Coming Changes

Gearing up in Cataclysm.

So I am sure a lot of you are wondering, when will I be switching out my 264 or 277 Wrath gear for Cata greens?

Let me start by saying all your ArP gems will convert to Crit gems, so one might want to stock up on agility gems before the xpac… however, I plan on just leveling in the Crit gems with the knowledge that greens and blues before or by level 83 will be replacing my Wrath gear.

Let me tell you why you will be replacing gear rather early.

  1. Mastery – Old Wrath gear has none, most of the quest rewards has lots. Look below for the Mastery tooltip in the character screen for an idea of what this means to DPS.
  2. Stamina – All the new gear has a lot of added stamina. If you plan on tanking new 5 man content early in the xpac you will be harder to heal with your old gear.
  3. Agility – The new gear rewards come level 83 content starts surpassing old gear stats on more than just stamina and mastery.
  4. Leveling not Raiding – For leveling, pure stats not set bonus or procs tend to be more beneficial. Fights are short and usually trinket procs are wasted as you run between mobs.

This being said I am at level 83 and I still have not seen a weapon worth switching out my Heroic Wrath weapon for (though I hear a blue polearm at the end of deepholm questing fits the bill). I think there was a weapon or 2 with tons of mastery but I wasn’t sold on the stats over my current staff.

Note also that Idol’s are becoming uninteresting in the xpac and are expected to no longer be limited to certain classes. For example I was surprised when I headed to the bank hoping my old idol would be better for leveling….

Note the new gems sockets. Notice the lack of interesting procs. Meh.

So, level 83 and here is my new look…

Sexy huh?

I geared myself in greens and blues to max stats like Hit and Mastery… see below…

Notice you can now get a quick answer to your hit chances in your current gear, this is the new Hit Tooltip.

With all old Wrath Epic gear Mastery was at a base of 20%.

Here are my melee stats in old Wrath Epics. It doesn’t tell the whole story as you don’t readily see procs but as I said, leveling wastes them more than not and the lack of stamina will hurt when running instances especially as bear.

I wish I could do some test dummy parses but with no recount and the chance that some things are not working (not sure Mastery is functioning) I can’t do much. Notice I lose about 7% Crit. Not sure yet if that loss is worth the added damage from higher AP or the mastery bonus, but as I start leveling again I will report back on my findings.

I am in a holding pattern atm in beta since I am at the level cap, as soon as they break that open I will start leveling Jacemora again. My plans are to start leveling my hunter in beta… I need to find the new foxes.

Can a Brotha get a Beta?

If anyone from Blizzard (unlikely) or anyone that knows someone at Blizzard (still unlikely) reads this could you hook a brother up with a Beta for Cataclysm?


I r still around.

Just to let everyone know, I am still around. I have no plans to talk about Cataclysm until we are closer to release or I get my hand on beta and can talk about some odds and ends that I directly experience.

Vallen has a preview up here that is spot on and happens to almost be a word for word post I was debating to make.

While I wait for Thursday night and my 10 man escapades (we are down to 1 night of raiding now), I am converting my DVD collection using DVDFab and Handbrake for use on my Apple Mac Mini which I have connected to my living room TV in order to run XBMC. It works beautifully, keeps my kids from destroying their movies, and is having no problem streaming x264 encoded 720p Blu-ray over wireless… is just plain sick I tells ya. This is what it looks like on the TV…

Cataclysm Raiding Changes

So… if you have not heard there are changes coming to raiding in Cataclysm.

  1. The same gear will fall in 10 man and 25 man raids (exact same Ilvl and stats)
  2. 10 man raid bosses and 25 man raid bosses will share the same lockout. You can’t kill the same boss in both in the same week.
  3. 25 man raids will drop more items and reward more gold.
  4. Difficulty should be equal in both 10 man and 25.
  5. Progression is awarded for a boss kill only once and can be done so for either raid size.

To sum up, here is a blue quote… Overall, our goal is that you make the decision between whether to raid with 10 players or 25 players based on what you find fun and not because of the reward structure.

Of course there has already been a large amount of discussion on the subject, here is my 2 cents…

I like the whole idea of 10’s because you have a better chance of playing with the same people week in and out which improves the team as a whole. Now if your guild runs 3 10’s instead of 1 25 you might actually as a whole guild stay on pace with gearing up. That and you can have friendly competition within the guild between raids which could be fun.

I bet a lot of guilds ditch 25 honestly, even the better guilds are no where near some of the top world guilds cause they still carry at least a person or 2 in 25’s on any given night for whatever reason (connection, fps, stand in fire syndrome). Combine that as well with the better fps in 10’s and I think you see a lot of guilds switching it up at least in the beginning.

I would have thought Blizzard would at the very least kept special mounts (Mims Head for example) limited to 25’s… but if you really think about it that alone would still not make a difference. By the time a guild can farm Mims head they have moved on to another raid. So that alone is not a good enough reason to get 25 people to cast aside 10’s just so one… maybe 2 people in guild can get a special mount.

I think Blizzard will see more of what is already happening… dedicated 10’s and dedicated 25’s… the only difference is the difficulty in 10’s will not be from lesser gear and 25’s can’t dip into the 10’s pool and be successful from gear differences alone… a great change IMHO.

Couple this with little to no advantage in PvP from PvE gear with the new rated battlegrounds rewards and the changes to Resilience and it all makes sense.

Strong uber 25 man guilds will stay 25 to continue to compete with the same folks and against the same folks… this is more a Blizzard community thing than an in game thing. Other guilds not at the cutting edge of world progression will at least consider 10’s just to see if they can be more competitive in that bracket than they were in 25’s… or if anything else to have a friendly competition within the guild.

The bottom line is, if Blizzard can keep the difficulty the same across the 2 raid sizes, guilds should fair no better in progression than they do now… however, it might be easier to create a more successful synergy in 10’s in “non hard core” guilds which would lead to better progression.

If all guilds in Blizzard ditch 25’s… and are happy… you could see them doing away with larger raids altogether and sticking with 10’s going forward.

I guess people will now choose raiding sizes based on things like social factors and cpu performance than gear… I don’t see how that is a bad thing. Sure, if 24 of my best friends raided with me 3 nights a week without fail, my FPS was 60, and vent chatter with 25 was fun… I would raid 25’s… all things being the same why wouldn’t I? But if I only had 20 friends I could now be in a 10 progressing against my other friends 10 within the same guild and that in itself could be more fun than world or server progression.

Feel free to discuss more in comments…

How to keep having fun with an expansion looming.

So a little update…

My 10 man raiding has completely stalled as of the first week in April…. so we have dropped to 2nd on the server… /sigh. Our MT had to take a series of trips and now our OT is out of town as well… what can you do, RL crit us worse than Sindragosa.

Our 25 man raids have been hurting too… Spring Break… people looking ahead to the new expansion and playing less… bads… people jumping ship thinking it’s different for other guilds… same old, same old. 25’s is quickly on the way to getting fixed thanks to some hard work by 2 new officers in our guild and a blogger or two advertising beyond our website and trade chat. Looks like we are getting some real talent and people with good FPS and Latency.

So with raiding stalling like it has been here are some suggestions of things you can do in order to still enjoy playing WOW…

  • Achievements – I know this isn’t for everyone but they can be a ton of fun with friends or alone. Personally I am trying to get to 9K and I am 16 more 10pt achievements away. This leads to my 2nd suggestion…
  • PVP – As far as gear goes we have heard that rated battlegrounds are the thing of the future. Start getting good now and beefing up your PVP set and resilience. Queuing with friends (Premades) can be lots of fun and there are a lot of PVP related achievements to be had. PVP as feral is much better than it used to be. When you start off and don’t have PVP gear just burst down a caster… I recommend locks as an easy start, Pounce, Mangle, Shred, Berserk, Maim, Shred… just kill them. The key on that series on locks is Berserk so you won’t get feared away. Once you get comfortable start going after priests and shammies. Hunters are a little more challenging and I recommend putting mages last on your to kill order, especially those of a frost variety… let the DK’s kill them. Once you have a decent PVP gear set you will be able to do more than burst down an enemy in exchange for your life… something to look forward to. For some real good pro tips head over to Starmist, though most tips are for arena he has a lot of good PVP advise and some sweet video that can be a lot of help.
  • Farming mounts, pets, gold, and other fun stuff – A good place to start is Rarren’s blog where you can learn how to pimp your druid. If gold is your thing you better be selling now before everything becomes worthless after the expansion, head over to the Greedy Goblin for some tricks of the trade.
  • Level and gear alternative characters – You never know what an expansion will bring, have your other toons ready to go just in case druids are no longer fun. They took away tree form and boomkins got an invisible mushroom… I guess it can only get better. It also helps to learn other classes to better understand the game and lingo. It will improve your raiding and give you a PVP edge the more experience you have playing other classes so give it a try or a little bit of your time if it is something that sounds like fun.
  • Start a blog – We have lost quite a few druid bloggers and there are even less blogs of classes that don’t have pets for some reason. It can be a lot of fun learning how to create and design your website. Joining the Warcraft blogging community has other perks like helping new players, spreading good tips to experienced players to better represent our class, and even in some cases if you really contribute getting items in game named after you like the BRK-1000, Phaelia’s Vestments of the Sprouting Seeds, Astrylian’s Sutured Cinch, and Toskk’s Maximized Wristguards. Jacemora’s Helm of Reason anyone? Named after my lack of over theory crafting for just a few DPS here and there… ok, so maybe not…
  • Run 5 mans – With the new random system in place this can be a fine way to meet new people, possible new recruits, or just get a good laugh at the various noobs and crazies that also exist in our online world. You can also get emblems for PVP gear, second spec gear, or to buy and sell items for gold.

Anyway, that is just a start of some of the things you can do in game if raiding is slowing down.

Have fun!

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