Monday, February 22, 2010

Gone Fishing!

So, that's me and a bonefish I caught on holidays recently. See how happy I am?

WoW doesn't make me happy like that!

There is nothing quite like 2 weeks on a tropical island with no tv, computers, phones or even a microwave to give you another perspective on life.

From now on... there will be no more raiding.

No more scheduling game time.
No more rushing home to get back in time for the first pull.
No more staying up late and skipping dinner for the sake of a raid.
No more lusting after purple pixels.
No more pushing as much DPS as possible out of my gear.
No more theorycrafting.
No more auction housing.

In short, I won't be chasing the carrot any more.

(... At least not for a while.... I dare say I will re-activate after the next expansion just to see what all the fuss is about... but I usually do don't I?)

In the meantime I'm busy with a new business venture, and have been playing the FPS Modern Warfare 2 instead for my gaming fix.

You know, it's nice to play when you want, for as long as you want, and be able to stop any time you feel like it, and for that to not affect your enjoyment of the game or any body else's either.

So that, is that.

To all my blogging friends, thank you.

Thank you for all the laughs, the tips, the tricks, the stories and the little bits of yourselves that you share with the world.


PS: if you ever have an opportunity to visit Fraser Island, do it!

Sand, sun, beaches, fishing, rainforests, freshwater lakes, manta rays, dingos, sea turtles, stars, hammocks, friends, sunsets... a little bit of paradise in my book

PSS: Send me an email if you play MW2 and want to get in touch - I'll give you my steam name and we can pewpew

Friday, October 30, 2009

UI Blueprint

What better way to pass the time during a boring meeting? So I sketched up what I'm thinking of doing for my fresh UI which I will setup this weekend.

Yeah I know I'm a talented artist innit! Why on earth do I work in IT? Who can say.

And there it is. Only took me a few minutes too! Amazing, I know.

I'm aware that all this probably only makes sense to me at this point, so here is a bit of a description of each UI element, starting top left and working my way clockwise around the screen.

Naturally posts shall be forthcoming with actual screen shots of the actual UI when I actually set it up.... Maybe I'll even include links to each addon, but tbh that sounds like hard work right now.

OK top left. Iz map. iz good. I totally dont need a map front and center as it is in spartanUI, and that space can be used for useful information instead. As for a map mod, Sexymap is win. Especially the ability to hide all your minimap icons until you mouse over the minimap.

Top center - some kind of cooldown timers will go here. Undecided as to which mod to use for this so far.

Top center also will be the spot for stealable buffs. There is a groovy mod called mage nuggets that does a bunch of useful mage things including tell you when and what buffs you can steal from your target. I like this.

Top right is Satrina Buff Frames. Stick with what you know imo.

Below that on the right is where I'll configure DBM to put it's little timer gizmos.

Bottom right will have omen and recount for PVE, and gladius for arena, and probably nothing much for battlegrounds.

Bottom bottom right is sort of up for grabs, but I think a small chat box dedicated to the combat log would go alright here. Thanks to Tunas for giving me the idea of multiple chat boxes with different content years ago. Definitely going to find a link to that post of his and put it here, sorry Tuan I'm just being lazy today. (ok maybe not so lazy, that was actually really simple)

Moving across to the center bottom, here I will have a couple of rows of buttons courtesy of bartender 4, and I think I'll get fancy with button facade to make it all look fancypants.

Above the action bars I will have some unit frames and cast bars. Pitbull and Quartz are used here, once you get used to them playing without them is just annoying.

Player and pet on the left side, target and target's target on the right side. I will have a big dirty target's castbar above my own, as seeing what your enemy is doing when you can't see your enemy is totally helpful and necessary if you are going to counterspell at the right time.

Finally between my feet and my target castbar seems like a good spot for those scrolling combat text notifications. (which I really need to filter, at the moment its just a stream of spam that I mostly ignore)

Ok... bottom left, standard chat window. Chatmod and WIM are essential once you get used to having them around.

Above that, against the left side of the screen is where party and raid frames traditionally live, and I think I'll probably stick with grid here. I have to say that since last patch grid has been a bit buggy and as a mage in arena I think I need something that shows me who everybody in the party is targeting.

Ok so now in the middle of my screen there will be scrolling combat texts. I like to get the numbers out of the way so I have the heals left and damage right, and I use the spam protection feature so there isn't tooo much going on. Maybe I'll use the blizzard damage numbers above the enemy's head, mainly because it't fun to see all that going on when you AoE... but further testing will tell.

In the middle at the top I will put Doom's Cooldown Pulse thingo. It basically flashes an icon of a spell when that spell comes off cooldown. Easier than looking at your action bars all the time or your cooldown counters.

Finally above my head and around my avatar will go various power auras so I know when I have umm powerful auras active. Good for arcane power and stuff like that.

Oh yes, titan bar at the bottom as well, although I'm considering alternative ways to display this info (gold, system performance, lag, location, bagspace, time, blablabla)

And then.... Then I'm going to redo all my bindings... and then learn them again O.o I just did a quick count and I have about 14 keys I can hit without thinking or using a modifier like shift or alt. That is plenty for a DK but just doesn't cut it as a mage.

Going to have to either use modifiers or get used to stretching my fingers a bit further to access more keys, but I don't really like that idea, as i'm more likely to hit the wrong thing, or worse still, put my fingers back on the keyboard in the wrong spot, and then ill hit all the wrong things until I figure that out.

Something to keep me busy I guess.

edit: Just had an idea. Perhaps I switch the location of the action bars with the player / target unit frames and cast bars?

Oh and I forgot to mention OmniCC is totally worth having, and as such I will be havening it!

Two's company

I've never had an arena team hold together for more than a few weeks, and never had any kind of success in arena, ever.

There was this one warrior I played some games with back in season 4 or something, but neither of us were particularly adept at the whole arena-ing thing, which is almost another game altogether when compared to battlegrounds, and has nothing whatsoever in common with the raiding thing, let alone the kill ten rats kthx thing. I do remember having fun on those rare occasions when we won matches, and always intended to get back into it 'one day'...

I've also never been in a pvp guild, and basically never got around to making it happen. (arena that is) Procrastination is an art, and one I feel I have mastered by this stage in my life.... added to that, being undergeared in arenas is no fun, so I've always planned to grind out a bunch of honor before even attempting them in previous seasons...

Generally that coincides with my semi regular but unscheduled absences from Azeroth. I finish gearing up, get bored, find another game to play, then come back after the next expansion...

So what im really saying here, is that I dunno what the hell im doing in arena. As a general rule. Sometimes.

For example when it's mage shaman vs priest priest. How am I even supposed to attempt to kill one of these pillar humping priests? I spend half my time defending myself, half my time attempting to counterspell, spellsteal and polymorph something useful, and the other half of my time cracking off the odd fireblast and trying to spam some frostbolts or whatever.

Clearly I don't have time to do all that. I'm over here in a dress, basically holding a sign that says over here, melt my face, I dare ya! Lookout or I'll sheep ya! and again! and now ill counter spell ya! and then what? buggered if I know... Do a little twirl?

Some improvement required. So I should practice right?

Last night I spent who knows how long doing 2v2 skirmish. Damn that is fun! Matches take approximately 7 seconds to pop, sometimes you get the same partner, sometimes you get to fight your previous partner, every matchup is different, so I keep getting killed in new an interesting ways...

It really gave me a lot of exposure to different tactics being used both for and against me, and I think I started to get better as the night went on.

There were times when things worked properly, and my initial MI / IV / We / frostbolt + freeze + deepfreeze + frostbolt + icelance + icelance combo** landed just as a warrior teamate did something nasty involving several large axes and some poor guy on the other side got assploded in the space of... (let me count) about 4 global cooldowns, so 6 seconds, but it seems like less because during the first GCD im casting, so from the time when he gets hit by the first frostbolt to the time when he becomes pink mist is more like 4.5 seconds.

That's a quick kill in anyone's book, and a good way to start an arena match on the right foot.

Of course I'm sure it's going to get harder when (if) I start playing rated matches, but you need a team for that.

Experienced people want to play with experienced people. Noobs also want to play with experienced people.

Unfortunately noobs are going to end up playing with other noobs more often than not, so the future here looks a bit bleak. Unless I find some random team that wants to give me a run... and then I turn around and don't suck, I am not really sure how best to get into an arena team.

Oh wells. I guess I'll just keep gearing up and practicing skirmishes for a while. And watching arena videos at work.

<3 youtube at work. ... and arenajunkies live steam is pretty awesome too when it works, but not enough mages stream. HOOK IT UP PEOPLE! Enough with the pally PoV - I wanna see how the pro mages do it. Anyhoo... in other news... it's still good to be a mage again. I can finally do respectable DPS and would back myself to take on almost any encounter in the game as it stands, with the exception of some of the hard modes that simply require the uber DPS that a set of mostly ilvl 200 gear can't deliver.

I also want to get into a gold pug, as they are starting on my server. Ideally I want to get into two. One where I tank it and don't bid on any items, and then another on my mage where I spend the cash I earn't on something useful, like a trinket or summat. HMMMM but raiding is like meh. small raids like OS and VOA are fun, but ulduar? what a snoozefest. Like the extreme opposite of 2v2 skirmish. You throw a few fire standing peanuts into the mix with a sprinkling of fail tank, and suddenly there are a million things I would rather be doing.

I did have a good voa 25 last night however, The RL checks me out before we start and says "if you dps is too low im going to kick you ok" and I'm like yeah OK, I will pull at least 4k, and he goes I hope so ur gear is pretty low... and I'm like Cheeeeel Winstun... Iz ok. Just see what happens. Well, what happened is I burnt mana like it was going out of style and was pulled some good numbers on trash, and then finished about 4th or 5th on dmg on Koravon.

Totally didn't get kicked.

It's good to be able to finally not feel weak in a 25 man raid. Of course, if I had better gear, I think I could really do something nuts in a raid like that... Especially if I hang in there until I get a few more triumph badges, get that +hit trinket, and go fire spec.

Hmm what else. I was too busy skirmishing and I missed my stoopid wintergrasps, and I bought the furious cloak instead of replacing my level 70 pvp neck!

It turns out clever doesn't happen at 3am... "Oh look a shiny!" *click* *buy* is far more like it. I didn't even realise my mistake until I started writing this post!

Lastly, my interface needs a rebuild. Spartan UI is out, minimalist functionality is in, and keybinds are due for a major rethink, as having to press 8 for my iceblock and F1 for my arcane power + icy veins doesn't really make sense. Stuff is all over the shop. One extra second finding the right key is one global cooldown wasted. (This post will be updated with a screen shot of my current UI in about 2 or 3 hours, depending on how early I can sneak away from the office)

** Am I doing this right by the way? (translation = cast mirror image, icy veins, water elemental, frostbolt, freeze, deep freeze, frostbolt, icelance, icelance) I am so used to doing shatter combos with the standard frostbolt + freeze + ice lance that I have to force myself to mix in the deep freeze.