5 Gaming Lessons from Matticus

I got tagged. I’ve never really done one of these before, but I have read about them. How nice of GMW to conveniently provide me with an outlet on a slow day. I’ve been asked to come up with 5 lessons that gaming has taught us.

Without further adieu and in no particular order:

  • Game reviewers can no longer be trusted
  • A little bit of post game analysis goes a long way
  • You are represented by your actions
  • Idiots come in all ages
  • School and WoW don’t mix

Just some various notes for the upcoming math. December is now upon us. It’s the best time of year with food, presents, drinking, etc. It’s also the worst time of the year with exams. As such, I will be posting at a much reduced rate (2-3 a week).

Another layout’s on the way. Should be up before New Years. I was reading up on some design principles and philosophies. Boy I built this place incorrectly.

Curse website looks great! I wish we could move some of the widgets around and that the stupid preview function in the blog would work. That would make my life so much easier when I write there. Good grief.

Matt’s Three Stars: Week Ending November 26

I’m going to make this swift. I’m missing a good hockey game right now. It’s Luongo vs the St. Louis Blues.

Holy Priest Stealth Fren: I like Tobold’s Blog. The topics he writes about makes the rest of us step back and think. He has applauded the buff (or “fren” as he calls it) that has been given to healers. The fact that 33% of your healing is converted to spell damage is pretty sweet. Tobold even goes as far as to propose that Protection warriors should be awarded a similar buff. He makes a strong argument here:

Fact is that as long as you solo, dps is far, far more useful than healing or the damage mitigation abilities of a tank. Not to mention that all the taunt abilities of a protection warrior become totally useless in solo combat. So many of the players who have a choice between a talent build for dps and a talent build for healing/tanking choose the former, so as not to gimp themselves for soloing. But of course that hurts their usefulness in groups, and makes it hard to find enough healers and tanks for grouping in general.

In order for something like this to be accomplished, tank stats have to somehow be converted to damage. One of the guys that commented on his blog even says that Blizzard is looking to help Prot Warriors. First star!

A Please to my WoW Blogging Peers:

Dear WoW Bloggers,

Please extend post so I can read more from my RSS.


I’m going to second Gwaendar on this one. I do most of my reading at school during the dull periods of a lecture. Thankfully, I have full access to any site with no firewall impairing me. However, it is an annoyance to have to click through to read the entire story. But it’s okay! Your stories are so awesome I do it anyway =). In my case, I’ve never added my own blog to my reader so I’m not aware of what it looks like. Is there anything odd?
Here’s some other things that some WoW Bloggers don’t do that bug me.

  • Allow anonymous comments: This is the one thing that has turned me away the most. A blogger constructs an insightful post, and I want to chime in on it. Surprise, surprise! I need to be a member of Blogger in order to say something. Please don’t do that. Allow anonymous comments. There’s safeguards out there that help prevent spam. Besides, it encourages feedback and discussion which we all want.
  • Explained absence: Some bloggers like to disappear without any word of where there going or without saying they’re taking an extended leave. If an active blogger who writes a post every day or two for the past while suddenly vanishes for a week without writing, that catches my attention. ARE YOU OKAY?! ARE YOU HURT?! Criminology increases paranoia. I don’t generally announce new blogs on my blogroll. I like to sneak them in there. But on the other side of the coin, I also remove blogs abruptly in that same manner.

Mana Efficiency: Draezele has written a great post about casting the right spells to prolong your mana as much as possible. I’m very happy to know that I’m using the right combination of downranked heals to maintain my tanks and my raids when I’m playing my Shaman.

On a Side Note

My reading list has grown from 5. I’m always on the lookout for more. If you see any good ones or if you’re a writer yourself, drop me a comment so I can see! =)

I think there’s an error in my reader. There’s a blog down there that says (title unknown). That one is pulling feeds from Lady Jess. Or is there error due to the lack of a title?

Matt’s Three Stars: Week Ending November 16

Akil’zon’s Gauntlet, EZ Mode: First star honors, GMW. First star. You are officially my hero(ine). This one gauntlet section alone took 40 gold off me. So what is her awesome tip that vaulted her past everyone else into first place? You’ll just have to click the link and find out yourself. It’s one of those forehead smacking “Oh duh” kind of things.

The Pointless Debate Around Warden: Gwaendar has an excellent post displaying arguments about the futility of complaining over ‘lack of privacy’ issues in WoW. I agree with you wholeheartedly, sir! Blizzard is a gaming company. They don’t need to break into your computer to blackmail you with your porn stash. It’s unnecessary for them to look up your credit card billing statement (because most of it is involved with WoW in some way or other). If players don’t like programs that add cheat detection to their games, they can simply go play something else. I hear CS 1.6 still has rampant cheaters around. People think they’re so important in this game. They think that the world centers around them and that everyone cares what they have on their computer. They don’t want to be embarrassed or humiliated. Blizz has WAY more important things to do then to snoop through people’s computers. Unless you do something SUPER stupid (like form a plan to blow up Sears tower), there isn’t much that would justify them having to call the FBI. I’m pretty sure you’ll find a clause in the TOS that says they’ll cooperate with authorities if they have to, but it’s like that with any social networking website or service (Facebook especially). They don’t do it because they want to. They do it so they can cover their respective legal ass. You get the number two star in my book, buddy!

What Karazhan Taught Us: Here’s a rather humorous list brought to us by Rohan. These are the important lessons that’ve been taught to us by the various bosses in Karazhan. I think I’ll even expand on it:

  • Attumen taught us gear is important
  • Moroes taught us to have a plan B
  • Maiden taught us perseverance (three weeks on this boss before the nerf, I spent learning)
  • Opera taught us how to learn things on the fly
  • Curator taught us Curse of Doom (an inside joke with a certain warlock who did not realize they had curse of doom)
  • Nightbane taught us synchronized moving
  • Shade of Aran taught us awareness of our surroundings
  • Chess was recess in the school of Karazhan
  • Netherspite taught us the value of strategic withdrawal to strike another day
  • Prince taught us tactical positioning

Third star honors go to you, Rohan! =)

Matt’s Three Stars: Week Ending November 2, and some reader responses

Welfare Epics and Loot Envy: I saw

WoW Web Stats: Start here first. It’s a guide from Kirk regarding a tool that I have preached for a long time. I would argue it is better then any in game damage meter. Use it for your post raid analysis to help determine what went wrong. Once you’ve finished looking at that, refer to his post on using it for healing in raids. There isn’t much more for me to say as the rest has already been covered by the guy. Second star!

A blog post a day: The challenge has been issued. The battle lines have been drawn. A friend of mine from school informed me that November is National Novel Writing Month. Stephi has twisted the concept slightly and made it her goal to pump out 50000 words by the end of the month at a rate of ~1700 words per day. If I were not in school nor had other things to attend to (blogging, demon fragging, etc) I would gladly embrace this challenge. But as such, there is no way I can maintain that kind of a pace without something else in my life giving way. Next year, I will entertain the idea of participating in the novel writing month itself. The third star as well as good luck goes to Stephi!

I took two straight days off both on Friday and Saturday. Why? Because I’ve been busy chasing the dream of priests everywhere: to beat the living snot out of anything unholy. My Evoker is now level 19. I can’t imagine what life would be like had I rolled a different class. But my blog would definitely not be the way it is now.

I received a comment and an email that I wanted to respond to because it merited addressing on the main page.

Maladorous writes:

After reading this it seems your a priest that likes MP5. With 2.3 coming out and priest talent Meditation getting such a big boost what are you thoughts about spirit regeneration? Also the set bonus from the primal moon cloth set would put you at about 35% Regen while in the FSR. I think this is great and will put your Regen way up.

I drop my spell down as i get more +healing so that saves mana also so i get the +18 gems.

For the most part, I’ve refrained from commenting too much about 2.3 because what changes are can easily be reversed the next day rendering past thoughts on them irrelevant. I still think it’s too early to say. Spirit is definitely getting a huge boost. I’ll confess I don’t know the mathematics or the formulas behind it quite yet. Remember, as a Priest, we need to think situationally. It isn’t often that we are inactive for sessions longer than five seconds. If we are, then either we’re not doing our job or we have one hell of a tank. It’s also important to think long term and what it is you’ll be doing. In raid encounters, you NEED that mana per five. It’s a simple concept. Spells need mana. No mana means no heals which means the tank dies which means its game over. It’s not the size of the tank, it’s how fast the gas gets pumped into it. I didn’t spec Spirit of Redemption in my build (simply because I felt those seconds could best be used for running back into the instance). With the upcoming changes, I’ll need to take a closer look.

Bottom line: Nothing has changed. I still value MP5. Expect that to change as soon as more tests are done by my colleagues in that area. If there is empirical proof that Spirit is better then MP5, then I’ll make the necessary announcements.

Until then, keep hoarding Nightseyes. But if there’s cheap healing/spirit gems on your server, consider possibly investing in several and storing them in the bank. At worst, you can resell them back on the AH as their uncut selves. At best, you no longer need to worry about gems for a long time because you just committed grand theft jewelery on the AH. If you look up Talasite on WoW Econ and plot it for a 90-day chart, you’ll notice a spike in the price. I think that coincided with the time that patch 2.2 went live and Talasite was another option for arena players. Expect the price of Star of Elune to increase slightly. We may begin to see Purified Shadow Pearls in frequency as well. Guess those Naga’s have a use after all.

The above question is a great segue (did I spell that right?) into another question from another reader this time via email:

I’m a bit confused as to which is more important, my mana pool or my +healing. My guild (a social guild more than anything else) has just started raiding Kara, so we’re all barely geared enough for it. I have 1066 +healing and a mana pool of 9521. After looking at your gear list, I opted for Essence Focuser and the Nethering Spiritualist offhand, and am debating getting a +30 Int chant or Major healing on the mace. Some healer that’s supposed to be The Shit told an officer in my guild that my mana pool isn’t up to par, so that constructive (*cough*) criticism in mind, I’m hesitant about using the mace instead of Epoch Mender, since the Mender gives me +35 Int, I believe.

Your healing is a little low, but it meets the requirements. Your mana pool on the other hand is excellent. But there is one important question that you need to ask: How is my mana regeneration? Like I said in the previous post, it’s not the size of the mana pool that matters but how you use it. Encounters depend on your ability to heal. Your healability depends on how fast you get your mana. Sooner or later, cooldowns will catch up to you. Your Druid’s innervate will be burned. Your potions blown. Your Shaman’s Mana Tide deployed. Every trinket you have, used. At present, your MP5 is very low. I think that needs to be increased substantially (to at least 100+ while casting spells). Consider the 6 MP5 to chest, the application of the shoulder enchant, and the application of the head enchant. If you need to trade mana pool for mana regen, do it. Having 9.5k mana is a nice buffer in the opening stages, but you’ll burn out by the time you get down to 50% on Attumen. Remember to downrank your heals some to help alleviate the pressure.

I would also apply 81 healing to the mace. BUT, wait for a while first. The mats are expensive and you’ll want to use it on a weapon that will see action for a long time. See if you can farm the reputation for the Shatar and pick up the Gavel of Pure Light. Failing that, you can always roll the dice and attempt to pick up the Shard of the Virtuous from Maiden.

Good luck!

Remember, I’m only an email away. You can find it on the left pane of my blog (unlinked to scare off those pesky spam bots). Please, feel free to ask. If I can’t help you, I’ll direct you to someone who can.

One more topic of note for sunday. GMW’s post about speaking WoW in real life? That actually happened to me the other day. I was at school when one of my friend’s came up to me and asked what I had on the agenda for the next day:

Girl: Hows tomorrow look?
Me: Not much. No class until 230. Midterms are over. Papers are next week. Oh wait, I have a quest to do tomorrow.
Girl: *blink*
Me: What? Oh! Did I say quest? I mean quiz!
Girl: *sigh*

Ho hum.