Home > Mists of Pandaria > insert horrible pun here about moping up cataclysm here

insert horrible pun here about moping up cataclysm here

Horrible puns aside, I want to talk about MoP, and what’s planned for it. Blizzard seems to have a thing for feedback, and wanting it, so here’s some feed back on what we’ve seen so far.

Talents
The old system
What people think it is: OMG I HAVE 40? 50? Talents to put wherever I want?! AWESOME
What actually happens: Ok. I have 3 talent points I can put where I want… the rest have to go there or I’m bad.
The new system
What people hdutj it is: …. 6 choices? What the literal fuck
What may actually happens: So I can actually put any of these talents anywhere? Mmmk. ALL THE CHOICES.

The greatest weakness, and at the same time greatest strength of this system is (in my opinion) that your picking between competing talents that all do the same (or a similar) job. Like wise I think the greatest strength and weakness of the old system was that you were picking from talents that did different jobs.

I’m going to attempt to explain, with use of the disc talent tree (as I believe its one of the better if not best talent trees available about now). There are a great many talents that you can pick and choose from, and often (in HM raiding more often than not) you end up wanting to switch those talents around. For example you may want the focused will(survivability) talent on one fight, while on another you may want the veiled shadows(regen) talent , or perhaps darkness(throughput)? Do you want to spec atonement or not? It involves both play style choices and choices for individual wants.

However under the new system you won’t have to make that choice between regen, throughput or survivability, you will always have the survivability talent, you just get to choose between which survivability talent.

Which brings this down to a simple matter of execution. The choices have to be different enough that they make a difference in your game play, that having the right choice is a advantage. At the same time if the choice is to obvious then the choices will simply be boring.

Intellect (basicly) becoming spell power again.
This should be a interesting change. For those not in the know one change blizzard are “considering” and shared with us briefly in a Q&A session is making intellect no longer increase a players mana pool size, essentially turning intellect back into spell power with some crit attached. Assuming healing follows cataclysms healing model I think we’ll see healing be much more interesting. This change has been met with some level of OMG WHAT?! So lets talk about it. Right now a healers need for regen is far outstripped by a healers need for throughput. As throughput (intellect) grants a reasonable amount of regen, you will largely have all your regen needs filled by the intellect you grab for throughput uses.

What this means while mana matters somewhat at the moment, it doesn’t affect your gearing very much if at all. Sadly we don’t know to much about this change yet. If we put on our game designer hats for a second though we can draw some decent conclusions about what changes will likely support this change. In fact there is one major one I think most people are ignoring. The mana cost of spells will greatly shrink relative to base mana, either by making them cheaper or base mana larger

I like this change. A lot. Over the last 2 expansions we have stacked throughput with little regard for regen, for two very different reasons, it would be nice to see healing, and gearing of a healer, once again become a balancing act between regen and throughput.

Pandas themselves
Meh? And just because I’m not excited by pandas doesn’t mean that I hate wow now and hate everyone who likes pandas. Kthx.

This is a fantasy game, with everything from space goats (that came from in a giant crystal space ship) to cows that walk on 2 feet and turn into mutated seals at will. Your argument that pandas are to silly/cute/cuddly/weird/magical for WoW is in-fucking-valid.

My only sadness with this addition is they don’t seem to stay true to what I perceived pandas in wow to be. Eg blood thirsty attack bears that stood on 2 feats. Instead we have cute cuddly monk pandas. Keep in mind that both sides of pandas already existed in the warcraft universe, blizzard (aka Chris Metzen) just decided to expand on one side of this race and draw from it thematically than the other.

Monks
What exactly is the big deal with no auto attack? On one side I don’t think this is a huge deal, its damage you get from right clicking a boss and being able to move your character reasonably close. On the other side of this argument this is one of the “walls” that separate melee/hunters and caster DPS and make them different.

I hope blizzard have learnt from the mistakes of introducing death knights and hopefully makes this a far smoother introduction than that of death knights because I really don’t want to have to run lowbie dungeons with 4 panda monks that have no idea how to play their class and just ROLL INTO ALL THE THINGS. (because giving a class a no CD blink is really a good idea blizzard? Right?).

Challange mode dungeons
Out of everything that blizzard presented to us at blizzcon this idea seemed to be the least developed, but at the same time it also shows the most promise. The idea would be simple, you would be able to run dungeons in a time attack mode similar to what a lot of games offer, but all your gear would be normalized to keep the playing field even.

First up, normalization, what? This means that when you run the dungeon all of your gear will automagically have the stats of a lower item, which seems at first glance to be really stupid, really good at second glance, and again stupid at third glance.

First glance: New gear won’t actually improve my performance? WHY GOD BLIZZARD WHY?!
Second glance: Hey that means that the dungeons should be a test of pure skill
Third glance:… but now I’m below hit cap. Below that haste threshold I was able to get before… WHY GOD BLIZZARD WHY?!

And this is a sentiment shared by a lot of people, if you gear to the hit cap in raid level gear, and then enter a normalized dungeon and ally our stats are reduced by the same amount your going to below the hit cap and off any important numbers like that. This will likely lead to players having to collect specific (heroics level) sets to compete for the very top spots in these speed run dungeons, but is this a bad thing? In fact it may even entice some players who enjoy the sort of “twinking” that this will bring.

Pet battle system. Aka pokemon.
I think this is going to be brilliant, assuming blizzard can pull this off properly. What’s so brilliant about this, is its exactly what cataclysm was missing for so long: Something that players can do during down time.

What does that mean? It means that when you can’t be bothered to do a dungeon or raid there may actually be something to do in wow other than dailies. Which is something wow has been missing for a long time.

At the start of cataclysm when you logged in you had a choice between super difficult heroics, or perhaps a super difficult raid? Maybe you would want to go do some dailies with those quest mobs that hit like trucks? Yeah. It all required a large amount of effort, and was the opposite of what was the successful model in wrath which was to just put out “accessible” content everywhere.

Is it a bit silly? Yes
Does that mean it can’t be fun? No
Does that mean its not worth my time? No

This could come out really lame, or it could come out really awesome, the same as most features, its a matter of execution.

PvE scenarios
What is the purpose of these?

They seem somewhat sort like the developers went… “hey lets make something that players can run with all DPS through a LFG like queue” to just give players something to do. And then built up PvE scenarios from that goal.

In other words, they started with what they wanted this feature to be, and then made the gameplay fit the end result they wanted, not letting the gameplay determine the end result, and that doesn’t seem like its going to end well. One hand they may fill the same void as pet battles in that they should give players something to do during down time other than dailies. However if these aren’t more well thought out than they currently seem to be these may well fall flat, which would be sad as I would like some more things to do during down time.

New BGS!
Holy shit completely new BGs that aren’t rip offs of old BGs like the last 3? Fuck.Yes.

Enough said? I think so.

Resilience being a base stat
First of all, before we talk about this change, lets get some misunderstandings about this change out of the way, because many people just don’t understand what this change actually means. Some have even been running around claiming that this change will mean there will be no more pvp gear. So lets set this straight.

  • Every player will have a small amount of resilience.
  • PvE gear will not have resilience on it
  • PvP gear will continue to exist
  • PvP gear will continue to be important

This change simply means that getting into pvp won’t be so annoying as it has been since PvE dungeons stopped dropping gear with resilience on it (looking at you BC). Instead of starting out with 0% of the resilience you need to be competitive, you may start out with 5-10% instead. Certainly not game breaking.

The impart of this change will likely be 2 fold, both of which I can only see as being a positive

  • PvP will be easier to get into
  • Low level pvp will involve less OMG ONE SHOT AMBUSH (maybe)

Now I don’t know about you guys, but both of these seem to be positives, unless you happen to like 1-3 shotting people not in resilience gear. If your one of those people screw you.

Weapon changes
This is a interesting one. My main concern now is that instead of diversifying which class/specs can use what weapons (which has almost always been a good thing), they are now cutting down which classes can use what weapons.

Aside from that its getting rid of a lot of stat stick weapons which are somewhat boring. But when you get down to it, isn’t every piece of gear (especially for casters) some kind of stat stick (or stat shoulder, stat wrist?). Interesting point to think about is interesting I guess.

So every class is losing its ranged slot, and hunters will simply equip a ranged weapon in the weapon slot. Wands will simply become main hand weapons with the itemization to support this (aka they’ll have more stats on them).

This means that ranged weapons will only be used by a single class. This could easily cause some frustration, especially in a 10 man raid where its reasonable to expect (especially with 11 classes) that not everyone will have a hunter in the raid team when a bow drops. On the bright side with monks being introduced and using pole arms/staves (slight assumption on the pole arm side) these weapons will stay between 2 classes.

Shaman changes?
I’m looking forward to this. Finally shamans may not just be brought to a raid for totems, chain heal and blood lust! Jokes aside, lets (once again) say what this change is and dispell some common misconceptions.

  • You will still have totems.
  • You won’t have any boring totems anymore that just buff things
  • You’ll get new totems which do cool things

For example, imagine, if you will, that healing stream totem is no longer a totem you drop once at the start of a fight and then forget. Imagine it closer to efflorescence. Say it comes on a 20 second CD and heals 3 close injured players for X amount. Wouldn’t that be more interesting and cool than the current version where you drop it before you pull the boss and forget? Yeah I thought so.

Warlock changes?
Will get their own thread later. As you know, I like warlocks. A lot. So they get special treatment.

The great (possible) squish
This is an interesting one. It’s something that almost has to happen eventually by the nature of the game. You have one of two evils. Either your gear gets an absorb amount of stats on them, or you have to squish.

Something I think that is rather interesting, that I think a lot of people missed is that the little graph GC had showed us that, at least one of, the plans was to make raiding gear from vanilla through to wrath equal to levelling gear, perhaps even with the last tier being equal to the next expansions levelling gear. I think this is the only really major issue I see, if the bosses are equitable to the gear they drop then soloing won’t be *as* easy.

I think that unless this is handled properly it could really suck and just make people feel weak. The opposite of what the developers should be aiming for. But then again this has been iterated by many people over and over again, including in GCs blog, so I’m sure they know that. I think I would suggest that they don’t do the squish at the same time as the MoP changes. This would just be too weird for players to have both everything about their character change, and also be hitting for 10 times less.

But then again at the same you have to put players through change twice instead of just once.

So over all?
I think MoP shows some potential. Some of the potential changes show great potential, others seem rather silly. We’ll have to wait and see how it goes. As to making a conclusion about is MoP going to be a total fail, or a epic win? We don’t have enough information yet. As such its rather pointless to start screaming that its already doomed.

Like most things in wow not everything here excites me. But that’s ok. Its ok not to have everything about an expansion/patch be exciting to everyone. I think that’s something a lot of people have lost sight of.

  1. Paul
    December 31, 2011 at 9:16 am

    PvE scenarios are there as a response to the well-received dynamic content of Rift. And they serve a very useful purpose: allowing PvE casuals to practice their rotations and basic combat skills in a low stress environment outside of dungeons or raids. Anything that lets bad players improve their muscle memory is going to be a good thing for the game.

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