Archive for April, 2008


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?


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


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…


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.


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.


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.


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.


Thinking about what to ask

I will be meeting on Vent with the officers of the mirror image guild sometime in the next couple of days. I’m trying to assemble a list of questions to ask and topics to discuss. Here’s what I have so far (remember that this is one casual guild joining another, so the questions are not down to specific raid details).

  • What are the responsibilities of the officers? Will any of the officers from my guild get leadership positions in your guild when we join?
  • Do your members do group PvP in BG or Arena?
  • On nights when you are not raiding do your members run heroics?
  • How many dependable raiders do you have? After we join will there be enough who are geared and reliable enough for 25-man raids?
  • How do your guild members sign up for raids? How do you choose who gets the raid spots? First-come-first-served? Raid leader chooses? Class leaders?
  • How is your loot distributed? I saw on your web site that you use DKP. Could you explain your DKP system?
  • Is your guild chat typically PG or R rated?
  • The raid times listed on your web site are almost perfect for us, but a tad early for some. Do you actually start on time at those times? Can they be adjusted a little later – maybe 45 minutes to an hour?

Any suggestions for other questions? What other issues are likely to come up in a guild merge? Is it too presumptuous of me to ask about changing their raid times?

Someone suggested that I ask for a DKP reset so that we are not starting off way behind them. Again, is that too much to ask?


A Day Off

I took the day off from WoW yesterday. We decided to watch Cloverfield on our new big screen TV. (I really like this movie, but it loses a great deal of its impact on a small screen, so if you watch it make sure to see it on as large a TV as you can find).

When I decided not to play for the day, I realized that I had not missed a day of WoW in weeks, as far as I could remember. The SSO dailies always give me something to do. My alt is still slowly moving toward 70 and will need gold for a flying mount once he gets there. There’s always something that makes me log on.

More importantly, as the Guild Leader of a guild that is in trouble, every day I don’t log on is a day where I could miss something important. Maybe an officer /gquit to go to a raiding guild. Maybe another guild tried to contact me about merging and I missed it.

I’m actually nervous when I’m not logged on. I guess that makes me (a) neurotic or (b) a control freak. Or both. I’m looking forward to being in a situation where I don’t have to worry so much about a game. Whether my guild disbands or we merge and I have a lesser role in leadership, it will actually be a weight off of my shoulders.


Decisions, decisions

A couple of weeks ago I posted about a potential guild merger. That didn’t work out. After the run we did with them they have not expressed interest, except to whisper me when they are short one or two people on a run. We have started referring to ourselves as their booty call guild – we’re the ones that they never call until they need something from us.

Continuing my pursuit of a guild merger, we now have two offers to merge and one more that I am still working on.

Guild #1 – the friend’s guild

The first guild has several former guildies in it who I know pretty well. They left before the guild drama that tore us apart. We still run with these friends even though they are not in our guild. Their GL has already said that we can join them if we want to.

Pros and cons:

  • Pro: Already know some people in the guild.
  • Pro: They are casual, don’t use DKP, and don’t have attendance requirements.
  • Pro: They are currently working on Gruul’s, which means that they are not far ahead of us in progression.
  • Pro: They have barely enough players to make their 25-man raid, so we would likely have a good chance to get raid spots.
  • Con: Lack of organization… no guild web site.
  • Con: Lack of interest… they guild leader seems to feel that we can join if we want, or not join if we don’t want. We want to find a guild that will benefit from the merger and shows some interest.
  • Con: Raid times… most of us are East Coast and many of them are West Coast. They start late… midnight local time on Friday nights, or even later.

Guild #2 – the Upgrade guild

This guild has also said that they are interested. I don’t know why, really. They are already into TK and SSC, so its not like they are having trouble putting together raid groups. Our officer who ran with them said that they seem like really cool people.

  • Pro: Possible opportunity to see SSC and TK very soon.
  • Pro: Organized with raid signups, DKP, and web site.
  • Pro: They claim that they have no attendance requirements (although their web site says otherwise).
  • Con: Raid times… they raid weeknights. We have a lot of parents and nine-to-fivers that prefer weekend raids.
  • Con: They already have Gruul’s on farm. As I have said in the past, I prefer not to be dragged by the nose through content that is new to me. I like the joy of discovery and sharing it with the entire group.
  • Con: They obviously have enough for 25-man raiding already. That means we might have a hard time getting in on raids.

Guild #3 – The Mirror Image Guild

This guild appears to be a lot like us. They have cleared Kara, but have not gone into 25-man content yet. They have started ZA which we have not. They raid Friday and Saturday evenings, which is perfect. I just contacted them for the first time today, so I am waiting on a response.

  • Pro: they do not greatly outgear us.
  • Pro: They have not seen 25-man content as a guild so we would all experience it together for the first time.
  • Pro: Raid times are perfect.
  • Con: They are a relatively new guild and may not be ready to jump into 25-man stuff yet.
  • Con: not known yet… hopefully I will hear from them soon

I know that my guildies were excited at first about Guild #1, but have since cooled to them. Some members are into Guild #2 because of the immediate possibility of 25-man raids. I know I am leaning toward Guild #3 if they are willing to merge.

Hopefully we will get something done this week. It would be nice if this didn’t drag out any longer.


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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