Slow week

•March 4, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Hmm, between my looming finals and the less than fascinating PTR, I guess you could say I’ve been a bit uninspired as of late.  However, I thought it would be a nice gesture to throw something up here in a vain effort to entertain whomever may stumble across this.

The PTR’s are looking interesting, if not entirely enthralling.  I’m still reserving serious judgment as things seem to be changed and tweaked daily.  Let us not forget that currently on the PTR shadowform remains bugged and the post-3.1 shadow priest DPS hasn’t even begun to be truly tested.  I’m still remaining optimistic about the shadowform changes and I look forward to the final build of this PTR to see how everything evens out.  At least we know that the devs are trying to buff us, even minimally.  I figure even if things aren’t stellar for shadow priests on PTR, the live Ulduar runs will point out any of our remaining flaws.

In entirely unrelated news: my guild continues to apathetically throw themselves at Sarth 3D.  I say apathetically due to the poor attendance and lack of genuine passion most of our newer raiders bring.  We got some of our closest attempts this week (wiped while the third drake was sitting at 45%) but we couldn’t rally the troops for a second night of attempts and ended up 20 manning Sarth 2D.  Despite reports that Ulduar is actually rather easy, I still find myself expecting something of a challenge.  At any rate, it will be interesting to see how some of my guildmates will react when faced with bosses who – even on “easy” mode – don’t just fall over and spit up loot.

I suppose that’s all for now.  I’ll leave you with this video of a some TCG in game loot in action.  (I lol’d)

~Mairy Scary


Ulduar and beyond!

•February 24, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Critting dots, speccing into DP, and no more Blackout (oh my)!

Honestly, I don’t even know where to start with this stuff. First, I suppose, I feel it necessary to fulfill my duty as perpetual negative Nancy and remind everyone that our buffs (I’m choosing to see them as buffs at any rate) are nothing when compared to the nice changes warlocks are seeing. However, I am pleased.

One of my long standing critiques on the shadow spec is that our tree was boring. There was one cookie cutter PVE DPS spec with little wiggle room, but even then we had two points left over which were virtually useless. Thank you Blizz for giving me something (anything) other than imp VE or shadow affinity. Whatever am I referring to? Improved Devouring Plague:

Increases the periodic damage done by your Devouring Plague by 5/10/15%, and when you cast Devouring Plague you instantly deal damage equal to 5/10/15% of its total periodic effect.

Hot right?

Let us not forget the ever adored wretch, our Shadowfiend.  Much love is being thrown his way including higher mana regen, more resistance to AOE affects, better hp scaling and I’ve heard some uncited rumors about him hitting harder.  Of course the latter is just something neat as I tend to use him as a dps boost on fights where I’m running around a lot.  I doubt that with the new meditation (50% mana regen while casting), the new spirit tap (87% mana regen while casting), and the new imp spirit tap (33% mana regen while casting) our mana will be an issue ever again, but it’s a nice trick to have in the bag (not to mention, this will allow poorly geared or fresh 80 shadow priests to join raids and never need to disperse).

More to come of course, I have no doubt that in the next few days we’ll be bombarded with information about gear, stats and set bonuses.

~Mairy Scary

PS: I didn’t mention these tailoring patterns.  They don’t seem amazing to me, but it’s better than nothing.  Cord of the White Dawn, Sash of Ancient Power, Savior’s Slippers, Spellslinger’s Slippers.  All BOE and made with items called “runed orbs.”  While I doubt any of these pieces will be best in slot (or fix the abominable state of the tailoring profession), they’re still better than most things available on live simply because of the extra sockets.

Achievements as progressive content.

•February 20, 2009 • Leave a Comment

On my morning troll route, I came across a rather heated topic on one of my least favorite forums.

While I have opened more than my fair share of content related threads, this one caught my eye because the poster seemed to be taking a stand against all the crying and instead he stated that the content is not too easy (and yes, the fact that he used the word “disingenuous” in his title did seem to give him credibility in my book).  The evidence for his claim relied wholly on the broad assumption that players in blues and greens –  “greenies” as he goes on to call them – cannot easily PuG any raid in Lich King (not even 10 man Vault).  He continues on to insist that the people who complain about the ease of content are in fact the same awful people from vanilla WoW (or are aspiring to be such) who raided for one of two reasons: 1) Reaming people in BGs who obviously did not have access to equal content or 2) standing around any major city and reveling in the attention you received from “greenies.”

I must admit, I found this argument initially compelling – as well as insulting – but it ended, as most angry, self righteous posts do, on a rather immature note that served to negate any valid points the poster sought to make.  There are a few things the poster said which were aimed straight at players like me.  I, like many previously hard core raiders (“massochists” as he calls them), find the content presented on the release of Wrath of the Lich King too easy.  I am in fact a “massochist” in that I truly enjoy slamming myself against a particularly nasty boss for hours, paying hundreds of gold in repairs and then showing up the next night to do it all over again.  Sure it’s frustrating, on many nights it feels pointless, and it is most definately expensive, but it also offers a sense of achievement that I honestly can’t say I have ever felt in the real world.  Seriously, how many of us can say we’ve actually killed a dragon?  Also, there’s a very small, unpleasant part of myself that is probably one of those obnoxious people that uses the game as some form of validation of their 1337ness.  Case in point:  It annoys me to no end that all the off set models look exactly alike and no one can really tell the difference between my uber robe and the crafted BoE epic.

However, I also understand Blizzard’s point of view completely and I do not fault them for making the introductory content too easy.  In fact I applaud them for trying to level the playing field and allowing smaller, less BC progressed guilds, a chance to play along with the most progressed guild on the server.  I await Ulduar impatiently and highly anticipate a genuine challenge.

This isn’t really what I wanted to write about though.  In the subsequent eight pages of response, there were people slamming the OP for being a poorly geared huntard who hasn’t even cleared all content, and likewise there were the friendly forum trolls (I like to call them brownies) who sought to protect the OP by lashing back at the nasty trolls and saying, “Well neither have you!  Look at all your unfinished achievements!”  This launched a fascinating argument about the validity of achievements as content and raised all sorts of questions such as: What defines content? What defines progressive?  And what is necessary to say you’ve completed it all?

Allow me to make my stand very clear from the start:  I do not think achievements equate content.  Not even achievements related to PVE boss kills.  I think the majority of achievements – even the ones tied to actual in game rewards such as mounts, titles and tabards – are the video game equivalent of busy work.  In other words, they’re something Blizzard has given the player community in the hopes that it will keep us busy and out of trouble until they can create something new for us.  I know a lot of people really, genuinely enjoy achievements.  I am not one of them.  I would never farm achievements ever if that silly red proto-drake weren’t attached to them.  On the same note, I thank Blizzard for having the foresight to know that their hard core player base would be bored with the raid conentent approximately one moth after release.  Still, this does not mean achievements are raid content.

Sarth with three drakes is valid and genuine raid content to me.  Sure, there’s an achievement that goes along with it and even a fancy title, but there are also extra drops that can be farmed.  This means to me that Blizzard really did put extra thought into the three drake encounter and they really did design the fight rather than just put some innane challenge at your feet.  I would do this fight even if there were no achievement and no title because it’s an honestly difficult encounter (as of posting, my guild has not yet managed to finish Sarth with three drakes).  Were this fight simply a boss fight +extra adds (much like the achievement in Naxx “Just can’t get enough”) I would probably not enjoy it as much.  The fact that Blizzard took the time to design and balance the Sarth with drakes encounter rather than just make it an add fight validates Sarth and friends as content not just an achievement.

Because I don’t consider achievements content, it’s easy for me to disagree with the nice brownies who use these achievements as a defense to the “Full-LK-Clear! massochists.”  If my guild had Sarth+3D down, I too would claim to have all of LK cleared, despite my lack of “Glory of the Raider,” Immortal, and such.  One of the great things about Lich King is that we all have choices now beyond just PVP or PVE, and I think it’s important – easy raid conent or not – to acknowledge Blizzard’s move forward with their game development.

~Mairy Scary

Love is all we need.

•February 19, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Ah the shadow priest.  A common sight in the lowbie pvp brackets, in lowbie instance LFG, in lowbie gear, in the AH (searching for lowbie gear) and even commonly on the streets of Dalaran (don’t worry, I won’t say it).  However, I find myself wondering with growing concern:  Shadow priests, where you at?  Sure they’re (quite literally) all over the place while leveling or playing casually and even in some PvP circles, but their numbers in the raiding guilds on my server (Emerald Dream) are dwindling.  Hmm perhaps I am being too harsh and quick to judge.  Allow me to rephrase:  quality shadow priests are rare in the raiding guilds on my server.

It can be argued that quality anyone is rare to find nowadays.  The content is easy, epics are free and it’s so tempting to watch Rock of Love while we try to pull of the latest Patchwerk kill in record time.  Even so, every guild as a handful of DK’s, the obligatory quadrant of ret pallies, feral druids are a rare breed but then they always were, and so on so forth.  It seems on my server that no respectable guild runs any more than two shadow priests a night, not out of necessity for raid balance, simply because they don’t have any more.  Ever so slowly, I’m beginning to see that my world has turned on its side while I was sleeping.

Remember Kara?  “Yoz, can you healz fur meh?”  “Nah, I r teh shadow pew pew lulz.”  I fear… No I cannot say… But I must.  I fear that they have all gone away, lured into the abyss of shields, bubbles and procs that is disc.  True story.

Of course we have not lost only our shadow brethren to the inticing world of the disc priest, plenty of holy priests have gone that way too.  I begin to fear the future.  I can see it now, the forums are dead or dying.  Raids are all full with replenishment and passive health gains from the numerous and prolific classes that have come to take our spot.  The only clothies to crow over the melee dps on Grobb are mages and locks (and that one annoying disc priest who refuses to acknowledge that she was brought along to heal, not smite spam the bosses *cough*).  And I, shadow to the death, I am sitting alone in the Purple Parlor begging a few silver off passerbys in a feeble attempt at filling the void that has been created.

Then again, I’ve always wanted to be the last Mimsy.

~Mairy Scary

Shall we dance?

•February 15, 2009 • 2 Comments

Warlock: So, you pumped for 3.1?!

Mairy: Why?  Should I be?

Warlock: Class changes brosef!  Personally, I’m not so sure how I feel about the changes to the Affliction tree.  As a raiding aff. lock, I think that they Siphon Life changes may gimp us a bit, but the other things they’ve posted all look really nice, so ya know it should balance out.  All in all there are really interesting things to consider.  Oh!  Not to mention the added Replenishment talent in the destro tree!  Maybe I’ll finally be able to go back to nuking this stuff… I do so miss my shadow bolt crits… Remember that one on Brut?!  Man I almost peed myself…

Mairy: …

Hunter: And did you hear about the changes to ammo?  I mean sure it won’t be a dps upgrade –

Everyone: LIKE YOU NEED ONE!!!

Hunter: Shut up… As I was saying, it doesn’t affect dps but maybe now I can afford to buy those raid consumables everyone’s always talking about!

Mairy: You all use exclamation points far too often.

Warrrior:  Stop complaining, dispersion or whatever is going to remove snare effects.

Mairy:  Yes, because I find when I’m being two shot by a pally/dk/hunter/shaman/mage/warrior (you get the idea) it’s in actuality the fact that I’m snared that is my demise.  Not to mention the snare removal I already have with imp. shadowform.

Warrior:  Grumpy…

Mairy: I will destroy you.

Mage: Wait… were we talking?

Warlock: No, go back to sleep.

Disc. Priest 1:  Mass…

Disc. Priest 2: Shield!

Disc Priest 1&2: ^.^

(Genuine opinions to come later when I see what hasn’t been beaten to death by the currently existing blog community.  ~Mairy Scary)

Let there be…

•February 12, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Something or other.

Really this post is serving the purpose of all first posts: I’m testing the waters.  Oh sweet blog community do not forsake me.  Anyway, notes on today.  Ready, steady…

Today began the group-loving hippy-fest that is WoW’s Valentine’s day celebration.  Now I know, I know… Valentine’s day is a creation of Hallmark!  Stupid holiday for stupid people with stupid hearts and stupid candy… Well actualy, I’ll take the candy, but everything else can take a long walk off a short peir!  *Numerous other jaded and caustic rants about holidays full with hearts and glitter and teddy bears.*  That all aside, I have to admit I love this holiday!  It’s like christmas ever hour on the hour!  Am I going to get a lovely black dress?  I dont know… MAYBE!  It’s all very exciting, especially since my sensibility goes out the window the second someone says “gifts.”  I spent the better part of the day chasing down gifts of adoration and throwing friendship bracelets around like they were a cure for the economy (c wut i did thar?).  Currently I’m writing this while flying from Naxx to the Eye of Eternity and as of right now… I’m one achievement away from the completed meta-achievement.  Huzzah!

Now I know “the Love Fool” may not be a particularly flattering title – especially given the sullen and dispassionate nature of my shadow priest – but lets look at the big picture here!  Violet proto-drake.  That is all.  I’ll admit, I got on the bandwagon (or boat as the case may be) late.  I missed planning for the brew of the month club last Brewfest, I didn’t complete the Winter’s Veil achievements and I’ve been wallowing in a general pool of achievement apathy until the truth finally sunk in:  I will NEVER have the red proto-drake.  I don’t have the fan base, much less the patience to make this possible.  Despite my nearly fanatic desperation for the red prot-drake (seriously, don’t ask) I’ve settled.

So, what have we all learned from this post?  Valentine’s day… Celebration of love, friendship, chalky heart candy demanding that “I WUV U”?  Nope, not at all.  Celebration of second best and settling.  You can quote me on it.

~Mairy Scary