Au revoir, Overflowing

Huge shout-out to Vall, who went out and got this screenshot for me

Ding dong, the witch is dead! And by witch I mean Overflowing affix for Mythic+ dungeons.  And by dead I mean being removed with patch 7.2.  Hooray!
For those who don’t know, Overflowing was the one healer specific affixes for Mythic+ dungeons.  Well, at least, it was supposed to be healer specific.  Unfortunately, due to the nature of the affix, it ended up only really applying to certain types of healers.

The tooltip for Overflowing reads: “Healing in excess of a target’s maximum health is instead converted to a heal absorption effect”.  Jargon aside, that basically means that any overhealing done turns into this really awful shield that absorbs the next couple of heals.  And additionally, that really awful shield doesn’t just absorb the amount of heals that went over, it absorbs 300% of the amount of overhealing.  So let’s say you accidentally overheal your tank by 300,000.  Because of Overflowing, you now have to heal through an absorption effect of 900,000 health points before your healing abilities start actually healing the tank.

The solution seems quaintly simple: don’t overheal! And while the goal of all healers everywhere is to avoid as much overhealing as possible, because of the nature of some healers’ tool kits, that goal not always successful.  Especially if, say for example, the healer stacks crit as their main secondary stat.

Let’s take my Holy paladin for example.  The stat priorities for holy paladins place crit as our number one secondary, as has been the case for quite some time.  And consequently, I’ve been doing just that; right now, I’m sitting at about 38% Critical Strike Chance. However, holy paladins also can get extra crit from multiple other sources.  These range from the 20-45% crit increase during Avenging Wrath (our main healing throughput cooldown), an additional 50% crit chance increase for Holy Shock (our primary healing ability), and a few other specific ability crit increases in our artifact talents.  Long story short, holy paladins have a lot of crit.

This huge amount of crit makes a lot of sense for our healing style.  Holy paladins, in this expansion especially, are the masters of large single target heals.  We have one area of effect heal and no heals over time to speak of, but we can single target spam like a beastie.  However, because we are experts at big, single target heals, we often overheal by a large amount on that one single target.  Especially when combined with our crit, it is not untoured for me to crit heals of 2-3 million health.  And when I’m only trying to heal someone for 1-2 million, that extra chunk of healing all becomes overhealing.

Usually, this isn’t a huge deal.  But now, enter Overflowing.

Let’s take that same scenario where I’ve healed for 2 million but only needed to heal up 1.5 million.  I’ve just done 500,00 overhealing, which translates to a 1.5 million absorption shield.  Wonderful. I’ll need to heal through that shield in order to be able to start healing my target again but if they haven’t taken damage, I run the risk of criting again and creating yet another shield.  Not a great position to be in.  I either have to throw some small, lower crit chance heals on to try to get rid of the shield or just hope that, when they do take damage, it won’t immediately drop them to 10%. And seeing as how Mythic+ dungeons are considered the ‘raiding experience’ of five mans, the damage can get rather spiky.

Or, let’s say they are taking damage and now I need to get through that shield as fast as possible to heal them up.  But I can’t heal them up too quickly because I could break through the shield, crit and overheal, and have to begin the process all over again.  It’s a constant battle with RNG.

So to avoid creating that terrible shield, I won’t heal the tank until they drop below 70%.  I won’t even apply big healing abilities until they hit 50%.  And I’ll have to pray that the damage is smooth enough that they don’t drop from 60% to 5% in the space of a few seconds.

I do proclaim! that Overflowing is the worst affix ever!

It’s an incredibly nerve wracking experience.  And especially when you start getting up to the higher level of Mythic+s, it starts becoming untenable.  I have to keep a super close eye on health bars and shields and which heals I press, along with dealing with all the other mechanics of the fight.  I’m generally a pretty competent healer but this was getting to be unfun.

Now this affix wouldn’t be ‘the witch’ if it had applied equally to all healers.  The problem was, it didn’t.  Holy paladins and holy priests dreaded Overflowing with all their being.  Resto shaman and resto druids especially loved this affix like a dear friend.  Because for them, it was like the affix didn’t even exist.

I’ve talked to a few of my resto druid friends about this (mainly to complain about how awful Overflowing is for holy paladins) but their general experience with the affix was that they’d never had an issue with it.  Because the majority of a restoration druid’s overhealing comes from the little ticks of HoTs, the shields they were getting were tiny by comparison. And those little baby shields were really quickly healed through by the continuing HoT ticks.

Talk about unbalanced.  While some healers would be working their butts off to deal with the affix, others didn’t even notice if it existed or not.  As a result, certain healing classes stopped being brought to those higher level Mythic+s.  Even in my own guild, while I knew it had nothing to do with me as a person, I stopped being asked to run mythic dungeons because I just couldn’t keep up.  And there was no comparative affix that was difficult for those other healers.

Luckily for myself and the other holy paladins and priests of the world, Overflowing is set to be removed in the coming patch. In it’s place is an affix called Grievous, with a description that reads “While below 90% health, players are afflicted with Grievous Wound”.  Obviously, I’m going to reserve final judgement until I actually get to experience the affix firsthand (after all, I did think that Overflowing could be fun at first, what a naive fool I was then). But for now, my holy paladin is satisfied.  Avoiding overhealing is a fun exercise in theory, but in practice, it ended up being a lot more stressful and uncontrollable than I ever could have expected. Can’t wait for 7.2!

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Triumphant Return!

halls-of-valorLong  time no see! No, I haven’t died or been forced to run from the authorities, there’s just been a perfect storm of events that’s kept me from blogging (and playing Warcraft too!).  First it was an uptick of school and other work but the bigger interruption came about a week and a half ago when my computer’s copy of WoW kept encountering a fatal error upon launch.  I spent almost every bit of free-time I had for the past week trying to troubleshoot the issue- I rolled back Windows updates, deleted my cache and WTF folders more time than I care to count, scanned for memory issues, even reinstalled the entire game!  In the end though, it was futzing around with the drivers that ultimately solved the issue and as of Thursday I have been able to play again!

Since getting access to WoW again, I’ve been trying to cover a lot of lost ground.  I recently hit 110 (making me the very last person to do so) and have been plugging away at the very first 110 quests. Friday night I entered my very first dungeons of the expansion with some of my awesome guildies, which is what I want to talk about today!

My wonderful guildie Vin offered to bring me through some dungeons once I hit max level and true to his word, he invited my sorely undergeared butt for some runs. I may have only been ilvl 784 but Vin, Lore, Who, and Romanova were determined to bring (read: carry) me through.

Despite me never having seen the dungeon before, we jumped right into Heroic Eye of Azshara.  One of the very first things I noticed was that, even despite how undergeared I was, my healing spells were healed for an overall smaller percentage of health.  It seems we are back to a more triage form of healing yet again, which could be interesting, provided the damage isn’t too spiky.  The second thing I noticed after that was just how overgeared my guildies were for the dungeon.  Even though it was far higher than I should have been in, my guildies had me covered.

Eye of Azshara is a very interesting dungeon.  It’s probably one of the most open floorplanned dungeons I have ever been in, allowing the players to pick which bosses they want to defeat when.  And even though I spent most of the boss fights dead on the floor, the fights themselves seemed to be the typical run of the mill dungeon encounters, with one or two interesting mechanics thrown in there for good measure.  I particularly enjoyed the ramp up of the weather in the zone after each boss kill; it really added to the overall atmosphere.

Also, this is the part where I mention seagulls being the spawn of Sargeras.

After Eye of Azshara was finished, we then moved to the Halls of Valor.  First things first, this zone was gorgeous. I got a strong Diablo vibe from the floating structures and the gold and red but dang, was this place just beautiful!  I also really dug the Norse myth tie-in, the Hearth of Revelry and the Fields of the Eternal Hunt in particular.

It did seem a little odd to me that Eyir was mad at us as alliance players, seeing as how we did rescue her from Sylvannas.  Maybe she just lumps all mortals in together?  Regardless, I’m glad we did not kill her champion, or really anyone in the Halls, we just beat them unconscious (out of context this sounds really bad). We’re getting better at not destroying everything!

Oh and the rainbow bridge! The first time I went up it, my guildie Lore told me to look backwards at the beautiful stain glass windows behind us.  So, of course, I swiveled my camera around to take a look.  And then, promptly fell off the edge of the bridge and plummeted to my death.  Yeah, I won’t be hearing the end of that soon.  My second try was much more successful and we finished the rest of the dungeon without a hitch!

While I’ve only done two of the (how many? eight?) new Legion dungeons so far, I am already impressed! The zones were thematic and atmospheric, the dungeons themselves very different from each other, and the boss fights entertaining!  I am excited to try out the rest and maybe venture into a mythic or two!  While I might be super far behind, Legion has been a blast so far!

Leveling Guide: Detention Block Rush

(Continuing with the theme of leveling dungeons)
Today I learned a new trick.  You would think, that as an 8 year veteran of the game, I would have learned all there is to learn about this game, know it inside and out, and have discovered all it’s secrets.  You would be thinking incorrectly.  In fact, I only discovered the true use of alt-tab a few months ago (true story, the raid thought it was hilarious).

And today, I’ve learned yet another new trick.

Setting the scene
So you’ve reached the dreaded level 47.  You know Blackrock Depths will soon be looming in your dungeon queues.  Over and over, you’ll be forced to run that long and tedious instance.  But what if I told you… there was another option?

I call it the “Detention Block Rush”.

You will need
A toon in the level range between 47 and 57
A group that will listen to your advice (or a pre-made one)

Detention Block Rush: How does it work?

Guide all together
In order to use this trick, you must queue up only for the instance Blackrock Depths: Detention Block.  It should become available to queue at level 47 and phases out at level 57.  I guess you can queue for random and only use this trick when the dungeon happens to pop, but trust me, it’s  a lot more XP a lot quicker if you solely queue up for this dungeon.

Once inside the instance, you and your group need to take the Dark Iron Mole Machine directly to your right.  Select the option “Just past the Grim Guzzler”.  Then, jump down over the railing to the walkway leading to the fire elemental boss, Lord Incendius.

Go ahead and take down the elemental, do a complete 180, and start working your way back through that door way and the adds that lie beyond.  Take down a couple of packs of mobs and you will find yourself fighting Fineous Darkvire.  If you notice, Darkvire is the last boss in this wing of the dungeon. Once you kill him, you get a nice chunk of XP and the instance is over.  And this took you, what, 5 minutes?

That’s right.  You’ve just skipped 20+ minutes of trash and unnecessary bosses.

 

You’re welcome.

 

 

Tips and Tricks for the Bold and Brave
If you get into a particularly strong group, your tank can chain pull everything from Lord Incendius all the way up to Fineous.  It’ll take a good amount of tank and healer cooldowns and some coordination but it’s perfectly doable.  If your tank pulls quickly, this method can reduce the run to only 2 minutes.

If you get an even stronger group, there is a third option that you can take.  Once you take the mole machine down near the Grim Guzzler, have the tank target one of the adds in the pack that is across the divide.  Throw any sort of ability at them (Taunt, Faerie Fire, some other ranged pull) as you jump over the edge.  And then brace for impact!

Guide 4The mobs you have targeted will run all the way down, dragging Fineous and a large pack of mobs with them.  Grab Lord Incendius real fast, get to the doorway, and start AoEing! Once the dust has settled, the two bosses will both be down and the entire instance will be complete.

This option requires a very strong tank and heals because the damage from all those mobs can be very intense.  But again, if your healer and tank coordinate you will have no problems handling all the mobs.  This method further reduces the run to a whopping 1 minute.  One minute for two boss kills and a large chunk of XP for completing the wing? I’d take it!

So there you have it! Pants’ super fast leveling trick!  With good groups and fast queues, you can speed from level 47 to level 57 in under an hour.  Happy rushing!

(Note: Special thanks to Zanima for protecting my low leveling bear butt!)

Out-trolling the Trolls

WoWScrnShot_010116_150125 (2)I think it could be pretty easily argued that some of the worst behavior in WoW shows it’s ugly face in leveling dungeons.  You have the dps who pull rooms before the tank, the tank that constantly LoSs the healer and the healer who hurls abuse at the rest of the group.  And a million other scenarios.  Sure, there are good apples in the barrel but there’s no denying the toxicity of some groups. I’ve been in heroic Hellfire Citadel pugs with less blaming than leveling dungeon groups.

Like I’ve touched on before, I’m a pretty fast tank.  I’ll run a dungeon in 5 minutes if the healer can keep up.  But that’s the catch- I go as fast as the healer is capable.  If the healer can’t heal me through all of that damage, I slow down.  Unfortunately, when I slow down for the healer is about when the dps start pulling even faster.

You pull it, you tank it.  If you’re going to run into a room when I as the tank am waaaaay far back, you can go ahead and take all those mobs down yourself.  Typically, I whisper the healer to not heal the offending dps, and I move past to pick up a different group.  If the dps lives, good for them, hopefully they won’t do it again.  If they don’t make it, too bad so sad, I pick up the adds and continue on.  I understand wanting to go fast but  I’m not going to pull any faster than what the healer can manage.  I don’t go slow.  There’s really no reason to pull for me, I’ve got plenty of ranged pull mechanics.

So the other day, I was chain running a bunch of leveling dungeons with a good friend from my guild, Vall.  I was tanking on my druid and Vall was healing on a mistweaver monk.  Vall’s a pretty good healer but he and I both know that mistweaver isn’t very strong while leveling.  Thus, I couldn’t pull everything at once- I needed to be more controlled with my pulls to make sure I wasn’t taking too much damage.

We zoned on into Dire Maul West and I right away began to pull trash.  The group was pretty silent  but that was nothing out of the ordinary. We worked our way through the dungeon, eventually getting to room with all the spirits in it.  At that point, one of the dps, a mage, decided I wasn’t pulling fast enough for his tastes.  He blinked ahead and proceeded to body pull a large group of mobs.  I gave him the benefit of the doubt and picked up the mobs as Vall healed him up to full again. But then the mage did it again.

This time, I was a lot less merciful. I sent Vall a quick tell to not heal the mage and pulled a different pack of mobs.  Being a mage, the guy went down very quickly.  I picked up those adds and the rest of us quickly burned them down.  Vall rezzed the mage, and we continued on.  Chat was still silent at this point.

We got upstairs and the mage, I guess he was just thick-skulled or something, proceeds to pull again.  He managed to survive this group but Vall stopped healing him entirely. We finished up downstairs and jumped down to the tree boss.  Then after killing him, we moved to the most interesting part of the run.

You know that big circular room in Dire Maul with the elementals all around and the demon boss in the middle protected by a blue energy wall? As a tank, its one of my least favorite rooms.  The adds are spread out and they run from all directions so it’s a touch difficult to make sure I’ve got all of them gathered. It’s one of those rooms where the group is best to stick together so we can finish it all as quickly as possible.

The mage was having none of that.  Again, he blinks forward and pulls a whole big pack of storm elementals.  They smash his face in.  The rest of the group and I continue on and the mage starts his long run back.  But for the first time, he finally speaks up in chat.

“Faster this way” he explains, despite the fact that we were heading the same direction he was.

Vall responsed “Not when you die”.  And he’s got a point.

At this point, the mage totally loses it.  I’ll just let you all read the chat as it happened, but let me tell you, it was wild.

Troll DialogueThis, my friends, is how you out-troll a troll. I’ve seen trolls  handled before, but never have I seen it done so masterfully. I was DYING at the end of the dungeon.  I haven’t laughed so hard in a very long time.  Mad, mad props to Vall.  That was beautiful.

Once the mage left the instance, the rest of the dps piped up and agreed that the mage had been way out of line. We were all rather shocked by how angry he managed to make himself.  But Vall’s responses had turned a potentially stressful situation into one that was humorous for all (except the mage).

I guess I was a little unfair to the mage in that I didn’t warn him in chat about pulling before me.  I (wrongly) assumed that it was a well known rule that the tanks set the pace and pull the mobs.  But really, given his explosion of vitriol at Vall’s calm responses, I doubt that it would have made a difference.

The lesson I learned that day was two-fold.  Firstly, trolls can’t handle people telling them they are right.  They just can’t.  Something inside of them breaks.  The next time I encounter an abusive player like that, I think I’m going to try the Vall method.  Tell them they are right.  Agree with them.  And watch them blow up in frustration and confusion.

The other lesson was that I should never get on Vall’s bad side.

Return of the Valor

WoWScrnShot_102415_200255While everyone else is off complaining or moving on, I’m still here excited as all get out.  Why is this? While I might be the only one, I am stoked for the (re)introduction of valor points.

With patch 6.2.3, Blizzard announced that valor points would be making a return in order to upgrade gear.  It will cost 250 VP for one upgrade (+5 ilvls) with two available upgrades per piece of gear.  In other words, for 500 VP you can add 10 ilvls and boost the stats of all your gear.  Valor points come from a variety of sources- heroic (100 VP each) and mythic dungeons (300 VP each), weekly bonus events (500 VP), and LFR (150 for HFC, 75 for the others).  There is no valor cap anymore, but all the sources are once per week.

This change is probably my favorite from the patch.  The way that I am interpreting it, there are two major positives that this will bring.

The first and most obvious positive is this will provide yet another alternative gearing method, and one that is without RNG.  Instead of being at the whim of the Random Number Gods, players will now be able to run a number of dungeons or LFR and earn points towards a guaranteed upgrade. For the raiders, this means that their gear can be supplemented and improved upon while waiting for that BiS piece to drop.  If the bosses don’t drop anything for you, you can still advance your character’s power.  As someone who has been sitting at ilvl 695 for a while with no good gear dropping, this is a godsend.  I can bring a better and better geared toon each time I play.

Even for those who don’t raid but also want decent gear, this is also very helpful.  Valor points will allow players to augment the gear that they do have.  Let’s say your thing is soloing old raids.  With the +10 ilvl gear, you might finally be able to get a boss down that you previously couldn’t have.  Or maybe that +10 will make running around Tanaan, or dungeons, or hunting for achievements easier.  Valor points can help all sorts of players.

Another great thing about the new valor system is that there is no cap.  So if you run a few dungeons and a bonus weekend in one week, and then just one wing of LFR the next, you aren’t behind because you ‘didn’t cap’ your valor.  The lack of a cap will make valor points less mandatory. (Yes, I understand that for the more elite players, there will still be a drive to run every source of valor every week, but many players will most likely not follow this path).

The other huge positive that this change brings is that it will get more people into LFR.

This next part comes from the perspective of a progression raider. An LFR raider or someone who does not raid at all would have a different opinion and I by no means pretend to express all those viewpoints, just my own.

As it currently stands, I do not run LFR ever anymore.  For Highmaul and Blackrock Foundry, it’s much more worth my time to pug the raids that I need.  I can get the stones/runes that I need and I also have a chance to upgrade my gear.  While not everyone pugs, there is a pretty big population of puggers who actively avoid LFR.  For Hellfire Citadel, there is really no point in me running it because my guild raids the normal version.  I already get the tomes I need and the gear in LFR is not any better. Even on alts, the queue time and reputation of HFC is enough to deter myself (and most other raiders that I have talked to).  The crux of the matter is that most raiders do not run HFC LFR anymore.

With the introduction of valor points, there is now an incentive for raiders to run LFR.  Maybe the gear and tomes are of no use, but the valor points it drops are now highly valuable to us.  I know that I will start running it once the patch drops for those valor points.  This change will bring more people into LFR, hopefully alleviating queue times.  It will also bring more players who know the fights well and/or are pretty well geared.  With an influx of players who want to get down their LFRs for their valor points quickly, the speed of LFR HFC runs also will improve.

Now unfortunately, this also  could bring a few negatives.  I can already see raiders joining in LFRs and seeing themselves as better than everyone else.  I see potential fights between LFRraiders and leet hardcore raiders as the hardcore raider gets angry at real or perceived failures of boss mechanics. But this has always be the case.  Blizzard should still put the valor point system in place, regardless of a few bad eggs.  Overall, I do believe it will improve the quality of life in LFR.  Most raiders will want to get the job done quickly, not get involved in protracted fights.

And then there are dungeons! With the valor point system, Blizzard is also another step closer to making dungeons valid once more.  Players will return to heroics that they have months abandoned.  There will definitely be an uptick in mythic dungeons.  While dungeons aren’t my favorite type of content, I do appreciate that they are being made relevant for those who do love them.

Valor points will get people to return or try out a variety of content.  Especially considering that Warlords is moving into the end portion of the expansion, this addition will help to keep the game fresh for a little while longer.  People love feeling overpowered, and all those ilvl 700+ folks are going to love steamrolling through Heroic Auchindoun and getting something out of the deal.  In Mists, Valor points were a big drive for me to run my LFRs and I’m excited to see it return in Warlords.  And also, I can also improve my gear even when I don’t get the drops I desire.  Its a win win situation!

What Counts as Content?

This actually has nothing to do with the article, I just thought it was a cool screenshot

This actually has nothing to do with the article, I just thought it was a cool screenshot

Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past couple of days, you have no doubt heard about patch 6.2.3, the latest patch in Warlords of Draenor.  However, as indicated by the number and lack of name of the patch, this newest update will not be a ‘major content patch’.  You can view the full patch notes here.

The patch itself seems to be a smaller one, but after reading it I was struck with the notion that this supposedly small patch actually had a ton of content.  Patch 6.2.3 could arguable be bigger than Patch 6.1 in fact.  In order to explain this, we will need to look at a much bigger question.

What counts as Content?
Most WoW players would define content as stuff to do in the game.  Questing, Dungeons, Battlegrounds, and especially Raids would all be considered content.  Content is further divided down by old content and new content.  Old content typically refers to quests, dungeons, and raids from a previous expansion, but it can also refer to ‘outdated’ and older content in the current expansion (Normal Dungeons and Highmaul would be examples from Warlords).  New content is raids, battlegrounds, zones and whatever else is part of the current expansion and currently being played through by the majority of WoW players.  A patch with content is usually one that introduces a new raid/battleground/dungeon/etc to the game and it typically is written with two numbers as opposed to three (Patch 6.2 versus Patch 6.2.3).

With all this in mind, one would think that deciding what is a content patch and what is not would be relatively easy.  However, this has turned out not to be the case.  Patch 6.1, the first major content patch in Warlords of Draenor was surprisingly light on content for a major patch.  The only new things that the Patch brought were a continuation to the legendary quest, the Garrison Jukebox, some more pet battle stuff, new blood elf models, Garrison bosses, and Twitter Integration.  No new raids or dungeons or battlegrounds to speak of.  No new questlines (other than a short addition to the legendary), no new max level hubs, nothing.  In comparison, Patch 5.1 Landfall brought us the new quest hub in Krasarang Wilds with a host of dailies, story, and rewards, Brawlers Guild, a slew of Pet Battle changes, the continuation of the Legendary Questline, and four new Scenarios.

In reality, Patch 6.1 was incredibly light on content.  Compared to all the other major patches in recent history, 6.1 was more of a hotfix than a content patch. However, that would mean that Warlords only would have one real content patch, 6.2.  Every single other expansion has had at least three major content patches; having just one in Warlords almost makes Warlords an expansion-lite instead of a complete story.

When you look at the original content that patch 6.2.3 brings us, it’s almost as light as 6.1.  A new PvP Season, a new set of Timewalker dungeons (I would consider this new content because of the upgraded rewards), and a mount.  Interestingly though, Patch 6.2.3 brings both dungeons and PvP content, two of the kings of content.

Be without Doubt, this doesn't really pertain to the article either

Be without Doubt, this doesn’t really pertain to the article either

However, there are two changes that patch 6.2.3 brings that I would argue make it a HUGE content patch.

Item Upgrades and Valor are back!
Item upgrades are back! Players will be able to earn and spend Valor to upgrade items from Hellfire Citadel, items created from Baleful tokens in Tanaan Jungle, and all Draenor dungeon drops. All the items you’ve already earned are eligible for upgrades retroactively.
Characters can earn Valor in a number of ways.

  • Completing the first random Heroic Dungeon of the day
  • Completing Mythic Dungeons
  • Completing weekly Bonus Event quests
  • Completing a Raid Finder wing for Highmaul, Blackrock Foundry, or Hellfire Citadel for the first time each week.

Mythic Dungeon Loot Improvements
Mythic Dungeons now have a chance to award items ranging from item level 685 to 725 in 5-item-level increments, with a progressively lower chance as item level increases.
Mythic Dungeon bosses now also have a chance to drop a new Heirloom Trinket that will scale up to level 110.

Neither change is adding new things to do in the game.  But what they are doing, is creating a new incentive to run old content.

Valor points allow players to increase the power of their gear, making it very appealing as another path for gearing up.  The sources of valor points are Heroic Dungeons (first per day), Mythic Dungeons, weekly Bonus Event quests, and LFR wings (first per week).  Many of these sources are considered outdated and are less often run.  But now that there is an incentive to run these things, people will begin running Dungeons and LFR in floods.  Content that was once old will again be current because it once again will have a worthwhile reward. This also will have the added bonus of getting knowledgeable and geared players into LFR, which will improve the speed of those runs.

The second half of this was the increased rewards to Mythic Dungeons.  Again, this will get more players who might not be completing Mythic Dungeons anymore back into them.  Previously older content is made relevant once more.

In addition to all this, there is also the highly controversial moose mount.  Love it or hate it, the moose also acts as a way of keeping content relevant for longer.  The highly desired mount is available for a limited amount of time from a limited source (Mythic and Heroic Archimonde).  Basically, it is another version of the wolf from Mists of Pandaria Garrosh.  The moose will keep players raiding Hellfire Citadel up until the day that the mount becomes unavailable because of it’s desirability. While the moose is just a couple of pixels, it will have the effect of keeping Hellfire Citadel relevant for months and months.

Patch 6.2.3 isn’t bring much in the way of new content, however it is making a huge amount of older content relevant again.  And when you consider all of that content as part of the patch, Patch 6.2.3 starts looking like a major content patch.  I honestly believe that Patch 6.2.3 should really be 6.3.  True, it is missing the massive amount of class tuning that major patches usually have, but it also has more content than previous ‘major content patches’ in this expansion. And in the grand schemes of Warcraft, Warlords could certainly use another major patch to bring it up to par with previous expansions.

Now we just need it to hit live realms!

What slackers! (This also has nothing to do with anything)

Waiting for the patch like….

A Walk back in Time

TimewalkingI finally got to enjoy some good old fashioned Wrath timewalker dungeons this weekend (after missing the first weekend of timewalking).  And while my only memories of these dungeons are from leveling, I still found the experience quite enjoyable!

The first (and arguable the most exciting aspect for myself) thing that I noticed about timewalking was that it scaled down your gear to level.  Not only did this help the level the playing field, but this also meant that gear from earlier expansions suddenly became relevant.  I was taking Yogapants out for the timewalking spin, the character that I had done Herald of the Titans on.  This meant I had a set of gemmed, enchanted, and totally awesome tanking gear saved in my bank from Ulduar.
Even though I completed Heralds a few months ago, it felt pretty awesome to get back into my old gear.  My transmog was saved as well, so I looked pretty amazingly stylish.  I also pulled out my singular Warglaive of Azzinoth.  If you’re going to do it, go whole hog!

Now onto the actual dungeons.  I had not actually completed these dungeons in heroic mode, so there were new mechanics (and in some cases, bosses) for me to learn.  But they were the same dungeons that I had spent so many leveling trips through.  The familiarity was welcoming.

My gear and level was scaled down which also meant my health and damage were.  As a tank, I found myself having to bust out more cooldowns than usual.  I had to be on my toes for interrupts, CCs, and bursts of damage. While that took some getting used to, on the whole I enjoyed the increased difficulty.  If these dungeons had been facerolls I doubt I would have done as many as I did.

The gear dropped was admittedly rather boring.  Sure, it brought back the iconic Wrath look (fur, spikes, and brown!) but the stats were meh.  And everything I got was either critical strike (boring) or versatility (gross).   While some of the gear was an upgrade for me, the stats were poorly itemized for my spec.  I could just have been unlucky, but I would like to see some mastery, multistrike, or haste gear if at all possible.

But I didn’t run the dungeons for the gear, I ran them for the experience.  And on that front, they did not disappoint.  I will admit it felt a little weird to be running in places like the Nexus and not watching an experience bar for a ding.  On the whole though, I had a very enjoyable time.  Would I want to see Timewalkers be an all-time thing? Not particularly, but as a holiday weekend activity they were quite fun!