Armory iphone update is pretty shmick

Holy crap, the most recent update for the Armory which came out a week ago is a great update in functions, and highly worth it.

The highlights are:

  • 3d viewer,
  • app seems to run faster,
  • activity feed,
  • improved character summary page.

The stand out for me is the improved summary screen for your character, and the 3d character viewer. Both are great and really make the Armory app seem more and more like something you need, rather than something to play with. Now this entire app might be a silly toy, and it might actually add no value to my game-play, but it seriously rocks. For anyone who is a fan boy of wow this is eye candy of the finest quality.

One thought I had was a feature they should add is a list of the patterns for each profession your character has, so I can look for specific patterns for mates. That plus the coming of the guild chat, means we can actually add some value to our fellow players who not logged in.

Return of the poor pug

Last night I had another of those experiences which teach you to hate pugs, and I have not written about a bad pug in a while – which is mainly due to not having anyreally bad experiences. So on balance I am kind of pleased to not have suffered much recently. 

It started because I decided that I’ve tanked far too many instances on my druid, and I wanted to do some other bank clean-up and miscellenanous tasks, so waiting for 10 to 15 minutes for a run was fine. I stayed in Boomkin spec and joined the wait list. The group I joined looked typical, we had a mix of highly geared toons and poorly geared toons, and the group was very silent.

We got the Pit of Sauron, so I was pleased, as it is normally an easy run. The gear level did not especially make me pause, as I’m ok with beginning toons, especially as they can sometimes be carried without too much impact.

So we begin the first pull (the necromancer with his skeleton guards) and the healer is clearly struggling to keep the tank’s health above 50%. Then one of the dps (not me, as I don’t often Starfall in pugs) pulls the other pack which is close, and we have a real issue. One of the dps dies, and the tank is near death when the last mob dies.

I was concerned, so as we finished the battle I looked through the groups gear and setup.

We had:

  • a Blood Death Knight Tank in moderate gear (mix of 219s to 232+) with appropriate enchantments and gems, so potentially an excellent setup,
  • a Holy Priest healer in blue 200s with a few 219s and 232s,
  • a Warrior using Fury spec wearing mid 232s – all which looked typical and correct,
  • another Death Knight using Frost 2-weapon and wearing the same level of gear level as the tank, and who also belonged to the same guild as the tank,
  • and my Boomkin sitting around 6k with correct enhants and gems.

What stood out as a serious problem was not the healers gear level, it was that it was primarily dps gear, and poorly encahnted and gemed even for a dps role. Basically it demonstrated a messy and poorly thought out approach. I decided to give the healer a chance, but the team started to grumble.

“WTF healer” was as elequent as we heard, and as the comments flowed, the healer’s performance seemed to drop proportionally. You’d have to expect to get kicked soon after the screw-ups started to become consistent.

So we go on, and I see more evidence that 4 out of 5 characters should be here, but the healer is just gimping the group:

  • Trash is hard, slow, but we survive.
  • We had a full wipe on Garfrost, due to players not resetting stacks, then I died again, due to not getting healed. Yay, fubar.
  • Many of the team didn’t run out for the poinson burst from Ick, and I almost laughed with saddness when the healer stood still during the “avoid the bubbles” mechanic.
  • None of the guys had ever heard of skipping the “burning mobs” by using a mount; and frankly I think they would have stuffed it up anyway.
  • During the Garfrost, Ick fight, and the burning trash I pop’ed out of Boomkin form to heal the tank, myself and a few heals on the other dps.
  • One time on the frost mages with skeleton guards the time the healer paniced and ran backwards into another pack, instead of standing still and healing – we knew he needed to be kicked.

He was kicked straight after our first attempt at the cave run, and a new druid healer joined teh group. From then on, everything was smooth and we had mo more deaths or wipes. 

What the healer did not get was a dialog of what he had done wrong, why his performance was so poor. But then he should bloody know. If the rest of the group have to explain a class to the player then you’re lost at sea. I can understand explaining a fight mechanic, but not a class.

What the healer should have done:

  • is not even dream about trying to heal an instance in dps gear. 
  • to practice healing on on some normals before trying to join a heroic.
  • Not only did this healer clearly have no place being there, he was selfishly wsting everyone’s time.

What the tank should have done:

  • Nothing, he was fine. A little more gear might have covered the healer more, but a fail player in bad gear can’t be compensated for as a tank or healer. That is a dps’s luxury in 5 mans at the moment.

What I should have done:

  • from the beginning is just tank, as at least then I have more control on the flow of the battles, and can help manage the groups to keep the healer’s job simple.
  • I’ll dps with guildies, but tank when doing pugs.

Scifi CoilGun is concerning

A very scary video of a magnetic gun, or Coil gun, via the typical Interwebs; the folsk at Gizmodo.

Holy hell:

Coilguns fire projectiles by swapping the explosive force of gunpowder for magnetic force, which is applied via one or more electromagnetic coils along the gun’s barrel. Youtube user Larsplatoon says that he made the coilgun in the video above over the course of two years, and that it has a maximum output of 1.25 kJ. MAKE calculates that this would mean it fires its projectiles with more force than a .45 handgun, and is rightly skeptical; still, it’s quite an impressive feat of homemade handiwork.

If you just want to watch it blast things, skip on ahead to the 2:25 mark.

I am scared by this is a very real way. The idea that it is possible is exciting from a geek-tech perspective. The idea that a weapon could be made to fire solid slugs at 50% speed of a normal handgun is bloody disasterous.

Unsafe, terrible, and especially dangerous if miss-used. Then again at age 13 I was building crossbows and other weaponry, so I guess this is just the next generation of nerd. There is also a huge amount of reserach, backyard tomfoolery, and images around; these toys are not new.

Now I want one. :(

How to (not) raise your Weapon Skill

Quick note, as one of the most popular posts I’ve made is about how to raise your weapon skill, Google searchers should not that in Cataclysm the concept of a weapon skill will be removed from the game. Having spent a long time swinging at low mobs, I really like that I don’t have to micromanage a set of skills. It is a good change.

So I’d say if you’ve not got that feat of Strength achievement, then get it now.

And if you have no interest in the achievement, then don’t burn the time raising the skill – as you won’t have to. Go read a book, grind for that rare drop, or farm gold and send it to me.

Happy killing.

Plants vs Zombies

Via a GeekoSystem feed, and from the folks at Rock Paper Shotgun, World of Warcraft – Plants vs Zombies….like in the game! Darn cool.

Incredible, awesome, and I’m still thinking this could be a hoax. Just because total-biscut did a vid doesnot mean its not 100% legit, or at the very least it might be a trick or bonus for the beta folks. But if its not a hoax, this would be a great way to swindle away serious hours as the raid starts. The in-game mini-games is something that is kind of odd.

If the WoW game is good enough, do we need mini-games?

Or if you’re paying to play wow, is this extra? Where is the line?

It would have to be phased though? Griefers watching the fields for new players might have a field-day.

And please tell me that their is a flight point, or inn nice and close, so I can bind my hearth to that Inn, and port back to play anytime.

Bring back Dungeon Sets

I was pondering the coolness of the wow days of old, and got to thinking how the old Dungeon Sets really were something interesting.

A Dungeon Set was an introduction to the concept of Tier (or is that tear) Raid sets, and provides something special and different to each class in terms of  a visual representation of achievement.

The method of introduction could and should be totally different, and probably utilise the points / badges rather than just being a random drop.

So Cata Devs, I know this is very late; but please just sneak this one in?

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OMG – Battered Hilt!

After a day of a horrid headache, akin to borderline migraine material I jumped into wow to see what was up. A few guildies were off to do a 5 man and my somewhat noobish geared Pally joined as Ret. I was there for the odd drop, not expecting much.

We get a few waves into the ghosts of fallen heroes in the Halls of Reflection, and the Battered Hilt drops.

My pulse kicks up three times as fast, and we roll…

…and my god I won.

So now I get to choose what toon, and what weapon? It is a luxury of choice that I never really dreamed of having. I am really looking forward to the quest chain lore, the story alone kind of makes the hilt something worth raving about (so I’ve read).

I love my guildmates, and especially love the gods of luck who smiled today.

Honestly do not know what to do. Neither of my geared toons needs the item, and I would like to keep it with the Paladin as he won it. That means a good 251 dps sword.

Heat Seeking Nurf Mini-Gun

If you ever need ideas for a present for me; look no further: a heat seeking, automatic, nurf, mini-gun.

Those neighbourhood cats won't know what hit them; but I will.

Make.com and the guys at GeekoSystem noted this in their feed, and by all things unholy, this is sanity, this is fun, this is pure solid entertainment. Just need a manual mode so I can carry it in arm. Beware.