Archive for June, 2009

I Don’t Need To L2P, I Need To L2Target Dummy

I was finally able to sink my teeth into some PTR goodness over the weekend!

I’d logged Tigerfeet over to Broxigar (the PvE server) and romped around for a while in cat and bear form. The Orgrimmar barber shop was teeming with druids and there was much fun to be had in /s while we gamboled about with new forms.

During this time I gallantly answered a plea for guildies and found myself in a decently-sized guild with decently competent people.

I say decently competent because our 10-man foray to the new Vault boss didn’t go too well. Grouping problems aside (I’m now immensely grateful for well-organized guilds) we tried to 9-man the guy with no luck.

Long story short, there’s fire everywhere and we didn’t have enough people sticking it out to actually start to LEARN the encounter to actually be able to… well… learn the encounter.

The vast majority of the people were, in fact, pre-made characters. Now, pre-made characters come equipped with the best of the best from Tier 8 content. Over by the Argent Tournament there’s tier 9 available for purchase for about 50g apice. It looks goofy as all get-out (go go placeholder graphics!) but the stats aren’t anything to sneeze at.

So, we get into vault and start whomping on things and I find myself in a curious position. Me, in my Tier7 BIS with the odd T8 upgrade, am sitting comfortably at the top of the DPS meter. The closest contender was a pre-made rogue who was only 2-300dps behind me. Barely keeping ahead of the tank were a mage, a hunter, a warlock, and an arms warrior.

They were all fighting to keep 3k dps.

I was rolling comfortably in the mid to low 5k range.

On live, for a 10-man encounter, I usually see numbers in the upper 5k range, so my damage was right where I expected it to be considering the feral nerfs.

Well, as can be expected, a hue and cry arose about my dps. What’s wrong! I was cheating! No way should a live-transferred character in Tier7 be out-dpsing pre-made characters wearing BiS Tier8 gear with Tier9 upgrades!

Hax Hax Hax!

So, I knew I wasn’t cheating, but is what they say true? Was there a bug that prevents premades from doing their proper damage, or was there a bug that kept the nerfs from affecting live-transfers?

To the Target Dummies I went!

I was able to steadily break 4k on live, but just barely. You know, just me and the target dummy, no mangle bot, no nuthin’.

On my live-transfer I was doing 3.5k. It’s a sad drop, but much more difficult to tell considering the amount of use the target dummies are getting. (on another note, I got the ‘track others’ debuffs’ to work with RPB!)

Then I tested it out on a pre-made druid. I kitted her out with all armor-pen gems (naturally her crit was about 53% in full tier 8), got her glyphs (I started testing without them and was wondering what was wrong) and set to work.

The result? 3.8k with spikes up to 4k.

I’d made a preliminary post on the PTR forums about the seeming discrepancy between live-transfer characters and pre-made characters. The general consensus was that people playing pre-mades are generally terribad and suggestions to me to check my buffs and make sure they’re consistent.

I think a little of both were responsible. Many people take the option of pre-made characters to test out the playstyles of a new class without the drudgery of leveling (I myself have a max-level shaman waiting to be transferred). The high-useage of the target dummies on the PTR goes a long way to making testing difficult.

The feral cat rotation is subtly different when a mangle-bot is present as opposed to when you have to apply your own D@mn mangle. When there’s randomly a mangle bot for maybe 20 seconds out of a 5-minute test period, it can just throw the rotation into complete chaos.

Needless to say, testing’s a little difficult, and I’m not very scientific about it at all. I’m sad to see my DPS down, but I know it had to happen.

On another note – I downloaded and installed Feral By Night. I spent some quality time on live with it and a target dummy.

The result? I did everything the addon said, pushed every button exactly how I should have, etc, etc.

I did on average 3.5k dps with spikes up to 3.8k.

Remember? I’d clocked myself on live as rolling in at a solid 4k dps.

So, with a program telling me what buttons to push I did LESS dps than I’m able to do when I’m driving!

Why don’t you stick THAT in your pipe and smoke it?

(PS – smoking’s bad, k?)

A Is For Apathy

You can probably guess where I’m going with this. I’ve got three or four posts planned out but just can’t seem to power through my personal frustrations right now.

I’m STILL waiting for my characters to transfer over to the PTR so I can look at all the new druid skins and try out the new totem bar on my baby shaman.

So, frustrated and apathetic, I’ll be cleaning house this weekend. That should help.

I’ll be back next week but in the meantime, have fun with fireworks, and may your raids not be critted too hard by the 4th.

*grumblegrumble*

Channel Surfing

He’s dead dead dead dead dead dead dead dead dead dead dead DEAD DEAD DEAD DEAD

DEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAD!

/happydance

Take THAT!

Take THAT! - click for larger

Oh yeah, and Hodir too.

Apparently, there’s a timer on Thorim’s arena trash.

Allow me to illustrate: There’s a problem with Thorim right now and disconnects. We’ve been not-so-fondly calling it the DC-Roulette.

Me: Ok guys, everyone’s ready, pulling!

Collective thoughts of the raid: Who will DC this time?

We’ve developed a strategy to combat this, however. Kill the Jormunger, then the Acolyte, then the priests get to go have fun with mind controls. Once our tragically DC’d get back online and get their UIs in order (I have to /reloadui whenever I DC because my raid frames dissapear) then we kill everything and get on with the fight.

Last night was nuts.

We lost one, then the game didn’t lag him out so it took him forever to get back in. Once he GOT back in he was in dalaran. Yes, we were still playing with Thorim’s trash. So he hoofs it into Ulduar then ANOTHER disconnects. As he gets back in we loose another but when he connects back he’s at the entrance. Then one of the Mind-Control-happy priests runs his mob too far away, thus breaking the MC. What does a formerly-Mind Controlled mob do now that it’s free?

You’re damn right, it’s pissed, so it makes a beeline for the priest, a healer. Next thing I know there’s a giant spirit healer sitting in the room. We could waste a Battlerez or…

Just run back in man, let’s get this done.

So, our wayward priest back in the fold and we (finally) kill all the mobs.

Nothing happens.

What? Thorim? Heloooooo? Anyone home? We just killed all your entertainments, aren’t you mad? Doesn’t Sif have something to say about it?

Nope, apparently not.

Last night, Thorim did the Azerothian equivalent of falling asleep in front of the TV. *huff*

We’ll get you tonight buddy!

and PS – MIMIRON IS DEAAAAAAAD!

Pink Putty-Tats On Parade!

If you didn’t know already, the PTR is up. I’ve copied over two druids and a shaman and I’m going to try to make Fraps vids of each of the new forms. In the mean-time, the Druid forum is exploding with helpful folks throwing up screenshots and there’s already one vid up (though it doesn’t show all the forms and is a little hard to see.

But, lest you accuse me of a liar… Have at!

Both01Both02Both03NE01NE02NE03NE04NE05Tauren01Tauren02Tauren03Tauren04

Personal Thoughts?

Well, I think the ‘big butt’ problem for bears is being made a touch worse, and these forms will take a little getting used to. Regardless though, They’re a definite improvement, and I’m thrilled to be able to look different from the next druid!

I hope you enjoyed this image-spam.

Less QQ, More Mew Mew

If you were to believe all the caterwauling on the Druid forums, you’d think the sky was falling. You’d think cats were being nerfed hard into the ground and that ferals were about to wink out of existence.

The fact is, nothing could be farther from the truth.

Here’s a bit of history:

In Naxxramas and even Heroics, cats were topping charts quite easily. We were out-dpsing those who were higher level than us and those that were even higher-geared than us.

In Ulduar the gap has been narrowing, allowing other dpsers to shine on fights (Think Hodir, Freya, Iron Council – do not think XT, or Vezax)

Now, I know the cat rotation is hard (I noticed myself this weekend I was pulling 3k on a target dummy with a sloppy rotation, then actually buckled down and paid attention and managed 4k), and that because of its challenge (I think most of us relish the challenge) we should rightfully see big numbers.

And we do.

And even after these nerfs we STILL WILL.

Because scaling remains unchanged, lesser-geared druids will notice a larger drop in dps than higher-geared druids, but it shouldn’t be enough to drop us to the bottoms of the charts. As long as you’re alloting your stats correctly and executing your rotation well, you should still enjoy robust numbers.

Furious Ferals – Choose Your Flavor!

This is the macro post for my Feral color charts. Once these skins go live I will make wallpaper packs for each flavor and offer them in this thread as well.

Enjoy!

NightElfColorChart TaurenColorChart

Have you ever heard the love-sick yowls of a lady-cat in heat?

After reading the patch notes I hopped on over to the Druid official forums and….

yeah…

It’s kinda like that.

Chill, everybody, we’ll be fine.

I’d go into more detail, but better and faster minds have already done it for me. 🙂