Archive for January, 2010

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The Case of the Missinig Flasks

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

Allow me expatiate upon my ordeal this week.

Shortly before Monday’s raid, I realized I had only 1 Flask of Endless Rage.  Usually I get someone to craft some for me, but with the price of Frost Lotus at the time, it was cheaper to just pick up 2 on the Auction House for about 38 gold each.  So I hopped onto my bank alt, picked up some Flasks.

I logged into Brajana and proceeded to head out to Icecrown to fit in a few dailies before raid time, and then headed to the Citadel.  Monday was our night of Professor attempts, so I was pretty excited.

We mowed down the trash quickly, and found ourselves buffing at the Professor’s front door.  I looked at my hotbar, where I recently removed a few unused macros and placed some other more often used things (like my Flasks).  But what’s this?


Hmm, odd.

Now, if I had left them on my bank alt, Bagnon would have a little line saying something like “Tazdingo (Bags: 2)”.  But as far as Bagnon knew,  I didn’t have any Flasks anywhere, no alts, no banks.

Oh, I though to myself, I must have forgotten to get them out of the mail.

But there was no little “New Mail” icon on my map.

Oh, I must have opened the mail but not taken the flasks OUT of the mail.  Silly me!

So I apologized and quickly hearthed to Dalaran to get them… but my mailbox was completely empty.  What the heck?!

I must have left them in my bank alt’s mailbox!  What a dummy!

So I apologized again, and quickly logged over to Tazdingo to find… an empty mailbox.  Well, it’s clear I did buy them from looking at my gold reserves. Maybe I typed the name wrong when I sent them?  Maybe they’ve gotten lost in the mail system?  I opened a GM ticket and borrowed a Flask from another raider and went on with the raid night, confused and frustrated.

Wednesday comes around and we’re raiding again.  I’d received a response from the GM telling me they couldn’t find my missing mail.  After giving up and hoping “Brajan” or whoever I must have accidentally sent the mail to is enjoying their free flasks, I picked up FIVE new flasks and made sure I got them, had them in my bags and was ready to go at raid time.  We did a quick Sarth 3D zerg (it was the weekly) and started heading to Icecrown.

That’s when I happened to notice I’ve got the Flask of Endless Rage (52 minutes remaining) buff.  Confused (as I didn’t bother to Flask for Sarth), I look at my hotbar again.

BUT THERE WERE FIVE OF THEM!!!

And then it begins to click.

Although there clearly is no indicator of it, maybe that hotbar location is bound to something.  So I put something else in that spot (a Red Rose) so that I would KNOW if I somehow hit that button (when it tells me “I can’t equip that with a 2H weapon!”).

Low and behold, we rushed into battle, I sent my pet in and… “I can’t equip that with a 2H weapon!”

Turns out that was the old location of my Hunter’s Mark + petattack macro.  However, since that keybinding was set before I installed Bartender, it had no label on it.

Every time I tried to send my pet in to attack something for the last 2 raid nights, I burned a Flask.

/facepalm

I might also add that I took that macro off of my bar because in last week’s raid, I confused it for my just Hunter’s Mark button and sent my pet in to pull Rotface all by himself while we were buffing.

That macro is cursed!

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Tales from the Dungeon Finder

Monday, January 18th, 2010

You meet all kinds.

Since they released the Dungeon Finder tool, I’ve been taking advantage of it like a {insert off-colour reference}.  Most notably, with my Paladin.  No, not that one… my OTHER paladin.  She hit 20 and spec’d prot just in time for the Dungeon Finder, and has leveled almost exclusively using it.

It’s amazing the kind of people you run into in these old world, low level dungeon runs.  While I know it can’t be true, it feels like 90% of the people I group with have never played the game before.  Kaeira just hit level 30, and rather than expatiating upon each adventure in its own post, I’ve collected the tales of the last 10 levels and condensed them all here into one for your enjoyment.

These are mostly paraphrased as I rarely think to take screenshots of these things.  But you’ll get the general idea, minus most of the bad grammar.

Also, I would like to mention how sad I am that so many of these are Hunters.  :(

Deadmines:

My very first foray into my Dungeon Finder journey:

Hunter: “I’m new to this game.  How do I get on my mount?”
Me: “That’s not a mount.  That’s your pet.”
Hunter: “Ohhh.”

Shadowfang Keep:

You know that room with Commander Spingvale which can be dangerous for pulling the entire room?  Not to mention, many of those mobs like to silence.  While I’m carefully trying to pull groups of 1 or 2, the hunter gets too close, aggroes the entire room (including the boss) and causes a wipe.  She then says: ”I’m gonna be lazy.  Rez me when you get back lol.” and does just that – waits til we run back to res her.

In the same run, just before Fenrir (a bit more than halfway through the instance), the warlock says, “Gotta go to work guys, I’m going to put myself on follow for the rest of the dungeon.  Bye!”  I sure am thankful for the “Vote to Kick” feature.

Blackfathom Deeps:

I think a quick recount is all that’s really needed to tell you the story about this Hunter.

No wait, that’s not all that’s needed.  He also asked if we would wait so he could tame one of the demons.

During the same run, the prot paladin forgot to put Righteous Fury up after a wipe until reminded by someone at the next boss.  (oops, that was me…)

The really sad thing?  Remember the bad hunter?  He still came in second for DPS (just behind me, the tank).

Stormwind Stockades:

I actually got into an instance as DPS instead of tank!  While I was still spec’d prot, I managed to nonetheless beat out the rest of the dps… including a hunter two levels above me.

Gnomeragan:

I ran Gnomer about a dozen times.  The worst story is from the one time is from the only time I disliked someone enough to actually leave group myself.  I got brought in part way through the instance, as the first tank had left… and I soon found out why.  This rogue wanted to tank it – one of those “I know how to do this better than you” types.  After he continued to pull mobs while we still hadn’t killed the ones we were on, I finally told the group that if they didn’t need a tank, I’d leave and let the rogue do it.  When the rogue said he could handle it, I left.  I wonder if they ever made it the rest of the way!

My best story from Gnomer is when I’d finally run it enough times to actually know my way around.  I never ever wanted to know my way around that wretched place!  Anyway, why was it the best?  Because the Dungeon Finder set us up with this group, and it actually went very smoothly:

pallypower

Talk about PallyPower!

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WoW Word of the Week: expatiate

Sunday, January 17th, 2010

expatiate

\ek-SPAY-shee-ayt\, verb:

To speak or write at length or in considerable detail.

Example: You are not a true WoW blogger if you can’t expatiate upon the most mundane patch notes!


wwotwWoW Word of the Week is my weekly Sunday post to encourage the expansion of the average WoW player’s vocabulary beyond “noob”, “pwnd” and “FAIL”. I’m going to try to use the WWotW in my other posts this week, and I urge you to use it as well!

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This Week in Raiding: Rotgut and Festerface

Saturday, January 16th, 2010

This week we had our first experience with the Plagueworks of Icecrown Citadel.  I have to say, it’s a bit of a challenge.  First, we have Frogger 2.0.  A few torpid people in our raid even died to it… I won’t name names, to protect my their integrity.

Then came the Valkyr mobs.  And after getting overpowered by our own selves, we managed to take these mobs out by focusing on the Valkyrs instead of the ghosts.  That seems to work most of the time.

Onto the puppies, Precious and Stinky!  It’s true that they’re almost mini-versions of Gluth from Naxxramas, even their abilities.  It just goes to show you how much more difficult this place will be if they are using old bosses as trash!  In the end, they weren’t very difficult.  Although I think Precious should have a chance to drop that pretty red ribbon… that could be a fun little trinket. :)

We first went in and had our way with Festergut.  After only one wipe, we managed to get him down.  It takes a bit of coordination but it certainly is manageable.  Loot was dropped, and it was of the hunter loot variety.  Yay!  Things were swell.

… And then came Rotface.  Buttface is more like it!  We’ve now spent several hours (about one and a half raid nights) fighting him, and still haven’t gotten him down.  It was a bit demoralizing to see wipe after wipe and very little in the way of improvement… we really couldn’t even see where to improve.  You see, the problem with that fight (at least using our initial strategy) is that it’s a difficult and interesting fight really only for the slime tank.  The rest of us get to side step around the boss every 30 seconds or so, and maybe even kite a slime to the slime tank.  That’s about it.  After many, many hours of this, it gets a bit boring.

Not to mention “Good news, everyone!” and “Great news, everyone!” being shouted into your ear repeatedly!  For once, I was actually tempted to turn my game sounds off completely just to keep some piece of sanity!

After a second night of wiping on Buttface, analyzing what was killing us and some good looks at videos and various slime-kiting strategies, we’ve managed to lock down on a new way to do it and we’re very confindent he’s going to be down for the count next week.  Stay tuned!

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The Psychology of Gear Scores

Friday, January 15th, 2010

While listening to the discussion between BrigwynDaewin and Nassira on The Hunting Lodge Podcast about gear scores and how they should be used, I was reminded of something I recently learned in my Intro Psychology class.

We were learning about the discussion about how heredity and environment effect a person’s intelligence.  As with many topics in the field, there are some who believe intelligence is determined solely by your genes.  In Warcraft, I associate this view with those who believe performance (let’s go with DPS to make explanations easier) is based solely on your gear level.  In both cases, there are many examples out there where you can see that this isn’t true – take two Hunters wearing the same gear, and their DPS could be quite different.

On the other hand, there are those who believe intelligence is based on environment:  how you were raised, how motivated you are, and so on.  In Warcraft terms, I think of these people as those who believe that no matter what gear you have, you can perform just as well as anyone else if you’ve got the skill and know how 2 play.  Again, this is clearly not true – you can see that in your own character: while your abilities and playstyle might not change, as your gear improves, so do your numbers.

In the end, there are grounds for both sides.  What’s important is how they interact.

In psychology, we learned a theory that heredity imposes upper and lower bounds on intelligence, and environment determines where you land between those limits.  Do you see where I’m going with this?  Gear (and gear score) do matter… you can only perform as well as your gear allows.  But your abilities and skill play a very important part, and should count just as much (if not more), as it determines if you’re able to reach the peak of your potential.

So there you have it – I’ve applied my Psychology class to a video game.  That’s what school is for, right?