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The Dragon Soul -- a post-mortem {WoW}

Mar 30th 2012 4:54PM I'm a Raid Leader for a team that was broken apart and restructured during Tier 11. We struggled to get up to speed during Firelands, barely staying on the curve in Normal mode.

Dragonsoul has been the first raid that we've been ahead of the average progression; beating the timing of the nerfs, and getting to experience Heroic raiding for the first time.

Overall, I enjoyed the fights and the challenge of learning the dance. But I agree that once the moves are learned, the fights became repetitive rapidly. After we downed a boss, we rarely wiped on it again. At least the Heroic versions added some new mechanics and a significant challenge.

I remember struggling for weeks to bring down Ragnaros for our guild first kill, and finally exulting when we succeeded. That fight took pretty incredible levels of concentration, awareness, and cooperation.
Unfortunately, although I think it's a beautiful fight and entertaining storytelling platform, the Madness fight has never seemed as frenetic. There was a challenge, the first week or two we tried it.

Now, I can literally get up, answer the door, pay for the pizza, grab a pop, and return to the game mid-fight. There's no way you could do that on Rag. It still demands more awareness and coordination.

Mists of Pandaria Beta: New Dungeon and Raid Finder UI {WoW}

Mar 28th 2012 11:06AM I like the look of the new tool. It's intuitive to have all the queuing happen in one interface.

Have Group, Will Travel replaced with faster flight paths, flask "Chug-A-Lug" perk removed {WoW}

Mar 22nd 2012 11:58AM Warlocks that are "rejoicing" to be in demand again, I'm curious if you think Blizzard should also take away Mass Resurrection? Mass Res means healers very rarely have a reason to use their resurrection spells. The guild perk has replaced their utility, the same way HGWT replaced most of the utility of warlock summons.

Not to mention that my raid group has several healers (duh), but no warlock. So are we to be punished for not having a raiding 'lock?

Both Mass Resurrection and HGWT are valuable raid management tools. They help us get together and reset more rapidly to get on with the fun parts of the game. Faster flight points will not.

Have Group, Will Travel replaced with faster flight paths, flask "Chug-A-Lug" perk removed {WoW}

Mar 22nd 2012 11:50AM I can't say I support the removal of HGWT. Taking away an excellent raid administration tool and replacing it with faster flight paths isn't going to "get more people out into the world."
We'll just replace the convenience of HGWT with the summoning stone. It's a raid organization hassle because it requires two people, and it takes longer to get everyone together. But the functional effect will be the same. Most of the raid will go from city to instance.

I agree that a great way to get players out into the world is to put compelling content there. Another great way would be to enable a global chat channel, so I could look for a BH or DS group on my alt while out fishing or gathering.
Instead, players are trapped in cities by their desire to communicate with other players.

HGWT isn't necessary to the way we play the game, but it's certainly convenient. Anything that shaves 15 minutes off the startup time of our raid is a great perk. I honestly don't see why Blizzard would offer it in Cata and then want to remove it for MoP.
Are we going to lose Mass Resurrection too? It's not necessary, but provides a comparable convenience for raid management.

The Queue: Written pandaren {WoW}

Mar 20th 2012 4:12PM My gf and I have had our X11 headsets for on the order of 9 months now. We use them very nearly every day, and raid three times a week with them. No signs of wearing out, they're both still like new.

I find them to be *much* more comfortable than headsets I've used previously. I also note that several reviewers object to the long cord. Personally, I like having the cord long. I sit fairly far from my PC, and I've had headsets in the past where the cord was too short to be comfortable. I do recommend that you retain the (included) cable ties, though. Any excess length can easily be bundled up and kept neat.

The Queue: Written pandaren {WoW}

Mar 20th 2012 11:34AM Headset:

I've been very happy with my Turtle Beach Ear Force X11 headset. I bought mine at Best Buy for $50, and after trying them on, my girlfriend went out and bought a pair for herself the next day.

Here's an identical pair at Newegg for under $40:

Spiritual Guidance: Priests, shields and AoE healing in Mists of Pandaria {WoW}

Feb 21st 2012 12:13PM "Is there going to be a compelling reason to keep playing a priest in MoP? If holy priests are going to continue to be pushed into the role of raid healing and disc priests remain in their single-target utility niche... then why would you stick with a priest when every other class can do both jobs well with one spec?"

Because of raid composition (gear distribution, token coverage, buff coverage, CD's).
Because being specialized in a role generally means you're BETTER at that role.
Because of the unique tools you bring to the raid. There has generally been at least a fight or two each Tier that favors bringing a priest.

If you're terribly concerned that Disc and Holy will be overspecialized, you could dual spec and have both. I understand your concern that they're taking one toolbox and dividing it in two, but remember that the talents aren't even nearly finalized yet. Removing a few things from your spellbook is absolutely being done with the intent to offer you exciting NEW possibilities.

Ol' Grumpy and the crushing disappointment of roles {WoW}

Feb 16th 2012 2:28PM I'd like to clarify that I'm not saying "all pure DPS players are selfish" nor am I saying "pure classes are inferior" or anything of the sort. Skilled DPS are just as necessary as skilled tanks or healers, being good at it requires skill and attention, and players who enjoy and are good at it are contributing as much as any others.

Rejecting the idea of your pure class gaining the ability to fill an additional role, because then you might be asked to fill that other role, sounds selfish to me.
Even if you don't want to fill that role, a higher population of characters potentially filling the under-represented roles benefits everyone.

My perspective is mostly from raiding. On my ideal raid team, everyone does the most that they can to contribute to the success of the group. Individual players refusing to step into a different role because they don't enjoy it as much, while expecting others in the group to do exactly that, have gotten under my skin. I meant no offense to the pure DPS population at large, and I apologize if I offended.

Ol' Grumpy and the crushing disappointment of roles {WoW}

Feb 16th 2012 12:57PM @Luotian
Having more classes with the potential to tank or heal would reduce the pressure on any particular individual to tank or heal. Not increase it, as you suggest. Sure, if your Hunter became no longer a pure dps class, it might increase the pressure on you specifically to do something other than dps. But it eases the pressure on every other member of the group.

My main is a Druid. I mostly heal, but can do rDPS. I'd also have a tank spec if triple spec were allowed. My second character is a DK who mostly tanks but also has a potent frost spec.
From the perspective of someone who's healing or tanking four times a week because it's the role the raid needs filled, I've always seen the pure dps classes and those who chose to play them as rather selfish. Particularly when they complain that they can't get a group.

Your "All I ever want to do is ranged dps, so don't give my character the potential to do anything else or I might be asked to change!" attitude says everything I need to know about your priorities.

Ol' Grumpy and the crushing disappointment of roles {WoW}

Feb 16th 2012 12:43PM Outstanding article.

Druids are getting a 4th tree in Mists. Monks will be hybrids. Why not give Warlocks a tanking tree? What about a Mage Evasion Tank? Let them Timeslip or Blink or Mirror Image to avoid damage.

Letting more classes fill more roles is good. But I also like your idea of de-emphasizing the role of role; specifically the Tank. Few other RPGs have the tank's role codified to such a degree.
I remember dungeoning with friends who were new to the game. They were trying to avoid standing close to the enemies during combat because they figured that the enemy would be morel likely to turn and attack someone close by. The concept of "tank as threat holder" hadn't really sunk in for them yet, and the artificiality of the specific threat rules of this game hadn't become ingrained.

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