Manaflask Article

Luumis Served Vodka: Red Rising

Lots has happened in vodka over the last two weeks, and I have just as much to talk about when it comes to the current status of the different healing classes. Furthermore, you can expect more content similar to my healer evaluations when it comes to melee dps, ranged dps, and tanks! The plan is to discuss all of these parts of a raiding roster with people who play their class at a high level on a competitive, hardcore raiding scene! That said, let’s start with my first piece of news:

Vodka is Now Horde

Yep, we finally pulled the trigger on the faction change. It was no easy decision. We’ve visited the topic of faction changing after every tier. Every tier we joined other alliance guilds in prayer that Blizzard would recognize how significant the difference between the Horde and Alliance racials are. We first considered faction changing back in ICC when Valkyrie dps was essential. Back then the Champions of the Alliance within vodka were our druids and they loathed the idea on playing a druid as a tauren. They picked druids in order to play as night elves, not as an ugly cow (yes, we have our own RP/Lore Nerds in vodka too!). The topic was visited again with how useful Blood Elf silence was to help with interrupts on Cho’gall or Omnitron or Maloriak. We almost faction changed shortly after Firelands, right after our Heroic Ragnaros kill, because of how great having the Horde DPS racials would’ve been during the various DPS checks. The point that we’re supposed to be a hardcore guild that min/maxes to the extremes was brought up numerous times during our 1% wipes or DPS misses on pre-buff and pre-nerf Heroic Spine of Deathwing. All of that is behind us now that we’re finally Horde. It was definitely a kick to the family jewels when literally the day after we faction changed Blizzard nerfed the Orc pet racial. We seriously waited for the last 5 years and now you finally change the racials? There’s a reason why there is only 1 alliance guild in the top 10 of hardcore raiding guilds and only 4 alliance guilds in the top 20. This talk of balancing brings me unto a great conversation we had on mumble over Blizzard balancing.

Balancing in WoW

In the last week and a half, Blizzard has pushed over half a dozen new builds of the beta. Never before have I seen the Blizzard developers taken as huge strides and put in as much effort as the current Blizzard dev crew when it comes to balancing and taking into account the community’s input. It’s pretty cool when you post in the Beta Class Balance Analysis thread with an intelligent question or point that you’re likely to get a response from GC or one of the other devs. It’s awesome that Blizzard’s heard our calls for real Raid Testing Dummies with full buffs/debuffs. It’s hugely apparent that Blizzard is doing work and our opinion matters to them. All of that aside, I must pose this question: if you were a developer, do you balance for the masses or the elite few?

Yes, we know that the elite players in WoW only make up less than 1% of the total wow population, and that it is the casuals who bring in the money for the company. Of course you’d think to balance towards your masses, your across the board averages. Now consider this situation. You are Blizzard and have access to everybody’s DPS numbers. You see that across the board rogues average the middle of the class pack at 50k with mages at 53k and boomkins at 48k.  However your elite rogue player who can manage his cooldowns appropriately, including watching his procs and major raid dps cooldowns, can push 85k dps and your elite mage and elite boomkin fall far behind with only 70k and 69k dps. How do you balance this situation? Do you buff boomkins a little bit, bump down mages just a smidge, and leave rogues as they are? Or do you significantly hit rogues with the nerf bat and leave the other two as they are since they’re so close? Remember the number of people who can actually play rogues to that level is probably .01% of the WoW population, and if you balance them, the rest of the wow populace will probably not be able to continue to push that 50k median but drop down in number. So what now? It’d be interesting to see where people as well as a Blizzard dev stand on this specific issue. Do you balance for the median and leave things skewed at the upper echelons or the reverse? Likely we’ll just keep the status quo where we balance for the masses until enough people learn how to play X overpowered spec properly and then you nerf it.

5.0 Goes Live on Tuesday

This Tuesday, the 28th, the pre-MoP 5.0 patch finally goes live, and with it I’d figure to provide you with a short checklist of helpful pre-MOP things to do before the end of Cataclysm. Before I start listing things off, celebrate and jump for joy, Blizzard has finally implemented AoE looting, which is probably the best change to happen since the addition of the Chef’s Hat. Now you can quickly loot the pack of mobs you just AoE’d down while leveling your 15th alt!

Luumis’ List of Things to do Before MOP goes Live!

1. Get a Traveler’s Tundra Mammoth Mount. It’s super useful during leveling simply because you can sell all of the garbage you end up acquiring.
2. Clear your Bags and Banks. Some of you might be like and and never empty out your bags of random stuff like T11 gear or useless trinkets. Now is finally the time to do so because MOP will introduce a boatload of new bagstuffers like the Turnip Punchbag.
3. Get those Cataclysm achievements done. You know you will never want to go back and try to figure out where X quest is or try to find a group of people to help you with Chromatic Dragon.
4. Stock up on your leveling consumables. I don’t really like to level. Anything like flasks, food buffs, etc that’ll help speed things along.
5. Collect those mounts and pets. 5.0 brings about account wide mounts and pets, why not have an Ashes of Alar or Baron Mount on all of your toons?

Final Thoughts

We’re finally at the 1 month stretch before the release of MoP and there is still a lot of beta testing to happen. If you’re interested, now is a great time to apply to hardcore guilds and strut your stuff. Word of warning though, the first tier of every expansion is the longest because of all the leveling and reputation grinding you’ll have to do across all of your toons. On a lighter note, here is a mumble clip from sometime in the past month and a song my boy Stormbornz recommended:

  1. Runde's avatar
    Runde 2012-08-24 12:22:12 UTC — Always interesting reads! Props on the song it definitely deserves the recognition.
  2. Koilie's avatar
    Koilie 2012-08-23 19:39:12 UTC — Nice work mang