Thursday, April 28, 2011

Killin Critters

I don't have a tendency to join large guilds. The one I'm in currently has a full raid team, but that's pretty much it. As such, trying for the Critter Kill Squad achievement so I can get the Armadillo Pup is a ways off. Thus, I'm always looking for ways to murder some critters.

I found this post on another WoW blog that suggested using stormchops and standing in the Ironforge side of the tram where rats spawn indefinitely and then just letting them do all the work while I take a shower or something.

The idea sounded pretty good for 2 reasons:
1) I don't have to do much - I don't even have to be at my computer!
2) It's close - Hearth is in SW, so quick tram ride over.

Sounds like a sweet deal, so I figured I'd try it. So I dropped by the auction house to pick up a few.

None there.


Oh well. I have the recipe. Just need some lightning eel.

Crap. None of them on the auction house either.

Oh well. I know how to fish.

Unfortunately, the drop rate sucks. Whatever. I fished 5.

Bought some clefthoof meat. Slapped it together and have five stormchops. Great. Let's kill some rats.

I used two of the five I made and watched some TV. In total, I netted about 600 dead critters, so all said and done, about 300 per 30 minutes. In other words 10 per minute once you're all set up. Factor in the time taken to fish up the damned eels (another 10 minutes) and you're probably getting 6-8 critters a minute.

Not too shabby.

Except that I can kill about 300 critters in 1-2 minutes up in the cave on the west edge of Eastern Plaguelands. They don't respawn instantly, but do in about 10 minutes. Do the math there and you're averaging closer to 20-30 critters per minute. Far better.

The real exception is whether you want to travel all the way to EPL. It's not too bad if you take the portal to Twilight Highlands, but still, rather out of the way.

However, I get a lot more satisfaction out of seeing the kill count shoot up so much. So I think I'll stick with the latter.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


I've been working on trying to get the From Hell's Heart I Stab At Thee achievement the past few days in my spare time.

As a shadow priest, it's not hard in concept. Dots. Kite. Mind Blast and Mind flay when you got the room.

I'm averaging 7.5k dps as I go, but it's still taking 20 minutes to do it.

The issue is that he's been liking to glitch a lot. Suddenly, he's "not in line of sight" in the middle of a freaking ocean. And then he evades, wanders off, and resets.

And then of course, there's horde around who love to be pricks. Which is why usually do it at night when the kids are in bed.

So tonight I had the shark down to 1% and a 81 horde lock comes along and fears me into it.



Nearly 2 years ago, while living with my ex-girlfriend (rogue), I first got into real pet collecting.

One of the pets we wanted the most was the Phoenix Hatchling. We farmed the ever loving hell out of MgT back when we were both 80. She rogue tanked, I healed and did some dps. We got to the point where together, we could clear it in 10 minutes and were hitting the instance lock out for too many instances in an hour.

Months of doing this when we had nothing better to do and neither of us had one.

When Cata hit and removed the portals to get to Shattrath to get to Sunwell Plateau easily, I pretty much gave up on ever getting it but went back a few more times just to see if maybe I'd get lucky.

And tonight I finally did.

PS: If you want to see all my pet collection, check out my profile at

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Word of Glory

My tanking spec on my paladin is somewhat different than what's popular right now. In particular, most specs include Word of Glory which allows a tank to use their holy power to heal themselves.

Perhaps I'm old fashioned, but I still play with the mentality that it's a healer's job to do the healing, and the tank is supposed to have armor, parry, dodge, defense, and other mitigation to avoid taking as much as the damage in the first place as possible. As such, I obviously didn't take points in other associated skills like Eternal Glory or Guarded by the Light.

Arguably, the latter does put up a shield on any overhealing that would fall under the mitigation I just discussed, but to make using Word of Glory its best, you're using 4 talent points to support it. That's quite a few.

So the question becomes, is there anything better?

As usual, this is a tough question. To me, it depends on what you might be needing. As a tank that still hasn't gone beyond heroics, I consistently find myself running my daily heroics with raid geared players and as such, threat is a consistent issue. To help with this, I spent those 4 talent points in Seals of the Pure and Hallowed Ground. This has worked out pretty well for me. This past week I was in a group with a guildie on his hunter pulling 14k dps average, and he never pulled aggro. Apparently this was novel for him and he greatly enjoyed it. I can't chalk this up to these two talents alone. It could be my fabulous button mashing. Who knows.

So where do I see the extra healing coming in as more important? Easy: Entry level raiders. They'll need that extra healing until they're sufficiently geared to be mitigating the damage in other manners at which point, I think going back to more threat can be great since it lets your DPS go all out.

I bring this topic up because the most recent patch preview for 4.1 mentions that Word of Glory is going to be reworked some to give Paladins self-healing without having to blow holy power. I'm interested to see where that's going.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Dungeon Finder: Call to Arms - Thoughts

Looks like Blizzard has announced another new feature for the 4.1 patch. It's the Call To Arms for the dungeon finder which offers bonus rewards for people that queue as the least represented role (tank/healer/dps) to help reduce wait times.

Cool idea but I don't actually see this being a good move. I think it's simply going to increase problems I've already seen, namely, people queuing for rolls for which they're not properly geared, spec'd, or proficient.

A few weeks ago, I was healing an instance in which the tank was simply taking ridiculous amounts of damage. Crits were landing for half his total health left and right. Additionally, he couldn't hold any aggro. I inspected him to see that he dropped all his points in the prot tree, and was wearing about half pvp gear, some healing gear, and only one actual tanking piece. He'd never tanked before and only queued because he "wanted fast queues".

Unfortunately, the timer prevented us from kicking his ass out of the group so we agreed in whispers to let him pull, not heal him or get engaged in combat, and let him break all his gear and hopefully rageface enough he to drop group. It eventually worked.

While this was a pretty extreme example, I've seen it several times. People think that PVP gear = tanking gear because it has tons of stam and that tank threat = dps. It doesn't.

And it's not just tanks. When not healing, I'm very curious to see how priest healers break down their healing. Using Recount, I can see just how much of their healing is made up by what spells and I think most priests are doing it dead wrong. There's a ton out there that are still using Flash Heal as their primary heal and burning through their mana in 30 seconds. Bzzt. Wrong. Sure, you'll probably keep the tank up pretty well in that time, but you're wasting your party's time having to stop to drink after every pull. Additionally, those healers are lucky to have enough mana for longer, boss fights in which they're blowing every cooldown and requiring tanks to do the same. Big cooldowns (Lay on Hands, Last Stand, etc...) are generally considered "oh shit!" buttons. Not "my healer sucks" buttons.

Players that really don't know how to play a particular role can't be stopped from doing it, but this new system looks like it will encourage them.

In some ways, I don't mind this: Hopefully they'll learn quickly, or go read up on how to play, or someone in the group will give them some friendly tips. However, I also know from my experience both in game and out, that telling people they need to improve at something or what they're doing is wrong is something they don't take kindly too.

For example: Shadow priests have had the ability to cast Mind Sear on friendly party members since the last major patch. But I frequently see them casting it on enemies, which reduces the number of targets it will hit for an already underpowered spell. I generally remind them they should channel it off the tank if they're going to bother casting it at all (they can do more dps single targeting currently). The last time I tried this, I was met with a curt, "STFU! I kno how 2 play".

Obviously not.

Again, getting people to try out new things is awesome. It gives the game variety that will hopefully help to keep players entertained and keep playing.

So by all means, Blizzard should give the carrot of rewards gold, gear, and pet bonuses that the Call to Arms feature promises. But as with other things, there should also be a stick.

What I'd really like to see is Blizzard put in a ranking system where players were given a brief "thumbs up/thumbs down" for each member of their party after a random instance. Players that suck and get voted down repeatedly would be punished by getting pushed further down on the queue next time.

The problem with this would be that some players just have a hard time because they're not sufficiently geared. For example, a tank that is absolutely awesome, when first transitioning to heroics would likely suddenly find his rating dropping as people blame him for wipes that were simply caused by not having sufficient skill. Thus, there should be another factor: Some sort of algorithm that included the gear level appropriateness for the particular instance (and perhaps the gear type as well which could knock people for thinking that they're a PVP tank).

So while I think the idea is an OK one, I worry about the side effects. It may fix queue times, but I think it's also going to bring a lot of stupid players out of the wings and into the spotlight.