So I'm one of those people who's gone back to WoW for a month (at least, that's the plan), to poke around the new old world, then waddle off again. It's partly due to a good friend making HOOOOGE PUPPY EYES at me, Blizzard's US$20 deal for Vanilla, Burning Crusade, and Wrath of the Lich King, and some life in general happening. I didn't buy Cataclysm, I don't intend to stay, and I most certainly don't EVER want to raid again.
However, on with the story!
It's funny - I've read on other blogs that they find it a bit unnerving that Blizzard basically simply went - CUT!
Five years later...
...because as a returning player, that's precisely it is! In my case, 2 years, not 5, but still.
The baby troll experience is much more streamlined now, and it's even entertaining, with a nice dash of variety.
The UI has improved vastly. I've only downloaded 2 addons (Omen, Recount), and don't feel the need to download anything else.
I'm running a Discipline smite-atonement healer build (similar but not identical to the link), and having fun with it after the initial readjustment needed to the pace of combat / style of combat of WoW, vs GW. As an example, in GW, a 2 second cast (unless you're an elementalist (mage)) is something you'd better have a damn good reason for casting, because that's so SLOW; in WoW, a 2 second cast is fast/normal.
Azshara, though some silly part of me hates to say it, rivals Guild Wars: Eye of the North for beauty. I petulantly say to myself that well EotN was out YEARS ago! But still, I know I'm being silly. =)
But the main problem is culture shock.
Culture shock from coming from Guild Wars; culture shock from the WoW I left, which is not - 5/2 years later - the WoW I've come back to.
What culture shock, you ask? Well, even if you didn't, too bad!
Here's wall-of-text rant to a poor friend this morning:
like why mages don't make water anymore, don't decurse anymore (not that they ever really did but still), why no one knows how to LoS pull anymore, why no one moves out of green goo anymore, why tanks no longer seem to understand that tanking is more than standing there like a lump, (although more of them can now hold aggro), and that no one seems to realise even after a wipe that careful pulls are better than charging into the centre of the room and wiping.
I was healing in Scholomance last night.
I was the only one who remembered it, until a warlock at the end.
And we wiped in the first room. Of course.
'it wasn't my fault I was feared!' Well, Yes it was. Because you ran to the centre of the fucking room. XD
And stood there and fought. -_-
Scholo hasn't changed at all - well okay, it's gotten easier - but I think they moved it down so that it would be more like the old Vanilla days when it was challenging - it's level 40ish now.
The bright side is tanking (at low levels) seems piss easy now.
I've only had one tank who couldn't hold aggro - incompetanks used to be the bane of my existence.
The dark side is they're used to seeing their tank friends pull the whole instance *while outgearing it*, but forgetting/not counting the top part. ~_o
Anyway it felt like old scholo, only at 40 I don't even have prayer of healing yet. Well okay, it was easier, because no one died even though some parts were REALLY CLOSE, and everything I said above happened.
When I started pulling the second room (summoner + skeleton room) sanely, one person ragequit.
'We're going too slow! I don't have time for this!' *quit*
And because the tank had no idea how to pull, had no idea what an los (Line-of-Sight) pull was - I was like, 'Look, STAY HERE. I will pull.' Group, 'Why don't you let the tank do his job.' Oh yes, because the first room went so well, oh yes. Because you know if you run into the centre of the library and fight and get feared and pull the whole room and we die, obviously it's not your fault, because you were feared, yeah! No, I didn't say that, but I sure was thinking it. XD
There's even less skill than I remembered, and that's impressive. XD
Tanks NEVER wait for healer mana anymore. I realise most people are heirloomed out the wazoo, but I am not (I started with a fresh PC version instead of upgrading my old mac one), and I don't want to be.
That scholo I drank 40 waters because they would never let me drink.
So it was, 4 seconds of drink, stand up chase the tank.
Who is of course pulling a whole room. Again. XD
It was nice seeing scholo again though.
Oh yeah they were all standing in the green, of course.
I stopped even trying to explain things, noone was interested in mechanics - they just wanted to make shiny lights and … lol.
The tank did listen to me on one thing though.
I was so fucking amazed!
On the boss who does the aoe knockback, I despairingly said as everyone poinged off in all directions, 'It's easier to tank that against the wall so you don't get knocked back.'
And god in heaven, he listened.
Well, at least he listened to that.
At least I taught one idiot something.
...this post isn't going to make me very popular with WoW players, is it? XD Oh wells! Soon I shall have lovely luscious Livia back. *Worships Livia* AI forever!
This build doesn't use Heal, ever. It uses Smite in place of Heal. Obviously, I'm still a baby, but I've heard reports of it working fine in heroics as well. It's in raids where it fails - the bosses are often fatter than 8 yards, alas for obese bosses!
Why? Couple of reasons:
1) With a full stack of Evangelism, Smite-Atonement costs just a little more than Heal, and casts faster.
2) Smite (with talents) can reduce the CD of Penance.
3) Unlike Heal - where you have to wait for the damage to hit, then heal it, with an additional 0.5s tacked on top of that - you are constantly smiting. Because you are constantly smiting, you're healing the damage the moment it happens. So far, I've found that Smite-Atonement healing can cover anything but Shit Has Hit the Fan (SHHtF) situations, where you go into overdrive. If you have time to cast Heal, you have more than enough time to heal with Smite-Atonement instead.
4) Evangelism is almost always up at 5 stacks. I have Archangel macroed to Penance, and I ONLY use Penance to heal. That means in SHHtF situations, my Penance packs a real punch, and so do my Flash Heals, and whatnot. I do not use Archangel for energy management - I find the constant cost reduction of Smite-Atonement for me to add up more than what I'd need to spend to rebuild 5 stacks.
5) Smite-Atonement is a 'smart heal'. It'll heal anything within 8 yards of your target with the lowest health. I've read complaints about not being able to 'direct' it, but the truth is, in a 5man (and that's all I'm interested in), you can. With a judicious Renew+PW:S, or, depending on the situation, just a Renew, you can more or less make certain that the person with the lowest health (even by a fraction), is the tank. This also makes it more interesting - to me, anyway.
6) Right now, at level 42, tanks are more or less in Non-SHHtF situations, taking almost exactly the amount of damage that Smite-Atonement heals. Obviously it differs a little between tanks, but the general rate has been amazingly reliable and constant.
7) It's just plain fun (to me), especially when it comes to making sure that Smite-Atonement hits the tank, just like you want it to.
8) It adds (acknowledgedly sad, but still existent!) DPS without any negative effects - always good.