Shoveling snow. Stanis never thought that when he and Gerald signed up for the Argent Crusade his days would be filled with this menial task.
We'll see the world, Gerald had said.
We'll be great heroes, Gerald had said.
On the outskirts of the Argent Tournament Grounds, in northeastern Icecrown, Stanis worked alongside a half dozen other knights as they cleared a bank of snow. A pile of fresh lumber to build new Bolvar Fordragon Memorial training facility sat in a neat pile nearby. At any time Highlord Tirion Fordring would arrive to check on the progress.
Stanis leaned on his shovel. Here he stood, on the roof of the world, as it passed him by.
With the Lich King defeated, the Scourge had become almost sedate. They could still deadly if provoked as poor Gerald had learned the hard way on their patrol three months ago.
The new recruits from Hearthglen told of great gains being made against the scourge, but also of the terrible carnage of Deathwing's Cataclysm. The last group of recruits brought stories of newly discovered land, once enshrouded in mists. The Horde and the Alliance warred over the new land as they did over everything else on Azeroth.
Stanis glanced down the line at a Troll wearing the Agent Crusade's tabard. The Crusade had no interest in their war.
The bell on the mess hall rang. Stanis wiped his brow and decided to take one last shovelful before dinner.
With a clang, his shovel reverberated in his hands as it hit something hard. Bending down, Stanis brushed the snow away from the object.
His hand trembled and he shot straight up.
"Call High Crusader Adelard! Quickly!"
# # # # # #
Two years earlier
Kabed Bronzebeard, known to his friends and comrades by the call sign Honor's Hammer, banked his bronze drake north toward the newly built Argent Tournament Grounds. Highlord Tirion Fordring had called for a gathering of heroes right on the Lich King's doorstep. Honors and his team, fresh off their victory over the Old god, Yogg Saron, had nothing to prove. They had ended a long list of evils and tyrants in their time together. They didn't need to jump through any hoops for Tirion Fordring. Still, they answered the call, just like they always did.
A shadow blocked out the afternoon sun interrupting Honors thoughts. He looked up expecting to see the Skybreaker, but instead drew in a quick breath as he recognized the silhouette of a Frost Wrym - the largest of its kind he had ever seen.
He had dealt with them before. Most recently, Saffiron in Naxxrammus. But that had been with the backing of his entire team. Honors directed his bronze drake toward the mountains hoping to avoid detection.
He checked the position of the Frost Wrym again. It banked around and dove toward him.
Failure. He had been spotted!
Honors drove his spurs into the drake's side begging for more speed. A high pitched shrieked filled the sky followed by the sound of rushing wind. Tiny shards of ice pelted him as the impact of the Frost Wryms icy breath crashed against the back of his drake.
He reached a hand down to the neck of his drake, "Steady girl," his voice creaked. Her wings had already gone slack. Wind rushed by pinning him to the saddle.
The ground came at him quickly. Calling on the Light, he surrounded himself in a golden shell of protection as the dragon slammed into the soft snow.
He blinked twice and took a quick inventory. Nothing seemed broken, and he could still breath. The Light had protected him.
The snow and ice entombed him. He could barely move, and already the chill seeped through his armor and into his old bones. He tried to dig out, but fresh snow and ice filled in every crevice he created. Drowsiness worked its way into him. He fought it as long as he could, but slowly he felt his will to keep conscious slipping. In one final act, he forced his body to turn to stone. That should keep him alive long enough for the search party to arrive.
# # # # #
You could smell the Great Forge from anywhere in Ironforge. It smelled like home.
Honors found himself lying on a stone table, wearing some sort of cloth robe. The aroma of the Great Forge was no distant memory. It was present and real.
He opened his eyes and looked around. He recognized the bluish stonework inlaid with turquoise - the Mystic Ward. How many years had he walked these halls during his training.
But something felt wrong. Hadn't he been in Northrend?
Memories flashed through his mind. The Tournament. The Frost Wrym. Falling. The Cold.
More questions followed, and the hairs on the back of his neck prickled as he considered them. How had he gotten back to Ironforge? What had happened to his gear?
Honors hoped off the stone table and tried to open the door.
His unease turned to anger. He summoned the power of the Light and directed it into the door.
Nothing happened. The door had some sort of magical protections. Honors had seen enough. Even though he knew it would be fruitless he rammed his shoulder into the door. It didn't even budge.
He searched around for a menas of escape when he heard the footfalls of someone approaching. He scrambled back to the table.
A few moments later, a pink haired gnome entered with a tray of food and drinks.
"Oh good, you're awake!"
"Don't you worry one little bit," she said putting the tray down next to his table, "we'll make sure you get all your effects just as soon as the High Priest checks you out."
Honors glanced at the door. The gnome had left it slightly ajar. Despite the growling from his stomach, he bolted for the door.
"WAIT!" the gnome yelled after him.
He cleared the Hall of Mysteries, his heart pounding a rapid cadence. His intuition proved correct. Something was wrong. Just across the way he spotted two soot colored dwarfs. Dark Irons! Here in Ironforge! They didn't appear to be in combat, and none of the other drawves around them raised an alarm.
What in the name of the Light is going on here?
He prayed to the Light for the might to take on these usurpers even without his weapons. Raising his fist in the air, and letting loose with a battle cry, he charged.
The two Dark Irons looked at him with a mix of shock and fear, but just as he reached them, he felt a sudden pain in his side. An arrow had lodged itself in his gut.
Thanks for the weapon.
Honors pulled the arrow free and spun it in his hands. He raised it to strike the Dark Iron, but his arm went limp. He knew immediately what had happened. Wyvern Sting! His whole body relaxed and though he tried to fight it, sleep took him and the world faded to black.
# # # # # # #
In the Stonefire Tavern, Honors sat across the table from SI:7 agent Sully McLeary working on his third flagon of mead. It had been just a few hours since his encounter with the Dark Irons. Sully had explained to him just how much had changed in the two years since he had crashed into the ice near the Argent Tournament. The world as he had known it was gone. Arthas defeated, a Cataclysm that remade most of Azeroth, the Hour of Twilight, King Magni turned to a crystaline statue, the Council of Three Hammers, and now the discovery of a new land.
Even worse, Honors learned his entire team had perished during the Cataclysm. Honors took another long drag off his flagon. It was a lot for one dwarf to take in.
After a long silence, Honors looked down and said, "What do I do now?"
"Well, " Sully said, "your reputation from Naxxramas & Ulduar is well known. King Varian Wyrnn would very much like to meet with you, and ultimately have you accompany me to this new land we have discovered."
"What did you say it was called?" Honors asked.
# # # # # # # # # #
Thursday, April 25, 2013
Shoveling snow. Stanis never thought that when he and Gerald signed up for the Argent Crusade his days would be filled with this menial task.
Posted by Ted Atchley at 10:33 AM
Friday, April 12, 2013
.....must come to an end.
I know a guild breakup is the definition of a first world problem, but I'm still feeling a little down tonight. I should be preparing for a raid that isn't going to happen. My guild has made the decision to cease raiding operations effective immediately.
Our guild was small one, 12 to 15 people. My raid leader was the guild leader. We talked for a while last night. He explained his reasons. I completely understood his reasons. I completely supported his decision. He was doing the right thing for the right reasons. He has my full and unwavering support.
Most of the guild is transferring to a PvP Server. We are becoming a PVP guild. They will be doing LFRs and PvP. PvE raiding is done.
Football players on the verge of retirement talk about being done with the game before the game is done with you. I'm not done with WoW.
I don't know that I can truly express how much I don't want to be on a PvP server. Apparently the one they have chose 'might as well be a PvE server' because the ratio is something like 10 Horde:1 Alliance. That won't do much for the Night Elf Rogue who decides he wants to interrupt my fishing run through Townlong with a little PvP.
Did I mention I stink at the PvP? I do. 5 years ago I was worlds better. Now, I'm cannon fodder.
For most everything I could do with them, we can BattleTag group, even if I'm still on our old server.
I have been raiding with this team a majority of my WoW career. Our raid leader was right there for my first Attumen the Huntsman kill. (Ironically enough, I was leading the raids way back then. Anything to tank as Paladin in Burning Crusade). I'm going to miss our nights raiding.
I'd like to continue PvE raiding. I'm just not sure which toon I want to concentrate on. I have two at level toons: my 490 Paladin tank, and my 485 Hunter. I'm not sure which would be easier to place. At least for this patch, it seems like the Hunter would be best bet because of all the dinosaur fun to be had with pets and the lower stress of the role.
I really haven't started looking hard for a home yet, so if you happen to know a great place, drop me a line or leave me a message in the comments.
Here's a couple of screenshots from our kills. It's been a great ride.
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
WoW’s next class? It needs to be the Fighter-Mage.
Basically this idea came about because I love tanking, but I prefer ranged DPS to melee DPS. The only way to have both Ranged DPS and tanking would be to roll a druid, but if you don’t enjoy Boomkin and Guardian you are out of luck. It’s time to change that.
In my days playing Pen and Paper DnD there was this concept of playing a dual classed character. What if we brought that to WoW?
Currently you are limited to 2 specs from a choice of three. What I propose is to make that a choice of 2 specs from a choice of 33. Maybe you are an Arm Warrior/Frost Mage, or a Holy Priest/Demonology Warlock. I would make mine a Protection Paladin/Beastmastery Hunter.
Since the introduction of the new talent system, the individual specs of the classes have become more and more distinct. Each spec has a specific kit of tools. A Retribution Paladin has more in common with an Arms Warrior than he does with a Prot or Holy Paladin. He can’t even consecrate for crying out loud!
Bring the Player
This idea would also help the Pure DPS classes. The hybrid tax is largely gone, and no one has felt the effects more than Rogues. With MoP, Blizzard introduced another leather wearing 3 way hybrid. The Monk can tank, heal and melee dps. The Rogue can just DPS. The game has three three way hybrids (Monk, Druid, Paladin), four two way hybrids (Warrior, Priest, Shaman, Death Knight) and four Pure DPS classes (Warlock, Mage, Hunter, Rogue). This change would level the playing field and make every toon a three way hybrid.
This would also help fill out raids and reduce queue times. Everyone of your raiders is a potential tank, healer or DPS.
There is an encounter in Throne of Thunder that is punishing if you don’t have Paladins, or Priests in your raid makeup. The mobs put a 5 minute disease on a player. Priests and Paladins can cleanse it, but Shamans and Druids can’t. This would let one of those Druids change their secondary spec to a Priest, and suddenly they can do the encounter no problem.
This is basically Bring the Player, Not the Class taken to its highest, logical end.
Choosing a Kit, not a Class
Each class contains certain baseline skills. Those would simply become part of the kit. All Paladins get Judgment for example. Judgment becomes part of each Paladin specs kit. But if you aren’t in a Paladin spec, you wouldn’t. When I am in my Protection Paladin spec, I have Judgment. When I’m in my Beastmastery Hunter spec, I wouldn’t.
The time to introduce this would be with the Proving Grounds concept the developers discussed. Proving Grounds are single player scenarios (like the ones you do to advance the Island of Thunder through it stages). In Proving Grounds, you have to tank, or heal or DPS. Before the game would let you queue for LFR, or LFD with your new spec, you would have to pass the appropriate Proving Ground (using the Challenge mode gear scaling mechanic so as not to punish undergeared or overgeared people).
If you have a dedicated group that wants to take you in your new spec, more power to you and your friends.
How would loot be handled? Exactly like it is today. Whatever spec you are in for the kill is the table that LFR looks at for your loot.
And talk about stuff not being sharded! You’d still have most guilds use main spec over off spec, but every piece of gear would be potentially useful if someone wanted it. This would also give a boon to 25 mans who usually have more ‘extra’ gear to give away than 10 mans.
I know its highly unlikely this ever happens, but I think this idea would be fantastic!
What do you think?
Posted by Ted Atchley at 9:00 AM
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
We know the Sha are the last breath of the Old God Y'Shaarj. Y’Shaarj had seven heads, so it follows there would be seven sha. So far, only six have been revealed. Those six are Fear, Doubt, Hatred, Despair, Anger, and Violence. We don’t know the seventh.
However, I think Blizzard may have accidently let the name of the seventh Sha out in a preview of the new 5.2 raid. Community Manger Draxxari was interviewing Lead Encounter Designer, Ion “Watcher” Hazzikostas. You can read the entire blog here.
What I want to concentrate on is their preview of Tortos.
Ion: Along with asking why we fight, and learning that our true enemy is war itself, a major theme of the Mists of Pandaria has been killing turtles. This raid encounter elevates that motif to all-new heights, presenting players with the chance to fight a huge turtle, and small turtles, and also the ability to kick one of the small turtles into the big turtle. What more could you ask for?Emphasis added. Our true enemy is war itself. What if the seventh Sha is the Sha of War. Crazy? Maybe. We know that in order to meet the new accelerated patch schedule, the developers are working on multiple patches simultaneously. Since 5.2 is releasing today, Ion must be knee deep in 5.3 and 5.4 content. He might have lost context and exactly which patch which piece of lore was released. He's an encounter designer, not a lore nut.
But there are other indications that also indicate that the seventh Sha might indeed be the Sha of War.
Warlord and the Monk
We know all six Sha are mentioned in The Warlord and the Monk. This scroll can be found on the south side of the upper level of the Scrollkeeper's Sanctum in the Temple of the Jade Serpent in the Jade Forest. It tells of a time when the mogu fought the Pandaren. The Pardaren tricked the mogu into turning on each other.As the mogu turned against each other, it says: "War waged before the temple as the mogu destroyed themselves, unleashing the full weight of their doubt, anger, fear, hatred, violence and despair."
Six for six. What else is mentioned there? In fact, what’s pretty much the only other things mentioned there?
The Seven Burdens of The Seven Burdens of Shaohao
Some of what we know of the Sha comes from the Lorekeepers scrolls that make up the The Seven Burdens of Shaohao. These stories tell how the Last Emporer defeated his fear, doubt, anger, hatred and despair. Yet, despite having defeated all these negative emotions, when he tried to move the land, he failed. There was one more Sha he had to defeat.
The Jade Serpent came to him and said "Your enemies to the west are as much a part of this land as your empire behind the wall."
Shaohao had to embrace his enemies. He had to let go of his conflict with the Yangol and the Mantid. He had to defeat his desire to war against them. When he did let go and defeat the desire for War in his spirit, then, and only then, he became one with the land. At that point, he could save it from the Sundering.
We know the Sha try to inhabit hosts. The more powerful the Sha, the powerful the host it wants. We know the Sha use the negative emotions present to inhabit their host. The Sha of Hatred used Teran-Zhu’s hatred of the Horde and Alliance to take over the master of the Shado-Pan. Teran-Zhu was a powerful warrior, and the Sha was attracted to his hatred.
We have seen Garrosh Hellscream try to weaponize the Sha. Each time he does, the intended host is not strong enough. The Sha takes over and the Horde soldier, from simple Grunt to powerful Blade Master, must be put down. What if Garrosh finally decides that he and he only is strong enough to merge with the Sha and become the unstoppable weapon he dreams of for his Horde.
What is Garrosh if not the epitomy of War?
Look at what Garrosh tells Thrall when Thrall taps him for leadership of the Horde.
"I understand battle, yes," he said. "Tactics, how to rally troops -- these things I know. Let me serve that way. Find me a foe to face and defeat, and you will see how proudly I will continue to serve the Horde. But I know nothing of politics, of ... of ruling. I would rather have a sword in my fist than a scroll!" -- The ShatteringThe seventh Sha must be the most powerful Sha of them all. Garrosh would provide a suitably powerful host.
That brings us to the opening cinematic for Mists. Perhaps it really did show us a bit of the final boss just as every cinematic before it had.
To ask why we fight, is to ask why leaves fall. It is in their nature. Perhaps there is a better question.What are the Horde and Alliance fighting? A war. The question isn’t why we fight the war, but what is it worth going to war over? If we fight for home and family, to preserve balance and bringing harmony, is it still a war? Or has it become something more. Something better. Something higher. Something nobler.
Why do we fight? To protect home and family, to preserve balance, and bring harmony.
For my kind, the true question is ‘what is worth fighting for’?
We know our friend Wratharion is out to end the war. He has stated as much. His only question is which side to allow to win the war. At the end of Mists, we defeat Garrosh Hellscream, and the Sha of War. We defeat War itself. Wratharion’s purpose is accomplished. The Horde and Alliance will be ready to begin the process of preparing for the Burning Legion by taking care of the remaining threats on Azeroth (the 90-95 expansion) before finally becoming part of the Army of Light that Velen prophesied and taking down Sargeras and the Burning Legion once and for all (the 95-100 expansion).
I know there is a Maelstrom sized hole in this theory. War is not an emotion. At least not in the same way we think of Fear, Hatred, Doubt, Anger, and Despair. But would you say Violence is an emotion? Violence is an act much like War is an act.
So what do you think? Am I crazy, or could the seventh Sha be the Sha of War?
Posted by Ted Atchley at 9:00 AM
Friday, March 1, 2013
Tier 14 has been a weird tier for us. It's been the most exciting and the most frustrating tier of my WoW career.
Old Faces in New PlacesThis was the tier where we got the band back together. Most of my guild mates followed me to SWTOR about midway through the Firelands patch. One by one, we quit SWTOR and came back to WoW. One of our guys had actually stayed in WoW and found a guild on Nesingwary. As we came back, we all just joined up with him. As the tier wore on, it became increasing clear that we needed to be back on our own and recently we've made that a reality.
The core of our team formed during Karazhan, and we really peaked in Ulduar. It has been great to have familiar voices in vent and be raiding with this team again.
Throughout this entire tier, our team has been frustrated by attendance issues. We had to cancel way too many raid nights simply because we couldn't field a team. I know, absolutely know, that we could have gotten farther than 6/6 1/6 with a sub 10% wipe on Blade Lord if we just would have had a consistent team. I know the easy answer is just recruiting. Believe me, we tried. Most everyone in our raid tried. Most people don't want to go backwards in progression. Honestly, I can't blame them, I wouldn't want to either. I'm hopeful that we can get this settled in Tier 15 and really knock it out.
We are pretty set on tanks. We could use some ranged DPS, especially one with a healing offspec, but most nights we just need another person. Our schedule is a bit in flux as we are trying to find the best nights for everyone. We only raid two nights a week or about two to two and a half hours at a time, usually 9:30pm EST to 11:30pm EST with the rare night that we go to midnight. All of us are adults with jobs, kids, families, etc. It's not uncommon for someone to need an extended AFK to take care of a crying baby.
We are a really laid back group. No one gets yelled at for poor performance and most of us are own worst critics. There is some friendly rivalry for the top of the DPS chart when it’s not dominated by our Brewmaster.
Least Favorite Fight
I think it says a lot about this tier that I have a really hard time coming up with a least favorite fight. If I were to include my jaunts into LFR I'd have to say Garalon. There isn't much for the tank to do on that fight, and it was fairly difficult early on. Lei Shi gets an honorable mention only for never once giving me shoulders in 11 kills, at least half of those with bonus rolls used. Sha of Fear is included as well for never giving me a Sha touched weapon in 11 kills, again with bonus rolls. I have to cut Sha a little slack since I went about four of those times as Retribution and did get the Sha Touch two hander plus two head tokens.
This was just such an awesome tier and I really did enjoy every fight on Normal. I absolutely loved the new talents and how I was able to use all of my class abilities to help the raid. The only place I feel deficient right now is AoE tanking. Yes, I know, how ironic is THAT! Don't tell my raid leader (our BrewMaster) but I semi-afk on most AoE trash pulls.
I have to give an honorable mention for favorite fight to Feng. I was given the Shroud of Reversal role and that was a ton of fun. I loved being able to take one of the bosses abilities and turn it right back around on him.
But my favorite fight this tier has to be Will of the Emporer. I hated the dance at first, but there is such a feeling of satisfaction when you do it right and the game rewards you with that extra action button. I have yet to beat our BrewMaster in Opportunitistic Strikes landed, but our last kill was very close 14 to 15. The only one I messed up was when I got two close to the wall and my camera zoomed in and I couldn't see where it was going.
Posted by Ted Atchley at 1:08 PM
Monday, January 28, 2013
We have news from the PTR about Patch 5.2 and storm clouds of worry and concern are gathering over the land of the Tankadins.
Paladin - For Protection, we do have plans to try and lower the value of haste relative to dodge and parry. We don't want to make haste terrible for paladins, but we agree that it's odd for it to be better than more traditional tank stats. It might require a nerf to Shield of the Righteous to do this, but our goal is not to nerf survivability overall. We just wanted to provide you some context if you see odd changes to tanking abilities.http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/7593740975?page=45#884
Yes, my friends, that is none other than GC uttering the N word. A little further on in the thread, GC is asked to explain his reasoning.
Again in the words of the Crab.
The game just isn't currently designed to support it. It creates potential problems such as: - A Prot paladin competing with a Frost DK or Ret paladin over gear, meaning there isn't enough DPS plate to go around. - A Prot paladin considering a tier set with dodge and parry on it to be "garbage" because it doesn't stack all haste. - A Prot paladin looking at a Ret 2pc set bonus that she normally wouldn't touch because now the stats aren't that bad either. In a world where tanking plate didn't exist or every loot system used the personal LFR one or 100% efficient reforging then it might work. We understand that having a lot of haste feels fun and visceral and is more dependable than dodge and parry. We'll try to come up with a solution that keeps that in mind.Later he thread he further clarifies
We knew haste would be attractive to Protection when we gave them Sanctity of Battle, which only Retribution had previously. That's why we gave them Sanctity of Battle. Even if you have a tanking set with no haste, there are haste buffs in the game. We wanted all the tanks to benefit somewhat from what were traditionally DPS stats, since part of the active mitigation design was to make tanks care more about hitting things with sword (and claws). It only gets to be a problem, as I said previously, if dodge and parry (which are going to be on some gear) are perceived as pointless. (They aren't pointless, but that's really beside the point at this stage.) We aren't going to reitemize every plate piece in the game to remove dodge and parry. We also don't want to nerf haste for paladins, because it is fun, and for the most part working as intended. We don't have a solution yet that we're willing to share, but that's the intent.
GC was asked on Twitter what this change meant for active mitigation.
We think active mitigation is more fun. Just need to decide what to do about dodge and parry long term.
He was also asked how they missed this in Beta.
@Ghostcrawler no offense, but you guys knew about Haste and Prot Paladins since well before live.
Re: @Zackfig At the time we thought it was an undergeared problem because dodge doesn't matter when failing a dodge kills you. Re: @Zackfig We still sort of suspect that's the problem but it's become such a mantra that it's worth changing anyway.
The first important takeaway is they haven’t announced any actual changes yet. GC just wants to give us some context if we see some really weird changes coming to the PTR - which we certainly will. This is a classic 'softening the blow' strategy. In the highly unlikely event GC reads this blog, I would just want to say thank you for the heads up.
Why Tankadins LOVE Haste
Now let’s look at why Tankadin’s love haste so much, and what possible solutions there could be. Much of what I am going to share here comes from the Patch 5.2 discussion thread on Maintankadin (you didn’t think I figured all this out on my own did you?) I especially need to recognize posters Klaudandus, Sagara, Fetzie, and Theck for their contributions.
Stat priorities can change from expansion to expansion. We rely on the theorycrafters, led by math wizard Theck, to help figure out what our stat priorities needed to be in MoP for us to be as effective tanks as we could.
The math (http://sacredduty.net/2012/10/05/damage-smoothing-follow-up/) led to the adoption of the Control gearing strategy. The strategy looks to maximize the uptime the Shield of the Righteous by making sure that none of your Holy Power generators ever miss. While this strategy leads to taking more damage over the entire course of the fight, it leads to far fewer spikes, and since spikes are what kill tanks, ultimately it leads to fewer tank deaths, and since tank death generally equals a wipe, it leads to less wipes.
The strategy says to get to the Hit cap and Hard Expertise cap (15%). After that, the advice was to go either Mastery or Haste. Haste and Mastery pretty much tied for effectiveness. Mastery is held back a bit because it is less effective in the double roll system (where a block is a separate roll).
Haste gives you an added benefit that Mastery doesn't Haste increases your DPS, and in a world with Vengeance, tanks do some decent DPS. It’s enough that Haste became the go-to stat (after caps) especially for Heroic Mode raiders. Haste also allows us (at specific breakpoints) to get extra ticks from Sacred Shield.
Huzzah! The developers accomplished their goal. Haste is a desirable tank stat. The problem is it’s too desirable. Tankadins like it better than the traditional tank stats of dodge and parry, so much so that a piece of gear with only dodge and parry (like Bracers of Six Oxen) is consider ‘garbage’. Diminishing Returns are so strong on avoidance (dodge and parry) that even at low rating levels that the amount of avoidance you get per point simply isn't worth it.
Tanks really haven’t been a fan of avoidance for about 3 expansion. Once upon a time, back in the olden days of 2009 tanks debated (quite fiercely, if I remember) about Avoidance versus Effective Health. The Avoidance tank would take less damage overall (what is now called TDR or Total Damage Reduction). The Effective Health tank would take more damage over the course of the entire fight, however; he would take smoother and more predictable damage. As long as you didn't run your healers OOM (out of mana) and become the so called Mana sponge, you were easier to heal and had a better chance of surviving the encounter (which, in the final analysis is really what tanks WANT to do).
Again major kudos to the posters over at Maintankadin who have suggested a couple of possible solutions. Short term, the best place to reduce the value of Haste would be Sanctity of Battle (SoB), but the community didn't think that is what the Developers will choose to do. SoB was made available to Tankadins to give them a defensive benefit from Haste. The developers just didn't see that it would be such a huge benefit as to overshadow traditional tanking stats like Mastery, Dodge, and Parry.
I think we will see quite a bit of experimenting because the Developers have to be careful. By changing our gearing strategy, you are changing the gear we want. This isn’t just a simple regem / reforge / heywheredidallmygoldgo. This is replacing several pieces of gear. Gear that might have been upgraded with Valor points. Yikes! Tread carefully, dear Crab.
If the Developers want Tankadins to value Avoidance, it needs to serve a niche. The niche it fills right now is TDR (total damage reduction). If tanks were mainly concerned with TDR, that would work. But right now its simply filling a niche no one cares about sort of like a hockey game on the night of the Super Bowl.
Assuming they don’t want to simply nerf SoB, Avoidance could become more desirable by adding it to an active mechanic. Something along the line of Revenge. Grand Crusader would fit the bill well. It hits three targets like Revenge and it’s already a proc. Simply make Grand Crusader proc off a dodge or parry. This would also help Tankadins AoE threat which seems a bit lackluster especially next to my Monk co-Tank.
There's another, longer term solution (and one I suggested back in 2009), but as this post is already too long, I will detail that tomorrow.
Thursday, January 24, 2013
Do you think maybe someone on the Blizzard Developement team was an AC/DC fan?
I'm sure by now you've heard of the new Thunderforged items on the PTR. According to CM
Crithto, this is Blizzard's attempt to revitalize 25 man raiding.
To attempt to navigate this minefield, we’re going to try having Thunderforged items drop more frequently in 25-player raids. They’ll be somewhat rare in both cases compared to the standard versions that’ll drop, but they’ll be even rarer in 10s. Overall, a 25-player group will be more likely to end up with a slightly higher item level after several weeks of raiding.There are some excellent responses in the thread, and I would especially highlight the response of Moshne of Something Wicked.
One of the suggestion I have seen several tims is giving 25s gear with one upgrade. This was actually something I thought about before Thunderforged gear was announced.
In addition to the points being brought up, I think one issue that isn't getting enough play is actually one of the core issues in this discussion.
Where do new 25 man guilds come from?
The question the Developers need to ask themselves is why is this guild going to take on the extra logistical demands of becoming a 25 man guild? Even if they can recruit to get the numbers, they will have to reset their progression and start over at Stone Guard. Somehow, I don't think improving their odds at an improved piece of gear is going to help.
Would you like some RNG in your RNG?
Applying this to my own situation, what would it take for me (and my crew) to want to go 25?
First off, I have zero interest in leaving my awesome raid team, which sometimes struggles to field 10. So I really don't have horse in this race. Most of us truly prefer the 10 man format. 25 mans are simply too chaotic. We raided as a 10 man back when 25 mans got better gear (to the tune of 13 iLevels). Back then, the attitude of 25 man raiders, who looked down on 10 mans as not being 'real' raids was much more a nuisance than any loot.
But let's say, just to demonstrate the issues that face the developers, what would it take for us to go to 25s.
My guild actually operates two independent, ten man teams. We should be the perfect candidate to become a new 25 man raid guild, but it's not going to happen.
Let's suppose each team was willing to try a 25 man raid night. Let's also suppose we could work out a schedule that works for everyone. Even if we get around the scheduling issue, the combined lockouts make any trial night a risky proposition. Once we attempt the 25 man night, we've locked ourselves out of doing the 10 man raid.
Once we actually kill something, we have to figure out loot. Loot drama is basically non-existent in our team. I have dibs on Plate tank stuff. Our main tank is a Monk. There's some contention over cloth gear with a Warlock, Mage, and a Priest. Our Resto/Elemental Shaman is our only mail wearer. We DE a lot of Agi Mail. Plate DPS is the most competitive loot with two Ret Paladins, and a Fury Warrior. Despite that, everything is just done with a /roll. I'm sure the fact we've been together so long helps too. Going to a 25 man, we'd need some sort of EPGP, or DKP system with the accompanying clerical work to support it. Maybe one suggestion would be for Blizzard to improve the native UI to support EPGP, Suicide Kings, DKP and other popular systems.
Another issue we would have to deal with is the tanks. Combining our teams gives us 4 tanks, 6 healers, and 10 dps. In order to do 25 mans, 2 of our tanks need to switch to either DPS or heals. Our tanks are tanks because (shockingly!) they LIKE tanking. If they preferred healing or dpsing, they would be those roles!
Just to reiterate for my guild mates - I am not asking for, nor am I suggesting in ANY way that we try 25 mans. I like the dynamic we have going (my fail tanking not withstanding).
Posted by Ted Atchley at 12:21 AM