Okay, so I started working on a couple big blog post projects. Some of these are going to take a long time to work out, so I wanted to give you an early weekend preview while I spend more time working on them. Here are my short-term blog writing goals over the next couple of weeks:
- What spells moonkin need for level 85 PvP and PvE. I started collecting feedback on this problem a while back, and now I’m finally (almost) ready to present my final analysis of what new spells moonkin need, why, and how to make both PvP and PvE playstyles better (more different!). My feedback posts usually neglect PvP, so I’m making a big emphasis here in my pre-cataclysm feedback project.
- Improving feral leveling from 1 to 30. Since I spend a lot of time listening to low level druids cry about how bad 10 to 20 is. We also know that they finally care about the leveling process of the classes, and that they may be willing in Cataclysm to tweak the early levels to be better. So, I’m working on coming up with ideas of a couple of changes to the timing of when we get our feral abilities, so that we can have more buttons to push between 10 and 30. I spent a couple hours working on it already, but it’s not done yet!
- Leveling guide revamp for 3.3! I need to be prepared by the end of Thanksgiving break for patch 3.3 to hit. It takes a couple hours (per guide!) to go back through everything and keep things up to date. I’ll be reviewing the talent recommendations, PvP recommendations, and other things – to make sure that it’s all up to date. I didn’t do a full revamp for 3.2 because of my schedule, so I know a handful of things are already out of date here.
- Resto healing guide revamp for 3.3! With the changes to resto druids in 3.3 (along with gradual shifts in people’s playstyles over time), I’m going to need to spend a couple hours working over all the talent specs, spell rotations, gear descriptions, and all the fun stuff that changes every patch. I think I can do most of the work before the patch hits.
- I have to make blog-friendly AND forum-friendly versions of BOTH guides, which is actually a really huge undertaking, so that’s what I get to spend my week-long Thanksgiving break doing. I won’t release the new guide versions until 3.3 hits (yay for patch day guide updating!). However, I could post previews for feedback as things develop.
In addition to all these planned things, I may also find other stuff to write about. I’ll probably be working on things like leveling my shaman (level 77 now) & getting the pilgrim bounty achievements for my druid.
So, Pilgrim’s Bounty begins this Sunday, the 22nd and lasts thru the 28th.
This is the first time where turkeykin hunting season is being recognized as an actual in-game holiday, much to the dismay of all the turkeykin who will be ruthlessly tracked and hunted down this season. However, instead of just having turkeykin hunting season, we also get our revenge! We are now able to also become the hunters, and we get to sniff out some rogues from the shadows. Take that you rogues for getting Starfall nerfed last year & making it moonkin hunting season all year in arenas! We also get to use our sneaking skills as druids to infiltrate enemy cities!
Not into hunting? There are also lots of food related achievements! We get to have food fights, we’ll be able to cook up some yummy food (though I object to having to cook up some roasted turkeykin), we get to learn the importance of being part of a community of caring and learn the benefits of sharing.
There will also be a series of daily quests, including having to make some yummy pies! And yes, I object to having to cook up roasted turkeykin for this one, too.
The reward for slaughtering all the helpless turkeykin… I mean completing all the achievements… is getting a turkey pet of your own.
Raid instances need trash mobs for several reasons:
- Helps with pacing of raid content. It slows down the raiding group so they can’t blow through content as fast. Part of the problem with the 10 & 25-man ToC instance is that we complete it too fast. Without any trash mobs to better pace the time between boss fights, we get done with it super fast and then we’re bored. Adding more trash to a raid dungeon to slow down the pacing to a more appropriate speed is going to be better than just needing dozens of bosses to keep people busy. It also helps with pacing of new content that you are struggling on. For hard mode ToC, a guild can get really demoralized for going into an instance and killing basically nothing – and leaving with nothing but a huge repair bill. If there were at least trash pulls, then at least you are accomplishing something when you go in the instance, and maybe earning some of that repair bill back in trash loot/money.
- Provides content where players are more forgiving. Doesn’t necessarily require new models or super interesting unique abilities. We’re much more forgiving of trash mobs being repetitive but not forgiving of bosses being repetitive. It’s a great way to add content in a way that doesn’t demand as much from the development team (you can re-use art models, and you can have multiple packs that are the same mob types with the same abilities).
- Gives raiders some rewards even if they don’t kill the boss. Killing trash in the past has provided things like: chances for random loot, patterns, money to pay repair bills, and sometimes even reputation. There were instances in the past where we went in before we were able to kill the bosses. Why? To farm the trash mobs for their random drops, reputation, or whatever other goodies we had a chance of getting from there. You can have decent incentives to want to kill trash mobs if the instance is designed well. If you are wiping a lot on that boss, then at least you got something out of killing the mobs leading up to it. While the bosses are less difficult now than they were in BC, it doesn’t reduce the importance of killing trash mobs for guilds who are learning new bosses & wiping a lot on it.
- Breaks up type of encounters to sometimes alternate between easier and harder mob types; shorter & longer fights; bigger & smaller numbers; having to actually use crowd control on trash. Trash mobs can sometimes be interesting encounters in their own way! Going into an instance and having everything kinda feel the same can suck sometimes. Going straight from boss to boss to boss is actually pretty repetitive without something to break it up. Going from boss to trash to boss means that you shifted between really short fights (usually on the trash) to longer & more intense boss fights. Trash mobs can still be challenging & require interesting strategies sometimes, too! Some of the AQ40 trash mobs had really interesting effects and were really challenging and interesting, but as you got better at the instance, it became easier to blow through those and you felt a sense of accomplishment just at getting faster at clearing the trash packs.
If trash in instances is so great, why do people complain about it so much? It usually has more to do with it not quite being designed right. Possible problems with trash:
- Sometimes, there is too much of it and it slows down the pacing too much. An example of too much trash is Freya. Freya is too trashy (yes, I wanted to find a way just to say that)…
- Can sometimes be too repetitive, but that’s usually only a problem when there’s too much of it.
- Can sometimes be designed poorly (too hard or too easy), or designed in a way that is more annoying than fun.
In conclusion, as much as people love to hate on the trash mobs in instances, having mini-pulls between boss pulls can really be a great addition to a raid instance and can help it feel more epic. I miss trash mobs when I go to ToC 10/25-man, because the instance just flies by at an inappropriately fast pace. You can mix up how much or little there is for each boss, which can also make things interesting & different – with having different pacing between bosses. However, too much is sometimes worse than too little. ToC makes me miss trashy instances, and I’m actually going to appreciate the trash in Icecrown Citadel so much more than I ever appreciated it before.
The moon chicken or the egg?
Okay, so I usually plan & write posts a day in advance when I can, and then I schedule things to post after I go to bed (which is why often I have posts at odd hours of the morning). I have a really good idea for what I want to do for my next thoughtful post, but it’s going to take an hour or two of writing to craft it well. I got the outline already finished, but my brain is too tired after finishing my oral comprehensive exams. I passed my comps, by the way… so all I have left now is proposing & completing my dissertation. So, instead of a well written & thoughtful post, my Tuesday post is now going to be a chicken in an egg. Sorry to disappoint.
Cemone (my boyfriend’s priest) thought it was hilarious to put PW:Shield on my moonkin because it looked like a chicken in an egg, so I took a screenshot of it for fun. And… I’m so worn out that I think it’s really funny and wanted to share. I also have one more if you don’t appreciate bubble chicken.
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? NO! It’s a giant hunter pet!
When we were forming up for a raid the other day, I saw that someone’s pet was like many sizes too big. Somehow the graphic got bugged and someone’s pet got turned into a huge towering monstrosity.
Also, I think the Mr. T masks grenades are really, really funny. Seriously.
Happy maintenance Tuesday!