Much Ado About Comedy

Really interesting thoughts on the comedy aspect of the cinematic here. Personally I like the little bits of humour – WoW isn’t as dark as other settings so I feel this captures it perfectly.

Mommy Jenkins!!

When Blizzard released the opening cinematic to Mists of Pandaria last Thursday, the reactions varied from the ecstatic to the downright dismal. One of the comments that caught my eye— which summed up a sentiment expressed in many other comments— asked, “What’s with the comedy bit? Makes it look like a Disney movie.”

The “comedy bit” the commenter is referring to occurs in this segment until about 2:36:

Since the announcement of Mists at last year’s BlizzCon, people have been saying that the expansion is a joke, a child’s plaything and not the stuff of legends that we’ve become accustomed to in the Warcraft franchise. Compounded with the fact that Tenacious D played at a previous BlizzCon and Kung Fu Panda has not one, but two movies plus a new spinoff animated TV series on Nickelodeon, it’s difficult for much of the audience to take anthropomorphic pandas seriously. As made…

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Blog Azeroth Shared Topic: Flavours of WoW.

In the words of Monty Python “And now for something completely different!”

The kind people over at Blog Azeroth each week have a Shared topic for the people of the WoW blogosphere, this weeks shared topic is “Flavours of WoW, you can find the forum post here.

The original post came from Cymre from the Bubbles of Mischief blog – the idea is if WoW was flavours of ice cream what would they be (full post).

The concept is something quite common to all of us:

It would not be uncommon to hear about the initial release of World of Warcraft as Vanilla or Classic. In terms of ice cream, Vanilla was once considered the most popular flavour of it’s time. So if Vanilla represents Classic WoW, what flavours could represent the following expansions?

Vanilla WoW.  I never thought of it in the same respects that Cymre did.  To me the term “Vanilla” referred to Bland, boring, without extras.  The same way that I in my normal life refer to people that I find uninteresting as “Beige”.  There’s nothing exciting about Vanilla (especially when compared the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough or Fudge Brownie), it’s just the basic ice cream that all others can be compared to.  And thats what basic WoW was.

I’ll admit to not playing much WoW in Vanilla – I didn’t even have my own account.  I borrowed a friends when I visited him at university while he played Resident Evil.  I wasn’t aware of the not sharing accounts or ToS etc, I merely levelled an army of baby toons and the closing I got to raiding was watching him in Molten Core off tanking by running in a square with adds.  It wasn’t exciting, it was fresh and new and perfect.  It was Vanilla.

On to The Burning Crusade.  My first real foray into WoW.  I ground gear, rep, instances, I got into Raiding.  I downed Prince Malchaezar, Zul’Jin, Archimonde and Illidan.  I stomped people in the Eye of the Storm as no one knew what they were doing and I even did some dailies.  I loved The Burning Crusade, it was my favourite expansion (though the accessibility nowadays is far superior!) which gives me a Dilemna.  When you think TBC, you think green.  When you think green ice cream you surely think Mint Choc Chip.  But how can something I love be represented by something I hate.

But this isn’t about me, so let’s rationalise.  To get through a massive tub of Mint Choc Chip for me would be hard.  It would be a hard horrible grind.  Which I think perfectly somes up a lot of the problems with TBC, long hard grinds.  Mint Choc Chip it is!

WOTLK was cold.  Cold and desolate. Cold, evil, desolate and White.  The Lich King was the perfect villain.  Plain.  Ice flavour ice cream.  No flavours, just pure Cold!

And Cataclysm.  This is the opposite, my immediate thoughts here are heat.  I had to google to make sure what I thought existed, and it does – Chilli Ice Cream, need I say more.

For MoP frankly Cymre has it wrapped up – Lychee ice cream is perfect (which I had on my recent holiday in Thailand, but now I’m showing off!).

So there we have it:

  • WoW – Vanilla
  • TBC – Mint Choc Chip (yuk!)
  • WotLK – Ice flavour ice cream
  • Cata – Chilli
  • MoP – Lychee

A great topic and I’ll definitely be joining in with Blog Azeroths shared topics again!

 

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What is The Summer of Hell 2013?

As an additional one off – please see below a link to my other Blog – Summer of Hell 2013.  In short it is 4 challenges in one summer for charity.  And it’s going to hurt…

What is The Summer of Hell 2013?.

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MoP Loot Rules

See here for an outline of how looting will be in MoP http://eu.battle.net/wow/en/blog/3954511/.

There are 3 things that strike me here:

  1. What a brilliant idea – no more rolling for friends, people needing just to DE or to sell for gold.  You have a similar chance of getting a useful item, just now no one can take it from you just because they are feeling like trolling.  I have been lucky on my Shaman in the past, out of roughly 6 runs I have obtained 5 items – not bad going, my friend on the other hand is constantly beaten on items week in week out (well until he broke his wrist), with this new system the chances of this are minimised so everyone should get about the same loot.
  2. No more wasted items!  Remember back in Sunfury Bow of the Phoenix dropped multiple times in Kara with no hunters, or you got all Intellect plate but no Paladins, well in LFR that will no longer happen (sadly it will in regular and Heroics though)!
  3. A final, negative point.  Why is this not in LFG?

If the technology is there I do not see the argument for not including it.  Fair enough it is only 5 people and you should be able to discuss this between yourselves but frankly it is sometimes like talking to a brick wall.

To give a personal example, following my blog post of Gearing at the End of an Expansion, I have recently started tanking HoT instances on Tsudao.  As you can see she isn’t brilliantly geared and as such I’d like to get a few pieces to fill in the gaps.  On two of my earliest HoT runs (consecutive as well) I encountered off-spec looting (or ninja looting to give the benefit of the doubt).  Both runs a brilliant upgrade dropped for me (Tanking Head on one and Chest on another).  The Holy Paladin won the head and fury warrior the chest.

I know the argument they had all the rights in the world to press need if the button shows need as they did the work for it and can use it.  If the need button wasn’t greyed out should I be allowed to need on cloth items as I can DE and then use the mats?  I say no and I do not agree with the “It says you can press need so you can”, for me Main > Offspec, only need on the spec you are running with unless you ask otherwise and no one needs for main.

With the new technology available for this I do not understand why Blizzard doesn’t implement this – I just hope if it works in LFR it’ll take off and be in LFG soon.

Matt

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Non-Blood Spec O_o

After quite a few BGs I’ve decided that as much as I love Blood it is time to try something different. Unless you get Twin Peaks/ Warsong Gulch where you can chain flag carry without dying some BGs can be a bit boring. Tanking 2/3 guys is nice, inevitably you will die and unless you find a guy in PvE gear you will struggle to solo people before they can escape.

For this reason I’m switching my PvP spec (perhaps temporarily) to 2H FROST. I would prefer DW frost but as I have a 2H PvP Sword it makes sense. The talent spec I will be using is: http://eu.battle.net/wow/en/tool/talent-calculator#dc01!aj!kYehSZeTaQ!Sb!defino.

I’ve not had time to test it out yet (hopefully Saturday morning I’ll get a chance) but have found some useful tips on the WoW forums(!!!). The full thread is here: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/5626191749?page=1 but if you don’t want to delve into there then here are some of the tips in a nutshell (written by a person attempting to write like a 12 yr old pro):

~Lichborne heal macro =

/cast [@player] Death Coil

~Pillar of Frost is your best offensive move… …And your best healing move. Using pillar of frost (Try to get 2min trinket, weapon proc, and on hit trinket proc *humans only*) Going along with pillar of frost to increase your death coil heals on yourself by.. Ahaha. Just test ‘er out ;).

~Plague strike has 1 use – Hit a rogue during cloak of shadows.

~Killing Machine Procs – Use Frost strike. Obliterate on clothies when under 35% health, aka in Merciless Combat zone.

~Death Grip is an interrupt for Paladin’s Aura mastery or Priest’s Inner Focus. Do eet.

~Never use Chains of Ice on a warrior. It procs Second Wind.

~Rotate howling blast/necrotic strike and frost strike when Killing Machine procs = Jist of Frost DK PvP.

~Save Blood tap for strangulate. Rare is a case when you use it otherwise. Maybe a finisher, maybe a root with chains during lichborne heal.

~Stance Dancing to Blood Presence. Meditate on this.

~Placing Dark Sim on a strangulated opponent is a good choice.

~Yew can steal a feral druids instant cyclone. Watch for the buff.

~Rune Strike. Rune Strike. Rune Strike. Rune Strike. Rune Strike. Meditate on this.

❤ all you Frost DKs.

So there are some pointers. Enjoy!

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Making Gold As A New Player

As I have recently pointed out I started a new character at the point of starting this blog, roughly 2 months ago. I came into the game with nothing and whilst I have only played for small amounts of time (6-8 hours a week TOPS since hitting level 85) I have managed to accrue just north of 16k gold while not really trying. Whilst this may not sound like a lot to many of you, for a new player this is a considerable amount of money and many of my friends hover around the 3-4k mark.

The methods I currently use (being end of expansion) and for people that do not have much gold are all MINIMAL RISK, there is nothing that requires vast expenditure. Please note, this is how I did it, with my professions:

  1. Level your Professions – I chose Jewelcrafting & Enchanting. This is because they will benefit any spec I choose to play, will help me levelling alts and both have good gold making potential.
  2. Auction House everything – there is nearly always someone out there willing to buy of the AH rather than go farm (especially low level areas). Unless you are DE’ing your greens, then AH them – along with all your white mats (if they haven’t sold after 2-3 attempts then maybe you should vendor)
  3. Req: Jewelcrafting. When you have some money, buy some ore. Prospect. Relist. Carnelians & Inferno rubies sell every day, Nightstones & Jasper can sell for as much if not MORE than the cost of a stack of ore on the days they are the daily requirement. The others you can sell on the AH for cheap, they are irrelevant to easy gold (or make into Jewellery to DE if you have an enchanter also).
  4. Req: Jewelcrafting. Upon hitting 475 do the daily everyday. Get Chimaeras eyes. Sell. That’s 100g a time (ish).
  5. Req: Enchanting. Sweep the AH for lower level greens that are cheap (sometimes 1g!). DE and sell the raw mats. Profit (this is where most of my gold has come from).
  6. At Higher levels solo old content – this will only work for the next two weeks but is also great fun!
  7. Gathering Professions – Though I didn’t opt for this it is a good wayto make money on a new server though you will lose out at money making potential (without farming) at higher levels.

If you do these things it will definitely put you in good stead for a healthier bank balance without risking your current supplies.

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Gearing at the end of an expansion? Madness!

I’ve been playing a lot of PvP recently. Not a lot by non-casual standards but I’ve done a fair few BGs, enough that I have a specific Blood PvP spec (flag carrying for the win! Literally!). I went into one just for a bit of fun, I haven’t really played BGs since TBC when me and my pocket healer paladin housemate and I used to go and melt faces with my shadow priest. Seeing that we use to kick some rear end in those games leads me to believe players were not as good back then. Though this may be a controversial statement I do not rate myself as a good PvP player, but in full PvE gear I used to be able to top HKs, honor and KBs in a lot of BGs – with practically no practise.

But I digress. I went into a BG for a laugh, and I really enjoyed it! So I did another, and I enjoyed that too. I looked at my honor total – it was jumping up quite quickly! A quick look at starter PvE gear showed me I could easily get a good blue starter set of gear – so that’s what I did. AND I had enough honor for the PvP trinket.

So there I was, less than 2 months before the expansion and I had an entirely new set of gear that would be useless soon – but so what, it was fun. I had a rubbish iLvl316 blue sword so thought while I’m playing some PvP I may as well up that to the PvP sword – it will see me through some levelling content I persuaded myself. So there I was happily playing away and before I knew it I was rocking 35% damage reduction from players….not too shabby.

A couple of days later I fancied running a heroic, I had the iLvl with PvE gear but substituted in a couple of pieces of PvP gear just for the massive stamina increases (love my blood shields). Then I looked at my bag….4000 justice points sat there. Well I might as well spend those. So off I toodled and before I knew it I had 2 of my 4 piece set bonus. I jumped into a Heroic, and it was fun. Just like the PvP battleground IT WAS FUN.

I may not have the greatest gear for either, but I ground passable gear so as not to let the rest of the team down and I 100% enjoyed my gaming. Was I trying to gear up? No. Am I glad I did? Yes. Am I looking forward to MoP levelling with my new gear? You betcha! And I may even PUG a Dragonsoul LFR or jump in an alt run in the meantime – who knows what the next month will bring?

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My Current Tanking UI

I am the type of person that LOVES to play about with my UI – the current one I am using is below:

 

My Awesome tanking UI

The idea behind the UI is that I want to have everything extremely important (health, runes, runic power, boss health) all easily visible around my character, everything else I want hidden away in a seperate section.

Normally recount is hidden unless I am keeping an eye on things such as interrupts or who is really slacking!  Due to this is lives outside of the normal box when it is open.

I really like the streamlined feel and not having to look everywhere for information – top left for parties health, top right for buffs/ debuffs/ down for cooldowns etc etc, with this it is center for all primary information and down for other.

Changes!

There are some changes that I want to make to the current UI:

  • Once I start tanking harder instances I want LARGE debuff icons with stack counts on them somewhere central
  • A better frame for what I am attacking
  • Mana bars on my party frames – this is just for when I am 5 manning to make sure healers are topped up before bosses/ big pulls.
  • Circular buttons for my abilities.  No functional reason, they just look pretty!
  • The DPS graph is a placeholder for Omen, I have no problems keeping aggro on 5 mans (especially with Tidyplates – Tank) so at the moment this little baby has just been looking cool.

Addons

So what do I use, and why:

  • Bartender – Allows you to adjust/lock/resize/do everything else to your action bars, a lot of mine are 4×3 as opposed to in a line
  • Sexymap – Allows you to move the map as well as select from some cool designs
  • Shadowframes – a minimalistic party/raid frame tool
  • IceHud – Adds on the Runic Power & Health tracker around my character
  • Miks Scrolling Battle Text – You can’t see that here (I’ll try and add more photos).  Around my right side I display healing recieved and on the left side damage taken/ absorbed.  Damage done I don’t really look at, I’ll leave that to the ePeen DPS!
  • KGpanels – Allows me to segregate part of my screen off (the big box at the bottom) can be used to make lots of different boxes anywhere you want.
  • Satrina Buff Frames – Moveable and Resizeable buff/debuff frames that allows you to show the data you need to see on them.
  • Chatter – Textbox addon, in this case I have used it to remove the back box on the text box allowing me to have the backgrond the same colour as the KGpanel
  • Tidyplates – There are options for tanks or normal.  Mine show the enemies nameplates that I have aggro on as blue, red exclamation marks and red nameplate means they are aggroing another party member and orange means I have aggro but someone is getting close.  This addon is a tanking must in my opinion!
  • Recount – A damage meter that can be set to show loads of different options, DPS (damage per second), Overall Damage, HPS (heal per second), Interrupts, Damage taken, Amount of Death and lots lots more.  You can view by encounter or since last refresh (normally start of a run).

So all in all I am really happy with my UI, there are some small functionality changes that need to be improved but my UI is never fully finished.

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The Newly Dinged Pre-expansion Quandary

So I hit 85 last week with the DK tank. As I levelled through the dungeons once I had done the Thrall elements quest line (always a bit disappointed with the actual fights in that, could have been so good!) I was geared enough to enter heroics….but I didn’t want to.

Instead I worked on my professions, broke the 500 marker on enchanting and then started up JC which I got to over the important 475 mark. As a note powerlevelling Enchanting & Jewelcrafting on a new server where you don’t have a main to feed you should not be taken lightly. I was poor before and am even poorer now, luckily I am reasonable at playing the AH so managed to fund a fair bit my disenchanting and selling low level enchanting mats. Then I saw a "For the Alliance!" group running, I’d never actually managed to kill a faction leader before so dived in – was pretty fun. Far easier than I think it should be on a PvP server but not a lot we can do about making horde defend their capital! I logged off after that with no will to run dungeons.

Since then I have run a couple of heroics (The Vortex Pinnacle and The Lost City of Tol’vir), even in my current, iLvl 332, gear these are still pretty simple. I’ve yet to die (though my party in The Vortex Pinnacle all managed to spectacularly die simultaneously on Asaad, luckily me and the healer finished him off) and being a DK my damage is up there with the DPS. The problem comes is that I don;t really want to run heroics. The only thing tempting me at the moment is the satchel of exotic goods (getting a decent amount of gold, Valor Points, Justice Points AND a chance at a mount or pet is too good to pass up), but apart from that there’s no incentive.

I could spend a week farming the regular Heroics. then a week on the 4.3 Heroics so I can get in Looking for Raid: Dragon Soul – but with MoP around the corner what’s the point? I don’t feel the need to go into Dragon Soul (I have seen it on my Shaman anyhow), if I could easily find a guild raiding the Cata entry raids in relevent level gear (ie not wearing full DS LFR gear) then I would as I’ve not had the chance to see any of that, but as it stands there is no way to get into challenging content (without having to grind through 3 steps of gear in easy content) until MoP comes out.

In the meantime I’ll start working on my MoP bucket list!

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Did you know? How to get to the start of a dungeon

While dungeon crawling on an alt recently I got to the end of a dungeon and wanted to hand in a quest to the giver at the beginning of the instance. It was a long slog back to the beginning and for the life of me I could not remember if there was a shortcut.

So I thought I’d ask my group:

Me: "Hey guys – anyone know if there’s a portal/ shortcut to the entrance"
Healer: "Just teleport"
M: "Where is the teleporter"
H: "No, just teleport out of the dungeon and port back in"
M: "What the? You can do that???"

Cue much laughing from the group – as it turned out 2 of us never knew this was indeed possible. Merely right click on the Dungeon Finder button to teleport out and repeat to teleport back in to the start of the instance.

Magic.

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