Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Steven Brust's latest book came out in paperback yesterday. I picked it up after lunch and, two hours later, have almost finished it.

He's a wonderful author. He writes mostly fantasy, but he employs a lot of very nice tricks. And he works hard on continuity, which is always a problem with series.

I read too fast. I can down 400 pages in about two and a half hours, more if it's dense material, less if it's pulp fiction. I noticed some time ago that I tend to slow down when reading decent books... to make it last longer. Notice the use of "decent." I'm not sure if I can call books "good" anymore. I classify them as "decent" or "trash." A sub section of the second category is "my kinda trash." Laurell K. Hamilton used to be in that category before she dropped to soft, and then hard core porn masquerading as vampire horror.

Anyway, the Vlad Taltos series by Brust has an interesting take on the whole Michael Moorcock inspired soul eating weapon thing. I won't go into the details, but there is a reason I'm mentioning it.

I found the price I'll put on my WoW soul.

I'm gonna respec 0/41/20 MM sometime soon. I can't handle BM's lack of control anymore. I must have scattershot, silent shot, and hawk eye.

What brought me to this point? Playing Majeure, my mage.

My 67 mage was running around AV all weekend. This, gentle reader, you already know. I ended up with over 20k honor for the weekend. And Maj was kicking ass.

I spent most of the time on defense. And once, one magical moment, I caused an alliance wipe on Drek that saved the game.

If you are still reading at this point, if you didn't turn away in shock and disgust upon reading of my impending respec... well, you will need a stronger stomach now, my friends...

Melvin taught me all I know about AV. And I wiped em the Melvin way... Deep fire has a wonderful aoe stun spell. Blood elf mages have a very useful aoe silence... I snuck into the frostwolf keep when the allies had drek at 55%. A coupla hordies were ahead of me, and managed to take out the allies guarding the doorway... so when i came around the corner, and found all the healers and half the ranged dps in one batch... well..

Dragons breath (no heals for 3 sec)
count to 3...
Blast wave (some stuns)
Aoe Silence (2 secs)
... maj dies...

But I got to watch, as drek killed off his tanks during the silence, then began working his way down the threat chart...

And then I realized... I'd been doing the equivalent of leveling a holy spec priest... MM hunter is the pvp build. It has spells that reward skill far more than those in BM do. BM is far more effective in raiding... but simple damage doesn't cut it anymore.

Why do I feel so empty?

Monday, October 29, 2007

It happened...

Guild broke, silent in the night...

All the original core left, to found a new guild... from Army of Eternity to Veterans of Eternity.

I really wasn't the catalyst...

Wisdom: Seeing the mountain of crap approaching, and realizing that you've been in this situation before...

"Hey, that's a mountain of crap!"

When a guild that considers itself a hard core raiding guild (well, not really, but casual, "serious" about raiding...) has to spam general in Nagrand to PUG for Gruul's... it's damn over.

Mabd is now in Noctumbulant. God save me, I've joined a mispelled guild :(

Majeure is homeless until 70, when I hope to hop her to Noct. Noct is gonna be my first experience with hard core pvp.

K... this weekend was AV honor holiday. And with the proposed changes to AV in 2.3, it was busy. If you are unaware... AV honor holiday is more or less honor welfare. An epic item runs from 11k to 17k honor. (Boots, bracers or belt...) These items are MUST haves. You will not find better till after kara, for the most part. Low in dps stats, ton of sta and resiliance. Since my mage is going with Spellfire and Spellstrike sets... which have next to NO sta, I'll really need the boots and bracers from BG.

So... 11k for epic bracers. How much honor can you get from AV in a game during an honor holiday?

500-800. And it takes no more than 20 min. So... Majeure made 12.5 honor on saturday, and 6k on sunday. I doubled her lifetime kills, and almost managed to go from neutral (0) to revered with the Frostwolf faction on saturday ALONE. (I passed out... I'm weak...)

As of monday morning, Maj is halfway to exalted.

Just to understand how big a deal the AFK thing was... Melvin would play a ton of games back before the anti-afk stuff started. Since his computer is near his TV... he would eat and watch while quasi-AFKing. His record for a weekend was 35k honor.

So... the new changes should put a stop to all this... OTOH... it seems that there will be new BG dailies... with rewards of up to 4k honor each. (Two are currently available...)

Maj did just fine against most of the 70's. However... not so hot against the bosses... Vann and Bal kept resisting my spells, and when I hit it was for half damage :(

Time to level the little killer some more!

EDIT: It appears, according to WoWInsider, that the 4k honor per daily was a blizz typo, the actual amount is 400. Less abusive, fer sure, but with season one arena gear going fer about 22-30k honor each...

Hrm... 2 bg dailies... 800, + the honor from playing... say 1k honor a day. A month a piece? Jeez...

Now ya know why I refer to gnomes as "Free Range Honor..."

Friday, October 26, 2007

In defense of Melvin...

Melvin is not an idiot.

Melvin is a n00b.

There is a difference.

The reason Melvin is the mage tank is because melvin decided early on that success in WoW depends on tons of sta and resiliance. So he has tons. and tons. and tons.

The reason Melvin prefers his shammy to his mage is because it takes longer for people to kill his shammy than his mage.

Melvin is blind to certain aspects of the game... such as kiting.

Melvin is a competant mage tank, and no other mage in the guild has close to his health...

Were I to get my mage to 70.. I'd sack the AH for +sta greens, and make a passable mage tank. It don't take much. The trinket from kara would help a ton as well... but just pile on insane +sta, and ignore everything else.

I tried to explain the roles of spell hit, reduced arcane resistance, and proper timing of fire ward for the High King fight. Melvin simply cannot play at that level. Hesa button masher... not a timer.

Counterspell is useless to him without the points that give it silence.

No one else in the guild understands these... finer points.

Melvin will never blog. He's too repressed. I pass on hellos to him, and every so often, he'll ask me... "that's going in your blog isn't it?" after my face freezes in mid conversation...

@BRK... the PUG hunter misdirected onto the wrong target. Cuz he wasn't listening... TWICE. And since the guild can't possibly do a "misdirect" phase, then a "pull" phase without sitting around with thumbs up asses long enough for misdirect to lapse...

Many is the time in Kara I wish I could say... "trap cooldown is near up, pull in next 10 seconds please..."

The problem with the guild... they'll do the high king pull right, and then NOT be able to down everything quickly enough...

But you've all asked about the response to my guild post...

Just one. The guild head said I was mostly right, then said I was being unduly negative..

K... then last night...

First, comcast sucks balls. You guys need to know this.

Second... i get home, and cable and internet are both down. I call melvin, tell him to let guild know that I'm out for the night.

Melvin tells me that the officer's forum has a huge post fest on the breakup of the guild...

At work today, I grab melvin, get his officer login info, and check for myself...

The guy in charge of posting to realm/guild recruitment forums... is quitting. ("Mabd is right") The guild heads want to resign. The new plan is to break and reform the guild with a smaller, dedicated raiding core...

The title of the thread? "Breaking Point..."

Thursday, October 25, 2007

I doan drink enough...

I feel like crap. The weather turned, and I've been walking back and forth to work in a moderately chill drizzle that sneaks inside of a jacket like Jessica Alba into my dreams.

Yesterday I came home early to miss a storm, crashed, then woke late and had A&F run maj through a coupla group quests.

Fer the record... I try not to start an ass kicking contest with a porcupine. We were doin the nagrand trampoline quest... herk lands, sees a gnome mage... prepares...

"Doan mess with him... he's o.k."

By which i meant... we're right next to the graveyard, AND the alliance base... and about to fight an elite... lay the hell off...

We got the quest done, but a NE asshat shadow priest (I believe my thoughts on NE's are well documented...) started crap then ran into the ally base...

A&F, of course, followed. The mage took the opportunity to get some cheap shots in on A&F before I scragged his gnome ass.

That's my side of the story, and I'm sticking to it...

Anyway, this post... I have to go home from work in about 2.5 hours.

I don't want to. Cuz when I do... my guild has signed me up to run Gruul with them.

They went last night. Had to pug three positions. One PUG was a hunter who wiped em twice with bad misdirects. Ten wipes in whole, High King still lives.

I REALLY REALLY don't want to go.

Melvin was upset. He's the mage tank for the guild. God help us all, HE'S THE MAGE TANK!

BTW... some insight into Melvin's personality... Zman has a post on pvp fire builds... I was discussing them with melvin when he told me it was too expensive to respec.

Melvin has 10k gold.

BTW, Z, love the guild name...

One more Melvin story... for the longest time, he ran without arcane powder. The guild wiped so often that he refused to foot the cost for the buffs...

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Lunch with Melvin...


"I did the headless horseman last night. I got a broom! Can't wait to whiz around outlands!

And did you know they only require 75 riding skill?"


"We've been doing great in arena since you left! Last week, there were three people beating on the holy priest, and they ignored me when my shammy snuck up behind them and threw down a magma totem!



"One game, they were so disorganized that after I hit them with a POM pyroblast, I was able to cast two more pyroblasts without getting attacked!"

Starting something...

Did I mention that my guild sucks?

This isn't a casual observation. I believe that I have noted before that we realize that, no matter what the benefits of doing things differently, people will persist in following the path of most resistance...

I recently converted Arms&Fury to this philosphy. His warrior made 70, and he's gonna work up his blacksmithing to improve his gear. He needs insane amounts of thorium at this point.

I told him to buy it offa the AH. He wants to mine it himself.

Look... a 70 dps character with a flying mount can simply do quests, and make more than enough gold, WHILE GRINDING REP, to earn a hellova lot more thorium than he ever could just doing mining runs in Silithis. (And forget mining in winterspring and the plaguelands... way too much competition...)

Win/win... but people don't understand this. Or the magic of the AH. I can take this useless (to me) item... and alchemically convert it into something neat! I can clear all those netherstorm quests... having more fun, and progressing my character... while gaining valuable thorium as a quest reward! (Once i take those gold disks the quest giver gives me to the right auctioneer...)

But we are hard wired to believe that if we buy something from someone else... one of us got screwed... somehow...

Anyway... back to the guild. We failed to field 25 orcs for Gruul again this week. We aren't even running a regular kara group anymore. There have been defections... the one that really hurt the guild officer core was of a prot warrior that was put on the kara 1 team, epicced out, and left for a more advanced gear after getting his gear...

So Arms&Fury applies... and while he's an annoying little git... he's one of the best players I know, and has forgotten more about tanking than anyone on the server has even learned...

The guild forces people to fill out an application. A&F did so. The guild then spent TWO WEEKS discussing the app, without even bothering to contact him. He joined another guild, and wants me to hop over there with him.

Did I mention every guild on my server is trying to recruit raiding hunters?

Anyway... I've counted over ten applications this last month... and none of em got in. Or rather... most just gave up and joined real guilds...

So I posted to the guild forum.

"What guild are you guys gonna join when this one falls apart?"

Let's see what happens. It's not that I actively dislike anyone in the guild, and some are pretty cool/skilled... but most aren't, and the guild really can't tell the difference. It drives me crazy to belong in a guild that does nothing to hone its members skills...

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Dear Asshat....

To: Izzil
C/O: Northern Bloodline, Lightninghoof Server, Shadowburn Battlegroup

You may not recall how we first met. Let me refresh your memory...

While escorting a lower level guildie through Zeth'Gor, in Hellfire Pennisula, you two came across a wounded level 62 BE mage by the name of Majeure. Being a 70 NE hunter, and an asshat, (like most NE hunters) you two decided to kill her (me.)

I froze you two, and then ran for my life, in a chase that lasted through half of hellfire. I thought you had more important things to do, being one of those highly sought after 54/2/5 BM builds. I thought wrong.

Ah... what a time. Laughs all around my broken body. I hope you enjoyed it just as much when my 70 main, a REAL BM HUNTER, came calling a few minutes later.

Later, Majeure was able to visit terrible vengence on your little friend, and 3 of his buddies. But I always regretted not being able to express my admiration for the extreme skill and elan you showed while shooting a char 8 levels lower than you in the back.

Until today.

I don't know why you were in that lake, nor why only 4 level 63 fish were able to get you down to 60% health... but I knew you had a plan... a cunning plan...

I hope that pyroblast, and the following scorches didn't ruin yuir day. But just to let you know... I'm keeping an eye out for ya. And, in the future... well... Maj has 4 epics in the bank waiting for level 70. I'm not sure I'll need them to deal with you, but I have to admit, I laughed my wizard's hat off watching your body smoulder at the bottom of that lake. And, the world being such a sad place... I'll need cheering again.


Yrs Truly,


Friday, October 19, 2007

Misplaced priorities....

Is there something wrong with me?

There's this chick I know. No, not TJ I've never met her, as far as I know, although apparently we both live/work in D.C.

So... anytime I'm around a girl that only comes up to my knee, I'm careful not to make any sudden movements. And since so damn many chicks in D.C. are insanely short... well, one does start feeling confined...

No a diff chick. She wants to go see 30 Days of Night next weekend.

"Er... that's bad for me, Kimmu-sempai..."

"Oh, why?"

"er... I can't tell ya, you'll get mad at me..."


"K... it's AV honor holiday..."

The problem... Kim is really cool. I wanna keep her happy.
Know why?

Cuz she's got two doctorates, one in epidemiology, one in vet. medicine. And she works for the commerce department. She's the person you go to for an import/export license for biological agents.

And I have this dream of using Ebola in Arena. I figure that would take care of all those DAMN PALADINS! I haven't worked out the logistics yet... but Kim is central to my plans...

Time to slow it down...

Awww yeah...

I know what you want. I know what you need, baby. Gather round the 8-track while the master sings...

It's Melvin B. Gaye time.

He found the Auction House. And when I mean, he found the auction house, I don't mean he's managed to level two chars to 70's without buying gear offa auctions.

I mean, he's playin the ponies baby.

We all know this stage. Hey! If I buy all this "X" at price "Y", I should easily be able to sell it at price "Z."

Easy money. It's how I got Mabd her elite mount. My mage DE'ed for about three weeks, buying crap offa the AH, DE'ing it, and selling it at the right time. My level 50 mage made about 4k in 3 weeks. I'd give details, but I'm too damn lazy. It's not really complicated, and takes about 10-15 minutes a day. But you get burnt out so fast...

But the fundamentals should be obvious to everyone. Buy low... sell high. Well... obvious to everyone but Melvin. Did I mention before that Melvin, like me, works as an economist for the government?

K. Melvin is an alchemist. He specced pots. He RECENTLY discovered that everyone and their brother buys 3-4 stacks of super mana pots a week for the end game runs. Now, he's been doin these runs for months now. But it just occured to him that this is a way to make gold.

The pot spec gives him the chance to make extra pots every time he makes one. So he has an advanage in making cash selling em. How does he explain this?

"I'm making tons of money with herbalism!"

"er... you're selling herbs? Well... sure, but I wasn't aware that it was that much better than, say, mining..."

"No, no, I'm selling pots!"

He honestly can't keep the two things separate.

Now, for the fine print. For the most part... you make money gathering. You DO NOT make money crafting. The reason primal nethers are in the game... so crafters can get these drops in heroics that will score them gold. Otherwise... you spend 100's leveling a crafting skill, then have to compete with everyone else in selling the goods. You will never make that money back unless you are the devil's own salesman. Uber rare patterns help, but again, you won't make up the cost of the pattern easily... hence the reason blizz changed the pattern drop system so that only people with the craft can loot it... more of an effort to reward crafters that play...

So anyway... the given economic law that usually applies... a good usually sells for the cost of mats and effort. In WoW, the cost of effort is negative. Why is this? Because everyone is trying to skill up. A chance to skill up is actually worth something to people, hence all the chanters give chants for "free with mats..." in hopes of getting a skill up they don't actually have to blow 20 gold in mats getting on their own. (Maj is 365 chanting BTW :) )

So... for the uninformed... for the most part... the cost of a mana potion, or most any crafted good, is no more than the cost of the materials for a mana potion, unless outside factors or unusual conditions apply. We do not go into crafting for profit.

Hence the specializations. They allow certain people to make more offa crafting. Melvin can take the mats for 20 super mana pots, and end up with 25 super mana pots. 25% profit right? It's in his interest then, to hit the AH, buy mats, and make tons of pots...

That's not how he's making money offa "herbalism." Really. This is a GOOOOOD Melvin story. I wouldn't make you sit through all that stuff you already know for something that wasn't mind boggling silly...

Melvin makes money offa "herbalism" by going to the AH, seeing stacks of super mana pots for 10-11 gold, buying them all up, and then reselling them.

For 12 gold.

He was BRAGGING about this.

I don't have to spell out the joke here, do I? Wasting hours of time playing the AH, when you could make tons more gold just going out and blowing things up with your epicced out 70 mage...

Oh yeah, his comment on my mage... "wait til she's 70! You'll be able to farm, finally!"

Mabd, MY LEVEL 70 HUNTER, really should kill his entire family, take a screen shot, and send it to him with the caption... "While farming in your backyard..."

BTW.. his personal political philosophy is liberal/socialist. Ima conservative. We were eating lunch one day when he declared that liberals were, on the whole, smarter than conservatives.

I have six degrees, and trophies from my high school debate days. Needless to say, I had fun with him...

Thursday, October 18, 2007


War on the unbelievers!

So I was cruising elitist jerks for hunter pvp tips.

The biggest one... don't be BM.

Oh, good lord. The entire thread of what 2.3 would mean to hunters was taken up by MM builds complaining about an inability to escape snares...

It is time, my brethren. It is time to take back the night! It is time to soak the floors of Lordaeron, Blade's Edge and Nagrand with the blood of lesser classes and lesser hunter builds!

Screw them, and the full gladiator sets we're gonna bury em in! If you wanna spec MM to have a bit more control and dps, at the expense of escapability... go right ahead. We BM, the TRUE hunters, will dance the dance of death, the kite of khaos...


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

BM in Arena...

BRK is quite fond of his definition of a hunter's purpose in PVE. To provide mass amounts of sustained ranged dps.

Arena is different. Arena demands proficiency in a skill most hunters no longer even know about.


If you stand and shoot... you will die. There is no such thing as sustained hunter damage in Arena, except to the extent that there is sustained stupidity in WoW. If they let you just shoot em down, they will die. One of my favorite Tom Clancy quotes...

"Killing idiots is not the point. The skill lies in killing the smart ones..."

Actually, give up the thought of survival. You gonna die no matter what the hell happens, cuz hunters are usually target number one. This is because of the pathetic weakness of the hunter. The closer you are to a hunter, the more damage YOU do, and the less damage the HUNTER does. This is true of no other class... hence the importance of things like traps, scatter shot and wyvern sting... you know, things that BM hunters don't really have...

We have traps, true... but with a 30 sec cooldown, and the ubiquitous pvp trinket, a freeze trap will not save for long. So... we got two things... 18 seconds of invulnerability to snares and stuns, and a pet.

So... BM hunters become the arena equivalent of Aircraft carriers... Launch the pet, try to stay close enough to keep an eye on things, while declining direct combat as much as possible. The longer the fight lasts... the more damage the pet does. Another unique property of hunters... you can be shut down, running around doing nothing... and still do respectable damage with the pet.

(One reason locks dominate arena... they can do something similar with those damn overpowered instacast DoT's. And they have the best pvp CC in the game... but enough on class envy... BM hunters pwn locks...)

Concussive shot is your best friend. Hit the warriors as soon as possible with a pet to keep that charge offa the table. True mastery is knowing when to use the frost trap (massive area kiting) the freeze trap (when they don't have dispells, and their pvp trinket is already blown) and the default snake trap (your best line of defense for melee dps, and works rather well against locks...)

Recognize that the first instinct of the enemy is to run straight at you... save that intimidate like it's your last silver bullet and the werewolves have taken over. The stun might be the only escape you have left... using it offensively is often a mistake...

OTOH, hitting that mage when they charge you with an intimidate might just give you the time to get em dead first... itsa fine line.

More on kiting... your partner is invaluable. Make sure he/she understands that they need to keep the other team offa you. A hamstrung mage chasing a hunter is a DEAD mage. And for a Hunter/Arms warrior... mages are the enemy. Hunters and Warriors own... locks, priests, rogues, druids. A good warrior will cripple a pally or a shammy. The worst matchup is you dead, and the warrior alone against a mage. So you gotta kill the mage first. And since most mages are either frost or pom fire... this is a problem. Warrior against a hunter is another problem. Without scatter shot or multiple traps... a warrior is simply too hard to take down alone without endless craft, guile, and patient kiting. When fighting a warrior, remember the first rule of horror movies...

Never stop running to go back.

So, TBW... your signature class ability. 18 seconds of immune. Use it sparingly. You should have a pvp trinket... use it first if you can, then pop TBW. Or use it to get the pet outta CC. OR... if you see that frost mage comin... pop it. If the frost mage can't freeze you, his damage goes way down.

Then there is the worst of all worlds... enemy healing. You simply can't stop it. Healing classes don't get pushback, intimidate only stops one heal, and unless they're stupid enough to stand there while you put a trap under them...

Your only salvation is kiting. Pallys and, to a lesser extent, shammies... can't heal while running. On these fights... it's all on your partner. If you keep people running, the heals will go away. Earth shield is still a pain, but shammies are simply overpowered in pvp... deal with it. A good partner with decent CC will go a long way to helping. Druids and priests can heal quite well, but you can crush either in their healing forms before whatever gets you dead.

One not so subtle trick. Track humans at the start... and /target the names. Then send the pet in with your partner, and sit back for a coupla seconds to see how things go... max range is your friend in these fights. Assymetric information is a good thing. Also, creative use of feign death might save you in a crucial moment... and if you're not a shadowmelded NE, it's a great way to hide in plain sight. Especially in the Lordaeron map.

Last... talents. I'm gonna respec soon, and get rid of cat's swiftness (a much underappreciated talent). Im going back to full frenzy, picking up ferocious inspiration, AND one invaluable talent... bestial swiftness. +30% Movement speed for the pet outside is a MUST for pvp BM.

So anyway... those are my hard earned lessons on arena pvp with a BM hunter.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Nother week, nother level...

ArmsandFury plays WAY too damn much. Sigh... I have to use every trick in the book to keep up with him...

A&F was leveling his tauren warrior Herk to do arena with me. Since I dumped Melvin's teams last week, I took Herk for a spin in 2v2.

Herk doesn't have his PVP trinket yet. And this hurt us.

AND... Herk had a case of the jitters... One thing from getting my ass handed to me week after week while playing with Melvin... I don't feel the stress anymore :)

Still.. we did pretty well, and will do a bit better when Herk gets real gear over the next coupla weeks. I promise a post this week on the ins and outs of BM in arena. Suffice to say... there are two terrible arena classes/builds. BM hunters and Priests. BM hunter and Arms warrior team is just problematic. Teamwork can make up a lot of this, but the lack of CC will just murder you.

The best thing about playin with A&F... he understands aggressive. In arena, you really gotta be first on the ball. A&F won't wait around and give the other side first strike. Melvin, OTOH...


One week we spent hiding in the entry area, cuz Melvin thought that was the best defensive posture.

My Mage, Majeure is just about 66. Fire build, not sure if I'm gonna go POM Pyro or just deep fire for 70. One thing worrying the hell outta me... I'm gathering her equipment for 70... Spellfire and Spellstrike set, with epic pvp boots and bracers. And I'm not gonna have the sta... I really need at least 7.5 k to even step foot in arena. Which would be about 450 sta.

Sigh. She's sooo gonna be the typical glass cannon. Shes doin insane damage now. I ran slave pens with A&F's 70 warrior tanking. I did 45% of the damage of the group. Course, the rest of the group... so so holy pal, lowish level rogue, and pice of crap useless 66 lock who DC'ed before last fight. We ended up just 4 manning the end boss.

Did I mention my mage kicks ass?

Friday, October 12, 2007

Metagame musings...

k... patch 2.3 is coming out, and is intended to fix several imbalances in the game. This should be obvious.

Unfortunately, ArmsandFury is being a little clingy, warrior supremicist bitch. One of the major problems being adressed is that of the perpetual shortage of tanks and healers. So... expanded tankitude for arms and fury warriors. AND, changes to protect tree for paladins, so our noble holy damage guardians can survive longer. (Is that enough kissing up? Now go to A&F's page and leave derogatory comments. He insulted the pally nation!)

So... warriors can have a pvp/level build and still tank. And prot pallies should be able to sub for prot warriors about as well as feral druids can. This is a GOOD thing, even if Arms&Fury thinks that all tanking should be left to warriors. He just doesn't wanna see a class that bathes regularly compete for his job. He never complained this much about druids...

ALSO... 1/3 of plus healing gear will count as +damage. So a lot more dedicated healers will be wandering about...

I told magebert about this... "I'll have almost 1000 +spell damage on my priest!"

"Er... are you sure? You have +3000 dedicated +heal right now, or something?"

"No... I have 1400 +heal, and 500 +spell damage!"

"Dude... it won't count twice... Blizz ain't givin healers a hand job, just a hand up... still 800 +spell damage isnt bad..."

I deal with too many idiots...

I wonder how this will affect holy pals as far as emergency tanking? With that much +heal, they should be able to hold insane aggro....

But anyway, healers will be able to level much more effectively. I look forward most to resto shammies leveling. The changes to lightning bolt casting time will make it much more useful to resto (which won't be able to get the reduced casting time talent)...

One of the most interesting changes are to pre 60 itemization. It's gonna be weird seeing all the old familiar blues with new stats on em. No more blue cloth with +str or +agility? Good lord, it's the end of azeroth! A shame that with a 65 mage and shammy, and 70 hunter, there's no damn way I'm gonna level another char anytime soon...

Also, all sorta talents getting scalability... including frost/fire wards... and serpent sting and the fire traps!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

On pally tanking...

Why are prot pallies so insecure?

Pallies are, hands down, the best aoe tanks around. Nuttin, but nuttin, is gettin aggro offa em with aoe spells.

Problem is, with the crazy itemization right now, pally tanks simply have too damn many problems getting the right gear. Which leads to pallies tanking level 70 instances with 7.5k health. (Iv'e seen it! The horror! The horror!)

So, a buncha prot pallies that can get two shot before a healer can save em.

I have no problems with pally tanks. I doan pull aggro offa em, so they do their jobs. But it's too damn hard to keep em alive some times :(

However, 2.3 is coming out, and one of the bigger surprises... every damn talent in the protect tree is gonna give pallies 10% more sta...

I shit you not!

2.3 is alive on PTR...

Weapon Expertise (Protection) renamed Combat Expertise, now increases expertise by 1/2/3/4/5 and total Stamina by 2/4/6/8/10%.

I needs my space...

I'm not anti-social.

Ima hunter.

Sonvar, he of the excellent comments, mentioned...

"Also if trapping and working with another hunter I've had it happen with different ones too where I'll lay down a trap and then they'll lay down a trap that relatively close to mine. I finally end up having to explain to them that we shouldn't be putting our traps at about the same location and have them spread out."

Yeah. What he said. I used to curse Melvin out in party chat every time we ran together, because he would stand near me... when I'm trapping, or just dpsing...

"Dude! Either step back or buy me a damn ring!"

Hunters tend to like corners. Alone. Durnham Hold sucks as a hunter run because of all the fights where bad tanks just stand in the middle of a room putting the entire combat into a hunter's dead zone.

Healers, yeah, stand near me, and there will be a freeze trap to catch yo aggro. But other ranged dps, get the hell away! You pull em offa the tank, into my dead zone, and I can't emergency Misdirect em offa you.

It's not that I don't like you. It's just that I don't like like you. And I needs my space. If ya need to be close to someone, stand near the pet, as long as you got fish, you gotta friend.

BTW... anyone else run with a tank/party head so incompetent that he/she marked the farthest possible mob as the target for a polymorph pull? And then watch the poor party mage valiantly try to get into range without aggroing the other ones?


So after all this time, I'm wrong, and trolls are the best horde hunter race?

This must not be.

Actually, I run with 110 hit in kara, and seem to do fine. I want around 70 for my pvp, non l33t pve set... which is a problem with the gear I have right now...

27% crit, ~1300 RAP, 54 hit. I'm cursed to be a crit monster.

Do not be afraid... Melvin is not going anywhere. Unfortunately, I'm a raging asshat, and Melvin is a complete idiot. These two come into conflict, and, again, I got abusive this weekend. I did warn him before hand that I didn't want to arena with him anymore...

My problem. I know I'm not a great player. I can't do the spin shoot trick with mabd, and theres no way I could play while moving with the mouse. That limits me a great deal.

BUT, by bloody god, I RECOGNIZE good play when I see it. I know what works, and what's just genius. Which is why I wanna arena with Herk. Herk used to be weak on theorycraft and got over it with the zeal of a convert... but this was after a long long arguement we had. I had to viciously kick his ass in Warcraft 3 before he realized reflexes aren't everything.

His revenge... I go over to his place, he hands me a controller.

"What's this?"


"What just happened?"

"I killed you."

"er... It just happened again...."


"I don't find this entertaining..."

"Shut up and keep holding the controller..."

Melvin, I am convinced, has worse reflexes than I do. And he doesn't seem to realize that reflexes actually matter... and if you can't match them, you have to compensate...

So game after game... I watch him run up to the other side and start arcane explosions. He won't use scorch because it's too complicated to use in pvp... uninterruptable arcane missiles or arcane explosion, despite all his points in fire talents... he triggers POM before he even sees the other side, and gets his pom pyroblast grounded by a totem every time.

People come on. Scorch. 1.5 sec cast, great damage, and a 10% stun chance on cast! How can you NOT use it in pvp? My 64 mage got a 1700 crit with it in UB (and the 680 dot that follows). (I still have no damn clue how that happened, tho i think Curse of Elements was up...)

It was this week that we explained the duration and diminishing returns of sheep to him... AGAIN. And Melvin, from the bad old days of raiding, doesn't think its safe to sheep something and then switch targets... he refuses the focus macro... so when he sheeps something, he stops doing anything else himself.

This last weekend... we're doing 3v3. Melvin's and Magebert's mages go after a warrior in the nagrand arena. The warrior ducks behind one pillar, the other two enemy team members behind another. (AHA! No healing or support for the warrior!)

Over vent, I tell the mages to take the warrior out... while I guard the gap in case the others get frisky...

So melvin and magebert run in behind the warrior, shoulder to shoulder... and before you can say intimidating shout, come running back, feared.

I've lost track of the times I've told them not to bunch up. I've lost track of the times I've told melvin to blast at range. We have a fury warrior on the 5v5 who can't pick his own target. I know for a damn fact that Melvin doesn't use his mouse to "check six" as it were, and I'm convinced most of the crew don't either. I've watched our fury warrior (who's back to MS) crawl after another warrior while right behind him a rogue was smacking on his healer...

Other pet peeves...


I was doin shattered halls with mabd, on those evil 6 man pulls. After two wipes, I offer (again) to misdirect. So I park my pet, run up to the mobs, get ready... and look behind me to see the entire party followed me.

"Guys... you really should stay in the damn room. You don't need to be here..."

TANKS... tell people where you're gonna stand when you tank. And STAY THERE. I'm tired of setting up my trap only to have the tank pull every mob over it. (Pallies don't have a problem with this. Consecrate = Root) Either watch where the hunter is gonna try to trap, and tell me to move back, or tank further up... I try to give plenty of space, but some warriors seem compelled to always be moving back... pulling mobs into our dead zones, or into the face of the casters and suddenly switching aggro...

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

No clue...

You know, the secret to life is realizing that, despite everything, people will take the path of most resistance.

As an economist, I have been trained to look at a process as the end product of an evolution designed to create efficiency. Then I went to work for the government. Laughs on me...

But when we get to WoW, things get strange. WoW is explicitly a waste of time. We play to burn up the space between cradle and grave. While it is a bit less destructive than other habits, war, drinking and politics... it's still a waste of human effort.

Which is probably why so much attention, creativity and energy have been lavished on it. And why I get annoyed so easily by people who play it as a rote exercise, like zombies shuffling around in between attacks on malls.

If you're gonna play, play with beauty and brightness!

So, on to Melvin and the guild.

I made a coupla mistakes. Or, as they say these days, I chose an alternative lifestyle. Either way, I'm gonna get reamed.

The last straw with melvin and arena was last weekend. Melvin plays his shammy... and bitches non stop about stunlocks and fears. So, one match, he gets jumped by a rogue. BAM! Mabd counter jumps the rogue. The fight is outta range of the other team's healer, if we can kill the rogue, we get the edge. I'm all out dps, or as BRK would put it, balls to the wall... (a saying that makes absolutely no damn sense to me)... the rogues health is dropping like a stone, and he stops stunning melvin, and starts his own dps.

K... so melvin can cast now. What will he do? Damage to the rogue, put down stoneskin and healing stream, or NS a heal on himself?

If you picked one of the above, you ain't been reading this blog long. Melvin, crippling poison reducing his speed to 40%, turns around, presenting his back to the rogue, and crawls behind a pillar, pulling the rogue after him, and outta my LOS. He then dies.

I can't do this anymore. I'm getting abusive to Melvin, and hating myself.

Then there's the guild.

They want me to help out more. Apparently, my posting on the guild forum, and helping equip some of the other guildies who were't quite kara ready (but were goin anyway) convinced them that I'm an asset or something. My problem. I'm beginning to feel the same way about the guild that I do about the arena team. Just too damn much work for nothing but fustration. We lost a tank who was put on progression, geared out, and then before he put anything back, jumped to a bigger guild doin 25 mans.

We lost the best dps in the guild, the only toon who could blow mabd away on a DM, an elemental shammy who just got tired of waiting for the guild to get its act together.

One of the geared out healers for the guild has switched to playing his hunter... all in greens and takin a kara slot...

And I was told that while Herk would probably be let into the guild, they weren't happy having an uber tank that would be doin mostly pvp, and wouldn't be raiding non stop.

You cannot be a casual raiding guild without at least some damn structure. You have to have a "this tall to enter kara" sign... and the class leaders have to be able to help work up people who want into the kara runs. (i.e. tell em to beef up) I was told..

"We do things the AoE way... let people develop their own strengths..."

I doan have to translate that for you, do I?

Thus it came to be that Mabd acquired her Tauren name...

"Runs with n00bs."

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Nother week...

I'm gonna switch arena teams. It isn't worth the aggravation anymore.

Herk is gonna try to join my guild. I'm not sure if this is worth his time, the guild doesn't support pvp, and is fallin a bit apart as far as pve... third week on gruul's, and took the high king down only once.

Mabd no longer wears a single green item. I'd been keepin those gauntlets just to make the claim that I was a "hunter in greens..."

However, I still don't have a drop from Kara or a Heroic, and I top the damage meters on my guild kara/gruul runs.

That was not a boast. It was an expression of existential despair.

My one try at gruul... I'm in there with 3 other guild hunters, including the class leader. Before we start the run, the hunter class leader dismisses his pet. And doesn't bring him back....

OTOH, every so often something happens that makes ya feel better. I ran UB with Maj (who is 65 now, I need to update the banner...)

We start, good group, 62 resto druid, maj my 64 (at the time) mage, and 2 66 locks. And a 66 Warrior. Who's method of pulling was to walk up to the aggro range of the target mob...

So we get through first boss with no deaths. (with a druid healer, and noone else with a rez... damn, blizz needs to give druids a non combat rez...) And right at the gates of the naga area, the warrior DC's. The DC happens right when I pull 4 mobs, but thanks to quick tankage by the druid, and chain fears by the locks, and insane dps by Majeure :), we got through it...

So... the point of this post... I ask the guild... "Our tank DC'ed in UB, anyone wanna come help?"

And one brave soul stepped forward, our guilds newest baby healadin.

Kiin. And he rocked! He held aggro so well, I was able to go absolutely nuts with the damage. I beat both locks by a comfortable margin.

But thats just the introduction. A healing spec pally tanking and tanking well, when he's 70 and the instance is 63ish, isn't quite exceptional. (except that good tankage is always to be praised...)

But the next day, Kiin was bragging in guild chat...

"I came in 4th in my AV on damage! And was close to 3rd!"

"Dude, you respecced? I thought you were still healing?"

"Nope, I'm still holy, just it's a shockadin spec. I can still heal..."

Its always a pleasure to find someone stretching the bounds of the class... A pally build that gives tankage, healing and dps? I'm gonna keep an eye on him, he's well worth playin with.

BTW... watched another Moonlight. This show sucks. But still... the vampire main char is talking bout immortality...

"The problem with living forever is that people don't get any better. They stay the same... but technology is always advancing! If I wasn't immortal just think of the things I'd have missed! Internet... Tivo... World of Warcraft..."

Rock on, my Vamp brother... just don't break my heart by playing on a pve server...

One last pvp story. Majeure, at 63 (two levels over the weekend, woot!) was doin Zeth'Gor, that fel orc stronghold in Hellfire. Aggro in this place is a pain, so I was creepin in... when, from behind, pops up 2 ally hunters that decide to take a BE trophy. A 70 and 58. (I didn't notice the level of the 58 til I had managed to book it...) Anyway, I stun em, and flee, and they chase me quite a bit.

So I pull Mabd, and come and murderize em. With extreme prejudice.

However, afterwards, I'm running maj again, goin to void ridge... and see the 58 hunter with 3 other 60-62 allies...

I'm still mad... but 4-1... I think about it while finishing a quest at void ridge, and on the way back, decide if that hunter is still there when I pass, I'm gonna cap his night elf ass no matter how much help he has...

Which I proceed to do. Come up over a hill, bam bam, hes dead, and a ally warrior, rogue and healing druid are frost nova'd when I run away abut 100', then sit to eat, drink and let cooldowns pop back.

While eating, I heard the warrior give his "It is time to avenge our fallen companion" speech.

You know the one...

"Every toon will die! Not every toon will truly live!

She may take our lives! She will not take our freedom!"

So the warrior and rogue advance (the druid falls back to elite nps protection...)

And they die. In time for the hunter to rez, and die again.

I begin to suspect that Ima better mage than hunter.

Camping one poor toon is simple. Camping three of em is art.

Of course my favorite pvp story... So there my 44 hunter was in STV, being camped by 15 allies... and I'd only killed 6 of em, doan know why the rest were so mad...

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Lunch, Melvin and PvP

Had lunch with Melvin today. Melvin sucks as a lunch partner, cuz he never laughs at my jokes. So I told em to the waitress and had her rolling.

Melvin: "You're quite popular with the easily amused..."

It was my vanessa hudgens joke... I'm quite proud of it...

"So, on Britney Spears... did you ever think you'd see the day when Kevin Federline would be considered a more fit parent than, say, any other organic life form? I mean, Cannibal inbred radioactive mutants are higher on my list..."

waitress: "If people would stop paying attention to her, she'd calm down and go away!"

"yeah, but whats the fun in that? Then all we have on tv is sports and O.J. Simpson..."

Waitress: "well, there's always Paris, Nicole and Lohan..."

"They're old tho... not wearing underwear is awesome for 18 year old smokin hot chicks... for 40 year olds, it's just creepy... thank god for Vanessa Hudgens. Just turned 18, big time disney star, and already has nude pictures out! Hollywood knows us! She's being groomed for the next generation...


Waitress loses it...

So was in skettis tryin to get my pots, gold and faction. See the escort... look around, no allies... start escort...

Stupid gnome mage flies up... waits for the 2 birdman mobs to spawn, starts a fireball...

k... neat snake trap trick. Snake traps don't generate aggro for the hunter. So you pop one on a non aoe type, it'll aggro the snakes and spend a few takin em out and leaving you alone...

So I had one birdy on snakes, other on cat, gnome starts a fireball... sic cat on mage, BW, pop trinkets, FD

Fireball gets voided by FD, mage starts AoEing, pulls birdy offa cat :) and I run while taggin him. Mage dead, birds die, I finish escort. BTW... I was hitting for 700 with normal autoshot :)

So I finish escort, and bandage on top of the platform... idiot mage rezzes below me, mounts his skyray, and flys straight up... right in front of me... at 50% health...


Dead in mid air.

Friends don't let friends try to gank hunters...

Speaking of ganking... here's a story noone who fails to understand WoW would ever get...

Melvin loves ganking. His fav tactic... strips off all equipment, then walk into gadget or booty bay, and just start murdering lowbies.

"So he gets naked in the game, right? And he goes on a killing spree! Is this sick or what?"

Anyway, I was asked for my new season TV show reviews... its posted here...

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


My brother isn't going to jail! Yay!

(long story)

All you need to know... he plays a druid, and gets into much better arena teams than I do.

And, like everyone... he does stupid things.

My latest... I got called on the mat for my pally commentary... all I can say...

If you are a pally tank... more power to you. But pally tanks, like arms or fury tanks, or hunters, suffer from the same syndrome...


Hunters get dumped on because of the sheer number of huntards running around. If you are with strangers... be prepared to prove l33tness. And don't get upset, cuz everyone and their third cousin has a favorite "and this is how the hunter wiped us" story...

Pally, arms and fury tanks have the same problem. I know ArmsandFury. I KNOW that a arms or fury spec warrior can tank quite well. However, the bulk of arms or fury warriors I meet can't hold aggro offa ret pally's dps, let alone my poor self.

A 70 arms warrior was helping a guildy do ring of blood. I joined with my hunter to add dps.... AND MY PET PULLED AGGRO offa the arms warrior tank.

I joined a BM group... the 70 "tank" had 8800 health. I ask... "are you protect?"... and get grief...

Dude... BM is barely possible with a 8.8k prot spec tank. It aint possible with a 8.8 arms or fury tank.

And if you a pally tank running round with 9k health... you aint kara ready. Sorry. And if you a protect spec pally... you gotta realize your build is complicated enough, gear, talent and tactic wise, that people are gonna have run across prot spec pallies that can't find their ass with both hands and a map...

Be prepared to prove yourself... every day. Like us poor hunters. Doomed by the overwhelming waves of drooling imbeciles that share our class/build. (spirit bond... /shudder)

One of the bright spots of 2.3 is the massive boost to fury/arms threat generation coming. I dearly hope to see more end game arms and fury tanks :)

So... we all do stupid things. ArmsandFury more often than most.

Let me quote...

"BTW, the only thing he can say about me is that I got a lot of ladies without having bar soap in the bathroom >.<

oooo and that whole "Natural" gamer comment... which I took back."

Yeah. Thats ALL I have on you...

K... just one more ArmsandFury story...

I worked at a liquor store. We wrote off booze all the time. I had a friend that was senior RA at a party university. Any booze he confiscated ended up at my place... now I really didn't drink much, so I always had extra, and would spot some for friends...

ArmsandFury is a friend... (see where I'm going with this...)

There was a shot drink called aftershock. Cinnamon schnapps. I had some bottles in the freezer. Arms grabbed a few one night.

K... ice cold, art deco frost glass bottle filled with a booze that had crystals growing in it... I get a call that night from old arms...

"Dude! I was just (whatever slang for sex you prefer) with my wife! And that bottle blew up!"

"er... Arms... I'm kinda at work here..."

"It blew UP, man! It was on the bed here, and I guess we got a little too active... dude, how did that happen?"

"Work... busy... glad yuir having fun..."

"Oh wait, she's says I'm not finished... gotta go... damn, baby, watch the broken glass..."

... Oh yeah, then there was the year and a half he spent imitating darrel hammond imitating sean connery on SNL's Celebrity Jeopardy sketchs...

Monday, October 1, 2007

Me and melvin...

I've led a weird damn life.

And yesterday, I just came to the realization that I'm frikkin old.

I was watching Moonlight, the latest vampire private detective series... (decent... Romantic drama sorta thing... stalker vampire with haunted past and a internet media chick with daddy issues...)

Anyway, flashback time. The show cuts to "22 years ago..."

And I'm like... damn, that's quite some time ago.

Then the flashback hits... "1985"

And I'm officially freaked. Cuz I was sexually active then. (barely, and I doan wanna talk about it...) So... it really couldn't have been THAT long ago, right?

Crap, I'm old.

So I've know some weird damn people. I mentioned Lonnie, who cut himself... but thing to know, if ya ever go drinking with me... all I got is stories. Stories bout the damaged people I've known. And the point is... we're all damaged. We're all n00bs. There is, for any person, a stupid moment in your life every so often. The frequency of these moments really says nothing. Some people just play it safe, and others just refuse to damn learn anything.

I knew a serial killer. Good friend, actually. We were co-workers. I know really smart, educated people who write books. I know a teamster with only a high school education who is probably the most centered person I've ever met...

I have six degrees. I used to run a 24 hour liquor store. I used to work for a civil rights activist. I know people...

Melvin is a friend. I care for him deeply. Sometimes he buys me lunch :) And once upon a time, he saved my life. Well, not him personally, but the crash cart at the hospital he rushed me to. You understand if I give him some credit on that anyway...

Melvin is a complete and perpetual n00b. When it comes to farming, or battlegrounds... he knows all there is to know. When it comes to actually playing the damn game, he's hopeless.

We were running kara friday. Our pally off tank had to leave after opera. So we got a fury warrior to replace him. I was estatic.

k... side note.

I posted my concerns about the pally off tank to the guild web site.

Me: "Guys... can we do something bout S? He only has 9k health, and he's off tanking..."
Guild: "He's a prot pally... you don't understand all that that requires..."
Me: "He only has 9k health... that's not enough.. he crumples faster than a folding chair at a weight watchers meeting...."
Guild: "Well there are other stats just as important... defense, dodge..."
Me: "9k health! Has anyone checked armory to see if we can set him up with enchants? I can't cuz I'm at work right now..."
Guild: "And then there's +spell damage... no, really, protect pallies are special special creatures... like unicorns! We can't possibly suggest any changes to him!"
Me: Looks up S on armory...
Me: Logs on... "S, dude, looked ya up on arm... you really need that helm buff outta Caverns of time... help some with +def. Also, here's 50g to help pay for it. Also, you need the clefthoof patch for those pants... M said he'd make it, I sent him some mats to help... also... you wanna +18 sta enchant on that shield?"
S: "G, thanks!"

So... S had to go, and we get a fury warrior with 11k health to replace him as off tank. Lotsa capacity to suck up them hateful bolts...

And during the run to cur, Melvin keeps /w me... "This is a mistake! We don't need another tank for this! Most guilds run with just one!"

The fury off tank beat mel on the DM. AND sucked up all them bolts like a champ!

Oh yeah, Mabd, she of the green gear, was tops by a big margin in the DM... which was unfair to the fury warrior, boomkin and shadow priest, since the boomkin had to off heal a few times, and thus was gimped, and the fury warrior and shadow priest joined late. But I still beat Melvin, Magebert, and another guild mage by a big margin... the other guild mage was tied with Melvin and Magebert... with much crappier gear. Something is flipping wrong there. AND the wonder twins had that sweet sweet boomkin caster aura...

Sigh... and the other melvin story.

We're doin arena. And mel has his elemental shammy in. AND for the 5 millionth time I ask... "Are you SURE you can't cast blood lust in arena?"

First game... no blood lust.

"So you CAN'T cast it?"

"Oh, I was stun locked the entire battle!"

Next game. I wait till battle starts. Then scream over vent... "BLOOD LUST NOW!"

We get blood lust. All this damn time fighting without a 30 second, +30% attack speed buff.... I could strangle him.

BTW.. it's official. The guild has told me that I sound like Sam Kinneson over vent. Jeez...

So new TV season...

And I tivo a buncha crap to watch over the weekend. Call a chinese place a friend recommended... (btw... there is NO good chinese in D.C. .. I just have to be reconciled to this sad fact...) order food... 30 min later, I get a call...

It's melvin, telling me the guild needs another dps for fri night kara.

I got more sad melvin stories for later... but let me say up front, Ima sucker, and get talked into it.

So I'm noshin sub par chinese while running kara, part two. (Maiden through Curator.)

We wipe twice on each boss. And for silly reasons. Despite this, it was a blast. We had some kara virgins with us, and that was part of the problem. The maiden fight was a pain because one of the kara nubs was our third priest, who "had a mod that auto-debuffed..."

Guess which hapless hunter got stuck next to the nub priest?

Wipe one... flame on and die.

Wipe two... flame on and die... with an abolish disease cast just as I fall...

Last fight (with me trying to sneak next to the most exp priest and being told to go stand by the nub again...) no flame! Half the group dies, but maiden goes down with Mabd at 4% health!

This was actually the most fun I've had with a kara run. Challenging enough to be interesting, friendly banter over vent, and noone getting upset by the wipes. My best line of the night...

Curator wipe... hunter /feign death...

"So guys... how DOES that floor taste?"

Still no damn hunter drops tho :(

Things I learnt... those arcane thingamajabobs before curator ARE affected by viper sting. It hits em for about 3.5% of their mana. Instantly. Weird.

Melvin is still an idiot.

And I really need tips on curator... we're having problems keeping the dps together on the flares.

Oh yeah, Mabd hit exalted with aldor this weekend. And I'm sitting on about 2k arena points... doan know if I wanna spend em, or save em for 2.3. I know they'll do that rating thing, but suspect that season 2 gear won't require ratings to buy, and should be discounted...