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?