One Shotting Heroics: The Secret

The Dark Knight BatmanThis post isn’t really a response to Brendan’s guest post a few days back. It’s my perspective on the Heroic at Honored issue that was continued by Amava.

As long as you have the desire to progress and to succeed, then I am confident that you’ll do fine in Heroics. Veteran players like myself who levelled to 70 within 2 weeks of TBC’s release ended up learning every encounter the hard way. The first time I did Shadow Labyrinth, it took two hours and trash reclears just to kill Murmer for our one frag. I didn’t even want to think about Heroics at the time.

The Heroics of now are much more manageable than they were before. I’m not going to say easier, because players still need to have a level of intelligence and gear required.

For example, in Heroic Sethekk Halls, the opening pull involving the two ghostly mobs? Both were immune to shackle, traps, and any kind of CC. I remember they would randomly drop aggro and charge our members. It was a nightmare just to be in that instance several months ago. Your tank had to be geared enough to withstand the massive amounts of damage, and skilled enough to hold aggro on two mobs simultaneously. Your healer had to be fast to sustain your tank. Having a Hunter was almost a requirement for Misdirect.

Trash in Karazhan have been nerfed enormously. What once took two nights can now almost be done within three hours. I remember a pack of trash that was outside of Maiden’s hallway leading towards the Opera Event. Those necro’s could not be shackled nor pally feared. You had to have two tanks on at all time getting aggro on both of them simultaneously so that when one tank got frozen, the mob wouldn’t run and charge a random player in the group.

I thought that was the hardest encounter I had ever faced at the time

It’s a habit of mine that I continually forget that heroic instances of post 2.3 are much more different than they were in pre 2.3.

Why Blizzard dropped the reputation level

1: Replay Value

They lowered it because it was difficult for players to find groups for Heroics. Only a fraction of all WoW players are raiding any kind of 25 man content. The 70’s who aren’t are typically in casual Guilds who do not have the kind of dedication or personnel to go the route of raiding but want to have fun doing challenging content. If they’re not interested and don’t have the time to PvP, what’s there left to do? 5 man instances are the only option left in order to acquire gear.

2: Patch Nerfs

There’s been four main patches since TBC was released. In every patch, there’s been nerf after nerf on various heroic instances. Each gradual reduction in difficult increases the margin of error that players have. That means more time to recover in case something bad goes wrong. It means the ability to take in players who have the brains but not necessarily the gear. Grinding to revered would have increased the chance that you would get the necessary dungeon gear to replace your preexisting greens and lower level blues.

3: Player Pool Increase

Even on a server as populated as Ner’Zuhl, it took me a long time to not only find tanks and DPSers, but to find players that had to have the key to go in. Now there are more people running heroics because they don’t have to spend the time necessary to grind the rep to get in. In my opinion, players that were kara geared or higher had no need to run heroics (other then badges for nether’s, etc). What was the point? Having T5 gear is better then badge gear. They could not justify the cost of badge runs with that of raids. Players that were far below that could not keep up with whatever their job was. This resulted in a small selection of players who had the NEED to go in and WERE sufficiently geared to go in.

Now heroics are such a piece of cake. I can breeze through them

What’s my secret?

I run with a Pally tank and a Mage. It makes it so easy for me to blog and read while I play WoW at the same time.

Carnage is LFM SSC and TK

I’m happy to announce that I’ve been asked to help recruit people into Carnage. The past few days have been very rough for us which got to a point where we had to cancel a raid due to key personnel having to cancel at the last minute. We’ve seen a lack of attendance on our sunday raids in the past few weeks.

During my time in Aurora, I was tasked as a headhunter to help look for players to supplement our Guild. Now I’ve been asked to do same thing. I will have to apply my awesome Fantasy Hockey Pool skills to WoW and somehow find some pieces that will help build us into a playoff contender consistent raiding guild.

My current standings in my hockey pools

Here’s what we’re looking for in terms of raiding:

1 Rogue
1 Elemental Shaman
1 Enhancement Shaman
1 Warlock
1 Holy Paladin
1 Resto Druid

Please, no comments on what we “should” get or what we “shouldn’t” get. We like to keep our options open.

Ideal candidates will have:

* A “can do” attitude
* A willingness to wipe to learn new content
* Ventrilo 3.0 (and the willingness to speak up)
* Deadly Boss Mods (latest version)
* CTRA or ORA2 (for raid querying only, you can use whatever raid interface you like)
* Omen Threat Meter
* Minimum Karazhan gear (that is, you don’t need any loot from there)

About Carnage:

Carnage is a high end-game raiding and PvP guild on Ner’zhul. Founded more than two years ago, we are an established guild with very stable membership. Before the expansion, we cleared MC, BWL, and had made significant progress in AQ40 and Naxx. Karazhan is phased out of our raiding schedule, although we still do an alt/main run for fun and some gear. We have all bosses of SSC and 3/4 TK on farm and are working to progress into Hyial and BT. Several of our members also PvP in arena, AB, WSG, and AV on a regular basis.

We utilize a 2 round zero-sum bidding system.

Raiding Schedule (All times in PST):

Tuesdays, Thursday: 5:30 PM – 9:00 PM
Sundays: 3:30 PM – 9:00 PM

Note: We’re very sharp about our raid times. We have several members in the guild that play from the east coast, therefore we do enforce the 9:00 PM end time. Those raid times posted are for 25 mans. There are some optional 10 mans that may happen on the fly.

Example of a bad application for a WoW Guild

Interested?

If you think you can contribute to what we’re looking for, head on over to the Carnage forum and put it an application. Make sure you read the Announcement thread on top in the Applications forum and follow the instructions.

Why Raiding With PvP Gear Is a Bad Idea

Matticus,
First off, I want to commend you on the very nice extensive blog you run, a lot of great resources and discussion. I have an issue and am seeking some general advice and maybe to stir up some discussion. I am currently in Iraq right now BUT i get about 3-4 hours of playtime with acceptable latency. I have a 70 Druid that I just recently (1.5 weeks) re-specced to healing due to feral frustration and a noticable lack of heals on my server. Right off the bat I hooked up with some friends (2 mages+1 hunter) and have been doing BG’s to get honor and marks in order to attain some of the PvP epics.

I’ve been doing some research via blogs to find out some easily attainable gear to help my healing and survivabilty in PVP and eventually to start up some daily instancing. I thoroughly enjoy healing and I’m going to stick with it but I can’t make the decision to PVP or PVE as my main concentration.

Right now, i am trying to do a little of both and i dont see it going anywhere fast. What im looking for is to be able to PVP/Arena grind and get myself in good shape to be a full time raid healer once i get back to the U.S. where i will have ample time to dedicate to raiding. My overall question is: Am I wrong to assume that PVP gear (since it’s mostly a solo endeavor aside from arenas), is probably the best route to achieving pre-Kara quality gear? And are there any other resources out there that might be able to lend some guidance to an undecided healer? I know my question is most likely un-answerable and is mostly self chosen, but I’m just looking for suggestions, thoughts, or guidance.

Thank you,
Jordon

P.S. Whats up with all of the ?‘s instead of ‘s

Wow, I had no idea my blog was being read overseas. I salute you, sir, even though I’m from Canada. Thank you for the kind word =)!

Now, let’s get to business.

I know there are a lot of players who recommend supplementing raiding gear with some PvP Gear to help increase their survivability. Either that, or they’re unable get access to any kind of raiding gear because the population on a server is ridiculously low.

I definitely think DPS classes benefit with a mix of several PvP pieces. As a Priest, I have even added the [item]Veteran Mooncloth Bracers[/item] to my Priest raiding gear list as suggested by you readers (You know who you are).

As a healer, would I recommend going all out for arena gear just to be able to start raiding in Karazhan?

No, I would not.

Remember that PvE gear is tailored differently than PvP gear. Even though the healing or spelldamage increase may seem similar, the difference lies entirely in stat distribution.

PvP gear has a ton of stamina allowing you to withstand and deal serious firepower within a limited amount of time.

PvE gear has added longevity and endurance so you can deal firepower over a longer amount.

It’s like comparing an A-10 to a Spectre gunship. The A-10 comes in, drops its payload, and speeds off. The Spectre just flies circles above an area protecting it’s assignments.

It’s all about endurance.

If you want to raid, stat collecting raiding gear. PvP gear isn’t going to help you much at all because it lacks important stats like mana regeneration. Five minutes into a boss fight and you’ll be OOM (after innervates and potions).

What I can recommend is this: Start arenaing and get a few points under your belt. Keep doing this for several weeks. Meanwhile, if you don’t have a good set of bracers, hook yourself up with a Vindicator’s Kodohide Bracers.When you feel ready for Kara, start running the lower level of it a few times to help gradually build up your pieces. If you’re having trouble getting Maiden’s Shard of the Virtuous, put the Arena Points to good use and grab the [item]Merciless Gladiiator’s Salvation[/item] (S2 heaing mace). That should take you anywhere between 4 – 8 weeks.

How will you know if you’re good enough? Refer to my Minimum Kara Requirements for classes. Alternately, I’m sure Phaelia, Karthis, and Big Bear Butt can help you get in the right direction as they’re both Druids and far more familiar with what you’ll need. Well, the latter two are feral. But I like to randomly link to bloggers anyway.

P.S. The ?’s occur due to a CSS oversight on my part. Will be fixed when my new layout goes live. Hopefully it will be up before Christmas. Basically, what happens is WordPress interprets my apostrophes and quotes in a weird fashion.

And godspeed, Jordon.

Be Back Soon folks, I promise

I finished my 3rd exam today. I have one more tomorrow. I’ll be back in full swing after that!

For the time being, you may amuse yourself with my freshly implemented poll.

Wish me luck!

P.S. I don’t like this python scripting language. It makes my head hurt.

Guest Post: Heroic Pugs are Not Heroic

Matticus’ Note: This is a guest post from a friend of who has no blogging experience whatsoever but still did a great job nonetheless. I have another exam in about an hour. Thanks Brendan! Post has been edited for clarity and such.

First off, let me say I’m not a writer/blogger in any way, shape or form. I’m writing this because an idea popped into my head, and I’m tired of studying for finals. This blogging stuff is a nice change from the 17 credits of math I have this semester that engineers are supposed to know.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but my view of PUGs (Pick-Up Groups) has gone downhill since BC came out. It started out fine, pugging some people to get some experience while exploring the new instances in outlands. As a druid, and usually feral to boot, I wanted to get exalted with Cenarion Expedition ASAP to pick up my Earthwarden (best tanking weapon until SSC trash). I was in a small guild at the time and there were only a handful of us hitting 70 at the same time. It wasn’t easy to get a group to grind out Steam Vaults a dozen times a day for the required rep. I would turn to PUGs to accomplish this. For the most part, this went the same way to get revered with most of the factions. Even with quested items and random greens in most people’s gear, normal mode was still fairly easy. Subsequently, after doing countless runs of instances for rep, people would replace their greens with decent blues and fill out their dungeon 3 sets. More importantly, people would learn the instances, know what bosses/mobs did what, who to CC, where to go and such. By the time the rep was obtained to be able to hit up the heroics, people had knowledge/gear to stand a chance, and knew how to play their class.

This is all well and good, but then comes 2.3 and heroic keys only require honored. With pretty much any faction, you can obtain honored by doing their quests and 1-2 clears of each of their instances (sometimes even less than that!). What does that mean? People try to get into heroics still wearing their quested blues/greens, and not knowing what the heck is going on. It used to be a reasonable bet that when you pugged for a heroic, the people you got were somewhat decent, because they had done the run on normal at least a dozen or so times, and had decent gear. Now, you don’t get that confidence.

I’ve heard many stories (and experienced a few) in guild chat, of people pugging a couple slots for whatever heroic when there weren’t quite enough people online from the guild to do it with. There have been melee hunters that shoot their own traps, priests that only used flash heal (“lol greater heal takes too long”), tanks that can’t hold aggro on a single mob, mages who don’t know what a sheep is, pally tanks who consecrate on top of all the CC, and multitudes of other things. Even if you don’t get these kinds of people, there are simply people that don’t have the gear and they will get destroyed by the trash. In some instances, groups will not have enough DPS to burn down adds on bosses, making heroics all but impossible. Then there’s the issues of ninjas, people leaving unexpectedly, “know-it-alls” saying that their strat works and that t4/t5 group leader doesn’t know what he’s talking about… but those are just general PUG rarities that can happen anytime.

Now, this may sound like just a gripe with the heroic key rep change. It’s great for people trying to gear alts who don’t want to grind out the reputation to do the instances, and usually can be carried through by decent guildies. But that’s an entirely different story. The issues mentioned are more adamant to happen with PUG groups. And at least with people you know, usually there is some sort of voice communication being used, which lessens the pain of inexperience in one or two group members.

All in all, I tend to stay away from PUGs. For the most part, it’s just a repair bill waiting to happen. One of my friends who would accept a PUG invite on his main to anything from RFK to heroic Shattered Halls (one of my least favorite instances w/o a well geared Paly tank, or 2 Druid tanks), now thinks twice before pugging anything past normal difficulty. I refuse to do them, and I get at least a couple of tells a day asking to tank or heal PUGs. I usually let them down nicely, saying I’m not the spec they want (people go away so fast when I tell them I’m balance), or that I’m logging soon (which is usually the case).

This wasn’t really an informative post, just my personal gripes with heroic PUGs, which I’m sure more than a few people can relate to. Hopefully at least a couple of you agree with what I wrote, and it wasn’t an entire waste of time reading. But if not, I’ll go back to my horrendous amounts of number crunching engineering stuff and leave the blogging to the bloggers.

When Brendan’s not busy crunching numbers, he plays a horde Feral druid on… some server. I can’t remember. But thanks for the heroic insight!

Staves vs Maces and Off hands

Staves vs Maces“First off i have to commend you for your hard work at making your blog the only one i have ever read. World of Matticus has almost all of the priest information i could hope to read and I have put to use many of the tips found therein. But i can’t find anything about the debate of Staff vs Mace+Offhand (healingwise). Is there a certain point where a staff would be better than the duel wielding combo? Is a mace-offhand settup always better? Please let me know what you think. Thank you for your limited time.”

That was an email I received from a player last night. Incidentally enough, I had a post about this already lined up. What excellent timing!

Back before Burning Crusade, there was one weapon that truly defined a Priest. Those who had it were idolized by Priests everywhere. When you saw it on the back of a Priest in front of you, immediately you would feel an aura of safety. I am referring to [item]Benediction[/item]. Oh how times have changed.

I’m going to present argument from two different sides: The best possible Priest approach and the team Priest approach.

The Best Possible Priest Approach

Do you want to be THE Priest? Do you want to have so much healing and MP5 that you can bring back Elvis? Then this is the setup for you. From what I’ve noticed, a Priest with an MH/OH combo will have slightly higher healing bonuses and a little more mana regeneration than a player with a Staff. But staves aren’t completely useless in their own right. They might lose a bit of +healing when compared to to the MH/OH, but there’s a lot more stats (stamina, intellect, etc). Therefore, if you care that much about min/maxing your Priest (in other words, making it as best as possible), then grabbing an MH/OH is the best way to go. But you have to realize that you’re not the only class that is able to use it.

You’ll be in direct competition with Paladins and Shamans (maybe Druids).

The Team Priest Approach

You don’t want to be the best Priest possible. You know that all the maces are being greedily eyed upon by the other healers because they are way more powerful. You also know that your fellow healers won’t give that awesome healing staff a chance and that it will get sharded. I have seen this happen far too many times. Healers are passing on items that help them in favour of getting an even better item. You may or may not know of my thoughts about this. Precious loot should not be wasted because you never know for sure when you will get the weapon that you want. I never once saw Light’s Justice or Shard of the Virtuous on my Priest.

I hope you can understand my main argument here. I’m not arguing from the perspective of being the super best healer. I’m arguing from the perspective of a healer who wants to contribute to the best of his or her ability with the tools they have.

By accepting the staff, you remove yourself from competing against the Shammies and the Pallies. Let them fight over the mace and spend their precious DKP. A simple minimum bid just gave you nearly the same amount of healing at half the price. Again, this is dependent on your Guild and the style of loot distribution that you have.

Think about your raid healer setup.

In Carnage, we have:

  • 2 Holy Priests
  • 3-4 Paladins
  • 1 Resto Shaman

The Paladins and Shamans are going to go after 1H’s because they want something to complement their Shields. The other holy Priest doesn’t like staves. That leaves me to obtain loot at half price because these turkeys aren’t going to use it anyway! By taking it, I benefit the raid as a whole because it increases my healing and speeds up the gearing process.

I even save a little DKP because I don’t have to bid on both a mace and an offhand. I don’t have to wait for 2 bosses to drop the 2 items that I need. I only need to kill 1 boss repeatedly.

I am sacrificing my potential to be the best possible Priest later to help the raid now.

To finalize

Whatever weapon you choose to go with is affected by different factors.

  • Your guild
  • Loot distribution methods
  • Your style of play
  • Personality
  • Phase of the moon

Just understand that arguments can be made for either class. I don’t view myself as a selfish raider. I want to get to the end of the game as fast as possible and if I have to lose 30 healing over it, then I can sleep soundly with no problems. Besides, the extra stamina means I’ll live just a bit longer then Paulina Priest over there.

That’s why I opted for my new staff instead of waiting on Vasj to drop her mace.

Which site hosting does your guild use?

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How should I enchant my new staff?

My Ethereum Life-Staff which I got from Solarian in Tempest Keep in World of WarcraftI am now packing some serious heat. Well, no not really. But my healing has gone up slightly. Before, my main weapon was the [item]Crystalheart Pulse-Staff[/item] which dropped from Mag. Now I have the [item]Ethereum Life-Staff[/item] which drops from Solarian in Tempest Keep. Actually, they both look the same. The Crystalheart is the same model except the crystals on either end are red.

Anyway, let’s compare the stats. For raid simulation (and the fact that I still had the buffs going from Tempest Keep), I consumed the three main Priest consumables:

  • Flask of Mighty Restoration
  • Superior Mana Oil
  • Blackened Sporefish

I applied the mana oil to both of my staves just so I could save myself the trouble of having to do math. I can keep Mallet suspended until I raid with him again on Thursday anyway. Remember, I do not have any raid buffs on other than consumables. Take a look at the following shot:

Stat comparison between Ethereum Life-Staff and Crystalheart Pulse-Staff

First, let’s keep in mind that my Crystalheart Pulse-Staff has a +81 Healing enchant on it whereas my Ethereum Life-Staff has no enchants on it. I lost a small piece of healing crit chance, but I’m not worried about that too much. I also see a decrease in my healing by 30 points.

The above shot is the Crystalheart and the below shot is that of the Ethereum.

Comparison

The stat points were fairly marginal at best. I gained 1 stamina and lost 6 intellect (10 health, 60 mana). But look at the amount of Spirit that I gained. I picked up a whopping 62 spirit. A quick glance on the tooltip on the side shows that I lose 4 mp5 while casting, but I gain 23 mp5 while not casting.

So herein lies the dilemma. My original intent was to use one staff as my main healing staff and the other one to regenerate mana. Now I’m wondering which one to use for which.

I’m seriously considering putting Spellsurge on the Ethereum because I want to help my party out a bit more. I’m almost positive I can guarantee the effect to proc when the hidden cooldown is up.

Most raiding encounters are endurance based. They depend on how long you can keep your assigned tanks alive instead of how much you can keep them alive for. Since I already have 81 Healing on my Crystalheart, it seems kind of weird (AND STUPIDLY EXPENSIVE) to re-enchant it again with Spellsurge and put 81 Healing on my new Ethereum.

I lose the nice 4 MP5 while casting with the new staff. As a raiding Priest, I’m not going to be idling. I’m going to be using my global cooldown fairly often by tossing renews and PoMs everywhere. I will rarely, if ever, get chances to sit and just regen my mana. No one in my Guild uses Spellsurge at the moment. But maybe I can influence them to create a Spellsurge mana endurance group.

It looks so easy when you’re comparing enchants on 1 weapon. When you’re working with 2, it makes it a little more difficult because now you have to start planning for different scenarios.

How much mana do I gain as I’m casting spells?
How much mana do I gain when I’m not?
How much healing do I lose?
Is the decrease in healing worth the extra longevity?
How much mana do I gain back if I were to be innervated?
What will benefit my healing the most?
What will benefit my raid the most?
Even now it’s not an easy question for me to answer. Everything looked so simple the first time when I compared 81 Healing with Spellsurge. But there’s a lot more to take into account when you are a raiding Priest.

Any healers out there? Discussion of any kind would help. Maybe there’s a point that I’ve forgotten.

Guest Post: Musings of a Mod

Matt’s Note: Today’s guest post comes from a friend and colleague of mine from Curse. Thanks to Indelible for his help! You may or may not find it… disturbing and/or depressing. I finished exam #2 yesterday. 2 down, 2 to go and it concludes Saturday afternoon. Then I’ll go back to my daily routine of a near post-a-day rate.

It’s Sunday. It’s 12.45. It’s that time of day when you’ve just got out of bed and the air around you feels fresh and exciting. It’s damn cold as well and I want to go back to sleep. I can’t however as I was asked by Matticus to provide him with a guest blog about something wholesome and interesting…

I have however, run in to one major problem…

What exactly is there left to talk about? We’ve had our token PvP and PvE blogs. We’ve got our class blogs and our spec blogs. We’ve even got our blogs about other blogs. The blogging world is just a sphere of repetativness. What one blogger covers one week, is another bloggers gold mine the next and we end up going round in these viscious circles that claim the lives of many a blogger.

I guess that is what I shall talk about then. To hell with TheoryCraft and, “How To…” guides. To hell with Top 5 lists and, “You should try…” blogs. I’m going to talk about… something.

I’ll think of something in a second…

What Now?

I’m not an expert. I don’t know who started the very first blog. I don’t know much about the political side of blogging. All I know is that blogs have gone from being an obscure entity deeply hidden in the depths of the Internet, much like forums and Paris Hilton, to one of the single largest outlets of moronic and arrogant point making. They are sometimes opinionated, sometimes interesting and fullfilling, mostly painfull and anger-inducing; probably one of the most testing media arms in the known World, closely followed by Sky News.

Sounds like the perfect place to succeed, right?

Wrong. Blogging has to be one of the single most time consuming and effort involved activities you could ever undertake as a passtime. On average, I spend about 1 to 2 hours a day on my varying blogging efforts, and that doesn’t include side projects I am exploring and moderation duties at Curse so blogging really does b(l)og me down…….

I’m sorry. I’m in one of those moods.

Now, this neatly leads on to why you are all here (because I’ve finally thought about something to talk about properly). Well, it does in my head. I don’t actually think any of the above has any relevance to what I am going to be discussing but I’ve had a long day (despite the fact that I only just woke up) and you’ll have to sift through the crap to find the good bits… like with meat and… stuff. You are all here to get your daily WoW fix. I know that I have started off poorly and it is getting worse. You are worried you will be seeing pink Tauren’ if I don’t hurry up with the WoW-speak, right? Well, you are in luck as that is about to start now as we compare…

I can only think of one thing in the world worst than reading a blog or worse than writing a blog when you have major writers block.

Blogging – ’tis an art form.

Grinding… oh the horror…

Grinding – ’tis horrid. I hate it. I hate you for putting up with it. I hate me for hating you for putting up with it as I put up with it and put up with you putting up with it. Meh.

Both blogging and grinding are evil. Pure unaltered evil. They are fonts of the most sinister and horrid evil you will ever come across. They make the Devil look like one of the Teletubbies. Stand Illidan next to the personification of blogging and Illidan will cry like a baby. The personification of grinding is a stereotype and we all know what stereotype that is (you can see the fat man from South Park too :o) so I feel no need to add wit to my point.

They are both evil. There is no doubt of that. My girlfriend thinks I’m sad for playing PC games all the time. She thinks I’m even more sad for writing about those PC games. Mostly, she takes pity upon me. Both blogging and grinding are the evils that destroy social lives around the world but which one is more evil?

Grinding.

An Example… sort of

Oh this is fun. I want this flask, right? I need 25 Glowing Bits of Leaf (?) and 600 Roots of Lesser Drop Chance. I need them by next Wednesday. You’d think that was a fairly respectable amount of time to have to get yours stuff together, right? Well, you’ve never played Lifeless Gaming Online have you? I can tell you that Roots of Lesser Drop Chance only drop off Mobs of Lesser Spawning and, as the name suggests, it takes hours to find the things… and we haven’t even started on the Glowing Bits of Leaf yet.

All in all, grinding sucks. I needed 200 stacks of Netherweave Cloth. That doesn’t sound like a lot when you think about how many mobs drop Netherweave but I’m one of these people who finds the act of grinding hard to swallow. Let me put it this way…

Day 1

I woke up this morning – ’twas a nice day. The sun was shining. The birds were chirping. Even the old woman out back waved to me as I stared like a lifeless, mindless automaton out of my bedroom window.

So I went downstairs, got a cup of Coffee, admired the back of my hand for a while and then…

Spent the next 7 hours of my life on Ventrillo, talking to the rest of my 5 man guild group. We’d arranged to go Netherweave farming in Netherstorm.

Good times.

Day 5

The sun wasn’t shining today. There were no birds.

I’ve installed sound proofing. The constant chirping was breaking my concentration. The black out curtains have limited the glare on my monitor. I was finding it hard to see the goddamn drops.

My girlfriend’s told me to get a job. I’ve looked around but no one wants to sponsor me to play WoW. She says that isn’t what she meant. I don’t know what she means.

Today is once again Netherweave day. We’ve all (25 man raid groups ftw) decided to go to Netherstorm again and make a day of it. Mark is taking his picnic set. Jack is bringing the fireworks. It should be fun, especially with the Leather Ball Sally crafted last night.

Good times.

Day 15

She left me. We were sitting in Orgrimmar chatting and she said she met a Nelf called MoreManly who had taken her heart away from me. I sobbed. She rofl’d.

She left me too. She said that a job wasn’t just going to walk through the door. I said that I was looking for sponsors but all the good ones had been taken. She said that that was the only reason she got with me. She took the kids.

We’re off to Shadowmoon to farm Primals. I have enough Netherweave for my Frozen Shadoweave Robe but Johnny needs my Shadowcloth for guild tailoring so I’m going to have to spend all of today farming Primals and Netherweave.

Good times.

And so on and so forth.

It is tragic; when your life is reduced to grinding. Your girlfriends leaves you and your kids disown you and yet the most immediate thing on your mind is Shadowmoon Valley.

The first part of this entry was really a look into my mind and the way I blog – chaotically with no clear purpose. The second part was almost entertaining and informative but was, mostly, High School humour.

I apologize.

It has been a long day but I would like to thank Matticus for allowing me to infest his blog with this poison. I’ve had fun.

YES! I beat WoW!

I’m telling you right now, that nothing beats that thrilling feeling of winning that fishing contest. Not killing my first Horde. Not doing my first instance. Not killing Rag. Not my first epic flying mount. Not even killing Vashj.

Thanks Blori and Keruen! Without their ability to run interference and crowd control, I would not have been able to get it. I wanted it on my priest initially, but I figured my Shaman could withstand the pain better from Horde.

WoWosphere Weekend Warmup

I’m retiring my 3 stars. There’s simply too much blogging material and not enough stars to hand out! Starting on Saturdays, I’m going to be summarize what’s been happening here with me, my blog, and my other fellow bloggers out there.

In Game

We’ve had a wall with raiding recently. Last Thursday, one of our MT’s had DSL issues, our Paladin’s hard drive crashed, another healer has retired, and we’re losing a rogue to the US Army. I knew the holiday season was tough, but holy moly. As far as I know, we’re going back in on Sunday.

I’ve acquired a whole level of respect for Paladin tanks. We set up an on-the-fly run with a friend of mine and he literally tanked the whole instance by himself. We brought in a DPS Warrior for off tanking duty because we didn’t expect him to tank as much anyway. 3 hour Karazhan runs are ridiculously awesome. We downed every boss with the exception of Netherspite (due to execution, in my opinion).

World of Matticus

  • 5 Gaming Lessons from Matticus: I got tagged the other day by GMW. The concept here is one blogger comes up with a list, then “tags” other bloggers to come up with their own unique lists. It doesn’t even have to be a list! They’re just tagged to “do” something. In this case, it was a list of lessons that I’ve learned from WoW or gaming.
  • WoW Bloggers <3 WordPress: This is just something I noted last night. A lot of bloggers are switching platforms from Blogger to WordPress.
  • Why Do You Play WoW?: This is a guest post from Leiandra. I didn’t want to leave my blog completely dry so I sent out a plea for guest bloggers to help me out. Thanks again for responding!

I’ve got a larged sized to do list which I can’t get started on just yet. 1 exam down, but I still have 3 more to go.

  • Complete blog design overhaul
  • Mag strat and overview
  • Tips for WoW Bloggers who just moved to WordPress
  • Getting my other blog underway

The WoWosphere at a Glance

  • Veteran Hunter blogger BigRedKitty has switched! Be sure to update your bookmarks and RSS feeds accordingly. He’s also opened up some new forums! Fellow blogger Pike is also considering the switch.

    Matt’s Reaction: I love the forums! I’m even debating opening one of my own soon. I also think Pike should switch =).

  • Fate has a great post up effectively summarizing what the trends seem to be in class issues. You’ll remember a few days ago Blizzard put the call out for feedback on what players felt to be the problems with their class. They even created threads on every class forum.

    Matt’s Reaction: One of the points Fate made was that each class seemed to be complaining that every other class was imbalanced and should be nerfed. If that’s the case, then Blizzard should sit back and do nothing because if every class complains that other classes are overpowered, would that not then imply that every class IS balanced?

  • There’s been some recent blog discussion on the gender of your characters on WoW. Nothing’s wrong with players playing a character of the opposite gender. Some play it to express themselves. Others play it to avoid being cliche’d. The rest do it for the ass (or so they claim).

    Matt’s Reaction: I chose a Dranei and Human females purely for performance reasons. I need as much possible real estate as I can get on my screen. I’m not the only one who feels that way.

  • GMW and her Guild discovered a neat way of adding colour to your Guild MoTD’s and Guild Notes!

    Matt’s Reaction: Instead of the usual green text, now you can color code your messages for importance. I haven’t quite discovered a practical use for it yet, but I’m not an officer and I don’t have the authority to alter my own Guild Note. But, I think by color coding Guild Notes, it would be easy to tell at a glance what kind of specs certain players are in the Guild without having to repeatedly ask them. For example, tanks could be blue, healers would be white, and DPS would be red. This way, there would be no confusion as to whether Paladins were prot or holy (or Priests shadow or Holy).

  • Nibuca at Mystic Chicanery created an excellent list of fun Pally tricks to try!

    Matt’s Reaction: I like tip 3.

Blog Spotlight

  • I’ve spent a lot of time reading Rohan’s Blessing of Kings. One of his recent posts addressed the topic of welfare epics (AKA PvP purples). There’s been some discussion about the skinning differences between PvP and PvE. Another point that was brought up is the seeming lack of progression that the PvE aspect has. The only thing stopping alts from going into Hyjal/BT is attunement. That is a barried that PvP doesn’t really have except for rating brackets (even then, at 3 AM you might find a 1500 team playing a 2300 team and by sheer luck/disconnects steal 40 points off of them) In PvE, it’s possible to directly skip over T4 and go straight for T5 (Remember the attunements were lifted).

    In fact, several months ago on my resto shaman, I raided with a group of friends into Karazhan while wearing a combination of greens and blues. In June, I sported +600 healing! That number is far below my minimum recommended stats. But my friends were extremely geared and my lack of healing didn’t really hinder progress. In one run, I replaced my greens with purples (T4 gloves, Curator shoulders, Chess Shield, Netherspite’s Chest, Attument’s bracers, Moroes’ Belt, Opera trinket).Should I have to go through that chain of progression again? I don’t think so.

    My Priest did most of the work learning the encounters and helping my friends get gear as well. I had a good support network in place and good contacts. I think this debate sounds akin to having a level 70 running you through Scarlet Monastary. Different application but same principle.So in PvP, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with characters in blues getting epics. They’re still putting in time and effort to get it. An S2 geared player will acquire S3 gear far faster then a blue’d character with little resilience.

    My Shaman took six months to get the entire S2 set. This is just the armor alone. I did not purchase the weapon, shield, or totem. That’s a long time just to get the armor. Don’t forget the fact that this was during the summer before the AV changes. I had lots of time which I piled into the AV queues earning 7000+ honor per day. Obviously with school, it is no longer possible. But winter break is nearly here, and I’ve already picked up the Vindicator Bracers…About the visualizations of the gear, I think they should be kept the same way. I know I’m definitely a minority in this for sure, but hear me out for a moment.

    Most of us don’t have the time to armory other players to determine what they’re wearing or what spec they’re playing (having a macbook by your side lets you do that). But information and intelligence is key to any kind of warfare! The more information you have, the better off you’ll be!

    One of Sun Tzu’s famous quotes:

    So it is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will fight without danger in battles.
    If you only know yourself, but not your opponent, you may win or may lose.
    If you know neither yourself nor your enemy, you will always endanger yourself

    A key piece of information is the level of gear that your opponents are wearing. One glance at a Priest with dark wings, and what does that tell you? He’s wearing S2 shoulders. Like it or not, we rely on visual cues to inform of us what’s going on around the world. If PvP and PvE gear models were drastically changed, that’s more information we have to know. Out in PvE land if the models were to change, a new player with absolutely no idea of what PvP models look like could check out a player and find out the hard way that this is NOT a player they want to pick a fight with.

    Lastly, to change the models and textures would require more work to do on the part of Blizzard. I’d much rather have them work on new raiding content then armor which I will replace anyway. I’m paying 15 bucks a month to solve hard encounters, not appear on an Ironforge’s Secret fashion show.

Again, I wanted to apologize to everyone for my reduced blogload this week. It’s crunch time for many students. I’ve got 3 more next week so expect similar activity. Wish me luck =(.

I started this piece at 9 AM. It is now 1 PM.