It's been a long, long time.

But I'm back. Hyperiom, the tank, is back. Sicarian, the death knight tank, is back. Other characters and shit--they're all back.

I stopped playing in February cause I was sick and tired of the game, as I hinted in my post, nine months ago. However, I'm back in the swing, I'm ready for Cataclysm, and I've stopped giving a shit as to the G-rated slant I was taking. Everyone does that; I'll be different. Fuck a kid-friendly rating, this game is rated T-for-Teen, and if you're a teen, you probably talk dirtier than I do.

My server seems to have had some mass emigration. What is usually a 'low population server' is now essentially a 'ghost town server'--it could be the spam filter on trade chat, or it could be that there's only about 40 people in Dalaran at a given time (whereas there's hundreds on Kil'Jaeden). I've been going to school, so I'm getting some weird playing hours, but overall I have more free time, which is fantastic.

I like the new badge/point system, because getting about a hundred points per run is better than all that other shit of getting 2 badges from one instance, 5 badges from another. I don't even know if it SHOULD be even like that, and I do realize that each boss is 16, +23 from the completion, but I swear to god I'm getting almost exactly 100 justice points every single run. Which is nice.

Tanking's changed. I was looking at the blog and I saw I had a whole video that I was gonna do, and I read my prepared script and thought "fuck, man. I can't do this anymore. Not since damage shield is gone and vigilance is gone and AoE tanking is utterly different/worse than before." I saw that I had a planned guide to defensive stats, to compliment my threat guide (which is still fairly valid; gem colors have changed, though), but that doesn't work.

I'll talk to you about Mastery and other stats now:

-From my own experience, as well as what I've gleaned from EJ and Tankspot, you want to reforge all your Dodge into Mastery, as a warrior tank. Parry and Dodge are finally equal, and Parry gives you the "Hold the Line" buff, which is good. You'll still have plenty of dodge (reforging only switches over about 40% of your stats), but now you'll block for a lot more. I think warriors are primed to out-tank paladins again, which is great. I think it was awful from a design perspective to say "Warriors are too popular, let's nerf them to the ground so nobody wants to play them" instead of equalizing classes.

-Stamina is still the most important stat in Wrath, simply because magical damage is STILL the Big Thing. In Cataclysm, we're gonna see more physical damage--damage we can mitigate with our awesome blocking and dodging and parrying--but right now we still see some really intense blasts of magic, which can't be stopped unless you've got hit points out the ass.

-Speaking of hitpoints out the ass, over the last 9 months of me leaving, I went from approximately 35k hitpoints unbuffed to 45k. I dunno what changed, or maybe I really had that much back then, but I take hits a lot better. It's great.

-I'm getting some good badge gear, the ilevel 264 stuff, some crafted pieces, and some tier gear. Then, I'll probably get accepted into this raiding guild I want to be a part of. Lotta great raiders in there, and I want to do 10-man content in cataclysm. I think the idea of "Hardcore 10-man" is interesting, because it's so much easier than a 25-man. I'm seeing guilds talk about having 2 groups of 10-mans, which (to me) makes more sense than one giant 25-man group.
This is especially amusing to me, because I remember in 2007, a lot of guilds were going from 40-man to 2 groups of 25. That was ALMOST popular, except Karazhan, the first raid in BC, was 10 man, and nobody wanted to deal with 5 kara groups in one guild. Thus, that all got weeded out and trickled down and the modus operandi became "a single 25-man group." VERY shrewd, VERY clever on Blizzard's part (and I'm absolutely sure it was intentional.)

I'll talk more later about design philosophy, but right now I'm trying to get loremaster of outland. Netherstorm's gonna be a bitch, cause at level 70 I did a ton of SMV quests. At the moment, I need about 20 in hellfire, 10 in terrokar, and 70 in netherstorm.

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