Grandstanding for 1 min

| Thursday, April 30, 2009
Kleps recently made a big post about why people blog, or why he blogs, or something. I think Penny-Arcade summed it up a lot more succinctly recently, seen here. We like to talk about WoW, for whatever reason, and while that's allegedly what the forums are for, those are more about whining, usually stupidly.

One of the most annoying things about the forums is the whole 'bandwagon' phenomenon. Someone says something dumb and a bunch of people repeat it as though it were true until the end of time.

One example is 'Arena is ruining PvE because blizzard balances everything around arena!' This particular attitude is annoying enough that it gets it's own post. See, this breaks down in a lot of places.

1) Blizzard has always balanced the game around PvP as well as PvE, this was true before arenas came along.

2) Up until WotLK started, there really hadn't been any case of this being true. Challenge anyone to name a change from Season 1's start till 3.0 that was made to improve arena balance and negatively affected raiding balance and... no one has ever been able to give an answer. Some try to say 'what about illumination?!' and conveniently forget that every healer was crying for illumination nerfs because paladins didn't run oom in karazhan. Some people point out stuff like reducing Cyclone's range, or nerfing Hand of Freedom, and that's assinine because those spells weren't being used in PvE (back then Cyclone even had DRs in PvE).

3) Since WotLK started, there have been some, ah, emergency nerfs to get pvp under control. Conflagrate and Arcane Barrage mainly. Most of the nerfs, like to rogues or DK cooldowns, were compensated at the same time with pve buffs, making them actually stronger in pve. I acknowledge that there have been a few times where nerfs to PvP meant undeserved nerfs to PvE since LK shipped though.

4) There have been lots of times where raiding balance has had a negative effect on pvp balance. Probably a lot more than the other way around, frankly. Lifebloom's HoT wasn't nerfed until 3.0 simply because blizzard was afraid of costing resto druids their pve viability. DKs similarly should have had their damage reduced a while ago. Divine Plea started out as overpowered as it was for holy because paladins complained that they couldn't use it at all in raids. Ret paladin damage has similarly been an issue, with exorcism going live as usable in pvp because it was needed in raids.

I just wish people would accept the fact that the game has both pvp and pve, and that you're going to see changes to game balance made for the sake of both. Sometimes, though not often, they're going to negatively affect each other. Usually, the 2 are well separated, and I expect most of the issues pvp nerfs have recently caused will be rectified in an upcoming patch (there is plenty of wiggle room in destro talents to make up the lost damage elsewhere, like empowered imp or pyroclasm).

But what it comes down to, in my opinion, is that when you demand the game be balanced totally around raiding because pvp isn't important (or vice versa) you're just being selfish. Both sides of the game are important to people, both are important to the game, and despite what idiots say, they can co-exist just fine.


How to Buy an Enchant

| Wednesday, April 29, 2009
So you've been kicked from a heroic and yelled at to "enchant ur gear nub." We can help. We meaning your local enchanters. Here are the steps to a smooth transaction. If you're not a people person, see Alternate Guide A.

How to Buy an Enchant

1) Figure out which enchant you want. This may be several enchants based on cost or availability of mats. For example, while there are better enchants, greater savagery is somewhat cheap and a good choice for leveling weapons. Or maybe you're a lowbie in which case I have to point you in another direction: see Alternate Guide B. If you're just looking for a glow, look up beastslaying, it's cheap and gives a nice red glow. There are several ranks with higher ones giving more visible glows. Alternatively if you want blue go for Striking, it gives +X to your weapon's damage and again, is more visible at higher ranks.

2) Look up the materials. I use

3) Get the materials. There are several ways to do this.
3a) Buy them directly from the AH or trade channel.
3b) Hire an enchanter to DE some items for you. With luck you'll get what you need. Don't forget to tip.

4) Find an enchanter. Rather than a generic "LF enchanter" instead say "LF enchanter for [enchant]." If you're looking for many enchants, try something like "lf high level enchanter to link book." Then you can search through all the enchants they can do.
4a) Check your realm forum for a list of crafters. There will often be a list of people with the rarest enchants.

5) Figure out where to meet and agree on which enchants you're getting.

6) Hand over mats. Some enchanters prefer one set at a time, I do. It allows the enchanter to easily tell if you're given the right mats.

7) Put the item to be enchanted it "will not be traded."

8) Put some gold in the currency area. Some enchanters will give a price in advance, others expect tips, and some work for free with mats, most often if they're leveling up. How much? It depends. Start at 10g if you're above level 70 and work up from there if the enchant is rare or if the enchanter had to travel or wait a long time. If you're a lowbie, don't worry so much; don't bankrupt yourself, but if a tip would bankrupt you, maybe you need to shift priorities. If you're a twink, tip well; if the enchanter is going to sell his soul to help you in your quest to ruin the game for new players the least you can do is make him rich.

9) Thank the enchanter.

Why did I make this?
Well to start off, I'm an enchanter. I like to help people, but it's asking a lot when someone sends a vague tell like "what enchants do you have for a rogue?" The problem here is that I don't know what sort of budget you have: like I said there are basically two tiers of WotLK enchants: good but cheap and great but bye bye gold. I don't know what enchants are best for rogues and even if I did, I might not have the best, so I offer what I can. I've run into people who give nothing, not even a thank you. I've run into people who know what they want, but it's a terrible idea (most of the battlemaster enchants I've done have been for hunters) due to effectiveness or cost.

Long story short: I've had preventable bad experiences as an enchanter. Not to lay it all on the enchanter: Enchanters, you can now link your books in trade, so save everyone's time and don't say "enchanter lf work" when you could say "[skill] enchanter lf work [book]"

Alternative Guide A
Look on the AH for a scroll which has your desired enchant. It will have a name like Scroll of [enchant name].

Alternative Guide B
Rather than using my time and your gold: find someone to do it for free. Who would give out free enchants? Lowbie enchanters. Hang out in a main city and you might find someone screaming his poor lungs out looking for someone to enchant. He's trying to level and wants to avoid wasting mats. He gets a skillup, you get an enchant, everyone wins. Well, except me, I get more competition. :P

Good luck and have fun with your glowy new weapon!

Do all paladins have this problem?

| Monday, April 27, 2009
I recently started playing D&D with a few friends. We all play WoW as well at various levels, so as a joke we all made equivalent characters in DandD. I made my paladin.

Tonight our DM had us running through WC. Yea, we're taking the joke far. We got here by running from Crossroads to attack furbolgs who turned out to be diseased. I suspected it was the Plague, but the DM keeps saying nothing is undead. Maybe it's the Flood. Anyway...

We're in WC and we got attacked by crocolisks. We engage them. Meanwhile slime monsters drop in far behind us and start launching ranged attacks. The result was an obnoxiously long fight because most of our damage is melee and my only ranged 'attack' is a taunt of sorts (divine challenge). Due to my race (Eladrin) I can teleport, but it's the same distance as my running. The result is that to engage the far away enemies I have to run, very slowly. I never actually got to them. Afterward I thought of making by teleport longer range so it would be usable as a distance closer.

Is this a universal rule that paladins never can get into melee range?

Noblegarden: First Impressions

| Sunday, April 26, 2009
First off, some info about the eggs, this will help explain the results I've seen so far. There are a certain number of spawn locations for eggs, something like 30. At any time there are a certain number of eggs up, around 5. So what do we get from this?

1) Eggs respawn in a set location. In other words, stand somewhere long enough and you'll get an egg.
2) Eggs respawn as fast as they are picked up. In other words, your best friend is someone who picked an egg at the other side of the town. Or, the faster you pick, the faster they can be picked.
3) These come together to mean this: If every spot is camped the eggs will be picked almost instantly, leading to the maximum possible eggs/second in the area.

Hunting is discouraged. Camping means faster eggs for everyone. Hunting means lots of travel time and longer delays between picks. After all, only with perfect timing will an egg pop up right as you run there, whereas with standing, you're always there.

People seem to have realized this and the result is a lot of people camping a spot or two. It's very efficient. It's also boring and looks weird.

It's not all bad though. While there are random achievements, none of the meta is random. If you get nothing you need from eggs, you need hundreds of chocolates to buy the items used for the parts of the meta. But that is doable. Perhaps three hours? It's a grind, but at least it is doable. In practice it's likely to be faster since a rare egg drop means 25-100 fewer eggs to farm.

Perhaps that is bad. What does it indicate of the influence of the Love is in the Air fiasco that I can see a holiday as an improvement because it is boring, but at least it's not random?

So there we go: Noblegarden, it's boring but it won't screw you out of the drake. Good luck with Children's Week!

Second Impressions
It's a matter of how many people are around. During the weekend it was terrible because there were far too many people. Now on a weekday afternoon there aren't a ton of people around. In Bloodhoof I estimate 10-15 people. That's enough to keep eggs picked up and spawning, but it's not too much so that it becomes faster to camp. Basically you don't want so many people that every egg can be watched. This means that people have to run around to get all the eggs. When this happens it's actually a good bit of fun.

Don't forget to get the daily before you start picking up eggs. I keep getting it after I've already picked up 15 or so eggs.

Overall it's a decent event, it's just not so good when there are tons of people. With this in mind, Blizzard should have expanded the area (this risks putting people into aggro range of hostile mobs, though it seems to be a 18+ event anyway) or added more towns, perhaps by adding the starting zone itself or the cities. Imagine an egg hunt in Orgrimmar! Or even better, add 'super eggs' to Wintergrasp with double the chocolate and a higher chance of rare drops.

I recently had a nice pay it forward moment. While on my way around southern Kalimdor to plant flowers I remembered I needed to drop by Un'Goro for the egg playing. I did a /who and sent a tell to an 80 to see if he could help me. He said he could and after a quick plant in Tanaris I was in flight. While there we helped each other with the blushing bride achievement since I completed the tuxedo and got the dress this afternoon. In thousand needles someone was looking for a rabbiting wand, so I invited him and he joined us. The end result was a few more achievements for me and I got to help some people too. That made me feel good.

Why Blog?

| Friday, April 24, 2009
Larisa over at the Pink Pigtail Inn wrote another lovely post about blogging. This one specifically, as I took from it, was about the recent push to improve blogs. In all honesty I stopped reading once it got practical: about actually improving it. I am not a practical person. Instead I cared about the start, asking why you want to improve/change?

Well why would you work to improve your blog? Obvious answers are things like making it more useful or informative. They eventually come around to more readers or happier readers (keeping the ones you have). Why more readers? I see a few reasons.

A bigger audience means more people to influence. This is important if you're in the propaganda business, or any other form of mass manipulation such as advertising. More and better are nearly the same thing.

If you're looking for profit, a bigger audience means more ad revenue.

These are fairly straightforward and predictable. How about someone effectively trying to confirm their existence? More readers mean more people who by their reading are confirming existence. Or maybe a sort of virtual popularity contest. Being popular makes people feel better, ignoring the massive pressure that can come with it. I realize these sound a little pitiful, like lonely people making websites just so someone with realize they exist. It's not exactly like that. The online world is a bit like a city: you're surrounded by people, but also potentially alone and completely ignored. This is not a comfortable state for most people; to be ignored and by inaction have their existence denied. They seek confirmation that they exist. Online people may do the same. Writing and being read means that you are not alone in the giant city.

So yes, back to my point. We improve because it is increased fulfillment of the original purpose of the blog. If you write a blog to inform people of the dangers of say, land shark attacks in apartments, and no one read or learned from it, you'd be failing. Improving the blog to get people to read and learn would mean fulfilling the original goal of informing and presumably protecting people from the dangers of land sharks. Along the same line, if you wrote a blog to be noticed, improvement would mean making it and you more noticeable or if it was to spread your views on feral druids, improvement would mean making more people share your views.

So why do I want to improve my blog? I used to write on the official forums for WoW, but I stopped making many threads or even responding much. I felt like I had something worth saying (don't we all think that? Our egos are ridiculous) and it was getting lost. It was also frustrating to try to write something good and end up with responses of nothing but tl;dr and flaming. I suppose it's a bit of that confirmation of existence thing, not wanting to see a thread drop down ten pages in an hour due to spam. It would be cool if Blizzard noticed and was influenced by what I write, but let's face it, that's not a realistic assumption. In the meantime I can write what I think, record my experiences, and maybe learn something from the process. Improving that means writing more clearly and perhaps more often, though no more often than I have something to say.

This is madness

| Wednesday, April 22, 2009
My rogue is level 57 and her hearthstone is still set to Sunstrider Isle. I intend to not change it until 80. The only except is if I take so long that another expansion comes out. In that case, whatever is the new level cap.

I may be the only person who was glad to no longer get hearthed when ungrouped in an instance.

Ulduar and Excessive Awesome

| Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Tonight I did Ulduar for my second time and my firs time in a fresh instance. It was a lot of fun.

Flame Leviathan
I was on a motorcycle for this fight.

The gauntlet was the most fun I've ever had on trash. That's not saying much. The gauntlet was more fun than most boss fights I've done. It's a frantic mess with fires everywhere and smoke and motorcycles zooming all around.

The fight itself is less crazy, but just as much fun. As a motorcyclist I had to use a speed boost to get way ahead of the boss and drop tar where I thought he'd pass. Since I was new I tended to get hit by his frontal attack a bit too often. Still, it was a lot of fun. It took us two attempts. Overall I think he's pretty easy, though my guild had already killed him the week before, so it's not as if we were totally new.

We died on... it, a few times last night. It's a very fun fight. There are adds all over the place which the tanks have to pick up and DPS have to kill. Unfortunately for me consecration and divine storm seemed to put out more aggro than tanks could handle. Focusing more on one target didn't work much better. This surprised me since there is a significant body of evidence and even fake quotes which demonstrate that tank aggro in balanced around being disconnected.

Tonight I was ret again for the first few attempts. They were of variable quality. Overall there seemed to be issues with the fire being hot, which hopefully will be fixed sometime.

After a few attempts I was switched to prot. Switching bugged my talents, leaving me with part of my ret spec. Now my prot spec is a mess and my ret spec is incomplete, and also a mess. I still need new glyphs. I'm bad. :(

Tanking was a bit more stressful than ret, probably because when I tank I care more. Still, it was fun and I learned a bit more about the fight. The only annoyance was with divine plea: it refreshes when I attack, but sometimes I have no mobs. So, I'd steal one from the nearby DK now and then.

On our second to last attempt we had a very good attempt. Two deaths: a mage and resto shaman. It was after the wipe that we saw, if one of them had not died, we might have downed the dragon: less than 75k when we all died to the enrage. Final attempt was messier with more early deaths, and we still hit the enrage, but the boss was dead.

Excessive Awesome
When Razorscale died I felt something which I'd not felt in a long time: that weird rush when you pull your hair out and struggle and wipe and wipe and pay huge repairs and the boss dies and it just feels amazing. It's the feeling of beating a challenge, something which was lacking in Naxx.

I love Ulduar. My earlier fear has been removed. I look forward to dying and then making dead the whiniest robot ever.

The other excessive awesome was my tanking. Here's the situation: I wanted to switch my mainspec to ret, but hadn't had the chane. When Razorscale dropped a tanking belt I rolled need, but reconsidered due to my desire to move away from prot and some questions about my spec. Apparently I impressed the officers and the loot council voted for me to get the belt. This carried with it a pretty strong hint, nudge, and kick under the table that I should keep prot as my main. I guess I'm too good at things I don't want to do. No no, I'm not saying I don't want to tank, I'd just hoped to go ret and take all the DPS plate, but I crushed my own dreams.

In unrelated news my shaman has weird glyphs and a messed-up enhancement spec because I misread a talent and thought I'd be using lava burst as part of my rotation. Maybe I actually do, I wouldn't know, I'm even worse at my shaman than my paladin.

Spell Reflect Volleyball!

Here's the setup:
9 Prot warriors, a handful of magi, and a pair of healers.
Improved spell reflection: You can reflect spells directed at allies
Glyph of Spell Reflection: Reduces cooldown by one second.
The overall result is that with 9 warriors and a 9 second cooldown, any cast can be reflected permanently.
One mage per team is the server while the rest have the job of AoEing the warriors to ensure that they have enough rage. The healers keep the warriors from dying.
Players can only wear gear without stats.

How to play:
The mage casts a nuke at an enemy warrior. Someone on the other team must reflect it back. Then the first team must reflect it back. Generally speaking you score when the other team gets hit.

Use standard volleyball rules, but adapted for the situation. Getting hit by a spell is counted like the ball falling on your side of the net. Getting hit but resisting is counted as if the other team hit it last and it fell out of bounds.

Rage generation vs. healing and regen: The mage in charge of rage generation is on the same team as the warriors they are AoEing, though not the same party since he needs to be able to attack. He must balance his mana usage and the need for healing with the need to ensure enough rage for a reflect.
Proper rotation: If someone screws up the rotation, you might not have a reflect ready next time the spell comes around.

Optional rule to make it interesting:
In addition to spell reflect, the warriors may use charge (however they cannot have the talent to use it in combat) and shockwave. Charging will allow you to prevent reflects and generate extra rage, however if may also put you out of range to reflect and cannot be used constantly. To prevent a win by mass-charging, there is a limit of two charges per bounce. Shockwave, well that could knock out the entire other team if they're grouped up too much, but at the cost of rage and positioning.

Divinity should be better than it is

| Monday, April 20, 2009
I don't like divinity much. I should though. 5% more healing should be a good talent, but it isn't.

The problem is with how healing works, or more accurately, how it fails. Rarely do I see a tank die because there was not enough healing output. Instead I see them die because of healing timing. A small heal now which keeps the tank above zero is infinitely better than a big heal a tenth of a second later. Divinity doesn't help with timing.

It will, however, make that small heal bigger. Will that help? I doubt it. Instead it's likely that that timed heal will be followed by several more spam heals which get the tank to full, and a little bit more. In this situation the 5% contributed to nothing but overhealing.

However I must admit that this is based on the assumption that a tank dies in 2-3 hits in Ulduar. Maybe I'm wrong. If damage comes in smaller amounts, heals can as well and rather than 5% being ovehealing, it can be a cancel on 1 in 5 heals.

It all comes back around to my hatred of effective health as a critical matter for tanks.

But what about imp devo aura?

However I shouldn't pick and choose when to use this reasoning. After all, if 5% is useless, is not imp devo useless as well? 6% isn't all that much better than 5%. As I considered this self-critique I decided to recheck imp devo. My first incorrect bit was that it was 3% (I don't know how I managed to forget). The second was that it also has additional armor on it. It's an effective health increase, not just a healing increase.

Furthermore, the healing bonus covers many people. This becomes useful since AoE healing, in my experience, is sometime about output in addition to timing. That 6% can start to have an effect and with JoL it provides a significant increase to raid healing.

Where else would I spend the points?
PoJ for sure. It's stronger than run speed enchants which means slightly better ability to get into position for avoiding fires, getting into range, or moving mobs. Furthermore, this means I can get a different boot enchant, one with more stamina.

Other popular points seem to be conviction and crusade for aggro.

This was only for prot. I have it as ret, I think it's useful. For soloing it means 10% stronger self-healing (5% out and 5% in). In groups it means increased healing from JoL, helping to compensate for SoB. I suppose it's also a boost to DS healing as well.

It's also good for holy, I think. I don't know much about holy.

My Challenge for Today

I will not be a jerk.

I won't be sarcastic. I won't play tricks on people. I won't tell people they're wrong without saying what is correct. I won't mock people who starts PUGs with ridiculous stat requirements. I won't make posts which say I won't mock people but by making the post I'm indirectly mocking them.

That last one is still okay, I'm writing this at night scheduled for tomorrow. Oh sure technically it's tomorrow already, but I didn't sleep yet and my days don't switch until I sleep.

Tomorrow is going to be rough.


| Sunday, April 19, 2009
Overall I like the change to LFG. Adding the feature to mark tank, healer, and DPS does two great things. First, it means no more asking hybrids if they want to tank or heal when they're all DPS and too lazy to put their spec in comment. Second, Blizzard finally tells people what the roles are. Hopefully that will help new players.

The only bad thing so far is the group/individual split. Why are they divided? It just means more clicking to see everyone. If the lists are too long, then let us filter by group or individual.

P.S. The Secret of Ulduar is not Yogg-Saron. Is he a secret? No. The secret is... don't tell anyone... it's Kael'thas.

The sense of entitlement

| Saturday, April 18, 2009
You might have picked up that I've been struggling to decide on a spec for the last few... months. At the peak I started thinking "This is stupid. I have three roles and that doesn't even include the PvP versions. Why don't hybrids get triple-specs? Or 6 specs?" I was not alone in that line of thinking.

What is wrong with us? We get someone which is an improvement and we are annoyed that is isn't good enough? This is like getting two free ice cream cones; chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, pick two, and we're made that we don't get a third. There's a line between always wanting to improve one's situation and just being greedy.

On a related note, what is it with people complaining about the cost? 1000g is a lot. I'm not going to be one of that jerks that says "just got farm for a day." Farming isn't fun, just because it's not a lot of farming doesn't mean it's okay. But it's okay anyway. 1000g for incredible flexibility and very rapid savings depending on how much you respec. If you don't respec much, don't buy it. How can it be bad for us to gain options?

I'm having a blast with dual spec on my paladin. I used it at least 10 times yesterday in only a few hours. This doesn't mean that I have already paid of half the cost though. It does mean that I gained flexibility, I'd have not switched that many times so quickly, especially not while in the middle of an instance. The action bar switch is great. My only real gripe is with the mana drain. It's fine when I go to prot since the regen is pretty high now (I don't even have SA), but as ret it's a little annoying to start at zero. Ugh, here I am complaining that the awesome new things isn't awesome enough. What is wrong with people?


| Friday, April 17, 2009
There is an A in it. There is not an E in it.
Duel means 1v1 PvP. Dual means two. I realize that 1+1=2, but that's not the point.


Thank you. This has been a public service message; making your community a little better.

P.S. dual,

Retribution PvP and Burst Damage


Loooong post. I wanted to make a post here and on the WoW forums to discuss Ret Paladin damage in pvp, hopefully in an intelligent and relatively unbiased manner.

Most posts I see on the forums are non-paladins saying "ret pallies hit too hard, i got pwned 1v1 and I demand nerfs!" countered by paladins going "nuh uh, we do not hit hard! please please please don't nerf us please... I like my raid spot and we're only ok in arenas and ur jus bad thats all!"

Most of the whiners don't think too much about the ramifications of nerfing ret's burst damage, they just want us nerfed. And most of the ret paladins are a bit dishonest and don't care about the problems others have against us, we just want to be sure we keep our viability in Arena and Raiding. So I wanted to tackle the whole issue head-on and really give it a lot of thought and encourage others to do the same.

Quick Analysis of changes to ret attacks in 3.1-

These are probably really obvious, but I didn't want to leave anyone in the dark with what I was saying.

SoB= Seal of Blood, or Seal of the Martyr for alliance.
JoB= Judgement, using SoB
burst dmg= direct damage done, how hard it hits
dps= damage done with it over time, obviously

-Judgement of Blood damage lowered significantly. Alone this change would have made ret burst laughable. Went from highest burst dmg ability and dps ability to lowest (well exorcism is lower dps because of it's cd).

-Crusader Strike damage increased via 'new' talent, by 15%. Now highest dps ability, and second highest burst dmg against non-plate targets.

-Seal of Blood damage increased. SoB is holy damage, procs off every white attack, and does maybe double what it used to. Alone should make up for judgement nerf, but only if paladin is always hitting the target. Hits about as hard as Seal of Command now, but with 100% chance (SoC= ~40%).

-Divine Storm damage increased by 10%. Not much. However, it procs SoB, which does a lot more, makes DS ret's highest burst dmg ability and second highest dps. SoB proc means it hurts a lot even vs plate.

-Exorcism buffed and now usable in pvp. Low dps, decent burst (I usually see 3.6k crits, but I'm not using the exorcism glyph in pvp atm, which adds 20%). I've heard people say 5k crits, and while I doubt that's normal, I don't doubt it happens. Good ability for piercing plate and especially druid bears.

Overall Effect of Changes-

Judgement used to be great burst damage vs any target, no matter their armor level. Now Crusader Strike and Divine Storm hit cloth for about as hard as judgement used to, maybe even a little harder. This would mean ret paladin damage vs high armor targets was lowered a lot, except the SoB and Exorcism buffs basically make it a wash. Since warriors and DKs get all up in my face, I can take full advantage of the SoB buff. Paladins still tear warriors apart :\

Emphasis on melee strikes and weaker judgements DOES mean that when being kited, even with someone just a few yards out of melee range, ret paladins do a lot less damage. Judgements are easy to land even vs kiting targets due to their 10 yard range, so Judgement is used much more than any other attack in pvp. Exorcism does not make up for the judgement nerf in this regard- Judgement+exorcism alone once every 15 seconds is just not much pressure at all.

On the flip side, if a ret paladin can stay in melee range long enough he can do Crusader Strike>Divine Storm>Judgement>Exorcism>Crusader Strike (plus autoswing), for a LOT of pressure over 6-7 seconds. Devastating vs cloth, if you can actually stay near a clothie long enough to do it.

Is it Balanced in Arenas?!

I specify Arenas partly because I feel pvp balance is most relevant there, but also because it's not even a question in BGs or world pvp. Ret paladins are amazing for that. This is largely because the presence of a healer has a much more negative effect on ret paladins than most dpsers, and on the flipside if you don't have a healer with you, the ret paladin is going to destroy you.

That would be because while ret puts out a lot of pressure, it's over a few seconds rather than all at once, as opposed to a shatter combo or whatever. That means it can be healed through with a Penance or Riptide+LHW, and ret paladins have no MS, short cd interrupts or 'consistent CC' (like poly or fear) to counter the healer, all they have offensively is burst damage and HoJ.

Not saying ret is weak in arena, just that it's god-mode in battlegrounds because that stuff comes into play a lot less. It's hard to say if ret paladins are overpowered in 3.1 in regards to arena. But the burst damage itself is definitely on the high side.

And let's face it, relying on 'omg i hope i crit a bunch and do too much damage for him to heal through' is not fun for the ret paladin or the people facing him. While I am not ready to make a definitive call either way, I think PROBABLY ret paladin burst damage should be toned down. It's just for the good of the game.

How to nerf ret without screwing up PvE

These are just some suggestions.

Like I said, ret's pvp damage, at least the burst, should probably be nerfed. However, ret paladins already suffer from somewhat low pve dps. Blizzard struggles to keep ret in line in pvp without screwing over raiders. I have a few ideas on how to do this.

PvE Specific Talents- Start by nerfing ret paladin attacks, whatever is needed to make PvP balanced. Then, by improving or making talents that only pve ret paladins can afford (due to pvp ret paladins picking up pvp specific talents, like imp HoJ from prot), you can improve pve dps without improving pvp. Examples:

-A tier 2 Holy talent that improves ret dps, ie- increases SoB's damage. Could even by Seals of the Pure moved up a bit. PvP ret paladins wouldn't have enough points to spare for it.

-A talent (Righteous Vengeance would be perfect) that increases Consecrate's damage. Consecrate is not get used in pvp for damage at all, just unstealthing. It's easy to avoid and does damage slowly. It's the perfect place to improve PvE damage.

Make Seal of Blood bad for PvP- ie when using SoB, your armor is lowered by 33%. Or when using SoB you take 20% more damage. By making SoB undesirable for pvp, you can further separate pve damage from pvp damage, and ret paladins will use SoC in pvp, which is much lower overall damage.

-The first idea, 33% less armor, means SoB would still be good vs casters, but it would have no real negative effect on raiding, since most raid damage is magic. I mean, rogues get along fine with leather.

-The second one does a better job of making SoB bad for pvp, but would be kinda bad for pve. However this could be offset by a talent (I like the idea of adding it to Swift Retribution, another pve talent) reducing the AoE damage ret paladins take by 15% or 30% or whatever. Most raid damage is AoE after all.

Straightforward nerf for Exorcism- Make it like Flameshock, where it does some instant damage and then DoT damage. Reduces burst and could even be used to improve PvE damage. Makes sense, I totally burned you with holy power.

Again, these are all only suggestions, not demands. I'm sure there's plenty of ways to get similar results.

Would Retribution still do well with lower burst?

Honestly I don't know. If it does prove to be weak in Arenas because it lacks offensive pressure without the really high burst damage (a very real possibility), then Blizzard might have to compensate with buffs to utility somehow.

We have some great defensive utility, but very little offensive utility that creates pressure. So... the obvious ways to make up for lowered burst would be stuff like a pummel or a snare. But ugh. Homogenization. Although not much else comes to mind right now, I'd rather avoid copy/pasting kick onto Paladins or whatever. But if we had more counters to healers, and lower damage, then things would be a lot more fair in battlegrounds and world pvp etc. vs non-healers.

Maybe you have some ideas? Or let me know what your opinion on the whole post and the ret paladin situation is. I'd love to see some discussion on it, and get an idea of how other people (paladins and non-paladins alike) feel about it. I'm also planning on posting this on the official DPS forums.

And sorry, I know it's a lot of reading, I couldn't seem to condense what I wanted to say any more than this. This is like 2/3 the original length. :| :| :|


Does Azeroth have physics?

| Thursday, April 16, 2009
I mean both the natural laws which govern the world and the science. I like knowing how things work, or at least trying to find out, or read and fail to understand when other people figure it out (quantum physics is crazy stuff).

Are there gravity and momentum? Is there conservation of energy? My theory is that these do exist and the laws can be learned. We can understand the science of the worlds of Warcraft.

But magic, surely that ruins it! I disagree. Magic can be understood as another force or perhaps set of related forces. Does a mage casting fireball violate conservation of energy? At first glance, of course. But doesn't the sun generate tons of energy as well? It converts matter. The mage converts magic to energy. Where does the magic come from? Obviously there's the mana bar. Water restores it, as does just standing around, I guess spirit is like chlorophyll for magic generation, except it works in the dark. Perhaps spirit collects magic which is floating around.

Still, there seems to be a violation. Mana can create water which creates mana which can create energy and at all steps there is an increase. Effectively there can be unlimited energy. Maybe there is no conservation of energy, maybe it truly can be created. After a long time excessive conjuring of energy and matter could destabilize the universe and cause it to collapse under the force of gravity. Why hasn't this happened?

Clearly magic is the balancing element. It is the cosmological constant. This works in other areas as well. How do our absurd flying mounts stay up with so little flapping, never tiring, never running out of fuel? Magic. In the case of creatures like dragons it may be the direct use of magic. For other forms I think it is indirect, taking advantage of the fact that magic has distorted the laws of physics. Look at Outland. It is shattered and should have either drifted apart, started to collapse back together, or the parts should be n some type of orbital pattern. None of these are the case. Perhaps the massive amounts of magic there keep it in check, just as magic stabilizes the universe.

The gnomes are the closest I see to physicists, but even they are more on the engineering side. Their learning appears to be by trial and error, not systematic study. High elves and blood elves seem to have tried studying magic systematically, but problems such as demonic invasions, exploding worlds, exile, and undead invasions seem to disrupt their work. The magi of Dalaran were magical scientists of sorts, at least until everything went to hell and they ended up having to militarize.

Is this futile, to attempt to bring rationality to a magical world? Perhaps. But so much seems futile and yet we still fight on. Is it that hard to imagine a world where someday we can ask why and the answer can be more elaborate than simply: "a wizard did it?"

Why we have memes

When the world is naked, what is fashion? It's the words we say, the phrases we shout. Ultimately fashion is about identity, ranking, and innovation.

New fashions emerge because someone who is someone found some way to dress differently and managed to not look so completely ridiculous that they started a trend. A new subgroup emerges based on it, a new set of identities. Some people wear it and some don't. Those who wear it are the right people, the ones who fit in (though strangely those who don't wear it also fit in, just not with the same group).

Where was I? Oh yes. Memes are internet fashion. Someone thought of something, maybe unintentionally (do you think over Chuck Norris intended to someday compete with Raptor Jesus and FSM?), and it worked; people picked it up and made it another identifier. Knowing Chuck Norris facts and telling them means you are in*. If you don't know the memes? You're out. You look at a conversation and you are confused because you don't even know the foundations of the conversation (I'm using conversation to mean everything from an actual conversation to a thread of nothing but memes).

Look up. See my subtitle? That's a meme, a small one, restricted to the WoW community, and not especially popular. It's an indicator that I'm not quite what I'm supposed to be. I suppose that means I'm the online equivalent of those people that get really weird piercings just so they can confuse you. We're all making statements and if they don't make sense, all the better.

Memes show that you know the right way to present yourself. I find it funny that clothes may be called fashion statements, but only in an imaginary world with no clothes are fashion statements actually statements.

*The Barrens

That was fast.

| Wednesday, April 15, 2009
No more 10k conflags in pvp, thank god. Warlocks seem shocked that this would be hotfixed.

[edit by Klepsacovic]
BREAKING NEWS! GC reveals new balance policy.

Our new policy will be that if any spec or class is ever unbalanced, all other specs and classes will get a one week period in which to be unbalanced just so everything is fair. We hope that if everyone is unbalanced for a period of time that ultimately the game will be balanced. Ponies for everyone!

So who wants to be first?

Uh oh.

What's this? A different writer? Yep. I can't write often enough to do my own blog so for now I'm just saying forget it. Instead I will be posting here, at least for the foreseeable future. For those who don't know who I am at all- Iapetes; 80 Paladin; ; Laughing Skull. The end. I'm not entirely sure how often I'll be posting, but you can probably expect more of a pvp slant from me than Kleps, because I do cool fun stuff (like arenas :D :D :D everyone loves those amirite?) instead of old world content.

It's entirely possible you'll see posts where we completely disagree with each other, as often happens when we talk to each other, so maybe you could say I'll bring a new perspective to the blog? Anyway I'm looking forward to posting here, where I feel there is already something of an established audience and where I dont have to post every 2 days to feel like I'm keeping the blog alive.


ps: Kleps hurt my feelings. I want a squire, but he says its creepy. He just doesn't understand paladins imo.

If you had a leech on your leg...

Would you leave it there? Probably not. I imagine you'd tear it off and step on it. There might be screaming involved.

But consider that when you tear it off some blood will fly off. Isn't that bad? The wound would be pretty gross. These are some arguments in favor of leaving the leeches on. Are you convinced? I'm not. I'd still tear off the leech and know that the blood loss and mark would be a small price to pay compared to the total blood loss and the sight of a leech on my leg.

Look at the merits though. Maybe that leech deserves the blood. It's a surprisingly advanced organism. It took a long of work to get on your arm. Look at the ingenuity of it. The ability to hide in waiting. That is patience and persistence. Why should that not be rewarded? That leech was in for the long term. It didn't just bite the first thing in sight such as a rock or your boot.

The leech put in a lot of work too. Did you know it thinned your blood a bit? That helped keep blood flowing. It had to put in work to get those chemicals into your body, and not just any chemicals, these are specific tools and they work very well. Besides, it's to your benefit. Don't you know that that leech is reducing your chance of a heart attack or a dangerous blood clot?

It's time that pansies stopped bashing leeches. They're hard-working organisms just trying to get by. Don't be critical just because they are successful and you're not. Maybe you could take a page out of their book and stop being so lazy and demanding rewards right now.

Let's review the many positive traits of leeches which are overlooked by the masses:
-Patience and persistence
-Settling for nothing less than success
-Talented and effective
-Prevent dangerous health problems

Removing leeches can be harmful. As we can see it's clearly better to leave leeches as they are and shouldn't disturb them in any way. Without them, what would provide an example for personal success?

What to spec...

| Tuesday, April 14, 2009
I've been flip-flopping on dual specs recently. Prot will definitely be one of them. I like tanking and it's very useful for soloing things that aren't supposed to be soloed. But what about the others?

Easy group invite
Useful for some soloing
I really like long-range judgements

Good for single-target killing
DPS doesn't have so much pressure, but maybe that's just because I'm bad
Hitting bad things is fun

At first I was sure it would be holy. Recently I've been ret and having a lot of fun and my gear has gotten a lot better. Now again though, holy is sounding useful. Still, fun is of highest importance and I don't like paladin healing much. Ret wins.

Now how do I spec with all the changes...

Describe the Aspects of the Game

| Sunday, April 12, 2009
Forum thread started by Crygil.
It's commonly held that there are three or four main segments of the game: Ranged/Melee DPS, Tanking and Healing. What does that mean to you and what defines each role in your mind? If you had to break down each class, and section it into its most appropriate area, where would you place them? After hashing that out, which segment do you fall into and why do you enjoy playing in that segment?

I think it should be broken down even more and isn't even complete yet.

DPS is a combination of dichotomous: melee-ranged and physical-magical. Classes may do more than one of these, though usually with some focus. For example magi are magical ranged while hunters are physical ranged, though with a little bit of magic. Rogues are pure physical melee while shamans are a mix of physical and magical melee, though definitely based around physical.

Tanking is a subset of an overall group role of damage mitigation. Mitigation, aggro, interrupts, and CC are distinct roles.
- Personal mitigation (armor, avoidance, cooldowns)
- Group mitigation (bubbles, armor multipliers)
- Crowd Control, this is the ultimate mitigation because it is often a total damage elimination, at least from one mob.
- Interrupts
- Aggro control, keep aggro off the rogue (low mitigation) and on the tank (high mitigation)

Healing is pretty straightforward: undo damage. In comes in two types: magical ranged and physical melee (bandages).

Buffing some of these overlap due to how stats affect multiple aspects
- Damage increases: more AP or crit or whatever
- Healing increases: SP, crit, healing multipliers...
- Stat increases: Prayer of Fortitude, Arcane Intellect, Blessing of Kings

Did I miss anything?

If I had to pick my favorite role, I'd say mitigation and aggro control. I've argued in the past that healing is the last thing to fail. Healing is the final action, it's the backup plan. Tanking? That's the first thing you do. If no one can survive the hit, you're done. There's nothing to heal and the DPS won't live.

Stand in a small moving room with me and describe yourself

| Friday, April 10, 2009
Sorry, I meant give me an elevator pitch. I did that wrong. My pitch, yes that's it.

An elevator pitch is an overview of an idea for a product, service, or project. The name reflects the fact that an elevator pitch can be delivered in the time span of an elevator ride (for example, thirty seconds or 100-150 words).

This is a toughie.

Well first off, it's definitely WoW-related. My title is. Well, it is if you already know WoW. I suppose that's not too bad of a limitation. Some titles are TERRIBLE out of context. Retribution is at hand? Sounds like a terrorist. Eye for an Eye? Religious fundamentalist or vigilante. Troll Racials are Overpowered? All I can think of is a fantasy-setting racist. I might sound dangerous like other bloggers, but at least I'm only dangerous to imaginary things. That's right, I will bomb YOUR DREAMS.

In other words, I get a free pass because everyone else fails too. Go go weak justifications!

Moving on to the subtitle... Yea that one makes no sense. Or it makes sense in the context of WoW, but it doesn't actually say anything. So that's a slam dunk; perfect description, perfect subtitle. I win! I should write my own guide for this blog improvement thing because I have it nailed. More seriously, it's a silly subtitle which isn't particularly specific. That is also a good fit. While I mostly talk about paladins or experiences while playing my paladin, I couldn't accurately call this a paladin blog unless I increased my self-censorship even more.

Let's see what tomorrow brings. It's really quite convenient timing as for the next few days I won't be able to play WoW, so I'll have a shortage of unimportant events to talk about. I did AQ40, BWL, and MC last night. This allowed me to finish anoher couple AQ quests. Now I need 10 elementium ore. I got two from BWL because no one remembered to remind me to roll it off at the end. Also I now only need the piece of C'thun to complete T2.5, so I figure I'll start a run and just reserve it in advance. I'll also add a strict "you must be able to talk to Anachronos to get the eye" policy, since last night the ML gave it to someone that would need probably 3 more runs. Considering how many people only go once for the achievement, this seems like a source of a lot of waste.

Class: Mathematician

| Thursday, April 9, 2009
During lunch I was describing Shadowflame and someone thought it sounded like a Fibonacci sequence. Then we started thinking, what if there was a mathematician class? It would deal damage and prevent damage using formulas. I'm not sure how this would work exactly, the only methods I can think of would be completely unbalanced.

As you level up you'd learn new formulas. Talents would allow you to combine formulas.

Formulas would act like DoTs offensively and absorbs or HoTs defensively.

Offense: Pick a formula, say, y=x-squared You would then deal damage in the form of 1, 4, 16, 25... (these would be multipliers of SP, say, 10%) and so on until the DoT ends or it is fully countered. To counter a DoT formula, the person being attacked would have to deal damage within a percentage of the next tick. So let's say we get to the fifth tick for 25 against a 1000 SP mathematician, you would need to do plus or minus 10% of the tick before it happens, so 2500 damage tick for 2250-2750 counter.

Obviously this could be very hard to counter if the mathematician is doing much less damage, but there's the strategy of it. Does the mathematician use big formulas which can be quickly countered or does he go for steady low damage which may not be countered before they have added up to a lot? I suppose linear attacks could be pretty difficult. There would have to be some upper limit as well, otherwise a missed exponential attack could be a guaranteed death. Maybe formulas would only be allowed which have self-imposed limits, such as trig functions (no inverses), anything with a horizontal asymptote, or functions which peak and fall, such as negative x-powers.

Defense: The mathematician attempts the reverse of the previous, attempting to create a formula which will nearly match incoming damage. Success will completely absorb the attack and then heal for some amount based on the previous values of the formula. For example, if you see a mage casting pyroblast (yes, he's standing around for 5 seconds) you might start a formula which on the fifth tick (right as the pyro hits) will hit 10,000.

They would also make pretty good tanks. Set up a pair, sine and cosine and you'll be able to absorb a great deal of steady damage, making them incredibly effective in AoE tanking. For bursts they could anticipate and set up a set of formulas which will reach various peaks around the time the damage will hit.

The mathematician would be very hard to learn since you'd have to anticipate just about everything, but if you do it correctly, you'll be nearly invincible... at least until someone does something entirely unexpected.

Yes, it's mostly a joke.

I admit it, I'm scared

| Tuesday, April 7, 2009
I've been saying Naxx is too easy. Not that the intro raid shouldn;t be easy, it that it's even too easy for that. Well Ulduar is coming and at least by what the Blues say, it's going to be harder. That's fine right? It's better to die a few times and actually learn a fight rather than faceroll through a raid. Or is it?

Maybe I've tricked myself. Maybe Naxx is what I want but I don't want to admit that it is what I want. Maybe the challenge of Ulduar will just be a frustration. Will this be my downfall, this requested challenge?


Media influence in video games

You might have heard, years back, how The Matrix caused the shooting at Columbine. Or one of many other claims. They're really all the same. The general theme is that violence, presented to us in a fictional setting, creates violent patterns which carry into real life. In other words, violent media causes violent behavior.

In a more general sense this is used to make many claims about mirroring media. Children imitate their parents and those around them, playing at what they see. People are influenced by the world, but how much?

I wonder how much the community of WoW is influenced by media, the media produced by the community. Do kill videos inspire us to greater heights in PvE? Can a PvP video make us want to step into a battleground? Perhaps a rogue video makes us want a rogue, to be that rogue that we saw. Or maybe the other way around, we want to beat that rogue.

I noticed I was running out of space on my computer, so I mapped out my hard drive (my apologies to more savvy people for whom this term actually means something) to see what was taking up the most space. I noticed some old PvP videos. One was Drakedog, an old warlock (I'm talking when MC was hardcore stuff) who as far as I can tell, helped to popularize the style of seduce-nuking. It's essentially what it sounds like: seduce the target, nuke them, repeat until dead. Watching a short bit of one make me think: "I really miss my warlock." Then I pulled up a paladin video from BC and watched an arena fight. I got the strangest feeling.

I wanted to do arenas. Not just do ten games, but do 20, 30, 40 games, or more. And then watch some matches and see what I was doing right and wrong and figure out everything. Something in my analytical side clicked and I wanted to play WoW 'wrong', not as a game, but as a theorycrafted, over-analyzed, no longer fun hobby. And then I shook my head a bit and remembered: I have barely any PvP gear, I have no team, I have no one who would be willing to play with like that, finding someone like that now would be nearly impossible. My last thought was to power level my dwarf on another server and play with a friend there.

Finally I came to my senses and went back to looking for ways to free up space, settling on compressing raw Fraps videos, since they are gigantic. 1.5gb down to 11mb. Well done.

Something must be done. This potential threat to decent society must be analyzed, figured out, and dealt with. What does it mean for the future of humanity that a couple minutes of a video can push a person almost to the point of committing such a horrible act as playing in arenas?

Bad word of the day: Hard

| Monday, April 6, 2009
What is hard? Or to put it in context, what makes one fight hard and another fight easy?

Overall it tends to come down to relative gear level. That's it. Just about everything in WoW can be beaten through gear, even if the fight is intended to measure something else.

Gear is not hard, gear is a time sink. For example, I think Naxx is too easy. But what would make it harder? The simple answer is to increase boss health and damage by 10%. Boom, harder, right? Wrong. All this does is tell the raid "go do heroics for another couple weeks and come back." It doesn't tell the raid "practice." No, it just says to go get more gear.

Practice and perspective also affect how hard something is. After you've done a fight a dozen times, it's not hard anymore. It's entirely natural and you'll think it's easy. A new player will think it is hard. I'll use this, at least for now, as my standard for hard: something which appears hard at first and gets easier with practice regardless of changes in gear. In essence hard is just a matter of practice.

Ultimately hard is, pardon the word choice, hard to measure. Why? Because we don't just get more practice, we also get more gear. Example time:

This fight killed guilds. It was the last 40-man raid I ever did on my first shaman. We wiped. Many times. It was hard. In contrast, earlier fights such as MC were easy, or at least easier. Domo, Garr, and Rag are the only fights I see as being actually hard, having mechanics which test skill which I'll call a combination of awareness, multi-tasking, and mobility. The rest tended to revolve around certain gear levels or repetitive tasks such as cleansing or decursing. But back to Razorgore.

This fight involves, or used to involve, a high level of skill from the entire raid. It required individuals to do their parts correctly but also the raid as a whole to work well as a single entity. There were people kiting and tanking and DPSing and healing and controlling the orb and any failure in any of those quickly wrecked the situation and led to a wipe. This was a fight which required a lot of practice.

Now though, gear has destroyed the hard part. Well, gear in the general sense of our characters gaining power. 20 levels and much higher stats have made the fight trivial. Now it requires barely any coordination, no kiting, and overall just not much skill. Now it's a simple matter of two people for the orb (one is enough if you're not unlucky), a healer for Razorgore, and some DPS to keep the adds from going after the healer. It is simple. The encounter which was once hard is not simply overgeared. I'd like to also point out that this is an even easier, simpler method than what I used at 70 when we actually had a tank for the adds because then we didn't totally outgear it. But even then, we clearly were overgeared for the encounter because at 60 you didn't have a single tank holding EVERYTHING.

Let's get back to Naxx. Heigan is a bit hard, right? I mean, you can't exactly overgear dancing can you? Well.. you can. Get enough health and powerful enough healers and you could just stand in the green stuff through the entire channel. We could remove the gear advantage and make the splash do a % of health, so two are a kill. But still, enough healing can overcome it. Make it a one-shot? That makes gear irrelevant, but also makes it very unforgiving to the slightest mistake.

Maybe the fight could be done somehow to not allow overgearing. Maybe every fight could be set up to not allow overgearing. But then what's the incentive for better gear? There are fights which don't test gear: vehicles the the absolute case. They tend to bother people though. They say they leveled their class, not a dragon. But is that the real problem? Maybe the true problem is that you can't overgear a vehicle. You can't farm gear and consumables and get through by brute force. I think that bothers people. It's not that they're bad or lazy, at least not innately so, but that over WoW we've been taught: if you can't do it now, get more gear. We don't learn to practice, we learn to overgear. When fights do require practice, like Razorgore, they often kill guilds.

Can it be any other way? If fights can't be overgeared, what is the incentive for more gear? The next encounter? It's likely that if a fight cannot be overgeared, it also cannot be undergeared; your gear doesn't help or hurt you on a vehicle. Maybe there could be the idea I'd suggested of gear caps: setting it so you cannot use gear from this or that raid while pursuing an achievement.
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.

Unfortunately this goes against the progression model which effectively amounts to perpetual obsolescence of everything which came before.

To truly test skill, WoW would have to eliminate gear as a major variable. Doing that would destroy the system which drives all progress past the level cap. In other words: WoW will never be truly hard, you'll just not have the gear for it yet. This doesn't mean that WoW is a bad game. It's been very successful and I enjoy it a lot. We just should manage our expectations.

Urgent! Don't be a jerk

| Sunday, April 5, 2009
So, forum thread.
Basic idea: raid is going for undying, someone intentionally commits suicide and wipes them on KT. I stopped watching after the wipe because I hate listening to vent conversations.

A response in the thread really bothered me.
"Kudos to Evilturkey.
Teaching hardcores that, congratulations, the game you play is still just a game, and shouldn't be taken so seriously."
Wrong. It's not about serious or not. It's not about hardcore or not. It's a simple matter of being an ass. This is really not much different than wandering into a pickup basketball game, grabbing the ball, and stabbing it so it deflates.

"Just a game" does not imply "it's okay to ruin it for everyone else."

Here's another terrible post:
"Whoa dude. You take this game way too seriously. You are saying people who find this funny (I am one of them) are horrible human beings who like to see people hurt?

Wow. You are a freaking loon. I find this funny the same way I found LEEEEERROOOY JENKINS funny although this video isnt anywhere near as funny. You are getting so nerd raged over this video, it screams of deep sided psychological issues.

Have you ever stopped to consider why you care so much about this game? You should reevaluate your behavior. And probably seek some help.

I thought this video was funny, and the fact the people in the guild chat got sooo mad made it even funnier. Now if you'll excuse me Im going to go back to eating kittens."
Again, someone that cannot see that game does not imply totally unimportant and trivial. People invest time in this game. They invest emotion. That isn't bad. It's good, it means it's a great game that it can draw people in so well.

To intentionally screw up something in which people have invested so much, is wrong. It's funny in a cruel way, but it's not funny enough and it's not teaching a lesson. It's just being an ass.

Even if the Leeroy video wasn't staged, it's not even comparable. Sure UBRS was serious business back then, but even still, a wipe there wasn't a huge deal compared to screw with an achievement run that takes hours of near-perfect gameplay.

The fact that things like this happen disturbs me. Are people really this immature and cruel? Or are people so unwilling to see the importance of games? I always thought I was on the casual side, the type that mocks hardcores for min/maxing and thinks they're doing it wrong. But this, this goes far over that line. It's one thing to be semi-anonymously judgmental about how someone else chooses to play when it has no effect on my own play* but to actually go ruin their play is terrible.

[bad person] is a terrible person. It is times like this that I wish WoW had a more tight-knit community, the sort that has the internal strength to hold him accountable and at the least force him to get a new account just to escape what he did. It is terrible that someone can be so horrible and still get away with it. But even worse is that people praise him. He is no grand idealist showing the true meaning of life or even a vigilante fighting for justice when the system fails. He's just an ass and to regard him as someone good** indicates something wrong with the mind.

* Actually it does in the sense that hardcores tend to set a trend for how to play, but that's beside the point.
** This is based only on actions in this video. Perhaps he's actually a magical being who feeds only on joy and happiness which he harvests by bringing puppies to orphans and reveling in their delight.

I think I leak luck

I joined a AQ40 PUG. Afterwards I ran outside and then remembered: I need to check my egg! *click* Holy crap, green proto-drake.


A guildy wanted to do MC. He's trying to get ingots since he got the eye of sulfuron a few weeks ago. Well... no ingots dropped. But another eye dropped. I was about to cry while looting it to the other paladin who wont he roll. Damn you, master looter, and your tempting ability to ninja legendaries.

We decided that since it was so fast we'd try BWL. It was a fairly smooth run, though with some problems related to repeated failures to follow the rule "don't aggro the patrolling drake." Over the run I picked up 4 elementium ore, which is the most I've ever seen. Unfortunately the raid didn't like my idea of "Kelp ninjas all the ore" so we settled on rolling off the ore. But, one of the winners let me keep one of the ore, so yay.

In related news, the AQ40 combined with turnins (I had a lot of rep items) got me to revered with Brood of Nozdormu. That meant I could really start the gates chain. BWL allowed me to complete the red chain. I've only just started the blue and green chains. Azuregos is a weirdo. Overall the quests are incredibly strange and epic in their own special way.

Rage-like mechanics

| Friday, April 3, 2009
They're everywhere. Why?

Let's start with paladins:
SA: Take damage (get healed), gain mana. It's a weird variant of the rage generation from taking damage.
JotW: Deal damage (judge wisdom), gain mana
BoS: Block (dodge, parry), gain mana

Focused attacks: crit, gain energy.
Combat potency: 20% chance for off-hand attacks to generate 15 energy.
Setup: take damage (dodge or resist), gain combo points. This one, as best as I can remember, has been around since pre-BC, at least a year before then. So I suppose it breaks my attempt to create a pattern of new rage-like mechanics. Let's just sweep this under the rug... *sweeps*

Death knights:
Dead damage (use runes), gain runic power.
Anit-magic shell: Take damage (mitigate 75%), gain runic power

Invigoration: gain mana when pet crits
Go for the throat: pet gains focus when you crit
Aspect of the Viper: attacks generate mana

Incanter's Absorbtion: increased spell damage from taking (absorbing) damage
Magic Absorbtion: Mana gain from taking (resisting) damage
Frost Warding: The description confuses me, but somehow you gain mana from people trying to kill you.

Shamanistic Rage: Deal damage, gain mana based on AP

I might have missed some. I definitely stretched some of these a bit. But the trend is there: dealing or taking damage is becoming a normal source of regen. Previously there were three types of regen which operated much differently.
Energy was a constant regen, increased damage came from only increased damage per point spent.
Mana had scaling regen and increased damage could come both from greater damage/mana and from just plain having more mana.
Rage was all over the place, directly scaling with damage stats and also increasing damage/rage with greater stats. It was unique in also scaling with damage taken, due to its dual purpose as a resource for both DPS and tanking.

Why the spread of rage-like mechanics? Well first off, they offer a distinct advantage over pure mana: they last longer, potentially forever. Oh sure if you stand around a while you'll regen mana, but except for strange times like now with loads of regen, mana bars have generally been things which move from full to empty during combat, not the other way.

Isn't this an intended weakness of mana? Well sure, but that doesn't work so well when you try to put it in other roles. SA was critical to paladins having any chance of tanking. They somehow needed a lot of regen (tanking is expensive and the armor has poor mana, even when we had int on tier sets) which wouldn't be too powerful for the healing and DPS roles. SA did that. BoS was added because SA was scaling negatively with gear and while there is a balance to be struck between aggro and mitigation, they were in direct conflict.

JotW was a failure in a way. It was a failure to work within existing mechanics (switching between SoW and a damage seal) to create any type of burn-regen cycle, instead just sticking mana into the normal 'rotation' and declaring it solved.

Rogues? No clue why they got the mechanics. Maybe Combat Potency was to make hit and haste more popular. Maybe it was just to catch the attention of the fabled Rogue with One Dagger. Focused Attacks: it's a crit tree and eventually you can't add any more crit increases or crit damage increases and they already had combo points, so they added energy. Any similarity to rage seems unintended (not to say, "not working as intended", just that they weren't trying to give rogues rage) and ultimately these scaling regen sources still end up being less than the static regen, at least at my poor lowbie rogue's gear level.

Death Knights: I realized that DKs don't really use a rage-like system, it's really more like energy and combo points. Runes are the energy: static regen. Runic power is the combo point: a resource generated by spending energy for some other purpose, potentially scaling with talents or gear but ultimately still restrained by the static part.

Hunters: See ret paladin (except done correctly). Also see rogue (the part about running out of mechanics to add).

Magi, well, they're known for their talents which sound cool but frequently have no practical use. Woo, armor from intellect, they are going to be untouchable to melee! Oh. Well at least the absorb -> SP worked well before they fixed the exploits *cough cough* soloing Military Quarter.

Shamans: See ret, but done better.

I am left wondering something: why do shamans and hunters have scaling regen? This makes balancing much more difficult. Now you can't just lay out a rotation and see what damage it does. Now you have to consider whether they are able to sustain that rotation (scaling goes both ways) or if they're actually expanding that rotation to something more expensive which they can still sustain. It's rage-like and as a result that much harder to model.

Why should I feel bad in this situation?

My troll hunter is running into Tarren Mill to turn in some quests when I catch what appeared to be the climax of a flame war, some sort of attack on the target's vocabulary, ironically using many mispelled words, unexceptional except for their offensive combination. The others responded with fewer words, but still, nothing which I want to read.

My first instinct was to point out the crude words of the first person. But, that seemed unproductive. So instead I hit my question mark button and oh look, report an issue. That sounds just right. The report was something like "I rode into Tarren Mill and so and so was saying 'this' and also these two other people were being offensive as well."

So now I feel a bit like a tattle tale. That strikes me as stupid. I'm not the person being immature here, being offensive in /say. When I say offensive, I don't mean "oh the poor children, they shall be corrupted!" I mean that I don't want to hear that sort of stuff when I'm playing, or at least I want to hear it on my terms, talking with friends, not overhearing bits of childish flame wars.

Of course I don't think kids should have to read that either. This isn't to say that I think WoW should be child-safe, since that would cause some serious problems with my ability to use violence as the answer to almost any problem. However WoW does have some young people. Even if it is rated teen, I don't think teens need any more streams of offensive material. But anyway, this is about me and not wanting to have to hear the constant crap spewed by childish people who cannot think of better ways to express their problems, or even better, just not say anything at all.

The very concept of a tattle tale is stupid. It's a bad thing for children to learn, to think "oh well I shouldn't say anything because that's a bad thing to do." Our world needs more whistle blowers, more people pointing out the bad things we all do. Maybe we'd do them less if there wasn't a society structured around not saying anything.

In unrelated news, an 80 hunter game me a crappy green hat which was less crappy than nothing. His tabard looked interesting so I inspected, and was then surprised to see a red sword of courage. I suppose I should have said something, but I wasn't thinking quickly enough to come up with a polite way to say that it's almost useless.

That wasn't funny.

| Thursday, April 2, 2009
Sorry. :(

Moving on: The Arrchivist was great. The new Terran unit was slightly less great. The forum change make it hard to read, but was a bit funny. The character customization wasn't very funny.

Back to unfunny jokes: it took half a level (granted it was rested and with shoulders) of grinding Sunfury Bowmen to get the Khorium Scope schematic. Just to get me excited and thinking it was a lucky day, the arrow maker nearby which I didn't care much about, that dropped on the second kill.

Oh oh, here's a great joke for you: I have TWO engineers. I'm sorry, that wasn't funny, just crude.

I couldn't get onto the forums all day, it said my account was inactive.

[edit] I logged on to my paladin and saw an unfamiliar mail. It was a letter from someone saying he can't comment, but he's sad to see my blog go. Now I feel terrible. I wish I could go back and not post that. :(

The horrible realiziation

| Wednesday, April 1, 2009
The problem wasn't the title or subtitle or address. The problem was nothing to say. For over a year I've had nothing to say and too much space to say it. In light of this recent discovery, perhaps revelation, I am closing my doors. I don't even have doors to close, just a Firefox window. I guess it makes sense, closing that window means no more posts.

Maybe this is just temporary. Maybe this is just be following a trend again, the latest trend in WoW blogging being not blogging. I'm sure a philosopher would have something to say about that, but I don't. At least it's consistent, right?

I guess, farewell?

I'll let Google take care of the rest.
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