Monthly Archives: October 2009

Nerf snow (off-topic)

So, it decided to start snowing early this year. Not snowing in game, but actually snowing IRL in the middle of October. OMG it’s too early for snow. I had to drive to & from campus Thursday in a mix of slushy snow gunk, but fortunately, not too much stuck to the roads during the warmer part of the day. It’s supposed to keep snowing Thursday night  & Friday, with up to a couple inches accumulating.

I know it doesn’t have anything to do with WoW, but seriously… I think the Lich King is making it snow a month too early… Isn’t everything Blizzard’s fault? The Californian in me still hates snow even after living through a couple winters in the North Eastern US.

Also, I take my comprehensive exam (written portion) in two weeks, so I expect things to be pretty crazy around here for a while.

UPDATE: About 4AM Friday morning (after I wrote the post), our neighborhood lost electricity (power came back around 10:30-ish). When it was light outside this morning, this is what I saw outside my back window:

October Wonderland

And, yes, there are still leaves on a lot of the poor trees out here. There are branches falling all over town (I think it may have been tree branches that took out our house’s power). These ones seem to be hanging on okay, but you can tell there’s  bright red leaves on the tree on the left here. The right tree had yellow & green leaves yesterday that you can’t even really see under the ice & snow. The garden we have on the side of the house used to have a couple flowering plants that went up to my knee, but those got squished & flattened by the snow in ways that I really hadn’t anticipated.


Posted in Uncategorized

More on Rejuv: GC’s forum feedback analyzed

Okay, so I know Ghostcrawler doesn’t like us combing over his every word, but I think his latest post relates to some of the frustration I’ve been expressing over the 3.3 rejuvenation changes.

Here’s a link to his forum post. Lets take his first post and see what he said about the rejuvenation changes in 3.3 and the Gift of the Earth Mother change:

I think our dislike for Rejuv blanketing gets oversold on these forums. We nerfed Rejuv because Rejuv was too good. Druids do have a lot of heals and ideally they would use all of them (and HT proponents even crop up from time to time). On the other hand, it’s challenging given that when a relic or set bonus props up one spell, that is probably going to be a popular spell. We’re fine with that to some extent. It’s interesting when certain pieces or tiers of gear lead you to want to change up which spells you favor.

We changed Gift of the Earth Mother because it was a problematic talent, as I’m sure many of you could agree. It’s one thing when class mechanics make a stat less optimal for you. It’s another when a talent totally stomps over a stat that shows up on a lot of gear.

We want Nourish to be a good spell, yes, but I think it has been for some time. None of these changes will kill Rejuv either.

With regard to the rejuvenation duration nerf and gearing issues: I think the nature of set bonuses and relics make balancing the use of spells problematic. They don’t necessarily want to give us set bonuses for spells we never use (because then we just wouldn’t pick up the set bonuses), so they have to try and make the bonuses appealing by targeting the spells we tend to spam the most. Framed in that context, it makes sense (I suppose). Also, they don’t seem to be totally stomping down on the rejuv-blanketing heal strategy, either.

I’m actually not surprised by the Gift of the Earth Mother change. It was too powerful from it’s inception, which wasn’t as problematic when there were low levels of haste on our gear, but become really problematic at high levels of haste on our gear. I’ve had to pass on lots of ToC 25-man upgrades just because they had haste on it and I couldn’t use any more haste than I already had for either my moonkin or healing set. It’s too hard to gear around a useless stat when that useless stat is all over all the gear.  I think it’s really too dramatic of an effect combined with the duration nerf (especially for people without access to the higher item level gear with more abundant haste), however GC’s second post says:

To be honest, we may revert the Rejuv nerf. This isn’t 100% finalized yet, so please don’t say we promised anything.   We definitely wanted to nerf Rejuv. However we also wanted to fix Gift of the Earth Mother. That change wasn’t necessarily aimed at further nerfing druids, even though that was the outcome. It was aimed at not making haste such a wonky stat for Resto.  In short, we think the GotEM change both nerfed druids and fixed the haste scaling problem so the Rejuv duration nerf may not be necessary. Stay tuned.

Okay, here’s my two cents on this one: It’s still possible to lower the GCD of rejuvenation to one second. However, this is more likely to happen at the cutting-edge of content, where there is more access to higher amounts of haste on gear. So, the combined effect of the nerfs (duration & haste) is a really big hit to people without access to as much haste gear, but they are likely also the people who are using more Nourish & less “blanketing” strategies in the first place. Not only will those people have shorter rejuvenations, but they will also have longer GCDs for all their HOTs, meaning they can cast fewer spells in the same length of a fight.

At the higher level (ie. tier 10 content in 3.3), the best way to effectively “nerf” their rejuvenations without nerfing the lower tiers would be to change the tier 10 4-piece set bonus. The set bonus is designed to (basically) aid with raid rejuvenation “blanketing,” so if this blanketing strategy is too strong in tier 10 gear, changing that set bonus is the best fix that doesn’t hurt other aspects of the game. While you want gear to prop up spells you are using, you don’t want a set bonus to be so powerful that it unbalances the spell it is propping up (the resto druid tier 8 4-piece bonus WAS too good). At a longer duration of rejuvenation, this becomes all that more powerful of a set bonus, so it’s better to balance the set bonus rather than to balance the class around this set bonus.

That said, the people who might fear the worst from these changes are Arena PvP teams. The nerfs are really aimed at high-level raiders, but have consequences for PvP aspects of the game, and we don’t want resto PvP to be too weak because now all their spells lost  (basically) 15% haste and they have to cast rejuv more often without the PvE gear designed to compensate for the changes. They also can’t cast nourish as much because of interruption/silencing issues, so they tend to depend on their HOTs for the majority of their healing.

If the duration nerf doesn’t go through now, expect to see it in Cataclysm. In Cataclysm testing, we’ll have the opportunity to turn the healing style on it’s head and start from scratch to figure out how to make a good healing style that will work better. This may be like the lifebloom nerf that didn’t get “reverted”, but just got delayed until they could work out a better strategy for druid healing to replace the lifebloom spamming with (unfortunately, it appears to be human nature to look for one button to spam… go us!). We need lifebloom & regrowth looked at and turned into viable spells. The haste change may indirectly do that for regrowth in the long run (more haste means shorter regrowth cast time, means it might be a viable alternative to rejuv in some situations), if regrowth was made more mana efficient in Cataclysm. Nourish is “fine”, and it’s strong compared to other single target “flash heals,” but it doesn’t work as a raid heal that well because it’s single-target without any HOT component of it’s own, and we usually don’t get assigned to tank healing in larger (25-man) raids where there is usually more paladins or other tank healers that can do it just as good or better.

After 3.3 comes Cataclysm, and we’ll have Cataclysm in a year or less, if all estimations are correct. So, I think just leaving rejuvenation strong is going to be better for 3.3, and we can survive the tweaks more without ruining PvP if we wait on some of the nerfing that is going to potentially really hurt PvP arena healing (where resto still isn’t terribly strong in 5v5 pre-nerfs). I think keeping the GotEM nerf is probably necessary, but maybe reverting the duration nerf for rejuv would be good for 3.3 just to give us time to adjust to the other changes and see how it works out under the new system for haste and such. If it’s still too strong at the full duration in 3.3, then you can always just say “oops” and nerf it in 3.3.1 or 3.3.2. I expect the duration to be nerfed for sure in Cataclysm, and that should be fine because we can have the other spells balanced around that new duration and the new talents and such at that point.

Posted in Patch 3.3 WotLK, Restoration Healing Trees

New PTR Build: Combat res & resto druid changes (and more!)

So, there is a new PTR build for patch 3.3. This post is still subject to change, but I finally got the first round of EJ forum haste GOTEM numbers, so I figure I’ll post this before we’ve got all the rest worked out…

  • Rebirth: The cooldown on this spell has been lowered from 20 minutes down to 10 minutes. Cannot be used in Arenas.

So, all druids can res every 10 minutes in combat now. YAY! You’ll have fewer boss fights where you say “mine’s not up yet!”  Yay fun buff!

  • Resto talent: Gift of the Earthmother: Redesigned. This talent now increases spell haste by 2/4/6/8/10% instead of its previous effect.

Previously, the talent at rank 5 was: Reduces the base global cooldown of your Rejuvenation, Lifebloom and Wild Growth spells by 20%.
So, it looks like a 10% loss to HOTs, but it is really closer to a 15% haste loss, because the old bonus used to reduce the BASE global cooldown instead of being a straight haste bonus like the new version is. What this change means is that the amount of haste that you’ll need for HOTs to hit the 1 second GCD is going up by a lot. I haven’t done (or seen) the math yet, but this is definitely one of their attempts to make us want to wear more haste gear.  I’m not really all that shocked, since the talent really put a low limit on the amount of haste we wanted with full raid buffs. This puts the EJ forum calculations at needing between 856 haste rating (no Celestial Focus, no Nature’s Grace, + full raid buffs) to 1193 haste rating (No CF, no NG, no buffs). This is up from 359 and 665 (respectively). OUCH. However, Regrowth & Nourishes will be super fast at this high haste level…

I would be happier trading in the new version for getting 15% for HOTs and 5% for direct healing spells, honestly. You’re going to have really bad Nourish GCD clipping issues (like how moonkin have wrath GCD clipping issues) if you tank heal & use Nourish a lot between HOT refreshes with 800 haste rating….

  • Glyph of rapid rejuvenation – Your haste now reduces the time between the periodic healing ticks of your Rejuvenation spell.

This is not available on glyph vendor yet as of 7pm EST on Tuesday.

New Tier 10 Idols for all druid specs:

  • Item – Druid Relic – The periodic damage from your Lacerate and Rake abilities grants 44 Agility for 15 sec. Stacks up to 5 times.
  • Item – Druid Balance Relic  – The periodic damage from your Insect Swarm and Moonfire spells grants 44 critical strike rating for 15 sec. Stacks up to 5 times.
  • Item – Druid T10 Restoration Relic (Rejuvenation) – The periodic healing from your Rejuvenation spell grants 32 spell power for 15 sec. Stacks up to 8 times.

My response to the rejuvenation one is… why bother? The tier 9 glyph gives 234 for 9 seconds, but refreshes often enough (even with just 1 rejuv) that it’s pretty much always up. The new one stacks up to 8 times, for a total of: 32×8 = 256 healing. This is a whole 22 healing difference. So, if you spam rejuv on everyone in the raid, you’ll benefit from the 8x stacking one. If you don’t blanket the raid with rejuvs, just keep the old one…

For the Moonkin glyph, the old one is 200 crit rating. The new one is 220 crit rating. So, not a very big difference, but with benefitting from both moonfire AND insect swarm ticks, you may get your stacks pretty fast. So, it’s pretty much a toss-up to me.

Other fun non-druid patch notes:

  • Any party member may mark raid targets.
  • Mr. Chilly is no longer named Oswald, and got his old name back.

Please don’t abuse the raid marking feature. It is not a toy. Also… YAY for MR. Chilly!!!! They probably had to change the name back since they won’t have time to patch in the name change before they release the pet to people later this week.

Posted in Patch 3.3 WotLK, Restoration Healing Trees, Uncategorized accounts: Understanding the switch

Okay, so within the next month, all WoW players have to switch to accounts. I just want to clear up some misconceptions. Their FAQ can be found here.

  • Why do I have to use a account to log into WoW?

The account is basically just giving you a new login & password for your WoW account. You make the account, and then tie your WoW account to that account, and then use that login info for the WoW login screen. You can tie multiple accounts to the same login, and then get a drop-down menu to select which account you want to log in to.

  • Why is Blizzard doing it?

Blizzard wants to make one login that will manage all their current & future games. This helps people not have to remember multiple account information passwords & logins when they have lots of WoW accounts. They also plan to implement new chat features (cross-game, cross-server, cross-faction) which they couldn’t implement under the current login database system they had previously developed.  In short, the new account system is better, and new WoW features will require the new software technology they developed for

  • What if I only have one account & don’t plan on getting other Blizzard games, why should I care? Why should I have to upgrade?

There are a lot of misconceptions going on with customer service forum posters being frustrated about why they have to upgrade. The reason everyone has to upgrade is because Blizzard wants everyone to be on the same login server network & database system. The new login system is different than the old one, and it’s BETTER than the old one. They plan to shut down the old login system, which is why they are making the switch mandatory, because they need everyone on the new system because of features that will be integrated into everyone’s WoW’s existing chat features.

  • What if I want to dual-box 2 WoW accounts?

You can still dualbox if you tie both WoW accounts to the same account. When you log into the screen for WoW, you can choose which account you want to log into. You can still have each WoW account active at the same time, even if they are all under the same account. You just have the benefit of not having to remember multiple login information!

  • What if I have multiple accounts but don’t want them on the same account?

Not wanting to share accounts across WoW accounts is an important concern for parents who don’t want to share their account’s login information with their children. You could also just want them tied to different login information for other reasons. To have different accounts, you just make different e-mail addresses to go along with that account. You can only have one account per e-mail address, but you can make as many e-mail addresses as you have accounts (and you can set up e-mail forwarding to your primary e-mail account if you need to).

  • What should I do if I’m worried about account security? Are accounts less secure?

First, it wouldn’t do Blizzard any good to move to a less secure system. So, they have just as many security features in place for the accounts as the previous login system. The rate of account hacking is about the same for the current system and the new account system, because the compromises come from the user’s end and not blizzard. Computer security is the best way to avoid account compromises. If you are concerned about the security of your account, there are several steps you can take:

A) Create a brand-new e-mail address that you don’t use for anything else besides your account. Most e-mail systems allow for forwarding to other addresses if you want to be able to receive copies of the e-mails from Blizzard to your normal account.

B) If that e-mail address gets compromised, you can change what e-mail address you use for your account. Changing the e-mail address tied to the account will change the login information for the game (this is actually better than the previous one where your account login name could never be changed).

C) Practice good computer security. Blizzard’s tech support information can help you find free programs that can scan your computer. I’m using Avast right now for my computer security, since it’s the program that picked up on my blog’s infection a couple months back. Protecting your computer and your account from attacks is YOUR responsibility. Don’t reply to any e-mails that ask for your account information. Don’t click on suspicious links, etc.

D) Buy an authenticator. Seriously. There are some in stock at the Blizzard store right now. If you don’t have an authenticator and you are worried at all about the security of your account, spend that best $6.50 of your life for peace of mind. They also have free versions for some types of phones (if they are working again now). You will tie one authenticator to the account. Even if they get your account login name & password, they can’t get into the account management page or log into the game.

  • How will the new chat system work?

The new chat system was previewed at Blizzcon. A lot of the features are still subject to change, but you can notice in the last picture that the chat box in WoW has names & not the account login e-mail address or anything like that. It’s going to be a system that allows people to keep tabs on their friends who are on different servers, or what game in their account they are on, etc. They haven’t announced much in the way of details yet about the new chat system, but I expect them to reveal a lot more over the next month or two.

Posted in Uncategorized


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