Archive for the Patches Category

New in 5.0.4: the master looter can request rolls

Posted in Miscellanea, Patches, PuG business, Raiding with tags , , on September 5, 2012 by Aeliel

I noticed this feature in a raid last week, but held off on posting about it until I could collect some screenshots. This doesn’t seem to be in the 5.0.4 patch notes and not a lot of people have noticed it – which is a pity, because it’s quite useful! Hence the post.

(And yes, I’m sure it’s a feature that exists in the basic game rather than an addon feature. Hell, Ghostcrawler mentioned it in passing in a post.)

Let’s use Hydross the Unstable as a guinea pig, because he’s easy to kill (and also because he’s kind of a dick and insists on not dropping my warrior’s shoulders).

Say you kill a boss – whether in a PuG or in a guild run – and you have master looter on, because that’s what you do.

If you wanted people to roll for an item before the 5.0.4 patch, you’d have them /roll. This was open to potential cheating and trolling: people could just /roll multiple times until they got a high number or /roll 100-100 and hope the master looter didn’t notice, for instance.

Now, in addition to the usual “Assign Loot” option, you get a new one called “Request Roll”.

It does pretty much what it says on the tin. It pops up a roll window for everybody in the raid, including the master looter himself. The roll window is perfectly normal and has the usual need / greed / pass / disenchant buttons:

The rolls get automatically tallied in the new loot window, which will open if you don’t have it open already. The loot, however, does not get automatically assigned, so you can still make your own decision, discard a roll, discuss before assigning and so on.

This fixes all the issues that were present with manual rolls by removing the ability to spam roll multiple times, with different values, etc, making the feature quite handy for anybody dealing with a master looter plus rolls situation – especially PuGs.

There were – probably still are – addons to deal with the issues, but I always prefer having the functionality in the base game, since that guarantees it won’t break after a major patch. (Yes, bugs do happen, but if Blizzard break the default loot rolls then I’ll really lose all faith in humanity.)

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I love being right

Posted in Mounts and pets, Patches, Raiding with tags , , on September 5, 2012 by Aeliel

Directly from a blue post about the issue:

[The Pureblood Firehawk having a 100% droprate in normal mode] was fixed because the drop rate was never intended.

If I had a gold for each time I’ve had a rehash of the following conversation…

[Randomguy] whispers: hey, is your guild still selling the Ragnaros mount?
To [Randomguy]: Yup, our price is (price).
[Randomguy] whispers: lol no way I’m paying that much, it’s 100% droprate in normal mode now
To [Randomguy]: That’s a bug, it’ll get hotfixed soon. Besides, if you’re so sure, why not just grab a bunch of friends and go get it from normal mode?
[Randomguy] whispers: lol no it’s not a bug it’s even listed as 100% on the armory
[Randomguy] whispers: and I don’t wanna roll against 9 other people for the mount

…well, I probably couldn’t buy anything of worth since it’s not been that long since the patch hit, but I’d still have a decent sum of gold.

Good lord. It’s like people have never encountered a major, exploitable bug before.

Into the Mists

Posted in Miscellanea, Patches with tags , , on October 24, 2011 by Aeliel

Right then. In the interest of not letting it go several months between posts anymore, I’m trying to squash the little voice in my head going “shut up shut up nobody cares about what you have to say” and talking about things.

Specifically, “Mists of Pandaria” and the various announcements made at this year’s Blizzcon. Because everybody’s talking about that anyway, might as well join in, right?

All thoughts in no particular order, just as things come to mind.

1. The World of Warcraft Annual Pass thing. Yeah, I signed up. As far as I’m concerned – I was already planning to keep playing World of Warcraft, so this is free stuff for something I was going to do anyway. (Not to mention that mount is quite likely to solve the mount issue I have on my paladin for me. A suitably paladin-y horse that I can use as a ground mount and as a flying mount, that I can use instead of the stupid glowing elekk that replaced my paladin pony with Cataclysm, that matches the Tyrael mini-pet I already have on her and that doesn’t require me to grind any reputation or currency to get? Yes, please.)

2. People’s reactions to all the announcements. Getting this out early because it’s getting on my nerves – before you open your mouth, make sure you know for certain what you’re talking about. This includes “but I don’t want my panda lady to look exactly like the panda dudes just with a bow on her head!” (it was a joke, get a clue), “but with these talents there will no longer be any difference between specs” (they’re keeping specs and spec-based abilities, talents are something on top of that rather than what you pick to define your spec, again, get a clue), and so on. Argh.

3. The new expansion being called Mists of Pandaria. Color me unsurprised. The moment MMO-Champion pointed out that Blizzard had trademarked “Mists of Pandaria” and Blizzard started being all “you guys this is not necessarily the next expansion we trademark stuff all the time honest” it was blindingly obvious it was, in fact, going to be the next expansion.

4. Pandas. Leaving aside the shrieks of “but pandas aren’t canon!” (uh hello, Chen Stormstout would like to disagree with that)… I’m holding my final judgment until I actually see how it all plays out, but I can’t help but like the idea of pandaren as a race. They sound like good fun to play, and assuming the female model looks good (no, I still can’t manage to play a male character, I’ve tried, it doesn’t work – I’m not sure what that says about me) I’ll definitely be creating a pandaren character.

(As a side note, let me qualify “looks good.” Looks good for the race. I don’t mean “looks good” as in it’s a sexy human-ish female with a panda head and fur. I mean something like this fan concept of a female pandaren. Extreme sexual dimorphism might work with some races, such as the draenei, but I don’t think it’d work with the pandaren. One of their racials is “Bouncy,” for crying out loud. If female pandaren turn out to be “oh let’s just take a human woman, give her fur and a couple of panda attributes and call it done” I will be very disappointed.)

Also, the racials are fun. And if a lot of serious PVPers end up race-switching to pandaren because of the Quaking Palm racial, I will be endlessly amused. Panda invasion!

5. The new talents look interesting. Again, I’m holding my final judgment until I actually see them in action and see all the details (some of the druid talents in the specific are very vaguely worded right now – I might discuss them more in depth in another post, we’ll see), but I like the idea as it was described.

6. Pet battles. I’m looking forward to this so much, you have no idea. I currently have 169 vanity pets and I can’t wait to level them all up and fight with them and catch wild pets and stuff. Yes, this is Pokemon, shut up, I’m going to enjoy this. If this ends up not being actually released I’ll be sad.

7. Dungeon challenge modes are yet another thing I’m really looking forward to. I like the idea of having cosmetic gear as a reward (and I can absolutely see myself spending tons of time trying to perfect a particular challenge so I can get the last piece of gear I need for a fancy new outfit), I like the idea of leaderboards showing who’s best at each challenge, and I really, really, really like the idea of gear normalization for them. These things should be about who has the highest skill, not who has the best equipment and can therefore outgear the challenge entirely.

8. Account-wide achievements. I’ll be sad if they don’t manage to implement this. “So for example we could say, ‘Get every profession to max level,’ which would be really cruel to do for one character, but across your entire stable of characters would be kind of fun.” Altitis – validated!

9. Weapon changes – both happy and sad about this. Happy because this simplifies things; sad because there are some items that have been removed from the game, and I still have them on one character – but with the change, they’ll be only vendor fodder and nothing more. For example, my hunter’s Lok’delar, Stave of the Ancient Keepers, or her Arcanite Ripper.

Back when the Arcanite Ripper was available, with the WotLK launch event, my hunter was the only character I had that could wield two-handed axes (my paladin was created towards the tail end of WotLK, and my warrior was created, er, last month). So I went out of my way to ensure I would get the axe for her – it was one of the very first “hey, let’s see if we can do this with less than the intended amount of players” things I did with Alieth. He healed on his priest, I tanked on my druid, and the hunter was logged in a second client in the background and provided a bit of extra damage in the form of autoshot and the pet munching on the boss. And now I will no longer be able to use it. :(

I was vaguely hoping that they would at least let people equip weapons they no longer can (melee weapons for hunters, ranged weapons for warriors and rogues) in a cosmetic slot, but somebody asked about that during one of the Q&A panels and the response was “we have no plans to do that currently.” Boo.

10. Druids getting four specs. I’m happy. I like both tanking and melee DPS, but I like them being separate. I understand that several people enjoyed being able to tank stuff and still do decent DPS when they weren’t tanking, but this way it’ll be much easier to balance, I’d wager. Also, sometimes I really hated the “you’re a bear but you can still do decent damage” thing for a very simple reason – it led to me being stuck in an offtank role not because the other tank was better at it, or he had higher survivability, but because “well we need your DPS to kill the boss before the enrage timer,” which is just as stupid a reason as “well we need you to shift out and decurse sometimes.”

11. Monks. Yeah, I’m gonna roll one. This shouldn’t be surprising to anybody who knows me and my stable of alts. What I don’t know yet is whether I’ll roll a pandaren monk or go with one of the existing races and make the pandaren one of the other classes I still haven’t managed to level to cap – rogue or shaman. Unless I manage to roll a rogue and a shaman and get them both to 85 before the expansion hits, which might happen – in which case it’ll be a pandaren monk. Unless I end up not liking pandaren when I try them out during the beta, in which case it’ll be a non-pandaren monk.

And it’ll probably be a tank, unless I end up really disliking the monk tank playstyle. Is there therapy for tank-addicted people like me, I wonder?

12. No flying until max level is very, very good. I liked exploring the new world on foot during Burning Crusade and WotLK, and it’s one of the things I felt was missing during Cataclysm. Flying, as awesome as it is (ask me about my obsession with flying!), makes the world seem smaller.

13. Yessssssssss heroic Scholomance and Scarlet Monastery. I was hoping for heroic Stratholme as well, but alas. Maybe someday in the future. Also world raid bosses yaaaaaaaaaay!

And… I think that’s it. I might add some more comments as I re-watch the entire Blizzcon (see, buying a virtual ticket is good for something other than getting a Murkablo).

Changes to valor points and daily dungeons in 4.1

Posted in Miscellanea, Patches with tags on March 19, 2011 by Aeliel

A blue post explains the upcoming changes to the daily random dungeons in 4.1.

Normal random heroics will still give 70VP each; normal troll heroics (ZG and ZA) will give 140VP each.

In other words, if you’re geared enough that you can successfully run the troll heroics, you get rewarded with extra valor points in addition to epic items. This makes perfect sense to me – they’re more difficult, hence they provide a greater reward, similarly to raid encounters.

Troll heroics will be on a different random heading in the RDF, so you can queue for a random troll heroic specifically.

This makes me really happy. On my main, I’m at the point where I need absolutely nothing from normal heroics. (Well, except for one item, and considering the item is at the end of SFK and it’s a relic for my feral DPS offspec – I think I’ll survive using the same relic I’m using for tanking.)

What this means is you can chain-run the troll heroics. Back in WotLK, when I still needed gear from the Icecrown heroics (mostly for my army of alts), I used to queue specifically for them first, then, if I had the time, run a few randoms and hope I’d RNG onto them again. No need to do this with the troll heroics – just queue and queue and queue and queue as long as you want.

This also removes the risk factor of running those heroics with a random PuG. Say you want a specific drop from the second or third boss in ZG but your PuG killed the first boss then dissolved – just queue again.

The method of rewarding VP from random heroics has changed from “one per day” to “seven per week”.

This means you can run all seven of your randoms in a single day, if you so wish, rather than be forced to log in every day to run one random. And I personally want to find whoever is responsible for this change and hug them.

I don’t always feel like running a random dungeon every day. And even if I do, I have multiple characters at 85 by now, and sometimes I don’t feel like playing one of them, but I do feel like running multiple random dungeons with another. This change removes the “well damn, I want to [play character X / level another alt / go do something that isn’t WoW for once], but if I do that I’ll miss out on my daily VP for my main” issue.

There is a soft cap of 980VP earnable each week from heroics.

The overall weekly cap is still 1250VP, and if you want to hit that you still need to raid. If you can only ran normal heroics, you can earn 490VP from that (70 x 7); if you are capable of running troll heroics, you can get 980VP just from those (140 x 7), or from a combination of those and normal heroics. What you can’t do is earn more than 980VP per week: if you run all 7 VP-giving troll heroics, you won’t earn any VP from running normal heroics.

Good changes are good. I’m definitely looking forward to not feeling like I have an obligation to log in each day because “I need to do my daily heroic”.

Patch nooooootes. (4.1 update)

Posted in Miscellanea, Patches with tags , on March 10, 2011 by Aeliel

I’m still sadfacing at the lack of Firelands in 4.1. Not because of the lack of raid, because of the lack of new dailies. Not that levelling alts is a bad way to spend my time, but… pfft.

On the other hand, I may be the only one who believes Blizzard’s “Firelands weren’t ready and we didn’t want to delay the rest of the content” stance. This is how it used to happen back in vanilla days. Then TBC started the large gap between patches with bigger chunks of content and WotLK followed suit.

(I’m not saying I’m 100% confident they’ll get it right. It’s quite possible that in a short while they’ll go “whoopsie, Firelands still isn’t ready, please hold”. But I like the idea of not holding content back just because Every Patch Must Have A Raid In It ZOMG.)

Anyway!

A dead player can now be resurrected by targeting them using the Party or Raid Frame even if they have released. No more hunting for corpses.

Finally. It was so bloody annoying to have to hunt for somebody’s dead body to res them if they had released. Especially considering the occasional bug where their corpse would be invisible. Especially when somebody releases and you need to battleres them and argh.

The Dungeon Finder now attempts to avoid putting damage-dealing classes with the same armor type in a group.

I thought it already did that? Ah well. Good change. On the other hand it sounds like I’ll still get rogues in my group as a tank druid, and shadowpriests, mages and warlocks in my group as a healer priest, but hey, this is an improvement already. Gift horse, mouth, and all that.

(hunter pet changes)

Considering all the happiness system did these days was irritate and frustrate low-level hunters who couldn’t yet get the Mend Pet glyph, and therefore would find themselves with a pet doing less damage than expected (especially if they had no idea what the happiness system was), I can see the reasons for the change.

Funnily enough, the thing that worries me the most about this change is that most probably, the Pet Emote addon will break and need reworking, since it has emotes that change depending on the pet’s happiness. And I love that addon probably more than I should.

I do disagree with Gavendo that this is the “Hunter pets made easy” patch, though. Back in vanilla our pets would run away if they were unhappy too long! And we had to level our pets from whatever level we tamed them at! Uphill! Both ways! In the snow! You young ‘uns have no idea! *shakes cane*

Glyph of Mend Pet is now Glyph of Greater Proportion, which increases the size of the pet slightly.

And all hunters will now have slightly larger pets. I mean, what else are you gonna glyph? Aspect of the Pack? Scare Beast?

(Some patch in the future: “Glyph of Greater Proportion is now [Some More Useful Minor Glyph]. All hunter pets are slightly larger by default.” Just you watch.)

Priests now innately have 100% pushback protection from damage while channeling Divine Hymn and Hymn of Hope.

Thank you. This makes those two spells much better panic cooldowns. I was just lamenting yesterday how annoying pushback while hymning is.

The direct damage portion of Holy Fire can now trigger Evangelism.

That’s interesting. Looks like it might change the smiter disc priest rotation around a bit (from “smitesmitesmite” to “HOLYFIRE!smitesmitesmiteHOLYFIRE!”). Might even make it worth it to use Glyph of Smite.

And that’s that, I think!

4.1 updated patch notes

Posted in Miscellanea, Patches with tags , , , on March 1, 2011 by Aeliel

Additional changes demand additional commentary!

Flying mounts can now be used in Ghostlands.

But not, note, in Bloodmyst. This is not about “you can fly in every newbie zone but the TBC ones, we’d better update that”, it’s about “people might be grumpy if they can’t fly to ZA, must fix!”

Death Knight

Raise Ally has been redesigned to be a battle resurrection, analogous to Rebirth. It is instant cast, but costs 50 Runic Power to use, and has a 10-minute cooldown. It shares the same global battle resurrection cap with Rebirth and Soulstone.

Huh. And where is my insta-cast battle resurrection, praytell? Warlocks get an instant one in the form of a Soulstone (applying it is instant, it’s making it which isn’t); now death knights do, too.

The comforting part is we’re still the only class that can battleres somebody to 100% health, via a glyph (that any sane druid will have); the not-so-comforting part… death knights? This is so never getting used in a PuG, considering the quality of the average PuG death knight.

Also, what self-respecting death knight has 50RP to just throw around? They call certain death knight abilities “runic power dumps” for a reason. If you’re gonna give a battlerez to somebody else, give it to a class that doesn’t have a strict resource system. Hell, just remove Raise Ally from the death knight class and give a battlerez to, say, the shaman class, where it makes sense from a lore perspective. (I would not want to enrust my hurried, in-combat being brought back to life to an undead creature who specializes in raising other undead creatures and infecting enemies with diseases. Thanks but no thanks. I’ll take a warlock mucking around with my soul over that.)

Frost Strike now deals 130% of weapon damage, up from 110%.
Howling Blast damage has been increased by 20%. To compensate, the area-of-effect splash now does 50% of the single-target damage, down from 60%. The net result of this change leaves the area-of-effect damage roughly the same as 4.0.6 numbers.

Hello, frost buff. As dual-wield frost has been my preferred spec since I rolled my death knight back in the early days of WotLK, this makes me happy.

Druid

Stampeding Roar‘s duration has been increased to 8 seconds, up from 6. The movement speed effect has been increased to 60%, up from 40%.

Stampeding Roar now sucks less. 8sec 60% 10yd speed buff on a 2min CD is still a bit underwhelming, but you can cover a lot more room with it now. A better way to buff it, at least in my opinion, would’ve been to increase the range – 10yd is tiny – but I’ll take what buffs I can get.

Swipe (Bear) cooldown has been reduced to 3 seconds, down from 6.

People are going to call for a nerf to Swipe since the cooldown got dropped now (just you watch it), but they’d be missing the point. AoE tanking on a druid before you hit level 81 and get Thrash is such an enormous pain. This will put lowbie bear druids at less of a disadvantage. If it makes bear druids overpowered AoE tanks at level 85, well huh – buff other classes so they’re on par. Or just leave it, Swipe hits like a limp wet noodle anyway and it’s not like AoE tanking is the way to go these days.

Well, except in lowbie dungeons, where I’ve seen so many people insult baby bear druids for not being able to easily hold AoE threat. To which I point out that they have one AoE ability on a 6-second CD, and there isn’t much they can do, especially if people start AoEing before the mobs even reach the druid. To which they either respond “well he shouldn’t be tanking then” (no, you shouldn’t be AoEing), or suggest tab-Lacerate (all well and good except you only get Lacerate at level 66).

Ahem. Sorry. Pet peeve.

Priest

Inner Will and Inner Fire now last until canceled.

Yay. Refreshing them every 30min was such a pain.

Power Word: Barrier‘s cooldown has been increased to 3 minutes, up from 2, and its effect has been reduced to 25%, down from 30%.

And there goes another nerf to the only healing spec I actually enjoy. (Druid healing makes me want to punch something, paladin healing ditto. No offense to those who like either. Granted, I haven’t tried a shaman yet, but considering their current condition… yeah.) So looking forward to hitting 85 on my priest alt and being constantly berated in heroics for not being holy.

Warlock

Haunt damage has been increased by 30%.
Shadow Mastery (passive) has been increased to 30%, up from 25%.

Affliction buff! Yay!

The gold amounts on the following encounters have been substantially reduced: Flame Leviathan, Magtheridon, Gruul the Dragonkiller, Doom Lord Kazzak, and all encounters in Karazhan.

“People were making too much gold by having fun while soloing or undermanning old encounters as a challenge. This was unintended and has been nerfed. You should be doing dailies, peons, leave old content alone.”

Time to go milk that while I can. I’m still 3.2k from the 50k “Got My Mind On My Money” achievement, after all.