Thursday, December 11, 2008

Reflections on WOTLK Raiding

After immersing myself into the new content, I now have a fairly encompassing perception of how the raiding and heroics seem from the view of a feral druid tank.

First, as a tank, (especially a druid), it is extremely easy to find groups for tanking heroics. Feral druids seem to be very reliable tanks. Thinktank has mentioned in detail the mechanics of druid tanking have now been "built in" and are not very gear dependant anymore, and with the advent of swipe affecting all targets, it's much easier to pick up groups of mobs. So it's always nice to hop online and get asked to tank multiple heroics or hard hitting mobs.

Second, regarding raiding, on a scale of one to ten, the ease of the top dungeon seems to be really nerfed to me. My guild was able to work its way through all of the sunwell content before the huge changes were put into place making everything easier. So if Sunwell pre-nerf was a 10 on the scale, I would only give the Naxx 25 man instance a 5. It is a lot like Karazhan was before getting all geared out. Each week we do Naxx, it just gets easier. We only took 1-3 tries on each boss when we were learning the whole thing, and most of our actual wipes were due to server issues. We have had to challenge the lag monster almost every night in surprise locations of our raid dungeons.
The worse lag monster tends to rear his ugly head when we attempt the 25 man Malygos.
The lag was SO Bad when we were jumping from protective purple dome to purple dome that our time limit before Malygos enrages was shortened to near failure each time. If we lost more than 2-3 people in the final drake challenge, it would end up being a wasted attempt.
Regarding our strategy for Malygos.. Originally we had people stacking either north or south of the dragon, and simply move "away" from the sparks that would appear.
This seemed a very chaotic approach and I suggested that we have some organized method of moving away from sparks so that healing drakes and dps drakes would never split up. We ended up with a huge single stack to the south with all of us together... always getting healed, and able to keep continue to keep our dot stacks on Malygos. If a spark appeared, the whole group would then move counter-clock-wise around Malygos and remain in a single large cluster.

After learning each of the interesting new raid bosses and fights, it seems I am at the point of... "Is that it?"... we have completed every challenge so far except for doing the Obsidion Sanctum with the central dragon PLUS 3 drakes up for an epic fight. We were able to do the Dragon plus two drakes up fairly easily... and likely this final challenge won't take us long to complete either. I rather miss the times when we would be stuck on Kalecgos for 3 weeks each week filled with uncountable attempts tweaking individual rolls and accountability to perfect a method that works for our guild..

Final perspective:
The story content...
Regarding levelling to 80, I felt pressured to reach 80 as rapidly as possible in order to be able to begin raiding and hopefully get some server first achievements. I was about the 28th level 80 player, and it took me about 10 days. I was delayed because my daughter was levelling a deathknight on my account at the same time, and my son also plays his hunter on my account.
Overall though, I have been very impressed with the extremely long chain quests that the new content sports. You see how the stories evolve and become an integral part of them. I especially enjoy the Heroic Culling of Stratholme. I have a small group that runs that each day accumulating the bronze drake mounts. Once we have gotten everyone in the group a drake, hopefully we can sell the drake mounts in a similar fashion to the Armani bear mounts from ZA.

Affects on friends and guild relations:
I feel I actually have a lot more time on my hands to be able to do small instances or quest lines with my friends in this new world, or just work on questing solo and exploring. The raids take little time to prepare for since the "floor ham" appeared in our first full raid. (I was sitting in horde kitty form next to a floor ham in a raid, and a few players tried to click on me to eat me thinking I was the Feast!!). All we need to acquire are some flasks, and it seems even the flasks are becoming less necessary for a tank, as our healers spell power and mana efficiency keeps going up and overall survivability isn't even an issue. My guild has done lots of recruiting and there are many new faces in the guild with fresh excitement for our extremely fast raiding progression that we try to maintain. Occasional old guild members who have left over little things have migrated back, and players whose Real-life situations took away their time to play have come back to enjoy the new perks of the exciting new content...

It's well into the holiday season now, and many of my other gaming RL friends have been dipping into other new games that have come out, but I still enjoy my WOW virtual life and guild relations and gear/achievement endeavors... I'm not the "shoot-em-up" type, and I'm not a loot hog requiring new things constantly. The only other game I have been toying with is Spore. (My name is Swiftpaws) It is not a multi-user interface. It is single play only but you can incorporate other people's content and creations into your own game. I have an artistic nature and creating fuzzy animals and beautiful architectured building and vehicles appeals to me... but nothing is quite like my real virtual home in wow...


Che-Tew said...

If there are any tweens on this message board, you might be interested in trying The Fashion Fantasy Game. It's an online game where you can design clothes and sell them in a virtual industry with other players. Essentially, it simulates what the real life fashion business is like.

Here's how the game goes -- when you sign up, you can be either a designer or a store owner. You have a certain amount of Fashion Buckz (the currency in the game; think of Monopoly money) that you can use to buy materials and other resources. The object of the game is to be as successful as possible, just like in real life. Success is measured by how popular your clothes are or how much wealth you have.

There are also a lot of contests where players can compete to see who has the best designs.

Playing the game is free and is a great way to practice your business skills if you are really serious about entering the fashion industry. No real money is spent, so it is risk-free (unlike going to the mall, where you are compelled to purchase every pretty thing in the windows).

The game is available on

Tallyswift said...

Free is always good!!
I'll have to check into that.
My daughter would probably like it and her friend. They like to try out new games online together.

Thanks for the review