Tattered Robes

My guild just died. I got to watch.

Overnight, somebody had a pissy fit and whipped out a threat of physical violence at a guild RL gathering and just like that.  Boom.  My guild died.

I logged on to find the GM had stepped down and then I watched him leave.  THe entire day I couldn’t log off because I was afraid I’d miss the chance to say another goodbye.  Half my favorite people are gone.

I don’t log onto WoW to theorycraft or to raid or to do quests or to WoW.  I log on to play with my Robes, my family.

And now my Robes are gone, almost.  I say almost, there are some of us left, it was huge schism, though.  So there’s still The Scarlet Robes, been around on US-Eonar Alliance since forever, but we’re tattered scraps.

I’m still terribly sad, devastated, and a little shocked.  So maybe posts will come just so I can write my way through pain or maybe I’ll leave off here for a bit.  I’ll try to keep up the TNWiki like I said I’d start, though.

Tattered Robes

Addicted to TNB

Seriously, overnight addiction.

I sat in on my first TNB Live and it was absolute fun.  Listening to the live podcast while chatting is a lot like being in a partial pug while being in Vent with guildies.  It’s absolutely hilarious on the one end and when the two ends combine.

Yes, I took notes. Again.  This time the guest was Miss Medicina.  There were some links I forgot to save from the chat, so I might wait until TN puts up their short transcript before I put up my notesy review.

Other news: I volunteered to help out with the Twisted Nether Wiki, since apparently it’s somewhat backlogged.  As the blogcast was partying onward, one of the email questions that came up was from a wannabe blogger who was inspired by the blogcast.  Fim & Nib wanted to point this new guy to the Twisted Nether Wiki’s Blogger 101 page, but, alas, there’s almost nothing there!

So I’m taking it as my first venture into the Twisted Nether Wiki.  After all, Nibuca completely pwns at affliction warlocking on Raider101, so, I gotta do something.

Anyway, I call upon you bloggers!  This blog is barely over a month old, so I have some advice, but not much. Give me your tips or hints for new bloggers to put on the TNWiki. Of course, you will get credit where it’s due; I like to think I’m just a ponderer & collector of thoughts to put it all in one place.  You can either comment here, or drop me some quick tips via Twitter (@slowpoker).

Edit: I started the Blogger 101 page on the TNW.  It’s just a skeleton for now, mainly since I just realized it’s 6am and maybe that’s why it doesn’t quite look right to me at the moment.  Feel free to add to it or change it or give me some advice on how it should look, etc.

Addicted to TNB

TNB 75: Need More Guest

TNB, of course, is the Twisted Nether Blogcast.  As I’m slowly putting back together my computer with things I had set up, like mail tags & sorting, I decided, hey, why not load TNB into the iTunes podcast subscription thingy and listen some? So I did.  I feel a little daunted by it being episode 75; serial things like lore or TV series or books I feel like I have to start from the beginning, how it was “meant” to be experienced, etc.  However, if the other 74 episodes are two hours long…I’d be here forever.

Need More Guest is titled so because the schedule guest couldn’t make it, so Nibuca & Fimlys rambled on about various topics for two hours.  It’s not boring, actually, because 15 minutes into it I kept thinking and pondering on what they were discussing.  The problem was I was thinking loudly (thinking loudly silently?) and had to keep stopping and rewinding the cast in order to fully listen to and think about everything.  Then, y’know, this strange parallel popped into my head of how this happens in lecture and maybe I should take notes as I go and fill it all out later.  Three hours later (for a two-hour podcast <.< >.>) I had this large plain text file.  It tickled Nibuca, anyway.

So, let’s write MORE on it.

Yeah, that was a bad idea.

Y’know a post is too big when Lissana tells you your half post is bigger than her healing guide.  So I’m following a tip from Miss Medicina to break this up into smaller posts.

This post will just deal with the little things I found interesting and some stuff about the podcast itself.  The five big categories of topics in the middle are what really set me off on pondering tangents.  For the programming, well, programming really tickles me.  The account security awareness discussion is a big thing going on, and TSR has been hacked before; I felt like discussing it and sharing what we’ve done to combat being hacked.  The speculation on Cataclysm was a really big tangent: I spent most of it pondering warlock changes and what-ifs.  The Blue postage mildly interests me — I don’t often browse the forums because half of it seems more attention-whoring than actual news.   And last but not least, I went pondering on the differences between 10mans and 25mans with the recent Invincible bomb.

If you see any of those posts pop up over the next few days, this is why.

TNB75: Need More Guest

In the little intro “This is the Twisted Nether Blogcast” I heard Larisa’s voice for the first time and revealed how much of a dumbass I was.  See, I never read the about section since Larisa’s writing just sucks me in, so the Swedish accent (because, guess what, she’s SWEDISH) rather stunned my little default American accent voice into silence.

Self, you fail.

Anyway, way towards the end, the podcast got wrapped up with things going on in the WoW blogosphere.  Hot Topics had the return of Ratshag (whom I’m not terribly familiar with, but I guess I should) and Tamarind’s big raid leading deal.  I’ve tried raid leading, and yeah, it’s one of those things where you start to realize how much you do or don’t know or do or don’t care about or how stressful behind the keyboard you can become.  And, geez, I’ve only done “let’s go alt run Naxx.”  Fucking forget ICC or progression.  On the flip side, I stress out less over numbers and loot.  Because I guess I’ve realized numbers & loot aren’t really that worth it to blow a casket over.

The Shared Topic for the week was “What happens after Arthas?”  I admit, I’m kind of sad I couldn’t do this one.  I love speculating on things, but I’m as much not a lore nerd as a Wookie is not Star Trek.  I mean, I get the gist of medieval fantasy and those stereotypes & archetypes in WoW, but the actual fun-loving specifics…I have none.  But I’ve started reading Rise of the Horde, so I guess I’ll get there…eventually.

Next week Miss Medicina will be on! I love Miss Medicina, really I do. Love the writing.  I have her Disc leveling guide bookmarked for my latest alt project.  Hopefully I can remember at 11pm tomorrow to join the TNB chat.

In Voices from the Nether, Fimlys was talking about giving TNB feedback, whether through emails or comments or what.  Well, consider this my call of hysterical laughter, Fim. :)  Maybe I’ll even go pondering every episode I listen to.

TNB 75: Need More Guest

A Most Awesome PuG Group Experience

Dear Syl–you weren’t worth writing down your whole name & server, I guess,

You were a dick to us, all gogogo to get the sliver of experience you needed to hit 20. Frankly, as a veteran warlock, I was dismayed to see one of the class NOT using a demon of any sort for a good portion of dps’ing.  But the worst of it was when as you immediately dinged 20, you left us with a “cya losers.”

Well, you missed out on the fun & goodness of an awesome experience with four strangers.  The only really good pug experience I can remember with 4 complete strangers was the one time I got a non-fail Oculus group who also continued to do another random dungeon.  While that experience was awesome, this was awesomer by a few degrees.

Hope you enjoyed your 20 ding as much as we enjoyed not having you.

Sincerely,
Sphaira, the belf priest from Ursin

P.S. My Recount was still up when I logged in.  It’s Sylidor from Lightninghoof.  Now I can /ignore your ass.

The Group
Honestly, I wanted to maybe submit this to WoW.com’s newly redressed Classifieds for kudos, but I wasn’t sure if I could say an entire group was awesome.  Really, it started with our tank, but all four of you were amazing.  Also, I lament how you can ignore cross-server, but you can’t friend cross-server.  I totally would have friended you guys were you all on Ursin.

ILIAD, Detheroc (Belf pally): Iliad, you started off mentioning this was not only your first time through Wailing Caverns, but your first time tanking.  Maybe not your exact first time, but kudos to you for speaking up about it.  To tell you the truth, it was my first time through WC, too.  Since my mains are typically Alliance on Eonar, when I go over to my Ursin Hordies, it’s a whole new experience.  You did an excellent job. :) You were amazing for watching mymana and even reminding me to drink up when it dipped too low.  After playing a raiding tree, I’m used to feeling like I have near-infinite mana, so it was refreshing and awesome to get a random tank who looked after my blue bar.  Thanks so much! :)

AYO, Moonrunner (Belf pally): Ayo, you were awesome, too, when Iliad had to afk for a few min, you picked up the tanking and did quite excellently.  You seemed a bit more intuned than Iliad in picking up things that wanted to smack me, but Iliad did say it was his first time tanking, so I don’t blame him at all.  You also led Val & me back to Rhy & Iliad when you guys found the boss we had missed in the western wing.  Thanks. :)

RHYANNYN
, Maelstrom (Undead mage): Rhy, you were just full of awesomesauce.  When no one seemed to know where to go, you picked it up for a bit and guided us through the bosses to do. I had a veteran Hordie RL friend come over about the time we got lost, and even he mentioned that veterans get lost in there.  You were quick to go read Wowwiki and show us the way.  I had Atlas up, but since I’m an Ally n00b to WC, I had no clue where I was or who we had killed, so I felt rather useless.  Also, you offered up water the first time we all appeared in WC, which is fully awesome.  Thanks :)

VALCURAX, Twisting Nether (belf warlock): Val, you replaced the dick lock in admirable fashion.  You were nice and just generally awesome.  When the group split to find the lost boss, I ended up with you, and you even tanked some mobs with your VW in order to scout out the place.  You let me put you on follow while I let my friend in.  Though I was a little annoyed that you nearly life tapped yourself to death a few time, you were a good representative of the warlock class. Thanks. :)

The Instance
Wailing Caverns.  We killed whatsherface in the beginning, which is when Syl dinged 20 and promptly left.  Val quickly caught up as we roamed around the cavern to the guidance of Rhyannyn.  After we had circled around, we went to go talk the druid guy into summoning the Murloc boss, but it wouldn’t answer.  At this point, we realized we forgot a boss, but we couldn’t figure out which one we had.  The group was nice and generally happy to each other as we roamed everywhere searching for what we hadn’t done.  At one point we split–Iliad, Rhy, & Ayo went west, while Val & I roamed around the east.  Iliad, Rhy, & Ayo found the boss we had missed, and as Val & I tried to navigate back to the west, Ayo thankfully said we should tele out/in, which returns you to the instance entrance! Problem solved! Ayo came to meet us and guide us back to reunite with the group. We killed Lord West-side-snake-guy, then performed a tele trick once again to summon Murloc Man.  Piece of cake.

After finishing the instance and a few dings in the place, Iliad asked if we would like to do another dungeon.  Unfortunately, some of us had to go, including me.  Had I not been about to have company over, I totally whole-heartedly would have healed you through another random, Iliad.  And the rest of you, would you have come.  You guys were full of awesomesauce.

Especially since, as Iliad pointed out, we had NO DEATHS and NO ARGUMENTS throughout the ENTIRE place.  Wicked cool, guys. :)  I left feeling full of win.  I hope to see you guys again, whether at 20 or at 80.

A Most Awesome PuG Group Experience

Back & Full of Win!

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,

,” 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.

Back & Full of Win!

Bit of a Hiatus

Computer is having issues, and I’ll probably end up ditching XP for Windows 7, so no posts for a while.  Also, classes have started up again, so balancing engineering classes with getting my computer working, since those two issues are so intertwined, I’ll be busy with things other than WoW for a week or so.

Don’t worry! I plan to be back!

Bit of a Hiatus

Theorycrafting Spree/Rage

Theorycrafting post.  Because Nibuca said so.  The reason I started theorycrafting was because I like puzzles and it’s one big fucking puzzle.  Fucking is an accurate term because it fucks with your mind.  Honestly, just trying to read Elitist Jerks makes my head hurt.

The resistance mechanics thread, for example.  They just go straight into graphs and mathy shit.  Meanwhile, every time I see the word resistance, my brain shouts, “resistance of WHAT, goddamnit.  SPECIFIC PLEASE,” but no…apparently using words r 4 n00bz.  It would be amazing if every EJ thread explained stuff like Dwarf Priest did.

NUMBERS MEAN SHIT WITHOUT CONTEXT.  WTF, EJ.  I mean, they do go into theorycrafting theory (meta-meta-gaming?), but most of those articles are stuck in Burning Crusade.  So I end up using some combination of WowWiki, EJ, and my own warlock with a training dummy.  Because I’m paranoid and anal that articles without obvious dates may be out of date, so I have to test it myself.

Anyhoo.

My main goal is trying to figure out how people come up with gear stat weights, because every once in a while I have two pieces of equal ilvl gear (i.e., tier vs. non-tier) and I can’t quite tell which piece is more awesomer by just looking at it.  Also running something through Rawr comes up with a different answer than LootRank which is different from in-game Pawn.  WTF which one is it?  Since I’m paranoid and anal about scores without knowing how you get that score, I wanted to see how they get to such numbers like Pawn.

There’s a crapton of sites that rank your loot.  And lots of stat weights. Like, everywhere.  But there’s apparently no article whatsoever on HOW to get those numbers.

Pissed Poneria is pissed.

I mean, yeah, you can do the whole “oh, you make it equal to dps, like this much spellpower makes this much dps, and this much haste makes this much dps.”  It’s still a number…without how you got to that…

-.- wtb explanations of equations…PWITEE PLZ.

Sooooooooo…I’m starting from the basics.  Like spell power coefficients. I used to think spell power coeffs where WHOA complex.  They are CAKE.  Well, the direct damage and damage over time spells, anyway.  EJ & WowWiki differ on how to do channeled/leech spells, and the #s didn’t match up with a patch 3.2 Drain Soul ANYWAY, so I can’t do DS, because I don’t know what the flip it is.  I could use a dummy, yes, but the heroic boss dummy has a metric fucktonne of health, for a good reason, and it was at 95.4% last I tried. X(

And then I was thinking about how much spellpower affects your dps, just on maybe a simple spell like Shadow Bolt.  Which was cool, because, assuming it’s just me & no buffs, it’s just the talent multiplier * (avg base damage + spell_coeff*spellpower).

And then I thought…damage per second…do you count a direct damage spell like SB as all that damage in one second?  How does Recount do it?  Well, Recount takes your total damage and your total time and does a simple division.  It’s how AoE skews Recount.  When does time start? When you enter combat.  Okay, if you cast a SB before your DoT rotation (the favored optimal rotation), then yeah, the second the SB hits the target, you are in combat, and you deal all that damage.  But the normal use of your SB, time is already ticking when you start your CAST.

And then there’s the travel time of the bolt.  (Haunt also has a travel time.)

So that’s what…your cast time, plus…something.  I tested it out on my lock: max range with the dummy, it took about 2 “one thousands” to hit the dummy.  Decent-ish range is 1s worth of travel time.  So the longest time it would take is your cast time + 2s.  I use the longest time because the longest time creates the lower limit of dps (because dps = damage / time).  So…math…

dps = dmg / time

time = cast time + 2s

dmg = talents * (base + spell_coeff*spellpower)

dps_SB = (897.9 + 1.04726*sp) / (cast + 2)

But your haste affects your cast time.  So if you have more haste, then your cast time is less, which makes the sp more oomph.

And my mind just got blown at how your haste affects your spellpower importance.  It might be obvious or even just wrong reasoning (but explanations are WELCOME!), but my mind exploded and I had to stop there.

Mind being blown -> o_O face.

But I thought some more about haste and rotations.  I figured haste’s importance is you do your “debuff” rotation (aka, get all the debuffs up), and then more haste just means more SBs you can fit in, right?  But then I went to go test it.  You don’t just go: LTr1 > Haunt > UA >Corr > CoA > SB > SBxn > Haunt > UA > CoA > SBxn > Haunt, etc.

You do something more like: LTr1 > Haunt > UA > Corr > CoA > SB > SB > Haunt > SB > UA > SB > SB > Haunt > SB > LT > CoA > SB > UA…you weave in SBs with your DoTs and Life Tapping.  So it’s more complicated than just more SBs.

Bwuh.  My brain hurts.  Will try again later.

Theorycrafting Spree/Rage

Felpuppy Love

So…since Blizz buffed the felpuppy, I’ve been using him more instead of the imp.  Except in certain cases like Keristrazsa where he dies in the first few seconds because the AI doesn’t jump.

Seriously, Blizz needs to fix that. Or at least let all pet-owning classes get an instant-cast summon pet spell like the DK’s.  It’s really retarded when I get chewed out for not dpsing trash due to having to summon my idiot felhound for the billionth time.

So, I finally decided to give up Dark Pact and go for Improved Felhound.  I’m trying this spec out in my 1st random (UK) and it’s cool, but my stupid Life Tap buff Power Aura wouldn’t show up.  I was about to ask for a sec to /reloadui but then I realized…I forgot the glyphs.

>.< /facepalm And go figure, there were no Glyphs of Life Tap anywhere to be found on the AH.  Luckily, a guildy did a mats to glyph trade via the gbank for me.  So now my armory’s stuck with two 56/0/15 affliction specs.  I swear they’re different!

What I miss from my old spec (which I’ve had since the beginning of 80, practically)?  Dark Pact. I press (-) too much and then realize I should stop Health Funneling to a 100% health pet.  Yayyyyy keybinds.  Also, I feel like I have to LT more.  It annoys me. Every other rotation or something, life tapping, even when I have 20s left on the glyph buff.  With the 2/2 Imp. Life Tap…you could basically go the whole 40s and be okay mana-wise.

Felpuppy Love

Nibuca pwns & other link love

Forget whatever I was about to do with my Affliction Lock Endgame Basics thing.  Nibuca at Mystic Chicanery just completely owns affliction warlocking and said everything better in just one post.

Though I might post a “raiding etiquette” or something, concerning warlocks.  I’ve been told I’m a good warlock by guild healers as opposed to other warlocks who life tap at odd times or whatever “not so cool” things they do.  Unless Nibuca just completely pwns that category too.

There’s been a string of awesome WoW blogposts I’m read recently.  Before I spam the trackbacks field, here’s my favorite of late:

  • Brajana’s perfect post about GS.  Honestly, THIS is how GS should be used.  Don’t blame the addon for idiots, please.
  • Miss Medicina’s right again: standing up when you did bad.
  • Ironically, I think Miss Medicina and some others got trolled by a goblin when the Spitfire post came out on World of Matticus.  But she posted this just before the fire sparked.
  • A friendly reminder from Lissana about account security after a guild hacking.  My guild got hacked several times in a row, all with officer who had access to a fair chunk of the guild bank.  We’ve even watched hacks-in-progress online.  Fortunately, it was before the care package requirement and people managed to get their stuff and the guild’s stuff back.  But go get a keyfob or app if you can.
  • Tam explains against WoW “addiction.” This really struck me since I had to essentially do the same thing and completely give up on a friendship because she degraded my WoW friends/guildies over my “real” friends.  Friends are friends, to me.
  • The Guildwatch column, now called “The Classifieds,” at WoW.com is now dramaless! Honestly, with all the group hate and distrust that 3.3 suddenly brought out of the shadows, I’m ecstatic about this.  Yeah, the drama column was kind of cathartic in a way, but I’m glad it’s gone.  Especially loving the shout-outs for awesome pugs at the end!
  • Raiding is band class all over again!  Angelya plays the cello, I play the clarinet, but we both agree.  I particularly learned from band class that you may not hear the clarinet’s particular voice, but without it, the trumpets sound all brassy and rough (and half of them didn’t know the part without us, anyway).  You don’t need to stand out to help the group succeed or fail, raiding or orchestra.
  • If Cass ever finishes all the not-in-game instance maps this way, I might just ditch Atlas once and for all.

Some of the comments on these posts are also excellent in advice or pure opinion.  I try to read all the comments on posts, especially since other WoW bloggers I like read each others’ blogs.  Yeah, sometimes, like on the WoM Spitfire post, it takes about 2 hrs to read them all, but it’s worth it most of the time.  Happy reading! :)

Nibuca pwns & other link love