Friday, May 23, 2008

Young Talent Time


^^ That's where I'm at people. According to my own figurings, this should be the best raid spec for me at this point in my career.

Now talents come and go, specs change, Blizzard changes the rules frequently, people whine, things get nerfed... people whine, things get buffed. It can be a bit much to keep up with sometimes.

It's fairly easy to go research the best spec for x and then just copy it and away you go. This of course doesn't take into account your playstyle, your skill level or your gear. So how do you know when you have it "right" ?

I don't think it's ever 100% right, the game is too varied for one spec to be ideal. Something that can help, however, is Lhierva's Theorycraft-o-Matic. This tool will actually give you a simulated DPS, DPM, etc for any particular spec, based on your current gear.

That is freaking awesome. Costing anything up to 50g, a respec isn't something you want to screw up. I should know, I'm on my 4th spec since I started playing again, and none of them have even been radically different from one another. Just a little tweak here and there.

Up until just recently, mana was not an issue. There is no fight in any 5 man that will put me all the way out of mana under reasonable circumstances. You know as long as someone else is doing some damage as well and I remembered to conjure a mana emerald and perhaps maybe I'll use evocation during a fight.

But never was I standing there fresh out of cooldowns and been forced to bust out [The Black Stalk] on some hard to kill mofo, until the other day in kara when I was a little bit slow on creating my gems and found myself wanding the boss for the final 5%. Dunno which boss. Some big dragon fella as I recall.

The point being I decided to respec for clear casting, hence the spec above. This means I lose frostbite and improved blizzard, some of the swappable talents I've been playing around with during my recent respecs. This is no big deal in a raid or instance situation, as you don't have much opportunity to bust shatter combos on frostbitten enemies because someone else usually breaks the snare before you can wind up a frostbolt. Also imp blizzard isn't really helpful unless you are AoE grinding or PvP grinding. Neither of which I am planning to do a lot of.

So I have clearcasting instead.


Frostbite and Improved Blizzard are totally useful talents at certain times, while clearcasting gives me a mana-free spell cast 10% of the time. Thats super awesome when I need to cast 10% more spells without a break, but super useless the rest of the time.

To be honest I don't like it, but will stick with it for now as I try to squeeze out every last smidgen of DPS when in raid situations with the new guild. One must do one's best when one is the new guy don't you agree?

At least the theorycraft-o-matic confirmed that I had indeed chosen the ideal raiding spec and nobody can tell me I need to respec until I'm bloody well ready. right?


One thing that is interesting, and you should try this when you plug in your own mage and do some talent comparisons. Which is better brilliant wizard oil or superior wizard oil?

36dmg & 14crit vs 42dmg.

Well the simulator actually tells me that the less damage but more crit will yeild a higher return in terms of DPS over the course of a decent fight. Damn I have about 20 jars of Superior Wizard Oil. I think it's actually cheaper to make than the Brilliant stuff because Large Brilliant Shards are rather pricey these days.

So. Kara this weekend guys? maybe? kinda? perhaps? If you aren't all too busy on your mains in that big ass guild doing some end game 25 man content that I will one day maybe get a look at.

HMMMM having your main in an alt guild isn't always the greatest.

be imba!

Have you ever been a bit lost in WoW?

Not the type of lost where you have taken a wrong turn in Kara and suddenly you are surrounded by mobs, weird staircases, and have to ask someone to come back and get you.

No... Today I'm talking about the type of lost where you log in, and just don't know what to do. This tends to happen after you hit the level cap, exhaust the immediately available fun stuff, have either finished levelling or are sick of levelling tradeskills, or perhaps you are WELL AND TRULY FED UP with running normal MGT in the hope that the bloody [Gloves of Arcane Acuity] will finally drop and the bloody holy priest wont roll on them.

So inspiration you need? Guidance you seek? Trust me getting your Cenarion Expedition rep up to exalted can wait. It's not important. Clearly this game is all about gear and getting more of it, so why not have a tool that tells you what you need to upgrade, what you need to regem, and then suggests items you might like to upgrade to and where to find them.

enter be imba!

Well I can't show you an up to date output from this site as the armory is down right now, but suffice to say it tells me some stuff that I need to know. It also tells me some stuff which I suppose is correct but ... meh.

So lets have a look at what it has to say about good old Zupa of Frostmourne shall we? What have I done wrong?

First of all its telling me I have unenchanted items = 1. This is my legs. My legs aren't worth enchanting at this stage, so stuff that.

Then its telling me I have 2 misenchanted items. Misenchanted. How dare you etc. Lets have a quick look at what it's gripes are. Apparently +7 stam isnt good enough for my [Frozen Shadoweave Boots] Apparently I should have Fortitude, Boar's Speed, Vitality or a Magister's Armor Kit.

Well screw you buddy, I'm keeping my +7 stam for now. The rest sound either expensive a la boars speed or gay a la magister's armor kit. Hmmm maybe this isn't as imba as it wants me to think it is.

So next up it has a gripe with my cloak. It doesn't like spell penetration for an enchant, and to be fair its useless for PvE and that's exactly what ive been gearing my mage up for, so fair play. Subtlety instead it reckons. Fine fine. I'll get right onto that. Might wait for a better cloak first although this one doesn't suck.

... and so on and so fizzle. You can also look at your "low level items" and check the armory for upgrades. Which link to wowhead and allow you to get all the info you require to outfit your mage correctly. All in all its a nice little way to plan your next gear upgrade or enchant or gem or whatever, and it gives you nice breakdowns of you gems and your enchants and the bonuses they are giving you.

Now I could include a link to my be.imba page or a screen shot of it, but thats hardly as interesting as what it has to say about YOUR mage. So go on, plug yourself in, dont forget to tell it to get a fresh copy of your data from the armory, and see what YOU have done wrong. Who knows you might have put the wrong gem in your new helm. I almost did.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Guilding for Dummies

So those unnamed beautiful souls who convinced me to join them in their cycle of addiction, they had a guild...

In a moment of weakness I promised to join their guild. Seemed like the right thing to do, you know. Playing with IRL friends makes it less of an awful thing to do in your spare (and often not-so-spare) time.

It wasn't until later that it started sounding like less of a great idea. By then I was renamed, rehomed, reguilded and the most insanely decked out lv 60 on Frostmourne by far. Not that being a decked out lv 60 gets you anywhere, but there were a lot of "whoa's and OMGWTF's" from the noobies and a lot of "hey, pre-bc raider. respect" from the pros, or the old timers. It amounts to much the same thing in WoW.

So what, exactly, was the issue? Well the very nature of the guild I was in was the issue. See guilds are born for different reasons and serve different purposes.

There are the obvious ones, like the "we r teh leetsauce end game raiders, all applicants must have 8/8 t6 gear k thx" and the "we r teh leetsauce arena and PVP legends, PVE is for noobs, all applicants must eat red meat, drink beer and grind battlegrounds for fun"

There's the hopefuls: "we are looking for more priests/druids/shamans/warriors/rogues/warlocks AND mages to start raiding Kara! (pallies can GTFO we have one of those)"

... and then there's the hopeless.... "we are a social levelling guild of mature fun people who like romantic walks on the beach and picnics in the sun. All classes welcome, must be FUN and blah blah insert hearts and flowers nonsense here"

See guilds serve different purposes to different players. PVP guilds organise premades and arena teams. PVE guilds have organised raids and push new content and get fat lootz. Levelling guilds I suppose are good if people are levelling or something..... and social noobcake guilds are kinda there for the people who want to play the game without playing the game. You know what I mean? Don't really like anything where they might die.

I hear herbalism is fun this time of year.

So. What type of guild did I find my way into? Another type I didn't even know about. This is the type of guild that is created by people who have no guild, for the purpose of having a guild. That way you can design a tabard and choose a cool guild name!

Sweet... I don't have an issue with people not being right into the game. I don't care that a lot of people dont know, and probably aren't interested in the mechanics of spell haste and spell hit. Guild chat is still a social thing, and being the guy in the guild who knows stuff isn't so bad I guess.

I guess my problem was I've been there, and I've done that. its done. meaning finished. meaning other stuff is the doings of happening now. Sure you can PuG every 5 man instance in the game given enough time. I know. I did. Then I got sick of it.

I was level 70 damn it. I should be doing something decent with my WoW time. Not running some shitty 5 man in the hope that some shitty blue will drop, the bloody holy priest won't roll on it, and I will be able to upgrade by a monster +5 spell damage and +2 crit at the cost of only 4 spirit and 1 stamina.

WHOOPIE FUCKING DOO! I needed more. I needed bigger. I needed better.

I should have just quit the stupid game again.

But nooooo. I accepted an invite to Bunny Slippers. Ok so original guild called Walk the Gank Plank. New guild called Bunny Slippers.

Can't say im a fan of either name but you know. Would a bunch of nerds by any other name, still be as geeky? errr. Right.

At least these guys did Kara and stuff.... So I told the old guys the score, I wanted to raid. I used to do nothing BUT raid for months before I quit. 5 mans and quests are boring and im not fkn interested. So its basically this or quit wow ok guys?

What about PVP? Bah pvp is more of a grind than "go kill 25 rats and bring me their tails" and ill give you 2g58s.


OK sorry. I blew up there.

So it was kinda weird. Kinda awkward, and TBH I miss the guild chat.

So far shiny count from new guild is on 3. tier 4 head, some fancy dagger that Im not using yet coz no offhand, and some ring which was one of those kinda almost sidegrades but for my particular playstyle infintisimal upgrades that people congratulate you on, even tho the only real upgrade is the color of the item text.

Im happy with the head tho. Have a look, it's pimp. Other goodies on there as well. -> -> -> Blood Guard Zupa

More guild drama as it unfolds...

Who you calling Scub?

To anyone who doesn't or hasn't played wow you may not know that reaching the highest level in the game really means you have finally started. Akin to graduating from high school, hitting level 70 you are no longer bigger and tougher than almost everybody else.

Suddenly you are the scrub. You don't know shit. You don't got shit. You can't do shit. Shut up pls and watch your freaking aggro. Scrub.

Yes people called me a scrub. 75 days played and they call me scrub. Can't you see I'm a Blood Guard? Don't you know what that means?


apparently not.

As it turns out, just because someone has reached the lv 70 pinnacle of wowingness (for now at least), doesn't mean they know how to play. It does not prevent them from being a complete freaking moron.

This is an easy assumption for rookies to make. All those big bad lv 70s who are doing weird stuff we don't understand like badge farming and dailys... they know what's what.


Stupid people get to level 70 too. They they run around the virtual world hurting people with their stupidity. It's like an AOE dot of some kind and the only way to remove the debuff is to leave the group and hearth.

So I might have a section in the blog. Stupid shit that stupid people did at stupid times that made me laugh, or cry.

I'm Baaack!

Blood Guard Zupa

... and so it begins again. It's just like old days. Getting by on absolute minimum sleep, spending half the day thinking about which instances to run and which gear to farm, reading forums, raiding, getting purples and wasting solid blocks of my precious life chasing a bigger carrot.

You know I kicked the habit a while ago. I was officially a burnt-out raider. They announced BC, all my epics were destined to become worthless, rading became pointless and my guildies at the time started talking about downsizing as there would be no more 40 mans.

I wasn't likely to make the A-Team in AlterElectus as they had a gaggle of geared mages already. The writing was on the wall, I hung up my Dragonrider Boots. Darkhorse the mage went on permanent smoko. Cya bitches, have fun wiping on new content without me, ill be out having a life, going to parties, picking up chicks, getting some sun. You know that stuff that normal people without epix addition do in their spare time.....

yeah sure.

So why would I start again? How stupid can I get?

Well like any reformed junkie I guess I was always going to have a weak spot, and while I managed to resist for months, colleagues at work convinced me to re-actiavte, transfer to Frostmourne, and join their guild. Level to 70 with us they said, we will make a good group... they said.

And so I took Blizzard up on their free BC trial, (and paid character transfer... ) and ten days later I was at lv 70, hiding behind a new name, and devouring the new outland instances like they were about to have their loot tables nerfed. I sharded epic after epic, cried when I equipped green items, laughed when the first frostbolt critted for 4k, and pondered how much things have changed, but how the people stay the same.

But what makes this game great is the people right?

more on them later...


hello world!

Not that you needed another blog or anything, but with 18 new ones spawning every 0.007 seconds, nobody's gonna mind one more? especially if its just a little one with no political content...

Anyway. I warn you. This blog will have lots of Gaming stuff, lots of WoW stuff, lots of random stuff, some ramblings, probably some rants, but hopefully -something- that justifies its existence. It will serve as my own personal favourites list via the links page (making the WWW work since 1989) It will be a diary of sorts when stuff worth recording happens, and hopefully will not be used against me in a court of law.

For now your best bet is to check out some of my links, since I've got SFA content of my own at this stage. Links are guaranteed* not to be lame, so run along now and I'll see you next time you should be doing something productive, yet for reasons best known to yourself, aren't.

- Zupa

* what I really mean is just trust me on this one ok?