Apr 17th 2009 4:59PM Honestly, I can't believe people actually think that having overpowered Death Knights sells copies of this game. I can't figure out the logic chain that for that specific set of conclusions.
Adding Death Knights Themselves? New Class = more excitement, so yeah I can see that.
Vehicle Combat? Yeah, WAR had it and they wanted to compete.
Wintergrasp? WAR had something like it.
Character Customization? A couple other MMO's had it.
DKs overpowered in every aspect of the game? Causes some people to quit playing ( revenue goes up here somehow ). Admittedly a couple of MMOs had something like that happen, but they don't look like good models for Blizzard to copy.
Mar 6th 2009 9:32AM [MMR = Matchmaking Rating or Internal Rating]
If the game is throwing their MMR at 1450 with a 1750 team rating and your MMR is 1500 with a 1500 team rating and you guys get matched up then your win will be worth few points ( the game didn't expect them to win ) but their loss will be a lot of points ( their team rating is far above the team they lost to ). This is so that their team rating comes down to the MMR.
Basically, the system is supposed to trend your team rating toward your MMR. Your MMR is trying to find the point at which you win 50% of the time.
Anecdotally: my arena partner and I run DK/HPally. Our arena rating hovers in the low 1600s ( we both play casually - usually only 10 - 15 matches a week ). There was one day where all we get are 2DPS and comps without Shaman all day long. Our team rating was only ~1650 but we were consistently facing 1800+ teams match after match. Even though we were getting rocked, we only lost 6 - 8 points per match until it finally adjusted and brought us back down. Conversely, the matches we did win were worth 15 - 20 points each, so winning 1 match could cover up for 3 - 4 losses in the meantime. By 7 - 8 games in, we were already facing people back down at our level.
The only thing I don't like is that it's really easy to get stuck in a caste where you don't really "learn" the next level skills since you don't really ever see those people in the first place.
Mar 4th 2009 9:44AM Good article :) I think this really does well to describe why Warriors & Paladins have such a hard time tanking Sarth3D versus DKs and Druids.
It sounds like Blizzard realizes this and are making changes. Here's to hoping a balanced playing f ield ( I'm selfish - we have a Warrior MT most of the time! ).
Mar 4th 2009 9:39AM Also note that the really "required" buffs have long cooldowns or diminishing returns. It only takes 1 person to give replenishment to the entire raid in a 10 man. It only takes 2 people to give nearly 100% coverage to all the mana users in a 25. That 3rd player with replenishment isn't providing much outside of increasing replenishment uptime on movement bosses. The 4th person with replenishment isn't providing replenishment anymore ( and will usually spec out of it ).
The point I'm making is that the only "required" buffs in the game don't permit stacking.
What was unfair was back in Sunwell days when more shaman = more DPS and more shadow priests = higher mana usage specs = more DPS.
Mar 3rd 2009 6:33PM Definitely some awesome changes, though I can't even begin to agree with you re: psychic horror in PVE builds.
I don't think Shadow Priests should expect ( or get ) DoT Protection like UA Locks do. Honestly, I think they could do something with that mana restore change and maybe expand it:
"Dispelling Vampiric Touch or Shadow Word: Pain instantly restores x% of the priest's and her party members' base health and mana."
[This implies removing the dispel damage entirely]
No, it's not a lot but it's definitely significant. You could dispel those dots but you have to keep in mind that you're restoring mana & health to the other team.
I feel like that fits closer to the "theme" of Shadow Priests ( restoring health & mana to your team ). It might need some numbers adjustment, but base% never scales so it wouldn't ever get outlandishly powerful.
Feb 17th 2009 2:52PM The perspective is very helpful and does explain why you made certain choices.
The reasons I would argue your UI is not functional is that the information could be more center-aligned and thus easier to read by a large margin. For example, to get information about my own health, my pet's health, etc. I have to look at the lower left corner of the screen, which is also where I can find information about Omen. Information about buffs/debuffs is in the top right of the screen. Action Bars ( and presumably cooldowns ) exist in the bottom center of the screen.
So basically, I can't ever look dead-center on the screen to find anything ( that's visually presented in the screenshot or obvious from your description ). To me, that's the pinnacle of a functional UI: Information is presented in a manner that is consistent and is easy to process in the least amount of time. If I'm focused on the bottom-left for tight rotations, I can't be looking at the top-left for buffs or debuffs. To me, the number of visible bars is inversely correllational to the immediate availability of information since it means that you have to look down to the bottom of the UI for that information.
That's just my perspective anyway. Without an explicit definition, there's a lot of variance in what qualifies as functional or not.
If I had my UI available, I would post it. However, my design is that runes, cooldowns, and abilities are available dead-center and while they do obstruct the visible play area, they also provide more in-depth information without having to look away from immediate surroundings.
Feb 17th 2009 10:05AM Does anyone actually have a video where the voidwalker tanks the whole time, 100% - 0%? Every video I've seen of people doing this has the VW step aside for another tank after the 3rd drake dies or the VW loses aggro somewhere around 15 - 20%.
Feb 17th 2009 10:00AM None of these UIs were very helpful. I agree with the others that, except for the bottom one, most of them were kinda bad - I'd argue against functional at that and the top one is obviously a work in progress ( confirmed by the person who made it up ).
Honestly, these features would feel a lot better if you featured maybe 1 - 2 UIs and went in-depth as to why that person picked various features and had a more complete listing of mods as well as in combat, out of combat, in raid, in-party shots (gallery style). Right now, this feels like a "Share a screenshot of your UI with optional addon listing" feature.
That said, it is exciting to see class focused UIs. Perhaps next week you could do "Share your Affliction Warlock's UI" eh? :-D
Feb 13th 2009 12:09PM All the non-80 content is specifically designed around being cleared by off-specs. There's honestly no reason that dual-spec would be necessary and leveling doesn't teach you anything about level 80 play.
You can even do a couple of heroics dependent on the group as off-spec without overgearing it.
Feb 11th 2009 9:54AM Most DKs in PVP spec ShadowFrost ( 0/20/51 ) or some variation thereof. The higher end DKs with 2000+ ratings will spec deep Blood to exploit the overpowered DRW. The problem with this article is that it seems to assume DKs are built on survival - which they certainly can be! However, most DKs do not spec that way. In fact, anyone who is not a healer spec'd in to survival is just gimping themselves.
The only reason DKs would have Rune Tap or Mark would be if they're going down deep blood - which means their Death Strikes are nothing compared to the 3 Disease Death Strike ( a 3 Disease Death Strike is going to heal 200% of damage with a 230% crit damage modifier ). However, Death Strike is also a very low damage attack - in my PVE gear I rarely get crits for more than 2400 - 2500 unless I'm packing full raid buffs.
As for your comments about 20 RP being available at all times, well, that's just absolutely false.