Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Breakdown - 3.2.2

3.2.2 Patchnotes in scope

Well, 3.2.2 is here, with some changes to the way things are looked at, a new instance to kill time in, some new PvP changes, and of course, class changes. This patch came out officially on September 22, 2009, so let's take a look at the changes, and see what it all means.

* The Brood Mother Returns

Can't say we didn't see another remake with Naxx being tossed back in the mix and all, good choice by blizzard in my part, with some new changes, so it isn't quite the old same stuff, but for kicks they remade the level 60 gear to be a remix of level 80 gear with some old style effects, including lifestealing for 100-180 on polearms, and +10 resist stats on gear. There is of course the bad remake, so it's now a 22 slotter, very nice, and a low low low chance for a 310% speed Brood of Onyxia (drake) to drop...very nice. It'll be a somewhat easy encounter, with just the straight boss encounter, like the old remake, but remade for some fun (something like VoA).

* Armor Penetration Rating: The amount of armor penetration gained per point of this rating has been reduced by 12%.

Not a total loss, but it'll mean people either need to add an extra gem to make up for the loss or just not worry about it as much, for rogues, and blood dks, ArP (armor penetration) is pretty big, so maybe it'll bring them a bit more in line with other specs on those classes

* Players level 11 and higher will always see a daily Battleground quest

Good change, since it used to be 50ish or higher. Nice to see them cater to people while they level, collecting honor and marks.

* [Frost Presence]: The damage reduction granted by this ability has been increased from 5% to 8%.

Blizzard has this policy, Nerf hard, Buff in increments. After taking away so much mitigation, Death Knights are finally getting some back, 3% is still 3% on paper.

o [Gnaw]: This death knight ghoul ability now has a 1-minute cooldown.

It was a great ability for PvP, putting it on a one minute cooldown does bring it in line with other stuns, though hunter pets have a 45 second cooldown on some of those abilities.

+ Heart Strike: Secondary targets of Heart Strike now take half as much damage.

A solid hit to the blood spec, as Heart Strike is the cookie cutter rune dump, it'll still be, but you can bet frost spec dual-wielding will see some numbers up against blood.

+ Vampiric Blood: Cooldown reduced to 1 minute and duration reduced to 10 seconds.

Bringing it in line with the revamped unbreakable armor and Bone Shield, Blizzard spent so long making the three trees look and feel different, that now their finally putting solid caps on all abilties in all three trees, so they do not have random cooldowns.

+ Unbreakable Armor: Cooldown reduced to 1 minute and changed back to granting 25% additional armor while active instead of flat damage reduction based on armor. The amount of strength granted has been reduced to 10%.

A good change back to the start, and having it on a 1 minute cooldown with 20 second uptime means DKs will be using this 1/3 of the time, with the glyph of unbreakable armor still increasing the armor by +20%

+ Bone Shield: This ability now has 3 charges instead of 4. Cooldown reduced to 1 minute.

3 charges does hurt PvPers through intial burst, but the 1 minute cooldown from two minutes is a great change.

+ Dirge: This talent no longer grants additional runic power from using Obliterate.

Do not look for unholy DKs to keep using Obliterate in their rotation after this.

+ Moonkin Form: This form now also reduces the damage the druid takes while stunned by 15%.

With the previous change to owlkin frenzy, this makes PvPing moonkins look a tad stronger.

+ Predatory Strikes: This talent now also causes the druid's finishing moves to provide a 7/13/20% chance per combo point to make the next Nature spell with a cast time below 10 seconds instant cast.

Yes, this is a PvP booster, get it to proc, and instant cast even a healing touch. Not a bad upgrade at all.

+ Infected Wounds: The debuff generated by this talent no longer stacks and instead causes the full effect with a single application.

Another PvP change, for the better, since a Warrior's hamstring is a single stack/full effect

+ The Beast Within: The duration of this talent has been reduced to 10 seconds. In addition, hunters with this talent will do 10% additional damage at all times.

Could see more of these guys raiding, look for BM hunters to have less uptime burst and more overall damage output.

* [Arcane Blast]: The buff from using this ability now stacks up to 4 times instead of 3, and each application increases mana cost by 175% instead of 200%. In addition, the duration of the buff has been reduced to 6 seconds.

Extra stack, less time, cheaper cost, a well rounded change.

+ Missile Barrage: The effect from triggering this talent now removes the mana cost of Arcane Missiles. In addition, the chance for Arcane Blast to trigger this talent is now 8/16/24/32/40%. All other listed spells continue to have a 4/8/12/16/20% chance to trigger it. This talent no longer has a chance to be triggered when spells miss.

* [Righteous Fury]: The bonus threat from Holy spells caused by this talent has been reduced from 90% to 80%.

Don't look for Paladins to miss much here. They won't be losing threat any time soon.

+ Judgements of the Just: The reduction in cooldown to Hammer of Justice provided by this talent has been reduced to 5/10 seconds instead of 10/20 seconds.

+ Touched by the Light: This talent now provides 20/40/60% of the paladin's strength as spell power instead of 10/20/30% of the paladin's stamina.

A PvP hit for sure. It's common to see Prot specced Holy PvP geared Paladins in Arena and BGs, this cuts their Spellpower, so it's not a simple single Flash of Light cast to fully heal someone anymore.
+ Seal of Command: This ability now chains to strike up to 2 additional targets when it is triggered by an attack that can only strike a single target.

Crusader Strike just got a new friend, works with Exorcism too.

+ Twisted Faith now grants spell power equal to 4/8/12/16/20% of spirit, up from 2/4/6/8/10%.

Shadow Priests have spirit, now there's more reason to stack it, 20% is a strong number, meaning 1k spirit is 200 Spellpower, not a bad bump if I say so.

* [Fan of Knives]: The damage done by this ability has been reduced by 30%.

FoK will still be spammed in AoE fights, it just won't put rogues as number 1 for dps in the AoE department.

+ Throwing Specialization: This talent no longer causes Fan of Knives to interrupt spellcasting.

PvP hit to FoK and Rogues, won't affect PvE at all, but it does hurt Rogues in BGs.

* [Flame Shock]: The duration of all ranks has been increased by 6 seconds.

This will be in a rotation with an extra shock before it, 6 seconds is a perfect increase.

* [Lava Burst]: This ability no longer ever consumes a Flame Shock debuff off of the target.

All the more reason to use both Lava Burst and Flame Shock in the same rotation.

+ Critical Block: This talent now grants a 20/40/60% chance to block double the normal amount instead of 10/20/30%.

A nice buff for Warriors. Though they aren't the ones to stack block (Paladins are) the chance to block double is not a bad way to push Warriors to pick up a new shield or some extra block gear.

Overall, not a bad patch, I only touched on important things, and I decided not to go into bux fixes or professions changes, Classes were enough for me to hit on.
On that note...



Ready, Set, Raid - Raid Stacking

Stacking up - making a full raid

Alright, so I decided to address this issue, because, people seem to have quarrels over trivial things like, which buff is superior to another buff of the same type from another class, and who is on refreshment duty. Couldn't say people are not entitled to their own opinion, but for the sake of the article, let's pretend that not everyone knows of every buff/debuff out there

What is this stack you speak of?

So, we all know, that in a 10/25 player raid, some classes give out party or raid wide buffs...some give +10% to attack power, some give melee or caster haste, and some increase spell damage on a target, with an occasional increase to critically striking the target. But what really makes a good raid stack? Pure melee with melee buffs? Or does a caster party sound more your style?

When raid stacking, the first thing to understand, is not bringing in too many of one class/buff. For example, bringing in four balance druids does give a 5% critical hit increase, and gift of the wild...but in the end, you only need one balance druid to get the same job done. Same goes for shamans providing Bloodlust. But on the other hand, having multiple of the same class gives out more buffs, like paladins, that can give blessing of might, an increase to attack power, and blessing of wisdom, an increased mana regeneration buff, and also give out blessing of kings, a +10% to all stats buff. All three at once, with no hassle. In fact, each of those three paladins could be a different spec, meaning in a raid you could have a protection paladin for tanking, a retribution paladin for dps, and a holy paladin for healing the tanks.

All in all, raid stacking is making sure your raid gets the most out of the classes played, making the raid easier and lets all the players bring something to the raid other then their classic role.

Different name - same effect

Sometimes it just happens that some buffs overwrite, or cancel out other buffs. A shamans mana spring totem can negate the blessing of wisdom from a paladin, while a warriors battle shout can overwrite a paladins blessing of might, and a death knights horn of winter can be overshadowed by a shamans totem of strength. There is almost no way around this, as some stacking of buffs would make the player able to be reliant on themselves and skill, and just buff every buff they can, in order to clear content.

Just because some overwrites others, doesn't mean that a warriors battle shout should always be used over a paladins blessing of might. What happens if the warrior dies? The paladin would be able to continue giving a raid buff, with a minimal dps loss and no buff loss. Sometimes having another class with a similar buff can prevent a dps, or mana return loss.

Buffing - Making good, better

Buffs a critcal to making a raid just that much better, from a fortitude buff, to a Paladin's Kings buff, everythiing improves with raid wide buffs, and it wouldn't be fair to name off raid wide buffs given out during a fight if I didn't name buffs given out before it all goes down. So, here are the buffs that can be given out to the raid.

There are thirty or so different categories into which buffs and debuffs fit. Here you will find a comprehensive list of the changes made broken down by category and which spells/talents are in that category.

In each category, you can only benefit from the most powerful spell granting that effect. For example, Fel Intelligence grants spirit and intellect, both weaker than Arcane Intellect and Divine Spirit. If a player has Fel Intelligence and receives a stronger Arcane Intellect buff, he will gain the intellect value from Arcane Intellect and the spirit value from Fel Intelligence.

In most cases, fully-talented players will have exactly equal power on the strength of these buffs and debuffs. Fel Intelligence is an example of where one ability is weaker than others. The buffs in the "Increased Spell Power Buff" category are also not all the same potency, as they scale and grow in radically different ways. In virtually every other case, however, the buffs are equal. This means, for example, that fully-talented Battle Shout and Blessing of Might now grant the exact same amount of attack power.

As for Mana Batteries, each time they trigger the mana regeneration effect, 10 people in their raid group will receive a buff which causes them to regenerate 0.25% of their maximum mana each second. This buff, Replenishment, will be given preferentially to raid members with the lowest mana, but will re-evaluate which raid members receive it each time it is fired. Replenishment is provided by Shadow Priests, Survival Hunters, and Retribution Paladins.

Finally, there is Heroism and Bloodlust to affect the entire raid. However, all affected raid members will be unable to cast or benefit from Bloodlust/Heroism for 10 minutes after the intial use (unless there is a wipe, in which case, it's a 5 minute cooldown on the cast itself).

Complete turnaround

When making a raid, composition is key, making sure you don't end up missing buffs while still filling 10/25 spots can be hard, but that's what part of raiding is about, making the raid work, fluently, and when that happens, going into progression content is that much easier. So remember, bring the player and the class, and you can reap the rewards when players get extra damage in, don't run out of mana, and live that much longer. With that...



Wednesday, September 23, 2009

another new pic

another easy night, did this in about ten minutes, meant to do something with the outline on the leafs, but i did the trunk, so it worked well in my opinion

Onyxia's Lair Strat

So, here's a strat from wowhead.com, on how to make this fight easy

Phase 1: The Old Stuff

Phase 1 is absolutely identical to the original fight. It lasts from 100% health to 65%, and consists of Onyxia utilizing basic dragon abilities - Flame Breath (heavy hit in frontal cone), Cleave (hitting up to 10 targets), Tail Sweep (with a large knockback), and Wing Buffet (frontal cone knockback). Basic skills will get you through this phase easily - tank Onyxia with your back towards a wall, to avoid knockback from Wing Buffet. DPS and Healers should be position at Onyxia's sides to avoid both Tail Sweep and the frontal baddies. The tank might need some heavy heals, as the spells hit rather hard, and some cannot be resisted/mitigated. Other than that, you should be fine here.

Phase 2: The New Stuff

This is probably the hardest part of the fight. There are two (categories of) things to watch out for - adds and Onyxia's new spells. Note to melee DPS - you can attack Onyxia even while she is airborne, as long as you stand underneath her.

There are two kinds of adds spawning during this phase - Onyxian Whelps and Onyxian Lair Guards. The whelps will spawn in packs of 40 (20 on each side ). The first pack will spawn seconds after Onyxia lifts off in the air, and a pack will hatch every ~90 seconds after that while in this phase. While it is good to have a tank on them, try to AoE them down as soon as possible, as you want to mitigate overall damage and keep your mobility - you'll need both. The Lair Guards are new NPCs added in the 3.2.2 version of Onyxia - they resemble the old Onyxian Warder, but are significantly more dangerous. The guards will spawn more frequently than the whelps (approximately every 30 seconds), and will spawn in pairs (possible a pair from each side?). They don't have too much health, but have really high melee damage output through abilities like Cleave, Fire Nova, Flame Lash (which reduces fire resistance), and Ignite Weapon (17.5k/25k extra fire damage to targets in melee range). It is good to have a tank on them, but it is better to kill them from afar. Keep your melee DPS away from them at all times.

The other thing to watch out for are Onyxia's spells. Her Fireballs are something you should just heal through - although it is advised that you spread out, as the missiles do damage in a 10 yards wide area. /range on DBM is your friend again. And, of course, there is the Deep Breath...

Deep Breath is now on 100% random cast intervals - which means that DBM, or BigWigs, or whatever boss mods addon you use won't be able to warn you in advance. You will however see a raid warning/emote "Onyxia takes a deep breath". As soon as you see that, you need to forget about anything else you are doing, locate Onyxia, figure out which way she is facing, and get behind her quickly. Deep Breath is very unforgiving.

Phase 3: No need to STOP DOTZ

Phase 3 starts when Onyxia's health reaches 40%. At this point she will land permanently and cast a raid-wide fear, accompanied by lava eruptions. Raid wide damage, with extras for the tank - nothing you haven't seen before. Unlike the original version of the fight, Onyxia will no longer wipe aggro between phases, which means that your tank from Phase 1 should be the first person she goes to in Phase 3.

Throughout this phase Onyxia will continue to use all of her abilities from phase 1 (Flame Breath, Cleave, Tail Sweep, Wing Buffet), alongside with Bellowing Roar (3-second fear) and Eruption (AoE during the fear). Whelps will continue to spawn as well, but they won't be nearly as many as in Phase 2, so a few of your ranged DPS should be able to handle them quickly.

Note: If a player gets close to the eggs, at any point of the fight, the nearest whelps will hatch.

Taunt works

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

3.2.2 patchnotes

Here's some 3.2.2 enjoyment for you all to enjoy, I'll do a breakdown this week in addition to something productive



* The Brood Mother Returns
o After years of lurking in her lair battling the many brave adventurers who travelled from afar to challenge her, Onyxia returns to commemorate World of Warcraft's five-year anniversary.
+ Onyxia has been scaled to offer new challenges to level 80 players and is now available for testing in 10- and 25-player modes.
+ Adjustments have been made to the encounter to keep it fit for modern raiding, but the fundamental experience of fighting the Brood Mother will remain, as will the horror of the Deep Breaths!
+ Some classic items Onyxia offered level 60 players will have their stats adjusted appropriately for level 80 players.
+ [Brood of Onyxia], a very rare 310%-speed mount modeled after Onyxia herself will be available for the luckiest of challengers.
* Armor Penetration Rating: The amount of armor penetration gained per point of this rating has been reduced by 12%.

PvP Battlegrounds

* Players level 11 and higher will always see a daily Battleground quest, as the quest giver will only offer daily quests for a Battleground in which a player is eligible to participate according to level bracket (i.e. players levels 11-20 will always be offered a Warsong Gulch daily quest, while players levels 11-50 will be offered either an Arathi Basin or a Warsong Gulch daily quest, etc.).

Classes Death Knight

* [Frost Presence]: The damage reduction granted by this ability has been increased from 5% to 8%.
* Pets
o [Gnaw]: This death knight ghoul ability now has a 1-minute cooldown.
* Talents
o Blood
+ Heart Strike: Secondary targets of Heart Strike now take half as much damage.
+ Subversion: Now also increases the critical strike chance of Scourge Strike by 3/6/9%.
+ Vampiric Blood: Cooldown reduced to 1 minute and duration reduced to 10 seconds.
o Frost
+ Threat of Thassarian now also causes Rune Strike to use both weapons when dual-wielding.
+ Unbreakable Armor: Cooldown reduced to 1 minute and changed back to granting 25% additional armor while active instead of flat damage reduction based on armor. The amount of strength granted has been reduced to 10%.
o Unholy
+ Bone Shield: This ability now has 3 charges instead of 4. Cooldown reduced to 1 minute.
+ Dirge: This talent no longer grants additional runic power from using Obliterate.


* Talents
o Balance
+ Moonkin Form: This form now also reduces the damage the druid takes while stunned by 15%.
+ Typhoon: The daze duration has been increased from 3 seconds to 6 seconds.
o Feral Combat
+ Predatory Strikes: This talent now also causes the druid's finishing moves to provide a 7/13/20% chance per combo point to make the next Nature spell with a cast time below 10 seconds instant cast.
+ Infected Wounds: The debuff generated by this talent no longer stacks and instead causes the full effect with a single application.


* Talents
o Beast Mastery
+ The Beast Within: The duration of this talent has been reduced to 10 seconds. In addition, hunters with this talent will do 10% additional damage at all times.
+ Bestial Wrath: The duration of this talent has been reduced to 10 seconds.


* [Arcane Blast]: The buff from using this ability now stacks up to 4 times instead of 3, and each application increases mana cost by 175% instead of 200%. In addition, the duration of the buff has been reduced to 6 seconds.
* [Arcane Missiles]: Casting this spell while both Missile Barrage and Clearcasting are active will cause only Missile Barrage to be consumed.
* Talents
o Arcane
+ Missile Barrage: The effect from triggering this talent now removes the mana cost of Arcane Missiles. In addition, the chance for Arcane Blast to trigger this talent is now 8/16/24/32/40%. All other listed spells continue to have a 4/8/12/16/20% chance to trigger it. This talent no longer has a chance to be triggered when spells miss.
o Fire
+ Combustion: This talent now also increases the critical strike damage bonus of Fire spells by 50% while it is active. In addition, Living Bomb periodic ticks will no longer interact with the count or the charges on the talent.


* [Righteous Fury]: The bonus threat from Holy spells caused by this talent has been reduced from 90% to 80%.
* [Seal of Corruption] and [Seal of Vengeance]: These seals will now only use the debuff stacks generated by the attacking paladin to determine the damage done by the seal and by the judgement.
* Talents
o Protection
+ Ardent Defender: This talent now reduces damage taken below 35% health by 7/13/20% instead of 10/20/30%.
+ Blessing of Sanctuary: This blessing now grants 10% strength in addition to its current effects. Also, the strength and stamina bonuses from this blessing will no longer be lost when Blessing of Kings is removed.
+ Judgements of the Just: The reduction in cooldown to Hammer of Justice provided by this talent has been reduced to 5/10 seconds instead of 10/20 seconds.
+ Touched by the Light: This talent now provides 20/40/60% of the paladin's strength as spell power instead of 10/20/30% of the paladin's stamina.
o Retribution
+ Seal of Command: This ability now chains to strike up to 2 additional targets when it is triggered by an attack that can only strike a single target.


* Talents
o Shadow
+ Improved Spirit Tap: Mind Flay periodic critical strikes now have a 50% chance to trigger this talent.
+ Twisted Faith now grants spell power equal to 4/8/12/16/20% of spirit, up from 2/4/6/8/10%.


* [Envenom]'s scaling has been increased from 7% to 9% of attack power per combo point.
* [Fan of Knives]: The damage done by this ability has been reduced by 30%.
* Talents
o Assassination
+ Master Poisoner: No longer increases the Deadly Poison application rate following a successful Envenom and instead now provides a 33/66/100% chance of preventing Envenom from consuming Deadly Poison.
o Combat
+ Throwing Specialization: This talent no longer causes Fan of Knives to interrupt spellcasting.
o Subtlety
+ Honor Among Thieves: A 1-second cooldown is now enforced on how often a rogue can gain combo points from his party via this talent.


* [Flame Shock]: The duration of all ranks has been increased by 6 seconds.
* [Lava Burst]: This ability no longer ever consumes a Flame Shock debuff off of the target.
* Talents
o Enhancement
+ Earthen Power: No longer causes Earthbind to pulse a persistent snare immunity aura. It does still remove snares from allies as an instant pulse, but there is no lingering immunity. Earthen Power now also brings Earth Shock's melee attack speed reduction up to -15%/-20% (with 1 or 2 points in it, respectively).
o Elemental
+ Shamanism: Your Lightning Bolt and Chain Lightning spells gain an additional 3/6/9/12/15% and your Lava Burst gains an additional 4/8/12/16/20% of your bonus damage effects.


* Talents
o Arms
+ Sword Specialization: Now has a 2/4/6/8/10% chance to proc an extra attack, up from 1/2/3/4/5%.
o Protection
+ Critical Block: This talent now grants a 20/40/60% chance to block double the normal amount instead of 10/20/30%.

Dungeons & Raids Shadowfang Keep

* Wailing Guardsman: Screams of the Past will no longer have multiple applications on a target. Recast time has been increased.


* Increased the cooldown on Immortal Guardians' Drain Life ability in the Yogg-Saron encounter.


* The Achievement " Iron Dwarf, Medium Rare (25 player)" now requires 25 kills, down from 50.
* The Frostwolf Howler and Stormpike Battle Charger Achievements will now be awarded when a player learns the respective mount spells.


* The blacksmiths of Orgrimmar grew tired of running to the rear of the city to craft items and have installed a new anvil & forge at the General Store in the Valley of Strength.
* Engineering
o The [Mind Amplification Dish] no longer changes the appearance of your helmet.
* Inscription
o Added a recipe for Runescroll of Fortitude. This item grants a stamina buff equal to the highest rank of Power Word: Fortitude (untalented) to all players in the raid. Does not stack with other stamina scrolls and Power Word: Fortitude.
* Leatherworking
o Added a recipe for Drums of Forgotten Kings. These drums increase all stats by 8% for all players in a raid. Does not stack with Blessing of Kings.
o Added a recipe for Drums of the Wild. These drums grant a buff equal to the highest rank of Mark of the Wild (untalented) to all players in a raid. Does not stack with Mark of the Wild.


* The Black Heart: This item's animation has been changed and no longer resembles Hand of Protection.
* Death Knight Tier-9 Tanking 4-Piece Set Bonus: Now decreases the cooldown on Vampiric Blood, Unbreakable Armor, and Bone Shield by 10 seconds instead of 20.
* Druid Tier-8 Healer 4-Piece Set Bonus: The amount of healing this set bonus grants on the initial cast of Rejuvenation has been reduced by 50%. In addition, this set bonus no longer has strange interactions with Harold's Rejuvenating Broach.
* Glyphs
o [Glyph of Bone Shield]: This glyph now grants 1 additional charge instead of 2.
o [Glyph of Flame Shock]: Redesigned. This glyph now makes [Flame Shock] periodic damage able to be critical strikes.
o [Glyph of Mind Flay]: This glyph no longer reduces the magnitude of the movement reduction on the [Mind Flay] victim.
o [Glyph of Scourge Strike]: Redesigned. This glyph now causes [Scourge Strike] to extend the duration of Frost Fever and Blood Plague by 3 seconds each time Scourge Strike is used on a target, up to a maximum of 9 seconds.
o [Glyph of Typhoon]: This glyph now increases the range on [Typhoon] by 10 yards in addition to its current effects.
o [Glyph of Unbreakable Armor]: Now increases the armor gained from [Unbreakable Armor] by 20%.
o [Glyph of Vampiric Blood]: The glyph now increases the duration of [Vampiric Blood] by 5 seconds instead of 10.
* [Libram of Obstruction]: The buff to block value from this relic is now exclusive with the buff to block value from Libram of the Sacred Shield; it is impossible to have both buffs at once.
* [Libram of the Sacred Shield]: The block value buff from this relic has been increased to match its item level.
* Relics: All buffs provided by relics (idols, librams, totems and sigils) now share an exclusive category such that gaining a buff from one of these items will remove all other buffs gained from items in this category.
* [Totem of Quaking Earth]: Attack power value increased to 400.

User Interface

* Battleground Queuing
o Players may now only queue for no more than two Battlegrounds at a time.
o The dialog box for entering a Battleground match has been changed to reflect the following options: "Enter Battle," "Leave Queue," and "Minimize."
o The time a player has to enter a battle when selected has been reduced to 40 seconds when not already in a Battleground and 20 seconds when in a Battleground.
o Players already in a Battleground can now choose "Enter Battle" for a new Battleground under any circumstance (i.e. while dead, in combat, falling, etc.).
o A new Battleground will not launch until the maximum number of players on each side are in the queue (i.e. 40 players per side for Alterac Valley).
* The size of the Focus Frame can now be adjusted via the Interface Options menu.
* Mail System Auto-Complete Feature
o The inline auto-complete feature for the mail system has been added back into the game. The mail system will now have both the pre- and post-3.2.0 auto-complete features available.
o Added a label to notify players that the Tab key will allow players to navigate through the character names listed via the auto-complete feature.
* For additional notes on Lua and XML changes please visit the UI & Macros forum.

Bug Fixes

* Death Knight
o Rune of Razorice: The frost vulnerability granted by this enchantment will now increase the damage done by Frost Fever as intended.
* Druid
o [Balance of Power]: Misleading tooltip reworded. The tooltip previously reported an incorrect value for the increased chance to hit with spells. The actual benefit of the talent is unchanged.
* Hunter
o [Master's Call]: This ability now correctly removes the snaring component of [Infected Wounds], [Frostfire Bolt], and [Slow].
o Trap Mastery's (Survival) tooltip now states the correct amount of snakes summoned.
* Mage
o [Arcane Missiles]: Ranks 12 and 13 will now properly cause players to enter combat.
* Paladin
o [Hand of Freedom]: This ability now correctly removes the snaring component of [Infected Wounds] and [Frostfire Bolt].
* Priest
o [Divine Aegis]: Ranks 1 and 2 now work with [Holy Nova].
o [Glyph of Power Word: Shield] now correctly uses the Priest's spell critical chance instead of the target's.
* Rogue
o [Vanish]: This ability now correctly removes the snaring component of Frostfire Bolt.
o Honor Among Thieves: This talent will now work properly again if two rogues with different ranks of the talent are in the same party.
* Shaman
o [Grounding Totem] will now properly protect against the [Death Grip] spell.
o [Lava Burst] can no longer deal critical damage to targets who are immune to critical strikes (due to, e.g. Roar of Sacrifice, Blessed Resilience).
o [Lightning Shield]: This spell will no longer set off some trinkets when it is cast.
o [Stoneclaw Totem]'s pulses will no longer break stealth on nearby hostile units.
o [Thunderstorm] and [Shamanistic Rage] can no longer be used while Frozen, Cycloned, Sapped, or Incapacitated.
* Warlock
o [Demonic Circle]: This ability now correctly removes the snaring component of [Frostfire Bolt].
o [Fel Armor]: This spell was unable to set off trinkets and other effects. That has been corrected.
o When using [Shadowbolt] or [Incinerate] while having Backlash and Backdraft active, only Backlash will now be properly consumed.
* Coliseum Trinkets: Some spells that should have triggered these trinkets will now trigger them (such as [Holy Nova] and [Fel Armor]).
* Death Knight Tier-9 DPS 4-Piece Set Bonus: Now grants the correct chance for disease damage ticks to be critical strikes.
* Hunter Tier-9 2-Piece Set Bonus: Critical damage from Serpent Sting will now work properly with the [Mortal Shots] and [Expose Weakness] talents.
* [Lightweave Embroidery]: This tailoring item enhancement will no longer trigger from the periodic healing granted by the warlock spell [Fel Armor].
* Mote of Flame: Corrected a typo in the tooltip.
* Paladin Tier-9 DPS 2-Piece Set Bonus: Now grants the correct chance for Righteous Vengeance ticks to be critical strikes.
* Shard of Flame: Corrected a typo in the tooltip.
* [Val'anyr, Hammer of the Ancient Kings]: Healing from [Prayer of Mending] now triggers the shield from this item. In addition, a bug was corrected which would cause the shield points to be overwritten rather than stack up as intended

WoW Hands Down

An Inside Look At The Universe Of Warcraft


Thursday morning's GDC Austin keynote was met with a large crowd as Blizzard Entertainment's J. Allen Brack and Frank Pearce took the stage to offer a detailed look into the inner workings of the genre-dominating World of Warcraft.

Introduced by BioWare's Rich Vogel, the two men completed a three-part series run by GDCA on the inner workings of the gaming powerhouse.

Vogel introduced the two with word that they'd be focusing on the company's operations, and Brack began by separating the "universe" of World of Warcraft (its design, production, and implementation) from the in-game universe of barbarian shamanism and magical power. He admitted that the company tends to hold things fairly close to the vest, but today their intent was to share some of the 'behind the scenes' elements rarely considered by company outsiders.

World of Warcraft was launched on a foundation of 10 years of Warcraft RTS games. Brack noted the first appearance of the yellow exclamation point in the Warcraft III title, and the RPG-focused elements of the Orc Campaign in the Frozen Throne expansion.

The World of Warcraft team, which split from Warcraft III, was actually working on a squad-based RPG called Nomad prior to their shift in focus. The game featured haunting alien imagery, but it was something that they ultimately couldn't find a voice for. After months of pre-production struggle, they set aside Nomad and began work on WoW; "What would we do if we wanted to start a project today?" was the question they asked. The answer: an MMO.

Management, Programming, Art, and Production

Within the World of Warcraft team, there are some 30 department leads. There are three tiers of management, with France Pierce (Executive Producer) on top. Production Director Brack and Game Director Tom Chilton are below him, and below those two men are arrayed 8 lower-level managers. Brack notes that they try to structure the teams around the people, and not the other way around. They feel strongly that employee strengths should dictate organizational structure, and as a result all reporting structures within the company vary by team.

Each team on the game aims to be made up of 5-8 people. They break that regularly, Brack admits, but that is the goal. The programming department currently consists of 32 people, and envelopes systems, tools, gameplay, server technologies, and UI. Brack singled out the tools team as a critical component of this group. They make tools not only for the developers, but for customer service as well. Blizzard has an expectation of a long life for World of Warcraft, and so they see these tools as products to be fully-supported in-house. These tools go through their own proofing process, with certification dictated within the company. Their UI team is a cross-disciplinary team with artists, LUA programmers, and C++ developers all collaborating on the game's front end. In all, the programming team is responsible for some 5.5 million lines of code.

The art department is currently sitting at 51 people. Technical artists, character artists, environmental artists, dungeon artists, prop artists, animators, and concept artists are all lumped into this group. The prop team Brack calls out as a new group, a team dedicated entirely to creating wheels of cheese, torches, and other accoutrements to make a place within the game world feel 'alive'. Overall the art department is responsible for some 1.5 million assets.

Pearce moves on to the Production department, only 10 members strong. They're overseeing of all the other departments, and view themselves more as support than management per se. They aim for low ratio of employees to producers, to ensure that every Blizzard employee is getting somewhat individual attention. Creative teams to not report to producers, he pointed out. Team leads, instead, take up leadership roles within individual departments. The art lead, for example, still creates art. Creative employees report to the men and women that best understand their individual process. In turn, producers and leads collaborate to ensure that everyone understands their role. Leads are not forced into management/leadership roles they aren't comfortable with. Pearce notes the importance of what he called 'succession planning.' Producers help each team to understand who would be tapped in the future to take on a leadership role should the current lead step down, as well as plot out the future careers of individual employees. Overall production has managed 33,000 tasks in the last ten years.

Design, Cinematics, Sound, and Platform

The design department, some 37 members strong, came up next. Class designers, profession designers, itemization designers, level designers, event designers, encounter and lead designers are all grouped here. Brack points out the multi-disciplinary nature of the level creation team. They use WoWEdit to incorporate art assets and create the zones in the game. The events team is responsible for not only holidays like Hallow's End, but also static world components like the city of Dalaran and the new and popular Argent Tournament. Over the years, the team has created some 70,000 spells and some 40,000 NPCs.

The cinematics group was the next to be pointed out by Pearce. Machinima sequences, teasers, and the amazing pre-rendered cinemas that make Blizzard games kick off with a flash are all created in this group. As a talented group of artists, they also use this group to direct the creation of sword replicas, statues, and other physical objects. The group is 123 people strong, and Pearce notes that they could actually spend a whole talk just talking about how cinematics is organized.

The in-house sound department was next on the block for Brack. Handling sound effects, music, voice casting and recording are all partner projects with this team. The group's audio director is a talented composer, and has ended up composing a number of pieces for the game. There are over 27 hours of music in World of Warcraft currently, and Brack jokes that fully half of some patches for the game are audio files.

Platform services was the next group detailed, incorporating technologies for all of the games across the company, Macintosh development, QA, localization, and QA for in-house elements. There are some 245 people in this department, one of the largest in the company. Brack drilled down into the QA group, noting their sometimes inglorious role to test every patch and gold master. The size of their workload continually grows. World of Warcraft kicked off with some 2600 quests. They added 2700 quests in the Burning Crusade expansion and another 2350 quests in the Wrath of the Lich King drop. A total of 7650 quests in the game makes it very challenging to maintain and track all of the game's content. The QA group has tackled some 180,000 bugs since the game launched.

Localization, Technical Services, International Offices, and Online Services

Localization translates and culturalizes World of Warcraft into 10 different languages, and Pearce notes that there are actually more people playing WoW outside of the English language servers than inside. The capability to do all of this work in-house is incredibly important, and as a result they have no 'partial' localizations. It's not just translation and localization, they view a new language as an ongoing commitment to all the players on those servers. They actually have a dedicated producer working with this group to ensure that they have all the resources they need. Choosing to launch in a new language is a decision they don't make lightly, and Pearce points out that this group currently tracks 360,000 text strings and some 2 million words.

The technical services group is dedicated to getting every patch to the players. Patch 3.1 pushed some 4.7 petabytes of data to the players. Brack points out that they actually have to do some 10 patches for any given patch they do because of the numerous languages they support. QA has to test every patch they release, and there are actually 126 types of patches (streaming, universal, incremental) that all have to be updated and supported. A monumental task, Brack says.

The Blizzard Online Network services group is Pearce's next focus. A huge group, they have data centers from Texas to Seoul, and monitor over 13,250 server blades, 75,000 cpu cores, and 112.5 terabytes of blade RAM. He points out the picture of the GNOC in their slideshow, a data core that even has televisions tuned to the weather stations. They use those to ensure that conditions of the data center are up to their standards; with only a staff of 68 people they ensure connectivity across the globe for the numerous WoW servers.

International offices handle local market conditions, games that are released in other countries, and the occasional censorship issue prompted by a government. They also handle local marketing as well, ensuring it meets with regional sensibilities. There are hundreds of people in all these offices across the globe. Brack went on to talk about the customer support staff, a group with 2,056 game masters, 340 billing managers, and a host of other background staffers. These tireless staffers also work from locations around the world, ensuring that any local variations in culture (or the game) are respected.

Pearce then focused on the Online Services team, a group that includes the important gaming service Battle.net. Pearce gave a quick overview of the many new features coming to the service such as Battle.net-wide friends, integrated billing, and a number of other new features. Online Services specifically handle login technologies and billing elements for World of Warcraft. There are now 12,000,000 Battle.net accounts, and they look forward to the eventual seamless integration of that community and the WoW community.

Web, Community, PR, et al

The Web team was Brack's next group to discuss, a team responsible for managing a host of websites, online stores, the WoW Armory, and promotional materials. The mobile technologies team at Blizzard is grouped under this umbrella as well, and Brack calls out the mobile armory and the mobile authenticator as products they've previously released. They currently manage some 900,000 web files.

The corporate applications team is the company's internal tools team for activities "around" the game. They work to do fraud prevention, maintain bug tracking, keep a look out for upcoming trojans and spyware, maintain the internal wiki, and are responsible for the WoW team's internal data mining. This is the group that ensures the designers know exactly what is popular and what isn't in the game. Pearce jokes that the achievements system has been especially popular with WoW players and to date the players have unlocked some 4,449,680,399 rewards.

The PR and community teams were Brack's next focus, the groups responsible for public interaction. The PR team has helped to ensure some 10,000 articles have been written about World of Warcraft, while the community team acts as a liason between the players and the team itself. The 66 members of the community team ensures that civility is maintained on the game forums, and produce the always popular "blue posts".

The eSports group is responsible for all of the Tournament-related activities. Their budget includes prize money, travel arrangement money, and venue arrangements, and they ensure that professional gamers are tied directly into the WoW/Blizzard organization. To date they've hosted almost 1640 events. The events team proper is responsible for organizing BlizzCon, getting employees to events like AGDC, and coordinating with other consumer conferences. Brack notes the new addition of streaming viewers via DirecTV this year, and the explosive acts of Jay Mohr and Ozzie Osborn. With streaming viewers, BlizzCon had 100,000 participants this year.

Marketing, the next group on the docket, handles box creation, web campaigns, TV commercials, partner promotions (such as WoW-themed Mountain Dew), and in-game promotions like refer-a-friend or the scroll of resurrection. They're obviously very successful, as their commercials have seen over 10,000,000 views since Blizzard's television advertising campaign began. Licensing, a related group within the company, handles novel publishing, comics, strategy guides, the upcoming WoW magazine, apparel, plushies, action figures, games, and endless other tie-ins. Their role is to pair the right products with the right brand, and to date they've helped to release 400 products with Blizzard properties.

The creative development team is the hub for the company's history. They have two full-time lore historians, keepers of blizzard's past. They are the liaisons with the novelists, work to create shared art resources, act as an archive for every piece of art that's been created for Blizzard Entertainment, and currently maintain 100,000 art assets. Pearce takes a moment to note that the World of Warcraft team also has the capability to tap into the resources of other development groups within the company. He singles out the StarCraft 2 team as helpful for getting the original game out the door. Strike teams from these other groups are also helpful in evaluating World of Warcraft content without the connection that the team members already have, impartial observers for new content.

Brack notes that WoW also taps all of the other 'background' departments in the company. Finance, Human Resources, Facilities groups, the legal team, and of course the IT team all support the massive undertaking that is World of Warcraft.

Making the World Work

As an organization, World of Warcraft utilizes 20,000 computer systems, 1.3 petabytes of storage, and more than 4600 people. "Operating an online game is about more than just game development." Pearce hopes that the importance of these non-development groups is obvious, especially given the explosive growth of the company over the last five years. "World of Warcraft has completely changed the organization", and it wouldn't have been possible without the departments that they'd singled out.

Friday, September 18, 2009

new pic - eye for an eye

Again, a whole ten minutes
I like the shading I did, I was aiming for something animeish, but a phone really doesnt do well zoomed out on a 3" screen...still, not too shabby on the shading imo

Thursday, September 17, 2009

quick drawing up, and a funny wow pic

when we were messing around in ulduar last night, we had a priest die one some trash...needless to say, seeing the undying die, gave me a laugh

i got bored before writing the article on tanking, so i doodled this...dont know why the hell i used the darkening tool like i did, but it looked cool on my phone

RolePlay - Tanking the tanks

Being the Wall

Tanks are at first thought, a wall that stops a boss or encounter from crashing into the raid and killing everyone. A second thought, pretty much proves that, a tank has the sacred duty of being the only line of defense to the raid. But unlike a normal concrete wall, the tank can move, become more resilient, or even interrupt a boss, plus, they can die. First off, this isn't an article on healing, that'll be for another day, this is more about the tank.

Tanks do not have it easy. Anyone thinks they can play a tank, but there is a fine line between being a good tank, and a terrible tank. Although it can be taught, tanking is really a first-hand experience. Any good tank can give advice, but without practical application, and learning individual play styles, tanking can seem daunting.

Where do tanks come from?

Traditionally tanks are a select few classes spec'ing (with talent points) into their protection trees to gain extra survivability talents that will allow them to live longer in boss encounters. Protection Warriors, Protection Paladins, Frost Death Knights, Feral Druids, can all be tanks. To note, Death Knights can use almost any talent tree to pick up survivability talents, but Frost or Blood seem the most traditional as Unholy has become more the PvP talent tree, and Blood has lost some mitigation and stamina bonuses over time since their release.

Tanks, usually aim for gear with "Defense" stats posted on it. "Defense" increases some natural avoidance abilities (more on those in a minute) as well as decreases the chance for the tank to be critically hit. By reaching an amount of 540 at level 80, tanks become "uncrittable" meaning bosses and mobs can no longer deal extra amounts of damage to them. Feral Druids are the exception, as they can spec into a talent that makes them uncrittable for 3 talent points. Generally Defense gear should go to tanks if seen as an upgrade, because, having a better geared tank means that wall between the boss and raid becomes that much harder to knock down.

Pure Avoidance - the legit way to not get hit

Avoidance is when a tank dodges, or parrys an attack from a boss, and in return takes no damage. It's percent based, meaning there is a percent chance the tank gets hit, as well as a chance the tank does not get hit. Avoidance is a loved thing. It means less mana consumed from a healer, and the fight can proceed with damage and mana saved. Sometimes, that breather can allow healers to catch up on the tanks life bar and even top him off, making sure the tank is fit for the next major attack from a boss. Pure Avoidance is dodge, and parry. Both work about the same, but come from different stats. Dodge, comes on gear usually with defense, but also comes from Agility, while Parry, comes on gear usually coupled with defense, and also comes from strength as well. Those two stats help a tank survive even the most deadly of bosses, just by dodging or parrying their melee attacks. Pure Avoidance is something aimed for by any tanking class, except for Feral Druids who cannot acquire parry stats.

Blocking...a damage mitigation story

Block is another stat given to most tanking classes (Druids do not get block, but instead Savage Defense, where when the Druid critically strikes they get a buff that reduces the next hit taken by 25% of their attack power). Death Knights do not get Block, but can also spec to take less damage by entering their frost presence for straight damage mitigation. Block, in a nutshell, is when the tank uses a shield and when successful, mitigates some damage from the boss attacks. Warriors and Paladins get block from their shields used, and as the stat posted on their shield, when they do block an attack, damage mitigation occurs for the amount listed. However, block also falls under a percent chance, making it a percent to happen or not happen. Paladins and Warriors alike can spend additional talent points to increase block chance, and Paladins can use an ability coupled with some talent points to increase their block chance by large numbers (60%). Block, can be acquired from gear like parry and dodge, and is often stated with them. The shield block amount is how much damage is absorbed when the block occurs.

Health Pools - How much can i take?

Health, is important to any player, it means how much you can absorb without biting the dust, or dying in quintessential terms. Health for a tank is more important, as they are taking a majority of the damage done by the boss (some rare cases, but I am not going to indulge upon them at this time). Having a large health pool, means you can take bigger hits, or even multiple hits in a row before death occurs. Some bosses do abilities a tank just can't dodge, so that's where their health pool comes into play. Or say they don't get a dodge or parry off, again, to the health pool the damage goes. HP comes from stamina, which is overabundant on tank gear, coupled with dodge, block, and parry (not all gear contains all bonuses, it's a mix and match game). Tanks with higher end gear will 99% of the time have higher health pools then tanks just starting to tank. Health is the end all stat for a tank, either they take the hit and live, or take it and die, having a higher number is always a good thing, but it doesn't mean giving up pure avoidance for it all the time either.

A Balancing Act - To be hit or not to be hit

So, you have some gem slots (for gems that can provide additional bonuses for your stats) open do you? Sometimes, too much of one thing means losing out on another...meaning you could have a hugh pure avoidance, but lack in health, and when that pure avoidance doesn't stop two attacks in a row (remember it's percent based) you could be in trouble. But the same could be said about health, gemming, enchanting, and aiming for high stam gear could be bad if the boss hits you multiple times in a row and your healers call out that they are running low on mana (always a bad thing). The best thing, is to find your middle road, and roll with it (somewhere between 50% or higher avoidance can be good as long as you have a good amount of health to back it up [try not to count block as pure avoidance since it doesn't negate a hit, and isn't always up to block to begin with]). It might be hard to start with, but when you get multiple pieces of gear for the same slot, you can judge which helps more (just make sure to stay around the minimum required 540 defense number).

Aggro - Making threats and keeping them

Tanks are walls because they can take hits, and dodge them sometimes...but they can also be the stopper between a boss and the rest of the raid because they can force themselves inbetween so. Threat, occurs when a tank uses abilities that cause threat, and does more threat then the other raiders. Every player produces threat (unless otherwise noted on abilities). Whether healing or dpsing or tanking, everyone produces threat, some more then others. A Paladins Sacred Shield doesn't produce as much immediate threat as a Priests Power Word: Shield. A tanks abilities, usually produce a large amount of threat per second, or tps, that, as long as they remain on top, keeps the boss focused on them. When dps starts doing more tps then the tank, then the boss moves to that dpser and kills them, number one on the aggro chart means the first (and sometimes only) target the boss focuses on. Aggro, threat, is the same in terms, threat is produced off of abilities, and aggro is the result. So tanks, keep up their respective threat making rotations and keep aggro focused on them.

Situational Modifiers - Run away little girl

It's no small feat for a tank, they have to make some choices while tanking, more personal choice then anything, but none-the-less, a choice. If a boss has a cast bar on an ability, tanks can choose, one of three things, try to move out of the way, eat it, or interrupt it. These choices aren't available all the time, or even at the same time. Sometimes a boss might cast an aoe that can't be interrupted, be can be moved out of the way from, or just taken as damage. Of course, there are times when damage can't be avoided, or interrupted, but has to be taken. And then there's the only option to interrupt it where moving or eating it cannot be options. But tanks must do the research of every boss encounter and learn what options are open to them. By knowing the fights before hand, a tank can respond accordingly to every ability, and prevent less damage, overall.


What's above in the post, is a general overview of what tanks must look at before each raid, during, and afterwards. It's alot more work when people actually stop to think about it. When it unfolds during a fight though, it seems like a blur, and in minutes, everything is over, and either the raid lived or didn't. For the record, I respect tanks, they have to worry about stats and put them into practice on every encounter, pulling out all the stops.

If you want to be a tank, I highly recommend tankspot.com to get in depth videos of all encounters and explanations for them. elitistjerks.com also has some great spec/rotation/gear recommendations updated with the latest theorycrafting.

-whew, enough to type for now

-pwrtoppl is out

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

New Pic up

I got bored last night and finished this up...coulda been a bit darker overall, but oh well

next will be a swamp...maybe ill tint it for flavor

remember, its from my phone, with a tiny 3" screen, try not to judge too hard

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Fresh out of the Box - Going from 0 to hero

Instant Mix, add water and stir

It doesn't hurt to be known on your realm...unless it's through a negative incident, but even then, so few people care, and others might give you crap, but oh well, all is fair in love and war. Being known on the realm gives you several advantages, including other guilds knowing about you and your accomplishments, other people knowing of your feats, and some sort internal power motor that makes you become even more attuned to the world of enjoyment and contentment.

But, to get to be "that" guy, who people love/fear/hate, you first gotta get there. And that road could be a harsh one indeed. The top arena teams from the last major tournament didn't exactly play dumb all the way to the top; instead, they worked their asses off and for good reason: recognition. They want to be known, to have one's name in a conversation isn't always a bad thing.

So, let's say your new to the game of World of Warcraft, and have heard rumors of former players who seem to drift into the following years without actually making an appearance. You want to be like them, or at least as popular, because, fame means an ego feed, and that makes most everything better in life. Having that instant gratification knowing that people know of you in this large world, is always a plus.

The Statement

So here's how to do it: work at it. Yeah, pretty dumb right? Just focus, determination, and some work can make someone known, but let's make this even more of a statement. Toss in some research, do some known events, like raiding with the top end guild on your server, or blast through an arena rank with someone, but make sure you don't lose the focus. By setting goals too, you can make sure to meet them, and increase a rating by a certain date every week, or by trying a new heroic achievement, getting a server first along the way. But maybe your not up to that point...let's backtrack just a bit.

The Starting Line

First off, say you get a new 80, or just decide it's time to claim your stake in the world, wow or not, you need to know what you're getting into.

  • Research - Look into what you're getting into, and what others have done to get to their current rank. Make sure to note what they did right and wrong. Look for something maybe you could improve upon, saying you know what you're looking into
  • Goal setting - Start with simple goals, run some semi-current content to make sure you got a good grasp on what your aiming for, and when you get a solid idea of how your performing, you can set realistic goals.
  • Making the Goal - Most of the time, people don't follow through with their idea, so make sure you setup reminders and have others to back you...best part of setting a goal in wow? Others are aiming for it too, common group goals, are nothing to be ashamed of, aiming to clear current content on heroic, means working with 9 - 24 other people anyways, so take advantage of it, work with them and reach those goals.
  • Improving - A guide, is just that, a guide. No reason why anyone has to follow it to the "T." If your for any reason see a way to improve upon something, try it out, if it works, then you've just improved upon a guide/method and made it your own...if it doesn't work, oh well, try something else; at least you learned what doesn't work.
  • Competition - One of the best motivators to reach a goal is some competition. Being in the top guild means you're constantly working your butt off to remain the best, and striving to put more distance between your guild and some other person's guild. For arena, it's pure ranking. Doing better is just more rewarding, and staying on top, should not hold you back from letting others know that you're on top (chances are, they'll say something out of jealously).

Checking Back

Make sure to keep up with your goals after you reach the top, or whatever you're aiming for. make new goals, and shoot to do those, or aim for something challenging that hasn't been done before. Make yourself even more well known. Why not? Part of being the best is making sure people know of you, and they will, some people will start their own goals and research and find your name as top .

Ending up

I didn't write this as a fact sheet, it still falls under a generic guide to getting "X" goal. But I thought it might be something worth writing about, since it could be called WoW related. Wasn't really aiming to make people feel inspiried as much as informed. There are a thousand more detailed guides out there, but this isn't a bad way to get started.

-on that note



Monday, September 14, 2009

Ready, Set, Raid - You are the WheelMan

Knowing Your Place, Raiding 201

So you've lived through a few ulduar and ToC encounters? Have gotten some loot have you now? But people still comment on you in general for not being a hardcore raider, being in a non-raiding guild, or a burnt out raider? Let's make sure your a raid ready, by starting with what your role is in a raid (not healer. dps. tank terms).

1 +24 does = 25

Chances are, you aren't the raid leader, and for good reason, raid leaders usually are (or should be) the people who carry the most stress, having to pay close attention to attendance, activity, loot, complaints from people, others attacking random people for low dps or bad healing strats, or people who just aren't cutting the current content's requirements; but you are just one among the many. People tend to use the "group concept" until they learn of the "I'm great" concept and forget that they once started out as a new player to the game, and so, as it goes, they think they are above everyone else, which is usually false (there are some amazing players out there and they know that they are). Don't be like those people, you help contribute to the raid, 10 or 25 respectfully, and by knowing your part, you provide less strain on the raid leader. But you cannot forget, by filling some vacant spot, could mean your just as replaceable as the guy you filled in for, so let's go over some things that will make you stand out.

Standing out (in a good way)

First off, in order to be someone to come back week after week, you need to have a couple things in mind as you raid:

  • Raid Awareness - Simply put, know whats going on around you, while helping others out
  • BYOB - Raid leaders like people who bring their own chow and flasks to a raid, being prepared is ALWAYS a good thing (several hours worth for the long runs)
  • Mindful of /raid chat - Watch what others say, and respond respectfully; most of the time, people will say random things, or spam, or argue amongst themselves, try not to be one of those people.
  • Advice given at the RIGHT time - Sometimes, people need to be told what they are saying or doing is wrong, by pointing it out in a non-threatening manner could show people what you know without offending other people.
  • Ventrilo's Lure - Avoid saying random things in Vent, unless it's an idea to correct an issue. Never speak during a boss encounter or an explanation of one, wait until after, unless it is during the boss encounter and something happens to you where you need to call it out. And never NEVER call out if your dps and you die (bad way to get people to not like you)
  • Designated Speaker - The raid leader usually has someone call out when something happens to players in vent during a boss fight so vent doesn't become cluttered with people's reverb and announcements of personal happenings.
  • Ready Checking - People love to ready check, make sure you don't AFK during a raid and miss the check, you might go on the uninvite list after that run.
  • Meter Maids - Don't be one, carry your own meter, but do not post it, the point of raiding with 24 others is to reach a common goal, posting how well you do looks bad, many raid leaders use their own and will look anyways.

It's not all the examples, but pretty close. Make sure you are respectful of others, be a happy raider, and keep discussion during boss fights to a nil. Raiding is one of those things, that requires focus and 24 other people to be aware of you and the encounter as a whole.

Being the Go-To Guy

Maybe you think it's time to contribute in some major way, but let's make sure your right for the job:

  1. Reading up - Know the fights, and know the damage/debuffs given out during the encounter, and by lending advice to the raid about what you view on the situation can get you major points from the raid leader/guild leader. Not recommended for every fight, but sometimes lending a thought or two on stressful fights by offering a new tactic can make the world of difference.
  2. Being there - Raid time, non-raid time, either way, be there for others, by helping out, and just being around online people will notice your not some silent scrub getting a free ride, show your worth by just being there.
  3. Don't get cocky - Being in the upper ranked raiding guilds doesn't mean you should go sporting your guild name to everyone else. Chances are, people won't care, or will attack you for your foolishness, instead, work on being #1, and then keep cool about it, anyone who does care about ranking will know your guild is #1 and that knowledge that they know, alone should be worth the effort.
  4. Fill-in, Step-out - Raid too full? Offer to step out for a night, maybe your just a dps that could be replaced with a tank or healer, in which case just offering could lend you some great points, because raid/guild leaders respect people who aren't greedy and there to take up space...but wait, is the raid missing some healer/dps/tank? Having a spare geared toon and offering can mean you really are a go-to guy, a hero of terms...just try not to relish in it.

Be cool about where you are in the guild, offer up, and one day you might make it to the top...or at least a guarenteed spot to raid every night your guild goes in.

well, just thought I would give out a thought or two what even I can't do well, maybe I'll start reading my own posts.


-is out

Friday, September 11, 2009

Two new pics

Two more to glance at

I know, I like to doodle on my phone, but what the hell, it's fun. Here are two new ones to look at (Ironman one I had for a bit, but the plains looking one i finished this morning)

Some Photos

A couple photos

In my time away from my blog, I did get a new phone a month ago, a HTC diamond (http://www.htc.com/www/product/touchdiamond/overview.html) and so far it's rocked

In my flashing and unlocking, I did get a painter program, for my touchscreen, and here's some random photos I've done with my free time, hope you all like it!

For this one, I saw a sunset with a single cloud surrounded by darkness...

not a bad one if I say so myself.

Here I was watching a documentary on Eclipses, so, this is what came to mind.

First one made actually, went for a rose for my girlfriend, was just working on getting colors and smudges down, so, not a terrible result

- I have a couple more I'll upload in a couple days, gotta finish one and upload another

What type of Raider are you?

Something to Mull over

I updated an old thread some time ago on DSL reports, thought I would copy my work over to my blog:



You raid with these people. You work with these people. These people are closer than your family. You should worry.

The GM - He’s sacrificed his health, friends, and probably a couple of jobs to drag you through new content. When the guild isn’t performing, these decisions are in question. Prone to shooting sprees, forum flame wars, and the rapid advancement/gearing of whatever toon the guild “needs”. If you can keep your mouth shut, he’ll go emo and quit before you get gkicked. Still, you do like the guy. Or did. Before he went crazy. See drunks, below.

The GM (second type) – It’s his guild, his rules, and he has a final say so. He might have a second in command, kind of a fall back, but otherwise, he either is a straight out honest person who will let you know when you do bad (and not nicely) or he will get someone else to do it. Has an Elitist attitude.

The Co-GM – Maybe not as hardcore as the GM, but in a pinch, he makes a good raider. Listens to opinions, but gives little feedback. He does make some major decisions, and always tries to do it on the behalf of the GM. Look for this guy to give you feedback when others aren’t. Overall nice guy (unless the GM is nice, then this guy is an asshole.)

The GM's Significant Other - Okay, so he was going to have to quit but he tricked his SO into playing. She loves it. She's terrible. You'll effectively 24 man every boss. Count on 4 constructs in the raid, every attempt. She plays a Belf. Oh yeah, and she’s the one really in control over guild decisions.

The Raid Leader - When you stand in the flames, he dies a little bit inside. Look for this guy to do the Guild Leader’s dirty work. He WILL call you out in the raid by name and let you know your about to be replaced. After all, it’s his job to make sure raids happen successfully.

The Heir Apparent - When the GM goes psycho, ninjas the bank, and gdisbands, you’re the guy the guild is gonna look to fix the mess. You see it coming. You can't decide if ritual suicide or being the new GM would be more painful.

The Positive Officer - “That was great. Just great. You know, only 5% of guilds have even made it to Agalon, and getting him down to 67% on the second attempt is hawt.” He will blow more smoke up your ass then any other person on the planet, but sometimes, that’s just the trick. See Stoner, Below.

The Negative Officer - “Jesus Christ why are there corpses under all these goddamn volcanoes? It’s Jaraxxas for %@*@s’s sake. GET OUT OF THE GODDAMN FLAME!” This guy, makes it a point to let people know when a fuckup occurs and the more often it occurs, the louder and nastier he gets. See Drunks, below.

The Healing Officer - Has this job because, as the newest officer who plays a healer, he’s stuck with it. When a tank dies, he takes the blame for not helping out the healers enough, but that doesn’t mean he won’t get on your case. Has a separate channel for healers, likes to assign them, even if there is only one tank

The Hunter Class Lead - Will tell you that it does actually require skill and preparation to play a hunter well in the end game. Lies frequently.

Metermaid - He's got meters running. Always. Asks for meter postage whenever he's in the top 5, which is rare, as his focus on the meters is preventing him from seeing the volcano he's pathing towards. Pulls aggro. Has yet to realize that 0 health returns 0 dps. If he's healing, you might as well just put him on raid, he's gonna heal them anyway. Will personally whisper you meters when you’re below him. Usually an idiot or an asshat.

Stratman - Has read every strategy on the entire internet for every boss. Unable to think critically. Knows where his talk key is. Hated by the officers. Likely to play a hunter or mage. Also does out of his way to point out people not following the strat, but usually only to officers.

The Gay Guy - Affects the gay accent for effect. Upgrade decisions tend to involve lengthy discussions about gear appearance. Learned to use the dressing room function before the ‘v’key. Links gear and tells people to shift-click it.

The Stay At Home Mom - She’s around children all day and craves adult conversation. Babbles incessantly in vent, forgetting that adult conversation doesn’t usually begin with, “So I was talking to (insert name of four-year-old child) and he says…” Well liked, but frequently muted. Also has an issue with end game raiding, will show up, but won’t be the most promising dps.

Mr. Mikeless - Has a microphone. Hears the conversation and directions. Once wiped the raid because he started talking and most folks alt-tabbed to see who the hell was speaking. May be your best player. Very quiet.

The Kid - So, you messed up on this guy’s interview and nobody noticed that he was 12. But, he can play. And if he gets a little bit excited when boobies are getting talked about? Hey, he’s young. Has some skill when pointed in the right direction.

The Backbone - Plays a tank. Doesn't have much to say. Made an error once in Naxx, or so you heard. Will disconnect when Anub'arak is at 30% and keep aggro while offline for the rest of the fight. Has never said anything negative to the healers. Ever. GL with your progression without one of these. Hates the prima donnas.

The Other Kid - Remember that accountant you interviewed for the fury warrior position? And how you wondered how he’d make time to raid during tax season? He couldn’t. His eleven year old daughter took over about that time. She’s been raiding since. Mages, that’s an eleven year-old girl owning you night after night.

The Hunter Who Doesn't Do His Homework - Always good for insightful commentary and clever observation just after a wipe. "Holy Crap Man! I was just standing and shooting and this damn VOLCANO popped on me! When did they put in those volcanoes?"

The Prophet - Keeps insisting that you are going to need a melee group for ToGC. Badgered the management until they broke. Plays a rogue. Shreds. Loved by the Most Devout.

The Most Devout - This is the guy who gets to play an off-spec in a big-boy raid. He's the fury warrior or the enhance shammy. He cannot believe that some fate is letting him have this much fun that he's afraid it will all come crashing down. Prays devoutly to his favorite deity that the guild won't collapse because he'll never have THIS much fun again. Ever.

The Drunks - The special section of your guild. As raid progresses, their voices in vent are getting just ever so slightly slurred. You don’t notice because you’re trying to sound sober yourself. DPS output seems to scale positively with blood alcohol level.

The Stoners - Quietly wiping raids since the beta. They really, really, really hate having to move out of the fire. Two of them are dead under the volcanoes. They live in fear of the negative officer. They have their own channel. Try /join (insertguildname)stoners. You’ll see who’s in there. It’ll explain a lot. Still, if these guys don't show, bosses don't seem to actually die. They’re also having more fun that everyone else combined.

The Prima Donna - Requires special attention from management. Constantly whining. Plays some vital role. Might be a main tank, off tank, or healer. The officers really hate this guy and as soon as they can find another tank with 50,000 buffed HP, he’s out. Not a stoner.

The Chick with the Accent - Is the accent fake? Nobody knows or cares. Future visits to Australia/Britian/New Zealand/Alabama are now planned by all single raid members. Sometimes can be combines with Vent Prostitute, See Below.

The Healing Pally - Hates healing and had to go holy to see endgame. If you raid with a boomkin, a feral druid, a fury warrior, or any non-resto shaman, you are not getting a 10 minute blessing. Forget it. He hates you. God help you if he has a raid-viable alt in one of those classes; you're not even getting heals. Also, see Prima Donna.

The Departed Legend - You joined after he left. You suspect that he could not actually solo Yogg Saron. But you're not totally sure.

The Disgruntled Raider - Took an unannounced, extended vacation and now has to share his raid spot with the other 11 extra dps. Very angry about this situation. Doesn't realize that ##@#*ing is making things worse. Officers pray for a gquit. Often carries outdated gear he refuses to update.

The Warlock Whisperer - Directionally challenged. Despite having run Ulduar 1.26 million times, will require a summon to General Vezax’s room from the entrance. Has a "summon pls" macro. Strangely, is good at moving away from Void Zones. See (you guessed it) Stoners.

The New Guy - Begins most sentences with, "That's not how we did it in my old guild on Korgath." Likely to remain guilded for approximately one week. You wonder if he'll be telling his next guild, "In my old guild, we ran TOWARDS the volcanoes.”

The Backup - He's the guy waiting in the wings for the raid slot. Totally dependable and plays about 200% better than the guy for whom he's filling in. He's got half the gear and puts out 20% more dps. Totally cool, amazingly competent. You love it when the main can't be there. Could be a secret backbone.

The Buff-less Wonder - Plays a class with group buffs, but "forgets" to bring the necessary reagents. Highly skilled at turning a deaf ear and blind eye to buff assignments. If reminded, will proceed to slowly buff people one by one until someone else is overwhelmed by frustration and does it for them. Has a tendency to overwrite others buffs when choosing incorrectly.

Mr. Pick Me! Pick Me! - This guy is online and ready to raid. Always. Need a prot warrior? He's got one. A holy pally? Check. Problem is, he's really bad. Like bad bad. You keep him in the guild because he's... well, he's always been in the guild. So when your main tank, back up tank, and back up back up tank have vanished Mr. Pick is ready to rock, much to everyone else's horror.

Tootsie - Has a female toon. Claims to be female. Receives many of the benefits that the other females do, people are nice to her; she gets suspiciously good loot. Problem is, she's never posted a picture of herself, and she never talks on Vent. Could she really be a girl? Sure. But who's to know?

The Dumbest Person On The Planet - No one's quite sure exactly what's wrong with this guy, perhaps human evolution really has come to a standstill. Will be the cause of 60% of your wipes until he gets a /gkick. Tell him to spread out and he'll glue himself to a squishy healer. Tell him to avoid something and he'll stand in it till dead, then complain that he didn't get any heals. Ask him to CC the yellow star and he'll pick the orange circle then claim bleeding wounds debuff on his target.

The Obvious Explainer- This guy has read Wowwiki and probably written some of it. He will stop the raid for 15 minutes before each fight to explain to all the new people (of which there are none) that this guy might produce ground fire once in a while or that the hunter adds might shoot arrows. He'll warn that the boss can hit hard, tell everyone to avoid damage, and remind the healers that they need to keep the tanks alive.

Hair Trigger - He means well. Really, he does. Most of the time, he's likable, knows how to play his class, shows up on time, well prepared, and ready to work hard. He knows the strats, knows his role, and 75% of the time is a pleasure to have in the raid. Unfortunately, he's also got a very short fuse, and if something goes wrong or somebody screws up, he'll set off with enough RAGE to keep your Warriors happy for a week. "How the hell could you screw that up?" "Don't you know what the hell you're doing?" "Jesus Christ, could you please NOT suck next time? Can we get somebody goddamn competent in here, dammit?" Causes a good share of drama, frequently butts heads with the officers (especially the Negative Officer), and prone to /gquitting in a fit of anger before simmering down and humbly requesting a re-invite.

The Undergeared Slacker - This is the player who, for whatever reason, will only put out 33% of the DPS or healing of any other player with the same role. While not being AFK. This player is also likely to roll or spend DKP on the worst possible items for his/her class or role. You would love to drop him from the raid, but you don't have enough bodies to do so.

The Douche - He knows his class, knows the game, and always shows up to raids, but generally unpleasant and often rubs his guildmates the wrong way. If you ask him to do something he doesn't want to do (heal as a priest/drood/shammy/pally instead of DPS, tank as a warrior instead of DPS, kite as a hunter instead of... DPS) he'll do it, but he'll complain endlessly the entire time and opt out the first chance he gets. He'll bid on minor upgrades even when someone else could use it more, but hey, he's got the DKP, and the raid doesn't want to lose him because he's a good player. Every guild has one, you know who it is--if you don't, you may BE one. Often from New York, New Jersey, or Quebec.

My Glass Is Half Full - He's a decent player, but above all else he brings to the raid endless optimism. "Don't worry guys, good job, we learned a lot!" "We'll get him next time, we're doing better and better!" "We're definitely going to down this guy tonight." If there's any conflict or argument, he'll try and step in with a quick "Let's not argue, guys! Stay focused and we can do this!" He's a nice guy and means well, but the officers keep him muted on Vent half the time just because his encouragement gets in the way of strategy.

Pointdexter - He has the game down to a science. He may be a 40-year-old accountant with the free time of a 15-year-old student, or a 15-year-old student with the focus of a 40-year-old accountant. Drools over spreadsheets, calculates the group's overall DPS and efficiency and how it can be improved down to the smallest stat bonus. Spends his days on WorldofRaids and the Elitist Jerks forums looking at all the numbercrunching and posts everything on your own guild forums. Certainly an asset to the raid, but damn he needs a hobby.

The Terminal Virgin - Excessively vulgar, passive/aggressive. Has a slang term for the female genitalia for every letter of the alphabet, but has never actually seen one.

The Avatar - He's been in your guild since before you can remember and you've seen him raid maybe twice, but for some reason, this guy outgears the rest of your guildies by a tier. If you're in Udluar, he's wearing gear from ToC. If you're in ToC, he's got gear from ToGC. If you're attempting ToGC there are no more upgrades for him in the game. He'll hit 15% of your total raid dps in a 25 man instance, or heal your main tank without dropping below 70% mana. And he'll let you know how bored he is the entire time.

The Baggage - He's not bad per se, but he isn't good. The only reason he's still getting raid invites is because some vital raid member refuses to raid without him. Maybe he's family, maybe he's just a friend, but it's not his leet dps that you drag him along for. Usually knows he has a guaranteed slot because of his connections, and feels free to use that at every opportunity.

The Kid With ADHD - Night elf hunter or undead rogue. This kid is spastic, while the raid is drinking, he's jumping around like a moron, running in circles, and setting off fireworks. If that wasn't bad enough, he's on vent complaining that the raid isn't moving fast enough, even though he's not prepared for the next pull either. All of that might be tolerable if his constant antics didn't also involve falling into the lava and aggroing every mob in a 100 yard range.

Vent Prostitute - This is the girl that wants the raid to know she has boobs, a nice butt and loves sex. She will shamelessly tell you how anything demure turns her on, and will occasionally moan in vent. Don't be fooled ... she knows what kind of power this gets her; after all she needs to level the playing field when Girl with the accent is online. She often will find online boyfriends to be a time killing fling.

Mr. Mumbles - Loves to talk on vent, but is constantly asked what he just said. This can be caused by several reasons - broken mic, bad accent, or just mumbly. Almost always has something important to say - too bad you'll never hear it.

The Jackass Entertainer - Mouthy comments and random song follow this raider around. Usually contains his bullcrap to the space between wipes, but has upon occasion caused a hiccup in the progression due to a poorly timed joke nearly wiping the raid. Talks during boss encounters while dpsing.

Mr(s). Worthless - The one or two people you have to take sometimes because you're short on people. They are as geared and talent-specced like others in the raid, yet their numbers don't come close to others. Most of these are hunters or rogues, although that shadow priest or warlock fits that bill. They leave you scratching your heads on how the **** their numbers are so bad, vowing not to take them again until they improve...until next week you need them again.

Mr. 4Chan/Ytmnd/WoW.com Forums - Thinks every internet fad they've ever seen or heard about is the most hilarious thing in the universe, and has to share it with the raid. He has a massive amount of internet knowledge, has millions of pictures, and can bring up any oft-repeated phrase for hours at a time for no reason. Going from ' no wai ' to ' naga stole my [arcanite reaper] ' to ' [perdition's blade] GOES HERE D: ' golemagg doesn't change facial expressions!, ' he's sometimes funny, but the humor wears thin the 90th time you've said a raid command in /rs and he's /yell'd back, ' O RLY? '

Mr. STFU - This is the guy who believes he is funny but simply isn't. Even his voice is annoying, like nails on a chalkboard. Or he is the one with the most God-awful laugh you've ever heard who is always laughing. The problem is some of these people can't be muted because most of the time they actually contribute viable information. These are the people you whisper to other people in the raid, "He sounds like a baying donkey who's been kicked in the nads" or "Oh for the love of Christ shut him up".

The Over-Analyzer - Even if this person does top damage and dps in the raid, he is convinced he can do better or that the guild could do better. He is nearly impossible to make happy, and frequently is self-absorbed about himself in general. He is generally a really good player, but he is convinced that no matter what, anything could be better then whatever he just did/the raid just did.

The Perv - Takes anything and everything said and twists it into an innuendo, some more subtle than others. His mind resides firmly in the gutter and what few minds weren't there before he spoke create an almost audible splash when they hit it and hit it hard. Source of much entertainment, especially late at night or when drunk, as long as he doesn't carry things too far. Keep away from the Kid and the Other Kid or you may lose them to parental aggro.

Junkie- The one who perpetually raids while under the influence of half a bottle or more of Nyquil or some equally intoxicating cough syrup/pill. ALWAYS slacks on trash, all the while laughing to themselves for no reason with eyes half open. Always #1-2 on dps on bosses, but bottom 15 on trash dps. A fucked up flipper baby of The Stoners and The Drunks. Also, much like The Stoners, always has WAY more fun than other people in the raid even though they have no idea what's going on.

The Armor Thief - This person is in agreement with the officers that some pieces are better for his "spec" than pieces from his actual armor type. It's a shame he didn't talk to anyone who actually played the class, or he might actually not be pissing them off AND might actually not be at the bottom of the charts. Frequently a Druid, Paladin, or Warrior.

The Other Armor Thief - This person is not in agreement with anyone that he will take anything designed for his armor type, even if someone else sees it as an upgrade. Simply put, if he doesn't have it, and it's his armor type, he wants it, even if it's not an upgrade or intended for a different spec.

The Casual – Not a really well geared player…not the best spec either, but is always on, and though he doesn’t care if he makes it into the raid or not, he won’t get upset by it. Likes to run old content, believes that he could get better, just doesn’t want to work at it. Also has a habit of not rolling on any gear until it is about to be destroyed, then will take it because everyone else passed.

The Passive – Will listen to anyone’s thoughts, but have nothing to say for or against it. Not the person to ask for ideas, and when it comes time to raid, stays quiet, does his job, and calls it a night. Never seen upset…or happy for that matter.

The Opinionator - Makes it a point to voice his thoughts in response to anything anyone else says, or thinks. If the raid leader is trying to make a point about a wipe, the opinionator is backing him up 100% with the words, “yes” and “correct.” Likes to follow up with, “Here is what I’m thinking,” and “I think it would be best if we…” Also likes to talk about who should really get the gear despite dkp bids. Whispers people if no one is responding in /g chat or vent about his thoughts and their responses. Follows the annoying.

The Dedicated - Has two of every class at 80, horde and alliance. Has a bankroll (gold) that rivals most millionaires. Might be second best in every slot, but knows how to play every class really well, and usually isn't proven wrong unless he does it to himself, but never admits he's at fault. Also on 24/7 unless he finds a job...not likely.

Captain Lags-a-lot - The boss mgiht have died 60 seconds ago, but not for this guy, he's still deep into rotation and thinks the win is close. Great guy, 2k latency though. And usually can't change the situation unless he turns off his p2p client...which even then, doesn't help. Look for this guy to die in fires, not by choice, but only because he won't see it until it's too late.

The Experimentor - Thinks he is on to something about his class. As a holy pally, he might be aiming for haste over crit, or as a dps, leather over plate. He could be right, or completely wrong, but still, it's fun to see the whole process. Could be a secret Prodigy.

The Unreliable Raider - Outgears and out-dps's 90% of your regulars, knows all the fights (despite lacking all the achievements), and makes every boss seem 50% easier because he is kiting/dpsing the adds without being told, giving the tank helpful tips, or just rocking the meters. Passes on most loot as what he has is better. Unfortunately, he comes up with obviously fake excuses for bugging out early, or not showing up at all. Whether it's his RL schedule or he'd rather grind rep in the Outlands instead of raiding ToGC, he's never consistent. You'd love to remove him from the roster completely, but the times he actually shows up and stays, he's golden.