Blizzard announced that guild raids will no longer have a Master loot option – all loot will be Personal loot.
As it stands right now – on Personal loot if you win an item that is a higher iLevel than any other item you own for that slot, the item cannot be traded. If the item is equal or lower iLevel, it can be traded.
In a recent dev Q&A, Ion Hazzikostas (Warcraft Game Director), explained some reasons for this change:
All other loot in game has been on the Personal loot system (dungeons, world bosses, etc)
Master loot puts your fate in someone else’s hands, and you no longer have any control over it
If you help kill a boss, you should have a chance to get loot
It was not to take away split runs, however, they mention that is a welcomed side effect. (A split run is where a team takes their roster of 20 and split them up into 4 farm teams, for example. Each team consists of 5 ‘real’ players and 15 alts. All items that drop are Master looted to the 5 ‘real’ players, allowing the team to gear up faster).
The dev Q&A video from April 26 is queued up to the Master loot / Personal loot question below:
This change is pretty controversial. A lot of people really love it, or really hate it.
The Internet is full of debates on the merits and flaws of each system. Instead of adding to that, I’ve done what we do best: run the numbers and let the data do the talking. (Click for full size) Continue reading
The Warcraft developer Q&A on Thursday spent the first 15 minutes talking about the off-GCD change. It’s probably the most controversial change so far.
Let’s take a look at what this change is, why Blizzard made it, the possible downsides, and how it might impact gameplay.
What is the Off-GCD ability change?
If you haven’t had the chance to keep track of all the changes in the BfA alpha, the Global Cooldown (GCD) has been one of the biggest. In the alpha, some abilities that were not on the GCD were put back on the GCD. You might see this referred to as off-GCD or OGCD.
If you didn’t have a chance to watch the video yet, here are some resources that might interest you:
That seems like a simple change, but it definitely affects a lot of different aspects of the game. The latest developer Q&A addressed the reasoning behind this decision.
Why did Blizzard make this change?
This is the big question everyone has been asking. In the dev Q&A, Blizzard explained that one of the main reasons for this change was to bring back some more meaningful decision-making in-game. When things are off the GCD, then there is no choice between A or B, you simply use them both. Continue reading
Toxicity is a real problem in some of the class Discords. Earlier this week I posted an article that tried to shed some light on it. But since I posted some statistics in aggregate, lumping in the good Discords with the bad, many Discord moderators got really upset.
I understand why they were upset: they want to distance themselves as far as possible from these toxic people and it isn’t fair to be associated with this bad behavior. Because of this, I took down the original article – iIt wasn’t fair to lump them together, implying that everyone was engaging in poor behavior, instead of just a small group.
That outrage is encouraging – most people don’t want this toxicity.
Regardless of the poor execution of my first article, the toxicity is there. The problem that prompted the article still exists and so I am going to continue to address it.
Why me? Why is AMR posting this?
I’m making this post as a commentary on the state of the Discord community right now. There is a small group of toxic people poisoning the perception of what otherwise is a great resource for WoW players. In fact, it extends well beyond this community – it is affecting people (and even game developers) across all games. This is hurting our gaming community and we wanted to add our voice to say, “We don’t like it either.”
To quote the director of Twitch.tv, who recently spoke out about this topic: “This is about the leaders of the industry setting a good example that we shouldn’t allow or tolerate this, and we should fight against it, and set proper examples.”
How bad are some of these channels – are people just overreacting?
In this article, you will see quotes with racial slurs and homophobic remarks. I have blocked out names and icons, replaced with their Discord rank (moderator or expert), as well as identified if someone is a “Regular.” A Regular is defined as one of the handful of people in the ‘in-crowd’ who account for 75% of daily messages in the spec channels (on average). Anyone labeled as a “user” either just dropped in or has very little participation.
I’m sharing some examples that focus on channel admins and moderators. If it looks like I am cherry picking examples from these people, it is because I am (full disclosure). Admins, moderators and special rank members need to stop doing these things, not engaging in it. Admins and Moderators are setting an example and others follow their lead to fit in. Continue reading
I’m seeing a lot of questions about which gearing strategy to pick, so I wanted to give you a thorough explanation.
T20 vs T21 gearing strategies
First, let’s talk about which one is right for you, how to select it, and then we’ll cover ‘why.’
We have four default strategies for DPS to pick (tanks and healers, I’m getting to you).
Single Target: Based on Garothi (see boss script details), and good for single target fights with mostly T20 and T21 gear. Recommended for Garothi, Felhounds, Imonar, Kin’garoth, Varmathras, The Coven, Aggramar, and Argus.
Multi-Target: Based on Mythic+ with higher gear, and good for T20 and T21 gear. Recommended for Mythic+, Antoran High Command, Portal Keeper, and Eonar.
Pre-T21 Single Target: Based on Goroth and good for single target fights with mostly T19 or T20 gear.
Pre-T21 Multi-Target: Based on Mythic+, good for AoE fights with mostly T19 or T20 gear.
Tanks have a whole bunch of new ones (see, we love tanks!): Raid Boss Low Level, Raid Boss Heroic, Raid Boss Mythic, and Mythic+ for 16-20, and 20+. As of writing this, all tanks are done except Blood DKs, which should finish by the end of the day, 12/15.
Healers are up next and we HOPE to have them all finished by Dec 19th.
What to choose (and how to choose it)
Most of you probably had Pre-T21 Single Target selected when Antorus came out, which was good because you had mostly T20 gear, maybe even some T19 bonuses carefully balanced in there with your T20 4pc.
If you are getting T21 pieces now, you will want to switch to the Single Target strategy. The order I listed them above is the order they are on the Gearing Strategy drop down menu. So to select it, you will have to scroll UP (that has caused people to miss it, and I am sorry about that).
Why two different strategies?
You might be wondering, if these auto-adapt as your gear changes, why have two different strategies? Wouldn’t it make sense to put them all in one?
The number of combinations explooooodes. If you want to include all gear combos with T19 (and relevant iLevel gear), T20, and T21, it gets a bit insane.
It is also not necessary to look at those combos because it is very, very, veeeery unlikely someone has such a strange gear selection that they would want some T19 iLevel stuff, T20, AND T21. That means you won only 2 items for each slot, ever.
In reality, you will span two tiers. For example, right now you probably have a lot of T20 and some T21. If we limit the combinations to a cross over between two tiers, it is giant, but manageable. And since we run every relevant combo for those two tiers (and all of the talents and relic combos you might have as well), being a manageable size is important. It lets us finish up all of the gearing strategies in a week, instead of a month.
Wondering what adaptive gearing strategies are?
I explain what they are and why they are a necessary update to the old stat weight systems people have used in the past (us included).
The script scales with the custom fight duration you put in.
Phase 1 lasts until Garothi gets down to 65%
Phase 2 (Apocalypse Drive) lasts for 20 seconds, which is about the length it is taking in logs. * I will be collecting more data this week and adjust the average if needed
Phase 3 lasts until the boss is at 25% health.
Phase 4 (Apocalypse Drive) lasts for 20 seconds.
Phase 5 (Burn phase) is the last 25% of Garothi’s health
This article describes the default script. I also have variations that may interest you.
While the scripts are totally customizable, the user interface isn’t as friendly or self explanatory as we normally present. So if you have a request for a variation, let us know in Discord or our Forums.
To use a custom script, click the link and then click the ‘add to my list’ button at the top of the page. You can then select it in the boss menu on the sim setup page.
For players who ignore Eradication: melee who use cooldowns to stay in range of the boss, and ranged players who don’t move toward the back of the room, “Garothi (H) – Ignore Eradication.”
For ranged players who aren’t good at the ‘run and gun’ while moving, you’ll find you lose DPS compared to the default script. Try this script instead, which assumes you lose some spell casts while moving, “Garothi (H) – Move it.” I actually like to sim myself using the default and this one to see how much DPS I can gain if I practice dps’ing while on the run.
For dual wielders: Garothi has a bug where you can’t miss. Normally for bosses you can’t get behind, your attacks can’t be parried or blocked, otherwise it would be unfair to you. However, your attacks should still miss. But on Garothi (just like Krosus), you can’t miss. Here’s a script for that: “Garothi (H) – No Miss Bug.”
Bloodlust happens at the beginning of the fight by default.
These are little green puddles that 1-3 people have to stand in to soak damage.
The number of puddles spawned scales with your raid size, averaging about 1 zone per 4 players.
In the script, we assumed melee have a 20% chance to have to soak a puddle, based on placement or absent minded ranged.
We assumed 100% of ranged will soak, allowing melee to stay in range of boss when possible.
~1.5 – 2.5 seconds of run time required (random run time selected within that range)
Repeats every 32 seconds.
When players are targeted they have to run far away before the decimation is dropped, then continue to run to get out of it.
The number of targets scales with your raid size, where DPS and healers have a 28% chance to be targeted.
In the script, if melee get targeted, we assume they are out of range of the boss.
If ranged get targeted, we assume that 10% of the time they will be out of range of the boss, and 90% of the time they will maintain range on the boss while running.
Assume 2.7-3.3 seconds of running (for ranged) or losing range of the boss (for melee).
Repeats every 32 seconds.
Phase 2 – Kill a weapon during Apocalypse Drive
This script has you killing the annihilation weapon first, since that appears to be the heavily favored strategy.
This is the green strip that appears during Apocalypse Drive.
Assume melee and ranged are always in range of the boss
Very small amount of movement, 0.8 – 1.2 seconds to move a few steps.
Repeats every 5 seconds
This is a raidwide AoE that does less damage the further away you are. So people run to the back of the room.
Assume 4-5 seconds of movement time, and loss of range of the boss for melee (assume ranged can still target boss). Melee end up 40 yards away from the boss and the scripts will use gap closers when possible. The default script does not account for people who stay in range of the boss and use cooldowns to survive or mitigate the blast. But I have a variation that does, “Garothi (H) – Ignore Eradication.”
Phase 3 – Empowered Decimation
More people are targeted during the empowered version of Decimation, such that you have a 42% chance to be targeted and required to run.
Assume 2.7 – 3.3 seconds of run time and loss of range of the boss for melee.
Repeats every 16 seconds.
Phase 4 and 5
Phase 4 repeats to mimic the previous Apocalypse Drive. And phase 5 is a burn to take the boss down as fast as possible.
That’s right – stat weights are so last-gen. They are actually more like the iPhone 4… they barely work anymore and definitely can’t play any of the new games.
I’m not really exaggerating. Let me explain 🙂
The problem with stat weights:
Stat weights only rank the stats on your items and don’t rank any procs. That means they don’t rank procs from your relics, legendaries, trinkets or set bonuses. Thats… uh, half your gear!
If a system can’t rank half your gear, it is time to retire it. Even though some of our Moms still have the iPhone 4 because change is scary, it doesn’t stop us from trying to show them why a newer model is better.
I talk more about this in the video below (stat weights, not iPhones) and I also explain the new system that solves the problem. (Look at my face, SO SERIOUS!) If you like videos… /highfive. If not, keep reading and you’ll still get the most important points.
Update 12/14 – We pushed a big update that should work around the problem. The servers should no longer crash – we’ll be monitoring it to make sure the fix worked, so cross your fingers. And thanks for your patience.
Update: 12/5 – We had a workaround that keeps the bug from happening all but once every few days. However, when the wow servers went down for maintenance this morning and traffic piled up, it put the stress on that bug in one of the MS libraries that causes problems when traffic is incredibly high. So it crashed again, and again, this morning. Meanwhile, we are doing work to permanently work around this bug (by writing our own library), because we don’t know how long it will take for Microsoft to fix it. But they are aware of the problem and claim to be working on it.
Why are the crashes happening?
In the update to the new Microsoft framework that we are using, there is an inefficiency in one of the libraries that is causing the servers to lock up and restart. As a non-dev, here is a analogy I like to use, which probably makes dev’s shake their head:
We use pre-built libraries in the framework. I like to think of these ‘libraries’ like a kit for a model airplane. Instead of cutting all of the pieces out yourself, you get a kit, then you just have to assemble it.
One of those libraries that handles some of the database functions is making requests line up, one at a time. What you really want is a whole bunch of people to be able to access the database at the same time. This affects sites with really high database usage, which most sites don’t have at the level we do. We did some quick workarounds to minimize the impact, and that helped for a while.
Now that Antorus is out, people are dying to get new items (ha, really, we are all dying a lot in game). And when you get new items, you ask your favorite Robot to rank them. That means traffic is higher and the crashes are happening more frequently, 2-3x a day. It’s frustrating for us, and definitely for you.
How long until this is fixed?
Since we don’t know how fast Microsoft is going to fix this problem, we are writing our own library for this that doesn’t have a bug. Then we can avoid this problem altogether. We’re working very loooong hours to finish this and really appreciate your patience (and understand your frustration – we use the site for our own characters allll the time!)
This is how we feel right now:
I know this sucks. I hope it hasn’t ruined your day or made you really sad. But in an effort to boost your spirits while we work on fixing it… I thought I’d share one of my favorite annual photo contests: Comedy Wildlife.
How many times have you optimized your gear only to have a few gems or enchants changed? You know it is technically better because that one gem swap will get you a tiny bit more DPS…
But you might have wondered, “How much DPS does that really get me, and do I care enough to spend gold on it?”
The Score Threshold feature lets you determine the gain required to replace gems, enchants and relic.
How does it work?
You can set the Score Threshold in the gear filters menu. By default, we set the threshold to 0.5%, but you can customize it. The range starts at 0.25% and go up to 5%, with an option to disable it so that any improvement is always applied, no matter how small.
The Score Threshold is highlight in orange, “BiB Score Threshold” and is set to 1.00% in this example. The yellow highlight controls the quality of gems and enchants you allow, which comes into play with the Score Threshold feature. Continue reading