Monthly Archives: April 2011

Epic Gem Transmutes

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.

[table id=6 /]

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.

Posted in System Mechanics, World of Warcraft

A Brave new Failure

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.

Posted in Uncategorized

My Price

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.

Posted in Uncategorized

Will we ever see scalable Raid Content again?

It is a meme that has been bouncing around the blogosphere for a while now but with 4.1 coming soon, hopefully next week, and then 4.2 coming shortly, for Blizzard, afterward I bring this meme/question up, again.

When asked about what some of the best designed, maybe not tuned but for over all design many times players will say Ulduar and also include Obsidian Sanctum for OS0-3d.  I would also add in Faction Champions from Trial of the Crusader into this mix for a separate reason than the previous 2 encounters.

OS Zero through 3 Drake  and Ulduar

This series of encounters were designed very well because they allowed players/groups/guilds to progress at their own pace in difficulty.  The inane binary hard modes did not occur until ToC the tier after Ulduar.  IMO this moving away from multiple levels of difficulty on with the same boss as in Sarth, Freya, Flame Leviathan and Yogg.  Was abandoned to increase the rate of new content since most likely at about this same time was when the realization of how much work was needed to redo Azeroth for Cataclysm.

So with T9, T10, and T11 we get 2 difficulty modes with bosses of either Easy and Very Hard with no progressive intermediate difficulty modes.  This type of content sucks.

Add to it the inane cock block of end boss encounters being tied to being able to unlock earlier boss hard mode encounters which was supposed to be changed in Cataclysm, but was not.   Because of this we have a very different progression arc where there could very well be hard modes that are easier than the end boss encounter so there is not a smooth progression of encounter difficulty available.

To demonstrate numerically if 1 through 9 is used to describe difficulty of an encounter where 1 is easy and 9 is hard what you have today with the End boss Heroic Lock systems is a progression like the following | shows the lock out break.

Now: 1 2 4 5 7 8 | 5 7 8 8 9 9

A better progression if the unlocking was based on # of times a boss had been killed, like it was supposed to be, if Blizzard would record or display the information.

Better: 1 2 4 5 5 7 7 8 8 8 9 9

Yes this would require switching back and forth between heroic and normal modes but really who cares, it just needs to be possible.


Faction Champions

I pull out this encounter as being one of the better designed fights during Wrath of the Lich King for one very important reason.  Compared to about every other encounter in-game it is completely different.  The only similar encounter I can think of is the pvp like fight in Magister’s Terrace.   There may also have been one in vanilla wow that takes place in a pit but I am not familiar with a lot of the upper and lower black rock encounters so I am not sure.

Because the threat mechanics were different for this fight it made it play completely differently.  This is another example of how to change and vary fights.  Not to mention it is also a way to scale difficulty as well.  If in a different mode of the fight certain spells or actions cause a different response from the boss could make for an interesting way to change the fight.


Side Rant

For the bloody love of what ever deity you worship can we please get some sort of actual X,Y,Z range finder between other characters if we are going to have more fights like phase 3 Malygos and Al’Akir.  In both of these fights it would have been very helpful to have floating fragments of the platforms to use as reference points for Z-Axis alignment, similar to the end of The Occulus, except have the 3 platforms at different +Z values in relation to the main platform or boss.

Given the wow interface these 2 phases are complete assign.  Ya the elite hyper-focused raiding guild might not have a problem but lets look at the actual numbers from wowprogress, 4/3/2011

The numbers represented this way really don’t do the orders of magnitude justice.
WoW Progress Data - 4/3/2011

So ya, I believe the red part of the Halfus bar could be larger if Cho’gal was not the gate for access to the hard mode on Halfus.  I also believe that Al’Akir may have more kills if we did not have to relearn how to play/move at the beginning of phase 3, as if the first 2 phases are not annoying enough.


Posted in World of Warcraft