Archives for November 2007

Blame Canada. Again. Blame Blizz. Again.

Matticus’ Note: This a partially related WoW post which happens to tie into a current event. It’s also very lengthy.

I just checked out the video of that Polish guy who was killed in YVR (Vancouver International Airport) a few minutes ago. If you haven’t seen it yet, I encourage you to check it out. It’s a rare insight into possible law enforcement confrontations. It must be one of thousands of possible situations that they face yearly.

So in a nutshell, here we have a foreign immigrant who flies into our beloved country without a clue as to what he’s doing, where he’s going, or how to speak English. He sets up a wall of chairs, throws around some equipment, causes a big mess, and then the cavalry are called in. He gets shocked and subsequently dies.

Let’s make one thing clear. I’m not trying to condone what the police did was right. I think they acted as best as they could under the circumstances. Hindsight is always 50/50. It’s easier to see flaws in decisions that people make long after they’ve been made. With that being said, I could only imagine the call the police received.

“Hey, control?”
“Uhh, we have a problem here. We have an individual acting erratically.”
“On our way.”

Remember we’re at the airport. We’re in an era of post 9/11. Those events are still fresh on our mind. The police probably had no idea what level of a threat they’re dealing with. My guess is that when you get summoned to a problem situation, you’re initial reaction is to assume the worst case. The worst case would be someone carrying, you know… a bomb. Obviously this poor fellow wasn’t.

How Tasers work

In a nutshell, a Taser is a cattle prod. It has an active range of about 10 meters. When it’s fired, twin prongs shoot out with attached metal wires. Electricity is then sent down the wires with the aim of disrupting nerve and muscle functions. Don’t ask me the physics behind it. I’m sure you have science friends. Go ask them.

Anyway, electrical current then courses through your entire body, you become incapacitated.

At least, that’s the general idea.

Remember, most of these trials take place in controlled environments that involve strong and healthy test subjects. Typically, these are people who do not ingest any kind of alcohol, drug, or some other form of illicit drug abuse. When Tasers are used on them, they work absolutely great! No one dies and they get up five minutes later slightly singed and crispy.

Unfortunately, real life is not like that. The intended targets for Tasers are disorderly individuals who are not in the right state of mind whether it’s chemically induced or otherwise. As a result, the effects produced in a controlled, clinical environments will strongly differ from public areas when the weapons are put to practical use.

I don’t think the public would like it very much if the police simply pulled out their Glocks and shot people in the knee. That was back in the 30s when Al Capone was the law.

I don’t believe the Taser is non-lethal. It may be intended as non-lethal, but it has the potential to kill people. Anyone with a pacemaker would not last very long, I imagine. However, I do think it is less lethal. When you compare it to a firearm or even a baton, it will not provide as much fatal results (statistically speaking). You have a better chance to survive an injury from a taser then you would from a gunshot wound or a severe clubbing from a police baton.

So if Tasers are recalled, then police will have one less less lethal tool to rely on. Guns, batons and… pepper sprays, I believe. Even then, pepper spray is used mostly for riot police. I don’t think it’s part of the standard RCMP loadout. But you know what? Pepper spray is lethal too! When under the effects of pepper spray, people are prone to coughing, having a runny nose, having their eyes slam shut, and having difficulty breathing. Gee, if you have asthma, you’re kind of a goner too.

Next option? Tear gas. Dropping a gas grenade in the baggage claim area of YVR is just plain dumb.

Last option? Physical subjugation. The cops could’ve tried to man handle him to the ground or something as a last resort. However, that would then place cops at risk to being assaulted. I know, the video showed four police officers vs one guy. But I think they’re trained to bring down a subject as best as possible while minimizing damage to them and to him. There was no one any could’ve foreseen that a Taser would have killed him. Automobiles are rated as one of the top causes of death in North America. But we still drive them.

Then there’s waiting. Yeah that probably should have been the way to go. Hindsight. 50/50. Who knows why they weren’t waiting? Wait, what would they wait for? An interpreter? If you watch the footage, there’s someone clearing calling for an interpreter. But they made a wrong choice.

I do not for once believe that the police had any intent to kill. If they did, I think we would be at war with Poland right now or something over a bullet riddle corpse. The media already makes it out that way.

If it were me, I would not have known what to do in that kind of a situation. Clearly he looked agitated. Was he a threat to people near by? Tough call. He might’ve been. When you’re in a situation like that, you walk a very fine line. Let him be and he might randomly go after some innocent bystander. Cops lose for failing to do their job (Why wasn’t he subdued earlier?!) Contain him with the risk of death and he just happens to die. Cops lose for failing to do their job properly. In high pressure cases like that, it is very difficult to make the proper judgment call not knowing what the consequences will be. Obviously if I know my Taser was going to kill him, I wouldn’t use it. Would I try to subdue him hand to hand? Yeah. Press reports said that he’s been in there holed up for five or so hours. You can’t just leave a guy in there all by himself throwing junk around. So those guys who tasered him are now in a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” kind of situation. I don’t even know if there is a right answer.

A taser, I believe, is meant as a less lethal response to a lethal situation. However, the police utilized it differently. They exercised a less lethal response to a non-lethal situation. Maybe the best thing to do was temporarily seal off the area until an interpreter was present. But cops are trained to act swiftly, because if they don’t, something bad might happen. It’s way too easy now to condemn them knowing everything that we do know.

If I tried a baton to the knee, people would cry out police brutality.

Another thing that occurred to me. Notice how theres four police swarming the body after it’s been shocked? The body behaves in an uncontrollable state. Would it not have been in his best interest to have been held down a bit to prevent him from biting his tongue or punching a wall or something else that might’ve damaged him? Obviously four cops holding him down is over kill. I’m not a medical student so I don’t know much about that. But I’ve generally seen him people going into some kind of get held down. Or something.

All of a sudden, I don’t want to go into law enforcement anymore knowing that my intentions (however noble) will always be looked down upon by the public. Isn’t that what an Ombudsman is for though? I can’t remember. Anyway, it would seem as if the same people that I want to protect would hate me. I guess I’ll try for that CRIM/PSYC dual major.

What does this have to do with WoW?

Sometimes the best of intentions of developers are not properly carried out. There might be an unforeseen consequence in a patch that is designed to fix problems. So even though there’s a feature added that causes a public outcry doesn’t mean that the idea’s necessarily bad. It just needs more testing and tweaking so it’s able to do what it’s designed to do without any unforeseen side effects.

Check out our Hunter friends for instance. They’re one of the best classes to have behind your back. Now the latest patch has applied all sorts of things that makes them not as overpowered as before. The whole “pet moving behind target” thing seems like a good idea. But there seems to be some problems and pathing and such.

There any problems for Priests? As of yet, I haven’t really discovered much. We had our one of our resist tanks go down awfully quickly for some reason during the Hydross encounter. I don’t know if downranking heals has been adjusted again or not, but endurance is a lot longer then before. Between potions, trinkets, flasks, mana oils, Sporefish, the two piece T5 set, and a Paladin with Spellsurge, I notice that my mana return is pretty damn good. Less drinking involved, that’s for sure. MP5 while casting has hit a number above 250 which is just sick.

Three Stars, later tonight. I didn’t get one in last week. This flu like symptom isn’t fun at all.

Heroic Dungeon Daily Quests

Honestly, what a brilliant idea by Blizzard. I stepped into Heroic Botanica yesterday for the first time (and probably the last). I never would have gone in there otherwise if it weren’t for the daily quest. After a few bumps and bruises in the beginning, we managed to clear it with some minor difficulty. Reward? 40G. After repairs? 33G. Not a bad haul.

I’m feeling sick right now so I’m not quite at school yet (2:30 class). At the moment, I’m sitting at home and about to get underway in Heroic Black Morass. Of course, the Hunter just HAS to open fire on Horde near the summoning stone and my group gets picked apart with our corpses being camped. Damnit Hunters, stop being so trigger happy!

Does the Zul’Aman bear boss have a reset bug? I was in there yesterday, and we wiped for a few times while our tanks were adjusting to his debuff. Before we knew it, he reset himself appearing at the beginning of the instance. He was not able to be aggro’d. In fact, he just stood there. Is that the way it’s supposed to be? My group had JUST gotten a handle on things, and if we had another few shots I know we could’ve killed him. At least the instance will reset quickly.

EDIT: Forgot to mention that I wasn’t referring to reseting the encounter. After a few tries, the Bear boss will despawn and move to his first position where he stands on top of a ledge overlooking the area. Problem here is that he won’t aggro onto the group. He’s targetable but invulnerable. He doesn’t move and the script doesn’t seem to trigger. We tried running out and back in to see if that did anything, but to no avail.

Free T6 for Shamans

Well, at least for Resto Shamans anyway. Some friends of mine were checking out some T6 gear and to their surprise, they discovered that the T6 Restoration gear required no tokens to purchase. Of course, you need to be attuned to Mt. Hyjal to be able to make the purchase. Elemental Shamans and Enhancement Shamans did not have this luxury. Unfortunately, I don’t have any screenshots or anything to show you (I COULD photoshop it). Judging by the level of excitement in our chat channels, it sounded legitimate. Can anyone else make a confirmation?

Not that it matters. I expect this to get patched immediately.

The downside to it was that the armor could not be repaired. But who needs to pay repair bills when you get free gear anyway?

EDIT: Looks like server are being taken offline briefly tomorrow morning.

A Tuesday Story and Trash Blows

I stumbled upon this touching story today. Everyone needs to go read it. Sometimes we all need a reminder to slow down just a little bit even in WoW.

Fate wrote a nice piece the other day about the hassles of trash mobs. One of his Guildies complained about them and Fate took it upon his hands to write about why trash is good and not bad. His main argument? Trash helps to build up the suspense and the pleasure when the boss in charge of them gets taken down. Otherwise, you’d be blowing through Karazhan, SSC, and TK within time frames of an hour.

Personally, I’d love to see more instances akin to Mag and Gruul (Ony style). We’re on a limited raiding schedule. Every wipe, every trash kill, every rebuff eats into the precious time we have. Our 25 mans are capped at exactly 11 hours of raiding per week. Let me first say that I’m proud of the Guild that I’m in and the discipline that they show during crunch time. We may fool around and crack jokes, but when we get down to business we do whatever it takes to get the job done. The clutch Al’ar kill is a testament to that (5 hours of sunday wiping, one more respawn kill, followed by an Al’ar first down). Sometimes, I just wish we had more time to do it.

Trash is nice to have sometimes. I do agree with Fate that it’s something to do in between bosses. Players need to have a little bit of a downtime. It’s not possible to ask 25 players to maintain a 110% focus and concentration. They would burn out too quickly. I know I can’t remain that tense for such a period of time.

But on the other hand, I don’t want to spend time to reclear trash repeatedly. Nothing kills momentum faster then getting a boss down to 10% and knowing you’re able to kill him only to get stopped by the Wall of Trash (0/*, Creature – Wall, Tap: Piss off target raid).

Ah M:TG. Sometimes I miss playing. But it’s either that or WoW.

Anyways, the trash respawns, you look at the time and you realize that your raid is over as people have to work or go to school on the east coast. Trash respawns just kills that level of energy and anticipation. With all the trash removed in SSC, we’d be able to one shot all the bosses and have time left over to do other things (Like Cartman says, now we can all enjoy the game)!

Fate’s point is excellent though. We DO need that trash. Where else are we going to get our Primal Nethers from? Or random BoE/BoP recipes?

Here’s a thought.

We’ve all sniggered at one point when our raid leader forgot to downgrade a raid instance from Heroic to Normal difficulty.

What if Blizzard implemented it and made Heroic raids? Give Raiders a choice in how they want to go through SSC. They can do it normally, or they can do it the Heroic way. Reduce trash by 80% but increase boss difficulty by 20%. Keep loot tables roughly the same and throw in some badges. Maybe the health of Hydross will increase a little bit so the raid needs to ice and poison dance for an extra minute. Think of it as an express raid. I’m not going to try and develop that concept any further. It would probably get defeated in a manner of minutes. But at least it’s something to think about. I sure as hell am not a game developer.

Sadly, I don’t get to go into Zul’Aman today. Our 25 schedules stay the same throughout. With the reset timer nearly twice as fast as Karazhan, it means we can do it any time we want. I’ll probably run through it tomorrow.

Meanwhile, snoozing through trash is the order of the day.

It’s Here

Nothing debugs addons faster then a raid gone wrong. Don’t you love the feeling of raiding on patch day only to find out your raid frames aren’t working? Or your target of target’s target has disappeared? Or you don’t know when to jump in the water to avoid spout?

When 2.2 came out, Curse got flooded and was inaccessible for a while. I had to turn to WoW Ace to finish patching up the few dated addons I had remaining. This time, I’ve got the Curse Client ready to go. It’s served me well for the most part. It runs silently in the background and automatically updates addons when there are new versions on the site. You can either use that or WoW Ace updater (I think that’s what it’s called). They both essentially do the same thing. If you want to install a new addon from Curse, there’s a special link which prompts the Curse Client to install it for you without any intervention on your part.

Happy patch day! Expect instance servers to be flooded with everyone flocking to ZA.

Making Maiden Submit

I was about to turn in, but I decided to check my email first (5th time today). I had an intriguing question directed at me that I could not resist answering.

Edit: Email partially edited for clarity and compactness.

Hey Matt

Guild went to Kara today, downed Attunmen (hurray – first all guild boss kill). Then we went on to the Maiden of Pwnsauce – though not really. Wiped 4 times. We had three healers. 2 hrs later came back to try, this time with 4 healers, one replacing the offtank. Wiped 3 times. I threw Adam Smith at the wall and almost broke my headset again, because I like to be constructive.

I know that you can’t tell what the problem is just by hearing that. The tank keeps dying. We have 4 healers – 3 of which are above 1000 healing, one that’s at a shameful 617 (I’m going to kick him next time I see him on his hunter :P). You’d figure with two pallies on tank,  druid on raid, me on dispell, we could do this no problem – but. the tank keeps dying.

The essentials of the maiden fight – Pally does blessing of sacrifice to heal through redemption. Everyone stands at beginning of steps. Someone dispells holy fire. Pew pew. Lootz. Move on.

I have no idea. I’m so frustrated. The only thing I can do on my end from what I see is attempt to dispell better – for some reason, there are a few people out of my range. I do gymnastics to no avail, in fact, get bitchslapped by Maiden’s consecrationishthing and have got to heal myself. People keep telling me that if i stand at the stairs, I should be just fine. But these… are lies… or I’m doing something wrong and I don’t know what.

First, I’d like to address something. Headset smashing is a common occurrence. I myself have broken three Plantronic’s Audio 90s and one Logitech PC Gaming Headset within the span of a year. Hell hath no fury like a gamer pissed. That’s why I dropped $90 on my Sennheiser PC Audio 160’s and I am loving them (The SK edition even). Knowing it’s price, I would not throw it against the wall.

Anyways, I digress. So here I have a reader who has some trouble dealing with the meddlesome Maiden of a woman. The main problem here is that the tank keeps dying. There are two probably causes: The tank can’t survive due to undergearedness or the healers are sitting around taking a smoke break. Either of those two are bad.

I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that you’re utilizing a circular formation for the whole raid. Every ranged member (healer, caster, or hunter) should be in between each set of pillars. Your melee classes would be in the central platform in a triangular formation of some sort with some distance between each other.

Possible Solutions

When you engage Maiden, every ranged member should be collapsing to the first step. You need to be able to dispel the guy that’s directly opposite from you. I know this has nothing to do with keeping the tank alive, but bear with me for a moment. If you can hit the guy on the other side, then you’ll be able to reach everyone else around you. I like to bind my Dispel key to ‘e’.

I’m going to suggest a minor change in your setup in regards to your healing. Shift one of your Paladins from MT duty to raid duty. You, as the Priest, should be on the MT. Have that Paladin cleanse the raid when Holy Fire hits (it’s cheaper then your Dispel). You should not be close enough to Maiden to absorb her Consecrate damage. Your Raid should be close enough to Maiden so that everyone can dispel each other but far enough away that her Consecrate does not affect you. If your Paladin isn’t keeping up Blessing of Sacrifice, then somethings wrong. One Paladin should be able to keep up the tank during the Repentance period.  When Repentance hits, you’re just sitting there and counting down. It is all Paladin. Once you’re free, your tank might be fairly wounded. Shield him immediately, then toss a renew, and resume your healing duties. You didn’t specify which stage of the encounter that your MT is dying in, but it’s usually in the Repentance period. If you got another melee class, consider having Paladin 2 put a Blessing of Sacrifice on him to wake him up out of Repentance.

If there’s still problems, you’ll need to take it a step further and analyze the encounters further to discover what is causing the problem. There isn’t much of a gear check involved here but if your tank is undergeared, it is possible for him to get smashed quickly. I confess that it took my Karazhan Guild about 10 days to take her down.

With four healers, there should be no excuse for the tank to die at all. If you can, I highly recommend using WoW Web Stats to parse your Combat Log. If you’re unsure of how, Kirk’s got a great guide (I’m working on one to help supplement it). What you can do is use that tool to help analyze your encounters and find out exactly what is going wrong.

I hope that helps! Having problems healing a certain boss encounter? Feel free to drop me a line: matttz at gmail dot com.

No Money No Problem

Can that patch get here any sooner? The faster I get to deal more damage, the faster I can start getting money. Leiandra made a good point the other day. Why on earth do we do daily quests? With all the raiding and the wiping on Vashj, I need income from some source to restock on potions. I need Mana Potions to survive and make sure the rest of my team lives. Here’s my main problem. It’s not the inability for me to deal damage. It’s my lack of time. There’s so many things that I need to do on a given day that I just don’t have the time to farm the necessary Herbs. Therefore, I’m caught flatfooted and placed at the mercy of the auction house minutes before the raid is due to begin. That is why I need the money from daily quests. I’m trading time for money.

During the summer, the gain from doing dailies outweighed the loss from repairs and pots. I was raking in about 100 G per day between Mallet and Saphfira. I was able to pick up an epic mount soon after. It went to Saphfira. Why not my main you ask? Because Saphfira’s professions are mining and herbalism whereas Mallet’s are enchanting and tailoring. It makes more sense. The time I do have to farm can then be increased further.

Now that I have one epic mount already, I just don’t have the desire to collect the gold needed for another one. I just don’t see the point. Prestige? Whoaness? No, I rely on my gear for that. Just about everyone has an epic or a netherdrake already. My income has been cut dramatically short. It’s now something like 20 gold per day. It’s barely enough to get me by on potions and repairs. My gold count tends to stay below 100 among both my characters. I guess I’d be considered impoverished in WoW?

Minimum Class Stat Requirements for Karazhan

A dear friend asked me for some help a few days ago. She wanted to know what the minimum requirements are for new players looking to enter Karazhan. I’m not looking for numbers that will take down Prince on the first try. What I want are respectable numbers that players of any class can shoot for. I’m looking for ABSOLUTE MINIMUMS HERE. These are the kinds of numbers that will down Attumen after one try, Moroes after three, Maiden after two, and Curator after fifteen because they don’t have the gear for it.

These are the numbers that she has so far. Any recommendations or adjustments? I’ve modified the numbers for opinions on Holy Priests and Shamans. When I get a chance, I’m going to begin perusing the blogs of my other colleagues to see if they have any information that I can add to this list. Even a simple confirmation of numbers would be nice to see, so don’t be shy! (Note: Don’t mind the colors. I copied it directly off a forum)



12000 Armor, 12000 hp, 490 def., 15-30% Dodge/Parry

1700 ap, 70 hit, 33% crit


415 def with 3/3 Survival of the fittest, 12000 hp, 30% Dodge, 20k armor
(As suggested by Karthis)
600 dmg, 15% crit (caster form), 75 mp/5, 75 hit

+1000 heals, 100 mp/5


1300 – 1400 ap, 90 hit, 20% crit
As suggested by mesczante


6000+ health, 7500 mana, +1000 healing, 100 mp5

6000 mana, +650 dmg, + 3-5% hit
(As suggested by MK)


8000 hp, 6000 mana, 1450 ap, 17.5% crit, 75 hit

8000 hp, 6000 mana, 1750 ap, 17.5% crit 75 hit


950 – 1000 heals, 110 mp/5, 10% crit

+500 dmg, 20% crit

1000 – 1200 ap, 20% crit, 8% hit


+600 dmg, 90 hit, 25% crit, 6000 hp and 7000 mana
(As suggested by Calandris)


102.5% Total avoidance (dodge/parry/block)
490 def, 10500 hp, +100-150 dmg

1000-1200 heals, 80-100 mp/5, 8000-9000 mana, 15-20% holy crit


Affliction: 7000 hp, 6000 mana, +600 dmg, 90 hit

Destro/Demon: 7000 hp, 6000 mana, +600 dmg, 90 hit, 20% crit

Again, your comments and opinions will be greatly appreciated.

I hate second guessing myself

The Carnage strike team raided on Tuesday. This run wasn’t as smooth. Unfortunately, we couldn’t shut out the first five bosses in SSC and we did not have enough time for a Leo kill. I just need to assuage myself.

So here’s the situation.

We killed Fathomlord and two Defender tokens drop (Pants for Priests, Warriors, and Druids). Most of the other Priests had theirs. One of the Healing Priests took it, and then the option fell on me since I had the next highest amount of DKP among the three classes.

If I were to take it, it would render my [item]Star-Soul Breeches[/item] obsolete from Solarian. I would have wasted past DKP. Obviously the [item]Breeches of the Avatar[/item] would have been an upgrade but it would have been a slight upgrade.

If I pass, then the option would pass onto one of our main feral tanks. I know he would exercise his option and take it as they would upgrade his pants and make our raids marginally easier.

One of the hardest things to do in this game is to pass on loot when it comes to your turn. All of us players are human. Humans are inherently greedy. Passing on those pants, from a logical stand point, would be the right thing to do. But there’s that inner demon inside me that screams “I WANT IT AND I WANT IT NOW” (the Id even). Then I internally punched it in the face and said pass. If I took it, I would’ve been a hypocrite. At least now I’m practicing what I preach.

Who knows when it’s going to drop again? Knowing my luck, never. I’m not going to spend points on it until all the other Warriors, Priests, and Druids have theirs.

Pain Suppression, Meditation, Arenas and blogging

Patch is coming soon next week, doo dah, doo dah, Priests get mana up the butt, oh the doo dah day. I guess we’ll find out how good the increased mana regeneration buff will be when it debuts (Meditation). Considering we’re running five Priests in our raids, we should be able to project our spells slightly longer then usual. I’m rather curious as to the viability of the redesigned Pain Suppression. Right now, it reads:

Pain Suppression redesigned: Now castable on other friendly targets; Reduces target’s threat by 5% and the damage they take by 40%. Cooldown reduced to 2 minutes.

Typically, a Raid consists of three types or roles: Tank, DPS/CC, and Heals. In the past, the Discipline tree has always been considered a support tree. The talents have been designed to increase the survivability of a Priest and the amount of utility it brings. I find it unlikely that Raids will find room for such a role as outlined above. It’s easy enough to get Improved Divine Spirit and invest the rest into the Holy Tree and you’ll come out great. That’s the Priestiality of the situation. Alternatively, you join the dark side and melt faces for a living. Those are the primary reasons why Priests are brought into Raids. I find it unlikely for many Guilds to bring in a Discipline Priest because they do not fulfill the three roles as highlighted above. True, a Discipline Priest can heal, but not as well as their Holy counterparts. Smite damage? No thanks. You shouldn’t be Pain Suppressing a tank when they’re trying to get aggro.

So then what’s the point of the post-modern Discipline tree?

Combat. Pure PvP combat. You’re going in close quarters and instead of being two shot by that rogue, you’re going to get four shot. That mage that’s getting focused fired by a 4 DPS team? He’s going to last 6 seconds longer (but there’s a 35% chance that it might get purged/dispelled/etc). Are we going to see a huge influx of Discipline trees in the Arena? I don’t know, it’s tough to say. On paper, it looks plausible. But the assets that are brought in do not seem enough to nudge another class out of a PvP line up. It’s too early to say right now, so we’ll need to see. I can’t help but wonder if we’ll begin to see a 5-caster type team in the Arenas.

Speaking of PvP and the patch, here’s some healthy advice from the Out of Mana blog. The announcement of 2.3 heralds the end of Season 2, which means:

  1. Alterac Valley will change (hopefully for the better)
  2. Arenas will be in a frenzy when the Season 3 begins
  3. Honor points can now be used to purchase Season 1 swag

World of Matticus is about to undergo some minor additions. You’ll note that the middle column was removed in favor of extending the right and left bars. I’m going to make my RSS feeds more prominent on the front page somewhere. There’s a lot of things I want to do, right now.

By the way, I purchased Call of Duty 4. AWESOME GAME! GREAT way to relieve the stress and tensions of WoW.