Technically my Hello World post was on December 23rd, 2009.
But I think something like 100 posts would be a better milestone to celebrate. Particularly since I tend to have a couple weeks’ lag in between spurts of posting rather than a solid year of posting on a regular schedule. This makes #94. Here’s a year’s worth of babble.
…actually, I think, Gazimoff already did this title.
Anyway, World of Raids is looking for some bloggers to take some beta keys and I was tempted.
(Well, actually, I ended up posting anyway, but I’m still not sure of myself.)
I think it was temptation. I thought “Ooooh!” because they specifically mentioned DKs, Druids, and Warlocks, and I’m at least one of those three. But then I thought about why I wanted the key. Just to experience new content now rather than later? Or to actually test the material? I think I would test anyway, and I try my best to give constructive feedback when it’s wanted, but I’m not sure of myself.
For one, I’m a small blog. That is, I hit 50 views on a good day. (I haven’t gotten any beta scams in my email box, either.) It’s okay, for the most part, I’m writing more for me than for large swathes of trolls (and gnomes and draenei and…) to give me attention. So it’s not like me making a post about warlock mechanics in beta build XYZ is going to make much of a bang. Most likely warlocks are already following the beta-goers posting in the Warlocks’ Den or reading Jagoex in Blood Pact on WoW.com.
Jagoex is really good, too.
Then there’s Nibuca, whom I once dubbed the Queen of Affliction. She updated the affliction warlock part of Raider101. I’d write a good long draft on some 3.3 cool thing, she’d post, and I’d see that her post was both better and clearer (more succinct?) than mine ever was.
So my being in the beta would only go so far if I can’t bring the beta to the community through my blog.
Don’t know much about pyrology,
Don’t know much demonology,
Don’t know much about Molten Core,
Don’t know what a Conflagrate‘s for.
But I do know that I love you,
And I know that if you love me, too,
What a shadowy world this would be.
Now I don’t claim to be some wiz Eee Jay,
But I’m tryyyying to be.
So maybe by being an Eee Jay beta
I can win your key for me.
That is how the song goes, right?
Theorycrafting & Class Guides
I’m not EJ-technical. I try to understand the mechanics behind my spells. I even practice it on a dummy for hours. But the EJ how-to’s are a) stuck in BC, and b) written for people who already understand the mechanics.
In a word, they’re useless.
I’ve wanted to write a How To Be a Good Warlock series for a while. I’ve been told in-game I’m a “good warlock.” Whether that means I do uber DPS (prolly not) or that I simply take my healers into consideration and don’t Life Tap myself to death, I still consider myself pretty knowledgeable about affliction warlockery. I want to share it.
It’s late Wrath. I got into the blogging game late, too. I do more lurking in forums than I do posting, mainly because I don’t feel as knowledgeable as those who were there since Vanilla. Not to mention there are so many points of view I could be talking on, it’s hard to write a non textwall without generalizing and having it read wrong. I feel like all I want to say has already been said before and I’d get laughed at for reiterating something so basic. Even with all the PUG horror stories out there.
In Cataclysm, everything’s being changed. I’m in the starting gates right now. I haven’t been out on the practice track, but I’m ready for the race.
I Love To Tinker
When my dad and I played Baldur’s Gate or Myst or Might & Magic, we’d first do it blind. Maybe we used paper and pencil to write down the puzzle codes in-game or whatever, but we wouldn’t use any walkthroughs or maps or guides that didn’t come in the box. We’d beat the game au naturale first, and then we’d go back and God-mode the heck out of it.
I’ve been leveling my alts without heirlooms. I find it more fun that way, having to actually struggle against appropriate-level quests and actually using quest rewards that are actually better than what I’m wearing. I love making my own talent spec while leveling, never looking at a talenting or glyphing guide until I’m cap level. I like reading the quest text and exploring my way there instead of immediately Wowheading it for the coordinates.
I actually like making the trip back to the quest giver instead of having a turn-in in-the-field. *cough* Makes for strategic hearthstone setting.
I like exploring.
I think I have the right mindset for beta testing.
But I’m not quite confident enough to say I would be great for it, to add to the beta forums or the community well.
I feel like a minnow.
Many topics & events are popping up in the SAN forums. One of them was since a good majority of the bloggers rerolled a brand new toon on a strange server rather than transferring, we’re all back at square one level-wise. So why not blog about leveling whatever toon you picked?
Well, I figured I’d pick a warlock and name her Poneria so there was no confusion. And despite leveling a warlock demo this time instead of affliction, it’s still really the same. So I thought, hey, why not learn to RP, too! Except that Poneria is firmly stuck in my head as my main, and while, yeah, I figure I could just write another story with the same name, it feels…dirty and wrong. For one, I can’t remember all the stories I had with The Scarlet Robes. Yeah, I would have to include TSR adventures because it feels like a part of my main.
But the TSR I knew isn’t on Argent Dawn. So…it feels wrong to roleplay my old warlock anew.
New toon then? But what? Though I have an urge to play a male dwarf (I normally play female toons & I don’t like the female dwarf model, hence, no dwarven toons for me), possibly a paladin, I have several qualms.
- A male dwarf is cross-gender for me, and I’m not terribly confident that I understand a guy’s personality beyond the stereotypical protector personality. So go figure, a paladin.
- My other favorite stereotype personality to attempt roleplay is an evil character, though I would sincerely try to justify his/her evilness whether by logic or personality or history. However, evil characters are either DKs (reformed evil or perhaps not so reformed) or warlocks (see above for dilemma of persona).
- I can only think of stereotypes? Or are these archetypes, I can’t tell.
- I’m not too sure I have the Scottish accent down, or hell, even writing accents in general. So I feel like maybe I ought to just stick to a human, where I can get away with not having a specific accent.
- My experience has been either event-based (forum-RP) or it was my own fanfiction, so given a prompt, I believe I can RP well enough. It’s the LARPing I’m afraid is hard.
- My previous written characters were so totally Mary Sue. This is bad.
- I want to hang out with SAN, but also I want to try RP. Which would be kind of weird to explain why my WoW character is in a guild called Single Abstract Noun. Of course, the obvious solution is to leave my baby Poneria in SAN and then RP elsewhere, whether it’s on AD or not.
Although this feels like I’m ripping off Psynister and creating my own notebook of leveling a roleplayer, it’s what I would like to do. It’ll give me space to ask for out-of-game feedback or to experiment or to gather my research together or whatever purposes.
I think my first step is to explore the forums and blogs surrounding RP in WoW and then my second step is to develop the basics of a character to play. Musings to come!
Anywho, The Physician’s Log has suggested a Secret Santa-like thing, except it’s Valentine’s Day, so, of course, it’s Secret Admirer, not Santa.
Which means I get to stalk a blog over the weekend. Actually, I figure I will stalk 15 blogs over the weekend, since, like Miss Medicina, I want to see if I can figure out the whole puzzle! The reward is a custom RSS icon by Dristanel (The Physician’s Log), but really, I consider the reward if I can successfully leave comments without giving away too much in the first one…I’m horribly bad at surprises.
I also fail at timing things, because I woke up thinking today was Friday but it’s totally not…oh well. Sorry, SA!
My Computer is Full of Win(7)
The engineering SWAT team (“My comp is b0rkd plz fix!” people) couldn’t figure out what was wrong with my computer, either, so they offered a reinstall of whatever OS I wanted. Yay, Windows 7! It’s so shiny, and yes, I recommend it over XP (which is what I was using). I never used Vista, so I can’t recommend any advice for that.
My Major is Full of Win
I recently decided to switch my engineering major from Engineering Science & Mechanics (theory-mechanical engineers, essentially) to Computer Science. ESM was kicking my ass and I felt more or less annoyed by the snootiness of the major. Yes, they are very nice & awesome people, but only if you understand it like they do. The dynamics class, for example, starts out with “Hi, this is the hardest class you will take in your undergraduate career.” And they leave it at that. No “But we’ll help you, so don’t be afraid!” but more the feeling of “How can you be so slow as to not get this by reading our not-very-good textbook, which we wrote ourselves?” I was unhappy. My grades sank. It sucked.
So I switched to Computer Science, which was my second choice to go into. Not to mention I love coding. I can’t really remember the last time I was angry while coding. They were very awesome to help add me into the classes I needed on the last add day. The only bump in the road was the ENGE class I needed to switch from a MechE-like major to a Computer-like major. But, as every freshman engineer finds out, the Engineering Education dept is lacking in either one or both of its title areas, because they rather suck at cultivating learning environments through their classes.
But yeah, first day of CS classes…I felt happy and full of win. Someone asked an intelligent question in lecture and it was one of those, “Damn, that’s good!” questions. Then someone asked one of those basic coding 101 questions, and in ESM I fully expected to see half the class roll their eyes and the professor to sigh and then try to explain it. CS? “Good question, here, [explanation],” and it even reviews the concept being discussed. The professor also stops and asks if we’ve understood. It feels like being a healer with an excellent tank who stops and asks if you need to drink now. Not the tanks who ask that for the sake of asking it and then keep pulling, but tanks who are cordial to you and work with you.
It felt AMAZING. First day, I don’t know anybody and I hardly know anything, yet I’m at home in my new major. Awesomesauce. Also, I realized my majors are now (CS)^2. Computer Science & Classical Studies. Eh, eh, eh, how awesome is that?!!! =P
I Feel Full of Win
And I’d like it to stay that way. Especially since I was a dumbass over winter break and forgot to refill my anxiety/depression meds. I guess that’s what the phone was invented for?
So I won’t post the Spitfire post like I originally wanted to. Why? Well, for one, I babble & ramble on and on and on, and other people simply said it better & in more succinct ways that I can. For two, because my inner warlock gets all heated and defensive about why DPS aren’t just meat in the room. While my inner tree & bear know how stressed out they get sometimes, there are times when my warlock is uberstressed to. The point I would have made? All I ask for as a healer/tank/dps is a little respect and friendliness. WoW is an MMO, which means it’s got a great deal of socializing in it. In real life I really don’t care what you give me for my birthday or really if you give anything at all, so long as you’re willing to hang out with me and have some good times. Just as I consider my friends and guildies in WoW to be as good friends as those whose doors I can physically knock on, I expect the same out of WoW. Friends & feel-goodiness are all that matter in the long run, even if specific pieces of loot are “teh shinies and I wants them” for myself.
I’m thoroughly enjoying the new Classifieds on WoW.com–y’know, the column that replaced the drama column Guildwatch? I won’t even scroll down to the comments any more because it’s full of people whining for the nasty drama to come back. Yeah, okay, I did like to read Guildwatch back when it was nasty. Yeah, okay, it’s cathartic to read about other people’s mishaps. But…I find myself feeling more satisfied and definitely happier when I finish reading about the goodness in the Classifieds than I EVER did reading Guildwatch. Especially the Kudos/Random Acts of Uberness section at the bottom. I wish that section were longer.
Bit of a double-post day–I wanted to bust out some kudos to an awesome awesome PuG group I had on my belf priest yesterday. Honestly, halfway through it I was thinking about sending in the name of the tank to WoW.com for the Classified column Kudos section. Then I thought about it…y’know what? THE WHOLE GROUP WAS AWESOME. Also, no frickin way I could do it in 50 words or less. So I wrote a post about it. However, I’m on campus at the moment and don’t have the index card with the names I wrote down, so you’ll get that post later this evening.
Along with all the account security, what a lot of raiders and guilds think about is not just the hacked toon, but what might happen to the guild bank and/or guild.
We’ve had a string of officers hacked in the past, which meant the guild bank got trashed due to officer permissions. The restrictions are now down to 3 per tab per day, with the obvious exceptions of the food and free for all tabs. The stacks of things have also been decreased, so while it may look dumb to see 6 stacks of 3 Abyss, it’s so you can only grab 9 (3 slots of 3) instead of the whole 18, were they stacked like normal. This leads to less gbank space.
Also, we have guildies who want to contribute expensive and/or valuable items to the guild bank that other members can use, but they don’t want to expose these items to hackers, especially now that the care package offer is more mandatory.
Solutions? Well, we *could* require everyone to get an authenticator. And with the pet that comes (or leaves!) with one, it’s not hard to check. Unless you want to be checking ALL the time. Anyway, we trust people.
Part of the way around this is I think we’ve been utilizing communication and people’s professions. For example, one member of the guild sends me massive amounts of materials for flasks & elixirs, and massive amounts of mats to another guildy for potions, respective to our profession specialities. So the guild bank is some mix of actually decent stuff, the abyss crystals we get from raids, and the junk we all have but don’t want.
But then…my amazing guild leader came up with a brilliant solution.
People who make expensive & valuable things–enchants, epic gem cuts, leatherworking, whatever–can put in a voucher. First, you send to an alt a mail with the instructions on how to complete the voucher. When your alt receives the mail, click on the “make a permanent copy of this letter” icon. This creates an in-game object (virtual physical object?) of the letter, which your alt can go deposit in the correct guild bank tab. Whoever chooses the “Plain Letter” out of the bank can still read the instructions on the Letter, see who it was from, and then get their item. We tested this and confirmed you can put in a letter (it’s not soulbound) and someone else can read it.
The only flaw so far is the copy only gets named “Plain Letter.” So you’d have a bunch of Plain Letters, and restrictions on withdrawals might make it hard to pick on you want. But you could use this to an advantage: a hacker might not be able to get a really awesome item voucher if he’s limited to the 3 stacks and picks the wrong ones. If you get a smart hacker who actually reads the instructions and follows through, then it could possibly be worked around. But most of the hacking has happened in off-hours, so the hacker would have to either mail the item to his account (which nobody would recognize, and therefore not complete) or wait for the guildy to log on and send it to the hacked toon. Since officers regularly check the logs, I don’t think this would happen if we saw too much voucher-grabbing from a certain toon.
What do you suggest for others to keep a good guild bank safe?
It exploded in the WoW blogosphere, I think. It seems to have subsided a little, so probably after compiling all my thoughts and ponderings on the subject, I’ll be too late and too repetitive. I still feel like it would be a good exercise: for thinking, for writing, for perspective, for blogging, for whatever.
My core perspective is my two mains: an affliction warlock and a beartree druid. My absolute “main” is my warlock — a DPS. Moreover, a class whose three talent trees are all designed for the DPS role, so I play a pure DPS class, to be specific. But I also have devoted a great deal of time and effort into being a great bear TANK and tree HEALER. My tree is currently decked out in 4pc t9, bear is after warlock, and warlock is in progress through the Triumph handouts. At first I was outraged by the post — because I swear, I’m a warlock at heart, a pure DPS. Then I got to thinking…
And I’m still thinking. Mostly reading other people’s perspectives and opinions and blog posts on the subject and then thinking some more through my own opinions and perspectives.
Would posting my thoughts be too late and/or too repetitive of others’ before?
I feel especially lazy to cobble together images for my Minions & Spells post. So I’m posting about this instead. Stuff I got perusing MMO-Champion:
As Ghostcrawler mentioned in the “Balance Adjustments” thread for 3.3, we would like to buff warlock PvE damage for all three talent trees. We have a few changes in mind we can share with you and welcome your feedback. That being said, of course these changes are not yet implemented and are subject to revision or reversal before the next minor patch.
Affliction: While some warlocks will no doubt disagree, we think the damage output of Affliction in PvP is pretty good. Therefore, we want a buff that will increase sustained damage after a ramp-up period. The specific change we have in mind is to allow Shadow Embrace to stack up to 3 times for a total of a 15% damage bonus. The current healing debuff would change to 10% per stack.
Demonology: We want to double the damage bonus of Demonic Pact granted the warlock. To avoid making this an all-around buff to raid damage, however, the damage bonus provided to other players would remain unchanged.
Destruction: We want to double the damage bonus provided by Empowered Imp.
As a further buff to both Demonology and Affliction, we’re testing out the effects of doubling the damage bonus of Improved Shadow Bolt in the Destruction tree.
Again, these are preliminary ideas. These changes might be revised or reverted before going live. Just the same, these are not necessarily the only changes we are willing to make and your feedback is appreciated. (Source)
Woohoo! Actually, I’m pretty satisfied where my damage is at. I know I’m not giving it my all nor am I in the top raid tier, but I like it where I am.
The sustained damage increase sounds exciting, but I’m wary. Couple this with less gimmick fights where DoTs can be ticking away and yet the tank’s threat is stalled because we’re dancing, then I’ll be happy. I remember our tank cheering if he could get the taunt off before Heigan one-shotted me as we ran back to the platform. >.< It’s not fun to make my dps take a backseat because two DoTs out of four overthreats the tank.
Zarhym later states that this would probably be coming in a minor patch, i.e., 3.3.something or 3.3.something-a, and it might be tweaked by spell coefficients or whatever. Which I’m interested in, because if the spell coeffs get tweaked, maybe EJ might actually update the spell coeff page. (Doubt it.) An invisible number mechanic like a spell coefficient is probably easier to change on the dev side than a talent (noooooes! not the tooltips! ANYTHING but tooltips!).
Farther down the thread, Destro locks should be happy to note that Conflagrate might get buffed, not just Empowered Imp. Even I, the destro noob, was like “Imp…I mean, yeah they use the imp, but really? Just the imp?”
On another note, I noticed Lissana talking on Twitter about how moving fights really mess up the moonkin DPS rhythm. Luckily, as an affliction lock, my DPS isn’t too dependent on standing still. Yes, only Corruption and the curses are instant-cast–everything else has a casttime or is channeled. But the only casttime worth major attention is Shadow Bolt. Haunt & Unstable Affliction both have short base casttimes anyway. But yeah, I get rather…uh…ticked…when Drain Soul gets interrupted because I need to move. So I end up doing a little “moonfare spam” of my own when that happens.
So taking her post and the comments that ensue, what would “shot-on-the-run” changes mean for warlocks? I mean, Lissana used moonkin as her specific example (and casters as the general), since she knows moonkin best. Personally, I think I can only talk for affliction warlocks (if my opinion is even valid); I have no experience with either Demo or Destro in a raid situation. I’ve solo’d some BC group quests and normal dungeons as a SL/SL lock, but that’s about all my experience in the demo tree. I’ve yet to touch destro beyond the mandatory 15 points I spend for a full Ruin. So I’m going to talk from purely affliction. All locks in the crowd are welcome to comment, of course.
“Shot on the Run” spell? Well, we already have that. DoTs. Plenty of them. Though, I do still miss having 6. (Immolate! I still love you! But only when I get the shadow spells locked out. <.< >.>) Typically we take that one more half-second to finish the DoT cast and then we run like hell. Once the DoT is up on the target, we really don’t care until we have to reapply them. The only time I really hate moving is the Drain Soul execute phase, but like I said above, you also just spam DS as you move.
Pushback while running: I really like Hiddencamper’s comment. Honestly, I read it and thought, “Now, there’s an idea.” Not to mention you’d maybe see more life in the Fel Concentration talent (reduces pushback to Haunt, UA, and the drain spells). Pushback with an arbitrary limit makes a lot of sense–you make the casttime longer, but you can still cast.
“Swiftfire”: Swiftbough adds maybe moonkin could get a Swiftmend for damage: the spell deals the full damage from the total DoT and consumes the DoT. For affliction…nah, we like our DoTs unconsumed. Though the Cataclysm shard rehaul sounds like it’s adding something similar, except instead of consuming the DoT buff, it consumes a shard.
Droodboy suggests upping the hit cap while moving. I’m not terribly in favor of this. For locks, it’s hard enough to find gear with both spirit and hit on it (gawsh, healy priests, GG). Fel Armor works off the spirit stat. So does the Life Tap glyph buff, I might add. Fel Armor (30%) + Life Tap (20%) equates to 50% of your spirit gets added to your spellpower. Not a total amazing jump, but that’s still +250 at the least, for me. So less spirit for locks (because of more hit needed) means a less +spellpower to damage, which means unhappy locks. It’s either a loss of spirit on our gear, or the loss of spellpower through gemming for hit.
- Let’s see, math for gemming for hit over spellpower. 1% is 33 hit rating, rounded up. JC’s can just barely cap this with one gem (Rigid Dragon’s Eye = +34 hit); the rest of us will have to do with two Rigid King’s Amber, a total of 40 +hit rating. Two Runed Cardinal Rubies give you +46 spellpower. Would you trade 46 spellpower for 1% of hit that is needed only when you move while casting?
Even for a measly +46 spellpower, I don’t move that much, honestly. Maybe it’s a different situation for moonkin, but I don’t terribly like this idea.
Readers? Thoughts on any of the above?
I know, probably not a very awesome blog post, but I’ve got ideas running in my head, and I don’t know if I’m awesome enough to write them down here and not be laughed or pfft’d at. Assuming people read this.
User Interface Theories and Addon Reviews
I like addon reviews. I like messing with my addons. I have alts specifically for messing with my user interface. I also like reading articles by others on how your UI should be set up for raiding or whatever. Clutter is not good, etc. I want to explore UI tweaking, but I need more than my opinion.
Loot List for the LFG/Badge Whore
I see lots of loot lists pop up every patch, but they always show what’s in the newest raid instance or BiS. But I’m a 5man’r, a casual 10man’r. I usually end up going through WowHead/MMO-Champion with twenty tabs in Firefox, and then ten more tabs comparing the gear I find in the various dungeons. The BiS/Raid25 lists do nothing for me. Even Raid10, because my guild is about a raid/tier behind everything.
What’s out there for people who cruise LFG or get our purple pixels largely by emblems and not by drops? Or what professional stuff can you use? Or how can the new 80-dings efficiently catch up to the 3.3 raiders? Also questions of how can a toon who’s solo’d 1-80 by questing transition smoothly into the hostile LFG environment without too many L2P comments thrown their way. I want to explore the band of experience of good players with good gear looking for more, but who aren’t necessarily in a progression guild because of playtime or scheduling.
Theorycrafting & Gear Scales
Obvious explanation by itself. Though I’m more intrigued on how to build my own gear scoring template, or if I even need one, and how tweaking stats by only so much really will or won’t matter. There’s lots of links to gear score templates, but not many to how those are actually built.
Like trackbacks–I’m still trying to figure out how to do that whole “I linked to your blog” deal.
BlogAzeroth has a slew of them popping up. But, c’mon, what would I going to put for the blogging one? “How long have you been blogging?” “Oh, barely a week. Unless you count Xanga in high school.” Seriously, not interesting at all. But I feel leechlike just chilling on the forums with my one intro post.
How To LFG
With all the FailPug hate going on due to, well, jerks in LFG, I’m wondering about exploring how to be a better pug, even on your bad days. Yes, some FailPug jerks are just that, jerks. But some of it is people just not knowing how different classes do the same job. Like bears & pallies. Maybe I can take what I learn in raid by healing or tanking or dps’ing with other classes and apply it to a 5man. Also not just covering interclass mechanics, but interpersonal. Like saying “hello” when you join a group rather than mowing through in silence.
What do you guys want to know? The few who come reading, anyway?