Archive for November, 2009

Fire PvP

BOOM here comes the BOOM ready or not, haha how you like me now?!

LK has, so far, been the best expansion in history for mages. Multiple specs viable for both PvE and PvP, and patch 3.3 is gifting us with a PvE viable frost spec (or close enough for most people), and a fire tree that’s viable for PvP.

Wait, what? Hell yeah, fire for PvP.

Been paying attention to the PTR notes? No? Forgot? Here’s a ‘fresher:

  • Mana cost of DB and BW slashed, they’re cheap as dirt now.
  • Firestarter, that talent everyone ignores that gives you instant flame strikes when you use DB or BW, now also makes that flamestrike cost no mana.
  • Burning Determination now grants you immunity to the next silence or interrupt effect.

Fire already has other talents which edge it close to being a great PvP spec. Fireblasts that can stun, Living Bomb on unlimited targets, instant pyros whenever you crit twice, blazing speed, a disarm and anti-execute damage reduction.

In case you missed it, the Scorch effect applies all five stacks immediately as of 3.3. No need for the glyph at all. Hurray for raiding fire mages! The glyph is still around of course, providing a 20% boost to scorch damage. Bah, says the raiders, no one will ever take that. (more…)

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Defensive Play

Last week I was over at a friend’s house apartment, for parties and stuff I guess (WHO THE HELL BURNS POPCORN? COME ON!), and near the end of the evening ended up playing some WoWzors.

It being the AV holiday weekend, and my paladin still needing a few honor pieces, I queued up for that and away I went, smashing faces in and so forth, whilst me and a couple other WoWheads discussed PvP balance.

We were initially talking about arena matrixes, and discussed how well unholy DK/ret/disc would run in 3.3. After all, Unholy’s getting a few buffs and ret isn’t being nerfed for once, and I casually mentioned that poor retribution had been nerfed every single patch since LK shipped.

And you know what my friend said? He said “yeah, and you guys are STILL overpowered!” I mean it was meant as a joke, his main is a death knight after all, but ARGH ret pallies aren’t OP anymore!

So a long discussion was launched, in which I enumerated the many areas with which ret paladins are seriously lacking, about the lack of control, snares, gap closers, interrupts, and so forth, all the while kicking ass in AV.

At the end of my lengthy tirade, the same friend spoke up and said “That’s great and all, but I just watched you kill fifteen people in under three minutes, by yourself, without using major cooldowns, and you were fighting no less than three of them at a time.” (more…)

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Cooking and Grinds

The one part of this silly Pilgrim holiday I am participating in is the whole cooking thing. It was easy as pumpkin pie to level my paladin’s cooking skill from 1-350 or so with nearly no effort. I say “nearly” because damn it, travelling is difficult when you can’t port wherever the crap you want.

I’ll probably end up grabbing the ranks on several other characters, too, but maybe not. Euripedes can already make basically any buff food he or any other alt would need at end game, so I really don’t need another cook.

But still… easy as pie leveling for a profession that otherwise is just a stupid ass grind.

There are multiple kinds of grinds, but they can be generalized into “bad grinds” and “good grinds”. What category any specific grind falls into depends on your personal opinion.

Grinding dailies is dull, grinding the AH even worse, but grinding honour isn’t a grind at all for me. Rather, continuously running BGs is a hobby of mine that I dearly love. (more…)

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Forgle Wargle Blurgle

Pilgrim Euripedes?

No thanks. I did every world event loyally, got the titles, the pets, went hunting for specific class/race combos, and then not one goddamn bag of candies dropped in February. Then I realized I just didn’t really care at all. Bah, whatever, and so forth.

Get the midsummer’s title, Flamekeeper, on the very off-chance I spec fire again, but other than that I don’t really bother with world events anymore.

What kind of title is reasonable for an arcane mage anyways? I switch between “of the Nightfall” and “the Undying” these days (by the way, the Black Drake is an amazingly handsome mount, highly recommended, you kinda feel like a Nazgul on that thing), but those are kinda “durr hurr look at me I raid and stuff”.

Buckle down, spam BGs until I get “of the Horde”? Grab Loremaster? Go titleless because it’s just a dorky vanity thing? Whip out “the Explorer” to make people underestimate me in battlegrounds?

Speaking of that, where are all the good male draenei mages? I can’t recall having seen even one since the launch of TBC. Literally every single male draenei mage I have come across has varied somewhere between “awful” and “not quite as awful”. (more…)

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Gated unlocking of bosses once again. Yeah, they’re treating the gamers like children, only handling out a few of the candies at one time so the chocolate box will last longer. It’s a bit patronizing[…]

A bit? A bit?! Here I must take the vehement route. Being treated like children is absolutely right, and it isn’t a bit patronizing, it’s patronizing to the point where I expect activating hard mode will generate a warning box that says:

Are you sure? It’s weeally hawd! You might die, and then cwy and be sad!

And then when you wipe the cast of Sesame Street appears and sings a dumb “believe in yourself” song to cheer you up. Maybe Big Bird gives you an ice cream cone that has the flavor text “don’t be sad” or something.

Try to understand something here. Most of us are raiders. You know, people who get together, bring our game faces, our top of the line, researched, gemmed and enchanted gear, and throw ourselves at the hardest content the game has to offer us. (more…)

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Quite the bombshell.

ICC is going to be gated, and gated very heavily. As in, on release, we only have access to the first four bosses. This is all we get for weeks. “Several weeks”, to use the exact quote. Then we get to fight the next three, and after several more weeks, the next two, then after several more weeks, the final three.

And then, and only then, does heroic mode unlock. And did I mention that you get limited tries on the final boss of each wing?

This is… interesting.

On the one hand, this is perfect for casual aligned raider guilds. No pressure to continue past a certain point, because there isn’t anything beyond that point. On the other hand, this is a huge cockblock for the high end guilds, and possibly immensely frustrating for mid-level raiders.

Your mileage may vary, I suppose. (more…)

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Playing Against the Game

The very first video game I ever owned was NHL ’96 for the Super Nintendo.

The goalies, being controlled by the AI, auto-tracked the puck, and would do their damndest to stop goals. Problem is, by creating a custom character, you can create a character that can move faster than the goalies. Thus, you could simply grab the puck, skate straight at the goalie, then curve a little to the left or right, and shoot. Because your character moves faster than the goalie, it is literally impossible for that goalie to move fast enough to stop the shot.

This resulted in hilarious games where I could score once every ten seconds, if not more.

Point is, I wasn’t playing the game within the rules laid out by the game. I was, in fact, playing against the game itself, abusing and exploiting the rules to crush the crap out of it.

Hands up, who’s played D&D? Alright, hands up, who’s intentionally exploited the rules, or even the GM, for personal gain?

The difference between playing a game, and playing against a game is a distinction that is nearly completely lost on long-time gamers. Beating the game on its own terms, and beating it by bending or outright breaking its rules are really the same thing, aren’t they? Either jump through the hoops the developer made for you, or make your own hoops and jump through those instead. (more…)

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Ugh. Midterms.

I missed a bunch of school thanks to swine flu, and am still trying to play catch up. Caught up in 3/5 courses at the moment, though I still have a massive essay due this friday, and frankly it needs work. Lots of it.

Life is hard doodz!

This was brought to my attention today, and while an interesting read in and of itself, something I ended up thinking a lot about was the following sentence:

all the characters did exactly what I had hoped they would do

Writing fiction is a strange experience. Characters, stories, are invented and thought up, and then writing begins. Maybe the author had an idea for this, had the plot envisioned, knew where s/he wanted the story to go…

And then halfway through, the actual story doesn’t look anything like the little fiction embryo the author thought up in the first place. Sometimes, the characters do what you hope they would, and sometimes, they don’t.

Ultimately, writing fiction is an organic experience, largely because you, the author, are giving this little world, these characters, life. And they take that life and run with it, and eventually, you stop, breathless, wondering how the hell that just happened. (more…)

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25-man VoA forming up. I was on my paladin at the time, so I figure what the hey. Ret DPS isn’t exactly difficult (read: easy as crap) and I could use the Relentless gear, it would save me some honor farming. So I join in, do literally all of the summons myself (thanks guys), though thankfully I did at least have a dedicated clicker.

Gah, big advantage to 10 man raiding right there. Summoning is so easy when you have to deal with 8 people at absolute maximum.

Anyway, so in we go. Trash drops like nothing. We get to Koralon.

Our two tanks are Rhyokin (a well geared orc warrior with the title Gladiator) and Iliad (tauren DK, also well geared and also a Gladiator). Now, I respected both of these guys a great deal. They raid hard, they PvP hard, they seemed like pretty cool guys, overall. It’s also worth taking note of Nhiosis, a fantastic warlock with 85k lifetime kills.

If you bothered to armory them, you’ll notice they are all from the same guild. (more…)

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Whatever This Patch Is…

It had better be important.

I don’t think I’ve ever been flat out booted from the game and forced to download an emergency patch before. Seems like this must be something hugely important, what with booting me in the middle of a hard-fought WG, costing me the honor and tokens for winning. 20 minutes of hard fighting, wasted. Thank god I have time to do three WGs a night. I don’t know how I’d deal with this if I actually had something like a social life.

The forums say this is just a tools update, for the launcher (which I don’t use, and haven’t for years) or downloader or something.

Why this couldn’t wait literally ten hours for patch night boggles my mind.

Oh well. At least by punting me in the middle of the evening, this gives me time to deal with all the real life stuff like going to the bathroom or making dinner that I already did so I could play WoW all evening. So instead I’m just reading about Bat Boy and how Mel Gibson is to become the next pope. There is literally nothing else constructive left to do except sit here and watch the patch fail to update correctly over and over again.

Or, more accurately,try to start wow.exe, watch it do absolutely nothing whilst it demands access to fully control explorer.exe, and when given permission, instantly crashed explorer.exe.

Whelp, I’ma restart this here computer, and hopefully I don’t have to wait through that 50 minute download again.

See you on the flipside with an exciting story about how I put some guys I used to respect and revere on ignore.

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