November 13, 2010

Some sad news for this blog

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:41 am by Aduial of WrA

I’m sure by now any usual readers of my blog here know life gets busy for me sometimes. Well, in the past few days some things have happened that promise to make my life much busier in a completely different way, and a lot more consistently.

Short version: I’m quitting WoW; all of my sell-able possessions are up on the AH right now, I’ve already given 2/3 of my gold to one friend, and whatever’s left after 48 hours, gold and items, will be put into the guild bank and leadership will be passed on (if not before then on the last part). That means by Monday (I’m writing this Saturday, my birthday actually) I will be gone from the World of Warcraft, and thus it would be silly to write about something I don’t do. I won’t be playing again.

Longer version for anyone who cares about the why’s behind this sudden change:

I’ll be perfectly honest here, I’ve never done much with my life. For the most part I’ve simply existed, and had settled into the seeming inevitability of never being able to do anything really worthwhile. I work at home because I simply couldn’t cut it otherwise, and even so barely did, despite efforts. There was always a wall. Perhaps this is one of the reasons I was able to latch onto WoW as I did in the first place.

Now, something I’ve always believed in, albeit quietly, was equality. Acceptance. Respect, respecting each other, our environments, the other species that live alongside us. Previously, the most I’ve ever really done to show this belief, was a few years ago when they were wanting to tear down a section of forested land locally to build a shopping center, despite there already being plenty of places they could do this, or places ready for the stores to just move in. The destruction was extremely unnecessary. I was one of a large group who opposed it, tried to keep it from happening. It didn’t work, and now there’s a Target and restaurants and banks and all sorts of stuff where trees used to be, where animals used to be. Even just going past it on the way to somewhere else, it hurts to see it, to know what happened, to have watched them needlessly destroy for the sake of money.

Now, about a year ago an independent musician added me on facebook, and I ended up ordering one of his limited edition CDs last March because he sang about these things I care about. One song in particular got me, relating to the above story especially. It’s still my favorite of his, out of the 100 songs over the three CDs I now have, and I believe it’s what started getting the cogs turning.

Well, he’s on tour right now, and Wednesday evening he had a show in my town, and of course I went. Hearing the songs again, and the introductions to them and the why’s and inspirations, further affected the machine of my mind. After the show I treated him to a meal–he lives out of his car and lives off his CD sales, so likely doesn’t get many good meals otherwise–and we ended up talking about so many things I’d be hardpressed to remember them all at once, but I started thinking. This man has a degree from Oxford, he could be making buttloads of money, or doing anything he wants, and yet this is what he’s chosen to do, to not just believe but to try to make his beliefs reality, and even being disowned by his father for it wasn’t enough to deter him. Why do I have to be content to just be and believe, why can’t I try to change the world for the better, too, why can’t I do something?

After going about an hour north to see his next show the day after, it all started clicking into place. It was something I wanted to do, more than anything I’ve wanted before, or at least as close as I could get; I’d never be a musician like he is since I can’t really sing, can’t write songs, only thing I’m decent at is violin musically, but I could do something, I was sure, something to make the world a better place. Something that would matter.

And so that leads me to yesterday, of which today is just a continuation of what I started yesterday. I’ve started cleaning out my life, so to speak, getting rid of anything that would just stand in the way while constantly thinking, and reaching out. I’ll miss the friendships I had in WoW, but I’ll be staying in touch with most of the friends I made on WrA via MSN or phone, and I’m making an effort to reach out to those I’ve lost touch with for various reasons, as well. Most of the stuff in my feed reader is gone, as well as many email subscriptions I had, because if I spend my free time dealing and sorting through and reading all that, then I’ll never get anything meaningful done. I do have a few blogs left on the reader, mainly the blogs I enjoy that touch on things beyond WoW, but I probably won’t be able to read them as quickly as I used to.

Speaking of touching on things beyond WoW, I know I’ve done a bit of that on this blog, though I’m not sure if I’ve made any real connections to readers that would make them want to keep in touch if I stop blogging… but if I have (and feel free to tell me if I have!), I’d love to keep in touch. Chances are I may end up with a blog talking about what I end up doing and related things, though I’m not sure I’d post it here, but there is likely to be other things I write for you to read if you’d like to. Just let me know, either in a comment here, or you can drop me a line at kasumihotaru (at) live (dot) com. I can tell you if I get that blog up and what its address is if you do, or we can just shoot the breeze, or anything in between. I’m friendly enough, I assure you =).

But yes, to sum all this up again, I’m leaving WoW to dedicate my life to trying to make a meaningful, positive difference in the world, thanks in large part to a very wonderful man and amazing musician who wants to set us free.

 

Update: I have, actually, decided to go ahead and link to my future writing here. The writing bug bit me again as I figured it would though sooner than expected, so I wrote throughout the day whenever I had a few minutes free and ended up coming up with this. If you’re interested in hearing about anything I feel the need to write and publish, it’ll be there.

I’ve also started a little project in my first attempt to make a difference, now being referred to by several people as Change The World. One of the first people I proposed the idea to summed it up nicely as, “So, exactly like FML except not at all.” It basically asks the question: What have you done to change the world today? and gives people a place to submit what they’ve done, no matter how big or small, that made someone’s day, made the world a little brighter, and hopefully inspired that person, or witnesses perhaps, to do the same, every day.

October 26, 2010

Not dead, just busy

Posted in Guild things, News, PvP, Tattered Legends, The Player Behind the Toon at 6:24 am by Aduial of WrA

As far as the lack of posting goes, things got insanely busy all of a sudden. Sadly one of the downsides of working from home, such as it is, in my case at least, seems that everything’s either really slow or super-super busy. Just when I was getting back on track, too.

Anywho, most of my online time lately has been spent trying to get Ruvi to 80 in a hurry so I can get the latest achievement, the Hallow’s End’s one, on him… I don’t know why I seem to want titles on him I never wanted even on Adu, but I do. There has been a bit of time spent farming old world stuff on Adu and Mani, for mounts and enchant formulas respectively, but beyond that, yeah, all Ruvi.

Speaking of which, Ruvi will officially be my raiding main in Cataclysm by the looks of things, while I will be giving a PvP guild another go on Adu. Well… that’s the plan, at least. The guild I’ve got her in (apparently going to be trying to BG with the group ahead of time on her to prepare for rated BGs) is the guild of a good friend who I’m sure I’ve mentioned here at least once… He was pretty much the only reliable raider that wasn’t an officer in Tattered Legends when we were raiding before. He left and started up and “old world” raiding guild, which had strict rules and capped themselves at 60 to raid then progress together to 70, and then branched off, some still raiding, while the others went to a newly formed guild (himself included) to be an 80 raiding guild (85 in Cata). He and I actually have, or at least had, tentative plans to sort of alliance our guilds together so we didn’t suffer from number issues again, and we’ve proven we work well together before, but recently they decided they were going to “branch out” in Cataclysm and have both separate PvE and PvP aspects, though people are allowed to do either or both.

As of yet we don’t know if our schedules will mesh or if either of us will actually have numbers issues, so the alliance plans are still very tentative, however I’ve put Aduial into his guild for the PvP aspect. I’d had her in a PvP guild already for a short time before it broke up, and it had its pros and cons, and while there was talk of that guild reforming in Cata I’m honestly not as sure that’s the sort of PvPing I’d want to be doing again, while the one I’ve got her in now I’m almost 100% certain is exactly what I was looking for in a PvP guild. So here’s hoping.

As for the guide! I’m really sorry I haven’t worked on it (at least not visibly) further. Honestly, I’m rather stuck on the rotation part, though I keep thinking on it a lot (and practicing and trying to figure it out on Ruvi). One of the big hangups for me is that now, well, he doesn’t really have a rotation, honestly. I can press a random number of buttons a lot of the time and do good DPS, which… well, rather saddens me. I also want it to be a good leveling guide, in a way, so I can’t just assume everyone reading it for assistance will have all the tools that Ruvi has at 69… Er, well, 70 now (he just hit a bit before I started writing this post up). So I’m having to go back and see what levels are what spells and try to figure it all out and… It’s taking longer than it should, really, but I am still rolling it around in my head and trying to figure it out, and once I have it won’t take near as long to write the rest up, then polish it up, add in links, all that jazz, and actually have it finally finished!

Beyond all that I do have some other goodies I’m working on, and hopefully will be able to post at least some of them as soon as things start calming down again and I can get my head above water around here.

October 15, 2010

Fire Maging the Ruvi Way in 4.0.1 (In Progress)

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:04 am by Aduial of WrA

Obligatory Disclaimer: This may not be the best spec or information for a raiding fire mage and indeed, probably isn’t. It may not even be the best for a leveling one. I’m certainly not trying to say this is “the best” or “the right” way, just that it’s my way, a way that works best for me.

This will also likely change once I hit cap and start getting geared up. I will go over this again and compare it against the general “what works best” specs and all that, and possibly write up another if my way’s any different from that. Until I hit cap however, I don’t look at the “cookie cutter” specs, I usually don’t look at any other specs or information (aside from comments on some spells to determine their worth), and instead prefer to play around with my characters and “feel out” the best way for me.

My reasoning for ignoring any of the specs and information out there until I’m at cap is quite simple, and something I think should be noted. Until cap there is more room for error and experimentation, and I learn leagues more about my class by experimenting than I do by being told “this is how you should spec, how you should glyph, this is your rotation, you should move this way, talk this, breathe that.” Once at cap there is a lot less room for mistakes and playing around, so I’d rather take advantage of being able to while I am in a safe environment to do so.

Contents:

The Spec
The Glyphs
The Stats/The Gear
The Rotation


The Spec

I will be going over every talent in detail to say why it’s in my spec, but if you want to skip all that and just grab it, here it is.

Fire (34 points)

This is your main tree, so you’re going to have to choose “Fire” out of the three choices. This gives you Pyroblast, whose cast time maxes out at 3.5 seconds at level 20, which is like Fireball on steroids, Fire Specialization, which just increases your fire damage by 25%, and Mastery: Flashburn, though you can’t actually make use of that until 80. At 80, however, it increases the damage of all your DoT damage by 20%, and a further 2.5% for each point of Mastery.

Tier One:

Master of Elements – This makes your crits refund 30% of their base mana cost. Best I can tell, crit is still our god, so this is a decent chunk of your mana regen.

Burning Soul – Reduces pushback from damaging attacks by 46%. This means you can still cast even if you’re tanking several mobs. I only went 2/3 here so I could get 3/3 Netherwind Presence, which I’ll explain further down.

Improved Fire Blast – This increases the crit chance of your Fire Blasts by 8% and increases its range by 10 yards. Combined with Impact, you’ll be Fire Blasting quite often, probably nearly every time it’s off CD, so that 8% extra crit will work out to a sizeable boost to your DPS.

Tier Two:

Ignite – Your crits apply a DoT to the target, doing an additional 40% of the spell’s damage over 4 seconds.

Fire Power – Increases the damage of your fire spells by 3%, which makes this pretty much required. The other aspect of it is, at max, it causes your Flame Orb to explode at the end of its duration each time, which I imagine will be a decent amount of extra DPS.

Impact – This gives your damaging attacks a 10% chance to reset the CD on Fire Blast, which is fancy talk for your attacks have a 10% chance to finish the CD and make Fire Blast immediately available again. On top of that, when it procs, the next Fire Blast you cast will 1) stun the target for two seconds, and 2) spread any of your fire DoTs to all enemy targets within 12 yards of the first. So when this procs, the DoTs you have up on one target (assuming it’s the one you’re Fire Blasting) will spread to all targets nearby for massive amounts of damage.

Tier Three:

Blast Wave – This is like Frost’s Cone of Cold now. It’s an AOE attack, does a sizable amount of damage to any enemy targets within range, and slows them by 70% for 3 seconds.

Hot Streak – Another one that makes crit our god. Any time you get a crit with Fireball, Frostfire Bolt, Scorch, Pyroblast, or Fire Blast (which we boosted with Improved Fire Blast), you have a chance to make your next Pyroblast instant and cost no mana. That means when we crit with many of our main spells, we get one of our really big main spells for free. Can’t go wrong here.

Improved Scorch – Reduces the mana cost of Scorch by 100%, which means with this Scorch costs absolutely zero mana. Considering Scorch does damage, and once we reach Critical Mass it will apply one of our necessary debuffs, this is an awesome talent.

Tier Four:

Combustion – This has changed quite a bit with the patch. Now, it’s still on a 2 minute CD, but it deals a certain amount of damage off the bat, and applies a new DoT on the target, which lasts 10 seconds and deals the same amount of damage as all of your other DoTs combined, which means you’re doubling your DPS from DoTs.

Improved Hot Streak – If you crit twice in a row with Fireball, Frostfire Bolt, Scorch, Pyroblast, or Fire Blast, you’ll trigger Hot Streak, which gives you a free Pyroblast.So crit is definitely still our god.

Firestarter – This changes one of our other spells, Molten Armor, from reducing the chance we’re critically hit by 5% to allowing us to cast Scorch while moving. In PvE the crit reduction’s fairly useless for us, so it’s replacing something useless with something awesome.

Tier Five:

Improved Flamestrike – This reduces the cast time of our Flamestrike by 100%, thus making it an instant cast, and also affects our Blast Wave ability (in a good way!). If we Blast Wave more than two targets, then a Flamestrike will automatically hit the same location, which means more DPS on AOE fights.

Dragon’s Breath – One of our abilities. Any enemies in a cone directly in front of us will take damage and become disoriented for 5 seconds, or until they’re damaged by direct damaging attacks (I think this means our DoTs previously applied won’t affect them, but I could be wrong).

Molten Fury – Increases the damage of all of our spells (not just fire) by 12% against targets with less than 35% health. This may not be huge on trash (except against runners, perhaps), but will definitely increase our DPS against bosses.

Tier Six:

Pyromaniac – Increases our spell haste by 10% if three or more targets are taking damage from our DoTs. 10% haste is pretty huge, so while this only affects AOE fights, it’s still awesome for dungeons.

Critical Mass – Our Living Bomb and Flame Orb spells do 15% more damage with this, which alone could almost make it required, but since it also makes our Scorches and Pyroblasts apply a debuff that increases our crit chance against that target by 5%, it definitely is required.

Tier Seven:

Living Bomb – This is what we’re here for, this is why we’re fire. Our last point in fire goes into getting us a wicked new ability, which is another DoT, but with a twist. We can apply this on up to three targets, and it does damage over 12 seconds, at which point that target will explode and do more damage to up to 3 enemies within 10 yards of the exploding one. And again, we can have this on up to three targets… which means we can make three people into bombs at a time. Awesome, isn’t it?

Arcane (3 points)

Tier One:

Arcane Concentration – This gives us a 10% chance to enter a Clearcasting state after any damaging spell hits a target. Said Clearcasting state reduces the mana cost of our next damaging spell by 100%. In other words, all of our spells have a 10% chance to make the next one free.

Frost (3 points)

Tier One:

Piercing Ice – After further reading this does seem to affect all spells instead of just frost, and since crit’s our god it is considerably better than Netherwind Presence in Arcane (unless you have 33.33% crit, in which case Netherwind Presence would be better).


The Glyphs

Prime

Living Bomb – Increase the damage of Living Bomb by 3%. Obviously required.

Pyroblast – Increase the crit chance of Pyroblast (one of our big spells, remember) by 5%. This makes it awesome.

Mage Armor – After logging in and playing around, I find out this is later while Molten Armor’s earlier, however no other Prime Glyphs really suit us. This would have the best use for me of the remaining choices.

Major

Fireball – Increases the crit chance of Fireball by 5%, so is very much like Glyph of Pyroblast.

Molten Armor – Looking at this on wowhead it says our Molten Armor will grant an additional 0% spell crit chance, though reading the comments it’s supposed to be 2%, which combined with the 3% Molten Armor already gives, that’s 5% from one spell. Pretty awesome if the comment’s right (and it seems to be!).

Frostfire – I’m not 100% sure this trumps Dragon’s Breath, since I never got to play around with it before the patch, though now it’s a level 56 spell. The glyph removes the slow from it, and replaces it with a DoT, that stacks. Since Fire’s all about DoTs, this seemed like a good idea. I won’t know for sure until Ruvi hits 75 and unlocks the last major spot.

Minor

Slow Fall – The less reagents I have to worry about keeping stocked up on, the better. For me this was a given.

Arcane Brilliance – Halves the mana cost of Arcane Brilliance, so less downtime after buffing. Lets me jump into DPS faster.

Conjuring – This is a lot like Mage Armor in which, it was a change I didn’t know about until getting in and playing around. There’s now one spell that conjures, and seems to be a whole stack no matter when you’re casting it. So at this point this is just the best of the remainders for me (though I may be going for one of the Polymorph ones later, I’m not sure…).


Just a quick update after I’ve had enough time to play around and find some things that were wrong/had time to further search. I’ll still need to finish this up later and add in links, but it’s less blatantly wrong now, which I’ll have to live with for tonight.

I should know by now…

Posted in News, The Player Behind the Toon at 6:40 am by Aduial of WrA

Ith’s always right. Or at least, better at being right on WoW-related things than I am.

I didn’t think the patch would hit this week, but it turned out, yep, it did. I honestly didn’t think Blizzard would make us play through an unbalanced patch for about two whole months, and I know they won’t be balancing it around level 80 when they’re concerned about it being balanced for level 85… But alas, I was wrong.

So the fire maging post I was working on pre-patch is kind of useless now. I won’t be taking it down, but I won’t be finishing it like I’d hoped, either. However, I am hoping to get a headstart on an updated version of it for 4.0.1. Probably tonight (this morning?) actually, since I’ve finally got a bit of free time and I’m looking over the talent spec I’m planning to use on him and debating it, and if nothing else trying to explain why I’m taking what talent can help to solidify in my mind if it’s a good talent or not… I know I ended up editing his spec a bit last time I did it, because when I was explaining why I took certain spells it was just like, “Actually, this is stupid to have. That’s better.” so I tweaked his spec a wee bit while writing.

I’ll admit right now I’m not the keenest on doing it just yet… I’m not sure how many changes will be coming soon if any, if anything’s going to be hot-fixed, etc. I also haven’t actually had a chance to play… I haven’t logged in since right before the patch dropped, between not having time, the time I had ate up by actually downloading the patch, and, okay, I’m a little bit scared of how much has changed across so many toons. I want to play Ruvi, I know, and I want to make him my main in Cata if I still enjoy him after the patch as much as I did before the patch, but to play on one toon and one toon only isn’t really my playstyle. If nothing else I’d want to get on Mani and do some auctioning, but if I don’t put a spec on her (both specs, actually, since she’s got dual-spec) and update her bars and glyphs and everything, well, that would bug me. A lot. I’d also need to get on Adu and get her sorted out since I’ve been trying to get the tiger mount to drop in Zul’Gurub before Cata hits and ZG’s removed.

I also did something I probably shouldn’t have during the downtime for the patch, and pruned my addons (which I usually do every major patch), and pruning them in and of itself isn’t a bad thing, but I downloaded some as well. Well, not a whole lot, really, but the idea of having to set up new addons on top of everything else just adds more intimidation to the act of logging in. Skada perhaps won’t be so much to set up (I’m looking at it to possibly replace Recount), but I know DoTimer, if I can make it work how I’m wanting it to, will be quite a bit to set up.

Anyway, nothing ever gets done by procrastinating, and if I spend all my current free time here writing I’ll never get anything done, so I’m off to start drafting up the updated Fire Maging post and hopefully get my butt in the game.

October 9, 2010

Fire Maging the Ruvi Way (in progress)

Posted in Theorycraft, Theorycraft and Numbers at 12:03 am by Aduial of WrA

Alright, this post is a lot later than I wanted it to be, but here it is. For starters…

A disclaimer: This may not be, and very well probably isn’t, the best spec for a raiding fire mage, or the best information for one. It may not even be the best for a leveling one, but it is what I am doing on my fire mage, and it has served me exceptionally well so far. My mage is currently in his 50s, and with all of this, I have zero mana problems and am usually top DPS by far, AOE or single target. I am definitely not saying this is “the best,” or “the right” way, just that it’s my way, a way that’s proven to work at least for me, and one that’s had multiple people ask me how I did it (in which I had to pretty much say all of this in whispers on the fly).

I will likely be looking all of this over and comparing more closely to the more generally accepted “what works” when I hit 80 on him and get him geared a bit (assuming Cataclysm isn’t out by then and making all of this unnecessary), and possibly tweaking it a bit here and there until then.

I should state for the record: I honestly haven’t looked at any of the cookie-cutter fire specs, and won’t until 80. Part of the way I play is until I hit cap is I “feel out” the character; I assign talents, glyph, and get gear according to what the class seems to call for on my way to 80 (or whatever the cap is) and then start looking around at places like EJ once I’m there. Until then I feel I have a lot more room to make mistakes on my own time, so to speak, and generally get a better feel for the class by experimenting than just being handed down a “This is how you should spec, glyph, this is your rotation, this is how you should move, walk, talk, breathe.” kind of thing.

One more thing before I jump head-first into this: My mage does have heirlooms, and I will get into what he has when I get to gear, but I can’t say for certain that this will all work as well for someone who doesn’t have heirlooms, or, at the very least, one of his trinkets. At one point when I’d played him I’d forgotten his trinkets and staff on another toon, and while he was still top DPS by a mile, he did OOM a lot more than he should’ve, and another spec might’ve solved that more than mine does.

Contents:

The Spec
The Glyphs
The Stats/The Gear
The Rotation


The Spec

I will be going over every talent in detail to say why it’s in my spec, but if you want to skip all that and just grab it, here it is.

Fire (55 points)

Improved Fireball – To use Fireball without modifications, it’s a whopping 3.5 seconds to cast. Since I assume people leveling won’t be stacking haste, the only ways to bring it lower is by this talent and with a glyph (which is also used in this spec). Together it brings it down to something like 2.85 seconds, which is much more manageable, and in most trash fights I can get at least one off, several more on bosses. The other option here is to get Improved Fireblast and Incineration both maxed out, which I did until about level 30, and spam Scorch in between Fireblast CDs, which does work and takes less mana, but is lower DPS overall after the thirties or so.

Ignite – This early on is just a DoT, which, whoop-de-doo, things die too quick for it to be huge. But later on it becomes glorious. At about level 47, this will be a huge chunk of mana on AOE pulls, for example… or a decent chunk of mana, period, and I’ll get into that more when we get to Empowered Fire. But since almost all of your spells can crit, and crit is your god so you should crit pretty often, this DoT will be up. A lot. And it does work out to be a pretty good boost to DPS even if mobs do die before all four seconds are up.

World in Flames – Oh look, crit again. What’d I say about crit being your god? Yeah, here’s an example. You’ll notice a lot of fire spells mention critting or increasing your chance to crit. Anyway, on AOE pulls this is awesome if you’re doing it right. I’ve been able to lay down a Flamestrike and not have to do anything, between the damage of Flamestrike and Ignite, and still be top DPS. Though if you want to rub it in the other DPS’s faces how much more you can pull, feel free to Flamestrike then Blizzard, or just go wild and hit every AOE you have, since this boosts most of them. (Note, hitting all AOEs you have, especially Blast wave if it’s not glyphed, is not recommended.)

Pyroblast – A staple. This is one of the big spells (any puns not intended). It’s like a Fireball on steroids with a pretty good DoT, but a really long cast (5 seconds). This isn’t something you’ll be using on trash at all, pretty much reserved only for boss fights. The way I do it, that seems to work best, is when the tank’s getting ready to pull a boss, go ahead and start casting this. If the tank doesn’t pull, make sure you jump or press Esc in enough time to not pull yourself. There’s other ways to use this and other situations/reasons, and I’ll go into them more when I talk about your rotation.

Burning Soul – One thing you’ll likely notice early on is that fire is bursty. And the more burst you have, the more likely you are to pull aggro from the tank. This helps that–It reduces your threat by 20%, and on top of that, if you do end up pulling, it reduces the pushback while casting your fire spells by a significant amount. If for nothing else, get it for the pushback reduction; it’s helped me a lot to be able to keep casting even if I have a few mobs hitting me.

Improved Scorch – Pretty much absolutely necessary. Aside from the 3% crit chance on Scorch and Fireball, which is awesome, the biggest reason to get this is for the debuff it causes. At max, it gives your Scorch spells a 100% chance to make the target vulnerable to spell damage, and increases the spell critical strike chance against any targets with the debuff by 5%. You can have this buff on more than one mob, too. And, again, crit is your god, so that 5% increased crit chance with spells is pretty huge (and it’s not just for you, it’s for anyone who casts a damaging spell against that target, so increases the whole group’s DPS!)

Master of Elements – And here’s one of the reasons why crit is your god. With this, not only does your crit increase your DPS (which is sort of, you know, your job as a DPS), it is your mana. Every time you crit with a spell, you instantly get back 30% of that spell’s base mana cost, and trust me, that’s nothing to sneeze at.

Playing with Fire – This one’s a double-edged sword. I went ahead and filled out everything just shy of Burnout before grabbing this. It basically is a flat 3% DPS increase. I know, I know, “A 3% DPS increase? Why didn’t you get it sooner?” but the double-edged sword part of this is that is also makes you take 3% more spell damage. As often as I ended up tanking, casters especially, that works out to a big, fat “Ow.” It is worth it, in the end, but I did shy away from the extra damage to my person as long as I could.

Critical Mass – This is a simple, yet awesome talent. It increases the crit chance by your fire spells by 6%. And we all know what that means.

Blast Wave – Another spell in your arsenal, this one’s AOE. It’s decent-ish DPS, but it’s also a knockback (unless you glyph it, which I haven’t since I do PvP on occasion, and in those cases I want that knockback), and in most cases in PvE, knockbacks are bad. If you’re good enough you can do it to where the mobs will all die from the knockback, or you’ll knock a runner back to the tank, or a caster to them, but unless you’re good enough I recommend not even having this one on your bars for PvE (again, unless it’s glyphed, which removes the knockback).

Fire Power – This is what I picked up instead of Playing with Fire for a long while (since it came down to one or the other to start in). It’s a flat 10% damage increase to your fire spells, which of course is awesome.

Pyromaniac – It’s all about the crits, baby. Well, and the 50% mana regeneration while casting is pretty wicked, too.

Combustion – Hope you still have plenty of room on your bars, because here’s another spell to go on them. This one’s a CD more for boss fights. It increases your critical strike damage by 50% (so your crits do twice the damage), and each of your fire spells increase your chance to crit with fire spells by 10%. It lasts until you’ve landed 3 fire spell crits (DoTs don’t count), and has a 2 minute CD. Pretty awesome, huh?

Molten Fury – Having problems with runners? Not anymore, just target and blast. Okay, with this one, it increases your damage against mobs with less than 35% health by 12%, and that’s with any spell, not just fire ones, too. On boss fights that usually last a while, this can be a rather large DPS increase.

Empowered Fire – This one’s why you’ll be prioritizing Spellpower, too. Well, beyond the increase to DPS that SP gives you anyway. The damage of your Fireballs, Pyroblasts, and frostfire bolts is increased equal to 15% of your spellpower. Later on this is really nice. You also get 2% of your base mana whenever Ignite causes damage, which means if you’re critting like you should, you get even more mana back.

Firestarter – After you’ve got this then your AOE rotation changes up a bit. What it does is whenever you do damage with Blast Wave or Dragon’s Breath, your next Flamestrike is instant and costs no mana. So that’s a free flamestrike. You’ve got two options here, basically: Either run in and Dragon’s Breath immediately, then hit Flamestrike, OR Flamestrike, Dragon’s Breath, then Flamestrike again. I’ve been getting better numbers with the latter, but there isn’t always time on some AOE fights, so it’s a judgement call sometimes.

Dragon’s Breath – As you can probably tell from the last talent, this is kind of huge. It’s another ability in your repertoire, AOE, and calls forth the head of a dragon to smite your enemies. It also has an awesome firecracker sound. Aesthetics aside, it’s decent DPS for me so far, and the instant Flamestrike is priceless. Also could theoretically be used for CC, since it disorients the targets it hits for five seconds or until they’re damaged.

Hot Streak – I’ve been holding out on getting this one like I did Playing with Fire because I’m not satisfied with the size of my epeen my crit chance yet. If you crit two times in a row with Fireball, Fire Blast, Scorch, Living Bomb, or Frostfire bolt, you’ll get an instant Pyroblast for the next 10 seconds. Pyroblast being the long-arsed 5 second CD spell. So this is actually pretty awesome, and more likely than not it’d be useful (especially in combination with Combustion), but personally I’m waiting until after I get Living Bomb.

Burnout – This increases the damage of your crits (all spells, not just fire) by 50%. Remember what your god is? You should be critting enough that this’ll be a significant damage increase. The only downside is your non-periodic crits cost 5% more mana, which basically means every time you crit with a spell, but not with DoTs, your damage is 50% more but it costs 5% more mana (but you shouldn’t be having mana problems, so it shouldn’t be an issue).

Living Bomb – This is the fire end-talent. This is what we’re here for. What happens is the target we cast this on becomes a bomb. They take damage for 12 seconds, or until it’s dispelled, then they explode. Which, of course, does damage to anything nearby. In this case, they do damage to all enemies within 10 yards of them (our enemies, not theirs). Makes it all worth it, doesn’t it?

Arcane (16 points)

Arcane Focus – The first tier is honestly kind of useless for us. You probably aren’t casting many, if any, arcane spells, and since this talent only affects arcane (as does the other mainly-PvE talent in the first tier), it doesn’t particularly matter. I went this route because that is 3% hit for your arcane spells if/when you do cast them, and is conceivably more useful than 5/5 Arcane Stability.

Arcane Stability – I needed two more points to get to the next tier, so here they went. Not really useful for fire.

Arcane Concentration – This, however, is useful. Incredibly, so, really, and by this point if you’re having mana problems, this could help. A lot. Any time you damage an enemy with a spell, there’s a 10% chance you’ll enter a Clearcasting state. If you’ve never played a character that had Clearcasting before, it’s sexy, and you’ll soon learn why. It reduces the cost of your next damage spell by 100%. That means every time you hit an enemy, you have a 10% chance of your next cast to cost you nothing, and that is awesome.

Spell Impact – Where this applies to us, is it’s a DPS increase for some of our spells. Blast Wave, Fireblast, Scorch and Fireball are all boosted by 6%.

Student of the Mind – Probably wondering why I went this route, huh? Well, there isn’t anything in the fire tree that mentions Spirit, so this might seem like an odd choice. This is where we look at two things: 1) Spirit’s function in mana regen, and 2) Our later spells. For the first part, spirit increases our mana regen (duh). But it does this by a percentage of your intellect. I can’t remember the exact equation, but the more spirit you have, the higher the percent of your intellect you’re regenerating, and it’s easier to increase that percent than it is to increase your regen by what it’s a percent of. I’m not sure if that made any sense. Hopefully #2 will make more. Molten Armor is something we get at level 62, which is several levels before we’d be able to get this talent after filling out fire anyway. What it does is increases our chance to crit by 35% of our Spirit. So now you see this talent does increase a stat important to us, afterall!

Focus Magic – And here we have one of the biggest reasons for us to go into Arcane to finish out our spec. This is a 30-minute buff and cannot be cast on ourselves, it must be cast on another friendly target (might be party- or raid-only, I’m not sure on that however). What it does is increase their chance to crit by a flat 3%, and when they crit then we get a buff, which increases our chance to crit by 3% for 10 seconds. I remember getting this buff occasionally from mages in my random groups when I was on my holy pally, and let me tell you, it was absolutely awesome. If your healer is the type that uses crit and you give this to them, they will adore you.

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I’ll have to finish this up later, but I wanted to post what I did have now. I should know by now not to give a date on when I’ll have something like this done because then of course life will suddenly get hectic and prevent me from doing much of anything I planned, and so this got neglected so much longer than I’d planned, and for that I’m sorry. So here’s what I have as, eh, a bit of a teaser? I guess? I will be finishing it up ASAP, though I can’t say when that is. Keep checking, though, if this interests you!

September 27, 2010

Mixed bag of goodies, er, I mean updates

Posted in Musings, News at 1:58 pm by Aduial of WrA

I think there’s some sort of hidden law that says as soon as Ith and I get into a nice rhythm on a pair of toons one of us has to get bored and want to play a totally different pair. Lately I’ve been really enjoying playing my fire mage (who’s 53 now, and I finally updated the Where to find me page to reflect his new levels as well as others’), while he’s been leveling a second druid who keeps flip-flopping between specs. As of last night he’s now Resto (which I totally saw coming and he didn’t believe me), and we were rocking out dungeons and got a few levels… but in one of them there was a shaman. An enhance shaman. And so it begins!

We’ve had a pair of draenei over on Farstriders sitting unplayed at around 66 for a while now due to several reasons, his was a shaman and mine a paladin, so when he saw this shaman he ended up wanting to play his. As things stood however neither of us particularly wanted to go back to the realm itself, so we planned to transfer them off in a couple days when we could afford it and play them then, but it turned out that wasn’t soon enough for him. Now we’ve ended up with plans to just reroll on Wyrmrest after we each delete a toon (and get him enough badges to have heirlooms, which thankfully won’t take too long with Coren badges), though I’ll be juggling bank guilds around since currently the one I’d be deleting is the bank toon I rarely use anymore who’s also the only toon left in that guild which I want to keep.

I’ve also decided, though, that my reroll will be a warlock, one of the classes I haven’t personally leveled to 80 yet, but fell in love with when I was leveling Ith’s for him back in the day. I really don’t know how well it’ll go… I have a level, eh, 6 I think, warlock on my second account who I never really got into, though I don’t know if that’s because she was an orc or because of being a lowbie warlock or just because I was leveling her alone, so I’ll be finding out. The plan so far is to kill Coren later today then run the one heroic or so he’ll need for badges for the last heirloom, then figure out a new situation with the banks, delete toons and be playing before the day’s over.

As far as my goal to find a way to enjoy Brewfest this year goes, so far I seem to have been successful. I’ve been doing Coren daily on Mani and Adu, and doing the other dailies on Adu and Ruvi both. I really want Brewmaster on Adu, and started to get it on Mani but it really just didn’t… fit with her, so I’ve just been going for the frosties. Unfortunately, the mount hasn’t dropped for Adu… but it dropped the very first time on Mani. To say it was frustrating would be an understatement. I’ve also been doing as much of the Brewmaster stuff on Ruvi as I can, considering he isn’t the right level to do a lot of it. I wasn’t even sure why, really, since I knew he wouldn’t get it until next year, but then I looked at the Brewfest outfits on him, and… I found I really wanted Ruvi in a dress. A rather odd urge, I suppose, but something I really did want. And so I got it. And it was awesome. (Screenshot coming at a later date since I didn’t think to get one before!)

Speaking of Ruvi, I’ve been asked no less than twice now, basically, how to fire mage from two other fire mages. I’ve never really been asked any questions like this before… possibly because Ith usually ended up getting them… and maybe it’s not terribly out of place when someone’s usually top DPS by a mile, not uncommonly almost twice as much DPS as the next highest, but it’s surprised me both times. I’ve never really thought of myself as a good player, and in most cases I’m really not, but for some reason everything just seems to… to click, on Ruvi, I guess. I’m loving him so much and seem to be good enough at him, I’m actually seriously contemplating him being my main in Cata if things aren’t too off (I haven’t looked at anything regarding Mages in Cataclysm… or regarding any class I think I might play, really; I’m one of those weird folks who would rather be surprised and try to figure out what all’s changed on my own than be told, I suppose). Anyway, after the first time I started thinking about maybe just writing a post about it in more detail, and have had that in my mind since, and last night (when I was asked the second time) I figured I must be doing something right enough that maybe it’s really not such a bad idea, if for nothing else to maybe be able to point to the post in favor of typing it all out every time (well, assuming I”m asked again, at least)… So I’ll be working on writing that up soon and hopefully have it posted by the end of the day or perhaps tomorrow.

Oh, and since I almost completely forgot to mention this… I’ll likely be updating the little Armory feeds to the right soon, since there will be new toons to list on US. I think I’m at four at the moment though with one I’ve been playing not on there (my priest, actually) so with her and the new warlock, unless I can figure out someone to remove I may end up with two US armory feeds, since it’s capped at five characters per feed (Gah, am I really playing more than five toons? No wonder so many of my RSS feeds and not-terribly-important emails have been getting backed up…). I also may be temporarily removing the EU feed; that account is currently out of time (again) since the money I’d set aside to pay for it went to vet bills when Sindragosa (no, not the dragon, my youngest cat who Ith helped name) got sick and needed antibiotics, and I’m unfortunately not quite sure when I’ll be able to start it back up.

September 20, 2010

Holy crap, it’s Brewfest already?!

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:29 am by Aduial of WrA

I’ve, eh, had my head in the sand for a wee bit now, so to speak, and been reading fewer and fewer things (my RSS reader hates me currently, since I’ve let over 900 items back up in it…), so I honestly hadn’t noticed it was this close. I thought it was a bit odd when a paladin in one of our groups tonight asked about the level to do the brewfest boss, but I figured he was just trying to get to that level by then and getting a head start. I don’t know why… I kept thinking it was in October, I guess, closer to Halloween than this. So you can probably imagine my surprise when I saw “lfg brewfest boss” go out across one of the global channels (not sure if it was LFG or General, at this point), only to check the calendar more closely and see, holy crap, it is Brewfest!

So despite having a bad case of the flu, I’m really excited. I’ve ended up mostly ignoring a lot of holidays, but Brewfest is always one I participate in… Possibly because it was the first one I really had a chance to.

I originally started playing when there was less than a day left of Midsummer Fire Festival, so the first holiday that really happened after I started playing was Brewfest, and ironically happened to be one of the only ones the person who got me into WoW enjoyed. I don’t know why, really, but I ended up just falling in love with the holiday, and it’s one of the few times I miss when Aduial was a night elf instead of a troll.

During my first Brewfest, I ended up spending most of my playtime outside of Ironforge, in naught by my guild tabard and weapons, dancing on top of a keg and being constantly smashed, making sure I never missed a Dark Iron attack (and trying to rope Esgal into helping me during them, despite his protests), taking time out to do the dailies. A very simple act, I suppose, but one that I, for whatever reason, found great amusement in. And doing the same outside of Orgrimmar, on a troll… Well, it’s just not the same. Despite the drunkenness probably more fitting of a troll than a night elf.

Last year after finding out that the joy just isn’t there on TrollAdu, I sort of, well, ignored the holiday. The only one I really wanted to bother on was Amaniel, who… it was not fitting of, in the least. But this year I’m determined to find a way to enjoy it Horde-side as much as I used to Alliance-side, and I’m very excited, so hopefully that’ll help (best I can recall, I was a bit bummed last year due to difficulties raiding, so the excitement wasn’t there).

Have any of you ever gone through something similar? What did you do to enjoy a holiday again? Do you usually bother with any holidays, or none at all? Any favorites?

September 13, 2010

Tanking mentality on a DPS = bad

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:59 am by Aduial of WrA

Finally not that long ago, I got my little warrior up to 60 (Ith’s new love for his priest and wanting desperately to level him has gone a long way), and everything was grand, until after a few Ramps runs where I started noticing some now all-too-familiar signs. Essentially I was starting to slack (a lot) and just feeling a lot of apathy toward doing my best on her, down to actually AFKing during several boss fights after a few seconds (Do not try that at home). So this time I’ve done the smart thing, and instead of just going along with playing her because Ith wanted to play Veive until I couldn’t stand being on her, let alone playing her (like I did with my other warrior who is sorely neglected because of it), I’ve decided to shelve her for a bit and play some of my other toons.

I did a few runs on Mani with Ith’s 73 warrior and after wiping us a couple times (forgot to put up an aura/seal before we started, my bar for both was glitching out so I opened my spellbook and tried mid-pull, which lagged me for some reason, compounding on the fact I completely forgot I had an instant cast) we did pretty okay. Can’t remember exactly why we stopped (probably had sick kitten aggro, she’s been very clingy this week), but that was the last I played her before picking up Ruvi again, my mage.

I know I mentioned a while back Ith had rolled a druid to level as a tank, though I’m not sure I mentioned he respecced to kitty (with plans to tank again at 40). Well, seems he didn’t like that much, either, and so he never wanted to play his druid, but I really have been loving playing mage. About as much as he’s been loving his priest, actually. So we discussed me powerleveling Ruvi up to Veive’s level and letting Ruvi take Cele’s spot. Well… that worked, for about 6 levels. Then it occurred to me, what if he respecced his druid to resto? He’d always loved it before, and chaining dungeons is faster than questing (at least for me, but I fail at questing). He agreed, we discussed whether to just buy resto gear for him or have him kitty and steal caster gear, and eventually I just threw gold at him, then on we went (after I froze my experience so that he could catch up).

After a couple runs we ended up with a warlock, who was decent enough, who kept automatically trying to queue as a group again, and we obliged. Then after a couple more we joined in with a fresh DPS and fresh tank… who I neglected to notice were from the same realm and guild, but I noticed the DPS was a mage. /Inspect. Frost mage, oh-ho, DPS challenge! Sadly I was beaten more often than not (or possibly not sadly, considering the usual DPS meters), which did surprise me considering he was also 3 levels below me, though it turned out he had good enough gear to be on par with mine. Still, I’m used to being that one DPS, who’s not only at the top of the meters but usually a long way ahead of the next person, as well as usually having at least one person below the tank when they shouldn’t be.

Here, I just drew an example (not completely to scale, but best I could manage without seeing a meter in front of me).

I really, really should have known better than to write with a marker. Sorry everyone!

The first is what our meters usually look like (and I’ve actually had the group composition repeatedly before with similar results), and the second is with this group, with the other mage and I flip-flopping depending on the fights (I had much better single-target, he had much better AOE), and the warlock and paladin tank flipping a few times as well. And so sorry for the handwriting (which is horrible to begin with), I really should have known better than to try to go over pencil with marker in such a small space and either left the pencil, or dug out one of my outlining pens.

I actually had a lot of fun the first two to three instances we did together where I was trying to see how much DPS I could get, especially trying to tweak my rotations on the fly to get the most out of them (can’t wait until I can hit a DPS dummy, I really can’t)… but then, the jokes about mage aggro started. Of course. And it’s not like we didn’t have aggro, at least on occasion, I think that happens with most tanks early on no matter how good they are (and this one was pretty good, despite being, per her words, “a newblet”) if the mage is worth their salt, though I’ll admit for the most part I stopped caring when I got aggro a long time ago and just keep on nuking these days… But apparently the mage pretty frequently stole aggro from his tank much like Ith does stupid stunts with me when he’s healing my warrior. Then Ith notices “that it’s never one mage or the other. It’s either neither, or both.”

So at this point, we’d been going for several runs, and got so sick of Scarlet Monastery’s graveyard we were specificing for the Library, and of course we’d all been chatting and having a good time, one of those “Why can’t you all be on my realm so I can keep you forever” groups (though the paladin and mage ended up transferring their mains over before the night was said and done, actually, which is awesome). And so, with Ith’s words in mind, when we started the next one (he’d said it about one pull before Doan the last one), I, for some reason I still do not fully comprehend… proceeded to run ahead right after buffs and start to tank. On my mage. Apparently Ith stopped healing me at some point while the paladin just stood back at first then started tanking, and I stopped. For about a room, where more comments started. And so, I pull the next hall, just like I’ve done on every tank before, though I let the pally take aggro back.. for about two seconds. Whereupon she was stunned after we’d all started AOEing, and Ith’s druid as well, so the rest of us got aggro. So I start bursting things down, targeting the things hitting the other squishies first to make sure they don’t die (surprisingly I never worry about dieing myself), and then the healer drops. Oh boy. Tank’s down, too, died during the first stuns (thus how we got aggro). So I pop Lifeblood at about 50% and keep tanking what I can, bursting things down… The other mage drops with about two mobs up, and then… The mobs are down.

Of course I’m apologizing and feeling horrible about the deaths, and naturally it was the last intentional tanking I did that night, while the other DPS are saying it was fun, let’s do it again, and the tank’s laughing and commenting on how awesome it was to watch us fight… I guess that’s a bonus of an amazing group. You can do really stupid things and still have fun, even if said stupid things almost cause a wipe.

I don’t think I’ll be tanking on Ruvi again any time soon, though, no matter how awesome the group. The last thing I want to do is give Ith a reason to learn how to skin red headed Blood Elf fire mages.

September 3, 2010

From Gamer to Art Enthusiast

Posted in Musings, The Player Behind the Toon at 1:59 pm by Aduial of WrA

I have a bit of a confession to make, though some astute readers may have already guessed it.  I am, honestly, really not much of a gamer. It’s a realization that’s only came in fairly recent years which, looking back at my childhood, both makes sense and baffles me to no end.

When I was really young, quite a few of my mother’s friends had game systems for their children, and did their best to get a lot of the new and hot games for their kids, and so I was lucky enough to play these. Especially when a lot of these friends my mother ended up going back to college with; she’d go over to study and the kids (including me) would just play games for however many hours we were there. On some of the ones that were for one player only, several of the kids were nice enough to let me play while I was there, since they could play at other times, and it usually didn’t take long for me to top their best scores. Back then I did sort of consider myself a gamer.

However, by the age of ten, these trips over to my mother’s friends’ houses had long since stopped, and the only video game I had access to was an old Mario game that ran on the old computer we had at the time, and even then I wasn’t allowed much time to play it. At that age I never realized how fast the gaming world moved, so while I didn’t have access to games as readily anymore, I still considered myself a gamer.

I got my first little gaming system of my own, as much as it was one, for Christmas one year a bit after that, though I can’t remember the date of it to save my life. It was a purple, somewhat transparent Gameboy Color, and I was given an old Atari game to play on it (though it was obviously remade for the Gameboy). A couple months after that I bought a Pokemon Gold game from one of the used game shops in town, and that’s what I played most, though I only ever ended up with maybe half a dozen games for it (A solitaire suite, Monopoly, Pinball, and 101 Dalmatians being the only other ones I ever remember having for it). I also ended up hiding the fact that I had these sort of things at all about this point, at least around most other people, because at that time where I live “girls just didn’t play games,” it “wasn’t right.”

Later on I ended up getting a Gameboy Advance and a Nintendo DS, only a few months after the former came out and actually during the hype on the latter, though I had less games for the GBA and even less (only 2) for the DS. I still mostly hid the fact I was a GBA owner/player, and only a couple people knew of the second game I had for the DS since it was an RPG, though many more knew I had Nintendogs since that was apparently ‘okay’ for a girl to play. Despite all that my view of myself as a gamer was never really shaken, though I suppose it probably should’ve been.

The closest I’ve gotten to owning any system like the Playstation or Xbox or such myself was maybe about 5 years back, when my mother’s live-in boyfriend let his sons bring theirs over, and I’d occasionally get to play on it. I found I actually had a fondness for the Halo game they had, though of course when they left the picture, so did their games. And so I went back to just my DS and the newer computer we had acquired, and the internet games I played on it (mostly things like Collapse, Zuma, and Bejeweled). At that point I was fairly oblivious to most computer games existing beyond the ones on the internet; I’d only vaguely heard of things like World of Warcraft and other MMOs, and even if they’d caught my eye my mother had already pre-banned most things fantasy (as she had Dungeons and Dragons when it first appealed to me) because she was Christian and believed they “opened doors” as she said.

About three years ago I met Esgal through a forum RP we were both participating in, based on a web novel. Our characters developed a fondness for each other, and because of that he and I ended up talking more, at first about our characters and the RP, but before long we ended up getting to know each other aside from all that, and hit it off. When the RP died, we ended up looking for other things we could do together, and ended up looking at computer games. At that time I was running on a computer that had excruciatingly little RAM, so pretty much all the games we looked at, I wouldn’t be able to play. For a while the idea ended up getting basically put on hold, though he was fond of the idea, and kept trying to push me towards World of Warcraft. I remembered my mother expressing distaste for it whenever commercials for it or such came up, so I was hesitant; beyond that, it honestly didn’t much appeal to me. He’d link me to the website and try to get me to read and get into it, but all the details just ended up confusing me more, which of course put me off further.

He ended up coming into a bit of a windfall after a few months and decided to get me a computer, so we found a very good bargain, and he bought it for me. Once it arrived we started looking into games again, though I was still rather against World of Warcraft. I can’t even remember what all we looked at, but we ended up settling on Dream of Mirror Online, which was a F2P game (since I was also of the mindset that games should be free, or at least one-time costs, not one-time costs plus a large monthly fee). It ended up not working so well on his computer and I ended up playing alone much more often than not, so after a while we were looking again. I can’t even remember how long it was before he made the comment, but he was talking about WoW again and commented about how well it looked, even for how old it was… Said something about how every blade of grass was painstakingly put in, about climbing the highest mountain just for the view.

And so, he sold me. I agreed to play. I still wasn’t fond of the idea of paying a monthly fee, however, much less considering how little money I had at the time, so he said he’d pay, and he did for almost a year. I loved the game, and there’s still a lot of times I’ll just randomly stop to look at the beauty that is Azeroth, remembering the comment that got me into it to begin with, and within a few months we already knew I’d be wanting the upcoming expansion (which was Wrath of the Lich King), too, which seemed to just tickle him pink. He ended up pre-ordering the Collector’s Edition for me as a birthday present, since it was released on my birthday, rather than just the regular edition; mostly for the pet, since pets were one of the aspects I enjoyed most about the game. December of that year, though, both of our time had run out, I was broke, and he was moving so he was broke, too, and we stopped playing. We also had a rather large fallout and didn’t talk to each other for months.

After about a month I managed to save and scrape up enough to pay for a gametime card, put it on the account, logged in, and… Found out my guild no longer existed. I’d received an email a few days before saying someone in the guild requested to be made guild leader, since I’d been absent, so that they could recruit and further the guild in my place, though it didn’t say who, and there wasn’t anything I could do about it since at that time I didn’t have enough. But when I logged in, the guild was gone, and no one knew what had happened–Esgal didn’t even know, still had no time on his account, and the two other people who were closest to officer without being one didn’t know. Neither did the two other members, though since one hadn’t played in longer than I had that didn’t surprise me. To this day we don’t know what happened, best we can tell someone we’d recruited saw it as an opportunity and took it, along with the several thousands of gold worth of items I’d collected and put into the guild bank to help us, or to be sold when the guild needed cash. This made me ill, and I logged off and didn’t come back. After something like that, even the thought of playing again brought back queasiness, and I didn’t expect I’d ever return to WoW.

But then just shy of a couple months later my sister of sorts decided to roll up a death knight with a mutual friend on a new server to spend the rest of her game time, and I went ‘what the heck’ and rolled up one, too, since I had about 2 days left on the time I’d bought before. And so, we played, and I fell in love with the new server and WoW all over again, so detached from the other realm and what had happened on it. I ended up buying more game time, rolling an actual character, and starting out on my own. After a while Esgal and I started talking again, only to find out that somehow he’d managed to roll a toon on that very same realm, and so we played again.

Eventually I started noticing a lot more talk about other games. I’m not sure if it was a bit of a new thing, or if I’d just had my head buried in the sand before, or what… But questions of “what other games do you play?” or “have you ever played X?” were growing common. And for the first time, it hit me–whatever kind of gamer I may have been growing up, I wasn’t that anymore. I’d played a grand total of two MMOs, and one of them wasn’t even well known. The others didn’t (and still, for the most part, don’t) interest me. In all that time I’d been without many games, the gaming world had moved on. While I was still playing Mario, others were playing things like Everquest.

Several months back, I’d gone in and set my account up to be eligible for beta invitations, though I’d selected only Warcraft games. Somehow, I ended up with an invitation to Starcraft II. I’d only vaguely heard of Starcraft, and only knew (at least, that I knew of) one person who liked/played it. I asked him what it was about, what it was like, etc, and his answers didn’t really appeal to me, so I decided not to play. He’d begged me to give him the key, and I explained it wasn’t actually a key but was tied to my battle.net account and that I couldn’t, and so the invitation sat unused. Of course, after it was pretty much out of beta I found out Esgal and Silveran both were into it (and really looking forward to playing it when it released) and when it was mentioned I was griped at for not just giving one of them the info so they could download/play, but at that point there was little I could do even if I would’ve.

But after the SCII hype, and my complete and total lack of interest in it, Esgal’s made several comments, at least to Silv, in a presumably joking manner, about “how are we friends with her again?” This is, of course, an even more noticeable slap of realization of how I’m really, really not a gamer anymore. In fact, after all this time there’s only really one other game that’s caught my attention, being Final Fantasy XIV. Even then, I haven’t looked terribly much into the gameplay. I know there’s an open beta, since Silv and Esgal have talked to me about it, but I don’t plan to bother getting in. I’ll get the game when it comes out, but not for the gameplay… If I enjoy the gameplay, that’ll be an awesome bonus, but that’s not why it appeals to me. Why does it appeal to me? Much the same reason WoW did. The art.

I’m not trying or even intending to start up one of those arguments about games as art, or anything, but it’s definitely something to think about, I think. I love a lot of things about WoW, and it can be truly engaging, but the reason I started playing, one of the huge reasons I still play, is because of how absolutely beautiful it can be. When I don’t care about the art, or about talking to people, more often than not I don’t bother signing in; I’ve got a Funpass on Gamehouse so I just load up one of the games from there to pass the time. The RPG I had on my DS, while I enjoyed the gameplay, had gorgeous art, which is a large reason why I got it. I’m sure there’ll be more good things about FFXIV than the art, but all of those will be supplemental for me.

Are any of you like that? Do you ever pick up a game just because of the art, the way it looks? How important is a game’s looks to you, or does that not even matter? Would you ever play a game that has gorgeous art, but average or below average gameplay? Do you think anyone who plays games just for the art is wrong, and that they should play for other reasons instead, or is it fairly normal? How detailed does the game’s appearance have to be for you to call it art?

August 30, 2010

Looks like we’re not as dead as I thought

Posted in Guild things, News, Tales from PUGland, Tattered Legends at 12:03 pm by Aduial of WrA

So for whatever reason, people in PUGs really seem to like Ithraen and I. I mentioned before about at least one person we met in a PUG who changed servers to play with us, there was the priest who rerolled a rogue last post, and then of course there’s Eric over at Out of Range who had transferred his main after playing with us on his paladin (although he was already here on his paladin and a guildy over in SnM, we hadn’t really talked a whole lot before doing our first dungeon, so I’m counting him here). And despite not really, you know, seeing our appeal as being that great, it happens surprisingly often (at least to me). Tattered Legends also has a new priest (or, okay, 2 and a druid) who’s been as active as the rest of us since rerolling, which in and of itself is surprising… We have a DK who was a warlock we met who rerolled that hasn’t signed on in a couple months, which is what I usually expect of people who reroll; they still have mains aside from us who get priority, and, in time, they just… forget to login to WrA at all.

We’d met her while doing randoms on his druid and my mage (who are now actually in their thirties, though a wee bit stalled there), and we of course ended up doing several runs together. Most of them (actually, all of them, now that I think about it) were Scarlet Monastery Graveyard. We learned sort of the hard way that the last room respawns… fairly quickly. We’d requeued at one point and I’d teleported out while they stayed in, and they ended up in combat… So I ported back in and started running, keeping blink on CD, and then I reached the actual graveyard. The mobs we’d killed with the group were back. So I’m soloing the ones I have to in an attempt to get to them, and then… they die. “Yeah, you’re not going to make it back inside, Ruvi.” That was the last time I ported out before they did.

Anyway, this was a couple days ago, and after we were done dungeoning she rolled up a new little priest on our realm. She was actually trying to level her to catch up to us, got to 6 before she started dragging through levels. While she was leveling and we were all talking, Ith and I had switched toons; he to his priest, I to Mani to check on auctions and do all that jazz. All of a sudden over guildchat there’s a bunch of random letters and along the lines of, “I should have known better than that.” This was from the mini-priest… followed by Veive getting Duel-licious. This of course piqued my interest so I ran out to where they were, and we all ended up taking turns dueling and just basically hanging around. I think my favorite part of that was still, “Here. Let me heal you. *Holy Shocks, wins the duel, instant FoLs them back to full.*” But maybe I’m just easily amused.

The three of us were out there for at least an hour I think, I didn’t really keep time, and were joined later by Nosher (Esgal’s real life friend who he got into WoW a bit late, so we haven’t run much with him but he’s been a regular member in TL for a long time now) who hung out for a while, too.

Well, by about mid-point yesterday our mini-priest, Peeps, had met the whole active TL crew (all 5 of us) and we’d all gotten along great, so she ended up deciding to just transfer her higher priest over. So now we actually have about 5 people in the same level range (that isn’t 80!) for once in a long time, though until 40 we lack a tank (Ith decided to go DPS until then). And since Ith and I seem to have the most time to play, with Peeps coming in second there, it’s been interesting trying to sort of keep our levels together; Eric’s got his healing druid at 33, there’s Peeps (who’s Shadow) and I at 31, Ith at 30, and Esgal’s sort-of-Shadow, sort-of-Disc priest trailing in at something like 28 or 29.

I actually have very little faith Ith and I (and probably Peeps, too) won’t end up outleveling the other two.. or at least Esgal. But here’s hoping we’ll be able to stay together at least until 60, because Esgal’s really been wanting to underman UBRS at level again (we’d done it a long time ago and had a blast, so I think he’s hoping it’ll be as much fun doing it again on different toons). Though I’m still looking forward to trying it on our 80s with me healing 2 warlock tanks through it (which we almost did night before last but didn’t really have the time for it).

Oh, and since I’ve already gone just about everywhere with this post (sorry!), there’s been a few small changes in site layout, if anyone’s noticed. There was an RSS/subscribe module at the top of the right column that I ended up removing, and I added in a couple RSS feeds at the bottom, the first with my US characters’ activity and the second with my EU character’s. I don’t know if those will actually stay, but at the time I thought they could be a neat addition… On second thought it may just be an odd thing to have there, so I’ll see how it works out (and any feedback on the changes would be loved!).

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