Check Please!

Those two words sum up my feelings about WotLK at the moment. 

The meal is over, and all I want to do is pay the tab so I can move on, but the waiter is nowhere to be found.  That is how I feel when I log in these days.

A lot of this feeling has to do with the status of my raiding guild.  Our 10-man team’s progression got derailed about a week after we started making LK attempts.  Two of our players’ accounts got hacked (two of our three healers), and RL issues took away another 2 of our regulars (both of our tanks).  It didn’t help that both of our hack victims elected to pug ICC 10 the week their toons got restored, instead of rejoining our group, and both got their Kingslayer titles and downed multiple heroic bosses on the way.  

We have gotten to phase 3 of the LK fight, but it looks more and more like we won’t be able to finish it. Read more »

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Warsong Gulch Tips for Disc Priests – Part One

Warsong Gulch

This weekend Warsong Gulch is the Call to Arms Battleground, so it seems like a good time to go over some basics of what you should be doing in WSG if you are a Disc Priest.  For purposes of this discussion, I am going to assume that you are familiar with the basic strategy of the battleground. 

There are a number of ways to approach this, but I am going to try to do it chronologically, as a typical WSG might play out.  Part one of this series is going to look at the opening phase of the match, from accepting the invite to the first flag grab.

So let’s get to it shall we?

Queue pops!  CLICK muthafucka! Read more »

The Death of Challenge in Warcraft

Back in the days of my youth, my brother and I used to play a game called Contra on the NES.  Contra was a 2 person side-scrolling shooter, which pitted two mercenaries against a horde of aliens that had come to earth for some nefarious purpose.

There were something like 8 levels, with end bosses, that you had to progress through to beat the game.  Unlike many of today’s games where your toons have health pools and defensive abilities, Contra was very unforgiving of player mistakes.  If Mad Dog or Scorpion (the nicknames for the two playable characters) got hit by a single bullet, bomb or laser, they died.  In addition to that, players only got 3 lives in the entire game: after 3 deaths, you started back at the beginning of level 1.

So what makes Contra stand out for me and my brother, as one of the greatest games of all time amidst the myriad other games that we have played?  Probably the fact that the two of us beat the game together, start to finish, in two player mode, without either of us losing a single life.

Two players, eight levels, and not one death in probably 30+ minutes of continuous gameplay.

For us, it was the challenge that made the game special, and the fact that we were able to overcome that challenge through hard work and dedication. Read more »

Priest Talent Trees In Cataclysm

MMO Champion has posted the talent trees that have been data mined from the Friends and Family Alpha. 

The proposed Priest talent trees are here.

Enjoy.

Vess

***UPDATE – MMO Champion has taken down the Cata information at the request of Blizzard.  I will repost a link to the new trees as soon as I can find a good source.

Wintergrasp And Tol Barad To Get Population Controls

Why did I queue for Wintergrasp again?

Word on the street is that Wintergrasp, and its Cataclysm equivalent (Tol Barad), will have population controls implemented after the next minor content patch.  The WoW.com article is here.

The change means that the systems will try to equalize the number of players on each team once a certain minimum number of players has been reached.

I PVP on two servers at the moment.  My Shadow Priest, Bhender, is on Undermine-US, where Alliance outnumber the Horde by a decent margin.  In most WG battles, its one Horde raid vs at least two Alliance raids with predictable results. 

In contrast, my Disc Priest, Vesserion, PVPs on Area 52-US, where the Horde have an enormous advantage over the Alliance in numbers.  I don’t even bother checking whether we have WG on A52 anymore, cause the Horde always does.

Neither server provides a satisfying PVP experience in Wintergrasp at the moment, because the population imbalance prevents any realistic chance for the minority faction to win.

As described, the population controls would balance the opposing teams, allowing the minority faction to have a fighting chance of actually winning WG.

I think that this is a good change for the game, as population imbalance has drained most of the PVP out of Wintergrasp.  If Blizz is going to continue having an entire raid instance be inaccessible to a faction based on the outcome of a battle, then they need to give both sides a realistic chance to win that battle.

Slay them all!

Vess

Children’s Week Poll for PVP Enthusiasts

Cataclysm Raid ID Changes: Breadth >> Depth

Sorry for the lack of posts lately folks.  I have been bouncing in and out-of-town on business for the past 10 days, and am just getting back into the swing of things. 

While I was AFK, Blizz decided to announce that 10 and 25-man raids would be moving to a singe raid ID in Cata, and that the difficulty and loot tables for 10s and 25s would be the same. 

OMGWTF?

I have been reading blogs for much of the day, and the response seems to be split, with 25-man raiders thinking it sucks big ole donkey balls, and 10-man raiders thinking it is on par with the invention of sliced bread.  (The casuals have yet to weigh in, since they can’t read don’t pay attention to such matters.)

As an officer in a 25-man raiding guild, I have to say I think the idea is pure shit, and will very likely kill off 25-man raiding.  Read more »

Healadins Will No Longer Be Supreme Tank Healers In Cataclysm!

News of the pending changes to Paladins is beginning to trickle in, and it looks like the reign of Healadins as the top tank healer in the game may be coming to an end.

Wow.com article is here.

I am not the foremost authority on Holy Paladins, but I think I am savvy enough to appreciate the fact that Beacon is getting nerfed pretty hard.

Paladin heals are getting the Starbucks size treatment just like the rest of the healing classes.  (tall, grande and venti heals)  In the new system, the tall heal (Flash of Light) is going to be fast and mana inefficient, which means FoL spam is going to be limited to “oh shit” moments.  Since Beacon is going to work only with FoL, the amount of healing Beacon does is going to drop significantly.  

Beacon will still be useful, but it will no longer be the “Times 2 healing mutherfcuker” spell that it has been.

From what I gather, Holy Light is going to be weakened so that it is the grande heal, and a new spell added to be the venti heal for Paladins.  If Blizz sticks with the theme, Holy Light will be the spam it spell for Paladins, since it will have the best mana efficiency, but it won’t do nearly as much healing as Paladins are used to seeing it do. 

All of which means that tank healing may not be as simple in Cata as stacking two Healadins and one Disc Priest in 25 man raids. 

Paladin healing in Cata should be significantly more interesting than FoL or HL spam, but the cost of more engaging gameplay seems to be less supremacy as tank healers.

It should be interesting.

Vess

My New Server and Battlegroup are Killing my PVP

My guild server transferred last week from Undermine (Nightfall Battlegroup) to Area 52 (Retaliation Battlegroup) in order to take advantage of the significantly greater Horde player population on A52, and the significantly more progressive raid scene.  From a PVE raiding perspective, it was a good move, and should benefit the guild in the long run.

From a PVP standpoint . . . not so much.

First of all, Area 52 is a carebear server, which limits the amount of real world PVP. 

Second, because the Horde dominate the population of Area 52 by about a 3 to 1 margin, Wintergrasp is an absolute joke.  I am told that the Alliance controls it during the wee hours of the morning when few people are playing, but for all intents and purposes, it belongs to the Horde. 

Third, the Retaliation (or “LOLtaliation”) Battlegroup just plain sucks when it comes to PVP.  The skill level of the typical BG player in Retaliation seems to be well below what I am used to facing in Nightfall.  (I didn’t have a single loss in the first 10 bgs I played in the new battlegroup last week.  Not one.)

Fourth, queue times for the random BG daily are typically 10 minutes, 10 FCUKING MINUTES, during peak playtime for the battlegroup.

All of which mean that my personal quest for the “Of The Horde” title (100,000 HKs) looks significantly more difficult than it did just two weeks ago. 

How am I supposed to earn HKs at any kind of meaningful rate when it takes 10+ minutes to queue a battleground, and the quality of play therein is poor?

Completing this achievement was already a daunting task, but if my HK/hour rate is going to be 1/3rd of what it used to be, I am not sure that I am man enough to continue pursuing it.

In fact, since the transfer, I have been spending the majority of my PVP time on my other level 80 priest (Bhender) back on Undermine. 

So I need to make a decision at some point whether to give up the quest for 100,000 HKs, or get Vesserion the hell out of the Retaliation Battlegroup. 

For now, it looks like I am going to have to put my dream of 100,000 HKs on hold.

/sadness

Vess

Happy Birthday To The Wanted Priest Blog!

It's my birthday!

3/28/09 - 3/28/10 Woot!

One year ago today I put up my first post.  (It wasn’t much of a post, but it was the first one, nonethless.) 

So happy birthday to The Wanted Priest blog!

Vess