One-Handed Weapons: A Death Knight Conundrum

21 10 2010

This has bugged me ever since I started Dual Wielding as a Death Knight. It still bugs me to this day. And it bugs me even more given the recent hullaballoo over simplifying stats and making sure each class has access to properly itemized gear. Changes in this vein include: all healers getting mana regeneration from spirit, reforging and the removal of ArP in favour of mastery (ArP was worth more to classes that did lots of physical damage compared to classes like Paladins and DKs whose rotations include magical damage). So what’s bugging me? Where are the one-handed weapons itemized for DKs?

Agility One Handers

Bad itemization, bad!

Oops. This post has been edited to reflect the truth

As excellent commenter Argon pointed out, not only can Fury Warriors also use one-handed DPS weapons again, but there are also a number of properly itemized one-handers for DKs and Fury Warriors that have popped up on Wowhead. So instead of deleting this post, which I considered, I’m going to turn it into a more positive one.

Thanks, Blizzard

Since 4.0.1 hit the servers, I’ve been noticing a lot of little things that just make life easier and more fun. So I thought I’d take this opportunity to give thanks.

  • ONE-HANDERS WITH DPS STATS AND STRENGTH! (Thanks again, Argon!)
  • General UI improvements (everything looks a lot prettier and is generally more elegant now, especially the spellbook)
  • Guild achievements and leveling
  • The amazing transformation of Haste and making it a useful, interesting stat for DKs (it’s really cool to have a stat that isn’t a straight DPS increase like most are)
  • The new glyph system

That’s all I can think of for now. There’s lots more. The only reason I didn’t include reforging in the list is because it’s just so complex and I have yet to wrap my brain around my feelings toward it.

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Does Anybody Really Enjoy Faction Champions?

31 10 2009

I don’t try to hide it. Whenever I down Jaraxxus, I sigh at the upcoming fight. I hate Faction Champions. I’d rather lose Eye of the Storm than do this encounter, which says a lot since I’m not a huge fan of PvP. I know there are a lot of other people who don’t like it (and some crazy weirdos who do) so I thought I’d compile a list of reasons why I don’t like it.

  1. Randomness. In very few other fights can you get gibbed so easily, especially while CC’d. I can break fear once every two minutes with my PvP trinket, but when I can’t break out? More often than not the melee champions start chasing me and kill me while I’m CC’d. Is there any other encoutner in Wrath where something so random can happen (and happens frequently)?
  2. I don’t get to DPS. I spend most of my time in heroic FCs casting Chains of Ice on the Death Knight and the Rogue to keep them off our casters. So basically I end up running around, away from the kill target, to cast Chains. That’s boring. It’s not the same as having a few interesting gimmick-things to do in an encounter, like switching essences in Twin Valks.
  3. It’s not PvP. One of the irritating things about this fight is that I would likely perform better if I used a PvP spec. Since it is a raid, and not a battleground, I find this to be something of a design flaw. I’m all for some off-the-wall talents being useful sometimes (like reduced Death Grip cooldown to help with Sparks on Malygos) but when it’s better to completely nuke your DPS in favour of a bit more survival? I’ll pass, thanks.
  4. Morale. I play on a PvE server, so there are a lot of people in my raid who just don’t like PvP. Whatever people say about FCs, it will always be a PvP encounter forced into a PvE situation to me. Again, this is bad design in my opinion. If anything, this is the kind of encounter that should be put behind a PvP barrier like Wintergrasp, since at least the flavour of PvP is retained. So when we do this fight, and half the raid is irritated even before we wipe, well, it just doesn’t help the raid’s morale.

So why don’t you like Faction Champions?





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.





Bitterness, Take 2

23 07 2009

I saw this post on MMO-Champion yesterday and to be honest it made me die a little inside. As you may know, the Glory of the Ulduar Raider (normal and heroic) reward Proto Drakes are not going the way of their predecessors come 3.2. While I don’t like it when Blizzard flipflops around on their policies, I have to support this change. I posted about a different kind of bitterness earlier, about the mount changes, and this is a pretty similar thing, except, in my opinion, for less reasonable reasons.

The bitterness over the Proto Drakes comes from people wanting their special item to be rare, whereas the hubbub over mounts and epic flying came from how much gold one had to spend on the stuff. Personally, when I see a fancy mount that I want, generally it’s because I think it’s prettier than my current mount and also adds some variety to what flying mount I want to use. How many other people have the mount rarely comes into play when I decide to work on a mount. I want the Glory of the Ulduar Raider achievement because it’s a symbol of mine and my guild’s hard work, not because very few others have it. I wish people would suck it up and not be so damn silly.

My progress in the meta-achievement

My progress in the meta-achievement





When You’re Not Raiding…

9 07 2009

Right now, I like raiding. Trying out a new spec has been fun and challenging, and I have to say I get great pleasure in topping the DPS charts. Unfortunately, when it’s not raid time, and my Argent Tournament dailies are finished for the day, I really don’t have anything I want to accomplish in WoW. I can level my Warrior alt (lvl 47 at the moment), but when I get alts to 80 they simply sit in Dalaran doing nothing. I don’t need gold – I’ve got around 13k and nothing really to do with it – or mats for gear. I have two PvE specs at the moment (Frost and Blood DPS) so attempting to do PvP means swapping glyphs and talent specs a whole lot more than I want to.

So now I find myself browsing WoW-related sites, blogs and forums in my free time rather than playing. Blogging helps a great deal, giving me a WoW-outlet when I’m not raiding. But aside from this, there are few solutions I can think of to make me want to play more. I could apply to a guild that raids more often, but that’s always a ton of work and I would dearly miss the great people in my current guild. I could simply give up playing outside of raids.

That guy who only shows up for raids...is he really there?

That guy who only shows up for raids...is he really there?

What worries me about this feeling I’ve been having is not just that the current content (excluding raids) is unsatisfying, but that I don’t know what content could be added to heighten my enjoyment of the non-raid aspects of WoW.  What does the new patch have? More dailies, things to buy from Champion’s Seals, a new raid and a new 5-man. I look forward to the new raid/instance content, but the rest of it is trivial. I’m not a collector of pets, mounts, or tabards. Flavour items don’t interest me much. So it’s not so much that the patch notes for 3.2 disappoint me because they lack things I would enjoy, but rather that I really have no idea what Blizzard could implement to make non-raid content appealing.

I wonder if I am simply bored of WoW (or the whole MMORPG thing in general) and will soon quit, or if there’s something out there that could re-pique my interest.





An Open Letter

2 07 2009

Dear people who say the game is being dumbed down,

Did you enjoy reading a quest, only to have it tell you to head “northeast?” Northeast is quite vague. Sometimes the directions weren’t very accurate, and more often than not you were looking for some small object on the ground. As someone who levelled long before mods like Questhelper and Carbonite existed, I can tell you that this is not very fun. I also recall not having a mount of any sort until level 40. Then at level 60 I never had enough gold (500 gold was a LOT back then, what with there being no daily quests and all) to buy an epic mount, so I ran around on a 60% mount for a long time.

South, eh?

South, eh?

Did you like when many classes really only had one role, even if their talent specs seemed like they should be able to do more than one? Like when a Druid’s 31-point balance talent was Hurricane, on a 1-minute cooldown? And when tier sets for Druids, Priests, Paladins and Shamans were simply healing sets (which sometimes had strength on them for Paladins)? Do you remember not having dual specs, when you had to pay 50 gold if you wanted to do some PvP or tank/heal something?

How about when you didn’t get tier loot through tokens that multiple classes shared, but rather simply having the items drop, like Vault today? When pets and mounts took up room in your inventory? Do you remember questing in Blade’s Edge and Netherstorm without a flying mount? When the auction houses weren’t linked? When you could only fly from one FP to the next, and having to buy a new gryphon at each stop? When every raid needed as many Shamans as possible, lots of Shadow Priests, and many specs/classes were basically left out to rot?

Did you also know that a lot of MMOs have severe penalties for death, like XP loss, item loss, or any number of other things?

Do you remember how much these things SUCKED? I guess not.

I applaud Blizzard for doing their best to streamline what are the grindiest parts of the game while working to provide new raid content that satisfies people. Also, have you possibly noticed that the hardcore guilds like Ensidia are still here? When Naxx came out, and they cleared it within days (hours? I don’t recall), they stuck around. Blizzard may not be doing everything perfectly, but they’re doing a lot right.





What Is And What Should Never Be

30 06 2009

What? That’s the name of a Zeppelin song? I totally had no idea.

ANYWAYS. I want to rant about the whole idea of a “hero” class. In my opinion, this should be a lore-only aspect of Death Knights. In no way should players expect DKs to be better or somehow above class balance as Blizzard sees it. I see the hero class as being different in that they have a specific storyline. All Death Knights began when they defected from the Scourge to join either the Horde or the Alliance, so in a way they are heroes where most other adventurers are simply folks who picked up a sword and started killing boars for their livers. They also start at level 55 instead of 1, which should really be the only in-game difference between hero classes and standard classes.

We should NOT be (by design) more powerful than any other class. Obviously Blizzard doesn’t always know what’s OP and what’s not when they release a patch, which leads to either nerfs or tuning. I’m not saying I agree with every nerf or buff that a class receives (why is Frost being nerfed when Blood has better single-target damage?), but the ultimate goal of class balance should be exactly that: balance.

Telling people to suck it up and live with DKs being superior is not going to happen. Ever. And it shouldn’t. We’re already unique in that we have runes and RP (though the mechanic is similar to energy/combo points) and a very different set up of our talent trees that allows all 3 to tank and DPS (but Blood is still terrible in PvP). I personally think calling DKs a hero class in the first place was a bit of a mistake on Blizzard’s part. It inevitably comes up when people whine about nerfing DKs (warranted nerfs or not) and gives no real benefit to the class as a whole. We’re still really cool, hero class or no.