28 February, 2007

Check Diz Out Yo, Boyakasha!

The official World of Warcraft website has gotten a new addition, the Armory! (Euro) (US)

It allows you to search for characters (I found out that there's plenty of human females named Florune, even one tard that's a male warrior) and search for guilds. Even check arena teams - sort em by battlegroup standings, server, wins, losses, the wholeshebang!

Pretty intuitive interface. AJAX solution web 2.0 zomg. Unfortunately it's a bit buggy, cause I can't load guild or character pages. Otherwise pretty damn cool. Strongly recommend that you check it out.

The Big Question

It's funny to look at the mass of posts on the Pally forum. Most of them regarding Eyonix's comment that Paladin burst DPS needs to be toned down.

And in what way were these (scrapped) change supposed to fix it? It did nothing to reduce our burst DPS. Hell, if they did anything, it was improving our burst DPS through increasing Avenging Wrath for 10 seconds.

Blizzard feels like nerfing us on something that nobody really thinks or thought needed nerfing and they nerf it by buffing what they wanted to nerf and instead nerf what they didn't intended to be nerfed. Ironically if they changed BoP mechanics slightly our nerf would've really been a buff!

So, anyone know what the heck that's going on?


In the context of BoP being a griefing tool (-15% damage for one minute), Eyonix says:
We've decided against moving forward with the particular changes you're referring to, Nickelplate.
Success! The change was completely unnecessary in so many aspects. On the Euro boards it was mentioned by a blue that the change was to prevent people from popping Divine Shield and Avenging Wrath at the same time - that makes no sense considering the current implementation. I tried making a macro to throw them at the same time and it didn't work either. (edit: nm, I managed to make it work. Haha! omg)

Also Divine Shield already nerfs damage output 50% with the weapon speed debuff. An additional 15% is over the top and excessive.

It's funny, because I was just about to pose this question: what about being able to throw Blessing of Protection offensively? We'd be able to "stun" Rogues and Warriors for 10 seconds and nerf their damage output by 15% for one minute. It'd be kick-ass!

24 February, 2007

The Silent Treatment

Vaelin said we relatively dodged nerfs, and we get this:
...Forbearance now applies a -15% physical damage [edit: some reports are saying all damage] penatly for the duration. It does not seem to affect healing, did not test damage spells. This is for forebearance caused by BoP/DS. DS and AW are also now on linked timers, and AW does not cause forbearance. So if your DS is on cooldown, you cannot AW even if forbearance is gone. Likewise you cannot DS until AW cools down.
(thanks Anonymous)

I remember when we were giving suggestions to Blizzard on how to improve the Paladin class 18 months ago we suggested giving us a damage increasing ability that shared the same cooldown as Divine Shield. This was before the creation of Forbearance!

My suspicion as to why Forbearance now causes a -15% damage reduction is for the obvious reason now that you can Blessing of Protection yourself while also using Avenging Wrath.

If this change still exists, Avenging Wrath shouldn't be a magic buff and the Forbearance debuff should be shortened down to 30 seconds to the least. One minute of -15% is ridiculous. It makes throwing it on cloth in PVP and PVE an uneasy decision. No longer you can BoP at the start of the fight or anything, cause that means your DPS will be punished for his damage output of at least one minute of the fight. That is far too long. Especially in for example arena PVP.

In my opinion Forbearance should last 15 seconds: it prevents session casting due to that BoP is 10 seconds and Divine Shield is 12 seconds while it also makes you consciously give the target a damage output reduction debuff. One minute as it is right now is absolutely over the top.

Otherwise I think this change was completely unnecessary. Nothing was broken, so nothing needed fixing.

The Nerf Bat Fell...

... and I have to say - we seem to have dodged it relatively well compared to other classes.

We need to be real about a number of things:
1) Mass Dispel was put into the game specifically to screw us over in PvP. We knew this when it was announced. They just finally got around to making it work like most of us thought it would in the first place. All the new crying in the world now won't make a difference. So pop your bubble and heal while you can, then pop AW later and go beat the everliving sh1t out of that priest who now has to wait 20 seconds before throwing up subsequent PoMs.

2) Priests and Druids got hosed. I'm talking big time. It's hard enough to find a good priest these days, and Blizzard's totally unnecessary nerf to a big chunk of their healing utility will only send more to the account cancellation or character creation screen. Druids... I can't say we all didn't see it coming. Bear form was pretty ridiculous. Any way you slice it though, these two classes took the big brunt of the bat this time around.

3) Warriors got necessary buffs. Some are worried this will stunt our chances to be welcomed as something other than healbots. I wouldn't go that far. Even the most zealous proponents of Paladin tanking didn't seek to replace a class with a singular viable PvE role. The goal was to become viable ourselves, provide alternatives in certain situations where our tanking would be preferred, and ease some of the burden borne by one of the roles with a burnout rate second only to a Holy Priest.

4) The only direct "nerf" enumerated for our class pales in comparison to the whoppers handed out elsewhere. Avenger's Shield still dazes its targets, and Judgement of Justice Rank 2 will still keep would-be sprinters capped at run speed.

Overall, I count us lucky this round. So log in, pat your guild's Warriors on the back, comfort your Priests, and give your Druids a good ribbing (and a tissue).

Addendum since I posted the above on the forums:
I'm rather unsympathetic toward feral Druids. Recently, it had been pointed out on Paladinsucks.com that there was an element of unfairness in a Druid's ability to focus talents and spec for both melee damage and tanking viability. Cat form is one thing, but dishing out such high DPS in tanking form was clearly overpowered - especially given the huge amount of armor and stamina gained (as well as some healing potential via regeneration).

Drysc notes, "
There are some straight up nerfs in this patch, and that's from our testing showing that Druid damage was just much higher than we would like to see bear form doing. The threat generation was far and beyond what we would have thought or intended, and this type of information on what a class is able to perform is based on internal testing and statistical information."

I'm happy for Warriors. There are some really great and dedicated folks that play Warriors in my guild, and I completely sympathized with them as they tried to cope with their perceived potential phasing-out of their group value in PvE. I never really wanted to be a MT in place of a Warrior. I just wanted to be back on the front lines (where we are supposed to be, traditionally).

I'm annoyed alongside the Priests. It's a tough and boring class to play in endgame PvE. I have no doubt that Holy Priests have the highest burnout rate of any class/spec combo in the game. What little survivability they were given in PvP has been destroyed, and their "off-spec" value in PvE took a big hit with the removal of a substantial amount of threat reduction and healing capability while in shadowform. From a Paladin perspective, I look critically toward any reduction in healing potency among other classes as it means we inch that much closer back toward our former pigeonhole.

Finally, I'm hearing frustrating reports that certain pieces of gear highly prized among tankadins (even myself, with only 13 points in Protection - enough to MT lower-end stuff and offtank endgame in a pinch) have had their stamina values substantially reduced. Specifically, the
Junior Technician 3rd Grade Bracers as well as both popular pairs of superior quality tanking pants (one from Netherstorm questing, the other from a vendor via Caverns of Time reputation). The bracers, being only rare-quality and an easy to obtain quest reward, had their stamina nearly halved. The pants both lost about 10 points worth of stamina. Given that Paladin tanks tend to have the lowest health pools of the three tank classes, this hurts us the most. Maybe I'll hang onto Engineering a little longer and crank out a Goblin Rocket Launcher to help offset the loss. Then again, it was probably nerfed too.


Patch notes are out:
If a targeted enemy has a magic effect granting immunity to spell or physical damage, “Mass Dispel” will now always pick that effect as its target.

20 February, 2007

Arena System Quarrels

It just seems extremely unfavorable to those who do not do 5v5. This guy explains it. Like...I didn't even bother playing on my 2v2 team cause I knew that my 5v5 team that lost 10 games would still yield more points.

This guy also goes it through pretty well and comes to the conclusion that real PVP is 5v5 whereas 2v2 and 3v3 is just matchups.

At It Again

The Resurrection of Mass Resurrection

Anyone who tooled around with data websites during the beta knows that we used to have a spell called Mass Resurrection. A 1.5 second cast, cost of 76% base mana that rezzed everyone but not usable in combat. Basically a spell which payed homage to the Warcraft 3 Paladin.

As far as we know it is not in the game right now. Much like the test version of Divine Intervention, Blessing of Spell Warding and Seal of Vigor (gave us Hammer of Wrath instead to catch runners) this was probably on the drawing board before ultimately being cut.

Some guy though on WoWhead is claiming that if you do Shattered Halls on Heroic and save a guy, run to Karazhan and "use a machine" you will get the spell. Anyone got any reports on this? Seems to me to be highly unlikely, if it's true though I'm definetly working on my Honor Hold rep!

18 February, 2007

Make Battlegrounds Faction-Neutral

Now that both factions have Shamans plus Paladins and with the release of arenas, I can not foresee a sufficient argument as to why this can not happen: it would ease up queue times considerably for battlegroups that have an alliance overpopulation and it would make battleground games more balanced with the bonus that no longer would map layouts be to blame for losing.

My proposal is to do the following: make it so that it's possible for either Horde or Alliance to start on the opposite faction's side and use the technology employed at Old Hillsbrad to masquerade the races to add relative consistency to the map environment (i.e. Humans become Undead, Dwarves become Trolls, etc. just as if using Orb of Deception).

You know how great this would be? Battleground strategies would double because the layouts will double. Overall things would become more dynamic and interesting because you would never know which side you would start on. And of course, most important of all queue times would be cut in half.

16 February, 2007

Arena's Are Activated!

Registered a team? How'd it go?

13 February, 2007

Blips and Blurps

Ghmou has some thread tips: he recommends that you visit this ridiculously comprehensive post on Paladin tanking. Popcorn-thread!

I'm aware of the lack of updates as of late, but it's due to plenty of things such as IRL business and full yadda yadda. All I know is that from running this blog for such a long time is that Paladin activity comes and goes in cycles. Right now we're probably in the middle of one: we're not really in the center of attention in any form of debate that's taking place (it's mainly focused on Druids) and we don't know of any updates or changes that we're going to get in 2.0.7, and so forth.

Oh wait, I know what I can talk about!

My guild took down the Curator this weekend and he dropped the Tier 4 gloves. I passed it for another Pally cause I already got a pair of epic gloves from the undead horse-rider whatsitsname, the first boss. Anyways, for you who don't know - you actually have the option to trade the gloves in between three different sets: healing, tanking and damage.

My experience so far of Karazhan is that it requires you to be relatively raiding experienced, very focused and concentrated on your specific role, geared up properly and importantly min-maxed depending on your class role. I mean...I'd really like to hear of any Paladin that has tanked the Curator. A lot of these boss fights require a ton of HP on the tanks, and we're the tank class with the least amount of HP. If you're Prot and stuck healing on fights, why take the pieces to aid your tanking when you obviously get stuck in the back healing in Karazhan anyway?

So my question - is the option for us to pick different set pieces with our sets a false option? Thoughts?

09 February, 2007

Back in-Action

Arenas are not far away! How are you guys preparing for it? I've been tinkering around and for days now trying to figure out a good PVP-healer build, and I think I've settled.

Here's my rough draft of a PVP-healing build.

There are two things we excel at: healing and staying alive/survivability. So it comes to no surprise that I focus on those powers in my build, with a twist of a third focus: resist talents. It will definitely lack a lot when it comes to PVE healing due to the fact of the loss of Divine Illumination, but this is just meant to be PVP-focused. I wouldn't recommend main-healing five-mans with this build.

Holy Tree:
- Divine Intellect, Spiritual Focus, Healing Light, Illumination, Divine Favor, Sanctified Light and Holy Power. A no-brainer path. Unfortunately only three points in to Holy Power.
- Grabbed Unyielding Faith due to the prevalence of fear, plus Pure of Heart due to the fact that we can't dispel curses.
- Light's Grace is a must-have. It is extremely crucial.
- Holy Shock is useful for some increased offense for burst DPS when needed. Feel free to ditch it for one extra point of spell crit if you want, but I chose not to.
- I know Divine Illumination is very important for end-game PVE, but I had to sacrifice a lot of the high-end talents so I could go deeper in to Prot.

- Righteous Fury and Spell Warding reduce magic damage by 10% and melee by 6%
- Toughness to increase armor rate, "just cause". Feel free to put points in to Precision instead.
- Guardian's Favor. Hands down my favorite talent in the game. How could you not get this one? A 16 second Blessing of Freedom is extremely powerful. Three minutes Blessing of Protection's are pretty damn useful too.
- Blessing of Kings: This will be your primary blessing on yourself.
- Sacred Duty to increase the stamina. Every bit of stamina is worth it. Unfortunately fights don't last long enough for you to pop the four minute Divine Shield, so you should consider that to just be a bonus.
- Improved Hammer of Justice: Hammer of Justice is extremely powerful. Cutting fifteen seconds off of it is godly.
- Improved Concentration Aura: This is your primary aura. The 15% silence/interruption resist is what you want!

And here is the most underrated talent in all the Pally trees now:
- Stoicism: extremely, extremely interesting talent - it makes Mass Dispel/Dispel/Purge/Spell Steal resist 30% of the time. Theoretically this includes Blessing of Protection and Blessing of Freedom on other targets! Another thing: If someone's trying to dispel a Judgement of Justice on their Druid - whoops, 30% resist rate! Even crazier: according to some reports Hammer of Justice have a 30% chance to resist the Mage's Blink! OMG! Cry nerf?
Notes: Tier 4 in Protection is too good for PVP. Probably the best PVP Tier in all trees we have. All four talents are pretty damn useful. The most annoying part is that it's worth 8 points. If they only could move Imp. Concentration up to Tier 1-3 it'd be perfect (I've long supported the notion of moving that talent somewhere else, the placement of it right now stinks).

You get a total of 6% melee reduction and 10% spell reduction. In stats you get 16% more stamina and 20% more intellect. When it comes to resist you're loaded: 10% fear resist, incapacitate and stun resist, 15% curse, disease and silence resist, 30% dispel resist. With Rank 1 Blessing of Sacrifice you're basically also un-sheepable/un-sappable/un-seducable.

So in theory? You should be one pretty damn annoying PVP-healing Pally.

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07 February, 2007

Burning Crusade Open Thread #2

03 February, 2007

Blizzard Moderation is Top Notch

Seriously. Hate them or love them, but when you look at the World of Warcraft forums - despite many of the stupid threads you see, they're very relatively properly moderated and "managed". (Well, there was that one time when a Diablo 2 forum moderator told a guy that he should stop flipping burgers, but that's about it).

Look for example at EA.com's Command and Conquer 3 forums: petition threads on useless and absolutely boneheaded subjects exist for days, threads on calling other people low-lives and idiots aren't deleted, basically no observable form of moderation or forum care taking exists... seems to me that an entire cluster of forums for various different games is moderated by one sole person.

Just think of this...absolutely trashy forums for a game that's a huge franchise (one of the largest in the world) on a website of one of the largest gaming companies in the world. Yet they can't find the resources to more properly take care it?

It actually makes you appreciate the hard work that is apparent on the WoW forums. Also just Blizzard as a company overall.

02 February, 2007

Congratulations CayCounter!

CayCounter broke 400 days! Another milestone for complete irrelevance! Thanks Ghmou for putting this to my notice.

To celebrate, I strongly recommend that you check out this thread regarding Seal of Blood. Very insightful comments, indeed. The word that Seal of Vengeance is superior seems to be true, unfortunately. It'll be hard for Blizzard to really balance the seals out...we'll see what they'll do about it in the future.

01 February, 2007

The Blogspot "Titan Bar"

Upgraded the Blogger.com version and um...that stupid banner on top is back. I've used code previously to remove it, but it doesn't work anymore. I'll have to find a way to do that again.