Monday, March 31, 2008

New Blog:- The Temple of Survivalism

I admit; I don't normally like it when Hunters engage in hero worship on the forum. However, in this particular instance I'm going to unashamedly engage in it myself.

Trackhoof has referred to me, in his description of my blog on his, as a master Survivalist. While I was flattered by that, in truth it is definitely not the case. The person whose blog I am linking here, however, can truthfully and without hyperbole be referred to as such.

I linked to Bandet's PvP videos in an earlier post here; they are simply amazing. The Hunter class is one of the least-represented in the Arena currently, and Survival the least of that. Becoming truly effective with Survival in the Arena, therefore, is something that very few among us have managed to do.

I know that for some time, people have looked for a Survival-based equivalent to BRK's blog; and it has been my privelege to at least attempt to serve in that capacity. However, in addition to my own continued writing, you will now be able to draw on the guidance of a Survival Hunter infinitely more skilled than I.

Bandet's specialty, as far as I know, is PvP, so for other aspects of the game, the writings of others can still hold much relevance; however in the area of Survival PvP specifically, I know of none better.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Some awesome addons

Hey guys,
Another fairly long delay between posting, except for the last quick one, but hopefully you'll consider it worth the wait. I believe in quality over quantity with blog posts; I won't write unless I've got something genuine to say, which means I sometimes won't write every day, either.

My recent bout of alt-itis actually does have a purpose leading back to my main; I'm trying to discover a means of making money utilising herbs/skins/ore from all levels of the game, not just by selling primals at the cap.

I've recently found several awesome addons to help me to that end, as well.

MobMap - This addon is amazing. It's like having a copy of Thottbot or Wowhead in-game. It has a database of the locations of quests, NPCs, ore veins, and herb nodes in the game, and once you get search results in it, clicking said results will cause the location of the items you're looking for to be overlaid on your map. The installation is a little tricky though, and it's short on documentation, so make sure you grab the installer, rather than just the manual zip files, as I couldn't figure out how to get it to install successfully otherwise.

The locations are accurate, too. Only a few minutes ago I managed to rustle up 60 units of copper ore and a few bits of silver and tin around the Crossroads to smelt and put on the AH. Took me prolly half an hour to find the ore, which prolly translates into around 15 minutes for normal people. ;-) It makes it really fast when you know where to look.

FarmIt helps keep track of how many units of a given commodity you've got so far, too. Add a new blank slot in its' bar, drag the item from your inventory to the slot, and it'll keep track of how many ore or whatever you've got as you're mining/farming. If you're like me and have bags constantly filled with junk of all kinds, having to dig through them to check how many ore units or motes you've got periodically becomes a pain; this means you don't have to.

Once you've got a lot of stuff though, the next problem that then surfaces is putting it on the Auction House without getting Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Enhanced Stack Split is something I found to help me break ingot stacks up into lots of 2 ingots each. I prefer to sell items in stacks of 2 rather than stacks of 20, because especially with lower level items, it means that people with less money are then still able to buy as much of something as they need, even if they can't afford the full 20.

Igor's Mass Auction also adds a window to your usual Auction House interface that allows you to throw 18 items up on the AH at once. It also allows for single click price and duration setting across the lot, making it one of the single most useful addons I've come across in a while.

Reagent Restocker
is similar, except for buying stuff from vendors. If you're doing a leatherworking run, for instance, specify a shopping list with say 30 thread, open a window with a trade supplies vendor, and then watch as it automagically buys said thread or whatever else you specify, and also records how much it cost you. It also does auto purchasing of ammunition/food/water for Hunters, auto-repair at vendors who can do that, and pretty much anything else you can think of where buying from vendors is concerned.

CheckList2, like the name suggests, allows for the creation of checklists. I used this for a bit to remind myself to check ammo, food, and water on login and logout. It's good for defining pre-instance and other sorts of checklists as well.

Although not an addon, a web site I find invaluable is Whenever I want to start selling a new type of item, I've been going and looking up the median price on that site, and that is how I set prices.

That might seem a little low sometimes, but when I allowed myself to be led by the AH's usual rises and falls, I got burned fairly badly a couple of times. These days I sell at the median pretty much constantly. If someone else wants to resell what I put up, I don't have a problem with that either, since the market will usually only bear another 20-30% at most on top of the median anywayz, and they also are exposed to the risk that at that price, the item won't sell. To me, 2g now is a lot better than 3g never.

Go forth and farm. ;-)

Wow Item Creator!

Levelling/farming with Survival.

Post-62 (Steady):-

1. Drop Immolation trap at 20 yards from mob.
2. Jump out to 40.
3. Use Rank 1 Arcane as pull shot.
4. Send pet when mob crosses trap.
5. Fire Serpent Sting macro which contains the desired rank, and /stopcasting.
6. Use steady/auto to kill mob. 2-3 steadies are generally sufficient.


1. Drop Immolation trap at 20 yards from mob.
2. Jump out to 40.
3. Use Rank 1 Arcane Shot as pull shot.
4. Send pet when mob crosses trap.
5. Fire Serpent Sting macro which contains the desired rank, and /stopcasting.
6. Use straight auto to kill mob.

With Resourcefulness/ToTH this is extremely mana efficient in my experience, moreso if for farming you take Imp Stings rather than Mortal Shots. Sometimes even on my main I'll only use one initial Steady to try and get EW to proc, and then use pure autoshot from there.

Aside from mana efficiency, the single main advantage with this method is that it allows me to barrel the threat wave very effectively. I might go over slightly if I get a crit + trap tick, but I'll go back under almost immediately.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

More Paladin Adventures

So I hit 20 on my Paladin earlier yesterday, and finally got Consecration. I felt like a kid on Christmas morning when I got it; when I've seen Paladins using it while playing this Hunter it looks awesome, and I immediately headed into the Dead Scar to try it out. Unfortunately the undead there died before I could really get much of a feel for it, but I was able to use it in the Wailing Caverns later today, and get more practice with it.

If there's one thing I'm finding great about the Paladin more than anything else, it's the fact that as a tank, it's socially acceptable for me to lead groups. As I'm sure some of you have noticed, (*grin*) humility is not one of my virtues, and I have a tendency to gravitate towards leading in 5 mans.

As a Hunter, that is not allowed. A Warrior or Paladin in the group I'm with as a Hunter will want to take that role, and as a DPS class, (and as a Hunter in particular) I'm basically expected to get to the back of the group, DPS, and otherwise shut up and do as I'm told. ;-) It is good for me to experience that, though, because it keeps my ego from becoming completely out of control, and also allows me greater empathy with other people in the game.

One other thing about being a Paladin though that is good for keeping my ego in check, is that there are times when I'll be invited to a group, and contrary to my usual expectation to tank, I will be asked to heal.

I don't like healing exclusively very much at all; while I have the HealBot addon, enjoy the hybrid classes more than single role classes as a matter of course, (I actually view the Hunter as a hybrid) and will unconsciously throw out the odd heal in a fight anywayz, I find being a main healer to be an extremely boring exercise. I therefore think it's actually a good thing if at times I'm more or less compelled to swallow my own feelings about what I'd rather be doing, and focus more primarily on the wellbeing of the group rather than purely doing what I might find fun. Martyrdom is very much part of both the Priest and Paladin archetypes, and in-game I think engaging in it at times is just as beneficial for the person doing so, as it is for those they serve.

I feel that socially speaking, selfishness is the single biggest problem within World of Warcraft these days. The DPS meter encourages members of a group to actually compete with each other, rather than focusing on co-operation in order to get the group as a whole through the instance. There is also a disturbing tendency to view more purely defensive classes and specs (such as either the Paladin, or a Survival Hunter) as being inherently worth less than others, simply because they are not focused primarily on raw DPS.

I'm finding that the single greatest benefit of playing with alts, even aside from giving me varied and positive experiences, is it allows me greater understanding of the unique and specific challenges, minor quirks, and inconveniences faced by players of other classes as well. Walking a mile in another class's shoes can help me work more effectively with members of said class, when I'm back playing my Hunter.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Added Rilgon's blog to my blogroll

Hey guys,
Just added Rilgon's blog, Stabilized Effort Scope, to my blogroll. He's apparently a dedicated Marks Hunter from what he's told me, which is interesting.

I haven't run pure Marks myself for a while now, but I was using 0/31/30 for a period of time before I broke 600 ag; TSA gives more AP up until that point, and truthfully with RWS I'd probably still be doing more damage with a heavier Marks build even now.

I did, however use a more or less straight Marks build for a while in HFP, at probably around level 62 or thereabouts. It doesn't have anywhere near the melee viability of Survival, of course, but at the time anyway my ranged damage was considerably higher with it, it balanced out. It's a very solid farming tree, but I did find mana efficiency to be a minor issue, and given that that has also been reported by people in raid scenarios, I'd be interested to hear how Rilgon manages to cope with the mana problem.

Probably the single main thing I enjoyed about Marks was that, given that it is a lot more Hunter centric than BM, I could focus on personal damage output, and still have the pet primarily for defense.

Marks could do with some attention from Blizzard, IMHO. Efficiency could use bumping up to around 30%. TSA also needs to scale, a la EW; scaling with Int would make the most sense, since CA already does. I'd also tweak Barrage and friends so that they buff Arcane as well as Multi; since currently if CC is around, due to no Multi, a Marks Hunter has to go without a fair portion of their damage output.

CA, RWS, Master Marks, and TSA are all still as sexy as they've always been, though; if Blizz made the above changes and also put Resourcefulness higher up in the Surv tree than it is currently, I'd definitely consider going a bit deeper into Marks than I traditionally do currently.

It's been a week!

Long time. Sorry about that, guys.

I guess I just don't feel as though I've really had anything terribly riveting to say; although one positive point is that I worked out I was going to need 50 primal air at a price of 20g each to get my flying mount, and I've got 20 now, plus close to another 200g on my bank alt. So I'm getting closer.

Air farming in SMV really is not what I consider an enjoyable use of my time though, to be honest. Best case scenario, it's simply slow, and mind numbingly, brain breakingly boring. Worst case scenario, I've have to dodge drive-by ganking from the Alliance, as well as compete with other members of the Horde for the elementals.

In other news, I've recently been working on levelling up an alt Paladin. I wanted to go for Prot, but in the two WC runs I've been able to get so far, everyone's wanted me to heal; so I'm trying to be adaptable, even though I find that very boring.

I know Pike has an alt project going; is the Paladin a class you've ever considered yourself, Pike?

Friday, March 14, 2008

To My Readers

I know my last couple of posts haven't exactly been brimming with the proverbial Light. I can get fairly negative a lot of the time; my personality finds viewing the glass as half empty to be easier in general, if I'm honest. I also know how I am on the forum, and people who see me there might think that that is very different to the nature of this post in particular.

I admit. I'm a person of extremes; both dark and light. I can at times be as savage on the forum as anyone else, and yet at the moment, I am drawn to feeling entirely the opposite. My mind is clear; I am at peace. If I was going to be truly and horribly arrogant, perhaps as much so as I have been accused on the forum of being, I could say that that is, I think, why I am drawn to Kali. I feel that, at least in terms of being composed of opposites, Mother and I have something in common. ;-)

Given that, this time around, I wanted to write about some things I am grateful for.

  • I'm enormously grateful for the opportunity to have created, and played the game with, this character. It's done a lot for my self image, and I like to think I've learned a lot from it as well, both inside and outside the game.

  • I'm also even more grateful for this blog, and for the people who continue to show their support for it. This has given me a means to express myself and communicate with a couple of people on a greater level than what I'm normally able to. It's also at times given me a sense of purpose; whenever I do get really down, or wonder what real use there is to my life in general, when I remember what I'm able to do here, and some of the responses I've had, I start to feel a lot better.

I'm perhaps a bit different to Trackhoof and Pike, in that there are some prickly edges with me, where they perhaps are uniformly positive. However, I join with them in saying what I feel they also did, in their own way, if not in so many words.

I do love you all. :)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The concept of delayed gratification

In a recent post, Lienna talks about a recent Molten Core raid she tried to assemble. She relates how out of 10 people who it turned out were not attuned, 6 left the raid rather than go through the process, as well as how on wiping in front of the third boss, everyone in the raid suddenly and mysteriously had pressing reasons to leave.

I admit, this is probably the single main reason why I'm starting to be put off even five man content, let alone trying to raid. People have apparently become completely intolerant to undertaking any kind of challenge in the game if the difficulty is more than trivial, and the gratification involved for doing so is anything other than immediate. I've been able to get maybe a single five man group in the last two months which wasn't aborted before completion, and some of said abortions were in low level instances.

The excuses offered in refutation to this, I know, will be many. "Mirsh, Molten Core is old and obsolete. They were scrubs for wanting to do it anywayz!" or "All of the content in this game is old and boring now. People can't be bothered wiping through it simply due to the presence of a couple of scrubs in the group!"

I guess I'm just weird. I've done every five man in the game at least once, and I can honestly say that I'm not bored with any of them, other than the odd blatant, genuine scrub trap such as the Mana Tombs.

Is this seriously the reason why people feel like this now, though? Or could it be that the people who've referred to the Arena reward system as "welfare," are actually right, in the sense that it's apparently rendered people averse to doing anything that takes more than a minimal amount of time?

Here's another way in which I'm weird; running 5 mans for me used to be about having fun with the people I was with, experiencing the actual content, and maybe helping people out. Apparently gear is the sole reason why most other people play this game, however; and if said gear isn't forthcoming within maybe 15-30 minutes, tops, then they're no longer interested.

I also used to take pride in how effectively a group I was in was able to move through an instance; not necessarily quickly, but successfully and safely.

I've recently been reminded by a few people on the forum that I don't raid or play in the Arena, (which are apparently the only two legitimate activities for someone to engage in, in this game) that I shouldn't try and make myself out to be some kind of authority on the Hunter class, (which I have no recollection of ever having done anywayz) and that I apparently know absolutely nothing whatsoever about either this class, or the game in general.

Granted, that might indeed be true. I guess said ignorance on my part is the reason why I used to care about trying to get through an instance without contributing to other people's repair bills; someone who truly knows how to play the game can probably do that to the point where it's automatic, and so isn't even an issue at all. I envy such people; that degree of competence would be great. I guess that comes with actually knowing something about the class or the game.

That's part of the reason why I'm still stuck soloing the EPL/WPL instances and other places when people call me a scrub for doing so; I don't care so much about gear, but I do want challenge, and I do want to get to explore interesting places. Those activities take time; actually quite a lot of it.

Trackhoof mentioned hitting a dilemma of his skill surpassing his gear; there are now a lot of people playing this game who apparently believe that if you aren't completely covered in purple, you're a complete failure as a human being, both within WoW and out of it. Several of the aborted instances I've run recently were with people who spoke of having multiple geared 70s; yet somehow, in the scenarios we were in, they just couldn't help wiping. They've got lots of purples though, and we all know that that's the only thing that really matters.

While we're also on the subject of my faults, one of my most grievous ones has been a tendency to leave just about everything in life half-finished. I'd go halfway through something, get bored, and leave it. I've done that with pretty much everything else in my life so far; school, higher education, my last relationship. However, ironically enough, WoW has been possibly the first thing I've ever done (or more specifically, this Hunter) where I haven't done that.

Before Blizzard recently sold out and became purely about the lowest common denominator, WoW actually taught me in very graphic terms about the value of the concept of delayed gratification.

You go through an instance. Some of the mobs in it are difficult to kill. It takes a long time, and involves you having to try and work as a group and pay attention for longer than might be comfortable. At the end of it though, you've got several new items you can use in several cases, and you come away with a feeling of having accomplished something, (even if it's only killing monsters in a video game) and maybe having helped a few other people out.

I used to value having those sorts of experiences, but like I said, I'm weird like that.

"Caring about what yourself or other people do in a video game? Geez, Mirsh, you need some perspective. Get a life. Learn to play this freaking game while you're at it. You're still half covered in blues and greens. Stupid scrub."

Monday, March 10, 2008

My very own General forum thread.

Someone made a General forum thread called @Mirshalak, and then didn't come back after I answered, so I'll repost my answer here.

So, i gotta ask - what the hell is up with your spec?

I mean, i'm not one to judge by peoples gear or rating. Some people dont like to PvP or raid, some people just dinged 70, some people are casuale. Its cool. Also some people like to exprimant with thier specs, and i get that too.

But, your spec is all over the place. You're 41 points in survival, but you skipped master tactician. You also skipped both detarrence and counterattack for 5/5 survivaliest, which means you dont want to gain range, but you wear leather so it doesn't seem to me like you are a melee hunter. You are also 20 points into marksmanship, but you couldn't spare one point in survival [where you didn't hit the 41 points talent] to grab scattershot? Its a life saver on a 30 sec CD, and again, you aren't a melee hunter

It just doesn't make sense. Please expline where are you going with this spec and what the hell is it good for?

It's a farming spec. I use it for soloing the Scholomance. And yes, I define the word casual at the moment. I'm farming gold for crafted lewts because I'm a scrub, don't want to deal with guild politics, and prolly don't have the skillz necessary to enter a raiding guild anywayz. ;-)

However, more seriously...I've got Resourcefulness for the trap bonus. For instance/primal farming, I actually like to try and minimise my threat, and rely on talented traps/stings to do the work. I've still got 5/5 MS because when respeccing last time I didn't go the whole hog due to people in groups tending to cry profusely if you don't have MS, and I still want to be able to do instances occasionally.

I do fight at range also...but my health is at 6.8 to barely 7k even with I need it. I'm geared pretty much for pure ag.

Buffed I've been a bit over 900 ag...I recently broke 1k dps in the mana tombs not long ago, and 850 dps on Murmur. It's not all that special by raiding standards perhaps, but I was quite happy with it, and I did it with this crazy mixed up spec as well, no less.

Most of the leet Black Temple type Hunters I read on the Hunter forum (hi, Alu! ;-)) are generally of the opinion that MT ain't all that great; the proc is too unsteady.

More specifically though, as I've said, when I'm farming I actually want to minimise my crit talent wise to a degree, not maximise it...since with my ag the way it is I'm critting often enough anywayz. If I go too crit crazy, mobs go from the pet to me, and I don't like that at all.

There are better talents than Counterattack too, truth be told. I used to get a fair amount of mileage out of it in Warsong Gulch back in the day, but those days are long behind me, more's the pity. I've been more or less straight PvE since I hit the cap; Resilience does horrible, horrible things to Survival. :(

I wear leather because as it's written by the Elitist Jerks, leather's where the stats are at for Survival, at least to a large degree. I don't like that much, because it makes me a lot more squishy...but I do love ag...more than anything else. So what can ya do? ;-)

I know Bandet talks about how Scatter's the shizzle, and I believe her, but I've always been a Wyvern man myself...and what with both ToTH and Resourcefulness for what I'm currently doing...sadly I only have so many points.

It's a hybrid five man/farming spec. Truthfully if I'd gone fully the farming route, I'd have 5/5 Imp Stings (extra dam from Serpent) and Readiness as well. It's what I've been using for low threat goodness in the Scholomance.

I was getting my rear end booted in all different directions by Rattlegore and his adds in particular, so I had to remember some lessons from my levelling days with Surv.

By lowering my crit a tad and relying on Serpent, maybe 1-2 steadies and my traps for the damage, threat is generated per tick, rather than per crit spike, so my boar can keep up...especially if I juggle threat with Snake Trap, as to some extent with Rattlegore's adds I still needed to do. The mana efficiency is also good to the point of probably being nerfed when Blizz find out, too. ;-)

It's low damage, yes...but high damage has IMHO never been the point of Survival for soloing. The point is keeping my threat low. I pull carefully, do single targets when I can, and keep my ambient threat as close to rock bottom as possible. If I do that, there's a good chance Feign and Disengage will still work for me, since I was finding if I went all out with a 1:1.5, they didn't, irrespective of what KTH or Omen said.

It lets me solo things though that would get off the boar and kill me otherwise...cos I was being killed by them. If I go with a particular spec, it will generally only be because I've tested it myself and found out that it works for me...irrespective of conventional opinion. ;-)

BTW, I appreciate not having received a virtual barrage of rotten vegetables from my brother Hunters over my gear in this thread, either. ;-)

Saturday, March 8, 2008

The Leave Taking

"Now I agree that everyone should have content, and this is not about the amount of content offered, it's about how Blizzard seems to be aiming at the structural destruction of raiding guilds."
-- Neg of Nihilum.

"About 2 weeks ago it became official. No, Risen is not a dead guild. We are a group of gamers that likes being the best we can be. Well, WoW isn't about that anymore, so we are taking WoW for what it is - casual."
-- Failure of Risen.

"Anyone else seeing a rise in the unguilded? At least on my server, there are more and more level 70s leaving their guilds and not joining new ones.

Is raiding truly about to die?

It can't be because of progression boredom because only one guild has killed Illidan on my server.

What's making guilds fall apart all the sudden?"

-- Iapetos, WoW General Forum.

Our elders are leaving us.

It's ironic. I remember when I first began posting in the Hunter forum, not too long prior to the release of TBC. The elitism there at the time was utterly without mercy. The Marks old school were far less tolerant of the existence of a Survival Hunter among them than the contemporary BM fanatics.

Yet I read the recent material written by some within Nihilum, and I grieve. If ever proof were available that WoW is indeed now dying, surely this is it.

I don't deny that casual content is vital to the success of a game. However, casual content is necessary for outreach; to increase a game's breadth. Earlier games like Ultima Online and Everquest were merciless grinds almost from a character's inception.

In that way, they existed in a state of imbalance, and that is also why they never became mainstream. The learning curve was close to vertical.

World of Warcraft was the very first game of its' kind to really change this. It allowed breadth; it allowed for a much more horizontal learning curve, and so it in turn allowed for a much larger group of people to access it than was possible previously.

When you create a new character in WoW, there's a person with an exclamation mark above their head standing right in front of you. You're immediately given somewhere to go and something to do. It eliminates confusion, and makes the learning of in-game concepts a gradual, stepped, and organically occurring process. It is obvious that any new MMORPG which follows will need to include these elements by default.

However, there comes a time when pure linearity is something which at least some individuals need to evolve beyond. Multiple potential quest lines, multiple available zones or paths of progression, and the challenge inherent in finding which is appropriate, become necessary.

The early five man instances are gradually introduced. New skills become available over time, and as well, more effective and valuable items become available.

At what is closer to the point of mastery, raiding and challenging encounters, on the other hand, are what give a game depth. These elements are what also (to again borrow from Bartle's rationale as to such games' existence) solidify the emerging experimental personality, and allow the vicarious state of actualisation to be reached.

The Ascension phase comes via a process which can be compared with climbing a mountain, and there is a fundamental psychological need for the last few meters to the summit to be bordering on literal impossibility, and to induce a state close to literal agony.

This is the point where, to use the Matrix as an analogy, time is slowed, gravity is defied, and projectiles are reversed. The individual comes over a long period of time to a point where they are able to believe that they have such abilities, and where the level of challenge present means that the use of such abilities becomes necessary.

The level of challenge here is also necessary, because only after that will the individual be able to believe that he or she actually deserves what comes next. As Neo eventually discovers in The Matrix Revolutions, in a virtual environment in particular, the entire journey to the Ascension phase is actually unnecessary, although paradoxically, this can never be discovered until afterwards, which therefore means that it is. An individual always has their own power; thus, the journey is not so much about developing said power as it is about discovering it.

In order for this to occur, however, the developmental catalyst is the overcoming of limitation and difficulty. The process cannot occur without challenge, because without challenge, there is no sense of progression, evolution, or forward movement. There is no scenario that an individual is thrust into, where the use of bullet time is made necessary, nor is there the tiered process by which the individual learns that the use of said abilities are indeed possible.

Not everyone who plays a game is going to go that far with it; indeed, most don't. Most are happy to continue with the casual or semi-casual material until such time as they are ready to pass on to some new activity. However, for a certain number among the population, such actualisation can and does occur, and is to the benefit of all. It benefits the rest of us because we can learn from individuals who have gone through the process, and it benefits said individuals because of the degree to which they have developmentally freed themselves.

All of this may seem utterly ridiculous, given the fact that I am, of course, talking about a computer game. I would argue however, in extreme earnest, that in a world as socially and politically limiting as this one is becoming, any environment where self-actualisation in any form is made possible needs to be preserved and taken seriously.

As Richard Bartle also wrote, I think, self-actualisation in whatever medium it is possible is also the entire point of these types of games; as far as the service they render to human beings is concerned, it's the reason why said games exist. It's also already been proven in research that human neurology is literally unable to tell the difference between visualised/imagined or real imagery. You can say it's just a game as much as you want; but the consequences have as much ontological validity as if they were achieved anywhere else.

The current development staff may think that diluting the amount of challenge present in World of Warcraft entirely will only broaden the appeal of the game. If their only priority is the accumulation of subscription fees, then at least on a short term basis, I can understand the rationale for that choice.

However, the consequences on a longer term basis, I think, will gradually be shown to be disastrous. Although not all players of this game proceed all the way to the Ascension phase, their purpose in playing it, (though they may not always consciously realise such) is likely to attempt to recreate their scenario in some way that is seen to be more positive than what they have offline.

Maybe they don't have a lot of money offline, and so love the idea of being in a scenario where, if they invest some effort, there is more certainty of them being able to get a decent suit of armor, or a big nether drake to sit around Shattrath on.

Maybe they'd secretly love to travel and explore new places, but their real life scenario, for whatever reason, doesn't allow that. WoW in terms of sheer geography is a reasonably large environment, and with the new expansion, is about to get bigger.

Maybe they want to learn how to relate to others more effectively, and also develop leadership ability, but because of offline physical problems, are forced to remain civilian.

The point is, that to a degree that some don't recognise, there is a fundamental human tendency to associate things of worth with the expenditure of effort to obtain them. If World of Warcraft becomes a game where the attainment of everything within it is easy, it will be a game where its' players are no longer able to get their needs met. This is the reason why we are already seeing the members of these raiding guilds leave, or at least become disinterested; WoW is no longer a means for them to meet these developmental needs, and they feel them more acutely and strongly than most.

Sure, WoW's just a game. But then again...
Isn't everything? :)

Friday, March 7, 2008

So much gear, so little time...

So in addition to the other pieces I'm currently after, I also recently discovered the existence of the Ornate Khorium Rifle, which has the utterly glorious firing rate (for Survival) of 3.1 seconds.

The price of the mats appears utterly horrific, but I'm still salivating over this. After my quiver, that would put me at 2.9 seconds base. I've also resolved however not to look for any haste gear in particular; I want my attack speed as slow as possible, for the 1:1.5 rotation.

For dual wielding, I also still have my eye on a pair of these beauties with a +20 ag enchant as well. I don't believe in dual wielding full time as a Hunter, as I've written previously...but I very much like to keep a pair of daggers in my bags for special occasions. Most of the time however, I keep my Quill equipped while shooting.

Am also learning much about gold farming recently...will post more of my findings on that soon. :)

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Added Sisutar to my blogroll

I'm not sure how I missed this, since I've been reading it for a few days now, but I've also just added Sisutar's Hunter Tales to my blogroll. :)

Scholo farming is also still going well for me; This beautiful piece of armor with a few agility gems is next on the gear list. My goal is to become truly, horrifically OP. ;-)

Monday, March 3, 2008

New Blogroll Link: Mama Druid

Was just having a look at Mama Druid, a blog whose author commented on my post about moving to Wordpress. Her blog is interesting; she's apparently been playing WoW for a long time, so I'm guessing she knows a lot about the ins and outs of the game.

Anywayz, some of you might be interested. :)

Sunday, March 2, 2008

My new keybinding setup

As I mentioned I would when plugging Sisutar's little guide, I finally got around to installing Bongos yesterday and throwing together a new keybinding setup for myself. It's rather non-standard I think, but it gives me a lot more rapid control than my previous setup, I'm finding. Keybindings are:-

RDFG - movement.
` - Focus target
Q - Pet passive
W - Petattack/Hunter's Mark macro
A - Feign Death
S - Serpent Sting pull shot macro
Z - Freezing Trap
E - Steady Shot
T - Arcane Shot
Y - Multi Shot
H - Arcane Rank 1 pull shot macro
V - Distracting Shot focus macro for use with Freeze Trap
B - Immolation Trap
U - Snake Trap
2 - Mongoose Bite
3 - Wing Clip
4 - Raptor Strike
5 - Exposive Trap
6 - Misdirection
7 - Wyvern Sting macro

Nearest target - Mouse scrollwheel up
Prev target - - Mouse scrollwheel down

The central element of this is RDFG for movement. It's difficult to get used to if you've been WASDing it for years, as I have, but my main reason for wanting to do it is the amount of keys I've now got on both sides of my movement keys, rather than only having most of them to the right as was the case with WASD.

My reaction time with it is up; I was chain trapping a lot more solidly in the Shattered Halls yesterday, and my macros for a couple things have really cut down on stray shots/Huntard moments as well. I'll post those macros soon as well.

My apologies for the infrequency of posts recently; it seems that every time I sit down to either play WoW or write a blog entry, someone knocks at the front door. It's usually someone with a DVD insisting that I go and watch it and refusing to take no for an answer. ;-)

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Some revised advice for Surv levelling.

(This was posted in response to someone asking for advice on how to start with Survival in the forum. I know I've already written on how to start with Surv from level 10 in my own opinion for those who want to try it, but I think I'm going to have to go back and fairly radically revise that) - Level 14. - Level 19. - Level 21. - Level 26. - Level 29. - Level 34. - Level 37. - Level 42. - Level 43. - Level 49. - Level 70.

Be warned; this is not a Hunter forum groupthink approved path. There is, however, a method to my madness, and said method is that when you are soloing as Survival your single main priority is to manage your threat. If the mob gets off your pet and onto you, you have been deprived of your greatest source of damage; range.

For this reason, starting out you actually don't want as much crit, (although you will want it later) especially considering that you should be focused on building your Agility as soon as possible, and Agility adds to %crit on its' own.

For damage therefore you rely on Serpent Sting, Immolation Trap, and Auto Shots to kill mobs, with the two dots and Steady, Auto after you get Steady at 62. This is low damage, yes...but it's also low threat, and will be enough to kill non-elite mobs as you level.

In instances while levelling with this build your primary role will be CC with Freezing Trap, and pulling mobs off healers/offtanking. You will do some DPS as you get closer to 60 and 400 or so Agility, but Survival earlier on is extremely defensively oriented, and damage as such is not your main concern.

Don't worry about raiding until you hit 70; you can respec at that point, and by then you'll know enough probably to know how to do that yourself anywayz.

Battlegrounds you'll do find protecting flagbases with CC, offering supporting fire, and some offtanking.

Work on your Agility, as early and as rapidly as possible. Scour the Auction House for "of the Monkey," items as they will have the Agility and Stamina you will need. Use items with that name more or less exclusively. Do not get Strength, it does nothing for you. Do not worry about Int until around level 60. Do not get Spirit, it does very little for you as well.

Get mining and skinning as professions. Get a boar as a pet.

Good luck. :)