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Archive for September, 2009

P-P-P-P-Politics

Much as I’m enjoying my European Politics of the 19th century class, this post has nothing to do with that. Rather, it’s about the in-game politics.

Thanks to PC Gamer UK, it has essentially been confirmed that Thrall is stepping down as leader of the Horde to go save the world (Guardian of Tirisfal or not, what do you expect the world’s most powerful shaman to do when everything goes to hell?) and the rather bloodthirsty Garrosh is replacing him.

So here’s a shocker.

Nobody likes Garrosh.

There is a ton of opposition to the idea of having Garrosh lead the horde, and this is based entirely on how he’s acting now (racist douchebag).

In case you missed it, Garrosh has come up with a rather unpopular little law. Essentially, all non-orcs/tauren are being banned from the center of Orgrimmar, as he considers only those two races strong enough to properly guard the capital.

Elves, trolls, goblins, undead… y’all suck!

Gee, thanks Garrosh. After all the trolls have done for you… (more…)

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Secondary Education

I, the master of the arcane arts and QQ of all forms, am now officially attending a post secondary institution, in order to bleed off that extra twenty grand I got kicking around under my bed (I am lying).

I, a young, handsome, humble, cynical, anti-social bastard am entering the adult world wide eyed and filled with disbelief that the real world is so goddamn retarded. Oh, do I have rants, so very many rants. Think of the worst, most idiotic PuG you’ve ever been in. That PuG is the pinnacle of intelligent efficiency compared to the real world. It’s like people immediately lose 40 IQ points the second they walk out their front door.

See, so far, in my wisdom, I have learned one universal truth: absolutely everyone is stupid. Your neighbor is stupid. Your father is stupid. Every friend you have ever had is stupid. You are stupid. I am stupid. There exists not one human who is not stupid.

But I’m not here to inflict yet another jaded rant, I’m here to say “sorry guys, but university is kinda important”.

The quick and dirty: I’m going for a history major, as it’s the only subject area left in academia that I don’t suck at or am bored by.

History? NOT BORING?! History is awesome dudes! (more…)

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Conspiracy Theory for Thought

/tinfoil hat on

Imagine you are the King’s Advisor.

You have always been the King’s Advisor, for the past four thousand years. Whoever was in power, whoever was king, or emperor, or khan, or president, you have always been standing there, in the background.

You, and those like you, have been known by many names. The King’s Advisors, the fat cats, the movers and shakers. No one can really prove it, but everyone knows that it’s always been you wielding true power.

How do you do it?

There is but one thing that allows you to hold your position: the peasants.

Peasants are all too eager to sacrifice themselves on the altar of work. They start at a young age, clocking hundreds of hours working for those with a station higher than their own. They work for themselves, for their family, for their wants and needs. They work their entire lives, growing fruit for their lords, then they keel over and die, to be replaced by their children. (more…)

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Don’t Be So Hasty

If I ever remember to log off in my raid gear again, those of you who actively stalk my armory to see what I’m up to (and I know you’re out there!) will note that I have forsaken spellpower gems in favor of haste gems.

Shock! Le gasp! I know, eh? (Canadians do not say “I know right?”)

The reasoning is actually very simple. Fact is, there is no appreciable difference between spellpower gems and haste gems.

Well, there is, slightly. An epic +23 spellpower gem will grant me 29 DPS, whereas an epic +20 haste gem will grant me 28 DPS.

To me, a difference of one DPS is just far too small for me to give a damn, especially considering that stacking haste gems is infinitely more fun. It’s invigorating, it’s exciting. Arcane Blast has a base cast time of 1.9 seconds, and it feels absolutely out of control. In a good way.

Have you ever been on a really fast roller coaster? Think of the surge of adrenaline when you aren’t really doing anything complicated, just roaring along the track as fast as you can go. Unstoppable, relentless speed. I suspect driving a car real fast evokes a similar feeling.

That’s what playing arcane feels like with 700+ haste. I’m shooting for 800+ in my next few upgrades here, but the point is casting spells really fast is just an awesome feeling. (more…)

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An Inconvenient Truth

With the Onyxia patch hitting either this week or next, we stand on the cusp of arcane’s third or fourth facelift. Honestly I’ve stopped counting, poor girl’s had more tweaks and fixes done than a ret paladin.

In case you missed it, the tweaks are as follows:

  • Arcane Blast buff can now stack to 4, increasing mana cost by 175% per application.
  • Missile Barrage now has a 40% chance to proc from Arcane Blast, and causes Arcane Missiles t0 cost no mana.
  • Arcane Blast buff only lasts 6 seconds.

Alright, not that we’re all up to speed here, let’s start talking consequences.

Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, these changes render arcane dead even with the standard fireball spec. On a patchwerk fight, considering perfect play and BiS gear, arcane is actually 1% ahead.

Realistically speaking, there is no appreciable difference. Fire is better at movement and AoE, arcane has way higher burst potential and can change targets far faster.

In other words, which one you choose to play is the one you want to play.

A bright, fantastic day for mages everywhere! Except frost mages.

In theory, anyway. (more…)

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Why Walk When You Can Blink/Slow Fall?

Mages have access to a whole bunch of skills that make others go green with envy. Blink, evocation, blink, frost nova, blink… I think you get the point.

In and of itself, Blink is a fairly innocuous ability. All it does is teleport you forwards 20 yards, and it sometimes fails if the terrain is stupid (like all of the Blade’s Edge arena). The PvP implications here are pretty obvious, after all, the ability to instantly traverse a distance (and escape from stuns!) is incredible.

Of course, the ability to instantly move away from something or towards something is an extremely powerful skill in raiding, too.

This is yet another thing I just sorta assumed most, if not all, mages do. Nearly every boss fight in the game has some sort of mechanic where blinking can make your job easier, the healers job easier, and even utterly trivialize some boss mechanics.

So I made a list!

Note: this list only includes current raid content, and in many cases, will exclude hard mode content, as I have not played that content. If you have, and would like to add your own tricks, by all means do so! I’ll add it to the original post. (more…)

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Carrier

The tank. The healer. The damage dealer.

This is the holy trinity of WoW. At least one of each is necessary to defeat end game content. Interestingly enough, for early end-game content, only two of these three need be good enough.

Carrying DPS is not a new concept, probably all of us have done it before. Have you ever carried a healer? Carried a tank? Do you even think it’s possible to do that?

It is, you know. Of those three, you only require two of them to be any good to knock over a heroic. You can clear Violet Hold with zero wipes with a poor healer. You can defeat Sladran without a healer. CoS can be defeated wipe free with a barely competent tank. UP can be done smoothly with 20k HP, non crit-capped paladin who doesn’t use consecrate.

Maybe this attests to the ease of the game, but I say nay. Any role, provided they are skilled enough, can carry any other role through content, provided the third role doesn’t suck.

Normally we hear about the tank and healer carrying bad DPS. How come we never hear about the DPS carrying the healers and tanks? (more…)

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The Inevitability of Progress

All of us have been in that nightmarish PuG filled with paladin tanks that don’t consecrate, druids that don’t use HoTs, and DK DPS who can’t stop using death grip.

All of us have been in that PuG from heaven with the ret pally who flawlessly swaps to a spellpower weapon and starts healing when the priest bites it, the prot warrior who for all intents and purposes might as well be omniscient, or the shaman healer who somehow keeps the whole group alive when the tank pulls a boss and two packs of trash simultaneously, and makes it look effortless.

All of us have been in that PuG with the competent hunter, the competent mage, the competent rogue… they weren’t really special, weren’t really all that great, but they weren’t bad. So average you forget them immediately, maybe even forgetting what class they are.

The fact is, behind every single one of those characters, behind the worst mage you’ve ever seen, behind the best druid you’ve ever had the pleasure of running with, is a human being.

Now there are a couple interesting things about human beings. (more…)

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The twin val’kyrs have an interesting “light” and “dark” mechanic that sounds confusing at first, but is actually incredibly easy to pick up. Basically, if you can down faction champions, the twins will not offer any challenge whatsoever.

See, every member of the raid chooses to become light or dark. If you’re dark, you deal more damage to light targets, absorb all dark damage, but take a crap ton of damage from light energy. And, of course, vice versa.

Each twin pulses an aura that deals damage. The dark one hits everyone for 1500 shadow damage, the light one hits everyone for 1500 fire damage. If you have, say, the light buff, that aura that pulses fire damage every 2 seconds is simply absorbed.

As many of you are no doubt aware, arcane mages have this talent called Incanter’s Absorption. This talent increases your spellpower whenever you absorb damage.

I’ll let that sink in for a second. (more…)

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Why We QQ, Part Three

This was touched upon briefly in comments, but this has to do with a difference in ideals.

Basically, it’s a disconnect that occurs between players and developers where the two groups have different visions of the game in question. My recent despair at the death of things like defense rating and armor penetration is exemplary of this.

I have my own notions, my own ideas, for WoW and where WoW should go. Some of this I share with the developers, some I don’t.

For instance, I fully agree that every mage tree should be perfectly viable for both PvP and PvE, just not simultaneously. Frost, for instance, should be perfectly capable of topping the damage meters, but should also be a kick ass PvP tree. You couldn’t be good at both with the same spec, similar to how a bear specced druid can’t produce nearly as much DPS as a kitty specced druid can.

But there’s a disagreement in the how part. I fully support firmly splitting abilities between PvP and PvE. For instance, the PvP version of Deep Freeze deals no damage and stuns/freezes the target for 5 seconds, while the PvE version of Deep Freeze deals about 8k damage and afflicts the target with a debuff that allows the frost mage to treat them as frozen for 5 seconds. (more…)

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