Thursday, March 11, 2021

Heroic Stone Legion Generals Down!

My guild killed Heroic Stone Legion Generals tonight! 9/10 Heroic Castle Nathria!

Actually, it was decided to drop Normal entirely, so we started on Heroic Tuesday. We got through the first 8 bosses fairly smoothly, even with a couple new people on Council and Sludgefist. We even got a few attempts on the Stone Legion, and laid down our strategy.

So tonight we went in focused on them. It took a few pulls, but we killed them after an hour or so. In Heroic at least, it's just a matter of doing all the mechanics, and making sure to clear the various bleeds that you can get.

Then we started doing Sire Denathrius attempts. Phase 1 is very finicky, so it took us quite a while to get that smoothly and start seeing Phase 2. On the last attempt of the night, we had a very clean pull, and ended up pushing him into Phase 3. Three-quarters of the raid was dead at that point, though, and the rest followed shortly.

Still, quite good progress. A couple more weeks of practice, and we should get him down.

Monday, March 01, 2021

Magic: Universes Beyond

Magic: the Gathering is introducing "Universes Beyond", a new initiative to go heavily into cross-overs with other franchises. The first new products will be Warhammer 40k and Lord of the Rings.

Here's the announcement.

Such cards will be mechanically unique, look exactly like regular Magic cards and will be tournament-legal, at least in the non-rotating formats. Wizards did this last year with a special package of 5 cards from the television show The Walking Dead.

Needless to say, the enfranchised fans on in the internet are not happy.

I don't know, maybe it will work out for Wizards. Maybe they'll get more new people to buy in on the strength of the external IP, and most enfranchised players will stick with it.

Personally, though, this feels to me like the moment Magic jumps the shark.

A funny comic from Cardboard Crack:


 

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Heroic Sludgefist Down!

So last raid night we were working on Heroic Sludgefist. Our raid leader used Exorsus Raid Tools to make this neat note with a list of healer cooldowns and the time to use them. What was particularly cool is that times in the note would count down as the fight went on. Then they would grey out as the time went past. So you'd see the who the next CD was, and how long it would take.

Still, though, Sludgefist was pretty hard. The thing is that almost every death is from chains in some fashion, so every death actually takes out two people. It's also a fight where it comes down to whether you have enough people survive to the end. We had some heart-breaking wipes. We wiped at 5%, 2%, and 1%, among others.

Finally on our very last attempt of the night we got him down. We had most people survive past the fourth pillar, and that was enough to kill him even as we lost many people in that last phase. I was chained to another healer in that phase, and we both moved in opposite directions and broke the chain. Must have given our raid leader a heart attack to lose half the healers at the very end of the fight. Luckily, the raid was able to hang on for another 30 seconds and kill him.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Diablo 3 Follower Revamp

In a complete surprise, Diablo 3 is revamping Followers next patch:

Follower System Revamp: The Follower system for Diablo III has been revamped and will be made permanently available for Seasonal and Non-Seasonal play! Players can now equip Followers with a total of 14 different item slots which include the Follower Relic Item, Helm, Shoulders, Chest, Gloves, Bracers, Belt, 2 Rings, Neck, Pants, Boots, main-hand weapon, and off-hand. We're introducing a new Follower feature into Diablo III called Emanate, which allows the player to gain the intended effect of certain Legendary Powers and Set Bonuses when equipped on the hired Follower.

It's a pretty big buff to solo play, as well as getting a lot of use out of secondary or utility items. Blizzard is also revamping many of the Follower abilities.

As someone who plays D3 solo, I'm quite looking forward to the next patch. The only real issue remaining with followers is that it is difficult to use a follower with a different main stat than yours. D3 loot revamp meant that if you're a Strength class, most of the loot that drops for you is Strength. Personally, I like using a follower which is different, like Crusader + Enchantress, so gearing them well is always a pain.

The most amusing thing about this change is how it took the forums completely by surprise. It's a bigger change than expected for such an old game with 2 new entries on the horizon.

Monday, February 22, 2021

Diablo IV Rogue Reveal

At Blizzcon, Blizzard revealed the fourth class in Diablo IV: the Rogue.

The Rogue is your typical Dexterity-based character. Interestingly enough, it covers both ranged and melee, making it unlikely we'll see another class focused on one type. I think it looks pretty good, with a nice back-to-basics vibe, rather than something exotic.

The classes previously revealed are Barbarian, Druid and Wizard. So naturally enough, everyone is speculating about the fifth class. The two big archetypes missing are the heavy plate wearer with a shield, or a summoner class.

I'm hoping for the Paladin, or a similar class like Crusader or Templar. Alternatively, I'd like something new. Though not a Death Knight variant. So far Blizzard is playing it really safe with Diablo IV, and I would like to see at least a little bit of innovation.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Chains of Domination Trailer

Not a huge amount announced at Blizzcon this year. For WoW, we got the trailer for Patch 9.1: Chains of Domination.

So it looks like Anduin is being controlled by the Jailer into a quasi-Death Knight. The Covenants will be going on the offensive, attacking the Maw. The new raid will be attacking the Sanctum of Domination in Torghast. There's also a new long Mythic dungeon like Karazhan or Mechagon.

Nothing unexpected, but it all looks pretty decent.

Regarding the story, and Anduin being mind-controlled, I was amused to recall the start of Pandaria. In the Jade Forest questline, Anduin mind-controls Sully into letting him escape. Maybe a touch of karma there.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Short Raid Night

Apparently WoW is having server issues as we were having odd lag and delays during the raid tonight. Regardless we did the skip in Normal, killing the last bosses, and then went on to Heroic.

We got up to Lady Inerva, and then saw the dreaded "Server Restart in 15:00". So we pulled her.

Luckily the fight went well, we got her down on the first attempt. We looted quickly, ran out of the instance and logged out.

It looks like the servers will be offline for a while, so we called the raid early. None the less, we are in a good position for our next raid night. Hopefully this will translate into a lot of time to practice Sludgefist.