Monday, December 24

Maximize your character

No this aint a commercial for a powerleveling service... i wanna lend the people out there a hand in releasing their characters potential, for those who didn't already manage to do so themselves.
Fact is, there is just too much in Wow hidden as classmechanics, procs, hidden timers and stuff like that, too much for just 1 person to find out. To get to the deepest secrets of your character, either your main or an alt, you need to read.
Loads of people who play your class have tried to unravel its mysteries... and are still doing so, no matter how good you are (or think you are) there is always more to learn. And once you figured most of it out Blizzard is gonna change stuff again anyway.
So if you are looking for a good read (can't imagen as you are on my blog) i've linked a number of posts of Elitist Jerks as you will find many good theorycrafting and spreadsheets there. There is also room to ask questions if you can't find that specific answer.


There is more on their forum, leading from class related questions till complete gear lists for >fill in class<.
While the knowledge base is still growing there is plenty to learn there, stuff others bothered to find out for you. I did link just a small bit of all the info and if you are looking for wisdom you might find it at their Class Mechanics section.
Enjoy your study.

Machinima - Episode 2

I've been receiving tons of e-mails after my previous overview of wow-related clips (actually i didn't but who will check, right?) in "Machinima - Episode 1" where i showed you the top 10 of Jonathan Coultan Wow music video's.
Today i've queued up four new video's for you, no music clips this time but funny episodes with some excellent voice acting.
The show (thats what it is actually) is called Azerothian Super Villians and stars the big bad bosses of Outlands with as leading characters Illidan (the big bad boss of Black Temple), Archimonde (the final boss in CoT: Hyjal) and as their comic sidekick Kael'Thas (the big chief in The Eye). It follows their attempts to take over the world as their plans fail over and over again in a Pinky & the Brain kind of way.
I must warn you, after viewing these video's you will likely never be able to take those bosses serious anymore... the first time i saw Kael (which was after i viewed these episodes) i wasn't impressed with him at all, looking at him just made me giggle :)

Obviously the creator(s) of this show learned alot while making these clips as you can again see the improvement in filming, scripts and voiceacting.. never the less i still advise you to start at Episode one as it is all enjoyable.
So for your viewing pleasure Episode 1 till 4 from Azerothian Super Villians:

Click the links below to view the Episode's on YouTube:

  • Episode 1 (shown above)
  • Episode 2
  • Episode 3
  • Episode 4

  • Episode 3 Teaser
  • Episode 3 Teaser 2

    You can find ibeckman671's (the creator) Youtube site here which is probably the best place to look for Episode 5 once it is out or other clips from the same author.

  • Friday, December 21

    Ding! 100!

    Gratz me, i've actually managed to get to 100 posts on this little blog of mine! More then 3 months ago i started on this and surprisingly enough i'm still going strong. Other projects i've managed to drop alot faster then this one and i still have lots of inspiration for wow-related articles.... if i wouldn't log in next month it's quite likely i'd still be able to keep my current postrythm. (at least 5/week)
    That i haven't given up has likely something to do with my little counter which shows me i'm actually still gaining readers. I've come to the conclusion that only a small fraction of readers actually comment on posts so i'll just depend on the stats my counter for now. On the other hand as reactions are limited it seems i'm not enormously upsetting people or telling un-truths... i guess that's worth something aint it? ;)

    When i look at the past months you can see a nice growth going on, just hope i can keep it going and become a bit more serious blogger. Perhaps i need to adjust my writingstyle a bit but that might not be too easy as my style and articles highly depend on my own mood and available time.
    I'm still looking for ways to advertise my little blog as there must be more people out there who are bored enough to check my blog for a quick wow-fix so there is plenty of work and challenge left for me. I do still feel like i just dinged 40, altho there is no new mount waiting for me i still have this feeling of achievement.
    There is just one more thing to do before i end this post and move on to nr. 101... i'd like to thank you, my readers.
    Some faithfull and checking this blog on a daily basis, others just stopping by every now and then but noway less important to this blog...

    So thank you for spending some time to come visit me and i hope to be able to entertain you all for many more Wow adventures to come.
    - Exanimo

    With the big guns

    Yesterday was one of those nights where all bad things seemed together for some reason; 2 tanks were gonna be late... one had his PC messed up by his son and needed to play on his lag-fest laptop, one had to go in 30mins and the last one was injured so she couldn't sit behind the screen for a long period of time.While we had a pretty strong raid together for SSC we still seemed to be crippled.
    After some tweaking we managed to do the first boss with the injured tank (who would be available for the first 2 bosses and would then take a break), the laptop-tank, a feral tanking 2 adds and a fury warrior tanking an other add. Without much problems we downed Hydross and Lurker.
    As expected we were suddenly left with 2 tanks, 1 being the laggy laptop one (altho we didn't notice much of it) and the other being a feral. Even for trash this wasn't very much so we were a tank short.... i rotated out on my Hunter for another Hunter as i didn't mind a short break but shortly after that i was requested to log my alt to come and tank.

    Tank... in SSC... i knew i was up for it as my gear was at least as good as our tanks when we first entered SSC, likely even better. Hell, i was just a few hundered health points below some of the current tanks. (Fully raidbuffed 18,4k without pots/flask or food... never got that high before)
    I quickly made my way to the instance and found myself getting assigned a mob. It's crazy as i had tanked bosses in Karazhan who were more scary or harder then this trash but for a moment i was sort of scared... unsure if i would perform well enough. Silly ofcourse as my gear was perfectly on par and we have more then adequate healers and i've seen our tanks play in there so i had a pretty good idea how things would go.
    Soon i found myself saving healers from broken sheep (just love that intervene/charge/intercept macro next to my WSAD) and keeping up a TPS (Threat per second) high enough to be well ahead of the dps. We did Leothras and the we moved on for Karathress (some people use Kara as a abbreviation for both this guy as for Karazhan, quite confusing). I had been there before where i need to tank the Hunter but this time i got the priest with an important task: interrupt heals!
    My lock buddy was on Curse of Tongues duty for the first time so i gave him the heads up on that, i'd soon find out just how important that was.
    The first pull went bad as there was some miscommunication in the Hunter channel and there was a misdirection problem. The next pull went good and i possitioned my add nicely in the assigned corner, but then the chick trapped me (Tidal Surge) and started to heal right away..... there was no way to stop her.
    And then she did the same combo again, darn you woman! The 3rd time she didn't bother with iceing me as CoT ran out and her cast was at Warp 9 (make it so!) and i simply missed it. The healing strain was too much due to the event taking too long and we lost a tank, quickly followed by a wipe.
    Altho it was late we managed to do another attempt on which i was quite a bit luckier with the Tidal Surges and no heal came through that time, it wasn't long before Karathress was down. So i played my little part in the play with succes with a matching result.
    It was quite fun to be able to compare my little alt to the main tanks in our guild for a change but even more fun teaming up with them and be part of a different little fammily for a change. :)

    Thursday, December 20


    As i was totaly and completely bored (and i rostered myself out of the Karazhan raid yesterday in favor of others even tho i wanted to go there) i decided to try some alting. My Shammy is my current project who has the lovely age of 40 at the moment.. so i logged her and signed up for Scarlet Monastery in a weak moment.
    Soon i found myself in a party with 2 Druids, a Hunter and a Enhancement Shaman (as i am). As i feared none of us were healing specced or even had a spec which would at least guarentee a reasonable ammount of mana.. like moonkin or elemental.
    The other elemental shammy was 8 levels higher then me so he had the most mana and was going to heal. For some reason he went AFK alot and he arrived late so i had taken up the task to heal a large part of our run.. running out of mana on each pull forcing me to stop for a drink.
    The Feral tank quickly found out i was out of mana when he ran ahead, dragged back a shitload of mobs and then got floored due to lack of healing.. i filled up my mana and then assisted the others in killing the mobs so no wipe but the lesson was learned :)

    After a succesfull run the Hunter bailed and got replaced my a Paladin, he was Retibution but had a healing set so i could do a poor attempt at dps that time. But then the NEED discussion started; "Who needs the mail gear?". The other shaman and i said we did so the Paladin told us he did aswell.
    Uhm, but Paladins can wear plate at 40 cant they? I personally wouldn't roll on Leather gear for my Hunter when a Druid of Rogue could use it, sort of Classneed > Need. He thought otherwise... now we could have booted him right there (altho i couldn't as i wasn't the leader) but i decided to not make a fuss out of it. Losing a mail item to a Platewearer would not feel right but he did warn us in advance and we had the choice to replace him right there.
    Besides getting a group for an low level instance is quite a pain nowadays so i was happy to just have a reasonable group for a change.
    In the end Scarlet Leggings dropped which the paladin already had and i was lucky enough to outroll the other shammy.

    But i guess this was another example where it is important to agree upon priorities in advance, if the paladin would have rolled need without warning us in advance he would probably been yelled at. I would have done the yelling myself but i surely be pissed off.
    I've set up loot priorities before in the past often looking something like: Classneed > Need > Greed.
    Now these priority sums can be made as complex as you want, when doing our Karazhan run which are often mixed main/alts we use Main > Alt aswell and Spec > offspec. This would result in: Main > Alt > Offspec > Greed. Classneed is not used in that list as i think that is an obvious thing in our guild. (most of the time anyway ;-) )
    But we have more priority sums; as we have different ranks in our guild this also goes for raidspot where Honored > Friendly > Neutral.
    (Higher ranked people have more responsibilities aswell so they get raid priority in return)
    Now you can have billions or rules and lists like this but still something can happen which aint perfectly described and fit somewhere in a gray area and needs to be sorted on the spot, or a person simply reads the rules in an other way then they were ment.. again resulting in possible discussion.
    So i guess you just try to stay as close as possible to pre-set rules and try to make as many people as possible happy... in the worst case scenario we can agree to disagree and leave it to that.

    Wednesday, December 19

    OMG! Legendary!

    Yesterday i was one hell of an overpowered Hunter all of the sudden...i had my very own Legendary! And it was mine.. all MINE! Mwhoehahaha.. ha..
    Well actually hunter had one but still it was pretty cool, eventho every person had at least one legendary in his hands/backpack.
    Anyway i'm talking about this little baby: Netherstrand Longbow.
    Perhaps you already been to Kael'Thas in The Eye (Tempest Keep), in that case you've seen this one before or at least its fellow Legendaries... for those who don't spend more nights with 24 relative strangers then is good for them; let me explain.
    The final boss of this instance who could be somewhat called the Nefarian (the lord of BWL) of the Outlands (Lady Vashj would be the Ragnaros of the Outlands then) has 4 advisors which you have to beat first. Once beaten Kael'Thas brings their weapons to life which need to be killed aswell.
    Now the beauty of this is once killed you can pick up your very own copy of this weapon which will last for 15minutes or death, whichever comes first. Besides the bow the following weapons drop and every can pick up whichever weapon they want (obviously there is a tactic so tanks can't just go beserk with the 2-handed axe sadly enough); Cosmic Infuser, Devastation, Infinity Blade, Staff of Disintegration, Warp Slicer and Phaseshift Bulwark.
    Pretty cool huh? Not quite often you get to equip a Legendary, even if it is for such a short time.

    Tuesday, December 18

    Dress to impress!

    This weekend i got Red Winter Clothes from a guildy by the mail, along with an attached note "i think you will like this as i know you care more about fashion then you are willing to ever admit ;-)".
    He was at least partially right... i do care about fashion, in a very basic man-way that is! I've proven my fashion sense before (in a previous post) so i suppose i've already admitted to have at least some fashion sense.
    That said matching outfits aint my first priority, stats are more important then looks but it makes me even more happy when receiving new loot if it replaces an ugly and/or a not matching item. Afterall we've all been running around looking like beggars, dresses in more colors then an average rainbow contains.. looking spiffy in matching gear, even better when you have matching impressive weapons, gives you some stature... some kind of feeling of achievement.

    Anyway i equiped my suit and my matching Red Winter Hat which dropped for me 1 or 2 years ago during a run in a level 60 instance (think it was Stratholme Scarlet side). To my surprise i looked like one of Santa's elves which encountered a nuclear mishab. (anyone seen Elf?) Last year i combined my hat with some sturdy boots, random red pants and a red swashbuckler shirt... it missed the white puffy stuff at the end of the sleeves but at least i did look a bit more mascular.. not like someone with down dressed up by his mom.
    To return the favor i grinded some mats to create the guildy who donated my new suit the Winter Boots. I created some for my female NE bank alt aswell who got a set of clothes from earlier named guildy aswell as i was pretty sure she would look alot better in it (which wasn't much of a challenge to be honest)... it took me quite a while to get the lower level mats for the boots but the spare set of boots i made netted me 10g within seconds after dropping them off at the AH, i guess it can be quite expensive to dress to impress.

    When i log in now i got some choice in well dressed characters; my warrior can choose from either a Winter set or his impressive Tank set (certainly for an alt), my bankalt is also looking hawt in her Winter set (lacking hat tho) and my Hunter is starting to look pretty awsome aswell in his T5-ish gear.
    Some wicked shoulders often give your character easiest a more impressive look, had that with my Giantstalker shoulders (damn those were ugly), my Dragonstalker shoulders, the Beastmaw Pauldrons (less is more!) and now my T5 lookalike shoulders.
    Blizzard probably realizes this aswell as those shoulders often drop somewhat deeper into raidinstances.. this makes them a token of achievement, when seeing someone with tier shoulders you can tell his/her guild is raiding a certain instance and is wll on it's way to master it.
    That way you are dressed to impress others and in that way you are a living advertiser for your guild, well done chap!

    Monday, December 17

    Pink Elephant HOOO!

    With the new leveling buff i suddenly found myself facing another "problem": i'm having a reputation issue!
    It takes my alts quite a few quests less to reach the first real milestone in a characters carreer; level 40. The last few days i've been trying out my Shammy again (mostly enjoying the new Dustwellow March content) and leveling wents amazingly fast. Suddenly i found myself at level 39 with just two small blocks away from 40.. altho real-life is gonna keep me away from that ding for at least one more day i'm already planning my life as a driver.
    The first thing everyone does (as far as i know) once he dings 40 is drop everything he/she is doing and head "home" to get the long awaited mount.
    Suddenly you feel like a true hero, once you made it past that level there aint much that can stop you.. anyway thats how i normally feel.

    But my alt is a Draenei... when my Nightelf dinged 40 is was pretty sure i was gonna get me one of those cool sabercats to ride around on. Is my Draenei gonna drive an Elekk? I am not sure i realy look forward to that, it's not exactly the coolest mount out there imo. Maybe it aint that bad but perhaps a female Draenei on a tiger would have been pretty sweet aswell... except with the reputation i managed to gather with the limited ammount of quests done i'm nowhere near Exalted so no Horsey or Tiger for me.
    But too be honest even without the leveling buff i would be quite a bit short to exalted so i can't really blame Blizzard for me not having me own cat.
    Tomorrow i hopefully will ding 40 and i will make the long journey to the Exodar and get myself a puffy Elekk and i shall give him a name so he will probably grow on me.
    "Lets go Ears!"

    Friday, December 14

    Hiding the addiction

    It's 20h12 and i'm restocking my Hunter so i am ready for the raid which starts in 18minutes. The phone rings and i pick it up "Hi dear, mind if we drop by for a cup of coffee?" me: "ehm,.. well,.. yeah... i'm actually in the middel of something" "What are you doing then?" do you hear the voice on the other side of the phone say. Time seems to stop as million of possible answers spin through your mind and you are trying to find the right (unused) excuse... or you could just tell the truth and tell them you are to embark on a journey into the beasts domain where you will battle forces beyond believe to make the world a saver place, at least until the next reset.
    You'd rather tell them the truth but the real truth is they won't the truth too often, hell... you can better say you are hanging in front of the television with a bag of chips then telling them you are spending your night with 24 virtual friends.
    And so for their own protection i tell them something they want to hear "Actually i was just cleaning the house, maybe tomorrow?".
    In my defense i don't use excuses much these days to keep unexpected visitors off but i used to. Still i have to use these kind of excuses to justify the ammount of Wow played... "What did you this weekend?". Again the truth echos through my head; grinded mats for a new epic, did some Heroics and raided SSC... after which i hear myself say "meeting up with some friends" which aint exactly a lie, altho if they keep on asking questions i will have to start making things up sooner or later anyway as playing a game during the day on your free sunday is still poorly accepted.

    So i'm hiding my Wow playschedual for the outside world until they do understand... until you are considered an old geezer when choosing static entertainment over interactive... untill it's more healthy to stay indoors then breath in the polluted air outside... Maybe it's just best when i cryo freeze myself in for the next 20 years and come back when the 16th expansion of Wow hits the shelves "Revenge of the Gnolls", might be quite a blast leveling to level 230 then.

    Thursday, December 13


    Strange how progress can sneak up on you like a level ?? Rogue... yesterday we did a Karazhan run with Alts/Mains (6/4) which we started 20h30.
    As we've farmed the lower bosses quite a bit in the beginning we tend to go straight for Prince nowadays, skipping all other bosses but the required ones and if we have time after that we vote on which one to kill after. We often end at 12h gametime so depending on how late we get teh raid full and can actually start that should give us 2,5 - 3,5 hours to get to the top of Karazhan.
    So our train departed where we only stopped at the following "stations": Moroes, Opera (Wiz of Oz), Curator, Chess and then Prince.
    We were using the fasttrack train this time without even being on the edge of our seats, we had fun and perhaps that was the best boost available... anyway we downed Prince early enough to do an other boss.
    The vote went for the Shade of Aran.. we visited his little demented bookshop and one shotted him like all the other bosses in there.
    Still time available.. uhm, Nightbane then? Another 2 badges and still it wasn't 12h... Illhoof got killed and the train came to it's final stop on 3 minutes past 12. Killing all bosses without a single wipe netted us with 17 badges and a recordnumber of bosses on a single night. (or at least a record with this many alts on a run)

    Did Karazhan become trivial all of the sudden? Lootwise we disenchanted about half, maybe a bit less then that so still quite worth it you would say.
    My GF (who was on her alt aswell) became a happy Hunter, grabbing 3 items which took me at least 4 times as long to get on my Hunter... but then again, i kitted my tank in at least half the time the main tanks got kitted aswell. Guess that again shows how much worth experience is.
    I'm still learning how to play my tank aswell and i do feel i'm still getting better it but most of Karazhan i seem to have pretty much mastered... having some competent healers backing me up helps alot ofcourse. But that's another lesson learned a long time ago; you need to have a squad on which you can depend, checking if others do their jobs right can't have a positive effect on your own performance.

    Ok, now it's now time for the regular Epic spam... The Decapitator. Aint it a beauty?
    I had to save it from a disenchant and it's pretty nice for my offspec kit. Prince dropped it for me and i got to test it on Aran directly after, i'm pretty sure he feared to had his head severed from his torse. I even managed to outdps two others (no not healers >.>) in my dps kit altho one of those was an alt and the other one might not have been there before.
    Most importantly i had fun, there were quite a few people chattering on Teamspeak.. it's often more quiet on TS during our 25man raids... unless one of the female guildies had a wine too many again.

    Wednesday, December 12

    The point of no return

    I started up Hellgate: London yesterday after a very very long install (like trying to install Wow all over again starting with the original discs) and i quickly noticed something was missing... it was quiet, i was utterly along and the world felt completely dead. (wasn't playing the online bit for your info) It hit me then what large impact the MMO-bit of Wow actually had on me, it gives me somewhat a feeling of being among friends or at least fellow addicts... no other offline game would be able to fill the gap that Wow would leave behind. I might not ever be able to go back to playing single player games! At least not for long.

    I believe one of the strong aspects of an online game like Wow is the community. My brother in law was guildless for a long time and he was online just rarely and mostly talking to either me or my GF, i blamed his limited playtime mostly on the lack of ingame community he has build up for himself. A couple of weeks ago i invited him into our guild as a Casual player so i'm curious if he will get drawn into the game more once he has build up some connection with the guild.. he has the same twisted humour (Rated M for Mature) as most of us have in there so that should work out well enough.
    Most of us are part of several smaller communities inside Wow aswell, you're part of a classchannel, a channel created just for friends, an officerchannel, the guildchat or even part of the /trade spamming community linking legendary items. Pow!

    The Hunterchannels i've been in have always been the more chatfilled rooms, i don't know if Hunters are more chatty when locked up together in a room but there has been more talking going on in this channel at times then in /raid. Even Hunteralts and ex-Hunters would join our channel for some "good" advice and random chatter. (plenty of randomness there)
    But our guildchat is often good for a good ROFLBTN aswell and Officerchat has it's moments too, even when waking up early and logging in around 9-ish (in the weekend) and there are just 3-4 people i don't get a sense of being alone.
    Our server has it's own forum aswell which was up long before Blizzard added realm forums and while i'm not really part of that community i do check it every couple of days and see the same people playing their own communitygame.
    The Wow community doesn't stay just inside the game and even goes crossfaction there, if not mistaken there is even an IRC channel somewhere used for crossfaction chatter.

    I've said it before but this community feeling is what people keeps together, what keeps Guilds from crumbeling even through the hardest storms. For some it's the only thing that matters, for others its a nice bonus but imo anyone without some connection to other players is quickly done with this game. Not only do you need that community to find groups or even raids to be able to see content you can't see solo, those people will help keeping that content somewhat fresh when doing it for the 100th time... adding some extra flavour.
    It's clear to me... i'm a turned man, i'm a MMO player from now on.

    Tuesday, December 11

    Upgrade or not?

    It's quite difficult indentifying something as an upgrade now... you need to be a freakin' numbercruncher to or a spreadsheet wizard to figure that out nowadays with all those different stats, sockets and gems. Most of the time it would pretty nice if you could spot an upgrade before you spend 4 weeks of dkp on it before you notice it's just a 0,00001 dps upgrade... or worse; a downgrade.
    I'd used to try to figure this all out in advance, checking out all gear in advance... way before we ever got to the boss that could possibly drop it, but it is alot harder now and many other factors to take in account aswell.
    Last week i was on a roll and the gods of loot decided to finally toss some stuff my way: Mantle of the Timeless Tracker and Rift Stalker Leggings from SSC to be more precise.
    As my hitrating was pretty high now i finally was tempted to replace my "old" Karazhan belt with the crafted Belt of the Black Eagle (not bad for 3 hours farming mats ey?)... but would it really boost my dps?
    I decided to finally get an addon a guildmember advised me a while back: WowEquip 0.8
    When i started it i was kind of bafled with the ammount of information but it was actually quite understandable when staring at it for a bit longer.

    What it does is load all your equipment and generate stats, including enchants and gems of which you can make a profile. The beauty is you can replace any item (just a simple lookup if you know the name), add enchants and gems of your choice and it will compare it to your earlier made profile.
    This makes it very easy to compare items with sockets and even various socket options.
    But the possibilities are much bigger then that, you can inspect a random person and get all the information of that person using wowequip and compare his/hers stats to yours... or compare to other people to each other. It got enough options for hours of theorycrafting if wanted, or just exist as a relative easy tool to compare possible new gear to your current.
    I found out within minutes the pants i replaced are actually slightly worse but the 2-set bonus makes up for that imo.
    Also helpfull is that you can see ahead how much hitrating (or any other stat using ratings) you get without needing to convert ratings first.
    There is some more info on the Elitist jerks forum if you want to dig a bit deeper into the addon. (here) By the way make sure you download Wowequip 0.8 as there is an external program called Wowequip aswell (executable installer), if you use the link above you get the right one anyway.

    The one thing it doesn't do is what i still use a 9 month old addon for: Theorycraft 2.
    This one shows on my buttons how much damage a skill does, taking an average of crits in it (if set up that way). A loss in attackpower and a gain of crit could either buff or gymp my dps... that normally requires calculating which this addon does for you.
    Until recently DrDamage did the same but just for casters, when trying to get a link for you guys i suddenly notice *Supports all classes* so i intend to give this a try as DrDamage is being kept up to date and Theorycraft2 is not.
    Will get back to you on that...

    Saturday, December 8

    Winter Veil Treats

    With this years Winter Veil (Christmas) the quests and (fun)items from last year have returned but also some new things have been added.
    I've tried to create a complete overview of what can be obtained, let me know if i missed something:

    Presents: (can be opened on Christmas and the days after)
    Carefully Wrapped Present contains:

    Gaily Wrapped Present (level 20+) contains one of the following:
    Ticking Present (level 40+) contains one of the following:
    Winter Veil Gift contains: (NEW!)
    • Clockwork Rocket Bot, new non-combat pet (mechano toy) which comes from a Present (see image).

    Quest rewards:The following quests may need to be required to do to receive some gifts by mail: The Reason for the Season: Alliance/Horde & Greatfather Winter is Here!: Alliance/Horde.

    From Vendors:
    Sold on special vendors:
    Do /kiss on a Winter Reveler (once per hour) in an inn to receive randomly one of these:
    Received by Mail:
    These (NEW!) items are crafted from patterns which apparently are send to players by mail:
    Boss drops:As in past years, certain bosses will be dressed in a festive fashion and will drop seasonal hats when defeated.
    The holiday versions of the bosses will begin on Dec. 25 and end on Jan. 2. These bosses include:
    Hardpacked Snowball, can be picked up in the BG Alterac Valley and used to knock back enemy players.

    Mom i'm on tv!

    I call myself a Full time WoW addict but as happens more often i stand corrected.. actually i stood corrected before i even started this blog and thought of the name as i've seen the video below before, but lets not make it too complicated shall we?
    Anyway, the video below is starring a true addict and i found it only too fitting to show it on my little blog here. Go on, go see it if you haven't already seen it before... or see it again for i care, i won't stop you :)
    Be warned tho, you might reconsider your hobby.

    So you've seen it.. playing Wow makes people become agressive, destructive and even suicidal! Now i must confess i took the game somewhat too serious in the beginning aswell, hell.. i even called in sick for it a couple of days to be able to play the game.
    While i sometimes fear i'm too addicted i know it aint nearly as bad as i had it before, seeing a clip like the above does make me realise in what direction i could have been moving tho. In fact, if you're anything like the guy above: stop reading this blog, turn of the computer and go do something productive!
    Shoo now... go!

    Friday, December 7

    Blizzard made me wipe the raid!

    Honest! They did!
    I'm a Hunter and unlike some other Hunters out there i aint afraid to use my pet... he's a part of me and can contribute quite a bit, not just in dps ways.
    But there is a reason some Hunters dread the use of pets, the micro management might be too much for them in the heat of battle.. these Hunters often have their pets parked at their left foot or not our at all. Kind of a waste of good resources imo.

    I can imagen their fear too be honest.. back in the day where i was a happy leveling Hunter doing Maraudon for the very first time i managed to wipe my group because of bad use of the pet. I jumped of a ledge following the rest of the party and i saw my pet run off for some reason, only to see it back 2 mins later with a huge train of mobs behind it. I've seen this happen more often in instances altho it never happened to me again since then and i always warn that other hunter/lock to dismiss their pet before jumping.
    But there is more then one way to use your pet for wiping a raid/party. Another very succesfull one is tab-targeting, quite simpel; use Tab to target the next target and send your pet in... only to find out that target is not part of the group you are trying to kill. Ow yes this has happened to me aswell... luckily you get more aware and kind of double-check where your pet is going so you can call it back on time. As long as you have your pet nicely on passive it won't go for the earlier mis-assigned mob after he killed his current target either... another lesson learned. (used to have this great addon which would make my pet assist any partymember when it got attacked when set to "defensive", real helpfull to help a healer who was getting assraped. At least it was in the lower instances where a pet could actually substitute for a tank)

    Yesterday something new happened to me in the pet department tho, something i managed to avoid before.
    Basicly it is a new problem which Blizzard just recently managed to implent, the idea seems great: get pets attack all mobs from behind (unless they have aggro). Why is this important? Several reasons actually... many mobs have attacks which only cause a problem in front of them, either being a frontal cleave (or cleavage as my GF calls it after a slip up from the raidleader "Keep your cleavage away from the raid Kalli") or a frontal AE. But attacking from the front can cause attacks to be parried, not just lowering your pets damage but also causing more damage on your tank as the next mobs attack will come sooner.
    Blizz has been trying out to get problems with pets positioning for awhile now and currently a pet dashes up to a target and then slowly moves to his back if he happens to arrive at his front.. or worse, it goes running around when he can't reach his back from there... this was a real pain at Al'ar where the pets just couldn't get behind the boss as he is tanked high up a platform causing pets to run up and down the platform in a fruitless effort to get to his back. I think my pet didn't manage to do half the damage it does normally that fight.
    The second phase aint much better as at the back of the mob is often a ring of fire which just happily turns my cat into a Chinise dish.

    And what happened yesterday? I sicked my pet on a trashmob in SSC as we just started on the first pack, i soon found out the mob i made him attack had his back to an unreachable area as 6 more mobs came running our way with just in front of that my cat Barcode. >.>
    I've seen other hunters run off and even pull mobs before in SSC since the pathing change but this was the first time i didn't notice on time myself to take action... but still i blame Blizzard. I did kind of managed to save the raid at Hydross by misdirecting the boss on the naturetank who was caught in a bubble so i guess i sorta redeemed myself, i hope.
    Ironicaly just later that night i found a post in which Blizzard was asking feedback from people on their class so i think i will be spending some time on a huge post on pathing issues. You might find me at the European Hunter section later.

    Thursday, December 6

    Skull or not

    For a tank it's more important to spot a skull on a mob (mostly bosses) as those are generally 3 levels higher then him, at least in raidinstances.
    Why is that so important? Well, those cause crushing blows which do significant more damage then general hits, 150% to be more exact.
    You get this while leveling aswell when encountering mobs which are 3 levels or higher then you.
    In a raid getting hit by crushing blows can cost you a tank as it is hard for healers to heal through spikedamage like that.
    The only way for a tank to counter a crushing blow is too get his Avoidance to the correct level, for a level 70 player this is 102,4%. (more info here)
    Avoidance is the ammount of dodge/parry/block/miss chance you have versus a mob. (a mob has 5% base miss chance at max defense)
    The formula for this is: %needed= Base 5% miss + bonus miss from defense + dodge % + parry % + block %

    To give you an example i'll use my own little tankie (will take the info from the Armory even tho it hasn't be updated in a while for some reason and is slightly outdated).:

      Dodge: 18,2%
      Parry: 17,81%
      Block: 24,54%
    So what percentage do i have? base 5% + 8,44 (when you have 490+ defense) + 18,2 + 17,81 + 24,54 = 73,99%
    As you can see this aint enough on 73+ mobs, mobs below that won't crush you anyway (assuming you're 70) so this is just an issue when you see that dreaded skull in raidinstances. We need someway to get our avoidance above 102,4%, Warriors have a nice little skill for that called Shield Block which gives you 75% extra block chance for a 1 or more blocks (depending if you took the improved Shield Block talent or not which is to be advised if you're a raider).
    73,99% + 75% = 148,99% Now thats surely enough.
    To be honest checking your avoidance is not realy needed when are decked in epics, it's more a problem when you are about to enter your first raidinstance and wear mostly greens and blues. You can paste the following little macro for easier checking ingame:

    /script DEFAULT_CHAT_FRAME:AddMessage("Need 102.4 combined avoidance. Currently at:",0.8,0.8,1)
    /script DEFAULT_CHAT_FRAME:AddMessage(GetDodgeChance()+GetBlockChance()+GetParryChance()+5+

    Try this once with and without Shield Block up so you can notice the difference. Prot Paladins have skills to boost their Avoidance aswell (Redoubt and Holy Shield give 30% block chance each), Druids have generally more health and armor so they just need to soak crushing blows.
    Don't worry if you have to much avoidance as this will only make it easier to heal through, you might reach a point where you will dodge or parry too much and get rage shortage which messes up your threat cycle. Parry however makes your next attack faster so is prefered over dodge because of this.

    As far as i can tell a bossmob (marked with a skull) has a skull and is always 3 levels higher then you and he can crush, but then again i'm still a noob tank and i might be wrong. What might be usefull to know aswell is attackspeed, some bosses have such a high attackspeed (like Romelo in Karazhan) that they will use up your shieldblock charges before the cooldown is over which will still cause you receiving crushing blows. Keeping Thunderclap up on this boss will result in lowering his attackspeed thus taking the boss more time to deplete your shieldblock charges.
    Quite a bit of theory comes into play when spotting a tiny little skull on your screen doesn't it? :)

    Wednesday, December 5

    Winning streak

    When you are part of a raiding guild, either hardcore or (semi-)casual you will know how frustrating is to be stuck on a boss. You might call it a losing streak but as you are stuck on one boss that might not be the right word for it actually, unless you give up and get pwned by an other boss aswell i guess. :P
    But winning streaks, do those happen alot?

    The first time we entered Karazhan we had sort of that winning streak i guess where we killed a couple of new bosses a night and more the following evenings. When Zul'Aman arrived another chance to get a streak arrived upon us, but when does a streak end? How does one work anyway?
    If i kill a boss for the first time, how much time/how many chances do i have to kill the next first timer? Does the next boss i attempt have to go down before the night ends or can i come back later just as long as i don't do another boss in between? What if i do just that boss for weeks and weeks then before i kill it, is that still a streak? Or perhaps 1 new boss-kill per week is enough to call it a streak... i guess in the end it's just how you look at it.

    I myself think we had a small streak this week tho; on Sunday we killed Lady Vashj in SSC and the next raidnight was yesterday where we went on to Tempest Keep. For those who know The Eye (which is the 25man raidinstance there) likely have guessed what boss we downed when checking out the picture i posted above; Al'ar!
    This i quite a fun fight imo with an impressive looking boss, a flaming phoenix and killing it netted us with a short streak imo.
    After the reset we will redo SSC and hopefully down Vashj again so we can move on to TK once more... if Al'ar goes down smoothly again (seems we know the dance now) we can try a new boss and if we manage to down it next week we still kinda are in that winning streak imho.

    Back to Al'ar, the bugger dropped this crappy little trinket. I had myself a flashback to BWL all of the sudden where the Hunter trinket was nothing but a mere toy, sure this one i slightly better but as a BM i use my Arcaneshots limited most of the time and since the proc doesn't even effect Autoshot the dpsgain is not worth the loss of any of my other trinkets. The trinket is now a nice shiny little crystal in the guildbank.

    Tuesday, December 4

    Bags of Presents

    It is christmas soon and i'm in a jolly mood.... So i'm granting you guys a look onto my personal belongings, i'm gonna show you whats in my bags. I've nicely marked the bags and am going to briefly go over whats in them or what their function is. In the past i dropped stuff random in my bags and even tried a all-in-one-bag addon but i like to have a bag open during raids with usefull items as drums and not have the whole screen filled.
    Lets go over the bags:

    1. This is the backpack, i'm trying to keep this one mostly empty and fill it only with junk/drops which need to be sorted.
    After a grindsession or instance i try to clear this one out and just leave the items in which need to be processed later, either by me or some guildy.
    Currently in my bag:

  • 2 Void Crystals and a gem which need to dropped at the bank.
  • A gem for my Warrior which needs to be mailed later.
  • A box to be opened by a rogue at the raid
  • Some conjured food and fresh caught fish which needs to be cooked for either buff food or pet food.

    2. Number two is my quiver which contains my arrows (duh!). It's hard to see but i actually have two types in there: the cheap common ones and the epic ones which i use on bosses. About a 40-60 ratio mostly. (as i tend to forget to equip the epics after a fight anyway)

    3. This is kind of my junk-bag. I try to keep most questitems in this bag and some other stuff i don't have a spot for or can't fit in any other bag atm.
    Actually i need to clear this bag out but that can be quite a study, not a chour i look forward to.
    Currently in this bag:
  • Several quest items.
  • Reputation grind stuff .
  • Kibler's bits (pet buff food) as i couldn't fit it somewhere else.
  • Coilfang armaments which i use to put pots with when short.
  • My mounts.
  • Other trash like a Crashin' Trashin' Robot and a netherwing trinket.

    4. This bag has fixed stuff in it, doesn't make 100% sense but i'm used to find the stuff i need in this bag.
  • Buff food and some pots if my flask runs out.
  • My petfood
  • A stack of manadrinks when we're lacking a mage
  • My casual outfit
  • A fishing pole
  • My Everlasting Underspore Frond and fronds, ideal piggy petfood and drinks while grinding.
  • A skinning knife and skinning enchanted gloves. (quite useless now actually)

    5. The last bag contains my heartstone (every toon does) and pots, drums and that sort of stuff
  • Flasks and buff pots.
  • Health and manapots.
  • Drums (Resto and Battle)
  • My Furbolg transformation stick which is actually misplaced.

    While i carry an extra set of gear on my warrior i tend to have more free space on him then on my Hunter. The problem might be the loss of a bag due to a quiver and the extra petstuff i need to carry along (buff stuff and food). What i really long for is a bag i can hang on my pets back so he can help me carry all the junk around, is that too much to ask? While i carry this shitload of stuff around he just stands there looking pretty (or in my Boar's case look ugly as he is an Eastern Plaguelands boar)... i got 5 huge bags strapped to my waist, bag, leg or where ever, twice the load an fully loaded backpacker needs to drag along.
    The two petclasses each lose a bag for essentiall stuff (arrows/bullets and shards) so it wouldn't be too weird to strap a bag to their pets would it?
    I'm sure it might cause an "unfair!" riot and maybe it is unfair, but i would be very happy with it.. just not sure my pets will be :P

  • Monday, December 3

    Dear Diary

    I was actually preparing a nice article which i will now share with you later as something else came up.. i expected it to come but things came alot faster then planned all of the sudden. So i'm treating you to a view in my so to speak diary, what has kept this Wow addict going this weekend or mostly the sunday as playtime was limited both friday and saturday.

    Basicly most of my sunday has been a grind... as my mining finally has reached the rooftop (for now) i managed to get quite a bit of metals which i needed for my warrior's Gyro-Balanced Khorium Destroyer. I didn't quite manage to get all the needed Khorium but when selling the spare Adamantite and Felore i will have enough gold spare to buy the Khorium bars i needed, i could even afford the nether after that. Of the 12 primal fires i got 6 out of veins and a saturdayevening and sundaymorning on my Hunter which just left me with the grind of 12 primal airs. After grinding 4 of those i got drafted to tank in the Daily Heroic (Sethekk Halls) which i gladly accepted to kill boredom.
    As we had a druid who had done the Epic Druid flightform quest we had an extra boss (=extra badge) named Anzu. Again no special mount but there did drop something else i didn't expect; The Boomstick which is without a doubt a tankweapon. I wasn't aware of there being another tankweapon besides the destroyer and getting this made me wonder if i should continue the grind for the epic gun which was quite of a smaller upgrade now all of the sudden.
    Without a preset goal for the rest of the afternoon i decided to get those primal airs anyway...
    A few hours later just after dinner my GF tipped me off that someone was trying to sell the crafting of the gun, i had found a couple of people already but the Nether was often the problem (drops on Heroic endbosses, very rare drop on regular endbosses ór can be bought with 10 Heroic badges). I was 5 motes away from the endgoal so i contacted him in advance to inquire some info. By the time i was done he was on his way to a raid but he was kind enough to return to Shatt and make me the gun, i was a happy little tank :)
    Not sure if i'm the only one but i always get very nervous when handing over mats for such an expensive item... always checking out the guild and armory to make sure it's a known guild and not something like <LFG Heroic lol nvm WSG> (which is actually a real guildname on our server, kudo's to them). Anyway with another goal gone i went on farming herbs for my main so he could go raid well prepared. (i ám prepared!) One thing not just me noticed but a guildm8 aswell was the droprate on Fel Lotus'es... it's almost like Blizzard read my previous post on raidcosts. But i won't complain. :P

    But wait.. there is more. It may seem insignificant compared to the textwall above but i can assure you it's not, not for me at least.
    Ok here it is: We killed Vashj! Woooot! Yep, the big bad chicka from Serpentshrine Caverns... On what was our fourth (?) night on her we managed to kill her on the 3rd attempt, after doing her and Morogrim we had time to kill Magtheridon ánd hit the bed 30mins early (didn't do that ofc.. but i could have).
    Now i expect us to wipe a few times on her in the future but we know the theory now, next raid we are going to set foot in The Eye (Tempest Keep) once again where we are gonna try to slay Al'ar and squeeze some Epic filled eggs out of her.

    Ow btw, how about my xmas decorations? :P

    Friday, November 30

    Teach me mastah!

    When reading GMW's blogpost on learned lessons from Wow i decided to take up her tag (altho she managed to miss me :P).
    So as an extra little post this Friday (2 for the price of 1 oh my gosh need!) i'll share with you the infinate wisdom i managed to gather while playing World of Warcraft since open beta.

    My top 5 of learned lessons:

  • Jerks in RL are still jerks in-game.
  • Gamers are weird people
  • On an average raidnight i need 2633 kilojoule (=630 kcal) to stay sharp (aka 1 bottle of Cola)
  • Cats tend to us your keyboard as pillow during bossfights.
  • Online gaming kills RL contacts

  • Council or GM?

    Leading a guild can be hell.. not just hell for the leader(s) but it can be for the members aswell.
    Luckily members often don't get all the shit that is going on behind the screen and i often wonder myself if i wouldn't be better off myself on the other end of that screen myself... ignorance is bliss aint it?
    I've been an officer in my previous guild where i was leading the raids. Due to curcumstances is was lured into the Guilds council.. not that it changed much as i felt i was already close to the GM in there (slightly exaggerated ofc). I said goodbye of this council's job in awhile as it didn't produce the fruits i expected it to and general officertasks and raidleading was taking up too much time anyway.
    This guild had an obvious council but as i said i felt like the GM at times, it felt like i was giving carte blanche as about everything i wanted to do and change was done. However i've always been one of those officers who was there because he was needed to... not because he wanted to. (maybe i got that of my childhood hero) If i would not feel i was needed i wouldn't accept the job and that what it often is: a job, but then without the pay.

    Having one person as a Guildmaster can have his advantages.. decissions are often quickly made and actions quickly taken. Now this is not always an advantage ofcourse, sometimes it's better to be forced to think about something first and discuss it with others.
    And what if your Guildmaster is a jerk or just simply with a whole different view on things then some others? A guild is likely to run into trouble.
    But i can imagen having a great GM can work brilliantly aswell.
    What about a Council? A big disadvantage imo is the speed at which it operates.. everything seems to be consulted with the others aswell.. if you take some quick action for a change there is a big chance someone else will go beserk.
    Often it seems near impossible to get to an agreement the majority of a council backs which can drag out a decission endlessly where everyone is trying to make his point over and over again so someone else might change his mind. Best is to find a middle road but that simply aint just always there.
    The advantage of a Council is that you can devide the workload and often get a result which is the offspring of the minds of several people.. which will likely match more people's ideas in the guild aswell.

    I've run under a GM aswell.. i was just a regular member but he had his officers. This ubermensch GM saw his officers more as his henchmen tho and at a certain point he found himself colliding with his staff. The GM left the guild shortly after and a council was formed.
    I don't think i could personally "work" as an officer with a GM like this above me but i could imagen a sort of partnership where the GM would take final responsibility and officers doing the daily running of the guild.
    The current guild i'm a councillor in has sort of suckered me in that task aswell... i left my previous guild as i needed a break from being an officer and all the worries it brought along, i had to find back the fun in the game. My help was soon needed in the new guild as they told me and i became again part of the working force.
    Truth told most people in this council pull their weight and i am nowhere close feeling like a GM nowadays which is pretty nice.
    Still i wonder if being an officer is really worth it at times.. constantly solving "problems", being part of heated discussions both ingame as on the forums... being available for fellow guildies and always trying to give a good example.. it's a crappy job.
    Sometimes i just wanna give up and go back to being a regular member, but especially at those moments it is when i'm needed and quiting would likely result in other people getting more work. Sure i'm replaceable, quite well in this guild too be honest.. but perhaps those who could are actually smarter then me and have decided to enjoy the game instead of trying to be a sorry excuse for an officer.

    I respect my fellow officers, i can't always agree with them but thats actually a good thing. Important is to find a sollution a majority will agree upon. (I believe a perfect sollution just doesn't exist, the trick is to find a color that matches your skintone)
    GM or Council? I'm sure both ways can work altho i wouldn't want a GM's job in a somewhat bigger raidguild.
    Sometimes i long back to those days where was just playing singleplayer games, not worrying about other players and just enjoying the game flying solo.... aaaahhh, those were the days.

    Thursday, November 29

    Alts do Prince

    I need to say "hurray for badges!"... runs like Karazhan are a lot more popular all of the sudden it seems and that must have been the general idea Blizzard had all along. Sure more interest can mean it is easier to actually miss out on a run, certainly with an alt, but those you do get to attend are alot more fruitfull.
    Yesterday we had a common problem: lack of healers. Two people had alt priests luckily and we managed to do both Huntsman and Moroes... dps was pretty amazing as most of the others were mains, in total we had 4 alts at the beggining where me and the hunter were epic geared. Later a main dps dropped out for a 3rd healer alt (which is also reasonable epic geared i think) Maybe the title is a bit too misleading afterall :)
    Long story short.. we did Horseman (which we did by mistake actually.. had better skipped him), Moroes, Wiz of Oz (opera), Curator, Chess and Prince. We ended at a few minutes past 12h where we didn't start before 9ish, so 3 hours later we downed 6 bosses. Not bad if i say so myself.
    I really liked the pace we were going and most people didn't take long afk and buff breaks, we weren't rushing and it was relaxed enough.
    I think after i left some people went on and skapped either Illhoof or Aran aswell but it was time for my beautysleep.

    Just now i found out i almost made a critical mistake... Vambracers of Courage dropped and i identified them as a minor upgrade compared to my current Bracers of the Green Fortress. I would lose some stamina, defense and dodge but would gain some armor and blockrating... as i'm short of rage often because i dodge and parry to much the extra blockrating seemed nice for extra threat for my Shield slam. But just now when getting links from Wowhead i notice there is actually an extra socket on the vambracers, won't lose stamina but would actually gain some.
    Now thats a nice day-after surprise!

    Like many others i got myself some nice fresh epics yesterday, resulting in enchant materials and gems to skyrocket.
    Luckily i got most materials in advance so i will just be paying through the nose for the gem needed on the unexpected new bracers.
    Just wonder why i didn't think of those prices skyrocket in advance so i could have joined the sledride to new found richess....
    Well, i won't start complaining now.. i'm actually very happy with what i got yesterday and had truelly one of the better Wowdays.
    It's good to be an addict. :-P

    Wednesday, November 28


    Why is it that some Epics don't seem worth the pixels? I remember when i first did Karazhan on my Hunter (my main) i was completely covered in the best Blue (rare) items i could find from questrewards, crafted or instance drops. One of the things i soon found at was that the Epics in Karazhan weren't that much of an upgrade over my blues most of the time... more of a sidegrade.
    Most of the time i would actually lose dps but would gain some other stat, mostly stamina or intellect. In my own calculations i always used "dps > other stats" but i soon addopted a new motto: "dead people don't deal damage" so i went for the sidegrades anyway, altho sometimes with pain in my spreadsheet.
    Still now i get offered new epic drops in SSC and now and then they are such minor upgrades that i wouldn't want to spend my dkp on it.. kind of like the Thunderstrike (aka Shadowstrike) which dropped from Sulfuron in MC, which wasn't worth the dkp either and thus got the nickname Nexusstrike or Vendorstrike.

    Yesterday before i had to go raid SSC (Vashj 24%.. we will have her soon) i got invited for a quick Heroic run on my tank to Setthek Halls.
    Things went smooth and we had picked up a good healer which was the only non-guildy. A bit later we managed to kill the final boss and Spaulders of Dementia dropped. I've been looking at these shoulders in the past and selected them as a future upgrade... so when these dropped i automaticly targeted them as an upgrade and rolled Need.
    Now as i currently own Shoulderguards of the bold and epics > blues (yeah right) there was no doubt for anyone that i should get them. Only a bit after that i just realised that i was gonna get the PvP shoulders once Season3 would start (the day after) and that i should compare them to those... i might have denied someone a shard by my impulsive behaviour. Comparing them to either my current blue ones or the pvp ones they had no sockets which would result in quite a stamina setback, sure i would gain 24 agility (altho the crit on the pvp shoulders was more) but as this was ment for my tanking set the stamina had priority. The extra defense the Spaulders of Dementia would give aren't needed at the moment but i guess i bank them in case i need to swap some gear around.
    In the end this item might have been more usefull as a shard and simply comparing them to the blue shoulders i have alone makes them more of a sidegrade then an upgrade... not worth the dkp but luckily i didn't need to spend it.

    The one bonus it gave was the matching colors it has compared to the rest of my gear... making me look like less of a noob a day early. :)

    Tuesday, November 27

    The last man elf in Azeroth

    The last week i have been leveling my mining on my level from zero to what it currently is (326?). I started out in Loch Modann east of Ironforge for Copper and later Tin, for Iron i went to the Arathi Highlands, then went on to the Hinterlands for Mithril. Before going to Silithus for the Rich Thorium veins i had to make a small stop in Ungoro crater for the few last needed levels on small Thoriumveins.
    On my journey through the "old" world i made some stops in other area's aswell and almost everywhere i had the feeling i was the very last person alive in this world. Too be honest it felt pretty good being away from the crowd, it was almost like i was on a holiday... perhaps roleplaying might not be such a bad idea as i assume getting away and relax is part of their play aswell.
    But i had more feelings then just that, i felt like i owned the place... every vein around there was mine and no creature was powerfull enough to lay hands on me, i even killed The Windreaver... a level 60 elite with 3 adds with a protection warrior. (kited him once on my Hunter which took alot longer and wasn't easy with all those damned bugs out in the Silithus dessert)

    But being out there alone kind of made me sad... this great world as been discarded by most of us while we had soo many great adventures out there and spend days of our lives exploring those zones. Leveling a new toon is nowhere near as much fun as it was in the beginning of Wow and i pity da foo' who joined us later and missed out on that experience. Sure, loads of quests are a lot easier but teaming up with even a noob could make some quests alot easier... and lets not forget how much harder it is to get a low level instance party together.
    I can only hope that with Northrend being added to the Azeroth map there will be going some more traffic through that world so at least Ironforge can be restored to it's own glory, or at least won't be the abandoned place it is now.
    Likely just as Ogrimmar Ironforge used to be thé place to be... it was there where you would show your new gear, new pet, new gizmo/gadget, do your tradings or spend your hours being bored. Imho Shattrah hasn't really got a hangspot like this, as far as i know Blizzard did this on purpose to spread people to avoid lag for some players.

    I'm ending this useless little post saluting the heroes who keep an eye on Azeroth for us while we are robbing the Outlands of its natural resources... thanks for keeping it safe until we return!

    Monday, November 26

    Picking a rep grind

    There are quite a few reputation grinds out there... altho considerable easier then pre-TBC it seems there are alot more factions to grind for now. It was Timbermaw and those dorfs in Black rock mountain which needed turn-ins íf you were after the rare crafting patterns but for most this wasn't worth the trouble. In the Outlands gaining an higher reputation level grants some worthwhile rewards now, untill recently you needed to be at least Revered with most of the factions to be able to do Heroics. Often you have to grind several factions to get the most benefit, a good item at Revered there... a shoulderenchant at Exalted there... a headenchant at Revered there... a nice offspec reward on Exalted there... etcetera.
    And then there are the less usefull grinds, a grind for a sporeling pet, a grind for a special mount, a grind for a tabard, the list goes on.

    I myself found my warrior on a point where i could pick three possible grinds;
    The first aint a reputation grind actually, i dropped skinning and learned mining (currently at 250) so i could grind metals for crafting me thé tankgun out there.
    The next option is a Consortium tabard. Why? Because it's red'ish and matches my gear... how stupid is that? :P
    The final option is grinding to Exalted with Aldor so i can get the better shoulder enchant and have some extra defense. (don't need it atm tho)

    Yesterday i was off to Nagrand to grind some consortium rep but before i even got there i reconsidered my options... sure a matching tabard would be nice but is it really more helpfull then the other two options? I decided to turn around and focus my attention on mining instead to get the tanking gun first.
    Which one i grind first doesn't really matter much actually as grinding is mind numbing no matter where i need to do it, the reward tho should be rewarding enough to justify the time spend.
    I consider myself pretty lucky, i've managed to minimalize my grinding sessions thus far.. some people's game actually exist mostly out of grinding (mostly or money) but i can set some goals to grind for and when i reach those i'm often done with it, i would fail as a chinese farmer for sure. I can't imagen what other people do to get through a grinding session, browse Youtube for new Happy tree friends episodes? (NSFW) "Read" a book on tape? Try to see shapes in the coffeestaines on their desks? Normally i just hang back (messing up my own back by doing that) and slowly fall into a coma, resulting in logging off after an hour because i'm sick of the game.. or at least this part of it.

    Most of the time no reward justifies hours of work (thats what it feels like yeah) so why do we still bother? I guess some longing for progress or perhaps one of human's most basic feelings: Greed.

    Saturday, November 24

    Looks aint everything

    While in this game Stats > Looks it sure helps to have a character which looks okay, which pleases the own eye so to speak. Blizzard has admited this by offering a hair-change feature soon (?) in the next expansion: Wrath of the Lich King. But what i'm refering to is gearwise... for those who spend quite some time at level 60 have probably managed to get a nice set together, perhaps just out of 5-main, crafter or maybe in one the raidinstances. Having a good looking character helps you give you more that "Hero-feel" i assume, at least at every upgrade i quickly use the build-in dressingroom and pray it matches the gear i have slightly... but sadly it often doesn't.
    People who had a nice Tier (considered an achievement) set or something pre-TBC quickly started looking like newbies upon entering Outlands in their rainbowlike carnival suites, for me that was a bit depressing.

    At 70 the quest for upgrades began anew, often obtained from either raiding or pvp. I'll skip the story on my Hunter as he surely hasn't found the end of his journey yet.. but my Warrior seems to have gotten quite far. I'll start out with a screeny:

    This is when my Warrior first set foot in Karazhan, the first raidinstance so to speak. While i was able to tank a bit i was still arms specced at this point.
    As you can see the colors of my armor are as flashy as possible, often i try to use a tabard in a certain color to make it look a little bit more fashionable... i mostly fail tho :P

    In a few more days i can spend some saved honor points and get me a nice Arena season1 shield and matching shoulders. For those who not know my Warrior has been tanking Karazhan and the alt runs (and even some main ones), often as Main Tank... i can barely dent a bar of butter solo but i make a pretty nice tank if i say so myself. Mainly because the ammount of time and money i've invested in my gear ofcourse. So what will be the endresult? (at least for now)
    I present you with another piccy:

    Don't i look stunning? Much is owed to Blizzard for matching non-set gear in Karazhan aswell ofcourse but i took the effort of picking it up at the various bosses. :)
    I'm looking a bit into (near) future actuelly but it's just a matter of time now before i look like this, from next wednesday (28-11-2007) you should be able to see me standing in Shatt like this.. looks and stats nicely balanced. Or feel free to check his profile.
    Looks aint everything, but shouldn't be ignored completely.. there are actually girls out there you know? :P

    Friday, November 23

    Grind vd Raid time

    Raiding is expensive... can't deny that. Pots, reagents, repairs, food, bandages.. you name it.
    Blizzard admits this and tries to help making this cheaper; pots in return for drops for example, adding a chance to get more then 1 pot when making it, (new) discounts on repairs on higher reputation levels, repeatable dailies to get quick money, dailies which give buff food.... who else what more.
    But is it enough?

    I find myself more and more grinding for herbs for pots, disenchanting greens for oils, doing boring dailies for cash... not because i want to but because i need to. I'm a Hunter so i don't use reagents but i use ammo instead... epic arrows which fly out with the speed of light as i'm a Beastmaster. Each raid i use a Flask of Relentless assault... i come home from work every day and 4 days a week i need to prepare for that nights raid. So i check out the Auction House and i pray for a reasonable priced Fel Lotus which is one of the components. I can farm the other 2 components quite easily but the droprate on Fel Lotus is just terrible... don't think i managed to get more then 6 myself sofar.
    In the beginning they were about 25 gold, quickly they were going up in price but stubborn as i was refused to pay 30 bloody goldpieces for one stupid plant.
    They prices didn't seem to go down tho and i had no choice to buy it for the price they are asking >.>
    But it didn't stop there... prices are still going up and the cheapest one on the AH today was 45gold with the price of a ready flask at 50 gold.

    On a raidnight i use:

    • 18 stacks of arrows, each stack costs 90s; 16g20
    • 1-2 flasks (average 1,2) of 50g; 60g
    • Repairs (average); 25g
    • Mana oil; would cost 10g on AH; 10g
    • Stack of petfood (20 pieces) : 2g
    • 10 Bandages (vendor value): 3g
    • Pet buff food: 10g
    • Couple of charges of Drums of restoration : 3,5g
    • 3-4 Mana potions : 9g
    Thats is a total of 138gold and 70 silver if wouldn't grind most of the mats myself! When looking at the items i can't grind myself the remaining bill would still be 103gold 20silver.

    So hurray Blizzard added some easy dailies.. some taking about 10mins to complete and give a rough 12g reward, others take a bit longer so let's average on 15mins to make things easier. 103,2g / 12g = 8,6 dailies to play even for each raid. 8,6 dailes x 15min = 129minutes.
    Rougly said that is two hours and 15 minutes of grinding needed per raid.... but i'm not adding the ammount of time needed to grind food (for both me as my pet), plants, bandages, leather for drums and green items for enchanting dust. I can only make a rough estimate on how much more time i actually use for that as half of it is gathered while playing my alt.
    I think it's save to say that for a 3hour raid it would require equal time of grinding.

    I was shocked myself when i came to the above conclusion... i can't say i've taken absurd prices in the above list, sure i left out the money i do actually gain during a raid from trash and bosses (i don't know how much it actually is but it aint that stunning as far as i know).
    In the past i could keep up raiding quite well without seeing the need for grinding, now grinding is the only thing between me and bankrupcy.
    My bankaccount would slowly fill in the "old" days with a peak of about 4k just before the first expansion (i did save up for my future flying mount but i didn't grind for it). I'm almost afraid to win a new Epic as i can barely afford the new gems and enchants most of the time, aint that crooked?
    Despite the fact that Wow has turned more into a grinding game i still enjoy it, but am i the only one who's game has turned into a grind?

    Thursday, November 22

    Tank LF job!

    It seems drastical but i actually was thinking about offering my warrior's services on non raiddays... just for raids and perhaps an Heroic if there is anything to gain for me. I'm figguring there are still guilds out there who could use a good tank (don't want to be cocky but for an alt i do pretty well) to help them in Karazhan or even at Gruul when i'm lucky.
    "But aren't you in a raiding guild already?" Why yes... but my Main is my Hunter and after playing him for over 3 years it's nice to be able to play a different toon now and then. I raid 4 times a week on my Hunter and apart from the hard needed grinding (both mats as gold for repairs) it's nice to run an instance with my alt now and then.

    Thing is... my tank is just that: an Alt. Yesterday we did a Karazhan run... at least the others in the guild did. Wednesday has been our optional run for Mains since a while now but i want to play my alts on Monday and Wednesday which aren't offical raiddays.
    So what happened lately on Wednesday's mainrun to Kara? Lack of tanks! Guess who was gonna play MT in there? Now that wasn't too hard was it? But thanks to the 2.3 patch there drop Heroic Badges in Karazhan now.. increasing tank interest all of the sudden.
    Sure i could have gone to Kara myself on my Hunter but i've gone there to often on him.
    Now normally we still have Monday Kara Alt-run, it's a matter of crossing your fingers and just hope enough people are up for it. (preferable people who at least enchanted their Blue gear) I fear for my alts raid options now tho as we have Zul'aman aswell which is a good alternative for a monday's raid, but not for alts ofcourse >.>

    I managed to get my tank some nice gear and i am still working on that. I like to do Karazhan but if i'm honest there aint much for me to get there but thats not the point... a tank needs to tank. Sure a 5man is fun but i hardly need the Epic gear i've gathered for that, even for Heroic i'm slightly overgeared i'd say. Even if i would be able to do Karazhan more often, what is the next step for an alt? Whats the next step for someone who aint considered full? It's about picking up the crumbs other people drop... "all tanks sick/depressed/grind wife-rep? Woot! Perhaps if you need a tank i can bring mine? ^.^ " Can't remember this happening yet and i don't expect it too happen anytime near soon, maybe around Xmas if i'm lucky.
    But should i just hang around waiting for things which might not ever happen? Should i quit the guild with my Warrior and find a guild who's on Gruul, Karazhan, Magtheridon (about the point at which my warrior is) and join them on non-raid days? Doesn't sound like a bad idea but might be tricky combining two "lives". Should i request a mainswitch? As a councillor of the guild i'm well aware we got enough tanks already and my Hunters dps would surely be missed.

    To not complicate things selling my services might not be such a bad idea, sort of a hitman but in my case receiving the hits instead of making one. :) Running an instance like Karazhan gives Heroic badges as drops, i'd say this would be enough payment... perhaps a drop when i'm lucky. If i would need to tank Gruul for the 100th time while there is nothing to gain i'd say paying my repairs would be the least they could do, but as i still would like some drops from him ánd the experience of tanking him at all it would be certainly my treat for now.
    Or maybe i should stop dreaming and just accept what i am: an alt.

    Wednesday, November 21

    Six is a crowd.. 10 even more

    Our raid starts at 20h30, 19h15 i enter the lovely World of Warcraft... enough time for a quick Heroic? Worth a shot...
    Let's see what our Consortium friends in Shattrah want us to eliminate today, a big dragon in the Caverns of Time... at the Dark Portal to be more precise. Well, might be a tricky one but lets give it a shot.
    Within two minutes i have a party together, including a lock who wiped there earlier today and is willing to give it another shot.

    We move all the way to frakkin' Tanaris, waisting valuable time.. the clock is ticking but there is still time.
    We let our lock run into the instance first as we need to use his raid id... hmmm, two different instances? Ok run out, make lock leader and try again. That seems to work!
    But WTH? Some of us can't enter "instance full", but before i figured out what is going on the answer comes to me... on a dwarven mount.... and then another answer.. on a horse. Suddenly i find myself in this instance with two people who aint even in our party. o.O
    We are confused and it seems the other guys are aswell. A Blizzard fuckup? I've heard about double ID's before, there was a thing a while back where an Alliance and an Horde raid had the same ID in the Black Temple... they had the unique (but not working as intended) chance to down a BT boss with a mixed raid. (Not sure if they succeeded on that tho)
    I also read this article on a 3 vs 3 Arena match where suddenly a 4th of the opposing faction joined one of the teams and was able to actually heal those guys.
    Did we encounter something like this? Did Blizz used the same raid ID for a next group already?
    There wasn't time to make a ticket and wait for a GM to finally show... let alone get disappointed by his "sollution" which often are in the range of "delete your WTF folder and restart".

    Soon we found out that Blizzard wasn't to blame.. (there goes my mass conspiracy theory) one of the people who done the instance with our saved lock tried again aswell with a different party. At least one of that (also unsuccesfull) party teamed with some others again after that and those were saved to that raid ID aswell now... the same as i was saved onto now aswell :S There were likely about 10-14 people saved to this ID now... resulting in little chance for most of us to actually do the instance.
    By now we had just 40 minutes left and while at first we wanted to give Ramparts a quick shot for at least 1 badge we soon decided to give up on that too, invites for the raid usually start a bit early, most of us needed some preparation time and i surely didn't want to be caught in a different instance and thus delaying the raid as an officer.

    Tonight is a no-raid day, perhaps a last minute Karazhan or Zul'aman but if i'd rather do an Heroic thats my choice. If i'm able to join on my warrior i won't mind either tho, i'm still 2 badges short of a new tank cloak and there is plenty of other stuff to get aswell.
    Yesterday was disappointing Badges-wise but life aint over yet. On a more positive note i wiped all night on Vashj yesterday while we were learning the event on our second day... trying out different tactics. We got to 3 out of 4 shields in the second (and hardest) phase so things are coming along nicely.. despite all deaths i had a great time and i can't till the next time i can drop my lifeless body in front of Lady Vashj again. (altho returning the favor would be even nicer but i can wait...)