Twitter Discussion: Relics Getting Overhaul In Cataclysm

16 April, 2010

Nothing better than sitting on your couch doing the two things you love the most: watching NHL Playoff Hockey and writing about WoW. Blizzard held one of their (in)famous dev chats on Twitter today and answered some interesting questions about the soon-to-be-in-beta Cataclysm Expansion.

Via MMO-Champion:

Q: Will relics and wands be getting any new attention in Cataclysm?
A: With relics, the plan is to make them class agnostic. In other words, there might be a +strength relic that a death knight or paladin might want to equip. We think that will let us add more of them to the game without them being so specialized. They will feel more like wands.

How to make wands and relics a bigger part of gameplay is something we’ve had many, many discussions on. Ultimately though we’d rather see warlocks, mages and priests casting their spells, not zapping someone with a wand. In Cataclysm we don’t expect to see much wanding, even at lower level.

A bittersweet change that has been long overdue. Relics have been an enigma since their inception; wasting spots on loot tables and basically having raiders question their value every tier. Through Wrath of the Lich King their usefulness definitely increased (some specs even had a couple situational options), but until ICC they remained on loot tables. Every time a relic dropped instead of a weapon you wanted to kick a small animal.

The double-edged sword of relics was also, as the Blue pointed out, the necessity of having the buff on you. If you aren’t using it with the intended spell (i.e. proc on Chain Heal, or stack with Riptide), then it’s value drops to nil. Gear dictating your play-style is poor design.

Calm down, rogues, this isn’t the same as having to use daggers or swords. It would be more like having a rogue-only bow that provided a best-in-slot advantage to fist weapons. Even if you wanted to use daggers and liked mutilate, you would be have to use fist weapons or use an inferior ranged weapon. This never got that extreme with relics for Shamans because I don’t think anyone ever refused to use Chain Heal. The Riptide totem really pushed this to the limit though. Having a 3 stack buff on a tightly-cooldowned ability puts pressure on you to keep that buff up instead of focusing on your job (ya know, healing).

The new relics will be focused on a stat grouping, bringing them more in line with wands. I’d suspect that the relics that are actually focused on class abilities will be obtained via quests or at low levels.

What makes this change to a more “agnostic” relic style bittersweet is the overall value of the relic itself. In many cases, the procs that some relics provided were actually better than their wand counter-parts. For those of us using relics, it’s a sucky change, for our cloth wearing raid mates, it’s a nice balancing act.

Neither wands or relics really add anything more than what a ring or neck does so that whole “Blizzard is making everything the same” argument looks rather silly. The goal of Cataclysm is clear: make playing the game fun by actually playing the game. That’s redundant, but having to battle spreadsheets to get the most out of your character is not fun. Sorry.

Other than the relic news, this was a fairly innocuous chat. Things like 310% mount speed for all your mounts and a new raid healing UI were all announced at Blizzcon.

The waiting game for Cata-Beta has begun.

(Blizzard still has yet to repay me for not allowing Worgen to become shaman and making new totem graphics for everyone. New totems to replace my warped plastic lamp bases would be nice)

NHL Playoffs

What a game played by the Nashville Predators! I’m a big fan of Patrick Kane and the ‘Hawks, but Barry Trotz’ frustrating, patient system paid off and a janitor-style goal near the middle of the third sealed the upset away victory for the Preds. The Predators are looking to win their first playoff series over conference favorite Chicago. Things could get verrrryyyy interesting.

As I sit here writing this the Wings are down by 1 to Phoenix, who is looking to take a 2-0 lead.  As we all know, a playoff series hasn’t started until the home team loses. The Joe is a very tough place to play and we’ll see how the young ‘Yotes do in the D.

Update: In the time it took me to finish up this post, it’s now 3-2. Wolski answered Zetterberg. Lombardi answered Datsyuk. I love playoff hockey.

Update 2: They wouldn’t even let me publish. Filppula scores to tie the game at 3. Ridiculous

Sidney Crosby Does It All.

The Devils, expectedly, even up their series with a win over Phily. Now they make their way across the Delaware River into the Insane AsylumWachovia Center. Powers Booth needs to go all Sudden Death on that place this Sunday (Coming soon on Video Cassette and LASERDISC!).

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Shotgun Friday: Shiny Ponies, Mini Robots, Ragnaros, and Pllayyyofffss?

16 April, 2010

It’s a great day for hockey.– “Badger” Bob Johnson

Time to take a little trip around the blog-o-sphere on this beautiful NHL playoff Friday.

Short and sweet, but my blog-o-read-o-matic is rather shallow these days. If you got something you would like to show off, just post it in the comments and I’ll throw it up, I mean, I’ll post it the next time I get a chance.

Random Friday Thoughts

Ponys and Robots

Micro-purchasing in WoW reached a new high (or low to some folks) yesterday with the release of the Celestial Steed and the Lil’ XT mini pet. The Celestial Steed is an account wide mount that’s both ground and air. It scales with your riding skill so you can use it on every one of your characters from level 20 on up. All I have to say about this mount is that it looked cool…until they released it. Now it looks like some bloated ghost pony.

The mini-XT on the other hand is an amazing non combat pet. It smashes trains, it shoots robots, and it makes a lot of noise. I’ll likely be picking one of these up very soon…

GC gave you a pony. Now shut up about it (and fork over $25 US)!

Nagas On Fire

Blizzard released a couple brief previews this week for some of the new Cataclysm zones: Vashj’ir and Mount Hyjal. The latter is going to contain one of the new raids at level 85 (The Firelands) and is something that I’m sure everyone is looking forward to. The Firelands obviously is going to contain one of our old friends, Mr. Ragnaros (or is it just Ragnaros, maybe Sir Ragnaros. I’m not really into the whole brevity thing).

The Firelands needs to have lava that you can tumble into and maybe even some sort of Red Tunic-esque fire prevention item available. I definitely do not want to go back to farming loads of resistance gear, but I think to recapture what made the fight against Ragnaros so epic, it needs some sort of resistance element to it. Gearing up for Rag, the Fire Resist gear, the consumables, all fed into the epic nature of the fight.

Maybe a resistance tabard or cloak linked to reputation?

[MMO-Champion]

Strength of Wrynn: 15%

Our projected time-line of four weeks per level is nearing of the end of it’s cycle for the 10% buff (April 27th). We’re currently working on Heroic Putricide in 25s and just starting some attempts in on Heroic Lich King in 10s. This gives us a raid week plus one day to finish up and start work on Sindragosa before we get bumped up another 5%.

The last increase to 10% really opened the flood gates on a lot of hard modes. The way a lot of the timers/benchmarks are looking for the stuff we currently do, 15% is going to put a lot of people up against Heroic Lich King in 25s very soon. The battle for the Realm First Light of Dawn is starting to heat up very quickly.

NHL Playoffs

If you are a casual hockey fan and really enjoyed what you saw from the coolest game on ice in the Olympics, don’t miss a second of the NHL playoffs this year. Every game so far has been absolutely fantastic. Last night two games went into Overtime and ended in the most dramatic fashion possible. The home team has only won twice out of the first 7 games so a lot of series are still really up for grabs.

Go Pens!

Have a great weekend, folks.