Legion prepatch

So the prepatch arrived a few days ago and I have had some time to do raids and dungeons with the changed talents and spells. So far it has been rather excellent, which has been a slight surprise. So far the removal of Spirit has not been a bother, though admittedly the content has also been made easier so the true test will come with the Legion dungeons and raids. I actually think healing has been more enjoyable now, the flow with Holy Words and reducing their cooldown is quite satisfying though it can lead to moments of slight frustration when there has not been a sufficient need to use other healing spells and a burst of damage comes in. Managing that though, is probably the idea behind the whole thing.

As for the removed spells, I have not ended up missing them. Mana has been fine, so Mindbender being gone has not been a problem. I had gotten used to throwing down Lightwells, but never did feel like they did a whole lot and not having to think about them has been kind of nice; though I do catch myself going “Oh, remember to cast Lightwell! Oh, right…” at times, especially during pulls. The place where I actually notice the removed spells the most is when doing quick Heroic dungeons, as I had gotten into the habit of doing light DPS with Mindbender and Shadow Word: Pain, both of which are gone. Feels especially odd to be without a DoT during the rare times when I end up killing mobs though. Holy Nova is also something of a bother when compared to Mind Sear, though that is more rarely used.

Concerning raiding, we managed normal HFC quite quickly as is to be expected, we mostly went in there to explore the potential for improved Warforged (Titanforged?) loot. Heroic on the other hand, did not go quite as well, probably because people are still familiarizing themselves with their new spells. One of our Shadow priests seemed to have particular difficulties, admittedly the playstyle is quite different to the old Clarity of Power style. Raiding has continued to be highly enjoyable however and the reduced health and damage on the mobs and bosses oddly has not felt overly extreme. Perhaps the changes in player power really did warrant those changes as well.

The new transmogrification system is worth mentioning as well I suppose, though I have not had a real reason to use it yet. Though it did allow me to finally get rid of the glow from my weapon enchantment without bothering a enchanter, which was nice. The change with head, cloak and shoulders being hidden through transmogrification rather than interface options is something of a drawback however, though admittedly I rarely changed those options anyway. It might end up being more problematic for roleplayers, as I understand they used those options to indicate taking ones helmet on or off. The addition of being able to hide ones shoulder armor was nice though.

Speaking of small annoyances, there is a small bug that seems to have persisted from the PTR: sometimes flying mounts seem to “land” for a split second while flying around far from the ground. I am not sure if the movement speed is actually modified by this, or if the bug is merely affects the visuals/sound, but it is a small new annoyance that has been introduced. Hopefully something that will be adressed soon, one would hope regressions would be somewhat easier to fix.

Overall though, I have been enjoying the patch greatly so far and look forward to Legion with greater interest. I suppose one might call that a success on Blizzard’s part.

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Raiding again!

It’s been a while, and I’ve been playing WoW again and actually had quite a bit of fun. I leveled a warrior because I felt like tanking a bit again and during that process ended up finding a guild which I’ve been raiding with on my priest since (priest because there wasn’t a need for tanks).

And it’s all been quite excellent, the guild is fun, Hellfire Citadel has been fun to explore properly instead of in LFR. Even got some Heroic mode HFC done, which has been great fun.

Sadly, there’s been a bit of a lack of people in the recent weeks and we’ve ended up having to PUG some people. Hopefully either the prepatch or Legion launch ends up solving this problem, as I really enjoy raiding with the people in this guild. It might also be as simple as summertime being a less active gaming time for people though. The coming weeks will tell I suppose.

I’ve also gotten some mythic dungeoning in with the guild and PUGs at times and those have been quite enjoyable as well even if the groups tend to be rather overgeared.

Overall, I’ve just been enjoying my time with WoW again which has been great. Hopefully the Legion changes end up not being detrimental to that enjoyment, though I think I’m more prepared to take things as they come this time around. Might have to go exploring on the beta a bit to get a better idea of have the changes end up impacting the feel of the game. It’s a tad of a pity to see Cascade removed, I’ve actually ended up enjoying that spell quite a bit, almost as much as Prayer of Mending.

If all goes well I look forward to many more raids with this guild!

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RIP Nostalrius

So quite a bit has happened since my last post, most notably the closing of Nostalrius where I had played. Admittedly, I did not end up playing much more since my last post, primarily due to the concern of something like closing down happening. And while Nostalrius was well managed I do still have a preference to play on the official servers even though the game in some aspects feels inferior.

I’ve ended up examining my prospects as far as it comes to joining a guild and while it is yet to be finalised will probably be joining a casual-ish raiding guild on my priest that is about to start in Hellfire Citadel Heroic, so far having downed one boss. If nothing else, it should give me a better feel on how I enjoy the current state of healing, considering I’ve yet to do any “proper” content since the revamp in Cataclysm though the signs haven’t been all that good, though the changes coming in Legion to Holy priests do seem promising. Mostly though, I’m just looking forward to getting some proper raiding in.

Pristine Realms

Now, the response provided by Blizzard on the backlash caused by the closing of Nostalrius and consequent community demand for official Classic realms did also provide an interesting though lamented idea for recapturing some of the things players at least alledgedly miss, namely community. That idea was Pristine Realms. Specifically, these would be realms where certain “quality of life” features would be disabled:

  • LFD/LFR
  • Heirlooms
  • Character boosts, transfers
  • Cross realm zones
  • Recruit-a-Friend bonuses

Personally, I’m not too sure how to feel. It does remove several things I feel are problematic, however content would still be obsoleted at a unecessary pace due to catch-up mechanics like PvP gear or Tanaan/Timeless Isle and badges before them. Even as I say that, I have been leveling a warrior and quite enjoying being able to level at a quick pace through dungeons (at least until Warlords of Draenor content, at which point one is force out into the world to gear up grumbles), which wouldn’t be possible without LFD. So these features certainly aren’t without merit and I’m not sure if such realms would generate sufficient interest for them to stay playable without the cross-realm features. In the end, I’d be very tempted to participate, though having to give up my characters would be a somewhat difficult thing to bear. Another thing preventing me from enjoying unofficial servers as well.

Legion

On the matter of Legion’s current state, I’m not sure I have too much to say. I do look forward to the changes coming to Holy priests, specifically the new Word spells. Especially having a properly strong single target heal again is appealing. How I feel about the removal of Spirit as a stat I’m not so sure yet, on one hand it should keep regeneration from getting out of hand at the end of expansions necessitating more bursty damage yet it’s been a stat I’ve enjoyed being able to increase the most (less so with the changes in Cataclysm admittedly).

There was also a recent worry over the proposed changes to respeccing, namely: characters have a primary spec, changing from it costs an increasing amount of gold (up to 62g, a curious number) but changing back to the primary spec can be done for free. This functionality would be available anywhere, and dual-spec would be leaving us. Personally, I’ve generally been very attached to the spec I choose to play on a give character and am consequently not overly concerned over this change. At current gold rates, this also seems like a quite minor gold sink. To be fair, it is an extra cost incurred during raiding, as changing specs for specific bosses or even for clearing trash has become popular. It remains to be seen if this change would discourage such a change, potentially serving Blizzards goal of empowering class and spec fantasy by encouraging players to stay in spec. It’s an odd change in that it probably primarily hits the top and bottom end of raiders, as the top cares the most about optimisation while the bottom end probably needs the flexibility provided by hybrids the most. I’ll be watching with interest how this ends up playing out.


In the end, there’s a lot of wait and see here with how Legion changes end up playing out and how I enjoy the (potential) guild I join. Hopefully it all ends well and there’s some enjoyable gaming on the horizon. For now, it remains to be seen.

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Sometimes Vanilla tastes better

So I did end up freezing my subscription again and it’ll run out on the 26th though I doubt I’ll be logging in before that. In the end what solidified it for me was dabblinga bit with a private Vanilla server again and noticing how much more fun the game felt even with all its flaws. It’s odd noticing how years of further development haven’t really successfully added all that much that would motivate me to play and rather conversely succeeded in taking some of those motivating factors away.

Anyway, I had played on this server before back in spring with a few friends, I rolled a priest (obviously). But then summer came and as usual put a bit of a damper on my gaming and I didn’t end up returning immediately during fall. Now though I’ve made somewhat of a more casual comeback, playing a bit at a time every few days and it’s been quite fun. A bit of questing and a Sunken Temple run is all I’ve managed so far, though now it’s looking like I’ll have to start doing some more serious dungeoneering as quests are starting to seem somewhat scarce. Though that’s probably a wise move anyways, as the dungeons are starting to drop gear that’ll be relevant at 60 anyway so I can gear and level up simultaneously.

As of yet I’ve no ambitions when it comes to raiding, mostly due to not being sure how much time I’m willing and able to dedicate to scheduled gaming. Hopefully I’ll have time for something, the server does seem to have a rather active raiding community so finding a guild shouldn’t be that much of a problem. Especially considering healers are usually in demand, though I’m not overly familiar with the class distribution on this server.

In the end I’ll probably check Legion out as well, though as usual it’ll probably be mostly to see the leveling experience and checking out the dungeons a few times. Sure, maybe I’ll poke my head in to LFR as well, but eh, it doesn’t really seem all that interesting. Might as well watch some of the livestreams for that.

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Time's gone by

Things have been rather slow lately. After BRF, I haven’t really participated in raids which is a tad unfortunate. This is partially because as far as I can tell, there haven’t really been further raids organised in the guild or they’ve been unfortunately too late for my schedule.

However, I’ve not been completely idle, there has been some running of LFR which has lead to somewhat upgraded rings on both the priest & druid (still the 690 variant though). And that brings me nicely to this: I’ve been playing my priest again somewhat and it’s been quite nice. In the end, priest is probably the class I do enjoy the most, even if I don’t think the changes along the years have been all that kind. It’s been nice bringing some “old-style” healing into the LFR’s I participate in, though my insistence not to waste mana usually doesn’t translate overly well to the meters (unless one decides to look at overhealing). It is quite silly though how many healers LFR requires, considering at least at this point at least one if not two are probably doing pretty much nothing, at least in the “older” raids. I’ve not into HFC that much, at least the LFR variant of it seems the least interesting of the currently available raids. I’m sure it’s a much better experience on a proper difficulty level.

Besides that, I’ve been poking a bit at leveling a warrior, though that’s still early stages and not going overly quickly. I should probably just respec Protection and run dungeons, would probably keep me more interested. Though I do generally find I don’t overly enjoy tanking at the level-cap and DPS is right out, so I’m not quite sure where I’m going with the warrior leveling.

Outside of the game though, I’ve been following Kugnen’s Project Sixty with some interest. It seems like a valiant effort in recreating a somewhat sped up Vanilla Progression and seems somewhat successful in that effort. From what I’ve seen through his streams, it does look like a good time. I’d rather play on one of the larger private server’s though, if one was looking for an authentic experience. That of course isn’t available in this case, as Kungen can’t really go on a private server while being a partnered streamer, so.

Besides that though, WoW wise, it’s been very quiet for me. I’m not overly enthusiastic about attempting to join a guild at the moment as I’ve other commitments and without one there isn’t all that much in the game that I can currently do that would be of interest. I did take a very half-hearted stab at getting Draenor flying, however the dailies involved in order to acquire the reputation required just felt very uninteresting and that stopped that plan.

What we currently know of Legion however, especially the Holy Priest changes, do look rather good. Hopefully I’ll have a better opportunity at that time to participate in raiding! Until then though, I might end up freezing my sub (again), we’ll see what the rest of the year brings.

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