Archive for April, 2013


Rogue-only Easter Egg

I originally saw this on Reddit, then it was posted on WoW Insider.  There is a hidden bit of content in WoW that is a nod to the Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson.  Only rogues can access it.

For the full discussion including background and a thorough walkthrough, go to Chase Christian’s writeup at WoW Insider.  For the quick version, here are the steps:

  • Go to Ravenholdt Manor
  • Outside the Manor, find Reislek’s Ghost
  • With the Glyph of Disguise equipped, pickpocket Reislek’s Ghost and take his appearance
  • Go into the Manor and go to the basement
  • With the Glyph of Detection equipped, look for a sparkle near the floor in a corner of the room
  • Use Detection to reveal the ghost of Orsur
  • Talk to him.  He’ll think that you are Reislek.
  • You’ll get the Survivor’s Bag of Coins, which is a fun item to play with
  • Pickpocket humanoids to get coins to fill the bag (they fade whenever you change zones)

See the WoW Insider article for more discussion on how you can play with the coins.




My Opinion: LFR is ruining the game

What does that title mean?  Let me explain.  I’ve said this all before, but seeing GuildOx rankings really slammed the point home for me.

First – understand that I don’t consider LFR to be actual raiding.  Its more like sightseeing.  Yes, I know that LFR is tougher now than it was back in Cata.  However, the increasing Determination buff means that you can continue to screw up and you’ll eventually succeed despite yourself.  Its a nice way for everyone to see the raid encounters without being accountable for their performance.  Its a good thing.  I am not anti-LFR.  I don’t run it myself, but I don’t hate it.  Its an aspect of the game that is available if you want it.


I recently went on GuildOx to see how my guild stacked up against other guilds on my realm.  I was surprised to see that, on Sen’jin which is by no means a dead realm, only 20 or so guilds have completed Tier 14 raids on normal mode.  In fact, my guild *just* killed Amber-Shaper Unsok this week on 10 normal, and we are only the 25th guild on the server to do so.

I’m not even looking at heroic modes.  Just normal.  If you have cleared T14 on normal and done the first boss in T15, then you’re a top twenty guild on my server.


What does this tell me?  It tells me that guilds (at least on my realm) aren’t really doing progression raids anymore.  Since raiding is such a large part of the game, I can’t imagine that people aren’t raiding.  The obvious conclusion is that people are getting their raiding fix through LFR, and not so much in guild raids.

I have a problem with this.

In my personal vision of WoW, guilds and interpersonal interaction are the heart and soul of the game.  The need for cooperation to overcome obstacles is what the original raid encounters were built on.  Communication, people doing their job, everyone having a role… these were the skills that set the foundation for the more fun and challenging raid bosses.  LFR doesn’t have much or any of that.

I really, really don’t like this model.  Yes, LFR gets people into raiding, and that is a good thing.  But its being used as an expected part of the gearing path.  People run Thone of Thunder (LFR) in order to gear up for Throne of Thunder (normal).  What is this nonsense?  Run a raid to gear for the same raid?  How is this different than the ToC days in Wrath, when you ran 10 man to gear up for 25 man?

There isn’t even any sense of anticipation or buildup.  A new patch comes out with a new raid.  A week later it opens up on LFR.  Then… Boom!  In a couple of hours of pugging you have cleared the newly available raid content.  It trivializes the time and effort of raid design.

For me (and this is just my approach) I am looking forward to seeing Throne of Thunder.  I’m looking forward to figuring out the encounters one by one and progressing through it.  I’m looking forward to hearing the vocalizations of the bosses and getting to know their story and their personality.  I’ll see it when I get to it, after my guild clears tier 14.  All of that anticipation is lost in LFR raiding.

WoW is a great MMO.  WoW is a mediocre single-player game, and LFR has allowed it to drift into that mode.  LFR as a way into raiding is fine.  LFR as a true alternative to guild raiding is not in the best interests of the game, in my opinion.

(What?  You don’t care about the story and anticipation of raids?  You only care about gear?  This isn’t the blog post you’re looking for.  Move along.  Move along.)


Are you Entertained?

I still like WoW.  Love to raid.  Like to quest.  Like to battle pets.  Like to tend my farm.  Love to get achievements.

However, the game is not sucking me in these days.  On any given afternoon, if I have a few hours to spare I find myself being able to pass on WoW playing.  For the past seven years that was not the case.  I used to be online every spare moment.

Right now, I have very few goals that realy turn me on.  Everything is too grindy.

“But WoW has always been a grindy game” you will all say.  You’re right.  However, for a grind to be playable there has to be a goal – a carrot on a stick to make you log in and try to get a little closer each day.

WoW has become almost entirely a gear grind.  Why do dailies? To unlock gear vendors.  Why run LFR?  To get gear upgrades.  Why grind heroics?  To get VP for gear.

This is good for the majority of WoW players, it would seem.  It misses me entirely.  You see, I don’t care about gear at all.  That puts me in the minority, I know, but it is nonetheless true.  Gear is not, nor has it ever been, a draw for me.  I’ll get it when I get it.  That’s why I don’t run LFR.

And since that is the case, I have no carrot to make me want to log in each day.

I was all about Operation:Shieldwall while that was going on.  Grind or not, the story progression kept me coming back day after day.

I never missed a day on my farm.  Te rewards for Exalted reputation had me hooked.  Now I’m exalted.

While I was striving for a million gold, that kept me logging in every day.  Now that I’ve reached that goal… the AH is not so appealing.

The Isle of Thunder dailies have not captured me.  I don’t feel any inclination to go there and do dailies, other than the distant idea of getting to Exalted as a step toward the 60 Exalted reputations achievement.  I think I’ve only done the dailies on that island four or five times – enough to get to Honored.

Even pet battles have lost their luster.  I was all into that for about two weeks – trying to get a good assortment of pets to max level.  Now that this is done, the idea of flying around two worlds to do repeatable pet dailies is not very appetizing.

I always log in for raid nights.  Other than that, its hit and miss.  Is it just me?  Are you all locked in on the gear rewards?


Are PvE rogues all the same spec now?

Look up and down the top dps parses for rogues.  Lots of assassination rogues tearing it up.  Nary a combat rogue to be found (no subtlety either, but that’s old news).

Recently my guild has been working on Garalon.  This is the quintessential cleave fight.  You target a leg and get a crit buff for doing so, and your cleave hits the boss.  When the leg dies, its damage is transferred to the boss, so all cleave damage is pure bonus.

At the start of MoP, combat rogues were putting up obscene numbers on this fight.  Patch 5.2 brought the big change – making the cleave do only 40% weapon damage (down from 100%) but affecting more targets.  Sure, it was a needed fix to a balance problem.  However, it has perhaps gone too far.

All the theorycrafters have emphasized that Blade Flurry is still a plus whenever you have two or more targets in proximity (and its effect increases for three or four targets).  Since Garalon has been the Combat Spec Fight in this tier, I completely regemmed and reforged for combat when we got to this boss.

After a number of tries and lots of practice, I was frustrated with my sub-par dps numbers.  So, this week I switched back to assassination.  Immediately, I gained nearly 20k dps without using any cleave.

Currently, I don’t see any reason to spec combat in raids.  Assassination is so far superior its not really even a discussion.  Since subtlety has again fallen out of use in PvE, I guess that means that all raiding rogues are or will be assassination spec.  World of Logs reports bear this out.  While there are still combat rogues out there, it looks like that spec is around 40k dps behind assassination in ToT raids.

Having specs a little unbalanced is routine and almost expected.  If two specs are producing numbers that are 5% apart, then you can justify using either one based on familiarity or gear or just preference.  However, if one spec is 20% ahead, as it is now, then its almost impossible to justify not using the top spec.

Until this is addressed (and it will be), I expect to see just about all raiding rogues in assassination spec.  That’s a shame – especially in a pure dps class.  I look forward to seeing how Blizzard balances things.


Classic WoW:
Dinaer - 11 Assassination Rogue
Cepheid - 13 Prot Warrior
Cartho - 11 Elemental Shaman

Retail WoW:
Dinaer - 120 Assassination Rogue (US - Sen'Jin)
Cartho - 120 Elemental Shaman (US - Quel-dorei)
Derence - 120 Prot/Ret Paladin (US - Sen'Jin)
Metius - 120 Shadow Priest (US - Sen'Jin)
Liebnitz - 120 Arcane Mage (US - Sen'Jin)
Darishin - 120 Resto/Balance Druid (US - Sen'Jin)
Fastad - 90 Subtlety Rogue (US - Sen'Jin)
April 2013
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