Monday, December 8, 2008


Last night, Reins of the Bronze Drake from heroic CoT: Strat.

Tonight, first Sapphiron and Kel'Thuzad kills on the 10-man version of Naxx.

Tomorrow night, the first guild-only venture into Naxx-25.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

...and then everything changed.

A snapshot on the last night of Burning Crusade. So proud of that gear that will be vendored or banked within the next several days.

Goodbye, BC, we hardly knew ye.

Monday, November 10, 2008

An overview of Hunter loot from Wrath leveling dungeons

This will be an ongoing project. I'm starting with Utgarde Keep and making my way through.

The pieces I'm including here are pieces particularly for Hunters - tanking guns, items with expertise, etc, aren't going to make this list.

Please leave comments and suggestions.

Utgarde Keep

The first dungeon for most people, more than likely. Three Hunter pieces drop here: Dragon Stabler's Gauntlets (Prince Keleseth) , the only mail piece, and two leather drops - Vrykul Shackles (trash) and Skarvald's Dragonskin Habergeon (Dalronn/Skarvald)

The gloves are comparable to Tier 4 from Karazhan, and may be an upgrade thanks to their heavy Intellect. The two leather pieces are similarly around Karazhan levels, except that Skarvald's Dragonskin Habergeon has a lot of Agility and may be a good choice for Survival Hunters.

The Nexus

The second dungeon most will run, featuring quite a few quests and bosses. Two pieces of Hunter loot drop here: Drakonid Arm Blade (Ormorok) and Cleated Ice Boots. (Anomalus)

The Drakonid Arm Blade stacks enough Agility to be a worthy replacement for anything up to a Dagger of Bad Mojo. The Cleated Ice Boots have stats almost as solid as Cobra-Lash Boots from Lady Vashj - definitely worth looking at for any Hunter outside Sunwell.


Starting areas will have been left behind by the time most run Azjol-Nerub; it's a 73-75 instance.

Two items drop here that Hunters could use, but they're not strong Hunter-items: Cobweb Machete, a dagger, and Treads of Aspiring Heights, leather boots.

Both items stack enough Agility to be useful to Survival Hunters, but are likely to be lackluster for other specs.


The dungeon-whose-name-cannot-be-pronounced falls in the same 73-75 range as Azjol-Nerub. This dungeon contains some notable Hunter (and physical DPS in general) drops.

Spored Tendrils Spaulders (Trash), Pyramid Embossed Belt (Herald Volazj), Jedoga's Greatring (Jedoga Shadowseeker), and Slasher's Amulet (Prince Talderam) are all reasonably likely to replace BC gear.

Spored Tendrils Spaulders compare well against Shoulders of the Hidden Predator. Pyramid Embossed Belt, again, packs a ton of Agility for the Survivalists. Jedoga's Greatring is on par with Angelista's Revenge, and Slasher's Amulet is close to the Guardian's Pendant of Triumph.

Drak'tharon Keep

Ranging in level from 74-76, this instance is notable mostly for its inclusion of a dinosaur boss.

Three Hunter-friendly pieces drop here - a 2H sword and two helms. Troll Butcherer (Trollgore), Helmet of Living Flesh (The Prophet Tharon'ja), and Scabrous-Hide Helm (King Dred).

Troll Butcherer is a clear upgrade over Vengeful Gladiator's Waraxe, and may be an upgrade from Halberd of Desolation depending on how much Hit one has. Helmet of Living Flesh and the leather Scabrous-Hide Helm are both on par with the T6 Helm, except that they lack a meta gem (or any gem) socket. For Hunters will head pieces of lower quality than the T6 helm, either of these two head pieces are likely to be an upgrade.

The Violet Hold

This instance has been called Black Morass 2.0, but I'd say it's more akin to the final encounter in Arcatraz.

Two pieces of Hunter loot drop here - Prison Warden's Shotgun (Lavanthor) and Xevozz's Belt (Xevoss).

Finally, a ranged weapon! Prison Warden's Shotgun is a solid upgrade from nearly every BC ranged weapon, unless the BC weapon is providing significant stat upgrades. Xevozz's belt is a solid DPS belt, and will upgrade Guardian's Chain Belt or be a small downgrade versus Boneweave Girdle.


Level range 76-78. At this point, most drops are going to be upgrades from even BT gear. This instance shows off the Ice Trolls, who have been kicking Scourge butt. Trolls FTW.

Three major pieces of Hunter loot drop here. Drakkari Hunting Bow (Drakkari Colossus), Cannibal's Legguards (Slad'ran), and Shoulderguards of the Ice Troll (Drakkari Colossus).

Drakkari Hunting Bow is a straight upgrade from Legionkiller. It has a surprisingly high speed, which may make it relatively undesirable for those who want high top-end damage. For BM and Surv Hunters, this is an extremely good weapon. Cannibal's Legguards are an upgrade over Leggings of the Pursuit, and so worth picking up for almost anyone. Shoulderguards of the Ice Troll are heavy on Agility and Hit, and so compare favorably versus Shoulders of the Hidden Predator depending on spec and Hit Rating.

Halls of Lightning

One of the four normal level-80 dungeons.

There's quite a bit of Hunter gear here: Projectile Activator (Loken), Boots of the Terrestrial Guardian (Trash), Tornado Cuffs (Ionar), Leather-Braced Chain Leggings (Loken), Hood of the Furtive Assassin (Loken), and Bjarngrim Family Signet (General Bjarngrim).

Projectile Activator has more conventional stats and a slower speed than Drakkari Hunting Bow, and so may be a better option for MM Hunters. All of the mail gear here is similar to Sunwell gear; worthy of taking. The Bjarngrim Family Signet, in particular, is hard to beat with BC gear - it's similar to the craftable Sunwell physical DPS ring.

The Oculus

This instance is not to be missed - it is uniquely laid out and very fun to explore.

Seven pieces of potential Hunter loot drop here: Wyrmclaw Battleaxe (Ley-Guardian Eregos), Lifeblade of Belgaristrasz (Drakos the Interrogator), Spaulders of Skillful Maneuvers (Mage-Lord Uron), Headguard of Westrift (Ley-Guardian Eregos), Ley-Whelphide Belt (Trash), Sidestepping Handguards (Mage-Lord Uron), and Centrifuge Core Cloak (Varos Cloudstrider).

Wyrmclaw Battleaxe will be the Sonic Spear of Wrath. Every Hunter will want one. Lifeblade of Belgaristrasz is an excellent 1H for lovers of dual-wielding. Both Spaulders of Skillful Maneuvers and Headguard of Westrift rival Sunwell gear. The leather pieces offer excellent DPS stats, as well. Centrifuge Core Cloak is a direct upgrade from Cloak of Fiends - same stats, in greater amounts. Cloak of Unforgivable Sin from Sunwell still edges it, however.

Utgarde Pinnacle

Like Shattered Halls, this level-80 dungeon sits atop Utgarde Keep.

Seven pieces of Hunter loot drop here: Ymiron's Blade (King Ymiron), Ritualistic Athame (Svala Sorrowgrave), Tear-Linked Gauntlets (Svala Sorrowgrave), Trophy Gatherer (Gortok Palehoof), Ceremonial Pyre Mantle (King Ymiron), Drake Rider's Tunic (Skadi the Ruthless), and Vestige of Haldor (King Ymiron).

Ymiron's Blade and Ritualistic Athame are more solid 1H options. Tear-Linked Gauntlets compare favorably with Gronnstalker's Gloves - definitely worth a look. Trophy Gatherer is the MM weapon of choice from normal Wrath dungeons - it's very, very slow at 3.00. The two leather pieces are similar to or better than Sunwell gear, and so worth a roll.

About the Vestige of Haldor. Finally, a trinket, but it has a few problems. First, it provides passive Haste. Hunters are going to be drowning in Haste in Wrath. Second, it has a flat 15% chance-on-hit proc that doesn't scale with anything but Haste. Take it if no one else wants it, but let the Combat Rogue in your group have first crack at it.

Caverns of Time - Culling of Stratholme

Immensely fun, deeply story-driven, and unlike any instance before Wrath.

Four potential Hunter drops come from this instance: Meathook's Slicer (Meathook), Waistband of the Thuzadin (Salramm the Fleshcrafter), King's Square Bracers (Trash), and Necklace of the Chrono-Lord (Chrono-Lord Epoch).

Not much stand-out loot from this instance - Meathook's Slicer is another decent 1H, and King's Square Bracers will be worth taking to upgrade BC gear. Waistband of the Thuzadin is a strong piece thanks to its lack of Haste. Necklace of the Chrono-Lord is a rare neck drop, but suffers from its Haste itemization.


More to come - next up is Heroic Dungeon loot, then I'll start working on an analysis of gear from early raid dungeons.

If you see anything missing, broken, wrong, or extraneous, please let me know.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

How long has it been? Well, entirely too long, anyway.

Why haven't I been blogging? Well, besides being busy with other aspects of life, I've been too busy playing WoW!

It's a whole new game, folks, and if you aren't playing, now is the time to start.

Achievements are not my cup of tea, but they still add fun to the game for me, because I'm constantly getting to do things that otherwise would have been impossible, thanks to people completing Achievements.

Since I last blogged, here are some of my firsts:

Killed Kael'Thas in his 25-man incarnation (I admit, it was pretty easy with the boss nerfs/player buffs, but still epic.)

Broke 2400 DPS (on Gorefiend; the guy above me was the first ghost, thus the 7k DPS. I must point out, in fairness, that before he was ghosted he was right even with me on damage done.)

Killed Mother Shahraz and Illidari Council and got Illidan to phase 5. (Tonight, Illy... tonight.)

Leveled a Rogue to 47, a Shaman and Druid to 38, and a Paladin to 51. (In light of ongoing and upcoming events related to the Plague, I thought this image of Stratholme was poignant.)

You're still reading? Shoo! Go play!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Reliquary down! Mother to 46%

Whew! I am so tired. After a weekend out of town with friends, I came back to raid with KI and we killed Reliquary of Souls for the first time in five tries, then beat on Mother Shahraz four times, getting her to 46% before calling it for the night.

Boneweave Girdle for me, replacing Guardian's Chain Girdle.

Here's the WWS report. I'm going to bed!

Friday, October 3, 2008

What Shabula has been up to, other than movie-making.

Last night KI went into Black Temple and bumped off Gorefiend and Bloodboil. It took us a few tries to get the Bloodboil debuff rotations figured out, but we got him down with plenty of time to do attempts on RoS.

Reliquary went really well - we got to 4% on Phase 2, and we weren't really prepared to do Phase 3 (no Cauldrons of Major Nature Protection) so it was a great night off attempts. We'll be back in BT on Sunday night, and if we get a good turnout I think it'll be a kill.

Saiyuri was nice enough to run Survival spec last night, so we physical DPS had a field night - here's my one venture to the top of the meters, on the Gorefiend kill. The rest of the boss fights were mostly dominated by the Rogues - our Rogues are hard to top right now, but that's no complaint. It's nice to have someone to compete with.

This is a new DPS-over-total-fight record for me; I'm excited. This was with two Haste Potions in my potion cooldown slots - I'm currently popping a Haste potion with Bestial Wrath when Rapid Fire is not available, though I can't say with absolute certainty that that's the best time to pop it.

Next goal: 2000 DPS!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

In which I make a movie.

Part of the reason for the dearth of posts, lately, is a secret project I've been working on - movies!

Oh, by the way... did I mention I'm in the beta? I didn't? Oh, silly me.

Here's my first effort, the only one that's finished - it's rough, but I really like how this played out. What happens is in no way scripted, and the fact that everything went horribly wrong and yet came out okay really shows off why Hunters are such a great class. In this first video, I've just tamed a Bear (literally tamed the Bear, flew south, and started filming.) Warning! This is beta stuff - don't watch it if you're very sensitive to spoilers.

Bear pet-tanking in the Wrath beta from Nick Slabaugh on Vimeo.

Future videos will be a bit more focused; this first one wasn't really meant for publication... I just loved how it happened to come out.

It's pretty clear to me that a Hunter or two with tanking pets could pretty easily tank normal instances - with Mend Pet alone, on a level-75 pet, it's this easy? Sweet.

What Bigredkitty says about Bears is true, out in Northrend - their Swipe ability often fails to connect because they spend a lot of time being attacked from behind. That said, the threat generated by Swipe, as I think was more than adequately demonstrated here, is nothing short of massive. Gorilladins are nice, but for tanking instances, I want a BEAR.

Only one question remains - is it Ooot-garde, or Uhtt-garde?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Fun with Recruit-A-Friend

Consider this both an anecdote and a guide - I've been (ab)using the lovely new Recruit-A-Friend bonuses for the past weeks, and boy are they exciting.

I'll give an example, though it's only one of many dirty, wonderful things I've done with Recruit-A-Friend.

This Saturday, I was bored, so I thought that thought that I'm prone to think when I'm bored... I should roll a new toon.

But rolling a toon alone didn't excite me enough. Rolling two at once? OK!

Full disclosure: I have 3 accounts. All of the stuff I'm about to talk about is possible with individuals accounts controlled by different people... but that requires 3 people. Weigh the options yourself.

What classes don't I have yet?


Eckh... fine. (Grudgingly rolls a Druid on Account 2.)

What else?


OK, yes, this I like. (Cheerfully rolls a Shaman on Account 3.)

OK! I have new toons. Now what?

Well, we've got to get to level 10, and set up our boxing macros. These are mutually compatible goals, thankfully, so away we go. Druid becomes Box1, Shaman becomes Box2, since I'm assuming I'll be running a Feral/Hybrid Caster combo, and the melee class is easiest to run as Box1. I won't bore you with details of multiboxing - visit if you want to learn more about that.

Anyway! We box our way up to level 10, which is when interesting little tricks become possible. Tricks like running the toons through instances with a 70th-level toon.

A slight aside on running characters through instances - have them collect up all the quests for the instance, save up their rest XP, and knock that thing out with a 70. Even without Recruit-A-Friend, you might be shocked at just how fast the levels come.

Back to the show... and we're off to RFC!

So I grab the Hunter on Account 1, 70, with a Ravager pet - I find that Ravagers are great for running lowbies through instances. We burn through RFC. Yay! RFC down two times, and the boxers are...



No way.

They're level fourteen.

OK, this is working, to say the least... let's do Wailing Caverns!

Dum dum dum shiny Druid gear, Wailing Caverns down. How are the boxers doing? Keep in mind, their windows don't come up much... the Hunter's window dominates my screen.

After two Wailing Caverns runs... drumroll... they're level nineteen.

Well, heck, Pa, let's run RFK!

RFK once... level 22. RFK twice... 24... three times! 26! Four times! 27! And turn in the RFK quests to see...

That's two toons to 28 (only the Shaman is shown there, but the Druid is right with him, actually around 28.3) in less than 11 hours /played, without trying particularly hard.

So find some friends, tell them you possess the key to deep, hidden magics, and go level! It's easier now than it has ever been before.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Quit looking at me like that!

My shoulders keep looking at me like I'm crazy.

I have this problem.

I'm motivated by DPS meters.

It's a terrible way to feel motivated - all I really want is to top the DPS meters, and when I do, it's all gone. I continue to do only what I have to do to top the DPS meters.

So now, having taken so many upgrades in such a short time, most recently the Shoulders of the Hidden Predator and Fists of Mukoa, my DPS is great. 1600 DPS on Gurtogg Bloodboil great. And now, as we attack Reliquary of Souls, I don't feel like working at maximizing my DPS on my own anymore.

I don't feel like doing heroics, don't feel like farming for crafted gear, don't feel like fighting to get into Grim Guzzler groups after that DPS trinket. The main problem, to be honest, is that PuGing is a nightmare, and my current guild doesn't do a whole lot of 5-man stuff during off times.

Clearly, someone needs to bury me on the meters and give me the motivation to sit through hour-long "LF Tank" queues. Go Fury Warriors, go!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Lady Vashj bites the dust.

I won't write a long post about it - she's dead, and that's exactly as exciting as it ought to be. I got a pair of Cobra-Lash Boots, and then used the badges she dropped to buy Gauntlets of Rapidity.

The Vashj fight, which I had never done before tonight, is really a great example of good encounter design. Everyone has to participate; everyone gets to feel like they've contributed individually. Tossing tainted cores around rugby-style has a "team sport" feel that a lot of encounters lack.

Perhaps most importantly, the difficulty in the fight comes not from reacting to random Bad Things inflicted upon the raid, but in performing complex (but reasonably predictable!) tasks very precisely. Nothing instantly kills you without giving you a chance to react, like Supremus' volcanoes often do. Sure, lots of things are trying very hard to kill you, but none of them have that dice-roll-of-doom feeling. There is no snake-eyes condition where events conspire to make the encounter unbeatable.

In any case, several hundred gold worth of gems and enchants later, I'm a much scarier Hunter. Kael is on notice - that second Vial is so close, I can taste it.

Here's me with Vashj - I'll never tell you what I'm whispering in her ear.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Upgrade time!

Boy, it's been a while since those sweet words have passed my fingers.

Last night I visited SSC with my new guild, Kraklenheit Industries, and we killed off Hydross, Lurker, Tidewalker, and Fathom-Lord Karathress without too much trouble.

I brought Wendy, my zappy Windserpent, and we had a grand old time up at the top of the damage meters.

Other than some stupidity on my part on Hydross (Argh! Feign Death on cooldown!) it was a smooth night.

When we downed FLK, I lucked out on a Bloodsea Brigand's Vest, which bumps my unbuffed crit rate to almost 29%, but also puts me over the hit cap. Hopefully, I'll get to replace a +hit item or two soon.

Here's the WWS report from our FLK kill - Hunters rock hard in SSC.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

You hear that? Bears. Now the whole guild is in danger.

I trialed with a new guild, Kraklenheit Industries, tonight, and I'm feeling pretty good about it.

I cracked 1000 DPS on each boss fight up to Akama, where I fell slightly short thanks probably to frequent trap-laying. When I lit into Shade of Akama at the end, though, with Bloodlust, a trinket, Berzerking, and Bestial Wrath ticking, I found a momentary peak around 1700 damage per second. Mmm, that's delicious.

Even 1k DPS was often not enough to get me into the top 10, though, which is a new experience for me. Even with my best full-boss DPS performance ever, I only found the 8th slot on Supremus. Here's a Recount display from that kill:

I find Supremus to be supremely annoying, but with practice I think I'll be able to improve my total output on him by filling in a few more gaps in my DPS-time.

The Fists of Mukoa dropped from Naj'entus, but I couldn't take them because I was a trial. Sad face.

I liked raiding with KI - they get through stuff quickly and with a minimum of drama or frustration. We wiped, sure, but the attitude stayed positive, so it never felt like one of those horrible nights I'm sure so many of you are familiar with. I've got high hopes for a guild invite.

The fruits of Recruit-A-Friend

I have my computer back! And oh, the WoWing has been good.

Recruit-A-Friend has been amazing - I've leveled a Mage to 60 and used his grantable levels to flash-level a Priest up to 60 as well. Orgrimmar was duly impressed.

That's the Priest, Massor, on the left, and my new Mage Nicciter on the right. It took me about a week to level the Mage to 60, without having to play all that much - if you want a 2nd 70, RAF is the way to go.

In other news, I have a trial in Black Temple tonight with Kraklenheit Industries. A good friend of mine also has a trial, which is exciting. I hope we both get in - KI seems like a really great guild.

Even if I don't, though, it'll be good to raid again, especially in content I've only seen a couple of times.

Finally, a brief note. A few people have been asking me why I don't post beta news and analysis. Well... because a million other people do. They've pretty much got it covered. If something really grabs me, rest assured, it'll come up.

Monday, September 1, 2008


I apologize for the massive deviation from my usual content, dear readers, but I am currently living with a laptop while my desktop PC is shipped.

This laptop I refer to as the Frankencomputer, because someone really should put it out of its misery before it kills any children.

Is it slow? Yes, that is true, but slow doesn't really capture it. Glaciers are slightly slower... sloths are much faster. It's somewhere in the slowness zone defined by glaciers and sloths.

Capital cities are a nightmare - instant chug of the less than 1 FPS variety. The same goes for anyplace with lots of shiny effects, like raids. I tried to run a heroic... and chugged so badly that the group thought I had DCed.

So it's leveling, for the moment, and boy have I been productive!

My Paladin, Encephalitic, is now level 48!
My Rogue, Eun, is now level 22!
My Priest, Massor, is now level 42!

I've also started a semi-secret mage that I don't want to reveal until he's much higher level, perhaps even 70... because I want to surprise the people who knew me when my original mage was banned.

So the very near future will see at least one fresh 70 - the Paladin is hustling right along at the rate of about one level per day.

I've also been enjoying some questing with the friend I recruited, who is having a great time leveling his Shaman (now 26) and a new Paladin. Definitely looking forward to getting some free levels out of him. /rubhands

Until later, dear readers.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Triple XP

I'm finally moved, settled in, and back to some good WoWing.

I recently recruited a friend using the new Recruit-a-Friend system, curious to see how good the triple experience bonus might be. I could care less about a Zhevra mount - I want faster leveling!

In short, it is awesome.

We played for about two hours together, he on a Warlock and I on a Rogue rolled especially for the purpose. In that two hour session, he picked up the game really well and we leveled to 14. Not bad at all for two hours of play, and I can only see it getting better once we start doing instance runs with 70s leading the way.

Eun, I think, will end up being a level 29 BG twink. Wave to the people, Eun.

I'll have to find a new guild, unfortunately, since moving puts me in the wrong time zone to raid with Havok. Any suggestions?

Friday, August 22, 2008

Hunter Glyphs

The latest beta build showed us some Hunter glyphs, and they do look promising.

Read all about them here.

It looks like a fairly logical list, given Blizzard's usual habits. There are some Glyphs that will be good for PvP, some that will be good for PvE, and some that will never be used.

Take this Glyph, for example: Glyph of Aspect of the Beast - Increases the attack power bonus of Aspect of the Beast for you and your pet by an additional 2%.

In order to make GoAoTB (cough) something worth taking, Aspect of the Beast has to be worth using. Whether or not that's true is really an open question at this point - do Hunters really want to try to change aspects whenever they happen to run into melee range? The only time I use Aspect of the Monkey (admittedly less useful, though very funny against Ret Paladins) is when I'm certain long ahead of time that I won't be able to get many shots off - towers in AV, for example.

Blizzard likes to tune up spells and abilities that people don't use, and that's laudable, but the community is pretty clever - they can smell impracticality from a mile off. Some of the Hunter changes are definitely setting off alarms for me.

In any case, there are still a few glyphs I'd like to see.

Glyph of Rogue-Hunting: Increases your stealth detection and the radius of your Flare spell. I thought of this as a joke, but this actually sounds like a pretty reasonable glyph for PvP...

Glyph of Epeen: Whenever you are at the top of either damage meters or BG leaderboards, your RAP is increased by 13.37%. This one's for BRK, who also has a Hunter-Glyph wishlist.

Glyph of EZmode: Targets soloed by your pet are counted as your kills. I would have this Glyph on during questing and grinding, no exceptions.

Monday, August 18, 2008


It's been about 5 days now since I've had a chance to log on to WoW, and the withdrawal is killing me.

All the Wrath of the Lich King news isn't helping - is anyone else pumped? I am.

More news, gentle readers, once my PC catches up to me and I can WoW again.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Gentle readers, I am moving.

Bear with me as I transition (again!)

The blog will be back to normal as soon as life is, honest.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Pure E-peen

Since our frustration on Al'ar, Havok downed Al'ar, VR, Solarian, Hydross, Lurker, and Leo. Not a bad week.

Here's this week's lurker fight. I picked up a Rift Stalker Mantle from VR, and the DPS difference is pretty obvious from last week's Lurker kill (posted a few posts down.)

Look BRK, I can pwn AB too!

Notice the zero healing done? My pet took ~0 damage that whole BG. It was bizarre.

Until later, gentle readers. Tonight, we drink!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

I hate Al'ar, and I never want to see him again


Whoever designed this boss was a complete sadist.

"I know, let's force tanks to chase down adds that could spawn anywhere... in this HUGE-ASS ROOM!"


Monday, August 4, 2008

A new premade strategy? A brilliant new premade strategy!

So what you do is this:

Dispatch 2 groups to Aid Station, ideally 7 Rogues and 3 Resto Druids, but really whatever best group you can muster.

Dispatch 2 groups to guard the Iceblood chokepoint. It must not fall! And no one can get by. Designate 2 or 3 good players to fall back to RH if ninjas slip through.

Dispatch 2 groups to guard Drek. Again, no falling! It's amusingly easy to keep Drek up with 10 people guarding him.

Everyone else kills Bal, then helps with offense.

Do not cap any graveyards other than Aid Station. Period. It ruins everything.

We ran this strategy 5 consecutive times today. The least bonus honor we got was over 600, plus much more HK-honor than usual. The most bonus honor the Alliance got was 63. The Allies were like deer about to be hit by a big, angry truck. They ran singly into our focused defensive groups, tried without success to ninja random objectives, and eventually settled for some HK-farming at Stonehearth Graveyard.

It is slower than the typical northern-tower recap strategy. Somewhat. But don't you Hordies out there want the satisfaction of completely shutting the Alliance out? After all, For The Horde is no empty phrase! It's a rallying cry to pwn those Alliance carebears! We've got ugly, angry, and dangerous down.

Let's implement some organized.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

I said I'd top DPS on a boss by the end of the month, and here it is the 31st...

Thank you, Lurker, for being so good to BM Hunters.

I got a pair of Boots of Effortless Striking, which I sadly don't have the +hit to wear against bosses yet. If I ever find myself over the hit cap, they'll be a nice DPS upgrade, though. For a minimum DKP bid, I'll take 'em.

Strange, isn't it, that Edgewalker Longboots would be so good for so many classes, dropping as they do out of the very beginning of Karazhan?

Lurker and Hydross tonight went sort of slowly - we had to teach the fights to a few new people, which is a practice I'm getting really tired of. Someday I'd like to just, you know, kill the boss.

The Ranger-General's Chestguard dropped from Hydross tonight, and I lost the bid to the only Hunter with more DKP than me. My strategy of draining everyone else's DKP is working /rubhands.

On a slightly unrelated note, I stumbled upon an old guild app that had been rejected - I had applied on my mage, largely in blues at the time, to a much more advanced guild. They openly mocked my gem choices... pretty hurtful, yes, but not wrong. At the time, I was under the (mistaken) impression that socket bonuses were there for some good reason, and that they were worth gemming for. On top of that, I was saving every copper that came my way toward my epic flyer, so some of my gems were literally whatever was cheapest when I got a piece of gear. Embarrassing. Oh, how far we've come.

Of course, I still sometimes gem for socket bonuses... it's a hard habit to break. Generally, the logic goes "the socket bonus is something I need... and I can put gems in the slots that give me stats I need and still get the bonus... OK I'm going for it." I know, deep in the part of my brain that theorycrafts, that just dropping +agi gems into every slot is probably still better, but... free stats!

So, Blizz, if you're reading this, do us a favor - make some blue/green/purple gems that only have DPS stats, and give us socket bonuses that actually benefit our class.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A brush with celebrity, sort of.

I got an invite to tank Karazhan with a geared group, so I jumped in and found myself with some minor Arena celebrities.

It was a fun run - we brute-forced everything. We killed Netherspite with one tank, nuked the Oz event with one tank, and dropped Illhoof with no Warlock. It was a nice change from the slow, undergeared PuGs I've been stuck with for the past few weeks.

If you don't know who Aelli and Restorate are, have a look here and here:

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Arenas! It's been a while.

It's been a long time since I've played Arenas - my usual Rogue partner has been really busy with work, so I've held off. Tonight, I picked up with a Holy Priest friend to try some 2s on Shabula in the high 1300s/low 1400s.

For those who aren't familiar with my attitudes about PvP, let's just say they're negative. But I'm trying!

I raid tomorrow, so tonight's specs were PvE BM and PvE Holy. No Scatter Shot, no Silencing Shot, but I did have Bestial Wrath! And that, friends and enemies mine, is useful

We went 5-5, and I could tell that my PvP skills and gear have improved dramatically - about 100 resilience may not be much compared to what serious PvPers are running around with, but it helps. I've picked up a couple of pieces from Honor - the Vindicator's Band of Triumph and the nice 2-minute Medallion of the Horde. Megatf sez 2-minute trinket! And boy, is he ever right... that thing is more of a help than I ever expected.

I also picked up the Crossbow of Relentless Strikes. Just a little upgrade, there.

More importantly than gear, though, I've been doing some actual PvP, mostly in Alterac Valley. AV makes me a terribly bitter WoWer - nowhere else can you see quite so much laziness, incompetence, QQing, and frustration all in one place. Despite all that, though, it's taught me quite a bit about the practice of killing other players.

On to the Arena matches!

What are we doing well with? Well, I'm very good at annoying and killing healers. My Viper Sting button got a workout tonight - I drained more mana than health, almost certainly. I'm also getting pretty good at 1v1s against Rogues. We faced a geared Warrior/Rogue team twice, and both times they killed my healer just slowly enough that I could burn the Warrior down and kill the Rogue. Given full health, any kind of mana, and the knowledge that there is a Rogue intent on killing me, they're not very threatening.

We faced two Shaman/Spriest teams tonight, in two games each. One of them went down like a house of cards - the first time we faced them, I burned the shadow priest down so quickly I didn't even have time to pop BW. The second time wasn't any better for them.

What aren't we doing so well with? If I was to draw a picture like a certain sushi-loving blogger, it'd be a picture of me floating in mid-air, screaming "FSCK CYCLONE!!1!" So, yeah, Druids were our main problem - we faced 2 teams involving a druid and lost both games. The first was paired with a Warlock, and the game was a 15-minute ordeal where I'd chase the Druid from one side of the Arena to the other trying to keep him from drinking long enough to kill either of them. It was nightmarish. Every time I got close, he'd Cyclone me, go travel form, and sprint to the other side of the arena. Naturally, he was healing the Warlock this whole time.

The second team was Rogue/Druid, and I have to say they were very well-coordinated - I saw them both in stealth and popped them with a multishot, but it did no good. The Druid turned into Invincibear (tm) and Feral Charged my healer while the rogue got up my narrow troll ass with both Season 3 maces. That Gnome has a lot of crit rating, I'll give him that.

The other team we lost to, twice, was a frustration - Elemental Shaman and Shadow Priest. The Shadow Priest wasn't particularly good or geared, though he did know how to hump pillars reasonably well. The Elemental Shaman, on the other hand, was sporting a title from Season 3 and gear to match. His Lesser Healing Waves during brief LoS were more than enough to keep him alive as he pounded my low-resilience Troll with Lightning Bolt crits. It was ugly.

All told, a decent night of Arenas - we crushed teams with similar gear, and got rolled by teams who were clearly in the bracket on purpose.

I'm developing certain 2v2 strategeries - if they seem unsound to you, please, help an Arena noob out.

1.) If there is a Paladin, make it bubble. Then kill other stuff. Making most Paladins bubble is really pretty easy... Viper Sting and an Aimed Shot is usually plenty to make a twitchy Pally toss up a bubble. Once that bubble is gone, they're toast.

2.) If there is a Shadow Priest, kill it. Squishy!

3.) If there is a Druid, mana drain it, put pet on it, and then do whatever else needs doing while he uses his mana up. Aimed Shot if there's time, but thanks to the Hunter's 5-yard minimum range, anyone with 5 working brain cells will just hop inside the safety circle. If they do that, Wing Clip 'em and make 'em spend mana to shift. :-)

4.) Dual-melee teams are pretty much a DPS race. Blow up whichever one I want to fight least once my healer is dead. Without healers involved, this is a race I win. Thank God, PvE gear is good for something.

5.) If the healer is getting focused, great! I can focus theirs, and my DPS is better. This will most certainly change... but for these low brackets it seems that leaving me alone to pew my best pew is a death warrant for at least one team member.

6.) No Aspect of the Pack/Cheetah unless certain that no one is going to hit you for a while. Self-CC FTL.

Advice? Tips? Strategeries? Let me know. I need all the help I can get.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Dear sweet lord, look at this video BRK posted...

It depresses me that terrible players can get excellent gear as easily as they do...

Take a look at this Recount report. This is for overall data through a Sunwell Plateau trash run; a quite profitable run, actually - 4 weapons dropped. There is exactly one DPSer who had Shivering Felspine during the run - can you spot him?

Is it one of the top 3 Hunters? Nope! #7, maybe he had an off-day? Nope!

Bad news.

Was he dead a lot? Joined late? Nah. He was there the whole time, and died only when the rest of us did.

When did this game start offering the best available loot to players who spec a Warrior 41/20/0 and then dual wield when they have Shivering Felspine?


In less-elitist news, I tried the 3:2 spam macro today. It ups my DPS and makes my hand tired. I'm going back to manual weaving.

Stuck on Solarian

Since killing Al'ar and Loot Reaver earlier this week, Havok has been stuck on High Astromancer Solarian for two days in a row - pretty ridiculous, if you ask me.

People blow up the raid... or ignore Omen... or don't heal during Arcane Missiles. We have the DPS - our top 10 are all well over 1000 damage per second. We have the tanks - all of our tanks are rolling over 17k unbuffed HP. And I believe we have the heals, though my knowledge of healing isn't really enough to comment on the healing situation. Despite having all the necessary components to kill this boss, we can't get her down.

It's turned an easy fight into a source of extreme tension in the guild.

When raid time came around tonight, 10 people from the signups were online. We eventually fielded a 25-man raid, but not before over an hour had passed.

After the raid, I joined a few members I like and trust for a heroic Slave Pens, which we dominated in about 20 minutes. If not for those few people, I'd be long gone by now.

Personally, the Solarian fight is an exercise, like counting to 10. Embarrassingly simple. Press 1 for Pet Attack/Hunter's Mark macro. Click cooldowns. Press 3 for Steady Shot. Do 1000 DPS. Run away when I turn shadowy.

Depending on 25 individuals to do their very simple jobs (if you are shooting lightning bolts out of your freaking head, run away from the raid) has apparently become unreasonable. It makes me want to take a break from raiding til Wrath to focus on leveling my alts and learning the PvP side of the game.

I have positive news related to gear and etc, but I'm too bummed to relate it now. Perhaps tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Al'ar, Void Reaver down, no T5 shoulders :-(

Havok got into TK tonight and noobed it up on Al'ar for a while before getting together and killing him without further fuss.

Void Reaver was a two-shot - aggro issues kept us from killing him the first time. And by aggro issues I mean people kept pulling the boss off of the tanks and getting killed.

No T5 shoulders for me, but the list of people with more DKP than me is dwindling rapidly. Fingers crossed for next week.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Look how clever you are. Want a cookie? No? OK, I'll just put in a ticket referring the GMs to this image.

Ready, Set, Heroic Race!

Tonight, since we couldn't field a 25-man raid team, we broke up into two teams of 5 to do something a little bit different - Heroic races!

After considering who was saved to what, who was keyed for what, and generally what we wanted to run, we decided to run two instances - Blood Furnace and Underbog.

With our Feral Druid tank and 3 available CC, we were pretty well set up - we burned through Blood Furnace, chain-pulling all the way, and flew straight to Underbog to do the same there. Only a few deaths throughout, mostly for our rogue, and no wipes at all.

It came down to the wire - we killed the final boss in Underbog just moments before the other team, and won ourselves 20g each. I also came out with Plans: Khorium Champion, which I'm hoping to sell for a few hundred gold. Fingers crossed.

If you're ever suffering from off-night boredom in your guild, find some people and challenge them to a Heroic race. It's a really fun way to engage with your guildies and farm quick badges.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Holding Pattern

Not much going on this week in my corner of WoW - some Tier 5 raiding, some Karazhan, but no upgrades to speak of. The Hunter is still hurting for an epic ranged weapon, and the Warrior still never gets to do much of anything, despite his excellent gear.

Al'ar gave Havok quite a bit of trouble this Thursday; tanks couldn't get aggro on anything, which led to a lot of dead healers and DPS - it was like all the tanks had Salvation. People weren't taking our night in TK very seriously, though - half the raiders who showed up were PvP-spec. Even farm content takes more effort than that.

Hopefully people will be more focused next week; I'd really like to start collecting some T5 gear on my Hunter.

Other than raiding, I've been leveling alts pretty heavily - I now have a Paladin and a Priest to 37, and I'm working on a Mage that I just started. Come Wrath, my goal is to have 4 70s in all, but having 5 wouldn't exactly hurt. I think the Mage will be my pre-expansion project - the Pally and the Priest are so much further along, it'd be a bit of a waste to grind the Mage up just yet.

Outside of the World of Warcraft, a lot of good entertainment has laid itself at my feet lately - if you haven't seen Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog yet, you're missing out... maybe permanently. I've also given Generation Kill a chance - it's interesting, at least, though I haven't completely figured it out yet.

Friday, July 18, 2008

OMGz, beta

The WoTLK Beta has started, and I want in.

Like, now.

The desire, it burns me. Seriously. Let me in.

That is all.

Monday, July 14, 2008

In Defense of Mages

I've been hearing a lot of people rip on mages lately. "Broken class," they say, or "like a Warlock, but worse." Worst of all... "vending machines."

Are the criticisms of mages entirely wrong? Nah. But I'd like to counter a few of the most popular.

1.) Mages are underpowered in PvP.

I tend to agree with this, to an extent. Mages are indeed limited to one spec for effective PvP, namely Frost, and at poor gear levels Mages get eaten up by just about everyone else. Sure, Fire Mages can blow people up in AV, but for just about anything where you're being focused, Frost is it. And the dominance of Warlocks over Mages in PvP is well-documented and valid.

A well-played mage, however, can be a real force to be reckoned with. The RMP build has proven this over the course of multiple seasons - the superior mobility and extreme burst potential of the Mage makes it a great PvPer, albeit only in the right hands.

Verdict? More skill required than some other classes, but not nearly as broken in PvP as, say, Shamans.

2.) Mages are losing the DPS race to Warlocks, a class that shouldn't be beating them.

There are certainly cases where this is true - Seed of Corruption is a better AoE in raids like Mount Hyjal than Arcane Explosion, regardless of AE's much lower threat generation. I completely agree that Mages need a better AoE.

However, when it comes to single-target DPS, only the very highest levels of raiding will see Warlocks universally beating Mages. On my own Mage, in Tier 5 content, I was right there alongside even the best warlocks.

I think part of the reason so many Mages are losing their rightful place on the damage meters is a matter of failing to play their class with a dominant attitude. I was used to topping the meters in my original, very casual guild, so I expected to do so all the time, and when I didn't it drove me to improve. Mages who believe the old "Warlocks are better" axe don't try anymore.

If you're rolling a Fire spec you found on Elitist Jerks, you're not maximizing your DPS. I tried all the Fire specs, specs with Icy Veins, specs with Clearcasting, everything, and what did I discover? My best DPS was with an Arcane/Frost (40/0/21) spec. And that was just for the average night of raiding! On fights where you stand still and DPS the whole fight, Fire may well be better, but on fights where DPS time is limited or threat is capped, Fire is far from my favorite.

Verdict? If you want to spec a certain way and top the damage meters without trying, roll a Warlock. If you want to top the DPS meters as a mage, you have some work ahead of you.

3.) So what if you can compete with Warlocks? Warlocks can do everything you can do, and have better survivability, endless mana pools, and cast spells that half of raid bosses aren't immune to!

This is actually kind of a toughy. There are things that Mages have that Warlocks don't, sure, like the oh-so-useful Ritual of Refreshment, Arcane Brilliance, and Polymorph, but those functions can often be supplanted by, respectively, vendors, scrolls, and Seduce.

The issues of resistances is a frustration, too. Thankfully, only a very few bosses (Rage Winterchill, I hate you) are resistant or invulnerable to both Arcane and either Fire or Frost, so there's always Arcane Blast, a tricky but very powerful spell.

Warlocks do have a huge advantage in mana conservation from Lifetap. Arcane talents can work wonders for a Mage's mana pool, but not everyone wants to spec into Arcane. Warlocks win the mana-pool point.

But can a Warlock, faced with a dead tank in a Heroic, kite two elite mobs to their eventual deaths with or without heals?

Can a Warlock make Rogues quiver at the mere mention of their class?

Can a Warlock Ice Block out of 100% of the damage from Naj'entus' Tidal Shield or Gruul's Roof Collapse? Out of Rage Winterchill's Ice Bolt? A Frost Mage or even a 2/48/11 Fire mage can survive three Ice Bolts - let's see what happens to a Warlock.

Verdict? Warlocks are nice, I guess.

The final verdict, though, at least for me, is this: Even though I have already leveled a Mage to 70, even though I've experienced every single flaw suffered by the Mage, I'm leveling another Mage for Wrath of the Lich King.

Maybe it's the underdog effect, maybe I'm just a masochist, but I love mages. I love Water Elementals, I love Ice Block, I love actually farming Mana Potions.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

You know you know these people

The No-English Hunter

Probably named something with characters not found on your keyboard, making whispers an exhilarating exercise in looking up ASCII tables. Speaks not a word, unless another player who speaks his language happens to be in your party. Does strange and inexplicable things, then meets questions with stony silence.

The Stoned Rogue

Probably named Budsmoker, Croniklol, or Fourtwenty. He speaks of nothing but getting high, and frequently AFKs for that purpose. Makes you wonder if science is wrong about marijuana's chemical addictiveness. Generally competent, though spacey. Often a member of a hardcore guild.

The Pretty Pretty Paladin Princess

Probably named Arwenna, Ladrina, or anything that sounds likely to have been stolen from Tolkien. Rolled a Blood Elf Paladin because they're pretty. Has put a similar amount of thought into the quality of their play. Is, or claims to be, female. May also be a Priest, but is most certainly a Blood Elf.

The PvP Druid

Probably named Shifftz, Hotznrunz, or anything having to do with Druids. Can't keep a tank alive to save his (or anyone else's) life. Never dies himself, though. Shifts to bear when he gets aggro, regardless of the state of the tank's HP bar.

The Epeening Warlock

Probably named Fearlol, Dottastic, or Darkgnomey. Destruction spec. Frequently mentions that he crits for 6k with Shadowbolt. Is blissfully unaware that 1200 spell damage is a lot more for a Mage than for a Warlock, and assumes that he's better than said Mages. Believes that the strength of Warlocks in end-game translates directly into his own personal awesomeness. Regularly asserts that Destruction only works if one has incredibly good gear; does not have incredibly good gear.

The PvP Warrior

Probably named Thewarrior, Smashyou, or Big-somethingz. Does not spec Protection, Fury, or even PvE Arms. Still wants to raid with you, probably because Dory's Embrace costs badges. Sometimes beats the tanks in DPS. Breaks CC every time the Whirlwind cooldown comes up. Uses charge/intercept to enter combat.

The Shaman in Denial

Probably named something with the word "shock" in it. Enhancement spec, dual-wielding Season 1 axes. Sits in Looking for Group for hours while people spam "LF1M healer and gtg." Complains that he can't get raid spots because raids only take one or two Enhancement Shamans. Refuses to respec to the most overpowered healing spec in the game. Doesn't understand why people keep suggesting it.

Is my list missing anyone?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Oh, I got the no-raidin' blues...

No 25-man with Havok tonight thanks to a dearth of raiders, so I ran Kara with a group of elitist jerks (no relation to the well-known guild and theorycrafting resource) instead.

Good handful of badges toward my Crossbow of Relentless Badge-Farming, plus Rip-Flayer Leggings, a decent enough upgrade when socketed with 4agi/4hit gems all the way down. 6 stamina socket bonus? No thanks.

Two major sources of Hunter-woe remain: Dawnstrike's Cloak and my ranged weapon.

I picked up a Valanos' Longbow from the AH this evening to get my shot rotations in better shape, but the annoying fact that I'm running around in SSC with a blue ranged weapon remains. No number of kills on Prince seem able to yield a Sunfury Bow of the Phoenix, so I'm currently saving for the Crossbow.

Please, someone, drop an epic ranged weapon... save me 150 badges...

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Hydross and Lurker

Havok killed Hydross and Lurker tonight, then epic-failed on the trash after Lurker.

Two SSC bosses in one night is a good night, though; I'll take it.

Here's Lurker:

I told the guild my goal was to occupy the #1 DPS spot on a boss before the end of the month. They thought that was funny.


In other news, I've been playing with Fraps a little bit - perhaps some videos appearing in the near future.



That Hunter pet actually made me think I was being swooped upon by some hitherto-unknown vile creature of Shattrath.

More raiding tonight - I can't wait.

New guild, at least for the moment

I picked up (with hesitation) with a guild named Havok - they're old hands at TK, but have just gotten to SSC for some reason.

We went into SSC tonight and downed Hydross... for the first time, as it turned out. Hydross is sort of old hat for me, so it was strange to be with a group of people who'd never killed him as a guild before. Fun, in any case, and I started earning a little bit of DKP so I can bid on items in future raids.

For the moment, I think I'll be treating my Hunter as my main - the Warrior doesn't particularly need gear from early SSC, and Havok is heavy on tanks. I can't complain - tanking is an enormously stressful job, and I'm beginning to find the joy in playing the Hunter.

Particularly joyful are the boss fights where I can top the damage meters, despite lugging around a certain ugly crossbow and multiple green or blue items. It's really a testament to how overpowered a BM Hunter is when someone in mediocre gear can outperform others in full epics.

Here's the Hydross kill - I got pulled out of the stacked physical DPS group to provide Aspect of The Green Leaf Thing to the tanks, unfortunately. They'll learn that that's a mistake soon enough.

More raiding tomorrow; I'm hoping this guild will serve as at least a temporary home. Who knows, maybe it'll turn out to be even more than that.

Monday, July 7, 2008


Tonight, fed up with PuGs and the boring activities that have made up my WoW-life of late, I decided to go for some items I've always wanted.

First on the list - the Piccolo of Flaming Fire from Stratholme.

Simple enough to farm - run in the back, kill Hearthsinger Forresten, profit. Or so I thought.

I started on a friend's Rogue, both because stealth makes learning instance runs easier and because I thought it'd be a nice present, and quickly got the Key to the City and started farming. After 5 attempts and an instance lockout, I switched to my Hunter.

That's when the fun started.

Soloing Strat on the Hunter is time-consuming and fairly difficult. My pet is a DPS-pet, thanks to some laziness in leveling my tank-pet, but he does a good enough job... until an Eye of Naxx summons half a dozen elites and buries me. Feign Death... pet dies... rez, bandage, repeat.

After some frustration, though, I got the Key to the City on the Hunter and began farming Hearthsinger. 5 trips, no Piccolo. /cry

Back to the Rogue! His timer is up, and back in I go. Two trips, and there it was! The Piccolo of Flaming Fire, fun trinket and gleeful diversion in crowded areas (Shattrath Battlemasters work nicely, on an AV weekend.)

Still no Piccolo for the Hunter, but it'll come. He's parked at the backdoor of
Strat just waiting to head right back in.

UPDATE: Second Piccolo acquired!

Next on the list after I've gotten my Piccolo-fill?

Ramstein's Lightning Bolts from Ramstein the Gorger
Cannonball Runner from Cannon Master Willey

Then perhaps I'll try for a rare mount... that may require some help; I really want the tiger mount, or perhaps Baron's.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Updates, a few reasons why tanking is not all it could be

It's been a busy few weeks, and I haven't had time for an update.

But now, good readers, you get one.

Duty disbanded. Severe burnout and hatred of idiots among the officers, myself included, led to a decision to let it go. More on that another time, perhaps.

I am currently without a guild home. I've applied to a few guilds in hopes of finding one that doesn't make me crazy.

I've been doing a lot of tanking lately, and I've realized a few things about tanking. In terms of gameplay, it's very fun. It's extremely expensive, in direct proportion to how much your group sucks. Finally, when you tank, people expect you to be a certain kind of person.

Firstly, they expect you to only want tanking drops. I've tried to explain to SO many people that I need DPS gear; that I tank because it gets me spots, not because it's the only thing I like to do. I'm not asking to get first dibs on DPS gear; I just want to roll with the other physical DPS classes. In Sunwell trash farming, this issue comes up all the time. There are no tanking drops. I want the DPS drops. I'm here as a tank because it's what you needed.

Well, actually, I'm not here anymore, because I'm fed up eating 50g repair bills so 600DPS rogues can get Mounting Vengeance.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Duty is a go, and how

I put together my own guild last week, having recognized something that I think many of my readers will understand...

People don't like wasting time.

Wasting time waiting to put a raid together... wasting time wiping... wasting time teaching new person after new person how to do the fights.

I'm fed up with it! You're fed up with it! So many people are fed up with it!

So what can be done?

Make rules. Lots of them.

Visit the website at and read the guild charter.

I sat down, weeks ago, to write that charter, intending to write a charter for a WotLK guild. Events in my previous guild, however, forced me to choose between two options - raid to fail, or get out and make something better.

I wish I could say the philosophy is simple... it's not. I've thought long and hard about this, working to address every little issue that crops up within guilds. Excessive, perhaps, but I'm a great believer in success by careful planning.

The major problem I wanted to address was the problem of personal accountability. It occurred to me, long ago, that the failure of Communism in Russia may have been caused by a lack of said virtue. Whether or not this is true, it planted the seed of an idea in my brain that's since grown to be a core tenet of my belief system.

Tenet: People perform drastically better when they are personally accountable for their actions.

But how to achieve personal accountability? Guilds get pretty big; how can one person keep track of dozens?

A lot of thought on this question led me to a conclusion which, in retrospect, was inevitable - one person can't.

Thus, the idea of Guild Groups was born.

Read the charter if you'd like to know more... Perhaps I'll write more on the subject some other time. For now, I'm tired.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

It looks like I'm starting a new guild

It's a very big, scary thing for me. I put together a detailed charter... it's a structure I've not seen in the game thus far, but I believe it can work.

I'm tired of laziness, incompetence, and lack of responsibility.

Now let's see if I can do any better.

Fingers crossed.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


Every time we finish up a night of Karazhan without killing the last couple of bosses, the same conversation goes on.

Me: "OK, guys, pretty good night, but I think we're going to have to pick up the rest of it another time. How does Sunday at 4:30 work for everyone?"
Pug #1: "I have to work til 4, can we make it 5?"
Pug #2: "I'd rather go at 9."
Me: "9 is a little late on a Sunday, let's shoot for 5. Sorry Pug #2."
Pug #2: "I'll try to be there."
Me: "Great. So 5pm server on Sunday, that work for everyone?"
Everyone: "Yeah, sure, seeya then."

...Sunday, 5pm.

Me: "Let's see who's on..."

...Sunday, 5:15pm.

Me: "F**k."

I hate depending on other people. I have an innate distrust of people that goes away only when someone proves to be trustworthy.

Sadly, that innate distrust serves me well in WoW. Personal responsibility is incredibly rare; players who show up on time are valuable above all others, in my opinion.

On a better note, I tanked Zul'Aman last night for a guild PuG. We got the first 4 bosses and 2 timers, which I was pretty happy with. I picked up Pauldrons of Stone Resolve from the first timed chest, which were a pretty big upgrade from the T4 tanking shoulders - the warrior is now running over 17k HP unbuffed.

Plus, the new shoulders match my ensemble much better...

I'm beginning to realize that the tank's gear has vastly outstripped the Hunter's. I have this sneaking feeling that the Hunter is going to be trapped in farmer-alt land.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Allies Never Learn

It took me 4 kills of this Hunter to convey the message that Hillsbrad was a bad place to gank lowbies today.

I think he got it eventually, though.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

We camped this bitch 'til 4 in the morning.

What happens when you gank the low-level alts of not one, not two, not three but four very well-geared 70s with your 69 Nelf Hunter?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Yay Gruul kill! Sigh Mag fail.

After a few weeks struggling with the T4 25-mans, we went in and one-shotted Gruul's Lair today. Excitement!

Here's the damage report from that fight - I'm #6.

Magtheridon took some extra time... a few wipes were caused by cube-clicking problems, but we did get him eventually.

Here's Magtheridon - I'm #5 on that one thanks to the #6 DPSer being on cubes.

I came out with the Tier 4 Shoulders and Terror Pit Girdle. I had to beg a bit for Terror Pit Girdle, but I'll be humble for the chance at a hard-to-get Hunter belt drop.

Tomorrow, Karazhan.

Magtheridon and Gruul tonight... oh, trepidation

Not too long ago, my lovely guild was killing Gruul and Magtheridon every week, and sometimes killing both in one quick night!

Lately, though, we've been having trouble.

I could tell you about it, but I think I'll show you.

Here's what we're having trouble doing on Magtheridon:

And on Gruul:

Ironically, High King Maulgar hasn't really given us that much trouble during our last few attempts. Knock on wood.

God willing, tonight will go better. The officers have met to discuss the problem at great length. We'll see if things are fixed.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Recovering from the ban-hammer

I was banned. And, despite my pleas for a better investigation into the circumstances surrounding my ban, I'm going to remain banned. I won't try to convince anyone that my ban was unfair; those who know me know I'm not a cheater, and that's what matters.

I had a choice to make when the ban happened. I chose the Zen route.

I'm getting over it.

Meet my new 70s.

This is my Hunter. Formerly a farmer alt, I leveled him from 65 to 70 by the Friday after Black Tuesday. Now he's in some Karazhan gear and doing decent DPS.

This is my big scary Tauren Warrior, DPS spec at the moment so I can build up some gold to replace the multiple thousands that I lost.

Neither is geared quite like Nickiter was, but the gear comes in a lot faster than it did when Nickiter had just turned 70. Experience counts for a lot, but changes in the game have helped, too - 5-mans like Magister's Terrace can get a character geared up shockingly fast.

To be completely honest, there is a silver lining to having to start over with fresh 70s - there's a lot more to be done! Starting with greens, the upgrades are almost continuous. After the way it was with Nickiter, a constant stream of badges leading to an upgrade perhaps once every couple of weeks, it's a joy to get so much gear.

The blog is going to be a different place. Clearly, "Stayin' Frosty" does not apply so much anymore.

In addition, my feelings about Blizzard have been forever changed. Now that I know how insensitive they can be towards players, I feel it's wise to be a "defensive driver" when it comes to my characters.

Welcome back, or welcome for the first time if you're a first-time visitor from BRK. Here's to new beginnings.