Saturday, November 28, 2009

What you miss

It's a strange experience leaving one's home server for several months only to return again. It was like I was sent away to Raiding Military School, drilled in the basics, then sent home once I did my time. While I welcome the return to old habits bred from freedom of choice, I also miss the habits that were ingrained by force.

It is great no longer being required to have two "raid" specs. While I trained, practiced, and played with SV and BM as secondary raid specs, they were not my cup of tea. I'm a Marksman Hunter - I always have been and always will be. The fact that I can now put my secondary spec back to MM PvP, allowing me to switch back and forth without a second thought, is like trading out a work uniform for casual sweats.

I do miss having a popular Vent. I have no idea if it is a true trend, but my more casual guild rarely has anyone in Vent, while my more hard core guild's Vent was rarely empty. The same went for gchat: the casual guild kept more to themselves or restricted conversations to tells, and the serious raiding guild was always abuzz with conversation. It was how you maintained your face in the guild, by keeping up with everyone else and participating in discussions. Even if I'm not really one to keep the chatter flowing, it was nice just to hear other's speak - it gives a more intimate feeling to your fellow raiders.

However, I am loving - really, truly loving - being back on a server that knows how to PvP. Since I've been back, we have successfully defended Wintergrasp three times. That was unheard of on Turalyon. We've never lost an offensive push either. The battlegrounds are hit or miss, but I don't mind that so much. People know how to play, and the queues are no longer over five minutes.

I have accumulated a bit of a catchphase since being back, though: "Hella geared." Admittedly, Kilrogg's Horde is not as progressed as Turalyon's Horde, so I now outstrip my guildees in terms of gear score, and people notice. It is a bit depressing seeing so few Ironbound drakes around (only four guilds on server got Glory of the Ulduar Raider 25), and it can be frustrating finding that delicate gray area between trying to help and bragging.

Am I the same Neg that I was before I left? No, certainly not. But I hope I'm not a worse one.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Thanksgiving Secret

Partially inspired by Pike's Thanksgiving post and partially inspired by thoughts of what is keeping me attached to the game, here is a fun little secret that I've been harboring for awhile.

I am thankful that this year's Thanksgiving falls on a Thursday, so I can get my LFG fix to sate Neg' gigantic crush on Krunch. We are talking massive, full-out fantasizing, fan-girl crush, and it makes the RL side of Neg look at her fantasy side with a kind of weird "are-you-really-a-part-of-me?!" kinda glance.

I have no problem admitting that one of the things holding me to WoW right now is the fact that I simply adore Neg as a character. There has been enough time and effort into her at this point that she has developed with a considerable amount of complexity (including love interests), and the thought of shutting the game down and losing her forever is frankly a bit scary. After all, how many opportunities do you get to create a fantasy character complete with visuals of herself and her world? (Side note: Is this how they keep the fantasy RPG players hooked? "Noooo, I can't let Myself die!!")

Anyway, Neg dreams of doing the whole Arwen-Aragorn encounter: "What's this, a Bloodrage, caught off his guard?" and that keeps her mind preoccupied for a bit. That's one of Neg's little secrets, and she would probably Shoveltusk-stick you all to death if you knew.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

My inner Dorothy is showing

There is no place like home.

There, I said it. Happy?

I'm going back to Kilrogg, where I can be happy as I finish out the remainder of my WoW days. I'll transfer one character over at a time, I'm thinking one per pay check. This way I can play with friends, and sure as hell know a better PvP experience. If there is anything I miss more than friends when I transferred to Turalyon, it was the battlegroup. Bloodlust >>>>> Stormstrike.

It means I can't raid either, which is a very good thing. I should be able to get in some 10 mans from time to time, and that should allow me to see the end content. Maybe when the Boy is out, I can sneak in for some 25 mans, too. Just don't tell him >_>

But most importantly, I'll be back among people I truely loved playing the game with, even if it is casually.

Looking out for Number One

It's a very strange experience playing this game for myself. My entire Warcraft career has been a joint venture with others, and now that no one else exists, I am discovering what it's like to do it alone.

It's not very fun.

For three years, it was the Boy. I credit WoW with a lot towards maintaining our long-distance relationship, and while in the early years I was concerned what would happen should one of us quit, when he finally could no longer raid due to work conflicts in our fourth yeah, I wasn't too worried. We both had enough on our plates to keep us motivated until graduation.

So I started playing for the raiders. This was never a genuine altruistic endeavor, since I raid to have fun as well, but the thought of being relied upon kept me logging in every night. I enjoyed having that responsibility, and in a sad sorta way, I needed it. Social life, what is that?

Now the Boy is playing Chocobo's Dungeon (a dangerously cute game) and the raiders are gone - what's a girl to do? Being guildless sucks. Do you know what it's like to actually enjoy Trade Chat?! It's horrific! But damn that social interaction, and how addictive it is. I have been hanging out in the old Vent server, but that'll be gone on December 1st. I did have a successful venture with a Gnome Mage looking to swap Steady Hands, and that was fun.

I really should find some sort of squatter guild, just so when I do log on, I won't be so lonely.

(Also, if some one wants to get me a Christmas present, the t-shirt I've wanted forever is finally for sale.)

Sunday, November 22, 2009



Originally, this was going to be a post about raid roles and not bitching to your peers that you are always assigned to raid-support role, but other things happened.

The guild finally imploded, and I'm homeless.


I'm slightly uncertain what to do. Part of me just want to embrace this and go casual, but the other part of me wants to continue on and find a new raiding guild. I really did want to go with this expansion to the end, finish Arthas and put a cap on all the lore, but so much happened this expansion that I sincerely do not like, and there's a part of me that would be okay with walking away from it now.

It is a very strange feeling having the floor fall out from under your feet. All my in guild goals and what not are now void - I had this mock ambition to be the top achievement whore in the guild, in competition with another - so now I need to reorient myself. I can't say I'm not just a bit disappointed. It was such a difficult decision to join this guild, and while it wasn't a complete let down, it was simply completely unlike anything I had experienced before, and I know I changed considerably because of it. I wonder how things would have turned out if I had gone a different route. I wonder where I would be now if I had.

I genuinely feel indebted to the members of the guild that worked hard to get us where we were and had the tenacity to push on, and I feel sorry that they had to be let down in such a manner when they are capable of bigger and better things. Good luck to you guys, in all your adventures. May the winds guide you, and what not...

And now I'm here. I don't particularly want to server jump. A hundred smakeroos is kinda tough to justify right now, what with the holiday and all. There is no way I would ever go Alliance. I'd like to be in guild with the friends I made while on Turalyon, even just for the social aspect of it. Maybe I'll join a PvP guild, or something...

My current subsciption expires on the 3rd, so I changed it to a monthly, just until I know what I'm going to do. No worries, the Butterfly will continue be here until I leave for good.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Why? Because it's burnt-orange

Also, sorry commenters, but the botters are out in full force, so I'm going to have to disable anonymous commenting. Too many malicious links out there!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

BiS and what it really means

A lot of people turn to Elitest Jerks infamous Best Possible DPS thread to look for how they should be gearing/gemming/glyphing/etc through Shandaras awesome spreadsheet. While I cannot and should not encourage anyone from not using this as a reference, it is important to keep in mind a few facts.

First of all, the spreadsheet is completely idealized. If you are such a lucky individual that you can get every single raid buff and target debuff for every fight on every target for every night of raiding, then I count you a more fortunate person than 99% of raiders that I know. The gear that makes up the Best Possible DPS does not take into consideration that hunters are more often than not the off-target DPS bitch. We bring a lot of burst damage that can easy take down sparks and snobalds. Obviously, since we rely so heavily on other class' debuffs (really, sunders can DIAF), this is not ideal, but such is the curse of having instant spells. The gear suggested as BiS sometimes doesn't take into consideration that Judgement of Wisdom or Faerie Fire will not be on your target.

Second of all, consider the odds of truly getting every single item listed on that spreadsheet. I have no doubt that there are some individuals that have received them or are in line to receive them, but what are your odds of getting them. You need to take into consideration what gear you have now and what gear you have a chance of getting.

From the 92a version of Shandaras spreadsheet, this is what is currently Best in Slot for MM hunters:

Main Hand: Hellion Glaive (H) enchanted with Massacre and gemmed with two Fractured Cardinal Ruby

Ranged Weapon: Fezzik's Autocannon enchanted with Heartseeker Scope and gemmed with a Fractured Cardinal Ruby

Head: Windrunner's Headpiece of Triumph (H) enchanted with Arcanum of Torment and gemmed with a Relentless Earthsiege Diamond and a Fractured Cardinal Ruby

Neck: Collar of Unending Torment (H) gemmed with a Fractured Cardinal Ruby

Shoulders: Pauldrons of the Devourer enchanted with Greater Inscription of the Axe and gemmed with Fractured Cardinal Ruby

Back: Sylvanas' Cunning enchanted with Major Agility and gemmed with Fractured Cardinal Ruby

Chest: Vest of Shifting Shadows (H) enchanted with Powerful Stats and gemmed with a Deadly Ametrine and two Fractured Cardinal Ruby

Wrist: Bracers of the Silent Massacre (H) enchanted with Greater Assault and gemmed with two Fractured Cardinal Ruby (Blacksmithing socket)

Hands: Sunreaver Assassin's Gloves (H) enchanted with Major Agility and gemmed with three Fractured Cardinal Ruby (Blacksmithing socket)

Waist: Waistguard of Deathly Dominion (H) gemmed with Nightmare Tear, Fractured Cardinal Ruby, and a Fractured Dragon's Eye

Legs: Windrunner's Legguards of Triumph (H) enchanted with Icescale Leg Armor and gemmed with Fractured Dragon's Eye and Fractured Cardinal Ruby

Feet: Greaves of Ruthless Judgment (H) enchanted with Superior Agility and gemmed with two Fractured Cardinal Ruby

Ring 1: Band of Callous Aggression (H) gemmed with Fractured Dragon's Eye

Ring 2: Planestalker Band (H) gemmed with Fractured Cardinal Ruby

Trinket 1: Death's Choice (H)

Trinket 2: Death's Choice

Okay, let's look at the most glaringly obvious thing first. Two Death's Choice. TWO. There is not enough luck in the world that could guarantee the majority of players will enjoy such a pair of trinkets (and is, in my opinion, one of the greatest failures of the whole Normal vs. Heroic instance system). So what is done to compensate for pairing up the replacement for Greatness with its Heroic counterpart? Why, reaching the Armor Pen cap passively! Nearly every single socket has ArPen plugged into it. Two pieces of mail gear are substituted in favor of leather gear to better stack ArPen, and a nice chunk of mana goes with that lost Int.

However, while the improbably of getting the majority of the gear listed here is high enough, I will concede that the probably of just getting the next comparable level of gear is equally as improbable considering the number of pieces that drop from Anub'arak and the chest provided after his death. At least with the two listed leather pieces one reduces the number of Regalia's needed from the chest by two, even though the extra ArPen is unnecessary with one of the ArPen proc trinkets, so should be taken only with that in mind. While the four-piece bonus is fairly lackluster in the grand scheme of things and can afford to be broken, I highly recommend you consider your own hit, ArPen, and mana pool before taking one of the leather pieces.

In the end, it is important that you look at your own gear and figure out how to balance your stats yourself instead of relying on the spreadsheet to tell you how it is done. It is a useful tool, but should always be taken with a grain of salt.

Monday, November 16, 2009

And boom goes the dynamite

I always wonder if it's a good or bad thing that a raid night I miss ends up being overly dramatic. On one hand, there is a lot of bad play, a lot of overreactions, short tempers, and anal retentiveness just to push people a little closer to the edge, and that is the sort of thing I really don't envy being present for. On the other hand, the issues behind all of that behavior is usually discussed as well, along with potential problem solving, and I generally like being around to hear the solution.

I posted my absence to celebrate the Boy's 26th birthday and enjoy the night together before he left for a week in Alabama. (When the lady at the rental car counter noticed it was his birthday, she began singing the Birthday Song, which the rest of the rental counters joined in, followed by the adjacent baggage claim. Over 150 people singing Happy Birthday to a complete stranger. The Boy was somewhat freaked out, but soothed by the free rental upgrade they gave him.) I honestly can't recall what we were working on - it was either Ulduar or H:ToC - but I had only missed one other 25 man raid in the history of my guild membership, so I didn't feel quilty taking the night off. Evidently it was a bad choice.

I still have no idea the exact details of the night, and I probably don't want to know. I can glean that it was an overall poor night by the angry posts on the guild forums, and I wonder if it's going to have any lasting effects among membership. The guild still existed when I logged in today, and nobody had gquit that I noticed, so I'm not too concerned.

What would I do if my guild imploded? Eh, I wouldn't server hop again. A hundred dollars is hard to cough up just to try again. Even through I am fairly eager to see Icecrown, I think it would signal the end of my raiding career. I would probably tinker around with my alts for awhile, but go purely casual overall and then putter out with the end of the time on my account.

Anyway, everything is okay... for now. I think. I hope.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Ze new ArPen Trink

MMOChamp has been data mining away like they do best, and gear is starting to appear. The hot topic of the moment for hunters is the shiny new trinket.

Here are the stats:

Needle-Encrusted Scorpion
Binds when picked up
Requires Level 80
Item Level 232
Equip: Improves critical strike rating by 114 (2.48% @ L80).
Equip: Chance on melee or ranged critical strike to increase your armor penetration rating by 452 for 10 sec.

Now at first glance, this is pretty awesome. A new crit plus ArPen proc trinket that we all love to have to update Mjolnir Runestone or Grim Toll.

But wait... chance on CRITICAL STRIKE? Ugh... And 452 is significantly less than 612 or 665, which means more ArPen gems.

In a nutshell, for 12 more crit, you can get... not much. Unless they lower the internal cooldown (which I doubt they will), this trinket is good if you never could get the Ulduar 10 Runestone or the Naxx25 Grim Toll to drop, and since it drops in H: Devourer of Souls (one of the new 5mans), you can farm this one to your content. I'm gonna continue to cradle my oh-so-expensive Runestone until some more info comes out.

Know what I would rather have though? A FUCKING REPLACEMENT FOR GREATNESS THAT IS A 100% DROP. *exhale* *exhale* *exhale*

Oh, and yes, I will be doing Raiding Hunter Loot in 3.3 once all the gear is announced. Patience!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


I am poor again:

Man, Lady Taurens just look so bad-ass on that thing.

I suffered a severe brain fart: My thinking regarding my hit reverted back to the 9% cap instead of the 8%, and I was running around with over a percent extra for several weeks until one of our new hunters pointed it out to me. /headdesk

Luckily, it was short lived, as we tried out a double ToC run, where half of the raid would be mains and the other half would be alts, ensuring that more mains would get gear and less gear would be sharded. It was terribly confusing for me, for some odd reason, and I sorta played in a daze because of it. Nothing really awesome dropped for either group - just Twin's Pact again - but a certain belt did drop from Anub in my group, solving all hit problems and letting me spec into what is pretty much my ideal spec for our raid.

And then in H:ToC that night our fifth Twin's Pact dropped instead of something better, so I just said 'Fuck it, I'll live with the haste' and took it.

Now I'm figuring out some of the new gemming concepts that are coming out. Words through the grapevine mention Deady Ametrine being useful where gemming for some crit is actually better than gemming for pure Agility, depending on your crit rating. Me being the skeptic that I am (not to mention stubborn), I'd like to see some numbers for this, so besides plugging away at my own spreadsheet, one of you more math-inclined bloggers should totally do a post about this. Yeah, you.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Fuck Anub'arak's Leeching Swarm

The Big Bad Bug is not dead yet, but we are getting closer. With several goes at Phase 3, it is now a healer fight.

We tweeked our strat just a bit, taking the hunters off of Misdirection and Volley duty all together. Our AoE is crap compared to every other class', so we went single target only with better results; Anub is going down about 27% each phase, and that's with several new people in the raid. We are getting through each attempt fairly cleanly, and while stupid mistakes always happen, even our best attempts get fucked over by the encounter's bugginess. Ready to ship and working as intended, my pretty little butterfly ass...

Sometimes the adds aggro onto the MT for no apparent reason (no taunt, no DPS, nada), resulting in them slow to the ice. Sometimes the targeted player for the pursuing spikes will outrange the spell, and it will switch without warning. Sometimes the spikes won't register the ice and just kill the player ontop of the ice instead. It's enough to drive you mad.

Regardless, we are getting closer, and I'm okay with the hunter's new roles. Pre-potting before the pull and popping CDs within the first ten seconds ensures that Call of the Wild will be up again and access to a Frost Resist potion will be available for P3 . No mana worries either, since the boss is being judged for Wisdom and life is grand. Fifteen seconds in Viper during P2 sets you up perfectly for each return to P1. Just be warned though - if you pop CotW with Bloodlust as you near or begin P3, it probably won't be up again if you wipe soon after. It's a massive pain in the ass as we try and work on it.

Oh, and if your Hunters are not Tranqing the adds in P2, I swear I will reach through the computer and punch them. Hard. In the gonads.

Big Bad Bug go boom soon, I hope.

Saturday, November 7, 2009


As my love for the game wanes, the goals I set for myself lower. Once it was DO EVERYTHING POSSIBLE, then it became SEE AND DEFEAT ARTHAS, now it's just down to GET 9000 ACHIEVEMENT POINTS. The next patch brings the Feat of Strength recognizing this benchmark, and I aim to get it before 3.3 hits.

I was sitting at 8950 tonight, slightly bored. I had just finished Loremaster for the third time. I could go level one of my alts, patiently sitting around for me to get to them. I need to go farm ore on my DK, but it is painful as hell to fly around at 150% when you are so used to 310%. So I thought, I'm only missing The Mechanar from my Outland Dungeon Hero meta - can I solo it?

Now, I'm not the solo-adventurer that so many other hunters are. I know such things are possible, I know I am capable of doing them, and I know such ventures are typically very profitable, but they just never appealed to me. So I looked up what I needed to do, what bosses I absolutely had to kill, and decided, eh, why not? No doubt I'm totally and completely overgeared for it.

At first I tried to skip some mobs. Not a bright idea. While the humanoids wouldn't aggro, the patrolling mechanicals would, and they hit HARD. I ended up running out of the instance twice within the first five minutes, barely saving me a repair bill. Clearing the trash, I could kill the humanoids in a couple of shots, but the big guys took a bit to kill, and my turtle tank didn't live through several pulls.

Once I killed the two mini-bosses, I thought I was in the homefree. I took the elevator up, killed some trash, and prepared to run down to the last boss. And then some adds spawned on top of me. I had totally forgotten about the gauntlet boss. Fortunately for me (after I had flown back from the graveyard) I discovered that each wave could be reset by Feign Death, giving me the opportunity to heal, gain mana, and rez my pet between each hard-hitting mechanical.

And then there I was, sitting before Pathaleon the Calculator (oh, how the nerd in me smiles every time), healing my pet, drinking back some mana, and then recalled that he has a timed aggro as he came running towards me. Okay, so a quick Misdirection to Maturin, and pew pew! But wait! I'm mind controlled... Fortunately, I had spammed a heal for the turtle before hand, so I could only watch as I blew Warstomp (seriously WTF AI??), dropped some traps (for all that melee coming to me), and autoshotted my pet.

In the end, success:

Only twenty more geek points to go.

Friday, November 6, 2009


I can't say I'm very impressed with Blizzard's turning trend of naming tier gear. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the effort - only so many Stalker names are out there, I know - but now they are making it confusing.

It doesn't help that hunters are already a little embittered about the whole T9 bit. Even though the whole Horde get one name for an item, the Alliance get another bit made it painful as hell to communicate cross faction about gear, it was fairly noticeable that hunters got cheated for original faction hero names. Windrunner and Windrunner - sister hunters separated by faction - very clever.

Tier 10 names have been released, and they are... strange. Even lore-lover me had to stop and think about where these were coming from. Hunters get "Ahn'Kahar Blood Hunter's Battlegear," while other classes get names like "Ymirjar Lord's Plate," "Frost Witch's Regalia," and "Crimson Acolyte's Raiment." See the trend here? Nearly every class' tier gear draws its title from our enemies. Only paladins make out with a good-aligned name: "Lightsworn Garb."

This makes me think - are we salvaging our tier gear from the depths of Icecrown Citadel to better go unnoticed as we work towards the Frozen Throne? Are the paladins just too goody-two-shoes, and their fancy-pansy light just can't bear be blighted by wearing the enemy's armor? WHY AM I WEARING A DEAD NERUBIAN ON MY HEAD?

Neg wants to know!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A 100 Greedy Roll

In the grand scheme of things, I'm well aware that capitalism is the way to maintain a stable economy - I'm not one of those liberals that has a delusion otherwise - but it doesn't mean some of the values it encourages are good. Like greed. Completely speculating (I have not seen their numbers), I find it hard to believe that Blizzard is hurting for money, but they will continue bleeding some things dry.

I suppose they simply got tired of charging a flat fee for the TCG pets and watching the lucky purchasers sell the cards for outlandish sums, so they introduced a Pet Store, a online site where you can pay $10 (real good' ol money) for a new ingame pet. My favorite part of this was the first line of the FAQ:

Why are you introducing this service?

The Pet Store provides a new way for players to obtain unique companion pets outside of the game, which is something that has been requested by many players who enjoy World of Warcraft's non-combat companions.
Yay for unique companion pets outside of the game! After all, if I'm paying real money for a such things, I want them to be an tangible object that will follow me around IRL. People may now conveniently purchase a cute, unique NPC pet from the comfort of their own home, without having to make that extra mile to the comic store. How kind of Blizzard!

Let's face it - they are offering simple programming typically already available in game for the cost of the time farming for it or the gold necessary to buy it from a 'dealer'; time that is already paid to Blizzard and considered by you to be entertainment regardless, and now they want more.

No, you are not being forced to buy it. Yes, this is how business works (after all, Blizzard is trying to keep up with that competition! ... Oh, wai-). However, it is coming to the point where the products are getting sillier and cheaper. Pay additional money to revert a decision made upon purchasing the game. Pay to get some shiney, fun pixels (which makes me wonder when we will be paying money for weapon upgrades a la Diablo). And in terms of quality, if the trailor for Cataclysm is any indication, I have no high hopes for expansion. Sorry, Blizzard, but if I want cheap, quirky crap, I'd shop exclusively at Walmart.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

What happens when a biologist marries a rocket scientist?


(Organic brownies to the first person that links the inspiration.)