poniedziałek, 13 października 2014

Will HotS succed - an in-depth look and a comparison to LoL

I would like to start off by saying that I have been playing League of Legends for over 4 years now. I started playing back in 2010 when season 1 was about to end (and managed to reach gold in one week just before rewards were distributed). Recently I haven't been playing the game as much but my peek division in ranked was Diamond 2 so you could say that I know a thing or two.

Before you say that comparing the two is pointless - no it's not. As of right now, League is the most played game in the world and it pretty much defined the moba genre thus comparing it to HotS is completely natural and pivotal in determining its success.

I managed to get my hands on the technical alpha of Heroes about a week ago or so and been playing pretty much non stop. While the game has its issues and still needs quite a bit of work, I feel like Blizzard is taking the right direction with it because most important of all, the game is VERY fun to play. With that being said, fun does not necessarily mean simplistic. I saw many people complain that HotS is a casual game, far easier than LoL or DotA 2, that takes no skill whatsoever. That is far from true, it is a typical 'easy to get into and hard to master' type of game (and such games are the most successful ones if done right). I will elaborate on the matter in detail shortly.

Will this game be an e-sport? I've heard that question asked so many times. Blizzard is open to the idea and will let the players decide. I personally believe that this game will most definitely be an e-sport and will become as huge as DotA 2 or perhaps with time, even as huge as LoL. Whether I am right or not remains to be seen. Look at Hearthstone though - Blizzard was unsure of how well it would do, they knew that it might hit off and become quite popular but the game has surpassed everybody's expectations. Why is that so?

One needs to define what a game needs in order to be considered an e-sport. Yes, the game has to be competitive and potentially quite complex at a higher level of play - but it also needs to be easy to get into. Lets face it, top tier diamond/master/challenger players that play the game from 6 to 16 hours per day make up only a small portion of playerbase in LoL. Same goes for Hearthstone Legends or any higher ranked/pro players in any game for that matter. These players are a mere 1% or even less than that. LoL's main revenue comes from casuals that play the game just to have fun because they are THE majority. That is why games that strive to become an e-sport need to cater to the masses. If a game is easy to play and hard to master, these casuals might enjoy watching pros compete which would not be the case if the game was highly complex and hard/frustrating to get into. Remember, there is a big difference between a game being purely casual/simplistic and acessible (with potential depth)

Now, lets get into the gameplay of HotS. As I have stated before, the game is extremely fun to play. It is also very innovative and in respect to LoL, very much different. I belive that this is a good thing, innovation is good and besides, lets face it - some people are getting tired of playing the same game with one 5v5 map for 4 years (me being one of them).The first thing that you will notice is that unlike in LoL, you start the game with 4 abilities (by default Q,W,E and D). This adds a lot of dynamic and opens up the possibility of team fighting at very early levels. Later on as you level up in-game, you can choose between 6 abilities every 3 levels. Upon reaching level 10, you can choose between two ultimate abilities (by default R) - given that the XP is shared between all players in the team, reaching level 10 first will give you an immense advantage and will most likely force a team fight. The game is centered around fightning for objectives all over the map, farming lanes is secondary (there is no such thing as last hitting thus pushing the waves of cs onto towers is not necessarily a good idea simply because your opponent can stand behind his tower/gate and soak the xp for free). On the other hand, freezing a lane is not always a best idea either because it allows your opponent to roam around the map or take mercenaries camp (jungle monsters of sort, the difference being that after defeating them they will fight for your team and push one of the lanes). Map awarness and predictive power are absolutely crucial, even more so than in LoL (knowing where your opponent is and being able to anticipate his moves is going to give you a HUGE advantage). I don't understand why some people bash this game claiming that it is too easy. In my personal opinion, at higher level of play, this game is going to require more coordination and teamplay than both LoL and DotA. In LoL, the amount of potential strategies is in reality very limited – when picking a team comp, you can either focus on mid game power spike or heavy late game/wombo combo team fighting.

After the horrid laning phase (which FYI I was never a big fan of) ends, you can either contest for objectives such as blue/red buffs or dragon (and later on – baron). If your team is behind, you may try to split push and outrotate your opponent – that is pretty much it. The worst thing about League is that if you lose the said lanining phase and/or fall behind in mid game team fights, you can very often determine the victor. It is very hard to come back with gold defict of 5k+, even if you outplay the enemy team (depending on the stage of the game that is). What I love about HotS is that you can make a come back very easily if you outplay your opponent. Because of lack of items in the game, you can't get ahead so much and have to constantly stay focused on the objectives and keep on playing equally good throughout the entire match. This opens up the possibility of miraculous turn arounds that are going to be very entertaining to watch. Also, from what little I played, I can see countless more potential strategies to win. In other MOBAs you can carry your teammates to victory by farming on your own and winning your lane - in HotS, such a thing will be impossible. Without constant, proper coordination with your team, you are bound to lose. The next big difference are maps – unlike in LoL, there are FIVE different 5v5 maps (and more are continuously added and I assume that we are bound to see at least one more map before the game is released). The maps feel same in a way but each require a different approach and strategy. In League, I never understood the point of introducing game modes such as dominion or the howling abyss (or even twisted treeline). I suppose that it is fun to play these different game modes from time to time but if you compare the amount of games played on summoner's rift to the other two, the latter is insubstantial. Wouldn't it be better for Riot to focus on classic 5v5 game mode and introduce one or two different variations of summoners rift? I understand that balancing is an issue here but one that can be overcome if resources were not wasted on all the other game modes. I really dig the idea of 5 different game modes and love Blizzard's approach.

While I very much enjoyed playing LoL for all these years, the time has come to turn over a new leaf and try something fresh. I gave League a go yesterday and after spending some time in HotS, I must say that the latter is so much more fun to play that I doubt that I am going to play another LoL game any time soon. I saw every Season 4 World Championship match and I admit that watching LoL at highest level of play is still a very fun experience – that is why I can't contain my excitment when I think of all that is ahead of us with Heroes of the Storm.

piątek, 1 sierpnia 2014

Adventure Concept: Assault on the Icecrown Citadel

Be sure to check it out over at: http://www.hearthpwn.com/forums/off-topic/general-chat/16462-adventure-concept-assault-on-the-icecrown-citadel

PS: Might start streaming again soon! I am going to try and push top 16 EU in Hearthstone this season! Stay tuned!

wtorek, 15 kwietnia 2014

Crit Damage versus Crit Chance

Some people asked me, when does crit damage become more valuable than crit chance and vice versa. Well, both stats are affected by each other and their actual value might differ depending on your personal stats.

By default, every class has base critical hit chance of 5% and critical hit damage of 50%.

Now, assuming that you increase them both proportionally, their value will remain the same. So, to make them most effective, you stats should progress in the following way:

10% Chc and 100% Chd
20% Chc and 200% Chd
30% Chc and 300% Chd
40% Chc and 400% Chd
50% Chc and 500% Chd

and so on...

Now lets take a look at the following example:

Lets assume that your current crit chance is at 10% and Chd at 100%.

Increasing your Chd by 200% will give you the same net gain in DPS as increasing your Chc by 20%

On the other hand, if you will increase your Chd by 100% and your Chc by 10%, you DPS will increase by TWICE as much.

And thus we are arrive at a simple conclusion: By balancing your crit damage and crit chance, you will gain more DPS than by simply stacking one of the two stats.

The above conclusion might of course vary from class to class, depending on what buffs your class has. Remember to take them into account when deciding whether to go for Chd or Chc.

Also, when you are deciding whether to roll Chd or Chc on an item, be sure to know what max rolls you can get on the said item. For this purpose, I advise you to make yourself familiar with the following website: http://www.d3maxstats.com/ (it does the job quite nicely and is relatively easy to use, with clean and simple user interface).

For example, you might want to increase your EHP by getting more vitality. If you have 50% Chd or 6% Chc on your ring, you should probably not replace any of these stats with vitality. Instead, you're better of getting rid of your weapon with 30-35% Chd. If you are using a weapon with the following stats: a socket, 650-750 primary stat and 30-35% Chd, you probably have no vitality on it. If your other weapon with potential vitality has same weapon DMG, you will gain more DPS by equipping that weapon and replacing your 30-35% ChD with 650-750 vitality. This is just an example to show you how important it is to know highest possible rolls in Diablo on all types of items.

sobota, 12 kwietnia 2014

'+All Resistances' stat in Reaper of Souls

I would like to talk about All Resistances stat in Reaper of Souls.

1. 'All Resistance' stat as a random magic property on an item

Lets take a look at 2 separate sets of items:

(we will ignore all other stats and focus only on armor and all resistances)

Set A:

Head: +595 Armor AND +160 of One type of Resistance.
Chest: +595 Armor AND +160 of One type of Resistance.
Legs: +595 Armor AND +160 of One type of Resistance.

Set: B:

Head:  +100 All Resistances
Chest: +100 All Resistances
Legs: +100 All Resistances

What makes armor superior to all resistances is that you can have both armor and one type of resistance on an item at the same time. If you roll +All Res on an item though, you can't roll one type of res anymore - which makes sense but renders all resistances much less desirable. Why is that so? Because all the other secondary stats are rather useless (unless you play a certain build/have a certain item that might make use of stat such as healthglobe bonus, increased gold pickup and so on).

Anyway, lets proceed with the analysis of set A and B.

100 armor = 10 all res (this might not be entirely true, depending on your stat values but lets just make that assumption for now)

So from set A we get: 1785 armor (which equals to about of 180 All Resistances AND on top of that +160 of three types of resistances).

Obviously, on some items you can't have as much armor as on the others (max roll on armor on shoulders, belt and boots is 397) but even so, in my opinion, armor is still superior to all resistances.

Anyway, the point of this analysis was not to show you how good armor is because in reality, it is not that good at all. But if it is sill better than all resistances, what does it tell us about them?

In my opinion, one should avoid getting All Resistances on an item and instead focus on other stats like crit chance/crit damage or w/e (assuming you have resistances as a secondary stat on your items). If you are playing on Hardcore though, You NEED to have either +All res or  +One type of res on an item, latter being better assuming it is arcane/fire > poison/lightning (the first 2 being the most deadly types of elemental damage). Unless intellect is your primary stat. In that case, you should be getting more hp or even armor because of the Diminish Return values that render All Resistances really useless for you. Classes that use strength or armor need to reach certain soft caps but you will reach them just by having high enough value of your primary stat (which you really should have).

2. 'All Resistances' Gems

I see A LOT of people going for All Resistances gems which in my opinion is a great mistake.

First of all, think about flawless square gems (imperial-like gems from before the expansion). They granted 34 all res AND 34 of a primary stat. As of now, while primary gem values jump to insane amounts like 220+, +All Res gems do not scale that well (you get almost triple times more strength than you do of all resistances). Just think about it, 1 str = 1 armor, so 220 str = 220 armor which is equal to like 22 all res. So in reality all res gems give you even less in comparison to primary stats ones. In my opinion, you should avoid getting all res gems even if you are lacking toughness and try to get more vitality/resistances on your actual gear (that way, you will end up having better DPS/EHP values).

So to sum up (TL;DR version of the post):

If you play a barbarian, crusader or a demon hunter and have hard time getting a one type of res that you want as a secondary stat on your gear, you need to get some all resistances gear. But if you can choose between an item with +160 Arcane Resistance and +100 All Resistances, go for the one with arcane res.

If you play a monk , all resistances are shit for you and you should really avoid them.

If you play a wizard or a witch doctor, all resistances are of much less value to you then to other classes because in Reaper of Souls, you will get more stats on your gear and more stats means reaching DR rather quickly.

środa, 26 marca 2014

[HARDCORE GUIDE] The Divine Warrior - How to become an unstoppable force of destruction on Torment difficulty

4. SKILLS -VIABLE (other abilities that you might want to pick up, depending on your personal preferences)
6. BALANCING YOUR STATISTICS & GEARING (potential BiS items that are worth looking at)
8. SOLO PLAY AND CO-OP PLAY (differences between both, what follower to pick for use etc.)
9. USEFUL LINKS (as an example:
10. FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. How to become an unstoppable force of destruction on Torment difficulty - INTRODUCTION
I wrote countless guides throughout all the years of my gaming career and received immensely positive feedback. I came back to Diablo 3 very recently, used to play a barbarian on hardcore before the infamous inferno nerf. Some of you might know me for my barbarian guide which became the most popular diablo guide on the web with over 250,000 views. 
Right now I am playing a crusader on hardcore, my aim being nothing less than world first clear of torment VI. I have no softcore experience whatsover thus this guide might not apply to some of you that do not play hardcore (with that being said, you might still find a lot of useful information here)
Now, onto the guide itself. 
While on softcore you should aim for having as much damage as possible with a bare minimum of EHP value, that is not the case for hardcore.

Pros and Cons of The Divine Warrior build:
- Rather safe due to all survival and utility abilities.
- Lots of "invisible" EHP coming from block, physical damage should not be an issue.
- Quite high single target DPS.
- Amazing for party play with other classes that have lots of AoE. Your job is simple: keep the mobs at bay and focus on killing elites.

- Lack of sustained AoE DMG (bombardment being the only AoE skill).
- Wrath generation might be an issue because of the high cost of the Shield Bash ability (it can be easily resolved if you get a 4p and 6p of the Akkhan set or simply craft the Piro Marella legendary shield).
- Not so good for solo farming (unless you go for some AoE alternatives like Heaven's Fury/Shattered Shield rune on Shield Bash).

If there are tons of white mobs everywhere, you might end up struggling to kill them. It might be a good idea to ignore them and try to find an elite pack (if you feel safe enough on whatever difficulty you're playing that is). If your block chance is high enough, you should actually heal instead of taking damage from all the white mobs that are attacking you. Let them chase you, just use your bombardment ability when fighting an elite pack so that it also kills all the white mobs. That way, you will save yourself a lot of time and seed up your farming process significantly. 
 Punish /w  Fury Rune
15% additional block chance on top of 15% crit chance makes this skill exceptionally good. Be sure to use your Shield Bash ability and not Punish upon Hardened Senses block proc in order to maximize your damage output. 
 Shield Bash /w  Pound Rune

The weapon damage scaling on Pound is just too good to pass up, all the other runes pale in comparison to this one, plus the reduced range is not really a penalty for us cause we are playing a melee style build anyway. 
Piro Marella makes this skill insanely good though even if you do not have the shield, it is still one of the best choices for this specific build. Be sure to have at least 28% block chance on your shield to make this skill as effective as possible. 

 Bombardment /w  Impactful Bombardment Rune

The amount of damage you can do with this thing is utterly insane (both aoe and single target) probably one the best damage abilities in Crusader's arsenal, really helps out with clearing elite packs. Be sure to combo it with your Laws of Valor, IF you are using them.
 Steed Charge  /w Endurance Rune
Really good for getting out of shitty situations, also makes you immune to cc (remember though, this is by no means a CC breaker!). And of course 3 second long immortality being the most important aspect of this ability. If you don't feel like you need this, you could replace this with an offensive ability.

As for the rune choice, feel free to use whatever you prefer the most, there is no such thing as a 'best' choice when it comes to this ability. If you feel like you want to get some extra damage, you could go for one of the damage runes.

If you have a lot of HP, for example one million, the life regen rune might be a better choice.
 Laws of Justice  /w Immovable Object Rune 
This is really, really good for survival, if your gear is not that great this ability is even better. As you acquire better gear, you might want to replace this for Laws of Valor with 100% crit damage boost (that affects your entire party!). As for the rune choices, Protect the Innocent might be better for party play but if you want to go for personal survival boost, Immovable Object basically provides you with 50% additional damage reduction.
 Akarat's Champion /w  Prophet Rune
This ability is something that you just have to take. And not only because of the insane damage bonus that it provides you with (and 20 second long immortality, assuming you pick up the recommended armor rune). If you happen to die on hardcore, this skill will actually bring you back to life (you will be restored to FULL HP!). Now, this is where it gets tricky. It will restore you back to life only if it is active so if you happen to die while Akarat's Champion is not active, you will not benefit from its additional effect. You should use this ability as often as possible but what if you encounter an elite pack that poses a huge threat to you (and Akarat's Champion is on cooldown?). You have to figure this out on your own.
Armor of Akkhan's set bonuses make this skill utterly insane.
 Heavenly Strength

Simply OP, depends what weapons you've managed to find but overall, you should use this. 2 handed weapons tend to have more DPS, strength and vitality and 15% movement speed reduction can easily be negated with paragon levels. 
 Hold Your Ground
Assuming you do not stack dexterity, your dodge chance should be somewhere around 0.X% (meaning less than 1%). Swapping that for 15% block chance is insane.
 Divine Fortress
If your shield's block chance is high, this will grant you an extremely high amount of armor (with Hardened Senses active, I am block capped for example, and gain about 5 million toughness just from this single passive).
Usefulness of this passive is affected by your overall block chance - if the said block is somewhere around 40%, this is really worth picking up.
4. SKILLS -VIABLE (other abilities that you might want to pick up, depending on your personal preferences)

 Laws of Valor /w  Critical Rune

Despite what the actual rune effect states (that it boosts YOUR critical chance by 100%) it actually affects the entire party making this ability really good for farming with a group of other players. I suggest picking this up if you feel like you have too much toughness but not high enough damage output.

 Heaven's Fury  /w Ascendancy Rune

If you feel like you are missing some damage, you could go for Heaven's Fury ability that will speed up your farming process quite significantlyNo actual wrath cost and relatively short cooldown makes this skill even better. 
You could swap out either Bombardment or Steed Charge for this, the latter being really good for escaping shitty situations / dodging CC but other than that being of no particular use. 

Fate of the Fell makes this ability A MUST choice (if you are using Fate of the Fell, you will probably want to get rid of your bombardment and replace it with triple Heaven's Fury which is quite OP).

Renewal and Hold Your Ground are the two passives that you could potentially swap for something else. Renewal, if you feel like you don't need its healing and Hold Your Ground if you are actually getting more than 75% block while using punish.

Also, if you actually managed to drop a really good 1 handed weapon and decided to go for it instead of a 2 handed one, you should get rid of Heavenly Strength (though my opinion on the matter still stands - you should really go for a 2 hander as most crusader skills scale with weapon dmg rendering weapon attack speed close to useless).


This passive is quite nice if your gear has lots of sockets. I used to have 7 sockets which equals to 7 x 70 = 490 strength. That is indeed quite nice.


This is good for builds with high armor value but we are indeed ruining a heavy armor based build thus this passive is a viable choice. Assuming you drop to 30% hp and have somewhere around 30k armor, you will get 70/3 = 23.33...% more armor.  30,000/100 = 300 (1% of your armor). 300 x 23.33 = 6990 more armor. This ability also scales with skills such as Laws of Justice and Akarat's Champion which makes it even better.

  Holy Cause

The healing is nice but be sure to pick it up ONLY if your weapon dmg is HOLY.


The only downside of our build is slow wrath generation and huge wrath cost of shield bash. If you are struggling with generating wrath, this might be a viable choice that will boost your overall DPS (as for burst damage - not so much).

 Lord Commander

If you are using both Steed Charge and Bombardment, this is quite a nice passive that might be worth picking up.

Remember that your stats are affected by each other, your crit damage will not be as effective if your crit chance is low and vice versa. Same rules applies to defensive stats like HP, % Life and All Resistances. 

I would like to talk a bit now about All Resistances stat in Reaper of Souls. 

First of all, think about flawless square gems (imperial-like gems from before the expansion). They granted 34 all res AND 34 of a primary stat. As of now, while primary gem values jump to insane amounts like 220+, +All Res gems do not scale that well (you get almost triple times more strength than you do of all resistances). Just think about it, 1 str = 1 armor, so 220 str = 220 armor which is equal to like 22 all res. So in reality all res gems give you even less in comparison to primary stats ones. In my opinion, you should avoid getting all res gems even if you are lacking toughness and try to get more vitality/resistances on your actual gear (that way, you will end up having better DPS/EHP values).

Second of all, If you do not get +All res as a primary stat on an item, you can get one of all 6 resistances as a SECONDARY stat. Now, this is something to think about as well. In my opinion, one should avoid getting all res on an item and instead focus on other stats like crit chance/crit damage or w/e (assuming you have resistances as a secondary stat on your items). You NEED to have either +All res or  +One type of res on an item, latter being better assuming it is arcane/fire > poison/lightning (the first 2 being the most deadly types of elemental damage).

So if you can't get one type of res on an item (which is often the case for LEGENDARY items, because you will often end up re-rolling a PRIMARY stat like life on hit/regen life to a better one thus not being able to roll a secondary stat) +All res jumps up in value to the One type of Res position.

On your head slot you should aim for: Strength > Vitality > Crit Chance > Socket > One type of Res > Life % > Armor > All Res (the reason behind armor being before all res is that you can have armor AND one type of res on the same item but you cannot have armor AND all resistances - same rule applies to all other pieces of gear). 
Neck: Strength > Crit Chance > Crit Damage > One type of Res > Vitality > Holy skills deal X% more damage > % Attack Speed > Life % > All Res

Shoulders: Strength > Vitality > One type of Res > Life % > Increased Damage of abilities such as Heaven's Fury, Punish and Shield Bash > Armor > All Res

Chest: Strength > 3 sockets > Vitality > One type of Res > Life % > Increased Damage of abilities such as Heaven's Fury, Punish and Shield Bash > All Res

Gloves: Strength > Crit Chance > Vitality > Crit Damage > One type of Res > % Attack Speed > Armor > All Res

Belt: Strength > Vitality > One type of Res > Increased Damage of abilities such as Heaven's Fury, Punish and Shield Bash > Life % > Armor > All Res

Bracers: Strength > Crit Chance > Vitality > Holy skills deal X% more damage > One type of Res > Armor > All Res

Rings: Strength > Crit Chance > Crit Damage > One type of Res > Vitality > Life % > % Attack Speed > All Res

Legs: Strength > 2 sockets > Vitality > Increased Damage of abilities such as Heaven's Fury, Punish and Shield Bash > All Res > One type of Res

Boots: Strength > % Movement Speed (if you lack paragon levels) > Vitality > One type of Res >  Increased Damage of abilities such as Heaven's Fury, Punish and Shield Bash >  Armor> All Res

Weapon: Socket > Weapon DMG > Strength > Vitality > % AS > % DMG (right now the stat is bugged if you have elemental damage on your weapon, should be fixed in the upcoming patch).

Shield: % Block Chance > Strength > Crit Chance > Vitality > All Res > Life %
The stats listed above are the ones that you should aim for on rare items, as for the BiS legendary list, here are some items worth looking at:
Justice Lantern with its % block chance is really good for crusaders and makes achieving % block chance cap rather simple.

  Helm of the Rule is a really good item for us, mainly because of the default block chance that is always rolled on it. If you can craft it, it might be worth getting a few and who knows - you might get lucky.

Eberli Charo's effect is insane (45-50% cooldown reduction of Heaven's Fury!) If you are using Fate of the Fell, this is an absolute BiS.
Piro Marella reduces the wrath cost of shield bash by 45-50%! INSANE!

Akarat's Awakening has a chance to reduce your cooldowns by 1% each time you successfully block an attack (20-25%chance upon each block as far as I can recall).
 Baleful Remnant causes your killed enemies to spawn Phalanx Avatars for 10 seconds (you need to have your Akarat's Champion active though). In combination with our class set, this weapon is really strong.

Fate of the Fell summons two additional rays of Heaven's Fury which is AMAZING!

Armor of Akkhan is probably the most sought after set of items for a crusader. Its set bonuses are exceptionally good, especially for hardcore. Reduced cooldown of Akkarat's Champion by 50%?! I mean REALLY?


Core: % Movement Speed till 110% MS (or trill 125% if you are not using a two handed weapon) > Strength
Offense: Critical Hit Damage > Critical Hit Chance
Defense: All Res > Armor % > Life %
Utility: Area Damage (Life on Hit for 1h weapons is also decent, it is the only paragon stat that scales with level) > Resource cost reduction (be sure to spend all 50 points into it, or none).

A YouTube version of the guide:

Guide is going to get updated soon so stay tuned!

poniedziałek, 17 marca 2014

Hardcore's look at the current state of Diablo - How to make this game more appealing? Ladders are simply not enough.

I remember when I entered the old inferno for the first time. It was really, really challenging and I miss it every day. I hate the fact that now, torment I can be cleared by literally EVERYONE. It requires no effort whatsoever,  all you need to do is farm few rare items for couple of hours and you are good to go. That is not how it used to be back in the day.

I fear that players will clear the new torment difficulty in the first few days and I must say that this really sucks, at least for me. Let me clarify something before someone asks what am I rambling about. After all, inferno was indeed cleared within the first few days of Diablo. Yeah it was, on SOFTCORE. I do not care about softcore. There is nothing challenging about skipping everything and rushing diablo (and in the process dying a few times). But the old inferno was IMPOSSIBLE to rush on Hardcore. Only one person in the entire world managed to kill diablo before the infamous inferno nerf. And that made diablo an amazing experience for me, at least during the first few months. I was playing only on hardcore and I loved the fact how challenging it was to progress act 2, 3 and 4. Even act 1, while easier, was still challenging if you lacked decent gear (and it was not that easy to get good gear on HC).

I am still confused why Blizzard decided to separate inferno into 10 different difficulties (and now with torment, into 6 different ones) - there should be only one torment/inferno difficulty and it should be nearly impossible to complete. It should take MONTHS to progress, not weeks or even days (and that is how long it will take for people to have torment 1 on farm).  I remember people whining about torment being too hard. I guess that is why inferno was nerfed, to make the casual masses happy. I remember a blue post stating that Inferno would NEVER be nerfed, now matter how much we would complain. Yeah, right. I talked about this a lot with a friend of mine and he told me: "Am I seeing some tendencies from WoW? Oh, the dreaded LFR, whoever came up with the idea of LFR should be banned for life from working in the gaming industry, I mean it." I did not agree with him., I am fine with people wanting to see the entire content of the game. Sure, I would prefer if some content was exclusive and extremely hard to access but hey, business is buisness so I can understand Blizzard's philosophy. As long as difficulties are separated, so be it. Well, what Blizzard did with Diablo is even worse. Imagine that heroic difficulty in wow (or mythic now) would be separated into heroic 1,2,3,4,5 and 6. 6 being something like the current heroic while the first 5 difficulties are much more easier to do. Now imagine, that everyone can get heroic gear, his odds are just lower if he is doing it on lower heroic difficulties. How ridiculous would that be? Whats the point of numerous difficulty levels such as hard, expert and master if all of them are really too trivial. I thought that the original intention was: get from normal to hard rather quickly and then climb your way contentiously more slowly to expert, master and finally torment. Right now, you can just jump into master or even torment 1 in a really average gear, without much issues.

So the question is: what to do? I see 2 possible solutions. First one being the removal of 6 different torment difficulties, and merging them into one, extremely hard, truly TORMENT difficulty. As for the second, more easier to implement one (it is more of a compromise): simply add separate Torment VI achievements. The first solution will most likely simply not happen so I guess the latter it is. By adding separate achievements, you will make more hardcore players more happy and killing a final boss on highest possible difficulty will actually mean something (at least on hardcore). This, will also make race to world first a lot more exciting. 

I would also like to propose something entirely different; revamp of torment or addition of another difficulty level (which to me, seems unnecessary, I still think that torment should be revamped). Diablo 3 is a hack'n'slash game, while your personal skill and knowledge of your class are both important factors that translate into how successful you are, gear and RNG of acquiring the said gear are equally or even more important.

Does it have to be so? I think that some things are nearly not as deadly as they should be on torment while others are actually too hard. As an example: right now, when I am playing torment on my barbarian with over 5 million toughness, I can ignore most mechanics that I should in fact dodge. Sometimes it is better for me not to avoid them to pull out more DPS or simply to be able to use more procs of Revenge. That is not the way torment should be played. There are TONS of mechanics in Diablo 3 that can be avoided by every class - such mechanics should be REALLY, REALLY deadly and not avoiding them should be fatal. I am talking about all the boss mechanics, environmental damage (traps, flames etc.) and so on. Instead of making some elite packs insanely hard with mechanics that are unavoidable, you should focus more on making mechanics that CAN be avoided, more deadly. This will make the game more skill based, less frustrating and most important of all - more fun to play.

Now as for the ladders - this is one of the features that I am most excited about. I am really hoping that Blizzard will get this right, making the game more attractive for competitive players. I, for one, am such a player and I love to compete. I don't really enjoy farming better gear just so that my character can clear moderately difficult content few seconds faster. I need to have some purpose.

Now I wonder, what kind of ladders will Blizzard implement? Will they be based on your paragon level, your amount of elite packs killed or on amount of story playthroughs? Or perhaps all of them combined? That remains to be seen, I just wanted to throw in some ideas of mine concerning ladders:

First and foremost, being best on the ladder should not be about farming one spot. Assuming that amount of XP gained will account into your ladder score, players will have to continuously, farm one, best spot. This will make the game boring and not fun to play. How to fix this? Simply introduce some sort of bonus for completing the entire game. The said bonus needs to be large enough so that it is actually worth it to play through all 5 acts and get all quests done. You could also introduce additional incentive for completing random events that you are introducing in RoS (nephalem rifts, cursed chests etc.). 

Now, as for the second idea - players who want to be on top of the ladder should play the game in the most hardcore possible way. Lets assume that your DPS and toughness values are high enough to clear Torment 3. Still, you choose to farm torment 1 because it is simply more efficient, you are one shooting all the mobs and thus gain more XP than you would on Torment 3. This needs to be changed. If I stand a chance to get torment 3 done I should REALLY WANT TO progress it, not farm torment 1 that I simply overgear. Perhaps introduce some sort of ladder score bonus for world first kills of each torment difficulty. Just brainstorming here, this might be not a good idea on a softcore ladder where a lot of game content can be easily skipped. 

czwartek, 13 marca 2014

Death Knight Guide - Proving Yourself: Endless Damage (Wave 30+)

Mists of Pandaria 5.4.2



 1. Introduction
 2. Talent Build & Glyphs 
 3. Stat Priority 
 4. Best in Slot (Gems & Enchants included)
 5. Reforging 
 6. Play Style 


First and foremost, this is not a DPS guide meant for inexperienced death knight players who lack the most basic knowledge about their class. This guide assumes, that you possess some kind of theoretical knowledge about death knight class and that you simply struggle with completion of the proving grounds scenario. If that is not the case, then I advise you to make yourself familiar with Mendenbarr's guide over at Elitist Jerks and only after doing so, come back here. 

With that behind us, I would like to note that this guide can also help you with the preparation process for challenge modes (though only stat wise, as for the specific encounter tactics themselves, you will have to check another, more appropriate guides).


2.1 As for the specialization itself, you could either go Frost or Unholy (duh) but dual wield spec is not viable for proving grounds (I suppose that you could get a decent score with it but 2h is much better performance wise*). This guide will assume that you went for Frost specialization but BiS list will mostly not change if you decide to go for Unholy instead (you can also be rather successful while playing in an unholy spec, especially after the recent January hotfix - one of the best world scores on proving grounds belongs to Raegwyn, who achieved his remarkable result with the unholy spec).

* - not necessarily for challenge modes where AoE is much more important than burst damage.

2.2 Moving onto specific talents, below you can see the most useful choices for proving grounds:

57 Irrelevant 

60 Irrelevant 

For the first tier of talents, Plague Leech is undeniably superior to http://www.wowhead.com/spell=115989.

Second tier is Irrelvant and neither of three talents helps us in any way. 

Third tier comes down to personal preference. I find Death's Advance to be the most useful talent here but some people might end up choosing http://www.wowhead.com/spell=50041 because of its slow that is really good for banana throwers or http://www.wowhead.com/spell=108194 because stuns can come in handy in proving grounds.  

Fourth tier is irrelevant., same as the second one 

For the fifth tier, you could either go for http://www.wowhead.com/spell=81229 or for Blood Tap which is superior. The thing is, the latter must be managed while the Runic Empowerment procs on its own and thus requires no usage whatsoever. Why is blood tap superior? - you might ask. Well, first of all it allows you to use your Obliterate at the exact time that you should use it (can't stress how important that is because of the ttp://www.wowhead.com/spell=51128 procs). Second of all, you can get 12 stacks of blood tap and save them for the next, more challenging wave that is more problematic for death knights. This helps A LOT.

Now, for the last tier, http://www.wowhead.com/spell=108199 and http://www.wowhead.com/spell=108200 could both prove useful in certain situations but Desecrated Ground renders them far less superior because of its immunity against Amber Weaver's http://www.wowhead.com/spell=142190.

2.3 As far as glyph choices are concerned, you'll want to pick up the following: http://ptr.wowhead.com/spell=146645 and http://ptr.wowhead.com/spell=146648. These two are undeniably best - soul reaper is an amazing skill that you should use A LOT in proving grounds, and 30% bonus movement speed is great. For the latter glyph, you won't be taking any damage in proving grounds thus this is basically an equivalent of a cooldown reduction; AMS prevents Amber Globule's stun so yeah, kind of an obvious choice. 

As for the third glyph, there are two possible variants. You could either go for http://www.wowhead.com/spell=58673 or for http://www.wowhead.com/spell=146646,  the latter being nothing more than a dps increase. Glyph of Icebound Fortitude allows you to break Amber Globule's effect more often (but if you are good at avoiding it, ignore it).

Minor glyphs have no use whatsoever, http://www.wowhead.com/spell=59309 being the only exception*.

* - for challenge modes, you should pick Glyph of Resilient Grip along with http://www.wowhead.com/spell=59307 and http://www.wowhead.com/spell=63335. The last two might have some uses in challenge modes.

3. Stat Priority

Expertise (7.5%+) >= Melee Hit (7.5%) > Strength > Crit Haste > Mastery

For most optimal results, you should check the stat priority yourself with the use of simcraft;

In order to sim your character, use the Import button and paste your armory link into simcraft's built-in browser. After doing so, go to Options > Scaling and make sure that all your stats of interest are chosen. Now go to Simulate, press the "Simulate!" button in the bottom right corner and simply await your results.

Simcraft allows you to scale your gear down to a challenge mode/proving grounds level (any item level you wear on your character will get scaled down to 463). You can do that by going to Options > Globals and enabling "Challenge Mode" option.

You'll want to balance your crit and haste, either might end up being superior to the other, depending on your gear.

For challenge modes, haste and mastery are going to be the best stats, crit being last (even for 2h, actually dw might be better for CM rendering mastery superior to both haste and crit thus alternating the below BiS list a bit).

4. Best in Slot (Gems & Enchants included)

Obviously any LFR item is as good as its heroic warforged/thunderforged counterpart.
Headhttp://www.wowhead.com/item=1050881 x http://www.wowhead.com/item=76886, 1 x http://www.wowhead.com/item=76696
Neckhttp://www.wowhead.com/item=956851 x http://www.wowhead.com/item=76684
Shouldershttp://www.wowhead.com/item=1037853 x http://www.wowhead.com/item=76696
Greater Tiger Fang Inscription
or >
1 x http://www.wowhead.com/item=76661
or for the legendary back:
1 x http://www.wowhead.com/item=76696

Enchant Cloak - Superior Critical Strike
or >

 3 x http://www.wowhead.com/item=76696
1 x http://www.wowhead.com/item=76696, 1 x http://www.wowhead.com/item=76661,
1 x http://www.wowhead.com/item=76684

Enchant Chest - Glorious Stats
  • ...Random enchantment 5 (18.7% chance)
    +712 Critical Strike
1 x http://www.wowhead.com/item=76661
Enchant Bracer - Exceptional Strength
Handshttp://www.wowhead.com/item=1050131 x http://www.wowhead.com/item=76696, 1 x http://www.wowhead.com/item=76661 
Enchant Gloves - Super Strength
Waisthttp://www.wowhead.com/item=986163 x http://www.wowhead.com/item=76696
Living Steel Belt Buckle
Legshttp://www.wowhead.com/item=958071 x http://www.wowhead.com/item=76696, 2 x http://www.wowhead.com/item=76661
Angerhide Leg Armor
or =
2 x http://www.wowhead.com/item=76696
Enchant Boots - Pandaren's Step
Ringhttp://www.wowhead.com/item=1050911 x http://www.wowhead.com/item=76696
or =
1 x http://www.wowhead.com/item=76696
Main Handhttp://www.wowhead.com/item=1056792 x http://www.wowhead.com/item=76696
Rune of the Fallen Crusader
Some of the items might prove hard to get hence the following list, with other viable items:

Shoulders (these might be especially hard to obtain given that shoulders from the above BiS list are an extremely rare, 0.01% drop from normal/heroic-only Garrosh): http://www.wowhead.com/item=105796http://www.wowhead.com/item=105143http://www.wowhead.com/item=104936http://www.wowhead.com/item=99059 (dobule red socket makes this set piece really desirable for proving groudns).

Proc trinkets with shorter cooldown are better than ones with better proc but longer cooldown.

Keep in mind that Relic of Xuen has no parallel, every other trinket pales in comparison to it. As for the second trinket slot, what makes the dominance offensive reputation so good is its on use effect - it is better to be in control of your procs rather then to rely on them. 

Weapon (if for some reason you were unlucky with your garrosh heirloom drops, here are some alternatives though heirloom 2h is a beast because of its insane socket bonus of +120 strength)http://www.wowhead.com/item=95809 comes 2nd only to the heirloom weapon and you should totally go for it if you possess http://www.wowhead.com/item=93403. Yes, it does indeed work for both challenge modes and proving grounds. 

Most of the time, you'll want to enchant your items the following way:

Yellow socket: http://www.wowhead.com/item=76661 or http://www.wowhead.com/item=76669 (depends what is your current crit rating and haste, you will have to find out with the use of simcraft, what is the best stat for your gear, crit or haste). 

Sometimes it might be worth it to simply go for the red gems and ignore the socket bonus (depends what the socket bonus is and how many sockets the item has).


For most optimal results use an addon such as reforgelite - you are not a machine and min maxing reforging can get rather complex and overwhelming. 

Reforging can sometimes bug out so be sure to check your respective hit and expertise ratings upon entering proving grounds.


6.1 Tips;

- In proving grounds, none of the mobs deal damage so all your survival abilities are utterly useless (AMS and Icebound Fortitude can still come in very handy because of their additional effects).

- Remember that in proving grounds all mobs can parry and dodge your attacks, positioning is essential.

- All buffs are provided for, but you should still bring your own food and flasks as they both work in proving grounds (1300 strength is A LOT).

- You need to utilize Amber Globules spawned by the Amber-Weavers. Upon hitting the target, Amber Globule instantly stuns it and increases its damage taken by 50%! Be sure to make best possible use of this insane damage increase.

- Multi-dotting is extremely powerful (especially during the varmint wave). HOWLING BLA...RGH!

- Utilize your http://www.wowhead.com/spell=49576 ability against targets such as Banshees or Illusionary Banana-Tossers.

- You should place your http://www.wowhead.com/spell=43265 about 5 second before the actual wave starts for a small damage increase (and free runic power for that matter). Same goes for http://www.wowhead.com/spell=57330 though you should use it the very same second that mobs spawn because it requires no runes whatsoever.

- Remember to use your AMS if Amber Globule is about to hit you. If you get hit by it, use your Icebound Fortitude to get out of it ASAP (Amber Globule is a stun, so yeah, IF also renders you immune to it, same as AMS).

- Don't be afraid to use your pillar of frost at the very start of the wave - each wave last about a minute which is the equivalent of PoF's cooldown.

- Be sure to refresh your flask and food if it is about to expire (best time for doing this is shorly after killing sha, during the 10th, 20th, 30th+ wave).

6.2 Waves; 

        You should have no problem whatsoever with waves 1, 3, 6 (hence 11, 13, 16 and so on).

        Waves that might be more challenging: 2, 4, 7, 9.

        The most difficult waves: 5, 8, 10.

Wave 1, 11, 21, 31 and so on: Extremely easy, just kite the amber globules and you should be fine. Use death and decay along with howling blast on the small adds in the middle, switch to 3 Amber-Weavers and after killing them finish off the remaining adds. Feel free to use your howling blast on the adds when running to next Amber-Weaver.

Wave 2: Use your Pillar of Frost ability at the very start, as for the kill order: Mystic > Guardians > Amber Weaver (remember about the banshee spawn at 00:30).

Wave 3: Easiest of all the waves, use dnd and focus one of the two banana tossers, using howling blast so that it hits as many mobs as possible. Kill the tosser and grip the other one. Use HB again so that it hits all the mobs, kill him and then finish off any remaining mobs.

Wave 4: Use your Pillar of Frost, ghoul might come in handy if you want to save the berserk buff. Kite the amber globules into guardians, Amber Weaver should be your last target (remember about the banshee spawn at 00:30).

Wave 5: You might want to use your berserk here but it is better to save it and use the empower rune weapon ability instead (if you want to use the berserk buff, do not use it immediately but when the wave timer hits 00:30 so you get most of it). Kill the banana tosser first, if you are not quick enough, use your http://www.wowhead.com/spell=47476 ability on the mystic to interrupt his heal. After both the mystic and the banana tosser are down, switch to sha. Use your cooldowns after sha's damage reduction bubble expires.

Wave 6: Another AoE wave, easy-peasy. Use your howling blast along with dnd on the small adds and switch to one of the mystics. Interrupt his heal and don't even bother about second one, he will try to heal one of the small adds which is totally irrelevant. After killing the first mystic, use your howling blast on the adds while running to the second one, kill the second mystic and then finish off any remaining adds. Don't even think of using berserk buff during this wave, it would be such a MASSIVE waste.

Wave 7: Go for one of the guardians first, kill him quickly, go for another one and after getting close to him use your death grip on the banana tosser so that it gets hit by the Amber Globule. Alternatively you can focus down the banana tosser first and then go for the guardians, the choice is yours. Obviously, two Amber Weavers are your least priority targets.

Wave 8: One of the more challenging waves because of the 3 banshee spawns (00:25, 00:30 and 00:45), have some runes/blood tap stacks ready for 'em. When the wave starts, go for the mystic in the middle.

Wave 9: Kill the banana tosser first, then go for the slayers. If guardian is struck by the globule, switch to him. Amber Weaver should be your last target.

Wave 10: Start dpsing the illusionary sha, use your army of the dead when the wave timer hits 00:40. When the wave timer hits 00:30, get the berserk buff from wave 4 or 6. Have 12 stacks of blood tap and all runes ready for the moment when the damage reduction shield goes down. http://www.wowhead.com/spell=47568 is really helpful during these last few seconds.

6.3 Useful macros;

Here are some very basic macros that you might find useful (just replace them with your appropriate abilities):

/target Illusionary Mystic
/cast Mind Freeze 
/target Illusionary Mystic
/cast Strangulate  
/target Illusionary Banana-Tosser
/cast Death Grip 
/target Illusionary Banshee
/cast Death Grip 
/cast Pillar of Frost
/use Skullrender Medallion (for Alliance change it to Helmbreaker medallion)

If you have any questions concerning this guide, feel free to ask them in the comments below.