This post was published long before the Mists of Pandara Expansion.
The tips and techniques explained here may be outdated.

Sliding Tiles

Did you ever play with one of these sliding number puzzles? You start off with all the numbers in order.. and the blank in the bottom right-hand corner.. and you give it to a 3-year-old to play with for an hour.. and it comes back all scrambled. So then you have to spend time trying to unscramble what the three-year-old had scrambled.

Often you’ll get 1, 2 and 3 in the right place.. but 4 and 5 are in the totally wrong place. Eventually you have to move 2 and 3 out of their proper place in order to get 4 and 5 to go into the right place. When you do it.. a little voice in the back of your head is just screaming.. “THEY’RE IN THE RIGHT PLACE DON’T MOVE THEM!!!” and “OMG NOW IT’S ALL SCREWED UP. YOU’RE NEVER GOING TO FIGURE IT OUT NOW”. But eventually, with a lot of perseverance you do get it unscrambled.

This is what I feel like is currently going on with the Warlock class. (see this -is- related to Wow.. try to keep up)

On Friday Blizz release updated patch notes. These were added to warlocks:
- Drain Soul: Each time Drain Soul deals damage to a target which can grant experience, it now has a chance to generate a Soul Shard.
- Soul Shard: This item now has a maximum count of 32 in inventory.

The forums -freaked- (or at least the warlock portion did). SO . MUCH . QQ .
– “I can’t raid with less than 80 shards”
– “Think of the progression!!! THE PROGRESSION!!” (in the same tone of voice as “think of the children”)
– “OMG! NERF to PVP. Blizz sucks and hates warlocks.”

So anyway, take a deep breath. Take another. Close your eyes. Let it all drift away. You’re drifting.. on a warm breeze. Let’s imagine…

… that Blizz loves all the classes equally.(Yes, even mages)
… that Blizz makes changes to the game to steer classes in the direction Blizz thinks they should go.(**)
… that once-upon-a-time Blizz thought Soul Shards were “neat” and “different from everything else” and made the warlock class “distinct”.
… that it wasn’t until it was finished..and tested for a while that Blizz found out that the “neat” and “distinctive” feature was actually kind of annoying. (Really, it’s not -that- annoying until you’re doing raiding or lots of PVP)
… that 1,001 other things in other classes were more annoying/counter-productive than soul shards.. so Blizz hasn’t been able to give this the attention it needed. (We can all acknowledge that Wrath shipped in a not-totally-finished state).
… that when time was available Blizz applied bandaids to the problem. (Soul Well, Evil TV)

Ghostcrawler seems to indicate that even the current PTR changes (DS/32-soul shards) are bandaid fixes. He hints at something very very cool. I can’t quite see it yet. And actually, at this point it looks like it might -not- be in 3.1.. but I’m watching carefully. At this point I think the changes on the PTR sort of maintain the status quo.

So why not just remove Soul Shards as a reagent? Because then we’re just Mages who use shadow instead of frost. Lord knows we don’t need more Mages.

** When I was in college a professor once described “steering the economy by changing the prime rate” to be the equivalent to “steering a ship by encoding the steering orders as a crossword puzzle.. and then having the crossword puzzle delivered to a monkey in the engine room. The success of the ‘steering’ depends both on the captain’s ability to encode the instructions.. and the monkey’s ability to decode the instructions.” -THIS- reminds me alot of what Blizz is doing. Unfortunatley, I think we’re the monkeys.

*** Someone once accused me of having no soul. I told them they were wrong, I have a bag full of them.

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4 comments to Sliding Tiles

  • Illiara

    I thought they were changing that one Destruction spell that chews through soulshards, or am I just dreaming? (I can’t remember the name of it, cause I’ve been Affliction since day one, and that’s never changing. :P )

  • *** Someone once accused me of having no soul. I told them they were wrong, I have a bag full of them.

    lol Love that line. ;)

    I like being distinct and I like capturing souls. I don’t mind a cap on the amount I can carry if we can improve how they are carried… like in a stack. I’m curious to see what they are going to do to make soul shards cool and fun. And I hope they are just that when they are through tinkerin’ with us.

  • I take great pride in the capturing of souls and therefore organize my items efficiently to carry a significant amount. I also enjoy the little ding they make when being created, and drain soul now ticks for decent damage under 25% health… why not use it? Shards should never been a problem IMO unless you’re repeatedly wiping on a boss with no trash pulls in between. Or whatever causes them to disappear in PvP… I don’t do that. I would embrace some changes to the system, and there have been some good ones so far. However, I agree that there are things that are far more broken (brokener? borked? zomg I’m still l33t speaking from Syr’s post, save me).

    Love your analogy and the funny at the end too. I got accused of no soul the other day too and told them I keep it in a shard on the mantle. Yours is much better.

    Is the destro spell we’re hinting at perhaps “soul fire”? I don’t destro either, but that’s my guess.

    I’m with you Nibuca, keep urging a very evil and warlocky “wait and see” mentality on the interwebs.

    *Leans back, steeples fingers, and says “excellent” in a creepy voice*

    Fulguraliss last blog post..Faith, Hope, and Love

  • Nibuca

    Under destruction there’s a talent called Decimate.. it looks like when Decimate procs you can cast some spells (not sure which ones) without using a soul shard.