Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Heroic Difficulty and the New Tiers

Scanning through bluetracker is a great way to catch little tidbits from the CM's and developers about upcoming changes to World of Warcraft. Since the expansion is on the horizon I pay special attention to anything that might be related to the latest push onto the beta server. Recently I stumbled across some information on the boards about the new Heroic Difficulty option that will be include in all the 5 man dungeons. Selecting this option will turn an instance into a harder version of itself by adjusting mob density and levels. However, the rewards also increase so that much better level 70 rewards can be gotten from any dungeon in the Burning Crusade.

Tigole explains further by saying that the epic set tokens will drop only from Heroic Difficulty instances and that the last boss will always drop an epic. This really proves that the Blizzard development team has put a lot of thought into making all content viable for the end game. In the old world once someone hit level 60 only the three highest level instances were done with any regularity because they had the best non raid loot. With the Heroic Difficulty being in the expansion it looks like level 70s can visit any dungeon to receive level appropriate loot.

My guess on how the gear structure will work in the TBC:

Battleground (non-epic set): Buyable rewards from farming BG honor

Dungeon Loot 60-70 (non-epic): Dropped from normal difficulty bosses in dungeons

Battleground (epic set): Buyable rewards from farming BG honor. Tobold estimates 100-200hrs for complete set.

Tier-4 (epic): Tokens dropped from Heroic difficulty bosses in dungeons

Kharzhan (epic): At least equal to the Tier-4 set since its also level 70 but requires 10 people

Arena (epic set): Several Blue posts put this set equal to the highest raid instance gear

Tier-5 (epic): Raid Instances like the Black Temple should have slightly better gear then the Heroic Difficulty set

This is just a estimation of the gear tiers and I'm sure I'm not 100% correct. A lot of changes for Kharzhan and the Heroic Difficulty option are just about to be pushed so I know we'll see more information about the new Tiers soon. Still one has to be excited that you can basically choose your favorite dungeon and continue to do it for gear upgrades at level 70. I certainly hope that the old raid content will one day have this option added when the developers have some free time.

Monday, November 27, 2006

The Stranglethorn Hell

I had a wide selection of gaming options open to me this Thanksgiving holiday but somehow I still ended up playing World of Warcraft the most. I had recently become addicted to my beastmaster specced hunter and was having fun blowing through the early levels. Unfortunately late Thursday night I hit level 36 with her and entered what is one of the few dead areas in the game. I had done the few quests for the Alliance in Desolace, Arathi Highlands, Hillsbrad and I was left with only one more zone to visit. Every character come to a point in their life where they make the decision to head to Stranglethorn Vale or just grind world mobs. On a PvE server this choice is less relevant but to those of us who play PvP its a major virtual life decision.

Stranglethorn Vale is a questing bonanza with over 30 quests for both the horde and the alliance. They start around level 33 and slowly increase to about level 44. A lot of them are simple kill ten rats quests which can be grouped together by a enterprising individual so they are working on several at the same time. Most of the mobs in the zone are either beasts with no casting abilities or trolls with very low hit points. Both are great for grinding against and can easily help a player to finish up a level between quests. So if this zone is such a nice place to level why is it referred to as the Stranglethorn Hell?

1) The Gank Factor:
The high amount of quests in the zone is like a giant fly zapper. People can't resist the thought of all that easily earned experience just waiting there softly glowing. They forget about the last time they went into the Stranglethorn Hell and being camped at Nessingway's for two hours. The ease and multitude of the quests in STV guarantee a constant stream of players entering the zone and as a result gankers know they can always find victims there.

2) Zul'Gurub
ZG is probably one of the easiest raid zones to do and Pick-Up-Raids for both factions form all the time. As a result there is a lot of level sixty foot traffic heading to the entrance of this zone. This wouldn't be so bad if the entrance was away from any of the questing areas but no Blizzard decide in true cutthroat fashion to place it in the middle. Thus as a raid moves in you can pretty much count out finishing a Nessingway's or Venture Co. quest.

3) The Fishing Extravaganza
Starting every Sunday at 2pm you can expect the coastline of STV to fill up with both Horde and Alliance as they quickly try to fish up 40 tasty fish to win a tournament. Even after the tournament ends the special fishing spots continue to exist for a few more hours and they will continue to be in use. Several nice items with high stamina can be earned by fishing there so often times people will bring a 19 twink to fish and a level 60 to kill everything in sight.

4) The Gurabashi Arena
The loot isn't really that good but it has a habit of getting out of hand with different groups and guilds calling in reinforcements whenever the chest is dropped off. Thus basically you get a lot of people looking for some hardcore PvP flying into the zone and traveling to the exact center where the arena is located. On their way in they have a habit of killing everything of the opposite faction. Its good practice and gets the blood flowing.

5) It's a Jungle In There
STV is designed with a very high mob density so much so that there really only two routes from the south to the north. One is the coastline which has level 40 pirates and Naga and the other is the main road. This basically means that if you're under level 40 you have to take the main road to move between Nessingway's and Booty Bay. Thus every time you have to turn in a quest you are forced to travel the same path as every other character in the zone. As you have learned by now the chance of a level 60 letting a lower level person pass by them is only about 25%. There not even real gankers at heart they just remember all the times they were killed by a high level and blackout into a murderous rage.

So now that you know why people love to hate Stranglethorn Vale you have to wonder, "Is it worth visiting?" The short answer is yes since you can really move fast through the mid thirties if you quest here. However, you have to follow certain conditions when questing here or you are going to spend more time running back to your body then doing actual quests.

Condition 1)
Know the quests and group them together for maximum efficiency. Remember every time you travel to Booty Bay/ Nessgingway/ Gromgol/ Kurzen Camp you have a very high chance of being ganked. Thus the less time spent traveling on the main road the better.

Condition 2)
Do not play in STV during primetime, it is death incarnate.

Condition 3)
Do not bring weak PvP classes to the STV. The entire zone is practically a free for all battleground. If you have no escape abilities then you should not come here. This is mostly talking to warriors and paladins who are basically like turtles without shells before level 40.

Condition 4)
Always approach Nessingway's Camp with utmost caution since usually sixties from one faction or another will be killing someone there. Try to get a look to see if anyone is in the camp before even getting close since people will mount up and chase you.

Condition 5)
Bring friends to quest in Stranglethorn Vale. Yes we all know that grouping actually hurts the experience you can gain in World of Warcraft but the added protection enables you to quickly go through the quests.

The danger of visiting STV depends on the server. The older a server gets the less traffic you see in the zone for questing and raids going to ZulGurub. Also on servers with highly unbalanced faction populations the zone can be quite safe for those of the more populous faction.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Can the Current Level 60 Dungeons be Saved?

With the release of the Burning Crusade a lot of the current end game dungeons will become deserted as people migrate to the better risk vs. reward instances. Stratholm and Scholomance can be expected to become true ghost towns filled with only the undead that make their homes there. Sure an occasional tourist will stick his head in the zone and check it out but the days of a real group of players entering will be over. Thinking about it though there are already several dungeon instances which barely ever see groups.

As World of Warcraft has become more top heavy with level 60 characters most people find it easier to be run through a dungeon with a higher level character then actually build a group of appropriate level people. And yet if a dungeon has a good set of droppable items and a rewarding main quest then it will still most likely see groups of adventurers. For example the dungeons Maradon and ZulFarrak still experience a decent amount of group traffic and will probably continue to receive visitors even after the release of the expansion. Both have good quests that give rare items and a decent array of drops for casters and melees.

On the opposite side of the spectrum are two dungeons designed for players in their twenties. Both Black Fathom Deeps and Shadowfang Keep have limited droppable items and so-so quest rewards for the Alliance. SFK actually has no general quests for the Alliance but makes up for it by having some nice caster loot. Unfortunately the dungeon is not kind to most melees since most of the items for them are very rare drops off the bosses. BFD has one good quest for the Alliance but it only gives a blue shield or wand. The droppable items are poor with only the bosses at the end having a chance to drop good blue items. Just like SFK too many bosses drop green items with bad stats which are easily beaten by gear bought from the auction house.

The current level 60 dungeons are set to soon have the same problem since players in their high 50s will have the same difficulty doing Scholomance as doing Hellfire Citadel. Plus chances are that the bind on equipped items that drop from the Outlands will be better then the rares that drop from current level 60 dungeons. Blizzard really has four options they could choose to try to alleviate this issue.

1) Increase the Item Power in the current Level 60 Dungeons
This option isn't too likely since it could detract from the allure of the new dungeons. Plus modifying and rebalancing old content is much harder then doing the same for new content. Just look at the boss fights for the Tier 0.5 armor set which the developers seem to think are balanced for a group of non raiders.

2) Decrease the Item Power in the new Level 60 Dungeons
This option would go against their philosophy of basically fixing the gear imbalance between raiders and non-raiders. Also if the new items were only slightly better there wouldn't be as much demand to get the expansion right away.

3) Ignore the old content
This looks like the current option Blizzard is going with. It costs them no money and encourages people to concentrate on the new expansion. However, this really increases the rate at which the new content will be consumed since new people will skip all the current level 60 content when leveling and go straight to the Hellfire Citadel

4) Decrease the levels and difficulty of the current Level 60 Dungeons.
I really think this would be the best move for Blizzard since they could put more of a gap between the old content and the new content in the expansion. At the moment the Sunken temple is around level 50 and is the dungeon right before the current level 60 dungeons. Blizzard could easily adjust the item and boss levels of the current level 60 dungeons so that a group of level 54 players without raid gear could beat them.

Shifting the difficulty of the current end game dungeons might be the only way to prevent them from becoming a higher level version of Black Fathom Deeps. With no level gap between them and Hellfire Citadel then the rule of risk vs. reward dictates that almost all players will head straight to the outlands at 58-59. The Blizzard developers might think rebalancing the older dungeons again might not be worth the money but honestly it will help them if new characters can be persuaded to still go there. Basically its the difference between still getting some use out of the content and totally writing it off. The level 60 dungeons can be saved unlike their counterparts the level 60 raid instances which are just plain screwed over by the expansion.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Avatar Customization

World of Warcraft took a great many steps forward by including a plethora of popular features from previous MMORPGS and fine tuning them so they would have mass appeal. One area of the game though that always seemed to go against this philosophy was their character creation process. Only having about six different customizable options was a real step back when compared to other games out at the time. Even classic Everquest technically had more options since they had practically double the amount of playable races. Still with WoW's success one has to wonder if Blizzard did their research and found out that money was better spent on game content then more varied hair styles.

Still, the reason I'm revisiting this topic once again is that I finally got a certain Beta program working on my computer late last night and had time to mess around with the character creation process. I must say I am impressed with the amount of choices Vanguard allows for changing the body structure of your characters. Now I am not quite sure how a NDA works cause frankly when I finished college I swore I was never reading anything over 1200 pages again. Still I am pretty sure without giving specifics I can talk about features.

The number one thing that impresses me is they made use of the same sliding bar for customization that you find in City of Heroes. For an example think of a bar named Height which you can slide and watch as your avatar grows or shrinks in size. Now picture about 50 such options from eye slant to head size. It may not have the outrageous costumes of the super hero MMO but it still allows an impressive ability to differentiate yourself from other players. Quite frankly, in World of Warcraft the amount of evil twins I have run across is ridiculous.

Players like to be able to distinguish themselves from others usually in order to prove their superiority. Equipment plays an important part in this since it directly effects your ability to kick ass but image also plays a part. How many low level rogues do you see wearing a full set of defias even though the stats aren't that good? A lot. How many paladins do you see wearing a dress even though raids force them to heal from a distance? None. What good is kicking ass if you look like a bum while doing it?

I'm not sure if good character creation options are the key ingredient in making a successful MMO but I do know its a good start. Most likely half the fans of City of Heroes/Villains simply liked playing because of the amazing costumes you could put together. I wasn't really a fan of the gameplay but it seem like every other day I was creating a new character with a name and history to match his costume. In comparison WoW's character creation looks simplistic to City of Heroes and quaint to Vanguard. However, the decision to cut back on avatar customization in return for more game content might be smart. After all if people just wanted good looking avatars at the cost of gameplay then Second Life would have more concurrent users.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

No Ninja's Need Apply

Recently my guild had been dealing with a serious drop in attendance due in part to the delay of the Burning Crusade expansion. Some people took a break, some just decided to quit, and others like me are just doing a lot of overtime at work. Having only thirty people show up for our raids was starting to hurt our Rag and BWL attempts so the guild finally decided to start heavily recruiting. Which leads us to our last run where we only had Domo and Ragnaros left to clear. Those of you who are experienced in the ways of WoW already know where this story is going. Basically one of our recruits managed to use feign death to ensure his survival in the Domo fight right at the place where the chest spawns. The quick fingered thief then popped right up when Domo went down and grabbed the chest contents.

Our ventrilo channel lighted up like the National Lampoon Christmas tree since one of the rare +46 healing bands was in there. Most of the other gear was substandard for us so outrage was a bit lower then it would have been say two months ago. Still most people were shocked to learn that there is no penalty for ninja looting an item in a raid. A lot of our newer members thought surely a warning or temporary banning would result. But in the end the only thing the guild could do was post about the ninja in the forums. However, the thief delighted in informing general chat in Ironforge that he was soon transferring servers and that his name would be changed also in the process.

For as many steps Blizzard took to prevent ninja looting in the game it still occasionally makes itself known. The need/greed rolling system helps prevent a lot of group looting hijinks but still leaves room for some manipulation. A group leader could switch to master looter right before a boss or a person could simply roll need on armor and weapons they can't use. Especially sneaky ninja looters will often wait for everyone else to select greed roll before they choose need. However, when you have a situation like a chest then it doesn't matter what the loot settings are since the first person to open it can loot all the items. I guess Blizzard thought a MC raid would know each other well enough that ninja looting wouldn't be a problem.

A lot of other games had much worse systems for managing ninja looting. Early Everquest simply allowed the person or group who dealt the most damage to loot items from the mob. Thus often when a rare mob would spawn several people would start wailing away each hoping they could out damage the other and gain the xp and loot. Other games like City of Heroes simply decided to do away with the idea of having equipment for players. Still others made it so the game always divides items based on some sort of system like round-robin.

All these systems were invented in part because digital property is not protected under any sort of real law. In a MMORPG the only laws are those that control how a player interacts with the game. The EULA for most games try to set additional laws that are really only enforceable by direct GM intervention. And to be honest GM intervention becomes unrealistic when the player population is so much higher then the GM population. The current GM to player ratio for World of Warcraft has to be somewhat like having one police officer for all of New York City. So when you think about it the only real way to enforce digital laws is to program them into the game.

Short Summary: I'm pissed that someone stole from our guild but I am more pissed at Blizzard for not putting chests and vaults into the loot rolling system.

Note: A song a dwarven rogue was spamming in IF one day, yes he did have the devout set.

I am a little ninja, short and stout,
I'll steal your gear and hearth on out.
Everyone on teamspeak will curse and shout,
Cause I am the rogue in full devout.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Top 10 Things Not to do in WoW until Jan 16th

10) Make a NE Hunter and go to the horde newbie area with a level one pet. Stay in shadowmeld until a low level attacks your pet then Aim Shot them for +1,000 dmg. Later on brag about how good you are at fishing for newbs to your guild. Post pictures of all the level one characters you have killed this way. Make sure to photoshop black X's over their eyes.

9) Give your raid leader a hug when you're the bomb in the Baron Geddon fight. When everyone yells at you sigh heavily into your microphone and say "I guess I'm just not leet enough for Molten Core."

8) Using lots of patience and dots train King Mosh from Ungoro Crater to the Crossroads. On your way there brag in general chat that the stink of the Crossroads offends you and your having your pet wipe it out. Since no horde could understand you include the words KeK KeK so they know bad shit is going down.

7) Spell out "Janury 16th is too far" in front of your race's city using level 1 corpses. Start over again when someone calls you a moron for misspelling January.

6) Have your NE priest shadowmeld near the main entrance to BRM. Whenever a single character runs by use mind control to throw them into the lava. Before each mind control announce that you are making another sacrifice to Ragnaros in hopes he makes the TBC release date sooner.

5) Stake out the Gadgetzan Gnomish Transporter and watch for mechanical failures. Try to get a series of screenshots when people appear 10,000 feet above the tranporter then turn it into an animted gif. Include it in a forum's post about why goblin engineering is better then gnomish.

4) Hide near the pyramid transporter that leads to Naxx. When guilds approach jump out and point to the pile of level 1 corpses that you have cleverly spelled out to say "The End". When someone remarks that the one in front of Ironforge was better tell them to STFU.

3) Go to a newbie area and ride your epic mount backwards in front of them to show that yes you are in fact Uber. If they doubt you make sure to pull out glowing weapons. If they still doubt you challenge them to a duel. They didn't accept did they? Cowards.

2) Go outside and play in the park ..... Hahaha I kid. What would you rather be outside throwing a frisbee around all day or on your computer doing something that really matters?

1) Collect as much purple cloth gear as possible and get the Crisom Hat from Stratholm. Get a group of friends to follow you around as naked female characters. Walk around Ironforge and introduce yourself as Pimpmaster Pimpalicous Smakabeotch. Use the /slap command on any friends who talk out of character. Threaten to use the /beotchslap command if they continue to get out of line.

Hopefully, work will settle down and I can actually write a real post next week. I remind people that most of these things are annoying and I don't recommend them as actual ways to pass time. Unless your really, really bored.

Friday, November 03, 2006

What Class Would you Like to See in WoW?

As we all disappointingly know there will be no new classes in the Burning Crusade expansion for World of Warcraft. But for the longest time before we got this information people loved to theorycraft on what classes might make an appearance in the game. Everything had been suggested from old Everquest favorites to even more exotic classes from rare DnD manuals. After fighting Lefty the monk in the Tier 0.5 Arena event I've been thinking about how I missed new classes. Blizzard has stately numerous times they don't wish to create any overlap by introducing new classes that have the same roles as current ones. Dealing with that that limitation what do you think will be the most likely new class?

Here are some suggestions which I faintly remember from discussions of theory craft, forums posts, and even some barrens chat (god help us all).

One of the more talked about choices since the costume was provided by use of the Orb of Deception. Originally suggested as the Hero class for rogues it could also be playable as a separate class though it would probably have a lot of overlap with the current backstab professionals. The main thought would be that a ninja would be a cloth wearing dps class that would have very powerful initial attacks and finishing attacks like execute but be lacking in stable dps. Basically a rogue without sinister strikes but an ambush and eviscerate to die for. Because of their lack of armor the class would have to be much more careful at pulling aggro then rogues.

Another obvious choice because of the Orb of Deception and the general internet rivalry with ninjas. Pirates would also be a cloth wearing dps class but would use swashbuckling to avoid taking damage. Thus they would have skills and abilities for parrying and blocking but would take heavy damage from attacks that got through. They could also have the auto shoot ability but be limited to using guns. Also many suggest that they should have parrot companions like the mobs in the Deadmines which are very weak pets.

World of Warcraft already has an evil caster class but a lot of people still miss the standard Necromancer. Plus its not like the lore of the game doesn't support the class since several dungeon bosses are Necromancers. Basically if this class was ever implemented it would have to have something to greatly distinguish itself from warlocks. One suggestion was to make their damage spells cold and disease based and really make their pets unique. Perhaps enable them to have multiple pets but only be able to summon them around recently defeated foes. Or make them sort of like hunters where they have to track down and kill certain mobs to be able to raise them as different types of undead. Thus if they wanted to summon a skeleton they would have to kill a human but if they wanted a ghost they would have to kill an elf.

Since World of Warcraft tries to balance itself on PvP combat as well as PvE combat they have given almost every class a means of crowd control. This has really defused the need to have a pure crowd control class like an Enchanter in the game. Yet an Enchanter would open up a entirely new type of class since their sole purpose would be to crowd control. They could have minor arcane damage abilities like a mage but their greatest benefit would be able to crowd control more then one mob at a time. Also allow them the ability to mind control like a priest but with more control of their targets.

Basically this would be a class set up just like the Enchanter but instead of having damage spells like a mage they would have healing spells like a paladin. The Templar would be like a preacher or religious zealot whose crowd control stems more from his ability to brainwash then cast spells. The class would be harder to solo then an Enchanter since they would have no offensive spells. To compensate they could wear plate armor just like a paladin. I mainly think of this class whenever someone mentions the mobs of the Scarlet Crusade. Plus in my opinion more classes that can heal need to be put into the game.

A mild dps class that would be able to use AoE songs to cast buffs or debuffs. Unlike casters the singing ability would be able to be used while attacking but just like channeling would be interrupted when attacked. Thus the key to using a bard would be knowing when to stay in combat range and when to back off. The class should probably be able to wear at least mail armor since AoE debuffs will probably pull aggro one or twice no matter what the player does. The song ability would work a lot like totems but the Bard would be more melee oriented then the Shaman. Also limiting the bard to only one handed weapons would further separate them from the other hybrid classes.

The bare fist fighter. Monks would be limited to only fist weapons and leather armor but would have a natural high armor class. Monks should be thought of as rogues with perhaps a bit of healer thrown in. I would like to see monks as a class that could heal and dispel themselves. Perhaps tie their heals and dispels to a combo point system like the rogue class. To make them wanted in groups and raids have them able to get out of almost every type of crowd control so that they would be useful for powerful debuff fights. To limit them from being overpowered in PvP make sure they have almost no form of crowd control ability themselves. The class would be like a hunter in that it would be very good at soloing but would also be useful in dungeons for getting aggro off the healers and not requiring much healing in return. Basically a dps class that doesn't subtract healing from the tank if he mismanages aggro.

I am sure there a million other classes from all the theory craft posts I have missed. If anyone wants to add one or points a forum threat discussing the topic feel free to list it in a comment.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

A Warlock's Defense

The last post was not a general call to nerf the warlock class but a examination of the Fear spell's reputation for being overpowered. Since I have never played a warlock to sixty I have had more experience being on the recieving end of fear then the casting side. Thus every time I tried to write a point to argue for fear not being overpowered I might have been thinking more about being one shot fear killed then thinking about a good arguement.

Luckily using blue tracker I found a decent forum post (yeah I was surprised too) which defended the Warlock's use of the deadly duo (fear and deathcoil) . The format of the post is done in a humorous manner but the summary had several good points.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Fear: the King of Crowd Control?

Me and my friends were going through a low level WSG battleground when we ran into the problem of a flag carrier being escorted by two warlocks. As any of the melees on our side got close to the carrier they were feared which effectively kept them from ever catching back up to the flag carrier. We did have one hunter on our side and his concussion shot did slow them down a bit but he could never get in range to use wing clip. As our enemies returned the flag for the third time using this method my teamspeak channel broke out into a ton of complaints about how overpowering fear is at the moment. Usually not one to call for nerfs I got into a discussion about just how effective fear was as crowd control.

There are several types of fear spells but the ones most often complained about are the Warlock's deadly duo of fear and deathcoil. Warlock's have the standard fear spell which on average always seems to last longer then ten seconds. This time can effectively be extended with the use of deathcoil which is a shorter but irremovable version of fear. This makes warlock fear one of the longest lasting crowd control abilities in the game with only sap and polymorph lasting longer. However, both of those abilities automatically break when the target takes damage.

The crux of the complaints about fear stem from the change made with the way it interacts with Damage over Time spells. It used to be that every time damage was dealt to a feared target there was a chance to break the spell. This made the spell fairly balanced except that warlocks who were the main users of fear were very dependent on DoT spells. Plus there were rumors that people used low level DoTs on themselves to beat raid bosses that feared. Thus the rules were eventually changed so that only the initial damage of a spell had a chance to break fear. Thus DoT spells went from having a very high chance to break fear to a very low chance. This change combined with fear's effectiveness in PvP is why many claim that spell is overpowered.

Liability in PvE but Benefit in PvP
1) Aggro Management: Fear in PvE has to be used carefully so that the feared target doesn't aggro more mobs which will then attack you. Yet in PvP combat the feared target is the one who is attacked by any added mobs. Thus fear gains an added boost to its effectiveness during world combat and battlegrounds with mobs.

2) Range Control: Fear is the perfect ability to gain range on your target. While in PvE it can be annoying to have to chase your target to recast your DoTs it becomes quite beneficial in some forms of PvP. Mainly any type of PvP that involves flag capture or running since the crowd control spell effectively allows the claiming of the flag without having to kill your target.

If you look at how Fear works you can see that by its very nature its not an effective PvE crowd control method. In fact the only time Warlocks are in demand for a raid or group instance is when their banish ability is needed. Inside a dungeon you are almost never going to see anyone use fear since it is too chaotic and unpredictable. Yet this becomes its strength in PvP combat where your opponents can be controlled for a long time and perhaps even killed by one spell alone. Thus Fear is the ultimate PvP crowd control ability but is balanced by its uselessness in most PvE instances. Still since players compete directly in PvP most only ever see the overpowering side of Fear.