Monday, November 29, 2010

Thorns: back to wimpy

I was pretty excited with how hard Thorns hits in 4.0.1. I just noticed that now it is back down to wimpy:
In addition, Thorns damage has been reduced by 60%.
60%! The nerfbats hit harder in Cataclysm.

Lissanna on Eclipse

You get Eclipse now at level 10, so people leveling a moonkin need to learn how to use it. Lissanna of Restokin has posted a good guide on how to use Eclipse.

Just one thing, though:
At very low levels, things should die quickly with mostly spamming wrath and starfire (based on where you are in the Eclipse rotation). So, DOTs largely become optional at the lowest levels.
Yes, but without moonfire, then your moonkin does make BOOOM sounds! What's more important, leveling, or booming?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Portals begone

I play Warcraft to escape, to go to some other world. Like Shade so wonderfully wrote, I want to kill Internet dragons! As such, I'm with Qieth: I'm glad they removed the Dalaran and Shattrath portals. As he says:
Come here, son. Have a hard candy. I’ll tell you a story from my youth.

An excess of portals means that when you play Warcraft, you aren't so much logging into an alternate world. It's more like you are logging into a staging area, and then you select a portal to go to one little part of that world that is interesting. Dalaran becomes more like a filing cabinet or a bookmark list.

I certainly don't want to return to the days of classic WoW where they made you travel just to waste time. Duskwood questing was particularly horrible, because the quest givers and the quest goals were at opposite ends of the zone, and couldn't yet get a mount yet.

However, what's a few minutes of sitting on a wyvern or a zeppelin? It's pure goodness. It puts a pause between moving across massive distances, and it lets you gawk at some cool Azeroth scenery. You feel like you are going somewhere, rather than selecting a bookmark from your bookmark list. It puts the world back in the World.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Healing and tanking in PUGs

Jinked thoughts has a good write on it. On healers:
One thing I really love about being a healer is that whatever happens, I'll probably have it under control.
I've come to the same conclusion. I enjoy dpsing, and I enjoy tanking. However, on harder content, I want to be healing. When stuff goes wrong, I feel like there's something I can do about it.

On tanks:
They do all the work (especially in lowbie groups where the tank often does 50% of all the damage) and never get any recognition or love for it. One mistake and you'll have a choir of crying babies in your group.
Tanks work a lot harder than anyone else in the group. Holding aggro and using cooldowns is a second-by-second decision process, and you never know how it's going to go. Moreover, outside of raids, they usually end up guiding the party through the dungeon from pull to pull. Yet, as soon as anything goes wrong, the tank gets all manner of hate. It's a fun role if you feel like thinking a little bit, but you better thicken your skin. You're going to get flamed.

Notice one role missing? Dps. Dps is sweet and easy, and there's hardly anything to say. Just sit back and nuke whatever mobs the tank has pulled. Use whatever bizarre rotations you like; unless it's progression content, you'll still win.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

RestoDude on gearing and professions

RestoDude has an excellent summary up on gearing up a restoration druid in Cataclysm. It assumes you nothing, and it includes stats,

I hope it gets updated over time. I have a few comments on the details:

  • Spirit is not restoration-only. For restoration it gives mana regen, and for moonkin, it gives hit. Blizzard is always trying to make spirit valuable for all casters, and this is their latest effort.
  • It's true that mana regen is especially valuable at lower gear levels, but spirit isn't the best way to get it. In early Wrath, it made sense to gem for spirit if you were low on regen. In Cataclysm, you should gem intellect.
  • Herbalism is better than RestoDude says. It gives an extra cooldown besides Tree of Life for improved healing. You can either use it separately or macro it together with Tree, but either way it's a very helpful cooldown. Haste is great.

These are just nits. It's a great one-stop article for gearing up restoration druids in Cataclysm.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Keybinding your movement keys

Dreambound blog has an interesting idea:
If I'm moving around using WASD, I can't be using any spell with a cast-time, anyway. If I'm casting a spell that is cancelled by movement, I can't be moving anyway while I press the button to trigger it. So, cast-time spells can be bound to movement keys using modifiers to toggle them (ctrl, alt, shift).

I don't think I'll try it, but he does have a good point. I just don't think I need so many keys that I need to overload the movement keys. Here's why.

I use Bartender to get four rows of action bars. My top row maps 1-5, q, e, and r, giving me eight keybinds I can use without moving my hand off of WASD. My second row has shift-1, shift-2, etc., giving me eight more keybinds. My third row is for control-1, etc., and my fourth row is for control-shift-1, etc. This gives me 32 keybinds that are conveniently reachable from without moving from WASD. It's plenty.

By doing it this way, I hardly ever need to define macros. A lot of people write macros to make shift-3 do something different from control-3. This is more flexible, but it's more of a nuisance. If you use multiple action bars for the different modifier combinations, you can set them up using drag and drop.

Note that I left alt out of my list of modifiers. Adding alt to the mix would mean there are 64 keybinds available. However, I find the default meaning of alt to be convenient. It cuts down on the keybinding space significantly, but 32 is really already enough.

Stepping back from all this, I'm left with a big question: why doesn't Blizzard make the defaults better? They could give us four action bars by default, giving you a new bar every 20 levels or so. When we get a new spell, they could drop them into a reasonably place by default. Some people say that Blizzard can't do this because every user is different, but I call baloney. Blizzard knows very well what buttons people mash, and they know it better than most players. They've proven this by having the buttons light up when they are a good option to cast; why can't they do the much easier task of giving us good defaults?