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The Daily Blues

Each day WoW.com will take you through all the blue posts and other Blizzard news from around the internet. From Ghostcrawler's latest posts to the lowdown on StarCraft II and Diablo III, we'll keep you informed.

There's a very intelligently written letter to Ghostcrawler that he responds to today over AoE tanking and homogenization. The letter and Ghostcrawler's response is well worth the 10 minute read.

Table of Contents

Ghostcrawler

Ghostcrawler -- CC is making a comeback
Face it Ghostcrawler, you're not bringing back CC. Its not going to happen. Its way too late for that.

Look, you can go ahead and try, but the overall dps playerbase has become so spoiled and so acustomed to AE facerolling that any move in the other direction will be met with outright rebelion.


Then they can have fun farming the normal modes I guess.

There can be something in between Heroic Shadow Labs when it shipped and Heroic Nexus today in your 251 / 264 gear. Stopping to crowd control some of the pulls isn't so terribly onerous, given that the dungeons themselves are a lot shorter than they were in the day when Scholomance was serious business.

I'll still argue some (but not all) of it was the gear. Naxx was available immediately and relatively undertuned, especially in the 25 player version. In BC I spent a lot of time finishing up all of those Shadowmoon quests with blue rewards so that I could handle Karazhan. In Lich King many of us were in Naxx before we saw some of the heroic dungeons. By the time we got back to those dungeons, we totally overgeared them.

Heroic Halls of Reflection isn't a great example because of the nature of the first room, but if you look at something like Heroic Pit of Saron, that dungeon took a bit of learning before it was a milk run. The pulls before the tunnel at the end typically require crowd control until you overgear it with raid drops and Frost badge gear.

But to go back to the Naxx example, if all the Blizzards, Pestilences and Volleys hit for less damage, then you'd single target stuff down more, and it all of the mobs weren't dying at once, then the tank would be in more danger from dying to too much damage. (This will be particularly true when block doesn't scale so well to lots of weak attackers.)

We give classes a lot of tools and when half of those tools (to exaggerate) aren't ever used, then classes feel shallow. Not every pull will require CC, but more of them will than today.


Ghostcrawler -- More on BM Hunters
I do have a few questions in regards to the BM hunter changes on Fero. Inspire.

Ghostcrawler or other PTR player can answer this...

Currently FI gives a 3% dps increase & 9% arcane shot dps increase - this is based on a pet critical hit proc.

How will the changes of 3.3.3 affect this?

1. Its now an aura - does the aura still based on a pet attack proc or is it more like a Trueshot Aura (once applied - its up)?
2. It now buffs steady shot by 9% dps - does that replace the arcane shot dps increase or it is in addition to (thus being a +9% dps for both steady shot AND arcane shot)?

In 3.3.2, Ferocious Inspiration rank 3 says:

When your pet scores a critical hit, all party and raid members have all damage increased by 3% for 10 sec. In addition, increases the damage dealt by Arcane Shot by 9%.

In 3.3.3, Ferocious Inspiration rank 3 says:

All party and raid members have all damage increased by 3% within 100 yards of your pet. In addition, increases the damage dealt by Arcane Shot and Steady Shot by 9%.

--

Every spreadsheet model, every raid parse, and even some very sophisticated tests of BM DPS by folks like Frostheim ALL consistently point to a MASSSIVE discrepency in DPS in a raid context.

Using something like Shandara's dps spreadsheets in 3.3.3, yields something like 15,000 for Marks, and 13,500 for Survival and BM. BM may be slightly below, but it's not by much, and given that this is a spreadsheet and not a raid parse, I think it's safe to assume that's within the human margin for error.

There was a recent interview with two of Paragon's hunters in which they offered that they thought BM and SV were close and MM was maybe 1500 ahead in best gear. That's pretty consistent with the numbers I pulled out of the air above.

If you think sources like that are in error, feel free to bring that up. But you kinda need to do so before saying "every spreadsheet model" etc. point to a massive disparity. (Assuming what you're arguing about here was my saying BM and SV are close.)

Ideally all three numbers are 15,000 and that's a good if probably unrealistic goal to shoot for. In the mean time, BM should be close enough to Survival that you can raid with it, given that there are plenty of Survival hunters raiding today. If you don't get anywhere near 15,000 dps today (and current hunters are closer to 11 to 12K as highest dps in Icecrown), then the delta is likely to be even smaller, perhaps below 1K.

--

Ghostcrawler: Note that even in the spreadsheet data you're using, BM is behind MM by 10%, which is nowhere near your stated goal of getting them in ballpark of 1% or so if possible. (you mention that 1% a lot in your posts.)

That's not actually a goal, or a realistic one anyway. I drop that 1% number a lot because it seems sometimes that's what the expectation is. The goal is that you should be able to play what you want and still be able to raid (and ideally PvP, but we're a lot farther from that). We've always said that taking on the most challenging content is going to take away some of your flexibility, and for the most part, players capable of beating that content are okay with that level of min / maxing. In fact, they kind of enjoy it.

There's just no realistic way to have every dps spec in the game anywhere close to 1% of each other given how different the encounters and gear are, not to mention player skill. We'll continue to get as close as we can and will keep looking at specs that are just not taken seriously for raiding. I understand that may be a subjective call, just as the interpretation of "viable" is somewhat subjective. We determine it by looking at who is actually brought to raids as well as what their dps is when they do so.

--

It's also a flaw in logic to say 'even if you were MM there's some other hunter that would be better than you as MM' because what if you were talking to the strawman hunter that's supposedly better? Are they better than themselves? Terrible argument. The real argument is how much DPS that awesome hunter puts out when they respec.

I'm not entirely sure what you're saying here, but I'll try to articulate my argument again. Overly-worrying about the best SV hunter being at 10,600 dps when the best MM hunter is at 12,000 dps doesn't make a lot of sense when your dps is at 7000. You will see a far greater gain by closing the gap to that 10,000 dps hunter than you will ever see from a buff that we make. Players often tend to put too much emphasis on class mechanics and not enough on skill and gear, which is where the real dps gains stand to be made.

Ghostcrawler -- Tanking homogenization
Cassandrah posts:

To begin with, Ghost, I have read many, many posts from you and from other Blizz employees, and I have never felt the desire to make a post until now. I may disagree with some things I see written, but it isn't until I saw what your latest information about where you are thinking about taking tanking in Cataclysm that I felt I needed to say a few things, even if it just ends up getting a one liner from you that reads. "You're an idiot. you don't know how to play this game. Quit and go play Star Trek Online." (P.S. unless you post in blue, don't bother saying it)

To quote your post from the thread entitled "Please do away with faceroll AoE tanking"

"And without launching into class warfare again, we think the paladin is a little too good in the AE department so we'd rather bring them down than bring everyone else up."

I respectfully disagree with this assessment. Every other role has their specific items where each class/spec is good with something. That is how the game was designed, and people play the classes that they jive with the best. A tree druid is much better at raid healing than a pally healer, who is much better at tank healing. A Discipline priest is much better at tank healing than a holy priest. Why then, are you trying to force every tank class to be the same?

While I agree that, in minor 5 man instances, every tank should be able to perform decently, I don't think that every tank should be required or even able to aptly perform every tank role in a raid, 10 or 25 man. If you really want every tank to have equal abilities at everything, you could simply wipe out all four class' ability to tank and make an 11th class called "The tank", which would certainly ensure each tank could do everything the same.

I am assuming that this has not happened because you and/or others in Blizz's design department want to maintain some distinction between the four tank classes. Why not make the differences more apparent, as it was in Burning Crusade?

The problem in BC was that there were not enough tanks out there to satisfy the general population, so Blizz made it so that more people could (and would) tank. They added a secondary spec that is just a click away, they added an extra tanking class, and they dumbed down tanking both in terms of gear, skill, and actual boss mechanics that its gotten boring. Now we have a lot more tanks. The problem is they are BAD tanks who don't understand even the basic mechanics of tanking, don't understand how to generate threat with their class, don't like to move or have to think during boss fights, and then complain on forums about how one or another class is "better" and needs to get nerfed.

Before anybody starts saying that Warriors's cant AoE tank or DKs cant hold threat, let me state that I have three toons that can tank: A paladin, a druid, and a DK. I have played them all (and experimented with a warrior) extensively in both 5 mans and raid environments. Each has their little quirks. DKs have amazing CDs that a Paladin does not have. My paladin has massive AoE threat, and I can pull 7-8K DPS on ICC trash (for those of you who don't believe me, I can post screenshots if needed). My Druid is amazing at gathering loose adds, because I don't have to drop consecrate, I can run and swipe constantly to pick them up much easier than a pally tank does.

Before people start saying that my main is a pally tank and I have no issues with threat, I would like to state, flat out, that it is not true. I am well known on my server to out threat even better geared pally tanks, because I chose my gear and my gemming to be more oriented towards threat generation than stam stacking. I feel that simply piling on the HP is a stupid thing for tanks to do, and I always feel vindicated because I feel that it isn't just a tank's job to survive, it's to survive while actually keeping the boss on you. I personally feel that the tanks who sit and moan about the fact they don't have threat are bad tanks because they are not doing anything to remedy it except to complain on forums.

Whenever I enter a pug VoA or ICC 10 group, I am well known enough on my server that, even if another tank has 10% more HP than me, that I will be the main tank because I hold threat better. I WORK for threat. My girlfriend, who is a hunter, has been clocked at 15K DPS on some trash pulls, and over 10K DPS on single target (without weird boss things like the Twin Valks) and I will admit, freely, that I need to tell her to watch her threat sometimes, but it also pushes me to up MY threat as well. And this is coming from a tank who (in the same pulls that she is pulling 15K DPS) is on record to pull 8K DPS as a TANK on trash.

As a side note. I use SoV, and I pull off SoC running pally tanks (comparatively geared of course) without blinking.

I feel that it is Blizz's desire to make tanks more, not less unique recently, your post is only the most recent example of this. Another example is a different post were you were talking about how you want to try to give a druid another interrupt. It has gotten worse over the last two tier sets when all the tanking classes' set bonuses were, to most approximations, carbon copies of each other, especially when compared to the T8 set bonuses (though I will be the first to admit the Pally T8 4 set bonus was decidedly lackluster compared to the warrior or DK one).

As a Paladin tank, I am constantly miffed by the fact that we only have one active cooldown that I can use to keep myself alive. It used to be two, but Lay on Hands was removed as a tanking cool down, so it's down to one, where as every other tank class has at least three. I am miffed, but I accept that because I have Ardent Defender and I have better AoE threat generation. It means I cant be stupid and pull more than I can handle naturally. (ask my healers, I have been stupid on many, MANY occasions, some even refuse to heal me if I pull too much and wipe the group just to spite me). As an aside, I'd LOVE to get an anti fear stance dance if you're going to make every tanking class the same.

Before I sum up this preamble, I beg to bore you to death with even more anecdotal things that I have seen. I used to be in a guild with a warrior tank who was constantly miffed by the fact I could out threat him on my paladin. He !%#@#ed and moaned about it, especially when the guild leader started putting me as main tank because I actually held threat with our DPS. However, he did something that a lot of other tanks simply do NOT do: he tried to better himself. I became an impetus for him to improve not only his AoE threat generation, but his single target as well. He vigilanced the highest threat DPS (again my girlfriend) and that gave him MASSIVE threat generation right there, passively. I have screenshots of me and him both on a boss pulling OVER 10K TPS (Threat Per Second) on omen racing each other. Obviously, he was outclassed on the AoE (even though, but he actually brought himself relatively close to my single target generation (esp after the Righteous Fury nerf) and I feel he became a better tank because of the drive to do this. I don't want to say this with conceit, I truly believe this to be the case.

Alright with that over now, I would like to propose the following to you, Ghostcrawler. Why not make every class distinctly different? Why not make a warrior tank better at certain things (such as single target threat) than a pally tank, which is better at AoE threat. Why not tweak a few boss designs to favor certain things over others?

One thing I could suggest is reworking DK threat generation completely (the 3.3.3 Icy Touch has not taken effect yet, so I cant say how that will work, but I believe that this recommendation stands) so that it isn't so dependant on being attacked? While all the tanks have some threat generation bonus from being attacked (more rage for teddybears and warriors, mana regen for pallies) the Rune strike makes DKs a bit too dependent on reaction, I feel.

Another suggestion is that you return the Bear tank to the style of it can survive magic damage not by interrupting but by virtue of having the HP to survive it. Sure it's a bit more stressful on the healers, but it gives a Bear tank a unique advantage that a pally or warrior tank doesn't have.
Pally tanks and DK tanks have inherently better AoE threat generation, while warriors and bears have more survival abilities for dealing with harder hitting bosses (maybe warriors can have a talent or cooldown that automatically nullifies a cleave attack and bears can have an ability which makes them so fearsome that even bosses cant attack them for a few swings). I have read that crushing blows are coming back, maybe make it so that having a shield is a requisite for nullifying crushing blows to give warriors and paladins some spice over bears and DKs.

Giving warriors an increased reduction in physical attacks either inherently or by a unique cooldown would certainly be in line with their traditional emphasis on strength and overpowering an opponent. This would also be in line with increasing single target threat to be, at baseline, the highest of any class.

--

Ghostcrawler Responds:

Cassandrah,

First of all, I hope you don't mind, but I changed the topic of the post. We don't think the forum is as useful if every thread is addressed to Blizzard.

Second, we try and prevent homogenization among classes when we can. It's actually very important to us and obviously more important to us than many players who would be satisfied with us just smearing critical abilities across all of the tank classes.

Having said that, we don't think well-defined tank niches are very good for the game. We've even backed off of well-defined healing niches and we'll continue to do so even more in Cataclysm. It comes down to a numbers problem. In a 5-player dungeon you get one tank. If the dungeon happens to be an AE tanking dungeon (Shattered Halls comes to mind) then groups want a paladin and not another tank. Likewise if we positioned DKs as the magic tank, they'd be underpowered on any dungeon without a lot of magic damage. Now maybe that's okay for a 5-player run, but it gets a lot trickier when you're talking about a 10-player raid with 2 tanks. When you're up against the most challenging content, you'd likely want to swap out for the best tank for the encounter, which means keeping a stable of 4 tanking classes ready to come in at a moment's notice. Some amount of swapping is hard to discourage, but we definitely don't want to design dungeons around the expectation that your paladin tank doesn't mind sitting out on the single target fights just to shine on the AE ones. She'll miss out on a lot of badges for one. :(

It is definitely a challenge to keep classes feeling unique while giving players enough flexibility that they don't feel like they constantly have to ask their friends to reroll and / or recruit the missing puzzle pieces into their social circle.

Other

Eyonix -- Cataclysm system requirements?
Unfortunately, the system requirements won't be available until we get closer to Cataclysm's release date, which is on


Vaneras -- EU TBC raiding guilds
There are some guilds around who raid TBC content, and it is not uncommon to see guild recruitment threads from such guilds in the recruitment forums:
http://forums.wow-europe.com/board.html?sid=1&forumId=11096
http://forums.wow-europe.com/board.html?forumId=9575909&sid=1


Nethaera -- Locked threads
I'm going to give you a lock and respond both to this.

First off, if you have forum moderation feedback, this isn't the appropriate place to share it. Please feel free to email to wowcmfeedback@blizzard.com if you have specific questions or feedback about our performance or suggestions. We don't generally answer, but we do read through the emails.

Second off, locking threads is all well and good until you end up with too many locked threads which only prompts people to comment on them further or question whether or not "x" thread should have been locked etc. We occasionally will lock threads such as this to get out a message, but too many of them just looks messy and prompts discussions that aren't appropriate for the forum or just block it up for other more pertinent discussion.

These forums are meant to be used to discuss World of Warcraft in a general gameplay sense. As a part of our roles, we prune back either inappropriate posts or posts that aren't particularly constructive. This helps us foster better discussion where we can.

Reporting threads or providing feedback:

- Biohazard symbol for reporting posts that violate policy
- wowreportedpost@blizzard.com for reporting posts that violate the Code of Conduct or sticky requests
- wowcmfeedback@blizzard.com for feedback on Community Team performance. Please note that while emails sent to this address will likely not receive a response, each one will be read and handled accordingly.

The Forum Code of Conduct is available via the top most thread in the forum and I would encourage everyone to read the thread it's posted in as well as the Code itself. It will give better insight into why we do what we do. In the end though, there are gray areas for a reason and that gives us more flexibility to exercise our abilities as Community Managers and moderators for the betterment of the community as a whole whether the reason is obvious or not. There is always a method to our madness.

As to other inappropriate posts or posts that need moderation, please feel free to report these so the moderation team can take care of them appropriately. We don't always catch everything and reporting threads or posts is still a great way to help us find these inappropriate posts.


EU Community News
Community News
Vaneras, Slorkuz, Wryxian & Ancilorn 19/03/2010


Fansites:

WorldofWar.net has some cool articles this week, including one covering our nomination for the Annual Art Star awards.
http://wow.incgamers.com/blog/comments/world-of-warcraft-nominated-for-4th-annual-art-star-awards/

WoW Nederland has a phenomenal list of new updates this week, including a report on DJ Nautilus' most recent production,
http://www.wow-nl.com/nieuws.php?call=274
some updates on the PTR patch notes,
http://www.wow-nl.com/nieuws.php?call=277
Dutch localised versions of the recently announced Gnome and Troll events we have planned as we approach the Cataclysm, and much much more!
http://www.wow-nl.com/nieuws.php?call=284

The Burning Crusade.pl is celebrating their 3 year anniversary and is running a Birthday Marathon consisting of 3 contests to celebrate.
http://www.theburningcrusade.pl/Aktualne-Wiesci/333/Rusza-Maraton-Urodzinowy-TheBurningCrusadepl.html
The first contest is a quiz and there are cool prizes for the winners.
http://www.theburningcrusade.pl/Maraton-Urodzinowy.html
Of other news on this site, you can find a Polish translation of the gnomeregan/echo isles event preview,
http://www.theburningcrusade.pl/Aktualne-Wiesci/334/Bitwa-o-wlasny-dom-Gnomy-i-Trolle-Darkspear---Prolog-Cataclysmu.html
and don't miss out in the great coverage of an in-game wedding of a Polish couple, who will also get married in real life very soon.
http://www.theburningcrusade.pl/Aktualne-Wiesci/330/Szczescia-mlodej-parze---slub-w-World-of-Warcraft.html

Myndflame has a contest running at the moment, hosted by Baron Soosdon himself, offering machnimators the chance to get their mitts on a StarCraft II Beta key!
http://myndflame.gameriot.com/videos/Baron-Soosdon-presents-Machinima-Contest-Win-a-StarCraft-II-Beta-Key#play

WoW.gaming.dk is looking to grow and improve the Danish MMO community, and they would like to hear your thoughts and ideas on how to accomplish this.
http://wow.gaming.dk/1603
On this site you can also find a small titbit about a new feature in the updated Blizzard Authenticator for the iPhone.
http://wow.gaming.dk/1626

WoW-Serbia has some interesting reads this week also, including news of the world first Shadowmourne,
http://www.wow-serbia.com/vesti/guilds/world-first-shadowmourne-guild-juggernaut-201003171977/
as well as the exciting news regarding the Trolls and Gnomes retaking their home territories in patch 3.9.
http://www.wow-serbia.com/vesti/world-of-warcraft/an-assault-on-two-fronts-201003171979/
They have also just revamped their website, and with it a new and shiny forum!
http://forum.wow-serbia.com/

WoW.Battlenet.pl also has a localised version of the future Gnome and Troll homeland invasions.
http://wow.battlenet.pl/portal/wow/1/653/Atak_na_Gnomeregan_i_Echo_Isles.html
They're also proud to present this week their Facebook page - http://www.facebook.com/WOWPolska

Plenty more news and updates can be found on the official World of Warcraft fansites in different languages, so give them visit if you do not wish to miss out on anything.
http://www.wow-europe.com/en/links/fansites.html


World of ComicCraft:

New to ComicCraft we take great pleasure in welcoming "The Ace Squad" – Click here for the first episode.
http://theacesquad.com/TASOnlineComic001.html
For those following this great comic, click here for the most recent edition!
http://theacesquad.com/TASOnlineComic008.html

We don't have time for this.
http://www.lfgcomic.com/page/340

Some time ago, on Teldrassil.
http://www.tehgladiators.com/?p=117

I'm glad you're here!
http://www.darklegacycomics.com/229.html

Open sesame!
http://beyondthetree.wordpress.com/2010/03/18/184-open-sesame/

"No!" Flip! POM!
http://woweh.com/?p=724


Other Stuff:

Swedish fansite www.levelcap.se has written a detailed and in-depth review for the SteelSeries WoW MMO Mouse. http://www.levelcap.se/?p=1023

Another awesome edition of the Friday Thread has been posted and this week we have some Rube Goldberg action, T2 style lorry driving and some summer sounds to soothe the soul. Stop on by and tell us what plans you have in store for the weekend!
http://forums.wow-europe.com/thread.html?topicId=12947155052&sid=1

Renar has been putting ink to paper and crafted some really excellent fan art. We really like the style of the drawings, very unique.
http://forums.wow-europe.com/thread.html?topicId=11155577982

A short but very sweet machinima video was found this week! 'Eduardo, Circus Pug'. So cute! :3
http://www.warcraftmovies.com/movieview.php?id=142907

Last but not least, another machinima for your entertainment! Ok, so it didn't get a winning spot in our Alienware contest, but we've received threatening letters from Hogger himself demanding we give it a shout out, so consider it shouted about – 'The Wrath of the Gnoll King'!
http://www.warcraftmovies.com/movieview.php?id=142593

Have a great weekend! :-)



Nethaera -- Play the game and enjoy
Why not just play the game and enjoy...

I like your message.

Gamers are generally competitive in nature. They often inspire and drive others to catch up and keep up because it's awfully lonely when it's just you at the top of the heap in an MMO. You need others to join you to do bigger, "better" things. That drive makes them go faster and faster. It's like having a lead foot on a big open highway. You aren't paying attention to the scenery anymore because you're too focused on getting there as fast as possible and beating your prior record.

Every now and again, we all have to remember to put on the brakes a little bit, slow down and realize, there's a lot of great scenery whizzing by. This is what we all need to remember to do now and then even when playing games. Savor the experience a little bit more. If you're not savoring it and you're not taking in the scenery, then you need to figure out why, how to change that (if you want to) and relax just a little bit more.

Primarily, it should all be fun. So if you're having fun at 150 miles an hour with your hair on fire, great. If you're not and feeling too stressed out, tap the brake or let off the gas a little and try doing a little coasting. Open the window, let the breeze in, take in the scenery a little bit more. You'll feel better for it.

Blizzard

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