Tuesday, July 31, 2007

One for the ladies...

Or at least this mysterious TJ person everyone seems scared of...

The Warlock Manifesto!

-by Richard (of LFGcomic fame... http://www.lfgcomic.com/page/62)

I find this constant discrimination against my kind rather offensive.
It is time... for a change.

I say to you today, my friends, that even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream.

I have a dream that one day warlocks will rise up and cast off the shackles of oppression.

I have a dream that one day we will no longer be judged upon by how different we are from you.

I have a dream that one day we will be looked at, and labeled, simply, as 'friend'.

I have a dream that one day, when all this occurs, that we will take advantage of suprise and slaughter as many of you as possible.

I have a dream that one day there will be no structure left standing, no man or woman un-decapitated and no babies left undevoured.

I have a dream, that none of you are spared from the horrors of our rule.

p.s. Goin into hiding for a while... The demented dwarf over at BRK linked to me... Hunter's Mark goes away after 2 min, but I've no idea how long ya gotta hide from a link by a guy with his own merchandise. Thankfully, a source in his organization has been supplying me with inside information so I can avoid the dwarf-hunt. Yep... once it becomes common knowledge that you have 375 cooking skill and tons of fish, you get all kinda friends in the hunter sidekick community.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Another week, another 350 Arena Points...

I usually keep a few of these around to test things out.

Like if a ret pally could dps his way outta one...

This week... Melvin, the PoM/Pyro mage completely failed the arena test. He cannot even fight his way outta a paper bag.

We went 5-5 in our 5v5 arena team.

Poetic? Fate? Karma?

Well, 7 matches in, we were 3-4. The damage board was...

Magebert (same build, same gear as Melvin. *Exactly* same build/gear)
The MS warrior
The healer.

Magebert and I were close in damage with magebert on top most of the time. MS boy was usually doin 30% less than either of us. Melvin... about half. Half of mine, half of magebert. Sometimes the healer beat him.


Then the fun part... magebert and melvin decided to get their alts some arena points... so we'd be goin into battle with...
MS Warrior
Mabd, the Beast Mistress Hunter
Shadow Priest
Melvin's elemental shammy
Magebert's disc/holy priest

We went 2-1. And I learned my lessons for the week. First.... melvin sucks. Second... healing really really matters. Third... hunters do amazing dps in arena sometimes...

The one match outta the three that we completely pwned... Mabd did more than 50% of our team's total damage. I shoulda got a screen shot. I've never seen anything close to it.

The problem with hunters in arena, especially BM hunters... is that they simply have no interrupts. Just that once every minute 1 sec stun offa Intimidation. OTOH, you can make yourself unstoppable for 18 seconds, and you have range second to none. If you work the /assist angle properly... you can backup other dps on your team.

But you are pretty much useless when it comes down to you vs. the resto shammy or holy pal... you cant out dps their heals, and you can't interrupt their heals.
*God* I miss scatter shot and wyvern sting.
Anyway... melvin cites equipment again. When we get beat three times by a team that kills us in the same order everytime... it's not teamwork... it's gear.

Fun quotes from the weekend.
Melvin: "They just had better gear than we do!"
Melvin: "Kara is fun, but I already have everything I want from there."
Magebert on his disc/holy priest, after 2 wipes on a 5 man outdoor boss...
"Hold on, let me put my +healing gear on."
After we kill the boss...
"It didn't matter anyway, all I did was spam greater heals..."

And the fun hunter tip for the week... for some unbelievable reason...

Cooking food increases the pet satisfaction it provides. Mabd got to spend an hour fishing to stock up on treats for the bottomless pit. Normally I dont bother cooking the fish... cuz cooking six or seven stacks of fish takes forever, and the pet eats it either way... but I'd been wondering bout this for some time...
At level 70, raw barbed gil trout provides +17 pet happiness a second.
And... cooked barbed gil trout provides +35.
Sigh... all that fish wasted in the past. Gourmand pets...

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Rant time!

I know what you're thinking. Jeez... what have you been doing all this time?

Well... time for derangement. There's something missing from WoW. Something you don't see enough of.


I mean really. Playing on a rppvp server (two lies for the price of one, thanks a hell of a lot for doing nothing to keep the rp element real, Blizz...)
I like to introduce a bit of verisimilitude to keep it cute. Mabd is a vicious hater of the most detestable race in the game. The most useless, lazy pointless piece of crap race ever introduced into azeroth (before the Draenei.. but that's ok, radiation poisoning from those idiotic ships will kill em off before Mabd has a chance to get personal...)..

Talkin about trolls.

Talkin bout the race whose racial abilities get changed every three or four damn patches. Talking bout the race whose racial priest spells get redone so often I now have no damn idea what they are. Talking bout the bridge squatting stingy cannibals that intentionally smell like carrion so that troll hunters have a chance of catching at least one pet... carrion eaters.

Really. Is there anything more useless? More idiotic? All right! Below 20% health! Time to...
1. bandage
2. run
3. go berserk and do as much damage as possible before the execute lands!

No REALLY. Blizz had to change it to a pure speed buff that gets more efficient the closer to dead you are.. but that can still be triggered at full health. Its now a poor man's orcish blood rage. Great. Now trolls are even more cheap knock offs of the great and noble race.

What else? Oh yeah, increased health regeneration! Whoo boy. +10%. And then they added that it regens 10% during combat! Whooo! Thats almost 5 health every 5 seconds... at level 70....

But no... the piece de resistance. The cat's meow. +5 skill with throwing weapons! Holy cow, you've done it now! BROKEN RACE!

Oh wait, that was so completely useless that they switched it to bows? Really? So trolls are now legendary bow users? Quick, give em something else... +5% damage against beasts... oh yeah. Thats the trick.

Melvin is a troll. Melvin, the troll mage does nothing but complain about warlocks and shadow priests... "What can I do? I'm always feared!"

Play a real race, Mel. WotF anyone?

"But that heath regen is soo useful! It helps me farm!"

At this point I had to explain why he had the conjure food spell...

Here's my problem. Some races are just uber dominant. Orcs stand alone, because of their story and nobility. From slavery to dominion over a continent! And they have nice racials... all of which my hunter makes use of... blood rage... +250 rap for 10 sec, 2 min cooldown. +5 axes... so that damn wingclip doesn't MISS. +5% pet damage... whoooo baby.

Tauren. Armsandfury still giggles like a girl over warstomp. And +health. And +nature resist, which can be nice. And a herbalism buff, nuttin wrong with that. And in a pinch, if org comes under siege, Thrall will break out the
[A-1 Sauce of Potency]

And orcs will not starve!

As for forsaken, they give me creeps. But don't argue with someone whose breath smells like dead dwarves. Losing proposition.

Blood elves? Bleh. What kinda hunter wears silk in the field? Kinda neat tho... now when we take prisoners, instead of "give em to the trolls to cook" its "give em to the blood elves for... questioning..."

And the forsaken are the ones making the suggestion...

But really. I would love to see trolls redeemed. Here's a suggestion. Give hunters an autofire option for thrown weapons. And THEN... give trolls a +10% crit racial with thrown weapons. AND instead of +5% damage to beasts... make it +3% damage to humanoids. And last... make berserk what the old soul link used to be... a vampiric talent that restores a modicum of life and mana based on damage done. This would make trolls a lot more fun/interesting. And wouldn't you love to see a thrown weapon hunter build? Less damage, but no ammo problems, and they would crit like ninjas....

BTW... races most fun to kill... gnomes. I can watch em die for hours. Plus blood elves. Killin BEs in outland... that animation, one arm reaching up weakly as I loot them... precious.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

You may be a huntard if...

Your play a toon named Mabd. No, seriously. I used to pwn warriors, now they walk all over me... God, i miss my old survival build sometimes...

Anyway, the guild of guilds has set me off again. For the record, I am an unrepentant curmudgeon. In modern english, a serious ass-hole. Few things annoy me more than people talking crazy talk.

But worst has been the rash of hunters in my guild. We have one acceptable one, and he's merely a cookie cutter MM. (Albeit a damn well vicious one... who doesn't make stupid mistakes...) Seriously. When Mabd made 67, there was an exceptionally annoying just 70 tauren hunter who committed the heresy of respeccing MM from BM.

Mabd, proud mistress of all fanged damaging things, called him out.

"You don't understand! MM just does sooo much more damage."
"Duel me, traitor."
"You're only 67, I'd crush you."
"Traitor and coward. Nice combo for a cow."
"Mabd, I wept when I respecced... please don't give me a hard time..."

Duel went down in garadar. Well, actually, 4 duels.
He got me down to a third of my health. Once. Which I posted in guild chat.
"Much better! That time you got me down to a third!"
His response...
"OMFG! You're pure evil!"

K. It wasn't the builds. The poor guy was a huntard. His pet... a bear. His weapon... honed voidaxe.

How to recognize a huntard? Honed frikkin voidaxe is a good clue. Some weapons we should avoid at all costs... corpsemaker is one. Honed voidaxe is another. For god's sake... its no better for a hunter than an adamantite axe... And thatsa damn green. Or get the dagger offa RoB, and get the other blue dagger offa the dune quest line in Bone Wastes... and dual wield with superior +crit, +agil, +ap... with about same sta. (I hate not being able to look this stuff up at work...)

Nother damn thing that bugs me. Spirit bond. Great talent back in the day, when it gave a fraction of your pet's damage back as life. But really, almost useless in both pve and pvp. In pve, if you takin damage, you doin something wrong. In pvp, 2% over ten seconds aint gonna save anyone. Everytime I pass a hunter and click on em to see the spirit bond... I just feel old.

What brought this up? The guild of guilds, and its insanely inept hunters.
We have a hunter named K. K seems a friendly sort, but really talks too damn much. He's running three +60 chars, and is probably a kid, or younger college student. And he declared himself the number two hunter in the guild a few weeks ago... just after the MM guy I mentioned earlier.

Now, I lookup chars in armory all the time, spec hunters in my guild. K. made 70 with less than 900 rap. Hes a little better now ( I think he was MM at the time...)

But really. The number 2 hunter in the guild. Before poor mabd... (who lurks. Doin instances with the guild sometimes has a worse track record than PUG's.)

And this was his comment on sunday... about a month after he made 70. A month of running instances with the guild...
"I finally broke down and paid 7g to get misdirection..."

It hurts me. I know I am limited. I have so much more to learn. But still... good frikkin lord.

Monday, July 23, 2007

The pitfalls of Arena...

Bigredkitty has that wonderful x-bow from kara. You know the one, 79dps, lotsa nice mods.
I want its big brother. Merciless gladiator's x-bow of extreme pain and suffering.... 89 dps, and enough plus hit, crit, ap and resiliance to make a smear of any foo that insults the orcish race.
I'd link, but I'm at work, and can't access any of the fun sites...
Anyway, it looks awesome, like field artillery...
Only problem is... its 3500 arena points, and I only have 2000. How much do I get a week? ~300.
Of course, I blame Melvin.
Arena has driven me insane. Hunters are extremely difficult to use properly in arena. BM hunters are even more limited. True, I can match the damage of most classes, but I have diddly for interrupts unless I actually walk up to a caster and throw a trap under their feet.
Mabd the awesome, Mabd the proud, Mabd the orciesh of all orc hunters...
screwed by lack of versatility....
So in our 5 man, we have 2 pom mages (Melvin and Magebert, his brother), a shadow/disc priest, a deep fire mage (Taki, more on her later...) and two MS warriors.
And poor Mabd.
We shouldn't be losing. The strategy I've made for the group is simple... the 2 pom mages (who practice in their own 2v2) kill ONE thing at the start. The warrior and priest (who practice in their own 2v2), lock down something else. Mabd finds a healer or squishy, and does lovely lovely damage to it. A few seconds into fight, they should have one down, two chewed on, and the mages rotating to cause more damage to something else...
The problem...
"Melvin! Magebert! Why arent you attacking the same target?"
"How the hell am I supposed to know what HE's attacking?"
They have both been raiding for months with the guild. Melvin is a guild officer and on the progression team. And neither of them know target of a target or assist commands...
Which brings us to Taki, the last mage, and the cuckoo in our nest. Taki belongs to a real raiding guild, one that took her under their wings and taught her all sorts of neat things. Like a nifty focus macro that lets her poly one target while dpsing another...
When I saw her doing this in arena, I begged/threatened her for the details, which led me to wowwiki's macro page and all sorts of fun.
Magebert has the macro now, but doesnt like using it. Melvin can't be bothered. "Sounds too complicated..."
And yet... this last arena week, Melvin got it into his head (while watching Taki fight with such elan and skill...) that the best use of his talents was trying to keep a holy pally polymorphed while ignoring the rest of the fight... including the shadow priest that kept decursiving the pally, and the wonderful MS warriors that were killing everyone else...
Needless to say, our shadow priest, who was healing the entire fight, did more damage in these matches than Melvin, the arcane/fire pom mage.
Tonight Melvin and Magebert are goin out the the bone wastes with Mabd for a quick primer in group targeting... I will have my GEAR!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

What if the world began with a whimper, not a bang?

The greatest graphic novel of all time is Alan Moore's Watchmen, about a realistic world with super heroes, and the burden they pose. The title, like most truly exceptional titles, refers to many things. First is the obvious link to Juvenal's satire, and the comment "Who will watch the watchmen?"

Anyway, I'm kicking off this blog with a graphic novel for many reasons.

First, if you are turned off by someone discussing the brilliance of certain comic books, go the hell somewhere else. (BTW, the greatest work in any language is King Lear, the most profound religious work is Job, and you cannot declare an exemplar movie or television show... the genre overrules the media...)
Second, I don't know what blogging is supposed to be. But I have an idea about stories. So I will tell stories. (This doesn't mean I am proficient. Just that it is less shameful to do something badly while following the rules than it is to do something badly in complete ignorance of the forms. The latter implies disrespect, of the form, of the readers, whatever...)

So... Watchmen. Alan Moore tells a story. And one of the problems with telling an illustrated tale is backstory. The written word allows infinite digression. The comic that jumps back and forth will lose people, and proves exceptionally weak with introspection. The hero with an internal monologue at the moment of greatest trial, an exception. Moore's way around this was to include a text backstory, in the form of the autobiography of one of the "golden age" heroes, commenting on the new generation of superheroes...

Imagine this, one of the guys whose idea of being a good guy was beating up a thug with his fists, ignoring guns as the cowardly weapons they are... all of a sudden face to face with someone who can kill with a thought. As the Guiness guys go... "Brilliant!"

What does this have to do with WoW? After all, this is a WoW blog...

You must understand. I am a veteran of a thousand psychic wars. I know this damn game. I played the beta, I got the collector's edition, I've leveled most of the classes to 60, I've done a ton of end content. Then...

I quit.

(You know the tale... there was a girl, a guild, and then I got a job. I still have the job...)

When I got back in, I hopped on a new server, swearing to avoid mistakes made before. This time... pvp server. Anything else is like playing ps2 with an audience. Soloed a bit more, and while joining a guild, avoided getting heavily involved with them.

And I have come to the bitter realization. I am Renoobed. People in the game are like cyborgs from the future. They have lost touch with the simple beauty of the game, and depend upon add-ons and elaborate macros for their survival... and yet they are so much more competent than we who first played could ever have dreamed... so much gained, and everything lost.

"there are those that would have wept to step barefoot into reality..."

Case in point. I talked one of my coworkers into joining the game with me.

You must understant, this was not rape. He was asking for it. He is of age and an experienced gamer. I did not understand at the time the nature of his soul, tho. He played Diablo 2 for YEARS. He botted the game, and thought that that was appropriate. And then he joined WoW. Call him Ismael. No, wait, that's taken. Call him... Melvin.

He is an add-on junkie. Take away KTM, and he has no idea how to measure threat. Take away the little color markers, and he has no idea who to sheep. And he plays 4 hours a night, 12-16 on weekends and holidays.... he loves a new mod called Deadly Bosses... "It lets you know when Arena starts!"

He farms like it's sex. He is still complaining because I made him respec from deep fire to arcane/fire so he wouldn't be a burden in the arena team he demanded. (And only after I talked his brother, alse a mage, into a respec... my friend can handle my complaints... Melvin cannot deal with concrete proof of his shortcomings.) It took him three weeks to figure out that he could move to a different area and grind different mobs just as effectively...

BTW... he HAD to respec. He had a point in imp frost ward. A FIRE MAGE. His brother had a point in imp wands. Lord Buddha have mercy...

Did I mention it took me 2 months to get him to start using Scorch in raids?

K... so that's Melvin. He farms 4 hours/day... for fun. What poor chinese students do in sweatshops for survival, he finds... entertaining. He already has enough gold for elite flying mounts for all the characters he will ever have. Still... he grinds.

He does not know what talents a frost mage would have because he has never bothered looking into the frost tree. He barely understands arcane... because I explained it to him. In arena, when he sees a Moonkin, he shouts "Kill the healer!" Then he tries to sheep it.

"I hit that warlock with a POM pyroblast, and his life bar barely moved! He must have tier 5!" Melvin does not know what other classes can do. How to tell the difference between a fury or arms or prot warrior. A retri or holy pal. He keeps asking me to silent shot healers in arena... while my cat is red and stomping all over things...

Melvin has more than 24k HK's.

Melvin has all the non arena pvp gear because he pvps 16 hour a day on honor weekends. And Melvin criticizes me because I have yet to begin serious efforts to gear my poor orc hunter, Mabd. For Melvin... it is all gear. Skill is not a factor. Talent builds are irrelevant.

Melvin is an officer in our guild, on the Kara progression team, and, to the best of my knowledge since the old one left, our mage class leader.

I will not go quietly into this new world order. I will not be silent. It is time to take a stand against the creeping add-on silliness that protects sub-par players from the jagged edges of the cruelty that is WoW. All I got is a red kitty, three chars, and the truth. All I got is a red kitty. The rest is up to you.