Ribeiro Fixes Azeroth: The Mount Slot

December 26, 2009

So, I’m back for the time being and as a revival of my legendary blogging experience I’m coming back with a new blog-featurette called “Ribeiro Fixes Azeroth”.  This series will look at the game in general and delve into how I would recommend Blizzard fix things or add additional features (or remove bad ones).

The first of of this series will revolve around the additions.  I’ve just jumped into the waters of the 3.3 patch and noted that its primarily just a addon update.  I say that meaning that it primarily just adds little features on top of the game’s current build and on the “pun” side of the phrase it impliments things on the official user interface that popular addon’s have provided players for years (e.g. Quest tracking a-la Quest Helper/Carbonite).

This isn’t a bad thing nor was that a put down.  In fact I think it shows that Blizzard may not know how to do certain things with it’s game, but it certainly is in tune with the community and what’s going on, on certain levels.

Over the years the most we’ve seen added as far as equipment goes are new equipment pieces under the same basic hierarchies.  My recent idea was to add a brand new equipment slot that I am referring to the Mount Slot – though due to connotations this may be subject to official change.

In this slot you of course can equip various items into that will effect the way your mounts perform.  The beauty of the idea comes from the various ways you could make them alter your mounts.

Here are some I’ve come up with:

  • Incremental increase of speed that’s stackable with things like Crusader Aura.
  • Harder to dismount rider when being attacked.
  • Decrease cast time of mount (perhaps making it instant).
  • Gives mount an AOE stun ability for easy get aways.
  • Saddle bag that gives the player an additional bag slot.

I’m sure there are tons more you could do with this, including tiers of upgraded versions of certain ones such as speed increases and so forth.

And that concludes the first installment of Ribeiro Fixes Azeroth.

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Alternatives!

June 28, 2009

Well, Fearnath the Warlock hit 60 a few days back and after a night off from RAF we’re back at it with our Alliance set hitting 37 and 36 last night.

I managed to snag 4 of the Dreadmist set pieces before I hit 60 and stopped, so my Warlock looks pretty menacing right now.  Until I go to outlands and the gear makes me look like a rainbow.

Looking to get into work up my next strategy guide for Heroics soon as well, so stay tuned.


Alternatives!

June 21, 2009

What am I up to?

I would be lying if I said raiding.  I’d be lying if I said I was even interested in logging in on Ribeiro as of the last week.  Me and a friends started new accounts and have been doing Recruit-a-Friend for the triple XP. 

Right now we have a 40 Orc Warlock (Fearnath) and a 40 Troll Hunter playing together then the other day we started Alliance toons which hit 20 last night – a 20 Dwarf Paladin (Seeley) and his 20 Human Mage.

I’m really enjoying myself – not because the content is great, I guess leveling in itself still has an appeal – the progression and clear sign of production isn’t so vague as it is with gearing yourself and so forth.  You light up and gain a level, there’s no question of stats or colored names or whether or not you have a high enough bonus heals to do the new content.  It’s clear cut and that is a relief all on it’s own.

The plan is that we will take a mini-vacation from horde when 3.2 launches and do some Alliance with some guildies.  Seeing as I don’t want to play Shaman again even for the final 10 levels (Alliance Ribeiro is 70), the idea was to get some Alliance ready to level from 60 to 80.  Since I miss my Paladin that was stolen all those years ago – the natural choice was to do a original 8 Paladin.  Human or Dwarf?  Dwarf of course!

Now I can tell people to “Walk into my face”.


Ribeiro Knows Best: Improving The Resto Shaman

June 20, 2009

There have been discussions about this very topic all over the resto-shaman blogosphere for a long time.  Probably for the entire 5-year life of World of Warcraft.  Right now the problem the Shaman faces as a healer is that it doesn’t excell at any one healing scenario.  While balancing has been taken to the next level as of late by Blizzard we still seem to fall short when compared to at least one other healing class depending on what aspect of healing we are discussing.  The two primary healing scenarios in any MMO are of course AOE vs. Single Target.  AOE of course being a loose term as there are various forms an AOE can take shape in.  Chained heals, cone heals, and actual AOE burst heals in the form of an explosion of healing power originating from the caster.  Essentially the Resto-Shaman that used to be a very key healer in any raid is now the mediocre healer that gets set asside the first time your healing roster becomes too large to include every healer in your guild.

The question is, what do you change or tweak about the resto-shaman to make him/her a prominent healer again and what should their healing niche be?  Should they modify the Shaman’s chain healing ability to make them the choice AOE healer or should the improve the Healing Waves in order to make them the ideal single-target healer?

Personally I think it would be a waste of a sweet spell – the Chain Heal – to not focus on the Shaman’s ability to AOE heal.  I love it, simply put.  It’s unique, it’s fun to cast – it’s the calling card of the Resto Shaman.  The question was always, what can you do to the Chain Heal ability to make it better in turn making the Shaman better at AOE healing?

My answer is, “Nothing”.  Frankly the answer isn’t in modifying Chain Heal or any heal that is already in existence for that matter (though Healing Wave could use a little versatility).  The key is in adding something new to the arsenal or a new feature to one of the other spells that will enhance the Shaman’s AOE capabilities.

My main idea is simple.

The key to my idea is Riptide.  In our current state, Riptide is a very excellent addition to the arsenal of a Resto-Shaman.  We finally got a Heal-Over-Time spell and the Tidal Waves buff that you get with it really makes the rotation of a Shaman much less boring than it was a while ago before the days of the Riptide. 

Right now, when you cast Riptide you can cast a Chain Heal on the same target and it will absorb the Riptide allowing for  a slightly larger number on your Chain Heal.  However it does remove the Riptide (thus the word absorb).  My idea was to change this situation up.  A lot of caster classes are looking alike in many areas to keep them even now days.  For instance, Hunters, Mages and Warlocks now have the ability if spec’d right to proc instant casts of certain spells.  Such as the Shadowbolt via Back Lash.  Why not take a few pages from the news class – the Death Knight? 

What could I possibly mean?  Well, take a look at the Death Knight’s Pestilence ability.  In Death Knight form essentially, you put a series of disease based DOT’s on your primary target.  With the click of a button you can use Pestilence and it will chain together any targets within a certain distance of that target and put the same diseases on them as well, effectively turning your DOT into an AOE DOT.  Now, try putting that same system into the form of a heal – more specifically a combination of Riptide and Chain Heal.  You cast Riptide on your tank and with the simple cast of Chain Heal you put Riptide on two other melee targets.  Effectively turning your Riptide into a partial AOE.  This would give your heals a boost.  Riptide in itself is week so perhaps a tweak of the amount it ticks for is also in order….

OR

The Death Knight’s Blood Boil ability is another key idea in this new structure of healing I’m thinking of.  With the use of Blood Boil anyone effected with a disease explodes for an amount of damage multiplied by however many diseases you’ve managed to infect them with.  You could use this as well.  Give the Shaman an ability to explode any target that has the new Riptide on them for a burst of heals.  To ensure this isn’t overpowered (and it could easily be) give it a relatively long recast timer.  You could make it a new shock of some sort.  This would give you the ability to burst AOE heal as many targets as you can spread it to with your Chain Heal – effectively making the Shaman a very effective AOE healer as well as making the Chain Heal Glyph worth a damn.

Anyway, that’s my idea.  What do my fellow Resto’s think?


Ribeiro Knows Best: Ten Small Changes

June 13, 2009

In my second installment of RKB I’m going to discuss a few changes that are small but that could have a big impact on various portions of the game – or the game as a whole.

So without further delay…

1. Remove “Daze”

  • The ability for almost every mob to slow you down if you are moving away from them has plagued myself and many others since the game was launched.  It’s a painful situation to just want to get from one place to another and you get dismounted or simple slowed to a hault and have to take part in combat you wanted no part of to begin with.  Or you get yourself in over your head, your health is plummeting and you want to get away – no way.  Not unless you’re a pally with a bubble or a rogue with some sprint can you escape the doom that is the Daze ability.  Get rid of it, I assure you – leveling will be that much less painful to take part in.

2. Delete Rogues

  • Sorry my Rogue friends.  Your class is more trouble than it’s worth.  Stun locks are still ridiculous and frankly my guild Rogues argue over dagger drops for 10 minutes everytime we finish Naxx.   Besides, we have DK’s now and I haven’t seen anyone use crowd control in an instance since the launch of WOTLK.

3.  Remove every Battleground except for WSG

  • AV is too long with not enough payback for not only the queue time but the time it takes to complete.  AB isn’t too annoying but it’s not fun either.  Eye of the Storm has potential if you make the objectives closer and make it a 10v10 and SOTA is just silly.

4. Stuns?

  • Why does EVERY class have the ability to stun or root or silence?  It makes PVP really annoying.  See Warhammer for viable setups as far as PVP crowd control goes.  You don’t need a lot of stuns to make crowd control viable in PVP.  Crowd control shouldn’t be the means to yoru enemies end, it should be your way of extending your life when you are in need – and not all classes NEED that.

5. Delete levels 1-60.

  • Lets face it, Blizzard stoped paying attention to the 1-60 content once the Burning Crusade was about 50 percent finished.  Very few changes and no additions.  And yet most of your leveling time is still spent in this mundane portion of the game.  Idealy you would see a developer speed up the XP gain here – which we have.  But not nearly enough, it’s at the point now that I refuse to level a character unless I am getting the triple XP from Recruit-A-Friend.   Why should we have to suffer through part of the game that even the developers want no part of anymore.

6.  Stop making classes less or more powerful than they are.

  • There are a lot of ways to “balance” classes in an MMORPG.  Most developers go the “easy” route of making a classes spells less or more powerful according to what they think it needs to be level with the other classes.  This way is easier but it is far less effective, which is why after over five years of popularity and life Blizzard are still changing their classes in this way to try to balance them.  The real way you balance a class is to analyze the class and figure out what you want from that class in all situations.  Whether it’s raiding, solo or PVP.  Identify the roll of that class and expand on that.  This MAY include reducing the damage or improving the damage of a spell here or there, but that shouldn’t be what you base your changes on as a whole.  The more you focus on the identity of a class the faster your classes will be balanced and the less I will have to worry about what class is going to be able to waste my Shaman in battlegrounds next week and when I’ll be able to kill a Disc Priest in less than 6 hours (*Days).  There are a lot of DPS classes but it isn’t that hard to make each class accomplish the causing of damage in different ways, for instance.

7.  Expand races.

  • It doesn’t have to be much – you don’t have to design a new race (while I still am disappointed that BE’s and Draenei don’t really count as new at all considering how lazily they were put together).  Y0u could do something as simple as opening up a class option for a certain race that it didn’t have before.  Who wouldn’t want a Gnome Paladin or an Undead Hunter?

8.  Expand on the recustomization features recently added.

  • I was impressed with the addition of this feature.  For a fee I could change my characters appearance, name and even their gender.  But in other games, namely EQ2 – I could do even more (and less, admittedly).  Why can’t I change factions?  It’s no longer an issue of faction specific classes such as what Paladin or Shaman used to be prior to TBC.  Why can’t I change races?  If they can program duel-speccing they can program the swapping of races, I assure you.  I love my troll but I would be lying if I said I didn’t wish it was  Tauren.

9.  Shaman forms.

  • Sorry to be bias but you are on a Rest-Shaman blog.  Why are we only allowed to change into a Ghost Wolf while Druids can not only change into a travel form, but a stealth dps form, a tank form, healing tree form AND a flight form.  I don’t think Shamans should be a tank or even be able to stealth (though it makes sense that a Ghost Wolf might be able to go invisible) but it would be nice if we could stay in Ghost Wolf form to do combat – but even more so if we could have a Ghost Hawk or something of that sort that we can fly as.

10.  In-game Quest Helper

  • I know, I know – most of these “little changes” probably take a lot of time to impliment.  But, the game is almost unplayable without some sort of Quest Helper mod that shows you where to go on your map for quests, at least impossible once you have played WITH it compared to without.  They have been adding add-on features into the normal game for a while now, why not add the most popular features?  We don’t even have an in-game DPS meter yet.

I won’t lie – I was scraping the bottom of the barrel when I got half-way through, but here it is.  Some “small” changes to make big differences.  Maybe next time I’ll do “big” changes to make “big differences”.


Ribeiro Knows Best: Dual-Specs

June 12, 2009

The first installment of Ribeiro Knows Best – a series of blogs that gives you my thoughts on the general state of the game of World of Warcraft.  Whether it’s opinions on features, sharing of epiphanies or rants!

INTRO

Well, I had planned on writing a long winded self-driven debate blog between me and myself about Duel-Spec back before the system was released live into the game.  I wasn’t happy with the blog I had drudged up so I saved it to my drafts and it never saw the light of day.  But, now that I’m back in WoW and see the Duel Spec implimented first hand, I feel I am obligated to put in my two cents on the matter.\

THEN

First, let me say that when the system was announced I had ill-feelings about it from the start.  It was my point that it would really ruin the individuality that a MMO offers in a public, social situation.  For instance, I am a resto-shaman, people know me for my heals.  I have dedicated a lot of time to getting the best gear, learning the best spell rotation dependant apon not only the target but the situation as well.  I have prided myself on being “Ribeiro, the good healing Shaman”, to people I play with, server-wide.  Then there are the OTHER shamans, those guys who do the ridiculous elemental spell damage or the hardcore melee enhancement damage.  We have our own identity to which we have made a name for excelling in one field or another regardless of the class.  This of course is only a problem for the hybrid classes such as the Shaman, Paladin, Priest, Druid, etc.  The DPS who are JUST DPS benefit fully from this without any argument.  However, my point at the time was, if everyone can be a DPS and a Healer, it ruins a certain social aspect of a social-driven video game.

NOW

But only time would have told at that point just how much those social mechanics would really change under the weight of such an addition.  That time has come and gone and I have had a chance to test it out myself.  While the problem I feared is present, it’s not nearly as present as I thought it would be.  I expected that there would be certain situations it would excell in where as others it would ruin the game entirely.  While this is partially true, I haven’t seen the game ruined just yet.

Guilds thrive under this new system, allowing them to fill voids in their line up on the fly by having a member switch from their main spec to their off spec given they are geared enough for whatever task is at hand on it.  It allows them to be less choosy when it comes to putting together a raid team because many of the members can be mroe than one thing without necessarily having a bunch of alts, thus sacraficing gear on the character they want.  It does, however, hurt the puggers.  I have only experienced the growing pains of this system in a partial pug layout due to a tool of a fellow playing a Shaman (unfortunately giving us a bad name with his attitude).  He was gearing his enhance spec, but we needed an additional healer so he went to his spec and for whatever reason decided he hated me.  And because at the time he was better geared in BOTH of his specs all of a sudden I was terrible for not beating him on the healing charts.  Now, I get it – this situation is based more on the fact that I came across a douche bag, but at the same time the fact that he could pop on his healing gear and out heal me despite enhance being his professed “main spec” was just fuel for his ego and the fire that was my crumbling experience that night.  Turns out he was a guy from my old server who I got into an argument, but that’s another blog…another time.

Despite my fears, the system has given me more than it has taken away allowing me to hop into an enhancement spec and farm as need be.  Or simply change over when I need a change of pace from spamming my heals.

So there you have it.  Stay tuned for my next installment of Ribeiro Knows Best where I tell my readers what small changes I would make to World of Warcraft that would make a big difference in certain parts of gameplay!
While you mull over my boring efforts here, you can also see my increasingly geared self on my WoW Armory that is linked on the right side of your screen!  I’m proud of my gear for the first time since my pre-WOTLK Protadin (RIP).


Sacrosanct

June 7, 2009

So, as I may have mentioned (or not) in my previous blog (The Return?) I transferred Ribeiro to the Altar of Storms (US-PVP) server last week.  Since then things have been pretty interesting.  Turns out I can juggle two mains and remain interested in them both.  I will say that I have spent marginally more time with Ribeiro than Faenath but I still manage to be productive on both.  <Karate and Friendship>’s raid aspirations are there again but the drive is just as lacking as it was back when we first had the idea and the manpower.  We do some PUG VOA’s each week and make regular appearances in Wintergrasp battles, but mostly we just do battlegrounds together and heroics for my friend’s newly 80’d Retadin.  I need 1k gold for my dual spec on my DK so I can have a legitimate PVP build rather than my uber DPS Unholy build.

But, back to Ribs.  I transferred based on the idea that if I did so one of my long time best friend’s who I lovingly call “Tink” would get me into some raids with her guild <Sacrosanct>.  She wasn’t lying during my second day in the guild I was running the rest of their 25 man Naxx (2.25 quarters left).  I got at least 7 drops, a few of which were good for Resto and could immediately be upgrades.  Also won THREE tokens, granted two of them were helmets so I got the Resto and Enhance with them and then the shoulders.  I was very satisfied with my decision at the end of the night.

It’s also good to play on a server with someone who when you ask if they want to do something with you they actually say, “Yes”.  Rather than avoid you because they would rather stand in Dalaran for another hour or because they have their own agenda going on at all times.

The only problem is that the guild makes heavy use of Ventrilo even when it’s not necessary in the least.  Guild chat is barren most of the time because of it.  Unfortunately for my cries for attention ,my green-texted antics go un-noticed most of the time.   This really all equates to a slower process of getting to know my guild-mates which is generally my strong suit.  I’m lovable, what can I say?

Plans for tonight are supposed to consist of a fun run through 10-man Naxx with a few of the new guildies (Tink and her Husband), hopefully I can pick up a ring of some sort and a few upgrades or OS pieces from this as well as get more healing experience.

Past that it’s all PVP these days, working on getting a PVP set for my DK and PVP Enhancement set for my OS on Ribeiro.

Hope things are going well for all of you other Shamans.