It's Monday!!!

... kinda! I had Monday off from work for the Christmas holiday; it was glorious, but I did not end up writing a post. Additionally, since I made a post late last week, I covered all the interesting PvP bits from our exploits. As a recap - we hit about 1850 with my season nine gear then queued into a war+rsham team that farmed us for a bit. It was lame, but largely due to them being 2100 rated and having season 11 gear.

Let's talk a little bit about MoP and Feral. I, having re-upped my subscription, am back to trolling the wow boards (Druid boards mostly - if I go into the arena boards my blood pressure spikes and causes me aneurisms). It seems like a lot of Ferals are concerned about abilities being removed or changed to Guardian-only and the talent tree choices in general as it pertains to Ferals in PvP. I, on the other hand, am extremely excited for the Feral builds in MoP, and here are a bunch of examples:

  • We are losing Survival Instincts and many Ferals are concerned that our survivability will be lackluster.
  • Our first tier talents offer no choice for competitive PvP - we will still need Feral Swiftness in order to get behind people and land Shreds.
  • Our fourth tier talents offer no choice for competitive PvP - we will be forced to take Wild Charge for mobility.
  • Our sixth tier talents offer no choice for competitive PvP - every Druid will be taking Disentanglement.
I tend to agree with the sixth tier argument as every Druid (Feral for sure) will be taking Disentanglement for PvP, but I argue that this solves a lot of problems otherwise. For instance, Disentanglement means that Tireless Pursuit is no longer a valid talent selection - why would we want Dash and Stampeding Roar to break roots when we could just break them with a shapeshift? One could make the argument that allowing StR to break roots for your partners might be useful, but I contend that that is for what healers are.

Okay, so you're nigh-unrootable again, what does that have to do with the rest? Well, Wild Charge is useful for getting or swapping to targets, but if we are difficult to peel then we might not need charging in general and might opt for Incarnation which looks to offer hilariously powerful damage when coupled with Berserk (I am already imagining comps like Rogue+Feral+Healer where the Rogue provides lockdown and the Feral sets up for Incarnation+Berserk to land with a Shadowdance... scary). I do not think that many would pass up Wild Charge, since it can be used as another defensive cooldown in Caster or Travel form, but the extra damage is definitely some may be willing to try out because of Disentanglement.

Additionally, the change to Mangle/Shred interaction means that Mangle-spamming will be 80% of the damage of a Shred, cost 5 less energy, and not have a positional requirement. More to the point, there will be no reason to NOT use Shred, but in situations where getting behind your opponent is not simple, Mangle-spamming will be roughly the same damage. That means that Feral Swiftness is less useful, and my argument is that it would be optional to the point where I would be taking Displacer Beast because of the added survivability. Already, with the loss of Survival Instincts, I have picked up 3 "new" talents which improve survivability and I contend that I have not given up any damage in doing so. In fact, I contend that I have made myself more rounded for dealing damage by focusing on Mangles rather than Shreds.

We all know that this is not the final pass for Feral in MoP, but if things end up playing out this way, I think we can all be excited about the unique role that Ferals will bring to PvP in MoP. Essentially, we will have control, be hard to control, and deal decent damage. If nothing else, Typhoon, Demo Roar, Cyclone, Entangling Roots, Bash, and Wild Charge will allow us to effectively control an opposing team, and if our survivability and damage are up to snuff, we will be a strong piece of many 3s comps (particularly ones with strong damage and control like FMP or EbolaCleave).

Bookmark and Share

About the SOPA Thing...

Sorry about that instead of a post on Monday, but I felt that I had to speak up on the matter. There is still a lot of work to be done to keep it from passing, but I'm done with my civil discourse for the moment.

Okay... yes... I re-upped my account. In fact, Guntir and I did some 2s for fun running Feral+RSham to shake off the cobwebs and we went like 9-3 or something and got to 1000 (woo). We both have Friday off, so we will likely be grinding that noise up quite a bit (hopefully 2k, but whatever). This time around, I am taking the game much more with a grain of salt and looking at it as a hobby that is fun for a bit. I really should not get so wrapped up in ratings or what-have-you as I was previously.

There were a few things I noticed upon my return, however. First, I have to say that damage is absolutely silly at the moment; I am hitting the target dummies for 50k from time to time in season nine gear and am twitching at the notion of going to season eleven gear. Second, Rogues are insane at the moment; as crazy as my ability to deal damage is, there's is much more bursty. Lastly, MS is right back where I said it would be; if you are going to run a comp these days, you need to have MS... again.

The Rogue thing was hilarious. We had a match against Rogue+HPal and Stevely was hanging strong and doing alright mana wise, but when the Rogue decided to swap to him, he'd have him from 140k hp to 10k hp inside a cheap shot. I do not know if it is just shadow dance or what, but Rogue burst has gotten insane in my absence. On the flip-side of things, we were facing off against 1500-2000 scrubs, wearing season nine gear, and mopping the floor with them. We had a match where I DC'd in the middle of it, came back without addons, and still beat a DK+Disco team because the Disc simply refused to trinket; I suppose he assumed his DK would live through my damage.

Oh yeah, that's another thing - when did DKs become awful at survivability against other melees? Is it just me, or can I train a DK straight into the ground, now? We faced a fair few of them and I kept finding myself with 15 seconds left on Rip, Rake and Mangle applied, and five combo points to use and a FCC. I would do the old FCC->FB->Ravage combo to drop some strong burst, though back in season nine that would only have done between 25 and 35k damage, and it would do anywhere from 50-60k damage. Again, maybe these guys are just really undergeared, but that seems like a huge amount of burst against a plate-wearer to me.

Oh yeah, Guntir played with his Warrior friend and says he's better at a lot of the subtleties than any of our previous 3s partners, though he needs to learn things like when to swap and when to back off. The nice thing is that he seems to have a grasp of the more technical aspects (one's which cannot easily be taught) and only needs to practice the simpler ones (or have me call out targets). I am looking forward to seeing what we can do as a 3s team.

Bookmark and Share

Oh Dat MS...

I realize today that I said I would post back as to whether Guntir and that potential third had done any arenas; well, I got in contact with Guntir and he said that the other guy wanted to do BGs to grind up some gear first. I know what you are thinking: "why not do arenas as well?" That is what went through Guntir's and my head as well, but whatever - we are in no big rush. Hopefully, he and Guntir will get some games in this week and we will know whether it is worth the time and effort or not.

I have been playing a lot of L4D lately. It truly is a fun game that I can pick up and play for an hour of simple fun. The only reason I bring it up is because we have some nomenclature which basically fits the form "dat [something]" when something is done well (or amazingly poorly). For instance, if you land a really slick pounce as a hunter and it ends up costing the other team a health pack (good teams) or you land an instant-kill smoker pull, one would generally say "dat pull" or "dat smoker" or "dat hunter".

"Dat MS"

I got into work this morning and checked my email, like always, and aside from a number of work-related emails that somewhat bothered me, I was pleased as punch to see that Squanky uploaded two more videos [one and two]. Now, aside from the hilarious strategies used and the one teammate who calls the enemy a "banana" (over which I spent minutes laughing), the overwhelming message to take from these videos is that MS is back to its previously OP status. The first video is Squanky's KFC against a Junglecleave of the disco variety, and the big plan was "kill priest till he dead"; it worked perfectly. The second match is against a Shatterplay and the strategy was "kill mage till he dead"; it, too, worked perfectly. In fact, neither of these videos showed any signs that Squanky's team was even feeling pressure from his opponents.

On the one hand, I am glad to see a Wizcleave get beaten, and I would love to hear that melee run-down comps can compete against Wizcleaves again, but I am willing to bet that KFC/TSG/etc are going to come back in favor to the point of being every other team queued... that is an annoying prospect. In fact, I am reasonably certain that a 25% MS is going to spell the death of priest comps (except, interestingly, RMP will come back to favor because of the peels for the priest) and the reemergence of "must have MS to compete". That may sound like a bad thing, but in the long run it will likely be good for all of us without a healing reduction. Recall, Blizzard is testing the grounds for MS et al and seeing if this last effort is the balancing point for which they seek. If not, as I suspect, then likely Blizz will have to do away with the effect forever and balance healing and damage around, wait for it, healing and damage.

This season may be the TSG season (again), but hopefully it will open the doors to a MoP without MS effects.

Bookmark and Share

Better Late Than...

Ugh... I had the most abysmal stomach flu set in early Saturday morning and I am still recuperating; hence the late post. On the other hand, I gave out two posts a week for the last few weeks, so it is probably a wash.

So, the end of the season has come and gone and yesterday marked the start of a new one. I have a few things to say about that, but firstly I wanted to mention this: Guntir was going to try and get some 2s games in with a guildy of his (mage, but mains a Warrior) and see if the guy is any good. If so, he was going to suggest running 3s with, wait for it, a Feral he has run with in the past and see how that bodes. It is still early and I have no idea whether he actually ended up playing with the guy or not, but I am interested to hear what he says.

That's right, I may be saddling back up before MoP and getting back into the PvP game to see how 3s fares this season as Feral. Sadly, I am an entire season behind on gear (I do not even remember the name of the gear I am wearing, but it was the season before the one that just ended all T2), but hopefully that will not end up mattering too much. Guntir had been playing 3s with some friends of his on his Priest (RMP) and they were getting pretty decent for beginners (somewhere in the 1600-1800 if I recall correctly), so if we do end up running 3s, I do not think it will be with Guntir but Stevely (his Shaman) instead. Supposedly, Feral+War+Sham is a decent comp at the moment.

I will try and post back when I hear from Guntir on how, or if, that went down.

Back to the new season in general! There were a lot of changes in 4.3 and not a lot of them made sense. Furthermore, being less and less attached to the WoW scene in recent months, I found it harder and harder to keep the changes made in my head. I felt like I saw that Rake got buffed at one point, but when I looked through the patch notes (and I scoured multiple versions of them) I never found that change again. Additionally, Blizzard took the initiative to nerf Wind Shear for Resto Shammies [finally] only to actually buff Wind Shear for Eles and Enhancement shammies. Enhancement in particular are scary anti-casters now; I do not know the scene well enough to speculate fully, but I would not be surprised to see some UnholyDK+Enh+Disco teams this season just because of the amazing caster-control.

Blizzard is moving Bears back to the stam-banks of yore. I never really understood why the decision was made to reduce the HP of bears in the first place. Unlike [insert any other tank here], Bears only have one means of mitigation (okay, we all have vengeance now, nevermind) in Dodge and the rest of that was made up for in superior damage reduction from armor and damage soak in a high health pool. When the health pool got cut down so long ago, the tanking scene for Ferals just changed too much. Additionally, in PvP going Bear used to be a defensive cooldown, of sorts, and with roughly the same HP as caster form, the only boon was gotten from the extra armor, which was also nerfed.

Anyway, we shall see how things play out. I suspect that 25% MS is going to be extremely strong in the current setting and we will see teams like TSG and KFC back at the top where the combined unhealable damage cooldowns and MS effects will make for nigh-unbeatable healer-zergs. Blizzard will likely, but do not hold me to this, end up removing healing reduction effects for MoP when this balance attempt does not pan out.

Bookmark and Share