It’s amazing how phenomenally boring it is when everyone in your department is on vacation. I went from being so busy I could barely see straight, to essentially sitting here babysitting an install process where I am communicating with a third party over email. I am sitting back at my desk now after a quick jaunt into the adjacent tower, to a break room that always smells like a curious mix of burnt popcorn and wet dog, for a quick infusion of caffeine. Hopefully the clock will learn to move faster.
Yesterday we began to receive a trickle of information about the next big patch and the content it would include. Amongst the blatant nerfs and lackluster “tradeskill improvements” were a smattering of details about the new raid dungeon. Firstly I like that it is shaping up to be 3 unique dungeons, with their own merits. The thought of a semi random sequence of bosses that has been hinted at before also seems very favorable. When Northrend was released, Violet Hold was both the most loved and most hated dungeon due to the random bosses. If there really does end up to be a random element, I hope that they at least do the smart thing and have some of the items on a shared loot table, like we saw in Naxxramas.
The most intriguing tidbit however is the concept of the “Crusaders’ Tribute”. Honestly I think you could call filing your taxes a “Tribute Run” and I would at least do it once, just the sheer merit of the enjoyable memories I had doing tribute runs in Dire Maul. Adding an extra special, sneaky, challenging way through a raid dungeon sounds like good mojo to me. Granted everything they are saying, makes the new tribute run sound absolutely NOTHING like the original. However count me in for running through it a few times. I just hope that it does not turn me back into the frothing asshole, barking a furious string of orders amongst the expletives, that the Zul’Aman timed runs did.
A Few of My Favorite things
This patch seems to be the “oh yeah, here are a bunch of things we forgot to do ages ago” patch, in order to play catch up for the next big paradigm shift. I am breaking from my normal format and doing a change / comment type structure.
Block Value: The amount of bonus block value on all items has been doubled. This does not affect the base block value on shields or block value derived from strength.
On-Use Block Value Items: All items and set bonuses that trigger temporary increases to block value have been modified. Instead of increasing their block value amount by 100% like other items, they have all had their effect durations doubled. This applies to Glyph of Deflection, Gnomeregan Autoblocker, Coren’s Lucky Coin, Lavanthor’s Talisman, Libram of Obstruction, Tome of the Lightbringer, Libram of the Sacred Shield, the tier 8 paladin Shield of Righteousness bonus, the tier 5 paladin Holy Shield bonus, and the tier 5 warrior Shield Block bonus.
This is pretty much too little too late, but it is nice to see. It is painfully obvious that block is not cutting it, as in comparison with the other options like dodge/parry, so I am glad to know that they are going to address this in the future. It both excites and frightens me to think about what zany scheme they will come up with as its eventual replacement. For now I just hope this is going to be good enough to make it “less than useless”.
- Emblem System Changes
Both the 10 and 25 player instances of the Crusaders’ Coliseum drop a new Emblem of Triumph.
Any dungeons that previously dropped Emblems of Heroism or Valor, such as Naxxramas or Heroic Halls of Stone, will now drop Emblems of Conquest instead. Emblems of Conquest can still be converted to Valor or Heroism.
The heroic dungeon daily quest will now reward 2 Emblems of Triumph and the normal daily dungeon quest will reward 1 Emblem of Triumph.
The existing achievements to collect 1, 25, 50, etc. Emblems of Heroism, Valor, and Conquest have been converted to Feats of Strength since Heroism and Valor Emblems are no longer attainable.
New achievements have been added to collect various amounts of any combination of emblems.
I have seen MUCH gnashing of teeth regarding this one in the last twenty four hours. Pretty much this feels exactly like the same elitist complaining that happened when 2.4 was announced and the stats on all the new badge gear was shown to be roughly equivalent to that of black temple. While I have posted against the general dumbing down of content, I do think that from time to time you need to help the player population “catch up”.
As a raid leader, we are having the same problem this summer that so many other raids are having. Summertime means waning attendance, and it is becoming increasingly harder and harder to find a fresh infusion of players who are already Tier 7.5 era geared to fill in on Ulduar raids. Making it so that every player can get the same level of emblems regardless of it being heroics, 10 mans, or 25 man raids makes it that much easier to catch players up who have the drive and skill, but not the gear. Trust me… this is a GOOD thing for raiding in general, not to mention for adding flexibility to your raid making it easier for players to gear up offset gear.
Mote Extractor now has innate tracking for gas clouds while it is in your inventory. Tracking of gas clouds has been removed from goggles.
It’s always the most simple items that seem to make me the happiest. Since I graduated out of the rather impotent engineering helm, to better tanking options (amazing that the last one served me well until tier 6, but this one was replaced by a nonset piece in the first dungeon), I’ve had to ritually enchant my belt with Spynoculars so that I could see elemental nodes on the mini-map in game. Now this practice becomes a think of the past and makes room for…
Spynocular belt enchantment changed to a Brassbolt Rebreather, allowing engineers to breathe underwater.
Yep you read that right. Now engineers can put a place an enchant on our belts that will allow us the ability to breathe underwater. I can finally remove my Deepdive Helmet from my inventory and finally and forever upgrade my Mastercraft Kalu’ak Fishing Pole, to my trendy Jeweled Fishing Pole with the spiffy phoenix wings. Like I said, it’s always the dumb things that make me happy.
Players with 300 or higher cooking have a chance to find a Waterlogged Recipe in the Bag of Fishing Treasures awarded by the Northrend fishing dailies. This item can be traded to other players and rewards several Dalaran Cooking Rewards when turned in.
Another stupid change, but one that makes me very happy. Considering I enjoy doing the fishing daily quest, this will allow players to catch up on the cooking patterns they are missing, since in general… the cooking daily sucks.
Potion Injectors now increase the amount gained by 25% when used by engineers. Quantity produced by recipes for Runic Healing and Mana Injectors has been increased.
If this is how I read it, that engineers will now gain a 25% bonus from using health and mana pots from an injector, this is a pretty monumental change. Since we only get one shot off a pot per boss fight, this is an “oh shit” button that I hold in reserve. Anything that gives me a little more health is a very very good thing.
The Nexus: The Oculus & The Eye of Eternity – Vehicles (drakes) used in these instances now scale with item level.
Thank you soooo freakin much for this change. Heroic Oculus is without a doubt the most scabrous piece of crap a seasoned player will ever have to run their friends through. Almost every single player I know who is stalled on the Champion of the Frozen Wastes title, is hung up on this silly requirement. Trying to teach someone who has not been through this place a dozen times or more how to do all the events is sheer torture. If you manage to get all the new players through to the final boss, trying to give them a crash course in how not to suck at flying a drake can give water-boarding a run for its money any day in the race for most extreme officially sanctioned torture method. Any small boost in our ability to pull it off with dead weight is a miracle. So once again… Thank you blizzard.
The Just Plain Wierd
There are several things in the upcoming patch that are just plain kooky. Patching in Northrend Children’s Week, when the event is almost a year away from happening again… what the heck is the point. Giving rogues the ability to wield axes when there is only ONE endgame main hand axe currently… what exactly was the point here. Putting Ravasaurs into the game finally in Ungoro Crater, only 5 years too late… not entirely sure what the point was here either.
Honestly this patch feels like a combination of all the scraps left lying on the floor after they build other patches. This is the chum to ready the waters for something bigger. I can only imagine that the something bigger, is ultimately Icecrown, and this patch will serve as bite sized nibblets to tide us over until the real meal. The nerfs to Deathknights and Retadins were probably needed, but I would still rather seem them bring up other classes to their level rather than push those excelling into the dirt. We will just have to see how everything shakes out after the inevitable months of PTR service.