Friday, 16 November 2012

Hey Hey My My (Into The Black)

It's better to burnout, than to fade away

Cataclysm had some rough times, but I never unsubscribed. I kept the game ticking over, by changing the way I played the game. Early Cataclysm was just too hard core, especially for healers of which I have 3, so instead I PvP'ed. The Troll dungeons were too long and too damn hard for random groups, so I PvP'ed. I am not a PvP'er but I used my time in the game and had some fun in the process.

Early Mists of Pandaria, does not appear to be too hard, but there is so much to do. Last night, I was burned out and did not want to do anything. I have so many options that I just felt over faced by the whole experience. I can only liken the experience to my 'All Inclusive' holiday a few weeks ago, were food and drink is available 24/7 that in the end you just do not want to eat anything. Sometimes there is such a thing as too much.

I managed to catch up on some podcasts this week and in particular I struck by the general conversations in the Hunting Party Podcasts. The 3 Amigos were joined by BRK, which was my main reason to listen in on podcast 148 and 149. The 4 podcasters are very knowledgeable about the game and in particular about Hunters and theorycrafting. It would appear that Hunters have so many options, buttons, cooldowns and changes from the Cataclysm model, that even the experts are not too sure what spells they have got and in which spec they reside if at all.
All this comes at a time when Beast Mastery, which has traditionally been the lowest of the 3 specs in terms of DPS output, is now top and the class that is traditionally the most popular Marks Man is currently one of the lowest performing DPS specs in the game. Hunters have tended to drift to the so called highest performing spec. In the Burning Crusades which is now thought to be the previous Golden Age of Beast Mastery, the specs where divided as follows:
  1. Marks Man - 55%
  2. Beast Mastery - 30%
  3. SurVival - 15%
These figures first appeared in Big Red Kitty's Blog at the time when BM was king, so it shows that the herd are not always up-to-date with the parses. It is more difficult to determine primary specs now that most people are dual specced and everyone has a BM spec so they can show off their Exotic Pets, which is why they take their figures from Raiding parses and not something like WoW Census.

Blizzard wanted to do away with cookie cutter specs, but we have ended with a scenario were the theorycrafters are not 100% comfortable with the Hunter class. Having a Hunter has your main was like putting on a comfy pair of slippers. Nothing really changed that much. Changing mana for Focus, did anybody notice a change in our play style, nah not really, but making spec based spells available to all specs throws the class into turmoil. A Beast Master with Readiness, WTF! It is going to take time and Tier sets always favour MarksMan, but at the moment their best spec is very average at best, and has a far more complicated box of spells and cooldowns than Mages which are rocking the free world.
Guild Ox has a breakdown of Classes and Specs that are raiding and PvPing. I am guessing that with the rapid transfer of information that is contained in the WoW community, that this will closely match the recent DPS parses that Frostheim analysed for WoW Insider.
Using Frostheim's figures for 10 Man Normal Raiding, and the Guild Ox popularity graph, it shows that the most popular specs are the current best performing specs in a 10 Man Normal Raid. As if by magic the reverse is also true, and the current worst performing are the least populated specs.
The interesting point from this is where 2 specs are viewed as being similar in performance then the population distribution is also split equally. If Blizzard could ever balance the specs it would be an interesting game with DPS classes having a 33.3% distribution splits. We all know of course that this will never happen

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