Tuesday, June 23, 2009

3.2 Changes

So I've been messing around in the game a lot recently. I started leveling a hunter and got him up to 40 when I realized that it would be much faster to level all my alts when the next patch came out and I was able to get epic ground mounts at 40 and flying at 60. Not to mention that there will be a new bind to account eveling piece giving an additional 10% experience. While that will be a great motivator when it goes live, right now it's more of a deterrent. Why should I spend time leveling an alt at a slower pace when I'm not really making a rush for endgame and it's just to see how different classes play at higher levels? Might as well just wait until the patch is released and then have an explosion of leveling activity.

In the mean time, I'm back to doing all my dailies with my eye on the prize of patch 3.2 and it's new rewards. With some good luck (and if I don't get burned out on them) I should have enough Argent Tournament badges to upgrade my squire when the time arrives as well have have enough jewel crafter tokens and titanium ore to prospect so I can start making some headway into the new realm of epic gem crafting. I just finished up the Midsummer Festival meta achievement on my DK (just two holidays to go for his proto drake) but I think I'll keep doing the midsummer torch dailies and try and get that pet you buy for 350 flowers. As obnoxious as torch catching is, I think I've finally got the hang of it (turn 180 degrees after catching and start running) so it doesn't take too long.

As someone who doesn't have a ton of time to play, I'm happy about the changes to the emblem system that will be releasing with 3.2. It's a lot easier to throw together a 5-man then to hope that a raid happens when it's scheduled, especially these days in my guild. Though things are improving for us, we still are having attendance problems. Being able to get gear upgrades outside of out regular raiding schedule means that the time we do get to raid will be of higher quality (hopefully) since we'll all be better geared.

I have read a lot of complaining about the upcoming changes to emblems and to mounts. While I understand the impulse to be upset that someone just starting the game won't ever have to walk all over Stranglethorn (remember those days?) while we who have been around a bit longer had to suffer through, I say, so what? Having a tougher time and having to wait longer and pay more is the price of being an early adopter. If you bought a cell phone anytime before the last 5 years, you know what I mean. My cell phone in college was bigger, cost a bunch more both to buy and to talk on, and had almost no features. Nowadays, you can get a phone for the price of your cell phone service (and a 2-year contract), it will take pictures/video, play games, etc . . . Does that mean I should expect a refund for all the money I spent on my old brick of a phone? Of course not. I would be insane to ask for such a thing. The money I paid wasn't so that I could finally talk from wherever I was 7 years from when I made my initial purchase, it was so I could do that right then. The same goes for when I did the Shatari Skyguard dailies every day for 2 months to buy epic flight for my warlock. If I have known that, if I only waited a year, I could save 1,000g, would I have continued to ride around on my 60% flyer? No. Absolutely not. It was worth 5,000g to be able to fly that fast.

So it costs less to buy epic flight for an alt or to gear out that same alt using only heroics. I'm cool with it. I have a lot of alts.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Argent Tournament: Jousting Made Easy

I was having a conversation with a few guildies yesterday who mentioned that they were not doing the Argent Tournament Dailies anymore because they had trouble with the jousting portion. Upon hearing that, I decided to create a post dealing with what I've learned about the mini-game and some tips to do it quickly and efficiently. Using my system I've been able to complete the Champion level daily (joust 4 faction champions) in 5 minutes or less almost every day.I begin this short guide by stating that, while it doesn't seem like a big deal now, the ability to joust, much like the ability to run a siege engine and fly on a drake was for the last two updates, may be used in the newest raid instance. Therefore, being able to joust efficiently in the mean time will prepare our raiders for whatever may lie ahead as well as providing a good source of income (doing the dailies is worth 92g with just the turn ins and after 8 days you can buy a vanity pet that sells for between 1,500-2,000g. That's a total potential of 2,736g in a little over a week for jousting 10 min/day)

On to the meat of the guide:

The most important thing about jousting is your shield. The shields have three levels or stacks (not counting zero) red (1 stack), yellow (2 stacks) and green (3 stacks). Make sure that when you start each match, that you have all three stacks of shield up and ready to go. There is absolutely no point in starting any match with a disadvantage. Each stack of shield you have up, blocks incoming damage from your opponent. Therefore, the more shield, the longer you last. Now, the same is true of your opponent’s shield, which works on the same system. They have the same amount of health as you (50,000, though I believe you start with less if you are not yet lvl 80) and their shields work in exactly the same way. As in real life, perfectly symmetrical violence never solves anything. If you stand there with 3 shields up and melee an opponent with 3 shields up, you will get no where. Imagine trying to melee down a mob with 50k health by hitting it for 350 damage every few seconds. Obviously, this would take forever. That's where your other abilities come in.You have your lance throw/shield break ability (hot keyed automatically as "2") and your charge ability (hot keyed as "3"). These are going to be your bread and butter. Every time you hit your opponent with the shield break, they lose 1 stack of shield and all of your other attacks (melee and charge) will hit harder until they get their shield back up. This is how you make headway in the fight. Your charge ability will cause you to charge (duh) at your opponent and hit them for greater than normal damage and, if they still have stack of shield up, will reduce the stack by 1. If not shield is up, charge will do a maximum of 8,500 damage. Now, the trouble with these two abilities is you have to use them at range, which, of course, leaves you vulnerable to have these same abilities used against you by your foe. How can you maximize your attack while minimizing vulnerability? My strategy is as follows. The strategy is for the champion level but can be used for the previous level as well (who's name eludes me).

The fight starts when you talk to your opponent. After the fight has begun, the NPC will run a little ways into the ring. At this point, you stay where you are and start and start spamming shield break. This takes your opponent down to 2 stacks of shield. Immediately after you see the animation start (throwing the spear), close the gap between you and the NPC to melee range. At this point the start becomes a rinse and repeat that goes a little something like this: when you are close to your foe, spam the melee attack. As cooldowns allow, run a short distance away from the mob until shield break becomes available. Activate it and close the gap between you. Melee. Run out again, shield break, run back. By doing this (if you do it right), your opponent's shield stacks will go down to red or none and your melee will hit harder. By running right back after you shield break, you don't give the pc (which does not have a programmed reaction time faster than a player) enough time to launch a spear at you. Also, since the shield button has roughly twice the cooldown of the shield break ability, you can easily make headway. The NPC will follow you around sometimes when you make your break to chuck spears at them. When they follow too close, flip 180 degrees and run the other way. That usually works. Now every once in a while, the NPC will turn away from you and get some distance. They are doing this so they can charge at you. This is when you charge them. They've given you the opening, you've been reducing their shields, so when you charge them, it should hit for maximum damage, or at least around 5,900 if they have 1 shield stack up. After you charge them, make a quick arc around and close melee distance and start the process over. If the NPC managed to throw a spear or charge you while you were charging them, take the opportunity to throw up a stack of shield while you're running back to melee range. If they didn't do anything to you because you were so fast and awesome, use the time to throw another spear.

Hopefully this is helpful. It has worked for me. I spent a long time struggling with the mechanics of jousting before I figured this out and I hope I have saved some of you that anguish.As a final note, all these skill can be used in very similar fashion in the "Before the Citadel" quests where you have to mount up and fight the scourge. Keep your shields up, keep their shields down, watch out for the damn gargoyles as they will lower your shield stack by one with each hit (shield break ability x 2 takes them down). Also, don't make the mistake I made the first time I tried this quest and try and melee the skellies on the ground. All you have to do is run over them with your horse and they'll break apart.

If you have further questions or need clarification, post below and I'll answer any questions I can.

Happy Jousting!