How the blog was named

typhoonandrew avatarHere is an odd distraction, formed into a blog post: How and why did you pick the blog’s name?

Typhoon was a nickname I was given at work about 10 or so years ago. I was a tech guy back then doing system admin and system engineer type work for a specialist software developer. The accounting team were initially thinking of calling me the Hurricane, but that was taken by the famous boxer – so Typhoon was the next best thing, or so they said.

I know it was probably meant to be a back handed complement, but I like it.

Many years later I was hunting for a blog name and thought that it would be easier to have a blog with a nickname than something tied to a specific topic; as I didn’t know where the blog would focus. I added the Eye of the Storm sub-title as a way to link the blog to the idea of a typhoon, but also to imply that the posts might be coming from within all the hub-bub.

It was strange when I started blogging that Blizzard announced the Eye of the Storm battleground about a week later, and they more than stole the thunder from the blog in favour of PvP. Such is life.

I saw this on the WOW Debutante blog, and thought it would be a good idea for a post which explains more about my perspective rather than a rant about gear, toons, spec, or updates.

Happy blogging.

DK CC utility not addressed in p4.1

The lack of CC for feral Druids, Death knights, and Fury Warriors is known – and I’m a keen supporter of adding some sort of CC utility to these classes. Lichbourne on WoW Insider reported today that we’re seeing a fix in a roundabout way, in patch 4.1 a change to the dungeon finder which will stop these classes being combined in random groups.

The random dungeon finder will now attempt to put DPSers of the same armor class in separate groups. This means that in theory, nevermore shall a fury warrior and an unholy death knight end up in the same random dungeon run. Sure, you may get a feral cat and an unholy death knight, but the cat has Hibernate, and in theory, your third DPSer will be someone like a shaman or a mage, who actually does have crowd control options that work on most stuff you’ll come across in your average heroic dungeon.

Source: Lichborne: Blizzard tackles death knight DPS utility in patch 4.1

That is total rubbish in terms of a change to assist with intelligent selection of a 5 man group. For randoms it might make it slightly better, but for all other groups its unchanged. So we have a change here that helps to take part of the symptom away; not address the core problem.

  • What will this do to the queue times for these classes?
  • How it is anticipated this would help non-random groups, like Guild runs?
  • Why is adding a small form of CC to these classes so wrong?

This is however a good idea anyway, and a nice change to the random group engine that I think is ok. It would be just as poor to see three clothy dps and a clothie healer in a random group too.

Gone will be the days of getting a group at level 61 that contains four death knights and a druid. For those runs the CC was just the prudent and over use of Deathgrip between the DKs, until the mobs became so dizzy they just threw-up on the floor rather than fight. Fun times, great memories.

I hope the CC aspect of the game continues to be thought about, and we see a further change of some sort along the way.

As a suggestion how about an affect called Ice Tomb?

  • Affect: Encases the targeted creature in a solid tomb of ice which melts. Damaging the tomb decreases the duration of the tomb.
  • Duration: 30 seconds, 1 minute with a glyph.
  • Cooldown: One use per combat would be better than nothing, but once per 10 minutes would also be fine so that it is not usable in arena.

Happy killing everyone.

Play WoW without WoW?

Its Tuesday and I was thinking that its odd sometimes to have a free night and actually have time to play a bit. Run a few dailies, maybe start some prospecting, or even just be silly in Stormwind. I know the downtime could be used for WoW downtime too, but I like the odd casual game experience; playing when you don’t have to can be fun after all.

It has me thinking that Blizzard could publish a side game which can be played without the entire game files which advances your toon in some way. A mini-game for the patch period.

Now this could:

  • Advance a skill, such as Archeology, Fishing, or other secondary profession, perhaps with the limitation that you keep the skill-ups, but don’t get the drops?
  • Would probably need to be restricted to an activity which does not generate or consume a game world asset like gold or ore.
  • Perhaps the activity does not interact with the WoW characters at all, but is a side game, a mini-game?
  • Could also grant another meta reward, such as an odd title or some achievement points relating to the degree of dedication the player has.
  • Would the offering of something trivial but entertaining be seen as a time waste, a good PR tool, an e-peen leaderboard?
  • Would the same little form of entertainment be viewed differently if it required an additional fee? Like Farmville for WoW… But then applying a fee almost declares that the assets or stuff gained should translate into the game.

I can see why it won’t happen – cost prohibitive, would need to be billable, etc; and the opportunity for a small dev to offer a mini-game to Blizzard is probably bantered around the web every month in some form or another.

To me though it still has merit, and the opportunity for a link up is there. Create a link between the Warcraft franchise in the WoW game with the other forms of Warcraft; the cards, books, etc. Use the otherwise captive attention span of the millions of subscribers to consolidate the brand and experience even further.

Overall as an alternative for tonight perhaps I’ll just go browse for a few good games that are silly and entertaining to muck about with, or go get one of my books and curl up in bed. Not like the housework was going to get finished anyway (wink).

Lastly for all those folks and partners of gamers who look forward to Tuesday as a special break from the everyday addiction, have you seen the WoW Widow t-shirts? Take a look..

Happy Gaming.

wow widow tshirt

A good shirt for all those wow widows out there. Tuesday is attention day?

ghoul becomes battle-res

I don’t mind the patch 4.1 change which makes the ghoul res into a battle res. In fact it gives a Death Knight some raid utility, which is a good change. Huzzah, some reason to take us – we just need some 1 min CC now.

I’d just like a bit of RP flavour to go with the change of the spell, and if truth be told I’d rather they added it as a new power rather than change the ghoul-res. I liked the ghoul-res.

It would be acceptable to me lore wise if the character was raised with a replacement title over their head, something like: <Naughtymage, DeathKnight’s Minion>. Then have the player die again at the end of the fight for RP affect without a repair cost.

Think of it like the Death Knight has momentarily forced the person’s soul back into their body, restoring them from death to complete a task; then they are discarded.

Unholy vs Frost presence for PvE DPS

A quick note to help clarify something obvious. Cataclysm has totally changed the choice of which presence to use. We are in a new and highly logical world where the two choices are Frost or Unholy. Please do not use Blood Presence for DPS any more, its a Tank Presence now.

Update 26-Sep-2011: Use Unholy presence for DPS. The rest of this post is based upon old information, and has changed. I would not expect an update to this now until after patch 4.3, or even in the next expansion.

From now onward the choice of DPS presence is between Frost and Unholy. Generally if you are an Unholy DK, then use Unholy Presence especially where fights require a lot of movement. When doing AoE where you have time to switch out of Unholy, and will not be moving back to single target quickly you can switch over to Frost Presence.

Also if you’re a Frost DK then use Frost presence for dual-weild and Unholy for using a two handed weapon (see links for proof). This is a deliberate change in style so that the spec matches the presence.

So the DPS rule is now: 2h weapon = Unholy, x2 single handed weapons = Frost.

I posted a long time ago in Wrath about which presence to use, but that post is now totally out of date. I’m posting this now because my old post still gets a lot of traffic and it needs to be corrected, and also because I’m starting to play a DK again and I’m having to retrain myself as well. Heck – I still switch to Blood sometimes by habit.

Apologies if this is stating the obvious. Happy Killing.

A rare Monday

Blackwing Descent loading screen

It is a rare Monday night when I can get home on time, cook diner, eat it without an inhaler, and then login. So with only a slight delay (which I apologise to my guildies for) I was not only well fed, but also logging into Warcraft.

All the folks were already on their way to the raid, so I trundled along and found my way to the instance through a little guesswork and some luck, and we got rolling. There were many pulls, some pulling of legs, and not just one but many inappropriate and darn entertaining comments through Vent. As the night progressed I got the hunch that as a collective we were a little off our game, but for me I was just happy to be inside the instance actually doing something – so I did not care in the slightest.

It was also a night playing again on my Death Knight rather than the Hunter which I’ve been leveling to raid with. It is an ironic twist of fate that all the while we’ve been trying to get players, now my DK is a viable raid toon again, with only a standard amount of competition for raid role-slot. I just laughed and said yes … the DK was always where the fun is. How could somebody not love charging into death wearing boiler plate and a grim smile? I love the fact that DKs have no threat wipe, it speaks plainly to how they are meant to be played: up front and at full speed. Mortigen is back baby!

Last night was a reminder of why I play. The rewards (see below) were nice, but the sensation of playing in a raid again was the real buzz. I think I’m still buzzing.

It was a good night. Continue reading