Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Scheduling Woes

Part of the frustration I experience as an officer for my guild is scheduling acitivies for the guild. We've recently stepped up the amount of scheduled runs in an effort to have content for as much of the guild as possible. We have a very diverse mix of levels and it seems that regardless of where we direct our energy, someone is 'left out'. So I've scheduled one lower level instance and an engame instance every night of the week. Of course I can't have them at the same time as I'm sure we wouldn't be able to fill them all. So we have one run at 8:00 PM and one at 10:00 PM. Of course this works for some and not for others. The 8:00 run is a bit early for us MST and earlier folk while the 10:00 run can get late for the EST folk (though luckily our GM is a night owl, while in EST, he habitually stays up later than I).

Other things we will be incorporating are Raids, PvP, and Fellowship.

We had an awesome all guild game of Hide and Go Seek in Stormwind last night. No prizes, just good fun. Was nice to do something different. Ideally we'll have something like this planned at least once a month.

We have a couple of people in the guild who really enjoy PvP, so I'm going to attempt to schedule an Alterac Valley night, though I'm not sure how successful that will be. I've heard that entereing AV with a group takes a good chuch of time, so we'll see. I'm tenatively thinking of Saturday/Sunday nights that don't have raids associated with them. Perhaps AV one night and AB/WSG the other.

A fellow officer is taking care of scheduling and leading the raids. I believe we'll be looking at one per week on a Friday-Sunday night. As we don't have enough 60's in guild anymore to fill a 20 man, we will be relying on our alliance with the Knights of Valor to fill our runs.

So yeah, at lot to keep track of...

Friday, September 22, 2006


Okay, so we ran Stockades a couple nights ago and I ended up bringing Daroul, my level 24 (at the time) Warrior. I don't think I've played him in several months and I've never used him to tank in a group. It was certainly a learning experience. I don't think I did bad job either. I was able to keep mobs on me 90% of the time and the only deaths we had came from unmanagable adds. We had one wipe from an accidental Psychic Scream, but we recovered well. Anoth thing that added to the general stress of the run was most people in the party were playing classes they were unfamiliar with in groups. A couple of mages who weren't sheeping adds (corrected halfway through, CC FTW), the priest was attempting to DPS rather than focus on healing (again corrected quickly), and just general carlessness. Both Dextren and Bazil were prox aggroed by someone other than me and I quite a few times I was unable to get Aggro on mobs before the mass DPS started. Not anything that was unusual, but certainly an educational experience. More later...

Horde Ho!

So, I've been at a conference this week. Thankfully the hotel has wireless internet connection so I haven't been suffering too much. Weird part of out of town conferences is that they run from 8:00 to ~4:30. Like we're supposed to find something to do in the middle of nowhere. Luckily Warcraft kept me company. So, getting to the point of the post, Wifey and I created new Undead toons to level together. We've tried that before, but I'm always ended up leveling them without here and then the level discrepency is too high to group. However I think this will work better. All my other Horde toons are Orc or Tauren, so the starting areas will fresh/new. Anyway Wifey rolled a Priest and I'm on the Warrior. So a good combination.

I've got to say that starting over was nice. Don't get me wrong, I love my guild, but it was nice just having my Wife and I. I'd say that every other time I log on I wind up helping someone with something, which isn't a problem, but when you just want to unwind and play it gets in the way. So, while we have a guild on Dunemaul I'm not sure I'll be adding these toons to it. I think it might be nice to just have an unknown toon to play when I don't to deal with people (aside from my wife).

Monday, September 18, 2006

Necklace debate

Now, Saturday Night in LBRS Talisman of Evasion dropped and as I have Abyssal War Beads, I passed. The other rogue already had it so I figured it would go for DE. To my surprise the group leader insisted I loot it and most of the raid (yeah, 10 60's on LBRS, went quick :P) thought it was an improvment for me. I guess I really don't see that as an improvement. In fact I used to use Talisman of Evasion and replaced it with Abyssal War Beads. Here's the stats for the link lazy out there:

Abyssal War Beads
+15 Stamina
+20 AP
Talisman of Evasion
+13 Agility
+1% Dodge

Normally I prefer to Agility to AP, but in this case I see the Abyssal War Beads as clearly superior due to the Stamina bonus. As most of what I do with Sakuran is instances, I see 150 extra HP as worth more than 1% dodge by a significant margin. If I end up with Aggro, I want to make sure I survive it and I see alot more added security from 150 HP than +1% dodge, well 1.5% with the AGI. Oh, and for those of you who reference AEP, Abyssal War Beads = 25 and Talisman of Evasion = 13.

Abyssal Leather Leggins of Overexposure

Well, got some new stuff for Sakuran over the weekend. I picked up the Abyssal Leather Leggings of Striking, which are 1) very nice and 2) a little too revealing. They basically look like two leather ovals stapped to the front of the thighs and nothing else. I'm just glad that Sak is a NE female and not, say, a Dwarven male. Still, feel kinda odd running around as a half naked girly. A step up from the ugliness (in appearence, not stats) that was the Devilsaur set.

Now, the Devilsaur set is a very nice set, and has served me well. In fact, I was hesitant to replace it at all. However, I've had my Darkmantle Gloves sitting in my bag for a bit and was simply looking for some better pants. Yes, the +2% hit (15 AEP) is nice, and going to be missed. Now this is not a AEP based decision, as losing the set bonus points outweigh the gains on the indivual items. Worth noting is that my talent build includes +5% to hit already, so that 2% hit is white damage only, I'll still not miss with specials.

I don't see all +hit as the same. After the first 5% I see it's value as significantly lower, perhaps 1/3 as important as that first 5%. With that logic (faulty as it may be), the set bonus only translates to 5 AEP.

For completeness sake:
Abyssal Leather Leggings of Striking = 51 AEP
152 Armor
+15 Strength
+15 Agility
+15 Stamina
+1% Crit
Devilsaur Pants = 48 AEP
148 Armor
+12 Stamina
+46 AP
+1% Crit


Darkmantle Gloves = 39 AEP
108 Armor
+12 Strength
+22 Agility
+9 Stamina
Devilsaur Gauntlents = 35 AEP
103 Armor
+9 Stamina
+28 AP
+1% Crit

Thursday, September 14, 2006

1-59 vs 60

As any Warcraft player who's hit 60 can attest, the game changes. And this isn't new information. I know that as long as I've been reading about WoW that's been a topic of discussion. The purpose of this post is try and identify, from my perspective, what those differences are how a player addresses them.

1-59 the grind
When you start the game and get familiar with it you have one ultimate goal: XP. Sure the methods of getting XP differ and can be fun in their own right, but it all boils down to XP. I'll go kill this mob or collect these drops for an NPC and I'll get XP along the way. Ultimately I'll get a few levels and move onto other NPC's that'll offer me the same thing. Occasionally you'll get the opportunity to get some nice items, but that is really secondary to the whole XP thing.

The nice thing about XP is that it's a time sink. If I invest enough time in questing or grinding I'll get a level. With that level comes talent points, new skills (evens only), new weapons and armor I can use, etc. So you get rewarded for investing time in questing or grinding. You can even get XP for PvP with the token turn ins. All of these things are very solo friendly. While you can get nice blues from instances, it'll still be eclipsed by the greens that drop commonly in another 5-6 levels.

60 End Game
The thing that I noticed most when I hit 60 was that the only way to improve my character was by improving my gear. Now there are a lot of ways that one can get gear at 60. PvP, raiding, reputation, instancing, etc. However you no longer can count on gains from a simple investment in time. Aside from grinding reputation almost everything you do to get better gear involves a group and involves a chunk of committed time. For a lot of people, myself included, that's a significant barrier. I would not be surprised if I spend as much time in game as many 'hard-core' raiders, but my time is rarely garaunteed to be uninterrupted. With a wife and small child, I have a many significant RL responsibilities that require my attention and certainly interfere with my ability to be part of an instance or raid.

What this realization meant for me is that I play my "Main" less that I play my non-60 alts. All my toons are in the same guild and the only time I really log Sakuran is if I know there's a instance going on and I think RL can wait for a bit (AKA they're asleep), otherwise I grind Laic, Repentant, or Didgeridoo as that game can easily be in 15 minute chunks.

What do I think Blizzard could do to improve this situation? Simple make more loot obtainable through quests that don't require you to step into an instance. Now, I'm not asking that the gear you can obtain be better or even equal to what you can get inside an instance, but at least make it worthwhile. From the perspective of my main, the only gear improvements I have ahead of me are in instances. Most of my Tier 0 could be considered an improvement (all BoP from here) and even the 'casual-friendly' updrades to Tier .5 require the freaking 45 minute Baron run (yeah, right) and UBRS.

Not that I'm griping about that, but I'm just really amazed at how much my play style has changed since I dinged. Now, admittedly, when Burning Crusade comes out we'll have 10 more leves of that first game, which should also take around as long as the 1-59 originally took. If Blizzard stick to their expansion a year plan perhaps my end-game woes will be less fequent than my 'instant' gratification of the grinding game.

So, until next time I'll be grinding my alts :P

Grrr @ Goldsellers

/rant true
Okay, I have the silly little Google ads, mostly for humor value. Reading the information on it they'll only send you a check once you're earned $100. Realistically I suppose that could happen in 2034. However, I'm opposed to gold selling and have worked to keep my ads free of that. So I'll ban the sites that are selling it whenever I can. That being said these guys are like the little fuzzy things on StarTrek that multiply and take over the ship. I'll call them Furbies (do to my dislike of them) though I know that is incorrect. So I notice that the Furbies are back and I ban them and two days later all my ads are Furby related again. Frustrating.....
/rant false

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Life at ANC

Life at ANC

Buddy of mine just started his own blog. While not Warcraft related, I know Bilder through WoW as we're both members of CotL. So hit him up and show support!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Discord, pt 2.

Okay, I set up Discord on my laptop last night and it was a lot less painful than I expected. Before logging into WoW I coppied the addons from my desktop to my laptop (rather than re-download). I also copied the settings from the saved variables folder on my desktop, this let me avoid having to set up all my bars/unit frames/art/etc. again. Of course the aspect ratio on my laptop is different from my desktop so I sill had to move some stuff around, but it was very painless. One thing that I did and hadn't done before was set up my chat windows the way I like and then copy the Chat Chache and I think Layout files from one characters saved variables and paste into each other characters. I don't know why I had never thought to do this before with all the various chat frame setups I've had. Still need to remember to post a screen shot while I'm at home as I can't while at work. Of course I'd much rather be playing WoW when I'm at home... I can quit anytime, honest :P

Thursday, September 07, 2006


Okay, took the plunge and installed all the Discord mods. Action Bars, Unit Frames, Frame Modifier, Art, and Minipanels. Will eventually get around to playing with Group Buttons. My first victim was Sakuran. Ended up with a very nice UI with a couple of neat features. Have two bars that interchange based on whether I'm in or out of combat, very nice. My main bar has all my main attacks and finishers. I need to setup a fouth bar for tradeskills, just haven't got around to it yet. Next step is to modify it to Repentant and Laic. Both should be somewhat challenging as Repentant is a healer and will need to incorporate Group Buttons (or maybe just stick with Benecast) and Laic has all his traps/aspects/tracking to incorporate.

What's kept me from using it till now is my concern about how it'll screw up playing on multiple machines. I primarily play on my desktop but do a far bit on laptop. In addition I sometimes play on my fathers laptop when I'm over at his house. Setting everything up on three computers will suck, but thus far I think the benefits will outway the cons.

Stormrage down, to Dunemaul I go!

Okay so Stormrage is down as of midnight last night till noon tomorrow. 36 hours offline! So, that means I'm off to the magical land of Dunemaul. Didgeridoo my level 23 Taruen Shaman will get the dust blown off of him. Played him for a bit over lunch and I'd honestly forgot the simply pleasure of Frost Shock and big two-handed hammers (guess who's Enhancement Spec). Hopefully some of my buds will log on tonight and maybe get a group going. Though I'm fairly certain that I'm well above them in levels. We started the guild on Dunemaul just as a distraction from CotL, so I don't think many are near me in level. But either way, will be a nice change of pace.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

First shot at a BC Combat Swords Rogue


Okay, I had originally seen my self going for a 20/41/0 build, but after looking at the pst 31 point talents I'm less than impressed. Particularly unimpressed with the WORTHLESS 41 point Combat talent. So now I'm looking to putting much more points in Assassination. I've always liked the idea of a Seal Fate build and now may get the chance to play it. I would ideally like to go 5/5 in Seal Fate, but am not sure where to shave points out of my Combat Tree. I suppose I could shave 1 point out of Dual-Weild Specialization and one from Sword Specialization, but am not sure if the extra 40% chance (to make it 100%) is worth the drop in white damage. Suppose I'll have to run the numbers. That, however, is a task for another day.