Thursday, August 28, 2008

Battlegrounding for Peace

You do it your way, I'll do it mine.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Thanks, Pugnacious!

I just found this post by Pugnacious Priest on how to make a website banner. I've been using simple photo-editing and Powerpoint, myself, doesn't this look like it's tons easier? Yah, stay tuned for the new Melted Faces banner, coming your way.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Ultimate Class Balancing: by D

So when the Beta key was graciously extended our way, D graced my account with it. Amazingly sweet, huh? In turn, I've tried to keep him up-to-date on the changes that Wrath is bringing. He was a bit rocked by the "Spell Power" combination of +damage & +healing, but Blizzard's treatment of downranking spells just sent him over the edge.

Downranking: used by casters and healers. Casters may use a low-level rank of a spell for its primary effect, saving a great deal of mana. Ex: PvP Mage casts Arcane Explosion to draw a Rogue out of stealth. Healers may use lower-level ranks of healing spells, combined with a high +Heal stat, to achieve the same amount of healing for considerably less mana.

Did I ever mention that D had a Resto Shaman? Who raided pre-BC? You can imagine what this piece of information did to him.

D: That's it - I've solved it. There will be no more "unintended strategies" used. All stats will be combined into one - called 'Leetness.'

(This is where I started to giggle.)

D: And all classes will have only one spell - called 'Leetness.' "I'm going to cast 'Leetness' on the mob." "Oh, your health is low - I'll grant you some 'Leetness.' " "Wait - everyone 'Leet' up for this next pull."

(I'm now laughing uncontrollably.)

D: No more bitching about class balance. No more "That's Druid gear," or "look, a Priest ring." We'll just sit here and wait for Blizzard to tell us the only approved way to play, and not try to be creative.

All I know is that they had better come up with some way to improve mana efficiency, regeneration, and pool-size - or I'm going to be consoling one VERY perturbed Resto Shammy.

Friday, August 15, 2008

LF Priest Alt - PST!!

I took some inspiration from WoW Insider blogger Natalie Mootz for today's post; on Blood Pact, Natalie give some wonderful advice on transitioning from one's main class to playing a Warlock. One of our best friends and guildies recently started a Priest from a career of Rogues, and although she's going for more of an "lolsmite" spec, it's still been interesting to watch the transformation.

So - are you thinking of starting a Priest? Long considered the "pure healer" class, Priests are really coming into their own as mighty damage dealers. First, some pros and cons of the class.



  • CC abilities are situational
  • Cloth armor = squishy
  • VE & VT generate extra threat over dps
  • Must keep 2 sets of gear for effective cross-spec utility
  • Cannot self-rez
  • Holy / Discipline specs are sub-par in dps, leading to slower leveling and grinding

If your main is a Tank:

You're used to either charging your target or pulling back to you with a ranged weapon / spell and then staying in it's face. As a priest, you'll learn that what you really need is distance - mobs that invade your interpersonal space are dangerous for you. And unless you're a Paladin, you'll need to learn how Mana is different from Rage and / or Energy. While Rage is used as it is generated, Mana needs to be rationed out. It doesn't regenerate as quickly as Energy does, either.

If your main is Melee DPS:

You're used to using your weapons or abilities "up close and personal," and again, maintaining your distance will be your biggest challenge. Learn to use the strafe (see my article HERE). Many melee dps classes also prefer to position themselves behind their targets whenever possible, and this just isn't going to happen for you while soloing.

If your main is Caster DPS:

You probably won't have much problem with the Priest class if you've already played a Mage. Warlocks will need to get used to not having minions upon which to call and a completely different mana regeneration / conservation strategy. Stacking Spirit and MP5 as a Priest will help make up for the lack of Life Tap and Dark Pact abilities. Whereas my Warlock carries only health pots, my Priest carries a couple of health pots and two stacks of mana pots. For us, Mana = Health - for everyone. You'll need to get used to watching your tank and melee party members; if you can Fear Ward, Cure Disease, or Dispel Magic, DO SO. Yes, even if you're not the party healer.

If your main is a Healer:

You should have no problems transitioning to a Priest. The ability to heal oneself, dps while solo, and manage your mana will all be familiar tools to you. We are, however, the most fragile of the healing classes and can't rely on Mail / Plate armor or a quick Shapeshift into Bear Form if we get into trouble.

If your main is a Hunter:

Hunters don't fit perfectly in either melee or caster dps categories, and are most closely related to the Warlock in play style. If your main is a Hunter then you're familiar with mana and its conservation. You're not going to have the uber-high dps, ability to multiple- or chain-pull, or a pet to take the heat for you. Your Fade ability does just that in comparison to a Hunter's Feign Death. At this point, you're probably asking yourself why you'd ever want to leave your Hunter in the first damn place, especially for a Priest, of all things. And honestly - I'm not sure, either.

Oh - yeah, now I remember. For a spot in groups! When was the last time you saw "LF1M for Old Durn and g2g - need Hunter!"? Yeah, never. When was the last time you saw a guild recruitment ad, "Needs Hunters! Priest recruitment currently closed" Again - not f'n likely.

Seriously - once that pet gets feared and the Hunter gets MC'd into his own trap you'll see the draw to the perfect Good & Evil Twin class. It will become crystal clear.

more cat pictures

Friday, August 8, 2008

April May Be the Cruelest Month...

But August is the busiest. My daughter flies in tonight for a long weekend visit - doesn't have to leave until Tuesday. Wednesday I have an outing planned with my MIL & AIL (Aunt-in-law), and week-from-today Friday is my birthday!

The week after THAT we're leaving for Oregon, for the big annual guild-meet-up. All of this is just basically to say - posting will be erratic at best.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

You Can't Chat When You're Dead... and other nuggets of wisdom

I've tried to love my Mage. And then I tried to just LIKE her. It's more difficult than one might think. I've tried to rationalize, that I was spoiled by playing a warlock and a rogue, both of which are super-high damage with much less squishiness.

I've tried to justify my dissatisfaction by citing my preferred "Rambo" playstyle and utter lack of peripheral vision.

In the end, I think it all just boils down to one little fact. Despairity spends far more time as a Ghost than any other toon I've played.

It's really hard to like a Ghost.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Twisted Nether Blogcast - Episode 11

Featuring a lead-in blurb by our fave Shadow Priestess, Principessa.

Special guest is Part-Time Druid. Loads and loads of Beta news, of special interest to Hunters. Get your Twist on, y'all.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

I'm in Utgarde Keep, Y'all!

So Malarea was putzing around in the Beta this morning when she decided to see about putting together a group for UK. No one in guild was jumping, so she took it to /General - and got a full group in about 20 seconds.

I already had one quest for the dungeon in my log, to kill Prince Keleseth. Just inside the portal, an undead Blood Elf named "Dark Ranger Marrah" offered a second one: go get Ingvar the Plunderer's head. No problem, we're on it.

The first boss, Prince Keleseth, engaged immediately following the clearing of the trash in his room. He will intermittently "Frost Tomb" random members of your party, which looks a lot like a mage's Ice Block. We were doing fine - until he decided to start zapping our tank. We wiped. That's when party member BW noticed that the Frost Tomb was targetable... hmmm...

DPS'ers Uh, Ut, Vana, and I set up macros to /target Frost Tomb and hot-barred them. The boss formerly known as "Prince" went down like a sack o'taters. BOOM!

Boss #2 is actually a duet - Dalronn the Controller & Skarvald the Constructor. We burned Dalronn down first and then started in on Skarvald. Dalronn's ghost came back and started fighting back, we ignored him and took out the 2nd boss with no problems. Mal also learned that Metamorphasis is AMAZING when her Seed of Corruption aggro's an entire group to her.

Ingvar the Plunder is the 3rd and final boss in this instance. Another basic tank-and-spank, although Ingvar would occasionally "roar." Being ranged dps, I'm not sure what that roar accomplished. I for one wasn't all that intimidated. The only notable thing about this encounter was that following Ingvar's death he got a spirit-rez and came back again - same amount of hit points, and no real difference to the 2nd phase of the battle.

Total loot: A fist weapon for the warrior, Leather caster pants that got disenchanted, and Malarea scored a new helm: Reinforced Velvet Helm. Add that to the new bracers and ring she got as quest rewards and it was a lovely haul for our favorite warlock.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Morale? Is That Some Kind of Mushroom?

So - Wrath is on the way. Progression is slowing down, guilds are having a hard time recruiting (or just keeping raiders, in some cases) - what's a GM to do about morale?

How about "game within a game?" It's worked for so many pre-school teachers, right?

~~ Bring in the Clowns: Have your guild tailor make up some crazy outfits. The Haliscan Pantaloons and jacket, for instance. Or perhaps Green Winter Clothes. Set a time for everyone to log in on their alts and pass them out. Once everyone is dressed up - go raid Ironforge!

~~ Wowpperware Party: (to outfit lowbies) Pass out Hot Cider and Delicious Chocolate Cake. Have your guild crafters take orders for gear from guildies - make sure to offer with- and without-mats prices. ("With" should probably be free, these ARE your guildies, after all.)

~~ Broke as a Joke: Invade a new server. Challenge your guildies to achieve certain goals within so many days of play; i.e. the most money, the highest crafting level, a flight path at the furthest point from his / her starting zone, etc.

~~ Big Brothers / Big Sisters of Azeroth: Have each player adopt a lowbie for a day. Instance runs, help with group quests, providing mats for his / her crafting profession, etc. Load up on some ale and take your lowbie fishing for the evening.

Silly? Cheesy? Of course - that's why it's fun!

I totally need to run BGs with BRK...

If only we weren't of different factions, /sigh. MY non-strategies never work like that.


L2DK, noob

So, I'm finally starting to figure out this whole "Death Knight" play style thing. It's a little crazy. See, I've played classes that had Rage or Energy bars. You want to use that up as quickly as it regenerates, and it regenerates fast. I've played classes that had Mana bars - you want to ration out your mana, and usually need to drink to fill it back up.

The Death Knight has neither. Instead, they have a Runic Power bar and 6 Runes; 2 each of Blood, Frost, and Unholy. Abilities require the use of either Runes, Runic Power, or - neither? Yeah, some abilities require neither. Runes slowly replenish themselves as used. Runic Power is generated by using abilities.

For instance, my DK has all 6 Runes available and no RP generated. I use my Plague Strike ability (instant melee ability, it also applies a dot), consuming 1 each Blood and Unholy runes and generating 10 RP. If I use my Blood Strike ability (instant melee, but real damage relies on the target being diseased) I consume 1 Blood rune and generate only 1 RP. White damage melee attacks do not appear to generate any RP.

Conversely, some abilities USE the Runic Power, instead of generating it. Blood Boil, for instance. Now, you can see from some of the skills, spells, and abilities linked that DK dps is an intricate choreography, combing Rune-using, Runic Power-generating, diseasing, and the abilities that base their damage on diseases already on the mob. And this is just the dps! There are also all those diseasing / summoning-ghouls-thingies in the Unholy tree, and then there's the whole slew of "tanking" abilities.

Here are my concerns:

A) Although Blizz does a great job of introducing newborn DK's into the world, the 3 talent trees offer so many spec-specific abilities. Level out of the starting zone as Unholy, and then you have no clue how to play while specced Blood.

B) I've thought from the beginning that the best way to learn a class is to level it from 1 - it's much more difficult to be handed a whole pile of skills and try to figure out how they work. DK skills play off of each other in large part which, while uber-cool, complicates matters further.

C) I've got my safety goggles (and helmet - just in case) all polished up for when they roll out the math behind Runic Power generation. Anticipating this, my friends, gets my geek on.