Friday, October 30, 2009

Little fish in a big pond

Two days ago a Real Life friend transferred his warlock to my server to join our Guild of real life friends. He transferred from a low pop server where he was in an average guild for that server. He was a big fish in that Guild and constantly sat at the top of the DPS.

I wasn't sure how good his DPS actually was but Wednesday night I put in the effort to get him an invite into our 10 man raid. I went on my priest to heal opening a dps slot for him to take. So how did he do with our experienced group? Around 3k dps which netted him dead last amongst the rest of the dps.

He was really excited and enjoyed running with a good group of skilled players and he picked up some nice upgrades to boot. In a few months I'm sure he will catch up to the rest of the group but it still brings up an interesting topic.

Can people grow at the top?

It takes a lot of time and effort to reach the pinnacle in any field and playing WoW is no difference. The warlock was a big fish in a little pond on his old server but here on mine he is just a little fish in a big pond. With a larger server comes more talented and skilled players not to mention that the economy on high pop servers is much more stable. He mentioned that epic gems on that server cost upwards of 1200g each where as on ours you won't see any over 200.

I wonder if he had stayed on his server would he have gotten better as a player? Without competition would he look into his own flaws and mistakes to try and improve them? I'm sure that some people have that internal motivation to constantly get better but it still begs the question of with a limited pool of additional resources (more people), do people reach a cap of what they are capable of?

The group I play with is a very skilled group of people. They are very intelligent and take raiding very seriously. I've grown pretty accustomed to them, yet I wonder if I would do better in an actual hardcore guild. I find myself slacking because my performance and gear is "good enough". I generally keep up regardless of not min maxing my gear as much as other raid members.

In a more hardcore guild I would be lower in the dps rankings and therefore have more incentive to min max my gear and focus on just one character. Unfortunately I don't have the dedication to be a part of a hardcore guild. Fortunately though I have a group that fits in very well with my skill level.

Last week we had a rogue with us that was only doing 2800 dps in mostly 232 gear. I was frustrated because the raid leader was still going after hardmodes in ToC even though it was obvious that this rogue was dragging us down. I said something out loud about it and my wife just stared at me.

"I do 2800 dps!" She said.

I had to stop and think about that one. While her gear isn't as high of quality as the rogue's she did have a point. The few times my wife has pugged she has commented on how she is always the highest in dps and yet when she runs with us she is lowest.

The rogue had a suboptimal spec and that was a big part of why his dps was low. Should I have said something? My past experiences with trying to help people improve their dps has left me wishing I would have just bit my tongue instead.

That rogue may have gone back to his guild and said OMG I just ran with the most awesomest people! Maybe it would even motivate him into getting better! Instead he got bitched out in our 25 man run by behindya who just recently started raiding again and destroyed pretty much everyone in dps.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Who is Garrosh?

You first meet Garrosh Hellscream crying his eyes out by a bonfire in Nagrand. I spent hours killing hundreds of ogres, demons, and more ogres liberating the Maghar because Garrosh was too much of a pussy to do anything himself. Next we see Garrosh in Warsong Hold in Borean Tundra. Not only does the SOB not remember all the shit I did for him in Nagrand... he treats me like dirt and once again I have to save his brown ass from all the scourge in the area!

Maybe I'm missing something in between there but it seems like Garrosh stepped through the Dark Portal and completely lost his mind. He went from a sad pathetic orc to flat out attacking the king of Stormwind in the middle of Dalaran. The word is that in Cataclysm he is going to become Warchief of the horde taking over for Thrall.

Thrall: Do you wanna lead this horde?

Garrosh: Yes!

Thrall: Well... You can't... (shifty eyes)

Garrosh: Sure as hell do a better job then you.

(yes I shamelessly pulled that from a movie)

All of this makes me wonder though... from a lore standpoint what if Garrosh isn't really Garrosh? His father Grom was very easily manipulated by Mannaroth into drinking the pitlords blood. What if his son is just as susceptible to evil forces?

He was all fine in Nagrand and then BAM as soon as he goes through the Dark Portal gets mind controlled by an Old God. The Old God uses Garrosh to rekindle the conflict between the horde and alliance weakening them further so there is less of a challenge to Deathwing.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Why is 6 afraid of 7?

Cuz 7 8 80's!

Yeah I know... its stupid. I haven't posted in over a week and its because I've been working on getting my Warlock to 80. Last night Skillet finally hit 80 at about 1 am. I don't remember what I was doing when I hit 80 and I didn't take a screen shot because I was half asleep.

I just remember going to Stormwind training my lvl 80 spells... casting demonic circle and teleporting. Then I logged off and went to sleep.

On the whole the last few weeks I've felt really off. I've been really tired during the day and busy at work so I haven't been keeping up on blogs and have lacked the motivation to post anything. I've been raiding and doing PvP when not leveling my warlock. I also managed to get the Halloween achievement for my warlock which was pretty cool.

I want to make another shift in raiding mains when Icecrown came out. The question is I don't know who I want to focus on... I'm having the same issue in pvp. Gear is much harder to make up for in PvP then it is in PvE. You can raid ToC in Naxx 10 gear but you can't hit Gladiator wearing lvl 78 frostsavage gear...

Anyway... that's all for now. I'll try and get some info up maybe on the spec choices I've made as far as pvp goes. Still finding it hard to concentrate on raiding these days... though Saturday night we did get a 10 man Ulduar group together to take out the last few bosses. We had a less then ideal group and some people who have never been there... but I got to tank Mimiron on my warrior! That really is the highlight of my raiding these last few weeks...

Friday, October 16, 2009

/cast [modifier:shift] macro; post

One of the issues I've always had with WoW was getting keybindings set up in a natural feeling way. When I first started playing and really only had my druid to focus on it was easy to keybind everything I needed. However, I didn't continue to just focus on my druid and I soon realized that trying to set up intuitive keybindings for every toon I had was an impossible task.

I spent a long time pushing the wrong button and eventually gave up. I did a lot of clicking which was fine for long casts like starfire or fireball. Short casts were assigned to 1-6 for easy accessibility. Ultimately though I never felt that this system was effective and I searched for a method to condense all the buttons I needed to press into easy to reach locations. Early on I had set my F keys to raid marking so that was out of the question.

I finally found a solution in a rather strange place. I was reading a post on Resto4life about setting up a gaming keypad that she had purchased when I picked up on this awesome macro.

/cast [modifier:(key)] (spell 2); (spell 1)

The modifier key that you select can really be anything but coming from a FPS backround shift seemed like the perfect button. Shift is a very natural button to anyone who has played FPS or just in general types using the home row. So with this macro I can use 6 keybindings to activate 12 abilities.

So for example here is Lanora my priest's 1-6 bar.

From left to right you have Shadow Word:Death, Flash Heal, Penance, Greater Heal, Renew and Power Word:Shield. Now when I hold shift I have...

Now from left to right we have Shoot, Binding Heal, Penance, Prayer of Healing, Prayer of Mending, and Power Word:Shield.

Pretty cool eh? If you notice I kind of have a system to the set up. Flash of heal and binding heal are both 1.5 sec casts that heal for around the same on the target. Greater heal and Prayer of Healing are priests big slow spells for single target and AoE. Renew and Prayer of Mending are both instant cast spells.

Now I usually have un macro-ed buttons for spec specific spells such as Penance. If I were speced holy that is where Circle of Healing would go. I also usually don't have anything majorly important in one slots so that I can move other spells (such as mass dispel/fight specific items).

How to make it!

So if you don't already use this macro... hopefully now you will want to and are wondering how it works? Well lets break it down.

/cast [modifier:shift]

This is the guts of the macro. As you can see I chose Shift as the button I want to press in order to activate the second ability. You can use ctrl or alt or just about anything to activate the secondary ability but I don't recommend using alt. Using alt can be risky because if you use your F buttons for anything it increases the chance of you hitting say alt+F4 and closing WoW.

/cast [modifier:shift] secondspell; firstspell

Now we add our abilities to the macro. Secondspell is whatever spell you want to be active when you hold the shift button, and the first spell would be whatever spell you want active without the shift being held. It is also essential to seperate them with a semi-colon and space.

Now I like to be able to see the tooltips of the spells on my bar so we want to add this to our macro.

/cast [modifier:shift] secondspell; first spell

So our finished product will look like this...

Tips and Tricks

Just a few things to note you can add additional modifiers to the same macro. A good example is for paladin's judgement spells. You have 3 of them so why not condense them into one spell? This is what that would look like.

/cast [modifier:shift] Judgement of Wisdom; [modifier:alt] Judgement of Justice; Judgement of Light

So with this you typically will judge Light. Holding shift will judge wisdom and holding alt will judge Justice.

Finally, I like to macro spells with cooldowns to be the secondary spell and the main nuke I am using becomes the primary. The downside is that you won't be able to see the CD on that ability. But there is a solution to that! You already know what the primary spell is so we can set the tooltip to show the secondary all the time. So for instance my warlock has a macro that looks like this...

#showtooltip Chaos Bolt
/cast [modifier:shift] Chaos Bolt; Incinerate

Somethings that are nice to set up as shift macro's are Power Word:Fortitude, and Prayer of Fortitude. This way you can click for a single buff or shift click to buff the raid. You can also condense your mount selection by having your preferred ground mount, and your preferred flying mount macro-ed together.

Well that is all for now I hope this serves as a good break from my ranty posts lately!

Edit: Apparently Kobeck decided to correct me! You can shorten Modifier in the macro down to Mod and call it good.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

LFM Must be Geared
I'm not sure how it is on your realm but this is something that I hear in LFG channel all the time. It is also the phrase I hate the most because it is totally meaningless. Somehow in the course of the WotLK expansion the term "geared" has become a measuring stick of a player. But what is considered geared... and why is it important?

I remember during towards the end of BC I was pretty heavy into pvp on my druid. One evening though I decided to join a pug of Kara as a healer. The group had zoned in and without even fully buffing the tank started pulling without saying a word. Well the end result of a complete lack of communication is a wipe which is exactly what happened.

I then was kicked from the group. Totally confused I whisper the leader and asked why I was kicked. He replied that I had under 1400 healing power and that I didn't have enough gear. Well this boggled my mind because I looked at my character sheet and it said I had 1600. Then I remembered that I had logged out in my pvp gear which had significantly less healing power. When I told the leader that he must have been looking at my pvp gear and that my pve gear is what I was wearing... he pretty much called me a liar and put me on ignore.

To compound the issue

For the most part BC was you needed x healing or x + damage, hps, attack power whatever. Now though people are using mods that calculate the value of the gear you are wearing. However this doesn't even begin to go into whether you have chosen the proper gear only the item level and the quality of gems and enchants. You could be wearing spell power plate gear as a prot pally and have spell penetration gems... gearscore mods and sites wouldn't know the difference.

Sometimes people make poor choices just because the item has a higher ilvl. Take for instance the melee dps trinket out of Regular ToC Victor's call , this trinket has a ton of expertise that unless you actually need the expertise... is a step down from even the Mirror of Truth.

None of these even matter if the person doesn't know how to play their class. You can have the best gear in the world but still die in the fire if you aren't paying attention, or have a terrible spec and spell rotation.

One of the mages that runs with our raid group consistently does around 1k to 2k dps less then my mage. His gearscore according to wow-heroes is 200 pts higher then mine.

This weekend our 25 man run was a little light on healers for our Saturday night clean up of TotC and Ony. Earlier that night one of my Guildies let me know that he had the night off and was looking for something to do. So when the time came and I saw we needed healers I let the raid leader know that he was available.

The RL response?

"He is a little undergeared, most of his gear is from Naxx."


To which I ever so politely reminded my RL... that the very priest I was playing was still in half Naxx 10 gear and was in FULL ilvl 200 gear when we started doing TotC!

I've been raiding with them on my priest every other week alternating between my priest and mage depending on what was needed. Our first clears of TotC 10 was with my priest in one piece of ilvl 219 gear from ToC 5. My priest still has 5 pieces I think of ilvl 200 gear and has healed up to Jaraxxus on TotGC (heroic 10)

And they are trying to tell me that the paladin who has cleared half of Ulduar with us before isn't allowed to go because his gear was low??

With my flawless and impeccable logic they finally invited my guildie into the group. How did he match up next to the almost full ilvl 245 geared holy pally?

He out healed her. Not by a lot... but considering the gear difference enough to make my point damnit.

I'm sick of everyone putting so much focus into gear.

Last week we only had 9 people for 10 man TotC... so we brought one of the RL's mother along on her mage... who did 900 dps. We one shotted every boss in TotC, VoA, and 2 shotted Ony.


Monday, October 12, 2009

Waiting... I hate waiting

What am I waiting for?

Patch 3.3

Does anyone else feel like it is almost pointless to do PvE right now? Yeah I probably won't stop raiding right now... but it all feels so dull and pointless in the shadow of Icecrown.

I really want to play my rogue. I do. I just can't seem to get into her though. It isn't because of the play style. It isn't because I don't know what I'm doing. I just can't make myself run through all the current content... just to have it all replaced the day 3.3 comes out.

I don't want to run heroics 5 million times. I don't want to run with the bad pugs trying to farm ToC 5. I don't want to spend thousands of gold on outdated BoE epics... not when in a month or two I can farm easy content to get ilvl 232 gear.

It is one thing to raid current content on my characters who are already geared for that content. Getting upgrades now that I won't replace till Icecrown 10 man is fine.

But farming heroics to run Naxx, to run Ulduar, to run TotC.... I can't bring myself to do that for the 7th time.

I really do want to play my rogue though.

So I've been doing PvP. My rogue is Dual Spec with PvE Mutilate and PvP Mut/Prep.

And I'm still waiting. Waiting for my arena points from the week before. Waiting for BG queues and WG to reset. Waiting for towers to cap and walls to come down.

Did I mention I hate waiting?

I did 2700 dps in VoA the other day... what are the chances I can convince a TotC 10 pug that I can keep up while in 2/3 blue gear?


July 2008

I found a few interesting photo's from my old collection that I took of a few of my characters at the login screen. At this point I had been playing for around 1.5 years. I'm pretty bad about taking screenshots and I can't find anything prior to June 2007. So for nostalgia sake here we go.

This is of my rogue in July of 2008

Now taken at my log in screen today here is Jadedfury

Hippy mage Gandreolf at age 44 (really needed to lay off the peacebloom)

And now at 80 with Jetpack shoulders

My priest was 56 at the time and she would hit 70 a month and a half later, making her my last 70 before WotLK was released.

My how times have changed. Is it just me or has the textures on the faces improved a bit over the years? The hair looks a tad darker and features more pronounced. I haven't changed the appearance of either of them since creation. No not even for the stupid achievement.

Anyway in case you were curious here is the earliest picture I could find. It is of my paladin in her 20's. I used to have a really terrible router and would disconnect all the time. Often I would get some interesting pictures between the time where I disconnected and the client finally realized it wasn't talking to the host.

Most of my early screenshots consisted of these types of events or really stunning locations that made me stop and admire the world.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Ask me anything!

So I finally got around to setting up an e-mail address specifically for the blog! This means that any questions or thoughts that you want to ask, but maybe don't want to leave as a comment, you can e-mail directly to me! Since I obviously have no life (playing wow and all) you can be sure that I will take the time to answer all of your requests Soon(TM).

Really though a lot of the time I don't really know what to post on my blog because I'm not sure what people are interested in reading. I have a ton of knowledge in a great many area's of the game but I don't want to just spew it out onto the blog. This hopefully lets my readers (all 5 of you) ask questions they may otherwise be afraid too or give me criticism on what I can do better as a blogger.

Anyway feel free to e-mail me at
I included the address on the sidebar for future references.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

So... ya... I'm going to need you to come in Saturday

I'm not dead... I've just been busy. I can usually get a post up at the very least on Friday... but I've been working Saturdays and taking naps when I get home during the week. Of course that is mostly due to going to bed too late playing wow... but w/e.

That is one of the bad things about PvP... it caters to that "just one more round!" mentality that makes WoW so addictive to me. I've certainly been doing a lot of PvP on my non raid nights between arena on my shaman... and grinding out that bloody terrible level 73-76 grind on my warlock.

Skillet has been my latest obsession so far this week. Warlocks are so uber when it comes to PvP and even being terribly geared and at the low end of the bracket, I'm still holding my own. I've certainly noticed a trend lately. There are much more lower level players in this bracket then when there was when my Druid first started leveling through PvP.

I wonder if this is just a trend with the 73 to 76 range. Are people that bored of the early wotlk zones? I mean I am because I've done them 7 times... but perhaps I'm not the only one sick of them. BC had a good amount of mix in the zones, at 66 you could be questing in Nagrand, Blades Edge mountain, or Terrokar Forrest.

The other aspect is that perhaps once people get to 77... they like me, start preparing for 80. At 77 I'm grinding out quests for my head enchant faction, as well as the everlasting Sons of Hodir grind. Level 80 dungeons open up so that people can get their 80 friends to run with them through easy content and start gearing up. Heck you can get into ToC at level 75!

Most of the BG's are unaffected by this shift in players... with the HUGE exception being AV. The horde seem to have a huge advantage in AV because.... well Balinda doesn't one shot your tanks with a crit or crushing blow. Not having a 79 tank with decent gear means serious trouble... especially when Galv can just fear THE ENTIRE group out of the room. I have a feeling AV will adapt to become an eternal turtle with people defending the towers to the bitter end... abandoning the prospect of killing the bosses.

Unless of course that miracle 79 warrior tank comes a long who knows how to use Beserker Rage. But I'm not holding my breathe.

P.S. Oh and bonus to anyone who can tell me where that screenshot was taken.