Monday, February 27, 2006

Continuing Adventures in Molten Core

On Friday, our raid killed Gehennas, at which point I volunteered to leave the raid so another person could go. The guild continued on and dropped Garr, Baron Geddon, and Shazzrah. Saturday, I rejoined the raid and we attempted Golemagg. We had a bit of trouble with the trash mobs leading to Golemagg, and we ended up wiping three times on Golemagg before calling it a night.

Sunday, we tried Golemagg again, this time with 8 paladins! For some reasons, the paladins show up for all the raids, unlike a lot of other classes. We wiped again, and then we tweaked our strategy a little, assigning paladins to specifically heal the off-tanks, instead of healing everyone. This time the fight was smooth and we killed him easily. We moved on to Sulfuron, but we have trouble with people disconnecting and then having to wait in the queue. We did attempt Sulfuron 3 times, but on the third try, some of the trash mobs respawned in the middle of the fight. The raid was basically called, and we decided to take Monday off, and restart the instance on Thursday.

Still, taking down 7 bosses on our first MC run is a pretty good accomplishment. I think we are beginning to reach the limits of our gear, though, and another couple of weeks just to gear up with epics would probably help a lot. I still don't have any epics from the Core, though I do have a lot of DKP. Just waiting for Paladin gear to actually drop.

I did try out some of the options in CT_RaidAssist. The amount of effort people put into automating these fights amuses me. Automatic Decursing of the raid is standard. I was playing with Mana Conserve, which checks the target's health 0.5s before the healing spell finishes casting, and cancels the spell if the target's health is too high. It's somewhat useful, as I did end up cancelling two or three spells a fight.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Paladin Tanking Idea: Guard

Eyonix, one of the Customer Managers at Blizzard, mentioned on the paladin boards that Blizzard is looking at ways to improve Paladin tanking. One of their goals, however, is specifically NOT to give paladins a Taunt-like ability. So there are now many posts on the boards tossing out different ideas. Here's mine, reposted for fun:

Here's an idea for tanking (sort of) that I think is reasonably different from warrior tanking, but is still flavourful for paladins.

Every paladin at level 10 gets a passive ability called Guard.

If the paladin is in front of the enemy, [melee] attacks made against a party member have a 50% chance of hitting the paladin instead.

Basically, the paladin can't force the mob to attack her, but she can put herself between the mob and her ally. This keeps the other person alive longer, and hopefully gives the paladin enough to time to truely regain aggro. It requires positioning, and since the mob isn't attacking the paladin, she can't "walk" it away or similar.

Then in the Protection tree we can have:

Improved Guard (5 pts)
Requires 0 points in Protection
Improves the paladin's chance to Guard a party member by 5/10/15/20/25%.

Frustrate (1 pt)
Requires 20 points in Protection
If the paladin successfully Guards a party member, has a 25% chance of forcing the enemy to attack the paladin for 6s.

Basically, deep in the protection tree, the paladin gets a kind of taunt. It's not very good, but relies on using the Guard mechanic. Plus the flavor is very obvious: "Stupid paladin blocking my attacks. Die Paladin!"

Perfect Defender (1 pt)
Requires Frustrate, 30 points in Protection
100 mana, 10s duration, 2 min cooldown
Increases the paladin's chance to Guard a party member by 25%. In addition, the first time the paladin successfully Guards a party member, the enemy is forced to attack the paladin for 6s.

This gives you pretty close to a guaranteed Taunt. You still have to do it through the Guard mechanics, so it's not as good/versatile as a true Taunt.

As well, the Guard mechanic would give us an added dimension in PvP. It doesn't seem likely that we are going to get any damage anytime soon, but we could use Guard to protect mages and priests, as we are supposed to do.

One more thing I'd like to mention is that I feel it is important for mechanics to 'fit' the class as much as possible. Divine Intervention is a terrible, terrible mechanic. You can only cast it on another person, who must be a resser AND in a position where she won't draw aggro when the fight ends. Compare that to the Warlock soulstone, or Shaman self-res. And yet the flavour of Divine Intervention--the paladin sacrificing herself to save her companion--is so strong, that the spell somehow works.

Hopefully this idea fits the flavour and 'sense' of being a paladin.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

First time in Molten Core

I joined a raiding guild on Eitrigg last week. Over the weekend we went to Zul'Gurub and killed Venoxsis (Snake) and Jeklik (Bat). They later killed Broodlord Mandokir, though I did not attend that raid. Today we went to Molten Core for the first time. We killed Lucifron and Magmadar, and then called it a night.

We wiped twice, once on a Core Hound pack, before we really understood the strategy behind them, and once on Magmadar, when a druid accidentally held down the forward key and charged him.

I didn't get any loot, though some good blues and epics dropped. Ah well, I'm accumulating DKP, so I'll eventually get some.

I like ZG more than Molten Core so far. The colour scheme in MC is very drab, all reds and browns. As well, the fights in ZG just seem so much cooler, much more puzzle-like and complicated. It could also be that I had twice as many health bars covering my screen, so I didn't actually get to see much of the event. To be honest, I'm not really sure what Lucifron even looks like.

Raiding as a paladin, well, it kind of sucks in some ways, actually. Every fiber of my being calls for me to be in the front lines, swinging my hammer. Instead, I'm standing at range, spamming Flash of Light and cleansing. Joy. Important jobs, I'll grant, but not what I made this character to do. There is a great sense of satisfaction in working as a team, though. All parts working together, executing well, and accomplishing a large goal as a group.

Still, the best part of the raid was when Magmadar dropped to 10%, and our Paladin captain ordered us to fling Hammers of Wrath at the big dog. Ahh, Hammer of Wrath. Still the best change to the paladin class ever!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Quote about Paladins

My post however is not to complain about being kicked from the raid but to inform the rest of the alliance on Eitrigg what fvcking retards these people are. They took 3-5 minute breaks in between every pull, instead of pulling the guys from Drak's room across the bridge, they all fought on the bridge, even after people got knocked off, there were no druids in the group, 2 priests and a bunch of paladins who thought they could melee [Emphasis mine], and instead of healing, the priests were too occupied with MC'ing the guards and throwing them off of the bridge. They also distributed every BoE loot as soon as it dropped, rather then doing them all at the same time at the end of the raid. Yea, like I said, noobs.

- Jurandrese, 60 Warrior, Officer of the end-game guild Epicus Furor on Etrigg

Look Blizzard, when an officer of an end-game guild can call a melee hybrid a 'fvcking retard' for attempting to melee, I would suggest that there is a fundamental problem with the design of the class.

Monday, February 13, 2006

New Beginnings

The last couple of weeks have seen two significant changes for Coriel. First, I left my guild. Second, I left my server.

(I also respecced to 0/27/24, but that proved to be a horrible, horrible mistake. I respecced back to 20/0/31 as soon as I got enough gold.)

I'd been with my guild, Defender of the Crown, for a long time. Months, in fact. I joined as a level 10 paladin killing murlocs in Elwynn Forest. I was one of the first 60s in the guild, and spent a long time waiting for enough 60s to start raiding. Curiously, though, the start of regular raiding was what led me to quit the guild. The problem was that DotC was, in the end, a primarily Australian guild. We started raiding the 10-man instances regularly, but on Australian time, which was quite late for me. And the time difference just proved too hard to overcome.

I actually feel quite sad about leaving my guild. The people were really nice, and I have a lot of good memories.

Anyways, I was guildless, and just pvping occasionally and casually inquiring into joining a raiding guild, when Blizzard opened transfers from Bronzebeard to Eitrigg. I wasn't having much luck in finding a raiding guild (most guilds were full on paladins), and the queues were getting very long, so I jumped ship.

Now, I'm on Eitrigg, looking for a guild. In the meantime, I've been helping farm Silithid carapaces for the Ahn Qiraj sceptre questline. It's amusing, and is actually pretty good money if you skin.

I do want to write up a couple of posts. One on pvp and one on some end-game thoughts. Hopefully, I'll get to them sometime this week.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Being Ganked in Towns

Alhough Coriel is on a PvE server, I started playing on a PvP server. I still maintain a couple of Horde alts on a PvP server which I play from time to time.

I do not engage in a lot of world PvP. Personally, I never saw much point in attacking someone who was lower level than you, and if she's higher than you, it's silly to attack as you're going to die. (The few times I have fought someone around my level were a lot of fun, though.) I don't really mind if someone ganks me as I'm adventuring. That's the price of being on a PvP server, and part of the fun.

What I do mind, however, is a 60 rogue de-cloaking inside one of my towns (Tarren Mill, Sun Rock Retreat, etc.) and killing me. Your towns should be a bit of a safe haven in the wilderness. Sure, there are guards, but they do nothing against sneaking rogues.

So what I propose is that the guards get dogs. Dogs which can scent the stealthed rogue and raise the alarm. This seems like a change that is in character for the game. Guard dogs make logical sense. Perhaps you could have a guard and dog patrol the town, forcing a stealthed rogue to time his movements to avoid the patrol.

(If, upon spotting the rogue, the dog went all Beastial Fury, I wouldn't complain. That would probably be excessive though.)

Guard Dogs. A change the towns in Azeroth need.

Theorycraft: +Spellcrit and +Healing

h = amount of +dmg or + heal
c = spell crit rate, 0 < c < 1
M= crit multiplier (usually 1.5 for spells)

p'(h) = rate of increase of power when adding +heal

For power of the spell (healing/second):

p(c,h) = [p(0,0) + Kh][1 + (M-1)c]

p'(h) = K[1 + (M -1)c] (constant)

p'(c) = [p(0,0) + Kh][M - 1] (constant)

where K = 2/7

For efficiency (without Illumination) (healing/mana):

e(c,h) = [e(0,0) + Lh][1 + (M - 1)c]

e'(h) = L[1 + (M-1)c] (constant)

e'(c) = [e(0,0) + Lh][M - 1] (constant)

where L = (2/7)*(SpellSpeed/SpellCost)

For efficiency (with Illumination) (healing/mana):

i(c,h) = [i(0,0) + Lh][ (1 + (M - 1)c)/(1 - c) ]

i'(h) = L[ [ (1 + (M-1)c)/(1 -c) ] ] (constant)

i'(c) = [i(0,0) + Lh][ M / ((1 - c)^2) ] (Exponential!!!)

Also note that i'(c) > e'(c)!