Tuesday, September 29, 2009

This game is going to kill me...

Gather round, oh beloved readers, for it is story time at the Butterfly.

Once upon a time, long, long ago, Negathle made her first server transfer to a Real Raiding Guild. She knew her class pretty well, she was convinced she was fairly adept at end game raiding, and she was eager to prove herself. The guild she had left had killed Hydross in Serpent Shrine Cavern before falling apart, and the guild she joined had only killed two bosses after that, so she knew she was exactly where she wanted to be in terms of progression. The guild itself seemed full of nice people (with a few not-so-nice people), so Neg wanted to make sure she was making a good impression.

On her first raid with her new guild, Neg is brought in for Hydross. "Okay," she thought, "I know this boss. Just don't pull aggro!" The trash is cleared, the Frost and Nature Resist is equipped, and the tanks prepare themselves for the the pull. The Main Tank, in his shiny blue Frost Plate from Naxx40, takes a swig from his Invisibility Potion, and runs toward the boss, aggroing him and pulling him back to become Cleansed - that is, the boss assumes a frost presence and four water adds appear to be killed. Neg dutifully kills the adds, then goes back to DPSing the boss. At a certain point, the Main Tank calls for the Off Tank to take the boss across the midline of the area to be Tainted, the the process is repeated, except with four nature adds this time. Once again, Neg kills the adds and goes back to the boss. This goes on for a handful of rotations, at which point Neg is not-so-carefully DPSing the boss when he is on the frost side and suddenly notices him face her and start to head to the poison side.

Neg's Feign Death hotkey began smoking as she pounded it.

Fortunately for her, the crisis was adverted (or, at least, she thinks it was, because they didn't gkick her there on the spot), but she can still recall the pure terror she felt as the boss turned around and began making his way toward her at a time that was detrimental to the raid. All sorts of thoughts regarding the repercussions of her aggro pull danced through her head, and her heart stopped for a good two seconds.

That was over two years ago. Fast forward to last night. Neg is on a new server, in a new Real Raiding Guild. She knows her class pretty well, she is convinced she is adept at end game raiding, and she is eager to maintain herself as a quality raider. Neg had spent the first two hours of the raid night downing the Faction Champions in Heroic Trial of the Crusader, then working through the rest of the tribute attempts playing Chaotic Frogger as a soaker for the Twin Val'kyrs. She is fairly content with the night when the raid went off to spend an hour (or less) on Algalon.

Neg assumed her usual position to kill stars, but this time she fixed her targeting macro to not use Hunter's Mark on the stars, so she decided to keep Algalon marked instead. She clicked on the boss, and watched as a line of white flew from her bow to the giant constallation man. Her heart stopped for a full two seconds as the raid wiped instantaneously.

Fortunately for her, the boss simply reset and did not start the timer. However, Neg was on edge for the rest of the night, fearful to even move her mouse close to the boss before the pull was made. It had been a long time since she felt so horrified.

The End

Monday, September 28, 2009

Bad Butterfly!

I have not intentionally been avoiding the blog, but, admittedly, there hasn't been much to write about. This is fairly evidenced by the lack of meaty posts in the hunter blogosphere as of late. I have one RP in progress, where I shamelessly borrow our MT's persona for my own nefarious purposes, but it is a bit of a time coming, and otherwise, I'm running dry on ideas.

I suppose I did get into a bit of an argument over on the science-blog Pharyngula about the role of the Light in the game. I see it as too much of an analog for the monotheistic religions - I want to escape to a fantasy world, not one that is eerily like reality in that aspect! Though I admit I read into and analyse content too much and probably wouldn't compare the Light to Xanity if I didn't grow up surrounded by it, I was told that it's just a game more than a few times. Oh well. If some of you want to get into an indepth discussion about the topic, we can knock it around.

Otherwise, real life has been busy busy busy. I'm meeting with my potential grad school advisor on Friday, trying to study for the GRE before I take it on the 15th, and applying the least amount of effort possible towards looking for a temporary job. Then there is the mattress shopping and the kitten adoption, the grocery shopping and Quality Time With The Boy. Neg's been a busy little bee.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

In Which Neg Loses Another Piece of Sanity

I am hesitant to believe that there isn't a single player out there that has never dreamt about WoW. People may claim they haven't, but I'm sure they have and just never recalled it. Most of my dreams take place just inside the computer screen. Everything is still pixelated and obeys game mechanics, conversations still take place over Vent or in speech bubbles, so it is just like I'm normally playing.

(My most vivid of these dreams took place before the officer turnover in my old guild. Mount Hyjal had become a new zone, and I recall seeing my old GM/MT at one of the new quest givers. Then I just ran around, trying not to fall off the mountain sides.)

But rarely do my WoW dreams interact with my RL dreams, or as in last night's example, my wedding anxiety dreams. Myself, my grandfather, and a child that was supposed to be my cousin but looked nothing like her, were all trying to get to my non-existant destination wedding location (Ithaca, New York? What?), but some how in between all the flights, we got lost and couldn't remember where we were going. I said to gather round, I would summon us there (using the mood ring summoning ring on my right hand). But, alas, I couldn't recall what the location looked like (after all, I've never been there...), instead getting all these memories of Chicago, New York, St. Louis, and my old high school. The pressure was now on me, for my little cousin could only survive the summon once, else she'll DIE. So I told myself, "I know! I'll ask my blog readers what to do! For my wedding is tomorrow, and surely they can help!"

Then I woke up, confirmed to myself that my wedding is in fact not tomorrow (rather, the Save-The-Dates go out next month), then cursed my overactive imagination.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Nerd rage!

I received a shiny new upgrade the other day (after stupidly dying in a fire that I stupidly didn't notice because I was stupidly focusing on other things), and I'm enjoyed the DPS boost it is bringing. I'm still not where the officers would like me to be (comparing me to hunters from Ensidia and Fusion - if you want to feel like nothing you do is proficient, have that done to you), but I am feeling more confident as time goes on.

After a quick clear of Ony and ToC, we went in to Ulduar to forgo any patch day "love" the servers would dish out to waste H:ToC attempts. Rocky path all around, all the way up to Assembly of Iron.

If you have never done Assembly of Iron: Steelbreaker Last, it is a hunter's DPS orgasm. There is nothing you have to move out of, you move only to get the near runes during the first third of the fight, then move to set up tanking positions once Runemaster dies, and that's it. All you have to do is perfect your shot rotation, time your cooldowns well, and just crank out the DPS. There is nothing else to worry about (assuming your healers know what they are going).

I was rocking the meters on our first pull, loving that green bar at the top of recount... and we wipe.

I informed the raid that I hated them all.

So we did it again, and I pulled another beautiful green bar. And we wipe.

Another pull, another ever so lovely green bar. And we wipe.

I asked the raid if they wanted to see me cry.

With our fifth attempt (another great start, another wipe), we just gave up for the day and moved on.

Fuck my life.

Raiding Hunter Loot in 3.2.2

In celebration of WoW's 5th anniversary, they are bringing back Onyxia, that beloved of raids. Aspired to at 60 (remember that awesome attunement?), fun to go back to and attempted to solo at 70 (ah, the tons of gold), then finally nerfed at 80 and solo'd out of nostaligia. Lore-wise, yes, she is dead - Lady Prestor will not make a comeback, never fear, Stormwind - so this is just fun.


Yeah, I'm of the opinion the dead should stay dead, but alas, we take what we are given.

So what will drop for hunters? Well, some loot that has a semblance to what she dropped pre-3.2.2. Remember that awesome purple and orange Dragonstalker helm that you were so proud to show off? Yeah, that's coming back, complete with the unnecessary shadow and fire resist! However, what really gets to me is the fact they are bringing back Quel'Serrar (I fondly recall my boyfriend's pride when getting his), Rhok'delar will not be making a comeback. Not that I don't mind them underminding the epic questline, but if you are going to bring back one, why not the other? As long as my original still remains nestled in my bank, I have no problem shooting with a blooming bow again. The 25 man loot table isn't complete yet, so perhaps there are some surprises in store.

Loot will work similiarly to the normal and Heroic modes of ToC: The same loot will be available in 10 and 25 mans, just different item levels with stats increased accordingly.

Dragonstalker Helm/Helmet

Neg's Notes: Well, it's not bad, in all honesty. However, I don't think I would break my current helm/chest t8 set bonus for it, nor forgo my plan to keep my shoulders t9 offset and complete the four peice with helm/chest. I'll have to crunch some numbers to confirm that, though.

Sparkling Onyxia Tooth Pendant - Head quest reward

Neg's Notes: Nice amount of agility on it, but if you don't need the hit, I'd suggest sticking with an ArPen neck.

Stat Stick
Reclaimed/Reinforced Shadowstrike

Neg's Notes: "Paladins, Hunters, anyone? I am not wasting DKP on that peice of crap!" Well, maybe you will for version 2.0. I wouldn't say it's as good as Hellion Glaive, but it's definitely up there with all the other 245 stat-sticks from ToC.

Snub-Nose Blastershot Launcher

Neg's Notes: Meh. Let's see what 25 man offers.

Monday, September 21, 2009

So Easy, A Caveman Can Do It!

Or, Why WoW Is Driving Me Away.

I've already stated I have no intention of playing into Cataclysm. My final goal is Icecrown, to see Arthas in all his glory, play until the months before the expansion arrives, when everything is on farm and we are just wiling away time until 4.0, then take my leave. I want to be on top of the world, be the best hunter I am capable of being, know I cannot derive anything more from this game, and exit gracefully. Some of this I will not succeed at - I'm continuously working to better myself as a player, but I have no delusions of being THE BEST HUNTER EVAR, and I know my achievement OCD will never be satisfied - but I have a small ray of hope that I will leave the game happy.

Emphasis on the 'small'.

Honestly, I am not happy with the game. Some may translate my unhappiness to disliking my guild or disliking certain people or my general state of being, but it's not the case at all. I'm very satisfied with my guild, only vaguely annoyed at a myriad of people, and my general state of being, as I stated before, is more apathetic than anything. (Though, as the Boy wondered aloud to me: "Why are you even Arena-ing? You never sound happy when you play it.") I'm playing toward a goal, and little else.

So what's making me fall out of love with WoW? Well, the changes to the hunter class are not helping. The whole mana-to-focus issue does nothing but piss me off (read Lyraat's wonderful post on the subject), everything that was unique or semi-unique to hunters was given to other classes and made even better, and the class has been reduced essentially to the red-headed step-child of the game. Now they want to implement a system that they initially had planned (but not fully!), band-aided their tardiness with mana for the release, tried to fix the mana issues in BC and Wrath, and now they are saying fuck it, and going back to square one. Let's just say I don't have much faith in them at this point.

Then there is the raiding system. Initially, I thought I liked the idea of hard modes. Everyone has access to the bosses, then the progressive guilds get to try the boss in a different method to get better loot, etc. Everyone is happy, right? Well, the burnout comes either way. Before Wrath, the instance just had to be cleared then farmed; guilds bashed their heads on a boss until it fell and couldn't progress beyond that level of boss until they mastered it. Now, guilds bash their heads on multiple bosses' hard modes over and over again, then maybe they give up, or never try. There is no forced progression. Any bosses that don't have a hard mode have another ceiling, a timer (like Algalon) or a wipe count (like H:ToC). Such ceiling prevent the old ways of boss learning (practice practice practice), instead force fast adaptation. One side of me likes this (makes you a better player), but another side of me hates it (pining for the old ways of raiding). The tenacity and coordination it took for a guild to down a difficult boss pre-wrath now translates into successfully downing a boss in Hard Mode, and the farming begins again. The progressive guilds experience the same thing over and over again (but on hard mode!) while the middle-tier guilds clear everything, debate and tentatively poke at the hard modes, wait for the nerfs to maybe down some, but in the end are satisfied with downing the final boss in some fashion. Nothing is forcing them to work - that satisfaction of clearing the instance isn't the same. Besides, what is the end reward for a job well done? OCD points and a new toy mount. Great incentive scheme there, Blizzard. But then again, I'm not playing to better my character now, am I? My reward is a shiny new mount! (I've already ranted my thoughts on welfare epics, and you don't need to hear it again.)

That in a nut shell is my concern for Icecrown Citadel. I want the Arthas fight to be so amazing, another Illidan, another Kael'thas, another Kil'Jaeden, another C'thun, but I am terrified it will be a complete let-down (lolanub). I don't want to start out the fight easy and work my way to hard, I want to face him in his entire might, and I don't want a choice in the matter.

Most likely, I'm not going to get it. Blizzard will satisfy the masses and enable every single casual player the opportunity to down the Lich King, whether it be 10 or 25 man, normal or hard mode. It will probably be some basic strategy, without need of any resist gear, or special tanking ability, or some certain class ability, because that's what this game is now, generalized and homogeneous.

But I have a tiny bit of hope that Blizzard will surprise me, and so I'll keep grinding it out. Maybe, just maybe, I can quit satisfied.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

A Hero's Tale

So there we were. The Horde hadn't won Wintergrasp since yesterday. Every three hours, another humiliating defeat at the hands of the defending Alliance. The Horde of Turalyon were frustrated and exhausted, yet burning to attain victory. We would not concede defeat.

My 3v3 team had just finished a hot streak of seven straight wins, finally reaching the 1800 mark. We were eager to grind honor to reap our rewards. With Wintergrasp up, I positioned myself on a western tower of the keep, destroying the cannons from above, then jumping down on the walls to destroy the wall cannons and snipe the Alliance from above. My partners had jumped in some approaching seige engines.

As the wall crumbled below me, I ran foward to destory the inner cannons. Soon that wall had also fallen, so I rushed inside to make my way to the keep door. One of my partners in a seige cannon announced the door was about to fall. I positioned myself to be ready. Down it fell, and the bewildered Alliance watched as I ran in and took the relic.

Then I danced as fifty angry Alliance killed me.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

My Spawn

Ever since my guildees discovered the Butterfly, I've put up with teasing and snide references. Predictable, for sure, but I never anticipated that a handful of them would start blogging themselves. In revenge, I'll list them here. Check them out (if you dare).

I'ma Boomkin! - Seriously, this guy embarrasses everyone on the damage meters. Fun loving, always enthused, Ashvoyager vows to report about boomkin-ing trends and topics.

The Blind Times: A Warlock (and Druid!) Blog - Half Lock, Half Tree Druid (though I prefer him on his druid), Blindreaper records his perspective on WoW happenings.

Resto Shaman - The GM's blog. Whether or not Streamer will continue to indulge this interest in blogging remains to be seen...

Pizz's Pizzers - The URL says it all. Yet another hybrid class that puts us all to shame on the meters, visit Pizz' blog only if you can endure it. Yes, he will insult you, and, yes, he will prod your sensibilities in order to make you angry. But underneath that revolting exterier he actually maintains some wisdom. Emphasis on the 'some'.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I though Apathy was dispellable...

I guess I don't have a druid nearby...

I'm experiencing a hard and sudden burnout from the game. No doubt the weeks of straight raiding, arena, honor-grinding, and dailies have some contribution, but all at once, I feel totally apathetic about everything. And I don't particularly like it.

Yesterday I logged on and off throughout the day to tend to chores in between honor-grinding. It was good honor-grinding too: We won nearly every EotS, AB, and IoC. I should have been happy, but all I recognized was a mental checking off of a task list. More tokens for Great Honor? Check. Next.

I logged on again before raid, but my mind wasn't in it. I listened in Vent to the officers work out plans for HM Faction Champs, but I was more interested in studying the vocab lists for the GRE. No doubt that lack of interest translated into my raiding abilities that night. I wasn't doing poorly, just distractedly. Between Misdirects, Hunter's Marks, Tranq Shots, and my normal rotation, I was far more concerned with how bloody long my GCD was than my threat table during Jaraxxus. So when I died to an Inferal, I was sat. And I didn't care.

I'm a people pleasure by nature, so when officers tell me something to improve my raiding, I work to do it. However, I feel like what they tell me to do is pulling me in different directions, and when I get talked down to for trying to compromise them, I get extremely frustrated. One officer expects more Misdirects. Okay, that's easy enough. I used to do it all the time and only stopped when my competing hunter never did them, so I felt obligated to remain competitive by not "wasting" my GCD every thirty seconds. Another officer wants every DPS to stop moving so much and stop wasting GCDs. ... Well, the first is easy enough to fix - just find a sweet spot, like he suggested. Stop wasting GCDs? Do you want MDs, or not? That's one less Steady Shot out of my normal rotation every three rotations! *sigh*

So, as I worked to compromise these requests while working on HM Beasts, I asked the tanks what direction they will be tanking the mobile worm during phase two.

"Well, it depends on where he spawns," was the answer.

Okay, fine, but you can at least be consistant. If he spawns here, which way will you go? If he spawns over here, which way will you go? I just want to be able to predict which path you are taking so I am not standing there when I set myself up to do the initial MD and never have to move again to pump out the high DPS.

Well, this didn't go over so well... "You are supposed to be moving during this encounter!" "You're a hunter, you can move and DPS" (This from the officer telling me I shouldn't be moving so much.) Since my meaning wasn't getting across, I just told them to drop it and make the bloody pull. We killed it next go, so my point was null regardless, but my frustration was evident. I was already doing what one of the officers was telling us we should be doing - watching where the worms move and set ourselves up accordingly - but I was taking pains to make sure I was in MD range to help the tank get initial threat, be spread out so bile/venom won't spalsh anyone around me, and be in a sweet spot to pump out the DPS required by the fight. I was doing my job and only requested something that should already be standardized so it is one less thing I have to be concerned about in the bloody encounter, and I get called out for it.

Frustration is exhausting, ya know?

Everything they are changing about this game and my class, plus the current state of raiding hunters, is just breaking me. Why am I even specced into ArPen DPS if I will be on icicles, snobalds, sparks, flash freezes, etc? Maybe I should just go into a mana-efficent, high burst spec since there will be no JoW on my target. Stack haste to get as many steady shots in between all my other instants. Do everything the theorycrafters tell us we shouldn't do to get high numbers, because my DPS time on the boss itself will be minimal. Hell, I'll even waste three points into Hawk Eye again and enjoy the 41 yard range that I miss so from BC. Then reaching those adds on Jaraxxus won't be a problem! Everything I want and know about my class is clashing with everything I'm called on to do, and I'm having a hell of a time trying to find that sweet spot.

I'm already resigned myself to never see the Cataclysm that will change everything about the game, but maybe I won't see Icecrown either. That was my last hold out - just see Arthas, but the apathy is touching that, too. I'm usually thrilled when we down a new encounter, but I didn't even feel a jump of excitement with Jarraxus died. Oh, look, the crossbow. Meh, I'll bid, but I don't expect to get it. (I didn't, and I don't care.) I'm not even bored, really. I have a ton to do in the game, so I'll always be busy. I'm just honestly losing interest. I miss the fact I used to be so adamant about my spec and my class and dislike how accepting I am that everything I enjoyed about this game is falling apart. I want to believe that the last four years of playing wasn't wasted, and the fear that it was does nothing to help my post-college depression...

Maybe I just need a break, or something...


Monday, September 14, 2009

Some things never change...

Beast Mastery is still mindlessly boring and overpowered... in arena at least.

So we started this weekend with a 1500 rating and ended it with a 1750. While the grind up to 1500 was long and a bit arduous when I was Marksman, the road to 1700 was a complete joke when I respecced. Pick a target, Big Red Puppy, target goes boom. My partners are considering changing the 3v3 name to "Carried by Shorty" (that would be 5'3" me).

While it is interesting seeing a health bar go down in about 10 seconds, it is otherwise very boring. Only one Deterrence. Only one Rapid-Fire mana battery. No Silence/Interrupt. No emergency Scatter. Traps are just plain ol' traps. But rogues are not so much of a problem now, so that is a welcome change.

The nerf to Beast Within is pretty obvious, and I am glad that they are giving it a minor boost in PvE since it is a complete arena nerf.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

ATTN: Horde in Eye of the Storm

I'm looking right at you, Stormstrike battlegroup.

In my honor farm, I frequently jump into Eye of the Storm in interest of getting a token or three for the Token Honor. Like every other battlegroup, Horde has conceeded Eye of the Storm because of the way the battleground works: You win only if you do the boring thing of holding towers and not the fun thing of getting the flag. So very few Horde queue for EotS because both it is a boring battleground and because they anticipate losing, wheras the Alliance has a full 15 immediately. The Alliance anticipate at win regardless of their team's ability because they know only a small number of Horde will begin the game. It is an annoying and vicious cycle - much like it was for Alliance in Alterac Valley several patches ago.

One EotS began with a rare 13 or 14 Horde already in by the minute mark. Encouraged by these numbers, I immediately went into leadership mode and started typing in /bg: Okay, we have numbers, this is possible - Ignore the flag and go for the towers! We immediately capped three towers, but the vast majority of the team was in the middle, squabbling over the flag. At one point, an individual that understood the mechanics of the fight grabbed the flag and at with me at Blood Elf Tower, only to be harrassed in /bg for not capping it. All this while, the other towers were exchanging hands, and I was telling the team to get out of the middle - there is no flag there and there won't be - go get the towers back.

Then some poor player uttered this: Get the flag and fuck the towers.


Let's just say the people in my Vent channel bore witness to the angry side of the Angry Butterfly...

We won the game in the end, and here are the results:

Top honor, right there. Myself and the pally below me were on defense the entire time.

While this obviously is not definitive proof if you have any knowledge of experimental data (ye gods, what a horrible experiment that would be... so many variables....), please let this motivate you to play this battleground to win, and LET THEM COME TO YOU.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

It's shiny

I didn't appreciate it before - I was always under the impression that the red was more attractive - but there is something about the silvery-blue that just screams HOT.

That crossbow hits like a truck! Makes me sad though, the Ulduar Hard Mode crossbow got so little love, though that didn't stop it from dropping the day after I got the ToC xbow... Also, two-piece T9.25. Serpent Sting now crits about 50% of the time, which makes me wonder how that should affect Chimera, as dictated by what the tool-tip says. Mathy thoughts are wandering around in there...

It's been a busy week already, what with the instance clears, PvP Honor farm I should be doing, and a side project I've been undertaking to buy a Mechano-hog (supporting my local engineers, of course). I couldn't pass up 5000g to finish up Loremaster of Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor - around 150 quests total, but the difficult to find and finish ones. And no, I am not out for hire.

Trying out BM this weekend for arena (in before they nerf it, I suppose). Admittedly, I am nervous about giving up my Scatter Shot, but evidently Big Red Wolf will be worth it (or Big Red Crab? I suppose I could tame another pet, but that means giving up my turtle-tank... and that would be the last sacrifice I'm willing to make.) It's going to be a busy couple of days, but I am definitely taking a break Friday to go see 9 with the Boy!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Name Game

IRL the Boy and I are currently dealing with a name dilemma as we plan out our lives after marriage. We both want to change our surname to a variant of his family name, but the mother-in-law invoked the Tears of You-Hate-Your-Family, so our initial efforts were shot down. Ever watch that episode from season one of The Guild where they fought Zaboo's mother? Yeah, I'm sorta envisioning that.

Anyway, I've always found it interesting how people name their toons. I value originality in names and find cliches greatly irritating. For example, I once ran down and corpse camped a flagged NE hunter that had the audacity to name his toon Drizzt. Ironic names (such as a shaman named Oprahwindfury) are always worth a chuckle, along with twist on class roles (Eyehealpets, Eyeditanks, and I'm still waiting on Eyeinnervatehunters... but I suppose that's too long). I get tired of the groaner-worthy names quickly (I knew a DK named Pinktacho), but have an appreciation for cleverness and creativity.

So where's a source? I don't think I've met a person who hasn't had some affinity for a certain name. The Boy has single 10-letter monstrosity that he came up with in his youth and now uses for the majority of his account names. He just combined a couple of words that caught his fancy to form something all-encompassing. Personally, all my toons names come from my own writing - "Negathle" means Woman of Strength in a made-up language, "Ranrele" means Woman of Learning, and "Chasle" means Woman of Song.

Of course, with these original names comes a price in pronunciation. I suffer Negathle (Ne-gath-lee) to be called all sorts of variants (Nega-thall is the most common) and people wanting to shorten it after the second vowel instead of the first consonant. Blatantly Latin-based names are frequency butchered, along with anything that is meant to have a vowel sound where a consonant is (a la Renaud).

So, since I infrequently do this, I invite everyone to tell the story of their toon's or toons' name. How did it come about, what do you like about it, and how is it misread or mispronounced?

Monday, September 7, 2009

My inner fan girl totally squealed

There we were, grinding away in our new 3v3 team, learning how to work with each other, adapting to intercommunication, forming strategies against various comps, all that jazz, when somehow the conversation between matches turns to hunters in BC. I casually mentioned that the one hunter that I adored above all was Howi, that champion of Marksmanship when it was in its darkest hour.

"I totally wanted to make a sign that said, 'Tame Me, Howi'" I giggled, a bit embarrassed.

"Howitzer?" our healer and GM asks.

"Yes," I reply, slightly amused. "How did you know?"

"He's on the server."


Okay, maybe my outer fan girl squealed, too...

I must have known it at sometime, read his guild tag on the Official Forums, but I never made the connection since he quit his hunter so long ago, and I later jumped servers.

So, here I am, on the same server as one of the greatest and well-known hunters. Do I talk to him? Do I send him a pic with a sign that says "Howi, be my Beast Within"? Or do I just adore him from afar, fawning over his mere proximity to me?

Oh, the dilemmas of a fan girl...

Anyway, our 3v3 experience has been advancing well. I'm still working on getting in the mindset of "survive" instead of "big numbers". I have definitely become pro at deterrence and disengage, and ever so slowly becoming adept at Freezing Arrow! My favorite experience so far was facing one on one with a lady Tauren DK. It had to be an awesome sight for a spectator!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Armor Pen Nerf AKA FU MM Hunters <3 Blizzard

From Ghostcrawler:

The nerf to armor pen in 3.2.2 is intentional. Compared to the recent buff where we increased the value of armor rating to 125%, this nerf would take it back down to 110%. While we are still evaluating the effects of this change in the 3.2.2 build, we did want to let you know of the possibility in case you were about to spend a lot on armor pen gems.

In fact, this was really the point. Several melee specs (and Marksman hunters) had begun to focus on armor pen at the expense of all other stats. Gear without armor pen was being passed over and gem sockets were increasingly being filled with just this one stat. While every spec has stats that are more valuable than others, this one felt like it was starting to trump everything. Not coincidentally, characters stacking lots of armor pen were starting to do more damage than their peers and more damage than we were comfortable with.

This change is largely for PvE reasons, though we won't cry at all if melee damage in PvP drops a little as a result.

We're letting you know now so that this doesn't feel like a stealth nerf, assuming it goes live. While you might disagree or be frustrated by the change (though I also suspect it won't come as a surprise to many players), we ask that you try and keep your response to something appropriate for these forums.



Even though I haven't had the pleasure of reaching the hard cap for armor pen yet, I have enjoyed watching my DPS increase with every new piece of gear I get. There can be no doubt that ArPen has allowed MM Hunters to finally compete with SV again, but can Blizzard allow that? Of course not.

Yet another fucking straw.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


It was brought up in Rilgon's chat after his podcast recording that my guild was going through a merger. Said collusion of two raiding guilds had been under discussion for several weeks, until finally undertaken on Tuesday. The guild that joined ours was somewhat similar to my old guild: Progression minded, but not cutthroat. So, it was expected that we would have a slew of gquits and gkicks from both parties as the guild officers work to form a raiding core.

Tuesday's raid went very well: We disposed Anub'arak quickly enough, and then went on to Ulduar. Raiders were brought in and out of the instance for comparison purposes all night, and overall it was a successful and smooth run. Last night, however, was proof that the merger is a success.

We downed Firefighter in two hours. Then we walked into the Conservatory of Life and downed Freya with three Elders up. Two Hard Modes in one night; the latter we essentially walked in and sucker-punched. It was an amazing night, and we all left feeling confident withourselves. Sure, it was two Hard Modes after they were nerfed, but they were two Hard Modes that only two other guilds on the server had completed. We had shot up the ranks of guilds in a matter of four hours.

I felt like singing. Of course, when I get excited like that, my cheeriness begins to affect my sensiblities, so I was probably a little more chattery than I would have normally approved of (Hard Mode Ownage, the next cheap girly drink?). To top it all off, the players who I was loathe to play with due to attitude, play style, or some combination of those two were either booted or quit willingly, making me even more cheery. We lost one hunter due to RL stress, and another just gquit without saying a word, making our net influx of hunters equal to zero.

To add more to the flurry of the last few days, our main tank and healing lead (with a certain spacebubble mace) asked me if I would be interested in a DK + Shaman + Hunter 3v3 team. Now, in my list of priorities for enjoying this game are in order of PvE > Battlegrounds > Arena, but I wouldn't sooner be dead than passing up a new challange, particularly one with a coordinated PvP goal. I miss my old battleground considerably, so to be involved in an organized PvP effort again was a breath of life. The irony, however, did not escape me that immediately after changing my PvP spec to a Vezax-approved SV spec (grumble grumble, oh how I dislike that spec) I get asked to join an arena team. Tips for spec, glyphs, strats, etc. are most welcome.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

My exact words: No wai

I admit, my heart went a flutter when I won it.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

It's Tuesday!

Stupid server maintenance... Here, have some screenshots to spice up the day:

It's good to know some people still love that ancient art of kiting-bosses-across-continents.

Meet my little squire. His name is Zuggy.

When attempting Six-Minute-AV (impossible now that raid queues are banned, I swear), there is only one way to travel.

Sometimes, you just have to lay back and enjoy how beautiful this game is.