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Posts with tag efficiency

Breakfast Topic: Efficiency

Breakfast Topic Efficiency
In a post yesterday about the easiness of low level dungeons, wiserwaylander commented on an interesting aspect of the game: efficiency. He even quoted a tweet from Ghostcrawler on the topic, which read as follows:
I was first surprised by this assertion, and then, on reflection, agreed with it. Players are definitely focused on efficiency, in the quest towards end-game content, and it seems likely that it has to do with the social aspect of the game -- the main social elements, while certainly present while leveling, really appear in earnest once a player's character has reached max level. It would certainly be foolish to pretend that there is no such thing as a twinking community, but the current PvP season, the current raids, the current gear grind, all of those happen mostly at maximum level.

So is it any wonder that players' focus is to take the most efficient path through the game to get to that end goal? And once players are there, then efficiency loses no importance. The most efficient rotation for DPS, the most efficient threat generation and cooldown use for tanks, the most efficient way for healers to put their blue bar into the raid's green bar. A big part of the game is efficiency.

But are players to focused on efficiency over fun? Would WoW be a happier place if we stopped to smell the roses along the leveling path, particularly, just because roses are awesome? And are you focused on efficiency over fun or self-improvement? Think about it before answering, I know I had to.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

The Light and How to Swing It: Best practices for holy paladins

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Every Sunday, Chase Christian invites you to discuss the finer side of the paladin class: the holy specialization. Feel free to email me with any questions you want answered, like what to look for in your World of Logs parses.

Holy paladins are doing all right. While patch 4.1's notes may have retribution and protection up in arms about the new cooldown on Word of Glory, holy paladins are exempt via Walk in the Light. We're actually not seeing any changes in the upcoming patch -- at least, none that have been announced yet. The lack of updates shouldn't come as a surprise to a healing class that's been performing relatively well. Minor balances to our mana and effectiveness have been used to keep us in line with the other healers, but we're otherwise stable. Patch 4.1 will buff our recently discussed set bonus, but that doesn't help improve the gear today.

Just because Blizzard doesn't have any buffs planned doesn't mean that we can't work on improving our performance naturally. There is truly no WoW player who can perform perfectly at every moment, but the closer we get to that ideal, the stronger healers we become. As healers, we should constantly be developing our skills and refining our gameplay. There's nothing worse than feeling like the weak link on the chain, and so keeping ourselves at top healing efficiency is crucial to being successful in whatever environment you're healing in.

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

Wrath Hunter Talent Analysis, Part I: Marksmanship

Hunter talents are out, and there's definitely a lot to say about them, both good and bad. While we have discussed some of the changes to the lower Survival tree, what we haven't touched on is all the new talents and the talent changes in other trees. If I was to sum it all up in one sentence, I'd say this: The 51 point talents look lackluster, but most of the rest is downright drool inducing.

Marksmanship's early tiers are now full of easily obtainable goodies for any Hunter, Survival's gained even more group and raid buff utility, and Beastmastery has even more amazing pet synergy.

There's a lot to cover, so we'll tackle it one tree at a time. First, we'll look at Marksmanship, which was once premiere Hunter tree, but has fallen a bit to Beastmastery in Burning Crusade. It's certainly seen some marked improvement for Wrath so far, and even if you don't plan to spec Marksmanship, you'll at least want to know about the first few tier talents, as you'll probably want to grab many of them anyway.

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Filed under: Hunter, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Talents, Wrath of the Lich King

Mage buffs on the horizon

Here's some more good news today for mages. On top of Hypothermia going back from 45s to 30s, Kalgan has stopped by the mage forums to promise some additional buffs in person. These probably won't make it into 2.3, but he says they'll go in "in the near future." My guess is that translates to 2.3.X or 2.4. It looks like Blizz is basically in a "buff" swing recently, which fits in with their general design philosophy -- start underpowered, and then build the classes up as necessary. Buffs make far fewer people angry than nerfs do.

What are these buffs, you ask? Trainable Ice Block, and "to-be-finalized improvements to mana issues in longer fights" (source). We've been seeing more and more skills moved to trainable as the game has matured, from Evocate to Holy Fire to Improved Sap. Ice Block mades good sense to add to that list. Kalgan's reasoning is that IB is something they want to be able to design PvE encounters around all mages having, and that it helps open up the range of viable specs for PvP. As far as the "mana issues" improvements, it's hard to comment too much on that without any details, but efficiency is good. Any speculation on what they're going to do there?

Oh, and in a later post, Kalgan lets slip that mana gems are also slated to be buffed. Let that be a sort of after-dinner mint of buffage.

Filed under: Mage, Patches

Breakfast Topic: Gaming the game

It's a late breakfast today, and the topic is play styles. What do you do when normal WoW playing becomes too easy for you? You start creating meta-games, challenges within the game that add new levels of achievement and complication to the equation. Whether you've roped in some friends to see who's the first to 60 on a new server, or you're trying to beat your own high scores in terms of number of pulls or HKs, there are times when we all set arbitrary targets for ourselves ingame.

Especially if you've already taken one or two characters to 60, the game content becomes less of an interesting distraction and more a means to an end. You know all the best grinding spots, areas with decent drop rates and fast-spawning mobs that are especially susceptible to your class skills. You're gaming the game -- plotting the most efficient route through a minefield of quests and levels. If you don't level by the end of today's session, you consider it an inefficient use of your time.

Do you find you fall into this behaviour? Do you try to beat your own times to level 10, 20, etc? Or do you sit back and enjoy the ride, whichever character you're on, not caring much about what you get done in a single session?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

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