April Fools: Rogue

I confess. I love Blizzard’s tongue in cheek April Fools offerings. 

Via WoW Insider this morning, we were shown the 6.0 Warlords of Draenor “official” patch notes, which included this section for rogues:

Rogue

  • Rogue specializations have been renamed to better encapsulate the skills and gameplay they represent.

  • Assassination is now known as “Stabby”

  • Combat is now known as “Pokey”

  • Subtlety is now known as “Shanky”

  • To help resolve spelling issues once and for all, Rogues have been renamed to Blush.

  • Blush can once again use Bucklers!

  • Blush no longer have access to the ability Swash, but at least they can still Buckle.

  • Fan of Knives now also makes your family kind of worried about you.

  • Cloak and Dagger continues to remind you of that Dabney Coleman movie from the 80s with the old couple that really freaked you out.

I’m so proud to be a member of the blush class for a 9th year! Let’s have a competition to see who is the next Covergirl? *wink* There are some things that Blizzard does really well to increase the fun factor in their gaming experiences, and I really feel this is one of them. 

 

 

A Tribute to Raid Leaders

They know the strats inside and out. They perform their raid role exceptionally well while leading others through assignments and call outs.

The Raid Leader

My guild went through three exceptional raid leaders in the Wrath of the Lich King. Of the three, two play extremely casually and one has left the realms of Azeroth permanently.

The led us through the wings of Naxxramas, in the mountains of Ulduar, against the Champions and Enemies of the Argent Tournament, and finally in the slaying of the Lich King and his lieutenants.

The Warlock – He led us through all of Naxx and Normal mode Ulduar up to Yogg-Saron. He ended up needing to stay quieter during raids and passed off to…

The Warrior – He led us through all of Ulduar’s Hard Modes. Firefighter, Algalon and Trial of the Grand Crusader as well as the launch of Icecrown Citadel.

The Pally – An amazing main tank through the entire expansion. He held us together when our leadership went casual. An amazing chance to fulfill a real life dream dragged him off.

Two main tanks and a mad dps’er. They’ve since been replaced by a Hunter who I know will do an amazing job.

Sadly, this is also the end of my hardcore, raiding journey in the 25 man format, but it was a hell of a ride.

In Cataclysm, I have plans to join up with some friends on a casual 10 man basis and play it for fun like the game it is.

To our great leaders and to an awesomely successful expansion. Best of luck, guys!

Meta achieved for Naxx, Ulduar, and Icecrown Citadel.

One of two guilds on the server to defeat Algalon prior to ICC launch.

One of two guilds on the server to date that has killed Anub on Heroic in ToGC.

Happy Raiding!

Sinister Calling

Devious achievement. I just found a Sinister Squashling in a treat bag in Dalaran. It was indeed, A LONG, Strange trip through the holidays of Azeroth. Some were a bit of a grind, but most were easy and fun to complete. Sinister Calling. Apt sounding achievement for a rogue, I think.

I’m looking forward to Icecrown Citadel, and meeting Arthas face to face. This is the true completion to the Warcraft story that we’ve been involved in since RTS days. 🙂

From the snowy hills and mountains of Dun Morogh to the Violet City of Dalaran overlooking The Lich King stronghold of Icecrown Citadel, looking forward to more adventures in the world of Azeroth!

Violet Proto Drake

Weekend WoW Vacation – Trying out F2P DDO

I took a bit of time out this weekend to give the new free to play version of Dungeons & Dragons Online (DDO) a try. Now the game is not WoW, but it’s definitely a fun game with it’s own style and gameplay.

One thing that DDO and Turbine get completely right, in my opinion, is the Rogue class. From your first moment in game, you are paired up with a rogue NPC and your main class abilities are searching for traps and secret doors, opening locks, and disabling control panels for deadly traps. I’m having a ton of fun with the party/instancing levelling format, and learning the ins and outs of my new Halfling Rogue.

It won’t replace WoW for me, but I except to definitely spend more time in this world and learning how to rogue in that universe. The community  is open and friendly. There are many resources for new and returning players on how to use the more complicated character customization/creation screens. My favorite post was one by sirgog on adapting to DDO for current or former WoW players:  http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?t=197117

Tonight it’s back to WoW and our guild’s first attempts at Algalon 25. Looking forward to this one!

Story of a guild

Read this article about a guild that attended Blizzcon together in the LA Times:

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/la-et-warcraft9-2009sep09,0,1886997.story?page=1

Interesting. My guild really doesn’t do the real life thing together. To me, it’s just a fun time thing. My vacations are still go away with the family, etc. I think this really shows that the communities and internet friendships that are built are what keeps a game going regardless of content or gear….

Raid journeys

Ah the changing of seasons, the shift in raid teams…with the fall raiding season starting up we had a bit of the changing of the guard. With a new raid instance on the table and our work to finish the last 3 achievements for our 25 man Ulduar meta, this brings challenges to overcome.

We finished up Freya hardmode (Knock, Knock, Knock on Wood) at the beginning of September, and we finished Trial of the Crusader on the night Anub’arak became available. Our current progression work finds us splitting time between learning the Northrend Beasts encounter of Trial of the Grand Crusader, and working on our Ulduar meta. This is where the new availability to extend raid ID’s really helps our guild.

We have a 9 hour a week schedule, our time is precious and we try to make very good use of it. I’m very proud of what my guild accomplishes in their short schedule. Raids are fun, fast, efficient, and relatively drama-free.

On the menu:

1. Firefighter – Mimiron’s Hard Mode

2. I Love the Smell of Saronite in the Morning – General Vezax’s Hard Mode

3. One Light in the Darkness – Yogg Saron with one Keeper’s Buffs

4. Clearing Heroic 25 Trial of the Grand Crusader

Tirion just talks so much….we need a FF button. 🙂

The end is coming….

Well, the end to Azeroth as we know it. I really am a fan of the “phasing” that was introduced with the Wrath of the Lich King expansion. The changing world is going to be taken to an entirely new level in the game as events leading up to the launch of the newly announced expansion World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will change the face of Azeroth as we know it.

Despite gear, despite class balance issues that we will probably all argue about for years to come….I think we’re seeing Blizzard take this 5 year old MMO in potentially great directions:

1. The addition of titles to the game in Wrath. It’s a fun feature. I’d rather have a title than a piece of gear that’s going to be replaced with the next patch….but I’ll always be Crusader So and So,  Champion of the Argent Tournament.

2. Phasing the game to change the world environment as you progress through the quests/storyline.

3. I have hopes for the new guild systems that will be introduced in Cataclysm. Guild levelling, skills, and guild PvP incentives….it’s a social game. I think Guilds really started to fascinate me after watching Tales of the Past. Is it a friendship? A brotherhood? Or a group using each other for loot? Only you and your guildmates can decide. 😉

4. I know it’s a way to drag the marketability of the game out. Blizzard does have money to make after all, but it’s a good thing to only have 5 more levels unlocked in the next xpac. You can lose the story easily in the mad rush to end game. Stop and look around.

5. Flip side, I’m still not sure about race changes….I’d feel like a traitor switching my gnome rogue to a human or worgen or undead….

Sorry for the long break. Had a nice family vacation at the end of August. Rested, rejuved, ready for fall! 🙂

The Journey Begins…Glory of the Raider

This video is credited to Tankspot.com. Tankspot has contributed some amazing videos to assist guilds in learning the Tier 7 and Tier 8 raid instances available in Wrath of the Lich King.

I just watched this one today. If you haven’t seen raid content, this video gives a nice summary of the story of the expansion up to Ulduar release. It details the guild’s fights leading up to the receipt of their Proto Drakes for the Glory of the Raider achievement.

Glory of the Raider

Hope you enjoy as much as I did, and big thanks to Ciderhelm and the Tankspot.com team.

Side note on General Vezax changes – From Blue “As a side-effect of this change, in 25-player mode in particular, he will also cast Searing Flames slightly more often” – Yeah, exactly 5 secs after every kick is definitely more often. The Rogue community thanks you. 😛

Hints at Icecrown Citadel

In the midst of a post on “tanking niches,” Blizzard developer Ghostcrawler threw out a hint about what could possibly await us in the final raid instance of the Wrath expansion:

“players have visions of the DK who parks outside of Icecrown until boss 4, 17 and 31 (yes, IC is that big)”

Full post can be viewed here:

http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=19110293530&sid=1&pageNo=7#127

Thirty-one? Good Grief. Sarcasm or serious? I guess we’ll find out. It’s possible more information on Icecrown Citadel as well as the future expansion will come out at next week’s Blizzcon in Anaheim, CA.

My guild immediately launched into speculation on what the 31 bosses could possibly be. Our raid leader wins the guessing game with the following submission:

“Arthas cannot be launched, please try again later.”

Enjoy your adventures!

I’m working on a Wrath banner, not using paint…I swear!

Rogue Q&A and a Patch Day!

The most burning questions in every rogue’s heart have been…sorta, kinda…answered!

The Rogue question and answer session with chatty developer Greg Street, aka Ghostcrawler, is now available in our main class forums.

http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=19045815077&sid=1

Some highlights:

1. Blizzard’s theory on Rogues and the new 1-handed axe usage introduced in Patch 3.2

Rogues are supposed to be the masters of melee weaponry and there’s extensive support in classical literature for brigand/swashbuckler/lightly armored warrior types using axes (pen and paper RPGs, pirates, Native Americans with tomahawks, gladiators). If a rogue would pick up a broken bottle to use as a weapon (the infamous Barman Shanker) it seems likely they’d use a good axe. As a result, shamans and death knights should see more axes in the game overall. (Though remember, the 3.2 patch largely focused on the new Isle of Conquest BG, so we don’t have a ton of new raid bosses to itemize. That will change in 3.3.)”

2. The current state of Rogue PvE damage (as we’re told L2P sort of, lol)

“In dungeons they’re absolutely right — one of the disadvantages of scaling so well in a raid scenario is that you need to start at a lower baseline. They’re better than they used to be for dungeons due to a mostly reliable Sap, but they’re still not great compared to a caster or melee hybrid. In a raid they’re great, and the problem exists between the chair and the keyboard if they’re not contributing damage effectively in that scenario.

3. The infamous need for a fix to the Vanish ability.

“No, Vanish isn’t working properly and breaks when you breathe on the rogue funny. There are two problems with fixing it. One is that technically it’s just not easy. We would need to change the ways spells are resolved on the server side. Now that is something we can do, but the outcome would be taking a powerful ability and making it more powerful. We need to solve the frustration part of the ability, but not also greatly buff rogue survivability or damage potential when doing it. The solution we like the most is something like Vanish puts you in stealth for 1 second minimum no matter what else happens.”

4. A theory on possible changes to the basic class design (This one makes me worry about an incoming kidney shot, cheap shot, gouge nerf. I don’t want to be a tank, that’s what my warrior alt is for.  :P)

“The current rogue design could be described as fragile, but rarely takes damage, since it’s possible to apply so much crowd control. Chaining crowd control and countering crowd control is a huge part of PvP that’s fun for a lot of players and we don’t want to remove that. On the other hand, we often run into problems with the rogue where we can’t diminish or change the DR on crowd control because then the rogue just takes damage and dies. An alternative model is a slightly more tanky rogue than can survive more damage (perhaps only when cooldowns are up or something), but can’t keep someone locked down so long. Also note that this would improve the rogue level-up experience as well. It’s effective and occasionally fun but can get pretty slow and tedious to have to approach every opponent from within stealth. Sometimes you just want to stab a relatively non-challenging mob to death and move on.”

Read and enjoy while in it’s entirety at the link posted above while Patch 3.2 is downloading today. I would like to reiterate how thankful I am that my guild does not schedule raids on Tuesdays. I do wish I’d taken up that 500g bet that a Resto Shaman friend was willing to put up during last night’s raid that the patch would arrive today though.