Classes as Professions

| Friday, March 30, 2012
My rogue is a miner and a jewelcrafter, a pretty terrible jewelcrafter due to having been reactivated only recently. These are not how she gets rich. Her true profession is as a rogue. She's a maxed-out pickpocket, optimized with a spec for faster run speed (and another for even faster when stealthed), a glyph to extend the range of pickpocket, and another to making unlocking those boxes instant. If she leaves stealth, it is with a killing spree, to wipe out any group guarding the precious locked chests. Her usual farming area is Blackrock Spire, mostly in the lower part since the upper area is filled with pocketless dragons and requires unprofitable combat to get in very far. Sometimes she ventures in Blackrock Caverns or random heroics, where can find all manner of flame-scarred boxes, rare alcohols, and a few coins as well. Notice how all of this is possible only because she is a rogue. No other class can pickpocket and only at some expense can blacksmiths and engineers deal with all those locks. Thanks to Insane in the Membrane, there is a small but lucrative market for heavy junkboxes.

What other class is a profession? None to the extent of the rogue. A mage may find a bit of gold here and there for portals and maybe food. Less often a warlock may find himself lucky enough to be in a position to execute a paid summoning. Once upon a time druids could sell their services as summoners of a boss who drops a bird mount that cannot fly. No more for them.

Is there room for more classes to have profession capabilities?

In a rush? Pass on loot!

| Wednesday, March 28, 2012
"Looting this item will bind it too you."

You're a person on the go. You can't wait around for loot rolls. You kill the boss and drop the group. So why waste time clicking twice when you could just click once? That's right, if you hit pass, you're done! Since you dropped group the instant you hit greed, you weren't getting the loot anyway.

There is, of course, one downside. If you take the tenth of a second to hit greed before you drop group, you lose out on the 20% chance to screw someone out of a bit of gold for no actual gain to yourself. And that is definitely worth the time for someone like you.

Giving LFR Another Chance, to yet again shock me with the conduct of other players

| Monday, March 26, 2012
We all know the pattern too well, something drops and anyone who can roll need does. I got into a conversation with someone in the raid about this, through whispers (which is why I am not mentioning legions of trolls). They explained that they so often see items ninjaed for vendor or self-DE that they roll need on everything they can, to use as bargaining chips. It's pretty obvious what this leads to: everyone rolls need so they have the bargaining they need to get what they actually need, along with a significant number of people who are just being exceptionally greedy.

What triggered the conversation was the person winning the roll on the rogue helm token in Dragon Soul. Then it was capped off by them again winning the dagger at the end. The dagger which would have been a significant upgrade for me, though I did at least have the pair from ZG, so I wasn't exactly destroyed by it. The helm though, I was still running with a 333 blue. They had a far better helm and far better weapon than what they won.

Pretty bad, isn't it?

If I tell you facts, but leave out other facts which would dramatically alter your perception of the situation, is that lying? I think so. But let's call it dramatic effect since I'm giving the rest now.

The other rogue opened trade and gave me the token. No bargaining, just a line about how I needed it a lot more than them. This was something they said they did, rolling need not just for bargaining, but so people who actually needed the items got an extra shot at them. I was stunned at the selflessness of it. But, it also made me a bit sad, that players have to go out of their way, inspecting others to see who truly needs, and using the mechanics of the ninjas, to accomplish this.

They also traded the dagger to me.

Sometimes, human decency and altruism can overcome the flaws of a system and the flaws of people. Sometimes people are good, even when we expect the absolute opposite.

Sapped Men Can't Say No

| Friday, March 23, 2012
I can't believe this guild doesn't exist.

By my count on, there are 92 guild names including the phrase "sapped girls" and another three of "sapped women can't say no". Just searching "sapped" yields a strangely high number of EU guilds called "sapped cows cant say moo". "Sap" results in a variety of names such as "sap girls cant say no", since apparently sapped was already taken and who wants to join someone else's rape joke guild? Ew. There are a dozen or so variants of "sap it before you tap it".

But c'mon, guys, rape is hilarious! Why isn't there a gay guild called "sapped men cant say no"? or a straight guild that recognizes that this would be funny, right? I mean, a woman can join a guild about female rape, why don't men join one about male rape?

It's almost as if men don't like the idea of men getting raped and neither do women.

[edit] Today my warrior got an invite from Sapped Gurls Cant Say No

BBB's Writing Challenge

| Wednesday, March 21, 2012
He gone and posted a challenge:
And then reminded us about the challenge:

So here's the deal: This post is a dummy post just so I can make the link. Nothing in here until tomorrow! In fact, this post just might vanish. POof! oOf. Just like that. So let's see here what Blogger makes for my link.

Now ma'am, I didn't mean no innuendo by that. I merely was suggesting that the thin packaged meat product was full of water and oil, pleasing to the palette. It had nothing to do with the brightness of this burning pitch on a stick that I was carrying. I can assure you I meant nothing when I suggested when your eyes were like interstellar plasma, except in their tendency to blind me with their radiance.

I... I suppose I should not disguise it any longer. I would be struggling to no avail if I tried to pretend that as we decend down this deep hole that I was not thinking some thoughts. I keep twisting my words all around to try to not say what I been trying to not say.

Aw shucks.

Juicy Slender Vain Shaft Torch Star Hidden and there I said 'em all now, flat out just like that, are you happy?

Clinging to outdated, out-of-context tradition

| Monday, March 19, 2012
I have two taunts on fairly short cooldowns. I can throw a shield that generates enough aggro that whatever is not attacking me, will. I have an AoE with a pretty decent range. Add to that my usual attacks of crusader strike/hammer of the righteous and judgement, and aggro should not be an issue, regardless of who pulls. At level 70, very few enemies hit hard enough that someone will die from pulling.

In terms of safely clearing an instance, it doesn't matter much who pulls.

So why do I care?

I could twist together all manner of arguments for why people shouldn't pull if they aren't the tank (or acting at the request of the tank).

Is it a bad habit? Maybe. But if we're learning our habits from level 70 random heroics, we're already in trouble. "It's a bad habit" is a form of the classic slippery slope argument, that once someone does something, it is permanent.

Sometimes it makes me uncomfortable when others pull because they are going faster or going when a CD is down. Is this enough reason? Maybe, maybe not. Is my slow pulling making them uncomfortable? Do they have a buff wearing off? Maybe they're in a rush and I'm ruining their run.

I've always been 'right', not because my instance running was at the ideal speed or because there was some divine mandate that made a tank-led pull always inherently better than any other. But I've always had something on my side, a mystical force which made my opinions worth more than others, regardless of their actual merit. I've been a tank and as long as tanks have been in short supply, I've magically been correct. Supply and demand said that my opinions and feelings were more important than those of other players.

The only ethos of "Might Makes Right" has been replaced with "Market Makes Right", in which certain people who by luck are in greater demand relative to supply have become something more than mere humans, something more than individuals offering individual opinions for individual regard.

In the process, the particular whims of these sorts of people have been carried on and enshrined in the collective concept of good behavior, regardless of the actual merit of the behavior, regardless of whether "good behavior" is actually helpful or whether "bad behavior" is actually harmful.

In the past I've espoused a "let them die" strategy. Do two wrongs make a right? If someone has aggro, I get it back. I'm a tank. That's my job. Why should I suddenly break this rule just because someone broke a rule that doesn't matter anyway? I've said that a tank should pull because the tank knows his (or her) limits. Why not give the same trust to a DPS and if they want a mob, they can have it? It's not "let them die", but "let them live", tank as I would and heal as you would and let's get back to the serious matter of killing actual enemies.

"Their actions make me slightly uncomfortable" is not a good justification to go stage a mini-strike and jeopardize the shared goals of the group.

I still think tanks are the natural leaders of the groups, but maybe that doesn't mean they have to be so damn self-important.

All Good Tanks are Cheaters and Should Be Banned

| Friday, March 16, 2012
I bet you don't even realize you're cheating anymore. Maybe you don't do it because you've geared out of the need for it. But I bet you've done it before. You probably had someone explain it to you, this little trick of many tanks.

It's a pretty common one. I'm sure everyone has done it. It's not as if it is complex, just a simple little exploit of the pathing and casting AI. Messing with the two, using the simple interaction of the two mechanics to avoid damage and manipulate pulls.

Obviously I'm referring to the use of Line of Sight breaks to draw casters and ranged enemies closer. It's not a 'tactic' or 'creative use of game mechanics'; it's an exploit and it's about time Blizzard cracked down on it.

Don't believe me? Think about a similar situation. If you're flying and you aggro a mob, what happens when you fly away? It resets. It recognizes that you are no longer a possible target and resets. It doesn't run around madly trying to get range that it cannot, running headfirst into your waiting allies. Can you imagine the speed of the ban if someone flew around to aggro a zone, without getting hit, and then led the whole pack into a few frost mages? And yet, that's more or less what you do with every LoS pull.

Ever seen a mob "evade"? It sometimes happens when you pull and then go to somewhere they cannot hit you, such as a higher or lower level with no paths. Just like an LoS pull.

I don't think a blanket ban of all players who have engaged in this behavior is the solution. Certainly a few should be made an example of, but much of the fault lies with Blizzard for allowing this AI bug to remain unfixed for so long. It's high time they acknowledged the problem and dealt with it.

A Series of [Potentially] Fortunate Events

| Wednesday, March 14, 2012
If you follow me on Twitter (or watch my mini-post feed on the right of the page) you might have seen me go on a small screenshot flurry. I started digging through some more, initially planning to delete some of the thousands (and those are just that folder, I have another one from vanilla). And then I saw a few of friends and guild members, a few of us sitting outside Mechanar (yes, there are outsides to instances) and screenshots of guild first kills. Hell of a nostalgia high.

On a whim I stuck one of the friend's names into the armory. Lo, the strange, misspelled name, a little bit higher level, of the same race and class and server. And with activity within the last few days. Still playing! I hopped over to that server to send a letter saying hello.

Then I saw someone looking to buy heavy junkboxes for the Insane. I was broke on that server due to my paladin looting everyone during the server transfer, and I had some slight thought of staying there for a little bit, so I asked about the boxes. 20g each sounded pretty good, so I hopped on my rogue and headed to LBRS, my old sneaking ground. My guilded rogue. Woah. My rogue was in a guild. The same guild I'd abandoned, leaving behind friends, for reasons I cannot quit remember, but having something to do with other friends moving for reasons I cannot remember. I hadn't been kicked, even after well over a year inactive, from my time out of WoW plus whenever I'd switched. How strange.

I said hello. People who I remembered remembered me. The guild was active, with new people, and raids. 10-mans, but raids! I could give real raiding a try. Alas, no 85s on the server. But my rogue is fun and she's 80. By the time I write this, within a day, I am 82. That could put me at 85 and with a small pile of justice points within a week. Putting my various professions to use, along with more pickpocketing, could give me the gold to buy some more gear. Those BoE valor point items would be nice. In a couple weeks I could be ready to be marginally useful in raids.

I could play, with friends, and not those useless real-life friends who play like noobs (no offense to my few real life friends who aren't noobs). WoW friends! With friends again, it could actually be worth playing. It's a much different experience to log on and not be so damn alone. I could kidnap my priest friend for Molten Core and everyone else for everything else. The world is a whole lot bigger when it has people in it.

Maybe I shouldn't get my hopes up too much, but maybe I should, so as to avoid Self-Fulfilling Nihilism.

Now if only rogues could tank so my queues weren't so long... (No, Syl, I'm not making a Rift tank rogue)

So what's the symbology there?

| Monday, March 12, 2012
I log onto my shaman to test far sight. First thing I did was to go find the elevator to go learn flying. That caused me to discover Orgrimmar (something I've already done that the game says I haven't), and gain 8 xp, which made me hit level 80 (and I didn't even have to use a scroll of resurrection). Cata leveling is way too fast.

In related news, my gear was an indecipherable mess.

Self-Fulfilling Nihilism in MMOs

I'm leaving in a month, so why should I care much?

I don't care much, so I'm leaving at the end of the month.

It's hard to get into a habit of virtual materialism when it's all going to be gone soon. What is an epic when you're offline? Nothing at all. Nothing beside the stories and social ties exist outside the game. Depending on the individual, neither of those may either.

If you were going to be quitting in a month, would you worry much about that last rep grind or rare drop? Probably not. Under certain circumstances you could have a surge of activity, seeking to complete a challenge before time runs out, such as a hardmode, but if you don't realistically think your guild can complete it before then, then the opposite may occur. Even worse, if they think you'll be gone soon, they may catch the Curse of the Temporary as well.

In a Catch-22 situation, it is precisely these long-term goals, this investment in a game beyond a few hours of immediate fun, which would give reason to subscribe for another month. Without them, you won't. If long-term goals appear unachievable, or without a dramatic change, such as a reroll or dropping a long-time guild, then even if a player cares, they may not care enough.

Now imagine if this happened to more than one person ever. Imagine if the Curse of the Temporary spreads, and stays. With ever-smaller raids, missing one player is an ever-bigger setback. Lose too many and long-term goals may appear unachievable. That drives away more players. They go elsewhere. When they get there, they bring memory, of the temporary nature of all things MMO, and so again they seek the one month of a bit of fun and when it runs out they leave.

A vast migration develops as players move from game to game, never committing to any. Those who remain anywhere find themselves in a game with hundreds of thousands, even millions of players, but constantly churning, and never sure what they can accomplish when players vanish and reappear a few months later. Developers follow suit, drumming up new short-term goals to grab the next migration from the last game that ran out of short-term goals. Meanwhile, anyone seeking to play for months finds himself wondering where everyone went and how he is supposed to do anything at all when everything can collapse with a single patch in another game.

He's not doomed. There are other stable players, but fewer and fewer all the time. It's not that the game he plays is dying (though it could be too), but that those who play it play it differently. So the game in the game he plays is dying, and as it dies, more leave and fewer come.

And then he says, "screw it" and sees the date when his game time will run out, an unknown expanse of nothingness beyond.

His friends call to him from other games, a dozen other titles with stories and class all of their own, or no stories and no classes. He could go off, learn their ways, play a month or two, and then forget it all to rush off to a new reality with new rules. An endless chase around the worlds, each one more fun than the one before, and dying faster than the one before, until he wonders where he got at all. How much happier he was in his illusion of one permanent world, changing, but not vanishing. He knew it too would die, someday, but not so soon, and so he could believe and fool himself and enjoy the illusion that it would last, because strangely, as long as everyone believed it, it was true. Until they didn't.

She watched the tower burn while the dwarf and gnome danced

| Friday, March 9, 2012

I'm not sure what is going on here.

Why is an elf sitting at the entrance? Why is another one (out of the shot) wandering around in a suit?

Why are there telescopes, all manned (mostly with gnomes) aimed at Desolace and Mulgore? (behind the camera)

Why is the tower burning?

Why are the dwarf and gnome dancing? Whose cats are those?

Who was Ivan in the grave? (off to the left)

Did the tower explode? There seem to be some scattered blocks.

Were the Forsaken involved? I see a slight green haze rising from the tower.

Objectives Rather Than Quests

| Thursday, March 8, 2012
Kill ten pirates. How would you complete that quest? You'd run over to the arrow and use your relevant class moves to kill pirates. Auto-attack is likely to play a part, or some core spell in a caster rotation: mind flay, frostbolt, shadowbolt.

Bring a Gyrochronatom. How would you complete that quest? Well, it depends. Maybe you're an engineer, so you could make it yourself. But for that you'll need iron and gold. If you're a miner, you can get that yourself. Otherwise you'll be at the AH to buy the materials. If you can't make it, you could buy it off the AH or find someone to craft it. Maybe there are none on the AH that day.

Bring 10,000 gold. Now what? You could do dailies for a while. Or you could farm mobs for coin and trash. Maybe you prefer to farm materials, skinning certain mobs. Or you could fly around looking for herbs. If you're a crafter, then you can make something people want. What do people want? Now you have a completely different challenge.

Even a fedex quest can do this. Depending on where your hearth is, the trip can be much faster or slower. Maybe you're a mage and all the cities are a click away. Or you're an engineer and you have mostly-reliable and safe transportation to a couple neutral cities as well as various lakes in Northrend. Even the branch of engineering you pick will make a difference.

Notice how different goals can change the experience? Simply changing what the quest giver asks for will personalize the experience, without needing to write a new quest for every single player.

Trolling is serious business, Keredria

| Tuesday, March 6, 2012
This was going to be a comment on your post, but then I figured, "hey, post counts are the thing of the week, so why not boost that?"
Pretty pissed (though I should have been more saddened) that there are people who have to make low, personal attacks on those who don't agree with them. I guess either to make themselves feel better or because they don't have any substance to actually respond to opinions

Being "right" or "ethical" are abstractions with little day-to-day value to an individual. Winning arguments by never ever stopping talking, that has an impact. It boosts self-esteem and can get you a lot of profitable attention. Since most people are concerned about practicality rather than morality, due to eating practicality rather than morality, they will tend to shout until you give up.

Though I still stand by my assertion that such low handed comments are not only unnecessary, but doing it via Twitter where they may not see such comments is downright cowardly. If you want to be a bitch, have the balls to do it to someone's face. Not everyone follows everyone else on Twitter.

What is "to someone's face", digitally-speaking, is a tricky thing. Obviously if I am in an email exchange with someone, that is "to their face" and if I am in a private exchange with someone else, that is not "to their face." What about an @personIhate? Or a #personIhate? The first gets them the tweet even if they don't follow, but depends on them knowing about the Interactions/Mentions and checking them recently enough to be able to respond, something I didn't know about for an embarrassingly long time. Perhaps hastags are just a weak pretend-"to their face" and just tweeting into the tweetosphereverse is the equivalent of calling them a slut on a bathroom wall that they might use at some point and therefore see. My point is that it's a little murkier than you make it seem.

"It's just a WoW blog."

Sure. It is. But no! Wake up tomorrow and imagine your blog is gone. Are you going to shrug your shoulders and say "meh"? Or are you going to be a little tiny bit upset, perhaps more upset than you would be over "just a WoW blog"? I'm guessing the latter. Beyond your own personal attachment to your own blog, I don't much like the "just a WoW blog" concept in general. Is this all of great national importance? Certainly not. But it is of personal importance and it is of cultural importance. I'm sick of seeing the "it's just a game" thing tossed around every which way to trivialize any differing opinions. A raider tells a casual to quit whining because it's just a game and the casual tells the raider to chill out because it's just a game and meanwhile a form of entertainment enjoyed by millions of people is all just a game and if anyone takes it the slightest bit seriously we start questioning whether they suffer from some sort of mental illness or social impairment. Somewhere there is someone who is very concerned that the wood that he uses for model ships is of lower quality and to a complete outsider that may sound silly, but who the fuck are we to tell him to shut up because "it's just a silly ship"?

I'm not going to suggest that it is ideal to have so much time and mental energy devoted toward hobbies and entertainment when national elections in the US don't break 50% turnout with even fewer people following the races. There is an argument to be made for a different distribution of time. But don't fuck with entertainment. That's how you get revolutions and I am not in the mood for one right now.

Furthermore, I'm really getting sick of people linking "immature and petty and ridiculous" and "hateful and full of vitriol". A person is perfectly capable of being immature and petty and ridiculous without being hateful and full of vitriol. Don't link the troll looking for a laugh with the guy who sincerely believes that birth control is for whores. Did I just get political? No, I did not. I've been political this whole damn time, I just happened to mention an issue that we think is "political", as opposed to being "social" or "health-al", while somehow the earlier concept that people focus on day-to-day survival at the expense of ethics is not political. If anything, it should be the reverse.

While we're on the subject and I'm getting angry, what's with "don't talk about politics"? What sort of stupid social rule is that? I can understand religion, since ultimately religion is based on personal believes about that which cannot be measured until someday something happens about which I will make no particular claim. Politics should not be a religion. That's the danger when we put it in the "don't talk about or question this" realm. If you think a certain tax policy will have a certain effect on the economy, that's not a matter of faith or belief, it's something that we can, with varying degrees of uncertainty and error, test or at least predict. It only gets worse over time, because as we push politics further and further away from conversation, we lose our ability to talk about it politely. It's like "the talk". I don't think it will ever be entirely without awkwardness when parents give "the talk", but maybe if we talked about the subject of "the talk" a little more often it wouldn't be such an awkward subject steeped in strange imagery and obscuring language such as "the talk".

Something that heavily influences our economic futures, our freedom, and our survival, should not be shoved off to the side to be debated on TV sideshows and ten thousand dollar dinners. I'm not saying it will be pretty. We will, wait for it... disagree! Yes, we might have different opinions! Shocking. But wouldn't it make some sense to talk about those opinions, find where we stand, and maybe have some small chance of spreading a little bit of knowledge or a new perspective?

Can you imagine if we all thought it was impolite to express our opinions on other subjects? Can you imagine a WoW in which no one ever expressed an opinion on class changes? Or a TV show that no one could talk about? How about the food you're eating, can you say whether you liked it, or is that rude because someone else might not have enjoyed the meal?

It's perhaps naive to think this, but I suspect that politics could be a little bit less political if we didn't work so damn hard to not ever talk about it.

P.S. SEX SEX SEX "the talk" is about SEX can't we use the damn word? I'm sick of seeing "gender" when we're clearly not talking about how a person identifies themselves. The word SEX is not going to get children pregnant but having no clue what the hell is going on just might. My point is that abstinence-only sex ed is about as smart as abstinence-only internet. One of these days I need to write that post about why gay people would care about birth control.

Apples and Oranges

Let's compare them. Oh, you think we can't? Let's try anyway.

First, we need the criteria on which we will compare them. Let's try calories, nutrients, durability and ability to be stored, cost of growing, and suitability as a tech company logo. Cancel that last one.

Now we can give each one a relative value on these measures. But we aren't done.

Which of these criteria are most important? Can one even be singled out?

If we're looking to complete a meal plan, then the calories and nutrients are of similar importance, and both are dependent on the rest of the food. If you need nutrients without calories, apples will be more desirable, while needing both will push you toward apples. If you have a specific deficiency, such as if you are a sailor in the 18th century, then oranges with their high vitamin-C content will win.

Transportation is important. An orange can sustain greater damage than an apple, with minor impacts which would bruise and damage an apple being shrugged off by the orange's thicker skin. So if you're transporting your fruit by cannon, go with oranges.

An absolute "this fruit is better" comparison is pointless, but for particular situations, one fruit can be better than the other. Keep that in mind when people try to convince you that two or more items or ideas cannot be compared because they are "like apples and oranges". They can be compared, and possibly, if they are so eager for you to not compare them, you should be more eager to do just that.

Levels are an abstraction, but the layer they cover is real-ish

| Sunday, March 4, 2012
Apparently Cynwise has a blog. Go figure. Anyone, the meercat makes this ridiculous statement.
What is to stop a young Tauren brave from wearing the mighty gear of his elders? Get your head out of WoW for a moment – what is to stop him from putting on the physical garb which conveys these great bonuses? What prevents him, exactly, from picking up an epic mace dropped by Deathwing himself and smashing opponents around him? Okay, let’s say the mace isn’t from Deathwing. Why not a level 60 mace? Or a level 35? How does that work, exactly?

Because a level one character has not yet developed the mental of physical strength to bear such items. These examples aren't just higher quality. They are magical. Magic does weird things. We know this. Magic can tear a person apart. It can drive them insane. It can unmake existence itself, on varying scales. Keep that in mind when you ask why a level one cannot wear a level 60 helm.

On one level, it may be a game mechanic, not a "lollevelupnub" mechanic, but a "we're not going to let you equip gear which will make your character instantly die" mechanic. There used to be an item that did that. It was an item for a fedex quest, but, but it could be equipped. It killed you if you were unworthy. You were unworthy. The item can no longer be equipped. On a side note, I think it would be great if players could equip higher level gear, with ever-increasing chances to cause serious harm to themselves.

Going deeper, we could see how it would be physically impossible to equip the item. A 'good' item might not let you equip it to protect you. Or to protect itself, because it's not generally a good idea to give powerful magical artifacts to people who don't have the ability to wield them, let along protect them from evil. Alternatively, a 'evil' item might not let you equip it because you're weak and unworthy. You are beneath it and may only ruin its evil plans.

Sadly, WoW never bothers to explain this to players. No NPCs, no quests, no cutscenes, or books are there to tell us that trying to use items that we cannot can have dire consequences. Oh sure, there are some hints here and there. The red text suggests danger. The reactions of group members when your hunter rolls need on everything are a sort of community warning. Yep, we're not angry at the hunter, we're worried for him, like when an infant finds your rusty nail collection. While you are upset that they might damage your precious collection, you're more worried about them harming themselves. Babies are such noobs.

It's about time Blizzard fixed this oversight. I don't expect a detailed explanation of exactly how magical items can kill us, I'm not a nerd or anything, but just explain a little why the item text is red.


| Friday, March 2, 2012

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].

Germ theory and idolatry

I can't walk five feet without running into a hand sanitizer dispenser. I can't even go to the bathroom without seeing a wall of sinks. What is all this for? I'll tell you: unproven theory and pagan ritual.

We used to have a moral foundation to science. We knew that disease came from demons or punishment from god. Maybe witches too, but they work with demons, so I wouldn't put that in a different category. The Muslims knew this, and early on they did a lot of science guided by their faith, and it worked well. While Europe was busy getting drunk and letting monks suggest that human inheritance was the same as peas, they were praying and learning. Of course it didn't last forever, because at some point God got sick of their misguided worship of a false prophet and Europe turned back to God. Then we had the Crusades and scientific knowledge exploded.

The so-called Germ Theory of Disease is just that, a theory. It is based on the idea that really tiny living things get inside you and make you sick. You know what that sounds like? An attempt to discourage pregnancy! Yep, it's birth control at the level of mass psychological manipulation. Let me ask you, what makes more sense, that we get sick because of the wages of Sin and Satan, or because some invisible bits of dust are actually alive? I thought so.

Take note of how it gets worse every year. Why? Pagan ritual. We should be praying to God to cure us. Instead, we perform these false rituals before unblessed altars: sinks and dispensers. We are taught this ritual obsession with the hand, as if the body part that builds and writes and shapes the world is somehow the dirtiest thing imaginable.

It's time to reject the harmful germ theory of disease and turn to the fundamental source of truth: The Bible, in which we learn about Sin and Demons, rather than ridiculous claims based on things that we can't even see!

Level 85s should not do noob BGs

As we level up, we outgrow zones and instances. This is a pretty good idea. I'm not sure I'd enjoy it if the Barrens had kept leveling along with me, to the point that I was running Wailing Caverns at 60, or 85. We accept that instances and zones are designed for certain levels and leave them where they are.

Battlegrounds are different. Why? It doesn't make all that much sense. Balancing them is made far more difficult when the classes in them will have much different abilities, and potential gear levels, as they go higher. For example, Warsong Gulch used to be a really great place for a shaman in the 20s, back when we had ghost wolf and no one else had mounts or even druids had travel form. Later on in AB, rogues had the handy ability to sap one person at a flag and start the capture, seriously disrupting the enemy. Of course they might have failed by not having two people at the flag...

Level 19 Warsong Gulch, even without twinks, would not be the same as level 80 Warsong Gulch. It might be more or less fun. My own experience was that it was less fun. In contrast, AB seemed like more fun at higher levels.

In the past Blizzard expressed reluctance to add new battlegrounds because they didn't want to spread out players too much. That's a good thing to worry about. But why 'solve' the problem by not adding new BGs? Put level caps on the old ones and then new ones can be added without spreading out the players. AB might end at 69, WSG at 29 (joking, maybe), AV at 79. Then come the new places, with plenty of players available.

We might miss the old BGs. Hey, remember AV? And WSG and AB? Fun stuff, right? Sure sure. But now we have TAK, BD, and RKG! Those places are so much better. Weren't we a little tiny bit bored anyway? I mean, it had been the five millionth WSG game and ever since the last patch warlocks were an auto-win in that place (I am making this up, I have no clue of what warlocks are these days, except that they're not as awesome as they used to be, because nothing is or ever will be).

We might also miss Wailing Caverns (lol). So fine, go back there again and take a look around. There could be an honorless queue, where people could join old BGs and fight, but with no honor gains, just like defense in AB (zing, but I think they fixed that a little bit). Why no honor? Because we're trying to keep you in the new places, and because then it's just like a level 85 going to Wailing Caverns to farm some epic linen. Woo.

Poisoning the AH

| Thursday, March 1, 2012
Imagine you want to sell something on the AH. What should you ask for it?

My usual first step is to see what else is on the AH. That gives some general reference. Then I check wowhead for the average buyout. This is gives something valuable: information about prices beyond what is currently on the AH. Maybe your ore would normally sell for 10g each, but currently everything is up for 8g. Undercutting is cheating yourself out of gold. If the other ore was 5g, then you might consider buying it up and relisting, but personally, at 8g the risk isn't worth the reward. If the market is flooded to drive the price down that much, there is a decent chance you'll get undercut and the lost deposit could lose the profit. You could buy and hold it, and I would recommend holding your current ore until prices rise, but bag space isn't free and it is a gamble: if prices fall further, you're out of luck.

Maybe you don't need to undercut at all. If it's a commonly-used ore or other material and there are only a couple stacks up, there is a good chance that those will get bought without demand running out, meaning that your materials are the next ones up. Or you may not need to undercut everything, pricing above the lowest but below the highest, so that when buyers come, they see your items right in the middle, and now you've created a new frame of reference for what they expect to pay.

Whether or not you should undercut is based on best-guesses, though they can be more or less informed. Do you think someone will undercut you before your stuff is the lowest price?

Note that "lowest price" is not "lowest price per unit". If someone needs one primal, they will pay more for a single primal than for a cheaper stack. Most people are not in the business of markets. They just want to buy the thing they need and sell whatever they farm. They aren't looking to spend time or mental effort branching out, so single items can sometimes be considered a different market than full stacks. This is particularly true when dealing with materials that would be used in small amounts to craft epics or other small-batch items.

This leads me to buying and a simple pattern: People undercut even when they do not need to. This is where the title comes from. If you see a dozen stacks for runecloth at 1.5g per cloth and a dozen at 50s per cloth, but 11 of the 50s. The next person who comes along will often undercut the lonely 50s stack. The risk is that you lose out on a cheap stack, but given the bad habits people have when selling, the payoff can be significant. Or if you're feeling particularly manipulative and there are no cheap stacks up, put one of your own and gamble that it will get undercut rather than just bought out.

This is one of those things that bugs me, that I can profit by manipulating the habits of others. I don't mind that prices vary by a few percent,or more, between days, since sometimes more people are on and sometimes people are rushing to get materials before the raids. I used to farm arcane crystals, which was not particularly profitable for the time, but I found relaxing. Then I realized that I could reliably sell them for at least 50g. But sometimes they get driven down to 20g or less. Sometimes someone is clearly just trying to get rid of something and posts at an absurdly low price. I have done this when I don't care enough and just want the bag space, pricing with the intention that someone will flip the item. That's just a rational, or at least intentional, decision to minimize time spent on the sale. Contrast that with people who crash the market, undercutting to the point of stupidity. Go check your AH and I bet you'll find at least a few primal nethers for less than the vendor price.

There is some line between "sloppy because it's a game and who cares?" and "so sloppy they're hurting their own fun." I don't know where that line is, but I think selling nethers for less than vendor price is across it.
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