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Fighteer Geronimo! from the Time Vortex Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
Geronimo!
Aug 4th 2009 at 6:44:35 PM

Dodge got nerfed a bit, no idea about armor.

Balance Druids got a small buff, Resto wasn't touched, Retribution Paladins got a rework that I haven't played with yet, and Protection Paladins got a buff. So I'm pleased.

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Morven Nemesis from Seattle, WA, USA
Nemesis
Aug 4th 2009 at 8:40:49 PM

Like always, I wish I'd taken a snapshot of my stats pre-upgrade, so I could be wholly sure.

I have a lv24 retribution paladin that's going to take a bit of relearning now that I can do different stuff; it doesn't seem so much nerfed as just changed. Looks like death knights DID get nerfed down a bit, though, from what I can see.

Happy about the new, lower level & cheaper mounts for my lower level alts. Now I'm going to have to get the gold to get the flying mount for my lv64 hunter, though.

The battleground XP thing is interesting. Not that great XP, though; probably just enough so that people can't twink around in the regular battlegrounds right at the level cap with the best gear on; they'll have to give up XP and move to the twinks-only B Gs. I think effectively it means the end of maxed-out twinks at the higher-level battleground brackets short of 80; frankly I don't think I see enough twinked-out characters in the 50-59 and 60-70 B Gs to have it feasible for them to opt for the no-XP route and find enough people to battle with. At the lower levels, I suspect, there'll be plenty to go that route at 19, 29, 39.

The ability to give up XP gain at any point might make some originalists happy, too, the guys who want to only play original content and not advance past 60.

A brighter future for a darker age.
Fighteer Geronimo! from the Time Vortex Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
Geronimo!
Aug 5th 2009 at 6:18:37 AM

Well the whole point of being able to turn off XP gain is so twinks can stay in their desired bracket and not "accidentally" advance in levels. It's also interesting that twinks will now be segregated from non-twinks in BG queues, so no more getting steamrolled by some level 19 Rogue with 2000 health, 120% dodge, and 1000 attack power.

Oh, and when I said that Resto Druids did not get nerfed, I lied. Their big change is that Lifebloom took a 20% hit on the final bloom. On the other hand, Nourish now benefits from Empowered Touch (+20% spellpower coefficient), which changes the "base" Resto spec a bit. The LB change is more aimed at PvP - I cannot for the life of me think of a time in a raid when it mattered whether the bloom was 3K or 3.5K. It's just a nice bit of burst healing that you can sort of time.

I spent some time last night doing the Northrend Children's Week quests and playing with the new Argent Tournament content. The randomness of the assigned daily quests should break up the monotony a bit. My guild split into two 10 man groups to try out the Coliseum and got resoundingly owned; those first bosses require a lot of raid coordination to beat. I was so excited to see all of it that I forgot to buy Cold Weather Flying for my level 71 Priest and check out the new Heirloom items.

Tonight we extend last week's Ulduar 25 raid so we can try to take down Yogg-Saron.

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Oscredwin Cold. from The Frozen East
Cold.
Aug 5th 2009 at 4:26:54 PM

Haven't played since christmas, just took a look at the new paladin talents for the first time in a while. They really cut some fat out of the prot tree. I take it that 10% kings is baseline now? And do warlocks do damage again? It was fun at 70 rocking the damage meters as a lock.

Sex, Drugs, and Rationality
Clarste One Winged Egret Relationship Status: Non-Canon
One Winged Egret
Aug 5th 2009 at 5:05:14 PM

Warlocks never stopped doing damage, as far as I can tell. And yeah, 10% Kings is baseline now. It's kind of funny to think back on its travels. First a 31 point ret talent, then 11 point prot, then 5 point prot, and finally it's just trainable.

Oscredwin Cold. from The Frozen East
Cold.
Aug 5th 2009 at 7:01:48 PM

Warlocks were kinda bad in the beginning of Wot LK. Seeing that is what made me switch to tankadin.

Sex, Drugs, and Rationality
Fighteer Geronimo! from the Time Vortex Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
Geronimo!
Aug 5th 2009 at 8:00:25 PM

There was a lot of rebalancing after LK launch, but Warlocks seem to be in a good place now. Really, all DPS is viable, it's just a matter of situational variation, which is exactly how it should be.

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Morven Nemesis from Seattle, WA, USA
Nemesis
Aug 6th 2009 at 4:45:14 AM

Certainly in PVP battlegrounds warlocks consistently do pretty well, as do well-played hunters. Had some fun times tangling with one in Alterac Valley earlier today. Interesting because the two classes have strong similarities yet fascinating differences.

I wouldn't quite say, yet, I quite make "well-played hunter" but I'm working on it, at least in B Gs. And, unlike a bunch of the other guys, my gear is pretty standard quest stuff — no instance stuff, nothing super expensive from the AH.

I'm getting so dependent on tracking, though; playing a non-Hunter is so hard now ;)

A brighter future for a darker age.
Neo_Crimson Your army sucks. from behind your lines.
Your army sucks.
Aug 6th 2009 at 3:06:23 PM

Certainly in PVP battlegrounds warlocks consistently do pretty well, as do well-played hunters. Had some fun times tangling with one in Alterac Valley earlier today. Interesting because the two classes have strong similarities yet fascinating differences.

This reminds me of a time where my hunter and an Alliance warlock killed each other simultaneously in Warsong Gulch.

Stupid DO Ts >_<

Sorry, I can't hear you from my FLYING METAL BOX!
Morven Nemesis from Seattle, WA, USA
Nemesis
Aug 6th 2009 at 5:44:33 PM

Heh, I've had something similar happen. I bet it happens to warlocks all the time — so much of their stuff is damage-over-time, so the experience of mortally wounding an opponent who still manages to kill them first can't be all that rare. (Kind of like what can happen in real life too; the guy you fatally shoot may still kill you first).

Levelled from lv. 64 to 65 through battlegrounds only, over the last few days.

The bane of a hunter's existence in PVP is the death knight, however, and their yank-you "come here" attack (forget its name). Hunters are so damn helpless at melee range in PVP; unlike every other ranged class, our attacks don't work up close at all. Disengage only works to a degree. I have a pretty good melee weapon, but I don't last long up close against a DK who knows what they're doing.

A brighter future for a darker age.
Neo_Crimson Your army sucks. from behind your lines.
Your army sucks.
Aug 6th 2009 at 8:02:50 PM

If your good at kiting you can own a DK, I know. My main's a DK.

Too bad I suck at kiting.

edited 6th Aug '09 8:03:58 PM by Neo_Crimson

Sorry, I can't hear you from my FLYING METAL BOX!
Morven Nemesis from Seattle, WA, USA
Nemesis
Aug 6th 2009 at 11:17:38 PM

The 65 hunter is my main; I haven't been playing all that long. Here's my wowarmory profile.

A brighter future for a darker age.
Fighteer Geronimo! from the Time Vortex Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
Geronimo!
Aug 7th 2009 at 11:05:37 AM

I'm aware before I even post that this may sound elitist, and it really isn't my intention. You should definitely get to 80 and pick up some endgame gear before making any absolute judgements about class balance. The game is hugely different.

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Aug 7th 2009 at 11:07:05 AM

I managed to get a BE Paladin up to level 10.

But man am I a slow leveler. Maybe it's because I don't play all that often. Maybe this weekend I'll play some more.

Fanfiction I hate.
Fighteer Geronimo! from the Time Vortex Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
Geronimo!
Aug 7th 2009 at 11:11:34 AM

Oh, that's right. Last night (before the world server crashed), I got my priest his Cold Weather Flying book and flew around Northrend revealing the map. By the time he got the Northrend Explorer achievement, he had earned over half of the XP to level 72. grin

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Morven Nemesis from Seattle, WA, USA
Nemesis
Aug 7th 2009 at 11:48:00 AM

I'm sure it's different at 80, but that doesn't render judgments of the game balance at lower levels irrelevant either, surely?

A brighter future for a darker age.
Fighteer Geronimo! from the Time Vortex Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
Geronimo!
Aug 7th 2009 at 12:30:54 PM

Well, for one thing Blizzard has said that they do not make any serious attempt to balance the game below max level. They do make an attempt to balance the addition of new trained abilities, and of course there are limits to the itemization you can get from gear, but otherwise their objective is to get people to 80 and then worry about it.

As an example, you can go from 1-49 without ever seeing a Death Knight, but then you hit the 50-59 bracket and suddenly you're being Death Gripped everywhere. As another example, you don't have to deal with Druids stacking Lifebloom until level 64, but that makes a huge difference in how you handle dispels. It's the same with CC abilities like Cyclone, and even damage abilities - a Retribution Paladin becomes a lot more dangerous at level 60 when he can pick up Divine Storm.

And of course there's the inevitable factor that in any any bracket below max level, there will be a range of player levels participating. You might get owned by a level 69 character simply because he can get more health and do more damage than you can, and stomp all over a "newbie" 61. Get to 80 and those differences go away. Granted, they're quickly superseded by gear, but it's a different sort of grind from that point on.

None of this is to say that your experience at 65 isn't valid — of course it is. But soon you'll be 66, then 67... and those woes will be forgotten. It's a lot more crucial to balance things at 80.

edited 7th Aug '09 12:32:19 PM by Fighteer

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Morven Nemesis from Seattle, WA, USA
Nemesis
Aug 7th 2009 at 12:45:04 PM

Put that way it makes more sense. Yes, given the breadth of the pre-80 brackets, the variation between levels makes more of a difference than small percentages in any kind of balance — probably, on the extreme end, more difference than player skill a lot of the time. It's certainly the case that it's easy to stomp a player ten levels under you, even if you're not all that good.

I think perhaps I'm learning & caring about this stuff more now because the 60-70 bracket is the first PVP bracket I've found that hasn't been utterly dominated by maxed-out dedicated twink characters. It's possible to play these and be successful without being max level for the bracket with the best gear; I'm frequently in the top 5 scored players out of 40 in Alterac Valley, for instance, at level 64/65.

This is probably because I don't think anyone creates an alt in order to reach lv69/70 and stop. If you get into the 60s, you're working towards 80, it seems.

A brighter future for a darker age.
Fighteer Geronimo! from the Time Vortex Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
Geronimo!
Aug 7th 2009 at 12:48:37 PM

That and the players who intentionally twink have now been segregated from the rest by the XP cancellation system. Remember that if you turn off XP so you can stay at a particular level, you only get matched with other players who did the same.

However, I agree that it seems like far too much work to twink in the 60+ brackets.

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Morven Nemesis from Seattle, WA, USA
Nemesis
Aug 7th 2009 at 12:51:02 PM

Even before that, though, I didn't see twink characters in the 60-70 bracket; too much work to get there then stop.

A brighter future for a darker age.
Fighteer Geronimo! from the Time Vortex Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
Geronimo!
Aug 7th 2009 at 12:54:14 PM

Speaking of XP cancellation, it will be interesting to see how many players stop at 60 or 70 and form raid groups for classic/BC endgame content. Now that you won't accidentally level, it should be much easier to recreate the feel of the old raids, and I imagine that more than one guild will intentionally focus on this. Well, there already were people doing it, but now it'll be possible to specifically affiliate with others who've turned off their XP gain.

edited 7th Aug '09 12:54:51 PM by Fighteer

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Morven Nemesis from Seattle, WA, USA
Nemesis
Aug 7th 2009 at 1:09:52 PM

I've heard people talking about doing this; I hope they do. It's kind of depressing, in a way, seeing all the original endgame content that so much work was put into get almost never used. Especially the pre-BC stuff, like Blackrock Depths. If you go in there, you're lucky to see one other player in the whole complex.

A brighter future for a darker age.
Fighteer Geronimo! from the Time Vortex Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
Geronimo!
Aug 7th 2009 at 1:29:45 PM

During BC (and LK), I intentionally went back and soloed the old dungeons I hadn't gotten credit for to complete the Dungeonmaster achievement. It was entertaining.

But the lack of interest in lower level dungeons can be ascribed to a very simple fact (well, two really): There are less new players joining the game, and the rate of experience gain has been increased to the point where you can easily solo your way to endgame on a minimum amount of zone questing.

Of course, the problem here is that without a lot of dungeons being run, it's very hard for newbies to gain the group play experience they need to be effective at endgame. It's frankly embarrassing to join Pu Gs with these players, and they stand no chance of getting into a decent raid guild unless they have a more experienced friend to guide them along.

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Morven Nemesis from Seattle, WA, USA
Nemesis
Aug 7th 2009 at 1:43:20 PM

I generally play with between 1-3 friends, which means I'm at least learning SOME skill at playing with others, but I've never done bigger than a 5-man.

As a marksmanship hunter with a tanking pet, though, it seems like the rules are pretty similar; learn one's best shot rotation and practice to get the highest DPS, watch one's aggro, healing potions when necessary. It's got to be harder playing a class for whom the whole role is completely different when playing with a larger group.

A brighter future for a darker age.
Fighteer Geronimo! from the Time Vortex Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
Geronimo!
Aug 7th 2009 at 2:03:44 PM

Like Warriors and Paladins who don't even own a shield, or don't know how to taunt, or never learned Defensive Stance/Righteous Fury, or...

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