Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Happy Glyphmas

  Ever since the original Glyphmas, it seems a lot of people have been trying to predict a re-occurrence, but I usually don't bother making predictions. I prefer making preparations and reacting to what actually happens.

  And what seems to be actually happening is a bit of a Glyphmas with all the boosted 90's. I say this based on two factors from my own experience over the last week: 1. Glyph sales have doubled, at least (last night's post cycle was about 4x typical sales); 2. Glyphs sell in large chunks, by class.

  I recently transferred one of my inscriptionists to the Ally side of my new main real, Proudmoore, which is huge compared to Durotan, so glyph prices are lower than I'm accustomed to, but prices are steadier. As such, I've decided to just take a slice of the pie and not rock the boat. Over the first few weeks, I've made about 50k in sales, and I've been selling for at least 175% cost of mats, usually 200-300%, with some 800%+ outliers, I don't have the numbers right now, but I would estimate well over half of that 50k is profit. The past two weeks has got me up to 73k total in sales, and just after a post, I often see up to a dozen glyphs of one class sell immediately.

  My reaction to this will be to maintain stacks of a large spread of glyphs (about 300 stacks), post/repost throughout the day more frequently, and mailbox dump every day, restocking with a focus on glyphs that are recommended by sites like Icy Veins, and list high on WoW Popular, especially minor glyphs.

  Anyone else seeing a boost in sales? Anyone responding differently?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Paladin Week: Kallahan

  I return to Alt Appreciation, in an attempt to finish something I started that isn't a book or a steak.

  Kallahan was an early Cata alt which I leveled in time to get geared enough for 4.3. For me, that's fast. I am not a steady leveler. Two things drove me to level this alt: One, leveling a tank through dungeons meant playing at my pace, which is fast. I had already done all these dungeons multiple times on my Hunter, Priest, and Shammy, up to lvl 50 on my Rogue, and my DK for lvl 60 and up, so I knew how to make the runs quick and efficient. I often had groups requeue with me for multiple runs, even BRD. Second, this alt was economically separated from my others, and I was leveling Inscription for the second time. I wanted to get to lvl 65 fast, so I could start doing Northrend Research, then into Cata content so I could mill the growing pile of Whiptail in my mailboxes (botters hit the server hard, and stacks were going for 12-15g.)

  My tank transmog set is pretty basic, Overlord's Battlegear, Quel'Delar, and Lofty Shield. I like armor and weapons that are at least somewhat realistic.

  My gear is fairly impeccable as far as normal-mode gear goes. I could use an upgrade to my Flex Tier helm, and my boot's aren't BIS, but most importantly, I have the legendary cloak, warforged belt and legs, and 553 in all other slots, everything fully upgraded. As for trinkets, I have Vial, Rook's, and Thok's. This is probably the most well geared any of my characters has ever been since my Hunter got 4pTier 10 in ICC.

  Raiding on my Pally has been a rocky road, much of which I have written about here. I started on the backwater side of a backwater server (Horde-Durotan) where the guilds bicker ferociously, then transferred to Proudmoore, hoping to have some casual, social fun in that one gay guild. It didn't work out. I tried another one recently, and it didn't work out either. I think I'm discovering that "LGTB-friendly" means "PC Policed", and I don't like that. More power to those that do, but no thanks. I much prefer the company of a few fellow raiders that just don't give a fuck about the whole thing, let's raid!

  About those fellow raiders, rocky roads have returned, and how Thursday night's raid turns out will determine a lot. Last Sunday did not end well. We're extending Garrosh and trying to get a second kill. After the holiday break and a bit of attendance flux, we regressed. I don't need the gear, and neither does anyone else. Sure, some minor upgrades could be had, but no one really needs gear for anything now, since we already got Garrosh. If we want to do more heroics (just one boss once doesn't count) then the gear question just gets put off one step. Why get some heroic gear? To down later heroic bosses. Are we really going to do those heroics or are we fooling ourselves?

Friday, January 17, 2014

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Garrosh Down, Are We Heroic Now?

  <Egalitarian Misanthropes> has been working on Garrosh for a few weeks now. We were over 70 wipes before we got him Sunday night. Our first few wipes on Sunday were 1% or less, so we knew we just had to keep doing what we were doing and we would get it.

  I had actually gotten so used to wiping in the last phase that I wasn't expecting it when it happened. I was freshly dead (as usual, so many minions!), and since the battle res had already been used, I was looking at the healing meter to see what my Lay on Hands had healed for earlier. I have 1.04 million health, and it healed for 1.03 million. I was at less than 1% health when I used it. Pallys are OP.

  This isn't the end for us, by far. We've kept up with progression enough that we all seem to have enough time/energy/motivation to do heroic bosses. I had stepped into the middle of progression in ToT, so I was just happy to finish that tier ahead of the curve, and not overly disappointed that we only did one heroic boss. Now we're still carrying momentum, and I expect heroics to be the perfect antidote to end of expansion boredom.

  It's possible we could get Cutting Edge for Garrosh, depending on how fast WoD hits. We got Immerseus September 13th, and Garrosh on December 22nd, 14 weeks of raiding. If heroics takes the same amount of time, we could get it by the end of March.


  There's just one fact to face and one question to ask first:

  The fact is, we don't need the gear. There is no new raid in this content that the gear we would get would help us with, and if we want the looks for transmog, we can always come back to it. Doing heroics now would just be for the sake of it.

  The question is "Are we heroic raiders?" Looking back over this group's record, I think the answer is clearly "No." I think we can be, but that depends on whether we can all commit to it, myself included. I've got the time, but do I have the skill? Others have the skill, but do they have the time?

Monday, December 16, 2013

Random Ramblings: WoW Notes, Tragedy, Embracing the Ugly

WoW Notes:

    Orcish Army Knife posted a checklist of his, which showed a bit of what he's up too and what his goals are. I thought it was a really cool idea, and I happen to keep a wordpad document with notes on it myself, so I thought I'd post mine too:

/run for k, v in pairs({ Galleon = 32098, Sha = 32099, Oondasta = 32519, Celestials = 33117, Ordo = 33118, Nalak = 32518}) do print(format("%s: %s", k, IsQuestFlaggedCompleted(v) and "\124cff00ff00Yes\124r" or "\124cffff0000No\124r")) end

  This is a macro that shows me what world bosses I've killed that week. Sure, there are addons that track this, but I like to use simple solutions where available.

Kallahan gear:

Rolls:
Malkorok - prot, trinket
Blackfuse - ret, shoulders, ring
Garrosh - ret, pants
Ordos - ret, warforged anything!

My three rolls a week go to these bosses. If we down Garrosh, I'll roll on him, if not, I put that one on Ordos.

My loot list is per boss, with each piece that could drop per spec. In italics are pieces that are not upgrades, plain text for Ret and non-BIS Prot upgrades, and bold for BIS Prot pieces. I also note in brackets if LFR or Flex has an upgrade.

immerseus prot - dodge/parry 1h, parry/dodge shoulder, dodge/parry wrist, hit/parry feet
ret - haste/crit chest, hit/haste wrist, mastery/haste hands
protectors prot - exp/parry back, dodge/parry hands, stam/aoe trinket
ret - mastery/haste shoulder, hit/haste waist, hit/crit ring
norushen prot - hit/mastery 1h, parry/dodge head
ret - mastery/haste back, mastery/crit wrist, cleave/strength trinket
sha prot - tier chest, dodge/parry shield, hit/dodge neck
ret - tier chest, crit/haste 2h, hit/crit feet

galakras prot - hit/mastery shoulder, hit/dodge wrist, parry/dodge ring
ret - haste/mastery head, hit/mastery shoulder, cooldown/strength trinket
juggernaut prot - hit/mastery neck, dodge/parry chest, dodge/healing trinket
ret - hit/mastery neck, exp/crit wrist, crit/haste hands, haste/mastery waist
dark shaman prot - exp/parry 1h, hit/mastery waist, hit/mastery ring, hit/dodge ring

ret - crit/mastery, hit/mastery waist, crit/haste feet, hit/mastery ring 
nazgrim prot - tier hands, exp mastery shield
ret - tier hands
 
malkorok prot - exp/parry wrist, exp/mastery feet, stam/cooldown trinket(any) - roll
ret - crit/mastery neck
, crit/mastery legs, exp/mastery feet
spoils prot - parry/mastery shield, mastery/parry waist, exp/dodge feet
ret - crit/haste head, crit/haste ring
thok prot - tier helm, mastery/parry chest, exp/mastery ring(any)
ret - tier helm, mastery/haste 2h, exp/mastery ring, boost/strength trinket 
blackfuse prot - tier shoulders, haste/mastery 1h, exp/parry neck, mastery/parry hands 
ret - tier shoulders, exp/haste ring(any) - roll
paragons prot - tier legs, exp/crit 1h
ret - tier legs, strength/crit trinket
garrosh prot - exp/parry head, stam/crit trinket
ret - crit/mastery 2h, crit/mastery shoulders x2, haste/mastery legs
- roll

A rather pesky 530 Band of the Scaled Tyrant has yet to be upgraded, and Malkorok refuses to cough up my hands-down, over-powered, best-in-slot trinket, Vial of Living Corruption. Seriously, I'd be happy with the LFR version. Other than that, I only have two pieces of Flex piece left, my boots and tier shoulders, and I'll be in all normal-mode or above. My group is working on the last phase of Garrosh, and I'm certain that gear is not an issue. I feel ready for heroics as it is.

I also have a similar gear list for my Monk Kallil, though it is not updated as I haven't played him much lately. I've been leveling a Warlock! More on her later...

Next in my notes I have a Guild/Player blacklist. It's fortunately short, and it lists who I don't want to ever have anything to do with again, a note on why, and a list of their alts. I won't be airing this laundry out.

Next I have my Alt's professions planned. It's out of date, but I'll reassess it soon. I've been busy.

Finally, a couple macros I used to use when I was tanking on my DK. Balancing Dodge and Parry was important too me, after maximizing Mastery, of course, so I kept these handy:

/run d=GetDodgeChance() n=3.22 if UnitRace("player")=="Gnome" then n=n-.01 end p=235.5*d/65.631440-((235.5/65.631440)*5.01-n) DEFAULT_CHAT_FRAME:AddMessage("Ideal parry for current dodge: "..string.format("%.2f",p))

with swordshattering
/run d=GetDodgeChance() n=3.22 if UnitRace("player")=="Gnome" then n=n-.01 end p=235.5*d/65.631440-((235.5/65.631440)*5.01-n)+4 DEFAULT_CHAT_FRAME:AddMessage("Ideal parry for current dodge: "..string.format("%.2f",p))

Tragedy

  (A little bit in character here, sort of. I don't RP, but I like the lore, and I like a bit of background for my characters.)

  I had a moment while raiding in SoO that I would define as a tragedy in the classical sense. The best explanation of tragedy I've found is in a video by Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs when he gave a TED Talk. That's the sense of the word that I'm using here. Seriously, go watch the video, it's only 20 minutes.

  So that moment for me was going into the Cleft of Shadows. I've always considered Warlocks to be bad guys that happened to be on Team Good. Yeah, they're bad for consorting with demons, but I'm glad they're at least on our side.

  But then I see "Heretics will burn!" posted and Warlocks strung up and burning with shadowflame. Then one shouts "I will not burn like the rest! Face the demons you fear!" Of course I'm sickened by Garrosh's actions. These Warlocks did not deserve to be murdered and mutilated this way.

  But I wonder if I myself have been so wrong about Warlocks all along, for all these years. I also wonder if I'm so afraid of the demonic that I shun anyone who has anything to do with them, unless they're one of the "good ones". I wonder if I have the courage to face the Burning Legion when the time comes, and the time will come. I wonder if I will be able to understand that enemy.

Embracing the Ugly

  So I rolled a Warlock, a female Troll one even. I've previously tried rolling a female Troll a few times before, but the faces are just... ugly. There's that one "dazed and confused" face that people find less... ugly, but I think that's doing it rong! A troll is just not going to be pretty! Embrace the ugly!

  What I plan to do with this Warlock is even uglier...

  I'm going to do the quest for green fire. I'm going to farm Kara for Gorehowl. I'm going to spec Demo and use Glyph of Felguard.

  I highly suspect Garrosh will be brought back as a raid boss in Warlords. He's too great of a baddie to not! Whenever he comes back, I'm going to burn him with green fire as my felguard hits him with Gorehowl. Should have maintained your weapon, dumbass!

P.S. I'm going to finish Alt appreciation.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Monk Week: Kallil


  Kallil was a surprisingly fun reroll that (relatively) quickly made it to cap. I had previously tried a couple Tauren Monks, and though I still like their animations, something about this Troll just stuck. I had all XP heirlooms and two agility maces, so that plus Monk's daily XP buff made cakework of grinding out dungeons. I already posted recently about my Monk, so I'll just make this a quick update.

  I put together the red version of the Riverblade armor and I'm using the Staff of Ox-Hoof Thunder
from the final Monk quest. It's an especially lean looking set on a troll, making me look kind of gangly, and the staff with it makes for a very slim profile overall. I like it.

  My gear still has two 476 slots I want to replace before I start pugging into Flex. I'm at 499 average, so just getting a good weapon and shoulders should make it just fine. I use the default stat priority from Ask Mr Robot, which prioritizes Haste over Crit until 8000 Haste. This has me swimming in energy, so I can generate a lot more chi. I'm going to also be trying Mastery stacking, which has more passive mitigation, and Crit stacking, which increases Elusive Brew uptime and has more DPS. I like trying different methods. That said...

  I get kicked from LFR's fairly frequently because some nosy noobs want to inspect and criticize my gear. I'm always fully gemmed and enchanted with a good reforge, but that's not good enough for some people. Invariably is starts with some comment about my health level. Apparently I don't have enough. I stacked Stamina on my Pally and would get kicked for it. I stack secondary stats on my Monk, and I get kicked for it. What gives? Monks are low health tanks. We deal with damage taken differently than other tanks.

  Some take it further and tell me stacking haste is wrong. I'm pretty sure it's another viable way to gear. It's not one of the recommended priorities on Icy-Veins or Noxxic, but it is on Ask Mr Robot and Elitist Jerks has interesting commentary on it, calling it the "'safety net' of stats, as no other stat will help you recover from your mistakes as effectively as Haste." There's different gearing options, is what I'm saying.

  I call these naysayers noobs, because while everyone is a newb at some point, not everyone then transitions into a know-it-all that becomes some sort of self-appointed police force, instructing other people how to play. To me, that's a noob characteristic. I know what I'm doing, and I have yet to hear a proper healer complain.

  I'm looking forward to finally having a proper alt, and I'm happy that it's also a tank with a fairly similar tanking method. Since Flex is out, I'm up to 4 nights of raiding on my main right now, LFR, 10 man, Flex, then more 10man. That's already a setup for burn out, but since most of my Pally's gear is 430 or better, I'll probably be dropping LFR and Flex soon enough. I only really need Vial of Living Corruption, at any ilevel. For my Monk, almost everything in LFR is an upgrade, so I'll probably be phasing him in as I discontinue LFR and Flex on my Pally. I really want to be careful to avoid burnout, especially since both are tanks. I'll probably also start Flex with my guild on my Monk, either as a way of letting someone else tank, or to just change it up and avoid bad PUGs.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Mage Week: Fourth Spec for Mages

  So what would a fourth spec for Mages be? They're pure DPS, so they could branch out into either healing or tanking, but I think the answer is obvious: Battle Mage!

Tanking Method

  The first issue to address, I think, should be a way to make Battle Mages a new way to tank. A unique method would be to have damage taken split between mana and health. That would make an effective 300k health bubble passive to the spec, and make Mage's current mana regeneration abilities relevant to damage mitigation. Damage taken to mana would be replaced by Evocation (also a health return with it's glyph), Mana Gem (which also has a useful glyph), and level 90 talents (Invocation, Rune of Power, Incanter's Ward.

  Finally, add a reverse of Warlock's Life Tap (a heal by any other name), call it Mana Tap, and the health bar is also taken care of by this active mitigation model. Damage comes in, split between health and mana>Mana is regenerated>Mana Tap brings health up>Mana is regenerated>Rinse and repeat. A unique Mastery could be to increase mana regeneration. It could be a boost to passive mana regeneration and/or a boost to mana regeneration abilities.

  The armor would be Intellect plate. Since other plate classes start with mail armor and don't use plate until level 40, Battle Mage should probably do the same. The weapons would be with 1 handed and a shield, or 1 handed and a staff. Equipping a shield would boost armor (33% of my Pally's armor comes from my shield) and enable blocking, while equipping a staff would instead boost Spell Power (one of my healers gets about 39% of his SP from his staff) and enable Nether Attunement. This make a choice between extra physical damage reduction or extra mana regeneration.

Cooldowns

  Using existing Mage abilities in the game seems like a good place to see what else they could do to mitigate damage.

  The first major cooldown would obviously be Alter Time. It would work for any type of damage, magic or physical, big hits or death by a thousand cuts. Any "bad" happening within a 6 second time frame can be completely negated. Also, defensive cooldowns can be doubled-up for more survivability just as Mages currently double up offensive cooldowns for more DPS.

  The other defensive cooldowns already available are level 30 talents (Temporal Shield, Flameglow, Ice Barrier), level 60 talents (Greater Invisibility, Cauterize, Cold Snap), and Ice Block. Invisibility and Ice Block could be gimmicked a la Pally's Hand of Protection. i.e. taunt right before using the ability and the enemy will fixate for 3 seconds. They could also be modified to not drop aggro for the spec specifically.

  Currently, other tank's Symbiosis abilities are Might of Ursoc for DK's, Survival Instincts for Monks, Barkskin for Pallys, and Savage Defense for Warriors. Guardian Druid's remaining major cooldown would be Frenzied Regeneration, so make that cost X% base mana and we have another cooldown.

  For passive damage reduction there's Molten Armor, and another version which is in common use by NPC's. There's also Mage Armor, and Glyph of Armors. The glyph makes Armor swapping feasible, but not spammable and increases the effects. Add a passive to the spec that make all Armors reduce the chance to be critically hit by 6% and increase threat generation. I could see the decision between Molten and Mage armor being an interesting play choice based on a fight-to-fight basis, or even swapped during different phases. Molten would prevent more damage, but Mage would enable more health/mana replacement.

Rotation

  A rotation could be easily built using existing Mage abilities, and I think the Arcane spec is an appropriate theme to copy. An Arcane Mage is already concerned with managing mana levels, and it lends itself well to the Arcane Warrior/Spellsword style. I don't think it would be too difficult to manage Arcane Charges while also managing health/mana levels. Replace Arcane Barrage with Mana Tap and make it cost Arcane Charges. That way the rotation becomes relevant to survivability.

  My first concern is that offensive abilities cost mana, and mana is part of this kind of Battle Mage's defense. Using Mana to deal damage costs effective health. I think this is fine, as mana regeneration is already a "push-pull" concept for the spec.

  My second concern is all the casting Mages do. Simply copy Warlock's Dark Apotheosis concept and make it passive for the spec. All abilities with a cast time get an instant version. Also add auto attacks to further increase threat generation.


Stats

  Intellect plate has a lot of Spirit on it, so making Spirit convert to Hit would fall in line with caster hybrids. To change things up a bit, keep all abilities as spells, not melee abilities. That way they would not be able to be parried, resulting in a standard 15% spell hit cap for all special abilities.

  Mastery would probably be very powerful at first, but less so as stat levels inflate, so it would probably have effective diminishing returns. Once a Battle Mage has enough Mastery to not run out of mana, other stats would become more relevant.

  Haste reduces the global cooldown as well as increasing mana regeneration when using a staff, so up to 50% Haste would remain very powerful for building Arcane Charges.

  Crit is so far irrelevant, so have special attacks that crit grant a free Mana Tap (or a chance of one), and to avoid wasting this, give these free Mana Taps 2 charges like Arcane Missiles.

  Spell Power could be made relevant by increasing the amount healed by Mana Tap.

  How a stat priority would work out would just depend on the math. I think 15% Hit would be mandatory to ensure Arcane Charge generation. After that, I'd see an approximate level of Mastery being needed, then either Haste or Crit stacked, whichever theorycrafts better.