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Posts with tag 1.12

Bears, flags and cross-server queue times

"This PvP thing is quite fun," thought I, several weeks ago.

Time passed. Lured on by cheap combat potions, armour and (of course) glory, I've been spending plenty of time attempting to kill Horde recently. I thoroughly enjoy the niche my druid has found in PvP, and have worked hard to become a better player. By slowly but steadily ranking up, the addictive microreward cycle has worked its magic on me, and what began as an experiment to see how far I could get PvPing when I had the time has become something more permanent.

Of course, such idyllic stories end in tears; the Drums of War have arrived in Azeroth, bringing with them shortened battleground queues. Previously, it was a case of occasional PvP games (usually short losses to elite teams) fitting nicely in amongst work breaks -- a little light relief from a heavy burden. However, now the queues are almost eliminated, and the games are much longer, I can't multitask any more.

All is not lost, however. Despite the joy of being a flag-carrying bear, sometimes it's fun to just get out there and burn faces. My mage alt is old enough to go into AV, and firing pyroblasts with reckless disregard for rank or reputation is a different -- and utterly refreshing -- kind of game.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, PvP

Breakfast Topic: What Do You Think of 1.12?

Well, patch 1.12 has been live for a couple of days now, so the question seems obvious. Now that you've had a chance to see the patch in action on the live realms, what do you think of it? Are the changes everything you expected them to be? Perhaps things with the patch have worked out better than you anticipated? Or worse? Well, chime in - what do you think of the patch?

Filed under: Patches, Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: What Are You Looking Forward to in Patch 1.12?

With patch 1.12 presumably rolling out today, I've just got to ask - what are you most eager to see coming with the patch? Cross-realm battlegrounds? The changes to the honor system? The new outdoor PvP objectives? The new interface improvements? The many rogue class changes? Or perhaps something else I've neglected to mention? I honestly think my personal favorite is a minor UI change - the ability to have nameplates appear over friendly players as well as hostiles and NPCs. As a healer, I think this will give me a better idea of the health of those around me in a chaotic situation where I may not be near my group (Alterac Valley anyone?). However, the changes to the honor system have also piqued my interest, and I know I'll have to give the world PvP objectives an attempt or two. But what are you looking forward to the most?

Filed under: Patches, Breakfast Topics

Another Week and No Patch?

Hortus (who works, I believe, in QA) has announced that the public test realms will be offline tomorrow between 12:00 PM PDT to 8:00 PM PDT for hardware maintenance. The fact that the realms are scheduled to come back online after Tuesday's regular maintenance window suggests that, yes, we're going another week without 1.12 being deployed on the live servers. Though I suppose that, while unlikely, it wouldn't be impossible for the PTRs to go offline running patch 1.12 and come back online running 1.13 - Blizzard does come out with surprises from time to time, but I'm not getting my hopes up. Drysc's message that "there are no current intentions to announce the release date of 1.12 beforehand" doesn't make me optimistic, either, though.

Update: My mistake, the PTR maintenance was Monday evening, not Tuesday evening. The overall point still holds, however.

Filed under: Realm News, Patches, Realm Status

US PTR Maintenance: Now!

Well, they don't usually give us much warning on these things, so at 4:44 PM PDT we received word that the PTRs were going offline for patch maintenance with no ETA on them coming back online. The fact that the PTRs continue to be updated, despite being online since July 17th, makes me feel that patch 1.12 is still something that's being fine tuned - which lends me to think that the patch going live may still be some time off. Of course... Blizzard has been known to surprise me before, so take this thought with a grain of salt (or two or three). And... since the test realms are still online and going strong - it's a great place to have some fun playing a class you know nothing about!

Update: The PTRs seem to have come back online at 7:25 PM PDT.

Filed under: Patches, Realm Status

Breakfast Topic: Favorite Battleground

With all the recent news and speculation about coming PvP changes - both in patch 1.12 and the expansion - it seems only fitting to have a breakfast topic discussing everyone's favorite source of honor - battlegrounds! So which of the available battlegrounds is your favorite place to slaughter the opposing faction? Of late, I rarely venture outside of Alterac Valley - which, with the rate at which AB and WSG groups loose on my realm, seems to be the best source of honor. I remember, vaguely, a time in which I used to enjoy Warsong Gulch and Arathi Basin matches, but this must have been long ago - all of my recent experience with them have been nothing but quick and harsh losses - with the players of my own faction spending the entire match yelling back and forth and disagreeing about what best to do. (Trust me, such battleground runs are not entertaining.)

Filed under: PvP, Breakfast Topics

Additional Honor System Modifications Coming

We already know that the honor system's curve is getting adjusted in patch 1.12, but apparently that's not the only change planned. On Friday, CM Nethaera let us know that there will also be some reduction in honor decay. The exact patch note reads: Honorable Kills now diminish at a rate 10% per kill rather than 25% per kill. The phrasing of the post lead to some confusion, so she later clarified - in patch 1.12 you're going to be able to kill the same player more before you stop receiving honor. If it seems like a minor tweak, well, Nethaera admits that it's only a temporary measure, and that there are bigger changes coming.

Filed under: Patches, PvP

Warlock's Life Tap in Patch 1.12

This afternoon Tseric posted a surprise in the warlock forums - the the functionality of the skill life tap (which converts health into mana) will be changing in the next patch - to be modified by +spell damage gear. Rank 3 and higher of the spell will now benefit from 80% of your spell damage gear (it's unclear as to whether it will benefit only from +spell damage, or whether it will benefit from +shadow damage), meaning it will both give more mana and take more health. As a warlock myself, this will take a bit of getting used to, as a loss of 400-ish health (which is spammable when necessary) becomes a loss nearly twice that - ouch! However, the reaction on the warlock is overwhelmingly positive (aside from the occasional query "But what about Dark Pact?").

Filed under: Warlock, Patches, News items

EU Cross-Realm Battlegroups Announced

Battlegroups - groups of realms that will share players in the cross-realm battleground system that will be coming in patch 1.12 - have been announced for the EU servers. English language battlegroups are listed here, German here, and French here. Some of the English battlegroups look especially odd, with both very large and very small groupings - battlegroup 1 contains 18 realms and battlegroup 9 contains only 2. However, since these assignments reflect hardware settings (server clusters), there's probably not a lot of room to tweak the individual battlegroup configurations.

Filed under: Patches, News items, PvP

More on PvP in Patch 1.12

We've gone over some of the PvP changes that will show up in patch 1.12 - both cross-realm battlegrounds and the new world PvP objectives. However, this is not the only change coming. When patch 1.12 goes live, the honor curve will be softened, somewhat, allowing a larger number of players into the upper ranks. There are no specific details on the numbers here, of course, and it's unlikely we'll understand the full impact of such a change until after it's been up and running on the live realms for a while.

[Fan art by Guillaume Bonnet]

Filed under: Patches, PvP

More Details on World PvP

The official website has been updated with some details on the outdoor PvP objectives that will be showing up in the upcoming patch. There's nothing unexpected here, but it does fill in the gaps in the initial announcement of the addition. At this point, it's clear that there are no great rewards for participation in these world events - those playing in Eastern Plaguelands will be rewarded with increased damage against undead buff (higher depending on the number of towers your faction controls) and those playing in Silithus will also receive buffs (though of unknown nature). As it stands, I see the event as a distracting mini-game that won't have a lasting effect. But if anyone else sees it otherwise, I should love to hear it.

Filed under: Patches, PvP

Breakfast Topic: PvP in Patch 1.12

It's no secret that there are PvP changes coming in the next content patch. There are going to be new cross-realm battlegrounds, auto-joining battlegrounds groups, world PvP objectives, and it's been hinted that the honor system in general will be a bit more lenient (though there haven't been any specifics on this). I've never made serious attempts at achieving the game's highest PvP ranks, simply because I know its impossible for someone who can't dedicate more time than I have to the cause. However, this patch may encourage me to head to the battlegrounds - or perhaps Silithus and Eastern Plaguelands - a bit more often for some PvP action. Am I going to hit rank 14 sometime soon? I doubt it - but the changes to the system may make it where I'll enjoy spending more time accumulating honor than I have in the past.

However, what about the rest of you - are the changes to the system encouraging you to spend more time in the battlegrounds, or driving you away?

Filed under: Patches, PvP, Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Class Reviews

With patch 1.12, we will have seen talent reviews for every class in the game. Every class has seen changes - both small and large - since the game's launch, and Blizzard has stated that there won't be any more large-scale reviews of this nature in the future. With that in mind, which class do you think has come out on top after this review process? I cannot, personally, think of a clear winner for PvE or PvP, as there is still much to be said for a player's specific build and skill, regardless of class. However, do any of you see a particular class winning out above all the rest?

Filed under: Patches, Breakfast Topics

My Secret Life as a Rogue: Of Talents and Talent Builds

It's been some time since I wrote about my initial attempts at playing the rogue class. And, no, I haven't given it up yet! I've only reached the fairly puny level of 33, but the rogue changes coming in the next patch have me excited about continued leveling - after all, there's little joy in having half of a talent build.

However, my recent efforts have been divided between my own rogue on the live realms and a pre-made level 60 rogue on the test realms. After some initial goofing off - it is, after all, a bit disorienting to jump from a low-30s character in mostly greens to a level 60 character with dual crusader enchants - I set to work trying different talent builds. Of course I've read all of the discussion on possible builds, but sometimes there's just no substitute for experience - and the test realms provide an ideal opportunity to see just what the class is capable of, with all possible talent permutations.

And, perhaps, some experimentation could teach me something about how to play my own, lesser rogue a bit better...

Read more →

Filed under: Rogue, Patches, Virtual selves

Breakfast Topic: To Addon or Not to Addon?

I spent a while on the test realms yesterday checking out all of the new goodies in the 1.12 client. Some of these, like the new floating combat text feature, have come directly from popular community-created addons. I think, in may ways, I prefer the addons that are integrated game - that way, come patch day, the features I use regularly simply work, without need to tinker or download new code. However, custom addons provide a level of flexibility that's not present in Blizzard's own UI. With floating combat text, specifically, I may continue to use the original addon - Scrolling Combat Text - because I prefer being able to customize a little more than Blizzard's addition allows me to.

And what about all of you? Do you like to use addons - or even the sort that can't play when their addons aren't working right? Or do you prefer the low-maintenance of the default UI? And, whichever side you're on, do you like or dislike these new additions to the default UI?

Filed under: Patches, Add-Ons, Breakfast Topics

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