Thursday, May 28, 2009

everyone gets nerfed

So I read the 3.1.3 patch notes, which seemed to elicit more than the usual QQing on Of course I'm stoked about the buff to Overkill, which for PvE rogues is a nice addition to our trash FoK DPS. But it also inspired me to write yet another song, so here goes. I'll definitely record this one soon:

Sung to the tune of "Everybody Hurts" by R.E.M.


When the maintenance is long
and the news from the PTRs seems wrong
and the patch notes talk of nerfs to your class
hang on

Don't let yourself QQ
'cause everybody cries
and everyone gets nerfed
sometimes balance is all wrong
now it's time to sing along

when your salvation is gone
and you feel like speccing ret
and you think you've had too much of death knights
hang on

Everyone gets nerfed
take comfort in your skill
everyone gets nerfed

Don't whine on the official forums
ooooooooh no
Or if you do, at least whine in an amusing rap battle
When you feel like you're alone
2 million people playing warlocks say you're not alone

When your buffs are gone
and the cooldowns on your favourite skills are long
and you think you've had too much of death knights
to hang on

Everyone gets nerfed
sometimes everybody whines
everyone gets nerfed
everyone gets nerfed
so hold on
hold on
hold on
hold on
hold on
nerf hunters
hold on
hold on

everyone gets nerfed

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

2 more songs

Turpster's music kind of inspired me to finish off two more songs I've had in the works for awhile. Again, both are based on Dos Gringos songs, for no reason other than that was what I was listening to at the time I was inspired to write them.

Sung to the tune of "The Bitch Spent All My Money" by Dos Gringos


I make a thousand extra gold each month
and you would think with that amount
I'd have a positive number inside my backpack account
How many times can one druid hit
the auction house in a day
you can bet your ass that a pvp bitchslap is on its way

I got a story to tell to you
and man it ain't funny
I've been grinding daily quests
and my alts spent all my money

I know when you go into Deadmines
you want to wear something leet
but who the hell spends a hundred gold on level 16 purple feet?
And how bout that three hundred gold
on just one pair of pants
Hell I only spent 25 on my repairs from the Heigan Dance

Yeah I got taken to the bank today
by my own lowbie dummy
I've been grinding daily quests
and my alts spent all my money

You know I still love you baby
Yeah, but something's missin'
yeah I can't believe you spent last week's earnings levelling up Inscription
Besides, it's not even going to matter in Outland
No matter how epic your gear
You'll replace everything in a matter of minutes, including those Molten Core Tiers

Yeah it's not fair
I still want to level you honey
I've been grinding daily quests
and my alts spent all my money
Yeah don't laugh 'cause it could happen to you
and man it ain't funny
I've been grinding daily quests
and my alts spent all my money

Sung to the tune of "Jeremiah Weed" by Dos Gringos


When I was a young'un my trainer said to me
Son I wanna know what it is you wanna be
I said I'll never wear a dress, But I love to PVP
I think I'm gonna be a rogue! The stealthy life for me

Well I heard my guildies cheering cause I said it over voice
My trainer said that I had made a pretty awesome choice
He gave me a quest to find a journal and a key
And on return he hooked me up with a simple recipe

Press 1! To stab them in the knees
Press 2! To slip away unseen
Press 3! When you're low on energy
A big chug from a green mug of tasty Thistle Tea

Now if you play a mage you make dinner for the team
And if you have a priest you make bad guys run and scream
And if you have a hunter you never find a group
'cause you're running round in Stormwind picking up your tiger's poop
And if you play a death knight you ninja all the plate
And if you play a pally then your raiding buffs are great
And if you've got a warlock, then my advice to you
is to moan about the nerf bat, there's nothing else to do

Press 1! To stab them in the knees
Press 2! To slip away unseen
Press 3! When you're low on energy
A big chug from a green mug of tasty Thistle Tea

The greatest raiding rogue that ever I did see
came in one day and took his place at the tank's side next to me
I knew he was a killer, his DPS was off the tree
The fucker had rotations that included Thistle Tea

Now everyone is curious, they all wanna know
Will it raise your stats, will it make your e-peen grow?
Well it won't bring you women, and it won't bring you luck
so why do we drink it? Cause our DPS rocks!

Press 1! To stab them in the knees
Press 2! To slip away unseen
Press 3! When you're low on energy
A big chug from a green mug of tasty Thistle Tea


I like a good WoW song, and Turpster has a bunch of them. Warning: he's a godawful singer, but he's the Ricky Gervais of WoW lyric writing - witty, dry and slightly rotund (sorry Turpster!).

I'm currently working on recording "Evasion Tank FTW", but have had problems knocking the lyrics out of the original song due to its somewhat garagey recording. Might have to get my brother to do an original guitar backing track for it.

In other news: loot drama rap battle. Full of win.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

how not to suck at powerlevelling

Let me say before I start that while this post is inspired by two twink runs through Stratholme last night, it is not meant as criticism of those involved. I actually had a bit of a laugh despite the numerous, numerous deaths, and the points below are as much for me as for anyone. So please take it as intended :)

To begin: You may find yourself, dear reader, at a point where you are levelling an alt or indeed levelling your first main on a server with some high level friends. With the XP rate boost as it is, you may also consider that running high level instances (as high as you are permitted to enter) is a good idea. You may also realise that having one of the said high level toons along may make said instances rather quick and, quite frankly, a loot and XP pinata.

All good and sound thoughts.

What you may not have thought of is that this run has the potential to be one of the more frustrating, demoralising and painful experiences in your WoW career to date.

For the purposes of the exercise, let's look at a typical twink run of a single level 80 toon and one or two lower level toons.

Your twinker pretty much must have a strong AoE attack. Until recently, that meant no rogues; however with the advent of Fan of Knives, rogues are now viable twinkers. It would also be extremely useful if the twinker were survivable and has a rez ability. Pallies probably make great twinkers. Make no mistake though: twinking is not the same as soloing. When soloing, all you care about is your own progress through the instance. When twinking, you've got one or two utter aggro magnets along for the ride and if they keep dying due to proximity pulls you will have an abysmal time of it. You must:

  • Destroy everything in the instance
  • Keep everything off the twinkees
  • Keep the twinkees in XP range
  • Allow the twinkees time to loot
  • Not let anyone die (except maybe twinkee DPS/tanks in emergencies, if you have a rezzer in the party)
Finding the balance between speed through the instance and time for looting can be hard, especially in a loot-heavy instance like Stratholme. Furthermore, depending on the relative levels of the twinkees to the mobs, the aggro radius may be fairly close to the XP radius, which is challenging. The twinkees have to stay close enough to you to get the XP, but not so close that you're constantly pulling mobs off them. They also have to loot FAST and they will be watching their bags more than they're watching the mobs. Generally speaking, closer is better, especially if the mobs use stuns, roots and disarms, which can affect you no matter how high level you are and keep you from intercepting mobs wailing on your twinkees.

You may also be dealing with inexperienced twinkees, who will pull aggro in all sorts of unforeseen ways. A typical twinkee will be two- or three-shotted by trash, and one-shotted by bosses, so you haven't got much time. Make sure your twinkees know that they are not to do anything offensive (including healing and buffing) when anyone is in combat.

Looting is a hard one. You'll really want Free For All set on in the interests of speed, but your twinkees have to understand that they mustn't take BOPs that are useful for another twinkee. Even with Free For All and autoloot, they will get a warning when they try to loot a BOP blue and they must stop and think before they grab it. This might be different to what they're used to, especially if they've done a lot of soloing and are in the habit of blindly taking whatever drops. It's easy for experienced raiders to be critical of this looting instinct, as our instincts are now to immediately stop when we see blue or purple; but I remember a time when I did the same thing.

As the twinker, you may need to brief the twinkees on loot etiquette, especially if there are multiple twinkees and/or an enchanter along. Anything DE'd can be used to immediately enchant the nice new blue drops after the run! You might also want to consider flicking master looter on before a boss pull. BoEs aren't an issue, as being picky about those will just slow things down. Sort out BoEs after the run.

For the twinkees, your role is both simple and complex. You must:
  • loot as fast as you can
  • do not mis-loot
  • do not pull aggro
  • do not die
  • stay in XP range of the twinker
  • know and use all of your survivability abilities
  • know and use all of your buffs
  • heal the twinker when out of combat
Learn your proximity pull range in a safe environment at the start of the instance. Burn it into your brain. If you get aggro - run to the twinker and don't actively defend yourself (with heals and DPS), you will just make it harder for the twinker to pull them off you. Burn your passive defensive/threat wipe abilities (PW:S, Fade, Evasion, Vanish, FD, bubble etc) and stay alive.

There are also slight role differences as a twinkee. Any twinkee with a rezzing ability should give first priority to their own survival. DPS and tanking toons: I'm sorry, but you are the sacrificial lambs. If your death will save a rezzer, even briefly, do it. They can rez you. You can't rez them. Your intervention may save a corpse run, which saves time and frustration. Die, get rezzed, move on.

And my final tip: use voice. Vent, Teamspeak or ingame, it will help immensely as your twinkees will get aggroed and will need help right away.

When it's done right, the rewards are astounding. My 55 and 3 quarters priest (fully rested) went to 57 and a half from one run through Stratholme (with quests) and took a fistful of nice blues as well, and picked up about 40 stacks of Runecloth for Cat's Gnomeregan rep. Even when it's done wrong, you'll level fast but the angst factor might be higher. Hey, the more you do it, the better you'll get and it's sure as hell better than doing "fedex and kill-x" out in the world.

Enjoy your twinking!


A few great posts on leadership in WoW:

Monday, May 25, 2009

the dedicated few

Scene: It is approaching 9pm on Saturday. I thought I'd do a few dailies and retire early, so as to be fresh for the traditional 25-man on Sunday night. Then the call goes out for Nax10. Sucker!

As it turns out, we have at it with only 8 people and decide that we may as well have a go at The Dedicated Few, which I believe nobody had yet achieved. We had (according to WoWRanked for my guild): healer #1 and #12, tanks #7 and #9, and DPS #2, #20, #48 (me), and #49. So a strong triumvirate at the top, but alts and newbies (myself included) under that.

The half-hearted shorthanded Undying attempt ended almost straight away, to everyone's relief. Nobody seriously thought we could pull it off with 8 people anyway. Still, we dropped Heigan with 8 left standing and didn't meet any serious resistance until Four Horsemen, which wiped us 3 times before we found our rhythm. Sapphiron also gave us a wipe, but it was KT that both made and ruined the night for me.

By the time we hit KT it was past 0130. AM. I was completely shagged and sore, having had a single 3 minute bio break in the entire raid. I'd also not had a single piece of loot, burned almost a full stack of Fish Feast, and was on my fourth flask. KT casually wiped us twice, and we started to wonder if it was going to happen.

The third attempt started in the worst possible way. I'm going to claim tiredness - I managed to get myself out of healing range while cleaning up the last of the adds in Phase 1, ate a Frost Blast and despite mashing pots, died. The raid, though, settled into a rhythm and burned KT down towards 50%.

I was hoping that the drood OT would throw me a brez at 50% before the add phase, but sadly it wasn't to be. The adds came out and the real race began, with 3 DPS, the MT and our main heals covering KT and the OT and off-healer covering the Nerubians. At that point I felt we simply wouldn't have the DPS.

Then just when it was looking good, with KT below 10%, the OT wore a Frost Blast and went down. The adds went straight for the main healer and she went down faster than a cheap tent. The off-healer shortly followed and we prepared to wipe it up. I felt gutted, as with my DPS it would have been over by now.

I reckoned though without the DPS. With perfectly timed cooldowns, they ran him down before he could finish the job, at 02:08 AEST. Left standing: Hunter, Rogue and DPS DK. Both tanks dead, both healers dead, me watching from the tiles. Huzzah, epic finish. And he dropped my hat.

So yes, I got the aptly named achievement. Yes, I finally got a Northrend helm, after an accidental need from one of the others saw it ticketed to me. Yes, I made few mistakes and pulled my weight on the meters. Yet somehow, that last fight that I missed out on largely ruined it. I found myself cheering for the others, not for myself. It's irrational, but there it is.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Finally set foot in Ulduar 25 tonight!

I wasn't really set up for raiding unfortunately - normally raid night requires pre-notification to She Who Must Be Obeyed. Fair enough too, as it takes me out of the loop for household tasks for an entire night, and she then has to respond to any child-based dramas. We try to stick to sunday nights, I make sure everything's squared away in advance, and she stands guard duty over the kids.

Anyway, I digress - the point is, I wasn't expecting an invite to Ulduar, and couldn't turn it down when it came. Luckily, the whole family was asleep at 7pm. So.

Flame Leviathan was FUN. I was a gunner on a siege engine, and simply blasted the crap out of stuff for a good 20-30 minutes. I still have no idea what was going on, but we one-shotted him and it seemed to go OK. Seems like a hell of a thing to have to redo if one wipes on it, but luckily I didn't find out.

XT-002 Deconstructor was a more straightforward fight, and I feel I did OK over the two attempts. Phase 1: DPS the boss, run more than 15 yards away from everyone if you get a bomb debuff, feint during tantrums. Assist on adds if required. Phase 2: DPS the heart. Rinse and repeat. Averaged 3.5k DPS over both attempts, and we got him (her?) on the second.

Ignis the Furnace Master was a bit of a douchbag. I'm not sure if it was because I was the lowest-geared melee DPS in the raid, but over the 5 attempts I was pulled into the codpiece twice, and just died. I can understand that I might be pretty low on the list for bomb heals, but it's a shame to have one's best efforts cut short by the RNG. Most of the later fights consisted of the following inner monologue: "OK keep SnD up, keep Rupture up, keep HfB up, Tricks, is Cold Blood up? Don't stand in the fire, gosh I hope I don't get pulled into the codpiece." 3.7k DPS on the drop, pretty happy considering the rogue company I was in. He dropped Flamestalker Boots, but they went to another more dedicated raider, and I'm glad (but still a wee bit sad).

That's where my run ended in a cacophany of screaming children and glowering wife, as the family roused all at once.

Overall I'm happy that I can still consistently pull 3.5-3.8k DPS on T7/8 content while staying alive through largely unfamiliar fights. Considering I'm still rocking some blues, a T5 helm (!) and a BC necklace, I go to bed satisfied that my raiding skills are returning.

To dream of Ulduar...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

pug loot rules

Many of you will probably have come across this issue: you pug somebody into a guild run, it's all going swimmingly and then, just when you're getting a nice sense of comfort, something epic drops.

And the pug wants it.

Now hopefully you've told them before the run started what your guild's approach to looting with pugs is. If you didn't, you're probably in a world of hurt right now - and to be honest, you probably deserve to be. Pugs have a right to a share in the loot, and the RL has a responsibility to ensure they're happy with the loot rules before they get saved to the instance. So, rule 1: define and communicate the rules upfront.

But what is a fair rule? Guildies quite rightly feel that they should not be disadvantaged by pugs, especially if they've been saving DKP/EPGP for specific items. That said, if you've got to the point of pugging a slot, you probably wouldn't be running right now without that pug so wouldn't have had any shot at the loot anyway. Then again, the pug presumably hasn't had a chance to build DKP/EPGP priority. But wait, without the 24 guildies in the raid kindly pugging them in, they wouldn't have had a shot at the loot either! Oh, the confabulation and bother!

The watchwords should always be transparency and consistency. Whatever your rules are, from RAR GUILD PRIORITY to a pure /roll, if the pug knew about it before they saved, they have no complaint.

SO that brings me to my suggestion. My guild uses EPGP, and we tend not to have issues with pug loot (at least not in Nax and OS, I'm not in Ulduar yet but I believe we don't pug slots there anyway) due to most of our folks being geared past there. An undergeared pug can look forward to a loot pinata. That said, an EPGP+pug strategy is always useful to have in one's back pocket. I'm thinking from an EPGP perspective, but I suppose this will work with DKP too.

What are the guidelines? My thoughts are:

  • a system that neither unfairly advantages nor unfairly disadvantages pugs on loot rolls
  • a system that can be clearly and unambiguously explained in advance
  • a system that can be transparently applied
OK. So with EPGP, all guildies get a need/mainspec roll first. If nobody elects to go for that, there is a greed/offspec roll. If items are still not taken, it is DE'd and the mats go in the GB.

To integrate a pug or pugs into this, the three phases should be regarded distinctly. So first, here is a rule:
  1. The pug will be judged as need/mainspec based on the spec they bring to the raid.
Now dual specs present a problem, but in general the raid will need specific roles and the pug will be brought in to fill that role primarily. So that, for the purposes of loot, is the pug's mainspec.

On the need roll: pugs who want to need/mainspec an item simply /roll when the item is announced during looting. Guildies use EPGP votes. One of three things will happen:
  1. One or more guildies has needed, and no pug has rolled. The item is distributed by EPGP.
  2. One or more pugs have rolled, and no guildies have needed. The item goes to the highest pug roll.
  3. One or more pugs have rolled, and one or more guildies have needed. Take the number of folks that either needed or rolled, n, and apply the following formula, rounding up: x = 100 - (100/n). So with 2 guildies needing against two pugs, the highest pug roll must be greater than x (in this example, 75) in order to win the item. If the highest pug roll is <= x, the item goes to EPGP.
the first two make perfect sense. I believe the latter is reasonably statistically consistent. I ran a monte carlo simulation on the odds with 5000 samples, and from the perspective of a pug, it scales well with multiple guildies. There is a minor issue with multiple pugs, especially when they are rolling against few (but not 0) guildies. This is simply due to the fact that they must beat all the other pug rolls as well as getting statistically high roll; however the difference is not going to be more than a 5% chance overall and of all the formulas I tried, this is the best balance of simplicity and fairness.

The outstanding issue is on multiple rolls. There is no disincentive for a pug to roll need on anything that might be the slightest upgrade, and there is no penalty for continued wins (as there is with EPGP priority). A pug has the same chance to win every time, whereas from the point of view of a guildy, their chance to win reduces with every loot win (assuming they're rolling against other guildies).

We could weight rolls with item history, but that would make the calculation too complex. Instead, I would propose that a simple limit is imposed; maybe say maximum 1 need upgrade for every 3 bosses (unless no guildies need/mainspec, in which case go for it). You don't want to put a hard cap on pug upgrades, because they may just decide they have to go, and leave your raid in the lurch.

Greed/offspec simply uses the same rules, but on the second loot round.

The simplest way for shards to be handled is for everyone to /roll on each shard. If a guildy wins, into the GB. If a pug wins, they get it.

Many raids will roll for shards at the end; so if there are 10 shards to distribute, get everyone to roll and the top 10 rolls get a shard (or in the case of guildies, into the GB).

Well that was an epic post. I'd like to hear what you have to say about pug loot distribution, and whether you think this is fair and workable in a real situation.

Stay epic!

Monday, May 18, 2009

the pressure, the pressure!

It's been a good week. Got my artisan flying (finally!) and became a Champion of Stormwind. Rode the loot train to Epicville last night in a 20-man H Nax and walked out after 3 wings with Twilight Mist, Webbed Death (both now avec Mongoose), Grim Toll and the Ring of Invincibility from emblems. Pretty happy with 3.8k DPS on Patchwerk (new 25 man record).

But the majority of the run was done under the crushing pressure of achieving The Immortal - pretty ambitious when we had only 20 in the raid. You could feel the tension grow on Vent as we strode nervously into Heigan's room, and the more experienced players simply waved it off as a fait accompli that someone would bite the dust on the dancefloor. Personally, I was pooping myself - having only seen the dance twice before, and only surviving it once.

Once it started, it was obvious that the achievement pressure was weighing on our DPS greatly as we kept one eye firmly on the ground (and the other too, as often as we could). In the end, despite the flares being dropped out of position and having to compensate for that ("run 2 meters to the right of the 2 middle flares!") and due in no small part to the awesomeness of our healers, we all lived.

In the end, it was Gluth that got us. There were 2 deaths to Zombie Chow. One of them messaged the raid to express his sorrow at borking the achievement, and I whispered back "dude, there are 18 people who just breathed a sigh of relief that it wasn't them that borked it" at which he laughed. It's true too - the remainder of the raid was much more pleasant though it must be said, less disciplined - and I count myself too, taking my eye off the ball on Thaddius and getting fried for my trouble.

Maybe next time eh. For now, rejoice in the madness of purple fever (and grind for enchants).

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

the Wormhole

A while ago I was thinking about the hassle of levelling an alt from 1-80 and how daunting that is for casuals like me, who make up the bulk of the WoW player base. I mean, I love the endgame but having levelled Cat 1-80 and Merry 1-55, I just can't face taking Merry through another 25 hard levels of Outland and Northrend despite my very real interest in endgame raid healing. Even less appealing is levelling a drood 1-80, despite the fact that I really am interested in trying out a drood.

Try as they might, Blizzard just can't sell the "bring the player, not the class" story to non-hybrid classes like the Rogue. It doesn't matter how good a player I am (listen to the peanut gallery and their sniggers!) I simply cannot tank or heal and those roles are necessary. I need a max-level alt to fill those roles.

So my brain, as is its wont, got to a-thinkin. (wavy dream sequence starts...)

Imagine, if you will, a 10 man instance in the Caverns of Time called The Wormhole (or something more imaginative and consistent with the lore). This is available to characters in certain bands, similar to the battlegrounds: 10-18, 20-28 etc all the way up to 70-78. Only toons in a raid group who are all in the same band are permitted to enter. Importantly, it is also only available if each of those toons are owned by an account with at least one level 80. So it is an instance for alts, not for mains.

The mechanics of the instance are largely unimportant. However, I had envisaged something like a trash gauntlet on a moving conveyor belt in a tunnel, dragging you "back in time" while you fought onwards through the wormhole against a raid timer to a portal and a single final boss at the end. Dead toons are slowly dragged backwards towards the other end, where another portal exists. Every toon gets a single-use "rezzing stone" that they can use on any other toon except themselves, and if any player corpse hits the rear portal or the raid timer expires, it's game over for the whole instance. Teamwork! Drama! Sacrifice! Tension! Sounds cool huh? Wait till you hear the best bit.

If you "win" the instance (defeat the final boss, every toon is alive and exits via the final portal in the allotted time) all those toons get instantly levelled to the level below the next bracket. If you go in at level 10-18 and win, you come out at level 19. Grind out one level (and level up your weapon skills, learn your new spec etc), and you're eligible for the Wormhole again in the 20-28 bracket. Incidentally, the bands are 10-18 not 10-19 to stop a newly Wormholed 19 going back in and stacking a Wormhole attempt for some friends.

If you "lose" (any player - live or a corpse - enters the rear portal, or the timer expires), every player in the raid goes back to the previous bracket, a quarter of a level below eligibility for the Wormhole. At bracket 10-18, you go back to level 9 3/4. That serves two purposes: it makes you take it seriously, and it stops raids stacking higher level toons to trivialise it, because the consequences of failure are much bigger for someone at the top of the bracket than someone at the bottom.

So what does that mean to someone who has a level 80 and wants to try endgame with a different class, but not spend months levelling an alt? They roll their alt, level it to 10 and get a bunch of like-minded individuals to try The Wormhole. They win, they come out at level 19. Grind out a level, gear up (with your level 80 sugar daddy providing the cash) and go again at level 20, coming out as lv29 and so on up to 80. You grind 17 levels, and win the Wormhole 7 times, and you're a level 80.

What does Blizzard get out of it?

  • An alt means more reason to spend time in the game at the endgame stage. Rather than gearing a main up, you're now gearing two or three or more toons up. Rather than losing interest in WoW because your main is tooled to the hilt and you've run out of content and you can't face levelling an alt, you stick around and try the endgame from a different perspective. "Bring the player, not the class" takes on a whole new perspective, because that player may now have one toon in each major role.
  • It's a gold and time sink, and creates a new market for outdated crafter items. Suddenly all those low level patterns are useful again. People are grinding dailies to get heirlooms (which this dovetails perfectly with). People might run all the old content again, especially if things like special mounts etc are available only at certain levels). People are spending money to pimp out their alts to make sure they win the instance.
  • Take the wind out of the levelling services' sails - people can now quickly level alts themselves.
  • All these new alts will probably have low profession skills - so more time spent levelling those professions, more olde worlde mats and items on the market, demand for gems and enchants etc.
  • When the next expansion drops, players will level their main through the new content, Wormhole all their alts and then spend two or three or four times as much time and gold doing the endgame stuff as they would have with no max level alts. It broadens the appeal of the endgame content without cheapening the levelling content. Also, it slows people down through the new endgame, so there's less clamouring for new content a week after the release of the expansion.
  • Casuals are no longer limited to the role decision that they made (probably without even knowing it) when they rolled their first ever toon. Blizzard can push their broad appeal agenda without all of this ridiculous class homogenisation that's been going on.
What do players get out of it?
  • Try the endgame with a different class without having to grind 80 levels!
  • Extra raid/PvP utility by being able to fill alternative roles
  • Got a friend on another realm and want to raid/PvP with them, but don't want to leave your current server with your main? Level your alt and server transfer them, or roll your alt on that server and level it there.
  • Guild bonding
  • New content (you could have a different end boss at each bracket?)
  • Players levelling their mains the hard way will suddenly find there's a market for their BoE green and blue drops, other than people levelling enchanting.
How could it be abused?
  • Stacking the raid with higher level toons. They have more to lose if they fail the raid, and in any case the instance could be scaled according to the levels of the raid toons? In any case you're only going to get to do it once before you have to grind out levels in order to stack again. There could also be a disincentive to stacking, for example giving a stacking 5% stat debuff for every level over the minimum?
  • Levelling services? Maybe, but why would you bother paying for a levelling service (except maybe if it's your first toon) when you can level an alt so quickly yourself?
  • Gold services are probably the biggest downer, as this instance would create a massive demand for gold.
Balance and other issues:
  • Making it hard enough to present a worthy challenge that needed preparation and gear, but not so hard that it actually takes longer to level an alt through the Wormhole by being constantly defeated
  • Scaling it so that it is not unbalanced by high level stacking
  • What happens if a player DCs?
  • What can be done to prevent players simply hearthing out, or deliberately DCing, if the timer is about to expire?
  • Will this create a wasteland in the 10-80 zones, as alt level grinding becomes a thing of the past? Will this be disheartening to brand new players, as the 1-10 zones are full of life and there is nobody to party with for the next 70 levels, apart from other noobs and the odd n9 powerleveller?
So that's the idea. It will be especially relevant as the level cap goes up to 90, 100 etc. I reckon if Blizzard doesn't implement something like this, one of their competitors will. What do you think, I'd love to hear your opinions?

Blizzard, my terms are very cheap. One shiny United States penny each time a toon enters my instance. Bargain!

*edit* on second thought, made the bands n0-n8 rather than n0-n9. Makes more sense from an abuse point of view.
*edit* the 10-80 zone wasteland problem

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

OS25 0D down

I imagine that Sarth would be quite difficult with a group that was geared appropriately; however in my case last night, where we had 24 of Pinnacle's best and brightest (plus me) he went down like a cheap tent. Will need to do that a few times before I can say for sure I know what's going on, but I stayed up (more from Meishy's amazing heals than by my own awareness) and punched out 3694 DPS, a new 25 man record. Yay raid buffs.

Concealment Shoulderpads were a nice, if minor upgrade, but as they have very different stats to the T7.5s, I can mix and match to keep my expertise balanced etc.

Gold grind is up over 4000 now, getting very close to that epic flying. Sweeeet.

And my bow skill is now 38. Poor penguins.

Monday, May 11, 2009


New personal best 10 man raid DPS: 2670 on Maexxna (Loatheb and Thaddius don't really count due to the DPS buffs). Swoit.

Survived Horsemen and Patchwerk this time, but had an epic lag-fail on Heigan. Ah well.

But what you're really interested in is the mad loot right? Check these out: Cloak of Mastery, Heroes' Bonescythe Breastplate, Accursed Bow of the Elite (no I didn't take it over a Hunter, it was going to vendor), Loatheb's Shadow and a gun and a dagger that I'm not using right now. Loot pinata indeed.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

stupid dailies

Blizzard usually gets the mix right when they create dailies. Fish for this thing, cook this thing, collect these stones for an ongoing construction project, etc. It makes sense that these would be done every day, even if particular folks have unusually passionate taste for leftover wine.

But what's the deal with the daily The Edge of Winter? How many stupid times do I have to get the same sword from the same ice-encased maiden? This quest makes no sense as a daily. But as it's worth two Valiant's Seals, I can't not do it or my AT grind will take nine days instead of five. Meh.

omg more goldz

Put my Rigid Stormjewel on the AH at a speculative 750 bid / 800 buyout... and it has a bidder.

I say again, woo. That will take me over 3000g for the flyer. Yay fishing.

Friday, May 08, 2009

the slow grind to my epic flyer

Read an interesting post over at The Noisy Rogue (which, curiously enough, I read as Thenois Y Rogue when I first saw the URL) about, amongst other things, grinding for the epic flyer.

I am doing this. Ask me if I enjoy it. Go on.

I'm up to 2000g, mostly from dailies. Problem is, I'm also starting to gear up in Nax, and every time I get a new bit of kit I feel honour-bound to gem and enchant it to maximise my raid utility. Each tasty new piece of equipment is, in fact, a bill for between fifty and several hundred gold and, by extension, an invoice for several hours of doing dailies.

Yay upgrades. Woo.

So I've started looking for other ways to increase my earning rate. Advertising in /trade as an Ironforge tram tranny-toy has met with limited and fairly disturbing success. Somewhat more successful was spending the time and cash to level Merrybelle to 350 enchanting, and shipping all my BoE drops to her for DE. Thomasy (my bank alt) is also scouring the AH for bargain ilvl 121+ items for DE into Infinite Dust and Cosmic Essence, both of which are key materials for Northrend enchants and are in high demand. Based on limited testing, I can make about a 25% profit on this. However, it's limited by the supply of AH greens, and it will take me a bit to figure out the most economical stack sizes - individuals purchasing for specific enchants will want specific stack sizes, but enchanters will want big stacks. Saving all the auctions for 48 hour Friday night stacks is probably a good idea.

The Argent Tournament doesn't seem to be the goldmine that everyone says - maybe because I'm still a lowly Aspirant edit: just became a Valiant of Stormwind! We shall see. Whenever possible, I'm doing the five tournament dailies, plus the cooking and fishing ones, and four of the Hodir ones for rep. That's about 143g per day, plus what I dig up on heroics and drops (plus Wintergrasp if I can be arsed).

Any other ideas?

Thursday, May 07, 2009

new toy

Mirror of Truth pretty sweet...

Burned through H AN, H CoS (daily) and H VH tonight. Got the timed achievement on CoS with a couple of mates and 2 good pugs. Didn't get the drake, but we're going to try to run it regularly until we all have it.

I'm happy that I currently have my Expertise balanced (26) and my Hit pretty much where it needs to be for 25 mans (277). While a bit more would help me hit the PHC in heroics, I'd have to gimp myself and really I'm still doing well on the meters in heroics unless there's a ton of AoE, where extra hit won't help me anyway. 2771 AP with another 1670 from trinket procs and on-use.

Wondering actually if it might be wise to cook up some +crit food and start stacking crit gems, as the Mirror of Truth procs on crit (not on hit)? Yet another reason to use Cold Blood whenever not on cooldown too.

Children's Week - Meh

I started kid's week all enthusiastic - right up until I realised I'd need to run battlegrounds and UP. Think I can find a tank for UP? No way. Think I can be arsed stuffing about in battlegrounds trying to organise achievements while the 50% of BG asshats either ganks me or abuses me for ruining their PvPness? Screw that.

Started the Argent Tournament questline and dailies instead. Still not quite sure what I'll get out of it, though the prospect of getting exalted with Gnomer and getting a mechanochicken mount seems pretty cool.

In other news, Merry is finally 350 enchanting. Now she can DE every BOE in the game. Ench mats FTW.

Monday, May 04, 2009



Guild run, full clear, 2 wipes (Thaddius and KT). Thrusting Bands, Valorous Bonescythe Pauldrons, Valorous Bonescythe Legplates.

Myself: apart from the 2 wipes, I had 3 deaths on trash (cleaves and whirlwinds - just awareness really), plus Patchwerk's Hateful Strike (might try dipping in the slime next time), Gothik (I'll buy that one), Horsemen (volleyed) and a void zone on the KT wipe (too worried about distance from the tank and not watching the ground enough) though I stayed up the second time. Pretty happy that I survived the Heigan Dance, Sapphiron and the other "first timer" killers.

DPS was about 2400 over all of the bosses, which I'm pretty happy with given that I was (and am) still carrying a lot of quest and BC gear. My new gear took my unbuffed+poisons dummy DPS to about 2100, so I should do a bit better now when raid buffed.

Yay Nax!