Friday, January 30, 2009

Some Enchanted Evening

Enchanting is a PITA profession. We've all known that since the beginning. Now of course, we HAVE seen several improvements over the various expansions and patches. No longer must we trek into Uldaman, arguably the worst instance evar, just to level past 225. Inscription, with its Weapon and Armor Vellums, solved the biggest problem for Enchanter mains with alts who didn't want to have to transfer the 'Chanter off to his or her own account. Patch 3.0.8 reduced some of the mats needed for +375 recipes.

One HUGE issue remains: we still can't disenchant equipment for alts or other players. I understand the motivation to give each profession something cool that only the practitioner can benefit from, but we already have that with ring enchants. If you're reasonably healthy and sane, try hanging out in the /Trade channel for an hour or so.* I challenge you to SS an enchanter hawking their trade with "mats included." It doesn't happen - we're already asking you to BYOM.

Fimlys of TNB had a good suggestion on their most recent podcast - why not create a Scroll of Disenchanting recipe for Scribes? This would put even more mats into the "economy," lowering costs and making those "leveling enchants" good for something other than just - leveling enchanting. Think about it - most non-enchanters don't bother buffing up their gear before they hit the level cap, and then they're going for the absolute piece enchant available for each piece.

Of course, one could conceivable go through an amazing number of D-E'ing Vellums... and disenchanting using the "will not be traded" portion of the "trade" window doesn't accommodate the enchanting players' alts. Perhaps a multiple-use 'bot that engineers could create? More synergy between the various professions is a good thing, in my opinion. There it is - an awesome idea that I'd really love to see make it into the game. Preferably in my lifetime.


*Please do not hang out in /Trade if you are taking medication for high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, loss of faith in humanity, or Flintstones Chewable Vitamins. This blogger is not a physician or psychiatrist and is purely not qualified to offer medical, or any other form, of advice. Here's your grain of salt.**
**Due to recent economic conditions, you may be asked to share your grain of salt. We're kind of on a budget, here.***
***By the way, are you going to eat that?

Twisted Nether Cheetos - And MORE!!

I had the honor of being the Guest Blogger of the Week for Bre and Fym on the Twisted Nether BlogCast.  Please jump over and check out Episode 32.  Do it now. DO IT!! 
 
I finally listened to the whole show this morning at work (on my ZUNE, so no one around me was subjected to the sound of my voice).  I can't tell you HOW MUCH FUN it was to hang out and chat with these guys - I'm sure I kept them talking WAY past the amount of time they'd allocated to the interview.   Thanks again, Bre & Fym.  You're a class act. 
 
/winking-gun-shoot-animation
 

Comments!

Just wanted to drop a quick post to everyone who's commented recently and say
 
Thanks!!
 
You guys rock.  If there's a blog where I can hit you back, by all means - make it known!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Cast Sequence for Shadow Priests - Now With Less VE!

So I jumped on Prin this afternoon, having been released from work early (go me), and I thought I take her through the first few Howling Fjord quests. Just, you know, to get an idea on how the Shadow Priest is playing nowadays. I experimented with a casting sequence, trying to decide on whether or not I really need VE on single-pulls while questing - especially now that I have Devouring Plague in the ol' spell book.

My pre-WotLK cast sequence was VT, VE, SW:P, MB, MF, SW: D. Reason behind it: I could wind up the VT and let it fly, strafe away while applying VE & SW:P, plant myself for a MB, and then MF the mob as it finally walked up to me. SW: D finished it off. Just to get a grip on the class, let's look at what the Shadow-damage spells do.

DOTS

Vampiric Touch: Rank 5 causes 850 Shadow damage over 15 sec to your target and causes up to 10 party or raid members to gain 0.25% of their maximum mana per second when you deal damage from Mind Blast.

Shadow Word: Pain
: Rank 12 - A word of darkness that causes 1380 Shadow damage over 18 sec.

Devouring Plague
: Rank 9 afflicts the target with a disease that causes 1376 Shadow damage over 24 sec. 15% of damage caused by the Devouring Plague heals the caster.

VT now only returns mana with a MB - I can see immediately that this no longer needs to be the first cast in the sequence. Devouring Plague, which is new to my arsenal, returns some health.

NUKES

Mind Blast
: Rank 13 blasts the target for 992 to 1048 Shadow damage.

Mind Flay
: Not really a nuke, since it's channeled. Assaults the target's mind with Shadow energy, causing 588 Shadow damage over 3 sec and slowing their movement speed by 50%.

Shadow Word: Death
: A word of dark binding that inflicts 750 to 870 Shadow damage to the target. If the target is not killed by Shadow Word: Death, the caster takes damage equal to the damage inflicted upon the target.

And of course, the damage from all of these spells is increased by some coefficient of the caster's spellpower and crit % chance based on cast-times and DOT-length. Please don't ask me for more of an explanation than that, since I have yet to unpack my Math Goggles. Safety first, donchaknow.

WASN'T THERE SUPPOSED TO BE A CAST-SEQUENCE?

Yeah, yeah, I'm getting there. This is complicated! One does not rush ART, my good man. Anyway - most of the time, the mob dies by the time it reaches me. If it isn't quite dead, a SW:D to the face solves that problem quite handily. Between the bit of mana I'm getting back from the one MB, Improved Spirit Tap, and my shoddy MP5 stat (don't ask : (), I'm still avoiding any real downtime.

I played with a sequence of VT, SW:P, DP, MB, MF, SW:D if still alive and averaged about 755 dps at level 70 with only ~700 +spellpower. Not too bad. VE appears to be completely unnecessary for solo-questing / grinding, as the HP return from DP plus Inner Fire are keeping me from having to heal, bandage, or eat. According to Recount, my "mana gained" was all from Replenishment, for about 3400 over a ten-mob session.

Leading off with a MB and then dotting gave a considerable drop in dps. Dropping VT out of the rotation also caused a drop in dps; apparently the included DOT is quite mighty.

In short, it doesn't appear that there's much difference in sequence at the beginning LK stages; I'm just dropping VE for DP, gaining some dps from that, and yet not suffering any downtime from the reduced HP return. It's just not needed. Of course, things may change in group play, dungeons, or raids; after all, it's not just ME that VE is feeding health to.

Introspection - on a Tailoring Level

There's something about running around Orgrimmar that brings out my inner "hall-monitor." I'm just physically incapable of turning off /Trade and /General chat, and that means I'm subjecting myself to all the inane blather that goes along with it. This isn't another rant about Barrens Chat; oh, no, that's too easy. Rather, I found myself looking deep within, really asking the question, "how much does the behavior of people around me influence my own behavior?"
It's considerably more than I would like.

This is the part where people like to hear examples, so - Okay, I'll oblige.

For some strange reason, the number of shirt patterns I have on my Warlock, Malarea, became a focal point for me over the weekend. No, I don't know why. I started thinking about how many different kinds of shirts I could make, and in how many different colors, and I even made a couple of jaunts to trainers for the few purchasable patterns I was missing. Then I flipped over to my cloth-hoarding bank toon and sent Mal several stacks of each kind. I grabbed a couple of stacks of wrapping paper and created a macro to advertise my services in the Trade Channel. Then I parked my bony ass on a rock near the Mage Trainer in Org and started fishing for my Baby Crocolisk.

Two comments below my ad, this statement caught my eye:
[2. Trade] Troublemaker says: epic fail at making money, malarea

O.o

I whispered him, "do I know you?"

No response. Hmmmm.

I whispered him again. No response.

In the meantime, I've had whispers from several people and not only have I unloaded several shirts, I've also made a Tux for someone's bank alt and two Festival Gowns. So what's the problem? Well, I'm not really enjoying myself. Instead, I find I'm really hoping for an answer back from the Troublemaker so that I can not only refute his "epic fail" statement, but also explain to him why it's a bad idea to poke at people who are enjoying their own immersion. Then I realized, I'm not immersed! I'm not even paying attention to business anymore! Why do I feel so compelled to alter this kid's behavior?

I've always known that any online game includes two types of people: those who enjoy the game, and those who enjoy ****ing with the people who enjoy the game. Most of the time I'm squarely in group 1, but even I have been guilty of unprovoked jabs at others. Of course, some might say that including 3 or 4 "z's" at the end of one's name IS provoking, but I'll not belabor that point. I've been known to offer help and advice to the players who ask for it politely. I've also been known to call out the moronic, and be down-right ugly to those who whisper me things like "GIMME GOLDZ" or "SUMON ME PLX."

So, starting today, I'm making myself a deal. I don't have to /ignore in order to ignore. I play this game for me, not for the people from group 2. Oh, and I also play it for those who need shirts.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Interview With The Death Knight

Good morning, everyone! I'm your hostess, Principessa. Welcome to The Blog!
We have a new member on our team. Tehrawreyes is a level 71 Death Knight who loves kittens - in a nice peanut sauce - slow walks along the beach, and the sound of steel connecting with solid flesh. Give her a warm welcome!

Tehrawreyes: Thanks, Prin, nice to be here.
P: So, Tehrawr, it looks like your most recent position was as a minion to Arthas. Isn't he the Lich King?
T: Yeah. He did give me a good reference, didn't he? He said he would.
P: I'm sorry, I wouldn't know... Anyway, what brings you to Team T-Sonn?
T: The benefits mainly. I hear you have good dental.
P: Uh huh. Hey, is it cold in here to you?
T: You kidding? I started out in a grave. Honey, that's cold.
P: No, seriously, I feel a draft.
T: Oh that. That's my Icy Touch. /grin
P: Bit uncomfortable, eh?
T: Nah. Not having shoes, now that's uncomfortable.
P: You're one of those, aren't you?
T: One of what?
P: One of those people who always has to "one-up" other people. You know, the kind of person who constantly posts a damage meter in party chat.
T: /Plague Strike
T: Want the good news? You can cure that while in Shadowform, now.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Requesting A Favor From Healing Shaman

Conversation from last night:
 
D:  So, how do I know whether or not I can heal a heroic?
Me:  You can heal a heroic.
D:  But how do I know I'm ready?  I just dinged 80.
Me:  When you're ready, you know it.
D:  Okay, where can I find out what minimum stats I need to be able to pull it off?
Me:  Why not just jump in there and find out? 
 
I'm not normally obtuse or intentionally un-helpful... the above responses from me translate loosely into:  I have no clue.  And I'm surprised that I have no clue.  So, while I eventually told D to start with Matticus (knowing that he'd see the link to Plus Heal and jump on it), I'd still like to know for myself.  The mechanics have changed so much with Wrath, and I've never been a serious healer on my Priest.  So, who's got some advice for healing 80 heroics on a Shaman?  Specific talents to pick up, mechanics to perfect, preferred minimum stats...  Lay it on me. 

Monday, January 19, 2009

Bringing the Pain, DK Style

So Tehrawreyes dinged 71 over the weekend - she can now pick up the quests for Utgarde Keep! Go, me. I've been hanging out on The Scourge and have been paying particular attention to his advice on tanking rotations for AoE pulls. I've got some tanking gear in the bank, but I'm betting much of it isn't better than what I'm currently wearing.
I can't wait to see if this works.
I have guildies who are pushing 70-71 to fill out the party, and D's best bud G always has SOMEONE of the right level for whatever we're doing. Hopefully sometime this week I'll get to try it out. Scourge also mentioned something in there about having the Skull mark key-bound - I MUST check into that. I also don't have any macros written for Tehrawr yet; something else to think about.
Wish me luck!

Friday, January 16, 2009

An Open Letter to Aggramar's Alliance Population

Dear Alliance Players of Aggramar:
 
How are you?  I hope that today finds you well.  Unfortunately, I am tasked with providing you some truly horrific news today.  The following has come to my attention and I feel it's only my duty to relate it to you.  Blizzard has instituted a leveling penalty for all players of a faction with such an unbalanced population on any given server.  This penalty will actually cause characters to LOSE XP for every minute that they are logged in.
 
You're not buying that, huh?  Yeah, okay.
 
How about this:  there is no honor to be had in outnumbering the opposing faction 4-1.  Seriously.  As long as our server is that lopsided, the Alliance will be precluded from receiving honor during any type of PvP.
 
No?  Dammit.
 
Oooh!  Look!  Over there!  No, more towards the Dragonblight server!  There are sparklies over there, I SWEAR.
 
MY GOD this is harder than I thought it would be.  I'm starting to think that maybe an all-out temper-tantrum-hissy-fit is in order.  If I throw every one of my toons on the ground to kick and scream and create crashing rivers of QQ, maybe Blizzard will force you all off of Agg and onto a new server. 
 
I do not have anything against the Alliance.  Honest.  I even have some Alliance toons on a different server.  But I have to say, I'm sick to DEATH of coming home from work to a freaking 1/2 hour (or longer!) wait in a queue before I can log in.  Sick, I tell you.  The recent free-transfer offer applied ONLY to the Alliance, because they really do out-number the Horde by drastic numbers on Agg.  I expected the wait with the expansion, we've been through this before, you know.  And then, yes, of course all those students came back to the game during the Holidays.  And yes, a bet a BUNCH of new players got the game for Christmas.  Okay, you've all seen it, you've experienced the wonder and creamy-awesome-filling that is World of Warcraft.  But I have to say, I feel totally akin to my former Floridian co-residents:  these tourists are a plague.  Every one of you spamming Trade Chat while I'm still waiting to log in, you are my enemy.  You are the people on the interstate who slow down to gawk at the state trooper's recent conquest on the shoulder.  You are the woman in the check out line at Kroger's who wants to argue that those canned peas were on sale, dammit. 
 
Am I a little high-strung about this?  Ya damn skippy I am.  GET OFF MY LAWN!
 
Ahem.
 
So, please, dear opposing faction members, I ask you for so little.  Surely you could give me this.
 
Much love,
 
 
T-Sonn
 
 

Thursday, January 15, 2009

For THIS I Leveled to 80??


/eyeroll

Wow. Just wow.

So I commented on Nibuca's blog about it, and just as I'd dreamed she might - she had some answers. It CAN be good

- for preventing fall damage on fights that toss players into the air like so much confetti. Or salad. Mmmmmm, salad.
- for escaping snares (I'll have to play around a bit and see if that means ALL snares. Freezing traps, roots, UK-boss-blocks-o'-ice, being grounded by parents, etc).
- for leashing my toon to D's in dungeons so that I can Tap all my HP down and get back immediately into healing range for him to be my own personal mana battery.

Okay, so I'm just kidding on the last one.

I'm sure it's pretty cool in PvP. Of course, I don't often PvP.

And yeah, it looks cool. Again, /eyeroll.

So what are you all using Demonic Circle for? Right now.... it makes a nice drink coaster.


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Blog, Like Author, Is Work In Progress

Pay no mind to my mess, dears... apologies and all, but I'm undergoing a bit of a graphical overhaul at the moment.  The new banner and scheme is forthcoming.  What you see now is just a placeholder.
 
Patience, I beg. 
 
/bats eyes at D
 
Yup, it's coming any minute now.

Monday, January 12, 2009

OPEN THE POD-BAY DOORS, HAL!

Yeah, well, that's all I could think of to go with "Pod."

Not iPod - I requested and gratefully received a Zune for Christmas. Why the Z over the I? Especially when D and my daughter are both rocking the latter? Simple. The radio.

So one of the first things I thought of after I unpacked my precious darling was - yup, you guessed it! the Twister Nether Blogcast. They've used some of my voice intros, you know. I live for the day I'm asked to interview... Anyway - so I signed up for that to update automatically. Next was This American Life. Yeah, D got me addicted to it. And then BRK's podcast, everyone needs a little weekly BRK, don't you think? So - if you can have an mp3 player of your choice at work - or if you have net access and can plug a tiny little earpiece into your PC without getting fired - you totally have to check out these fabulous blogcasts. It's your little piece of Azeroth at your desk - without the pesky Murlocs.

So now I'm like, in a frenzy to discover ALL WoW-related podcasts, if for no other reason than so I can try them out. Who are YOU listening to? Whose every little word are YOU hanging on to? You must tell me... oh, and make sure you tell Bree, Fimlys, and BRK I sent you.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Belated DING!


Because I forgot to post it the night it happened.

What's a Little Arcane Damage Between Friends?

Followers of this blog will know that neither D nor I are all that interested in raiding or end-game content. Not, at least, while it actually IS end-game. Once the game has extended beyond that content, well then, sure! It's up for grabs.

For instance, we've recently been putting a handlin' on such WoW-Classic favorites as Molten Core, Onyxia, and Zul'Gurub. I'm also looking forward to a foray into Ahn'Qiraj, which I believe we have planned for our next "guild fieldtrip." Of course, it's easy for us, considering that our guild consists only our group of RL friends. There are still some members who haven't had the pleassure of meeting others, but not many. The important thing is that we're all pretty like-minded in that the game consistently calls to us on a different level than your "typical" MMO'er.

These types of runs contribute to the achievements, too, which continue to be a source of great fun for us. It's just hilarious to hear one of us say, "go ahead and pull - I need to run over here and love on this cow real quick." D managed to hit 450 fishing in his quest for Old Crafty - BEFORE getting the stupid fish. Oddly enough, a catch in Stormwind and Old Ironjaw both happened pretty easily for him.

But of course, it hasn't all been fish and games... we've also put some time into acquiring keys. Most recent has been the Arcatraz. You know, that level 70 dungeon in Tempest Keep. Netherstorm? Outlands? Oh, come on, you remember it!

So yeah, we're off now to go wreak some havoc - nay, some death, doom, and destruction - upon Hybringer Skyriss. Wish us luck! I'm sure we'll all come out of it feeling a real sense of achievement.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Love What You Do

I was enjoying a lovely 'Shroom & Swiss (my favorite) for lunch today while perusing my Google Reader... thank god for that puppy, since anything "game-related" is filtered out at my current temp assignment. Mmm... 'shroom & swiss....
What was my point?

OH! Yes, I was reading a couple of entries from Kestrel and happened upon his "Tailor's Tale." I have to respectfully disagree.

Mal is - and has been since birth - a tailor. She loves it. LOVES it. It's not the easiest or most cost-efficient crafting profession, by any means, but it's done very well by her and her sisters and guild-mates. Having just dinged 80 (last night! Whooo Hoooo!) she's rocking several crafted pieces and many of those replaced PREVIOUS crafted pieces as well.

Used to be that you picked a crafting profession that would pay the rent. Then the common theory became choosing a profession for the BoP epics available. And while those are still both true for some skills, Tailoring isn't one of them.

I say, pick the crafting profession that you're going to LIKE doing, that's going to make your heart beat a little faster, that's going to put a skip in your step on the way back to the trainer for more recipes. I mean, who wouldn't love seeing "You have created [Hat of Wintry Doom]" pop up in your chat log? Eh? EHH??? Sign me up!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Lock in Plate

I love my Shadow Priest, I really do. Of course, I also love my Warlock - she was the first of all my toons to hit 60, and then 70, and as we speak she's only 3 1/2 bubbles from the magic level 80. Prin is a 'Lock who can heal herself; Mal is a SPriest with a minion. What synergy, what convergence of power distributed between two distinct personalities! But something was missing...

A delicious little Undead, exuding Shadow Magic with every step... she should be able to have her own minion, she should be able to heal herself and her minion, have her own unique summonable mount, and - yes... yes. She should be in PLATE.

Welcome, Tehrawreyes. Welcome. The birth of my dream, realized. Now go whack some stuff in the head with that club.



Thursday, January 1, 2009

Expect Changes

That's my lesson for 2009, I think. Always expect changes. With all the new goodies and toys that came with Wrath and the big content patch, much of Prin's gameplay and mechanics is substantially different than the early posts here.

The upshot is that I think some new posts are in order here. Playing a Shadow Priest is likely a whole new experience.

Stats
Talent Builds
Healing as Shadow
Mana Management
Aggro Management

That's not even taking into account the rest of my toons. Malarea has reasserted her position as my "Main." She's been the first to make her way into Northrend and has finally dinged 78. I plan for my DK to learn how to tank, but right now she's still wading through Outlands at level 66. Two more levels, that's her mantra.

Big change: look for more about other classes, achievements, and old-world content revisited - or just plain "visited," for most of it, actually. Mal dinged 60 the night before BC released, so she never got to experience the original raid content at all.

I Am Ashamed

You know that feeling you get when you've neglected a responsibility for far too long, only to have said neglect just CRAMMED AND RUBBED into your face, briskly and with great malice, without regard for whatever might have been keeping you from that responsibility?

I'm back to work; yes, it's only a temp job, but it IS a long way away and I'm spending an additional 2 hours on the road in commute. Wrath has been out for a month and a half and I had 4 level 70s and a 60ish mage, for god's sake. That's a LOT of toons to choose from just to pick who's gonna level first.

The holidays. That's a lot of work and time and stress, too. I've had cooking, baking, traveling, shopping, lots of stuff. In the words of someone whom I dearly love, I can't be all things to all people!

So what brought on this attack of guilt? I went to take the dog outside last night, after I got home from work. Bent down to attach the leash to her collar. Noticed a dust bunny the size of freaking Colorado under the bench in the foyer. I am indeed ashamed. Here's my pledge to do better.

Oh - and I also need to get back to posting. Sorry I've been gone so long!