Monday, September 29, 2008

PvP Quotes, Insights and Rants

Boon: I can respec holy. You can't respec stupid. I feel for you.

Kvasira: I'm kind of hoping someone kills me, because I need mana.


For the most part, I can handle a warlock. Cleanse helps a lot. Cleansing if they're UA however... not so good an idea. They also don't like it when you make their pet go running away.

When there's 20 seconds left before the tower is destroyed and you're the only one guarding it, and a single person comes running in, you're good.

Unless your bubble is down. And it's a hunter. Or a warlock. Or a priest. Or a rogue. Or a warrior. Or...

Nothing pisses off a warlock faster than when they come running in thinking to themselves, "Oh, just one alliance! I can fear them and recap while they go hoofing it down the ramp. Because our towers are designed to recap easily, whereas alliance towers are designed to be really hard to recap. I love being Horde. Blizz loves me too."... and then they get Hammer of Justiced. And then repentenced. And then they finally get that fear cast off... except that I just bubbled. The Alliance have destroyed Tower Point. HAH.

Nothing pisses off people faster than when the Horde have turtled and you refuse to stop retaking towers. I'm sorry. It's my game too and I can retake towers if I want to. It's fun. And in my opinion, if the Horde force a turtle, you're just rewarding the behavior for them if you give in and let them win. It'll make them force a turtle more often. If you make it unrewarding for them, maybe they'll stop doing it.

It's inevitable that when you need just 200 more honor and you pop into an AV, it will turn into a 45 minute resource-turtle.

Battlegrounds are team play. The warrior who runs off and grabs the flag without telling anyone or waiting for backup, then tells everyone they're f*ing nubs because he didn't get any healz ... we're not the nubs, fellow. You are.

Battlegrounds are team play. If you see that IBT and TP have only two people in it, and the RH is already taken... stop and stand around by the flag and be just as bored for the two minutes it'll take to burn the tower... it's far better than having to retake the damn thing because two people can't stop a backcap team of eight.

Don't call people idiots for not being able to two-man defend a tower against a backcap team of eight, especially when you're standing on a hill by the capped RH, spamming, "All in, all in! OMG! FAIL! We're going to lose thanks nubs" when the Horde haven't even hit SPGY yet.

Inevitably, no matter how many times you say it, someone will retake SHGY and cap FWGY before FWRH.

Inevitably, someone will demand that we need to run the flag in EOTS when we only have two towers, instead of trying to take three towers and just hold the flag.

Inevitably, someone will cap the flag in EOTS when the Horde hold midfield, the flag carrier asks 'Should I cap?' and the answer is 'No.'.

The flag carrier will always take the speed boost in the tunnel in WSG and out run their support, then bitch about dying and having no support.

Horde like to do naked suicide runs when they're losing a reinforcement turtle in AV.

The Alliance like to run in one at a time and die one at a time. The Horde like to wait in packs for the Alliance to run by one at a time.


What is with people's beef with retribution paladins?

1. It's my 15 bucks a month. If I want to play a melee hunter, I can do so. I realize that this may negatively effect your game play, in which case, don't group with me, but other than that, stfu. If I'm in your battleground, roll your eyes, groan mentally, but other than that... do you have a point? Is there a reason you're telling me something that I've undoubtedly heard one million times before? I get I'm not mainstream. Believe it or not, I actually thought about my decision to go retribution before I did it, and I researched it and I pull it off. So get off my back and go do your job and try to show me up. Just try it. You may out DPS me, but I bet I contribute more than you do.

1a. There are a lot of Horde Retribution Paladins. So obviously it isn't just an Alliance-Idiot option.

2. 1/3 of the Paladin talent trees is devoted to damage. Hence, Blizzard must assume that a portion of people who have paladins would want to do damage with them. Granted, some people do not play them well and just like there are Huntards out there, there are Retardins out there too. But do not just assume that because I'm a Retribution Paladin means: 'lolz, i dont heal im ret'. I toss bubbles when some poor caster (or even melee at times) is having their ass handed to them by melee. If I have the opportunity or feel that my pitiful 3k healing from Holy Light will help, I cast it. Otherwise, I don't bitch when a shadow priest doesn't heal me. I don't bitch when a feral druid doesn't heal me. So don't bitch when a retribution paladin doesn't heal you.

3. If you feel that retribution paladins are taking up the space a tank or healer should occupy in your battleground, then log off of your rogue or mage and roll a tank or healer, or respec your warrior or druid to do so.

4. I have two tanks, two healers, and two 'high-end' DPS. I can run a retribution paladin if I want to do so. I've earned that right by doing six mainstream characters that fit into well defined and required rolls. (which, my ret pally currently is competing with my combat rogue in terms of how much DPS they can put out in an instance. Granted, my ret pally is becoming quite well geared compared to my rogue, but it just goes to show you that retribution paladins can actually compete with DPS.. and when the class hopefully gets boosted so we don't need to be geared to the gills to compete with an average 'mainstream' DPS... I can't wait.)

5. Retribution paladins CAN DPS. Just because a vast majority of them don't do it, or do it well, doesn't mean we all are like that. Retribution paladins can also heal and bubble and play the joat game. Hybrid classes are cool that way.

6. Don't assume that my current played character is my main. Assuming that, especially in the environement of WoW, not only is stupid, but it's very stupid. Your average gamer has at least 2 level 70's. At least. Most people I know have a slightly lesser degree of altisms than I do. So assuming that the season 1 warlock is his main and calling him a noob because of it... really really stupid.

/rant /insight /quote

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Rise of the Ret Paladin

I've heard that in WotLK, they're going to "fix" retribution paladins. This is very nice! For those people who can't currently play a ret pally. And for those of us already doing a good job with it, just wait until we're better!

It takes a certain amount of gear and understanding of what buttons to click and what stats to stack to reach the level of DPS that a blue-geared mage or warlock could put out.

Which is very sad. But do-able. I've been doing it and defying people left and right. Rawr. Go me.

So, the other day I was doing the pre-quest for Karazhan with Boon's little warrior. And Boon said, "OMG. Stop killing them so fast!" ... then realized what he said and said, "Uh, nothing. I said nothing."

So this weekend, Boon slapped back on the ret gear he'd been collecting here and there as off-spec items from the raids and runs he's been in. And he went ret. And we went battlegrounding. And he giggled.

Yes. Giggled.


And chased down people and roared and said, "I am never going to yell at you again for chasing people down when I'm guarding the flag, because .. they just have that little bit of life left and I know I can BEAT THEM DOWN!"

A ret paladin has been born, at least for a little while.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Seduce: Banish: Fear

Warlocks have three forms of crowd control. And we can use all three at the same time (which makes the warlock the superior crowd control class.).

We can seduce humanoids with our succubus.
We can banish demons and elementals with a spell.
And we can fear lots of things with another spell.

No where do you see a warlock doing multiple CC's as much as you see it in MrT. And maybe the big pulls in Slabs.

In MrT, a lot of the groups come in sets of five. Or six. They usually include one demon (Sister of Torment) and lots of humanoids.

So you, the uber-warlock that you are, have your succubus out for seducing and are ready to banish the demon and maybe if one of the other people lose it, fear-yo-yo a third. (Remember, DPS is for wussies. You are all about the CC, locky!)

If you're using a focus macro, it can hopefully be done easily. Just remember, you can't have two focuses, so don't use a focus macro for seduce and banish.

However, if your focus macro decides to NOT WORK ever, and you have no idea why since you haven't done anything to it and you aren't using both focus macros for seduce and banish... then you have to do things the hard way.. manually.

Which can be done and done well if you're quick with the mouse or tab-targetting. But it is a little sloppy.

You can't reseduce until the old seduce wears off. A good seduce macro will include some form of stop-cast on your succubus, so she stops her previous cast and recasts at the same time, same button. Is nice.

However, manually, you'd have to click follow, then seduce. I guess it could work that way, but oy... so annoying. Otherwise, you have to watch our dot timers (which should include seduce) and as soon as it ends, you should have the seduce target targetted and be ready to click seduce.

You also can't rebanish until banish is out. This isn't a macro thing, it's simply you cannot rebanish something until it's not banished anymore. Stupid Blizzard. Sure, you can RESHEEP something... grumble.

So, again with the dot timer... when it hits 2s, wait half a second (or a breath, whichever is easier for you to calculate), then recast your banish.

If you are using necrosis, there is a banish button on the necrosis module, a left click should cast rank 2, a right click casts rank 1. If you're close to being ready to take the banished mob, then try to slap a rank 1 on it. It makes everyone happier.

As for fears... ah, lovely lovely fear. Our bread, butter, joy and happiness.

Remember that fear-yo-yo is a finely turned art. If the mob gets too far away, it can run into something else and you wind up ... all sorts of dead.

Curse of Recklessness is your friend. Don't forget it. Ideally, you'd be able to pull said mob well away from where it could run into something else, so you can fear freely and openly, without the use of curses. Especially if you're also handling a seduce and a banish.

Otherwise, you're standing between feared mob back in the cleared area, and the group you're fighting currently, and are having to swivel around and around to make sure all your targets stay under lock and key.

Is it doable? Yes.
Is it fun? Hell no.

Seduce Macro: shift+macro clears last focus, sets new focus.
#show Seduction
/clearfocus [modifier:shift]
/focus [target=focus,noexists]; [target=focus,dead]
/clearfocus [target=focus,help]
/cast [pet:succubus,target=focus,exists,harm] Seduction; Seduction

I don't use a chain fear macro. I tried one once, didn't like it. Since fearing is, for a vast majority of time, something you need to watch closely, I don't like simply using a macro and forgetting about it.

I cannot find on the interwebs where my banish macro is... so I'll have to look at my character in game. So I'll have to edit it in later. So you'll just have to wait.

The Hour-Long AV

I was finally less than 500 honor away from upgrading my belt so I decide to get it the fastest way possible -- running an AV or two.

So I pop into an AV and we win, but we have to do it fast since it was going to be a tie, so we only got 200 honor or so from it. Okay, sure, fine.

The next AV has a massive HORDE of ... well, horde, backcapping towers. We lose. 68 honor.

The NEXT AV has the same massive horde of horde backcapping. It was a premade group from Spinebreaker. If you guys are reading this.. I hate you! (No, not really hate, just want to kick you off the top of the Aldor Rise.. over and over and over again.) Another loss, another 68 or so honor.

I pop into the next AV, I need something like a little over 100 honor. Surely, surely... *whimper*

It turns into a massive turtle. The Horde defend the RH like mad demons. Our people push and push and we can't get past the ... horde of horde all sitting in the RH and FWGY.

So it becomes a reinforcement game. We burn all but the two Frostwolf Towers, keep backcapping the few times they try to cap one of our bunkers.

And after an HOUR... we finally win it. I was 10th on DPS, I had in the neighborhood of 90 HKs.

Towards the end, the Horde were doing suicide runs into the massive Alliance encampment stationed right by FWGY. Gargle, Glargle, whatever your name is - Orc Warlock... I know you were doing your best to help your side lose. You constantly ran out into the middle of people and let us whack you down with all of our fury at the HOUR LONG AV. About 20 times... I'm sure it wasn't fun for you either.

But in the end... we did win. And I got my belt.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Downside to Altisms

Really? There's a downside to having 7 level 70s? Surely I am jesting! But no, I speak truth!

There is a downside.

I've touched on it in the past: where because I have a tank, healer and top-DPS character... I feel compelled to be one of the three. Even if I don't necessarily want to be said person. I do it because I don't mind terribly and also because if I don't be that person, said group or raid is either searching for a replacement for a long while or just gets cancelled. And how is that any fun for anyone involved? And then there's all this horrible feeling. I've heard it's called guilt.

Because I didn't take my (insert class here), the run got cancelled. Wow. That's 9 (or 24? or 4? Does it matter?) other people who were inconvenienced by my preference to be something other than what they need and I have.

It's something a few people I know have run into. They have a tank and a healer and a DPS... and they, and my, question whenever someone says 'Hey, let's do...' isn't 'Sure, I'm in!'... it's 'Who do you need me to come as?'.

And really... sometimes we don't care, because the fun is in doing with friends. But othertimes... it would be nice to say, 'I'm coming as...', as opposed to, 'Who do I need to come as?'.

I've gotten a bit better in that regards... where I say, "I need to bring K*". Now, though I say that, I do still occasionally have to come as someone else to make the group actually go. Ever try to find a tank or a healer? And there's none on? ... but there's a plethora of DPS? Yeah...

Now, my friends are awesome and they let me come as whatever I want to come as when I'm not MTing or MHing. Which is how my ret paladin got into Karazhan and typical of Karazhan whimsy, not a single piece of DPS plate dropped.

The Brew Boss is another example of how having multiple alts is bad for the one afflicted with altisms. You're in a group of friends. And the 5-insults are given. And then someone says, "Who has an alt?"... while they look right at you. You, the queen of the alt-brigade.

So, one of your characters gets 5 shots at whatever you're after, but then after that... each alt only gets one shot at the boss and his drops. Not very fair, but how do you tell the group... 'No. I want my full chance at getting the kodo!'... instead, its ... 'Sure, let me run out there. 7 times.'


Now, everyone is entitled to play whatever class they want. No one is ever going to force someone to roll a class just because our guild needs it. At least, no one in our guild is going to do that. Yet it's so frustrating when one of our DPSers rolls.... another DPSer. *sigh*

Sometimes, alts bite you in the foot. If I only had one character... I'd go as that character. Since I have so many... I have to go with what is needed sometimes, rather than what I'd want.

So saying, I wouldn't trade my 7-70's for anything!

By the way... my goal that I said once a while ago? To have 9 level 70's by the time WotLK comes out? Almost there... so close, I can almost taste it. I just have to convince the people that I level with to level with me. That and I need to stop PvPing with my paladin. Especially with the news just released about honor points.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Hurricane + Barkskin = Druid AoE Tanking

So, my fangirl squeal the other day was due to BBB answering a question I had on the proper use of Hurricane for a druid tank.

I've read somewhere, probably on a BBB post or article somewhere, about the use of hurricane. The very few times I've run with another druid tank, I've seen them use hurricane. In very specific situations, true, but it was used.
Healers need to be prepared when a bear does this, because instead of lots and lots of health and lots and lots of armor, I have baby health and pitiful armor. Still uncrittable, but still taking more damage than they are used to! Granted, 20% less than otherwise due to barksin, but still more.

However, the benefits of Hurricane outweigh the negative of additional healer stress! At least in my opinion and the opinion of other bear tanks who use this method for threat generation.

Now, my take on Hurricane with nonelites is to use it until Barkskin runs out then shift to bear form (with the caveat that I have a hand hovering over the bear button in case the healers start to fall behind for some reason). This way I get the most out of my spell and barkskin. Bears don't have threat mitigation (especially not for their spells!), so this is a really nice way to get a lot of threat on a lot of mobs all at once and unless we have Uber-Lock or Insane-Mage in the group, even once the DPS open up, they tend to STAY on the tank. It may not do a ton of damage, but it gets the threat and that's what is important.

When a bear tank is AoE tanking without the use of hurricane (like say in a 3 or 4 elite situation...)... it's a lesson in swiftly targetting things, knowing what to hit to build the highest threat, and how to keep everything on you instead of the healer, and how to keep the current 'kill target' on you when all your DPS are throwing the kitchen sink at it. And often, with the eager beavers that all DPS are (MUST OUT DPS EVERYTHING!), you'll lose the main target when it's barely halfway dead. And the choice becomes - can the DPS kill it before it kills them and I don't have to go pick it back up, or do I need to go save their asses?

Me being me, I'll often let it go and start sinking threat on the second mob. Hey... if you want the aggro, you better be able to take the hit or kill it before it hits you. It's the strategy I use when I'm warlocking! If I don't want the aggro, I watch Omen. If it isn't important, I just have fun. And take my lumps if I die.

AoE Bear tanking is fun, exhilirating and a massive headache!

Now to quote my email!

"Remember, the key reason a bear tank uses Barkskin/Hurricane is to generate threat on many multiple mobs to enable other classes to DPS/AOE without pulling aggro to them, especially healers. As such, you will be taking hits from all affected mobs, so it pays to use it only on non-elite groups.

As an aside, I have used it on 4-pull elites myself to generate initial threat, and was kept alive by a very good healer, but I was the only person doing AOE, and as soon as I shifted to bear one add was trapped, so it can be done, but BOY do you have to watch your health.

Having all your Druids do it just after you, especially Moonkins, also helps prevent squishie healers from pulling aggro and dying. Moonkins have some truly awesome tanking power, much better if they be the ones to inadvertantly pull aggro.

So get a jump on damage, make sure your other healers and DPS let you get a jump on generating the threat before they unload on 'em, and be prepared to shift to bear and Swipe, Swipe, Swipe as soon as your Hurricane runs out." -- BBB

Thursday, September 11, 2008

100 Badges and More!

Last night Knights of Utopia hit Gruul's, with some of our new allied guild friends, Dragon Knights, and friends of friends. The usual sort of thing. :)

Now, we did have a mix of people in there who have done Gruul's before, but we had a LOT of people who never have done it at all.

And we one shot High King and Gruul. 1% of Gruul's life and there were no tanks left alive! And we (the kickass DPS and the kickass healers) still did it.

And that put me at 99 badges. And we said... maybe we should try Magtheridon?

And we did and we got him to 32%... and then every other attempt, barely past his first blast nova. :( No warlocks also didn't help, just a lot of hunters. :) So we had infernals going everywhere. We also need to work on the blast nova timing. Someone was clicking way too early, before he started to cast, when the 'countdown to blast nova' countdown started.

So I had to try to find a way to get just a single badge... and I never ever get badges from the Shattered Sun Supply packages.

But I did! And now I have the Embrace of Everlasting Prowess!

Woot woot.

Oh, oh, oh. Mini-fangirl issue. I wrote an email to BBB about Hurricane+Barkskin as an aggro generating tool and what his thoughts were and how he used it... and he wrote me back! *squeal*

September 11th, memories...

I didn't start my blog until November of last year, so I didn't blog here about September 11th.

I know this is a WoW blog mainly, but it is also my blog and though September 11th and all that happened doesn't really belong to WoW... it belongs to me.

I always get emotional thinking about September 11th and all that happened. It could be April and I'd cry thinking about it.

This is an open invitation for people to share their memories of that day, if they so desire. In my comments, or in their own blog. Because we should never forget that day, we should never forget those innocent people in the planes, the buildings, nor the heroes that ran in when everyone else was running out.


My father is a retired NYC Firefighter. My mother at the time was an active police officer in the 115th Precint.

I was in Missouri, working as a veterinary technician. My brother was living in Florida.

I was working in the surgery suite that morning. My boss liked to listen to talk radio when he was doing surgery. I sort of tuned most of it out, typical talk radio hosts, inflammatory, incendiary comments, etc.

I heard my boss say something about did a plane think King Kong was on top of the building or something. I don't remember that clearly, because I think I asked him, "Huh?". He told me that a plane hit a building in New York.

Like most people that day, we thought it was an accident, a little two engine two passenger plane or something flown by an amateur. A tragedy, certainly, but not life altering for more than a few people in the plane and the building where it hit.

Then the office manager came in and said that another plane had hit. And it snowballed from there.

My mother is a cop. Oh God, she's going to be there!

My father is a heroic man who used to run into burning buildings to save strangers for a living. He's going to GO there if he isn't already there! (He also worked downtown as the owner of a contracting company that worked in a lot of the high rise buildings.)

I tried to call... but nothing was going through. I called my mother's precint... busy.

I called my father's cell phone. He picked it up. He told me that he just saw a plane fly into the tower. He was down there. He had to go.

I didn't hear anything else for infinity. I called, and called, and called. Buildings were falling down. People were dead. Planes were crashing into the Pentagon and into a forest in Pennsylvania. And I didn't know where my parents were.

I worked, because otherwise I'd have been a basket case wailing on the floor in the bathroom. I called as soon as I was done with one task and before I began another. I was in a fog and a haze and my coworkers were a blessing to me that day.

Finally, I got through to the 115 Precint. I asked: "Is police officer Warren there?" ... or maybe not that exactly, but it had been drilled into me since I was a little girl that when I called my mom at work, I was to ask for "Police Officer Warren".

My voice was well known, my mother, being my mother, tells everyone about her kids. What mom doesn't? So they knew who I was. And I remember being told, "Your parents are okay."

I don't remember much of the rest of the day. My work sent me home, because after that I think I did break down. It was safe to break down now.

My then boyfriend, my now husband, came home from work, I can't remember if it was early or just on time or what. And I remember crying. I remember thinking that I had to get in a car and drive to New York. I remember thinking that if I found out that they weren't alright, I'd have to get there, somehow.

I was lucky, and blessed. I didn't lose my parents. I know people who lost siblings, friends, sons and daughters, mothers and fathers.


Later, I learned that my mother, who was a senior officer in her precint, was SUPPOSED to have gone down there that morning, when the first plane hit, before they realized how serious it was going to be. But she didn't because she was needed at the precint to run some very specialized paperwork that only one or three people could do. And she was the best at it.

The squad that she was supposed to have gone with, if she wasn't needed at the desk, was buried in rubble for a few hours. They all made it out alive.

I learned that my father, as I thought he would do, found out what was happening, went home from the golf course. He grabbed his old fire fighting equipment. He got on his Harley Davidson motorcycle. And he drove there.

He was one block from the first tower when it collapsed. He was going there. He was going to go in there, where his firefighting friends were, where his old ladder company was. He was one block away from being gone.

My parents attended more funerals in a few months than I hope to ever have to see in a lifetime. They buried friends. Colleagues. Brothers and Sons.

My father was briefly famous... News Max magazine had a picture of him on their cover. There's a picture of a tired firefighter with a lined face, in a dusty helmet, saluting while looking up at the sun. That's him. He was at the last funeral for the firefigthers that were lost. He wasn't in his dress uniform, he was in what he wore when he first went down there. My dad is sentimental like that.

There's a documentary by two French filmmakers that was in NYC at the time, filming a rookie firefighter. It was supposed to just be a documentary on rookie firefighters. It turned into something more. It brought you into Ground Zero with the filmmakers.

There's a motorcycle in one or two scenes outside the firehouse that day. That motorcycle is my father's motorcycle.

When I think about how close I was to losing them... how many people died... how horrible that day was and the changes that happened afterwards... I cry. Freely I cry. Openly I cry. Without shame.

Never forget.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Emotional Hearing and the Telephone Game

First the concept of the Telephone Game, simply because it's the easiest to get across. We all know how it goes. One person says something to the next person, who says it to the next person... and before you know it, "Pick up some milk and bread from the store." turns into "Bring home some tiramisu or you're dead."

Next what I call Emotional Hearing. This is, as far as I know, my own terminology, so let me have a moment to explain what I mean.

My husband says, "That girl is pretty."

If all is right in the world, the stars are aligned and I'm feeling loved and pretty, I'll hear: "That girl is pretty."

If I'm upset in any way, depending on how badly emotionally upset I am, whether it be at my husband or because of work or my parents or my job or my dogs or my internal chemistry, what I hear can be quite different.

"That girl is pretty." becomes:
- "That girl is prettier than you are."
- "I wish you looked like that."
- "I think you're ugly."
- "You're fat."
- "I don't love you any more."
- "I want to have sex with her."
- And anything else my emotions change that simple sentence into. In reality, what my husband means is... "That girl is pretty." in the same way he'd say, "That flower is pretty."

That is emotional hearing. I hear the words he says and like every other person in the world, the way I interpret it is based on a whole slew of things. We'd like to think that we're an intelligent people (or just an intelligent person), but I can almost guarantee that for MOST people, we're really emotional first and then intelligent second.

For example. I'm grumpy. I know I'm grumpy. "That girl is pretty." becomes:

"That girl is prettier than you are."... which then gets filtered through my intelligence, which says, "Now K, you know he doesn't think that. Maybe you're just a little grumpy today."

And the end result is: "That girl is pretty." with the rejoiner of: "Do you think I'm pretty? Am I as pretty as she is?" or if I'm really grumpy, "Why are you looking at other women!"

Now, keep these two things in mind. The telephone game and emotional hearing, both bear heavily on my next thoughts.

K says to A: "I feel bad because I had a fight with Kael'thas."
A says to B: "K feels bad because she's fighting with Kael'thas."
B says to C: "Kael'thas is fighting with K and making her feel bad."
C says to D: "Kael'thas is making K feel bad."
D says: "Wow, Kael'thas is a real jerk."

K's original words came from her fighting with Kael'thas. She and he likely had a fight and during a fight, intellect gets subdued under flaring emotions.

A through D played the telephone game.

Now, Kael'thas enters the picture when D says to him, "You're a real jerk, you know! You made K feel bad."

And Kael'thas is sitting over there going, "Huh? We had a fight about what color to paint the kitchen walls."

Obviously, this is an oversimplification of how real life works, but such is the manner of all such things. We explain ourselves through the simplest form... because the simplest form has the hardest time being misunderstood.

However, I always think I'm getting it as simple as I can, and I usually get an answer of, "What are you talking about?"

Everyone needs to vent, and get hurt feelings off their chest. They often do it to their friends, the ones they aren't currently upset with.

A good friend will listen, will sympathize, will hopefully get them to feel better. Hopefully they'll do this by listening and trying to soothe the hurt by trying to explain that maybe it isn't the way it seems, because misunderstandings happen. As that's the best way to get friendships back on the road they were on.

That doesn't always work, because people with hurt feelings don't want to be told that, they want to be told that it's okay to feel upset, and yes gosh, how could Kael'thas want sunflower yellow in the kitchen, it's so obvious that cranberry is a much better color. The unfeeling clod!

Eventually, the hurt soothes itself out, as intellect reasserts itself. Hopefully the venting to friends made that happen faster. Sometimes unfortunately, the wrong type of friend fuels the fire.

We've had it happen to us, unfortunately. Where a misunderstanding turned a good friend into one that isn't, where the friend tells us we weren't worth the air we breath, in part because the people that friend surrounded himself with told him that we weren't worth the air we breath. And eventually, with his feelings hurt, the emotional feeling became the intellectual feeling. And to them, has become truth. Warped, but truth to them. Untruth to everyone else. But truth to them.

The problem comes in when it spreads. Because it flares out of all proportion and reality. And soon the other letters of the alphabet are mad at Kael'thas, when he really just wanted sunflower yellow. :( Poor Kael'thas.

(In the case listed above, ex-friend and ex-friend's friends told everyone that they (and we) knew that we weren't worth the air we breath, said it more frequently and vehemently than we were defending ourselves, in which case now none of them have anything to do with us, even though we haven't done anything to them at all. It's very sad. :( )

And Kael'thas, not being perfect either, gets upset because he feels that people are mad at him and starts his own cycle.

When this is happens, you don't always know it's happening. Remember, emotions are often > > intellect.

However, if you can catch this happening, and take a step back, and take a few deep breaths, and tuck your emotions behind your intellect... things work out.

Because intellectually, I know that my husband thinks I'm pretty and that he loves me. Emotionally, when all is right in the world, I know that too. But if I'm unbalanced, my emotions can cause a lot of problems if I let them have free reign with my heart, my head and my tongue.

Friends, if you find yourself playing the telephone game... remember it's your job to console your friend, but don't play the telephone game. We're people. We do it. We aren't perfect. But it can cause such big problems because it spirals out of control.

So, if you find yourself getting upset, over what someone said, what you think someone said, what you think that they think that you think you said... take a step back, take a deep breath, and remember what I said here.

I don't want tiramisu, I want bread and milk. And cranberry kitchen walls. And Kael'thas's love. He's so pretty. And I know that my husband loves me and thinks I'm the most beautiful person in the world, regardless of what my emotions sometimes think he's thinking.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Racial Changes

I wish people would tell me I'm writing about something about to change! ... Then again, it probably wouldn't have stopped me anyway. It would have just given me more to write about!

One of my commenters was kind enough to point me to the WoW Forums (where I never venture) to show me where someone posted about upcoming changes to racials.

Whether those will still be true by the time WotLK comes out, we shall see.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Racial Imbalance: Horde in General

Finishing up my four part series on Racial Imbalances, I present the flip side to the Alliance in General post I made a little over a week ago.

In that post, I outlined the Alliance racials, their pros and uses. Their pitiful little uses.

In this post, I'm going to outline the Horde racials, their pros and uses. Their overwhelming usefulness. (Bitter, who, me? Nah.)

Orc: Blood Fury: Increases attack power/spell damage and healing for 15 seconds. Applies a debuff to self of reduced healing by 50% for 15 seconds. 2 minute cooldown. Does not trigger global cool down.

The attack power buff is 2+level * 4 (ie: 282 for level 70) and the spell damage/healing is 3+level*2 (143 for level 70).

Melee classes get the attack power buff, warlocks get the spell damage and shaman get both melee and spell damage bonuses.

As one can imagine, this is a nice little ability, like an extra trinket. In the world of PvP where you may not be getting healed or against PvE mobs where you won't get healed if you aren't in a group with a healer (ie: soloing. No one does that though.) who cares about a healing debuff?

Admittedly, the 50% healing debuff is a hefty negative, it only lasts for 15seconds, which is as long as the buff. So you go all blood fury and whack a few people, by the time you need healing, the debuff is probably gone.

The nice thing though, is that this ability, though it has a nice offensive ability, does have a negative drawback for using it. You run the risk of not getting healed enough to stay alive.

Tauren: War Stomp: Stuns up to 5 enemies within 8 yards for 2 seconds. 2 minute cooldown. Does not trigger global cool down. Cannot auto-attack on the stunned target. 0.5 second cast time.

We've all been the victim of this ability. Whomp. Whomp. Whomp. 2 minutes when in the real world seems more like 5 seconds. The 2 second stun effect feels like 3 minutes. You all know what I mean!

A lot of times when it's used, it allows druids and shaman to get a chance to heal without interruption. Because they need that extra time! (They don't already have Lesser Healing Wave or HoTs that heal for a lot with low casting time. No. Not in the least.) Isn't that useful?

While auto-attack is interrupted for the duration of War Stomp, special attacks and spells will still work.

I dunno, I think Escape Artist is far more useful.

Troll: Berserking: Increases attack and casting speed by 10% to 30% for 10 seconds. Does not trigger global cool down. 3 minute cooldown. Cost to use is 6% of base mana, 10 Energy or 5 Rage.

The haste increase depends on the amount of damage. Being healed after the racial is triggered does not alter the haste rating gained.

For spell haste at the least, 30% is achieved when you are at 40% health. It decreases linearly from 40-100% down to a 10% increase. Fuzzy math makes head hurt. Ungh.

Essentially, this is an ability used when you're hurt and they're hurt and you want to win. It's like a miniature I-Win button!

Forsaken: Will of the Forsaken: Provides immunity to charm, fear and sleep and will dispell those effects if used when charmed, feared or sleeping. 5 second duration, 2 minute cooldown.

It USED to stay active for 20 seconds. I don't need to elucidate on the benefits of this ability, do I? (Honestly, Shadowmeld... MUCH more useful.)

It's similar in effect to those nifty trinkets. So ... if they have the trinket. They have TWO outs of sleep, fear and charm. Who knew it was so good to be dead?

Forsaken: Cannibalize: 10 second cast, 5 yard range. When active, restores 7% of total health every 2 seconds for 10 seconds. Any movement, damage taken or action done will interrupt the effect. 2 minute cooldown. Only works on humanoid and undead corpses.

The warlock armor buff Fel Armor will increase the healing gained.

The dead are not damned! They are favored. They get TWO active racials! Woot woot!

Blood Elf: Mana Tap: Reduces the target's mana by X (where X = 50+level) and charges the caster with 10 Arcane energy. 30 second cooldown. Mana Tap lasts 10 minutes and has 3 charges. Activates the global cool down.

Mana tap breaks sheep, sap and freezing trap (counts as an attack), so presumably it will also break seduce.

By itself, this is merely a mana drain ability. However, combine it with...

Blood Elf: Arcane Torrent: Silences all enemies within 8 yards for 2 seconds. In addition, you gain 10 Mana for each charge of Mana Tap affecting you. 2 minute cooldown.

Mana return scales with level. (At max level, 161 mana / charge).

(Blood Elves also get two racials. Isn't that cute? They can twirl, do their hair, attack and cast like they're ballerinas and they get two active racials! Woot woot!)

So, in addition to the Horde having an every 2 minute stun move for 2 seconds, the Horde also have an every 2 minute AoE silence!

Of general racials,
- three remove debuffs from the target (Stoneform, Will of the Forsaken and Escape Artist)
- two are healing (Gift of the Naaru and Cannibalize)
- one is a search function (Perception)
- one is almost useless as an active trait (Shadowmeld)
- five are offensive abilities (Blood Fury, War Stomp, Berserking, Mana Tap and Arcane Torrent)
- of those five, one buffs and debuffs the caster (Blood Fury), one is an AoE stun effect (War Stomp), one is an AoE silencing effect (Arcane Torrent), one is a mana drain (Mana Tap) and one is purely offensive (Berserking)
- two Horde races have two active racials
- zero Alliance races have two active racials

Of Horde racials,
- two have no offensive capabilities (Will of the Forsaken and Cannibalize)
- two are AoE abilities that do no direct damage (War Stomp and Arcane Torrent)
- two are damaging offensive abilities (Blood Fury and Berserking)
- one is a minor mana drain that has the potential to buff the caster.
- average cooldown is 2 minutes (5 at 2 minutes, 1 at 3 minutes, 1 at 30 seconds)

Of Alliance racials,
- five have no offensive capabilities (Escape Artist, Stoneform, Peception, Shadowmeld, Gift of the Naaru)
- zero are AoE abilities.
- zero are damaging offensive abilities.
- average cooldown is 2 minutes (3 at 3 minutes, 1 at 1m45s, 1 (useless) at 10 seconds)

On the whole, Horde racials seem especially geared to PvP fighting or even PvE play. On the whole, Alliance racials are rather useless. Stoneform and Gift of the Naaru are the only real applicable useful abilities. Escape Artist, as noted previously, has lots of gnomes who say it doesn't work as intended.

Way back in the day before Shaman were on both teams, it was noted that Horde seemed designed to PvP. The Shaman were the PvP equivalent of the PvE Paladin. Their racials are more offensive (and actually are useful. Hate you Shadowmeld.) and so much cooler than Alliance.

Now, one can argue that the very names tell why. The HORDE versus the ALLIANCE. Hordes are fury barely contained. They are offensive, they are brutal. They are a horde. Alliance denotes civilization, having tea and crumpets, walking the dog and watching hummingbirds at feeders.


Screw that. The Alliance is a team of noble knights and defenders of the defenseless! And stuff.

We want racials that compare to the Horde racials in terms of utility and usefulness in PvP. Not racials that we use once in a blue moon when the whooperwill is seen flying over the home of the 7th son of the 7th son!

Again, comments, criticism, etc. Please speak up! What do you think? What do you feel? Do you use your Alliance racials more often than I think most people use them? When do you use them? Are you Horde and laughing your ass off? STFU.

No, kidding. Comment too, stupid horde, I care about your opinion! :)

Do you feel it's as unfair as I'm writing it to be? Or am I overly biased? Am I right to be biased?

I think I have a fair grievance here. I've laid out all the abilities that are race based. Not only do the Horde have more of them, but their abilities are more useful on and off the battleground. Is this just someone not paying attention? Or someone who really thinks Shadowmeld is the coolest thing ever!

Maybe make it so EVERY Night Elf could stealth like a rogue. Now, THAT would be an awesome racial to have.

I say, let's start a petition to Blizzard! All for universal stealth for Night Elves, say aye!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Racial Imbalance: Horde Priests

The other day I posted about Alliance Priests. Now it's time to look at the other side!

Touch of Weakness: Level 10: Forsaken and Blood Elf: A 10-minute buff (magic) to the priest that causes the next damaging melee attack to do X shadow damage to the attacker and applies a debuff (curse) that decreases damage done by Y for 2 minutes. No cooldown.

At max rank, this costs 235 mana to cast, causes 80 shadow damage and decreases damage done by 35.

This is highly beneficial to shadow priests, as the shadow damage will apply a Shadow Weaving charge and can possibly proc Blackout.

This ability is improved by Blackout, Mental Agility, Force of Will, Darkness, Shadow Focus and Shadow Weaving.

Now, I already admitted that I am biased. However... does anyone else notice something about this LEVEL 10 ability? Something that's missing from the Alliance side in it's entirety? This lasts 10 minutes and 2 minutes. The best offensive level 10 ability that the Alliance has is Starshards. Because priests are heavy into the Arcane damage abilities.

So a priest, especially a shadow priest, pops this and for 10 minutes can curse anyone who hits them.

The only saving grace is that the debuff doesn't stack. However, I get the impression that the shadow damage attack does continue to hit. (And can continue to proc Shadow Weaving... increasing the subsequent shadow damage done each hit, up to a 10% increase... and Blackout... which has the chance to stun someone for 3 seconds with each proc. At max rank, 10% chance.)

(Before people cry 'But Alliance priests have Shadow Word: Pain too! That can proc...', it only procs on initial hit, it does not proc with tick damage.)

Hex of Weakness: Level 10: Troll: Decreases damage done by X and decreases healing recieved by 20% for 2 minutes. (Curse) No cooldown.

At max rank it costs 295 mana to use and reduces damage done by 35. Healing by 20%.

Abilities that help are Mental Agility, Shadow Focus and Shadow Reach.

This is another very useful ability! And another debuff. The healing decrease works on potions and bandages, as well as Vampiric Embrace returns and straight healing. Additionally, downranking against players that are casters will net you lower spell cost but still the 20% healing reduction.

Both horde level 10 abilities... are wow.

Devouring Plague: Level 20: Forsaken: Causes X shadow damage over 24 seconds, healing the caster. (Disease) 3 minute cooldown.
At max rank it costs 1145 mana and causes 1216 shadow damage. This likely scales with additional shadow damage.

This does extra healing if Vampiric Embrace is on the target.

Useful abilities to have with this: Blackout, Darkness, Force of Will, Mental Agility, Shadow Affinity, Shadow Focus, Shadow Reach, Shadow Weaving, Shadowform, Silent Resolve and Vampiric Embrace

It does have a high mana cost, higher than Feedback. That's a saving grace. However, the health/damage returned/done is higher than the mana cost to use, unlike Feedback.

However, Inner Focus and Mental Agility will 1: make it manaless and 2: lower the cost of it. It also makes a Forsaken shadowpriest like a healing warlock. Dots, direct damaging spells and siphon life! Since Inner Focus is also on a 3 minute cooldown, it's a nice way to do damage and heal yourself at the same time with no mana cost! (Of note, it cannot crit, so will waste Inner Focus's additional 20% crit chance.)

Shadowguard: Level 20: Troll: A self buff (Magic). Attacker takes X shadow damage. No cooldown. 3 charges.
At max level it costs 270 mana and delivers 130 damage per charge.

It recieves 26.7% of your spell damage. It is a direct damage spell. Causes no threat.

Because it is shadow damage, it can proc Blackout and Shadow Weaving. (We discussed this already.)

Other useful talents are Darkness, Force of Will, Mental Agility, Shadow Focus, Shadowform and Vampiric Embrace. (It will trigger "passive" Vampiric Embrace healing, whatever that means. I don't have a shadow priest, so I can't comment on how that would work.)

It is instant cast. Cannot be interrupted. And can be cast whenever it goes down, like Lightning Shield for a shaman. Only for a priest.

Consume Magic: Level 20: Blood Elf: Dispels one beneficial magic effects and gives X to Y mana. 2 minute cooldown.
Scales with ranks (only rank 1 is listed).

It's a mana regen tactic.

(What is this? Is this a Horde Racial that isn't offensive and overwhelming? In fact, it's a little wimpy seeming.)

The tactic for this is for the priest to cast rank 1 inner fire on themselves and then consume magic. If it works, you get a bunch of mana for a low mana spell. However... there is no way to guarantee what buff it will eat. So you may have just lost your Mark of the Wild or Fortitude buff.

Of the priests talents,
- one is a healing talent (Desperate Prayer: Alliance);
- two are direct damaging abilities (Starshards: Alliance, Shadowguard: Horde);
- two are mana returns (Symbol of Hope: Alliance, Consume Magic: Horde);
- one is pure defensive (Elune's Grace: Alliance);
- five are damaging with some debuff, incapacitate abilities or self heal component (Touch of Weakness, Hex of Weakness, Devouring Plague: Horde and Chastise and Feedback: Alliance).

Of the Horde talents,
- none are direct heals,
- four out of five are damaging abilities, (That's 80%)
- three out of those four apply debuffs to target or healing effects to caster and only one is a mana regen ability.
- The average cooldown is 1 minute. (0 second Touch of Weakness, Hex of Weakness, Shadowguard, 3 minute Devouring Plague, 2 minute Consume Magic)

Of the Alliance talents,
- one is a direct heal,
- three out of six are damaging abilities, (That's 50%)
- one is a mana regen ability and one is a defensive ability.
- None cause debuffs to the target nor have a health return.
- The average cooldown is a little over 3 minutes (10 minute Desperate Prayer, 30 second Starshards, 30 second Chastise, 5 minute Symbol of Hope, 3 minute Feedback and 3 minute Elune's Grace).


Do I need to say more? I will continue the slog through HORDE OMGWTFBBQ AWESOMNESS in my next post on general Horde racials.

As always, comments, criticisms, opinions, etc, are welcome. :)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Racial Imbalance: Alliance Priests

Continuing my Racial Imbalance theme...

Priest Racials: Priests get two racials that depend on... race. The first is at level 10. The second is at level 20.

Desperate Prayer: Level 10: Dwarf and Humans: Heals the caster for X to Y on a 10 minute cooldown.

So an extra heal basically. Mana free.

At the highest rank, it's base is for 1601 to 1887. (This is comparable to a wimpy Greater Heal Rank 4, which heals for 1798 to 2006. Rank 3 heals for less than 1609.)

In the upcoming expansion, when they're getting rid of downranking (gonna cry, I am!) this will serve as a mid-range heal, likely.

The high cooldown on it means it isn't something you can rely on every time you need it, but it can come in handy on mana intensive fights.

Holy Specialization increases the critical effect chance by 1-5%.
Silent Resolve reduces generated threat by 4-20%.
Spiritual Healing increases the ammount healed by 2-10%.

Starshards: Level 10: Night Elf: X Arcane Damage over 15 seconds. No mana. 30s cooldown.
At max rank, base 785 damage.

This is a nice little spell. It allows holy priests to guilt-free DPS! You don't have to worry about the mana 'waste' the way you do with using SW:P (I still use SW:P anyway. The mana cost is quickly replaced by passive Mp5). It's an arcane spell, so even if you're locked out shadow or holy, you can still cast it. It's an instant cast and another DoT. (love dots! more dots!)

(It used to be channeled. I mean, really.)

Force of Will (discipline talent) will increase the damage done by this spell.

On boss fights, my priest will throw this on the boss every chance I get. It gets resisted a lot (no spell hit on a holy priest), but when it sticks, it sticks and does damage. You never know when that little bit of damage will be the difference between success and failure.

Symbol of Hope: Level 10: Draenei: X mp5 for 15s. 5 minute cooldown.
At max level, it returns 333 mana every 5 seconds.

This is another nice little buff for the group, especially on mana intensive fights. (And with the upcoming potion debuff... possibly more vitally useful than anticipated.)

Not really that useful in PvP, unless someone can see a use I'm not seeing? Situationally useful for the priest that's running low on mana, yes... but... anyone else have an application for this for PvP?

Chastise: Level 20: Dwarf and Draenei: X to Y holy Damage, root for 2 seconds.
At max rank 370-430 damage. (Possibly scales with spell damage) 300 mana cost to use.

It is a holy spell (sorry Shadowpriests!), instant cast, no GCD.

It specifically says it ROOTS the character, but does not incapacitate. As noted with Escape Artist, there's a fine use of language here. It is an immobilization effect, but players afflicted can still use actions. They just can't move for 2 seconds. Enough time for someone to start running away, maybe?

Feedback: Level 20: Human: An anti-magic shield, any attack burns mana of the attacker, causing 1 shadow damage per 1 point of mana burned. 15 second duration. (No listed cooldown, but it has one. Human priests, lemme know!)
Cost to use 710 at max rank. Burns 165 mana.

This spell will still trigger effects even if Power Word: Shield is in place. If you RESIST the spell being cast, it will not trigger. It burns 18 mana per attack and thus causes 18 damage.

Maybe it's just me, but the mana use versus mana burned imbalance makes this something I don't think you'd WANT to use? If you have Mental Agility, a tier 4 Discipline talent, will reduce the % of the spell (up to 10% at max rank), maybe that makes it more palatable?

It doesn't transfer the amount that the enemy's pyroblast would do to damage against the mage (wouldn't that be pretty?), but it will keep you from getting eaten by it.

It also may be useful against channeled spells, as each tick of damage triggers the effects.

Elune's Grace: Level 20: Night Elf: Decreases chance to be hit by 20% for 15 seconds. 3 minute cooldown.

If I recall correctly, this used to be decreases damage by ranged attacks. This is a bit more palatable. For a mere 60 mana, you reduce your rate of being hit by 20% for 15 seconds. Yes please! Too bad the cooldown is so long (down from 5 minutes that it used to be, but still a trifle too long for 15 seconds of Neo.)

It is a holy spell (again, sorry Shadowpriests!) and it also does not effect spell damage, just ranged and melee.

Again... comments, criticism, opinion, etc. Please let me know! I'll be working on the Horde side here shortly.