#251 – The Instance: The great Squish of 2011

Dills has no internet today, but that did not stop Scott and Turpster from doing voice impressions of him. Plus:

Big News of the Week
Big Number Syndrome – Hey, our stats are growing exponentially. If you look at everything from the Strength on a weapon to the damage being done by a Fireball crit or the amount of health the Morchok boss has, they look downright absurd compared to the numbers for level 60 characters in the original shipping version of World of Warcraft. It’s not exactly a surprise that we were going to end up here, and we knew where we were going every step of the way, yet regardless, here we are.

Guardian Cub Tradable Pet Now Available! – “Now available in the Pet Store: the new and titanically cute Guardian Cub companion. Orphaned by its titan creators, the fledgling Guardian Cub has taken wing to look for a happy home. Adopt one today and it will stay by your side through thick and thin, following your character just about anywhere your adventures take you—even into the skies of Azeroth.

The Guardian Cub is the Pet Store’s first tradable pet, meaning it can be swapped between characters in-game or given as a gift to guildmates, friends, family, or that special someone (after a cooldown period — see below). Due to his finicky nature, each Guardian Cub will only give its allegiance to one owner, meaning it’s a one-time-use pet that permanently binds to a single character. Be sure to choose a master wisely.

AHSPY is tracking how the cub is doing on your servers.

Rumors & Scuttlebut
Patch 4.3 Dragon Soul Raid Mounts. One of the latest PTR builds added 2 mounts to the Dragon Soul loot tables, the Life-Binder’s Handmaiden drops from Madness of Deathwing (last encounter of the Dragon Soul raid) in Heroic Mode. People defeating Madness of Deathwing in normal mode will be rewarded with Reins of the Blazing Drake.

Patch 4.3 World Map and Minimap Improvements. “The minimap has an improved menu and will let you track a couple more things, including archaeology and questing areas. You can now track areas on your minimap, archaeology sites and quest objectives areas will now be displayed directly on the minimap! The world map now (finally) shows the level of regions on mouseover.”

Drop of the Week
The World of Warcraft Annual Pass has been expanded to include more countries and is now available in Russia, Switzerland, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile and more.

Special thanks to our sponsors this week: Squarespace (use code WOW6), Audible.com, Doghouse Systems, Rage Quit Relief, and Typefrag.com.

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24 thoughts on “#251 – The Instance: The great Squish of 2011

  1. Well, id like to start by saying i love frogpants and have listened to this show for a long time, so im not trolling this is genuine constructive criticism. DID SCOTT READ THE ARTICLE? Quoted from the article :

    “If you look at the item level curves, you can see that most of the growth occurs at the maximum character levels for the various expansions. This is because we keep rewarding more and more powerful gear to make the new raid tier and PvP season in an expansion reward significantly better gear than the previous one.”

    “we could go back and compress the big item level increases that occur at level 60, 70, 80 and 85”


    Sorry, love you scott when you talk about how to eat less cake with turpster or movies , or celebrity poop with the bald guy, but listening to you talk about warcraft sometimes makes me facepalm.

  2. The show was great – and I should apologize for keeping saying you are in Bliz’z pockey – you are much to small a fish to be of concern for them – one Tupster can score a Super Nemesis, Evil British Madman in the next James Bond film – then Blizz will court and entice you with Blood Elf Cos Play girls and 25 year cards – I thought the tiny flying squirrel is cute – and for a Pokeman cute animal game I do not see why tupster does not like it- my favorite pet is the worg pup – (I soloed way back at 70 to get that and it was NOT easy on my NOn-raid gear to kill the 61 elites in Black rock spire(?)

    I feel a bit bad always dogging on you and though I am disheartened by my warrior gimping (thus I am unsubscribed until either next patch or Panddoria Pissed expansion ( it will be full of Drunken Panda’s who’ve broken Pandora’s liquor box open and gotten thoroughly pissed up — that is a Brit term ask Tupster he might have heard it in his (now reformed) soccer hooligan days)

    So yeah when The blathering Panda sot expansion Pissed of Pandoria comes out You can count me in! … I should go back from a Goblin to a Human Warrior when they redo the human bodies and then have a friendly PVP battle with Tupster the Warlock in your realm at a Panda fair! I promise not to camp Tupster and I will spare all the panda pups death by the sword even if they slide into the evil horde in the faction choosing.

    I want them to gimp the numbers…. as I could never get big crits anyway with zero raid drops ( I never do raids as I hate the rude words and business like not fun- vibe in them)

    I think it would be great too if you could show up on a high peek or mountain – break out your pet and duel another faction members pet – of course you would both have to remain out of combat… like 10 feet apart from each other…. but again that would be bad as Tupster would eventually win almost all the duels and get the achievement title “Lord of the Pet Monkey Arena”

    I really do like the show and I think you are all fine fellows – someday at a bliz con if I ever get a vacation at that time – I will have to buy you all some Bamboo shoot drinks and celebrate in good Pandanimity together.

  3. I just listened to 251 and I had a couple of thoughts about the Guardian Cub. You guys talked about it being mediocre implementation and a pretty weak attack against gold farmers. You also felt like the value for the 10 bucks was not great since the pet isn’t account wide. First, I’d like to remind you that all companions will become account-wide in MOP. So, even though the Cub isn’t account-wide at the moment, it will become account-wide fairly soon. As to the point about gold-farming, I tend to think that this one pet is not a full frontal attack. This is just a scouting mission, testing the waters and getting the community used to the idea before the really big changes. I think we are likely to see a massive expansion of the pet store in MOP with pet buying/selling activity becoming a huge part of the WOW economy. THAT will be the front-line of the attack on the gold farmers, not the Guardian Cub.

  4. Oh ya, forgot to mention that I’m a huge fan of the show. Never miss an episode! 😀

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  9. By the way, at Blizzcon they did discuss adding character slots.

    They said they’re considering keeping the total cap of 50 characters per account, but allowing more per server.

  10. Actually, I think I know what Scott/Street were saying. Taking a look at Greg’s quote:

    “If you look at the item level curves, you can see that most of the growth occurs at the maximum character levels for the various expansions. This is because we keep rewarding more and more powerful gear to make the new raid tier and PvP season in an expansion reward significantly better gear than the previous one. However, those huge item level jumps don’t accomplish a lot once the character level has increased again. Very few players notice or care how much of an upgrade the Black Temple loot is over the Serpentshrine Cavern loot when their characters are level 80.

    With that in mind, we could go back and compress the big item level increases that occur at level 60, 70, 80 and 85. The Mists of Pandaria gear would still grow exponentially from patch to patch, but the baselines would be a lot lower. Health could go from 150,000 back down to something like 20,000. The big risk of this approach is that players will log into the new expansion and feel nerfed… even if all the other numbers are compressed as well.”

    Here I believe he’s suggesting gutting the old raid instances of their superior loot, all the way up to Cata when MoP comes out, so the next tier/expansions loot does NOT have to start with such awesome stats to even everyone. Essentially, you would be in tier 13 with tons of hp and on 5.0 release, drop all your stats. This is what he was referring to when he said he was afraid players would feel nerfed. All those previous tiers are capped or lowered or done away with, in favor of not having the games numbers feel out of control. The same amount of gear inflation would occur in current content, however.

  11. Also, I don’t really see the correlation here with big numbers = big dmg. If everything is relative, you’re still doing % wise the same dmg. I feel that this makes more sense than the fact that I gained a whole lot of power, but really, I’m in the same place, relatively, to where I was last tier. Doing 1.2m is great, but if % wise the mobs are going down the same, wheres the power I got? Honestly, this whole time I feel like I’m doing 10 dmg to a raid boss anyways, so this isn’t a big factor to me, and in peoples hands, I seriously doubt it would be a factor for them either.

  12. Great episode!

    One thing I saw in this is that if they “squish,” completing lower level content (i.e. doing Silithis at level 64, Shadowmoon Valley at 74, ) will be more of a challenge than it has been.

  13. I feel like Turpster is really hitting the mark when he talks about the difficulty of Cataclysm. Additionally its that the difficulty is multiplied by the complexity. The trouble with complexity is that it takes way more time to get into a raid and then having to take so many attempts at the raid and then not be really sure if your failing because you don’t have good enough gear or if you are missing some mechanic in the raid design. Its what killed my guild before 4.1 even came out. We were a casual guild that got into raiding back in the glory days of Kara. it was a great mix of complexity but also clearer mechanics. When Cata hit we had lost enough people in the interim that we had to enlist a bunch of new folks who hadn’t played through the earlier raid content. In the first few weeks after everyone had broken the in game iLevel limits (which are incredibly missleading because they take into account everything you have and not just what you are wearing which would actually be useful) we beat are heads against the content until the new people got frustrated and quit, which meant we didn’t have enough people anymore which caused the older raiders to move on to other guilds that were progressing in the content or others to quit entirely (like I eventually did. Not because i didn’t want to play but because if i couldn’t play with my friends from our several year old guild i didn’t want to play).

    For Mists to have a chance of recapturing us it needs to be more focused toward the casual raider and the idea that if you need more then an hour to master an encounter then its to hard. Also they should be puggable. i know you guys scoff at puggable raids but when you don’t have 7000 people to form a raid group from you need to pug things. This needs to be easy and fast, or elese people like me will never have a reason to get back into the game.

  14. Just listening to this episode right now, but I had to jump on and ask what was that awesomely epic music that was played during the commercial break. Does want!

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