I'm not exactly swimming in volatile life (especially since I keep converting piles of it to other elements), but I wouldn't be terribly surprised if Blizzard very subtly tweaked the drop rate of that stuff.

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How's that LFG queue coming?

I was listening to The Instance Podcast recently. I'm not terribly happy with the show right now. Randy sounds like he's hitting the scotch a bit too hard, and they are both about as likely to snicker endlessly over some inside joke as talk about something interesting.  But, in one recent podcast, they did hit on something important:

Just about every decent player I know will only run heroics with a group of friends. They have good skills.... they have supportive guilds from which to draw pretty competent people, there is mostly no reason to have to subject oneself to a thoroughly random encounter with the WoW player base.

With that said... what state does this leave the LFG finder groups? It seems to me that they are even less likely to get decent players into them, and even more likely doomed to the rampant sort of failure that everybody sees these days.

There have been all these discussions about Dungeons Being Too Hard, but Blizzard is mostly holding its ground against widespread heroic nerfs. Blizzard can surely record how "random" a random dungeon group really is. What if Blizzard is looking at the numbers and finding that the random queue groups are struggling, but that groups formed with some number of pre-formed "friends" are not? To be honest, that context would suit Ghostcrawler's blog post about the matter very well. It would be pointless to nerf anything in that sort of context.

When the LFG finder was introduced (in ... Patch 3.2, I think it was), the entire player base already pretty well outgeared the full collection of Lich King heroic dungeons. This is the first time that system is coming under the stress of instances that are truly challenging. And with arguably a large percent of the best players not entering the LFG rotation very much, does this make the dungeon finder broken?

Probably not. The random dungeon finder promises us a tank, healer and three dps, but that's all. Six months and certainly one year from now, the challenge level will be weakened considerably, and then the dungeon finder will function mostly like it did all throughout Lich King: offering fast runs and moderately easy rewards.

I wish the difficulty level of dungeons could somehow stay right where it is now. I don't feel that you can chain your way through a bunch of heroics. Most of the time, one needs to set aside an hour or two at least for a full run of anything. But the whole thing is more engaging and "fun" like this. Haha. But that would mean needing to actually buff the heroic dungeons a few months from now. And that's not going to happen either.

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This is just a small meta-blog thing, but I was looking at my site stats today and seeing the recorded search phrases that bring people to Be Healed. And I was tickled pink to find "chaman et j├ęsus-christ" among those search strings. Jesus Christ was a shaman! I tell you, it's true!

Sometimes I write on the blog, and um, there's not a lot of comments posted, and I start despairing if anybody is even reading this blog. But then, I check the stats and find reassurance that, in fact, people are coming to the site. I hope they're not coming to the site and going "LAME-O" and never coming back, but, I'll just accept that people do appear with some frequency, and often more frequency than I would have ever expected.  Please feel free to contribute comments as you like, requests or whatever are groovy too. One of these days, I should even post a contact e-mail if you would like to chat on something in a less public forum. I'm open to that.

And on that note, I wish to thank you, gentle readers. I enjoy blogging, but it would be no fun in a vacuum!

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