Monday, February 28, 2011

Gear Will Fix It

Everyone knows that gear makes raids easier.  Trust me, once our healers get some better gear raiding will be easier for us.  That goes without saying.  What many people do not realize is that gear helps everywhere.

I often see casual players complaining about heroic difficultly saying they do not raid but they want heroic gear.  Usually that is followed by someone saying, if you do not raid you do not need heroic gear.  I disagree.  Even if you do not raid having heroic gear matters.  A lot.

From my personal experience here are numbers as best as I can recall them, roughly rounded of course.

Therazane Dailies:
315 gear - 1 hour and 30 minutes
329 gear - 1 hour
338 gear - 30 minutes
350 gear - 15 minutes

Tol Barad Dailies:
315 gear -
Outside: 1 hour 30 minutes  Tank and some others - Undoable without a group.
Inside: No way in hell.
329 gear -
Outside: 1 hour, Tank might be doable solo by some classes.
Inside: 1 hour 30 minutes if you get lucky and lots of others are doing them as well.  If you are the only one going in the building, they are undoable. Problem can be soloed by some classes.
338 gear -
Outside: 45 minutes, Tank can be soloed my most classes.
Inside: 1 hour 30 minutes, same as before, if you get lucky.  Problem can be soloed by about 1/2 the classes now.
350 gear -
Outside: Less then 30 minutes, some classes even 20.  Tank can easily be soloed by anyone.
Inside: 40 minutes max, some classes even 25.  Problem can be soloed by anyone that isn't a healer, exception of smite healers.

The usual tell tale sign of a casual player is the time they have available to play.  Most casual players would probably make excellent raiders and actually better then most raiders.  They just do not have the time to invest in the game to raid.

By that logic, a casual player needs the gear more then a raider does.  For a casual player to get the most done with their day they need to do it quickly as they do not have a lot of time.  The difference between quest gear and being full out heroic gear is huge when it comes to questing.  A casual player, to enjoy the game, needs that heroic gear because there is nothing fun about only having 2 hours to play and not even being able to fit in a dungeon and all your dailies.

Gear makes everything easier.  Even dailies.

Have a problem with a quest.  Gear will fix it.  Gear fixes almost everything.

If anything I think the gear will fix it line works more for casuals then it does for raiders.

Most casuals will get good use out of better gear, it makes their questing faster so they can enjoy the game more.  Most raiders, no matter how much gear they have, will still stand in the fire and die.  Gear can not fix that.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Guild Problems With Good Results

We had recently recruited a new player that was the friend of a returning player that played with us in LK.  He had quit about 8 or so months ago and just came back.  Both players where really decided and good players which is what every guild needs but yesterday they left the guild.

Funny part is, while I hate losing good raiders, it doesn't bother me much at all.  We do not have enough people to start running 25s yet and they are both DKs.  We already have a DK regular in our 10 man so that would mean 3 DKs in a 10 man group or even if we run two group that means 2 DKs in one group.  Not that I have anything against DKs, even more so being they are so OP in PvE right now, but it is not exactly what I call ideal for group make up, buff wise DKs bring nothing to the table at all.

Another reason it does not bother me so much is that one of our dedicated tanks, who also happens to be a fantastic player in both tank and DPS specs, was getting upset that he had not tanked in a couple of weeks because we where testing out the DK tank and the DK tank did not have a DPS off spec so I could rotate.

Of course I had the sit down with the DK and explained it would be best for group make up if he developed a DPS set so we could rotate based on the fight to have the best possible tank for the fight.  He was okay with that but was not excited.  He said he would work on getting the gear but would not give it much attention because he does not like DPS.

That attitude leaves a lot to be desired.  Our other tank, the druid that has been working as a boomkin, went and make himself a DPS spec just so we could rotate and he did well enough to gear up that spec in less then a week to the point he can pull 10K with his eyes closed.  He takes progress serious and knows that everyone has a role to fill whereas the other tank did not.

So losing the DK tank and the DK DPS really does not work out to be a big deal.  It now returns us to the Pally and Warrior/Druid rotation for tanking and getting the DPS is no issue, DPS is a dime a dozen and we have more then enough part time players in our guild that are not raiders but ex-raiders that are still good players.  We pulled one in last raid and he managed to pull 14K on a 332 geared hunter.  Goes to show odl raiders don't die, they just take time off.

What gets me most is that they sent a mail to someone else in my guild to ask them to explain to me.  Funny part is, she did not know any more then what they said in the mail to her.  Why ask her to tell me when they could have just sent the mail directly to me?

There is something about that that I find confusing.  I'll miss having them around.  They where good players, always willing to run anything at any time.  I like that type.  They will be missed, but their loss will not hurt the guild as well.  Sometime someone leaving actually helps the guild.  This actually helps the guild a lot.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Running ICC for Achievements

We ran a guild run of ICC for fun this weekend to try to get some achievements for people and get a king kill for some people that never got the chance to do it.  With the added gear of being 85 it was a lot easier but the LK fight was still an issue with some new people not knowing the defile thing so we wiped a few times there.

I like the idea of defile over all.  It is a mechanic that can kill you no matter what your gear is like.  We blew through the entire raid as if it were old hat even with two people that had never been in ICC ever.  Most things we could just not worry about, it was just go go go really.

Rot and Fester where like that and we got both achievements from them without really much effort at all.  Both went down so fast that it was never an issue getting the achievements.  Just burn and get them, that simple.  Blood Princes worked out the same way as well.  We burned them down before it got to the third price which meant we got that achievement as well.

The funniest part was the Blood Queen.  I needed to not get bit for the achievement so I did not start attacking until the bite went out.  Only 2 people ever got the bite because she went down so fast.  I still had the most DPS for the fight, even never having been bit.

The only achievement we missed, outside of the LK ones which we did not even try being it was the first time for 6 of the 10 people, was the Sindragosa one.  I told people what to do, but it just did not happen.  Out of all the achievements that is the hardest one really.

Even overgearing it the Sindragosa fight was still annoying as hell.  Sure we did it no problem but it was still hectic.  I hate that fight more then anything else in ICC.  Maybe it is the fact that I wiped on that fight more then any other fight in the game, even more then the LK fight.  Her voice is so annoying.

I plan to run more raid there for people that want to get the achievement and I want to get the missing parts of the achievements I need done for the drake, before they remove it which you know they will.  Not that I want the drake, I think it is ugly and way to big.  I hate big mounts.  I want it because it is a mount and it helps my mount total.  I'm a collector, what can I say.

Next week I plan to set up an Ulduar raid for fun and achievements.  It is the only raid I've never finished and I would like to finish it but I am more into it for the achievements.  Looking at my breakdown on achievements I have most everything else I can get except for raid and PvP achievements.  Being a lot of the raid ones are easier now I want to try and grab them now and being I don't PvP as a Hunter because we still suck at it over all I do not see myself getting those achievements any time soon.

So for the time being Saturday nights will be achievement night for me and my guild.  Good thing for me that I have more then enough characters so that when I am done running on my main I can run on my others and still get something out of it.  I like the nights we do older content.  It is more of a fun attitude and less of a progression attitude. 

In progression it feels like I am always working.  Working on mechanics, working on learning the fight, working on teaching the fight, working on fitting as many raiders in as I can, working on letting people play the roles they want to play, working on keeping people motivated, working on moving things along, working working working.  Saturday nights are fun.  I prefer fun.  It is not that I do not like progression, I do, but we just do not have the people for it to be ahead of the curve and playing from behind when I know I am better then that is just frustrating as hell. 

Saturday nights have become about fun and it is the last bit of joy I seem to have in this game lately.  I think I will keep running those.  After all, we play a game to have fun.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

United Nations Infested with Bed Bugs

Well, not bed bugs but the title sounded better that way.  I am sure the guild achievement titled United Nations is bugged however.

Last night I got my 49th exalted reputation on my way toward getting to the new 50 achievement and went to look at the united nations figuring we had to be close to that one as well and to my surprise it shows we, as a guild, have 49 exalted reputations.

Being I have 49 exalted reputations I am going to assume that it is counting me correctly.  Now if we look at my other guild members that are at revered with the guild and compare their exalted reputations with mine we will see that there are plenty of reputations that I do not have that they do.

Going down the list in my group we have someone exalted with Oracle (I am Frenzyheart), we have someone exalted with Aldor (I am Scryer), we have someone exalted with Brood of Nozdormu, we have someone exalted with Stormpike Guard, and we have someone exalted with Wintersaber Trainers.

All these people are revered with the guild, all these factions I am not exalted with.  So my 49  plus those other five should have us at 54, only one away, which will be easy enough when when I start getting groups to run Black Temple, then 55 is a hop, skip and a jump away. (we do have someone exalted with them already, they are not revered however)

When I put in a ticket questioning it I was told it was working as intended.  So it is intended to only count whatever the one member of the guild has the most exalted reputations has?  How exactly is that a guild achievement if it is only going to count my reputations?  That means it is my achievement, not the guilds.  I am sorry to say but I do not think it is working as intended.

At least we know that the GMs are indeed working as intended.  They are supposed to give the wrong answer 80% of the time.  Do these people really get paid for doing this job so badly?  The only people that can be wrong more then blizzard GMs and keep their jobs are weather men.

It is bugged, I am sure of that, even if the GMs don't agree. 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

LFM - Any Raid - No Melee

The last few weeks we have had no luck what so ever raiding.  It doesn't help that we are still missing a healer and always have to drag along 2 undergeared healers instead of having one quality healer.  This of course translates into one less DPS.

Most of the time we are stuck with only one ranged class.  Not me of course, I am one of the undergeared healers.  Been running on my priest being we have a geared shaman and my shaman, while geared, brings nothing to the table whereas my priest, even if undergeared brings buffs and skills that have proven to be of good use.  At item level 330 I've outhealed the 3rd healer (usually a pug) every time, some fights I was even number one as Disc which is sad in its own.

I've noticed how far we go is directly connected to how many ranged classes we have.  The more ranged in the group the better the run goes.  The damage melee take has been insane and that is the reason we have no choice but to go with three healers.  If we could get all ranged then we could go with two healers no problem.

I've yet to play a melee character in this expansion in a raid but I am starting to wonder if it is my melee in my guild that is doing something wrong or is melee really that bad to be.  I know, from other experiences, that as ranged you see more of the screen and as such you react faster.  Melee can sometimes be harder to notice what is going on around you.

We are still trying to recruit another full time healer but I think I am going to put the press on recruiting more ranged as well.  We have enough warriors, DKs, enhancement shaman, feral kitties and rogues that I need to try and keep happy and keep rotating into raids but the last thing I need is more of the role, melee, that seem to be the one stumbling block in our progression.

Is it intended to be this way or has how the game is played changed so much for melee, as it did for every other role really.  I've seen melee lead the DPS charts before and never take much damage.  Now it seems those formally good players are dying within seconds of the pull nearly every pull and if they do not die I spend more time healing them then healing the tank and it makes me OOM fast.  This is even if I tell them the old mantra of count to five to stay alive.

I've had zero issues healing tanks in a 10 man.  Even as a priest in 330 gear I can keep 2 tanks up in a 10 man raid with little issue on some fights but when melee start taking massive damage every step of the way and the raid healers can not keep up and I need to throw some spot heals to save them it results in a wipe each and every time.

Would it just be easier to stop taking melee into raids at all until the healers are better geared or do I need to get on my melee more about taking avoidable damage.  From not having played a melee yet at raid level this expansion I do not know if it is really avoidable.

I am at a loss.  I can not see us advancing much further with a melee heavy group but I can't exactly go and tell people that are dedicated raiders, good raiders, prepared raiders, that they can't raid just because of what class they are.  What happened to bring the player and not the class.  Right now, I don't care how good you are, I do not want any more melee in my groups.  I am tried of wiping because they are demanding to much of the healers attention.

Bring the class, not the player. - Mantra of Cataclysm. 

Welcome back to BC, apparently you where not prepared.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Hunter Changes I Would Love

Over all I am somewhat comfortable with how Hunters are at the moment from a PvE standpoint.  They need a lot of help on the PvP end however.  There are a few small changes I think Hunters really need.  Most are not game breaking at all but they are things I would love to see.

Aspect Bar:
I wanted it for a long time and was excited to actually get it.  It needs a little fix however.  A DK does not need to reactivate his presence when he dies.  A Paladin does not need to reactivate his aura when he dies.  Why does a Hunter have to reactivate his aspect each time he dies?  Have our aspects stay through death.  It is not game changing and there is no reason it should not be that way.

Kill Shot:
Okay, it is focus free, I will consed that is the reason for the extremely sub par damage it does.  However, the damage it does is so extremely low compared to other shots that given the option it might be best to not even use it sometimes.  Surely not against trash that goes down fast.  Chimera, Explosive, Kill Command, Aimed Shot, all hit for much more then a kill shot.  Kill shot needs to be taken off the global cool down. 

Make it like Silencing Shot used to be.  You know how we had silencing shot macroed into everything so it would go off whenever it is available.  That is what kill shot should be like.  The small damage it gives would be the under 20% bonus Hunters get.  It would not be game breaking to have the extra bit of damage it gives.  If need be you can lower it even more and let us macro it.  It would be more useful that way.

They are making all these heroic fixes, most of which where completely unnecessary, yet our damage over time abilities still do not count as DoTs for the purpose of his paralyze.  I can't see how hard it would be to label a DoT as a DoT.  Whatever happened to bring the player and not the class.  People see a Hunter in their group for that boss and figure it will either be someone that runs in, lowering DPS, someone that eats the damage stressing the healer, or someone that has to carry something around something like sulfron slammer just for this one fight.

Aimed Shot:
2.4 seconds does not equal 2.9 seconds.  Either correct it in game to 2.4 or correct it on your patch notes to 2.9.  Keeping records correctly is really hard isn't it?

Cobra Shot/Steady Shot/Kill Shot:
These three shots change your direction while shooting them.  Stop with that crap.  I am sure you can fix it so they do not move you when they are fired.  When I am strafing I am strafing for a reason.  I do not want to turn to the mob.  If I wanted to turn to the mob I would turn to the mob.  Stop making decisions for me that I do not want made.

Give us our dodge back.  There was no reason to remove it and it can be a huge help for us in PvP and PvE.  I actually had a higher dodge rate then our druid tank in wrath.  That does not mean I was going to start tanking.  So it was not game breaking.  It was however a nice thing to have being I do not have much else in melee range to protect me.  Let me chill with my 60%+ dodge rate that might buy me a little time to get back to distance.

Fix them please.  Your stealth nerf was not wanted or needed.  I used to be able to drop an ice trap at my feet, readiness, shoot an ice trap at another mob and distracting shot one to me effectively trapping two mobs.  Now as soon as the the second gets trapped the first trap breaks.  This is not acceptable.  If we are capable of firing two ice traps then two things should be trapped in ice.  Simple really.

You had your fun, now give us our AoE back.  We do not need volley.  I know you are against that but you can easily update one trap and add another trap and they can be AoE traps.  Change snake trap to release the snakes as soon as it lands.  This effectively makes it an AoE.  Add another trap called shrapnel trap.  As soon as it lands it sends out shards of shrapnel in a 30 yard radius.  Even with both of those that would mean we still only have 2 AoE things we can use every 30 seconds each.  It is not over powered.  Again I will remind the stupid people that multi shot is not an AoE.  AoE stands for area of effect as in it effects an area, not a specific target.  Multi needs a target.  It is not an AoE.

None of these would destroy balance in any way, shape or form and it would only add a tiny bit to DPS if anything.

How about PvP?  Not exactly sure how we can fix that but all the above fixes would help some.  Being able to trap 2 people again would be nice.  Having an AoE to break other hunters from camo and rogues from stealth is nice.  Kill shot being off the global will mean a small but of end life burst and dodging a shot here and there would be huge for us. 

Other then that I can not think of anything specifically that would really help PvP except maybe change masters call to 20 seconds.  It is still a long time in the PvP world and it is not over powered in PvE.  Recently lowering it from 1 minute to 35 seconds felt great and I was probably one of the few people that was actually excited about that change being I use it.  Bringing it back up to 45 seconds seems like a slap in the face.

The only way to really balance hunters for PvP would be for the shots to be more powerful but then that would make hunters over powered big time in PvE.  I do have another option to make hunters more balanced in PvP without hurting PvE at all.

Have all shots refund 50% of their focus cost when they hit a player target, 100% if they cirt.  This would mean more focus, which means more instants, which in effect gives the hunter more DPS in a PvP environment.  This is how you can fix the DPS in PvP without hurting the PvE balance.  The refund would only happen then a player is hit with the ability.  Unless you plan on labeling mobs as players, there is no way this would ever effect PvE.  Nice simple fix, don't you think?

Monday, February 14, 2011

What is a Rotation and How to teach it.

What exactly constitutes a rotation?

Standard belief is something along the times of do A, do B, do C, do D, back to A and continue.

This is the standard of every class in the game some have more, some have less, but it is the basis of all classes.  Do not let anyone ever tell you otherwise.  All classes and roles have a standard rotation that everything else is built on.

As a raid leader I am often asked by people what they can do to get better.  I always start off by telling them a rotation and tell them to practice it.  Once they are fluid with that to the point where they do not even need to be looking at the screen or keys any more, they can be watching TV, having a conversation, clipping their toe nails one handed (which is a skill I assure you), then they are ready to move on.

That will not make for a good tank, healer or DPS however.  Why do I teach people like that?

Glad you asked because that brings us to the next phase of the learning.

How to teach it?

We laid the ground work for the player.  I tell them that 2, 3, 4 and 5 should be their 4 main abilities that they were practicing with.  They now know those as if they had been with them forever.

Going to use Survival as an example here.

2 - Explosive Shot
3 - Black Arror
4 - Cobra Shot
5 - Arcane Shot.

I had them completely ignore procs while learning the rotation.  By doing that they have now gotten it into their system where those 4 keys are and their respective place in their rotation.  Now I add a new tool to their arsenal.

1 - Serpent Sting
6 - Kill Shot

For most people the 1 and 6 are at the ends of their comfort zone.  Both these will be used each fight and only kill shot will ever be used more then once, assuming that serpent sting never needs to be reapplied.

Being these are situational you can not really train them on the dummy but being they are there you can now let them see them all the time and they can get used to them being there while they start to work on mechanics.

First part of breaking the rotation and turning it into priority, simple mechanics.

We start letting them use the Lock N Load now.  We do not let them get maximum DPS out of it yet however.  When LNL procs I tell them to do explosive, a cobra, an explosive a cobra and an explosive and then go back into their rotation as they practiced.

They will continue on the dummy until they can do a LNL without even thinking.  Their fingers will naturally flow to those numbers even if they do not think about it and are wondering when I was going to give them a bathroom break because they really needed to go.  Once they are more worried about going to the bathroom and not concentrating on the rotation but still doing it perfectly it is safe to assume they got it down and we can move along.

Now you start to teach them parameters.  You know the ifs and whens that all classes have.  If LNL procs and you are focus capped do not do cobra, do kill command.  But I do not have kill command on my bar.  Okay, put it there then, shift 5 please.

Why shift 5?  Listen and you will find out.  You are used to hitting 5 when you are full on focus for arcane right?  So that is part of your standard rotation.  All you learned is that then you have the focus and do not need cobra you fire Arcane, when you have the focus and do not need cobra and are also in LNL you do shift 5.  You are putting things in the position where you are most used to them being and they are being used under the most similar conditions, LNL being the exception here.

Now you have all the major parts of your rotation in quick and easy reach.  But what about Hunters Mark or misdirection or disengage, or deterrence, or multi shot... hold your horses, we are getting there.

All classes, specs, roles, have things they use based on situations or one time use things.  Those one time use things, like Hunters Mark can be handled one of two ways.  You can put it at the end of your binds, like the0, - or =.

The idea is that you slowly add things into your array of spells to use a little at a time to get used to them.  You develop up from your base rotation.  Adding some things here and there as you get comfortable with the things before it.

Remember that shift 3 and shift 4 are considered to be the most comfortable shift options.  Things you might use more then others are usually nice there.  I use shift 3 for my best AoE spell on all classes I play. Multi shot goes there in this example.

You can also bind to letters as time goes on and you add more things.  In fact, this will be required.  Things on 2 or 3 minute cool downs I suggest putting near your movement keys or even, shutters, just click them.  Watch me get flamed for that one, but in truth, everyone has some things they click and others (my healers) click for all their instants except it is clicking on healbot.  Same difference however.

So these are the basics of how to teach a rotation to someone that needs a little help with it.  It teaches them not only what to do, how to do it but also helps with people learning to key bind as well.

When teaching a class, or learning a new one yourself, remember, it is always better to break everything down to the basic rotation that everything else comes from, and then learn to add from there on.

All classes and roles have a basic rotation that you start with.
All classes and roles have situational needs.
All classes and roles have long cool downs.
All classes and roles have single target and AoE.
All classes and roles can be broken down to a simple do A, do B, do C, do D, go back to A approach.

The example above was the basics on how to teach a DPS class.  Teaching a tank class or healing class is a bit different in that you can not see your progress on a dummy, so use the dummies in randoms as your test subjects.  But please be past the simple A, B, C, D stage before you practice on random dummies, not even they deserve that.  Torture your guild mates with that version of learning.  Normals are a good place to start learning the tanking and healing version.

When you look at the game at this base level you will realize how incredibility easy it is for all classes in the game.  The only difference between players is how far each of us have progressed past the A, B, C, D stage, or for those really bad, the ones that have not even found the A, B, C, D stage yet.

Why I Love Being A Hunter & Haste Questions

I think I have come to a conclusion about one of the best parts of being a Hunter.  There are many reasons I love being a Hunter but this is one that never occurred to me until doing a run on my Shaman this weekend.

I queued up for a heroic on my Shaman as a DPS/Healer as normal.  I always get thrown in as a healer.  I can not even remember the last time I ran as Enhancement.  I had to remember how to play it again.  I was rusty of course but still managed to pull at least 8K on bosses, so I did my part.

While doing my Enhancement routine I remembered why I hated it sometimes.  What is with this waiting crap?  I hate not doing anything.  There are so many times where a whole comes up in my rotation where there is nothing to do.  Blah, boring.

Then I thought about my Rogue.  There is always something to do on my Rogue but there is rarely enough energy to do anything.  If I had a nickle for each time I was spamming keys and heard "not enough energy" I would be a billionaire.

Then running on my bear and screaming, to myself of course, hit me, hit me, I need rage, hit me.  There is nothing more frustrating then not having the ability to do anything at all.  Even more so when you are the tank.  Rage starvation is the worst aspect of this game as a whole.  If there was anything I hate more then the others that would be it.

All classes have limits.  Anyone with mana has a personal enrage timer of sorts.  Once they are out of mana they are basically useless.  Tanks it is more about aggro and damage control which means you have a tight leash on your taunts and butt saving abilities that you now need to wait for.  Kitties and Rogue have to listen to need more energy over and over all fight long and my Enhancement Shaman, who might as well not even have mana as I am never below 98%, have to wait all the time on things to do.

Since the change to focus, the addition of fox and now auto shot while moving Hunters improved on what was already the most active rotation in the game.  There is never a moment where you are not doing something.  You are never starved for resources.  The damage is always flowing.

This is something I always over looked with Hunters but is one of the things I love about them.  Maybe it was because I took it for granted but when playing on my Shaman the other day and waiting on things it reminded me how incredibly awesome Hunters are.  When it comes to playing the game Hunters have the most up time for play time.  There is never a moment where I am not doing something.  God how I love that.

This ability Hunters have to be perpetual motion machines, never stopping, it also why there are so many bad Hunters out there.  When you have nearly an endless array of things you can do at any given moment the possibly to make a mistake is a lot higher then if you are playing whack a mole. 

Getting into the steady/cobra over and over habit because you are not moving means you are over focus all the time meaning much less DPS.  I see this happen all the time to new hunters.  They forget to use focus because they are not moving so they do not use their instants.  Being everything is available all the time means you actually need to choose what to do.  That leaves a lot of room for mistakes whereas other classes just do what is up when it is up.  Less room for mistakes when you never have any options to begin with.

I love my pets, my personal tank, my ability to solo, my crowd control, my traps, slows, debuffs, tranqs, etc.  There are so many things to love about being a Hunter.  I can't believe I never noticed that the reason I love it more then anything else is that I can always do something.  I love always being able to do something.  It is exciting.

That brings me to a question about haste.

With auto shot firing while moving now that brings me to an interesting thought.  It is possible to ever get to the point in haste where you could become nearly 100% mobile?  Cobra and Steady change your direction to face the target so it will never be perfect until that is fixed but there might be a possible option to weave them in as best we can for limited time facing the target while moving with increased haste.

Being haste directly effects our auto shot (as well as lowering steady/cobra cast times) and we are not losing auto shots while moving now and auto shot is always one of our top damage dealers anyway, does this mean that haste has increased value now?  If so, by how much?

I would think, without any testing, that getting the steady/cobra down to 1 second cast time would now be something worth trying to attain, if it is even possible.  That would limit the amount of face time while shooting.  If only they fixed that bug where it makes you face the target, then it would not be as much of a concern for me.

I think haste means more now.  I can't wait to read what some of the theory crafters have to say about it.

Random Number:
10478 haste for 1 second Steady/Cobra shot as Survival.

Okay, not happening then.  It was nice to dream for a minute at least.

Making Money Is Easy While Leveling

I decided to play on my Mage yesterday, one of the characters I have yet to level through Cataclysm.  My Mage is an elixir master and herbalist.  My Alchemy was already maxed out because I had so many extra herbs from my Hunter leveling first that it was enough to max out my Scribe and my other Alchemist without ever leaving Stormwind.

I did nothing special at all.  Just leveled and picked herbs while I was doing my quests.  During that time I picked enough herbs to make roughly 100 flasks.  Each flask sells for between 120g (strength one) to 220g (intellect one).  The strength one was the one I made the most of, their herbs seem to be all over the place.  Either way, in about 6 hours of leveling I gained a level and a half and had to make trips back to Stormwind 4 times to empty my herb bag out.

Each time in Stormwind I would make what I could and list it on the market.  I made 3K nearly instantly.  Made another 5K when I checked before logging out.  Made another 3K this morning when I checked before heading to work.  All that and I still have about 40 flasks left.

That is 11K made selling flasks that I made from just picking herbs while leveling.  I did not even need to go out of my way for them.  No farming was involved.  Just picking them as I passed them and I would do that even if I were not making money.  Heck, it is great experience and they are materials I could use for myself.

It makes me wonder how people can get to level 85 and complain they are broke.  One person in my guild, with an 85, was telling someone else that they have never even seen 15K after they had bought a chopper for 15K gold.

Do people really neglect their professions that badly?  Admittedly the Alchemy/Herbalism combo right now is a powerful money maker but any profession can be a potential windfall of cash if done correctly.

I did some mail box cleaning this weekend and relisted all the unsold enchants I made while leveling my enchanter and that character made 2K just selling junk enchants made from leveling.  No quality enchants there.  Just junk.

A guild mate got one of those new meta gem patterns and gave it to me for free saying the guild would get use out of it instead of having to pay 500 per gem.  I told them when the time comes I will deck them out in gems for free as payment.  They are a part time player now, they don't like Cataclysm much so they only play once a week now, I can relate, it seems there are more and more of those types now.  People that where hardcore raiders that now barely ever play.

I made a whole mess of the strength meta gems and put them on the market.  Spent 2K on ores, prospected the ores, sent the gems to my transmute master, made the shadowspirit raws, cut them, sold 12 of the 18 I had already for 650 gold each.  Still have 6 more to sell and that is not to mention the extra uncommon gems I got and the 19 rare gems I got in the process, 5 of which here rubies, which are 120g each on my server.  So for 2K gold I spent I've already made over 7K from it and still have lots of materials left over.  It's not exactly rocket science is it?

Mind you, I do not make any effort to make money what so ever.  I am not into the money making game.  It is fun sometimes but it is rather boring and way to easy to find as fun most of the time.  Not to mention, I know when there is something I want to buy I can spend an hour bouncing through characters and using my professions to make as much money as I need in no time.

Getting another of those jewelcrafting recipes was my inspiration for leveling my Mage this weekend.  I was hoping for a drop so I could get the agility one that my hunter who so desperately needs.  See, for each and every gem I sell for 600g I would never pay that much for one myself.

Anyone that pays 600g for a gem is either buying gold from a gold seller or has no friends that can make it or is really impatient.  I make the strength gems for my guild mates now, no charge what so ever.  I would not pay 600g for a gem even if you offered to pay the 600g for me.  I consider it wasted money and I would not let you waste your money that way.  I'll wait until someone is advertising in trade that has it and tip them 50g to make it for me.  Hell, for a 50g tip I would have them make 30 for me and sell them for a massive profit.

Maybe that is why I always have so much gold.  I do not waste it and I look at everything as a chance to make money, not a chance to spell money.

Pro Tip:
Creating a new character?  Take herbalist and mining.  You can always switch your professions later.  Both herbalism and mining offer two things that will help you.  Experience and gold.  The money you will make off of them while leveling will easily pay to power level any profession you might want later when you reach max level and the experience is something you can not over looked.  One node offers at least equal to the amount you get from killing a mob.  So selling what you gather while leveling is like getting paid to level.  Can't beat that.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Trade Personalities.

It takes all kinds.  All servers have people that stand out.  The ones with the personalities that stand out, good or bad.  I tend to keep from talking in trade chat.  It is rare I say anything.  People that do ask questions, even legitimate ones, I feel bad for.  I answer them in whisper if I think the question is legitimate but never in trade.

Trade is where personalities are born.

I don't use ignore although I should.  I sometimes find reading trade to be very entertaining.  More then a few times I've even laughed so hard I had to stop to catch my breath.  Does that make me a bad person?

In all honestly the ones I find the funniest are the ones where the answer is so obvious but the person that asks it didn't notice they were asking a stupid question.

/2 What is the best healing spec for a holy paladin?

Come on now, just seeing 12 people type "holy" is a riot.  At least to me it is.

Trade Personalities.

360 Guy:
/2 Why do they call it an x-box 360?

You know that guy.  He is the troll that everyone knows is a troll and he knows that everyone knows he is a troll.  He is the one people ask to start trolling when there is nothing going on in trade.

/2  Hey, do the 360 thing.

He only does troll things that are so played out that everyone knows they are troll things.  He does not actually try to troll.  He actually takes pride in being a bad troll and it seems to work.  People never hate him for being a troll.  It is usually the only type of troll that is not actively hated.

Annoyance Factor:  3/10

Gear Score Guy:
/2 Can anyone tell me my gear score?

While this might seem like the type of guy looking to brag it isn't always that way.  Sometimes it is just someone that wants to know, as if gear score actually mattered to anyone with a brain.  They will ask it all the time.  The Gear Score Guy will ask it even if they did not change any gear thinking that just because it is a different day or it is raining today, that somehow their gear score might be different.

You will see gear score guys come and go and sometimes you might not notice them as gear score guys.  You only see them ask once or twice.  What you do not see is that they are on all the time when you aren't and they are asking.  Maybe if they ask in Ironforge their gear score will be higher.

Annoyance Factor: 1/10

LFG Gear Score Guy:
/2 6012 gear score looking for ICC

Used to see this one a lot, now it is the item level guy.  This guy knows his gear score and likes to share his gear score.  He knows it to the exact number.  Where most people would say 6K gear score when asked he has to say 6012.  Do not mess with his extra 12 or that makes you a tard that does not know how to play.  6012 is much better then 6000 you noob and you better remember that.

LFG GSG will make sure that everyone on the server knows his gear score because he will spam trade for hours on end.  I wonder if anyone ever invites him to join a raid because with the time he spends in trade I can't see how he has any time left to raid.  It is like he spams it even if he is not looking for a group just to let people know he has a 6K gear score.  Oh, sorry, 6012 gear score.

Annoyance Factor: 7/10

Mr. Rude:
/2 Your mom

That will be his answer to almost anything.  What is the hardest class to play, your mom.  What raid drops the best plate tanking pants, your mom.  What spec is good for a hunter leveling, your mom.  If your mom does not fit what he is answering he will say something else rude and fit your mom into it later.  He really loves your mom.

/2 It's because you touch yourself

How come my DPS is so low, because you touch yourself.  Why didn't we win TB, because you touch yourself.  When your mom does not fit well it must be because you touch yourself.

The first time you hear it or on odd occasions where it actually seems to fit in a funny sort of way Mr. Rude can be funny.  But when talking about there being 24 hours in a day, he is funny roughly one third of a second per day.

Annoyance Factor: 9/10

13 Year Old Girl:
/2 I haz a bunnah and a kittah, dey iz ssoooo cute.

Word to the wise, this person is not a 13 year old girl and most likely not even a girl.  No girls talk like that and if they do they are as stupid as this turd.  They talk about stupid stuff and barely fumble their way into spelling anything correctly.  Sometimes it could even bring on a headache trying to read whatever garbage they are trying to spew.

You would be better off gargling with shards of broken glass then to ever say anything in trade that might attract the attention of this, whatever it is.  The last thing you want is for it to start talking to you.  Even if you can make out what it is saying between all of the smiley faces, nothing they have to say is worth listening to or even humorous.

Annoyance Factor: 10/10

LFM Pure Awesome:
/2 12/12 HM Guild looking for ranged and healers. Must know HM better then your phone number.  Do not apply if you suck.
/2 LFM 25M xxx HM, need ranged and healers.  Don't suck.

Every server has guilds like this and their line for being good and sucking is basically drawn on their guild name.  If you are in their guild, you are great.  If you are not, you suck.  Ex members that leave are only gone because they are scrubs.  It never had anything to do with leaving because they did not like the attitude of the people in the guild of course.

God forbid you get lucky enough to get invited to one of their PuGs and do better than people in their guild.  The whole server will know what a shitty player you are the next day.  The fact that you basically schooled everyone in their guild about how to play the game means nothing.  You beat one of their own, that means you have to go down in flames.

The annoyance factor for these people really depends on you.  If you are smart enough to stay away from them then it is low.  If you make the mistake of running with them and do good, or apply to their guild and the class leader realizes you are better then him, then it is high.  If you coast and just do average, then you are average and they will leave you alone.

Annoyance Factor: 0/10-10/10 Depending on your involvement.

Guild Spammers:
/2 New guild recruiting.  We accept all levels, classes and roles.  We have repairs, tabard and are friendly.  etc.

You can go hours without seeing these generic messages and then you can go through a time where you can not read anything because the entire screen gets pushed up in seconds from these being posted every second.  Usually by the same guild over and over.  It is like there is someone on the other end of the computer pressing the recruit macro, counting to three, pressing again, counting to three, pressing again, over and over all day long thinking, oh, it has been 3 seconds maybe more people logged on, lets post it again.

God forbid there is another guild spammer or two on.  Then it is war.  You will never be able to see trade again until one of them gets called for dinner, has to go to bed, or falls asleep at the keyboard.  No guild spammer will ever let another guild spammer have the last word.

Annoyance Factor: 8/10

/2 I have a DK and they do not have a talent like that in frost.

It does not matter that they are on their Mage and no one on the server even knows what their DK's name is but they have a top level DK that has raided every top level raid in hard modes already.  Maybe even 2 different top level ones because they are just that good.  Oh yeah, and they also have a top level of every other class too, they are just not on this server.  They even have a mage that has cleared all hard modes already.  This mage is just not their main mage.

No matter the topic, spec, class, this person knows everything about everything.  No matter what you say you are wrong.  Always.  You can quote from EJ, Arena Junkies, every top notch site out there and even offer links, guess what, they are all wrong and so are you, because the Know-It-All has done it and they know better.  Ignore them and they are no bother really.

Annoyance Factor: 2/10

Bank Alt:
/2 "insert irrelevant babble about nothing here"

Everyone knows someone who always seems to be on their bank alt.  They never do anything, they never leave the city, they just talk about anything, all the time, and mostly about how awesome they are that they have that bank alt that makes them money.  Sometimes you never even know the main for that alt because they refuse to tell. They just always seem to be on their bank alt so you wonder how they have time for their main(s).

The bank alt is the little brother of the goblin.  The bank alt is more social and likes to talk all the time about anything.  The bank alt needs to be known otherwise what use would making all that money or controlling the gem market be.  They need people to know what they do.

Annoyance Factor: 4/10

The Goblin:
/2 WTB All Cards. 1K each.

The goblin is all about money.  Named for the Greedy Goblin and the goblin mentality as a whole.  Time is money.  Every time you offer to sell something in trade, they will offer to sell it 1g cheaper.  Every time you offer to buy something in trade they will offer to buy it 1g higher.  Usually when you see someone say something like, xxxx now in AH, they are a goblin letting people know they restocked new product or they are a want to be goblin.

Goblins will not talk much in trade but they will actually be the only ones that use trade for what it is meant to be used for, trading.  Amazing isn't it?  A desperate goblin can be spotted a mile away, if they post more then once per 5 minutes, they are a bad goblin and they are the only goblins that might make the annoyance list because they spam the same thing over and over.

Annoyance Factor: 1/10

Lazy Traveler:
/2 LF port to SW

Just looking for a port does not make someone a lazy traveler.  Posting it over and over every 3 seconds for 2 hours does.  You know you have seen the lazy traveler.  You log in, there is someone posting in trade.  LF port from Dal to SW.  You see it 15-20 more times before you leave to do your dallies.  You come back 45 minutes later and they are still spamming it.  You do your random and come out an hour and a half and they are still spamming it.  It makes you just want to yell at the screen.... "you could have walked backwards from Dal to SW 10 times over the last 2 hours you have been looking for a port".

These people are not only annoying because they are stupid, they are annoying because they have to post it every few seconds.  Depending on how long they wait their annoyance factor changes but knowing how long I have seen people wait, you know their factor will be high.  Why can't they just travel?

Annoyance Factor: 9/10

/2 Hey Everyone. (.>.>)

We all know Norm from Cheers right?  Everyone knew who Norm was.  Every server has a Norm or a few of them.  Usually it is a female and they use trade as if it was their guild chat.  When they log on they say hello to trade to let everyone know their are online.  God forbid someone missed knowing she was on, they might not be able to give her the attention that she so rightfully deserves.

Oddly, everyone on the server seems to like her even if she has the words attention whore tattooed all over her body.  She does not talk like the 13 year old, she never spams and while her conversation is conversation and something that should be in guild and not trade, she never goes over board.  Norm likes the attention a lot but Norm also knows how not to abuse it.  Unless you are a competing Norm then a Norm is mostly harmless but everyone will know your name.

Annoyance Factor: 1/10

The 4 Chans:
/2 Anal [spell or ability here]

These are not a rare species and they seem to have the ability to turn sometimes normal people into 4 Chans if they press enough.  They spam thunderfury, anal, Chuck Norris, you name it, jokes all day every day.  Some how in their demented brains this is funny.  Normal people have gotten caught up in it and continued with their jokes from time to time.  Sad to see people infected like that really.

When they are not spamming anal jokes they are turning anything everyone ever says into something sexual.  They are so sex starved that they think everything in the game is meant to be a reference to sex and/or violence.  Usually a young or out of touch with reality person, that is why they are 4 Chans, named for the commonly known infamous site where the dregs of the internet world like to dwell.  There are other sites like it but this one is where the ones that are not "cool" enough to go to the others go to and they think it is the cats meow.

Sad to say, but usually when something hilarious is said it is one of the 4 Chans that are the ones that spit it out.  As if they are sitting around waiting for the right moment to drop the perfect comedic response to something where it was not meant to be.  Sadly, their powers of humor usually go to waste because for every 10000 comments they make only one ever hits the level of even mildly humorous.

Annoyance Factor: 9/10

The PvPer:
/2 LFM [For the Alliance/Horde]

Contrary to popular belief these exist on PvP and PvE servers.  They just stand out more on the PvE servers.  They run PvP events every day of the week at all times.  There are usually a few well known PvPers that run these and they are really good at including everyone.  Even people that never PvP are welcome to come and they are usually glad to help people out.

The PvE server PvP people are usually a decent crew but they will spam for hours to make a raid on one city that will either be done in no time or break up after one wipe.  It is a hit or miss and in the world where people have characters on both sides this never goes well.  Being they advertise for hours trying to make a group there are people on the other side that know it is coming and it turns into a world PvP event instead of a for the whatever run.

Annoyance Factor: 2/10

The Troll:
/2 How do I get to Stormwind?

That is not a bad question from a level 13 night elf but from a level 85 human it usually means you have just met a troll or someone that bought an account.  Trolls on their own are not annoying, it is the people that fall for it that are annoying.

Sometimes it seems, when school is out it is more prevalent, that half the post in trade are troll posts.  Either people posting a troll post, accusing someone of a troll post, answering a troll post in a troll way or answering a troll post in a serious way.

The troll is the most famous of all trade personalities and without the troll some of the others would never exist.  The 13 Year Old Girl, the Norm, the Mr. Rude, the 4 Chans, they all came from troll roots either directly or indirectly.  Every one of us has a little bit of troll in us at some point and every one of us has contributed to troll clutter. 

How many of you answered the question "where do I get azeroth flying" right after Cataclysm came out?  We all did at some point.  You can be assured that many of the people asking where trolls.  That is what trolls do.  That makes you, me and everyone around us, part of the problem at some point in time.

The troll empire can never be defeated.  Because there are people out there that have simple questions with simple answers and just do not honestly know we will never be able to tell if someone is a troll or if someone isn't which means the trolls always win.  If it is a troll post and someone answers, they win, if it is real question and no one answers, they win.  So answer or not, they will always win sometimes.

Annoyance Factor: 10/10

I am sure if you think about it you will see that all of these personalities are on your server.  Heck, you might even be one of these personalities.  I know I try not to even use trade.  When I need to PuG a healer for one of my raids I do not even post in trade that I am looking for a healer most of the time unless I am in a rush.  I just read trade and wait for someone to post that they are a healer looking for a raid. Then I look them up and if I like them I whisper them. 

Trade scares me, it is like where the great unwashed of the world go to rub their stink off on other people.  I try my hardest to not let them skunk me up.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Not So Exalted.

With the recent changes to the reputation achievements I lost the title of "The Exalted".  My feelings are a bit torn by this.

I hate having lost the title.  I feel I earned it.  Back in LK, I did.  40 there was not as easy as 45 in Cata is but both where doable with a bit of time and effort.  Taking away something we already earned is something I can see being upset about.

Needing 50 will actually require some effort on the part of people going for it that never got it and taking it away from 40 and 45 is more fair to the people that now need to work harder for it.  Also, 50 means that you need to actually put some serious effort into getting it again.  This gives the title some respect again.  Not just another give away title like most of them seem to have become.

So where does that leave me?

I checked my achievements and see that the achievement for 50 says I am 45/45.  This has to be an error in display.  Give blizzard a year, maybe they will fix it.

To my knowledge I have 48 exalted reputations.  Looking at the statistics page it says I have 47.  Maybe they are not counting the ZG rep any more being ZG was removed?  Either way, that means I have 3 more to get now.  That should not be an issue.

My one issue is still the way rep is handled.  I have 2 exalted reps that they did not count and if anything bothers me it is that which really pisses me off.  I was Aldor and switched to Scryer, only one counts.  I was Oracle and switched to Frenzyheart, only one counts.  This means I should be at 50 already.  But with those 2 not counting and the 1 missing rep I sit at 47.

I am not complaining at all.  I know, different for me right?  The reason I am not complaining is that this is a god send for someone like me that was looking for something to do.  I have to grind three more reps.

Not like it is going to be a grind at all.  I can get Violet Eye and Sands both in one more raid run.  I can solo both.  So it is just a matter of doing it some day. 

The third missing rep is something I can do that I have been putting off but now that I have a reason to grind it I will.  That is the Wintersaber Trainers.  I never wanted to do it because the drop rate on meat and spawn rate on the shaman was horrid.  Now that the drop rate is 100% and the spawn rate is faster and we can fly, it is just a matter of putting in some time doing it.

With a port almost directly there (hyjal) I can go there every day and knock out a few quests while waiting for my heroic or while waiting for our raid to start.  I can do a little here and there and I like that.  It gives me something to do.

I will finish that one last of course as the other two will be nice and easy to knock out.  The best part is, as a treat to myself, when I knock them out and get my new 50 achievement and my exalted title back I get to buy myself a cool looking mount.   Nice little treat for me.

I can see why everyone is complaining.  Having something taken away from you, easy or hard to get does not matter, is just flat our wrong.  It is another case of Blizzard making the wrong choice.  That should not surprise people, given two option the only sure thing in this game is that Blizzard will always choose the wrong one.  However, this wrong choice, for me, turns out to be a good thing.  It gives me something I have been lacking in this game for a while already.  It gives me something to do. 

Thanks for making the wrong choice Blizzard and I do not mean that with any note of sarcasm, I actually mean thank you. I am probably part of the 1% of the game population that likes this decision and it seems that everything you do lately is to try and appease 1% of the population.  It feels nice to be one of the 1% for once instead of one of the 99% that get the shaft.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Character Personalities.

I have 5 RP characters at the moment but those are not the ones I am talking about.  My main 10, as I call them, reside on a PvE server.  They are not RP characters and I never RP with them yet they all have personalities.  These are not things I designed or felt from the get go.  All my main 10 developed their own personalities.

This is my main and as such I've played him the most. His personality is that of someone who prefers to be alone with the exception of his pets.  He does not really trust anyone and feels as if he needs to make sure to take care of himself at all times even if there are others to help him.  He does not hold any animosity against people, he just does not feel that interaction with them is a required necessity.  Other people are a means to an end to him.  This might sometimes make him come off as cold however he is anything but cold.  He gets happy over the smallest things sometimes but no one will ever see that part of him.  To everyone, his is a calculating weapon of destruction with no emotion. To his pets, he is a fun companion that shows them love and knows how to have a good time and a few laughs.

He is a playboy through and through.  He likes to charm the ladies and joke around.  He is the type of the person that is often called the life of the party.  If he is not there, then the party has not really started.  Once I changed him to a Worgen this feeling about my Rogue increased more.  He seems even more comfortable being the playboy now as if he was waiting his entire existence for this race change.  In battle he is just the same way.  His kicks are not so much to interrupt, they are as if he is playing a joke, ha ha, I got you, silly human trying to cast a spell.

Death Knight:
She doesn't talk because she has nothing to say.  If and when she does talk you better be listening.  When she talks it is only because there is something that needs to be said.  Don't ever count on her for idle banter, its not happening.  She lives life as if there was some purpose to it but she does not know what it is yet.  She takes every task as it is an insult to her but she does it anyway with ruthless efficiency.  Time spent not killing is time wasted.  Wasted time will not help her figure out what her purpose is.  She hates everyone around her, not just dislikes, hates.

She lives the life of why me.  She does what she needs to do but never wants to do it.  Healer dies, she heals, why me.  Tank dies, she tanks, why me.  DPS dies, she steps it up, why me.  She really doesn't want any part of any of this.  She just gets thrown into it and does her best to do what she can.  Everything she does she asks why she needs to be bothered with this.  He entire reason for being is always in question, at least from herself.  Other people like her and she comes off as a nice person only because she fakes it well but deep inside she is hurting, always.  If I have any character I could see committing suicide then my Paladin is it.  She seems to actively hate her life.

She loves to do what she does.  She was born a healer and feels that every step of her life is righteous. She can find success in even failure because she always has a positive attitude.  She has a smile that could light up a room from a mile away.  She does have one fault however, she can be quite flighty at times.  She could be in the middle of doing something and then wonder, what was I doing?  She will go out of her way for anyone doing everything she can to help them and she never asks for a thank you.  Knowing she did what she could do will always be enough to keep her going.  She is probably the most happy person being who she is out of any of my characters.

She seems to be someone that is comfortable in her skin as long as her skin is that of a bear or a bird.  She embraces nature as a good druid should and she really loves to explore.  To her, battle is just a bump in the road on the way to seeing something new and that is what she is always looking for, something new.  She is a drifter by heart.  No real home and no real need for one.  As long as there is a destination in mind then wherever she travels is her home.  She loves to be with other people as well and will often go out of her way to try to convince people to see new places with her.  Her desire for travel is also a reason why if anyone needed assistance somewhere in the world she would be the first one to help.  Not really because she wants to help but she wants to see where the person is.

He is a funny one, no really.  He lives to be silly or as some might call it, stupid.  If you say, whatever you do, do not push that button, you can be completely sure he is going to push it in the next 2.3 seconds.  If you are crossing a thin bridge, he will be the one that falls off.  He gets easily distracted by anything shiny.  If a firefly flies by in the middle of a fight you will be finishing off that fight without him because he can not resist going after the cute shiny thing.  The thing is, is a tactical genius. He always knows everything about everything.  The hard part is keeping him interested in one thing long enough for him to finish explaining it.  Some people might think he is silly on purpose but that is as far from the truth as it could be.  He is just naturally like that.

His minions are his servants, as well they should be.  Unlike most warlocks however he never gets attached to them.  They are there to do his bidding and he controls them with an iron fist.  There might be nothing wrong with that if it were not for the fact that he considers everyone around him to be one of his minions as well.  He will be the first to tell you what to do and the first to say screw you and leave if you don't.  He is the boss, there is nothing else too it.  If you do not like it, go screw yourself.  No one really likes him and he is fine with it that way, he doesn't like them either.

He might be a bit of a masochist.  While most people like to take their time with things he loves to rush in.  In battle, the more people beating on him the better.  If he is not getting hit then he is doing something wrong.  He likes the pain.  There is no planning with him.  Big baddie needs to die, what are we talking about, lets get to killing.  When alone he will always push himself to the limits and often finds himself picking dirt out of his teeth because he tried to handle more then he could but that never stops him.  He runs right back in.  When with others he has to take all the abuse and anyone else taking any is stealing his fun.  He yells MINE! when he taunts a creature off someone else because if anyone is getting any pain it should be him.  He has some serious issues.

She is the exact opposite of the paladin.  Where the paladin is always, why me, she is always, why not me.  She wants to do everything and goes out of her way to try and do everything to the point of extreme self sacrifice.  She gives 110% all the time and will do anything for any one, all they need to do is ask.  Even if they do not ask, if she sees that she is in a position to help someone else she will do it.  She will always give something to someone that needs it even if she needed it more herself.  Sometimes I have to think she gives way to much of herself.  If you where to ask he she would say she doesn't give enough.

I did not try to build these characters these personalities, they just developed that way on their own.  I can't say why or how or when it started to appear to me but to me it is clear that while I play them all, they are all their own person.  In a strange sort of way, that makes playing them a bit more fun then if they where just a collection of pixels doing what I said and being my personality.  I like they they are themselves.

I wonder if anyone else has had a character develop a personality of their own or if I am the only weirdo.

Strange Events on the AH

There are some standard ways of making money.  They are tried and true.  No matter what is hot and what is not there are always some ways to make cash.

Jewelcrafting is one of those no brainers.  Buy gems, cut them, list them, count gold.

I call jewelcrafting a license to print money. Having a JC is one of those reasons I never got into the making money game as a full time thing.  When I needed money I would pop on my JC and the next day I would have gold overflowing in my mailbox.  It takes no skill to make money, just some time investment and a tiny bit of knowledge.

Making flasks and potions and transmutes where always like that as well.  Not as high of a profit margin as JC but you buy the mats, make, list, collect gold.

There are many things like that.  It basically comes down to you taking 3 seconds out of your life to make something and that is what you are getting paid for.

Something odd has been going on with the auction market lately however on my server and I must say I am a bit baffled as to why it is happening.  Everything is backwards.

I routinely would buy ore on the market for when I needed gems and I would prospect the ore.  I don't really waste time farming unless I am bored or waiting on something on one of my miners.  Whenever I need some gems because I am running low I buy about 4K worth of ore and prospect.

When all is said and done I end up with a ton of uncommons, a whole mess of rares and I head back to the market. 

The gems that are used for a JC daily I never list unless it is that dailies day.  For example, jasper on my server normally sells for 12g.  On the day the JC daily needs it I would get 75g each.  It is just a matter of not being stupid selling it on off days. 

Either way, the point is, I list all the uncommons that are not JC daily required and I do not need for my prisms, uncut of course, they sell for more then cut.  That is normal, those cuts are usually people just leveling so they are dumped really cheap.  I cut some of rares into popular gems and list them and keep the rest of the rares for making gems for myself and my guild and the next morning I come on to roughly 8K in my mailbox and a whole mess a gems still left over for my own personal use.  I get material I need for dailies and gems for my characters and make a little profit along the way.  That has always been what I did.  Can't beat that with a stick. Double your money and get all the gems you will ever need.

I can't seem to do that now.  The price of ore on the market is almost as high as it was the week the game came out when every one was price fixing.

It was timeless nightstone day and I was running a bit low on nightstone so it was time for me to do my little buy, prospect, process, sell routine to restock my gems.  The same thing I always do except I can't do it now, at least not like I had been doing.

The price of ore is 95g-120g per stack.  I was paying 30g-40g a stack last time I did it.  Why the heck has the price gone up?  It does not do that.  This is the first time I have seen this trend on my server.  Sure, I see it go to 50g-60g sometimes, but not this high.  Not triple it's normal price.

The price of common gems on the market, like nightstone for example is up to 120g.
The price of rares is higher for the uncut then for the cuts now too.

While I have seen that before I can't see why it would be like that now at this stage in the game.  Usually that is something you see after every person has every pattern and price cutting is running rampant.

I could easily buy stacks for 95g-120g and still make a hefty profit but I am not taking that risk until I can see if this high price jump is going to stay for a while.  The last thing anyone wants to do it buy a ton and lose money because the price has gone back up.  It has only been like this for about 4 or 5 days.  If it continues I might just go with the flow.

It is not only jewelcrafting.  Making flasks is a loss unless you get lucky enough to proc a flask.  The herbs needed to make a flask cost twice as much as the flask sells for.  I would normally buy tons of herbs, make tons of flasks, come back and collect my gold later and it was always at least double the cash spent.  Now if I make a flask I am losing money and even with a proc I am only breaking even.

For the first time in a very long time I am noticing that farming is actually starting to be a good idea again.  Not to farm to make the items but to farm to sell raws.

Everything on the market does not make sense.  It was fun before the darkmoon fair started you could buy all the cards for 1200-2000 each and assemble the sets yourself. The sets sell for 30K on my server.  You do the math, at most it costs you 16K to buy and assemble to sell for 30K.  Not a bad deal right?  However, things change when the fair is around right.  Always has.  Usually the cards go up and the decks come down.  It changed for sure.  The cards have gone DOWN in price and the assembled decks have gone UP.  Excuse me?  What weird world did I wake up in?

My server has gone insane.  Nothing is making sense any more.  Strange times indeed.  I guess if I want more nightstone I will pay the higher prices or farm it myself.  Might as well farm and sell now while the price is high.  I can't see it staying like this. 

Are there really no farmers out there?

I mentioned this odd occurrence to a guild mate the other day and he decided to take advantage of it.  He was spamming heroics on his new 85 that happened to be a herbalist and decided to put his time to good use.  While waiting in the queue he farmed. 

He told me after doing 5 heroics and farming for the time waiting in between them he made 10K gold.  He had never been over 10K gold before and thanked me for mentioning it to him. 

If you do the math on that, 45 minutes wait time, times 5, that means in 3 hours and 45 minutes he make 10K gold just picking herbs.  That is quite impressive if you ask me.  Gathering has never been at such a large profit per time investment ever that I can recall. Usually if you could make 600g-800g per hour farming it was usually a lot. (with exception of the first week where you could have made 50K per hour farming thanks to broken respawn timers.)

Take advantage of it if you can too.  Who knows, maybe your server has entered the twilight zone too.

I'm going to be keeping a close eye on the market for the next few days.  I might even take a chance and spend a little on 95g-120g stacks just to see what happens.  I'll invest small in case the server go back to normal.  I just do not understand why it is like this.  It makes no sense at all.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Removing the RNG

I was reading a post about someone venting about the random number generator and I felt their pain.  I have been a victim of it many times from bad rolls and losing out on gear to never getting the baron mount, the bloated fish, the last 2 rares I need from archaeology, you name it. My RNG sympathy goes out to them.

I must say however that for as much hate as I have for the RNG I like it just the same.  I would not still be fishing for that fish if I got it on my first attempt would I?  It would surely not be an achievement if everything was easy to get. I like working for my achievement.  That is why my title will change to Professor once I get those last 2 rares.  That took a lot of time to get.  That title was earned by doing the grind.

There are different types of grinds.  Ones you grind for something, and ones you grind hoping for something.  I did the rep grind for mounts or pets from faction vendors.  I did the RNG grind for mounts from bosses.  One is a sure thing, the other is not.

Take the fox pet from TB.  I told a guild mate I was killing foxes and he asked me why I was doing that.  I said, they drop a pet I want.  He said, cool.  Next day I log in and he tells me he got the pet.  I ask him how many he killed.  He said, just one.  He entered TB, killed the one fox that hangs out right by the gate there and it dropped the pet fox.  Lucky mofo.  I've killed at least 200 foxes so far trying to get that thing.

At what point does grinding against the RNG move from being a grind to being annoying?  That differs from person to person and on the situation.  If the grind is fun or has something else that you need as well then it is not as stressful.  If the grind is hard and there is no reward except for finally getting what you are going for then it is not fun when you are doing it for the hundredth time.

That type of grind gave me an idea on how they could remove the RNG grind from the game and make it a little more inclusive for the player base while still requiring a butt load of grinding.  It would be something like the guild achievements and the guild store but it would be for personal achievements with a personal store.

We have things that keep track of everything we do.  Why not add a little bit to that data collection and make everything punchable like they do with guild achievements.  This removes the RNG completely.  Like for the guild achievements you need to kill 50,000 critters to be allowed to buy the pet.  Why not add something like that to all players on a personal level.

I can just imagine guild chat going like this.

Me: I'm going to UP to do a mount run, anyone want to come.
Druid: Sure, I'll come, only need 47 more runs.
Priest: I need 6 more, sure, I'll come.

How it is now.

Me: Blah, another UP run and no mount.

See the difference?  If it is a drop, I do it alone.  It is easy to solo by any class now.  Hell, it was easy to solo for many classes at 80.  If it drops there is no way in hell I am going to have someone with me that I have to roll against when I can solo it.  It is hard enough to get it to drop as is.  I've personally never seen it drop.  Most people I know haven't. Why would I ever go with someone else that is going to roll against me if I do not need the help?

Making it as a set amount of runs would allow people to buy it from the personal store would create more community connections.  People would be more willing to go as a group because they do not have to take the chance at rolling against someone.

Even at 85 is it hard to get people to do an OS 3D for the drake.  I never got lucky enough to win it even if I did it numerous times.  Now I most likely never will until I can solo OS 3D and I do not ever see that happening.  If you had to do it 10 (25) times and be allowed to buy it I would bet you that I could fill a group each week with people that would do it being they knew they were one closer to buying it instead of one out of 10 (25) that would have a chance at winning it.

Removing the RNG, at least for some things like that, would make the game more enjoyable for many.  It would create more community.  I would be able to get people actually willing to do Tempest Keep.  You know what I mean.

For the things they still want to be super rare they can make them just that, super rare.  You do not want everyone having the mount from MgT, make it that you have to run it 300 times to be able to buy it.  Who is really going to run that thing every day for nearly a year... I mean... besides me.

It makes some RNG grinds an effort of time and not an example of luck.  I, for one, would welcome a change like this.

A Personal Side of Grumpy

I had someone ask me how I've already finished everything (the time wasting solo stuff that is) in the expansion already and why I am bored so soon and I explained it is because I play a lot.  Not much by some standards but a hell of a lot by others.  On a standard night I play around 3-4 hours.  Personally I do not consider that a lot yet I can understand how to others it sure is.

I also have a lot of free time at work that I spend reading sites and blogs.  In that time I decide what I am going to do and the most effective way to do it.  That makes getting all the things done in game that can be done solo a lot easier for me.  So my 4 hours will go much further than another persons 4 hours because I plan my time out ahead of time to get the most out of it.

Removed Long Post

I had wrote this long post about the role WoW filled in my life when I started playing it and the reason I still play even though I am bored with it.  After thinking about it I figured that it can really be summed up a lot faster then some long post and get back to answering the question sooner.

I used to be a drinker, you know the 7 day a week type.  I quit drinking and a few months later started playing WoW.  WoW just became my new addiction.  So instead of spending 4 hours a night at the bar I spend it playing WoW. 

Over all, I think I can say I traded up.  I save 100 bucks a night I would spend at the bar.  My relationship has gotten a lot better since I am not drinking all the time.  My health has gotten better from not drinking.  No more hangovers.  Etc.  So all things being equal, WoW being my new addiction was a huge positive for me.  I wonder how many people can actually say that?

Why do I bring that up?  Well, it is because my addictive personally is probably the reason I do all the solo achievements in the most time efficient manner as soon as I am capable of doing them.  I do them because I need to do them, my addiction feeds that thought to me in my subconscious. 

It is a character flaw perhaps.  Some people might call it a strength and label it dedication toward a goal.  I do not read that much into it.  I just think about it as I want to do something and I hate wasting time.  Either way, it is that addictive personality that is why I am basically done with the solo stuff already and have been for about a month.

Maybe that explains why I get bored so easily.  Either way, it was a little about me, the person behind the grumpy elf.  Might explain why I am grumpy too.  I get grumpy when I feel as if I am wasting time that could be put to better use allotted elsewhere.

Who am I kidding.  I just like being grumpy.  It is a lot more fun to complain about things.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Increasing VP for Tanks and Healer?

I read the forums a lot and there are always many different people coming up with ideas to fix the problem with the queue time that DPS needs to waste waiting for a dungeon.  Most suggest increasing what tanks and healers get so they want to do it more.  Some suggest making tanking or healing easier.  I like neither of them.

I am one of those DPS.  I wait for what seems like hours on end just to get my VP.  40 minute wait to get stuck with some tank that thinks he is the cats meow and refuses to pull because the healer does not have enough mana only to have him tell me that I will wait and like it.  So I leave and enter another 40 minute wait for another dungeon.  I walk in on the first boss of Shadowfang and wait for roughly 20 minutes before they pull because the tank and the DK are discussing interrupt duty.

When we go, we wipe, wipe, wipe and wipe again before I switch to MM and interrupt the stuff myself because they are both to freaking stupid to do it.  Either way, the dungeon takes nearly 2 hours.  All together my time invested to get my valor points for the day should be taken into consideration. 

This is why I do no think tanks and healers should get more VP to entice them to queue up to make life easier on DPS.  I think DPS should get more VP so they do not need to queue up as often.

Just using the example above I ended up wasting about 4 hours for my daily 70 VP.  This is unacceptable by any standards.

Lets use some bullshit numbers for the sake of making the math so easy an Orc can do it.

Lets call the average dungeon run 1 hour and 10 minutes long for any decent group.  That means 70 minutes. 
70 Valor Point = 70 Minutes = 1 point per minute.

See, I think I made that really easy right?

Now a tank has an instant queue so the 1 hour and 10 minute run nets him 70 VP because he/she invested 70 minutes from the moment the entered the queue to the time the dungeon is finished.

A healer has a 5 minute wait and the dungeon took 1 hour and 10 minutes, their time invested in 75 minutes so they get 75 VP.

The DPS waited 45 minutes for the 1 hour and 10 minute run so they get 115 VP for their time invested.

See, DPS should be the one getting more VP, not the tank and the healers, the DPS invested more time and should be awarded accordingly for their investment.

This helps even more because as DPS are getting more points it means they will get everything they need quicker and will gladly skip doing the daily dungeon if they do not need the points any more making that less DPS in the queue.  In turn this will shorten the queue for DPS later on because there will be less DPS in the system.

They need to up the reward for the DPS and never consider making a bonus for the tanks and healers.  The tanks and healers already have their bonus, 0-5 minute wait times, they do not need anything else.

Would this be abused?  Hell yeah, I would go with a guild group, clear to the last boss and then just hang out in the dungeon until someone needs to go or the raid time is coming up.  We can sit there for 3 hours and then do the last boss and get 180 VP for the run.  That is why a cap would need to be put on it. 

I think a 150 VP cap would be fair.  That is roughly two and a half hours not including wait time.  Most groups, even with some wipes and learning the fights, should be able to down a dungeon within two and a half hours max.  So that seems reasonable.

This would also solve the problem with tanks instance fishing.  If you are not aware of what instance fishing is, it is the act of entering the queue and only joining if the dungeon is already in progress in an effort to get in on the last boss to make their run even shorter.  Now the tank would have a nice quick 5 minute run, but it would result in the tank only getting 5 VP for the day as that is their daily run.

Okay, this brings up another problem.  What if the previous tank DCed or gave up.  No tank would join being they do not want to get only 5 VP for their daily.  So we would need to put a minimum on it as well.

50 VP minimum seems fair.  I would easily take 50 instead of 70 if my runs where always 5 minutes as a DPS, tank or healer.  I am sure others would feel that way as well.

This is what Blizzard needs to do to fix the LFD system.  Give the DPS a bonus as a thank you for putting up with the long times and dealing with the prima donna tanks and healers that all seem to think they are gods gift.

Remember, giving the DPS more VP is a good thing.  It will remove them from doing the daily faster which means faster queue times for everyone and everyone getting gear faster.  Tanks and healers will still be getting what they get so their numbers will not change but the DPS numbers will start to drop, drastically, making it better for everyone.

There is another option to this which someone mentioned and I both like it and hate it.  Being I can not make up my mind I will mention it. 

Just make the random give 70 VP all the time. 

So when you do get a guild tank to help you, or rent a tank, you can power up your VP in one day and get everything you want.  While I like that in a way, because I would have had all 359 gear the second day of Cataclysms release, I dislike it because it trivializes there being a daily heroic.

Either way, I do agree that something needs to be done.

One of the biggest reasons I am looking to switch to a new game is the wait time.  I am sick of it and it is not like there is anything else in the game to do while waiting for it.  Rep came to quick and easy, so no rep to farm.  Money seems to grow on trees this expansion so playing the AH is boring as sin. Digging is fun being I still have one last achievement to get from there but after digging up nearly 2000 sites and still sitting at 18/20 rares I am about as sick of that as I can be.  The fishing achievement is in the same boat.  I am so sick of fishing and never catching what I am looking for. 

So there is nothing to do while waiting for my dungeon.  This means waiting around doing nothing.  This means I am bored and being bored is not how you keep people addicted to a game.  When people get bored of a game they will move along to something else that stimulates their mind. 

I liked WoW because of the feeling there is always something to do.  It does not have that feeling any more.  The only thing WoW has to do now is sit around waiting.  Waiting for my dungeon to pop.  Waiting for guildies to come online.  Waiting for raid time.  Waiting for something to do.

At the very least Blizzard.  Once I queue up on my hunter, let me switch characters so I can do something on one of my other characters that are not left with nothing to do in the game and when my dungeon pops, just switch me back over when it is accept.

Now that is another idea right there.  Would give me something to do with those 45 minutes instead of wasting time.  I am not fond of wasting time.

My First Take On RIft

I downloaded the beta for Rift this weekend and played for about 2 hours.  I know it is not enough to get deep into the game or understand everything off the bat but I wanted to take a look at it.

As a Hunter that meant I rolled a Rogue.  The way the skill trees are is such that you can do three different things in your talent arrangement.  As a Rogue that wanted to be a Hunter I ended up picking Ranger first, Marksman second and Saboteur third.

The Ranger seems to be the closest to the Hunter we all know and love in WoW.  The Marksman is more powerful ranged attacks.  The Saboteur is a trap master.  So basically I am developing just like WoW.  Beatmaster=Ranger Marksman=Marksman and Saboteur=Survival.

Okay, so I lack a certain creativity.  There are other Rogue options I could have went for but being I am just testing it out I might as well test it out with something I am comfortable with and comfortable is surely the word for it.

How it works is you have your standard shots just like in WoW.  Even one that screams steady shot when you fire it, down to the cast time bar and everything.  The one big difference is that Hunters here seem to use Rogue combo points.  Kind of fun when you build a 5 stack of combo points and fire a head shot.  I have already gotten into the habit of saying "Boom Headshot!" every time I fire it.  Silly I know, but I was having fun with it and isn't the reason we play games to have fun?

I like the feel of it but there is no reason I shouldn't.  I've been playing this game for years even if it is just coming out now.

Rift is WoW.  No if's and's or but's about it.  The interface is almost identical.  Even my pet, which we start with, has the same pet controls.  Control 1 attacks, just like the default in WoW does.  The game has a WoW feel to it.  It could easily be considered a WoW expansion from what I have seen so far.  A WoW expansion with much better graphics.

I like it so far even if I have not seen much of it yet.  I am still finding my way through it as there are enough small changes here and there, like the talent trees, to make it different from WoW yet enough things that are similar to make it feel comfortable to play the second you start playing it.

This Beta is over and I will try more in the next one but the game seemed clean thus far from what I saw.  There were no bugs that I had come across while making my way to level 6 and playing for about 2 hours, better then I can say for WoW.  I encountered at least 5 bugs within the first 2 hours of Cataclysm after release. 

Perhaps the fresh entry into the game market trying to make it's way into the overcrowded MMORPG landscape might be a good thing.  WoW seems to have settled neatly into it's "we are the best" attitude that they do not try any more.  That is most likely the reason for how bad Cataclysm is over all.  Blizzard has become complaisant, they do not think they need to work at making the game great any more.

For WoW as a whole this game could prove an issue in time if it keeps up the good work it has started.  It's comfortable feel and similarities to WoW will be the biggest draw of people that are upset with how Cataclysm is, which is almost everyone in one way or another really. 

I do not plan the quit WoW for it, at least not with the small amount of it I have seen, but I can see how this game could easily fit any WoW refugees in perfectly.  Almost as if it were designed just to do that only. 

If only as a matter of good timing, this game will come out at a time where WoW is reeling from a backlash from the player base because the player base finally called them out for giving us a shit product.  I am sure it was not planned that way, no one could have expected Cataclysm to be this lackluster and boring but now this game will give people another option just when the needed it most.

From the little bit I have played of it so far it is fair to say I will buy it and I will play it but I will do so hoping that WoW can get their act straight.   All things being equal, I like WoW and as surprising as it might sound, I like the somewhat cartoonish look of things on WoW sometimes.  The graphics of Rift are awesome but for me at least, as a true RPG fan from back in the day, execution and story trump graphics any day of the week.

If I had to give it a rating on a scale of 1-10 based only on what I saw I would give rift a 7.5 right now.  I have not seen dungeons, PvP, crafting, deep into talents, etc, so it is a bit early to say over all but 7.5 for me means it is defiantly worth looking into more.

Reasons for losing the 2.5 for me are it seems to be another game that does not understand there are color blind people out there.  Having mobs the same color as the trees makes a game a bit annoying sometimes and even got me killed once.  The game loses 1 point for that.  The other 3 half points are lost for 1) design that seems to assume you play wow so it leaves some things unexplained being they are the same, 2) the graphics, while great, seem to draw a lot, which could lower the possible users for the game, meaning some of my friends could never play it with me unless they bought a new computer just for the game, 3) no hearthstone, at least not yet.  Okay, I got spoiled from wow but say I am out in the world and have to go, I do not want to log out in the middle of the forest.  I am sure I overlooked something there but if I did not, it loses half a point for that as well.