Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A few of my favourite things

Some of you were possibly tortured with The Sound of Music as children and may remember the tune for this little ditty

Serpent on rogues and viper on healers,
throwing a flare on those sneaky flag stealers.
Kiting those warriors and keeping up stings,
these are a few of my favourite things.

Snake laden traps and daze-dealing shots,
firing an Aimed to decrease all of those hots.
Keeping ahead of those Mortal Strike swings,
these are a few of my favourite things

Angry red Sooty all up in your grill,
fear doesn't work, so swallow that pill.
Fail to escape as my DPS sings,
These are a few of my favourite things

When the death coils, when the stun locks,
when I'm failing to kill.
I simply remember my favourite things,
and then I still feel the thrill

Fighting on nodes, defending those towers,
trapping and flaring for what seems like hours.
Thanking the pally for buffing with kings,
these are a few of my favourite things

Cookies from locks and tables from mages,
saving a healer from a warrior who rages.
Tracking the flag thief and using map pings,
these are a few of my favourite things

Destroying your totems and gimping your damage,
Sooty and I are on a battleground rampage.
Enjoying the rush that a critical shot brings,
these are a few of my favourite things

When the death coils, when the stun locks,
when I'm failing to kill.
I simply remember my favourite things,
and then I still feel the thrill

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Ice Ice Baby

Sometimes it's nice to take a break from your level 70 and run around on a 'lowbie'. I'd had enough of raiding, farming and PVPing this weekend and decided to log onto my sadly neglected frost mage. I had to spend some time configuring the UI since I hadn't set it up properly since the great primary disk drive meltdown of 08 but before long I was ready to start killing stuff.

It ended up being four of us on our alts running around STV hanging out with old friend Hemut Nessingwary jr. Amusingly all four of us are skinners so there was much fighting over the right to skin including some decidedly ninja like action by a certain rogue. By the end of the evening Katiya had gone from level 30 to 32. Hooray for faster experience gains!

It had been so long since I played Katiya that I had forgotton what all the different abilities were so I kind of had to relearn how to play her. I found myself spamming Frostbolt mostly and got to wondering if I was doing something wrong. It seems from my recent reading however that Frostbolt is pretty much the main damage attack for a frost mage - at least until you get Ice Lance. I threw in some Frost Nova's and Arcane Explosions and paid homage to my Ice Block on a few occasions too. Hooray for the mage version of feign death - bound to the same hot key as feign death is for my hunter hehe.

The next day Katiya also got an outing to the Scarlet Monastery with a group of high level characters. That was fun since I didn't have to watch threat quite so much and got to do AoE which is one of my favourite things about playing a mage I've decided. I also came away with the Tabard of the Scarlet Crusade which was pretty sweet plus a couple of upgrades for my gear.

I'd been wondering about gearing up as a mage and thankfully got some answers from a helpful mage guildie. I'd been running around in some tailor made threads (thanks Emelin) which gave me plus frost damage, however I'd started getting some other gear which had better spell damage and spell crit chance and I was uncertain whether I should stick with the frost specific gear or not. The answer I received was definitely 'or not' since a mage, even when frost specced will be using all schools of magic. This made a lot of sense to me once I thought about it. The hot tip from my mage friend was frost bolt, arcane explosion and scorch. I'd been using the first 2 but now I'll be throwing in a little scorch action too.

Funnily enough I'd had this kind of feeling that if I am specced frost then I shouldn't use fire spells. Kinda silly huh. I mean you're going to use your frost cast over time spell over a fire one but that shouldn't inhibit use of instant casts like Scorch. It's quite interesting really the kind of paradigms you'll build for yourself based on the limits of your knowledge. What I need to start doing now is playing with the newer abilities Katiya has like Cold Snap and Icy Veins and work out how I can use them to good advantage.

I have feeling Katiya will be seeing the light of day a bit more as I get re-enthused about playing my mage.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Will you blog about this song?

Yes. I couldn't resist.

Anyone who works in an industry that deals with the interwebs or just keeps across the happenings throughout the series of tubes should find this hilarious.

I give to you Here Comes Another Bubble v1.1

Thursday, February 21, 2008

I'm quitting WoW, srsly

Yep you read that right. I'm quitting WoW because finally after so long a wait Hello Kitty Online is a reality! Fingers crossed I get into the closed beta which I've just signed up for.

Hehe ok I'm joking. Well about the quitting part, not so much about the signing up for the beta part.

Why do I find this so humourous? After years of participating in online gaming forums where the common response to a request for something perceived as extraneous or 'carebear like' was often 'What you're looking for are Hello Kitty Adventure Islands' (that's the Puzzle Pirate flavour). Now you really can link to the actual MMOG when making those kinds of responses!

My thanks to Typhoon Andrew for notifying me of this extremely important piece of breaking news ;)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

WoW Life Balance

In the corporate landscape an oft thrown about phrase is 'Work Life Balance' which is a buzz phrase (rather than word I guess) for talking about providing a working culture that values and supports the achievement of balancing work responsibilities with other responsibilities in life. In my somewhat cynical experience this most often refers to flexibility for people with children since this seems to be the most quantifiable and valued alternative responsibility from work. I guess I am being a bit cyncial since carers leave, annual leave and sick leave are also part of the work life balance equasion, as well as, in some industries, rostered days off. Note: I'm talking from an Australian perspective here, I have no idea how this breaks down in other countries.

Regardless, what I want to talk about in today's post is WoW Life Balance. There's definitely a need for it and in my opinion by balancing your WoW life with other activities in 'RL' you will derive more enjoyment from the game itself. I remember being a kid and getting denied the constant diet of lollies and chocolate that I craved and thinking that when I grew up I'd eat them all the time. The thing is though, if you have something you love all the time it begins to pall. Maybe not straight away but eventually you'll never want to see it again. Case in point: A long time ago in a galaxy far far away I used to work in a biscuit factory baking and packing biscuits. Really yummy ones. At least until I ate so many of them that I got to the point of never wanting one to pass my lips again. I still see them for sale in cafe's today and shudder.

I think MMOs are just like those yummy biscuits. You play all the time and the fun aspect is slowly leeched away resulting in burn out. Having said that, by other peoples standards I probably play WoW a lot. Definitely my non-gaming friends think my amount of game time is weird. I would argue however that they may very possibly spend the same amount of time slouched in front of the TV. It's a value thing, it's a subjective thing. Gaming a lot is seen in quite a negative light by general society I guess whereas the amount of TV people watch is not seen in the same way. The thing to consider is that 50 or whatever years ago when TV first hit the scene I'm sure spending a lot of time watching it was viewed unfavourably as compared to... to... whatever people did before then... um... sing-alongs round the piano maybe? I personally would much rather actively choose what I do rather than put up with whatever trash is on TV. In my view, TV is a passive activity, gaming is not. It's also not really a social activity whereas I'd argue MMO gaming definitely is.

So how much WoW is too much? I don't think I'm qualified to really answer that question. I play almost every week night and every weekend. I raid 3 instances a week plus Arena, BGs and farming. I think it comes down to the question: what are you forgoing to play WoW.

Last night I didn't play though, I caught up with a friend I haven't seen in a little while and spent the evening hanging out with her. Subsequently I'm really looking forward to the Kara run tonight.
My Dad always said it and it's true - moderation in everything.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Why Warsong Gulch is the Shiznit for hunters

Before I wax lyrical about WSG and why it roxxors for hunters I first want to get all excited about my newest piece of PVP gear: the Gladiator's Chain Helm. I finally amassed enough honour this Tuesday just gone and decided to take the plunge for the helm since it gave me the opportunity to add itemisation with the 2 gem slots and purchase a glyph rather than needing to gather mats for either an enchant or leg armour. I decided to go for the Enigmatic Skyfire Diamond for the meta slot mainly because out of all the hunter suitable meta gems I had the right 'other gem' requirements in my current PVP gear set up and a Shifting Nightseye for the red slot since it has stamina plus agility. I also shimmied on over to the friendly Cenarion Expedition quartermaster in Zangamarsh to pick up a Glyph of Ferocity to slap on my new shiny. So all in all I'm very happy and my resilience is now 113 which although not at all good is definitely a step in the right direction.

So on to what I intend to be the meat of this post. One night this week just gone we were supposed to run Kara, having recently started up an Aussie week night run now that we have enough Aussies in the guild. Unfortunately we didn't have enough people to do the run so we did a quick 'attunement' run of SV, Arc and BM to key up an alt of one of the guildies and then set up a premade to run the PVP daily Warsong Gulch.

Now I confess I used to hate, loathe and outright detest WSG as a battleground. This was before I understood the strategy and how to use my class to good effect though. Now my opinion is thoroughly changed, in fact I believe that WSG is a BG which really allows the hunter class to shine.

Game objective
Capture the flag - a battlefield objective known well by anyone who has played multi-player FPS type games. One side tries to capture the flag of the opposing side and return it to their base whilst making sure that the other side doesn't capture their flag and do same. You can only capture the opposing teams flag if your flag is at it's base. A simple enough premise yes but not always simple to execute. Hunters with our particular skills are able to add a lot of value with this kind of game objective.

Using track humans and track beasts it's possible to provide important information about the opposite factions movements. It's important to continually monitor the movements of the opposite team. See a druid heading tunnel toward the flag room? Throw up beast tracking and watch to see which exit route they take to get across the mid. The earlier you can announce to your team which way they are trying to go the better your chances of taking them down and recapturing the flag. I should note here that with patch 2.4 allowing anyone to track the flag carrier after 45 seconds(I think and unless anything changes which is wont to happen when a patch is still on the PTRs) this will make hunter tracking abilities not quite as critical. Still useful though - 45 seconds until you can track is still a long time in a BG.

Trapping is great in any battleground and WSG is no exception. Guarding your flag carrier? Head up to the roof and drop freezing traps and flares at the only entrance to the roof. Know which way the opposing teams flag carrier is heading? Drop a freezing trap to slow them down long enough for the defense team to arrive and start taking them down. Inthe mid embroiled in defense? Use freezing or snake traps to assist the other classes in controlling and containing the attack. Which brings me to an important point which applies to all PVP situations.

Contain and control
Every class has skills and abilities which are used to control the action and a hunter is no exception. Whether on offense or defense (and a hunter can do both very successfully) the aim is to control and contain the encounter. From my perspective this means keeping your opponents in one place long enough to take them down. Especially the flag carrier.

I personally tend to prefer playing defense in WSG so here's an example of what I see as a good use of hunter abilities. That druid heading tunnel to grab our flag that I mentioned above? Ok, he's (or she's, but I'm gonna stick with he) exited via our GY and is heading down the that side of the mid avoiding all the shenanigans going on in the centre. Since I spotted him going in I've got track beasts up because I know he'll be in travel form when trying to return to his base. I see him going GY announce it in vent/bg chat and race over having mounted up as soon as I saw him head up the tunnel. No point chasing him into our flag room since he will be more vulnerable in mid and the defense team will be able to get there quicker. So I get in range and dismounting on the run immediately send in Sooty with Intimidation to stun and slow him. I then follow up with Concussive shot to slow him further. With Sooty nibbling at his kneecaps he's forced to shift to caster form and self-heal which slows him down further. I'll get in front and drop a freezing trap and if I get within melee range while doing this I'll wingclip him too. Everything I'm doing is designed to slow him down so that the defense team can arrive and start making druid chop-suey. That said, this also means there is time for the opposing team to send in support. Ok that's fine, keeping up as many slowing effects as possible on the flag carrier I'll also be looking to a) take out any healer support he may have and b) provide support to the defense team - like a rogue beating on the frost mage or our healer and etc. This is where I'll go TBW since now there is danger of CC from the opposing team and start using abilities like viper sting to mana drain healers and casters and multi-shot to cause as much damage as possible. RAWR.

See the other important thing in any battleground apart from controlling the action is supporting your team. So often in BGs I will see this 'everyone for themselves' mentality. Doesn't work, sorry. You heal me I can do more damage and exert more control. I support you as a healer when getting attacked and you'll stay alive longer to provide heals. When everyone plays for themselves it becomes incredibly easy for the other side to pick you off and then you can never gain momentum as a group because you are in a constant round of rez, run back to action by yourself, die again, rinse and repeat. I see this particular mistake made frequently in the other 'node controlling objective' BGs.

So there you go, my opinion of why WSG is a great BG for hunters as a pretty new PVPer. I'd be interested to know, did I miss some other useful abilities or do you think this kind of approach is totally wrong? What are your experiences in WSG or any BG? Play a different class? Tell me how you deal with hunters so I know to try and avoid/control it hehe ;)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

World of Motecraft

I recently posted about my in game goals and in true project manager fashion (that's what I do in RL for a design company for websites and etc) I have established a plan to meet my goal. The specific goal is that of gathering enough gold to get the epic flying skill.

My plan is to earn at least 100 gold a day. Doing that I should reach my target in one month - being as I need to earn another 3000 gold. After approx 1 week I have amassed 3500 so I am even closer than I expected to be so quickly. Yay!

The most efficient way I could work out to earn the gold is to farm motes of air and fire on the Elemental Plateau plus mining ore. Every evening I fly from Shatt over the Barrier Hills to the Elemental Plateau in Nagrand and mine on the way. On a good night I can hit 4 nodes of adamantite and/or fel iron just on my way to the plateau. If there are nodes spawned I'll also hit the cave under the barrier hills where those big funky cave monsters are that the sporeggar are having such a bad time with.

As I'm playing on a US server as an Aussie farming is best done on my weeknights when the server population is low. I can usually earn about 100g worth of motes in one hour not including any green drops which I also get DE'd and sell the mats. I like to think I've got the efficiency of farming down to a fine art. I almost never stop for mana and neither I nor Sooty ever die. If I do ever drink (like if I have Mage food which is therefore free) I'll mark the mob and send Sooty in to attack then quickly drink. As long as I start drinking before Sooty hits the mob I can mana up while fondly watching Sooty tear that mob a new one.

Here's hoping that I'll be excitedly posting screenshots of me riding my new Swift Purple Gryphon in the near future!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Arena awesomeness

Thanks to Kotaro's blog Lone Bowslinger *waves* I've found the site that I was looking for but didn't know existed. SK Gaming has a wealth of information on the top arena teams - the specs, the class composition and etc. I'll be spending a bit of time over there doing some research that's for sure and it's definitely getting added to my resources sidebar!

Speaking of arenas - one of my team has started using a mod called Control Arena which from what I know so far sounds awesome. I'm going to be trying out this mod asap and will report back on how I find it.

While the title to this post is 'Arena Awesomeness" I cannot with any honesty state that this is applicable to any of the teams I am currently in >.>

I am currently a member of the following teams:

2v2 BBQ Drop Bears
3v3 Drunken Beachcombers
5v5 Drunken Aussies

Anyone notice a theme or two there? ;)

Across all teams the ratings hover in the 1450 - 1590 range. Not disgusting but not really any good either. Then again quite of few of the team are still building up our PVP gear and not speccing for PVP specifically so I'm not feeling too badly about it.

I'll post some more soon on how we are going specifically.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

What are your game goals?

I'm a goal oriented kind of person, which works happily with a goal oriented kind of game like WoW. In any kind of endeavour I'll have a list whether mental or otherwise of things that I want to achieve and so of course I have a list for WoW.

My problem however is that, as I've stated before, I'm a lazy lazy hunter so I don't necessarily go all out with single minded fervour to achieve my goals. Rather I tend to have a few different goals that I'm working towards (however slowly) at any one time so that if I get bored with the effort of achieving one goal I shift focus and do some work on another. My goals are also broad in terms of their immediacy or the effort required. Today I'm going to talk about some of the the 'larger' goals that I'm working towards.

Epic Flying Skill
I really really want that super fast birdy. It will make my farming for ore that much quicker and is a prerequisite for my current 'uber' goal of getting a Netherdrake! I mean c'mon they're dragons! And they have purple Netherdrakes! Who would not want one!

But of course super speed requires bling and I have not been very assiduous in my bling- raising activities. So I've decided to get more focused. I'm farming motes, I'm getting any greens DE'd by my friendly local disenchanting warlock *waves to Emelin* and selling everything on the AH. I'm selling some of my ore instead of keeping a stock pile for the next Eternium Scope. I'm trying not to spend the gold I've currently amassed. Although not at the expense of making sure I'm geared adequately for raiding.

Netherdrake mount
See above really. I've done all the quests I can at this stage and so this goal is totally dependent on my getting the epic flying skill and then increasing my rep.

PVP Gear
I want to do better in arenas and BGs and that means getting better gear so I'm working on playing my weekly games and running BGs - or at least achieving each days daily BG to build up the honour and arena points to get decently outfitted with PVP gear. Apart from the gear I'm currently working towards that I've mentioned before I'm also saving up enough badges to get Dory's Embrace which has that nice resilience stat. Since I'm now running Kara and ZA weekly this shouldn't take long.

Leveling Sephiroh to 70
I really love playing my druid alt. Druids are such a versatile class and I've loved doing some melee as a feral druid as a great change up from ranged pew pew. Sadly Seph has been languishing by the way side lately due to my recent focus on other goals. She's currently in the middle of the 61 grind down in Hellfire Peninsula. Seph is also a skinner so I have intentions to use her as a money maker and supplier of mats for leg armour and the like to Jez. She also is a leatherworker so eventually I'd like to be able to make that armour for Jez.

Reputation grinds - Exalted with Aldor

I recently finally achieved exalted with Consortium so I could purchase the awesome JC pattern Relentless Earthstorm Diamond which all JC hunters should have. Plus of course being able to pick up my bag of goodies once a month from Nagrand and get something decent. I then worked out which other factions I really want to achieve exalted with - and that's really only the Aldor. Currently I'm working on remaining quests in Shadowmoon Valley and the like and farming Marks of Sargeras over at the Arklon Ruins in Netherstorm. My motivation to achieve exalted is of course the Greater Inscription of Vengeance.

So there you have it a list of my current game goals. Right now I'm splitting my efforts between farming gold for my flying mount skill, grinding Aldor rep and PVPing to get better PVP gear. Plus of course my regular raiding schedule. Does anyone else have similiar way of handling in game goals? What goals do you have?

Friday, February 8, 2008

What makes a good raider?

So you've reached 70, met attunement requirements and you're ready to raid. Or are you? Here's my opinion of the traits required to make a good raider in no particular order.

When it comes to raiding, especially 25 man raiding there is going to be an element of waiting around (although not as bad as in the good old bad old 40 person raid days). You're also going to wipe on bosses. And then wipe again. And again. Until you learn the fight. If you haven't got the patience to go through this learning stage or to handle waiting for everyone to rez, rebuff, cover the strats again, make some adjustments to group composition and then pull raiding is not for you.

Do you get absolutely infuriated when someone screws up and wipes the group? Well it happens, and sometimes it will be you who caused the wipe. Everyone screws up, show some tolerance and keep a positive attitude, no one wants to raid with someone who froths at the mouth at every mistake.

Respect can really cover a broad range of things. It's about being courteous in your communication with others. It's about respecting that sometimes RL intervenes. It's about not inundating vent or raid chat with whiny QQ about subject X. It's about listening and following the orders of the raid leader or leaders. Conversely it's about respecting that people may have an alternate opinion or viewpoint on how to handle a particular aspect of the raid/fight. Respect is one ingrediant in successful teamwork. If people don't respect each other they will have a hard time working together.

I don't care if you are rolling in full T5 - it's your skill at playing your class I care about not your stats. Skill means understanding your talent build, your abilities and the myriad ways you can use them and applying that knowledge practically. I'd rather take the mage in a mix of greens and blues who knows how to play their class over the epixxed mage who doesn't understand aggro management and keeps pulling the boss and wiping the group repeatedly.

Knowledge is a precursor to skill in my opinion. It is theoretical skill. Knowledge only becomes skill when you put it into practice successfully. I can have knowledge of how to chain trap but until I can successfully put that knowledge into practice it is not a skill. That's why you read up on your class, on other classes on raid composition and strategies for different boss fights. Successfull raiding means understanding and being able to leverage knowledge about other classes and the boss. The more knowledge everyone brings to the raid the more it can leveraged. At the very least know your class.

There's a real shopping list of stuff to have ready before you raid as you can see in my personal list in the image above. Preparedness can also be considered an element of respect. Don't keep people waiting because you forgot to grab ammo. Seriously. If you can't get prepared to raid then you're probably not ready to. That said we all have those 'doh' moments every now and then but they should be the exception rather than the rule.

Whether you're hardcore, softcore, casual or whatever in your raiding it's my belief that the above traits will go a long way to making you a successful raider and welcome to raid with people who want to succeed.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Raiding casually, guild growth and other meanderings

Raiding Background
Raiding is a part of Wow that I really enjoy. Pre-TBC I was in a small guild without the numbers to form its own raid so I found myself a regular pug raid. I started doing Zul Gurub, Molten Core and AQ20 a few months

before TBC came out and really enjoyed the challenge.

Once I made it to Outlands I was very keen to find a group of like minded people to guild and/or raid with. Due to the levelling to 70 thing the people on my friends list that I had regularly grouped with changed a lot as people levelled at different speeds. These days my friends list is made up of a different bunch of people than from the old 60 days.

As soon as we hit 70 Em and I started thinking about how we could get into some regular raiding. We are Aussies playing on a US server (Feathermoon) so this presented a challenge for us in terms of finding groups that would be raiding at times that we could make it. Our little guild composed mainly of Australians had shrunk further due to many of the former regulars going inactive so we started looking for a new home.

Emelin had a good friend who he had done some instancing with who was looking to grow their guild and start raiding. So we both joined up. At the time I think there were maybe 6 active players in the guild, including us!

That was approximately a year ago. Since that time the guild has grown to about 51 accounts of which around 44 are 70s.

We started our first Kara raid in about June last year. Fast forward to today and the guild is running regular Gruuls, Magtheridon, Karazhan and Zul Aman raids. The 25 mans are composed of majority guild members with some non guild regulars.

Guild Structure
The main aim of our guild as I've stated in another post is to keep things simple. There are no requirements to attend a set number of raids, the most hard core we get with loot is using master looter in the 25 mans with a 'loot policy' in terms of rolling which is outlined in our forums. We have a guild master of course but no official 'officers'. Our GM has the final say on any decisions. The guild functions because it is made up of people who want to raid and several of whom are willing to take a leadership role in organising and running them. I'll take a moment here to give those people a big thank you! Forum participation is encouraged but not mandatory. Basically if you participate in the forums you get an opportunity to be part of the decision making process but if you're happy to roll with decisions without imput then that's fine too.

We don't have any official recruitment application or anything like that at the moment. Perhaps we will in the future. If we run an instance or a raid with someone who would be a good fit we let them know that they would be welcome to join our guild if they were interested. That's all.

Casual or not?
I've read a few blog posts recently talking about guild structure, recruiting, guild growth for raiding progression and how casual raiding is defined. It's really interesting reading different views and I recommend checking out the following posts:

Big Bear Butt Blogger:
Guild growing pains
All about the impacts of growing your guild so as to further progression

The Egotistical Priest:
New Kids on the Block - Part 1 of 3 - Shout Out to the Newbies
Part 1 in a great series of posts about what it's like to have or be new people in a guild from all perspectives.

Of Teeth and Claws:
Building a Raiding Guild and

Beroth the Hunter:
Building A Raiding Guild: View from the Cheap Seats
Complimentary posts from 2 members of the same guild talking about the impact of and rationale behind changes to guild make up and requirements in order to aid progression.

World of Matticus: Structuring Your Casual Raiding Guild
Matticus shares the way his guild is structured and how their raids are structured plus his thoughts on what is required for success.

What reading all these views leads me to think is that as a guild we are doing pretty well for ourselves considering how loose we keep things. I'm not sure if we could be called a Casual Raiding Guild. I think we qualify and by Matticus' definition we do but other definitions I've heard say no. I don't think it really matters. The main thing is that we are having fun and progressing.

I'd rather progress slowly and keep having fun than race for a first only to burn out on the game. But everyone's different. Perhaps the amount I raid and/or play could be considered hardcore?

Right now my raiding schedule is looking like

Gruul/Mags: Approx 4 hours Saturday afternoon
ZA: Approx 4 hours Sunday afternoon
Karazhan: approx 2.5 hours x 2 or 3 nights a week

I think the key factor is: I am under no compunction to attend. I raid because I like it not because it feels like a chore. I hope it stays that way.

Monday, February 4, 2008


Yah it's about time I let loose with the rant in this here blog non? And I can tell you that I'm quite the feisty huntard when I get my rant on.

(Emelin is nodding fervently in the background)

The thing in WoW that makes me rantier than just about anything even crap instances PUGs?


Seems like the Wowosphere (see that? I just made that up whoo!) is awash with postings about AB weekend or arenas or PVP in general recently. Or maybe it's that whole being more attuned thing I wrote about before.

So anyway back in December Megan over at Out of Mana wrote a post on Accountability in BG and I was thinking about that this weekend as I spent some time in AB. Now Megan is a way more of an uber PVPer than me that's for sure. I would qualify as one of the people who make a BG 9vs10 in her view with my lousy resilience and HP. That said though I have my own particular annoyances in BGs without factoring in HP and resilience.

I'm obviously talking about PUG BGs of course.

I get really annoyed when what I assume are testosterone fueled 15 year old boys (my apologies if you happen to be a 15 year old boy reading this for the blatant generalisation) who spend 5 mins in the BG before getting all pissy and yelling (ie all caps) in BG chat about how alliance are such losers and WTF nubs and so on. News flash! This doesn't help!

I am formulating a theory that Alliance are so used to sucking/having morons in the BG with them that often when they enter a BG it is with this defeatist attitude already in play. No point saying anything, no point trying to get some teamwork going because it always falls apart.

I have a case study (hahaha I sound like I'm at work...) to illustrate this, but with a positive outcome. I was running a WSG recently. At first things weren't going so great. We capped once but then seemed to be stuck in a stand off with the Horde. It started getting a bit angsty in bg chat but then, miracle of miracles, people started communicating. Providing info about where the Ally flag was or which way our flag bearer would be coming. All of sudden things started to come together and we capped again. It was a long battle but eventually we capped again. And why did we win - because people started talking and working together. It was really quite a beautiful thing to see unfold. It was like there was this change in attitude that you could literally feel... this sense of 'we can win'.

I've been in BGs before where everyone did their jobs and it was smooth and beautiful and we won and there was no really talking required. This could also be because we lucked out with crappy Horde opponents.

But this one WSG will always be memorable because it was a long hard fight where we succeeded by working as a team.

Another part of my theory is that no one wants to stand up and take the lead. You might have seen it in instances where no one really wants to mark. I think it's much worse in BGs. I mean there you are with a group of strangers and you don't really want to push yourself forward in case everyone tells you to stfu scrub. Well at least that's been how I've felt in the past. Now that I'm getting a bit more experienced with the BGs I'll speak up a little more. I'm leery of herding cats though. I'll make a comment like say 'I'm going LM' when AB starts and hope that someone follows me.

In fact last night was one of those poetry in motion BGs where everything seems to hang together because people know what to do. I capped the LM and stood there guarding it. I'm so hot keyying flare and /cast frost trap because that's all I did for a good while. Well I did mix it up with a couple of snake traps. Anyway, this rogue tries to gank me as I stand on the flag (fight on the flag always fight on the flag) and a) I spot him because of my flare and b) he gets ice-trapped giving me time to get to range, smack my LOL-I-WIN button, and start firing. Then I notice something.... I'm bubbled. WTF?? Rogue dead I look around and hiding up in the lumber mill bit is a priest.



The priest and I kept that node safe for almost the entire BG until the Horde decided to do a bit of a zerg on it (we had them 4 capped by this time) and we both bit the dust. It's just so great when you get a good healer in a BG and even better when they stick with you as you unleash DPS death so


I really appreciate it.

Hmm for a post that was supposed to be pretty ranty I seem to have got all positive and affirmative and stuff. Dang.

Credit where credit is due: The awesome artwork in the picture above is via Wyndforge. I'm totally unsure of their rules about using the work since I'm at work and about to run out the door to get home to log in (whee!) so didn't read up. I promise to do so when I get home though!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Drunken Badgers & friends say a big hello to Magtheridon

Today for the first time the Drunken Badgers raid ventured into Magtheridon's Lair. The big grumpy bastiche was excited to see us, I could tell from all his ranting about parasites.
Our raid group is made up of guildies plus non-guild regulars. We have been doing Gruuls every US Friday night and after that ZA but we've recently made the decision to go to Mags after Gruul's instead.

So after we one-shotted Gruul and his mates we boogied on down to Hellfire Citadel to throw our corpses at Maggy a few times. Being our first time we were fully expecting repeated horrible squishings and we weren't disappointed.

That said, and given the complexity of the fight we did manage to get him down to 41% on one of our attempts so three cheers to the DB raid!

/knocks back a beer

I always enjoy learning new boss fights. I have fond memories of when Attumen was a challenge - that was sometime ago now of course but I always like to think of it to remind myself that what seems tricky at first eventually becomes absolute cake.

What I've worked out so far about being a hunter in Mags is:

1. Burn those channelers down. MOAR DPS!
2. CC is crucial. Drop those frost traps as soon as the cd is up - near a healer is even better.
3. Make sure you are in position for your turn on clicking the cubes and allow yourself time in case of the earthquake bouncing you about.

Mags is a fight that requires everyone to be on the ball and doing their jobs. It only takes one small screw up to wipe the raid


Sorry 'bout that guys.

Good times, good times. I look forward to more grisly death next week.

A Conundrum: PVP or PVE

It was only a few days ago that I posted about my PVP nubness. Since that time I've been reading up on all the PVP goodness I can at informative blogs like Out of Mana and Shifttusk does PVP. What I have learnt is great but also has me facing a conundrum.

Unlike my "icky" offsider Emelin I am not wont to change my spec everytime the wind changes direction. I've got my 41/20/0 BM raiding build going on and I likes it. Trouble is, from all I've read, and based on my experience to date (little that there is) this build is not going to serve me all that well in arenas. Mainly due to the lack of burst damage and control. BM as we all know is a great raiding spec with it's MQoSDPS, but in Arena you don't have time to get that sustained thing going on. Instead you want to be controlling the action as much as possible with abilities like scatter shot and silencing shot. The Beast Within is awesome but it can mean that your opportunity to win is based mainly on that one 18 second burst of 'I win Lawl!" rather than an arsenal of abilities.

So the question confronting me is: should I respec? Do I want to have to respec every week so that I can both PVP AND raid effectively. Truth is, not really. Reason: I am still trying to save up the gold for my epic riding skill. I know that I could dedicate myself to farming the gold up but that introduces the whole fun equation I've mentioned previously. farming != fun in my world.

Sounds like it's time for some decision making eh?

Ah but wait. There is also another issue - my resilience is truly pathetic. Like awesomely so. I just purchased my Gladiator's Chain Spaulders last night. I skipped on the Gladiator's Chain Gauntlets because the next thing I will be able to afford with Arena points will be the S3 Vengeful Gladiator's Chain Gauntlets and I'm going to try and balance S1 honour purchased items with the S3 gear as much as I can based on increasing my resilience as much as possible. My health points are also really low for an arena environment too being just under 8k. There's the gem thing too. Although I'm a JC I don't have any resilience recipes. So I will need to buy the gems or farm Halaa tokens for the Sublime Mystic Dawnstone.There's that spending my epic riding skill savings thing again. I also need to investigate enchants and find out what the best faction shoulder enchant is for my new shoulders.

What this is all adding up to is a lot of effort. Did I mention I'm a lazy lazy hunter? I also still need to get the mats for the Nethercleft Leg Armour for my T4 legs.

Methinks I will first work on getting better PvP gear through honour and then look at changing up my spec to allow me to access the S3 arena gear.

I guess the question I ultimately have to answer is: Am I willing to put in the game play time to allow me to do both PVP and raiding successfully or do I decide to do one well and the other not so well.

Time will tell I guess.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Viva Le Ratsburgh

As a periodic Sims City player I couldn't resist providing a little help to the mayor of Ratsburgh.

Go here and help them get a tram or something!