Saturday, October 20, 2007

I would so do me

Ninja Halloween costumes rock very hard.

Got my Ebon Mask (thanks to Del and Cop for their kind assistance in ST) and may I say: w00t. It's a nice bit of kit.

Also picked up some Stormshroud Duds at the AH. I think I'll go for the set, they look kinda cool, all orange and black and wavy.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


Don't sneak up on skeletons with swords. ESPECIALLY if you're a defenseless bunny rabbit.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


I have been wanting a Hanzo Sword almost ever since I started playing WoW. Last night I got one - a bargain at 46g on the AH.
The whole reason I started a rogue was the ninja / samurai thing - you know, sneaking around, garotting people from behind, dual-wielding the long-short. Of course, the codes of ethics of your stereotypical ninja are very different from your garden-variety samurai, but I take what I like from both. The ninja's dress sense and morals, with the samurai's achingly cool weapons.
Now the circle is complete - apart from the Ebon Mask (and that's next).

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


OK, my WiBb card (Wireless Broadband for the uninitiated) sucks. My latency tonight hovered between 1300ms and 3000ms. That's 3 seconds for something that should take less than 1/10th of a second.

Needless to say, I didn't run Sunken Temple. Instead, I did a grindy rogue quest chain that, conveniently, ends in a boss in ST. The big reward is the Ebon Mask which, apart from being a neat bit of kit, allows me to keep up my bandanna commitment.

What is my bandanna commitment? Well, back when I was a wee nipper rogue, I got a red silk mask and thought it was the best thing since sliced murlocs. I committed at that point that I would always have a mask, not a helmet. It just felt more roguely.

It became Catheryna's thing and I now always wear one unless I am fully specced for an instance or soloing/raiding in the world. I do carry a helmet (currently my Spooky Dog Hat which I picked up in ZF) but I always switch back to the mask in towns and for social occasions.

So I'm looking forward to the black mask - I can ditch the rather silly dog hat and have one ninja looking mask for all occasions. Sweet.

Monday, October 08, 2007

The Blasted Lands

" ... and she gazed upon the Dark Portal for the first time, her eyes drawn to the shimmering magics within. She approached it, feeling the inexorable pull of the promise of limitless power, and reached out tentatively towards the crackling surface.

A dark, hollow voice spoke in her mind, mocking and cruel. She recoiled in anger and frustration at the cold words...

You must be at least level 58 to enter Outland."


Tarren Mill and Swamp of Sorrows

The Knights Templar had a guild raid on Tarren Mill on Friday night which was a bit of a hoot.

Still, as a 49 I got pwned good and proper most of the time. I found my best success rate came from sneaky cheapshots on otherwise-engaged 70's. A 4-second stun really gives our guys a chance to wail on the person unopposed - and if it's resisted, well I just stay in stealth and try again. I actually sort of ganked a Horde 70 doing this - he had run away from Southshore chased by one of the (pretty tough) human guards, and he got proper beat up once I stuck him in the goolies. I actually got the killing blow on him too while he was occupied with the guard - a 5-dot eviscerate. Noice.

The highlight for me though was almost pwning a level 70 rogue. Key term: almost. Humankiller had been annoying us all evening and I finally chanced upon him fighting one of our 70's. As is my wont, I I cheapshotted and backstabbed a couple of times while he was tied up and between us we got him down to about 1/4 health - at which point he ran like a little girl! Big bad 70 running from a tiny 49 (and a 70 of course, but that's by the by).

So of course I threw all caution to the wind, thumbed sprint and chased him while my guildies cackled uproariously at the sight :) We got past the SS graveyard before he stood to fight. My vanish was on cooldown but unfortunately his wasn’t - he vanished and circled around for a sap. If I had been just a fraction quicker on my trinket I would have broken out in time to hit him with the 5-dot eviscerate I’d saved specially, but it wasn’t to be - he ambushed me for 2900-ish in one hit - and I went down like Paris Hilton after a bacardi breezer.

The Nostromo really is the shiz for PVP though. If I was a little higher up the learning curve I would have hit that trinket in time and it would have been something to crow about indeed had I chanced a decent crit.

In other news, I had a solo venture into the non-instance part of the Sunken Temple for the first time last night. Very atmospheric, can't wait for the full instance run on Tuesday night.

Friday, October 05, 2007

nostromo and big crits

I picked up a Belkin Nostromo N52 yesterday. Yes, I freely admit, until yesterday I was a clicker. Now - omg - I am not. Not ever again. After the learning curve (which I am admittedly still on) even as a left hander it makes a HUGE difference. No more mis-clicking, and the twitch hits readily available when needed without thinking. it is an awesome addition for the PVP'er, even one as hopeless as me.

I practised for about an hour last night on the 43-44 elite trolls in Tanaris and after that short time refining my profile I was reflexively stunlocking and absolutely tearing through them. Until you make the decision to stop clicking you will never know the true joy of dishing out instinctive hurt.

I still accidentally hit my trinket every now and then instead of backstab, but that will disappear with muscle memory. Of course the real test will be PVP, and I'll hit WSG tonight sometime to try it out.

In other news I got my biggest ever crit - 1092 on a 5-dot eviscerate with my Searing Needle. Sweet.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Arathi Basin for Cockheads

I've just spent a few days grinding AB and WSG for tokens and PVP gear. This resulted in a) my first ever epic item (which I can't yet use) and b) the opinion that approximately half the people in AB are cockheads.

I'm normally a pretty easygoing sort. I go along with the BG commander's plan, even though it might be flawed. I report recon. I don't fight off the flags. Yada yada. So when it was my turn to be BG commander, I greeted my PUG with something approximating the following:
"Hi folks. Let's try grp 1 GM, grp 2 BS and grp 3 LM then see what happens. Please report what you see, call out any zergs and don't fight off the flags. Good luck."
Pretty reasonable I thought. The response, of course was something similar to:
"stfu n00b"
"wtf thay always send mroe thn 5 to bs"

The last guy has a point, but as I pointed out to him: "if you can organise 7/7 and the fat kid with a PUG, be my guest". Response: "n00b". Same response when I reported the numbers at the LM, when I advised LM was safe, when I called out numbers at BS from my recon at LM... and so on. As almost everyone else fought off the flags. He eventually went on /ignore, so the FSM only knows what he said after that.

This guy is quite clearly a cockhead.
AB is full of them.

The cockhead matches invariably ended the same way: one token. The non-cockhead matches ended more often in an Alliance victory than not. Given that I needed 50 AB tokens for my PVP gear, I must have run it around 30 times. So I think I'm somewhat qualified to comment on what makes a successful AB run. And that is: a) A DESIRE TO WIN, b) BRAINS and c) COMMUNICATION.

The desire to win is almost invariably absent in cockhead matches. They mindlessly bash each other for honour kills, ignoring the flags. I really don't get it - what use is honour at 40-49 without tokens? Does anyone really want to spend 3 times as much as is necessary to get their PVP gear? I have never fallen short on honour for rewards, tokens are always the limiting factor. What are you cockheads thinking? Please, if you're an honour-kill cockhead post a comment and tell me what the attraction is. Is it just to baffle people like me?

Now it's possible to want to win but still fail to use one's brains. Here are some classic AB goofs:

  • treating the stables like it's something special. Stables are just another flag - if you can't cap it because of numbers, leave it. They are weak somewhere else as a result.
  • Trying to defend a zerg. If you're heavily outclassed, they are going to cap that flag. They will not trip over your corpse and impale themselves - your death will serve no purpose. Again, if they are zerging they are weak somewhere (almost everywhere) else. Go there. Don't call for reinforcements. Say this: "/bg zerg at gm, lost it".
  • NOT re-tapping flags when the opportunity presents. I have lost count of the number of times I've re-capped one of our flags that has been contested by simply looking around, seeing that no horde were watching the flag during the fight, and going to tap it. A lot of people get caught up in the whacking and don't realise that the clock is ticking. If someone gets a 10-second tap on your flag, you just lost a) a resource node and b) a graveyard. Anyone who dies (horde or alliance) will spawn away from the flag you're defending. It is VITALLY important that you tap it back. 10 seconds is all it takes and the flag goes straight back to blue, restoring resources and graveyard instantly. Defence is much easier than offence because when your defenders die on a held flag they rez right there at the battle. That is why you usually need greater numbers on offence than on D.
  • Not understanding the mechanics of the BG. The example above is the best one, but I had a conversation like this the other day: "Folks, I'd prefer 3 AB tokens than 1 this time, can we try to win?" " you mean we get 3 if we win? I never knew that" "Really? Yes we do get 3 tokens if we win." "Oh, I've never won, so I didn't know". Read wowwiki.
Now here are some of the things I like to do as a sneaky rogue:
  • Stealth to undefended flags and tap them. This is surprisingly easy, especially at the farm, GM and LM which are often under-defended as the horde focuses on the BS. If you time it right with a sap you can contest the flag before the (single) guard wakes up. Then it's 1v1 and up to your PVP skills to hold it. I have held flags for a couple of minutes by myself after a solo cap - people just get distracted. Ninja-ing flags is a great occupation for under-levelled rogues (i.e. 40-47 in a 40-49 bracket).
  • Use stealth to make them nervous. I once lost a flag to a mini-zerg (I was the only one who stayed behind to D after a cap) but managed to rez at the local graveyard before they tapped the flag. Now if I had stealthed in and cut up a couple of them I might have delayed their cap by 10 secs or so, but I would have died and rezzed elsewhere. So, I let them see me coming from the graveyard, then I stealthed. I kid you not, 5 horde started running around looking for me - one lone rogue tied up 5 assorted badasses at one flag. I just avoided them while they pissed themselves waiting for the cheapshot. Meanwhile, the rest of the team capped the other 4 flags with a 14-10 advantage. Let them see you disappear, it makes them very nervous.
  • Stealth is also good for misdirection. Whenever I think the farm might be undefended and I'm coming from stabs or LM down the right hand side, I do this: I ride fully visible to the bridge up to BS and then stealth. To the casual observer (e.g. from farm or LM) it looks like I'm going to ninja the BS. Once cloaked in shadows, I turn around and go for the farm. Misdirection and cunning, both roguely tools. It works in a lot of other cases too - a highly visible run from stabs down towards GM, stealth then go for BS. Horde at GM are typing "oh crap, Catheryna's coming" and pissing themselves looking for me (well, maybe) while I ninja the BS. It's gold.
So brains is really just keeping that situational awareness and thinking "where should I be, and what should I do, to bring my measly skills to the most effect?". The answer almost never is "bashing big group in the middle of nowhere". Like it or not, in a PUG you will almost always be a loner. Maybe a loner in a group of people who all had the same idea at once, but essentially a loner. You have to use your brains and, as a tidy segue, your mouth.

Bad communication kills more AB campaigns than anything else. If I had one rule for BGs it would be this: when you are waiting at a graveyard to rez, type intel. That's it - just tell everyone else what you know about the tactical situation. You got something better to do? You're a ghost. There's nothing else you CAN do, unless you're a cockhead. In that case, instead of disseminating useful information, you should abuse everyone on your team and/or complain about Alliance always losing BGs.


Well, let's see: Catheryna is now lv48, I'm now on the Nagrand server with some buddies, I'm in a new guild and I'm a little less n00bish in my WoWishness.