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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Cataclysm Paladin Preview

So, this post has been sitting on the back burner since the proposed Paladin changes were announced. Better late than never, I suppose, but 'everybody else' has already posted these changes and their thoughts. Too bad, you get to listen to mine now.

New Paladin Spells:

Blinding Shield (level 81): Causes damage and blinds all nearby targets. This effect might end up only damaging those facing the paladin’s shield, in a manner similar to Eadric the Pure's ability Radiance in Trial of the Champion. The Holy tree will have a talent to increase the damage and critical strike chance, while the Protection tree will have a talent to make this spell instant cast. 2-second base cast time. Requires a shield. 
Thoughts: Eadric's ability in ToC is kind of lame. All you have to do is turn around to avoid it. I don't mind seeing another damage spell in our arsenal, especially in the holy tree. Not that I do a lot of DPS type casting in my holy spec. The usefulness of this spell remains to be seen. A blind effect could be very handy.

Healing Hands (level 83): Healing Hands is a new healing spell. The paladin radiates heals from him or herself, almost like a Healing Stream Totem. It has a short range, but a long enough duration that the paladin can cast other heals while Healing Hands remains active. 15-second cooldown. 6-second duration.
 Thoughts: We needed an AOE heal. I like that this works like healing stream totem and will allow us to cast other spells while it's active. The short range, however, means we'll have to stack up on the melee DPS (or, alternatively, on the ranged). Not a problem really, as I've been known to toss a JoW on a boss/mob and run up to melee to get mana back in truly mana intensive fights (doesn't happen often, but it does happen). I just wish I didn't have to wait until level 83 to get it.

Guardian of Ancient Kings (level 85): Summons a temporary guardian that looks like a winged creature of light armed with a sword. The visual is similar to that of the Resurrection spell used by the paladin in Warcraft III. The guardian has a different effect depending on the talent spec of the paladin. For Holy paladins, the guardian heals the most wounded ally in the area. For Protection paladins, the guardian absorbs some incoming damage. For Retribution paladins, it damages an enemy, similar to the death knight Gargoyle or the Nibelung staff. 3-minute cooldown. 30-second duration (this might vary depending on which guardian appears). 

Thoughts: This is not a pet in the traditional sense. There is no pet bar, it can not be controlled or pointed in the 'right' direction. The animation for it should be pretty cool. If you've never seen the animation for the paladins resurrection in Warcraft 3, a video of it is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TSZhHLkIfkc. It still remains to be seen how well this will work in particular for retribution paladins. Will it damage the ret paladin's current target since it can't be controlled? My prediction? For a few weeks, we'll see winged angel creatures all over raids with several paladins in them. They'll either die out because their usefulness is very limited, or they'll become a common site with players demanding the graphic be nerfed because it's too distracting.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Girls Don't PvP!

Our latest podcast is now archived here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/eshandkat/2010/04/12/girls-dont-pvp

Or you can listen to it on our sidebar.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

D.B.A.D.

When interacting with the people you game with, either face to face, on chat programs like vent or teamspeak, in chatrooms or on forums; a good rule of thumb to live by is don't be a dick or, d.b.a.d. We all have our own personalities, thoughts and opinions. We often have the chance to voice those opinions but, just because you can say something, it doesn't necessarily mean you should.

Recently, in World of Warcraft, we had a great example of why d.b.a.d. should always be followed. It's raid night and, on vent, a guildie gets vocal about a specific class/talent combo, one he's not fond of. It would have been fine, except the reason he got vocal about it was because he hated this class/talent combo (discipline priest to be exact) and the person he apparently felt personified what was the very worst about this particular combo was on our raid AND she was one of the main tank healers, as she is every week. To make matters worse, she is sitting there on vent while he is being very insulting. A clear case of a player being a dick in a situation that made it even more uncalled for and rude.

People often forget that there are real people sitting on the other side of the computer screen, even when we are talking to them and hearing their voices. We lose sight sometimes of the fact that sometimes the things were say are, at the very least, rude and, at the very worst, hurtful. These kinds of things make for uncomfortable and, sometimes, unwelcome gaming environments. We don't all have to be friends. We don't even have to like each other but, we should always at least try to respect each other, especially when we so very often spend time in 'close quarters' as it were.

So, the lesson here is don't be a dick. Have respect for your fellow gamers whether they are sitting across the table or across the country. You'll be doing not only your fellow gamers a huge favor but, also, yourself .

Thursday, April 8, 2010

One Priest's Take on Upcoming Cataclysm Changes

Kat here. Hi, howzit going?

All right, after the initial giddiness has settled down (TEE HEE HEE!) I'm here to summarize the changes and help facilitate the absorption of said material.

By the way, 38 fricking pages of comments in the first few hours. Damn, there's a lot of WoW players. I'm afraid I didn't read all the comments. I didn't and you can't make me.

TL;DR Version - Change is good. Roll a priest. Oh wait. Then you're going to challenge me on lewt rolls. Ok, don't roll a priest. But revel in the awesome.

On with the nommy goodness!


New Spells & Spell Changes

Heal (level 16) is getting a revamp. Right now, and I've found myself a victim of this as well, people stop using Heal after a certain level because it's just not worth the time and effort. Currently when I can use the same amount of time casting a Heal or a Greater Heal, I'm going with Greater Heal. In Cataclysm, Heal is going to fall somewhere between Flash Heal and Greater Heal - if you want a faster heal, use Flash. If you want a bigger heal, use Greater. YAY for utility!

Mind Spike (level 81) is going to deal Shadowfrost damage and puts a debuff on the target that makes further Mind Spikes do more damage. They want this spell to "fill a niche" in Shadow DPS - it's supposed to be a "quick nuke" to use in situations where you don't have time for a full rotation or have multiple targets. Mind Spike is supposed to do about as much damage as casting Mind Flay on a target with Shadow Word: Pain. They expect you to cast a lot of these at a time.

Inner Will (level 83) is a buff you won't be able to use while using Inner Fire and v.v. It will provide a 12% movement increase and reduce the cost of instant-cast spells by 10%. I'm not sure I want to give up my Inner Fire bonus to Armor but... in theory I shouldn't get hit, right? And I can heal, right? We'll see.

Leap of Faith (level 85). This one, if it actually comes through (y'know how people talk), would be similiar to death grip. It's being called "Life Grip" as an aside. Supposedly you'll be able to "rescue" players who have pulled aggro, are being focused on in PvP or "just can't seem to get out of the fire in time". Personally, I think this isn't going to be all that when it gets released, or it'll be nerfed.

Ability/Mech Changes!

HOTs & DOTs! These are finally going to benefit from Haste and Crit! The ticks will have a shorter duration and the crit bonus is going to apply to them. Huzzah!

Shadow Word: Death. Anyone else stop using this? They're trying to revamp it so we bring it back. They want to bring it back as an "execute" - something you do when the target is at 25% health. We'll see how that goes.

Discipline FTW! They're kicking around having a second type of shield, bigger and badder than my best friend PW:S to use on you tanks and folks taking extra damage. Mmm, shield. Purr.

Divine Spirit and Prayer of Spirit are going away. Le sad. Plus, Blessing of Kings and Mark of the Wild aren't going to boost spirit either. With the changes to how spirit is going to work, they don't want those spells to vary it.

Mana... well, sounds like they're going to really look into how much mana spells are costing and how much you're making back. In an effort to make things more "challenging" and what not. Hey. It can't all be good news, right?

Talents!

First - OMFGWTFBBQ POWER WORD: BARRIER. MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! FEAR MY SHIELD, BITCHES! It's supposed to be a group Power Word: Shield. HELLLLLLLLL YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

Ahem.

They want to improve Disc's "single-target healing capacity" but don't want to make shield the more attractive option to actually healing. >.> Ask me how I feel about this later because I'm just used to shielding to "stop the bleeding" as I say.

Holy PVP, Batman! They're determined to make Holy a viable PvP spec! Stay tuned.

Shadow! They want to improve Shadow for short fights. Which, frankly, right now does kind of suck. It's like, throw DOTs, start cast... oh, it's dead. >.< So, goodness, yes? Yes!

Misery isn't going to add to Hit!? Ugh, and just when I was getting complacent with my hit cap!

Speaking of Shadow tree, it's going to see a LOT of changes, since the sweeping changes they're implementing with the expansion affects a lot of the Shadow Tree's damage-boosting abilities. They're introducing something else, Shadow Orbs. I'll type on that V. (down there)

Healing State! Holy is going to get some loving by putting the healer into a "healing state" when they cast a certain combination of spells. Sounds kinda cool, akshully!

Passive Tree Talent Bonuses

In a nutshell, you're going to get innate bonuses for putting talents into trees that will be automatically granted. Essentially, they don't want players to HAVE to choose a talent because it gives you X bonus to a skill or spell. Instead when you put a point into a talent, you're going get bonuses to things without having to choose those cookie-cutter talents for them.

Disc & Holy are going to get bonuses to healing and mediation (mana regeneration). Shadow is going to get bonuses in spell damage and spell crit.

Now, the new things are:

Disc will get bonuses to Absorption - this will improve the strength of PW:S, Divine Aegis and PW:Barrier.

Holy will get Radiance - direct heals add a small HOT to the target.

Shadow will get Shadow Orbs. This is what the post says: "Casting spells grants a chance for Shadow Orbs to be created that fly around you and increase your shadow damage." Very cool. Oh, and "this will help lower-level characters feel more like Shadow priests before they obtain Shadowform". >.> Ok, well, as someone who thinks Troll Druids should have different forms from Cow Druids... I can't complain. But... rilly? Ok. Sure.



That's about it, boys and girls. Remember, don't make your priests because I hate fighting on phat lewts. =) J/K!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Noblegarden - WoW Podcast

This week's episode is now on the website (Or you can listen to it in the sidebar). The direct link is here. We talk about the Noblegarden event in World of Warcraft, as well as discuss a few other games that celebrate real world holidays in their games.

Friday, April 2, 2010

When is gaming bad?

Disclaimer: I am no psychologist. This post is based purely on my own observations and experiences with online gaming, in particular World of Warcraft.
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Games like World of Warcraft can provide many positive experiences for players. Along side the obvious social aspects of these kinds of games, gaming can provide a sense of accomplishment. When your guild finally downs that big boss, you complete a quest that had been giving you problems or you finally reach the highest level in the game it feels good. So when does this become a problem?

If the sense of accomplishment and achievement you are receiving from a game starts to outstrip any other sense of accomplishment, then it might be time to review your gaming habits. Is gaming your only source of socialization or do you pass up other invitations just to play? Has raiding become more important than sex or are you neglecting your job or other important relationships? Maybe it's time to take a few steps back and see what you can change.

From a personal standpoint, I know there have been times when I have played 'too much'. How much is too much will vary from person to person but, for me, it was 'too much' when I started looking more forward to logging in to World of Warcraft or Eve Online than going out and doing things with my husband or my friends. There were times, I am ashamed to admit, I turned down or even cancelled invitations so I could play. Fortunately, I recognized the problem and addressed the issues. I still play World of Warcraft (after a few extended breaks) but not the detriment of my day to day life.

I've seen MMOs destroy relationships. I've known people who have lost their jobs because they were more focused on gaming than on what they should be doing. While psychologists still seem to be debating on whether or not video game addiction should be included as a disorder (linked to an outside article), I think most of us can recognize signs of addiction. It's what we do with that information that matters. Don't forget there's a big, wide world out there too.