Monday, June 29, 2009

That's better!

So, who knew that the previously-bemoaned Tier 9 set bonuses would be place holders! Obviously, it was hoped for, but since T8 was accurate, the lackluster T9 bonuses were quickly accepted.

However, the new set bonuses are out, and they are a bittersweet welcome change.


  • 2 piece - The damage done by your Serpent Sting ability can now be critical strikes.
  • 4 piece - Each time you hit with a ranged attack, you have a chance to grant your pet 600 attack power for 15 sec.
So the 4-piece is nice (abet as meh as the T8's 4-piece), but just imagine the beautiful, beautiful Chimera shots that will come with having both 2-piece T8 and 2-piece T9.


Raid UI: Action

It has been an unkind week in Ulduar. Both of the progressive guilds were struggling along side us just to get the bosses down. In all fairness, we had tank absences, so we had to relearn some of the fights.

Anyway, here is an action shot of my new UI:

List of mods seen here:
Power Auras - Cooldown timers (the icons in the middle of my screen)
Bartender 4 - Action bar arragnment
Deadly Boss Mods
ForeXorcist - Timer bars
Mik Scrolling Battle Text
Pitbull - Player/target/focus frames
Prat 3.0 - Chat mod
Quartz - Cast bar
Satrine Buff Frames - Buffs/debuffs
Titan - the bars at the top
XLoot - loot mod
zHunter - I still use this for my aspects

Friday, June 26, 2009

Raid UI: Complete

I'm pretty content with it, though I fear that my new UI is the number one reason my FPS has dropped like a rock on boss fights.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

So, let me get this straight...

Blizzard finally gives Hunters a tier set that is named appropriately, even awesomely, and yet manage to shower it with the most depressing set bonuses this side of T4 despite the overall greatness of the gear stats.


Monday, June 22, 2009

UI Building

After watching Ensidia's Algalon 25 kill, I became inspired to finally make a custom UI. Munken's UI looks exactly how what I really want, so I decided to give it a go and download his. Mind you, I have shunned custom UIs for four years, mainly due to the fact my prior computers were barely able to run WoW. It didn't help that every patch caused UI users to break down and cry in frustration, and that was a contributing factor to remaining content with the standard interface.

First of all, I use a lot of buttons, considerably more than what Munken shows. I have every single action bar up in Blizzard's UI in order to accommodate everything I "need" - after all, I play this game for more than just raiding, so I want everything I use on a regular basis close at hand. However, even then I have to use extra bars from zHunter for my Aspects, Traps, and pet spells. I like having all my of my similar abilities together, and that just doesn't happen cleanly.

Second of all, he has a LOT of mods in that UI. Things like PallyPower (WTF?) to QuestHelper (seethe....) and FishingBuddy. I pruned a lot of frivolous things. He also had BigWigs, which frankly surprised me. I didn't notice it until Ulduar 10, when all of my usual Deadly Boss Mod warnings were now placed directly over my toon. I ended up having to restart WoW and move DBM back into my Addons folder, deleting BigWigs.

Thirdly, I'm still a big suspicious of new cooldown and spell timers. I like the spell timers in ForteXorcist, but, despite my initial reaction of "oooo shiney!" to the cooldown bar, I decided I enjoyed PowerAuras better. I tossed Khathas' Hunter Timers in favor of the new spell timer - I like it because it tells me who my mobs are on.

Fourthly, I'm trying out one bag for my inventory/bank. Hold me. My OCD is going off the roof because nothing is separated into nice neat spaces anymore. Strangely, I'm not someone that freaks out that my peas are touching my mashed potatoes, but with regard to my spells and items, everything has to be grouped and distinct. I haven't opened my bank yet. I'm scared to.

Finally, I am trying the PitBull/Grid combo for party interface, and I'm still undecided. I'm very torn between having so much information I want at my fingertips, and being able to see what I need to see. It took me a bit to find the cast bar, which is hidden underneath the health/power bars, so I'll have to fix that later. I admit to being a big Grid fan now, though I would swap it in a heartbeat for something that didn't have to be square.

And here it is:
I'm actually considering fooling around with Bartender some more to remove a couple rows of bars in favor of just making them longer.

Suggestions are most welcome.

Last night I became so flustered with it that I almost reverted back to my old UI, but I told myself I'm going to find a comfortable place and do it for a week.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Some bugs are good bugs

If you enter a battleground mounted, the leave with your pet out, your pet remains out! Oh the memories of matching pet and mount... Though I admit was very annoying to be flying around Outland with your pet trailing below you, I do miss having him around all the time, especially when I am just on my land mount.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Of Gear and Guilds

Klinderas over at Slow Wolf mused on this not too long ago: As epics become more easily attainable, how are we to best judge other players?

This, right there, is the heart of the 3.2 Badge Changes for me. Gear has been, and no doubt always will be, used as some indicator of player ability, even if the degree to which this is true will change over time. A player's gear reflecting their choices of gameplay and knowledge of their class will always be a standard reference, but what about skill and experience?

When a potential raider applies to my guild, an Armory link is required (no link, no consideration). There we pick apart his spec, stats, gear,... and achievements? Ehhh... With gear loosing its value, we end up turning more and more to their achievement page as an indicator of skill and experience. But there is a problem with this: No every one cares about achievements, nor are they always accurate. Any noob can grind out the achievement points, and a lucky PuG can grant some kills. Critics have to look hard and close to make sure they have a geniune player that killed Sarth+3D before 3.1, and not someone that joined a decent PuG last week. (And before you say this never happens, it does - a failed applicant, who was booted for being a ninja, got his kill in a PuG last weekend.)

Gear is a much better indicator of player quality - everyone wants it to improve themselves. Achievements give nothing, so there is no incentive to go for the frivolous achievements besides "because I can" and epeen, even for the most skilled players. But with epics no longer rare (are they still epics?), facevalue indicators of player quality are difficult to find. If Blizzard thought that devaluing gear, people would turn to achievement system instead to prove their worth, they were wrong.

All of this may sounds harsh, but I'm afraid it is the critical eye that guilds employ now. If you want to prove yourself worthy, show us with meters and reports. Don't assume that your gear means anything anymore - now we all have to show that we are more than our epics.

God Killer 2.0

Also, Drive Me Crazy.

Fuck yeah. Hard Mode time!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

3.2's more interesting aspects...

Okay, now that my rant about the trap nerfs is out, I can go on about the other bits of the patch notes that I find interesting.

The Argent Tourney: Okay, more mounts, more pets, etc. Yay, I always love those. The new instance? Sounds kinda complicated, but no doubt will be another VoA.

  • Portals from Orgrimmar and Stormwind have been added leading players to the Stair of Destiny at the Dark Portal. Once there, players can access a flight path directly from the Stair of Destiny to Shattrath.

  • Okay, I think that was necessary now that Shatt is no longer a central hub. But...

  • A new zeppelin docking ramp has been added to Thunder Bluff allowing Horde players easier transport to and from Orgrimmar.

  • ... kinda unnecessary. Really, I just see this as easing the Alliance farming of Cairne.

  • When standing at a capture point that you control, you will gain a buff called Honorable Defender. This buff grants +50% honor gained from kills. This currently affects Arathi Basin, Eye of the Storm and Isle of Conquest.

  • Yay for promoting defending and not fighting in the roads!

  • Arathi Basin
    • The time it requires to capture a base has been reduced to 8 seconds, down from 10 seconds.
    • The game now ends when one team reaches 1600 victory points, down from 2000.
  • Eye of the Storm
    • The time it requires to capture the center flag has been reduced to 8 seconds, down from 10 seconds
    • The game now ends when one team reaches 1600 victory points, down from 2000.
  • Warsong Gulch
    • There is a now a 20 minute timer on this battleground. After that time, the team with the most flag captures wins. If this would result in a tie, the team that captured the first flag wins. If neither side has captured a flag, then the game ends in a tie.
    NOOOOOOO! WHY ARE YOU KILLING MY BATTLEGROUNDS?! Not necessary! Not necessary! This only promotes lazy PvP play!

  • Emblem System Changes
    • Both the 10 and 25 player instances of the Crusaders' Coliseum drop a new Emblem of Triumph.
    • Any dungeons that previously dropped Emblems of Heroism or Valor, such as Naxxramas or Heroic Halls of Stone, will now drop Emblems of Conquest instead. Emblems of Conquest can still be converted to Valor or Heroism.
    • The heroic dungeon daily quest will now reward 2 Emblems of Triumph and the normal daily dungeon quest will reward 1 Emblem of Triumph.
    • The existing achievements to collect 1, 25, 50, etc. Emblems of Heroism, Valor, and Conquest have been converted to Feats of Strength since Heroism and Valor Emblems are no longer attainable.
    • New achievements have been added to collect various amounts of any combination of emblems.
    Um... okay. Free gear for the masses! But meh, all my badges go to is Heirlooms for my druid, gems, and PvP gear anyway.

    All pets now receive 40% of their master's resilience and 100% of their master's spell penetration. In addition, if a player is at their appropriate spell hit chance or hit chance maximum, their pet will be at the maximum for spell hit chance, hit chance, and expertise. If they are below the maximum, their pet will be proportionately below those maximums.

    That's nice.

    Replenishment: This buff now grants 1% of the target's maximum mana over 5 seconds instead of 0.25% per second. This applies to all 5 sources of Replenishment (Vampiric Touch, Judgements of the Wise, Hunting Party, Enduring Winter Frostbolts and Soul Leech).

    I see what you did there, and I am not amused.

    Silence, Strangulate, Silencing Shot, and Arcane Torrent: These abilities will also apply a 3 second interrupt effect against non-player controlled targets, making them more versatile against creatures immune to silencing effects.


    Quest creatures and objects will now show on the player's world map.

    Please, will the game play itself for me? Do they even bother writing quest text anymore?

    Vendor prices will now be listed on items whether or not players are at a vendor.

    Well, at least I can see the value of something before I decide to delete it or keep it to vendor.

    The ravasaur trainer Mor'vek has returned to Un'Goro and will offer to help Horde players raise and train a Venomhide Ravasaur as a mount... if they can survive the creature's deadly poison.


    Chef's Hat is now superior quality and allows the chef to cook faster.

    Goddamn it, I knew I shouldn't have deleted it as soon as I bought it...

  • The Nexus: The Oculus & The Eye of Eternity
    • Vehicles (drakes) used in these instances now scale with item level.
    Thank you!

    3.2 Suckage

    Patch notes are here.

    I enjoy PvP, don't get me wrong, but I absolutely HATE anything that nerfs a PvE ability in exchange for a PvP tactic.

  • The time that traps will exist in the world after being put down has been reduced to 30 seconds, down from 1 minute.

  • Good-bye chain trapping! The one tactic used by hunters for YEARS as a viable means of crowd control in instances is essentially GONE. Now instead of laying a trap and waiting for the cooldown to come up again, it has to be a quick chain pull. The margin for error is slimmer than ever, since now once the cooldown is up, the trap will be gone if it has not triggered. Yes, it would be possible to chain trap, but only once, and you have to be fast, skilled, and a little lucky.

    Why is this being changed?

  • Traps now have separate 30 second cooldown categories: Fire (Immolation Trap, Explosive Trap and Black Arrow), Frost (Freezing Trap, Frost Trap) and Nature (Snake Trap). A hunter can have one trap of each category placed at one time.

  • So this can happen. Do you know the first thought that went through my head when I read this? "Oh, nice. Now I can lay down Frost AND Explosive trap to enjoy Entrapment!" -_-

    Neg is pissed.

    So, you think you can carry the flag?

    I'm a big Warsong Gulch fan. While I'm aware that in the realm of RP the battleground does the least amount of good towards aiding my faction, there is something about the small nature of the raid that pleases me. It's Ten vs. Ten, making it easier to keep track of all those red names, and it only has one goal in one place. It's not full-out war like Alterac Valley, nor are their multiple nodes to fret about like Arathi Basin, Eye of the Storm, or Strand of the Ancients. It's just good, clean capture-the-flag. Theoretically.

    Of course, the battlegound being small means there is less room for error on the part of your teammates, and like a good chunk of BG PvPers out there, they could care less. The other annoying aspect of WSG is the fact that you only get rep for flag captures. Yes, that's a whopping 35 rep (45 on holiday weekends) per flag cap - 105 for a winning game. *twirls fingers in the air* Wooo. Since the rep grind is so painfully long (I just hit revered), I've given up hoping for a decent flag carrier to come along, and taken it upon myself on more than one occasion just to grab the goddamn thing and run with it.

    First of all, this is my PvP spec. This gives me three main advantages, along with a couple of side tactics. Silencing Shot, Scatter Shot, and Readiness are all important for getting through the midfield. Silence anyone with a mana bar (but not Hunters! and preferably when they are casting something), Scatter anything that has a red name coming for you; Readiness I'll talk a bit more about later. Both of those shots are pretty standard PvP arsenal for a MM Hunter, so you should be fluent in their usage regardless. Indirectly Concussive Barrage, Imp. Concussive Shot, Entrapment, and Trap Mastery increase the effects of what you should be doing already: Shooting things and laying traps.

    As Hunters, our defenses are a bit low compared to our tanking brethern. We are wearing mail, but we have no extra armor and no shield; we might as well be clothees for the way some DPS can blow through us. So we have to use what tricks we can. My first, and favorite, is to Disengage across midfield. This takes some knowledge of your surroundings to make sure you don't end up with your back against a tree trunk or right into the lap of an all-too-eager Ret Pally, but the short of it is just to turn around and hit it.

    A more direct spell is Master's Call. The macro for this changes depending on the player, but I prefer is

    #showtooltip Master's Call
    /cast [target=player] Master's Call

    This is very simple and only applies to you instead of someone you might wish to cast it on. Remember, Master's Call ONLY works for slows and roots - not for stuns! The way I remember is, if you can still shoot, you are not stunned. Always use Master's Call before using your PvP trinket - save that for stuns/traps/etc.. Surefooted also aids in this, for times when all other abilities are down.

    The last trick up our sleeves is Deterrence. Nerfed into oblivion, it is useless for anything happening behind you, but if you are facing a mob of red, it has its benefits. Pop it when you see toons running up to you.

    These spells, in addition to any racial, profession, and gear benefits, get you across the battlefield. Use these in combination, popping Readiness when you need them back to back, to get out of anything that crosses your path. I love Readiness for this reason - it gives me two of everything! Make sure it is worth it though; you don't want to waste that three minute CD on a trap that will never be triggered. Pop pots and stones to keep up if your healer goes down (if you have one -_-), and use Aspect of the Cheetah/Pack ONLY when you don't see anyone that could daze you. All standard PvP skills still apply - knowing how to deal with each class/spec is half the battle as well, and such a topic is a bit too broad for this post :).

    Oh, and if you Feign Death while carrying the flag, not even Aspect of the Beast can save you. I will find you, and you will be eaten alive by a blood thirsty moth, I swear...

    Good luck!

    I Can Has Moar Agility?


    Wednesday, June 17, 2009

    Blogroll Update


    No Ammo Melee Time - quiet for awhile now, send tell if you come back ;)


    Gray Matter
    Relevart's Druid Reliquary

    Yes, as Neg's little sister, Ranrele, levels up (i.e. I finally have time to level alts), expect to see some more druid blogs get added to the list. Druid in Denial is no longer so lonely!

    $%&#! (I hate low FPS)

    Yesterday was a nice and normal day in Azeroth. I sat in LFG for most of the day, trying to knock out more of Glory of the Hero. Joined a Gundrak group with a great tank, good healer, and piss-poor hunter and lock, and while I didn't get any of the achievements I wanted, it was the daily that I needed for Proof of Demise. Dalaran had its usual amount of lag, but otherwise all was well.

    Until Ulduar.

    With the nerfs to Flame Leviathan, we knocked out Nuked From Orbit relatively easily, and then for some reason, my FPS dropped like a rock. I haven't experienced 4-9 FPS since I raided on my crappy little Dell. At first I thought it was just the fact that I am now raiding on the Boy's connection, as opposed to the school's - but I didn't experience this trouble on Yogg the two nights prior. I hadn't changed anything - no new mods, nothing running in the background. I was at a lost of what to do. And that made me very frustrated.

    So the rest of the night was tense as I battled my low framerate. We worked on some Hard Modes, but with my DPS in the gutter, not much happened. I was also very impatient with loot, which lead to my tension spreading as I sent some offspec gear off to be sharded when the people interested in them didn't roll. It is not wise to upset the Loot Mistress.

    Hopefully tonight will be better.

    Tuesday, June 16, 2009

    Yogg Nerfs

    When we started work on the Old God 2.0 last week, we were very surprised how well the first several attempts went. No one was mind controlled, the Guardians didn't swarm us, and we blazed through the first portal phases nearly instantly.

    Then someone recalled: They nerfed Yogg. For the first time in the guild's history, we are working on content after they scaled down the difficulty of the encounter.

    It's a very humbling experience. Admittedly, we have had three weeks of work on Yoggy, and at least two of those were stunted due to server outage and attendance issues, so we were making progress, regardless of the nerfs. But still, this is not what we are used to. It feels like cheating - like claiming you made progress into Sunwell when 3.0 hit. Who didn't go in and roflstomp Brutallus, but there is a difference between working on the encounter and seeing the content. It's like being two months into Black Temple and then they remove the key!

    I am very confused as to why Blizzard feels the need to rush everything in this expansion. I get that they want more people to see content - yes, okay, I'm fine with that. But so soon? People won't even be allowed to experience the fights how you intended them to be before you nerf them - is that truly the same then? Isn't there some monetary incentive to make content last longer, as well? Spread out the content, keep people hanging on for more? I don't get it.

    Fuck Nukes

    When Yogg enrages, he extinguishes all life. Now THAT is a hard enrage.

    After finally (nearly) perfecting the DPS balance between classes on the adds verses classes on Yogg, we hit the enrage timer at 2%. We had all the physical classes on the adds and all the casters on the boss, but evidently it was just one DPS off balance.

    Then raid time ended. Sigh.

    Monday, June 15, 2009


    We recently lost one of our best players to one of the more progressive guilds on server - the number one guild, in fact. The abandonment was without malice, and he gquit in the wee hours of the morning so as to not cause drama.

    The Guild Master and I talked with him the evening before, giving him our perspective on it. We knew we could not convince him to stay, but there was some obligation to explain why we could not provide the sort of raiding environment he desired.

    My guild has never been one of progressive nature. Before BC (and before me) it was in alliance with the server's top Horde guild, and essentially seen as an off-branch of that guild for the less ambitious. I still get stories from the GM about how we were unbeatable in PvP except against the top Alliance guild. They got up to the Four Horsemen in Naxx 1.0 before the Burning Crusade, then the alliance disbanded, separating for the progressive nature of one guild and the RL obligations of the other. Our guild was still used to seeing the content, just not at the same speed.

    This puts the guild leaders in a predicament. With this mentality - See All Content, But Don't Sacrifice Real Life - it makes it difficult to judge how exactly hard to push people. In BC, this wasn't too much a challenge, since there was only way to kill a boss. It was just a matter of getting the fight down, expressing gentle pressures of responsibility, and providing moderate encouragement to progress through Hyjal, Black Temple, and Sunwell. It also helped that there were certain attunement requirements, obligating raiders to do well in order to make it to the next instance. The game itself provided most of the motivation.

    With Wrath, this becomes more problematic. We entered the instances relatively quickly, and cleared them equally as fast. Attunements were still sorta around, but they only require one person to get the key. We had the "learn a boss fight and execute" system down pat, and it was comfortably easy. Too easy. Hard mode-unlocked loot provided some initiative to add some challenge to our raid nights, but other general achievements were less motivating for people simply not interested. Extra loot feels more rewarding and has longer effects than the flashing lights of an earned achievement. For some, it was satisfying enough to just kill the boss and reap the loot. It was, after all, what we were used to through 1.0 and 2.0. But those of us more interested in see everything this game has to offer were not content in the pattern of kill-loot now that other options are available.

    It is challenging to figure out this balance between our raiders. Some get burned out from repeated wiping, others tire of simply mindlessly clearing the weekly content. It is reasonable enough for those who enjoy the substantial rewards to go for hard-more encounters that provide loot, but strategies that require unnecessary risks can be seen as simply silly. How do you keep everyone motivated to keep coming?

    There is also a matter of gear, skill and content balance. Some hard-modes we recognize as being out of our current capabilities; others seem reasonable. But do we want to start working on hard-modes for content we have down pat when Yogg isn't even on farm yet? Not every achievement will come by simply getting better at the fight or being overgeared for it, nor can we afford to simply let the hard-modes come when they may if we wish to see Algalon before the next content patch.

    Leadership of this sort of guild is not an easy role to fulfill. As I was telling this former guildee, there are many times I wish I could simply join a more progressive guild and become just another raiding grunt - my obligations would less complex. But what really keeps this guild together is our pleasure of raiding together. The people are what makes it good, and we can't simply abandon what works. It was the people that stepped up to lead when the former officers decided they had enough of the game, just before we downed Illidan. Despite such a mortal blow, we recovered and have been going strong ever since. I won't leave my guild because I enjoy being in it too much.

    So, what does it mean to be a "hardcore-casual" raiding guild? It means perfecting balance. It means finding that ideal set of rules and holding everyone to them, such that they can still enjoy the game in their own way (whether they be PvPers, altoholics, or family-oriented) and still experience endgame content. It requires sacrifice and personal acceptance of one's limits, plus friendliness and acceptance of a plethora of play styles. It takes work, but I wouldn't trade it for the entirety of Azeroth. Now if only I could put "Guild Leader" on my CV..

    Friday, June 12, 2009

    Please Stand By

    Neg is busy graduating, followed by moving in with the Boy.

    To Come:

    The trials and tribulations of a "hardcore-casual" raiding guild.

    MM PvP - that dreaded topic of my more recent interest.

    The biology of WoW - remember when I promised this? I plan on picking a handful of beasties and discuss their evolution/ecology. Now that school is over, I have time - theoretically :)

    RP - including finishing that bloody Tinea story that I began oh so long ago...

    Wednesday, June 10, 2009

    The teaching role

    One of the aspects of guild leadership that I particularly admire for building character is that of a teacher. Sure, there are the standard cliches of moral standing, providing an example to the rest of the raid, and all that jazz, but there is also the function of instruction. We need to tell our raiders how things need to be done, even if they told us first, it is our responsibility to make the orders for how a fight is conducted.

    We tried out four new raiders tonight, in addition to knocking out Flame Leviathan with Hodir's Tower up as one of the two. There was some eagerness to try it with three towers, but I felt it necessary for the raid to get used to the slowed state of their vehicles before adding it on top of everything else. One of our initiates, a resto shaman, was a little uncertain of her role. She was initially in a Demolisher, but Recount said she wasn't keeping pyrite stacked, so she was moved to shotgun in my Demolisher. I spammed the button to keep the blue up, but I was out immediately, and didn't get any refreshed. So I had a little talk with her. Turns out she had never even been in a Demolisher before, driving or shotgun, and was at a most lost what to do. So walked her through it - target the blue pyrite and grip them back, constantly keeping it up- and she did better, until that annoying grip bug snagged us. The last attempt she did perfectly, and our damage showed our combined effort:

    It's so easy to yell at someone over vent for doing something wrong, call them a noob for not immedately adjusting to a strange raid role; it takes work to instruct someone, calmly and coherently, to perfect something immediately. She was a great healer, knew the fights (well, the healer's role at least ;) ) and asked questions. No doubt there was some pressure of impression for a recruit's first run, and I hope our run suceeded in lifting that.

    I enjoy instructing people to do new tasks. I consider it paying it forward to all those players that patiently taught me as a noob hunter. I still remember my first Dire Maul run: "Hey, Neg, do you know how to kite?" "Um, no." "Well, this is as good as any to learn."

    Monday, June 8, 2009

    Ball Breaker and Quest Gainer

    That's me!

    With the advent of summer comes the lack of raiders. Tonight's 25 man had to be canceled tonight due to lack of warm bodies, so 10 of us worked on hard modes instead.

    Having Two-Tower Flame Leviathan on farm already, we decided to check out Three-Tower, destroying Freya's. Hodir's defense mechanisms suck massively. We ended up knocking down Thorim's tower just to be able to work with the slowed vehicles and big blue beam of freezing annoyance, but it still took a bit to get used to. We just kept a mage on him to overload, such that he could solo him while the other demolisher kept pyrite stacked.

    Then came XT, and OMG that is a fun fight on Hard Mode! We went with our resto shaman going elemental for the fight, though he kept up chain heals during the tantrums. We killed the heart with about five seconds to spare. At this point, there are no more repair bot adds, but the Light Bomb does spawn an add that the OT picks up, and Gravity Bomb causes a rather large void zone.

    We tanked him on the left wall - all people with Gravity Bomb when right, all people with Light Bomb with left, where the DK would put Death and Decay under them and I would kill the add as he tanked it. A hunter/DK combo for this is ideal, as if I pull aggro, I may FD, or he can Death Grip it if my FD is on cooldown. Interestingly enough, I had no mana problems, wheras I did something terrible when we went on to work on Iron Council Harder.

    Running on a bit of an ego trip now, we thought, "Fuck Harder Mode, let's just do Steelbreaker last!" Yeah, no. Tanks go squish. Quickly. So we just went back to the Runemaster last and nailed it. He dropped the Archivum Data Disc, of course, and the officers rolled on it for the key quest(s) to Algalon. Yay for being a high roller!

    I wonder how long those will stagnate in my quest log?

    I must say though, I love Ulduar. The instance is such a breath of fresh air. I really enjoy the myriad of encounters, and I think they are rather well done. The fact that there are six different ways to do the Council of Iron alone is pleasing to me and a symbol of a fight well planned. Here's to endless wipes after pressing that Big Red Button!

    Oh, and I had a wonderful birthday, and a wonderful Friday following my birthday. Thank you all for your well wishes!

    Thursday, June 4, 2009

    Free at last!

    Not only did I have the last final of my life today, but I also received confirmation that my BA was accepted, and I will actually graduate next Saturday. Woooooot! Oh, yeah, and it's my birthday. Guess who is getting completely smashed tonight!

    Oral finals are not fun. Amnesia has nothing on one-on-one exams with your professor. I couldn't even successfully explain why I am so bad at oral exams. Walking out, I tried to talk about WoW, just to confirm that I am proficient in something, and found I couldn't. Oy. So, maybe the point got across that I do know what I am talking about with regards to my major, but I'm just horribly inarticulate. Regardless, it's over, I'll get an acceptable grade, and life is happy again.

    I suppose this means I have to pretend to be an adult now...

    Tuesday, June 2, 2009

    Theory-crafting and me

    My university has many witty t-shirts that the various dorm houses and undergraduate societies sell as fundraisers. One of the popular ones is "That's all well and good in practice, but how does it work in theory?" in celebration of my college's renown investigation into the sciences.

    The hunter class is one of the most popular to research and model damage for, no doubt by virtue of the popularity of the class itself, but it is very difficult to find a hunter forum that does not delve into the realm of theory-crafting. I think its safe to say that most raiding hunters are expected to know what makes their dps tick and be able to defend their choices of gear, glyphs, and gems/enchants.

    That said, I don't theory-craft. I know I would draw in more readers to the Butterfly if I did, but I admit, the process simply does not interest me much, mainly because I'm already an unwilling theoretical ecologist and do enough math on my own time to warrant more in my WoW time. I'm up to my waist in differential equations and generalized linear models on such a regular basis that extending more effort towards computing the benefits of Armor Penetration is just a little much. I'll read the forums (when I'm in the mood) but I won't actively work out the formulas.

    Another reason I don't have so much heart in the matter is because I recognize that the ideal situations for these models are very rare in the actual game. Another t-shirt we have here reads "Theory comes and goes, but a data point is forever" - sure, that talent point in X instead of Y will give you 50 more DPS... under Z conditions. The numbers you get in game will be a more accurate representation of your DPS than a spreadsheet, only because you have to work with the circumstances on hand. Imagine the numbers you could get on Loatheb if would could just stay in one spot, and the spores were killed on top of you!

    Where my science stands out is in statistics. While this really only has applications for loot drop and spawn rates, I use it for other social functions as well. I told one of our melee to prove that he doesn't die on bosses any more frequently than the other melee by doing an ANOVA.

    So, sorry I don't populate my little corner of the internets with formulas for maximizing your DPS. I hope you love me regardless :3 I do encourage you to go out to any of the forums and blogs out there that do cater to theory-crafting, if that's your thing. Otherwise, don't fret it. Knowing why is enough; knowing how is optional.

    Monday, June 1, 2009


    Since MMO-Champion was so kind as to update their loot pages for Ulduar, it gave me the excuse to tidy up my summary of raiding hunter loot in the instance.