Monday, September 29, 2008

I'm Back!

4 comments
I just got home from a 11-hour car ride from Boston. I had access to the internet at my cousin's house while I was there, but there was quite a bit on the family itenerary that I was unable have sit-down time to make a post.

Now that I'm home, though, I find myself too tired to think of anything to comment on, other than the small backlog of updates that my blogroll added while I was gone. So for now, I'll post this screenshot of how obsessed some people are about brewfest, or how gullible I am to believe this particular individual.



I can only say that he made the right choice by leaving afterwards; epic baby drops are worth more than any kodo in my book.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

SHHH! Don't tell anyone I'm here!

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Turns out that I'm deserted in some Sony Store in a suburbian boston outlet mall. That's how it works. You visit a distant relative's place, and the first thing you do when that happens is to hit the discount malls.

So what I did was hide myself way back in the Vaio laptop sections of this particular refurbished goods distributor, and logged in! Woot!

Plenty of neat stuff around me. There's a twenty-something looking up sports illustrated next to me, and on the other side of the display booth, a family is with a sales rep, who is desperate to make some sort of commission. He's being a little too agressive for my tastes, but I can only watch and laugh while seeing the family's reactions, trying to politely decline their way out of this poor man's pitch.

If the guy said "It comes with WoW installed, and free subscription for 12 months. Oh, and you get beta access for the expansion," I wouldn't feel bad for shoving the family aside and going "YES YES YES PLEASE."

Now the manager is giving me an evil eye from across the room.

Friday, September 26, 2008

AFK, Evocating

2 comments
Hi everyone! If you're reading this right now, chances are I'm on the road heading towards the Canada/US border. I haven't forgotten about the readers, so this is one of a few scheduled posts to reflect upon until Tuesday comes. In this installment, I would like to talk about mana mechanics.

On thursday, during my lunch hour, I lurked around through the beta forums, browsing through a slew of topics regarding Mages and the upcoming raid content. As you may or may not know, the first 10-man raid instance, analogous to Karazhan for TBC, is Naxxramas. The design of the raid supposedly is meant to mimic the encounters from vanilla WoW.

One boss redesign in particular, Kel'Thuzad, has a particular mechanic that raised a few questions about the nature of mana regeneration for the mage (and to a certain extent, elemental shaman and balance druid) class. Periodically throughout the fight, KT does an ability that flat-out depletes mana from mana classes, currently to the point of going OOM.

At first, I thought that this mechanic sounded fairly straightforward, but in the grand scheme of game design and class balance, an issue was brought into question regarding mana regeneration across different classes. The post that I read argued there should be a tradeoff for caster classes between mana and DPS.

Consider Warlocks and Hunters. When both classes run out of mana in a fight, they can simply use Lifetap and Aspect of the Viper respectively to regenerate their mana mid-fight. The observation posed by the post (hopefully, when I return from my trip, the topic will still be up so I can link it) is that both locks and hunters, as long as they remain alive, can perpetually keep up mana at the cost of a slight dropoff in DPS, whereas a caster who goes OOM after blowing all of his cooldowns will cease to provide DPS at all.

Thus the OP argues that with the implementation of fight mechanics that strain mana such as the KT fight, min-maxing will cause mages, and caster shaman/druid classes to be benched, not because of their DPS, but because of their mana regen mechanics. Thus, he suggests that mages are given some sort of mana regeneration mechanic similar to Hunters and Warlocks, or to have current talents and abilities tweaked to reflect those mechanics. Later on in the thread, someone even suggests changing Evocation in such a way that it can be cast more often, but returns less mana each time, or leaves a mage more vulnerable to damage like the Curator's evocation: an idea that actually carries a noticeable amount of support from other posters.

Regardless, I feel that the OP raises an interesting and valid point regarding the existence of these tradeoffs for exclusive classes. With the changes to mana regeneration in the upcoming expansion, the argument is supported even further.

However, from a flavor perspective, this disparity actually makes sense. In a way, going OOM as a mage is all part of the live fast, die young, glass cannon way of life that the class is known to have. Whether or not the "glass" and "cannon" aspects are equally represented by mages is better left to debate by theorycraft and QQ, but I really don't see mages as an endurance class in that regard.

At the end of the day, it's actually quite funny for me to think of such a thing at all, considering that I have yet to use an evocate during a boss fight ever since my respec. Oh well. Something to chew on until I get back.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Announcement!

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Not exactly new, since I briefly mentioned it during the last installment of Wimzig' Whimsy, but I will be away on Friday all the way up to Tuesday. I'm off to Boston to visit my cousin. Her kid is having a baptism, so I took some days off of work and WoW to attend.

I may or may not be able to post, depending on how much I am able to get done today during work, or whether or not I have some semblance of internet access during the weekend. If you don't hear from me until then, don't worry about it.

Until then, um...I suppose you can entertain yourselves with some machinema.



EDIT: HOTDAMMIT, HOW DOES A YOUTUBE VIDEO GET PULLED THE DAY AFTER I POST IT? DAMMIT DAMMIT! ok, maybe this one will work.

Crap. Does that mean that I'll be missing 5 days of brewfest? Lightdammit. I better get my Kodo tonight, or I'll be kicking some asses and taking names.

Cya tuesday!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Proper Spelling is the Difference Between...

4 comments
"Because of my new profession, I would probably need to get my hands on an experienced miner."

and

"Because of my new profession, I would probably need to get my hands on an experienced minor."

Thank goodness for spell-check.

...

Ok. That aside, I don't think I actually noticed that the shift to Spellpower would affect DPS classes as well as Healers. Where I once thought that +healing gear were the only ones affected, I now realized, thanks to PuggyPriest, that anything that isn't "spell damage and healing" will get re-adjusted to spellpower.

That means goodbye, Frozen Shadoweave!

When 3.0.x hits, My overall damage is going to drop significantly, simply because my +300-ish frost damage will be converted to +200-ish spellpower, not to mention the supposed nerf specifically to FSW regarding the Spell Hit bonuses. All of a sudden, I don't feel so bad about hording up a bunch of off-spec gear. I already have a super-glamorous shoe collection that I could pick from to replace the FSW Boots, but I'm still looking for replacements for my badge off-hand, and the other two FSW pieces.

It now makes me wonder if I should give up the crafting protection in lieu for a gathering one in preparation for Wrath. I know that money isn't supposed to be a factor in Wrath, but even now, it feels great to have a nest egg to cover my expenses ahead of time. I've been spending a lot lately for consumables and such, and it's only inevitable that I will probably run out of funds.

If my funds hold out, I'll probably drop either my tailoring or enchanting for jewelcrafting. At first, I can use some of my alts to funnel the lower-level ore to my main and power-level it out a bit. But at higher levels, because of my profession, I'll need to get my hands on an experienced miner.

So all in all, I'm not exactly sure what to do. I might even just cop out and Mine/Skin my way into wrath, just for the cash flow.

Wimzig's Whimsy: Out of Business

2 comments
((Hey everyone! Funny thing, the other day, I noticed that I was listed on the blogroll of Adventures of Desdarii, most noticeably as an RP blog. Des, are you serious!? HA! I wish I could blog more about my RP adventures, but lately, Bashertin has been hogging up so much time due to his sudden gear-up in the last few weeks. But that doesn't mean I won't pass up an opportunity such as Brewfest...

...well, I wish I could. The thing about brewfest is that there are just so many people doing it who aren't RP'ing (in a way they are simply by immersing themselves into the event, but not really in character), it's extremely difficult to identify people looking for an encounter, especially when your character is already smashed beyond belief. Perhaps one of you could help me out with that!

Thus, sometimes the most enjoyable RP is often the one you simply do with yourself.))

Elune, shoot me now. Let me combust spontaneously, or something!

"Sir! Might I interest you in some of my conjured water?"

"HARRRR?" Said the drunken dwarf.

"I said, 'MIGHT I INTEREST YOU IN SOME OF MY CONJURED WATER?"

I waved my arms about as to try to grab his attention, but my sudden realization of his inebration ruined the opportunity.

"Shilly gnome!...hic! Why buy your puny 'il water when I's can drink the finesht brew in all of Azeroth!...hic!"

I stared quizzicaly. My eyes widened in disgust.

Brewfest. Free beer.

"Blast it!" I pumped my fist. "Why now? Why not this weekend, when I would take a momentary break from my journey?"**

"Break from a journey?...Hic! Why not take it now, little man?! Have some ale!"

He fell, leaving a giant thud on the stone walkway leading up to Ironforge. I walked away from him, leaving him in his alcohol-induced coma. If I were to take a break from my quests, I might as well do it here. The beer is free. I'm sure that will compensate for my lowered business activity for the next while.



My vision began to stretch on me. Blame that on alcohol-induced losh of coordination between the brain and the oc...ocular muscles controlling eye m-movement and focus. The only panacea? More brew!

Hic!



"Beer gogglesh that make ANYone look ACTtractive?" I asked.

"Sure, sweetheart!" The gnome lady said. That girl was a genius. She showed me the schematic. My goodness it works, but Light blesh me, I don't know why. Hic!



AND THEN I shteal that lady's idea and shwo them to another gnomish gal, right? I haf photogra- photogra- I redrew the ssshhkematik...and showed ish to her! Here it is, I think.



Flawless Design!!!!!!1111111!!!1!11oneoneone



AND THENNNNNNNNNNNNNNN,
I puked...ON MY HENNNNNNNNNN!

LEET RHYME RIGHT? WELL, that NIGHT ELF LADY WASNT SHO IMPRESSD? *HIC!*



And then I hecklez the guy with the rams and the beer kegs! YESH! MOR BEER PLZ!

Oh, and my mother isn't that fat. I just wanted to make that guy riding the ram angry...wait, where'd he go? *hic*

So that's my shtory of Brewfest, YAY! If you excuse me Ineedtorestfortomorrowgoodnightlol.

((**Oh, by the way, I'll be away from Friday to Tuesday. Goin' on a road trip to boston to visit out-of-country family. I'm unsure if I'll be able to have access to the Internet, or time to do much with it. So don't panic if I don't post in a long while! It's because I'm gone!))

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

It's A.D.D., but for bloggers.

4 comments
If I were to call it anything, I'd call it that. This blogging A.D.D., combined with a bunch of stuff that came up at work today, resulted in this effect in which where I wanted to write up a draft of a post, but absolutely hated it, or thought it covered a bunch of other topicts that I wanted to post seperately. So I went from draft to draft, idea to idea, perhaps writing over three to four thousand words worth of deleted paragraphs and quotes.

Blah, that's the life of a blogger sometimes.

So here's my cop-out for "today," until I get home from work and work on a post for tomorrow.

RE: Fun, Responsibility, and Group Dynamics. Where do you fall on the matrix?





Think of a graph. X axis is motivation, Y Axis is the responsibility you take upon yourself. For maximum success in a group, each member needs to be at the top right sector of this matrix. You need to be both motivated to perform your role in a group, and know how how to do it properly. If you find yourselves in other sectors, you need to think about how you can improve yourself to get into that top right.


Not motivated, not responsible - These individuals are the ones who go afk, who always blame other roles whenever the group wipes, who never bother maximizing their performance, or know how at all. There is simply no hope to change their mindset instantly; you're better off excluding them from your group.


Motivated, not responsible - These players are those who are eager to play their class, but don't fully understand their role mechanic in relation to the other roles in a group. "Huntards" are common examples of this class, but not all individuals of this kind end up improving in any way. They are often eager to learn, but are shunned by more experienced players because of their lack of skill. All it takes is a simple tip here and there to improve performance, and this individual's motivation will continue to grow alongside their knowledge of their class.


Not motivated, responsible - These players are simply bored of their role, or don't want to do it, even though they know the insides and outs of what is required for their task. They'll half-ass it, and will probably end up doing their job. Regardless, they are bound to make mistakes, and when they do, they simply don't care. Dealing with these individuals is quite tricky, but essentially involves communication regarding what their goals truly are, and establishing an understanding of what the person wants, and how to get there.


Motivated, responsible - These players are the first ones to the summoning stone, giving tips to newbies who happen upon their group, or are raid leaders themselves. These are the ones who thrive on challenges, always improving their performance. They stand out, and become coveted assets to their guilds. If you run into these individuals, you will probably want to add them to your friend's list.

If you happen to be one of these individuals, you need to start blogging!

((Blah. That turned out to be a bigger edit than I originally planned. That just goes to show that you simply cannot rush a post when you have 10 minutes until hometime.))

Monday, September 22, 2008

E-Peen (and Other Awkward Social Experiments)

4 comments


WHAT WHAT! Top of the DPS! In the brackets, it suggests that I cracked a thousand dps, but doing the math of the actual damage count and the duration of the encounter, My calculations say that I only did about 850.

Either way, *flex*

On Sunday out I got called upon by my guild to help with Gruul's as well. Another one of our mages ended up tanking Krosh, but it was a wipefest either way. I stepped in a few times when the mage died to take up the tanking duties, but at that point wipe status was inevitable anyways.

After getting the Brewfest caster trinket, Be Imba told me that I can actually start doing SSC/TK, as well as do BT/MH trash. I don't have the HP to survive the BT bosses, but it's a comforting thing to know. I might consider pugging out higher tiered raid runs whenever someone announces it on realm forums or LFG. Case in point, the Nalorak fight screenshotted above was from a PuG.

But that's really a side thing, since my main focus is both helping the guild gear up. But on the side, I want to network with other guilds to make myself available to be pugged on new content that I would love to see.

So there you go. I've re-established my goals leading up to the expansion, and I am even more motivated now to see new content without dropping my current guild commitments. Sounds pretty hardcore from an outside perspective, but since I'm overgeared for T4 anyways, I have no qualms against geeking out that extra content on the side.

Speaking of which, the GeekEteers are a pretty neat bunch of bloggers who dabble into everything geek. Comic Books, Video Games, Anime and Manga, you name it. They were at Fan Expo this year, a con in Toronto that I visit annually. They do have a very nerdy yet humorous journalistic flare, as shown in the video below. Go ahead and take a look.



At 3:23 and 4:06, there's a hilarious non-interview with a peculiar person playing WoW.

Um, yeah. That was me. LOL! The bit was scripted, obviously. My tunnel vision while playing WoW isn't THAT bad...or so I've been told.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Screenshot: Buccaneers, Big Bad Bosses, and Bashertina!

1 comments
Yarr! ITLAP day has come and gone so here are a few highlights, revolving mainly around Bashertin and his foray into Day 2 Kara.



Big Bad Wolf, eh? Sounds like fun. Hopefully I won't die and lose my pirate costume...

But I ended up getting the Red Riding Hood Debuff. I lived through it, luckily. But for some reason, after the fight...



Bashertina appears! I must say, I look pretty cute as a female gnome. Must be some Pirate Day bug. Petty scandalous bug, to be honest.



Yarr, Curator be flogged in one go!



Arr! 'tis Illhoof fella be no match for me guild! One shot!



Sometimes, when ye be sailin' for many months, a pirate will eat anything...even mage ghosts!



As Desdarii eloquently points out, "Chess is serious business." Not exactly a costume, but color-coordinated nonetheless. Imagine if my Squirtle was actually THAT big? Me timbers are shivered at the thought!

Other Comments

- T4 Helm for Bash! Yay!
- It's 2:00am, and I'm dead tired lol!
- It's the 20th. Isn't it Brewfest now? All I need is to get me a purple trinket, and then I'll be decked out in purples!
- Couldn't get down Nightbane or Netherspite, but the rest were one-shots. Both bosses, Netherspite in particular, are extremely difficult to learn as a beginner raid.
- I was actually quite impressed with the progress of the first-timers. Not a lot of gear was sharded, so that's a good sign of guildies gearing up.
- This girl messaged me on msn after the raid. I haven't talked to her since high school, and maybe once or twice online since then. We're totally meeting up. Did I forget to mention that she was my first crush when I first entered that high school? *squee* She just got offline actually.

hehehehe. Too tired. I'll get back with y'all on monday. Hope you enjoyed your Talk Like a Pirate day.

Friday, September 19, 2008

10 Reasons Why Mages are Fantastic Lovers

6 comments
Matticus has challenged classes everywhere to speak up about why they make great lovers. On behalf of mages everywhere, here's my list!

10. We burn with the passion of fire, can send icy chills down your spine, and can take it slow like arcane.

9. We're smart. We know our way around.

8. We're masters at wine-and-dining.

7. We peel clothes off our lovers faster than aggro off of tanks.

6. Two words: Jaina Proudmoore.

5. If you're looking for a one night stand, we'll be happy to port you home afterwards.

4. Mirror Image. Think you can handle 4 of us?

3. Just when you think we're spent, we Evocate, and give it another go.

2. Jaina Proudmoore. Seriously, it's worth repeating.

1. When the deed's done, we'll light your cigarette.

Screenshot: Maidens Gone Wild!

1 comments


Maiden was a bit tough for the Day 1 newcomers.



I was a bit surprised that her deceptively alluring curves fit her through the columns without breaking them.



But we got her down. Hit exalted with the Violet eye for the kill. And I giddily won Boots of Foretelling. It doesn't replace my tailoring boots, but just another piece of my epic shoe collection. Despite the wipes, still my favorite raid ever. Going to remember this for a long while. Makes me wonder why I ever complained about raiding in the first place.

It's about the content! The experience! The epic dings!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Bleh.

3 comments
I am currently writing another edition of "Exercises in Creative Design," where I do a bit of fantasy WoW design. It'll come up tomorrow, I think, so for now, while I chip away on that at work, you are left with a bit of a QQ post today.

Yesterday, I came really close to ninja-gquit. By that I don't mean steal a bunch of crap from the gbank and then leave, but rather, log on outside of peak guild population hours and simply /gquit. To be clear, there wasn't any drama leading up to it at all, but if you follow this blog closely, you might have seen the signs already.

Simply put, here are my reasons that I would quit:
- I'm getting quite busy at work, leaving me too tired to do much at home regards to WoW. I have early mornings, so I can't really stay up to instance or whatnot. Lately, most of my extended WoW sessions during the week is to raid, and that's only once a week.
- As a result of my schedule and lifestyle, my availability does not mesh well with raid scheduling. I don't know exactly what my plans are for a given period of time, because family always plan out impromptu parties and dinners and whatnot that always take place on raid days.
- Guild is literally swimming in mages as it is. I've become somewhat redundant in my role in the guild, since there's already a number of mages who are more geared, and more "appropriately specced".
- I haven't connected as much on a personal or professional/gaming level with the other members..
- As a result of all the above, I get literally no opportunity to participate in progression, if any progression happens at all.

There are a few reasons listed above that are perfectly reasonable (ie, real life), and some that could simply amount to whining on account of my frustration with a lack of character progress.

I'm always put on standby for raids due to first-come-first-serve signups, but oblige to run farming runs, and end up carrying a significant load of the raid DPS in the absense of the other senior members, going the extra mile to ensure raid success such as kiting Moroes adds when there's a lack of cc, or decursing on AoE pulls in addition to doing AoE.

At the end of the day, everyone progresses, yet I stay behind to continue doing Day 1's to help gear up the new members. And once the time comes where we can actually field a co-guild run of 25 man content, I'm left out. Not just hypothetically either. This Sunday, I'm on Standby for Gruuls, and despite voluntarily acquiring a Stamina set for tanking HKM, and gemming/enchanting it out, and studying the bossfights. You know, just in case.

Do I have to do all of that to prepare? Of course, it's my duty as a member of the guild to play my part, regardless of the significance of the role. And I'm willing to say that I do my job well. I might not top the DPS charts against the other senior DPSers, but I'll hang with the ones who outgear me by miles. I've turned heads, particularly those who originally were convinced that Fire is the only way for a mage to go. They've acknowledged me, but somehow, it's just not enough to get to the next step.

I could never really I've already turned my corner. I'm ready for the next step. I just want to be given a chance, that's all.

Is that too much to ask for, or is this just a bunch of QQ? Please let me know what I can do to experience new content; I'm willing to do anything to make this situation feel less...bleh.

(EDIT:) Now, it's almost 7:20pm, and Kara Day 1 starts in 10 minutes. Guild Leader asks me if I could hand my spot over to someone so he can get his first chance. I happily hand it over. And I feel good about it. Oh, and there's still a free space, so I join up anyways. Heh.

My reward for being a ncie guy? Raid Assist. Pretty sweet timing, if I do say so myself. I'm not going to delete this post. I was honest about it at the time, but I just needed a good train ride home to get some perspective. Have a nice day!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Spell Hit Your Way into Karazhan!

4 comments
When preparing your fresh 70 for the endgame raid content, the most important stat to stack on your mage is Spell Hit. Theorycrafting aside, the general conclusion is that up until your character's hit cap is reached (more on this later), Spell Hit is the most efficient stat, point-for-point, to increase your overall DPS.

Generally, ??? level bosses in raids 3 levels above your own, meaning that the chance of your spell to hit is a mere 83%. By investing points in your gear in Spell Hit, you can potentially raise that percentage to 99. And depending on your talent spec and race, the required amount of points to raise that percentage is relatively low. Thus, Spell Hit is the first stat that you will need to stack if you want to start raiding. But once your chance to hit bosses reaches 99%, any excess points will do nothing. Thus, as you gear up, it is always important to make sure you have the bare minimum, regardless of your Spell Damage, Spell haste, and Stamina.

Untalented, the spell Hit required to successively hit with your spell 99% of the time is 202.

If you're specced into Fire, you will want points in Elemental Precision, which lowers your hit cap to 164.

If you're a "cool" Mage like me (and are currently facepalming at the pun), a bug known as "Ghost Hit" effectively lowers your hit cap to 126 when specced into Elemental Precision.

If you're spamming Arcane Spells in your rotation, and have specced into Arcane Focus, you only need 76 points of Spell Hit!

As you can see, the required Spell Hit stat is not too demanding if you know where to look for the right gear. Look no further than the following item list for your Spell Hit needs!

Gems/Enchanting

Due to the scarcity of items that contain Spell Hit, the most available means of stacking the stat is through using gems on socketed gear that you acquire as you continue to progress your character, as well as the lone Spell Hit enchant available for gloves. Take note that socket bonuses that do not awared additional Hit are not worth excluding the use of Spell Hit gems if you're not yet at the cap.

Spell Hit is a stat primarily associated with Yellow sockets.

Great Dawnstone, Jewelcrafting
Veiled Noble Topaz, Jewelcrafting
Vivid Chrysoprase, Heroic Slave Pens
Lambent Chrysoprase, Heroic Underbog
Shining Fire Opal, Heroic Mechanar
Comments: Dawnstone is your best bet for stacking hit, but if you're close to the cap, consider farming Heroic Mech for the additional damage provided by its gem, granted that you have the funds for a flying mount. Lambent Crysoprase is useful for specs that care a lot about passive mana regeneration, such as Arcane and Frost-Arcane.

Chest

Vermillion Robes of the Dominant - Warlord Kalithresh, The Steamvault
Warp Infused Drape - Warp Splinter, The Botanica
Comments: As a fresh 70, the Robes are your most likely bet, but the sockets from the Drape will yield better stats if you have a flying mount. Regardless of your spec, the Epic Robe that you can craft from tailoring has great stats and sockets. The Frost robe in particular grants extra Spell Hit as a socket bonus.

Feet

Extravagant Boots of Malice - Tavarok, Mana-Tombs
Comments: Not much choice here, which is all the more reason to be a Tailor if you roll Frost; the Frozen Shadoweave Boots are excellent for the same reasons as the robe.

Hands

Gloves of Oblivion - Warchief Kargath Bladefist, The Shattered Halls
Gloves of the Deadwatcher - Shirrak the Dead Watcher, Auchenai Crypts (Heroic)
Comments: Both are considerably difficult to get if you're a fresh 70, but there are numerous excellent socketed alternatives.

Head

Spellstrike Hood - Tailoring, Grand Warlock Nethekurse, The Shattered Halls
Demonfang Ritual Helm - The Black Stalker, The Underbog (Heroic)
Comments: Again, both are difficult to get. If you're horde, consider doing a quest chain in Nagrand described below. I've been trying to farm the Spellstrike recpies for a while, and still haven't gotten them to drop. The Hood is easier to farm than the pants because the recipe drops off of the first boss of the instance, rather than the last.

Legs

Spellstrike Pants - Tailoring, Murmur, Shadow Labyrinth
Trousers of Oblivion - Talon King Ikiss, Sethekk Halls
Comments: The warlock dungeon set has a pair of items that provide spell hit. Do not overlook them, despite the useless 2-piece set bonus. Great stats overall.

Shoulders

Mantle of Three Terrors - Chrono Lord Deja, The Black Morass
Comments: The Mantle is worth farming, because the rep rewards from the Keepers of Time include a really neat Spell Hit sword. Frosties rejoice at the use of their Tailoring Shoulders!

Waist

Belt of Blasting - Tailoring, Auction House
Sash of Serpentra - Warlord Kalithresh, The Steamvault
Comments: You will not get the recipe for the tailoring belt until you're arleady in raid content. Thankfully, the belt is bind on equip, but the AH price may be a bit absurd on your realm, so consider running Steamvault for your belt instead. Arcane and Fire get a good belt from their Tailoring specialization.

Wrist

Crimson Bracers of Gloom - Omor the Unscarred, Hellfre Ramparts (Heroic)
Comments: This boss is quite tricky in Heroic mode, due to the Felhounds that drain your mana if you're closeby. Not exactly reccomended, but is worth mentioning. Thankfully, Arcane and Fire have their Tailoring specialization.

Back

Cloak of the Betrayed - Priestess Delrissa, Magister's Terrace
Sethekk Oracle Cloak - Talon King Ikiss, Sethekk Halls
Comments: Delrissa is one of my favorite non-raid boss encounters, so it's worth running over and over again, even if you can't seem to get past that final pull before Kael'thas. The Sethekk Cloak is relatively easy to get at 70.

One-Hand

Starlight Dagger - Mennu the Betrayer, The Slave Pens
Continuum Blade - Keepers of Time, Revered
Greatsword of Horrid Dreams - Murmur, Shadow Labyrinth
Comments: I simply LOVE the greatsword for its stats, but the Keepers of Time reward might come more easily if you find yourself doing plenty of CoT instances for the other pieces of gear.

Off-Hand

Lamp of Peaceful Radiance - Harbinger Skyriss, The Arcatraz
Star-Heart Lamp - Temporus, The Black Morass
Comments: The Caverns Lamp is more accessible to mages that don't have flying mounts yet, and has the extra crit rating. You can't go wrong with either, but both instances can be challenging depending on the group.

Two-Hand

Auchenai Staff - Aldor, Revered
Grand Scepter of the Nexus-Kings - Nexus-Prince Shaffar, Mana-Tombs
Sun-infused Focus Staff - Kael'thas Sunstrider, Magisters' Terrace
Warpstaff of Arcanum - Warp Splinter, The Botanica
Comments: Kael'thas' Staff is hands down the best two-handed weapon for any mage not doing raid content. It has Spell Hit AND sockets. What more do you want? Consider that an arcane mage will only be about 20 or 30 points short if he gems out his Staff with nothing but +8 Spell Hit. You can get a Spell Hit Staff as a PvP reward, which I will list in the next section.

Neck

Brooch of Heightened Potential - Blackheart the Inciter, Shadow Labyrinth
Eye of the Night - Jewelcrafting, World Drop
Hydra-fang Necklace - Ghaz'an, The Underbog
Comment: The Blackheart fight might be frustrating to some, but I personally love it, and is worth farming. There aren't many other viable drops.

Finger
Seal of the Exorcist - Terokkar Zone Buff Rewards
Sparking Arcanite Ring - Epoch Hunter, Old HIllsbrad Foothills (Heroic)
Comments: Since a lot of the drops listed in this guide come from Auchindoun instances, you will likely accumulate a fair amount of Spirit Shards. Consider spending them on the PvP ring; they provide excellent Stamina, but lacks Intellect.

Trinket

Arcanist's Stone - Epoch Hunter, Old Hillsbrad Foothills (Heroic)
Scryer's Bloodgem - Scryers, Revered
Comments: Mages should always pick scryers, hands down. They have the better spellthread recipe for tailors, and they have the BEST SPELL HIT ITEM IN THE FREAKING GAME. LOOK AT IT!

Bonus: Solo and Quest Your Way to the Hit Cap!

Ok, so you might not have time to group for dungeons. The best alternative is to simply farm out craftables as well as doing quests. By specializing into Tailoring, you can get 48 Spell hit from gems alone! The list below will put your Spell Hit well above the cap, so choose to your discretion!

HEAD: Mag'hari Ritualist's Horns
Complete Hero of the Mag'har in Nagrand. This is long quest chain, and is horde-only, but is well worth it.

SHOULDERS: Frozen Shadoweave Shoulders
Take up Shadoweave Tailoring and farm the mats. Use the +8 Spell Hit gem for the socket bonus.

CHEST: Frozen Shadoweave Robe
Take up Shadoweave Tailoring and farm the mats. Use +8 Spell Hit gem for the socket bonus..

WAIST: Ethereal Sash
Complete Gava'xi in Nagrand.

PANTS: Heap Leggings
Complete It's a Fel Reaver, But with Heart in Netherstorm. You might want to get a group for this, but it's certainly solo-able with a frost mage. Simply pop cooldowns as needed, put your pet on adds, and furiously pew pew on the Reaver. If the mobs get out of hand, throw up Ice barrier, and kite them around with Frost Nova and Ice Armor while throwing instant cast spells on the reaver.

FEET: Frozen Shadoweave Boots
Take up Shadoweave Tailoring and farm the mats. Use the +8 Spell Hit gem for the socket bonus.

TRINKET: Starkiller's Bauble
Complete The Horrors of Pollution in Netherstorm.

TRINKET: Scryer's Blodogem
Gain the reputaton by doing all the Scryers quests, or by farming gold and buying reputation turn-in items such as Tomes and Signets.

WEAPON: Grand Marshall's War Staff
Farm up Alterac Valley and get yourself 24,480 Honor Points and 40 AV Marks. At this point, you might already be at the cap, so get a decent weapon instead.

NECK: Eye of the Night
Buy from the AH.

FINGER: Seal of the Exorcist
PvP your butt off in Auchindoun. Get the shards and buy the ring.

Conclusion

Rough calculations put the total spell hit of all the items listed above as 158, including set bonuses. Speccing into Fire can be accomodated if you gem/enchant the gear accordingly. Regardless, the main point of this guide is to show that getting Spell Hit items is very straightforward and available if you know where to look. By getting into Karazhan, you will be able to upgrade your gear even further, and you will have to learn to boost your stats through gear upgrades, while at the same time managing the hit cap. It's a tricky balance that can frustrate some, but hopefully this guide will at least provide the initial stepping stones towards reaching that point in your fledgling mage-raiding career.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Alternate Blog Descriptions

4 comments
This is just a placeholder post for past, present, and future Blog Descriptions that would be used on the banner of this blog. I have been tempted to change the blog description for a while now, but resisted the urge to do so, since it would open the floodgates to constant blog description changes. Well, today I'm opening them up.

"There's something cool about frost-specced mages and death knights that make me shiver. Wait, that wasn't supposed to be the joke, dammit. ugh, /wrist"

"When life hands you lemons, summon lemonade elementals."

"Because 2.1-second Frostbolts just aren't enough."

"A blog about a cryomaniac, cryophile, a cryo...um...I ran out of suffixes."

"If you're looking for Fire of Arcane, you're in the wrong place."

"A Frost Mage walks into a bar. He blogs about it the next day."

"Looking into the World of Warcraft from the bottom of a glass of Conjured Water."

"Step out of the harsh cold of Northrend into a place where it's...not as cold."

Make Lemonade (and Other Musings)

2 comments
This weekend, our raid encountered something that I would like to dub as a "2-faced" instance.

The OMGROFL KARA face

a.k.a. Day 1. Undergeared, underprepared, unsynergized. A few people were having their first runs through the instance with the guild, and many of them needed substantial upgrades. So I came in expecting a few wipes. Oh, I also aimed to not die. Those two didn't really coincide, but in the end, both expectations were fulfilled. On two or three wipes, I managed to slap on Invisibility at the right time. On AoE pulls, I managed to deal considerable damage without dying at all. I only died once the entire night. ONCE. On a wipe.

On Moroes, I kited the Retribution Paladin. I forget his name, but I did it with my spec, and survived, even after getting manaburned TWICE by the Shadow Priest. I had to Ice Block in the process, but I was lucky to not get hit by Garrote. Either way, I had Cold Snap just in case.

On Maiden, I had Quagmirran's Eye Proc DURING Heroism. I popped Icy Veins, and somehow I was doing 1.3s Frostbolts. Cold Snapped back Icy Veins, and I was doing 1.7s Frostbolts for about a whole minute. Hells yeah.

I almost died in Opera. Well, pre-Opera. You see, my raid has an Opera tradition, where we run the event while standing in the room before Opera, on the farthest wall. We have one person start the event, and have the rest of the raid dance naked in place as the encounter starts. Think of it as a Russian Roulette of sorts, since someone usually ends up dying to Dorothy's Frostbolts, Roar, or Julianne.

I died on an AoE pull leading up to Curator, but everyone else ended up wiping, so that doesn't really count. It doesn't help when the tank pulls when all the mages are still drinking. >.<

The WTF WORST KARA EVER face

Day 2 Kara was blah. Maybe it was the high expectations. Maybe it was because half the raid was cloth. Maybe it was 3 mages in Shade. I don't know. There were too many wipes, and we didn't get anything done.

I believe that some sort of twilight zone effect was looming over us. While recently we have been struggling with Illhoof due to a lack of Warlocks, we've been doing other bosses fine, even with an undergeared party. But this week was completely opposite; having pugged a warlock, we simply destroyed Illhoof after our "get used to playing with a warlock again" wipe.

But afterwards it got ugly. Fast. Numerous wipes on Shade meant that we ended up clearing trash respawns twice, even wiping on a few of the repeated pulls. We were simply too careless overall. I'm not going to blame any specific roles, but I'm just going to say that people need help each other out. If DPS learns to take less damage, then Healers will be able to keep up with heals, and will have an easier time doing their job properly as well.

Regardless, a few good things to note. We ended up recruiting the pugged warlock, and our Holy Pally got both healing drops off of Illhoof. This is a wonderful thing, because we desperately needed a Warlock for Kara, and our Pally has been aching for gear upgrades, and was often in that position where gear dropped whenever he wasn't in the raid, and vice versa.

All in all, Kara gave us nothing but lemons, but we came out of it with a nice glass of lemonade.

Other Random Thoughts

- Got onto the 3.0.x PTR for the first time ever. I am now officially excited for WotLK. I didn't think that something as simple as a talent tree revamp could get me so pumped up, despite not having training dummies available, or any other world server except for Eastern Kingdoms available.

- I have a resto druid. Yep. That means I have a non-gnome. If gnomes could become healers, I would roll one as my alt, but as it stands, I have no choice but to branch out into other races. She hit 50 on the weekend, and picked up Tree of Life. It's so amazing. I can see her listening to Marley while smoking her own leaves. I guess that would make her...

...a restofarian.

Yeah, I cringed too. It's ok. Something to wake you up on this lovely Monday.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Nerf Bat? What Nerf Bat?

5 comments
I was reading WoW Insider today, and happened upon a bunch of posts. Didn't read many of them, since the titles of those very posts spoke for themselves.

"8926 a test of faith for Holy priests"
"Shadow Priests beaten to death in the Wrath beta"
"Totem Talk: Curses, foiled again"
"Human racials revised again"
"Things don't look pretty for PvP Hunters in 8926"

To say that 8296 was known for its nerfs to many classes would be a sheer understatement. Which is why I loved to see this on MMO-champion regarding the new beta build.

Unofficial changes:



which is quite surprising, considering the introduction of Mirror Image. I could only guess that there simply wasn't enough time for the devs to observe the spell in action and make their adjustments. Expect more concrete evidence to be observed when more 80's show up via pre-mades or self-mades, and we'll see how it goes.

Regardless, it is frequently said that no news is good news. So if we're to walk away with anything, it's that with the inevitable tidal wave of QQ, it's refreshing to see that the mages aren't likely to be the ones not drowning in it.

But then again, I could be wrong.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Video Game Death is Serious Business

5 comments
Today's lunchtime post is going to be a bit short, since I am currently obsessed with Final Fantasy IV for the DS. My goodness it is sweet. So far, it's pretty much everything I loved about FFIII and a little bit more. It has been a while since I last played an RPG though, and being a little too used to playing MMORPGs as of late has definitely shown in my gameplay.

Firstly, dying in WoW has led me to become careless with my character. In WoW, there is no "Game Over." In non-arena/non-battleground areas, you simply respawn at a certain location, and you can either resurrect your character on the spot, or resurrect your character where you were last killed.

The harshest penalty you end up receiving upon death is a hefty repair bill, or an optional 10 minutes of "rez sickness" that gimps your stats the point of being unable to defend yourself from other monsters.

In traditional RPG's, however, when you die, that's pretty much it. The game ends, and you have to restart the game from the last save point. If you don't save , you might end up losing upwards of an hour or two worth of gameplay, and you have to start all over again.

My goodness, playing WoW for an exclusive amount of time has driven me to that carelessness with regards to FFIV, and as a result, I've played the same beginning dungeon four times today, each time assuming that I could save the game later, but dying unnecessarily in some situation. One death was due to a random encounter wtih a really high-level monster, and another was due to having the entire party afflicted with Stone status, automatically resulting in a game over.

As a result of my experience, I got horridly pissed off at myself for becoming such an RPG noob, and tightened up saving habits, and haven't died since. I wonder now, however, if that will translate into an analogous behaviour in WoW?

My guild has this tradition when we run Kara. A mage has to die. It doesn't have to be me, since we have a lot of mages in the guild. There has been only one run in recent memory when there wasn't a single mage in the raid. And in each of those mage-filled runs, the mage is always at the top of the "deaths" list on recount/SWS.

Squishiness aside, I feel partially responsible for myself whenever I die, but not to the extent that I would adjust my gameplay to ensure survival, essentially the same way I play my regular RPG's. As such, I often perpetuate this careless attitude towards my characters in WoW, even though I shouldn't. As such, I would think that harsher dying penalties in WoW would make me more careful, and I wouldn't mind if such changes would be implemented.

So the questions I want to throw out there into the internether are as follows:

Are you careful with your WoW toon?
Do you like to play games outside the MMO genre that have harsh penalties for character death?
Does your WoW play mirror that of your gameplay in other genres?

With those questions in mind, I set my goal for this Friday's Karazhan: not to be the top of the DPS chart, but to be on the bottom of the "deaths" chart. Hopefully my frustration with non-MMO's will be successfully channelled into conservative yet productive play. I'll report on the results sometime on the weekend. So for now, wish me luck, and see you soon!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Hi, I'm Krizzlybear, and I'm a Manaholic.

7 comments

EDIT: As in, mana-a-holic. Damn you, Chu. *sigh* lol

audience: Hi Kriz!

As a mage, I'm normally used to chugging water in between battles with monsters from the twisted nether. As a result, I have become dependant on water for my mana-replenishment needs, to the extent that I've even conjured water for myself even when not in battle. I've snuck a bottle here and there, and realized my addiction.

But I have realized the error of my ways, and it's been about 8 days since I last had a skin of water, and so far it's been a success.

*audience ooohs, ahhs*

But, my friends, I must confess. I've died way too many times for my own good. Not taking Ice Barrier and other talents that improve the snares of my spells have taken a hit on my survivability!

In Kara, I died 8 times leading up to Curator alone, not including raid wipes. Some of those were from AoE pulls leading up to Moroes and Curator. Almost half of them were form failed attempts to kite Moroes adds and Strawhead. After Curator, there were plenty of early deaths in Netherspite simply due to not being able to keep Ice Barrier up.

*audience mourns the numerous weekend deaths of krizzlybear*

Fear not, my fellow Drinkers! I have found the error of my ways again! And found a way to improve my survivability but remain non-dependant on those cursed conjured consumables! Behold! THE IMPROVED NO-MORE-DRINKING BUILD!

*audience oooh's, aahhh's*

Did you see how it's different from the previous build? Let's take a look.

1 point from Winter's Chill moved to Frost Barrier: 4/5 Winter's Chill is good enough to keep stacks on the Winter's Chill Debuff, so the free point IMMEDIATELY goes to Frost Barrier. Similar to how a Frost mage depends on Water Elemental for offensive purposes, the same mage, to the same degree, relies on Frost Barrier for defensive purposes.

I don't know how I overlooked this in the first place. I guess I was too busy spamming Frostbolts and not going out of mana. With Frost Barrier available, the mage with Arcane Meditation can now afford to keep it up on every cooldown, saving precious mana spent by healers, as well as reducing knockback from attacks from adds.

2 points from Improved Frost Nova to Permafrost: Sounds a little counterproductive, but hear me out. From a kiting perspective, the increased snare gained from permafrost increases the time it takes for a mob to get to you. Spamming rank 1 frostbolts while strafing and blinking and Jump Blasting will completely make up for the 4 seconds added to the Frost Nova cooldown. In most cases, you only have to use Frost Nova only once anyways, before the kited monster gets killed, so this is a worthy trade.

Also, since I'm not even trying to get into Shatter, IFN no longer needs to be taken by default.

I really wish that I could add at least one point in Improved Blizzard for the snare effect, which stacks with Permafrost. Maybe I'll take out another point in Winter's Chill, and really pray to the RNG gods that my stacks stick. But oh well, that's a bullet that I'm willing to bite in exchange for Ice Barrier and Permafrost.

*audience applause*

And that, my friends, is my personal tweak to 18/0/43, modified to stay alive longer, so I can continue to drink less and pew pew more.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Just a Thought...

2 comments

The official firing of the Large Hadron Collider is on October 20. Their test run is this wednesday. If the experiment fails due to massive explosions, and the human race wipes, then I won't be able to play Wrath of the Lich King.

DAMN YOU HARDON COLLIDER! YOU WILL BE THE END OF US ALL!

Mirror Image? No Thanks, I Still Love My Water Elemental!

6 comments

General rule of gaming. If it involves clones, it's going to be imbalanced.

Ah, Morphling, how I miss you so. By coming to Wrath of the Lich King as the Mage spell Mirror Image in Beta Testing, you have done quite well for yourself. I don't need to tell you that it is awesome. Chances are, you've already read Christian Belt's opinion on it, and Tuna's, and Aurdon's, and...what? Krizzly hasn't put his Frosty Perspective on this? OK fine. I want to put in my 2c on this.

Yes, this spell is quite awesome. As the 3 authors have pointed out, the possibilities with this spell is just disgustingly good. At first, some have speculated that this spell would merely be some sort of diversion-type spell used for PvP purposes, but it would seem that the effects of it have gone beyond the expectations of the mage community. Perhaps it's because they aren't used to seeing their class get buffed so dramatically, or because they've been QQ'ing since the class was spanked with the nerf bat in Burning Crusade, or simply because they've never specced 41 points for a Water Elemental, which essentially does the same thing. Although technically, while Mirror Image functions more like a Druid's Treants, they're simply there to deal more damage.

Let me touch on that last point. These mage clones are simply Treants that do ranged damage instead of melee. It's a wonderful balancing idea that Blizzard concocted, finally completing the duality of melee/ranged combat. The game needed a spell that complemented Force of Nature with respect to design, and the mage class was a perfect fit.

Regardless of how much balancing the Dev team will implement to this spell (according to Belt's analysis, the damage capabilities are simply too high), the general idea is quite amazing, and should remain in the mage's arsenal when the expansion arrives. If anything, they will simply tweak the numbers to match the 41-point Balance talent, and make Mirror Image more analogous to it. Sometime down the road (or even right now), some will probably say that this spell further homogenizes the classes by marking this similarity with Balance druids, but in my humble opinion, the analog that it provides helps define and distinguish those two classes with regards to flavor AND functionality.

But where does this spell put us Frost mages within the context of our own class? In my opinion, Summon Water Elemental as a spell defines the Cryomancer in more ways than what Dragon's Breath or Slow could ever do for their respective schools. When I first fell in love with this talent tree, the addition of Squirtle to my repertoire was something that made me feel much a litle bit more like a hunter or a warlock, but the impermanence was something that kept me longing for him.

Consider that clones can be summoned every 3 minutes, just like an elemental. As a Frost mage, that camaraderie between man and um, well...puddle of water, will be in jeopardy. There will be hardly any room in the cryomancer's life for his beloved blob. It just feels so cramped. Perhaps it's just me, but I'm not ready to shove aside my How will this dynamic fare in the future? Only time will tell.

So when Wrath comes along, I'll definitely give Mirror Image a shot, implementing it into my spell rotation in dungeon and raid situations; but for now, I shall continue to religiously summon my dear old Water Elemental every 3 minutes. And even though he will only be there for me for 45 seconds at a time, each and every one of them shall be well spent.

Unless, of course, my mirror images can summon water elementals of their own...

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Random Pic: Twisted Nether Blogcast, 2:07 am

1 comments

If you haven't checked them out yet, the Twisted Nether Blogcast is HOT HOT HOT!
*cries* Why do I post at 3am? Live shows are great, but during the day only! hot damn!

I Was Pretty Much Half Asleep For All of These.

0 comments
I'm lovin' this meme/game/etc. I'm not going to provide much background information about it, since if you're reading this, you've probably already gotten tagged, or have read a blog that already has been tagged. I do mention, however, that it was Gnomeageddon who tagged me, so I'm going to get this thing over with, and see what I can come up with. I assure you, though, that due to my youth, I probably missed a bunch of these events, so it will end up being a pretty boring entry, and as a result, I will probably add a few events that are relevant to my interest.

But just in case you do get bored of this entry, do check out Wimzig's response, based on events surrounding the lore of Warcraft.

Where were you during...

September 11 Attacks
I was in grade 10, in the middle of my Science homeroom. While the lesson was going on, we were all doing our own things and not paying attention, and an announcement came up through the P.A. system, coming from our school chaplain (I went to a catholic school). I remember the tone in his voice when he had said that a plane had crashed into the first tower.

Personally, it was too early in the morning to really soak it in, a sentiment shared by the rest of the class. But later, he gave another announcement when the second tower was hit, and another when the first building fell, and when the second fell. And by that time, the class had already stopped, and we were all watching CNN on our in-class TV (each class had a TV with cable). At the end, he said a somber prayer to the entire school through the P.A.

I called my mom, who worked downtown at the time, on my cell to see if she had heard about it. She said that her office building was evacuated due to the threat of terrorism. Supposedly, since a few planes heading to New York were stopped in Newfoundland or somewhere close to that area, the Canadian Government wanted to make sure that any potentially-hijacked planes in Canada would cause any sort of structural damage.

Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster January 28, 1986
I was still inside my mom's womb. I would ask her what she was doing, but she doesn't have that kind of memory, nor was she in North America at the time.

Reagan Assassination Attempt March 30, 1981
Not born yet.

John F. Kennedy’s Assassination November 22, 1963
Not born yet. To put things into perspective, my mom was only 2 years old. =/

John Lennon’s Death December 8, 1980
Not born yet.

Kurt Cobain’s Death April 5, 1994
I was close to turning 8, and I didn't know who the person was. But I had a few cousins who told me later on that they were huge fans, and they were really sad about the whole thing.

Adding my own events...

Princess Diana's Death August 31, 1997
It was a Saturday, I believe. The extended family was celebrating my grandma's birthday at a nice banquet hall. My parents and I got home from the party at around 3am, and my mom got a call on her phone from one of the relatives, telling her to turn on the TV. She switched it to CBC (canadian broadcasting coorporation) and there was live footage of the car wreck, and Di had already been declared as dead. We stayed up until 4am continuously watching the news to see how everything had happened. It wasn't as grave to me as it was for my parents, and uncles and aunts, since I was 11 at the time, but it was discussed in the classroom when school started up again a few days later.

Toronto Propane Explosions August 10, 2008
If you're not familiar with this, do check out this wiki entry, and this video below:



I happen to live around this area, luckily just outside of the municipality of the propane depot. When the first explosion happened, the house was rocked awake. You could see the flames from a very long distance. My dad and I went up to the roof of our house to see what was going on. We were able to see the very blast shown at 1:50 of the above video, because I remembered it with my own eyes. I had work the very next day, and because of the blast, I had practically only 4 hours of sleep (12-4), so I was pretty much out of it for the whole day.

And that's it for me. Not going to tag anyone, because I'm lazy like that.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Wimzig's Whimsy: Where in the World?

3 comments
((Inspired by a little game of blogging tag that has started in the internether, I've decided to start a little RP-themed version of it. See if you can play along; this is an exercise in both RP and lore!))

Howdy strangers! I was just thinking the other day. I had realized that the history of Azeroth is absolutely giiiii-normous! And for a gnome like me, that's multiplied at least a hundredfold! HA!

All silliness aside, boys and girls, I also thought of how I fit into its history. The world of Azeroth is filled with people of a wide variety of interesting races, with different life histories. I presume that how I had lived my life during the volatile history of our mortal world, and how it differed with that of, oh, let's say Ronin the mage of legend (and my personal hero). So I ask myself...

Where was I during...

The Battle of Mount Hyjal? ((Warcraft 3))
Believe me baby, I was somewhere else! The invasion of those damned troggs was a terrible shock to my people. I was not skilled enough to be part of our makeshift militia, so the Wintersprugs were long gone, and already in Ironforge. Homeless, the exiles wandered around Ironforge with absolutely nothing to do. When word had spread to the dwarven military to begin their preparations, the Wintersprugs were asked to help the war effort, the only way we knew how. Thus, the night before the dwarven military left Ironforge will go down in the Wintersprug family history as "The Night of a Thousand Waterskins."

The Opening of the Dark Portal ((by Medivh))?
Oh golly, as a family, we never even heard about the Dark Portal, nor did we hear much about the other mortal races, let alone the orcs. There were rumblings in Gnomeregan about a "new race" that had been sighted by Gnomish expeditioneers. We have always been a small people, so any ventures anywhere (particularly the Black Morass) allowed us the ability to not be sighted by anyone. I was too concerned with the development of the Wintersprug Hydrofilterizationator. Let me put it this way: if they don't buy my ware, I just won't care.

The Naxxramas Event?
Funny story, the news of the floating citadel had broken out, and the world was in such a frenzy, even hordeside. I had just come of age, but haven't assumed a new last name yet. At the time, the council of tinkers had put off their plan to host the annual gnomish naming party to focus on local defence. I didn't get my last name that year, and I was as steamed as, um, my uncle Fezz Fizzwickle's steamtastic gizmomigator (yes...that should suffice...). I don't know what it does actually, but it blew a lot of smoke from its head, much like me that year. I missed the gnomish naming party the next year to start preparing for my journey out into Azeroth as a mage.

The Sundering?
I don't know. Gnomes don't live that long. Although there are rumors afloat that all gnomes were unactivated robots that lived underground during that time. Kinda like the dwarfs, except cooler.

The Crashing of the Exodar?
It was all over the rumor mill in Ironforge. Some giant Ironforge-sized flying machine was seen blazing through the air at high speeds across the world, eventually crash-landing somewhere in Kalimdor. I had spent my days at that time at the mage trainer, and one night when I returned to the refugee center in Tinker Town, one of my bunkmates, Ned Newfounder, was recruiting people to go an expedition to Azuremyst Isle to check it out. I hadn't heard from him since. Shame. He was probably eaten by a deeprun tram rat. Served him right for being drawn to such fascinating machinery...hrmm, now that I'm quite equipped, I should go there myself one time.

((So there you have it! And as tradition is followed, I shall now tag the following friends from the internether to participate, but feel free to join in anyways!

Annie Mae Spursparkle
Desdarii
Tux (of course, his/her owner might have to translate...)
Csilla Kovács))

How Do You Expect Me to Follow THAT Up?

6 comments
Well, how? Simply put. HOW? Double-digit comments, guaranteed, and as of this draft saved up for tomorrow (which actually is in about 10 minutes, technically), it may have already happened.

Yes. I could have highlighted the entire paragraph and made it into a giant link, but that would not thoroughly express the link love it deserves.

Seriously Lar[ALT+161]sa, I even ask YOU, how do YOU follow that up? Do you even know what you have done to me? I can no longer look at a blog post without evaluating the ethos, logos, and pathos found within it. Let me demonstrate by showing you what is pictured in my mind as I browse the internether during a typical day.



Hot damn! It's like that scene in the Matrix where they're all looking into the computer monitor, and sees the world as a screen full of 1's and 0's. Good Job Larísa, I hope you're happy. I know I sure am.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Romance? In My World of Warcraft?

7 comments
"Khadgar knew he should just shut up. But he couldn't. He had held back all this time, wathing Alleria and Turalyon, who obviously still loved each other, circle one another like wary dogs. He could take it no longer. '...There's a good, kind, intelligent man right here in this keep who could teach you a thing or two on how to live. You should try living for a change, opening yourself to something rare and wonderful instead of slamming doors.'

She marched up to him until their faces were only inches away. 'How dare you say such things to me! It's none of your business! Why do you care how I choose to live my life?'

'I care because I don't
get to choose! I know you think of our lives as shockingly brief. Our youths are even briefer. What ten years to be young and strong, at the most...most alive we'll ever be? I don't even get that. I became an old man at seventeen. Alleria, I'm even younger than Turalyon! Look at this face. I'm twenty-two, but what twenty-two year old girl would have this old man?'"

I finished all three books. They were all amazing, but somehow, Beyond the Dark Portal had hit me. Hard. Somehow it just snuck up on me that this book has such a warm and fuzzy romance going on between Turalyon and Alleria Windrunner. It just made me feel immense amo unts of "squee" for the two of them. And it didn't help much that I had identified with the viewpoint of Khadgar, who at the time was a 22 year old mage.

22. YEAR. OLD. MAGE. (I'm 22, and this is a mage blog, in case the coincidence was lost from you)

Light damned it, I became quite lonely.

And for the whole day I spent at work, I pined, wondering if there was an Alleria Windrunner out there for me. This didn't sit well with the fact that I had just read Bre's post about being romantic in-game to your significant other, or with the recent trend of topics in the past week or so regarding gender-specific blogging and gaming.

What had come over me? Surely, I could go out into the world, meet a girl that I could be attracted to, and perhaps get to know a bit more. But in the several times during this now-gone summer that I had such opportunities, I somehow wasn't willing to reveal my interests for online gaming and internet blogging, for fears that I would be viewed as that loner/loser stereotype played out by the media, the pimply fat guy who was in his twenties who lived in his mother's basement.

Not entirely true. I wasn't fat and pimply, at least, not in the stereotypical loser nerd sort of way. Sure, I may have a bit of a beer belly, and I still live with my parents, but that's because I'm still in my last year of University, and would rather save up for a nest egg than move out.

But hot damn, I wondered if I really am perpetuating the stereotype cast by the evil media conglomerates. I hope not, since despite those moments self-conscious thinking, I felt I always had an outgoing (hopefully not too outgoing!) personality, intelligence, and a sense of humor beyond the "epic lulz" of the 4chan-dominated internet that now grinds my nerves. And somehow, today I had wondered whether or not I had shown such personality in my blog, and whether or not I had sincerely conducted myself in real life as such.

Thankfully, I logged on that night, and found that those very traits that I subconsciously prided myself in was recognized by one in the blogging community. A female, no less. It immediatley justified my existence as a guy in the blogosphere. As such, I extend a sincere message of gratitude, multiplied by an arbitrarily large number. You, along with countless other females in the twisted nether, are the reason why all the other male bloggers are jealous of your boyfriends and husbands.

Thus, I had concluded that there exists in the world a woman out there who is right for me. One who can see past the lies of the media, and appreciate me for being me. My very own Alleria Windrunner. And one day, when I do eventually meet her, I would be willing to cross that dark portal and take up arms against the Horde to fight with her. For her.

Monday, September 1, 2008

I've Given Up Drinking Forever

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If you were wondering where I had gone to yesterday, since no post was put up, I'm letting you all know that I had a huge hangover. A few lovely rounds of my favorite lagers was quite enough to get me into high spirits with a few close relatives.

Speaking of which, Spirit is a wonderful stat, ain't it? Euripedes over at Critical QQ has gone quite a ways of doing the theorycraft that argues that Spirit is indeed a wonderful stat to have, even though you might not want to stack it as much as you do with Spell Damage, Spell Hit or Intellect. But it's there, and it really helps you regen the mana during long boss fights, particularly with Mage Armor on.

But what's that? Did my ears deceive me? Was Euripedes only discussing Arcane mages as the only viable subclass of our magic-wielding kin that would even consider grabbing some spirit? HA! I'll show him...

As soon as I got home after sobering up from all that drinking, I really needed a reprieve from all things related to liquid refreshments. Heck, I think I went a little too far, even taking that philosophy straight into the game. Thus, the first thing I did when I logged on was give 35 gold to the class trainer in Ironforge. It was time I gave up drinking for a while.

Larisa, this respec is dedicated to you[1]. Arcane Meditation FTW.

18/0/43: The Red-Headed Stepchild of the Raiding Frost Family

This spec is a variation of the 0/0/49+12 Frost raiding skeleton that dips into all the necessary talents; Elemental Precision, Water Elemental, Winter's Chill, and all the Frost damage-increasing talents. The remaining 12 points usually defines what flavor of raiding Frost mage you will have in your group. In general, the Deep Frost build will put all 20 points into Frost, picking up Shatter and all the talents that increases their overall control. Some will spend 10 points into grabbing Arcane Concentration, like Tuna supposedly does.

But by going even deeper in the Arcane tree, and maxing out Arcane Meditation, we end up with a spirit-based regeneration buff that stacks with Mage Armor, resulting in upwards of 60% mana regeneration, in-combat. A feat that would make any Priest jealous, pugnacious or otherwise.

Let me emphasize this by quoting Euripedes again, regarding *cough* arcane mages *cough*:

"Lemme put it this way. An arcane mage (with Mage Armor up, of course), in T6-ish gear, raid buffed, can actually gain mana by chain casting Frostbolts."

Guess what. Frost mages can do it too. And they can actually do serious dps by chain casting Frostbolts, all the while, their spirit regen becomes serious business with Mage Armor up. With that in mind, we end up with what theorycrafters consider to be the most mana-efficient build for any mage raiding spec, all the way up to Sunwell. Here's a picture of the graphical comparisons regarding self-buffed mage dpm (damage per mana) made by Tachyon, of the subcreation Intelligent Mage Discussion forums:



To further show how DPM is such an important feat for a dps class, especially during long fights, let's go into a bit of spiritcrafting here. Let's assume a boss encounter that lasts for 10 minutes, and compare the mana efficiency of Deep Frost, Clearcast Frost, and Meditation Frost.

- A T4-equivalent mage with Mage Armor up, raid buffed up to 700 Intellect and 400 Spirit, will be getting an MP5 rating of 397, according to Resto4Life's mana regen calculator.
- For a fight lasting 10 minutes, assuming 100% of that time spent in the 5SR, will return 47,640 mana.
- Compare that to a mage with Arcane Meditation talents, and the MP5 jumps up to a whopping 545, or 65,400 mana regenerated over 10 minutes.
- Note that with Frost Channeling, a Rank-13 Frostbolt costs 272 mana. Over 10 minutes, 240 Frostbolts will be chain-cast, consmimg 65,280 mana.
- With clearcasting, 24 of those frostbolts will cost 0 mana, lowering the total mana spent to 58,752.

Notice something there? The mana spent by Deep-Frost greatly outnumbers the mana regained, 65.2k to 47.6k. Thus, he will be going out of mana quite early into the fight. The Clearcast-Frost mage will spend less mana throughout the fight, but will still run out of mana sometime in the fight, since 58.7k is still higher than 47.6k. But the winner of the endurance test is going to be Meditation Frost, with an insane differential of 58.7k spent and 65.4k gained.

As a result, the first two mages are going to be oom'ing first, resulting in the need to Evocate or, Light forbid, wand down the boss while waiting for pot/gem cooldown to finish. That's 0 dps during that time, almost as good as dead. However, the Meditation mage, with a mana differential of 6.7k for 10 minutes, can cast an extra 24 Frostbolts until he goes OOM, and that doesn't even count clearcasts and mana regained during those extra casts!

Now wait a minute, some of you may be simply skeptical that there aren't a bunch of boss fights that last for 10 minutes, particularly with regards to heroic instances. Well, guess what? I just pugged a heroic Black Morass with a Shadow Preist and a Resto Shaman. With mana gems and evocate, I only had to drink twice. TWICE. And that was just for the heck of it, too! Both times were after each of the first two bosses, and I could have probably regained mana passively outside of the 5SR, right up to full, before the next portal opened.

A mage that never has to drink. If that's not going against the stereotype, I don't know what is. Perhaps I'll go off to meditate on this.

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[1] I'm still having problems trying to find the alt+# combination to get that funky i, so bear with me while I continue using trial and error.