Thursday, December 31, 2009

Lady Deathwhisper: a DPS DK Perspective

The second installment of Icecrown Citadel for DPS DKs is here!
While I've cleared the 10 man version weekly, it was just this week that I found a group to clear the 25 man version, so I'm sure I'll be finding further ways to optimize my play as we go. If anything major comes up later, I can always add a post.

The second fight in Icecrown Citadel is Lady Deathwhisper, a lich. As I'm sure you know by now, my goal is not to cover the fight in general as there is plenty of available info elsewhere. You're here for some thoughts on how to maximize your performance as a DK.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Home at last!

Yes! I've found a home for my DK!

.... and how were your holidays by the way? :)

My biggest wow present was finally finding a home for my Death Knight.

And what a long, strange journey it has been.

Here's the short version.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Time to Switch-Hit?

"Mom, Dad, sit down. I have something to tell you."

"What is it, Sweetheart? You know we love you."

"Um, er, well.... I can't keep it in any longer. I'm not an Alliance player any more. I play For The Horde, now."

*Mom faints*

First of all, this is far less RP than it sounds. In fact, it's quite the opposite.
In my search for a raiding home for my DK, I've met with nothing but ...... emptiness. My requirement that first pull be no earlier than 9:30pm PST exludes me from most serious raiding guilds. The few that have been recruiting are either full on DKs or (in one case) silent in response to my app. I have one last Hail Mary out there with an Oceanic guild - would be fun to run with some Aussies and Kiwis - but if that doesn't pan out..... there's always the Horde?!?

There are a number of Horde late night raiding guilds that start late enough that are currently recruiting. They have shown the progression I'm looking for (4/5 TOGC25, 4/4 ICC first week). Now that we have faction transfers, it's an option right?

Well, it hasn't been for me. I've always been an Alliance player. I've done my duty despising the Horde. If there was anything I've bought into the RP on, it was Horde-hatred. So for me to switch, well, let's just say I don't like the idea.

It would be un-RP for me play for the other side.
But I wants to raid!

I guess we'll see...

Monday, December 21, 2009

Lord Marrowgar: a dps DK Perspective

Icecrown is here! If you're a raiding DK, you've been inside to see what the fuss is about. If you're lucky, you've been able to clear the first wing, and are eagerly awaiting the second wing, coming soonTM!
In my guild limbo situation, I've managed to clear the first ICC10 wing on my DK and shaman, but not having a full raid means I've only managed to pug 25 man and only get past Lord Marrowgar.

In any case, it's time for the first ICC dps DK perspective!

The first fight in Icecrown Citadel is Lord Marrowgar, a nasty bone lord. I'm sure you know the fight in general, and there's lots of info out there now, so I won't review it. You're here for some thoughts on how to maximize your performance as a DK. I've got a few thoughts, and as we repeat the fight some more, I'm sure I'll think of a few more things. I'll probably revisist everything once heroic modes are unlocked. Feel free to chime in with ideas!

Frostmourne and primordial saronite

Talk about the ultimate gold sink.
Any warrior, paladin, or DK aspiring to Frostmourne can start their primordial saronite collection now.
On most servers, the item is running from 2500-4500 gold.

First of all, when I found out the item was boe, I thought "if Blizzard wants to eliminate gold selling, don't they realize this decision alone will provide a HUGE boost to gold selling?"

Susan, the ubiquitous gold selling advertiser in trade, /yell, and /say, advertises their gold at about $7-15 per 1000g.

If you have no gold to start with, assuming you pay $10 per 1000g, and pay an average of 3500g per Saronite, that's about $875 to buy the materials for Shadow's Edge! And the sad thing is, many people are going to do this. (side note, the non-raid version, Quel'Delar, is running about $10-15k for the battered hilt - about $100-150 real dollars if you buy the gold).

I don't like the decision to make the item boe, but it is what it is. It certainly makes 'farming' gold easy, when someone can do the random daily heroic on 5 alts for 12 days and have about 15,000 gold from the emblems -> saronite alone. When people start really grasping this, it will drop the prices of saronite somewhat, but I doubt it will go much below 1-2k on most servers.

At any rate, the first part of the quest for the legendary becomes 'soloable' - in that you can get the primordial saronite without being in a raid. After that, you do have to get a competent raid group that can kill some raid bosses and so on, but that part shouldn't be too hard.

In any case, I do plan to buy the occasional primordial saronite. I'm no Gevlon - I'm not gold capped and I never will be - but I do find it easy to make gold in game and have had ~30,000g sitting on my main bank alt wating for 3.3, so I'll buy them as the prices drop a bit and see what happens when shadowfrost starts dropping.

It seems at least Shadow's Edge is somewhat accessible, even if I'm very unlikely to personally sniff Shadowmourne until after the next expansion.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Chiming In

Probably the most popular blog topic of the week (and last) has been the new LFG system. What?!? Not the new raid Instance, Icecrown Citadel? We're talking about Practice (Iverson lovers/haters, unite) - we're talking about running old content, over and over and over, and we're obssessed with it!

Blizzard clearly has a win here, people. I doubt the 5-man heroics have been run more at any time in the game. The ease of matching, combined with the rewards means that virtually everyone with an 80 is at least going to do the random daily. Raiders kitted out in full T9 (and even the first few pieces of T10) are chain-running heroics. Wow. So the system works.

How about the quality of the experience?

It seems to be a bit of a mixed bag.

On a personal note

You haven't seen much of my primary focus topic here 
recently - raiding as a dps DK - because I still haven't
found a long term home for raiding. 


There are a few RL concerns, like working a fair 
bit of possibly getting a business started for my spouse, 
but mostly it's been that I'm in limbo. 

I've managed to do a couple quick n dirty ICC10 clears 
of the first 4 bosses, and last night did get Marrowgar 
down in a pug/alt run, but it's hard to think about and 
organize some good raid-related posts right now. 

Hopefully I'll have a home for Hinenuitepo soon and I 
can settle down to write some more about raiding.

Just a couple extremely brief comments here:
1. Unholy post nerf is doing ok, even though it feels
like it lacks a heavy hitter now, and single target 
dps took a big hit. I actually came second on the meters in 
a full TOC25 (non-heroic) run this week. Yes, to 
a mutilate rogue.
2. I think blood will be top single target dps in the 
second half of Icecrown, and late in heroic IC25, 
dual wield may become viable again. 
3. I see no reason to do frost right now unless your 
raid needs the buff or it's a huge preference for 
you in terms of playstyle. It just offers less in 
single target dps, sustained aoe, and simplicity of 
maintaining the dps priority. 

More on all of those later, when I sort out a few things. 

Friday, December 11, 2009

Tamarind's Topic

Or, Why Sissy Robe Wearers Should (Wo)man up and Do It From Behind.

Tam's 'gift' to us bloggers is to hand out topics for us to write on.
I could make the snide comment that he gets more traffic this way, but then I'd have to look at my stats and see that this little project will probably net him 3 referrals from me while I'll get a hundred from his site for this project. :)
That, and while I only have to write one blog in response, he has to read dozens of blogs, try to understand the Gestalt of the author, and then give them a topic that is appropriate to them. Dang good work, Tam.

For the record, here's his 'assignment:'

DPS, right – I don’t get it. I know you have a broad selection of alts but whenever you write about DK DPS you light up like some of pinball machine when you hit the high score so it’s pretty safe to assume that this your major WoW passion. I don’t get the appeal of making the big green bar go down as opposed to to all the little green bars go up – and certainly don’t get why you’d want to do so by hitting the boss in the backside with a sword, as opposed to safely, at a distance, with magic. What’s the appeal? Why does it draw you more than any other role? And why should a confirmed sissy-robe wearer give it a go?

So, I'll do my best here to answer the unanswerable: if you don't 'get' melee dps, how can I convey my love for the role in ways that might help you 'get it' - even to the point of giving it a go?

The Short Reason Nerfs are Good

Within 20 minutes of logging onto my DK post 3.3 patch, I knew Scourge Strike was going to be hit with the nerf bat. Forum threads and Elitist Jerks ballyhoo ("DKs are sooooo OP") confirmed it, and the nerf hit fast, taking only slightly longer to address than the bug dropping Frost Orbs from all random pugs.

And it's a good thing Scourge Strike got nerfed. It's fun to be overpowered (as a blue recently posted regarding the nerf), but I'm relieved Scourge Strike got hit as quickly as it did.


Short answer:
When facerollers - UNSKILLED PLAYERS - can top the charts, then it's time for a change.

I like to top the meters. I haven't been second on overall damage for a full raid in quite some time (I have, however, been lower on individual fights many times). Sure, I know I've posted that DKs aren't overpowered any more. And the evidence remained throughout TOC/T9. Until 3.3, DKs were still only about the 5th best dps class on WMO and WOR parses. For the past two days, only mutilate rogues have topped them. I LIKE having to work hard for top spot. I LIKE competing with the rogues, mages, warriors and what have you. So when an untalented player can come in and be second to myself on their lousy, poorly played DK (this happened Tuesday in Archavon), it chaps my hide. Because then players start attributing my success and the success of my class to being overpowered, instead of to my skill. When one tree is so overpowered (in this case, unholy) that DKs from the other trees start jumping ship, then it's clear something needs to be done.

Thank you Blizz for stepping in quickly. I'll sleep better tonight knowing I'll have to actually play well to be on top, and not just sit there and bang 4 keys in succession.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The 'New' GoD in 3.3

Just prior to 3.3 going live, the theorycrafters were suggesting the glyphs best used by Unholy dps DKs would be Icy Touch, Dark Death, and Ghoul.
Once live hit, it became apparent just how powerful the new Scourge Strike is (unfortunately, this has lead to rampant speculation that a nerf is incoming). As such, Consider's wonderful thread on unholy dps has concluded that we DO need to use Glyph of Disease instead of Dark Death.

I previously mentioned that it's no longer possible to 'roll diseases.' In 3.2, pestilence refreshed your diseases at your original attack power - for me this was typically around 11-12k. This was too powerful, so in 3.3 Blizzard changed it. Glyph of Disease now allows you to refresh your diseases on your primary target (saving you a frost and unholy rune), but at your current attack power. Nonetheless, on live GOD is still worth using apparently. This is because saving the FU runes allows one more Scourge Strike in the rotation, which is tremendously powerful right now.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Icecrown Cometh!

While I remain in limbo/undecided to some extent on the guild front, it was nice to set that aside for a night and focus on.... CONTENT!!!!

Well, I spent 4 hours first negotiating with my computer to get it to patch the game, but eventually I was able to log on and see what Icecrown had to offer.

Several of the Snickerfritz folks (my current tag) remained online from their 25 man raid, so we formed a 10 man raid and hopped into the new raid.

I'm sure within 4 months we'll be 'whinging' for new content, but as far as new content goes, Icecrown is very very nice! It's a 'true'instance in the Ulduar and Black Temple tradition.

No more instance in a box! Very nice artwork over all. The high points artwise were the elevator up from Deathwhisper's chamber to the Ramparts. Very evocative of SSC, but quite evocative in general. The skull columns are pretty cool. The other great visual experience is the gunship. It's a fun - if simple encounter, but it's just stunning visually to be flying around on the ship, and jumping back and forth between the two.

As far as mechanics go, the Saurfang fight is the best. Once you learn the first three fights, they're fairly simple and the healing/tanking/dps requirements are fairly low. In fine Blizzard tradition, however, Saurfang is a bit of a gear check. DPS needs to be reasonably high and healing through the marks is fairly intense.

All told, the first wing delivers, and delivers well in my opinion. :)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Falling out

Fallout is no more.

Raid night three last week came and no priest signed on, so the raid leaders decided not to attempt Faction Champs.
We went to Ulduar, ostensibly to work on hard modes.

Two things happened:
1) multiple racial/religious/sexual comments continued to be made in various channels by some guildies
2) we wiped, repeatedly, on Freya trash. Trash that my old guild was aoeing with few to no deaths months and months ago.

After the 4th or 5th wipe, raid was called, and it was suggested that the raiders determine if they wanted to raid, and that if we don't focus, we'll fail.

The GM whispered me and asked if we could chat, so we hopped into a seperate vent channel to talk.

More to follow.... very soon :)

Ah, tumult!
Thou art my friend!

I've been busy both in RL and in game, so I've been working on a few posts but haven't published them. Hopefully today and tomorrow I'll get a few out.

My second raid was also interesting and a very short 'second impression' is worth posting seperately here, although I've been writing a much larger post that will follow shortly.

We gathered in the box that is TOC, and Lord Jaraxxus quickly bowed to our gathered might. One-shot it was, and it felt good.

However, as we gathered ourselves for the assault on the Faction Champs, it was quickly becoming clear that all was not well in Fallout-land.

Guild hop Haiku

In search of more progression
Death Goddess Hinenuitepo journeyed far and wide
an Oddessey as yet unfinished

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The New Guild: First Impressions

I hope I made some positive first impressions myself.

The first raid, which was a full toc25 clear, heroic Beasts, and attempts on heroic Lord Jaraxxus, went reasonably well for myself last night. I did make some uncharacteristic mistakes, like dying to an Icehowl charge because I was stuck behind an elemental and couldn't see him, and a poor Twin Valkyr performance due to aggro issues. Still, I was pleased with my overall work. I only died early a few times - and that's a few times more than normal - but I also did top the meters overall and managed to do the few specific tasks I was given pretty well (occupying the rogue during faction champs).
What about my thoughts on the new guild?

They're not as 'nice' as my old guild. For some, this would be very important. On the other hand, their 'not niceness' was in a raid, and mostly focused on calling people out for mistakes. They were very efficient at recovering from wipes, and overall displayed a more 'hard core' attitude of seriousness about downing bosses. Overall, the healers top to bottom healed better, and the dps was much deeper - while I did top the meters, the 17th dps actually did pretty decent dps as well.

We had some problems getting heroic Beasts down, and Lord Jaraxxus didn't go very well, but all in all for a night's raid, I was pleased to see the potential for progression. We should get LJ down tonight on heroic and spend some time working on heroic Faction Champs.
I'm hopeful - and optimistic - that we're set up well for progression in Icecrown.

3.3 PVE specs

3.3 specs
With the likely introduction of Icecrown Citadel next week, we'll be asking the question of what spec will be the most effective once again. Since I'm new in my guild, I'll have to be careful about my experimentation, but I do plan to examine each of the major raid specs in a raid situation once 3.3 goes live.

Next week you can expect to see me running the Elitist Jerks cookie-cutter Unholy spec. You can review Consider's excellent description of the spec here. If there's too much info there, the biggest change is that Scourge Strike has been hugely buffed and the mechanics of the attack have been changed. In addition, glyph of disease will no longer refresh at the original attack power, rather, it will refresh at the current attack power, making it a much weaker glyph for non-aoe fights. As a result, I'll be going back to a 2-hander spec to get the most benefit from huge Scourge Strike crits. At any rate, over the next few weeks, stay posted, and I'll be reviewing the various 3.3 specs on live servers in 'real' raids soon.

Guild Applications: Run the Gauntlet

So you want to join our Guild eh?

My recent guild swap directed my focus to getting people to like me.

I've been on both sides of the recruitment page.

My frequent moves and schedule changes over the wow-years has forced me to change guilds several times, and being an officer/GM in the past has meant that I've spent hours with bleeding eyes reading applications from hopefuls.

In light of that, and a few reminders from being on the applicant side of things this past week, I thought I'd share a few thoughts on presenting oneself well when apping to guilds, especially when you don't know anyone in the guild you're applying to.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Turning a new leaf/leave

So yes, I did decide after discussing more with my spouse and the traditional 'vent interview' to transfer to to a new guild. I did one last raid with my old guild and said my goodbyes.

I still feel very sad and somewhat guilty about leaving them. But I am looking forward to seeing what happens with the new guild.

Obviously I'm predicating much of this move on progression. I hope I get along with the new guildies and I hope I can keep in touch with some of the old. But if my new guild doesn't do well, then it's clearly my bad decision to move.

What do I hope to gain?
1) progression. I want to clear Icecrown not just on normal, but on heroic.
2) new friends - even though I'll miss the old.
3) a tiny improvement in schedule. Being a bit later on start time means just a little more time with the spouse after the kids are in bed.

What do I lose?
1) A good guild that was solid, if somewhat mediocre. Of course, they could certainly reverse that and if so, I missed out on the opportunity to be a part of it.
2) most of all, I'll lose the friends. That can't really be overstated, but once again, my personal choice is to progress. Definitely a tradeoff.

I'll keep you posted. :)

Monday, November 30, 2009

To Leave or Not to Leave

How do you know when it's time to leave a guild?

The last few months have been hard on guilds. While the loot in Trial of the Crusader has been very good, a large number of people have been unsatisfied with the quality of the instance as compared to Ulduar. Both the blogosphere and my guild have been rife with people quitting wow, going on wow hiatus, or leaving their guild.

In the past, nearly every move guildwise for me has been largely driven by scheduling issues. Having moved several times and changing time zones has made it difficult for me to make a previously workable schedule tenable.

On the other hand, over the past few weeks my dissatisfaction with my current guild hasn't come from scheduling issues.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Turkey week

Turning out that posting from my iPhone is a pain, which is why I haven't done it!
Thanks to those of you stopping by, and I'll be back in the saddle on Monday!

Enjoy your Turkey Day, USAers, and to the rest of you I'll see you soon. :)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Back to the (raiding) DK stuffs

There's been a ton of DPS chain traffic here, and welcome to one and all. Happy you stopped by!
This is a DK blog after all, however, so I need to post about my DK, eh? :P

First things first:
GUSH NUMBER FIVE about Shadowmourne!
Using the current EP values offered in the unholy thread by the EJ theorycrafters, I get an approximate value of 3659 for the Shadowmourne, not including the proc! The weapon's epic precursor, Shadow's Edge, comes in at an EP of 3075, making the legendary appropriately... legendary. Of course we'll have to vie with Warriors and Pallys, but all in all... drool.

On to dps. Things will definitely be changing for 3.3. Scourge Strike will be appropriately powerful again, while the T9 set bonuses which are frankly overpowered will be nerfed. I've enjoyed rolling diseases, but really, that's not the way the class is 'supposed' to be played. For now, however, GOD is the way to go.
Interestingly, in tonight's raid I decided to sidegrade roll on Ony's little Deathbringer, and thought what the heck, I'll give it a spin. I had the Lion's Maw (232) in my offhand. My dps increased noticably, but not hugely, even when keeping my 2H dps spec! I'll have to get another 245 and try a slightly tweaked GOD DW unholy spec and see what happens. Interesting, but not surprising. DW tends to outscale 2H at the high end of every tier. I'll let ya'll know if I switch to DW until 3.3.

I'll be out of town for the next week but will try to keep blogging - and more importantly - keeping the DPS chain stuff updated, while I'm gone.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

DPS Chain Update #2

The Chain post has been pushed to the second page of my blog here, so I'm putting up a quick update.

Since gave out the link love, we've had a plethora of responses!

The update post with all the links to people I'm aware of that have responded to the questionnaire/survey/meme/whatever is here. Including my own responses, we have 35 completed questionnaires and counting!

So far we've seen responses (some bloggers did it for more than one class) from:

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Ah, Shadowmourne!

I never played ‘vanilla’ Wow at level, so legendaries like Ashbringer and Thunderfury never meant all that much to me.

As a dedicated rogue in the Burning Crusade, I thought that the Warglaives were the ‘coolest things ever,’ but somehow never thought I would see them. As I worked myself up from Complete Noob to Noob Raider to Raider to Hardcore Raider, I began to appreciate the weapon for its stats, its art, and its color (ah yes, orange, mmm). As I mentioned before, lore was an inconsequential part of the game for me, so I paid little heed to the weapons’ origins. Nor, somehow, did I think that to aspire to such legendary weapons was a goal within my reach. I came quite a bit closer than anticipated, participating in numerous kills of Illidan on my rogue before and after Sunwell came out, but there were always rogues (and warriors, meh) ahead of me on priority. As such, I never really dreamed of getting them, and never got incredibly excited about them either. Unlike the guildie in my first Illidan kill who literally screamed for 5 minutes after being given the main hand weapon – and I’m pretty sure – crying real tears and peeing his pants as well.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Tanking in DPS spec and.... DPS in healing spec?

I've commented before about tanking with my DK in 5-man heroics with my dps spec (preferably blood) and tank gear. It's fun, fast, and .... fun!

The last few days I've been running chain heroics, trying to help guildies get Glory of the Hero achievements, and collecting badges for my enhancement offset.
Generally, I've had a guildie tanking, which means we vastly, vastly overgear it.

So far, when I've healed the runs, I've still been in resto spec, with resto gear.
It's been very fun, though, to keep Earth Shield on the tank, occasionally riptide, and toss a chain heal in there once in a while, and then dps. I've been dropping magma totem, and then stepping back to toss a few flame shocks, lava bursts, and lightning/chain lightning out there. Nothing amazing, but given that ~700-1000 healing per second is all that's needed, I've been able to top 1000 dps sustained with my healer on these runs. Fun stuff!

I think I'll have to drag a couple of pieces of elemental gear with hit on it out of my bank and equip them for heroic 5 mans to allow me to combine healing and dps better!

I'm sure some of you out there have experimented more extensively with such shenanigans, but for now let me tell you, it's a blast! ;)

Friday, November 13, 2009

3.3 loot preview

 MMO-Champion has given us the first preliminary loot lists from Icecrown.

The 5-man loot will be ilevel 219, heroic 5-man ilevel 232
10-man loot will be ilevel 251 and  264, respectively.
25-man loot will be 264 ilevel  and 277, respectively.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Death Goddess Keywords

I've recently seen a few posts that commented on search terms that lead them to their site, so I thought I'd take a look at mine and put up a brief post here.

No surpises with the top search terms: Three of the top four were:
'death goddess wow'
'dk death goddess'

So clearly a few folks have been looking for my blog :) and google/yahoo/etc are kind enough to point them to me when using the terms used in my blog title.

I've also gotten some hits from more 'informative' search terms like:
'dk wow 3.2.2 dc spam'
'best food for death knights'
'3.2.2 frost dk pve spec and rotations T8 geared'

which relate well to articles I've posted on Death Knights, so it's no surprise that search engines eventually point here. Most of the 228 different keyword search strings leading to my blog have 'dk' in them.

However, every search engine has its quirks, so I guess I shouldn't be too surprised that some poor souls ended up here when they entered:
'overpowered' :P
'elite jerk dk'
'snottydin' (hey, I did put snottydin in a post title)
'broomhilde' (wtf? how did that happen? I can't even find my blog on any page when I enter those terms)
and: 'Hawaiian hine' - at least it's not pron!

If you're a blogger, how did searchers find you?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Anub'arak: A dps DK perspective

The final fight in Trial of the Crusader is the Traitor King, Anub'arak. We've all fallen through the floor by now. How do we DKs provide the pwnage? It's actually one of the more straightforward fights:

Pull: Just run in. Be a bit behind the tank so you don't get cleaved while the tank is turning him. Icy Touch while running in. Plague Strike. Regular dps rotation blah blah (we got it Hine). Get proc-buffed pets out and diseases rolling as per normal. IF you are on hard mode, you have to be stingy with your permafrost, so you'll likely be asked to Death Grip an orb to Anub's hip. The adds will be tanked here to allow aoe/cleave damage to take the adds down. When you get two adds, pestilence and Death and Decay to hit both them and the boss (or just pest and howling blast as frost). If adds are tanked seperately, usually just the ranged will dps them and melee stays on boss.

If you're not completely foolish with aggro on Anub, the biggest risk of dying here is not paying attention and getting hit by spikes in P2 or going totally nuts on adds in P2 and getting too many stacks of their acid drenched mandibles debuff.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Twin Val'kyr: A dps DK perspective

The fourth and second-last fight in Trial of the Crusader is the Twin Val'kyr. The Twin Eredar are magic-based mobs who love to buff you with their orbs. :)

Pull: One needs two tanks. You can tank them seperately, but there's no reason not to tank them on top of each other. They don't cleave or anything. And all of your raid's cleave effects will hit both Twins. Just mark them both to assist with target switching. As DK, park behind your selected Twin and bang away.

Faction Champions: a dps DK perspective

All right, we've had a few other topics on our minds over the past week, but time to get back to our DK perspective on TOC! The Faction Champions are the famed "PVP in PVE" encounter of the Lich King!

As I'm sure you know, in this raid you'll get mobs of the opposite faction with typical class abilities and a decent-sized health pool. The AI is relatively sophisticated but also predictable on this fight. As you know, they'll crowd control (cc) your raiders, heal each other, and on heroic even break crowd control. It is a challenging fight particularly if you don't pvp at all, and heavily emphasizes your raid's crowd control abilities - something recently debated quite a bit on various blogs.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Too Many Healers??!!!

Most of you know that my shammy is primarily resto.

There's a problem with the 'Alt Math'

Every raid has:
1-3 tanks
4-6 healers
11-20 dps


DPS Chain Update

Ok, with the linkage, we're finally seeing some more dps blogs!
It's great to connect with you all, and see some of the different perspectives on what we like about our respective dps classes!

Links below, and I will eventually be working up a list of active dps blogs and perhaps some basic analysis of the responses as well.

(Edits aplenty)

As expected for a copycat, It took a while for this dps version of the healing questionnaire to generate some responses, but it's getting there!
We now have a decent number of  folks who have been kind enough to answer the questionnaire, so I'll link them here. Stop by and give them a read, and if you reply in comments or have your own blog, let me know and I'll give you a link here!
We've seen the dps persepective from a few folks so far. They are:
Calli over at Pew Pew Lazers gave us the arcane mage perspective, and it was a nice read!
Aifel at Plagued Candles gave the meme a try with his rogue. Neptune still loves you, don't worry! :)

EDIT: Millea at Dots & Hots completed the survey from the classic affliction warlock perspective, and tagged a couple of other dps blogs I wasn't aware of. Great work!

EDIT II: Pike at Aspect of the Hare wrote about Tawyn, a BM hunter. Yay! A post/blog about a fellow oft-maligned class!
I found Shagrat's MM hunter responses linked from Pike's site, but he has his own blog at The Voodoo Shuffle. Side note, both of them are participating in the Brit NaNo thing I first heard about at Righteous Orbs. GL guys!
The non-meme chain lead to a third Hunter (MM), Rilgon at Stabilized Effort Scope. Good work!

EDIT November 12: Another Arcane Mage sighting! Arioch posted at clearcasting about PEWPEWPEW Arcane Missiles!
Raven gave us our first Elemental Shaman perspective at Zarii and Me. I've never ellied, so thanks for the chain lightning love!
EDIT November 12b: We have a shadow priest! Thanks Anexxia from Bible of Dreams for filling this out. Ah, can't wait for 3.3 and the revenge of the spriest eh?
Arrens was tagged and gave it his best blogger college try at Through the Eyes of Death. Arrens loves the recount spam, I can tell. :)

EDIT November 15 (laaate night): Spaz at SpriestBlog! gave us his Circle of Killers for both his shadow priest and DK. I like giving the kitties or arms warriors hysteria to the mysteria too!
Xirella's fury warrior at Whirlwind of Doom was indeed the first warrior response I've received :P
Hasteur's destro lock burns up the interweb at The Curse of Doom. If I have to link another 'Dooom' here, I'm going to get skeered, especially given the day several of these were posted!
We have a boomkin! I've always felt the poor caster dps druids have been the most misunderstood class in Wow. Miztickow gives us the business at What Now, Kow?
Vinven didn't like DKs before reading my blog (right Vin?) but took the time to arcane it up at The Arcane Sanctum, and
Roxton offered the fire mage counterpoint at Great Balls of Fire. (point of clarification, it was Miss Medicina who originated the healer questionnaire which I adapted)! You go, fire eater!
Demo lock sighting! Veliaf at der Hexenmeister gave us a rather curse-filled response (j/k).
Fae's hunter at the Lazy Sniper gave us our fourth hunter (marks) response at the lazy sniper. That's good data, there!
Arrens' combat rogue slipped in at Sneaky Troll. Hey, you bring utility!
Morrighan has been sending folks this way from her page for a while and offered the retadin perspective at Caer Morrighan. Thanks!
Another Troll (hunter, marks) piped in, mon at Tusks! thanks to Lashaah. Careful, it's 'gory' over there!
Elithrea's survival hunter weighed in at WoWGiggity, and...
our final hunter of the day is Melfina's marks hunter at the WoW Noob. Whew! I think the hunters won... so far anyway. :)

EDIT 17 November:
The latest folks to fill it out! I'm just going to link these since it's very late and I wanted to at least get them up (since I can't do this at work).
Our first enhancement shaman, Rachman completed the questionnaire at Flame Shock.
"D" filled out the non-meme for a shadow priest and enhance shammy at LFM: Need Healer Plz.
Our third Enhance of the day, Thargnik posted at Throm'ka. Nice trilogy!
Finally, another DK!!! - at least, the first DK-only blog response. Thanks, Hatch (Escape Hatch)!
Check out Survival Hunter Ciddypoo's new blog (and responses) at Takes 10 to Taz'dingo.
Cynwise's DestroLock gave us the somewhat unique perspective of pvp dps at Cynwise's Battle Manual.
Krause Kronicles' survival hunter, Nefernet chimed in from France! Sweet!

EDIT 19 November: I thought I had found Kungaloosh's before, but I hadn't: boomkin at Kungaloosh!
We have Dots & Hots - now we have Hots & Dots - thanks Cassie for your spriest contribution - and hey, you've gotta love this DK, right, right? :P
Gnomeageddon's frostfire mage chipped in at - you guessed it - Gnomeageddon.

EDIT 20 November: Boize gives us another boomkin at Moonglade.
Fealen's boomkin is #2 of the day! Check his responses out at the Adventures of Fefe and Coag.
Syrana RP's an affliction lock response over at Diabolical Minds. I don't mind! :P

That's a lot for one day!
The article brought a lot of responses in, which is great!
I haven't even had time to read through all the responses yet, but I will when I can, and try to keep up with all of the links as much as possible. Of course, if I get too many, I'll just start compiling them by class/spec etc, but the first weeks' worth get special mention!

Great work, all!

Remember, if you do fill one of these out, be sure to comment so I can link you!
While us dps bloggers seem to be less ubiquitous, quite a few of us are popping up now! We still are missing a few classes/specs, but we're getting there!


Friday, November 6, 2009

Unholy AOE

With more than 3-4 targets, the only class/spec in the game that is close to unholy is arcane mage.
This is because you have three diseases that are fully buffed by talents that are spread almost instantly to all mobs in the area with pestilence.
You can aoe with unholy with a rolling disease spec, or the 'traditional' 3.2.2 spec discussed in the Elitist Jerks forums; it shouldn't make a dramatic difference.

Additional Glyph of Disease comments

I posted the following comment over at Gravity's site in response to an excellent review post he made.

I'll have to look back at my posts regarding GOD (Glyph of Disease) and see if I'm clear on this.

.... and I wasn't really, in my post on Pwnwear. But let me clarify here a few things about using this spec for maximum benefit.

The 'normal' 3.2.2 unholy spec doesn't use reaping or epidemic and refreshes diseases every rune cycle. It's become very popular for both 2-handed unholy dps and for DW unholy dps.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Death Grip of DPS!

Circle of DPS?
Nowait! DEATH GRIP of DPS!

Yes, that's right!
My main is a dps after all!
Miss Medecina started it (/APPLAUSE btw),
Koriel extended it to Tanks.

So I'll be a complete copy cat and apply it to DPS.
I enjoyed the healing circle so much, I did think it would be fun to do as a DPS class, and the variety! Oh, the variety!

I'll call it the Death Grip of DPS.
Being almost completely unoriginal shames me somewhat, but hey, why mess with a good thing? This was indeed too fun to let it end!
I did change a few questions for the most part, but mostly left it with similar questions, just slanted for the death dealers amongst us.


Lord Jaraxxus: A dps DK perspective

Time to discuss the silly Eredar. Not sure why Fizzlebang thought it would be a good idea to summon him into the arena, or why LJ is able to oneshot the warlock with 100k health, but can't kill our 40k tank, but anyway, he's there, so let's kill him!

Pull: usually he's tanked right in the middle. Stand just outside the circle part at the start. If you stand closer, you may get agro even if the tank has consecrate or death and decay etc. up.... and you'll be oneshot (our enh shammy did just that last night on a heroic 10 man attempt). If I use my army on this fight, it's right at pull. Ask for a 6-count before the pull, and summon your army then. Your army can taunt adds, so it's not a good idea at other times, not to mention that they'll tend to die early at other points in the fight.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Northrend Beasts: a dps DK perspective

I've blogged a fair bit about wow experiences lately, so today it's time for a more 'informative' post.

Obviously, Trial of the Crusader (TOC) is the content du jour, and probably will be for the next six weeks. I've assumed that most DKs out there are somewhat familiar with the fight. Many of us are intimate friends with Bosskillers, WoWwiki, and other sites that give fantastic information on boss fights. But in general, they list strats for melee, not DKs specifically.

Today (and in the ensuing series) I'll write about how to get the most out of your DK in TOC.

Monday, November 2, 2009

My Snottydin post

I'm so IMBA, because I'm a grrl irl.

Or maybe not.

It was gratifying, however, to get a few congratulatory whispers in my pug Ony25 yesterday.

I had hopped on my shaman in Dalaran to do the cooking daily when I see a Demondog fellow post in trade (trade, why is that, instead of LFG?) that he's looking for a couple dps and a healer for Ony 25. I'm saved on my shammy, but I whisper him that I'm available on my dps DK.

He does the mandatory butt-sniffing and asks me my gear score... which is pretty good so he invites me. We get summons and head in. While buffing I get a couple whispers saying "nice gear," to which I say "tyvm."

Friday, October 30, 2009

Raid Bloopers Indeed

Sorry, Tamarind.
Apologies, Sylly.

I  had a truly epic fail that put you guys to shame yesterday! Not that I wanted to.... >.>

I took a day off work to attend my little ones' parent teacher conferences, and most of the day was taken up with running errands and doing little things around the house. But an hour before the conferences, I was able to sit down and take a break.

I figured I'd work on Hinetitama's enhancement set, since at least some of the time our alt runs have a plethora of healers, and having the flexibility to contribute a little dps would be nice. I haven't dps'd on Hinetitama since I leveled her enhance.... so I was clueless. I picked up a few pieces of gear, gems, and enchants and headed to the dummy to try things out. I still have greens and blues holding me back, but I start to feel a little comfortable swinging my mug and my hammer.

Naturally, that's when my guildies ask me to heal VOA 10.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

What are we doing tonight?

One of the things that tends to happen when I log on during a raid night is I'll get several whispers asking me, "What are we doing tonight?"

In Ulduar, the question wasn't brought up. Of course we'd whack our way through the instance, and whatever boss was still up we'd work on killing until the boss couldn't be kilt any more.

Since 3.2 arrived, many guilds are faced with multiple possibilities:
- Some people want to spend more time in Ulduar. They want to kill X boss or complete X Hard Mode. Those achievements are just dangling there! Or there's a few pieces of gear they could still use (WTB Fragments!).
- Some would prefer to farm regular TOC/Ony/VOA 10 and 25 man, while others want to focus on Heroic difficulty T9 content.
- Others want to mix some of the above with other content, like Sarth 3D for the mount or the few trinkets/items that are still very good.

Trying to keep 30 raiders happy when they have 29 (there's that one significant other who's just there to raid with their partner) different sets of priorities can be frustrating and a difficult juggling act. Of course, it's quite impossible to keep everyone satisfied.

Unless you have a guild that raids 6 days a week, there's lots to do, and not enough time to do it in. I raid for 8 hours a week. We have to pick what to do....

How would you resolve it? And what would you leave undone?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Healing webring - sure, I'll give it a try!

My DK bandages are leet! I even have the plethora of bandages achievement!

Ok Ok, you won't see much about healing on this blog, except for pug/raid experiences as this is a DK blog after all, but I thought Jessabelle had a fun idea, so I filled out the meme-that's-not-a-meme. :)
What is the name, class, and spec of your primary healer? Hinetitama, resto shaman

Pink Pigtail Piggyback

The Pink Pigtail ladies have had the lovely habit recently of starting threads that are then blogged about by other Wow bloggers for the rest of the week. I thought I'd jump on the bandwagon and talk about some of my favorite Wow moments, and thanks, Ladies!

TEN TOP WOW MOMENTS (because I can't pick a top ten in order)
Progression kills: there are so many! Any boss that your guild wipes on, and wipes on, getting closer and closer until...... that boss goes down!!!!
Burning Crusade had a number of roadblock bosses, and several of them make it on my list.

1) The first raid boss I killed on progression when I joined my first 'real' raiding guild (Black Phoenix on Argent Dawn) was A'lar. I was so excited to be in a raiding guild, and they were just starting 'real' raids after Gruul's Lair and getting the Loot Reaver down. A'lar had some challenging mechanics and it took us a little time and effort to get A'lar down. As a rogue, a new raider, and a new guildie, I cemented my place by being top 3 in dps throughout our attempts. When that birdie died, I experienced the elation of a first kill for the first time!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Post No. 4

I guess the surprise visit from the in-laws over the weekend sparked a few Wow-thoughts that were repressed until today.

Anyway, I had a random wow thought and I wonder how long it will take Blizzard to implement it.

Blizzard did cross-server BGs, and is now doing cross-server pug 5-mans. They allowed us to queue for BGs from any location and return to that location upon completion. They're clearly making it easier to do things we want  in game. I've heard a few complaints, but generally these changes have been well-received. I certainly am in favor of all of them.

How long will it take for Blizzard to allow us to transport to 5-mans (and maybe even raids) instantly? It could be handled something like this: when the group leader identifies an instance and the group fills, she hits a 'ready' button, and everybody hits 'accept' to be transported there. Oh, how nice that would be! And much less of a hassle than flying to the stone. There's other ways to force us to explore the terrain. Leveling, questing and the like. When we want to instance, let us instance! :)

Two addons: Bleeding Hearts & Tiny Melee Stats

For DKs, knowing your current attack power (AP) is very very important. As I mentioned in my last addon post, you want to pop your pets when your AP is as high as possible. If you run a rolling disease spec like I do (glyph of disease refreshes diseases with pestilence), then you want to start refreshing when your ap is as high as possible.

You can open your character window and watch your attack power rise and fall. You can do it that way, and you can fail, noob. :)

There are any number of addons that will let you monitor this important stat while in combat.

I was a meanie....

I've never been booted from a pug before.
In 4 years of playing wow.

.... it was a relief when it happened yesterday and saved me making the decision to leave and appearing the jerk, although apparently I was the jerk anyways.

I had already run the heroic daily - Violet Hold - on Hinenuitepo with a guildie and pugs. All three of us dps did over 4k dps, and the run was fast and easy. I then hopped on Hinetitama and was invited quickly to a pug to heal. From the start, things were odd, but I thought it might work out. I looked at the warrior - as I usually do - and he had a mix of appropriately tanky blues and epics and a prot spec. Fine. Instead of standing on the portals and thunderclapping, however, he stood well back and charged when the mobs spawned. Unusual, and mildly annoying because they initially agroed a random party member, but doable. Then I noticed the pally was pulling threat - he was dpsing in rightous fury. I mentioned it, and he turned it off. We were getting the mobs down just as the next portal opened, but I didn't think much of it.

DK Basics: Runic Power

In a raid the other day, a guildie whispered me, "How does your runic power always stay full?"

As most of you know, your runic power (rp) decays very quickly, and as you're waiting to engage a boss, any rp you have will disappear if you just sit there. Now, you don't need to have 100 or so rp at pull - you only need about 40 rp to ensure your rotation is intact. However, I like to Death coil a time or two from range along with my Icy Touch while I charge into melee range. Over time, the damage adds up.

So, a quick tip or two on how to keep your toon full of Runic Power.
- CONSTANTLY hit Horn of Winter. Whenever you get out of melee range, hit HoW. When running between trash, hit HoW.
- When waiting for a boss pull, I:
  Horn of Winter, Death & Decay, Blood Tap, and Bone Shield (if unholy) all on cooldown. This allows you to quickly build rp and keep it high between/before pulls.

I'm so accustomed to it, that I even hit HoW while running through Dalaran! :)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Killing Time: Cut to the Quick

Things are a little crazy today, so I'll have to keep my link-up post fairly brief.

Gravity posted today about the possibility of bosses scaling slightly differently in the future. For example, they may have more expertise as opposed to just doing more damage and having more health.

You thought Sunwell should be omgfreepix? You know from my post that it's not. Tamarind had his own Sunwell failpug.... and btw, that's NOT the kind of RP I was talking about doing.

You'll be back.... they all come back..... (well, not really) While many bloggers - and players, have said their farewells recently, it seems we have a tendency to come back to the game. I've been there, done that. Aggro Junkie and DDK have both recently rejoined the ranks. Well, AJ is almost back...

Nobody likes a doomsday prophet..... Gevlon wraps up his dire predictions (and hopefully returns to goldmaking posts) with his final summary of why the economic problems are what they are, and what we can do about it.

Anticipate the market! Arctic Fur changes are a'comin! Be ready.

Probably the worst loot drama of the week (and there were a few) was experienced by Calli; I feel for you man! I don't understand how a raid leader of a pug can award loot that way... :(

Anyone who's joined a new guild has a little anxiety over how they'll be received. Will they make it past initiate? Or will they hear those dreaded words? Yes, or No?

Several folks posted their chagrin at mistakes made: Sylly didn't train Wild Growth, Tamarind healed a heroic with his fishing pole (linked above), I kept equipping my tank boots when I went unholy..... it happens! :P

Elnia & Larisa just posted another topic sure to turn heads - they discuss whether or not it's a good thing that Blizzard keeps adding services like faction/race changes.

Well, that's all I have time for now!

EDIT: Forgot any links to what was the topic of the week: IS WOW TOO EASY!???!!! There were at least 5 different blogs on this, trailing back to last week. I just really liked Blessing of Kings' take on it, so check it out.

Have a great weekend!
(ps, I do have an article I'm working on, so if I have a chance it may get posted today or over the weekend)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sometimes it all just clicks

A month ago I posted a series with the Meta-title "Finding My Niche." As a raider, this is an ongoing journey that I expect will never quite end. At least, I hope not! At the end of the month-long testing I was doing, I concluded that for single to 3-target fights Blood 2H spec fit me best, and Unholy 2H fit best for add/aoe fights.
Since then my blood spec has taken on a rolling diseases approach.

For whatever reason, last night, things just seemed to click, and yet there was no Blood to be found anywhere!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

DK Basics: Gear and Stat Choices in 3.2.2

Now we get to it, you say?
Gief me Purplz!!!

It's all about the loot.
As a raider, however, you should know what loot will help you be the best dps DK you can be, and what gear will get people whispering about the Deathtard in spell power plate.

Alternate Title:
Going APE: selecting gear for maximal raid effectiveness.
"I have the Helm of Zygranar, should I roll on the Hat of Hitting Hard?"
Most raiders use a gear rating system to determine what gear will maximize their effectiveness.
This system is commonly referred to as APE: Attack Power Equivalence. Attack Power (AP) is the stat used to calculate the damage each of your abilities does and is therefore a nice measuring stick for what other stats have more or less value. Not all stats are created equal!
AP = 1 APE.
That being said, it can be difficult to determine whether crit is better than haste, especially given that the answer depends on your spec and raid buffs.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Let There be Theorycrafting: TLDR

So you don't want to wade through the 'nerdspeak' on the previously linked forums?
Try it, you'll like it!

Ok Ok, there's a lot of info out there. Maybe too much.

I'll give a quick rundown of recent discussions/info.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Let There Be Theorycrafting (and it was GOOD)

Following my foray into the realm of role play last post, I thought it time to follow up with another Nerdicle!

Virtually all 'hard core' raiders are aware of some of the sites where they can go to learn about their class. No, we're not talking about the official forums. I had to force myself to go there just to link it for you. Sure, there's an occasional diamond in the rough, but it's too painful to wade through the junk just to find the one or two threads worth reading.

Where to go to find useful (although not always Gospel) information about playing your class?

Friday, October 16, 2009

MMOG: Have we forgotten the RP?

Of the approximately 450 World of Warcraft servers, only 35 are designated as 'RP.'

When I started my Wow existence shortly before the release of the Burning Crusade expansion, I joined the friend that got me into the game on Argent Dawn, a 'Role Playing' designated server.

The RP tag, however, seemed to have very little to do with what actually took place on the server. Like most good little budding Wow fanatics, I was rapidly sucked in by the amazingly creative and immersive world, and focused on learning how to play my rogue as I leveled him to 60, then 70. My interactions with 'RPers' were limited to the occasional request for assistance from someone blurting things like "Mine Good Sir, Culd I Request Of Thee Thine Good Efforts on My Behalf?" or being accosted by would be in-game wenches as I passed through Goldshire (as quickly as possible). For the most part, the term RP carried the negative connotations of someone who essentially did nothing in the game, made up imaginary activities, and generally didn't actually level, quest, or raid.

Personally, when picking up a quest I rarely read the text, merely skimming it for my objectives. I paid no attention to lore and simply focused on killing 20 of mob X or getting 15 of drop Y and min/maxing my performance. That big boss? Who cares why he's there. What you need to know is that he's especially vulnerable right after he does a shadow blast. Kill him! I found myself not really noticing the artwork in the world or even very much in instances; the world was there as a means to an end. The gear didn't need to be pretty. Sure, I liked a nice axe model as much as the next person, BUT: does it have good stats?

Killing bosses. Maximizing dps. Getting gear to maximize dps. Next boss. More Gear. More DPS. And on and on around the mouse cage of Wow we go.

I suggest that losing touch with the RP in MMOG has eviscerated our online gaming experience. We've allowed our priorities to be skewed completely to accomplishment, and not enough to enjoyment. We've allowed the poor souls locked in the King's English to put an acrid taste in the mouths of us all, leading us to forget to engage our imaginations while we play. As many an author has lamented the loss of creativity and imagination that seems to accompany the transition into adulthood, I lament the loss of my/our use of imagination and connection to our avatars as we wander Azeroth, Outland, and Northrend.

I'm not talking about walking around and speaking in silly jilted verse full of 'forsooths' and 'kind sirs.' I'm not going to stop attempting to maximise my raid performance.

Rather, I'm going to BE the Death Knight conquering the forces of evil in Northrend (as least in that imagination space in my mind). I'll pay attention to the art, the land, the world of Warcraft.

As Robert Brady commented regarding his granddaughter in an out-of-the-way blog (and the author's current blog): "she saw how it all worked, how to tell her own stories and it was ok, it was a part of her, that big doorway in her mind that she could open anytime to anywhere, and so she did and passed on through and back again..."

I pledge to endeavor to open my mind.
I pledge to open my mind to the possibilities of my life with my children, my spouse.
I pledge to open my mind to the possibilities of my life's work.
I pledge to open my mind to the experiences of Wow, and to the adventures of Hinenuitepo and the other cast of characters.

Silly, yes.
Simple, definitely.

And so much the better.

I pledge to put the RP back into MMOG.

A TIme To Kill II

Ratshag had a few too many last Friday night. The question that's really chapping my hide is: was this all a 'real' trip, or was it a hallucination (and where can I get what he was drinking)?

Marcko's post regarding his favorite ways to make gold has ballooned into a 50+ comment column. Lots of good tips in there!

The ladies at the Pink Pigtail Inn have been thinking about whether lore and art really matters. I'm working on a post about gameplay and imagination myself (forthcoming).

Loot: is there a better way to do it? Spinks discusses a relative newcomer to the loot distribution game. Has possibilities I guess, but would really favor the AH kingpin. Not sure I'd want raiding success to be defined by goldmaking prowess....

A tree (of Life) took her offspring on a tour of Kara and cuteness ensued! Keredria also had a nice post on blogging milestones.

Tobold played guess the Cataclysm release date, a popular game this week which was actually started by the Pink Pigtail Inn ladies.

Tamarind made a mistake when he challenged the mighty snottydin to a blog war!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Don't Hate Me Because I'm a (Beautiful) DK

Even my buddy Tamarind over at Righteous Orbs has fallen prey to the now-popular derision of DKs: "I’ve always been aware of the WoW Political/Social Hierarchy. Raiders at the top, assorted, level 80s underneath, then twinks, then alts with heirloom gear, lower level characters, deathtards."

Don't worry, fellow DK readers, THEY'RE JUST JEALOUS because they don't play the most awesomesauce class in teh game!!!!11!!!1! Ok, fanboi rant over.

I've already posted regarding the resentment DKs have faced since their inception, some of which was based on an early but accurate perception of their being overpowered. I've argued that they're not overpowered any more, but the perception is slow to fade.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Hinetitama -> Hinenuitepo

The eponymous Death Goddess' backstory tells of a Maori princess/goddess who is the unfortunate victim of circumstance. Her early 'innocent' existence is a sort of Earth Mother and she is named Hinetitama. After her discovery of her betrayal, the goddess transitions into the goddess of the night, hence Hinenuitepo.

For my Wow experience, I named my DK after a Death Goddess, but I was missing something.

A RL friend (and fellow Wower) pointed out that my resto shaman was really the precursor to my DK, so when I decided to transfer her to my current server/guild, I also changed her name to Hinetitama.

It's just so tidy! Now I have my Draenei healer named Hinetitama, and my Draenei DK Post-Arthas slavery named Hinenuitepo.


Sorry, readers, for subjecting you to my convoluted inner naming process. Yet, I hope you also are able to enjoy the 'life' of your toons as much!

DK Basics: Addons

Per request, I wanted to provide a brief post on raiding addons for dps DKs.

This is not intended to be an in-depth review of addons, just a brief mention of the addons I use in raids and what kinds of addons you should be using. Maybe in the future I'll do more in depth reviews of specific addon categories.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Two-Hand Blood DPS spec update

First, a disclaimer/warning.
This article is labeled a "Nerdicle"
It is designed for raiding dps DKs that already know all the basics of raiding with their class. As such, the jargon contained herein may make your eyes bleed if you are a 'newb' to the class. By continuing this article, you waive all rights to prosecution of the author of this blog for any damages that you may incur.

I'll label all such articles (and the earlier 'Finding My Niche' series) as "Nerdicles" in the future.
Reader beware!

The Unsuspecting RL Part Deux

Ah hah!
I got the opportunity to apply my lessons learned even sooner than I thought!

Yesterday being a federal holiday and my employer being a federal agency, I had the opportunity to spend a little extra time in Wow (and painting my daughter's room a lovely yellow, but that's uh, beside the point).

PUG #1:
Hopping online at an atypical time afforded me the opportunity to be whispered by a guildie: "I'm in a TOC10 (Trial of the Crusader 10-man) that is picking up from yesterday. We're on Twins and we need a healer. Is your healer geared enough?" To which I replied confidently: "Sure!"

Not being all that sure; I'll post today about transferring my shaman, but she's in all Naxx/ilevel 200 gear but I thought it would be worth trying.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Unsuspecting RL

Saturday night was not a raid night, so as usual I logged on, picked up my dailies, checked the guild list and inquired what people were doing. A guildie said that he was trying to reform a Sunwell Plateau group that had downed Kalecgos and Brutallus the night before, and invited me. I accepted on my newly transferred resto shaman and headed for the Isle of Quel'Danas - ah, memories! ;)

It took some time to find people to fill the raid, and a number of the people were below 80. It also became clear that no one really knew the Felmyst fight, and since I had progression killed these bosses on my rogue back in BC, my guildie made me leader.

BAM! Welcome to hell, and oh, by the way, could you please lead our little expedition?

Friday, October 9, 2009

Death Knight Basics: Consumables

One can certainly find a lot of basic information on DK raiding on many sites. DK info and the erstwhile Skeleton Jack (RIP) are examples.

You don't need to read this post. Go somewhere else. No, really.

Still here? Ok, well, if you insist, I'll post some infomation on DK basics for any readers not uber-informed on raiding with a Death Knight.

Consumables are a bit of a pain. They take up bag space. They cost lots of gold. They cost lots of gold. They don't make a huge difference, and they cost lots of gold.

Actually, let's get this straight. A FULL night of progression raiding (say, 4 hours or ~15-20 attempts) with maxed-out consumables can cost you in the ballpark of 400g. Most nights will be much less. Difference? At least a 5-10% overall buff. On progression, that difference will make or break you. And since this post is not about gold-making, I'll just say, Naga, please. You can make enough gold in a few hours of farming, or less if playing the AH for a whole week of raiding. It's worth it.

On with the show.

Killing Time: Blogs on Wowing

I like what some other bloggers are doing in terms of linking other blogs with one or two lines of commentary, so I thought I'd give it a try here. If any of the articles pique your interest, click away and see what you think!

Wowenomics advises looking to make gold with the fishing profession by not just slavishly following the suggestions of others (, Mmo-Champion, etc.), but by examining all aspects of the food chain - both cooked and uncooked. In particular, dragonfin is still profitable because it isn't affected by the fishing daily. Go fish more dragonfin - so I don't have to! :)

Love achievements? Hate em? WowGrrl has been trying to get moar pets, moar pets!

Not the golf cart of Death! Tamarind kills me laughing with tales of his first brush with Ulduar.

Grats to the Gobby on a successful year of posting! I've read it since its inception and the Greedy Goblin is always interesting. Morally gray, yes. Wrongheaded often (but oh so sure of himself) yes. But Gevlon's brand of blogging is entertaining, and sometimes, thought provoking. And every other post WILL be informative for goldmaking.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Tier 10; Raiders Rejoice!

MMO-Champion first rushed the images to us and I likey what I see!
My link comes from [Epic] Wins, which is another nice site that delivers the news (and my work filter doesn't block it).
I don't know if I like the blue aura on the red shoulders, but in general I really like the design. The shoulders look more menacing and powerful than the T9 ones, and they also carry on the tradition of having skulls in prominent places.

That sword though, oh my!
It's the most delicious thing about the armor set. One wonders if we'll be able to get that one somewhere in Icecrown and how good it's dps/stats would be. I have a feeling that were I to get that one, even if I had a better weapon, that would be my Dalaran armor set. ^^

I'll be eager to see the stats on the gear and how they balance the armor pen vs haste etc issue.

Forgot to comment on the set bonuses:

T10 Death Knight Tank 2p Bonus: Increases the damage done by your Death and Decay ability by 20%.
T10 Death Knight Tank 4p Bonus: When you activate Blood Tap, you gain 12% damage reduction from all attacks for 10 sec.
T10 Death Knight DPS 2p Bonus: Your Obliterate, Scourge Strike, and Death Strike abilities deal 10% increased damage.
T10 Death Knight DPS 4p Bonus: Whenever all your runes are on cooldown, you gain 3% increased damage done with weapons, spells, and abilities for the next 15 sec.

Those are nice. It's been pointed out those could be placeholder values, and they may, but I can drool, can't I?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

To The Frozen Throne!

The penultimate challenge of Wrath of the Lich King!

I'm so excited, I need to be careful of my nicely pressed work duds!

While it looks like we may not get to wield the legendary Frostmourne, we will get to face Arthas and defeat him, finally. Advance impressions of the instance are very favorable, and I certainly hope it lives up to its billing as did the Black Temple for the Burning Crusade. Blizzard has been working on this one for a long time, folks, and their reputation is at stake here. I'm hoping and expecting that we'll get to see some truly exciting encounters, amazing artwork, and proceed through some very interesting lore as we face the ultimate baddy of this expansion. Blizzard did a smart thing in letting us encounter various incarnations of Arthas starting with our first moments in the Howling Fjord, but this is the moment we've been waiting for!

The gunship battle has the potential to be pretty cool, and I look forward to wiping the smile of the smug faces of those silly San'layn princes especially.

I can wait for them to do it right.
I can work my way through heroic TOC.

For now.


"Why I Hate Casuals," or, "Triumph Badges in Heroix, Really?"

I've seen the complaint often in my several years of more or less hardcore raiding.

"Casuals have it too easy"
"Blizzard just hands them free epix."
"I'm quiting wow because they've dumbed it down for teh casuals"

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Gold Farming: Ethics and Raiding Impact

Ironic, isn't it?
I decided to use AdSense to put a few ads on my page. I should have guessed that this being a Wow blog, the ads that would be placed would be...... yup, gold sellers and powerlevelers.


Being new to this, I haven't yet figured out if/how I can get rid of the gold selling ads and get Google to post, say, legal gold making guides and/or things like web hosting or gaming peripherals, but I will work on that.

Anyway, seeing those ads on my page got me thinking about an age-old MMO topic; is selling in game stuff (currency, items, leveling, etc) for real money a good thing, or a bad thing?

Monday, October 5, 2009

Leveling your DK: 68-80

Yipeeeee!!! Level 68 gives you 'permission' to head to the fertile xp grounds of Northrend. Given the increased experience from questing and killing mobs, you'll hit 70 before you can say "Death Knights are OP!"

You won't get a lot of new abilities, but as you add talent points to your blood tree, you'll find it a breeze to solo your way to max level, or find a group of buddies and farm instances for the same.
So, congratulations! You've made it to Northrend!

Whether this is your first time here, or your 8th alt, take a few minutes to enjoy the scenery. Northrend has some truly incredible vistas to offer, from the soaring bluffs of Howling Fjord to the savage green wildlife in Sholezar Basin, to the rugged blue peaks of Icecrown. Enjoy!

Now, about getting that DK to 80......

Raiding DK professions (a few comments)

You raid as a dps DK, right?
Ok, I'm not going to write a long post here on min/maxing professions. It's been well-established since Lich King was released that Jewelcrafting/Blacksmithing are the way to go for providing the best raid benefits. There's been plenty of posts and blogs covering the topic in detail; if you want more info, let me know and I'll point you in the right direction.

Can you raid effectively with other professions? Sure, you can. They're not quite as good, but you can get by.

For now,  however, I'll assume you're like me and are JC/BS. So, two things about raiding with those professions, just as simple reminders.
1. Don't forget to create your three gem sockets: bracers, gloves, belt. I have forgotten a time or two when I got a new piece to make those sockets, and I lost out on the very nice stat bonuses they provide.
2. Distribute your gems carefully. If you armory Hinenuitepo, you'll see I have two +20 hit gems. This gets me to the cap, which is very important. Other than hit/expertise cap issues, you should ignore socket bonuses and gem strength. The only other exception to this is to ensure your meta gem activation; use a Nightmare Tear to fulfill your blue gem requirement, and do so where it will get you a +6 strength socket bonus (legs/chest).

This brings up a related point: DON'T BE CHEAP. There's no reason to skimp on your main. There's no reason to put non-epic gems in your slots or have suboptimal enchants. It's just too easy to make money in the game. Wowenomics and many other sites can give you plenty of ideas, but the simplest tip of all with the two professions above comes from jewelcrafting. Do the daily every day - it takes 10 minutes at the most. You can find all the mobs that drop the quest items nearby in Icecrown or Storm Peaks. People forget that most animals, including the rhinos up in SP drop the northrend ivory. Anyway, you can turn your token into quick cash either by trading the token into a Dragon's Eye or by getting five infinite dust and creating a nightmare tear. I usually make the tear as it is worth more than selling the raw eye and five dusts sold seperately on my server - but check your own server for prices.

Happy Monday, and more to come!
-finish my leveling guide, and more

Friday, October 2, 2009

Raid Weekly Quests

Brilliant, Blizzard, just brilliant (said with every possible nuance included).

I would consider Blizzard's latest incarnation of daily heroics a raging success. LFG was starting to look like a true ghost town before 3.2. Often, the entire lfg interface had one or two people in it. Now, at least for the daily heroic, it never takes me more than a few minutes to get a group. People are motivated to do heroics, they usually go very quickly unless you're unlucky enough to get a fail group, and the rewards feel worthwhile.

RAID DAILIES??? (Weekly). Wow. We're going to feel compelled now to run Ulduar/Naxx/etc again every week, at least up until whatever boss it is we're supposed to be killing. It will make lfg for these instances viable (at least up until that target boss) in a way that it's never been before. Shoot, my guild will be doing Naxx at least a couple times when it's the weekly - for mains and alts... ugh another time sink. And, yay! A nice way to keep old content interesting and viable.

Ulduar 10, Ony revisited

Just your typical 'blog/journal' post today.

I went back to Ulduar 10 the other night after a regular toc clear.
Actually, let me clarify. When Ulduar was released, I raided it in 25 mans for two weeks before I took a break from wow due to RL (Real Life) concerns. I actually didn't do any 10 man Ulduar at all.
After I came back to the game and transferred to a new guild/server, I really didn't get into U10 either - we were focused on U25 and then TOC. So when we went into Ulduar with several alts and several mains, I had forgotten my lack of U10 experience. It was certainly funny to see achievements popping up every kill as we finished out our evening with this fun partial clear.

3.3 super early advance reactions

By now you've checked out the Icecrown Citadel maps and info.
Suh - weet!
This looks like an epic 5-man like we haven't seen since..... well since.... well, vanilla wow? I wasn't even playing until BC, so I don't have a comparison point. I enjoyed a number of the 5-mans in Burning Crusade, and I admit to really enjoying the first time I stepped into both the Nexus and Old Kingdom. I like most of the LK 5-mans, honestly. Too much of the time we don't stop to look at the artwork and focus on just getting through the instance, killing the mobs/boss, and /collecting the loot.
This new instance looks wonderful to me so far. Better, really, than perhaps any 5-man I've seen at an appropriate level. Epic comes to mind.

For DKs, the good news is there's almost no news. During this first year since Lich King was released, we've gone through more adjustments, tweaking, and changes than your grandmother's prescription list. I'm ready to just settle down for a bit and 'be' a Death Knight for a while. I'm pleased with the reduction of aoe damage to pets, and the stoneskin gargoyle change makes sense. Otherwise, hopefully we don't end up with major mechanic-modifying changes in 3.3.

I can't wait for more info on the Icecrown raids!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Leveling your DK: 60-68

So you've made it to Outlands! Welcome! The land of the Burning Crusade - home of lurid skies and lurid gear :)

Level 60 gives us an important tool for leveling: Death & Decay. Now we can really aoe! Combined with pestilence to spread your diseases, and blood boil, you can now do some serious damage to as many mobs as you can pull. Your leveling will never be the same. Read on, McDuff for more suggestions on burning your way to Northrend...

Raiding DKs in 3.2.2: Review of Week 1

As you know, I've spent the last couple of weeks before and after the 3.2.2 patch testing dps with the various raid specs that have been exhaustively theorycrafted. Now that we've seen what Onyxia has to offer (no drakes yet on my server) and seen how the 'new' Scourge Strike builds and nerfed Heart Strike perform, where does that leave us as dps DKs in raids?

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Leveling your DK: 55-60 & miscellaneous considerations

So, given several requests for information on leveling DKs, I'll accelerate my plans to blog this topic and get started.

First, my qualifications to give suggestions on leveling DKs:
1. I leveled a DK 55-80 on the beta, which is when I decided DKs were for me. I tried all three main talent trees as I went.

Raiding gear: headset

I've heard of people that say they use the built in speakers and/or microphone while they raid.

I've also heard of huntards that raid without a pet, DK's that equip spellpower gear, and seen many a talent spec where the player evidently randomly assigned their points.


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Rogue Vanish fixed? 1357 days and $1 million short...

Vanish has never worked correctly, and they're just 'fixing' it now?

Could have been nice way back when I had a rogue main. Vanish is a lot of fun, but there's nothing quite so frustating in pvp or pve to hit that button in desperation and to watch the mob/player still hit you as if you were a warrior in leather.

Ah well, there's no going back for me. I took the red pill and my rogue will just have to wait. I'll test drive vanish maybe, but mostly Hiro (my rogue) will just have to sit in the garage and look pretty.

Monday, September 28, 2009

And My Niche Is..... It's a Tie???

Drumroll please...........

dum de dum de dum


No, 2H Unholy!

No, Blood!

Damnit! :)

Theorycrafting aside, these two specs performed very well, and had definite advantages over DC spam - which, although fun, didn't quite provide the dps of the former two, and frost, which underperformed and I personally didn't enjoy.

So, which is it for Hinenuitepo in 3.2.2?

FMN: 2H Unholy and the Return of Scourge Strike

Hello Scourge Strike my Old Friend!
I've come to talk with you again! :)

It's a wrap (sort of): the final installment of my testing is done, for now. I tested the 16/0/55 spec that has emerged from the 3.2.2 changes to rebuff Scourge Strike. This spec is very similar to the old 17/0/54 spec that was rampantly popular at LK release, and the one I raided all of Naxx/T7 with. Changes are that epidemic and reaping are dropped and the rotation is shortened to 10 seconds. Instead of maximizing Scourge Strike spam, the attack is just part of the rotation which maximizes death coils using glyphed Icy Touch and ensures desolation stays up via more frequent Blood Strikes. Consider over at Elitist Jerks gives a very nice write up of the spec, how to do it, and why to choose unholy over frost or blood.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Finding My Niche: Here's Why (Theorycrafters Can Be Wrong).

In figuring out a bit of this blogging thing, I perhaps made one of the classic mistakes: I didn't write enough for my "audience" and wrote more from a personal perspective.

Finding My Niche is an ongoing personal journey about best performing my role as a DPS Death Knight and therefore the quintessential topic for my blog and entire WoW experience.

If you raid as a dps DK (or a tank for that matter), I'd imagine that would be your primary concern as well.

Now, you can spend a lot of time keeping up with the various theorycrafters, most famously found at Elitist Jerks - I certainly do. There's a lot of famous and smart people that post there and a lot of good tools.

So, why don't I just adopt the cookie cutter spec that the theorycrafters say is the best?  GC said it very well with some general comments about theorycrafting in general and dps specifically:

Friday, September 25, 2009

FMN: Blood

It's all about the Blood!

The third raid dps spec I tested for 3.2.2 was the big bad 2H Blood build. This is the classic Death Knight-with-a-big-two-hander-hits-hard spec. Late in the 3.1 Ulduar cycle it gained prominence as the top single target spec and became one of the two most popular dps specs overall (with 2H unholy pre-SS nerf). In 3.2, it remained very powerful. In 3.2.2, it received somewhat of a nerf by halving the damage done to the second target of Heart Strike, and with armor pen being weakened as well. I used the Fordragon Blades for the raid, the 232 version, so the weapon is comparable to the one-handers I used on the DW tests. So, will blood be my choice for now? Or will my niche be in the unholy tree?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Tanking as a DPS DK/heroics are FUN????

Over at, Gravity was gracious enough to let me post an article on what happens when a DPS DK is asked to tank.

Since a one-sentence blog entry is.... short, I'll add to it that one of my favorite activities lately has been tanking heroics (if you've heard this from me before, move along :)).

Yes, the DPS DK, melee damage dealer extraordinaire, enjoying tanking non-raid content! LOL, you say? Yes. Indeed.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

ONY!!! ONY!!! ONY!!!

Onyxia!!! After running 25-man VOA and TOC last night, we had a few insomniacs decide to peek into Ony's Lair on 10-man and see what she might offer us.

FMN: Dual Wield Death Coil Spam

Is DC spam moar better than DW Frost? :P

Right, my second attempt to figure out what might be 'right for me' in 3.2.2 was the DC spam build. Talk about a wonky spec; none of those typical FU FU (frost/unholy) big strikes, and the only spec in which unholy presence is favored.

Blood Sun Rising

The photo doesn't come close to doing it justice, but driving in to work today, I was struck by the sunrise. Well, not the sunrise, but the SUN itself. It was the most vivid blood red color, and looked huge!

AND I immediately thought of Hellfire Peninsula and some of the gorgeous and garish red skies there :P

EDIT: After posting this, and then my DC spam review, I chuckled to myself, wondering if it's a portent of things to come. Will Hine be Blood for 3.2.2? We'll see!

Noob to blogging, not so noobish in WoW

If you've found your way here, welcome!
I appreciate you taking the time to stop by.

I started the blog this weekend, after the thought had been germinating in my mind for some time. In any case, I'm a noob when it comes to blogging, and any suggestions or feedback would be welcome. Thanks in advance!


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

DKs overpowered?

Ghostcrawler: "We didn't make DKs intentionally OP. While we want people to purchase Wrath of the Lich King, there are lot of logical flaws with making one class purposely overpowered (such as angering all the players who play the other nine classes).We made a few mistakes though, which I don't mind being up front about."

Hinenuitepo: News flash: DKs aren't overpowered any more.

FMN: DW frost

So, is this how my DK will be raiding for the foreseeable future?

Ok, pause first for a few prefaceorial (yes I made that up) comments. For all of the major dps specs, I have at least adequate gear to try them out (almost all at least T8 gear). I have 232 weapons for each spec. I raid with a guild that's organized around allowing time for rl, so we 'only' spend about 8 hours of raiding a week - nowhere near as much as hardcore guilds and thus don't attempt world firsts or anything close to it. Still, we're at 12/14 ulduar (focusing on TOC now) and fully cleared regular TOC 10 and 25 the week it was available. Heroic TOC is a work in progress.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Finding my niche (Intro)

If you're like me, you're serious about your Death Knight.

You've probably watched the patch notes to see how 3.2.2 will affect your day-to-day functioning. You know that Scourge Strike is back in, Obliterate is out for Unholy dps, and that DK tanks are getting a slight buff in the form of reduced cooldowns.

So, if you're a raider, what will you be running for Trial of the Crusader/Heroic TOC?

I'm still trying to figure it out. :)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Who is the Death Goddess? Part 2

“Why oh why didn’t I take the BLUE pill”? (Cypher, The Matrix 1999)

How did I fall down the rabbit hole that is the World of Warcraft?

In my college years I dabbled in a few pc-based games like Master of Orion and even Starcraft, but I avoided MMOs because of their reputation as ‘addictive’ and I was attempting to focus on school. This turned out to be a wise decision as Evercrack never existed for me and I blissfully sailed through graduate school and started a family and career without the distraction of the never-ending treasure hunts that MMOs offer. Unfortunately, I was later marooned on an island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean (Terceira, a part of Portugual) with little to do for two years while I completed my Air Force service, and a friend’s son came to visit for Christmas.

I wasn’t offered a forget-this-ever-happened blue pill. He gave me the RED.

Who is the Death Goddess? Part 1

This blog centers around the main character of my World of Warcraft existence: Hinenuitepo. Hinenuitepo is currently a female Draenei Death Knight on the Moonrunner US server. When I decided to roll a Death Knight for the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, I selected the name based on the sound of the name itself and the mythology surrounding the Maori princess. It’s pronounced “Hee-nay-new-ee-teh-poe.”
The name Hinenuitepo itself comes from a Maorian legend, which can be found on various sites on the internet, including this site and at Godchecker. Hana Weka is credited with this version of the Goddess’ story: