Wednesday, 16 December 2009

The WoW Year in Review

A bit belated after being tagged by Jaedia but I got round to it in the end! Not a big fan of these questionaire type things but I figure what the hell.

What did you do in the World of Warcraft in 2009 that you’d never done before?

I played Wrath of the Lich King when it first came out in November 08, but I never had the attention span to reach 80 at the time. This year I've gotten a priest, druid and warrior up to 80, and if I'm lucky, my 70s paladin and hunter will get there soonish too.

What was your favorite new place that you visited?

Ulduar was definitely an amazing instance to come from Blizzard, although thankfully I never had to wait the godawful amount of months for it. They really outdid themselves on the whole Titan Vault theme that Uldaman started. I also love the fights and how the hard modes required you to actively do something to trigger them - I don't like how they made it a UI trigger for ICC.

What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?

I'd like to develop a niche and direction to take Lucky Lurky towards. It initially was to become an economic blog but I soon got bored of making gold and steered it towards shadow priests. It still remains a shadow priest blog but I'd like to focus more and have things such as level guides, etc. Basically add more things outside of my current raiding orientated spectrum.

Don't really have major goals ingame, I'd like to get achievements, reputations and such but I don't particularly have the patience to do them all.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Managing to get Crusader I think, because no way can I be motivated to do dailies constantly like that anymore. Especially that annoying one which makes you ride across the length and breadth of Northrend. Also getting Chef's Hat meaning I could stop doing the cooking one too although it wasn't as much as a pain in the ass to do. I also got Salty this year, but drawback is that it has kinda burnt me out on fishing altogether.

What was your biggest failure?

Not being able to separate my detachment from my warrior. It was an older character than my priest and had been through all the old Vanilla content, and when I reached 70 with my Horde hunter I decided to put him in stasis and level my warrior. The result is with my OCD for completion I do all the seasonal achievements for my priest and then my warrior after, although I do get to see both factions point of view in the process.

What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Blizzcon was amazing and well worth the wait. Even with all the good stuff being leaked the few days before the event it still didn't beat seeing the things live. It was still great to be able to watch the panels live on internet stream, you really got a pretty good sense of the atmosphere. Blizzcon also did wonders showing the devs as human beings who just loved their work, and all the presentations were cool to watch.

And patch 3.3 really changed the game for the better, that was a bit of a wait after seeing the wonders of the new dungeons and stuff during the PTR.

What do you wish you’d done less of?

Been less indecisive over my gearing. So many pointless gems and enchants gone into things I barely used, but I guess Blizzard's itemisation has some fault for designing so many similar gear as well. We've been raiding with other casters recently so maybe I won't get the chance to hog all the loot during ICC!

What was your favorite WoW blog or podcast?

I don't really have favourites but there are some that deserve a mention. Greedy Goblin kinda inspired me to blog and it's pretty fresh to see him take his blog to a different direction, into underdogging instances. I like it! Dusk Noir keeps up with shadowpriest changes and offers insightful analysis into any new changes, don't really know of other priest blogs that offer that kind of outlook so it's unique in that area.

Tell us a valuable WoW lesson you learned in 2009.

If you want something done right, do it yourself. That's why I rolled a class that could tank, and a class that could heal.

Friday, 11 December 2009

The Case for Cheaper Dual Specialisation

The new Dungeon Finder was as amazing as it was when I joined on the PTR, and the community as a whole has embraced the idea and there isn't a negative word to be heard anywhere. But where can we advance from this? If we're removing the stigma of finding groups, we can also remove stigmas that still affect the game, such as finding tanks and healers.

I start with dual specialisation; currently available at lvl 40 for 1000g. It's a goldsink for a game that lacks decent end game goldsinks, but with DF embracing the idea of alts levelling through dungeons we should offer more people to dual spec into hybrids. After all, the game lets you join groups as hybrid, so why do we still limit people into choosing to perform as tank/healer at their best at the cost of their soloing capability?

I realise it's not mandatory to be specced as such for low level classes of course, but in such cases it usually requires them to be knowledgable about the game to perform a job not tailored to their spec. At the very least it will prepare people to learn the spec early on so that by endgame we will see more confident tank and healers.

Patch 3.1 debuted dual specs, and it is so prevalent these days at endgame, it's strange that Blizzard hasn't introduced changes so more people can have it. 3.2 introduced cheap mounts - epic land mount and training for 60g, a drop in the water compared to the 1000g of vanilla. So these discounts aren't innovative nor game breaking. But it will encourage people to use it, and a game with hybrids being truly hybrid - even during levelling - is one we can all enjoy.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

3.3 Shadow Priest Glyphs

Amongst many other delightful shadow priest changes coming with 3.3, we now have a slightly more varied glyph selection to choose from. Here are the 3.3 changes concerning shadow priest glyphs:

Glyph of Mind Flay
Old Effect: Increases the range of your Mind Flay spell by 10 yards.
New Effect: Increases the damage done by your Mind Flay spell by 10% when your target is afflicted with Shadow Word: Pain.

Glyph of Shadow
Old Effect: While in Shadowform, your non-periodic spell critical strikes increase your spell power by 10% of your Spirit for 10 sec.
New Effect: While in Shadowform, your non-periodic spell critical strikes increase your spell power by 30% of your Spirit for 10 sec.

Glyph of Shadow Word: Pain
Old Effect: Increases the damage done by your Mind Flay spell by 10% when your target is afflicted with Shadow Word: Pain.
New Effect: The periodic damage ticks of your Shadow Word: Pain spell restore 1% of your base mana.

Glyph of Mind Flay and Glyph of Shadow remain the mandatory glyphs for a raiding priest. Glyph of Shadow Word: Pain is optional now, and if you don't want to spend gold changing it around then there isn't a massive reason for doing so. Just remember that Haste not affecting Shadow Word: Pain means there is no scaling, just base mana over base tick. I will be swapping it for Glyph of Dispersion. The attractiveness of a 1 minute 15 second cooldown on greater mana regen and damage reduction appeals to me, despite the con of a 6 second silence. Just make sure you have this macro for the last one:

#showtooltip Dispersion
/cancelaura Dispersion
/cast Dispersion

So you can double tap Dispersion to control over how much mana you want to regen. or just to quickly get out of roots when you're too lazy to fade..

Lastly there is Glyph of Shadow Word: Death - Very situational, but it is the only other glyph option that directly boosts damage. I already seldom use SW:D as it is, so it wouldn't be worth my while glyphing this for now, but if the results are significant then I could see this moving up to a mandatory spot. But for now I'll worry about not being gibbed in Icecrown with my Dispersion glyph!

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Oh so close..

The news sites have given their predictions - it's coming!

For those of us who have followed patch 3.3's development, we know all to well about the upcoming release of the Icecrown Citadel dungeons and raids that will come with it. You will also have heard of the Dungeon Finder and will know that it'll be an absolute godsend those of us levelling alts or trying to gear up for raiding. However there is a change that hasn't been quite touched on as much, but still is pretty important. Reputation!

For the reputations that deal with flying mounts and the head and shoulder enchants are all being "sped up by roughly 30%". Along with that, you can now trade in Emblems of Triumph for the 250 rep Commendation Badges - This comes as a result of the removal of the daily dungeons quests. As if that weren't enough, these enchants are now Bind-on-Account. It seems Blizzard is really pulling out all the stops so that people have no excuse to not be prepared for raiding with fully enchanted gear.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

PTR 3.3: Reflectin' on the Halls of Reflection [Spoilers]

Halls of Reflection is finally out! It has been delayed on the PTR for weeks now, and only just came out during Thursday's early morning update. I went on shortly afterwards and used the Dungeon Finder tool to join for Pit of Saron, and happened to join for Heroic. Some of us were first timers and we wiped a few times, but eventually made it. At the end an event occurs and you follow Jaina (or Sylvanas if you're Horde) through a portal to Halls of Reflection. Here comes the nitty gritty of the dungeon experience, and how to handle it as a holy priest - spoilers abound!

You step into the instance, into a corridor looking directly at Frostmourne. If your group happens to have the Quel'dalar quest, then the blade with have a reaction to Frostmourne and will attack the group. Once it's been subdued, Uther appears and tells you to take it to the Sunwell. Otherwise, the instance starts with Jaina/Sylvanas attempting to communicate with the blade, which causes Uther to appear as an apparition and starts a minor cutscene that lasts several minutes. At the end the Lich King appears and takes his blade back, summoning his two commanders, Falric and Marwyn, as the first encounter of the instance.

There are ten wave of adds during the fight, and they can end up very nasty. In addition to the traditional Priest (Fear and SW:P dispels!) and Warrior adds, you also get Mages who can single target frost nova and multiply themselves, Rogues which do stacking poison damage and Hunters who will set Frost Traps, slowing down the tank and making his job harder than it is already. They spawn around the Frostmourne chamber, so the party should probably fight in the corridors which are easy to line-of-sight the ranged. The adds are shackable.

I found it pretty challenging to heal the trash waves since our tank was inexperienced and the whole party seemed to be taking a large chunk of damage at times as well. There was also little time to recover inbetween, with adds spawning as soon as the last of the prior was finished. Blizzard seems to be wanting more CC rather than 'WotLKing' (AoE zerging) the new heroics. I suspect priests and paladin groups will be popular for this encounter, Shackle Undead, Turn Evil and Holy Wrath will all be extremely useful to control the trash. We wiped a few times, once on the boss itself. The trash waves only stop after the boss dies, so if you wipe on the boss, be prepared to do those five waves all over again!

Falric will fight as soon as the last of the fifth wave is down, and Marwyn after the tenth. Falric was pretty easy, with only the tough part being Defiling Horror, which did damage during an undispellable fear (Every Man for Himself worked). You get a short break after killing him before the sixth wave appears. Marwyn randomly gives a party member a debuff which does 40,000 damage over time unless dispelled. Dispelling it splits the damage amongst the party, so group heals should be prepared.

After that you fight a lone Frostsworn General who isn't tough to take down, he also has reflections of your party to help him. I assume they are CCable but they all went down easily so it wasn't worth bothering to check. Then its up the ramp to see a low hp Jaina/Sylvanas battling the almost untouched Lich King. He is then disabled and you speak to the heroine to start a chase sequence.

During the chase sequence, the Lich King brings down walls of ice to temporarily stall the party, summoning waves of ghouls, Ymirjar Witch Doctors and Abominations. Abominations were immune to shackles, so should probably be brought down first, whereas Shackle Undead could be used to stall the Witch Doctor's AoE casts. You have to break through around four ice walls with one wave of undead each time, although their numbers steadily ramp up. The Lich King during this sequence will slowly approach the party, with an aura that does damage over time, and if in range, he will oneshot you! In my experience, when he reached the wall he killed only killed one person in my party, but I suspect it was a bug and you are supposed to wipe.

Once the last wall breaks you reach a dead end and the Lich King strangulating the last breaths of your faction's heroine... only to find your factions airship arrive in the nick of time, blasting away at the rock tunnels and trapping the Lich King. The rocks quickly disappear with the Lich King nowhere to be found, and you ascend the steps to the airship and find the loot in a chest at the end.

Overall it's a short and fun event filled instance, similar to ones such as those in Caverns of Time, notably Old Hillsbrad. But it doesn't really give total closure for people who don't raid, since you never really do anything to Lich King other than run away. Unfortunately it seems to get your real chance for retribution at Arthas, you will have to do one of Icecrown Citadel raids. The three 5-man instances altogether have been a great treat though, the music and speeches provide a great atmosphere to them all.

My first and only time in the instance so far has been in heroic mode, which offers the higher end geared raiders a decent challenge. It did seem a little too difficult for the ilvl 232 rewards it gives, although I'm underestimating how the new Dungeon Finder will shower you in T9. Maybe it was the premade tank with no experience, maybe the lack of CC we used, we ended up wiping half a dozen times. Nonetheless, with the trash in there dropping Quel'delar Hilt amongst other random BoP epics, it will end up rewarding for most. During the initial release, at least!

Monday, 9 November 2009

Levelling an Alt: Part 1

With relatively little going on Warcraft at the moment, I have decided to start a new Blood Elf Hunter on a server that I used to play on, Sporeggar-EU. When Wrath of the Lich King came out I decided to go with Alliance over Horde, so I never took my existing level 70 character there up to 80, and didn't have heirlooms during the Hunter levelling process. Since I was doing it with a friend, who's playing a Paladin, and never played Horde before, having no heirlooms meant we would be balanced in levelling terms.

The major changes brought by 3.2 and it's predecessors have seriously revamped the levelling up process. With affordable mounts even for someone who has never played on the server but has economic knowledge of the game (i.e. Has Auctioneer), Azeroth goes by in a blur. And then Outlands. Oh, poor Outlands. The change of normal flyers being boosted to 150% and at 60 has meant that we say hello and goodbye to the Burning Crusade in two, three days. After heading to Outlands at 58 I am currently 64 with 88/90 quests in Hellfire, 53/54 in Zangarmarsh. I expect we'll be 68 within finishing Greatmother chain, as every self respecting person starting a Horde for the first time should see it.

In anticipation of the badge pinata LFG system, it is one of the best times to level a new character. However, on our low population server designated for New Players, we rarely found groups for instances. This could be because we were playing afternoons and late nights instead of evenings, but we did find ourselves wishing for the new LFG a fair few times. While the first few instances you come across can be duo'd, we needed a dedicated healer for later ones such as Zul'Farrak and Maraudon. Sunken Temple we skipped entirely. But these were minor annoyances, and it didn't take long to level up since you can cherrypick your way through 3-4 zones every tier.

In a duo group like we were, killquests were the norm, so zones like Stranglethorn Vale and Hinterlands quickly became our favourites. The latter in particular has quests which are efficient and duo-friendly. Despite the changes to Vanilla itemisation way back in TBC, it still doesn't quite reach todays expected standards, and we went into Outlands still wearing gear acquired back at level 30. It's pretty disconcerting to see spirit on DPS loot, so heres hoping Cataclysm's revamp will sort that out once more.

All in all, I'm pretty surprised at how eager I've been to level a character. Having a friend to level with and to keep each other motivated helps a lot too. The last time we levelled was through Recruit-a-Friend, and we went through it boosting each other in instances and ended up with several new 60s, but sometimes it's fun to do it the old fashioned way.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Tier 10 and their Origins

Most people have probably noticed that Icecrown's Tier 10 reflects upon key iconic figures that make up the Lich King's army in Northrend, so here's a post where you can see for yourself the sets currently available on MMOChampion and from the PTR, and the figures that influence the designs:

Warrior T10. Hard to find the Vry'kul resemblance at first but after looking for the key figure, King Ymiron, we can see the boar shoulders are a deliberate reference to the King's belt. Very cool design, reflective of the wonderful T3/T6 warrior design as well, which was one of the best designed sets out there.

Rogue T10. Obvious reference to the Northrend Geist. Who doesn't love The Leaper? Aside from the obvious one eye helm, a real world reference to the Cyborg Ninja of Metal Gear Solid fame, the noose from the Geist features prominently in the rogue set. The rough stitches provide the details to the set pieces whilst resembling like the same rough stitches that we see on fleshbeast creations throughout Northrend.

Mage T10. The San'layn have been a mysterious prescence throughout Northrend. With a whole wing dedicated to the mysterious blood drinkers in Icecrown Citadel, they deserve some kind of recognition for their services to the Lich King. The mummified bandages go away from the San'layn model in favour of an ornate, jeweled, set design.

Hunter T10. Cryptlordstalker! Nerubians have played a huge part in how the Scourge rose to power, and the traitor king Anub'arak is the basis for the hunter tier. The spiked helm is the obvious trait, as does the big smooth and round shoulders that resemble the crypt lord. However, we lose the minor Egyptian details from the transition of cryptlord to hunter. Instead, we get belts and other leathery touches to make it a hunter set that looks like a cryptlord, rather than the other way around.

Druid T10. Not a perfect reference, but pretty much resembles the undead beasts such as Gluth and other shadowy fiends. It has the stag-like horns that clearly make it a druid set, and despite the faceless look I like it.

Death Knight T10. Pretty obvious! Skull placements, unsymmetric shoulders, triple spiked helm are the main features that make transition from Arthas to the death knight set.

Priest T10. I'm probably a teeny bit bitter that the obvious choice of inspiration for a priest set, the Val'kyr, have been snubbed. Instead we get a Dreadmist sort of looking set, influenced by Necromancers such as Heigan the Unclean. There have been recolors shown on official WoW forums that make it look a lot nicer, but to me, the overall look remains pretty uninspired. Hell, even a skull-o-meter count results is a big fat zero. The only thing that makes it look remotely like an Icecrown set is pair of horns at the bottom of the dress. Sorry Horde, looks like T10 got the same designers that designed the "Alliance" T9 cloth, which didn't have any actual Alliance insignias at all.

Val'kyrs remain the missed obvious choice still, after all, Arthas never seems to walk around anywhere without his two Val'kyrs in early Northrend quests. The angelic winged look combined with the power over life of death that they have would've made a great inspiration for the priest tier 10. Some priests have already taken steps to redesign the set, such as Saerah. It looks fantastic:

I have left out Warlocks and Paladins because I'm not too sure on their in-game references, and Shamans haven't been released yet. Does anyone have ideas?

Priest Tier 10 Released & [Spoiler] "Lava Man"

Quick post before bed, will edit in the morning but:

Ugh, here I was hoping with all the themes going on with the class sets, Priests would get Val'kyrs as their inspiration for T10. Instead we got.. a makeover from the same guys who should've been fired for the atrocity that was Alliance T9. Lately Blizzard seems to have forgotten their priestly angelic icons that formed the basis for some of the stunning early set designs. A real shame that priests have to finish WOTLK with such a dull and generic design, but hey, we can always grab warlock offset pieces, I guess?

This new build also gave us a new model. Humanoid.. burnt and scorched, yet still alive.. almost as if someone with the power of flame and life had touched him. PTR always gives us some fun stuff. Armor on Lava Man remains similar to Bolvar, so it's probably that..

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Hallow's End 2009

Hallow's End started at 01:00 server time and a lot of people had the same idea of getting there early and get a run in before the daily reset. The loots have been updated but the item levels are still Heroic Dungeon/Naxx10 quality epics which isn't what was to expected considering the gear resets Blizzard keeps doing so much of. Maybe we'll see another Direbrew Mug before next week, who knows.

Friday, 16 October 2009

How To: ForteXorcist

ForteXorcist setup as suggested by Jaedia - and all in one image! Only deals with Spell Timer, Cooldown Timer is something I don't really tweak with, although it's not much different.

I also updated my other addons, Postal now tracks how many mails you have incoming altogether, and lets you know when you can retrieve them. I also grabbed GupPet, which replaces Livestock for automated companion pet action. Lurky summoning without effort!

Thursday, 15 October 2009

More 3.3 Priest Changes

As I caught news of the latest PTR changes on Tuesday night, I immediately got the patch and went on it to check it out. And I wasn't the only one.

And so, along with five others at midnight, tested out our damage - although with the amount of debuffs on the dummies, the numbers kept being skewed. I think we can safely say we were buffed. However, I might be wrong, so feel free to buff us some more! The changes have been reported on several blogs already, haste applying to dots when in shadowform being the main buff amongst others.

My testing method remained the same across all tries, which was to simply do damage until I reached approximately 500k, with one shadowfiend usage. The initial buffs we have received so far give us 200-300 dps, but there are still some bugs regarding haste on the PTR, as well as the lag on there. It also doesn't help that I haven't really been gearing for haste (300 was Elitist Jerks current recommendation), and therefore don't get to see the full benefit. I have been avoiding the spirit stat, and means I tend to lose out on haste too. EJ is also rife with theorycrafting at the moment, which makes for some good reads.

Another Good Thing as a result of shadowform haste means that we finally have a choice in glyphs! Glyph of Shadow Word: Pain is being changed so that you gain 1% mana every tick, as a result of mana consumption being higher from haste (having to recast dots more often). Although it is probably going to be the Raider's Choice, there are other choices to take for third glyph, chiefly Glyph of Dispersion, also for mana regen and 'ohshit' purposes. A dark horse would be Glyph of Power Word: Shield, one I used for levelling to 80 during shadow for AoE grinding. Who knows, we might see a comeback for raiding!

I have neglected to mention some other 3.3 goodies, such as the T10 set bonuses. Reducing Mind Flay channelling, meaning we don't have to wait for the first 50% of the spell before we see a damage tick? Awesome. The new 40 yard range on nameplates is cool also, especially when you have an addon like Aloft. Blizzard are really going all out on this last patch (it's going to last a good 4-5 months before Cataclysm, after all), and we ain't seen the end of it yet.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Druid Art Contest: My Submission!

A tweet caught my eye today, and I naturally followed and found a Druid Art Contest! Icedragon is giving away a game card for the best drawing. I don't particularly want to win it but it's nice to have a reason to doodle once in a while. Here's my entry:

That's right. John Lennon Tree. Bitches.

Will Jaina Get The Noose?

Came across a blog today, Empowered Fire. As the name suggests, it is a mage blog and it's two authors have some interesting topics on Magery and their Life in General. However one perked me up - entitled "Jaina Gets Her Groove Back". It's funny how the author (a self proclaimed feminist) describes the new Jaina model as looking like "a diplomat and very powerful mage without her ass hanging out", seeing how the latest model can be described as 'Anna Nicole Smith with Down's Syndrome'. And improved cleavage. Not that I'm complaining. About the latter. I myself believe new Jaina would've looked far better with the headstrong Cinematic Jaina's eyes.

With the latest patch we see Jaina and Sylvanas being heavily featured in the new dungeons, the deaths of the two heroines have been brought up and have made for some interesting discussion. After all, both have been already been changed as a result of Arthas' descent into the Lich King, so it would only serve to complete their story if they were to die off, right? Some believe Jaina's makeover heralds her immortality through Icecrown, although we have precedence for new models to come out only to stay unused, in the case of Kalecgos, one of the first unique human models. Although very much alive in the lore, the model and character remains unused after Sunwell and throughout Wrath, so he might as well be.

But do I think she is honestly under the threat of death? I don't think so. Take Cairne Bloodhoof, who is also rumoured to die. He already has a replacement NPC for his quests. And let's not forget Jaina's part in the whole Alliance vs. Horde saga that has been steadily unfolding. The sympathetic side of the Humans couldn't possibly lose their only representative. And Theramore their leader. Jaina also represents the Kirin Tor, although I'm not entirely sure if they will continue be involved in the upcoming Cataclysm storyline. They are barely involved in Icecrown as it is, Argent Dawn and Ebon Hold instead hold that ground. It will be sad if they go the way of the Shattered Sun, as they are one of the larger factions out there and have been involved in a lot of the lore. But one thing is for certain, Jaina's story does not end yet.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009


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Lately I have been reading around about shadowpriests being far more effective at multidotting than single target damage. Multidotting being the art of throwing up your dots on multiple targets. I have never been a strong advocate of switching targets mid-fight, since priests were never known as a burst class, but a class with a slow buildup to a steady and stable damage. Over the past few weeks I have been experimenting around with multidotting with a mix of results with intent on a writeup. Keep in mind with the haste changes with our Shadow Word: Pain glyph in 3.3 we should see a bigger rise in damage with multidots compared to without.

Before you experiment with multidotting, you should set up your UI so that you can manage your focus target. This means setting up your binds so that you can set and target your focus easily, and also placing your focus window in a convenient place helps too. You can also setup a target last target macro for even easier juggling. And of course, having an awesome mod like ForteXorcist for dot tracking.

There are two ways in how you can multidot.

Method 1: Fire and Forget

This situation applies to adds which usually die fairly quickly, like Snobolds on Gormok the Impaler or the Light Sparks on XT-002 hard mode. After I start my initial rotation on the boss mob, I set the boss to focus and tab to the add and throw a Vampiric Touch and Shadow Word: Pain on it, and go back to the focus target.

Method 2: A Juggling Act

For adds that outlast the twelve or so seconds until VT expires, you can refresh the SW:P dot with Mind Flay. This is a bit more complex as you have to be aware of both targets, and constantly have to make decisions over what spell to cast. Therefore it's more likely you'll make more mistakes, and do less damage, which isn't what we want out of this scenario.

In either case, VT and Mind Blast remains top of the priority list. For adds such as the Nerubian Burrower on Anub'arak I occasionally refresh the SW:P with MF. Sometimes it warrants one if we're ahead of Anub's submerge, sometimes not. With multidotting you need to experiment around. For example, with the Twin Val'kyrs I found multidotting to be far less effective than to stay on single target. In that case it's obviously more preferable to do more damage on the target who is weak to your color,

My experiments with multidotting continues. I haven't made up my mind whether or not it is totally worth it yet, as some fights I see higher numbers and some lower. With the changes that come with the next patch however, it is a good time to be prepared for what is to come.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

3.3 Priest Haste Dot Changes

Ghostcrawler announced earlier that Priests will be getting a new Shadow Word: Pain glyph in patch 3.3, which allows haste to affect the DoT component of the spell. The current SW:P glyph gets moved to Glyph of Mind Flay, whilst the existing MF glyph gets made baseline (about time!).

SW:P is about the 4th/5th most damaging spell in a fight overall, so I'm not completely convinced that it'll bring us up to scratch with other classes in a single mob scenario, but I like that Blizzard haven't forgotten about shadowpriests still. And it's not like we'll have to replace glyphs either.

I placed 8th overall in today's 25man Korallon with around 5.9k dps - including Wild Magic Potion during Heroism. Emalon I got 2nd solely due to being able to throw up a VT/SW:P on the extra add as I was keeping my rotation on him.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Video: Lord Jaraxxus

I have been a bit lazy these past few days, having given up on the markets for now. However I finally got round to finishing my Lord Jaraxxus video, and although I would've preferred a few more sessions to grab some more angles to the fights, I am reasonably happy with how it turned out. The film itself took two sessions to film, the first of which was used for the intro and the second for the fight itself.

The stripper platform was created by having four layers - alexstraza, blood elf, draenei, scene - and rendering it. Then have the rendered video and greenscreened Wilfred in two layers, which was the same way I did the other walking videos.

I experimented with a panorama tool to have more smoother panning in my videos, and it worked out pretty well. In the same scene I used a gaussian blur to artificially create a depth of field, although since I didn't use the effect in the other pimpwalk scenes it feels a bit out of place.

Originally planned to use a Pink Floyd for the music track but it didn't really mesh up well, so I decided to use something from the Evangelion 2.0 soundtrack instead. The ending of the video offers a cooler take on Wilfred rather than leaving him as just another disposable redshirt gnome.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Going from Tank to Healer

The transition from tank to healer is not a smooth one, but thanks to patch 2.3, Blizzard has made the task of gearing up to be raid ready much easier. I had been picking up off-spec gear for my druid during Trial of the Champion farming sessions, so I had a decent enough head start. ToC5 in Normal and Heroic modes will fill out most of your slots provided you are willing to spend the time to farm the instance with friends and guildmates. The auction house will fill out the rest of the gaps, with crafted items such as Faces of Doom and Wispcloak which shouldn't break your budget too much. Regardless, I ambitiously joined an OS25 group sporting my badge T8 feral helm and chest.

Before my resto keys were even bound I found myself in front of Sartharion as a healer. Druid healing seems a lot more relaxed than priest healing, with Rejuvenation being main spell to toss liberally around on anyone not on full health. Regrowth is used for those suffering from a bit more sustained damage, with Nourish and Swiftmend being the fastest heals. For group healing Wild Growth is used, which works similar to Circle of Healing in that it targets people within range of the target.

All this I had to quickly work out reasonably quickly but I feel I did decently enough - no one seemed to question my healing, or even the fact I was wearing tank helm and robe, anyway! I enjoyed the experience, now to test myself in a five man situation..

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Best Deal of All Time

I like bad guild names and good deals. Luckily for me I came across both today:

He sold me the Eternal Life for 10g each; at least 5g under market price! Went along nicely with my existing stock of Snowfalls to produce a bunch of Darkmoon Cards. Unfortunately I didn't get as much or as varied Nobles Cards, but that's the sort of gamble you have to take with them.

Of course another route I could've taken is to sell off creation of DMCs themselves. The customer would pay 100g or so for each, and if they are lucky then they get a minimum of 300% return in the form of a Nobles card. If they are unlucky then you still get the 100g. Win-win for the scribe. I've never had the chance to try it out, however.

My current stock of DMF cards. I didn't particularly like them as a source of income since it was pretty luck based and you would only see return on it around one week every month. However since I have so much supply I decided to get rid of it through this method.

Blizzard also hotfixed Abyssal Shatter today. I didn't manage to get much from the auction house, obviously someone was quicker to the draw of grabbing the sub 40g shards. However a quick ply in trade and I was able to grab a stack to test with.

A promising yield. Seems like prices of Dust and Essence will drop slightly over the next few days and Abyssals will rise to compensate.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

How I Profit From Morons & Slackers

Method 1. Simply search for greens above level 75 on the AH and buy any around 15g or under, then send them to my enchanter to disenchant. Then collect up the enchanting mats and sell when prices are high or when Tuesday night rolls along. Pretty much always nets a good profit but was only really effective when ToC5 came out and people did it for the easy purples. Nowadays its a bit of a rare find.

Method 2. Some people can't do maths. I profit from that. Note how fucked the herb prices still are without our gold farmers to mass list them.

Method 3. A new technique; joining Ulduar PUGS on my engineering druid just to dismantle Flame Leviathan and XT-002. One of the reasons I love having levelled engineering, aside from the amazing gadgets and trinkets, of course.

I've reached a gold equilibrium of around 45k at the moment. I haven't been creating new glyphs due to mailbox limit, herb prices and lack of motivation. However so far I have bought up four Tankard O'Terrors for around 770g each. Will probably start selling those once supply drops after Brewfest.

Monday, 28 September 2009

Runescroll of Brilliance

Some time during 3.2 PTR, Blizzard the new group buff consumables. Just before the release of 3.2, Runescroll of Brilliance was removed.

Ghostcrawler's justification at the time was flawed. Arcane Brilliance to be considered a secondary spell? On the same grounds as Spirit and Shadow Protection, of all things? Spirit being used as a stat for about 4/10 classes, of which only certain specs could make effective use of it. And Spirit Protection, well, Ghostcrawler can be a bit deluded at times. Intellect on the other hand is pretty much a universal caster stat, functioning as spellcrit and mana regen (with Replenishment). No one in their right mind would ignore it, so when a raid doesn't possess mages, we do end up very slightly handicapped.

However he has rejustified removing the scroll, stating that the GotW, Fort and Kings scrolls were to balance tank health. Fair enough, but he does also go on to say they are considering Heroism.

Although encounters won't be made or broken through the Runescroll of Brilliance, let's hope he remembers that it's not just another spell to be lumped with Shadow Protection, but that it is a very valuable primary stat. And instead of giving another consumable to scribes, it would be a nice addition to a tailor's repertoire.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

A Shadowpriest's Wishlist

Head: Aurora of Transcendence*
Neck: Wail of the Val'kyr* / Darkbane Pendant
Shoulders: Velen's Mantle of Triumph
Back: Flowing Sapphiron Drape* / Shawl of the Refreshing Winds*
Chest: Velen's Robe of Triumph
Wrist: Bindings of Dark Essence
Hands: Velen's Handwraps of Triumph
Belt: Belt of the Eternal
Legs: Legwraps of the Demonic Messenger
Feet: Sandals of the Silver Magus
Ring1: Polished Dragonslayer's Signet
Ring2: Firestorm Ring
Trinket1: Reign of the Unliving*
Trinket2: Solace of the Defeated*
Weapon: Heartcrusher
Offhand: Chalice of Searing Light*
Ranged: Rod of Imprisoned Souls

Items with strikethrough are ones I have already.
Items with asterisk are ones which I will have to PUG 25 mans for.

Stats I prioritised on were mainly spellpower and crit. I already have far too much hit from other TotC items so I will be mixing and matching as needs allow, but these are the items I would like if hit was not an issue. Trinkets are a bit of a hard decision really, but I will add them nonetheless. I excluded 25 man heroics and also Ulduar, since we don't run Ulduar anymore.

You can follow my progress on armory.

Thanks to

Beniffer UI

I've had a few YouTube PMs about this for a while, so:

Introducing Beniffer UI - 35.21MB, my callous attempt at collaborating a coherent collection of addons. In order for it the work for your installation, and to witness my horrible butchery, you will need to rename the following folders:

ACCOUNTNAME to your Account Name
SERVERNAME to your Server Name
CHARNAME to your Character Name

Within the Interface folder is WUU, this will update addons for you. I have labelled the things that should appear on the screenshot above. Most likely, however, you will find Bartender, FortEXorcist, Recount, Omen and SLDT behaving like asses. You have been warned. The only thing you can do in that case is use what I have given you as a template.

If you want a slick UI without any configuration, try SicaUI.

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Dressing to Kill

First off, thanks to Turpster for tweeting one of my earlier posts. I appreciate it!

A certain Swedish guildmate of mine is playing Fallout 3. He was in a certain Oasis, killing a certain tree, when he noted to me that the skimpy clothes of the local folk were appealing with his boob mod. Those who have played FO3 will know you can kill NPCs and loot their clothes. If WoW had that sort of freedom, rather than relying on gathering up similar looking random greens, it would probably motivate me to farm mobs. And judging by Wowhead's comments for Whitemane, I think other people would be motivated too.

I haven't been playing much these past couple days, just logged on this morning to relist expired auctions; I've made about 900-1000g over my absence.

Friday, 25 September 2009

Video: Wilfred Fizzlebang

Video test of the intro to the last of my TotGC videos, Lord Jaraxxus. Since after that I won't really have boss kill movies to make anymore, I'm gonna try my hand at making a snazzy intro.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

How To: Shadowpriest

So I made the video, around 1-2 hours of work. I wrote everything else beforehand and had to use the stop and record buttons of Sound Recorder a ton, but the amateurness still shows through. I hope it helps people though. Based on the responses from my brewfest how to ram ride video, people certainly like and appreciate the help, and I like to see that.

It's all too easy to say to a person doing 2k dps that he's a noob and tell him to read Elitist Jerks, but if you think back to when you started - or to any new game for that matter - to read a huge essay on the intricacies of coefficients and how to play, would you still be interested? I don't think I would be. Some people like to find things out for themselves. Some people like to read on how to improve. I think good how to videos are a good way to introduce a new level 80 on how to play end game. I'm not saying my video is the best; I'm saying it's a start.

For my UI, I never really commented on how it works since I doubt people really cared. Although I specifically crafted my UI for making videos, it still works the way I want to. The UI is like the mirrors of a car, they are there on the screen, functional and unobtrusive. You don't need to glance at the damage meters all the time, much like you dont stare at the side mirror when driving. The only UI you need close to the screen is party healthbars (as a healer) or the DoT timers. These are analogic to the speedometer, or the rear view mirror. Put them close, but not too close.

Since we're on the topic of videos, Xephos has released a new YoGScast. He's gone back the style similar to my videos, where we have a song and compress the action to scale to it. It's a pretty good video and I love the song.

The problem with humour in videos is that when you're editing the video, you already know the punchline. So when you finally see the finished product and you're not laughing at your own jokes.. well.. it's a horrible feeling.

UPDATE: Revised second edition of the video.

"Realm 2nd Best Shadowpriest"

In terms of gearscore at least! Illustration of the Dragon Soul is holding me back on that score. Blizzard are terrible when it comes to trinkets. Shadow priesting isn't particularly difficult, I'm planning on making a video that explains both my UI and my rotation. I think Korallon is a nice boss for it.

Lurky has a friend now.

About Investing

Whenever I spend money on things that aren't for personal use, I call it an investment. This helps make me feel less guilty spending 3k on something, since I know I'll make it back. Today I invested in two Tankard O' Terrors, 900g and 950g respectively. I predict I'll make 1.5k from them after Brewfest, and if I don't then hey - two new gimmick items for my Priest and Paladin.

Runescrolls of Fortitude haven't sold at all at 9g each, so I'm taking a new strategy and listing them for 5-6g each. I'm also alternating batches of five and singles, and I guess the M&S haven't found out about them so I guess I'll advertise in trade as well. I hope I get rid of them, I have lots of Snowfall Ink to use up.

Other deals of the day: 6g and under stacks of Frostweave; 10g stack of Saronite Ore; 13g Eternal Life. Our server's market is fucked at the moment, no Adder's Tongue nor Goldclover up at all, and the other herbs have some serious markup.

Guild Politics

A hilarious post by Gevlon on his philosophies on Guild Politics. He makes a very strong argument for a dictator-style leadership in guilds, and I'm very inclined to agree with him on the most part. However Tumbleweed is a casual, social guild - in the eyes of Gevlon we are useless compared to the hardcore raiding ones. Although on paper we should be slower at progression, we managed to get the realm first Twin Val'kyrs and Anub'arak down on 10 man heroic. So - there are always exceptions. We run with a council style of leadership and it works out for us.

In the comments to that post, Armond writes:
"I cannot think of a single time I found a working democracy with more than 15-ish people. I also cannot remember the last time I saw a vote that was useful for deciding something important and not just e.g. the background theme for a forum."
A point I agree upon. Even in the case for what music I should use in my boss kill movies, Tumbleweed can rarely come up with a sensible conclusion. In the end, someone has to decide on something, all we can do is hope it is for the good of all of us.

Video: Onyxia

I don't think anyone had too much of a problem with Onyxia. It was never a hard fight to begin with, other than getting 39 other people to comprehend and move around. It has had some minor updates to make it work and feel in touch with the feeling of a WotLK instance - I especially liked Blizzard's cheek of retaining the Rugged Leather from skinning the trash mobs, you just get more of it now.

Last night as we heard of the upcoming 3.2.2 patch we did one last retro raid, one where I help a guildmate get his lvl 60 Onyxia achievement and also a random lvl 60 rogue, another where I join my old guild, Goon Squad Sporeggar. It was a fun and relaxing night.

Sometimes you just can't get enough Onyxia.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

PDP Part 2

The results as the day ends. In total, when combined with the earlier snapshot, it gives me a total of 3297g. As of now I am undercut on most of my auctions and the glyphs didn't sell as fast as I expected, but I'll just keep dropping off the rest of my stock slowly across the week.

Runescrolls are very easy to make, most scribes have a huge stock of snowfall ink. I roughly calculate it to be around 20g for cost of making 5 of them, and right now the market price is at over 9g each. I will probably use up my ink on this rather than darkmoon cards, I suspect it'll be rather popular.

PDP Part 1

Well, I woke up to see most of my auctions were undercut - not a problem with QuickAuction2's feature of automatic cancelling of undercut auctions. I haven't sold as many glyphs as I anticipated, although I managed to get rid of some triumph badges and sold a Crusader Orb for 1.3k. The glyph market has changed slightly, nothing worrying since my death knight glyphs were still up at the top and lowest price, which was the primary market I was going for.

Did Onyxia10 on my druid, seemed as simple a fight as it used to be. The Deep Breath mechanic has been streamlined, with a new large add accompanying the whelps in stage 2 as a way of putting pressure into groups killing her fast. Casters have a greater role in the fight as a whole, which is not a problem when you're one of the best shadowpriests in the realm. For a single boss, three items plus a head on the loot table makes it out to be really generous. I don't see many guilds running this for months on end.

I will probably make another update tonight to see my total PDP

Tools of the Trade

Aside from Auctioneer, QuickAuctions2 is pretty much the tool for a scribe. It's not so much a limb, rather a bike or a car. I've annotated the above screenshot to briefly show you the logistics of how it works, should be fairly simple - if you use it you don't even need my convincing of how awesome it is.

This is a 'cancel-all' macro I found online somewhere. When I originally found it it was for all glyphs. I can modify it to cancel specific glyphs - here I've used it to reset the market for Glyph of Volley, in anticipation of increased demand from hunters who have seen the coefficient buff. I have done this for various things found in the patch notes, although if there were lots of glyphs posted over 20g then I just left it alone. It's basically the opposite to what Gevlon preaches, but each to his own.

Here is MarketWatcher. I enter specific items to watch and it provides a graph. Graphs make me feel like an intellectual instead of a retard who plays videogames. Hence I use MarketWatcher. One worrying thing is that gold farmers have stopped dumping masses of herbs on the auction house, and the price has risen. I don't have much stock left, having used most of it in hopes that my PDP idea will work out. I haven't recently contacted any farmers directly either, who provide me with 10-13g stack of high end Northrend herbs.

Here is my stock as the server closes down. Already I have been undercut, but I assume the competitor is not as dedicated as I am, so I let my OCD go for once and log off. Tomorrow we shall see if the farmer reaps what he sows.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

PDP (Patch Day Profits)

At time of writing, tomorrow will be patch 3.2.2, otherwise known as Onyxia patch. Part of the fun of patch days are speculating how the market will change based upon what the Gods of Blizzard decide upon. Kevin writes about his experiences on market speculation, and they are a make or break thing. Lets take a look at what we will see in 3.2.2:
  • Glyph of Bone Shield: This glyph now grants 1 additional charge instead of 2.
  • Glyph of Flame Shock: Redesigned. This glyph now makes Flame Shock periodic damage able to be critical strikes.
  • Glyph of Mind Flay: This glyph no longer reduces the magnitude of the movement reduction on the Mind Flay victim.
  • Glyph of Scourge Strike: Redesigned. This glyph now causes Scourge Strike to extend the duration of Frost Fever and Blood Plague by 3 seconds each time Scourge Strike is used on a target, up to a maximum of 9 seconds.
  • Glyph of Typhoon: This glyph now increases the range on Typhoon by 10 yards in addition to its current effects.
  • Glyph of Unbreakable Armor: Now increases the armor gained from Unbreakable Armor by 20%.
  • Glyph of Vampiric Blood: The glyph now increases the duration of Vampiric Blood by 5 seconds instead of 10.

I've struck out the nerfs. Now, I'm a person who makes his profits from glyphs, they are a huge part of my income, probably 70-80%, rest coming from Darkmoon cards and other miscellaneous affairs. Time to speculate on them. I'm not too certain on the Death Knight glyphs, but other than knowing that they currently sell well regardless, I will be pushing out more of them. The other three are definitely improvements and I will also be putting out more on the market, probably around 20-30, posted just before the server goes down tonight. The thing about glyphs is that with current herb prices, they are a win-win market, but since tonight I plan to buyout the entire market and investing it into keeping the price up high - well, it won't be a loss, but it'll be significant I can imagine.

Also for inscription there is Runescroll of Fortitude - The Arcane Intellect replacement was removed for fears that people would ask for more scrolls such as Divine Spirit - a bullshit reason, considering AI is a primary class ability compared to DS's secondary. For those who follow Gevlon and his love of making fools pay 10g for 50s materials, I would suggest putting some parchments up tonight and see if you shoot any fish.

Elsewhere, the recently un-PTR'd Brewfest gave us some expected bugs. I haven't been able to achieve my goal of 19 laps in the Ram Racing due to luck with the barrels. It has also been revealed that Coren Direbrew drops a nice 226ilvl mace, Tankard O' Terror. Congratulations to people who have made a killer on this - I don't see it going higher than 750-1k in a week's time.

Learning to Be Communicative

If there was one thing I got out of Blizzcon, was that Blizzard were coming out of their shells and speaking to its fans a lot more. This proved true when they released details about how their company works at GDC Austin. So why are Blizzard taking a giant step backwards? Never mind, they posted an update to the situation, as hilarious as it may be:

The Brewfest quests ‘Pink Elekks On Parade’ and ‘Catch the Wild Wolpertinger!’ were removed to ensure that World of Warcraft contains content that complies with regional game rating requirement

First time I've heard of America being more liberal than Europe.

I guess in the theme of communication, shoutouts to the GMs and ex-GMs out there. I would love to be a GM at Blizzard, but of course I'm sorting my life out and getting a degree to show that I am serious before I even consider applying.

Video: Anub'arak

So we cleared ToGC10 last night, earning Tribute to Skill in the process. We were 5 tries off from Mad Skill. Through the tribute system we can see where our mistakes were in the amount of tries we took to finish it - NRB (1), Twin Val'kyr (4), Anub'arak (5). I like the tribute system since you get a feeling of progression each time you clear the instance, it lets most guilds experience the 'true' fight instead of sticking to the usual normal modes that you see in Ulduar. All in all, both systems are pretty good and work well in their enviroments.

Last night out of the haul I got a couple sweet items to add to my shadow set. Vestments of the Sleepless, taking up a potential set piece location, and the curiously named Heartcrusher. The latter looks odd, like a clockwork key with gears and a random lightbulb attached to the end. I have the intense urge to stick it into one of Mimiron's mechanical creations and use it for my own dastardly deeds.

I'm really happy with my recent videos. Anub'arak continues where my Twin Valkyr video left off, props to Pinkhair on #machinima who suggested a Kanye parody while I was halfway through rendering Anub'arak. The idea was too fantastic to save it for later. He also suggested using a voice actor but I guess he doesn't realise my turnover for boss kill movies, besides, the whole butchery of it all gives off a meme template to it which works well. I couldn't find Tirion's sound file when he congratulates the raid so I threw in a mix of ToC5 and Ulduar voices to make up for it, turns out it worked well.

I also made a NRB video which uses a Dissidia song, one that was used to promote the game in adverts. The song is great for an introduction to a raid, evoking a feeling only describable as GAR.

I only have Heroic Jaraxxus left to do, only ideas I have so far is a pimp intro for the unfortunate gnome who summons him and using Lord Malchezzar voices instead of his usual stuff.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

How To: Ram Race

I made this video yesterday for brewfest.

Here is the optimal route for both the Alliance and the Horde, with the apple barrels marked. Despite minor changes to the positioning this year, Horde still have the other end of the stick when it comes to maximizing token gain. However it should be simple enough to get tokens for everything you want so it's not a game breaking concern.

UPDATE: It turns out you can just jump over the barrels. The removal of fatigue isn't detected through collision, so jumping over them will reduce chance of getting stuck in an apple barrel, and will improve your time as a result.

Also it turns out I helped a guild member through the video, he didn't know about the apple barrels at all. I'm really glad to get feedback like this.

UPDATE (2): I managed 18 laps now, probably room for one more. I've changed my route slightly, and ignored barrel 3 on the return trip and just make a beeline over the hill to barrel 2. Fastest lap was around 40 seconds.

UPDATE (3): How To: Ram Racing v2.0!