Friday, May 29, 2009

Still alive

But barely. I'm finishing one of my classes this morning, but another will not be completed until the end of next week. Thankfully, that's it, as my third class is simply Independent Research, and is done on my own time. No more lectures though, and for that I am very happy for!

This week has been very hellish, and it translated into raiding. With several of the officers simply exhausted, a trickle-down effect occurred - the normal push to get to Yogg just wasn't there. This exacerbated the already dire issues of lack of healers and tanks, and the whole raid just felt flustered. Hopefully next week we can get it under control again, though it seems that summer is finally upon us.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

PvP does not lower bloodpressure..

...particularly when your battlegroup contains several of the best PvP servers.

Kilrogg is the number 1 (or 2) PvE server in the US. But we are only number 8 overall. All the PvP servers rank before us. Why? Well, despite its critics, it's true: PvP makes you a better player.

Of the top 10 US servers, 9 are PvP. Half of them are in the same battlegroup (Bloodlust), the rest are scattered. This means that when I need to vent, I can't just go mindlessly slaughter Alliance, because odds are I will be outgeared and most likely outplayed.

Kilrogg has its fair share of good PvP players, but world PvP is relatively rare. I keep World Defence up in a seperate tab, but it is pretty much silent save for those world objectives in Outland. Those PvP masters on our server are in the best guilds and in demand for raids. The quick decisions and lightning reflexes needed for PvP translate seemlessly into PvE - the reverse is less true. Kiting, perhaps, but I can think of little else.

I don't deny that since I took up PvP with interest, I have improved as a player. When I have the opportunity to practice (i.e. not farmed by a rogue), I see myself thinking critically and strategically - something I did not do three years ago. Knowing that you are dealing with another player instead of a machine following a set amount of commands makes you deal with encounters differently each time. That mage will not approach you with the same rotation of spells or cooldowns the second time you face him.

So while I will always and forever interested in this game for the PvE content, I cannot dismiss or belittle what I gain through PvP play. I am not as skilled a PvP player as I am a PvE player, and I hope to improve that. Assuming those fucking stun-locking son-of-an-ogre rogues will let me.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Don't Go Chasing Waterfalls

Unbeknownst to most races, Tauren are very clean creatures. You don’t go through thousands of years of evolution with a combination of complete body fur and an enhanced sense of smell and not have a desire to be clean.

That said, Tauren, for the most part, are very particular about their water. With the notable exception of druids, most Tauren hate any type of dampness that they cannot control when they will be dry again. Rain is the epitome of this, followed closely by Serpentshrine Cavern.

“We have to gather together once he does what?!”

The druid babbled on, dismissive of Negathle’s look of repulsion as she described what was known about the giant Morogrim Tidewalker. Beside her, Aeris hissed their shared displeasure.

“He will call for his murloc minions – unless you want to get picked off by one of those amphibious wretches, you’ll return to the group after the teleportation.”

“The waterfalls, you’re sure he teleports us to the waterfalls.”

The druid nodded as she sorted through her reagents, preparing to bless the group with the strengths of nature. “That’s where the mages see the magic ley lines converge."

Neg exhaled forcefully, looking over at the murky pools of water gathering under the torrents that fell from the broken ceiling. Other Tauren appeared equally as apprehensive about the experience. If there was to be any motivation to defeat the giant quickly, it would not be to finally confront Lady Vashj, but to be clean again. Each and every non-druid Tauren in the party were looking through their bags for a particular item and securing it for immediate use.

The hunter thought longingly of the pond spring at Thunder Bluff. The sole source of municipal water in the city, it was conjured on the mesa by the leading shaman tribes upon the city’s founding; Neg’s own paternal grandmother assisted. The water was eternally clear and fresh, constantly replenished by the elemental magicks that supplied it.

No matter the time of day, there would always be somebody in the pond bathing or cleaning. Modesty is not known in Tauren culture, and the sight of a large number of naked Tauren of all ages bathing together in a community pond may be shocking at first to visitors. The elders would lounge the shallows, carefully lathering themselves with Mageroyal soap. The plate and mail wearers would be in the deeps, grateful to be shed of their heavy armor, and busy themselves by scrubbing tenderly where their armor rubbed against flesh. Children of all ages would run about, either in hopes of avoiding their parents’ itchy Briarthorn Shampoo or challenging each other to jump into the deep end. Bathing with a sacred community time, and Neg had fond memories of such family bonding. One of her earliest memories was running out of the crystal-clear waters of the Lushwater Oasis into the waiting mageweave towel provided by her mother, the scent of Peacebloom soap dominating her young senses.

If there was a household item more sacred to Tauren culture than the towel, Neg didn’t know what it was. It was a must-have for any Tauren that valued their cleanliness, and she knew for a fact that her own grandmother kept two cabinets full of mageweave and runecloth towels. Rumstag Proudstrider had a booming business in the trade, and Neg could see in her mind’s eye his extensive selection of soft, absorbent towels.

But presently, the Tauren hunter was sticky from the great humidity that perforated the cavern, filthy from sorting through the murloc lieutenants they had slayed earlier, and now extremely annoyed at the thought of being soaked by the magically-polluted waters of the Coilfang Reservoir, then having to group together again to deal with the murlocs rushing to aid Tidewalker. She wrinkled her nose in preparation for the smell. Orcs were not known to bathe frequently, and there was nothing worse than smell of the wet, rotting flesh of the Forsaken.

A long, low whistle flitted through the air. The paladin leading the charge raised his sword for attention. Last minute sorting of potions and magical infusions of power rustled through the raid as everyone prepared for battle. Neg notched an arrow in her bow, ready to cast the distracting spell to the tanking paladin. She was ready. She knew where here towel was.


This is what I do when I have a research paper due in two days. Sigh... And one of these days, I will finish Tinea's story.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Star Trek, or Why I Wait So Long?!

I believe forgoing Ulduar10 tonight to go see the Star Trek movie was probably one of the best decisions of my life. Wow. Just, wow. It's two hours later, and I still have that good-movie afterglow. The only thing I regret is not going opening night, such that I would have been among my fellow geeky people, and it would not have been so awkward to be one of the few people guffawing at many of the wonderful, wonderful references.

Industrial Light and Magic really did it this time. This was what the last three episodes of Star Wars should have looked like. It was one of the best visual feasts I've seen in a long time. Hell, even better than Transformers and the upcoming sequel just because it actually has a plot that doesn't suck!

As for the acting, I have to give mad props to Karl Urban that played Bones. I was blown away by his performance. I was less impressed by Zachary Quinto as Spock (the voice pitch was wrong), but I do want to give Leonard Nimoy the biggest hug for his contribution. Everyone else I was just thrilled to see.

This movie probably epitomizes why Kirk will always be my favorite captain. They hit all the nails perfectly on the head - the fight scenes, the sex with the hot (green) alien babe, the emotional chicken fight with Spock, and so many more - I can go out for drinks with him. That's what I want in my captain. Sure, I can debate some Nietzche with Picard, but I can't flirt with him!

Man, I'm still just blown away. Oh, this is a WoW blog, isn't it. Huh. Umm... I demand in-game tribble companion pets!

Friday, May 22, 2009

The specs, they are a changin'

Now that we have passed through the nitty-gritty of Ulduar, I've come to the acceptance that I need to change around my spec. Not that I don't love the 11/53/7 Aspect Mastery Spec - really, there isn't a talent point I feel wasted there - but now that we have Ulduar up to Yogg on farm, I feel like the benefits of Aspect Mastery have diminished. I still recommend it as a spec for progressive content where the raid is still learning the fight, but once you get comfortable with the content, heals and mana regen are consistant, it's time to move on to a higher DPS output.

So I'm going with the Elitist Jerks spec with a twist that I've seen around: 7/57/7. I really dislike not having Trueshot Aura; afterall, without a buff to the raids, we are little more than rogues. So I'm moving a point from Imp. Barrage to TSA - my Aimed Shots have a 75% crit rate as is.

In other news, Pattern: Belt of Dragons finally dropped, so it's time to replace Torn Web Wrapping. This is more difficult than it appears, as that's a lot of hit to replace. I have a Drape of the Lithe I picked up for just this instance, and that puts me over, allowing me to replace a 8 hit/3 mp5 gem in my leggings. It's either that, or keep my current Drape of the Deadly Foe and gem out the yellow socket, extra socket, and regem my chest to get the 6 hit socket bonus. The difference is 437 RAP (159 agil) and 2.96% crit with the Drape of the Lithe or 418 AP (98 agil) and 3.3% with the regem-fest.

The fun part, of course, is when I finally replace Black Ice. It's times like these when I really really hate the Alliance and their stupid racial.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Just delete Engineering already

I'm not an Engineer, but I know it is a favored and beloved profession of many hunters. Because of that, I hold a certain fondness-by-association for the profession, and all these nerfs to it are starting to piss me off. Seriously Blizzard, if you are going to nerf the profession to the ground, just finish the job and delete it. I'm tired of seeing an aspect of the game that people enjoy trivialized into oblivion for no particular reason. Kill it, and let people move on.

As I'm sure you all know by now, all item 226 range weapons had their damage increased. GC offers the explanation because there is no equivalent ammo upgrade. That's all fine and dandy - I mean, who doesn't like doing more damage for free? - but there was a better solution to this than changing already established items: Upgraded bullet and arrow schematics to Engineering. The arrow and bullet machines are currently one of the few income sources available to Engineers, and something that will be a reason to keep the profession alive. Make the mats expensive - too bad there isn't a Ulduar-only mat more cost-effective than Runed Orbs - and engineers will profit; hunters will buy them. Or even better and gold-friendly: Make a requirement for the ammo to be matched with a certain level of weapon. That way it won't be any more expensive but can't be taken advantage of by fresh 80s, which was what GC said prevented them from implimenting a new level of ammo. Of course, who knows what their full intentions for ammo is right now. GC says they have plans; he mentions not liking causing arrows to drop as loot, so I suppose that nixes the idea for ammo as a relic/totem/libram/sigul. Regardless, whatever they plan to do to ammo in the future, I highly doubt it will be kind to Engineers.

I get frustrated with the Nitro Boost-rogue getting the flag half-way across midfield in Warsong Gulch, but I've also always felt that PvP is a matter of skill, not professions and gear. Like specs, I greatly dislike the idea of a profession getting designated "The PvP Prof." So when aspects like Nitro Boost get nerfed, I cheer, but when the stealth detection nerf hit to Engineering goggles, I frowned. I can't help but think it terribly unfair to create even more disadvantage against a class that the majority of players don't have a chance again without honed reflexes/perfect latency/particular phase of the moon. Two nerfs in one go is just another death sentence to the profession.

Until Blizzard gets their act together and grats the profession some miraculous resurrection, I'm going to say Rest In Peace Engineering. We knew and loved you well.

About bloody time!

Five weeks in, and Kologarn finally decides to grace us with a decent weapon!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Tentacle rape INC

The Shadow Bolt dance is a beautiful thing, and look what happens when you do it well: Profit! Well, not so much beyond Vezax's death, since the big lobster refused to drop anything shinier than a wand. But it is progress, and we made our first pokes on Sara.

Avoid the smog, sounds easy enough. You'd think... We get all night tomorrow to work on ol' Yoggy, and maybe we'll even get past phase 1! -_-

Saturday, May 16, 2009


Brajana tagged me in this fun little meme. I admit that I have already done it before - on Facebook - but I won't cheat and simply post that one, even though it was rather good (save for the lame title: Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot). So I'll redo it out of fairness.

Here are the instructions:

1 - Go to “wikipedia.” Hit “random… Read More”
or click
The first random wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.

Mine is: Rem (Egyptian fish god)

2 - Go to “Random quotations”
or click
The last four or five words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album.

Mine is:
When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.
Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882 - 1945), quoted Kansas City Star, June 5, 1977

3 - Go to flickr and click on “explore the last seven days”
or click
Third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.


4 - Use photoshop or similar to put it all together.

Here is the result:

Too bad it had to be pink, but otherwise it came out well, though I did sorta make it into Rapid Eye Movement (or even the already existing band...) instead of Rem, but shhhhhh....

Okay, I taaaaag

Aerynn @ Careful Aim (post more, too!)
Fessran @ Snake in the Grass

and whoever else wants to play :)

Friday, May 15, 2009

How best to serve Vezax...

During the two hours we pounded our heads against the Big Lobster, we settled on boiling him whole and serving with copious amounts of butter. Mmm... butter.... We also got him to 15% before running out of mana, and the tank going splat.

Besides the obvious annoyance of needing a Death Knight tank for him, I must say I did enjoy the "Shadow Blast Dance", so to speak. The SV hunter that was leading the damage admitted to never having to go into Viper, but little MM me (only at #3) had to go into Viper three-times...

He dies Sunday.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I has happy Chimera Shot!

Two-piece bonus, baby! It was a beautiful clear through Ulduar tonight, ending the evening on Mimiron with 20 minutes to clear trash and get an attempt in. I would show you the chest, but I figure my armory is good enough for that - I wanted to draw more attention to the chest graphic itself. Look, no cleavage, no midriff! I actually look like I can go into battle for once. What are those designers thinking?!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Gnome tastes like metal

Mirimon down! It took us all of an hour last night to get the coordination just right to kill him, but all the parts of V0-L7R-0N went down in a beautiful little dance. It's a good chaotic fight, though I admit it was not as satisfying to defeat him as I thought it would be. I dunno, the fact that we only have two bosses left before we start all over again in hard-mode, so to speak, is kinda sad. The satisfaction of downing a boss is so much sweeter when considerably more blood, sweat, and tears goes into a fight, as opposed to maybe seven hours of work. Here's the the challange of Hard-Mode!

With all the Keepers down, we got our first look at Vezax:

I gotta say, I have never been more pleased by a boss-model. He just looks AWESOME. Hell, he looks more like Cthulhu than C'thun does!

However, the fight itself does not please me. No mana regen from natural sources, what so ever. Aspect of the Viper works, but not the passive mana regen half of it. This in itself really pisses me off - if the arena infants hadn't cried for a passive regen, we would still have Viper 2.0 and the beauty of a full mana bar in less than 15 seconds. But no, this fight is all about balancing your mana, damage in, and damage out for MM hunters. I'm stuck in Viper a lot, dancing around the green puddles, trying to get as much mana as possible without taking too much damage. It's a one-phase fight (slightly boring IMO), and we got him to 75% on our best attempt before the tank went splat.

Monday, May 11, 2009


Scav ended yesterday, and I must say I couldn't be more proud of my team - we tied for 6th, a considerable improvement from last and second to last from earlier years. I won't go into details, but suffice to say the judge that read my little story for "#32: Warcraft 3, Super Mario Brothers 2, and Pong. LARP one and write a steamy fan fic crossover for the other two. [8 points]" was blushing furiously. Yes, Peach did eventually attain Star Power with the help of Jaina Proudmoore's cherry.

I'm recovering now, though for some reason I thought it would be wise to attempt to raid last night. Hint: Attempting to succeed on Mimiron is foolhardy when you have been up for the majority of the last five days. So after an hour and a half, I asked to be replaced, and then I fell asleep immediately. Interestingly, I did prove that my hunter-skills are completely innate at this point in my career by kiting one of the Clockwork Mechanics around Yogg's prison twice, despite being 3/4 asleep.

While I was gone, two patterns for Boots of the Living Scale dropped, and the friend that was doing my dailies for me also scored me a shiny new Delicate Stormjewel for them in my fishing reward. I gotta say, getting gear while not playing was rather nice! Too bad my egg didn't produce a Green Proto while he was at it!

It's going to be a busy couple of weeks coming up as I prepare for graduation (four weeks), but, ironically, Scav recharged my motivation to get everything done. Here's to hoping I can keep it together, both ingame and out!

Saturday, May 9, 2009


Finally a pretty range weapon:

Well, pretty is a relative term, I suppose, but I am very glad Blizzard wised up and put in an equivalent range weapon to the one only attained by a 2200 rating.

Day Two into the Scav-mayhem. I played my first game of Capture The Flag IRL today. I think I prefer WSG, though I did enjoy myself considerably. I did notice, however, that some tactics are simply universal: Multiple wave strategies for heavy defenses and the lone raider hovering outside of tag range, taunting people to tag him simply by his presence.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Hodir Vid

A bit late, but here is a Hodir kill. SV Hunter PoV - don't forget to watch in HD and widescreen.

It takes G a bit to get music to the vids, but I do like his taste.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Giant Gnome? Oxymoron much?

We finally got a poke at Mimiron tonight, and we did well, making it to Phase 4 three times, then managing about half of the health after that. Considering only about a dozen of us had even seen the fight, the progress was good.

Aside from the fact that this is yet another fight where five of my talent points are wasted, the damage mitigation from Survival Instincts and Aspect Mastery is nice for P1, 2, and 4. Those phases are also very pet unfriendly - I'm grateful that pets don't set off mines, as that would just be the icing on the cake. Regardless, it's a lot of spamming passive and Mend Pet-ing.

I want to say it's a survival fight, but realistically, it's a healer fight. There is a lot of raid damage going on, and not much more an individual can do besides avoid some of the obvious attacks and pop Health Stones and Healing pots. We divvied up the raid according the healing zones, but it's still a matter of being able to keep up with all the damage going around. Methinks a lot of the tier gear this upcoming week will be going to healers...

In other news, Scav Hunt is coming up! This is another AFK period for me, as I am a team captain this year and I fully intend to dedicate 100% of my time to my final Hunt. I might be on Twitter, since a lot of the hunt requires the internet, so pop on and say hello to keep me awake. Sleep is for the weak!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Guild Governorship

One of Rilgon's rants over at SES got me thinking: How much should a guild maintain their raiders?

Personally, I became so excited when the guild banks were announced that all memory of the horrible system of bank alts guild masters had previously used was forgotten, and I was very happy about that. But then came guild bank maintenance, and the issue of guild funds.

We expect our raiders to come prepared to perform at their maximum efficiency. Their gear must be gemmed and enchanted; stats should be balanced properly; buffing mats and ammunition well stocked; and flasks, potions, elixirs, and personal buff foods prepared. That's all the individual responsibility we expect in our guild.

For us, the guild funds have one purpose: Guild repairs. Funds ranging from 50g in BC to 100g in Wrath are available to every raider from raid time to about 15 minutes after. The guild takes care of the repairs for progression wipe-fests, as long as the raiders are dedicated to the encounter, not wiping due to stupidity. The guild repairs can be turned off, and they have been in the past, if people decide they don't want to spend the night furthering the aims of the guild.

It is true that the raiders give over the raid's earning to the guild, but they receive it again through the guild repairs and enchant mats. The gold comes from selling patterns, enchants, and BoE epics that drop during raid. Very little comes from personal donations. High end enchants are taken care of through guild materials as well - all the shards are stored for profession use. It is the raiders responsibility to ask for them.

The rest of the guild provisions come directly from the raiders themselves. We have six tabs in our guild bank: General free-for-all stuff; Green current-expansion materials; Foods and Potions; Herbs and Scrolls; Blues and Rares; and Epics and Guild Mats. Anything guildees wish to donate to their fellow members goes in the proper tab (most of the time /eyeroll), and this is where some get their necessary buff consumables. This is also how the guild gets all the Fish Feasts and maybe even potion cauldrons for the raids. It's not required to provide anything to the guild bank (as long as you supply your own), but we do ask that the raiders throw in some fish or some Northern Spices if they are able. But most of the time, people are eager to help each other out, and the tabs are always stocked. The raiders take care of the guild, and the guild takes care of the raiders.

So it is very strange for me, after years of trusting the managers of the guild, to think that anything rare dropping during raid is something not owned by the raid. Alchemists Caches? The alchemist that opens it deposits everything of worth into the gbank. Jorgumar Scales and Artic Fur from Hodir trash? Into the gbank for the leather and mail patterns - just like the Runed Orbs. Same for what is mined off the elementals and herbed from the Conservatory. And, yes, if it is rare and engineered of the Flame Leviathan and XT, it gets sold for guild funds. It has always been like this - Hearts of Darkness, Void Crystals, and some Primals were supplied for the Shadow Resist gear back in Black Temple as well, but again, it was the raider's responsibility to ask for them.

I come from a trusting guild, and I have heard very little argument from inside the ranks as to how we do things. There is a strong taboo about selfishness, particularly from the officers, and we have no problem sitting out a raid if necessary so another can get what he or she needs from a run to set the example. In fact, more often than not, there are arguments to see who sits ("No, B, you sat twice last week, let me") - everyone is encouraged to consider their fellow raiders

I'm only vaguely familiar with what other uses guilds find for their funds and bank tabs - contests and the like, I'm sure. We've only had one inguild contest that I can recall: Whoever can farm the most Primal Shadow and Primal Life for the Shadow Resist gear gets his or her choice of four Dragon Whelps. Even that was in support of the raid and was promoted more by one outstanding raider than the guild itself. I'm sure there are people out there that find our way of handling funds and mats odd or even enraging, but, like Loot Council, it works for us.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Sleep is a beautiful thing

Reading last nights post, I have discovered my coherency is lacking when I am overly tired. No surprise; though this does make me reconsider all those papers I wrote the night before they were due...

Friday, May 1, 2009

A busy week

After a beautiful pair of one-shots on both Hodir (scoring the side achievement) and Freya, we managed our first poke on Thorim. The progress is good, and loots are shiny. Freya offered up T8.5 pants - my first step towards that beautiful 2-piece set bonus. Check out Recount for her as well:

Then there is the flurry with all the holidays. Finally had the Tuxedo Pants drop to polish off the achievements for the the holiday, though I managed the Meta Day 1. I was disappointed that they didn't update the BE Orphan quests, so I hurried through her to get Veteran Nanny, and did everything else with my precious little Orc Orphan.

While the requirements for School of Hard Knocks seem impossible at first, by far the most difficult is the AV Tower. It must be an assault, so recapping your own tower does not count (that would be a defense). The best way to get this is to find a fellow achievement seeker on the opposite fraction who recognizes this dilemma. I had a NE druid from my own server just sit in Stonehearth with us, capping it and then letting us cap it, over and over again. I did the same for the Alliance in Iceblood. Of course, you have the Honor grinders that don't understand that it is inevitable for the achievement lovers to participate in this, and they will kill off the friendly players. These are instances where I have a very strong desire to gank my own faction. (And, ironically, the majority of these are Blood Elves...)

IRL, my sleep schedule is all chaotic, and graduation looms ever closer. This means I have a severe case of Senior-itus, and my motivation to write a 4-5 page paper on a third century Roman emperor and the propaganda about him is pretty much nil. I have many topics that I've wanted to blog about, however, but considering I was very surprised that today was Friday and not Wednesday, I think it's a bit obvious my time management has been a bit wonky.

Anyway, hopefully I can get back into a normal cycle this weekend.