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I suppose I should start with the obvious: Death Knights.

Death Knights… well, they didn’t actually do so great this expansion. They completely dominated in season 5, due to being broken, and then various fixes and nerfs brought them to being the lowest represented class in every bracket and utterly worthless in two brackets outright.

To make a quick point, there’s a difference between something being broken and something being overpowered. In season 5, DKs were so fantastic because the majority of their damage came from Icy Touch, a ranged instant ability that they can come really close to spamming if they wanted to. Which they did, because it hit really hard.

This, to me, isn’t an example of something that’s overpowered. Overpowered would be a 50% damage reduction Icebound Fortitude every minute. Spamming Icy Touch for massive damage was not overpowered, that was outright broken. It was never meant to work that way, wasn’t designed to work that way, and thus was (eventually, Blizzard was way too slow in nerfing Icy Touch spam) fixed so it didn’t work that way.

To give another example, Bladestorm dealing too much damage would be considered overpowered. However, popping Sweeping Strikes then Bladestorm because it deals more damage to a single target isn’t overpowered, that is broken.

Yes, a class that has broken abilities can definitely be overpowered. A bladestorming warrior using sweeping strikes to beat the stuffing out of a single target is definitely overpowered. But that bladestorming warrior isn’t overpowered because of bladestorm, it is because the interaction between bladestorm and sweeping strikes is broken. A fine distinction to be sure, but it is nevertheless an important distinction.

So, with that out of the way, back to death knights. Continue Reading »

There’s been a rather interesting issue I’ve had to fight with since… oh, since the Blood Wing went live in ICC.

See, this is what happens. Sometime between 6pm and 8pm, my latency will climb from where it usually sits (anywhere from 110-200ms, thank you ISP upgrades) to anywhere from 700ms to 17000ms. It will come back down to regular levels sometime between 11pm and midnight.

This is somewhat inconvenient, as this just so happens to be during peak times, when BG queues are at their fastest, and also when For Whom happens to raid.

Needless to say it is difficult to raid when you are rocking 5kms on boss fights.

Now, the interesting part comes in the details.

First, it is not simply bad lag. I am also disconnected very frequently in direct proportion to what is going on. Running around leveling a character in, say, the Arathi Highlands, I never get disconnected, whereas Wintergrasp features a disconnect roughly every twenty seconds.

Second, it isn’t my end of things either. I have a huge amount of evidence to support this. Continue Reading »

Inspiration comes from two places, I Sheep Things… and Righteous Orbs.

A guild is many things. A tag over your head you can be proud of. A collection of excellent players you love to play the game with. A guild bank a bunch of hardcore raiders congregate about. A vent server filled with discussion, abuse, commands shouted at a finely tuned war team, friendly discussion.

A guild can be as varied as the people that make it up, because ultimately, a guild is people. A guild is not a collection of data in pixels in a virtual world, it is something far more than that.

A song is more than just a series of noises at differing wavelengths. A book is more than a collection of really thin tree slices with ink scattered upon it.

The structure of guild, its virtual framework, is just that. A frame. What it is framing is entirely up to the people involved.

Without a picture, a frame is pointless junk. An empty husk, void of meaning.

This is why I have never understood guild loyalty. A guild is nothing without people, it isn’t real in any sense of the word. Why would somebody be loyal to something that can be destroyed instantly by single person typing /gdisband? Would you be loyal to a table? At least it would take effort to destroy a table! Continue Reading »

In&Out Blogger

Ridiculously quick post from me today.

So there’s this bug where, if you dual spec whilst leveling, the spells/abilities/etc on your offspec’s bars don’t exactly update properly when you level.

I can’t even begin to count the number of people who got called out by RankWatch for this and flushed in embarrassment. There’s been blog posts, blog comments, threads on every single WoW forum and fan forum.

But uh.

There’s a solution.

Little addon called “UpRank” that automatically scans your action bars and replaces any low rank spell with the highest level version you know. It works with Dominos just fine, so I assume it works with any bar replacement mod.

As I’ve said before, you can’t patch stupid, but there sure as hell are addons for every one of our little brainless moments.

The actual dps increases are something more like adding Pyroblast to Torment the Weak and Empowered Fire. That may have missed the most recent patch notes.

Buh.

Yes, ghostcrawler, a change this huge did miss the patch notes, just a little bit.

So uh.

Yeah.

Pyroblast added to TtW and Empowered Fire.

Now when I say a huge change, I mean “significant DPS boost”, take that however you want. Obviously Pyroblast will not be worth casting as part of a rotation, it’s still strictly Hot Streak only.

But, when this patch gets released, those Hot Streak procs are going to hit significantly harder. How significant? Well, depends on your spellpower, really.

Adding Pyroblast to TtW is an excellent short term solution. A flat 12% damage increase to Pyroblast, boom, done, easy buff, and hey hello fire PvP buff too. Good job, all around.

Where I see a problem is with the TtW talent itself. That talent has been drastically overbudget for a long time now, and all signs point to it staying that way until Cataclysm at least. I’ve complained about TtW before, so suffice to say: the design of it sucks, but you still have to take it because the damage boost is so huge.

Adding Pyroblast to Empowered Fire is also a very significant boost to the damage Hot Streak can do, but this one will depend on how much spellpower you have kicking around.

Just to use a strawman, say you have three thousand spellpower raid buffed. 15% of that spellpower is going to be added to whatever damage your Pyroblast deals, so an extra 450 damage to every single Pyroblast you fire. The number could be different from 15%, of course, I’m not on the PTR, I can’t tell you for sure. In any case, good change is good, DPS increase is a DPS increase, hurray huzzah for Pyroblast’s hitting much harder.

Oh yeah, and Combustion is now a 2 minute cooldown.

Now the inevitable question: does this make fire viable again?

The inevitable answer: fire has always been viable you twat. It just hasn’t been as good as arcane, is all. You want to talk about fire being oh so terrible? I think your fellow frost mages might have something to say to you.

Just because something isn’t #1 DPS doesn’t mean it isn’t viable. If arcane is beating fire by a margin of 8% DPS, give or take depending on the nature of the fight and how hard arcane can abuse IA, that doesn’t mean fire is absolutely terrible. All it means is that it isn’t as good as arcane is.

Now, if we were to go back in time half a year and watch frost mages flail wildly about at the bottom of the theoretical DPS charts, now there you could make an argument for non-viability.

Now, to answer what you meant to ask: does this make fire and arcane closer to each other, DPS wise? Is there a significant difference?

Yes, these changes bring fire and arcane much closer together. My initial assumptions and ridiculously fast napkin mathcrafting conclude that fire and arcane are definitely sub 10% in DPS difference, though fire is still behind arcane, even considering the IA nerf. I’d say fire is about 4 or 5% behind arcane on an average fight.

To me, that is an insignificant difference. To me, that says “pick whichever you prefer”. Arcane and fire have different specialties and completely different playstyles and gearing decisions, so pick the one you want to play.

Fire is better at AoE, provides better sustained single target damage, superior range and mobility, and can dominate fights with continuous multiple targets (Kologarn, Twins where the two are tanked close together). Arcane can switch targets much faster, due to having no ramp time, has much stronger cooldowns (and thus far greater burst) and doesn’t suffer from DPS “lag” as fire does with ignite and living bomb.

Or go frost, if you like.

A tree does not have to be optimal to be viable.

So there exists an addon called “Underachiever”. What this addon does is allow you to link fake achievements.

Let’s say I want to do Digimon, the latest boss in Archavon’s vault. I whisper a raid leader, and he says “whisper achiev or no inv”. But I haven’t done the guy yet! What do I do now?

Well, you could always just not get the invite because the raid leader is an idiotic prick. The guy probably backpedals in PvP! But then… what does that gain you? You miss out on a dull, boring loot pinata boss, but then again, you aren’t looking to raid VoA for actual difficult content, are you? No, you are there for the loot pinata, not the loot hungry-man-eating-jaguar-hiding-in-the-jungle-somewhere.

Solution? Grab the Underachiever addon, and you will automaticall win any and every epeen contest without any difficulty. As much as I despise curse.com, here’s a link. Terrible site, but the addon is worth it.

Anyway, this Underachiever thing is a very robust addon. You can link any achievement in your log, and it will show up to anyone who clicks on it as if you had completed it. You can specify the date, even specify some parts of an achievement complete and others not, and even fake achievements for other players if you so wish.

And yes, it comes with a complete list of every single Feat of Strength in the game, so you can link those too. Did you earn the Scarab Lord title? Well of course you did, you High Warlord and Gladiator in every season you. Hell, link the “Server first level 80 warlock!” when you’re playing a level 45 paladin if you want.

(Note: it can’t ordinarily link achievements you haven’t “unlocked”. For example, you can’t link the Tribute to Insanity achievement if you haven’t done the Tribute to Skill first for ToGC. BUT. If you have Overachiever installed as well, you totally can, as that shows you every achievement in the game regardless of what you have actually accomplished. And of course, Underachiever can fake all of those easy.)

You ask, what is the point of such an addon? I tell you: EPEEN.

Amongst the unwashed masses, the size of your epeen is the end all, be all stat. It doesn’t matter that you have 4pt10 and can pull 11k DPS on Putricide. What matters is the size of your dick.

With Underachiever, your dick can be however large you want it to be.

See a couple guys arguing in trade chat? They’re linking the “Boned!” and “I’ve Gone and Made a Mess” achievements and slapping their wowcocks all over trade chat?

Link your Lich King 25man kill achievement! The sheer size of your dick smashing into their poor faces will silence them utterly.

You can’t educate these people. You can’t make them smarter, or deal rationally with them. It is foolish and pointless to even try.

The only language they understand is penis.

So link them your Scarab Lord, your Sunwell clears, your Tribute to Insanity 25man achievements.

“But what if they armory me?”

Haha! Ahahaha! Hahaha! Good one!

Well, the chances of a wowcocking moron even considering attempting even the most rudimentary of research is laughably low, but if they do… well, the armory is a pretty buggy thing, isn’t it? I mean it isn’t even showing my 4.2k rated 3s arena team!

There is, in fact, nothing about Batman in this post or patch 3.3.3. Que Disappoint!

Currently I am blasting Motley Crue’s Dr. Feelgood as loud as these here computer speakers can go. Why do I do this? Because I’m excited, that’s why! Buffs, buffs for everyone, a new BG system hip hip hooray!

First up, the new Random Battleground feature. This will work roughly the same as the current dungeon finder system does, in that the first one you do awards you with a dumptruck filled with honor, and each successive win pickup trucks filled with more honor. There are no bonuses for picking specific battlegrounds, UNLESS it is the holiday weekend! Or Call to Arms, as it’s called now, in which case the holiday BG will award the same bonuses as picking a random BG.

BG marks are also being eliminated completely, and everything that used to cost marks will cost honor instead. Thank god, finally. This clunky system fully deserves its death. Oh yeah, and the amount of honor awarded from HKs are being doubled.

Net result is hopefully significantly more people actually playing BGs overall (meaning lower queues for everyone), significantly higher honor gain for anyone playing BGs, which hopefully will lead to better geared people playing in BGs.

Before you say “won’t this just devolve into everyone farming kills?”, bear in mind that every single objective in PvP, from capping a flag to taking a tower, are all based on a set number of HKs. Thus, every single PvP objective is also doubling in the amount of honor they award.

The only downside I can see are mass quits if someone gets a battleground they don’t like popping up. Imagine zoning into Strand and then half your team evaporates on you.

On a side note, what’s up with all the hate for Strand? It is, by far, the easiest and least complicated BG in the game, and incredibly fast to boot. It’s literally impossible for a game to last longer than 24 minutes, including preparation/load times and assuming neither side manages to cap anything.

Anyway, BG change is excellent overall, and I also suspect that by simply having the random BG option, it is going to be impossible to queue for multiple BGs at once. The patch notes don’t outright say it, but this seems like what’s happening. You only get the one BG, and if you don’t like it, tough. So less people randomly quitting midfield to go fight somewhere else.

But enough PvP, on to the important stuff.

Culling of Stratholme

  • Players may now skip the initial introduction dialog to this dungeon once they have completed it at least once.
  • YES.

    YES!

    YYYEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!

    BEHOLD, FOR THERE IS A GOD, AND LO, FOR A MERCIFUL LORD IS HE!

    Frostbolt: Spell power scaling on this spell has been increased by approximately 5%.

    I’m not entirely sure what they mean here, but it sounds like they are simply increasing the coefficient of frostbolt by 5%. Unless my memory fails me, which it often does, frostbolt currently benefits from 81.4% of your spellpower, so what, precisely, does “approcimately” mean here? 85%? 86%?

    Either way, flat out buff to frost mages everywhere. A small buff, yes, but enough small buffs piled on top of each other works out to a far greater whole.

    I call this whole “FOUR VIABLE SPECS, SUCK IT”.

    Arcane Empowerment: This effect is now passive instead of being a proc off of critical strikes. The self damage buff remains unchanged.

    In other words, not a proc, just a passive 100 yard aura. Not a buff, not a nerf, just a rather nice change. Nearly every other “buff on proc” effect is getting the same treatment across the board. An interesting shift, but I can’t say I’m particularly mad that 3% of the entire raid’s damage being contingent on my own personal RNG is getting the boot.

    Incanter’s Absorption: This talent now only grants additional spell power when damage is absorbed by Mana Shield, Frost Ward, Fire Ward, or Ice Barrier. The limit of 5% of the mage’s health on the spell power buff has been removed.

    And so, Incanter’s Absorption dies a swift death. Rest in peace, comrade. I knew you only a brief time, but your power was unmatched, and you served well.

    /mourn

    In all seriousness, you couldn’t really have expected Blizzard to simply let this ability exist as is, could you? Be honest, IA was overpowered and this is a well deserved nerf.

    It might still be worth using with Fire/Frost Ward, but without the added boost from disc priests/val’anyr, this talent seems like it has been gutted completely. Nerfed too far? Yeah, yeah definitely, but it still needed to be nerfed.

    Burning Soul: Threat reduction is now 10/20%, up from 5/10%.

    Well deserved buff. Fire has been a threat machine for no reason for an extremely long time.

    Brain Freeze: This talent now allows your next Fireball or Frostfire Bolt to be instant and cost no mana. There is a small internal cooldown to keep the Frostfire Bolt from immediately triggering Brain Freeze again.

    How long we have been asking for this? How long have we said “Fireball doesn’t scale! Just give us a FFB! Put like an ICD or something on it!” How long has it been, my frosty brethren? How long we have stalked the shadows, disguising ourselves as Frostfire mages or arcane mages just so we can walk in public?

    No more! NOW IS THE WINTER OF OUR DISCONTENT!

    Seriously, literally every major buff thrown at frost recently has come in the winter months. Coincidence? I think not!

    Glyph of Fireball: No longer increases critical strike chance of Fireball. Instead, it now reduces the cast time of Fireball by 0.15 seconds.

    …!

    Wow.

    Now that, that I was not expecting.

    A buff, flat out, over the old glyph, though how much of a buff will depend on how it interacts with haste, namely where the reduction in cast time is calculated. I’m guessing it will be before haste, in which case we can basically treat it as a 5% haste boost to fireball, or basically trading 5% crit for 5% haste.

    Napkin math, I’m showing a slight DPS increase for having a faster fireball. Not huge, roughly a 5% increase I’d say. Keep in mind that this is a flat reduction to cast speed, so all of your haste rating, all the haste you get for being in a raid, all of that is applied after this cast time reduction is factored. Probably.

    In any case this seems like it would work out to about a 5% increase to fire mage DPS (it iss called napkin math, but really I’m using a calculator and Notepad. Theorycraft is fun!). Less crit on fireball might result in some losses of Hot Streak procs here and there, but having a multiplying haste effect seems to counteract that loss easily and provide a slight buff too.

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