Well this post has been on the drawing board for a while and with 4.1 hitting servers today I guess I better throw out my 2 coppers on this subject.
Given the trend of crafting for Epic Gems that occurred in Wrath and the likelihood that the same trend will be used in Cataclysm, I hope when the epic gem transmutes are added into the game that the Volatile (Elemental) components of the transmutes are more balanced than they were in Wrath. If the elemental components are somewhat balanced across the gem colors then the Cata Elemental market, Volatiles, will hopefully not destabilize as much as it did in previous expansions.
Here is a table that is a suggestion on how to balance out the Elemental components in the transmutes. These are ratio notations and not the actual number of Volatiles suggested. I would expect somewhere between 5 and 10 volatiles of each type with hopefully 1-5 Blue quality gems required in the transmute as well. This will help add value back into the Blue Quality gem market as well.
After reading history on the trolls and with the lore associated with the new ZG and ZA I have a separate post that I want to write now. So time to get this off the board.
Well we have had patch 4.1 on the PTR for over a month now and Blizzard is still implementing more and more features. So much for smaller and faster content patches, I think it safe to call this new initiative a failure.
If Blizzard really wanted smaller and faster patch cycles they will really need to learn how to pair features back to the way they did them early on in Vanilla. To a point before I even started playing the game.
A three-month cycle like the following would be a better structure for a faster patch cycle.
1.5 months development no PTR
.5 months on PTR for initial testing of core new features or balance fixes.
1.0 month to react to PTR feed back and implement for release to Live.
At the point the initial build is opened to the public on the PTR all feature creep stops and the features of the patch are locked in.
The current cycle of 1-2 months no PTR, then 2-3 months PTR testing and implementation of new features requiring more testing is just the SoS, that they have said they want to get away from.
On another note I thought the new leveling in Cata was a needed improvement to the leveling process and in many ways leveling is much better. The only point of contention I have over the new phase to all hell process is that I can no longer just go to the quest hubs I like when leveling alts. The first 1 maybe 2 times the leveling on rails method was interesting, now it is just a pain in the ass and more boring than 100s of kill 10 rats quests.
What am I saying here? Simple if you are going to have a lot of phasing to tell a progressive story, great but at least do it in small independent chunks. I don’t mind 1 quest up lock away until all other quest chains are completed just have the required chains run in parallel and not linear. I don’t even mind a short quest chain to open up the initial set up hubs. However all of the new zones were way too linear in the storyline progression.
On a similar gripe the zones are either too small or the distribution of resource nodes was not well done. In Wrath and even BC there was a base level set of herbs and ore that were found everywhere. The higher zones usually had fewer richer nodes of the base when introducing new ore types but by the time you hit the level cap zones you still found nodes of the early resources. In Cata it seems like ok Zone A has PQR and that is all, Zone B has RST there is very little overlap and so what you have is a horde of farmers swarming 1 zone at a time based upon current AH prices. A more even distribution of resources and portals allows for a more dynamic player concentration balancing. A set of portals like in SW and Oggrimar should be set up in Darnasus and Undercity or all of the capital cities should be linked via portals, even if there is a level restriction to use them like 50 or 60 but they should still eventually be linked, and no I am not saying in patch 5.x I am thinking before 4.2 at the latest.
After reading BBB’s post A Call to Bribe got me thinking about what is my price as a tank. I actually have 2 level 85 tanks at the moment and it usually is my proffered role in all instances other than Stone Core, I still hate that instance on heroic with the heat of a 1000 suns, even more than I hated The Occulus.
My price is simple and it not some infinitesimally small chance at a mount. Nope I am must more mercenary than wanting an extra lottery ticket or 2. My price is I want to be able to buy level 85 BoA gear on my tank that I can send to my DPS and Healing alts to gear them up while tanking. If I have to waste my time on my Tank to help out the queue problem then I damn well better be able to gear up the alts I would rather be playing. I say rather be playing as in I don’t always want to tank but not having gear on those characters is a pain. Also the point reward should scale based off of # of random players, so a good Tank/Healer or Tank/DPS pair group could do this farming and still benefit the 1-3 other random PuGs. Requiring completely random is lame at best.
The way to do this is with a JP or VP bonus to the call of arms player and have vendors that sell BoA items of the appropriate level. I would want 333, 346 and 359 ilevel BoA vendors so I can gradually gear up the alts if I so choose. The best part about this is that these vendors would still be available to the other rolls, so then players can play the character they prefer to play to gear up an alt.
The question now would be which is more important.
Short queue times for the LFD tool.
Players having to play each and every character to gear up.
Personally I would rather see 1 which will lead to 2 more often.