Friday, August 31, 2012

Some More Post-Patch Notes

In the Arms Race, My Demo is Now a Pinto

The post patch damage boost has hit Strand of the Ancients (and presumably Isle of Conquest) hard. When you couple a damage boost with the L78 Cata gear, those demos go down very very quickly.  Be prepared to overload demos even more than usual, especially at the L75-L79 range.

Additionally, it seems like Hunters hit for even more than before, but Rogues not quite as much.  It might be that for the Rogues I'm seeing the impact of Health inflation, but I haven't gotten into as many BGs as I'd like to be sure.

Oh, and beware of the "bargain" part of Dark Bargain.  I don't think you need me telling you how much fun it is having a Warlock "pop a bubble" and then afterwards getting laid low by the post-bubble damage.  However, Soul Link isn't as useful as before, because the damage flows both ways and the Warlock's pet has half the health when Soul Link is active.

I still haven't won a BG since the patch dropped.  I think that's partially due to people hashing out their new abilities, but I've also not been impressed by strategy in BGs this week either.  Considering I've been tweaking things too, I'm not really complaining.  Just noting.

Being a Bit Cheeky

The screen capture for WoW wasn't working as of this morning, so I wasn't able to capture the now "normal" view of a Warlock's Shivarra:

From Wikipedia.  Who knew?

As Adelwulf walked around Dalaran with his Shivarra pet, I felt like he was in an episode of Jersey Shore.  Going from the Succubus' 1970s KISS-esque outfit to the Shivarra's adolescent fantasy model makes me wonder who is giving approvals to some of the changes.  First, they come up with Pet Battles, which definitely appeal to the Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Goh set.  Then, they decide on the Shivarra as a replacement for the Succubus, which is like dropping a spark onto middle-school tinder.  (Think how middle school boys reacted to Jessica Rabbit in Who Framed Roger Rabbit? back in 1988, and you get the idea.)  Even when compared to other RPG fantasy women, such as Seoni from Paizo's Pathfinder RPG, the Shivarra has less clothing on.

Seoni the Sorceress,

I'm not exactly sure how to take the Shivarra.  Her angry/slightly insane struggle against her bonds fits the "binding a demon against their will" portion of the Warlock, but I'm more than a bit uncomfortable about that view from the rear.  In an ironic twist, I'm okay with the Succubus/Incubus g-string wearing demon that the Demonologist in Age of Conan summons, because a) AoC has a mature rating, and b) there's no gender bias skewed in favor of a female demon.  (There's a hetero bias in AoC in that female Demonologists can only summon Incubi and males the Succubi, but that's a different issue.)  WoW, on the other hand, is really marketing itself to around the tween and up set, and that Shivarran backside raises sexuality images that WoW has been carefully neutering from it's PvE in-game content.  I'd probably not feel as uncomfortable about the Shivarra if it wasn't for the "Hey kids, WoW Pokemon!" that Blizzard is using as a big selling point in Mists.  "Come for Pokemon, stay for the ass" isn't probably the tagline Blizz wants right now.

I'd imagine that more that a few people are grumbling about "Goldshire!" right now, but my point is that we're talking PvE, not player created scenarios.  With humans involved you can't expect things to stay completely clean in an MMO, and lots of MMOs have an ERP subcommunity.  But prior to this, WoW has done a pretty decent job of trying to keep the topic of sexuality and relationships out of in-game PvE content; so much so, in fact, that WoW has been occasionally criticized for ignoring that area completely.  But somehow I think that Blizz didn't intend for sexuality to pop up in quite this fashion.

Why I Need to Consider an Upgrade, Part Whatever

Switching gears entirely, I have noticed a bit of a drag on in-game performance.  I don't have the graphics turned up all the way by any means, but I have noticed a bit of a drop in fps, around 5 or so.  I'm not sure how much of an impact there is if graphics is cranked up all the way, but I'd imagine that if your PC is on the older side you'll feel a bit of a slowdown.

Just Who is the Focus of the Game, Anyway?

In an MMO, you play the hero.  Sure, you could be a grunt or a noble or somewhere in between, but in the end it is the player that is the hero.  At the same time, Blizz concentrates a lot of its storytelling and lore on the faction leaders and their interactions.  Nothing could have emphasized this weird dichotomy more than on Tuesday when both the pre-release Mists patch dropped and the book Tides of War was released.  

Tides is pretty much standard Blizzard novel fare, which I once likened to reading a David Eddings novel.  All the major players are the Azeroth-erati, and the story revolves completely around them and their impact on the world.  It works well enough, I suppose, except that it doesn't mesh with WoW itself.

WoW is the story of us, as a WoW Insider article by Matt Rossi so aptly put it.  We're not kings and queens, organizational leaders or extraterrestrial beings.  We're not dragons or powerful denizens of the forests.  We're people who rise to the occasion.  If nothing else, the game makes it perfectly clear that we are not the Azeroth-erati; we may get the occasional party thrown our way, but we are spectators when the Powerful arrive on scene.  Ironically enough, it is because the Azeroth-erati depend on the players to get things done in-game that I get this weird feeling every time I flip through a WoW novel.  The cast is so insular, I can't help but feel like a voyeur, but at the same time I wonder where the hell we are in the novels.

EtA:  the link was no longer active, so I replaced it with one from Paizo itself.


  1. Thank you for giving me a heads up on how they will kill me if I step in a BG, and I don't care if that Shivarra has a spell that can take out 50 mobs with one butt cheek, I'm not using her!

    1. Yeah, by comparison, Alexstraza and Ysera look conservatively dressed standing next to the Shivarra. I sometimes wonder if the devs realize what it is people will be seeing, because I sure never noticed when I was fighting Shivarras.

      Oh, and if you've got a Worgen Warlock with that sniffing and searching involuntary movement a Worgen does... Let's just say that if you've got a Shivarra out and you view it at the wrong angle, it's well into PG-13 territory.

    2. OMG! Thank Elune my Warlock's not a Worgen!