Monday, December 28, 2009

How did I L2P?

I just finished reading an article over at World of Matticus and it got me thinking. How did I learn to play a Fury Warrior? There was no quest somewhere in the game that taught me the ins and outs of this class. It wasn't anything that I just learned overtime either. Most of what I learned was actually the result of talking with Xirella and reading copious amounts of information out there on the web. I'll even admit that I got a lot of info from this very blog before I started writing here.

So that got me thinking. Is there anyway Blizzard could teach a young player to crush mobs with the best of them? I honestly don't think there is. I totally understand where Matticus is coming from and how that quest taught him a lot when it comes to healing, but I don't see anything like that working for a melee dps class. So here are some of the problems I can see Blizzard would run into if they ever tried to tackle this issue.


One of the biggest issues any melee dps class has, and especially Warriors, is learning to manage your threat. When you're out on your own questing away threat means absolutely nothing to you. My first few dungeons this was never a problem because, to be perfectly honest, I was terrible. I had no concept of what a rotation was and my rage bar was this magical thing that I didn't really understand. But as soon as I started putting up some decent numbers mobs started paying more attention to me, and shortly after I would be dead. It never really occurred to me that maybe I should back off a little bit on the dps, and maybe I should actually focus on the correct mob. I swear, if a tank didn't mark targets I would die nearly every pull.

Gear Scaling

This issue is primarily directed at us Warriors, Fury and Arms alike. I've seen over and over again people talk about how Warriors are one of the most gear dependent classes, because of one reason and one reason only: Rage. At the early stages of a Warrior's life he doesn't generate much rage. And why is that you might ask? It's because you can't do very much damage. To break it down real easy, the more white damage you do the more rage you will generate. So if you don't have any decent gear you're rage bar won't fill up very fast. And without rage, you can't do anything but wait.

This "issue" is actually an important stage in a young Warrior's life. When you don't generate much rage you're forced to pay very close attention to how much you have. You can't spam Heroic Strike if you ever want to be effective. Managing rage is something that no Warrior is perfect at doing and should always try to do better. I still get into rage issues every now once in a while.

Every Warrior is a Tank right?

When Blizzard's quest development team is designing quests I don't think they have any method of letting some random quest giver to know what you're spec is, and if there is, I've never seen it before. It is a fact that there are more Prot Warriors out there than there are dps, so if the quest giver doesn't know what your spec is it's a pretty good guess that he would assume you're a tank. So if this idea of making a quest to learn your role ever does get put into place a warrior would most likely get lumped in with the tanks.

So in conclusion, I would like to just say there already is a valuable tool in place that will teach you how to do your job. Dungeons. There is simply no better way to learn how to dps properly. Dying is annoying and each time it happens you should find out what went wrong. Did you pull aggro off the tank and the mob smacked you in the face? Were you not paying attention and stand in some poop that killed you? Once you learn to stop dying you are moving in the right direction. Cause how much dps can you really do when lying face first in the dirt?

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Been away for a while...

Xi is busy with the new content. Specifically, I've become obsessed with farming badges for money. Gems, Crusader Orbs, anything that will fetch a price on the auction house, and I've got my head stuffed in the corner of some five man, while 4 idiot pugs try to make me drop an F-bomb on them.

Which is sort of where this next bit is coming from. I still assert that playing different roles and classes can make you a better player. Well, let's just say I've met a few people with only one 80.

I don't get to melee dps in pugs very often. But for those of you that do, I have one lesson I'd like to pass on:


I met a death knight last night whose only claim to fame was a Heroic JB. The rest of his gear was mostly 232 and 245 (no other 258, curious..), but his trinkets and rings were atrocious, and his belt and boots were from the ToC 5 man. An unusual combination, like he was an alt of a cutting edge guild, or someone who got really lucky in a pug.

Vital statistics out of the way, we'll call this guy Idiot Douche Knight (IDK for short). Mr. IDK just had to link his dps after every boss, and let us know that he was the baddest dude on the planet. I made sure to let him know that, at the end of the dungeon, I saw him turn his presence on after the 3rd boss.

I know the Drama Mamas at have covered the bad pugs and told the "power gamers" how they should act. But here's my advice for the "hardcore": Just shut the fuck up. Nobody cares about your DPS, especially in a heroic. So stop bitching that someone in blues can't break 1k, and stop boasting that you can break 4. I don't care so long as it gets done. And you shouldn't either.

Stop being a shit head.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

Its Christmas eve and I'm here with my family trying not to act like a total ass. But as I wait to eat I thought I would give my thoughts on the random dungeon system.

Overall I think it's a great adition to the game. The only flaws I have found with the system has nothing to do with the system at all, but some of the wonderful people I've come across. I still haven't come across the loot ninjas but there are plenty of ass hats to go around.

Now I'm not one to complain usually since I'm the king of pulling aggro off tanks these day, but since I queue as both dps and tank I -always- end up tanking. Most groups I tank for are fine, but every so often I will find the turd that pisses me off. Most the time it's a hunter but I've seen a number of just about every other dps class too. These wonderful people like to talk about how great they are and complain when they pull aggro and I let them die.

The last thing I'd like to point out is my favorite group. The silent and deadly force that rushes through a dungeon in no time at all. There is nothing I love more than seeing a well oiled machine of murder kill everything in sight without speaking a word.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Home again.

I've been out for a week while spending some time with my family. While away I managed to pick up some exotic sickness so my raiding last night was a bit lazy. Now I don't mean I did crap for dps. Actually I was beating the crap out of most people, but I blame that on the fact that I was just hitting the boss and mostly ignoring the spikes during the Lord Marrowgar fight. Lady Deathwhisper is a little different though. I was getting myself in trouble with aggro all the time.

I didn't like the fact that the first day of my vacation was on patch day, but it may have been a blessing in disguise. Most patch days I get home from work and the game is either still down or hardly working. By waiting a week the headache of a patch was completely removed. All but about two addons were updated and the crazy rush was over. I may be a week behind in badges and Ashen Verdict rep but over all I think the break was worth it.

- Gincan

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Thoughts on 3.3

I can see that everyone has survived patch day, and more than a few people have rather positive things to say about the new level of content and the brand new features. Well, I suppose it's my responsibility to bring the negativity.

While the Dungeon Finder system looks quite nice, the execution on patch day was rather sloppy. The "one more hour... wait, another hour... wait... how do we install this stuff again?" of Blizzard's patch days aside, the new instance servers were far from stable once everything was online, and they remained unstable until about 6am the next day. Some people say "patch day blues" or something like that, but I've always been of the frame of mind that a company that has that many resources should have the capability of testing their systems and software before bringing it online for the public.

Now that everything finally seems to be evening out, there are some issues with the matchmaker that I just don't like. I select two out of the three possible roles when I pug, because I can do two, but it seems as though I always tank (on my warrior) or heal (on my paladin) without absolutely zero variation. Perhaps this is just something that reflects the way the population is divided between roles, but it is a little iritating. I mean, who wants to do the same thing -every- single 5 man dungeon run?

My last gripe (new dungeon difficulty isn't really a gripe at Blizzard) has to do with the people I've come across in my quest for random dungeon rewards. I know that Frozen Orbs haven't been a big deal since Naxx, but they're worth at least 30g on my server, which is equivalent to 2-3 wipes worth of repair bills. Not exactly negligible. And yet, in every group -but one- someone has waited until everyone else has greed rolled on an orb and then pressed the 'oh-so-convenient' need button to scoop it up at the last minute. I thought, at first, that it might have been some kind of server only thing... or maybe 'everywhere but my server.' But people were doing it despite their server of origin, ninja looting against people from their own servers, as well. At least one per group. 20% of WoW players are ninja-looting, asshats. Can that be right?

I know it's just a little, near worthless crafting item. But what do you think? Is it right for someone to just take something like that, without bothering to ask? I don't think so... and without a way to compile and an enforce a "do not group with" list, there's just nothing I can do about it.

Friday, December 4, 2009

DPS Tracks 15: Drones

I've been running low on steam lately, so I took the 3.3 announcement as a sort of break. I figure, anything I do now will mean next to nothing when the new patch drops, so I might as well take a breathe, stretch my legs, and catch up on some sorely needed relaxation.

Well... as much as someone like me can relax. Google Analytics was fun to install. Mainly because the damn code wouldn't stay in the right place when I hit save. Stupid templates... after wrestling with it, I finally got it working at, I don't know... 4:30 a.m. -_-

On an unrelated note, I figured out which track I want to share next.

By Rise Against

Deep inside these burning buildings
Voices die to be heard
Years we spent teaching a lesson
We ourselves had never learned

And if strength is born from heartbreak
Then mountains I could move
And if walls could speak I’d pray
That they would tell me what to do

If you see me, please just walk on by, walk on by
Forget my name and I’ll forget it too
(Simple lives)
Failed attempts at living simple lives, simple lives,
Are what keep me coming back to you.

No signs of life here, save the embers, the occasional flame
We know the way but can’t remember, conception to the grave
Shout confessions from the greatest heights, where no one can hear
All my fears, my insecurities are falling like tears

If you see me, please just walk on by, walk on by
Forget my name and I’ll forget it too
(Simple lives)
Failed attempts at living simple lives, simple lives,
Are what keep me coming back to you.

The drones all slave away
They’re working overtime
They serve a faceless queen
They never question why
Disciples of a god
(I won’t come back!)
That neither lives nor breathes
(I won’t come back!)
But we have bills to pay,
Yeah we have mouths to feed!
(I won’t come back!)
I won’t change back!

And if you see me, please just walk on by, walk on by
Forget my name and I’ll forget it too
(Simple lives)
Failed attempts at living simple lives, simple lives,
Are what keep me coming back to you.

I'm coming back to you...

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Xi's Gold Guide (Or: How I Learned to Write Like Nostradamus)

So I was browsing the internet, using the power of Google Search to find even more like-minded bloggers. I had a lot of trouble finding blog entries, though, because apparently the words "Blog" and "Warcraft" send you to a very sad place: Unrelated blogs with "How to make in-game gold" guide advertisements.

Now, it's not enough that these stupid things have completely derailed my goals of reaching out and touching the WoW-blog community (Not that I'd ever take it personally >.<), but these things are 100% crap. Not a single bit of these guides is anything more than common knowledge. Trust me, I've seen them. I've never purchased one, but suffice to say, I have my ways of getting my hands on a copy.

Here's the basics:

1) Farm what sells really well
2) Buy low, sell high
3) Do your dailies

Yeah, not very helpful, I know. But that's what those guides say. I've seen some pad their pages with gathering route guides, but these things are as reliable as those free guides you can get on websites, which are directly linked to wowwiki. And the ones online are free.

I understand that people want/need to make money. But I think writing and selling a 'Make 1000g in a day!' guide is basically duping your readers. Don't be an idiot. Don't waste your money on these damn things.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

3.3 is Next Week! (Also, Changes to the Blog and My Ego)

So MMO-Champion has estimated that next week will be when we get our new content patch. Seeing as they have a really good track record guessing release dates (read: Blizzard leak), it's a pretty safe bet that we'll be checking out the new bosses pretty soon.

3.3 is prompting me to get rid of my 'DPS Milestones' from the sidebar. I have a few reasons for this, but ultimately, it could turn into a giant ugly hassle when/if Gincan or I switch to Arms. I wanted to take the time and post them at the bottom of this post, for posterity, before doing away with them. But before I get to that, I wanted to say a few things about that part of the blog.

A ret pally once came along who was really butt-hurt about my (this was before Gincan joined WWOD) posted numbers, and went on a tirade about how I wasn't better than he was. I, of course, deleted the comment, because censorship is the only real way to affect one another on the internet (Thank you, Anonymity).

Why bring it up, you ask? Well, he said I had a big ego, and I wanted to put something to rest. Yes, I have confidence in what I do. I believe that, in any competitive environment, a high amount of confidence is necessary to succeed. But my kills aren't my e-peen. They don't define me, and they don't make me better than that paladin, or anybody else, for that matter.

The reason for those posted numbers, then, are two-fold: I require a means of recording and keeping track of my performance, in order to make tweaks and improve myself. The second reason is that, when I started writing about fury warriors, I wanted to help other fury warriors out, to help them step up their game. My WMO parses were my credentials: The equivalent of degree framed on a doctor's wall. Would you ask a plumber how to DPS? No. But I bet you would ask that warrior that lead a pug parse by a margin of 4k.

And let's face it, I haven't exactly been writing how-to's lately (been meaning to get back to that). Couple this with the fact that WMO has improved their software to allow me a better view at my DPS over the course of several fights, and the 'DPS Milestones' box has become obsolete.

So, without further ado, the DPS Milestones, from 3.1 to 3.3. And here's hoping Icecrown treats me better than Black Temple did.

Razorscale - 3898
Ignis - 5094
XT-002 Deconstructor - 7348
Iron Council - 4471
Kologarn - 7494
Auriaya - 6414
Hodir - 8663
Freya - 3305
Thorim - 4634
Mimiron - 3964
General Vezax - 4980

Trial of the Champion
Beasts of Northrend - 5611(Xi)
Lord Jaraxxus - 6980(Xi)
Faction Champions - 4665(Gincan)
Twin Val'kyr - 9486(Xi)
Anub'arak - 6835(Xi)

Onyxia's Lair
Onyxia - 5022(Xi)