January 11, 2008

Clockwork bots go peacenik

Filed under: World of Warcraft — Max Bliss @ 6:59 pm

My Clockwork Mutual Self Destruction Robotic Pet
All of Great-father Winter’s children over level 10 (rough estimate: 8 million players) got a Clockwork Rocket Bot this winter. This Bot has one and only one Rule of Robot’s Orders: Kill all other Clockwork Bots!! Kill on sight!

  1. If you are standing still and some other bot generates nearby, you will EXTERMINATE that bot in a flurry of fireballs.
  2. If you both generate at about the same time you will mutually self-destruct in 85% of the time.
  3. To gain the upper robotic hand, you must run away, find someplace safe to generate and then SNEAK up on other bots to EXTERMINATE them with FIREBALLS.
  4. Rule Number 4: If there are three bots active, all the above rules are declared null and FIRE BALLED!

Imagine: Teams of Bots!

If you are in a team, your Clockworks are in a team. They can be buffed. Yes, we are talking Power Word: Fortitude, Power Word: Shield, the whole twinkalicious spectrum.

According to WoWWiki:

This pet can be buffed, “healed” and otherwise have beneficial spells cast on it like a party member. Rocket Bots have a very small amount of health, however, and very nearly all attacks from other Rocket Bots will kill it outright. Due to it being considered a party member, Power Word: Shield can be cast on the robot, allowing it to survive several simultaneous attacks before falling over. The attack that breaks through the shield can, at times, be reduced enough to damage the bot without destroying it, showing that the bots do in fact have more than one hit point, and that rocket attacks do a small amount of damage rather than being a scripted ‘auto-kill’ attack.

So naturally I am seeing that team totem buffs apply. Pally buffs. How long can you keep a pet with 5 hp alive?

Because then we can talk about raid-sized teams of Clockwork Zombies advancing on Brill or Ratchet.

Nerf Alert! As of Jan. 2, my priest can no longer buff his bot. Dreams of world domination dwindle.

Look! This blog was picked up by WoW Insider today!

Wondering why Blizzard would stealth nerf Great-father Winter’s gift, several commenters suggested that it was because bots were targetable in PvP Arena and this messed up combat there. Bots remain targetable, just not buffable.

So perhaps the whole team-buffable thing was a mistake?

Personally, as an engineer who has been suckered into building rock em sock em robots, the clockwork bots were a huge improvement. First because more people have them. Second because they had better special FX as they destroyed each other.

Furthermore, dear Blizzard, the social aspect of buffable bots with team based combat running rampant in the Auction House was a breath of fresh air and fair commentary on how PvP can make or break a game.

We can only hope that, just as Blizzard stealth nerfed our beloved bots on Jan. 2, they will see right to restore bot buffability on the surprise rolling restart patch at 4 AM on Jan. 5.

News flash! Blizzard broke the bots! It is not just that you cannot buff them, they stopped shooting other bots! They have become a plain ol’ vanity pet. Worse than that, they have become a broken vanity pet. They used to shoot rockets out of their arms and now they just stand there and make cute robot sounds.

OK, I can understand that buffing them was a problem. But these bots reason for existence was to shoot rockets at other bots! World of Botcraft! Now they are like retired baby boomers who won’t protest any more and are just like “get off my lawn.”

According to my figures, there are 8 million broken Clockwork Rocket Bots out there. Grandfather Winter will be hearing from me and my lawyers!

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