Friday, August 24, 2007

Hiatus begone!

While I'm not fully back, the Drama issues seem to have been resolved. The friend is back in the guild, and now fully in the guild (she used to raid with another guild on another server) and transferred her Warrior back to my server.

This is a good thing on many fronts. First, it gives the guild another tank on call. One of our biggest issues so far is that we've only really had me on-call for both of our raiding nights. While this is fine for Attumen, beyond him you really need a second tank. We have had another tank available, but he's busy in school right now, which means sometimes on Saturday, our first raid day of the week, he can't come. This leaves us stuck at Attumen usually. Also, her Warrior is geared with raid stuff including some SSC/TK gear, which translates to one very well equipped tank, which should alleviate any issues we have with getting a tank

Second off this makes the raid not revolve around me. While I'm very thankful to be raiding and happy to fill the role of the main tank for my guild, prior to my friend bringing her Warrior back, if I couldn't show up the raid was canceled. Other classes we have enough of the right types of replacements to make up for it if one of our main healers had to go or couldn't show that night. But for tanks, it was me. There was another guy who had a tank, but it still creates the problem of only one tank. Now if I'm going to be busy for a night, the raid isn't screwed. Yay!

This past weekend was the first week for my friend to raid with us. We took down every boss up to the Curator on Saturday, plus got a new Opera Event. Romulo and Julianne. One shotted the Opera Event.

The next night we devoted it to fighting the Curator. Dude's tough, but I think a lot of it was just learning the fight. This is the first fight that we've had issues with b/c of a non-luck based component. While we had trouble on Moroes originally, I think a lot of how hard he is depends on what adds you get. I have nightmares about getting: Holy Paladin, Ret Paladin, Holy Priest and Shadow Priest. But I digress, for the Curator doesn't have a random aspect like that. So it's a combination of fine tuning our strategy along with getting better gear. Luckily we have a Shadow Priest that we're going to turn into our primary Arcane Bolt soaker, and since he's going to be going all out on the Curator, that means he'll be keeping the mana and health flowing towards the healers (and me, but this is a lesser point). I'm hoping we'll get him down in the next run or two (won't be this weekend since it's D*Con weekend).


Anyway, last night I logged in to FFXI for the first time that wasn't a set night in god only knows how many months. Got a party and ground out the last 3 levels I needed for Warrior to get it to 37, which is the level I need it at to use it as a subjob for Paladin. Had to burn three (of four remaining) charges on my Anniversary Ring, which sucks because I can't get a new one nor recharge it, but still... done with leveling Warrior! So it was worth it. Next up on my agenda is getting the last 4 levels for White Mage to use that as a subjob for Red Mage merit point leveling. That will finish off my immediate subjob leveling needs and I'll probably get a few merit point parties to start upping my skills for Paladin tanking (Sword, Shield, Parry, Evasion come to mind).

Thursday, August 16, 2007


For the immediate future there's not going to be much I'm going to be posting here.

On Sunday just before the raid, some things were said in-game by members of my guild that were either badly phrased or badly received. This has led to my guild's second major bout of drama, with one guildie temporarily quitting the game, then even when she came back, feeling like she couldn't log onto my server for various reasons.

I, in usual human nature, am unable to not blame myself to a degree for letting this happen. Because of said drama and the person who has left the guild (so to speak) being a close friend of mine, has left me with little desire to play WoW for the time being, as myself, the Guild Master, and some of the other Guild Officers work on some sort of resolution, and possible fix for this situation. It sucks because both myself and the GM want some sort of fix, and it's just not that simple.

In the mean time, I've been playing some Starcraft, Overlord and Civilization IV when I'm not on FFXI.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Who's spreading these rumors?

Reading the latest GUComics strip, and I can't help but wonder... where do these people think we raiders get money from? In the post for today's strip Woody says "I'm sure some kind soul in tier 6 would toss a few measly hundred gold my way if they truly understood my plight." Now I realize he's just saying this for a quick laugh, in that he is a comic writer and his job is to make jokes. But this is a impression that goes beyond just him. When I was wandering around in original WoW on my mage in epics, I would get comments about my gear, then sometimes requests for money.

On the one hand I can understand the line of thought: As you play and get better gear you can make more money. Therefore obviously someone in full epics from raiding is making a lot of money. Unfortunately it doesn't work that way. A large amount of the money goes into repair, reagents and consumables for raiding. I know I spend around 75-100g per raid counting consumables. And the thing is, the further into raiding you go, the more costly it becomes, as your repair bills ramp up. At 70 in mostly I'll pay around 15~20g for a full repair. Once I get into full epics I expect to be paying 20g minimum for a full repair.

In the end, raiding is a way to have fun, not make money. In fact, it's probably one of the greatest money sinks out there, even more so they the 5000g you spend on epic riding skill, because you keep going back to raiding and spending more.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

y helo 2 u Exalted with The Consortium

So like, I'm done. With Rep. Pretty much for good.

Yeah, there's still the Netherdrake Faction, but since that's limited to Daily Quests, and I'd end up doing them all anyway, just for the moneys, I don't consider that a rep grind. This marks the last true rep grind I had to complete, and it's done.

Last night I log in to find that some guildies (Mage, Balance Druid, Rogue, and our new Holy Paladin who's in some T4) want to do Black Morass. I'm like "Hey, I'm game." So we go out to the instance, only to find that the Rogue (one of the two who really need it) hasn't done Old Hillsbrad, so 5 level 70s proceed to tear their way through it, and move on our merry way to Black Morass. We easily clear through it, despite it being the Rogue's first time.

As we're finishing up BM, I notice I'm at around 2,000 rep until Exalted with the Consortium. I ask four of them (not the Rogue) if they are willing to help me get Exalted by doing half of a Heroic Mana-Tombs run. They agree, we replace the Rogue with the guild's Shadow Priest, and zone in. We sweep through the zone pretty easily, taking down the first two bosses, which is enough to net me Exalted!

About half way through I get asked to do a Shattered Halls run. No rest for the weary, I guess. So I finish up with HMT and hop a ride over to HFC. We do a very fast run. Of course it had to be fast... we had no CC. Party consisted of Warlock, Prot Pally (me), Ret Pally, Balance Druid, and Holy Priest. Twas fun. Killed almost everything, and the only time anyone died was when I was Scatter-Shotted in the second hallway.

Finally finished up around 1:30ish and pretty much straight crashed. Was a good night, but a long one.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

WoW Journal 2007-08-07

It's been a while since I've done an update on my status in WoW. With the recent announcement of Death Knights my interest in Deis, my warrior has pretty much completely dried up. While I like the physical nature of warriors, compared to paladin tanks primarily magical approach, Rage makes me (pun intended) see red! It's an interesting, innovative, but really annoying system. I understand it's value. It's a permanently renewable resource which depends on something important: The warrior hitting or being hit. This is important because it encourages DPS warriors to hit the enemy to be able to hit the enemy harder, and it encourages tanking warriors to be hit, so they can use abilities to control the enemy and make them not hit the warrior as hard. In the end, the game rewards the warrior for doing what they should be doing anyway for the role they're in, by allowing them to do even more of that. Unfortunately, my problem is very easy to explain: 0 rage to begin with. Yes there is bloodrage, which gives you a small boost to begin with, but that's rarely enough to do much, beyond use one shout or maybe one other attack. Maybe I'm just impatient, but I want to be able to drop a few high-threat hits in the first few seconds and work on building up threat from the getgo.

Anyway, my initial interest in Death Knights was based upon the (not so far-fetched) idea that it would have mana. Being that it was a casterish (as much as Paladins were) in Warcraft III, it seemed reasonable guess. Obviously based upon my post below, that's not true. But once I realized how it would work, in a way it was even better. A fully renewable resource, that allowed for an initial burst of action. While the obvious potentially long cooldowns would be less than ideal between actions, the fact that it would be a permanently renewable resource that will most likely not in any way be hindered by getting better armor, or dodging, or parrying should make up for it.

Anyway, so for now (and possibly permanently) Deis is on hold. I pretty much put him on hold starting halfway through last week as word of the Death Knights began to pop up. So I slowed down playing, in case word came that it was real. Obviously it did, so now it's just a matter of waiting for the expansion and focusing on Alix. So for now I'll get Alix to Exalted with Consortium (only faction left that's non-raiding :D) and get my Dragon Mount (currently half way to the 5200g mark). That should keep me busy until the expansion since I'll be helping others with 5-mans and stuff.

The weekend before last we didn't raid since too many were unavailable. So this weekend we zoned in on Saturday. Did a quick Attumen kill, and the decided to skip Moroes (due to lack of certain party members) and try the Opera Event. And before you say it, we found out that you need to kill Moroes first. So we went back down and threw ourselves at him a few time to no avail.

Came back the next night went straight to Moroes with a killer strat. Setup was: Balance Druid, Resto Druid, Hunter, Mage, Prot Paladin (me), Ret Paladin, Holy Priest, Rogue, Warlock and Prot Warrior. Moroes' group was Prot Warrior, Shadow Priest, Holy Paladin, and Ret Paladin. The Prot warrior was MT for Moroes, I was off-tank, while I simultaneously off-tanked the Prot Warrior. The Rogue stunlocked the Ret Paladin, the Priest shackled the Holy Paladin, while our Ret Paladin tanked the Shadow Priest as it was burned down first, followed by the Ret Paladin, then the Holy Paladin. After the Holy Paladin was unshackled the Prot Warrior was shackled and I went fully to town OTing Moroes. We left the Prot Warrior shackled and killed Moroes in our easiest run yet.

Following that we did a quick Maiden kill (got me my gauntlets from her!!!!), and moved onto the Opera Event. We got the worst one to start with: The Crone (Wizard of Oz). Our first attempt was a disaster. Plan was: I would tank Tito and Roar (who was being feared by the 'lock). The Warrior would tank/kite Tinhead, while the mage Burn-kited Strawman and the rest would tear down Dorothee, then onto Strawman, then Roar, then Tito, and finally Tinhead. What we didn't realize was Tito silenced. >.> Not good since I that meant I couldn't Holy Shield occasionally, nor cast at some vital points. So I died. Next try I was on Tinhead and the Warrior was on Tito and Roar. Worked like a charm! Had a few deaths, but in the end we got the Crone out where things went to hell in a hand basket. We went from 8 alive to 5 in a matter of seconds due to, I think, people not being ready and dying to Chain Lightning (myself included). But we still walked away with a win. Got the ribbon and the Crone's hat (the Mage got it and was saying "HAT! >:D" for the rest of the night). At that point we called it a night.

We've also expanded our weekly raids to 2 nights a week permanently on Saturday and Sunday nights. This coming weekend the plan will be to take down Moroes, followed by the Opera event on Saturday and then take stabs at the Curator. On Sunday the plan will be to do Attumen then Maiden, followed by either more attempts at Curator, or if we beat him the night before then we'll do something beyond it. (Chess event, I hope!)

Monday, August 6, 2007

Death Knights, what we know, and a bit of speculation

Preface: Anything that is in italics is pure speculation.

So, turns out my previous posts was very wrong, concerning the Death Knight. They are a hero class, which is a fancy way of saying "You don't have to start at level 1." The only catch is that you will need to do a fairly long questline at level 80. Not that this bothers me, because if there's a questline out there, I'll do it anyway. Even if I was never planning on rolling a Death Knight I'd do at least what I could do solo, just to see more of the story!

Anyway, as I hoped, it's a tanking and DPS hybrid class, with some sort of magical effect. Noteworthy is that it does not have mana. Instead they are introducing a new "rune" spell system. In the place that normally is a mana bar, they show a Vampiric Runeblade with a currently planned 6 runes on it. You choose which runes you want inscribed on your blade from three possible runes: Unholy, Frost, and Blood (with each Rune type being one of the talent trees for Death Knights). This is an interesting setup since you decide which runes you want to use, and can set them up in a way that will be deemed useful to you. For example you could have a "balanced" build of 2 Unholy, 2 Frost and 2 Blood, or if Blood spells are what you really need, 4 Blood and 2 Frost. After you cast a spell, the rune or runes that the spell called for will be used up and will take some time to refill at which point it will be ready to be used again. I would guess that each spell will cost no more than four runes, and even that will be for a fairly powerful one, and said spell would also probably have a cooldown. Also, taking into account the pace of the game, I would expect each rune to go from empty to full about 10 seconds and I doubt they will be recharging for more than 12 seconds. I base this guess taking into account Rogue energy regeneration rates, in that they can go from empty to full in a mere 10 seconds. Finally, I would speculate that the first of the listed runes, Unholy, to be a counterpart to the more well known magical type: Holy. By that I mean that it's not Shadow, but a new magical type that is similar to Holy in that there is no natural resist for it, allowing it to bypass most mob's defenses for good threat generation. This would make Unholy the primary magical type for tanking. A continuation of that line of thought is that Blood runes are used to power draining and debuff type magics, which would either be used to supplement the Death Knight's health and/or stats and drain the target's which would be highly beneficial for tanking. Finally, Frost spells usually relate to slowing and snares, of which most bosses are immune to, meaning it would be the least useful for tanking. A personal prediction that is just based on guesses is that an ideal tanking rune setup will be 3 Unholy, 2 Blood, and 1 Frost (I would imagine some spells will be powered by 1 of each rune, so the Frost is there for those spells).

The plan is, after you complete the long questline at level 80, you "unlock" the ability to create a Death Knight. The current plan is to allow you to make any race a Death Knight (relating to the fact that Death Knights are made by corrupting a valiant hero, much like Arthas was) but I find this idea a bit... out of place with certain races. Humans, Gnomes, the Forsaken and Blood Elves were obvious choices for being a Death Knight, since their races having Warlocks shows they are willing to be tempted by ill-begotten power. Orcs were a possibility, being that they have Warlocks, but having a new group fall to "the Dark Side" as it were, after the glory of them beating their Demonic Blood addiction really kinda makes it seem much less impressive. Dwarves and Trolls are both very defined by their "religion" as it were (Titans and Mojo), and imagining them as Death Knights is a bit of a stretch, but I could still see it. The ones that really get me are the Tauren, Night Elves and Draenei, which are all defined as these moral guideposts for the rest, and the idea of them as Death Knights really bugs me. Of course, it would probably be a personal decision, but still it bothers me. One nice touch, though, is that it seems they will use flavor text to show that most normal NPCs aren't quite trusting of Death Knights (as it should be).

One of the more interesting aspects is that it will be a tanking class... without shields. Now, they didn't specify whether Death Knights will be unable to use shields, but merely that they can tank without them. To elaborate on that, the Death Knight is said to be able to tank with a two-hander or dual wielding. Now, this raises the single largest question of "Crushing Blows?" Now, I have two lines of thought on this one. First off is Death Knights work in a way similar to Druids in that they have either very high Health, Armor, or a strong mix of both. This would allow them to not need a shield to push crushing blows off the table, because they could just (as it were) shrug them off. This would be an uninspired but workable approach, but could have repercussions in PvP as Death Knights would have to have very high armor or health full time, and at the same time have decent to high DPS. The second method, which I just thought of, is an interesting approach. Death Knights have an ability which pushes crushing blows off the table for it's duration, and gives a small boost to armor (to make up for the lack of a shield but not enough to make them equal to a Druid's mitigation). This ability in it's listed form would allow Death Knights to be an equal tank to Warriors and Paladins in terms of crushing blows and mitigation without needing shields, but not vastly surpass them. It would have to be an activated ability (maybe coincide with additional threat generation) because if it was a passive ability that removed crushing blows from the table it would make Death Knights the most powerful tanks in the game, being completely uncrushable without a chance of it wearing. If they took this route, I would guess said ability would cost one to two runes, havng a cooldown approximately equal to the regen timer of the runes. This would also be an effective way to put a mediocre stopper on Death Knight DPS as 1/6 - 1/3 of their available runes would be fully tied up in keeping them alive. This would be a way to lower the Death Knight's DPS while tanking, and when they are not, those runes would be freed up allowing them to be able to keep up with other DPSers.

Final cool point is that you can "choose your own type of Runeblade. You can choose from a traditional sword Runeblade or an axe variant". Very cool (sword for me of course). This brings up a minor but potentially important question: What do you need the Vampiric Runeblade's look for? I imagine that its just for "casting spells" (in whatever form that takes)? If so it's a nice nod to the concept of Death Knights, but really just amounts to a pretty thing to look at (which would be enough for me). It's possible that they plan on giving you one weapon that will continue to evolve as you use it, but I find that a bit hard to believe since it would need to be programmed to take into account what you do (Tank vs. DPS in 5-man and Raids, and PvP), not to mention how you would plot it's growth when you start reaching whatever your endgame is. I can think of ways to do it, but it seems like too much trouble. But as a counter, why would the concern themselves with it's appearance if it only appeared during casting animations? And if it's only your initial weapon and you can replace it later with no penalty I'll be a bit miffed.

They've also given us a sneak peek of two abilities, one seen in the WotLK trailer, and one mentioned at BlizzCon:

Unholy Embrace
Instant Cast.
5 min cooldown.

Target is embraced by a silhouette of darkness for 6 seconds, corrupting any healing spells and effects cast upon or currently affecting the target to cause damage for 50% of their healing potential instead of restoring health. Any damage shields cast upon or currently affecting the target will also be instantly consumed, dealing 50% of their absorption potential in damage. Once afflicted with Unholy Embrace, the target cannot be afflicted with Unholy Embrace again for 1 minute.

While this one will have uses in PvE, since mobs and bosses that heal are somewhat rare, we can expect this to primarily be a PvP ability. Still pretty cool.

Army of the Dead

Raises several temporary minions (ghouls)

This one we don't have any actual details on beyond "summon undead things", but it has been stated explicitly that it will be a temporary summon akin to either the trees by Balance Druids or the Water Elemental by Frost Mages, and this spell will not be a central aspect of the class. Just a nifty little extra.

Anyway, last thought is I'm probably really wrong about a lot of these, but it's fun to speculate.

Friday, August 3, 2007

It's official.

Death Knights are going to be a new class. And based upon the initial text, it will be a normal class. Woo!

While I love Alixander to pieces... If DKs can tank...
Death Knight.


For details, keep an eye on ;)

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Buh... huh?

I don't get it. I just don't fucking get it.

So, with the new expansion on the horizon, already the bitching has begun. With the likely potential of a level cap increase, people are complaining about the likelihood that their raiding and PvP quality gear will be replaced quite quickly. This is what I don't get. So you're complaining because you're getting better gear?

I realize the real complaint is that you "put a lot of hard work into getting the gear and now it's going to be replaced" but... isn't that the point of getting better quality gear? So you can go farther, and get even better quality gear? (two separate concepts) I mean, even if they didn't release the expansion, you'd still replace the gear? The gear you did get will assist you by making it easier for you to get even better gear. Does replacing the gear soon after you get it diminish the achievement you got from getting it?

I... I'm serious when I say I just don't get it.

As a side note: I doubt the gear divide will be as humongous between tBC and WotLK as it was for vanilla WoW and tBC. Between the rating system being added and the change to the iLVL value for stamina, the type of gear that could be put without imbalancing the game out vastly changed.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

On the horizon!

"So" you say. "Kaziel, what's up? What's going on. ¿QuĂ© Pasa?"

Well, my friends, it seems like the next expansion is finally set to be revealed. In about 2 days hence, on the opening day of BlizzCon, you can expect to hear more details about the second WoW expansion. The only thing that has been confirmed is it's title: Wrath of the Lich King.

This title confirms a number of things, foremost of which is that the expansion will add the continent of Northrend as a playable zone. While it was highly likely in light of the folder named "Expansion2" with Northrend textures in it, that wasn't confirmation. With the name of the expansion confirmed, it's pretty much set in stone.

Other rumors abound, the biggest of which is a new class: Death Knight. A plate wearing melee/caster-tanking/DPS hybrid class. Sorta like a paladin, only without the healy-bits. Now, the details on this class are really up in the air. Most sources are claiming that Death Knights will be a Heroic Class (or some variant of that name), and will only be opened up by doing a quest chain or something like that. My views on that can be summed up with a quote of a post of mine:
I find the idea of the Death Knight being a hero class a really annoying idea on multiple fronts:

First off is the idea of having to do stuff to open up the class. This makes me doubt it a bit. On the one hand, the event chain could be easily soloed, at which point one has to ask: Why bother? Why go to such great lengths to open up something that will be available to pretty much anyone anyways? On the other hand, if the chain of events requires doing group quests, 5-mans, and possibly even raids, they will end up excluding people from accessing an entire class, which is just bad business. I would really doubt they would do the latter.

Next, experience. If you take someone who's played their class from level 1 to level 70, and at the same time, take someone who's never played this class before and put them in the same situation, the player who has never played before will obviously be far worse off than the person who leveled the entire way up. Dropping people into the game at level 70 (which is probably where they would "start") would be a nightmare as players tried to figure out how to play their new class, use all the new abilities.

Related to them starting at a higher level is professions. Whether you like it or not, professions are directly tied to where you can go and survive, or more commonly, your level. The higher level you are, the greater quality materials you have access to. So in order to level up their professions, the player basically needs to spend the next 2-3 weeks going back to old zones and leveling up their professions, or spending through the nose to level up their skills. Not fun.

Finally, the most minor note would be gear. How are you going to start them out? They can't pop into the game fully formed, but only wearing cloth or even plate white gear and a crappy white weapon (like a level 1 does). They would summarily be devastated. And obviously you can't expect them to send money from an alt. What if they completed the quest to open up Death Knights on their Alliance character and roll a Blood Elf Death Knight. Now they are 70, and pretty much naked, with no ability to get access to their gear. And they can't drop them into the game with a ton of money or normal green or blues... just sell them and make a small fortune. This one's minor because I can see a semi-easy fix: Bring them into existence with Blue quality gear that can't be sold.
Anyway, I digress. Even if the Death Knight is a hero class, if it's a tanking class that can cast without healing, I'm so very very there. I don't care what I have to do, I will do it. I will sell my soul to the Lich King if need be! If I'm really lucky, Death Knights will also be able to dual wield. Even without that, I will finally get the class I wanted: Paladins who can't heal. *glee*

Either way, we can expect more details in about a day and a half, when BlizzCon starts on Friday.

Side note: For details on this, check out both and my post over at Subcreation forums.