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Gold Capped: Epic gems in patch 4.3 {WoW}

Sep 23rd 2011 12:16PM ^ Emphatically this.

Like many people I stockpiled pyrium ore in the event epic gems would be prospectable. But I also took into account that JCs would need the patterns to make the cuts so I have been hoarding my JC daily tokens for several months now. I assume that Blizzard will likely just add recipe cuts for epic gems in 4.3 like they did for the upgraded pvp recipes in 4.2. However, this assumes that they will follow the model they used in wotlk which they are obviously willing to deviate from.

It is possible that they will make cuts rewarded somehow through a raid reputation for the Dragon Soul raid, but this falls into the trap Basil mentioned where PVPers are forced to raid which is against their intended design.

It is also possible that their will be a second tier of JC currency available through new dailies, but then that goes against the currency streamlining process that was implemented in cataclysm.

Personally, I am cautiously optimistic about JC profitability in 4.3. And on the bright side of things, I don't think I will run out of pyrite bars for my truegold xmutes anytime soon :)

Encrypted Text: Welcome your new legendary-wielding rogue overlords {WoW}

Sep 21st 2011 4:16PM Chase,

First of all great article. But I have to say that the statement "Still, it is true that rogues are the class that's been without a legendary the longest" reeks of half truth. Yes, the rogue 'class' has not had access to a current tier legendary since BC. But a few things to remember are:

1) There are 'specs' within the game that have not been able to use a legendary yet to date: feral bears and feral cats

2) Other 'specs' have not had access to a current tier legendary since classic WoW: protection warriors, enhancement shaman, and protection paladins

3) Two of the above specs were very unlikely to get these legendaries since they could be better served going to non-healing classes (since high end PVE content pigeon holed all healing capable classes into the healing role)

4) Rogues have already had access to 3 legendaries at this point in the game that were useful to all 3 specs during there respective expansions: Thunderfury, Warglaives, and Thoridal. Other classes have had access to more legendaries (warriors, paladins, and technically death knights) but they were distributed more sparingly across various specs.

I personally feel that rogues have gotten quite a bit of love from Blizzard in regards to legendaries and I hope to see some of the under represented specs listed above get there day in the sun. But for now, enjoy your sweet daggers of death.

Patch 4.2: Firelands lore spoilers and speculations {WoW}

May 5th 2011 3:10PM "We now have an entirely new kind of druid, one that focuses not on the natural world or the emerald dream but on raw elemental flame. Will there be others? Will we see water, air and earth druids?"

Did anyone else read this and think to themselves "Aren't these just shaman?" Perhaps someone could enlighten me with a distinction between the two.

Gold Capped: Will epic gems be prospectable from Pyrite Ore? {WoW}

Apr 25th 2011 4:38PM I think what Pyro is getting at is that even though the difference between epic gems and rare gems is 25% of raw stats for both wotlk and cata gems, the numeric difference for cata gems is 10 stat points between epics and rares instead of wrath's 4 stat point difference. That is an increase of 250% of the former numeric value. So even though the ratios between the two are the same, the absolute values tell a very different story.

Gold Capped: Will epic gems be prospectable from Pyrite Ore? {WoW}

Apr 25th 2011 4:30PM @ worgynfreeman (nice name btw)

I sure hope you are not on my realm because I have been doing the same thing with my JCs. I would hate to have some strong competition when the market opens up :P

Blizzard issues Call to Arms clarification {WoW}

Apr 8th 2011 5:12PM @ Cigan

Adamjgp is actually correct when he says there are too many DPS classes when compared to tanks and healers especially considering their relative size in a 5 man group.

There are 3 specs, 1 sub-spec (kitty/bear druids) and 10 classes, meaning 31 unique playstlyes altogether. Of those 31 there are 4 tanking specs (Blood DKs, Bear Druids, Prot Paladins, and Prot Warriors) representing 12.9% of possible playstlyes (4/31) and 5 healing specs (holy priests, discipline priests, holy paladins, resto druids and resto shamans) representing 16.13% of possible playstlyes (5/31).

In a 5 man group there are always 3 DPS, 1 healer and 1 tank so both tanks and healers make up 20% of any given groups composition (1/5). If every player in WoW were to miraculously queue for a dungeon, and if the population of WoW specs followed the above statistics then DPS would still have longer queue times than tanks or healers. These are pretty far fetched assumptions and are not indicative of the actual behaviors and gaming habits of the WoW community at large exacerbating the issue of tank+healing specs/ DPS specs (9/31 or 29.03%).

These DESIGN features of WoW cause inherent issues when looking for groups because of the increased relative importance of tanks and healers as well as the limited number of tanking and healing roles in the game.

Combine this with player burnout from abuse, steeper learning curves for tanking/healing, and (possibly) a lower interest in tanking/healing specs in general and it is easy to see why the queues for DPS are so outrageous.

With that being said I believe the 'Call to Arms' mechanic actually does provide an excellent incentive for tanks and healers to queue more often and will encourage people to cope with the community based issues with using the LFD tool. However it does not solve the problem of tanks and healers COMBINED making up only 29% of available specs in the game. If Blizzard wishes to create greater parity among game play roles then they simply need to add more tank and healing specs into the game. Period.

Backfire the Exalted

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Cataclysm tanking, part 3 {WoW}

Apr 2nd 2011 9:47PM Something that I feel several people aren't thinking about is the long term trend in dps scaling versus the long term trend in tank health scaling. These are only things that Blizzard really knows because they have goals/figures in mind, but the issue of vengeance eliminating the need to gear for threat stats might be something that we only have to deal with for this tier or the subsequent one.

At the moment stamina stacking as a gearing method is dead because it turns you into a mana sponge, and its possible that this paradigm will not change. If this constant holds true then health values will not rise astronomically as the expansion matures AND AS A CONSEQUENCE NEITHER WILL THE AP BUFF FROM VENGEANCE. With vengeance's contribution to threat diminishing it is possible that player dps will increase at an increasing rate and threat will increase at a decreasing rate, leading to an equilibrium where at the end of the expansion tanks will shift from a survivability mind set to one of adding some threat stats to deal with the issue.

This is of course speculation and it involves a lot of assumptions, but in theory it could happen. But as anecdotal evidence: remember when 3.1 dropped and Blizzard decided to nerf Titan's Grip? Adding the infamous 10% damage reduction. There stated reason for doing this was to hold back fury warrior dps because of scaling. Now remember back to the end of wrath when warriors could get 100% ArP, infinite rage, and basically spanked non-warriors like little school girls they are on the dps meters? Maybe the same thing will happen in regards to player dps versus vengeance. Basically I'm saying lets just wait and see.

Patch 4.1: Blizzard explains upcoming guild challenges {WoW}

Mar 30th 2011 5:06PM My question for the developers would be: Is the experience and reputation rewarded for completing a guild challenge enough that it could make it possible for smaller guilds to reach the respective weekly caps? At the moment the guild leveling system, while in theory very fun and fair, has made starting a new guild or running a small guild very difficult because they cannot level at nearly the same pace as larger ones. My guild is composed of 5 players ( 4 veterans and 1 new recruit) and after the initial guild xp nerfs have never earned more than 1/3 of the daily guild xp cap (more often than not we have earned less than 10% of the daily cap). As a result we are currently lvl 5 (thank goodness) but have been unable to push beyond this point.

Now that several guilds are approaching the maximum level it has become all but impossible for me to offer good reasons to join our guild even when approaching players who are brand new to the game. The perks that higher population guilds enjoy simply for having more players has essentially killed the prospect of building a guild from the ground up.

If these challenges allow smaller guilds like my own to have a shred of hope at reaching the daily xp cap then kudos to Blizz! If however they only offer marginal rep/xp rewards then this will do very little to solve the problem that smaller guilds are having and will instead actually exacerbate the issue by allowing the higher population guilds to progress even further beyond what a small guild is capable of.

Another thing that worries me about this is that the challenges revolve around dungeons, raids and RGBs. Two of these activities are less accessible to smaller guilds (raids and RGBs) and will only further inflate the discrepancies between guilds with lots of members and guilds without. I hope that Blizzard might consider adding additional challenges that revolve around gaining achievements, questing, or leveling up characters as well.

Sorry that this was half rant half post. I think it is a legitimate concern but obviously I am somewhat emotional about the topic.

Backfire the Exalted

The OverAchiever: Combining The Ambassador and Mountain o' Mounts {WoW}

Mar 24th 2011 5:11PM Something of note for anyone who does not know, the argent tournament in Icecrown is an excellent way to work toward BOTH of these achievements.

Not only do the dailies there award reputation with the specific faction you are working on (as well as decent gold even for level 85 characters) but if you become a champion with that race you have access to 2 mounts PER RACE that are otherwise unavailable. There are also the extra flying mounts available from the Sunreaver and Crusader vendors which brings the total number of mounts available from the tournament alone to 14*(you might want to double check this) which combined with the mounts you can purchase for becoming exalted with your faction races adds up to a fairly impressive number.

Hope this helps someone. Good hunting.

Backfire the Exalted

The Queue: Animated Ghostcrawler GIF {WoW}

Mar 22nd 2011 12:05PM @ Hal

"Adding in more tanking capabilities for other classes might help add in more tanks, but the rest of the problem is cultural."

I cannot agree with or thumbs up this enough. As a 6 year WoW veteran and a player who had all tanking specs at lvl 80 during wotlk I can say that tanking has in no way gotten any less fun; but the bile, rancor, and licentious attitudes that permeate the WoW community simply has caused many would be tanks (or former in my case) to become burned out and ignore dungeons all together.

I have read several forum posts about how the LFD system is eroding the community of servers or that it enables problem players to game the system but I disagree with these conclusions. The LFD tool has been an immensely useful mechanism that has streamlined finding a dungeon group and increased the accessibility of players to participate in said groups. The erosion of community, vote kick abuse, and griefing of players is just an extension of the player base's general attitude. Penny Arcades Internet F**kwad sketch has a lot more truth to it then most people realize (in my opinion).

In summation: The queues for dps are horrendously long because people are impatient, abusive, and just plain mean to each other. This isn't an issue that Blizzard can fix because they didn't design human nature.

Backfire the Exalted