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Mar 22nd 2012 3:19PM "Seriously though, who the hell uses bandages?"
Maybe that's the point, they recognize that First Aid is lagging, and they're trying to make it useful again.
I think First Aid has two main problems. First, unlike Cooking or Fishing, you have little choice in how you level First Aid. You make one thing over and over again, then you make another thing over and over again, and that second thing makes the first thing entirely obsolete. (Contrast with Cooking, where the new food might restore more health, but the old food provides a useful buff.) First Aid would be a lot more practical if it did something beyond restoring health. Anti-venoms were a nice idea, but they stop at level 60. The name "Jade Anti-Venom" practically writes itself. Or perhaps a mana bandage, so melee DPS can keep healers propped up during long fights?
The second problem, as you suggest, is that it's not useful because it's not superior in any significant way. In combat, a potion restores almost as much health as a bandage, but does it instantly rather than as an eight-second channel. Out of combat, it restores health at about the same rate as food, but for a shorter time, isn't immediately repeatable, can't be done while you drink, and doesn't offer a stat buff. Oh, and you have to work for bandages, rather than just buying food from a vendor. About all First Aid has going for it is a shorter debuff than potions and the ability to bandage another player.
That said, I keep First Aid maxed on all of my characters. Bandaging doesn't exactly jump out as being useful, but it's cheap enough to level, and I keep finding opportunities to use it. I rarely use bandages while solo questing because the content's so easy, but even the heal-capable classes use bandages in PvP. I've also used bandages in instances to support the healer (either by boosting tank healz or healing myself so the healer can stay focused on the tank), and I feel that bandaging or eating after a fight is more polite than standing around waiting for a heal.
Mar 22nd 2012 1:37PM I hope that's what they're doing. Upgrading the gryphons by 10% wouldn't be much of a perk, but ludicrous-speed gryphons would be awesome. As I said in another post, I take taxis all the time, but if your goal is to get from Ironforge to Karazhan in the shortest amount of time, flight paths can't compete. They could kinda-sorta compete when 280% was the cap for most players and you couldn't fly in the old world, but now it's no contest. 600% flight paths would make overland travel much easier, and would make Archeology a lot less time-consuming (not that I mind, but I know it's something the devs wanted to address).
Mar 22nd 2012 1:24PM I use flight paths all the time. Mounted flight is moderately faster, but while I'm riding a gryphon, I don't have to concentrate on driving, so I can be productive in other ways. I can organize my bags, schedule guild events, or look stuff up on Wowhead, rather than just sitting there holding the W key. Auto-flight helps, but I still have to watch for obstacles, and if I get distracted or have to step away for a minute, I could wind up in the middle of the ocean. Flight paths drop you in a specific safe* location, and if you have the right addons, you know exactly when you'll get there.
* Your mileage may vary, offer not valid in Icecrown. My Priest unlocked the Shadow Vault flight point just by leveling, before she'd done any of the quests in that area. The flight master and all the surrounding mobs were still hostile.
Mar 22nd 2012 3:15AM 1,650, you say? That's about three times the current "sometimes increases" effect (Power Torrent sometimes gives 500 Int, if memory serves, and the closest TBC equivalent I can think of is Mongoose, which sometimes gave 120.)
But what does it mean? Either we're in for another round of huge stat inflation in Pandaria, or they're increasing the internal cooldown on such procs, or they're rebalancing so your 5,000g of gems and enchants account for a more significant share of your DPS.
Mar 20th 2012 8:56PM The writer worries me when he says that the transfer "was decided mostly by top officers", and that they're willing to accept leaving people behind. If the leaders are willing to abandon half of their raid team for a chance at cracking the top 200, they're going to have a tough time building a reputation on the other server, where they have to compete with a wider array of raiding guilds and there's little cost to jumping ship.
Then again, this is just my interpretation of one person's account. Maybe the leaders don't like being a training guild because the volatile roster prevents the guild from developing its own history and culture. Maybe they feel the move would lead to a more stable team and happier players.
Mar 20th 2012 8:11PM re: 2.5 tanks - Didn't the devs say they wanted to design more fights that rewarded in-fight role swapping? Specifically, I believe they mentioned a heavy damage phase where the cats shift into bears, Shadow priests heal, and everybody focuses on keeping each other alive. If that be true, I think a situational tanking spec would make a lot of sense.
Mar 20th 2012 1:48PM Even if you're not running your own cartel, you'll have to rethink how your business will fit into the new realm. You may find that your principal money makers aren't profitable any more, or that a once-flooded market is now wide open. On my mid-population realm, twink and heirloom enchants sell slowly, but margins are pretty healthy because I'm one of about three sellers. On my high-population realm, demand for those goods is high, but supply is higher. I can sell as many enchants as I can churn out, but Crusader has such low margins that I may as well just sell the materials.
Mar 19th 2012 3:40AM Okay, now scenarios make sense. I wonder if the availability of 10-30 minute scenarios will grant Blizz the leeway to make longer and more challenging dungeons. I wouldn't want them all to be crazy difficult, but I do enjoy the option of a seven-boss dungeon.
Mar 16th 2012 6:48PM They're already doing that. Icecrown dailies paid a little over 13g each. Level 85 dailies pay 13-16g, with the occasional 18g outlier. Raid bosses haven't changed much either: Firelands bosses pay 300-350g each, while 25-man TBC bosses paid 250g each.
I think this latter point gets us to one of the causes of Cataclysm inflation: prior-expansion content is ridiculously easy and profitable to farm. Wrath dailies are trivial but still pay well. TBC dungeons and raids can be soloed by anybody with a strategy, with Hyjal and Serpentshrine paying 250g per boss. Level 55-60 and 65-70 materials (Large Brilliant Shards, Admantite, Terocone) sell ridiculously well because they're practically required to level a profession, yet they're found in out-of-the-way places that are no longer required for leveling.
Mar 16th 2012 3:45PM Sometimes it makes sense for an achievement or feat to be available for a limited time, like "Champion of the Naaru" disappearing once Wrath hit. However, I generally don't support "inb4" achievements like the one you propose. When an achievement gets easier in one way, it usually gets harder in another way, or at least more tedious.
For example, the Exalted title is easier to achieve in some ways now that anybody can solo an Outland dungeon, and the additional Cataclysm factions allow you to skip certain pain-in-the-butt reputations. On the other hand, a player who started in 2.1 has had years to develop his or her reputation, and did so while there was still a tangible benefit. A new or returning player accomplishes the same task in a matter of weeks or months, despite having no good reason to be Exalted with the Consortium.
Cataclysm streamlined most of the quest chains, true, but it also added about 600 quests to the Loremaster requirements, and changed the criteria so players had to complete ~95% of every zone rather than ~95% of the continent. It's still not something players are going to complete by accident, or just decide to do on a Saturday morning.