Monday Zombie Testing

The result of Monday’s zombie testing was very predictable, you can’t do much anywhere at the moment.

– login to human newbie area with a new toon. Highly populated, but ganked by a zombie in under a few minutes. Logout.

– login to Stormwind, attacked by a zombie in under 35 seconds. Killed it, cured the infection, and logged out.

– login to Shattrath, exit Inn mount up, fly. Watch as under a minute later a zombie enters the Inn. Logout.


If I’d known in advance it was going to be this way, I’d have stopped my subscription for a month and returned when it was over.

Oh no, not again.

Seems that Ret Paladin are getting the nurf that the forums cried out for. And I don’t mean an adjustment, or a conservative change, or a series of tweaks. Its a fully blooded destruction of the class that reached beyond Ret pvp (where there were major issues), beyond Ret pve raiding (where there were adjustments needed), and right into Prot tanking (which was just getting good), and into Holy (which needed a dps boost).

Its right back to Blizzard saying they think they know where the class is going, and has a vision for it. Sure, I see your vision:

– Ret: melee dps without snare, cc, intercept, or flee abilities. Fun? maybe.

– Prot: tanking was really good, but being still grounded in abilities that are affected by every other spec change means that there is potential for damage to Prot in every other change. And then boosting aoe tanking of other classes (which needed it), and adding a new class to tank. Right, so who is looking for a Paladin tank when the other tanks are around?

– Holy: being a good single target healer. Same old story.

WoW Insider has a good post about this.

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Level 80 pre-selection

The competition for which toon to take to 80 is still very tight. Up until a week ago the Paladin was the strongest contender, and the shadow Priest was the weakest, with Warlock a close 2nd. But now that has all changed…

To make this clearer I’ll use some rankings, where 1 is the current lead, and the others are ranked away from that with no particular scale.

1 – Paladin
2 – Warlock
4 – Druid
6 – Priest

This was because Paladin tanking is a face-roll of awesome, and the Warlocks were still cool with powerful dps. The Priest had equal or worse death recovery than the Warlock and crap damage. Then the Druid was a great all rounder, but still a dark horse due to being essentially unknown, but very versatile.

However as I’ve played the past week or so the tables have turned.

1 – Druid Paladin
3 – Priest
4 – Warlock

All in all the pack is closer grouped than ever, and here is why:

Warlock dps is poor, in whatever build you pick (if you say I’m QQing without doing some serious reading, I’ll slap you). I tried Demo with the Felguard, and it was meh. I looked at Destro and was not impressed, and Affliction was my first love, and I can se pure death there, but its death that takes a long time to arrive. DoTs for grinding and farming are frustrating to me. I want it tagged and then I want it dead. I also didn’t enjoy the micromanagement of a pet, which is an artefact of being destruction for so long. Its made me realise that without huge dps Warlocks bring nothing to the table for a raid group except cookies and summons. Bye bye warlock till they fix them, but Arkham is not out of the running, just going slow.

Priest dps has been improved, or so the simulation mods tell me. Should I trust it, I’m not sure? This puts my Shadow Priest up the rankings, to be ahead of Warlocks. Why? They can heal. With dual specs the Priest can perform two role well, not just wander around doing one. That is worth real ranking right there.

The same dual spec change makes the Druid and Paladin also huge propositions. Which is essentially why they are equal. The race for first place is now about (a) how they will level and generally play, and (b) what will be wanted and loved in raids at 80. Both the Paladin and Druid can bring awesome buffs, roles (tank, heal, dps) and fun to a raid. From what I have seen Paladin tanking is still aoe-god-mode, Druid healing is more diverse, and I am not sure about which does better dps. I suspect that is Ret paladins, but nobody knows what that will mean at 80 at the moment.

Its still a tough race to call, and we have a game that is constantly changing as the player base test and find new things. For all we know Warlock tanking might be the end game holy grail, just don’t bet the house on it.

Zombie Zerg Gank Fest

They’re everywhere. Brains, brains,…..etc. Welcome to Zombie Zerg Gank Fest 08.

Westfall was overrun by a nefarious pair – one was high level infected and the other was a high level druid. Basically the infected kept combating and infecting everyone, and the druid would cleanse himself but not others, and then kill them when they turned zombie bad. The high npc re-spawn rate kept the zombie chief ticking along, and the Druid seemed to know which one not to kill.

Basically you were stuffed if you went anywhere near them, and had to hope you got  back to your body quickly and run.

I know its fun, but it was a pain on the third go. I didn’t roll on a pvp (edit: I wrote pve by mistake) server for a reason.

That said, its a great thing to add to the game, and I hope Blizzard do more.

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Thank you to comments

I am really sick of irrelevant comments on news, info, and esepcially wow sites.

I am really sick of irrelevant comments on news, info, and especially wow sites.

Rant Warning.

To those folks who comment here, thank you – its always good and well received. And generally the wow community has a reasonable spam  filter (or bullshit filter as I like to call them).

To the muppets, freaks, and odd-balls who populate the interwebs with spam and garbage; be quiet. Stop posting. Stay inside. Face mirror, and talk a good hard look.

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Who do you meet as a new player?

A person I know is trying wow for the first time, and another very very casual has started to log in again. As a confirmed WoW nut I had to moderate my behaviour. Normally I’m foaming at the mouth, singing praises and virtues, looking for subtle gains and measures.

And while that is OK when you’re mid-froth with another wow nutcase, its a poor way to introduce a new player.

Jez from DPS We Deliver is also helping, so the corruption of a new player is not my sole pleasure. New players will see overt enthusiasm as terrible ranting. Information overload and information starvation is something new players have to fight; and raving does not help (I tried, ooops). They are overloaded by a new interface, skills, feel, and flavour. It takes time to sup all that up and get into it.

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Blog Focus – Initiate flamewar?

Do you write about one topic or class? Or range everywhere?

BRK and BBB are both mucking about, as a serious flame-war between those two would be ugly; but some light hearted poking is good. BRK’s contribution to Hunters has kept them in the mind-set of the Devs, and you’re smoking some serious stuff if you think that he has not assisted the Hunter community resist nurfs and keep progressing. I can forgive that he called Paladins cockroaches. Afterall I call Hunters one trick ponies in jest too. Continue reading

Mods that Are Working in v3

Like many folks my mods are a little skewy at the moment, and v3.0.2 will be here for a week so its worth updating. This led me to go and find some new ones. You can get all these from WoWMatrix and they are all Ace mods, so supposed to have low memory; ymmv.

Bags = Bagnon. I was using ArkInventory, and will again when its fixed. Till then this is good enough.

Bartender4 = great action bar mod.

Buffalo = the ultmate buff mod I have ever seen. Fantastic mod.

Ellipsis = a Dot, Hot, Cooldown, and target timer which is actually easier to configure and therefore beter than Dotimer.

FuBar = Good, but so many mods are not updated to Fubar v3.

Omen = Get it, your group needs you to have this, don’t leave the Inn without it.

Outfitter = an ok gear mod, but I’m not sold yet.

PitBull = Unit frames made very customised, and can look fantatic.

Prat = for comms/tells this is OK, but I feel its still a geek approch and could be more elegant.

Quartz = is a spell lag timer and castbar controller. Almost as mandatory as Omen.

ZOMGBuffs = there is no better way to record and control the buffs you need to give, and it learns and changes on the situation. Logic for all classes built right in.

Which Class to 80?

As I’ve said before, I’m trying to figure out what class will be best to level first. Usually this blog is a little like I rant, and some (delightful, intelligent, and sexy) people make comments.

Hey, I know the anthem, “Play what you enjoy”.

But its about more than that, its about playing what will add value, be highly affective, be sought after, and then be fun.

There can be only one, and while I think I’ll enjoy almost any of the choices, I’d love to see a representation of what the community thinks.

Off topic: My intent is also to test out the new WordPress/Polldaddy tool. Polldaddy is a funky poll tool that WordPress has just enabled in the default interface. Kudos WP, this aint too bad at all.

WoW v3 + Tankadin = Steamroller

We ran Kara last night, and when I say ran I really mean we crushed Karazhan and ate its young. The group make up had me as the only Tank, and a Shammy was OT’ing for the 2 times it was needed. We had 2 players who had never been in Kara, and a few who were inexperienced and it was still easy.

Everything in there is weaker, and the bosses are now like very hard trash mobs. There is no excuse except mana for not chain pulling, and if the group is already over geared you should be chain pulling in sets of 2-3.

43 seconds to drop Maiden, Attumen was a bit over a minute, and I don’t even recall how fast the others were by comparison. It was nuts. Prince’s new name is Princess, because that prancing Erodar is a softie now.

Badge farming and Alt gearing has a new home in Deadwind Pass.

Cat (Feral) Druid Talent Build

Update 4: The infomation here is not current for Cataclysm, as I have not played a dps Cat yet. The best advice I can give you to find an effective definitive starting point is to read the Druid – Cat EJ forums, and then use a tool like Mr Robot or Rawr to load your character and optimise.

Pay close attention to the discussion on Hit and Expertise requirements, as these have changed and sometimes the tools will not reflect the updates. And gem for strength (just kidding – don’t).

In an effort to respec now that we’re live in 3.0.2, here is the build that I will initially be using for my Druid, who is a cat dps role.

The huge question I have is this build gimp’ed because of the choice to still use Omen of Clarity?

Update 3: I’m tooling around with my Druid again, which means more Cat specs will be looked at and updated. Tanking has more appeal than Cat at the moment, but as a Level 75 Cat, no way I’m changing to a proper Bear spec when a hybrid feral build will do the trick.

Update 2: In light of some feedback, and general tooling around I have a new spec. Omen of Clarity is dropped out for Bersek. Still not sold on some of the differences between mine and other specs, but as yet I have not raided pve with a Cat.

Update 1:   As 3.1.1 is here, consider this spec out of date. I’m sure the basics will be ok, but I’m not claiming this is accurate anymore. Instead go have a look at Altosis’s DPS build for Cats. It has a breakdown of talents, a build link, and he’s playing Cat far more than I am.

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Shadow Priest Talent Build

An attempt at a Shadow build for level 70s. (Edit: As 3.1 is fast approaching, consider this spec out of date. I’m sure the basics will be ok, but I’m not claiming this is accurate anymore).

I wanted the Silence ability, but need to know if it is worth sacrificing the points from other areas; at the moment its not.

Dispersion is not worth the last point in a tree as far as I can tell (Dispersion is wonderful, I was wrong), and I’m happy to be wrong later. It would be a far more affective ability if it also reduced the Threat the Priest has on the target too. Then I can see it as a great way to ramp up your damge, then take a short breather while your mana pops up 36%. That will hopefully stack with the mana return you’re normally getting and the Meditation and TV abilities. In its current form its crappy.

Update: Adding the spec I’ll go with till further notice. Whats different?

– no reduced threat, my gear is not putting me anywhere near threat capped and unless you’ve broken +1000 damage you won’t be either from what I can tell.

– no increased range on shadow spells, mostly in runs its ok to be far away. Only in a few fights I can think of its a real issue, and in those you just need to move like the melee dps (murmur, prince, etc).

– added back in Silence, and so happy about it. Doing the Sunwell Attack Plans against casters is easy mode with silence. I can see why people roll Blood Elves.

– Added back in Dispersion, as its proven to be a good toy and I think I’ll get real milage out of it.

Affliction Warlock Talent Build

Looking at the Affliction tree for Warlocks at 70, its seriously fun times. The tree has gained some potentially powerful spells, and the opportunity is present for Affl-Locks to construct strange and bizarre spell rotations. Much like the Paladin build earlier I’m taking a punt on a build. This setup was copied from a L80 setup for Afflict raiding, and I can see easily why its potent.

Edit: As 3.1 is fast approaching, consider this spec out of date. I’m sure the basics will be ok, but I’m not claiming this is accurate anymore.

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Prot Paladin Talent Build

Update 2: This post is now out of date due to the changes in Cataclysm, and has nothing specific to level 85 tanks anymore.

I can tell you that builds for Paladins have changed in an incredible range of ways, as to has the rotations and use of resources. The Holy power addition means a Paladin Tank is no longer just a AoE tank – target switching is real for all Tanks now. If you don’t like switching targets and loved being lazy then Paladin is probably the best choice for tanking, but you’ll readlly need to be careful and change your style to be effective.

The EJ Forum is the best place to start, read the first sections, and then jump across to TankSpot for more information.

Update: A new post for Paladin Tanks at Level 80 is here, updated for 3.3.3.

The patch v3.0.2 has me thinking of how to spec, and honnestly I just don’t know. I’ve tried to silently troll the usual forums for builds, but found a storm of activity with no clear winners.

So here goes…Here is a spec that is for a level 70 Prot Paladin, is heavy on Tanking, and has little flex into the other talent trees.

Edit: As 3.1 is fast approaching, consider this spec out of date. I’m sure the basics will be ok, but I’m not claiming this is accurate anymore.

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Authenticator arrived

The postie delivered the batch of authenticators today, and I’ve hooked up my account, and logged in. I must say its a good feeling to think that the extra layer of protection is there, and I can see why folks were so keen for these. The odds of getting hacked now has to be so much lower. By a major factorial reduction.

It was easy to add to the account, and easy to use when logging in. 10pts Blizzard, you win the round.

…where did I put my keys?

Mods down, Speed Up

I went through a few frustrating days of getting a wow warning, a huge warning screen right in the middle of my HUD, which distracts somewhat from the playing of the game. Basically I had too many mods and some were causing issues (apparently). The game would prompt asking me to “Disable” or “Ignore”.

Now I can just imagine the fubar that would occur by saying disable mods in the middle of an instance run. Continue reading