Tuesday, 30 September 2008

OMG We Did It!

One small step for my personal PvP experience, nothing at all of interest to the WoW world (except for the people we beat).
That's right. 1500 rating achieved.

It took some work. What's crazy is, this is on my druid.
At the time we achieved this my druid was really abyssmally geared. 1250 heals, 260 resilience and about 8.5k health (wearing 2 PvP epics, and 4 PvP blues).

Thanks Damah and Stupidcow for taking it this far, let's try to hit 2200! (yeah right).

Sunday, 28 September 2008

[Notwow] Quest for Progress

Has anyone played Progress Quest? It's a little single-player RPG that takes the grinding out of RPGs. Which means that it just runs in the background spouting random RPG-related text to the GUI, with the net effect of looking like Kingdom of Loathing played by a bot.

You start it, it runs. It quests for you, kills stuff, empties bags, buys new gear, and you can watch those little Progress bars... progress. Slowly. And after a while, very slowly. And while this is doubtlessly more interesting than whatever work you're meant to be doing, homework you're procrastinating about, or blog you're trying to read, it's still a bit single-minded (GRIND GRIND GRIND!).

I'm thinking we can do better than this. Hereby introducing Quest for Progress. The non-interactive RPG of the future. It's so futuristic there won't even be a QFP1, but we'll move straight to QFP2. There will be a single player option that can start as soon as your computer loads, and a MMONIRPG (massively multiplayer online non-interactive role-playing game), with over 2 people per server!

This game will be so awesome that if you close it and then load it again later it will extrapolate what would've happened while it was off. No more losing game-time when a tornado takes out some pylons!

Further features (which in fact may or may not be implemented):
- no more spending ages deciding on a class, they're all the same anyway so QFP has the option of assigning you one automatically (defaults to "Village Idiot")
- no more spending ages deciding on a name, QFP has the option of assigning you one automatically (also defaults to "Village Idiot")
- the same goes for race, except that "Village Idiot" is not a race
- better quests: escorts, debaucherie, highland games, marry an heiress, earn a Darwin award, engage in massive public quests
- more realism: QFP will occasionally create an alt for you, and level that one instead (defaults to "other Village Idiot")
- PvP: QFP will include player-versus-player combat (well, QFP-versus-QFP combat)
- NPCs will have names, they may not be very good names, but they will exist
- trophies: QFP will randomly award you completely meaningless things for doing stuff you had no hand in doing (we're basing this on a beaureaucratic model). Other QFP 'players' may or may not view these.
- new hairstyles!
- new dances!
- destructible buildings (actually, no, that won't be happening)
- realm versus realm combat (also a nono, sorry)
- bugs!
- false promises!
- ambiguity!
- lag! (although not sure how we'll do this)
- free beer on fridays! (we are, in fact, working on this. But only on fridays)
- salvation and forgiveness for your sins! (QFP creators hereby forgive you for all sins committed before last summer)
- the wrong release date (next week, honest)
- colons in future titles, because more colon makes everything better!
- and many other things we'll add when we see that they work for other companies (currently considering Google ads)

Quest for Progress 2: we hope you'll join us
Your village called, they want their idiot back

EDIT (not really):
Our lawyers have forced us to add the following disclaimer:
Things QFP might not have (read: probably won't):
- monsters
- graphics
- spells
- items
- a way to install it
- features

Saturday, 27 September 2008

[Notwow] Hobos, (vehicle) mechanics, and hubris

Laptop still broken.
Sort of.
Comes up with random memory failures.
Firefox thinks there's already a copy of Firefox running (which is not responding), and Firefox, being Firefox, thus won't let me start running a new window of Firefox. No Firefox isn't currently running.
The D-Link router at home gives me issues, and I can't 'apt-get' a new internet browser.
I suppose I should try to get ASUS to repair this thing, but there aren't any other verifiable problems with it now, so it probably won't register as broken. Sort of like when your car starts making a funny noise, it makes the noise when you start it, when you drive it, when you wait at red lights, and when you drive through red lights. After a while, it even starts making the noise when the engine isn't running, and, ever so faintly, you can hear the noise disturbing your dreams. Quietly but surely. Like a playground bully from many years ago. But as soon as you take the car to a mechanic it runs completely smoothly. In fact it runs smoother than you've ever heard (or not heard, as the case may be) it run before, since it's a 4th-hand Japanese import you bought from a crazy exchange student during the early 90s. Your mechanic gives you a long look, scratches his head (or her head, as the case may be), charges you $150 for wasting his (her) time and goes back inside after watching you drive off with your teeth tightly clenched. As soon as the door closes behind them, you know what happens? Yep. Your car, ever so gently, starts making that noise again. It gets louder. You know if it persists you will lose sleep, get divorced, and watch your teenaged daughter marry an in-bred hobo from the deep south (i.e. Hamilton) with barely enough intellect to fleece the ACC and WINZ out of sufficient money to finance a coup in Haiti (for reference, a level one troll rogue with Arcane Intellect has sufficient intellect to achieve this). Your grand kids will resemble cane toads going under the lawnmower. You consider going back to that mechanic, since you got a tax return of $263.37 yesterday (true story, the cheque is sitting on my desk, so will only take a day or two to find). But then you notice that even as you think of the mechanic the noise subsides and your petrol indicator has an evil gleam in its bulb. You surrender and drive home. The noise will slowly drive you mad, but if you lay off the coffee your blood pressure won't cause the arteries in your eyes to rupture.

The morale of the story? Buy a German car. They make the same noise, but it comes with a much angrier-sounding accent (people always tell me that when I speak to my parents on the phone it makes me sound angry, although this may just be the fact I'm calling home; I know my mother sounds angry fairly often, but this is because she IS angry). If you can't afford a German car, you now have a hobo-in-law who can teach you how to acquire one, at no additional charge (make sure your immune system can cope with tuberculosis, and be prepared to babysit the grandchildren on Friday nights).

The mechanic in the example above exhibits a fairly common quality (especially where technology is concerned). Think of it as the Midas Touch without the avarice, the anti-kaput, the borked-in-reverse. It's an aura of FIXED! whereby any problem of a particular type (such as car noises) immediately disappears when in close proximity to a particular person (such as a mechanic). Another example of this phenomenon is the photocopier at my work (I work at a library): it will jam, turn off all displays, shred unsaved printed e-tickets, decapitate the customer involved and trigger the fire alarms. Yet if I walk up to it it settles down, if I press a few buttons it starts printing again without fail, and if I croon to it, it plays Greensleeves (needless to say I like that photocopier a lot, I think that over the space of three and a half years it has earned me $4.25 in pay rises, while the computers guarantee my continued employment - although if I lose my job anytime soon just remember: HUBRIS IS A BAD THING).

Then there's the aura of FAIL (broken, borked, kaput, f**ked). Sort of like me and networks. For the life of me I can't set up a network between two objects (single exception: the photocopier at work).
Meellow and I can't get past 1500 rating, no matter what. An Enhancement Shaman will always appear to ruin our dreams.
Zorab will never type an accurately punctuated, formulated and spelled sentence into IRC (instead others will start writing baldly). Nor will he associate the text on a Magic card with what it does, and what he says out loud (Last Gasp does not draw you a card, nor is it legal in the format we're playing).

It is these facts of life you must get used to, and learn to deal with. If you don't want a hobo-in-law, become a mechanic. If you need to do photocopying at Avondale Library, get me to do it (come to me first, unless you have a spare neck). If you're sick of playing magic with rules-lawyers and pedantic nit-picks that take forever to end their turn (they've had a Mountain in their hand for the last three turns, and drawn nothing but land), go find Zorab and have a laugh. Some things you can't change, and some shouldn't be changed anyway.

In other news. Listen to yourself. Like this (courtesy of xkcd):

My only request: make this count for everything: forum posts, /trade chat, blog entries...

If this post wasted your time, I apologise. In future, I'll include adverts. And not just ones for German cars. But thank you for proof reading it.

[This space for hire]

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

[Insert clever title here]

If I take a look at the blogs I follow (half a dozen or so), it pretty quickly becomes obvious that in terms of most-recently-updated there is one conspicuously at the bottom of the list. Mine. /facepalm. That being said it's been an eventful week for me:

1) My laptop (one of those cute white Asus Eee things) has died. Something about memory errors and not being able to save stuff or access external data storage (so no backing up files). Fail. This means I’ve lost access to a bunch of stuff (like the internet from any point in the house), and also links to stuff I’ve recently viewed, and a couple of drafts of (let's be honest) drafts of articles.

2) I procrastinated on a 3000 word essay on Euclid's Elements of Geometry. I thought it was due on Thursday, in reality it was due on Monday. I got an extension to Thursday (/win). Today is Thursday and I still haven't finished it... errr, started it (/golfclap).

3) I borrowed 2,200 gold from the guild bank and got myself Epic flying. And it's pretty damn epic, being able to cross any Outlands zone in 2 minutes. My reasoning for borrowing the gold, rather than earning it first: if I borrow the gold I have motive to pay it back, whereas if I save up the gold I'll keep thinking "meh, expansion soon, can't be bothered farming gold if I can't fly in Northrend anyway and the price might come down", and also doing the Outlands dailies is much faster when you can fly... faster. Also if I die today (e.g. suicide/homocide because of unfinished essays) I will have FLOWN (really, flown, that 60% stuff doesn't cut it). And now I can earn gold from the Swift Flight Form questline, to pay the guild back.

4) I spent $100 (NZ) on a pair of headphones. This was a big deal since previously I tended to spend about $10-$15 on headphones, barring my computer headset ($45). Will spending that much more make the 3.5mm headphone jack last longer (or rather, the bit of cable directly above the jack, which always seems to get damaged over time)? Probably not. Does anyone really care about my buying headphones? Probably not. But the Sennheiser PX100s fit very nicely into a case that the cable wraps around - meaning it doesn't magically get tangled in storage in a way that makes quantum-entanglement look like crochet - and THIS IS A GOOD THING (although I don't really get the analogy... quantum entanglement, crochet, wtf am I thinking?).

5) My credit card seems a bit messed up. After buying a bunch of things and making a large payment onto it all within the last week, my account shows zero activity since the 8th of September, which worries me slightly.

6) My Hunter got the S3 Chestpiece, which put him at 11k health until I came to my sense and swapped in some blue DPS rings. In terms of set gear he has 3x S2, 1x S4 and 1x S3. And a bunch of other S1-S3 gear in most of the remaining slots. Which isn't a big deal to most arena players, but it means I'm generally one of the best geared in BGs and is quite satisfying. And now I get to try to obtain all of that again on the druid, in the space of about 2 weeks (or whenever the content patch comes out and messes with the status quo).

7) I suffered through 2v2 again. By 'suffered' I mean that we played 10 games, going 4-1 for the first 5 and reaching a record rating of ... 1465 (/golfclap2) and then went 1-4 for the second lot of 5 (seemingly having jumped a bracket), so gained a total of about 3 rating points (/facepalm2). It appears that my druid (who has the grand sum of 7k hp, buffed, 8k if I swap in some tanking gear) and his Elemental Shaman partner are actually doing better than the significantly better-geared and much more viable hunter/druid combo. And while I play a mean drain game, we lose to enhancement shamans, a lot, like 80% of the time (on the plus side we win around 75%+ of our drain matchups, people in this bracket haven't heard of Scorpid Poison or Star's Tears). One memorable match we played Hunter/Druid (and by that I mean we played against it). My pet was killed twice, while the opposing Raptor remained untouched, but we still won - something about me resurrecting my pet twice, and managing to drink half a mana bar.

8) With the knowledge that Honour (yes, this is how you spell it, no matter what Blogger, Blizzard or anyone else thinks, 'honor' is for the uneducated :P), Marks and Arena Points will be wiped in the expansion, I cashed in all my marks on the druid and got the Guardians Kodohide Belt at about 2:30am this morning (yay for 4.5 hours sleep), which was a minor upgrade over my level 65 int/spirit/healing green. Now I just need to replace the level 66 green boots (I was using Heavy Clefthoof Boots socketed for 8 Resil, 12 Stam from my tanking set, but they've mysteriously disappeared from my inventory, and they're not in my bank either).

9) I think the current Brewfest is pretty cool. I have downed Coren Direbrew 18 times, with 7 Direbrew Hops, 5 Coins, 4 Stam trinkets, and 2 AP trinkets. And my Hunter has the Remote (slightly faster than flying to Kargath and riding to Blackrock Mountain and then winding our way to BRD... ever so slightly). These trinkets are stupidly easy to get (barring the really weird droprates) considering how good they are, and eventually everyone will end up with a full set long before they have their festive mount. Given the other stuff I have to do (farming honor, and gold) I'm not going to be participating in any of the other Brewfest stuff, especially since I spent way too much time on it last year (and got my faux-engineering goggles, I mean, how could I not? They're hunter loot, right?).

10) Hunters in Wrath are going to be awesome. Hunter pets in Wrath are going to be awesome. I've said this before? Well, repeating it doesn't make it any less true ^_^.
BRK has shown that a Gorilla is an awesome AOE tank with Thunderstomp, if you haven’t seen his latest movie, check it out here. Note that the cooldown on Volley has been removed, AND that you can use Autoshot while channelling it (…wow…, and also wtf?). Combined with Explosive Trap this should allow Hunters to push out some mean AOE DPS, and with a Gorilla all you need is a healer (or a nice T5 set bonus). Awesome, or awesome? I haven’t yet decided.
Given the Guard Dog talents, you no longer need to find your Gorilla Fungus to eat, and apparently they can now also eat bread (possibly even Manna Biscuits, but I’m not sure on that). And whereas before, you had to go out and tame a new pet to learn higher ranks of pet skills, they now learn them automatically.
Given the very high damage that Thunderstomp deals at the moment, I expect a nerf to be forthcoming, but it should still be the best AOE tanking skill. The other good AOE tanking pets are the Bear with Swipe and the Crocolisk with Bad Attitude (which has been changed to have quite a long cooldown). All of these should be able to hold threat through Mend Pet aggro, and probably any other incoming heals – at least at melee range.
And although you’d be missing out on Blood of the Rhino and Spirit Bond plus the various other BM-based pet improvements, you can get any of these pets as Marksman or Survival (Explosive Shot, anyone?). But how do these compare to the Exotic Tenacity pets, which should, strictly speaking, be better than their non-exotic equivalents (otherwise Beast Mastery becomes a 51 point vanity talent)? And the reality is that neither the Rhino nor the Worm are particularly dominating in terms of AOE threat (and if they don’t do AOE threat, then heals will draw aggro on any additional mobs, not fun when soloing and definitely not fun in a party where you pet is tanking). Stampede does some AOE threat (through damage), but not a lot and it has a very long cooldown (for the purposes of tanking) – although it’s still a cool talent in PvP, I can’t wait to use it in Alterac Valley on the Stormpike Bridge, or in Iceblood Tower *evil grin*. Acid Spit is probably the highest threat single-target pet skill there is, but unless you macro it to hit adds (and the cooldown is a bit long to rely on it) it won’t hold threat through heals. I really think that the Exotic tenacity pets should not be outclassed in their main roles (i.e. tanks) by apes from the southern jungles of the Old World. Someone please mention this to the devs.
Overall, however, pet (and Hunter) changes in Wrath of the Lich King are nuts (oh right, repeating myself again). Expect people to QQ when we solo every 2 man quest Northrend has to throw at us (and possibly a lot of the 3 mans as well, and some of the easier bosses in Kara). We might even be able to take on Hogger in Nightmare difficulty (although chances are that a Lightning Enchanted Multishot Hogger will blow up Gorillas pretty fast). On that note, what happened to Diablo 3 and Starcraft 2?

11) This one goes up to 11. And it's almost 11 now and this as-yet unwritten essay is due at 5. /Facepalm.

PS: I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information or links on this page, so if anything is wrong, please let me know.

Monday, 22 September 2008

[Hunter] I love Beastmastery

Beastmastery is awesome.
I respec'd a few nights ago from 11/41/9 to 41/20/0 to do triple DPS arena. And it's so much more fun being able to just blow up clothies, and rogues, and I believe one warrior as well. And the games were short, none of this "how do I drain a Druid with 600mp5" crap.
Then I spent time running around Legion Hold killing stuff for the sheer fun of blowing it up before it got to me (and additionally Intimidation offers another way of allowing pet to hold threat, in addition to Feign Death and Misdirection).

Then I did some 2v2 arena, and in the lower brackets it's not too bad. Given the massive burst and cc immunity of BIG RED KITTY it gives you a bit more staying power against double dps, and the drain component still seems to be enough to beat healers since I keep my Scorpid pet. And now I only need to respec my druid if I want to maximise performance in raids on all my characters, and solo play is sooooo much more enjoyable (imo) as BM (you can still crit stuff to death in 2-3 shots, but those shots occur 20% faster).

Off course 51/10/0 is even better than 41/20/0. Mmmm.

And one day I might be able to tame my feral druid and have the best of both worlds. /dream on.

So yeah.

Beastmastery is awesome.

I hate assignments.

Friday, 19 September 2008

Warning: Contents May Occur

Ok, so it's been a few days since I last made a post. And even longer since I made something actually worthy of the title of content. So prepare for quite a random sprouting of stuff. And quite a bit of it.
Why the delay? The usual suspects of an essay, and a test, and some arena to do. And generally having to sort out my future, my education, finding possible solutions to various problems (oil alternatives, fresh water alternatives, and the epic fail that is NZ politics at the moment).

Prepare for a reasonably long post. It was originally so big (well, cluttered), I've added a table of contents. Normally each issue would have a separate post, but I don't want the blog to become cluttered simply because I have a couple of hours I can dedicate to writing, and quite a bit to cover. But, knowing the importance of organising stuff nicely, I've added in sections and subsections.

Also, rather than my own takes on stuff, I'll post quite a few links to other peoples' posts.

Table of Contents:
Section 1: Wrath Stuff

Subsection 1.1: Latest Update (8962) - mostly links
1.1.1: Druid updates
1.1.2: Crafting

Subsection 1.2: Other Stuff
1.2.1: Hunter Pets
1.2.2: Personal Plans in Wrath

Section 2: Not-Wrath Stuff
2.1: Review of the PvP Bible (aka: What Not To Buy)
2.2: Should I finish 'Gearing a Druid Tank'
2.3: My Addons
2.4: Other

Section 1: Wrath Stuff

Subsection 1.1: Latest Update (8962)
So, the newest patch (8962) hit the Beta realms yesterday (or maybe the day before :S), and naturally there are a few changes, many of which I won't discuss, mostly because there's going to be a new patch soon anyway (I hope) and lots of people are bound to have discussed the changes relevant to their class.

1.1.1: Druid updates
Since for me the important question at the moment is what is life going to be like for my druid, I will summarise what I read: bears got buffed, moonkin got rearranged, and trees got nerfed. Oversimplification, but for me this was the essence. Phaelia, in her straightforward manner, did a very useful analysis that can be found over at Resto4Life and she also provides further links for the non-resto changes. The bear changes are quite good, in my opinion, and will probably see me tanking, rather than healing (unless I really like tanking as a Death Knigget, apart from making silly Monty Python references, I don't know what else I'd do with a DK... bite peoples' legs off?) and Runycat takes a good look at them (with innuendo) at Unbearably HoT.

On the note of druids never going oom... my 2v2 (druid/hunter) fought warlock/druid last night. The druid was PvE geared and spec'd, by the time my druid was oom and had used Innervate, the other one was at about 6k/9k mana, despite a masked Viper Sting. Then he ran off, in Treeform, to try to Cyclone my partner and oops... lock died (about the only time I've had an advantage in Ruins of Lose), then it took me another minute to kill the druid, since he'd regen 220 mana a tick, and I had no mana myself (had to save up mana for Aimed Shot+Silencing Shot+burst). Apparently gear != skill, who would've thought?

1.1.2: Crafting
Some more details on WotLK crafting have emerged. Horns at Locksucks did a nice summary a few days ago, and MMO Champion has the details on the 8962 changes. My Hunter, who will likely be my main in Wrath, is currently a leatherworker, and the idea of a LW-only wrist-enhancement, although pretty strong, paled in comparison to the profits that other crafters could make (I didn't sell nearly as many Armorkits in BC as I'd have hoped, mostly made them with a lot of my mats for guildies), but more BoEs seem nice. Hopefully we get some snazzy BoP stuff too, because I wasn't all that impressed by the Ebon Netherscale gear, although the Breastplate was good.

Subsection 1.2: Other Stuff
Couple of other points I want to mention, not directly related to 8962.

1.2.1: Hunter Pets
If you haven't heard/seen/been told yet, hunter pets are the bees' knees in Wrath (foshizzle?). They are sheer awesome. Proof? BRK solos a Fel Reaver (remember those massive screen shakers that would ambush you in HFP?And 3 shot fresh 70s?) and shows off two other pets in this movie.

I spent some time yesterday browsing the Petopia list of Pet Skills in WotLK, with an eye on possible PvP pets once the pre-Wrath patch hits. While the Core Hound's Lava Breath looks awesome, especially against Paladins and Shamans, the Chimaera's Froststorm Breath is also pretty impressive - with the right talent it should have a cooldown of 7 seconds, and slows by 50% for 5 seconds, which sounds pretty nice, especially if it stacks with Concussive Shot. I very much look forward to using my favourite spec in Arena, Marksman just doesn't do it for me.

1.2.2: Personal Plans in Wrath
So, what am I going to do in Wrath of the Lich King? Well once it comes out I might just level my 42 Paladin to escape the crowding in Northrend and Eastern Plaguelands. Well, maybe. I'm really looking forward to levelling my Hunter as BM (ty 4 da love, Blizz) and getting an earlier start in arena (started 3/4 of the way through Season 3 in BC). My Druid will also be levelled at some point, and will probably end up being a Bear, because at the moment Resto isn't too appealing to me (BC Resto really spoiled me, especially for PvP), and I suppose a Death Knigget is compulsory, especially since I am a big fan of WoW lore (if I wasn't a Hordie, I'd totally play a female gnome DK with pink pigtails, 4lols).

Actually, there's a good chance I'll just take Darksentinel through the Old World, taming everything in sight.

Section 2: Not-Wrath Stuff
Stuff not directly related to the upcoming expansion, and therefore not as interesting...

2.1: Review of the PvP Bible
I bought a guide the other night, the PvP Bible. The site is impressive, the promises were extravagant, the price (I thought) fairly reasonable at $37US (moan, crappy NZ dollar, moan) and I thought it'd give us a nice chance to see 1600 and get that S4 chestpiece (feel free to laugh, or /golfclap). I paid, downloaded it, read it (skimming sections), thought about it, and became slightly pissed off.

The guide is an impressive 237 pages in the form of a 20MB pdf. Over 130 pages (i.e. more than half) are about duels, and to me dueling is a fun pastime to be undertaken outside Orgrimmar or in Gadgetzan. Among its more stellar points are a 4/41/16 Hunter build touted as "the best talent build" (note that the 4 BM points are in Improved Aspect of the Hawk) and the comment that "Warlocks have a tough time against Mages". Now, I don't play a Mage, I don't play a Warlock, but from those people I know who do play them the general sentiment I hear is "the only way a mage will beat a warlock is if the Warlock is AFK, has no pet and has res sickness, and even then you might want a rogue to help". Again, I might be wrong, but I dug up this old WoWInsider post (god, that thing is lols) and it roughly confirms my view.
Now I know the disclaimer on the site states: "The website disclaims any responsibility for the accuracy of the content of this website. Visitors assume the all risk of viewing, reading, using, or relying upon this information. Unless you have otherwise formed an express contract to the contrary with the website, you have no right to rely on any information contained herein as accurate. The website makes no such warranty." (i.e. I'm a sucker for buying it), but I'll briefly list here the things that occured to me just while I was reading it, and only in relation to Hunters in 2v2 and 3v3, and just basic points:
- vs. a Warrior or other melee it is imperative that you keep Wing Clip on them at all times
- a Viper Sting macro (and liberal use thereof) is compulsory for draining
- Frost Trap is vital to aid a partner to kite melee.
- a Scorpid pet is necessary to mask Viper Sting from dispel effects using Scorpid Poison
- a Hunter should use Aspect of the Viper against Healer/DPS, and have two weapons with +30 int enchants macro'd for regen phases
- when Rogues Vanish, be ready to Flare them out.
- using your trinket on Cheap Shot is generally a bad idea, because it will always be followed by Kidney Shot
And this was only some of the really obvious stuff I thought should've been in there. A lot of other errors abounded, such explaining how to tank the Marshals in Vann's/Drek's room in AV, without stressing the importance of despawning them by capping towers (and getting 63 bonus honor). There is one focus macro, but no explanation on how to actually use focus. I could go on, for quite a long time, in fact.
i actually emailed the author of the PvP Bible with a lot of these points and got the following response "Thanks for the feedback. It’s much appreciated. I’m looking to continuously update the guide so you can expect all these points noted." Hmmm...

In other words, for me the PvP Bible was not a lot of help. In fact after reading it, I did arena and lost some rating (although don't blame the PvP Bible for that), and I really feel it doesn't deliver on what it's marketed as (yes, I did read the disclaimer, but I have yet to find the "3 hours of tutorials", although I am notoriously bad at finding things even after I trip over them, like a stepladder at work the other day...).
On the POSITIVE side, I think the guide could be quite good (if a bit overwhelming) to someone new to PvP and arena, who doesn't know their class and really is interested in the correct spell rotation required for a Warlock to beat a Rogue. But between WoWWiki and ArenaJunkies, you can get most of that (and more, and more reliably) for free and you don't even need to brave the WoW Forums.
I'm fully tempted to write my own quick guide to Hunters in Arena. And despite me having around 900 less rating than what the author of the PvP Bible claims he has, I will say that I'm confident that in terms of Huntering my guide will be better than what I downloaded. I'll even email him a copy.
Conclusion: from what I've seen, for anyone with some arena and PvP experience, the PvP Bible is not worth the cost of the bandwidth used to download it, and for everyone else it's not worth the cost of purchasing it and then taking the time to read and learn it.

2.2: Should I Finish 'Gearing a Druid Tank'
Self explanatory, really. This refers to part one of my guide, "New Druid on the Block: Gearing a Bear Tank". Part two, which is in the process of being written, is actually about the items that an adolescent feral tank should consider when beginning tanking.
But. Wrath of the Lich King is what, 8 weeks away? Is anyone intending on hitting 70 as a Druid during this time who wants to tank and won't be dragged through Kara and Heroics to get gear? If there is, let me know, especially if you think continuation of the guide might help you (or them). Otherwise there's a good chance that I'll work more on feeding other teams in BG9 my arena rating, and the guide will go to the same place that New Years' Resolutions go. Yes, my sense of timing is sh*t.

2.3: My Addons
Now, my system resources are limited to whatever Dell sold me in 2003. They're so bad that I ended up buying both an AGP and a PCI-E graphics card before realising that my mobo had, in fact, slots for neither (I do have 3 PCI slots, which don't match the 4 slots cut into the case).
In short, this means that if I run X-PERL unit frames in EOTS, I get about 2 fps. So I can't use a lot of addons. What I do use has been carefully selected:
- Omen. The must-have Threat Meter. To anyone who wants to know if they're winning on threat, this is for you.
- Recount. A nicely detailed dps meter that has around 2^16 other functions (margin of error, 2^17).
- Lootlink. Less commonly used, but I really like this addon. It keeps track of items you've seen and allows you customised searching while in-game. Almost as good as an in-game WoWHead for items. Sort of. As long as it doesn't reset.
- Outfitter. My favourite Addon, helps me keep track of the 5 sets my Druid uses (cat dps, tanking, moonkin, PvE Heal, PvP Resto). And an interesting method of encountering my personal vocabulary of obscenities when it resets.
- Cartographer. Useful for viewing Instance Maps, coords, keeping track of key points and a few other things.
- Cosmos UI. A collection of addons, but currently I only use the 'clock' addon, which shows a big clock (surprise) with tooltip information so I can see how much I've procrastinated/how much sleep I've missed.
- Grid. A recent addition, following the debacle of me trying to use the default UI to heal Kara and BGs. This thing is pretty lightweight (compared to say, the Perl derivatives), very nice and customisable, and Phaelia provides a great tutorial that is pretty much a must-see for any Druid who wants to use Grid to heal.

2.4: Other
Thanks for bearing with me so far. In conclusion, Draenei are awesome (they have the best questline EVER, you learn a new language, get transformed into a beautiful, fast, invisible cat and free some baby Furbolg who are locked in cages - I found this out when Aman'Thul went for it's two-hour maintenance on Tuesday, although three hours later it still wasn't up so I went to bed) and I hate Ruins of Lordaeron (we went something like 15-11 yesterday in 2v2, and we won about 3 of the 12 matches that took place in the Ruins). For now, I'm going to sleep, and I'll reread this post tomorrow, correct all the stupid erorrs that crept in and probably delete large chunks.

If you have any questions, requests, comments, arguments, flames, feel free to comment (a reasonably level of maturity is encouraged) on this post, or send an email to (maturity optional):

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Blizzard should do Genetics, aka Hunchbacked Hobo's Decapitator

So, in the last post I was complaining about how I didn't really like the names that Blizzard use for the latest arena gear sets (Brutal, Hateful, etc... - read the post, it's not long). And I'm sitting here in my biosci lecture (Gene Expression and Gene Transfer), and the names given to some of these genes/proteins are just plain awesome in some cases (a real pain in the arse to remember, though).
Here are a few, a knowledge of German or access to a German translation service might be helpful:
and a whole bunch more I can't recall right now (I might have passed 356 last semester if I had remembered them).

But this leads me to how much more awesome the names of the arena would be if Blizzard had a geneticist as head of their naming department, e.g. Hunchbacked Hobo's Decapitator, or Krueppeled Snail's Chain Spaulders.

And yes, I'm bored in this lecture. For those of you wondering, there is some proper content on the way, once these tests/essays/assignments are done.

Monday, 15 September 2008

Emo Gladiator's Carrot of Devastation [+12]

So I was reading a post on WoWInsider regarding season 5 gear.

And really, who thinks up the names?
Tiered Gear (5-piece)
Season 1: Gladiator - ok, nice.
Season 2: Merciless - yep still good.
Season 3: Vengeful - sounds like you're grasping for names here.
Season 4: Brutal - wtf? Degenerated a bit
Season 5: Hateful - thassabit strong, no?
Quality of their names seems to be getting a) really negative, b) lacking originality somewhat. I mean, how about Emo Gladiator's Razorblade? Or Moderately Angry Gladiator's Pocketknife? Or even Accounting Gladiator's Ledger of Doom... yeah, so Blizzard aren't the only ones lacking in originality, but then, I'm not making the game.
Also, the non-set gear will also be Hateful:
Season 1: General/Marshal's
Season 2: Veteran's
Season 3: Vindicator's
Season 4: Guardian's
Season 5: Hateful Gladiator's - huhwhut?
Personally I think these names are pretty cool, although I'm not sure what a Vindicator actually is (one of those Aldor guys, but what do they do?), but I've always been a fan of the 'Guardian' title. So I don't like this particular change (should it persist).

QQ moar.

In Stores 13.11.08

"In stores 13.11.08"

Source: wowhead.
Need I say anything else?

And yes, that has been corrected to DMY, because MDY is silly and counter-intuitive.

Personally, I was hoping it'd be a while longer. 8 or 9 weeks won't be enough for me to get my Druid some nice Arena gear and rating, especially with the new content patch messing stuff up.


[Hunter] LF4M Utgarde Keep have DPS and Tank

So. Hunters can have their pets tank. Damn that is awesome. I've tanked stuff (non-heroics) on my hunter using a weird 17/0/44 build and a lot of PvP gear, and having the DPS using Omen, and Blessing of Salvation. But having my pet tank stuff generally resulted in a dead pet. But no longer, with worms having Acid Spit (think Sunder Armor), and some really awesome Tenacity talents, they not only do increased threat, but also are easier to heal, have a taunt (although 3 minute cooldown is a bit harsh) and higher survivability. A chance to have 4 dps in an instance? I sure hope so. Just need to work out how they will tank multiple things, otherwise the healers will /cry. A bear or gorilla might be able to hold threat at melee range, but would still have problems with casters.
Still, even if it requires 5 cc/dps, should provide some interesting flexibility in group composition during the race to 80. Although it will mean Hunters become even more imba in solo content (yes, you can solo Hogger in Hell Difficulty), which will mean that a lot of hunters will have even more difficulty doing well in group situations. QQ.

Friday, 12 September 2008

Blizzard announcement: PvE to PvP transfers enabled

Hmmm, interesting.
Having played on comfy and safe Aman'Thul for everything over level 20, I've come across quite a few people who, having rolled an alt here with a main on a PvP server, were really happy that they could level in peace, not be ganked etc. Although at times you really wish you were on a PvP server (hello mining node ninjas), being able to quest without having random rogues ambushing you is nice, and means that I can follow my favoured glass cannon approach to gearing a toon while levelling: lots of damage, very little health.
All of which is besides the point. The point is, that the elitist PvP 70s will be pissed off, but other people should be pretty happy. After all, they can now join friends on PvP servers, since the general turn off for PvE people rerolling on PvP is "I don't want to be ganked while levelling my new toon", and a lot of PvP players flatout refuse to play on PvE.
And to all the original PvP players: you now have lots of new people to gank, people with no madskillzkeh. You still have the advantage of a 'lifetime' of experience. There's a reason that Tichondrius is the most most feared server in my battlegroup (it's probably Kalgan, actually).

[Druid] Beathooven in Kara

So, I was mucking around in the BGs last night when I got asked to join my guild in Kara. Normally we (they) run Kara Fridays and Sundays, and I can't make it, but tonight, being a Thursday I tagged along. Well first I ate, then I joined in time for Moroes.
Now I'd respec'd resto for some Arena on monday, and then decided to try Boomkin, just because (resto is a bit icky for doing SSO dailies). Now I'd tried a Balance spec before, while levelling, but found its dps, efficiency and survivability to be inferior to Feral. But now, wearing about half healing gear, Moonkin was fun! I could crit things for over 3k with Starfire, pull a dps of 500 without critting and heal well without changing gear. Feral, in comparison, would do an average of 400 dps, crit-spiking to 6-700. And my Feral gear is better (and more spec appropriate) than my Balance gear.
Anyway, the end result was that when the muster call came, I was Balance. And the raid needed DPS. After first asking me to bring the Hunter, they agreed to letting me try to BOOM, although if things went wrong I was ready to grab me some Troll to make it all better.
So there I was, Moonkin in the Karazhan Ballroom. With the following ubuffed stats: 642 Spell Damage, 1054 Healing, 17.22% Moonkin-enhanced Spell Crit, 340 Int, 202 Spirit and my godly 12 Hit Rating (yes, 12). And I had no concrete knowledge of rotations or anything (went with Insect Swarm DoT and Starfire for Boss fights, and Wrath/Hurricane for trash).
And it worked fine. In terms of raid buffs I had Gift of the Wild, Arcane Brilliance and Power Word: Fortitude, plus the occasional Ferocious Inspiration and melee Enhancement Shaman buff. We downed Moroes on first attempt (yes, we have occasionally wiped on him), with undergeared Moonkin-boy pulling a respectable (imo) 600 dps. Seriously, Moonkin are awesome.
Wiped once on Maiden, I think because the Mage pulled aggro, the second time she dropped some healing cloth bracers for me.
Opera proved a bit stubborn, yielding Romulo and Julianne - the encounter we've had the least experience with as a guild. The first time we wiped because the Enhancement shaman, who DC'd just outside the door, logged back in and pulled adds onto us (I think). We wiped again because the bear tank on Romulo took slightly too much damage, and before I'd made up my mind to heal him he had died (edit: turns out that one of the healers was trying to top Healing Done by telling the others not to heal the OT, or so I heard...). Incidentally. the mage died quite early the fight, and released before I could combat res him (silly blighter), so I ended up using the battle res on our BM Hunter's pet (not a bad call, since said hunter was the highest DPS in the run, and BMs do like their pets).
So that was Kara, and my new love for the Balance spec. =D. If you haven't done so yet, find some mage cloth, and try it.

PS: anyone got any idea how well Moonkin scale with +crit vs. +spell damage?
PPS: may put Wowhead links in later. Can't be arsed at the moment.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

[Druid] New Druid on the Block: Gearing a Bear Tank Part 1

[Druid] New Druid on the Block: Gearing a Bear Tank Part 1
Overview of Bear Tanking in Regards to Itemisation

EDIT: Due to the proximity of the WotLK release date, I'm not sure whether to actually write part 2, since it seems kind of redundant. LET ME KNOW (by posting a comment) if you want to see Part 2 (items to get in order to become an effective Feral tank, and start tanking the harder 5 mans, and possibly Heroics/Kara). I'm more than happy to write this if there's any interest in it.

Note: this post was turning into a monster, so I decided to break it into pieces. While overall it's meant to be on gearing a tank, and items to pick up at 70 (or before), this installment will cover the stuff to look for on items.

So, my druid turned 70 on Tuesday afternoon, at about 15:15.
I really want to heal in 2v2 and 3v3 arena, but figure I should also gear a tank, especially since I spend a lot of time in Feral spec.

So I thought I'd quickly document what I'm doing to gear my druid up. I was wrong. This is gonna take a while, lol.

(NB: where ratings, e.g. defense rating, are mentioned here, they will be treated as for a level 70, since the effect of ratings decreases with level).

WARNING: contains numbers, I'll italicise some of the theory (viz., numbers) to make it easier to read.
For bear tanks there are a few things you really want from items, basically as much armor, agility and stamina as possible, since bears scale incredibly well with these stats (especially items like Thoriumweave Cloak, since you get a massive armor multiplier in Dire Bear Form).
Tanks need to reduce the damage they take by as much as possible, and make life as easy as possible for healers (healers oom = dead tank). For bear tanking you want a lot of health, a lot of dodge (since this is the only avoidance available to bears) and a LOT of armor (the only mitigation available to bears). Most importantly, however, you want to be uncrittable.

Mitigation vs. Avoidance:
To avoid confusion here, I'm going to use 'mitigation' to mean reducing damage taken, and 'avoidance' to avoid taking damage. E.g. armor is mitigation since it reduces the physical damage you take from attacks by a %, and dodge is avoidance, since when you dodge an attack you take no damage at all. M'kay?

(NB: most of the information covered below can be found in WoWWiki.)
A raid boss is treated like a level 73 mob, and will have a crit chance of 5.6% against you, while a heroic boss at level 72 will have a 5.4% crit chance against you. If you can be crit (for double damage), you run the risk of being crit-spiked to death before the healers can react. This is not a good thing.
If you're a Bear tank you MUST have 3/3 Survival of the Fittest, in which you only need 2.6% crit-chance reduction to be uncrittable in raids. Crit-chance reduction is obtained through Defense Rating, and Resilience Rating.
60 points of Defense Rating (and there is a difference between Defense rating, and straight up defense, in that Defense rating converts to defense skill at a decreasing ratio as you level) or 39.4 Resilience Rating to be uncrittable in any and all Raids. You'll need a total of 415 defense skill to achieve the 2.6% (this includes the 350 base defense at level 70), or 156 Defense Rating. Alternatively, you can use 103 Resilience Rating to achieve the same effect.
In essence you want to make sure that (Defense Rating/60) + (Resilience Rating/39.4) >= 2.6. In this case you'll be uncrittable, and this should be the number one priority of all raid tanks (Paladins and Warriors will achieve uncritability in other ways).

Resilience versus Defense:
Resilience, at 39.4 points needed to reduce chance of being crit by 1%, is obviously more efficient than Defense, at 60 points needed to achieve the same effect. However, Defense also increases the chance that you will be missed by an attack and that you will dodge an attack by 1% per 60 rating, thus giving you some avoidance as well (although resilience will give you reduced damage taken from DoTs, a minor effect). NB: Defense skill will also increases your chance to Block or Parry attacks, further increasing mitigation gained from +Defense, but Dire Bear druids don't use shields, and can't parry with their big clumsy paws, so Bears gain a lot less benefit from +Defense than Warriors or Paladins (making Resilience a more viable option for Bears than the plate-wearers).

Thus although Defense Rating is less efficient than Resilience at making us crit immune, it's secondary benefits make it worth more point-for-point if we can get enough to reach the 2.6% mark - despite the fact we don't obtain maximum benefit from Defense.

In conclusion, if you have the options to become crit immune through using defense, go for it. If you're just under the 2.6% uncrittable mark, however, and you need to really squeeze maximum efficiency out of gem slots/enchants, then go for resilience. And be prepared to resocket fairly often as your gear gets upgraded (although feral tanking items from raids are few in number).

Also, don't throw away stuff that has high defense or resilience after you get an upgrade, you never know when those 5 points of defense you can't seem to fit in anywhere can be obtained through a minor downgrade.

Dodge and Agility:
Bears are special. Everyone knows it, even if they won't admit it. In terms of Dodge, Bear Druids (and Kitties) get 1% chance to Dodge for each 14.7 points of Agility which is a better ratio than every other class (Rogues are next at 20 Agi:1% Dodge, Warriors worst at 30:1%, and everyone else is at 25:1%). And then there's Dodge Rating, where Druids, like everyone else, get 1% Dodge for around 19 Dodge Rating. Phoaw. So basically, Agility is more efficient for avoidance than Dodge Rating? And it gives a decent increase to Crit chance (improving both rage generation and threat), plus some small amount of armor? Talk about maximising returns, that's pretty awesome. In essence, Agility >> Dodge Rating if we are forced to make a choice. Which doesn't mean Dodge Rating isn't nice, more mitigation is always welcome, but Agility is just bucketloads better. And it goes well with Blessing of Kings, and leather items with Agility are pretty common (apparently Rogues use Agility for something as well, or so I've heard). Agility is awesome. Remember this.

So as we've seen, Agility is pretty damn awesome for Druid tanks. But we also need a bit of health to survive the hard hits, the crushing blows, and those nasty spellcasters that Blizzard does not give us any mitigation against. None at all. While Warriors get Defensive Stance and more (and even more), and Paladins get a few nifty tricks (such as Spell Warding, and Ardent Defender), Druid tanks must rely on large health pools and hope the healers are both well geared and can maximise their mana efficiency.
So, "large health pools", but how large is large? Quite large, actually. A properly spec'd Feral Druid can make each point of Stamina go a long way, and a properly geared Feral Druid will have a lot of Stamina.
Let's have a look at all the bonuses I can currently think of/remember (bearing in mind that by default, each point of Stamina provides 10 Health).
Dire Bear form - the biggy, and the reason we're writing this. A solid 25%. That's a lot.
Heart of the Wild - another 20% from talents if you put 5/5 points into it, why you would do anything else as a Feral druid is beyond me. This is a key talent.
Survival of the Fittest - remember the discussion on becoming uncrittable above? This talent is the reason we only need to reach 2.6% (rather than the normal 5.6%), which frees up a lot of very difficult itemisation (i.e. having to wear mostly PvP gear for the resilience), and also gives us 3% increased stats.
Tauren racial - gives us another 5%. Since we can't all be cows (it'd be Udder Madness), we'll point out that "those other guys" get 1% dodge.
All in all not bad, giving us a total of around 15 Health (14 if you're purple) for each point of Stamina we have (this is a lot). So Stamina is another stat Bears should stack wherever possible.

Armor is the last big stat that really defines the Bear Tank. Dire Bear form grants a massive amount of bonus armor, and the Thick Hide talent boosts this some more. The way I understand it, Thick Hide is applied multiplicatively on top of Dire Bear, so an item giving 100 base armor would yield (100+(100*400%))*110% = 550 Armor to a Bear tank. That's a lot. And if we choose items with a heckuva lot of armor already (Blizzard really gave bears some love in TBC), we start seeing some big numbers. More on this in the items section. (NB: items like Glove Reinforcements do not receive this bonus, and neither do enchants. Only the base armor on the item is considered for the bonus).

Anyway, with some of the numbers and general concepts out of the way, it's time to move on to items that are worth noting for the starting druid tank.
A good guide can be found here, however I'm going to make a list of my own with commentary on items.

At the moment I can't seem to find the time to do any instancing, so my gear is almost entirely crafted, obtained through soloing or one-of group quests.
I've pretty much finished getting items that don't require me to run instances, except for the Shattered Sun Pendant of Resolve, with the Scryer proc (which is completely and totally nuts). In fact if your druid is going to go feral a lot, seriously consider Scryer over Aldor; Scryer prioritises +Defense and Aldor +Dodge on the shoulder enchants, and the Scryer proc for Shattered Sun Pendant of Resolve gives +100 Expertise, compared to +100 Dodge from the Aldor proc. As discussed above, while Bears are masters of dodging, they don't really need dodge rating, because Agility is vastly more efficient for us. On the other hand, Expertise can really boost our threat by decreasing the chance our white (rage-generating) and special attacks will hit the target and not be dodged/parried/blocked.

And after that brief tangent on the awesome of SSO necklaces, it will soon be time for me to move onto 5mans and heroics to get the last few upgrades I want for Kara. The items I'm particularly looking at are Thoriumweave Cloak (from Mechanaar), Earthwarden (requires Exalted with Cenarion Expedition), Verdant Gloves (from the pre-raid part of the BT attunement chain, requiring a trip to the Arcatraz). But all of these will be discussed in the next post (or perhaps the one thereafter).

Things to do while waiting for Wrath

So, you're waiting for Wrath to come out.
You've stopped raiding.
Essentially, you're like this.
And you don't have beta access because you sold it for the price of a new computer (I wish).
So, while doing the dishes, I thought up a few things to do:

- Get epic flying. Finally. (Currently about halfway there).
- Level an alt. Got alts already? LEVEL MOAR ALTS! Level that paladin who's sitting at 61 because you couldn't bear grinding in HFP, even as ret (or alternatively wait for Wrath to come out so you can do play around with ret).
- Grind some arena gear.
- Grind more arena gear.
- Get to 2200 rating so you've got a nice shot at a gladiator title. It will last you a long time, and give you a nice fuzzy feeling as you quest around Northrend.
- Realise that to get 2200 rating, you probably want to get to 1500 first.
- Get back to 1400 rating (omg this week was bad).
- Gear an alt for arena.
- Get an alt epic flying.
- Stack up mats for Inscription. Seriously, grab a hunter alt, grab herbalism and skinning or something, and stock up.
- Bellwether at 4Haelz recommends finding a raiding guild to join in preparation for Wrath content.
- Catch up on sleep. 8 hours sleep a week during maintenance is not enough, especially when they just do rolling restarts.
- Earn some irl money, pay some bills, write an essay, acknowledge your spouse, claim the "missing person" reward your parents are offering... all those things you've been meaning to do but never got around to (because you were too busy sleeping during maintenance).
- Steal somebody's beta access.
- Play Warhammer Online.
- Start a blog.

Some quick points on Wrath

While I'll probably make a longer post on Wrath later, a few things excite me:
- new hunter pets. Especially the really awesome ones. Well most of them are really awesome. THEY'LL BE ABLE TO HOLD THREAT AGAIN. Can't remember when the last time was that a pet of mine reliably held threat. Mid-60s? A pre-Charge-nerf boar?
But in Wrath, they'll be able to tank, and possibly even tank 5-mans. THAT is exciting. 4 dps, and an off-spec healer doing Utgaarde Keep (or however you spell it)? Yes please. Although how well a Worm can tank without Taunt, or (afaik) any AoE threat abilities, remains to be seen.

Also, wtf, ret paladins. Buffed? Just a bit. That's pretty nuts...

So yeah, those are the updates. Currently working on getting the Druid geared for Arena (oh so slowly, damn honor farming) and the Hunter is sort of floating around farming leather kits for the druid. How exciting.

Also working on a longer post about gearing baby-70 Feral Druids. Vatch dis space.

Edit: really need to find a good way to distinguish between the wowhead links, and the non-wowhead links. Anyone got any ideas?

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Flogging a dead horse

Last night, my guild did Kara. In itself not an unusual occurrence for a Friday night.
I was mucking around in SMV on my druid, and the got into a group for Magister's Terrace (which broke up as 2 people went to do kara, go figure) and then did Isle of Quel'Danas dailies. During this period of about 1-1.5 hours my guild had been doing Shade.
That's quite a few wipes and obviously stuff was going wrong. Eventually someone left to go to sleep and I got called in. Now I had been looking forward to doing a bit of kara on the druid, but if they'd been wiping that often I wasn't sure how much difference I could make. My druid had only been 70 for 3 days or so, and my gear was pretty bad. I could have brought in a comparatively well-geared hunter who has downed Shade and knows the fight, but apparently the guild wanted "more heals", for a total of 3 resto druids and a holy paladin. How much +heals did I have anyway? About 1250 or so in my mostly greens-and-blues, but that left me with about 6.8k health, not quite what you want on Shade when you can't get PW:Fort. So time to swap in the triple-Solid Star of Elune Heavy Clefthoof Vest. A bit better, although the heals did dip.
And then it was off to Moonglade to find out what this "Tree of Life" thing was all about. I had never been resto before. Moonkin from 40-48, and again from 62-64, but otherwise levelling had been solidly Feral. Which is not to say I hadn't healed before: I'd tanked or healed every Outlands instance up to Old Hillsbrad (after which I focussed on levelling) and had done a reasonable job of healing (although my tanking skills leave something to be desired). But I'd never healed as resto, and never healed a raid. Is this undergeared, inexperienced Druid what you want in a fight that you've been wiping in all night (or rather a hunter that brings another 800-1000 dps, plus Snake Traps)?
So all of a sudden I had leaves. And Swiftmend. And no addon for raid healing, so had to just drag health bars all over the UI and hope I knew what I was doing (I didn't).
At least I knew the fight: don't move during Flame Wreath, and shift out of tree during Arcane Explosion, etc... on the other hand I didn't do much. With my crappy gear my Lifeblooms couldn't do much and my Regrowth would always land 0.5 seconds after the Paladin's Flash of Light. It went ok until someone (not me) moved during the second Flame Wreath, after which we called it quits, to general calls of "fuck Shade".
Now I didn't want to go back to questing as Resto (who would?) so I was looking at 60 gold of respecs in less than an hour, just for the sake of a wipe (at least it's not 100g, but I see that coming up soon). So I did a single AV (for once we completely and utterly dominated, to the sum of 630 bonus honor) and then Teleported back to Moonglade to get back in touch with my inner Kitty self.

So basically what I was building up to: if you're going to be wiping on a boss that you know for several hours in a row, why not just skip him? Sure Shade controls the respawns in the Library zone, but if you're not going to down him, wouldn't it be better to move on up and just clear the spawns again on the Sunday run?
I'd say if you wipe three times on a boss, and don't come close to winning at any point, then you should seriously rethink the strategy, the group, and consider calling it quits for a while. Especially when the boss is optional.
And obviously you're doing it wrong. I mean nowadays Kara can be cleared by people in quest blues and greens. Our final Shade attempt had 2 people in full epics (combination of T4 and T5 equivalent), and on average more epics than blues.

Anyway, I have a house that needs to be cleaned on this fine Sunday morning.

404 Errors

I hate 404 errors. They should be banned.
Alternatively, they should all redirect to some sort of YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG. (Actual link).

exdad and lol

I have just been asked whether 'exdad' is a word that is legal for use in Scrabble. I do not think it is. Wikipedia does not know it. Google only knows it 1400 times. Therefore it is not a word. Arguably we can change this by creating it, using it in a niche that makes it completely indispensable to modern humanity, ..., profit. As such, I present exdad (extremely distressing acronym destruction), which is a term used for acronyms that no longer accurately describe their subject (object).

A prime example of an exdad is the acronym 'lol'. Just to refresh everyone's memory, lol stands for "Laughing Out Loud" (and not "Lots Of Love", "Lay Of [the] Land", "Licentious Orgasm Laws", or simply the word "lol"). It is now used in various contexts, such as "just joking", "haha", "coincidence happens" and "I have no other comment to make". Lol. It has been overused to the point where it has produced the derivative "I lol'd IRL" (I laughed out loud in real life), which is a pretty lol statement if you think about it.

Does this actually bug me? Not at all. What does bug me is the fact that when I think about it, I realise how fucked up my language sometimes has gotten over the last few years. I tend to start a sentence where I make a point with "but yeah,...", I use "lol" a lot, I think "lol" a lot. And irl I must remember to lolirl, not just say "lol". Lol. I frequently type stuff like "lofl", and "loflk", and "loflkwtf?" (the insertion of a random 'f' into run-of-the-mill acronym makes stuff more lofl). And various other idiosyncrasies.

But yeah, one statement I do like is "just for lols" (or "just for luls"). That one sometimes makes me lolirl. Lul.

Edit: final point, use the term 'exdad'. Please. Just for luls.

May Contain Themes, Language and Rattlesnakes. And nuts.

So, I decided to not log in to WoW, and get around to doing something I've been toying-with-thinking-about for a while. So here it is. You're reading it.

About me:
I'll state the obvious right off the bat. I play World of Warcraft, more than I should. I have a 70 hunter and a 70 druid. I play Magic: The Gathering. I study at college. I have some sort of income-producing employment. I can sort of write English (one day I hope to be able to read it as well).

While I'd love for people to read this, it's also all about getting thoughts out of my head and into some sort of less chaotic format. So all the crazy stuff can make way for more crazy stuff, hopefully eventually giving rise to some sane stuff which will also earn me money. So, expect random crap and WoW stuff. Expect rants. Expect very short posts. Expect me to possibly abandon this project very soon. Expect legumes. Expect men in coats to arrest me for being completely and utterly insane, and a threat to public health, the government, liberty and the nobility of the human spirit, and expect them to call me an idiot for leaving an obvious record.

Additionally I'll leave revision to a minimum, to better be able to demonstrate thought processes. Stuff that's likely to be edited: typos, ambiguities, "you're doing it wrong"-style oopsies, this statement.

And just to be different, I'll attach a 'mood' label to each post. So if I'm feeling pissed off at something, it'll be obvious that I'm not in a sane and steady emotional state (am I ever?).

Anyway, things to do, stuff to see, urine to be expelled from bladder. Everything else should become obvious as the blog grows.

This post was produced in a factory that also handles mathematical formulae.