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
/cast Perception
[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

Toon’s Themesong

As I have a few toons, this Blog Azeroth shared topic got me thinking about the tunes I listen to while playing, and how they might relate to my toons. I can’t quite pick just one song to define each toon, as thats like picking a favourite film – which is impossible for me.

My regular characters are:

Arkham the Warlock – Firestarter by the Prodigy is a stable basic and anything fast and furious is playing when Arkham goes farming. I might not use fire, but having 1100+ shadow damage means things die quickly. Sometimes old school grunge is cool too with Nirvana leading the list.

Diamon the Tankadin – Ramstien gets a lot of play, its got lots of base and also pretty quick. Classical also gets a good spin, with Motzart being a really popular choice, but thats only during instances that are easy. The soundtrack from the film Judgement Night also gets a play; and often I can’t go past Audioslave for solo grinds.

Quendalon the Cat – Song 2 by Blur defines Q as a cat. The bouncy nature, speed, stealth, and raw damage output is just brutal. And because she has to get right up close you can almost see the whites of their eyes when they die. Groove Armada, Jamiroquai (which would be a great Cat Druid name), Regurgitator, and Portishead are good too.

Then we have the also-rans:

Malitia the Rogue, Yiera the Shadow priest, Casserole the Druid, Rill the Warrior who all suffer under the tyranny of my mix list: the Pixies to Sonic Youth, Breeders to PJ Harvey, St Germain to Thievery Corporation.

I see a theme – can’t choose music and can’t choose a single character…

Observations and Intollerance of Players

Warning: This is a rant. Skip if you dislike strong language and intolerance.

There are a few types of people who grind on my personality. Not just the folks who mildly  perturb you; these are people who you’d cross the street to slap if it wouldn’t mean jail time.

In “game” the odd/irritating players are pretty easy to stumble upon, and the really painful ones are easy to stumble upon but can’t be silenced by a palm to the head. You’ll see them bouncing around begging for gold, or making asshats out of themselves in trade/general/lfg as you move around them to quest. Continue reading

The Future of Tanking

An interesting Tank post on the Official WoW forums, posted by Ghostcrawler. This mirrors in a very timely manner a post by Sheepbreaker that asked about the role of Tanks in terms of which is the best choice.

Blurb from the official post, skip past if you want my humble opinion. The quick version is that I’m excited by the potential, wary of the way change has been managed before, and taking everything with a grain of salt.

Till a month after launch nothing is really known. Continue reading

Other flying mount ideas

BA Shared topic: Flying Mounts for classes.

Shaman = Wind Funnel / dervish. They fly like a superman/woman through the air with a swirling mist around them. Shaman are in tune with the elements, so make the elements move them around. You could use a version of the cyclone affect.

Warrior = Brutally stronger looking warhorse. Make the model much more like a Clydesdayle. Solid, thick necked, and about 10% bigger. Like the warhorse from Ladyhawk.

Paladins = Pegusus. The discerning Paladin’s mount of choice, available is a range of colours and styles…

Priests = Give’em wings, like those used in the Draenei quests in the starting area. You’ve gone so far into being a representative of the light, that you’re now almost angelic. People will re-roll priests to get this, which won’t hurt the healing community either. Think Gabriel in the film Constantine.

Mage = Levitate, unlike the Shaman, they just fly. Mages in a huge range of games and themes can fly. The hard part will be them not getting their capes caught in the Warrior’s whirlwind. Like Magneto in the XMen films. Oh, and of course brooms and carpets, but something avail to the Mages.

Druid = More skins for their current modes. Dragonwhelp, butterfly, sparrow…

Warlock = A demon akin to the Nazgul in PJ’s Lord of the Rings. A mutated, demonic, mottled dragon-ish hell-thing. An undead dragon is not going far enough. It has to be Demonic.

Hunter = Let’em ride giant owls, and all sorts of “natural” fliers. Even those snake-serpents are just as viable as the Ogrilla/Skettis squids as mounts. Also pet dying means no flying mount till they res it and make it happy.

Rogue = Don’t know. Maybe a flash powder affect that makes them invisible, and then they move that way. “I leave you now! *poof* ” Its the one class I can’t think of a good creature that matches them. Perhaps they miss out on a special.

Time poor? What tasks remain viable?

Having time to play wow is a luxury, and recently its been taxed significantly.

Life, relationships, and work are all consuming more energy at the moment, and while I don’t begrudge it specifically, I’d like to find a way to play effectively for short periods of time.

Which raises the question – What tasks or activities remain viable when you are casual? How best to play with time, to get more playtime?

Continue reading

What DKP loot option?

Automagica posted about the Great DKP Divide, and gosh darn it I ranted so hard that I think it deserves publication here too. Go read, and then bookmark him.

Keep in mind too that loot discussions bring out the best and worst of people, so while I don’t expect to see flames, I do expect that every person will have a different opinion; and that its all relative and all personal.

As a casual I hate dkp. If you like it, skip this post and stay happy. Also as a casual I’ve seen many systems and none really will cater to get gear for casuals; but then that is perfectly fair. No regular attendance = no regular loot. Simple. Many moons ago I was more hardcore, and this comment is based upon both experiences, but I was never a true “wow is life” player. Continue reading

Downranking Paladin Tank stats

kid in a toy tankWhile you’re leveling you’re always hunting for the best gear, and IMHO good Tank gear is not as common as other stuff. As you get to 70 that gear continues to improve well past the pre-70 items.

But I’ve noticed that as a Paladin Tank you need to swap gear out if you’re doing a lower level instance (downranking gear rather than spells). This is so that you’re not as tough as you are normally.

You’ll actually take damage, so you can get healed; and continue to load threat where you need to.

Q. How rare are pre-70 Paladin tanks, and what can we expect? Continue reading

A cat on the ramparts

As a distraction from my regular wow activity I’ve started to play a Druid through the 60+ content. Leveling another toon through BC solo will be fine, but this time I’m keen to do a lot more instance runs than I did on my Warlock and Paladin.

Last night I ran my first instance as a Druid where I wasn’t being carried by several high level characters. The team was a 70 Tank Warrior wearing DPS gear and wielding two nasty looking swords, a 60 Warrior Tank, a 60 Warrior DPS, a 61 Paladin on heals, and me on a 61 DPS Druid.

OK, there was still a 70 in there, but as a team for Ramps it seemed to work, and each of us had to pull some of the weight. Almost all the pulls had 2 toons acting in a tank role, and because the rest of us could just hammer the mobs I think it was still a little like cheating.

A few observations from the run were: Continue reading