Will Kill for Beta Key

Beta or Blizzcon - both inaccessable from Aus

Well probably not kill, but I’d go close to the borderline of illegal to get something more interesting to muck about with in WoW at the moment. Some of the give aways are great from such folks as the Instance and Wowhead, but still probably not going to get me there.

I’d even follow a test script if such a thing was there, so I must be getting antsy.

Thor trailer is solid fun


Thor - A Paladin if ever there was one

The Thor trailer is doing the rounds, and like a sci-fi nut I am excited to see this one. I mean its Thor, what is not to love.

God technology, lightning effects, Avengers movie threads…its like a coming of age for geek-sci-fi movies. That said, I am concerned with the story and overall production being less than wonderful, but am delighted to see these types of films being made.

Watch for the Destroyer at the end.

New trailer posted 11 Dec.

PuG Warlock advice on Threat


Would you take advice from this Warlock?

If a tank pulls, starts with an low AoE ability on all mobs (like Blood Boil) then how can a Warlock pull threat without casting a spell? I though it would take at least a damage spell to pull threat, and waiting is a zero threat ability.

Or should all pulls in a standard 5 man be high threat AoE? What about doing multi-pack pulls?

In a 5 man should the dps wait for threat, or just go?

Ardana from Calestraz suggested that I did not “have threat” when I used Blood Boil while running through one pack, then planted a DnD on the second pack.  It seems to me that the Warlock did not wait for threat to be well established.

Even when they had aggro and I taunted, the Warlock and the other dps just kept on killing.

Warlock might have been right that I did not initiate a high threat cycle to allow him to dps straight away… I’d add to that and say that while the pull might have been less than ideal for a small pack, the concept of watching, thinking, and acting accordingly is beyond most 5 man players.

TL;DR = I hate pugs.

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Dear Blizzard, re: HoR

Dear Blizzard,

I will not longer be pugging Halls of Reflection. Occulus was bad enough, HoR is just too painful to be worth running. The ever increasing levels of poor performance, strange group make-up, and overall crappy experiences over and over make that dungeon the last choice I’d ever make.

I’ll do Uldaman or Gnomeregan twice in Fire Festival gear before HoR with a random group again. It just sucks as you are far too dependent on so many factors that allow a poor run. Seriously.

Here is a feature suggestion:

Allow us to select 3 dungeons that we never wish to run again as 5 mans in the LFD tool.

It will do two things. Firstly show you which are hated the most, and secondly will mean that groups will not get pissed when “team” mates leave because they are god damn frustrated, tired, and lost all hope of a successful run.

Happy killing (everywhere except HoR).Halls of Reflection Load Screen

ps. I know this is about as unlikely as Blizzard sending me a large suitcase full of unmarked bills, or a Beta invite, but it has to be said so I can stay sane.

The DK Effect

Anyone else noticed the correlation between the Dunning-Kruger effect and the perception that raiders have of each other? Or that the hypothesis of Dunning-Kruger’s studies has applications to raiding as well as business and life in general?

Or that Death Knight and Dunning-Kruger share the same initials? Coincidence, I think not. 🙂

I came across this term while researching a tool that allows better testing and interviewing for software developers.

The theory goes that generally a potential interviewee (or raider, home handyman, or whatever) will over estimate their importance and skill, and often not be able to see their deficiencies. Further the more skilled a practitioner generally the lower they rate their own skill level.

This creates an odd situation where the interviewer cannot be sure of which type of candidate they are seeing without an involved set of questions and tasks, and sometimes the person will fail utterly to answer basic questions, but still think their skill level is acceptable.

Kruger and Dunning proposed that, for a given skill, incompetent people will:

  1. tend to overestimate their own level of skill;
  2. fail to recognize genuine skill in others;
  3. fail to recognize the extremity of their inadequacy;
  4. recognize and acknowledge their own previous lack of skill, if they can be trained to substantially improve.

Dunning has since drawn an analogy (“the anosognosia of everyday life”) to a condition in which a person who suffers a physical disability due to brain injury seems unaware of or denies the existence of the disability, even for dramatic impairments such as blindness or paralysis.

It is like Kruger and Dunning were raiders in our old 10 man groups and got so sick of the wipes so decided to apply some science and developed a theory to match what we were seeing!

Now I’m not perfect, in fact I’m far from it and make mistakes on a regular basis. I think I am typical of the competent raiders out there; you know…normal. But then apply this hypothesis and it could be that I am a failure as a raider, and the DK bubble in my own perception keeps the excuses from ever really surfacing in my mind as my issue, or a myriad of other reasons from allowing me to accept the game and player feedback which is what is needed to improve.

It is an awesome hypothesis that I’ve seen in effect many times; especially in mid-level DKs and Hunters.

Refs: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning–Kruger_effect

An example article of Dunning-Kruger, as it related to climate change (for the sake of a totally off-topic example which might serve as a better illustration of the effect).


Ok maybe too much science and not enough “kill-dragons”, but I found it interesting none the less.

Happy “smelling the fear, chasing down the enemy, and running them through”…

What has been happening?

Bear Tank Political posterA few nights ago I had the pleasure of playing Quendalon, in a tanking role in ICC with the guild. It was an average run through to the Blood Queen. We wiped a bit on the plague wing guys, and had some average trash pulls, but otherwise got 8/12 in one night which is OK. With a 30% buff that is not exactly wonderful, but it is also not exactly a poor waste of time either.

The team make-up was selected for the guys who could do the content and also may not be in the regular progression team. This was mainly because a few of the key raiders would not be around this week, so we took an opportunity to let others see the fights.

In other toons I’ve really noticed the burn out on the 5 mans. And I mean serious burn-out. From the rss feed and Armory app for Mortigen I can tell I’ve seen some places a lot; approx 400+ instances on heroic across the toons. It was in April 2009 when I got the Heroic Northrend Dungeon achievement for the first time, and 1500 emblems in Jan this year. Next is the 2500 achievement, and I’m at 2168 so far on one toon.

Quendalon has 500 emblems, and is 770 of 1000 into the next one. Rest of the other 3 characters would be lucky to have around 100, but that is still a very large amount of repeat runs in the same places. Consider that HoR still sucks, and I generally dump it when it is the random too.

Anyway; quick post, small update, and so much to do in life and wow that I have to keep moving.

Happy killing.

Nice Forum Sigs

Found a nice little site that offers forum sigs and avatars for Warcraft, which are well put together. Check out wow.magelo.com and the examples below.

The Avatar example to the left is something I can see using on forums and blogs for a nice degree of easy personalisation.

The image is grabbed by the Magelo site from the Armory, so that the image that you place in the Armory is re-used by them, and therefore by you as well. Clever.

And of course the full bragging rights example below.

Found via Psynister’s blog – go read it, and happy killing.

Survey – if you’re bored…

If you’re looking for something to do, or pray even blog about: a kind sir named SorryCaps created a little Q&A survey; which I found via Cannot be Tamed.

1. Raider, farmer, PvPer, or altoholic?
Raider due to time, Altoholic on public holidays and weekends.

2. Favorite raid or dungeon?
SM. I think the four wings are still a great example of how a raid should be structured, if only it was a raid. Looking forward to Cataclysm for this type of approach. ICC initially promised this, but did not deliver.

3. Number one choice for a new playable race?
A cross-facti0n race. I think Goblin should have been both H&A.

4. Class you suck the most at?
Rogues, Cat druids, and Warriors. My brain bends when I try to play them

5. Original UI or modded UI?
Modded beyond comprehension and legibility.

6. Profession you’ve never leveled past 200?
Inscription and Jewelcrafting – can’t be stuffed.

7. Favorite flying mount?

8. Nozdormu — friend or foe, you figure?
At this time neutral.

9. Useless item you have in your bank that you’ll never get rid of?
Mats for professions between level 250 and 350; they are rare enough to keep for a rainy day, but not so rare that they are worth selling.

10. Most expensive thing you’ve ever bought?
Um, Epic and winter flying on x5 characters, and x2 Dalaran rings.

11. Favorite starting area?
Blood Elf.

12. Inane goal you worked hardest to achieve?
Does level 80 for the 5th time count? Otherwise, um, maybe cooking.

13. Darion Mograine VS Tirion Fordring, gloves off — winner is?
Kill them both, feed them to Garrosh Hellscream anally; then feed him to Sargareas.

14. Game music or your own playlist?
Play list only, but somehow I like listening to the soundtracks when I’m not in game.

15. Particular option or setting that you always toggle on a new alt/server?
Preview talen changes, and auto-leave guild recruitment.

16. Highest amount of levels gained in one play session?
Using RAF levels, almost 25.

17. Thing you’d most like to experience or see in-game?
Killing the Lich King, and then killing my raiders who stand in fire.

18. Worst PuG moment?
See about 10% of my blog posts. I hate pugs.

19. Best dungeon/raid moment?
Clearing Karazhan for the first time was great, as was MC and ZG.

20. Worst quest ever that you totally hate doing?
I now hate the Defias chain; too many times.

21. First thing you do when you hit 80?
Buy all the cheap blues/purples I can.

22. Character (of yours) you would RP as if you had to?
My Death Knight sociopath. Though true be told he’sactually looking for his old job back as both the H and A are totally wasting their potential.

Can I take the crown and be the Lich King, and finally affect some change on Azeroth?

23. Keyboard, mouse, or both for using abilities?
Both, all the time.

24. Thottbot or WoWhead?
Wowhead, + WoW Heroes + Google

25. Acronym you’ve seen in chat but don’t understand?
None that I can think of.

26. Plot point you’d like to see resolved someday?
Why on earth the demon who empowered the original lich king does not do it again, but with better recruits. Perhaps do it to Deathwing after we kill him?

27. Biggest thing you’re looking forward to in Cataclysm?
Nothing as yet, but I’ve stayed away from the material thus far. Maybe the Worgen starting area.

28. Guild event you’d like to see?

29. Level range you hate being in?
45-57, then 74-77.

30. Favorite map to quest in?
Blade’s Edge is good for localised quests, Shadowmoon Valley is striking. Icecrown is incredible.

Foot pedal love

Blizzard's Chat-Tap pedal.

When I saw the Blizzard official foot pedal for gaming I literally laughed out loud. It is such a direct branding exercise to snaffle some cash that I was both impressed by their gusto, and a little miffed that a usb pedal would cost so much. You have to seriously consider your expendable cash when you order an expensive one button keyboard, that you use with your foot.

Don’t get me wrong, a brand is something that is worth paying for generally, and these companies are all about making a dollar while we stay entertained. If you like the brand then you might not mind paying a little extra, and more power to you. But the cost vs feature set of a push to talk foot pedal seemed to be pushing the boundaries in this case.

It started me thinking, and went beyond an academic task.

So I searched around for an alternative. I could not help but think that somebody had already created this product, and the Warcraft franchise was just applying some smooth images and stickers to the package. And yes, you can purchase a usb foot pedal from Brando in Hong Kong for far less than the official product.

So I bought one. *blush*

Brando's usb foot pedal

Visually I think there is only the packaging and a sticker that is different. Of course I don’t have all the software that might be packaged with the official World of Warcraft Tap-Chat (Extreme-Gaming-Uber-Slayering-Foot-Pedal-Woof!). But I also only spent around USD$10.00 vs the $30 model option (I would spend far more on any given Friday night on drinks anyway).

I gave it a quick road test last night, and it’s a silly fun toy. It might make playing a tiny bit easier, but I can’t see the significant difference in the game yet. I expect that the raids will get easier to participate in because of not having to search for a keyboard key while also doing all the movement; and that is where I think the real gain is. For places in games where you’re already using both hands to drive, yapping in vent would help, but can’t just have an open mic due to background noise or flaky apps.

For raiders and pvp’ers I guess, more than for casual playing. Are you hardcore enough to need this toy, or are you deluded enough to think that it is worth the money, or just addicted

enough to know that you don’t have a choice?

Happy gaming, with your feet.

PS. I dread to think what the title of the post will bring in a Google search…

Public Forums using Real IDs

This is a very bad idea. I’m wearing a tin foil hat as I type, but this does have very far reaching implications.

I cannot see the value to players, and frankly cannot see why it would benefit the community either.

Maybe the younger generation are more open to this? But maybe those very same young people are not life-skilled enough to realise what the risks are.

This has massive potential for abuse and issues, and this is so bad that I think nothing short of hundreds of pages of posts will make any impact. So post now, and often. I think we need to deafen Blizzard with the bad feedback. It will hopefully be overturned by somebody with half a brain at Blizzard.

For those who said Real ID was a slippery slope; which was opening pandora’s box – you were right.

I don’t think we are at the end of that slope yet either.

Conspiracy Theory: They make a suggestion so stupid, that the community implodes; then they retract it. Next they make a smaller change, and can cite the earlier as an example of listening to teh client base and also making the 2nd action seem small by comparison.

Now these blue geared raiders are impressive

Greedy Goblin’s blue geared project kills 2 of the Ruby Sanctum mini-bosses. Damn that is impressive. Scary and impressive.

Greedy Goblin said,

…in the first week, without more than 1 kill experience for everyone, in the most unnerfed state of the most recent raid instance, Undergeared, the 3300GS blue-only guild killed 2 bosses from 4. And we had only half raid time, since we were 9-manning the first half. We lacked warrior or warlock for +HP (and stance-dance for the third boss).

The team changed the typical setup to use 2 tanks, 5 healers and 3 dps; as Baltharus the Warborn didn’t have an enrage timer, and could be out healed. To give some perspective these guys are wearing gear that would get you kicked from a 5 man heroic as being a total scub.

I love it. I’ll be thinking of this when we run back in after wiping.

Sometimes I dislike the tone of Greedy’s blog posts, but the content is great and he is certainly challenging the typical game experience. The typical expectations of what is achieveable in World of Warcraft has been broken many times by his projects, and killing those two mini-bosses in Ruby Sanctum with blue geared players is borderline insanity, as many very well geared and experienced players still could not do it. My guild included.

Happy wiping.

First thoughts on the Ruby Sanctum

The Insidious regulars charged at the Ruby Sanctum last night, and by golly it showed us who is boss. The patrolling trash is to be respected, and the need for cc and stun/interrupts makes this content a true pug wiper, at least for a while.

I loved it!

Wiping on new content is so much better than doing old 5 mans, and a great way to start our raid night. New tactics, really nasty trash, and the fact that it is not technically mandatory for progression mean that I can be keen to do this content, and so will so many others that we have a chance of folks actually learning what to do.

A conversation started around the topic of how hard the instance is meant to be, and we generally agreed that it will be darn hard while we learn and there are no boss warning, but get pugable as time passes. I think this is true to a point, but think it wil still be one of those places where a screen-licker will fail, and potentially make others fail.

A description of the trash: “This is technically the trash’s trash…”

Which makes me think that it is totally unacceptable for somebody to not move the third time they are targeted by something bad. I mean come on, how hard is it? (rhetorical question)

If you need more than a very large Red Arrow pointing at the top of your character that something bad is about to happen, then you are a bloody idiot. Plain and simple. It could not be made more obvious, and we had just spent a few minutes talking about how people need to move away from each other.

So we didn’t win at all. We did kill one of the mini-bosses, but the patrolling trash with the Commander kicked us enough times to make the first five bosses in ICC seem like more fun and better use for time, so the crew will return at a later time. I’m sure some guilds went in and one shot it, and sure others fought hard and got through.

That isn’t us, we wiped, but I still enjoyed.

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