Saturday, January 31, 2009


It started as a joke, and when you are the only female officer among a bunch of 20-, 30- something guys, it's going to be about you, and most likely it's going to be something about your sex.

No one ever wants to talk about that awkward social-byproduct of the game. Besides the innuendo ("Thrust Hodir's Spear", "Polishing Hodir's Helm") and phallic symbols sprinkled throughout Azeroth and Outlands (the giant crystalline objects around the forge camps immediately come to mind), WoW is relatively a sexless and gender-neutral place. There are no differences in gender among the characters themselves, and both genders are represented in every walk of life. I particularly noted that this expansion's "don-a-disguise-to-do-dailies" is centered around a female culture, whereas in BC it was exclusively male (I dare you to try and find a female Fel Orc on Netherwing Ledge). Even the NE and BE striping parties are a thing of the past in terms of amusement. Sadly, this gender neutrality and sexless state cannot be said for the players.

I see it as an inevitable result of a sexually-repressed male audience. Swapping back and forth about man-love, who is cheating on who in said man-love relationship, and OMG A WOMAN ON THE INTERNETZ. I find little is said about the real relationships themselves, or even about the gay men, unless they provide the joke. The most sensitive cultural taboos are still in place, despite the anonymity of being online.

As an active guild member and constant contributor to Vent, I get drawn into this sex-driven world. Sometime during a Black Temple run was born. Thankfully, such a web site did not exist, so whenever someone said "visit!" (usually after I replied to something in General), the joke would end there. In raid, it was used as a fake incentive and tension breaker: "Okay guys, if we one-shot RoS, Neg will provide a free year's subscription to" My constant reply: "I hate you all."

I suppose the vindictive woman in me needed to have the last laugh, so I reserved and published Success was sweet. The mixture of people giving me the metaphorical-slap on the shoulder and laughing away, conceding that I won, and those who were too afraid to click on the link to see what I posted amused me. Some complimented me on my work, others were dismayed that I didn't just have a picture of a cow, who is by default without clothes, hence naked (but Tauren =/= cow, so I would never have done that). Personally, I think I went just far enough without being outlandish - you can see more nudity from the WoW rendition of JoCo's First of May - and I think it's benign enough to be used as a recruiting tool as well.

Now I'm going to use it as motivation. Sure, the satisfaction of successfully executing a difficult encounter is enough by far, but adding a cherry on top gives people that little 'umph' to keep going after six hours of wipes. I promised that once we down OS25+3D, I will post another picture on Since our Naxx10 run for The Undying achievement was canceled last nigh, I began work on the initial sketches. I guarantee anything I post will be of similar taste and modesty on the part of my character (I won't go the whole 9 yards on the subject, like By Way of Booty Bay), and will only incite a minor reaction, be it amusement or your gag-reflex :P.

EDIT: Figures, the server is down at the time of this posting. Feel free to berate me for trusting Google (it's not like they don't already own my soul).

Friday, January 30, 2009

A poor substitution

We've been pushing OS25+3D hard this week, getting the second drake to about 20% before the inevitable wipe. The fight is the best of all worlds: it's a survival encounter, and a healing encounter, and a DPS encounter. Maintaining rotations while taking care of yourself is the key to the fight - once you get that down, the loot is inevitable.

Discussing it among the officers, we (the two officers who happen to be hunters) decided to take a step towards simplifying the encounter: Tame Tallstriders.

I have five pets: My two beloved Windserpents, Aeris and Serphiroth; my two tanks, Maturin the Turtle and Fynt the Slime; and, of course, Tinea, my dearest moth. Fynt is my most recent pet, but his novelty and the fact that they did not replace the skin with the last patch encourages me to keep him. The remaining options are my most redundant pets, my precious Windserpents.

I love both of them dearly. Aeris was tamed as a Son of Hakkar, back when her skin would change color upon summoning. She is my eldest pet, so much so that I cannot recall any pet I had before her, even through leveling. Sephiroth was tamed soon after hitting 70. We had ventured into ZG again, and I discovered to my delight that level 62 Soulflayers were now tamable. His skin was beautiful and novel - his consistency at my side even encouraged one of the hunters from our server's top guild to tame one himself ("After seeing yours, I had to have one for myself."). He was probably the pet I was most excited to tame.

I really didn't have an option - Aeris is too dear to my heart to part with -so I took Seph down to Crystalsong Forest, and let him go.

I'll miss his beauty.

Off I went to Terrokar Forest to tame my Tallstrider.

I believe his name adequately reflects his position in our relationship.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Life is a wheel

While it may have dragged me down yesterday, today I rode it up towards the sun again.

My biogeography class today was fun and informative - I rarely experience those exciting moments of learning something totally awe-inspiring anymore, and today I felt it again after a long absence. Afterwards I participated in a psychology study that turned out to be much more interesting than I had anticipated. Nothing like low expectations being surpassed to brighten one's day!

And to top it all off:

Not only did Envoy of Mortality finally drop again, but the last book I needed for Higher Learning spawned after ten straight fillers.

It was a good day!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


I'm at one of those points in your life where everything is coming to a climax, and it's coming fast. So fast that you see it looming on the horizon, the due dates approaching and the expectations rising with each day that passes, and you know you must rise to meet it with all the knowledge and experience you have garnered, to prove yourself... but all you want to do is lay down in defeat.

I'm so close to being finished with college, everything is laid out before me, I just have to put together the pieces - too bad Senoritis has set in, and it's not leaving any time soon. My BA data is just waiting to be analyzed, and I just can't bring myself to work on it. No one is pressuring me due to unfavorable circumstances with my schedule, leaving me feeling guilty and pathetic. While I enjoy two of my classes, my math class is baffling me. The professor expects coding from us that we have no experience with and doesn't like that we don't suddenly have epiphanies on how to make these lines of code form productive functions.

To top it all off is my relationship with my fiance. We are fine, nothing has changed how we feel for each other, but now our schedules are out of sync. Where we once had raid time together, conversations before and after along with random intervals during the day, we are down to a six hour window in the afternoon. When he goes to bed, I'm starting to raid, reducing the last phone call of the day to a distracted, one-way conversation. I know that we are in the homerun stretch of our time apart, but I'm terrified that something will happen in that period to jeopardize it all.

While I would love to do nothing but WoW all day long, even that is getting difficult to deal with. Tonight we just polished off Malygos10 and OS10+1D, two ten mans for both. As a guild leader, I mainly take care of loot distribution, but as one of the few range DPS officers, I'm in a better position to call out spark announcements. This reeks havoc on my DPS, because I can't watch my shots while spinning around my camera searching for the sparks, not to mention our tendency to kill the sparks near him, so I have no chance to get the buff. Add on to the fact that the majority of our DPS goes straight to the spark buff, leaving me and maybe one other conscientious DPS to deal with the second spark that is approaching him, and my DPS goes to the gutter. I can make up for it with drake damage, but the inability to do what my class and spec is capable of is extremely frustrating to me. Thankfully, it was a beautiful one-shot, but I did not feel satisfied with my own performance as a hunter. I sat out for OS10+1D and for +2D, not because I didn't want to work on it, but so others could experience the encounter and get a feel for it.

Then, of course, there is The Butterfly, this blog. Some days I feel satisfied with what I have accomplished through it, other times (like now) I feel like it's time to shut it down, that nothing great or useful has come of it. In my last post, I was trying to get some advice on changing my spec to accomodate a gear change, but it turns out I really already knew the answer, leaving me to wonder why I post some of this nonsense.

I suppose it's just one of those days.

Monday, January 26, 2009


The fear garnered by the text change on Mirror of Truth put me into "must-find-replacement-NOW" mode, so my surplus of gold has become a Nobles Deck. (I paid 12.6K gold for all the cards, a rather great bargain.)

My options are thus:

1. Keep Mirror of Truth and replace Grim Toll with Greatness, and respec to make up for the 83 hit I loose.

2. Replace Mirror of Truth with Greatness, and change nothing.

Currently I am sitting 297 hit, nearly perfect. Dropping Grim Toll puts me at 6.5%. Either I move two points into Focused Aim and make up the last .5% of hit in gear and enchants, or place all three points into Focused Aim and take off hit in gear and enchants.

If I move two points, the most likely options are one point from Go for the Throat and (cry) Silent Shot. If I move three points, I would most likely sacrifice Aspect Mastery, or maybe Go for the Throat and Efficiency, neither of which I am thrilled about.

Obviously, my mind is already made up, it's just a matter of how exactly I move my points around. The second option (keep Grim Toll) is only tempting to push off the respeccing work.

I have a week to think about it yet.

Settling on this build for the 2% hit.

Power Auras for MM Hunters

I'm a strong creature of habit. Once I get into a routine of something, I can do it blindfolded, which I think could be said for most hunters and their shot rotations. Patch 3.0 didn't affect me too badly - I still spammed Steady Shot between Arcane/Aimed and Chimera, and, despite the fact that Kill Command was on a minute CD, I still spam its hotkey in between my shot rotation. But when Patch 3.0.8 hit, I have to admit it hit me rather hard. Though the uncoupling of auto shots essentially did away with the concept of shot rotations, there was still enough order with the shot CDs one could follow with relative ease something similar to a shot rotation. However, the new MM "shot prioritizing" threw me for a loop, and I watched my DPS suffer for it.

I have mentioned before how adapt I am at surviving an encounter. Void zones, AoE, Surge of Power - bring it on, I'll live through it... as long as I can watch my character. As I tried to figure out the new shot rotation, I found myself staring at my action bar, watching CDs and GCDs like a hawk, totally oblivious to everything else happening on my screen.

And I HATE that.

I needed a solution. Something that would show me at the same level as my character when Chimera, Arcane, and Aimed became available. Power Auras has to be the most user-unfriendly mod I have ever encountered, but it does the job, and it does the job well. It took me a bit to set it up to my comfort, but once it's there, it's a great MM asset.

Currently it set up to show me the when Chimera, Arcane, and Aimed become available, their cooldowns, when Serpent Sting is no longer applied, when I am low on mana and should go to Viper, when I am high on mana and should go to Hawk, and when Improved Steady Shot procs.

First let me explain my keybinds:

5 - Chimera Shot
6 - Arcane Shot
7 - Aimed Shot
8 - Steady Shot + Moth Macros
9 - Serpent Sting

F3 - TSA
F4 - Aspect of the Viper
F5/F6 - Kill Comman/Pet Attack/Moth Macros
F9 - Aspect of the Dragonhawk

So here is my normal raiding position:

My pinky takes care of things like Tab and Esc, my ring finger takes care of F4 (Aspect of the Viper) and Chimera Shot, my middle finger deals with the pet spam and Arcane Shot, and my index finger takes care of the initial Serpent Sting, Steady Shot, Aimed Shot, and F9 (Aspect of the Dragonhawk). I have this way for priority of the shot rotation: Chimera > Arcane > Aimed > Steady.

My hotkey set up is the basis for how I set up Power Auras:

In the middle are the shot warnings with their cooldowns under them. When the shot becomes available, the icon appears on the screen and stays there until the shot is used. They are in order of shot priority and in the order of my hotkeys. Above them is my mana indicator and below them is my Serpent Sting indicator. At the bottom, slightly larger, is the indicator for when I gain Improved Steady Shot, which lasts for the duration of the buff.

Here are the set-ups for the shots and their timers:

Chimera Shot -

Arcane Shot -

Aimed Shot -
Serpent Sting proved to be a little tricky. I tried various Activations with out much success, until a guildee helping me figured out 'Enemy Target' needed to be checked, in addition to 'less than 1' for the stack specificity.For my mana warnings, though I wanted a text announcement to tell me to change to Viper or change to Dragonhawk, evidently the text auras are non-functional (or I just can't figure out how to work them), so I was satisfied with the icon appearing when I needed to switch. My thresholds are set 5% at the minimum and 95% at the maximum, and make sure you have the foward slash checked for the maximum:

Improved Steady Shot is the basic buff warning that can be duplicated for other talent and trinket buffs:

So far, I am satisfied with it, despite the fact I am still adjusting to it. Most of the time I am able to hit the shot before the icon appears based solely on the CD timers.

Tonight was not the greatest of nights to initiate this mod - we worked on OS25+3D for over two hours. We progressed well despite our slightly undergeared druid tank, killing one drake and getting the second to 30% in our best attempt, then settling for killing Vesperon beforehand, then dealing with the other two in the encounter to experience having two drakes overlapping, despite it not fully representing the healing difficulty of the full 3Drake experience. However, of our 13+ attempts tonight, I only died to firewall once (you cannot think while dealing with this encounter, just act, I swear) and void zone once (pro-tip: don't run through it when you are skirting it), neither of which were caused by me watching my action bar.

Good luck!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Fastest Title Ever + Naxx 8

I think the Festive Green Dress brings out my eyes.

In other news, ran Naxx8 last night, which was the Longest Raid Ever. At over four hours, I was exhausted by the time we polished off Kel'Thuzad.

Our raid was comprised of a warrior tank, a fury warrior off-tank, a druid and paladin healers, two hunters, fury warrior, and enhancement shaman; it was a dream of a physical raid. We managed around six achievements, though it was difficult to tell because we already had some like Arachnophobia. Spore Loser wasn't nearly as terrible as we thought it would be - the spores simply knocked on the pally healer for a bit before despawning. I rather enjoyed Thaddius, though it took a bit to coordinate killing the two mini-bosses prior, the double end achievement was pretty cool:

While we made several attempts at Just Can't Get Enough, our range DPS was spread too thin to AoE down all the skeletons while killing the banshees and pulling the abominations, and I think some of us were getting tired; my head was throbbing at this point. It was possible, but we decided four hours was enough, and just killed him.

Our chance at The Undying was cut short early, but I think it will be easier to do with 10 people without much concern for other achievements.

Friday, January 23, 2009

You might be dependent if...

Yesterday was a very long day of academia. I had two hour-and-a-half long classes in row, followed by two two-hour labs filled with complex code writing and ancient program heckling. At one point I grew so frustrated I just threw my work to the side and announced, "I'm an ecologist, dammit! Insects don't use computers!" (Except to live in.) The end result was such extreme fatigue that once I got back home, I just sat in front of my computer, watching the scurrying of Dalaran pass by me, with no energy to even do a daily.

Last night we attempted OS25+3D again, and I sat out. I didn't even just sit out, I logged off and was asleep an hour before raid would end. I have no idea how well we progressed, or even if they decided to forgo the attempts in favor of something else.

I could say it felt good to get a full night sleep for once, but I dislike missing raiding, which makes me wonder how dependent I am on my nightly three hour excursion into the dungeons of Azeroth. While my sleep was refreshing, I had a very long dream about my computer breaking because I wasn't raiding. Everything I tried to do on it was failing, the screen was glitching, and when I logged on to remedy my absence, the Naxx run I was in was falling apart - I even fell through the hole in the pipe leading to Gluth's room! My guildees began telling me how I was failing them, because I wasn't there to raid.

Now, I find this highly ironic, considering I didn't raid last night because exhaustion is not a good thing to have while working on OS25+3D - I didn't want to be a weak link when I should be an example for others. On the other hand, this obsessive dream may be an all too real example of my addiction to this game. While I'm okay with this, it is a tad unsettling how one conscious decision to change up a routine affects you.

Leatherworking in 3.0.8

I think everyone is aware by now that the only major change to Leatherworking this patch is the addition of Frozen Orbs to the mat requirements for the BoE armor kits, Frosthide Leg Armor and Icescale Leg Armor.

Less obvious was the addition of three new patterns: the PvP leg armor, Earthen Leg Armor, and two epic druid items, Windripper Boots and Windripper Leggings. The new leg armor is trainable from your local LW Grand Master trainer at 435, and the two leather patterns are sold by Braeg Stoutbeard in Dalaran for 2 Arctic Furs each and learnable at 440.

The addition of the Frozen Orbs to the leg armor makes leveling that much more difficult, I'm afraid, but does increase their value dramatically. When I was leveling, the AH was flooded with armor kits at around 25g each; now they are well over 100g.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

You can't see me!

Not the type of camouflage I wanted, but it'll do.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Mirror of Truth

Thanks for letting us know, Blizzard!

/hug Tinea

The Naxx 25 raid did go forward as planned last night. I can't say my DPS changed much honestly, but I wasn't trying Rilgon's 4-shot rotation either. Appears to me that SV may be the 'new' BM in terms of OP. Our two other hunters went SV for the raid, and while it sucked not having FI, our typical position on the meters did not change: SV -> MM -> SV. Our SPriest blew everyone away, and the buff to Elemental Shamans was quite impressive.

Just among the hunters, I can't help but wonder how much difference is caused by the Envy of Mortality verses Arrowsong. Explosive Shot was a good 45% of our top SV Hunter's damage, then Auto, then Steady. Our gear is fairly comparable at this point, save for the range weapons, though I'm still debating the 2% haste on Leggings of Colassal Strides verses the 30+ agility on Leggings of Failed Escape.

What I was rather pleased about last night was Tinea's DPS. She leapfrogged around the cats frequently, with a top DPS of 800 on one fight. She's still macroed for both Serenity Dust and Rabid, and that seems to work!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Whoaaa there, SV!

Looks like the buff to SV was greater than we thought - over 3k DPS on level 80 dummies! I haven't seen it in the raid environment yet, but it should be interesting.

If we run a raid tonight, that is. The typical bugs came with the patch, including a Northrend Server reset every time Wintergrasp is won. While this can be considered an annoying hassle, some of us are using this time to farm books for Higher Learning. Nothing like doing my reading for classes while sitting at farm points while the endless cycle of Wintergrasp wins continues.

I has moths, and OS10 +1D

Technically, we were going for OS10+2D, and while we came damn close - both drakes died, but heals became rough when we went into the portal to kill off the add, with one healer outside took care of the tank and elemental tank - we called it at 20 minutes until raid end to just kill off a drake and take the OS10+1D. Adds popped about and hour and 45 minutes in, which I suspect killed off our concentration, but I did get four, count 'em, four Arctic Furs from the trash.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Fifteen bosses in three hours

It was a push through Naxx 10 last night, where the majority of the epics that dropped were sharded or to reluctant off-specs. The Sealing Ring of Grobbulus dropped, but my 8 roll was matched by a fury warrior's 8 roll, and beaten by the other hunter's 14 roll. A couple of other classes got a few usable items, but nothing really noteworthy.

While we didn't really have anyone undergeared, we ran it with a ret pally and fury warrior respecced as prot for the night, three healers, and five 2600 DPS (average); it felt slow. Our boss kill times were on an average over a minute slower than our fastest times, and while trash was effiencently done, it was just painful (literally, my wrist started cramping again) to get through it all. We set challanges for ourselves as motivation, and while we didn't feel like we had the DPS for And They Would All Go Down Together, we did join The Hundred Club. Huge props to the healers for that.

This was our last Naxx 10 to be guild scheduled. It will be pushed off to off-nights now, or pugged. Admittedly, I still have upgrades in there, but I find it tiring to have to clear the entire instance for one bloody ring. Yes, it is one of the best rings, but it's just something that I'll have to forgo and wait until the next instance to upgrade. I don't have to have best in slot now - just what I need to get me by. We'll still run the instance as a guild, no doubt. We have Naxx-8 planned for next weekend, and there will be achievement runs to polish off Glory of the Raider. Maybe I'll get lucky then.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Curses! Success!

I wanted to show off a screenshot of getting five achievements at once, but the tank that I asked to go through The Old Kingdom killed the bosses in backwards order, so I ended up getting Champion of the Frozen Wastes off of Herald Volazj, the regular Ahn'kahet and Dungeon Master off of Jedoga Shadowseeker, and Heroic: Ahn'kahet and Dungeon Hero off of Amanitar.

I can't complain though. I spent the day in extreme frustration at five Arathi Basin losses in a row. I PvP for pleasure, frivolous items, and the rare raid-utility item, but even I know basic strategy to win these things. I need 60 marks from AB, WSG, and AV in order to get the two war mounts I'm missing, so the more I win, the less I have to PvP. Too bad I can't do Strand of the Ancients - I've discovered the pleasure of jumping on a siege vehicle and just mowing down the Allies that come chasing after.

If I didn't do something productive in WoW today, I was going to scream. So I pledged eternal servitude to one of our best healers if she would come to H: OK, then grabbed another friend who had a well geared DK to tank, and a couple of guildees for the last two DPS. I was grateful enough that we cleared the instance without a hitch, but we also snagged Respect Your Elders and Volunteer Work. And as fun as killing off my party-mates under Insanity is, I'm eager to try Volazj's Quick Demise.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Not WoW related in the slightest

But the Angry Butterfly would like to show you some Nature's marvels:

Glasswings! The Greta oto is native to Central American rainforests, and is without a doubt a species that is well on the way to evolving the ultimate camouflage. Like Monarchs, this species' host plant is toxic, making them distasteful to birds - interesting considering they already have a decent means of defense. Their evolutionary history would be fascinating to discover.

(Picture sent to me by a guildee who knows of my obsessions with winged jewels, so I suppose it is a little WoW-related!)

Friday, January 16, 2009


It was relatively easy compared to learning OS25+1D, and I suppose I'll soon rethink my eagerness for OS25+3D.

And in honor of my 200th post, I present you with this:


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The weather wants me to play WoW

With the entirety of Chicago under a blanket of snow well over a foot in depth, my motivation to trudge/cram into a bus to make the mile trek to campus is understandably low. I wake up for my morning classes, see the snow spiraling down, and try not to think how happy and warm my bed is. This also means that energy-expensive activities like homework are less appealing then spending hour after hour on my computer, envying my character's natural fur coat. But I'm on the ball this quarter, and I should really stay that way to get me through the winter.

I raised my GPA some more last quarter, as I have been ever since the atrocity of my second year occurred. And while, yes, I did play WoW then, as I have been since coming to college, the only thing to blame for that year was O-Chem. (Organic Chemistry, just so you know, is the Gul'dan of courses; O-Chem at the University of Chicago is Kil'Jaeden.) I've heard many horror stories about college students flunking out due to video game addiction, but as long as my GPA doesn't falter, I have no motivation to curb my playing. My courses this quarter are fun and interesting, and once my BA has been completed, life will be grand (in that 'oh fuck I'm about to enter the real world' kinda grand...).

Anyway, I'm embittered that the patch didn't hit yesterday. The anticipation has been building long enough, and I'm tired of waiting for it.

Almost cleared Naxx 25 in three hours last night; four wipes due to bad Hateful Strike luck on Patchwerk added 20-minutes that could have been used to finished Sapp and KT. Picked up a handful of shinies, mainly side grades, only for me to come to the conclusion that our T7/7.5 set bonuses really suck. The pet damage boost is nice, but I'm so rarely in Viper any more that the motivation to get the four-piece bonus is lacking.

Oh, and tip for clearing Naxx fast for timed achievements and the like: Push on with trash and let the Master Looter stay behind to take bids. I don't doubt that this would work with DKP systems along with Loot Council.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Title Grinding and More Achievements

This weekend was over-all very satisfying:

Polished off both Loremaster and Ambassador, the latter in preparation for mount availability. The tabard from Loremaster is quite ugly, but it gave me my 25th for Tabard of the Achiever, which is considerably more appealing.

Since I received Black Ice from our first Malygos-10, I willingly sat so others could experience the fight (it dropped for our other hunter officer). They one-shotted it beautifully, then went on to down OS10+1D. I wish I could have joined, but I'm very glad they pulled it off.

Last night we downed Malygos-25, and I got a new shiney.

My only gripe with the helm is its skin - it's the same as my old one!

Spec loyalty or lack thereof

With that annoying business over at BRK trickling down (I particularly like the apology to Rilgon by Drizzit & Co.), the tool has informed me that I "still don’t get it. [He] spec[s] to what will bring the most dps to the raid."

Okay, that's nice. Go for it, what do I care, if that's how you have fun. But then why are you bitching about BM nerfs if you are so willing to change specs?

Fundamentally, I have no problem with players of neutral spec devotion. What they enjoy is not what I enjoy - they respec often and may have many alts to satisfy their needs for diversity. They love the class perhaps, but are of no strong feelings towards any tree.

In that case, it is perfectly acceptable to be angry about overall nerfs to a class, but when you start bemoaning a nerf to a tree, then your neutrality is faltering. Now you have a bias, and in the case of many BM hunters in BC, this bias turned them into assholes. With 2.0, now they had an unbeatable 5-point talent, how great is that! Man, being overpowered is awesome! Patch 3.0 came along, and now pretty much all hunters are overpowered, but BM just took it and ran with it, with the ability to combine TBW with Readiness and pets that evaded the normalization.

I've said it before: being OP is fun. If you have ever Volleyed dozens of mobs at once and watch your dps spike up to 7k, those 3k crits popping up all over the screen, it's a great thrill. But there is a difference between accepting your OP state and being dependent on it. Once that dependence happens, you can't stand the thought of loosing it. The now overpowered tree is being pushed down to being on-par with the rest of the talents, and those that are dependent on it whine and bitch about loosing it. That is not spec neutral.

If you enjoy switching up your spec on a regular basis depending on the needs of the raid, that's great - it's your type that fill the progressive guild, no doubt about it. But the majority of players are not like that. We are most comfortable in one type of play style as typically dictated by one type of tree. We don't like imbalance between the trees, because it means we are potentially forced to spec out of the tree we enjoy. All through BC, MM and SV hunters were obligated to switch to BM to take advantage of that overpowered damage, creating false concepts that certain trees were "made" for certain aspects of the game. With the introduction of Wrath, we celebrate the return of choice and the fall of those statistical anomalies, and we see who and who did not become dependent on that overpowered state.

If you love a tree or a class, then no number of nerfs should change that. If you are truly neutral, then you are free to come and go as you please. Just don't claim to be neutral then tell others what tree is "the best."

Saturday, January 10, 2009

My, how words may be twisted...

Evidently The Butterfly was dragged into a post on BRK about Arcane Shot being buffed by Ferocious Inspiration.

SO, let me set the order straight again: I don't hate BM, I hate the elitist BM bastards that degraded MM all through BC. I celebrate spec equality and the players that spec what they love because that's how they want to play. I also dislike lack of pet diversity; so while I bash cats, it's not just that they are OP, it's because they are all you see. Either nerf them so players can have their choice of pet beyond cats or make every pet OP.

When news about the SS and cat nerf hit, I made a post regarding how the love of a spec should not be changed by a damage nerf. It received a lot of attention, but it appears that everyone that views it tends to ignore the reply post I made to it.

If I'm evil, I'm only evil towards the Alliance, where my love for my faction shines through. Take today: I was half-way through the Grizzly Hills quests when a flagged 75 NE warrior comes up. I look at him, considering it, then go about my questing business. He sees me looking at him, prances about me for awhile, then wanders off into the woods. He begins to kill a wolf when I land a distance from him and kill him. Thirty seconds later I get a whisper telling me that I'm "not cool". He logs before I can tell him I was only doing what he asked me to do.

On the other hand, a good chunk of my fellow hunter bloggers are Alliance, so I guess I can't be that evil if I happily associate with them :P.

In the boader since of the word, no, I'm not evil. Hell, I don't even kill the Snowfall Den Mothers before taking their children (I sic my pet on her, snag the pups, then kill her) so the poor puppy kids won't be too traumatized. I just want to have fun playing what I love.

I'll take "The Strangest Things You See In WoW" for 200, Alex

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Bulk post

This week was the first of the Winter Quarter, so I've been slightly more busy than usual. Right now I'm thinking about making up some ramen before planting in front of the TV for a bit before raid. I've been musing over topics, and none of them very concrete, so I'll just post them all now.

I heart RAP:

This was from last-night's Maylgos-25 attempt. Before that we had one-shotted OS-25+Tenebron. How we did it: Don't go in the portal! Just burn him down, AoE tank all the adds as they come, and do the fight as usual. However, the adds make the Void Zones even more difficult to see, and now that you have 100% increased Shadow Damage, you can't risk a single tick. I died to a void zone hiding under the mass of adds that I sorta, kinda pulled while Volleying, so be careful!

I managed Loremaster of Kalimdor yesterday, with only about 25 quests left in Eastern Kingdoms. If you are Horde, I highly recommend Test of Faith started by Dorn Plainstalker in Thousand Needles. I never knew the quest line existed, and it is a wonderful one. It gives about half-n-half Kalimdor and Eastern Kingdoms, as you go to Undercity to finish it. If you are going for Loremaster for the lore, then it is extremely poignant:

Another great questline (the one that sent me over the top) was the Fallen Hero of the Horde quest line. It begins in Swamp of Sorrows, but it sends you over to Kalimdor for a good half-dozen quests.

I highly, highly, highly recommend this post on the official forums for getting hard-to-find quests.

I'm hungry.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A Raider's Dream or Nightmare

We attempted Obsidian Sanctum+1 Drake 25 last night. Killing the drakes before pulling Sartharion makes this fight relatively easy: Move with the lava wall, kill the tiny elemental adds, and win loot. However, adding just one drake makes this fight much more interesting.

We left Vesperon up, the drake that decreases everyone's health by 25%. He doesn't join the fight until a minute-thirty after the pull, leaving plenty of time to burn down Sartharion to around 50%. When he joins, everyone now has to concern themselves with void zones and the portal, in addition to avoiding the lava wall and the elemental adds.

All of the dps (except for one, who was calling the void zones and lava wall), the druid/shaman healers, and the druid tank entered the portal and burned down the dragon add, while positioning ourselves inside the portal in preparation for the lava wall; the pally and priest healers stayed out to keep the three tanks outside the portal alive. We were inside for all of 10 seconds. Once we popped out, we AoEed down the elemental adds being tanked by the pally tank, then worked on Vesperon being tanked by another druid, before rinsing and repeating the cycle. It took maybe three portal cycles before Vesperon was downed, then we were free to dps Sartharion normally.

I enjoyed myself immensely. I love multi-tasking (after all, I play a Hunter), so finding that perfect balance of attention dedication was a fun challenge. It took me a couple of tries of getting smacked by the lava walls to remember to move while burning down the elemental adds. The most annoying issue was when void zones would spawn under us while we were clumped up for lava walls; one took two-thirds of the raid in one shot. My biggest tip: Max out your camera distance (/console CameraDistanceMaxFactor 5) to see what side the lava wall is on, so you can immediately be aware of what direction you should move to)

Success is sweet:

Monday, January 5, 2009

(Leveling Leatherworking in Wrath) Slacker -->

I finally hit 450 Leatherworking this weekend. I may be a die-hard LW lover, but I confess, when I realized that nothing new was available at 450, the drive to hit it waned considerably. I don't use guides, but I'll tell you how I did it.

I skinned A LOT. When I had a ton of mats, I opened up the profession, clicked "Have Materials", then made in bulk the most I could get under orange, then sent all the resulting items to my fiance's warrior to DE it all into enchanting mats. For the most part I just used regular Borean Leather, but occasionally I had to use some Crystallized elements, mainly water and air.

This got me to 400. At this point, I started making armor kits and used embossing. The mats are painful at 400, as you have to have Arctic Fur, a ton of Nerubian Chitin, or a ton of Icy Dragonscales. You can get two points from enchanting your own bracers and pants; the other points I recommend doing through Nerubian Leg Armor, as otherwise you have to use a lot of chitin or dragonscales making the boots, and you want to save those for 410.

At 405 you get Jormungar Leg Armor, whose mats are considerably easier to procure, to 410. Now comes a giant gap of no patterns to 415. This is the time to make those boots if you have the mats, but otherwise, keep your fingers crossed on the yellow armor kits. I maybe made two boots, the other points from yellow patterns.

At 415 it becomes considerably easier, as all the profession and ammo bags become available. I made 5 Packs of Endless Pockets and called it good, but all the bags are easy to do.

Skill level 420 allows the acquirement of the Frost Resist Gear, which I highly recommend you pick up immediately. Everyone needs FrR made, so this is the best way to get skill ups. This point was a rinse and repeat of pre-400: get a lot of mats and see what you can make. Get on those trade channel requests for quivers/pouches and FrR, as you can get lucky from a lot of yellows.

The biggest gamble I took was 435. This is another period of no new patterns, and now there are no orange patterns either. I had a decent amount of Arctic Fur at this point, so I made Icescale Leg Armor in bulk to hit 440.

From 440 on, it's no picnic, and I pretty much ceased actively trying to level it once I made all my FrR. To hit 450, I bought all the epic patterns and replied to everyone who needed something made. I managed five points alone on maybe four requests for now-green FrR, so don't think their green level is fruitless! The epics got the me the rest of the way (including a pair of Giantmain Bracers for myself).

Keep your eye out in Trade channel, and good luck!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

To pet or not to pet

One of the greatest pleasures the Hunter class gives to me is the commune with nature. As Pike noticed, and I found great joy in discovering, was the opening text by Lanka Farshot, a Tauren Hunter trainer: "Mighty warriors defend our home. Our shamans guide our spirits and show us our ancestors' past. And our druids help us discover the Earthmother's will. But you are one of our hunters, and our hunters learn many aspects of those roles and blend them together." As a Hunter, I love being such a balance of those classes, both in lore and in practice. Walking the wilds, using the land without destroying it, reclusive to our peers but social to the beasts, Hunters are the ultimate guardians of the world.

At the same time, I enjoy the Ranger aspect of the class more than the beast-handling, hence my love for the Marksman tree. There is something about the ability to handle everything by yourself that appeals to me; the independence and the skill found in inner strength and knowledge. I don't deny that if I didn't have talent points that increase my damage when my pet is active, I most likely wouldn't keep my pet out for raiding. When I raided as Survival, release from concern about my pet was a welcome change, though over time I began to miss the challenge of pet management.

Most people complain that it is more difficult to level as MM because you continuously pull aggro of your pet. I suppose this is true, but I have no other experience, as I have never leveled a hunter as Beast Mastery. I've always pulled aggro of my pet, but I rarely found it an issue, as the mob was usually dead before it ever got to me. If it wasn't, then I kited it, or just FD it back to my pet. I am happier seeing the mob go down in large bursts of damage rather than small fractions if only so my pet will keep aggro.

I genuinely love my pets, Tinea in particular. I was ecstatic when I found out moths would become tamable, and the first thing I did when 3.0 hit was tame her. But I value her for her company over her utility or damage. Frequently during raids I found myself wishing I didn't value her so much, what with annoying pet pathing or some boss abilities affecting pets (Locust Swarm and Shadow Fissure are the two that come immediately to mind). The additional multitasking is fun and challenging, but keeping track of both range and melee areas can be frustrating.

It would be interesting to see in further expansions if MM or SV could be made to benefit the Hunter without the pet, i.e. turn the Hunter into a Ranger. I doubt it, as having a tamed beast is one of the main attractions of the class, but I think it would be a fun possibility.

Massive Blogroll Update

Perusing through my traffic sources, I decided to check out where The Butterfly gets its referrals from. I must say, I love each and every single one of you. So if you even sent one person my way via a link on your blog, I'm tagging you back.


Friday, January 2, 2009

I knew there was a reason Thrusting Hodir's Spear disturbed me!

Probably the best daily ever, Thrusting Hodir's Spear, was praised early in beta for being an awesome quest. Throw a spear at a blue protodrake flying nearby, then fight the magnificent beast to the death while hanging on to its belly. The quest is fun as all hell, but the inner biologist in me has qualms about killing a beautiful creature out of sport and honor (the same part of me that wants to kill Hemet Nessingwary). This summary on WoWhead confirms my suspicions:

"The connection to nordic mythos is disturbing for those that know it. Hodir is most probably a reference to Höður hinn blindi (Hod the blind). Loki tricked Hod into thrusting a spear with a mistletoe tip at Baldur (Baldr the beautiful). Baldr's mother, Sif, the consort of Óðinn the highgod of Valhalla had asked every plant in nature to spare Baldr except the mistletoe, thinking the plant was too weak to hurt anything. This resulted in the gods taking great pleasure in tossing things at Baldr, amused that nothing hurt him. Well, Hod could not see what it was he tossed so Baldr dies, Loki gets chased around the world for causing his death and incarceration in Hel, eventually caught and trapped at the roots of the earth in an exceptionally lurid BDSM position (chained to the roots of the earth with a snake hanging over his eyes dripping venom, Loki's wife standing at his headrest with a bowl to catch the snake's venom, once in a while the bowl fills and she has to empty it out, venom drips in Loki's eyes and he shakes the roots of the earth causing earthquakes) starting the plot for how to get even with the gods of Valhalla. Eventually Loki leads the Naglfar (ship of nails, as in, human nails) from Hel in Rangarök (literally: end of Gods).

In short: kill beauty and start the sequence that ends the world."

Sigh, bringing about the end of the world just had to be so much fun...

I has a new toy!

Malygos-10 down! Alexstrasza came to give us shiney gifts, including a very large and impressive looking polearm! Hello, respec! I took those three points and put them into Aspect Mastery. Not that I needed them though:

Top damage overall, not only on the ground, but on the dragon as well. Know the fight, win the loots!

No title though - I'm still missing three heroic dungeons I haven't run yet. Maybe tomorrow!

I'm lost in her Ultimate Blogroll

But since she listed me, I'll share the love and tag her back. Happy to list One Among Many to my bloglist! I'm always pleased to find more practical WoW ladies out there :D