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Tue, Feb. 24th, 2009, 02:45 pm

Did a bit of PuGGing over the weekend as a healer (on Fafnar) and I got to thinking about how DPS can slack and nobody blames them.

A healer expects 2 things from DPS: 1) do as much damage as possible, 2) don't take aggro off tank. The tank's job is to simply keep the mobs off everybody else.

Most fights are just easier if the boss dies quickly. Healer doesn't have to heal as much, etc. OOM isn't a problem if the boss is dead in 2 minutes vs 5 minutes.

Three examples:

1) Was in LFG for Heroic Nexus. Got asked to join a group for H UK first then Nexus, so I joined. A couple pulls in I'm wondering why the DK tank is top DPS and I think I recognize the weapons on the enhancement shammy. The weapons are lvl 70 mid-range epics. There are multiple QUEST REWARDS that are better than the weapons she was using and AH greens. So I start to inspect the gear from this FAIL 500 dps enh shammy and start asking wtf she's thinking.

The DK tank and I were carrying this group through the instance and I was getting cranky cause there wasn't enough *anything* to handle even a double pull. (The DK would take huge spikes of damage, the DPS wouldn't CC a damn thing and nobody but me seemed to think this was unusual.)

After a couple wipes on trash and me continuing to bitch about the fail DPS having absolute fail gear with apparently no idea how to itemize for their class (I do know alot about how to itemize for enh shammy because my wife plays one but I do the research on how to gear it. She does 5 times the damage (yes, 2500dps consistently) but is much better geared (everything in top 3 for slot using appropriate itemization rankings)). The fail part left group and the group dissolved with the last person in the group telling me I was bitching too much. I, and maybe my guild, might have a rep as being an elitest jerk now but I'm ok with that for these purposes. Soon after I got invited to a wonderful Nexus PuG that went very smooth.

Gotta say I'm still pretty pissed about the expectation that I was supposed to carry somebody through that instance. Especially somebody didn't even know they failed miserably. I told the group flat out that the enhancement shammy shouldn't be running heroics. (wtf, really, she wouldn't even cast a hex to CC a mob for a little while)

2) Multiple Malygos 10-man PuG attempts. Even the times when we'd get to phase 3, we wouldn't have enough time to kill him because of the enrage timer. Sooo many people in those PuGs that just wouldn't listen to the fight explanation then would fail to execute any part of it correctly.

3) Heroic AN, last boss. Saw somebody asking for healer in LFG for the last boss of the Heroic Daily. Figured why not, I'd done the boss a bunch of times and was easy loot. Well, the reason the other healer left was likely because the group DPS was fail (again the tank was high on the DPS chart) and the fight got progressively harder over time. So after about 4 wipes, and one of the DPS leaving (sadly one of the better DPS) I prioritized healing according to the DPS charts and we beat the boss. Boss kill time: 5m19s, previous kill time: 2m43s. I blew every cooldown and still barely did it.

In all these cases if the DPS was just over 2000 then the bosses would've died easily. But the DPS was 1000, if that, and the group struggled.

In addition to the above, ran a Naxx25 with just 5 healers. 2 of the healers were well geared and played very well. Then me with less than 1 day /played at lvl 80 (a bunch of BoE gear), and then 2 healers that may have had gear but weren't that good. The DPS was, in general, pretty good. Very very few deaths. Were looking good for immortal for a while. Got the 'safety dance' achievement, thanks mostly to the 2 druid healers (myself and the pro, who btw is somebody I pal'd around with at Blizzcon) being able to top up those that couldn't quite dance right.

If the DPS wasn't good then would've needed more healers. Funny how that works, eh?

Fri, Feb. 20th, 2009, 01:06 pm
WoW raid progression update

Have Champion of the Frozen Wastes title now (well, a couple weeks ago). Killed Malygos in 25-man a couple fridays ago, didn't have time to devote to Malygos till then because guild only raids 9 hours per week and we've been clearing Naxx and 1 drake Sarth. Now that Malygos is down we'll work on 2 drake Sarth as the progression raid. Gotta have time limits on alot of this stuff tho.

Have done the respec to Survival because of the Beast Master nerfs that came with patch 3.0.8. It is different. Dunno yet if I like the playstyle more or less. Pet damage was un-nerfed with 3.0.9 patch but I'll wait to see how the only BM spec hunter in our raids still isn't doing so hot. The steady shot nerf is still in there and that is a big chunk of damage I don't think will get replaced till 3.1. Pre-3.0.8 when we were both BM spec running with similar pets, she had close to my damage output and we were both at or near top damage. Post 3.0.8, after my respec, she is near bottom of damage and I'm at or near top. Now, when her pet is alive on fights, she's in the middle. But she just got the gun off KT on Friday so next week may be different (I got the gun a week or two before).


Most raiding hunters will be chasing the max DPS spec. If they don't nerf Explosive Shot to the ground like they did Steady Shot then Survival spec will still be max simply because the hunter doesn't need to watch their pet. Survival has pet = 15% of damage vs Beast Master has pet = 50%. And if Uldaar is going to be more 'dance fighting' then being able to dps on the move and not worry about stupid pet pathing issues will make MM and SV specs preferred as long as BM spec remains barely competative (which it isn't now) on basic fights which only require rotating through your shots optimally such as Patchwerk. When BM is top of the DPS charts on Patchwerk, like it was previous to build 3.0.8 and like SV is now, then I'll consider changing back. The other reason I'd consider changing back is if they nerf the *(^&^& out of SV, and even then I'd prolly go MM spec rather than BM.


Now that Theta is more or less max'd geared (only remaining gear or spec improvements are minor in nature), I've been working on Faf. He hit level 80 at 3pm on Feb 16, got three BoEs made (mace, boots, legs) then went into Heroic Nexus, 1 drake OS PuG, 25-man VoA PuG, 10-man Naxx PuG. Got the T7.5 chest from VoA! Didn't win roll on hands token in OS tho.  Have now completed all but Malygos 10-man content and have the quest to go kill Maly for the neck reward.

Fafnar will be joining some of the other alts in running Naxx10, etc. He is max'd on alchemy / herb now, so I can make my own flasks (elixir spec, so can get extras). Have a ton of mats now, will need to sort those out and make up another batch of stuff.  I do enjoy a 4 hour flask!

New code:

N: Thetamoon, Mc: Hu, Mb: 1/19/51, Mr: Ne, Alt: RDr80, S: Windrunner-US-Pve, GO+Hu: Stockade Prison Blues, Pvp-, Pve++, Sk: LW446/SK450,D+,Ori-BWL,TBC-BT, WLK-Maly25, L-, V:0.3

Wed, Feb. 18th, 2009, 11:44 am
Love is in the Air (aka how to waste a weekend playing with a RNG)

The "Love is in the Air" event sure sucked up alot of time this weekend. The spousal unit didn't get the last candy until needed for the holiday achievement until 11:10pm on Sunday; 7 hours before the event ended and on the last try for the day. 4 days, average of 10 tries per day, only 2 bags of candy at reported 15% drop rate with needing 8 unique candies from the bags which only produce 10 candies each. She was lucky to complete it on the second bag. Following is the story of the second bag.

The hour before the successful try, after we'd lost count of the number of tries for that day (8 or 9 -- she was emoting gnome punting for each one till #7 and after that she'd just go kill dragon whelps for the green dragon pet till the hour was up), one of the folks who had gotten plenty of bags of candy (5 or 6) mentioned he'd gotten them all from the same NPC in Stormwind. None of the other NPCs he'd tried had given him candy.

The guy was described as being in a back alley of old town and his name was "something Fingers".

Yes, the guy giving bags of candy in SW is named 'Fingers' and stands around in an alley in old town. The friggin' "Love is in the Air" achievement is dependant on asking some shady character in an alley for candy. And the wife had been hitting up guards the entire time.

So she goes to that guy, gets the bag, gets the last couple candies she needs. Then sees another guildy hit up the same guy, get the 'broken heart' debuff, she cures the broken heart and the other guildy doesn't get the bag of candy. So maybe it is random -- 3 other folks tried that guy a few more times (there was only 7 hours left at that point) and none of them got their last piece of candy (or bag) from that guy.


Tue, Dec. 23rd, 2008, 11:01 am
Hey, it still works!

WoW nerd code.  lolz.


Here's my code for Theta: 
N: Thetamoon, Mc: Hu, Mb: 53/18/0, Mr: Ne, Alt: RDr72, S: Windrunner-US-Pve, GO+Hu: Stockade Prison Blues, Pvp-, Pve++, Sk: LW445/SK450,D+,Ori-BWL,TBC-BT, WLK-Naxx10, L-, V:0.3

Just finished Naxx10 with a PuG on Sunday.  It was nice to be in a PuG that worked; only needed a few attempts on KT and made gold overall on the run.  Didn't get anything that nice, but the badges were cool.

Thu, Sep. 25th, 2008, 11:00 pm
#1 threat: Bears!

iPod is ftw, if you can work with iTunes.  I can, so I <3 my iPod.

The ZA bear runs have been going well.  Got 5 so far, and only one of those people has disappeared afterwards.  (Once we got one bear the group wanted to run with the same people every week till everybody got one.)  Oh well, such is the nature of /roll loot.

The other 4 (including Fafnar) have been on every single run so far in one form or another.  I've been on my hunter, wife's enhancement shaman, and Fafnar as a substitute healer.  Whatever was needed for the run.  This last run was extremely smooth even though both healers and two DPS were substitutes from the original set (the subs are pro too).  I'm prolly going to need to stick with healing on Fafnar for the next few weeks because he's got the bear now -- wouldn't be nice to roll on it with another toon and having Fafnar go except when absolutely required to switch to different toon will make the rest of the group know there will be no rolling on the bear from me. 

Now we're just trying to get in as many repeats and bear drops before the patch hits and the bear drop disappears (Oct 14 is expected deadline).  Folks are still getting upgrades or off-spec gear from these runs as well, so that is nice.

Notable thing about bears; they are being sold for 5000g each by a couple of the higher-end guilds on the server.  This is a substantial amount of gold, but the demand is very high.  Rumor has it that some folks have switched servers just to get one of these bears ($25 in real money plus 5000g in game money).  Crazy stuff.  But the ability to do these kinds of runs is fairly high-end, nevermind being able to do them consistently.  Can only attempt the run once every 3 days and the run itself is a high-tension, high-energy rush.  Even when relatively routine it is still a race against the clock where a single mistake can blow the whole thing.  Very cool accomplishment to get the bear and Fafnar is now a "Hand of A'dal" as well as bear owner so that is a tag for top of the game.  (The other bear owners from our runs can also claim both titles, btw.)

In music news I'm still liking Ted Leo & The Pharmacists waaay too much. That one song from Ash is holding up well too.  Bought the Led Zepplin collection online for $10 (100+ songs) and Steely Dan's Asa album for $1.  Reaquainting myself with those groups.

Work has been interesting; touching on multicast vs unicast networking, layer 2 VLAN configuration and QoS manipulation.  Kinda glad I'm not having to figure out the MPLS stuff as well since the clustering items are complicated enough to deal with.  I have also developed a dislike for Oracle because it always seems so arcane. SQL server seems straightforward comparitively.  =/

I had fun at the Ptlous group last weekend.  I really should get away from playing the lawful good types tho'; I'm getting too good at it.  I did love the great moment where I'm getting all heated about how *wrong* the stuff being planned seemed to be and the group basically told me to keep it down since we're in a *public area*.  D'oh!  Int 8 played and I wasn't even thinking about it. >_<  The monk was supposed to be more quiet.  Need to flesh that out better; I played him too much like the paladin.   

Sat, Sep. 6th, 2008, 01:21 pm

Been kinda busy over the last couple weeks.  Just had a software release at work and customers found one component wasn't up to task.  Ended up working on it over the 3-day weekend but fortunately the VPN allowed me to avoid actually going in to the office. 

Also bought an iPod Nano over the weekend.  I had been using a refurb Sansa e280 MP3 player but its glitches and generally clunky interface made me go iPod.  After using the iPod Nano for a few days it feels like the difference between Beta and V3.0 products -- the iPod Nano is just that much better.  Folks complain about the tight integration with iTunes but my computer doesn't suck so the iTunes integration is no hardship for me. 

In WoW I kicked off a ZA Bear Mount initiative and the first run went well enough last night: 3 timed events down even after making a few mistakes on the trash to the 3rd boss.  Had 26 minutes after the 2nd boss down but the trash to 3rd boss (Dragonhawk) got us.  In particular one of our two healers was distracted by something IRL and was off Ventrilo so if we can avoid that we should be pretty close to the 4th timed event and a bear mount.  Been a busy week -- Tuesday was first three bosses in Mt Hyjal (MH) with an attempt on 4th. Weds was the 4th boss down, followed by an alt heavy Kara (through Shade).  Thurs was alt heavy Gruuls/Mags followed by the ZA Bear Run followed by finishing up the Kara (6 hours total on-line).  Tomorrow is 3 hours of attempts on last boss in MH (Archimonde) followed by finishing up the ZA run (if possible; one of the people is committed to doing a heroic SH run).  And then Sunday is another ZA bear run with a slightly different group.

Wednesday run was special in that I had to toss somebody out of the raid group because they screwed up a couple times on the pull for the boss.  Background: for the 4th boss a hunter should misdirect the boss to the main tank since positioning of the raid group is so important and don't need people trying to move with the tank.  For the first pull this new hunter went too early and the boss teleported the tank to him.  K, lesson learned.  For the 2nd pull the hunter MD'd to the wrong tank.  ... Ok, remove that hunter.  As raid lead and hunter lead, I replaced the hunter with a more experienced hunter.  I was the noob hunter.  So I subbed myself out of the raid and made another raid lead. 

Turns out I was suffering from low blood sugar and was fine after I straightened that out, but at the time I just went through the decision tree and came up with the answer that I had to replace myself.  Took a few more attempts (3 or 4) but the boss went down before the 3 hour raid time was up.  And we got the other hunters upgraded gloves (T6).

At this point I think I can play three classes well: druid, hunter, and shaman.  I'm still learning on my now lvl 60 warrior and I think I do OK at rogue but I don't do so hot at warlock.  With the next expansion pack, it appears that the classes are going to get a bunch of changes again so the dynamic will change again.  More relearning.

Sun, Aug. 24th, 2008, 12:36 pm
WoW catch up

Hunter is pretty nicely geared now.  Bought the Black Bow and T6 chest from FL a few weeks back.  Got really tired of raid healing with Fafnar and have switched main to hunter.  Doing well as hunter too.  Fafnar is now basically just used for 2v2 arenas and no longer has a good raid spec.  I'll prolly just keep points around till level 80 and buy good gear then. 

WotLK should be coming out near end of November and the gear differences make it look like the same difference between 60-70 will hold for 70-80.  Maybe not quite so much on the stamina front, but for DPS and stats it is looking very similar.  Therefore folks aren't so concerned with gearing up as they are accomplishing goals: Hand of A'dal, Bear mounts, etc.  Guild has been working on Kael'thas (KT) lately -- killed him with one group and still working on him with the folks who didn't get in on the first kill.  

Mixed in going to BT and MH a bunch.  MH is a farm run of the first 4 bosses and BT is sketchy with the first boss but the next 2 aren't bad.  We're getting the idea of it.  After KT is down again we'll prolly spend time farming the first 4 in MH and remaining time working on BT.  Still need more Heart of Darkness drops before can gear up quickly for Mother Shazz.  But we've got a really good chance at getting into Sunwell for more than trash drops before WotLK drops.

Thu, Jul. 3rd, 2008, 10:46 pm
Top of the Pops

Finally ended up making a CD for June.  This thing plays real nice in a loop.   Was designed to just sit in a CD player.  

Waltz, No. 2 (XO) -- Elliott Smith
Amnesia -- The Vines
Yer Stoned Italian Cowboy -- The Go
Me and Mia -- Pharmacists & Ted Leo
Take Your Mama -- Scissor Sisters
I Will Dare -- The Replacements
Train In Vain -- The Clash
Company Calls -- Office
Your English Is Good -- Tokyo Police Club
Eighty Eight -- Working for a Nuclear Free City
New Soul -- Yael Naïm
Lucky Today -- Cloud Cult
Great DJ -- The Ting Tings
Be Good -- Tokyo Police Club
Alex Chilton -- The Replacements
Drop It Doe Eyes -- Los Campesinos!
Shining Light -- Ash
Walking to Do -- Pharmacists & Ted Leo
I'll Be You -- The Replacements
You Don't Understand Me -- The Raconteurs

Mon, Jun. 30th, 2008, 09:30 pm
Some stories of success

Following up on the stories of fail from early in the month, have a few stories of success.

WoW summary: the guild got through Azgalor in Mt Hyjal.  That was great.  We also got Shade of Akama down in Black Temple.  

We contracted with a further progressed guild to sell our remaining MH instance on a couple Sundays as well.  I tagged along as a healer (resto druid; decurse and HoTs -- great for Archimonde) on the first of these, along with a few of our other members, to better learn how to tackle the trash to Azgalor and how to deal with Archimonde.  The exeperience helped us get to and defeat Azgalor nicely.  Another nice thing was that the purchasing guild didn't need one of the T6 helm tokens that dropped and I ended up winning the roll on it.  Yay me!  I have loot from a boss further progressed than the rest of the guild.  On the 2nd one we only had a couple people available (short notice) and they took a mage of ours.  Unfortunately they couldn't down Archimonde, no fault of our mage of course.  

The Shade of Akama kill started out badly -- about 5-8 people got killed by the first couple rain of fires and we were short alot of folks.  I broke away from my assignment on the pally tank in the middle to cover the side group that lost both healers and we pressed on.  The melee group finished off the channelers and we just kept on because we figured it was a wipe but good practice anyhow. ... Turns out we beat Shade BUT Akama also died.  Weird end, but we got loot and people got their quests done.  (Supposed to be that if Akama dies then everything goes away and you hafta start over but apparently we hit some sort of race case and still got it.)  The WWS report makes it look like we killed the boss with 20 people.

Oh yeah, and the guild killed Vashj a couple times and I participated in a Kael PuG that was successful so now I've got the exalted ring for Scale of the Sands.  Those were actually pretty big deals at the time too -- not often that a PuG takes on Kael'thas successfully and we actually managed to have 2 groups go simultaneously (with a side bet race too).  Fafnie's group got done before mine.  >.>  I'd still like to get my hunter in on some of those things, but am basically running out of time to do it.  I did, however, buy the hunter boots off Gorefiend for her so she's pretty pimp but starting to get in to 'glass cannon' territory because all the really good gear she has doesn't have much stamina.

And in the "too much success" category I got the training on the automation gig, getting that working and there is some interest in the koi pond automation segment plus a sometimes contracting gig is looking like quite a bit of work to be done before end of August and... here's the kicker... I'm starting a full-time job with a 30m commute tomorrow.  So now need to figure out how to shovel some of the contracting work over to somebody else and somehow keep the automation work not interferring with the regular job.  

Oh, and got the house painted, except for the bits ajoining the greenhouse (hard to paint around the greenhouse and the fish).  And saw Death Cab for Cutie concert in Berkeley.

That's most of the catch-up.  Wish me luck for the next month. 

Wed, Jun. 4th, 2008, 03:29 pm
2 stories of fail

Bought a hanging storage thingy over Memorial Day weekend.  Tried it out, it was missing some pieces.  Took it back to the store today.  Their "computers were down" so I returned after doing a couple other things.

Here's where the phael comes in: they had no replacements so I had to take store credit.  Along with the store credit (on one of those handy plastic gift cards that will prolly expire too soon) I also get a 20% coupon.  I leave and take a look at coupon when I get home.

The coupon is for Memorial Day weekend only.  >.<  Apparently the helpful clerks are handing out coupons that expired 9 days ago.  

WoW-related phael: running in while putting HoTs on the tank for Vashj.  Turns out if the hunter isn't quick enough on the misdirect, Vashj will shoot me -- killed in one shot.

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