Skip to content

Month: February 2016

The Power of Choice vs the Impact of Change

Or…

If it ain’t broke, don’t try to “fix” it…


All classes in WoW have seen revamps at some point in the life of the game. Sure, some have been a bit more drastic than others, but it happens.

And usually only to a single spec of any class at a given time.

However something is changing about Blizzard’s philosophy regarding class and spec revamps, and it’s not necessarily a healthy change. Least of all for the players. Especially for those that play Hunters.

Once upon a time, Blizzard’s philosophy was that change should be incremental . Change over time, so that eventually the spec you played was perhaps made completely unrecognisable over the course of 2 or 3 expansions, yet was still familiar to regular players of the spec and class.

The reasoning behind this philosophy was that too many changes in too short of a timespan led to players being left feeling confused or burnt out and more likely to quit playing the class or the game as a whole through dissatisfaction.

This was a great approach, as it allowed Blizzard the opportunity to tweak specs, to tighten them up, and basically to tinker in order to ensure a spec was both competitive against other specs/classes but more importantly was also still fun to play.

What this approach allowed the players on the other hand, was the chance to retain a familiarity with a spec or a class. Even if Blizzard makes changes to a spec that means you don’t get the same enjoyment out of it anymore, there are 2 to 3 other specs to play that you will have at least a passing familiarity with and can maybe segue into.

There are 3 types of class in WoW:

  • Pure DPS classes, for example Hunters, Rogues, Mages, and Warlocks, each with their three DPS specs.
  • Semi-hybrid classes like Warriors (2 DPS/1 Tank), Priests (2 Heal/1 DPS), Shaman (2 DPS/1 Heal) and DKs (2 DPS/1 Tank).
  • Absolute Hybrid classes such as Paladins, Monks & Druids, where a change in spec equates to a change in role.

Obviously the further down that list you go, the greater the Impact of Change will be on players of those respective classes.

For example, for players of Pure DPS classes, changes to a spec will mean either gaining familiarity with the new changes, or at the very least a change in spec to another more familiar one. A change in spec for these players will not require a change in role. Pure Ranged DPS is Ranged and Rogues do it from behind regardless of spec.

On the other end of the spectrum, unsatisfying changes to a spec for Absolute Hybrid classes will mean either gaining familiarity with the new changes, or a change in role or class. The Impact of Change to players of these classes are the greatest.

Obviously the Impact of Change will occur with Semi-Hybrids to varying degrees, dependant on the chosen spec, where it can mean either a change in spec or a change in role.

Regardless of which of these three categories your chosen class falls into, the vast majority of players will have that passing familiarity I mentioned earlier with the other specs and/or roles within their chosen class.

In short, players of any given class will have some sort of refuge in one of their class’s other specs, even if it means a change in role.

However, Blizzard seem to have abandoned that philosophy when it comes to changes to the Hunter class in Legion.

No Safe Haven

Current players of the Hunter class, will in short, have no safe haven come Legion.

For Survival players, they will be seeing not only a complete change in role, switching from ranged to melee (itself not a wise change, as melee is already a crowded gamespace), but this will also see and mean a fundamental change in the abilities used by the spec. No more Black Arrow, Lock & Load etc, and hello again to the likes of Mongoose Bite and Wing Clip.


For MM players, they will see not only fundamental changes to the abilities used by the spec (no more signature Chimaera Shot for one), but they will also completely lose the ability to use a pet, one of the most fundamental and basic abilities of the Hunter class since Vanilla. MM will permanently lose part of the class aesthetic, fantasy and flavour that has been baked into the DNA of the class since its inception.


Beast Mastery players will see not only fundamental changes to their spec, how it plays and the abilities used, but they’ll see their own importance in gameplay de-emphasised in preference to becoming the logistical manager that I alluded to in a previous post.

They will lose the ability to generate their own focus, and to a large degree will also lose the ability to deal significant damage directly. BM players will be utterly reliant on their summoned beasts for both focus and the vast majority of their damage.


Of course both BM & MM will lose the ability to use any sort of trap, as they will become the exclusive territory of Survival players. Because of course melee players need to kite and CC mobs all the time…


A Lost Fantasy

Sarcasm aside, this loss of utility for BM and MM players, not only in the lack of traps for both, but the lack of pet for MM to boot is galling.

But more galling than that?

The entire fantasy of a lone Hunter with only their loyal, chosen Pet by their side,  doing damage from range while their pet goes into melee to protect their master?

Gone entirely.

  • Survival will be melee only, no longer a ranged role.
  • BM will sacrifice the lone, chosen pet playstyle for an endless crowd of random animals.
  • MM will lose the pet altogether.

Current players of the Hunter class will know no familiarity with the class that they used to know come Legion. There will be no familiar spec, no familiar role, no familiar playstyle.

Hell, no familiar class.

Change for the sake of it, especially overwhelming changes to an entire class like this is not healthy, and is certainly not conducive to player retention.

Hunters did not need this complete overhaul. Ok, the changes to Survival may see its use increase somewhat, at least initially. However BM and MM were both largely (80%) fine as they were.

So what should have happened?

If I was the Hunter class designer for Legion, these are the changes I would’ve made to BM and MM:

Marksmanship

Make the T18 4-Piece bonus baseline for the spec. Instant Aimed shots made the balance between pooling and spending focus an engaging mini-game, and enhanced the play-style of the spec immensely.


Balance Lone Wolf (with its array of buff choices) vs the other level 100 Talents a lot better. Make it actually viable to NOT take Lone Wolf for those that prefer a pet (like me). For those that enjoy the petless play-style? Carry on using it! Knock yourself out!

Make it an option to use a pet or not, but give players that choice.


Kill Shot. Keep it. And while you’re at it? Keep Traps too. CC in solo play is important too.


Three to four small changes. That’s it.

Honestly? It didn’t take or need that much effort or work.


Beast Mastery

Give players a talent to allow them to call a 2nd, permanent pet. Give them the ability to mix and match with this 2nd pet to give players a greater ability to create an identity and enhance spec fantasy.


Make the pet abilities at the player’s control, like Kill Command, Bestial Wrath, Focus Fire etc, all apply to the 2nd pet as well. No need for an uncontrollable throng of random animals that, let’s be honest, no-one really wants or cares for that I’ve heard so far.

I don’t think any current BM players have ever fantasised about being Ace Ventura, or Snow White…


Leave Stampede as-is. It’s fine Blizzard, seriously.

If you’re so concerned about crowding the melee space for a whopping 40 seconds every 5 minutes, then why the hell are you converting one ranged spec and forcing it into the melee area, while simultaneously introducing another entirely new melee class in Legion?

The new Stampede? Well heaven help you if the boss moves, given that it’s a 10 second AoE effect now (eurgh).


Have Growl make the enemy focus on whichever Pet has least threat, allowing for easier pet maintenance and healing.


Keep Spirit Bond. FFS.


Keep Camouflage. Jesus wept.


Kill Shot and Traps. Again.


And with that?

Both BM & MM players would retain familiarity with their chosen spec. No massive overhauls required, no changes in play-style necessary.

Evolution, not revolution.

Minimise or negate that Impact of Change.

Easy.

Why Arathi Basin is like Kim Kardashian…

Or why the sudden rush for E-Sports…

And no, it’s not because both have been used more often than is probably healthy…


Reality TV.

The bane of discerning television viewers everywhere.

It’s cheap, frequently tawdry, and requires little to absolutely no effort on behalf of the programme makers to film and put together.

Think of Doctor Who vs Big Brother. Which do you think is the easier programme to make?

Without a doubt it’s BB. In fact they can churn out hour long programmes on a daily basis whenever it comes around each year. Ditto telly like I’m a Celebrity etc.

Cheap, quick to make, and low quality content utterly dependent on Joe Public to make it really worthwhile engaging with for anyone, never mind fans.

So what the hell does a vehicle for vapid, inane “celebrities” like Kim Kardashian (eurgh, I feel dirty for just typing that name), or absolutely unknown, exploited members of the public have to do with e-sports?

Well, think of the story content of any expansion in WoW. It requires a lot of writing, similar to an average episode of Dr Who. It needs thought, effort, content and work put into it. And lots of it.

Then take a look at Heroes of the Storm, or Overwatch. Where does the majority of the workload go in there? Environments, models, classes. Story? Nope, it gets mere lip-service in comparison to the amount of lore poured into a WoW Expansion.

Once you get past the initial sheen of a new map, all of the entertainment value in Heroes, Overwatch or WoW PvP comes entirely from the players. The “content” creation is entirely up to you, as a player, to provide everything for the other players. Being good or bad at the game is largely irrelevant. You just have to show up. Blizzard merely provide the vehicle for you to do that in.

Do you think Blizzard would prefer to keep doing lore heavy expansions, or just adding PvP arenas? Which would be quicker and easier?

No doubt that’s the reason why they much prefer PvP style content over PvE. PvP content is for all intents and purposes evergreen. It’ll last forever. Maps never age, and they can be played indefinitely. New content? A new map or two once every few months should be more than enough. Generous even.

And these players will pay for new maps, skins, models, hell anything you can throw at them! They’ll fork out hand over fist.

Written lore and story however?

One and it’s done, both in purchase and consumption. Takes ages to produce and gets consumed all too quickly.

So if it hadn’t hit you yet why Blizzard are heading more towards PvP/E-Sports content and games like Heroes and Overwatch?

Well, think of the bigger picture: Effort vs Reward.

Just don’t be too surprised to see Kim Kardashian’s butt as a new “sponsored” mount in Heroes of the Storm one day…

The Identity of the Final Titan…

This post is going to talk about the Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1 that’s going to be released in March, so if you’re lore-spoiler sensitive then look away now.

Mind you these aren’t really spoilers in the in-game sense, as this has nothing to do with Legion, but this will be talking about a few ideas that crop up within the early part of the expansion.


Screenshot_2016-02-20-18-08-46-1-1

deadpool-shocked
Yeah, that’s right Deadpool: 0_0

Ok, some of us had thought about this previously, and thought that this may be a far-out explanation about why Azeroth is so special.

But not only was it a far-out, crazy thought, but it’s now officially lore!

Azeroth is, or at the very least was, a TITAN.

Whoah.

More specifically, I think I know which Titan. Ready for this?

Elune.

Aka the One True God of Azeroth

Yes, that Elune. The Night Elf and Tauren deity? Yeah that one.

ELUNE

Elune
Or Mu’sha, as she’s named by the Tauren…

Now, why am I coming to that conclusion? What makes me think Elune is a Titan to begin with?

Well, and this is where some small Legion spoilers come into play: In Legion’s levelling experience, we’re searching in each zone for pieces of the Pillar of Creation (echoes of Deepholm here!).

All of these pieces are named after the Titans we’ve known about for ages, like The Hammer of Khaz’goroth etc.

However, curiously, one of them is named Tears of Elune, found in Val’sharah. With all the other Pillars named after known Titans this more or less confirms she/it was in fact an actual Titan, rather than a Naaru, which others had previously posited in the past.

Right, so park that train of thought for a wee bit.

Remember Pandaria? Remember in the Mists legendary questline when Wrathion ate Lei Shen’s heart, and… well have a look for yourself:

We must rebuild the Final Titan…

Remember C’Thun? And Y’Shaarj?

Well Titans fought both, and while the Titans killed Y’shaarj first, a Titan fell during the fight with C’Thun. Remember, this all happened waaaay back millennia ago in Warcraft history, long before the War of the Ancients, long before the Sundering even.

That’s the Titan I think we need to “rebuild”.

But why do I think that it’s Elune specifically?

Well, Elune has been known to communicate with the Night Elves and Tauren directly in the past, which led to them worshipping her as a deity.

Certainly the Night Elves (or Dark Trolls as they were back then) at the Well of Eternity communicated with her quite a lot, believing that she resided within the Well itself during daylight hours.

This interaction lead them to understand Titanic (the language of the Titans), their own history, and the history of Azeroth itself. Meanwhile the powers of the Well were physically evolving them from their nascent Troll forms into the more graceful, lithe forms we come to recognise today as Night Elves.

This surely wouldn’t have been possible if Elune hadn’t been on Azeroth to communicate with them in the first place?

Elune has to have been present on Azeroth and directly guiding the Night Elves. However she hasn’t had a physical form for as long as the Night Elves have been aware of her, present merely as “a calming spirit that abhors violence”.

The Titans

We know that the Titans themselves are physically gigantic, metallic beings.

How I think they come to possess physical form, is that the world-spirit that is born within what otherwise looks to be a normal planet, is imbued within this constructed, or artificial physical form. This form can be destroyed, certainly, but the spirit lives on, able to be re-imbued into another physical body.

That’s why we have to rebuild the Final Titan: Azeroth, aka Elune.

That explains why Sargeras has such a burning desire to destroy Azeroth, because it houses the one thing capable of destroying him: another Titan.

I believe that this massive incoming lore dump, one that answers so many long-standing questions, is yet another indicator that Warcraft is tying up loose ends. Tidying up lore answers in preparation for the true end-game: Taking on Sargeras.

Things on the Warcraft to-do list:

  1. Create the Army of Light, led by Anduin, as foretold by Velen.
  2. Rebuild the final Titan.
  3. Utterly destroy the Burning Legion once and for all.
  4. Seek out and destroy/redeem Sargeras.

By the end of Legion, I strongly believe we’ll have taken care of #1 on that list. Why? Well, that’s neck-deep into Legion spoiler territory:

[su_spoiler title=”MASSIVE Legion Spoilers within!“]King Varian Wrynn dies (or at the very least goes missing (again?)) very early on in Legion. This leaves an older Anduin Wrynn as the new King of Stormwind.

It is from this position I believe he will end hostilities with the Horde fully, and both factions will come together to form the Army of Light.

Anduin has been positioned over the past several expansions as the new Jaina. The Alliance character who knows Azeroth’s only chance of survival against the Burning Legion is to work together, not against one another.

This means the formation of the prophesied Army of Light.

Possibly a third faction? Or perhaps the removal of the faction system altogether?

Who knows, but we’re getting there![/su_spoiler]

So, both in-game and out, we’ll be seeing major strides forwards in terms of the storyline, and making progress towards the true Warcraft finalé: The battle with Sargeras.

By the way, interesting tidbit of info: Do you know what the original name of the Tomb of Sargeras was, before it became known as that?

Answer: The Temple of Elune.

Yeah. Whoah, indeed.

Linux: A torrid love affair

https://twitter.com/Sarcrux/status/699979059955179520


I have an on and off (mainly off) love affair with Linux. I’ve been using it on a sparse basis for years, whilst using the most recent version of Windows for my day-to-day stuff.

Now, some of you may or may not know, that in my day job I’m an IT Analyst/Engineer. I do a variety of tasks within this role:

  • User support via phone/email-based service desk
  • Training (I’m a qualified IT Tutor)
  • Server Support
  • Software deployment & maintenance
  • Hardware deployment & maintenance/repair
  • Windows OS mobile phone & Surface support
  • And basically anything else that comes up…

So needless to say I’m a bit of a geek, both personally and professionally…

However Linux is something that has been a consistent pain to get working over the years. That said, it’s definitely a situation that has been improving, albeit slowly, over the years.

At least nowadays installing nvidia drivers in linux doesn’t involve having to dig into the guts of the OS and edit xorg.conf files and bollocks like that.

Linux Mint has been my distro of choice over the past couple of years, as it works better than most other distros I’ve used.

Mint in particular works pretty much out of the box. There is very little that needs to be done once it’s installed, other than run updates and make sure the programs you want are installed properly.


For those that don’t know, or are unfamiliar with Linux and how it works, there are many different “flavours” of Linux available.

Some, like Ubuntu and Mint are specifically targeted at Windows users who want something different, right through to the other end of the spectrum, where you have distros like Arch, which are highly technical and should only be used by seasoned Linux users & pros.

Mint is a “fork” of Ubuntu, or rather it uses Ubuntu “under the hood” while presenting  a very different desktop experience to the user. A few years ago, Ubuntu’s makers decided to take the user interface in a direction similar to that taken by Microsoft with Windows 8.0 – a desktop seemingly designed for touch devices, even on a bog standard PC with a keyboard and mouse.

The creators of Mint decided that they liked the Ubuntu OS/Distro, but felt, like many others, that the direction Ubuntu were taking the desktop experience in was wrong, and decided to create a version, or a fork, of the Ubuntu OS with a more traditional, start menu/button like environment.


Rosy? Not quite…

However, there are still some egregious issues with Linux, and it’s still far too easy to completely break your entire PC and your ability to even boot it into either Linux or Windows, if like me you’ve decided to play it safe (hah!) and dual-boot.

For example, I tried to install a new desktop environment called Gnome into Mint, and even though I did everything perfectly fine, and did exactly what I was meant to, it somehow managed to break the entire machine so badly that it managed to lose the boot settings. This meant it couldn’t find the configuration file (a thing Linux uses called GRUB) it needed to boot up, and as a result I was left with a machine that wouldn’t load either Windows or Linux.

So after an hour or so trying to fix it by hand, manually typing commands into the only thing I was able to get, a command prompt named Grub Rescue, I decided to boot up a live copy of Mint via a USB stick and use the above named utility to repair the damage that had been wrought.


Apocalypse averted!

And lo, everything was fixed once more and off we went again, this time a bit more cautiously and staying well the fuck away from Gnome!

So once it was back up and running, it was time to set about customising and trying out some games…

So using a windows emulation program named Wine, I’ve managed to get the Battle.net client installed, and got WoW downloaded and installed too.

WoW’s performance is nowhere near as good as it is on Windows, obviously, but it’s good enough that if I’m in Linux I can log on and check my garrison missions, or maybe jump on the AH, pick up mail and so on.

It’s certainly not anywhere near good enough to raid or even do any sort of group content like 5 mans.

Perhaps it just needs a bit more tweaking done, we’ll see.

Steam on the other hand doesn’t seem too bad. I’ve something silly like 680 games in my Steam account, and just over 200 of those have native Linux binaries, and are directly usable in Linux without having to go through Wine.

This includes even modern games, like Pillars of Eternity, Divinity: Original Sin (Enhanced edition), and even the likes of X-Com 2!

Of course big strides have been made in this area in recent years, particularly by Valve, as they’ve created their own distro of Linux, named SteamOS. This stemmed from Gabe Newell’s dislike of where Microsoft were trying to take the PC desktop environment with Windows 8.

This all stemmed back to when rumours were still flying round about the intention of MS to lock the OS to only be able to install programs from the Windows store, and trying to lock the entire PC hardware to only be able to boot into Windows via TPM and Secure Boot.

Of course none of those things ever came to pass, but Valve have carried on developing SteamOS, building it into their branded PC hardware OEM lines, called Steam Machines, which are essentially linux powered PC based games machines for the living room.


I’ve yet to try installing any Steam games, as last night was all about battling with Battle.net via Wine (spoiler: it’s not a flawless experience!) and getting various other programs installed, like Chrome and Spotify.

Steam games will be tonight’s experiment, so I’ll make a post over the next few days letting you know how I got on with those, and how well they perform in comparison to Windows.

I’m hoping the native Linux games in Steam are a damn sight better performing than WoW is, given the lack of Wine emulation to suck performance out of it.

I’m glad though Steam & Valve are pushing to get more games compatible with Linux, as otherwise, this would be the sort of “quality” gaming experience you’d be subject to…

tux-racer-deluxe
Gran Tourismo 5 it is not.

Legion Alpha: A Stampede of Hunter problems

Now that BM is now live on the Alpha, we now have access to all 3 Hunter Specs, and it’s not all rosy…


So Alpha has returned and it’s brought with it a new build or two, and opened up more specs for testing.

This includes Beast Mastery for Hunters, which rounds out the entire class for testing.

From looking at the BM spec as-is on Alpha (remember I don’t have Alpha access, so this is all based on what I’m seeing on YouTube and reading from elsewhere), there are a still growing number of concerns that began with MM/Survival changes, and BM is only adding to that pile.

New Concerns

Dire Beast for example, is designed to be used on cooldown, and it now has a very short cooldown of 10 seconds. Add in the chance for Dire Beast to get reset with Wild Call and its use is going to get very spammy.

Similarly Bestial Wrath is going to see more frequent use, despite the fact its cooldown has been increased 50% to 90 seconds, beast summons will reduce that cooldown, and it will probably be up for longer than it’s on normal cooldown, given the frequency you’ll be using Dire Beast.

Stampede as it exists on live has been essentially removed, and replaced with an AoE with the same name and icon. Now when it’s used, you carpet an area in front of you with, well, a stampede of pets (not your own pets, these are randoms!), and this lasts for 10 seconds.

Think Barrage, but with animals rather than bullets, and in a box shaped AoE right in front of you, rather than a cone.

This of course means no more cool screenshots or showing off with your active pets anymore…

RIP Stampede

All these random pet cooldowns with BM lead me to think that Blizzard are trying to de-emphasize me as a player in direct control of the damage equation.

The whole direction BM appears to be headed in makes me think we’re going to be less of a hunter, and more of a logistical manager for random pets while playing whack-a-mole with our cooldowns on the side.

This is in direct contrast to MM, where you can’t use pets at all, and the damage you bring is based entirely on your use of your abilities.

Overall Hunter Issues

I have quite a lot of issues with the current Hunter class on Alpha, namely in the areas of removal of: Customisation, choice, survivability and utility.


Camouflage is now a talent, on the same row as Binding Shot. It is now a 1 min lasting effect, but now has a 3 minute cooldown. No more perma-stealth in PvP, waiting to ambush the enemy, or ghosting through old instances for very long.

Plus, if you’re BM? You get no choice of Camo AT ALL. You get Intimidation instead. WAT?

This one irks me quite a lot. I love the stealth aspect of playing a Hunter, particularly in PvP. And I love pets. Now? Now I don’t have the option of utilising both. It’s one or t’other.


Lack of a pet in MM. Hunters are the best and original pet class, hell they’re THE pet class in WoW, and all 3 specs should use them. If Focusing Shot had been higher DPS in HFC than Lone Wolf, would we even be having this consideration?

As a side note, this enforced lack of a pet for MM means we’re going to spend a lot of time either kiting without any major CC, or we’ll be spending a lot more time face-tanking mobs.

Eurgh.


De-emphasis of your chosen pet in the only remaining ranged spec in the class that uses them (BM).

Stampede ushers in a throng of random pets, and Dire Beast also uses random pets. Not random pets from your stables, no, just random pet models from the zone you’re in (DB) or from the game as a whole (Stampede).

If only MM would let you call a permanent pet, and use only one pet (no Dire Beast or Stampede), that would still provide contrast against BM, emphasise your choice of pet, and solve the above issue with no MM pets.

As it stands, BM is now all about summoning a multitude of random, temporary pets that you have no connection to, and your “life-bonded companion” just gets lost in an ever maddening crowd…


The forced use of an 9-10 year old model in Hati that you have very little control over or customisation of. Yes, I get it’s tied into Ulduar/Titanstrike, but really? Using such an old model for the latest and greatest weapon/expansion?

Don’t get me wrong, I like the saber worg model, but it’s going to do 2 things: a 2007 model will look out of place in 2016/2017, and look very generic with every BM hunter having the same pet.
Again, de-emphasising your choice of pets for random/forced options.

Admittedly it is still early in the alpha/beta process, so it’s possible that this may change, but given that they’ve already introduced different skins for this saber worg in the alpha, albeit not implemented yet, suggests, but doesn’t confirm, that Hati will have different colours dependant on your artifact look. So even less likely that the choice of model for Hati will change.


Spirit Bond has been removed. In fact there is very little in the way of maintenance healing in the Hunter class now, as all we’ve got is the Spirit Beast heal (obviously BM only) and a now baseline Exhilaration with a 50% heal.

Combine that with the lack of CC, and the lack of a pet to tank for you in MM and there’s going to be a lot more downtime for MM hunters while we passively heal up outside of Exhilaration.


Removal of Traps from all specs bar Survival. More CC gone. Oh goody.


Kill Shot has been removed. No more execute ability, and no more big hits in the last 20-30% of the boss’s health.


No more Lone Wolf choice of raid buffs. Lone Wolf may be baseline for MM, but we no longer get the option to provide any raid buffs, AT ALL as MM.

Or BM or Survival for that matter.

In fact looking at WoWHead, Hunters will no longer bring any raid buffs to the table at all.

Unless Critical Strikes, a 10% crit buff you get from level 1, applies to the raid as well as yourself, IE: an aura. But it’s passive, so not manually applicable to a player, therefore giving potential issues where one section of the raid is phased (Nether Banish, Archimonde), and lose the buff?


Aspect of the Cheetah is now a 3 minute cooldown that lasts for a whopping 3 seconds at +90% speed and another 30% for 9 seconds. No more perma-speed boost outside of combat.

/slow clap

More utility (and fun!) gone.

At least we still have Posthaste.

For now.


Crouching Tiger, Hidden Chimaera is gone.


Deterrence is gone, and replaced by a 3 minute cooldown called Aspect of the Turtle. Admittedly it has a pretty cool shell shield style graphical effect, but it’s a one shot deal, no more second charge. More survivability gone.

Combine that with a lack of CC, no maintenance heal, and the inability to use a tanking pet for MM?

Yeah, you can see where I’m going with this…

DOWNTIME. GET USED TO IT.


The removal and outright rug-pulling changes to the class, this late into the game’s life cycle is not what I would consider a sensible move. Look what happened with Star Wars Galaxies when they did something similar with the NGE. Players exited the game in droves and the game nearly collapsed as a result. Arguably it never really recovered.

We lost a metric fuckton of players during WoD’s first 9 months, we can’t really afford to lose a lot more. Especially from the most popular class in the game.

The entire class seems to be changing outright, and a lot of what brought me to the class is being dispensed with between expansions.

Prefer playing as Ranged DPS? There goes 1 spec. Cya Survival!

Pet collector? There goes another spec. Buh-bye Marksmanship!

Hope you like whack-a-mole with a crowd of mainly random, no-choice selection of “animals”.

I can’t even bring myself to call them pets. The term “Pet” implies a choice, a bond, a story, a history.

Not BM. Not anymore.

Now? Your choice of pet now merely makes a guest appearance on a crowded stage filled with randomers.

In fact it’s less like logistical manager, more like a raid leader for a group of mindless, minimum-effort randoms in LFR.

Oh, and you also have to put up with no chance to use camouflage.

Yippee.