Call of the Crusade

inv_letter_18Hints are coming down on the next patch, 3.2: Call of the Crusade. Highlights include the expansion of the Argent Tournament into a real colliseum (with corresponding Arena) and a nerf to jewelcrafting. Oh, and some vague promises of class balance.

The Argent Tournament

As the Argent Tournament progresses with its colliseum, it is now available for arena fights to determine to meanest and toughest of heroes. New dailies and new rewards are to be expected. With a bit of luck, these will be designed in such a fashion that they bridge the gap from Naxx-10 to Ulduar-25, allowing people who jumped ship from 10mans to 25mans (like me) to catch up without being forced to PuG Naxx-25 because no progression guild will run it anymore.

The Colliseum itself will feature 5man, 10man and 25man challenges, similar to Ring of Blood and Amphitheatre of Anguish. The idea sounds kind of fun, I have to say. I liked the idea of chain-linked challenges a group overcomes, without tsunamis of trash in between.

This also heralds the start of season 7, and a continuation of Blizzard’s attempts to make PvP gear viable. With an increase in resilience/stamina, which is pretty inevitable, they’ll probably hope to get people to stop stacking the offensive stats and favour defense a bit.

Professions

Jewelcrafting will be nerfed. Blizzard has set a dangerous precendent with their wording of it, though.

“In the next major content patch we will be removing the prismatic quality of the jewelcrafter-only Dragon’s Eye gems. Like other gems, they will have to match the socket color to receive a socket bonus. When this change occurs, players with qualifying jewelcrafting skill will be provided a yet to be determined amount of Dalaran Jewelecrafter Tokens as compensation.”

This is big, no, Huge. I know many, many Jewelcrafters who use these gems to qualify for their Metagem’s sometimes very difficult requirements. Some gems have requirements that are easy to achieve when you are a healer, for instance, but as DPS you have to twist yourself into a pretzel to get it right.

I present to you, the justification:

Q: “Is it really that bad to have a best profession”

A:”Yes, we think so. A key to games being fun is feeling like you have a choice. If you aren’t making decisions then you aren’t really playing a game — you are watching something as a viewer not participating as a player. Game design has proven over many years that when you have choice A and choice B where choice A grants more power and choice B looks cooler or grants almost any other kind of benefit, a vast majority of players will choose A. In their minds there is no choice. It has to be A. Likewise if humans were the most powerful race and mages were the most powerful class then WoW would not be very diverse. We want tradeskills to be a choice. Having a best profession means that choice does not exist.”

What is the danger here?

If Blizzard says that having a best profession is bad, then the conclusion is also that having a worst profession is bad. While the majority of the professions fall in the “viable” league, two things stand out. The combination Blacksmithing/Jewelcrafting is what is overpowered here; the ability to add sockets to items combined with the availability of awesome gems.

The most underpowered profession in the game right now is Engineering. While it has fun trinkets (most of which are useless, replaced or no longer function around Naxx-10 level), a mailbox and repair bots (for which you only need 1 engineer raid-wide, assuming people are too lazy to walk to the repair guy standing in or close by most modern raids), that’s it.

So the moment that Blizzard decides to nerf Jewelcrafting because it is overpowered, then these words obligate them to “fix” Engineering to make it more viable. Because if they don’t, they are not holding true to this new philosophy of “there should be choice”. Let’s face it, the only reason I have Engineering on my Druid is because I like the little trinkets for RP and such, but I am not seriously using them in a raid…

Personal situation

I have been accepted into the Unity raid community on my server. I am greatly appreciating this, but I have to get my butt in gear to continue to meet their expectations. Currently, in mostly 10-man gear, I do 3.5k to 4k DPS in 10mans. However, due to the increased lag, bouts of 3 FPS and the insecurity on what goes on in 25mans, I barely manage to scrape 3k intermittently in Ulduar-25.

I am trying desperately to keep focus, maximize my DPS time and flatten my learning curve, but still I feel like I suck hairy balls. This is a big-time issue for me, so I am trying to remedy that situation. I’ve completely remade my UI (Pictures to follow) and cleaned up my PC for speed. I try to minimze the time my PC runs before a raid, to keep the time until I start flatlining my FPS minimal. I read the guides, watch the vids, and DPS my eyeballs off.

God I hope it’s enough.

The symptoms of my FPS (my worst issue, cuts DPS in half) are as follows: I have 61 FPS when moving around, 30 when fighting mobs. However, now and then during bossfights, my FPS drops to about 3-7 and stays there for a minute or so. Then it picks up again to 30 for a minute, then drops down again.

Main reason to fix this is that I sometimes can’t even move around, and get caught in AoE, and die. This makes me look like a freaking idiot, which I’d like to avoid. If someone has any clue what could cause it and what might fix it I’d be very appreciative, as I’d hate to have to say that I cannot perform at 4K or above DPS due to this. It will be only a matter of time before they say I perform badly and would be asked to leave.

I am currently working on a Shadowpriest-specific guide to the bosses in Ulduar; I am finally getting in a state where I feel I know enough to do it; raiding with Unity has allowed me to see all bosses except for General Vezax and Yogg-Saron (and Algalon, of course), and I am starting to get a feel for what to do and how to do it.

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3 Responses to “Call of the Crusade”

  1. It seems to me that your PC (video card) and possibly your Internet connection in general, is responsible for your bad FPS. Are you running a fairly good video card? It’s usual far easier to upgrade that than your Internet connection. I went from about 26-35 FPS to 50-60 FPS with a new computer system.

    Second, your DPS is VERY respectable! It’s ESPECIALLY impressive given your laggy FPS. Have you spoken to your class leader as to how you can better yourself, rotation, food buffs, etc?

    • Well, I have no real idea on what is causing it, but most likely it is overheating of the graphics card in general. I have no issues in 10mans, and run with 61 FPS in most circumstances.

      I have an Acer Aspire 7720G with a Intel Core Duo 2.2 Ghz, NVidia Gforce 8600M GT (256 MB+up to 1280 MB Cache), 2 GB Ram, 4MB LD Cache and DSL connection.

      Problem with this type of laptop is that the CPU and GPU are close together, meaning an immense heat generation. When I play for more than 4 hours, the heat actually radiates up from the keyboard…I have found that allowing it to cool down before raiding actually helps a lot.

      I will be looking into a desktop system because they are more stable, but with a laptop about a year old it seems like a waste to do so…so probably next year.

      On a related note, I broke 4K Dps average on the last run, in which we managed to down 9 bosses, including Vezax. I also snagged my nice T8 headpiece there, and considering I was running with Cowl of Sheet Lightning, this will be a very, very nice upgrade. 3 pieces of T8, one more left for Shadowarmaggedon!

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