Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Deciding #3

(Congratulations to LRNs and to all the Ordo folks who've hit 80 in the past few days.)

In the build-up to the release of any expansion, we players always make plans. Oh, I'm going to level toons A,B, and C in that order, and then work on a few other things. Most of the time, like battle plans in contact with the enemy, these ideas get thrown out the window once the expansion actually hits.

I am so there right now.

Admittedly, I did stick to some of my guns. I did keep to Stofnar as my "main" and he's now just a smidge short of level 80. My #2 was originally going to be my hunter, but then I rolled a DK and Avouz is now in Dalaran at level 74.

So, who becomes my #3?

The question hinges a lot on which 51-point talent I think is the coolest, least likely to be nerfed, and fits best my vision of the character. Here's the debate.

Hunter - Beast Mastery - Odds are good, Ellote's going to be seeing some revamp soon. I like the exotic pets, but the novelty has worn off for me. I'm actually eyeballing the Imperial Eagles in Grizzly Hills and thinking they might be a cool new pet once I get to 73-74. Will I keep a BM spec, even though the eagles aren't exotic, or go Marksman? Not sure yet.

Warrior - Titan Grip - The most broken ability in the game right now. Blizz clearly has no sense of how to balance this ability. Each 2-hander in the game is designed to be double a 1-hander in terms of DPS and stats, so each warrior with TG is getting the equivalent of 4 weapons worth of stats and damage. Nord is only going halfway with TG at the moment, keeping a Mt. Hyjal dagger in his off-hand for rage generation. But once I get a good second 2-hander, watch out.

Mage - Arcane Barrage - Jhera was often a frustrating character to play, since it seems mage has way too many options. Most other classes tend to spam a limited number of abilities. Mages have nearly a dozen spells to choose from to form that list and it can be overwhelming trying to figure out what combination works best. Arcane barrage changed all that for arcane mages. I spam barrage and missiles, repeat until mob is dead. Fire off a POM-arcane blast when clearcasting comes up. It's so simple now.

Warlock - Haunt - Khera's proving to be just as powerful as before. Haunt, curse of agony, siphon life, corruption, drain life or shadowbolt until mob dead. Haunt is nice in that it does good initial damage, a decent dot, and then a heal when it expires, all of which enhance the dot-o-matic nature of affliction locks. I've heard talk that the felhunter is the new affliction pet, but I find keeping to the old imp-as-mana-battery strategy still works fine.

So things are up in the air. One of the things I hope to do once Stof is 80 is start collecting badges to get some of the legacy shoulders for these toons. +10% XP will accelerate leveling all of them, but what order I go in is still up in the air. There are times I envy LRNs and those folks who only have 1 or 2 major toons. I'm an altaholic and I've got six toons level 70 or higher. This is a problem of my own making.


Cainam said...

I've had similar difficulties trying to plot out my 3rd toon as well Allen. So let me comment where I can.

Hunter: I know Nothing. Well excpet that hunters are OP and solo like no one's business.

Warrior: I know less than Nothing.

Mage: Ah Here we go! OK Arcane Barage, or ABar is only part of the equation. Snce it still has a 3sec cool down you need to have a filler. Arcane missiles is NOT it. Arcane missle still ahs pathetic scaling, DPS and MPS. The only use of Arcane missiles is with Missle Barrage. With patch 3.0.8 the spell to combine with ABar is Arcane Blast (AB) THe theorycrafting has just begun but the new AB mechanic is quite... odd. AB -> ABar -> AB etc looks to be a reasonable rotation. ABx2 -> ABar looks like a drop in DPS and MPS. (bizare behavior) ABX3 -> ABAR is an increase again. So stay arcane if you wish, but understand that you're going to have to figure out the new rotations if you want it to be efffective. It's (or will be) a potent spec but it's going to require a lot of on the fly decision making to be effective.

If what you want is simple, look at the Frostfire spec. Frostfire has a relatively simple play style and, thanks to the synergy between the Frost and Fire trees puts up some very satisfying numbers. (HUGE crits)

Warlock: I can speak to this a bit. Affliction is strong. Soloing it is brutal as nothing can survive a round of your DoTs. Fellhunter talented can regain mana like an Imp but do damage and counterspell to boot. Where Aff gets to be a pain is when you have to recast your Dots. The rotations for Affliction are excessively complex and it's hard to keep everything up and running especially if you have a miss or have to move etc. In a Group, you get outdpsed on trash because it dies too quick, and you get out dpsed on bosses if you can't keep all your dots up. Persoanlly, I found it frustrating (and switched to Demonology becasue of it)

OK so that's my 2 cents. Also on a side note. I've been very impressed with Stofnar, You seem to have a knack for the Ret pally you have not had for other classes and you've been a real asset to run with.

Nord said...

Keep in mind that I'm not necessarily looking to Min/Max these alts. We're talking about my #3 here after Stofnar (my main) and Avouz (my primary alt). These toons will never see the inside of a 10-man and rarely even be in 5-man runs.

I'm sure ABar+Missiles is not the most efficient for raiding, but it kills mobs dead in solo play. Same with using the imp over the felhunter. Question for me is less "is this the most powerful?" It's more like "is this the most simple but still effective?"