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Monthly Archives: February 2010

Snow

This is amazing enough to share.

It started snowing when I left work.  Just a few flakes at first.  By six or so it still wasn’t sticking.  It’s now 7:30 and we’ve got a lot of snow.  By a “lot” I mean a lot for around here, in the Augusta, Ga., area.  It’s never snowed here for me.  It was icy like four or five years ago.  And last year there was this one night were some flakes fell from the sky, but this is downright amazing.

We walked around in it, hearing the snow crunch.  The lovely wife threw a snowball at me.

Hopefully this summer when it’s 105, and 100% humidity, we can remember this and remember it’s been cool before.

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2010 in Screenshots

 

Something new under the sun…

At least under the sewer grates.

The wife and I got our town outfits on and took a ride on the love boat.

I’m impressed by how much new they added to this yearly event.  And a new way of showing your affection for your leaders.  A new boss fight, aka “DPS looking for summons, you must have summons.”  And I picked up the picnic basket.

However, this boat ride through the Undercity tops it.  You can’t do much.  You can’t /kiss for example.  And if you /dance, you’re going to come to pieces.

And I love how the love boats here are modeled on Greek triremes complete with with back swept wings at the prow.

We haven’t seen Stormwind City yet.  They must have something similar.

Nice.  And definitely a reason for getting the finest out of mothballs and showing it off some.

 
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Posted by on February 7, 2010 in Musings

 

Fell out of our chair laughing

Demetri Martin is back with a new season on Comedy Central.  Last night’s “Bruce the Funny Dog” skit had us howling.

It’s dumb, the mustache is dumb, it’s all meant to be dumb, and absolutely hilarious.

“Soccer Clown King?”  Lol.

Comic genius.

P.S. It’s the same kind of humor as when I use my “Jenkins” title sometimes in an instance when it’s going particularly poorly (I expect to die) or we’re doing particularly well (“Let’s do this!”).

 
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Posted by on February 6, 2010 in Musings

 

Don’t waste our time.

So, there I was.  I’d queued my Paladin as Damage.  I don’t queue for “Tank or Damage” since it’s absurd.  The Tank role is so rare, and the Damage role so common, “Tank or Damage” means “Tank.”  Actually, two stories of my instance runs last night, both I’d queued as Damage, both I’d waited the requisite 15 minutes for.

First instance was Violet Hold.  Death Knight tanking.  It went fine.  There were no problems.  Each portal handily cleared.  There were no issues.  We were actually talking.  So we get the boss that transforms into water elementals.  Eichon or something like that?  I’ve encounted him a couple of times before.  You just burn him down when he’s up.  That’s how I’ve always seen it done.  It took a little longer this time.  I was thrown back a few times.  But in the end the boss was dead.  We’re looting.  The Death Knight tank says “That’s what the crystals are for.”  Then he drops group. … “What crystals?”  “Where’s our tank?”

Huh?  We just downed the boss.  Nobody died.  The next portal opens up.  What the hell did the tank just do?  Drop group in a fit of pique?  He got all huffy because we confused him and things didn’t go like he thinks they should have so he craps on the group and bails.  Mid-event?  (The Violet Hold is one protracted event.  It starts and continues until you finish.)  So the Moonkin does his tank imitation.  (Very well too.)  I switch to Prot and don my gear.  (But I don’t remember RF as I rush to the mob group.)  Then, wonder of wonders, a 40k health Warrior joins.  Back to ret, we finish the instance without a hitch, burning down the rest of the place.

Second instance run.  I zone into Utgard Pinnacle.  Another Warrior tank.  Okay.  He’s got the spiffy Tier 9 shoulders.  (Just like I have now for my own tanking set.)  And the Lordaeron shield that drops in Culling of Stratholme.  Some clunky mace.  But, hey, he’s got those shoulders, and that shield.  He must be competent.

Uh no.  “Forgive me, but I’m new to this.”  That’s the tank. … Okay, I’m fine with that.  At least your trying.  You’re putting some nice epics to use.  UP is one of the “training” tanking instances.  Then the healer notes “You’re not def capped.  500 def?”

Say what?  I inspect him myself.  Def helm.  Def shoulders.  Def everything.  Wait.  A slow DPS mace? … I could be helpful and point out they’ve got a nice tanking axe available at the tournament for a mere 25 champions seals.  But then I figure that would just insult him, since he’s obviously been around, and has been to the tournament to get his shoulders.  SURELY he knows he can get  a tanking weapon there too.  I didn’t catch his enchants, but he’d gemmed entirely for stamina.  Blue stam gems all around.  Except he only had 25k health.  … Huh?  He’s got Tier 9 shoulders.  He’s got the Lordaeron shield.  (And, honestly, my Pally’s only got about that health too at the moment, in those same shoulders and the crafted shield.)  But he takes damage like greeks take shots.  Ah, that would be his lack of Defense.  The healer has a heck of a time and bails after the first boss is dead.  (I don’t recall a lot, if any, deaths.)  We wait a bit and another healer joins us.  Two fights in he says, in party chat, “Now I know why the first healer left.”  But, bless his heart, we clear two more bosses.  Then he says “I’ve got to go.” and he drops group.  So we wait for our 3rd healer.  With him in tow we complete the instance by slaying Ymiron.  And the Red Sword of Courage fails to drop.  The Warrior’s disappointed and the group disbands.

Here’s what’s disappointing: YOU FAILED TO COME TO A HEROIC WITH THE PROPER KIT.  C’mon.  We all know tanks need to be Def capped for the serious stuff.  Heroics are the serious stuff.  For Pallies it’s 535 for Heroics, 540 for Raids.  I think it’s the same for Warriors.  He shows up with 500 Def.  And that says to us “You will carry me through this so I can get my loot.  I’m not really interested in your opinion of my gear, you elitist jerk.”  When I get a new piece of gear, particularly a “keeper” like the Deadly Gladiator or Tier 9 stuff, I drop some serious cash in the AH and do the best I can by it.  If I’ve got some blue gems, so be it, BUT AT LEAST I’M DEF CAPPED.  (And on my Ret gear I’m hit capped, and then some.)

Now I think with some skill he could have pulled it off.  (Edit – To be fair, he did.  We completed the instance, all bosses down.  The healers were unhappy with him.  :/  )  But his warbringer charges were in short supply.  He must not have had the thunderclap talent.  He did shockwave a lot.  But me and the Death Knight were pulling aggro off him.  (Couldn’t happen to better plated guys though.)  Skill goes a long way.  BUT AT LEAST COME AS PREPARED AS YOU CAN BE!  If you don’t have the cash, run some dailies, farm some mats, go Arms and run more instances.  But don’t waste our time coming half prepared.

 
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Posted by on February 5, 2010 in Tanking

 

Life of a Vendor

I saw this over on WoW.com.  Life of a Vendor by Galenmereth.  Set to I don’t know by Lisa Hannigan.

I don’t think it got the coverage it deserved since it’s now back on page 4 or 5 now.  The music is excellent, and the video very memorable.

Here it is again, if anything for my own enjoyment.

 
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Posted by on February 3, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

Tanking with phasers. What? Set to “Block?”

Over on Massively, STO for WoW Players, I find this gem.

Itemization and Class Balance

Right now the itemization looks okay. We haven’t seen much of the endgame, so we don’t know how well things are going to compare against one another – but at the lower levels it looks to be promising. Tanks behave like tanks, DPS behaves like DPS, and the support roles behave like they should.

Huh?  Blink blink.  Tanks behave like tanks?  DPS like DPS?  Support like they should?  I suppose that’s Healers?

Are they kidding?  Is that the best game paradigm they could come up with for Star Trek Online?  (Yes, they ALSO have 5-man instances to learn and farm.)

Destined to fail.  I’m sorry.  I like Star Trek better than most.  I thought the idea of Star Trek Online fairly interesting.  It’s a sci-fantasy world in which to virtually entertain ourselves.  Even better that it’s online and we can engage with other real people doing so.  (People can be as much fun as they are anethema’s to all that’s good.)

But that’s the best Cryptic came up with?  The “Holy Trio” of fantasy MMO’s?  Tank-DPS-Heals?

I’m going to tank with phasers?

… Okay, okay.  I’m calming down a little bit.  Obviously I’m thinking MMORPG; and the “RPG” in MMORPG is not for Rocket Propelled Grenade, but rather Role-Playing Game.  So they think I’ll be taking on a “Role” and since I’m human I’d naturally associate assuming a “role” as then playing something human, humanoid, or at least some living being anthropomorphized.  So, naturally, I’m wondering “How do I tank with a phaser?”  And does the Star Trek Universe even include shields ala Dune (which required blades to defeat, i.e. high-fantasy in a sci-fi setting).

So, no.  The primary, and as I understand it, the best, “fighting” in STO occurs when you assume the “role” of a starship.  Your capital ships, I guess, being the tanks, the frigates the DPS, and the support ships the “healers.”

I don’t know.  How many will find assuming the role of a “capital ship” (or whatever their “Tank” class will be) and flying around the universe, “On a five year mission,” fun?

I may download a free test version, if they ever offer one, to check it out.  But a purchase, probably not.  I wish them luck though.  It was an interesting concept to try to bring out.

After a time, you may find that having is not so pleasing a thing, after all, as wanting.  It is not logical, but it is often true.
Spock

 
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Posted by on February 2, 2010 in Musings

 

Mean, but squishy. And, when do I step up to the plate?

My Death Knight is Blood Spec DPS.  And he does a good job of it.  (Recount+GearScore tell me so.)  So when I join the Looking for Dungeon queues I do so as DPS.

I’ve enjoyed the instance running since I started it at level 72 or so.  I’m now 80 and in Tier 9+.  And I’ve run every dungeon, in Heroic Mode, through the Pit of Saron.  (I’ve been to the Pit of Saron twice, and on the 2nd visit managed to free some slaves.  7/15 so far.  I have to free them all, 15 at least, to complete the quest and move on to the final 5-man instance in the game, the Halls of Reflection.  If I’m not mistaken.)  That’s to say: I’ve been around the block with my Death Knight as DPS.

Now since I’m obviously one Death Knight in the group, and the LFD tool doesn’t tend to stack multiples of the same class on purpose, I’ve very rarely partied with a tanking Death Knight.  (On an oddball run with my wife’s level 71 Death Knight, we found ourselves in the Nexus with 3 DPS Death Knights.  I kid you not.  There were more ghouls than you could shake a stick at.)  But, again, I’ve not had any experience with partying with tanking Death Knights on my Death Knight.  Once, in the Halls of Stone.  He did pretty good and I was making mental notes of how it was done.

But Cenotaph has pretty much rounded out his kit now.  You can’t accrue any meaningful amount of Badges of Frost running the daily random dungeon.  2 a day isn’t a lot.  And I got my 50 and bought a cloak with it.  To accrue enough to buy the full set of Tier 10 will take 1,234 days, or some such, and I’m not going to put myself through that.  And with the gear I have I can see all 5-man content and I’ll have to content myself in picking up the best of the 5-man content offerings on a catch-as-catch-can basis.  There *are* some upgrades yet and I look forward to getting my hands on them.

However, and the point of the topic, I am now running the random dungeons with my Level 80 Paladin.  I PvPed him into a full set of Deadly Gladiator gear, with additional Titan Forged items and a PvP ring.  He’s also got the crafted DPS gear (iLevel 200 helm & boots & titansteel destroyer) so his hit rating is heroics ready.  And so I took him into some random heroics, as DPS, where, as luck would have it, in the few runs I’ve done, I’ve mostly had Death Knights tanking.  They may look mean and have all the right plate in the right places, but dang, they sure do take a lot of damage while they’re tanking.  One was dual wielding, the other two-handing it.  The one with the two-hander did a better job of holding mobs and surviving the fights.

I’ve always maintained two sets of gear on my Paladin.  DPS (3 sets actually, full PvE Hit, PvP Resilience) and a tanking set.  (The tanking set includes iLevel 200 crafted helm, boots, and shield.  I’ve got the tourney axe as well.)  I’ve got 534 Defense in his tanking gear.  So I’m 1 point short of what Heroics will need.  Trouble is I haven’t tanked anything since the Headless Horseman last October.  Queuing him as a Tank, I’d have seconds to wait till a group popped for me.  (Not the 12-15 minutes required for DPS runs.)  I’ve got the basics down.  I’ve followed the recommended talent build.  I’ve set up the 96969 sequence and spent a bit of time on a practice dummy getting the flow of it. (In Seal of Command my mana dropped like the gas gauge on a ’71 Plymouth Roadrunner.  With Seal of Wisdom up it felt like I could continue the cycle forever.)  Anyway, being a Paladin, my heart is not in DPSing, but tanking.

How do I handle a group when I start tanking for them?  I’ve run every instance in heroic mode, as melee, so I’ve got the gist of what happens.  As a test I went into normal Utgard Keep and tanked my way solo past the entry and the burners.  I’m not some paper-thin strawman.  Do I let them know “I’m new at this, bear with me.”  ?  If I offer to let them kick me, and they do, does my dungeon cooldown start or am I free to try again immediately?  With 12 minute waits for DPS, I’d say the world needs more tanks.  I have a tanking class, and from what I can tell, Paladin’s tanking make for the smoothest runs.

And I figure I’d better get used to tanking with my Paladin before I venture into Death Knight tanking ala dual wielding Frost. (That Rimefang’s Claw that dropped for us, which I won with a 100 greed roll (earning me “Greedy”) would be a shame to waste and should be a good compliment to the slow mace that I got in the Tournament of Champions.)

Alas, there’s no practice dummies for tanking.  Only unwitting party mates that queue up and get stuck with you.

 
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Posted by on February 1, 2010 in Death Knights, Paladins

 
 
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