What people want

Is most likely not what they need.

This is one of those unpleasant truths that everyone is actually aware of, but time and time again it slips from their minds. Most people are remarkably bad at making decisions concerning their own well-being. Just look at how many people still lounge around smoking 10 cigarettes a day, when they are perfectly aware of the consequences on their health.

I’ve seen many comments on the changes to emblems coming in 3.2, and one of the most common arguments for it is that everyone benefits from it, so why complain about it? It is seen as pure spite that some people would want to deny others the opportunity to get loot.

What they forget, or maybe do not want to admit, is that Blizzard sending out 50,000 gold to every character’s mailbox would also benefit everyone. Being able to buy a full set of epic ilevel 300 gear for 57 silver when you ding 80 would also benefit everyone. Would it be wrong to complain against these too?

I’ve actually stopped my subscription, not really in response to this particular change, but for a host of other reasons that I may or may not get around to writing about. So in reality I’m fairly ambivalent about this since I don’t particularly care if Joe Schmoe wants to farm Naxx for 2 weeks to get T8.5 gear. But the main point is that the change was totally unnecessary.

“Casuals” want amazing epic loot. But they don’t need it at all, unless the Argent Tournament scourge somehow got amazingly buffed since the last time I did those dailies.

Alt/new raiders want free epics to “be able to catch up”. But you can easily perform at 80-90% of a fully epicced out character with just boe blues and purples and some heroic gear. Unless you intend to do a full clear of hard-mode Ulduar with alt characters, you don’t need to be decked out in purples to down any normal mode boss. Back when everyone was making resto shamans in BT/Sunwell, you could just bring them along to farm bosses and they’d pick up 4 pieces of loot a night. And BT was a lot harder than Ulduar.

The problem is that because “it’s just a game”, some feel that they are entitled to getting all the rewards that they want, because they pay the same 15 bucks as everyone else. It’s a very true observation that no one will pay to play a game that makes them realise that they suck. What they need is to realise that Blizzard actually designed a great endgame that can be enjoyed by everyone (with a brain). Unfortunately the morons would rather stop playing rather than learn, so in order to maximise revenue Blizzard has no choice but to dumb down content.

It makes me wonder how long pure democracies can survive. “One man, one vote” is beginning to sound scarily similar to “I pay 15 dollars a month too so I get what I want”. I’m sure people would vote for a candidate who promises everyone a free car if they thought he could deliver on it, regardless of what his actual credentials are.

Blacksmiths can’t make gold?

If you have a character with Enchanting who can DE Northrend greens, this most definitely isn’t the case.

My wife used this method to amass gold until she felt bored. It’s practically a cheat code for infinite gold. I used it as well while I was notching Blacksmithing.

The “secret” lies in the almighty Notched Cobalt War Axe. You learn this recipe from the trainer at about skill level 400 (not sure the exact point, just wowhead the item to be sure). It costs 10 cobalt bars to make one axe.

On my server, cobalt ore/bars go for roughly 1g apiece on the AH. If you’re careful, you can probably build up quite a stock for lower (50-80s per ore) since cobalt generally isn’t in high demand (jewelcrafters prospect saronite for better results). 1 cobalt bar is made from 1 cobalt ore so they are equivalent if you have a miner as well.

So, 1 axe costs 10g tops.

The axe disenchants into the following:
75% chance of 1-2 Greater Cosmic Essence (so average = 3/2 = 1.5)
20% chance of 2-5 Infinite Dust (so average = 7/2 = 3.5)
5% chance of 1 Dream Shard

On my server, Greater Cosmic sells for about 12g, Infinite Dust about 5g, and Dream Shards for minimum 15g.

So, your expected value from disenchanting a single axe is:
(0.75*1.5*12) + (0.2*3.5*5) + (0.05*1*15) = 17.75g.

This means that you can expect a minimum of 7.75g profit per every 10g investment. Furthermore, note that you can never lose money with this since the worst possible results from the disenchanting already sell for above 10g (1 Greater Cosmic/2 Infinite Dust/1 Dream Shard).

So, just buy up all the cheap cobalt, make tons of these axes on your blacksmith and de them all. Send the resultant mats to your AH character and sell them off whenever the market is good. Enchanting mats don’t even have a list price so feel free to put whatever price you want for 48 hours, and enchants are always in demand especially with all the free gear available nowadays. As usual check the price differential between Lesser and Greater Cosmic Essences and split/combine them accordingly.

Why farm when you can almost double your gold with a few clicks?

TLDR

Me and my wife are trying out another free-to-play MMO now. Since we were just starting out and pretty much clueless, she found a guide on the class I was playing and sent me the link.

The guy who wrote the guide did a pretty good job. He split the guide into sections with bookmarks, had some good comments on the skills, some starter combos, and explanations of how various things worked.

After he posted his guide in the forums, he got 2 comments. The first said the guide needed more pictures and colors. The second poster said he got bored halfway and stopped reading it.

It’s really pathetic how incredibly lazy and stupid some people can get. I mean, they clicked on a post titled “Guide to Thief class”, on an online forum. What did they expect, a streaming video and emo Linken Park music? Oh my god, a guide that contains words! Shocking!

Some people type literally in walls of text. Yes, that can be hard to read, especially if it spans multiple pages. But this guy’s guide was in multiple paragraphs, broken down into organised sections. It wasn’t even particularly long. It would take less than 5 minutes for someone to read through it from start to finish.

And someone got bored halfway through that? Has this person ever read a book past the first page? Do they refuse to use a dictionary?How are they supposed to get through school? Ok, the obvious answer is that they won’t. Sigh. Can we get basic literacy to be a criteria before being allowed to procreate?

If you can’t read without colors and pictures, you’re not old enough to be on the Internet. “TLDR” is like a signature saying “hai guyz lookit me im dum”.

Death Gopher

Just wanted to save a picture of Dunceykong…

Gopher Gnome

He coincidentally amassed a set of gear that makes him look like Gopher in Winnie the Pooh. Now he’s chopping ankles and taking names in Grizzly Hills.

3.2 Shaman changes

Patch 3.2 notes have been released, and it looks like there are major changes coming up about almost everything (professions, new raids, new bg, twinking, class changes, more pets etc etc.) It looks to be something on the order of the Sunwell Patch. I’m slightly ho hum about this since we haven’t even cleared Ulduar-10 yet (actually I haven’t even done Malygos yet) but it still does look interesting.

I’ve said that I don’t see why Shamans are supposed to be weak, but apparently Blizzard has listened to the storm of QQ (hooray?) and given us a big bunch of buffs as follows:

Shaman

A customizable totem bar will now be available for shaman allowing the storing of 4 different totems. These totems can be placed on the ground at once in one global cooldown for the combined mana cost of all 4 totems.

That’s convenient I guess. Not really game-changing though since I tend to drop my totems as I’m running in anyway (flametongue+wrath of air first for the casters at range, then stoneskin + healing stream in closer for the melee). But definitely good, especially as you can save 3 separate sets of totems to drop.

All Shocks now have a default range of 25 yards, up from 20 yards.

Good change, I felt that I had to see the tingling hairs in Stormcaller Brundir’s nostrils before Wind Shock was in range.

Base health increased by approximately 7% to correct for shamans having lower health than other classes.

Nice, but note it’s base health and not total. So it’s not a 7% increase in health. If I have 10,000 hp naked this gives me additional 700. No, shamans still can’t tank. As a little jaunt down memory lane, in TBC people complained that Arena geared locks had 10k hp. In Classic, my 60 rogue in blues had just above 2k 😛

Chain Heal: Jump distance increased to 10 yards. In addition, the amount of healing now decreases by 40% as it jumps to each new target, instead of 50%.

Outstanding buff, makes chain healing fights where people like to spread out a lot easier. Also synergizes with the other resto buffs (Ancestral Healing and Water Shield)

Ghost Wolf: Can now be learned at level 16. While in this form, snaring effects may not bring the shaman below base normal run speed.

Zzz. Happy happy for low level shamans I guess, and level 19 twinks?

Talents
Enhancement
Shamanistic Rage: Cooldown is now 1 minute, down from 2 minutes. Successful melee attacks now have a chance to generate mana equal to 15% of the shaman’s attack power, down from 30%.

Seems like a good change. With the low base mana of enhancement shamans, popping Shamanistic Rage was often complete overkill in terms of filling up the bar. Now the mana regen is smoothened out, and I believe Shamans will now benefit from the damage reduction twice as much?

Restoration
Ancestral Healing: The buff from this ability now reduces the physical damage taken by the target by 3/7/10% instead of increasing the target’s armor.

Nice buff. Makes critical heals useful on non-tanks getting hit by adds. Previously, critting a heal on a mage was like putting an extra layer of paint on an egg. Before running over it with a truck. Carrying a house. Also scales better than a +25% armor buff since armor had a cap.

Cure Poison and Cure Disease: Combined into a single spell, Cure Toxins.

More of a levelling change. Any resto shaman that doesn’t have Cleanse Spirit should be forced to heal for a ret pally tanking without a shield in Utgarde Pinnacle. Repeatedly. And we all know that asking an elemental/enhancement shaman to cure anything is just asking for “lolwut? whut spell r dat, it’s not on me bars, does it do damage?!?”

Earth Shield: Dispel effects will now remove charges of Earth Shield rather than the entire aura.

I can imagine cries of Resto Shamans being overpowered in Arenas, since it means you’d have to spam dispel 8 times to remove my Earth Shield. And then I’ll just press 1 button and put up all 8 charges again. Free buffs are great.

Healing Way: Redesigned. Rather than providing a chance of increasing Healing Wave spells on a friendly target, this talent now innately increases the effectiveness of the shaman’s Healing Wave by 8/16/25%.

Nice. I’m rarely using HW and rely more on earth shield + LHW + glyph of LHW for tank healing. This means that the tank rarely has the Healing Way buff on them when it comes to ohshit moments, which is when you switch to HW (most probably with Nature’s Swiftness). This makes that first ohshit heal a lot stronger.

Mana Tide Totem: Totem health now equal to 10% of the shaman’s health.

Um ok. So my mana tide totem will have 2k hp. Still will get 1-shot by most opponents, and totems can no longer be targeted by totem stomper macros anyway.

Nature’s Guardian: Redesigned. Now has a fixed 100% proc rate, has a 30-second internal cooldown and increases the shaman’s maximum health by 3/6/9/12/15% for 10 seconds.

I don’t have the points to take Nature’s Guardian but anything that removes the randomness is good. Can be useful in PvE too but I prefer not to take talents that only benefit me when I’m dumb and stand in fire.

Nature’s Swiftness: Cooldown is now 2 minutes, down from 3 minutes.

50% more instant Healing Waves is obviously good.

Tidal Waves: No longer reduces the cast time of Lesser Healing Wave by 30%. It instead now provides +25% critical strike chance to Lesser Healing Wave, along with the previous 30% cast time benefit to Healing Wave.

This is still slightly up in the air. Personally, I like it. With Tidal Waves up, my LHW already has a 0.9 sec cast time. This can actually be detrimental sometimes as it’s shorter than the global cooldown, meaning I can sometimes miss out on casting a spell if I try to cast immediately after the LHW finishes. Having the haste not apply to LHW will make it slightly harder to heal on the move, but it makes the riptide+LHW combo heal a lot more and LHW is already fast anyway. On a tank with earth shield, the LHW can crit for about 9-10k. Popping Riptide + Tidal Force + LHW will also easily give us a 100% crit rate with average gear, meaning you can ensure a Ancestral Healing proc on the tank when you know he’s going to take spike damage (previously you’d only get a roughly 85% chance).

Since Improved Water Shield also doesn’t consume charges anymore when you crit, the extra crit also gives back significant mana at no cost. Improved Water Shield will also benefit Chain Heal (amazing buff since Chain Heal has multiple chances to crit, and any 1 crit will trigger the full mana refund)

DK – Dunceykong!

Not much has been happening on the raiding scene, so I’ve been playing my latest alt a lot more.

The originally abandoned midget of destruction is now 72 and beginning his adventures in Dragonblight. Obviously I’m following my own path to 80 so that I get the most rep during the levelling process.

Solo questing is obviously a /facerolling affair, especially with a blood-spec DK. But I also managed to get into a UK and Nexus group, which was slightly more interesting.

Utgarde Keep

The UK run was pretty fail at the start. I was actually prepared to go buy my dual-spec and craft some cobalt tanking gear if they needed a tank, but the resto druid leader asked if the pally could tank and he said “sure, let me go buy a shield”.

Ok this should have set off warning bells in my head at this point (prot pally with no shield? wut?) but my brain was numb from the facerolling. We zoned in, and when I looked at the pally he was a) 53 points ret and b) wearing 0 defense. He “tanked” with no Righteous Fury and used Seal of Light.

“Ok, let me try tanking… it can’t be worse” So there I was with hardly any tanking gear and a non-tank spec. Surprisingly it actually went fairly well (with me popping all cooldowns) until that last pull in the dragon room, where we wiped because Healbot zoinked out on the resto druid and he kept casting slowmo Healing Touches instead of hots. The mage threw a fit complaining about people using mods to heal for them (had been complaining since the first pull about the pally as well) and left group.

Fortunately, the warlock kindly offered to come tank this with her 74 prot warrior (who actually had some tanking gear) and we got another warlock to replace the QQmage. This went much better and we cleared the rest of the place without much incident, although Dunceykong died to Ingvar’s axe whirlwind 1s after Ingvar died… Ended up topping dps with about 1k over the run.

Nexus

The next day, I saw the same druid healer in lfg for Nexus along with a bunch of others. I’d already done all the pre-quests, so we quickly formed up and got ready to go. The group was a 70 prot pally (yes he was actually prot, although still with minimal defense), me as 71 blood DK, another 70 DK who seemed to be unholy, a 76 hunter, and the 70 druid.

I had reservations due to the pally’s gear, but he actually seemed to tank fairly well. Perhaps the druid also managed to fix his add-ons. I helped along the way with Mark of Blood to make the enemies heal the tank with their attacks when he got low, but we killed every boss with only 1 wipe on the dragon due to the hard-hitting enrage.

The other DK, however, was a classic. He did about half my damage throughout the run, and was about a third below the pally tank. He had defense gems socketed in his dps gear. According to Recount, his top 3 damage abilities were… Auto-attack, Frost-fever (DoT) and Plague Strike (DoT). Judging from this, his “rotation” was probably
1) run up and Icy Touch
2) Plague Strike
3) Pestilence to spread diseases
4) eat sandwich

The best part was when he told me to stop using Death and Decay because “the tank needs aggro”. Since this pally tank actually had a brain and was using consecrate, he never had any aggro problems. So I happily continued using D&D while he happily continued auto-attacking.

Overall, I did about 1150 dps for the Nexus run. Sadly, the level 76 hunter did barely more damage than the pally tank, although based on my past experiences with hunters this isn’t really surprising anymore. Doing 42% of the group’s damage is quite impressive for a DK in quested greens randomly spamming Heart Strike and Death Strike.

I’ve since dual-specced and plonked points into a unholy tanking spec, as well as bought a set of tanking glyphs and crafted some cobalt tanking gear. Not sure if the opportunity will come up for me to tank anymore before I reach 80, but if it does I’m definitely prepared.

The return of Crowd Control… sorta

On Sunday, the guild finally managed to down 10-man Mimiron after his major nerf. Of course, the guild leader told me “he wasn’t nerfed that much, just that the tank won’t get 1-shot by laser barrage while the bottom spins madly”. I was like “yeah, that’s the whole reason we kept wiping on P4 wasn’t it…”

So with Mimiron down, we decided to head in to try General Vezax. Of course to get to him, we had to clear his/her/its trash…

*Cue Twilight Zone music* “OMG it’s Shadow Labs”

There are quite a few packs of Twilight buggers standing around, with a Fire elemental add as well. There seems to be a mix of ranged/melee/healer mobs in each pack. We were only running with a single tank since Vezax himself only requires one tank, and coincidentally none of the other tank-capable classes present had a tanking dual spec.

So… we actually had to CC!!! Mobs were actually marked, people pulled out sheep, freezing trap, sap and blind from their spellbooks. The raid leader assigned CCs… the rogue sapped his target… tank pulled… mage sheeped his star… and then everyone pressed their AoE button.

The “snikt snikt” of Fan of Knives mixed in with swirling yellow Divine Stooooorm and crackling Thunderclap. Both hunters tried to trap the same mob, only to have their auto shots break the trap immediately afterwards. Our shadow priest friend courageously tried to help matters… by putting SW: Pain on every mob that was loose. The mage tried to resheep his target, but immediately after it hit the warrior frantically charged over and devastated the mob.

Amazingly we didn’t wipe, but I think there were only 4 people left alive at the end of it. It was hilariously bad CC, and really showed how rusty a lot of people had become at CC. Or maybe they never knew how to, given that a lot of players in my guild are of the late-TBC or WotLK generation.

We did sort of improve over the next few pulls, but our hunters definitely did not know how to chain-trap properly and the warrior was obviously unused to working with CC. My shadow priest friend was playing around with Recount and proudly linked to me the damage meters showing him at the top, in reply to which I linked him the CC Breaking meter with him at the top as well.

We had quite a few tries on General Vezax but never got past the first Surge since a lot of people hadn’t bothered to read up on the fight and it took a while for them to understand what was going on. Despite Mark of the Faceless not being supposed to be cast on people within 15 yards (according to WowWiki anyway) I was pretty darn sure that he cast it on me a few times when I was right at his feet. And it was pretty sad seeing how so many people, especially DPS classes, failed at avoiding Shadow Crash despite DBM putting a GIANT BLUE WARNING on their screen. But at the end of the night, there was some progress made and I’m sure that we will get him down eventually.

But that first pull “with CC” was akin to a mass Leroy Jenkins zerg. I have no idea what the rogue was thinking when he stealthed up, distracted, sapped, then spammed Fan of Knives 😛