Friday, April 30, 2010

Consolation Gift

I don't usually do 10mans. I don't play *that* much to do 10's and 25's. But the 25man only summoned 20 players, so we rolled in to a continued LK and spent 2 hours learning him.

Photos: Learning the ropes, the magic 10%, and feeling like I'm on top of the world.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Bring the player not the warm body: The Better Answer to Ten Man vs Twenty-Five Man Raiding

The answer to ten man vs twenty-five man raiding is simple. Let raids size from 10 up to 25 -- including every number in-between. Scale loot and difficulty based on in-boss raid attendance. Don't put in mechanics where you have to change them when you only have 10 (e.g.- mind-controlling priests vs mind-control devices).

Scale the number of loot drops. Scale the boss health. Scale the adds. Scale the damage out. Everything is a formula already, just add in a raid size coefficient.

Don't have 25 on raid day one? Raid with what you have. Have more the next raid night? Great! Raid with what you have. Bring the player not the warm body.

Added to the Blizzard suggestion box.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Shared 10/25man lockouts

I think the “10- and 25- man raids in Cataclysm will share the same lockout” idea is a big mistake. I’m not sure why Blizz wants to add drama to EVERY 25man raiding guild. Sure the overall picture is great for 10man guilds, but it would be the same without this shared lockout as well. 25man guilds usually have smaller cores that also run 10s.. and the 10s are usually a lot easier/progressed.

Now, if it means you can switch back and forth within the same raidId, then might that be decent? e.g.- run 25man for three nights and then run 10man in the same raidid for a fourth or fifth night. I still think it would be drama-ful. If somebody runs the 25man the first night and then clears the place in a 10man on a second night there would be many a sad-face.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Friday, April 9, 2010

Losing Cataclysmic Focus

The hunter preview is covered all over the place. From a DPS standpoint we know they are focused (pardon the pun) on damage. That's the key term for all the mastery benefits. The bummer is that the new abilities are mostly focused on PvP. They threw in tasty gravy, but I don't see any meat.

I suspect focus will actually be a lose for us. Here's why: Today when you want to go all-out burn-them-now, you pretty much know if you can and if you have the mana to do it. You've got a cooldown or two you can pop. But you will be using all sorts of your resource (currently mana) in short period of time. With focus, you will be constrained on how much you can do. There isn't a built-up reserve like with combo points. There isn't a mana pool you've been conserving. There are 100 focus and you can burn through it with just a shot and a disengage. I suspect that when we want to unload on a target we'll be watching our focus and waiting instead of watching the cooldowns of big abilities.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Focus of the Hunter Talent Trees

What are the hunter talent trees supposed to be "all about"? I thought it would be good to revisit this as we approach the unveiling of the Cataclysmic hunter. This is where we are. This is where I think we should be. It will be interesting to learn where Blizzard thinks we should be.
The PvP Question
Blizzard has said that no hunter tree is supposed to be "the PvP tree"... they are all supposed to be on equal footing. That's reasonable to believe given their sprinkling of joy between the trees. Beastmasters get wrath, and intimidation. Wrath used to be the cats pajamas with a long uptime. Marksmen get nice bleeds, good concussion shots and stuns, the silence every non-Marksman yearns for, an interesting disarm, the mortal strike healing debuff, and of course great dps and burst dps with readiness. Survival hunters get a sleep shot, nice DoTs, fun traps, buffy traps, and scatter shot. Of course all the low hanging talents are available for all, but it's clear no talent tree totally owns PvP and no talent tree is "just for PvP".

Beast Mastery - The Hunter and their Pet
To me, it's clear that Beast Mastery is all about the synergy between hunter and pet. Nearly all the talents are currently aligned that way.

Marksmanship - The Hunter and their Gun or Bow
Again - to me - the Marksmanship talent tree seems like it should be all about the hunter and the ranged weapon. The hunter loves the ranged weapon as much as their pet. Okay to be honest, they love their weapon more. Currently, the talents in Marksman are a bit all over the place. They are reliant on DoTs. They have the pet focus increase talent. They have a lot of utility stuff that does fit: hunter's mark and true shot aura. But then they've got various stuns, slows, the silence, healing debuff, etc which all are about restricting and surviving instead of head-shot instaGib'ng. These are the guys that are in a crouched position firing from max range.

Survival - The Hunter and whatever they can do
Once again the refrain - IMHO - the Survival talent tree should be control-oriented like the mage frost talents. They should have the restricting and surviving talents. These are the guys that should be dancing while they fight. I'm all for each talent tree having the ability to crank out dps. But Survival has a lot of talents that seem like they should be in Marksmanship. Indeed a few had been. A survival hunter should be able to run around, fire from melee under a boss's crotch, and disengage all over. Why do Survivalists have Hawk Eye and Sniper Training? Don't those have "Marksmanship" written all over them?

I'm very interested to see what the new interpretation is. The hunter class preview comes out April 9th.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Sadly This Was Not an April Fool's Joke

I have a lot of hardware automatically monitored for various metrics. Well, the shit hit the fan at 5am this morning for one tier that is handling 4,900 MySQL events per second. I don't carry a pager, I just have the pager-events routed to AT&T as text messages (to an AT&T email address). It saves me a device. Unfortunately, I got about 400 of these things. My phone was almost dead by 10am thanks to the buzz feature for texts.

Oh and there's no bulk-delete of text messages. Maybe I can do it if plug it in and find a directory for them... hmm.

I did get to call people reaally early this morning on their cells and home numbers. I'll have to remember to try doing it next April 1st when there isn't any problem whatsoever. Ya know. Rouse them all up, get them on the conference call, and then yell "APRIL FOOL!". Okay, not too classy, but I've been working for 12 hours already.