Tango Down

Zul'jin's corpse

Zul'time carnage kill

We killed him. 8 Carnage and 2 of our allies. It was midnight when we threw ourselves at Zul’Jin and we were able to gradually wear him down. Well, that’s one resolution for the new year fulfilled. Could this be a sign of redemption? Let’s hope the momentum from today will carry on to Sunday’s Kael’Thas raid.

Loot

Cleaver of the Unforgiving
Loop of Cursed Bones

What Matticus Wanted

Two-toed Sandals

Quick Tip to Mentally Calculate Stamina After Buffs

Stamina

I was just going through my trackbacks. I get a lot of guilds that link to some of my lists (particularly the Karazan and Zul’Aman one). While visiting one of these Guild forums, there was a poster who was skeptical about some of the ZA numbers I had written. It was specifically about a Paladin tank. He was wondering how a Paladin could hit 18000 health after buffs. Now I’m not going to name any names, but you know who you are =).

Let’s start with a Paladin template. I’m going to use my friend Sasstar as an example.

For a quick reference, he only has 2/5 T4, is using the Gavel of Unearthed Secrets (Lower City), and Shield of Impenetrable Darkness (Nightbane). The rest of his items are from Karazhan or badge rewards.

Calculating Maximum Possible Health for Tanks

These are all of the buffs that could possibly benefit a tank in terms of Stamina.

Stamina Buffs

Imp. Fortitude (Priest): 102
Imp. Mark: 18
Spicy Crawdad: 30
Imp. Blood Pact (Warlocks): 70

That equals approximately 2200 health (assuming each point of stam offers 10 health).

Health Buffs

Flask of Fortification: 400 HP
Commanding Shout: 1080 HP

Blessing of Kings

This Paladin Buff increases all stats by 10%. It will take into consideration the buffs applied to your tank, but NOT the subsequent health only buffs like Flasks or Commanding Shouts.

Applying all of this to our Tank

A quick glance at Sasstar’s HP reveals that he has approximately 14900 HP. Add 2200 from the stamina only buffs, and you get 17100 health. Applying Kings will increase his health to 18800 (10%, right?). Flask of Fortification and assuming you have a diligent Warrior will further shoot up his health total to 20280.

Reality

In reality, we don’t always get all the buffs we want. But having the correct class composition and having the willingness to spend gold to improve yourself is the first start. Even without having Commanding Shout, we can see Sasstar easily reaching 18k health after buffs with no problems.

For the rest of us

For the rest of us who aren’t tanks, an easy way to figure out your health after buffs is to add 1200 to your current HP and add 10% of your health after that. This takes into account Imp. Fort and Imp. Mark and Blessing of Kings. I have about 7000 health. After buffs, I have 8200. After Kings, I have 9000ish health.

Pretty good for a Dwarf Priest!

Disclaimer: I may or may not be accurate with some of these numbers. They are meant as “ballpark” figures. Use this info at your own risk. I cannot be held liable for any wipes that could possibly occur.

(Special thanks to Bellwether for her assistance)

Brazil Government Bans Counterstrike and Everquest. Could World of Warcraft Be Next?

It seems that the various democratic governments around the world have begun to take an interest in the well being of their citizens. I’m sure most of you are aware of China’s World of Warcraft curfew. There’s about 1.5 million players in China alone, although I would guess 1.4 million play as their full time job [citation needed].

The big news comes last week. Both online gaming giants Counterstrike and Everquest have had their distribution banned from Brazil. As far as I understand, LAN centers and players with existing copies are allowed to keep them. But it is a federal offense for those 2 games to be sold in Brazil either via retail or online.

The federal judge who imposed the ban stated the games were “…[a] subversion of public order, were an attack against the democratic state and the law and against public security.”

So far, World of Warcraft has escaped the banhammer. Seeing as WoW is not showing any signs of slowing down in terms of growth, sales, or subscribers it would be reasonable to expect that the Brazillian government has WoW on their crosshairs. We’ve already seen 1 government take legislative action on WoW. For Brazil to do something like this, it sets a pretty large precedent.

I’ve taken a few political science courses and from what I remember, Governments exist to determine “who gets what, when and how” (Lasswell). You’d suspect that they’d have bigger fish to fry other than games. Can you think of the possible criminal implications? No more will Brazillian drug lords be smuggling cocaine, marijuana or other drugs. The real money now will be in titles such as Call of Duty 4 and World in Conflict. Instead of cash crop farmers, we might see a rise in piracy!

As a law student, one of the fundamental principles we learn is that a crime is what is defined by society (I’ve condensed months of learning into 1 sentence). Gamers will always be gamers and they will want to play what’s up there. We’re consumers after all. Wouldn’t it suck if we had to go into a dark alley somewhere just to get Starcraft 2? It’s almost like the government is playing the role of a parent by deciding what kids can or cannot play.

Canada may have had it’s share of murderers, but thank goodness nothing like this will be in force up here.

A Glimpse in the Mind of a Priest

In 10 seconds, anything can go wrong. In upper level raiding, there’s a certain element of micro management that needs to be done. We tried Kael again today and we still could not polish him off. Our best attempt was at 57% in Phase 4. It’s like your trying to get a good solid grip on running water. You can feel it through your fingers but it continues to slip away elusive to your grasp.

Here’s a scenario of a crazy, paranoid, overanalyzing Dwarf Priest in overdrive on a Kael fight during Phase 3:

00:00

Thought process

Tank at full health. Weapon swing coming in half a second. A quick glance at the Heads-up display reveals a Fear happening in 3. Thaladred’s gazing at a Priest adjacent to me and is heading to my direction (Gaze means he’s going to walk towards a player and hit him hard).

Actions

Activate a shield on my healing assignment, and start moving north away from the incoming mob.

00:03

Thought Process

I currently represent half the healing on my tanking assignment as the other Priest is busy evading Thal. Big heals are a must as is the fear ward.

Actions

Fear Ward, Renew, Prayer of Mending.

00:09

Thought Process

Gaze is off my partner and is now on a hunter next to me who just went flying through the air and is sitting at 45%. A quick glance at my assignment with 80% health shows my partner has him targeted with a heal on the way about to land in 0.7 seconds.

Actions

Hunter’s not going to be able to sustain another hit. Target him, Shield, Renew, switch back to healing assignment.

00:14

Thought Process

“FEARED!”

I recognize that voice. It’s my Priest partner. There’s a tremor totem on the ground from the shaman in our group and it pulsed 2 seconds ago. Not enough time. Hunter should be fine and in the clear. I’m going to be on my own for the next several seconds on my assignment.

Actions

Prayer of Mending. Better hope the WoW gods are listening and that it is able to mitigate more damage then the tank is taking. Tank’s health returns up to 60%. Activate Divine Illumination. Additional 25% chance to crit is better than 10%.

00:18

Thought Process

Blue rings shimmer around my assignment. It looks familiar, what the hell does it mean? Too late, I think to myself. It’s a Remote Toy. That equals stun. Stun equals lack of ability to take defensive measures by my healing assignment. Which also means not good. He’s down to 35%. Adrenaline’s already coursing through the system. The coffee I had earlier in the day is all but exhausted. He needs a big time crit heal now.

Actions

Slam max rank Greater Heal now.

00:19

Thought Process

XPerl shows my colleague starting to cast a heal not a moment after I did. Wait a minute…

…He’s casting a Greater Heal, too.
…There’s only 2 of us healing him.
…Which means he has less then 2 seconds to live based on weapon swing timers from the boss…

Action

Do the simplest action to cancel a heal which is move. At the same time, blow a PW: Shield and pray it can withstand a hit. Oh no, Thal’s arm is up, and that means-

00:20

“MAN DOWN”

Thought Process

Oh crap. You failed the team. One simple miscalculation. One wrong heal at the wrong time. Sanguinar is now free and goes forth rampaging the raid.

Game over.

Priests are so easy to play. There are so many options to choose from. It’s easy to scrutinize one’s play in hindsight. But when you’re in the moment, the difference between raid success and failure can hinge on a something so insignificant as using the right heal at the right time.

Over 5 options to choose from and I picked the wrong one. Kael could have died tonight. This is going to haunt me for a long time.

It’s quite possibly one of the worse feelings anyone can experience in the world. It’s not being told what you did wrong by someone else. It’s knowing what you did wrong and knowing that it could have been prevented.

I should have rolled a Hunter.

Discipline Priests Part 2: What You Said

Several weeks ago, I asked for reader input about Discipline Priests and their role in end game raiding and PvP action. Here’s a piece of what others had to say about the subject:

Megan:

From the healing aspect in PVP, Disc Priest is the art of healing without healing. If I dispel spam on a target, that’s X less DPS he’s not going to pump out as usual when stripped of buffs. When I Fear->chain Mana Burn a target, an empty bar saves me thousands of damage I would otherwise have to heal through. If I’m sticking to mostly instants like Dispel/Shield/Renew, I also then get alot more mobility, which means kiting, and if I’m kiting, that’s X DPS that someone else isn’t recieving (and I don’t have to heal).

Thuenderman:

I am the healing officer in my guild which is just at the point of clearing Kara every week. After 2.3 I switched to Disc and have yet to go back. I can heal any heroic as well as Kara with my current build. I love the added utility PI and PS add.

I will say that I would think this build wouldn’t work without a healthy +healing. Mine is around 1725 self buffed without consumables. Disc healing focuses less on spirit than holy does and more on pure +healing (no improved death or spiritual guidance) and gear (the whitemend set boosts healing by your int not spirit).

Elyxaar:

I found disc to be great for leveling. IIRC my first 5 talent points went into 2/2 Healing Focus & 3/3 Imp Renew, then disc all the way up to Pain Suppression (Reflective Shield rather than Force of Will), then back to holy up to Searing Light & Imp Healing. Now I’m pretty much cookie-cutter 23/38/0 I miss the solo-survivability I used to have, but then again I don’t tend to solo as much as when I was levelling up.

PriestOfOne:

I think the DISC build is like jack of all trade, master of none. I can see the point of not bring a DISC build to a RAID only if the tank is a weak point in the RAID. I had tough time healing tank when they are not properly geared or not the proper build. In a way, you would not want to bring a fury or arm build warrior to a RAID.

By switching to DISC+HOLY, I have upped my holy damage quite a bit. I have upped the holy damage by 15% + 10% to 35% of my Spirit. Compared to Shadow DPS, I dont think it is that far behind espeically if I get Power Infusion.

I’ve also had a chance to compare with a Holy Priest. I think the DISC+HOLY has slight edge when it comes to mana. If I dps, Holy will have better mana management but if I heal, I will have a slight edge due to the reductions in the DISC tree offers.


You’ll have to excuse me for the next several days or so. I’ve hit a bit of a blogging slump. The idea well is running rather dry at the moment. Not to mention I still need to set up a functional blogroll. I’ve effectively cleaned it out and such. The problem is getting it to display in a manner that I’m satisfied with. I have a perfectionist problem, sadly :(.

I Blog Azeroth. Will You?

Blog Azeroth logo

All credits go to Phaelia for this one! There’s a new community being formed for WoW Bloggers and would be WoW Bloggers. It’s called Blog Azeroth. Now this is not an exclusive community or anything on those lines. This is an open forum for WoW Bloggers to exchange ideas and share problems. Even if you don’t have a blog, I encourage you to sign up and lurk. It’s a great way to interact with your favourite bloggers. Here’s a brief blockquote like thing that I have gracefully swiped from the introductory post:

Blog Azeroth was created to facilitate the exchange of information and foster community among Warcraft blog authors. While we all appreciate and thrive upon building our own separate communities of readers and — in some cases, members of the class upon which we have focused — we are all part of the same community. Many of us struggle with the same problems, be it the cumbersome migration from one blog platform to another, knowing what stats are the most helpful, or gold spammers trying to take advantage of a publicly available platform. By sharing what we’ve each learned individually, we increase our collective knowledgebase. And all without having to hunt down an e-mail address or post a comment in an attempt to contact each other!

You will find assistance on all sorts of topics. One of the prevailing questions is “Blogger or WordPress?” (WORDPRESS). But as of yet, no one’s really raised that issue on Blog Azeroth. Go, be the first and expect a wide variety of input.

Topics could potentially include but are not limited to:

  • Design
  • Writing
  • Blogging
  • Technical help
  • Troubleshooting
  • Hosting Options
  • Plugins and features help
  • Ideas and writing topics
  • What drinks Bloggers like

So really, there is no limitation at all.

I’m specifically appealing to you. Yes, you the guy sitting in that chair debating whether or not to start a blog because you are not sure what it takes and you don’t know who to ask.

Well now you do.

Bloggers: How to Deal with Gold Sellers

I’m not going to name any names or companies here. It would seem that gold farmers have taken an unorthodox tactic to commenting on popular WoW blogs in order to attract potential customers. World of Matticus has been hit by them several times in the past week and I’m usually diligent about it.

I do not want to call them out.
I do not want to name their companies.
I do not want to link to their “blogs”.
I do not want to give them any kind of publicity or attention whatsoever.

I’ve taken a marketing class or 2 and I understand how these guys operate. Blizzard crackdowns and the increased countermeasures that they have given to their players have helped stifle the economy. The thing to understand most is that they don’t care whether the feedback or reaction around them is positive or negative. The point is that they are getting attention in the first place.

If you really want to do something about it, then delete the comment. Don’t blog about it and don’t talk about it (Totally hypocritical, I know, but it still needs to be said). The less exposure they receive then they less they can exploit.

For the Reader

Think carefully before clicking on any link left in the comments. Read it and scrutinize the URL. Remember there has been a recent sting of accounts being broken into (particularly to BRK’s crew). It might be a gold seller today but it could be an account hacker tomorrow.

Raid Juggling

In hockey, there is a term called line juggling. Typically, when a team has difficulty scoring and getting momentum going the coach will start juggling his forwards together in the chance that they will click, find chemistry, and score.

On Sunday, Carnage has been able to consistently transition from Phase 3 to phase 4 while losing no more than 1 player. We were able to get Kael down to approximately 70%. Earlier in the night, one of our Paladins had to leave due to personal problems. Instead of 4 Paladins, we ran 3 Paladins and replaced him with a Resto Druid.

Tonight we’re diving back into Kael. The confidence is there. In fact, all of our future signup raids have changed from SSC/TK to Mount Hyjal/Black Temple.

But here’s what puzzles me.

Apparently, we’re dropping our Resto Druid and bringing our 4th Paladin back into the lineup. Both of these players are trial members so there’s no issue of seniority here. Now I also know it’s not my place to question the wisdom of the raid leaders. My job is to make sure our players in the raid have the health required to do the job they need to do. I’m not the one deciding who gets benched for the rest of the period or who gets coupled with who out there.

But Sunday was the furthest we’ve ever gotten on Kael. Why change what has arguably had the most success? Not only that, but our last two attempts that night were so spot on that we got him down to that 70% range (+/- 10%) consecutively.

How does that old adage go again? If it ain’t broke don’t fix it?

I’m not going to openly question the decision of the GM’s in this one. It’s out of my hands anyway. They have more to handle on their plate without me asking why we’re changing the lineup. I just found it surprising. I don’t know enough about Paladins in a 25 man situation. I don’t know what kind of advantage we would capitalize by bringing a 4th Paladin (Kings, Salv, Might/Wis, Light?).

But for all you young GM’s out there, if you have a set group of players that have been able to deliver success then I say stick with that group. Ride their momentum. Players are on a hot streak for only so long.

On the other side of the spectrum, if your raid continues to have troubles on a raid boss that you should not be having problems on, then start raid juggling. Get your prot pally to respec Holy and your Warrior to respec prot. Start changing things up. Move your healers around, put your tank healers on the raid, your raid healers on the tank. Something is not working and you’ve given it 9 tries. It’s unlikely it’s going to work on the 10th. Bite the bullet, start juggling.

6 Reasons Why I Will Never Pug A 25 Man Raid Again

Frustration and anger

Pickup: 1: composed of or employing whatever persons are available on a more or less impromptu basis:

It was a Monday. It was 1800 hours when I got the call. My healing services were need in SSC. The Carnage strike team already cleared it out on Sunday so I tasked myself to bring in my alt, Saphfira.

It was 3 hours of hell that I wish I had back. It didn’t help that my beloved Canucks were getting stomped on by Minnesota (was listening to it on the radio).

Anyway, this is definitely the last time I ever sign onboard a pickup raid of any sort in the 25 man region, and here’s why:

Incompetent/Knowledgeless Raid Leader: The guy quarterbacking the raid clearly did not know the entire details of the Tidewalker encounter. He did not know that the Naga patrol behind Morogrim can be despawned by aggroing him. There’s a little tip for you budding SSC Guilds. If you want to clear out a quick group of Naga’s behind him, send in a Hunter with control of his pet and aggro Tidewalker. Make sure your raid is safely out of the way by falling back to the wooden bridges on the way in there. Once the pet dies, the patrol behind him will despawn saving you about 4 minutes worth of trash. He also did not know about Tidewalker’s ~50 yard Water Tombing ability. And when your Paladin tank is in the same area as Tidewalker lighting up consecrate and suddenly gets tombed…

Lack of Common Sense: Warlocks DoTTing up sheep targets. Tanks not grabbing targets fast enough. Not following instructions to move when asked to. Not running back when your corpse is literally on a boss. Shall I go on?

Attempting to Shortcut Mobs: Normally I’m a huge proponent of optimizing raid time. But when you’re pugging a difficult 25 man instance like this, it’s way better to be safe than sorry. In this case, we circumvented some of the Nagas by swimming underneath the wooden bridge towards Tidewalker and got up on to the platform on the other side. Naturally someone pulls a Boglord, which chain pulls nagas, which chain pulls murlocs. Time to break out the toilet paper. It’s another wipe. Rather than trying to skip 4 pulls, it would’ve been better to regroup on the bridge and just plow through them. 5 minutes of dealing with trash is better then 20 minutes of wiping twice and running back.

Inefficient Use of Time: Looking for people instead of actually raiding. A good hour and a half was spent trying to find the necessary players geared enough and willing enough to go in. The problem with SSC and TK right now is that most players only have one main that’s even anywhere close to being able to try out this content. Rarely are they ever going to have 2. Players on their mains are more than likely to raid T5 instances with their own Guild instead of a pug.

Lack of Consistent Work Ethic: People were asked to bring pots and flasks and other consumables to a raid. Clearly not everyone did. If some people aren’t going to be putting in 100% then they should not be there.

The Murphy Factor: If anything can go wrong, it will go wrong. And yeah it went wrong in a very big way.


In other news, Carnage will not be raiding on next Sunday. There are only 3 weekends in the entire year that we do not raid on.

1: Christmas
2: New Years
3: Super Bowl

It’s going to be a short week but a good week.

New Poll: How Often Do You Raid Per Week?

Hours spent raidingThis is another one of my curiosity polls. I’m interested in knowing the amount of time you guys (and girls) spend raiding on a weekly basis. This will help me understand my audience a bit more (hopefully).

For me, I log about 16 hours a week raiding (3 hours for Karazhan, 13 hours on SSC/TK and 12 of those hours are spent eating dirt in Kael’s room). How often do you raid and do you think you spend too much or too little time raiding? How much of it is spent on old or farmed content and how much of it is targeted at progression?

Most importantly, do you enjoy it?

How Often Do You Raid Per Week?

  • 5 - 10 hours a week (28%, 110 Votes)
  • 10 - 15 hours a week (23%, 89 Votes)
  • I do not raid right now (23%, 88 Votes)
  • 15 - 20 hours a week (12%, 47 Votes)
  • Under 5 hours a week (7%, 28 Votes)
  • Over 20 hours a week (how?!) (7%, 26 Votes)

Total Voters: 388

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