Archive for September, 2010

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If I had one hour as Blizzard WoW class designer

22.09.2010

This week’s shared topic is “Design Your Class“. Funny, that’s what I wanted to write about anyway.

While the stage two chunk of 4.0.1 (a whopping 4.5 GB) is downloading, I’m thinking a bit about what my ideal class would look like. Not what the best possible, or most efficient or most overpowered class looked like, but the class that I’d take a look at and say “yup, that’s what I want”.

Since there are obviously too many ways to go absolutely nuts with this idea, I’ll just choose three talent trees and associated skills – that still leaves a lot of options, but possibly maintains a shred of sanity and balancing.

Primary Tree: Hunter – Marksman

Easy choice. I like ranged DPS and the marksman tree and skills grant a higher mobility than the mage pendant with the long casting times. It deals direct DPS mostly, but the stings aren’t too bad either. Unlike the mage tree, which is all skill dependent, marksmen can still revel in searching for the ultimate ranged weapon, be they guns or bows or Goblin punting.

Secondary Tree: Warlock – Affliction

In my opinion, affliction would complement marksman quite well. Pile on the DoTs, then keep the enemy at range while happily sniping away without the need to wait for casting times. The curses and stings together could possibly take down bigger, badder mobs to a manageable level, but you still need the DPS from your primary tree to take advantage of that.

Alternate Tree: Rogue – Combat

This tree is mostly there for dual speccing and switching roles a bit during instances. Combined with marksman, it may be a bit weak – either you’re at range dealing damage, or you’re in melee dealing damage. Still, could be a valid choice for soloing content where you can’t always keep mobs at range or for PvP where you may have similar problems. At any rate, a combat marksman would be quite versatile.

The other possibility, speccing combat / affliction, would yield similar results to marksman / affliction – only instead of running away you close in and hack away at your opponent. Both combinations, by the way, should play very differently from an affliction ‘lock – or at least very differently from the way I play my ‘lock.

One interesting thing about this is: My favourite class, the mage, doesn’t feature at all. Why? Cast time. Yes, playing a mage is spectacular, but for the bread and butter questing and soloing instances, I’ve had much better results with my hunter and rogue. I think a class with the skills of these three talent trees would offer a whole lot of interesting choices, especially with the new 31-point system. And let’s be honest, if I want to play a mage, I play a pure mage. Anything else, derivative, would be inferior. You can’t improve on perfection.

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The end is nigh

16.09.2010

As of this writing, 415 MB of 1.76 GB downloaded. Of 3.3.x to 4.0.0, stage 1.

I’d say the end is pretty damn seriously nigh.

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Dual Speccing

07.09.2010

While taking stock of my current character status, I noticed two things:

  1. My Huntress is closing in on level 40
  2. I have almost enough gold to buy her dual spec

Obviously, this means that my other six characters aren’t far behind and I don’t have that much money. So I’m debating if dual spec is really necessary with my current play style (questing, solo instances and the occasional battleground) and if yes, then which character benefits the most?

Hunter? Marksman vs Beastmaster?

Rogue? Combat vs Assassination?

Mage? Frost vs Arcane?

Luckily, there’s still some time, I’ve got to level my druid first, then get all characters to or close to 40. At that point, Cataclysm with its shiny new talent trees should be here and I should have a better clue which character needs to be dual specced.

An unrelated sidenote:

In July I reported that one of the search engine terms used to find this site was slightly disturbing: “Draenei licking human”. It has since been replaced on the top referrers list. By “Draenei licking human picture“. Thank you Tobold, for starting this whole “Bloodelf porn” thing…

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Effort vs. escapism

02.09.2010

One of the reasons I started playing WoW was to find a way to quickly relax after coming back from the office. A nice ride through a couple of zones, grinding a few mobs, finishing a level or two and top it off with some meditative profession training and auctioning.

This works remarkably well. Without any obligations to a guild, raid attendance or so much as PUGging, I can get home and just play for a bit while my mind settles down. Then I can decide if I should do something actually useful, or keep playing. In a good mood, hop into a battleground, or maybe start a solo run in an instance.

However, I also set myself a few goals. Having one character of each class, all within ten levels of each other was one of them. This is so I can decide spontaneously which class to play without having to adjust to a completely different power level. Of course, there still is a huge difference between finishing off level 30 and starting fresh at 20 to bring the next character up. But mostly, it works well. All classes play differently but on average I’m within a five or six level range, which means the general feel of what is dangerous stays the same.

My druid is a problem, though. I want to keep him leveled with the rest. Partly because that’s what I set out to do, partly because I expect him to start being fun on the higher levels. Still, it feels a bit more like a chore to level him in comparison with my other characters. My current questing zone of Stonetalon Mountains doesn’t help either, I put that on par with Westfall when it comes to being the least entertaining or engaging zone. So I log on, manage to gain half a level, then start pondering if peace of mind has to be achieved by boring yourself out of it.

In the long-term, yes, I want to level my druid. And I want to do it before continuing with my hunter, simply because she’ll be even more fun after spending seven levels on my druid. And who knows, maybe I’ll get to the fun part of being a druid sooner than I think.

There are quite a few world events coming up this month, maybe they’ll provide both a decent distraction and a level boost.