Self-righteous Sunday: go go go

| Sunday, January 31, 2010
Warning: fucking contains repeated fucking use of the fucking word fuck as an adjective, verb, noun, or just filler. Fuck. Dammit.

Maybe I'm an elitist. Or a jerk. Or traditional. Whatever it is.

I miss the days when group leaders could kick people and the tank was the group leader 99% of the time. Or to put it in practical terms: I miss being able to kick DPS whenever I felt like it.

I realize that the first boss in H UP talks a lot and we can certainly kill the abomination nearby while we wait. And I realize that the ret paladin can probably tank it. So there's not much lost by the DPS pulling it.

But don't fucking pull. You're a fucking DPS. Wait a half fucking second and I will pull. Seriously, two months ago your ass would be getting teleported out right now. Fucking noobs.

Maybe it's just a power trip.

Or I'm sick of the god damn impatient fucktards. I was running towards the fucking mob. How fucking far has humanity fallen that a half god damn second is a huge burden? Take your fucking ADD meds and chill the fuck out. No I do not need to chill out, I'm a blogger, we're allowed to get worked up and angry. Who the fuck are you? You're a fucking ret paladin in a heroic. What's your queue, 5-10 minutes? Yea, that means you're insignificant and replaceable, so sit the fuck down and shut the fuck up, commoner.

This isn't restricted to WoW.

Just the other day I'm driving along a busy street, you know the ones where cars still are legally supposed to yield, but the laws of physics don't give a fuck about the legal laws. Stupid lawyers. But the true stupid is the person who walks right fucking in front of my car, so I have to slam on the brakes, and he points at some stupid sign that says to yield. Well no shit I'm supposed to yield, that's the law everywhere in the US except highways and NASCAR.

The next light up was green. It was a bust street. If he had waited one second, he could have walked past with no problem at all. I should have not touched the brakes. If I had hit him just right, he'd have been too damaged to get the license plate, but damaged just enough to learn a fucking lesson. Don't pretend that a sign trumps human decency. Yes, I am talking about human decency in the same paragraph as committing a hit and run. You see, I believe in society and standards of behavior, such as not being one of the obnoxious douches that wanders into traffic. I also believe in not committing hit and runs, but in extraordinary times, you must take extraordinary measures. When the law is unjust, fuck it!

Last Christmas my brother and I were having a merry christmas eve eve, driving off to buy presents for friends and family. Or just family because I have no friends. Anyway. It's the same busy street, but this time it's covered in snow and stopping distances aren't very good. Some guy runs straight ahead of us. Someone with lesser reflexes would have hit him, so he owes my brother his life. Instead he got mad and yelled about yielding. Again, we should have just kept going if he's going to act like that. We ended by driving off with a "Fuck you" and a merry christmas to each other. If only we didn't have anti-lock brakes, the world might be a better place.

Then there are the people who blow stop signs in front of my other brother's truck. He'd win that contest if he decided to be slow to brake. Or quicker to accelerate.

These people remind me of the DPS who pull in instances. They're so damn impatient, so certain that someone else will bail them out or cover for their retarded mistakes, that they do stupid shit. I say fuck them. Talk to the healer and coordinate letting them die. I've done it before. I should make a macro to automatically whisper to the healer at the start of instances: "Please make this world a better place and do not heal DPS who pull".

Or let's make it better.

Dear Blizzard: Please add go go go to your prfanity filter and make it a bannable offense similar to if I started chanting KK slogans* mixed with profanity. Well fuck them, we don't need their kind. Anywhere. Ideally I'd be able to go to their homes and beat the crap out of them and take their stuff, but that's not an option. So in the meantime, start handing out temp bans to anyone who rudely insists that people go faster. In the email be sure to mention that their impatience is costing them time.

Also be sure there's an exception of something like "sorry, I have to go soon, is there any way we could speed this up? Do you mind if I misidrect pulls you?" This is clearly someone who is in a hurry for what may be a legitimate reason (significant lack of time) but who is not so rushed and douchy as to be rude.

Fight where the tank says
Tanks are not gods or the all-knowing lords of the instance. But they are the people who have to position mobs and keep them off the rest of the group. They don't all do things the same way, so it's important to adapt. Do what they are comfortable with.

Or in other words, when I want to tank HoR in the center, we will be tanking HoR in the center. I am not comfortable in the corner. If you insist on the corner, I will leave. That's not me being childish or stubborn, that's me wanting to ensure that the very important role of keeping you from dying is not overly difficult for me. So don't log on my server and send me rude tells.

In other words: shut the fuck up and follow the tank.

* Does the KKK even have slogans? What do you even say: "Gotta lynch 'em all"? That's god damn retarded. Maybe the sort of people who join the KKK are so inbred and stupid that they cannot even speak English. We already knew this from their tendency to ask slightly-tan people "does yall spake anglish?" Then again, they're clearly not all complete idiots, seeing as they've ended up in elected office at the state and national level. Then again, we've seen how effective state and national government officials are. Maybe that's the problem: it's not too much government, it's too many inbred former KKK members in government.

Saturday Superstar: Goblin Goes Galt

| Saturday, January 30, 2010
I'm not an artist, just a concerned citizen like you.

Disclaimer: This pencil drawing has been edited using the open-source and free software known as GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP). Due to lighting and an old camera, the words were completely illegible. They were not originally green, just plain mechanical pencil lead. In other words: in before "this looks photoshopped". It's not!

Know your customer

| Friday, January 29, 2010
Think about who is going to buy what you are selling. This will help with pricing.

Are you selling gear that someone would actually wear? How good is it?

If it's at the upper end of a level, look it up on wowhead and see if it's a twink item. If so, take the buyout listed there and add a larger percentage and ratchet it down gradually. Twink items will go for far more than comparable, but slightly inferior items. Welcome to a fundemental truth of WoW economics: min-maxers and their gold are easily separated.

If it's just decent gear; maybe "of the tiger" leather or "of the soldier" mail, then try a few times vendor price. You'll get some sales from people leveling alts who are trying to fill non-heirloom slots or who can't spare the badges. Maybe new players as well; until they learn the joys of instant loot, and then back again as they learn that the RNG hates each and every one of us, personally.

If it has terrible stats, then you're not likely to get anyone who wants to wear it. Spirit combined with physical damage stats: agi or str, is very unpopular. Those classes don't benefit much at all from spirit. With the exception of troll shamans who regenerate massive hp and no one cans top them. This sort of gear is best sold to enchanters. If you want their attention, you need to make the buyout significantly cheaper than the average DE value. Also be nice and make the bid and buyout the same. This allows instant buying without needing to confirm every item. Saves us enchanters a lot of time.

With all of these, be aware of the vendor price and the AH deposit and cut. The cut is 5%; so if vendor/.95 isn't higher than the AH price, you're losing gold; not even including the time spent and risk of the deposit. I often see people posting at prices that are so close to vendor that they lose gold by using the AH. Sometimes they even post below vendor price. Keep an eye out for those auctions!

Shattered Glaives

| Thursday, January 28, 2010
The point is at the end of the post. Deal with it!

Today I was thinking again about Shadowmourne and how delightfully evil it looks. Also yesterday. It's a bit of a habit.

I got into a conversation about the relative strength of Shadow's Edge and concluded that I overvalue quest rewards. To me, they feel more epic. They are something I created or earned rather than just the blessing of the RNG and extra DKP. This is past of why I like Quel'dalar so much. That and it's a 251 weapon that I didn't have to spend DKP on and it looks amazing.

I went back to an old annoyance: Warglaives. They're stupid. So much legendaryness is lost by just dropping, as if they were a mere epic. Oh look, warglaive today, that's nice. Equip it and go do a BG.

It could be mere old-world nostalgia, but they did them better back in the day. Sulfuras, Hand of Ragnaros was the least legendary, being just a rare drop and horrible mat grind, but it was a bit more engaging. You didn't just equip it. You needed mats that took a guild to get and a skilled blacksmith. Other people were involved in the process beyond the mere killing of the boss.

Thunderfury was far more legendary, having a short quest chain devoted to it along with a terrible mat grind. Some of the mats were even from a different raid, making them a little bit more special. Then at the end you get betrayed and fight an elemental lord, trapping him in the weapon. That's legendary. Also it looks cool and has a neat proc.

Then there's Atiesh. It is immersed in Warcraft 3 lore, being the staff of Medivh. It draws on all manner of lore characters, from Kel'Thuzad to Brann Bronzebeard. Let us take note of the fact that anything involving a Bronzebeard is automatically 25% more awesome. Splinters were gathered from bosses in Naxxramas, the absolute hardest instance in the game; by some accounts harder than even ones now, though much of that was due to ridiculous gear and class requirements rather than actual complexity. Two major pieces were needed; one from Kel'Thuzad, the other from C'thun. Yea, Brann hid part of the staff in an Old God. Pretty safe place if you ask me. You put it together, find that it's haunted by some horrible entity, and have to go to Stratholme to cleanse it. Finally you get a class-specific caster staff which gives a good party buff. And it makes a portal to Karazhan.

RNG drop of a boss is pitiful in comparison. So I thought of a short chain to make it better.

Illidan still does RNG glaive drop, but they are shattered, broken, useless. But they start a quest. Go talk to a relevant NPC and you'll be told they can be reforged. But you need mats. So get a lore of elementium and fel iron and eternium, with some primal fire and shadow for good measure. Get it forged and voila, you have warglaives: epic weapons as good as any high-level drop with a +hit set bonus. They're not the warglaives yet because those were not merely shaped metal. You must bind to them and give them purpose. That means hunting and killing demons; both trivial and challenging, including Kazzak. Then they will know their master: you, and their purpose: to kill demons.

Now you have the legendary warglaives.

Of course this is far too late, being an expansion and multiple years behind. It does look like Blizzard learned the lesson with Shadowmourne and that funny-sounding mace for dress-wearing sissies.

In more recent news, a guildy of mine brought me into a MC PUG. The raid leader was nice enough to give him reserve on the baron binding and me on the ingot. Well, both dropped. So we flew down to Silithus, killed an old god, and he got a feat of strength for having Thunderfury. Then we took the remote to BRD and made a sulfuron hammer, which I turned into a Sulfuras, Hand of Ragnaros and had to equip to get the feat. I guess to keep out those pesky non-two-handed-mace users.

I admired myself for a while, noting that the weapon matches my T10 shoulders and Crown of Destruction. I looked good. For your viewing pleasure, I have logged out in this gear and should remain in it until I log in again tonight. Unless I get keylogged. So if you see me in something else, please tell Blizzard that I got hacked. Thanks.

But down to business: We each had a Sulfuras and a Thunderfury. I mean we each have both. We're weird people. So we did what anyone would do: dueled while using terrible weapons. HoR vs. HoR resulted in a win for ret. HoR vs. TF resulted in a win for ret, though he actually stood a chance. Clearly this means prot warriors need a nerf. Done. Reversing it and facing my sword vs. his mace resulted in a complete ass-kicking because I practice by getting in fist fights with gods. Then came the TF-TF duel. It turns out that when two prot specs face each other, it's almost impossible to do any physical damage: too much block, avoidance, and armor. So I hit him in the face with my shield and called it a day.

Then we parted ways and I went to go randomly tank DTK wielding a TF for a group that appeared to be three guild members; two of who never spoke and one who went on endlessly in what appeared to be Portugese. It was a good run.

Would you join a female-only guild?

| Wednesday, January 27, 2010
It's okay, men, you can read today's post. You can even answer, you just have to pretend to be female. No, I did not pretend to be female to write this. I don't have to answer the questions I ask. Now, on with the show.

Now and then I hear of guilds which don't recruit females. They claim it's not sexist, but instead practical, that their mere presence can cause drama. At risk of exposing myself as a sexist pig, I don't think this is so ridiculous. Some people just cannot function properly around females.

Ideally those cannot function in mixed environments are the people who don't get recruited, since they're the true problem. But it's harder to screen them than to discriminate against a large and obvious portion of the player base. Or to put it in other terms, it's easier to not hire black people than to not hire racists. When I put it that way, I take back my "not so ridiculous" claim: this is very ridiculous. Or worse. Maybe this is mere moral outrage at the cost of practicality. Then again, practicality and efficiency are not ends in themselves, but are merely the processes of good or evil goals. What the hell does this have to do with my topic?

Are there all-female guilds which do the same (exclude the opposite sex)? They don't invite males because sometimes they cannot handle being in a mixed guilds. This would reverse the discrimination; some males can't handle females so remove the males vs. some males can't handle females so remove the females. That leads to a whole new kind of looking like bad people. The all-male guilds are saying girls cause drama (sexist) while the female guild is saying guys can't handle them (sounds like some arrogant high school cheerleader).

I hope I managed to make clear that I don't think either of these are good, since both fail to address the true problem, but they may be practical and easier than trying to screen candidates:
"Can you handle the thought of breasts?"
"Of course."
"Then why are you taking so long to respond? These aren't hard questions."
"You're tabbed out watching porn, aren't you?"
Of course that's also a blanket generalization that people who tab out to watch porn are automatically drawn into female-induced drama. But it certainly doesn't help their application.

I wonder if there would be any sort of husband exception to the exclusion of males. It might just be my guild or my flawed perception, but it seems like most of the women in the guild play with their husbands. Maybe they just talk more. Could husbands be less susceptible to drama? I imagine in general, yes, but I'd expect a much higher susceptibility to wife-induced drama or the reverse for husbands adding drama that drags in their wives. Maybe an all-female guild would have to be truly all female, no exceptions. Of course then it's either splitting up couples or only having single women, odds are mostly the latter, and that's asking for a lot of drama aimed at the guild that isn't caused within it.

Would you join an all-female guild? Or would you join an all-male guild? I can't join the former and wouldn't join the latter. Somehow groups made entirely of men seem to end up being jackasses.

P.S. While writing this I had to keep removing references to Nazis.
P.P.S. Rotface is finally dead and I have an ugly new axe from Marrowgarr.

But I don't have a newsletter!

| Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Ah, to be an Internet noob again. A long while back, well long is relative, so let's go with five years, I wrote a forum post, the subject I do not remember. Someone replied: "your ideas intrigue me and I would like to subscribe to your newsletter". I was flattered, but lacked a newsletter. Since then I've been confident in my brilliance.

Perhaps this is why I am so arrogant as to think my ideas deserve their own space to be preserved and read by all.

For more on this, read Tree of Life: Bloggers: what differentiates us? This is a very slow response.

Trial of the Terrible Death Knight

| Monday, January 25, 2010
Wait, before you leave, this isn't your normal "lol I was in a random with a terribad DK". I swear! This had a twist.

I was the DK.

I'd not played this guy in months. He's my bank alt for storing old world mats. So if you need a BoE tier 1 belt of some scarabs, he's got 'em. If you need a geared tank, look elsewhere. He's just barely at the heroic defense cap. Maybe 22k unbuffed. It's enough, but, just enough, not actually good. Still, this is about what I tanked with a year ago.

He started off as blood. That was a lot of fail. I went frost. That was much less fail. But still some fail.

I was amazed to learn that aggro isn't a magical field of perpetual taunt. When I'm in all blues except one green and a ToC stam trinket my aggro is less than full 226+ epics. Surprising. Aggro didn't seem at all related to the gear of the other players. I'd lose aggro to someone in blues and keep aggro off someone in full epics.

Responses were mixed.

In HCoS the healer said "Please tell me you're at least defense capped." I said I was and we went along our way. Aggro was tough, but we got through it and I got a drake.

In HHoL we had a lot of wiping and cycled through probably 10 different people by the end. At one point the healer started ragging on me for not interrupting one of the mobs, somehow I was the only person who could have possibly done it; not the mage or warrior, just me. He said it was funny that I have two interrupts, I said I liked the joke, he said "25k hp? Fuck you." and then left. Then we got a healer that wasn't an incompetent fucktard and killed the rest of the instance. The douchy healer was also the one who started mocking someone's gearscore right about as he zoned in. I have no clue how he didn't notice mine.

Most of the time people didn't say much of anything. DPS would pull aggro and the healer would heal them and no one seemed to get the idea that the tank was at ilevel 200 compared to their 232+.

I needed to work on my glyphs.

But why a DK?
I had him shelved for so long, why now? Well as these things go... Molten Core. I was lucky with the RNG and planning, did a MC run with the eye of sulfuras reserved, and it dropped. But I need 7 more blood of the mountain and two ingots. The ingots I can get from my weekly runs. The blood, I figured I'd farm the destroyers with my DK. He was promptly beaten down because his gear was terrible and I didn't know how to play him.

So now so he can farm blood of the mountain and so I can try out something new, I'm gearing up my DK through random heroics. As a tank my queues are effectively instant, though I have run into some delays from healers leaving because they get scared by less than 30k health. Since first writing this, my gear has improved dramatically. I now have a 245 level helm and T9 chest and shoulders. This is in addition to a few epic upgrades from heroics, including new weapons. Healers don't leave anymore and my aggro has gone up by a ton.

Also since writing this I've gotten all the blood of the mountain I needed. I offered 250g, people said it costs more than that. I bought it for 250g anyway, proving that the only true price is what the buyer and seller agree to. For a moment the true price was 50s, I guess someone posted based on vendor price.

On the subject of DKs and underpriced items: A DK tried to sell Zom's Crackling Bulwark in trade for 90g. I sent him a tell right then and walked ten yards to open trade. Undercut the one already in the AH and after the AH cut I got 715g. 625g for at most 60 seconds or 'work' yielding a gold/hour of 37,500 and I didn't even have to fudge the numbers by claiming half the time was 'semi-afk'.


| Sunday, January 24, 2010
Trial of the GhostCrawler

This is the most challenging raid yet. It is a single, PvP-style fight and requires one of every class. It only has a 10-man version because the 25-man version won't be available for another 15 expansions, not including Cataclysm.

The rewards are unmatched: A full 290 level set of gear. But no trinkets. You'll have to keep running the same places over and over for months, until finally you cave in and buy a crappier badge version, only to have it drop the next day after your refund timer has run out.

When the raid starts, every player in the raid is separated. They then must fight their way through wave after wave of elitists in order to get to the center where they meet up. In the center there is a chest filed with tokens for the mentioned gear, along with no trinkets. The tokens are all white-quality, so similar to the secret bank vault in Blackrock Depths, the loot goes to whoever opens it first with auto-loot on. However there is a twist: the person to get it first will not always be the melee hunter.

Upon opening the box, the player will receive the previously mentioned Tokens of the Awesome Set. And no trinkets. After looting, their class will then be nerfed into the ground, requiring other classes to use summons, portals, deathgrip, and knockkback effects to even move around the world.

If the player complete the fight within ten minutes of starting it, they also receive a ring with attack power and expertise.

Auto-DE was a buff to my enchanter

There are three enchanting activities: auction house work, tip work, and DEing in instances. The second group had really no changes at all. People bring mats and give them a pittance of gold, just as usual. The third group lost control of their profession and their pseudo-farming had been wrecked by the crashed mat prices. The first group is me.

My profession remains safely in my complete control. I don't sell WotLK mats. I buy them. So I benefit from cheap mats. I can create scrolls with less investment risk and prices didn't go down too much. Basically I gained profits at the cost of other enchanters.

Some have tried to claim that this is a spreading of the wealth. Bullshit. Did non-enchanters gain? Probably. But how much really? Before they got the vendor price of 4-8g for blues and 10-15g for purples (this is armor, not weapons). Now they get shards worth 6-8g and abyssals worth 25g. On weapons they're actually losing gold if they hit DE, but they're so convinced that shards are great and wonderful that they pick it anyway. On armor the gain is marginal. Only on armor DE do they gain much; about 15g per instance (not counting ToC and ICC), averaged among four people, and wow, that's pretty trivial. 3g average; less than is lost by the people who 'speed run' when they really mean 'don't loot corpses and lose a dozen gold in coin and vendor trash per instance'. In other words, the spreading out of mats didn't do much.

The lower mat cost has a greater effect, especially for those who would buy mats and tip enchanters. These people they gained quite a bit actually. They still give trivial tips and now they pay even less for mats. What a great change, it has enriched the jackasses who tip 5g for blade ward.

The 'gatherer' enchanters who go out and run instances and get their profession stolen, the ones who make the enchanting market possible, they lose. My most convenient source of mats is by playing my non-enchanting alts in instances and getting cheap mats by hijacking my fellow enchanters. My cheapest source is the AH where enchanters and non-enchanters furiously scramble to sell the flood of mats, undercutting each other to the point that dust is 1/4 what it used to be, with other mats having less dramatic, but still significant price drops.

The biggest gain was for the 'crafter' enchanters. But my enchanter who sits in the AH all day and makes scrolls at a 25-100% markup, he's doing just fine. I'm not going to spew that crap about "lol it's just clicking a button" because that's stupid and ignores the cost of leveling and other stuffs. But with cheap mats and no deposit, it's a nearly riskless activity. My JC goes through 1.5g deposits constantly; losing some, getting some back. My enchanter never loses a deposit because scrolls have none. He can just keep posting over and over and lose nothing but a few seconds. The lack of a deposit also keeps up prices.

Clearly my enchanter provides a valuable service. But so do the 'gatherer' enchanters and they get absolutely nothing. They get as many mats as before, but with much lower sell prices. They're losing an incentive to run instances.

I predict two competing forces that could affect my enchanter's profits. Fewer enchanters running mean prices go up along with my risk, and away go my profits. However fewer enchanters could also mean the characters going idle or switching professions, which means less competition in the scroll market.

The net effect of the DE change was to spread some gold away from enchanting as a profession, but within the profession there is a dramatic reversal, an extreme concentration of the wealth.

Saturday Superstar: Free Shards

| Saturday, January 23, 2010
TL;DR: Don't pick DE if the item vendors for more than the shard.

[Just moving my response to Stabs into the main post]
The greed/DE selection is done before any rolls. They have the same weight. So I pick greed and you pick DE; if I win I get the item and if you win you get a shard. Everyone makes their own choice on what they want to do with the item and they are unaffected by the choices of others.

After running a lot of heroics I've come across a stupid pattern: people hit DE on everything. Last night I tried to point out that hitting DE on a 15g weapon to get a 8g shard is a bad idea. They said they liked the free shards and didn't seem to understand the concept of "vendor the weapon and you can buy two shards." In their pursuit of a 'free shard' they were actually denying themselves a shard!

So I did what anyone else would do: laughed to myself and moved on.

I lied. I made a forum thread instead.

Wait! Before you select disenchant...

Check the vendor price relative to shard prices. I'm pretty sure all epics are worth more as shards (assuming they're not upgrades). But blues are often worth less.

Weapons are the best example: they sell for 15g or more, but on my server dream shards are only 7-8g. I can't imagine any server being so much higher that they'd beat the vendor price.

Don't fall for the trap of "but it's a free shard." Sell the weapon for 15g and buy two shards off the AH.

It's only a few gold, but if you're running a lot of heroics over and over, that's going to add up. Free gold, just for reading vendor prices!

The first response was lazy in the opposite direction: greeding everything and potentially losing shard value rather than vendor value.
The second person claimed rational self-interest: needing on everything.

And then it went downhill. More downhill than Lazy and Ninja.
Not all of us are selling the shards. I'm building up a base so I can get enchants when I get really good gear.

That person got trolled. Then they swore at the troll.

I like keeping a stockpile of enchanting mats.

Means I don't have to sift through pages of 1 infinite dust.

This is entirely irrelevant considering blues don't DE into dust.

Then it's time for a round of Poor Accounting
I don't need shards to sell, I need them for enchants so I don't need to buy them.

step 1: collect materials
step 2: buy a vellum
step 3: enchant it with a wanted enchant
step 4: sell for profit.

The markup can be substantially higher than the vendor difference ^_^

The second person is the best example: he fails to recognize that the scroll profit was there regardless of the 'free shard'. He could have bought them off the AH and enchanted for profit. But instead by failing to break down where the profit is actually coming from, he's harming the economy; first by destroying the 15g (without getting 15g in value) and then by reducing his role in the economy. It's the equivalent of growing tomatoes in dirt mixed with shredded 50's just so you don't have to go to the store.

Finally near the end of the thread two people seemed to get it.
I've seen an epic BoE drop before in a 5 man. 3 out of the 5 people in the group quickly clicked "Disenchant", not even looking at what the item was. Luckily my guild (who was running chain heroics with me) won the role, and made himself a nice 1k later that night. A lot more money than the 30g Abyss Crystal one of the other PUGs would have got.

Check what you're Disenchanting before clicking the button, you might be losing out...

if you vendor the thing for 15g and then buy 2 shards for 8g, you CAN MAKE TWICE AS MUCH VELLUMS TO SELL FOR A PROFIT.

that is the whole point of this thread.

gawd, you just made my headache even worse.

Only one person had what could be viewed as a counter-argument.
It's still like 15g for a shard and 30g for a crystal on my realm. At least the last time i checked.

If shards are actually that expensive, then it would make sense to DE out of habit. But more likely the price went down and they didn't notice. I know shards dropped in price since abyssal shatter came out and even more since random heroics and auto-DE; since both inflated the supply by a lot.

To put this in terms of the enchanter with his brilliant vellum scheme.
1) Get shard
2) Make profit from enchanting
Those are the important points. Now imagine that step one was instead a choice between two options:
1a) Get shard
1b) Get 15g
And imagine that if you pick b there's another step you can take:
2a) Buy a shard for 8g and pocket the extra 7g as pure profit.

Normally I would try to create a sort of pseudo-rational argument for these people. I'd explain how they have a different perspective or value, but I can't seem to find that. It's just people not thinking and as a result harming themselves economically. This is worse than the 'farming it for free' mentality because they're not accepting an arbitrary lower gold per hour, they're actively destroying their potential gold. Do you want 15g or do you want something worth 8g? That's the question, and people are too busy thinking about how the 8g shard is free that they miss out on the 15g free gold!

Maybe accessibility isn't all good

| Friday, January 22, 2010
Last week I said I'd have lore for every class-race combination. Well then Larisa ruined that by her guild getting a legendary so then I had to go on a tangent for the entire week. She just ruins everything, doesn't she? The lore will be up next week. Or someone else will ruin it.

Vanilla had some problems, such as the "end-game" and all its numerous rewards being cut off from the vast majority of players. BC helped with this a little bit. Or at least I thought so. Then again, I live in a bubble. WotLK definitely changed this, to the point that we now have PUGs of the latest 10-man the day it comes out and people are even making PUG hardmodes. There are gear checks and achievement linking and all that, but are these really so outrageous? We used to have gear checks and guild checks and just plain questions of who are you? Back then a name meant more. Well, some did. Mine didn't; most didn't. And most people didn't raid. But that's not my point.

Content is more accessible and as all things go, we tend to value less that which we can get and conversely, that which we lack must be amazing. The sweetest fruit is always out of reach. This isn't bad, but it has a terrible side-effect: the progressive trivialization of gear.

This is not about "when epics were epic". Instead it is about the cost players put on gear and negative behavior. I remember when ninjaing in MC was a big deal. Past that; well I didn't hear about much since by then people were in with friends, or at least knew what it would do to their names. People ninjaed still, but less so, and I believe a lot of that was ignorance: the old huntar waepon syndrome.

Undoubtedly the weakening of community has some effect. But I propose that a bigger effect may be the perception that any given item is trivial to enough people that ninjaing it causes little negative attention. Or in other words: "lol [instance loot] is srs bns". As loot becomes more accessible, it become less valuable. This doesn't always weaken the hurt it causes to the victim, but the aggressor is often let off the hook because whatever they took is regarded as trivial.

Under the old system a given ninja incident had a much worse effect on the victim, but the ninja was even worse off. Now there's pretty much nothing lost for the ninja while the victim is still out a little bit of hope and gear.

P.S. Actually I lied, this post was already written and planned for this week. But all the guild and legendary talk pushed it back several days.

Bind on Guild Recipes

| Thursday, January 21, 2010
In yesterday's thread comments the idea came up of patterns being bound to guilds rather than players. This has all sorts of implications.

Drop rate
Would it go up or down? I have no clue! It probably comes down to the intended level of accessibility and how Blizzard expects BoG recipes to change it. I imagine the drop rate would be lower since the schematic is effectively unlimited, being able to enable many crafters per guild. It might get dropped even further if Blizzard found that all guilds were commonly getting all schematics.

Who can get the crafted goods?
It isn't unlikely that guild schematics would only make BoG items. It would be similar to profession-specific BoPs: they're a bonus intended to be only for those which are in the profession/guild.

If the creations were BoE, then guilds might attempt to control their production in order to maximize profits or to reduce the gear available to competing guilds.

Guild control of crafting
Would this cause crafted goods to be more or less accessible? It could be that this causes a single drop to enable dozens of crafters. That would cause prices to drop as they compete. Or it could be that where before a crafter owned his schematics and could use them however he wished, that power would be gone. Guild control could have all sorts of effects depending on how the mechanic of guild crafting works.

The schematic could be learned by the guild, meaning that any person in the guild with the profession skill can make it. This gives the guild no control of crafting except to remove those who they don't want to craft anymore. That's not a very good level of control. Even worse, for the guild, is that it could be nearly impossible to spot offenses, to spot people breaking any rules the guild tries to make for crafting.

Alternatively the crafting could taught through a non-consumed BoG recipe. This allows the guild to control who learns it but nothing past that.

The item could not teach the craft, but instead only grant the ability. That would allow the guild to control the location of the item and therefore who can craft and when. Guilds might just stick them in the bank and let them be traded and and moved in and out as people want to craft. More restrictive guilds might have one person control access to the item, trading it only for individual crafts approved by the guild. This would be pretty overbearing and most likely any guild that tried this would collapse. With a possible exception of guilds created purely for crafting.

Crafting guilds
If crafting is done with the non-consumable, guild-bound item which grants crafting, then guilds could potentially form entirely for crafting. Players would pay to get into the guild; perhaps a monthly amount to stay in or they might only rent the BoG crafting. These fees might be used to pay for raid runs to farm the schematics within.

Depending on the rarity of the drops, we might see the rise of cartels as players use guilds to monitor and control the crafting of others. Crafting alts will not be in the main's guild for familiarity but instead in the crafting guild for profit.

Are BoG recipes a step backward?
Dungeon finder helps to separate the guild from small group PvE. It makes it so guilds are not required for readily available heroics. This means guilds can exist more out of social connection, rather than the necessities of game mechanics. Presumably this would mean tighter-knit guilds. BoG recipes might reverse this. The low drop rate and guild necessity would tie people to guilds again, this time for crafting.

Would Bind on Guild change our concept of ownership?

| Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Currently everything you have is yours. If you have it, you control it. With the exception of your professions which are controlled by the group you're in if you're an enchanter. This promotes a strong concept of ownership. There is little which is truly owned by a group.

Guild banks have some gold or mats or a few BoEs, but they don't control all that much. They don't control anything that anyone uses. By that I mean, someone can use items from banks, but once used they are no longer in bank control. They either soulbind or are consumed.

WoW has almost 100% private property. Individual property.

What would happen if there were items controlled by guilds? Yesterday I briefly, and unfairly negatively, suggested that legendaries be Bind on Guild. They are made by guilds, so it makes some sense that they are controlled by guilds. I thought it would force the player who was given the item to be stuck with the guild or lose it.

I didn't consider that the concept of item ownership might change. If legendaries were BoG, then no single person could feel ownership. They would think about them differently. I suspect the item might come to be viewed less as an item rather than as a buff. By that I mean people would have their normal weapons and the guild might decide to temporarily provide the legendary to a player similar to a single-person buff, such as vigilance, but much more powerful. The weapon would be only temporary to the person, so they could not develop such an attachment.

However a big problem remains: guilds are dictatorships. Ultimately everything is owned by the GM unless people can grab it if they open up bank permissions. This means that no one would own a legendary, except the GM. I don't know how this would turn out, but it could get ugly if a guild seems items as belonging to the guild while the GM thinks they belong to him.

Would guild legendaries lead to a sort of pseudo-socialist dictatorship in which the government (GM) controls all in the name of the populace? I doubt this will happen commonly. A state can enslave and imprison and restrict its people. People can more out of guilds that are undesirable. Attachment to BoG items may encourage people to stay, but if the handling of BoGs is not acceptable to them, that attachment may be insufficient.

Moving forward in Cataclysm, I think BoGs would be an excellent addition.

Poll about Scarlet Monastery

| Tuesday, January 19, 2010
I'm trying to decipher Scarlet Monastery, so I wrote a post about it. Then I realized that I was lacking actual evidence for my assertions. So the post has been put on hold and instead there's a poll in the upper-right. I realize that like-dislike is too extreme, but I don't know how to ask two questions at the same time and have the results linked without just combining the polls. It would have been better to have a scale of one to five or something else with more options, but every option goes in three times and then the poll has 15 questions and it starts to get ridiculous.

Please vote. Please don't overthink your vote, I'm just looking for first reactions. Also please don't vote after having run SM 50 times to get a rare spawn to drop a chest for your twink, because that's going to bias the results a bit.

Maybe if I glue a feather there and add a marble and...

What? Oh sorry, I'm trying to make an Atiesh.

My favorite gnome was taunted by the presence of a legendary and I thought I'd try to help. Alas, there don't seem to be any more splinters dropping, so I'm forced to improvise. Oh sure, she said she's happy to see her guild get a pretty hammer, but we all know there's a loot whore in all of us.

Hold this would you?

Legendaries are strange things, aren't they? They take a guild to make. At least if you make them when they're supposed to be made and not four years late like someone who shall remain unnamed. So a guild makes it and then a person gets it. That's quite a bit to put on one person.

It's not just a reward. It's also a burden. Such a big investment by the guild carries some obligations. Some would disagree, but those people are sociopaths, so fuck their opinions. The player owes something to the guild. But what?

Certainly they shouldn't quit the next day or switch guilds or that sort of thing. And they should remain active and help out. But are they a slave to the guild, shackled to it forever? That's unreasonable.

And what about their role? Sure, the mage gets Atiesh and will use it for a long time and the rogue gets warglaives and stays swords. But what about the healing priest with a hammer who wants to melt faces? Or the paladin with a shadowmourne who really wants to get hit in the face repeatedly for hours on end. Does the legendary tie their spec too, and for how long? Perhaps until it is no longer the greatest thing imaginable. But that could be a very long time; they are legendaries after all.

Don't even think about switching mains...

Perhaps legendaries are an ideal candidate for being guild-bound. But for the person who is given main use of the weapon, it still ties them. Leave the guild and the weapon is out of reach. While the guild played a role, I doubt the individual player just sat around waiting for the guild bank to dole out expensive mats. They invested in it as well, but they don't own any of the weapon.

Divorce is messy, isn't it?

Can I borrow a hand here? Yep, hold that. Okay now I can twist that around there and loop and tighten that and


So um, how about a legendary wand and held in offhand?

The Dishwasher didn't give women any more free time

| Monday, January 18, 2010
Le's go back a few years. A few more. Let us go back to the time of home appliances. These were the greatest idea ever.
Step one: Create labor and time-saving devices and use a post-war civilian industry boom to put them in half the houses (I made up that percentage).
Step two: Don't worry about women's rights, they wil come naturally thanks to step three.
Step three: Now women have spare time for things other than washing, washing, cooking, washing, raising kids, and washing.
Step four: With this free time women can do things like "be liberated", whatever that means.
If things don't work quite right, make a huge chemicals industry devoted to making cleaning easier and faster.

There you go, technology has freed women from the shackles of maintaining a home and no one even had to sit through boring lectures about how housewives were being mentally destroyed by the incredible tedium. Yep, technology totally fixed society with no work at all.

You might have noticed that this didn't actually happen. Remember that chemical industry? They didn't save any time, they just raised expectations. Mopping the floor with water, maybe some soap and scrubbing if there would be guests, wasn't enough anymore. Buy this and that and mix that and spray this and scent this and next thing they spent twice as long. Sure the floor looked nicer, but then the wife got cancer from the chemicals and died and was never any more free.

I'm making it sound worse than it was for dramatic effect. But the fact remains that labor-saving devices didn't save women much labor, or anyone else. Remember the paperless office? Then we discovered that computers are really great at putting stuff on paper and Brazil chopped down half the Amazon in a week.

WoW isn't all that different. Okay, orders of magnitude different in terms of human oppression, and beside belfs I can't think of who are the women, but that's not the point. As things get easier, we just do more of the, raise our expectations, and ask for even more. It's a different sort of hamster wheel, all of us utterly convinced that this next nerf, this next easy loot, this next set of dailies will fix our problems.

Blizzard created 10-mans as an alternative to the sometimes unwieldy 25-mans, to give smaller guilds a shot. And they did. But then we ended up with twice as many tiers of loot and those tiers had to be clearly different. So we had even more stat inflation. And we said "but if we can just get X type of badges and gear up, we'll be able to make the GearScore for the next raid". And so it was, and so the inflation went on, and so we scrubbed the floors and hoped to not get kicked for ruining the party.

Self-Righteous Sunday: "It's just heroic"

| Sunday, January 17, 2010
The scene is heroic ToC. The 5-man. You know, the one that some people thought would be the "hard instance", the Magister's Terrace of WotLK. Not so hard really, but nice drops.

First boss dies, Edge of Ruin drops. The fury warrior with a pair of the craft BS blues rolls need. The arms warrior who already has it also rolls need. WTF?

Apparently he's going fury.

This annoyed me. I'm the sort that will sometimes pass on something if it's a much bigger upgrade for someone else. Why? Because I think that's a small part of being a good person, looking out for others even at no personal gain, or even loss. But there's no rule about this.

I would say main spec over off spec is a rule though. Unfortunately it's not a universal rule, more of a 99% rule and people can beforehand agree to exceptions. But nevertheless, the warrior broke this. I might have kicked him, but the holy paladin beat him to it.

No, she didn't kick him. I was group leader (this story is old). Instead, she beat him to being kicked. How? By being an elitist douchebag. Are heroics srs bns? No. Yes. Depends. When you're fresh to 80 and using blue weapons, heroics are srs bns. To disregard the warrior's concern was pure disregard for the thoughts of another person; elitism at its finest. "It doesn't matter because it's a heroic. If you care you're a noob," is the implication.

Saturday Superstar: Understanding

| Saturday, January 16, 2010
This will be in the context of noobs.

This has become somewhat of a pussified word. Somehow understanding has become mixed up with justifying or accepting or even sympathizing. It's time for understand to mean understand, to mean knowing why and how. Drop all this nonsense of thinking that understanding means agreeing.

Do we seek to understand earthquakes and tornadoes? Of course we do. We'd be pretty stupid to not. Do we try to sympathize with them and say "oh well it's a tornado it doesn't know any better"? Of course not. We seek to fix the problem. Someday we may be able to entirely eliminate violent weather, at which point we will destroy tornadoes, turning them into just more air. And air is good.

Why do we treat human behavior any differently? It's is a natural event. Even better, is it an event which we can control much more easily than the weather. You can't talk to a volcano, but you can talk to a person, and it often works. The trick is knowing what to say and when.

Understanding is useful. Wouldn't it be good to understand noobs? Then we could fix them. This seems far more useful than simply labeling them noobs and rejecting them. The only person you hurt by being a jackass is yourself, as you only ensure the existence of a noob.

Understand the noob; end the noob; make the noob into just another person.

It is easy to see how understanding has been corrupted. Understanding is the first step towards sympathy or agreement; a person who does not understand cannot do either except as blind action. But this is beside the point: understanding is to see how and why something does what it does, regardless of agreement.

This should not be mixed up with labeling either. It is easy, and often useless or even harmful, to label actions or events without bothering to understand them. For example: stupid is a common label as explanation; but it offers to meaning. Can you predict or manipulate stupid? Of course not. Stupid is not as simple as a car which tends to turn right or has touchy brakes; it is actually complex, and more often than not, not actually stupid. Instead what appears to be stupidity is a different perspective, different values, different available information. but now I am rambling, so I shall declare myself finished for now.

Even more Blood Knights

| Friday, January 15, 2010
By Blood Knights I mean classes which are functionally identical (let's pretend SoB didn't happen) but have radically different lore. So Blood Knights are Blood Elf paladins. The rest of this will contain some speculation or outdated information about Cataclysm, I apologize if I make any mistakes and would appreciate any corrections. I won't delete your comments pointing out my mistakes.

Gnome hunters would play pretty much the same, but use mechanicals instead of beasts and have a much different story to them.

The upcoming Tauren paladins, as I understand the lore, are not paladins in the same vein as Uther, but are instead Druids of the Sun. Again, same mechanics, different lore.

Dwarf mages also have different lore, most likely being castaways from the Dark Iron clan. Dwarf shamans would be similar, but from the Wildhammer. Until now we've only seen Bronzebeard clan dwarves, so this is a pretty significant shift.

Similarly, it appears that Night Elf mages are returning Highborn.

There may be others which I've forgotten. I like this trend of expanding class options without simply saying "you now have X class" and rejectonh all the lore which goes against them having said class. Instead the new class options expand the story and add to the world.

I can play WoW in my sleep

| Thursday, January 14, 2010
And that's not a good thing. Yet another lesson on why it's bad to play before bed.


WTF stop! You don't need to tank, you're asleep.
No you're not losing aggro. You're not even logged in. The computer is even off.


Get up, look around, take note of reality. You know, that place where you are not a blood elf paladin. At least not a female one (I have way better hair than the males). And not a paladin!

Oh shit shit shit where are those mobs coming from? Dammit, I just cannot hold aggro. I can't even see what's attacking them. How am I supposed to get aggro on mobs that I can't see?
You're not in a group. Remember, computer is off.
But they're getting their asses kicked! The mobs keep spawning way behind the healer and I can't see very well with all the commotion.
There's no commotion! Go to sleep!
Go to sleep.



At least I stopped PvPing before bed. Dreaming of getting stunlocked is even less fun.

But speaking of 6-9, I sometimes throw myself off if I consciously press my consecrate key, because that's a '9' second cooldown (8, but with a delay) but it's actually the 6 key. I should get around to making a pair of castsequence macros for that.

Gnome Hunters

| Wednesday, January 13, 2010
To my fellow bloggers: Please stop writing interesting topics that I want to respond to with more than just a short comment. Gnome hunters have gotten pushed back practically a week because of you. Please, think of the gnomes.

If any of you read the WoW general forums much, one of the MVPs is named Palehoof and he's a tauren engineer of the gnomish variety. As he was showing off his awesome new drawing my Noxy, I checked out his excessively large collection of motivational posters. One of them caught my eye. Well okay, several did, but this one was something to write about: Gnomish Hunters.

It's a fact that gnomes have very few classes. And no healers. Their lack of faith is their own problem. So no paladins or priests. And I'm pretty sure the Gnomer incident took them off the Nice List for nature, so no druids or shamans. So what else can they get? No healers, but hunters at least.

But let's face it, gnomes aren't very hunter-like. It just doesn't make sense. But what can they do? They can talk to machines. So why not have gnomes be a special type of hunter which tames mechanicals? This could be all sorts of awesome.

And just to top it off, their 41 point Machine Mastery talent would allow them to tame exotic machines. And by exotic I mean machines that do not belong in player hands, such as Fel Reavers.

Frozen Orb: Need or Greed?

| Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Before LFD, my server had a standard of greed. People followed it.

Then LFD came and there was a mixed period during which some rolled greed and others rolled need, and in all sorts of combinations and timings, so I cannot ascribe it purely to ninjas.

Things seem to have settled down and people are all needing.

But for no apparent reason, I run into a group now and then that greeds. I've found no pattern to it. They don't talk more or less or play better or worse. If I remember, I'll try to find a pattern of servers.

I don't mean one person greeds, I mean everyone. Perhaps it is merely the group following the example of the first. But that seems to be insufficient.

The second person has every reason to need and I doubt social contract is what prevents his ninjaing. After all, I found no pattern of social interaction, these people are just as uninterested in other people as anyone else. By greeding they make themselves vulnerable to the next person needing. The third person can now see the picture even more clearly: need is to his benefit and he can also know that if he greeds, the potential benefit is even higher for the next person. Yet somehow, in these strange groups, there is a cascade of fairness.

The strangest behavior I've seen is rolling greed after a need roll. It's one thing to roll greed along with the rest: that's fair. But to roll greed after someone else has rolled need isn't fair, it's unfair against oneself. This doesn't even appear to happen purely through nearly simultaneous rolls; often they come with a few seconds spacing.

As for myself, I follow the highest roll. If everyone does greed, I do greed. If one person needs, I need. I roll greed for fairness. I roll need out of self-interest balanced against fairness and to reduce the chances of the potential ninja winning so as to ensure that need is not a profitable activity for him. There is the risk that this creates a new standard of need rolling, but as long as that is a standard, nothing is lost.

What do you roll? Greed, need, lowest, or highest? Or do you /roll 1-2 with 1 being greed and 2 being need and go by that? The sky's the limit.

What to put in Cheerscore?

| Monday, January 11, 2010
Shamelessly stolen from Larisa: What's Your Cheerscore?

How do you want to run this instance?
Rank by order of importance:
Kill everything
Learning the pulls
Learning the bosses

Fast: While obviously no one wants an instance taking ten minutes per pull as people go afk or a healer drinking every other mob. Chain-pulling; the paladin will cry if DP falls off.
Social: You're not in random PUGs to make friends, but why not be human and talk a bit? We're not the guys in Resevoir Dogs, we can talk. But I still don't want to know your name.
Kill everything: Maybe you want rep, XP, trash drops, or you're just a sociopath.
Explore: This means you're going to be going a little slower to look around, do some extra pulls, pick up quest items, and perhaps admire the art that the instances are.
Learning the pulls: This player is new, probably a new tank, and just needs some time to figure out what to pull, where pats are, where LoS obstacles are and when to use them. This will not be fast.
Learning the bosses: You might wipe on a boss. Or you might learn a new strat and be amazed.

Note that scores initially are nominative, not ordinal: in other words, they describe rather than rank. With some digging you could see how scores match up; so people with the same 1 and 2, or switched 1,2,3 might fit well together.

What would you add? And what's your score?

4Kill everything
6Learning the pulls
5Learning the bosses

I noticed that the order in which I thought of these roughly matches the order of importance.

Clarifying terrible writing

| Sunday, January 10, 2010
This morning I woke up and logged in to not one, but two jormungar. I mean misinterpretations because of my writing. The first was over at Righteous Orbs in response to my post about pie. Short version: it sounded like I was saying crafters are greedy assholes who ruin the economy, and I didn't mean that. Then Iapetes informs me that he wasn't trying to create hunter (pet) tanks, but instead that they should be utility.

So I'll take a second shot at this.

Crafting Arrogance

Crafting, mat farming, and even some AH manipulation are essential. I don't mean the person who buys out a market and reposts. He can go fuck himself. That sort of activity adds zero value. But the person who buys the cheap stuff one day to resell it for more later; they're helping to stabilize prices and make supply fit the demand better. Crafters should be pretty obvious: gems, glyphs, pots, flasks, enchants; we'd be in pretty bad shape without those. So they also add value. Mat farming is needed for the crafters to have anything to work with. So again, they add value, almost in its purest form, by being the inputs to the economy.

What I meant is that all of these decrease the gold supply, so when people say "I make X amount of gold a day", that's not true. They move, take, receive, earn, that much gold per day. They create none. This wasn't meant to be interpreted as a bad thing. It's inevitable that gold is destroyed and it must be. But on the same note, it's stupid to act as if crafting is the solution to all gold troubles. It was the arrogance that I was trying to target, not the crafting itself. As I said over on Righteous Orbs, I'm a crafter myself.

Hunter Tanks
Iapetes was trying to push the idea of ret/arms tanks and somehow hunters got mixed in with that. He did not mean that hunters would be heroic-quality tank, but that they would have extra utility. It was my suggestion that BM hunters become capable enough to tank heroics.

Sorry if anyone was confused or misled by this recent bad writing. In the future I'll try a bit harder on it. I have to admit that the Pie post was supposed to be about tanking and the first part was more of a short few sentences that somehow got way too long.

Nostalgia Day

If you're in Mass, reading this on your iPhone, nice phone. You might happen to hear the preacher talk of Biblical times with some sort of whistful nostalgia. Or his childhood. $10 he'll mention values at least once and how they've declined. Double or nothing on family.

Personally I prefer a Lord with whom I can directly interact. Specifically one I can kill and maybe take stuff from. He talks to me and other people can hear it. It's nice. His name is Ragnaros.

You probably have figured out that I am a bit of a nostalgia nut. I liked vanilla and I still do. That's why I'm in MC while you're all sitting in DPS queues trying to get frost emblems. We called them badges in my day. Actually, in my day we called the scarabs and we had too many, always of the wrong kind. Have I mentioned that I don't sit in DPS queues because I'm a tank? I wonder who would win, my tank alter-ego or Ragnaros. Considering my ego can solo some level 80 heroic pulls, I'm betting on that. Moving on.

I've decided to add some balance. You see, I believe in simpler times (the irony better not be wasted), back when we had regulations on media that forced some amount of balance in the media. Now all we have is Fox News and not nearly enough people watch it or listen to their many fine people in other media such as radio, podcasts, and the hysterical guys (and if you love etymology you'll like that one too) screaming on the street corner.

So, time for some balance; I will present two sides on the nostalgia issue:

Things were better back then, because we were poor.

They were all f-cking children!

Molten Core and why Vanilla players seem better
I recently ran into a few BC babies, meaning players who started after Burning Crusade came out. They are often entirely inexperienced in any high level content in Vanilla, often not doing any instances past level 55 or so. Maybe they wipe in BRD once, but they don't clear it, and the later instances are certainly unknown to them. Let's not even imagine raids.

So when I form an old world raid, they tend to get confused. They send me their gearscores and in one case, speculate that we won't be able to finish because our tank has only 22k health, which was a fury warrior; the tank was me with righteous fury on and marginally more health. This last group I ran into weren't attuned, got lost in BRD, and couldn't seem to understand basic directions.

The rogue did slightly impress me though. I don't think he'd ever heard of attunement and I'd not expected people to not be attuned. But he saw us all run over to an elf and vanish. rather than going "wtf where r u?" he instead talked to the elf and got a quest sending him into BRD. Then he got lost and almost died.

For someone who started in vanilla and knows the place, it seems stupid that someone can get lost in there. I mean come on, how can you not know the exact perfect route to take to get to any given location, with or without the key? Didn't you read the manual? What's next, a rogue without the lockpicking skill for a door 25 levels below him? Oh, we had that.

MC went fairly well aside from some loot complains. Such as the DK who claimed to be nine and furiously shaking because he was only standing up for himself; after I kicked him for being actively hostile and whiny the whole run. Also he got annoyed when I got the schematic for force reactive disk instead of him. He didn't seem to understand that the highest roll wins when there are four engineers rolling. The guildy got annoyed when the other enchanter outrolled him and frantically tried to buy it. Again, he didn't seem to understand that I meant it when I said it was an open roll, or at the start when I said they could make deals about the formulas if they wanted, as long as I was told before.

And then people forgot to get their cores, even though I told them to wait before leaving. So I ended up with almost all the cores and an ingot. At least I managed to hand out most of the BoEs before they scurried away. Yea, only most. This is pretty standard. People see the achievement pop up and *poof*. These were serious business back in the day. What may now seem like barely more than DE fodder (if not for nexus crystals being nearly worthless) was once worth a ton of gold; and the cores... well those are still worth a decent bit of change. So to a vanilla player, to just skip up on these when the raid leader is trying to hand them out, doesn't make much sense.

Okay TL;DR: Vanilla players have a certain set of knowledge and expectations which are unlikely to exist in newer players. This makes them appear stupid. It's worth noting that almost none of this knowledge has any practical use; unless you're the sort of person who prefers weird markets like mid-50s BoEs, mass runecloth, and turning nexus crystals into small prismatic shards and then into large prismatic shards which I presume are used by someone, since they give me gold for them.

Saturday Superstar: Pie

| Saturday, January 9, 2010
"I have my piece of the pie"
This is a phrase that always bothered me, talking about getting one's own piece of the pie. I don't mind the selfishness of it, after all, people do need to look out for themselves. What bothers me is that it implies a limited size: "I have my piece and what do I care about you?" Imagine if everyone needs one piece, nine people, and only eight pieces available; they'd grab their pieces and act as if they are better than the person with no piece, which just the plain reality dictates that someone will lack a piece. This is of course when the pieless person murders everyone else and lives it up until someone else comes along looking for pie. That analogy got a little too true to real life.


Or to put it in WoW terms: People often act like they're so great because they have tons of gold through activities which create no gold, but instead transfer it: crafting, AH manipulation, and farming. Crafting and farming have their place and are essential, but to hold them up as the only intelligent activities is to neglect the truth: Gold must come from somewhere. Dailies, mob looting, vendors: these are not fast gold, but they are necessary. Without them, there's no gold to trade for items and everything falls apart. Arguably they are done in excess, as is evident by their relatively low gold/hour, but the activity itself is essential.

The arrogant rich players have theirs and don't care how they got it. Perhaps they are the stupid ones for failing to recognize that their activities only decrease the gold supply; meaning that for a given input of gold per day, fewer people can become rich. In effect their piece of the pie doesn't just deprive someone else of that piece, it actually reduced the total available pie.

Fucking assholes taking away pie. What's next, no cake?


But this wasn't the point of my post. Instead I want to talk about my piece of pie. I have instant queues as a tank. In this case, I actually can act superior; at least over the DKs, druids, paladins, and warriors. Why? Because my piece of the pie isn't exclusive. They can have the exact same piece as me if they choose to have it. And this piece of pie actually makes more pieces.

In other words, for every tank/healer that queues, three more DPS get in. That's three more pieces of pie. And this is a sustainable process; we could all have near-instant queues if our chosen roles matched the 1-1-3 ratio of heroics. There's enough pie for everyone, there just are a lot of people who don't want it, and when they do finally get it, it is at the expense of others.

What I'm trying to say is this: Queue as a healer/tank and we'll all have a ton of pie.

P.S. This post was not written as a response to anything in the last few days, but I suppose it could have some applicability. I wrote in on Monday or so with tanking as my primary thought.

P.P.S. I lied: pie.

Oculus: Is this random?

| Friday, January 8, 2010
Apparently everyone gets Oculus all the time. I'd never gotten it as random. I decided to specifically queue for it, to see what it was like. I heard it had been nerfed and was curious about what had happened. And there were rumors of extra loot.

It was actually a lot of fun. I still tanked, ended up on the red drake, as I always seem to. But it was a different sort of tanking and quite a nice change. We got the speed kill achievement. Overall it was an okay run aside from the "go go go" DK. He made me wish the old LFG system in which I'd have been the lead and could have just kicked him at the start. Instead I had to settle for taking my time, though of course I couldn't let DP fall off. That would be unthinkable.

Turns out the extra loot is only for random. I guess it was intended to stop the ditching rather than to make people queue for it specifically.

I was feeling badge-happy, having already run a few randoms beyond my daily frost, so I queued again. And got Oculus.

Everyone was nicer, until the last boss. I picked amber so I could work towards the achievement. That failed because apparently no one got ruby. We put someone on ruby. They failed. I got on ruby. The boss died. Then I got some extra badges.

I hope I get Oculus some more.

P.S. This is the third post I've written for today, all on entirely different subjects. First it was Captain Kirk analogies, then frozen orb rolling, and now this.

P.P.S. I would like to apologize to anyone who was led here by the gnome hunters post. That will be for another day. Slight scheduling accident.

New hunter pet taunt and tanking shortage

| Thursday, January 7, 2010
I was going to call it Guard Dog, but that's taken. Guard: The pet will automatically attack and taunt mobs which attack the Guarded target.

This would have a limited duration or chances to activate in a given time, something to make it less mindless and less prone to abuse. BM hunters or tenacity pets would have more charges or shorter cooldown, hopefully to the point that a BM hunter with a tencity pet can be a decent heroic tank.

Iapetes and I have been batting this idea around of expanding the available tanks by allowing DPS classes/specs to do some moderate tanking. I didn't like it much at first, but it actually might address a serious problem: the shortage in heroics and the excess in raids. This would add tanks who are good enough for heroics, without changing the supply in raids.

Still, evidence remains that tanking isn't a matter of availability. We have DKs and there's still a shortage. We have dual-specs and there's still a shortage. Druids can tank in their kitty gear. DKs can tank, with a mitigation/avoidance loss (but still more than enough for heroics) with their DPS specs. Tanks have instant queues, which are themselves indicators of a shortage. Something about tanking just isn't attractive to the majority of players.

On the other hand, there is almost certainly a non-trivial minority of players who would tank if they had just one more spec or didn't need to devote a spec. I had the idea of a dedicated PvP spec; a third spec not intended for PvE and purchased with honor or arena points, but I have no idea how to prevent this just being a third PvE spec. Iapetes suggested that the crit-immune talents coming in Cataclysm could be low enough that DPS specs could take them. This would likely be overpowered in PvP or require coding to disable them in PvP. And if DPS are seeking to maximize their damage, they would need spare points to pick it up unless it was tied to a damage/tanking talent already, such as divine strength.

I don't think adding more tanking options will fix the shortage, but it would at least help a bit. And who knows, maybe I'm wrong and there's actually a huge number of players who just need one more spec or less grindy gear options or a pure class player who hates leveling too much, but a respec would work.

I like my bubbles

| Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Double, double pull and trouble;
Fire burn, and paladin bubble

Of course I like my immunity bubble.

I also like my 50% less damage bubble.

And the Divine Intervention bubble on other people saves me repairs, so that's nice.

But I also like my figurative bubbles. I like my tanking bubble. It protects me from the elitist, speed-running, wipe-causing, asshole tanks that supposedly are rampant in LFD. I've had one non-me tank since LFD started (outside of raids) and that was a very short HoR run, short due to fail.

Maybe this accounts for my generally positive perspective of LFD. I get near-instant queues (I blame lag) and I get to control the group somewhat.

in unrelated news, last night's ICC went very well. I got a new plate chest (die, leather!) and am now so far over the hit cap it has gone from being non-ideal to noobish to terrible and has now passed back around to being funny, if frustrating. Lady Deathwhisper felt overnerfed. I suppose we have downed her before, but either we played perfectly (which we didn't) or the adds were far too easy and her shield too weak, because it felt effortless. But, it is a game and this is only my perspective. Probably someone out there thinks she is perfectly tuned now.

It's all in how you say it

| Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Did you know that in Outland there are animate herbs, hostile creatures which wander around and have to be killed before you can gather them? Even the trees are not chopped down, but hunted. They are immune to nature magic, and so resist the attempts to druids to pacify them. Even shamans must resort the mage-like calls of fire and frost to damage them.

Sounds so much more impressive than: In BC herbalists can pick crap off some mobs.

I know this is about three year old content, but I only thought of it a few months ago when I was talking to a new player. I guess that's still old.

When do we learn that gear is for certain roles?

| Monday, January 4, 2010
A few days ago I happened to inspect another paladin in Orgrimmar and noticed that her gear was... odd. It was a mix of holy, ret, and prot gear. If you check my armory I might be wearing a prot chest and PvP boots and trinket in what is otherwise a decent ret DPS set, so I would seem to be a hypocrite for seeming critical of the person in Orgrimmar. Maybe I am! But there is one thing which I think stands out: enchants and gems. I am clearly wearing a tanking chest and PvP boots and they are gemmed and enchanted as such, so presumably I know they they don't belong. The paladin I ran into had the LW AP 'enchant' on her wrists, which were holy wrists.

This seems pretty stupid, right? Perhaps. But I try to avoid quickly dismissing people as stupid. Instead I believe the person in question may have not had the idea that gear is designed for certain roles. That sounds obvious, but is it really? The holy bracers had crit, SP, and intellect on them along with stamina which doesn't really differentiate anything one way or another since it's on everything. The crit, since it was unified with the introduction of 3.0 (or was it 2.0?) is definitely useful for DPS. Spell power is a weak stat, but someone could honestly and accurately claim that is is a beneficial stat, since many of our DPS abilities do scale with spell power. We even have a talent to increase it, so it's not so ridiculous to assume that spell power is a good ret stat.

Experienced players automatically do a lot of meta-gaming, trying to figure out what the devs intend, so as to gain an advantage. To us it seems perfectly logical that the devs would break gear into five different categories: DPS, tanking, healing, PvP, and cosmetic. So of course we'd see spell power and put it into casting: DPS or healing, and then judge that since they are plate they would be intended for paladin/warrior/DK, see that none of caster DPS trees, and reach the logical conclusion that they are for holy paladins: healing.

Imagine if you didn't break gear into those categories automatically but instead were shown gear and asked to determine if it is an upgrade. That would be a much more difficult task because you must evaluate a much larger pool of gear rather than being able to automatically throw away two-thirds of the possibilities. As with so many automatic human processes, these save time but not perfect; they are effectively a variation of stereotyping and can cause upgrades to escape us because they're not supposed to be DPS gear.

Oh there I went rambling on and on... When did you start calling some items healing gear and other items DPS gear and still others DPS? Did someone tell you one day when you rolled need on the wrong type of gear or did you figure it out on your own? Perhaps there was some guide which explained it? I've never seen such thing, but I don't see why it wouldn't exist. Perhaps it should if it doesn't!

Now accepting submissions for you to write my posts for me

| Sunday, January 3, 2010
My favorite social is at it again. Oh yes, the Greedy Goblin has figured out a new scheme: convince people think he has a great new post format by making them do all the work. I have to hand it to him, this actually isn't an incredibly stupid idea.

Step one: Write the introduction post
Step two: Do nothing. This is the best step of all for a lazy social who expects others to do his work for him.
Step three: Copy-paste screenshots
Step four: Add stupid commentary, or maybe just copy-paste the submission email text.
Step five: See your viewers go up as people rush to see if their particular screenshot was stolen. Er, honored.

Oh he has a great scheme going. Tell people who are too stupid and lazy to understand others that they are in fact brilliant and hardworking and that the others are the stupid and lazy ones, and then get a whole army of stupid and lazy people eager to say how much they agree with your brilliance. Oh he's such a little Ayn Rand. Someday I also hope to be a terrible writer who is famous for making sociopaths feel better about themselves.

P.S. I am not actually accepting submissions for you to write my posts for me. Even if I put your name as the writer, who gets the traffic and attention? Not you! Maybe a little bit. But let's face it, being able to put "written by Larisa or Tamarind" in a title would benefit me a lot more than it would them. If you really do want to send me free posts so I can publish them and people can get confused and think I suddenly got way better at writing, go right ahead, but don't blame me. Blame Syrana. Except do it a month ago.

P.P.S. I was going to stop posting on Sundays.

It's a girl

| Saturday, January 2, 2010
I have a niece.

Apparently she's the first girl in thr family in 52 years. I hope I can give her my legos once she's old enough to not eat them.

Saturday Superstar: Person who found me in Orgrimmar

/2 100g to the first person to find me, open trade, and hit trade if I put in 100g and hit trade

I put that up in response to someone begging for 50g. Someone found me pretty quickly, opened trade, and then we had a brief exchange of tells with him insisting that he'd won. He did eventually understand how he hadn't won.

Meanwhile the gold beggar had invited me to a group, but I guess he had taken a flight out to the Barrens. So he had a long flight back and I got bored and switched characters.

Why do people not take the time to read and understand what others say? At the very least they should have noticed that I said more than "100g to whoever opens trade" and found that odd. Maybe I was just in a trolling mood. Earlier I'd argued with a ret paladin about stacking int gems in response to him saying that the ret t10 bonus (40% chance on hit to reset divine storm cooldown) causes mana problems. He claimed he was not a whiner but got mad when we (trade chat) offered solutions.

But I'm going to make a huge assumption and guess that this isn't an isolated behavior. No, not my trolling, the failure to read and comprehend. Past lit reviews I've done found that people do not communicate well with text, partly due to loss of non-verbal gestures which are essential when speaking non-literally. Or when there is a perception of meaning within meaning. Combine this with the perception, the desire for the words to mean a certain thing (free gold!), and it's no surprise that people would misread. I suspect this has real life implications beyond just "lol they're dumb". In this case I was being intentionally misleading by imitating the usual message of hide and go seek for gold. If the message appears to be about free gold, is it so stupid to act to take advantage of the situation?

Could similar things happen elsewhere of people making otherwise rational decisions based on flawed perceptions? If so, this has use for preventing scamming or honest but harmful transactions by suggesting that the target problem is not the incurable stupidity of the customer, but instead the limited and temporary failure of accurate perception.

Player-made Heirlooms

| Friday, January 1, 2010
As I was looking at level 60 Darkmoon decks I was struck by a question: Wouldn't these be great for leveling? Too bad they're level 60 and very quickly obsolete.

So how about making them heirlooms, scaling up until 60?

Heroism: The healing would be lower at low levels. This might be a huge boon to warriors.
Maelstrom: Weaker nature damage proc. Could this be the ultimate enhancement leveling trinket?
Blue Dragon: Doesn't even need scaling, it works off stats.
Twisting Nether: Same thing, it self-scales.

These are all quest rewards, but thanks to inscription, the individual card are crafted in addition to world/boss drops.

Could this go further? I think alchemy has an easy option with its unlimited flask/potions. Perhaps they could have weaker BoA versions. Other crafters could make BoA 'greens', items which are uncommon quality, so as to not discourage instances, but would be persistent, creating a market for crafters and helping to keep gear reasonably up to date with the fast leveling. The material level would need some figuring out. Hopefully this would help to further expand the role of crafting in a way other than the latest super-expensive BiS.

Or is this all the wrong direction and it's time for characters to stand on their own again, besides a bit of gold and bags?
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