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Turn-based games are a heavy abstraction; the concept of everyone having their go like so many redcoats is a little laughable. Still, I’ve always had a fair-sized soft spot for anything that gives me time to make my choices, and it was in a turn-based game that I was first really introduced to the idea of competitive balance.

Disciples II is a turn-based strategy with four playable factions. It follows the familiar overland/battle map conventions, as one might expect, with battles being fought between parties of up to five units and one leader. It’s an old game; not quite as old as the games I’d experienced before, like Fallout or StarCraft, but in that range.

StarCraft has long been held as the pinnacle of competitive balance despite the asymmetric unit types available to each of its three races. Because factions are balanced around their entire package and the tactical options available to them, balance is an intricate and iterative process rather than an absolute. Because strategy and composition are so important, balance isn’t easy to see at first – it emerges.

Being much more limited, the balance of a game like Disciples is much easier to grasp. Each faction can produce largely the same basic types of units – warrior, ranged attacker, caster, a flavour unit and a special unit. Tech trees mean that all of these units develop in different ways, and the different factions approach different units from completely different angles – the undead faction’s ranged attacker does no damage but causes paralysis, where dwarves have the option of a tough single-target gunman or a fire-resistant flamethrower who attacks the entire enemy team as though he were a caster. The flavour and special units take this further to provide some pretty fun choices.

Still, looking at the overall packages, it was easy to see where weaknesses crept in. The demonic legion had powerful casters and good map access as a result of all of their leaders being flying types, but were over-reliant on slow, two-space units that levelled slowly and never quite seemed to match individual units of the other factions. The dwarves were ridiculously tough and had excellent access to a wide range of elemental attacks, but took the most experience to level and suffered heavily with their universally poor initiative scores. The empire had units which levelled very quickly and dealt well with consecutive fights thanks to their healing, but they had little access to elemental attacks and were individually very squishy. Then there was the undead horde.

The undead faction had a number of tricks. The paralysis unit mentioned above had the potential to turn anything up to a capital city battle around, and was an AI breaker – the AI always underestimated a party with a ghost in it, since they had no damage. Undead casters had a tree as extensive as the legion, but containing such delights as high-initiative elemental attackers with complete immunity to physical damage – aka the damage type of around 80% of the units in the game.

This physical damage immunity carried over to their special unit as well – a relatively low-hp high-cost fighter unit that levelled about as quickly as a second-tier fighter. All phys immunes paid a cost in base health, meaning that they were vulnerable to casters – theoretically, since any of the phys immunes could out-init a caster – and overland spells – again theoretically, since the undead faction had a spell which could replenish fog of war. Oh, and nearly every horde unit was immune to death-element damage, including the aforementioned phys immunes.

So then what was their balance? Low territorial advancement. The only undead hero with overland flying capability was the relatively weak warrior type, and their territory control units were ground-bound and had a very limited movement radius. A theoretically disadvantaged empire opponent might have trouble in the earlier levels and find their party entirely outmatched coming up against a levelled undead opponent, but the same empire player would be able to keep his units out in the field much longer without having to return to a city, level their units faster, and gain more territory. This is an advantage that’s much harder to put into clear terms, and it was also the first step toward understanding the StarCraft level of game balance. There is more at work than the simple unit vs. unit math.

That, of course, is a strategy game. Every role-playing type game that I’ve ever played has, by comparison, been completely and hopelessly unbalanced – junk builds, entire unviable classes, perks which are basically traps for poorly informed players, etc. And that was (mostly) fine, because those games were meant for single-player action or in the case of ARPGs like Diablo I/II, it was easy enough to reroll. That was an accepted feature of the genre, and it even seems to have been the case for the early years of World of Warcraft.

Here’s where we get back to whining my usual subject matter. WoW is pretty tightly balanced nowadays. You really have to work at it to make a non-viable character. And yet… some classes just feel like they’re balanced by different criteria. Yes, I’m talking about warriors again, as usual.

A warrior actually has some pretty decent party tricks, but the emphasis here is on party. Mobility, mitigation, even snare-breaks are farmed out to abilities that require party members*. That’s not considering things they don’t actually have, such as for instance healing or dispels. Useful in PvE, and indispensable in PvP.

Warriors seem to be balanced around the strategic level – and as far as I can tell, they’re the only class that’s set up this way. It’s… weird. And despite the effectiveness that a supported warrior can bring to bear, it inevitably feels like playing the roadie in a game where everyone else is a self-contained rock star.

or a banner in the case of Intervene, but that’s clumsy as hell and leaves warriors in the position of being the only class needing to use a placeable CD, a target click/macro and multiple GCDs to have a snare-break…

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Impending Victory is an awful talent. By which I mean of course that it should be given baseline treatment.

"You are the lowest form of existence in this world" "Really? This from a Draenei?"

“You are the lowest form of existence in this world”
“Really? This from a Draenei?”

One of the biggest issues that warrior tanks complain about is that they’re the only meatshield that absolutely needs a healer – they don’t have any real self-healing. Warriors in general have only Victory rush and, let’s face it, Second Wind. IV is just too weak on its own to bother taking.

So: make IV the new baseline VR. Give it a rage cost, and give Prot a method of increasing the healing so that it’s a good reactive button. Let’s look at the examples of Death Strike or Word of Glory; perhaps a warrior’s IV could be improved by Devastate uses or when attacks are blocked. The rage cost should be high enough that it should always compete with Shield Block and Shield Barrier* as an active button, but not so high as to be prohibitive. Perhaps change the glyph to provide a cost saving after an enemy is killed, or simply bake such an effect into the base ability to maintain flavour.

This leaves the talent tier with a bit of a gap. Ideally I’d fill that by providing a talent which converts Rallying Cry into an absorb for x% or the warrior’s health, rather than the hp-increasing effect that we have today. Absorbs are a powerful toolkit item, and the option of enhancing one’s raid-wall would give warrior utility in general a much-needed shot in the arm. Call the ability “Iron Hymn”, or maybe “Phalanx”.

Why hasn’t this happened yet?

* Actually, considering Barrier’s near-uselessness, pretty much anything’s going to compete here. Just sayin’.

After the last post’s semi-guildrun-thing, we actually got a proper guild group together and cleared Terrace. Go us!

Some folks may be missing because they wouldn't stand still in frame...

Some folks may be missing because they wouldn’t stand still in frame…

What else to do, though? Well, in between about a million interviews and some crushing self-doubt, I’ve been levelling toons on a PvP server again. Got a little warrior as a tank, since I never got the hang of warrior-tanking in Cata and I figured it’d be better now.

Well, it’s… different now.

Not actually relevant, but this quest is hilariously bugged at the moment. "I could have sworn the Banshee Queen was a goth chick... NOPE, HORSE"

Not actually relevant, but this quest is hilariously bugged at the moment. “I could have sworn the Banshee Queen was a goth chick… NOPE, HORSE”

One of the issues with rage tanks is that if you miss your rage-generating attacks then you’re completely hosed. Guess how much hit and expertise there is on low level gear? If you guessed “bugger all”, then full points.

nodamage

OMG OP nerf nao

Warriors still have very little by way of options when pulling from range, and they don’t really have AoE early on. Hell, they don’t have any attacks early on. Up until 26 your only option for a semi-spammable attack is Sunder Armor, which does exactly zero damage. Somehow manages to keep threat, though.

Started a paladin (there’s a surprise) shortly after the warrior, specced it out as tank, and the contrast is unbelievable. Just being able to deal damage from range and having a reliable self-heal makes a massive difference, and having an attack that’s up every few seconds from lvl 7 is so much better. Mobility or not, I can navigate a dungeon so much faster on a paladin.

A lot of the difference comes down to Avenger’s Shield – being able to grab threat from range and keep it, plus the interrupt/silence effect. Makes Heroic (hah!) Throw look like the joke it is. On the plus side, once you hit 30 and get Revenge, nothing will ever out-aggro you again, provided that you can keep stuff in range.

Also been slowly levelling a monk. One of the nice things about monks is that “slowly” is a relative term. There’s a daily class quest at your handy Acherus analogue that grants a buff that increases any xp you gain by 50% for an hour. Stacks up to 3 hours. Each of these quests requires the defeat of a master, but what got me was the comments that the masters use when you challenge them.

This guy, for instance, spends too much time on the PvP forums.

This guy, for instance, spends too much time on the PvP forums.

They seem to be not-so-subtle jabs at some of the playerbase. It’s brilliant. There are also two Master Chengs… a pandaren male and a belf female. That’s… kind of freaky.

Lastly there’s the Brawler’s Guild. At some point, after watching guildies struggle with GG Engineering, I basically plowed my way through the first 6 ranks or so by sheer skill and overgearing like a boss. Rank 7 was kind of fun, with gear not making such a great difference and fewer “haha you’re melee FUCK YOU” fights. Then I hit rank 8. Which meant Hexos.

Allow me to illustrate Hexos with the involuntary help of some random ‘lock who was trying it as well. (since there’s no way in hell I can take screenies while trying the fight…)

WoWScrnShot_071413_223124

This ain’t so bad, I don’t see the big… uh…

 

...deal... whoa...

…deal… whoa…

 

...ohshiii wtf...

…ohshiii wtf…

 

...GG lol.

…GG lol.

The fight is literally playing this game while running your rotation well enough to manage 100k DPS. It’s… insane. Oh, and tends to bug out for pet classes if Hexos goes for your pet first, so there’s that. For those who don’t want to click the link, here’s the breakdown: if you’re facing any of those pink bits when they get to you, it’s over. Instant death. If nothing else, this serves as a warning of how much worse Durumu’s floor maze could have been.

So yeah, not sure when or if I’ll ever make that one. Ah well.

Death to all who oppose us

Death to all who oppose us

Council down, and only a week after our first Horridown. Let’s get some detail up in here.

Part 1: in which we present the team

From left to right, we have:

  • Ellaelyra, apparently having bounced away from her elemental
  • Sidhe, hers behaving for once
  • Esirpus, just glad he no longer has to watch energy meters
  • Giac, wearing half a transmog, which is just weak
  • Idie, eyeing the stairs with trepidation
  • Raijin, who seems quite happy with the thunderforged fist that dropped
  • Yours truly, reconsidering that tabard for ranged shots
  • Madrox, not to be confused with his former death knight incarnation, despite both being tanks
  • Delta, presiding over the traditional “What’d he drop?!” ceremony
  • AODPriest, who despite being an Angel Of Death spent the fight healing

That’s two mages, two priests, three paladins and miscellaneous filler. Ideal comp we ain’t, but it works out, probably because of how damn pretty we all are. Well, except Giac.

Part 2: in which we discuss the fight

From the first pull, this fight already felt much better than Horridon. Everything’s up on the table. The issue with add fights is that each add is just another thing that can go wrong in its own special way, and is literally trying to do so at every moment. Horridon feels hopeless because every time you get a handle on one set of issues, a whole new set shows up. We didn’t exactly one-shot the council, but every time we wiped it felt like we were getting closer, like our tactical adjustments were making a difference. Progress felt like progress.

Our first night on the fight was a few pulls after a messy Horridon kill. Last night we approached it with a new tactic: stack ’em all up and cleave them down. If this sounds less than tactical, rest assured that you’re probably entirely correct. Still, it works.

In 10 man, the healing add actually heals for less than its own HP. That makes switching to it and burning it a complete waste of time, and also removes any incentive not to stack all three of the tankable bosses together for cleave damage. Stacking has another advantage if you have a paladin tank: Avenger’s Shield can interrupt Sul and Mar’li in one shot. This significantly reduces damage over the course of the fight.

As the one and only melee, I was assigned to stay on Sul from the beginning and burn/interrupt him until his inevitable messy death. The other DPS also focussed Sul until the empowering add hit a predetermined energy state; 50 for Malakk and Mar’li, 30 for Kazra’jin, since he’s annoying to stay on and using cooldowns is a good way to reflect oneself to death.

The fight effectively has three enrage timers. First there’s the usual one, which is actually pretty generous. Next there’s the empowered energy count per boss, which can be fudged without too much difficulty. And then there’s the one that matters, which is Sul’s turn at being empowered. Make no mistake – allowing him to empower is an enrage. There is nothing in the fight more damaging than Sandstorm, the adds that he summons are tough and will kill people without much effort, the sand-patches that the adds leave behind when they die do a truckload of damage, and to complicate matters, one of the tanks is usually stuck taking a Frigid Assault at the same time the adds show up.

So yeah. The very first attempt where we downed Sul was also our kill. It took a couple of tries to refine, and we did end up with two of the three healers in atonement spec hammering at Sul as well. Once he’s down, though, the rest are just a formality.

Part 3: in which we consider the future

Yeah, having some second thoughts about this...

Yeah, having some second thoughts about this…

So we’re 3/12 now, and facing off against the might of Tortos, who is most assuredly a goat. As that video points out, melee DPS aren’t great on this fight. We tried one or two pulls just to have a look, and for my paladin the outlook is pretty dismal.

I can’t effectively DPS the turtles, can’t kick, and the only AoE slow that I have is also my primary DPS talent, which doesn’t maintain the snare outside its stationary area of effect. I could maybe go with Burden of Guilt, which I used for a while as a PvP talent. Most of my usual utility is useless here.  Perhaps Hand of Sacrifice isn’t, but warriors get the same ability as a talent and we have two other paladins now.

As for specific challenges that we’ve encountered: the turtles spin fast. Despite having two frost mages, we’re still seemingly coming up short on slows. Our ‘lock has no idea what the AoE snare that fatboss mentioned even is. Further, the bats will happily take a tank to the cleaners in the short stun just after Quake Stomp, so we’re going to need an antidote for that. Blinding Light doesn’t appear to work on them at all.

We’ve only had three pulls on the fight, though. We’ll adapt and overcome.

Part 4: in which Leit whines about gear, because he is bad at this game

By halfway through part 3, anyone with a semi-intact cognitive center was probably already going “oh, he’s thinking about changing mains again“. Well, yeah. Altoholic, right here. I hope you’re very pleased by your impressive deductive skills.

Thing is… I finished out t14 without a single normal drop equipped. The couple of drops I did get were tanking gear that no-one else could use. Even LFR refused to give me any slack. Things looked up for a minute on the release of the third segment of LFR ToT, where I suddenly got two whole useful drops in a single week, but before and since it’s been just as barren.

Paladin’s been gearing decently from valour. Started out with a decent nest-egg that’s paid off well, and not having to grind a hundred different reps in order to actually spend my currency means I’m actually motivated to go out and earn it in the first place. Thing is, though, gearing from valour means I only get an upgrade every couple of weeks. Without an edge from raid drops, alts can catch up pretty damn quickly, especially if they’re the tiniest bit luckier than Dry. If the alt in question can bid on gear that isn’t also desirable to other players in the raid, that helps as well.

That last item in particular points to my rogue, who brings decent mobilty, damage equivalent to my better-geared paladin, AoE slows and cast time reduction, a misdirect, good personal survivability and no real raid utility beyond Smokebomb. Unfortunately the rogue’s gearing has sort of fallen by the wayside as I’ve been reconnecting with my warrior, and his only foray into gearing this week resulted in ragequitting after ending up in multiple PoS runs with only Lei Shen up.

Meanwhile, said warrior brings a mean amount of raid utility. The only class that can bring the raid cooldown of Skull Banner, she’s got a raid damage reduction banner as well, an AoE taunt banner if I’m feeling suicidal, excessive amounts of mobility, a raidwide health cooldown, talents for AoE stuns, interrupts, spell reflects, slows and snares, a talented Hand of Sacrifice equivalent, and exceedingly good AoE damage. Where she falls short is in personal survivability and the fact that she’s still rolling on the same plate and strength weapons that everyone else wants. At least she isn’t on the same token as literally 60% of the raid, for one day when that matters.

There are two things that have been keeping me on my pally for the moment: momentum and utility. Now that we’ve got a paladin tank again the second is less important, and I can bring plenty to the table with another class. Dry is still the best geared of my characters, and the one whose ins and out I know best, so he’s still got momentum on his side. But how long before the same frustration as t14 rears its head?

Character re-customisations. Some people won’t touch ’em… it basically takes the character you’ve built up and turns it into someone you don’t know anymore. Others, like my brother, will change names and races as the idea hits them. I’ve generally been in the former camp, preferring to start a new character from scratch.

Have you met my enormous spike?

Have you met my enormous spike?

A little while back I mentioned playing my warrior but not really knowing why. She’s been pretty much neglected since forever, and I had no real idea what I was doing with her. Since then I’ve worked out the Arms and Single Minded Fury playstyles, picked up a Sha axe and a pair of PvP 1-handers, and I can acquit myself at least well enough to pass muster in LFR. Bizarrely, the Arms playstyle that prefer does about the same damage as my somewhat undergeared SMF – got two sets of gear, and SMF is actually almost full PvP gear. I can use my raid cooldowns sensibly, rush across the battlefield like that blasted mosquito that just won’t let you get to sleep, and solo the rares on the Isle of Thunder.

This is all completely beside the point.

Vensters is a she, or at least as close as an unliving atrocity can get. That doesn’t stop me from identifying much more strongly with her than my other characters. She’s slim, moves a little oddly, tiny compared to everyone else. She holds herself a little apprehensively, looks out at the world with an expression that’s accepting but careful. She has agility without much in the way of grace, and seems barely connected to the world at the best of times, hefting her frankly enormous weapons with visible effort. She’s even got a severe case of coder’s hunch.

I end up referring to her as “he” more often than not.

This is starting to get on my nerves. I’m unsure whether I should recustomise as a male undead – males are nearly bestial, stalking rather than running, expressing relentless brutality in their attacks rather than the disconnected violence of the females. Which is not to say that Vensters doesn’t look predatory and dangerous in her combat crouch – quite the opposite – but it’s the impersonal danger of a steel trap rather than the psychotic threat of a slavering rottweiler.

On the plus side, forsaken males also aren’t grimacing, musclebound hulks; merely grimacing. Their faces are pretty much awful, but their /dance is BiS. There are a lot more shoulder options that don’t look cramped, but I’m probably going to have to find a helmet. I don’t know.

Starting a new character is just too much of a mission at the moment – the thought of levelling through pandaria again conjures lights behind my eyes, and I can see my ancestors when I think of redoing all of the work I’ve put in to gear her. No, this is not something that can happen. But if I change her will I still connect with her in the same way?

These are Pvp dailies. Elite dinosaurs are cheating.

These are Pvp dailies. Elite dinosaurs is cheating.

Long weekends have spoiled me. After one long weekend spent home sick, the next extended due to public holidays, and then the stretch of easter weekend, I’ve been getting used to having 4 days or so to run everything through LFR. Doesn’t work so well when you’ve only got the usual two, especially when you spend the first couple days of your week off WoW completely due to oversaturation, and have to catch up on main-busywork over the weekend.

So! The characters that I’ve been playing lately, and their approximate enjoyment indices.

 

Always angry all the time

Always angry all the time

Drythorn
Gear: Good
Effectiveness: Good
Mood: :D

As Mists’ Designated Main, my paladin is holding steady as the strongest character in the stable. I’ve adopted abuse of my tanking offspec as a quick and shameless way to cap valour by running dungeon after dungeon, and it’s working out pretty well.

Dry got two lucky drops in the latest LFR, and that combined with his stockpile of valour when 5.2 hit has meant he’s jumped all the way to ilvl 502, the first of my characters to breach the 500 limit. More importantly, though, those two drops were the absolutely gorgeous set of shoulders and legs that are shamelessly displayed in his latest transmog.

One of Blizzard’s longtime arguments against transmog was that it would invalidate the efforts of their artists. I’d say that if their art team can produce material of this quality, there’s very little to worry about.

Inoru
Gear: Good
Effectiveness: Poor
Mood: :'(

After spending most of Cata as a healer, it’s a bit disappointing to have lost my touch. Unfortunately, that’s admittedly what’s happened here. My shaman had been competing with the paladin on gear level for the whole of T14, and indeed, it’s only recently that Dry pipped her at the post. Yet despite this, her healing numbers have been mediocre to terrible. I seem unable to really connect with shaman healing. Even the recent buff to shaman AoE didn’t help as much as needed.

It’s not a matter of not trying – I’ve reforged, tried different glyphs, tried altering my playstyle… nada. There’s something big missing here. She hasn’t even hit LFR this week – it’s too demoralising.

I’ve put together an okayish set of Elemental gear, and blowing everything up in scenarios is still cool for short stretches, but the only time she’ll be seeing the white cross next to her name in the near future is for boosting guildies into LFR. Maybe try returning to her later. It’s worked for other characters. And after picking up an Invocation of the Dawn, it would be a waste not to run around as a spellslinging shammy with a honking huge hammer on her back.

vensters

Back when she had a sword… *sniff*

Vensters
Gear: Mediocre
Effectiveness: Varies wildly
Mood: D:<

For whatever reason, I decided to spend some (a lot) of time gearing my warrior over this weekend and easter. She started out in Titan’s Grip Fury, and is presently mostly Arms. I say mostly because her weapons are uniformly awful, and I tend to switch to Fury for Amber Shaper, who can potentially drop a 1-hander for fury but no weapon for Arms.

Let’s be clear here: when I say “for whatever reason” up there, I’m not trying to be cute. I have no bleeding idea why I started gearing her – when I started, she was a benighted pile of sodding fail, appropriately as frail as her exposed joints would suggest. Her rage regeneration was hideous and twisted, the thrashing, writhing spawn of an ichor-mantled blasphemy. Self-healing was a joke, and even worse against elite mobs – such as, you know, the ones who infest every corner of the Isle of Thunder. This is, in fact, the character on which I discovered that the PvP mobs for the island are far, far easier to deal with than the trolls or mogu.

At least part of this is due to low-gear TG fury being pretty much as useful as attempting to lick your enemies to death, with the additional challenge that every now and then your jaw will clench uncontrollably and attempt to sever your tongue.

Um.

Anyway, switching to arms was an immediate improvement in damage and resource management. Even with a haste polearm – the only 463 I’ve seen so far, so don’t judge. Switching to Single Minded fury for Amber-Shaper also produced a surprising improvement in playability, and I was able to keep up with the group in damage, at least.

Warriors seem to be enormously reliant on gear – over a couple of sessions I’ve steadily worked her gear up from 450’ish to 470, and the improvement is drastic. Stuff actually dies at the other end of the pointy stick now, and it generally does so before I run out of green bar. Something I do wish for is more damage mitigation – warriors are miles behind every other melee class in AoE mitigation, and they don’t appear to have any way to deal with magical damage at all.

This heavy reliance on gear has the unfortunate side effect of making poor luck feel frustrating as hell. Going through all of HoF and ToES and getting a pair of bracers after extra-rolling everything? Not cool. Regardless, I’ll probably keep trying to gear her for a while. Mobility’s fun, if nothing else.

Avert
Gear: Decent
Effectiveness: Good
Mood: :|

His Roguishness hit a gear bonanza over easter, gearing him well into the 480s. His trinkets are the main thing holding him back, being 458 and 463 respectively. I’d actually intended to run some LFRs and get together the valour to buy a trinket this week, but got kind of sidetracked by the warrior.

There’s still a couple of nights left, one of which may or may not be a raid night (it’s a surprise!!!), so I’m still going to see if I can scrape up the 700-ish valour that he needs. Doubt LFR is on the cards, even if I can wangle a queue boost. The gear would be good, but there are (much) quicker ways of accumulating valour. ‘Sides, given the average drop rate in ToT, I wouldn’t be missing out on a whole lot anyway.

Scorched earth is the term, I believe. My character list on my server is down to 9 again, but with the loss of 3 lvl 85s.

Yes, 3. The mage I couldn’t play, the rogue I wouldn’t play, and the warrior who ws my first character ever. He’s been replaced with a shiny human paladin, bringing the count up to 3 pallies on the same server.

Don’t judge, that’s apparently my thing. Hur hur.

I will never be played again! Ha ha!

The druid is hanging on by a thread and a hope, and the simple fact that there are no mail pvp items available on my server. If I can work out what to sell in that market, she’s set. So far the results have been surprising… it looks like what people want most is belts. Chalked it up to no justice belts on offer, and the valour cords selling for 1650.

Crafters: serving your ilvl-boosting needs since 20whenever. Main problem is that leather and scales are really expensive, and the patterns require a lot of them. That means leather and mail pvp gear has to sell for a lot more than, say, cloth. Or even plate. I get that having access to two markets is meant to be a good thing for LW, but then there’s BS with weapons and plate, and tailoring with cloth and bags… just at the moment it doesn’t feel anything like being worthwhile for the amount of effort put into levelling the prof.

That 10th slot is bothering me, like a loose tooth wiggling somewhere in the back. Considered rolling another rogue*, a lock**, or maybe a worgen just to see the starting zone. For now, though, the lvl 51 alliance pally is enough to sate my levelling needs. Instead, I’ve been gearing my current 85s.

There’s a bit of a problem for melee, though, and its name is Gurthalak. With just an RF version my warrior bounced from 19k dps average to 26k. Still not stellar numbers, especially compared to my pally, but… honestly? How in the hell is one item making that sort of difference? Before getting the thing I was despairing of ever being effective on that toon again, trying everything to get my rotation sorted out, messing with keybinds, anything I could think of. Once I had it, though, all that sort of felt like a waste compared to the gear jump.

Just thought skill was meant to be more important than gear.

I feel you, bro

 

because it was fun to level once Combat was off the table

** until I looked at their actual performance as opposed to their rotations… summoning and unsummoning pets in combat to get middling dps? maintaining a host of debuffs and procs with different cooldowns for the same? are we meant to take this shit seriously?