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What a Difference a Tier Makes July 21, 2011

Posted by Stormy in General Whinging.
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Today’s Scary Thought: Not only is patch 4.2 upon us, bringing a new raid, a new tier of gear, and a whole host of new goodies and dailies at the Molten Front, but it’s the end of July. Cataclysm has been out since early December, eight months now. If all goes according to precedent, Blizzard will announce the next WoW expansion at BlizzCon in October, a mere three months away. We’re very nearly at the halfway point of the expansion’s life-cycle. Personally I feel like I’m just getting revved up, just getting my characters to the point where they’re ready to face what the expansion has to offer, but in reality I’m a straggler.

Nowhere has this been more apparent than in the random dungeons I’ve been doing for the past two weeks. With justice point gear growing on trees and new tier gear available for valor, raiders and non-raiders alike are spinning the random heroic wheel in droves. Queue times for DPS have dropped from 45-60 minutes down to ten or so–and I’ve even had two instant queues for heroics as DPS. Everyone’s out to get those valor points capped every week (much to the blogosphere’s chagrin, it seems, but that’s not the subject of this post). Those of us who write about WoW have spilled a ton of pixels talking about the state of the random dungeon scene, about how the new heroics are beastly, how they require crowd control, decent gear, competent healers, and at the very least DPS who aren’t asleep at the wheel. But I’m here to make a bold prediction: those days are behind us.

I don’t exactly “cap” on my toons every week. I refuse to run the Zulroics because I can’t do so with a full guild group and because they tend to attract tanks with Tank Entitlement Syndrome. But I did run seven “regular” heroics on my druid and five on my priest last week, and the difference between early Cataclysm and 4.2 was stark. The horrific heroics we saw in December and January are a thing of the past. Four hour Deadmines runs and suicidal Stonecore runs are all but extinct. Of the twelve heroics I ran last week, only two were what I would call “bad” groups. The rest were utter facerolls. Eight months of experience, a new tier of gear and an experienced raider/heroic corps have combined to bring us the faceroll half-hour heroics we remember ever-so-fondly from Wrath.

Deadly Boss Mods has kind of a nifty little feature that keeps track of the length of each boss fight and shows you how that day’s iteration of a fight compares in length to past fights. I’ve broken every single one of my record kill times this week, most of them by 25-30% if not more. Crowd control is all but extinct. Most boss mechanics are now trivial–except ones that can and will wipe the group, like Corla’s beams. There are plenty of undergeared players (and I suppose just plain bad players) doing 5-6K DPS, but the majority of us are at 12K and above. When you’ve got three DPS doing 12K and a tank doing 6-8K, bosses keel over in a big hurry.

No doubt we’re in for a rash of people complaining about how we’re going back to the WOTLK days they hated so much. While we may indeed get another tier of tougher five-mans similar to the ICC-5s of Wrath, Stonecore, Deadmines and Shadowfang Keep are now the Utgarde Keep and Nexus of Cataclysm. The Cataclysm heroics came in with much fanfare, heralding the return of crowd control and the return of “heroic” heroics, but by that measure these dungeons are now a relic.

And you know what? I’m totally okay with that. Earlier today I had a group that cleared Stonecore in 30 minutes flat with one death (a silly shadow priest who failed to get out of a fire pool on the dragon boss andthatWASNOTMEISWEAR.) I’ve made no bones about the fact that I love five-man dungeons. My guild isn’t in a position to raid right now, so five-mans are my opportunity to get on my geared characters, grab a couple friends, and go kick some dragon ass. Toward the tail end of Wrath I used to spend entire weekend afternoons chaining heroic randoms and I loved every minute of it. I look forward to the return of those days. I don’t even cringe when I see the Stonecore loading screen anymore. WoW is actually fun again.

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Comments»

1. Glynnda - July 21, 2011

I have multiple Firelands boss kills and yet I still cringe when I see Stonecore on my loading screen. I’m running troll dungeons just so that I don’t have to face Stonecore again.

Grim Batol will make me roll my eyes, because if your teammates get lazy on their bombing runs the place can take forever.

2. Giving a big, thankful welcome back to Wrath-style heroics - July 22, 2011

[…] sure a lot of us are having the same reaction that Stormy at Scribblings on the Asylum Wall has been writing about today – thank goodness: No doubt we’re in for a rash of people complaining about how we’re […]


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