Posts Tagged ‘class’

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Switch Or Not

30.04.2011

I find myself playing a bit more regularly again – not as much as before, but still enough to progress a bit on my priest. Soloing instances on a priest has to be harder than on any other class, even in Shadow spec.

Anyway, it’s a bit disappointing that leveling has been streamlined so much. Just by completing all quest in Dustwallow Marsh I gained double as many levels as the zone is designed for. That of course leaves me with the question on what to do now.

Next up would be Eastern Plaguelands – a fun zone, completely revamped in Cataclysm. But I feel the need to change things up a bit, so switching characters is in order. My girlfriend has a mage as main, so toying around with my mage would be an option in order to give better advice. Then again, those would be essentially the same zones I just finished. My paladin is at 70, ready to mop up the last quests in Outland. And her alt is a paladin as well.

On the other hand, I had a dream last night about playing my deathknight – fresh into Outland. Taking a different path than my paladin, that would be a new adventure as well.

Desicions, decisions. Any insights or should I let fate (and some dice) decide?

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Of glass cannons

11.11.2010

Glass cannons are glass cannons. However, it appears that there are considerably differences in calibre and sturdiness.

 

My only previous experience with PvP were battlegrounds playing my rogue in the 20-29 bracket. I’d regard my combat rogue as not particularly designed for PvP, but it was a lot of fun – capping some flags in Arathi Basin, occasionally sneaking into the enemy base in Warsong Gulch and generally surprising the hell out of careless mages and warriors. Since WoW doesn’t offer a sniper class (I’m a dedicated sniper in all FPS games), this was as close as I could get. Instead of hanging back, sneak invisibly and essentially take an enemy out of the fight with a single hit.

 

Now I tried the same with my mage, this time in the 30-39 bracket. And boy, was that a shock. Sure, interrupting and silencing enemy spellcasters is fun, but everybody, and I mean everybody makes a beeline for the mage in the background. And my spells don’t seem to do any significant damage at all. I don’t even want to get into the ratio HK/Deaths, it’s just too depressing.

 

I fully admit that I’m currently not very PvP oriented. It’s just a nice diversion from killing Trolls in Stranglethorn – not that troll-killing ever gets old. But is this really such a difference between those two classes? Especially how enemy players react? Now that I think about it, as rogue, I also was always picking mages as my target while the heavies clashed in the middle of the field. Maybe I’m just too used to having a nice layer of human ablatives in front of me while staring through my crosshairs while crouched somewhere out of reach on a church tower.

 

What is your experience? Is it really the class that is much different? Or does level bracket play a larger role in regards to available specs and gear?

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Ding!

27.10.2010

Yesterday – well, technically today – I dinged 40 on my warlock. She’s the first alt to reach that level, so it was an occasion for much celebration. You may smile or laugh, but that is actually a huge step for me.

  • Level 40 achievement
  • New mounts, including the Dreadsteed
  • Dual Spec, not that I need it, but what the hell, gold isn’t worth anything if you don’t spend it

And, most importantly: It took me essentially one weekend and a bit to level my warlock from 30 to 40. Compare that to the time it took for me druid to get from 20 to 30, it’s a world apart. And it was a blast. The Felguard I got from the new talent trees helped a lot, sometimes I was amazed at the masses of mobs that we survived when a pull went wrong.

Seriously, I think I’ll keep playing my druid, just so my other characters will be even more fun when I get back to them.

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In sickness and in health

16.10.2010

Just my usual luck: The week the big 4.0.1 hits, I’m completely ill with a high fever. Nevertheless, I managed to get about an hour of playtime in with my Druid yesterday, and here are the cliff-notes:

30 is the new 20

Yes, I finally did it. My druid took a whole month to get from 20 to 30, but I think he’s starting to be more fun now so that future levels will be a bit more, well, fun to play. It also means I switch characters again, but that’s more than okay, as I need to adjust to the new talents in the patch anyway. Probably my warlock will go first, since she now also got a new demon (Felguard) to play with.

Crash and burn

Not all, not even most but a few critical addons. QuestGuru was broken, but got fixed pretty fast. For a few other addons I’m still holding my breath, but in general there were fewer errors than I thought. Auctioneer seems broken, though, which is a major setback.

Visuals

Gorgeous. And still pretty easy on the hardware. On my five year old PC, I still turn everything up to ‘ultra’ except shadows – and that only because I like the graphics on ‘high’ better. The additional ground-clutter alone makes a huge difference. Add to that a bit more view-distance and you got a whole new game, right now. Also fantastic are the water reflections. I urge you, turn liquids up to ‘ultra’ and go to, say, Ru’theran Village when it’s raining. It is simply beautiful.

Talents

Well, Talented doesn’t work, but the new talent trees are just as good – my main complaint was that I couldn’t see all of it at one glance. Now I can. They seem to read my blog, because the Druid changes are exactly what I wanted to make it more fun playing one. The tree themselves seem a bit more condensed, but I’ll wait and see how it works out in the long run. So far, though, I’m quite happy.

The verdict

If this patch is any indication for Cataclysm performance on your hardware (and I think it is), you can all relax. My ancient rig still manages 60 FPS in most scenes – and with ENBseries doing it’s magic, I’m still well over 30 FTP. That is enough for an MMO. In fact, I’d say performance has increased after the patch.

Visuals are good, I can’t wait to see what the actual Cataclysm will bring. Talent and class changes so far also seem to hit the spot, although I can only speak for the solo and questing faction.

Ready for Cataclysm? I think we are!

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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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Through the looking glasses

23.08.2010

Last week’s Shared Topic was about how I imagine my class is treated by NPCs. I have a small problem with that. I don’t play a single class. I’m also not very good at this sort of RP posts, which is why I originally wanted to skip last week. However, to get some blogging rhythm back, I’ll use that shared topic as a starting point.

My version of it: How do I see the world of Azeroth, depending on which class (and character) I’m playing?

Two classes are missing: Priest (waiting for a Worgen priest in Cataclysm) and Deathknight (highest character level is 36 so far).

Mage

The world is a stage, filled to the brim with an audience expecting a spectacle. It’s not only about killing mobs. It’s about doing it and looking good. Looking great. Impressive, even. Sure, you could go for a quick and efficient kill, but there are still four spells available on cooldown, better use them! Freeze, Blink, Blizzard, Evocation, Blast, Arcane Barrage and for the finale, Teleport and leave them standing in awe and envy.

Druid

Seriously? I’ve got no clue. If I knew, maybe my druid wouldn’t play the role of the unwanted stepchild.

Paladin

When all you’ve got is a hammer and a Seal, the world starts looking like a giant nail. You’re still killing mobs, but you’re doing it with a purpose. You want to make Azeroth a better, safer place. You might even start to feel some regret, but never fear, because you are on the only true righteous path! Bless and heal passersby, then proceed to smite infidels with holy might.

Hunter

The world is full of creatures. Always be on the lookout for a new pet to tame, a companion drop or a rare elite mob that you can add to your trophy board. And do I wish there was an in-game UI for tracking your rare kills, I have to do it manually. Also, practice your jump-shots! Show them off whenever you get a chance, to show you actually have some skills instead of facerolling the keyboard. Keep your pet on a very short leash – it’s not a bludgeoning sledgehammer, it’s a fine rapier to be used exactly the way you want. It’s much more impressive if you use your pet as an extension of your traps and skills than if you just let it loose on an unsuspecting world.

Shaman

The world is my castle. See that spawn camp over there? Well, I’ll make camp over here, set up a dozen totems and then instigate the monsters into attacking. Yes, a Shaman is an offensive force, but their true strengths lie in defence. An aggressive turtle, so to speak.

Rogue

A giant playground, full of challenges. And if there aren’t any, set some for yourself! Sure, you could just kill any mob standing between you and the target NPC, but see how far you can get unnoticed. See how many of them you can pickpocket. See if you can kill just the target, then Vanish and be amazed that the entire camp is up in arms and down one leader. Find new and creative uses for Sap, Disarm, Rupture, Gouge and Vanish. Leave your victim shaking their head, wondering what the hell just happened.

Warlock

The world better bow down if they see you coming. Even if only because you’re a Gnome. But never mind! They bow down, they crawl at your feet. You are the master, they are the slave. And if you ever team up with another warlock, the world will tremble in fear. Rightly so. You don’t care about flash. You care about brutal efficiency, making the kill hurt. Pain makes stronger, yes, but it’s the other‘s pain that makes you stronger.

Warrior

Besides the age-old question over two-handed, dual-wield or sword and shield, it’s pretty much about pushing yourself. How strong a mob can you take? How many mobs at once? How much damage can you deal in a single hit? How much a head start on damage can you give a mob and still win the fight? It’s not about winning, it’s about conquering insurmountable odds.

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The reason you need to play a mage

27.07.2010

I’ve been slacking on the screenshot front. Now that ENBSeries is set up properly, you’d think that I take my time and capture those moments of exploration as they happen – more importantly, before Cataclysm happens. Alas, Most of the time I’m too much caught in the action to think of screenshots, not to mention proper composition to make a decent image out of them.

Just as well, this week the share topic is: A picture tells a thousand words. Wonderful.

So I bring you, on short notice, the reason why you need to play a mage:

(click for original size)

Teleportation. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Teleport is the single most awesome spell in World of Warcraft. Go play a mage, get to 25 or 30, travel Azeroth for a bit – you’ll curse yourself when you have to go back to classes that can’t just hop over to Darnassus if they feel like it.