Thursday, May 26, 2011

Why I love the idea of the dungeon journal

Sitting here it's tough to think about how long I've been playing WoW.  I remember the five year anniversary, so it's been what - six or seven years since release now?  Back in the early days of Vanilla I remember running around without any knowledge whatsoever.  Every boss was new and exciting - and also irritating when something unknown would happen.  By the time we got to BWL though, there were fight videos and strategies everywhere.  Raid leaders would post links to strategies and videos, beg their raiders to at least look at it, and then cry giant tears when idiotPlayer5 says "Oh yeah, I know the fights" suddenly wipes the raid on Vael becuase he didn't run away. 

How it will affect me now

In our current raid envrironment Gary Busey (no, not the imitation mage that app'd to our guild, but our Pallatank) does a lot of the raid leading.  He has quickly discovered that reading us 34 pages of fight notes, and or trying to make us watch videos, is pretty much a waste of time.  Give us bullet points man.  You know, like telling us there's a phase three where Nef comes out and shits shadow bolts all over the raid.  Information that would have been handy yesterday - know what I mean?  The last time this happend I felt like Day 9 in his trumpet episode (hopefully embedded below).  Shadow bolts?  What the!?!?!

So, this new dungeon journal will give us a quick insight to the boss mechanics, instead of sending JM out on a wild goose chase to check BossKillers, WikiWoWPedaiNow (or whatever the hell it's called these days), or any other potentially unreliable source.  If you've ever studied a kill video from say the PTR, only to find out it's changed radically on live you'll know what I mean.  Damage is also sometimes WAY off - like Cho'gall's shadow nonsense in P2 doing 50k per person per tick (on a 2 seconds timer).  You just kind of stand there going - alright, so 7 heals, 2 DPS and 1 tank?  The running joke for us in BC were the stage hands in Karazhan that exploded for fire damage.  The Wiki writeup simply said "Fire bomb hits HARDER THAN NEF".  Thanks.  That gives me something to shoot for (?).

Another big benifit for me, is that this journal will give me something to reference when I start leveling my DK up through the dungeons in Cataclysm.  Yeah, I've healed them all a thousand times, but that's different than tanking them.  Plus now I generally watch a movie while auto healing.  Zzzz.  Well, until I get the Frost DK who's dual wielding - and didn't get the memo that Blood is the new tanking tree.  Then I drop group and make a snack. 

A giant leap for PUG kind

Now this tool isn't going to take the Donald's of the world and turn them into the next Kungen (or whoever is leading the charge from Vodka/Paragon - whoever) overnight.  It won't help the idiot that can't avoid the sonic rings on Atramedes, who stands in the fire, or what have you.  What it will do is give the PUG raid leader a fighting chance at survival.  At the very least they can link abilities in party/raid chat.

This is doubly true in heroics and the LFD dungeon.  Players are much more likely to spend 15 seconds looking at a boss in this than they are to go out and research it themselves.  It's in game, and it's more convenient than an addon.  Of course there will need to be some kind of tutorial or auto-popup to let folks know it's available.  Maybe it opens up automatically the first time you enter a dungeon or boss's room.  Kind of like the paperclip.

I fail to see a downside

Overall I don't see a huge downside to this feature.  Blizzard has done a great job (well, ok - decent job) of integrating popular addons into the game - this just rolls up a little BossKillers + AtlasLoot.  It's certainly going to be better than having someone say "when you see the big green beam thing, make sure you do the HokeyPokey".  It's certainly not going to let the guild made up of window lickers roll over H-Ragnaros - just because you have a ticket to the dance, and even know all the moves, doesn't mean you've got the rythem to pull it off.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Why Archeology works

Perpare your pitchforks and torches you haters of Archeology, because today I'm here to defend it as a downright awesome profession.  That's right - it's awesome.  Well, ok, it's not "awesome" the way seeing someone slip on ice right after laughing at you for walking across the parking lot like you've got a stick up your ass awesome - but it's certainly not the worst thing to ever happen to WoW.

Like most things announced at Blizzcon the year we heard about Cataclysm (and I watched a really sad performance by Ozzy - I love ya man, but really - I was afraid you were going to die on stage), Archeology went through a plethora of changes during the development cycle.  Some things were cut, others added, until you had a nice boring secondary profession.  You get a little lore, some fun(?) toys, and the possibility of a couple of really great BoA epics (arguably BiS for their iLvl).  Oh, and don't forget about the greatest item of all - the Ultramarine mount.  Personally I'm disappointed it looks like a bug, but hey - at least it's the right color blue.

The complints - in summary

Once you work your way down through the general complaining, you tend to settle on just a few actually unique complaints about Archeology as a profession.  First, it doesn't stack up against professions added in previous expansions.  Second, it's tedious and boring.  Thrid, it's about as random as it gets - though I still haven't seen bracers off Cho'Gall yet. 

After that you get into the general hatred towards anything Blizzard produces, from nerfs to buffs to sparkle ponies to free epix for everyone!  Let's skip past the bellyaching for now, and focus on the real issues.

Archeology vs. Jewlcrafting/Inscription

First on the hit list is how Archeology just doesn't stack up to JC/Ins as a viable and awesome profession for an expansion.  Jewlcrafting and Inscription both had dramatic and immediate impacts on the game, primarially in the way of glyphs and gems.  Sure, there were a few other items along the way that were nice, but those two are the heavy hitters.  They provided (and still provide) great sources of revenue, and a lot of power to your character.  The only profession that even comes close to these in terms of raw power gained in enchanting - and that was released with Vanilla. 

Look at what you get with JC - and this is on my hastily tossed together PVP gear.
4x 40 INT
3x 20 INT + 20 SPI
2x 40 RESIL
1x 54 INT + 2% Max Mana(!)
1x 20 INT + 20 Haste
2x Cogwheels (ok, yeah they're ENG, but they follow the same principal).

Holy shit that's a lot.  294 INT, 60 SP, 20 Haste, 40 RESIL, and the mana boost. 

Now let's look at Inscription. 

5% more crit to Holy Shock, 10% bonus to Word of Glory (instant and no mana cost), plus 5% bonus healing for using the right seal.  Then there are the major glyphs, which give everything from 10% mana when using Lay on Hands, 6% more of you MAX mana when using Divine Plea, and the ability to get instant Turn Evils! 

Now the problem with all this, is that just like elixers, flasks, food buffs, and the luck of the Irish, Blizzard has to assume that anyone raiding will have these bonuses, and they have to adjust the bosses accordingly.  Of course if raiders have them, then so will the PvPers, so it has to be counted there.  It's really no different than if they just boosted the stats on all the gear they hand out.  All it does is give you a tiny option of customization.  That's generally an illusion though, since there are pretty cut and dried answers to which gems/glyphs are the best for your given situation.

This would be what Blizzard would have to balance around if they added say, the ability to add engineering boosts to everyone's gear - but to the nth degree.  I'm talking jet packs, shoulder mounted missles, handheld sharks with frickin laser beams - it doesn't matter.  You have to assume that whatever buffs that profession can provide to a group - everyone will have at all times.  Just like the assume every group will have replenishment, you can bet your bottom dollar they count on every raider having a flask/double elixir and a +90 stat food buff.

Archeology vs Other Secondary Professions

Ok, so now that we've looked at that, and how trying to balance in a new profession (where will it get the raw materials, who's the competition in the AH, etc) as a primary would be a nightmare, let's compare Archeology to the other secondary professions.


Arguably the best of the secondary professions, Cooking allows you to prepare buff foods that are virtually required at the end game.  Sure, you can make some tasty snacks along the way, but I am willing to bet that if anyone is honest they won't claim to make a big use of this profession along the way to 85.  Sure, there's a few quests that you can do, and there are some special recipies you can get along the way, but at 85 all you really care about are those +90 foods and maybe a feast or two. 

Leveling cooking can range from the rediculously simple (during the Pilgram's Bounty event), to the averagely irritating (while fishing), to the mind numbingly painful (those last few points).  You can make some decent money selling buff foods from farmed or purchased raw materials.  There's quite a few achievments for cooking, and a couple of novelty items.  Overall it's not a bad profession, and one morst players probably have maxed out on at least one character.


Ahh, the bandage.  Let's be honest with ourselves here - given the current state of leveling, the number of self heals that it seems every class has, and the sheer abundance of available food and potions (esp while leveling), who really uses bandages?  Arenas, sure - if you can get a free second (well, 8) - I mean 35,000 HP isn't too bad.  Raiding, not really - any incoming damage breaks the channel.  Regular BGs, sure.  Leveling - yeah, I guess.  When you compare 35,000 to your HP pool at 85 though, it looks pretty bleak.

Now leveling up First Aid is as simple (these days) as spending a small fortune at the AH and standing around for an hour while you make bandages.  Whee!  There's nothing really fun about First Aid, there's certainly nothing painful with it.  I know we've been clamoring for bigger bandages from day one - but it's really just a nice thing to have.  Given the cost of Embersilk, I don't know how many players have maxed First Aid, much less maxed out on more than one toon. 


Ahh - Fishing.  The classic time waster.  Providing the raw materials needed for some of the best food buffs in the game, fishing is arguably the most profitable of the original three secondary professions.  Like everything else, leveling fishing has gotten far easier over the years, and if you play your cards right you can even pick up a pretty damn nice BoA ring in the process.  You can make a pretty penny supplying folks with raw fish to convert into feasts or buff foods, and you can even fish up eternals in the right spots. 

Now as far as excitement goes, fishing is just about the most boring thing on the planet.  You have to watch a little bobber, and wait for the right moment to click on the stupid thing.   Too soon, and you miss - too slow, and the timer will probably run out.  It's not a bad profession, and you certainly don't need to have it maxed out (unless you were fishing up the Lurker in BC or that other boss in ZG with your mudskunk lures), though I remember seeing some raiding guilds (back when it wasn't a shoppers market) requiring just to show that you had a lot invested in your character.  Dumb.

In total, these three professions aren't game breaking or terribly exciting.  They don't provide anything you can't get off the AH from some other sucker who bothered to level them up (though you can't use the bandages w/out the requisite skill), and they certainly won't give you any tangible benefit once you've maxed them out - unless you count money from the AH.


So here's where the black sheep comes in.  Archeology is pretty boring to level, since you don't get skill ups past what - 50 or 100 - for actaully digging up fragments.  It's a tedious grind to the top, and the actual mechanic of surveying can be pretty annoying.  Survey.  Run 40 yds.  Survey.  Run 40yds in a different direction.  Repeat till you hit the money.  Sometimes it's fast, othertimes - not so much. 

Archeology does offer two very distinct advantages over the other professions though.  First, you get XP for digging up the sites.  Like mining and herbalism, this gives a little bit of a boost along the way.  Unlike those two however, you can't just gather the ones on your path, you have to survey in very specifc areas.  It's not as convenient to be sure, but hey - if you're in the area - might as well nab a few free XP. 

The second major advantage Archeology has over the other secondary professions is the possibility of gaining some pretty amazing BoA epic items - as well as some great cash prizes.  There are a few pets, some mounts, a trinket I'm still using, and other great gifts.  Too bad there's no Running Man home game.

Of course there are comprable items to the jackpot hits available for far less stress.  Magmaw drops a mace for the 2H crowd, you can buy some decent trinkets for VPs and from Tol Barad, same with rings and such.  If you don't care about collecting mounts or pets, or other sundry items (hello Inkeeper's Daughter!), then it's probably not worth having.

The conclusion

In the end, I don't think Archeology missed the mark too badly for a secondary profession.  There's some sweet bonuses if you can get them, but there are other options available if you can't.  You can make a little bit of money selling off your crafted junk, but it's probably less cash per hour than fishing.  Plus at least with fishing, you can sit in one small(ish) area.  With Archeology you're crossing the continent a couple of times an hour. 

It doesn't have the market and end game impact that JC and Inscription did (thank goodness), and I would say it's at least marginally more useful than First Aid.  Is it perfect?  No, but nothing is.  I'm sure I'll never level it up on another toon - but it gives me something to do while waiting for random BGs to pop.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Chaos vs. The Dance

No this isn't a post about Slannash taking on Garth Brooks, though that would be an interesting Celebrity Deathmatch.  I mean, my money would be on Slannash, but I'm fairly certain Garth would win out in the long haul.  The Dark Side is strong in that one.

No, what I'm really talking about here is the fine line between scripted fights and pure chaos - and to try and look at what folks REALLY want from their raid encounters.

Now, I don't have any scientific evidence, polling data, or anything really beyond my own feelings.  However since I represent 10% of a top 10 guild on Stormscale, and I have my own blog, I'm going to consider myself expert enough to make the calls on this.  Hey, don't look at me funny, apparantly that's more than you need to be an 'expert'.  Just ask Tobold or Wolfshead.

To the point

So one of the largest complaints that I've heard/seen about raid bosses in WoW is that they are scripted to a major extent.  Timers exist for 95% of the abilities in he game, and the other 5% are pretty easy to suss out on your own.  To this extent raiding at the end game is more about learning the dance moves and executing them properly than anything else.  Boss does X, you do Y, and so on down the line.  Stack here, spread out there.  A finely tuned raid really is like a great ballet.  DPS rotations are optimized, so it's just a matter of processing that sequence properly, and adjusting when you have to move and start over again.  Even healing is fairly scripted.

Of course it's not 'really' that easy, or we'd all be killing Sinestra in the first three weeks of content release.  Now it may be that more players than not are just 'bad', and terrible MMO players who are really nothing more than a bunch of basement living mouth-breathers.  Either that, or the players who are actually killing/have killed all the heroic bosses are a bunch of no-lifers who have never been laid, don't have jobs, and it's the rest of us that suck.

Obviously neither of those extremes are true, and there are more factors involved than what's on the surface.  This isn't a debate on your hobby of mountain biking and climbing K2 are more deserving of recognition than someone who's hobby is slaying internet dragons.  And if you want to toss in the grand old slander of "well I'm sure those no-lifers have never gotten laid", remember that priests and nuns are supposed to fall into that catagory as well.

Back to the topic - Chaos vs. Structure

First I think calling it Chaos is just incorrect - in reality what it seems some players think they want in end game raiding is complete randomness.  Even the most random bosses in the game (that I can think of) are still fairly predictable once an event occurs.  Take for example Hex Lord Malacrass in ZA.  While his selection of which class to pull powers from is random (taken from the pool of available characters), what he does once those abilities are gained is fairly straight forward.  Same with Daakara - you don't know which two forms you'll get, but once you learn them all it's not a big deal.

Blizzard tried to introduce some randomness to the encounters with Halfus in BoT, and I saw a lot of complaining about the fact that each week you had to essentially relearn the fight until you mastered all of the combinations - some of which were exponentially more difficult to handle than others.  But even this wasn't truly random, as the abilities still had scripted responses.

So what is it that someone is looking for? A boss with every ability that has ever been concieved in the game?  Think about how frustrating that would be, for any skill level of player.  Imagine a boss where the first time you pulled him a Defile was dropped on the ground, and the boss then immediately did a Chimaeron massacre, with a Crackle following close behind.  Then on the next pull you get a class call from Vanilla Nef where all your hunters have their bows instantly break.  This is followed up by the summoning of some Sons of Ragnaros, and then the boss submurges ala The Lurker Below.  Oh, and add in a randomly spawning (with random mobs carrying the orb) shield generators.

Does that kind of encounter really sound like fun?  Is the prospect of losing your raid becuase the boss did two completely different abilities really make you think that it would be a good boss?  You couldn't have the boss simply take on the (Form of, Earth!) characteristics of other bosses for a few moments, because then he'd be predictable again. 

The right answer

Unfortunately, I don't know what this is.  I don't blame anyone for what WoW has become, because hell - I still love the game.  I started leveling a new DK, just so I could experience the pain of tanking at 85 (that and I've heard that DKs are the worst tanks while leveling). 

No 'new' game will ever bring back the memories and exclusivity that older players (I won't even call them veterans) feel like they used to have.  I don't miss the pain of 40 man raids and Vanilla WoW, the torture of trying to solve Zork, or being on active duty.  Sure - all of those things had some bright moments, but then I remember the shit that went with it.  Eff that.

Remember, if you're not first, you're just following in someone else's footsteps - and that ain't all that bad.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Tier 12 - the latest and greatest update

Ladies and genltemen, it's PTR time again, and you know what that means.  That's right, it's time to get up in arms craaazzzzyyyy over changes that might not last out the week.  Earlier today I talked about the massive slap in the face that occured with the proposed increase in our spell costs, never mind the fact that I pump out more HPS than Monger does, and make our shaman look just plain silly.  Hmm - on that note I'm thinking Mastery might be worth looking at again for 25m raiding....but anyway, I digress.

No, it's now time to look at what (is now) the second round of changes to our T12 gear!  That's right, for the low low cost of just a single mouse-click, you too can be outraged and mystified by Blizzard's line of thinking!  Or, we can be rational - but we all know that ain't happening.

The latest T12 Bonuses

I'm not even going to bother with what the T12 bonueses were on Tuesday, since they're OBVIOUSLY so outdated.  I mean, 1% mana back when healing your BoL target is SO yesterday.  No, I'm just going to touch on the latest version - which will probably be changed by the time I post this.

2 piece bonus - Healing with Holy Shock has a 40% to return 6% of your base mana. 

Hmm - well that's not bad I suppose.  I mean, the law of averages means you're bound to get a couple of procs.  After all, Eternal Glory procs pretty regularly.  Even so, it's not really much of a boost.  In fact, all it's really doing is lowering the cost of that one Holy Shock to 3% of your base mana.  Whooo.  Nice to get a mana reduction on a spell we use a lot, but I don't see myself scrambling to get this 2 piece bonus.

4 piece bonus - Divine Light, Holy Light, and Flash of Light also heal a nearby target (within 8yds) for 10% of the ammount healed. 

So, your 50k DL crit will heal the hunter's pet for 5k - unless it's a smart heal.  Again, this is a "eh, that's ok" bonus vs. a "AMG MUST GET" bonus.  Any incidental healing you get from this will be nice, especially if it also procs to your BOL target (look, I'll never turn down extra healing for my BoL target), but it's not going to be a break the bank scenario.  At least the priest one calls down a pillar of healing fire - where the hell is our pillar of healing wind chime?


While I'm sure I'll nab the 2pc bonus just becuase I'll be buying the gear, I'm not going to set a new speed record to try and pick it up.  I like that the bonuses aren't automatically superior, because as long as the off set stuff actually matches (cause you know looking good is 1/2 the battle), you will have some choices in how you gear.  Anyone who doesn't think that having matching gear and the proper hair-do gives you at least a 10% bonus to awesome - well - you're just missing out.
The sky is falling, the sky is falling! Everyone head for the hills. Save the women and children! It's the end of the world as we know it!

Or maybe it's not. I mean, it could just be the inevitiable change that we had to know was coming. After all, it only makes sense, and I think anyone who didn't see it (at least those of us in heroic raid content) are just fooling themselves.
What is this catastrophic event of which I preach? Why, it's the nerfing of our mana pools of course. OK really it's just increasing the cost of our baseline heals, but that's really the same thing. Right? Come on guys, right!?!? I mean, isn't this a total slap in the face to Paladins everywhere?
Or maybe it's just bringing us in line with everyone else.
I don't know about other Paladins, but mana is not my issue in raids. Now while I can't just spam Divine Light every two seconds, our mana bar lasts a good long while. Find me 10 seconds where I don't have to heal anything, and I'll show you someone who just picked up at least 30% of their total mana pool.
A look at some numbers
Now I haven't seen any numbers on gear from Firelands yet, though I'm sure they've been datamined and are available. Looking at our current gear and numbers though, it's pretty easy to see that without an increase in the base costs of our spells, we would be nigh on unstoppable as the expansion moved on.
Divine Light - Now is 7026. Will be 8197.
Flash of LIght - 6323 going to 7260.
Holy Light - 2342 to 2810.
Holy Shock - 1873 to 2107.
While that's a noticeable chunk, let's look at the next set of numbers. Stats on gear.
We pick up an average of about 30 points in Intellect every step in gear - so 346 to 359 to 372. That's fairly big, especially when you think about this. For every 100 INT we gain, we get about 1800 more mana, plus the increases in mana returns from Divine Plea and our Spirit. Sure, the bosses should be hitting harder, and AoE damage may go up - but so will the size of our heals.
Imagine if our heals went up in power, and our ability to cast them for a longer duration scaled with it? Especially given our regeneration mechanics now. Divine Plea would be nerfed so fast it would make your head spin, and we'd be back to sucking fumes for the majority of the fight. Plus with the new 2pc bonus, we'll not only be getting Holy Power from casting on our BoL target, but mana as well. Sure, it's only 1%, but that's 234 mana. Better than a kick to the head.
Who it's really going to hurt

Just like the previous changes to Paladin healing, this is going to have the most profound effect on the player leveling a new Healadin, and especially one trying to get through those first heroics and lvl 85 dungeons. Once a few pieces of 346+ gear drop, and remember you'll be able to buy T11 with JPs instead of VPs in 4.2, things should be smooth sailing.

In the end, I think this "AMG MASSIVE PALLY KILLING NERF" is really going to be like water off a ducks back. We probably won't even notice it after the first week of 4.2 being out.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Flexibility - you've got to have it

Flexibility.  This feature is what has allowed us to succeed as we have throughout Wrath and Cataclysm.  As far as I can tell, you have to be flexible in one of three main ways to last as a raiding guild - and we just got our core one cut out from under us.

Method one - having a bench

This method is probably hands down the most common approach in serious raid guilds.  Raiders are expected to sit out from time to time, so that an entire stable of players can get gear.  Every role has at least one viable backup, and nothing short of the servers being down keeps the train from moving forward.  While the reality may be that 20 of the 25 players make every raid, every night, this setup does allow for the occasional missed raid without killing the team.

Method two - multiple nights

This is the method we chose to run with.  Every member of the group was willing (and able) to adjust the weekly raids to a night that lined up with the schedule of everyone else.  We carry no bench, don't swap or sit out players, and (to be brutally honest) haven't had a full raid week in a long time.  This is pushing us into the third option.

Method three - skipping nights

Unfortunately, this is where we're heading (hell, where we already are).  A lot has changed since the launch of Cataclysm, and it's had a pretty significant impact on our schedule and ability to be flexible using Method Two.  I got married, our mage changed carrers, and my healing partner got a girlfriend.  So now we're down to (I think) maybe three days a week where everyone is even available to raid.  This means we now have zero options if someone has to miss a raid night.

The hard truth

Unfortunately, we're at a crossroads now as a guild.  We have to decide if we're willing to raid less than three nights in a week, if we want to recruit in additional players and become a 'normal' guild with loot rules and everything else, or if it's time to embrace the horror and accept that while it was good while it lasted, there's little hope. 

Right now there are more guilds than ever recruiting.  Finding quality players can be a challenge, and I don't know if anyone in the guild wants to really go on the recruiting push.  The other issue is that most of us want to raid more than anything else, and going a few weeks with no raiding is going to be tough.

So we'll see what happens.  I know that I'm personally keeping an eye on the options, though we will probably have a guild chat sometime in the future (i.e. this week) to iron stuff out.

I hate shopping for a new guild almost as much as I hate recruiting.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Day 20 - My last day of WoW

So if today really was my last day of WoW, and the servers weren't shutting down for good, I'd do precisely - nothing.

I mean, let's be honest here.  There's nothing I have that anyone in my guild needs.  Sure, I could give away my money - but I don't think any of us are actually hurting for gold.  Besides, what if one day a new expansion comes out and I decide to return?

See, that's where I would have to say it's probably NOT my last day of WoW.  The day I decide to quit for good, and vow to never return, I'll probably go through and delete every single one of my characters.  Leaving them active means that one day you just might return.  Heck, I stopped playing City of Heroes for about five years, and when I fired it up to see what had changed, there were my old toons - just waiting to be played (I'll be honest, it lasted about 2 days). 

I certainly wouldn't fly off to some remote spot, or hand out my gold to strangers, I'd just log out and be done.  Same with this blog.  When I decide that I'm done blogging, I'll probably put up a "This site will no longer be updated" post, just so the anal-retentive OCD folks who like clean feed readers can remove my site, but I won't put up a long "So long and thanks for the memories" post.  That's just not who I am.

That day is not today though, as I still enjoy playing WoW.  I'm less certian that it's not the people I play with any more, as we had a hell of a time playing Bad Company 2, but the game still keeps me going even solo.

Thanks for following along through my 20 days of blogging non-challenge/challenge.  Later today I'll explain why our OT needs to be punched in the face.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Day 19 - What's in my bags/bank?

I feel pretty silly writing this, because my bags are filled with the most mundane things.  Since we can caccess the guild bank remotely now, and I have a Jeeves, carrying all this seems silly, but I really don't care.  I use ArkInventory to organize my bags, which is really handy.  I would love to find a way to sort out items that are in item/gear sets, or even just to say anything with STR goes in this column, and INT goes in this one.  At least that'd be a start.

So, in my bags I have the following.

  • A full set of tank gear.  I don't think it's all gemmed and enchanted any more, but I have it.  I try and keep it updated, but I haven't tanked in at least a month or more.
  • Some swap out healing gear.  I have some extra trinkets and weapons with different enchants.  To be honest though, I can't remember the last time I swapped them out.  I generally have what I consider to be my BiS equipped - and anything less is well, less.  I may build up an alternate set for Mastery, but I wouldn't count on it.
  • 100 Fortune cookies.  I'm far too lazy to fish up all the different foods I need, and the stupid INT fish don't swim in pools anyway.  I might fish them up if they were (just for the achievment and the fish feast), but since they aren't, I don't care.  I just buy fortune cards and make cookies.  I haven't hit the jackpot yet, but it's cool.  It's all guild bank money anyway.
  • Flasks, pots, and other raiding sundry items.  I like to stay stocked up, even though I rarely use a mana pot, and we have cauldrons for flasks (hello 3 hour flask buff).
  • My fishing gear, just in case the mood strikes me.
My bank looks pretty much the same.  A few stacks of food, some eternals and herbs for crafting, some enchanting mats.  I should probably liquidate it all, but really, I don't need to.  Of course even with this, I still want more space.  I'm currently scheming how to get my hands on a bunch of Illusionary bags.  Now, do I "NEED" 26 slot bags?  No.  Between mules, alts, etc, it's kind of silly.  But do I WANT 26 slot bags?  Oh yes.  Unfortunately, I don't see a bank split in our future (at least not until 4.2), so I might have to actaully work for them. 


Tomorrow, the conclusion of this series.  What would I do if it were my last day of WoW?

Punched in the face by Call to Arms - Healer

Last night I took the Nestea plunge and decided to queue up for ZA/ZG, solo, in the LFD system.  For whatever reason both Healers and Tanks had the CTA bonus, so I figured why not?  I'd run them both once already and had a feel for them, let's stick our toe in and see how things go.  After all, I'm a big supporter of the LFD tool, so it's only right that I actually use it every once in a while.

6k DPS does not a hero make

First stop, ZA.  Here I was greeted by my new mini-friends with the expected commentary.

Me> Good evening all.
Tank> Everyone know fights?
Bad Shaman> Yeah, let's go.
Bad DK> I hope heals is good, last heals was terrible and we wiped.
Tank> I take that as a yes.  Try and keep up.

Ahh.  So refreshing!  So we proceeded to go for the bear boss first, which is fine, since I'm not expecting a mount run with a PUG anyway.  Here however was where the real fun began, and by fun, I mean it was great practice for 2 healing H-Halfus.

First, the shaman was pulling 6k DPS, including on the bear boss.  Now I understand that elemental shaman may not be rocking the charts, and you can certainly cheat the iLvl requirements - but even I find 6k to be abysmal.  That's ok though, I could handle it if only he'd been backfilling with one thing. 


I had more interrupts as the healer than the rest of my group combined.  Of course if I'd had just one interrupt that would have been more, but you get the idea.  Holy moly, even after asking them to interrupt, I just got resposnes like "can't, interrupts my DPS".  Thank goodnes my mana regen is good.

The little DK that could(n't)

This guy was AWESOME.  Couldn't/wouldn't/didn't interrupt, Death Grip pulled before the tank had agro, stood in every environmental damage zone possible, and didn't know he had a B-Rez.  Now the battle Rez I can 'kind' of forgive.  After all it's a big change and not everyone reads the patch notes or WoW related websites.  Given how much his mouth was flapping though, he certainly thought he was Pro Player Stadium.

The wrap-up

It wasn't all bad to be honest.  It took longer than I expected (normal), we wiped two or three tiems (also normal and ok), and we did finally get the bosses dead.  The group wasn't overly abusive, though the DK did lip off a few times because I let him die.  Fortunately, I have lots of room on my /ignore list. 

The real kick though, was the satchel.  Now don't get me wrong, I wasn't expecting a dozen flasks, a new pony (though that would have been nice) or anything - though I guess I did have higher hopes.  Instead I got 66g34s and an Earthen Potion (whatever the armor one is).  Whoop dee doo.

For 150g, I might go again, maybe.  Certainly not for 66g though.  I dang sure won't respec to Prot for that small a purse.  To spec Prot and back is roughly 250g (respec x2, 6 glyph replacements x2).  Bugger that.

Don't misunderstand me here though.  The group wasn't "that" bad, and the instances are a nice retro throwback.  I love the look of a lot of the gear, and I'm certainly not upset that they redid the zones.  It's just that short of some 353 bracers (damn you Cho'gall, damn you), there's nothing in there for me.  I don't really need Valor Points, though I should start trading them in and getting some PvP gear.  I suppose that if I was going to farm VPs, this isn't a bad way to do it.  Otherwise - sorry CTA, I was wrong about you.  We won't be BFF, and I doubt I'll call you later.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Day 18 - My favorite outfit

Hmm - this is a tough one to crack open.  What is my favorite outfit?  My initial response is, whatever happens to be BiS at the moment, and that I have available.  What I mean is, I don't have a lot of excess outfits kicking around.  If a > b, then I keep a and vendor b.  I don't think I even have a suit or dress from say, Noblegarden to wear. 

Now my favorite tier set, or at least the set I have the fondest memories of, was the Wrath set (old T2).  The helm was kind of silly, with the axe blade on it, but damn I liked the look of those shoulders.  I always thought they'd somehow consipre to cut my warrior's head off though.  Of course, this outfit isn't complete without the Elementium Reinforced Bulwark, and my Thunderfury. 

Why my T11 set is pretty damn cool

So even though it's not my 'favorite', I do love my T11.  Why?  Becuase it looks like I'm wearing a smokestack on my head.  Dual exhaust on my chopper, and a smokestack on my head.  I must say that I like the T12 preview, though it looks like the Paladin and Mage sets got swapped.  At least we got a kilt/skirt this time around.  I'm glad Blizzard is rotating through the different leg styles. 

Tomorrow - What's in my bank?