Thursday, June 26, 2008

Hunters without pets?

A new talent that may or may not be related to hunters in the latest Wraith build is Camouflage. I'm not sure the camo ability really goes with the hunter image. Sure it may be a nice trick for PVP, but there is the obvious pet issue. To me it would be very interesting if they changed the MM tree around to give you about as much dps as the BM tree without the pet, and not allow you to use a pet. Which is really really odd, but there you go. A 'lone ranger' of sorts. It would allow these types of talents more usefulness, for sure.

Loot greed

My response to this article on Massively

Couple of issues. First regarding the wealth distribution. It is true, in a capitalist society wealth is unequally distributed. However, the richest 1% pay the lion's share of the personal taxes in this country, and that tax rate has been very high in the last few decades. It went down under Bush but not more-so than the middle class. This isn't the place for politics, but people are dead wrong about the 'tax cuts for the rich' that people complain the Bush administration gave.

Second, you are absolutely right that in WoW it's a two tier system. First its character level then its gear leveling. At 70 your abilities double, triple or quadruple depending on your gear. For example, my dps on my hunter has increased 4 fold and can increase another two fold beyond that. That's 8 fold above the normal level 70 in basic equipment. So to get to 70 it is pretty easy, you don't have to do all the quests, you dont have to do the dungeons.

However, at 70 there is a rude shock. To do the heroic version of teh dungeons, you suddenly need much better gear than you'll typically get at 70. So you need to do the battlegrounds, and do the upper-end normal dungeons, and obtain epic crafted gear. There is a huge 'gear gap' between raids and heroics versus normal dungeons, and this gap can take months to overcome. This is pretty annoying and I hope they do a better job at it in the next expansion. Currently the end-game normal dungeons just aren't run, there are very few newly minted 70s. All the older 70s do the heroics for the badge reward. Thus the gear gap is much more challenging to overcome now that it used to be six months or a year ago, due to aging of the player population.

Lastly, while players are greedy, there are systems in place to aleaviate this. For 25 man raids our guild uses a point system like the vast majority of guilds. You put in the time, you get the points. You bid the points on the loot you want. If you are the high bidder, you win. Now, this doesn't prevent warriors from bidding on hunter gear, but its fair in the sense that they earned the points.

As you mentioned the WoW end-game raiding is based on tiers. Its reasonably expected that players need to have much of their gear in the previous tier to be successful in the next tier. For example, to do Kara you really need to have drops from heroics and badge rewards. That's sort of a tier 3.5 for a tier 4 instance. For SSC/TK the whole raid really needs to be in solid tier 4, no blues. For BT, the raid really needs to be in Tier 5/badge gear, with little/no Kara gear. The raids are designed this way, so its not a matter of greed as it is that it's required for all the players to have appropriate levels of gear.

I don't expect people to display common courtesy or ethics in this game. It's too easy to get away with things. If you didn't roll need when you needed to, you should have. If people are ninjaing loot, then the guild needs to have a mechanic in place to deal with it (masterloot). But by and large the death of guilds is due to #1 lack of timely progression, and #2 loot drama.

Flight times?

Why does it take 10' to get from one end of the continent to another? Why does it take 19 secs to get from IF to the isle of QS yet 10 min to get back?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Ending the addiction?

Powerful article. I think at least half of the WoW population is addicted. I make efforts to cut back, but right now my life is so messed up and extremely stressful, this is the only thing I know that helps me cope. Anyway I am hoping once life becomes untangled I will be able to destress better.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

pre-kara gear guide for resto druids


Better late than never?

I've been trying to gear up my druid for either tanking or healing. I've somewhat given up on the character. I have LW 375 but no epic set yet (i got the healing LW specialization), I have the gloves of living touch. In theory I could go heals (i'm feral now). I just can't find a group to save my life. Nobody, i mean nobody, does normal instances anymore unless its ramps or SP at low 60s. I can't get enough good gear to tank anything or heal anything.

Its a really nice thought to have this guide, but with endgame being the way it is, nobody wants to help people gear up. It's all heroics and kara now. I am in one of the largest guilds on the server (probably the largest, some 100 70s, 3 kara groups). Nobody runs these instances for any purpose, ever (on my server)....So good luck trying to gear up for raiding at this point unless you have very kind guildies willing to 4 man heroics for you.

I think basically people are doing heroics now soley. If you can't step foot into heroics, dont bother. I did do Heroic SP late late saturday night and got a ton of stuff, a nature resist LW pattern (extremely useful for SSC, not that anyone will run SSC now), a epic leg piece which my hunter had and is great for dps, some other stuff. But by and large, a) gear in heroics is pretty terrible (the blue gear that drops from bosses - the last boss tends to drop a epic now and again) b) You have to be geared to do the heroics, and I'm really not. I could barely do hSP (easiest one) , and certainly not in my intended role. So...good luck to people wanting to get stuff. Honestly the best thing is to tag along a kara clear for a T5/T6 geared guild.

That said, if you do the Windhawk Armor set, you get about 530 bonus +heal off the bat. You can gem with Unstable Sapphire (+9 heal/+4 spirit, purple gem) or Purified Shadow Pearl (same as above but +3 spell damage too), and Teardrop Living Ruby (+18 heal, red gem) (or just all TLR = 6 x 18 = 108 +heal). So about 640 +heal off the bat if you ignore socket bonuses. Gloves of living touch is +77 heals, so 720 +heal from those 4 pieces, and another +75 heal if you manage to get the heal enchants. Roughly 800 +heal from 4 pieces properly gemmed and enchanted. But right now I'm broke and the cost is something like 1000g each for mats (much less if you can farm ingredients of course).

Monday, June 16, 2008

Raiding hiatus

I decided its time to step back from raiding for a bit. I got some good news regarding a job prospect in North Carolina, and really need to focus on selling the house, moving, finishing up my current project, transitioning said project, etc. Anyway that will happen next week since I already signed up for stuff this week. I did receive another piece of nice BT loot last night (we got shade down, so are 3/8 in BT). I plan to do the Naaru heroics tonight, Tue night return to BT, Wed out with friend, Thur Mag's lair (should be an hour or so of raiding). Fri/Sat off, Sun last raid on BT. I'd certainly like to see Illidan down, but will have to wait until after I move to NC most likely.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Probably not a good thing

One of my comments is the picture for 1. Local - a weekly blog entry focusing on reader comments. Which just shows that i comment too much.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

WoW API book

This seems incredibly useful. Plus this blurb from the author of probably the best WoW Addon: Omen.

Wow. Now this is a gem of a programming reference. The bar to writing tech references is really low these days, and as a result there are lots of tech books on the market that are really empty and only end up giving you one or two useful concepts.

This is not one of those books.

I'm going to order a copy and see if i can make something useful.

Entered Black Temple

I think the goal of most raiders is to down Illidian. When i first started playing WoW, the Black Temple (BT) wasn't around. It came out a few months after, and I thought to myself "gee, I want to see that". Then I thought "i'll probably never do it, because raiding is too hard, etc". So... a year later, I'm in the BT, doing progression raiding in one of the best-progressed guilds on the server. Now, granted on most servers, there are many guilds that have downed Illidan.

However, our server is new, our guild is new. The guild was formed 4 months ago. I've been playing with them about 3 months. We started in kara and quickly geared up (most people were in all kara gear at that point). We then got enough people to start 25 mans, doing Gruul twice, Mag twice, and then entered SSC/TK. After downing most of the bosses there once or twice, we decided to move to T6, since at that point everyone had the patch 2.4 badge gear, making the T5 stuff sidegrades at best. Now we are in T6, and everything is a upgrade.

Two nights ago two hunter loot dropped, a fellow hunter and an idiot warrior got them. Last night was my turn. I'm now the proud owner of Wraps of Precise Flight Nice upgrade for me, and the first useful upgrade since ZA.

Unfortunately, being in a BT guild is a sink or swim situation. Everyone is gearing up via DKP, which requires raid attendance. For example, I was gone from two raids last week. Because of that I had no DKP points, I couldn't bid on the two hunter items that dropped on Sunday, and I'm way behind on DKP for other things (doubley so since I just got a piece of gear). If I were to leave and come back 2 months later, the guild may be disbanded, and my raid spot will certainly have gone away.

Raiding guilds are constantly hemorranging people and acquiring new people, due to burnout, etc. Its a huge time sink. I am in one of the very few guilds that doesn't screw around and takes raid time very seriously. Almost all guilds at this level of progression are doing something like 3 nights progression a week, 5 hours each. 2 nights farm stuff like SSC. 1 night whatever, ZA or Kara. As it is, we do typically 4 raids a week, 3 are guild raids and you get DKP for. Essentially we do ZA to get gear upgrades easily (which isn't readily doable in 25 mans). So even though my WoW time is completely consumed by 3 nights of raiding, its what I'd consider a bare minimum to stay in a BT guild.

My goals are as follows. I'd like to see Illidan. I'd like to get my netherdrake (need about 7 more rounds of SMV dailies). I'd like to get my Champion of Naaru name (need to finish two quests and Mag). And..that's it. I dont' want to see Sunwell. I don't really want to raid on my druid. I imagine i'll have this stuff done in a month at our current rate of progression.

Too much WoW!

Argh. Gonna have to face it you're addicted to WOW. I think 90% of players are addicts and can't help but play every day. However at this point in my life I need to focus much more on my career and finishing my projects so my wife and I can move together. If I can't finish my work in time I can't move with her.

So....Some hard choices. I decided to limit myself to 15 hours a week of WoW. No dailies in the morning, no playing all weekend. 15 hours total. Farming, Raiding, leveling. This week (starting Tuesday) I already put in 4 hours for our BT raid. I plan on raiding Thur and Sun. That will probably be my full alotement.

Unfortunately Blizzard doesn't have a 'total hours of WoW a week' option, but it does have a handy play schedule you can make, restricting your (or your kids) playtime to certain times/days. So thats what I did, excluding from 1am to 6:30 pm every weekday. We'll see if I can keep this up or just need to go cold turkey.

I obviously enjoy playing, but I need to prioritize. If I wasn't raiding I would probably stop play all-together.

I feel its a vicious cycle for two reasons. 1) There is always more stuff to get. Always another piece of badge gear you can get with just one more Kara run (4 hours). Always another piece of Arena gear you can get with just one more week (1 hour). Etc etc etc. The game is really good at giving you feedback towards your goal, and at end game its something like this. Put in a full week (10 hours) of farming/dailies to make a piece of super epic gear. Put in 10-20 hours of battlegrounds to get one piece of gear. Put in a full raid night and hope to come away with a piece of gear (or not). But all this takes time. Many people have an entire PVP set, they must have spent hundreds of hours at 70 just doing BGs and arena. Most raiders have spent tons of time progressing through heroics, kara, ZA, etc.

2) To raid, you need a ton of consumables. My costs are between 100g and 200g a night. We're doing progression, you can count on dying alot. I think i spent 100g in repairs last night. Plus ammo, plus food, plus pet food, plus flasks. A fel mana pot is 5g of mats. I used 20 of them. A flask of relentless assault is about 40g, I used one. Etc etc. If you dont do dailies you are quickly going to go broke. I have enough saved up such that I will go as long as possible without wasting time doing dailies. I think i can go two months without. That's just if you buy it. I can farm my own mats for potions, but that takes time. I spent half an hour trying to farm last night, i got like 3 teracone for my efforts (the zone had 2-3 other players trying to find the same stuff, not going to work).

3) The biggie (to me) . If you log in for an hour on each toon you can do your dailies and make 100g per toon. (thereabouts). I ended up wasting so much time online just aquiring gold,(which you need to advance), whereas I could be working and being productive. "Its just an hour" quickly becomes "Its just 3 hours" and now you've wasted 20 hours a week doing dailies. I'd rather spend in game time on friends and doing fun stuff, not wasting time getting gold or BG honor. I would absolutely love for Blizz to have weeklies, do the quest once a week, get double the reward or whatever. Dont force people to log in every day on every toon to do dailies blizz!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Is Jewelcrafting obsenely overpowered?

All crafting professions have several issues. 1) The leveling patterns are essentially worthless by the time you get to making them. The best thing you can do while leveling tailor/leatherworking is to also level enchanting so you can disenchant the items. 2) People are stupid. 3) The really good stuff have very substantial material costs. Pre-kara epics always have a primal might and/or primal nether component (the later used to be only obtained from the end of a heroic dungeon run)

WoW is almost completely player-driven economics. However, jewelcrafters (JC) have all decided to a) remove many uncut gems from market b) make a ton of money from just cuts. Each JC pattern costs a ton of money, so you need to charge alot just to break even. And most of these pats can be aquired either through consortium, purchase on AH, or SSO/badges. Whereas with something like LW or Enchant, the rep pats are all over the place.

I remember one guy mentioning on a forum in 2.2 or thereabouts, that he made tens of thousands of gold just JCing, log in every day, prospect, cut, profit.

Perhaps its the *only* craft prof to make money? I do LW/enchant, almost none of LW stuff is sellable at profit, even epic/rares. (I sold my first epic for 100g profit, but i paid 600g for pat, i doubt i'll be able to sell 6 more to break even). Faradhim mentioned the trick of making something and DEing it. Usually the LW mats are the same cost as the DE mats, so no profit there. And so many times (again even with very high end stuff such as riding crops) the cost of the finished product is less than the mats go for, sometimes much less. Its the players that have no idea how to price items and feel they must screw up the market for everyone. If the real world was like this, everyone would starve.

Its almost a guarantee, if the pattern can be used to level your profession, the item is priced far below material cost, regardless of the demand for the item. For example, Riding crops. Used to be on our AH for as low as 100g. Primal mights are always at 120 or higher. Riding crops are a primal might, a large pris shard (always around 20g), and some leather. Now the RC market has increased slightly (and Allakazam shows that the median price is 188).

The perspective on JC is only a feeling, I'd like to know if they can really make money hand over fist. A friend claimed that he made tons of money with alchemy/herb, but he probably did farm herbs for hours on end. I certainly dont use the primal might CD (like ever), because I dont need the money on my hunter. (again, i wish my druid and hunter were on the same server).

Hit 70 and nothing to do!

Well, not quite.

I absolutely love being 70, I love the money influx (3000g in two weeks...probably more like 4-5k if you count mat costs?), I love leveling my profs (I'm now 375 LW, 359 enchant). But....I like to get more enchant patterns, but they are rep based or drop in instances. And i can't get an instance to save my life.

Right now the main thing I can do with my druid is either do quests with wife for cash, or farm for mats for my gear. Arena is probably out until I find a partner or make the LW set (plus my uber Gloves of Living Touch) BGs are very painful (10-20 hours for a item? Pls) Kara is out obviously. I can't find people to run instances with (even as a tank). Yes there is alot to do at 70, but right now...not so much for me until I can get the gear, which requires some hard quests which I need help with.

I wish...I wish i wasn't stuck on this server, I wish my best friend's horde guild could switch server and faction (or me visa versa), I wish more people were around to play with, i wish people would be willing to help out guildies...Last night 30 people were on, none could help. I think people are burned out in this current guild and maybe server (and maybe overall). Nobody wants to run the instances, etc.

Dailies and Glider

WoWJones has two interesting articles, one asking if botting was okay in wake of the Glider banning (Glider is a botting program). The second asks if the 2.4 dailies have caused too much price inflation.

1) If you are botting, you are denying a RL person (or another botter!) the chance at earning that farmed material. For example recently my wife has been leveling through Nagard and skinning every "walking leather" she sees for me, so I can make my Heavy Clefthoof set (which is an amazing set for pre-kara druid tanking). If there were botters farming these, it would be much more difficult for me to progress, since I dont have enough gold to actually purchase the set. (My gold is being saved for epic healing gear)

2) I have noticed that the drop rate is dependant on how actively farmed the item is. It really does differ from day to day as far as I can see. For example, Elemental plateau. Sometimes the drop rate is one mote per kill (average), other times its 0.2 motes/kill.

3) They also recently nerfed Hunters with boar pets specifically, we hunters think that has a large degree due to the botting. With boars you would almost guarantee not to pull aggro, now you have to do alot of tricks and more actively manage your pet. Makes it difficult for botters.

All this says to me that Blizz is very serious about botters. I won't deny that their customer service does suck, and many people have been unfairly caught up in it. However, I want to be able to play the game too, and be able to get my clefthoof set. Its more difficult to do that when the drop rate is so low that thousands of clefthoof are required.

On the other hand (and this was your point I think), I see the poor rationale in banning people who bring much needed supplies into the game now that we have much more money at our disposal. My thought is that Blizz not only wants to make raiding easier, but they also want people who are leveling professions to spend more time in game acquiring the resources they need (in a legit fashion). It goes back to the time-sink philosophy - the more time they make casuals invest in the game, the more money they make.