As you can see, there have been changes with Merculees. Where to start…
Low Level Monk PVP?
After running a few quests in Westfall I decided that Merculees the Shirtless would queue up for some PVP action. I was curious was the XP was like in BG’s. I didn’t have to wait long before Merc appeared in Warsong Gulch. No one commented on his cloth shoulders, or even his lack of shirt. Maybe they were intimidated at his manliness. Maybe they just didn’t care. In any case, the horn sounded and off to the bloody races we went.
Low level PVP is a real treat when you only have three buttons to mash. Despite still having only a vague understanding of how to Monk, I found myself slowly figuring things after multiple gruesome deaths. Before I knew it, we had won Warsong Gulch and I popped out of the Battleground and back into the farmer’s field where the quests had been taking place. I looked at the xp bar and was disappointed to see it had only moved a few ticks. A bit dejected, I was finishing up the quest I was running when I happened to look at my character pane. Was that right? I scrolled back through the event window and realized that, yes, I had done more than get a few bubbles of xp. I had gone up an entire level!
No way. That couldn’t be right, could it?
I queued up again for another BG, and got back in right away. Another fifteen minutes of dying, less than before at least, and another win for the Alliance. Boom, another level! Also, more honor in the bag. At this rate, I thought to myself, I could be ready to buy some sweet transmog gear – or actual useful gear – in no time!
With each battleground win, Merc leveled. Not bad for twenty minutes of work (if that). I was so impressed with the leveling in battlegrounds that I stopped to weigh the pros and cons between leveling through BG’s rather than through questing.
Higher levels? Was I actually thinking about taking this monk past the level twenty cap I had initially placed on him?
Reading that list, the cons really came out weak. Plus, by focusing on leveling through BG’s I knew exactly how much time I had to commit, which is good if you only have so much time to play. At best, I could commit to a twenty minute session to gain a level. At worse, probably forty. Depending on the quest, I couldn’t guarantee the amount of game time I’d need to level. So to maximize my xp/time ratio, PVP was going to be the way to go.
Dress For Success
If I was going to make a serious run with Merculees, I decided that I needed to get all the xp bonuses I could get. That meant it was time to get the man a shirt. Step one was using some of the Justice Points on Herculees to buy the leather heirloom chest piece. Step two was mailing it to my Enchanter on another server. With the new (new to me at least) change where any level enchant could be put on an heirloom item, I dropped Greater Stats on it and let it scale down. I sent it to Merculees and got him ready to party.
The Lazy Man’s Way To PVP
Like I said, there were only a few buttons to master when it came to playing the PVP game with a low level Monk. Roll to the target, Jab to get Chi, Tiger Palm for the buff, then Blackout Kick. Fists of Fury would be an option if the target was rooted or otherwise incapacitated. If Merc was incapacitated, there was the Human racial or Monk talent to get him free. Seemed simple enough, but it got to be annoying to try and get everything working as smoothly as everyone who continued to gut Merc.
There had to be a better way. Between Master Youtube and Sensei Google, I found the answer.
And by answer I mean a one-button macro that I could hammer on to do everything I needed to.
I went to Curse and WoWInterface to find an addon that would let me extend the macro character limitation. SuperDuperMacro was one of the one suggested. If you’re so inclined to try this yourself, feel free to pick it up.
After that, it was just a matter of copying and pasting into the box to generate my own single button killswitch.
The Killswitch Macro:
/castsequence reset=0.3 0,0,0,0,
/castsequence reset=0.3 0,0,0, jab
/castsequence reset=0.3 0,0, tiger palm
/castsequence reset=0.3 0, blackout kick
/castsequence reset=0.3 rising sun kick
/use energizing brew
/use tigereye brew
Here’s the explanation of the macro, more or less:
Now this macro was obviously not designed for low level monks. Rising Sun Kick, Brews, and Trinkets are not even on the character radar. But Jab, Tiger Palm, and Blackout Kick certainly is. In theory, the button would cast or use whatever was applicable, which meant it could still work for me.
This macro is also not for the PVP pros out there, or even players who like to squeeze every drop of dps out of their character. This is for people like me, who are okay with just being somewhat competitive (or at least borderline functional).
With ten hours of casual /played, Merculees dinged 22. Most of the level ups I didn’t even see since the battleground results board would pop up and block the notification. The only time I’d really notice the “ding” was when a new ability would float onto the action bar. From reading various PVP blogs, Merc just stepped into abilities where he could really shine in PVP.
But is the experiment over? Will I continue with my Human Monk, or should I start one Horde-side? I’m having fun with him, and I’m not doing horribly in PVP. I may continue with the Main Monk and see how thing progress. At some point, maybe the learning curve will catch up with me. Maybe I’ll get sick of PVP, or get tired of getting stabbed in the neck/back. Until then, low level PVP with Merculees the windwalker Monk may be the way spend some quality time.
Quality Time and PVP. Never thought I’d see the day, at least for me.
MMO Champion wrote in a post that Patch 5.0.4 had just hit the PTR. Most likely, this means the patch will be pushed to the live servers in 4-6 weeks.
Which also means that I’ll probably be done with WoW for awhile.
This is generally the exact opposite reaction of what most people will be doing. There’s a great number of World of Warcraft players out there who are salivating at the thought of the upcoming changes. The new hotness on the horizon, so to speak. Entire classes are being revamped (hello Warlocks). The talent system, glyphs, all being changed. In many cases, people will have to go back to the drawing board and hit the learning curve to play their class with any degree of competency once again.
Now me, I’m not a numbers guy. I sure as Hell don’t feel like sitting around in front of a targeting dummy to relearn what I’m supposed to be doing in the 5.0 era. Greater minds than mine are looking forward to that sort of thing, and more power to them. I’ve seen video footage from the beta regarding some of the upcoming class changes, and from what I can tell it’s not all that great news for my Frost Death Knight and my Warrior. Hence, I am somewhat less than excited about the changes.
Of course, I understand that things change from the beta, to the PTR, and to the live servers. But despite all the testing, major patches tend to bring major problems – from server issues to class bugs to general unbalance. If I wanted to deal with that kind of disorganized mess, I wouldn’t have to log into an online video game that I’m paying to play. I’d just leave my cave and step out into the sunlight. It’s kinda like paying for a massage and expecting a happy ending, but getting a surprise Brazilian Wax instead.
Personally, until the patch 5.0 dust settles, I’ll be keeping my head low and saving myself the headache until things sort themselves out. What about you? Are you looking forward to 5.0 going live?