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Posts Tagged ‘Classic Instances’

Ghostcrawler Talks Tanking

Ghostcrawler Talks Vengeance

Ghostcrawler, the Lead Systems Designer on World of Warcraft had some very interesting information and explanations on the new tanking mechanic, Vengeance, in a recent blog post on the new World of Warcraft community website. Vengeance is a new passive ability that all tank specced classes receive. This ability converts damage taken into an attack power bonus to make sure that tanks can cope with the ever-increasing dps of our characters.

During the blog post  admits that as with all new mechanics and additions in Cataclysm there is a lot tweaking still to happen to Vengeance. Blizzard are still desperate trying to walk the line, trying to keep the balance between the difficulty and fun of tanking. Read the full thing below, if you’re a tank I am sure you will enjoy it!

A very nice paladin player asked me recently about Vengeance. She had concerns about the mechanic, which made me realize that we haven’t done the best job of explaining to players exactly what Vengeance is supposed to accomplish.

Vengeance is a new passive ability gained by choosing one of the tanking talent trees: Protection for warriors and paladins, Blood for death knights, or Feral for druids. When a tank with one of these talent specs takes damage, she gains an attack power bonus based on the damage taken. This bonus can’t exceed 10% of her health.

Vengeance was designed for a single purpose, which is to make sure tank threat scales as other players improve their gear. Imagine a raid of reasonably geared level-85 characters. In the absence of Vengeance, the tank might generate about 50% of the damage of a DPS character. With the tank’s threat modifiers this should be sufficient for her to generate enough threat to keep her targets stuck to her (unless something unusual is going on in the encounter). The problem is that in later tiers the mages and rogues in the raid accumulate gear that continues to increase their damage, while the tank chooses gear that increases her survivability. Tanks will pick up some threat stats along the way, but as their survival is almost always a necessary condition for victory, they choose gear accordingly. In later tiers, instead of doing 50% of the damage of a DPS class, the tank might start to slip to 30% or less of a DPS character’s damage. Now threat becomes an issue. Threat needs to be an important part of the game — I’ll try to explain why we think so in a future blog. However, it isn’t our design intent for threat generation to get much harder in the third tier of content relative to the first.

So that’s what Vengeance is supposed to be. Here is what it’s not supposed to be. Vengeance is not supposed to solve the threat problem completely. A tank shouldn’t be able to just auto-attack and let Vengeance do the rest. Vengeance isn’t a replacement for the tank generating enough initial threat to get the targets to stick to her. She shouldn’t need to rely on Vengeance in the first six seconds of combat. It’s there to prevent the warlock from slowly creeping up on her threat in the middle of the fight. (If this has never happened to your raid, it’s possible that the huge threat transfer potential of the rogue Tricks of the Trade and hunter Misdirection masked how dicey threat really was for you, but those abilities were redesigned for Cataclysm.)  In fact, you shouldn’t need Vengeance at all in the first couple of tiers of Cataclysm content. If a lucky dodge streak causes Vengeance to fall off, and that means that you can’t generate enough threat, then either our numbers aren’t tuned correctly, or you need to L2tank.

Vengeance also isn’t supposed to make you scared to attack a tank in PvP. Tanks have enough benefits in PvP, such as being hard to kill and control, especially in Cataclysm when Rated Battlegrounds provide them with a role where they can defend flags or towers. Players generally don’t hit hard enough to trigger the full effect of Vengeance, unless they are all ganging up on one tank, at which point someone in the group should have the ability to dispel it (Vengeance is treated as an Enrage effect for dispel purposes).

Vengeance is a new mechanic, and like many design changes, it may take some tweaking to get right. Maybe it takes too long to stack up or falls off too easily. Maybe it does too much of the tank’s job for her and ends up producing a generation of lazy tanks. Threat is a tricky thing to balance. If it’s too easy to maintain, then the tank isn’t having fun. If it’s too hard to maintain, then nobody is having fun.

Believe it or not, we want tanking to be fun.

-Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street is the Lead Systems Designer for World of Warcraft and once killed a dinosaur with a spreadsheet.
Ghostcrawler, Blizzard Entertainment (Source)

J Allen Brack Interview

The Guardian has quite an extensive interview up with J. Allen Brack, the Chief Project Manager for World of Warcraft. In the interview he discusses the upcoming Cataclysm expansion and all it entails.  Everything from leveling in the expansion to the new guild additions, subscription rates to Barrens chat. It really does cover a lot and is no doubt a must read for anyone that wants as much World of Warcraft as they can get in this time leading up to the launch of Cataclysm.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm – The Guardian

4.0.3a Hotfixes

Patch 4.0.3a Hotfixes – Gamon & Quest Changes

As I mentioned before the next round of hotfixes have been announced by Blizzard themselves and the November 30 list of hotfixes include a few pretty interesting changes indeed. It seems like Gamon is not done for yet, he has been buffed yet again. He is now immune to all forms of crowd control, uses the abilities Charge and Battle Shout, and wrecks adversaries with his new two-handed axe. Ouch. The other big change that happened here was the reduction to the amount of experience we will be gaining from Classic Dungeons quests. I won’t be posting full patch notes here, I will however just tell you that there were a bunch of general, quest and class fixes and point you in the right direction.

 Patch 4.0.3a Hotfixes – World of Warcraft Community Site

New Battleground Brackets

Following the recent region wide battlegroup announcement it seems like Blizzard is not done just yet. There are a bunch of, in my opinion, pretty big changes that have been made to the battleground queueing. Battleground brackets now match up teams more evenly with the new brackets spanning five levels each, except the final bracket composed of level 85 players. Along with that you can now enter Arathi Basin at level 10 along with Warsong Gulch. Eye of the Storm on level 35 and Alterac Valley on level 45. Strand of the Ancients on level 65 and Isle of Conquest on level 75. Lastly, you can only join Twin Peaks and the Battle for Gilneas on level 85. Great changes if you ask me. Definitely going to make things a lot more fun while leveling and I really think having the brackets smaller will also make the games a lot more fun to play. See the full changes below!

New Battleground Brackets – World of Warcraft Community Site

The uneasy armistice between the Horde and Alliance is steadily cracking beneath the strain of Deathwing’s devastating return and the Shattering of Azeroth, heralding a new era of bloody conflict.

The clash between the factions has also never been so hotly contested:  Battleground brackets now match up teams more evenly.  The new brackets span five levels each, except the final bracket composed of level 85 players:

10-14               30-34               50-54               70-74

15-19               35-39               55-59               75-79

20-24               40-44               60-64               80-84

25-29               45-49               65-69               85

Fighters can also join the battle in Arathi Basin, Eye of the Storm, and Alterac Valley at an earlier level than ever before:

Level 10 – Arathi Basin and Warsong Gulch

Level 35 – Eye of the Storm

Level 45 – Alterac Valley

Level 65 – Strand of the Ancients

Level 75 – Isle of Conquest

Level 85 – Battle for Gilneas and Twin Peaks

These changes should offer players a more consistently competitive experience in the Battlegrounds as their characters level, as well as provide for more exciting PvP conflict than ever before.  Are you eager to try 35-39 Eye of the Storm?  How about 45-49 Alterac Valley?  Perhaps you’d like to cut your teeth on a 10-14 Arathi Basin.

Let us know what you think in the comments!

Classic Dungeon

Classic Dungeon Level Changes

If you haven’t noticed just yet, the levels of the dungeons in the old world have been tweaked a little. It is in fact not a coincidence that you can now do Scholomance on level 38 or Stratholme on level 46. So to help us prepare for leveling those Goblins and Worgen, Blizzard have given us a rundown of all the instances and their respective levels. So you can read about all of that in the official post below.

The Cataclysm has wrought changes to many facets of Azeroth and the dungeons found across the world are no exception. As many of the zones throughout the world now have new level ranges, the dungeons within their borders have been adjusted to match, and the items that drop within those dungeons have had their stats changed accordingly.

Here’s a list of all 1-60 dungeons and the level range at which each should be explored, followed by the minimum level required for entry in parentheses.

In order by minimum level to enter.

  • The Deadmines – Level Range: 15-21 (10)
  • Ragefire Chasm – Level Range: 15-21 (10)
  • Wailing Caverns – Level Range: 15-25 (10)
  • Shadowfang Keep – Level Range: 16-26 (11)
  • Stormwind Stockade – Level Range: 20-30 (15)
  • Blackfathom Deeps – Level Range: 20-30 (15)
  • Gnomeregan – Level Range: 24-34 (19)
  • The Scarlet Monastery – Graveyard – Level Range: 26-36 (21)
  • The Scarlet Monastery – Library – Level Range: 29-39 (21)
  • The Scarlet Monastery – Armory – Level Range: 32-42 (21)
  • The Scarlet Monastery – Cathedral – Level Range: 35-45 (21)
  • Razorfen Kraul – Level Range: 30-40 (25)
  • Maraudon – Purple Crystals – Level Range: 30-40 (25)
  • Maraudon – Orange Crystals – Level Range: 32-42 (25)
  • Maraudon – Pristine Waters – Level Range: 34-44 (25)
  • Uldaman – Level Range: 35-45 (30)
  • Dire Maul – East – Level Range: 36-46 (31)
  • Scholomance – Level Range: 38-48 (33)
  • Dire Maul – West – Level Range: 39-49 (34)
  • Razorfen Downs – Level Range: 40-50 (35)
  • Dire Maul – North – Level Range: 42-52 (37)
  • Stratholme – Main Gate – Level Range: 42-52 (37)
  • Zul’farrak – Level Range: 44-54 (39)
  • Stratholme – Service Entrance – Level Range: 46-56 (41)
  • Blackrock Depths – Prison – Level Range: 47-57 (42)
  • The Sunken Temple – Level Range: 50-60 (45)
  • Blackrock Depths – Upper City – Level Range: 51-61 (46)
  • Lower Blackrock Spire – Level Range: 55-65 (48)
  • Upper Blackrock Spire – Level Range: 55-65 (48)

Daxxarri, Blizzard Entertainment (Source)

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