Dec 9th 2011 7:30PM Yeah, @Gniver, I definitely agree with that position. I'm not particularly happy with the way they rolled out epic gems this time around. It *may* be better than the LK way - really, there's no reason to have epic gems over rare gems anyway, they are more about customizing your gear, so the LK way just made rare gems worthless. OTOH, not having epic gems and purple pixels makes people unhappy also.
Overall, gems to me seem like something of an outdated mechanic. We now have reforging to customize gear, and for DPS in particular there's usually an objective Best Gemming strategy (which may or may not require extra tools to determine, making decisions less agentive). For tanks and heals, there's usually a more interesting tradeoff between avoidance and durability (or throughput and regen and efficiency), but even then it's usually a pretty straightforward choice.
Gems as a gear customization mechanic seem semi-clunky and definitely in competition with reforging. On the other hand, Jewelcrafting is an entire profession. So we can't get rid of it. We also know that people complain (perhaps rightly) when they don't get any new recipes with a major content patch. So Blizzard is in a tight bind. There's no good decision, because the actual bad design was implementing gems in the first place, but making them so formulaic.
Dec 9th 2011 1:36PM I should add: the other benefit to this particular model of gems, to an AH goblin and a JC, is that the value of rare gems continues to be decent. Rare gems are actually worth something cut, instead of just serving as the raw materials for a transmute, as they did in LK.
Dec 9th 2011 1:34PM My prediction is that they'll release another patch in a month or three, once the majority of the raiding playerbase ends up getting close to the "almost fully epic'ed out" level of gemming. At that point, they'll bump all the other professions by +20.
The problem is that a BS only gains the bonus when they're at full epics (which is going to be a while for most players) but a JC would gain that bonus right away. Neither is particularly fair, in a model where epic gems are rare.
Dec 9th 2011 1:30PM Here's an exercise. Go to WoWhead or any other database. Look up an item that drops in the Dragon Soul raid. Compare the differences between the LFR (384), Normal (397) and Heroic (410) versions of the item. In pretty much every slot, you'll find that upgrading one step nets you quite a bit of stat points. Picking the Rockhide Bracers at random, you go from 220 str (LFR) to 251 (normal) to 286 (heroic). You also see an increase of about 40 rating points from one step to the next (in crit and mastery).
Upgrading one item by one tier sees you a bigger upgrade than you get from being a blacksmith with all epic gems. Upgrading two items sees you a bigger upgrade than your entire profession. Upgrading three sees you a bigger upgrade than going with all epic gems.
That means you'll net a better stat improvement (as a PvE player) from focusing on getting into regular raids (if you were in LFR) or into heroic ones (if you were in regular) than by spending your gold on epic gems. The marginal stat return on upgrading from +40 agi to +50 agi is in no way worth the actual or opportunity cost associated with these gems. Even if you're an epic raider, you're probably better off selling the gems to someone else. We're talking about less than a percent of total DPS attributable to these gem upgrades, when lag and player error often contribute more. Rational players really shouldn't worry about epic gems and fairness, as they really contribute minuscule amounts of DPS/healing/tanking powa.
Then again, Blizzard should realize that most of its playerbase is *not* rational, and therefore balance gems accordingly. The QQ on the various forums about this has far, far outweighed the actual problem.
Nov 22nd 2011 1:55PM You did have those problems, Mister Cogspinner. Here's hoping Thrinwizzle's horse is still as big as it used to be, eh?
Nov 22nd 2011 11:21AM Question:
Gnome mounts are (or were) slightly bigger than most other mounts. That is, a gnome's horse is bigger than the same horse ridden by someone who is a different race. Or at least this used to be the case before I factioned to a goblin. Now that I'm considering factioning back:
a) Is this still the case?
b) Why is this the case?
Nov 19th 2011 12:29PM Yeah, the weird thing about mounts that I've noticed is that in all cases (not just the sandstone drake) you actually become the mount. In most cases you become a mount with a mannequin on top that looks somewhat like you (but cannot /emote and looks surprisingly stiff). Your hitbox gets big, for example.
This reminds me of the Robin Hobb book where prince whoozit carved a dragon to fight off the bad guys. Prince whoozit and his companions found a half-carved dragon, where the carving included a girl on top of the dragon (she was trying to escape the fate that befalls any who carve a dragon by carving herself into it). So, we're all like girl-on-a-dragon, or something.
Nov 7th 2011 11:23PM Gnorman, while funny, may or may not also be a reference to the various gnomes in the Kingdom of Loathing. One of the Gnomes in that game is called Gnorman.
We really need a KoLinsider, btw.
Nov 4th 2011 6:32PM All you need to do is shuffle, man. Keep on shufflin'. Every day, I'm shufflin' the shuffle.
Oct 26th 2011 1:23PM Yeah, that makes sense. What I was getting at was balancing DW against a single 1H and no offhand (as you see in a lot of kung-fu movies) as styles for DPS.