Friday, March 02, 2012

Spitting Scales...

I was going to bed, but I'm still too mad.

To the two utter tools-passing-for Melee Shaman in my Deathwing LFG who moaned when we wiped the first time on Madness I say this:

  • Yes you'll be in the top 5 dps if you fixate on the boss and stay on him on each platform. If you ignore the tentacle, the Bolt AND the adds yes, you'll do twice as much dps as me. Well done.

  • There's a reason I'm doing less dps than you, I've taken on the mantle of Raid Leader to instruct you and the other 20 people who've clearly never done this fight before exactly what needs to happen when, because all the dps in the world matters NOT ONE JOT if you don't kill the Blistering Tentacles when DBM tells you. No, of course, you don't have DBM installed. That's why we wiped the first time, twonkfaces.

  • If you have enough time to a) check your meters to see my dps b) report this into raid and then c) complain I should shut up and do as much dps than you I will take this large plank of wood with a nail in it and... *breathes*

To add insult to injury: three hunters, two bows drop. Yes I know, it's not about the loot. On night's like tonight, it's not about the warm glow of a boss kill, that's for damn sure :(

I'm going to go listen to some music and breathe deeply some more... ^^

And Now, The Main Points Again...

Right then. Stat changes on Gear. In summary (if I read it right, of course):

  • Spell resistance is gone, as is spell penetration.
  • Hit/Spell hit THE SAME THING. Hit=hit.
  • Expertise is a percentage, and is normalised.
  • Hunters will benefit from expertise.
  • No more 'block-capping' for tanks.
  • Crit = x2 baseline for everyone.
  • Resilience is gone. In it's place: PvP Defense and PvP Power.
  • It will be easier to PvP in PvE gear, and vice versa.

That's quite a lot, right there. Let's take a moment to consider some initial ramifications:

  • Certain people still won't understand which stat does what. This won't stop that hunter needing on a strength axe, for instance, because he needs the iLevel to enter LFR... except we lose our buffstick slot. He'll still need it though ^^

  • Certain people still won't know how much hit they need for cap, and will ask continually in Trade as a result. They will continue to ignore the mantra that 'Google is your friend' (privacy policy excluded)

  • Hunters' lives become more complicated. Hell, what's new there? Be impressed I checked where to put the apostrophe, grammar fans :D

  • Tanks will still stack a stat regardless of whether it's actually any use for them. Big numbers mean you don't take as much damage regardless of mechanics, didn't you know?

  • The classic Trade Troll gambit 'You can't crit with heals' IS INVALID. Twice.

  • People will have to find another excuse to exclude people from raids with excessive PvP gear. Like the fact they hate PvE...?

There are people out there with a better understanding of these things than I will ever have furiously using slide rules and writing stuff on whiteboards, and they will no doubt have proper serious and relevant points to make 'in due course.' In the meantime I'll be over here, waiting for the Press Tour to kick off... ^^

Thursday, March 01, 2012

The Squad Rotation :: Week 1

... aaaand that's the Graphics Budget blown for the month ^^

Welcome to March, where we may finally get An Idea of WTF is with the Pandas, if we're patient. Personally I'm not a big fan of waiting, but I have INFINITE patience, which is lucky as I think I'm going to need it. Inner Peace folks, just keep thinking... ^^

Needless to say, the Boffins at ALT: ernative Towers are aware that there's a lot of mouths to feed around these parts and some of the lesser alts are not getting as much time to do their funky thangs as is necessary to prepare for the Black and White Invasion. Therefore, we have (at vast personal expense) come up with An Actual Plan. As you can see by the extremely expensive explanation produced above to demonstrate our intentions, we plan to play a 1-10 formation for the next month, rotating the one 'up front' for another (one) at each weekly reset. First up, it's the Shaman.

Full Ornate Set, Animated Shield, Mace still 'in progress'. Still, pretty good.

M's healed since she hit 85 despite possessing a DPS spec, which was finally reinstated last week in anticipation of her promotion to #1 Alt since yesterday. Her main task whilst active will be to quest, hopefully completing Hyjal to open up the Molten Front (and access to Blacksmithing recipes) and whoever else I can fit in during my time before Reset. Thus far it's proved comfotably simple to steam through the content, and I'm hoping I might be able to fit a couple of Guild Heroics in to max out points for the week having done both LFR's for the standard 500 point reward.

I'd also expect to see her running some of the older content with appropriate DE-ing accompaniment to see if I can pick up any of the 1-80 BS recipes I'm missing, especially in the Outlands Dungeons.

Watch this space for the latest Rotation News as I try and remember this mail wearer's pets have a TEN minute cooldown and however hard I try, there's no guns to fire... ^^

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Turn to Stone

This has been stuck in my ear since I thought about this post... :D

The bag manufacturing business has been going really well in the past week. I had the Imbued Netherweave Bag market sewn up (groan!) without opposition, with mats that I could gather whilst farming for other things, and as a result (I felt) I was making a lot of profit, because (I feel) when you're using mats garnered from another process it's a bonus. However it was only a matter of time before someone saw what I was doing and shifted themselves into the market, and as they're selling the bags for half the price I was I'm not prepared to play the Undercutting Game. I'll start stockpiling instead in anticipation of the Pandas and shift my focus. Checking the AH on Monday after College, I noticed there wasn't a single Frostweave Bag for sale...

There's a very good reason for this: Frostweave isn't being farmed any more. People want to be shot of Northrend as soon as they can and into Cataclysm Content. That means any cloth on the AH goes for stupid money to the 'Bandage Levellers and the Tailors who can't be arsed to farm their own mats' brigades. A stack will cost anywhere from 50g up to 90g at 'low supply' time and when you need four stacks PLUS 12 Infinite Dust/2 Eternium Thread to make a bag, there's just no profit in buying the mats at Auction. If you're gonna make these buggers, you need a farming strategy. You also need to acknowledge that if the raw materials sell for more than the bags, your plan should exclude making them ^^

Right now, it's a Bag Making Time, so last night I politely declined an offer to kill Ragnaros (frankly I was in No Fit State (TM) anyway) and instead did a quick Feasibility Study on using Northrend Normal Instances to farm the cloth. I was looking for an instance that covered the following bases:

  • I could gather 60 cloth in a 'circuit', using a Hunter/Mage combo where the Mage had the Northrend Scavenging talent.
  • The instance would have a high Human population to give maximum cloth yield.
  • I'd get enough green drops to provide the 12 Infinite Dust, with any extra DE mats going for AH sale (Tailor/Enchanter ftw)
  • There would be enough 'additional drops' to justify the run.

I began with Utgarde Keep and it was apparent very quickly that even with the benefit of skinning the dragons and worgs I wasn't going to pull nearly enough cloth to justify it being worthwhile. This is where Jeff Lynne enters the picture...

The Halls of Stone ticks a lot of boxes: it exceeded the 60 cloth criteria, and I got a couple of items for mogging resale. Greater Cosmic Essence are selling for 40g each, and I got more than five on each of the runs I did. The bonus with the Halls, of course, is the Relics of Ulduar, which can be used as a rep turnin for anyone doing United Nations :D As a result they sell rather well on my server, because it's clear there's a lot of people working on those achievements.

However, all of this is currently theory, until I log in the Mage now the servers are up. If it all pans out, I know where you'll find me farming for the next bit pre-Panda News... :D

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

This One Won't Be Tweeted...

I very rarely talk about myself in this Blog. There's a really good reason for that; I hate it. When I was younger it was all I'd ever do and frankly you wouldn't have liked me back then. I was a bitch: arrogant, unfeeling and frankly the kind of person you'd throw a chair at. That happened, too, and there were lots of other moments that I force myself to remember so I will never be that person again. It took a while after that to understand that a) it takes two people to start a fight and b) you have a responsibility every time you open your mouth, but I think I'm getting the hang of it now. At least, I hope I am.

There are still moments, sadly, but I digress.

People write Blogs for lots of different reasons: for me, a lot of the time, this is therapy. It's the glue that holds me together on difficult days, the means by which I can pull myself through to bed and to start again tomorrow. I feel confident writing about Warcraft because I think I know enough about it to be able to have a conversation without sounding totally clueless. I'll never be a Hardcore Raider, but I can do the Crafting and the Travelling pretty well. The collecting's fun too, and appeals to my sense of order.

When you press the 'Publish' button, you have to feel happy that what you're saying is what you really want to punt into Cyberspace, because once it's out there it's very hard to get it back. You deliberately create a chronology that, for better or worse, becomes part of what you are as a writer. Do you really want to diss that fellow Hunter's choice of Pet? Is it wise to start criticising how that Guild conducts itself? I work on one simple principle when I write: I only know what's going on in my own head. Sometimes even that's not a given, but I am NEVER going to start trying to second guess anyone else's reasoning or actions because I can't. I'll never have all the facts. You can dissect written arguments for a lifetime but the fact remains: sometimes those words are not enough. People do stuff, for better or worse, that sometimes defies explanation, and when that happens all you can do is hope that common sense will out, that they will arrive at the correct conclusion themselves.

As to what 'the correct conclusion' might be... your choice. Never forget that.

You should your own best judge of what is right and wrong. If you think something makes you sound a particular way and that's not what you are aiming for then there's a good chance you're better off just not pressing 'Publish' to begin with. I've lost count of the number of ranty posts I could have made concerning Guild Drama over the years but when it comes down to it I have always stopped, taken a breath and decided that the correct conclusion for me is to just not say it. The same goes for moaning about people not reading or blowing my own trumpet: if I think I'm overdoing it, I just step back and remind myself of the simple truth. You do this for yourself. You write here to make yourself happy. Don't look like your younger self.

The problem comes, of course, with the fact that many people in the World dictate that for TRUE validation people need to tell you how good you are. That's why there are World Champions, why people fight and compete for Medals and Awards. Without someone else saying 'you're great, you can say what you want' there's a point where some might argue it becomes pointless, and yes, I get that. However, at the end of it all validation is not about other people. I believe I get one turn at life, and once that's done, there's no second spin of the wheel. When all is said and done, you're the one living this, not everyone else. You need to feel safe and comfortable in your skin. You need to feel what you do is important. The only real way to happiness starts inside yourself.

If you are comfortable writing those words, press 'Publish', and don't be afraid of what the World will say. If you never say anything, trust me, your life will be so much less than it could be.

Press the button :D

Monday, February 27, 2012

185 Names for Pets...

No, it doesn't look that big. Really, it doesn't... ^^

Right. Let's get the obvious out of the way.

I did not collected pets seriously until somewhere into TBC. However, once I started, I may have been utterly obsessive traditionally thorough in my acquisition. This means, as of this moment I am the owner of 185 pets. I'm going to ignore the giggling and pointing from the back and I'm going to continue regardless, because I know what I am, and if you don't like that... the Exit's -------->

[FX: Gym Door opens and closes]

So then, for both of you still here, let's get to the point.

My one stop for Pet Info, the utterly indispensable Warcraft Pets, has the following to say on the upcoming use of my Vanity Pet Army in 'Pokemon-style' face-offs:

You will be able to customize the name of each of your pets. This name will appear in battle.

Once my enthusiasm for inventing new pet names had waned, the full horror of the task ahead finally sank in.

I have to rename 185 of them.

But hang on, that number's likely to go down, because I'm betting you won't be battling with Balloons, right...? RIGHT? No, actually, just to be safe, I could just do the thing, get it out of the way, and I could try and be a bit clever at the same time. I'll admit I'm aware that the names I give will provide a (probably unintentional) glimpse into my psyche. Hell, even naming them Pet #1 to Pet  #185 (as my husband helpfully offered when I told him about this) says something about the kind of person I am. However, when it all comes down to it, there's one thing this entire project will work brilliantly as, and that's Blog Posts. If I did five names a day, I could fill up the next thirty-seven days without having to worry about writing anything else... ^^

So, it's settled. In good news, I won't be doing this and nothing but for a month and a half. I like you guys far too much for that. What I will do is attack them in groups, and provide some explanation for each one as I go. It will also give me an opportunity to take some 'nature' shots of each pet in their natural environments, in a desperate attempt to look like I made an actual effort. As a result, let's try out my 'sample' layout for the one pet I've actually managed to name thus far:

Still not actually looking that Giant ^^
Appearing slightly bigger IRL

The family has, for the last few weeks, been watching the Harry Potter films from the beginning. My husband professed an interest in seeing them all when Philosopher's Stone was on TV over Christmas and so I bought the box set in the New Year sale and we've been ploughing through it ever since. I already have a Hedwig on one of my hunters (the Ghost Owl from Felwood) so Scabbers was a no-brainer as the name of choice. Let's hope he's not actually an Animagus... ^^

Well, that's one down. Only another 184 to go... ^^

(NOT) The Littlest Pet Shop

If a job is worth doing, do it properly :D

Yesterday was Pet Making Day.

A Guildie was lamenting the prices of Vanity Pets in the AH. It's been a while since I've looked, mostly because the AH can no longer feed my Companion needs, and prices are indeed utterly ridiculous, especially when it comes to the manufactured engineering pets and those easily bought for less than a gold from Horde sellers. I knew what I was going to do, feeling rubbish with my bad throat (Doctor's Appointment incoming!) and so off I went. The fruits of my labours remain in the first bit of the Vanity Bank above after gifting various Guildies: Mechanical Bunnies, L'il Smokies and Pet Bomblings. Next up on the manufacture list: Tranquil Mechanical Yetis and Lifelike Mechanical Toads (which my husband has the recipe for, that sells on my AH for five figures)

The Horde Hunter again came in to use as I did a quick fly about picking up Dragonhawks, Snakes and Cockroaches: next stop will be Prairie Dogs. I should also pop up to see the Consortium Dudes in Stormspire for their pet collections, Breanni in Dalaran for her pet selection and finally off to Ironforge for the Snowshow Rabbit. All of these pets have unlimited availability and seem to sell well, even after (in some cases) seven years. It seems therefore a good idea to spend the week looking at sales and average prices to give an indicator of whether these items have decent long-term saleability...

I have to admit I had a great time gathering mats and 'making things' yesterday, it seems to especially suit my demeanour when I'm feeling under the weather. I'll put the Horde pets up for sale this morning, and then we can see whether the time spent yesterday adequately offsets the financial gain :D If it does, I might well add this as another permanent string to my AH Bow...