Archive for April, 2008

29
Apr
08

Maneuvering Through a Crowd

Does this happen to you?

I walk into the Auction House. Its packed. The area in from of the auctioneers is jammed with a crowd of people. I say to myself, “darn, how am I going to get in there.” Then I laugh at myself for being an idiot, since I can move right through the characters in the crowd. Even so, I try to find a little empty space where I can squeeze in.

With no collision detection in the game, we all know that we can walk right through the other players and npc’s. We can stand right on top of/inside them if we want. However, I don’t do that if I can avoid it. When I am running through Ironforge, if I see I am about to run into/through someone I usually swerve out of the way. Its instinctive and natural. When I go to the mailbox, I will walk all the way around it to find an open spot to stand, rather than overlap another toon.

I am certain that I’m not alone in this. If I was the only one, then all the characters in front of the auctioneer would be superimposed in a single stack aligned with the door.

So why do we do that? Manners? An unwritten rule of the game? Latent RP tendencies? Do we need “personal space” for our virtual avatars?

28
Apr
08

Pardon me while I Gripe to the Internet

This post is me complaining out loud. Feel free to leave if you don’t want to read it. My feelings won’t be hurt.

After all of the drama my guild went through, resulting in a mass defection and crippling our attempts to raid, I am still a little bitter. I have pretty much focused my antipathy on one person who, in my opinion, caused all of the drama. She was an officer in the guild. She had an out-of-the-blue conflict with another one of our officers. She then campaigned her cause to other guild members, causing increased tension among everyone. She finally jumped to her husband’s raiding guild, which resulted in a slew of defections of people following her.

That’s all past tense. Why bring it up now?

Her raiding guild blew up. I can’t say that I’m sorry. That makes me vindictive and petty. Whatever.

She has spent the past couple of weeks guildless. I know this because the friends she still has in my guild have made subtle hints about re-inviting her. I have pointedly ignored every one of those hints. In fact, I have avoided talking to her or about her. I vowed to myself that I would never run with her under any circumstance.

Still… why bring it up now?

She’s not guildless anymore. She joined… you guessed it – the guild that we are allying with for our raids. Now I will be pushed into situations where I will be in raids with her.

I could be the bigger person here and just ignore her. Let bygones be bygones and forget the whole thing.

But this is a game. And I play the game to have fun. And if play with her it will just bring back all of the anger from the guild breakup. And when that happens I’m not going to have fun.

This weekend I am going to enter Gruul’s Lair. This will be the first time I have done a raid bigger than 10 people ever in my entire time playing WoW. It should be a momentous occasion. It should be a moment of triumph that I am finally a Raider. I should be excited.

But all I keep thinking about is the fact that she will also be in the raid, and how much that TICKS ME OFF. Its actually made me consider skipping the Gruul’s run. If its not fun, why do it?

On top of that, I keep wondering how coincidental it is that she ended up in that guild. The obvious conclusion is that one of her friends in MY guild steered her there, knowing about the guild alliance. That pisses me off, too.

/end gripe

27
Apr
08

Shattered Sun Pendant

I bought my Shattered Sun Pendant of Might yesterday and equipped it for our raid. I’m not sure if its better than my Choker of Vile Intent. So I tried it out.

Here’s my thinking.. (warning – light theorycrafting to follow)

The Pendant gives me a total Attack Power that is 18 more than the total Attack Power I get from the Choker. How much difference does 18 AP make? Since every 14 AP = 1 DPS, that is 1.3 DPS. With a weapon of speed 1.8, like my Emerald Ripper, that is an average of 2.3 additional damage per swing. In addition, as a Scryer my pendant procs about every 50 seconds with an Arcane Strike for about 350 arcane damage.

But wearing the Pendant I lose 18 Hit Rating, so I am missing more often (1.14% more often, to be exact). Will the damage lost by misses outweigh the gains from additional DPS plus the Arcane Strike proc?

I wore the Pendant into our partial Karazhan run last night. Afterward, I looked at the WWS report. I only looked at normal damage. The difference of 2 agility between the items has such a small effect on my crit rating that I didn’t bother.

In the run I took 3555 regular swings, with 1747 hits, 540 glances, and 951 crits. I missed or was dodged or parried 317 times (8.9%).

Well, moving forward with the math… If I had equipped my Choker, I would have hit 1.14% more often. With 3555 swings that becomes 40.5 more hits, which I will round to 41. So 1788 hits instead of 1747. (I’m ignoring glancing blows for the purposes of this calculation… won’t make a significant difference)

But with the Choker each swing would have hit for slightly less damage (average of 2.3 per swing). With the Pendant on, I hit for an average of 226 per normal hit. 1747 hits x 228 per hit is 398,316 white damage from normal hits. If I had equipped the Choker I would have hit 1788 times, but at about 225.7 per hit. 1788 x 225.7 is 403,552 white damage. Subtracting them I find that wearing the Pendant last night cost me 5,236 white damage over the course of the raid.

But then there is the Pendant’s Arcane Strike. In the run it proc’ed 58 times – 42 normal and 16 crit. It did a total of 25,378 damage. That outweighs the damage lost due to hit rating by a significant mount (about 20,000) over the course of the run.

This doesn’t include the effect of hit rating on my special attacks. Without rewriting all of those steps, the lower hit rating on the Pendant cost me an additional 2037 damage from Backstabs, 1494 from Sinister Strikes, and 483 from Ambushes. That is another 4,014 damage. Even with my normal and special attack misses combined, they still don’t add up to the damage I gained from the proc on the Pendant. Even if I go number crazy and try and add in the effect of additional poison procs it won’t add up.

Up until now I have been all about hit rating. I hate missing. But its pretty clear here that sacrificing a little hit rating results in more damage overall from the proc on the Pendant. Its not a huge difference, but every little bit counts. I guess I’ll keep it.  I may re-equip the Choker for boss fights since its more important to hit in that situation.  More math needed…

26
Apr
08

Bad Timing

Last night was our first joint run with our partner guild. For the first run we just did a one-player swap. Our prot warrior ran with their guild, and one of their pallys ran with us.

Our prot warrior who ran in their raid told me that their run went smoothly. They cleared through Prince except for Nightbane and Netherspite. A couple of wipes, but generally smooth.

Not ours. Not even close.

We knew it was going to be bad when the pally from the other guild ran out of mana during the Attumen fight, causing a wipe.

It only went downhill from there.

On the night that we are trying to make a good first impression, we played like total and utter noobs. We broke traps. We missed assignments. Our raid dps was a significant fraction lower than it has been in past runs. I don’t know what the hell got into us, but it was simply pathetic.

There are a couple of mitigating factors… the pally from other guild doesn’t heal very often. His main is a hunter. So he was not very good. Also, our prot warrior who ran with the other guild is also our MT and raid leader, so we were missing a significant piece. We had two other players in the raid who have only been in Kara one time before. We were short of quality healing, carrying two Kara newbies, and without our normal MT. And finally, we just have not raided very much in the past several months.

The other guild’s pally was apologetic for his healing. He understood that we did not have an optimal raid group. But I can’t make excuses. We have done lower Kara so many times that we should be able to finish it with our monitors turned off. I am embarrassed. I think my whole guild is holding its breath, hoping that the other guild doesn’t cancel our arrangement. I am almost afraid to log on today.

We’re going to try again tonight, and hope for the best.

25
Apr
08

Joint Run Tonight

A few posts ago I talked about the fact that we are trying to merge with another guild (specifically the “mirror image” guild).  I thought of some questions I felt that I needed to ask.  All of this has gone well so far.  I had a long conversation with their guild leader, and we’re trying a joint Kara run (or maybe even two runs) this weekend.

One thing threw me for a loop.  Despite our willingness to simply leave our guild and join theirs, they prefer to keep it as an alliance between two separate guilds right now.  I’m surprised by that.  In my experience, most guilds jump at the chance to add members.

To be honest, I admire this about them.  Their rationale is that adding a whole bunch of members at once can cause inequity issues between the old and new members.  They are trying to avoid drama.  So that is reasonable precaution on their part.

But now I have a sticky issue.  They are very concerned about the way loot will be handled.  Their guild uses DKP.  We don’t.  When I originally asked for suggestions, I got a lot of good ideas about DKP resets and different systems.  All of that is out the window if we are still separate guilds.

Now what?  They want to use DKP, but we’re not in their guild DKP system.  Even if we volunteered to join in on their DKP system, we would start out at a huge deficit of DKP.

I’ve actually suggested to a few of my players that we just pass on everything this first week.  The point on this week’s run is to build a connection between the two guilds.  The last thing I want is a squabble over loot.  We will certainly be running Kara often for the foreseeable future, so the loot will be there again later if we pass on it now.  Maybe its good to just “take one for the team” and go for the team-building aspect.  Besides, we have most of the stuff we need from Kara already.

25
Apr
08

Exalted with Shattered Sun

The Shattered Sun rep grind is almost insultingly easy. I will hit Exalted with them with one more round of daily questing, and I really wasn’t even trying. I only finished Magisters’ Terrace once, and I did the dailies to get gold for my mount. How often have you ever reached Exalted without trying? I got close with Kurenai just from questing in Nagrand, but any other faction I wanted rep with I had to motivate myself for a long grind.

Each Outland faction I have reached exalted with – Sha’tar, Consortium, Cenarion Expedition, Scryers – was a concerted effort to get there in order to get some specific items from their quartermaster. I remember when I decided I wanted the Guile of Khoraazi. Every day that I wasn’t running an instance, I was in Netherstorm killing Ethereals at the Heap. When I wanted to be Exalted with Scryers I used every spare moment to slaughter Blood Elves in Shadowmoon.  With Sha’tar and Cenarion there were not enough quests for rep, and I needed to do instance runs to get through Revered.

With Shattered Sun, you can do the dailies to get gold and “accidentally” hit Exalted in the process, which gets you some pretty nice items.

I’m not griping at all. I’m just pointing out that Exalted with SSO is no big accomplishment, which is a change from previous rep grinds.

And on top of that, once you hit Exalted you’re able to buy yourself a fancy title. I may get the title but, to be honest, I don’t deserve a title. I ran around day after day killing mobs that were so easy I could solo whole groups of them. And for that I get a title. That’s nothing compared to the rigors required for the older titles.

This is just part of the wind up before WotLK. Blizz certainly realized that the Quel’Danas storyline is short-lived and no one will do it after the expansion comes out, so it had to be done quickly. I don’t expect that rep grinds in Northrend will be this easy. And I am sure that Dinaer of the Shattered Sun will like wearing his Shattered Sun Pendant of Might.

23
Apr
08

New Business for Leatherworkers?

Rumor has it (on WoWInsider) that Patch 2.4.2 will change Riding Crop and other mount speed trinkets, making them an enchantment to be applied directly to the mount.

What does that mean for leatherworkers? It means that instead of every level 70 toon needing one Riding Crop, they would need two – one to apply to their flying mount and one for their riding mount. And also one each for their warbear, phoenix, nether ray, etc… if they are mount collectors.

If this change makes it to the game, it should bring a short-lived spike in leatherworking business. Many leatherworkers will just spam the Trade channel offering to make them but needing the mats supplied, and relying for tips for profit. Although it might be risky due to the expense of the Primal Might, you might try making a few in advance to put on the AH or sell in Trade. I can grind out the mats for a Primal Might in one afternoon, and a guildie can do the transmute for me.

For those who are skinners but not leatherworkers there may be a run on Heavy Knothide Leather. I’d gather some up in advance, just in case. Also – enchanters may have a spike in demand for Primal Might transmutes. I doubt there will be too much effect on the Small Prismatic Shard and Arcane Dust business because the AH is usually flooded with those (on my server, at least).

I wouldn’t bet the farm on any of this. It may not be part of the final live patch. And even if it is, some players might not think it’s worth it to speed up both of their mounts if they use one much more than the other.




Armory

Dinaer - 90 Assassination Rogue (US - Sen'Jin)
Derence - 90 Prot/Ret Paladin (US - Sen'Jin)
Metius - 90 Shadow Priest (US - Sen'Jin)
Liebnitz - 90 Arcane Mage (US - Sen'Jin)
Fastad - 90 Subtlety Rogue (US - Sen'Jin)
Darishin - 90 Resto/Balance Druid (US - Sen'Jin)
April 2008
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