Archive for July, 2013

PvP is dead….. and Blizzard killed it.

Posted in Mage, Priest, PvP, WoW on July 31, 2013 by Srsbusiness

Once, a long, long time ago, there was a time when I actually enjoyed PvP combat. Even back to my vanilla and BC days as a hunter, I remember walking up behind some poor, unsuspecting mage and unleashing an aimed shot that would crit for 3900. (3900!!) and 1-shot my adversary back in vanilla. And then in BC, the old passage was to locate the hunter and mana burn them as fast as possible, rendering them useless. It became common to see hunters with intel enchants and full time running aspect of the viper for preservation purposes. Resilience was introduced here, and it provided a new element to pvp, mainly as a way to not completely wreck the opposing priest/mage/warlock by sundering off all of their armor.

 

Around the middle of Wrath, I underwent my identity crisis, and eventually became a full time priest. Nothing new was introduced in Wrath as far as elements to PvP (aside from death knights having a joyride of a time deathgripping the heck out of people), so the play stayed consistent from BC, although learning how to effectively juke people on my priest gave adversaries, and even my own teammate, terrors.

 

As cataclysm dawned upon us, I was no longer enjoying healing in arenas, and decided I wanted to be the one getting healed, so back to shadow I went. Priests were all the rage as the end of the expansion broke, and this was where I got my first taste of rated battlegrounds. And it was glorious. I lived and died by the sword. I was willing to take the risk of using my PvE-acquired gear, with no resilience, in favor of higher spell power, secondary stats and tier bonuses. This tactic worked with devastating effect, as I used my tier set bonus, which allowed you to gain 3 shadow orbs each time your shadow fiend or shadowy apparitions did damage. Back then, your shadow orbs modified how much damage your mind spike or mind blast did, and we had archangel as well, which increased the damage of those spells by an additional 20% for 18 seconds. Throw in a rogue for a stun, and dk for a ranged silence and necrotic strike and you had yourself one dead flag carrier. PvP was fun.

 

And then Mists of Pandaria came, and the game of PvP started to drastically change. The pre-patch introduced a baseline resilience of 40% to everyone. And this was okay, it allowed me to take less damage and survive a bit longer in an iffy situation. Although I could no longer dispatch opponents with swift efficiency,

 

As someone who is a PvE content player first, and PvP’er second, its a nice change of pace to be able to do a battleground here and there. It breaks up the tedium of dailies and the same raid over and over (I’m looking at you Icecrown Citadel). By no means am I a rookie or scrub when it comes to out-thinking an opponent, or experience in a battleground as I have 100,000+ lifetime HKs, the battlemaster achieve, and duelist achieve (s2). Its the last change of late that has really crushed any type of fun I once had with queuing up for a battleground.

 

In 5.3, Baseline resilience for characters has gone up from 40% to 65%, and in addition, all gear is scaled down to 496 if the item level is higher by default. Throw in your new and improved battle fatigue ability, which cuts healing done by 45%, and you have quite a situation for your-not-so-dedicated-to-PvP player. Interested in these changes, I decided if I further became an indestructible tank, bringing forth indiscriminate justice to his foes, or if something was greatly a miss. And it turned out, something was a miss. I lacked the gear and “required stat” of pvp power to have much effect on my opponents. It was like being a wet match, in a damp cave and trying to light. My spell power declined by over 40%, and my health by over 200,000. Players whom I would make short work of anywhere in the world if I saw them were now crushing me with literal ease, despite using crafted pvp armor and entry level weapons. PvP power is designed to give the user more damage and healing from their abilities, as opposed to having stronger gear. What does this mean? It means people who are like me, no longer get to have their cake and also eat it. People using last or current season PvP gear, not only do not suffer a penalty to using higher level gear, they also get a bonus versus players wearing higher gear (as they aren’t going to use PvP power for anything LFR or higher raid based).

 

People who “casually” do PvP, are put at a disadvantage, not because they are under geared, as someone who raids is not, but because this change has made PvP a fully separate entity from PvE. In order to be competitive in PvP, you must also grind out a full set of pvp gear as well. Which makes sense, if you want to be a Tyrannical Gladiator. But for someone who just wants to blow off steam from raids/dailies? It seems completely absurd to go this route to even be semi-competitive.  I mean, you don’t see people who queue up into LFR or heroics get their gear normalized down to 463/476/483 do you?

 

Here’s the gripe: We put in a lot of time and work, sometimes fruitless nights of fighting encounters for powerful rewards (and the content of course…..). Those players have earned the right to use that gear as they see fit (without exploiting game mechanics, etc). Why should they be punished for bringing them to pvp? Because new person X doesn’t want to get killed by heroic raider Y? Here’s something to consider: We have all been at that point at some point in the game. We were all once noobs (to whatever we did). I remember being on my hunter back in ’05 and thinking counterattack was the coolest thing ever and melee’d the heck out of stuff hoping for a parry (god it was awful). PvP is no different. If you are undergeared, you are going to get beat down by the people who have better gear while you get your ownself better. This is the rite of passage/initiation. Then, once you have the gear, you get to do the beating down, and the cycle continues.

 

The practical problem to this is gear inflation. Right now Ilvls are shooting up stats at an enormously large rate. And there are ways to fix this: (Queue idea for expansion planning)

 

– Since ilvls aren’t going away, continue with them but alter the storyline of WoW.

 

– The burning legion returns after Garrosh is ousted in Orgrimmar. In the midst of celebration, Ner’zhul’s agents return to Azeroth and kidnap Anduin Wryn and warp him back to their home planet. Varian decides to enlist his gnomish engineers to make transport to the planet, and being the cunning tactician, enlists Vol’jin’s help, or otherwise threatens to Destroy the new Warchief’s regime before it rebuilds.

 

– The fight takes place on the Eredar planet. The atmosphere is filled with bacteria that alters the state of anything entering into it. STAT CRUSH! All items and stats have their level reduced by 98%. This takes gear and damage down to around what people had around the early stages of Burning Crusade. Health pools of 600,000 drop to 12,000. DPS drops from 200,000+ to around 4,200 (PvE). This cuts the insta-gib factor down quite considerably. Since we travel back and forth between the planet. Traces of bacteria linger in our atmosphere and carry over to the old BGs. This means:

 

– Battle fatigue has been disabled on the planet and any battleground/arena.

– Players no longer have a baseline of 65% resilience.

– This accomplishes: People who travel the world and engage in World PvP get to have super inflated stats and the feel of crushing anyone. People who want to queue for battleground can either use pvp or pve gear effectively, because a 98% reduction of ilvl 700 vs 98% of ilvl 600, is very miniscule.

 

TLDR: This is a whiny QQ post because I feel I have lost the capacity to enjoy an aspect of the game because of gear normalizing, or as I call it challenge mode PvP. And because I want to be able to make a cake and eat it too.

 

Mmmmmm..... cake.......

Mmmmmm….. cake…….

 

Here, have some cake. All this talk of cake has made me hungry, and I am going to go bake my cake and eat it right now.

Celestially Blessed

Posted in Priest, PvE, WoW on July 10, 2013 by Srsbusiness

Annnnnnnnnnnnnnd, 12.  Done. Thank goodness for that runestone guarantee from Lei Shen, otherwise I might have never received any. It almost became disheartening watching my luck turn up empty each passive week in LFR when others would get 4, or even sometimes 5 runestones over the last two bosses, but I digress.

 

Now that the rng based factor is out of the way, we can begin the skill based aspect of this part of the questline. After receiving my 12th runestone from Lei Shen, and ultimately killing him again for his heart, our good ol’ buddy chum, Wrathion tasks us with seeking out the celestials around Pandaria. Each celestial has a special challenge for adventurers to partake in and complete in the legendary questline, and while you have to visit each temple to see the kind of help they need, you are only required to complete one of the tasks. Being a priest, you have the option of doing the healer challenge, or caster dps challenge. Both challenges present obstacles that push your limits and will require you to use most, if not your entire, arsenal to complete them.

 

One thing you may want to bring with you, aside from a full complement of buffs from some of your friends if you can get them, is the Celestial Offering item,  purchasable from the August Celestials Quartermaster in your faction’s respective shrine. This item, depending on what task you pick, will either give you:

 

 

A) 10% Intellect while in the Temple of the Jade Serpent Area (DPS Challenge)

or B) 1000 Health Regenerated per second. (Healer Challenge)

 

While the healer buff does not look very attractive at all to enhance healing spells, it comes in handy for the healer challenge. Being the experimentalist, I decided to to both challenges to see how well they tested the array of skills. I must say, after seeing how the healer challenge worked, compared to the dps one, I was rather underwhelmed by the difference in difficulty. The fights themselves are drastically different.

 

Yu’lon’s Challenge

 

The Jade Serpent Yu’lon charges you with cleansing the remnants of corruption from the temple, specifically embodied in Wrathion himself. Wrathion ties a blindfold to himself and will begin to run to random locations near you. Once there, he beings to cast a frontal cleave that hits anything within a 180 degree radius for 200,000 damage. When you move out of the way of this, as well as his other attacks, if you position yourself behind him, you gain a debuff that increases all damage you deal to Wrathion while behind him by 150%, making quick concise cuts around his cleave something to shoot for. When Wrathion is at long range of you (30+ yards, he will channel an uninterrupted Rain of Fire that has a circle for where the spouts of fire land. Each burst hits for 45,000 damage if you get hit by it. The last major ability he has is A summon Corruption spell, that opens a pool of corruption on the ground, dealing 80,000 damage per second if you stand in it. In addition, 5 Corruption Spawns will come from it, and pursue you around the room. Their melee hits for between 25 and 35k. If you are able to keep yourself alive for the first 90 seconds of this fight, Wrathion will then summon 7 copies of himself within close range of each other. All of these copies will begin to channel Explosion, which will hit you for 500,000 damage if not killed. Each copy has only 1,000 health, but the cast time of eruption is only 3 seconds. Wrathion himself has 19,4 Million HP to eat through before you pass the challenge and get credit for the quest.

 

Talents

Void Tendrils: This will make managing the corruptions easier for a bit and will give you time to plant and refresh your dots, or get a couple of channels of Mind Flay: Insanity in.

Body and Soul: You are going to be using your Power Word: Shield off cooldown to mitigate some of the melee and not special hits from Wrathion, and the speed increase, will again help keep those pesky adds away long enough so you can cast some spells at Wrathion.

Solace and Insanity: While I like From Darkness, Comes Light on high mobility fights, with the gear you have going into this, including the meta gem, you should get 3 Casts of MF:I off during your Devouring plague, and it greatly outweighs the procs you will get from FDCL.

Desperate Prayer:  I know a lot of people use Angelic Bulwark, as its one less cooldown they need to manage. But, on a short fight like this, the extra 10% healing from desperate prayer may be the difference maker, opposed to a 20% absorb from AB.

Divine Insight:  This talent is still a cornerstone, with all the moving you will be doing. The free damage proc and shadow orb generator will give you more MF:I for the fight and  should make the fight beatable before he splits into 2, depending again on your gear level.

Halo: I was really tempted to go with Divine Star here, the only reason I did not, was because of the part where he splits and summons 7 copies. The adds are not stacked in a nice pile or line for you to sling your star through, and by the time cascade goes around, one or two may have exploded. Whereas, you could be in the middle of the copies and Halo will hit them all within 1  second, and Trivialize that part of the challenge.

 

Tips: Make sure the corruption spawns are all grouped up before you get close enough to them to use Void Tendrils, if you get enough distance, mind sear them down as their health is low, but make sure to watch for Wrathion’s cleave. Use desperate prayer early, as if you find your challenge running long, you will be able to use it again if the situation permits. Vampiric embrace only if you happened to get dazed by the spawns and make sure you use DP on Erathion at that time as well.

 

Chi’ji’s Challenge

 

If you are a dps with an itchy trigger finger, this challenge may be more suitable to your liking. Although you will have to use a true healing spec for this, and I chose to go holy because, I haven’t feasibly used either spec and just carried over the spec I had at the end of cataclysm. This challenge pits Wrathion against an avatar of his father, Deathwing. Wrathion will tank Deathwing for you, but takes 300% more damage from Deathwing’s attack than you would. The same corruption spawns appear as from the dps challenge, but have 1/5th of the health pool, making them relatively easy to deal with. The part where the blessing helps is where you need to heal Wrathion from larger hits by Deathwing, while at the same time dealing with the corruption spawns that are also hitting you. Similar to the DPS challenge, if Deathwing is alive after 90 seconds, he will disppaear and Wrathion will become stunned in the middle of the room. Similar to the Deathwing encounter, he will begin to take high damage from Elementium Bolts that will spawn on three sides of him, larger heals/Guardian Spirit/Spirit Shell is advised for this. The trick to this encounter is that it actually encourages dpsing as a healer. As each time you deal damage to Deathwing, you also deal 15% additional fire damage. While I don’t maintain a healing set, it helps using a dps set to make the encounter much shorter. Be advised, your mana regen will stink, and you will have to use your mana return cooldowns smartly. If at any point Wrathion’s health reaches 1, Chi’ji stops the encounter and you start over after ringing the gong.

 

Talents

Void Tendrils: Same as the dps challenge, buy yourself some time to channel hymn of hope, get some needed healing in, or unload a few smites and holy fires.

Body and Soul: Since you are not taking the brunt of any damage, there is no clear cut winner in this tier, but the speed increase of you if you shield yourself is nice from getting some distance on the adds.

Mindbender: Doing this in dps gear will require quicker returns of mana, and while Solace is decent, its in no way comparable to its shadow version in terms of results. Plus, its an additional dps boost that will shorten the encounter.

Desperate Prayer: Similar to the DPs challenge, if you find yourself in a bind with having both you and Wrathion deficient in health, whilst the adds are hitting you, the extra 10% can be the difference between surviving and a do-over.

Diving Insight: For holy, a Prayer of Mending Proc that automatically jumps from injured targets. This is nice because it does some work for you, as long as you are close enough to Wrathion so that the spell can use its charges.

Divine Star: Shortest CD of any spell in this tier and will accomplish both goals of this fight, by making quick work of the corruptions, and healing you and Wrathion twice. As well as burning Deathwing twice.

 

Tips: This challenge is actually pretty easy after you see it once or twice, you get to position the other elements of the fight around Deathwing and Wrathion, allowing you to take full advantage of a Void Tendril + Divine Star combination that should make stress on you a heck of a lot easier. The number one thing to be mindful of is your mana, as Wrathion only has 750,000 health, and a few hits from Deathwing without any sizable heals will end the challenge.

 

Once you complete the challenge of your choosing, its back to Mason’s Folly for another monologue about how the aspects have given us their aid, you are becoming the true champion of Wrathion’s cause, and how we as adventurers wish that he would just clam up and give us our reward already. And without further adieu, you are presented with your ilvl 600 cloak reward. Going into patch 5.4, you want to make sure you take the Jadefire Drape, as this has been designated the “caster cloak” and will receive the legendary proc in the next step of the questline, whereas the Cranewing Cloak will get the healer proc, even though you gain the benefit of spirit into hit. It is quite a step up from what you may be using previous to this, as it has 3 secondary stats and an additional 1000 intellect, and should make you quite happy the first eight hundred times you use it.

 

Best of luck in your challenge, and may the Celestials bless you.