Music to murder by

An non-sensical as it sounds I really like chilled music, or classical when playing fast games. It should be more heavy, perhaps faster, and certainly more like the YouTube “how to solo scholo” vids I guess. But that isn’t me. Could even be the WoW music, although I listen to that at work when I’m not playing, so it seems odd to hear it when I’m thrashing about in game.

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WoW Armory for the iPhone released

We can now grab an official Armory iPhone app (wow.com article). Let me be one of the many that runs around in circles squeeling like a school girl about this, starting now – brb. *yay, squeel*

wow-iphone-istoreBy all accounts it looks nice. That reminds me…*yay, squeel*

I’ll write impressions after a few days of playing around; but for a starting question:

Q. Why can I login to this using my Username and Password, but not using an Authenticator?

A. No Fucking Idea – but that is not good at all! This could facilitate account hacking / hijacking.

What is the value of normal players? (rant)

I’d love to put some “uber-hardcore-1337″ gamers into an exam and give them an essay topic:

Players that are not hardcore still add value to Warcraft. Discuss.

Most would not even get into the room, and those that did might suffer under the tyranny of pen and paper. :) There is no way you’d give them a computer, as they’d just start logging in, or trolling the forums about it. But in all seriousness, the opinion and total subjectivity of what is normal performance, and who should get access to what content keeps coming up. The 3.2 token drop change only fueled the fire.

We’ve (the work wow’ers) chatted about this a while back at lunch, and they noted I’ve made some pretty extreme statements around performance expected from fellow guild-mates and other players, and I’ve sworn out loud many times when confronted by somebody that does not meet my standards. Shamefully. And then I probably don’t meet the standards of hardcore either. Probably the hardcore players would find my Priest a joke, and be hard on Mortigen’s progression. I’d be a token screen breather, and relegated to farming silver in the backwaters of Arathi Highlands.

From now onward (or until the next ass-hat drooler pug wipes us on simple trash in VH) I’ll try to ponder and absorb some thoughts on Normal players. And lets call them normal players, as calling them casual might be implying that they don’t really care or commit to gaming seriously.

So a few mantras and thought that I’ll keep foremost in my mind about normal players:

  • a normal player is an ok thing (repeat this while doing circular breathing)
  • they are more tolerant of the mistakes of others (in other words cool and relaxed)
  • they might make a few mistakes themselves (still learning or juggling RL too)
  • they are not elitist jerks, and might still have an interest in improving their game play
  • they are willing to sacrifice being on the cutting edge of content in favour of other life choices

Lastly why do I like them so much? Because I am one.

My real life takes precedence over WoW regularly. I kind of like the fact that I can geek it up and still have social skills, a full time job, and a solid relationship. But damn me, I really love WoW too. Death Knights are 100% solid fun (please don’t roll one, we’re full), and the small percentage of things that Warcraft does not do right is totally blown away by what it does right. Especially so for normal players.

So beyond proping up the financial side of WoW, and providing an ongoing whipping boy for hardcores, what do they provide to you?

I wish for an Oceanic RP server

The days where I can watch a conversation between Ipwnutoo, Leetlock, and loldruid are nearly over. Well I’ll still be watching them, but is makes my skin scrawl that players think these names are ok. C’mon seriously wow players, there has to be a line where you’re leveling to 80 and your name is a joke, consider a change. (begin soapbox)

I was grouped with some randoms leveling on an alt, and a Death Knight had a god-awful name. Something like Uberlicher. This guy was after basic help, asking easy questions, and it almost caused me a fit not to ask if Uber included use of WoW Head. The name alone was enough to make me not take him seriously. And his name is not even close to as specifically dreadful as Dkleet, lolsdk, and the rest that I actually see on the server.

Its like seeing ImSexyGod1123 in a web forum, and you know the poster has little imagination, plenty of time, and probably not a lot of sex appeal. Yes/No?

But what kills me is these names are ok on my server. The problem is actually mine. There are places for folks like me, and I think its on an RP server, not a general PvE server. Although if you’re an Oceanic player you’re straight out of luck; there are no RP PvE realms. A hundred or so servers, about 17 pure RP servers, a few RPPVP servers, no RP downunder to speak of. So the choices are get over it and play with the lol-leet-pwn-uber-qq, or re-roll, or transfer. Grrrr.

If an Oceanic RP realm was added, and open for transfers, I’d go. No more doing instances with toon names that should never have been bank alts, and certainly not 80s.

ps. Don’t even get me started on the real Oceanic trouble – meaning Oceanic servers in, near, or close to the Oceanic region. Talk about a Tab name on the realm screens that has no reflection on reality. (end soapbox)

Rather be pugging than helping mates? (rant)

DaggerIts a shame, but after a Ulduar run with some mates, I’d rather be puging. It will most likely be the last run I do with them, at least without saying I want an equal roll on loot.

As back story: I’ve known some of these guys for quite a while and are mates with a few in real life.

When the opportunity to do 5 mans comes up, I don’t hesitate. They’re a solid set of gamers who all have a good attitude and spirit. But on Guild runs there is a policy of only giving loot to the extra folks if a guild member does not want it. Which is rotten for the pugger (me), but most of the time I don’t want the loot anyway. Historically I’ve been past over at least 10 times. Most of the time they’re doing things that I’m past, and I’m there for fun and the odd badge. So generally this is OK. I don’t sweat it.

Until I join them in an Ulduar progression runs. They’re learning, and have not done much of the Ulduar content yet. We are all wiping, we all use mats, flasks, feasts, etc. We all have repair bills. Then an item drops that is an upgrade for three people, and I win the roll, but it is assigned to a guildie instead. Well bugger me, now I feel like a sucker for coming along.

To put it another way – if they had pug’ed that 10th spot, they would have had to share openly on rolls. That means that a stranger has better chance of loot with them than somebody they’ve know for ages and has helped them in the past. That is why I’m miffed.

My lesson is to now speak up front with their GM, and state that no loot means no run for me from now on, and wish them luck. The worst that can happen is that they say they’d rather run 9, or wait for a guildie, in which case I save gold on wipes and pug something else.

(I know, a loot drama post. But its been a while; and its the basis of most wow threads)

DK Questions on Elitist podcast

dk-symbolA good interview on Death Knights on The Elitists podcast, #18. Hearing a DK player / blogger  Runeforge Gossip talk about the class was good. Death Knights can benefit from some good advocates within the community, so DKs are not miss-classified and perceived in cliches. Its worth a listen.

(edit: updated slightly since feed was grabbed – they asked a few of my questions, and the comments after the fold is my paraphrasing, not the show content…)

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Tank Tool – Need more Threat Per Sec?

mortigen-tank80How do you evaluate a Tank’s performance in raids? How do you know what abilities are generating threat for you by fight, or if you should prioritise one type of hit/strike more than another? I know I could read and take the words of the forums as gospel, but that is operating on hearsay rather than proof. And when tanking I think knowing something is working is better than assuming it is working.

A stats tracker for Threat Per Second (tps) is damn mandatory for tanking, and a god send for me.

Post raid analysis is where I do most of my planning for upgrades and shifts in style. I know I’m arriving late in the process in terms of Tank review resources, and this might be common knowledge amongst the Masters and Slayers*, but hey a little education can go a long way. When I last tried my hand at Tanking in tBC I had the time and tolerance of guild-folks to work out what was a good approach was, which powers were mandatory, and what tanking style to use. Back in the day I was a Paladin tank, so many of the AoE abilities were so strong that real threat generation was only a big limitation when the dps were well geared and unloaded straight away, or the fights changed dynamics quickly mid-fight.

Now that my Death Knight is tanking more, I am almost at a loss for which abilities and what style to use. Charge like a Warrior or Bear? LOS + Consecrate like a Pally?

DK feels similar to a Paladin, except that the AoE grab abilities are using the same resources as the strikes, which means having a sixth sense on what runes are up when really helps. I love the fact that Death Knights can rush in, have a great AoE tool in DnD, and can grab mobs from many yards away to get them back in control. So to justify my tanking, I went looking for a TPS tool. And by golly I found something good:

http://rehfeld.us/wow/tps/ by Bagelbite

What makes this tool really damn swanky is that it parses data from WWS and creates a simple html report. You can see what abilities are doing what percentage, and what overall TPS you’re achieving.

How to:

  1. Generate a WWS report as normal. Get it hosted like you always do.
  2. In WWS click through to the fight, or full report you want to inspect.
  3. Select the tank you wish to review threat for, so that the abilities they used are listed instead of the default raid report.
  4. Copy the URL and paste it into the TPS generator
  5. All done! Read, consume, argue, rant, etc.

A basic bitch I had with WWS is that it does not show generated threat, but then its free so you can only complain a short while before its tired and pointless (kind of like develop it myelf or shut-up). With the combination of this tool along with Wow Web Stats the threat analysis is pretty solid.

The Tankspot folks and resources rock, especially Bagelbite who created it. Here is a sample pic:

threat-report-sampleNow onward to tanking some runs, to reduce the noob quotient. If WWS would pay / gift Bagelbite and add his report into the tabs of WWS, that would be just peachy.

What else do folks use for TPS and Tank performance? What else is out there?

* off-topic: In an effort to change what M&S means from what Gevlon had popularised.