Taking a break from my frantic schedule of trying to get the Loremaster before the world blows up, I noticed that the fine folks over at Blog Azeroth had dropped a new topic for this week and since my office is watching the Earthly World Cup I would play along with my own version. (Besides I have found a few interesting things but only finished Durotar, Ashenvale, Mulgore and The Barrens so far.)
The folks at Blog Azeroth asked:
Now imagine: What if, instead of laying waste to two continents, Deathwing actually came up and said “Let’s determine which race of Azeroth is best once and for all – by having the World Cup of Warcraft!”
I think the bracket would go something like this (assuming a bracket)
Now, this being my warped little tournament I am not going for football / soccer. Oh no. We are going to go with Ullamaliztli with the losing teams being eaten by Deathwing.
The First Round:
Night Elves 1
The Night Elves initially have a leg up with an early goal, but their stamina fades after the halfway mark and they are literally stunned by Tauren thunderstomps, which eliminates the advantages of a shadowmelded defense.
A fairly even match, both teams played hard but they were evenly matched and the game went into sudden death. (literally) The Draenei manage to distract the Orc team in a desperate Wiggling bellydance offense.
Darkspear Trolls 5
The Goblins were clearly outmatched, even with their shredders on the field. The lack of turning radius on rockets took out half of the Goblin team within seconds.
Southsea Pirates 0
Theramore Humans 10
Taking the field full of grog is a poor strategy. Deathwing commented on the fact that the pirates came pre-pickled.
Blood Elves 5
The Blood Elf Arcane Torrent made it very difficult for the Forsaken to change strategy on the fly in this matchup.
Ebon Blade 7
Stumpy legs. Nuff said.
Stormwind Humans 2
A surprise upset occurred when the humans assumed they were playing children. Then the Ice Magery began.
Scarlet Crusade 0
Librarians can’t run. Dogs Can. Fetch!
Fel Orcs 0
Lost Ones Forfeit
The Lost Ones’ did nt have the spirit to take the field. Deathwing sped things up.
Burning Legion 12
Nexus Stalkers 2
This game initially started with two very fast Nexus Stalker goals. The Dreadlords then brought the pain. And the infernals.
The game was tied right up until the end, when the Vargul tried to hit the Taunka between the eyes with a 2 x 4. The fact that their face is already smashed should have been a clue about how thick their skulls really are.
Things went well initially, until the fans threw a squid on the court and the Kalu’ak all dove for the snack, ignoring the ballgame entirely.
Second Round: (Division Semi Finals)
It was a very defensive game until the Draenei offended the Tauren who trampled the “Bellydance Offense” to score the winning goal.
Darkspear Trolls 3
Theramore Humans 1
The humans learned their lesson about dismissing the Trolls as “Primitive Screwheads” when they realized that the Trolls were not impressed by the “Boomstick”.
Blood Elves 3
Ebon Blade DQ
The Death Knights were disqualified for too many players on the field after someone mistakenly cast Army of the Dead
Realizing their opportunity, the Gnomes brought a Stick which totally was better to fetch than some old boring ball.
Fel Orcs 1
Burning Legion 121
The Fel Reaver came off the bench for this game.
The star player of the Taunka had an unfortunate heart attack from a life time of over consumption of red meat. The Scourge wished to follow his example by starting with him.
Round 3: (Division Finals)
Halfway through the game, the Troll Spear throwers learn to make Beef Kabob.
Blood Elves 4
The gnomes finally meet their match in the Blood Elves who are not fooled one bit. Nor are they amused.
Burning Legion Forfeit
Adding a second Fel Reaver broke the Court, Killing the Taunka team.
Round 4: (Finals!) (GRUDGE MATCH!)
Darkspear Trolls 5
Blood Elves 2
The Darkspear trolls managed to get half of the Blood Elves arguing over the borders of the Amani Empire, while the rest happily followed a particularly tasty magic wand over the edge of a cliff.
The WINNER: Darkspear Trolls.
It’s that time of the year again. Yup, time to talk #%$ about how we need to make sure we are keeping our accounts safe and secure.
Blizz only has so much responsibility toward keeping your account safe, the vast majority of it is up to the customer, as the customer is responsible for the up keep and maintenance of their equipment. To use a sports analogy, it is your responsibility to make sure you are wearing your cleats and that they fit and keep your feet safely inside.
There are four main aspects of keeping your gear in good working order: Anti-virus, Anti-malware, System Security and Account Security.
This is the core of keeping your system safe. Whether it’s Windows, Mac, or Linux, you need to stay on top of security patches. Not just for your operating system, though. Every application you have should be patched up to current. A significant number of exploits use software as an access point for getting control of your computer. Just because you don’t use Internet Explorer does not mean that you shouldn’t patch it. Even something as innocuous as Acrobat Reader can let your system be taken over.
Anti-Virus and Anti-Malware:
If you aren’t running an anti-virus program, you quite frankly, are an Idiot. The concept of running any computer connected to the internet without basic protection is as crazy as having unprotected anonymous sex. It doesn’t matter what your operating system is, when it becomes an easy enough target to hit, it will have virus issues. Most viruses today are not interested in deleting or damaging contents, but would rather steal information or use your resources to infect other computers. A number of the newer virii have been geared toward actually stealing the passwords and account information such as WoW. Once you have a bug,
If you do not want to pay for solutions such as McAffee or Symantec you can check out these offerings:
Avast! I have used this for quite a while and it seems to be one of the more reliable and less naggy products out there. However I have had problems making it work well on Windows 7.
AVG I have used this product on and off though the years and it was generally decent. It has gotten bloated a little over the years, but is still a good choice.
Microsoft Security Essentials This is a new favorite.. MS learned a lot from their earlier efforts and have put together a great product for free. This product does some anti-malware stuff, so it is a good product to pick up.
If something slips through (and it will, with the daily changing of virus code,) you will need anti-malware software to help clean it out. Some of these following apps will also help prevent the malware from getting established. You will want more than one of these for excellent protection.
Malwarebytes I love these guys. They have made their product available for free for folks who are in trouble or just want reactive protection. It is pretty beefy and gets some of the harder to extract programs out of the system.
Ad Aware A fading star in malware prevention, but they are still effective with other products covering the gaps.
Spybot Search and Destroy I have this program running with it’s Tea Timer component active at all times. Yes, it nags a bit but it nags about the things I want to know about. Like the flash ad on that website that would like to make a registry change. Uhm. NO.
Based on the RSA SecurID technology that many corporations use for a second step real time authentication, it allows me to keep my account from being hacked by essentially removing half of the password from the equation. I may have a lame password like “pickles” (ok not really,) but by adding a random six digits to the end of that password every time it is used, it makes it a very hard thing to hack. The time and resources required to hack it would be prohibitive for the folks who are just out to make a quick buck. This is the number one way to keep your WoW account safe. The only drawback is it is not an actual 10 digit (4 number PIN plus 6 digit Fob) SecurID style code. This may mean that with enough recorded inputs, the algorithm might be decipherable. We haven’t seen an identified case of an authenticator enabled account being hacked, but Blizzard might not want to publicly discuss such matters lest people just forgo the authenticator completely.
By using some common sense and maintaining your equipment, you can keep your toons happy and at home on your account, and enjoy the game for many years to come.
Enter a World of Warcraft player. He is carrying a laptop and appears to be looking for something.
WoW player: Well, I have a little time to play this evening on my lunch break and there is a wireless connection here.
He begins playing and we cut to the laptop screen.
He logs in, authenticates and selects his character.
WoW player: Let’s see… I think I will queue for a Random Heroic Dungeon. Since I am tank spec, I will have no problems whatsoever getting a spot.
SFX: Dungeon finder sound
Dungeon Finder pop up launches and everyone enters.
WoW player: Ooh! Halls of Lightning!
The first trash pull commences, the player clicks several buttons. Nothing is happening on the screen.
In a few seconds all the buttons go off simultaneously and the other four toons die in an instant. There is much pissing and moaning.
Healer: noooooooooooooo….. They ate my face!
DPS1-3: OW! OW! OH MY SPLEEN!
The tank dies horribly without the kiss of good healing.
The splash page comes up with “You have been disconnected from the server..” as the message.
Yeah. That pretty well sums it all up. Too much latency also mixed in with calls makes it impossible to actively play the game. However I get some good play time on when I am at home on the weekends.
Since 3.3 dropped the dungeon finder has been talked about.
Instead of talking about it in technical details I wanted to talk about my experiences with the various groups when using it.
Type 1: Run of the Mill.
The vast majority of these groups are groups that are pretty typical make up of toons in their traditional roles without huge variations. These are usually successful and I generally get a good tanking experience out of them.
Type 2: Huh. That works, I guess.
These are the groups that have a couple of odd toon roles in them, Pally healers, DPS warriors, shadow priests… These work out OK as long as the player knows their limitations and abilities. I generally have decent tanking experiences with them, though the heals can be iffy when I get hit with Spike Damage, which Death Knights are really susceptible to. Frequent problems are newbie melee DPS who don’t fight from behind the mob and cause frequent spikes in damage, which is bad for my survivability.
Type 3: The Bwah?
I have had only a very few of these. The most memorable was the random Gundarak which is one of my least favorite instances, for various reasons. My group was this: My charming DK self as tank, on DPS were Warrior, Warrior, Warrior, and Pally healer. The problem, The warriors weren’t running omen and not watching their threat and the pally was Retribution specced. This.. did not work. The pally couldn’t actually heal anyone. Not due to incompetence, but because something was preventing him from actually casting the spell on the target. It became rapidly apparent we were going nowhere rapidly.
The overall experience has been positive, but the few bad ones stick in my mind more than the majority of the best ones. I am however, learning a number of the fights and should be able to stay ahead of the curve in the heroic fights. The emblems are a nice boost to acquiring gear, though I need to work out a bit more gear for Heroics before feeling somewhat confident in the overall gear.
That title pretty much says it all. I was home alone on 12/31 after working a swing shift, having a few whiskey sours,9 and listening Stargate SG-1 on Hulu while banging away on level 78. The clock rolled over and I was hoping to hit 80 within a few minutes of midnight, but I had to settle for becoming the first 80 in Alea Iacta Est at 01:10. (I had nearly run out of quests in Ice Crown and was lamenting the possibility of having to go to Storm Peaks or Sholozar Basin for the wrap up when I lucked into a few quests.
I continued to tank away the weekend, actually tanking Heroic Oculus and Heroic Utgarde Pinnacle. (I really like Utgarde Pinnacle. Very fun.)
I did find that I thank better when I feel like tanking and typically feel like it when I can get a handful of instances in the bag.
In other news, my gearscore blows. Like 1200 blows. While not the sole indicator of performance, I want to do Naxx and Uldular and the ToC raids as well as the new stuff. I’ll be hitting that LFG button a lot over the next few weeks, it appears.
(or: What is the sound of a Jaramon Falling Down the Stairs in the Woods when no one is around to hear?)
I mentioned in the previous posts that I had decided to actually get out and tank some, and that I would talk about what I learned on my tanking adventure.
Lesson one: I can really make things mad and keep them that way.
Frost presence plus Death and Decay equals mob hate. Not just an attack, but the kind of attacks that indicate that the monsters want to end your line. Preemptively. By killing your great-great-grandfather by sterilizing his Grandfather’s Grandfather with a cup of McDonald’s coffee.
Lesson two: I can really take some abuse when I am getting healed.
The fact that I can tank my way through most things as long as the things stay angry at me and not my healer makes me very happy. It makes my healer happy too!
Lesson three: I can tank mobs out of the fire/hockey puck of death/ goo so that my DPS peeps can keep the pressure on.
I think this is common sense, but I am pretty happy that I can do that. It means I am not a mentally stunted goober.
Lesson four: Snap Agro is a problem.
The Death Knight is a class of cooldowns. This is good when you need a reliable timed release of death and destruction upon one’s enemies. This is bad when your enemy gets more friends and your hunter has volley up.
Lesson five: Death Grip does not work around corners, nor does Dark Command.
I already knew this but had it painfully beaten into my head by the hunter who had volley up who got agro and then ran out of the room and AROUND A CORNER. I had to chase the mob to get the booger back into my cone of death. This is not my vote for a new hobby choice.
Lesson six: We need to ensure we have a splash of Unholy in our spec.
The fact that there is a talent that makes Death and Decay’s cooldown shorter is VERY VERY important when the forecast is Agro with a side of added mobs and snap agro gravy.
Lesson seven: You may level in Blood, but you kill in Frost.
Double check the aspect, dummy. You are squishy and tasty in Blood Aspect. You also provide seasoning for when the monsters want to eat hunter or do a little priest take out.
I think I am starting to get the hang of this and have adjusted my spec to better serve my group members by not feeding them to the monsters with hollandaise and parsley garnish. The learning process has begun, and I hope I get to the point where people like to group with me and my healers become spoiled.
I think that it is a ton of work but it is rewarding to reach the final boss in an instance and down it. It feels incredible compared to doing an instance as DPS. DPS is probably the easiest job to do especially when you cookie cutter and use someone else’s rotation. I am really digging on this and hope the nerves go away after I get used to running the instances and understanding
I tanked for the first time on Christmas Day. I switched over to a deep frost spec with blood and just a wedge of unholy, figured out a basic rotation and loaded up the dungeon finder. As soon as I clicked the check box for Tank and clicked the button, the popup came.
Oh sweet jumpin Jaina Proudmoore. I have never been so nervous in all of my gaming experiences. I ran around and AOE’d and taunted and all sorts of crazy stuff. Most of it I got right. No one really died and we had a good time. I queued up for a few more and hammered them out, usually with very little drama. Halls of Stone didn’t suck much, after I got the hang of the way things go in there. Gundarak on Saturday was my breaking point. I just couldn’t keep it together and then wound up having to make a corpse run and found the wrong door, exited and found myself back in Icecrown. I apologized profusely for being an idiot and then spent the rest of the day questing. I dinged 79 and have been there since.
I hope over the next weekend I’ll get a few hours to try some more tanking since I am trying a deep blood spec with enough Unholy to get the reduced cool down for Death and Decay.
Tanking with a Death Knight is hard work.
The new dungeon finder is influencing the way I play and plan for the end game, since it appears that tanks and healers are in high demand. My only problem is that I am having a problem locating a good tank build that doesn’t use dual wield. Elitist Jerks is still kind of mulling over specs and so I am sitting here pondering what to do with my spec (I am saving for epic flying on Horde-Jaramon so dual spec is right out.)
I am however grabbing tank gear as best I can from the various instances I am in, and I need to sit down and read a bit more on what I should be doing when I tank.
I need to also get my professions up and running as well, though I am not 100% sold on mining and enchanting, (especially since many of the PUGs now have auto disenchant on.)
Yeah. I’m playing again. Bouad poked me to renew my account to do some administrative bits and then 3.3 hit. I have retired from being an Officer with the Draconian Assassins due to my long inactivity, and with the reactivation I have been playing Horde-Jaramon much more. He’s up to 77, having cold weather flying and grooving to the new insta-pug music of the Dungeon Finder. Part of the issue of my hibernation was that my playing times are now 8 hours off of the Alliance folks that we play with and also that when I am on in the evenings, it’s by scoring some free wifi near the office (not piggybacking, a legit public access point.) and the latency starts at 300ms. Not ideal for doing more than bunny bashing. As I close in on 80, I find myself leaning toward tanking on this iteration, which means eventually losing my pet ghoul.
*sigh* I will miss the bony little agro magnet.
I will be foregoing anything like last year’s tracking of Greatfather Winter, since a number of folks were not as amused as I was, but I may feel the need to post something. Because I am a screwhead.