Archive for February, 2009


Loot, and the Whores who Love it

Pictured: A filthy, filthy whore

Pictured: A filthy, filthy whore

So, you’re a fresh level 80 player who’s entering raids for the first time.  Excitement rules you and all you can think about is the upcoming fights and how great it’s all going to be.  You’d done dungeons, but all that was just practice, this is it, man, the big show!  The first boss comes and you feel it in the pit of your stomach, the butterflies flittering about, your palms slowly starting to sweat and for some reason your hands are freezing cold.  The strats are explained and you hunker down, neck cramping from the tension as you do your part, slaying the mighty boss.  You run over, eager to see what’s dropped and right click on the corpse, leaning forward as the loot window pops up.

That’s when it happens.

You see it there, floating in all it’s purple glory within the magical loot box.  It whispers to you, tells you how badly it needs to be with you, that it’s caress alone can help to cease all your woes.  Funny things begin to happen to you, sensations and thoughts you’ve never felt before are suddenly running rampant through your brain.  With shaking hands you type /roll and watch with bated breath as the results come in.  Then you to see that you’ve won!  That purple floats over to you and you put it on, and yes, it is delicious… for a while…

What can I say, gentle jerkwads?  I love loot.  We all do, it’s part of what drives us to play, true, and it keeps us coming back, butting our heads against harder and harder content.  Sure, for some, it’s the thrill of the encounter and for others they have their PvP, but for me, it’s all about the purps.  I get all tingly when I switch out old gear for new and see the little numbers in my stats box bounce back and forth and I hardly think that I’m alone.

But when is it too much?  How far does one go in their love for loot before they’re labeled a “loot whore?”  Though I love loot, and again, allow me stress that I do indeed love loot, I have yet to build an off set.  Even with dual specs looming, I can’t bear to spend more than one DKP on an off spec item for fear that I’m truly taking it away from a guildie even though I know it’s probably somebody else looking for an off spec item.

We’ve all heard the horror stories before: someone’s running a raid group and that perfect item drops, the one they’ve been looking for for the past couple of weeks.  Everyone rolls or bids and that person comes up short.  Then whoever does win it says something along the lines of “sweet, now my (insert random spec here) set is complete.  You feel your jaw clench and murder flashes through your thoughts as you go ahead and type a grats out.  But you don’t wish him grats, oh no… no grats for the loot whore.

When you run a PuG, you expect this sort of thing to happen, but the fact of the matter is that this might be a test of the guild you’re in.  If you’re going on guild runs and the loot is consistently going to people who are using it as sidegrades over members who legitimately need it as an upgrade, then that demonstrates an unaware leadership and greedy members.  The point of a guild is to help each individual member become as strong as possible so they can commit that strength back into the guild.  When you get a piece of loot, it’s not something that you have gotten on your own, it’s something the guild has given you.  But here is where being a loot whore can hurt not just you, but everyone who you play with… that’s right, just like drugs… dun dun dun.

Your guild officer core should know who needs what and be prepared to intervene in the case that a loot whore tries to take from a player trying to gear up for guild runs.  If they’re consistently just passing loot to whoever rolls for whatever without an eye out for whether people will use it, the they are allowing weak spots to form in the guild.  Good leadership should make sure that gear is spread evenly across all classes and specs and off spec items should only be handed out once main spec has had a chance to roll.  If this isn’t happening, then it might be time to consider moving on.

There’s also an individual responsibility involved.  You must avoid being the loot whore because you have to understand that others in your guild will need it more than you sometimes.  Keep an eye out and make sure that everyone is getting their fare shake because this kind of activity will not only weaken the guild, but will also break guild morale.  And besides, nothing’s worse that a loot whore.  

What’s that?  My helm?  Why yes, that is a Hood of Rationality, and yes, it is quite delicious.



The InterDueg

interdueg1So Anea of Holy Discipline has tagged me for the latest meme.  No, her site doesn’t specifically say it, but trust me, she “tweeted” me.  Although I have decided the term “tweet” is too lame, and have taken to calling it “punched Mike Tyson.”  So, Anea punched Mike Tysoned me for the most recent meme earlier today.  

Basically, the idea is that you answer seven questions that were originated by Harii over at Ctrl-Alt-Elite.  You’re also supposed to do it from the viewpoint of your character.  I haven’t done any rp with Dueg and it’s been a while since I’ve done it online, but let me dust off the ol’ cap, scribble down a character background and we’ll see what happens.  So, without further ado, I give you The Seven Questions:

What is your name and where did it come from?  You may refer to me as Duegathalas, it is the hybrid bastardization of the individual who saved my mother’s life while she was giving birth to me and my father’s, who died during that unfortunate incident.

How old are you and what is your birthday?  I am still a youngling by my race’s standards, only 178 years old.

Are you in love and with whom?  *smirks* Emotions such as that are better left to the lesser races, they seem to enjoy those sort of weakening entanglements.  No, when the time comes, I will find a proper partner and procreate.  Until then, my devotion to the light will sustain.

What is your favorite mount and why?  I prefer the undead warhorse provided to me by the citizens of the Undercity.  His… “condition” ensures that in times of great stress he will not lose his nerve and upkeep is somewhat less then a still breathing one.

Do you a certain type of Azerothian meal and where do you get it from?  I prefer Dalaran Clam Chowder were I to have a choice.  The spices they use help to fortify my constitution greatly.  I usually purchase it from a random seller in the Royal Exchange quarter of Silvermoon.

You know those giant mushrooms in Zangarmarsh? What is your theory on how they came to be and why are they so huge?  What is the old expression?  Everything is bigger in Zangarmarsh?  I suppose evolution has made that fact.

If you saw the Lich King walking toward you, what would you do?  *snorts* The fallen prince is surely smarter than that.

So there you have it, consider yourself Duegified.  Now, I’m supposed to challenge people as well, so, if they have not already been, I will once more force Amber, Jinxie and Esdras to do my bidding and to that list I will add Jov and Seri from Snarkcraft, Khaeli from Shadow Weaving, and the newest kid on the priest block, Tart.  Everyone, get to work, or as they say in Silvermoon*: GO GO GO!!!


*Not actually said in Silvermoon


Friday Strats – The Four Horsemen

So you’ve managed to Mind Control some understudies and went all emo on Gothik’s ass.  Now comes time to complete military wing and claim all glory due to you and your raid group.  Walk quickly down the hall, make a left and enter the humongous antechamber.  There you’ll find what was once considered the most difficult encounter in the game.  Gentle jerkwads, I present to you, The Four Horsemen:

Thinly veiled allegories FTW

Thinly veiled allegories FTW

The Prep

When you first enter the room you’re going to see all four of the horsemen standing on a raised dais in the center of the room.  Our group will usually hang a tight left and gather in the east corner of the room in order to prepare and pass out healing assignments.  Each compass point must have a tank and a healer assigned to it and they must move into position before the boss is pulled.  Everyone else should remain in the eastern corner.  Once you have everyone in position and buffs are out, you can begin the fight.

A quick note on the compass points: When you enter the room, note where north is on your minimap.  Because the room is all the way in the southeastern corner of the zone and is tilted against the axis, it can become a little confusing when people call out points.  Double check if you have to because if one of the corners becomes empty too soon, it will wipe your raid.

 The Fight

The encounter begins with the four horsemen splitting up and quickly running to the four corners of the room.  Thane Korth’azz will run to the eastern corner, Baron Rivendare to the north, Sir Zeliek to the west and Lady Blaumeux to the south.  Zeliek and Blaumeux will stay in the spot they run to while Rivendare and Korth’azz can move if their target starts shifting around.

All four apply a unique debuff called Mark of (Death Knight casting it) that can stack up to 99 times.  The first time it lands it will do 0 damage, the second it will do 500, the third 1,500, the fourth 4,000, the fifth 12,500, the sixth 20,000 with each subsequent stack doing the previous amount of damage plus an additional 1,000.  Everyone within 45 yards will be hit with this debuff and the damage cannot be resisted although the application of the mark can be.  The marks will last 25 seconds and reduce the threat of anyone hit by 50%.  Blaumeux and Zeliek will cast their marks at the same time and Korth’azz and Rivendare are also on the same timer for marks.  If there is no one in range to receive Zeliek or Blaumeux’s mark then they will begin hitting everyone in the raid with a powerful AoE, wiping the entire raid in seconds.

Thane Korth’azz– Korth’azz is mainly a tank and spank fight except for an ability called Meteor.  He will periodically cast this which does up to 52,500 damage split equally amongst all players in an 8 yard radius.  This ability is a raid killer if you don’t have enough people stacked up on him.  As I stated earlier, our strategy is to have the entire raid stacked up on him.  When he arrives we pop Bloodlust and burn him down as quickly as possible.

Baron Rivendare– Also mainly a melee fight except for a shadow based dot he’ll cast on his primary target called Unholy Shadow.  This will hit for up to 5,500 damage and then tick for an additional 12,000 over 8 seconds and is cast every 15 seconds.  Since the Baron will chase his target, make sure there is a tank there to pick him up at all times so he doesn’t start popping squishies in the raid.

Sir Zeliek– Has a static position so he won’t need a tank per se, but melee needs to be careful because of his abilities.  He can cast Holy Bolt which has a 2 second cast and will deal up to 10,000 holy damage on his closest enemy.  His other ability is the real killer though.  Called Holy Wrath, it deals up to 3,300 damage, but also has a chance to jump to another target within 10 yards, dealing an additional 50% damage with each jump.  He’ll cast it ever 15 seconds and it has the ability to jump infinitely so ranged and casters should spread out and stay away from melee.

Lady Blaumeux– Also a static enemy, she’ll cast Shadow Bolt on the closest enemy, doing up to 9,500 shadow damage.  She’ll also summon a void zone under a random player in range, dealing 4,250 shadow damage per second to anyone standing in it, so keep an eye out and move if one pops under you.  The void zones will last 75 seconds and she will cast multiple ones so try to position yourself near one so they all end up in the same spot.  Like Zeliek, you can get away with having a plate wearer instead of an actual tank as her primary target.

Like I said, I recommend burning down the Thane as quickly as possible in order to get his ability out of the way.  Individually the Death Knights are not that rough, it’s your raid’s ability to watch their marks that’s going to determine how difficult the fight will be.  If your dps is good you should be able to burn down Thane before you reach five marks.  Once that happens, your dps should move to Baron and try to get him down in order to leave you with just the static Death Knights in the back.

Now if Thane isn’t dead then the dps might have to get hit with a fifth mark in order to get him down before you have to switch.  After that, no one should take more than four marks, but I suggest moving once you hit three in order to stay safe.  Should it become imperative to switch between Thane and Rivendare, have the tanks move to the middle, taunt off of each other and then return the bosses to their proper corners.  Be careful though, if a tank is left alone within melee range of the Thane then he will almost definitely be one shotted by Meteor. 

The key to this fight is communication.  Each corner needs a healer at all times so make sure that if you’re moving from a spot you call out that someone needs to come replace you.  You can move to the raised dais in order to continue healing and not get hit by a mark, but you will lose line of sight of some people, so don’t rely on that.  Other than that, the main thing to watch is for void zones as they can kill you quickly if you’re not paying attention. 

This fight is not terribly taxing on a healer as long as you’re alert.  Also, don’t tunnel vision when you’re moving from one spot to another as healers running past you will most likely need some healery action themselves.

The Loot

Once all four are down a chest will spawn on their original pull spot and you can loot it for your badges and the following priest friendly items:

Urn of Lost Memories – Very nice off hand frill for a Disc priest and definitely up on the list for Holy if you can’t find one with spirit.  Obviously with the extra mp5, it’s more of a healer item, but shadow can definitely use it if they’re looking for a decent off hand item.

Mantle of the Corrupted – This item is really more of a mage piece, but if you’re still wearing dungeon blues, will be a nice upgrade for shadow.  Holy and Disc should leave this for dps unless they’re looking to build an off set.

Damnation – Coolest.  Staff.  Ever.  There are better staffs in the game, but this one is definitely worth picking up for either Holy or Shadow spec.  You will have competition though as this is also nice for druids and warlocks.

Breastplate of the Lost Conqueror – This is the token for our tier 7.5 chest piece.  Your tier gear is not necessarily the best in slot automatically, but it’s definitely in the top three.  It’s more skewed towards Holy spec though, so Disc priests might want to look elsewhere.  There’s also a shadow version, so pick it up for your deeps.

This fight is not difficult for a self aware raider.  As I’ve stated, the key is to focus and communicate, making sure that the raid knows healer positions at all times.  Be aware of the abilities of the mob you’re currently fighting so you can look out for them and this fight should be cake.

A final note: This is not the only way to do this fight and in fact, there’s an achievement for killing them all within 15 seconds of each other which you will most definitely not accomplish with these strats.  This is my preferred method because it’s easiest on the raid as a whole and makes the fight fairly painless.  If anyone wants to add to this or mention something I forgot, please post it in the comments.  Tune in next week when we take a constitutional down Plague Wing over to the Eye of Eternity (yes, this was always here, no, you read it wrong the firt time).



Of Nerds and Lore

So it was revealed yesterday on my twitter account that yes, Dueg is a nerd of mammoth proportions.  I enjoy tabletop RP, have played the hell out of all sorts of video games for years now, paint miniatures for Warhammer 40k, read science fiction and fantasy… yes, well, I think I’ve made my point.  Anyways, the reason I bring this up is not to show off, or try to excite nerd love among the masses, but more so that you will understand where I’m coming from on today’s post.  For you see, gentle jerkwads, I have a problem, one that cuts to the quick and makes Dueg the saddest of pandas.

While roaming through Ghostlands the other day, as I’m apt to do, I came across a raging debate in progress regarding a bit of lore.  I immediately dove straight in, laying down knowledge like it was my job.  But it had all started with a simple question one that I’ll deign to answer now:  “Why are the Blood Elves part of the horde and the alliance?”  Ha ha, oh simple newb in Ghostlands, I’ll tell you why: Because they’re not.

Maybe Blizzard hasn’t really explained it enough, I know I had to do a small bit of research to dig out the truth myself so allow me to place my lore cap on.  What you silly Alliance have hanging around your cities are High Elves, hereafter referred to as “the riff-raff.”  You see, the riff-raff are hanging out around Alliance cities because they still want to be part of it.  Anyone who’s played Warcraft 3 or is halfway familiar with the lore of the Burning Crusade knows, however, that the Alliance essentially betrayed the blood elves thanks to racial prejudices.  The riff-raff don’t care though, and are trying desperately to shun the legacy of the blood elves.

Green, you see?! GREEN!  NO, YOU CALM DOWN!!!


“Oh,” says simple newb, “so blood elves are just evil high elves then?”  My nerd rage boils.  You see, they’re very similar, some might say we blood elves look like the riff-raff and I’ll admit, the similarities are quite striking.  However, the truth is in the eyes.  Blood Elves are magic addicts, everyone knows, some people have even taken to calling them crack elves… how very droll.  The riff-raff are addicts as well, but where as the riff-raff use arcane magic to get their fix, blood elves use fel magic.  This fel magic has been slowly evolving blood elves, changing them to the point where Blizzard has officially acknowledged that they are a separate race in the tabletop RP lore, which is canon.  This is why Blood Elves have green glowing eyes and the riff-raff have blue.

Had the Blood Elves continued drawing fel magic from the tainted sunwell on Quel’Danis Island, they would’ve probably ended up like the Felblood Elves, who have gorged themselves on demonic blood and power.  However, thanks to some hardcore raid groups destroying Kil’Jaedan in the sunwell instance (you didn’t think that was just for loots, did you?), the taint has been removed and the magic flowing from it is now pure light.  But who knows how this will further effect the Blood Elves?  

Look, here’s the point: High Elves are the equivalent of a junkie standing outside the methadone clinic begging from passersby for a fix.  No one around him cares about his problem and thinks he should try to better himself instead of relying on others to do it for him.  Blood Elves, however, are more like 80s style power brokers sitting in our high rises with lifestyles of excess and luxury.  People may not actually care about us, but we can pay them to pretend.  All I’m really saying though, is please don’t compare me to that riff-raff.  It just makes me so mad.



Obligatory 3.1 Post

So yesterday some hard details of 3.1 finally began to emerge and was immediately devoured by the entirety of the blogosphere.  Debates raged and much pontification was had at great length over the huge amount of changes being wrought upon our cherished game.  Amongst the swirling mass of opinions and hated math sat Dueg, unafraid of the tempest.  “No sir,” I said defiantly, “I have written my post on Heal Sniping, and I’m going to publish it, dammit!”  So he did, and lo, there was much rejoicing.

But I did still read up on what was going on and like everyone else, kept refreshing different sites to read what others thought about the changes.  If you’re still unfamiliar with the patch notes, btw, MMO-Champion has excellent coverage for the full patch and you can see Matt Low of World of Matticus fame’s full write up and opinions here.  So let me give you the run down of what we’re seeing in this crazy patch.

First, general news of interest:

Dual specs – So it appears Dual Specs will be available at level 40 instead of 80 and will cost 1000 gold in order to gain the ability to switch.  It has been announced that the reagent component was removed and will be as simple as clicking a button with a 5 second cast time.  Will not be castable in Battlegrounds, Arena Matches or general Combat.  Wow.  That is a complete reversal from how I thought this would be implemented.  Making things easier is always appreciated, but I believe that Blizzard is doing one of two things here.  Either they’re planning on eventually having content where it will be necessary to switch specs for specific boss fights (such as a dps race where you have to have one tank, one healer and 23 dps or you’ll wipe) which which will force raiders to actively seek off spec items.  Or they’re simply bowing to pressure from the players and saying “here you go guys, it’s on the house.”

Ghetto-hearthing removed – Ah well, fun while it lasted.

Equipment Manager – From what I’m seeing, it looks like you can enable this function, then save what armor you’re currently wearing as your set.  You then make a macro button for that saved set in order to switch back and forth with the click of a button.  You can have up to 16 saved sets.  I’m pretty sure you still have to carry it all around though.

Noble Garden revamped – Apparently they’re shaking it up to bring it more in line with the other holidays.  I’ve never participated in this one, so I’m not sure how to react.

Legendary Mace added to the game – Apparently there will be a new mace weapon in the game usable by all classes that can wield a one handed mace and are healers.  This intrigues me quite so.  It appears it will be a matter of collecting 40 shards and then beginning a quest line.  Very exciting news there,

Argent Tournament Event added to game – With a new mounted combat system and the ability to earn titles based on your home city and new pets and tabards, this promises to be a hot spot as soon as the patch goes live.

General priest changes:

Abolish Disease now ticks every three instead of five seconds and now only lasts 12 seconds.  Dueg stamp of approval, it was sometimes more worthwhile to just recast Abolish Disease instead of just waiting for the next tick.  This will change that.

Divine Spirit now trainable at level 31.  Hellz to the yes.

Holy Nova’s mana cast reduced approximately 20%.  Interesting.  This change makes me consider glyphing to give it a 40% bonus.  Will make it an extremely decent instant cast replacement for Prayer of Healing as my group only spell.

Hymn of Hope removed from game.  But… why?

Prayer of Healing now heals the targeted player’s group.  This change makes this a very powerful raid healing spell and I know will bring it into my regular rotation.  Coupled with the changes to Serendipity, I believe you will see this spell cast much more often in raids.

Shadow Fiend’s Health and mana regen increased blah blah blah…  Look, I’m gonna say this right now, I have absolutely no idea why everyone is complaining about their shadow fiend dyeing all the time.  I never have problems with mine dying quickly, even when it’s fighting a mob directly.  It’s a little stupid, sure, but it seems just fine to me.  But for those who do have this problem, I suppose this will make your fiend much more survivable.

Now let’s see what’s going on with changes to Holy Spec:

Circle of Healing increased by 40% – This is really really nice.  Specifically to make up for the 6 second cooldown, but a buff to the healing amount of any spell is always fan-freaking-tastic.

Holy Concentration changed and now provides 16/32/50% bonus to mana regen for 8 seconds after every critical flash, greater or binding heal, Improved Holy Concentration removed.  This tells me that Blizzard does not want it to be easy for us to dance the 5 second rule anymore.  By removing the chance to get free heals, they’ve made it so the only way for us to slide into the 5 second rule while still healing is with Surge of Light or Inner Focus.  We won’t spontaneously get the option anymore.  Matt did point out that if you have crit stacked, you might have this up almost non stop during fights.

New Talent: Empowered Renew – Your renew spells are upped 5/10/15% and will give the target an initial heal of 5/10/15% of the total healed amount.  At tier 9, it looks like this will replace Improved Holy Concentration.  I look at this as basically making renew a minor instant heal spells for holy priests that will continue to tick over time.  I think this change might just convinced me to glyph out of renew as it now has a little extra oomph on it’s own…

Serendipity changed: Each flash or binding heal you cast will reduce the cast time of your next greater heal or prayer of healing by 6/12/20%.  Stacks up to three times and lasts 20 seconds.  Couple this with the change to PoH allowing it to be cast on any targeted group and this will make the spell about twice as useful in heavy raid damage situation.  I think you will see an increase in greater heal usage because of this, but don’t expect it to become a priest’s new favorite spell.  It’s a blow to our mana efficiency though, and not a small one at that.

Test of Faith will no longer increase crit chance but will instead provide a healing bonus of 4/8/12% up from 2/4/6%.  Meh, would’ve been nice to have the crit chance because of it’s tie ins with our mana efficiency now, but I’ll probably still pick this talent up either way.

And finally, new holy glyphs:

Glyph of Guardian Spirit – if your guardian spirit lasts till full without being triggered, it’s cooldown timer will be reset to one minute.  If you regularly need to have this available every minute then you have other problems.

Glyph of Hymn of Hope – Your hymn of hope now provides 3 times as much mana but cast time is cut in half.  Ok, I get it, you give us this awesome ass glyph to show us that we could have the spell ten times cooler, but just kidding, you’re actually taking it away.  Was it something we said?

I’m very very curious to see how all of this plays out when it actually goes live.  Until then, of course, all of this is subject to change at any time for any reason so take it with a grain of salt.  If you’re curious about discipline priest changes, Amber from I Like Bubbles has an excellent write up with opinion that can be found here.  Patch 3.1 promises to be a turning point for end game raiding and I, for one, can’t wait to see it go live.



On a Grassy Knoll, Sniping Your Heals

knollAnyone who’s been following Khaeli of Shadow Weaving fame knows that she’s been having problems with her healing team during raids lately.  Some of it has to do with alts, some with people just not paying attentions, but it really looks like the issue might also be stemming from an overabundance of heal sniping.  What is heal sniping, you ask?  Well I’m glad you did because it just so happens I have this handy dandy post here to explain it all!

 Imagine this scenario, if you will:  You’re in Naxxramas about to go up against Sapphiron.  The heal assignments are passed out and you’re given the job of healing the MT while Johnny Everypriest over there is on group heals.  No problem, let’s get this uggo down, you think to yourself as everyone runs in and you get in position, ready to start slinging heals like a pro.  The tank begins taking damage and you start casting until halfway through your cast time you see the tank’s health go from half to full.  Your heal still goes off because you were a second too late in stopping it, resulting in 100% overheal.  Congratulations, Johnny Everypriest has just heal sniped your target.

Now heal sniping happens often in a raid environment, usually when healing trash or on particularly easy bosses and usually it’s not a big problem.  There’s hardly ever a raid environment where heal assignments are so anal as to have dedicated healers during trash pulls.  Some bosses are also so easy that you’ll have three or four healers just standing around with no one to heal because of focused damage on the tanks.  In situations like that heal sniping will spike without any issues due to the nature of the encounter.  It’s when you come to the really difficult big baddies where it starts to become an issue, one that can possibly bring your whole raid down if too many people are doing it.

Though Blizzard has come a long way in diversifying classes in order to make healers better at all sorts of situations, there are some areas where certain healers will excel over others.  Discipline Priests, for example, have their mitigation talents and are very ably suited to keeping a tank on his or her feet.  Shamans, with their chain heals, are going to excel at raidwide heals.  It’s for these reasons that healing assignments are passed out and some people are told to focus their heals and work on one particular target.  It has nothing to do with wanting you to be lower on healing meters or do only one job cause you suck at the rest, it’s because, as far as the raid is concerned, that’s where you’re going to accomplish the most.

Sometimes people just simply won’t pay attention to their assignments though.  They decide they’re going to become a rogue healer, sniping all over the raid and trying to get their healing totals up and here’s where things can start to go wrong.  The problem is, everytime someone roams out of their assigned healing target, that leaves the people they were assigned to vulnerable.  Even someone assigned to heal raid wide damage can cause problems with this sort of attitude if they’re too focused on keeping someone else’s target up or they’ve blown a cooldown in order to heal a tank that doesn’t need it.  Part of being a raider means knowing your role and sticking to it.

Now of course, some heal sniping is unavoidable.  When a priest tosses a Prayer of Mending or Circle of Healing, or a shaman throws out a Chain Heal, they can’t direct where it’ll end up.  Unintentional heal sniping will happen often when you’re with a good heal team who’s watching raid wide damage and trying to keep it low.  It’s when you come to a boss and someone gets trigger happy and starts healing up the MT when they’re assigned to the OT just because the OT hasn’t taken damage yet that problems arise.  They can lose precious seconds trying to switch back in case of an emergency, plus it’s a waste of both their mana and yours.  There’s nothing wrong with ending a fight with a full bar of mana if your target managed to avoid taking damage.  It doesn’t mean you have to find a reason to spend it because the fact of the matter is you might just need it later.

As I’ve said, a little heal sniping is fine as long as you’re aware of when and where to do it.  When you hit up a big, fugly boss and people are told what they need to be doing, well, they need to be doing that.  They have to focus and make sure that their job is accomplished before they start trying to patch holes that aren’t there.  If someone is consistently going off target just so they can see their names rise on the healing meter then they’re the equivalent of a lolrogue who’s pulling aggro in a PuG because they think it’s all about whoever does the most damage.  Please, gentle jerkwads, don’t be that guy.



The Story of Fail Sauce

So last night was quite… interesting.  You see, gentle jerkwads, our guild has been making regular runs at Sartharion with 3 drakes up.  An issue we’ve been having however has involved people showing up on the nights when we’re scheduled to do Naxx, clearing out the zone with us then bailing on the other nights, making progression beyond “loot for everyone!” somewhat difficult.  I understand that not everyone has no life like ol’ Duegie here, but if you’re part of a progression guild, that might mean you want to, oh, I don’t know, progress.

So we’ve come up with a plan.  Pretty much every night is now a Sartharion 3D night until we get him down.  If 7pm server rolls around and we’re a couple dps short, then we’ll roll on over to Naxx and start clearing until 25 people log on, then we fly over to OS and get down to bid’ness.  We’ll run it till trash mobs start to respawn, then we’ll return to Naxx for the rest of the night in order to keep people from burning out on Sarth wipes all night.  This method gives us about 10 to 12 3D attempts depending on how quick we can recover, and is working out quite nicely, making for some fun raid nights this last week.

However, just because you have 25 people doesn’t mean that you have a raid.  Raids are composed of separate and equally important individuals who must all pull together in order to accomplish the task at hand.  Weak links can sometimes be strengthened by those around them depending on the skill of your raiders, but there are two major lynch pins where you must be solid: Your healing and tanking team.  And this is where our hero, Fail Sauce comes in.

Pictured: Our Intrepid Hero

Pictured: Our Intrepid Hero

You see, for a few weeks now we’ve been accepting apps to our guild trying to build a more reliable raider base.  We’ve been steadily growing and as part of the app process we picked up a prot warrior I have lovingly dubbed Fail Sauce.  He had been on one or two raids with us before and last night was his first chance to be in the spotlight.  He had seemed to be doing alright as an off tank during our previous raid nights so I didn’t think that anything would be amiss.  Ominous, I know.

So we clear the trash and Fail Sauce is assigned to pick up the crazy shit-ton of adds that spawn when you do 3D.  First attempt comes and everything is going fine till the second drake lands then the adds start going crazy all over the raid.  People, it was pandelerium.  So we get back in after the inevitable wipe, “Fail Sauce, everything fine?”  “Sure guys, no problemo.”  So we go back to work, only for the same thing to happen twice more.  Big problemo.

We then figure maybe we’ll switch it up and our drake tank, who’s a pallie is placed on adds and Fail Sauce now takes over on drakes.  “I’m more comfortable on drakes anyways, guys, consider it done,” says Fail Sauce.  It was not done.  After the 4th wipe, we in the healing team noticed that Fail Sauce is just getting his ass handed to him by the drakes over and over again.  After seeing that he’s taking 15k crits and 2/3 of the damage he’s receiving is physical, we ask him what his defense is.  “505 guys, but don’t worry, I got a LOT of Stamina, so I should be alright.”  About here is where we begin to think that Fail Sauce might not be alright.

So after yelling at him that, yes, you DO need to be defense capped to tank the drakes, and NO, how his previous guild did things doesn’t matter here, we give it a couple more shots then decide to move to Naxx after trash starts respawning.  We move briskly through Abom wing, one shotting Patchwerk and Grobbulus and getting to Gluth.  Fail Sauce and pallie tank are assigned to yo-yo aggro on the boss and we run in and get to work.

And here is where Fail Sauce removes his mask to reveal the asshat beneath.  While the pallie tank pulls Gluth into position, Fail Sauce begins running around the back of the room, taunting all the zombies (if they reach Gluth, he heals for 5% health on each one he eats) till he has a fair size of them.  He then hauls ass straight for Gluth trying to pull about 10 of them over, which he accomplishes, healing Gluth back to full.  This is followed by him immediately D/Cing.  Worry not, however, for my guild is teh awesomez as our druid tank, who was in dps gear, switched to bear and we managed to recover and bring Gluth down in one shot still.  Suck it, Fail Sauce.

Needless to say, there was much guild kicking done of Fail Sauce and his alts and we began to speculate whether or not he was a plant or something.  It just seems unlikely that anyone can be that stupid about playing their own class unless they had just bought it off ebay or something.  What’s that?  Fail Sauce’s true identity?  Well, I won’t name names or anything, but let’s just say it starts with a “D” and ends with a “rooler”… and he plays a female prot warrior… on Darkspear server… armory page here… not that I’m naming names or anything.



The Sunday Cop-out, Wherein You do all the Work

So, if anyone’s been following my twitter account you know I was boohooing about the fact that I had to do some demo work on my house yesterday.  The previous owners had installed closets in the dining room (I know) and had sheet-rocked over our foyer’s entrance into Mrs. Dueg’s office (I know!) in order to create a fourth bedroom downstairs (I KNOW!).  But that’s neither here nor there, the point is that I’m sore, I’m achy, and I’m still not done.  Worry not, though, gentle jerkwads, for I have thought of a fantastic plan!  

You see, as I mentioned in my first strats post, I’m fairly new to raiding myself.  My first raid in WoW was Naxxramas 25, about a week after I hit 80.  My first experience went something like this:

“Hey buddy who I’m whispering, get me into your guild, I’m sick of running pick up groups”  “Sure thing, pal-o-mine Dueg, lemme just talk to one of the officers.”  You have been invited to the guild!  “Hey, welcome to the guild!”  You have been invited to a raid group!  You have been summoned to Naxxramas!  You have just shit a brick!

It was quite an interesting night.  However, after unclenching, the first thing I did was reach over, turn off the television to remove all distraction, then switched on vent and tried my root’n toot’nist to focus.  Of course it’s been a couple of months since then and as I’ve become used to the fights, I’ve returned to having it on in the background.  I still focus for bosses and on rough fights will turn it off altogether though.

Usually I have a movie going on in the background, I am a particular fan of ridiculous comedies (a shocker, I know) or I’ll have it tuned to comedy central or something suitably mindless.  If for whatever reason I feel like some music, I usually put on instrumental stuff like Nightmares on Wax, God is an Astronaut, or Explosions in the Sky, ambient stuff like that.  I find the background noise soothing while playing and I know I’m not alone.

So now we come to the end of my rambling, for their is much sheet rock to be conquered and daylight is wasting.  I am soliciting you to tell me what floats your proverbial boat when it comes to WoW distractions?  Do you rock out with your rooster out?  Perhaps a little opera if you’re feeling saucy?  Or maybe you’re like me and like a little Will Farrell action going on the ol’ boob tube?  Till then, I’ll be in my dining room, wondering what those looney people who used to own my house were thinking.



An Open Letter to Blizzard

Hi, Blizzard, do you know me?  You might, you take 15 dollars from my bank account every month, so I might seem interesting to you.  In exchange you provide me with this game, one that I enjoy immensely, please don’t doubt, and provide excellent support and customer service.  I’m certainly not here to complain about that, no sir-e-bob.  However…

Well, let me roll back a little, I’m a priest, one of the healing classes in the game.  You see, I’m a giver: health, my time, buffs, gold even, if I can afford it, and I certainly do enjoy giving.  It’s for this reason that I’m somewhat hesitant to write you this letter, but a breaking point has been reached!  I can no longer sit idly by while myself and my holy brethren are forced to endure the shame and ridicule that you so regularly heap upon us.  No, Blizzard, I ask… no, I demand that something be done and that this travesty against all priest-kind be addressed forthwith!

I am, of course, talking about Spirit of Redemption.  Now don’t get me wrong, the talent itself is fantastic.  The mechanics work great and it’s prevented a wipe more often than I like to admit.  The subtle Star Wars reference in the buff description (You have become more powerful than anyone can possibly imagine) makes for grade A humor and allows for jokes amongst the guild.  Also, people with their infinite creativity have come up with humorous new names for it: Improved Death, Priest PvP Form, LoLAngel.  All that stuff is fantastic.  No, Blizzard, I am writing to you to make one request, and a small one at that:  

Stop making me look like an asshole during raids.



Let me just say, I’m alright with dyeing during raids.  It’s gonna happen and I’ve consigned myself to regular 40 to 50 gold repair bills (at least I’m not a tank, right?).  I’m just not sure why you have decided to place the equivalent of the Vegas strip over my lifeless corpse.  I pay my monthly subscription just like everyone else and yet I am forced to endure the shame of raid wide, immediate knowledge of my demise.  Each time I die in the raid, I also die, just a little, right in my heart as well.  “Dueg down!” they all cry, because they all know!

So perhaps you can look into this and make it just slightly less obvious is all I’m saying.  Perhaps I can turn into a nice, unassuming, invisible wisp that shushes people when they call out my death? Or maybe I just grow a set of wings with the option to mute Chatty Cathies on vent?  Either way, Blizzard, the time has come to let myself, and all priests everywhere, have their dignity back.  Is it really so much to ask?



Hug Thy Fiend

Hola, gentle jerkwads!  A few weeks back, the Pugnacious Priest posted a song she composed sung to the tune of “I Want a Hippopatamus for Christmas” (aka: Best. Christmas Song. Ever.) dedicated to everyone’s favorite little mana restorer, the Shadow Fiend.  Now, I personally love that song and since it was close to Valentine’s Day, it inspired me to make a little card for all fiends everywhere. 

Well, earlier today she went ahead and posted it on her site, so if anyone’s interested in seeing my MS Paint chicken scratches and also her contribution for the 6th to the 6th meme, feel free to check the post here.  I usually don’t toot my own horn, but… tootely-toot.  It’s a great site, btw, and one where I regularly go to keep up with the darker side. 


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