Filed under: Raiding
@Revets315 Awesome, glad you enjoyed it -- we're always looking to add new and engaging tank mechanics. We know "taunt at X stacks" is bland- Watcher (@WatcherDev) January 14, 2014
The story behind this is that the taunt at X stacks model, that was so prevalent in Dragon Soul, in Normal Mode difficulty and some heroics, was the thing that made me switch from tank to healer. I even wrote about it, to express my frustration. Commenters at the time thought it was an attempt by Blizzard to make tanking more accessible, and to increase the tanking population. But, for me at least, easy-mode tanking drove me away.
And the "taunt on X stacks" model has far from disappeared as we've moved through Mists. While there have been fights like Will of the Emperor that really demanded a lot from tanks, many others didn't. Stone Guard, while it was another taunt-swap, at least required some more engagement. But there's still far too much of the taunting on X stacks. Writing the Bosses in 5 Seconds guides, I just have to figure out which debuff, and how many stacks for many of the bosses.
- Don't stand in the bad.
- There will be rings of bad appearing, the first one to activate is the middle one. Don't stand in it, then do, after it's gone off.
- Kill the fixating crawler mines. Ranged are best at this.
- Ranged spread out for sawblades.
- Kite the laser away from the group
- Taunt at around 3 stacks of the debuff.
- Swap to tank the shredder. Tanks kill the shredder. Bad on the floor hurts it. Use DPS CDs once it's jumped, keep it 40 yds from the boss.
- On the belt, don't kill the Electromagnet, prioritize Crawler Mines*. (LFR usually skips the belt)
Filed under: Raiding
So here we go.
This is one I've wanted for a while. With flexible raiding now a reality, I'm drawn back to the idea of being able to scale your level down to run older content with friends, something the late, lamented City of Heroes had (called mentoring/sidekicking in that game). We've been teased with this potentially existing as recently as October of 2013 and whether or not it was a hoax then (I personally have no idea) it's something I've wanted for years. Sure, it's fun to bring your level 90 to an old dungeon and blow it up sometimes, but I want the option to step myself down and run it at an appropriate level in appropriate gear if I so choose. I'd also like to be able to boost a friend up to my level so that we can run stuff together, although I suspect the free level 90 boost is aimed at handling this same problem. Basically, anything that lets friends do more stuff together, I'm down for.
And speaking of that...
The sole purpose of the raid is to get forumers the achievements they need, and to hopefully get them some gear too. Anabelle's rule set prioritizes players who don't have relevant achievements, before taking players who do. Players need an item level of 520, and to bring along flasks and potions, Anabelle's covering the food. The first raid is scheduled at 1500 CET on Saturday.
And that's pretty awesome. Anabelle doesn't want to boost people, rather to have them work as a team, and is asking for nothing in return. Just to prove that a group of inexperienced people in 520 item level gear can do Flex, with leadership. It's a great initiative, we'd like to give Anabelle a special nod for being über, and helping out those fellow forumers who are struggling. Hopefully there'll be more of the same to follow!
Filed under: Raiding
@Aelobin That is to say; the squish won't affect soloing capabilities, but other changes may. Soloing at low levels isn't a balance focus.- Celestalon (@Celestalon) January 7, 2014
What Chadd doesn't do is expand on just what exactly these "other changes" might be. At a guess, I would imagine that they may relate to ability changes, as there is a planned sweep to address the issue of button bloat, so you may lose some of the skills that you currently use to solo older content. Perhaps it relates to the non-linearity of expansion transition gear, or perhaps it's none of the above. Nonetheless, the message regarding the item squish is being received loud and clear.
Cross-realm normal mode raids are something that has been asked for for a long time, since LFR appeared almost. In the twilight days of Mists, it might be a good way for raiders to spend a bit more time on the content and might elongate the life of Siege. But is it really worth potentially delaying the new expansion? Given that the delay between now and the new expansion is the whole reason why we'd need it in the first place, it doesn't seem that way.
Filed under: Raiding
We started the game with three classes capable of tanking. We're up to five. Along the way, tanking has changed and changed again, until its modern implementation barely even resembles what we were doing back in the days of ten or fifteen person UBRS groups - tanking today has a host of mob control abilities in order to allow them to more effectively control groups of adds, tools for mobility and is based around actively reducing incoming damage in a way it simply wasn't years before. Now, consider this - how does the game itself change in order to challenge the modern tank? What does it do to demand they play to their best? Encounters of the past wouldn't even make a modern tank blink - what challenge would Garr pose to today's tank, for example? A bunch of adds? Bring it. So design has to take these new tanking modes and abilities into account and provide new ways to give them difficult encounters... and these encounters thus create, in their turn, the new tank of the future.
But don't take my word for it. Blizzard knows this is a problem.
There are some misconceptions floating around, particularly in PuG Flex groups, that there are certain break points which make a raid drastically harder. While it is the case that, as Ion notes, certain abilities scale up with hard breaks at certain numbers, the scaling of Flex favors larger groups. The new scaling will do so even more, essentially removing hard breakpoints for raid size.
Hit the break for Ion's full post.
Filed under: Raiding
The cross-realm functionality in 5.4.2, however, is just that -- cross-realm functionality. Currently, the Raid Browser only allows players to see other players from their own realm. In patch 5.4.2, players will be able to see cross-realm players as well -- something that is similar to what the popular addon oQueue already accomplishes via the BattleTag system. Follow after the break for the full post from Lore.
There are multiple ways to do this. The easiest would be simply to put Attack or Spell Power on weapons, which would still leave them segregated by role to some extent (melee would want the AP weapons, ranged casters would want the SP weapons, and hunters would still be the only ones using bows, crossbows and guns). A more complicated but perhaps more compelling system would be to have them switch between AP and Spell Power, so that a holy paladin could use a weapon for healing, then switch over and use said weapon for tanking. Still more complex but perhaps even more interesting would be to have weapons retain int, agi or strength and switch depending on which class was using them as well as each role. If you visit the original post at 7th Tower, he breaks down how it might look using Siege of Orgrimmar as a template. The current breakdown of agility and strength weapons would, in either scheme, now be available to a broader range of players.
It would certainly fit within the paradigm of broader usefulness for gear established by the changes to armor. The question becomes what are the up and downsides to this?
Over the course of the years and years since classic (seven of them, to be exact) we've seen hybrid classes rise to ascendancy. The way hybrids were balanced for pure DPS changed to be much closer to pure DPS classes, and since all healers and tanks are hybrids there's been competition between each for both of these roles (considering that the two new classes added during WoW's life, death knights and monks, are both tanks and monks are also healers, competition has been necessary) making hybrids more attractive. However, it was really the addition of dual spec that made hybrids start to live up to the ideal of the hybrid class - with dual spec specialization, a druid can choose to have a tanking and healing, or tanking and ranged DPS, or healing and melee DPS specialization ready to be selected at the touch of a button.
However, it's never as easy as all that. Yes, a paladin can have a ret and protection spec, or protection and holy, or holy and ret ready to go. But he or she still needs to gear said spec. If you intend to heal for you raiding, tank for five mans and flex, and go ret for fun you'd actually not only need to hit a trainer from time to time to drop a spec, you'd also need three sets of gear ready to go. And it is this very limitation, so woven into the fabric of the game over the past few years that I myself have almost entirely forgotten about it, that is about to be bent further than it ever has been.
Make no mistake - Warlords of Draenor will change not only what stats we want on gear, but how we use that gear.
So we can allow ourselves to hope for better with 6.0. What would you like to see? Personally, I think oQueue, for all its bugs and quirks, does a pretty great job of finding cross-realm groups for people. I'd like to see something that mirrors oQueue, but with fewer issues like spam, memory use, and more. Of course, with Blizzard designing this themselves, it's very likely to be the case that it doesn't suffer any of these ills. I'd love to see it have all the ilvl restrictions, completion restrictions and other group restrictions applicable, and to have the option to appear offline, or hide.
One big thing, too, is visibility. It needs to either be integrated into the LFG panel, or have its own micro-menu entry. The single thing that such a system needs, as I mentioned in the earlier article, is people. It needs to be right in players' faces, more convenient than the competition. I believe Blizzard can do it, but to replace such a popular addon that's done so much good to the game, they'll have to do it well.
Filed under: Raiding