An Update

I’m currently on vacation visiting the boyfriend, and our raiding is in its final week before we have our official raid break for the summer. There will still be some raids now and then, but completely optional for those who are interested. Personally, I’m definitely considering just taking it easy and not really raiding. If anything, I’d be more interested in going back to do some old raids/achievements. Just for fun.

While on vacation I’m stuck on my laptop. Which when I bought it I thought would be able to handle WoW fine. I don’t know what happened, but fine is not really what I would call it.

Here’s a comparison for you. First screenshot if taken on my PC at home. The second one from this laptop in an attempt to mimic the first one…

PC Screenshot

PC Screenshot

Laptop Screenshot

Laptop Screenshot

Not quite the same. Sure, the laptop has a lower resolution of course. But I have to play everything on the Low setting to be able to get above 10 fps. Worst part is, it didn’t used to be this bad. When I first got the laptop it was playing it on at least a decent setting. I could see more than ten yards ahead of me. Honestly, I have no idea what’s gone wrong, but I suspect I should just re-install the entire thing. An updated graphics driver got me from 2 fps to 20 if I’m standing still.. But if I raise it above the minimum settings… Back down to basically no fps.

Which is extra frustrating, because I got the WoD Beta invite the day I went on holiday! And let me tell you, with my laptop barely managing normal WoW… Playing the beta is impossible. So I have this new, shiny beta invite – and I can’t use it for another week until I go back home! So unfair!

Posted in Random Ramblings | 3 Comments

How do you know?

I’ve played WoW now for over eight years, and I’ve never un-subbed. There may have been a day or two on occasion if my payment method ran out before I remembered to refill, but that’s it. No breaks for eight years. And I’m starting to feel it.

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against the game, I still think it’s a good one. But right now, I don’t feel like playing it. I log on, look around, and log out again. Twice a week I still show up for the guild’s raids, but I’m not enjoying them. The opposite may even be true. I sometimes feel disappointed when the raid isn’t cancelled due to low sign-ups. Which I realise is very selfish of me, since other people in the guild still want to raid.

Which is why I’m still there, I think. Being one of our two main tanks, it’s not an easy job to just quit. I’d feel too much like I was letting everyone down. At the same time I’m finding no joy in raiding.

We’re at a point where I don’t quite feel like we have a reason to raid in the first place. Being a casual guild we have no real plans of doing heroic modes other than the few easier ones (of which we’ve done a couple so far). On normal mode everyone pretty much has every piece of gear they need. We disenchant almost everything that drops. Some of our guild members want to do heroic modes, but to be absolutely honest… I have no interest in them. There was a time when I probably was, but my love for raiding is completely gone for the time being.

So, why are we still raiding?

I guess some are still chasing the dream of heroic modes. One or two might still need an illusive piece of gear. And some might be doing it just for the sake of doing something together. Some time ago, I may have agreed with some of these reasons, but I just can’t find the will in me anymore. I feel miserable the entire duration of every raid, and I feel guilty about feeling so miserable. I don’t want to ruin anyone else’s fun.

There’s talk about having a raid summer break, and I’m considering not coming back after. If nothing else, it’d give the guild time to find another tank during those weeks of no raids.

I wonder if not raiding will bring my joy for the game back. Or if I just need a longer break from all of it, maybe until the expansion hits. I have no idea. How do you know if you should stop or continue? I’ve been feeling like this for a very long time, but I’ve battled through it. Kept showing up for raids, kept doing my best during them. All the while wishing I was somewhere else, doing anything else.

How do you know?

Posted in Random Ramblings | 10 Comments

I’m Still Here

You know… More or less. The blogging isn’t happening much though, mainly because I’ve lost some of my interest in WoW. Don’t get me wrong, I still think it’s a good game – and I still log on to raid twice a week. But I’ve lost some of my interest in doing other things for the time being. Anyway, so what have I been up to lately, since apparently I’ve not blogged for… well, longer than I care to admit. (I apparently also missed my 4 year anniversary, which was on April 11. Oops?)

World of Warcraft

As mentioned above I’m doing little in WoW other than raiding at the moment. For a while I was leveling with the boyfriend, using RaF, which was quite fun. Because it’s so quick, you don’t have time to get tired of any of the dungeons and you get new skills at a fairly quick pace. However, now that they’re all 85, we’re feeling a bit worn out. In comparison, leveling through Pandaria is like moving through neck-high mud pools. Not to mention that I’m rather sick of Pandaria after leveling a large amount of alts already.

It will always annoy me that questing is quicker leveling than any other alternative (like dungeons and PvP). If you could switch it around more without feeling like you’re just slowing down your leveling speed, maybe it wouldn’t get quite so tedious to level your umpteenth alt.

The Dynamic Duo

The Dynamic Duo

Diablo 3

The boyfriend and I got the expansion for D3, and it’s been quite fun. I leveled up my old Monk from 60, and we also leveled up a Crusader each. While I really did enjoy the Crusader, I think the Monk may still be my favourite. Sadly, for me, Diablo rather quickly looses its appeal. I do enjoy it, and I play a bit every now and then. Never for long though, and it has two reasons.

Reason 1: It hurts my hands. I don’t know what it is about Diablo, but it makes my hands/wrists hurt like hell. Even with me not clicking, just holding the keys down. I’ve tried rebinding the keys to make it better, but not managed to find a good way to do it yet.

Reason 2: It’s a little bit too grindy. While I enjoy the new system with bounties and rifts, in the end I’m not quite sure what I’m gearing for. You get better gear so that you can do it at a higher difficulty. But… It’s exactly the same… The same bosses, the same mobs… They just hit harder. And if you can do it, you do it to get more gear so that again you can do it at a higher difficulty.

It’s a system that just doesn’t appeal to me. While, in essence, WoW is exactly the same – I am able to fool myself into thinking it is not. Because unlike D3, when I gear up I do it to kill the next boss, see and defeat the next bit of content. I realise that it’s really the same thing, but with a different dress – but it’s enough to keep me interested. In Diablo it feels too much like I’m gearing up to do the same thing all over again, for no other reason than to… Well, that’s where the game doesn’t quite hit the mark with me I guess.

My Monk and Crusader.

My Monk and Crusader.

WildStar

I haven’t bought WildStar, but I played a little on the beta. The game didn’t instantly grab me, but as I stopped playing when the beta ended – I find myself missing it a little and wishing to go back. It doesn’t help of course that my blog feed is getting overrun by people talking about their WildStar experiences.

And so I’m thinking about maybe giving it a try, at least for a month or so during the summer. With me not really enjoying WoW much at the moment, it might be a nice distraction.

First set of chars in the WildStar beta.

First set of chars in the WildStar beta.

Other Stuff

Outside of games, I’ve been catching up with friends who no longer play. I’ve been working, and sleeping. A lot of sleeping! And writing on my personal blog when I have the time/energy. I’m currently looking forward to going to visit the boyfriend in the UK, three weeks from tomorrow. On the whole, I can’t complain. Except for not loving WoW as much as I normally do at the moment, my life is pretty good.

What is everyone else up to? Still playing WoW fully, or are you branching off into other games while we wait for the expansion?

Posted in Random Ramblings | 14 Comments

Instant 90?

I’ve not bought the expansion yet, but I’m planning to. One of the decisions I have to make once I do is what to do with my “free” instant level 90. My main server is full, and all characters are level 85+, so using it for any of them seems like a terrible waste. So I’m going to have to start somewhere new…

Most of my friends in WoW have either stopped playing, or are in my guild on my main server. So I’ll have to find somewhere new, or put it on the server where my last friend is playing. (I already have a character there, but I guess another isn’t a bad thing.) This is probably what I’ll end up doing, unless someone has a nice guild somewhere on an EU server that wants social members?!

The second decision will have to be… Which class do I pick??

I already have one of every class in the game at level 85+. So it’s going to be a duplicate in any case. Unless someone is looking for something specific, I’m leaning towards a female Pandaren Warrior. I enjoy Warrior tanking, something I did a lot of in WotLK, and I think the female Pandaren has awesome melee animations.

"I already look awesome, and I'm only level 15!"

“I already look awesome, and I’m only level 15!”

Posted in Random Ramblings | 3 Comments

Tanking 101

Edit: Updated the Taunting and Threat section.

A friend of mine returned to the game recently and has been leveling a few classes. She asked me about tanking and if it’s difficult or not, and how she would know how to do it. So I thought I’d write a quick and easy guide to the basics of tanking. As with any guide of mine, it’s not the be all, end all guide – just a few basic pointers to get you started.

The Very Basics

  • Be a class that’s actually a tank!
  • Be in the tank spec of said class (while at lower levels some classes may be able to tank anyway, it’s not recommended to someone new to tanking, and it does make things more difficult).
    - Druid: Guardian
    - Paladin: Protection
    - Warrior: Protection
    - Monk: Brewmaster
    - Death Knight: Blood

Pulling

You want to be the person pulling at every time, both for trash and bosses. It helps you with initial threat (keeping the mobs attacking you), and building your vengeance which will assist in further threat. When doing 5 man instances, you may find yourself with people who aren’t content to let the tank pull, and sadly there’s not much to do about it. If you ask them politely not to do it, and they still do, you just have to try to do your best anyway. (Fortunately at lower levels, this isn’t something you need to worry too much about, since often they won’t die due to the instances being fairly easy.)

When pulling, if it’s a trash pack with one Elite mob and several non-elites, you’re usually best off focusing your attacks on the Elite – since it’s the one that would do the most damage if it got loose and attacked others. With several Elites, you will want to distribute your threat equally. Some classes have an easy time with this, having abilities that strike all targets, while other classes have some abilities that hit a limited amount of targets (often 3). If you have such abilities, you will probably want to tab target/switch targets within the group every now and then to make sure you build enough threat on everything.

Another thing to keep in mind, is that you’re best off not pulling using only Taunt, but quickly follow it up with something that does some damage. On boss fights especially you may want to use a damage cooldown at the pull to make sure you put out enough threat, since your dpsers are likely to be hitting their own damage cooldowns and may be doing a lot of threat at the pull. (I’m looking at you Warriors!)

Taunting and Threat

Threat is basically the level of aggro a mob has towards players, and as the tank – you want them to hate you the most. Generating threat is done through dealing damage to the mob, and healing (which is why mobs who aren’t attacked by anyone likes to run to the healers). As a tank your damage does more threat than a regular dps (five times as much), and so in general you should have no difficulty holding aggro.

If you lose aggro, or you need a mob to switch their aggro from someone else to you, you can use the Taunt ability. Taunt will force a mob to attack you for 3 seconds, and it grants you a level of threat equal to that of the player who had aggro when you taunted.

It’s worth noting that Taunt has a diminishing return, and every taunt within 15 seconds will have a reduced time of attacking you. If too many taunts are done in that window the mob will essentially become immune.

After taunting, for 3 seconds, your abilities will generate 200% more threat. There is no point in using any threat building/damage abilities before taunting, since you will be given the other person’s threat anyway. Instead, taunt and then use your damage/threat abilities, which will generate 200% extra threat at this point, and should give you a good lead on threat.

Taunt gives you 3 seconds of the boss/mob’s undivided attention, but if you do nothing – you will lose the aggro again, since the person you taunted off of will still have the same level of threat as you (possibly more if they continued attacking and you didn’t do anything). This means that taunting something that you have no way of reaching (maybe it’s out of melee range and you have no ranged abilities), since the odds are that if it can’t reach you in the 3 seconds you have aggro, it will turn right back around and attack whoever it was when you taunted.

Tank Switching/Taunt Switching

There are fights out there that require two tanks and a switch between the two. (In fact, majority of raid fights work like this). You need to make sure that you know when to taunt (often when the other tank reaches a certain number of debuffs or following a certain boss ability), and then use it at the correct time. Following your taunt, always use your high damage/threat building abilities to make sure your threat puts you above the other tank (or they will have the boss back after the 3 seconds).

When the other tank is taunting off you, if they’re not getting a high enough threat lead (you can use an addon like Omen Threatmeter to see exactly how much threat either of you have), you may want to hold off on using your highest threat building moves, or if needed even stop attacking completely for a couple of seconds. With the addition of the 200% threat buff after taunting though, this shouldn’t be needed most of the time.

Positioning

There are a few things to keep in mind regarding positioning of bosses. You’ll generally want to face them away from the raid since a lot of them have cleave type abilities that are done in a frontal cone. It also helps the melee dps since they will want to attack from behind the boss. If it’s a dragon type boss, you’ll want to angle it slightly sideways since in addition to a frontal cone attack, they also generally have a tail lash attack – so no one should be stood behind them.

The most important thing for you to remember when it comes to positioning; never have your back towards a boss (mob) that is attacking you. When turning your back towards a mob, you cannot dodge, parry or block any attacks. This means that you will be taking a burst of damage while your back is turned. It’s a waste of your healers mana to have them heal you extra, but not only that – if you get an unlucky streak of attacks it might even kill you.

If you need to move a mob, you should strafe left or right. This will keep your side towards the boss (meaning you still dodge, parry and block) and it doesn’t slow your movement speed (like backpedaling would).

Cooldowns

Know your class’ cooldowns and when to use it. Knowing the mechanics of the fight helps with this, since you will know which of the boss’ abilities you will need to cooldown for. Try to cycle through your cooldowns, and don’t use them all at once. You often have one survival cooldown that’s on a shorter cooldown (30s to 1 minute), which is often worth using as often as possible.

Posted in Tips | 8 Comments

New UI Graphics

For a long time I was running with a purple UI, partly because it’s my favourite colour, and partly because – hey, Warlock colour! But since I’m now playing my Paladin a lot, I decided that she needed her own UI. (Démonique gets to keep her purple goodness of course.)

I use an addon called Btex to add bottom textures, and it’s quite easy to make your own textures for it. I decided to go for something golden-ish for the Paladin.

Paladin Bottom Texture

Paladin Bottom Texture

I think it turned out rather nicely, and my Paladin doesn’t feel as much of a second choice after the Warlock since she now has her own texture. Been considering making new ones – one for each class, but might be a slight overkill!

 

Warlock Bottom Texture

Warlock Bottom Texture (I use this)

 

Warlock Bottom Texture (other version)

Warlock Bottom Texture (other version)

Paladin UI in game

Paladin UI in game

Warlock UI in game

Warlock UI in game

If you’re interested in the addon Btex, you can download it here.

If you want to use any of my bottom textures, feel free to grab them. Depending on your resolution, you may need to edit the width in Btex (in-game) to put the map in the correct place. On mine I have to make it 490 to get the map where I want it (default is 512).

Download Links
Warlock2 (Map right side)
Warlock1 (Map middle)
Paladin

Posted in UI/Addons | 2 Comments

Guild Poaching

We recently had one of our raiders leave us for another guild. Nothing new there, it happens to every guild now and then – especially one that’s not at the upper ends of the raiding scale. You’ll find yourself as the stepping stone for someone gearing up to get into the guilds further ahead. I can deal with that, it’s just how things work. (And to be fair, we’ve had very little of it the past couple of years.)

This time it was a bit different though. This raider didn’t go out and look for another guild, but another guild looked them up. Told them how they were much further ahead than us (not a lie), and what they could offer that we could not. While all of this is true, I will admit that I find the practice of approaching members of other guilds a bit icky. It’s one thing if they come to you, but to actually chat them up; poaching them… It’s not something I think a respectable guild should do.

Obviously, a raider has to allow themselves to be poached in the first place. So I’m not saying that someone who’s poached wouldn’t have left you eventually anyway. There’s just something about actually approaching another guild’s members that doesn’t sit right with me. I’d never do it myself, even if I desperately needed new members. At most we’ve approached other low-attendance guilds with questions about teaming up to get raids going.

I don’t think this particular guild have problems with attendance though, they seem to be doing fairly well on their progress. And even if they were having attendance problems, I still don’t think it’s a fair thing to approach players already in guilds (unless they contact them first). There are so many ways to find recruits; forums, general chat, recruitment sites…

What’s your experience with poaching? Does your guild do it? Are you against it? I’m interested to hear what other people think about the subject.

Posted in Guild | 12 Comments

Siege of Orgrimmar Tanking Cheat Sheet (Part 3+4)

This is the second part of my basic tanking cheat sheet for the Siege of Orgrimmar. Part one can be found here.

Do note, that these are not full tactics! It’s the bare minimum for you to know what you’re going to do as the tank. It might help as a reminder to people who are forgetful, like I am, or as a quick guide if you want to try your hand at tanking in LFR.

The Underhold

Malkorok

- Tank the boss in the middle of the room where he stands when you engage. Move around him as he casts his frontal cone attack, Arcing Smash.
- Taunt off the other tank at 15 stacks of Fatal Strike. (Less if you notice the other tank taking too much damage, as long as your own has worn off.)
- Stay out of the areas where Arcing Smash has hit so that you don’t get killed when he does Breath of Y’shaarj.
- There’s no healing except for during the intermission, only a shield the healers put on you. Help out by using self-heals (to buff your shield) and cycling through your own cooldowns.

Spoils of Pandaria

Raid is split into two groups, one on each side and you’ll be the sole tank on your side. Your job is to pick up and tank, well, everything. There are boxes, and you open them to spawn adds.
- Start with opening the two boxes that have green marks – it will buff your healers once those adds are defeated.
- Open the two biggest boxes, but not at the same time. Open the second one as the first one is about to die. If you’re not taking a lot of damage, feel free to open some small ones while killing the big.
- Continue on and open medium/small boxes as needed. As many as you can without getting overrun.
- Drag mobs out of void zones and similar on the floor since they usually either buff or heal them.
- The Kor’thik Warcallers could potentially hurt if they become Enraged depending on your gear. If they hurt a lot, kite them during enrage.

Thok the Bloodthirsty

- Tank him so that the raid can stand on his side, or they’ll get hit by breath or tail swipe.
- Taunt off the other tank at the following stacks: Roar – 3, Acid Breath – 2, Freezing Breath – 4, Scorching Breath – 2
- If not tanking, stand to the side together with the raid or you’ll get the stacks as well since it’s a frontal attack.
- During the phase shift, stay away from the boss. Taunt the jailor that appears, kill it – loot key and open one of the cages along the sides of the room.

Downfall

Siegecrafter Blackfuse

- Taunt switch the boss and the adds (automated shredder) that appear. If you kill the shredders quickly enough, you can do the taunt switch whenever a shredder is dead.
- One tank start on the boss, and when the first shredder appears, have the second tank taunt the boss. That way you start on the shredder with some stacks (which makes you do more damage to it).
- Keep the shredder in the big saw blades as much as possible for extra damage to it. Move away when it does Death from Above.
- Move out from the areas where the explosions will occur for Shockwave Missile. Should be easy since it’s shown clearly on the ground where it will appear.

Paragons of the Klaxxi

They will become active with three at the start, and then a new one becomes active any time one dies. So you will always have three active paragons, until the end when there are no more to become active. Starting set will be Rik’kal, Skeer and Hisek.
- Let one tank taunt Rik’kal and one Skeer. You can’t taunt switch these because they do a debuff that makes you take more damage from the other.
- If you’ve tanked Xaril, you cannot tank Kil’ruk when he comes down (last one) because of a debuff that makes you take more damage.
- If tanking Korven, use cooldowns when he is about to cast Shield Bash, since you will be taking a lot of damage (Vicious Assault).
- If tanking Kil’ruk use cooldowns when he’s about to use Gouge, since you will be taking a lot of damage (Mutilate).

Garrosh Hellscream

- In Phase 1, have one tank take Garrosh and the other tank all of the adds. Tank it all in the middle of the big circle on the floor, but move out when the big iron star comes through the room (in LFR there may not be one since they may choose to kill all engineers).
- Transition phase; one tank go left and one right, kill all adds. Attack Garrosh (no need for tanking, just stay out of his frontal cone). If Terrace transition, just run forward and kill all the adds in front of Garrosh.
- Phase 2; taunt switch Garrosh on 3 stacks. Move out during Whirling Corruption if you’re not tanking right then. Help kill adds, silence mind controlled people.
- Phase 3; the same as phase 2, just everything hitting harder and the whirling weapons can’t be killed so you may have to move the boss to clear areas of the room rather than staying in the middle.

If you want to read the Cheat Sheet for the first two parts, you can find it here.

Posted in Tips | Leave a comment

The Definition of Free

At Blizzcon I was quite excited about the expansion, and I still am about a lot of the aspects – even if it looks as if we will still be waiting a sweet while for it to go live. (Beta soon, please?) The announcement about the free boost of one character to level 90 didn’t bother me, since I figured it’s something that can be nice for friends coming back to catch up, and not something I particularly need myself. And hey, it was free… So who cares, right?

Then this week the pre-sale of the expansion became available. And they’ve tagged €10 onto the price compared to previous expansions. All other expansions have, to my recollection, cost about the same when first released. Which makes sense considering that we already pay a monthly subscription fee. So it seems a bit odd to me that they say that we’ll get a free boost of one character to level 90, and then increase the price of the expansion. In what world is that free?

Don’t get me wrong. I’m fully aware that €10 isn’t a huge amount for the average gamer. It’s the principle of saying that they’re giving us something free, then increasing the base price so that they can say it’s free – but in a way still charge us for it.

Since I don’t need the character boost, and I am actually quite strapped for cash as someone chronically ill – can I have a version without the boost for the original price? Since it’s obviously not as free as first advertised.

Sorry about the ranting, but it does bother me when companies do things like this. It’s like when stores raise the prices for a couple of months so that they can have “super saver discounts” during their sale – but are basically just selling the stuff at the original price.

If you don’t believe me about the increased cost, I checked my transaction history from when I bought MoP.

The WoD prices on the EU site.

The WoD prices on the EU site.

Regular MoP

Regular MoP

Digital Deluxe of MoP

Digital Deluxe of MoP

Posted in Random Ramblings | 2 Comments

Happy Valentine’s Day


A little Warlock Valentine’s for you all…

valentine

 

I wish everyone luck trying to get their hands on the Love Rocket in game as well. I’m trying every day since it started, and still no luck. Anyone else out there being lucky?

Posted in Random Ramblings | 2 Comments