Archive for January, 2010

27
Jan
10

In a Galaxy Far Far Away…

Pictured: The "Rock Your Effin Face Off" Galaxy

So I haven’t posted in about a week now and trust me when I say that this post was supposed to have gone up a long time ago.  I’m actually traversing the highways and biways of Texas right now in order to visit some old friends and see the ol’ rent-a-roos, which is why this post has been delayed.  I had planned on making it from someone’s computer earlier, but just couldn’t find the time.

However, this whole thing has made me think about how people keep up with their WoW time when they’re away on the va-ca?  Speaking for myself, generally when I take a trip, I’m completely disconnected.  No blog post reading or creating, no WoW time, no nothing.  This is because I don’t have a lap top and therefore wold have to play on someone else’s box if I really got the itch to play.

But there’s literally been no thought to do so for me.  I’ve only been enjoying the 80 degree winter weather (God bless Texas) and seeing old friends with hardly a thought to log on and do any dailies.  The game can wait, for the moment living life is what’s importatnt for me and WoW can wait until I get back in front of my own screen.

So now I turn to you, gentle jerkwads, in order to help me gloss over the weeklong no post marathon.  How do you WoW when you’re away?  Are you desperately trying to find a computer, any computer, just so you can do your dailies?  Perhaps you usually only stay with other WoW friends and therefore can actually get some nice same room sessions going wih your friends.  Or maybe you’re like me, where WoW is something to take a vacation from as well as your job.  Leave me a comment and lemme know.

-Dueg

Advertisements
20
Jan
10

Identity Crisis

Who is this handsome stranger?

Tuesday nights are Delirium’s ICC 10-man nights, which I’ve been making sure to sign up for regularly as I try to gear up to be a little better situated for 25s.  So last night I log on, check the weekly. see that it’s Lord Marrowgar and then notice that there are close to thirty signatures for our ten mans tonight.  Since I’m not an official raiding member and still at initiate status, I get a sinking suspicion I won’t be raiding.

So I stick around either way and the invites go out with everyone who signed up getting picked up into a 27 man raiding group.  There’s some hemming and hawwing over what’s going to be done for the night, whether or not we’re going to raid ICC still or maybe do an older 25 man in order to get others better gear.  During the course of the discussion they mention that it would be nice to have an extra healer.

Now the previous night I had been in a spectacularly fail Ignis raid as a healer, trying to grab last week’s weekly raid before at the last minute.  Sicne there were no other options, I had to go as heals then and even after all the time I was away from the healing train, I was somewhat surprised at how quickly and easily I fell back into the rhythm of it.  So I went ahead and offered up my healing services if it would make things easier to get the groups going.

I didn’t get an exact answer back right away and eventually calls went out for all people below raiding status to roll 100 and the lowes scores would be asked to leave.  I immediately roll a six and prepare to call it a night when I’m told that, as a healer, I have an automatic in and won’t be asked to leave.  So once more I donned my holy hat and made with the life bars.

Things went well the rest of the evening with us coasting through the first wing, only wiping once on Saurfang and even one-shotting Festergut with a textbook attempt.  I was able to go to shadow for two of the fights, so I really filled the role of swing healer/dps where necessary.  At the end of the night I was rewarded with enough new frost emblems from the weekly that I could finally afford my first piece of t10 gear.  But then the indecision set in.

I realized that if I had gone heals this evening, it’s most likely I would have to do so in the future.  Not to mention that as I was healing in ICC 10 (which was surprisingly easy compared to Ulduar), I felt that familiar twinge that came with being a raid healer.  The joy of seeing my power auras popping on and off coldown and my heals critting like nobody’s business was exhilerating again.

But was I ready to stop this crazy shadow experiment?  Could I simply turn away from all the time and gold (and trust me, it was a lot of gold) I had spent optimizing my gear for dps instead of heals?  When I asked our GL, she informed me that they needed heals for ten mans and ranged dps for twenty fives, so either one would be beneficial.  Truth be told, I wasn’t really blowing anyone away with my dps and I was only barely grasping the role as a ranged raider, so it wasn’t like the guild would miss my shadow deeps.

In the end I decided to wait until I had 95 badges so I could upgrade my robe (which definitely needs it), but I’m still a little rattled at how close I came to simply ditching shadow and returning to the raid healing role.  Am I ready to be deeps with that kind of attitude?  For the moment I’m shadow and I’m going to give it a few more weeks still, but I hope to have this decision wrapped up before I get my first t10 piece.

So waddya think, gentle jerkwad?  Should I drop shadow and return to my silly old healing ways?  If there’s anything I learned last night it was that I haven’t really lost a step as far as raid healing goes, and I’m defintiely a better healer than I am dps at the moment.  But then again… pew pew, mofos?

-Dueg

18
Jan
10

Transition Pains

So last night I skipped my happy ass on down to ICC 10 for another night of raiding and shadowy goodness.  I had just picked up some Nevermelting Ice Crystals, which I lurve, and was testing out a new rotation designed to maximize dps on my constantly refreshing SW:P dot.  Yup, things were certainly looking up for Dueg.

So we get in there and go to work, spanking trash around and making our way deeper into the heart of the frozen citadel.  Things were going ok and I was doing decent dps, though less than all the others.  This is mainly due to me pretty much skipping the ToC completely and still wearing mainly Ulduar/Naxx/Maly 25 gear.  I mean, I’m no slouch or anything, pulling in the range of 4k dps on single targets, but I certainly was lagging compared to the other, better geared raiders.

Still, I didn’t feel so bad, things were cruising and we were actually able to get Festergut down after only four or five attempts, somewhat surprised at how simple the fight seemed.  I was feeling pretty good about myself as I had managed to avoid making myself look like a total noob and registered a decent 3800 dps in the final tally.  Still way in the back, but I felt not too bad for someone who’s only been raid dpsing for a couple of weeks.

Then came Rotface.

Fuck yo couch!

The funny thing is that I’ve heard that this fight is supposed to be the easier of the two and is practically a tank and spank except for occasionally having to move.  This isn’t really a lie so much as a gross understatement.  You see, there’s an occasional mechanic where someone gets a disease and must run out to an off tank kiting adds around the room.  Once the disease fades, a slime will form and start attacking the person who had the disease.

In theory, once two or more slimes get close together, they form into a larger slime that continues to suck up more slimes until it gets so huge that it explodes.  Here’s where things get tricky.  You see, as the slime grows it starts doing aoe damage to everyone around it, but to get the small slime off you, you must be within a certain range of the big slime in order for it to call it over.  This is exacerbated by that fact that pipes around the edge of the room occasionally spit puddles of slime that do damage and snare anyone who steps in them.

So to make a long story short, I died a lot last night, usually before the wipe, but because the little slimes are such little bitches about forming up with the big slime, I also lost a lot of dps.  My dots were constantly falling off and I even registered only a pathetic 2200 dps for one particularly slime filled fight.  Yes, it was a poor showing for Shadow Dueg last night, and one that I hope to never repeat.

But other than this sad spectacle, the transition to dps is going quite well.  I’m beginning to smooth out my rotation, getting a feel for when to cast what and when mind blast comes off its cooldown.  My dps has been slowly rising and hopefully I’ll get caught up in gear soon so I can start making more of a raiding contribution.  Either way though, I’m loving the new guild, the new instance and being part of raiding again.  And I know that next week Rotface is going down like the little bitch he is.

-Dueg

15
Jan
10

Separation of P & E

I’ve only been back for a few weeks but already an old problem has cropped up, one that rears its ugly head fairly often for numerous different classes at various points in time.  Always a sad event heralded by much QQ on the forums, official or otherwise.  I speak, of course, of the dreaded nerf.  This time around it was the warrior crowd receiving a swipe of the bat as they had their ability to break roots and snares pruned back thanks to a Warbringer nerf.  Why did this have to happen?  Why couldn’t the warriors continue merrily breaking movement impairing effects in order to be better tanks during raids and dungeons?  Because of three little letters: PvP.

Now anyone who knows me knows that I am definitely not a fan of the PvP at all.  I much more enjoy getting loot from raids and the camaraderie of other players as opposed to small thirty second bursts where I’m frenetically trying to cast damage spells while getting stun locked for the entire “match”.  Arena is definitely not a place for the priestly crowd and I was more than willing to stay away and still am.  The problem though is not that there is PvP  in the world, but rather that it is effecting even those who decide to avoid it, making it something of a pox upon the raiding community.

Look, the deal is that when you have these two systems that are so very wildly different, you simply can not balance them between the two without destroying the integrity of one or the other.  Either you overbalance one class by giving them a PvE ability that causes them to absolutely own at arena (see: Death Knights 3.0) and overbalances the population in their favor, or you do what was done to warriors and nerf them back, making them balanced in the arena but killing some of their fun in other places.  It’s pretty much a lose-lose situation that Blizzard continually tries to make work, often leading to a river of nerdly tears and asthmatic angst.

Here's the saddest one of all, just not emotionally

The main problem is that Blizzard continually tries to balance these systems even though they’re obviously not working together and it’s gotten to the point that people just aren’t surprised by it anymore.  Oh, there’s still plenty of grousing going on and the blogs and forums definitely light up as the news filters down through the WoW community, but for the most part it’s met with a ho-hum sort of response with most people saying something along the lines of “this blows, but it’s what Blizzard does to us”.  This complacent acceptance must end!

The thing is, there’s an easy enough solution, one so simple that I’d be extremely surprised to find out is only being proposed here on my lonely corner of the web for the first time.  Blizzard, why don’t you simply make some abilities unavailable in arena?  I mean, if you can write into the code the ability to make mounts unavailable once you cross an invisible line to become indoors, why can’t you do it so that specific talents or abilities disappear once you enter arena?  I’ll admit that I’m not a programmer, but that seems like something that could be implemented that could go a long way to solve the problem.

Let’s go back to our warrior example real quick.  The talent Warbringer allows a warrior to use charge and a few other abilities while in combat that they could not before.  If they did, then those abilities would break any movement impairing effect in addition to their usual effect.  Because this was allowing warriors to break roots and snares in arena, which was considered an unfair advantage, Blizzard removed the impairment breaking effect.  Now it may be a little too much to ask for Blizzard to dissect a talent like this and remove part of the effect (breaking impairment) and leaving the other (using abilities in combat), but imagine how easy and cleanly the problem could have been fixed if they had done that.

Perhaps they could simply add two new talents or spells/abilities for every class with one only working in arena and one only working in PvE, then they can work on balancing those and leave the other stuff alone.  If they wanted to go even more extreme, they could introduce a brand new PvP talent tree designed to countermand PvE talents, or even simply introduce new talents into the existing trees.  A specced Mind Flay where the snare effect can not be broken would both cancel out the warrior’s talent and allow it be used in PvE at the same time.  Thing is, Blizzard is not a fan of solving problems like this, preferring more of a slash and burn method where they simply throw out what doesn’t work between the two.

I’ll reiterate it again and even go further: I’m not a video game programer or a dev.  I don’t fully know what goes on behind the scenes in Blizzard’s clandestine halls.  Perhaps what I’m suggesting here is so monumentally difficult it teeters on the realm of impossibility.  But the fact of the matter, Blizzard, is that you can not solve your PvP balance issues by removing PvE abilities from other classes because then you’re stifling a vibrant and, by your own admission, vitally important portion of the game.  This is compounded by the fact that those most effected by the nerf usually don’t even participate in arena.

Look, monsters don’t complain any time they feel like any particular class has an advantage over them, but I get that players do, and constantly.  However, any time a class is weakened as a whole in an attempt to placate the arena crowd, it effects not just the individual players of that class, but also the raid dynamic of their guilds and possibly even strats and gems and enchants.  You can’t justify such a massive shift simply because you’re not willing to seek alternative solutions to problems, at least not as frequently as it’s done in WoW.  So Blizzard, I think it’s time to put down the bat, take a breath of fresh air, and solve your problems with some common sense.  Ready?  Good.  Now put an arrow on the front of the circle that pops up under someone when you select them and give us back our inky black ball of doom, you sacks of shit.

-Dueg

11
Jan
10

Delirium won’t know what hit it

So like I said on Friday, I went ahead and apped to Rey and Scrat’s guild and began to prepare myself to once more plunge into the depths of Northrend’s chilled dungeons.  After a spirited montage of me taking it to the limit, Reyk was able to put in a good word for me and I got an invite to the guild.  Checking the calender I signed up for a couple of raids and happily went off to research fights.  Yes, I was a raider once more, albeit a much darker one than before, and I must admit, I was excited.

Suckers

So last night I logged on and within a minute get a tell from the guild leader asking if I wanted to come run ICC ten man, which is an invitation you really shouldn’t turn down after only one day.  So I bravely stepped up to the plate and went on my first raid in over three months.  The group had already cleared the first wing and was moving directly onto the Plague Works wing.  We were able to kill Precious in one swing and wiped only once on Stinky and moved straight over to Rotface.  The fight was a lot of fun, kind of a straight tank and spank except for one tank who kites mobs and random members occasionally having to run to the tank and drop a slime off.

We wiped on him all night long, but it was a lot of fun just to be raiding again, embraced in the warm grasp of nine other people sharing my hopes and dreams.  And I did a respectable enough job, pulling around 37 to 3800 on most fights depending on how often I had to run a slime over to the off tank.  We only got the boss down to like 30% at it’s lowest, but at least the other group didn’t get him down either.  I also am definitely beginning to get a feel for shadow priesting and understanding what it takes to be a raider as dps.

First off, understanding your rotation is key.  As a shadow priest I’ve found that the secret is to get your timing down to the point where your dots are always up on your target, your mind blast is always on cooldown and you are always casting a spell.  To this effect I’ll always start with Vampiric Touch and Mind Blast to get replenishment ticking.  Then I’ll throw Devouring Plague and Shadow Word: Death up there and cast Mind Flay, which allows me to begin the regular rotation, constantly recasting dots just before they fall off and always interjecting Mind Flay when there’s no other spell to cast.

I also found that targeting is another factor that you must be aware of, able to switch when necessary to the correct target.  Though this particualr tip matters less in large geoups in which the only tip I can give is this: Mind Sear.  If there are more than two mobs still standing, cast more Mind Sear.  If your target dies, find another and cast more Mind Sear.  When you think you’ve been casting too much Mind Sear, cast more Mind Sear.  This spell makes me weep with the awesome potential and is the only reason I pulled over 4200 dps for the entire night.

Of course there’s the usual raider caveats such as being aware of where you stand and making sure to let the tank gain aggro first (that particular one I broke last night when I got a little over excited).  You’ve also gotta be aware of your oh shit buttons and when and where to cast them.  Bring consumables, yadda yadda, all that good stuff.  Also, do your research, I can’t stress this fact enough as I ran across this interesting little vendor for the first time since being back:

Woulda been good to know this information 200 badges ago

All I know is that I’m definitely ready for raiding again.  I just hope it’s ready for me.

-Dueg

09
Jan
10

Weekend Funny

Hey everybody!  Anyone who follows me knows that another one of my nerdly pursuits is Warhammer 40k, more to the point, painting the miniatures as I’ve never really played a game.  So while I was doing my usual Saturday morning coffee/blog surfing, I came across a pretty hilarious video about Fantasy Warhammer, the original, non-sci-fi version of 40k.  Since it’s pretty rare to find a medium other than just pictures about the subject, I thought I’d share it.  So I present to you My Dark Elf Army is the Greatest Power for Evil in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, enjoy!

-Dueg

08
Jan
10

To Raid Again

So I’m back.  For pretty much two weeks now I’ve logged on every day except maybe two and have made sure to run a random a day and lately have begun to run all the ICC instances looking for new gear (I swear, Ick drops his little fucking rotten thumb one more time and I’m gonna go ape shit all over the place).  But at the same time, I can still feel it there, over my shoulder and whispering into my ear, the dreaded Malaise of Warcraft.

Don't turn around!

The feeling of repetition and pointlessness.  Sure, I’m farming badges and working on getting slightly better loot in the new ICCs, but that goal has a foreseeable ending and after that, well, what then?  So I’m seriously considering apping to a new raiding guild, one that Scrat and Reyk have joined.  Apparently the guild regularly takes “casual” apps, and in face they only need casual priests at the moment.  This means that if I’m around, I would have a chance at raiding only if someone doesn’t show up and open invites go out.  I’m kind of ok with that.

So now that the possibility is there, I’m definitely going to have to start getting back into raid shape again.  I’ve already started with gear upgrades from the farming, obviously and am now regularly pulling between 3800 and 4000 dps in heroics regularly, and I can definitely feel it.  The adrenaline, the pull of the dark side, the pure power of it all, and the ultimate sorrow of losing our little black inky ball of doom and death, a true tragedy.

R.I.P., You left us too soon

So will I become a raiding priest once more?  Well, only time will tell, but I will probably be apping a little later this afternoon and we’ll see what the next few days will get us.  I’m nowhere near being a hard core raider anymore, and my gear needs at least two tiers of upgrades to be standard at this point, but that’s easily changeable after a few raids of ToC or maybe even getting to poke my head into ICC.  Eather way, I’m  back, gentle jerkwads, and for the moment, it feels good.

Go Shadow Dueg, go.

-Dueg




Posts with the Mosts

Tell me how awesome I am!

Beat the rush and send me an e-mail at: HolyDueg@gmail.com. It's good to have heroes.