Archive for March, 2011


There’s been rather a lot of crying on the forums of late about the Valour ‘cap’: the number of Valour points it is possible to accumulate in one week. People have been asking the have the cap raised or better still removed. Why is this request falling on deaf ears?

Currently you can receive a maximum of 1250 Valour points each week. Your first heroic 5-man each day rewards you with 70 Valour points for a possible 470 each week. 10-man raid bosses downed are rewarded at a rate of 70 Valour points and 90 for 25-man bosses. So even those high level raiders with guilds that raid four times a week cannot earn more than 1250 Valour points each week. Equally if someone wants to farm heroics solidly for 24 hours they will only pick up a maximum of 210 Valour points (assuming they begin just before the daily reset and end after another).

Why might this be a good thing? One reason is that the disparity between someone who can, for whatever reason, only play World of Warcraft for a limited amount of time each week and those who have almost as much time as they wish is already large. However, the gulf is not so insurmountable that it’s impossible to bridge. The more casual player has opportunity to gear themselves and find equally geared people with which to form guilds and raids with. The gulf is not that between a char in top level raiding tier gear and questing greens. Someone with a char in heroic blues and epics, with epic crafted gear, fully gemmed and enchanted, with a requisite level of skill can be expected to enjoy first tier raiding and receive several Valour points and new epic gear.

Let me put it another way. The only reward from heroic 5-mans is not Valour points. For those who are willing and able to run many each day the rewards are better gear, more experience. For those who are unwilling or unable to devote that much time to 5-mans can log on each day and secure their 70 Valour points. There will be a necessary disparity between these two people in terms of gear and experience even without factoring in Valour points. If it were also possible to farm more than 70 points from heroics each day or more than 1250 each week from every source the gulf between players would quickly widen to a point where less frequent players couldn’t even be competitive.

Blizzard is clearly engaged here in managing (not removing) the disparity between the more casual player and the hardcore raiding set. OK the casual player may not be geared in such a way that they can ever expect to step up to top tier progression raiding in the best hardcore raiding guilds on their server, however they can reasonably get to see most, if not all of Blizzard‘s content.

If you then consider that Blizzard is obviously pacing the release of new content in such a way as to keep the most hardcore interested then it is going to be necessary to throttle the rewards the hardcore can farm. So it’s both necessary and desirable to cap the number of Valour points people can accrue each day.

Yes it is necessary to reign in the hardcore, they will burn themselves out and clear all of the content as quickly as possible if allowed to. If Blizzard released all the new content that will be available in this expansion on Cataclysm release day, most hardcore raiding guilds would probably have completed it by now and be waiting for the next expansion. They’d be looking for a new game to play between now and then.

For those of us who cannot aspire to such heights (and personally I have no wish to) we have to settle on PUGging 5-mans and managing our rage as we farm essential gear and Valour points until we can assemble a set that allows us to step up and raid.

Personally, I enjoy each time I feel the rush of excitement at entering a dungeon I need gear from randomly. I even get a rueful smile and a sometimes gentle laughter when that precious item fails to drop…again. This farming gear and points, disparate resources and reputation, managing my finances, careful selection of gear to buy or craft is all part of the fun for me. If this is simply a chore to be skipped, in any way possible, so you can get to raiding then I humbly suggest that you are playing the wrong game.

I understand that Blizzard have extended the level cap in WoW three times and need to adjust the pace of leveling. However, I really don’t understand the total dumbing down of instance content.

Wonderful instances have been reduced to boredom fests. The only challenge in all of the Azerothian pre-eighty content is how quickly you can get from one end of the dungeon to the other. Once great spectacles like Stratholme, Scholomance and Blackrock Spire present no greater difficulty than the average grinding quest of appropriate level.

Blizzard have made the instances not straightforward or less complex, they are now simply derisory. We had to kick a healer in BRD for repeatedly deliberately ninja pulling and then a shaman went AFK so we couldn’t queue for a fifth member to complete the party. In fact we needed to wait until the shaman DC’ed before we could kick him and get two new party members. We pressed on anyway and three manned most of the rest of the dungeon and took down two bosses. We we’re of appropriate levels and had all queued in the Dungeon Finder tool and three manning an instance without a proper healer and one DPS missing should not even be possible.

With five party members tanks rush from group to group not stopping for all mobs to be killed. If they lose aggro on a mob DPS is left to it’s own devices, the slack taken up by healers. These instances are boring and unchallenging, the only real reason for entering one is to farm experience (or mats).

The purpose of dumbing down these instances is obvious. Levelling is an inconvenience and the primary object is to advance your character as quickly as possible to max level, or at least the level of the current expansion. Blizzard haven’t simply reduced the difficulty level of Azerothian dungeons, they have removed the pleasure and excitement of completing them.

N00bs welcome

 /facepalmI frequently rant about how my time and energy is wasted in this game by retards. It may appear that I’m just some MMO elitist with little or no patience with newcomers to the game and individuals who haven’t experienced a particular fight or make mistakes.

In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. No one, and I mean no one, is more helpful and welcoming to new players, or players experiencing content for the first time. I have a few rules though.

Rule 1: the most important rule, inexperience is not a crime or an embarrassment, this is a MMORP Game, not your virginity. If you don’t understand the mechanics of a fight simply own up and ask where to stand and what to hit. That’s it. I don’t even insist people come straight out with this either. If we don’t wipe you’re probably doing OK and if the boss goes down I don’t care if you: lost aggro a couple of times; couldn’t keep one of our party alive; did low DPS. If the boss went down you did enough. My requirements and expectations have been set very low by sad and sorry experience.

Rule 2: if you don’t know the tactics, or even think you did but we wiped, listen to the tactics and if they’re new to you adjust and work with them. If they don’t work we can go back and try over with the tactics you know.

I’ll recount a Stonecore Heroic run from this evening that is illustrative of the breakdown of a group because of a catastrophic failure to follow these two simple rules.

OK, we’re at the second boss, for those who don’t know her it’s a simple tank and spank. For the tank anyway. The difference is that DPS have to focus on something other than nuking the boss down in this fight. She has three adds, all struck by a purple (Life Drain-like) beam. You have to interrupt that beam, by standing behind the adds, between them and the source of the beam. The beam stacks a debuff on whoever is struck by it: add or party member. If either gains 100 stacks of the debuff they transform into something large and aggressive that kills other party members. It’s not rocket science but you have to get into that beam pretty sharpish and out of it again quickly, before you stack to 100, let the debuff fall off and jump right in again.

[Party Member 1] me middle
[Ruta] Ruta left

Tank charges in…leaving the DPS standing open mouthed.
Healer leaves the party.
Party Member 1 leaves the party.

Ruta covers her face with her palm.

The most important rule flouted here, clearly. It gets worse. The tank wouldn’t corpse run, he queued us again and guess what happened when the new healer and DPS ported into the instance? Right next to the boss? Yeah, another wipe…

[Ruta] Right that’s two wipes because the tank doesn’t know what she’s doing.
[Tank] How is it my fault.
[Ruta] You charged in before we allocated DPS to the adds, then you refused to run in and got us wiped again as people ported in to where you are, lying dead by the boss. How is it not your fault?
[New Healer] c’mon guys lets just do this
[Ruta] Ruta left.
[Tank] no she didn’t
[Ruta] …will take the beam on the left.
[Party Member] Is this guy for real?

The tank charges in.
/ragequit

I got a 30 minute dungeon cooldown for that! Thanks Blizzard.

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