focus generation

So, if you follow this blog, or me on youtube you may have noticed a distinct lack of updates lately. There’s a couple of very good reasons for that. So, let’s be quick about it..

“It’s not me. It’s you”

1) World of Warcraft was, despite the initial highs of Pandaria, not really holding my interest in the same way previous expansions have. I can’t quite put my finger on it – the reliance on daily quest grinding, the terrible performance of hunters in the initial tier, or even the fact that after grinding every possible way of getting gear I was still unable to get some fundamental upgrades. Hitting your head against the same brick wall repeatedly isn’t fun.

2) Okay, that’s all QQ’ing. Really, the game just wasn’t holding my attention. I was thinking of quitting, or focusing on other games to fuel the youtube channel, but ultimately my single heart went a wandering, and it found something wonderous – a girlfriend.

Now, my story of WoW vs love life probably isn’t that different from yours. It’s been a chequered history, with highs and lows. For the most part holding down a full time job, a packed social life, and a full raiding schedule does not compute. For me it was easy to pick which one to drop.

Sorry Azeroth, but I /quit

I still have all my characters, all my mounts, achievements, gold.. but I may give it all away and delete it all to remove the temptation to come back. I’m not sure what this means for the youtube channel at the moment, perhaps just focusing on some let’s plays and random video game footage as I can find time to make it.

I may, however do what I normally do. YouTube was always a challenge for me. Could I do it, rather than doing it for any other reason. In the past I have challenged myself in many ways that I’ve never taken any further..

  • could I make music without having any instruments, or musical knowledge. I went on to found and run some early software / tracking trance groups releasing free music in the mid-90s, and very nearly got a recording contract before moving on..
  • could I go in to the games industry, despite not being a coder? I went on to produce commercial maps for Duke Nukem expansions, and pushed the engine to it’s utmost breaking limits, before moving on..
  • Could I DJ, despite having no vinyl, hardware, or expertese? I went on to being offered a resident DJ position in a UK nightclub, before giving it up and moving on..
  • Could I make gaming videos, despite literally having no experience of doing video work? I went on to not only make gaming movies, but winning numerous international awards, including best gaming movie released in it’s release year, and being sponsored by Intel… before moving on..
  • Could I climb a mountain and raise money for charity, despite never having done any trekking, and being massively overweight? I not only climbed the mountain, but I helped raise over £5,000 for a children’s charity, and even appeared on Venezuelan radio in the process. Pretty awesome!
  • Could I make a name for myself on YouTube? This one has proved the biggest challenge, and despite clocking up 1.6million views on the site I wouldn’t say I’ve made a name for myself. I do have YouTube partnership, I am earning money from the site, but I’m not Yogscast.
    Do i stick this one out to see where I can take it, or do I move on to a new challenge?

Time will tell… in the mean time, I’m enjoying life… seeya later!

Losing melee slots, gaining DPS?

Mists of Pandaria (MoP) is just round the corner. Yet there is still a lot of confusion around the removal of item slots. Let’s try and get some of these questions put to bed for good.

Blizzcon

When Blizzard initially announced this change they stated they were simply getting rid of the ranged slot for all classes, except Hunters that would lose the melee slots. This would result in an equal stat loss across all classes.
From Blizzard’s point of view it made their life easier too, freeing them from having to create items which were essentially stat boosters (for example, a hunter’s polearm has no game-mechanic requirement in MoP).  And as Blizzard weren’t making so much gear they didn’t need to spend so much time balancing boss loot tables.

imageThis is the armour, weapons, and items section of the MoP character screen. You’ll notice there are now only two weapons, as opposed to 3 in Cataclysm.

Everyone (not just hunters) rejoiced, for it was a good change… except…

Stat Deficit

How players failed to realise, that by missing their stat slot they would have a smaller pool of stats I’ll never know, but at some point between Blizzcon and the start of the MoP beta dawn it did, and the panic set in, and with relatively good cause.

The problem isn’t so much a problem in MoP, as we can assume that all newly created weapons, armour and items would be balanced against all newly created content to ensure players had enough of the stats they needed to clear content.
However, the problem comes when you think about older content, and what would happen when patch 5.x lands – players would still be playing 4.x content, using 4.x gear. Would they become worse players over night as a result of losing their stat-slot?

Let’s see what difference it would actually make to DPS in 4.3.x to lose that stat slot.

WITH STAT-SLOT      32860.43
WITHOUT STAT-SLOT   29331.72
difference          -3528.71

A DPS reduction of over 10% that would affect all level 1 – 85 content. Something must be done about this!

Cosmetics

To make matters worse, what about all players that had cherished cosmetic items used in the slots that would now be rendered obsolete?

“That lovely pole arm that you got from that place all those years ago – you can no longer use it” – Blizzard

Before you know it, the benefits of getting rid the stat-slot were dwindling.

The Solution

The solution was simple. Currently all classes have 3 slots. Just get rid of one, and allow either ranged or melee items in either. Ranged count as two handers, so a hunter cannot use a ranged and a one hander (e.g. crossbow + dagger)

The cosmetic aspect is solved because out of combat, simply equip the visual items you prefer. It’s part of the whole transmogging sensation that’s gripped Azeroth!

The DPS aspect however is not resolved… so what did Blizzard propose for hunters?

DOUBLE DPS SALE! EVERYTHING MUST DIE!


“It’s simple, we’ll effectively double the DPS of all end game ranged weapons.” – Blizzard

Yes, really. It’s that simple. The ranged weapon you have today, will receive a 100% increase to it’s DPS stat come patch 5.x.   Let’s look at an example – currently the best ranged weapon for hunters in the game, and it’s equivalent in MoP

image

We can clearly see that the item remains exactly the same, apart from the DPS stat, which is doubled.

The only question remains, how does that affect our overall DPS?

It’s actually quite hard to test this at the moment – none of the theory crafting, or gear checking tools or sites support the class or gear changes in MoP, let alone the max level of 90. And lastly, the expansion is still being developed and is in such a state of flux and balancing that we cannot realistly hope to test it with offline log-parsers.

It is however, possible to test the two following scenarios, and the DPS tested using femaledwarf.com, on my character at level 85. 4.3 represents current gear, with a ~50% DPS ranged weapon. 5.0 represents 4.3 gear, without a stat-slot, but with a ~100% DPS ranged weapon. This is to signify the 100% increase in weapon DPS we will receive at the start of 5.x

4.3     29598.00 DPS
5.0     29331.72 DPS

The difference is negligible, and proves that doubling the DPS on end-game ranged weapons will swallow the DPS loss felt by removing the melee stat-stick.

Disclaimers 

  • Any quotes attributed to Blizzard, are made up for dramatic effect
  • the end stat attributed to 5.0 is actually tested against 4.3, using femaledwarf.com, it’s the best I can do at the moment, please don’t harm me!

see-saw – nerf ‘n’ buff

Blizzard, you are cheeky chappies! I haven’t been on WoW for the past couple of days, but it seems Tuesday’s restarts implemented a hotfix which nerfed explosive shot.

Avatar of Ghostcrawler
Ghostcrawler

We made a hotfix recently to lower the coefficient of Explosive Shot. Sorry we didn’t get a chance to announce the change ahead of time. We don’t typically do patch notes for hotfixes so we don’t have a system in place to always broadcast these before they happen.
We are in the process of making some changes to get damage done more in parity (in PvP and PvE). If there are other classes far ahead of you on the damage meters, chances are good they will see some nerfs to their damage soon too.
Overall, we are trying to make changes in a more timely manner so that players won’t feel like they are stuck with a bug or other issue forever. We won’t be able to get every issue fixed overnight, but it’s a start.

So, with me wanting to run some low level instances, to grind cloth for rep, achievements, and finishing off the elder quests for the lunar festival it seems like it’s a good time to re-spec back to beastmaster. Afterall, we’re expecting a beastmaster buff anytime soon (well, within the next patch).

what’s all the fuss about?

Okay, so it’s been an absolute age since i posted anything of worth. needless to say i have reached level 80, and I’ve enjoyed Northrend, and the hunter buffs that came with patch 3.0.2, and were reigned back somewhat in 3.0.8.

over the years I’ve seen the trends of hunter pets go from the obscure yet unique pets that could hunt down epic land mounts, to the great pet rationalisation that followed – whereby each pet in a family was bought in to line, and everyone stuck with cats and boars.

changes have come in over the years with talents too, but for the most part hunters stuck with beast master, or marksman. for the most part survivalist sucked pre-BC, and wasn’t massively better post-BC. The wrath beta showed some glimmers of hope for the SV spec, but as with any major patch the hand that giveth also taketh away, and taketh away it certainly did in 3.0.8.

So, lets clear a couple of things up first.

I’m not a theory-crafter. I don’t spend 100s of gold re-speccing every couple of hours, and spend most of my play time in front of the target dummies honing my spec, gear, and pets.. I don’t raid that much. I play solo for the most part, and when i run in to dungeons i expect to be top or second on the damage meters.
There are people like that who tell people for the most part what spec, macros, pets, gear, play style they should use. I respect these people on the one hand because they are pushing the envelope and vocalising these discoveries with the hunter community, but on the other hand there are hunters out there that will follow these guides and not find things out for themselves.

blingkong For me I’ve been stuck in a beastmaster tree for the most part since rolling Shao. When 3.0.2 hit i picked myself up a gorilla. Not just any gorilla – Uhk’loc (the taming of which is another story for another day), and this thing hits like a ten ton truck, and keeps going like no Duracell i’ve ever seen. My talent spec and my pets i built myself with some basic advising from others, but basically is full of things that i think help me to achieve the things i look for most – Speed, and Power.

Where possible increase armour, health and healing to the pet. He’s my white furry tank, and if he goes down in a fight i go down. If he goes down and i can get out of range for a few seconds i can use improved revive pet to bring him back to life ASAP, and prevent me from dying.

So, what is all the fuss about?

I dumped this spec for a survival spec that a lot of hunters are suggesting at the moment, and to be totally honest, it kind of sucks for me, because it goes against everything i like about playing my hunter.

I’m slow. I attack slow. My pet is slow. He takes heals like a retard, hits like a baby gorilla, and the solo experience generally sucks. I found this out the hard way because lately I’ve been trying to grab some argent dawn rep – don’t ask why – and I’ve run scholomance, and stratholme a couple of times under both builds and its just SO much hard with survival build – and it really shouldn’t be.

I’ve yet to try any raiding or heroics with this build, but i will report back when i have. However I did run normal HoL earlier (with a lvl 79 pet cat) and came out dealing just under 40% of total damage for the group.. which seems good, but i was doing that with my beastmaster build too (with my gorilla) so as yet I’m not seeing the benefit, or point of changing.

WoW Predictions #1 – expansion packs

murlocrace.jpgMy first prediction for the future of WoW is this. Blizzard will release 2 more expansions after Wrath of the Lich King, raising the level cap 10 for each expansion, making the final level cap 100.

Additionally There will be an average of 18months between each add-on, giving the game an estimated expected lifespan until 2013. This will allow blizzard to have overlap between World of Warcraft, and it’s upcoming MMO(s) of 2-3 years.

  1. Burning Crusade – Outland – 2 new races – lvl70
  2. Wrath of the Lich King – Northrend – 1 new class – lvl80
  3. ?? – Undermine / Kazan – ?? – lvl90
  4. ?? – Maelstrom – ?? – lvl100

expect races such as the goblin (horde), Murloc (alliance), and recently announced Tuskarr (horde) races to become playable at some point over the latter two add-ons, with a potential for a race to swap sides from horde to alliance.

Note, this post is all speculation.