Archive for March, 2010

The Arcane Mage Flowchart

Posted: 26 March, 2010 in Mage

Bonus post today!  This one I just have to share, courtesy of Leyra on Greymane.

Yes, THIS is how you Mage.


Raid Anatomy 102

Posted: 26 March, 2010 in misc, Raiding

Part Two in an inexplicably popular series.  The misery continues!

The Discipline Priest.
Your Discipline Priest is a female toon with a slutty name.  She /flirts and /giggles more than is healthy for anyone over the age of 16, has a coterie of slavishly devoted and desperate teenage male guild members who shower her with attention and in-game gifts.  She’s been the epicentre of more drama than The Theatre Royal, caused more people to leave your guild than finals at University and can pack enough innuendo into the word “discipline” to make Sid James blush.  Not an hour goes by in guild chat that she doesn’t slip in something about her being a girl in real life, like how she can never find a boyfriend, and she’s also so shy about her sexy European accent that she simply can’t speak on Teamspeak.

Yes, your Discipline Priest is Gary, a 35 year old man from Yorkshire. And he’s laughing his ass off.

The Holy Paladin
Your Holy Paladin has a mana bar that makes your Tanks’ health bar look conservative, and your tank has 50k health.  According to the rumours, she’s a girl in real life, but since “she” never, EVER speaks on Teamspeak “her” gender is anyones’ guess.  This doesn’t stop your more desperate male guildies of course.  Nothing short of the Apocalypse would.  Unlike your Discipline Priest, there’s a good chance that the Holy Paladin is actually a girl since if you ever get into an argument with her she’ll keep you up until 2am in /whispers and actually follow some sort of internal logic that is only decipherable to the female mind.  Unlike a man, she is perfectly happy to admit she’s wrong if proven so, but since no man is capable of following the workings of the female mind you’re pretty much going to be arguing until either a) 2am or b) you start banging your head against a brick wall.

Another clue to her true identity is that despite being incredibly good at her job, she suffers from an affliction common to her gender – always being late.  She’s been playing WoW for five years and has never been at a raid on time in her life.  Since the beginning of recorded statistics she’s been summoned into instances over 1000 times and always after raid start time.  This distinctly female concept of time extends to her understanding of what exactly a five minute raid break means.  To you and me it means five minutes.  To her it means however long it takes to powder her nose, make tea, see what’s on TV and call her mother.  Civilisations have risen and fallen in the time it takes her to answer a /readycheck.

Yep.  Definitely a girl in real life.

The Frost Mage
Yes you heard me right.  Frost Mage.  Yes, in a raid.  Yes, I know.  She also has all her gear gemmed with spirit.  She even has Mongoose on her staff.  Yes it sucks, but it’s got the “prettiest glow”!  Well technically she’s a Frost Mage, but I only say that because most of her talent points are in the Frost tree.  The rest are god only knows where.  Seriously.  You couldn’t make this stuff up.  And don’t tell me to have a quiet word with her, I’ve tried.  Oh trust me, I have. The slightest hint of constructive criticism and she throws an almighty strop and makes a scene in guild chat and I end up being the bad guy.  Oh yeah, it’s just not worth the pain and grief.  She gets invited to every raid too, with her 1.5k dps, and I sit on the bench two raids out of every three with my 9k.  Bitter?  Me?  Never!

I guess the only thing to do is take a leaf out of her book and marry the raid leader.

The Warlock
Your Warlock is three feet tall, has pink pigtails for hair, is named Snufflebunny and uses the anguished souls of her enemies to power her fel magicks.  Which is nice.  Back in The Burning Crusade she topped the damage meters by having a Shadow Priest in the raid and going afk with a brick on top of her Shadowbolt button.  Sadly for her, those days are long gone.  Back in vanilla WoW, since there was practically no way to break a Fear, it used to take a 40 man raid group to kill her in pvp.  Sadly for her, those days are long gone too.  In order to be any good in Wrath of the Lich King she’s has been forced to learn how to play her class.   This is why she QQs more than a Mage locked in a Burning Crusade time warp.  Meanwhile your Arcane Mage is laughing his ass off.

The Enhancement Shaman
Serena Williams is a Draenie Enhancement Shaman.  Discuss.

This is why your Enhancement Shaman is ALWAYS a Draenie female.  No, it’s not because of Gift of the Naaru.  It’s got nothing to do with the jewelcrafting bonus, give me a break!  It’s the massive blue tits and ass.  Bewbs > All.  Scientifically proven by a room full of twentysomething male Blizzard graphic artists.  Seriously, roll a Dreanie female yourself and just watch her run around.  Try to stop watching.


The Retribution Paladin
Your Ret Paladin has been playing Ret since vanilla WoW.  To those who started playing after The Burning Crusade was released, this will require some explanation.  Back in the day, “Retribution” and “dps” were not used in the same sentence unless the word “lol” was also included somewhere.  This means that your Ret paladin has been forced to learn how to play his class very, very well indeed in order to be able to beat a bored Holy Priest on Recount.  When the Wrath of the Lich King pre-patch was released, Ret Paladins recieved some pretty substantial buffs.  In effect, what this meant was that Blizzard gave Space Marine Power Armour, Rocket Launchers and Melta Bombs to a class who had until that point been managing their dps armed with the metaphorical equivalent of Kiwi Fruit and Laura Ashley dresses.

There was carnage.  The Ret Pally got the 50k Honourable Kills Achievement in the same week.

Raid Anatomy 101

Posted: 14 March, 2010 in misc, Raiding

This is your raid.  There are many like it, but this one is yours.  You must master your raid as you must master yourself.  Without your raid, you are useless.  Unfortunately your raid is useless with or without you because it consists of these clowns…

1.  The Healers
The Resto Druid is played by a single mother from Amsterdam whose diet consists almost entirely of lentils, cannabis cakes and tofu.  She knows all the words to The Lament of the Highborne and can sing it in its native Thalassian.  When she’s not off her face on cannabis cakes, she’s composing folk songs on her banjo.  Sometimes she does both while playing WoW.  In defiance of all the odds, this actually makes her better at playing her class.  She’s a Wiccan even though she only has a superficial understanding of what that means, but Willow from Buffy the Vampire Slayer was one, so she is too.  If there’s ever any drama in your guild, she’s right at the centre of it.  She’s never actually the source of any drama, but she’s drawn to it like flies to a fresh corpse.

The Resto Shaman is a 17 year old guy from Birmingham.  His offspec is Elemental and everyone in the raid will know this because before every pull he will inform everyone that you only need two healers for this fight and he has an Elemental offspec in case the raid leader needs a healer to switch.  The raid leader never does, but he’ll squeeze in a few sneaky lightning bolts whenever thinks no one’s looking.  He only took a healing offspec so he could get into raids and despite being a healer, he’ll beat the Deathknight on dps.  And then he’ll /roll on the dps caster cloth.

The Holy Priest has been playing a priest since Molten Core and will waste no time telling everyone in the raid his stories about killing Baron Geddon when half the raid was in blues and “stuff was so much harder back in The Good Old Days lol”.  He still loves to equip his full Tier 1 and Benediction and pose around the mailboxes in Dalaran.  He hates the Resto Shaman because he’s carried a grudge about Chain Heal since Black Temple.  He’s actually a pretty good healer but like all Holy Priests, he dies a lot because he suffers from an advanced case of Chronic Martyr Syndrome.  This will manifest itself in various ways, but the most common is death by Standing In The Fire because he was “too busy saving the dumbass dps to notice”.

2.  The DPS.
There are two types of Rogue you can have in your raid.  The first is much more amusing.  No-one knows what his spec is.  Don’t ask him because he’ll just tell you it’s “l337 dps lol!” and you’ll be forced to gouge out your own eyes with a spoon.  If he doesn’t have an addon that spams chat with numbers every time he beats his personal best crit, he’ll type it in raid chat anyway.  He has Recount installed but pretends he doesn’t so he can get away with asking for Recount to be linked after every fight.  He thinks that this way he can act innocent and be genuinely surprised that his dps is so high, instead of linking it himself just to rub everyones’ noses in it.  He hates the hunter, because he’s the only one who can beat him on Recount.  This Rogue is a 13 year old from Aarhus.
The second type of Rogue plays with cold, ruthless efficiency and never says a word on Teamspeak or in raidchat.  His dps is solid and he never screws up.  He plays like a robot because he is in fact a robot.  His name is actually Wan, he lives in Beijing and works for a gold farming company.  He controls the character entirely through scripts and macros and never speaks because he doesn’t speak English at all and is running four other characters at the same time.

The Hunter is a 35 year old unemployed bricklayer from Glasgow.  Despite playing while under the influence of enough alcohol to kill a horse, his dps is spectacular on any fight where he’s allowed to stand still and dps because… well…  he’s a Hunter.  On any movement fight his dps is great up until the point where the Holy Priest can’t keep him alive through Standing In Fire any longer due to succumbing to Matryr Syndrome and dying in Fire himself.  At which point the Hunter dies too and opens another can of Heineken Export.  Due to being completely and utterly shitfaced, the hunters’ sole contribution to raidchat is limted to “wwwwaaasssddaaawwaaa” on those rare occasions when he realises he’s not in fact hallucinating and those pretty colours are actually the fire he’s standing in, but forgets he pressed his Enter key before trying to move.  Occasionally he speaks on Teamspeak, but no-one other than another drunken Glaswegian is capable of understanding a drunken Glaswegian and you only have one Hunter in your raid.

Your Mage used to be a Fireball mage.  Before that he was a Frostfire Mage and now he’s an Arcane Mage with a Frostfire Bolt AoE offspec.  As a result he has gear that has far too much crit, ridiculous amounts of hit and nowhere near enough haste, but since Mage Flavour of the Month spec changes so often he’s constantly playing catch up with his gear. He played a Mage in The Burning Crusade, when even vendor npcs did better dps and mages weren’t even needed for Arcane Intellect due to the Kiru’s Song of Victory buff, so he’s pathetically touchy about criticism of his dps and he hates Warlocks with a single-minded intensity that would make Hannibal Lecter look scatterbrained.  He’ll go out of mana due to Arcane Blast spam about 50% into any fight and will always time his Evocation to go off half a second before Bad Shit appears randomly at his feet.  He will therefore spend the rest of the fight either dead or using a wand, cursing warlocks the entire time.

The Feral druid is a 19 year old student from Brighton.  He’s busy failing his second year of university due to playing too much WoW.  Never schedule a raid for weekend mornings or afternoons if the Feral Druid is in your raids because you’ll always need to find a replacement for him due to his still being in bed/drunk from the night before.  He doesn’t resemble anything even vaguely human until at least 2pm in the afternoon.  His diet consists entirely of cheap beer from the Students’ Union and bread, yet he’s still up to his eyeballs in debt.  This is because his bank overdraft and student loan is spent on WoW and cigarettes, and he doesn’t have a job.  All of this spare time and WoW playing should, of course, make him an exceptionally good Feral dps, if not for one thing.  Due to the complexity of the Feral dps priority system, to be any good at Feral dps you need the reflexes of a rattlesnake combined with the mental dexterity of an Air Traffic Controller.  Sadly, your Feral druid is a 19 year old student from Brighton who doesn’t get out of bed before 2pm in the afternoon.

The Deathknight.
/sigh.  Just read this or this.

3.  The Tanks.
The Warrior Tank is played by a single 40 year old man from Manchester who works in some government bureaucracy that he never talks about on account of it being a soul-destroying job that saps his will to live on a daily basis.  WoW is his only escape from the drudgery of his daily existence.  He is exceptionally good at tanking, which you’d expect since he’s been doing it “since you were still crapping in your hands and wiping it on your face, asshole!” He is, however, utterly devoid of patience due to his god-awful job and suffers from Chronic Carpal Tunnel Syndrome due to being a Warrior tank in the first four years of WoW and having to tab target and spam Sunder Armour on every mob in sight as his only means of generating aoe threat.  This lack of patience and constant, debilitating pain makes him THE MOST EVIL BAD TEMPERED BASTARD IN THE WORLD.  If you screw up, he will OWN you.  On the bright side, he makes Heroic Halls of Reflection look easy and is entirely capable of tanking Gormok the Impaler and both Northrend Worms at the same time until the Resto Druid can battle rez your offtank.  In fact, he once had to when a PuG Holy Paladin didn’t give the Warrior’s Offtank a Blessing of Protection as demanded after the fourth Impale from Gormok, causing the Offtank’s death in Heroic 25 man Trial of the Grand Crusader.  The Warrior Tank had a few things to say to the Holy Paladin afterwards.  The Holy Paladin is now too scared to log back in and hasn’t been seen in six months.

The Protection Paladin offtank is played by Katy, the girlfriend of the Feral Druid.  She’s also a 19 year old student from Brighton but unlike the Feral Druid she knows what courses she’s studying and has a job.  She’s halfway through an astrophysics degree and has a offer to work at the European Space Agency in Paris when she graduates.  She is smart, intelligent, cheerful, perky, funny, witty, immensely popular in your guild, a highly competent tank and has a 2100+ 3v3 arena rating.  The Warrior Tank detests her, has used his job connections to find out where she lives and has been posting bits of dead cat to her for 6 months.

Do you know any of these raiders?  Are you any of these raiders?

Those of you who browse my blog list may be aware that Tamarind and Chastity of Righteous Orbs have started a new bloggers guild on the Argent Dawn server, Horde side.  The guild is <Single Abstract Noun> and pretty much all are welcome, bloggers and blog readers alike.  Finding myself booked into a hotel for the weekend with my trusty laptop and broadband wi-fi, I ventured over to see what all the fuss was about.

I have a couple of low level toons scattered about various servers from experiments playing Horde or just out of something to do when Hellscream was down, so I quickly transferred Shasti and Jessicani from Eonar to Argent Dawn and did a quick /who single to see from whom I could bum an invite.  Luckily for me, Larisa, she of the fabled Pink Pigtails herself, was on and pretty soon I was a proud member of <Single Abstract Noun> along with Redux from Dwarf Deathknight, Kurnak from The *urnaks and many others.  A couple of things became immediately apparent.

Roleplaying servers are wierd.  Oh did I not mention Argent Dawn is an RP server?  Even their economies are wierd.  Stacks of linen cloth go for less than 2g per stack.  Yes really.  I can’t remember low level crafting gear selling for that low a price since…  well, I can’t remember low level crafting gear selling for that low a price!  Also, Silvermoon City isn’t deserted on an RP server.  It’s full of people…  you know..  roleplaying at each other.  If you’re not used to the social conventions (and I’m really really not) it can induce a low level state of panic.   On Friday night I was at the Inn and I pretty desperately needed to get to a trainer.  The only problem was that a bunch of Roleplayers were all standing around the bottom of the stairs saving the world from the taint of infinite evil.  Or something.  What this entailed was talking a lot and emoting moodily and haughtily at each other.  I dunno, it’s RP stuff.  The problem was that I really don’t know the protocol for interrupting an epochal lore-defining moment in someone’s carefully scripted RP session by my rather urgent need for them all to get the fuck out of the way so I could see my trainer.  Do you just barge through with a “Sorry for interrupting, please don’t mind me, carry on saving the world, just pretend I’m not here”?  Do you ignore them?  Do you wait while they finish and hope they’re all fast typers?

I just don’t know.

And it’s this not knowing that can create all sorts of problems.  People walk everywhere on RP servers.  And I don’t mean they don’t use mounts.  I mean they walk.  Not run.  Now this is all well and good but I’m level 10, I don’t have a mount, the Sunspire and the Priest trainer is on the other side of the damn city and have you seen how big Silvermoon is and I’d prefer to get there tonight so I’m not walking there thanks very much.  But is my running about the place like a thing (a very pretty thing, but a thing nonetheless) possessed offending people and I dont realise it?  I don’t know these things!

Another hazard associated with RP servers is that you always run the risk of someone RPing at you completely out of the blue.  It would be great if there was some sort of visible “I’m just not that into you” flag that we could all pop on.  There very well may be, once again, I just don’t know.  But when Edward Connelly of the Undercity walked up and started chatting to me outside the Silvermoon Bank while I was disenchanting some tailored gear I’d made earlier, I had a brief panic attack.  I felt like the shop assistant who’d just been confronted with the very transvestite Eddie Izzard walking into his shop:

Me: Aaargh, RPer talking to me, what do I do?  HALP!
Edward of the Undercity:  “Good evening, my lady.”
Me: No idea what to do, quick brain, suggest something!
My Brain: Sellotape all your gloves together!
Me: Brilliant plan!
Edward of the Undercity: “My lady, why are you sellotaping all your gloves together?”
Me: “What do you want with me?  WHAT?  AARGH!!”

Shortly before that a bunch of us were hanging out in Murder Row (I think it’s called) and an undead Rogue stopped to chat.  We played along as best we could but it was like the school drama club being thrust onto stage with the RSC.  Apparently I committed an unforgivable social faux pas by referring to the Rogue by his name, before he’d introduced himself to me.  I mean, how could I possibly know what his name was if no-one had told me?  Oh yeah, perhaps it’s because it’s floating over his head in letters a foot high?  Oops, RP server.  Different rules.  Damn!  I think I recovered quickly though:

Klim of the Undercity: “How do you know my name?”
Me: “Saw you on the wanted posters.”

In retrospect, probably not the smartest thing to say to a level 80 Rogue.  Yeah, I probably need to do some research.  The onus most definitely rests on me, of course.  No-one’s forcing me to play on an RP server, the least I can do is learn the house rules.

On the other hand, the RPers do some amazing stuff.  One of our guild was questing in the Barrens and ran into a group of them “defending” Northwatch Hold, dressed in proper Imperial Plate Armour and everything.  On the other hand I had a slightly similar issue while doing the Battle for Hillsbrad quests.  Just what exactly are you supposed to do when you chase a quest npc into Hillsbrad town hall and find it stuffed full of level ?? Alliance RPers in full Grand Marshall pvp gear emoting furiously at you?  /cower doesn’t seem to cover it.

Oh, and female fruit elves are inexplicably popular.  Counting just those over level 10, <Single Abstract Noun> has 26 of the flighty little buggers!

It’s fun though.  We ran Ragefire Chasm and Shadowfang Keep with guild groups, mostly well under the level requirements, so low that we couldn’t use the summoning stones and had to, you know…  walk to the dungeon entrances.  Uphill both ways in the snow etc.  Funnily enough, despite Shadowfang Keep in particular being one of the more bastard-hard of the low level instances, not a single guild group failed to clear.  Of course we all have level 80 mains on our “home” servers and as bloggers tend to have an active interest in “how shit works” so it shouldn’t really be surprising.  But several things about playing on a new server as a new faction leap to mind.

First, there’s no safety net.  I can’t twink any of these alts with gold or crafted gear and BoEs or heirloom items because I don’t have any level 80s on this server.  Secondly, these are Horde toons and I never had a Horde toon over level 20 before, so I don’t know where anything is.  Oh sure I know where Hillsbrad is and how to get to Thunder Bluff etc, but I don’t know where anything is in Thunder Bluff, who the quest givers are, even what quests I should be doing.  Getting around Undercity is always going to be confusing.  This isn’t actually a bad thing though.  In many respects it’s like playing my very first toon again, and it’s really quite refreshing.

Miner Hackett is a complete and total bastard though.