Archive for September, 2010

Start Your Engines!

Posted: 25 September, 2010 in Cataclysm, Dickhead of the Week, Tanking

Well folks, Cataclysm’s fast approaching, and with it Wrath of the Lich King winds down to a few last weeks of furious grinding and raiding.  Most of that loot you’ve sweated hard to obtain is going to be vendor bait before long unless you’re a complusive packrat like me and keep absolutely everything (every mage set except Tier 3, all the holiday clothes etc).  There are certain things you can do to both spin out the time between now and the expansion release and prepare yourself for when it arrives.

1.  Get Stuff Finished.
Still not downed the Lich King?  You’re fast running out of time to get it done, I’m afraid.  There are other things you can do that will have tangible benefits that you can take with you into Cataclysm, though.  Weapon skills are going away, so the achievments associated with them are becoming Feats of Strength too.  Get your Master of Arms and Did Somebody Order a Knuckle Sandwich while you can!

Speaking of which, since Zul’Gurub is being demoted from raid status, the Hero of the Zandalar Tribe achievement is also becoming a Feat of Strength.  As a consequence, that’s one less faction you can grind to Exalted, so now is the time to get yourself to Zul’Gurub and make the Zandalar Tribe proud of you.  I can quite happily confirm that any raid geared Warrior or Deathknight can comfortably solo everything in Zul’Gurub with ease.  As an added bonus, there are two mounts and a polymorph recipe that drops in there too, you never know your luck.  Get them while you can.

Go out and explore!  Get that World Explorer achievement (and the title that goes with it) before those world zones aren’t there anymore, or are changed beyond all recognition.  Seriously, The Barrens and Mulgore are breathtaking, get out there and see them before Deathwing ruins them.

Get back into Ulduar and farm those drakes while you still can.  Tier 10 gear’s going to be useless very soon, but flashy mounts are for life.  Since the Ulduar drakes are a lot easier to get than the Icecrown ones, and they’re also 310% mounts, you not only get a groovy rare mount but you save yourself the 310% flying skill fee in Cataclysm.  Once the expansion hits you won’t be able to get them, and if you fancy a challenge, Firefighter and One Light In The Darkness are still far from easy.  If you’ve never even been past the Siege area of Ulduar for the weekly raids before, you owe yourself a look, it’s an incredible raid instance.

My Other Mount is a Ferrari

And Ulduar has a TRAIN!  HOW AWESOME IS THAT?

Full speed ahead for Mimiron! Choo choo!

2.  Stock Up!
Give yourself a headstart on your trade skills.  There are still plenty of orange and yellow recipes even at 450 skill, and most people are dumping all their materials on the Auction Houses now before they lose value completely.  Pick yourself up some bargains and get some easy skill and xp when the expansion hits.  Some trades are easier to level up than others of course.  Blacksmiths, Leatherworkers and Tailors are pretty screwed since their best recipes use very rare and expensive resources (ohai Primordial Saronite), but Enchanters and Alchemists are laughing.  Stock up now!  Cooks can also steal a headstart over the competition, start fishing up those Glacial Salmon now for your favourite meal.
And Finally…
And since no week is complete without a fail story, here’s two!  First, another moron who doesn’t seem to realise that if you act like a fuckwit to look good on the damage meters I’m still going to know you’re a fuckwit.  Ladies and gentlemen, I give you mage extraordinaire: Reversed!

The only thing that he managed to hit a Frozen Orb with were the Val’kyr Guardians from his Nibelung.  By contrast, there was a noob warlock in that raid who only managed to do 2k dps, and from a straight glance at Recount/Skada he would appear to have been the most useless raid member.  But hey, at least 30% of his damage was on Frozen Orbs… you know, the thing ranged dps are brought along to Toravon raids to kill?  Congratulations Reversed, beaten on damage meters by a warlock who dinged 80 half an hour ago.  You suck incredible amounts.  Please go find a motorway and play chicken with buses.

Our next candidate for Dickhead of the Week is Saxomen, alleged to be a tank and most definitely a Protection Paladin.  Fingers had the misfortune to be grouped with him this week in an Icecrown 10 PuG.  My first indication that he may have spent too much time tanking bosses with his face was when the raid leader announced that we’d be doing I’m On A Boat, which involves no raid member jumping over to the lootship more than twice, explained how he wanted it to work, and Saxomen asked why he had to jump over too.  Yeah, not the sharpest tool in the box.

Things went from the sublime to the ridiculous once the Gunship battle started and the first Battle Mage ran out.  As melee dps, Fingers was in the forward cannon bay, and as Below Zero began channelling, he was forced out of his cannon.  I counted to three, targetted an area on the Horde gunship to jump to, but managed to pick a landing spot that was out of line of sight, thus cancelling the rocket jump.  My second attempt was more successful, and I hit Sprint to close on the enemy Battle Mage.  Usual practice here is for Overlord Saurfang to be tanked over by the Horde axe throwers, because he’s got a very nasty cleave.  He’s High Overlord Saurfang, he’s pretty famous for his cleave, actually.  So, my being all alone over by the Battle Mage didn’t surprise me at all.  At least until I got company, the High Overlord Saurfang kind of company.  “Er…  tank?”  I thought to myself, popping Evasion at that same time.  After a couple of seconds, the tank did indeed show up.  Let’s just take a quick break here for the sake of the numbers.  From the time the Battle Mage ran out I had to time to dismount from my cannon, fumble one rocket jump, launch myself over to the other ship, run to the Battle Mage, generate a Slice and Dice combo, pop Evasion, and unload two 5 point Eviscerates before a tank appeared from anywhere.  At which point, Mister Saxomen decided that the best place to “tank” a Cleaving raid boss was…   you guessed it, right next to the melee dps.

And that was just my THIRD most powerful Cleave, boy!

Shortly after, from my comfortable viewing spot in a crumpled heap on the deck of the Horde Gunship, I witnessed this “tank” turn his back on the High Overlord, walk to the rail of the Gunship, then jump back over.  With High Overlord Saurfang beating on his exposed back all the way.   Top tip, folks.  Turning your back on Raid Bosses is very, very bad for your health and your healers’ blood pressure.  This is what the nice goblin gave you a Rocket Pack for.

Apparently this was all my fault because I jumped too early.  Sorry, my bad.  I didn’t realise tanks needed 20 second headstarts on Gunship these days.

That’s all folks!

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For Gnomeregan!

Posted: 9 September, 2010 in Cataclysm, Warlock

Listen up, peons!  The Mighty Jingles here with news about how you can avoid service in the Salt Mines when I take over the world! (Terms and Conditions apply*)  I need a few good Gnomes to assist in the liberation of the glorious city of Gnomeregan from the clutches of the nefarious traitor Thermaplugg.  Only the bravest and best need apply, so no Mages, of course.

A few good gnomes...

Gentlemen, start your mechanostriders! Glory awaits!

Now THIS is what I'm talking about. Bring it, whiny mage bitches!

Death from above! Ice Block this, Mage scum!

By the sacred spanner of High Tinker Mekkatorque! That's one hell of a big bomb! Er.. Mage portal? Please?

Let it be known that The Mighty Jingles did not scurry away defeated, screaming like a little girl as certain Mage upstarts have claimed, he merely advanced in a different direction!  Thermaplugg’s day will come, for I am The Mighty Jingles!  I CANNOT BE DENIED!

I need YOU, to liberate Gnomeregan!

*Yeah, right!

A while ago I was in an Icecrown 25 man PuG on Shinano, specced as Laser Chicken since they were full on healers.  It was a pretty good raid and when we downed The Gunship and the loot was linked.  Gunship Captain’s Mittens dropped.  Since Shinano was in need of more hit rating and she was having to use her Tier 10 Resto gloves for her Boomkin set, I rolled.  And I won the roll.  And then the Master Looter said:

You can’t have those, they’re cloth.

I’m pretty sure you’re going to find I can have those.  Cloth and Leather are the only two things I can wear.

Priests, Mages and Warlocks have priority on cloth gear, you’re a Druid.

Well that’s lovely but you do you think next time you could maybe say that before I agree to join your raid?

I’ve heard of this sort of thing before, but this is the first time I’ve actually seen it happen, let alone been on the receiving end of it.  Now doubtless some of you cloth wearers are sitting there reading this and thinking “Damn right, too!” It’s okay, I know where you’re coming from, I play a Mage, remember.  (And a priest and a warlock)  Dps casters have to compete a lot more for their gear than any other role.  A Mage, for example, has to compete not only against other Mages, but also against Warlocks and all three varieties of Priest for their armour.  Any weapons a Mage can use (Staves, Daggers and Swords) are going to be rolled on by Resto Druids, Balance Druids, Elemental Shamans, Resto Shamans, Warlocks, all three flavours of Priest and Holy Paladins.  Trinkets, rings and necklaces are the same.  By contrast a Warrior, Paladin or Deathknight tank is probably going to find two other people at the most rolling on gear they want for their role, more than that for weapons if you’re a Deathknight; and A Feral Druid tank has to compete against Rogues and other Druids for their armour and also against Hunters for some of their weapons.  And this is just assuming we stick to class armour limitations.  Open it up to whoever can equip what, and the three cloth classes suddenly find themselves competing not just against each other for gear but also against Resto Druids, Balance Druids, Resto Shamans, Elemental Shamans and Holy Paladins as well as the classes that are limited to cloth armour.  Grossly unfair right?

I used to think exactly the same way until an Elemental Shaman friend pointed something out to me.  We can all agree that every dps caster needs Hit Rating to be effective at their role.  Let’s just browse the list of caster mail armour in Icecrown that comes with +hit.

1.

And that’s it.  Now for the leather caster armour that comes with +hit.

1.

Yes, that’s right.  Nothing.  Nada.  Zip.  Elemental Shamans and Balance Druids, assuming they are forced to stick to their own armour class, have ZERO +hit rating available to them.  All that +hit needs to come from necklaces, trinkets, rings and weapons.  It’s possible to get yourself hit capped by wearing no armour that has any hit rating on it, but it’s possible for any class to do so.  That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the smart or fair way to do it.  If the Warlocks, Shadow Priests and Mages were suddenly told they weren’t allowed to roll on any armour that had Hit Rating on it there would be uproar, and quite right too because they need a certain amount of hit rating to do their jobs.  News flash, so do Balance Druids and Elemental Shamans, and it’s not their fault that Blizzard put zero hit rating on “their” armour.  Even the Elemental Tier 10 Armour set, a set that is specifically designed for Elemental Shamans, has only two pieces with any +hit on it.

This is not the fault of the Druids and the Shamans.  They would dearly love to be wearing “proper” mail and leather armour.  It’s not their fault that the caster gear that is “their” armour comes loaded with mana per 5, too much crit and not enough haste.  It’s not their fault that the best in slot belt for almost every class with a mana bar is the Crushing Coldwraith Belt, a piece of cloth armour.  If you want to blame somebody, blame Blizzard, because duh…  it’s Blizzards’ fault.  These guys are trying to improve their gear, and it’s not their fault that their gear is your armour class.  It’s shitty itemisation, it sucks for everyone and it causes all sorts of problems but it’s not their fault.

Of course there’s a flipside to all this.  I’m talking here about things like Holy Paladins or Resto Druids rolling against dps casters for weapons with Hit Rating because “it has more spellpower than what I’m using”.  And yes, I’ve seen this happen, and I’ve seen them get away with it.  Of course if no-one else who can actually use all the stats on the item wants it, then go for it.  But if a dps caster needs it and they still roll against them they are retarded and the players concerned need to be smacked in the face with tyre irons right nowWhispering Fanged Skull has more Crit Rating than Muradin’s SpyglassAlthor’s Abacus has a ton of lovely spellpower on it that would be quite useful, but I don’t roll on Althor’s Abacus because I’m not a healer and I don’t roll on Whispering Fanged Skull because I’m not a fucking retard.  Yet when a Resto Druid rolls against a Shadow Priest for Sister Svalna’s Aether Staff because they’re still using a Mace from Trial of the Crusader, that Resto Druid needs two things:

1.  Commiserations on being so unlucky that a proper healer weapon hasn’t dropped for them yet.
2. A good kick in the nuts for being so stupid and greedy that they’d roll on a weapon with a stat that’s 100% completely useless to them against someone for whom it’s 100% useful.

And if you let them get away with it you need a good kick in the nuts too.  Or in the tits if you’re female, whatever.  And if that person then suffers an outbreak of nerdrage and quits your group because you refused to allow them to be a moron, well you just lost a moron.  That’s never a bad thing.

Oh and Gorn got a new mount.

He had this to say on the subject:

Wheeeeeeeeeeeee!