Safari search plug-in for Armory

If you are an Armory fiend take a look at the World of Warcraft Armory site, as it contains plug-ins for the popular browsers (IE7, FF, Opera). This dandy little page explains how to make profiling a player or guild a lot faster by adding an Armory search into your web browser. Funky.

However as a Mac and Safari user, I found it odd that Safari didn’t have an option on Blizzard’s Armory site.

So like any ranty geek that I am, I mucked about till I had one. Below you’ll find instructions for getting the awesome auto-search mechanism in Safari. Continue reading

Sometimes the customer is Wrong.

I wish I could be as blunt to my clients as Zarhym is here. He showed restraint, humour, and class.

Poster: Elânor at 2008-08-26 19:44:54
Subject: Hey blues

Instead of spending all this time locking threads why don’t you guys go help the people working on the servers and do something productive and earn your salary. You board N.A.Z.I’S Continue reading

Confused about pvp

Essential reading for us clueless pvp players.

Essential reading for us clueless pvp players.

I need some help understanding pvp. /confused

My questions for the uber-gankers out there:

- Which rewards from the battlegrounds are the must haves for pve toons?

- Is there even a hard rule?

- Why is it even acceptable to have rewards that are good pve options in pvp, which are not also “solo grind-able” in pve?

- Do you think the gear quality will continue in the next expansion, so that pvp for pve continues to be a viable upgrade path?

You see I’m an old grumpy bastard, who used to think he was good at first person shooters when Quake 2 and Unreal Tournament were new. That was pvp in no uncertain terms. For a while I learnt maps, played a lot, and had a machine that made other gamers cry. I pwned before the concept of tea-bagging was popular.

Over time my attention for fast twitch games waned, my reflexes slowed, and I didn’t give much thought to pvp like activities. Then I started playing wow, and the idea of killing others in a somewhat fair competition was again an option. It wasn’t immediately exciting, and being on a pve server I chose not to do PvP. I figured I leave it to the kids, they’ll get excited about it, and stay out of my pugs.

But now I see pvp gear that would be very handy as pve rewards, and I’m told that pvp is not too hard and all you need to do is grind out the time. Battlegrounds especially are highlighted as a domain of severe disparity between the can’s and the can-nots, but if you’re killing to die over and over, you can get the gear. I was also warned that the time sink is huge to get the valuable gear.

To qualify this I started grinding BG Honor to get a Paladin main weapon upgrade. A prot pally with some resilience gear seems darn hard to kill (insert cockroach joke by BRK), but altogether useless at anything but defense. I have literally announced the incoming attack by 3 goons, and survived the time it took my comrades to run from the other side of the EotS map to defend the node. Then the screen cleared I was still standing on our node.

A typical pvp game for my pally is:
/Say “I’ll sit on MageTower, and yell when they’re inc.”
/cast rank 1 Consecrate
..wait..
/cast Perception
..wait..
[repeat till in combat, overwhelmed, or sap'ed]

Arena seems like a hot blooded gank fest. I have no doubt that it takes extreme amounts of skill and effort to get to the top ranks, and that you need to be devoted/organised to get the anywhere close to the top gear. Meh, I’m casual by choice as well as circumstance and a 3 minute death parade holds no value.

Battlegrounds appear to have a tad more story and strategy, but I can’t get a real picture on what roles to do, or what strategies are valid. If these strategies exist, then why are they not followed? That would be like trying to do a pve boss with a totally inappropriate group. Just silly.

Zone pvp seems the most natural expression of pvp, and indeed the most logical. A contested area that can be controlled and defended by the players in the area at the time is a great concept. But the it is very difficult to balance the needs of the pve levelers and the pvp zone players.

For now my plan is to ignore the logic, and sit in BGs till I have enough honor for my upgrade. Ignore the boredom, ignore the fools, and ignore the afk players. It seems a poor way to play, but the rewards are otherwise achievable.

100 good books? I don’t think so.

Awlbiste’s Thicket had a post about the books we’ve read, and apparently a typical American has read less than 6. No idea where this list is from, but This is from the National Education Association’s Top 100 books, part of NEA’s “The Big Read” program, to me it appears to be based upon “classic literature” rather than entertaining fiction (there I said it). The list has only a few books that would be accessible to children and adults who are under the age of 25, and frankly I don’t think this represents the good reading material that is available today.

Ian M Banks makes the list, but having Harry Potter on here makes me question what the hell the list has to do with anything. I liked all the H.P. series very much, but its hardly difficult, growth, or challenging reading.

At least 10 of these books below may as well be the same novel for all the interest or value they hold for me. i.e. Anything which is merchant ivory in style won’t get a look in my library. Continue reading

Why all races for Death Knights?

Why can all races be DeathKnights? I respect that making it this way keeps the choice open to everyone, and will cut off any suggestion of a racial bias. My litmus test for the choices below was to consider if the race already has string Lore about being torn between good or evil, or if a fall from grace would be a great story hook.

You’d also have to consider that the Death Knights must have some sort of requirements to get trained. I know anyone can be evil, but sheesh; some folks just don’t look the part.

How much more evil would a Gnome need to be to get actually taken seriously? Somebody will call their Gnome DK “Mini-Me”, and far far worse. A good RP movie would be a gnome trying to get accepted. Continue reading

Top 5 – Strange Warlock powers

A few spells for Warlocks are just strange and often barely useful. My top picks would be:

  1. Ritual of Doom. The Doomguard is very nice looking, and its an affect that defines the Warlock. “say hello to my little friend…” The summon requires a full party, one character has to die, it costs a gold in reagents, and honnestly I’ve never seen this used outside of Goldshire.
  2. Firestones. Odd little things that melee dps would drool to use and pyro Mages might like, but i don’t find much use for; especially when I was affliction.
  3. Hellfire. This used to be such a fun AoE, especially as a final “up-yours” to the mobs or players killing me. Now I find that the opportunities to use it are few are far between. Such a pity, an emo warlock killing themselves in spitefully reflects the class well.
  4. Infernal Pet. Just like the Doomguard above, this is the other level 60 pet. Again this is perfect from a RP sense, but altogether useless at 70. Thankfully you don’t need such harsh requirements to summon, but you do need to consider a long cooldown and expensive limited use.
  5. Lash of Pain on the Subby. In most scenarios you’ll not be using your Subby because she can deal out damage, you’ll be using her because you can seduce. It bugs me that even with this spell teh damage is poor. It would be better if she was not such a one trick pony.

What use is tollerance?

I just had a lesson in tolerance, with a positive outcome. So on the back of my posts about bad players, pugs, anger, and frustrating experiences here is something where bad turned into good.

Last night I decided to do something chilled and do an easy run, my plan was to grab the non-heroic daily and do some daily quests on my Warlock. You know, turn the brain off for the eve.

The daily was Arcatraz, which is a long trashy Instance that I dislike. Arc is odd in that:

- Some of the trash is tougher than the bosses. eg. big elemental guys who drop meteors can really crunch a group even when you stack up.

- The first boss you see is considered damn hard due to the shadow damage output, the seed of corruption, and a general lack of shadow resist gear. As a Warlock this is OK as I can buff myself with some resist, and if you have a paladin’s aura thats even better. He’s also often left to last in case the rest of the run is a wash too, which means that you miss out on his drops. Frankly I think this boss is not difficult at all on normal, the group just needs to concentrate.

- Layout is curvy and twisted, without adding flavour. Its a very beautiful place without question though, anywhere that has laser doors can’t be a total waste of pixels.

- You need to kill everything in the place. That makes it easy to follow as you don’t need to remember to skip trash, but that also adds time.

- The last boss is a few mobs in sequence, which means you’re always at risk of dropping a character early, and therefore the boss is harder.

But that does not mean its impossible, and if you have guys who are geared and paying attention Arc can be a good run. I was thinking that a Pally Tank and a healer who can cross-heal well would be the go. Continue reading

RAF Follow-up

A quick post about Recruit a Friend. In a previous post I was positive about the offer, and had a pretty hard attitude.

Then I’ve been reading some great comments from all perspectives, and I’m less certain that its a great and wonderful thing. I still think its good but I have some reservations. Dazed and Confused has a really valuable summary, and links to some blogs with follow-up.

Because I posted such a huge rant on Dazed’s blog I’m going to re-use and expand it here… Continue reading