Onyxia and the Raiding Doldrums

16 09 2009

Ulduar has been out basically forever. Trial of the Crusader and its heroic modes are…well, not really the most exciting raids ever. I still think that a tournament was one of the worst ideas for a raid, regardless of the lore reasons. A whole raid in one room is simply not as interesting as a place like Ulduar was when it first came out.

As well, the normal modes of most ToC fights are basically jokes. Compared to Ulduar, where fights like Mimiron and Yogg-Saron actually required some solid playing to down. So how does this tie into Onyxia? 3.2.2 – I think – should be skipped. I know it’s mostly for the 5th anniversary of WoW, but I can’t help feeling like it’s only going to make Icecrown feel further away.

Some raiders I know are sort of in autopilot these days and I can’t blame them. Ulduar after months and months is pretty boring and ToC isn’t much better. Icecrown is supposed to be the saving grace of an expansion that’s had its fair share of rocky moments, but we have to get through 3.2.2 first. Personally, I couldn’t give two shits about Onyxia coming back. Some are excited, but remember how many people liked Naxx after a few months?

At this point, I really just want to see Icecrown. Enough of raids that only tangentially involve Arthas or are easy/boring. What’s keeping me playing isn’t the current content but what’s on the horizon: Cataclysm and Icecrown.

A Bloody (Well-Deserved?) Nerf

12 09 2009

If you haven’t heard, Blood is getting a bit of a nerf in 3.2.2. This is the proposed change: “Heart Strike: Secondary targets of Heart Strike now take half as much damage.” (source) The reasoning, apparently, is that we shouldn’t be able to do extremely good AoE damage without somehow losing out on single-target DPS.

While I, like anyone else, dislike getting nerfed, I agree with this philosophy. One discrepancy that bothers me is the case of Ret Paladins. In their regular rotation they use two powerful AoE moves, Divine Storm and Consecration. If there are 3-4 targets around, Ret Pally AoE begins to really outshine DK DPS without even having to break from regular rotation. DKs currently still have to use Pestilence to spread diseases in order to make AoE truly effective, so the reasoning is a bit fuzzy to me.

I wonder, though, if we deserve some other way to boost DPS in place of this nerf? Blood has pretty bad AoE damage (especially with the nerf). The best suggestion I saw was something on the EJ forums: that Blood Strike should get an AoE component through a talent deep in the Blood tree. That way in order to do AoE DPS, we’d have to sacrifice some single-target damage to get more cleave.

Making a change like this allows for more choices to be made during Blood DPS, akin to the way Frost works. That’s the one thing I think Blood is really missing. Aside from cooldowns, the Blood rotation is very set in stone which makes it a bit less fun to play with.

Faulty Thinking And The Armor Penetration Nerf

5 09 2009

In a recent blue post, Ghostcrawler stated that the ArPen nerf going live in 3.2.2 (on PTR now) was intentional. He claims the reason for this nerf is that people were focusing on ArPen at the expense of all other stats. So it needed to be nerfed to make sure that melee DPS and MM hunters wanted other stats.

Does anyone else see the faulty thinking involved? Ever since I hit 80, I’ve been gemming pretty much purely for Strength at the cost of socket bonuses and other stats. As it stands now, especially with the ArPen nerf, Strength eclipses Crit, Haste, and ArPen. So why are they nerfing ArPen as opposed to buffing Haste and Crit to make them valuable stats for DKs?

Instead of avoiding gear without ArPen, as GC stated was the case, I often find myself choosing gear with sockets and caring very little about the stats, be they Haste, Crit or ArPen. How is that any better? I’d prefer it if they were useful rather than simply stuff that isn’t Strength on gear. That’s what I like about my Mage – Crit and Haste are both valuable stats, which makes gearing choices a bit more interesting than simply taking whatever has the most Intellect, or whatever it might be.

The only gems that matter

The only gems that matter

Onyxia: Redux

13 08 2009

I like Onyxia as much as the next old-school raider, but this feels really lazy. In the wake of a raid instance with one room and some bosses, why is Blizzard resurrecting old raid bosses again? First there was an updated (and severely dumbed down) Naxx, and now a dragon whose head has hung in Stormwind, whose storyline is pretty much done?

Blue poster Zarhym has claimed that the mechanics will be updated to fit with “modern” raiding. The problem with this, whether or not the encounter turns out to be fun and challenging, is that there is no need for another semi-connected one-boss instance in WotLK. We’ve already had Malygos and Sartharion (and Ulduar, which was equally disconnected from Arthas and co.). If they are going to introduce more bosses, I want them to be undead – something that the Lich King throws at us to show he’s still actually around.

So Blizzard: enough recycling content. There’s plenty of interesting material going on that’s actually in Northrend and hasn’t been done to death (literally) already, so tap into that stuff and leave Onyxia where she belongs – in the grave. (I know it’s too late for this wish, but ranting is better than nothing.)


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