Friday, May 30, 2008

My anonymous friend returns

I'm a bit slow off the mark, but on scanning the comments on my Kara post a moment ago, I discovered I had the following.

"I was pulling aggro all over the place on Netherspite and some of the trash we did, even with Salv up, so I figure I must have been doing something decent."

Uh... what? No, it just means:

1) You don't know how to manage your threat.

2) You're not running a threat meter.

3) Your tanks blow.

How you can pull aggro during Netherspite is beyond me, since it's virtually a no-aggro fight, unless you decided to attack him right after he phased which is obviously something you shouldn't do.

Good Hunters top the damage meters without pulling aggro with or without Salv. Get Recount, get Omen2, and seriously, re-check your gear because 36% crit and 1978 AP fully raid buffed with stacked consumables is questionable at best."

I've noticed I've had probably a total of three comments of this nature now. Although the IP address and block are different in each case, I'm fairly sure the same individual is responsible for all of them. The context differs a little each time, but the content is basically a refutation of more or less anything I write with,

"You're terrible.
You're terrible.
You're terrible.
You're terrible.
You're terrible.
Oh, by the way, did I mention that you're terrible?"

To counter this specific troll; I also actually have Recount, and Diamond Threat Meter, because I discovered not long after 2.4 that Omen didn't really work well any more. I don't simply use a threat meter for groups/raids, but I actually use them for soloing as well, and have since around six weeks after the start of KTM's initial development.

I've also been doing testing not only with Recount, but with a couple of other DPS meters as well, since Recount apparently hasn't worked terribly well since 2.4 either.

If I suck in any major area, it's primarily in the area of making money in the game, and I admit that freely. Pre-2.4 I would have needed a flying mount to get attuned for Kara, and I wasn't able to make that amount of money until primal prices spiked to the degree they did, due to the introduction of dailies.

It's interesting; I'm actually noticing that as the game's population steadily diminishes, the voices of persistent, elitist trolls like the above are actually steadily growing louder. I haven't been going into the forum anywhere near as much recently, because lately it's been sinking to new levels of toxicity every time I do. I've noticed the forum tendency to refer to people as terrible or bad has risen sharply since 2.4.

I admit; I have a different set of priorities to the competitively minded individuals who keep telling me how bad I am.

It took me close to two years to get this character to 70; part of the reason for that was giving people run throughs to a greater degree than I should have, but part of it was also due to the simple fact that I was enjoying levelling to such an extent that I actually wanted to make it last. Truthfully, I'd probably prefer to still be levelling rather than at the cap even now; I enjoyed questing and still having new places to go.

I've never been able to understand people who try and race to the cap as quickly as possible. To me that defeats the entire purpose of the game, and I also notice that such people are also those who make posts in General about feeling burned out and quitting. They've torn through the content without even touching most of it; and yet they insist that the only reason why others aren't as fast as they are is because said others are supposedly incompetent.

When primal farming, my rate of per-mob kills is also exceptionally slow. I generally use the duration of my traps as the time it takes me to do it, since as I've written I lean very heavily on them.

Yet this also is done for a reason. When the pet threat generation nerfs came in 2.4, raiders who attacked every mob as though it was a raid boss complained long and loudly on the forum that their pets could no longer hold aggro.

For me, the threat nerfs caused barely a ripple. I ended up having to get a new pet, yes, but truthfully that was also partly motivated by what Alumatine had written about Wind Serpents being great pets anyway. For dailies and farming, I use lower level ammo and rely on dots. Per mob, I'd be lucky to break 300 DPS in most cases, yet it also means that mobs stay off me, and if I get adds, I can literally kill half a dozen of them before dying myself. It also means I get to choose what I want to see happen based on individual circumstances. There are going to be times when I need to go very slowly if I want to avoid corpse running. Other times, I'll be in a safer scenario and feeling impatient, so I'll willingly trade safety and mana efficiency for faster kills.

My point, fairly simply, is this. Nothing I've done in this game is likely to be what this game's elitists would consider remotely impressive; however, what I do is done for a conscious, and deliberate reason. It works for me, according to my set of priorities, not yours.

If you're someone who feels a need to try and down a raid boss before anyone else on the planet; that's great. Realise however that for the most part, that genuinely isn't something that's important to me. If it truly was, I probably would have put a lot more energy into trying to make it happen.

The problem is when you assume that your priorities and goals are somehow more legitimate than someone else's, when they truly aren't. Killing Illidan isn't going to alter your offline situation in life in any way whatsoever.

When you call someone terrible, the standards by which you're judging them are arbitrary, subjective, and ultimately entirely meaningless. What you're really saying is that that other person fails when it comes to meeting your individual goals within the game. You're not realising or caring about the fact that said other person likely has a completely different set of goals entirely, and doesn't care whatsoever about yours.

As an example, according to my criteria, someone ending up corpse running or having to kite during dailies or primal farming could possibly do with some improvement. The reason why I don't care about the raid progression of someone who that happens to is because, in a raid instance, you've got human-played tanks in front of you. In your mind I might be a scrub because I'm not in BT yet, but I've put priority on learning how to take care of myself in scenarios where I don't have 9 or 24 other people looking after me.

See how stupid us judging each other like that is?

"Can you run us through BRD?"

So I'm doing my dailies yesterday, and out of the blue a guildie messages me. Seems he's got a 46 Priest, but wants a slightly early run through Zul'Furrak. Other instances are a pain in the backside, but ZF I don't mind too much. I wouldn't ordinarily do this any more, but he is a guildie, so I figure it's the right thing to do and say yes.

There are a number of false starts, and a heap of other screwing around, and we don't end up actually starting for probably two hours. Then my RL housemate logs in with his Priest and wants to come as well. No problems there, as we've levelled and instanced before together, and he's fine; stays well behind me where he isn't going to pull aggro etc, and is generally mature and reliable.

The guildie though is a pain in the neck from start to finish. First I find out he's ten years old. That doesn't actually put me off straight away, as I've run with 11 year olds before who were more mature than most adults.

What does annoy me though, to an extreme degree, is that he's a Shadow Priest with a wide pull circle who insists on fighting mobs when we go in. I try and tell him not to, probably close to half a dozen times. Then he rolls need indiscriminately on loot. Then he mounts up and starts randomly running in front of me on his mount while I'm clearing. Eventually I get tired of this, kick him from the group after swearing like a pirate into voice chat, and put him on ignore when he starts msging me and badmouthing me in guild chat. Eventually he /gquits, right before the RL friend of mine who invited me to the guild would have /gkicked him.

The icing on the cake comes though when, immediately after that, someone else entirely unrelated messages me out of the blue, asking for a run through Blackrock Depths. I immediately say no, and my explanation for why was a shorter version of what follows here.

The reason why I've posted the above photo is because, when I've given people run throughs at times, it's reminded me of the film Crocodile Dundee in the sense that when Mick and Sue go out into the bush together, Sue gets scared by things, and at one point insists on going off on her own, when it's more or less suicidal for her to do so; hence the connection with what happens in WoW.

The RL housemate I mentioned is the only person I've ever run through an instance (well, other than my brother who I also just remembered) who has followed instructions and refrained from making things more difficult generally.

Most of the time, if you don't end up waiting ages for them, they're pulling adds all over the place, and not giving me anywhere near enough range to clear effectively. When I pull threat, I need to feign to hand it back to my pet. If I've got the newb who wanted the run through standing *right next to me* however as they always insist on doing, the mob doesn't go to my pet; it goes straight to them.

Hence, I have to spend far more of my time focusing on keeping them alive rather than actually being able to kill things. In instances like Blackrock Depths or Scholo, it's even worse, because those instances can still be dangerous for 70s if you don't watch your threat. If I had a dollar for every time I've had someone run ahead of me in BRD and pull close to a dozen mobs down on our heads, I'd be a billionaire.

The other reason why I don't do run throughs any more is because I actually spent close to two years doing it, and sacrificed my own progression in the process. I've been playing this game since before BC, and I was around 55 when BC came out. That means that in the time that other people have gone to the Black Temple, I've been largely running 10-14 year olds through BRD, ZF, and the Wailing Caverns.

No more. It's time for my own progression now. Kids who come into the game these days need to learn to play on their own.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

More spec angst

So as I've written, recently I've again tried to somehow force myself to transition to Beast Mastery, at least temporarily, in order to supposedly do the right thing for my new guild.

We did a Black Morass less than an hour ago though, where I was using the dreaded macro, and I found myself thinking afterwards; I might as well be botting. The playstyle with it is completely mechanical; I actually wondered why I needed to be at the keyboard.

It also therefore reminded me what I've felt before; if I have to use BM in order to raid, it's going to literally remove whatever motivation I have to play the game at all. So I respecced back.

I've seen a few people leave WoW, recently. Rilgon because he couldn't be Marks any more, at least partially. Efri because his account was hacked and I think that removed a lot of his motivation, in conjunction with other things.

If I look at it, Survival is actually what keeps me playing this game. The promise of new gear doesn't; gear is only a means to an end, not an end in itself. The promise of new content does to a vague degree, but not enough to keep me playing by itself.

Survival is what holds me here. If Blizz break the tree, then I'll leave too; but as long as it's intact, probably nothing else will cause me to leave.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Kara was a bust

So I show up, go to the Deadwind Pass etc, and hang around for prolly an hour at the Kara meeting stone for people to get ready. I'm excited, all psyched up, etc. Everyone gets there, and we go in.

First it turns out that they'd already done one boss a previous night. Then it turns out that a pugger they had in the previous night, who they kicked, was somehow able to get back into their instance, and because he was angry about having been kicked, he made another group and completely cleared the entire thing, purely in order to spite my guild.

So because there was a four day timer on it, it turns out Kara is largely out for us until next week. We were half pugged anywayz; there was one boss left, Netherspite, who we wiped 3-4 times on. Not 1% wipes either, but at still more than 50% health usually because most of us didn't know the fight.

This was my concession prize, though. Raid buffed, with Survival I've finally managed to clear 1k Agility. I don't know what my DPS output was, since I didn't have a meter running, but I was pulling aggro all over the place on Netherspite and some of the trash we did, even with Salv up, so I figure I must have been doing something decent.

Although I was Surv during that Kara run, I'm playing around with the BM spec the gold farmer left me with again at the moment, too. I'm finding the fast attack speed in AB a lot of fun, and lack of range is no longer a problem with Hawk Eye, but not having Mortal Shots means my damage is down a lot, even when critting. It is only meant as a farming spec tho, so I prolly shouldn't be using it for that; I just wish there was a way I could get 3/3 Hawk Eye and Mortal Shots, with the rest in BM as a hypothetical farming/railgun PvP build.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


I got on the phone to one of Blizzard's support people; he reset my password and changed my email address very rapidly. I then paged a GM once I was back in the game, and had all but one of my items back inside two hours.

They're very, very fast now, and with the fantastic degree of courtesy I've experienced from dealing with them a few times before, as well.

So I'm back. Thank you to everyone who gave me supportive comments or suggestions as well. I appreciate it, and I appreciate all of you as well. :)

The damage was minimal, in the end. The truly hilarious thing was that the gold farmer hadn't been able to get back to my account to check his auctions, so with Mirsh I made close to 100g on the sale of stuff that got given back to me later anywayz, and even better, the farmer left close to 100g worth of primals in my inventory as well. My bank was actually very messy; I'd been meaning to clean it out anywayz. He sold all the junk I'd needed to get rid of, and left the old stuff I'd won from WSG that I wanted to keep. ;-)

On my bank toon it was even better. Apparently he'd done some flipping, and was quite good at it. My liquid balance was 195g, and I then had close to another 200g waiting for me from the AH. So I was able to respec, repurchase the single ring I didn't get back from Blizz, and I'm still very comfortable for raid consumables this evening.

This is why I love Kali; people write terrible things about her on the Web, but she's so good to me. Little events happen every now and then which seem like calamitous disasters at first, and then turn out to be absolutely great. Sometimes she even skips the initial appearance of disaster, too; I had $400 show up in my bank account once, when I particularly needed it, and never a word from anyone about where it came from.

An atheist would scoff loudly at this and claim totally random coincidence. Sure. I just love it that Mother keeps said random coincidences coming. ;-)

Om Krim Kalyai Namah. Jai Ma!

Account Adventures

So I posted on the Customer Service forum and asked about how to get the account back. I got a blue response saying that the first step was to make sure my computer was completely secure, and the second was to ring their phone number and see about getting the account back.

My experience with Windows has been that the only way to ensure that it is reasonably secure is to reinstall from scratch. Given that I haven't done that since I got this computer, I'm probably due for it anyway. So I went to do that, but then realised that I don't know where my XP CD is.

I then had the thought of using Linux, since I feel that that is the only real way I can be truly safe from keyloggers anywayz, but I haven't been able to get Ubuntu working since my nVidia video card died last year, and I've had to revert to using an onboard ATI Radeon 200 Xpress. As (bad) luck would have it, from what I've been reading, this particular video card seems to enjoy around the same level of Linux support as a Lucent Winmodem which I had the excruciating misfortune of owning and cajoling into working with Linux several years back. OpenGL in Linux is also more resource intensive than Windows on the same hardware, and I'm already forced to run at 800x600 in Windows as it is.

I've downloaded some drivers from ATI's site, but I am predicting that the process of getting them working with my current install of Ubuntu is going to be a pain; and the Linux equivalent of grinding grain and making butter by hand really isn't something I have a lot of enthusiasm for any more, to be honest.

I guess I'm just going to have to grit my teeth and try to get it working.

I have a feeling that before I've finished with this, I'm also going to be strongly tempted to lodge a formal complaint with the Australian Chinese embassy. ;-)

EDIT:- I've just remembered I have a copy of Spybot Search and Destroy. I'm going to run that and see what it comes up with, and also look for a couple of other malware detection programs as well. It will be easier than having to completely reinstall; I just hope it's enough.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

My account has been hacked

I can't log in, and someone else is playing it as I write. Some of the gear has been changed in my armory profile, and my spec has been changed to Beast Mastery.

I also tried to have my account name and password sent to my email address, but apparently that information has also been wiped.

I honestly don't know how this could have happened, because I've never bought farmed gold, or engaged in any illicit activities. I also don't use automatic update downloaders to download addons.

I'm debating whether to simply make a new account; but if I do it's two years down the drain. I was heading for a Conqueror title from the battlegrounds, as well as finally being able to begin raiding on Friday.

EDIT:- I had a member of my new guild on MSN, so I contacted him. He verified that the account is currently active, and the character Mirshalak is being used. He tried to communicate, but was put on ignore. I have now sent an email to Blizzard. I am worried that some of my equipment has been sold, as some of it is no longer showing on the character; particularly the Belt of Deep Shadow. There is only one person I know of who is capable of making that item on Thaurissan, and the materials were quite arduous to get; I think I would have had to farm for something like 14 hours for the mats.

I hope I can get my account back.

EDIT 2:- One element of this which I'm actually finding amusing is that the spec that I've been changed to is 41/11/9, which is fairly evidently the spec of choice of the stereotypical Chinese gold farmer; I might have to actually write that down for use as a potential farming spec of my own if I ever need more primals for gear. ;-)

Some humour in tragedy, I guess.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

More messing with Cheeky's spreadsheet

After hitting Revered with the SSO at the end of my dailies this morning I was able to get the Truestrike Crossbow. The spreadsheet is claiming that the Crossbow will give me a 19 DPS increase over Valanos', due to the speed.

Also, being very new to this, the initial figures of 600 odd that I quoted yesterday were due to my not having gone into the Buffs tab at all. *grin* This time I gave myself a projected Grace of Air totem, Blessing of Kings, Gift of the Wild, and Leader of the Pack buff. Of those, I suspect only Grace of Air is unrealistic; nearly everyone seems to insist on Windfury being the buff granted by Shamans, which is a shame.

I also entered in a Major Agility Potion, Grilled Mudfish, and a Scroll of Agility V as buffs for me, and Kibler's Bits for my Windserpent.

With all of that, and using Adamantite Stinger Arrows which I will buy beforehand, the final Hunter DPS came out at 679.86, with a total of 886.87 after the pet, 1,117 Agility, and 43.99% crit. That's also a little more than my projected unbuffed DPS output with Beast Mastery. (Around 830)

Those buffs would then also apparently give me a tooltip RAP of 1,897, with an effective total after IHM, EW, and Survival Instincts of 2,667. EW is, of course, the wild card with Surv. It's completely invisible in-game; it doesn't show up on dps meters, WWS, anywhere.

The main thing that immediately leaps out at me about the above is what I've observed in-game, that Wind Serpents are truly awesome pets. As Alu writes though, Lightning Breath doesn't really take off until after 30% crit; before that, there isn't much in it between a Wind Serpent and a Ravager.

Those numbers are I think a little more healthy than my initial ones, anywayz. Buffs seem to make a lot of difference with Surv, presumably due to the dynamic nature of Agility, primarily.

EDIT:- I also just went into the Shot Rotation tab of the spreadsheet and changed that from a straight 1:1 rotation to what I think is a 1:1.5; Auto, Steady, Multi, Auto, Steady, Arcane, Auto, Steady, Auto, Steady, (repeat) and that pushed Hunter DPS up to 787.93, and the total to 1000.34.

I wouldn't believe this, except that I managed to hit 1k against Pandemonius I think it was in the Mana Tombs once. I had Grace of Air and BoK at the time then, as well. So I definitely made some mistakes in my initial figures with the spreadsheet.

The above is also with the 0/20/41 spec, which Alumatine specifically tells people not to use for raiding. I redid this with his recommended 0/28/33 spec, though with Barrage rather than Improved Arcane Shot, and total DPS came out at 1004.75; so there really isn't a lot in it, and to be honest, I think I'm more than willing to trade 4 DPS to be able to keep Readiness. ;-)

A new guild, and Karazhan on Friday

An offline friend of mine recently had a disagreement within his old guild, and split with them. He reformed another one, and invited me to join it yesterday. I agreed, and the group leader messaged me soon after and invited me to a Kara raid this Friday night, server time.

I'm excited, but now there is a decision to be made. Do I respec for it, or not? I downloaded Cheeky's spreadsheet for Open Office yesterday morning, and entered my profile into it. The DPS projection was, to be honest, an embarassment. It rated me at being just under 600 personal DPS with Survival after I get the Skyfire Hawk-Bow, and 715 with my new Wind Serpent. Beast Mastery, according to the spreadsheet, with the same gear would put me at around 830.

The positive part is that according to the spreadsheet, with my current gear, EW and IHM combined give me and every melee or physical class in a raid an extra 640 AP, which for me anyway works out at around another 45 DPS. Assuming seven casters or healers in a 25 man, that's a total of 810 DPS.

Given that it's 10 man, I think I'm going to wait until I know what the Kara group composition is before making a decision. If it's particularly caster heavy, and/or they already have CC due to one or more Mages, I'll respec to BM temporarily. If it isn't, and they still need CC, I will stay with Survival.

For 25 mans, however, for me it's going to be Survival all the way. I'm not only the only Survival Hunter, but I'm the only Hunter in general that I know of in our guild right now; so I'm going to make sure that for EW buffing in the raids we do, I'm it.

"You make war on Ikiss?! RAWK!"

So I decided to follow Alarand's suggestion, and had a reunion with the bird freaks of Sethekk in order to get the Ravenclaw Band.

I've always loved the Arrakoa; I consider them utterly hilarious, and a couple of them that I've seen have honestly reminded me of my late maternal grandmother. That might sound like a horrible insult, but I was actually very fond of her, so the association is positive.

I suspect King Ikiss must have actually known that, because he gave me the ring earlier tonight on my very first attempt to get it. Considering that Wowhead rates it as only having a drop rate of 14%, that's not too bad. Thank you for the recommendation as well, Alarand. It's at least an incremental upgrade in every respect, and the +hit rating is much appreciated, as well.

Sethekk is probably the best designed of the Auchindoun instances in my own mind; the mob layout is good, and with the possible exception of Slabs, for me it's the most atmospheric and enjoyable instance in that complex. I always have fun when I'm there, and I've still got my Quill from there, as well. The Arakkoa have actually been very good to me.

The next piece of gear I'm going for is the Skyfire Hawk-Bow. Unfortunately however there virtually never is a group running the Shattered Halls on my server, so it could prove to be very difficult to get. I don't think a lot of people like SH; it's a very hard instance, even on Normal in my experience.

Friday, May 16, 2008

816 Agility

So after getting my Belt of Deep Shadow and socketing it yesterday, as well as managing to grab a Delicate Eternium Ring, I'm now at 816 base Ag, and just over 30% base crit. I also managed to get to the Black Morass finally yesterday and finish the keying quest for Karazhan, although I'm aware that doesn't really mean anything now.

Tonight I'm going after the Truestrike Ring which I'm hoping is still on the AH. Given that I will be needing to use the Sonic Spear to reach the Survival hit cap, I will need the ring to also stay above 800 ag, since even with a +35 enchant, the Spear's agility is 20 odd less than the Quill with the same enchant.

The only thing I can really see myself wanting from Kara at this point are the Fiend Slayer Boots. With them, I could get an additional 16 Agility and 367 armour over my current Master's Treads, as well as gaining a single point of hit rating.

I wouldn't mind the Sunfury Bow of the Phoenix, although the Gladiator's Heavy Crossbow is roughly comparable damage wise, would probably be a lot easier to get, has crit rating which I actually value more over Agility at this point, and also has an attack speed that I consider preferable. Legacy would also be nice aesthetically, but stat wise it's +5 agility and +20 RAP, and I really can't afford to lose the +hit on the Spear at the moment, either.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Another dry spell

Sorry about that, guys.

The only thing I've been up to in WoW recently is putting together the mats and looking for a leather worker in order to create a Belt of Deep Shadow. I also haven't actually been in WoW for two days now. Had some friends around and other stuff. I'm thinking of maybe getting in tonight for a bit.

How's everyone else going?

Thursday, May 8, 2008

A change of pace

Meet Hugs. She's very affectionate and friendly, and loves, I mean, meeting new people. She also really loves playing with the Alliance in Arathi Basin, although they don't seem quite as fond of her, for some reason. They either run away when she approaches, or kill her repeatedly.

I was able to tame her earlier this morning from an elite spider called Deathskitter who is found south of Stonebreaker Hold, in Terokkar Forest. I've been meaning to do it for a while, ever since I first learned about Deathskitter from Petopia. I'd also decided that once I got Hugs, she was going to become my regular PvP pet, and that for the first day or two while I had her, I'd respec to Beast Mastery in order to see what effect Bestial Wrath had on the spider model. I've tended to be somewhat arachnophobic myself, and so anticipated that she was also going to bother me, but she doesn't, and I actually find her somewhat beautiful in a Gothic kind of way.

Of all the pet classes that Blizzard have neglected, it really is a shame about spiders. I tamed one very early on in my career as a Hunter, but eventually got rid of it due to it not being competitive damage wise, and at the time me needing something a little more practical. It'd only really need Scorpid Poison and Dash to make them worth using as well, and visually of course they're so distinctive that I could see them becoming very popular. There are a lot of different spider skins and models in the game.

At my current level though, it's not so bad. Hugs does 145 base DPS with BM and Cobra Reflexes, and that's not counting Bite. That is close to 50 DPS more than what my boar usually does. Her health and armor are also good. About her only real drawback is the lack of Dash and an additional focus dump, the most logical of course being Scorpid Poison.

Beast Mastery is also a very different playstyle to what I'm used to; particularly for PvP. I don't have the ability to cheat death to anywhere near the degree I usually do with Survival; as BM I'm generally either dominating the Alliance on the kill charts, or I'm dead and close to last. Not much middle ground. My reading of BRK has helped; I recall him at times writing about using Bestial Wrath and Rapid Fire to create a very rapid stream of damage. For me anyway it isn't quite as effective as the one or two hit burst that I'm used to, but that is also possibly because I'm simply not used to using it yet.

Rest assured however, that this is a temporary respec only. I'm having fun with it, but I'm lost without my traps in a lot of different elements of the game, and I also miss my burst in AB itself.

I read this article on the different forms of Lightsaber combat recently, which encouraged me to try Beast Mastery again for a little while though. The article mentions that while such Jedi masters as Mace Windu and Yoda had their own individual forms of preference, they were also at least summarily familiar with all of the existing forms, and this is something I think BRK has mentioned as well.

In terms of that article, I was able to see an analogy between BM as a Hunter spec and Ataru, or Form IV, which was the form Yoda used, between Form III/Soresu and Survival, and between Form II/Makashi and Marksmanship.

This is a screenshot of the final result of one of my more recent matches using Hugs and Beast Mastery. I was fairly pleased with this, because I think this was probably the single toughest Alliance team I've ever fought. Zandreman, the Alliance Warrior above me in the list, was amazing. He killed me probably four times, and once after having killed me in what seemed like two hits, I saw him do the same to another person before dying, while he himself only had around 5% health left.

That of course brings me back to my main reason for getting Hugs, which I will admit was for the competitive advantage I could perhaps derive from her psychological impact on the Alliance. For that, she seems to work fairly well. Hugs' appearance seems to sometimes throw individual members of the Alliance off-balance, and them spending time focused on killing or getting away from her is time that I have to retreat if necessary myself.

I'm discovering that nothing says, "I love you," quite like a giant spider. ;-)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

More gear needed

The ramps video I talked about in my last post will come, but in terms of my attempts so far; with my current gear there is absolutely no margin for error with a 3-4 mob pull. I still need to learn more about timing the traps appropriately so they don't all break at once and I get overwhelmed. I can do the pulls some of the time; I just need a lot more practice.

I also still need better gear. If I could find a Kazzak raid on my server, I'd go after these. Trackhoof and a few other people who read this might want to go after those; I'm projecting that after a Nethercleft patch, if I could get them it'd give me around 20 ag over my current legs.

I'm also still needing to finish my AB grind for the Gladiator's Heavy Crossbow, but it's getting demoralising because the Horde lose pretty much every game we play. I started trying to take charge a little more a bit back, and maybe it was just coincidence, but when I did that it seemed like we won 3-4 games; but it's exhausting to try and do, and I'm not even sure it was because of that anywayz.

One thing that I don't understand is that people on the forum, or in a comment on one of my last posts here, say that I try and make myself sound like some kind of authority when in reality I'm basically just a scrub who doesn't know what I'm talking about. The reason why I don't understand why people say that is because I freely acknowledge that yes, I am a scrub. Alu for some reason tries to be diplomatic about it, but he's also implied that a few times, as well...and yes, he's right.

There are a couple of things that I've found to work for me, and I want to write about those; there are also reasons why I want to try and improve the credibility of Survival as a spec in people's minds. However, look at the blues I've still got; what a mess my rep tab is, and my overall level of progression in the game. I'm also admitting that my 3 trap pulling needs a fair amount of work.

That I'm a scrub is therefore pretty much the only real conclusion you could make.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Soloing Ramparts

As part of taking a break from the gear gathering I had been doing in Arathi Basin, for the last couple of nights I've occupied myself with attempting to solo the Hellfire Ramparts.

Soloing Ramps in and of itself apparently isn't considered anything too special, but I anyway haven't heard of it being done with Survival before. I've done the first few BF pulls a few times before, and I'm actually finding Ramps harder than that was.

My initial attempts with Alu's hybrid spec in particular did not end well; so a day or so ago I spent half of my daily money on getting the more traditional 0/20/41, with Readiness.

I admit; it may surprise people, but I've honestly hardly ever used Readiness before, mainly because I simply haven't needed it. Even for three mob pulls, Wyvern on the third mob will usually give me time to kill the first.

I used Readiness on Rattlegore in Scholo, but actually for damage, not CC. A double Immolation Trap and Wyvern combo gives me something on the order of 4k damage over 15 seconds; I really don't understand these people who say that they think Readiness isn't useful, or the people who think Wyvern's DoT needs to be removed.

In that sense though, Readiness truly is Survival's answer to Bestial Wrath; especially considering that something else I've used it for before was using Serpent and Immolation Trap on a Warrior, then hitting Deterrence and going melee, and then hitting Readiness and being able to do those three again immediately.

Once I've got Ramps completely learned, I'm considering making my first video showing me going through it. One thing I will admit that I'm worried about with that though is that I might bore you, in the sense that soloing instances for me is like playing chess or billiards; I actually do them very slowly and ponderously.

The Pot Black tournament was actually the one type of sport which I used to like watching on television as a child, and it is also probably the main real-world sport that I see as being analogous to playing a Hunter in WoW.

I think that's also the reason why I can derive so much pleasure from soloing an instance when a lot of other people in this game are so fiercely competitive, and also why it potentially holds such a high level of replayability for me as well.

Mentally I compare the more difficult soloable instances with pool tables where the initial layout of the balls is different on each one. That also means that I need to use a different combination of methods to successfully sink all of the balls on each, as well.

I think that's also why I can have the attitude that it isn't always appropriate for me to simply blast away with as much damage as I can in every scenario, either. In billiard games, sometimes you do want to hit a ball fairly hard in order to pot it, but other times you actually only want to hit it very softly, because if you hit it too hard, it can bounce off one of the sides of the table at a different angle to what you wanted, and not go in.

Sometimes, hitting too hard will also rip the felt on the table.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Rilgon has quit

I also just had another run in with Ippon on the forum.

I look at how much stress this game has been causing me recently; not just me, but others, and I find myself re-evaluating.

There is some positive stuff still here. This blog, and the fact that I can log in and still get on an alt, do a 5 man with some people, and have some fun.

I find the forum damaging. The message I get consistently whenever I'm there is, "Stop writing as though you know something about this game, when you really don't have any clue whatsoever."

I can't help anyone, either; because even when I try and quote links to the opinions of someone who would be accepted as knowing what they're talking about, in answer to a question there, even that will very often get me attacked.

I think perhaps it's time to give them what they want; at least for a week or so. I'm not going to quit; I can still have enough fun on my own that I don't need to do that; but I think perhaps it's time to become a little quieter.

I think maybe I wrote on here earlier about a friend I had a few years ago who couldn't come to terms with the way the world is, in the way that we're apparently supposed to when we become adults; the way Alumatine has been telling me to. To accept the status quo; the fact that the very worst people among us are those who actually govern us; that people like Ippon rule this planet.

The friend of mine couldn't do that, so the world was ultimately able, as it turned out, to force him to accept the only other alternative it was willing to offer him; suicide.

I haven't accepted that. At times I fight, at least psychologically, until I'm forced to retreat, and I've spent most of my life in hiding. Hiding because I can't submit to them, I can't fight them, and I can't run from them. There's nowhere to run to.

I've tried to submit to them before; I went to a government college, and for a limited time had a sales job, once. I lied through my teeth to get it; the entire resume was one giant tissue of lies. Then I had the job where they were going to pay me to lie to people some more. I didn't want to get paid for lying to people, so I quit.

Then a year or two later, my father found another job, and I went to work there for few weeks. It was similar to the first; I rang strangers out of a phone book, and told them lies to get them to pay for a form of advertising that truthfully they'd get no use out of. When I successfully conned someone, I got a commission.

The absolute worst thing though was when my father got involved in a multi level marketing company. Dad had me as a distributor there for a while, too. The name of the game there was to tell people a large amount of high pressure lies and false rationalisations to get them to pay for a large number of overpriced products. The most effective liars in that business were multimillionaires; they had a lot of incentive to learn to lie as effectively and as compellingly as possible, and many of them did.

Not long after that, my brother got another job where he got fired because he refused to get drunk at a pub with his workmates after work. I'd also spent my childhood seeing films like The Secret of My Success where the protagonist in that film got to the top of the company due to who he had sex with and spending time on the golf course, not because he did any actual work.

That's what it's all about as a Hunter too, if you go into the forums. You have to make sure you do what conforms to other people's expectations if you want to get anywhere.

The Tom Chiltons, the Ippons, the George Bushes, the Dick Cheneys, and the Adolf Hitlers rule us all. None of us like it, but most of us accept it, because, as Alumatine said to me, "You can't change the world. You just have to adapt to it."

They rule, and they laugh, and they die peacefully in their beds at the end of it. The innocent are punished in every way possible, while the guilty walk free.

Some of the rest of us go mad; some of us commit suicide; some die of cancer. Rilgon quits WoW, Chilton continues destroying it, laughing maniacally as he does so, and I am demoralised, empty, and utterly spent.

Now I will sleep; I will regroup, I will spend time alone, and I will fade away.

Feign Death is the Hunter's last defense.