| Friday, April 30, 2010
30 days has September,
April June, (is it June? I can't remember)
And November

All the rest have 31

Except for February because it's weird.

I messed up another post schedule, if you noticed a ghost post in feeds or blogrolls. This happens now and then. Of course the easy solution is to just post whenever I write something. Trust me, it's better this way. If I made a habit of posting the moment I thought of something, I'd never shut up. I'm one of those people, the ones who just keep talking because their own ideas are so fascinating to themselves and everything you say reminds them of something else they were thinking. That might be a character flaw, or untreatable mental disease.

Did you know there are birds in Old Kingdom?

They appear to be ghost birds of some sort; translucent and blue.

My rogue just had a failed PUG in there, and I decided to look at the scenery a bit. It's quite an amazing zone. Visually, and by story. It's tells of the Nerubians, how they fled the Scourge by digging, and went too deep. The faceless ones are down there.

It looks great, the story is familiar but new: a three way war between Scourge, Old Gods, and Nerubians. But I don't like it very much. I don't know why not. The pulls aren't especially hard. I actually enjoy the spell flingers, a chance to put my silencing shield throw to good use. I love the last boss; the insanity mechanic is awesome.

Why don't I like Ahn'Kahet?

Accomplishment vs. Exclusion

Remember when epics were epic?

I remember when the loot system was terrible.
I remember when raiding required too many consumables.
I remember farming and farming and farming for resist gear.
I remember when epics were epic in the sense that they were incredibly hard to get. Perhaps too hard? Maybe?

Here's the fundamental problem: we all want to be unique heroes. We want to save the world. We want to be awesome. But everything is relative. When I save the world, I feel awesome. When you save the world, I lose some of my unique awesomeness. Objectively what I did is the same, but comparatively I am worse off.

Those at the top like stratification. It's what puts them at the top. Those at the bottom tend to not like it so much; or sometimes they don't mind it, but they wish they could move up. Mobility though, that makes the top vulnerable, they might stay at the top, but it will be crowded.

Vanilla had a pretty lonely top. WotLK has a more crowded top. BC was somewhere in the middle. Those at the top get angry as they see others rise to their level. They often did the same thing, just a little bit slower, but still, they were once the inferior and now they are not anymore. That's a hard adjustment.

Maybe it's impossible to balance. We all want to be at the top and we all don't want to be at the bottom, but with no bottom there is no top. We can't all get what we want on a relative scale.

This has led to the great irony: As WoW became more casual, I've seen more and more elitism. People used to know where they stood. They were in a raiding guild and that meant something; their guild had killed C'thun or KT and that meant something; they had a PvP rank, especially a high one, and that meant something. No one needed to say anything, so often they did not. It wasn't some enlightened time with no conflict, there was plenty, but we didn't have such urgent need to put down the other person to prove ourselves.

These days there's not quite as much to distinguish us. Everyone has done Naxx, or at least I imagine anyone who has cared and tried. Ulduar, people have cleared mostly (I've never killed Yogg-Saron or the general guy). The distinctions between players aren't so clear. So we make up new ones. We have gearscore and achievement links and we obsess over tank health and healer mana and we desperately try to prove that we are better than the next person over.

No one is immune to this, some just choose different paths to assert their virtual superiority.

Get ready to reduce inventory

| Thursday, April 29, 2010
Let's start with a basic bit of sense: If you think the price of something will go down, sell it before it does; if you think it will got up, sell it after it does. If you think it will be stable (or insignificantly different), then sell it now, since gold now is more useful than gold later.

Based on this you probably shouldn't have an inventory in the first place unless you craft in high amount and constantly have mats being mailed in. But we don't always make perfect decisions, so let's just assume that you do have an inventory and not question the reasons why it came to exist.

Prices will go down before the expansion. Gear will lose value as people anticipate it being replaced quickly or at least moving on to the easier task of leveling. This means raiding will go down, bringing with it consumable demand. Crafted gear will be worth less. Together this adds up to a major decrease in material prices.

Prices will go down, but when?

There's the 'natural' decrease caused by materials losing crafting value. But there will be a decrease before that as well, as people anticipate the drop and start selling. You will want to sell before this gets into swing. You cannot just speculate on the real world, you must speculate on the speculators.

If you have any BoEs, get rid of those even sooner. Materials will rise in price eventually as the inevitable parade of alts and min-maxing profession switches come. But gear, that will simply be obsolete. If something will never be desirable again, get rid of it. If it will be, consider how much the price might go up, and consider the bag space it might take. If you're carrying a stack of ore for a few months just to get a 10g profit, you probably lost far more than that by the lost spot for vendor trash. If you have a lot of bank space, then you must consider the negative effect of reduced capital, not that you didn't have to before, but it was a secondary issue to bag space.

For my part, I'm moving down to the minimum. I had tons of gems just sitting around, which I should have sold much sooner. Those are being quickly sold off, but not dumped! They still have value, so it would be stupid to just throw them all out at a fool's price. In particular I'm trying to get rid of my darkmoon trinkets; which is actually bringing in a decent bit of gold. None of this is making me rich, but even if I don't chase gold, I have no objections to having more of it!

Klepsacovic doesn't think things through.

| Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Hi I'm Iapetes. I've made a few guest posts here before (like 2?) and occasionally I troll kleps' comments sections here, but usually we talk online (I have an 80 DK on his realm) or AIM. I enjoy a pretty wide selection of WoW's content- arenas, BGs, heroics, post-60 questing, and most relevantly 10 and 25 man raiding both.

Kleps has failed to think things through today, imo. First he wrote this post about the recent 10v25 announcement, and then he asked me if I wanted to write this counterpoint post. What on earth was he thinking?!

To keep it simple, I'll go point by point.

1) If the loss of loot will kill 25s, then they should die.

Kleps posits that arenas were killed in late tBC because raiders lost a big motivation to do them: weapons. Easily accessible gear at a time when raiding was not nearly as accessible. K kleps few problems with this:

A- Arenas are less popular now because blizzard screwed up big time with WotLK- they made everyone way too squishy. Arenas were still very popular in seasons 3 and 4.

B- Arenas still offer the best pvp loot, loot you can't get from battlegrounds. There's still serious incentive to do them if you're a pvper.

C- They aren't dead yet. But it's coming. Kleps' argument is based on the notion that arenas are better for not having as many people. But what about when there's no incentive at all because rated BGs will be easier to organize, easier to play, and offer the same gear to even the worst players? It's tough to enjoy arenas when you can't find anyone who will bother to do them with you.

And that brings me to my next point. How the hell does less people doing 25 mans equate a better experience for anyone who enjoys doing 25 mans? "yay my guild stopped doing 25s entirely and maybe i'm not even invited to any of the 10 mans with decent players"? Players dropping 25s in favor of 10s only ruins a whole lot of 25 man raids.

"Those who enjoy truly enjoy 25 mans will continue to do them" too bad that's contingent on 24 other people feeling the same way.

2) 25 man raiders should not be running 10 man raids just for loot.

Valor Points (the new version of the 'raiding' badge in cata) are going to have a cap on how many you can get in one week. That would have taken care of doing 10m for badges alone. Which is, in fact, how we get most of our gear. Not like ICC 10 gear is much better than ToC25 gear either.

3) 10 man raiding can be its own track, not merely a lesser form.

10 man raiding is it's own track already. It's an easier track but it stands on it's own. Why is that bad exactly? I mean, isn't the appeal of 10 mans in the first place that it's easier to get together and go do something? That it's less 'hardcore'? I'm sure there's a few people out there who wished 10 mans were equal in difficulty to 25s so they could have an extra challenge. But I'm just as sure that most players saying that aren't after bigger challenges, but better gear. For the life of me I can't understand why Blizzard is putting 25 mans at such a huge risk just for some '10m only' raider's E-PEEN.

3) Choices are hard.

Not everyone just pugs 10 man. I'm being forced to choose between 10 and 25 on my paladin, and I'll certainly choose 25 but that means I won't be playing with most of the people in my 10m group anymore. My guild will almost certainly continue 25 mans though, so at least the choice is up to me.

The fact is that players take the path of least resistance to gear. And at the same time there's a limit to what they'll do for it. IE: most guilds are content to do normal mode dungeons and not hard modes. By that same token, in arenas 3v3 and 5v5 have always rewarded more points than 2v2. But the only way Blizzard could get players out of 2s and into 3s this expansion was to restrict weapons and shoulders to the higher brackets. How they can know this, that faster gear wasn't worth a damn to pvpers, and then turn around and give the proverbial Gladiator shoulders and swords to 10 man players... I don't know. I just see a potential disaster and absolutely no good reason to risk it.

EDIT: I forgot one last thing. Kleps' attitude of "well if 25 mans die out that just means they weren't fun" is pretty retarded. But he's not the only person I've seen saying something similar. To those of you who feel this way I'd like to ask you something. Is it more fun to grind heroics for badge gear than it is to run Ulduar 25? If heroics rewarded the same gear as the latest raid and everyone stopped raiding, was that because heroics are more fun?

A slacker? Typical 25-man elitism.

Larisa called me a slacker in my previous post. Well, perhaps. But I know a challenge when I see one.

I see little that is not good about the upcoming changes. I think 25 man raiders and 10 man raiders will benefit. Yes, both groups.

If the loss of loot will kill 25s, then they should die.
The loss of 'welfare' epics killed arenas, and they should have died. I believe there is a purity to them now. They are now filled with people who want to do competitive PvP. Of course some lootwhores remain, but they are the minority, rather than the overwhelming majority. Arenas were improved by no longer having artificial incentives drawing in people who didn't want to be there. Less people do them, but that's fine if it means that less people who don't want to do them aren't doing them.

I believe 25 man raids will be the same. Those who truly enjoy them will continue to do them. Those who don't, won't. This is not a bad thing.

25 man raiders should not be running 10 man raids just for loot.
It's rather silly that raiders are pushed into heroics, not just to gear up initially (by that I mean, before we were farming Naxx), but for a large portion of their badges. Raiders should raid. Some farming here and there is good, but no one benefits form shoving the raiding population into content which is trivial and old for them. 10 man raids are not much different. They are easier content run purely for gear, rather than for the fun of it.

Do 25 man raiders lose a chance at gear? Nope! Their raids will be giving extra gear, likely matching that which they'd get from their boring 10 man extra, except without being downgraded quality. Imagine that, 25 man raiders can get what they need from 25 man raids, without being pressured to a track of content that they don't want to do.

10 man raiding can be its own track, not merely a lesser form.
10 man raiding is going to see a huge increase. Guilds won't feel pushed into 25s for the 'prestige' or loot. The idea that 10 mans are just inferior 25s, a source of easy loot, will eventually wither, though I doubt 10s will ever be seen as equal to 25s.

Currently there are very few pure 10 guilds. They sound stupid, don't they? They cut themselves off from the real raiding, taking inferior loot, and less of it. A 25 man guild gets better gear and more of it since they can do 10s too, but a 10s guild is so restricted. Not anymore. Now 10s guilds will be normal. If they happen to grow they may become 25 guilds, but they won't just be stunted and inferior pre-25 guilds.

This will also benefit new raiders. They'll have a small place to start, when they aren't one of slightly over two dozen, shielded from their mistakes and never learning until it's too late. Too late means they've learned nothing but think they have.

Choices are hard.
I know it sounds frightening, to have to actually commit to a raid, to not do the guild 25 and then a PUG 10 man for some offspec and mean stories. It's strange to imagine raiding not being a purely guild activity. But that's what it used to be and I think it was better that way.

We used to trade in trade chat, not spam GS requirements for a PUG. Am I being nostalgic? Well fuck yes, I am. Deal with it. Let's face it, the community has gone downhill. A lot of that I blame on accessibility going too far, too many badges and too many PUGs and too many people thrown together for a short time just to grab gear and hopefully never see each other again. Bring back the guild raid, bring back the guild, and let's stop this dicking around with gearscore just because we can't trust each other anymore.

I'm supposed to be writing about the 10-25 split and the death of 25, yes?

Some call for gloom and doom. Some predict a glorious future. I have my thoughts. You want them I bet. You are reading this after all. Surely you don't read this just for the font choice and background template.

Well too bad.

Go read what has been written before. My opinion is there somewhere. The opinion of someone else. We're sharing. What difference does it make if I say it here, comment it there, or sit here with a smug grin, sure that I am right and those other people are wrong and everything will be as I say?

I have nothing to add that I haven't already added, somewhere. I probably had nothing to add then either. Go read Spinks, Larisa, Tobold, and Tamarind; do a Google search for "death of 25 man raiding" or "savior of 10 man raiding".

Times like this I wonder why we make so many posts and tend to all say the same thing. Are we so important that we deserve our post? And who are the cocky fucktards who think they're being snowflakes and flowers by not writing about it and then saying they aren't? Just say nothing and let us ignore your self-righteous silence.

The good kind of apathy

Yesterday I joined a half-PUG half-guild ICC10 run. First wing was no problem, aside from a slight trouble on Deathwhisper while protecting the quest add. The poor abomination bosses of Festergut and Rotface died easily as well. Then we didn't kill anything else, though we nearly got Dreamwalker up.

I didn't care about the run much. I don't know what loot drops in 10 man. I don't care much about badges. I have all the rep. I was hoping to get some souls for my Shadow's Edge, but I approached that as I would any extremely long grind: don't expect to get anywhere fast.

In other words, I had no incentive to go. No external incentive. I was there only because I thought the experience itself would be fun, regardless of any reward.

I had a blast. I hit things with my axe. I hit more things with my axe. I fired a cannon a bunch at an Alliance ship. I threw a bomb at Putricide. What more could a person want? Oh... oh yes, it turns out repeatedly failing at Dreamwalker means fighting lots and lots of adds, which all give souls. I went from 100/1000 at the start of the run to 313 at the end.

The last couple days I've been running some randoms with a friend. I guess the badges are good, but it's more interesting to just play and enjoy what I'm doing. I switched to blood from frustration at having only one 1h that wasn't fast; DW frost with fast weapons is bad. It's new, much less to press, but I'm a bit disoriented by the different rune patterns and cycles.

I've often been quick to blame Blizzard for loot hamster wheels and pressuring players to do content they don't want to do, just for the loot. I still think I'm right, that Blizzard shouldn't push gear as much and throw it like candy at a parade. But as players, we're still responsible for our own play, for choosing to do what we enjoy. If we're not having fun, we're doing something wrong.

I get to beat slaves

| Tuesday, April 27, 2010
And at the end they give me gold, snowballs, and yeti cheese? Best quest ever, next to the Booterang.

The ongoing joke of the rings

As I'm sure we know, Blizzard likes to put jokes everywhere. Nothing is safe. Not even fishing. Especially not fishing.

It started with The 1 Ring.
"Not quite as good as the 2 Ring"

Some would have been content with this. But not Blizzard.
In Burning Crusade they added The 2 Ring.
"Vastly superior to the 1 ring."

Again, some might have left it there. A Lord of the Rings joke and a joke about their joke. But this is Blizzard we're talking about. I pretend they have an entire team of devs dedicated only to finding places to add jokes.

So in Wrath of the Lich King, there came to be The 5 Ring.
"This ring appears to have eaten the 3 and 4 rings."

Huh? Surely they'd save that joke for the 7 ring and how the other rings fear it because, pardon me, "7 8 9". Why not just have The 3 Ring?

1, 2, 5

I wonder what we'll have in Cataclysm.

Check before you DE green plate or mail

| Monday, April 26, 2010
A few months ago I advised caution when picking DE, since BoP blues often vendor for more than shards sell on the AH. Lately I've started watching greens as well.

Dust has crashed to near 1g each on my server. Sometimes higher, sometimes lower. Either way, it's not much. Low LK gear will only give 1-3 dust and very low chances of a cosmic essence; meaning an average of 2-3g from DE. Cloth vendors for little enough that it is still profitable to DE. But plate I've often seen at a nearly 50% loss. Mail is a loss as well. Leather is mixed, but I'd pick DE to save the bag space and vendor time.

As you auto-run to the next pack, take a second to glance at the vendor price. If it's 4-5g, it's probably not worth vendoring.

Welfare epics, calulators, and the Amish

What is a welfare epic? It's a piece of gear which is much more powerful than would be expected based on the difficulty of the content. They started as arena gear with no rating requirements and not especially high costs, leading to the trend of losing to get gear. Then there was more and more badge gear, though price inflation and poor stat allocation made it less powerful than it would have been and too expensive to seem trivial. Now we have fairly cheap badge gear, either nearly unlimited T9 badges or time-limited T10 (frost) badges, both available from trivially easy heroics.

Why are they called welfare? A dev made an offhand comment about losing for PvP gear, and that stuck. Quite stupid if you ask me, since welfare is something for free. What would be a better real life comparison?


Mere decades ago, this oldish computer I use would have been awe-inspiring. It has multiple colors of text! And graphics! COLOR! Not to mention a bigger CPU cache than some computer would have on the entire hard drive, more RAM than they could count back then.

Let's downgrade a bit to calculators, since I think it will work better for this topic. These days, or even the previous days, calculators were cheap enough that every stupid could have one. They're a bit like epics for Naxx. You don't need them; any reasonably intelligent and educated child should be capable of simple mental addition and subtraction, some multiplication and division, and much more if given a pencil and paper. The calculator isn't needed.

I'm reminded of the recurring debates about calculators, about how they'll never learn to do math if a machine does it all for them. The counter-arguments tended to include things like "once you know how to add and can demonstrate consistent ability, doing it by hand is just wasting time." In other words, the mental development has happened, so more addition isn't going to help any.

Gear needs the calculator treatment. We need to discuss why we have it, when to get it, and without throwing around concepts like earning or deserving or the inevitable claims that this or that group of people are moronic noobs who will never learn. As with calculators and math, we should learn to play before we start floating by on gear.

This doesn't mean that there is no place for easy gear. It is technology, and technology, in most cases, is good. But technology brings change and change is not always good. Technology changes society, and society doesn't always keep up. The Amish know this. That's why they appear anti-technology: they aren't, but they are wary of technology and take measures to ensure the stability of their society.

I wouldn't want to live in an Amish community, but I do think we can learn from them. We can learn that technology cannot be simply unleashed upon humanity, unregulated, unrestricted, and unprepared. Similarly, we should keep a closer on on easy gear. It is having a negative effect. It is giving children calculators before they've even learned what numbers are, so they spend all their time punching in 58008, flipping the calculator, and laughing. That's no way to learn.

Blizzard should address this problem. It doesn't appear to have yet. There must be a middle ground, someplace between the trickle of guilds into AQ40 in Vanilla and the torrent of over-geared and under-prepared PUGs in WotLK raids. We shouldn't be doing calculus in our heads or 1+1 on a calculator.

The value of worthless crap

| Sunday, April 25, 2010
If I added up all the gold I've spent on getting Insane in the Membrane, I imagine it would be tends of thousands, maybe even into the hundreds. Of this, almost nothing has gone into anything which actually benefits me: no flasks or gear or anything which would help me in any normal sense of progression. Clearly this means that all this gold was wasted. I couldn't have possibly valued the title at over a hundred thousand gold. That's a lot! Even a goblin would consider that worth remembering, and they'd certainly not spend it on a title. Those are for socials!

I believe the title, or more accurately, the process of acquiring it, was not worthless. For this, I propose the Backwards Theory of WoW Economics.

We're all familiar with supply and demand. We assume that with a stable supply, demand is the primary driver of price.

In my experience this isn't at all true. Instead it is the other suppliers who determine price. Not directly, it's not as if I have to follow their lead. But their actions, or inaction, are what determine the price I pick.

I propose that in the backward economic world of WoW, the primary decider of the price of a crafted item is not determined by demand for the item or material costs, but instead by how bored the crafters are that day.

Bored crafters mean less competition, meaning a higher price. Active crafters do the reverse. Sometimes they reach an equilibrium, a temporary one, in which crafters are becoming interested and bored/frustrated at a similar enough rate that prices reach a stable point. Then someone hits the gold cap or buys whatever they wanted and leaves and the other crafters have a field day. Or a few new people wander in and start undercutting because they think materials are free; next thing the price crashes, the noobs think they're rich, and they leave.

In practical terms, what does this mean?
The grind made me into more of a crafter, a scribe to be specific. It added another person buying all those low level herbs, and mid-level herbs, and high level herbs. That encourages people to farm, bringing in actual value to the economy, rather than just grinding dailies. Or maybe it just helped a lowbie pay for training. Either way, it made another person better off and a more useful player. It also resulted in a lot of excess inks, which I found little market for as ink, but as glyphs, I made a decent bit of gold, and since mine sold and the other guy's didn't, I clearly offered a better price.

The Darkmoon cards were probably the most expensive portion of the grind, at least initially. I made dozens and dozens of these, ranging from the lowest ones that can be turned in with a summoned quest NPC to the expensive Nobles cards. As I sold either the decks, trinkets, or gear from the low level ones, I realized something: there was next to no competition. People just were not making the lower level decks, or were not selling them, either way, there was an empty market waiting to have value added to it.

A burnt out or failed scribe was 'bailed out' by me, being overwhelmed with worthless cards and trinkets and inks, she sold me tons of them at 10-50% the market price. Some I was able to combine into more cards and glyphs, others I resold over time. My presence turned what was on the verge of being vendor trash into thousands of gold for her, and even more for me.

I said initially that the Darkmoon cards were the most expensive. That was initial costs. In the end I made a profit from all the crafting and selling I did. I still have cards and decks to sell off, so I estimate a few dozen thousand more gold to come. Or I could try to dump them on another insane person and carry on the cycle.

Did you know there's an ogre disguise? It's true. They're rather obscure though, coming from a goblin captured in the north wing of Dire Maul. I was the sole source of those for a long time. Maybe still. What is the value of turning into an ogre? Well, clearly something, if people gave me gold in exchange for ogre suits.

I sound like I'm tooting my own horn. That's because I'm an amazing person. Okay really it's because I'm trying to back up my inverse theory, to show that just by motivating people to participate in the economy, even if it's not for anything useful, will ultimately be productive.

Then there was my early gain from Steamweedle rep, no longer being attacked on sight by goblins. Turns out they get mad if you kill thousands of their fellow guards. What socials!

Kelpsacovic the Insane

| Saturday, April 24, 2010

I rather like the sound of it.

I have one small complaint. What goes well with the title? Obsolete weapons. But I cannot fish with them. So I make this tiny and perfectly reasonable request to Blizzard: Allow players with Insane in the Membrane to use anything as a fishing pole. Thunderfury, pitchfork, bare hands, anything other than this perfectly reasonable and sane fishing pole!

Doesn't this look like a good fishing weapon? And look at that surely fish-infested lava! Or would it be magma? We are in a mountain, so I guess that's technically underground.

We are the liars, not the concept art

Concept art is not advertising. Well, maybe in the way that everything is advertising these days. But it's not supposed to be a preview and it's not supposed to tell us what the game will be.

It's not to inspire us, except in the generic "be brave heroes and explore places" way. It's for the devs. They don't draw this stuff for us. It's for them.

Concept art is to the finished product as an outline is to a complete paper. They won't be quite the same. Especially not after someone has reviewed the outline and made a lot of changes.

We should not lie to ourselves and think that the concept art is a reflection of the game. We should look at it and think "That looks cool, I hope the devs agree and can ut that into the game." We shouldn't think "That looks cool, that must be what the game will look like."

Are we disappointed that we never got lost in Northrend and ambushed by undead like in the early trailer? Or that we didn't get to stab ice and get a frostwyrm? Advertisers lie quite often. But perhaps more often, we lie to ourselves.

Let's try what Larisa is failing to do: "I try to regard the Concept Art and the movies as a source of inspiration for my own imagination rather than as a table of contents for the game."

I hate Hickory Pipes

| Friday, April 23, 2010
Hickory Pipe: 15.5s per stack of five.
Heavy Junkbox
: Needed for Ravenholdt rep.

These are both able to be pickpocketed from Scarlet Crusade mobs in the Plaguelands.

They use the same loot sound. So there I go picking along and getting a little bit of excitement from that sound, since in LBRS it is a unique indicator that I've picked what I wanted. But most of the time it's vendor trash.

Damn you, hickory pipes. Damn you, Scarlet Crusade.

I should have stuck with the trolls.

Before I knew anything: Terrorweb Tunnel

Terrorweb Tunnel is a tunnel connecting the Thondroril River and Plaguewood. That's the northwest corner of the Eastern Plaguelands.

I first heard of this tunnel when Naxxramas came out. Not the one over Dragonblight. The one over the Plaguelands. The one that barely anyone saw and had an expensive attunement unless you did a long rep grind. I think it was 1.9.

With the addition of Naxxramas came a few token-purchasable items from the Argent Dawn. These tokens came from turning in certain mats, including spider bits. So the first time I heard of thus tunnel was in regard to Naxxramas farming.

Long story short: I thought Terrorweb Tunnel was part of Naxxramas. This led to much confusion when I went in there at 70. Where was the tunnel!?

What mixups of geography baffled you?

Blizzard, give us some fucking puppies

| Thursday, April 22, 2010
You made the pony problem which led to all this whining and insulting and hysteria. Clean up your mess. It's very simple.

Anyone who does not have a pony, mail to them a puppy which randomly shits rainbows and wrestles with the perky pug and core hound pup. If a pony is near the rainbow, it immediately takes flight (even in Dalaran or old world) and all nearby players gain the ability to fly on a pony for a few minutes.

Targets on temporary ponies would be flagged FFA. For hugs. They clearly need them.

Shuffle shuffle shuffle

"Shuffle? I don't fucking shuffle! I am a rogue. Shuffle is sound. I am silence. Unless I'm yelling. Fucking shut up."

My rogue isn't a very nice person.

"NICE!? I don't need to be nice. I need to pick all these damn boxes for you."

She's been farming Blackrock Spire for heavy junkboxes.

"And, and then you give them away for some shitty throwing weapon. Which vendors for over a gold! And then you destroy it. What's that sound? No not the imaginary shuffling. Yes that's it, money being destroyed. Idiot!"

You see, I've been working on building up my reputation with Ravenholdt, which means giving them a lot of junkboxes.


She pretends she does all the work.


She forgets that I was the one running around killing literally thousands of Syndicate.

"Oh the terrible sacrifice of doing your usual ret faceroll, except with targets that can barely hit back. I used to stab people in the face and poison them and pick through their corpses. Not all this thieving. I'm a rogue, sure, but I'm not a thief for hire!"

She doesn't get paid. I don't even let her use poisons because they take up bag space.

"Meanwhile I'm trying to sneak around the lower spire and you're up at the top hitting dragons in the face with that ugly axe!"

Which ugly axe? I have two, you know.

"The fuck it matters? I'm being quiet and you're up there waking up half the spire! Just the other day I was trying to sneak up to some sleeping orcs to grab a chest and they all jump up and I hear you spinning away and throwing hammers."

Pardon me, but I can be sneaky when I need to.
*triggers gnomish cloaking device*

"How many times have I said I want to switch to engineering? How many times? Do you have any idea how great it would be to have a parachute cloak?"

You have safe fall and don't need to be jumping off cliffs.

"And you do?"

Of course. I'm a paladin; jumping off cliffs with my feet shooting flames is very heroic. As I've always said: "Better smiting through technology."

"You're not a priest, noob. You have what, three other miners? You're a miner! The death knight, and the warrior too! You'd never even go mining on me, you prefer crusader aura."

The death knight has a name, you know.

"I can't pronounce that shit."

I know. You can't even pronounce my name.

"Yea, you're so cool with your fake Russian and fake German and fake whatever the fuck you named the hunter."

Folaksamba is not fake. It's made up. There's a difference.

"Fuck you!"

I'll expect another 60 boxes by the end of the day.
Isn't she nice? Kinda chunky though. I think because she never runs. Lazy.

"I am not fat, you armored bitch!"

Excuse me, why are you still here? My mailbox doesn't appear to have the 60 boxes.

Was that a pony?

| Wednesday, April 21, 2010
My hunter's most recent random PUG had a new warrior tank. He said he was new, so I offered to misdirect the pulls for him. That was in case he didn't know them. But no, he seemed to know what he was doing, so off we went. In the end he tanked just fine, even noticing when the huntard managed to pull aggro and didn't feign fast enough; using his in-combat charge to great effect. Or maybe it was intervention.

He would even mark a target or two, usually the oh so annoying runecasters. I relearned that tranq shot dispells magic, having forgotten hunters had that ability since it was removed from arcane shot. Great against the shields. And convenient since the runecasters and their bubbles were marked as the kill target. Well done!

Sounds fairly competent, right?


He had a pony, and as we all know, only complete idiots buy the pony. I'm confused as to how such a moron, such a fool, could manage to tank the instance without problems. Maybe blanket generalizations of intelligence and competence are inaccurate when based on buying one item. Nah, that doesn't make any sense. With something like that, the world couldn't be easily split into us and them. Nope, the warrior must have been an idiot. I bet he was botting. That fits perfectly since it also shows he's lazy and cheats.

There we go, it's all worked out: only idiots buy ponies and if they appear to be good, it's because they're botting, so report them to a GM. Makes perfect sense.

I hope to continue to leech off other people in WoW

Apparently ponies fill people with joy or rage.

I pay the same $15 a month as you. Perhaps less since I started getting the longer subscription. I probably pay more though. My $15 a month gets me more.

Those who play more use more server resources. They often play too much, meaning they burn out on content faster than if they played the same amount but spread out. They down content faster, pushing the devs to produce content faster. They pay the same $15 a month as those who play less. Our content is produced with the money of other players. In effect they, we, are leeching.

This is part of the justification for "I pay the same $15 a month, I should get to see X content." But that's a different topic. Feel free to totally derail this based on one sentence.

I have used a total of two non-subscription services in WoW. They were transfers for my shaman and paladin back during BC. All you who race change and switch servers and buy pets and mounts: you're paying for my content. Especially the pony people. You pay $25 for a horsie and get in return something which costs far less than $25 to produce. That money goes somewhere: to devs who make non-pony content, my content.

Of course I could be completely wrong, and the pony money actually doesn't go to developing anything at all, and is actually doing nothing but distracting investors from investing in my content. But I prefer to live in a fantasy land where corporate takeover doesn't ruin everything.

Garrosh is going to kill Nozdormu

| Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Two of the caverns of time events are based on preventing the development of the current Horde. The culling of Stratholme creates the current world situation which eventually leads to the Wrathgate.

As we all know, and by know I mean have speculated, Nozdormu is the leader of the Infinite Dragonflight. He's altering time to prevent his death. What is his death?

What being is powerful enough and stupid enough to start a pointless fight with the Aspect of Time? Garrosh.

All of the infinite interferences come down to one thing: The development of Garrosh. He has foreseen the rise of a total fucktard. Garrosh is going to kill Nozdormu, probably for no good reason, and Nozdormu seeks to prevent that.

There will be one last attempt: Nagrand, an event which will consist of us killing dragons as they charge toward Garrosh and try to push him into the bonfire. I predict many people will never complete the instance.

I'm so sick of people whing about bad PUGs

| Monday, April 19, 2010
We get it, there are bad PUGs. People play badly. They pull slowly. The pull too quickly. They say stupid stuff. There's nothing new to be said. Nothing to contribute.

Alright so I'm on my hunter in Ahn'Kahet...

The warrior tank is pulling slowly. He's grabbed one spider at the start and we've killed it. Actually... the healer pulled a spider and I misdirected it to the tank. Then the tank stared at the other spiders for a while. Maybe he was trying to figure out how to pull or waiting for the other to patrol across. The healer told him to go, so he went, and we had too many spiders.

Tank died. We all died.

The healer started attacking the tank. Claimed he had SP gear. Clearly that would be bad, so once we got back I inspected to find this offensive SP gear on a tank. I found: one pair of boots, which were likely chosen for the high amount of stamina on them. He was in mostly greens, a blue or two, and no defense. Seemed normal for a tank new to Northrend. He'd pulled badly. That had nothing to do with one pair of SP boots or defense rating.

We carried on. People didn't attack the spell flingers first. The tank didn't seem to be having health spikes. I suspect it helps when the healer heals him, rather than telling him to hurry.

We go to the left path. This is the area with a group near the ledge which can be skipped, a group to the right, and a patrol of the same going back and forth. It's best to wait for the pat to come closer, then pull it back.

Instead the tank charged the left group. Eventually the pat came across and we had that too. My trap caught one, but this was a bad situation. Somehow the other group came too. We all died.

I assume the tank left out of frustration. It's not fun to wipe twice and get flamed. I brought up that this might be why there are so few tanks: douchebags in randoms who flame them for learning. That led to more arguing and the claim the warriors are faceroll and only scrubs wear SP. I'm not sure how either of those were relevant to rushing into bad pulls.

A new warrior joined, which much better gear. He promptly pulled the remainder of the hallway. So much for the "gear implies skill" hypothesis. First boss went well, except for the healer standing away from the boss, meaning that thunderclap wasn't removing the adds. On the first pull past the ghoul stampede the warrior somehow got the giant patrol, then got feared into adds, and then more adds. So much for gearscore pressing the berserker rage button for him. He screwed up one more pull before skipping the third boss and going straight to the end.

On the last boss the rogue freaked out and started yelling at us to stop attacking him. He was last on the damage. Turns out he'd never done the place before. I imagine suddenly being attacked by your own party could be a problem if its totally unexpected. Thankfully my hunter was highest, so I was immune to flaming, not that I would have taken any shit anyway.

I apologized for the bickering I'd done, explained that I hated seeing new tanks get flamed, wished the rogue and warlock a nice day, and left. The healer had already left after saying he hated us and didn't res the warlock. I don't remember if he ever dropped any totems.

I'm glad I didn't level my paladin or warrior from 1-80. The pause at 70 to get overgeared was a lot of help when leveling in instances. I never had to deal with gear flaming. Mistakes were mistakes, rather than absolute proof that I was irredeemably terrible.

"What are you jebus?"

| Sunday, April 18, 2010
"no, that's my shaman."

I'm not a fan of exploits. It has something to do with my arbitrary and self-inflicted moral sense. What is an exploit? To me, it's something vaguely defined as "not working as intended", which breaks the rules, done intentionally for personal gain.

Finding that the vending machine gives back your money after you buy something, that's lucky for you. Putting the same dollar in over and over for free candy, that's an exploit. Not to mention theft.

Let's get to the damn story.

My 72 hunter was in regular AN for a random. As we got to the second boss I was told to attack and feign. I refused, instead misdirecting the first pull to the tank. Second pull went fine. Third pull was tanked too close, aggroing the boss early and preventing the webbing. We wiped. Someone blamed the DK. I don't know if it was his fault or not.

As we were preparing for the second attempt they insisted that I use the exploit. I again refused and then they all left, leaving me shaking my head.

What's so fucking terrifying about taking an extra minute and some semi-careful pulling? This isn't a random heroic that is run for emblems, or even just the two frost. It's a leveling instance. If you're in a rush, you're doing it wrong. If you want to level fast, don't fucking queue for instances; they're slower than questing, especially when you wipe the group by sucking.

And what the fuck doing not wanting to cheat have to do with being Jesus? Can a person not just make the right choice without it being taken to some stupid extreme? If I was Jesus, I'd probably have sat down to pray for her damned soul, not argued. Or I'd be too busy dying as I ran to Icecrown as part of the worst possible path to Dragonblight. Actually I did do that. It didn't work.

Screenshots or it didn't happen. The conversation, I meant.

And what the fuck is with people not using names? I get that Folaksamba is annoying to type out. How about "Fol"? It's short and retains the weird appearance of the original name.

I swear, my pugs are cursed.

Sometimes I'm tempted to believe Gevlon when he claims 95% of people are worthless idiots. The trend is starting to look like that. So many people who can see nothing beyond their short-sighted "gimme gimme gimme!" It's as if people just don't think. They don't see any problem with breaking the game to slightly hasten their bar-filling. In real life I look at politics and see so many people who just don't seem to think past ideology. I think of my uncle whose eyes stopped working when he was young and think of how he's one of the few people with an excuse for being blind.

Details about troll city from dev tweets!

| Saturday, April 17, 2010
It requires a two week rep grind and an 8k Gearscore to enter.


| Friday, April 16, 2010
Twitter sounds like a good place for short, pointless posts that I insist on writing despite being short and pointless. Twitter blogging. Twigging?

What whirlwind should be

Iapetes claims whirlwind should be a strong single-target attack, in addition to the AoE. In other words, not 50% damage. I agree.

Whirlwind should do more damage on average. I suggest that whirlwind emphasize the berserking nature of warriors. Make it unable to miss, be dodged, or parried. It would always hit.

Between 0 and 20 targets.

"I have a life."

Short version: This is not directly related to the recent mount/pet store chatter.
This post wasn't written recently. It is at least a month old. I was having a lot of trouble writing it, for no clear reason. What finally fixed that was copy-pasting what I had in an email to Gordon at We Fly Spitfires and asking if he wanted to do a quest post on the subject. I never actually sent it, trying to explain what I wanted to say resulted in me saying it, more or less. This was even scheduled several days ago, so it coming out at this time is just remarkable coincidence.

"Why is that people who do not work or choose not to work can have all the best stuff and those of us who actually pay taxes and have lives can not?" - Copied from the forums; I didn't bother to remember the poster or thread. As an individual the poster is irrelevant to the discussion.

What is this shit? When did "having a live" become the catch-all excuse for wanting to skip parts of the game or being bad? I won't say lazy, since that sounds weird since it's a game.

If this life is so great, why do they care so much about the game? When I play WoW I don't then get mad that I am bad at basketball. I wish I was better, but clearly I have decided that I care more about WoW than basketball, so my skills at basketball will suffer as a result. That doesn't mean there's something wrong with basketball. If anything, it means there's something right with it, that people who dedicate time to it are better.

Besides, the topic at hand, which was gold-selling, isn't a "people who have lives use this to compensate for their reduced time" deal. It's more likely to be used by extremely hardcore players who care perhaps too much; the exact opposite group!

The great irony seems to be that the "I have a life/job" people so often seem to treat WoW as a job. They cannot simply enjoy playing it. Instead they must meet their deadlines and quotas and all sorts of nonsense like that. A person who took it as a game might wish to play more and kill more, but they'd recognize that it is a game, not their place to derive life satisfaction and self-worth.

I like playing Civilization, and working takes time away from that; should I blame Firaxis and insist that games take less time? No. That would be stupid.

It all comes down to a disconnect between how much people care about their status in the game and how much they can actually play it. When someone wants more status than they can play for, there is a problem. Perhaps they would be happier in another game, but the root problem is probably with them, and so they need to evaluate where their priorities lies and not complain when they put higher priorities before lower.

Happy Socialism Day

| Thursday, April 15, 2010
If you're an American, this is tax day. If you're not, this is... a day? I prefer to call it socialism day. Oh yes, we are indeed living in a socialist state. States. What are we? Why the hell do we have to be united states but still one... state?

Nah, it's not Obama. Not Bush. Not Clinton or Bush or Reagan or Carter or... Ford? Not Nixon either. Nope. Not even Roosevelt started it. Not the New Deal one or the national parks one.

It is the oldest form of socialism: armies. Government-run programs, usually with mandatory taxation, sometimes with mandatory service, to provide universal defense. They take orders from government, are paid according to the government, even receive health care from government. Private industry is involved, but it must still meet government regulations and uses taxpayer money.

I am happy to have a socialist military protecting me. I'm happy to pay the taxes which convince people to join it. This doesn't mean I like taxes, no more than I like getting shots, but I like the protection and am willing to pay the price. Just don't get too happy with that needle.

For a dissenting opinion on socialism, see the Australian Tea Party. Welfare epics are coming!

What in the hell did this have to do with WoW?

I swear it's just irony

| Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Pugnacious is famous. You know, for a woman.

How does one respond to this? A nice person might say "Grats!" or "That sounded great." But what about an attention whore?

"I am offended at the sexism."

Not good enough. It needs some irony, some twist to catch the reader. Yes, my comments require this much thought. What I lack in everything else I try to make up for with obsession for details. Quick plug: Baggins; I use this to customize my bags a dozen dozen different ways, because dammit, I do NOT want something in the wrong bag.

"I am offended at the sexism. Shouldn't she be in the kitchen?"

Nah. Not really funny. No pizzaz. No zip or zing or unexpected.

Has faux sexism become cliched? No. Critical word being: become.

Well sure, delivery would help, and careful audience selection, and applying more than zero creativity. But the glory days of ironic sexism on the intertubes have certainly passed us by, if they were ever here. The link isn't intended to be an example of ironic sexism, but the opposite. Okay real reason: I like my posts more if they have xkcd links.

Despite being an 'impulse post', which tend to be faster to write, this is taking forever. By now I'm certain that my original sexist response isn't the one I put here, it was somehow less stupid and more funny, but I cannot imagine what it was. Perhaps it did not exist at all. Perhaps there was only the brief moment of blindness to the innate lack of humor in a trivial expression of uncountable years of oppression or worse.

Aha! It was a lame "but I'd never get plugged on that." No. That was the second attempt. I threw that out because I don't think I write the sort of posts that can be anything outside this spherical bubble of blogs, so I can't even joke that it's due to sexism.

Trolls are just bad at telling jokes.

Be nice to your healer or the Bloggerman will get you

My hunter died in Nexus. Hunter. Died. Do the math on that.

The DK (take that, Dwism, I will stereotype the shit out of DKs and you can do NOTHING) pulled while the healer was OOM. We wiped. I wasn't quick enough with feign death. Too used to playing the hero and it working. Or bubble-hearthing.

Deekae: you dont drink so what was i sposed to think
Deekae: you Q up for an isntance you should be ready for it
Quenta: when i said DOES ANYONE HAVE WATER that probably means i'm out
Deekae: don't get shitty with me because of your deficiency

At this point someone tries to trade water.

Lighttness: says conjured items only
Deekae: he's a retard, he shuld know that
Lighttness: do u want to try to port out, and buy some and port back in?
Quenta: meh, yea
Folaksamba: true story, peer-reviewed studies have proven that ignorance of random instances mechanics is a sign of mental retardation
Deekae leaves the party

This is when I discover he's on my realm; he sends me a tell.

Deekae: true story: I dont feel like fucking with idiots
Folaksamba: might I suggest deleting? You're bound to always have one in your group
Deekae: you may not
Folaksamba: I just did
Deekae: and I declined
Deekae: i can however leave said group and make the idiot wait for 45 mins for a tank
Folaksamba: we already have one
Folaksamba: he's a bear
Deekae: and you werent even the idiot in question
Folaksamba: well the idiot in question also has tank
Deekae: i know, too bad
Folaksamba: it's inevitable

I don't think he got that I was making fun of him.

The day before warrior tank died on the last boss of Utgarde Keep. The DPS DK not only taunted, he switched into frost presence. I expressed amazement. He laughed.

Last night I dual-specced my hunter, adding survival and tweaking my BM spec to hopefully add some regen. I think Kerrigan is a good name for a Silithid pet.

A more interesting place

I stumbled across this comment by Larisa: "He really makes the blogosphere into a more interesting place, giving us something to talk about."

Is the internet really lacking in interesting people? I don't think so. I've seen many interesting people. Perhaps too many. I've seen people who make me think. People who give me something to think about. People who just outright make my head hurt.

Perhaps I'm being too general: maybe the blogosphere specifically needs interesting people. Maybe you, whoever you are, are boring as shit. Maybe me too. And Larisa. And Chastity and Tamarind. Boring. As. Shit. All of us.

But what is interesting anyway? Is it always good? Of course not. The blogosphere would be much more interesting if Hitler's ghost was haunting us and commenting on our blogs. Ooh, how will he relate the recent hunter focus change to the Jewish conspiracy? I bet he's got something to say about racials.

Yes, I did just Godwin that. Isn't that interesting?

Should leveling professions while leveling require farming?

| Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Earlier I advocated activities being gold-neutral. Rep grinds would give enough gold to pay for rep items. Kills and quests while leveling would give enough gold to pay for repairs, training, and mounts (excluding epic flying). Profession training would be paid for by vendoring crafted items, or selling it and the gold coming from the buyer vendoring something else; the net effect is that the crafting doesn't create or destroy gold.

Somehow I missed the other, possibly more important, part of the economy: materials.

Should professions require farming to level? I'm not suggesting that they shouldn't require materials, but how should we get those materials? Farming in this case is a non-leveling activity. This doesn't mean it can't be something that gives XP; for skinners that's nearly inevitable. But it's something done with the intent of gathering materials first and leveling second. Leveling might involve stumbling across herbs. Farming might involve stumbling across mobs.

Are professions part of leveling or are they an activity of their own? If they are not part of leveling, then we should have to farm; how much is likely to depend on the mood of the devs the day they place herb spawns and skinning tables. But, if they are part of leveling, then we should, on average, get enough materials to level a crafting profession by a 'normal' leveling pattern; some mix of instances and quests and possibly a mob grind here and there.

Note that everything is on average across the playerbase in a small range of levels. So maybe one player picks up more gold and the other picks up more skins. The idea is that there is vertical independence but possibly horizontal dependence.

Obviously if professions are not leveled while characters are leveling, then the professions will require farming. Again, this is on average; so maybe you don't farm mats but you farm gold and buy from someone who farmed mats, or someone who ran dual gathering professions; meaning that on average you still have a profession leveled while leveling (just not by the same person) and a profession not leveled while leveling (the gatherer), so someone must still farm.

Can NPCs make us feel better?

| Monday, April 12, 2010
For my most recent random BG I got Strand of the Ancients. It's not my favorite, but I enjoyed it more than expected. Except for one thing: The DK who kept whining about heals. Then I want to play Team Fortress 2 and kept hearing people thank the medics no matter how often they died.

Does TF2 have a better community? Are DKs just antisocial fucktards? Maybe.

Or maybe it's that no one ever said anything at all to the medics. I didn't see a single typed word or anything on the voice channel (tough maybe I just wasn't in it). Nor was I hallucinating.

Instead it was the automatic response of the characters. When they get healed up, they thank the medic: "hey thanks, doc", "you're a great doctor!"

Is this an incentive for healers to heal? Certainly it helps that medics are terrible at offensive action, but no one has to pick a medic. Could the simple responses of the characters actually be a reward for those who play medics? They know it's automatic (at least I think they mostly do; I know I didn't for a while), so it's not as if they are thinking "this person was appreciative enough to say something." But people can respond to that which appears human.

Should BGs have a random "X loves your healing!" emote? Would that encourage more healing, and help to reduce the impact of that DK who wouldn't shut the fuck up?

I am leaving out a significant factor: medics heal by continuously firing their healing gun onto a target and get kill assist credit on the players they heal, meaning that they can easily rack up huge assist counts while staying just behind the front lines.

Please stop crying

| Sunday, April 11, 2010
First off, I want to offer apologies if my mind appears to be taken over by thoughts of baby Lily (that's my new niece). I will refrain from posting photos of a screaming parasite recently extracted from a woman you don't know and then expect you to think they're cute.

Tonight she was in a terrible state of catch-22. She was hungry so she cried. But she was crying too much to eat. So she was hungry. What are we supposed to do?

In a sense we are the developers. More specifically, we are the 'b-team', brought in to take over after the initial creation (the first 9 months). And we have one whiny playerbase. Just like the devs.

What do they want? We nerf this and they cry. We buff that and they cry. We make funny faces and they cry. What do they want?

It would help if they had some semblance of communication skills. The players, I mean. The baby we can at least check the diaper. But the players, they complain and complain and it's not quite certain why. They scream words like "unabalanced" but then we change and they scream "homogenization." Can you imagine an infant screaming because her diaper is too clean? Sometimes they go on long rambling complaints which might be nostalgia but they they are PvP complaints but then PvE and next thing everything is purple and you're confused because they always smiled when you showed them purple.

What do they want?

Who is smuggling the cheese?

| Saturday, April 10, 2010
As my rogue pickpockets LBRS for heavy junkboxes, I find a lot of cheese. Alterac Swiss, to be specific. This raises an important question: Who is smuggling the cheese from Alterac to the Old Horde in Blackrock Spire?

This indicates a fairly long supply chain, stretching across multiple Alliance-controlled areas.

Also who is making the cheese? I imagine the ogres are not. That leaves the Syndicate. This makes sense, since this fallen kingdom of Alterac had previously betrayed the Alliance by helping the Old Horde.

The picture is becoming clearer. There is a Syndicate operation stretching from Alterac at least as far as Blackrock Spire. This is a major security risk. I suggest that the Alliance look into this immediately. If this underground network were to interact with the Defias, there could be a hostile force stretching across their continent.

Why shouldn't DPS have low responsibility?

| Friday, April 9, 2010
Tanking is about situational awareness and knowing when to use cooldowns.
Healing is about... I don't know, except that healers are clearly Gods of Patience, because damn, I cannot figure it out. Too stressful.
DPS is about numbers.

Clearly DPS has the lowest responsibility in low-end content in which enrage timers are soft and you're likely to be overgeared. Their gear can carry them. DPS can be complete noobs. Is this bad?

I think it's fair to say that the majority of players are somewhat lazy and uncaring. That's not a flaw of them as people, just a reflection that WoW is a game and to many people games are about a sort of mindless fun and socializing.

That leaves a minority of individuals for whom WoW is srs bns. They can be the very high end DPS who are pushing enrage timers and don't have time to overgear and in general are pushing the very edge of game possibility.

And there are those who desire responsibility. They can make tanks or healers. In a raid the ratios probably work out well, with an extreme minority of tanks, slightly more healers, and a lot of lazy DPS.

I don't like the DK blood tree

| Thursday, April 8, 2010
This would seem to be a big problem, since I like tanking. But I do have some bits of hope.

From GC on the tanking forums
We just think the current Frost dps tree is cooler than the current Blood dps tree. It's subjective, I realize.

That's kind of what I was saying. The Frost tree mostly works, so let's not reinvent it. The Blood tree needs a lot of work, and in the meantime DKs have some tanking problems, so let's fill up a tree that needs new talents with talents needed by tanks.

I interpret this as more or less "Blood is going to change a lot." That means that even if I hate blood now, that isn't guaranteed to be the case come Cataclysm. I mean, I used to love enhancement and now I hate it, so clearly Blizzard can go in at least one direction. Er. That was supposed to sound hopeful.

Hope! Change! Disease and pestilence!

Dear Internet,

Please stop being wrong when I'm trying to sleep.


My sister-in-law isn't pregnant anymore

| Wednesday, April 7, 2010
My niece looks way cooler than the loser babies they had pictures of on the walls.

DKs and Hysteria

The sky is falling and hitting DKs on the head.

Short version: It looks like blood is turning into prot, frost into fury, and unholy into arms.

Also, I'm feeling a bit lazy and may have poisoned my lungs during work. Protip: Don't cut plastic in a poorly ventilated area, not only are the particles bad, but the heat of the blade will trigger some reactions to make a bigger variety of bad stuff. If I die, I want Iapetes to have my blog.

Iapetes: i havent seen this yet
Iapetes: DK tanking or something
klepsacovic: the weird build?
klepsacovic: blood with obliterate
Iapetes: uhh
Iapetes: no?
Iapetes: http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=24038461060&sid=1&pageNo=1
Iapetes: that
klepsacovic: oh
klepsacovic: nvm
Iapetes: i dont know anything about this weird build
klepsacovic: woah
klepsacovic: blood will be the only tanking tree?
klepsacovic: Q fucking Q
klepsacovic: damn
klepsacovic: I don't like blood
Iapetes: wow yeah
klepsacovic: it feels weird
Iapetes: this is weird
Iapetes: i am pretty shocked tbh
klepsacovic: yea
klepsacovic: it feels like they're saying "yep, we totally blew it, oops"
klepsacovic: I mean, that's probably the biggest reversal of design intent that I've ever seen
klepsacovic: well, next to some of the vanilla to BC stuff
klepsacovic: I wish they could have gone with more of a feral-type thing
klepsacovic: so the base of the tree gives the universal talents which give flavor
klepsacovic: and then further up they break off a bit more and you have to pick tanking or DPS
Iapetes: yeah
Iapetes: this is pretty huge
Iapetes: hopefully they make blood more interesting then :p
klepsacovic: well, I imagine I'll get used to it
klepsacovic: but damn
klepsacovic: I feel liek this is going to be something we talk about five years from now in the "Let's kill reanimated Sargeras" expansion
klepsacovic: "Back in my day, DKs had THREE tanking trees, true story"
klepsacovic: and no one will believe it, because it sounds crazy
Iapetes: lol
Iapetes: i wonder what it must be like
Iapetes: to start this game in LK
klepsacovic: I mean, it's like telling people that ret used to be crap for dps
Iapetes: and not know that paladins once sucked as dps or tanks, or only know through second hand information
klepsacovic: how old are we? Should we start talking about the Great War and how back in our day you could buy a house for a nickle?
Iapetes: haha
Iapetes: does this also mean the end of blood dps?
Iapetes: or is it like feral
Iapetes: i guess it means the end of blood dps, weird
klepsacovic: blood DPS felt weird to me
klepsacovic: too much self-healing
Iapetes: wont be a big crits tree anymore though
Iapetes: big 2h swings
Iapetes: no more
klepsacovic: whether it was competitive DPS or not,it still felt like it was trading DPS for healing
Iapetes: it actually does have very competitive dps with the other 2 trees right now
Iapetes: so its a weird decision
Iapetes: because clearly they can make it work
Iapetes: at least for dps
klepsacovic: I imagine blood will be pure tanking
klepsacovic: the other specs would QQ too much
Iapetes: looks like it

I'm not very happy about this change. My DK isn't my main, so my perspective is limited, but I felt like the trees were reasonably balanced for DPS and tanking. Not perfect, but nothing ever is. I liked frost. Unholy felt awkward. Blood felt wrong somehow. I like tanking. Well, now I have to pick either a spec I don't like or a role I don't like.

I feel like a lot of flavor has been lost. A lot of choice. Were the tanking and DPS styles similar? Yes! And I liked that. It made their tanking feel more aggressive, less like they were trying to hide despite being right at the front. A DK tank felt defiant: "Shield? I don't need no shield. Bring it on."

I'm sure I'll get used to this. My DK used to be unholy. I don't remember why I changed, but now I don't like it much. So clearly I can change. I will have to. Maybe in a year I'll be saying how stupid it was to try to have three tanking/DPS trees.

Kids, back in my day...

Tomorrow Blizzard will announce shaman tank tree

| Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Today Blizzard reversed their year-plus philosophy of DKs having three trees of tanking and DPS. Tomorrow: Shamans.

You heard it here first!

Tomorrow Blizzard will announce huge changes to enhancement to turn it into a tanking tree. We'll see the return of their shield block talent (5% block chance and increased block value I believe), the buffing of their armor talent, and spirit wolves will be soul-linked to the shaman, making them a powerful aggro and EH cooldown.

I shall rejoice.

And finally level my shaman that last level.

As per the prediction of Iapetes, retribution will become a tanking tree. To retain the DPS capabilities of paladins, shockadins will be buffed.

Lolsmite will become OWsmite. And shadow will be a half-DPS, half-healing spec, used to fix the mathematical problems caused by trying to tune a 25-man raid down to 10 people.

Arcane will become a healing/buffing spec.

Hunters will have no DPS tree. BM will be a pet-tank tree based on buffing their pet and aggro-multiplied misdirect to their pets. Survival will be an avoidance tank based on DoT damage with a semi-useful pet, similar to unholy. Marks will have barely any damage, but absolutely overpowered kiting abilities, and will be used only in WSG to screw up flag runners.

Does the economy need dailies?

To start out; I want to split gold sinks into two types: necessary and luxury. Obviously being a game you could argue that all are luxury. Let's pretend that some things are necessary: repairs, class and profession training, mounts (one of each type) and training, reputation gear, and the AH cuts. Pets, extra mounts, and toys (except the train wrecker) are luxuries. As such, they should not be considered when attempting to balance the economy. Is epic flying a luxury? I will say yes. But if not, then it should be considered a part of the leveling process and should therefore be paid for through quests and vendoring while leveling.

For all of this, take note that I am only talking about farming which adds gold. Mining will help you get gold, but it isn't adding gold to the economy unless you're vendoring it, which you probably are not. All gold is coming from NPCs, since those are the supply of gold to the economy. Quests, dailies (I am separating these from one-time quests), vendoring, and coin drops are the inputs of gold.

When leveling was slow we were usually able to loot enough, vendor enough, and get enough from quest rewards to afford training and repairs. Sometimes we were a bit reckless and died too much or were slow to get bags and had less to vendor, but overall we got gold as we needed it.

Professions are harder to train. Vendoring the crafted results will keep up with training, barely. Of course I just broke my "farming isn't gold supply" claim, since leveling professions are an exception; leveling in general follows different rules than end-game. Enchanting gets screwed up since the greens they'd vendor instead become dusts which cannot be vendored. They could trade enchants for greens to balance their own books, but overall enchanting reduces the gold input to an economy.

Ideally the economy would be balanced for each section of levels; that players in their 30s might benefit from trading with others in their 30s, but no one needs gold from 80s or 60s. Level 30 should support level 30 activity. This isn't the case, as Gevlon points out.

Let us pretend for a moment that leveling is balanced, perfectly balanced. In this hypothetical scenario, a player will reach 80, finish training all their professions, talk to their class trainer a last time, repair their gear, hop on their flying mount, and now they have exactly zero gold. Leveling is self-contained and we can now ignore it and focus entirely on the creation, circulation, and destruction of gold at 80.

Let's go back to our level 80 gold sinks: repairs, reputation gear, and the AH cuts. Repairs can be handled with a few dailies, in the current system. What if we didn't have dailies? What is the rate at which one can pick up coin and vendor trash from purely grinding mobs? If that rate is sufficiently quick to cover repairs without requiring endless grinding, then repairs do not require dailies.

Reputation gear is a one-time cost. It is logical that the gold needed to buy the reputation gear should be acquired in the process of grinding the reputation. If it is a grind based on dailies, then they should give enough for a player to buy the gear from that rep (and no more). If it is based on mob kills, the average kill count should give enough as well. Wearing a tabard and running instances is about the same as mob kills and can be combined into the average.

If mob kills can cover repairs, then that leaves only AH cuts and deposits as the last end-game gold sink. Dailies actually make these worse. An unlimited source of gold promotes careless spending, which means higher prices, which increases the rate of gold loss, making it appear as if dailies are needed. In fact all that happens is they promote inflation, encouraging further grinding to keep up, and continuing the inflation even further. Dailies make us poorer!

I do actually like the idea of daily quests. They can be a more interesting alternative to mob grinding, and that's a good thing. But they give such a high amount of gold that they overcompensate for the gold shortage and just make things worse.

If you needed dailies to afford flying, don't take that as proof that dailies are broken, but that leveling is. If flying is a necessity, then it should be covered while leveling. Only luxuries and repeating costs (repairs and AH) should have to be specifically farmed for.

Are dailies making us poorer?

| Monday, April 5, 2010
At first glance, of course not. They give us gold. How could more gold make us poor?

The problem is that gold isn't very useful on its own. What does it do for us? We certainly need some for training and dual spec and repairs, but those are really quite limited. A daily and some vendoring would balance those out.

But don't we need gold for flasks and gems and enchants? Not exactly. Those all require trade mats of some sort. Gold is only needed for the training portion and that is minor. Gold serves only as a lubricant, a way to keep goods flowing, but it is not needed for the actual creation of anything.

Gold is the oil in a car. If your car stops, is your first response to change the oil? Of course not. That would be stupid. You're more likely to check the gas. So then why do we keep changing the oil in WoW?

Dailies drive inflation. It's quite simple, and quite stupid. We have no gold and prices are high, so we do dailies and now we have gold. We buy something and put even more gold into the economy, driving inflation even more. If we had instead farmed a material, sold it, and then purchased what we wanted, we'd have added no gold. But we would have added a trade mat.

What is truly greater wealth, gold or materials? I say materials. Gold has uses, but past vendor luxuries and oiling the economy, it has little actual use. But materials, those make our flasks and armor and enchants and gems.

When you farm gold, you only drive inflation and add little value to the economy. When you farm materials, you actually reduce inflation (AH activities destroy gold) and add value. The new materials help drive the economy as well, since they give people reason to spend gold, by buying materials and buying what is crafted from them.

You will never be rich by grinding dailies. You may have a lot of gold, but will you have wealth? None. Until you spend it. But then your cherished gold is in the hands of someone else. In all transactions there are those who give away gold and those who take gold. If you spend all your time giving away gold, you will spend all your time farming gold to compensate. Instead, find reasons for people to give you their gold. How? Farm something they want. Craft something they want.

There's already a ton of gold out there. Rather than add to it uselessly, take some away in exchange for useful goods and services. Cut some pie. It's delicious.

There is an Easter Egg

| Sunday, April 4, 2010
If by chance you're looking for the easter egg that I said I'd hide, give it one more shot. One of my great faults is extreme wandering of thought, so the egg wandered away. It has only gone up very recently. Sorry if I have driven anyone mad searching for it.

Dear Tamarind, Tobold, and other Europeans

I hate you so very much.


Because of you're too good for a simple alphabet of um...1234567890
36 letters.

Oh no, you need your fancy things that go on letters. The things that look like tildes and dots and you even have weird letters that make no sense. Except for the double s thing that looks kinda like a B, which is awesome.

To appease you, Blizzard allows special characters. That results in not just a dozen DKs named Artha§, but also names which are really hard to whisper. Sometimes if I'm lucky I can /who part of it and get them that way.

Europe makes it harder to send whispers and that infuriates me. In light of this, I am boycotting Europe and will be renaming everything Europe-related with "freedom." I will make an exception for English, but will be replacing all foreign-looking words.

Thank [freedom] very [freedom][freedom] [freedom] a [freedom] [freedom].
[Freedom]! Why is everything [freedomed]!? Is every [freedom] [freedom] foreign? [freedom] [freedom] annoying. I'd [freedom] up, but that's for the [freedom].
Fuck? Oh [freedom], at least I can [freedom] [freedom].

r we jst as lazy???

| Saturday, April 3, 2010
You know those idiots who use PST as a verb, a synonym for whisper, if they knew what synonym meant? I can't stand them. They are clearly thoughtless and lazy. And stupid, since I like to be redundant. Just to top it off, half the time they're typing ne1 and using y instead of yes. But sometimes they use y instead of why and aren't consistent with question marks.

Then there's DPS.

Damage Per Second.

Low DPS makes sense. DPS meters make sense.

DPS as a role doesn't make sense. "Am I damage per second on this fight?" What? WTF does that even mean? Rogues are a pure DPS class: "Rogues are a pure damage per second class." What? WHAT!? It's completely fucking retarded. It's a clear indication that the person saying this barely even recognizes that DPS is an acronym, that it's not a word all on its own. They're just mindlessly parroting what those around them say.

I use DPS as a synonym for damage.

The shame.

No more Eyonix :(

| Friday, April 2, 2010
He's going on to elsewhere. Clearly not fired. So no strange rumors as with Tseric.

I'll miss him.

Why am I sad about someone with different colored text in a video game forum!?

Oh right, because that blue text helps us more easily spot his wit, wisdom, and general awesomeness.

Farewell, whelp.

Just watch out for those buses. - Bashiok

That's a mean Blue!

It's not as funny when you don't know it's a joke

When I first heard I'm on a Boat, I didn't know it was a joke. It made me sad.

It was so... stupid. So so stupid. And yet, believable. It didn't seem so out of place with the amazingly shitty music you hear these days. Actually seemed pretty good, aside from being stupid.

Tomorrow I will go back to writing about WoW and trying to not sound so damn lame. I suppose I will fail if that's my plan.

It's almost swimsuit season

| Thursday, April 1, 2010
Why is my character so fat!?

A new month, a new life.

I'm moving in a new direction.
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