Pst me plz

| Friday, October 30, 2009
Please send tell me please. This makes very little sense. Is this Engrish brought to us by semi-fluent Asians? Nope. This is a phrase used quite often by normal players all over the English servers.

PST was an acronym for "please send tell." It was a quick way to be polite, which is ironic since politeness so often involves not rushing interactions. A combination of time and not paying attention to what words mean has caused it to shift to lose the specific meaning. Now it is a verb, rather than a full phrase for a request. It effectively has the meaning "send a tell to" and is part of the new phrase: pst me plz which can be interpreted as "send a tell to me, please."

In our new world we're seeing language change, as it always does. In many ways this is good. New situations call for new words, new phrases, and new meanings for old words. It would be cumbersome to say "We are looking for one more person for our group for heroic mode Utgarde Keep. This person should be able to survive and avoid damage better than average." Why say that when "lf1m, tank, H UK" says the same?

It doesn't say the same. Not just what we say, but how we say it, affects the perceptions of others. You might have heard "If you say plz because it's shorter than please, then I'll say no because it's shorter than yes." The idea here is "Slow down, use full words, I consider it rude that you cannot fully communicate with me. I'm going to be rude in return." This is entirely the fault of the reader, not the typist. There was no intention to be rude, that was entirely added by the expectations and standards of the reader.

Change itself is not bad. It is not the gutting of a language. It is the natural evolution. Change can be quite good, as in the case of the faster way to look for a tank. It can also be bad when change comes faster than people are learning it, especially when the new words don't add efficiency or meaning. "Pst me plz" adds no efficiency compared to simply "PST" and only adds one meaning: "I don't know/care what PST means."

Here's a list of words that are now used as substitutes for good: badass, sick, bad, sweet, the shit, awesome, fucking awesome, sweet-ass, great, leet, pwnage. I must admit to having used more than one item on that list. Why? None of these add meaning beyond "good" and if the context isn't just right, they can be very confusing as well.

Breaking news on GNOME PALADINS

| Thursday, October 29, 2009
This is official and straight from the Blues.

First off, they're giving in:
"give you gnome paladins just to put a stop to your relentless requests for them."

However they are likely to follow a similar 'evil' path as the Blood Knights, at least initially, as indicated by these straightforward statements:
"Gnomes are evil."

"Cute does not equal good."

And in response to "They are creatures...of destruction" the response was a clear "Exactly."


Don't Panic.

| Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Just think of where you left your towel.

I'm going to be mass-editing posts to add/remove/change the tags since currently they are nearly useless. So if you suddenly cannot find the one post tagged "3.0" I'm sorry. Try "Wrath of the Lich King" instead. In the meantime, try to make due without what must have been a very important post.

Someday I hope to ave such useful tags that I can add one of those cloud widgets. Those look cool.

[edit] Oh, and you might see some really awful posts put up randomly here and there if for some reason you're digging through the archive. That's because I was trying to just work on published posts, but sometimes I'd hit drafts instead, so instead of the publish button applying changes, it instead posts the wrong thing. The result is something that I didn't see fit to post with a very old post date. I suppose the good news is that no one is likely to notice them so my reputation for flawless and inspiring writing will not be tarnished.

A Perfect World

This is a story I wrote for a class recently. The assignment was to write about a perfect world. I took it in a different direction.

The formatting didn't transfer at all from the original copy. I tried many methods and eventually got tired of copying in space symbols just to get some of the original. They would vanish when I attempted to do any editing. After some messing about, I settled on this: center alignment with slightly smaller text. It's the best I could do with limited remaining patience. I apologize for it looking so strange. My goal wasn't to be artistic or anything like that, I just wanted to get things less shoved to the left side.

“Dr. Fritz, you had something to show me?” “Yes! It will be marvelous. Come, come into my lab. Let us see!” This was the usual initial exchange between Drs. Fritz and Folak. For five years they had kept up this pattern. For five years Fritz had brought forth one wondrous idea after another, brilliant and unimaginable, at least to Fritz. In practice they were all useless except to add another entry to the Book of Those Things Which Have Been Found to Not Work. He had several chapter devoted to his research.

“It is only in the preliminary stage right now. I’m working out the details. But it is there; the core idea, the concept to change the world!” This had repeated for five years as well.
“Let me guess: Nirvana, the end of hunger, the thwarting of the apocalypse, the coming of the apocalypse?”
“Of course not. I deal in the real and tangible. The practical. This is the most practical idea I have ever had, for after it, we barely need anything else.” Folak had heard this before as well. After five years of absolute impracticality he could only conclude that his friend was the most skilled pickpocket in the world, for how else could he still have any funding?

“With this we can solve the greatest challenge of humanity. Nature has already bowed before us. Or will soon. We control genetics, we control the weather, we control the very chemistry of the world. All that is left is us. We do not control ourselves. Now, we can.” This was new.
“What are you suggesting?”
“A perfect world! We will conquer the last barrier. No longer will we feel pain or grief or anger or sadness.”
In response Fritz pulled out a globe.
“See here?”
Dropping the globe, Fritz rummaged through his drawers, withdrawing a plastic brain.
“I’m not a neurosurgeon.”
“This is the emotional center. If we remove it, not just with surgery, but at the genetic level. We can tell future generations not to be afraid and filled with negative emotion. After I release this virus it will cure the world!”
“Of course. We still have so many negative emotions, the world would never accept the possibility of such a bright future. We cannot simply offer it to them; we must give it to them. I think it is a great irony that I used a modification of HIV, a virus spread by our base emotion and lust and irrationality, to spread emotionless rationality to the world.”

“It won’t work.”
“You doubt my science?” In truth, Folak doubted everything he ever said, for none of it ever came to anything productive and rarely was it even science.
“I doubt your philosophy. What good is a perfect world if we cannot feel it? If we cannot be happy, what is the point? Maybe we will be more efficient, but to what end? If we cannot feel pain or joy, how can we ever decide anything? We might one day decide that if nothing is good or bad, they maybe nothing isn’t bad.”
“Mass suicide? That’s absurd. The very idea is emotional, irrational.”
“Is it? It is our fear of death, our love of life, which motivates us to avoid death, to stay alive. Without emotion we may simply stand here doing nothing as a beast breaks into the lab and devours us. Without fear or pain, what do we care?”
“Absurd. You’re just being emotional and ridiculous. You are exactly why I had to make it a virus to spread and not just a pill to swallow. The world will not accept this gift, but it must! I will ensure that it does!” He was shaking and very red as he spoke these words. This worried Folak, for Fritz had drawn a small syringe from his pocket.

“In here is the future. A quick shot and the cure will spread to the entire world.”
“Get that thing away from me!”
“You? No it’s not for you. It is for me. I will take this and then I will go to where I can bless the world. I may feel a bit ill though, so I will need you to drive me.” With a quick motion he jabbed the needle into his arm. He shuddered and then slumped slightly. “It is faster than I expected. Take me to the homeless shelter. They will help me to spread it. Quickly, before I become entirely immobile from the transition.”

Fearing for his friend, Folak carried him to his car. Along the way his friend seemed to grow heavier and heavier as he carried himself less and less. Folak felt a warm touch on his arm and saw that the needle wound was bleeding. The blood was on him, on a scar he’d gotten during the previous of Fritz’s demonstrations. He shuddered as Fritz had and loaded him into his car. Starting the car, he began to head towards the hospital to seek help.

As he drove down the road he noticed that it required effort to press the accelerator. Why do that? It seemed pointless. What difference did it make? He didn’t need to go to the hospital. So he sat in his car. Why turn off the car? It made no difference. There was another car in the road, approaching. Why have hands on the wheel? It takes effort to do that. It is easier to lay them on the armrests. He watched as the other car swerved to avoid the now-veering car with the doctors. It was too slow. Folak didn’t care either way, but he did have some curiosity. What does death feel like? He didn’t like or dislike it. It simply was.

The Line

| Tuesday, October 27, 2009
I intended to not comment in my thread about being a social. I read the comments but did not response. Some people said my post was distasteful, others liked it. Ideally everyone would have read it and it would have been brilliant and I'd have gotten the Nobel Prize instead of Obama. But obviously that's not realistic, so instead I'll be glad that people disagreed but still felt they could respond. And their comments are still there.

I do want to respond to one comment though. It struck me as excessively wrong.
The more distasteful the bashing of Gev, the more I support it. I really hope that someone IRL kicks his ass and spits in his face.

Many may find me to be crossing the line, but in this world some people just deserve it, similar to how all those M&S deserve being taken advantage of and made fun of in return.

As I will talk about in an upcoming post on my other blog, our online selves do not match our real selves. I dislike Gevlon's online self. But his real life self I cannot dislike. I know nothing about it. Maybe they are the same, but I do not know that and I will not sink to the level of attacking people based on how they act in this virtual realm. This is why the comment bothered me: it crosses the line between real life and the internet.

The internet is free speech. It is here that we can say what we want to say without threat of repression. Here we can have the purest exchange of ideas; idea vs. idea in a massive virtual war of ideas. In a situation of only ideas, might does actually make right. But once you bring real life into it, then you bring in all the forces which crush free speech: intimidation and retribution for unwanted ideas. I value this freedom. My country was founded partly on the ideas of freedom (also personal power for the local elite, but that's another story and much less inspiring) and we fought to protect our freedom and rights. Then we wrote them down and promptly started trading them for illusions of security, that's for another time.

It's also uncivilized. There are a few times when the correct response to words is violence. The world would be better off if someone had put a bullet in Hitler's brain when he started screaming about Jews. That is a time for violent response. This is not. Arbitrary violence has no trial or defense or any other recognition of human rights. It is simply violence.

Violence of this sort, an emotional reaction to a negative idea, is part of the problem with the world. Look at so many states in Africa or Asia or South America: shitty places. Violence is the norm, civil wars never end, leaders rise and fall on waves of bullets. Violence begets violence and suppresses the flow of ideas. If you don't like an idea, beat it with a counterargument, show the flaws, show that it is a terrible idea which should never be thought ever again. But don't be violent. That does nothing to disprove the idea.

99.99999% of people in the world are fairly decent. They are sometimes dumb as individuals, though sheer numbers mean that in a given second thousands of people will have done something incredibly stupid. You too. And me. And the commenter, as we can see from his comment. Stupid happens. To lord it over others, to attack them, is to set yourself up. Everyone will fall sometime. Don't stand there laughing because you're not going to like it when you trip and someone else laughs.

No one deserves to be exploited. Not even stupid people. Especially since you cannot accurately determine intelligence. If you think you can, you're either a very rare person with a lot of training, expertise, and experience; or an idiot. Odds are in favor of the latter.

You know why intelligence is still being debated? It's really fucking hard to measure. Cultural factors, language, age, diet, mood, season, lighting, all sorts of stuff can influence tests. No measure is perfect. Practical measures like employment or salary are inaccurate. What we tend to think of as stupidity is most often a set of other factors: different priorities or ignorance. If you claim that 99% of the world is horribly ignorant, I will agree. If you claim they have different priorities and goals, I will agree. If you say they're stupid, you need to think more before you speak.

Up until now I've been pretty happy with comments on my blog. They've not all been positive towards me, but they have been positive in the sense of being honest and not incredibly stupid. I've been blessed by having almost no trolls or e-thugs posting. Maybe it's the nature of my blog: small audience, not jumping into major controversies for the most part, and I try to avoid trolling. Maybe I've wandered into a horrible new territory of e-thugs and trolls and uncivilized people of all sorts. I hope not.

TL;DR: If you are violent on the internet, then you are restricting free speech and therefore I support violence against you. If you call other people stupid, then you're probably in a temporary state of stupidity and should stop talking for a while. Neither Gevlon no the M&S deserve to be attacked or exploited. Don't be a douchebag.

Isn't it amazing how things sound completely absurd when you summarize them? I try to keep summaries accurate by having that absurdity in the original post so that nothing is added or lost.

The Insane

| Monday, October 26, 2009
After much making of spreadsheets and trying numbers, I decided that 10,000 kills outside Ratchet didn't sound like much fun. Nor did 1500 kills outside Gadgetzan. So I did what anyone else would do: stopped.

Okay I lied. I instead started running Dire Maul. Each key drop means 250 rep for all goblin cities. Each tannin can make a suit which is 75 rep each. Unfortunately I'm short on leather. Rune thread comes from a vendor and I get more than enough cloth for my tailor to make bolts. I can get around 6 leather per run from looting the supplies he leaves behind, which will add up to quite a bit.

By my current estimate, I need to free Knot about 60 more times along with making ogre suits as I get the tannin. That is a minimum of one per run, but I can get up to three if I'm lucky.

I have the terrible suspicion that this is the easy part. I don't know where to even start with the elf rep and darkmoon. My rogue will have to empty her bags to get ready for mass-pickpocketing. I might respec for the higher movement speed and shorter stealth cooldown just so I can efficiently steal-kill, steal-kill.

Damn you, new template

| Saturday, October 24, 2009
It appears that when I switched to a new template, it wiped out the tracking code for Google Analytics. Oops. I finally thought to actually check for it after a few too many days of assuming that Google was having some sort of problems. I suppose the fact that my other blog had no problems at all should have been some tip-off. This might be premature, since I don't actually know yet if it's working. I'm going off my inability to find the code and the stunning coincidence that I stopped getting data the same day I switched templates.

Why am I still up? Damn you, Jabba and your weird food demands that make me fly all over the desert. On that note, I'll be writing a review of sorts of Star Wars Galaxies, with the disclaimer that I'm still only level 22 and I think it goes up to 90. When possible I'll try to focus on stuff that isn't directly related to the actual content (since we all know how much that can change just by hitting the cap).

Your biggest fail

| Friday, October 23, 2009
My my biggest fail is hard to pick, but I still remember a certain arena match. One person was low and I planned to BoP him to buy time. The other team also had someone low, within execute range. We were going to have a good shot at winning. Then I accidentally put BoP on the warrior, so he couldn't attack, which gave time for his target to get healed up. Meanwhile my other teammate died. One misclick lost the match.

What is your biggest fail?

Yesterday's Fail in Star Wars Galaxies

| Thursday, October 22, 2009
A few days ago I downloaded the demo of SWG. Since then I've gotten to level 13 and had quite a bit of fun. It's a whole new world and a whole new set of rules. There's also been a lot of fail both by me and by the game.

The graphics are at that awkward spot of trying to be realistic but not being able to, so things look a bit weird.

The interface is pretty awkward. Doubtlessly some of this is because I'm used to WoW and I'm still so new. But third person shooter is a strange way of handling combat and makes movement feel strange. To get to menus you have to switch from crosshairs to cursor (alt for me). Combat is strange as well since there's no auto-attack, and mobs like to move around, so you'll find yourself trying to track a target and shooting the unaggroed mob behind it.

On the subject of aggro, I'm not sure how it works in space flight. I'd expect to take on maybe 5-10 enemies, 15 if it's really hard, with only a handful of elites. Somehow I'd end up flying slightly too far and next thing I have seemingly unending fighters attacking me. Escort quests in space are worse than the worst in WoW. Imagine if instead of getting dazed while running over to them, you instead get your rear shields knocked out and your hull is getting shot apart.

But let's talk about me and my failure. Since I'm unfamiliar with the game, I have no ability to quest stack (where are the marks on my map? I'm so lost), which isn't helped by the often vague quest description before you accept it. I did a lot of rekilling the same mobs, 2, 3, 5 times.

I play a spy which is a bit like a rogue. I can complete some high up group quests just by sneaking past enemies. Go me. This also means that since I have no trail of corpses/empty areas (looted corpses despawn), I can get lost easily. Last night I decided to use my speeder to fly out of an area. Then I get turned around and when I finally found the exit, my speeder blew up. It was over 3 kilometers to the nearest non-Imperial town. Oh right, I'm a Rebel, which was probably a bad idea so early on. I got shot a few times by patrols in Mos Eisley.

Death isn't a trivial matter like in WoW. I might have it lucky, since if I get incapacitated, I can stealth the instant I stand up. Others probably just get shot again and then die and have to be cloned.

I have no idea how the Chronicler sub-profession works. I find fragments and put them together and put them in a collection and they tell me to kill stuff, but I don't know how to access them again.

To go off topic though, I want to point out some of the good things.

Player housing: There are suburbs around the main cities. It makes it feel more like players are actually in the world when they can change it, if just a little piece. This does come at the cost of vast empty spaces between cities and quest spots. I think the extra travel time is worth it though; everything in WoW seems too close anyway.

Crafting: I've not gotten into it much yet, but it appears that a lot of the economy is player-driven. My new speeder was made by a player. While I was at the bazaar I also saw housing deeds, X-wing schematics, and extremely expensive flowers to put in houses.

Helpers: Players can flag themselves as helpers. Maybe the average player would answer newbie questions anyway, but it's very nice to know that there are people who are basically asking to help. It was from a helper that I found out that I buy a new speeder from the bazaar (auction house). Until he helped I was running around trying to find a NPC.

Sadly, I don't know if I can play two games at once. I've considered buying the disks and then using one of the free emulator servers. But those are legally questionable. They are entirely self-written and don't even emulate the current version of SWG, but still, I'm a worrier. If only there was a different subscription type: Second MMO. This would have time restrictions but cost less. I would definitely upgrade my account if it was only $5 a month. Maybe even $10.

Failed Quests

| Wednesday, October 21, 2009
What happens when you fail a quest? You drop it and try again. Nothing lost. Maybe you died. Overall, no big deal.

It's boring. There's no impact. It's a slight inconvenience. Oh noes.

Permanent failure would 'fix' that. Fix being in quotes because it wouldn't be worth the loss of fun. Imagine the horrible mob grinding if you ran out of quests. No thanks.

What if failure meant something more than just failure? Failure could open up different quests. But again, this means restricted content and the potential for people failing just to see the quests.

How about fixing our mistakes instead? Failure might mean dying and then you must fix your mistakes in the spirit world. Lose here? Try again, over there.

Or maybe after a dozen failed and retaken quests, you're sent to cleanse your spirit. It is revealed that the failure did have a negative impact and you must correct that in yourself. You'd need to complete this quest to advance further, but it would give XP to compensate for the slowed leveling and so it feels less like a barrier and more like an opportunity.

Too often death and failure are entirely trivial. We can barely notice them sometimes. This isn't good for learning. Death and failure should matter and be noticed. But permanent failure and XP less/debt like in other games are not the solution. Those only encourage us to do the most trivial possible tasks in order to avoid losing.

Using the wrong mats

| Tuesday, October 20, 2009
The overall idea is to give the option to use higher or lower level mats for crafting than what are called for by the recipe. These would allow for greater variety in crafting but would come with the risk of failure during crafting.

I will use blacksmithing for examples since it fits best with the idea, but this could be applied to any profession.

Let's look at Shining Silver Breastplate. It has a very nice stat layout, great for plate DPS leveling. But alas, you're short on iron and you couldn't wear it yet anyway. What to do? Try using bronze to craft it. You'll end up with worse stats, and you might fail, but you'll get a product you can use. Or maybe you're a high crafter trying to get business from a lowbie.

We could work in the other direction too. Again, you see a low chest with good stat layout, but it's so low that it's not useful anymore. Try using higher mats such as mithril. It might fail, but if it works, you'll have a better chest than you might get from quests or instances. And, if it does work, you'll gain more skill than you would from crafting an item normally. This might mean orange chances for a green craft or two points for an orange craft.

Additional mats could also be mixed in to add some additional properties, though also at risk of failure and with some tradeoff of stats. Mix in air for greater agility at a loss of armor. Fire might add a reactive proc, which might hit you instead. Water would add mana and health regen, but the rusting would lower agility. Earth would add strength and armor at the cost of move speed. Shadow, oh who knows what horrible stuff it might do. Almost anything could be added to a craft to change the result, but admittedly the majority would have negative effects (don't add deeprock salt to your copper bars) with only a few percent of additives even giving a tradeoff of stats. Sometimes the tradeoffs would be situationally useful.

I want to see crafting while leveling. However failure would increase the chance of successful crafting, and the chance and size of skillup from the crafting. Failed armor pieces would range from having vastly inferior stats (white quality) to trash, but failed pieces could be deconstructed to recover mats. Resmelt metals, unstitch cloth and leather. The idea is to make crafting not flood the player with items which are mostly useless except for the vendor and so it feels less spammy. In practice you'll still be trying to make a dozen copper chests, but you won't be making a dozen; many will fail, as you'd expect when learning. The mat recovery and skill modifiers are so that failure is a learning method rather than just a waste of mats.

This idea of failure being another path of progression will come up in the quest post as well. I am surprised that WoW has managed to do so much to make failure less painful, but so rarely does it add any benefits. It wasn't until the tri-bug fight in AQ40 that "doing it wrong" had any significance besides death and even then, it was only with hardmodes in Ulduar that 'failure' became something significant: "Who talked to the defense projection!?"

Molten Core 2.0

| Monday, October 19, 2009
This will be the Week of Fail.

Today I will talk about Molten Core. Tomorrow will be crafting wrong. Wednesday I will cover melee hunters and their type (different from today's hunter rambling). I don't know what I'll do the next couple days, which I guess fits with the theme.

This is a story of many failures. Let us begin, we have a lot of material to cover.

There my hunter was in Outland, shooting demons. Suddenly everything stopped working. I'd run out of ammo. Melee time! And so it was that I stabbed down a little demon and hit 60. It seemed appropriate.

It was time for an exotic pet. I pulled up wowhead and searched for choices. Chimera: No. Devilsaur! The last time I run into one, I killed it and used it to make crappy gloves. The time before that, I shot it with a failure of a tranquilizer dart and nearly died. No. Silithid! And so it was that I flew to Silithus and tamed a new pet.

It eats corpses, shoots acid webs, and never stops twitching.

My priest has Benediction/Anathema. Why? Because she's a priest. No proper priest doesn't have it.

In the same line of reasoning, my hunter needs the leaf. I start a MC raid and start killing. Then I remember my hunter and we go to summon him. That's when I remember he's not attuned and we have no warlock, so he's not going. Ah, fail, will you ever fail to disappoint?

But let's talk about MC itself. Clearly it has a lot of fail. Too much trash and extremely repetitive trash; core hound packs anyone? Some boss mechanics are cool, but there's a lot of cleanse/decurse spam and more than one fight in which the raid needs non-trivial amounts of FR. The loot system is terrible with excessive reliance of the RNG.

What if Blizzard redid MC? Or let's look at it another way, what if they made MC now?

Trash: More variety. Slower respawns. I don't know if they'd maintain the link to the bosses. Personally I think it's a cool idea.

Water: This would go away.

Bosses: I'll go by each one. Overall I will try to leave the general mechanics in place while reducing the dispel/decurse spam.

Lucifron: I'd leave it mostly as is. The curse would only hit a couple people at a time rather than raid-wide. The magic debuff is reasonable now that we have mass dispel.

Magmadar: No change now that tranq shot is baseline.

Gehennas: Less curse.

Garr: Retain the banishing, but set up the mechanics so that only a couple have to be banished. They would have an aura which increases their damage, requiring them to be divided up and spread out to reduce the overlap. Banish would negate the aura, making it a hand damage reduction. Garr would no longer spam dispel magic.

Baron Geddon: The burn would hit fewer people.

Shazzrah: Reduce his damage for a second after teleport so that DoTs don't cause him to one-shot casters. Less cursing.

Sulfuron: Leave as is.

Golemagg: Leave as is.

Majordomo Executus: Reduce the number of adds to accommodate fewer tanks.

Ragnaros: Obviously it's going to be a fire-heavy fight but I don't want it to turn into a resist fight. Maybe it could be shadowfire, so you'd need to stack two stats to negate it and therefore it becomes impractical.

The attunement would be removed. Instead the elf would give some quests for inside and also have some lore dialogue about what we face and why we want to kill it (think Karazhan). While BRD does explain a lot of the MC lore, if someone skimped a bit there they'd have no understanding of MC. The Hydraxian quests would be changed as well, perhaps by making the NPC teleport people to relevant locations and making use of that airport nearby. I'd add in Brann Bronzebeard to would send us to the Hydraxians along with generally being awesome. Also the gnome from UBRS would make an appearance.

Loot would use concepts. First, updated like Onyxia's. Second, bosses would drop multi-class tokens to be turned in. Each would drop a specific slot as they do currently. There would be no legendaries, but there would be some slightly more powerful epics obtained from long quests, imitating those of TF and adding some lore to HoR.

None of you exist

| Saturday, October 17, 2009
Based on comments, some people were unhappy with my previous post. Apparently they took it to be a direct attack on someone. Sounds like some sort of irrational social though process. But if by chance you do know someone who sounds like my theoretical blogger, I am sorry that you have been exposed to someone so terrible.

Regardless, the comments I received are entirely invalid for one simple reason: no one actually read the post. Protest all you want, but the facts are against you. There were a total of 1 viewer over the past few days. There were not enough people to account for the 4 unique commenters. Direct following and posting without actually visiting the page do no account for the gap since the names do not line up.

From this can I reach only two possible conclusions.
1) You and your comments are figments of my imagination. I shall call you 'Maginary Speakers, but it doesn't matter since you are imaginary.
2) The internet has achieved consciousness and is now attempting to communicate with me by directly altering itself. Of the two possibilities, this is the more likely since Ayn Rand claims that I directly interact with reality and therefore am not imagining things.

In light of this revelation, I greet you in peace, entities of the internet. I hope we can have a mutually prosperous relationship. Do you know by any chance if Google Analytics is bugged and not displaying viewers?

I wonder what I'd do if I was a social

| Friday, October 16, 2009
By social I mean an anti-goblin: stupid and lazy and incapable of measuring myself, instead requiring the constant attention and approval of others. I would have no analytical skills, instead relying on personal biases and whatever data confirms what I already believe. I would definitely make no attempt to see the rationality of anyone who holds a differing opinion.

To start off, I'd create a blog. I'd give it a catchy name. Maybe use some alliteration. Since I'm a WoW player I'd focus a lot on WoW, so I'd use some sort of Wow race for the title.

What sort of subject matter would work? Well since I'm insecure and need to always find others to make myself look better than, I'll pick something related to gold. It's perfect! Gold isn't hard to get, so I can get a lot of it. And I can insult people who have less and call them stupid and lazy.

But I don't really want to farm. That's a lot of work. And if I farm, other people might buy my stuff and make profits from it. Then they might have as much gold as me. I can't have that. Instead I'll play the auction house, messing with prices to drive people away so I can monopolize the market. They won't fight back because they're stupid and lazy and think they have better things to do than analyze the economy.

Once I have gold I'll talk about it a lot. Then everyone will know how great and superior I am. If people don't notice me, I'll find popular blogs and start flame wars with them. That way I'll get the attention I need. Soon thousands of people will see me insulting them.

To make it seem more important than just a WoW blog, I'll make social commentary as well. But it will be the same stuff all the time: insulting total strangers and calling them lazy. It's hard work to think of anything new. Of course I won't talk only about the economy and insulting people. I'll insult people in any other way I can find.

I shall call it the Driven Draenei.

P.S. I'd also start off my posts with completely inaccurate claims on the etymology of words and then edit it without saying anything. 1984 is the best self-help book I have ever read.

I bet other people don't have this problem

| Thursday, October 15, 2009
I managed to win head of Onyxia in 10-man with a roll of 88. Awesome, right? Sure, for a normal person. They'd look at the rewards and evaluate them.

Ring: Good for caster. Or not. I have no clue about caster stats. I'd not use it because I'm 99% not holy.
Neck: Clear upgrade, about 50 DPS higher, which is about midway between my current and BiS. Any sensible person would get the neck.
Trinket: I don't need defense, parry is expensive for the benefit, and health/5 is crap.

But that's the thing, the trinket has such weird stats that it becomes appealing. It's like a car crash. You just can't look away. You should keep driving, but you also want to watch it and then watch in the mirror and really you'd rather pull over and take a closer look.

What to do...

Useful or ugly? Useful or ugly? Function or form?

The goblin in me says to take the neck. The idiot in me says to see what happens in this week's ToC and if I win the neck (or the second place one) then I'll get the trinket. If not, well damn, I'm not sure what I'd do. The other voice says the other voices are after me. Then there's this whisper: "It's a game, not a bridge, don't worry so much." The last one worries the most because I was never in structural engineering.

Tuesday seems to be the say to sell gems. Wednesday, not so much. I should start getting resilience cuts, I imagine those would do well on Tuesdays when all the arena people get their new shinies.

Being Helpful

| Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Today I ran into a helpful person.

He insulted my intelligence/ability to play and created excessive complication in addition to failing to listen to directions.

I say I'll do kings. I see there's a holy paladin, so I tell him wisdom. The third paladin gets might.

The holy says in raid that he has imp might and wisdom. So what? He's already assigned to wisdom and the ret has imp might.

The ret paladin decides to be helpful and says he'll do kings. I tell him not to overcomplicate shit: in other words, I have it set up, don't fuck it up by trying to be creative. He protests that the other paladin has imp might and he'l help me with kings if I miss anyone.

Help me. To buff 10 people. With one blessing. What the fuck? I'm sorry, did I start this raid by emoting that I was drooling on my keyboard and had a Lego stuck in my nose?

On top of that, why the fuck is he 'helping' me when his 'helpfulness' is just causing the other paladin to have to do more blessing and of two types? How the fuck is this helping? It makes my job exactly no amount easier and makes the other paladin's job harder. He sarcastically said something sarcastic about me being the raid leader. I wasn't, I was just the person getting the blessings organized, also known as typing three straightforward sentences to make everyone's life easier).

Apparently he pulled 1.8k on the fire guy. His defense? He was using seal of command and he had to move a lot. I asked why he was intentionally using an inferior seal (this isn't an AoE fight). He couldn't even give an understandable response like "I didn't notice." It was "I don't know." What the fuck? Also, what movement is there on that fight that would at all impair melee DPS? You pretty much stand in one place except for when you move five feet to get out of a fire. You can face the boss 100% of the time and do DPS 100% of the time. There are no lightning novas, add switches, or -hit clouds to stay out of. You stand there and sometimes move to the side.

Upon inspecting him his gear was a little bit low, but not the wrong stats. He wasn't stacking SP or anything like that, it just wasn't high quality and he was missing some enchants and gems. He had divine intellect for some reason, taking that over imp SoV or PoJ or pretty much any other talent which would have been more useful in PvE or PvP.

I must admit, I did not help my noob today. He did not seem to want to be helped but instead preferred to leech gear off competent people. I don't mind that his gear was low. We could have survived without him. I do mind that he was a fucking idiot and the int talent wasn't helping.

Shit. Did I just write a whole post insulting some random noob I ran into? God, I'm turning into a sociopathic douchebag now. Combine that with the economy posts and I might as well start offering to ghostwrite for Gevlon.

You just don't understand us!

Okay, done with the emo title. This is loosely in three parts. First, an explanation of enchanting as a crafting profession. Second, telling enchanters to fix their message. Finally in the third part I just spam "We're not trying to keep all the shards to ourselves" over and over.

Enchanting is a crafting profession.
I ran into this recently: "From what I understand, Enchanters want disenchanting to be a 100% gathering profession just like Herbing, Skinning, and Mining."

This is not true.
We are crafters. We're a bit like tailors in that we do things in two major stages. We start with a raw material for which we have no major use: unwanted gear or cloth. That is turned into an intermediate product which can be traded and sold more readily. We can then turn the intermediate product into the final: cloth armor, bags, and enchants.

We are not a gathering profession and we don't want to be one. We are crafters.

We don't want all the shards. We don't want your shards. We don't want all the BoPs.

All we want is for our crafting (disenchanting) to be recognized for the value it adds and fairly compensated. Unfortunately the WoW society does not even recognize that we are crafting and adding value and so it gives it no value and no compensation. It is taken for granted.

Is it really so unreasonable to want people to not take our crafting for granted?

Enchanters, stop making stupid comparisons.
As a followup to that, I have a message for enchanters:
Please avoid ridiculous comparisons to mining and skinning. Those create materials from where there was effectively nothing without the profession. Those are gathering professions.

Enchanting, or as we seem to specifically care about, disenchanting, is not a gathering profession. There are no shard nodes or dust herbs.

Disenchanting is a form of crafting. It takes one item (an unwanted piece of gear) and turns it into another, potentially more valuable item (shards and dust). We add value. Maybe a BoP vendors for 5g but can be turned into a 10g shard. We added 5g of value.

This is not much different than tailors turning cloth into bolts which can be sold for more. Both take items off corpses which are of some minimal value at a vendor and turn them into something useful for crafting.

So please, stop comparing disenchanting to gathering. It is crafting. That is why people want to be paid for it, it is a service.

But they're rolling on my stuff!
I keep seeing things like "what other profession has people rolling on its items?" No one is stealing products from enchanters. The shards aren't ours. The BoP that we won the greed roll on is ours. The shard we get from it is ours. The BoPs that other people win greed rolls on are theirs and if we choose to DE them, the shards are theirs as well. If we pool the BoPs and give them to the enchanter and he DEs them, the shards are not his, they are still to be rolled among the group. The enchanter is within his rights to not join the pool and to not DE; as he is within his right to join the pool and to DE. He is free to request compensation for his service, but people will be surprised by it and likely get pissed off and call him greedy, which is ironic.

I don't want all the shards (okay, I admit, I do, but that's not my goal). I only want people to recognize that disenchanting is a crafting skill and to compensate it as they would any other crafting. For some people that means nothing and to that I say "Screw you."

For my own part, I plan to write a macro to say this when I lead groups: "If there is an enchanter in the group, I will pay 5g for every BoP that you DE for the group. I would appreciate it if the rest of the group chipped in to pay for it. If there are too few shards for the gold, I will give the extra to whoever didn't get a shard."

Sorry to keep bringing this back up, but I feel like there's widespread misunderstanding of what is going on and who owns what. 'Soon' I'll have a totally different disenchanting post which will be about an alternative way to DE. It will focus on the profession itself to perhaps make it more interesting and will not be related to the recent discussions/arguments/flame wars about the new rolling option.

Thoughts on appearance

Give them to me.

I'm sick of my blog being so painfully dull to look at, so I'm experimenting with some different schemes. Nothing flashy, just, something to help me retain the blood that is currently in my eyes.

The current template, I like the coloring and shape and all that, but I don't like the arrows all over the place. Why are there arrows everywhere!?

I'm also thinking of having a picture for my title. Here I have a problem: I'm not much of an artist. Maybe I can find a decent picture somewhere and get permission to use it.

Hybrid for a minute

| Monday, October 12, 2009
Last night on Yogg-Saron we were having trouble. We're still learning the fight and people are making mistakes. Things don't go as cleanly as they should.

So we're in phase one and the tanks end up overwhelmed with mobs. They weren't dragging the low one. Sounds like a job for... Ret Paladin! I put my plate to use (shame it's not all plate), taunted the loose add (it was the low one) and dragged it to Sara. Boom next to her.

I nearly died in the process. But I didn't! It worked. For about 10 seconds I was a hybrid. I was a paladin who specializes in damage rather than a damage-dealer who happens to be called a paladin.

I wish this happened more often, but without the wipe afterward (which was not caused by my actions; if anything I slightly delayed it by not having another one exploding in the raid).

After that I felt totally awesome. Then I pressed release spirit and spacebar to get my ghost gryphon in the air towards Ulduar.

In inscription news, it's tricky finding profits anywhere. I have found some bits of gold, but there's rampant dumping. I suspect it's a combination of herbalist-scribes who think mats are free if they farm them (so they don't charge anything comparable to the herb cost) and goblin wannabes (ho think they can somehow drive away the first group by losing all their gold too.

I just sit back and grab the occasional ridiculously low-priced glyph to resell when they all get bored/poor and leave. The consistent sellers are the discovered glyphs which so far are being undercut less, spammed less, and most importantly: are desirable enough to actually be bought.

I'm experimenting with not feeding my scribe any mats, so he has to work off only what he can buy and sell. So far he's scraping by as I learn more. It's a fun experience.

People are buying runed cardinal rubies again, but for much less than earlier. Still, profit is profit.

A stable server economy would be so boring.

When Rawr crushes your soul

| Sunday, October 11, 2009
I get it, my wrists and gloves aren't the best. I've just not seen anything better dropping. Still, I wondered what I could do with some badges. If I could find something with hit, that would work since I'm pretty far under the hit cap. If I could ditch those gloves, that would be great. The bracers would be even better, since I'm way over the expertise cap from the combination of new legs and the SoV glyph.

So I pull up the vendors and Rawr and go checking. Damn. I already wear leather boots and a chest, but now it's saying that mail gloves and wrists would be a major DPS upgrade. I don't mean 20 DPS, I mean 50 DPS for for wrists and 70 for gloves. I hate to go under plate, but mail's not too awful, and that's a lot of DPS to lose just for my pride.

Tonight is ToC, I wonder if I'll replace them in 9 hours. Hopefully! Maybe it would make sense to wait until after the raid to buy, but I didn't feel like dragging down the raid just to save a handful of old badges. I still feel a bit awkward with ret DPS, I don't need to make it worse with sub-par gear. Besides, I've only seen one of these supposed plate DPS upgrades that Rawr claims are in ToC. Those were gloves off Anub'arak which went to a DK. That's not a complaint, there's no way I should have gotten them.

It's times like this that make me look forward to the elimination of AP on armor. I wonder how Blizzard will balance the plate DPS when they find out the DPS gain we'd been getting from using other armor for better stats.

Why is it that only after I've enchanted my gloves I realize that the pyro rocket is supposedly the highest DPS 'enchant'? I'll have to fix that before the raid.

People like this ruin WoW

| Saturday, October 10, 2009
Gabe (yellow shirt)

I know the comic is a bit old now, sorry about that, but the insight only came about two minutes ago.

Trivializing upgrades

| Friday, October 9, 2009
Remember when epics were epic?

It wasn't that they were hard to get. It wasn't that they were rare. It was that they were clear, significant upgrades and they tended to last a while.

Now we have a dozen heroics which give badges with which we can buy better gear. We have multiple raids which could potentially give upgrades. The sizes of upgrades appear smaller, since they're not so clearly separated. There are differences of around 15 ilevels between different areas. This means you're going to see lots of upgrades. Any slot has a dozen different upgrades of varying size. The result is that upgrades are not major steps up, but more marginal. 180 DPS weapons to 200 to 220 to 230 to 250 and so on.

This has a good side: you can get better gear without needing extraordinary amounts of luck. You're not going to run ToC for six months and never see a weapon or tier piece. Maybe you won't get the drop you really wanted, but the odds aren't bad that you'll get something better in some slot.

The downside is that upgrades lose some of their thrill. It went from winning big now and then to constant small changes. There just isn't as much magic in that. It's a savings account which will eventually have a million dollars compared to winning the lottery. The first is the better idea for a life plan, but for a game? In a game I want thrills, however irrational they might be. It's a game after all, not life.

What is to be done? I'd wipe out every other ilevel jump, bumping the gear at that level up or down. The problem with this is that Blizzard has two concepts which oppose it: alternate progression and rewarding bigger groups. We can't bump the 5-man up a tier and we can't bump 10-man up to 25-man level. But we can't just knock 5-mans and 10-mans way down because there is meant to be alternative progression, to get somewhere even with smaller groups. The result is a lot of baby steps of gear.

What would I do? I'd knock away the "bigger groups automatically get better" philosophy. Is it harder to organize bigger groups? Sure. So what? It's also harder to get gems and consumables on low pop servers, but you don't see higher level drops for them. As a compromise, make larger raid sizes drop more gear, slightly past the ratio of 25/10 group sizes, so they are faster gear but not better. This way to gear up faster, you run more content but to gear up better, you do whichever size suits you best.

The goal isn't to make loot more rare but instead to make it more significant. We'd still see multiple ways to obtain loot, but the loot itself would be more clustered in quality. The overall effect would be to make the current tier of loot last longer, but when you do get to the next, it will be more significant. This would happen just as fast as currently, maybe even slightly faster (since the middle gear was moved up or down), it would appear as if there was less gear because the middle steps would be gone.

The problem with disenchanting

| Thursday, October 8, 2009
We don't treat it the same way we treat other profession activities. Even enchanters don't look at it properly.

To start off, stop with the silly comparisons to rolling on mining nodes. That doesn't work at all. The node has zero value without a miner. The drops have value without the enchanter. The miner creates value from 'nothing' while the enchanter adds values to something.

What does the enchanter do? They convert them into something with more value. This is what all professions attempt do. They take cloth or bars or gems and turn them into something more valuable than selling the mats to the vendor.

Somehow we got the idea that enchanting is different. We got the idea that just because they are in the group that they are obligated to use their profession for our benefit, at no benefit to them. Ever seen someone tip an enchanter for DEing at the end? I never have. How often have you seen an enchanter not even get a single shard? I have pretty often. They add value an get nothing in return. They aren't even given an advantage in getting into groups; it's not as if people are saying "lf enchanter for [instance]." I might have seen that twice in four years.

Can you imagine at the end of a run shoving a bunch of cloth into a tailor's trade window and expecting a robe in return? Sounds ridiculous, doesn't it? Let's say you even have the other mats and thread and all that, just because you like carrying stuff. Anyway, that's beside the point. You'd not expect free benefit from a tailor or alchemist just because they're in your group, so why expect anything more from an enchanter?

We don't call tailors greedy for refusing to turn out cloth into bags, so why do we attack enchanters who don't turn unwanted gear into shards? It's time we started either tipping enchanters or stop expecting them to do us favors just because they happen to be nearby.

The Two Goblins

| Wednesday, October 7, 2009
They're both greedy. They both know what they're doing. They have completely different effects on the server. These effects come from their different approaches to markets.

The first type farms or runs dailies or crafts as he sees the various profits from each shift. That includes the profit of fun. He might know that dailies are more gold per hour than farming, but he's sick of dailies. Or he's sick of farming so he searches the AH for cheap mats and does some crafting. He creates new markets. He finds that people would rather buy rhino meat off the AH than take the time to run out and farm four; so he farms 40 and sells them off on rhino dog day. Or he sees that no one is making an unusual gem type, so he gets that design and starts cutting the new type.

This goblin has three defining properties. First, he's greedy. Second, he understands markets. Third, he adds value to the economy.

The second type does only that which maximizes his gold. You are unlikely to ever see him farm or do dailies. Instead his uses his knowledge of the AH to drive others out of business. He is an anti-capitalist. He gains advantage not by being more efficient or making a better product, but instead by driving away competition through market manipulation. You will never see him add materials or gold to the economy. If he is crafting, he is not crafting in new markets, but instead he is crafting what others would have crafted anyway; he is taking markets. I will acknowledge, there are times that he is taking the market from someone who dramatically overprices and moves small volume, but a type one can do that as well without driving out others but instead demonstrates better technique which can be adopted.

This goblin has three defining properties. First, he's greedy. Second, he understands markets. Third, he adds removes value from the economy.

The first type of goblin, you want. You really want. He is awesome. He doesn't just make himself richer, he makes you richer; he makes everyone richer because he is productive and efficient.

The second type, pray that he is not on your server. Pray that there are not multiples. If there are, good luck trying to craft anything profitably. They will stop at nothing to drive everyone away. All they want you for is cheap mats and an open wallet. They'll find the BoEs, buy them, and then resell for double the price. Then they'll laugh at you for being undergeared and poor and call you an idiot.

Tonight I was briefly the first type. As I looked at the auction house I noticed that there were no raw earthsiege diamonds. My fellow JCs would be out of work, unemployed! It was my duty to fill that gap! After they sold out at 45, 50, and 55g, I was out of gems and clearly the economy needed more stimulus, so I hopped over to my alchemist and whipped up another batch. And only three SP gems in the AH! I helped fill that gap as well. Then for no clear reason someone tipped me 40g for a single cut. I was surprised because this would be the first time selling a cut was worth as much as buying a gem, cutting it, and putting it on the AH. That will be part of tomorrow's topic.

Undercutting and You.

| Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Lately I've become more active in the economy. During this time I've noticed a few bad habits of people. I suggest avoiding these.

1) Undercutting way too damn much.

a) Saronite vendors for 1.25g per bar. The AH takes 5% of your sale. This means that if you want to break even you'd have to charge 1.32g or 28.32g per stack. I see a stack up for 27g. Others start at 29g. All it takes is one failed auction and the profit is entirely gone.

b) There is one gem at 150g. There are 10 at 175g. Don't try to undercut the 150g. It will sell. At the least someone will buy it just to repost it for 174g. So what do you do? Don't undercut the 150g, undercut the 175g, or maybe even join the 175g and help establish it as the new standard.

c) You really want to move your saronite ore and you don't want a failed auction, so you drop the price by 3g. Guess what, you just lost more than you would have by losing a deposit. Is it worth the time saved? That's up to you, but don't forget that the faster AH isn't free.

2) Undercutting when you don't need to.

a) There are two gems on the AH and they are popular like strength or intellect. Charge something at least comparable. Don't try to undercut when demand is clearly going to exceed the supply.

b) There is nothing on the AH and you're selling something good. Don't pull up your old auctioneer data and undercut by 5%. You're only undercutting no one at all, which is to say, your profits.

c) There is one other of the BoE epic on the AH. Don't undercut it. Just wait and let it sell. Then post yours and again have a monopoly. Or if it's unusually cheap and you like gold, buy it and repost for more. Then sell your next one later. It's like Carnegie used to say: "The only thing better than a monopoly is two monopolies; and enough money to buy half the country." Actually I made that up, but it's believable, right?

Undercut smarter, make more gold.

I won't pretend that I follow these perfectly. I'm not immune to whatever urge it is that makes us charge less than absurd amounts when we have the only BoE epic on the market. But I'm trying to reduce those inefficiencies which make me have less gold.

P.S. Do any of you care about posts like this? I know this isn't exactly where people come for anything useful, especially since I can't recall the last time I wrote about economics (past the last week I mean).

History gets muddled

| Sunday, October 4, 2009
It's been a while since I first called for historians to begin writing the history of Azeroth. Since then I managed to only write the very beginning of my shaman's story. Sen'jin is somehow just not working. Perhaps I'm going about it the wrong way. I'm asking too much of my memory.

Let us instead go back to what I remember. I will try to catch the spirit of the time, what I felt. The history of Azeroth itself, I'm sure wowiki can handle.

Vanilla PvP

9 shamans ended up in the same Warsong Gulch in the 20s bracket. This was a point at which we had ghost wolf and druids did not yet have travel form, and no one had mounts at all until 40. We were fast and mobile. We absolutely dominated. This was a period when shamans were considered to be overpowered at 60 (the level cap). I didn't really think so (maybe a tiny bit, but let's face it, people weren't very good at PvP back then), but in this bracket, YES. We had windfury and frost shock and ghost wolf and we would destroy you. I used to love Warsong Gulch. I did it a ton while leveling. I even got a bit of rank. Lowbie PvP was more fun back then; there seemed to be no twinks.

BG rep was serious business. AV was the one we all farmed and farmed and farmed. A short battle ended in a day. Sometimes they only 'ended' because the server went down for maintenance. Notice I said server, not servers. Back then there were no cross-realm BGs. This made it great to be Horde, since being lower population meant pretty much instant queues and we were dominant in PvP back then. Why? Some say racials (Will of the Forsaken was AMAZING; broke most C and it even used to give a period of immunity), some say experience (since we could do twice as much PvP in the same amount of time), other say we just became accepted as the PvP faction so if you were serious, you went Horde. Who knows?

But back to rep: it used to be how we got gear. There was also honor gear with rank requirements but that was mostly reserved for people with no lives and/or shared accounts. Back then honor was almost like arena rating now; so it was all relative and to be at the top meant pretty much constant play, depending on the server. For the rest of us, we got our rank trinkets, maybe some bracers, and then it was rep. Some of the stuff was impressive. Near the end of Vanilla WSG had pants added which were amazing but I never got because by then I hated WSG (rep was very slow unless you were in a dominating pre-made). AB had nice stuff, such as boots with +15% to ghost wolf speed, meaning you could almost keep up with a normal mount. AV gave The Unstoppable Force. This was about as powerful as the first 2h weapons from raiding and had a stun proc on it. It was a pig's head on a stick, with darkness glowing around it.

There was also a mount from AV, which was maybe 100 or so gold cheaper than the normal racial mounts. I bought this one because back then the 1000g for a mount was a big deal (no dailies and max-level qiests didn't give gold instead of xp). Training was cheap (well, 100g was still a big deal) but mounts were expensive. At some point they switched them, which was a great idea, but still resulted in much QQ.

There weren't DRs back then, so CC was a huge deal. Especially fear. Back then it shared no DRs with anything and seemed to take forever to break. If you look back you might be able to find some old seduce-nuke videos. This was a warlock style of PvP which revolved around seducing a target and then putting a soulfire into its face. If they weren't dead, an immolate->conflagrate would probably do the trick. Meanwhile the other enemy was running in circles feared. Then you'd kill him. I know this well, because I'd done it a few times. Warlocks were pretty squishy back then with fear and stamina-stacking as our only real defenses, though we also had neat things like curse of exhaustion which was a curse with a snare on it; tremendously useful, especially since amplify curse would increase the effect of it or agony by a big amount, enough to make it a potent long-range snare. Good warlocks were to be feared, by that I mean you were meant to be afraid of them, because they'd destroy you.

There was no resilience. PvP gear was kinda crappy, especially for hybrids. Hybrid gear meant SP and strength on the same gear along with int and spirit. Good gear came from PvE. When T3 came out, the very few players who saw old Naxx were absolutely dominant. Before them, BWL and AQ gear did a good job of making PvP painful for non-raiders. And for hybrids, since back then we mostly had healing gear since that's what we did in raids, we cried a lot that DPS got gear that was good for all aspects of the game. Then we'd get told to heal some more. And then I'd stormstrike their faces off.

BG tokens weren't for buying stuff; they were for turning in for rep or honor or something like that. I don't remember. We also didn't spend honor. We spent gold instead, which was hard to get back then. Back to AV: it was a good way to increase city rep since enemies dropped body parts which could be turned in for rep with a corresponding city. I don't remember who took night elf heads, but that was an easy city to get exalted with.

Back then we would summon cavalry, gryphon riders, even an incredibly powerful elemental or tree, depending on faction. These required tons of turn-ins, which could take hours to get enough of, but it wasn't a problem since the BG took ten times that anyway. Imagine you're pushing back your enemy and suddenly there are wolf riders beating the crap out of you. And something keeps yelling "I drink in your suffering, mortal. Let your essence congeal with Lokholar!" Meanwhile there are gryphons and bat riders raining down destruction from the skies. Zergs didn't pass each other by. They couldn't. There were tons of NPCs who would kill you if you tried to just go straight through, especially with a little bit of player support. Ironically, these PvE elements forced us to PvP. And it made us creative, leading to all sorts of tactics like a warlock (me) sneaking past enemy lines and hiding in their mine. Then summoning half the Horde practically next to the enemy base. A few good rogues could also cause some serious trouble, destroying enemy towers, killing guards, and generally wrecking havoc. It was fucking awesome.

Sadly, there was a lot of complaining about AV. It was too long, too complex, too zergy. It required mass coordination and strategy rather than just the more individual tactics that we see in the smaller BGs and arenas. It was steadily nerfed, most noticeably with the removal of the swarms of NPCs. The owls that patrol used to drop feathers which were useful for crafting but are no longer needed. There used to be fishing parties, people just hanging around fishing (back then you could fish in there). People might farm stuff, skinning or cloth from the NPCs. There was a lot of non-combat stuff going on, people running all over. I liked it a lot, it added depth to imagine that this place was more than just a box for us to fight it, in was actually part of a world. I miss old AV.

If you really want to hear nostalgia, ask someone who has been around longer about Tarren Mill and Southshore.

Goblin ERP

| Saturday, October 3, 2009
Warning: Not safe for ascetics; contains lurid descriptions of wealth.

She was not a child, certainly of age, but still so young. It could be hard to guess her age, since she had so much and displayed it so prominently. The beautiful sight would make anyone interested, but especially a goblin, for she was the sort who would fill her brassiere with gold coins to fill it out. Even through thick clothes (which she never wore), the bounty was obvious.

And he was the lucky goblin.

He stood back a bit to watch, not wanting to get in her way. Slowly, she undid her shirt and pulled it off. He could see the slight bumps in her bra and he knew it would be good. She unclasped it and let it fall to the floor. It was followed down by much more. With his experienced eye he could tell everything from sight: the bounce and weight were just right. They were absolutely real and so much for so young.

His eyes fell to the nearly perfect mounds which seemed to radiate perfection. No longer could he resist. He buried his face in them, rubbing and touching and exalting in the purity of the feeling. Was this heaven? Almost certainly.

"Hey!" she yelled, "My eyes are up here."

Oh no.

He had misread her cues. But how? She had presented it so willingly. So openly. How could she have not expected this? He could not meet her eyes. What went wrong?

He ran from the room, whispering to himself: "That whore, that show-off, that... that sub-prime loan!" She heard the last one and began to scream.

As he got out of range of the noise his mind began to wander back, not to the confusion, but to the sensation. He had touched her gold. Piles of pure gold. She couldn't take that back no matter how much she yelled. How many other goblins could claim to have stolen more than a glance at such obscene personal wealth? And it was all his for a moment. A few more, for he'd palmed a few.

Time to head to the next bar and search for more easily profitable girls.

Abyssal Shatter: effects on JC/mining?

| Friday, October 2, 2009
You know all those abyssal shards that have been clogging your guild bank? And the dust shortage? You can't get any enchants at all now that greens no longer drop anywhere ever, so there's nothing to DE. Okay that's enough sarcasm.

As titanium prices have shot up, there's a lot of incentive to mine. The result is a flood of eternal shadow and earth. It's much more than is needed for normal crafting, so the prices are very low. Fortunately there's been a sink for these: make low Northrend rings and DE them.

But if shards can be dusted, will that drop dust prices enough to make JC->DE no longer worth it? If so, what do we do with all these extra eternals? Perhaps as more patterns are found in ToC there will be a new source of demand. At the least the wave of undercutting seems to have stopped.

I'm not going to claim that this mining poor. Hardly. Eternals are only so cheap because they're a byproduct of titanium being so expensive. And of course jewelcrafting will get quite a share of the profits as the gems flow through their bags and profession windows. Still, the addition of another source of dust may lower prices even further.

Though looking at abyssal prices, they seem too high to be worth dusting, so maybe this will have no effect at all.

Yay for aimless speculation.

Why I ask

| Thursday, October 1, 2009
Falna is my rogue. In trade she says "wts [Runed Cardinal Ruby] 220g.

For some starting facts: this is lower than the normal market price. However the AH had some much cheaper uncut, so if I found a customer, I would be looking at at least a 50g profit. Sure it's less than if I joined the normal AH market, but I'm not inclined to post cheap gems; that just hurts the market for all of us. As far as I know, Auctioneer can't see trade channel. :P

I get a tell. Sweet!

[Tardala] i will buy
[Falna] how many do you need?
[Tardala] all

Let's stop here for a moment. At 220g for the cut gem and the raw gems not going any higher than maybe 200g, and at least 10 in the AH... cash register sounds were making me go deaf. But I kept my glee in check.

[Falna] just to make sure we're on the same page, you want [Runed Cardinal Ruby]?
[Tardala] no


[Falna] that's what I am selling
[Tardala] ic lol
[Tardala] hi?
[Falna] Hello.
[Tardala] i said i want to buy

Did I just go back in time?

[Falna] you want to buy [Runed Cardinal Ruby]?
[Tardala] offer
[Falna] In trade chat I said I was selling [Runed Cardinal Ruby] for 220g. Do you want to buy [Runed Cardinal Ruby] for 220g?

Yes I was wordy. I wasn't going to start leaving anything to interpretation since we'd clearly ended up with a major disconnect here.

[Tardala] each?
[Falna] yes
[Tardala] oh sry pass

This left me shaking my head. WTF just happened? I don't see the problem with a hunter trying to buy them, maybe he thought he saw a deal for another character. At first I thought it was just one of those problems of someone misclicking in trade chat; it happens often enough (in both directions) that I check for it when a conversation makes no sense. There was no one near me in trade selling anything. With the "offer" and "each?" it made me think perhaps he was trying to buy cheap and resell* and was then shot down on that possibility. But then why the initial "no"? It just doesn't make any sense.

If it was entirely in trade chat or on the forums I'd think I'd been trolled.

* I'm almost certain that people have done this with me. I don't mind; they get it off my hands fast, there's no AH cut, and I get the gold instantly. They're the ones stuck trying to resell for enough profit to offset the AH cut, deposit (so they can't mark up too much or they risk losing it and profits with it), and the risk of having dumped gold into something that might fail. In my strange ethical set though, doing the same on the AH I'd be annoyed by unless I was intentionally undercutting just to trigger that.
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