David and Goliath

I wanted to post this article last week however due to kid’s birthday parties’ etc I was unable to do so. Anyway last week WOW insider posted an article called David or Goliath which explored the notion of either being undergeared or overgeared for instances and Raids etc.

I tend to fit into both camps here. Some people just love out gearing a Raid in order to just completely steamroll it, for me that is not exiting at all, there is no challenge hence in my view why Blizzard Entertainment put the achievement factor into the game. I remember a few years ago when Gevlon had a raid group going where the rule was that you could only wear blue items. It would seem that they needed to prove skill not the ability to obtain gear.

Don’t get me wrong, people work hard to get that gear, but there is a real sense of achievement when you can down a boss when you are not optimally geared and hence I gather that this is how progression guilds must feel like.

On the other side of the coin, in PvP I love to outgear the battleground in order to rotfstomp the opposition. Seems like a contradiction I know, in PvP I’m not always guaranteed to win, but in Raids, you will eventually win.

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Randomization in PVE?

Typhoon Andrew has an article discussing Randomization in PVE Boss fights, mainly quoting Tobold and Craig Stern on the matter.

Tobold wrote:

In my opinion there is too little randomization in MMORPGs. They are nearly totally deterministic. Before combat even starts you know what the monster will do, and what keys to press in which order to optimally defeat it. Thus combat involves no thinking, only execution.

AsĀ Craig Stern says, the solution is not making the result of button presses unpredictable, but to make the opponent unpredictable, or the starting situation. That is why card games work: The cards you draw are random, but what you can do with them is not. And in a MMORPG the monsters could be made more unpredictable as well. Why do people need to know in advance what the boss mob is going to do after X minutes to beat him?

Now this whole topic is close to my heart and one of the main reasons why I prefer PVP over PVE. The skill you have available to you and the opposition will not change but what you do with them is always random. You have to think and adjust you strategy based on what your enemy is doing. Yes there will be some degree of predictability to skills i.e. a warrior will use Execute at a certain time etc.

PVE for me is too scripted, I hate the idea of knowing what’s coming, it’s like running on rails, there is no unpredictability. Obviously you don’t want a boss to be completely random in that he uses skills that you were not aware of.

When you fight a warrior you know what you are up against and have a reasonably good idea how to counter him thus you adjust your fight accordingly.

Having a boss fight where he has a known set of skill but uses them randomly would in my view make for a much more interesting fight. It would make people think on there feet.

Under the Hammer

It has been a rough two weeks to date, I work in the Banking sector and their freeze period kicked in mid November. This means that no changes can be made to any Production systems whatsoever. In essence, we have been working flat out to get stuff done prior to this close out period. This is my main reason for not putting up any posts. Now that the close out has kicked in I will have more time to writing and pen my thoughts.

During this time I’ve been leveling a number of alts, i.e. a monk and a second Paladin. I’ve found the Monk to extremely strong so far, only level 13 but hits like a truck (Brewmaster). My paladin (Level 35) albeit decked out in Heirlooms still struggles to take care of people, with healers it’s a joke, they are just too difficult to kill at low levels.

Some Frost PvP

I mentioned in an earlier post that I felt the need to swap out to Frost spec for PvP. My main reason was that I felt my Gear level was just too low to gain any benefit out of Unholy, Frost seems more forgiving and has more front end burst. I now have a gear level of 447, still too low to be competitive.

I did a real noob error in that I forgot that you could purchase Contender PvP gear from the Auction House, so I initially did some PvP with my leveling greens which was disheartening at best. Sad thing was that during that time I still managed to finish mid field in terms of damage done.

After a few matches where I just completely could not get my rotation right due to my key bindings, I managed to get to what I felt was a natural key bind setup. I dropped Necrotic strike out of my setup for now. Not sure if frost even use Necrotics at all? Could anyone give me some guidance on that one, death runes seem to be hard to come by?

The American Vote

To all the people in the US, have a great voting day. Remember that your particular vote is almost a world vote; there are consequences on a global scale in terms of the direction the various economies will take.

Being an MBA graduate I have a keen interest in all things economic and political.

Be safe.

I suffer from Alt-ism

I have a confession to make; I have a love of Alt’s that borders on the insane. I just love having a variety of toons around in case I get bored and believe me I can get bored easily. So my latest alt is a paladin which I’ve got to level 31. Look it helps having 5 pieces of heirloom gear for the xp bonus. Currently leveling as Retribution but would like to try my hand again at healing.

My very first character I got to max level was a paladin, back in the day when I was on the US realms. Not knowing the talent trees so well in those days I leveled as holy, which were agonizingly slow, except when people needed a healer. Spent half my time applying buffs to the party as in those days blessings only lasted 5 minutes. Also in those days Paladins were a two trick healing pony with Holy light and flash of light.

Now a days the healing arsenal has improved considerably and much more conducive to AOE healing. I’ll swap over now to a healing as I was waiting for the duel spec to be made available.

The use of Holy power as a resource is an interesting one, at low levels it seems to take an exorbitant amount of time to build up 3 holy power in order to use Templars verdict. At least now judgment also generates holy power.

I’ve got 2 pieces of PvP gear for my Death Knight, I’m think of swapping out to Frost until I’m fully decked out in PvP gear as Unholy feels really weak right now, and against fully geared opposition my DOTS hardly do any damage, only if they are low health and Soul reaper kicks in is there some sort of satisfaction. So against my view of a death knight I’m going to swap. I will miss my ghoul, he is great when you are sapped and a rogue tries to take a node, he constantly interrupts them, like a Jack Russell he annoys all opposition.

Dev watercooler PvP in MoP

WOW insider has posted an Article on some of the PvP plans they have for Mists of Pandaria

http://wow.joystiq.com/2012/10/31/dev-watercooler-mists-of-pandaria-pvp/#continued

MMR

I think the plans they have for MMR is good, they are against the idea of a MMR reset which In my view is correct, with a reset it would be like Usain Bolt running against you in the high school 100m, just would not be a fair race. I do have a problem with team ratings with guys hitting a high rating then sitting back for the rest of the season, there should be some sort of penalty or degradation over time for inactivity.

Class balance Concerns

They have pretty much mentioned all the class I tend to battle with in PvP, although my problem is mainly against shadow priests.

Healing for me is a major issue, and they are spot on when it comes to off spec healing. I’ve never had an issue struggling against a healer if that is his main spec, but when you fight an off-spec and he can still out heal you then I have some concerns.

Even though this point has not been mentioned, I find Druid mobility off the chart, even with my Chains of Ice, the druid can keep me kited all day, heal themselves then continue on their merry path.

PvP sneak peak.

I glad Blizzard is finally going to review the current scoreboard. This item has not changed since release and could do with a major revamp.

Mention is made of smoother battleground brackets, basically scaling players up the level cap of the bracket they are fighting in, this is right out of the Guild Wars 2 book off tricks.

Small groups in rated Battlegrounds, they idea is sound but I would make some changes to their thinking. Maybe make an arena or two as a selection on the battleground screen specifically if you want to do a 5v5 but not at a serious level with a bunch of mates. I know one can do a skirmish in this manner but if you have a team and like the battleground feel then one can do that, just a though.

World PvP like Tol Barad and Wintergrasp is a must; I’ve always loved this style of play.

Just some of my views on the topic of PvP.