Wednesday, April 7, 2010

102 Post!

It appears in the delight of talking about Fallen Earth, I failed to notice that I hit the 100 post milestone! While doubtful, we'll see if I can hit 200 posts by the end of the year. In order to get that, I need some fodder suggestions to talk about. What would you like me to focus on?

Board Games?
Fallen Earth?
World of Warcraft?
Dungeons & Dragons Online?

Milestones are overrated anyways.

Suck One, Marrowgar!

Just a quick hit here. Last night we did a partially impromptu ICC-10, and did some very messy 1-shots until the abom twins. I blame myself for two of the wipes on Festergut (poorly timed Hymn of Hope on killed the tank and I got overwhelmed healing and let a ranged die, boo me).

I was impressed, because one of our good friends who hadn't stepped foot into ICC was tanking. He's great and all, just didn't know the fights.

I figured it would be a long night when he dropped on Marrowgar from fire...

But somehow the other tank solo'd Marrowgar - with only two healers! I kind of want to try disc, but I blew my Guardian Spirit every transition back to tanking. I don't know if Pain suppression would have been enough to get through it, but I might be wrong.

Anyways, grats Omnyknight, for solo tanking Marrowgar!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

A New Frontier - Fallen Earth

The website I've been writing for was looking for someone to do a review of Fallen Earth. One of the editors met with the creators of FE, and they are excited about a number of new features on the game. I signed up, and with my history in MMORPGs (and my promptness in replying), I received a 30 day trial of the game to review.

Fallen Earth has been in production since 2003, and finally was released in the fall of 2009. They stepped on the third rail of MMORPGs - futuristic simulation with guns. Tabula Rasa crashed and burned, despite (or perhaps because of) the big name behind the game.

I've played the game for about 15-20 hours so far, and I must say, I am impressed. The game is vast with essentially no fast travel. Combat is interesting and guns are well scaled with melee (in PvE). The crafting system is very deep and fairly complex, without limiting what the players can do. A few novel developments (crafting while off line, care and feeding of mounts) separate the game from other MMOs, but they keep all the concrete elements of MMOs.

Icarus Studios did a few things that other game studios should look to follow in the future.

First, they took a long time. It took six years to release this game - more than Mythic took to release WAR, more than Cryptic took to release Champions Online and Star Trek Online combined. They put in the hours to actually complete a finished game, without pressuring themselves to release early in order to get some income from the game.

Second, they didn't come into the game with a chip on their shoulder. They didn't flash any big names or special IP. They simply wanted to work hard to do something that hasn't been done before (or at least, done well before).

I expect a lot from this game. There's a number of free trials out there for the game, so if you're a fan of post-apocalyptic games, I suggest trying this one out. The learning curve is a little slow, and picking the wrong starting town can really put a damper on the game, but I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Freeing Feeling of Playing One Toon

For those unaware, I have made my priest my one and only raiding character. I had been spending too much time gearing up multiple toons, so I focused on my priest. The only time I log on the other toons is for professions, usually for my priest. I spent the mage and warriors badges to get some saronite for crafted pants and boots.

I feel free.

I'm actually doing some PvP now. I forced myself to go Holy for raiding, but I sucked it up and did a Disc Smite build for PvP. It works pretty well, I tend to get a fair share of KBs, and I can burst heal like no body's business. This is great for BGs, where I can heal if there are only a couple of healers, but if we have too many healers, I can start throwing 4k smites.

There's a whiner in our guild about people using PvP gear in raids. He seems to forget the fact that a 31 ilvl difference is significant, even if you waste itemization on resilience. I was padding my GS to get in the raid with 4 PvP items (Relentless cloak, Wrathful bracers, Relentless belt, SP Battlemasters Trinket), and according to the Recount Effective Heals/GS, I was still performing extremely well.

I also tend to think that PuGs with PvP gear usually have better spacial awareness. But, since everyone can get PvP gear with Wintersgrasp, I guess at the very least it gives them more stamina, which gives them more time to get out of the fire.

Also, as a distraction, I downloaded DDO and plan on giving it a shot. And if I think the game is good enough, maybe I'll throw some money at Turbine.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

One Profession to Rule Them All: Tailoring

Ok, so 3.3.3 hit, and I'm excited. I recently made my priest my main, and this gave me a chance to spam make all the moonshroud I needed for crafted items, so my guild will let me raid (more on that later).

As I was standing in Shattrath making my moonshroud, I noticed something amazing. For those of you who weren't tailors, there was a seemingly pointless buff you used to get when you crafted specialty cloth. Here are the links.

Spellweave - Nexus Residue (20 Haste)
Ebonweave - Residue of Darkness (20 Crit)
Moonshroud - Moonshroud Residue (20 hp5/mp5)

Well, as I was making it in Shattrath, I noticed that I was still getting the buff, over and over again. It used to be a buff you got once every 4 days, in the middle of dragonblight. While it's not a huge buff, you can now do it anytime, anywhere, without a cooldown.

For example, you can do it when you're staring down the Lich King on heroic mode.

Tailoring used to be a competitive profession for casters, but now that you can stack all three of these residues for attempts on hardmode bosses it is a clear winner. And when you're done, you can just sell the cloth for the price of the mats and do it again.

So, if you're a caster class going for hardmodes, I suggest power-leveling tailoring to get the most out of your class. At least until Blizzard knocks it back in line with the other professions.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

3.3.3 Can Eat One

WTH Blizzard? You've had that background downloader on for the past week and you don't deliver my new patch? My priest just hit 80, and I was expecting to welfare out some serious Runed Orb/Crusader orb gear using the essentially free Moonshroud that comes when you lift the CDs off tailoring.

Now I'm in the strange situation where I can either shell out some gold to get one piece now, or not raid ICC 10 at full strength this week (read: not raid ICC 10 at all this week).

Way to get my hopes up, Jackholes.

Brought to you by Whiny Post Day.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

It's Boring out Here (Link Love)

Sorry for the lack of posts in the last week. We've been doing our normal, 6/13 ICC 10 man, with nothing new to report. I wanted to try to go back to my arcane spec, as I was somewhat sad about my damage, but I was cornered into ice, as I was the only source of replenishment.

I do have to report that my Priest is now 80, and I'm gearing him up for raiding as Holy. Our guild lacks good raid healers, so I figured it would be worth it.

My priest was my first 70 when I started playing the game in TBC. I rolled priest, fully intent on healing, as my previous experience in MMOs was playing a monk/mesmer healer in Guild Wars. I did everything I could, to make sure I was ready, including getting my tailoring up so I could craft Primal Mooncloth items, and at 69, my guild told me "GG, you're our shadow priest lol." As a good little soldier, I did everything to become the best mana battery possible, and I did a pretty decent job, if I say so myself.

By the time wrath rolled around, the changes to replenishment made me kind of sad, so I decided to take my warrior as my main, until I found out the guild needed a mage.

Sukutaklu, the Troll, is back in action and looking to finally get a real shot at healing. Despite my low gear score (sporting nothing higher than ilvl 200 epics), I was able to raid heal through all the bosses in VoA with no deaths (and yes, I was healer 2, not healer 3)!

And I wouldn't have been able to do it without the help from Bloggers like Miss Medicina at Miss Medicina, Amber at I Like Bubbles, and notTamarindlol (his ubersecret name change) and Chas (not actually sure what class he is) at Righteous Orbs (recently added to the reader).

So consider this a link love post from a long time stalker who's finally getting to use some of the stuff you all talk about.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

What's the Size of Your R-Peen

Recently, there's been an uprising that I've seen from people in various LARP and Video games.  These people seem to have this idea that the way they're playing a game is right and the way someone else plays the game is wrong.

People make all kinds of justifications for why nerf and buffs should or should not happen.  A lot of responses are "don't worry, it's not a problem if people don't Power Game," or "There's an RP way to deal with it."  All of these arguments are intended to be a social way to bully people from playing the game they want to play.

Friday, March 5, 2010

LARP in Your Backyard

One of the hardest things about finding a LARP group to join in the US is location.  The United States is a big place, and you would often have to drive hours to get to a game.

Even though I am blessed to be in Ohio, which unbeknownst to me could the Mecca of LARPing (I checked and found about 35 groups in a 5 hour radius), sometimes you just want to play in your backyard.

Originally, your only option was to play your own spin-off or rule set to run, but then the game seemed like a played out D&D session, and it only ever meant something to you and your friends.

However, there is a new game out there that supports people playing in the backyard while simultaneously interacting with people around the globe.

I introduce you to - The Dreaming

Half Boffer LARP, Half Social Networking.

The jist of the game is that you exist in a world of "wakes", who think they're awake, even though they're part of the dream.  You, however, play a denizen of the dreaming, anything from a Dead God to tricky Fae.

The game hasn't really started yet, but we're going to give it a go and see what happens.  If you're interested in something like this, check out the web page and see if anyone around you is playing.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

ICC-10 Fo' Mages: Festergut and Rotface

A while back I did a piece about the first four bosses in ICC. My guild hasn't progressed much farther in it for various reasons, but I can give a bit of information on the bosses I have seen.

This set will be focused on Festergut and Rotface (more like Festernuts and Rottencrotch, Amirite?)

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Proper Use of Cold Snap

I've been trying my best to make frost work lately.  The biggest thing is that I want to be prepared for when the patch comes out.  I did a ToC 25 and ended up at a solid 5th place as frost, despite no shaman and no crit chicken to give me buffs.  Beat out the other mages as well, rocking between 5k and 6k DPS (save for gimmick fights where damage was higher).

The real trick to playing frost is maintaining the priority system and responding quickly.  It's been a long time since I played fire, so I wasn't responding fast enough at first.  Cold Snap is a tricky bitch that has caught me a number of times.  Here's how you use it.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Fix My Glyph of Frostbolt!

I've been doing my raiding as frost for the past few weeks. At first, I made a frost spec for kiting on Saurfang and I just lingered in it as long as possible until our RL realized the water elemental was out and made me change to arcane.

I've found that in Icecrown, I don't bother glyphing for Frostbolt. There are too many fights where being able to slow things with a frostbolt is valuable (Lady Deathwhisper, Saurfang, Valithria, and possibly Rotface/Putricide). I just can't justify a 3.5% increase to dps (about 175 DPS) to lose that versitility.

I would love to see Blizzard change the downside to the frost glyph and give me my snare back. I understand it's intended to keep the 5% increase in damage out of PvP, but I've got a different idea to fix that.

Make the Glyph of Frostbolt give 5% extra damage to Frostbolt when the Water Elemental is out.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Frozen Orb Blitz

There's been a lot of talk about the new 3.3.3 patch coming out soon.  On top of the buffs to frost mages and massive PvP overhaul, there will be a new vendor in the game.  What's he want?

Frozen Orbs

Yes, the things that have been filling our bags giving us nothing to do will be the new hotness.  You will be able to exchange them for a number of things.

4 Frozen Orbs for 1 Runed Orb
6 Frozen Orbs for 1 Crusader Orb
1 Frozen Orb for an Eternal Shadow, Life, Fire, Earth, Water, or Air.
1 Frozen Orb for 1 Frost Lotus
6 Frozen Orbs for a Frosty Flying Carpet Pattern

There's been a lot of doomsday about what is going to happen to the economy due to this change.  Here are my predictions.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Good Game, I Lose

Last night, we were running ToC-25, and we didn't have enough people to do it as a guild. We pugged about 1/3 of the people and had little to no issues. Except for me - I got all pissy and left. Why?

My guild was bullying the PuGs.

We have a DKP system that we run by, and it gets very interesting with people not in the guild. Basically, everyone who wants main spec on an item rolls, and if a guild person wins, it goes to the guildie with the highest DKP. Normal stuff. The problem we run into is people rolling for items they're not going to need. This was most apparent on the Trophies.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

LARP, American Style

LARPing is way more prominent and more socially acceptable in Europe. There could be a lot of different reasons, but I would most likely blame it on the culture shock in the US around LARPing.

I'm sure everyone's read the nerd heirachy in some form or another, and it almost always has LARP at the bottom of the barrel.  I tend to disagree.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Pete and Repeat

Question: Pete and Repeat are on a boat. Pete falls off, who is left?

Answer: /ignore

This little gem, and others like it, have plagued the general chat in ICC on our server. It gets pretty ridiculous at times and I can't bring myself to leave the channel (I'm a glutton for punishment).

Do other servers have the same issue? What spam do you see in the general channels for ICC?

Monday, February 15, 2010

EVE Online: Guide for Newbies

I am quickly closing in on the end of the free trial that I got with EVE Online. I must say that it was a lot of fun and I'm seriously considering paying for the full version of the game. It has a harsh learning curve, as others have noted, but once you have the basic mechanics down, it shouldn't be that hard. Hell, 14 days in and I've almost got my first Cruiser!

Here are some points that I think new players would find useful if they were starting EVE Online.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Yo, We heard you like to blog about EVE...

So we put a browser in yo' game so you can blog about EVE while you blog about EVE. Or something to that effect.

So I haven't had a whole lot of time in EVE Online yet, but I have found one feature that is amazing for the kind of gameplay this game uses.

In-Game Browser

Here I am, shuffling silicon between bases so I can get out of this rusted out piece of shit, and instead of being bored out of my mind, I can surf the internet and even make this post you're reading now!

Well, looks like the prices just went up, so I have to check for trade somewhere else.

More to come!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Valithria Dreamwalker for Mages

Don't die, go frost, and two words for you.

Amplify Magic.

'Nuff Said.

Good Time to Game

I'm completely baffled on what game to play next.

There was a time a few years ago, where the stars aligned and a bunch of great games came out around the same time. It's like Hale-Bopp or Haley's Comet, coming back every few years to greet you with some spectacular game choices.

Leading off, we've got Bioshock 2 and Mass Effect 2. I believe those were two of the games that came out the first time, but they're back and ready for action. Some other great titles coming out around the same time were Army of Two: The 40th Day, Bayonetta and Darksiders. If all I played was Xbox 360, I'd still have a hard time deciding what to play.

I started playing Eve, which is tough but fun. STO didn't turn out to be as big a mess as Champions, so that could be fun to try as well.

I may be suffering from withdrawal due to work on the kitchen, but at least I know I'll be able to fall off the wagon and overdose on some proper games when it's done.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Off The Grid

I've been out of the loop for about a week. We've recently decided to redo our kitchen, and with all the minor problems along the way a four day job quickly turned into an eight day job. Well worth it though.

For all of those who partake in the great Lowe's v. Home Depot debate, I've recently changed sides due to the update of our kitchen. I used to be a diehard Lowe's supporter, but after receiving the absolute worst customer service ever, I've seen the light and I'm now a Home Depot guy.

Here's the quick version.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Ensidia Redux

A supposed member of Ensidia gave an Anonymous post at, stating how Ensidia acted with respect to the bug how this player was sorry for what was done.

If the guy is a fraud, this post means nothing.  If this guy truly is a member of Ensidia, it simply supports the argument that Ensidia should not have been banned - that a less harsh penalty should have been enforced.

I'm sticking with my guns here.  I understand in the past, Ensidia should have wiped the encounter and reported the bug.  No big deal - in the past.

Lich King is an encounter with limited attempts, Blizzard.  You wanted this.  You are now actually penalizing players for acting with a conscious, because wiping from a bug removes an attempt they could have possibly had on the encounter.

Is Ensidia being shady about what they did?  Yes.  But this is not like the analogies being made by people in the thread.  The set up for the encounter and the limited attempts makes this event less like being pulled over for speeding.  Blizzard caught Ensidia by entrapment.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Ensidia Debate

For those of you living under a rock, the mighty Ensidia downed Arthas in 25-man ICC, giving them the world first kill that counts the most in the history of World of Warcraft. They were then subsequently stripped of their title and banned for 3 days for exploiting the encounter.

Here was the issue.
In the fight with Arthas, one of the mechanics is that the floor slowly gives way, reducing the room available for the raid to stand, eventually killing the raid. There turned out to be a bug where saronite bombs would actually heal the floor, thus giving more time with floor present. I will point out that rogues competing at the top level of content are expected to use saronite bombs, as they are a DPS increase and are therefore part of their rotation.

I am not an Ensidia Fanboi, but I'm siding with them on this one. Why?

Persistent Worlds

I had an interesting conversation at our weekly D&D session. One of my friends recetly got STO and was telling us about the game. I'm still not really sold. From what I heard, and what he described, I could see it getting old very fast - much like Champions Online. In fact, I liked the hero genre more than Star Trek, so I would probably quit STO faster than I did Champions.

As an aside, I thank Champions for the fact that it got me started in blogging, and even then I spent more time on my blog posts then I spent in the game.

Anyways, the conversation went like this (paraphrased, because I'm not a stenographer).

Me: After all the hype about STO, I went straight to my computer... and downloaded EVE Online.
Him: EVE isn't worth it. You do just as much playing the game as when you're not. You can't skill up faster.
Me: It's not about skills, it's about money [ISK]. It can be about money because the world is persistent.
Him: Yeah, good luck trying to pilot a Titan with money.

Monday, February 1, 2010

What Do You Look for in a Main Tank?

Sundays are 25 man VoA/Ony/ToC. Our guild is not skilled enough for ICC 25 quite yet, so we keep pounding content we know we can do in an hour or two. No big deal right?

We had a hell of a time raiding last night. We wiped on Jaraxxus twice, Anub twice, and ony once. It was three hours start to finish, and on top of that it just wasn't fun.  Our MT/GL started by saying "I don't feel like tanking. I don't want to think so I'm going to DPS." There are so many things wrong with that statement.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Show Some Respect

Blessing of Kings had a post about how Gevlon was right, that people tend not to play to their full potential. In addition, there is a social contract preventing us from telling people what they did wrong and how they should play the game.

Let's take the situation of a comment from Kring.

"You did not touch the question why they have to be better players.  You don't play WoW to finish it, you play it to pass time, to have fun.  If just casting frost bolts and not reading EJ is fun to you, what's wrong with that? Why do they have to be better?  Why do you assume it's "helping them" if you send them to EJ (where they'll get an infraction)?"

Thursday, January 28, 2010

10 Factors that Make a Fun Mage Encounter

Spinks at Welcome to Spinksville wrote an interesting post about 10 things that make a fun tanking encounter.  As a tank, I can say that I wholeheartedly agree with every one of those points.  Naxx was filled with a lot of great tanking encounters and most of them had at least one or two of the things he mentioned.  I figured it would only be fair, now that my mage is my main, that I give a list of 10 things that make a fun mage encounter.  Let's make this shit a meme!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Captain Procrastination

Things have been hectic lately. Between travel for work, work around the house, general laziness, and Army of Two: 40th day I haven't posted in a week! Promise it won't happen again (for at least a few more weeks!)

Last night was ICC-10 man with our secondary group. We're still having some issues with coordination on Festergut but we one shot all of the first wing, save a freak healer death on Marrowgar causing a wipe.  I did get a chance to mix the monotony or raiding up a bit.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Dungeon Finder Revisited

So I've been a bit bored as of late. Our guild has some issues with getting through ICC, and I must say, I'm not surprised. We never actually got past Yogg in 10 man Uld and didn't get any further than downing Cat-Lady once in 25. We're hung up on Festerface and Rottcrotch in 10s and we've successfully downed Marrowgar's trash in 25s.

I don't have the time to be a serious raider, and I just haven't been having much fun. I had done some leveling on my shaman in LFG and it's been fun, but there's just so many times I can do SM:Graveyard before punch my monitor in its stupid face.

Then I read this post at Righteous Defense. I was looking for a low level tanking class to play through dungeons, and thanks to his post I made a paladin.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

We are not DPS

Alright, here comes a serious rant. It started when Gevlon was posting about a new business strategy of tanks charging for LFG. I don't think that's a bad idea at all - I would pay to get in a dungeon faster on my mage. My problem is that he assumes that more than half of all DPS, nay half of all players are fail DPS.

Screw that. Don't link those failures to us. Those people are bad, regardless of what they do. If you had no information on the game whatsoever and all your skills said "do x damage," you would assume your job is to do damage.

Analogy Time: You give a completely unskilled person a pot and some ingredients. Naturally, they interpret that thinking they want me to cook, even though they could also clean the pans or eat the food. Those are things that come along with cooking, but aren't obvious based on what they're given. The unskilled person makes some horrible food, and now the whole world is saying that more than half of the cooks are terrible. Sounds ridiculous, right?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Marks - Not Just for Tanks Anymore

I realize that not everyone has a tank. I used to do a lot of tanking back in BC (when it was hard) and I followed religiously, as I wasn't hardcore enough for (and it was blocked at work).

Due to this post Vene made a long time ago, I have always had my raid targets bound. Our raid leader caught on and always made me assist so I could quickly as well as marking on-the-fly. For about a year and a half, my number pad has been bound to marks.

And now, I can use them in every LFG I'm in. One of the most overlooked buffs (I consider it a buff) on the last patch is that in a five man group, everyone can mark. Let that set in for a little bit.

Got a tank who doesn't target the right adds first? Mark for him. Got DPS that go wild and can't assist? Mark skull and they should follow. You can even use it to mark yourself as a healer to let the tank know where you are at all times.

If you're having issues, take hold of the situation and run the marks. If you've bound them, you should be able to do it quickly without stalling the group. Mark before the pull, and people might actually attack the same targets!

In summary, don't complain about your LFG unless you've done absolutely everything in your power to fix the problems - and that includes marking regardless of your role.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Tanks, Healers, and DPS - An Analogy

This post is a response to the Matticus post as well as the FORBEARANCE post on the subject of whether Tanks and Healers should get more gear than DPS.

First off, I will say this. Tanks have always received more gear from raid content, at least up until Wrath. Getting the MT geared up fast was always the strategy, and when tier pieces dropped, they had first dibs on it. In new content, this would even happen when using DKP. I'm bringing this up before hand, as it fits my analogy.

Raiding is a Manufacturing Business.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Dominion - Best Game Ever

I know it's been a while since I last posted. The first reason is that I started posting articles for, a multi-discipline gaming website. They've got areas on MMOs, Console, Table-Top, and LARP games. So far, I wrote an expanded review of Borderlands as well as a few LARP plot tips. If you're interested, check them out here.

The other reason is that I've been away from raiding for the most part. The reason for that?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Idea for an Addon: Gearwhore

Everyone's using gearscore to determine how viable a character is for various raids. I've even seen people looking for gearscore for heroics. While Gearscore is a completely acceptable, accurate, and infallible tool for determining competence, I've decided to make an addon that measures what really counts: how toons look.

I bring you... GEARWHORE

Saturday, January 2, 2010

No Internet, No iPod

Happy New Years! 
I failed hard and forgot to bring my computer and my iPod Touch with me to my parents house.  This has made it very difficult for me to get a post in the last few days.  I wish there was more for me to write about, but at least I got to play a few board games.