The “Great Warlock Life Tap Nerf of 2008”, another one of those “We’re Totally Not Balancing World of Warcraft Around PVP And Especially Not Arenas, But We Are” adjustments, has finally made it to the Test Realm Patch Notes which puts it one step closer to reality on the live servers.

Life Tap: This spell now has only 3 ranks. Each now costs a fixed percentage of maximum health to cast, and grants the same fixed percentage of maximum mana: Rank 1 is 5%, Rank 2 is 12%, and Rank 3 is 20%.

If you don’t pay attention to warlocks other than to curse at or about them, this is huge. Currently, Life Tap converts a fixed quantity of health into mana (e.g. 580 health lifetaps into 580 mana), ergo, warlocks have geared heavily for high hitpoints (+ stamina gear and enchants, donchaknow) and mana pools be damned, they just swap their health into mana and eat babies’ souls. Indeed, even their class armor reflects this fascination with stamina over intellect and mana regeneration — cuz what care they for regen, lifetap isn’t at the mercy of out-of-combat mana rules or potion cooldowns.

It WAS what made warlocks so very deadly, and, so very valuable to raid DPS.

Of course. If that nerf goes live. Not so much. At least for a while until the ‘locks can regear for intellect over stamina. ENJOY!!

It’s like a minigame within the game, just like bag space. Regear for this, regear for that, resist sets are nice too, plus carry all that around in your tiny backpacks of suck.

So I’ve been watching the warlock venom on the Test Realm forums as Blizzard has cycled through multiple adjustments to the nerf because the ‘locks, they be LIVID, and the other classes are enjoying the show, and really … you should not relish another class’ nerf. The Wheel of Nerfs: round and round she goes, where she’ll stop, nobody knows.

Witness: Forum thread – LOCKS DESERVE EVERY SINGLE NERF THEY GET by Naitsirhc, level 64 shadow priest, suspected mage alt, of the Eldre’Thalas realm.

Any class that can drain life and mana is insanely OP, and you guys know it. It was not your fault that this game mechanic continues to exist, but I think every single nerf is warranted and should be applied to BALANCE this crap. And yes I am talking about PvP, I can care less about PvE. I’m sorry to be blunt, but this has gone on for far too freakin long.

The accusation: Reply #2 by Thromgal, level 70 warlock of Kil’jaeden.

You can go ahead and post on your mage.

Which sums up that thread very nicely.

And speaking of a mass exodus, where have all the healers gone?? Long time passing. Long time ago.

That’s rhetorical, I know very well where the healers have gone — away.

I did some faux research on the Healer Exodus of my own WoW realm by reading through all the recruitment threads on the first page — these would be all the recruitment threads that have been /bumped in the last few days, i.e. active recruitment threads.

The Results of my ten-minute research project:

10 total recruitment threads
8 seeking healers only, 1 seeking healers + DPS
1 seeking DPS only (lucky dogs)

5 total recruitment threads
1 seeking healers + DPS
4 seeking DPS only (also lucky)

Some interesting faux facts from my own guild:

Of our raid healing core, only 2 are pre-Burning Crusade healing mains — 1 paladin, 1 priest. A week ago, the count would have been 3 — 2 paladins + that one very dedicated priest, but the one paladin … you might remember him as our paladin man-whore … he left our guild last week.

Quick drama debriefing: Our paladin man-whore left because his latest imaginary game girlfriend abandoned him and started hanging with our other pre-BC paladin (also a man-whore as we discovered), which drove the first man-whore into another emo phase for a few weeks, then he decided “fuck this” and left. Probably to seek other imaginary game girlfriends, who knows. Anyways, this relationship with ManWhore02 and the aforementioned imaginary game girlfriend is really distracting because they are usually fighting, and she’s usually threatening to LEAVE THE SERVER and what do we care if she leaves, she’s not a healer, then ManWhore02 gets upset with the guildmates cuz goddamit we should care but I just want to /gkick the both of them and be done with it. And further, it’s this kind of shit which tempts me to call for a moratorium on guilding female players, my apologies to all the drama-averse female players out there, but can’t people keep their personal lives out of the game and just kill stuff? Crimony!

Anyhow. Except for those two pre-BC healers, the rest of the raid healing core are post-BC healers. I’m hoping they have at least a few months in them before they burn out too.

Ya, I have a lot of hope. I don’t have any resto shaman, but I have a whole lot of hope.

Casuals do most of the living and dying in this game, is it too much to have them live and die in a couple of decent epics?

Whilst I was marveling at the warlock ner … changes as proposed on the World of Warcraft Public Test Realm, aka Patch 2.4 “We Hate You All, but not you rogues because you have so little in this life it would be cruel to take anything away”, I found this nerd rage thread on the WoW PTR forums: To Casuals on a Silver Platter.

I love that thread because there’s a handful of hardcores dueling dozens of casuals — and isn’t that what the Hardcore vs Casual argument is really about? A numbers game, ultimately a profit equation, and in that system Casuals > Hardcore. You live, you learn.

So, hardcore player Altyera of the Dalaran realm, self-described as “… better at this game than you. Much, much, much better”, wrote:

Powerful rewards for people incapable of playing this game seriously? Fine.

Give me something for playing this game well. Give me something for investing three and a half years playing my chosen class to the fullest. Give me something for organizing twenty-five people every week into a well-oiled machine capable of flawlessly tackling complex encounters. Give my members something special for beating the game.

Give me a title for killing every boss in the game. Make my name sparkle and the ground glow at my feet.

Give me a 310% mount for killing Illidan. It’s no less an accomplishment than Gladiator.

Give me an entire array of legendary weapons dropping from Illidan, Archimonde and Kil’jaeden. What casual could complain that they’re not well-earned?

Give me and the top 500 guilds a private forum to converse directly with the developers.

Give me early access to private test realms, expedited character copies and a direct line to the developers while I’m testing content.

You’re giving an awful lot to casual players in this patch. Give me back as much as I put into this game. Great, fun stuff for casuals is awesome, and it’s one reason WoW is so popular. Give the top 1% some incentive to continue investing the time and effort necessary to stay at the top of this game.

Gear that is 3% better than a casual player’s and a couple fancy titles for doing things that no longer matter are far, far less than we deserve.

This is what I love about the Hardcore vs Casual debate as the Hardcores frequently argue: it’s not enough that Casuals get less, or later, than the Hardcores, they have to get much less, preferably much later.

Here’s some more:

Reply #60

The people who consider themselves casuals ruin the game for the people that play it with the purpose of trying to accomplish something they consider great. They spoil the rewards earned by people who put the time, effort, and thought into raiding.

HAHAHA. You casuals are RUINING the game for the people who accomplish GREAT things. Oh fercrissakes.

Reply #13

I have seen people with families and careers get to illidan and farm BT….nobody has an excuses anymore except lack of trying and just plain giving up or being a paraplegic, down-syndrome monkey. Why should they be entitled to free stuff for not trying when the people that actually try get exactly the same things? Its beyond silly…

Parapalegics don’t deserve epics either, I guess. Nice attitude, asshole.

Reply #26

Oh wait, I forgot that most casuals are god-awful at this game.

Pssst, so are most hardcores.

Reply #37

You just can’t talk to them Alty, they refuse, can’t, and never will understand anything about risk/reward in the game, or life.

He’s probably one of those gamers who are CEO of their own start-ups pulling down six figures while married to the super-model wife and raising six children. Even on my own WoW server, we have a lot of those. I assume they’re passing out WoW boxes with subscriptions to Fortune and The Wall Street Journal.

Reply #139

Raiders and hard-core pvper’s make-up the core and soul of this game. Kill that and kill the game. All you are doing is catering to make sh1t so damn easy my unborn child could clear every instance in the game within a week. I’m wondering when they will be giving away epics upon creating an account.

Hyperbole can be an effective argument tool. This would not be a good example of such.

Every EverQuest and Ultima Online player remembers a day when there was no choice like we have in WoW now. I didn’t play UO, but I did play EQ and there was no casual play — everything required a guild, and an able guild at that. (Ok, there was roleplaying and cyber, but we’re talking about gear and character advancement here, stud.) That wasn’t good.

Sure it was great killing Nagafen with 60 people, or getting your class epic (thanks to your guild, and possibly the entire server), but it would have been nice to have another option to get stuff. The stuff didn’t have to be the best, just better than the stuff we had. Choice would have been nice.

Today’s raiders do deserve better rewards, yes — they put in more time and deal with headaches that a solo player will never know — but we should not argue for a big gear gap. Never, never, never should we argue for a big gear gap.

One reason: recruitment.

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The Archmage Tours the World (of Warcraft)

You know the Archmage Vargoth’s Staff for summoning the Image of Archmage Vargoth when doing those Netherstorm quests in World of Warcraft? If you’re a packrat (like me), you’ve kept the staff just in case you have another quest turn-in three years from now which might require contact with Vargoth. Or, maybe, you just like to call on His Archmageness in raid zones or the Scryer bank, even though your guildmates call you a packrat as if that’s a bad thing, but you know … they’re just jealous.

Well, my Vargoth image is jealous of this: the Alliance guild “vs Predator” of the Thunderlord server has taken their Vargoth on a tour of the world and they have the screenshots to prove it.

P.S. I really hope you have scripts off in your browser before you view that slideshow. Music alert.