The Nature of Change

newraids
Blizzard has recently announced their intents for raiding in WoD, changing up the game again.  While you can find the whole post here, the main points are the changes in LFR loot, the addition of Group Finder, and multiple changes to Normal, Heroic, and the new Mythic raiding.  This article will focus mostly on the LFR and Group Finder changes, as this is the kind of raiding that Fussypants currently does.

The first big change is the removal of specific trinkets and set bonuses from LFR.  For the Normal and Hardcore raider, this is a positive change, as these raiders will no longer feel required to LFR raid to fill the gaps in their set pieces, or get that missing trinket.  However, for LFR raiders, this change is not so positive.  To many LFR raiders, this may seem to reduce LFR to a glorified dungeon.  But, isn’t that what it is supposed to be?

As it currently stands, LFR tries to do too many jobs.  It is a way to let non raiders see the lore, a gearing method for many players, a sight-seeing journey for some, and practice for normal and heroic raiding for others.  This all makes it very difficult to balance, both gear and difficulty wise.

With the introduction of Group Finder in WoD, LFR suddenly becomes redundant in many of its current jobs.  Thus, it make sense to turn LFR into more of a sight-seeing raid than a tier of its own.  As Fussypants has done already, many of the raiders who LFR raid for gear and because they don’t have the time for a raiding schedule, will naturally gravitate to the Group Finder function.  LFR will now have a specific job, and Group Finder will take the job of a raid for those who want to ‘raid’ raid with less time.

LFR will now also drop more rewards, allowing it effectively be the stepping stone between dungeons and Group Finder.  This will allow players such as Fussypants to move on to Group Finder raiding much faster than currently capable.

The second huge change is the addition of Group Finder.  From what has been stated at this point, Group Finder will be like OQueue, but Blizzard made and in-game.  This change is fantastic, as now many more people will use it than when it was in addon form.  This will open up the possibility of raiding to a far larger audience, and allow for many more pickup groups.

Also, for raiders like Fussypants, this will allow for more difficulties of raids.  As it currently stands, LFR raiders are generally at the final level of progression with the LFR.  But, with the new Group Finder, these raiders will be able to find groups to raid with at higher progression levels.  Raids that originally required you to be in a guild are now capable of being pugged.

The final big change is the addition of flex technologies to all raid types except for Mythic.  Group sizes won’t be set in stone, again making for easier pugging.  What once required dedicated guilds now will be more reachable by those not in raiding guilds.
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With all these changes, it is also interesting to look at how the WoW players handle it.

Human nature is funny, in that we don’t like change, but we adapt to it very quickly.  Take for instance, the addition of LFR.  When the idea was first proposed, there was of course backlash from the WoW community.  People didn’t like the change, even though many of them ended up using the new feature.  And here we are, an expansion later, and LFR seems like it has always been there.  LFR became such an integral part of many players WoW experience, that is odd to think that the feature is only one expansion old.

This process happened again with the addition of Flexible raiding.  There was a good amount of outcry against the change, and yet only a few moments after it has been integrated, the system seems common place.

It will be very interesting to watch how quickly we the players adapt to the new raiding changes, despite our protests against them.  ’20 man raiding? That’s stupid!’ we may say now, and yet in half a year, this may seem like the most normal thing.

People need to calm down.  Change is neither bad nor good, and either way, we are going to adapt to it.  It is in human nature to do so.  It will be fascinating to see how quickly the WoW player base settles into these ‘radical’ new changes.  So don’t worry.  You will adapt in a shorter amount of time than you spend complaining.

This entire article was written by Fussypants (though it was probably hard to tell with her writing in third person and all)

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A Tale of Two Auction Houses

Auction House
Fussypants:  The other day, I had an epiphany.  What if the horde and alliance auction houses on each server were combined into one super auction house per server? Would it be bad? Good?  I decided to sit down and write out all the pros, cons, and neutrals.

PROS

  • There would be a larger pool of items and merchants, causing prices to stabilize
  • There would be more items period, making it easier to obtain things
  • This means for your only, lonely alt on the outnumbered opposite faction would be able to gem and enchant just as easily as your other toons
  • Rare items may be up more often
  • Finding transmog greens would be easier
  • Possibly more sales due to increased amount of people

CONS

  • Prices may dip too low, and sellers will not be able to turn a profit
  • More competition
  • No more monopoly
  • There could possibly be faction animosity, and the two factions would not get along
  • When the economies combine, one factions economy may get worse
  • Initial time would be filled with fluctuations in availability and price

NEUTRALS

  • Supply and Demand would change (unpredictably)
  • Wealth distributed more evenly on both sides
  • Easier way to give money to opposite faction alts
  • No more neutral auction house (for it would be redundant)

Fussypants:  I am all for combining the auction houses.  This allows goods to be available to more buyers, and more sellers to post goods.  Supply and demand would be increased (probably close to equally), and this would bring in the outlier markets across the servers. The empty overpriced markets would be brought up to their cross faction’s market, and the overfull under-priced markets would dip down to their less successful opposite faction’s market.  This would also divide the number of total markets across all servers in half, making it easier to manage for Blizzard to manage them all.

The only drawback I see is the loss of total monopolies on some of the smaller markets.  But, a monopoly is only fun for those who control it, not for the buyers that need the monopolized goods.  Much like America did to the railroad barons, it is time for Blizzard to get rid of the auction houses monopolies.

Yotaan:  I am against combining the auction houses.  The current situation is not ideal, but this alternative is not better.  The factions rightfully are separated for a reason.  It would not make sense to combine the two sides.  While Fussypants’s suggestions may broaden the market, I do not think this is necessary.  Server merges have already accomplished this.  All those valid points have already happened.
Now, I do think the neutral auction house could be spiced up.  Perhaps combine the neutral action house and the black market auction house?  That would be interesting…

What do you, the readers, think?

Its the End of the World for my Pally

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So, I know I promised to write up an article not about paladins.  I swear, the next one I write will be all about mages or something.  But for now, there are more pressing matters having to do with the edits to the 6.0 patch notes.

“Selfless Healer for Holy no longer causes Judgment to grant Holy Power. It also is only usable on Flash of Light, no longer on Holy Light or Holy Radiance.”

WHAT?? So I write up an article on how much I love a certain talent choice, and not even two weeks later, they decide to rework the talent completely!  Wow, never doing that again.
But in all seriousness, I really dislike this change.  Selfless Healer (which I covered extensively here) made me want to play my paladin again, as it made the game play faster and more engaging!  Later in the notes, they explain the change with basically ‘blah blah, reasons reasons’ (ok, they actually said it was because of the changes in WoD healing would have made it over powered).
What changes? Is it the reduction of instant casts for AoE?  Because in all reality, I would be fine losing the cast time reduction of those spells if I could keep the mana reduction and the other two.  The biggest part for me is the mana reduction, not the cast time reduction.  And, if they are upping mana regeneration come WoD, this will actually work in their favor!  I really don’t understand and I really don’t like these new changes.
And then the part where Judgement doesn’t generate Holy Power, what’s up with that?  All of the Holy Powered abilities were already given a cast time, so why should the generation of Holy Power be decreased?
The way the new talent would work would remove the instant payoff of casting Judgement (a charge of Holy Power) and would remove the two useful spells from the mix, Holy Radiance and Divine Light (which is being renamed Holy Light).  The casts of Judgement would essentially be wasted GCDs, as the only thing they do is improve the efficiency of the next Flash of Light (a spell, by the way, which I almost never use).
To me, this seems like a massive and pointless nerf to the Selfless Healer talent choice.  Unless I’m missing a piece of this or if things change, it looks like I’ll be using Eternal Flame as my talent choice.  Sigh…
Addendum: Anyone who got the song reference in the title gets a cookie.  Anyone who sang it in their head when they read it gets two.

Happy Noblegarden Internets!

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Happy Noblegarden everyone! As per Noblegarden traditions, Yotaan and I and our family decorated eggs in real life last night!  I went a little overboard with mine (and I’m never eating them!)
WoW Easter Eggs
The one on the left is the class icon for mages, and the one on the right is the class icon for paladins.  The egg in the center was the suggestion of @ScottLeyes on the Twitters, and is the Green Proto-Drake.  As he put it “If you decorate them as Proto-drake eggs, you MIGHT get a mount!” All in all, it took me over two hours to make them all.
I posted these on Twitter last night, and was pleasantly surprised to see that @Warcraft had re-tweeted them (actually, I ran all around squealing like a little girl).  Since then, I have gotten 56 re-tweets and 133 favorites!  Happy Noblegarden and enjoy!!

Garrison Sweet Garrison

Image Source: World of Warcraft Official Game Site

Image Source: World of Warcraft Official Game Site

Fussypants: They will be the new big thing, a massive part of Warlords of Draenor.  They will allow you to get mats way faster than ever before, like the Farm on steroids.  And I have no interest in them what so ever.

Garrisons, from what I understand will be a throwback of sorts to the original Warcraft RTS’s.  You will be able to build your own fortress, and collect minions to work on that fortress.  Garrisons will supply you will numerous crafting mats, and ‘hours of entertainment’.  Except, this doesn’t sound like ‘hours of entertainment’ to me.

I have three main issues with the idea of garrisons.  The first of those being that it will either become too valuable or not worth the effort.  I can see the garrison becoming such a strong producer of mats that it becomes the only viable way to work on professions.  Which is not fun at all – I don’t want to be forced to micro-manage my own little fortress just to make a pair of pants in tailoring.

On the other hand, I can also see the garrison being a very weak producer of mats, which may make it not even worth the effort to maintain.  For example, if an hour of garrison gets you one stack of herbs, that’s way less herbs than you would get by farming the old-fashioned way in the same amount of time.  If it’s not even worth the effort, then very few people will maintain a garrison as well.

The second reason why I don’t like the concept of garrisons, is because I didn’t particularly like the farm.  Truth be told, I’ve only planted things five or six times ever.  That whole idea of micro-managing a fortress is boring to me.  The idea sound like a modified Clash of Clans (something I do not play) instead of Sim City (something I do play), and I would want it to be Sim City – like if I were to micro-manage it.

The last reason is because it sounds like a lot of grinding.  You will have to spend a lot of time (its inevitable) to upgrade your garrison and outfit it to the max.  I know me, and I’d rather be raiding than working on my garrison.  I have a limited playtime, and I would rather do something that has an instant pay off than something that takes time to get that pay off.

The idea of garrisons does not interest me at all.  The rates of production, micro-managing aspect, and time sink that it currently is being described as does not attract me at all.  However, WoD is still in alpha.  I have the feeling that Garrisons will be changed a lot before they are officially released.  As it stands, I currently have no interest in them, but I will try to keep an open mind.

Image from WoW official site

Image Source: World of Warcraft Official Game Site

Yotaan:  I have two minds about Garrisons.  They could be interesting, or a massive time-sink.  First, some background of my play is in order.  I played Clash of Clans for about 10 minutes total, I didn’t find it engaging and, frankly, it seemed like a lot of work.  So will that be the same for garrisons?

As for WoW, some history – When the Farm came out for Mists, I really wasn’t that interested overall.  I did several of the Tiller quests as I leveled thorough the zone and the farm was halfway along.  No big whoop.  However, at max level, Yotaan found himself tilling soil and planting seeds.  Turns out that you can “grow” several mats at the Farm.  Initially my toon needed Songs of Harmony for crafting a better chestpiece, and I think it was Yotaan’s first purple.  Then, I needed a lot leather for getting more leatherworking recipes by doing the daily cool downs and finally, we needed a lot of ore, so Yotaan grew that.  Somewhere in there Yotaan grew the special herbs too.  I advanced the farm just enough to make it easy to grow the mats.  Never went beyond that.  No “inn” or mailbox.  Now, the fields lie fallow.

I do want to say that the Farm did help all of our toons to advance, particularly for the legendary cape, as you need a ton of trillium for a turn in part way thorough. While the Garrison feature will have mats production, I hoping there are more engaging aspects to it.  I am not so excited about the “mini-game” aspect to it like Fussypants.  The current mini-game, the pet battles, does not interest me (although that could be that was I old when Pokemon came out…)  Likely, you will only access the mini-game aspect in Warlords, and I will want to play warlords then!

Now, if I was the boss of Blizzard I would make the Garrison account-bound.  It would have to be split along factions, of course.   But I would love to play Yotaan in the Garrison, knowing that it would not only help Yotaan, but Fussy and all the other alts.  How cool would it be if you have more than one character in the same Garrison at the same time!  The mini-game would interest me so much more if we could concentrate all of our toon’s efforts into one Garrison that would help all of our toons – that would do it for me!

Thank You!

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Six months, forty posts, and 1,575 views later, and Growing Up In Azeroth is still here.  Not only that, we are here and thriving!  When Yotaan first proposed that he and I start a blog, I didn’t really think anyone would read it.  Maybe some friends and one or two family members, but really that was it.  And yet, here we are half a year later. Twenty different people follow us, and the bulk of them aren’t friends or family! Twenty different people (and probably more) think that our blog is worth reading.  And that means a lot to me, and to Yotaan.  I want to take this moment to give you guys our utmost appreciation for your continued readership.

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So, in light of this astonishing success, Yotaan and I have decided to broaden our horizons.  We have expanded to Twitter, where we hope to connect more with other bloggers, and with you the readers. You can find us at @TheFussypants and @TheYotaan.  Feel free to follow or ask us questions (but we may not answer right away because I have school and my dad has work).

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I want to thank you again, from the bottom of my heart for you guys reading and commenting on our blog.  You guys rock!

Teaching an Old Paladin New Tricks

Light of Dawn
So, the other day I decided to change my paladin’s Tier 3 talent.  Since the dawn of time (more like patch 5.1), I’ve been using Sacred Shield as my talent choice in that bracket.  I knew that SS was not the best choice for the kind of healing I do (mainly LFR and Flex) but stubbornness and laziness had kept it that way for several patches.  I decided, rather out of the blue, that I was going to switch to a different talent.
Eternal Flame was the HoT choice, and I really didn’t want to turn my pally into a druid.  So I went with Selfless Healer.
Oh my goodness was I missing out!
For those who don’t know, Selfless Healer causes your Judgements to do two big things: gain a Holy Power charge (the secondary resource of paladins) and it reduces the cast time and mana cost of your next Flash of Light, Divine Light, or Holy Radiance.  Selfless Healer can stack up to 3 times, and at three stacks the heals are instant cast for a super amount.
Daymn.
By weaving Judgement in with Holy Shock, Holy Prism, and Holy Radiance, I was able to pump out massive AoE heals, and I never dropped below 250k mana. I was an unstoppable juggernaut of healing powah!
All misgivings I had with the game play of holy paladins melted away in the radiance of Selfless Healer.  There’s a sort of snappyness that the talent gives you, a flexibility.  If there are any other holy pallies out their reading this, I highly, highly suggest giving SH a spin.
So, after that little slice of heaven, I started doing LFR again on my paladin.  I finally finished up with the Secrets part of the legendary questline, and am now well into Runestone territory.
Now, there is more to this story than the miracle of SH.

While doing all these LFRs, I started to use my healing cooldowns.

What???
Yup, Fussypants, the healer who will save her cooldowns until the ends of the earth waiting for the perfect moment has started to use her cooldowns more than once in a fight.
Shocker.
It started innocently at first; I popped Avenging Wrath in an attempt to keep my self from dying from add aggro.  Then it got worse.  Soon I was using Divine Favor to try to eek out first place on the healing meters.  Then, I was using Guardian of Ancient Kings to intensify my tank healing.  Before I knew it, I was using those cooldowns, almost to the second of refresh.
I blame my druid, and her carefree use of Tranquility and Incarnation: Tree of Life.
But in all seriousness, I have become a much better paladin healer.  Now I am using my cooldowns on spike damage, and thanks to SH, I can spam Holy Radiance (with a sprinkling of Judgements) without nearly as much mana draining.  My numbers are improving (though my gear is not) and I am gaining better and better reflexes towards spike damage.
And most importantly, I am enjoying my paladin again.  I love the raw power I can pump out of my heals.  I love the ‘do damage to heal better’ aspect that is Selfless Healer.  I can hold my own against healers with much better gear, and have the most mana at the end of the fight.  I finally feel powerful.
So now, needless to say, I have fallen in love with my pally again.  The game play has become significantly faster and more engaging.  I absolutely love it.
Maybe this will even get me to switch out my useless Hand of Purity…?

Addendum: Sorry this was so pally focused; I know all of you don’t play pallies and this must seem dreadfully dull.  I’ll attempt to get other class specific posts up soon!