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Elicas

Suggestion - Timeline (PvE)

105 posts in this topic

Something that was brought up in another post and I figured it needed its own thread for visibility, as well as working out the timeline somewhat tighter. Trying to keep it to somewhat simulate the original release pattern, while bearing in mind that @Darkrasp doesn't want to release with the old items, and instead things will release with 1.12.1 itemized gear.

Release (1.1.2): 8 debuff slot limit. Release with Maraudon available.
4 weeks after the first Onyxia kill (1.3.0) - Kazzak and Azuregos released.
4 weeks after both Onyxia & MC clear (1.5.0) - Release Alterac Valley BG.
8 weeks after both Onyxia & MC clear (1.6.0) - BWL released.
2 weeks after BWL released (1.3.0) - Dire Maul & associated quests released.
4 weeks after BWL released (1.8.0) - Dragons of Nightmare and Silithus revamp.
4 weeks after BWL cleared (1.7.0) - ZG released. 16 debuff slot limit implemented.
6 weeks after BWL cleared (1.9.0 world event only) - Start War Effort.
War Effort Completed (1.9.0) - AQ 20 & 40 released.
2 weeks after AQ released (1.10.0) - Tier 0.5 quest line activated.
8 weeks after first C'thun kill (1.11.0) - Naxxramas released.
12 weeks after first Kel'Thuzad kill (2.0.1) - PTE to TBC.

As you can see from adding the patch numbers, this nearly exactly follows the original timeline for all relevant PvE content as it was added. There is only one Major change added to the list, which is the delayed release of Dire Maul. This is mainly due to the fact that the better itemized drops from DM in 1.12.1 are generally better than many classes T2 and they make MC, Onyxia and BWL trivial.

With the above scale, if we presume that the top guild on the server for each faction clears all possible content the day it releases, starts stocking War Effort materials from day one so the war effort only takes 24 hours and powerlevels to 60 in less than a week as well as attuning 40 people in one day, we would have;

1 week to 60.
24 hours for Onyxia attunement.
8 weeks of MC & Onyxia.
6 weeks of BWL.
8 weeks of AQ.
12 weeks of Naxx.

35 weeks of progression, just taking the pure timeline into account. That's just over 8 months, before we take into account a single days worth of people actually needing to do progression. AQ 40 and Naxx are certainly not going to be cleared in one day.

This will further be slowed by the gear available to each raid team as each raid releases.

No AV/Dire Maul gear for MC/Onyxia.
No Dire Maul gear for BWL.
No Silithus rep epics for BWL.
No tier 0.5 for BWL.

All in all I'd expect it to be closer to 12 months - 18 months of Vanilla before we PTE into TBC.

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That's a pretty attractive first draft, and it's something we'll use as a guideline when we have our internal discussions.  One thing I'm thinking is to shift the Dire Maul release forward a little bit, perhaps concurrent with AV (after MC has been cleared, but before BWL is released), and maybe push the Nightmare Dragons back to release concurrent with ZG.

My thinking is we'd have the best and most dedicated players forced to clear the tiered raid content without the assistance of the "half-tier" support content.  Once a few guilds have been able to clear the content though, we release the "helper" content to assist other guilds in "catching up" before the next major tiered raid is released.

Also, I personally really like the idea of releasing with Maraudon available.  I started playing in 1.4 and I don't feel I was cheated out of a "pure" levelling experience by it's inclusion.  It's a really gorgeous instance, has some really fun loot, and it isn't 60-tiered, meaning if we delay the release, many people are going to miss it because they won't be bothered to go back for it.  The Maraudon loot is strong for level 45, but let's be serious, nobody is bringing an Inventor's Focal Sword or Thrash Blade into Blackwing Lair.  Those items make the last 50-60 grind more enjoyable, they aren't overpowered end-game items.

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@Darkrasp

Agreed completely about Maraudon. Not having it at release is pointless, since you'd be patching it in within a couple of weeks, by which time the hardcore would have missed it and to the casuals leveling they probably wont notice the difference.

One of the reasons I put DM release 2 weeks after BWL release is that on the large part the DM gear is better than many BWL drops, especially BiS items like the Padre's Trousers which are BiS for Priests and Paladins until Empowered Leggings drop from Chromaggus. That's a very, very easy to get blue that can be farmed with just 3 people in ~15-20 minutes, compared to a drop from the first boss to really start causing anyone issues in Vanilla.

In my opinion, for BWL progression to have any real meaning, Dire Maul, Silithus rep and T0.5 all need to come long after BWL release.

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I will agree to disagree.  The very best items in Dire Maul, maybe.  No priest is going to use Quel'Dorai Channeling Rod over Benediction.  No warrior is going to use Kromcrush's Chestplate over Might, without even considering the set bonuses.  Counterattack Lodestone is nice, Padre's Trousers are nice, some of the trinkets are good, but I don't consider them game breaking for Blackwing Lair progression.  Besides, once you got Vael down, BWL was a faceroll anyways unless you got Red/Black on Nefarian.  Firemaw only if your hunters were as dumb as ours were.  Maybe an Incinerate/Timelapse Chromaggus, but realistically once you knew how to handle Timelapse it actually made the fight easier.

Vael was the wall.  And DM gear with no stamina or resistances weren't the key to a successful Vael kill.  That was all in the tank transition.

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@Darkrasp

I guess I just consider it more serious as a whole due to the healing items specifically, but so many BiS items from DM are equal if not better than quite a few drops from MC. If we presume that without DM drops most classes will use their T1, I'll just check over the best bits.

Padre's Trousers (cloth) +42 healing +6mp5 vs Priest: +20 healing, vs Druid: +2 mp5 +20 healing, vs Paladin: +20 healing +3mp5, vs Shaman: +30 healing

Satyr's Bow (bow) +1% hit not BiS until Striker's Mark which has just a 16.37% drop chance from Magmadar, one of the rarest weapon drops in the entire game. 

Whipvine Cord (cloth) +31 healing + 6mp5 vs Priest:+22 healing +2 mp5, vs Druid: +22 healing +2 mp5, vs Paladin: +13 healing +6mp5, vs Shaman: +13 healing +2 mp5

Gloves of Restoration (leather) +37 healing vs Druid: +19 healing vs Paladin: +19 healing, vs Shaman: -1% crit +28 healing

Hide of the Wild (cloak) +42 healing, the next 2 BiS healing cloaks Amplifying Cloak and Cloak of the Cosmos are also both from Dire Maul. 

Insightful Hood (leather) 1% spell crit +33 healing vs Druid: +21 healing +1% crit, vs Paladin: +11 healing +1% crit -4 mp5 vs Shaman: +11 healing +1% crit -6 mp5

Boots of the Full Moon (cloth) +26 healing vs Priest: +8 healing vs Druid: +8 healing -3mp5 vs Paladin: +8 healing -2 mp5 vs Shaman: +8 healing

Mindtap Talisman (trinket) +11mp5

Then take into account all the class trinkets, some more useful that others, such as;

Priest +33 healing +4mp5

Druid +44 heaiing

Rogue +2% hit

Shaman +23 healing

Considering it is generally accepted that Briarwood Reed is BiS trinket (+29 healing) and is a 26.36% drop chance from a rare spawning mob in a 10 man raid instance, you can see how powerful those healing trinkets are for how easy they are to get. Many classes can even solo getting to the Trinket Quest hand in.

Now, if we presume everyone will farm these items, which they will because a) it's easy as hell to do, even without a proper tank or full group and b) they're better than all equivalent T1 and some T2 and c) +healing is generally the single strongest stat for healers in the game, you would have;

If we take a standard Alliance healing set up of: 3 Paladins, 3 Priests, 2 Druids; each with the above BiS items, that is +1089 healing (with 8x HoW) & + 117 mp5 (with 1x Mindtap each) across the healing team for BWL compared to MC items.

If we take a standard Horde healing set up of: 3 Shamans, 3 Priests, 2 Druids; each with the above BiS items, that is +1230  healing (with 8x HoW) & +102  mp5 across the healing team for BWL compared to MC items.

Maybe even Quel'Serrar, which wont be replaced as MH tanking weapon until either Maladath or Thunderfury, I know it's rare but that's a huge MH threat weapon over all the MC drops.

To me, it all adds up to a significant difference. Just 3% +hit across ~3-4 rogues is a significant dps increase compared to maybe one warrior and one rogue having Strikers Mark. Even the additional 1% hit from the bow for every warrior tank is a significant difference. It's all those little things that add up to make the content feel much easier than it was.

I'm not trying to shoot you down here, but when you start getting +1000 or more +healing across your healing team from 5 man dungeon gear compared to 40 man raid gear, it is a significant boost to your chances of completing BWL. It really does make a big difference. Even taking out Hide of the Wild it's still +753 healing for Alliance and +894 healing for Horde.

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Ok, I'm not going to go through an item-by-item breakdown, but if you compare Prophecy Belt and Pants to Whipvine Cord and Padre's Trousers, you gain 2mp/5 and 42 +heal.  You lose, on the other hand, 280 hp, 255 mana, 30 spirit (equivalent to 19mana/5 out of combat, or roughly 2.25 in combat [a net gain] with a normal raiding talent loadout), and both shadow and fire resists, the two you need most in BWL, considering the npcs there are firing out massive amounts of AoE fire and shadow damage.  This isn't even taking set bonuses into consideration (which are admittedly crap for priests anyways, but not so for other classes).  Yes, it's more +heal, but you're talking about making a huge tradeoff to optimize a single stat.. at the lowest tier of raiding where the margin for error is pretty absurdly high anyways and that kind of optimization isn't necessary for progression in the first place.

You're talking about min/maxing a single stat to the exclusion of all others, and putting it off like Dire Maul made Blacking Lair irrelevant, even though on retail DM was released ages before BWL, and plenty of guilds still disbanded after wiping repeatedly to Vael.  I stress again, most DM gear isn't that great for Vael, and Vael is the keystone encounter in Blackwing Lair.  Felhide Cap is good for it, but farming that up in preparation isn't "cheating", it's "preparation".

From a developer perspective though, this bit is the most important bit..  Dire Maul blues do not trivialize Blackwing Lair loot, but the same can't be said the other way around.   I consider it the same way I consider having Maraudon release at launch.  I agree that the better-itemized gear in Dire Maul is often a significant improvement over comparable ilevel gear from UBRS or Stratholme, but I would argue that much of it is a downgrade, sidegrade, or at best, a situational min/max tradeoff from Molten Core gear.  More importantly, across the board, DM blues are a downgrade from BWL gear.  Players who are geared out from BWL aren't going to go back and do Dire Maul.  There are no set items to collect, and even Quel'Serrar becomes more or less an outdated curiosity at that point.  Releasing Dire Maul before BWL maybe makes BWL a little bit easier, but releasing it after BWL completely trivializes Dire Maul.  I love Dire Maul, and I want to see it run with purpose.  ;)

Edit:  Also, Warlocks and Paladins aren't going to want to wait that long for their Chargers and Dreadsteeds.

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5 hours ago, Elicas said:

 

Maybe even Quel'Serrar, which wont be replaced as MH tanking weapon until either Maladath or Thunderfury, I know it's rare but that's a huge MH threat weapon over all the MC drops.

Are you sure that should not be Alcor's Sunrazor in your comparison?

5 hours ago, Elicas said:

Just 3% +hit across ~3-4 rogues is a significant dps increase compared to maybe one warrior and one rogue having Strikers Mark.

In early gear progression you will have an easier time with crit, raw ap or agility which is why you'll see player's favoring blackhand's breadth and precisely calibrated boomstick over raw hit (they want to reach their "crit cap" before improving their hit). Standard gear and buff level obviously, if we count in full world buffs and the whole shebang it's a different story as crit cap is very easy to reach with them.

12 hours ago, Elicas said:

4 weeks after BWL released (1.8.0) - Dragons of Nightmare and Silithus revamp.
4 weeks after BWL cleared (1.7.0) - ZG released. 16 debuff slot limit implemented.

Swap: Silithus revamp and DoN loot "trivializes" Zul'Gurub.

What would trivialize early content is spelled tier 0.5. For rogues, as example, it remains BIS until AQ40 (T2,5) if your DPS is measured at semi long encounters (2½-3min and upwards).

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What really breaks the game is spells. Take a look at each patch one by one. Classes are much stronger by 1.12. Items seem trivial when you look at the big picture.

There will always be "trivial" parts because we're not going patch by patch. We're starting with 1.12 spells and abilities. Everything late game is easier because of this (Except Naxx and AQ(Mostly)).

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@Darkrasp

I understand all your points, even agree with some of them, for me it's about trying to balance the BWL race somewhat though. On Nost it was buggy and undertuned, the race was over in 1 hour and 56 minutes, with 3 guilds involved in the progression race. On Kronos it had some bugs (much less than Nost) but people massively overgeared the place and the race was over in 1 hour and 47 minutes, with the winners not wiping once and the race being between just 2 guilds. You only have one chance at releasing these raids really, and while I trust you to release them properly tuned from what you've shown in your dev updates, I'd prefer to see the races kept at least somewhat more open.

As to min/maxing a single stat, that is what pretty much every progression guild is doing nowadays. I noticed from some of you and Asuras posts that you said you hadn't found a server that satisfied you for some time so I don't know when you were last involved in Pserver end game raiding like this, but on Kronos at least it wasn't unusual to see healers getting ready for BWL with ~600 +healing to the exclusion of almost every other stat, and simply brute forcing all the encounters.

Also; Vael might have been the cockblock in retail, I don't really remember where we struggled back then tbh, but on the last 3 Pservers i've played on Vael has been nothing more than a loot pinata farm boss, Chromaggus and Broodlord are the two major blocks for the casual guilds, and the hardcore guilds were all farming it on day one.

@Soyoen

Alcor's is a one of the rarest drops in the game and can't really effectively farmed, it's not really a fair comparison. The few I saw being sold on Kronos were going for ~1250g+, enough to buy 2 Quel'Serrar books, which is coincidentally what we did.

The point about the bow and trinket was the rarity of hit rating on gear at this gearing level, I wasn't arguing rogue gearing choices. I know a dude on Kronos called Moosic who is full T2, all the rare drops, Thunderfury + Chromagg shield and still using Satyr's since they haven't had a Strikers Mark drop for literally months. The whole melee team being able to farm 1% hit in groups of 3/4 within 24 hours or so makes a huge difference.

DoN/Azuregos/Kazzak gear isn't really a huge factor in trivializing ZG, since the gear is only going to one raid group per week. Compared to the amount of people running ZG compared to those who even have the capability to compete for a world boss it is a really minor factor. ZG is pretty trivial from the get go, everyone in the raid is going to be ~50% T2 by the time it's out anyway. Silithus revamp rep items take a serious amount of grinding. If people on Crestfall follow the same pattern as Nost and Kronos and clear BWL within a few hours of its release, both of these would release on the same patch day anyway, so it's a moot point. You couldn't farm all the items before your first ZG anyway.

@Asura

Agreed, which is why I was trying to add a little extra difficulty to the proceeding by holding back DM until 2 weeks after BWL had been released. Essentially, everything for the first ~12 months of the servers lifetime is trivial and able to be brute forced. I know we can't go back to when we didn't know what the bosses did and working out tactics on the fly like the original release, but any additional jump in difficulty would be seriously appreciated.

On my retail server, Aggramar EU, we had at least 10 guilds who all got server first kills between MC-Naxx. Even in Naxx alone there was ~6 guilds who got server first kills. We just don't see that nowadays. I don't know if you even can, but I don't think making the attempt to improved 'the race' would be a negative thing.

Edited by Elicas
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Just now, Elicas said:

too long, I can't read

We're not just going to leave it as it is. We acknowledge the change in the game due to this. We intend to raise the difficulty a slight bit across the board. We're not going to be Feenix and just triple the health on bosses, but we will definitely make sure they present a challenge. We plan to overtune and slowly nerf to get things at a good difficulty for veteran players, especially considering all of the changes made to the spells/racials/items/etc.

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3 minutes ago, Asura said:

We're not just going to leave it as it is. We acknowledge the change in the game due to this. We intend to raise the difficulty a slight bit across the board. We're not going to be Feenix and just triple the health on bosses, but we will definitely make sure they present a challenge. We plan to overtune and slowly nerf to get things at a good difficulty for veteran players, especially considering all of the changes made to the spells/racials/items/etc.

Yeah I get that mate, hence why I'm throwing ideas and suggestions out to try and help stimulate some discussion on where you can make things more difficult without moving too far into the world of 'Non-blizzlike funserver' accusations.

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The Feenix solution and especially Emerald Dream, where hp and armor was put 30-40% higher, was made trivial by the fact that you could buff yourself to the point where switching stances as warrior was impossible. This became a frequent occuring event in our raids. A better solution would be to have the health pool, armor and resistances remain the same but have the frequency of events or the effects of them boosted in early-mid content progression.

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44 minutes ago, Soyoen said:

The Feenix solution and especially Emerald Dream, where hp and armor was put 30-40% higher, was made trivial by the fact that you could buff yourself to the point where switching stances as warrior was impossible. This became a frequent occuring event in our raids. A better solution would be to have the health pool, armor and resistances remain the same but have the frequency of events or the effects of them boosted in early-mid content progression.

We're looking at a little of both really. The stat buff only extends the fight, not increases the difficulty. If say we buffed by 10%, and reduced their cooldowns(non static ones), it'd both bring more challenge and a little bit more of an extension to the fight. We want to make sure people buff appropriately. We want people to use their cooldowns properly. We want healers having problems sustaining mana. We want tanks getting hit like trucks, and we want to punish DPS who stand in stuff. Changes to one side of the other only help it a bit. Adjusting both will definitely give the boost it needs, without breaking the encounter, or boring people people by having to sit there for double the length of time.

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Vael was commonly called, "Vaelestrasz, Destroyer of Guilds" or "Vaelestrasz, the Guildbreaker".  It's the gateway to the entire BWL instance, and killed more players every day than almost anything else in the game.  Once you get through Vael, you *shouldn't* have any problems until Chromaggus anyways because Broodlord and the Drakes are vastly easier fights.  If Vael isn't wiping raids left and right, then we haven't done a good enough job scripting him.

Reality is, we're not delaying Dire Maul any longer than Post-MC clear, and if it were up to me, not even that long.  It just isn't happening.  We'll explore other ways to delay progress, but we feel that's better done through having properly tuned fights than disabling content.  At the same time, we don't want to just dump on players and make things arbitrarily harder for the sake of crapping on players.  Many vanilla enthusiasts are former vanilla players.  They did this content on live and already learned how to do it properly.  Should it be that surprising that they can clear it quickly?  Gear walls and resist walls are still going to be gear walls and resist walls, but we can't expect huge delays from things like 4HM, which took retail guilds weeks to figure out a workable strategy for, because those strategies are already common knowledge.  A fight with a low gear requirement that only requires mechanical execution isn't going to hold players back for long now.  We tune by upping the survivability requirements and reducing margin for error, not by just saying "you can't do Dire Maul because plus heal".

The other thing is, most private servers target all the NPCs abilities on the current target.  I know this because I've been converting and rewriting the publicly available scripts for months.  Tanks take a whooping, but everyone else is relatively safe from harm because NPCs aren't throwing out all the random and AoE damage they normally do.  Trust me, going into BWL with 1800 max life, no resists, and a boatload of plus healing is going to be a bad idea here.  Maybe it will allow for some wonderfully efficient downranking, but it'll be easy to see how much healing you do as a corpse on the floor after getting oneshot by a random targeted shadowbolt that on Kronos or Nost would only ever go onto the tank.

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7 hours ago, Asura said:

We're looking at a little of both really. The stat buff only extends the fight, not increases the difficulty. If say we buffed by 10%, and reduced their cooldowns(non static ones), it'd both bring more challenge and a little bit more of an extension to the fight. We want to make sure people buff appropriately. We want people to use their cooldowns properly. We want healers having problems sustaining mana. We want tanks getting hit like trucks, and we want to punish DPS who stand in stuff. Changes to one side of the other only help it a bit. Adjusting both will definitely give the boost it needs, without breaking the encounter, or boring people people by having to sit there for double the length of time.

just make sure you don't tell people how much you're lowering the cooldowns of boss abilities  : D

on a side note can i get the forum to make text emoticons without automatically switching to the yellow versions?

Edited by Aquane
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2 hours ago, Aquane said:

on a side note can i get the forum to make text emoticons without automatically switching to the yellow versions?

I don't think so.. other than wrapping your whole post in code - no syntax highlighting.
Something like what I'm doing on this post :D xD :) ;)

 

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@Darkrasp Something I forgot to ask about the above, can your emulator handle the swap between 8/16 debuffs and does it have the functionality to add the debuff costings they introduced towards the end? I'm guessing it's a pretty easy thing, but my techno voodoo is meni weak. Not being able to start with half a dozen dps warriors with deep wounds & impale combo because deep wounds keeps wiping sunder off the list will make things much more difficult than they were on Kronos, where every guild seems to use a half a dozen fury warriors or on Nost, where debuffs were limited to 8 but they had costings so DW didn't overwrite anything.

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@Asura Is going to have to answer that one.  Has to do with core functionality.  If I had to guess I'd say we can do it however we want, since I know Asura rewrote the aura handler himself.  (all buffs/debuffs are considered auras in terms of game mechancs).  I'm not 100% certain myself how debuffs are supposed to work, and what determines which one will override another, since I never did the research on that particular facet of the game.

One question about Kronos/Nost, since I never played there.. Was it possible to survive Nefarian's Shadow Flame without an Onyxia Scale Cloak?

 

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1 hour ago, Darkrasp said:

@Asura Is going to have to answer that one.  Has to do with core functionality.  If I had to guess I'd say we can do it however we want, since I know Asura rewrote the aura handler himself.  (all buffs/debuffs are considered auras in terms of game mechancs).  I'm not 100% certain myself how debuffs are supposed to work, and what determines which one will override another, since I never did the research on that particular facet of the game.

One question about Kronos/Nost, since I never played there.. Was it possible to survive Nefarian's Shadow Flame without an Onyxia Scale Cloak?

 

No it was not.. after shadowflame dot was finished.. the player was hit for 80k+ damage, instantly killing them..

you were able to test this before they removed ony cloak's functionality in retail..

so no... you should not survive shadow flame without a cloak... all private servers have it wrong..

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2 hours ago, Darkrasp said:

One question about Kronos/Nost, since I never played there.. Was it possible to survive Nefarian's Shadow Flame without an Onyxia Scale Cloak?

 

I honestly don't know, we had enough crafted for all our tanks and melee team before BWL opened and as I was on Alliance side fear warp OPness meant we never had a shadowflamed raid.

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The answer then, is yes.  Nefarian originally would Shadowflame the ENTIRE raid prior to landing.  You couldn't hide behind a pillar or anything, it ignored line of sight.  There was a glitchy spot behind the throne you could hide in and sometimes survive, but generally anyone without a cloak was toast before he landed.  That got removed eventually, but we'll be reinstating it and making sure everyone, melee and ranged, needs a cloak or they're dead before phase 2 begins.

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7 hours ago, Darkrasp said:

The answer then, is yes.  Nefarian originally would Shadowflame the ENTIRE raid prior to landing.  You couldn't hide behind a pillar or anything, it ignored line of sight.  There was a glitchy spot behind the throne you could hide in and sometimes survive, but generally anyone without a cloak was toast before he landed.  That got removed eventually, but we'll be reinstating it and making sure everyone, melee and ranged, needs a cloak or they're dead before phase 2 begins.

 

You made me so happy, have my babies

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@Asura

@Phaanboi just brought up the 8/16 debuff slot change I asked about in this thread earlier, it seems to have slipped through the gaps and we haven't had an update since @Darkrasp said you would have to answer that. Could we get an update on whether the 8/16 debuff change will be a thing here or not?

Would be a significant change to Kronos/Rebirth and would have the added side effect of making the earlier raids much more difficult.

Cheers.

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On 21. mai 2016 at 4:40 PM, Darkrasp said:

One question about Kronos/Nost, since I never played there.. Was it possible to survive Nefarian's Shadow Flame without an Onyxia Scale Cloak?

I can speak for Nost, since me and my guild farmed killed him for many months before Nost was shut down:

No, it was not possible to survive Nefarian's Shadow Flame without Onyxia Scale Cloak. I know this for sure because we brought some socials without cloak some times, and they insta-died when Nef landed in start of P2. 

Same applied for Shadow Flame at the 3D (Firemaw, Ebonroc, Flamegor) - if you got hit without wearing the cloak, you died.

Edited by Phaanboi
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How are you going to balance this timeline between hardcore players who hit max level after six days and people like me for whom those six days are rather six months? If TBC is really released after only 8 months this would leave me with almost no time for end game content. If I remember correctly vanilla WOW ran from Feb. 2005 to Jan. 2007, i. e. about 23 months.

Is the majority of players on pservers really that hardcore and progress oriented that you fear losing them before the expansions?

A possible but rather unsatisfying solution to this was discussed in another thread: letting servers with an older expansion stay online and give players the opportunity to copy their characters to the expansion server when they want to.

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