Wednesday, October 31, 2007

PvP: What Gear Do You Wear in AV?

PvP gear is for PvP, and PvE gear is for PvE, or at least that's how the saying goes. But is that always the case? Well, that's been a question on the table for quite some time. Warlocks are quick to point out that, Pre-TBC, PvP gear was incredibly viable raid gear, with it's high stamina and + spell damage. However, with the introduction of Spell Hit, things got a little more complicated, and a lot more specialized. And while the PvP-PvE gear dilemma has been squelched quite a bit by this and the advent of Resilience, it's still very much an issue. Well, at least in Alterac Valley it is.

Last week was AV weekend, and like so many do for the huge amounts of honor it rewards, I spent a great deal of time rushing to the Stonehearth Graveyard, DPS'ing Belinda, and running around outside Vanndar Stormpike's trying to stay away from the Marshals not being tanked properly. And in all of the nonsense that is the battleground, I noticed that in my PvP-gear (which includes Merciless Gladiator and Veteran goodness), the NPCs resisted my spell casts often, and my damage-done noticeably suffered. But when switching to my Hit-heavy PvE gear, the resists were minimal, and my damage-done increased as a result. An easy observation of which significance is easy to understand. Spell Hit owns NPCs, AV is full of them, and killing them equates to honor. The more efficient, the faster the honor-gain, the better. Score one for PvE gear.

But what about the 40 members of the opposite faction running around the BG? Where do they and the honor you gain from them come into play? Well, it goes without saying that the more you take down, the more honor you gain (on diminishing returns, of course). And with Resilience, PvP gear is more specialized for just that task. Score one for PvP gear.

So with the score tied, we're faced with a question of priority. Is killing the NPCs of AV asap (the PvE portion) more important than farming other players (the PvP portion), or is it the other way around? Which nets more honor? What gear should we be wearing?!

While working towards Rank 14 over a year ago, a few of us on the grind thought long and hard about just these types of questions. In a system that measured only the amount of honor gained in a set amount of time, we looked for the fastest, most efficient approach to the BGs and honor farming. Our conclusion? Shooting through AV as fast as possible while killing as many ranked NPCs as possible netted the greatest amount of honor, even on double-honor weekends for the other battlegrounds! It was pretty significant information back then, and in the current context, it's just as applicable now.

For great honor, remove all ranked NPCs. When in AV, take out as many as possible, and to speed up the process, put on your Spell Hit PvE gear. It's not only + Hit for the win, it's + Hit for the Honor as well!

There is your answer, my friends. PvE gear -- It's what to wear when you're in AV. =)

Happy Hallow's End!

Today is the last day of Hallow's End, and as I sit here having to deal with picky kids that keep wanting to trade their Almond Joy for a Snickers, I can't help but think of the debacle that was Brewfest. And you gotta give it to Blizzard for putting together an amazing celebration to follow-up such a disappointing one. They really came through with Hallow's End and its events, which were totally worth actively participating in. Sure, the novelty items and free Karazhan-level epics were great and all, but even the actual events themselves were wonderfully designed and of such high quality. The amount of detail was excellent, and they were fun as hell too!

It's a shame that the brooms will be disappearing after a certain amount of /played and what not, and that's my only real gripe, and not even a big one at that. All-in-all, it's been an excellent time.. We can all only hope that Bliz has something just as special in store for us in the holidays to come.

Happy Halloween, everyone. =)

Monday, October 29, 2007

PTR: Flags Everywhere

Upon zoning into the Undercity after using the portal in Shattrath, I was surprised to find my toon with a prevalent flag on his back, just as in an organized Arena game. I also noticed an "Arena Preperation" buff on my toon, which reduces the cost of spells and abilities by 100%. We know Bliz had planned on implementing this buff upon entering a BG, Arena, or upon resurrection, but I did not expect it to make an appearance while running around the UC. And it wasn't expiring either, which really stumped me.

After asking around, I was told that the new buff replaced the "Honorless Target" buff and that it and the flags would remain in the Live realm. However, after relogging within the UC and finding that my target had both the Arena buff AND the Honorless Target buff, I'm beginning to question the validity of what I was told. And after checking the WoW Forums for more legit details, it does appear that the buff and flag showing up outside a PvP context is indeed a bug. So thankfully, when 2.3 goes live, there won't be flags stuck onto the back of every toon you see. How annoying would that have been!

PTR: Faster Zeppelin Flights

More tweaks are incoming to the Zeppelin mechanism in Patch 2.3. To go along with the recently added announcements of arrivals and departures, Bliz has noticeably and significantly reduced the amount of commute time between Zep towers -- a commute that was often called redundant at best. The loading times are the same, but the point at which the game begins to load zones has been altered, as has the spawn point of the arriving Zeppelin. In other words, after your Zep leaves the tower, you'll see the loading screen much sooner than before, and when the transition is complete, your Zep will spawn much closer to the destination tower, making for a much shorter approach.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

PTR: Tailoring: Winter Clothes

What do you want for Christmas this Holiday season? A new computer? Gift certificates? An iPhone? Well forget about all of that. You're getting a server full of scantily-clad Blood Elves, and you'll like it!

I swear these outfits look like something straight out of the Victoria's Secret holiday catalog or something. And my guess is that the patterns for these pieces will be made available via holiday gift packages. So don't worry. They won't be too hard to come by.

Old World Instances for Level 70s

For a good portion of the 9 million people that play this game, most time is spent in the upper echelon of the leveling process. Grinding out the early levels plays out fairly quickly, and with the upcoming changes that will make leveling easier, even less time will be spent in the lower brackets. So how does Bliz, a company that has always wanted their subscribers to appreciate their work, keep people from skipping the huge majority of content in an effort to hit Outland (and Northrend) asap?

The answer is simple. Customize old-world instances with options for high level content. It wouldn't be too difficult, I imagine. We are currently experiencing just that sort of thing with the Headless Horseman settled inside the Scarlet Monastery Graveyard. And while it is a short-term addition, there is no reason why Bliz couldn't introduce encounters of that kind all over Azeroth and in a more permanent fashion. And players dig that kind of thing, especially when there are good incentives involved. Sure, the 5-minute epics were nice and all, but more importantly, the encounter and social environment it created was FUN. Remember the huge crowds that waited just outside the SMGY portal? Players flocked to take part in the event, and stayed for the carnage. It was definitely a good time.

There is a lot of potential with the Headless Horseman event model that I think could work very well. Of course, having a multiply repeatable, epic-dropping quest doesn't really fit in with Bliz's intent to have us "work" for our gear, but if the mixed things up a bit, it could definitely work in the long-term. Say, what about adding boss encounters that required a 10-man raid, and having such bosses drop raid gear (ala Onyxia)? With the one week cooldown on introductory raid instances like Karazhan, I'm sure guilds would love the opportunity to give their members more than a couple shots at Tier gear -- and this could be one way they could do it.

Another approach would be to simply convert an entire old-world raid instance to a 10-man or even 25-man Level 70 dungeon. Bliz is warm to the idea, having serious plans for putting a rehashed Naxx for Level 80s into the next expansion. Now just do the same for ZG, AQ, MC, and things will be looking up for Azeroth.

What's old is old. But what's old that's new, well, that's just pure sweetness. =)

Saturday, October 27, 2007

New Lowbie Epic Enchants INC?

You kinda have to wonder, with all of the changes being applied to loot, and especially the the new epic gear being added to low-level instances, what Bliz plans on doing when these items get disenchanted. Are there going to be new enchanting items introduced? New Shards? New Formulas? Unlikely, but with the attention Bliz has lately been giving to low-level content, it's not completely out of the picture.

Food for thought. ;)

Friday, October 26, 2007

Changes in the Loot

Remember running through Shadowfang Keep back in the day, having the Robes of Arugal drop, and the clothie-casters in the group going nuts because a Huntard rolled on it? "It has Agility," they would say. And, as much as I hate to admit it, they were totally right, and completely justified to roll. The same could be said of the Belt of Arugal and Feline Mantle even, and I never really understood it. Why did Blizzard include Agility on what is otherwise the epitome of low-level caster gear???

Well, if Patch 2.3 says anything about the matter, it's that Bliz made a mistake, and omg have they gone above and beyond themselves in making things right. For example, not only do the refreshed Robes of Arugal lack Agility, but they have gained an Equip stat of + 12 Spell Damage and Healing! The Belt of Shoulder pieces have seen similar transformations as well. Pretty sweet.

To see comparison stats between Live items and their refreshed counterparts on the PTR, head over to MMO Champion, where they've compiled an amazing list of items that have seen some pretty significant changes. They are sorted by Dungeon, which is nice, and seem to display some pretty interesting patterns. One thing I noticed while scouring the items was that resistances seem to have taken a pretty big hit, being regularly replaced with + Damage, for example. Maybe Bliz finally realized that Resist gear at that kind of level is just a bit too specific and even unnecessary. Good changes imho.

So there ya go. Lots of incoming changes in the loot that will definitely give low-levels a reason to celebrate. And finally, no more rolling against melee for caster gear FTW. =)

Song of the Week

I know it's Friday and the end of the work week and all, but I figure good music is good music, and any time is a good time for it. So with that in mind, I've got a song for you guys to rock out to this weekend while PvP'ing or whatever. It's Flyleaf's "I'm So Sick," which is a terribly awesome song. If it sounds familiar to you, don't worry. It totally should.

Here's the video. And if you dig what you see, go search for more Flyleaf vids on YouTube. Even the live ones are pretty incredible. Enjoy. =)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Mad Alchemists Potion

Remember a time not so long ago when Alchemy was an insanely awesome profession? Not only was it a fantastic money-maker (selling a single Flask for 120g FTW), but it was a very necessary compliment to any raiding guild, supplying much-needed potions, elixirs, and flasks for those all-important wipe nights. After Alchemy's potency was nerfed, the introduction of elixir types with limitations on their use, and the ability to purchase powerful flasks linked to specific raid dungeons, the profession lost much of the luster that it once expressed. Well, and finally, might I add, Alchemy is getting a little bit of love in Patch 2.3.


* Added a new potion to alchemy trainers: Mad Alchemist's Potion. This new potion requires Alchemy to consume.

A potion only Alchemists can use? Makes sense. There are plenty of profession-specific items that are only to be used only by those who can create them (many Engineering and Tailoring items come to mind), so why not Alchemy? And what does this potion do, exactly, that it would require an Alchemic specialty to consume?

Blizzard Blue Drysc sheds some light on the subject, stating that

"It's a trainable alchemist-only rejuvenation potion (replenish health/mana) and will also give a random elixir buff. It won't replace existing elixir buffs though; if you already have one on."

Nice! So it's pretty serious stuff in that with one potions-cooldown, you can regen your health and mana. Gotta love that. And the random elixir buff is a nice little additive too, but it has me wondering if it abides by the 2-elixirs-only rule. Drysc said that it won't replace existing buffs, possibly implying that a THIRD elixir buff would be applied, but it could also mean that the buff portion of the Mad Alchemists Portion can fail if two elixir buffs are already active. I'll guess we'll just have to wait for more info. to figure out exactly how this will work.

Oh, and another thing about the random buffs. With what else Drysc had to say, I don't think it will be an issue to keep popping those potions until you get the elixir buff you want. Apparently, the pots will be very inexpensive to make, on the order of a single Crystal Vial and a Ragveil or two. That's not a bad deal at all, especially when you consider the cheap cost paired with Potions Mastery. Yikes at the thought!

So while these changes won't bring Alchemy back to the grand-old profession that it once was, they're definitely something worth toasting to. So here here, Alchemists. Drink up to a small buff, but a good buff none-the-less.

Here's to hoping it makes us foam at the mouth. ;)

Tiny Spore Bat

When I heard that a new pet would be made available to those with Exalted status with Sporeggar, I was excited. I imagined one of those Sporeggar Spawns running alongside my toon, making those strange sounds we've all become oh so fond of while leveling in Zangarmarsh. Unfortunately, I didn't read the fine print. It isn't one of those spore-beings at all, but a miniature version of a Spore Bat.

I'd totally rather have a little spawn, but these aren't too shabby. Time to start racking up that Sporeggar rep while sitting around Zangarmarsh, waiting for the SSC raid to begin. Or more accurately, while standing around Shatt, doing absolutely nothing. :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Okay, forget all of that voting nonsense that no one really took seriously anyway. I've found who I would pick to fulfill the role as a RL Succubus. Kelly Brook.

Alan Strutt, a fairly famous skins photographer, captured the above image as part of an amazing Kelly Brook spread you can easily find through a Google search. The lighting, the contrast, the darkness... screams Succubus, doesn't it?

I think so.

Monday, October 22, 2007

A Message from Kalgan (Kinda, but Not Really)

Hello. My name is Tom. Tom Chilton. You know me as Kalgan, a Blizzard "Blue," and lead game designer for the World of Warcraft. Recently, there has been confusion voiced on the WoW forums about a statement I made regarding the Warrior class and PvP play. I would like to expand on that, clarify my stance (Defensive stance for the lose), and put the juvenile crying from other classes to rest, once and for all. But first, a little bit of background.

I was born in the 1980's and grew up with a mullet on the outskirts of Oklahoma. When I was two, my father left home for a pack of cigarettes and a Jack Daniel's, and never came back. My mother worked two jobs, one of them at night, and regularly came home with a boyfriend or two and smelling of alcohol and old men's cologne. She'd often whip me, blaming me for my father's absence and her prostitution, but I knew better. I always have.

I have a brother, who was my mother's favorite and was always showered with affection and love. Given my family situation, we are not on speaking terms, and I am okay with that. I have never had time for girlfriends, nor have I had the money, and I'd probably treat them poorly anyway, so I have no regrets. On the friend front, I have only a few that probably hang out with me because I work for Blizzard. Whatever. I have more important things to worry about, like my Arena rating.

Time, as with my history, has not been kind to me. I am short, going bald, and look like one of those hobbit characters out of the Lord of the Rings. But I have always taken such things in stride, for I am a member of a wonderful Greek Orthodox Church that has helped me put such things into perspective, and for which I owe my big break into the business that is MMORPG gaming.

I first met Father Jacobs when I was 7 years old. He was an older gentleman of medium build and height, and sported a prickly, short beard that was made of stubble for as long as I can remember. He recognized my plight one afternoon while I was walking home from grade school and invited me into his van for some candy, a warm cup of cocoa, and a game of leapfrog. We ended the evening at his church, engaged in good conversation, and I with a father figure that has been behind me ever since.

After a night of role-playing, and a long discussion of my innate talent for it, Father Jacobs mentioned that one of the parishioners was infact Jewish and worked in the entertainment industry - specifically, for Blizzard Entertainment. After pulling a few strings and cashing in on a few favors, I found myself mopping the floors at the company's headquarters in Irvine, California. And after performing a few duties for the company's Chief Financial Officer, I was given the Lead Developer gig for Age of Shadows, an add-on for the Ultima Online video game. World of Warcraft shortly followed, and here I am today - your The Burning Crusade Lead Dev.

Now, back to the topic at hand.

The original context and conversation took place on the 27th of September, amidst a discussion in the Warriors forum concerning many of the changes the class will be seeing in the upcoming patch. In the thread, I responded to a comment made by another poster, in which he said the following:

Arms warriors are quite strong actually, I don't think there's any class beside another warrior that can stand toe to toe with a geared MS warrior. That's how it should be, but right now, we're walking a thin line between overpowered and strong but balanced class. I'd rather see such a change in the weapon immunity mechanic than see a blatant nerf to Mortal strike.

So hey, now opponents with quick reaction time can stop me from using MS, I like it, since I'll be able to do it too to save my clothies (intercept ===> disarm, the target cannot block, dodge or parry the disarm, since he's stunned) I used to do this all the time to save my healers in BGs before BC, looking forward to have that tool once again.


Oh, just one second. Food's ready.

Okay. Back. So where was I? Oh yes, yes. My response to these statements was short and deliberate, in which I stated:

That pretty much sums it up imo.

The 41 point talent concern definitely has some validity, although not not really related. I shudder to think of what we'd have to do to Endless Rage to get people to switch away from Death Wish and Improved Intercept to get it. We also have to consider what the implications are in the future when arms warriors have another 10 points to spend.

To add another comment... the drama here about a change like this turning all warriors into tanks or DKs is honestly pretty ridiculous. I'm quite sure the pvp warrior I have will still be rockin' a s3 weapon within the first week despite this change.

These statements ignited a furor of backlash, accusing me of a conflict of interest with every buff the Warrior class has seen. And about their dominance in Arena play? Wow, you should see the hateful threads that ensued... if I hadn't had my minions delete them all, that is.

Ha, I sound like a Warlock. How ironic.

Umm, I mean, the changes we've made regarding the strength of the Warrior class at the PvP level has nothing to do with Warlocks, or their ability to Exhaust-kite us, or Soul Link-Drain Life us to complete and utter death and the fact that my arena rating took a hit because of them. No sirs. The changes were all meant for the sake of balance.


Warriors, from a mechanistic standpoint, should be able to beat anyone in "toe-to-toe" combat, period. Yes. It makes perfect sense, it's what the class is built for, and no clothie should be able to stand next to a well-geared Warrior and come out victorious. It was the original intent, and we are now just trying to implement that mechanism more effectively.

Forget the fact that the class can force close combat via Intercept, Hamstring, and other abilities, and that there is very little others can do about it. Forget the fact that we at Blizzard acknowledge and agree that they walk a line that borders overpowered. Forget the fact that I play one, and look forward to rocking my S3 Weapons within the first week of the new Season. Forget the fact that I am embittered by my past, and that now is my time to shine. Did I mention that my asshole brother plays a Warlock? No? Whatever. Forget all of that. It's all insignificant. All that matters is balance.

Balance. Balance. Balance. It is what it is.

It is what I want it to be.

I am Kalgan.

Monday, October 15, 2007

2.3 Warlock Changes

Hey hey, what do we have here? A Warlock-changes list that's longer than a couple of lines and with a few items of actual substance? Imagine my surprise. And frankly, after glossing over the changes, I am quite happy with what I am seeing, despite all of the QQ we're already seeing in the forums. Here's a summary of the PTR notes, Warlock-style:


* Banish can no longer be cast on tapped targets.
* Conflagrate: Immolate will now always be removed correctly.
* DL and SL affected by healing reducing effects.
* Hellfire will no longer affect casting time or prevent flag captures.
* Nether Protection now has a new, more distinct visual effect.
* Ritual of Souls takes less time to cast and complete.
* Seed of Corruption detonation will now obey line of sight.
* Shadow Embrace: can no longer trigger other effects.
* Shadow Ward gains additional spell damage bonus.
* Soul Siphon increases damage by 2/4%, ignores Drain Mana.

Not bad, am I right? I mean, on the surface, some may seem redundant and others as all out nerfs, but most of the changes are actually very nice and should be welcomed, and others are not nearly as bad as some are making them out to be.

The changes to Drain Life and Siphon Life? Expected, and I agree with them after taking into account the mechanics of the game. Yeah, a nerf, and yeah, Bliz is calling it a bug fix which really makes no sense, but it's actually all very simple. A health transfer that equates to a health gain is a heal, and should be treated as such. Simple enough imho. But for those who feel a bit too affected by this nerf, it shouldn't be too difficult to adapt to the changes. Yes, it may be a bit more difficult, take a bit more planning, make use of some extra gear, a Healthstone AND a health pot, but if the end result is the same, what does it matter? =)

"ZOMG! Ritual of Souls takes less time to complete! It's all I ever wanted!" Heheh, I heard a lot of this sarcasm when the Patch Notes were released. And yeah, it's not a HUGE deal. However, if you're an Arena Warlock, this is a very welcomed change. Prep time takes time, and anything that reduces it is a good thing. And hell, if it's now realistic to drop one of these suckers while in combat, in any environment, without having to wait an eternity, well that's just awesome! No sarcasm intended.

And THANK GOODNESS we finally have our Seed of Corruption change that makes it a little less volatile in raids or instances. No more drawing aggro from mobs on the other side of a wall, beneath a floor, or on the level above. We can now use it without worry of unintended aggro pulls. Definitely an improvement for PvE. For PvP, however, Warlocks are crying foul since an inflicted player can now use LoS to prevent damage to his teammates. To me, that's how it should have always been, and is more of a legit bug fix than a nerf.

Shadow Ward gaining spell damage bonuses is a definite buff. For Level 70, it had seemed a little weak to me considering the amount of damage we are seeing, especially in PvP. This will help a bit at the very least, and when coupled with Nether Protection and a Spellstone... GG.

Speaking of "GG," I totally didn't see this change coming. Soul Siphon now increases damage by 2 or 4 percent? I seriously had to take a double take to make sure I was reading that right. It increases damage of all spells, not just DoTS, by 40 spell damage per +1000. That's a pretty significant buff that comes very early in the Affliction talent tree! And best of all, it helps dampen the effects of the Resilience changes we saw in the last patch. GG indeed.

So that's pretty much it, and I gotta say that I'm pretty happy with the changes that are incoming. There isn't anything that will completely cripple us, and there are definite improvements on the way. Ya gotta be happy about that.

Until next time.

Here and Back Again

Hellos and sorry for the lack of updates last week. I just got back from a mini-vacation of sorts, and man was it nice to get away. And when I say that, I'm not just talking about RL responsibility and all of that nonsense. I'm talking about WoW as well.

It's good to see the real world every now and then, afterall. It puts things into a greater perspective, which I think helps us gamers to correctly define the environments we share -- truth in perspectives and priorities.

Here's to everyone giving themselves that opportunity.

When to Team Quit?

I'm not much of a PvPer -- haven't been since hanging up my once insanely-epic High Warlord gear, which had depreciated to the point where vendors in the Undercity refused to buy them from me. But I still have had sparks here and there where my interest in PvP was peaked a bit. In such instances, I would dabble with it when such opportunities presented themselves. However, and especially lately, those opportunities occur less and less, and when they do, they just don't feel the same way they used to.

The main reason for the change in my response to PvP was the change in the system itself. A change which occurred at a time when I was not interested in Player vs. Player play in the least bit, having completed the draining and regrettable Rank 14 venture. As a result, Arena play started, Resilience was introduced, and I was left behind on both fronts. Only recently was I a part of any Arena team, and while I did and do appreciate the amount of planning and coordination Arena play requires, I can honestly say that I just didn't care for it.

Now, don't mistake what I'm saying. It's not that I didn't want to care for it, because I truly wished to get better and learn the ins and outs of the 2500-rated Arena Warlock, but given the time I would have to put in, and the inconsistent attendance issues my arena teams faced, my natural reaction was a passive one -- I chose not to care. Otherwise, well, you know what happens to people who invest too much of themselves into this game...

Being in a position of passivity, which seemed to be the case for my teammates as well, we just didn't try that hard to do well. As a result, we never broke 1700. We would end up cramming our games in just before server restarts. On many occasions, we'd have a new player involved, which affected our win-loss ratio big time due to the lack of team chemistry. And, we'd only play to reach the 10 game minimum, so we could get our points (as little as they may be). How on earth could we possibly get better in an environment like that?

We couldn't, and we didn't.

The irony in all of this is that my passivity eventually became my bane. I was annoyed, and felt a little disgraced that I was taking a slacker's lack-luster approach to PvP. The Arena experience felt like a cheap pathway to epics instead of a mode of self improvement, and while I didn't and don't care for PvP the way I once did, that doesn't mean that it's okay for me to half-ass it. If I'm going to do it, I'm gonna rock it. Otherwise, it's best I don't associate myself with it at all.

When I made that realization not too many days ago, I emailed my teams owner, a friend, and let him know that I'd be leaving. I explained that the scheduling issues where too much to overcome, and having no course of action for the mediocrity of our performance did not sit well with me at all. Our inconsistencies would not allow for improvement, so, it was time to go. He hasn't responded, but I hope he understands.

Much like the decision to leave a guild or a server, leaving an Arena team is a difficult one. But when your team's situation does not allow for self-improvement, or for whatever it is you are wanting from your Arena experiences, and no matter the effort, then it is time to go. Then and only then will you truly have the opportunity to find what you're looking for -- something even the UC vendors may find worthwhile. =)

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Is Brewfest a Bust?

I can't help but be very disappointed with what I'm seeing... or NOT seeing... in Durotar lately. When Brewfest first began several days ago, it was a bustling pot of activity with many different things to do. There was the pink elephant quest, which was repeatable (I did it twice) before it was completely removed (or bugged out or whatever happened). There was the Dark Iron Dwarf event every hour on the half, which drew a ton of participation, and was a main source of Brewfest Prize Ticketry. Now, after the changes that took place shortly after the festival began, we're left with a single daily "Barking" quest and another racing quest of sorts... and that's it. No active events to participate in. Nothing of that sort. And the items, well, there are very few you can actually keep once Brewfest is over, which was a bummer from the start. So what does that leave us with?

One deserted festival. =(

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Toyota Commercial

If you missed it air yesterday, which many of us did cause we knew nothing about it, here it is!


Friday, October 5, 2007

When You're Sick of Voice Chat...

Head over to for free, high-quality streaming music, in playlists that cater to your personal taste. I've been using it for over a year now, and it makes for an awesome WoW soundtrack to play to... especially during vent QQ sessions. =)

It's pretty simple to use. All you do is tell the player what bands you like, and it'll find similar bands for you, play their songs, and you get to rate their songs as either a "thumbs up" or a "thumbs down." Simple, but works amazingly well at finding new music you may actually like. Hopefully you find it worthwhile. I do.


Dark Iron Attacks on Hold

Don't bother checking in every hour on the half to get more Brewfest Prize Tickets, because the Dark Iron Dwarves aren't showing up at Brewfest, and Bliz still doesn't know what to do with them.

The big B is reviewing the mechanics of the festival's prizing scheme and hasn't come to a conclusion as to how the Dwarf attacks should apply, so the whole thing has been put on hold until further notice.

Were people getting too many tickets? Maybe. Was the event causing network traffic havok? Who knows. But whatever be the case, we'll have to be a bit more careful in our collection of 600 tickets. I don't think we'll have a problem or anything, but with everything that has happened, who knows what'll go down next?

Oh, and if you think Blizzard would be kind enough to extend Brewfest to help matters out a bit, think again.

Today's LOL

Kinda hard to understand (audio is a bit iffy), but I still LOL'd. =)

Kudos to WoW Insider for posting.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

The Razer Lycosa

I've been in the market for a new keyboard for my desktop system, and after falling in love w/ the sleekness of my Macbook Pro's smooth and illuminated keyboard goodness, back-lighting and low-profile keys are a total must.

I came across a few companies that attempted to make such a device, but their products failed miserably at providing what I was looking for. Either the keys were way flimsy or the back-light was completely unbalanced and more distracting than it was useful. Worse still, they were charging nearly $100 for these atrocities. Wth...

Thankfully, Razer, a company I wasn't too familiar with but that seemingly sports some nice gaming peripherals has come through with a solution that looks very, very promising: the Lycosa.

It looks incredibly sleek. It's back-lighting is balanced throughout. The keys are slim and low-profile. It's even rubberized, so my sweaty hands won't be an issue anymore (yes, you people get me seriously hawt)!

It also offers programmable keys, macro-love, and has the ability to save profiles. ZOMG at not having to rearrange hotkeys or bindings after a respec... Not too shabby, imho. And best of all, it's cheaper than the disappointing pieces I was considering not even a week ago. Huzzah.

Now, how to tell my pregnant wife that I wanna blow some of the dough we're supposed to be saving for diapers and baby food on a hot little keyboard.

Suggestions pls. Kthx.


Nerfliction Warlocks

"Woe." said the Warlock. "Woe to the day when the cries of our victims land upon open ears. For that day, so too will we feel the horrors of our Afflictions."

Okay, that's enough RP'ing from me...

Has anyone else noticed what's been happening to the 'lock class lately? And please, if you're one of the nerf-a-holics who has cried "OP" because you've been feared one too many times in your lifetime, don't answer. Infact, leave the blog. Now. But yeah, anyone else?

Lets take a quick peek at the Affliction tree, and the talents that have sustained nerfage since TBC release:

All of those dark red squares you see parked around specific talents represent spells those talents affect, which have been nerfed since the introduction of TBC. That's right. More than 1/3rd of the Affliction talent pool has been nerfed through 2 semi-significant patches, and worse yet, these are CORE talents we're talking about here. Can somebody say "wtf?"

Let's take a closer look:

Improved Corruption: Damage coefficient for Corruption was ninja-nerfed early in TBC; DoTS now affected by the crit-based Resilience stat.

Soul Siphon: It's spell, Life Drain, had it's damage coefficients adjusted early on as well, and will be considered a "Healing Spell" in Patch 2.3, making it susceptible to Warrior pwnage.

Improved Curse of Agony: Damage coefficient was nerfed early, and is now affected by Resilience. Yes. The crit stat. Mhm.

Empowered Corruption: Same changes as with "Improved Corruption." This talent helps soften the blow to damage a bit, but it has still been affected by nerfage none-the-less.

Curse of Exhaustion: Duration nerfed big time.

Siphon Life: Again, affected by a damage coefficient change and the Reslience adjustment.

Improved Howl of Terror: Duration of terror effect decreased, and a heartbeat check was added, breaking the effect very regularly upon the first few instances of damage. The same nerfs were also applied to Fear.

Unstable Affliction: Nerfed via the same damage coefficient changes and Resilience adjustments as almost everything else.

Looks to me that Blizzard has opened it's Blue ears to the constant anti-'lock crying, which is very worrisome. Why? Because even with all of this, the crying hasn't stopped. Which makes me wonder... will we be seeing even more nerfs in our not-so-distant future?


Someone take an air horn to Blizzard's ears. Fast.

More Brokenness

This morning, many of us logged in to find that a good majority of the Brewfest quests are not working as intended, with a few quests breaking midway through and others not being available at all. Also, the Dwarves event, which accompanies the festival and is a major source of ticketage is broken as well, making it very difficult for those who are after the Ram mount to get the required items to purchase one.

How unfortunate, especially after the recent and still present problems that plagued Patch 2.2.

Here's a few of the known issues with the festival, as of this morning:

- Dwarfs are not attacking the Brewfest grounds.
- The "Barking" quest requirements are not completing upon their fulfillment.
- The "Pink Elephant" quest is unavailable for many players.
- "There and Back" quest is not reseting as it should.

And LOL at the World of Warcraft main site being down as of this post. Pretty symbolic of how things have been lately, as sad as that may be.

With a limited time frame to work with, hopefully Bliz will get on these issues asap. Our rams depend on it!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Brewfest Buggy, Successful at Demoralizing Kids

Hooray for Beer!

Brewfest is upon us, and man is it a ridiculous success of an event. What was once an incredibly deserted and inactive Org has become a bustling capital of the Horde once more. The streets and rooftops are packed full of the drunkard and wary, trying desperately to get their clammy hands on an Epic Ram mount. Decent mount with clean animation and all, but to get it, there's just so much to do, and I'm not sure it's worth putting our realms excellent progression on hold for...


The festival is a bit buggy atm, however, with some quests not showing up for some players, items not responding correctly to clicks, and the like.

But even with all of the bugs, the festival has been an utter and complete success at one thing, and that's sending a wholesome and moral message to the young ones out there. Drinking is cool, people. It's safe. It's healthy. It's wise. Do eet. You'll see things in a completely different and better light. People will like you better. You'll like others better. And hell, you'll become a better person for it.

So mount up, young ones. Grab a beer in this exotic fake realm of ours, and down it with dignity! Tempted to try one in real life? Steal one of your daddy's beers to see what it's really like. Go right ahead. I'm sure he won't mind. Heck, he'll probably be proud that you're becoming more like him. Maybe he'll even let you beat your mom too!


In all seriousness, you gotta wonder how many parents actually know stuff like this happens in-game. Of course, it's not Bliz's responsibility to parent, but it sure as hell is their responsibility to inform. And I can't say that people who don't play this game at all would know anything about the pro-drinking shizzle that's going on right now.

Tisk tisk, Bliz. Tisk tisk.

No D/C Hotfix

I just stepped into a game of Arathi Basin for the first time since Patch 2.2.2, and as soon as the loading screen popped, BAM! A disconnect. Just as been happening with almost every BG related loading screen since Patch 2.2 more than one week ago.

Apparently Brewfest was more important than getting game loading mechanics to work properly. So, expect a lot of drunken fun. But if you go to a BG, expect a D/C.


Tuesday, October 2, 2007

New Trinkets, Cloak INC


Come Patch 2.3, we're going to be seeing a new damage casting cloak WITH CRIT for the PvP-minded. It's been a long time coming for sure, and while the stats may not seem like that big a change from the Sergeant's Heavy Cape, the addition of + crit really is noteworthy. Here are the stats:

- 34 Stam
- 15 Int
- 16 Spell Crit
- 23 Resil
- 27 Spell Damage/Heal

Pretty nice, eh? I mean, it's not the sickest thing in the world, but for what I'm hoping will be an easy-to-acquire item, it's not bad at all, especially for Destro Warlocks. ;)

There's also word of a slew of new trinkets that will be introduced in 2.3. I don't have much info on the details, but here's what a blue had to say on the topic:

All versions of the trinket have a click effect to gain 1750 max health (kind of like the old lifegiving gem effect), along with a passive effect (your choice of 47 spell damage, 40 spell crit rating, 80 attack power, 40 melee crit rating, or 88 healing).

These seem like it could be pretty sweet, but I think we're gonna need some more info before we can pass judgment. How long does the effect last? What's the cooldown? Is that extra max health immediate or must it be replenished? I dunno... I guess we'll just have to wait and see where this one goes.


I'm so Sick

I came across this vid over at WoW Insider, and even though I'm not a fan of most videos made using WoW models, this one kinda stands out with excellent effects and cinematography. It's set to a song titled "I'm so Sick" from the Resident Evil: Extinction soundtrack. Take a peek.

Maintenance Extended

Bliz has done it again. Forty-five minutes before the realms were supposed to go live, they extend server maintenance.

Ya think? With all the talk of Patch 2.2 buggery, one would think they would have used the plural form of "issue" in their description of additional distress. Unless of course, this has to do with something else entirely. And if that's the case, I just have to say that two bum patches in the same number of weeks would be totally unfortunate, both for the gamer and for Bliz.

Here's to hoping they get it together today.

The Story of an Orb

How much would you pay for novelty? More than I would have guessed, that's for sure.

For as long as I can remember my main being 70, I would plant the toon in the DM Arena upon logging out, hoping that upon logging in, I would be lucky enough to find one of the rares that spawn there. Sometimes I would fine one, other times I wouldn't. But to give you an idea as to how the rares have treated me, my wife (whom I send the dropped items to for disenchanting) has saved up almost 150 Large Brilliant Shards in her bank. That's about 1500g worth according to Alla's "Most Common" selling price. Not bad, right? But it doesn't stop there.

I've also acquired almost 15 Orbs of Deception, a novelty item, and the main reason I stalk the DM rares. The Orbs sell very well on my realm, always being picked up on my first sales attempt (aka, I never have to repost the auction) and bringing in at least 300g - not bad at all for an item that in a functional sense, doesn't do a damn thing.

Farming the orbs, I financed my main's epic flying mount and am halfway through financing my wife's as well. But farming the rares has become a rather annoying task, with more and more people farming them to find an Orb for themselves or for financial gain. So, I decided it was time to speed things up a bit, charge more for each Orb I sell, and get my wife her epic flyer asap so I could put the grind on hold without much of a fuss.

After killing The Razza last night and acquiring yet another Orb, I posted the auction for just shy of 400g, about 100g more than I had been posting them. Not even a half-hour later, it was sold.


Needless to say, I was thrilled at the sale and prospect of selling every single Orb from that point on for an extra 100g. That's nothing to scoff at for sure, especially considering that it's about 1/12th of the cost of epic flight training. Not bad for a single sale at all, and I was so sure that I had done exceptionally well for myself that I headed over to Alla to check and see just how much more I had received for the Orb than was the norm.

/shock again

Turns out, the most common price for the Orb is 200g MORE than what I was selling it for! That sucker is going for 500g. An item... that does nothing... 500g. Good lord, that out-casted Lower City item vendor doesn't look so bad now, does he?

So I guess there are two lessons to be learned by my experience with the Orb. First, always check the most common selling prices of items you're going to sell. Whether it's through browsing Alla or Thottbot or an add-on like Auctioneer or whatever, just check. And second, always, ALWAYS charge a bit more than the going rate for a highly-sought after and rare novelty item. Turns out people will usually pay more than what you'd hope for.


Huzzah! Brewfest and Hallow's End are upon us! Time to celebrate the consumption of alcohol and witchery... and I'm sure parents all over the world are just THRILLED that their young ones are being exposed to such wholesome fun via a video game. Good times!!!

Also in the Patch are some new GYs and a Headless Horseman world event, which sounds interesting, but more important than what the Patch notes offered to us is what they didn't. WHERE ARE THE HOTFIXES???

With all of the afflictions that have plagued the last patch, I don't think powdering up the game's festivities will be enough to distract us from the frustrations we've been facing. Indeed, the first thing I looked for when reading the new patch notes were references and fixes to common 2.2 issues, but the trend of being disappointed this past week continued when I saw that nothing was there.

Perhaps Bliz ninja-hotfixed the problems and we won't know it until we login. Afterall, Bliz is known to do that kinda thing; to make changes that aren't at all mentioned in their Patch Notes (the original TBC DoT Coefficient nerf anyone?). But one would think that with these issues of such grand exposure, Bliz would want to set our minds at ease or would at least want to take care of the problems they themselves introduced asap. So, hopefully that's the case. Anything else would be, well, a headless call.

So cross your fingers. Here's to hoping for some Halloween fun without the disconnects, and maybe even a bit of properly working sound.


Monday, October 1, 2007

Cheating in Video Games

Browsing the net earlier this evening, I came across a fantastic article over at It talks about cheating/hacking in Video Games, and details why doing so in a networked gaming environment is different and can be worse than doing so in a single-player environment.

Things to take away from the article? Cheating is wrong when playing with others. Cheating is right when playing with yourself. But then again, how can you be cheating if you're playing with yourself?

/philosophical. It's what I do.