Feb 012011
 

I just saw this EDIT: plagiarized piece of work by Asmodan. Essentially, he figured out that the active drakes on Halfus are not random; they follow a set pattern that changes every week, and we’ve now seen them enough weeks to deduce the pattern and know (or have a pretty good guess) which drakes will be active ahead of time. If the theory is correct, US this week should have Slate, Time, Whelps, and EU/KR/TW should have Slate, Time, Nether.

Great stuff, though credit should go to Simca on the mmoc forum, not this tard. My bad. (And those of you on heroic Halfus, yes, I know you know which ones. :P)

 Posted by at 12:01 pm  Tagged with:
Nov 242010
 

to Blizzard for making such a great game. :)

I’ll be heading out for Thanksgiving early tomorrow morning, so no posts until next week. (I’ll try to reply to comments, but no promises.) Enjoy the weekend! Also, tanking right now is probably a bad idea for your blood pressure; apparently, Swipe should be renamed “ineffectual bat.”

(FWIW, I intended to test feral stuff last night, but I got sidetracked, first in a failed auction house venture, then in a new alt. Rolled a priest for the new Darkshore content…damn, Penance is crazy awesome. I still remember wanding my way through Westfall and quitting in frustration a few years ago.)

 Posted by at 9:28 am  Tagged with:
Nov 232010
 

If these are the heroes fighting back the elementals, it’s no wonder we failed. I haven’t had any interesting PUG stories in a while, but last night’s “attempt” was great!

SETTING: Zul’Farrak, Elemental Invasion-style

DRAMATIS PERSONAE:

  • Alarros, my little-used DK tank, in roughly T8 level gear
  • Hunterthepunter, the, well, hunter
  • Holylightlol, the holy pally
  • DPS #1 and DPS #2

SCENE: All enter, stage left.

A: Hey all! A bit undergeared, so watch your threat! Is everyone ready? /readycheck.

HTP: (immediately misdirects to HLL and pulls first trash pack)

A: /sigh. (rounds pack up, kills, then kills rest of trash)

A: Okay, everybody ready for the boss? /readycheck

HTP: (immediately pulls boss)

A: /sigh. (taunts, turns boss away from group)

a minute passes

HTP: (dies)

A: what happened?

HTP: lol fell in the pond with the fish and they killed me lol

A: /sigh

more time passes, very low DPS group

HLL: hey, I can heal you better if I’m closer to you! Let’s be friends! (runs over to tank)

A: wait! (GZ breathes, freezing both of us solid; wipe ensues)

All except A: lol tank you suck (HTP/DPS 1/DPS 2 drop group)

A: /sigh (drops group)

BLIZZARD: You have been afflicted with the Dungeon Deserter debuff.

A: /cries

SCENE.


 Posted by at 9:48 am  Tagged with:
Nov 152010
 

Regular posts will resume soon (was doing some family things for Veteran’s Day) but I wanted to quickly thank those of you who have donated. It does take quite a bit of work to compile and write all that information (the cat guide took 20+ hours, easily) and I appreciate the support. As a further measure of thanks, I’ve removed all advertising from the site (not that it was any good, anyway).

And for those of you who wanted to know what I’m using the donation money for? Well, see this cute little guy here?

He’s getting one of these for Christmas.

Enjoy your game time, and I’ll be back later this week. (I’m updating the Cat guide for Cataclysm; I’ll be doing a gear list, as those seem to be in demand.)

 Posted by at 9:41 am  Tagged with:
Oct 272010
 

The gaming crowd overlaps (to some degree) with the tech crowd, but not always, so I figured I’d post this link to an interview with Greg Street (“Ghostcrawler”). (haven’t seen it on any of the wow news sites yet).

http://interviews.slashdot.org/story/10/10/27/1441243/Greg-Ghostcrawler-Street-Lead-Systems-Designer-For-World-of-Warcraft

Highlights:

  • Cataclysm content enough for two expansions
  • Thinks 3.1 (Ulduar) and 3.2 (TOC) could have been held a bit longer, to not make 3.3 (ICC) last so long (Agreed. A LOT of guilds were still working on Ulduar content when TOC came out.)
  • Hopes that people will start posting DTPS meters and yelling at people who took a lot of damage (and sucked up healer mana)
  • Explains why they can’t just “hire more people” to do stuff
 Posted by at 3:15 pm  Tagged with:
Oct 262010
 

I’ve added a Q&A based captcha to the registration page, so I’ve turned comment moderation off again. We’ll see how it goes. Thanks to those who offered suggestions. (FWIW, I wish I’d realized that I needed to clear the phpBB cache after changing the captcha template…I spent HOURS yesterday trying to figure out how my theme was broken.) I’ve left moderation on for the 100+ accounts that were created over the past week; if this includes you, I apologize, once I approve one of your comments you won’t be subject to moderation anymore.

Now that the forums are somewhat sorted out, I’ll be doing some work to the website, so apologies if things look broken around here for a bit. Adsense is going away, and I’ll be experimenting with Project Wonderful. (Runycat, if you’re still around, I DID listen to you….eventually.) Feeds should still work fine. Again, I appreciate those of you who’ve donated; I’ve been getting quite a bit of traffic lately, and I may need to up my plan with my hosting provider.

(If anyone has any particular ideas/suggestions for feral content, let me know. I’m going to do some bear stuff next, and I may overhaul my 3.0 bear guide for 4.0.)

 Posted by at 10:43 am  Tagged with:
Oct 242010
 

The forums have been under low-grade attack by spammers over the past few days (seeing about 4-5 users/day register and post nothing but spam). I IP block them and delete their posts when I see them, but it’s getting somewhat tiresome. If anyone has any phpBB experience or knowledge of a better system, let me know. If it keeps up, I’ll have to make the registration process more difficult, and I hate to do that.

Also, to the gentleman who sent me a donation after reading my guide: thank you. You didn’t know it, but that donation actually came through on my birthday, so was very cool. :P

 Posted by at 10:21 pm  Tagged with:
Oct 132010
 

From GC:

    Rather than try and address multiple threads, I’m just going to plop our current thoughts in this one post. Please excuse the brevity.

    1) We think Fury, Arms, Feral cat and Retribution dps is too low and we will be buffing them.
    2) We think mage dps is too high, especially Fire, and will be nerfing it.
    3) We think Shadow priest dps is too high, but that’s largely a result of Shadow Word: Death spam, which is tough on healers. We’ll be fixing that.
    4) We think Destro warlock dps is too high, but that’s largely a result of Searing Pain spam, which is tough on tanks. We’ll be fixing that.
    5) As we suspected, PvP dps is just too high given that the health pools of Cataclysm haven’t kicked in yet. While competitive PvP is over for the moment, we still want the environment to feel better so we will be buffing resilience. This change might be reverted at level 85.

    There will probably be more changes after another night of raiding and BGs. Many of the bug fixes we have made today will affect dps as well. Stay tuned.

Couldn’t resist the pun in the title…and Boomkins are okay, apparently? Time to go spam some moonfires in WG, I guess :)

 Posted by at 11:23 pm  Tagged with:
Sep 062010
 

Several people have wondered where I’ve gone, and I now have the opportunity to set the record straight. (Personal details to follow; skip if that’s not your thing.)

In my previous post, I had said that my wife had taken a bad fall. This was true…however, I left out a key element of the story. When she fell, I was raiding with my headset on, and I couldn’t hear her calling for help from the other end of the house. While she did eventually get my attention, it led to a serious, angry discussion about how WoW was dominating my life and the need for some drastic changes. During the discussion, she pointed out how I’d compromised on my sleep repeatedly, I’d lied to her about what I was doing to play WoW, and how (most importantly) I’d tried to rush our son to bed on raid nights so I wouldn’t miss the raid start time and be benched.

She asked me to quit, and after some more discussion, I agreed to quit for a month, and see how my perspective changed. No WoW, no WoW blogs, no WoW forums, nothing. I cancelled my account the next day, and have not played since (though I think I did log in once, before having a crisis of conscience and logging back out). My account expired some time ago, and I have not renewed. (Interestingly, I get 3x more phishing attempts now for my WoW account password than I used to.)

Now, looking back, I am absolutely disgusted at my behavior. Yes, I loved WoW (the minmaxing, analysis and discussion, really, more than the playing part of it), but that doesn’t excuse me one bit. I can’t believe my wife put up with it for as long as she did. Quitting WoW, however, has made my wife and I much closer; I’ve spent much of the time that I used to devote to WoW with her, and our relationship has improved markedly. (Not to mention, my son is still the coolest little guy ever, and I feel terribly guilty about how I put a game before his welfare. He’s two now, and he’ll come in my office/computer room, grab my arm, and say “Daddy…up…play?” Hard to resist that.)

I’ve realized that I am incredibly good at rationalizing my addictive behavior…after all, I didn’t PLAY WoW much, but I had 50+ WoW blogs that I was current on, I wrote guides for this blog, I analyzed WOL reports for my guild, I watched fight videos on Tankspot, I read boss strategies on BossKillers, etc. I also realized that I felt “entitled” to play WoW because I worked all day and made the money for our family…and as any working parent can tell you, when things are rough, there just isn’t enough time at the end of the day to fit in spouse time, kid time, chores, and me time, at least not realistically.

After a month of perspective of being away from the game, here’s my thoughts on a few things:

  • “Farming” for gear (random drops from instances/raids) is stupid, and it makes me angry to think how much time I wasted on repetitive content. WOTLK, currently, has 16 5-man instances. According to PUG Checker, I’ve completed 268 heroic 5-man runs. (If you count in normal runs, bugs in counting (DTK) and failed runs, I’m sure the number is over 300.) That’s 15+ runs per instance. Let’s say you can do an instance 3 times before it becomes boring…that’s about 50 hours worth of 5-man content in WOTLK. I’ve spent 200+ hours, easily.) I understand Blizzard needs to design timesinks into the game. I get that. Badges are a better way of doing that then relying solely on random drops, so this is improving, but some of the key items for improving your character (weapons, some trinkets) are only available via random drop.
  • Obsessively gear minmaxing is a huge waste of time. It’s one thing if you’re in a guild with high expectations that everyone lives up to (I hate the term “hardcore,” too many negative connotations), but if you’re in the 95% of guilds that don’t, then you’re compensating for someone else’s inability to play well, and that’s not fun after a while. For that matter, most of the fights in WOTLK were execution-based, not gear-based (excepting heroic modes, which I’ll discuss in a second), which defeats the purpose. What do I mean by obsessive? How about farming Sons of Hodir rep (in 3.0, before all the changes to make it easier) where you needed something like 1000 Emblems that sold for 3-5g apiece, or to do 5-7 SOH daily quests every day for 20+ days, to get an enchant that boosted your DPS/tanking/healing by less than 1%?
  • On that note, the daily quest thing also sucks. I HATE that WOTLK essentially says “if you’re not logging on every day to do your daily quests, you’re going to fall behind.” My understanding is that Cataclysm will go to a weekly model, which will be much better. Also, 10 OR 25 instead of 10 AND 25…awesome.
  • Heroic mode raids. I’m still conflicted in how I feel about these…obviously, perspectives vary based on guild skill and personal tolerance. I burned out badly on ICC near the end, but that was due to both it being the last raid of the expansion (why gear up if everything will be replaced?), and a guild raid atmosphere that I felt did not present constructive criticism (though this may be the ex-raidleader in me talking…it’s hard to give up that control).

So where do I go from here?

I’m not permanently done with WoW, I don’t think. It is still one of the most enjoyable and accessible games I’ve played, even if the public community can be noxious at times. Unfortunately, my orders have been changed; I will now, most likely, be heading to a unit that is deploying next spring. As such, I’m going casual. I’ll pick up Cataclysm when it releases, and I’ll have fun with the new content, but I’ll have much less tolerance for timesinks. If it wasn’t for my deployment, I’d probably be looking for an East Coast variant of Skunkworks.

The blog and forums will stick around…hosting fees are paid up through next March, and I’ll even try to write something from time to time (though probably not much before Cataclysm releases). I’ll also be happy to answer any questions people may have, though my experience will go out of date fairly rapidly. Overall, though, I’m very content. I’ve re-arranged my priorities, and my life couldn’t be better.

 Posted by at 4:33 pm  Tagged with:
Jun 302010
 

(not that it ever stopped me, anyway)

Now that the Cataclysm beta has officially started, you don’t have to rely on dirty alpha leaks anymore. Feel free to hit up MMO-Champion’s overview, their druid page, and Wowhead’s Cata database. There aren’t any changes from the alpha as yet, so I’ll let Kalon take this one. :)

 Posted by at 10:01 pm  Tagged with: