Mists of Pandaria

Blizzcon! – Part 1

October 22, 2011

Alright, so I promised blogposts and I’m already behind.  I blame my hotel’s confusing way of doing internet and my lack of sleep.  Anyways, here we go.

Day 0:

I made the mistake of getting practically 0 sleep before leaving for Anaheim.  It seemed like a good idea at the time and allowed me to get Episode 18 of the Team Waffle Podcast out, but in retrospect it was an atrociously bad plan.  I landed in Anaheim in the early afternoon and made my way to the hotel.  I then made my way over to the lineup to pick up my badge where I found Lissanna, her husband, and another one of her friends.

Got my badge, had dinner, and headed over to the WoWInsider/WoWHead/Gamebreaker TV meet up.  Holy shit that shit was crazy.  Before I go any further I want to emphasize that there’s a HUGE difference between going as just a spectator, and going as a “community member”.  I had to crash before all of the good stuff started happening, but I did get to meet a few people before I passed out:

- Oestrus
- WTSHeals
- Perculia
- Murmurs
- Lore
- and SunnierBear!

It was actually pretty funny.  I was tweeting with Sunnier during most of the meet up, and I had used my deductive reasoning to figure out where she was but was only 99.9999% sure it was her.  Lissanna and I were too nervous to go say hi, and she was too shy to come say hi to us.  I ended up back at the party later, and managed to find her and have a nice chat about Bears.  While we were talking Kutombre – Sen’Jin came over and said hi.  Big shout-outs to him for being a fan of us here at The Inc Bear and Team Waffle.  I didn’t think that there would be any “fans” per se there, but that was super cool to meet him.

And then I went back to my hotel room and passed out.

Day 1:

Lissanna somehow convinced me that getting to the convention centre at 7am was a good idea.  So I only had about 6.5 hours of sleep.  2+6.5 = 8.5 split between over 50 hours makes you really tired.  However the adrenaline kicked in once we got to the lineup and inside the convention centre.

The opening ceremonies were awwweeesommeeeeee.  Followed by the MoP preview and talent discussion.  After that I was too tired and needed a nap, but here are the discussion points I wrote down during the panels:

- D3 Style Talent System: It seems they have been applying their experiences between the different franchises.  We already knew they didn’t like “cookie cutter” builds and were trying to steer more towards having actual choices.  This seems to be going in that direction.

- Druids can’t be Pandas: At least last I heard.  There’s some sort of rumour flying around that they’ve reversed this decision, but I haven’t seen anything official about it.  At first I was happy, but now that I’ve had time to think about it it doesn’t really matter to me either way.  The only thing that would matter are the racials, and the current Pandaren racial hands-down beats any other Druid race for tanking.  At least in current state.

- More Tank Balance Problems: Or potentially less.  They’re having enough trouble now balancing the different tanks in different areas (survivability, utility, single vs AoE tanking), and/or just flat out making broken stuff (DKs, Savage Defense at launch, Enrage) that I’m worried this will just make it worse.  However now they have a lot mor knobs to turn in order to balance them.  It will be interesting to see what happens.

- Share Gear with Monks: This is fine.  With the removal of the hunters being able to claim Agility 2h weapons, and the fact that Druids now share them with another Tank/DPS class, we might actually see a Feral legendary….

- Talent System Revamp: I’ll be honest.  There isn’t much choice in some of the tiers from a Guardian perspective.  Lissanna and I were talking about this and we agree that some of the choices feel very underwhelming not only for Bears, but also for Moonkin and Resto.  That being said I definitely like the idea of “apples-to-apples” comparisons in the future system.

- Cat/Bear Split:  This is a good thing from a balance perspective.  This entire expansion Bears have been subject to having things removed from our toolkit because of Cats.  This will allow Blizzard to potentially give us back the things they removed, while still keeping them away from kitties (if necesarry).  Yes this does kill the idea of the “hybrid” spec, but it’s necesarry if we want to move forward with balancing Cat and Bear effectively in their specific roles (lol unnecesarry 10% AP buff for Bears in 4.3).

- DEMO ROAR IS GONE: That is all.

After the talent panel I had to take a nap because I was exhausted.  Afterwards I relaxed in my hotel’s lobby to watch the costume contest, and then headed over to the Twisted Nether meetup.  It was much smaller than the Thursday night party, and I got to hang out with Kutombre again.  We had some pretty interesting discussions about tank balance and the upcoming talent changes.  I had a great time.

Also met BossyPally, and won something at the raffle!

And now it’s 2am and I desperately need to sleep.

PS: If you’re a Moonkin or Resto Druid and somehow ended up here (or you know a Moonkin or Resto Druid), go here for Lissanna’s post about the new talent system.