Monday, December 13, 2010

Cataclysmic Week

No, the week was not a catastrophe for Hine.
Ironic, that Azeroth's loss has been our gain.
Regardless, the past week has been one of entering new territory, seeing it, and conquering it (and being conquered, over and over).

No, I didn't blog this week, the first week of Cataclysm, I played the game.
A lot.
I will plan to write a bit about leveling a DK in the near future. Suffice it to say for now that
1) leveling as Frost works like a charm. I'm sure it would generally be just fine as Unholy, less so as Blood but still feasible.
2) While predictions were as low as 9 hours for leveling to 85, without the benefit of being in the beta, a more reasonable estimate for most folks is probably in the ballpark of 20-24 hours. With rest and less bottlenecking it may be shorter.

I did, however, post in various forums about my experiences. So, I decided to paste a few of them here to give you a few reflections on the Cataclysm experience so far.

WARNING: There are some very minor spoilers in here. I'll try to keep them to somewhat of a minimum, or at least cryptic, but if you don't want to know anything about what's ahead, don't read. :)

On the question of How goes the leveling? (late Tuesday):
"I did NOT get any server firsts, as my lack of beta access clearly bit me in the butt from the start. The bottleneck quests in Hyjal quickly became a nightmare as dozens camped specific spawns, and then in Deepholme, when I simply couldn't figure out a few quests. In any case, once I relaxed I had a good time, hit 85 4th for DKs on the server and messed around with professions. Made about 18k from mining so far, hope to finish up about 30-40k more before I start my own JC leveling.
The zones are beautiful, and I thought the questing in Uldum was superb. TwiHi wasn't as bad as many said (in terms of mobs hitting hard) and almost all of my gear was replaced by 85 (only things left are helm and Shadowmourne). Awesome trinkets from quests. I though Hyjal was too bottlenecked for release, and Vashj is pretty but slow and too distracted (side quests all over). As good as it is, Uldum could be renamed 'cut scene zone.'

I've done almost all the 5-mans and they're a blast.

Hope you're all having fun. Good night!"

"Cindermaul was an example of a quest that should never, never, never be repeated.

I was stuck for 45 min on that one despite the fact that I was in a 5-man the whole time.

We got fed up of being ganked by hordies after the first 5 min and enjoyed killing the 'top' guild over and over and over after that.

By the way, on that and several like it, aoe does not tag the mob. After we finally figured it out, I macroed the mob name and howling blasted like a mother and got that one and the next pretty fast."

On the guild leveling issues:
"Fun in't it?

We had our guild xp reset several times, so we've made level 2 at least three times, only to get it put back to 1. ;("
On the difficulty of Cataclysm heroics:
"Pugging can be pretty rough. I don't think I've fully completed a heroic in a full pug. It can certainly be frustrating to spend 2-4 hours wiping over and over on a 5 man boss!

This is where we say be careful what we ask for!
We asked for more difficult content. We asked for cc to count. We asked for non-faceroll challenges, and here we go.
Even the lowest level of multiplayer content is now challenging. In current gear. It will be faceroll easy very soon for raiders.
OTOH, I personally have found them quite refreshing and enjoyable. I've heard and even said a few times that many of the 5-man bosses actually have raid-like mechanics and require players to actually utilize raid-like strategies and awareness. It's been great learning these. I've completed almost all of them on heroic now - as I said, always with at least one guildie with me - and it's been a blast.
If you do have trouble with a specific fight and don't want to read forums or wikis, feel free to post and I'll help when I can."
On the 'New Healing' (in which the OP expressed frustration in general but also that dps that don't self-heal may not get heals from him/her):
"Early early early.

I've already notice regular 5-mans getting easier. I think it will be a pretty fast progression to heroics being easymode too.

Just like dps, where so far I'm barely cracking 10k in 5-mans (and no dps I've been with has). Our crit is horrid, we aren't hit capped, etc. These things will ramp up really really quickly and at least in 5-mans, mana will be less of an issue fast. In raids? It will/should (I hope) take a little more time.
As a dps, I have to take issue with your assessment though. You obviously have to triage, but forcing dps to self heal - except in emergencies - is a waste of our resources. My self heal is a rather weak death strike. Even 'per mana' your heals are far far more efficient. My assessment would be: don't try to keep dps topped off (try to keep them alive) If they pull aggro or don't avoid damage they should be avoiding - then let them die. Of course, if you're oom, then of course you have to self heal and tank heal first, but don't simply refuse to heal dps if they 'aren't' self-healing...."
"I know Xxxx wasn't saying he wouldn't heal dps.

And I'm not advocating healing stupid.

Just tonight, while healing Throne (on my shammy), the same hunter stood in green three times.

I didn't heal him the third time.

Yes, healers are having to smite/shock/whatever to have the best mana management right now. And it's hard.

So dps need to not make it more difficult.

I should leave it at that, but I won't.

Saying dps self-healing is the cutting edge? Not really. You know that I do what I can to mitigate damage. Like knowing when to ams and running out, etc. But a Death Strike, just one, fucks me for the rest of the fight by throwing off rune pairs. It's a really really crappy heal, and it's going to make the whole fight last longer (oooh, and require more healing/mana from the healers) because my dps will drop significantly. That's the opposite of the current game mechanics that require a healer to dps to be effective. If I self heal, I'm drastically decreasing my effectiveness over the fight.

Does that mean you won't see DS on my logs? By no means. I'm well aware of the correct order of things. If the whole group is low and about to die, healer self-heal, then tank, then dps. SO I'll bandage, DS, or whatever I can. Don't worry. And of course I'm well aware of dead dps don't. So I prefer to dps by staying alive, just that self-healing is really truly only an emergency thing to do for dps, while dps is part of the current plan for healers."

On our log of Blackrock raid (we did kill the Tol Barad boss earlier):
"I looked over the logs last night and quickly noted a few things:

1) dps is decent. Could be a little better but already on target.

2) Players in general lasted reasonably long into the encounter, particular in the latter half of our 23 recorded attempts, but at that point healers often tended to be the first to die. Not sure what to think of that.

3) Interrupts of the arcane dude are crucial and we did much better on that. However, every dps that can interrupt, should. I saw zero interrupts from one of our shammies.

4) I personally took a lot of damage (behind the tanks), but I lasted long enough, often to tank a boss for a few seconds and had only one bad death in the last 10 attempts. But I will still look at taking less damage.

5) I think we can still do better with that aoe fire attack from magnotron - trying to keep him still and all players finding the safe 'lanes' to sit in.

side note: I love the trinket (I got the boe epic Fury of Angerforge), but until it's fixed it's probably not better than the blue trink I had before. Even going back to dual-wielding didn't seem to help much. I commented on wowhead about this under 'Hirohubris.'"

All in all, a fantastic week!
More to follow. ;)


  1. Hola! Saw your comment back on my blog, thought I'd drop a link to some DK female worgen art you were looking for . . .

  2. Thanks again, huzzah! I'll definitely have to check that out (that is, when I'm not at work) :P


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