Wednesday, April 30

Making fun of a "Noob"

There i was in Orgrimmar scanning the Auction House onmy bankalt which happens to be level 12 when i got an invite to a group. I declined the first two times has it probably was someone asking me to sign a charter or something but then he aswell as some other guy asked me to accept the invite.
So i took off the first guy off ignore and accepted as i was damn curious.
I was a bit afraid that they might have thought of a new way to scam people (and this toon was carrying 3125g at that point) but i didn't expect to be easily fooled.

I was asked to come over, near the Inn next to the AH. After that they requested me to take off all my gear.. didn't like the idea of it and was hesitating at first but again my curiousity got to me, so i played along pretending to be a noob and waited for what was to come.
One of the members was a Hunter and i soon saw the Misdirect icon appear at my buffs. At that point i tried to quickly think of what the hell they could try to misdirect to me and i tried to dismiss the MD buff but i was too late.
The tauren called Gamon in the inn was on his way, looking for a fight. I have no idea why we can attack that guy but this time it was usefull i suppose.
The guys in the party said i would get 2g if i could win a fight with this guy barehanded. My hits didn't do much as my unarmed skill was 1 and i was in the assumption i was alot lower then him, didnt even bother to check his level aswell as mine.
How to beat this guy? I could heal myself as i was a shaman but that wouldn't win the fight... i tried running him through the fire but that didn't affect him.
So i ran to the inn to set my heartstone to it, lured Gamon away and intended to heart back.. hoping to lose aggro and cheat the rules.
He de-aggro'd before that tho but either way it seems the others in the party laughed their heads off and i was worth the 1g i got in advance.
As i didn't defeat him in hand to hand combat i didn't get the 2gold but 1 by 1 they all handed over 1g anyway.
Quite a funny joke, helpfull for level 1 beggars aswell.

I Misdirected one of the Dragons outside the caverns of times on our Raidleader a while back aswell... didn't even get close to killing him and other assisted him even. Still it was fun. One of the priests who was AFK still got a neardeath experience but i felt sorry for him last minute. :P

Either way, let's make those funny guys famous and thanks again for sponsoring my flying Epic mount! (just 120g away now)

Monday, April 28

Nerf Locks!

I have amazed my partymembers, i have amazed my low level friend, i have amazed my raid... i have even amazed myself.
The variety of adventures i was on this weekend showed my little locks potential and "the lock" was praised all around.

For some reason i joined a Karazhan pug, my gear was still quite weak but to my surprise they wanted me in anyway. They had quite a few other epic equiped players around to compensate i suppose, including an other lock. Too be honest i had the crappiest gear there and tho i didn't agree with how everything was done (Raidleader was very verbal for example) i decided to keep my mouth shut for now.
Where they glad they took me along in the end? I would think so... i provided them eagerly with Healthstones, Soulstoned the Healer, banished mobs ánd singlehandedly removed all Holy Fires which Maiden did on the raid (as we had no pala and priest). All things the other lock could have done aswell btw, just that he didn't. I didn't have meters but someone spammed raidchat just after Opera and i was 3rd. (WTF?)
We killed Aran and then moved back to Illhoof on which i got to "tank" the imps. Some of the dps died as they were attacking the imps instead of the boss and the demon chains so the fight took to long and the healers ran dry.
That was the end of the raid but i made myself usefull and learned alot.

The next day i did a 5-man to Mechanar. The tank was handeling a big golem and there was a sheep wandering around aswell when we got 4 adds; 2 big demons, a small one and a humanoid. It wasn't untill i Banished one demon and enslaved the other that i noticed a "run out" in party chat and didn't see anyone close anymore. I used the enslaved Demon to tank the humanoid and the smaller demon and took them out quite fast.
The sheep broke and started running towards the entrance, following my teammembers... i ran after him and came across the rest of my party in the hallway who obviously noticed the chances had turned in our favour.
One Warlock made a possible catastrophic pull into something easily handled, damn locks are helpfull in demon infested instances.

Last show of power was when i boosted my friends low level toon through Scarlet Monestary. Now i've boosted several people on various toons but not on my lock since she hit 70 and that was only in RFC and Wailing Caverns. I started out slow as i i'm not as skilled yet on handeling large groups yet but i quickly started to pull more and more mobs until i nearly got ourselves killed on a group of at least 20 mobs. The problem was the bastards locking out my shadow spellschool when i tried to re-apply Seed of Corruption, thé skill when clearing low level instances i found out.
After a while i developed more foolproof methods to take out the mobs and within half an hour i cleared both the Armory as the Cathedral, slowly gaining more confident i my locks skills and speeding up the progress.
Do NPC's lock out more then one spellschool btw? Otherwise i could start with a firespell and then cast a shadowspell afterwards. Still plenty to learn and to improve upon. (like i made a Devour macro after Kara for my Felhunter, manual was quite a bitch)

Quite a fruitfull weekend in which i managed to upgrade quite a few items, even got me some epic bracers from Kara. Had a m8 enchant my items aswell, not going all out on blue gear which i expect to replace soon but it won't hurt to make stuff just slightly better to easier obtain those said epics.
Yep, Warlocks are overpowered... at least i'm at the correct side of the Shadowbolt this time.

Friday, April 25

Incoming this weekend

With the weekend on the doorstep and some more available time for playing Wow, i like to plan ahead what things i need to get sorted in the Virtual world.
My Shaman has a few weeks off and has no objectives to complete right now, but that still leaves me with 3 more level 70's to take care of:

The Hunter

  • Do some dailies to get some gold.
  • Grind some Clefthoof Leather for an Nethercleft armorkit for my Warrior. (make sure to bring the daily)
  • Fish some Agility food the raids.
  • Get some (mana)pots and flasks made.

    The Warrior
  • Pick some herbs for pots for my Raiding Hunter.

    The Warlock
  • Try to get some gear by quests: (some require instance groups)
  • Do dailies for Gold and possible badges.
  • Grind Primals, Some Fire and Shadow for Shadowcloth and loads of Water.
  • Do a bit of PvP
  • Run some instances for reputation, Tempest Keep and Auchidown are high on the list as i want the heroic keys for those.

    Quite a list and i doubt i get everything done as there is such a thing as social life and it's overdue chores.
    So apart from the ingame required Raid preperations (which makes this game kind of a drag to me) i'll focus on fun things and stay open for unexpected events.. who knows for what instance any of my toons is asked.

  • Thursday, April 24

    Pimping my Lock

    For who has been keeping an eye on my blog, you might have seen that i've put up a little checklist to the right containing a sort of wish list for my Warlock. The idea is that at the moment i am in poor level gear (some 61-68 blues aswell as a few greens) and i am in no state to run Heroics or even do Karazhan. So i've created a list with gear which i can obtain by getting honor in Battlegrounds, rewards from quests and craftable items.
    The next level is that i will add Heroic items to the list but that will take me quite a few weeks before i get to that point.

    For most slots i have a few options, the best highest up. While it aint complete it gives me a rough indication where to focus my attention on.
    You might also noticed a couple have been crossed out already, i already managed to get a few items on my list including my very first EPIC! (which was shortly followed by 2 Heroic Badges which i got from dailies quests. Nais!)

    What i also found is a guild which is recruiting to do Karazhan in a couple of weeks, the guy who is suposed the MT just recently restarted playing but has plenty of tankexperience pre-TBC, but is still level 66 so that should give me plenty of time to pimp this alt of mine. Assuming he (and others) can level up ánd pimp in the same time as they are mains, i might be able to set foot into Karazhan then.
    I have plenty of Karazhan experience which i made clear to him aswell and since he started fireing questions about it straight away i'm assuming my knowledge will help me get in. My idea is to join them on a few runs first and not join the guild just yet, i'd like to see what they got in their little store myself aswell.

    Let's hope my 8 day holiday won't mess up my preperations too much :)

    Wednesday, April 23

    Agressive Recruitment

    The guild i'm in is originally a semi-casual Raiding guild, when TBC hit us we decided to go at it more serious. Now we raid for times a week for 3,5-4 hours each evening... things went a bit slow at start as the right people were hard to find but by now we've managed to get to a shared 8th position of 43 registered raidingguilds on our server.
    Nowadays we get plenty of applies so it's alot easier filling gaps (althought that Resto Shaman remains troublesome) but our high standards do tend to filter out alot of people.

    Are we that cocky that we have too high standards? No, no.. it's not like that at all. You know those elitist raidguilds on your server (or perhaps you're in one even) that is about progress and progress alone? Where the Rogue plays like a real Pro but is a big jerk? Where the Tank is the best on the server but is one who goes on a rampage when dies? Where the Hunter keeps whining being in a party with SP, Shaman, Feral and whatever boosts his DPS?
    I can tell you we don't have that...
    How come? Due to our standards. Apart from being available for raids, reading tactics, bringing pots and whatever else ánd being skilled in playing playing your class there are some other things required. part of our intake is a sort of a personality check, are you any fun.. how's your attitude.. are you impatient.. stuff like that.
    This resulted in failed applies of people who had a great raidhistory or great gear but which we just couldn't stand as a person, people who kept bugging me for an answer every 2 hours after i first talked to him.. eventho i told him it may take a number of days. Or people who tried every single officer instead to increase chances or speed things up.
    But we also failed people's trials after raiding with us just because he didn't fit in. We had a good player a bit back but he AFK'd out at raidstart coming up with absurd stories later on why he was suddenly afk but for some reason he stayed online for hours and not got disconnected.
    Another player spammed /sleep emotes during buffing and tactics, another took your primal nether without saying thanks and expected people to drop everything they were doing, fly to the other end of the world and do an enchant on one of his items.
    All these people (and a few more actually) managed to pass the first round but failed their trialperiod and were asked to leave.

    This may seem silly but nearly everyone gets along in our guild, we don't have much drama and even on wipe nights we have no problem having fun. People help each other out and our Raid/Guild chat is 99% filled with happy chatter. When there are problems we can discuss them and when someone fucks up we have a laugh about it. (often teasing that person for weeks)
    We are more then just a guild based on progression, we are a large group of friends aswell.. not just guildmembers.

    Recently one of the other raidguilds on our server has been agressively trying to recruit people of us. The guildmaster has been asking some of our members if they want to join his guild, that while that member didn't apply anywhere.
    So far none of the members have been tempted as we have a pretty good thing going on here, something many guilds might be jealous of... on the other hand we did have applies from members of theirs, while our progression is pretty much the same it seems that the mood in the guild is quite a bit apart from us.
    I have no problem with other guilds putting up a list somewhere of which classes they need and if anyone in our guild doesn't feel at home with us, he can then apply for a spot at any of those guilds. But i don't think it's very classy if i go whisper random >insert needed class here< from other guilds if they would like to switch guilds. This GM has been known to get friendly all of the sudden with random people, probably preparing them for the big question.

    Headhunting is just not a very polite thing to do, my respect for this guild and it's GM has dropped even more lately.
    Luckily our guild is tight enough to not get effected by stuff like this, /hug Elysium.

    Tuesday, April 22

    Gold or DKP?

    Something which is currently debated on our guild forum: Offspec items.
    We use a DKP bid system for items and we have a rule that people can buy an offspec item for half price, that is if no one wants it for the correct spec.
    So if a huge weapon drops and a tank wants it and no dps wants it, they can have it for half price.

    Still many stuff gets sharded.. people rather not spend their dkp on offspec items, items they rarely use while in the raid or even outside of that.
    Stuff which still could benefit our raid at times, imagen that enhancement shammy is required to spot heal on the next boss as people with mana can't get into melee range of the boss... would be helpfull if he had some healing kit then.

    One of the ideas thats around at the moment is paying good old fashion gold for such an item which is about to get sharded, but only if it is an offspec item ofcourse. The price would be something relative to DKP, 2 times the cost of DKP in gold for example... which scales pretty well with the variation of item and is never debateable.
    Now i would prefer that this money is shared among the people in the raid at that point but we need a simple way to handle it. We don't want 24 people to trade the buyer for their share of their gold, that would delay the raid way too much. It also might goof things up as quickly overview is lost who got their gold and who didn't.

    Now a while back i read an article about a guild that bids on items with gold instead of dkp, the example was a guy buying the Al'ar mount for a sick ammount of gold. This proofs to me that there are methods invented for this already, people already have a way to handle this.
    Do they have an addon which registers who is in the raid and sort things afterwards? Or once a month even?
    I can imagen there are easier ways to keep track of things then making screenshots, writing down the date (so you can find the correct screenshot) and gold ammount + the buyer.

    Any ideas?

    Monday, April 21

    Life at 70

    WOOOOOOOOOOOOOT!!! My little Horde Warlock has finally made it, i dinged 70 yesterday! (and is not so little anymore i guess)
    Life has changed for me now, no longer XP is the most valuable thing anymore... getting reputation, gold and gear is suddenly.
    Questing can be a tool to achieve those three, perhaps it doesn't feel so needed anymore but secretly it still has alot of benefits.
    But what other options do i have at this point? Options that didn't seem so important before?

    As i bought me a flying mount but still am quite a few k's short of an epic one, i need gold... lots of it, the legal way ofcourse.
    One of my keys to this is my bank/AH alt which sells all the crap i manage to gather aswell try to spot a good deal on the Auction House now and then.
    Other options are regular quests as at 70 those give a lot more gold aswell as a number of dailies which have opened up, mostly the Sunwell ones.

    I want to require at least Honored with a few factions, for the Heroic keys aswell for some of the new PvP kit which might make my time in BG's better bareable. So far i need just a little bit of Lower City (which can achieved grinding feathers or an instance run), Keepers of time (quite a few runs for that) and Sha'tar (some quests in Netherstorm and SMV aswell as instance runs). With Sha'tar i need to get revered as i want the headenchant of that faction, luckily while gaining reputation with Scryer (when turning in Signets) i will get some with Sha'tar aswell.

    Apart from a couple of good blue rewards from quests (need to look those up and do them selective together with those who give good rep) i have two other options to get better (epic) gear: PvP and Crafted gear.
    I'm a Tailor and i'm at level 358 now, in just 2 days i can craft me my first set-item; the shoulders as then i will have the remaining Shadowcloth. With 4days CD on making that cloth and 14+8 needed, me making 2 at a time results in me waiting for 44days before i get all the mats together.. ouch!
    I'll likely buy them off AH and put mine back for resale to get even. Still need to grind me a shitload of Primal Water aswell so i'll be quite busy for a while.

    The other way to get better gear is probably easier and faster; PvP. In just a week of play i can easily get myself a nice item, more if i want one of the more expensive weapons ofcourse. I'll start with regular PvP (first do just the daily till i got more time as the rep grind is mostly done) but perhaps i'll give the Arena a try, i've already had two invitations. Will need to try a SL/SL spec tho as that seems to be great in there.

    A 3rd option will be saved for later: Heroics. I think it's better to wait till i got better gear for that, i wouldn't like someone in mostly greens in my party either.. no matter just how well he/she plays his/her class. In meantime the Dailies might give me a couple as a nice headstart so i'll try to do at least those.

    The plan
    With that much to do and so little time, where do i start? At times as this i try to have sort of a plan at least.
    I want to do at least a couple of dailies every day, focusing on the Sunwell ones for possible badges.
    Tonight i'll start with grabbing the portal and so them all once, after that i'll be able to do the dailies near Kazzak aswell of which one can net me a badge.
    Once i've done that (and there is time left before tonights alt raid at the Alliance side) i'll grind some Arakkoa feathers for LC rep, hopefully able to cross one off my list.
    After that i'll go find me a good spot to grind me motes of mana as i need 10 in just 3 days to craft my shoulders, if i get them together sooner i'll buy some Shadowcloth but i don't expect to be that lucky.

    Plenty for me to do, i will need to expand my plan in a couple of days i guess.. adding more serious PvP, questing for rep and instance runs.
    I'm kind of hoping to set foot in Karazhan in a couple of weeks, even if it's with a pug. Let's see how well things will go.

    Friday, April 18


    I wake up about every morning with anticipation... 5 times a week i long for the weekend when at that point of day i can remain in bed, but often i alsoremind myself of what day it is and what is planned that evening.
    So i start out my day pondering how my virtual life will be, ignoring most of my real life.
    Let's do a small flash back and i'll share a week of early morning anticipation with you:

    Friday is a raidnight and with the weekend just behind it, it allows me to stay up late without paying the price next morning.
    The target was Black Temple which is one of the more interesting dungeons.
    Outcome: BT as expected, was a good raid with a chatterfilled Teamspeak.

    No raid tonight but a day like this often offers room for a nice instance run, perhaps finish Karazhan on one of my toons.
    Outcome: Last couple of Karazhan bosses killed (skipped some) and some minor alting

    No raid tonight for me (it's my non raid-day) so that leaves me some time to quest or grind during the day. Nothing highly anticipated but relaxed play without any obligations is nice aswell.
    Outcome: Did a few quests on my alt, did some dailies as i was down to 3g and ended up watching Star Trek: Enterprise.

    Non raidnight but perhaps we can do another Kara-run with whatever toons are not saved. If not i'll be able to play my lock.
    Outcome: We did an alt run to Gruul and Magtheridon, great fun playing the MT.

    Blacktemple again that night, Illidarian Council planned which is a total new boss for us. Wipeage guaranteed but looking forward to try this boss.
    Outcome: I got rotated out first and watched some more Enterprise, by the time a spot opened up i was half asleep so i decided to pass and hit the bed early.

    Non raidday again, Kara had reset so perhaps a run on my main as i still need more badges for my new Xbow.
    Outcome: Kara indeed, something wasn't quite balanced in our group for some reason so we skipped a couple of bosses on the way to Prince so only 12 badges this time. Still brought me a bit closer.

    Black Temple planned. I heared the night before that there weren't enough tanks so i was secretly hoping my alt could lend a hand being the best geared Tank alt. Prefered to be on my Hunter for the bosses as i was just 11 badges short.
    Outcome: Got a badge from a daily so needed just 5 bosses killed in BT, we ended up with 4 which was still nice. My warrior was able to tank the trash till the first boss and it was fun to take him for a short cruise in there.

    That was this morning.. with 2 badges left i plan to do some dailies and pray for 2 bages (4 quests which can possibly give one), otherwise i might try to get a quick heroic. After/before that i'll try to get my scope made so i can test it in BT later this evening.

    A lot of thinking spend on a game again, in my defense i look forward to my vacation in Tunis in 2 weeks aswell and even the available free time after that to get the garden in shape, the Roottrashers are running freely atm. Plenty of Wow-time left in my holiday aswell ofcourse.

    Thursday, April 17

    Big Ambition

    For who read yesterdays post about alts doing Gruul and Magtheridon.... a followup is about to be born.
    Apparently some people, including one often overenthousiastic officer, felt that the alts of our guild should be able to do SSC and TK soon on an off night. There has even been some talk with another raidguild to make this possible, that will make it easier to fill a 25man group with the correct classes.. tanks and healers seem to be a problem among alts aswell for example.

    I'm ready for it i'm sure... my alt wont find any upgrades in Karazhan anymore so he's ready for the next level. While i got plenty to learn without a doubt, i'm confident i am up for the new challenges. It helps that i've already seen all encounters and got a good idea what a tanks task is.
    Perhaps some resistance gear is needed tho, for Hydross if we decide to do that one... would be nice for completeness.

    But how about the others? We got a handfull of alts that have been in Karazhan like forever, those are ready for the biggest part aswell.. but plenty aint!
    I've grinded mats for my tanks gear aswell and had several crafted epics before i replaced thim in Kara, still have the tank gun for example which aint going to be replaced untill BT.. my gear is enchanted with the best enchants and all blue gems (no epics available to alts yet). The only thing i didn't go for was Mongoose enchant on my weapon, instead i went for +20 strength which helps threat and blockrating.. it's still an alt in the end.
    We got quite some alts with largely green and blue gear, alts who don't know how to play their class to their fullest, alts who's gear is poorly gemmed and enchanter or not at all. Not quite a SSC/TK ready group i'd say.

    It seems that the plan is to get some more alts geared up, someone even offered to help my tank get the needed resistance gear for SSC. At this moment the enthousiasm is carried by just a few people but if they can work out some sort of plan i'm sure it could spread.
    There are essential things which need to be covered before they present the idea to the masses ofcourse, stuff like how to handle loot, how to handle invites when working with two or more guilds, how to make sure people invest in their alt and how to keep them from swapping toons all of the time.

    When looking at it more closely it's actually quite a fun little project. Gather a bunch of experienced raiders, grab their best dressed alts and try to form a raidgroup and see how well it will perform. These people know how most events go but they don't know the small details.. i have in my mind how to best pull and misdirect stuff for example but i often don't know how the healers need to be assigned. Apart from that you don't learn how to play your alt in a raid by leveling it from 1 to 70 and a couple of 5mans.
    Still would this group have a better chance of clearing SSC/TK then a group of mains who just cleared Karazhan and set foot in there for the first time? Is the extra raid experience enough to compensate the lack of knowing your toon fully or even a gear gap? (i expect people are more likely to fully enchant, gem and theorycraft their mains then their toons)

    For now we are likely to continue Gruul and Magtheridon, let's see what the near future brings.

    Wednesday, April 16

    In a Tank's footsteps tracks

    With nothing to do Monday we decided to do Gruul's for old times sake... bring your alt, bring your friends and lets have fun!
    It took us awhile before we finally gathered up enough people out of our friendslists and guildmembers of friends of friends but we got a nice group in the end. Some had never been there and most never done the task they were assigned to this time, playing on different toons the normal.

    I was on my prot warrior as we needed a tank, otherwise i would have been tempted to come on the Hunter for the badges, but i experienced my first 25man raidboss since a loong time.... something different then tanking Karazhan. Eventhough the wipes at the start (pull on High King is tricky) i had great fun, to bad a few people we picked up didn't share the fun we had and weren't used to wiping i guess but we had fun either way and people were in a jolly mood in raidchat and on Teamspeak.
    Back to me; i was tanking the King himself and while it sounds very important it was nothing more then keeping up Shieldblock and Thunderclap and press the "Oh Shit"-buttons when needed, my faith was mostly in the healers hands.
    Besides that i had a couple of minutes to build threat before dps would attack the King himself so threat or rage was not an issue.
    When we came to Gruul it started to be more interesting though... everyone starts nuking this dude like crazy as his damage increases so after a while he just hits like mad which makes it basicly a dps race. Apart from keeping myself alive as best as possible (debuff him and keep shieldblock and CS up) i needed to generate enough threat to keep ahead of dps.
    Omen showed that i did pretty good as i had a nice headstart on dps and managed to maintain it (except for the triggerhappy feraltank who needed to stay 2nd on aggro for soaking the hatefull strikes but those bears need a serious nerf anyway :P ). The distance between us and the rest of the dps would allow me to go take a quick bio if needed, if only shieldblock would reapply automaticly.

    This was the first 25man boss which i tanked completely alone and Magtheridon was the second one shortly after... what i didn't expect was that i ran out of rage every now and then.
    I assumed they would hit hard enough to have a good supply all the time but i often managed to completely drain it while shortly after it would fill up after a big hit again. To use shieldblock i even had to pop Bloodrage a couple of times or hold back on skills to not go OOR again.
    Unexpected but at least it gave me something extra to pay attention to as the general fight is pretty static, just stand there and make sure you keep shouting stuff about his mother and how she screamed like the dirtly little ogre she is last night in bed.
    It was good to test my gear a bit more seriously for a change aswell.. with the buffs, food and Gruul flask i had about 18,5k health which was defo a new personal record. I also noticed quite a few parries and dodges so that reduced incomming damage aswell.

    I've had a taste of the big boys stuff now and i'm hungry for more, wouldn't mind trying more mobile fights. I had my chance on Al'ar (TK) and Leo (SSC) aswell but i played just a small part in the bigger show there, not getting much chance to test threatgeneration.
    Must be the dream of anyone with a serious alt, to try it out where your main has gone before.... boldy or not.
    Too bad i didn't test my threat cycle macro's and still did it manually, perhaps next time.

    Monday, April 14

    Pugging a raid

    Sunday afternoon i was about to log as there wasn't much to do, or at least i didn't fell like doing it, when i saw someone spamming in trade: Looking for Offtank and Holy Pala for Karazhan (T5-T6) for speedrun.
    I decided to give it a shot and offer my warrior's help which has T4+ gear as i look at it, not exact what they requested but too be honest that was a bit absurd. Without much questioning i got the job so i relogged and entered the raid.

    Once i got to Deadwind pass i noticed not everyone wasn't geared in T5-T6 at all... most were decked in epics tho but mostly T4 and perhaps some T5 equilevant but others still had their share of blues. The maintank wasn't better geared then me either with a bit less stamina and quite likely less armor aswell when i inspected him. His avoidance seemed to be lower aswell as he had a few lower level items then me, even a blue still.
    I'd be the first to admit that gear isn't everything, skill can often compensate for a bit lacking gear.. besides he was in before me, would probably be tricky to make me MT as i got in last.

    It proved to be an interesting run anyway, people's tactics were a bit different for starters. Also when we (my guild) do Karazhan, being an Offtank is a quite boring job... there are only a few bosses where you need a second tank and just a few trashpulls aswell.
    In this case i got plenty to do, people ninjapulling extra mobs or Hunters sending their pets to attack out of range groups (i'm expecting quite a few alts were along) or even the MT not generating enough threat so i took over the mob or even boss. Just a handfull of people used a threatmeter anyway and the MT wasn't one of them, how are we supposed to know we are about to overaggro him? Or in fact, how does he know he's generating enough threat?
    When i tank i rarely look at the meters aswell, i just go full out threat and that's enough 99% of the time.. things only go wrong when i don't have rage and people start nuking a mob before i hit it ór my first attack gets parried or dodged. (but still have Taunt as a backup plan then, for those mobs which aren't immune)

    Moroes was quite interesting aswell. The plan was to kill the Priest, a Warrior (i had to OT it), a Paladin (got feared) and then the Boss. After that we would kill the last Paladin (got shackled). With 2 Hunters along i'd rather see something trapped then feared myself, but it was their run.
    So how did this theory translate into battle? I ended up tanking the priest and the warrior at start and quickly picked up the paladin after it got feared. In meantime i tried to build threat on the boss aswell so i could stay 2nd on his aggrolist so he wouldn't go after a healer or dps if he disorientated the MT.
    I taunted the Paladin which was supposed to be shackled of a healer as it didn't get reshackled much and we ended up killing that one aswell, saving the boss for last.
    It's save to say that the healers did an excellent job keeping me up with me tanking that many mobs while needed top up the MT aswell as people who had the Bleed debuff.

    While they claimed it was a speedrun, it wasn't very fast imho... lots of waiting for who knows what and quite some people AFK'ing. Once we killed the Opera boss and made our way to the backdoor, the mage stepped out as he simply ran out of time and expected to have gotten further into Karazhan by now. We got some replacements, the MT dropped out aswell so i was the new MT, getting an extra dps in.
    As it was almost 17h already i told them i would be off in about an hour or so aswell so best to start looking for a tank in meantime.
    We decided to do Nightbane first and a couple of people were able to summon him it seemed but then the AFK'ing started again....
    17h30 we finally got most of our people back except the one of the replacements who had something RL come up and had to go afterall for which he got thanked quite explicit, it took a while but the true face of a pug was finally showing.
    Shortly after we found out no one could summon Nightbane afterall, eventho i scrolled back up and saw people say "i can summon NB". So the next target was Curator.... with still a replacement to be found for the 10th person (which was the 4th hunter in the group btw) i didn't expect it to make it in 30mins so i let them know and departed aswell.
    I thanked them for the run sofar and while no one returned the gesture i didn't get blaimed for leaving either, then again i announced it an hour early.

    Besides some repaircosts i still got myself seven Badges and a refreshed appreciation of my guildmates... even when doing Kara with mostly alts in blue gear we tend to go faster ánd have more fun. Don't get me wrong though.. i've had worse runs in the past but i guess i'm just spoiled ;)

    Friday, April 11

    Future mainchange

    It won't be long before we see the next expansion.. well, it's still quite a while off but i'm sure i can keep myself entertained untill then. Anyway, the race to 80 restarts once again and playingfields will be leveled. Most epic gear will be outdated by the time you reach that new cap and this is a time of chances and possible changes.

    You can't get into a raidgroup because you're to far behind? At 80 everyone will be in greens (perhaps some blues) and gear won't be a determining factor.. no your skill and determination will be, spare time will help aswell. Either way that is your chance as things will change alot.
    If it will be anything like when TBC hit us many guilds will need new raiders (as not everyone is willing to continue with the same pace) and new raidguilds will be formed. Pick your guild wisely and you might be cruising the mainstream like others are now

    But perhaps you are already in a nice guild but you have a problem with your current class. Changing to an alt might not be possible if you are playing an "essential" class and/or your new main's class is already overcrowded. Apart from that there might be a gear gap, if your current main walks around in T4 or better and your potential new main doesn't it's not very likely you will once again get that raidspot. The better the gear of the mains in your guild, the harder it is to get an alt up to par which is likely needed to be able to mainswitch.
    Again the new expansion will level the playfield. Once you have installed WotLK you can choose your new main from any of the toons on your characterscreen and never look back.... well, it would be nice if you chose a class that is actually needed... we don't need 10 Deathknights do we?

    Like always there is a big BUT. You have played your current main for a couple of years now which makes sense you get a bit tired of it at times. That alt however is super-duper fun, but you haven't played it quite as many hours as your main have you? What if you mainswitch and find out at level 80 that this one gets boring aswell? It might be too late to turn back and quickly level your old main to 70 then, you might have screwed yourself over my friend.
    Besides... who knows what the new expansion would have brought your old class.. Perhaps it got nice and cool new skills, giving the way you need to play it a whole fresh look.

    I got 3 level 70 characters and before WotLK hits us i will have at least a 4th, a 5th would be not a problem either (got 2 at level 66) and perhaps i'll even manage to do a 6th if i get realy bored.
    If i want to stay in my current guild (which is very likely) i can choose between my Hunter, my Warrior and my Shaman for now.
    I know how to play my Hunter quite well so i would have no problem getting a raidspot on him...
    My warrior is protection and with my fingerquickness and good battlefield overview i make a quite able tank i've been told...
    The Shaman in Enhancement, while her gear aint brilliant yet i do like play it as it is a very versatile class with the ability to adapt when things go wrong and turn the tide...
    Truth is i like the tank alot, but i have limited playhours on it compared to my Hunter. Will i still like it when i play on it every raidnight?
    Apart from then soloplay will be a bitch on a prot warrior unless Blizzard finally comes up with something for this, not just leveling will be a bitch but so will grinding for stuff be.
    The Shaman would be a more valid alternative, can solo quite good and i can always choose to go healing altho i doubt that's something for me.

    Once again you know what my brain has to go through... even that many months before the expansion actually hits us. *takes another asperine*

    Wednesday, April 9

    Recipy for one stupid boss

    Let's try to figure out the main ingredients for a later to be named boss. Those who have done hime before might get which cake i try to bake:

    We start out with a regular tank+spank boss, kind of like in the old days. No adds, just one boss... so every other tank then the main tank is useless eventho you needed a handfull of them on the trash in most of the instance. So thank you for the help tanks but you are being replaced with dps/healers.

    Next is one spoon of randomness, let's throw someone random high up in the air aswell as everyone directly near it giving them a good chance to splatter on the floor, against a tree ór an invisible wall. When dealing with the floor the correct timing of using a certain supplied item will save your sorry little ass.

    Whats next? A right, one ounce of fear... what's a real boss without fearing the entire raid every now and then right?

    As the area the boss is in this last ingredient might not add much flavour so let's add some irradic snake-like fires which follows random people.
    Getting hit with it will really cook your bum unless you get healed for quite a while, the dot is not debuffeable ofcourse.

    Okay what else can we add... some icing on the cake? Sprinkle some random curses on random people which will quickly kill them when not removed.
    That should add an interesting bite for the dispellers now and then.

    Sounds like something that has been cooked up before, we need one last ingredient for this. Something that will really makes this special, like stuffing a chocolatecake with Wasabi...
    Ofcourse, thats it! Above ingredients will surely result in a death now and then due to bad luck or carelessnes... let's make each death count!
    If a player gets killed the whole raid will suffer for it and gets a debuff or takes damage, what depending on what class is killed.
    That will get someone else killed in 80% of the cases with a good chance on a domino effect.

    So what have we managed to create in our little kitchen of death? One of the most unforgiving boss encounters i've seen so far without much room for bad luck, careless players or those with slower reflexes. We shall call it: Choco-Wasabi Pie of Random Destruction! If any event gives the Raidleader a good reason to shout "MINUS 50DKP!", this would be it.

    Thank you for attending today's cooking class, please hand over your aprons at the door and make sure to repair at the blacksmith just outside.
    I hope you all master this recipy soon but take care, even after a succes it's still very likely to explode inside your oven a couple of times before you succeed again.

    Tuesday, April 8

    Tanking made easy(er)

    For protection warriors out there, soz bears and pala's but i understand threat generation for you is pretty good already anyway.
    I've been tanking this week on my alt again for a change and this weekend i got an idea suddenly, while in bed ofcourse as there is where most good things are created.

    As you might know some skills provide better threat then others, others are more rage efficient and others you mostly use when you have plenty of rage to spare. This gives a certain order of skills to use as you will have to deal with cooldowns, which results in a threatrotation or threatcycle.
    The best skill is Shield Slam which gives the best threat, then Revenge which has the best threat/rage ratio and then Devastate, again rage wise.
    As Shield Slam is the best you want to use that every time it's up which is every 6 seconds. This results in the next threat cycle:
    Shield Slam, Revenge, Devastate, Devaste > repeat

    In the past i experimented with a macro for this: /castsequence reset=6 Shield Slam, Revenge, Devastate, Devastate
    However, such a macro is easily messing up your threat if there is some delay in your cycle due to using other skills in between or simply lag.
    So what did i come up with?

      /castrandom Shield Slam, Revenge, Devastate(Rank 3)
    This macro uses whatever skill is up, starting from the left. The beauty is that you can start with this macro at any moment you want, do anything in between and still use the best available skill without having to worry about cooldowns or checking if you have enough rage.
    But there is more...
      /castrandom Shield Slam, Revenge, Devastate(Rank 3)
      /cast Shield Block
    Just spam this baby and it will use Shield Block when it's up aswell, this makes tanking a boss (you only need Shield Block on mobs that can do crushing blows) almost a 1 button experience. Ofcourse you can use other skills like Thunderclap, Commanding Shout and perhaps even Disarm aswell. When you go excessive rage you can manually use Heroic Strike for extra threat.. or use the following macro for that:

      /castrandom Shield Slam, Revenge, Devastate(Rank 3)
      /cast Shield Block
      /cast !Heroic Strike(Rank 10)
    Does the same as the previous macro but uses Heroic Strike aswell. If you get low on rage simply switch back to the previous macro without any threatcycle mess ups.

    In the end i still would advise to keep all the original skills on your taskbar within reach, when tanking multiple mobs you might want do things a bit different for example. I myself often pull the 2nd target first and quickly devastate him before Shield Bashing the target which is going to dps'd down. This gives me a nice headstart and with a 2nd mob on you will be able to quickly get some decent aggro before switching to that 2nd target again. (taunt is for emergencies, not for grabbing a target on the pull)
    Doing it manual might also be more fun (or less boring anyway) but for less fingerquick tanks (or when you have a bad night) this macro should do pretty good.
    Truth told i haven't been able to test in a raid yet but when testing it outside i easily got over 800TPS with shield block and without even using HS.
    When using HS i got results over 1100TPS and i'm just decked in Kara gear but i couldn't keep the cycle for long as i got serious rage shortage.

    I'm hoping i can let you know just how good it works soon or let me know if you've had a change for it aswell.

    Monday, April 7

    Sweet Revenge

    I was happily questing with my Belf in Terrokar forrest, thinning the local population of Spiders when suddenly red names flashes all around me. While just a minute ago i was there surrounded by mostly Horde players, suddenly the balance had shifted with the arrival of Alliance players. The first two players passed me and so did a few others, but after a minute or two i was suddenly approuched by a Shaman... i guess i was low enough on health and mana to his taste, that's when i normally get attacked by players of around equall level anyway. He attacked first and i quickly feared him and started dotting up, i had to lifetap (convert health to mana) as i couldn't cast anything anymore aswell and when his buddy added there was little hope for me left.
    I died while the Shaman had less then 5% left. As i had myself soulstoned, i selfrezzed and finished him off. The Hunter ended (as expected) my short revenge.

    As usuall i was pissed, angry and frustrated as i seem to only get attacked when they are of higher level or with 2 or more... I've seen alot of honorless players lately it seems. I rezzed after a corpserun just a few meters from the shaman and the hunter, while on half health i didn't expect to be able to do much i decided to annoy them anyway... dotted and feared the hunter as i didn't feel i had my revenge on him yet. It was not much more then a minor delay to them.

    I rezzed once more, patched myself up and finished my quest. When i went back to the quest npc i saw the dynamic duo stand there aswell so i took my distance. After they were gone i handed my quest in and got the follow-up Terokkarantula which i had done on my Alliance toons before... i needed to kill a big level Elite, not something i could do alone.
    But... certain other people might try this with two! *Evil grin*
    Quickly i rode to where this elite was and there were my two friends again, ready to attack. Ow i was giggling like a little girl, the sweet taste of revenge.. i would be mine, all MINE!! MwoehaHA... ah crap, they've seen me.
    They came running my way so i rode away, keeping a save distance between them and my own little precious self.
    This back and forth game went on till they decided to take on the elite anyway, i have no idea what they were thinking.. perhaps they thought i was too scared to attack? Or simply waiting my turn to kill the elite?

    Once they opened the attack i ran in, as the Hunter had Bestial Wrath (immune to fear) i started dotting and fearing the Shaman. The Hunter moved his attention on me but couldn't get me down fast enough. While the big elite spider was happily munching on the shaman and the dots nicely ticking away i ran to the hunter and feared both him and his pet, then shared some more dots with him aswell.
    I refreshed the dots on the shaman just before they finally managed to kill me while but not before i could let slip some evil giggles to let them know i had my revenge.
    While lieing on the ground i watched how the spider finished the shaman off. Score! The Hunter was very low on health and ran off, the spider was faster though... splat! Hahaha

    Eventho i died aswell (as expected) i managed to get their quest to fail aswell as hand them some durability loss. My revenge was complete!
    But there was a lesson to be learned aswell, if they wouldn't have attacked me in the first place i wouldn't bothered them while killing that spider. Actually i might have even pitched in, i guess i'm a very open minded guy ingame aswell ;-)
    I wonder if they realised this themselves aswell, when i met them at the Sha'tar camp later (wíth guards) the Shaman was making some "strange gestures" in my direction so i expect not... i guess they will get burned more often then.

    Friday, April 4

    Taking matters into our own hands

    Read yesterday's story? For those who didn't, now's your chance.....
    Anyway, after our bank cleared out we put our hopes in the hands of the gamemasters but some people had a bit more time on their hands luckily.

    First a set of crafted Epic Leggings was spotted on the Auction House, it was the only one and since it was frost resistance gear it was not very likely somebody would actually grind the mats and craft it for profit. One of the officers bought it and i showed "crafted by Guilies-name". Yep, this was our pants allright!
    Now we knew the name of one of the AH toons this guy had at least. After that people started following that toon around in stealth while it did it's business in Stormwind, after a while a list of other toons was created as the guy traded others (targeting each other) and running back and forth between mail, AH and bank and relogging to other toons.. targetting someone of the freshly formed list. I wasn't part of this but one of the people who devoted his time to this told me he actually felt like a spy and got a sort of kick out of this.

    After this the story becomes a bit vague.. either a GM contacted this toon aswell but two members also confronted him, threatening him with reporting and accountloss. Long story short: it worked!
    It seemed it was a 14 year old kid who thought he was smart but he didn't realise the concequences, neither for others nor for himself. Suddenly the most important thing for him was to give us as much stuff back as still possible as some already had been sold, he was unbelieveable scared to get his account banned.
    When i came online after work one of our members was already taking the stuff out of his hands and put as much as possible in the guildbank. I was the first officer online so i started helping with that so stuff could be dropped in the "officer-only" tab aswell.
    To withness the stuff being transfered i got invited into the party with the scammer and that guildy which was quite weird, i was still quite pissed but i didn't want to start cursing at him as getting the stuff back was the most important thing at that point.
    While time passed i actually began to develop a sort of symphaty for this guy, call it a case of Stockholm Syndrom perhaps. He was really scared and seemed to be quite sorry, even if it was because of his own situation. He was very polite and tried to be as helpfull as possible, even offering to grind for missing materials.
    He requested a guildinvite on lowest level so he could appologize to our members and was willing to answer any question any of our members would have, instead of an invite i passed the message to our members... the chance the ammount of verbal abuse would make him slice his wrists seemed quite large.
    Still think he should have his account locked but at least i can refrain from yelling at him as he tried his best to cooperate, for what it was worth.

    The next two and a half hours i was checking lists i had made of the missing stuff, trying to check what was still missing. We did lose some stuff but he also gave us an ammount of gold to cover for that which might be about right. What we also did get was a shitload of other stuff that wasn't ours but from two other guilds he managed to scam.. we asked him to give everything to us so we could sort it with them, rather then leaving it in his hands.
    Besides he had little clue of what he got out of which bank by then, apart from that the biggest heist was at ours.
    The other guilds are going to send us lists to see what exactly they are missing and what we have received that can be theirs... likely some of their stuff has been sold or used aswell (some patterns learned and some gear equipped) but perhaps a GM can assist with the remaining missing stuff.

    Most importantly we got our Hearts of Darkness back which we need for the next boss in the Black Temple so progress hasn't been delayed too much luckily. I feel like this is a happy ending, knowing the guy feels real bad and is scared as hell... not benefitting from our stuff but being in more trouble then before. Getting the stuff back from a GM while knowing someone out there is living in wealth didn't seem to be the right conclusion of this adventure.
    I'm just happy i can leave (most of) the frustration and anger behind me now.

    Thursday, April 3

    Been Robbed :(

    Our bank has been cleared out yesterday by someone... everything except for our gold (just 1k as it was limited) has been cleared out. As we are a raidingguild it was LOADED; Epic gems, Epic Patterns, Potions, Marks of Illidari, Void Crystals, Soul Essence, Hearts of Darkness, even loads of old world stuff like Fiery Cores.
    If someone would be able to sell all this they would never ever need to grind anymore.. just the Hearts alone are worth well over 20.000gold! The worst thing is we were making Shadow Resistance gear for our members so we could progress further into the Black Temple, with out the Hearts of Darkness we can't get our members geared up for that so we will need to grind them again.. setting us back numerous weeks. :'(

    We quickly figured out how it was done and with all the tools Blizzard has provided this person it was quite easy to do. Sure there was some risk of getting caught but as all it requires is a level 1 toon the only risk is that you won't get past the security.
    I'll tell you how it has been done so hopefully you can warn your guild for this.
    The robber checked our Wow Armory to get the names of our officers, after that he waited for when it was quiet and created a level 1 toon called officer-bank where "officer" was the name of one of the officers not online. He then whispered one of the other officers to get an invite and would probably be promoted to some officer-alt status which often has bank access aswell.
    The officer who spoke to him after inviting and promoting him said he reacted quite in a way that guy should have so he didn't notice anything strange, but then again he wasn't expecting something like that either.... chances are any of the officers would have done the same.
    Afterwards we heard that they tried several guilds, often using the name of an officer who was online on an alt so the trick didn't work. At least one other guild on our server has been robbed this way aswell, or so i've heared.

    Tickets have been made and Gamemasters are looking into it, let's hope they can help us. Luckily i recently installed the addon Bankitems which also keeps track of Guildbank inventory. As i didn't go check it out once an other officer reported the robbery it still contains the list of the night before.
    I've recorded the contents in a movie using fraps, mousing over on each of the items as on screenshots you can't see each itemname. Later i found out i can also export a complete list so i have every item summed up in a nice overview with correct numbers and filenames. This list should match Blizzards records so if they are able to confirm we have been robbed and are not trying to pull of some scam ourselves, we got a good change of getting (some of) our stuff back.

    I myself was totaly frustrated with all this, had the feeling i got hacked all over again.. i was depressed, confused and soooo angry! If i would get my hands on that @#@^%# who did this to us, i can only wish he did a happy dance when he pulled it off and then tripped over his powercable resulting in his PC to short-circuit, catch a violent fire which quickly spread so that he only just made it out alive but heavily mutilated and everything lost! This guy has stolen of more then 50 people and deserves something horrible imo, sure he ain't no rapist but let me tell you i feel violated.
    The Karazhan run i was on ended at Nightbane as we had loads of AFK's due to this and unfocussed people (like the MT, me), i'm quite sure some of the mage's deaths could be blamed on me as i was doing more then one thing at a time. At the end of the night i had the feeling i didn't had time get some fun and relaxation that night and went to bed teethgrinding, the first thing i thought when i woke up was: FUCK YOU ASSHOLE!
    Getting our stuff back just doesn't seem enough, i want this robber to get something to explode in his face... at least his account so he can't benefit of the succes of his sceme but rather more.

    We've reduced the number of items an Officer can take out of the bank to 10 and have restricted rights for officeralts. Also we won't promote officer alts after we invite them but leave that to the officer himself to promote his own alt íf needed. More stuff might be thought up to prevent this to happen ever again but perhaps it's too late for that already.
    Please take actions for your own guild while it's not too late.

    Wednesday, April 2

    Am i a jerk for thinking that?

    This was actually something i was thinking before but a post at Wow Ladies (hey i can still read it even tho i'm no girl!) refreshened my memory on it.
    As you might know since last patch (2.4) you no longer need an attunement to get into the Black Temple or even Mount Hyjal. To get this attunement pre-2.4 you needed to kill both Kael'thas (in Tempest Keep) ánd Lady Vashj (in SSC), two tricky bosses for most guilds anyway.

    Most people think you are rewarded for killing these bosses with a couple of loot piñata's as the first couple of bosses in MH and BT are sooo easy, at least compared to Vashj and Kael. (who might be just a bit too hard compared to others) So what happens? Loads of guilds get their attunement for free and now get to farm EZ epics... or at least that's how many people look at it, and with many people i mostly mean those who earned their place in MH and BT.
    I myself was a bit torn, as an officer i was happy we didn't need to backtrack and kill those bosses just for a stupid questitem for 1 or 2 members or new recruits. On the other hand i felt less elite all of the sudden, sure MH and BT gets harder after a while aswell and those guilds who don't/didn't manage to kil Kael and Vashj will have a very hard time to progress again when they hit those bosses, but still they get to see where we worked hard for... with little effort. Perhaps we will soon be seeing LF24M BT in General chat aswell.

    The writer at Wowladies was viewing things from the opposite direction; she was with her guild in BT for the very first time and was having a blast.
    Other raidguilds gave them abuse in general chat tho for being there undeserved, while i wouldn't say it at loud and i certainly not agree with them venting their frustration on the changed attunement to other players, i do somewhat see their point.

    But those players payed for this game aswell, so what Blizzard gave them a freebee?.... as long as they enjoy themselves right? I got turned off general chat in raidinstances anyway as there as plenty of idots spamming it anyway, not just of the "unattuned", so they are not bothering me.
    Perhaps it's even better for "us raidguilds" if other guilds partially close the gap, this will make it alot easier to recruit good people for your guild without trying to steal them away from other raidguilds. (we've never done that but others on our server have certainly tried to recruit some of ours, luckily we're not just here for the progress but form a group of friends aswell.. people are selected on both skill ás compatibility)
    In the same way i'm glad they removed the need for the Kara key as i'm about to hit 70 on my 4th character and i wasn't looking forward to getting that key àgain.
    Yeah.. i think i can now say i don't mind this change, cheap fun for everyone!

    Tuesday, April 1

    No Prank here

    For who has been checking out the regular Wow news sites has encountered a number of April Fools pranks already. Wowinsider itsself was a bit late but have announced they are going to HKOinsider covering Hello Kitty Online from now on.

    Blizzard had a number of pranks, not only did they announce a console spinoff from Wow, they also let us know that there will be Tauren Marines in Starcraft 2 and that there will be another Hero class in WotlK, the Bard. All of them have been very nicely done, not at all convincing but very entertaining and containing several winks.

    Wowhead made me blink for a second aswell as they changed their entry page to look like Thottbot.
    But the most convincing joke so far has to be the one on Wow interface where they have posted a real roll hax addon, even all the comments didn't spoil the surprise. I was getting frustrated for a while thinking what assholes would abuse this and would ninja all loot... only after an half an hour or so i realised suddenly that it was the 1st of April. The comments on mmo-champion revealed the truth, luckily.

    So as promised no prank here altho i was thinking if i should stop writing this blog (or at least reduce the number of posts) and was intending to make that a post any time soon. There are just loads and loads of wow themed blogs out there with a nice selection of more creative bloggers if i may say so, not sure if i'm adding to this or actually polluting the internet.
    But then again, who would believe me if i would put up something like this on April first right?