Friday, November 14

Brainless questing? Why sure!

Just like many many others i've stepped on to the Lich King's soil yesterday... i had done it before in the beta but this time it actually mattered.
What else was new was that i was actually gonna do some questing and not just pass through area's but would go to where ever the quests would take me.
In just half a level of XP i've already seen quite a few things i missed when glancing the area before and many of the quests are really good fun, something i couldn't have commented on earlier aswell.

I'm more a picture-guy though... often a movie is more about how pretty it looks then the storyline, my brain gets tortured at work already and i'm often too tired to go deep into lore or a story. (although in weekends i make more time for that) As there are thousands of quests in Wow, reading them all would drive me nuts and thus i pick out the few details i need and then simply accept them.
When really lazy i even look up the coordinates on Wowhead. (which is quite often too be honest)

Just before WotLK was released i installed a new addon to help me with this luxerous life of ignorance and yesterday evening i got to try it out for the first time:
Carbonite!
I'm not sure i can ever go without this addon anymore i must say, it's not perfect and you are still required to read your quests (or at least those details) but it saves you sooo much time searching where to go!

What it basicly does is replace your regular map with a google-earth style map (although you can turn that off aswell), add a small map on your screen, replace questtracking and add a direction marker with distance to your quest objective. (the quest selected in the quest tracking list)
On the minimap it also marks area's in different colors where the quests take place, that way you know where to go to not just for your current selected quest but of others aswell... that way you can simply plan your own route. If you need to be in more then 1 area for a quest, that is shown aswell (matching colors per quest)
When done it will show the Questionmarks on the map aswell, not just in range but all over the (world)map. It even remembers where you were able to take a quest but you didn't.
Apart from the area where the quest takes place it adds some minor info of what to kill or what to look for when mousing over the new mini-map marked area's.
Like i said, that info is limited so i still catch myself checking out Wowhead now and then, i've come to a few area's not knowing where to find an item or wether to kill mobs till it dropped.



In meanwhile i found some addons that solved that problem aswell on The Big Bear Butt making a lazy quester's life complete: Lightheaded and DoubleWide, BBB has a very short description on them or you could use the direct links for more info and/or download.
There are way more options in it (even more if you buy the full version) and i'm still trying to figure that all out. Do be warned that it is my most memory consuming addon i got at the moment. ;)

Wednesday, October 29

Zombie Battleground!

With the zombies gone i was thinking just how it was and what a shame it would be that this would be gone and lost to us now, at least untill they decide to re-use it for the next expansion.
And suddenly an idea sprang to mind: A Zombie Battleground!
Maybe you could see it as a PvP thing but with some tweaking i might actually be on an idea here.

Imagen people joining the Zombie Battleground, let's call it the Mall for now.... it wouldn't matter what the Alliance-Horde ratio was but the server tries to balance it a bit but if queues become too long it will be less and less worried about the ratio. What the system should do is get as many people of the same server in the Mall, it's more fun infecting people you know right?

So let's say we're going for a 25 man battleground. I'd say that 5 of those players are regular players and the other 20 hunt them down.
If you die by the hand of a zombie, you become one aswell (obviously) and if a zombie dies it becomes a regular player.
Zombies wouldn't need to eat to stay alive but if they eat they will get a stackable buff, i'm suggesting a minor speed and an increased ranged of their Retch (the gascloud "spit" which slows players down and infect them if they stand in it too long.
Hitting a player will still infect them as it did but this time the debuff lasts 5 minutes and each hit will take an extra 10seconds off that.
It is not cleansable except by two pools of Holy water and opposite ends of the battlefield, when you get cleansed you will get a debuff, not allowing cleansing for the next 3 minutes. (this should avoid people camping in the pool)

There are 3 rounds, a point for the zombies if they manage to zombiefy all the players and a point for the players if they manage to kill all the zombies.
After each round 5 other people start out as regular players, not everyone will get a shot at killing zombies straight from the start but that shouldn't be too much of a problem
So it's best out of 3. If we would like to keep this in a PvP setting it would be possible to award points, as it's impossible to either reward zombies or players so they get points per round and time played till the end (either winning or losing it) and they get points per zombie kill or player turning.
As players might be limited it's harder for zombies to turn someone so they get points for infecting players aswell and every hit they manage to put in, lowering the infection timer.

Now balance is a hard te determine thing, depends alot on the player(s)... but also the battlefield is important, you don't want too open spaces so zombies are getting AE'd from miles away. Then again a good chase might be good fun aswell, Zombies working together might pick up enough speed to get out of AE anyway.
We also want to avoid people "freeing" their zombie buddies who willingly let them get slaughtered to turn to the other side, this might cause to end rounds to fast aswell.
The least we can do to counter this is make zombies rez as zombies when they self-explode, after a period of time they will be able to self-rez on the very spot they died to make sure they keep somewhat together with the pack. The self-explode should get a longer CD because of this, perhaps 3mins or so.
This ability does make it possible for a single zombie to infect a large pack of players and turn the tide so to speak if the zombies are limited. Players can cleanse themselves in a pool but a second exploding zombie can end everything then... perhaps some CD tweaking on cleansing is needed then.

A different problem might be for melee classes, perhaps those should standard be zombies but they might miss playing the opposite side.
This made me wonder if we should shift the context of the Mall, perhaps make zombies near unkilleable and create more of a zombie chase where players just need to stay away from them as long as possible till the round timer ends.
We could also some tricks like some ammo crates with grenades around the battlefield which have alot more effect then the average AoE making it a must to get this weapon. Or Magic missile launchers with a CD and limited ammo... Perhaps barring yourself in is good for the suspense aswell trying to delay the zombies from reaching you while you try to take a shot at them. Killing zombies while barred in (which is also trapped once the zombies have hit the door often enough to break it) should be alot harder then when out in the open, zombies stacking Retch at such a point might be enough.

Ow soo many possibilities! Quite some tweaking required i'll bet but wouldn't it be the ideal partygame to play with your guild?
Now to just get my idea to Blizz someway.

Monday, October 27

Zombie Bomber

I've been a jerk this weekend... and i had more fun that i had in such a long time in this silly game.
I'll start with confessing what i did first, i found it quite creative but i'm guessing i'm not the only one who thought of it..
First you would get infected by the zombie debuff, after 10mins (later this became 5 and is currently even shorter) you would turn into a zombie. Faster if you would bubble, iceblock, use stoneform or.... die.
What i would do is get infected in Shattrah and then take my flying mount and would go find a player in Hellfire or Zangermarsh, the trick was to find a somewhat lower level player as zombies are quite underpowered and i wanted to have a reasonable chance at turning this player into a zombie aswell.

What surprised me the most was how many players were surprised by this ambush. Sure cratering next to someone and then turning into a zombie was easy enough and i'm pretty sure 99% didn't see that one comming, but how people reacted after that was completely hillarious.
Most started running away straigth away, some stopped now and then checking out what exactly i was.. scared but still curious.
Some run off just a bit, thinking i would "deaggro" or something while i just kept comming closer while. I chased a few through a quarter of the zone only to catch them in a town offguard (not afk), dieing in the progress but not before showing that person the dark side first.

Now to appologize for my jerk-being: Did i regret it? Hmm.. i think not, i had tremendous fun so i would lie if i said if i wouldn't do it again.
I did however do this just once for every person i encountered, horde and alliance alike, and 9 out of 10 were even amused by the thrill of the fight or even pleasantly surprised that they got to play a zombie aswell. Of two angry people i got one even said sorry for being rude (after i said i was just teasing and wouldn't bother him again), the other guy was italian which i found out after googling what he said which was apparently something people say when they are quite upset.
My appology landed on deaf mans ears there aswell i think, still.. i had fun and most people i "bothered" had aswell.

I personally love being a zombie and causing some havoc... i do realise however that other people might not like it at all. I've killed a flightmaster and when i wanted to take a different flightmaster somewhere else i found out it was dead aswell, which made me once again realise what other people found annoying about this event once more. But i just grinned about it myself, i caused trouble myself so i plan to take whatever inconvenience that is dealt to me and take it like a man... or like a zombie.

Friday, October 24

Dead > being alive!

Zombies in Wow!!! How cool is that?
I'm assuming here you have haven't totaly missed it, for those who did and didn't read it anywhere else: part of the expansion "opening" is a spreading plague which will turn people into zombies which can only be cured by death.
Being a zombie gives you a bunch of new skills (and disables your regular) and you have the ability to create more zombies from players and npc's, that is if they don't kill you first! Zerging like a good pack of zombies is the secret as been shown in many movies already.
Phase 2 has already started making it easier to get infected (infection can get cured, when you die or when the timer runs out you get zombified), some more info here.

I caused some havoc in Westfall where i was a poor lonesome Zombie for quite a while, killing/turning lowbies and NPC's. Reinforcements quickly arrived and my spree was ended. As a zombie you are quite a bit more fragile and a 1 on 1 fight with a level 70 almost always ends in defeat.
But not before infecting a few people, Boom! (exploding zombies.... currently not just for Deathknights!)

Later that evening i was bunched up with a group of 15+ zombies where we tried to take Goldshire. But before reaching that i was in a smaller cluster of 5 and an overconfident Paladin came to end our little rampage. Now imagen that Pala running away with just 200 health, chased by a couple of zombies... i myself was laughing my head off. Near Goldshire we found our ending as quite a few level 70's started nuking us down, we managed to turn a handfull and a number even made a run for it (got to love a good chase, works up the appatite) but the living, both players as npc's, were just too strong for the attractive bunch.
Great fun once again, just don't try to get at it alone as you will get disappointed.

I myself am hoping this plague will become more aggressive, evening the odds a bit for the zombies...
Anyway, if you are looking for me tomorrow... i'm running around in green clouds looking for tasty flesh with a mild fear flavour. Yum!

Thursday, October 23

God like!

That's what we are dealing with currently... we all feel like gods, superheroes if that's more your thing... we're so bloody overpowered and Outland's content has been downranked so bad that without any challenge you do the things which were challenging before.
People are pugging Gruul now and by pure force they kill the boss in recordtime, not slowed down in any bit by lack of knowledge, experience or even skill.
Suddenly every guy and gal in greens can go cause havoc in Karazhan and see content they never had dreamed of seeing... it's a good thing i guess and it might even gear out a few people before the expansion.
Quite genius of Blizzard actually giving us a short time to feel allmighty and maximise raidprogress for a couple of weeks, luring people back in before the next phase. Our guild had just killed the Twins pre-nerf and after the nerf they killed M'uru in Sunwell plateau on their first night on him, a boss which is considered to be one of the harder ones arround.
Ow and they expect to kill Kil'jaeden shortly after aswell.... cool? Well, it's fun to see those bosses but this is just plain retarted. Someone asked in guildchat if there was any trash before KJ and when i answered "M'uru" i got nothing like reactions like "So true".

Unstoppable!
It's like playing a game and then tying IDDQD or FUND and finishing the game in EZ mode... great fun but you will finish it in no time and then what?
I've got a rule to not use cheatmode on any game i intend to play for a longer period of time and/or on which i spend cash on. When renting a game for example using some sort of code to make it easier then normal (if required) so i can finish it in a weekend to see throught the whole game would be an option though.
But Wow? I intend to play that a bit longer, for the same reason i don't try out play on a private server where i get decked out in the best gear instantly as it will be a set back when returning to the official servers, i'm afraid that i won't be driven to reach that goal anymore if i already had it.

Truth said, Blizzard has implented this quite well. With just a few weeks guilds are able to progress through this "old" content to see as much as possible before leaving it behind for the better stuff. That is, if they offer new challenges and won't make it too easy in Northrend either. (and i do feel it's slightly too easy when i played the beta a bit)
Tuning aint final now anyway and apart from Blizz making general content a bit easier (due to their casual plan) i do expect they will make sure there is a nice balance in the somewhat higher raidcontent. Once 80 the raidguilds will likely storm through Naxx which is not a problem actually, if they just slowly remove our god mode to a somewhat more realistic level so we can make slow progress but don't run through content like the headless chickens we currently are.
Headless is the keyword here i think, when gathering for SWP earlier this week there were actually people standing outside looking for a pug raid in green/blue gear (maybe a few wellfare epics).
If people geared like that think they can do endgame content, something is seriously unballanced.

Tuesday, October 21

Im so tired

Noticed my postcount drop? I've been busy at work for a while and although i got some more time now i can't get myself back into blogging.
I made a number of posts all neatly together in my Outlook Concepts folder but none fully completed. Before i manage to finish it i get distracted (either by work or i simply lose concentration) and i never continue the post. (at this point i wonder if i will even put this one up)
Are my posts so bad i don't dare publish them? Well... not much worse then before and nothing stopped me then.

At first i thought it had to do something to do with being just a bit tired with Wow like most of the people i know, pre-expansion depression so to speak.
But since the latest patch there is loads to do (mostly achievement wise) and Wow is suddenly crowded again, people waiting in line to get on the server crowded even. Is my desire to blog returning now? Nope... not rly.

But that's not the only thing i've lost.... lately i've lost interest in reading up on Wow stuff on the internet, i've lost interest in raiding (even with the new super overpowered talents and all), i have to force myself to work on officer matters on the forums and i haven't read a boss tactic since the first SWP boss (and we're on KJ now).
Perhaps the little guy in the back of my head is telling me it's all no use anymore as soon there is loads of fun to be had in Northrend, maybe i shouldn't have tried out the beta afterall (didn't level on purpose).

I log in after work and log out within 10minutes most of the time and watch some of the SciFi series i've gathered (Stargate Atlantis atm) till it's time to raid.
Then i log in and pray they don't need me so i can get back to the couch and watch some more TV... if i'm asked to help i do so ofcourse but if i'm asked to stay on backup i'm off straigth away. Not interested in the backup DKP i get and constantly pausing my series to check if they killed the next boss already and might need me or not is quite annoying, it's like constantly checking out you Alarm if it's time to get up for work already (and you turned the alarm off before instead of snoozing it).

Will i get filled with excitement once i enter Northrend? Would be nice. Will i get back to my nearly daily blogging? Not sure anyone cares but as long as i blog i don't browse the internet for useless gimmicks, electronica and comics to order on-line so blogging will actually save me money.
(Ordered for € 60,- worth of comics already and been browsing for a electronic window screen for about € 380,- and a new phone for € 190,- If i don't think of a new hobby soon i'll bankrupt)
I actually wanted to tell you i was quiting with this blog but i'll guess i'll wait a few more weeks before making it official, perhaps after November the 13th (WotLK release) i'm back delivering high quality (yeah riiight) blog posts three times a week.

To be continued....

Thursday, October 9

2-manning the Oculus, almost.

My Girlfriend and me both managed to get into the Beta and when earlier this week it was possible to copy premade level 80's, we went instance scouting aswell.
One of the instances we ended up in was The Oculus, a level 80 instance for 5-man groups.
Most of the scouts was about finding the entrance and then take a glimps inside but with this one we took a different approuch.

For those who don't know the instance, it's an instance which takes place on floating rings in the air guarded by dragons. The idea is that after clearing some of these rings you get some mounts on which combat will take place from that point on, what role you have depends on the dragon you choose as it's actually the dragons doing the work. (a concept which is used at many places in Northrend, giving you controll over a sort of siegeweapon.. i've seen tank-like vehicles, little robot-men but also big stone giants where the player would be sitting on it's shoulder "driving" it)

My GF had a Deathknight with Frost spec (which is the tank spec) and myself had a Restoration Shaman. Both decked out in PvP gear, Blue armor+weapons apart from the shoes which were epic... trinkets, neck and rings epic aswell. So nothing too shocking but not half bad either.
Now i know what to do with my toon, a few new mechanics and spells wouldn't stop me there (eventho i missed my nice healing setup quite a bit) but for my GF most of the skills where new. She had little idea what spells to use in what order and which would be best used when. So we spend quite some time figuring out the possible combination of spells and which would be used on what type of mob.
The first single level 79 elite mob didn't take much effort, the next pack of 6 non-elite mobs weren't much of an issue aswell although we had to figure out which AE a Deathknight had when i as a healer was eating frostbolts aswell. Nothing that i couldn't heal through but it's not how it is supposed to be handled.
The groups slowly became bigger; 1 elite caster + 6 non-elites, 2 elite melee, 2 elite melee + 1 elite caster and slowly we gained more controll as we figured out more and more how to keep aggro of the healer and reduce damage on the tank.
At the last few packs a heal now and then together with Earth Shield was enough to keep the tank up and i even had time to throw in some bolts aswell.

We took the portal at the end of that ring expecting to go to the next level but we got transported to a round platform and stood eye to eye with the first boss; Drakos, which looked like a Drakkisath (UBRS) who not had enough air on birth or got stuck in the freezer when trying to grab him some TV snacks.
The plan was simple; you kill it, i'll heal! Not knowing the tactics (couldn't find it on mmo-champion or wowhead either) we had no idea if he would be possible with 2 man.
So we just started it and it was pretty straightforward; he spawned bomb-like things who went about random then exploded like the first Mechanar boss and now and then he would do an AE damage/knockback which was easily healed through. The idea of this boss thusfar was; get max range to stay away from the bombs but not too close to the edge so a knockback can make you go basejumping.
And then it happened.... everything stood still! Big server crash or something.... after 5minutes or so we got back into action but it was just a minute or so and the we stood still once again. After 15mins of waiting again we gave up and logged out, seemed the instance servers were having major issues.
But when looking back at the boss-fight (had plenty of time while looking at the still) i figured we could have taken him. The boss was down 7% of his health while i as a healer wasn't even down 3% with all my tricks still up if things should go worse. (Heroism, Mana Tide, Elementals, Mana pots)
Now there were a few cages there but targeting the NPC's inside but they were friendly so i expect them to have a task after we kill that boss, sadly enough i won't know till next time we try.... And who knows what surprises Drakos had still in store for us later that fight.

Tuesday, October 7

Marksman, the new Burstspec?

Premade level 80 toons were finally available on the European Beta... so i tried my luck and copied a number of toons (Hunter, Warrior and Shaman) and gave the new skills a spin. The Protection Warrior looked pretty solid (apart from what i think is a Enrage bug) and so did Restoration Shammies, the Hunter however...

For old times sake i tried a Marksman spec. BM is pretty good at the moment and it seems that it will be the same in WotLK, hopefully i can try that later this week to be sure. My MM spec was a bit weird i suppose, when going for the top tier talent you might need to take improved stings aswell but somehow that didn't feel right when i spend my first batch of talentpoints... perhaps i should try it later on and see what effect it has.
Anyway, the top tier MM talent Chimera Shot consumes your sting and has an effect depending on the sting. I only tried Serpent Sting to maximize damage output waiting for the very last tick before consuming the Sting with Chimera Shot (not sure if the Shot checks how much damage the Sting has done already or not, still it's more mana efficient to let the Sting do some work aswell).
Using Stings, Arcane Shot and the improved instant Aimed Shot kiting is easier then ever... and more fun i might add.
Also Killshot can be used nicely while doing that.
At first i didn't even want to take Chimera Shot but as it was just a beta i figured what the hell. I must confess i was a bit impressed and intend to test it out a bit more once the next patch goes live.

So what's the downside of this MM spec? Mana!
I had a Rare/Epic geared Hunter in Pvp gear and i ran OOM Fast! Seriously, 2 or 3 mobs and i was done for.
Then i would switch to Aspect of the Viper (dealing 50% less damage and restoring mana/damage) and i would get 560+ mana back per shot. Kill off one mob and your bar will be full again, even using special shots while doing so... not bad right? Not so sure about that myself.
Imagen that of 100% combattime in a raid you would need 20-25% of that time with Aspect of the Viper on. That is basicly 10-12,5% dps loss!
Maybe PVE gear has better mana regen or more Intellect but otherwise Marksman Hunters really need some Mana return from other classes in raids.

And how do pets perform for MM Hunters? I got a free wolf at the start and it's buffs were pretty nice but i was ready to take on some level 80 Elites so i needed me a tank pet! Closest thing was a bear, good enough! I trained him with improved Growl, extra Health and even Taunt.
Well, when going all out i stíll overaggro my pet... bloody great. Ow and that Taunt? Didn't seemed to work or perhaps it got resisted, lets hope the latter.
I was also amazed just how fast the pet died. I took on a level 80 Elite and i wasn't able to keep it up at all, where on my Protection Warrior i was left with 20% health with "only" the new self heal.
Maybe i was expecting too much of my pet as a MM Hunter, perhaps BM is still the best spec for Solo play aswell.
Next patch it will be easier to compare my current pet(s) with my own gear to their previous performance, i'll might be less disappointed then.

Overall i expect more fun for people staying/becomming Hunters after next patch and in WotLK. There will be some more possible variations in gameplay and the pet possibilities will be fun to play around with aswell.
The one concern sofar is mana... but perhaps Hunters might be too overpowered if they fix that so there is a change Hunters will just have to deal with that.

Friday, October 3

Officer because you're forced to

I was reading this post on Wowinsider a while ago about guildmembers paying taxes to the guildbank to assure an income for the bank.
Someone else took it a step further and requested special mounts or something for guildmasters/officers from Blizz (i guess he thought the taxes would go to them aswell instead of benefit the guild) as payment for their work which doesn't give any physical reward for it.
An other person reacted on that saying officers shouldn't get rewarded at all.. they want to be officer, they want to be in charge, they want the extra work... or they wouldn't do it in the first place!
Ooooooow.. how i disagreed there (with both actually).

I've had this discussion before when someone gave me hell and when people defended me that i was doing all this stuff for the guild he said that it was because i wanted to.
You can read this full story after above link but in short i didn't want to become an officer at all... my help was needed, the guild needed me.
I had been an officer before in the previous guild and i knew quite well how much mork and even more trouble being an officer could bring. Let me tell you... the benefits are totaly not worth the ammount of crap you have to endure... Too be honest, besides an extra chatbox there aren't any benefits i can think of right away. Respect? Pfff.... you don't need to be an officer to earn respect, it's your actions. I would even say it is more likely to farm disrespect as an officers, i'm sure some people in my guild rather see me jump of a cliff because of the way i treated them in name of the guild.

Personally i find airing my thoughts and ideas on the officer forum the only reward i get... don't get me wrong, it's nice to be able to shape something to your liking but sometimes i wonder if it's worth the trouble you get in return.
Am i forced to be an officer? Well... it's not like someone is holding a gun against my head but i do feel obliged. If i wouldn't be an officer i might be able to stick my head in the sand thinking there are plenty of other capable people sorting things. But as i am an officer i know how much those people have to do and quiting the job will mean what i do (not much compared to others tho) needs to be picked up by the remaining officers and that there will be one less person active fixing and preventing problems.

A short while ago i hit bottom; too much to do at work, not enjoying raids when i did manage to come raid and just experiencing the pre-expansion burn-out.
I resigned as an officer.
It didn't last long tho.... an other officer resigned later that day and quit Wow altogether to play War where i just wanted to step back.
So i felt obliged once again, yay me. Some others suggested me to just hang back for a bit till i had some more time again and soft of will as i was i chose that path. Ofcourse it didn't take long before i was reading the forums again and trying to contribute where possible.
If we could open up a can of willing and able officers i'd probably step back today but untill we find our canopener i'm dragging my feet into the officerquarters.
Anyway... don't go tell me i am an officer because i want to. I'm an officer because i choose to!

Thursday, October 2

Blizzard ruined my Alt experience

I've been a bit bored with Wow the last few weeks... i guess that's not a new sight for people these days, hopefully that will be solved soon.
But what i'd normally do when i've got nothing to do is start an alt, or continue an old lower level one and kill some time on that.
Do a few quests, run a couple of low level instances... perhaps even boost myself on my second account. ^.^ (playing with myself again)
But since a while i feel screwed over, i'll tell you why.

You go to your local Electronics store and you buy a brand new Television... brand or type or size doesn't matter, you pick. I pay the thing happy with what i got and as i tuck away the receit this guy approuches the counter and tells the guy behind the register that he wants to buy that same tv. "Why sure!" the cassier says, "and you're in luck.. it's 15% off now!". WTF? I just bought that thing for full price? Why should he pay less for the same thing?
Now that is how leveling alts makes me feel. I don't want to be doing twice the work someone else is doing for the same result.
In case you have no idea what i'm talking about, just a while ago Blizzard introduced another recruitment program where you can invite a friend (or get a second account) which will give you Triple experience while questing with that friend/main account. "Just" for 3 months yeah but thats plenty of time for many people to get a toon to level 60.
How typical this system was announced just 2 weeks after i get a second account aswell, makes it even more sour.

So that is how Blizzard ruined my alt experience... like hell i'm going to start another toon and get passed by constantly! I'm sure if i would start a toon anyway they will change things again once i've reached 60, i'm thát paranoid now! Okay, okay... it's about the fun, true... but everyone who leveled to 70 at least once knows there are just some level-ranges or area's which are a pain to level through. If i could go by those three times as fast, that would make leveling a lot more fun i think.
Until that time comes when they sooth my potential frustration i'll stick to playing my 60+ alts and if i want to start a new alt anyway it will be a Deathknight (soon) which skips most of the triple-experience content anyway.

Tuesday, September 30

Bringing back an old friend

Until recently my main was my Hunter since the very beginning of Wow, it is on this toon that i have made the best memories.
One of those memories is of a bear i tamed when i was leveling in Feralas, not sure why.. perhaps i needed his new petskill or perhaps i had a crappy pet before that (i tried quite a few). Bear just wouldn't do for a name so i named him straight away with the first thing that came to my mind: Bigfoot!
Not because he looked like a yeti but of his big paws, yeah ok, it was a crappy name.. i realised that soonish myself.

But the name grew on me i suppose and Bigfoot stayed more levels with me then any other pet, it even went along with me into Molten Core where it later went to fetch Core Packs when the rest of the raid was awaiting them around the corner... good bear! /pat
Bigfoot was well known among our raiders, many of the guildmembers had seen him before during 5 man runs when we were still leveling and at level 60.

As i became a more serious Hunter i had to replace him with a different pet, one who did more damage so Bigfoot got a spot in the stable. Many months later when i was already level 70 Bigfoot was still there as a level 60 bear, i required a stableslot and as i had a Cat for dps and a Boar for tanking... i had to let Bigfoot go.
I released him in the middle of Shattrah, just hope he didn't cause to much havok before he found the exit.

Soon we will be able to buy extra stable slots and pets tamed will be instantly within 5 levels of the Hunter. One of the first things i am going to do is return to Feralas and tame me a bear on the exact same spot as i first met my most faithfull companion... it might not be the same bear but i'd like to pretend it is.. or maybe one of his offspring.
And i shall name him.... Bigfoot!

Monday, September 15

AFK


No i'm not dead... i actually got a couple of near articles ready but no time to finish them as i'm swamped at work.
Seems it will stay this busy for at least another week, maybe two. :(
So don't give up on me yet, i'll return soon with the regular internet pollution.

Wednesday, September 3

Wow can be an emotional ride

A singleplayer game aint half bad when you think of it.. it's just you playing the game and the chances of getting too emotional is quite small. Sure you can get frustrated by dieing and dieing constantly and not gething any further or even of a couple of bugs, but thats about it.

But when playing a game like Wow in which you encounter other people you've entered a whole different league. You'll encounter jerks and jackasses, arrogant assholes, oversensitive whiners, overenthousiastic achievers and who knows what more.
Depending on your own state of mind you'll get annoyed with others or even angry with them... which is likely the best case scenario.
The worse seems to be to get hurt... you are a hero in this fantasy game and you don't want to hear that you did something wrong.
You are perhaps hiding from the real world and the worst that can happen then is your self-image getting shattered, even if it is just a virtual self-image it's one you've worked hard to build.
Getting told by someone in a pug that you are a noob for making a mistake can be handled, what does that guy know about you anyway huh?
Sure you've should handeled that otherwise but a person can't be judged on a single event.
Things realy hit you in the face if it is said by someone who you consider a friend, even if it's a virtual friend... that must be quite a blow to take if you are willing to accept it in the first place.

This risk of getting hurt is probably taken by people as it can work the other way around as well. Playing with other people can be quite rewarding aswell, present you with unexpected things which can make your day. You can share thoughts if you are worried about something, you can get cheered up when you are sad, you can laugh your head off joking around and you can have a great feeling of achievement working together with others and succeeding at a common goal.
Ofcourse you can play Wow alone aswell, you can do quite a bit of content solo... but still you will encounter some jerks but frustration might be limited to a minimum anyway.

In the end it's alot like in real life again... if you go out there and open your heart you are more likely to find love and friendship but you have more chances of getting hurt aswell. It's your choice if you want to take the same risks when playing a computer game.

Friday, August 29

How Reallife/Wow disappoints

I heal stuff!
In Wow : One of those wack-a-mole guys right? Well, i guess people like you are needed aswell. Amazing you can stand it.
In RL : So you are a Doctor, you must get payed pretty good... nice... So, ehm.. you're seeing anyone at the moment? /flirt

I protect stuff!
In Wow : You do? Got time for a quick Heroic? We got a good group seriously... all we need is a tank.
In RL : You're sort of a body guard? You're a pretty brave guy then, thats pretty awsome. Or one of those nightshift guys? At least you get payed to sleep right? ;)

I kill stuff!
In Wow : Ah so you are a damage dealer, cool. Whats your average dps?
In RL : What the Fuck? Are you a poucher or something? Or worse.. you.. you.. are a murderer!! Oh my god!! POLICE!

Maybe it's just my point of view but being a healer in real life seems alot more awesome then in game.
More ironcally a healer in real life is likely to see more blood then a tank or dps, unless perhaps you're a Manson i suppose....

Wednesday, August 27

I R Legend

It was a few years ago... before the universe i knew got destroyed and i had to start all over again... i'm not exactly sure what happened but when i opened my eyes again me and all my friends where stripped to the bone, every piece of equipment and item we had was gone.
A few of my friends were seasoned enough to have most of their gear magically restored, still left us standing in IF buttnaked.

Before that time i was 29 seasons young although i was tainted by battle, fighting the horde with whatever teammembers i got on one of the battlegrounds they needed me on. I had some pretty good gear, not the best but some more to stand out and be better then the average player. Sure, the Horde send a few of their best geared into battle often which i did my very best to give a hard time but we would lose the battle often anyway.
I had my share of victories.. moments of glory aswell where i managed to strike a blow, steal that lowely Horde's flag and humilate them like they often did us. At other times i stood my ground defending whatever area i assigned myself to and protected it with my life, again with my share of succeses.

I considered myself a lone rogue, a secret weapon in a battle long lost which could shift the balance. It wasn't just brute force ofcourse, where needed i listened to orders when it was better to the outcome or i even played the tactician myself if no other stepped up.
After a while i got people shouting my name when i entered the battlefield... people listened when i devised a plan.. not all of them but now and then enough. I slowly became a legend, i turned into a beacon of hope it seemed even though that wasn't what i considered myself at all.
I was just doing the best i could to help end this war, even it it cost my own life...

After all my battle gear had been taken from me i had withdrew myself from battle, what use would i be? I decided to use the little credit i had left and the few tokens that the robbers had left me and spend it at the quartermasters and get myself at least some gear. In time my friends gave me some spare gold and i was able to restore some other gear and minor enchants but some of the gear was forever lost.
Yesterday after a year or so i entered the battlefield again and how things had changed... people no longer knew my name and the Horde seemed to running around in the best possible gear, even clothies stood their ground to my daggerstabbing action.

I played back in the days where reputation was important, not just among players but also at the factions on the battlefield.. the higher the rep, the better rewards you would be able to buy. Tokens which you would get for entering the fights were just used for more reputation and some experience.
Now suddenly i was left with plenty of credits (honor) but no tokens, it seems it's going to take a long time to get back into this.
Perhaps i should ask one of my friends to run me through an instance for some extra experience so i can to season 38 and get some extra skills and wear some higher level gear. I'm no legend anymore (if i ever was) but i will fight for long lost glory!!!! (and blue gear)

Friday, August 22

Some Engi love

It seems the first Engineering love has hit the server... after i got slightly disappointed that the Hog might not be an Engineering mount only (still hope it will be), Blizzard has dropped a large number of Engi patterns on the Beta server.

There are quite a few with potential and i'm hoping for more but this baby caught my eye straight away:
Soooo simple, yet so very effective!
Sure it brings nothing new to the table but this will actually save alót of bagspace.. For me it will free up 3 slots as i don't need jumper cables (Shaman) but it also has Flint and Tinder implented, easier acces to fire suddenly.

Okay, Okay.. this not exactly the stuff of legends and not worth taking Engineering over but there seem to be a number of nice trinkets and headpieces again which could be good use for at least the first weeks/months after i hit 80.
Now just give me the Hog and make me able to drive my alts around it in Azeroth aswell and i'm totaly happy!

Back to work now... hardly get around to blogging, grmbll...

Friday, August 15

Increasing Wow performance

There are some simpel methods to improve your Wow performance, some will reduce your graphics a bit though but others won't or very minimal.
Now i can't guarantee each and everyone to work for you and you would be wise to backup any settings (or write them down at least) before you change them so you can revert to them later. I've tried a number of these settings aswell and i'm between 60 and 100FPS (frames per second) now depending on the zone (you would need at least 30fps to see things run smoothly), my goal is however to make a second Wow-client run smooth aswell so i'm overshooting on purpose.

Run Mediaplayer to increase FPS
For some people running Windows Media Player before starting Wow will reduce loading times, see here or here for more info on that.

Dual core owners edit config for FPS increase
Add SET timingMethod "2" to the config.wtf file in your WTF folder, use Wordpad to edit (or something) and just add it to the end. This is supposed to have to do something with having a Dual core CPU so won't benefit people with single core most likely. You can also try out 1 (which should have the same effect as running WMP), the default is 0.
You can try this out ingame by using: /console timingmethod 1 or /console timingmethod 2

Change some Network adapter settings to reduce Latency
Apart from making sure Blizzard doesn't download the next patch while gaming you can also change some adapter settings to reduce latency, check out on how to do it.

Change ingame visual settings to increase FPS
Gamespot has some nice screens on the difference between various ingame visual settings. Some differences are minimal for worth mentioning performance. Check it out here and here.
I myself did the following (minimal graphic backset):
- Disabled Terrain highlights
- Disabled Full Screen Glow
- Disabled Vertical Sync (+15FPS for me)
On lower end systems reducing Terrain Distance (1 above minimum) helps alot aswell, i prefer it near max myself.

Change Videocard settings to increase FPS
If your card supports Anamorphic Filtering make sure this is NOT set to minimum as it will reduce graphics by alot. Us the ATI control panel to set Anamorphic Filtering, what this filter does is resample all of the graphics to keep them crisp. You can set it as high as 16x, I settled on 8x, but the difference wasn't drastic.

More tips

  • The following post on the offical forums contain more tips to try if you want to further try to improve:Offical Blizzard Performance guide.
    There are some helpfull tips in there on ATI/Nvidia settings, color depths when using multiple monitors aswell as some links to other testtools and further reads.
  • Running Windows in a Linux environment should help aswell, more info here.
  • Update your Video drivers: ATI and Nvidia
  • Some Video card settings:
    ATI Try turning off Catalyst A.I. in the Catalyst Control Center. If you use an older version, try turning off Overdrive.
    NVIDIA Try turning off Transparency Antialiasing in the NVIDIA Control Panel.
  • Update your Bios
  • Disable Windows defender, read more here (Do use some other Spyware blocker then though!)

Thursday, August 14

New Faces

You probably have it in your guild aswell now and then, perhaps even more at the moment, new people joining the guild.
For many raidguilds it's pretty common in this time that people are needed to fill spots in a raid due to Holidays or people just entirely quiting the game either for a long time or just till the expansion, or perhaps even guildquiters (got that rarely ourselves).
So people are recruited, if you're lucky you have some people to choose from or else you'll just have to be happy with what you can lay your greedy little hands on.

Now some of those people just say hi and thats about the last time you hear them say anything... some other people make you feel a shifting in the force.
Suddenly the chat is filled with this new persons chatter, not bad neccesarily but noticeable still. Annoying? Hmmm.. not yet at least.
You know there is a certain mood in the guild and you've grown to love it, the weirdness, the chats.. there is no doubt in what direction you are moving, straight ahead at a comfortable cruise speed on the highway. This new person gives you the feeling you're steering slightly to the left or the right as he/she is finding her/his own comfortable lane.
Instinctively you steer back, trying to get to the previous optimimal course... but is it still?

Fact is that more present people will change your guild but that isn't a bad thing, for them it's probably alot more to get used to then the other way around.
But when you've been playing Mariokart all the time, do you really want to try Crash Team Racing? It might be fun.. come join the dark side yound padawan. Things are likely to change with new people in your guild but it keeps it fresh that way, as long as those people have some common ground and do fit in a bit ofcourse.

When thinking back, we had someone join us half a year ago and we used to make a lot of anal sex jokes at that time (think we still do actually). We soon found out the guy that joined was gay, nothing wrong with that but it made us wonder if he would mind the jokes or not. It changed the way we talked in guildchat for awhile and it slowly evolved into something else, not less perferted though. ;)
So was it a bad thing? I don't think so, just something different which isn't bad in this case.

The trick is to look out for people with such a strong influence that they actually change the atmosphere in your guild all by themselves in a bad way.
Trying to get someone in who you think will fit in is very important because of that, if you love to talk about your fettishes.. don't recruit someone who sells bibles in his free time. Or perhaps if you want to pipe down the sicko's you dó take that guy in. ;)

Thursday, August 7

Making gold with a second account

You've spend your cash on a second account? So how do you make money? Have one toon on follow and do those dailies with two at a time? Do you mine/herb while raiding with your main? Let me tell you how i try to make my raidingmoney.

Dailies x2
Doing dailies isn't fun but at least if you do it with 1 toon on follow you get twice the cash for it for just a little effort more.
The Isle of Quel'Danas has quite a few dailies which can easily be done with a group; bombing quests, kill X belfs, freeing murlocs, getting ley lines but also a few gatherquests which are quickly done.

Grinding for Blues
If you got a good geared level 70 alt you could grind some instances for blue item drops which sell well on the Auction House. I'm going to share my little secret for this with you: Every 7 hours a boss spawns in the Arena outside Diremaul. While there is a risk you get ganked as you become attackable by everyone once you enter, the fight shouldn't take long for a good geared level 70.
I got my second account minimized with my toon parked just outside and an addon running which plays a L70ETC song as soon as a boss spawns. These drops are worth about 60g together but there is a chance something better drops which is worth around 800g.
If you don't got plans for your second account anyway, this might give it some use.

Playing AH
I got a low level alt which is busy selling the stuff i manage to loot aswell as buying stuff which is too cheap and reselling it.
There are guides for this but basicly i use the addon Auctioneer which you can use to scan all items and prices on the AH which will create a database for it. This takes a long while depending on the number of items on the AH (a scan easily takes 14mins on my server) and you need to keep scanning for a while to get accurate prices, aswell keep doing so to keep it accurate.
Auctioneer can also help you find which items are too cheap after a scan so you might be able to resell some.
It's not a glorious way to get rich and is quite boring aswell... profits are often very limited but now and then you might get lucky.
An other way is to dominate a certain market and buy out all the stuff and then put it back on for your own price but this is not my style anyway, takes even more time and has greater risk.

Camping the fair
This method can net you quite some money but it is very time intensive, my girlfriend does this alot. One week each month the Darkmoon fair shows up somewhere . It has various vendors but two of them have limited stock of items which are worth quite a bit on the Auction House, from gems, motes to valuable herbs. These items respawn frequently and you will need to spam the vendors to get to them before other campers do.
Not the most fun that can be had but if you have a toon on a second account standig arround Shatt anyway, might aswell park him at the fair instead.

All methods take up time and none are very fun, some with a better chance on a high outcome aswell.
Best is to try and do it while you do something fun on the other account, then it won't be such a pain... i fish alot on my other account while the raid is getting ready for example and sell dem fishies, won't make me rich but it's often enough to pay for a nights raid.
Don't be hesitant to share any other brilliant ideas with me btw.

Monday, August 4

Being an officer: Optimus style

I'm an officer in my guild and i am one because i feel i'm needed to, not because i want to. I became one because i was needed at that time and i still am because i feel i still contribute in my role. It's kind of the Optimus Prime kind of way i guess (nerd alert!) who filisofy was that a leader was there for his "followers" and not the other way around. (i know it's a fictional person but the idea still sounds good to me)

There are guilds out there with a Guildmaster (or even an council like we have) but where his every wish and idea is rule, it can be no other way.
Things in this guild are quite strict and constant and at times even dictator-like.
I've heared of guilds that even fell apart because of the way guildmasters like that bended the rules in their own favour.
Like i said, there are little benefits for our officers, what we do for our guild often comes out of our playtime but i do think most of our guildies understand that (still there are always a few rotten apples who like to give you a hard time if something doesn't go 100% as intented, we're only human afterall.. but that happens not too often luckily)

Now we don't have a guild like that, we are there for our members and i can't think of any benefit of being an officer besides having something more to read on the forums during the day. The proof of that is that we constantly adapt our rules... perhaps to a point where we have too many rules but in our vision it's the only way to keep things fair to all members with as little as gray-area as possible.
These new rules are actually new ideas how to handle things, most spawn out of something one of our members has said and evolves into something we can work with. Every couple of months there is a new revolutionary idea of which we manage to implent a few into our system.

A few examples of our non-basic rules:

DKP based on Contribution points
How to make a simple system more complex? Add an extra layer. Each raid we give people contribution points, these can be earned by showing on time, and attending at raids.
This system was added for various reasons of which i forgot most already but it did make farm content instances less dkp-friendly. Where in the past people willing to wipe all night on new bosses got less dkp then people just showing for farm content it is evened out now. Also being backup will give you a share of your CP now, we can actually reward people who stay available.
At the end of the week the CP's are translated into dkp giving each person a share of total dkp earned (1 CP can be worth less on a week with less activity, it all stays in balance)

Marks and Gems from the bank
Based on attendance (all tracked in our overcomplete dkp spreadsheet) you get a number of Marks and Epic gems at the end of each month.

Offspec for gold
At first our bank got flooded with Void Crystals till someone asked us why the hell we couldn't think of some way to buy offspec gear without spending that much dkp on it (offspec = 50% of normal dkp price), so this was created.
Basicly when an item drops people can whisper if they want to buy it for dkp (main-spec). If no one wants it people can roll for it for offspec (damage kit for a healer for example), the winner pays the dkpvalue in gold (T6 chest for 300g aint bad right?) unless someone rather spends dkp on it for offspec.
Now the beauty of this system is that people get their share of the money at the end of the month based on attendance, so it's not uncommon to get 90-120g in the mail suddenly.

Buy future pattern drops
Now this is still in the making and perhaps we can't get it fool-proof so it might not ever see the light of day but still it's an idea.
Anyway the idea is that people who buy a pattern from someone outside the guild with which they can craft theirselves a bop- mainspec- upgrade item with.. can have a chance to get (some of) their gold back. If the pattern later actually drops and no other crafter wants it for their mainspec, we will sell it and they will get a share of that in return of the set dkp-cost. The ammount of money they will get depends on the ammount we are able to sell it for.
That's roughly the idea, now to eliminate as many gray-area's as possible so people can't abuse the system or simply misinterpretate aswell as make it as fair as possible to everyone so people who buy the patterns don't get an advantage over non-crafters.

So as you can see we try to make sure the spoils of war don't end up in the guildbank but are fairly spread amongst the guildmembers.
I myself am getting away quite easy and my gametime lost is limited although on the other hand the behind-the-screens-activities cause me quite some frustration now and then which effects my play-fun ofcourse... but our raidleader got it worse.
He gets most of the drama while he is the one who does most for the guild, i don't even do a third of what he does for the guild.
In fact, he's the real Optimus Prime in our guild as he still goes on eventho i am sure at times he'd rather not log on at all. Still he keeps going as his guild needs him, the benefits (like i said, if any) of being an officer don't even come close to the burdens.

Friday, August 1

Raidbalance aint fun

When the Burning Crusade expansion was released we said goodbye to 40man raids as Blizzard implented 10 and 25man raids.
The logic behind this? 25 people are easier to get together then 40, so far this is the truth... but for what reason?
You'd think that it's all part of their master plan of world domi... eh, to make raiding more accesseable to smaller guilds, groups of friends and casual members. In my oppinion they kind of failed at this at least partially.

First when looking at 10 and 25 man raids... a 25man raid is 2,5 times a 10 man raid (Holy Mathishan Batman!). Remember back in Vanilla Wow where we had 20 and 40 man raids? At least you could simply split up your 40man raidforce but nowadays you either need to have 3 10man raids or 1 25man raid, either way 5 people are likely to be disappointed.
Not completely true ofcourse as i'm actually getting to the actuall problem in our current raids: Raidbalance.

Let's say you have 3 Karazhan raidgroups (each 10man+2 backup) with which you will do 25man (with 6 backup then) raids aswell.
Karazhan requires 2 tanks or at least 1 MT and 1 OT so you would have a total of 6 tanks or if you are lucky 3 tanks and 3 dpswarriors/ferals.
Any idea how many tanks an average raidboss needs? Well in SSC and TK you aint that bad off, most bosses actually require 3 tanks, a fourth even now and then. If you are lucky you can give most of the OT's a spot aswell as regular dps.. so far so good.
When does it go wrong then? Why am i making all the hassle? Well, because of the Black Temple i guess.
First boss requires 1 tank, so you likely have to ditch 2 prot tanks for dps or healers while you needed them on the trash. "Thanks for the help guys! Just wait outside till we're done here ok?"
This whole instance requires to constantly switch out tanks as bosses require between 1 and 3 tanks. Sure some bosses require more healers then others but when you need 9 healers at one and 7 at the next the odds of staying in are still alot better then 1 on 3.
Is it just me or is the way Blizzard has designed bosses totaly retarded? This was drama bound to happen the moment they designed it.
If Blizzard is indeed gonna buff the prot tank's dps they are at least a valid contribution to the raid when not needed to tank, let's pray they will implent this properly in Wrath of the Lich King.

But back to the 40man raids versus the 25man raids. Will this allow more casual players to get a raidspot? I think often it's exactly the contrary!
1 person not performing at his or her fullest is hardly noticed in a 40man raid, this person has almost twice the impact in a 25man raid... let alone in a 10man raid. The result? To get to the better stuff you need to be better yourself aswell, which is likely gonna cost you your raidspot if you can't get to that level or simply don't have the time for it.
So more people raid yeah, good job Blizzard... but most are stuck in the lower raidinstances and the few people in those raids who have the potential are likely quite frustrated and quit the game or try to get in the better raiding guilds, thus setting back the guilds working the lower raid instances again.

If you want balance in your guild you will need some extra people of each class and often switch them throughout a raidnight.
And actually you will need more people unless you have a very very fanatic guild in which everyone is available each and every raidnight, no holidays allowed.. no break when your girlfriend's dog has died, just raid when you got a fever close to boiling point.
In our case that results in one night having the perfect raid with a bunch sitting on the bench picking their nose while the next we have to bring alts in get the required classes. Okay, okay... it's summer and some people have a pre-expansion depression but still.
Forcing raidbalance this way is really ticking people off and mostly the tanks who are being pushed around like ragdolls.
It's easy to point the finger at the Raidleader but it's not his fault ofcourse, if he/she wouldn't balance the guild chances to take down a boss are lower and he might get the blamegun pointed at him anyway.. a thankless job but thats a different subject.

Let's just pray that Blizzard manages to create boss encounters which don't require constantly swapping raidmembers and still keep it interesting, quite a challenge but that's what we are paying for i guess.

Wednesday, July 30

Prot Warrior in the Beta

I'm currently fooling around in the beta and while i've was mostly on my Shaman main i also tried my level 70 Protection Warrior during an instance
To give a bit of an idea of my character and how i play it: My tank is tanked in full T4 gear-equivalent with some Heroic Badges gear so not half bad.
I've often maintanked Karazhan with some of our T6 mains tagging along which rarely took aggro even without a Paladin in the raid or a Shamy using his tranquil air which hopefully says a bit about my threatgeneration. (got threat spec tho)

When doing a 5-man in WotLK with 4 guildmates i took a somewhat simular build with some of the new talents aswell.
Now i must confess i quite missed my macro's but i recreated most halfway through the instance, still things felt a bit akward and i'm suspecting threatgeneration might be a bit lower then usuall... leaving out of consideration that my Warriors threat might be minimalized due to the change in how threat is generated. (as my kit has very little strength but does have Block value and such for threat generation)
My build was probably something like: http://wotlk.wowhead.com/?talent=LiZcZict0e0zcxsgzVo (can't check atm as i'm at work :P)

First thing i noticed was how threat was totaly messed up.
I was with a Ret Paladin which could overtake me on aggro within a second and many times throughout the fight so i used that taunt button more in one run then i normally would on 10 (taunt is more of an oh shit button most of the time). Now the Paladin is supposed to have some bugged talents which makes him do insane damage so can understand this up to some point (was just before latest beta update btw).
The Enhancement Shaman managed to do the same actually.... When starting out with a Shield Slam and a Revenge/Devastate he overtook me straight away. Normally the Shield Slam alone would give me a nice headstart (i never taunt at the pull to keep a mob on me) but it had little effect now.
Either the Warriors threatgeneration is completely messed up, the Threat bonus on Defensive stance aint working yet, the threatreduction on dps classes don't work yet or the new itemisation totaly made my current gear useless (had no Recount or such to check TPS :( ).
Now it has been said that Warriors are still getting their complete overhaul so i'm hoping i can test things again later.
I did get to try the new talents a bit however and the new skills part of that.

Vigilance: Quite nice to use on that constantly overaggro'ing person. I made a macro of it so i could cast it on my target's target (aka, what my mob was attacking), with no CD an it being active untill canceled it seems a pretty impressive skill.
I thought at first it was more of a panic skill but if threat is a problem for a certain player you can simply keep this skill on him/her, shouldn't be needed but i can imagen certain boss fights where this comes in handy.. surely Blizz will think of some uses for it aswell.

Sword and Board: a so-so talent, i think you get more benefit from it if you tank a raidboss and get use Shield Slam more often then you do in your current rotation, which also makes a fixed rotation a thing of the past ofcourse. Don't mind myself.
On trash it's nice to be able to Slam around a bit or build faster threat on the current mob so you got enough headstart and can build threat on the next mob in meantime. For those not stuck in a rotation this is quite helpfull eitherway, then again.. those people are perhaps not the ones who need that threatboost in the first place.

Shockwave: I guess my attackpower wasn't high enough with my Outlands tankgear but it seemed to do very little. I can't even recall i saw any stunning on the mobs and i used it quite a lot, perhaps it isn't finished yet.
Visuall it looked pretty cool altho getting all the enemies in the cone in front of me was tricky, it was easy to be slightly turned away and blast past some or have mobs to close. Then again the people in my group didn't give me much time to backstep to get them neatly lined up so that might help until you are more used to using this spell.

I could see the potential of the Protection Warrior but this far it's far from complete. In the current state it's quite frustrating to play as a tank on a protection Warrior... on an earlier run the Fury Warrior was MT and his threat wasn't much worse then mine and that shouldn't be possible imo, at least not to this extend.
Hopefully they will implent the planned changes soon so i can take another shot at this.

Monday, July 28

DeathKnight impressions

This weekend i spend some time trying out the Deathknight, firstly i did the complete questchain untill you get out of the instanced zone and enter the actuall world and after that i played around with the other two specs.
Can't say it's much more then a first impression as i ended as a level 57 with many new skills short aswell as a few points to try to top tier talent, still it gave me a good impression of the playstyle and the quests of its current state... but you never know what Blizz is still going to change right?

Quests
The questchain will explain you how you become a "man" of free choice in a series of quests in which you will meet quite a few know lore characters like Mograine, The Lich King himself but also the Baron from Stratholme. The quests themselves are quite versatile, still there are a few "kill X stuff" quests around but with the majority they have tried to offer something new or at least fun.
What also impressed me was that you play in instanced versions of the starting zone, depending on your progress in the questchain. If you have set up a cauldron in a quest it will actually be there from that point on, destroyed stuff will remain destroyed...really adds to the feel that what you did effected the world. I really hope they use this method of story progress more often.
The only downside is that when you finally finish your Deathknight quests after a final epic battle you are left in Eastern Plaguelands, stuck with doing what i've always considered some of the worse quests in Azeroth. Luckily 1 level is easily done and after that you can enter the Outlands on level 58.

Blood
Considered the DPS spec and this is what i used to level at first. It offers quite some damage aswell as offer some healing abilities to yourself and your group. At higher level you get some more area abilities and ofcourse you can put some points in either the Frost of the Unholy. The top tier talent in Blood is a flying sword which mimicks your attacks as long as you have runic power which is basicly your rage. It won't double your dps as you won't be able to use runic power at that point for your own attacks but there are still the skills that require runes which you can use.
Without much doubt this will be the best PVE spec in raids aswell as re-assure smooth and fast leveling.

Frost
This is considered the Tank build with more magic/physical damage reduction in it (some in the other trees aswell so going a bit into Blood should be required). What i noticed with this spec sofar is the somewhat more limited options then with Blood or Unholy, this will give tanks some more freedom to watch surroundings i guess so that helps.
But don't set it aside for just tanking, i skipped most of the tank talents and i quickly noticed the ammount of control you would get with this spec.. almost as if you are a frostmage but with armor and a kickass sword. With the freezing and slowing talents it's quite possible to kite some harder mobs to death, i've tried it on a couple of mobs and although i didn't spec in slowing mobs with my frost spells it was quite hard of them to even lay a finger on me.
It somewhat depends on some proccing luck ofcourse.
When doing mobs one on one the Bloodspec will be slightly faster but if you plan to tank later on with your deathknight, do give Frost a try with leveling.

Unholy
I'd like to call this the Fun spec myself. When speccing into this you lower you CD on Ghoul summoning aswell as lengthen the duration. It also adds a petbar so you have more control over your pet aswell as have some extra skills, without this talent the Ghoul will just do as he pleases which can be quite annoying. People say this is the PvP spec and i did see quite a few potential skills for that, but if you would choose this spec for leveling you are in for quite a few smiles on your face... exploding corpses, leaping and selfdestruction Ghouls.. what more do i need to say.
I could easily take on a group of 4-5 with this spec and come out with half my health.
The other specs will have more AE abilities aswell on higher level but they won't have exploding corpses which is an absolute blast.
This spec offered the most options so far and has the smallest chance to turn into couple button bashing gameplay.

Conclusion
Bloodspec should be your choice if you want to perform at your best in a PVE raid as DPS, Frost would be the spec to go if you love tanking in either 5mans or raids and Unholy is your spec if you either PvP or mostly solo.
However... each spec has some talents which would be worthwhile having one of that spec in a raid, mostly in the form of party healing or resistances.
Also, some builds complement each other.. having more then one deathknight in your raid will boost each others potential. The Blood dps spec becomes alot better when bringing an Unholy DK along for example.
If you want my oppinion; I'd likely level as Unholy as it seemed the most fun in the small time i played. However if you plan your DK to be your main, do level with the spec that will be your final spec as much as possible because each tree has quite different playstyles and the experience will help you at 80.

Friday, July 25

Buying Gold the right way?

You know what i got against buying gold? The way its aquired!
People likely got hacked, stripped to the bone and their belongings where melted down into gold bars which then are offered to the people out there willing to trade their Euros/Dollars/Yen for the virtuall currency.
Buying gold will simply feed that market, as long as people keep buying gold.. people will get hacked, we are the ones that keep it alive.
Ofcourse there are farmers aswell who gather gold by grinding the same mob over and over again and while the gold that is generated that way might cause some inflation it won't cost you your gear in the end, but there is no way to make sure your bought gold is hack-free is it?

So i was wondering... if i was sure the gold was hack-free, would i be more willing to spend my real life money on it? Sure it's still illegal but at least i'm not risking someone getting hacked, although i risk getting my account shut down.
Would i change my game by gold in a way i am not supposed to?
Suppose i sell ingame materials and charge gold for it and make a large a sum of gold that way, thats nothing weird is it?
I however have little to offer ingame, at least nothing which don't require me to grind for it first... and then i might just aswell simply do dailies and get the gold. When i trade gold with someone for real life cash, that's pretty save isn't it? If a guildy has more gold then he can burn i can buy some off him without any risk getting my account banned, we can always say it was a donation.. nothing against that.

But how about game balance? I'm thinking nothing changes, if either my guildy spends the money i buy or i do it for him.. doesn't matter does it?
It's like giving gold to your alt only this time there is some payment done outside Wow without any possible concequences ingame, no hackers cleaning out other people... no farmers overspooling the Auction House and messing up prices or what ever other inflation/deflation of currency.

I still feel like i'm cheating on the game, like using one of those trainers or cheatcodes on a game to finish it in no time.. kind of a waste of a good game that way. Then again, if Wow is all about grinding like it is currently to be able to raid.. do i even want to play it?
On the other hand, say i'm buying 10k gold now to get me out of debts and make sure i got some cash to burn, what stops me from doing it again later on when i'm low on cash again? I might change the way i play this game, instead of grinding for some mats i'll just buy them on the AH and then buy new gold with real money. At least in the past you would get punished by Godzilla if you typed "fund" too often....

Sounds very tempting still doesn't it? Risk free gold with no concequences, well... perhaps just for yourself then.

Thursday, July 24

Addicted to WotLK

-Warning, contains spoilers!-



After hours of spamming the inlogscreen of the beta i finally came in with little time to spare before the planned bedtime, actually it was past that already as i intended to go to bed early. I quickly met up with 4 guildies who managed to get in a bit earlier (log-in server was giving many of us problems), redid my UI, keybindings and talent quickly and made my way up to Stormwind.
One of the guys who was online yesterday already suggested we did the first instance Utgarde Keep which is located in the startarea on the east, the Howling Fjord.
Most of us went over to the new SW Harbors which is HUGE! I went by it pretty fast as my time was limited but it was a city of its own with at least a ship which could take you straight to Auberdine so no more running through dangerous Wetlands with your level 10 Nightelf if you want to see Ironforge.

I took the ship and i ended up at the western startarea in Northrend; Borean Tundra. I guess the ship that leaves from Theramore would have gone to the Howling Fjord. There is also supposed to be a Turtleship in between the two points but we decided to take an oldfashion roadtrip since three other party members ended up there aswell.
It took quite a drive to get on the other side, Northrend is rather big... i'd say about 10minutes or so. The highest mob i encountered was level 73 and was quite easy despite my mediocre gear (Kara/S1) and my bad key setup.

Utgarde Keep itsself was quite a maze to get in at first but the architecture was quite impressive. We did the instance with a Fury Tank, Ret Pala, 2x Enh. Shamans and a Holy Pala... it was brutal! I was the lowest geared one with the rest having T6 gear mostly and we just tore through the trash without use of any crowdcontroll. It didn't take long before we got overconfident and pulled 3 thrashgroups at a time and managed to wipe, probably would have pulled it off with a fully functional UI, keybindings and macro's but in this case it was just a tad too much.
The rest went rather smooth and the instance looked quite cool, apart from a couple of eye pleasers it was a pretty straight forward one.. no alternative routes and a minimalistic design and quite a few simular trashmobs. Enjoyable though.
Altho the instance is quite large, the rooms aint packed with trash so you get through it pretty quick.. the bosses were doable without much knowledge of tactics as long as the dps is as mad as ours. That didn't work for the final boss however and we had to find a tactic that worked for us, enable some enemy castbars due to lack of emotes or bossmods and then we took him down.
The instance took us about one hour, could have gone faster if we wouldn't have messed around too much.

My day ended at 1 'o Clock and i was beat! I still am now i'm sitting behind my desk at work,... and the worse thing is; i can't think of anything else.
I need to do some foodshopping later and go to the hairdresser (not the ingame one) Sathurdaymorning but i already find myself looking for excuses...
I'm like a zombie but instead of craving for brains i crave for Wrath of the Lich King, omg... why on earth did i get this beta key?

Wednesday, July 23

I'm in!


You are either gonna hear alot on the expansion on this blog or not a thing at all... depends on just how much fun it's going to be. :)
Seems my preperations for the expansions are going to be on hold for now, but at least i will know what to prepare for.

Thursday, July 17

Am i the only beggar around here?

It's not that i ask for gold, i'd even feel embarresed if i would take gold from others if they would offer... i'd probably wouldn't accept even. If only some guy that quit the game ran in to me and unloaded his riches onto me.
The thing is, i 'm having quite some trouble getting cash lately on the server my Alliance mains are on. I played the Auction House a bit (mostly looked for underpriced items) on my Horde and i made quite some money with it... but people are either smarter at the Alliance side or (more likely) there are already a number of people watching the AH more frequently then i do.
Sure i get a bargain now and then but more then 15-20g profit isn't made.

And what about dailies? Ow how i hate those.. but still i drag my sorry ass to the plateau and do about 7 of the quests there every day before the raid. That gives me 130g as nowadays i got a second toon on follow (some functions hotkeyed so he aint totaly useless) aswell as 2 flasks to use in SWP.
It might not be much but this should net me with nearly 1000g a week right? True but to buy my new main an epic mount i got pursuaded to loan 2000g of a guildy, who assured me i would get the money back alot faster with it.
He's in no hurry to get the gold back but i'm hoping i can repay him within two weeks as i hate to have debts, even ingame.

It wont be long after i repay my debt that i will stop doing those boring dailies once again which result in somewhat limited funds once again.
For some reason i hear that people all around me have gold in the thousands, my own girlfriend recently reached 10k and for some guildies even that is peanuts. One of the guys bought numerous Gigantique Bag's for his main and alts which costs 1200g each, which shows he has some gold to burn. This guy can do dailies with 3 toons at the same time and he does probably close to 25 each day which is close to 750g a day then i guess, i wish i wouldn't go mental after the first 2 dailies.
Some other guy is constantly mining and gathering herbs, he spams my Gatherer addon constantly so no doubt about that.

What is it that those other people have no problem grinding dailies, mining/herbing, playing the AH while i get sick and tired of it just by thinking of it.
This aint a game, it's bloody work! If Blizzard would sell gold (and i'm glad they dont) i would likely spend some RL cash on it now and then, i won't do that now as i will not support goldfarmers/hackers/whatever other evil out there to mess up the game.
I just want a forever fun daily which doesn't take too much time and pays well, but that would only increase prices any more.
Bah... guess i just have to bit my lip and do my daily chores.

Monday, July 14

HEEL FFS!

So i'm a T6 geared Hunter and suddenly i find myself logging my Shaman, spec him Resto.. spend a small forture on enchants, gems and whatever else is needed and i head into a Heroic Instance. Before that the most healing i had done was on my Moonkin Druid in Zul'Farak once or twice.
What made me do it? A possible mainswitch. (i don't see BRK do that ;-) )

A Resto Shaman was needed, i had a Shaman alt (Enhancement but still) and people trusting that i would be able to pick it up quite fast and even like it.
I had my doubts... but wanted to try it anyway, eventho the idea of abbandoning my Hunter who has been my main since the very beginning pained me.
That Heroic went pretty smooth, not so much because of me but because of my party members including a T6 geared tank who hardly took a hit. (my GF btw... a T6 tank, now many won't be able to repeat that :P And No, she's not for sale!)
How i learned that 5-man, in the end i had a pretty good idea how things worked. The Karazhan raid after that granted me with even more experience, sure some people died but it were mostly the over aggro'ing locks who went down like a Pornstar.
After that run i thought of a few macro's i missed, macro's who would make my life easier hopefully.

The next run i did was Black Temple... a fresh healer in mostly Karazhan gear stepping foot in the Black Temple, again something that doesn't happen too often i suppose. In the beginning i barely outhealed the tank but as we got further and further into the instance i found myself getting faster, adapted better to unexpected things and quicker to decide who to heal first. I walked out that instance with 6 BT Epics and i helped at every boss apart from Illidan where my Hunter was needed. It was Great!!! I wasn't, but the experience was.

Ow healing is alot tricker then expected and i caught myself shouting out "CRAP!" quite often if someone died, even if it was a person not assigned to me.
Sure it's a bit of wack-a-mole but it does give some rewarding feeling when the people assingned to you remain standing when the boss isn't.

In my quest for a better heal setup i got adviced a number of addons of which i am currently using the following:
Healbot Continued", which gives you defineable healthbars and functions under your mousebuttons.
Instant Health, basicly this helps refresh the info you receive on people's health faster.
Quartz, a defineable castbar which i moved close to the healthbars to better time heals as it shows how much earlier you can start casting the next spell based on your latency.

The last runs i did were to Sunwell Plateau and i must say i held my own. The other Resto Shaman showed me the meters afterwards and i was a good second just below him, eventho i know the meters say alot less for healers then they do for dps.. it at least shows me i was more often quicker with landing heals then before. Ofcourse the investments i made in my gear (crafted bracers, boots from badges, Epic (haste) gems, expensive enchants) payed off aswell.

Friday, July 11

2Accounts1Pc - part1

This about something called dual boxing/multi boxing or whatever other slang there is for it.. except i'll be using 1 PC here.
Yep that's right, i got myself a second account for a number of reasons:
1. I need some gold to get my new main an epic flyer.
2. My new main is a healer so could use some help doing quests.
3. I will be leveling 2 toons to 70 when WotLK comes out to save myself some time.
Perhaps i will drop my second account after that but for now i got something new to toy with.
In a couple of posts i will try to explain how i've set up things, what i used and how i did it.
Part one starts below:


Hardware preperations
Now what helps is a second monitor but it isn't required at all. When your pc aint as fast it's probably better to keep your slave account minimized which has the extra benefit that you can keep your main wow client maxized (non-windowed) which makes it run quite a bit faser, difference on my pc is easily 15FPS. Depending on how you intend to controll your slave later that is something to consider.
I'll be using it windowed so i can always move my mouse to my second screen for either interaction with the other account or a webbrowser.

I myself intend to controll my 2nd character with my first keyboard and for that i bought a keyboard with extra keys: the Logitech G11 which is basicly the G15 without LCD screen.

You will need to check if your PC has enough RAM, at least 2GB for 2 accounts and a dualcore might help aswell although i must confess i have no idea what is exactly needed. I myself got 2,66Ghz dualcore, 4GB RAM and a X1950 Pro videocard from ATI.. no high end system at all.


Creating the Second account
Buy yourself a second copy of Wow first, perhaps with The Burning Crusade aswell if needed. You can either buy one of the so called "Treasure Chests" which contain both in the shop or simply order your key online. I bought mine at Gamecards EU who deliver in the US aswell btw. After i used my visa (can use various other methods like Paypal aswell) they called me to verify the first payment and i got the keys within 5mins by mail... if things take long, just use the chatbox on the site and you will get an answer straight away.
After that go to the official Wow site and create a new account, likely on the top right. After creating your normal account enter the account and upgrade the account using the Burning Crusade key.


Setting up the Second account
Best is to copy the directory you installed Wow in to an other physical diskdrive. It is possible to run Wow twice out of one folder but running it from two different spots will improve performance. Make sure it are actually two different drives, not one harddisk split.


Addons
The addon i installed first was Multiboxer V2 (direct download here.
Install this addon in both Wow clients.
This addon will add all sort of helpfull options like autofollow, auto-accepting rezzes, invites, quests and trades from friends, redirects whispers, aswell as a few other helpfull things.


Macro's
A few essential macro's to use:
Follow, follows the leader in the party. You can also replace party1 with a name ofcourse
/target party1

Assist, uses the same target as the leader in the party. Can again replace party1 with a name.
/assist party1

Trade accept, might be helpfull when using the Multiboxer addon as you can request a tradewindow accepting without a keypress is not allowed.
/script AcceptTrade();

More macro's here.


This will basicly make it possible to easily go arround town with the other toon in your slipstream, nice for boosting a lower level alt or do some of those dailies which don't have drops.
Don't forget to put Loot on Free for all. You can also copy an existing toon of yours to your other account aswell by the way, costs € 20,- in Europe. Both accounts need to be on the same persons name however.

I wil continue in next post with more detailed info how i have/will setup things using my G11 keyboard and Keyclone, making your second toon pitch in aswelll.
For those who want more info already or info about multi pc boxing, check out www.dual-boxing.com.