Monday, September 28, 2009

Tetris: Patchwerk Remix

So Tobold had a post talking about the shifting of Raid's from a single difficulty to having multiple difficulties so that more people can experience the encounters. I do agree to a point. The problem with having all of these versions of the same instance... is that hardcore players have to run ALL versions of these instances.

If I want to do the hard versions... I have to run both the regular for gear, and then the hard version of THE EXACT SAME INSTANCE. While having heroic versions is nice for the challenge... it isn't exactly the same as having challenging new encounters. Having a boss deal more damage and have more hps and maybe one new mechanic isn't very exciting. Or is it?

Well I know in the case of Crusader Coliseum it isn't very exciting. I was thinking though... what if Blizzard designed an encounter that progressively got harder? My unlikely to be implemented idea is that you take a relatively simple fight like say Patchwerk, you take the fight and add a twist to it.

You start off fighting Patchwerk and then after 3 minutes another patchwerk spawns. This patchwerk though has 10% (maybe 20% would be better) more health and does 10/20% more damage. You have another 3 minutes to kill this Patchwerk before the next comes out. Essentially each patchwerk becomes a level and every 3 minutes whether you killed him or not the next level starts. This simply continues till the raid wipes.

At that point the raid zones back in and a chest is there with rewards equal to the level of challenge they completed. You get one emblem of whatever for each patchwerk dead and then say after 5 you get an additional whateverlvl of gear. At lvl 10 you get a tier piece and every level after that you get an additional tier piece and so on and so forth. At level 10 the raid would have been fighting for 30 minutes straight and would have to kill a version of patchwerk dealing twice the damage and having twice the health.

With this type of encounter anyone can experience a challenge equal to their ability/gear level. You still get a reward no matter how far you get and the further you get the greater the reward.

The fight doesn't have to be patchwerk but I chose him because it is a good benchmark for dps yet still requires 2 solid tanks and good healing. You would have to find a good balance between the right number of dps and healers to get as far as you can before your healers run out of mana, the tanks get one shot, or you don't have enough dps to kill the current before the next comes out and you get overwhelmed.

The hardcore Guilds can compete to get to the highest level and would give them something to constantly challenge their abilities. Put the whole thing on a one attempt per week deal to where everyone gets an equal number of attempts to get the furthest.

Anyway what do you think of the idea? Is it stupid? What boss would be a better fit to challenge the whole raid since dps have the easy job? What kind of reward scaling would be appropriate?

80 Baby! FoKing a!

So ya... my rogue hit 80 last night. I got Fan of Knives. Its fun. Did a little pvp with Kobeck's druid. We got our asses handed to us. Ran Brewfest. Got the Barman's Shanker 2.0. So yes. Now I can stab people with a beer bottle.

Oh and FoKing is awesome!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Da PvP

So I was PvPing on my druid the other day and we had just won AV... and the strangest thing happened. I had just died and resurrected and was looking at the leader boards... when all of a sudden my character started moving.

My druid switched into cat form apparently summoned one of my pets, the spirit of competition, and proceeded to start attacking a horde player. Don't believe me? Look at the screen shot! I couldn't move or do anything but continued to go through a pretty solid cat rotation on the player with faerie fire and keeping up bleeds.

Anyway this doesn't have any real relation to what I wanted to talk about aside from the fact that it was an interesting unexplainable event and involved pvp.

I've largely ignored PvP thus far in WotLK mostly because there has been so much to do in PvE and I've largely enjoyed raiding and instancing. Things are starting to change though...

Gearing up has become easier then ever and part of the challenge of theorycrafting and researching upgrades has dissipated when you can just go into a single instance and get all of your gear. Not to mention for the most part all of my 80's at the moment are pretty much finished when it comes to gear. No none of them have all best in slot but they have enough gear to perform in the raid environment that I would play them in. Essentially every character is Ulduar ready. Half of them are ToC ready/geared.

So I've been working on my rogue and druid getting them to 80. I realized that my rogue was 76 after making my post bitching about not having anywhere to quest... and so headed to Sholazar. Now she is 77 and there is a good chance that she may hit 80 by the end of the weekend.

All of this including the malaise I talked about over the current raid content has pushed my interest more into PvP. I spent a lot of time doing BG's and Arena's at 70 on my druid when I stopped raiding, so this transition isn't new for me. With PvE being either dull or seemingly pointless PvP is where the challenge is so that is where I am heading.

Last night after running Coren 15 times Kobeck, Phired and I decided to put together a 3v3 arena team. I decided to go on my shaman and Phired went on his lock. Kobeck decided to stay on his DK so we went as a 3 dps team, ele shaman/frost DK/destruct lock. I'm sure this isn't the greatest comp but it was still fun! We lost our first 9 matches in a row... I'll admit it was mostly my fault. I'm rusty in playing my shaman and had just switched my enhance offspec to pvp elemental spec. I picked up the stoneclaw glyph (which is totally awesome), thunderstorm glyph, and glyph of hex... I think was the third one.

We did 26 total matches last night and won 9 of them. Certainly not the greatest but it was a ton of fun and we started getting into the groove of things towards the end. One of the huge problems for me is while my shaman has insane gear... most of it is PvE gear. I had a grand total of 100 resilience, kobeck had 400, and Phired on his lock put us all to shame with 800. So it is my mission over the next few weeks to get into more bg's and get practice being an uber ele shaman in pvp.

In other words I need to get better at running away.

Oh btw... our teams name is Taunt on Cooldown in homage of Katmandue.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Bring back that epic feeling.

I transferred all of my screen shots to another computer after my Desktop was hacked and I had to reformat. Today I took a stroll down memory lane looking for screen shots from BC raid's that I had done.

See the recent raid instance Trial of the Crusader has me feeling a little burned. Not really burned out, just burned. I suppose I had high hopes for the instance. Sure I knew it was going to be in one room... and that there wouldn't be any trash... but I had hoped that the fights would seem epic. I don't feel that way.

The regular Trial of the Crusader isn't as difficult as I had hoped and the fact that it is 5 bosses in a round room just leaves me saying that's it? It was 5 weeks before we killed the last boss... but only because they didn't release the entire instance at once. Last night we cleared it in under an hour.

When I was in a raiding guild... I used to take screen shots of first boss kills. You can see Serendipity's first Alar kill above. It took us 3 weeks of 3 hour raid nights to finally down her (him?) That night we continued on to kill Void Reaver and that other chick, all three were guild first kills. It was one truly epic night. It was also my last night of 25 man raiding for BC.

I think part of the problem now is that patch 3.2 came a little too quickly for me. We were just starting to work on General Vezax, now though it seems I'll never see Yogg. Our raid leader is only interested in raiding progression which means we are doing ToC and ToGC (Heroic). I don't really mind clearing ToC... but then we go back in for the heroic mode... and its the same thing!

Ok sure the fights are harder and some have gimmicks to make it more challenging... but the fact remains that we are just killing the same bosses we already killed the day before. The first time through ToC was fun... we killed the twin valk's and fell through the floor and killed Anub. You know what Tirion Fordring had to say?

"Oh now that you did the regular come back and do the Trial of the Grand Crusader."



Now that we found out about the Lich King's plot to undermine (pun intended) the tournament and kill off the champions... you are going to rebuild the floor, revive the bosses, and let the Lich King do it all again? Just now its harder? Any immersion I had in the tournament was gone when I talked to Tirion after killing Anub.

I liked the way that Ulduar did hardmodes... yes it was gimmicky having to destroy the heart for heartbreaker, and yes Hodir was just DPS faster... but having a big red button that says do not push? I'm sorry but that's just awesome. Proving how awesome you are killing Yogg without any of the watchers? That is epic.

Raiding is about taking down the big evil bad guys that are threatening to destroy everything you love... not glorified loot pinata's captured by the argent dawn. Where is the sense of danger? I love the movie Gladiator... one of my favorite scenes is when they first fight in the Coliseum. It is him and a few other Gladiators in the middle of the arena with the crowd roaring. The main character says.

"What ever comes out of these gates, we have a better chance to survive if we work together."

Why can't ToC have this sense of danger and surprise? I know that Gormakk is going to come charging out... Jaraxxus you see getting summoned in which takes a good 40 seconds. The rest of the fights you engage on your own terms.

There is no surprise, no threat of danger. I don't feel like an epic gladiator or champion. I feel like this is me and a buddy outside tossing a baseball around instead of the World Series. Killing everything in a round room and then coming and doing the same fights again... that is not epic.

Dear lord let Icecrown come soon... Give me my grand battle against unbeatable odds... not some beasts that you "captured". Not some Demon that a dumbass gnome summoned in. Faction Champions? Ok well that fight is atleast fun... but Twin Valk's? I saw the damn things shackled outside of the tournament! I'm glad they find time to rebuild the floor every week...

I've been contemplating about quitting raiding till Icecrown comes out. I don't want to get completely burned out and wiping to Jarraxus on heroic just doesn't have the same appeal to me as wiping on General Vezax.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Adding a Challenge to Leveling

I was reading a post from Tobold today and after thinking about that and talking to my wife a bit, I noticed a trend in WotLK. I mentioned earlier how I'm a bit burned out playing my rogue through the same zones I've done multiple times before. The same can apply to my Warlock and to a lesser extent my druid. I'm mostly leveling my druid through PvP and healing the occasional instance.

Thinking back, when leveling most of my characters, I've hit this road block around 74-75 every time except for on my hunter who was my first character to 80. Why? Well Blizzard had a great idea about adding in multiple leveling paths in WotLK. You had two starting zones, Howling Fjord and Borean Tundra, which if you did only one could get you from 68 to 71/72 or from 70 to 73.

From there you head into Dragonblight. Dragonblight is interesting because it takes quest lines from both zones and streamlines them into an obvious progression through the next two zones. You start in the Walrus people harbor thing which connects the two zones, which leads you to stars rest, which leads you to Wintergarde keep. Which then sends you to grizzly hills which sends you to Zul'Drak. Now you can of course choose not to follow the quest lines exactly. You can spend as much time in any of the zones that you want or even head back to the starting zone that you skipped over. In fact I did that on my hunter, starting in howling fjord and then going to Borean Tundra.

In Dragonblight I did the Wintergarde and Wrathgate quest lines and the goblin quest hub to the north of the zone. After that I was 76 and headed to Sholazar.

My other Characters however, would go through dragonblight/grizzly hills or Dragonblight/Zuldrak and lastly even grizzly hills/Zuldrak. But it was always these same zones. With the same quests. And absolutely zero challenge. My challenge came in soloing as many of the group quests as possible but even then, there are only around 3 or 4 of these per zone.

Blah Blah Blah

Ok I have a point in all of this. You see WotLK has a natural progression that gets really old really fast. After you have done the quests the first time there is nothing new to gain from doing them again aside from experience. There are two starting zones and two 80 zones and one that you can't start till 76. Not being able to start Storm Peaks and Icecrown made a lot of sense.... when you couldn't fly before 77. Sholazar being a lvl 76-78 zone never made any sense to me though. You don't need a flying mount for any of the quests (save a few in the northern part) and you can easily access the zone from the south.

In Vanilla WoW you often times would end up accepting quests that were designed for 4+ levels higher then you. Those quests were designated in red text. In WotLK I can't think of one quest you can pick up that is red. All of the quests are gated for the appropriate level... which effectively means you can't skip ahead of your level to quest.

My friend Kobeck is leveling a Warlock horde side and he remarked that he always seems to be stuck with red and orange quests. You know what? He is never without a challenge as a result of this. Why can't we do the same thing in WotLK? I've done every quest in Northrend at least once, so there is no challenge in the actual quest... why can't I try these quests at a lower level?

Gasp??? You mean I might miss an orange mob? Oh no! That mob won't die in 3 casts! You mean I have to attack a mob from stealth instead of just running up to it and stabbing it in the eye???

Tobold sort of said that he thought experience gain for taking on tougher challenges should be rewarded. I agree. But you know what? I don't care about leveling faster I just want to have a little bit of a challenge. So let me do the quests earlier and keep the experience the same and we will call it even.

I think you should be able to take Sholazar quests at 74, Stormpeaks at 76, and Icecrown can stay the same... maybe that way I will actually get to do some of the Icecrown quests while leveling instead of hitting 80 doing Sons of Hodir dailies...

Friday, September 18, 2009

Mutilating Leveling

I'm in love with the idea of having a level 80 rogue. The subtlety and deadliness all wrapped up in a dual wielding fury that is the rogue class is just awesome. So why don't I have an 80 rogue yet? Well... they conflict with my play style or at least with how I want to play the game.

When I'm leveling any character I enjoy a mix of questing, grinding and especially instancing. Rogues are pretty powerful at soloing and have many tools to help survive and avoid damage. My favorite by far of all the specs is Assassination. I love mutilate and everything about the spec. So naturally I want to level Mut spec.

So what's the problem?

The problem is that WotLK instance involve Aoeing through the trash as fast as possible to get to the bosses. Rogues have one of the best AoE's in the game called Fan of Knives. Great right? Except... you don't get the awesome aoe ability till level 80. That means while every other dps in the game is aoeing.... I'm sitting there stabbing a trash mob in the ass.

My single target dps is pretty strong and on boss fights I'm usually top 1 or 2 in dps... but the rest of the time I feel like I'm wasting my energy(no pun intended). I'm running around like crazy busting my ass to kill stuff, while the rest of the group is aoeing and sipping tea.

Its infuriating to me. It shouldn't be I know... but you see... I have this epeen... and I like for my epeen to be bigger then the other epeens around me. My epeen doesn't feel very big when every one else around me is aoeing and I can't.

So switch to Combat.

Ok yes... I can do that. In fact for around half of my time between 70 and 75 I've played as combat. In instances is fun being able to pop blade flurry and see my dps fly up. I'm never topped when I play as Combat. Can't lose right?

Well sure that covers instances... but questing as combat is SO FREAKING BORING! My ring finger is going to fall off from pushing sinister strike TWENTY BILLION TIMES.

No. I simply can't stand questing and soloing as combat. If I wanted to stand in somethings face and beat on it I would just stay on my warrior.

So now you see my problem. I want to solo and quest as mutilate but I can't stand instancing without an aoe. I'm kinda meh about combat in instances but can't stand questing.

Maybe the answer is dual spec... but I don't really see the value in this because once I get to 80 I will be mutilate spec and will stay that way. With FoK I'll never have any need to be combat again. Especially since they are nerfing throwing specialization.

My plan

Well I am speced Mutilate and I don't want to go combat again... this means I'll likely be staying out of instances till 80. This means the last 4.5 levels I need are going to be BRUTALLY slow because I can only do the same quests so many times before I need to take a break and do an instance. At this point I don't think there is a quest in Northrend I haven't done at least twice now so I'm finding this level range to be extremely difficult. I have both my rogue and druid at 75 and I simply can't find the will to quest at all.

I'm so sick of seeing Zul Drak, Grizzly Hills, and Dragonblight that leveling in those zones seriously makes me want to vomit.

TL:DR Give rogues FoK earlier so we don't have to be a liability in the days where everything is aoe snoozed through.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Loot Drama brought to you by Paint

First I have to say I apologize for not posting lately. I was sick all last week and my brain had been turned into goo. I had zero inspiration to write about anything at all. That means today's post has a little bit more work into it. Last week my friend Blanda told me she found blog and that she was offended that she wasn't mentioned in it. Well I told her I was sick and didn't feel like writing anything but when I did she would be mentioned.

I'm not entirely sure that this is exactly how she wanted to be mentioned... but that's how the world is. Anyway Friday night I mustered enough strength to get online and raid. We killed the first 3 bosses in ToC 25 and had a few attempts on twin Valk's.

I was pretty darn sick and other then some screen shots of the damage meter (of which I kicked ass) I failed to capture any of the events. So I'm recreating the events as I saw them. Just to warn you... I have zero artistic ability. Say hello to twin Valk's.
I say attempts because... well we died and they lived. So we headed to VoA to ROFLSTOMP those guys and then called it a night. Saturday night we headed in for our regularly scheduled program... er I mean raid.
Twin Valk's is one of my favorite fights because I can abuse the mechanics of the fight to get obscenely high on the damage meters. I broke over 10k at one point and averaged out at 8k dps for the fight. This was done on my mage speced arcane with Incanter's Absorption talented.

Anyway we ultimately killed the twins after 4 or attempts or so.
It was a good feeling to have down the boss and some mage dps chest thingy dropped. I won the roll with a 100. It is an upgrade... but it has a ton of hit rating on it. I'm already at 17.2% hit rating... which considering I'm alliance and usually have a pocket shadow priest means I'm 4% over the hit cap. Even more so if you consider the hit talents in arcane (of which I speced out of before raid)

I don't try to stack hit rating... just every upgrade that I get seems to have it which leaves me way over the cap with the new chest. But this isn't about the chest... its about this.
Yep the epic dagger of awesomeness dropped. Perfect for a mutilate combat rogue! Hey look at that we have a Mut speced rogue who always raids with us and would love to have it! Oh... but there is that other rogue... who is sword spec combat but sure would love to get his hands on it too. This little rogue is also speced into throwing specialization which almost single handedly is the reason we were able to do champions.

But the little rogue has only been with us for two weeks. Well the rolls come out and our mutilate rogue rolls an 18. The combat rogue rolls a 38 and looks like he is going to take it. The paladin master looter (always in his bubble) is counting down when out of no where Cassiana one of our hunters rolls a 98!
Now Cassiana didn't really want the weapon... she was trying to make a point... I think. She rolled on it because a DK rolled on an agility ring the week before. A week later that same DK was not even wearing the ring he won over the hunters and rogues. She made an offhanded comment about oh well I can use it eventually or something.

Ok I'll admit I was sick I wasn't fully paying attention and I didn't think it would be a big deal. I didn't honestly expect Cassi to keep the dagger and she didn't. She gave it to the next highest rogue which was the gnome rogue. We made 2 attempts on anub when our mut rogue Behindya dropped out of raid without saying a word. I knew he was upset because in his mind it should have been an offspec roll for the combat rogue who was currently using two swords. Maybe he was right I don't know.

I do know that the end result over all of this was a lot of drama. Blanda and behindya are in a relationship and him quitting put her in an uncomfortable situation of still being in raid. Blanda, behindya, cassiana the raid leaders and I are all friends in the game... but this whole thing just blew up in our faces.

Blanda didn't know what to do... should she quit too? Should Behindya (ok I'm calling him b2 its easier and what I'm used to calling him). Should B2 have quit? No I don't think so but he generally has a short fuse and has been frustrated in raid lately. The dagger incident just set him off I think.

Through the backlash of all this the other rogue who got the dagger also quit. Well he took his name off the invite list which with our group is pretty much the same thing.

The sad thing is that I don't see how this could be avoided. I mean Cassi could have given the dagger secretly to b2 but that wouldn't have been right or fair. She could have kept it herself (which blanda and b2 said they would have preferred to the other rogue). Would things have transpired the same way had she not have rolled? I'm not sure but I know she blames herself for the drama surrounding the issue.

Since we aren't a guild run we can't set in dkp or anything of the sort... fair looting is one of the reasons we do as well as we do. But was this looting fair? We have had issues before like a resto druid winning a one handed melee dps mace over a DK on an offspec roll. Or a druid winning a cloth chest over the other cloth wearers.

Oh well that is all for now... I'm sorry if this wasn't what you were looking for Blanda but I love you anyway!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Quick tip for Snobolds

So those of you who have done Trial of the Crusader know of the royal PITA that the Snobolds on Gormok are. For hunters and melee dps they aren't much of a bother... but for casters and especially healers they can be a disaster.

Snobolds will stun and kick the target it is on. The kick leaves a 6 second lock out on that school of spells which can leave a healer unable to heal or a spell caster unable to do damage. But here is a tip. Snobolds are fairly stupid and will interrupt whatever spell is being cast when its kick CD is up. This means that you can get them to lock out a school you don't need.

For instance, a fire mage can switch to frost bolt when it gets a snobold on him and then use fireball after the frost bolt is interrupted. On my priest I use shadow spells for the kick so that I can continue to heal with a snobold on me. There is still a good chance of getting interrupted if you don't pay attention to the kick CD but using the lock out of your other spells is a good indication of when you need to fake them out.

Also you can attack the snobold that is on you with spells such as shadow word pain or living bomb or any other spell that doesn't have to be casted on a target in front of you.

Anyway that's all for now! Hope you had a good weekend.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Death of A Nub

Tuesday night saw Durotan on extended maintenance. By the time the realm did come up, it was 15 minutes before our scheduled raid time. There wasn't enough people on to raid so instead we hit up the heroic daily. The daily was Drak Tharon. We had Marrus tanking, Cassiana and Dahunterss for ranged dps, I brought Skyru my warrior for Arms dps and Selgar came as a Ret Paladin.

One tank and four dps... Well Selgar would through some flash of lights around and an occasional holy light and we still breezed through the heroic without a single death. Was a lot of fun using bandages, gift of the Narru and Enraged Regen to stay alive.

Anyway we finished the run and there wasn't quite enough for ToC but we figured we could kill off the new boss in VoA. We had control but the battle was in 20 minutes... which we of course lost. So that pretty much ended our shot at raiding for the night and we branched off to do other stuff.

Last night though we pulled together a 10 man by pulling in a few extra's from our normal 25 man runs. We were short a healer so I got drafted on Lanora. The last few times I ran ToC it was with Plus also healing and I struggled at times with Mana. Since then though I picked up the trinket from reg 5 ToC which virtually solved my mana problems on its own. Disc priests thrive on Int so having another 80 int and a chance to restore mana is awesome.

The first 4 bosses were 1 shots though Northrend beasts got a little sloppy when half our dps and both other healers died to one of the worms when it wasn't turned away. This left me to heal through Icehowl which was the most fun I had all night! We lost a few people during the Champions as well... I spent almost half the fight silenced and locked out of my spells thanks to the enemy Felhunter and Mage.

Twin Valk's went off without a hitch and we picked up the Salt and Pepper achievement.

They dropped Enlightenment which I won on my priest! So nice to have a staff again! If you haven't done ToC and don't happen to know what happens after you start the event after Twin Valks... well too bad I'm going to ruin it for you!

We got buffed up and Marrus started explaining what he knew about the fight.... all I heard was blah blah blah permafrost blah blah blah spikes blah blah blah 30% blah blah blah don't heal too much. What can I say? I had more important things to think about I just got an epic staff!

Well we killed a bunch of bugs and then some bigger bugs and the boss did stuff and we stood on ice patches... and the boss went to hide underground and these big spike thingies came up and a few people died. Some soulstones and battle rezes were used and things were going ok till Marrus decided to chase a bug over the spikes.... and he dieded.

Offtank picked up a nubby and we brought him down to 30% where everyone got all glowy and started dying. I got yelled at to heal but not to heal but heal more but not too much! Well people died and we wiped. What we learned was standing on the icy thingies is good because when a nubby goes underground he shoots spikes up that will kill you but if you stand on ice it just goes SHLBOOOM and looks really cool but doesn't kill you. He also puts a hunters mark on someone and chases them and its that persons job to lead him to the next ice patch.

Well the next fight ended with the picture at the top of the post. I spent most of the last 30% of a nubs health shielding people and trying very hard not to heal too much. It was a fun fight but not as hard as I was hoping for a last boss. He dropped the very awesome looking blades for fordragonerdude or something like that, which Cassiana picked up... I swear every boss dropped hunter loot last night.

We were gonna start the heroic version right after... but I was like HOLD UP I GOTS TO HOOK UP MAH STAFF!!!

So the raid leader called for a 5 min break... which turned into a 20 minute break and I switched to my mage to check the mats, then to my pally to transmute an epic gem to send to my shaman, who I switched to in order to cut 2 Runed Cardinal rubies to send to my priest. Then switched to my sugar daddy warrior to buy the abyss cystals I needed to send to my mage to enchant a weapon vellum and send it to my priest!

I got back on Lanora gemmed and enchanted my staff and then got the summon... and then one of the mages had to go run something with his guild or some crap. BOOOOO!!!!

We had Wintergrasp though at that point so instead killed the big fire guy and his gay roommates. I'm not sure what that fight was all about he did a lot of yelling and throwing fire and this sexy spin thing where he vomited fire on us... and then fell over dead. Of course he dropped more hunter loot the tier 9 helm and some warrior crap of which no one could use. I think we were supposed to use 2 tanks for that fight? But instead we just used one... and then he single tanked Emalon and Arch.

We ended the night running Old Kingdoms heroic for the daily and I snapped one last picture of mine and Cassi' new weapons!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Tanks are made for brick walls

Gevlon over at Greedy Goblin made an interesting post today talking about running into brick walls when raiding. In a nut shell his view is that good players will see the problem and if its the mistake on their part, subtly fix the issue. Where as poor players will simply not see it at all, and if someone tells them they are the problem, they break down and get defensive.

I... actually mostly agree with him... which is a weird spot for me to be in. I usually see his views as too extreme and out of touch but I see these brick walls first hand way too often. In fact people not taking criticism properly is something I've posted on before.

Something Gevlon said in particular stuck out:

I hated the "attempts of the shake of it", trying one more time although I'm 100% sure that we'll wipe again and I can't do anything about it. I can't interrupt for the rogue, I can't kite for the hunter and I know that they will mess it up again. Why bother?
Though I assume he meant "attempts for the sake of it".

I've mentioned Katmandue before and months later he is still part of our 25 man raids. Now recently we have been doing ToC 25 on Friday nights then heading to Ulduar on Saturday. When we were focusing on Ulduar I used to bring my Shaman every time and on fights like Auriaya... it came down to me breaking the fear and interrupting the shadow blast... thing.

Why did this fall on me? Well because our Warrior tank Katmandue was incapable of breaking the fear and interrupting it himself. So instead of relying on the person who SHOULD be interrupting... it fell on me with my ranged interrupt and occasionally a rogue who cloaked before the fear.

A few weeks ago I took the weekend off from raiding. What do you think happened when the raid group got to Auriaya? They died. A lot. In fact they couldn't down a boss that we had on farm since the 4th week of Ulduar.

Fast forward to last weekend. I've been trying to get my warrior into Ulduar since my friend Kobeck decided he wanted to switch mains months ago. Unfortunately he kept coming on his DK to tank and I kept dpsing. Two weeks ago was his last week of raiding... because college is starting up for him and apparantly Quantum Physics is hard or something. Friday we did our normal killing of the first 2 bosses in ToC and then slammed our head against the champions (Kat isn't the only moron keeping us down on that fight).

Saturday we headed into Ulduar... only Kat was on vacation for the week. I took the opportunity and ran with it. Bringing in Skyru my Draenei Warrior. Except for Ignis, (where someone pulled aggro and dumped a scorch on half the raid) the fights up to Auriaya were one shots. My moment to prove how bad Kat really was had come! Auriaya went flawlessly... well up until people decided to not move out of the void zone. But Auriaya never got a single cast of her shadowy thingy off! In fact she didn't even budge from her initial tanking spot (usually she moves all over the place and it is hard for people to stay in front) except for when I was repositioning her after void zones.

Now while this wasn't exactly a brick wall... but this was something that should never have been an issue with our group but always was because we have a truly terrible tank. I fear though the group is a little too "social" to dump Kat. He also never listens to advice that some of the other warriors have tried to give him. The raid leaders played with Kat in Everquest long before the release of WoW... looks like we may be stuck with him.

When we get stuck on fights like the champions... I feel like Gevlon because I know that every attempt is going to end in a wipe because some people just can't pull their shit together.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Pro Professions!

One of my goals when it came to playing WoW was to be self sufficient. Being able to craft what ever I needed or farm the materials I required was something I wanted to be able to do. Essentially cutting out the middle man that is the auction house. In reality though this is a costly endeavor but my OCD prevents me from saying no! My profession list is as follows

  • Primary Engineering 450/Mining 450
  • Secondary First Aid 450/Cooking 435ish

  • Primary Leather Working 443ish/Skinning 450
  • First Aid 400ish

  • Primary Enchanting 450/Tailoring 450

  • Primary Inscription 445ish/Herbalism 450

  • Primary Alchemy 450/Herbalism 450

  • Primary Jewel Crafting 450/Mining 450
  • Secondary Fishing 400ish/Cooking 450

  • Primary Blacksmith 444ish/Mining 450
  • Secondary First Aid 450

The two characters that are left out of this list are Jadedfury and Skillet because sadly I lost all desire to level up their professions. I think they are both dual gatherer herbalism and skinning. I wonder if my lack of a crafting profession is why I find it hard to level their trade skills?

Jadedfury has 400 ish first aid but I haven't spent the time to level up skillets when it fell behind in the early 20's.

I have epic flying on two of my characters, Arravis and Llina. They have epic flying because they are my primary gatherers when it comes to materials. During BC I made a choice between my Artorin who was my main and Arravis. In the end it made more sense to give epic flying to a pure gatherer as opposed to Artorin who gathered by killing stuff. I'm looking foward to the next time I can afford epic flying because that means I can give it to who I really want too.

Interestingly enough the two characters that have ideal raiding professions are my Mage Gandreolf and my Warrior Skyru. All the rest have atleast one suboptimal profession when it comes to raiding. I'm really glad that Blizzard added bonuses to both gathering and crafting professions but I hope they make strides to improve gathering bonuses.

The crit bonus from skinning is about the only universally useful profession bonus from a gathering professions. Sure the stamina boost from mining is great for tanks but less then stellar when you compare it to the bonuses from the crafting professions.

Normalizing profession bonuses is something I am completely OK with. Having all crafting professions on my characters is something I can never afford to do. Especially since I don't have a dedicated main to focus on.