Monday, July 26, 2010

A Wedding Present

Why, hello there! Remember me? No, I am not returning to WoW - I'm not happy with what I see as it filters through my sources of friends and acquaintances - as much as old guildees tell me that Cataclysm will make a decent enough casual experience, I cannot go back unbiased. After all, how do they expect a girl to stay in Muglore once she's seen Shattrath, er, or something like that...

While I have no intentions of rebooting the ol' account, I thought I would share with you one of the most awesome wedding presents I received:

It's Neg! How awesome is that! The gift-giver was a college friend of mine, whom I've never played with before, but we did chat it up frequently in the dorm lounge, swapping progression tales and boss strats. Tehvitan, thanks for a great wedding gift :D

The big day has come and gone, and it was a splendid occasion - I wish it had lasted longer! Everything went well, and now we can get back into the swing of things. Grad school starts August 23rd, and FFXIV comes out for PC in September. Yes, I will be back to blogging (I hope), though I might be a bit behind. The Boy is insisting on playing with me on his PS3, but as of right now, the game isn't released for PS3 until February or March. I think I've convinced him to let me have a three month head start on him, since I do love questing and all that, so we'll see. Once the blog is up and running, I'll be sure to post it for interested parties.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

May the winds guide you...

I've played a lot on my lower level alts lately, and by doing so realized one of the greatest reasons for my departure from WoW. Reliving all of the original content made me nostalgic for the days of the 60 level cap and every ability we had access to then. Imbalanced and imperfect, they were not well thought out in the long run, but they were intricate and detailed. The thought of reliving the old world with all of our new spells and attacks, buffs and balance, just doesn't seem fair to the original Azeroth. Call me old fashioned and selfish, but I just can't do it over again. The part of me that celebrates the recycling of new material just doesn't outweigh the part of me that loves the way it was, so instead of continuing to play something I dislike, I will take my leave instead. I want my last memories of the game to be one I enjoyed, not one unrecognizable. I wish everyone who has come this far still eager to adventure on every bit of luck, and may you draw from the game as much pleasure as I did.

It does seem that I am leaving rather randomly, with no particular cause of departure. It was just time - there's not much else I can say. I have a wedding to plan, summer research to prepare for, grad school to languish in, and undergrads to torment. I've been out of college for near a year now, and the world is calling.

I didn't get to see the Lich King fall as I had planned, but strangely, I don't feel cheated of it. I reached a level of gear that satisfies me, and really, I think that's all the matters for this raider. There was a lot I did feel cheated about with this expansion, but I think I've already ranted about that enough about that in the past, so I'll spare it in this good-bye. However, since the account cancellation page wouldn't let me post my full 'additional' comments on why I quit the game, I shall list them here (chock-full of the anger and sarcasm that you all love so much):

Directly regarding “The game got too popular/overcrowded”:
The lore and direction of the game reflected the overpopulation. Too much emphasis on the Light, and the dumb-ification of game play. Quest helper? Please, don’t encourage people to read and make simple deductions...

The marginalization of mid-level progressive raiders, where all rare rewards are either made common (the Ulduar drakes, still in existence with 3.3 and a complete joke to acquire at that point) or improbable of attaining (the ToC mounts). The mid-level raiders were grouped with the casual players in terms of rewards, and only the most elite of the elite received any aesthetic glorification.

It took 40 people to kill Kel’thuzud, but only 10 to kill Arthas.

More esoterically:
Two expansion later, I still, as a Tauren, cannot enter or exit the UC elevators on any mount larger than a wolf.

Undead Hunters. I mean, really? You are willing to bend the rules to allow Tauren their first cloth class and introduce a plethora of Holy Cow jokes, but you can’t give Undead the one class that makes sense considering you are aligning Human and Undead classes: Paladins. I suppose you are more willing to ignore the rules you’ve established with regard to Life/Earth Mother, but not with Holy/The Light. Not a fan.

Aspect of the Dragonhawk never got an original animation or sound file.

Abomination’s Might overwrites Trueshot Aura, which particularly obvious now that Abomination's Might has become an aura. How demeaning. My ability has been in the game since it was at the bottom of my talent tree, and I don’t even get to see it as my buff because this “hero class” introduced with the most recent expansion has to spend two talent points on it compared to my one.

Evidently all the races in Northrend can be represented by a male, since every time my Deathbringer's Will procs, I suddenly lose my 'Matron' title and earn 'Patron'. Noooo, that doesn't get old *fast*.

Yeah, most are silly, dumb, and just plain bitchy, they are all just little nagging bits that have affected my love of the game. There is probably more to it than just what I listed above, but I think it would be reaching even more that the blatant points I already stretched. It's obvious I don't like the whole 'Light' concept - I think it is a cop-out to call all "good" one thing and all "bad" another; making them into embodied magicks simplifies things that shouldn't be simplified. It's probably a coincidence that they ran with these themes in the third expansion when the player base was the larger than it had ever been before, but I don't think they had to be as predominant as they played them up to be. There was so much potential in all the lore to be had, but in the end, everything was dumbed down. No doubt I want the impossible.

I'm going to miss the intricacies, the complications. It seems silly to think that one can actually feel nostalgia for days of non-stop grinding, but I remember being happy spending so many hours in the Burning Steppes, killing black dragonkin for gold and scales. I remember being excited about raiding Molten Core, and worrying about getting lost in Blackrock Depths or Lower Blackrock Spire. I recall wondering about Ahn'Qiraj and freaking about the event that sent strange elite mobs all over the map. What fraction of hunters actually know that the Zod in their bow's name came from a mob that spawned during that event?

In the end, I became happiest not while I was raiding, but when I was farming. Raiding didn't become a challenge any more. That's not to say that all the fights were easy, but they just didn't have the same intensity. My attempts at the Lich King showed me the most annoying fight since Archimonde. The last boss of all Warcraft lore, and he's left in the dust by the end boss of the first tier (or second, I suppose, if you classify by the loot he drops) 40man raid instance. Few bosses can hold a candle to Rangaros, and it's quite disappointing that we never got to see anything to rival the experience two expansions later. But then again, I suppose you just can't have that effect in a 10man. Farming, on the other hand, brought back that feeling of nostalgia for the days when spending hours of tedious activity - killing, looting, running, mining, herbing, wiping, rezzing - was required in order to get something done. Whether it meant getting gold for consumables, farming to gear a raid in shadow resistance, or spending hours in raid, learning a tricky boss strategy, it was those that dedicated time towards an end goal that received the pay off. Now, we just have farming, and I don't want to play this game just to farm.

Most of all, I'm going to miss Neg. What a character she was, what a history she had. She was one of those people that I would have done anything to see come to life, to tower over her companions, stoic and watchful. I can honestly say I put my heart into Neg, and I hate to think this form of her will be done and over. We enjoyed a weekend together in Warsong Gulch one last time - it was a fitting good-bye. She's in Feralas forever now, bow in hand, and Tinea at her side. Her sisters are in spots that mean the most to them, Ranrele in Moonglade and Zinaida in Dragonblight. Greatmother Chasle is in Thunder Bluff, ever vigilant for her clan. Their days ended with contentment.

Like a true recluse, I gave away all my gold and mats to friends old and new. People that will play will get more use out of such things than someone who will never play again. Most of my old friends are gone, but I scattered my raiding consumables to those that still are, including the three hunters I raided with for years. The trio of guys that brought me into their group received gifts and thanks as well. I valued every friendship I gained in the over four years of playing and wouldn't exchange the experience for the world.

Which brings us to you, my gentle readers. I thank you for your responses, your patience, and your interested minds. I doubt I would have kept this up if I didn't think people could use what I wrote in some fashion. I will miss writing more than you will miss reading. I have no plans as of now to start anew - personal blogs are more like diaries than anything else, and I don't particularly like that. I have tentative plans to try Final Fantasy XIV when it comes out, and perhaps I'll blog about that. I have other writing projects, some years old, that can keep me occupied. Negathle and her family will live on, just not in Tauren form.

I will miss you all and hope that where ever you wander, the winds will be sweet and bring with them adventure and happiness.


Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Pull

Since I PuG more often then not these days, I find I get a lot of tells requesting my opening shot rotation.

Here it is:

Misdirect -> Serpent Sting with Rapid Fire/Call of the Wild Macro and Kill Command-> Chimera Shot -> Aimed Shot ->
->Misdirect -> Chimera Shot -> Aimed Shot and Kill Command -> Steady -> Steady -> etc. until Rapid Fire is done, then pop it again.

This is a massive amount of damage within the first 15 seconds or so, particularly with any number of trinket, pet abilities, and set bonus procs.

However, the one single greatest annoyance I have after listing all this out is when they ask afterward, "Why Misdirect?" And I never fail to answer, "Because there is absolutely no reason not to."

I understand that in order to remain competitive in the Big Name Guilds you want to be smart about your cooldown usage. It's a cutthroat DPS race on the meters out there, and the last thing you want to do is waste some potential-damage GCDs on a support spell. But this is not the time to be stingy about your GCD - this is the pull. The raid is setting up positions, tanks are moving the boss, most debuffs are still being applied. Right now, hunters OWN the damage, and with that comes some acceptance of sacrifice for the greater good. And really, with the amount of damage that you can do in the three seconds following that second Misdirect, it is more like the Best Possible Good You Could Ever Do.

So, no, don't waste a GCD on a Misdirect when the tank is so far above everyone else you can see his pink panties, but do be smart about the support spells you own. It is part of the class and expected of you to use it with the same intelligence that determines your cooldown rotation. As Ms. Martha would say, "It's a Good Thing."

Friday, March 26, 2010

On Healing

I suck at it.

Really, that's all I have to say.

Okay, okay, my total experiences thus far have included one Setthek Halls run and two Utgaurd Keeps. But, really, I'm terrible at keeping everyone up during a boss fight. Usually at least one DPS dies, and I'm unsure of how to improve myself.

My greatest annoyance so far is the fact that I essentially need two different spellbars/UI set ups in order to be an effective healer and still have the same configuration for my usual DPS-mode. I need to be able to see everything that pertains to me in the group as a healer, but I could care less as a DPS. It rather sucks. I also need to find a listing for all those nifty mouse-over macros and start using them - I'm sure that would help as well.

I don't think healing is good for my anger-management issues regarding DPS doing what they should, either. Just the other night, I ran a GDKP ToC25 to satisfy the weekly raid, and one roughly-equally geared hunter out-DPS'd me by a good amount on most fights. Why? Because he wasn't killing the adds. And now that I'm a healer and totally dependent on the DPS to take care of things like that, I can't see this boding well for the growing twitch in my eye.

I'll keep at it though. Maybe it'll grow on me.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Fuck Zod's

Despite not personally killing the Lich King just yet, we plowed ahead on ICC10 Hard Modes, and Lady Deathwhisper decided to reward me for it. It feels sooooo good using a bow again, and I doubt I'll be replacing it any time soon.

It does seem that most of my posts lately have just been loot updates, but I'm sorry to say I haven't been playing very much to warrant a post! I've been tinkering on my baby boomkin - even practicing *gasp* healing! - but otherwise my RL has been keeping me very busy.

Friday, March 12, 2010


It only cost me 19,000g.

Cons: Every single time the trinket procs, I receive notification that I am now Patron Negathle instead of Matron Negathle. This gets extremely tiring very quickly.

You can't mount when it is procced.

Every race is male, evidently.


Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Dilemma

When I discovered that one of the officers of my Turalyon guild had returned to server, I was intrigued. His health hadn't been doing well, and despite his less than, how shall we say, amicable attitude, I was genuinely concerned for his well-being. After chatting for a bit, he suggested I apply to the guild that had replaced and surpassed our guild. After all, it had absorbed several other guildees, and he could vouch for me. I provided the usual excuses (costs, time, etc), but I did app out of morbid curiosity. Ah, who am I kidding. I want to fucking raid again. Really RAID. At least, I think I do.

Initially, my app was put on hold, and I admit I breathed a sigh of relief. Half of me has really been enjoying having four evenings off to get things done around the house, watching a movie with the Boy, spending time in the outside world. I was okay with my app being backlogged and even forgotten. A few days latter, however, I received notice that they would be interested in trying me. So much for that plan.

Half of me thinks this is the jump start I need to enjoy the game to the end. Half of me thinks I should just let it go and move on with my life. I just got accepted to grad school at the University of Virginia. I have a wedding coming up in July. I have local friends OUTSIDE THE GAME *gasp*. I think I'm going to say no. I really don't want to say no.

Being an adult sucks.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

On Writing

I greatly dislike how lax I have become with the Butterfly, probably as much as I dislike how little the game means to me right now. I look back at my archive of posts, startled at how much content I was able to pump out to keep the masses entertained, even if the posts were frivolous. I made thirty-five posts in October of 2008; I'm lucky if I can squeeze out ten per month now. I love writing, but it fairly obvious my inspiration is running dry. After all, back in the day there were rants about spec inequalities or cheering on about new content to come to fill up the blogosphere. Today, there's just not much.

I have stories. Oh, do I have stories. Wonderful RP adventures regarding Negathle and her sisters, their history, their loves. But fiction cannot be forced, at least not in my case. It has to stew. It has to cook over time and absorb the aromas of details. Inspiration is a melting point - the heat builds up until the story suddenly flows. How many plots and ideas have I typed away on paper, only to be stored away in some folder, waiting for the melting point to be reached, if it ever does.

Not all stores are fiction either, but I am coming to find that most stories now are mostly laments than narratives. I could tell you how much I feel my guild as fallen, that the raiders of today are nothing like the raiders of yesteryear. Loot falls into their lap now. Just the other day one was day dreaming about a hypothetical fight that requires four tanks, the DPS and healers split up into separate duties and jobs. "That sounds just like... Al'ar," I said in gchat and was promptly ignored. Rants come easy to me know, and I don't like it. This is the Angry Butterfly, but that anger is turning more into depression, and the Depressed Butterfly just doesn't have the same ring to it.

Of course, there is always news, but news for a particular blog has to be news that is exciting to that blog, and not much news is very interesting to me anymore. I still read MMOChamp daily, but I admit that's all I have interest in, besides what filters though the blogosphere. I don't even have Warcraft fanned on Facebook. Why? Because it's simply too big, too popular. Thousands of bloggers and forums out there have already nitpicked the new information to death. My thoughts/concerns/rants are overlapping, and my apathy means I simply don't investigate as much as I used to. Fuck, how do you instigate hard/heroic modes in ICC again? What are the two BiS trinkets now? How is focus not like energy?

When things get too big and too popular, they lose their appeal. When everyone knows what you are saying when you announce "I finally dinged 80 on my Boomkin, and I'm starting to farm heroics" you are no longer a member of an exclusive club. It used to be fun to find someone else who played and trade server names and play styles - a secret handshake, if you will. But just the other day I met a lovely lady through a Meetup group who admitted to me (and the rest of the group) her great nerdy hobby is leveling her hunter. What are the odds? Well, significantly greater than it was two years ago. I wasn't particularly surprised (though I wondered why she directed the confession to me - had I let some piece of WoW jargon slip in conversation without even noting? I really do wonder how much I do this...) - but how do you write for a generation of gamers who probably has little to no appreciation for the times when specs were not equal, purple was not the color of a common raider, and knowing how to manage a shot rotation was crucial?

I suppose that's why I've always appreciated Pike's writing. She admitted coming up with topics was never easy, but she always pulled through, even if it was posting about something as common as a bank alt. She's taking time off from the game to let her creativity blossom elsewhere, but I am grateful the WoW community had the opportunity to be the recipient of her arts. I always wished I could satisfy the readers as well as she did, but I suppose, what with necessity being the mother of invention and all that, having a greater reader base had a hand in inspiration for posts. Obviously the Butterfly is no where as popular as Aspect of the Hare, so I never felt the obligation of filler posts. If I made any attempts at such, I suppose I felt that I was trying too hard to be bigger than I am.

Additionally, there is always the fear factor: The realization of exactly how few (or thousands of) readers you have. Open question posts have the merit of bringing out your readers, but they also have the curse of showing you that they might not exist in the numbers you were hoping for. I made a modest profit on the gambles I took by such posts, and I was quite satisfied with the number of responses they generated. However, I can imagine being equally as terrified by the thought of those posts generating dozens of responses. Having a large reader base brings about so many more obligations, and while I might have been able to handle it when my love for the game was still burning hot, I highly doubt I could meet the demands with any enthusiasm now. I feel guilty for only posting once this month for the small corner of the internet that enjoys(?) my writing - imagine my inner turmoil if the Butterfly had ever been huge.

Yet it is not these sort of posts - the reflective, pensive type - that gain the numbers. Blog hits are totally dependent on the guides. I've made a good solid dozen posts on loot, how-to's, and tips that have made circles around the WoW community, and I've very satisfied with them and the hits they've brought me, yet I'd be a fool to think they made any one stay around. Hopes are best not built around huge spikes made by loot lists. Guides are nice advertisements for the quality of the blog, and they are a ton of fun to do, but they are also deathly boring. Blogs that are solely comprised of guides rarely do well. Blogs need meat for readers to chew on, not simply snacks that readers can grab on the go. Opinions, analysis, open threads, and the occasional random off-topics keep the readers interested and wanting more.

I suppose it is a little presumptuous of me to write about what makes a successful blog work when I have little to show for myself. I can't say I haven't learned a lot by writing and reading WoW blogs over the last two years though, and hopefully these insights may be useful for some budding young bloggers out there. Just call me the Stephen King of WoW Blogs. Rawr!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Connections and Memories

I've always thought it interesting the way we forge connections in this game. I mentioned last week about a friend leaving WoW. I have no memory of our first meeting beyond, undoubtedly, our first raid together, in which I was terrified about proving myself, and in subsequent years he teased me about pulling aggro on Hydross, but I have no memories of the first time we grew close as friends. I can't believe this isn't normal, though. After all, how many close friends IRL do you recall your first meeting?

However, I do have tons of memories of people I played the game with and since forgotten details about beyond the gratitude I felt for their presence. Soon after we started playing, the Boy and I met another couple that played together, and we formed a friendship with them as we leveled up. They transferred servers one day, and while I tried to keep in touch with them, it eventually fell through. Yet I'll always remember them as our first WoW friends and the ones that showed me that the people on MMOs weren't composed of creepy assholes.

Bad memories have a way of fading, I'm happy to say, but they do exist. I recall the first time I was truly hurt by someone. She had issues herself, and I really can't blame her for them or the troubles that affected her life, but I certainly disliked how she handled our friendship. Back then, my entire world revolved around my guild. I hated PuGing, I saw other guilds as rivals, and to leave my guild meant entering the big, scary world (of Warcraft) alone and friendless. Ignorant and short-sighted? Oh, just a little, and it took me a bit to grow beyond that mindset. The player that hurt me was in our guild, had good relations with our guildees (until she dabbled too far with some of them), then she /gquit one day. I wasn't hurt that she left the guild as much as she never said goodbye to me. She knew I didn't associate with people outside the guild unless I knew them from other servers, and that I didn't like her leaving the guild, but I had accepted it. But not saying good-bye was like a punch in the stomach. Didn't she value our friendship? I never talked with her, nor her with me, again.

To say that I think it's stupid that people have shed tears over this game, myself included, would be a horrible lie. I think it's far from stupid that people are emotionally invested in the game and the people they connect with. I've cried multiple times - both in anger and in sorrow. I cried when Sunfury Bow of the Phoenix finally dropped in Karazhan, after dozens of weeks of running the instance, and the officer that had switched from his hunter to his pally and then back to hit hunter rolled against me for it and won. I cried when I accepted I could no longer raid with my guild, and cried a lot more the night I transferred off to a more progressive guild. I didn't want to lose those friendships I had forged, and the pain is even deeper now that I've come back only to find most of those friendships can never be reestablished. I'm a ghost in my own home.

I've learned so much about how we interact with each other in this game and found many things funny about it. Like how people are always eager to hear about gossip and the funny incidents that happen to you IRL, but shy away from making an investment into your personal self. The anonymity-power of the Internet doesn't stop just because they hear your voice over Vent. You will always be judged by your gear first and your actions second. Silly things that prevent any lasting relationships from forming, unless that rare someone takes the time and effort to look past them and reach out to you. That takes time, I believe, to become. I've certainly become more understanding and benevolent in my "old-age". I gave a random member of our Ulduar10 PuG 500g so he could get his Cold-Weather Flying and actually get inside the instance. Would I have done that four years ago? Probably not.

I found a good group to end my time on WoW with. We laugh, we tease, we work together to down bosses. I'm happy to raid with them, but they will never replace the years of friendships I've earned and lost over the course of my game play, and that's alright. I'm not looking for what I had, and in a sense, I rather envy my friend who left when he did have many of those friendships still lasting. Those connections existed for me, and that's all that matters. I pity anyone who plays this game and didn't find good people to friend and enjoy it with.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

You know that sinking feeling in your stomach?

Well, I felt it when I read this:

Death knights, druids, hunters, mages, rogues, warlocks, warriors, oh my! For those participating in our public testing of the upcoming minor content patch 3.3.3, look out this week for a host of fascinating new adjustments to these classes. Chains of Ice innately does what? Nature's Grasp has how many charges? Vitality boosts stamina by how much? Stay tuned to find out the answer to these and more questions!

Fascinating new adjustments... to the hunter class? Please tell me they don't mean what I fear they mean... Please tell me they aren't reintroducing a whole new class mechanic in the middle of a content patch, just as I'm finishing my time in WoW. Please tell me I'm just over reacting, and I won't have to end my play time before I want to...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


One of my dear friends/guildmates quit WoW today. His life brought up some sudden obligations, and he decided to make the necessary sacrifices. His account time ended, and he uninstalled WoW. We are in contact through Facebook, but I will still miss him greatly in game. It was he who motivated me to transfer back to Kilrogg in the first place, even though he hadn't said a word to me about it - it was just the memories of the years we spent together as guildees and friends that made me decide to end my time on WoW with friends.

He's only been gone one day, but I suddenly feel extremely lonely and friendless. I joined a VoA25 PuG, and as usual, I inspected the other hunters. One outgeared me, was gemming correctly, had a bit of an unusual spec, but I still wondered if I wouldn't beat him. Sure enough, after Koralon, I got whispers from the hunter (and a lock, wondering about Piercing Shots and if they had renamed Chimera Shot...) asking about my DPS. I have no idea how I did or how I compared since I no longer use a damage meter, but it was a nice ego-boost having people inquire about my damage - one I would've shared with my friend. There was nobody on to talk with, and it saddened me greatly.

This is another nail in the coffin, I'm sad to say. Obviously, I have not yet killed the Lich King, so my time on WoW is not over yet, but it is approaching. I just wish it didn't hurt so much.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Hunter 2.0 - Level 20

Nerdette hit lvl 20! Yay!

For my pet, I took Mania's advice, and tamed a beige/glowing blue scorpid from Durotar. In keeping with my 'nerd' theme, I named it bCarboline - after beta-Carboline, the organic amine that causes scorpions to glow blue under UV light.

I also picked up chemistry alchemy as my second profession, with fairly nice results so far, though I am reliant on my baby shaman (38) to herb for me.

I did two instances through the LFG system, Ragefire Chasm and the Deadmines. It was the first time I ever did either instance at level, and it was fun, though a bit frustrating when I had all of two shots available to me. The RFC run was reduced down to me, the bear tank, and a priest healer when we killed the demon boss, and the other two DPS took their look bag and ran. We finished off the quests, and it was fun three-manning the rest of the instance. The Deadmines were particularly interesting since it is a historic Alliance instance, but it was a lot of fun.

Other observations of leveling a hunter four years later:
  • Regardless of your weapon speed, autoshots take forever when you have no other instant shots available to you.
  • Getting Multi-shot felt like a breath of fresh air, but it sucked my perception of having a decent mana pool dry.
  • Hunter's Mark has to be the most useless spell at level ever. I used it on name guys, and that's it.
  • Talk about a refresher of kiting skills! I have become so pro at the run-stop-autoshot-run kiting scheme now. Also, Wing Clip and Concussive Shots, may I never belittle you again.
Regretfully, I have a lot on my plate lately, along with some drive to level my druid and shaman up some as well, so it might be some time before Nerdette hits 30. She will though!

Sunday, February 21, 2010


By now I wanted to have a post about Nerdette hitting 20, but she's still 17.

I also wanted to have a post about our 10man downing Sindragosa last night, but we never got her past 17%, despite conceding that we needed to bring in a second tank for the last several attempts.

Regrettably, my sinuses have gone on strike, leaving me with a strange fuzzy feeling in my head, driving away most witticisms I had lined up for this post. It also doesn't help that the Boy is going to be gone for the third week in a row this week, dropping my motivation to get any Real Work done like a rock.

I'm afraid you will have to wait for an interesting post. This isn't one.

/crawls off

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The World (of Warcraft) I Know

A fitting summation of the last three expansions. Hope you had a wonderful President's/Darwin/Valentines Day!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Suffer, mortals!

I'm a lucky individual. I don't kid myself that any skill or riches or divine intervention had any input on my life - I'm just fucking lucky. It makes you appreciate the good parts in life that luck sends your way, certainly, and you don't take for granted when a little more luck comes your way.

I've found a 10 man. They raid at 5 PM server time - 8 PM for me - and ends whenever, usually around midnight for me. They care about raiding, they are interested in pushing content. They can't wait to down the Lich King and start working on hard modes. I think I'm in love. The first night I raided with their 10man group (as opposed to the 25man GDKP they do that I run as well - more about that later), we downed eight bosses. The second night we downed two more, and got another to 17%. I can't say I've been happier since I came back to Kilrogg.

A note on that last boss we worked on: Sindragosa is probably one of the most fun fights I've experienced in a long time. It might even be in hunter's favor that our spells do not trigger Instability and autoshots do not trigger Chilled to the Bone. (I only had four stacks of the debuff three times in probably seven attempts.) We can disengage out of her Icy Grip, though not far enough to be safe or out of melee range (fucking dragon hitbox). Having a min-range does make it difficult to break the Iceblocks, but I ended up meleeing them anyway, just to whittle their health down over the course of Phase 2. We worked on P3 through the trial-and-error system, working on how many stacks of Mystic Buffet should be the limit before we clear it through an iceblocked individual and when to break him out. It was a wonderful experience, and I wouldn't trade it for much.

The group that comprises this 10man were Alliance on a smaller PvP server that decided to xfer over. They have experience and a sense of camaraderie, including a lot of wonderful sarcasm. They started their own GDKP run based on this core, with the intent of pushing content. They are in it for the raiding and not the gold, and I absolutely love them for it. The leader dislikes how the other GDKP runs are placing a minimum bid of 2000g on every epic item in ICC25 (as opposed to the now standard 500g), and so far, our GDKP ICC25 is the only group capable of downing more than the first four bosses. The best part about all of this is that both the 10 and 25man raids start early, letting me raid at normal times while remaining with my friends on Kilrogg.

Life is pretty grand!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Hunter 2.0

Before I log off of WoW for the last time, I want to relevel Neg. I loved leveling her; it was what I looked forward to the most with both expansions. Sadly, pressure to hit 70/80 usually took all the fun out the experience, and I never got to enjoy the pleasure of questing for experience instead of gold like I wanted to. So, before the hunter class gets a huge overhaul, I want to level the class like I know it.

Obviously, there have been several changes to the class since I leveled it for the first time over four years ago, and I'll never again be able to experience what it was like leveling Neg, but compared to what they are going to do in Cataclysm, I think it'll just have to be close enough. After all, I never had Steady Shot or Aspect of the Viper. I certainly never had the incentive to get gear with Int on it. And Aimed Shot? Yeah, that was a cast.

It goes without saying that I'll be leveling as Marksman. Why change up something I love? However, I won't be leveling as a Tauren. I know, I know - the race is practically in my blood - but I already have four Tauren, and I want to break away from the Family and do something a little more exotic and more appropriate to the class (stupid, stupid racials). Her existence will be outside the storyline of the Highmountain Clan, though I suppose if anything, you could call her Negathle's protege (oooh! potential for a Krunch-Gid type of relationship!) Professions will be Skinning and... I'm honestly not sure yet. The skinning was going to be a given, since I miss the profession on Neg a lot, but I'm not certain about the second prof. She won't be a Miner or an Herbalist, since I absolutely detest having to switch back and forth between two types of Tracking. I already have a Leatherworker, Blacksmith, Jewelcrafter, Enchanter, and Engineer. Alchemist, perhaps? My baby Shaman is an herbalist...

Anyway, without further ado, I give you: Nerdette

They said it couldn't be done

They said it was impossible.

It could never be realized.

But I have come today to say that the impossible could be realized.

Dreams do come true.

And Neg has leveled an alt to 80.

Okay, okay, so I cheated and rolled a Death Knight. Her entire existence is dedicated to farming, so I don't feel too ashamed about it. Regardless, now that Zinaida is 80, this gives me the excuse I've been waiting for to roll my second hunter! Squee!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Good-bye Greatness!

No more i200s! It's a wonderful relief to get rid of the year-old trinket, even though I feel a little guilty for going outside the guild to get it. I hate having to call it for my guildees at 11 pm server time because I'm falling asleep at 2 am, so I figured they would appreciate having a 10th that wouldn't cut their time short.

I ran the ICC10 with members of the GDKP community, but that didn't prevent it from being a little frustrating. We ended up calling it on Festergut due to tanks getting one-shot, but I had to fight for hunter's rights to stand still for a fight even before we called it. The same healer that scolded me for trying to down Twins faster couldn't understand why I was advocating one of the two hunters stand as a focal point for the range spore collapse as opposed to the shadow priest. I dunno, perhaps because spriests rely very little on stationary DPS, while hunters gain a considerable amount for it? The lack of bottom-line, basic class mechanic knowledge astounds me.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Fuck me gently with a polearm...

(Cookie if you get the movie reference.)

So we have some loot from the last boss of Icecrown.

Oathbinder, Charge of the Ranger General

Admittedly, this is heroic, and I'll never see it; however, this does not stop me from being faintly aroused at the sight of those stats. Blizzard, looking at this weapon, with a name that does, in fact, label it as a Hunter Weapon, I can almost forgive you for what you are doing to my class and the game next expansion, though this is only because most of the blood has stopped flowing to the brain and instead went in a more southerly direction.

This makes up for the very good but very anticlimactic cutscene.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Personal Max DPS

It's a snow day, and without much else to accomplish today, I decided to finally sit down and decide what gear will be best for me. I have a couple caveats now that I am no longer a raider, and while this depresses me, it sorta makes life easier. For example, I probably will never see Heroic ICC25. I will only have one real trinket upgrade ever again. I probably will never down Heroic Anub. I can fumble around all I want with my spec and glyphs, but my gear comes with my gold, and it matters now to make educated decisions on what I spend money on. I can't just give it away to another raider that might get a bigger DPS increase.

So with that, I tiptoed over to the handy-dandy online spreadsheet, and plugged in various pieces of gear that are accessible to me. I know to keep both two-piece set bonuses for T9 and T10 to use the exploit (refresh Serpent Sting every time the T10 2-piece procs), though a part of me wonders when basic stats on higher ilvl gear for helm and legs, in addition to the T10 4-piece, will outweigh the DPS increase of the exploit. Nothing is from Heroic ICC, since it is not available yet, and I doubt I'll be able to set foot even into 10man for some time (oh sweet Flying Spaghetti Monster, I miss being a raider). Talent wise, I have to keep TSA as a backup, just in case the raid doesn't have the option. I'm willing to move points back and forth from Focused Aim, but ideally I'd like to only have one point in the talent so I can have 3/3 Improved Steady Shot.

I also did one little trick to modify the default shot rotation, besides remove Arcane Shot: I moved Readiness to below Aimed Shot and found a 50 DPS increase on the spreadsheet. This mimics my rotation of Rapid Fire/CotW -> Chimera -> Aimed -> Readiness -> Chimera -> Aimed, etc, popping the next Rapid Fire as soon as the next one is up (assuming I know when Bloodlust is going to occur).

I did four different spreadsheets: Ideal Spec of 1/3 Focused Aim + 3/3 Imp Steady with Mjolnir Runestone, Current Spec of 2/3 Focused Aim + 2/3 Imp Steady with Mjolnirs, Ideal Spec with Whispering Fanged Skull, and Current Spec with Whispering Fanged Skull.

Here are the results for each:
Ideal with Mjolnir: 11642.9
Current with Mjolnir: 11656.33
Ideal with Skull: 11694.32
Current with Skull: 11725.83

All I have to say: Bah. My OCD hates having two talents at 2/3 instead of at least one full talent, but at least this saves me money from respecing. I also had hopes of maintaining an ArPen trinket to keep the soft cap, but it looks like the Skull outweighs Mjolnirs. Fortunately, it is a relatively small DPS loss (~70) if I can't get the Skull, and it is always best to keep in mind what gear you are likely to get as well. So here are my two BiS lists depending on trinkets:

Current with Mjolnir
Helm: Windrunner's Headpeice of Triumph (enchanted with Arcanum of Torment and gemmed with Relentless Earthseige and Deadly Ametrine)
Neck: Wodin's Lucky Necklace (gemmed with Deadly Ametrine)
Shoulder: Sanctified Ahn'Kahar Blood Hunter's Spaulders (enchanted with Greater Inscription of the Axe and gemmed with Fractured Cardinal Ruby)
Chest: Sanctified Ahn'Kahar Blood Hunter's Tunic (enchanted with Powerful Stats and gemmed with two Delicate Cardinal Rubies)
Belt: Band of the Night Raven (gemmed with a Glinting Ametrine, Deadly Ametrine, and a Delicate Cardinal Ruby in the belt buckle socket)
Pants: Windrunner's Legguards of Triumph (enchanted with Icescale Leg Armor/Nerubian Leg Reinforcements and gemmed with a Nightmare Tear and Delicate Cardinal Ruby)
Boots: Treads of the Wasteland (enchanted with Superior Agility and gemmed with two Deadly Ametrines)
Bracers: Scourge Hunter's Vambraces (enchanted with Fur Lining - Attack Power and gemmed with two Delicate Cardinal Rubies [one in a blacksmithing socket])
Gloves: Logsplitters (enchanted with Crusher and gemmed with three Delicate Cardinal Rubies [one in a blacksmithing socket])
Ring 1: Ashen Band of Endless Vengeance (gemmed with a Deadly Ametrine)
Ring 2: Frostbrood Sapphire Ring (gemmed with a Delicate Cardinal Ruby)
Trinket 1: Mjolnir Runestone
Trinket 2: Deathbringer's Will
Cloak: Recovered Scarlet Onslaught Cape (enchanted with Major Agility and gemmed with a Delicate Cardinal Ruby)
Stat-stick: Quel'Delar, Ferocity of the Scorned (enchanted with Massacre)
Ranged: Zod's Repeating Longbow (enchanted with Heartseeker Scope)
Food: Blackened Dragonfin

Current with Skull
Helm: Windrunner's Headpeice of Triumph (enchanted with Arcanum of Torment and gemmed with Relentless Earthseige and Deadly Ametrine)
Neck: Rimetooth Pendant (gemmed with Glinting Ametrine)
Shoulder: Sanctified Ahn'Kahar Blood Hunter's Spaulders (enchanted with Greater Inscription of the Axe and gemmed with Fractured Cardinal Ruby)
Chest: Sanctified Ahn'Kahar Blood Hunter's Tunic (enchanted with Powerful Stats and gemmed with two Fractured Cardinal Rubies)
Belt: Nerub'ar Stalker Cord (gemmed with a Deadly Ametrine and two Fractured Cardinal Rubies, one in the belt buckle socket)
Pants: Windrunner's Legguards of Triumph (enchanted with Icescale Leg Armor/Nerubian Leg Reinforcements and gemmed with a Nightmare Tear and Fractured Cardinal Ruby)
Boots: Rock-Steady Treads (enchanted with Superior Agility and gemmed with two Fractured Cardinal Rubies)
Bracers: Scourge Hunter's Vambraces (enchanted with Fur Lining - Attack Power and gemmed with two Fractured Cardinal Rubies [one in a blacksmithing socket])
Gloves: Logsplitters (enchanted with Crusher and gemmed with three Fractured Cardinal Rubies [one in a blacksmithing socket])
Ring 1: Ashen Band of Endless Vengeance (gemmed with a Deadly Ametrine)
Ring 2: Frostbrood Sapphire Ring (gemmed with a Fractured Cardinal Ruby)
Trinket 1: Whispering Fanged Skull
Trinket 2: Deathbringer's Will
Cloak: Recovered Scarlet Onslaught Cape (enchanted with Major Agility and gemmed with a Fractured Cardinal Ruby)
Stat-stick: Shaft of Glacial Ice (enchanted with Massacre and gemmed with a Deady Ametrine)
Ranged: Zod's Repeating Longbow (enchanted with Biznicks 247x128 Accurascope)
Food: Hearty Rhino

Phew! The most depressing part of the first list is the sheer amount of badges needed. Fortunately, it gives me plenty of time to build up a cache of primordial saronite.

If you are really bored and want to double check my work and/or see any glaring mistakes (because I don't read EJ as much as I should), typos, mislinks, etc. let me know!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


It is inevitable that when you are competing with other DPS for raid slots in PUGs, people will post their gear score and some number that they believe resembles their DPS. I've given up fighting this trend, but it still annoys me, particularly when it also has a habit of popping up in my battlegrounds.

Let me outline the features of a good raider, and since I've already done it once, I'll be brief here. Be prepared, be focused and in control of yourself, communicate, be aware of what is going on around you, and do what you are assigned to do. Of all of those things, only one has anything to do with your DPS, and not even fully at that. So you can pull off 8k DPS - good for you! Did you kill the adds you are supposed to? How about moving out of that AoE? Are you talking about an RNG right like Twins or Hodir? Did you move out of the raid when the boss gave you that debuff, or did you just sit there and pew pew? Did the healers have to come to you in order to be in range, or where you just out there doing your own thing?

I understand the love of big numbers, I really do. But since I uninstalled Recount, I just stopped caring. I know I have good DPS, but more importantly, I know I can be trusted to kill adds, move when necessary, support the healers, and do what is necessary to down the boss faster, and that's what every DPS' priority should be. It is tempting to say you can do a metric asston of DPS on Patchwerk, it is more impressive to say that you are raid aware and enjoy killing adds. In the end, that's what down the bosses, even those with hard enrages and are the so-called 'DPS races." For current content, if every DPS in raid can pump out the numbers, but they are incapable of coordinating the boss fight's debuffs or adds, then they will wipe, pure and simple. It is important to be capable of both, and in a sea of people spouting their numbers for generalized fights, it isn't your DPS that will gain you an invite.

The leader of the crossrealm battleground premades likes to talk, and he's also a hunter. This brings on many challanges for me, particularly on the 'staying silent' part. When he started on his DPS and general hunter DPS across the specs, I just couldn't keep my mouth shut. What the hell are you talking about, the MM rotation being more difficult than the SV one? MM you are prioritizing three different instant shots with the same CD, while SV deals with a 6 sec, 10 sec, and 30 second cooldowns on their shots, changing depending on your procs. How is that juggling less? What rogues are you beating and on what fights, exactly? Are you sure the rogues know what they are doing? He prattled on, trying to cover himself and make it out to know what he was doing, so in the end, I just gave up and zoned his voice to the background for following orders in AV. I predict I will have to do this frequently in order to keep my frustration low.

Everything has a strength and a weakness. As a raider, it is important you know what yours are and work to balance them out. Because in the end, your over 9000 dps doesn't mean shit if you are dead due to add.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Come, fly Proudfather Airlines!

Last night, I was feeling restless. All my alts were slowly earning their money, I had leveled my boomkin up to 63, and there was simply nothing I wanted to do on Neg. I was about to concede defeat, and log off to watch a movie, when trade chat got spammed for cross-server BG premades.

Sometime last week I had joined an EotS as a pugger with this group, and was pleased with the results. I asked for more info, and while I received it, I had a GDKP run in about an hour, so I couldn't take them up on it. Plus, I was nervous. I mean, how many things could go wrong with a bunch of random people (most guys) in vent? But last night I was feeling adventurous, so I logged in their vent.

It was all sorts of awesome. I had heard of cross-realm premades before, and while I knew they all mysteriously queued at the same time, I had never coordinated it myself and so was curious. They were all fairly courteous, and the "piliot" had several years of experience running these groups. When the time to queue came, he spoke quickly and confindently (not unlike a flight attendant) to coordinate the efforts. They had macros galore for each battleground scenario, and every thing was well planned out. They even had means to reduce Vent clutter to communicate if you got into the BG or not. I was wholly impressed.

When we did get into a battleground, it was like war. Everyone had their role and assignment, and they supported each other for the win. It was beautiful. We only lost once, to a server WSG premade. I had a ton of fun, even if waiting on Horde's painfully long queues was a bit tedious.

So, if you are on the US Bloodlust battlegroup, come and fly Proudfather Airlines for some premade PvP. If you love battlegrounds, you won't regret it.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Ninty-five badges down...

Finally, after squirming into guild ICC10s and braving GDKP ICC25s, I had 95 badges again, and I promptly bought a new chest with the token I stole for a mere 5000g:

Of course, this puts my ArPen in a delicate position. I use Mjolnir Runestone, and I probably will until the day I log off for good (since the odds of me getting Death's Choice and Deathbringer's Will - which I am saving up for, as you can see by the screenshots - are infinitesimally small), so my ArPen soft caps at 735. With the new chest and the ring I can now equip for the hit, this places me at 732. Oy.

Typically I eat ArPen food, over-capping me, but keeping agil as passive as possible. I still have two ArPen gems left, and I'm considering replacing at least one for agil and continuing to eat the ArPen food instead of agility. I suppose the spreadsheets will tell what's best in the end... but I think I don't want to check just out of fear that it is going to suggest going for the agil food instead, and that's a lot of fishing I don't want to do!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

I've always said it!

I was perusing through the headlines at slashdot, when I came across this article about a professor at Stanford who researched into how MMOs build leadership.

My favorite bit:

So if you say, ‘I’m a guild leader, and have been for the last nine months, of a 200-person guild that spans three continents,’ you’ve said, ‘I know how to make a website. I know how to motivate people. I know how to arbitrate a lot of foolishness with respect to who gets what when they do this.’

Now wouldn't it be wonderful, everyday for an hour, you and your officemates raid, or completely own a server's economy, or destroy a few battlegrounds? Conversation at the cooler would be "Damn, son, you totally owned that one Gnome warrior" - "Yeah, he was crunchy. Thanks for the heals" or "Hey, awesome job dealing with those adds yesterday" - "No problem - thanks for the taunt."

Now that's what I call a nice day at work.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

In over a hundred games of Wintergrasp...

I have never seen this:

Horde vehicles: 24
Alliance vehicles: 0

I didn't think that was possible, but apparently it is if this is the first round of defensive (beyond the first round of defense, I believe another workshop automatically turns over).

I so love being on a server that knows how to PvP.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

I fail to see the logic, and it makes my head hurt

One of the reasons I will not play into Cataclysm is the lore. I know, I know, we are going past anything the original Warcraft games have established, which means "new" lore is being made. I've resigned to the fact that concepts that really make no sense at all (like the Tauren sticking with the Horde once Cairne is killed, or Human/Undead hunters, which I greatly lament, and we all know better individuals that would make a better Warchief than Garrosh) are staying around, but I'm solving that issue by not giving Blizzard additional money to support it. Word from around many progressive guilds is that they will not continue into Cataclysm either, since the original lore will be done. However, when the lore fails to make a straight line in the game I'm currently playing, it irritates me nonstop.


Every time I enter Icecrown Citidel I'm reminded that Bolvar Fordragon will be the new Lich King. Remember that awesome cool cut-scene at the Wrathgate, where you got an achievement for watching it? In it some tall, bearded Alliance guy marched up and demands Arthas face them. He's joined by a brown-skinned Orc (Saurfang the Younger, soon to be Saurfang the Deathbringer), who is killed by Arthas, and presumably (unless you can read Draconic), that bearded Alliance guy (Fordragon) died too. Evidently not - the Lich King is still torturing away at him. You know that RP that you have to watch once in the Halls of Reflection, where Uther appears before your faction and says "there must always be a Lich King" and that "a grand sacrifice by a noble soul" must take up that role should Arthas be killed. Now, if that's not transparent, I don't know what is.

I'm okay with Arthas being killed. I don't particularly like it, I think they could have done something really original instead involving the Scourge and the Lich King, but I've accepted it. However, I find it disgustingly convenient that all you have to do to keep the Scourge under control is to kill the Lich King and replace him with another who happens to be on the leash called the Light. I mean, come on. The Lich King is conveniently not plowing over the entirety of Azeroth, despite the fact that is pretty much their only goal in existence - Uther says it's the human side of Arthas that is preventing this from happening; I say that it would considerably more entertaining and realistic if the Lich King were just toying with the races of Azeroth instead. After all, we know Arthas' humanity is gone - you should've been there during the pretty epic quest that established that.

So the Lich King dies. Okay, we now have the issue of the Scourge running rampant over Azeroth. That's a bad thing from our point of view, but I would venture to say that's not exactly a bad thing for the Scourge. In fact, I'm fairly sure that's all they really want to do. Uther says it's not happening because a non-existent part of Arthas is preventing it; I say it's not happening because it amuses Arthas to let us think we have a chance. He knows that if he dies, he still wins. Our ace in the hole is supposedly the ability to replace him with someone that won't let the Scourge annihilate everything. And we are supposed to believe that the same strength/soul that is preventing Fordragon from succumbing to his current torture is going to act the same as Arthas' current non-existant humanity, and keep a reign on the Scourge. Ew? How do we know that strength isn't going to be corrupted? Sure, he wasn't completely smitten by power when he was the regent of Stormwind, but he did allow a certain lady dragon whisper into his ear and sway his decisions. He's supposedly better than that now, with the entirety of the Scourge under his will? Doesn't it make sense that by rising him as the Lich King, it would be deja vu all over again? Fight Arthas, kill Arthas, fight Bolvar, kill Bolvar, fight...? Are we really expected to accept that we would have trust in a new Lich King? Of course, we have no idea the details to what happens next, but I feel that something equally as cheesy will be in store. But I hope I'm wrong.

Finally, it really irritates me that a Human has more inner strength than an Orc. Both are good people, neither fell prey to the influences of the Legion/Scourge, but it was the Orc that succumbed to the Lich King, not the Human. Wasn't this supposed to be a game about how both sides have their "humanity", dreams, ambitions, love, etc? Yet all through Wrath and into Cataclysm, that concept is falling apart, and the Horde are not staying on the high ground. Will there be no Hero of the Horde that will save the world, Alliance included?

Friday, January 8, 2010

The fact that I restrained myself proves I'm *not* completely jaded

Story time!

My random daily dungeon yesterday was Oculus. As I mentioned, I am no longer hesitant to join the dungeon any more for fear of somebody dropping in the first five seconds, so I plunged right in and started making conversation, most notably on how ugly the DK's tank shoulders were. When the first boss went down, and the drakes became available, I said, "One of each color," to nix any ideas of wanting to do the void achievements.

The reply was "I think we all know how to do Oculus. Thanks."


It was then that I noticed the other four members of the group were from the same server and the same guild, so I stepped back out of the leader role that the LFG system had assigned me and just left things on autopilot. But, I gotta say, if they all knew how to do Oculus, then they have the worst short-term memories I have ever encountered.

Two of them kept getting lost. Hardcore-lost, like not knowing whether to go up or down. It's forgivable - after all, unlike every other instance, you are not staying on the same dimensional plane. But not knowing how to get from boss to boss is sorta a indication that you aren't quite as familiar with the instance as your guildee has lead me to believe.

The healer didn't know to move out of the 120 degree array on the second boss, which wasn't a particular issue, but it did add unnecessary healing, particularly when we still had a drake they failed to kill still on us.

Finally, the other bronze drake obviously had never been on a bronze drake before. Sensing this, I offered to take the first timestop and the first channel. When my channel was completed and hers never started, I just kept channeling. When her turn to timestop came up and he stayed enraged for the entirety of the duration despite my urge to timestop, I facepalmed a little. But she did timestop on the third one, right alone with me!

Moral of the story, kids: Don't speak for your entire party when you are not aware they do not know how to do Oculus. Thanks.

I didn't say anything about the obvious fact that they didn't know how to do Oculus. I stayed silent, though the thoughts where there. I know I've become very jaded, very irritable, and just a little bitchy about the game, and for that I apologize. But while that side of me is being channeled through this blog, I've been good about it not showing to strangers ingame.

Guildees that do not use punctuation marks properly are still fair game.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

I lol'd

To encourage players not to shy away from the many invigorating adventures to be had in The Oculus, we have applied a change to enhance the rewards players are provided when selected for this dungeon via the Random Heroic option in the Dungeon Finder. Once Ley-Guardian Eregos is defeated, one loot bag per character will be provided in his chest in addition to the current rewards. Each loot bag will offer players rare gems, two additional Emblems of Triumph, and a chance of being rewarded the Reins of the Blue Drake. These fine treasures could be yours should you honor your fellow party members by besting the challenges contained within The Oculus! Keep in mind, however, that these extra loot bags will only be awarded to each party member if Oculus is selected by the Dungeon Finder when players choose the Random Heroic option.

In light of this change, the Reins of the Azure Drake will now have a chance of dropping in both 10- and 25-player versions of The Eye of Eternity.

I never bailed on an Oculus before, but now I won't groan as much if the loading screen pops up. It is rather sad now much the instance has been nerfed along with all the other incentives they have to add to it in order to make it appealing. Really, it's a fun encounter, it just needs some design tweaks.

I asked our code quru what the logarithm looked like for determining the "random" dungeon, and he said that the instance you get depends on your gear level. Now, without delving further in (which is bad, but I'm in a rush today), I'd guess that the system looks at your gear and determined from the iLevel where you will get upgrades/be a little challenged. That's all well and good, but I have a sneaking suspicion that it plateaus around i200, which would explain that the only three instances I ever get are H:Halls of Stone, H:Oculus, and H:Halls of Lightning. Wouldn't a considerable improvement on this system have a next level of iLevel, where if your gear is above, say, i232, the dungeon you get is truly random? Or is this hypothesis completely wrong?

Anyway, good luck with the next wing of Icecrown! Hopefully our GDKP runs will be able to venture past Saurfang within a reasonable amount of time!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Looking out for Number One (again)

Probably my greatest annoyance with PuG raiding is the dominance of individual interest. Thankfully, it doesn't apply too much for the boss fights, where most people are more interested in completing the encounter than showing off on the meters. Too much, being the key words there. There are always people damaging the boss when they should be focusing on the spikes/acolytes/blood beasts, but for the most part, it isn't a problem. The raiders work together until the loot is announced, then it's every gold monger for themselves.

I think it is a combition of being on a loot council with my later requirement being able to min/max gear. I'm all too aware of what peices will be maximized for what class, and the stat priorities for each slot, so it frustrates me to see every class capable of wearing an item bidding on it. No care for main spec or raid role, no concern for mains over alts. If you have the gold, that staff five iLevels above your current one is all yours and that other guy stuck with a 213 will just have to wait a little longer for a lucky night. Rarely, just rarely, you'll see people stop bidding when they notice another guy needs the item more, but it is infrequent.

And they can hardly be blamed. Why be concerned about the needs of puggers? Yes, they are on server and a frequent participant of these GDKP runs, but they have the exact same opportunities as you do (legally, at least) to get the gold needed to bid. If they can't make it, then they need to find an actual guild run instead. If you are in a guild and meeting the requirements as a raider, then you can get loot by the consideration of others. If you are not, you get loot with your gold - everything else is void.

I don't like compromising my values, but if I want to raid on my server, I don't have much choice. Deathbringer's Will sold for 23500g last night (I made an honest bid of 8000g, all I had on me), and I had to look away in order to prevent massive flustering at the rogue names popping up on the screen as they bid. Since I lost, I bid instead on a tier token and won with 5000g - a total steal (the other one in the chest went for over 10k). It will go to my non-existant chest, since right now I only have around 20 Frost Emblems. Would I approve of this if it had been a guild run? Hell no. You get the tier token if you have the badges, and if nobody does, then it goes to the classes/raiders that earned it. But I have to take these opportunities as they come if I want to get gear. And, yes, I do hate myself a little for it. But I want to raid, dammit.

Just like when I raided with a progressive guild, I had to let my values of individual characterization die - now I have to let my values of team betterment die and become selfish again. It sucks.