Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Flame Leviathon & Thoughts on Ulduar

Ah, the Flame Leviathon. He is becoming known as much a 'come and get your free loot' boss as VR had been (he was sometimes affectionately called 'Loot Reaver').

Why? Ulduar is supposed to be tough, right? Why did my guild go and jump to 'on farm' status for Levi so fast?

It's elementary, my dear Watson. It doesn't matter what you gear is, or what class you are, or what spec you are.

You can go in there with a group of 10 shadow priests and still down Levi.

The hardest part of the whole endeavor is making sure that everyone understands their roles, jobs and the importance of interrupting Flame Vents, staying at Max Range unless you're a Siege Engine, and that if you can get everyone kiting him in the same direction every time, you can lay down this lovely line of tar-fires that he has to drive through.

Our guild leader has said, and to an extent I agree with him, that there isn't much reason why everyone shouldn't be getting together and getting saved weekly in Ulduar if ONLY for Flame Levi. Now, granted, ideally you should be looking for a run that plans on doing everything, because who wants to get saved for a week for a single badge and the possibility of a single piece of loot?

The other interesting thing is the difficulty of Ulduar. Now, I know, people said they wanted more difficult. I am NOT complaining.

But the question my guild is currently facing is 'What do we make our minimums?'. Do we have to complete Maly10/25? What does our DPS need to do consistently? What hit points and armor value do our tanks need? What about those ever hard to quantify healers?

Is it a question of relearning that we have to be on our A-Game at all times? A philosophy that has been largely ignored with Naxx, especially of late.

What if the A game of our guild's top raiders is not good enough? Do we stop trying and run more Nax25/Maly25, etc? Or do we keep trying, striving and seeing if it's a matter of skill, or a matter of gear?

Granted, to a certain extent, you can be the most skilled player in the world and have such poor gear that the worst player in the world decked out in full Tier8 will out DPS you. So gear does make a difference... but not as much as skill, something we all know.

So do we start paring down our raiders and saying, "Not skilled enough, skilled enough, not skilled enough, skilled enough."? And then if we do that, who makes that call? And if we do that, is it worth raiding anymore?

Now, I don't think our guild will ever get to that point. But it's an interesting thought to share anyway.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

NonWoW Update

I am still happily on hiatus. I log in to raid, to play with my husband, but otherwise I have found that I don't really miss WoW that much.

Blasphemy, I know.

On the other hand, I have rediscovered the joy that is Brooklyn. (And unfortunately, have switched some of my addictive tendencies from the crack that was WoW to the heroin that is Brooklyn.)

(That's a scene from the season 1 episode 'Temptation'.)

Gargoyles was a Disney cartoon that ran in the mid-1990's. It had two 'canon' seasons, and a third season considered mostly non-canon by the original writer (and many fans).

There was a planned spin off starring Brooklyn (who is the most awesome of awesome characters. He tops Drizzt Do'Urden as my favorite fictional character of all time). I didn't know about the spin off, until in a fit of going, "I can't believe they canceled this wonderful amazing cartoon when I'm still needing a Brooklyn fix!" I stumbled upon a series of stories about Brooklyn... called Timedancer.

(In VERY brief summary: Brooklyn finds a damaged magical artifact that basically teleports him through time. It turns out he's been chosen by Fate (or just the whim of the ever erratic Fae) to be the 'Timedancer', the creature who has the most influential effect on the history of the world. Unfortunately, Brooklyn can't CONTROL where he goes, and is at the whim of the erratic Phoenix Gate... which causes all sorts of problems, as one can imagine.)

*sappy sigh*

I loved it. (There are some differences between the posted Timedancer stories and the 'intended' (as per the creator) story, such as the difference in Brooklyn's wife. In the posted stories, a green gargoyle named Sata, and they have twin children named Ariana and Graeme. In the intended version (and in the proposed comic book version), she is a white gargoyle named Katana and he has a son named Nashville and a younger child named Tachi... among other slight differences. But I digress...)

And that led me into the realm of fan fiction. Some of it that I found is exactly what you'd expect. NSFW, bad plots, bad stories, etc, etc... Others are good.

I had to try my hand in it. A lot of people have told me that I write fiction well (albeit my grammar is NOT the best...). I have countless original stories that are in the making, but I just never actually keep going with them. I run out of steam, or come to a wall in the plot that I can't think my way around. Or the plot line just peters out.

But fan fiction... that's another challenge entirely. It isn't just me writing whatever I want... if I'm using Disney characters, the challenge is writing them as they should be written.

It's the difference between writing Darth Vader as saying, "Your lack of faith disturbs me." and, "I think you want to rephrase that statement."

He could be doing the same action, but one sentence brings immediately to mind the voice of the character, the tone, the very essence that makes people SEE Darth Vader in their head as they read the story. The other one ... doesn't sound like Vader, does it?

The challenge in writing Brooklyn, or any of the other Gargoyles, is just that. Bringing the character to the story and not recreating the character to something that someone ELSE reading it can't envision them doing or saying.

Now, some of it I'm sure... I don't do right. I see it in my head as 'This is SO Brooklyn', because I can picture it in my head. But I may not get it down on 'paper' the right way.

And to those who are unfamiliar with the Gargoyles universe, stories, or the Timedancer chronicles in and of themselves will be unlikely to recognize a good portion of what is going on.

But I find myself intrigued. And I find myself wanting to write more. Because though Gargoyles has been canceled since 1996... I want more. (Disney, pretty please? With sugar on top? And cherries? Lots of cherries? *sob*)

It's the same urge that drove people to play Star Wars RPG and tabletop. The desire to live in the world that George Lucas created, and play a role, see the characters, the situations. Be involved in something that stirs your heart and your imagination...

So I've been posting to two fan fiction sites, Gargoyles Fan Fiction and Stone by Day under the writer name 'kiatrix'. I have three stories posted, but I've actually written about seven so far. I'm TRYING to not jump the gun and post stories that I haven't actually sat down and reread several times, especially as I'm starting to develop an original character that I want to keep writing about. I need to make sure she's 'real'. I need to make sure I'm not making her into a super-heroine, or a Mary Sue, as I've discovered they're called.

I'm also going to start a blog... for brainstorming, idea and plot fleshing as well as just a place for me to also store my little tales of fiction, just another place for someone who also loves Brooklyn (or Gargoyles in general) to possibly stumble upon and also become inspired to delve creatively into this wonderful story concept.

The blog is 'A Brooklyn Blog' -- real imaginative, I know, I know... but I've never been really good at 'titles'.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Coffee with Sargeras

Coffee with Sargeras is a relatively new blog... written by Sargeras.

No really, I've seen the chat logs. It is Sargeras.

However, it is rather amusing to read. The warlock side of me greatly appreciates the dark megalomaniacal humor. Of course, the part where he keeps repeating that I'm going to eventually be destroyed... not so much fun to read.

However, it is VERY amusing. Go read. Especially about what he thinks about Voldemort. I wonder what he thinks about Sauron?

Now quit reading my increasingly boring and uninteresting blog and go read his. But don't buy anything. I think the funding goes towards Starbucks. I mean, how much more evil can something be than Starbucks? And hello... Coffee with Sargeras? He should just place a giant Starbucks logo on his blog.

(Kidding... sort of.)

Friday, April 17, 2009

Unholy Tank Changes

There have been some changes made to two of the key components of Unholy Tank mechanics.

Namely they increased the cooldown on Bone Shield to 2 minutes, up from 1 minute and they changed Blade Barrier from a 10% increased parry chance to 5% reduced damage.

(They also did schtuff to Anti-Magic Shell, but considering that is a very situational issue and not a 'can you tank, at all' change, I haven't looked too deeply at it.)

Unholy Tanks relied on keeping Blade Barrier up to prolong the use of their Bone Shield. Bone Shield reduces damage taken by 20% (consuming one 'charge' per damaging attack, 4 unglyphed, 6 with glyph). We don't have access to a few of the seemingly 'tank specific' abilities that Frost DK's (probably the most common 'Tank' spec for DK's) have access too, Unbreakable Armor and Frigid Dreadplate. In order to get to Frigid Dreadplate (possible to do), we'd have to give up quite a bit of points in Unholy. And frankly, while 3% miss rate is nice to have, is it worth giving up some of the things that we take as Unholy because we want to be Unholy? I don't think so, personally.

In the past, we'd be popping Bone Shield like candy. In the past, keeping Blade Barrier up to increase our parry chance by 10% meant that Bone Shield stayed active until the cooldown was available.

Now, some DK's have the gear where they didn't need Blade Barrier active and could theoretically keep Bone Shield active and going without that additional 10% parry. For those of us Unholy tanks that don't have access to that gear... making sure Blade Barrier stayed active was an important element of our rotation.

Yesterday I took Keiji to Heroic UP. I was expecting it to be a bit tougher than it actually was. The damage reduction of the new Blade Barrier is a nice thing, (still miss the parry though!), that's 5% all the time, subject only to the cooldown of your blood runes. Bone Shield was being hit everytime it came up, as one would expect, but all in all... it wasn't nearly as bad as I was expecting.

So though people out there (I'm looking at YOU, Pos) keep saying that Unholy DK's are DPS, I'm thinking that I am going to keep Keiji Unholy, and Tanky.

BTW: The Red Sword of Courage dropped. If I can find another nice one-hander that will keep me uncrittable, I may switch around a few points and take the dual-wield talent in Frost (Nerves of Cold Steel) and play with that a little bit.

Normally, all these abilities would have links to WoW Head on them, but alas, a while back I was playing with my template and managed to delete the thing that let me put in WoW Head links. And I had to get that information from Pos, so I don't know how to do it myself. I shall have to pester him tonight.

Monday, April 13, 2009

So many alts, so little time...

Yes, I am still on 'hiatus'. But I do still play here and there with my husband and our friends.

Last night, at the urging of one of our friends coworker, we went to a PvP server where we rolled Horde.

So now I have a level 9 Belf Priest. Named Kaelthia. She has red hair. And big gold hoop earrings.

As I was setting up my bars, I discovered that I have a set way of doing my action bars that tends to hold true for all of my characters.

From the center buttons (-098) to the left are my offensive abilities. Any defensive or healing abilities go from the center buttons away to the right. Buffs for some reason are on the far left, as are racial abilities. Who can figure out why I did it that way? I just do. There must be some wonderful rationale, as I've done it and been doing it for the last ... how many levels collectively have I leveled? Anyway, for at least that long.

Up the right side are where my non-combat abilities go, tailoring, first aid, fishing, food, potions and usually in the bottom ride side are where my mount buttons go.

Yesterday I was on Kiljara for a little bit and I kept being ... very confused.

Her offensive abilities were where they should be... but her mount buttons and self buff buttons (not fort, spirit or inner fire, those are in their proper place!) were on the wrong side. I kept clicking Power Infusion while trying to get on my mount. Likewise, her healing buttons are up on the right action bar. And I have no idea where her psychic scream or fade buttons are. Which can be problematic.

I think I'm going to have to figure out a better way to organize my bars. Hard to imagine that there may be a better way than I already have, but ... For someone with as many alts as I have, the fact that I haven't gone insane trying to remember everything for everyone is miraculous (but no more than the norm for me.). I need to make it a bit easier on myself. Because trying to figure out where my healing buttons walked off to when I'm being eaten by a monster isn't fun.

On a side note, according to Boon, my guild misses me. Apparently, without me around, they have to get their answers to various questions from General Chat or alt-tabbing to the internet.


In terms of the new Hordling... I don't think it's going to level very fast or well, considering that we probably won't be playing them very frequently or long. Just another fad.

(Belf's still are pretty as long as they aren't moving. As soon as they walk, jump, cast or try to hit stuff with a weapon, they look like complete dorks. So pretty, yet so useless.)

So today's mental exercise is going to be figuring out a way to organize my bars across the various characters and classes that I play so I have something that gels smoothly from one to the next. (As opposed to previous mental exercises which usually involved trying to remember how many pulls it takes to get to the end boss in Ramparts. Egads. I can't remember his name! I feel ashamed. I must go beat myself in the head with a lamp now.)


(*scurries off to the internet*)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Nerfing of Mor'Ladim

Yesterday Boon and I were running around Raven Hill. In time honored fashion, we got surprised by Mor'Ladim. In time honored fashion, we squealed like little girls and ran away. (Eeeeeeeee!)

A little later, we got the quest to kill him. We looked at each other and said, "Why not, we can try."

And then we proceeded to wallop the level 30 elite that he now is. I seem to remember him being a higher level elite, and being much harder to kill.

It took some of our pleasure of defeating him away, when we realized that Mor'Ladim got whacked with the nerf bat.

New generations of WoW gamers will never know the fear and the triumph of the old Mor'Ladim.

Or many of the other classic things that we old gamers once knew, feared and loved.

It's sad.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Keiji goes to Wintergrasp

I have been doing well in my hiatus.

The first week, I logged in only to do Wintergrasp with Kikidas, angling for the Titan-Forged Hood of Dominance.

Finally, I did get it. One of my companions in game, an individual known as Brem, would give me tells teasing me about my online appearance. It was like clockwork, said he! Naturally I blamed Boon entirely.

I have rediscovered walking my dogs and what idiots they are. (Ooh Squirrel! ... Ooh Leaf! ... Ooh Car! ... Ooh Poop!)

I have taken naps with my kitties and discovered that the bunny gets jealous when I have naps with the kitties. (He then proceeds to jump up on me, and then jump on them growling until they leave. I had to protect my 10 pound cats from the 2.5 pound minibunny. Pathetic.)

I have started to watch Buffy again and marvel all over again at how silly the vampires look. (Really, I get all bloodlusty so my face does this wierd evil-Klingon impression? Riiight.)

I have done load of laundry after laundry, and actually put them away instead of just stacking it downstairs in a messy pile that winds up needing to be washed again because 1: wrinkles and 2: cat hair (apparently laundry piles make wonderful cat beds).

I have cleaned my kitchen and my living room. (Fantastik > Cinch imnsho. Fantastik has OXYPOWER)

I organized the office (specifically the pet storage area that was looking like a miniature supernova went off, who knew hay could be so messy?).

I took down the bird feeder, cleaned it out and put fresh bird seed inside of it, then hung it back up. (Apparently, leaving seed in a bird feeder over the winter makes it go moldy. Who knew?)

Boon, concerned that I was going tooooooooooooooooo much into 'Not playing WoW!', was worried I'd have a psychotic break and has been urging me to play 'just a little bit'. I've limited that to playing just with him for the most part. We've done our lowbies a little bit. He wanted to do some quests in Icecrown, so I did that with him. I stay on for about an hour and then I log out to do something else. I did get roped into bringing Kikidas to 25-KT the other night. Rawr. With my new epic hat, I was stylin'.

And yesterday I sat down, looked over at Boon who was giving Age of Conan another try with his new computer that won't blow up trying to play a game, looked at the clock which told me I had three hours before we were leaving for TableTop, looked at the room I had cleaned and said, "I'm taking a break."

So I logged in Keiji, got a group for 10-OS. Then got a group for 25-OS. Then helped take Wintergrasp (for once, the Horde had control). Then got a group for 25-VoA. Then got a group for 10-VoA. All one after another. And it still ate up a ton of time. It was almost time to leave for TableTop. Oy.

So I played PuzzleQuest Galatrix, which is odd, but interesting, even if I don't like the fact that there isn't as much 'choice' so far in it as Puzzle Quest, Challenge of the Warlords. Where you had a choice if you'd give the goblet back to the man who had you go look for it, or if you'd keep it, etc.

On a side note, I realize this differs undoubtedly between servers, but I feel really sad for the Horde on Alleria in regards to Wintergrasp. They always have about 10 stacks of Tenacity on, but we simply maul them with numbers. It's like a level-1 raid on Hogger. The individual dies, but that's okay, because while he was killing me, fourteen other people killed him. I'll take the corpse run.

So I feel bad. Because they can never get Stonekeeper Shards unless they're doing the WG dailies. I always see the same few people (Horde... and Alliance, come to think about it) doing WG. Hordies can't get shards by doing instances, so if they want a piece of shard-gear for their alts, or even themselves, they have to do WG dailies over and over again. (Wowolf, if you're out there. Hi! And sorry. Really, I like you Blood Elves, but you just can't take my Fortress.)

It makes me wonder if when the Horde DO have Wintergrasp, if suddenly the entire Horde population goes into instances? ZOMG! We have WG! QUICK QUICK, GET THEE TO AN INSTANCE!

People stay home from work, call in and explain, "Sorry Boss, but I play Horde on Alleria... and we have Wintergrasp. I just can't make it in today, at least not for another 2 hours and 30 minutes."

Their boss, understandingly, "Oh I know how THAT goes. I'll see you online then!" as he runs to his work laptop and logs in, while yelling at his Alliance minions to work, giving his Horde allies two and a half hours off.

Maybe Alleria can host a 'Be Kind to Horde' day, and we start a petition to LET them win Wintergrasp for a whole day? From midnight to midnight.... let it be Tuesday. Tuesday 12am until Wednesday 12am.

(What? Maintenance? And your point is? Hello. I'm not completely altruistic. I am, part time, a warlock.)

(Hrm. Blog name? Part Time Warlock? ... Nah, too much like Part Time Druid.)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Taking a Leaf From BRK

So, I've been thinking about BRK's post and a lot of what he says makes a lot of sense.

WoW eats up so much of my life that things in my life are spiraling out of control.

So I'm going to take a small hiatus to organize my life a little better, get my house cleaned up and organized, spend more time with the pets and the hubby and other real life things.

I'll be back, soon no doubt. :) Take care and see you around. :)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Malygos fall down go Boom

On Monday night we finally got Malygos down.

We had a few wipes, though with only one (two) exceptions made it to phase 3.

Exception One: It's 10-man Malygos. Our rogue has the 25 man key. Our paladin suggests that he try it and see if it starts 10-man Maly. The rogue (for some reason), decides to listen to the paladin. Lo and behold... it does. We die.

Exception Two: We had one of his scatter-AoE attacks immediately before he did a Vortex. With a discipline priest, a holy paladin and a resto shaman, we were a little shy on the instant-cast heals, so we lost four people when we landed.

At the very end of the instance, our holy paladin turns to me and says sheepishly, "Uh K... you don't want to know what I was wearing."

I turn to give him the look and ask, "What?"

"My ret pants and trinkets."


So, as of Monday night, Knights of Utopia on Alleria has completed all current 10-man content. And got no few of our raiders the Champion of the Frozen Waste title.

I was in there as Karika, so I have a lot of work yet to do in terms of instances to run. Surprisingly, she hasn't done as many as I had thought she did. Who knew?