Archive for the “endgame” Category

Yes, another post already!

I don’t think I worded my last post the way I wanted to. I knew it was kind of a wonky post as I was writing it but then I hit “Publish” anyway. Ah well. The ultimate point that I was trying to make is that for a player like me, the current rep system works, but what may work for me probably does not work for everyone. Furthermore I was trying to point out that, well, dailies have always been boring.

This is why we should fix the system entirely. Screw bandaid fixes. The whole idea of dailies needs to be scrapped, as far as I’m concerned. We need to come up with something new. I’m not sure what, though.

That’s where you come in.

The magic question is: how do we go about making a system that is okay for all tiers of players and also not boring? Or should we get rid of “gates” like that entirely?

What do you think?

Let’s fix this.

Comments 8 Comments »

I’ve mostly been taking Mists of Pandaria nice and slow, as the pandaren themselves like to say. I’ve been inching my way through dailies and doing a couple of scenarios here and there and doing old content for transmog and unsuccessfully trying to convince myself that I don’t roleplay. *cough* I haven’t really focused on gearing or anything because I can always do that later, right?

Today, though, Mister Adequate and I tossed ourselves into a heroic just for fun. And we wound up with a Grade A Jerkball Healer who enjoyed telling us that we were the “worst DPS this expac” and other things even though there were no wipes or major issues. He also then promptly needed on things that he did not need and which would have been upgrades for Mister Adequate (Jerkball won the rolls, of course). Yes because obviously that’s how you help lower-geared players gear up! Nice logic there, broseph!

Anyways, then it got me wondering. Was I doing anything wrong? I knew my own DPS was low, but I figured it was just my gear. I can still hunter, right? I have been huntering since 2007, after all. Perhaps I had lost my magic touch? Perhaps I should hang up the gun right there and retire from Massive Quantities of Sustained Ranged DPS forever?

Suddenly I had to find out.

I rushed off to the nearest training dummy and pounded away on it for about five minutes. I carefully weaved my shots and timed my cooldowns and watched my procs and my DoTs. Then I took careful note of Recount, and rushed off to a place I literally have not been to since I was raiding in early Wrath of the Lich King: FemaleDwarf.com, the Hunter DPS analyzer.

I loaded in my Armory, set my shots the way I was doing them, and hit “Update DPS”



Well, what do you know.

My recount is within ten DPS of what FemaleDwarf was telling me was my theoretical high.

Huh.

So I can still hunter.

Something clicked inside me. I need to show all these jerkball PuGs exactly what the Worst DPS This Expac can do.

So I ran to the auction house. I spent about 5000g on every available MoP hunter enchant. I enchanted blues and greens; I didn’t care. Everything got enchanted. Then I bought a bunch of flasks. Then I went back to the training dummies.

My DPS has gone through the roof.

It’s time.

No More Mister Nice Pike.

Tomorrow everything gets reforged. It’s going to be beautiful.

Comments 7 Comments »

I recently had a comment left asking a question similar to “Is Beast Mastery viable in a casual ten-man Naxx raid?”

The answer is yes, yes, and very yes.

Because I did it once a week for a good few months, and heck, this was before pets had Wild Hunt and Shark Attack available– good ol’ post-nerfs but pre-3.1 Beast Mastery. (Then my Naxx group disintegrated and scientists are still baffled about it. True story.)

Anyways, I would hit 3800 or so on Patchwerk and slightly less on other bosses (Loatheb being the exception of course). Occasionally some rogue would pop out of nowhere and get 4000 and snag “First Place on Recount” from me but I can’t recall ever being worse than second.

If that isn’t viable enough for a “causal ten-man Naxx”, then I dunno what is!

WoW_PatchwerkShotBreakdownEdit

Of course, Beast Mastery is kinda touchy. Because it does the lowest DPS currently of all three hunter specs, it can be difficult to coax DPS out of it. Here is my advice to you:

Spec:

Have a viable spec. By viable I don’t mean “zomg most top DPS evar, no exceptions!” so much as a spec that isn’t just darts thrown at your talent tree. Back when I first began doing weekly Naxx runs, I was 53/18/0 and I did very well. I respec’d to 53/11/7 and did better, and I’m currently running with 54/12/5 which does the highest spreadsheet DPS in a 25man at the cost of slightly lower DPS in five-mans, as compared to 53/11/7. Both would get you roughly similar numbers in a ten-man. All of these three specs are good, as are specs that are very similar. See which one works best for you.

WoW_Arachnophobia

Glyphs/Rotation:

These go hand in hand together especially for us Beast Masters. You want at least Glyph of Bestial Wrath and Glyph of Steady Shot. Once you have these, your rotation is Bestial Wrath (when available) -> Kill Shot (when available) -> Arcane Shot -> Multishot -> Serpent Sting (when it needs to be refreshed) -> Steady Shot. Use Kill Command and Rapid Fire when they are up, as well. Kill Command works especially nicely in conjunction with Bestial Wrath.

A quick word on Multishot: I used to tell people to only use it when you have mana replenishment, however, I’ve been playing around with Zeherah’s Hunter DPS Analyzer (I am in love with it) and discovered that you should always use Multishot when you can.

I also used aforementioned website to try talenting into Aimed Shot, snagging the Glyph of Aimed Shot, and using that in place of Multishot. While the resulting numbers weren’t bad per se, they were still a fairly moderate DPS loss as opposed to spec’ing something like 53/11/7 and just using Multishot. So, that is that!

You will notice that I haven’t mentioned a must-have third glyph; you have a couple options here. Kill Shot, Hawk, and Serpent Sting are all viable ones. I get the best results with Serpent Sting myself: less having to refresh Serpent Sting, more time to do other shots!

WoW_TawynGoesRawr

Pet:

I still say you should use what you love when it comes to pets ^_^ however, Devilsaurs are the proven top DPS pet for Beast Masters at the moment. Raptors and Wolves are fairly close behind; I think Raptors edge ahead of Wolves a bit. Cats, Moths, Spirit Beasts, etc. aren’t bad options either, although they aren’t in the “Top Three”.

The important thing when it comes to pets is to have them spec’d for pewpew!

Following these simple steps will have you more than ready to conquer Naxx10 with a Big Red Pet. How viable is it for other, bigger raids, you may ask? Well, I’ve done OS25, VoA25, and a good portion of Naxx25 as BM and performed rather nicely. You may not be #1 on damage but you will be pulling your weight. As for Ulduar, well, I’ve no idea how you’d do in there, although there are some Beast Master hunters on my blogroll who are in Ulduar and are doing very well. There’s also a thread on Mania’s Forums dedicated to studying Beast Master DPS in Ulduar.

Oh, and did I mention this screenshot of the EU first kill of Yogg-Saron with no keepers? Notice the devilsaur in the picture and the little Ferocious Inspiration icon in the corner? It made me very happy to see that. To be fair, from what I understand, it’s largely because the mechanics of the fight favor DoTs, and your pet is essentially a very large DoT. Still, it’s proof that there is a time and place for Beast Mastery even among the best of the best.

In closing: If you wanna be a Beast Master, be a Beast Master. Most of us aren’t in the hardest of the hardcore raiding guilds and we can get away with it quite nicely! Bestial Wrath away, my friends.

WoW_KTAfter

Comments 35 Comments »

World of Warcraft is an interesting creature.

It is, of course, an MMORPG– “Massively Multiplayer” being the first two words in that acronym. And yet if you want, you can go through much of the game without really dealing with too many people. That’s what I did. Oh sure, there’s other people you can interact with and there’s a living breathing economy, much like on Neopets which is what I played pre-WoW. But you can level to 70 basically without any outside help.

When I was level 19 or 20 or so, I did Deadmines because somebody told me I should. It was my first ever instance, people were impatient with me (to be fair I was the worst hunter of all time at this point– pet on aggressive and immolation trap for the win) and the whole experience really left a negative impression on me and after that, with the exception of a few run-throughs by higher-level friends, I hardly did any instancing at all until I hit Outlands.

And this is where it started to get interesting, because this is where our guild really started to grow and we started to do stuff together. Our little Karazhan group that we have now has been running stuff together since Hellfire Ramparts– heck, a few of us have been running together since Zul’Farrak. But for the most part, we went through Outlands together, running instances as we encountered them and sort of learning together. This has culminated in what I think is a very solid group of people who know how to work efficiently as a team.

So you’d think the level 70 endgame would be a breeze right?

Well, it takes a lot of work that really hadn’t occurred to me beforehand, simply because I’ve never played an MMO with situations like this before. Karazhan is a ten-man raid that takes quite some time to do if you’re still learning it. So it’s a pretty big time commitment. And it’s really hard to sync up the schedules of so many different people, most of whom have school or work or even the military going on in their real lives. And it just so happens that as a guild officer, I am now in charge of trying to plan this and get it together, and keep everybody happy.

It’s a little bit stressful and it pushes me out of my comfort zone, and I have to admit it had me worried for a while. Had WoW finally turned into a job? Was I breaking my own “it’s a game” rule by continuing to play?

But I’ve been thinking about it and I’ve decided– WoW isn’t just any ol’ game. It is an MMORPG as I said at the beginning of my post. It has plenty of solo content, but if you want to really, truly unlock the “massively multiplayer” portion of it, it’s going to take some work because other people are involved, not just you. But that, I think, is part of what makes endgame so rewarding.

It’s not everybody’s thing, and that’s quite okay. In fact, as I even told my boyfriend the other day… “Sometimes I catch myself wishing that I could just go back to when all I had to worry about was how many kobolds I had left to kill.” But in the end, as much as I do truly love the solo content of the game and the leveling (hence all the alts), I also love running instances and raids with my friends. And to experience that, you’ve got to be willing to put in a little effort… more than you might initially expect.

And that, in a nutshell, is why I’ve been a little scarce these past couple of weeks. Because I had to take a little break to sort of define the game in my head and decide if the sudden new “work” aspect of the game that jumped on me without warning was justified. I’ve decided it is.

As is running into Orgrimmar with a couple buddies when you’re bored, just to see if you can actually hit Thrall once before dying:

I think I got in a single Arcane Shot. It was epic.

Comments 8 Comments »

Faeldray and Nina have both written very interesting articles lately about why they love the leveling process and are in no rush at all to get to 70.

My main response is both a very emphatic “Good for you guys!” and “I agree!” I have long been a proponent of “the game is here for fun” attitude; I’ve encountered way too many people who have made it a job or some sort of contest for weird bragging rights over who has leveled the “hardest class” with the “hardest spec” on the most “hardcore server”. There are people in my guild who enjoy running old-world dungeons like Scholomance for the experience (and not as in the “point” kind) and the fun of it. We’ve been accused before of being “noobs” for not exclusively running Outlands stuff instead. We shrug it off because we’re having fun. I’ve had people tell me that having an “easy-mode hunter” on a non-PvP server invalidates my skill in a the game or my hard work in getting to 70. I shrug it off because I love hunters and because honestly, if you think the type of server I play on in a video game determines my status as a person, then I’m not the one with issues. =P But the point remains that you will always encounter people like that who poke fun at your experience.

My mantra, which has been my mantra basically since I started playing, is this: Don’t let other people ruin your enjoyment of the game. I often find I have to repeat this to myself when I’m encountering others who are like this, or people who are being stalkery or overly-dramatic, or whatever. You choose to have fun when you play WoW. Don’t let others choose it for you.

Anyways, now that I’ve got that out of the way. As somebody who also really enjoys exploring the game world (it’s been posted on my blog sidebar since day one!) and who loved, and still loves, the whole solo’ing, quest’ing, and tons-of-alts thing, I have been inspired to write about why I’m rather enjoying the level 70 endgame. Because for the longest time, I didn’t think I would. I remember thinking “Oh man. I don’t want to get to 70. There’s nothing really to do at 70 except instances and PvP.” As I got closer to 70, I started learning more and more things that you could do, but I was still a little leery about it. However, now that I’m here, I’m quite loving it. Is it a different sort of game? Yes. But that’s why I enjoy it so much.

A few things I really like about being level 70:

1.) New Goals: One of the things I like about questing and leveling is being able to feel that thrill of getting closer and closer to your level and then, ding! The bright golden flash and you’ve met your goal. I love that build-up of progression and reward. For a long time I was afraid that I would really miss that once I hit 70. But the truth is, it’s still there. It’s just in a different form. You have trade skills to work up. You have reputation to build up so you can get fun new things. If you like PvP, you have honor to work for so you can also get fun new things. If you like exploring, there are neat areas in Outlands that you can only get to via flying mount. You have awesome new quest lines that only open up once you hit 70. Heck, I’ve still got hundreds of quests left to do– good old fashioned solo’able quests– I was certain there wouldn’t be anymore of those once I hit 70 but I was quite wrong.

So many goals to set!! I love it. To be honest sometimes I’m overwhelmed with all I want to do with Tawyn but then I remember I’ve got plenty of time. I want to relax and enjoy the “Endgame ride” the same way I enjoyed the “leveling ride”.

2.) Class Variety: And an Even Better Enjoyment of Alts: Bear with me on this one because it sounds kind of weird. Basically, here’s the deal. I don’t know how it is with other classes, but with hunters, the mechanics of how the class is played in PvE change dramatically once you hit level 62 and get Steady Shot. As the levels continue to go by and you get Kill Command and Aspect of the Viper and (to a lesser degree) Misdirection and Snake Trap, the mechanics continue to change until eventually you are playing your hunter entirely different. I’m not exaggerating when I say that if you took level-60-Tawyn and lined her up besides level-70-Tawyn and asked them each to kill a mob… after the initial Hunter’s Mark/Pet Attack, these two hunters would be played entirely differently. Different shots. Different shot rotation. Different timing. And possibly a different method of holding aggro on the pet. Furthermore, if you were to inspect the gear of these two hunters, you would even see some differences in what each one is “focusing” on, in terms of stats.

“What does this have to do with anything, Pike?” I hear you asking. Well, here’s the thing. Pre-level-62 hunters and Post-level-62 hunters are so differently played that it’s almost, but not quite, like playing another class. I’m sure most of you know by now that I can really only play hunters. I would like to be able to mess around with other classes, but they just don’t feel homey and cozy enough to be a good fit and I end up coming “home” to my hunters. But with the differences between an old-world-hunter and an Outlands-hunter, I can experiment with two different types of playstyles, almost two different classes… both of which still possess that wonderful familiarity of hunterness.

My alts are even more ridiculously fun to play now than they ever were. Why? Because I love being able to jump between two playstyles of hunter like that. I love being able to hop from Tawyn to Lunapike and I love the fact that they are played differently. It’s interesting and fun. And what I’ve learned (or re-discovered) on one lends itself beautifully to the other. Once Lunapike hits 62 I’ll start focusing on another hunter (alongside my original two of course), because I always want to have one that is in those lower-levels, so I can always have that “bounce” going on.

3.) The people: I’ve never really been too much of a “people person”. Oh I love my friends, but I was always one of those shy-loner types who really hated doing, say, group projects in school. I think this is a big reason why for a long time I shied away from doing group quests and instances in WoW. (The other reason was that people in PuGs tended to yell at me when I was a newbie, and that made a really big negative impression on me.)

But I can’t say enough good things about the people I have met in this game. I have made some great new friends through my guild and through “sister guilds”. We all do instances together not just for “phat lewts”, but because we enjoy doing it as a social activity. It’s fun to all work together for some common goal, knowing that we will be immediately forgiven if we make a mistake or are still learning.

Our guild recently decided we want to give raiding a shot. Why? Because we know how well we work together in five-mans and how much fun we have. We just want to try bumping it up a bit in intensity level. If we fail, that’s okay. We’re trying in a safe environment– that is, with good friends– and in the end we all just want to have a good time… that’s the whole point of the game.

So… there you have it. The confessions of a girl who initially figured she would have absolutely nothing to do at endgame and has been proven wrong. Now, I’m not say

ing that any of you will have the same experience as me. Nor am I saying it’s bad if you end up not liking leveling, or not liking endgame (I’ve met people who have tried both and strongly favor one or the other.) The main reason I wanted to post this, was to give newer-WoW-players who are maybe somewhat like me, a look at what types of neat things they can expect at endgame when all they ever hear about are the hardcore arena-people or 25-man-raiders. Level 70 is not just for those people, and don’t let anybody tell you that is. You play the game the way you want to play it. The way it is most fun for you. If going into instances and doing the highest DPS gives you your kicks, then do it. If sitting in the warm sun at Ratchet and going fishing is your thing, that is a just as valid a way to spend your $15 a month. And don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. =D

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