Saturday, 31 May 2008

Warrior stubbornness talent...

No, not a suggestion for WotLK, but perhaps a requirement for the player behind him / her. I'm already starting to doubt my warrior levelling plan after a bad time in Zeth'Gor on Wednesday.

On the one hand it's a good thing about TBC that mob settlements are more dangerous than before - or so it seems. With patrols and the like you can't just wander in and start killing your quest targets, you need to keep an eye out. On the downside the place just highlighted the problems with being a warrior - it's kill or be killed, and if you're outnumbered much at all it's you that's going to die. Through sheer stubbornness I eventually got the "Burn" quest done, but must have died about 4 times in the process.

I'm going to concentrate on my hunter for a bit, and get him to level 61 or 62. It'll be interesting to compare how he fares in Outland compared to Azeroth, and also try grouping as it seems that there's much more instancing happening in the 60+ bracket than the 50-58 bracket.

To explain a bit about my alt list from yesterday, mages and warlocks are still off the menu for reasons I've mentioned before. From that list I can also remove druids (forms just aren't me, but otherwise balance / resto would really appeal) and priests. Despite priests being a better dps / healing hybrid than a shaman, due to having some CC, I'd rather be a shaman I think. And on the healer side I'd prefer a paladin to a priest, due to being less squishy (although mages seem to be the only real squishy in WoW), or at least wearing cooler armour.

Rogues are still cool, but I can't see myself levelling one just for the ability to sneak around enemy cities and some of the instances. I know there's more to the rogue class than that, but those are the main attractions of it to me...

So, maybe a human paladin, probably levelled to at least 24 to see the Draenei starting areas and replace my delete Blood Elf, perhaps further but probably not in any realistic timeframe. An undead warrior, perhaps forever stuck at level 61 (a dwarf warrior would be cool I think, but not worth the grind, my shaman makes an orc warrior rather superflous, and there is a certain zombie chic about that Forsaken). And an orc shaman main with a Belf hunter alt.

At least for now...

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Indecisive (still)

I've spent the last week, if not the last month, thinking about my alt situation.

At the moment I can barely spend enough time on WoW to keep one character current with our raiding and geared up. And being an altoholic is really not helping. So, as I've decided a few times before I need to decide who my main will be for WotLK, perhaps a few alts that I really can't live without (and properly treat them as alts), and leave all my other characters (and plans for new characters) well alone.

I'd got down to the point of having my characters be, in this order - shaman (main), NE hunter (alliance tourist and relaxation alt), orc rogue (explorer, once levelled some day) and perhaps a human paladin.

Then an article over at WoW insider - New WoW shirts at Jinx - led me to their "Tanks... You're Welcome" design, that had me pull out my warrior alt again. There's something really special about tanking - in a bad group it's just stressful and awful, in an OK group you really make the difference between a good and bad run, and good groups are just great. But unless my warrior was my exclusive main, with some real time commitment to his gear, I'd not see nearly as much of the game as I can as a healer with significantly less time commitment. And there's loads of cool things about my shaman that I'd undoubtedly miss.

So my new probable lineup is shaman (main), NE hunter (alliance tourist and relaxation alt) and undead warrior (who I hope to be well enough geared to tank a heroic by the time WotLK is about as old as BC is now).

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

It's about the big numbers

I've not been playing much recently, or posting at all. Real life (mainly my 5-month old daughter) has overtaken my WoW life, but I'll post a backlog of entries soon to make this diary a bit more complete. Sparse though it is a quick read back through the last few entries give me a great reminder of where I've been, and a bit of an insight into where I'm going.

Last night's Maggy + Gruul raid was frustrating to start, with 45 minutes needed to fill the raid due to lack of signups, and a few guildies arm-twisted into coming when they hadn't planned to, or to bring certain classes (warlocks mainly) that we'd have struggled without.

Maggy was straight forward - one wipe after some dodgy tanking / healing assignments, then a mostly clean kill on the second attempt.

High King Maulgar was the fun bit. I think we got the pull right on the third attempt, but the mage tank died while Olm was still being finished off, and with Krosh on about 20% it seem like a wipe was imminent. We cranked up the dps on Krosh with him 2-shotting various raid members (including myself), but an ankh had me back up and adding my lightning bolts to the effort. By the time we got onto the High King we had a couple of bear tanks left, a fair few healers and not much by way of dps. This gave me an excuse to stick to dps for the boss, and although elemental shaman damage dealing is about as dull as it gets (lightning bolt, repeat...) it's actually rather fun.

My theory is this - firstly there is more satisfaction to seeing damage numbers than healing numbers, you could argue that the whole levelling game teaches you that big white and yellow numbers are good. But also with dps you have a progress bar - your enemy's health bar. This goes down at a nice steady pace, with the occasional jump as several hits register simultaneously. By contrast with healing you're either playing whack a mole (raid healing) or watching a wildly fluctuating health bar on some tank until the fight stops. The excitement there comes from wondering, when your target's health gets worryingly low, if your or another healers heal will land before the nameplate goes red. Stress vs fun - what would you chose?

To round the evening off we killed Gruul, for a first kill for me. It took a few attempts - I think 4 - before we got him. The wipes seemed to be down to deaths by Shatter, which would diminish the raid to the point of failure. Although there's a degree of skill involved in avoiding this, it's also down to a fair bit of luck as to where people land after the knockback.