Nothing to See Here. Move Along.

Posted in Event, Real Life on July 27, 2010 by Eric

Nothing to see here for the majority of the world. Just a reminder to myself and some friends that THIS DAY IS IMPORTANT.

No forgetting it.

Like, ever. At all. Not allowed.

…so take that, horrible, terrible memory.

And now we return you to your regularly scheduled blog.

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LolHuntard?

Posted in Huntar, Raiding on July 26, 2010 by Eric

First, an announcement: Mokrigosh is no more until Cataclysm, when I will totally reroll him on Icecrown-US and level him from scratch. In his place, I have Xanthelei of Suramar-US, level 80 BM Huntard. It’s kinda a nice feeling of coming home, where at least I have an idea of who might stab me in the back.

*ahem* Anyway.

So it’s been a while since I’ve actually done any major theory crafting, but there are some… interesting… bits of news out there that I just can’t pass up. One is that, at some point, Hunters still want to stack Armor Penetration; the other is that Rowan’s Rifle of Silver Bullets, a tanking gun, is essentially BiS for Beast Master Hunters until something better than a 264 ilevel gun/bow/crossbow drops in a raid. A 25-man raid. I also thought I should revisit buff food, since that seems to change every patch as well.

Well. I doubt I’ll get pugged into many 25s as BM, so I guess I better look at this Rifle. Besides, it’s a gun.

First things first though. I wanted to know if I should be gemming ArPen at this very moment. So I jumped over to Zeherah’s Hunter Spreadsheet of Awesome and loaded Xanthelei up. I didn’t drop any raiding buffs since I don’t know what I’ll have (and I figure, probably wrongly, that any added buff is just more dps in the bank), but I did add food and flask. And of course put in a 2000 ms buffer since actual ms is anywhere from 1800 to 2000. Yes, I’m still on satellite.

Fish Feast (80 AP): 3700.26
Blackened Dragonfin (40 Agi): 3699.09 (-1.17)
Hearty Rhino (40 ArPen): 3692.69 (-7.57)

Good to know I don’t have to start bringing my own food to the party. This also gives me a baseline of what I do now, 3700.26 DPS, which I feel is fairly accurate. Now let’s play around and see what happens if, say, I start trying to match socket bonuses by dropping in some green or orange gems for my +8 or more AP sockets:

With All AP Gems: 3700.26
Matching Socket Bonuses with AP / AP and Crit: 3699.83 (-0.43) / 3697.86 (-2.4)
Matching Socket Bonuses Only Worth +12: 3702.98 (+2.72)

Matching my lone +12 AP socket bonus nets me almost 3 DPS – which surprised me actually, but I’ll go with it. So that change is now going baseline for the spreadsheet, and we continue on with a new baseline theoretical DPS of 3702.98. And do please keep in mind, this is very, very theoretical.

Next I want to look at that Rifle. It’s the most likely thing to make a difference in my DPS, and I have to say it intrigues the hell out of me. I can’t remember a time Hunters actually seriously considered a tanking ranged weapon as a gear *upgrade* short of adding stam for pet tanking. So let’s take a look, shall we?

Njordnar Bone Bow: 3702.98
Rowan’s Rifle of Silver Bullets: 3773.62 (+70.64)

Holy… ‘Scuse me one sec, I have a robot to visit in Dalaran. And a few DPS tests to do on a dummy in Darnasus.

Brb in a few days, mkay?

THIS IS MAH ANGREH FASE! >:C

Posted in Cataclysm, Raiding, Rant, Xanthelei, You Fail on July 21, 2010 by Eric

I’m seriously going to end up with abandonment issues here. Twice people! FUCKING TWICE have I felt like a person or group of people I liked and trusted left me out in the cold. You could say three, but really, I only liked some of the people in FS, and most of them seem to have been abandoned along with me.

If you want the story for the first time, suffice to say I was left out of a continuation of ICC 10 after clearing only the first wing, ie, the stuff we had on farm. This opened me up to suggestions by Ithrean that ended with me spending money on not just a server transfer, but a faction change. That’s a nice chunk of change. And I did it on the PROMISE from him that I would be in the raid group he and 3 others were starting. It never materialized and I have, to date, raided three times on Mok since the transfer. Twice I was a guildie-pug. Brought in after someone else left.

“Oh that’s ok, there’s too much drama here anyway, we’ll make our own guild!”

And now he’s left for another server entirely. And isn’t coming back.

At this point I decided “Fuck it. I wonder if Ior still wants to make a guild on Suramar.” Because apparently if you want to do something, you have to shove everyone in that direction your own fucking self. And take no promises.

Small warning: I’m pissed at the moment. Hrm, maybe I should have said that right away…

Anyway, Ior does, and so we have committed to getting a baby-Cata guild started. We have founded the guild and are hammering out details; I play Guild-Master-Who-Kicks-Behinds and he plays Webmaster-And-Nice-Guy. He’s leveling his baby priest and I’m leveling Xanth 2.0… and wondering if I shouldn’t just give in and drop the coin for yet another server transfer and faction change. The only thing stopping me, honestly, is that would leave Adu alone on WRA, and I at least do NOT abandon friends.

If she wants to raid, I will be there. I can’t raid lead, (no, seriously, I have near nervous breakdowns when I try) but I can Hunter-class lead and I can pour hate down boss-maws. And she’ll have me at least until Cataclysm hits.

But at the same time, I’ve reached a point where my Bullshit saturation has peaked. I simply refuse to leave my WoW life in other peoples’ hands anymore. I’ve done that from day one, and it saw me riding on my best friend’s coattails into raiding guilds, seeing Kara runs break down because no one had the balls to tell people to STFU or GTFO, had me sidelined multiple times, and cost me some Wrath raiding content.

No. Fucking. More.

The world is exploding soon. I am exploding now.

Besides, I Can Meet Minimum DPS Standards

Posted in Huntar, Raiding, Xanthelei on July 20, 2010 by Eric
I’ve been thinking a bit lately on why I still play Beast Master rather than jumping ship to Marks or Survival, even though BM is far and away the lowest DPS spec possible. There are a few reasons for this I think, and my love of the spec is actually the least of them.
High Latency
Playing over satellite has given me a new appreciation for just how hard it can be to use up those procs from talents or gear. This specifically is why I can’t play Survival – I keep missing out on Lock and Load procs because of my delay. And I tell you what, you miss some of those procs, and your DPS just plummets.
Similarly, when I played around in Marks (a few patches back, at this point) I found myself missing Chimera reapplications of Serpent Sting. Not only did this nerf the damage Chimera did, but it means I essentially wasted a global cooldown because I had to reapply Serpent Sting manually.
Unfamiliar Rotation
Both of the above can also be laid at the feet of my lack of intimate knowledge of the rotation or priority for both specs. I’ve been BM for all of Wrath, give or take a few dabblings with my off spec. While I kinda sorta maybe a little know what the priority is for Marks and Surv, it’s by no means on the reflex level of knowledge that my BM rotation is. I’ve had the entire expansion to work out just when to hit the buttons to make everything go off  – and Wrath is almost over now, so it feels almost wasteful to focus on learning a new priority.
Soft Gear Reset
Both of the above reasons gives me lower DPS on dummies in nothing but my Tabard of the Achiever with my bow and white ammo. And I would have to regem and possibly re-enchant all of my gear to non-attack power stuff to get full use of Marks or Surv. That’s a lot of gold and time to invest in a DPS decrease. The other option – putting together a set that’s purely for MM or Surv – presents its own problem. I’m currently not raiding (*glares in the direction of a certain ret-tank*) and so roughly half of my gear isn’t within my reach anymore. I would have to supplement Tier gear with Triumph badge loot and the odd Heroic drop.
Can someone say “further loss of DPS” for me? Speak up, I can’t hear you in the back.
Pet Management Issues (or, “Damnit, He’s Dead Again”)
As BM, I’ve gotten used to my pet never dying – ever! – even if the healers ignore his poor scaly ass. I have 1/2 Improved Mend Pet as well as 1/2 Spirit Bond, and between those I can tap a Mend Pet and recall my pet to a safer position while he gets cleansed and healed and stops taking fire from standing in the green goo.
I have specced Kilgrom for Heart of the Phoenix, and I’m really no longer sure why.
On the flip side, I did a few random Heroics a while back in a Marksman build with Maizee, my color changing wolf… and no IMP or Spirit Bond. I think I rezzed her five times (at least) in the Oculus run.
I died a little inside and immediately switched specs back to BM before requeueing.
My pet is important to me. I first rolled up a baby Hunter because I loved the idea of having a constant companion, even when my friend wasn’t online to play. Poor Alvar may have been relegated to the stables once Wrath hit, but if I ever take Mok back to the Alliance (or raid on Xanth 2.0) and am able, I will bring him to any raid I possibly can. He’s *my* pet, and as stupid as it will sound to any non-Hunter (and possibly a few non-BM Hunters) I’m quite attached to my ghostsaber.
Love of BM
My love of the Beast Master spec isn’t about the rotation, or getting to see my pet become a big ass bright red monster that’s going to EAT YOUR FACE MARROWGAR –
*cough*
It’s not about the signature cooldowns or simple rotation. It’s about the way it forces you to manage your pet, keep him alive, watch for the uncleansed diseases, put him on the right mob for maximum damage or utility. As BM, the focus is as much on your pet as on you. It truly is an extension of the Hunter insomuch as if your pet dies it’s better for you to stop and rez him than just shrug your shoulders and eat the “mobile dot” loss.
It feels more like a Hunter and less like a sniper or ranger.
I love the concepts behind Survival’s ranger-like talents and skills, and Marksman’s stand-and-shoot precision, but both specs feel like they ignore the hunter pet. To me, the pet is an extension of your character, both in-character and mechanics-wise. To ignore it is… Well, for me it guts the class.
How much you enjoy a spec is by no means quantifiable. Still, I feel it has as much bearing on your DPS as how you talent, or gem, or what pet you use. If you don’t love playing the game, it’s not a game anymore but rather a job that you pay to perform. And it will make you stop paying as much attention to your rotation, or the fireball that just got lobbed your way, or a million other things that not paying attention to with either cause your demise or lower your DPS.
And honestly, I’m as competitive as anyone I know when it comes to aiming for the top slot on Recount. But I have to be enjoying how I play to even care.

Goblins, Open Letters, and Headphones

Posted in Cataclysm, Huntar, Real Life on July 8, 2010 by Eric

First things first. I’m almost afraid to say it, yet I feel I must… My main might be a Goblin come Cataclysm. A mining/Engineering Goblin.

Y’know, assuming Acti-Blizzard doesn’t fuck up (more) with the whole RealID thing. (That thread, as of writing this, is up to 2134 PAGES and over 38,000 posts.)

I’m basing this off of what BRK shows us in his final Baby Hunter Pet Movie (love the look of the Nelf pet) regarding the Goblin starter area. Go watch, he’s a blast to listen to and he shows off the starter area near the end. Now, it’s not so much that the more I see of the Worgen, the more I’m disillusioned with them, but rather the fact that Goblins are the ULTIMATE Engineer.

They get rocket-boot-jump as a racial. Yeah. And a car for the starting area. That only works on a road that runs throughout the starting area.

I… I’m sorry, but that’s just awesome. Awesome enough to make me go full Horde.

Secondly, I stumbled across a link to the most epic open letter to Blizzard ever regarding RealID and what World of Warcraft is really about. Well worth the read!

And last but not least, a bit of a review for the World of Warcraft wired headset by Creative. I’ma say, don’t buy one, seriously. The thing is epic quality sound, but only when it works, and boy does it have bugs! If I have the management program for it running, I end up sounding like Megaman half the time in vent (that is, by the way, my new name it seems. Eh, better than some of the other nicknames my TTH friends have bestowed in the past). Worse, it currently is malfunctioning to the point of acting like I’m plugging it in, then unplugging it, every five seconds. It’s a USB headset, you see, and I think something’s wrong with the cord for it.

Once I’m done downloading Trillian, I’ma find a support number if I can and call Creative to see what’s up with this. Then call Best Buy and see if 1) I can get a new cord for it there, or 2) if I can’t, run out to Fred Meyers and get a $20 headset that will last for a year.

Really, really sad when all the stuff that comes with the “World of Warcraft” name attached to it ends up sucking…

And now the thread is at 2139 pages and 38,115 posts. Epic fail, Blizz. Epic fail.

I Knew It Wasn’t My Fault!

Posted in Uncategorized on July 7, 2010 by Eric

So Adu linked me to an… interesting blog post regarding this RealID stuff. But the real gems are in the comments. Among them, the answer to how I got hacked when all Webroot found was 11 advertising cookies.

Dohoho –

This isn’t the only interesting news to come out today.

http://www.wow.com/2010/06/security-flaw-allows-addons-to-expose-full-real-life-names-witho/

Apparently there are select of certain addons you can use to find out people’s names NOW, before the forum conversion.

Step 1: get a trial account, and addon that lets you use this exploit in aformentioned article.

Step 2: Go to google and get the person’s information that would normally need for billing support (ie, address, phone number, etc)

Step 3: Call blizzard billing and tell them you lost your login information

Step 4: Attempt to login, find out that they have an authenticator.

Step 5: call Billing again, give them the billing information again and ask them to take the authenticator off the account.

Step 6: login

Step 7: ??????????

Step 8: Profit!

….

Fuck it. I’m turning RealID off.

When The Word “Terribad” Isn’t Strong Enough, You Know You Fucked Up

Posted in Misc, Real Life on July 7, 2010 by Eric

I’m sure most people are aware of the new changes to the forums coming up. You know, the ones where instead of posting on a specific toon, you are forced to use your real first and last name as per your Battle.net information. I’m not going to touch on the myriad of legal and personal problems this will represent (hello crazy-ex-turned-stalker!), but I want to briefly touch on something that it seems no one’s noticed yet.

Most people saying they don’t mind and “well you don’t have to post” are forgetting something very, very important. The Technical and Customer Support forums. People go there for help when their accounts are hacked, or WoW crashes every 5 seconds, or something else is keeping them from playing the game. This is the ONLY form of customer service Blizzard really has, because Billing has a minimum 15 minute wait time for everyone (in my experience, anyway, and I’ve called a few times recently). It’s often faster to post on the forums for help than wait for Billing to open, then wait for someone to be available, then wait for them to look up info and talk to supervisors and specialists and whatnot. And as far as I’m aware, there isn’t a tech support hotline for people to call.

So what is a person supposed to do? Ask a friend who doesn’t care to post instead? Give up any hope of keeping their personal and work lives separate? Stop playing for fear that a singular post will bring their stalker, or ex, or person with restraining order, or estranged family members into the game to harass them?

No. Just fucking NO, Blizzard.

Honestly, if I could think of a decent way to stay in touch with my Suramar friends other than RealID, I’d go turn the goddamned thing off. I’m tempted to anyway, to be honest.