Tag Archives: ghostcrawler

My BlizzCon 2013

This past weekend I got to attend my second BlizzCon. It was amazing, even better than the first one I went to. I got to see so much, play some demos and, most importantly, meet a whole lot of the WoW community and devs.

I got in to Santa Ana on Thursday afternoon, where I met my guildie and roommate Serrath then headed to the Hilton. Immediately after checking in, I ran into the first group of people I knew – Vidyala and Vosskah, who I met before when they came to Toronto and who had procured me my ticket, and Kelesti. After a quick hello, I went to my room to get settled, then met up with a few more of my guildmates – Grumdy, Srs and Jack – then went to wait in line to get our tickets. The line took a while, close to 2 hours. It was nice to have my own name on my badge this year. Last time I came to Anaheim without a ‘Con ticket and someone generously gave me one when I got there. 

Anaheim Convention Centre

The Anaheim Convention Centre

I really wanted to make it to the Wowhead/WI party this year but again, it didn’t happen. After getting badges and going for dinner the party was full by the time I got there. No one really wanted to wait in another line, so we headed back to the Hilton instead. At the Hilton I finally met up with the rest of my guildies – Sara, Kal, Chronis, Slout, Raymiee, Sheep, Shawnelle, Tikari and Kristin.

I also met up Arielle from the Inconspicuous Bear, and we had one or two (or three or four) drinks together, including an N7 toast with Kal. Most of my guildies were tired from the day of travelling and waiting in lines, so I soon ended up as the last member of Apoth standing. It was all good though, there were plenty of people to meet and talk to. I mostly hung around with Arielle; Entropia, an ex-guildmate who knows everyone and was always happy to introduce me to them; and Novvie, who isn’t in Apoth but sort of got adopted by us over the course of the weekend.

I met a bunch of people for the first time on Friday, including: Hamlet, Perculia, Theck, Jed, Quori, Noel (who gives great hugs), Sunnier, Rhidach, Antigen, Dysmorphia, Ophelie, Zahrym, Bashiok, Ghostcrawler, Bajheera and WarcraftJen.

Bajheera with Jasyla and Novvie

Novvie, Bajheera and me!

Thursday night was a lot of fun and BlizzCon technically hadn’t even started yet.

Friday morning everyone got up bright and early so we could get good seats for the opening ceremonies. We managed to find almost everyone and got to sit together for these. While waiting for them to start, Serrath and I snuck off to the Heroes of the Storm demo area to take advantage of the small line. Heroes was a ton of fun. I had never played any type of DoTA/League game before and I really liked playing support as Tyrael. Also, our team won, which makes things even more enjoyable. I ended up playing two games of this on Friday, and while I wasn’t nearly as good playing Illidan, the game was still really cool. I can’t wait for the beta to come out.

My favourite WoW character and I.

My favourite WoW character and I.

Opening ceremonies were great – it’s so obvious how much all the developers and people who work at Blizzard love the work they do and their excitement is infectious. I watched a number of panels, and had a very brief look at the Warlords Demo. I really only had time to look at the new level 100 talents (Hunter talents – amazing. Bola Shot! Druid talents – meh).  In the afternoon Apotheosis met up at the Meeting Stone. Finally, all 16 of us were together in one place! Apotheosis sure knows how to represent.

Apotheosis at BlizzCon 2013

Apotheosis at the Meeting Stone. Yep, we’re babes.

While we were at the Meeting Stone I also got to meet Navimie. I was really excited to meet her after reading her blog for so long and getting Navi-spammed in game. I also got to meet Khuruuk and Tinderhoof, but not Reesi, who I only glimpsed briefly before she disappeared forever.

I watched the fan contests that night. Some of the costumes were great. I particularly liked the feral troll druid, the training dummy and the Tuskarr. The fan-made movies and art were good, and so were the musical acts – though I don’t think they picked the right winner.

That night was the Convert to Raid party where I got to meet even more people. I met a number of the Something Wicked crew – Esoth, Rotund, Derevka, Settesh, and Anafielle. I’m always talking to SW people on Twitter or going to their Flex/LFR runs, so it was nice to finally be able to meet some of them. I also got to talk to Daxxarri, Megacode, Soanix and Kerriodos briefly at the party. I saw, but didn’t meet, Swifty and decided to make it my mission to have girls (or boys) in hotpants follow me around at parties (now accepting volunteers). 

Then it was back to my second home at BlizzCon, the Hilton lobby. Friday was a pretty crazy night, the drinks were flowing, and most of my guild managed to stay up until last call. I got to spend some time talking to one of my favourite Druids – Hamlet.

With Hamlet!

With Hamlet!

Ghostcrawler was also around and he spent some time talking to all the Apoth members gathered around, which was amazing. We got some pictures, and some hugs.



I got off to a bit of a slow start on Saturday. Serrath and I decided that sleeping and goingt IHOP for some greasy breakfast was top priority and we ended up getting to the convention centre pretty late to watch the live raid. When we got there Method was already on Garrosh and Midwinter was wiping on Dark Shamans. Tanking those two shaman together? Midwinter is brave. And crazy. That sounds (and looked) terrible. I’m not usually a fan of watching video games on streams or anything, but the live raid always gets me pumped. It’s surreal and amazing to hear a crowd of thousands of people cheering as a boss is ticking down from 5% health or collectively groaning as some boss ability takes out 5 players.

I also stayed for the WoW systems panel. There are a lot of changes coming in Warlords. The Garrison system looks really interesting and some of the inventory changes announced are huge quality of life changes. The biggest announcement was that hard-mode raiding (now called Mythic) would be one size only: 20. This finally gets rid of the whole 10 vs. 25 man debate and a whole bunch of tuning issues. I think this will make most guilds go through some adjustments, but ultimately it’s a good thing. And I think they picked the correct size.

On Saturday I wanted to hang out with so many people that I ended up going for dinner twice. Once with one group of Apotheosis and then with another group, plus Hamlet, Perculia, Hestiah, Esoth and Ilaniel. After that it was back to the Hilton (surprise!). The lobby was absolutely nuts on Saturday night. Packed to the brim and so noisy. I made it my mission to find the people who I really wanted to meet but hadn’t run into yet and got some help from my friends to find them.

First on that list was Vixsin. She’s been one of my favourite bloggers ever since I read her first post on Life in Group 5. She writes so well and is such a good healer resource. I finally managed to find her after circling the lobby a few times and some tweeting back and forth. There was quite a bit of fan-girling going on.

The next person I really wanted to meet was Absallom, protection paladin from Blood Legion. Not just because of his WoW credentials, but also because he’s from Toronto too and is always posting amazing food pictures on Twitter. I found him eventually and he was super nice and related to my Toronto traffic woes.

Absallom from Blood Legion

Absallom from Blood Legion

I also found Ion Hazzikostas, who I bugged for a bit about raid design. One of the first things I asked was “So, Immerseus. What were you thinking?” Then I immediately felt bad that I was being one of those people, and let him know I really liked the other 13 bosses in Siege.

Ion Hazzikostas

Ion Hazzikostas

I chatted with a few more people before the night was over. Matticus – there is photographic evidence of this somewhere, but I haven’t’ seen it yet. Ghemit – who always seemed to be everywhere at once. Pat Krane, which involved me being a bit of a fangirl – CTR is the most well-made and well-voiced WoW podcasts I’ve ever heard – and being really stoked when he told me how much he liked my blog. 

The Hilton party wound down, Sunday morning came so fast and then it was time to go back home.

I’m sure I met many more awesome people during my time in Anaheim. It’s hard to write this post without just making it a big, long list of people. It was also really cool when people recognized me and came up to talk. It was a bit surreal getting compliments in-person about my blog, or even better, about my food posts. BlizzCon 2013 was a really excellent time and really reminds me why I love this game so much and why I’ve continued to play it for so long.

Thanks for the good times!

On Wild Growth and Nerfs

The first patch notes from the 4.3 PTR are here! And boy are there a lot of changes. Buffs to Paladin and Priest group healing, Shaman get buffs to Riptide and an interesting change to Ancestral Healing.

Resto Druids get one, lone change in their class list:

Wild Growth: Heals up to 5 friendly party or raid members within 30 yards of the target for 2975 3717 over 7 sec. Prioritizes healing most injured party members. The amount healed is applied quickly at first, and slows down as the Wild Growth reaches its full duration. (source)

Yes, ladies and gentleman, this represents a 20% nerf to the healing output of our best group healing spell. Ouch.

And to add insult to injury, the Glyph of Wild Growth is potentially changing as well:

Glyph of Wild Growth now also increases the cooldown on Wild Growth by 2 seconds. (source)

So, we get less base output from our number 1 healing spell and will receive extra reduction in output because we’ll have to choose between WG hitting 6 targets but having a 10 second cooldown, or WG hitting only 5 targets but having an 8 second cooldown.

This seems like a fairly sizable overall nerf to druid raid healing. Ghostcrawler, likely having learned the lesson that people fear change and will freak out whenever said changes are revealed, put up a blog post about it right away. Let’s see what he has to say about druids.

We’re okay with Resto druids using Wild Growth frequently, but we think we allowed it to become too powerful given its ease of use. As I suggested above, this may or may not be sufficient to nerf Resto druid throughput overall. The change to the Glyph of Wild Growth has positive and negative elements. We heard from druids that they felt like they didn’t have as many major glyph choices as intended, since the Glyph of Wild Growth was such a no-brainer for raiding druids — it increased the number of Wild Growth targets with no downside. We want major glyphs to be a decision, which usually involves them having some kind of downside. With the AE heals, we thought the downside might be that the healers may not be using their AE heals necessarily, but having seen two raid tiers of content now, we’re confident that the glyphs did not have as much of a downside. (We changed the Glyphs of Circle of Healing and Light of Dawn for similar reasons). (source)

I don’t disagree that Wild Growth is a bit too powerful given its ease of use. I’ve even written about this topic before. I think that 30% of my healing coming from a single, extremely easy to use spell is too much. However, just nerfing it isn’t the answer. We need something in return. Want us to use Wild Growth less or for it to make up less of our healing? Give us a reason to use other spells instead. As long as we’ve got fights with periods of huge damage to the whole raid, the smart, group heals will always be favored. If boss mechanics aren’t going to change, then we need a new spell or an improvement to an old one that can give Wild Growth a run for its money.

The glyph change is just an extra kick in the teeth. It’s true, druids don’t have much choice when it comes to glyphs, but it’s not because none of them have a downside, it’s because there aren’t enough of them and only 3 are decent. If you want us to have to make a decision about glyphs, you need to give us more options.

The thing that really bothers me about GC’s justification though is this: …”this may or may not be sufficient to nerf Resto druid throughput overall.” Who said we needed a nerf?

I have words for you, crab

Dear Ghostcrawler,

I thought we had an understanding. In return for not having any damage mitigation cooldowns, no talents like Inspiration or Ancestral Fortitude, no buffs to give other players besides MotW (which is also done by pallies) and a really weak Innervate if we ever use it on others, we would be a little higher on raw HPS than everyone else. I thought it was a fair deal. Why are you trying to change it?

When we were given a 3-minute Tranquility as our “new” raid cooldown, I had a bad feeling. I really thought that using Tranquility 2-3 times a fight would increase our healing output by a large margin, other healers would complain, and the output would be reduced. Well, I was wrong about the spell that’s getting nerfed, but that is what is happening.

Now, it’s early in the PTR, it just opened today. These changes are not set in stone. I will not proclaim the sky is falling, I will not stomp my feet on the ground, start rending my garments, or threatening to quit the game or re-roll. That doesn’t seem very productive. I will simply offer a plea for reconsideration and some thoughts:

  • If you want to give one of our best (and really only glyph options) a drawback, you need to provide new glyphs so we actually have others to choose from.
  • If you want to reduce the healing of Wild Growth do it in a more elegant way. Give us a new spell, improve an old one – make us want to cast other spells more often.
  • Reconsider the opinion that our throughput needs to be nerfed at all. You solved our lack of cooldowns problem by giving us one that was 100% throughput. Are you surprised that our throughput is now very high? Was this not an expected or intended result?
  • Consider buffing other classes instead of weakening us. I see you’re already doing this, which is great. Why not just give that a shot and see how things balance out before you start swinging the old nerfbat at us?
  • And lastly, look to the past before making any hasty decisions about the future. Remember 4.0.6? When you increased the amount of healing of Wild Growth by 30% and shortened the cooldown by 2 seconds? There was a reason for that. We had no effective way of healing up multiple people quickly before that. No burst. Don’t take that away. Do you want us to go back to spamming Rejuv on as many targets as we can in order to put out enough healing?

Thanks for listening,