Monday, December 21, 2009

Jousting 3.3

It would appear the same mob AI change that has tanks running around like chickens with their heads cut off also affects tournament dailies. It is so annoying that I've sworn off jousting and just do the other dailies now.

For anyone who has not heard of the new behavior plaguing tanks, mobs will now run behind tanks if they move a teeny bit where as before they would stay in front of the tank (for the most part). I can think of a few mobs that would randomly move around side to side and occasionally make thier way behind the tank if the tank didn't compensate. The golems in HoL and HoS come to mind.

I have a theory on why that is after jousting a few times. You know how if you have a non-combat pet out it can sometimes seem to be running ahead of you and actually turn with you while still ahead. Seems like they are psychic or something.

Well I think the same thing is happening with mobs. Whatever coefficient that was making them just a bit slower than us has been decreased so that mob AI is just a little faster when it comes to keeping on our heels. Not to non-combat ESP levels yet, but certainly closer than before.

So how does this affect jousting? My old strategy was to circle my target staying just about shield breaker range so I could sneak out and toss a shield breaker and get back in before the enemy could do the same. Then when the mob backed off to charge I'd charge first and with any luck I'd have all the enemy's shields down already and take them down in a couple charges.

Now the enemy jouster follows so closely that getting off a shield breaker is more or less impossible. This leaves my primary attack to be melee attacks which don't remove shields and my charges do much less damage. To make matters worse I have to be charging as soon as I can where as before I'd have time to toss an extra shield breaker when needed. This faster enemy will charge faster and drop my shields before I even see them coming.

At first I thought I was just a little laggier than usual, but this is all happening at my usual ~150ms latency. It is just too similar to the tanking issue to be a coincidence anyway.

So what was once a mechanic based on a bit of skill and using abilities wisely has turned into a war of attrition of basic melee attacks with neither NPC or player often having fewer than three shields up.

The time needed to crank out the jousting dailies has gone up ten fold to the point where it just isn't worth my time. I've only really gotten into the tournament recently to make a little gold on the side. Jousting dailies are repetitive enough without the added frustration of not being able to use shield break.

So that leaves a few kill something dailies that I just take out in bear form in large groups. Repetitive, but quick. Kind of stupid that I can solo threat from above easier than the "easy" jousting daily, but that is the way it is. I am betting that jousting will become a group quest if this change remains in place while the group quest becomes more a solo quest with better gear.


  1. What I have done in the past (and still works) is to charge up 3 shields, then be ready to mash Charge as soon as I talk to the NPC. So as they are running into the ring, I already have one shield down on them. The momentum of the Charge, I circle around and pop a Shield Breaker before moving into Melee.
    one in melee, jsut stand and go toe-to-toe until they move away. Spam Charge until it hits, then as you circle past them toss another Shield Breaker and get back to Melee ASAP. (re-shield as needed during melee)
    Doing this, I am often never without 3 shields, and usually keep the opponent around 1-2 shields at all times. My charge+SheidlBreak drops their shields to 0-1 and the AI is not smart enough tto immediately re-shield until they are in melee with me. So I generally can do two or three of the Champions before needing to "heal" as I only lose a little life during each joust.
    Hope this helps

  2. I've had good luck with my usual jousting strategy of meleeing them until they run away, then charging and spinning around in a wide-ish loop so I have just enough range for a shield breaker and then closing to melee again. It does take a bit of time to do it this way, but not a ton -- I think I can get all 4 of my champions done in under 5 minutes. The mob positioning thing is definitely annoying though, ugh!

  3. Morphster of AggramarDecember 21, 2009 at 1:27 PM

    I haven't continued the jousting dailies in 3.3 so I didn't know about this, but I have noticed some difficulty in keeping mobs in front of me, especially in the new 5-mans. For whatever reason there seems to be a slight incline in the landscape, especially in the Pit of Saron, but as long as you're cognizant of which directions to kite the mobs and which directions don't work, it just becomes a minor annoyance.

  4. I'll try the charge and shield break thing. I was having a hard time not getting charged myself recently where I wasn't before.

    I had it down to a science though so it took me 2 or 3 charges per champion and 1 or 2 for the others. The charge cooldown was the only thing that slowed me down and I didn't require any healing. Whole thing only took a couple minutes.

    Last one I killed took three minutes on its own. >.<

    I'll hope that it reverts closer to what it was before when that tanking hotfix that was promised gets put in. Otherwise I'll see if I can't improve my time if the mood strikes me.