Wednesday, June 30, 2010

All DKs are masochists, or are they?

The developers have been answering some lore questions.  You can find the full thread here.  Now, one bit about the Light caught my eye...

Q: Can you please explain how "light" works? The lore states that undead are physically incapable of using the light, much like the Broken, but then we have Forsaken players casting healing spells, and Sir Zeliek in Naxxramas using pseudo-paladin abilities. 
A: Without spoiling too much, we can tell you that wielding the Light is a matter of having willpower or faith in one's own ability to do it. That's why there are evil paladins (for example, the Scarlet Crusade and Arthas before he took up Frostmourne). For the undead (and Forsaken), this requires such a great deal of willpower that it is exceedingly rare, especially since it is self-destructive. When undead channel the Light, it feels (to them) as if their entire bodies are being consumed in righteous fire. Forsaken healed by the Light (whether the healer is Forsaken or not) are effectively cauterized by the effect: sure, the wound is healed, but the healing effect is cripplingly painful. Thus, Forsaken priests are beings of unwavering willpower; Forsaken (and death knight) tanks suffer nobly when they have priest and paladin healers in the group; and Sir Zeliek REALLY hates himself. 

Okay, so why is this interesting to me? Well, I heal on four toons, and I do have backstories and motivations and all that for all of them (I may not RP in game but I love storytelling and enjoy the lore).  And so I've decided to figure out how all of my toons would be affected by this and what the implications might be....

Of course, Lyllea is a night elf, and she doesn't think of herself as wielding the Light.  She thinks that she's calling on the power of Elune to heal.  So that leads to the question... if she's not using the Light to heal, would her heals still be painful to a DK? That could go one of two ways.  Either all positive energy is painful (which would mean that all heals are painful, no matter who casts them), or only healing done by the Light causes pain (which would mean that Lyllea's heals or any other heals cast by a night elf would not be painful).  Now Lyllea is generally a bit of a soft touch, but death knights creep her out.  That entire "Suffer Well" thing is just not her cup of tea.  She's all about preventing suffering which is why she's a discipline priest.  The idea that she could be causing pain to someone when trying to prevent harm, well, that's going to throw her for a loop.  If her heals hurt DKs, then well, she'll only heal them as a last resort.  If she can get someone else who won't hurt them to heal them, that's what she'll do.  She may not like them, but she has no desire to cause them further pain.

Adowa on the other hand, does heal with the power of the Light, and she's likely to be far more practical about it.  After all, being healed's got to be less painful than dying, which is the other option. Plus, life involves pain.  If you don't want to experience pain, you should look into dying.  

Monera (my druid) would think "well, death knights are unnatural, so of course the power of nature would hurt them.  Oh well, stinks to be you," and she'd keep throwing her hots around.  

Eiunn (the baby shaman) would likely be coming at it from a different perspective. Shamans (from what I've seen) use the elemental power of water to heal, so it really wouldn't make any sense to her that her heals would cause pain.  She'd probably do a great deal of soul-searching, and ask death knights before she healed them.    

And my DK?  Well, brain damage does come in handy occasionally.  When you're more or less perpetually happy, pain doesn't bother you that much. And while she used to wield the Light and heal (or at least she thinks that's what she did before she died), she's accepted that the Light doesn't like her very much anymore. That's why she goes around helping people whenever possible, she wants the Light to like her again.  

I think the entire idea of the Light hurting undead does bring up some very interesting questions.  In addition to the ones above, how bout these... 
Belf paladins.  Before their redemption, when they were siphoning off power from that Naaru, did their heals hurt?
Can Forsaken priests heal with the power of the Shadow instead of the Light? 
Do belf priests heal with the Light, or do they call on something else?  
Isn't the Light itself more of a human/dwarf concept than anything else?  If so, could the pain caused from wielding or being healed by the Light only apply to races that believe in the Light, sort of a 'I believe it will hurt me therefore it will' thing?  

Honestly, I think you could go many different ways on this, depending on how you wanted to interpret things.  I really like the idea of it all being in the head, so to speak.  It leads to some interesting religious discussions.  If I believe I'm wielding the power of Elune to heal you and you believe I'm using the Light, which one of us is right? Are we both right?  Does it matter? 

Monday, June 28, 2010

It came from the dungeon finder and a holiday with an XP bonus (complete with wall of text crit...

So between Ahune and frantically leveling alts, I've been doing a great deal of dungeon running.  I figured I'd share some of the bad (and good) with you. Mostly because I need to share the fail and win with someone.

First, a ret pally.  A special ret pally.  A ret pally who, at 80, was not only out dpsed by my disc priest (who was also healing), but was also outdpsed by my dk.  Who's 66. Shouldn't auto-attack do more damage than that? Yeah, I got nothing.  And no, the fail pally is not in the picture. I just thought Ahune's kinda nifty-looking.

Second, the pug killers.  Eiunn is smack in the middle of this series.  Maraudon, Sunken Temple, Blackrock.  If you wipe in these your pug almost always falls apart because no one can figure out how to get back in. While I have now mastered the art of finding the entrance to Sunken Temple, and I have a vague idea of what to do once in there, don't ask me where anything is,  It all looks the same and I don't have a proper map.  Good thing the Satchel doesn't give me anything good anyway, so I don't care if I get it or not.  I just want the XP.  Ooh, and a trinket that doesn't talk to me when I use it.  That'd be nice too.

Third, the inexperienced tanks. Now, this situation has improved immeasurably from when Lyllea was leveling.  I can think of maybe one or two obviously inexperienced tanks I've gotten on a leveling alt recently. But it does still happen, and I must share a couple of my favorites...
the ret pally tanking with a two-hander.  This wouldn't have been so bad, if he hadn't been stacking spirit.
the bear of yelling. Not a bad bear, but well, my mage pulled off him like wow.  In an effort to control my aggro I went to frostbolt spam instead of blizzard and then got yelled at for lousy dps. Okay, not omg awful, but rather annoying.

Which brings me to fourth, the recount lover. Adowa's been pugging Ahune for the pet and the scythe and the frost, and she's been doing it as ret. Last run, she zones in, we start killing, and I notice the conspiciuous lack of heals.  I start healing the tank, and me, and about the time the frozen core shows up the healer starts healing. I switch to hitting stuff with no mana, and get yelled at when Ahune comes back.  Apparently my dps sucked. Can't think why, maybe cause I used all my mana healing?

And last but not least, the huntard. Not only did I see one pulling for the tank, jumping around like an idiot, and keeping growl on, he also decided to play tank. Our tank went afk and he started pulling.  I wouldn't have a problem with that if he was using a tank pet, but a raptor? Amazingly we didn't wipe, but unsurprisingly the pet did not hold aggro against my mage. Thank goodness for frostbolt's slow effect.

Now, the win.
My mage spent most of the afternoon running dungeons in a rotating group of win. Way too much Scarlet Monastery, but loads of xp and a couple of levels. Plus, no one bitched at me for drinking or accidentally pulling, and, and I had someone apologize for breaking my sheep! Inconceivable!

Eiunn managed a successful run of Sunken Temple thanks to one knowledgable healer.  We all followed this priest of knowledgeableness like sheep, and it was a great run. So, Healana of some server in my battlegroup, I salute you.  You were awesome.

And the final tally after a week of holiday xp bonus...
Druid hit 72 and squished Nexus. Now over to Howling Fjord cause I've mostly finished Borean. Am avoiding Utgarde Keep like the plague since I don't want to heal it and have no idea how to dungeon dps as feral.

Mage hit 32. Had fun. Discovered I apparently glyphed polymorph and the penguin is ridiculously cute.  Also, Blizzard is ridiculous damage. I like topping meters with no effort ;)

DK hit 67. Is now running around Nagrand. Nesingwary quests plus xp kill bonus is win. Since I don't have to shuffle heirlooms to play her, she should get some more leveling time now, probably when I get dungeon burnout again.  Sadly I'm still looking for a couple of decent one-handers (decent meaning they have + strength) for her so I can try dual-wielding frost.  Ooh, and her enchanting is now 450. I made the final push so I could put spellpower on my new staff and well, the AH was charging an arm and a leg.

Shaman hit 50. Needs to run more dungeons (go back to Sunken for her class quest, wrap up some Maraurdon and ZF quests, and then get quests for blackrock). Kinda hoping I can get her to 60 this week, but I've gotten a bit burned out on her and will settle for 55. I'd also like to get her exalted with Stormwind, but leveling first, rep grinds second.

Hunter got ice pet, priest got Scythe of awesomeness, and pally got loads of cloaks.  Priest has also gotten Adamantine from the Ahune runs (there's a node in the room).  Pally explored northern Kalimdor (before I got distracted by leveling).

I feel like I've done really well this week in getting stuff done. I'm hoping to continue the trend through next week, but with Fi's wedding and some other personal stuff I know it probably won't happen.  That's okay, it's not like I have a deadline for any of this.

Next entry will be vaguely useful or possibly entertaining stuff, I promise.  Like um, totems for the leveling resto shaman or more World Cup of Azeroth.  Probably the later, as the former would involve actual research.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Hey, Look, Random Screenshots

It's been one of those weeks, so instead of content, I figured I'd share some random screenshots.  

This would be what I see when I alt+tab back in after looking at a web site. Yup, Dal is now missing a floor.  Hope everyone has their parachute cloaks ready.

Another alt+tab in.  That would be Zul-Drak, missing trees among other things.  At least the huge wandering undead are still around.

This is flying into sunwell.  So pretty!

Wyrmrest.  Again, really pretty.  I tend to forget how beautiful WoW can be.

And last but not least, flying into Coldarra with the killed an animal debuff.

Now back to figuring out if hooves would be a determent or an advantage in soccer, and whether agility and small stature would beat big and strong.  I may be overthinking this a tad, but that's what I do.

Yay another 50

Eiunn hit 50 earlier today.  She's only my second toon to make it to 50 without RAF.  The fire festival buff is really helping, as is actually getting the dungeon quests.  And she even managed to get into a successful Sunken Temple run.  Of course now she has to go back for her class quest, but I'm hoping I can talk a guildie into a quick runthrough.

In other news I got bored and took a test today.  I think the results are pretty darn accurate.
It's not so much the wandering around and poking about, but that euphoric eureka moment the Explorer strives for. The joys of discovery do not necessarily involve geography, real or virtual. They may derive from the mental road less traveled, the uncovering of esoteric or hidden knowledge and it's creative application. Explorers make great theory crafters. The most infinitesimal bit of newness can deliver the most delicious zing to an Explorer.

Secondary Influences:
Explorer Socializers are the glue of the online world. Not only do they like to delve in to find all the cool stuff, but they also enjoy sharing that knowledge with others. Explorer socializers power the wikis, maps, forums and theory craft sites of the gamer world.

I was 87% explorer, 67% socializer, 40% achiever, and 7% killer. 

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Heard Around Azeroth: World Cup Gossip

*fade in to a grassy field. In the middle of the shot is a blood elf male, wearing mail*

Welcome to Heard Around Azeroth.  I'm your host, Aethelred the Perpetually Unready.  Today's show will delve deep into the gossip surrounding this most august event, as well as helping me overcome my fears of invisible bears.  They're out there, I swear!  You'll all be sorry when they eat you!

*A night elf female dashes into shot and throws water on Aethelred.  He coughs, sputters, and pushes his hair out of his face*

Sorry about that. I'm making progress, or at least that's what my therapist says, but it's slow-going some days.  Anyway, first off, I'd like to share a little tale with you.  I was sitting next to two lovely Sindorei women, and couldn't help overhearing their conversation during the orc/human match.  They were discussing orcs and their "size" when our august Regent Lor'themar Theron wandered by and made what I consider to be one of the funniest remarks I've heard this century...

"Yes, ladies, they really are that big, but they're also spiked for your pain."

I managed to catch up with him later, and here's what he had to say, with the Grand Magister at his side as always.

"Regent, I can't help but wonder, how exactly do you know orcs have spiked penises?"

"I don't, but I heard the rumor lately, and thought it would be a nice one to spread.  We Sin'dorei really can't afford to have dalliances outside our race.  Our population's on the verge of extinction, we need to reproduce."

"But couldn't you ask the warchief?"

"Does it seem like a good idea to walk up to an orc and ask him if he has spikes on his penis?  Really?"

"Good point.  Now given your push towards reproduction, when can we expect you to get married?"

"Well, um..."

"Married!  Oh, that's rich!"

"Shut up, Rommath! Of course, my duties to the Sin'dorei come first, and sadly they leave me little time for courtship."

"Thank you, Regent, and I know all of us wish you great luck in finding that special woman.  And Magister Rommath, I would encourage you to seek a mate as well.  Your great magical aptitude should be passed down to the next generation."

"Hey, look, an invisible bear!"


*Aethelred runs off screaming. Lor'themar looks at Rommath and sighes.*

"You know, there are days I fear for the future of our race.  Did you know he's the most promising young paladin we've got?"

"At least the mages are doing well."

"I suppose."

*They wander off.  Then a night elf female dashes into frame.*

"Sorry about that.  I'm Lyllea, and this has been Heard Around Azeroth.  Next time we attempt to get a gnome to sit still long enough to tell us about their surprise victory over the Vrykul.  Now if you'll excuse me, I have a blood elf paladin to go cast fear ward on."

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Blog Azeroth Topic: The World Cup in Azeroth

What if, instead of laying waste to two continents, Deathwing actually came up and said "Let's determine which race of Azeroth is best once and for all - by having the World Cup of Warcraft!" Faction rivalries are set aside, each race is on it's own, supporters are flooding to the capitals and embarking in ships to see their teams play. Which race would win the Cup, and how?  Which crowd favourite dark horse would face them in the finals?  Which seemingly unbeatable team gets sent home after a devastating and surprising defeat in the first round?
This awesome topic suggested b

Alrighty. We have 10 playable races, ranging from Tauren to Space Goats, plus npc races like Vrykul, Timbermaw, fel orcs, and loads of others.  Since the real World Cup has 32 teams, we need to somehow come close to that number.  Also, the World Cup system confuses me, so for simplicity's sake I'm doing a single elimination thing.
Here are our teams and their matches...
Round 1
Draenei vs. Night Elves-> Hooves are not made for soccer. Night elves win in a landslide
Blood Elves vs. Tauren-> The belves fight dirty, and the tauren never had a chance, plus they had the hooves problem to contend with.
Forsaken vs. Humans-> The Forsaken's star forward accidentally kicks his own leg off very early in the match and the team never comes back from it. Humans win.
Dwarves vs Orcs-> The dwarves almost take it with their excellent sprinter skills, but the orc bloodlust just gives them more staying power. Orcs win in a close match. 

Vrykul vs Gnomes-> Now this was a great match. The Vrykuls' raw power was no match for the gnomes agility and superior intellect. There was also a great deal of gnome punting (including one impressive kick that took a gnome forward from the center line into his own goal).
Timbermaw vs the Kalu'ak->Timbermaw in a close matchup.
Scourge vs Trolls-> Trolls win by a landslide. Brainless undead are not the best soccer players.
Frenzyhearts vs Kurenai->Again, hooves not good. Frenzyheart kick ass and take names.

Oracles vs Sporeggar-> This one ends in a draw, since neither side is really sure what they're doing.  The Oracles do end up agreeing to a forfeit in exchange for a lot of shinies.

Mag'har vs Netherwing-> the Mag'har go squish.  It was a nasty and short game, more akin to a brawl than to soccer.
Keepers of Time vs Red Dragonflight-> Keepers of Time win this one, and Chromie celebrates by stripping in the middle of the field, thus settling the male vs female debate once and for all (female in gnome form at least).
Blue Dragonflight vs Black Dragonflight-> Well, the Blacks cheated, and ended up losing half their team to red cards. The Blues ended up wiping the floor with them, which was good as no one wanted to hear Malygos having another tantrum. Deathwing did incinerate the referee afterwards, and got himself thrown out.  No one likes a sore loser.

And for Round 2-> YOU DECIDE!  Apparently either blogger will not let me do a proper poll or I am an idiot and can't find the options, so here's a list.  Comment with your winners and add why if you want to.  And no, I did not plan the two epic grudge matches, it just ended up that way.
1. Night Elves vs Blood Elves
2. Humans vs Orcs
3. Gnomes vs the Timbermaw
4. Trolls vs Frenzyheart
5. Oracles vs Netherwing
6. Keepers of Time vs Blue Dragonflight

How to get the most out of leveling alts during Midsummer

Well, the Fire Festival's in full swing in Azeroth, and it's a great time to level alts. So I figured a few suggestions might be useful...

First off, get the buff.  Go spin around the pole till you've got it for 60 minutes.  Here we see Eiunn spinning madly in the Wetlands.

Then figure out where to quest.  The buff goes away when you die, so you're probably going to want a zone that's mostly green to you.  In my case, I grabbed the shaman and headed to Theramore at 42, and hung out there till 45.  Dungeon running's also an excellent option, especially if you can guarantee a decent tank/healer combo.  In my case, the dungeon finder keeps putting me in the hell that is Maraudon, so I stuck to questing.

Now, be slightly picky about your quests. The buff is only for killing stuff, so you're going to want to focus on either killing stuff, or picking stuff off corpses you've killed.  Wow abounds in these sorts of quests, so you shouldn't have much trouble.

Go forth and kill stuff.  Kill everything that's not grey to you.  If you see it, it needs to die. In fact, go cross-country and leave a trail of death behind you.

While you're at it, honor and desecrate fires.  For some reason, it's twice the xp to desecrate, so I'd concentrate on those.

As far as I know, the buff does not increase your xp in bgs, and the generally high death rate in BGs would mean you'd lose it quickly anyway, so I wouldn't bother.  Stick to dungeons and quests, or heck, just go slaughter.  Trying to get to exalted with the Timbermaw and still at a level to get xp from the kills? Go nuts. 

And another note, the Ice Stone has melted and if you're lucky, your goodie bag from defeating Ahune will contain his little brother.  Isn't he cute?  Not as cute as the Scorchling, but at least I finally got a pet from that stupid elemental.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

How to double your endgame content without creating new stuff

So at this point almost all of us have seen the Northrend dungeons.  Many of us have memorized them, we've seen them so much. Gearing up another alt is well, kinda painful because we've been there, done that, and likely done it many times.

So, what can Blizz do to keep us interested in 5 mans?  New content is expensive and time-consuming to create, and they've got that entire expansion thing to worry about.  

But hey, there's a ton of heroics no one runs anymore. The Burning Crusade heroics. So....

Update loot.
Update bosses and trash by adjusting their stats and abilities
Remove all the rep requirements. Let's face it, they're confusing and a pain. Blizz has moved away from pain in the neck stuff, so get rid of them.
Add them to the random heroic dungeon finder.

Now, there's one problem with this.  The level 70 capped guilds get gear from these heroics. You can fix that one of two ways.  Either groups with level 70 capped toons automatically end up in the "old" heroic, or you have the option to run the "old" heroic.  And as far as removing leveling content, well, you're really not. How many of us go run BC heroics when we hit 70? 

And you could do other things too. Since many of the Burning Crusade heroics were harder at level (so I hear, I've never run one with a group completely at level), why not make them loot pinatas depending on how hard they are? The easiest ones could drop normal heroic loot, ranging up to icc 5 man level for the hardest.

Now this would lead to a bit of a desertion of the Wraith heroics, but a) the random dungeon finder will keep sticking us into them, b) players will go for the new and shiny regardless, and c) most of us have running the Wraith ones down to a science and will likely still turn to them for quick badge runs. 

For those of you who ran these dungeons to death in BC, well, not everyone did that. I can think of only one BC heroic I've run anywhere close to level, and that was Magister's. I still want that phoenix pet, gorram it. Even if you've run these things to death, you've probably run the Wraith ones to death too, and far more recently. 

If nothing else, making these heroics viable again might help with the pre-expansion slump, and certainly makes Blizz look better. Right now we have Ruby Sanctum incoming (but no new 5mans that I'm aware of), and then nothing till Cat, whenever that is. Given when the ICC 5mans came out, that's a fairly large gap in content, preceded by an even larger gap in content. And you could even dole them out a couple at a time, maybe keeping which ones are coming out under your hat so it's a surprise? 

Note: I have no idea how hard/easy updating these heroics might be. I've never run most of them (I was 40ish when Wraith hit). 

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Not really much to say right now. I got Adowa a title, so now all 3 of my 80s have one. She's an Argent Champion now, without ever setting foot in the Tourney other than to grab the fp.  Grab tabard, run dungeons, run Strat and Scholo and then quest once you're into Revered. Pretty easy, all told, but I did get to finish the Darrowshire questline.  If you have never done it, DO IT!  DO IT NOW!  It's wonderfully epic and sweet and touching.

I did get interviewed by Leveling Azeroth so if you want to listen, and you should, there's the link.  We talked about hunters mostly, since between the three of us we have one of each spec.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Vanity Glyphs (cat spoilers within)

Apparently Inscription is not working as intended, so come Cat it's getting overhauled. We'll be getting medium glyphs, and once you learn a glyph you can always switch back to it without purchasing a new one. Hopefully this will make glyphing less of a "set it and forget it" thing. Personally, I rarely switch glyphs and I don't really know anyone who does. Granted this will really affect the glyph market, but since I make Darkmoon cards and vellums for gold, not glyphs, I don't care overmuch.

I do also like the idea of medium glyphs being sort of vanity items. So I figured I'd come up with a few ideas....

Glyph of Power Word:Shield Rabbit(turtle, gnome, belf, penguin, whatever)-> Your pw:s now has a 40% chance to turn the target into a rabbit(turtle, gnome, belf, penguin,ect). Change is cosmetic only and lasts 60 seconds. I like this idea mostly because it would be amusing without being game-breaking. Plus I like turning people into rabbits. Perhaps each healing spec could have a version of this, just so everyone's in on the fun. And no, this has nothing to do with my delight in putting gnomes in bubbles. Really.

Glyph of Life Grip: Color Change-> Your life grip will now change the target's color, to indicate they were an idiot and stood in the bad stuff.

Glyph of Spirit of Redemption: Sex Change-> The sex of your spirit of redemption is now male. I'd also like to see a version of this for warlock's demon form, allowing it to be female.

Glyph of Incubus-> Instead of summoning a succubus, you summon an incubus (male version of a succubus).

Glyph of Tree-> Your tree form no longer has a cooldown (for the broccoli-lovers who want to keep their form)

Glyph of Not A Crit Chicken-> Your boomkin form is now a buff that does not actually change your form.

Glyph of "You're out of range you idiot"-> When anyone in your group gets out of range of your beneficial spells, they immediately turn fuchsia, and will not return to normal until they are back within your range. Great for "go go go" tanks and dps. Does not work in battlegrounds. (And should probably only work on your group in a raid).

Glyph of Armor Change-> This glyph would allow you to wear one armor set while looking like you're wearing another. Both armor sets must be set up in the Outfitter thing, and you must have both sets in your bags. So those of you who thought Tier 1 was the most awesome thing ever could wander around looking like you're wearing it. Or you could tank Deathwing looking like you're wearing a lovely black dress. This is one I really really want.

Glyph of "crap, I wasted Heroism/bloodlust"->Once a week you can reset your heroism/bloodlust. This also removes the debuff from everyone in your raid.
Damn you Chromed Bird!

Sorry for the Twitter spam, guys. Chromed Bird freaked out and I can't seem to delete them all. Sincerest apologies.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Armor Categories, and how I'd combine them and clean them up

Gear. It comes in many different flavors and we all want it. But there's a fairly annoying problem with it. Some kinds of gear have a lot of competition, and some have almost none. So today I'm going to look at armor, how it's currently split, and how I'd like to see it redone in Cat.

First off, cloth. Cloth gear has the most competition (3 specs of mages, 3 of warlocks, and 3 of priests). It also only really comes in one flavor, caster. And,let's face it, the crit chickens and trees also like cloth.
The only way to take some pressure off would be to make priests, warlocks, or mages able to wear leather. Personally I would kinda like to see disc priests in leather, but I am easily amused like that.

Leather. Comes in two flavors, melee dps and caster. Melee dps leather gets used by 3 specs of rogues, feral druids, and maybe by a hunter or enhancement shaman dipping down. Caster leather gets used by two specs, trees and boomies.

Mail. Caster mail is for elemental and resto shamans, and apparently also for holy pallies if the shammies don't want it. Physical/melee/ranged mail is for 3 specs of hunter and enhancement shamans.

Plate. Tank plate is for prot warriors, tank dks, and prot pallies. DPS plate is for DKs, ret pallies, fury warriors, and arms warriors. Spellpower plate is for holy pallies, who would often rather have caster mail instead because of itemization.

Now, how to simplify this? Well, there will be a clear delimitation between dps cloth and healing cloth in Cat, which will help. And Blizz is doing several more things to make loot a bit simpler (and keep people from dipping down into a lower armor class), but I have another idea I think is nifty.

First, combine resto shammies, resto druids, elemental shammies, and boomkins into one armor group. Make them all care about the same stats, then either a) make the armor you drop for them change from leather to mail depending on who's wearing it, or b) give the shamans a talent that raises leather to mail values and make sure there's no penalization for them wearing leather. Either way now you've combined two small categories into one larger one.

Second, holy pallies. Why not do the same for them as we're doing for the caster shamans and druids? That would mean no more spellpower plate! Since spellpower plate makes it both difficult and easy to gear (Difficult in that there's not a lot of holy plate to drop, but easy because there's not much competition when it does drop), I am all for it wandering off.

Thus you'd end up with two armor groups for healers. One for priests, and one for everyone else. And with more specs in each group, you can vary the secondary itemization slightly without creating useless pieces of loot. Plus, if you no longer need to have spellpower plate and caster mail drop, you can drop more of the other types. The only armor group with less than 3 specs in it would be the cloth healer group, and there's enough healing priests out there that I doubt it'd be a big problem.

You've still got a bit of a crowd in the cloth dps group (7 specs) and plate dps groups, but with some open spaces on the loot tables from removing caster mail and spellpower plate, you can add in some more cloth dps and plate dps drops.

Friday, June 11, 2010

So, yeah, a bit lacking on the postage.  Sorry about that. Certification exam tomorrow, along with Worldwide Knit in Public day and a friend's Very Important Occasion. Been studying for the exam most of the week, and knitting obsessively when I wasn't studying. Oh, and at some point tomorrow I must get a watermelon to saturate with vodka.

I did figure out one thing wrong with my shadow dps. I have one healy trinket which is no good for shadow. I also picked up a second piece of shadow tier 9 to see if the longer-lasting Vampiric Touch helps any.

Oh, and Adowa went on her first raid. The weekly is Flame Leviathan, so she rode around on a bike and got Firesoul for her healing set. Shinies.

I hope to return you to your regularly scheduled ramblings on Monday.  Maybe by then I will have done something or discovered something or at least my brain will not be trying to remember the 7 different classifications of fonts, the difference between rastor and vector graphics, wtf a metafile is, and the principles of design.

Ooh, I really am coming unglued. Raster, not rastor. I'll just go sing the Doom song now, shall I?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Random Tuesday Stuff

First, this is apparently my 201st post.  Go me!

Second, randomness, since my main server is down for 24 hours (which is far better than the 72 hours I thought it was).
Adowa is merrily gearing up as ret and holy.  I ran a lot of normal TOC, Forge, and Pit yesterday and got some nice drops. I also played "pull off the tank" and "wow, ret is just like marks, but with positioning and longer cooldowns".  I really miss fade/feign death, but at least I can survive a mob's attention.  I also learned that Divine Intervention requires a reagent.  I should get some of those for saving the healer.  What can I say, I like my healers and most of them will rez me?

I then got into a just before server reset TOC 25, and ran into the BUG OF DOOM! Or the bug of really annoying fail DPS, whichever you'd like to call it.  Garetia (my hunter who could use shinies from TOC) was unable to Chimera Shot, Steady, Arcane, Aimed, Tranquilizing, Serpent Sting, or anything other than Volley or Autoshot. I kept being told "Invalid Target".  I fiddled with the ui, disabled lunarsphere and bartended, and just couldn't get rid of it.  So once Beasts were done, I switched to Lyllea (who had no problems) and dpsed as shadow.  It never ceases to amaze me how different the fights are as dps.

For example, the twins. As a healer I go light or dark (whichever they tell me), switch when DBM says so, and heal.   As DPS, I go light or dark, try to get orbs of my color while avoiding the other color orbs, switch to the other twin occasionally, and switch colors when DBM says so.  All while trying desperately to maintain my shadow rotation of complicated.   And yes, healing is less complicated. I keep prayer of mending going bouncy, flash heal, and play whack-a-shield, with the occasional "oh crap" penance. I don't really plan things out, I don't pay attention to cooldowns, and I don't care about my latency.  I care about all these things as shadow.  It's why I have a special addon just for it.

On the plus side, Garetia did get new pants.  They're leather, but they're a big upgrade.

And in other random news, Lyllea is officially a switch hitter for the ICC 25 I do. This means that I should stop talking about hitting for advice and actually do so. Hopefully my fail is something simple like not using a dot or misgemming, instead of "you're doing it completely wrong".  Though "you're doing it completely wrong" would not be bad IF doing it right is easier.

Now back over to Trollbane, to continue my drain tanking experiment.  My 'lock was demonology, and I just respec'd.  I miss my stronger blueberry, but I like draining life and the better life tap.  We'll see how this ends up. If by some miracle she makes it to 80, I'll probably go Demonology from what I know about the trees.  Not a big fan of the dot-maintaining dps style, though I applaud those who are good at it.  Merlin knows I'm not.

Monday, June 7, 2010

If I were warchief...

Inspired by a post over here at  Of course, my method of leadership is probably not Thrall's, but I thought the question was interesting enough to answer.

If I were Thrall, the first thing I would do is to sit down and have a long chat with Sylvanas.  She and the Forsaken need to get this death to the living thing stopped.  Not to mention the elephant in the room about what they do now that Arthas is dead. I'd want to have a clear picture of what she sees as the future of her race, and make sure that she understands that if she wants the aid of the rest of the Horde in accomplishing this future, that changes need to be made.

Second, I'd start looking into other places to get my lumber. Azshara maybe? Not as many trees, but also not as many pissed-off elves. Also, lots of extra stone lying around there for building.

Third, reclaim land. There's a lot of problems in Durotar and the Barrens and Mulgore, and these need to be straightened out before we attempt to expand further. Our foundation is weak, and we should not build until we strengthen it. Once we deal with the centaurs and the quillboars and Manrick's wife, then we can consider further expansion.  Oh, and we need to clean up parts of the Eastern Kingdoms as well.  The sindorei and the forsaken are part of the Horde, and if we don't make an effort to help them and bring them into the fold, they're going to continue being a bit maverick.

And last, but not least, I'd make sure my vision of the future of the Horde was well-known. I envision a future where there are no harpies in Durotar, where the trolls have the Echo Isles again, where the tauren roam their homeland freely without fear of centaurs, where Eversong Woods and Tirisfal Glades are free of the unthinking dead, and where the Undercity doesn't smell quite so bad.

Once we've accomplished all of this, I say we wipe the Alliance from Eastern Kalimdor and from the Northern Eastern Kingdoms. I do have all these warriors after all, and they need SOMETHING to do.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Addons I cannot live without

I am a HUGE addon person.  In fact I run with 90 of them, though I should probably clean some of them up.  I have my custom ui ones, and then I have quality of life ones and class-specific ones.  I figured I'd share some of my favorite quality of life ones with you...  and the best part is that most of these require little or no setup.  Just install and enjoy.

Altaholic.  Best addon ever.  I dunno how I'd survive without it.  If you have more than one toon on a server, you want this.  Heck, if you have more than one toon period, you want this. I can check all my toons bags, their professions (including being able to link them in chat), find out if they have mail and when it will expire, and so much more.  Great great addon.

Bagnon.  I have this issue with way too many things in my bags and I can never find what I'm looking for when I need it.  Bagnon's search function saves my arse.  It does share some functionality with altaholic, namely the ability to see what's in other toons bags and banks, so you might want a less fully functional bag addon.  I kinda want the ability to sort soulbound items from nonsoulbound items, but that's not a big deal.

GnomishVendorShrinker.  It's a nice simple little addon.  Just compacts the vendor frame so you can see more at once.  Like most Tekkub addons, it's small and does one thing very well.  I would heartily recommend checking out Tekkub's addons as they're generally simple and do one thing well.

OmniCC.  Yay having a countdown timer on my buttons.  Yup. that's what this does.  

Talented.  Okay, this is a great great addon.  Basically it allows you to import specs from wowhead and the armory, set them as targets (for leveling toons so you can see where to put your points), apply them completely (making respecing a breeze), and you can name them.  I originally installed this so I could label the blood tank and blood dps specs on my death knight, and now I'm not sure how I ever lived without it.  The ability to set a spec as the target makes placing talent points as you level really easy.

I think all of these are beyond great, and well worth investigating.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Blog Classification

Larisa over at the Pink Pigtail Inn had an interesting discussion about what BRK said about mage blogs, and in it she identified herself as a mage blogger. That struck me, as I have never considered Pink Pigtail Inn to be a mage blog.  I think of it more as a very interesting and thought-provoking general WoW blog.

This led me into how I classify blogs, and after much pondering I came up with the following Venn diagram...
Now, this is a bit oversimplified just because I couldn't figure out how to draw anything more complex.

I classify blogs into 4 categories (with overlap between them)
General WoW blogs-> these are blogs that talk about many different things within WoW, from RP to leveling to PVP to personal accomplishments.  Obviously there are many subcategories within this group, but for the sake of simplicity we'll just ignore those for now.
Class blogs->Blogs that focus on a specific class or classes.
Raiding blogs->Blogs that focus on raiding
Gold blogs->Blogs that focus on making gold and the economic minigame inside WoW.

Does this make sense?  Well, maybe some examples will help...
Big Bear Butt is a class/general blog.  He talks frequently about druids but he also has good general info posts.  So I'd stick him in the overlap between the black and red circles.
Pig Pigtail Inn is a general blog. She doesn't talk much about classes or raiding or economics, and I'd be hard-pressed to simplify her blog content into a sentence without leaving quite a bit out. She's in the black circle.
Aspect of the Hare is another class/general blog. In fact there are very few class-only blogs.  Most class blogs also talk about raiding or personal accomplishments or rp or other stuff.  She's wandering around with Big Bear Butt.
Just my Two Copper is a gold blog. Great place to find tips and tricks on making gold, not so good if you're looking for anything else.  This one's right in the middle of the yellow circle.
World of Matticus is a raiding/class/general blog. Mostly raiding, but there's good stuff on guilds and classes in there as well. Matticus is hanging out in the overlap between the black, red, and pink circles.
Psynister's Notebook is a class/general blog. It's just an unusual one that doesn't focus on a particular class.  But he's one of my go-to places for info on leveling any class, hence my thinking of his blog as a class one.  A class blog does not have to be specific to one class, but if most of what you post is class-based I'm going to think of your blog as a class one.

Now this is as much an opinion system as anything else.  If I tend to associate a blog with a particular class or classes, I think of it as being at least partly a class blog.  The same goes for raiding and gold-making.

So what good is this?  Well, it allows you to not only classify your own blog but see how new readers might.  I'm going to use Aspect of the Hare as an example.  Go read the entries on the first page, or just skim the titles.  Does it look like a hunter blog?  I see one post on trees, several on wandering around the world, but no hunter-specific posts. Now, that's not bad, but you can see how a new reader might wander across that blog and not really associate it with hunters except for the huntery guides in the sidebar.
If you want to classify yourself as a class blog or a raiding blog or a gold blog, you need to check every so often and make sure that you are talking about a class or a raid or gold.  If you don't care how your readers might classify you, write about whatever you like.  You may lose some readers who are looking for specific topic blogs, but if you're an entertaining read I'll still keep up with you.

For the record, this is a general blog with the occasional (very occasional) class post.

And last but not least, Pike is back so go read Aspect of the Hare!  Yay Pike is back!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Wait, I have horde toons?

Insomnia struck last night.  Struck with a vengeance.  So what's a girl to do at 1 am?

If you answered go check on the horde toons you've been ignoring since last summer, you'd be right.  Seriously, the last time my warlock leveled was during the fire festival.  I got distracted by RAF and gearing toons and well, most of my gold is Alliance-side, held tightly in the hands of my bank toons (yes I have two now) as well as Lyllea.  She's my gem cutter, so all the profits from flipping uncut gems stays with her.

But I digress. I have two belves (yes, I am a pervy elf fancier and I am good with that), my lock and a pally.  And when I wandered over to see what they were up to and fiddle with them, I realized how much of the old world I'd yet to see.  I've leveled in almost every zone as Alliance, but not really as Horde.  I was missing HUGE chunks of lore and story and omg, fresh zones!  Zones I don't know all the stories in, zones where I haven't done all the quests! Even the zones I know like the back of my hand are shiny and different Horde side.

Of course, I don't have tons of gold on Trollbane, but I also don't have high-level toons.  40 gold seems like plenty for one level 32 warlock and one level 14 pally.  Especially since herbalism was bringing in quite a bit of gold before Trollbane became a recommended server, so I figure I can probably still get some gold out of it.

So here we have a ding shot of the neglected lock, complete with newly-redone UI

And here's Aethelred the Perpetually Unready, being attacked by an invisible bear.  No, I'm not kidding, he really was attacked by an invisible bear.   Also, having no real ranged attack is painful.  Really painful.  Stupid Dalaran apprentices.  But he has an English accent, so I am happy.  I have no idea why I never realized that, but I am a sucker for a cute blond with an accent, so it is all good.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

RP Stuffs

I have no randomness!  Or rather I have much randomness but I must wait till I get permission to post it.  Let's just say Sat's raids were AWESOME!

Instead I thought I would do some RP stuff.  So randomly, here's my RP questionnaire, filled out for Garetia.

What's your background/backstory?
I was born shortly before the Sundering.  I have spent most of my life living in Darkshore.  I like wandering the wilderness and fishing. I love fishing.  I'm sorry, were you expecting more? Just because I'm thousands of years old doesn't mean I've lived an exciting life. It's only recently that I've taken to wandering around the world rather than wandering around Darkshore and fishing. I blame the orcs, and Alsein.  He joined the fight, and talked me into it as well.  I pray every night that he's well and happy.  I do miss him.
How do you feel about your leaders?
The archdruid is an idiot and I'm not sure he's still sane. Tyrande has my loyalty and my respect, but I disagree with her decision to resettle in Darnassus.  The new world tree is a huge mistake, and I can only hope that mistake does not come back to haunt us like so many other of our mistakes have.
As far as the other Alliance leaders go, the human king acts more like a three year old then any other human I ever met.  Why is he king?  The gnome leader seems pretty decent, and he's admitted his mistakes and is trying to fix them.  Velen is extremely admirable, but I find the draenei as a whole to be too alien to really relate to.  As far as the dwarf king goes, I just hope he's not like his brother Brann.  That man is insane.
How do you feel about the other faction?
Orcs need to die.  The tauren have chosen the wrong side, but they will hopefully realize their mistake soon.  And we made a mistake as well, by never coming to their aid.  The undead are driven by hate, and that is a dangerous dangerous thing.   They seem to hate the living almost as much as the Lich King, and that plus their newfound immortality is beyond terrifying.  The trolls, well, as long as they stick to their jungles and don't try to eat me, I say live and let live.  The Sindorei are almost as dangerous as the undead, and given their history, I am extremely hesitant to let them live.  I do pity them, as I cannot imagine being so addicted to something that you turn to demons to get your fix.  Hopefully the Queldorei will be able to come to terms with their loss and renounce arcane magic.  If they do, I will happily accept them as kin.
What's your motto?
I find the idea of a motto to be a strange one.  There is not one precept I live my life by, but many.
1. Respect Nature
2. Obey the teachings of Elune.
3. Cherish and respect those you love.
Those would be the three most important ones.