Gamers on the Street logs onto U.S. servers to get the word from the front on what's going on in and around the World of Warcraft.
In last week's installment of Gamers on the Street -- and despite fresh blood in the water, with patch 2.4 news hitting left and right – city-bound players steadfastly remained focused on matters of the heart. Perfume and hearts obviously took priority over returning the /whispers of some hapless reporter from WoW Insider.
But we hapless reporters are stubborn – real stubborn. This week, we trucked off to Stormwind on Lightning's Blade, a high-pop PvP server, to meet up with a trio from <Glory of War>. These "casual" raiders (1/6 SSC and 1/4 TK) unleashed their perspectives on what they've seen on the PTR for 2.4, the war between PvE and PvP balancing and more.
We plunked down before raid time with <Glory of War> GM Tylmarande, a resto druid; Chilblain, a frost-specced mage; and Atomicwar, a destro 'lock.
Gamers on the Street: So where is <Glory of War> raiding tonight?
Chilblain: Tonight will be Hydross and Lurker... still learning Lurker a bit.
Tylmarande: We've just started a little while ago, so we've only downed Hydross so far.
Chilblain tells me that many of your members are former hardcore raiders aiming to take it a little easier these days.
Tylmarande: I used to raid seven days a week LOL, but it got to be way too much.
Chilblain: Atomic and I moved here from another server. This guild had a great attitude, something we wanted to be a part of.
How did you find out about <Glory of War>? The recruiting forums?
Atomicwar: WoW Insider.
Chilblain: No, your site ... in your Guildwatch column. I read they were looking for more.
Atomicwar: We are big fans.
Chilblain: Myself, my brother and Atomic all moved here. I think it's worked out really well. Met some nice people, and we have a lot of fun raiding.
Nice! Thanks for reading.
Tylmarande: Best decision we ever made was looking there for recruitment.
So tell me ... Are you guys keeping a close eye on all the patch news?
Chilblain: Yes, very close -- daily on your site, MMO-Champion, World of Raids ...
Woof, the whole salami! So you don't avoid spoilers, I take it?
Tylmarande: It depends on what you mean by spoilers. Me and two other guildies went and three-manned most of Magister's Terrace regular -- but it's not something I'd do unless it was with guildies.
Atomicwar: I really just check to see what effects are being forced on the Warlock community. The rest is filler.
Tylmarande: It's not something we organize as a guild, mainly because it can be extremely fun trying new things out for the first time as a guild ... but sometimes I get impatient. LOL
So what do you think about the way class changes are balancing out?
Tylmarande: I love new things. I adore five- and 10-man instances, so the lure was too much.
So ... How 'bout those shamans?
Chilblain: Yeah ... We don't have a revolt on our hands yet, but ... We do have some Elemental Shaman who raid on a regular basis.
Tylmarande: Shamans need lots of help in PvP, but please don't get me started on the Lifebloom nerf.
Oh, please do get started! We'd love to hear a druid's perspective. What is the Lifebloom nerf all about, do you think?
Atomicwar: Yes, Tyl has been complaining about that nerf.
Tylmarande: LOL ... a 10-12 percent reduction in my healing capacity that is generally thought to be directly related to Arenas, when resto druids are only overrepresented in one bracket. It nerfs PvE healing by approximately 12 percent, when it hasn't really been our healing that has been the trouble but our CC -- and yet they could easily have changed Cyclone and Roots without affecting PvE. Instead, they didn't.
Chilblain: Yeah, they do seem to make some changes on the PvP side that have a great impact on PvE. The drinking one, Hypothermia ...
That seems to be a popular belief right now, that PvP seems more heavily considered than PvE.
Tylmarande: The drinking change is a strange one, especially coupled with the mana regen buff that is going to occur.
You heard they just revoked the water change on the PTR, limiting the change to Arenas only?
Chilblain: Yeah, I did, so there is hope that not all these changes will go live. I understand these are just on the test realm and they may not even go live, but some of these changes seem like knee-jerk reactions to PvP issues.
Do you all PvP much?
Tylmarande: I've PvPed when needed for gear, but it isn't my focus by any stretch. I live for PvE :P
Atomicwar: I do my weekly 10 games in Arena, but not much other then that.
Chilblain: The guild has some pretty hardcore PvP guys. We tend to Arena on weekends and when it's the AV holiday ;-) It's hard to ignore the PvP gear when it' s so easy to get.
Tylmarande: ... and when its become something of a necessity if you ever leave Shattrath. :P
Chilblain: Yeah, PvP server -- so 'round here, PvP isn't a choice. ;-)
So what do they think about the balancing? Is the guild split between thinking the current balancing trends are positive or negative?
Tylmarande: Well, so far they haven't done a lot of balancing, so it's too early to say one way or the other.
Atomicwar: I am kind of excited about the AV party change. Maybe the Alliance can win a few organized games.
Oh, this is a Horde-dominated battlegroup for AV?
Chilblain: Yes, I'd say Horde have the advantage there for sure.
Atomicwar: I cannot finish my AV daily. I have had it three days now.
Chilblain: Yes, AV has been VERY difficult to win of late.
What specifically is the problem in AV for your battlegroup?
Atomicwar: The Horde turtle. I swear, as soon as your site posted that strategy, that's all the Horde do now.
Chilblain: Horde defend Iceblood.
Tylmarande: IBGY chokepoint mostly, I'd think.
And none of the changes so far have made a difference? What do you think will have the most impact?
Chilblain: ... moving them back a few feet? I don't think that will have a huge impact.
Tylmarande: Moving the horde starting position back will change some things, making it harder for the Horde to set up a determined defense at that one spot. It will force them to defend specific objectives rather than one spot on the map.
Chilblain: Alternate routes to the opposite side, so there is no chokepoint.
Tylmarande: To stop any and all complaints: Mirror the map, make the starting sides random and give all NPCs and leaders equal powers. People will complain no matter what I find.
Ok, so let's hop back to raiding for a minute. What have you seen on PTR that you especially like or dislike?
Chilblain: Love the new instances. I like the additional choice in the dailies -- kinda sick of playing Simon and bombing runs.
Tylmarande: The new zone is very well done, but it's too small -- and oh my, on PvP servers, getting those dailies done is gonna be ... interesting.
Chilblain: We're not quite at Sunwell level yet, but I love having something to shoot for, especially when there is a lot of lore behind it.
Tylmarande: That is something I've worked hard to instill in this guild: raiding for content, NOT loot. And the new badge gear helps us in that it allows us to spend less time in SSC and TK just gearing people up.
Chilblain: Yeah, we want to see the instances -- not grab goodies and leave.
What do you think about the balance of new content between dailies, 5-man, 25-man ...? Think Blizzard got it right?
Tylmarande: I think they're getting it right, but another 10-man would balance things out about right in my eyes.
Chilblain: /agreed ... on the scale of Kara. We still love that place.
Tylmarande: LOL, absolutely. We can clear it in a night. I've been there enough to be exalted four times over, and I adore it. We're working on the third boss in ZA, but lately our focus has been on SSC. Being a casual guild, we only have three nights of raiding, so we're balancing out what we're doing.
Chilblain: And I think from a gear perspective, people would rather work at 25-man drops than ZA loot.
Sure, makes sense. Were you a 40-man guild back in the day?
Tylmarande: <Glory of War> has existed since the beginning. But about a year or so before BC came out, we merged with another guild called <Reborn> to form <Catalyst>. We had MC and BWL farmed and were in Naxxramas when BC hit. That's when a lot of us got tired of the hardcore raiding scene and came back to GofW.
So here we are at 25-man being the new standard. Good choice? Wish for more variety, more smaller stuff, back the biggies ...?
Tylmarande: No, no more 40-mans ever. Heh.
Chilblain: They took me through MC one night for nostalgia. I don't see what all the fuss was about. ... kinda hot down there.
Let's wrap up. What are each of you most looking forward to in the Sunwell patch?
Tylmarande: Magister's Terrace heroic, the dailies, the new zone and the new badge gear for me.
Chilblain: How Blizz is making high-end gear more accessible, that anyone can get nice stuff with a little effort ...and the simple fact that with 2.4 out, WotLK is right around the corner!
Atomicwar: Blood Pact now has a tool tip ... It sounds pretty sweet.
(You grin wickedly at Atomicwar.) And what are you most anxious about? Like ... Lifebloom? ;)
Tylmarande: I'm not worried about that. I just find it silly to change my effectiveness in PvE because of Arenas.
Chilblain: Honestly? That the proliferation of PvP gear will take focus away from PvE content.
Tylmarande: Agreed, Chil.
Think we're in danger of becoming a PvP game?
Tylmarande: No. We ARE becoming a PvP game. We're not in danger of it – it's a reality, unfortunately.
Chilblain: One could certainly argue they make PvP very attractive.
Atomicwar: The paladin being able to fear my pet now in PvP is something I am not looking forward to.
Chilblain: ... and I'll catch some heat for this, but getting four other people to work together is a little easier than getting 24 people to coordinate.
Tylmarande: LOL, very true.
Thanks for your time this evening, guys -- I don't want to delay you from your raid. Good adventuring!