Thursday, November 4, 2010

Gone With the Wind

When I got on at lunchtime today for an instance run, I was surprised at the server names of my compatriots.


I did a double take, and yes, I was on Neve, and by extension I was on A-52.

"Did the battlegroups change?" I asked out loud.

"No, Blizz is doing away with them entirely."

Cue Handel's Messiah.

You know what this means, don't you?  If I'm not careful, the next time I run a battleground as Quintalan I could be staring Ehna or Deftig in the face.  (Which probably explains the dramatic improvement of the Alliance in BGs lately.)

Or have Tam, Rhii, or Linedan as puggees in a 5-man.  And if some random toon tries to /lick me, I'll know who did it.  ("Tam?  Is that you?")

The possibilities are endless.

It could also make for an awkward moment in a BG, if I'm a member of more than one guild.  "Guild One, meet Guild Two.  Ouch, that had to hurt."


I have a confession to make:  I haven't pugged 5-mans much lately.  I'm not sure why, but I've found myself checking out a variety of different things on some of my toons.  Q is grinding Netherwing rep for the Nether Drake mount, and he's also getting in on some BGs when he can.  I've also been playing around with Q's rotation, and while I still don't like it much, I can live with it.  In a 5-man, Zealotry is almost guaranteed to draw aggro, so you don't get much of a chance to use it.  In a boss fight in a raid it'd come in handy, but for the non-raider I now see its utility limited to BGs for a big fat 20-second burst of damage.  Just proc Zealotry, then spam Crusader Strike and Templar's Verdict as soon as each one is off CD.

With Tomakan, I've been doing the Explorer routine so I can get used to where things are from an Ally point of view before the Cataclysm changes everything.

Now Neve...  I'm still trying to work out the Frost Mage routine, since I lost Blizzard as a low level AoE spell, but gained Ice Lance and the Water Elemental.  I wasn't planning on learning how to handle a pet until later, but now it's been kind of foisted on me.  Given the way that we're all kind of overpowered for the lower level instances, I don't get much of a chance to learn how to work a pet in a 5-man, because once I've set the elemental up to go do what I want it to I discover the mob fight is already finished.  And if there's one thing I've learned in pugs, everyone hates a pet that causes problems, so I've tried keeping the elemental pretty tame.  After a couple of instances of this, I said to hell with it and simply dismissed the elemental.

Right now, working out an acceptable rotation for a Frost mage is more important right now than dealing with a pet.  And from what I've experienced so far, it's a big juggling act.

Ice Lance:  Instant, hits for about the same (per second) as Frostbolt, but jacks up your threat very quickly.
Frostbolt:  Old standby, still on a regular casting time, but because of that not much of a threat multiplier.
Arcane Missiles:  Procs off of other spells, doesn't hit as hard as before, either.  Kind of a so-so spell right now.
Blizzard:  Gone until L52 (sob!), but given the increase in threat potential, have to be very careful in application.
Frost Nova:  Still good for freezing people in place in a run to the tank.  (Hey, Neve's got to get her exercise in, and pulling aggro is as good an excuse as any.)
Arcane Explosion:  Good for those "Oh $%#^!" moments and you're in the middle of all hell breaking loose.  Also good for finishing off weakened mobs.  The drawback is that you get within interrupt range.
Cone of Cold:  It's an okay spell, but I'm not convinced being within interrupt range is worth it.

Now, I have been able to put the crowd control aspect of the Mage to good use, keeping the ranged casters sheeped while we deal with the rest of the mob, for example.  (Works like a charm in the Jammalan the Prophet portion of Sunken Temple.)  But I can't help but get the feeling that something is missing in the Frost Mage setup, and don't exactly know why.

What do you think of your routine?  Is there something missing, but you can't figure out exactly what it is?


  1. I could be wrong, but even elimination of the battlegroups isn't going to let us run with folks from different world clusters (you should be safe from Tam, I guess).

    More than EVER if this is a change that occurs I wish they'd put in some option to play with people you know on other servers! LFD is so convenient - I wish it were convenient to spend time with other great folks.

  2. I believe that right now for the purposes of randoms things are being broken down into their respective data centers. Our data center just happens to be the smallest (consisting of only Emberstorm and Whirlwind), so we're getting experimented on first.

    See the Blizzard announcement here, if you're curious.

    Vidalya would be correct in saying that we are safe from the EU players, for now.

  3. @Vid and @loveandwarinazeroth: Looks like they're going to break LFD into four major groups in NA for the moment. My guess is that they simply don't have the hardware to handle the LFD load, given their announcement.

    I hadn't actually considered that they had three separate data centers for each region; I figured that they had a central data center with a designated DR data center somewhere farther away.

    The complexity in setting up a global LFD/BG queue would be network related; you'd need the throughput to handle the load between the data centers, and I don't know how much of a cost factor that will be to alleviate.

    (Sheesh, I slipped into work mode there.)

    Now, they need to work on cross server grouping....

  4. Ooh, I wonder when they'll do this in the EU. I could run into Tam or Spinks!

  5. @Shintar:

    Yeah, I'm sure it'd be a memorable experience!

  6. I would love to lick you, baby but sadly I think I'm on the wrong continent and even my tongue extend that far...

    Aaaand winning the prize for least appropriate comment on a blog in 2010 is Tamarind!! Thank, thank you for this golden cucumber...

    Ahem, seriously though - if it wasn't for Blizzard's "never the twain shall meet" policy when it comes the UK and the US I'd have certainly been visiting other blogger's servers like the maiden aunt who turns up for a family wedding and then won't leave.

    I really really really hope they do this in the EU soon. I HATE our bg - we're paired with a bunch of PVP servers which is grim as hell, especially for an RP server.

    Also it'll get rid of the extreme disparities in PVP. Or so I hope.

  7. You get a golden cucumber for having the world's longest tongue? The visualization there is just wrong...

    And If I met you on the battle field, Quint, you'd be staring at my boots.

  8. @Tam: That mental image, it burns!

    I know at least one person who was thinking of transferring an alt to another server because A-52 was straddled with low population servers in its Battlegroup, and she was getting tired of the long waits between queuing up and getting into a BG. So yeah, this is really welcome.

    @Soul: I have at least 8 seconds to /e 'Hi!' while I'm waiting for the bubble to disappear... ;-)

    For the record, I've fought tanks in BGs by now, and without support they're impossible to take down. At least for Ret.