Second Binding

| Saturday, February 28, 2009
Today I finally remembered to kill Attumen for the scope schematic. I invited a guildy to come with so we could kill Moroes as well for a shot at mongoose. We killed him, no luck. The guildy died while I was gouged, as is tradition.

On a whim I asked if he wanted to do MC afterwards, and he said yes. A quit line in gchat brought another person as well. Then someone decided to argue with me about MC being a waste of time and how the enchants are worthless. That wasn't so fun.

We eventually had a fury warrior and hunter, I think marks. And me. We took down everything up to before Garr. Gehennas with no decurse was fine, because we had no heals anyway. Yea, that was a fight that we finished with 10% health.

A few more people joined and then we killed Garr. A bit more trash and then Baron. I threw on healing gear and healed the fury warrior. That was the closest thing we had to a healer until Domo. Baron died. I clicked on the corpse. A rogue got happy about his bindings and suddenly I freaked out. I had not anticipated competition. Fortunately I was able to mention that I had the other binding "oh my god the other binding at last!" The rogue passed to me since I already had the other and he did not. Very very carefully I master looted it to myself and then spent the next ten minutes or so barely able to think or type coherently. I almost skipped Shazzrah.

This made me very glad that I had set ML, because I can totally see the rogue, and myself, mashing need the second it dropped. ML gave us time to chill out, or in my case completely lose it.

We carried on until Domo. Then the warrior switched to his 75 priest for Domo. He got the eye of divinity and that made me feel even better. Then back to the warrior for him and onward to Rag.

Ragnaros with no healers is tricky. I mostly just tried to stay alive and prayed hard that we did not get to sons, since our DPS felt slow. Eventually I got knocked back and fell too many times and had to pop LoH. Then he died. One tank, 6-7 DPS, and no healer... fun times.

I only had three of the ten needed ore and couldn't smelt it, so I gathered upa couple guildies, PUGed a bunch, and did BWL. It went pretty smoothly. I lost all the judgement to another paladin. But at least a guildy warlock got a few pieces of T2 amd I got one ore and the smelting book off the goblin. That's the fix for the constant bugging of the NPC with MC: he drops a book to teach elementium smelting.

Now I can make my own legendaries. :)

Artificial Rarity

| Thursday, February 26, 2009
Perhaps forced rarity is a better term?
It's a bad concept.

Be Mine was forced rarity. Regardless of effort or capability, some people could not get it.

Maybe it's just me, but one of the nice things about WoW is that in an artificial world, we have control. In WoW it's a lot easier to have an internal locus of control, to believe that our actions are what matter, rather than some overall forces. Sure the devs matter: they matter for their creation of this world in which we decide our fates. We decide how far we will get in raiding. WoW can create an ideal world in the sense that we are truly free to pursue what we desire and there is no racism to hold back some people, lack of educational opportunities to hold back others, or rich parents to boost ahead a small few. We all play the same selection of 10 classes, with the same spells, with an AH which does not discriminate. Sure time is an issue, but ultimately personal determination is more important than most external factors.

In other words, WoW is great because it creates a world where you choose what you want to accomplish.

Forced rarity breaks this. Be Mine was a good example (good example of a bad thing). Random drops are this as well. I remember some silly news program where they claimed someone was great because they had Ashes of Alar. Oh sure, killing Kael'thas wasn't nothing, but the mount? That was luck. There were a thousand times as many people who killed him and received no mount.

The upcoming change to the Glory of the X achievements also breaks this. According to Bornakk they're removing the drakes. Why? They think Ulduar gear will trivialize them and they want them to be rare. Fine. But this is the wrong approach. This change only means that if you started WotLK late, too bad. If you leveled slowly, too bad. Maybe you were slow to get into raiding, too bad. This is wrong. It's forced rarity.

What's a better method? Maintain the difficulty past Ulduar. Add an iLevel maximum for the achievements and leave the mounts. This way you cannot trivialize them with gear because you can't get past a certain gear level. All Ulduar can give you is more experience with your class rather than a way to bypass the challenge.

The mounts will remain rare based on their difficulty.

Though I'm tempted to go for the other direction. Let them be trivialized. Let every noob and scrub get one, for free, for nothing, after 3.1. Then go back to the people that burned through content and will then bitch about it and just laugh. laugh and laugh at them. Explain that they are harmful to WoW. Their elitism, their desire to burn through content and then bitch when it runs out, that is harmful. Blizzard probably couldn't get away with canceling their accounts, but annoying them, hurting their egos, that might get the job done the same way.

Random is stupid.
Time-dependent is almost as stupid.
Anything based on either of these should be a feat of strength.

Naxx 10

| Wednesday, February 25, 2009
I finally managed to get into raiding again. Last night I'd intended to be on in time for the start of the guild Naxx 25. That failed. I blame my friends. But I decided to not give up and jumped into LFG for Naxx 10 along with either VoA. I got an invite to a Naxx 10 which was mostly a single guild, they just needed an OT.

Short version: I got a few pieces of gear, most of it went very fast, near 4H there was a constant stream of fail.

We started out with Patchwerk, missing the achievement by around 15 seconds. Grobbulus was easy times, though I did die for my first time ever on the way over due to Frogger. Gluth was easy enough, though taunting didn't seem to work properly. I'd taunt and nothing would happen, RD and nothing, and by then I think the MT was getting nervous before taunt came up again. I got the T7 shoulders which later became my new holy shoulders (we were doing offspec rolls). Thaddius was pretty easy and as fun as I remembered.

I can't remember if we did spider or plague next, I think spider. We decided to go for the achievement, so we skipped looting until the last boss was down. First boss went well, which was good because I was worried about screwing it up, having not done it since I was 70; though I did have to bubble to taunt when I got caught in locust swarm. A pat caused us to wipe while doing Faerlina trash (pulled the boss), but we got back up fairly quickly. At the end we did manage to down Maexxna in time, giving me the achievement for both clearing the wing and the speed one at the same time.

Plague was similarly swift. Noth was fairly easy, though there was some brief swearing when the RL noticed that we had no decurse, though maybe the resto shaman took care of it. Heigan was easy enough; though my dancing wasn't perfect, I didn't die, someone else did though, so no achievement. Loatheb was simple as usual.

Death knight wing was strange compared to 25. Razuvious was totally different. Rather than tanking extra adds I was tanking the boss himself, with my own add. For Gothic, I've never done live side on 25, but on 10 it seemed boring, very predictable and easy where 25 dead side was hectic and exciting.

Then it all went downhill. A healer had to leave, then it took a while to find a replacement. We wiped on some trash, and then again. We replaced another healer and the rogue chain-disconnected for the rest of the night. 4H didn't go well. First I wasn't tanking in the right place, not close enough to the corner, and the other tank was a little close as well, so we had stacks doubling. The druid healer didn't seem to be healing me enough. Maybe I don't know the fight properly, since it didn't seem to be like the back where I fake being a healer, I was still tanking, though in a low-aggro mode of JoL/SoL with SS and heals when I could afford them. Maybe the druid wasn't supposed to be healing me much, but either way, I kept dying. Eventually we called the raid, to finish up on Sunday.

Overall it was a good night. I got new tanking boots from Noth, a belt from Razuvious (though I can't wear it in raids due to the defense loss), and T7 shoulders for holy.

Kael'thas was merely a setback

| Tuesday, February 24, 2009
He lost sight of his original goal.

His duty was to lead his people, to ensure their survival and prosperity. In many regards he was successful, others, total failure.

The journey to Outland was a solid idea. It was a source of magic, something which his people needed. It was also a way to start over again in a new land, perhaps a safer land. After all, there are no hostile trolls in Outland. Well, until the Horde showed up there weren't. :)

Still, going to Outland may have been an abandonment of his homeland. He may have worked for the prosperity of the Blood Elves as a race, but is it good to ignore location? He would have dramatically changed their culture by tearing them from their homes.

But this is a difference of opinion and I cannot say it is truly a success or failure. No, his failure was something much bigger.


The Blood Elves needed magic to survive. But Kael'thas did not have the job of securing magic for his people, he had the job of securing their survival. When he became too focused on magic, he failed. This was when he left, betrayed, Illidan and joined the Burning Legion. That is just plain stupid. It was the Legion which created the Scourge which destroyed the Sunwell. It was the Legion that had driven the Orcs to their first devastating invasion of Azeroth. With them came the mobilization and renewed power of the trolls, again at the cost of Quel'thalas and the High Elves.

The Legion could offer magic and nothing else. The alliance with them cost the lives of many Blood Elves and caused massive disruption following the invasion of Silvermoon City. Draining demons may have been risky, but allying with them was insanity. Illidan may have been a bit crazy, but he was still powerful and was still loyal to Kael'thas, at least until the split.

Kael'thas lost sight of the goal: protection of the Blood Elves. Instead he focused only one one aspect: magic, and in the process stopped caring for the Blood Elves in favor of a smaller group of those who betrayed all life in service to the Legion.

What can we learn from this? Don't let methods replace goals. Don't let ends justify means. But also, don't ever truly die.

We did not call him the Ashbringer because of the sword. No, he was the Ashbringer without it, before it. He did not need to draw his weapon before turning thousands of enemies to ash. And yet, despite his power, it was all futile. The Scourge he could destroy, even the undead he could keep dead.

But there is one who springs from his ashes like a phoenix, and we will never forget that shrill cry... "merely a setback!"

Leveling enchanting

| Sunday, February 22, 2009
So much better than BC and far, far better than pre-300. I think it's from two changes, one of which may only be in my imagination.

Low enchants are useful. I didn't notice much demand for leveling enchants in BC except maybe AP. Now there are very good ones like icewalker and the cheap weapon enchants. Those seem to be popular because the next higher ones are maybe 10-20% better, but cost at least 4x as much. This might just be my imagination, forgetting useful low BC enchants.

Scrolls are probably the best thing ever for enchanting. I bought a stack of armor and weapon vellums and carry them around. As I get mats I enchant them and send them to a back alt. Here's the great part: they actually sell. Before I'd have to either waste mats re-enchanting my own gear, give them away: "enchanter lf work, free with your mats!", or hope guildies needed what I had. Now I make gold and level up.

How awesome is that, leveling and making gold at the same time? It's probably not a net profit since I'm not vendoring quest rewards, but at least it's not a gold sink. Only think I can think of that would be comparable is inscription since glyphs aren't ranked, they're all the best of their type, even if some are more or less useful overall.

[edit] Enchanting in general is very useful with other professions. My warrior (hit 74 Monday night, Dalaran ho!) is leveling BS and this results in a lot of spamming useless junk for skill. These are sent for DEing. Maybe I could do better vendoring and buying dust off the AH, but I like the idea of self-sufficiency even if it's less efficient. Cue arguments about global trade. :P

The Huntard

| Saturday, February 21, 2009
The scene is Utgarde Keep. I'm there on the warrior that I am leveling.

After the second green drops and we roll I happen to notice that the hunter had rolled need on it and it was spirit gear. Same with the previous drop. I comment in guild chat, thinking it's a ninja. Then I inspect the hunter and realize that he's not a ninja: he's an idiot. He was wearing the spirit shoulders which he had just needed. The rest of his gear seemed to be elemental gear.

In the future I should stick to the standard procedure: ask about his gear (sometimes people have a strange item or two because of absolutely terrible luck, respeccing, or a hacked account) and then later make fun of him. But, I deviated. Instead I sent him a tell: "May I offer you some advice on gear?" After no response: "I'd like to help you." Still no response. I tried in party chat, nothing.

I noticed that the DK tank was in his guild and tried talking through him. No luck. He didn't seem to notice either. Sometimes the hunter would say something in all caps like "AWESOME."

The priest in the group sent me a tell, seeming to have similar confusion about the hunter. He concluded that he was ebayed or a farmer. I figured if he was ebayed, fine, I'd still try to help, if only so future groups would be spared some pain.

I failed and was left confused. Why was his gear so terrible? Why would he not respond to tells? Why did his guildy not seem to care? Is there even a God? I fled after two mobs in a three mob pull were left on the healer, and many questions and doubts were left on me.

[edit] Apparently this was the night for stupid people.

Trying to do UK later resulting in the only person near the stone leaving because no one was heading over, despite one person being on the boat between the Tuskarr areas. The boat person then left because they thought everyone else should head over too, apparently no one is worthy of being summoned unless they're already at the summoning stone.

Nexus later on had the priest who apparently lost his dispel button, using mass dispel for single debuffs (or sometimes debuffs that weren't even able to be removed as far as I could tell, not that a spell damage debuff on melee is a big deal) and then went OOM constantly. He told us all to go faster, then went afk in the middle of the rock boss, causing us to wipe. Throughout the run the DK was being generally nubbish, reaching his peak when he started the last boss while the healer was at 50%. We wiped, but might have made it if the priest or paladin would have cleansed the chains.

Then the healer and tankadin left. The hunter left a little bit later, leaving me with the DK. After some LFM for last boss I found a warlock. He told me to invite a mage, and then didn't seem to understand the idea of needing a tank and healer. My explanation that I could tank if we had a good enough healer was apparently too complex for him. After a few minutes he got impatient and said he would tank with his felguard while we got another person. I explained that there was nothing to tank except the boss. He then got mad at me for inviting him to a cleared instance. Meanwhile the DK repeatedly asked if we could do it with 3 people, after we'd wiped with 5 which included a healer and proper tank. I left after the warlock started demanding a reset.

No I am not at all frustrated. Why would I be frustrated? I mean, it's not as if I asked my level 80 friend to help with the last boss (he has a holy paladin, so I could have tanked it) and he responded by going afk again. And hey, I've not been trying to get into groups all day as fury, only to find that everyone is specced for DPS (I suppose I'm not helping). Maybe tomorrow I can finish the Nexus quests. Or I can waste a lot of time and get mad.

Q: What does a joking ogre say?

| Wednesday, February 18, 2009
A: Time for pun!

Q: What do you call it when a Tauren does double damage?
A: Bull crit!

Q: What do you call a loose explosive?
A: A rocket whore!

I apologize. While eating lunch I was struck by a sudden fit of lame. Tragically I had a pencil and paper nearby, so I was able to record my idea before it could be mercifully destroyed by forgetfulness.

Girls are all the rage these days

| Monday, February 16, 2009
Yes, it seems that talking about girls is the cool thing to do for the next... one day and four hours. Don't believe me? Check out this Link! It's a girl (okay woman, or does that imply old these days? Maybe that will be the next cool thing, talking about perceptions of age) talking about girls or what it means to be a girl or how people perceive or something. The point is, I am totally on the bandwagon. Yea.

So. Um. People. With uh... baby-making factories. Well, as Marx would say, they are clearly the bourgeoisie: controlling the means of production while men are the proletariat: an oppressed and exploited mass of workers who only create products from which they are disconnected and derive no profit or meaning. Clearly men need to rise up and seize the means of production. Or no, this has happened. This is the social condition in many countries where women do not have control over their reproduction.

Serious time: There is a strong link between women controlling their baby-making factories and their country not being crap. Example time: Africa has many nations where women have little control over whether or not to have children or how many: Africa on average is a pretty crappy place. In contrast America allows women a great deal of control; rape is illegal under all circumstances (This is not to say that all cases lead to punishment; guilty people may be found innocent. My point was that there are no legally accepted religious or social rules which allow rape), abortion is legal (well, mostly, I think some states have laws against it), birth control is legal and fairly cheap: America is awesome.

TL;DR: If you let women control their own bodies, your country is significantly less likely to be terrible. This isn't feminism, it's practicality.

This is the part with game stuff, so start reading here. Look at the bold words. The stuff above this is not related to gaming and may also be offensive, despite being true.

Sorry, got totally off the topic of girls and games or something like that. Girls on bandwagons. Something.

I play a female blood elf paladin. The males were a little too.. fabulous for me. Other races were not good options due to being on the wrong faction. Anyway, I sometimes run into problems.

1) People thinking I am a girl.
By itself this doesn't bother me much. I usually correct them. However, if they get sexist, then I tend to ignore them and if possible get them killed. It pisses me off when there are problems in a group and next thing I know someone is calling me a bitch. Sexism is dumb enough, but sexism when you aren't even certain of the sex of the target?

2) People ask if I am a girl.
WTF does it matter?

3) I think I am a girl.
That came out wrong. Oops? A while back I realized I was too much in the virtual world of WoW. I wasn't properly differentiating between my character and myself. This almost instantly creeped me out. Why? Well, I'm male and my character is female. I briefly freaked out and went "Agh! Am I pretending to be female? WTF is wrong with me!" I played other characters for a couple weeks while I reminded myself "that is a representation, not an identification."

Stereotypes are weird. For starters, they're not based on nothing. That isn't to say they are true or universally generalizable, but they're rarely from out of nowhere. The weird part of them is that they aren't just used by outsiders, but also by those who they are supposed to describe. People sometimes become the stereotype. Then there are the 'taught' ones. Let's pretend that [Alaskans] are stereotyped as violent and in response to perceived danger we impose marshal law in [Alaska] and mobs attack suspected [Alaskans]. You think they're going to act normal? Before long there is an [Alaskan] independence movement (nvm, that already exists) and before long there is a small civil war. Those damn violent [Alaskans] started this whole mess!

Let's see if I can bring that back towards girls. Let's say I were to say that girls are impulsive and emotional. In response they might kick me very hard. See? I was right.

Girls don't play video games: Would you join an activity dominated by people who obsess over you and who lose (or never had) basic social skills just because of your mere existence? Thankfully this stereotype has eroded to little more than a lame joke and in fact girls, and not just a very tiny portion, do actually play video games.

Do I joke about stereotypes about girls and gaming? Sure. With my female friend who is a gamer, and I suspect might kick my ass if we were to ever play against each other in the same game. Fortunately she plays City of Villains, so I am not at risk of e-castration. We realize it is a joke and a very dumb one. Would I make the joke around anyone other than her or a few of our friends? Hell no. I refuse to be one of the idiots that throws that around and not only looks lame, but also a bit sexist.

Jumping back to self-reinforcing stereotypes: Female skills and roles. Are girls bad at games? Hell if I know, I don't conduct surveys in PUGs or even in guild: "on a scale of one to ten, how terrible are you? Are you female? Thank you." But... when someone is bad, who is more noticeable? OMG TERRIBLE GIRL! When the majority of players are male, they are the default, so only female gamers are going to be commonly labeled by their sex. Moving on to healing: it's not nurturing and nurturing is not the only role that females can play or even want to play.

Sex and gender: Perhaps it's due to where I was (am) educated, but gender is a social/mental state. It does not refer to male and female, and while tending to follow patterns of X and Y chromosomes, is not directly linked. Sex is the physical description. Why don't people say sex when it's the proper word? I'd guess because it's often associated only with sex as an act and is branded as dirty. Is that ironic that the proper word is considered 'improper'?

Wow, this ended up way too long. I blame LarĂ­sa.

Randomness and Skill are not linked

| Sunday, February 15, 2009
Be Mine.
This is a part of the meta achievement for the Love is in the Air season event. The general concept is that one an hour (no more often, but due to sleep, very likely less often) you can get a gift from a NPC. This gift has a chance to contain a Bag of Candies. Draw from this bag and you will get 10 chances at 8 different candies. Pull all 8 and you get the achievement.

While writing this I received my second bag. Second, as in a total of two bags. That's over the entire event. I'd guess that I've received at least 10 boxes of chocolate. The RNG is not being nice to me.

There's a lot of complaining on the forums. Normally I'm the sort that looks at the forums and weeps for the future of humanity, but this time, it was different. The meta is part of a meta-meta for one of the proto-drakes. This means that the drake is RNG-based.

According to a Blue on the General forums (I've lost the thread or I'd have linked it), this is their way of keeping it rare. In general I think WoW is a great game and has amazing developers, but that is just plain stupid. Rare means randomly screwing people over, people who have put in the same, or perhaps more, time than others? Perhaps you need better priorities when rare starts to mean "Ha ha, better LUCK next year."

To get back to the title, to go with the complaints are a lot of arrogant jackasses. They are the ones who say things like "learn2play" or "it's supposed to be an achievement." The first is, well does the stupidity need explaining? The second is also stupid, but of a different sort. Achievements, at least as I know them in real life, and would expect in game, are based on some sort of effort. Sometimes it's a very small effort, sometimes it's a large effort. It's not about luck. I cannot imagine an interview with someone that won the lottery: "We're all quite amazed by your perseverance, this is truly an amazing achievement." Wouldn't the interviewer sound pretty dumb?

The Lunar Festival was well done. It required a decent bit of effort and exploration. It took time and sometimes a bit of ingenuity*. I felt like that was an achievement. This though, it's all very easy. Oh but right, random is hard, so if a season is too easy, you add randomness to balance it out. Random is not hard, it's random. Make the season harder for all I care. Require a drop off KT. But random? That's just stupid. That's not an achievement.

* I wasn't doing well finding a PUG for Gundrak. I either found no groups or I ended up with awe-inspiring noobs. Finally I ended up jumping into an already cleared instance and using my cloaking device and an invisibility potion to get to the elder. That was the last one I needed and it felt very good to get it.

As of finishing this post, I have finished opening my second bag and am still in need of "You're the best!" Maybe there's a hidden meaning here. I guess WoW does think randomness and skill are linked, so my lack of luck means a lack of skill, which is why I am not the best. But clearly I am lovely and romantic, judging from the all the dresses and picnic baskets. And I really like chocolate.

I can only pray that next year when I attempt to graduate that I roll high enough to get a diploma.

[edit] Not to bash the entire holiday, sorry. I do like how the arrow won't fire at someone who has a pet out; though this is me assuming that if you could it wouldn't give credit. That saves a lot of wasted arrows. The heartbroken-bracelet thing is kinda cool. I like things which draw people together. Farming the flowers was fun too. It's nice to get a group and a goal and get it done and at the end everyone walks out happy because they got what they came for rather than leaving going "oh well, maybe tomorrow, stupid RNG." Sound familiar?

Happy Valentine's Day

| Saturday, February 14, 2009
In the spirit of the day I've decided to help you, the people that read my blog. No I don't mean game help. I've never been a source of useful information about WoW, why would I start now? I mean relationship help. They are confusing.

How to Group with a Bi-Spectual
These are times of increasing awareness that characters are rolled all sorts of ways. Some are prot or ret or holy or shadow or destruction or many other possibilities. Even the most strict definition of specuality acknowledges three general types: tanking, healing, and DPS.

It's not all that hard to group with someone of a single type. It's easy to make general assumptions about what they like. DPS tend to like tanks, healers, and a couple other DPS, though they're a bit competitive, so they can be difficult to group with at times. Healers really like tanks, and the reverse, and both can group very well with DPS.

But things get confusing with a bi-spectual group member. While it's simple to say that tanks like healers and healers like tanks and both like DPS and DPS like them, there's the other side: tanks don't like other tanks, healers don't like other healers, and there's only so much DPS a group can handle. Confusion about the spectuality of members of your group can lead to conflict. What if they are a tank now, but you thought they were DPS, so you invite a tank? That's asking for trouble and someone is going to get hurt.

The simple solution is to pretend they're not bi-spectual. Just make them be a tank or healer or DPS and not switch. This is simple, but very hard and painful for the bi-spectual. They may feel confined and restricted, as if they are missing part of themselves. When you restrict their spectuality, you restrict their identity as well.

Grouping with a bi-spectual can be difficult, but very rewarding. They often have exceptional knowledge of groups and can teach useful tricks to others. If they consent, don't be afraid to take advantage of their flexibility.

To conclude, I'd like to use this poem from the Friends of Bi-Spectuals:

Don't tell me what spec to choose
Let me be free and decide my own rules

No DPS box
Like a single-spec 'lock
But don't discriminate
Against those who melt face
And don't demand healing
From a pal' who loves tanking

Is your brain of stereotypes full?
Then here's one to use
Unless we refuse:
A role is a role

It's been a year?

| Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Apparently my first blog post was exactly one year ago on this day. This surprises me because I felt like I started at this start of this semester. Maybe that's just when I had anything worth reading.

I suppose I should do an annual review.
*puts on glasses*
*takes off glasses because two pairs of glasses are pointless*
Well Mr. Klepse... Klepaka... hm. Your rate of posting has gone of significantly over the last year, nearly 6x from the first month to the last (6 to 34). We've received no major complaints about declining quality except for a few letter from someone named Lapetes concerning your views on arenas which he summarizes as "ur a noob l2p."

In regard to the original purpose of this blog: that of having someplace to post ideas without spamming the forums, it has been a success. Your forum posting has gone down. In addition, it has been months since you did any forums with your warlock. On the other side, you've been

It appears a tiny psychiatrist in my brain has shot that voice with a tranquilizing dart.

So anyway, I made this blog because I noticed I had a lot that I wanted to say about lore, game balance, observations of in-game and forum social trends, etc. I realized I didn't want to be the type that spams the forums with a new thread (or three) every day, using it as my own blog. So, I made a blog. Brilliant thinking right?

There was something a little bit unexpected though: rather than ending up with isolated, unread posts in an empty nothingness, people seemed to actually read my blog and even comment on it. Even better, they weren't giving responses like I might get on the forums. No trolling or flaming. That struck me as pretty cool. I was excited to see that there existed online communities of sorts which were not tainted by the stupidity and rudeness that seem to plague so many forums.

I suppose I should thank you, the readers of this little piece of interweb, for that. While I may supply the posts, you're partially the reason for the posts. I could only do so much shouting into nothingness without even an echo.

With that in mind, what do people like or not like? Try to not select everything. But, please use whining or the opposite of whining in combination with the others, if for example you want me to whine more about PvP or say nice things about professions.

On a related note, you may have noticed that the Kael'thas post vanished. I nuked it because it somehow got out of order.

The annoyance of ignorance

| Sunday, February 8, 2009
I don't like not knowing things, especially about a class which I play. I'm refering to my warlock in particular. Things used to be fairly simple:
Hit cap: Good, varies with spec
Spirit: Lol
Intellect: Nice to have, but it didn't strike me as something to chase
Spell damage: GOOD!
Spell crit: GOOD! Except for affliction in which case it was just good since DoTs were complemented by shadow bolt spam
Stamina: Mana pool and due to the many nerfs to fear; the only thing in the way of sudden death
Agility/Strength/AP: Lol
Haste: Never heard of it
Spell Penetration: Lol

Now it's all a mess! Spirit is increasing our spell power and the speed of life tap. Both are DPS boosts (higher damage vs. lower 'downtime' in DPS spam). How good is it compared to other stats? From what I can tell it's not quite a warlock stat, it's nice to have, but not something to chase, so stop rolling on healer trinkets. Stamina is still clearly useful, more now in fact, due to the constant health regen on fel armor. Melee stats are clearly bad. Did int change? There is the spirit regen interaction, but we don't use spirit directly for regen. Crit: Good. Hit: No clue, this seems to change all the time. While leveling it seems pretty marginal. Haste: Faster DoTs, faster drains, faster nukes, lower GCD (faster DoT aplication, faster lifetapping). But it also means a corresponding higher mana cost. Is mana an issue?

What's a warlock to do!?

Oh sure, I could check a strategy guide, but what fun is that?

On a related subject, I've decided I will intentionally go against prevailing wisdom and not stack strength exclusively for ret. I will get the hit cap, or close if gear doesn't add up quite perfectly. I will get hybrid gems in yellow sockets. Blue sockets I will weep over for their crappiness, depending on the bonus.

And on a totally unrelated subject: instance grinding with rested XP and 10% shoulders is pretty fast and lets me save quests for gold.


| Friday, February 6, 2009
Or my accurately: my warlock.

I think I've gotten a bit bored with my usual routine:
1) Do a heroic now and then.
2) Get annoyed at the lack of drops.
3) Kill Southsea pirates.
4) Mope.
5) Do a few dailies, don't repeat for at least a couple days.

I'm going to try playing my warlock for a bit again. That's what I did last time I got bored and it worked very well, I played my paladin again. :P No no, I'm not saying my warlock is/was bad. She's a lot of fun. But I'm more comfortable being able to tank, wearing plate, on a carebear server, with my guild. Well, my warlock is guilded, but I assume that's because they don't do much housekeeping so my log in every 3 months or so is sufficient.

Anyway, I'd wanted to talk about my impressions of warlocks now. Keep in mind this is pretty much changes since oh... 2.4? My warlock saw very little play in BC, just enough to get to 70 and get T4 gloves, that's about it. So I'm very out of date.

Affliction: No clue. Frankly it scares me. Why? I'm on a PvP server. I don't like being distracted fighting mobs, I just want boom boom dead oh look shamans dropping from the sky. This is based on a true story.
Demonology: A lot of these talents got a lot less bad. Overall I still like the feel, but I don't have any interest in metamorphosis. I'm currently using this because on a PvP server, or just for leveling in general, there are advantages to mobs staying 30 yards away.
Destruction: I'm very happy with how fire because a sort of sub-spec for warlock. Or it's the good way to play now. I have no clue. I just like how the tree supports fire a lot more. After a couple years of shadow bolt spam, it's nice.

Soul fire has no cooldown anymore. That's pretty nice. BIG BOOM OVER AND OVER BOOM.
Fel armor: Constant health regen is really nice. It makes health our mana/5, which I think is what we should have be going towards for a long time, seeing as health was always our big thing. The spirit->SP is cool I suppose, helps us use 'normal' cloth gear.
Shadow bolt: The imp SB buff is now on ourselves, like shadow priests. This is so much awesome for trash or grinding since mobs aren't like to survive for four hits anyway.
Blah blah blah, I have to go kill stuff, so I'll wrap it up.

My warlock doesn't feel significantly different, which I think is a good thing. Instead, just better.

In PvP news, while doing pre-reqs for Nexus quests I got attacked by a 77+ shaman (skull with flying). I died rather fast. I rezed and noticed him running from a druid. He started healing and I decided to advance the cause of righteousness (What I really mean is that I saw an opportunity for revenge). Death coil interrupted the heal, then I threw on a fear and started shadow bolting. The druid finished him off. Then I felt good. The druid then stalked me a bit, or escorted depending on your perspective, and I didn't see the shaman again. Add on the fury warrior that I caught at 50% health and busy and it was a decent night for PvP, at least for a carebear. :)

P.S. The first mob I skinned in Northrend gave arctic fur.

I feel misunderstood

| Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Here is a forum thread:@Serious guilds with "friends" ranks
Apparently WoWInsider noticed it, and my post in it.

The way I read the article, I feel as if the writer thinks I expect people to armory everyone or check guild tags or whatever. I don't. Instead... well here's my thought process for the post.

Hm, looks interesting. I anticipate: elitist jerk.
*open thread*
Hm... how to mess with the trolling alt? Well let's see, they invited based on an assumption. Also they're being jerks. Perhaps they shouldn't use flawed inviting processes. Hm. Aha! The trusty armory. "Hey jerk, go check the armory if you're going to whine so much!" I should phrase that better. Ooh, fail is always a good word. Anything with "fail" is a sure-win. Ironic?
*feels a smug sense of satisfaction*

On to the actual point of the (article?): No.

Guilds with friends, even bad friends, are not bad guilds. In fact, they may be better guilds because of it. Oh sure, they're not much help with raiding or PvP or whatever, but so what? Guilds can be social and good. Just keep the social and good separated properly.

Think of it as a party: you can invite coworkers and friends and what does it mean? It means you have friends and you have coworkers worth spending non-work time with. What does it not mean? It doesn't mean your party is bad or your company is bad: the friends aren't part of the company.

Oh sure, argue that in this analogy the guild is the company. Fine. Different people have different jobs. Some guildies are friends, some workers are janitors. Some guildies are raiders, some workers are programmers that could set you on fire with a string of binary. Don't expect the friend to raid or the janitor to be a digital arsonist.

If you're going to make assumptions, you're not always going to be right. When you fail, blame the person that made a false assumption: yourself, not the guild. They probably were not named : "Everyone here is awesome, guaranteed." If you were doing something important enough to complain about it, then check the armory ahead of time. Or inspect them at least. Maybe ask them their experience?

Guilds with friends are not bad, bad assumptions are bad.

Look, a birthday post

| Tuesday, February 3, 2009
As per social demand, I am making a post to declare that it is my birthday. I am now officially one year older, having aged very rapidly overnight.

My shaman got the cake all to himself, mostly because he was all alone. He even had to make it himself.

Poor guy. He received no presents.

My paladin got a sort of non-gift. The goblins of Ratchet will no longer attempt to shoot me when I go near them. In fact they have offered me a quest. I have delayed completing it to go kill more Southsea pirates.

Here comes the tide

| Monday, February 2, 2009
Re: Happily Building My Sandcastle by Larisa

It is human to live in a world which is not real. To pretend to live in reality is a lie. We filter everything.

To be human is to dream. This seems to be what separates us from animals. We can think ahead. Even more, we can think that which is impossible.

The oldest form of entertainment is telling stories. The second oldest is making up new stories, stories which are entirely imaginary. To create and live in a world of fiction and imagination, perhaps that is the pinnacle of human existence. Or it's just another step in our collective delusion.

Either way, it's fun! Or if it's not fun, then stop. But why try to tear down the fun of others?

Perhaps it's altruistic, a heroin addict trying to prevent future addicts. Still, how much of the problem of heroin is a matter of personal variation? Some people react differently to the world. Some people react badly to flashing lights, should we bad the police and their warning lights? Pardon my specificity, but the heroin addict, how much of his descent is due to the drug and how much is due to how he and the world at large treat it?

Or is it ego, insecurity? Perhaps a person feels the need to justify his actions. He is alone and if he won't follow the herd, then he will try to get the herd to follow him. Few people can stand alone or sustain action which is not supported by society. Even a small part of society is sufficient for an individual. But that small set may seek wider approval. Conversion is their confirmation of rightness.

WoW is like most of the world: socially constructed and as real as we all want. We're in the most imaginary times ever. Currency itself is imaginary. Currency backed by gold was less so, but the value of gold, while based on its scarcity but remarkable properties, is still socially created. Currency now is based largely on our perceived value, backed by nothing. Is money fake, worth nothing? Of course not. It's as valuable as we make it.

Temporary? Oh sure, WoW is temporary. It will end. What doesn't?

I find value in WoW. It's a gigantic experiment. How do people act in a sexless, genderless, raceless world? How do I act when I am free of everything I have been told I am? How do we build ourselves up, take ourselves down, switch identities to something new? Why? Or why not? Why be yourself when presented with a blank slate?

To imagine, to be someone else, somewhere else, is human. To immerse oneself in a fantasy may be the purest form. We can learn about ourselves and each other when we see the identities we create. Call it an addiction, start a crusade against it, you're only showing who you are. We're on the brink, or perhaps just over... we're somewhere near the start of the biggest social change we may ever see. Jump in headfirst or not, but either way, remember to learn as fast as you can.

Did the forums get more elitist?

| Sunday, February 1, 2009
Maybe it's rose-colored goggles, but it seems like the forums have gotten worse since WotLK.

BC brought us the arena elitists. Say anything: "lol @ ur rating." But honestly, they almost had a point. Sure arenas were horribly unbalanced and generally awful (I say "were" because I've done none in WotLK so I can't honestly say "are"), but there was some slight correlation between skill/knowledge and arena ratings.

WotLK has brought us... just general assholes. There's nothing even specific. Well, in general it's something about raids being too easy. This will lead to a tangent later on. In the meantime, why?

I think it's because raids really are a bit easier now. With the exception of Razuvious, none of them really demand a certain class. This isn't actually easier, it's just more accessible. Consumables are lower than ever: oils and stones are gone, self weapon buffs are good now.* Again, accessibility: you don't have to play so long to prepare for raids. Fights seem tuned a bit easier than I remember from Karazhan, though I wonder how much of that was due to fights like Moroes having unreasonable expectations, such as priests keeping up a shackle and hunters not going afk with autoshot.

What happens when you make content easier? More people clear it. If your ego is based on a sense of virtual superiority, this is bad. BAD. The reaction is not surprising in this context: people lash out when their superiority is threatened. Yell at Blizzard: "How dare you let... let... those noobs! In my instance! The nerve! Why am I not obviously better than everyone else!?" Remember recolored tier sets for PvP? Repeat, except bigger.

I think what really makes it funny is that the raids actually aren't easier. The major challenges just became optional, in other words, stopped giving gear. Achievements don't give gear (I'm excluding Sarth bonus gear because I don't like facts which do not support my claims), but they're where you'll find the hard stuff. The new approach to gear is strange. It seems that everyone gets it now. Before you blame it on noobs and their sense of entitlement, it's the self-declared good players who are confused at the lack of gear rewards for their superiority. "I am awesome, why do I not get to one-shot people because of this?"


I've also noticed a very annoying trend of bad players claiming to be casuals. Casual is not bad. Bad is not casual. Casual is hard to define, but let's go with something related to play time or the relative priority/importance of WoW in one's life. Bad is... bad. The hunter that uses strength gear is bad. The paladin with spirit gems is bad, well, maybe not as much as the hunter. Spirit is a deceptive stat if you don't read too closely the little "while casting vs. while not casting." Really, it's annoying to see people be stupid and then claim that they're casuals so they don't have time to figure these things out. Min-maxing and basic class knowledge are very different.

Casual players, I'm sorry that bad people are trying to hide among you.

For the good of everyone, new players should not be allowed to post on the forums, at least until they've played for a month. For them, it saves them the terribleness of the forums and the assholes within. For other people, it acts as a filtering system. Sometimes I see a 'stupid' question and think: "Is that person an idiot or are they just making the same mistakes I made early on?" If we kept out the new people we could be certain that only true idiots were posting stupidly.

To compensate for the loss of community support for new players (please bear with me, I am trying just as hard to not laugh), add official, Blizzard-created basic starting guides. Maybe the tips do this, I turned them off a long time ago. It wouldn't be too complex, just things like useful stats, groups roles, and the concept of aggro. If someone could figure out a non-condescending way to say it, include something like "think things over and see what you can figure out for yourself." For example: think about strength vs. AP. Hm, strength gives AP, but strength is affected by divine strength and blessing of kings. However I'm leveling so I'm not likely to see either talent. I'll go with whichever I see more of, with a 1:2 ratio.

Or there could be a newb-only forum, just for new people, with a few Blizzard-approved posters. They'd be like the greens (MVPs), but more useful.

I wish people were a bit less afraid in-game. I love giving people advice. It makes me feel all warm and superior inside. Why do people so rarely ask questions? At most: "what does this boss do?" Rarely do I see people ask others of the same class for advice when they clearly need it. Slightly less rarely do I see people offer advice, and that's including rude criticism as advice.

* I played my warlock a little bit and was trying to figure out a demo spec for leveling, since I like the bit of durability, especially being on a PvP server, I want to minimize my risk of sudden death. I ended up staring at the wowhead calculator trying to figure out why master conjuror was my only choice. Then I looked up firestones and spellstones and... wow. They don't suck anymore! I still don't know if the talent is good, but at least the conjured items are useful.

Today I showed a shaman earthliving weapon. He was using flametongue. The death rate dropped a bit after that. His spec was very strange: enough resto to DPS badly and enough elemental to heal badly. I didn't get the point. Perhaps I should have helped, after that little bit about why don't we help each other.

In unrelated news, I got annoyed at a warlock who didn't have shards to summon me back to an instance. Why did I leave? I needed to go buy ankhs.
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