Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Ahune, go home!

The Frost Lord brought us bogus treats this year.

I have always had a fairly soft spot in my heart for The Midsummer Fire Festival.

I think, in part, it was one of the first holiday events that was seriously overhauled in the past few years, to become a real powerhouse event rather than the anemic excuses for holidays Azeroth celebrated before.

I think the whole "Tour the world and honor some fires while desecrating some others" routine has been a favorite thing. It's always been a good excuse to go tour all the places I've been and see how they are doing. I always imagine that "desecrating" a Horde fire is more akin to "Peeing on it" rather than just "Putting it out." And that appeals to something pretty immature in me as well.

And then there's Ahune. He was, I think, the first holiday boss in all WoW. And he dropped capes that were enviable and worth the time to go and collect if you character wasn't on the burning edge of raid progression. Ooooh, and The Frostscythe of Ahune. Coolest. Looking. Staff. Ever. It always has been and the specialty of that drop has been unadulterated since it's model has not been re-used for any other steps.

But this year... Ahune brought his capes and scythe, but um... maybe he didn't need to.

You'll notice that I didn't link the frostscythe up there before. But I'll do it now. Take a look: Frostscythe of Ahune.

What's the good of a casting staff with no intelligence on it? The problem here is that the scythe was updated to ilevel 353 but it wasn't really optimized. That staff always featured heaps of stamina but a lack of intelligence. However in prior incarnations of this staff, intelligence was not nearly as outrageously important as it is now. Even without the intelligence boost, it was a pretty decent staff to carry around.

But with the way stats were rebalanced in Cataclysm, a casting staff with no intelligence on it is a very serious liability. Bashiok posted somewhere that they didn't want to make the frostscythe more appealing than the stuff one can get from the various zuls. Unfortunatley, their choice of stats makes it less desirable than something I could get out of non-heroic Halls of Origination. Was that really necessary?

Ahune's other goodies: the Cloak of the Frigid Winds, The Frost Lord's Battle Shroud, Icebound Cloak, Shroud of Winter's Chill, and The Frost Lord's War Cloak are all similarly compromised. Statistically, these are decent cloaks that would be suitable for anybody not heavily raiding.

Except ...

Next week when Patch 4.2 arrives, one of the major quest lines available to almost everybody will culminate in a quest called The Vow and when you talk to Thrall in that quest, the big man will give you a Mantle of Doubt, Mantle of Desire, Mantle of Patience, or a Mantle of Fury. That's right. ilevel 365 cloaks that make those rags Ahune is passing out really really worthless.

Yesterday, as the Fire Festival opened, all the people rushing off to farm Ahune seemed to have crashed additional instance servers. To put it mildly, there is no need for that.

I'm fairly disappointed. loot from Holiday bosses has never needed to be the hottest stuff around, but it seems that they traditionally fit into niches much better than Ahune's junk is doing this time around. It also pushes the holiday into premature obsolescence.

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