Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Change is Gonna Come

Nonetheless, it is also true today that Marks can beat Survival, and yet there are a lot of Survival hunters raiding. Our hope is that in 3.3.3 that there will be as many BM hunters as Survival raiding, which would be a really nice bump for BM. Maybe the estimates (ours and those I've read) about the boost BM is getting are overly optimistic. We'll see. (Source)
As you all know, Hunters are my first love. When I read this post by Ghostcrawler I cheered a little inside.

I really enjoy playing my secondary BM hunter. I'm well aware he's NEVER going to make the numbers my MM Main does, and I'm also aware that's as much about the Best in Slot gear that the both have currently available to them. For a while I've found myself trying to muster the imputice to take BM Hunter to the trainer, buy Dual Specs, and simply add a MM spec. This is what happened with the Mage, after all. Frost just wasn't bringing the numbers, and if I wanted to play with anyone else I needed to make the concession. When all is said and done, if you don't do the dps, you're not worth bringing.

I am reading in several places that Frost too may be about to undergo a similar rennaisance. 1000g would be a small cost to bear if this ends up to be true, but for BM it's something even more basic. A Hunter's very existance, like it or not, is tied to their pet. The fact that every Hunter in the known Universe uses a Wolf these days I find rather sad, because it makes for very little diversity. I used to love the days of many and varied exotic pets, of people picking a pet for looks as well as their abilities. The days of Min/Maxxing have reduced all this to a precise and depressing set of variables.

It also makes for some fairly extreme snobbery, which is why I mention the Mage here. I got dissed very publically in a VoA 25 yesterday for having crit gems in my gear, after all 'any retard should know Arcane means gemming for haste' As we were the only two mages in the group at the time I'm betting this wasn't done in a whisper to show that clearly I'm unable to play my class if I'm not capable of doing the legwork. The fact remains I've not done the theorycraft on the mage for a good reason: I don't raid them, so it's not an issue. If I'd been in a Guild run with Mr Mage then he'd have a point. This started me thinking, as did Ghostcrawler's comments above: since when did it end up being ALL about the best damage, and less about a cosmetic  feeling of comfort with the class you play?

So much of what is 'right' and 'wrong' now with classes is wrapped up in this issue of spec balance. Of course, if BM overnight became the #1 dps spec I suspect we'd see all the MM hunters go get DS (who don't already have it so they can tame spirit beasts) and try it, but as so much of what MM is about is wrapped up in Armour Penetration, which is on most mail items anyway, would it even work? One fact is certain though, they wouldn't try it in their Raids to see. They'd be expected to still turn up and do x bazillion dps with the old spec until someone came up with an acceptable Theorycrafted alternative which the entire community would then adopt en mass. That's how it goes. What of course would be better were if we could have all three specs DOING THE SAME OR CLOSE DPS, which then gave us all a bit more variety. This must be what they're aiming for in Cataclysm. I have to believe that's the way it will go for Rogues, and Mages, and Locks and Hunters. More variety, less '1 Spec to Rule them All'

What cheers me about GC's comments is that clearly they're trying to do that. Then it comes down to us, and us trying to see if we can make it work practically and not simply on the PTR's. Perhaps as we head towards Cataclysm, Blizzard can also spare a thought for pets for Hunters (more abilities, bigger returns, more potions) and for trying to beat the Min/Max Mentality out of people who believe that's the only way to play.

We need some changes to the way people think.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Is This Thing On...?

It's quiet. Too quiet.

Actually, that's not strictly true. Last night the only people logged on were those who were raiding. That's cool, coz I am well aware that a lot of our Guild are working hard and making money, which is exactly what should be happening. It's not like the raid didn't take place either, it did and they cleared a ton of content. The first (and only) death before Putricide only occured because the DK tank had a navigational issue with his rocket pack and flew off the Gunboat as the fight was starting. All in all, it was really rather splendid.

As I didn't raid I decided I'd potter for a while, and I did some herbing (we have an Ulduar instance open for Frost Lotus herbing at present) whilst the raid continued. It was lovely to spend the evening simply hanging out and doing something albeit mundane, but at the same time very satisfying. All the alts have flasks for the forseeable future. I grabbed enough herbs on the trips between respawns inside the Instance to also shove a load to my Scribe to help her do some long-overdue glyph catchup.

I deliberately don't talk about the details of Guild events here, but in this case I'm going to make an exception. To the two people who tried to ruin this evening for me, and indeed for the people raiding, a quick message. I think considering your behaviour, calling me childish was pretty ironic. You were sent a polite and perfectly acceptable reply to your question. If I choose not to talk to you and not to /ignore you, that's up to me. I think having seen what you have been capable of the last couple of days, we took precisely the right course of action in removing you both.

Sorry, but sometimes tumbleweed is preferable to dealing with that level of noise.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

30 Toons, No Waiting!

One of the most frustrating parts of being a GM is the organisation. The phrase 'herding cats' has often been used in this household to describe the pastime of attempting to get X people off their collective behinds and prepare themselves to raid. On consideration I'm grateful for the introduction of the ingame Calender by Blizzard: getting people to sign online makes it considerably easier to start the process of co-ordination. It meant that this evening I was able to run one 10 man through the Obsidan Sanctum for the Weekly Raid Quest, co-ordinate a second en route and prepare people to be ready as soon as we'd done (and I was able to swap to an alt) and have enough people ready to do a third in the same way. Thirty toons gained Five Frosties and 30 gold. That's not bad going.

I'm glad that Blizzard picked the Raid Bosses the way they did. It's clear that they're meant to be a relatively simple dispatch, but require you to find some competent help in order to do so. Frankly it's perfect for our Guild: many people own multiple alts, so it's a simple task to mix and match and come up with a ten that's capable of carrying a couple of lower-geared people. Everybody wins. Plus it's a welcome change from running a five man for the chance at decent lewts. OS gives four Triumph, the chance at a bag upgrade and loot that although may be useless to most, is likely to be helpful to one of those lower-geared acolytes.

I hope that come Cataclysm Blizzard use this system again. It's a great way to get elbows and have some fun :D

[EDIT: I'm not sure if it's a Bug, and I'm sure at some point someone will come up with an explanation, but as of Wednesday this quest had reset again... which means thirty people have another go at the instance and another 5 Elbows. Result!]

Monday, March 15, 2010

Next Week!

MMO is showing me that the PTR Build is Release-stamped, which means not this week but next week. That's seven days to sort the following:
  • Run as many alts as possible through WG and across this weekend's BG, to stack honor for mount purchases.
  • Prepare mats for Pet Bombling and Lil' Smoky non-combat pets, and send them onto my hubby (who can make both) as they are no longer BoP.
  • Get the Glacial Bags I wanted made before the seven day cooldown comes into effect.
  • Grind mats for making mass quantities of Tailoring cloth, ready to NOT having to fly to Dragonblight to make it \o/
  • Prepare myself to lose Auctioneer for a while. There's MAJOR changes to the AH in this patch, I hope it won't be long before I see it working again...
  • Cross fingers that there's a 'He's a Total Nub, kick him already!' option on the new Random Dungeon Kick screen.
I've seen a marked increase in Need rolls on Frozen Orbs in the past week. Hooray (again) for taking that away next week :D

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Le Grande Jour du Fail

Not surprisingly, from

Frankly, not a good day.

Forget for a moment we only came out of ICC with one Frosty Elbow. Forget the fact the lag was back to it's horrendous proportions. Today was awful because SOME PEOPLE ARE MADE OF FAIL.