Monday, January 18, 2016

Demonology Warlock: 6.2.3

At least I think we're in 6.2.3?

I've found that a post I made almost FIVE years ago is still getting views. Why? What information are you looking for? The good old days? I read over my post and wow, there's been so many changes to our spec that I've completely forgotten of the old spells and rotations but I bet if they changed it back it'd be like riding a bike. A very convoluted five wheel bike that sometimes changes to four, then three, then five, then is a bus, then is a bike again.

*Please correct me if I have timings off, its been too long!*

Truny's Recollection of Demonology
In Wrath

I played very casually, usually alone on my hunter during wrath. The friends who introduced me to WoW slowly left and I was on the brink of quitting since I had only played for about half a year, took a year off and came back.

What prevented me from leaving this world was the discovery of alts: specifically Truny the Warlock and Turny the Tree. They played so differently than my hunter, and the "fantasy" of a demonology warlock totally spell-bound me.

I could turn into a different form to augment my strength and soulfire back then hit like a truck, rather than the meh smart-car it is now. And our "rotation" was still fairly simple as at Wrath.

In Cataclysm

Things started to get ...weird in Cataclysm and demonology ended up being a hybrid of Destruction and Affliction. I remember juggling BOTH Immolate and Corruption, AND shadowbolt, AND Soulfire?? I didn't play my warlock much since my Hunter and later Druid became a raid hero, obtaining my most proudful mount, the Lifebinder's Handmaiden.

In MoP

MoP finally "fixed" warlocks in that we were playable. Very playable. My hunter took a backseat this time and Truny completely wrecked face. Mainly as destruction. This was the class resource revamp expansion where we saw burning embers and Demonology inheriting its totally weird demon form with "vamped" up spells equivalent to normal spells.

This would set the precedent for the Demonology rotation we have today.

Now to clear things up I am totally fine with the current Demonology rotation given that its semi transplanted into my muscle memory but I do see how very very weird it is to someone JUST starting.

Remember the old demonology? Where we used soul fire procs, then they made it so soul fire was exclusively an execute? That's easy to deal with.

Remember managing corruption and immolate? Well, Hand of Gul'dan is KIND OF like immolate, but now if you have the class trinket off Archimonde it makes HoG kind of like what Legion is supposed to do, blast out imps.

So they kept adding and adding to our rotation. Now there was curse of doom and touch of chaos, you were supposed to use Demo form as a CD and spam touch to maintain your corruption, but also manage your demonic fury via chaos wave on multiple targets, or *HERE IT IS* pop out of demon form to use Hand of Gul'dan, and while you're out you might as well spam some shadow bolts and then re-cast corruption if its falling off.

Now most fights have adds, and adds = AOE = dps whore mode. And this is where you want maximum dps, so you pop back into demo form to chaos wave them.

In WoD

So here we are in WoD and nothing much has changed from this "old" but semi convoluted rotation. We can now even make use of the Cataclysm spell for some absolutely massive AOE burst. For those who are used to the rotation will find raids exceedingly fun and dyanmic, popping in and out to maximize. But for new players....

For New Players

I think a lot of classes make where their source of damage come from quite obvious:

Melee: Their weapons. Through hitting.
Paladins: Through holy shit. Such bright.
Warriors: So rage.
Rogues: Wow, such stealth. Much hide.
DKs: Wow easy mode.
Monks: My fist to your FAISE.
Druid: Claws.

Hunter: Self, or pet, or just self. Via shots.

Mage: Magical shit.
Priests: Shadow shit.
Boomkins: Lasers mofo.
Shamans: Nature shit..

Affliction Warlocks: Dots and drains and shit.
Dstruction Warlocks: Fire and Brimstone. And shit.

Demonology Warlocks: Our demons?...wait no, our nukes..well no we have dots, our...demon form? No...well its like a combination of all of it and none of it feels especially fantastic/satisfying OTHER than nailing down the rotation it otherwise doesn't fit the fantasy.

Closing

Now I do hope the new Demonology isn't excessively one-dimensional. To be honest when I don't feel like using my brain OR when its just single target I prefer to go Destruction.

But if I feel like attempting the dance, the payoff is totally worth the multi-facted waltz that is Demonology.

Truny the Demon

OH wait did you come here for info? I mean our class is going away in three quarters? Uh well here's the tl;dr of Demonology as at today 01/18/2016 (Thanks for myself for putting this since in a years time I will look back at this post to see how weird demo was or how good it used to be depending and pending).

1. Keep corruption up.
1b. Get Curse of Doom up early and watch it.
2. Refresh hand of guldan buff, OR save it for Chaos Wave on multiple AOE, otherwise try to keep 1 up and save 2, and possibly line up to Cataclysm and other CDs.
3. Spam shadowbolt.
4. Save soulfire procs, use some if it hits 10 and you're not in execute mode.
5. Depending on mobs, pop into demon mode and touch. Touch their bum. Mainly to refresh curse of doom and make sure corruption isn't going to fall off cause touch also refreshes corruption.
6. Never hit demonic fury cap
7. Execute with soul fire, but keep your dots up.
8. Feed your imps.
9. Please please find a good transmog for your Wrathguard, he deserves it.
Bonus. You are a MOBILE CASTER in demonology form take advantage of the fact that you can spam touch of chaos ON THE MOVE as well as cast Chaos Wave on the move.
Bonus 2. Use demonic leap to move instead of with your feet like the peasants. Who needs to run around a pool when you can jump over it?
Bonus 3. Don't expect to have insane l337 burst, your damage builds up as your dance improves.

Truny the Demon

Friday, January 15, 2016

Wow Down to 5.6 Subs: A Discussion

Not really a discussion as I know I will end up wandering away as I type. I had created this draft all the way back in AUGUST of 2015 that is how much I potentially don't really care anymore? Anyways.

I was waiting for this number for many months and I had exceeded my expectations as I had initially forecasted subs to be in the 5.2 million range.

Has WoW finally and officially become just a product, a "cash-cow", aka the cash-flow hedge?

I mean, it always has been but hear me out.

In our industry, and I am going to be purposefully vague, our products and services generate a massive amount of revenue but are affected by environmental/political/economic factors and can create unwanted fluctuations. Enter in hedging 101, "hedge your bets" aka make sure you have a comfort blanket, a blanket made out of cash, reliable cash. Mm soft silky lustrous delicious cash. What's the best way to provide yourself with a comfortable low risk yet steady/stable cash flow? Hey, subscriptions!

In the real world, this can be seen by owning multiple properties and renting them out hence securing income without having to do much after all the paperwork is through.

Now I'm pretty sure we could all feel this throughout the expansions but the executive decision side of the game's PASSION has all but worn thin and WoD is the perfect example of what it looks like when content is just created for the sake of content.

Now there are tons of factors involved, most likely mid to mid-senior level management decisions/conflicts but one of the enduring comments of WoD is that "The art and story is great but everything else is just meh".

We can see here that art/story are unaffected by the gameplay/mechanics/delivery aspect of the game, but it is the decisions made in regards to the vision of the game is what I am most concerned about.

Stop blaming the "devs" I truly do think that if they had it their way WoD would still be blowing our minds right now. Wow such blow, so mind ..blown.

They attempted to present WoW in a pseudo-casual/mobile model with garrisons/shipyards and possibly trying to curb gold sellers by eliminating professions and made everything just really....weird.

I think what they think will retain subs might backfire: "People have invested so much time in their toons/mounts they won't leave".

Well, I've labored to collect 250+ mounts(except for the purple flying tiger) and am an obsessive collector of mini pets, I still managed to get four toons to 100 (2 of which I stopped using cause ew) and the rest are at 90 and almost every Klupty and all low level Turny/Turny/Turby you can find in the wowarmory are mine.

Pending how they deliver the next expansion may make or break these ti-

That is where I officially left off in August 2015, and I am now wondering what I was going to say? Make or break these ti-?? Timing? Ties?

Anyhow. Regardless of my personal investment, if its crap people will leave regardless of how great it used to be. WoD right now is in a weird place. This "expansion" is more like a preview of the next when Legion actually invades. This expansion could have been the first few patches of Legion. Hmmmm.

I am already liking the preliminary info on how Demonology warlocks are going to play like: A DEMON specialist (most likely maniacal) who sends swarms of demons into the fray.

All I have to say now is "Let's see". Let's see if the fantasy for Legion will hold strong from beginning to the end and not just end at the cut-scenes of the new zones.

Truny the Skeptical

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

How Timewalking of You to Join Us

Hi 2016

I won't make the same mistake as last year by having my first post of the year occur in February!

So what has the triple-crew been up to? I have mainly been trolling around FFXIV what with real housing and professions to do and what not.

On the WoW front, I do my mission tables on Turby the Hunter, and he is back in Pandaria doing archaeology. My goal is to acquire the Tol'vir mount this year!

Truny will do her pet battles and rare hunting in Tanaan for sport, and log in every 2 weeks for her free mythic caches.

Turny is my designated time-walking dungeon hero.

Every week time-walking arrives, Turny the Tree will pop online and start healing like a crazy person. This time I even remembered to do FIVE dungeons for the free gear rather than just the first time 500 points turn-in!

Now I have a gripe with the ICC 5-mans. We got Pit of Saron and the mobs seemed to be hitting EXTRA hard and that's when I remembered that this came out after what...T9? So most people would be in the range of 245-251, raiders maybe higher at 264+ but all our gear was scaled to 200!

We still managed to clear since we were STOOPIT but wow....scaling much? What happened to the good old days of throwing on 1 rejuv and life bloom and then go preparing lunch? Fun times though. For a character who I don't think has even set foot in Highmaul any 695+ free gear is good, right?

Timewalking

I haven't really given Time-walking the discussion that it deserves. When it was announced we were all in our "WoD sucks" phase and Time-walking just looked like a distraction of psuedo-content.

Sure, its just re-scaling old content, and doing the Outlands dungeons was a challenge but I didn't start in BC like all the cool kids. I started in Wra- wait not again! Come back!

Ok you're calm?

I started in Wrath, and yesterday's time-walking was my first wrath time-walking and I'd have to say the nostalgia is real. Wrath was where I went from unknowing noob to core raider to DPS-whore-who-also-always-died-last. It was in wrath that I discovered that raiding wasn't so fancy shmancy exclusive big dick club that we were waxed nostalgic about.

Running halls of lightning, all the old reflexes and habits kicked in. Why did I run behind this mob? Oh yeah, it shoots a death laser. I remembered all the mechanics! Could I say the same for the WoD dungeons? Ok maybe I could but...ok nevermind.

The Supreme elitists may say that wrath made the game super easy and gear became excessively available, but then once you meet these same supreme elitists on the battlefield you realize you are more efficient and effective in both output and damage mitigation even with their fancy gear vs your welfare epics.

WoD 2016

Nope, nothing to see here.

Turny the Tree

Thursday, October 15, 2015

WoD Was Just a Time Loop

Well played Blizzard, well played.

As everyone is busy busting their nuts over patch 6.2.3; aka the "This Should Have Came With Launch" patch, we need to realize that this xpac is a beautifully perfect play on time-travel conundrums.

WoD's incomplete launch was on purpose. If we take all the patches combined.. "6.1", 6.2, 6.2.3 (what happened in between 6.2-6.2.3 I did not notice), we end up with a FULL launch xpac. WoD is now complete and whole and fresh and new. However this also marks the end of the xpac. The beginning is the end. Ultraxion had it right all along:

"I am the beginning of the end...the shadow which blots out the sun...the bell which tolls your doom..." (Ultraxion 2011)

But my dear Ultraxion, the beginning IS the end; WoD cast its own shadow upon the shining glory that is WoW; the bell which tolled its doom.

Will I play in 6.2.3? Well having been inactive for THREE months I am still rocking ilvl 700+ from all the freebie gear and now that there is a rare mount to be caught and personal gradual progression my answer is "Probably heck ya!".

I have not touched the legendary quest past the 695 (?) ring and I do not intend on jumping into LFR any time soon. So no ring for me but that's okay. Truny is rocking her old 4P from the Foundry so upgrading those should be good enough to the end of the xpac.

So they solved one part of the puzzle, but what shall we do while waiting on our queues? Ah wait I'll just play my druid for healer queues!

Will people come back in the MILLIONS to upgrade their gear? Assuming gear levels have remained relatively untouched, maybe not.

Turny the Time Tree

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

If You're in the Gaming Industry, Never Break This Rule

Is this even a contentious issue? No, because it has never really BEEN a major issue. Has it always been quietly on the sidelines, trying to dig into the core issues that players tend to rant/complain/report about? Hell yes.

The reason why regardless of your role in a gaming company be it the CFO, chief programmer, janitor, food supplier, contractor, everyone must be "with it" for whatever your gaming mission and vision is. This is where I love using the word "immersion" and getting people talking. Who DOESN'T want their players to be immersed in their game?

Ahh that is the golden question. I commend you my single reader for following me for so long *digital tree-branch druid high-five*. What we saw in WoD is what broke this rule, and why there has been an increase of discussion towards the mobile gaming market in my humble old blog. They are all related. Sort of.

Let's look at mobile games. Low development cost, but with the right setup, massive massive potential for immense profitability. Massive margins. Look at Candy Crush, they were making $300,000 a day? Now before you put on your judgmental glasses, that is totally fine. There is only so much "immersion" you can expect out of a mobile game, but it can be designed so that you never ever break this very important rule.

We can summarize that most mobile games try to churn out low development content to fish for the highest possible returns over time. Sometimes what they offer hit gold or become niche/clique eg Flappy Bird type games, Angry Bird where you can build a brand on top of it, etc etc.

Regardless, in the time that players are immersed, most mobile games don't break the golden rule. The ones that do tend to fail or stagnate.

We can skirt about this rule, but if your game is strong enough then players won't care. They'll find ways around it.

What exactly is this strange rule?

The answer: Players should never question your business decisions.

Now, business decisions differ from what we see as business model. A game may be set-up as a pay-to-get-ahead model, but players will adjust. WoW may be slowly shifting from an MMO with an in-game store type model. That is fine.

It's the business decisions where it gets dirty.

When players question your model, they visualize a model usually with charts and graphs and there are expectations and preconceptions and that's it. They go back to the game.

When we start questioning your business decisions, how you handle PR, what you are doing with your designers, why certain decisions were made, we start digging deeper in our visualizing. We picture your office, we start seeking out a target. Who made that decision, and why? The players are now TOO close to us. Get them back into the game, and out of our offices in their heads.

Uh oh immersion's coming back. When you completely break any sense of game immersion with questionable actions, the players have nothing to hang onto in game and we start seeking. Once we're in, you're going to need a lot to get us back out. We no longer see a game as just a game, but a product from a company who makes questionable decisions.

Tough decisions need to be made I agree but what I am trying to say is COVER YOUR ASSES. Make that link, get your decision makers to understand the implications of how they are affecting immersion. Have a back-up plan to keep us out of our own heads.

That is enough with free advice for one day, get the hell out of my office.

Turny the Angry Tree