So not everyone really talks about it, but its out there, among minor crowds.

(What Cataclysm could have been, and was the perfect opportunity to create:) World of Warcraft II

Blizzard’s leaked release schedule shows at least 2 more WoW Expansion packs, and then the mysterious “Titan,” due I believe around end-2013/start-2014 (assuming we’re all still alive), and assuming there’s no delays. Which there probably will be.

The way I see it, a perfect opportunity to create “WoW II” would have been Cataclysm. A whole re-vamp of Kalimdor and Eastern Kingdoms would have been perfect in World of Warcraft II. It could have also given Blizzard the opportunity to use a better Graphics Engine, and also re-vamp Outlands and Northrend to update them to their post-Illidan/Arthas defeated states which they should be in now. World Of Warcraft II – Cataclysm.

The downside: It would have taken a lot longer to launch Cataclysm. They’d have had to deal with a lot more coding, re-doing the whole game down from the very core, so I’d say at least….. a whole year, minimum if they started working on it early enough. Would it have been worth it? If done right, yes. Lore-wise, there is time. Between the defeat of the Lich King and the Shattering, there’s some years or so. Can’t remember where I read it, but some time has technically passed in Lore. In theory, the Elemental Invasions lasted for quite a while. Those set off a chain reaction of events which over time lead up to the escape of Deathwing. Now, when you entered the game world post-4.0.3a “The Shattering” Patch, Blizzard just “flicked the switch.” However, a lot has changed. A lot of time has passed. You don’t re-build a city the size of Orgrimmar in one night for example. Lots of stuff, lots of time. Well anyway, Game Lore has never been 100% implemented to-the-second in Games, just impossible.

WoW II however would have allowed Blizzard to handle Wrath of the Lich King completely differently. WotLK was originally intended to have a Nerubian Raid. We saw a tiny portion of it (changed) with Trial of the Grand Crusader’s final Encounter, Anub’Arak 2.0. So, WotLK could have happened like this:
- 3.2 – Nerubian Kingdom Raid – Way more interesting than 2 rooms and 0 trash from ToGC I’d say, plus it still fits into the whole “preparation for the assault on Icecrown Citadel, since they technically are the Lich King’s Minions. Instead of rushing it and killing off the Ulduar Experience, it comes around November-ish 2009.
- 3.3 – Icecrown Citadel Raid – Would have personally done it very differently. We saw a tiny portion of the whole place, and a lot of the Bosses are entirely new, never seen in Lore before or anything. Plus the Architecture sucked. Could have been done very differently. The Hard Modes were also rather lacking (tactic-wise they were mostly C/P, Increase Health, Damage, done. BQL HC….). Then there was Limited Attempts and Gating, kinda ruined the experience for me. Plus we were stuck with it for 12 months, and even though LK HC remained hard, the 30% Buff turned most Hard Modes into a bloody faceroll (least in my gaming experience). Really they might as well have just only done LK’s Heroic Mode since it seems like the only one they really bothered to focus on. Ever since they switched from the Ulduar design of “Enabled by NPC” it shows how they feel forced to have Hard Modes for every-single-boss, even if its nothing but a Health + Damage Increase like BQL’s. With Ulduar we had good Hard Modes, and many Modes for each Hard Mode. Like Freya +X, Flame Leviathan +X, Yogg +X etc. ICC would be introduced to Players around say February-March 2010.
- 3.4 – Gundrak Temple Raid – Everyone loves Trolls. And there’s this huge, huge Temple in Zul’Drak. Plenty of room for a nice Outdoor Raid. Instead of a 1-boss Dragon instance leading up to Cataclysm, around September/October-ish 2010 we could have wrapped up the Expansion with a nice Troll ass-kicking Raid. Or maybe something else. Who knows.
- 3.4.5 – Ruby Sanctum, maybe. If truly necessary to incorporate one (boring) Twilight Dragon.

Then followed up around… December 2011 or so: World of Warcraft II: Cataclysm. World is destroyed, Deathwing has escaped, and Outland and Northrend are caught up to the current place in lore. Of course, this means we’d probably still be staring at WotLK and still be in WoW II: Cataclysm Beta, but hey, it was a good chance to grab a way out of that horribly out-dated last-century Graphics Engine. Yes, there’s still a big gap between 3.4 and WoW II. Maybe spread the Raid releases out a bit more, but burnout would be inevitable either way without going to 3.5, which would have probably delayed WoW II End-Game Content, thus delaying WoW II entirely.

The Graphics Engine has bugged me for years. Top MMO on the Market and the Graphics Engine is horribly outdated. With every new Game that’s getting released with new uber pwning Graphics Engines WoW’s just looks more and more pathetic in comparison. Its not as bad as say Doom from ’94 with Pixels the size of crates, but pretty bad compared to WoW’s future main competitors, Star Wars: The Old Republic and next year’s Guild Wars II. Any game released this year will probably have better Graphics than WoW, even if it fails in a week. That’s just one of the issues that can’t be solved with the game, since the issue is with the Engine here, not the Developers. As far as the Developers would like to push the Graphics, the Engine holds them back.

With a fresh start however, it would allow the Devs to choose a better Graphics Engine, one that won’t hold them back with future Graphics Upgrades. I could personally really see it: World of Warcraft II: Re-vamped Graphics Engine, Zones, Quests, etc. Instead of an Expansion, a whole new game. Same basic concept, but years after Lich King. Its Deathwing time.

Would have also allowed Blizzard to take a lot more time to work with Zones. Silithus and Winterspring were barely touched because they were running out of time near the end. Silithus has some Twilight Lore dating all the way back to Classic where you were constantly turning in Twilight Papers. All the zone gained is a Portal to the Dark Portal in Blasted Lands which takes you to Outlands. Winterspring gained a few more changes I believe, but still minor stuff. I can understand why they chose not to modify these zones out of all, it makes sense; After you hit 58 you’re not going to stay in Azeroth anymore, you’re going to jump right through to Outlands. Re-vamping 55-60 Zones is half wasted. Still, all that Twilight Lore left there now horribly out-dated makes me a Sad Panda.

Besides that, the end of the Expansion was rushed due to it already being delayed once from a November release to a December release. They didn’t want to push it into a 2011 release so stuff had to get cut. They themselves admitted they took on a bigger project than they could handle. Sure, there’s always the possibility of future Content Patches bringing re-freshes to those Zones, but I can’t see that. There were several weeks at the end of the Cataclysm Beta where the Developers were barely launching out anything, plenty of time to do some Quest Hub changes or something to the Zones, even minor changes, but nothing happened. Starting from scratch would have allowed them to hand out a sketchy Release Date, like just “2011″ or “mid/end 2011″ or “early 2012″ or whatever. A nice window for unexpected delays to pop up and be dealt with.

Of course, a whole new Game would also have been a big transition. And a lot of it would depend on how Blizzard handled it too.
New Game:
– Characters carried over?
– If not, Leveling 1-85 race starts over. People lose some Feat of Strength Achievements, favorite Mounts etc. People would complain. Lot of hard work and time spent into farming specific Mounts now removed, Mounts gone, people sad/angry. Same for Achievements. There’s a lot of stuff to work out, but done right, I think Blizzard could have attracted back a lot of the old crowd that got tired of WoW and didn’t see Cataclysm interesting enough to come back to WoW for. Or got burned out with Cataclysm in a few weeks.
- A lot of new designs to be made. Major changes would be necessary to the way future WoW content would be made. The WoWEdit Program they currently use for designing zones and instances etc. would need some serious updating, as an example. Everything would change from the very start, the development, to the very end, the finalized content launching, previews etc.

With a change this big, lot of stuff would be different. Even the most minor and insignificant pixels in the sky would have had to be re-done. Lot of stuff would have had to change. With all that in mind, I’d still say it would have been worth it, done right of course. We’d be staring at a whole new WoW right now, and not just in content, but also in Architecture. You could go stare at something irrelevant and minor because it just looks so awesome you can’t stop looking at it. Even if its something as dumb as a fish.

Seeing as World of Warcraft II does not seem to be on the table (for now) however, following Cataclysm we’ve got at least 2 more Expansions to look forward to. My guess towards content is we’ll see Kil’Jaeden make a come back with his Burning Legion (since we only stopped him from invading, haven’t defeated him entirely) and then who knows. Maybe The Nightmare in the Emerald Dream isn’t really defeated as Malfurion says. Maybe Sargeras absorbs it and decides to blow up Azeroth as revenge for beating up his Burning Legion for the 100th time. Not much Lore left to choose from though. Maybe Bolvar becomes consumed by the power of the Lich King, although another Lich King Expansion pack would scream “recycled” for me.

However, WoW can learn and improve from it’s competitors even without having to do WoW II. Currently, that would be RIFT. There’s a lot of stuff in RIFT, even the most basic stuff that WoW has been lacking for ages. UI for example, you can move every-single-Frame in RIFT. Blizzard seeks to expand and improve the Default UI, make it friendlier, yet they don’t even do something as simple as incorporate the “Move Everything” Addon (or whatsitcalled?), but they jump at expanding the Quest Log or making the Map re-sizeable. The Lore, its engaging, it drags you in, its interesting. Stuff has a purpose. In WoW, most people just /skip the Cinematics, Quest Text, everything. They just run right past it thinking “/boring. Zomg so boring. Omg when will this end….” There’s Events. There’s a constant flow of Events, in the case of RIFT, Rift Invasions. You can choose to participate, or just pass by without joining in. No penalty.

Thoughts? Ideas? “Zomg no way this would ever happen” is welcome too, sure.

I haven’t blogged in a while, and this is really a random thing. Yes, I’ve quit WoW now. Cataclysm didn’t attract me, couldn’t get into Raiding and the Monthly Subscription isn’t worth paying just to log on everyday for 2 hours and do the same Dailys and the same Heroics over and over and over, getting constantly easier and easier because Blizzard insists on having us run outdated content if we want Valors (talking about future Raiding Tiers, seeing as we’ll be forced to do out-dated Heroics (mostly) all Expansion if we want to maximize Gear income and we don’t cap Valors just from Raiding because we’re not 1337 enough to down 11-12 Bosses from Week 1 or they’ve done something stupid like Gate the content/Limited Attempts or whatever).

Looking at RIFT once I get a new Computer (month or two, more like three) then Star Wars: The Old Republic in a few months, and Guild Wars II coming up (my guess) next year. Hopefully they’ll interest me. Meanwhile, Quake Live fills up my time. Good FPS. Based off Quake III Arena, but an Online version of it. Better Graphics and a larger Map selection. I recommend you try it if you like FPSs, its based off a classic, and most of it is Free. Some Premium-Only Maps and Features.

Vengeance – Incomplete?

Posted: December 2, 2010 in World of Warcraft
Tags: ,

Vengeance: Each time you take damage, you gain 5% of the damage taken as attack power, up to a maximum of 10% of your health.

Things to know:

- Avoidance provides 50% of the Vengeance you’d get. This means slower stacking which makes it less friendly in the beginning of an Encounter where you’re trying to stock up fast.
- Unless you’re a Warrior, you’re going to fail big time on any Taunt-Immune Bosses such as Deathwhisper Heroic (you don’t have Vigilance). This prevents Blizzard from designing any more Boss Encounters with Taunt-Immune Bosses since it would go against their philosophy of “Bring The Player Not The Class!”
- It helps turn Threat into a joke as Main-Tank after 1-2 minutes. Seriously, if it stacks fast enough as a DK you could in theory just /afk if it wasn’t a Survivability loss. You can stop using Rune Strike all together, just sit there whacking Heart Strike to keep Blade Barrier up and Death Strike to keep getting Blood Shields.
- Doesn’t help solve the issue of initial Threat still being fail. Since the removal of Icy Slam we’ve basically been back to the pre-Icy Slam DK: No good initial Threat move. Warrior still have Shield Slam with it’s Threat Modifier however…. Sure we have Rune Strike, the cost however doesn’t make it as effective as Charge + Shield Slam. We don’t have Charge, so we need to run in. In that time we’re going to open with Outbreak at 85, so that’s 0 initial Threat. Then we also need to generate 30 Runic Power and get into Meele Range before we can use Rune Strike. While we’re running to the Boss, those Ranged are already whacking buttons.

After Ghostcrawler’s Blog on Vengeance, its clear we’re in for another Roller-Coaster because Vengeance’s design wasn’t addressed in Beta. It was pointed out months ago, it was just ignored.

Here’s my idea about the easiest fix. Its a total re-design, but if they actually want Threat to matter its one of the only limited solutions:

Vengeance: Grants you 10% of your heath as attack power. Each time you take damage, 5% of that damage is removed from your Vengeance.

Basically: Let’s say you have 100K Health. 10% of that is 10K, so your Vengeance will cap out at 10K. My design gives you that 10K from the beginning, and each time you take damage, 5% of the Damage you took is removed from your 10K Vengeance. It also regenerates (slowly) when you’re not being attacked. Blizzard’s design makes you start from 0 and work up to that 10K.

My design:

- Removes the issue of Main Tanks + Non-Warrior Off-Tanks having fail Initial Threat after a Tank-Switch or at a Boss Pull.
- Makes Avoidance slightly friendlier: It reduces the amount of AP removed by 50%.
- Doesn’t let you stack up a huge amount of Threat and just ignore your big Threat move, like say Shield Slam or in our case Rune Strike.

That’s one possibility of how they could change it. The numbers may be horribly off however. Those are just placeholders, they’d need some tuning.

Another one would be the Threat Decay Mechanic they wanted to implement but ended up scrapping. That would ensure we don’t get too far ahead of everyone else, although they’d have to do it only for the top player on Omen so it doesn’t affect DPS and Off-Tank/s.

Tank DPS hasn’t mattered one bit in the 6 years this Game has been out for, why should it suddenly start to matter now?

From GC’s Blog:
“(Source) Another option was just to let tank dps scale with survivability stats all the time. That seems unfair to the dps classes though if the tank gets to do competitive damage and have all that survivability. Why choose a dps spec at all then? Ultimately, we didn’t want tanks to always hit like a truck.”

Which is exactly what is going on right now. Vengeance stacks from Stamina, a Survivability Stat. Stack up Vengeance and you’re a weakened down version of a DPSer, but you hit like a Truck in terms of Tank Damage. My Pwnwear post on it goes in more detail:

Vengeance stacks off Stamina – Survivability stat. Basically? Tank DPS does scale off Survivability Stats all the time. If it wasn’t for Vengeance we wouldn’t have any DPS worth mentioning, just like its been for the past 6 years now. The Damage we produce might not be very competitive, but once Vengeance stacks up we deal a good truck-load of Damage. I’ve said this before, will say it again: Why do they want Tank Damage to matter so badly? Their horrible Vengeance design has gone totally against making Threat interesting. Sure, in the beginning you might need to hold back a bit because Vengeance hasn’t started stacking yet and Strikes aren’t that strong, but after a minute or two you can get to the point where you can live off a Two-Button Rotation:
1 – Heart Strike to keep Blade Barrier up
2 – Death Strike to keep Blood Shield up
3 – Rune Strike? No need. You’re too far ahead anyway. Save the Runic Power for something else.

Redesigning Vengeance to provide good initial Threat and tone down over time would be best imo. Scrap trying to make Tanks bump out decent numbers, we’ve had horrible damage for 6 years, why stop now?

—————————————————–

Someone replied pointing out that going back to when abilities like Sunder Armor and Fairie Fire generated Threat but dealt no damage would be boring. I agree, I’m not saying go back to those times. Really I didn’t like them much at all too. I’m a fan of seeing numbers flying around on the screen as much as anyone, but Tanks simply cannot be expected to do competitive damage along with all the other things they need to do. We require strong Raid Awareness, now we need to time our Death Strikes, we need to keep an eye on Resources, we need to watch out for Boss Abilities etc. The more Movement-Intense the Encounter is the more fun it is, which is why we can’t be expected to generate decent amounts of Damage along with everything else we do. Raid Leaders cannot expect us to be DPS along with everything else we have to do, that just won’t work.

Yes, Vengeance takes a while to stack. Doesn’t change much of anything though really. After you’ve got initial Threat sorted out (and this applies to all Tanks as far as I’m aware) then its smooth sailing unless there’s some sort of a Threat-Reset at some point as part of the Boss Mechanics/Ability or something. The current Vengeance is turning Threat into a faceroll party. After a few minutes watching grass grow will be more interesting than sitting there constantly whacking Rune Strike to no avail since you’ll be so far ahead on Omen you could even fall asleep on another Patchwerk fight. Not that there are any as far as I know. Yet.

Tank dealt teeny tiny amounts of damage in WotLK that even for Dungeons and 10 Player Raids I doubt they spent very long calculating how much HP to add to the boss for the lousy 1.5K DPS a Tank would pull, and on 25s…. Lol. Worthless. This will probably change in Cataclysm now that they have to factor in their new design: Vengeance. With Vengeance to factor in that’s possibly about 5-10K Health to add to the Boss. This however again means that Off-Tank Warriors gain an advantage no other Tank has due to Vigilance. Because of their new design principle they can’t make a Boss’s Health balanced around 1 or 2 Tanks out of 2-3 of them having Vigilance, that again goes against “Bring the Player Not The Class.” Still provides an advantage on future Tight-Enrage Timer Encounters however.

Imagine if Paragon had brought in a second Warrior Tank for their LK Heroic World First, replacing the Bear they had because of Vigilance. Extra damage output, but we’re back to “Bring the best Class for the Job, not the Player.” Focused on pointing out some design flaws with Vigilance there for a minute, sorry. Their Tank Setup was Bear Druid, Protection Paladin and Warrior. You can find the full setup they used here. Imagine 2 Protection Warriors, 1 Paladin. Possibly 3 Warriors if they had better AoE Threat. That’s just an unfair advantage.

All in all, summed up: Vengeance is in-complete. There’s gaping issues with this ability that need to be addressed before the whole “make threat matter” idea is truly implemented imo. Its possible blizzard just wants initial Threat to be an issue, but then where’s the fun in that?

Yes, Blizzard doesn’t want a DPS to pull Threat off a Tank Mid-Fight. I agree, that’s just bad, but Tanks shouldn’t reach the point where they can easily AFK because they’re so far ahead on Threat its a joke to keep working on it anymore.

My UI (Updated)

Posted: November 29, 2010 in World of Warcraft
Tags:

Note: I’ve stopped playing, so I’m not planning to update this anytime soon. If anyone wants to take over, feel free to re-name it whatever you want and call it your own. Leave a link in the comments in the case that anyone else seeks an updated version though if you don’t mind. Cheers!

Oh, P.S. Combat Screenshots appreciated. Will give credit.

So I finally got around to updating my UI, here’s the 4.0 version!

Download Link (Uploaded 11/29/10)

Screenshots:

Screenshot 1, Screenshot 2 (more soon!)

I’ve focused the design around using minimal screen space and low amounts of Memory. All Addons are set to announce on “Self” meaning you’re the only one that can see announcements. If you don’t like spammy addons I’d suggest disabling EnsidiaFails and WeakestLink.

Instructions:
Please do this: Back up your own Fonts, Interface and WTF Folders somewhere safe.
Delete your current Fonts, Interface and WTF Folders inside your World of Warcraft Folder AFTER you’ve backed them up somewhere.
Unzip my UI to your World of Warcraft Folder.
Go int the WTF Folder and re-name the Folders “ACCOUNT_NAME” into your account’s name, “REALM_NAME” to the name of the Realm you play on, and “CHARACTER_NAME” to your Character’s name.

Profiles:
You’ll want to always look for a Profile called “DK”. There should be one for every Addon.

Commands:
Most Addons should be under Game Menu (Escape) > Interface > Addons. If they’re not, you’ll have to do /(AddonNameNoSpace)(and in some cases add config or options after that)
You may (meaning not necessarily) have to move your UI Scale to “Minimum” by going to Game Menu (Escape) > Video.

Things to Note:
If you want to see Addon Warning etc, you’ll have to be in the Raid Chat Tab, Everything included General Chat which isn’t enabled in the Raid Chat Tab due to common Spam in General in Icecrown Citadel on my Realm. The Guild Chat Tab has only Guild Chat and Whispers enabled, no Channels, nice if you want to get away from the Spam of Trade and General. Some of these Addons are in Alpha/Beta Releases but they work fine. I’m using WowAce Subscriptions to keep them updated. If you want to contact me with Questions and/or Comments you can contact me in-game or leave a comment here.

A List of the Addons I use:
Bagnon(With Guild Bank) – Bartender 4 – BigWigs – ButtonFacade – CooldownCount – Cromulent – DKIRunes – EnsidiaFails – ErrorMonster – ForteXorcist – FuBar+DurabilityFu – Grid – Mapster – MikScrollingBattleText – Omen – Ora3 – Pitbull4 -PowerAuras – Postal – Prat – Quartz – RaidBuffStatus – RaidFrameBeGone – RatingBuster – SatrinaBuffFrames – SexyMap – SimpleTankFrames – Skinner – TipTac – WeakestLink – XLoot.

Hello world!

Posted: November 18, 2010 in Random Stuff
Tags:

If you are reading this, great. Grats. You’ve reached the Blog of one of the grumpiest DK Tanking Theorycrafters you’ll ever meet. Why am I so grumpy? Simple: I don’t like Blizz very much. Fanboys are welcome, don’t flame my posts on blizz.

You might know me from one Forum or another where I’ve probably flamed a post of yours or even several, yep that’s me.

I’ll blog about a lot of stuff. Some of which you may find boring. Too bad, skip those.

P.S. I already hate you, so you don’t need to be nice to me.