Sunday, December 4, 2011

Paladins, Stabbing Dargons, and Armor Dye: the 4.3 Post

The time has come for me to chime in on patch 4.3, the most recent update to World of Warcraft: Cataclysm.  It's Sunday so it hasn't been quite a week since the patch dropped.  That being said, I think there has been sufficient time to get a solid impression of what this content release is all about.  First off: Paladins!
Paladins: Holy and Retribution
If you've payed attention during this blog, you should know by now that I don't play protection spec.  That may/may not change, but that's a whole different barrel of monkeys.  So far, I feel like this has been a great patch for ret and holy.  As it is, I even feel like I wouldn't be surprised if paladins got nerfed in a couple of places.  Don't misinterpret and read that as "4.3 made paladins OP ZOMG," I just wouldn't be surprised to see some "balance" adjustments.

I think it's safe to say that the big thing this patch for holy spec paladins is Holy Radiance.  If you've been living under a rock, primary changes to that spell are the cast time and lack of cooldown.  Oh, it also generates holy power when you cast it.  Holy is my main spec and I was eagerly anticipating the play-style changes this was going to bring to paladins.  At first blush, I was outraged that HR was gaining a cast time.  Simply put, I was used to the way the spell fit into my raid and dungeon encounters and I wasn't happy about the possible nerf implications.  Having spent this week in Dragon Soul, 4.3's new raid, I can say that my worries are gone.  Holy radiance is now outrageously powerful.  Ask any of the druids I follow on Twitter.  Being able to spam cast a spell that costs 8198 mana presents a fun new mana conservation challenge.  All in all, I like the change.

Retribution paladins and melee in general got some serious love this patch.  In the essence of time, I'm not going to go link crazy here.  The buffs to ret include a buff to the two-handed weapon specialization (from 20% to 25% bonus damage,) and a buff to judgement damage.  Melee DPS got a buff in the form of +10% attack power from several different sources.  I haven't raided since the changes, but I can definitely feel the buffs when I'm in a five man.  Blizzard tried to make it seem like the main motivation behind these ret changes was to make us feel less reliant on procs and cooldowns.  I don't really think they were as successful as they could have been.  Jack is still either a monster or a decent dps, depending on how lucky I get on procs.  That being said, I'm loving getting buffed.  Putting up bigger numbers is always a happy time for me.

Here's the Cliff's Notes version of this section: Jack likes to transmog.  This ability to reuse older armor and weapon skins is just plain fun.  I was never one of those people who had a special set of gear to cavort around in town in, mainly because of bag space.  Transmogrification actually causes additional issues with bag space (mainly bank space,) BUT who cares because it's AWESOME!  Look, Jack has a rough mog set for his holy gear:

Here's a link to Jack's AWESOME ret set if you missed it before.  Mogging is a new added timesink, which in my opinion is a necessary evil.  I find myself more and more with nothing I really *want* to be doing, and for some reason I kind of like farming old content. 
Exhibit A:
Dragon Soul
The guild I'm in, Cereal Killers on Kael'Thas, is currently 4/8 in DS.  The bosses we haven't killed yet are Ultraxion, Warmaster Blackhorn, and the two Deathwing encounters.  Getting half way through a brand new raid in one week is something I can be happy with in this guild.  To make a long story short, due to the fact that we're a mixture of people who do and don't give a shit, actually killing new content always feels like SUPER WIN.
Ded.  One Shot Ded.  Pwned.
Out of the encounters we've successfully killed, and the one we've attempted but can't down, I think they're all pretty fun.  Morchok is 100% a gimmee boss.  If your group cant get past it, you're either woefully undergeared, or you probably should go back to playing Farmville.  None of the encounters, save Ultraxion, really gave us a lot of trouble.  Warlord Zon'ozz was an adjustment.  We've never played tennis with General Vezax's cousin before, so we had to get a rhythm down to avoid tank deaths and other ridiculously easy shit.  Zon'ozz was my intro to the new Holy Radiance spam healing method.  Honestly, spammable AOE heals kind of trivializes huge raid damage.  I'm not going to lose any sleep over that, but I can see some players complaining about the new HR contributing to what makes raiding too "easy."

Out of the five bosses we've engaged in Dragon soul, Ultraxion is the only one that we haven't bested yet.  For some reason we have a bunch of players that are struggling to wrap their head around the "press this button and you won't die" mechanic.  I'll spare you the recap of my nerdrage, but let's just say that I wasn't happy.  For the most part, this encounter looks tremendously easy.  I'm hopeful we'll stab the dargon next week and move on to Blackhorn.

As a related side note, I gave up the tier token to get my shoulders this week in favor of gearing our priest.  He's a great guy who actually knows his shit in raids, so I don't have any regrets.  Besides, he was super happy to drop his 359 birdbaths.  I'm really hoping the good karma comes back around this week because those t13 shoulders are sooooooooooooooo delicious.

5 Man Hour of Twilight Dungeons
I'm going to keep this section short and sweet, just like the new 5 mans.  End Time, Hour of Twilight, and Well of Eternity are all engaging, fun, and full of interesting lore.  Lore might be one of the things I'm enjoying most out of all the new content.  

I'm glad Blizzard made the loot from these dungeons equal in item level to the previous tier, instead of being slightly inferior like they made stuff from Zandoms.  For people like myself (read: altoholics) the loot in HoT heroics serve wonderfully to keep alts geared and even to fill holes in the offspec gear of my main.

Other 4.3 Things I don't Care Much About
This is the part of this post where I would talk about the raid finder and the Darkmoon Fair.  To be perfectly honest, the DMF has never been something I've taken interest in.  The only thing that really interests me is the replica gear.  I might farm out a set, but that depends on how ADD I'm feeling.

I'm being kind of a chicken about the raid finder.  Pugging results in frustration way too much for me to want to jump into an (albeit watered down) end tier raid with 9-24 people that I don't know/cant communicate with.  That being said, I might venture into LFR eventually once my warrior gets some more toys from the new 5 mans.  Right now Jack is telling me he's too good for LFR raids.  We'll see how he feels after a couple of weeks of good or bad drops in normal DS.

I was going to post a screenshot from the auction house, but Blogger is having a seizure.  The shot had some uncut epic gems up for 7k.  That's just ridiculous.  Fuck that noise.  Come on Blizzard, just put the gems in without making them ultra rare.  

Prospects For The Week
Normally I do a dedicated post for this, but since this entry is so lengthy, I figured I'd just make it longer!  This week I'm hoping we see some efficiency and continued success in Dragon Soul.  Actually getting down 3-4 bosses on Tuesday night would be a great success.  Judging by the effort we put in last week to get our kills, I think that should be possible.  I try not to underestimate our capacity for Derp, so we'll see.  Per @kurnmogh's 4.3 holy paladin gear guide, I'm going to be getting VP on an alt to grab the BOE boots from the valor vendor.  Other than that, I'm going to continue farming HoT dungeons for useful drops.  My warrior is hoping to get his t1 pants from Molten core this week so I can flesh out his Might set.

In closing, I just want to thank all of you who actually read this blog.  It's a labor of love and it makes it that much better when I know people are actually checking out my stuff.

No comments:

Post a Comment