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Sunday, December 4, 2011

WTFaid?: 4.3 Impressions

Welcome to another installment of WTFaid?, a semi-regular column in which I discuss things that might not directly impact gold making, but that I want to talk about nonetheless. If you're looking for gold-specific tips, check out my archive and blog roll! If you're looking to get some insight into the mind of Faid, God help you. Also, read on!

4.3 has arrived and raiders are finally able to kill Deathwing.  There are new five mans, epic gems, a new Darkmoon Fair, and more!  I have to say it: I'm really pleased with this patch.  Here are some reasons why:

Five Mans
I haven't seen a new five man since Cataclysm release date.  I did so much ZG and ZA before they were rehashed for Cataclysm that it was just more annoying trolls when they released Rise of the Zandalari.  This was the first patch in a long time I felt I got a lot of new content for my non-raiding characters.

I really enjoy the new five mans.  Most of the fights are interesting and have new or relatively new mechanics.  Rarely can I explain a fight by saying "It's just like ____________ in ________ raid." like I'm able to do with so many other fights in the game.   I felt the instances were quite fresh.

In fact, I've been so not-bored with the new five mans that I've actually sought out alts to gear up just to have some fun.  My DK, Priest, and Shaman all went from 335-353 item level to 376 in the span of two days.

The Northrend Nerf
Another alt-friendly change is the nerf to Northrend leveling. It now takes less experience per level and they've moved a lot of quests inside the dungeons.  Now when you zone in all of the quests which were previously outside and needed to be gathered before queueing are right there and several have even had new quests added; leveling in Northrend is now much quicker.

As a result I've also been leveling more alts again.  I had four alts which had stagnated around Northrend but I've been enjoying dusting them off and playing them once more as well.

For Faid this won't be a big deal until next week. I want Faid to wear Season 11 and so I've not done much for her but have greatly enjoyed finding neat outfits for my alts. I'm not farming old stuff for that perfect piece but have been enjoying playing with pieces I do have on hand. Add to that the ability to transmogrify heirlooms, taking even more monotony out of alt leveling, and I love Transmog!

The New Darkmoon Faire
The first few times they nerfed Insane I raged pretty hard. I guess I've raged myself out and don't really care anymore, so the fact people can now daily their way to Darkmoon Exalted was an afterthought.

I thought they did a great job. Particularly with the deathmatch arena.  Since it's just a big thing and there are achievements for it there's always a massive PvP free-for-all every three hours and I  love watching and sometimes participating.

I've nearly got all the non-Deathmatch achievements and fished up my sea pony pet right away.  I love this event, it's far and away better than the Argent Tournament and I think it's something I'll look forward to every month.

At least if you ever miss the crappy old Faire wowcrendor has recorded its badness for history:

But what about raids?
I've had some ups and downs when thinking about the new raiding style.  Looking for Raid is a joke to anyone with a pulse.  As long as your tank knows where to put the boss and what way he needs to face him you'll win and get loot, it's that simple.  I mused for a while that LFR was just teaching new or casual raiders exactly the opposite of what it should be: that you can ignore mechanics and no one will care and you'll one-shot the boss.

Plus many of the fights are altogether different due to the LFR changes. Yor'sahj the Unsleeping, for example, has a different kill order on the globules. In normal mode you need to kill Green as a top priority but in LFR mode you can ignore the green altogether.

I was under the impression that LFR was, as well as being a raid option for casual players, a way for guilds to learn2raid, for lack of a better term.  I don't mind the easier bosses, but the fact that they're so easy mechanics can be entirely ignored makes me wonder how well it will prepare people for Normal modes.

Speaking of Normal modes, let's talk about LotI.  I waited to make this post until tonight because I wanted to say I was 8/8 in the first week. I may still be if tomorrow goes well but currently we are only 7/8 and it's mostly my fault.

We steamrolled through the first four bosses, they were complete and total jokes.  We ran into some issues on Ultraxion (Once again, my fault) because several of us just had some issues with the timing of when to leave the twilight realm. Once we got the swing of it though it was a bit of a tight DPS check but we made it through pretty easily.

The boat was kind of a hassle until we figured out that a hunter Flare down will keep Sappers from stealthing, then it was smooth sailing.

Spine of Deathwing was interesting. Not because the fight was difficult but because if we fell off the back due to silliness or a wipe being called we would be DCd. This ended up causing me to be unable to rejoin the raid after a wipe and we had to stop raiding that night while we waited for a GM to extract poor Faid from the nether.

We reconvened tonight, trounced Spine and moved on to Madness.  This fight is actually really really boring for tanks.  While the fight itself is interesting to watch and the mechanics are neat with all the aspects the actual tank job, when you get down to it, is laughably dumb.  You tank a tentacle. When the tentacle casts the thing you pop a CD. Then the other tank tanks the tentacle and pops a CD when the tentacle casts the thing. Then you switch. Then you move to the other platform and do it again.  Seriously, that's it.

So we spent the first hour or so just learning the fight and me doing my little taunt/CD thing. By the time we'd figured out what Aspect order we were using, what we needed to do and who needed to stand where I was so bored I began to really lose my focus. I think by the end of the night I'd wiped the raid about 5 times due  to just zoning out with boredom and forgetting to use my cooldowns at the appropriate time.  I'm really hoping that the Mists of Pandaria tank model changes fix these sorts of mind-numbingly boring fights.

So let me repeat that: We're 7/8 even after quite a few bad screw ups and being cockblocked out of a night by DC issues.  In the first week of the content. Another guild on my server had killed Deathwing about 6 hours after the servers came up.

While there is still plenty of heroic content to chew through I can't imagine this is truly the last content patch.  They have to introduce a filler (likely with epic gem transmutes/for honor/etc.) or there are guilds that will be farming this content for nearly a year, just as ICC was set up.   So I anticipate filler content in a few months.

4.3 Is the Patch for Me!
All in all I'm very impressed with 4.3. It definitely revitalized my interest in the game which, while not gone, was fading slowly.  I think they did a great job and I can't wait to quit writing this blog post and get back to playing.

There were going to be some cool raid screenshots I took but Blogger crapped out about uploading them, so maybe I'll edit them in later. Sorry for the wall of text in the meantime.


  1. I concur faid. Although I am expecting MoP to come out more towards the summer then a year from now (looking at the timing of this raid, 18 months per xpac, etc) I agree that we need at least one more filler patch, besides the "pre expansion" patch that we've seen in the past. DMF is pretty cool, especially the easy fishing of pools, and the PvP/PvE tie ins with the relic thingies. I'm loving the raid. We almost had DW down 2nd night, but people had early jobs, and we had to wait. We raided on a normal off day, and got deathwing down, now being 8/8. Fight was really fun. Took around 3 hours. For me, it was like nefarion in BWD, my first hard boss I killed when I started raiding.

    Good read! Good luck on deathwing!

  2. Thanks for all the good info. I only now feel like I'm setting into the patch. While you may feel LFD is LULEZMODEBBQ I think it is tuned just right for 25 random baddies to down the bosses.

    For me it's almost the perfect pew pew time. Get to go out and throw some major deeps and not care about anything else.

    Just what the Dr. ordered when I'm wanting to switch off my brain and running ANOTHER 5-man makes me want to smash my big toe with a hammer.

    Like you said it's perfect for alts.

  3. You entirely missed the point of LFR. There's simply no valid reason to complain about how easy it is.

  4. @Hadera: Please, enlighten me.


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