Saturday, March 10, 2012

We Interrupt the Schedule...

No, I still don't quite believe it... ^^

I just won the Kalu'ak Fishing Derby.

I am in shock, I know. The drill is the same, every week: I go sit by a school and I wait for the shout, then I fish and after five minutes someone else has won. This week, however, was different.

Last week my Dear Blogging Friend Mr G. Elf Esq. won the Contest. I found myself thinking this morning that I was going to try and mix things up a bit as a result. I decided to pull out a Lucky Mascot.

You don't think I'll win this either, right?

Ever since TBC, Archmage Vargoth has been our Guild's unofficial Good Luck Charm. His staff has travelled with me since those first Serious Raiding days in Karazhan, and whenever I need a boost in a difficult fight, out he will come. Today was the first day I'd ever asked him to help me in a Fishing Contest. I am old enough to know that the RNG bows to no charms or distractions, that it is its own cruel master... but today needed to be different. It was :D

After seven minutes, no-one had won, and I was already resigning myself to my fate. People had come and started fishing from the pools I was already using, and that never ends well. Flying south across Grizzly Hills, heading for the coast, I found a pool untouched and waited for the shout to tell me someone else had nabbed the Shark.

Hang on, what was that last thing...?

I didn't notice it when it showed in the loot window, it was only when it dropped in my bags it registered. There was at least ten seconds of blind panic, where I almost hearthstoned back to Stormwind and forgot I bought the Band of the Kirin Tor for a reason, and that's why it's part of my fishing set. The next two minutes is a blur of fingers. There may have been some Real Life cheering. I also apologise to those people on Twitter for an over-enthusiastic tweet, but I'm on my own this afternoon and I felt the need to celebrate. Oh, and sorry to the two people on line in Guild I spammed afterwards as well  :p

The fact remains, I am now Salty P, I own the XP ring, and I'm going to have to shorten the Circuit of Disappointment a bit. I think I'll cope...

Friday, March 09, 2012

In Which I Talk about Hunters...

We are still likely to use the design that hunters, especially Beastmaster hunters, can fill in for missing buffs or debuffs by using certain pets.

I'm warning you now, I may be talking a bit about hunters in the coming weeks. It's not because one is my Main, or that I currently have seven dotted about (four at L80 or above) either, thought this should give some indicator that I'm quite keen on them. I'm hoping, that come Cataclysm, I can legitimately play all three specs without a penalty, and the above statement from the Crawlermeister regarding BM pets makes me HOPE that finally it might not have to be about taking the best DPS spec to a raid.

There are those who will tell you Hunters are awesome regardless of the disparities between specs, and although I love all of the guys I play, I am well aware that speccing them all differently won't mean they all do comparable damage. This subject's become a bit of a Holy Grail since the game began, and there are days when I miss just having one spec to deal with... but they are few and far between. Hunter specs are now pretty much approaching that optimal point, what is now needed is the ability for everyone else not to just simply focus on raw damage and consider utility.

When you bring a tank to a raid, there are certain expectations, as is the case with healers. There appears to be two overriding criteria for damage dealers (at least in the places I frequent) and they are simple: the ability not to stand in s&!* and to do as much damage as possible. Utility is not an issue when it's only ten of you and everyone needs to be putting 25k into the boss. In 25 man, it should become acceptable for another player to provide a 5k boost so you can bring a pet that provides the raid a buff it doesn't have. I watched a LFR PuG-gee berating a BM hunter who pointed out their pet was providing utility earlier in the week, and that overall dps was more important than a utility buff. This is the attitude that needs to be addressed, and it's got nothing to do with theorycrafting and everything to do with player attitude. When someone asks in Trade 'What's the best dps spec for (insert class here)?' it shouldn't be bad to be able to reply 'it's not just about dps, it's about utility' This is a dangerous mindset we find ourselves in, and it's really about time it was addressed.

Part of the problem with needing huge numbers to kill bosses is, of course, wrapped around the Stat Inflation issue, and hopefully if we are to see a return to low numbers on gear the need for huge output may yet diminish. A lot of this is also likely to rotate around boss mechanics: Dragon Soul shows us that fights with complexity are here to stay, but there are also fights that require movement plus maximised damage output. What we now need (I think) are situations where (as a Hunter) I would be required to bring (let's say) two specs to a raid and be encouraged to actively switch between the two depending on the fight I was involved in. The default state is one spec and comfort in familiarity, of course, but as dps it might be an idea to start being pushed outside our comfort zones by specific encounters. If I could do that and a) not be carried by anyone else and b) give a positive contribution to a Raid then I think it's a situation that needs to be pushed and advocated. Maybe the days of saying to people 'play x spec' are over, and it should not simply be about one set of numbers. It should become fitting the right set of numbers to each specific fight.

WTB [Fresh Field], PST.

A lot of this then hinges on Blizzard sending the right cues to the player base via design. The last couple of weeks has seen the Devs going to great lengths to dissect what was right (and wrong) about the current content, and it seems to me that the ground could be being prepared for some significant changes. All I can hope is that this is the case, and that this mentality is taught to players from Level 1 onwards. If you come to the game to do damage, let it be about understanding what else you can provide in your role, not simply a number. Let utility be as important as your damage.

It's time for a change in attitude towards damage dealers, not just Hunters. Let's see if Mr G. Crawler Esq and his associates can bring that to the table next week... ^^

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Iceberg, Right Ahead!

Hastily-copied stock internet imagery can mean only one thing...

Thanks to yesterday's 'news' (how great it is to actually have something new to talk about?) there is a good chance a few of you have arrived here for the first time. It occurs to me as a result I should probably do some introductions. If this were one of the courses I have taken part in over the years I would now be forced to awkwardly recount a number of random personal details in an attempt to 'break the ice.' I'd also wish everyone had a name badge on with a fact on I wasn't supposed to mention about them, because I always do (completely by accident) Instead of all that, let me just welcome you all to this slightly dusty yet well-kept corner of the Interwebs and say the following:

  • I like playing Hunters. Last count, I have FOUR at L80 and above.
  • I also like alts, farming and making money. A LOT. It's because of the Professions, and because I have the attention span of something with a low attention span...
  • Yes, I really have been here since Vanilla. No, I'm not just saying that.
  • I often get obsessed by stuff and do it repeatedly until my eyes bleed...
  • This includes Questing and Achievements. Yes, I'm one of THOSE people...
  • I am, as you will soon realise, a massive contradiction.
  • I do not suffer fools gladly. Stop that now, please.
  • If I notice summat new in game, I'll normally drop everything to share it (see yesterday ^^)
  • Did you not hear, I SAID STOP IT!
  • I have a long suffering Paladin-playing (and alt-loving) husband and two school-aged children and I will act like a Mum sometimes. Feel free to remind me when I'm like this that you're all adults and are past this. IF YOU DON'T STOP THAT IT WILL BREAK!1!!!1!!
  • I love writing, and when I grow up I want to be one. I wish I could still have one of those old fashioned British Blue Passports that had a space where you had to put your occupation...
  • Did I not say if you didn't stop that you'd break it...? ^^

I hope you enjoy your time here, folks. I love this gig, I hope you will too... :D

Wednesday, March 07, 2012


I went to Darkmoon Island...

I just went to do the Faire Dailies. I stopped at 27 Crates. I suppose I could have kept going until someone else turned up but I'd not gone to fish. I ran out of bag space ^^

This makes a Vanilla Fisherwoman VERY happy :D

Resurrected (and it Feels So Strange)

This wasn't the post I was going to make, but I thought this might be of interest to you guys... especially considering the amount of information not currently covered in the Official Documentation...

This is going to be popular... ^^

I had an old account I let lapse once I'd transferred the one character I was playing on it to another account last year. I'd been using it for place-holding possible Cataclysm names, to be honest, and to save some money before Christmas I'd just let the subscription lapse. For the price of one month's sub I could get myself a Spectral Mount... and frankly, it had to be done. I've 'resurrected' myself mostly out of curiosity and I am very glad I did, because it's apparent this new 'promotion' is significant for both current players and for Server Economies. This is how the process works:

Once I got the e-mail (from myself), I was taken through a three stage process in I was asked to pick the appropriate alt to 'level', and then to choose a spec for my Hunter (like I'd have picked anything else) who was, up to this point, sitting at the Starting Area in Teldrassil. I was then informed of the following:

  • I'd get bags and food appropriate to my level. No bank slots are bought, it's just your character slots.
  • I'd be given 280% Flight Training (and it appears, a Swift Purple Gryphon :O) This package also includes the Azeroth Flight License and Cold Weather Flying... I went to Northrend to check.
  • I'd learn all appropriate flight points for a L80 character, but nothing is discovered.

Having completed the process I logged in and saw the resurrected character still showing as L1 until I'd cleared the Loading Screen: then I was teleported to Stormwind and appeared in a complete set of L232 Green Gear, appropriate to my new level... plus I had a full set of Frostweave Bags, 20 bandages, some DPS food and 75g ^^ It's a decent looking set as well... :D

Instant Alt. Just add depth ^^

This is going to be popular. An instant new character, ready to dungeon with, pre bagged and just needing some love. My L81 Horde, levelled 'traditionally' still doesn't have the gear to do the Cata Normals :( Expect the EU servers to melt as the day goes on and loads of people take up this offer... ^^


1: I gifted the Mount to P's account, but am unable to access it, I assume once the seven days of 'free' time expires and I move to my 'payment plan' that this will change... ^^

EDIT: Confirmation via Twitter that this is the case:

If you want answers, Twitter is your friend :D

2: Resurrection Spec provides you with 450 First Aid Skill as standard :O

No pet, no professions, but I can heal myself :D

3: ATTENTION SCRIBES! These characters may be pre-specced, but they're not pre-glyphed. The smart scribe should be able to make some money in the coming weeks from the Glyph Market... :D

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

The Week in Review :: Shaman Edition!

M the Shaman :: Now with added Guild Tabard

I have reached the end of Week One using my new Squad Rotation, and the results have been reasonably satisfactory. In bullet point form, we've managed the following:

  • Cataclysmically Epic \o/ (new hat!)
  • Coming Down the Mountain, which in turn opened up the Molten Front dailies. I'd like to finish the Hyjal quests that remain, before moving on next time the Shammy's up for inclusion to Vash for Cash :D
  • 1500g from quests and sale of Obsidium Ore, which was lying about rather a lot in Hyjal.

I haven't played a DPS Shaman since before Cataclysm and things seem to have improved a fair bit since then: I'm not hitting stuff close up (obviously) and am using my healing gear as a spellpower type and as a result of the last week I will be looking to get an OS set sorted before the Expansion. I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed playing this way, and healing especially in LFR was one of the more enjoyable experiences I've had with that system.

I'll hope I get lucky in LFR this week with a weapon, and I'm considering getting a Force Reactive Disk made as a 'bigger' shield to go with my current outfit, but for now, her Mogging Outfit and her current state are enough to make me think this Squad Rotation thing has got some merit... :D

One Set, Simple Mace, but needs a bigger Shield...

I'm going to use the Renowned Guild Tabard to get everyone's Rep to Exalted with the Guild before the Expansion, in the vain hope this may give some kind of advantage... ^^ Plus, I like the pink...

Next up, we'll be pulling Druid #1 out of storage and throwing her into a week of work :D


Some days, things just don't happen.

I am very good at stressing myself out for no readily apparent reason, and it's because I've had a lot of practice. Of late, however, I have done my best to try and work past the apparent obstacles (even if, in a lot of cases, they are simply perceived and not real) Today started badly and has been the end of a pretty stressful week where, if I'm honest, most things were a bigger issue to me than anyone else.

So, with that small bout of self-doubt out of the way I inform you that there will be no revelations or observations of an Azerothian nature today. Instead, there will be a quiet lunch, a slice of sugary indulgence and then no gaming at all for the rest of the day. Have no fear however, I will be back tomorrow and we will start again.

Until then, have a fabulous day.

Monday, March 05, 2012

A Brief Moment of Self Indulgence...

Last month, I launched a Competition. I thought it was a great idea and hoped it would fire people's imagination, especially as it involved music. I love my music, especially when relates to Warcraft. On reflection, it appears I may have misjudged both my idea and the interest around it.

As of the Competition close, I had received three entries.

I thought about trying to make it look as if I'd had more, but frankly I'm not that kind of person. I like to be honest with the people who visit here, so I think that trying to dress this up as a roaring success would be a bit pointless. I'd therefore like to thank all of those people (who are all regular contributors to my small corner of the Web and for which I am very grateful) for taking the time and effort to enter, and I'm going to give a prize to all of them as a result of me thinking that all of them should be given something for their work. I listened to all the tracks submitted and frankly you're all winners. Check your e-mails in the next 48 hours.

Needless to say, I will learn from the experience and move forward.

Aye iLevel :D

Current iLevels of Active Level 85's

  • P (Hunter): 394
  • W (Warlock) : 386
  • M (Rogue): 385
  • M (Druid #1): 376
  • S (Druid #2): 379
  • G (Hunter #2): 379
  • M (Shaman): 380
  • K (Mage): 383

With a week to go until the MoP press tour gets under way (and a further week until we actually get to hear what was revealed) it's time to begin my Pre-Expansion Audit. Today, we'll be looking at my main 'team' and what I can do to improve their chances of a quick/painless levelling experience once the cap is raised to 90.

The influence of LFR is clear and (despite my occasional rants) pretty essential for the process of gearing. With 378 the maximum level of gear available in Five Mans it's now no longer enough to use them as the go-to for points either: everyone's going to need to see the inside of LFR before the expansion in the vain hope that weapons might drop. P, W and K are all covered thus far in this regard (and M the Rogue has her Stage 1 Legendary weapons) and this is clearly reflected in their iLevels. Doing the Time Management Maths, it's clear that the 500 VP's awarded for running LFR when it's the ONLY place to grab weapons [*] is well worth the effort expended in doing so.

There's also the issue of VP value: P no longer needs VP's for gear: she can only glean her (relevant) upgrades via 10 Man DS (3 bits of tier gear to upgrade from LFR + weapons). Therefore, at the weekend she used her VP's to buy 397 Boots for the Lock and 397 Bracers for the Rogue, and will continue to gear the family until such time as everyone is adequately clothed (including putting aside items for the two sub-85's), after which I'll be selling those items on the AH. Everyone else will try to do at least one LFR a week in one form or another for point accumulation.

The question I could do with answering at this point then becomes quite significant: how much will gear matter as we come into Pandaria?

Sunday, March 04, 2012

In No Particular Order:

  • I am unwell. Again. This is not good :(
  • It was my daughter's 7th Birthday Party today. It's her birthday tomorrow. Needless to say, I'm SHATTERED.
  • It's DMF Weekend. Getting Twelve plus alts through the Monthlies : HARD WORK without the above. Needless to say, once I'm done, it's back to the Grind.

Oh, and if someone else hits me with a Balloon Sword... JUST SAYIN' ^^