Friday, June 29, 2007

Cash is King

Any of you finance majors might recognize this title. Once again, what's true in the real world is true in World of Warcraft as well. Well... at least as far as economics goes. The phrase refers to the importance of cash flow in the overall health of a businesses. A company may have a ton of assets, but if they aren't easily liquidated (possibly high accounts receivable) and/or they don't have a lot of cash, they may not be able to pay wages, for example.

I started reflecting on this last night as one of my guild mates was showing off his new Nether Drake Mount. Leiandra the Mage isn't poor, but I wouldn't call her cash rich either. I've successfully skilled up two producing professions to 375 (tailoring and enchanting) with an alt's
alchemy to 351 (mostly off of AH goods), so that's taken me a bit of gold. I've noticed that I have a lot of things that could sell for a decent amount of money if I wanted to take the time and patience to get them sold. So, assets I have, even if I don't quite have enough for my epic flying mount.

The biggest single expense that I know about in the World of Warcaft at this time is that of your flying epic mount. The cost is 5000g for the riding skill and then another 200g for the actual mount. Then if you want one of the Nether Drakes, you have to purchase the artisan riding skill, and then complete a series of daily quests. If you do them every day, the daily quests will take about 30 days to get the needed reputation for one of them. It's estimated that you get about 1000g while completing these daily quests as well.

So, for me, once I have purchased my 300 riding skill, I imagine I'll be more willing to spend the 27g to get one Primal Fire on the AH. Right now, I'm watching my money too much to justify spending the 27g for something that I can get (at the right time) in an hour or less. In other words, if I didn't have this large expense looming, I'd feel more free to do what I want, instead of feeling like I have to go grind some more.

Thursday, June 28, 2007


I'm gonna need some help on this one, because I don't really understand. The subject today probably boils down to lack of communication. I'll be the first one to admit that guilds don't really mean too much in WoW. For the most part, it's essentially a glorified friends list. It's not like the guild gets anything from downing an individual boss. Sure, members of the guild get something, but the guild itself gets nothing.

Before WoW, I played Everquest 2 for a while. It's been awhile since I've played, so things may have changed. You had certain designated members of the guild that completed writs to gain status points to help level the guild. At level 5, you got your guild name above the players' heads. At level 10 (I think), you could get guild housing. Eventually, you could have crafting tables in your guild hall, and special things to buy, etc. If one of these designated members left the guild, the guild and the player would lose the status points. I'm not sure if there were any repercussions if one of the "normal" members left.

I bring this up because we have a few members that have joined, gotten a few pieces of epic Kara gear, and then left the guild all in a matter of a week or less. And most of the time, it's without even saying anything to anyone. I've heard the gambit of excuses as well: I joined my friend's guild, you guys don't raid at the time I want (which they knew when they went on our their first raid with us), somebody made fun of my name, etc.

While I'm not discounting the validity of the excuses, what I do think is inexcusable is the /gquit without saying a word to anyone. I equate the guild aspect of WoW to a normal job. You don't just stop showing up. If you decide you want to quit, you normally give a two-week's notice. You let your boss know that you are leaving. Of course, you don't get paid in WoW or by your guild, so maybe that's not entirely the best comparison.

Maybe a better analogy would be that of a sport's team you signed up for. Think back to High School. (Some of you may only have to think back a few weeks.) You sign up for the Soccer team. You're pretty good at soccer, and your team really appreciates that you're there. You've all spent time together. You've played some games together. You've won some; you've lost some. Maybe your team even won a trophy at a tournament that you get to keep. Now, for whatever reason, you decide you don't want to play anymore. Don't you talk to your coach, your teammates, whomever to let them know that you're not going to play? You'll still see those people around the server... errr, school. Sure you can still go play baseball or whatever other sport.

/sigh. I guess a large part is due to the anonymity of the Internet. "Nobody really knows me, so why should I give them the common courtesy I would my High School friends?" Anyone else have any thoughts to help my head stop spinning about this?

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Moroes Hints

Last night, we ventured into Karazhan once again. We easily strolled into the stables and downed Attumen the Huntsman without any problems. He dropped something new for us, that made one of our priest very happy. The Gloves of Saintly Blessing was one of the items and the other was some mail piece that quickly got turned into 2 Void Crystals (no hunters or shaman last night).

After him, our MH had to leave, so we got one of our druids, who's not resto spec'ed, to come help out on the heals. I thought we had Moroes on farm, but apparently I was wrong. First we ran into an unfortunate experience of having both tanks on Moroes lose agro. One got gouged, and the other got blinded, so Moroes ran through the rest of our party taking out the healers and so we had to reset the event. Another time, Baroness Dorothea Millstipe got off a couple of Mana Burns to leave those member with no mana. And a third time, we left 2 of the adds shackled and our two tanks didn't have enough agro.

So... this is not a full guide, but here's some of the things that I feel are very important; a Lessons Learned, if you will. This should be taken with other guides read as well.

(1) The Mana Burn from Millstipe has to be interrupted no matter what. She burns 6000 mana, which can be quite a huge blow.

(2) Keep the adds under control. You generally have two tanks that both need to be on Moroes due to the gouge and blind abilities. If you keep all but one add shackled or ice trapped, then you only have to kite around one add until you kill it. Unfortunately, this takes time. Crippling Poison or a Mage's Ice Bolt will be enough to make it easier, but these have to stay up.

(3) Lady Keira Berrybuck is a paladin that can bubble and heal. Stun her around 25-30% and then finish her off quickly. It just makes the fight against her take so much longer if she has time to heal herself or others.

(4) Know when to reset the event. By running Moroes out of the room, it resets the event. If key players, namely one of your tanks or healers, die during the first phases of the fight, reset the event. It'll take less time to rez the couple then it will to have a full wipe.

It should be a simple encounter, but there's little things that can make it challenging. Having everything under control, it's a simple gear check. If you've got the gear and you know what you're doing, you should sail through it most of the time. (There's always exceptions or unlucky things that can happen.) Anyone else have any hints or tips that I missed.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Deadly Boss Mods

After being gone for all of the Karazhan for my guild for this past week, we tried to do The Curator for a second (or maybe third, I'm not sure) time this week. Those of you that aren't familiar with this fight should head on over to BossKillers and read up on him a bit as I won't be explaining him here. Unfortunately, we did not kill him. I don't think it's gear or group composition, it's just our current inexperience. Plus, when our MH only has enough time to give it two tries, it kinda limits us. I'm pretty sure that we'll be able to down him this week.

But the main point of this post is less on a specific boss and more on a specific mod. I imagine that most people are pretty aware of CT_mod and the closely linked CT_RA (Raid Assist). There's a lot of great UI augmentations that CT provides. For now, go check out their site if you want more information on it. What I'm going to focus on is the Deadly Boss Mods.

Technically speaking, this is a compilation mod. There is a GUI mod and an API mod that is kinda the base of the mod. They also control which mods are loaded. You only load the mods you're using. Furthermore, if you aren't in any of the raids or battlegrounds, none of the other mods will be loaded. Makes it nice that it's not taxing on your system at all. Also, this is pretty much for raids only. It does not contain anything for the 5-man instances or even anything like UBRS. But it's your traditional raid places: Onyxia, ZG, Naxx, Serpenshire, Karazhan, etc.

So what does this mod do? I'm not an expert, and I'm sure I don't know a lot of the additional functionality of this mod, but what I've seen is impressive. It creates timer bars to let you know when things are going to happen. For example, during the Curator, the timer bar tells you how long until his next evocate, and then also give another bar when he's evocating to let you know when it will be finished. Another example is during the Maiden of Virtue, it estimates how long until the next Holy Fire and Repentance. For Moroes, it lets you know when he's going to vanish. For the Oz event, it lets you know when each new mob will enter the fight. The timer bars are just really, really cool.

CT_RA has a feature that sounds a bell and gives a warning message when you pull agro off of the tank. I'm pretty sure this is only when you pull the target off of the MT. Deadly Boss Mods seem to go a step further. First of all, you don't have to (or can't) set an MT for your raid. DBM seems to scan all targets and all of the edges glow red when you pull agro. There's also a message of who you pulled. It just seems to really give me that sense of urgency when I pull something.

The last thing I'll talk about for the raid portion is the distance meter. The Maiden has the Holy Wrath ability that can chain through players that are close enough together. The Curator has the Flares that players can chain their arcane damage to others. You want to keep a certain distance from other players, but how do you know how much? When DBM is loaded, there will appear a box right in the middle of your screen (yeah... hard to miss), that will tell you who is too close to you. For this reason alone, it's a good idea for all your raid members to have this mod. There's also some synchronization things that happen if multiple people have the mod, but it hasn't caught on much in my guild yet.

Finally for the battlegrounds. I don't spend too much time there myself, but there is a neat timer that tells you how long until the leading faction wins based on the number of resources they have and how many points they currently control. (Think AB on that one.) Not sure what it does for the other battlegrounds, but I'm sure they've included something.

Bottom line: It's a good, solid mod. It seems to be updated every few days, so you know that people are working to perfect it. I haven't seen any bugs yet, so that's refreshing. If you start using it and see other features that I missed, please let me know.

Tonight we'll start Karazhan over again since it reset. Let's see how far we can get this week. :)

Monday, June 25, 2007

Afk, But Not Forgotten

As I mentioned on Wednesday, I spent the weekend in Yosemite. And oddly enough, I made some discoveries related to the game. The first one I saw was related to Westfall. Upon leaving the park, I saw a ranger station sign for Westfall. It just made me chuckle since, according to Richard P. Ditton and Donald E. McHenry:
Westfall Ranger Station in Sierra National Forest is operated by the Forest Service of the U. S. Department of Agriculture. Its main purpose is fire and insect control and timber improvement. A laboratory of the U. S. Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine is also located here to study effects and control, of forest insects. The suppression of forest fires in this area of well over one million acres is a cooperative project between the State of California, the U. S. Forest Service, and the National Park Service. The station was originally Miami Ranger Station but was changed about 1940 to Westfall in honor of one of the first forest ranger in this area.
The other discovery was about the Fen Dwellers/Creepers/Lords. Unbeknownst to me the word "Fen" isn't made up. According to Random House a fen is "low land covered wholly or partially with water; boggy land; a marsh." Well, it makes sense that these guys are found in the Wetlands, and that they are actually found in the water. The fen in Yosemite was actually quite interesting. There's a layer of peat that has developed due to the slow moving water. It's also a great source of nutrients for plants, which provides a support for numerous insects, which feeds a lot of birds in the area. Overall, a really relaxing place in Yosemite with none of the Fen Lords to disturb your peace. :)

In my absence, our guild was in full force, downing Attumen, Moroes, The Maiden of Virtue, and the Oz Opera event. They tried the Curator a few times, but were unsuccessful. Tonight we'll try him again. Hopefully we can get somebody their T4 gloves.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Blizzard Downloader

It never fails. If I forget to try to download the patch first thing in the morning, before the servers are up, or at work any time during the day, I almost always have issues downloading the patch. My "glorified dial-up" doesn't help (it's the cheaper variety of the cable modem), but for the one time every once in a while that I want to download something, I can't justify paying more. But that's not really the point. For some reason, I always seem to get stuck around 97-98% complete. Last night was no exception. It sat at 98% for about 10 minutes, while I was talking with guildies on Vent.

From what I've read on the forums though, I'm not alone. So, the tip for today is: if the downloader gets stuck and doesn't seem to be downloading anything else for you, simply close the downloader, launch WoW again, and voila! You'll download the remainder of the patch just as fast as you normally download. (And no, you don't have to download what you're already downloaded.) After the 10 minutes, I remembered this trick and the remaining 0.8 Mbs downloaded in about 10 seconds.

p.s. I'm headed to Yosemite tomorrow morning for the weekend, so I won't be posting again until Monday.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Casual Flopping?

Let me first start out by saying that Real Life happens. No matter what happens in the World of Warcraft, there are times when real life can and should take priority over this silly game that so many of us play. That said...

Since we didn't get in a Karazhan run this past weekend, we decided to get our members and throw in a quick run to at least kill Attumen last night before the instance resets this morning. Like almost always, we didn't have the ideal group situation, but for Attumen, we would be fine. After a miscommunication, but recovery, on the first pull, we easily stroll in to Attumen. The fight is explained to the new people and we're about to pull. One of the priests basically says, "I'm sorry guys, afk real quick." So, we wait. And wait. And wait. Nobody, I mean, nobody would go afk right before a boss fight like that. Not to mention that there would soon (about 20 minutes after killing them) be respawns that would force us to re-kill everything. By this point, we were just hoping that everything was okay with the guy. We didn't have another healer online, and nobody seemed to be LFG for Karazhan.

Long story, short. We tried to kill Attumen with 9 people after we fought the respawn once and it failed pretty miserably. The guy came back and told us that his brother's dog ran away and they had to go find him. So, hopefully tonight will be a little better. I forgot to ask, but I hope the guy's dog is okay.

So, what are some of your favorite afk stories?

Monday, June 18, 2007

Mmm (Mage Mods & Macros)

In case you didn't know, my main toon in WoW is a female mage named Leiandra. I spend most of my WoW time on her, so I have a hard time writing mods and macros for say a warrior. That said, I've run across a couple of things that I want to highlight. (I hope I didn't lose everyone, there may be a macro or two that would help the other classes as well.)

First I'll start with a few macros that may be useful to everyone. This first one was feature on a WoW Insider article named The Creamy GUI Center: Macro Mania. They've got suggestions for general macros, and also class specific macros. Seems like there's probably a little bit of something for everyone, so feel free to head on over there. For the mage types, they suggested the following macro for polymorphing:

#showtooltip Polymorph: Turtle
/focus [button:1,harm] target
/cast [button:3, target=focus,harm] Polymorph: Turtle; [button:1] Polymorph: Turtle /stopmacro [button:1,button:3] /clearfocus [button:2]

I actually added the first line, but showing the tooltip seems to make it more finished in my opinion. Basically, this macro will polymoprh your target when you left-click the mouse on the hot-key (or press the appropriate hot key number) and set that target in memory (or "focus"). If you then middle-click that key, it will polymorph it again, and you don't even have to have it targeted. Right-clicking the hot key will clear the mob of your focus. Personally, I usually don't clear the focus, I just set it again with I polymorph the next target. If you don't have Polymorph: Turtle (don't worry, I don't either), you can set it to Polymorph: Pig or just plain Polymorph. Also, if you choose the "?" for the macro icon, it will attempt to recognize what spell your using. In this case, it will set it to the turtle polymorph.

The next suggestion is actually a combination of a mod and macros. It comes from the official forums, but I'll be darned if I can't find the post now. The post was basically the whole mage vs. warlock debate, which I am not getting into. One of the suggestions for the "decreased" damage for mages at higher level raids was that in testing mage damage at Blizzard HQ, there's no lag for them. Casts of 3 seconds always take 3 seconds. Now if you're red-barring, a cast of 3 seconds could probably take closer to 5 seconds. For sake of illustration, let's say it takes 6 seconds. Now as a mage, you're doing about 1/2 the damage since most of our spells are direct damage. With warlocks and their dots, the damage continues even through a lag may persist. Again, I'm not taking sides, just showing how this mod will help.

When you cast a spell, this is what happens: You press the button, and a message is sent to the server. After a certain amount of time, depending on your current connection speed, the server gets the message and starts casting. For illustration purposes, say it takes 0.5 seconds. After 3 seconds of casting your Improved Fireball, the server sends a message to your computer, there's another 0.5 seconds, and you can start casting again. That means that your 3 second cast has now become 4 seconds; or said another way, you're doing only 75% of the damage that you would be able to if there had been no lag. (All class can see this lag effect, just try to jump in the last milliseconds before you've finished summoning your mount. Most likely, you'll be mounted even though you canceled the summon with your jump.)

Solution: Enter Quartz. There's a lot of neat things with Quartz, but basically, it replaces your cast bar and gives you an estimate of when your spell will be finished. So, because you can't cast again until your computer gets the message that the spell is finished, you need to interrupt the cast when the bar gets just past the red mark, and then cast again. Yeah, you could jump, or slightly move, but a macro makes this so much easier.

#showtooltip Frostbolt
/cast Frostbolt

Just replace all of your spells with this macro (change spell name, of course), and now you can actually cast 2 Fireballs in about 6 seconds (as compared to the 8 seconds before). This will work for a lot of classes, but it seems to be most helpful to the mage class.

p.s. Didn't run Kara this weekend due to too many people being out of town. So, sorry there's no links to phat lewt.

Friday, June 15, 2007

We were all Noobs

I was talking to Adventar yesterday about his first experience in an instance, the Dead Mines. He had been looking for a level appropriate group, and finally ended up rolling with a lvl 52 hunter running him through with a couple other lowbies in tow. I guess the hunter told him to sit back while he did everything. (Kinda sounded like the guy was on a power trip, but whatever.) So, Adventar did that. Apparently something went awry at one point and the hunters friend died. Well, Adventar, having been told to essentially do nothing, kinda forgot to rez the guy that died. I can't blame him. He had been told to do nothing... he was probably zoning out and not even really paying attention. Then all of a sudden he's asked to do something. Personally, I would have been watching a movie and probably completely missed the in-game chat. heh.

But it started me thinking about some of the stuff that I learned along the way. As a beginner's tip, I'd say read the new skills you get, and remember them. They may not seem useful now, but I'm sure there will be some use at some point in time. I remember as I was lvling my mage. I first got this new spell called "polymorgh". I was fighting mostly single targets, so it seemed kinda stupid to sheep one if I was just gonna break it by casting a spell at it anyway. "There's no real need for that spell," I thought. I think through most of my first trip through Dead Mines, I didn't use the spell at all. Finally, one of my buddies (thank goodness I didn't PUG that first one) asked if I had a spell to turn things into a sheep or something like that. (We were all kinda new.) It was amazing how much easier multi-mob encounters became.

Other skills that were situational didn't get much attention either. Fire Ward (like there's enough mobs in the game that do fire damage to even put that on my toolbar), Frost Ward, Dampen Magic (...but...but, I won't be able to get healed as much, even when I'm soloing and no chance of a heal... oh...), and Amplify Magic (Can you say non-magic bosses?) were all skills that while somewhat situational, can make an encounter sooo much easier.

What were some of the spells or lessons you learned while you were a noob? (Or if you still are a noob, have you caught anything stupid that you've done?)

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Blood Furnace - Heroic

I ran a PUG in Blood Furnace - Heroic last night. We ran it with a druid tank, pally healer, rogue, shaman, and a mage (me). When you enter an instance on heroic setting, you can bet that a lot of the mobs do a ton of damage. Most mobs would hit me for about 5k damage. Two hits, and I'd be dead for sure. With sap and sheep, most of the groups became fairly simple. None of the bosses gave us problems, but there were two areas that really gave us issues.

The first problem was in the room where the Maker is, IIRC. There's a patrolling group of 3 mobs. We just couldn't get one of them sapped, so that left us with 2 mobs to deal with. The druid that also has a high-end rogue said that he sapped them all the time, but after a number of failed attempts, we had to figure out alternate strategies. What we ended up doing was have one mob sheeped, one mob tanked by the druid, and then one mob evasion tanked by the rogue. Kinda risky, but it worked... mostly. The sheep was a little too close to the group in the center. I went to re-sheep him after the first guy died, but before the second died. Unfortunately, he resisted, and pulled that other group, which caused a wipe. Next time in, it was only 1 patrolling mob, so the rest of that room went smoothly.

The second problem came from the hall just before the last boss, Keli'dan the Breaker. There's a bunch of groups (probably 4) that have 2 Felguards. Some of the groups have a warlock with them as well, but with a mage, the warlock is no problem. Obviously with other classes (hunter ice trap, warlock banish), it would have been a piece of cake. The Felguards just hit for a ton of damage. And two on our one tank was just too much to bear. (Get it? Bear tank - bare. *cough* sorry.) After a few failed attempts to just burn the first one down, we were somewhat successful to have the rogue kite one while we killed the other. Unfortunately, a stealthed, respawned rogue killed our rogue and the Felguard came back. We killed one Felguard, but the other caused the wipe. We were down to 1 Felguard instead of two after we did the corpse run, but we'd kinda had enough. Luckily, the druid had a warlock friend that was nice enough to help us with those few pulls. Even then it was tough. At one point, with two healers, one warlock sheeped, and one Felguard banished, the second Felguard got off a shot that killed our tank. We chain banished and sheeped the mobs until he could run back.

I ended up getting a Primal Nether out of the deal, but it was really late. Was it worth it? Let me see how much I can get for a Spellstrike Hood and this Nether, and I'll let you know. heh. But seriously though, I was mainly wanting to get Honor Hold reputation for the Blade of the Archmage; the Nether was just a good bonus.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

WUU - WoW UI Updater

Like a number of people, I use a fair amount of add-ons or "mods". Patch day can be a major pain with procedures that are no longer allowed so your once precious mods are disabled and you're forced to use solely the Blizzard UI. (Which, after all the things they've stolen incorporated from mod developers isn't near as bad as it used to be.) Personally, my mods mostly just add functionality. I'm not 100% gimped if I don't have them; I'm just not 100% as effective. (Cryolysis, a mage mod, is a perfect example. Helps me with portals and watching sheep, but doesn't kill my game.) But besides the patch days, a lot of the times you want the latest updates for your mods to incorporate all the updates and changes, you just keep forgetting to look up before you launch the game.

Enter WUU - WoW UI Updater. Now, I'll admit that I just downloaded this quasi-mod last night. The official web site can be found here. It's a stand alone program that checks your mods' versions against the versions that are now available on the Internet. You can specify which mod site you want the updates to come from, but a lot of the mods, once scanned, will have a default web source. There's still a couple mods that it missed. For example, it catches Auctioneer, but it doesn't recognize !Swatter or BottomScanner (both in the Auctioneer pack). So, it's not fool-proof, but it did update a bunch of my mods, so now I'm a believer.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Rezzing Woes

I formed a guild run last night for Shadow Labs to get a couple new guildies (new to Primo, but were in my old guild Cracked Anvil Trading Co) their first key shard for Karazhan. It was a warrior, druid, mage, warlock, and rogue. From the looks of it, it seems like it's a good group. The only thing I forgot about is that we don't have a rezzer in case of wipes. We had the SS and the battle rez every 30 minutes, but that wouldn't help much in a near wipe.

So, we started talking about why hasn't Blizzard created an alchemy recipe that will allow you to SS yourself? It seems like almost every class has the ability to rez except for mages and warriors. (Rogues don't count since I know too many that are engineers and have jumper cables. lol.) Why not give the rest of us a chance to get a re-do every hour or so? I'm just saying.

Yes, yes... I'm well aware that this will never happen. Every boss encounter would automatically become easy since everyone has 2 lives. Not to mention that it would take an ability away from the Warlocks, essentially giving them a Nerf (which the developers would never do to their beloved Locks). Anyway... that's just my ramblings for today.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Phat Lewt and... Murlocs?

First off, the results for this past weekend:
Again, I'll point out how important the right group is for raiding. We downed Attumen on our first try, we downed Moroes on our first try, but we had some troubles with the Maiden of Virtue. Our group ended up consisting of 1 of each class but 2 warriors. Healers were priest, pally and shaman. Our problem came from the Maiden's Holy Fire, which for the record does Fire damage and not Holy damage. (I wish people would stop arguing with me about that. Yes, yes... the name is misleading, but I've seen it on my combat log too many times to have people tell me otherwise.) Well, it does 3000-3500 damage initially and then 1750 damage every 2 seconds for 12 seconds. The beautiful part is that the dot can be dispelled by a priest. Well, with only 1 priest, we suffered distance issues and there was no way that the 3 healers could keep all of us up. We then tried the Opera event (more on that in a second), and went back to the Maiden with a shadow priest in our group (the lock sat out), and we downed her on the first try. Some tasks can be by multiple classes (undead CC by hunters or priests), but others need to have a specific class... no substitutions.

The Opera event we got was Oz. It's rough. 5 mobs albeit that spawn at different times, but it completes complete and utter pandemonium. Unfortunately, after we decided to call it quits because we didn't even come close, I found another strategy that I think would have worked for our group. /sigh. Oh well... maybe next week. Oh, and scheduling was a problem, so we did that all on Friday night. Saturday night was a no-go for a Karazhan group.

Gloves of Dexterous Manipulation, Stalker's War Bands, Formula: Enchant Weapon - Mongoose, Idol of the Avian Heart, Emerald Ripper, Gloves of Centering, and Bracers of Maliciousness.

Okay, so maybe I'm just a parent that hears what he wants to, but my 1-year old daughter (3rd child) is talking a lot. She has a more guteral sound to her speech than our other two children. At first we said it sounded German, and then more Russian. But yesterday when she was upset after we took away a pencil from her, it hit me. She sounds almost exactly like a Murloc! I'll see what I can do to get a sound file of her. It doesn't go up and down the scale like a "normal" murloc battle cry, but I'm sure they'd be able to understand it. lol.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Ratcheting up Karazhan

Just a preview of this weekend: this will be the first weekend that we'll be in Karazhan for two nights, not just one, with our full group. Tonight should be 2 Warriors, 2 Priests (one DPS/shadow), 1 Paladin, 1 Rogue (yeah, we got our rogue back), 1 Resto Shaman, 1 Mage, and probably 2 Warlocks. My guess is we'll kill Attumen, Moroes, the Maiden, and the Opera Event tonight. (We'll probably do everything except the Opera Event on one try, or at least before any respawns.) Then tomorrow we'll go for the Curator. If we get through him, we'll all do the dance of joy and then try to figure out who's next. lol. Wish us luck. I'll most likely post the loot on Monday.

Free Manna Biscuits

I've read a number of different articles and posts lately that seem to show that there exists (or can exist) a very selfish attitude towards pick-up groups. There was a post on the WoW forums that basically said, why should I use my disenchanting ability for free in a PUG when I'm the only one that can use the materials? Rather selfish if you ask me. (You can dig it up by yourself if you're really interested in it.)

So, I got thinking of all the things I give away for free when I'm in a PUG. As a mage, I hand out Glacier Water to all the mana users. (I purchased the spell for about 100g IIRC.) I hand out Croissants to any who ask for it. (Got a drop for that spell.) I usually buff everyone with Arcane Brilliance at least once. (Takes a reagent, in case you didn't know.) And I'll provide a portal at the end of our voyage. (Another reagent.) As an enchanter, I'll volunteer to shard the item for whoever won the roll. (I don't ask for tips like the WoW forum poster may have eluded to.) If I liked the group, I may even let them use my disenchanting services after the run. (Tips are appreciated.)

Do I feel like I'm going the extra mile? No, not really. It's a small price to pay to help the group along. On my priest alt, back before TBC, I was in a PUG for Scholomance with my current guild leader, Thellonious (who I believe was playing his hunter at the time), and other random people including a mage. The mage was a recent 60 and hadn't completed his water quest in BRD. He was so embarrassed about his "crappy" water, that he handed out Enriched Manna Biscuits instead of his water. Those are like 60s per stack of 5, and he gave us each stacks of 20!

This brings me to my link. Tobold brings up a great article: How much do you owe a pick up group? He makes some awesome points about groups in Everquest vs. Wow. Overall... I want the group to succeed. But if it's taken me 2 hours to get to the first boss, I doubt I'm staying with them too much longer.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Ogri'las and Gold

Anyone who's been level 70 for more than a week probably knows what great gold there is in doing quests. The average quest in Netherstorm or Shadowmoon gives you about 10g instead of the experience you got pre-70. So, last night, I got invited to do the starter quests for the Ogri'las. The quests start with V'eru in Shattrath City who tells you to speak with Grok, also in Shattrath City, who then tells you to speak with Mog'dorg the Wizened in Blade's Edge just outside of the arena. The next quests are all 5-man quests, so bring a group before you leave Shatt. Mog'dorg gives you 3 quests that give you about 20g each, and then you have to kill another elite that gives you 25g. To sum it up, 85g for about 30 minutes of work isn't too shabby at all. Not to mention that everything can be looted from anyone around (doesn't have to be the party that got the kill) this could be a quick guild event to land everyone some quick money in their pocket.

On another note, in talking with one of my guildmates last night, I was admiring, nay, drooling over his flying epic mount. I just want to be one of those cool kids, but I digressed. From his point of view, and probably fairly accurate, I choose to level tailoring and enchanting to 375 (well, 372 atm for enchanting), and he choose to buy a flying epic mount. So, here's the next tangent to comment on: Is it better to have the income stream from the beginning by skilling up your profession, or is it better to be able to complete travel faster in order to complete quests and farm mats (racing to nodes) faster? Personally, I like being able to craft things even if it's not the smartest financial move (not saying that it is or isn't), so there's that factor to consider as well.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Armory Update

Sorry for missing yesterday's post. I was a bit under the weather. (Falling asleep during dinner and then crashing on the couch for 10 hours at 7 pm is not normal for me.) But I've made an almost full recovery and feeling about 98%. Anyway...

For those that haven't seen the Armory section that Blizzard has created, do yourself a favor and go check it out. For those that haven't seen it today, do yourself a favor and go check it out again. The Armory has had a few upgrades that seem to have gone into effect this morning. You can now mouse over your items to see a little arrow besides it. Mousing over that will provide a "Find an Upgrade". You can then click on that to see a list of Blizzard-provided upgrades to your gear. Not only that, but it will tell you where that item drops (quest, rep, name of boss, etc.) and the drop rate (high, low, etc). Mousing over the stats of the "new" item will give you a comparison to your item- how many stats you'll gain or lose. Also, clicking on an item itself will tell you if it is disenchantable, what it is likely to turn into (or the guaranteed on some items), and what skill level enchanting is needed to disenchant it. On crafted items, it will tell you the mats needed to make the item.

To me, this seems huge. Blizzard has never released official information of boss drops or where things drop. Now, if they could only get the speed of the website to compare to Allakhazam or Thottbot, maybe they could steal some of their traffic. heh.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Right Group Composition

Before I get into the main point of this post, let me start by saying that on Saturday night, we downed Attumen, Maiden of Virtue, and Moroes. Some of the loot included Crimson Girdle of the Indomitable, Royal Cloak of Arathi Kings, Boots of Elusion, Shard of the Virtuous, and Pattern: Soulcloth Shoulders (which I won). We sharded a few things as well. I'm really going to have to do a better job at writing down our loot since I can't remember 2 minutes later let alone 2 days later when I'm actually writing this.

I have a feeling I'm going to be saying this a lot, but... the right group composition is one of the huge keys for Karazhan. Or at least it can make things so much easier. Take, for example, our run on Saturday night. We had 2 warriors (tanks), a holy priest and holy pally (healers), we also had a moonkin spec'ed druid helping with heals, then for DPS it was a shadow priest, mage, 2 warlocks, and a shaman. Attumen wasn't hard. IIRC, we had one small setback so it took until our second try to actually down him. Moroes was another issue. Our DPS group was insane. As you can see, we had all the bases covered as far as group composition (yeah, we didn't have a hunter or rogue). But we were having a difficult time with him. Finally the shadow priest (who was running the raid) headed back to Stormwind, respec'ed, and then we killed him on our next attempt. Spreading out the healing agro, having multiple priests to shackle, spreading out DPS... it all made for a very smooth kill. At one point before the respec, we had Moroes down to 1500 health. Most of the group was dead. I had long since run out of mana. I was winding up for what would have been the final fireball to kill him, and the respawns took me out. (They hit me for about 7500 and there were 2 or 3 of them.) Man, we were sad over that one. Kara is not the days of UBRS where practically any 10 people will do.

Anyway, after that, we killed the Maiden of Virtue with a pretty easy attempt and on our first try. After her since it was so late, we had 3 people that had to leave. We brought in some other guildies, but our MH pally was now a tank. (He's got enough protection points to do a pretty good job as a OT in Kara, or a MT in any of the non-heroic 5-mans.) We moved on towards the Opera event and got Romulo and Julianne. We almost got them on our first attempt, but without the shield bash, we kept missing heals on Julianne. Our other attempts were less than spectacular, so we'll see what we can do to conquer that next week. The point being though... the pally did fine tanking, but a rogue would have been needed to kick. I did my best to use Counter Spell, but 1/2 the time it was on cooldown. Just having the right tools for the job make it so much easier. Again, the group we had for the first 3 bosses would have easily sailed through the next one. Overall though: a great run, with awesome loot, and another notch in our belts.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Sigs and Charts and Graphs, oh my!

Okay, I decided that I was gonna update this blog about once a day, but I got so excited about this link that I had to share. Take a look at You can create custom sigs like the one here:And when I say "custom" I mean custom. You can change colors, stats you want to add, etc. And the best part: It's all pulled off the Armory so it will update automatically. Anyway, very, very cool.

They also have a ton of charts (okay, not really graphs) to help with some guild organization. The can see who's what level in tradeskills, where everyone is on rep for heroic keys, and where everyone is for reputation in general. Just some really neat things.

Karazhan - Round 2

We're grouping up for this weekends run. From the people that have committed, it sounds like we've got all our bases almost covered. 2 tank warriors, 1 pally (MH), 2 priests (1 shadow, 1 holy), a warlock (who may not be able to come), a shaman (yeah for yummy shammy buffs), and me, the mage. There's obviously more in the guild, but the forums are so underutilized. It's really a shame. We've also got a druid that has befriended our guild (not yet wanting to join), so we may be able to grab him. I really feel there's a huge benefit of having one of each class. Sure you can argue that certain classes aren't needed as much as others, but each is unique and brings great abilities to the table. And some classes make certain tasks or parts of instances easier, but as a whole, I think it's probably the best to have one of each class on a raid. I'll give the status update on next post.