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Showing posts from November, 2009

The Ashenvale Encounter (Part 2)

The gnome stared at her a moment, as if sizing her up. He smiled, and not the friendly smile of a friend. This was a smile of power, and of joy. Whatever the Gnome was considering in his mind, he was going to enjoy it. "Riklath shona-nor-ala" the gnome began to speak words. She recognized instantly this was no attempt at conversation, he was canting a spell. His hands began to glow with a sickening purple. She quickly tried to summon the power of the wind against his words, but the wind was powerless against him. She closed her eyes against the inevitable. The next sound she heard was like an explosion. It was the unmistakable report of a Boomstick. She opened one eye a peek to see the Gnome, the smile now gone from his face, staring forward and past her in complete surprise. He stood there as if frozen in time, and then fell facedown at her feet. The otherworldly creature vanished as quickly as it had appeared. She stood there for what felt like minutes, but in realit

One Game Man

So Gravity over at pwnwear asked a question in his blog, and I'd like to address it here. He wrote a post about whether or not you play games other than WoW. I wondered, how unusual am I? The best comparison would be to others in my circumstance: married with kids and a responsible job, do you play other games with any seriousness? I'm in a similar circumstance to Gravity. I'm married with kids, and have a full time job. My daughter is a 4th grader so we have all kinds of extra cirrciular activities she's involved in like Soccer, Band, and Awana. I've been playing WoW for over 4 years now. In that time I haven't really played any other games with any kind of seriousness. Now occasionally, I'll fire up an old game I have like Civilization IV or Knights of the Old Republic. It's like visiting an old friend for a while and those games are still fun even years after their release. I still fire up Madden 2008. Actually I would have kept playing and buyin

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Lord, thank you for this sink of dirty dishes; we have plenty of food to eat. Thank you for this pile of dirty, stinky laundry; we have plenty of nice clothes to wear. And I would like to thank you, Lord, for those unmade beds; they were so warm and comfortable last night. I know that many have no bed. My thanks to you, Lord, for this bathroom, complete with all the splattered mirrors, soggy, grimy towels and dirty sink; they are so convenient. Thank you for this finger-smudged refrigerator that needs cleaning. It has served us faithfully for many years. It is full of cold drinks and enough leftovers for two or three meals. Thank you, Lord, for this oven that absolutely must be cleaned today; It has baked so many things over the years. The whole family is grateful for that tall grass that we all enjoy the yard. My kids are healthy and able to run and play. Lord, the presence of all these chores awaiting me says You have richly blessed my family. I shall d

The Ashenvale Encounter

The young Tauren tightened the strap around her waist again. Her leather armor gave a slight squeak and she readied herself to travel north, and into the Night Elf lands of Ashenvale. She knew they wouldn’t take kindly to seeing a Tauren, and a member of the Horde, in their lands. The danger was real, but overcoming that danger was part of the trial. She reviewed the challenge in her mind. The place she sought was called the Ruins of Stardust. It was there she was to find a small fountain in the center of lake. That fountain contained the water she needed to bring back to Brine. She canted a short phrase and slowly her body morphed into the shape of a translucent wolf. The creatures of the forest were dangerous, so she would stick to the road. She moved north, making a good pace. As she neared a fork in the road, she spotted a signpost. It was obviously of Elven design, but the Elf who had fashioned it saw fit to write the names in Common. The road to the east led to Azshara,

The New EH

There is some very interesting theroycrafting being done on Maintankadin right now about the definition of Effective Health (EH). Effective Health has been understood as the amount of damage it would to kill you, and has generally been understood to be a factor of your Armor, and Stamina. The problem with the traditional definition of EH is that it doesn't really take into account any fight where the damage taken is from both magic and physical, which is essentially every fight in the game. It also doesn't model well physical damage that isn't reduced by armor like Gormok's Impale. Paladin Theorycrafter and Math Genius Theck of Blackrock started looking at the definition of EH when he got involved in a discussion of armor trinkets versus stamina trinkets. You can see the complete mathematical analysis in this thread . Y is the percentage of magical damage, A is armor, H is health, M is mitigation, and N is a constant derived from the link provided. Let's check

Shared Topic: Best Paladin Changes

I'm a bit late to the party on this one, but the shared topic on Blog Azeroth is asking about what we think are the best changes that have happened to WoW in the last 5 years. You can see the posts from other people on the Twisted Nether site. I haven't been playing all 5 years. In fact, I started playing around time the An'quiraj was added to the game (Early 2006, or Patch 1.9 for those of you scoring at home). My main toon has always been my Paladin, so I wanted to concentrate on the best Paladin changes over my time of playing World of Warcraft. But before I do, I want to talk about what I feel is the absolute best change made to World of Warcraft in the entire time that I've been playing, the 10 and 25 man Raid Split. Before, you would get to certain point in the end game where you found a wall. Here and no further. No new content for you unless you move on up to the 'Big Leagues' of 25 man raiding. It put people like myself, who wanted to raid

Teir Ten Four Piece Puzzle

We now have the stats on Tier 10 for Paladin tanks. Let me add in the normal PTR PSA. This stuff is on the PTR, it's subject to change between now and Live, yada, yada, yada. But it's fairly rare that it does. What I want to do is compare the Tier pieces to the non Tier peice drops available and to the Emblems of Frost rewards. This is especially an issue for 10 man raiders because Emblem of Frost gear is iLevel 264 which is a tier higher than Normal mode T10. This is also an important analysis because both your Tier gear and the non Tier gear will be competing for your Emblems of Frost. For example, with Emblems of Frost, you can purchase your T10 Lightsworn Chestguard or the Cataclysmic Chestguard. which one should you get? You'll face a similar decision between Gauntlets of the Kraken and the T10 Lightsworn Handguards. A large component of your decision will be how good the 4pc set bonus is. If the 4pc is very good, like T9's was, you are limited to only one

No Arthas Until 2010

Greg Street, the mild mannered developer who has a secret identity as The GhostCralwer, recently did an interview with MMOZine . It's a pretty good read but there was a major clue as to the timing of IceCrown release and bosses. MMOZine: Will all the bosses in Icecrown Citadel be made available immediately or are you going to stagger them, as you did in Sunwell Plateau? GS:Well we've not announced when it's coming out yet but we don't want to throw players against challenging raid content right over the holidays , so we're trying to avoid that a little bit. That would seem to indicate that we won't see 'challenging raid content' until after the Holidays. I would interpret after the Holidays to mean after Christmas and New Years. We may see the Lower Spire (the first part of Ice Crown) before December, but I wouldn't expect to see Arthas himself until January based on Ghostcrawler's response. And just to underscore the point, Datth on the

Five Bullets in Your Six Shooter

The Devs have released news on how Ice Crown content will be gated for release. After using gating in Trial of the Crusader, it comes as little surprise to me that the Developers have chosen to gate IceCrown. Icecrown Citadel is going to be broken up into four distinct sections: The Lower Spire, Plagueworks, Crimson Hall, and Frostwing Halls. We plan on releasing these four sections of Icecrown Citadel over time and not all immediately when patch 3.3.0 goes live. At this point I can't give precise dates for these release dates as they are determined by when patch 3.3.0 goes live. Once dates are known with more certainty, I'll update the community so they can plan appropriately. The first section that opens will include the Lord Marrowgar, Lady Deathwhisper, Icecrown Gunship Battle, and Deathbringer Saurfang encounters. Progress beyond that point will be prevented for several weeks. Then the Plagueworks will open with Rotface, Festergut, and Professor Putricide becoming avai

Gold and Leveling Guides

The Blogsphere is experiencing its own bit of drama right now with 3 well read, heavy trafficked bloggers putting their Two Copper. It started with everyone’s favorite Goblin, Gevlon of Greedy Goblin, posting about email conversations between himself and Marko of My Two Copper. Both of these guys run blogs dedicated to making lots and lots of gold in World of Warcraft, and Marko was trying to get Gevlon to advertise for a Gold Guide that Marko made and is trying to sell. Gevlon called on none other than Tobold as a witness to verify certain parts of his account. Tobold was kind enough to reply with a verification of Gevlon’s account. Marko, of course, had his own reply, which seems to have been taken down of this writing, but I still have a copy in my Feed Reader. I found the whole thing at least mildly entertaining, which is to say I got a good chuckle out of it. I do hope Gevlon and Marko have some strong spam filters because Gevlon posted a screen shot with both the

Keep Your Old Gear

Currently we are up to Twins in Trial of the Grand Crusader. I have a feeling we’ll get those two down easier than Faction Champions. After that, it’s time for Anub’arak! My job will change dramatically. On normal, I tank the big ole bug and Boston (DK) wrangles the Adds. He acknowledged later that I probably should have been on Adds originally, but it’s Normal mode and really didn’t matter. When we face Anub’arak on Heroic, I’ll be on the Adds. Why are Paladins and Warriors fantastic Add Tanks on Anub’arak? The Adds have this lovely little debuff called Expose Weakness which causes you to take more damage (up to 225%!) Block is a real powerful way to lessen this damage because the multiplication comes AFTER your block reduction. Worldlie on Maintankadin explains it this way: The adds hit for about 5k unmitigated. Assuming you got 4k block value, this will result in a 1k hit (4k blocked). Now let's add the debuff: they would be hitting for about 15k un

Frosty Gear in 3.3

In past patches, I’ve only given a cursory glance at new gear as it’s discovered on the PTR and reported on sites like MMO-Champion. I figured that A, the gear could change and 2, Petrus on Maintankadin would update his gear list and I’d check it out then. With Ice Crown, I’ve decided to take a more proactive approach. I’ve looked at all the gear coming out and I’m looking to answer some basic questions. Is there anything in the new Ice Crown 5 mans, Normal or Heroic, I need. Are there any slots where my current strong gear, like my 245 Bracers and Helm might be superior to what’s offered in the new Ice Crown 10 man. One of the benefits to being a 10 man raider is that I’ve got significantly less gear to consider. If I was a 25 man raider, I’d have to consider all the 25 man gear, plus all the 10 man gear. As I looked over the gear, it seems the theme was pretty clear. The Developers think we are going to start having some Threat issues in Ice Crown Citadel. In almost

Heroic Faction Champions

We had the ‘good’ problem of more raiders than spots last night. I say it’s a good problem because it’s certainly better than not having enough raiders for your team. Boston asked for volunteers to sit, and I thought about it, but I knew we were doing Heroic ToC10. I wanted to be in the raid and as one of our geared tanks; I thought I would be needed. Not only that, but if I sat, the team would miss out on my lovely singing voice and vent, and I’m sure nobody wanted to miss out on that. As an aside, I’m been banned from singing on at least three vent servers. I feel sort of like the guy in the Cantina Scene in Episode IV. “You just watch yourself, we’re wanted men. I’m been banned on three Vent servers!” Annnnnnnnnnnnyway, we two shot Beasts and three shot Jarraxxus. All night it seemed like I was having threat issues. Let’s talk about threat for a second. For the entire expansion, the only time I’ve had threat issues as a Paladin is on gimmick fights like Malygos and Hodir whe

Friends Who Don't Play WoW

I had a friend ask me for my TwitterID so we could keep in touch on Twitter. This guy isn’t a WoW player, and I was reluctant to give him my Twitter ID since I a lot of my tweets are WoW related. I suddenly felt like George Costanza from Seinfeld in the episode where Elaine meets Susan. “Worlds are colliding!” he shouts. Suddenly someone from my real life was going to get a peek into my WoW life. It made me a little uncomfortable. The world where I'm known as by my real name was colliding with the world where I'm known as Honorshammer. I’ve tried, unsuccessfully, to explain to some of my non WoW friends that WoW players really aren’t that different than who spend their evenings watching The Office or American Idol . You basically sit in front of an LCD display for a few hours and watch the stories of characters you are emotionally invested in. I could tell the message wasn’t exactly getting through. There are things in our culture that are just more socia

Thank You Veterans

I'm going to interrupt the Blog today, for this special message. To all the Veterans out there today, I want to say Thank you. I enjoy the frivolity of a video game while you put your life on the line to defend our country, and my freedom. So to all of you, past, and present, Thank You! Keep your heads down and come home safe. Every single last one of you, but especially a certain someone in NMCB 24, and another certain someone in the 315th Airlift Wing.

Helm and Spaulders

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The following scene was recorded moments after Devolve's very first kill of Yogg Saron in Ulduar. Gadgetzan Times reporter, Nipskee Fizzwidget, caught up with Devolve's Tank, Honorshammer. Nipskee: "Honors...Honors...big time players make big time plays. Talk about that Phase 3 transition." HH: "Well, you know, I owe my great hair to Helm and Spaulders." Nipskee: "Right, no. I want to know about the Hand of Protection that saved your Disc Priest." HH: "You know, Helm and Spaulders does 7 great things for my scalp and hair." Nipskee: "Didn't ask about your hair, Honors." HH: "You asked with your eyes, Nip. You asked with your eyes." It was kind of a quiet night last night in game. This was just meant as a bit of humor. You'll either get to joke or your wont. If you didn't get it, well, watch this , and see if it's any funnier.

Lusting for Heroism

I was discussing the 10/25 man difficulty divide with FiestTheRogue on Twitter. Fiest plays a Rogue main and has an alt Tankadin. I love talking to him because he can help me see a perspective that I have don't have access to anymore. Fiest is a hard core 25 man raider. His guild is one pull away from Insanity 25. We're talking US top 50, World top 100s. Pretty sure he's in the Iron Bound Proto Drake club. I'm not raiding hard core 25 mans, and haven't since Burning Crusade. It's really amazing what you can work out when you have a good dialog with someone who disagrees with you. It requires that both parties are mature and a real exchange of ideas happens. Neither party may change their position, but both parties can come away with a better understanding of the overall situation. Often times some core issue is uncovered. We were discussing the difficulty divide of 10s/25s and we both came to the conclusion that one of the core issues is Heroism/Bloodl

Trial fo the Crusader 25

We combined our 10 mans once again and attacked the 25 man version of Trial of the Crusader. The difficulty difference between 10 and 25 gets debated often and with great passion. I’m going to do my best to lay out my position as a 10 man Raider. I’m also (again to the best of my limited ability) going to try to understand the position of the 25 man raider. Let me tell you where I’m coming from, my context if you will. Devolve is made up of two 10 man raid teams. The teams are not set in stone but pretty much the same people run together. Occasionally we’ll have some overlap, especially when we try to put together our 3 rd ‘alt’ team, which I can’t join unless I’m going to pony up and spend 25 bucks to bring the Hunter over or finally get the Druid to 80. Now, by this point we've gotten some 245 badge gear but for the most part our team is 219 to 232 geared. Last week, we 19 manned Northrend Beasts and 20 manned Jarraxxus. This week, with a full compliment, we

Circle of Tanks

Circle of Healers was the brain child of Miss Medicina . You can find the rest of the responses from other bloggers here too . One of my readers, Danny, had an interesting thought after having seen Circle of Healers. Danny tells me: " Honors, I think it would be a good idea to switch it up for a tank. Kind of in the same way Amber changed up Mortigan's Wipe list. It could be fun. I would fill this out myself but I don't have a blog." Ah, but I do. What is the name, class, and spec of your primary Tank? Honorshammer, Paladin, 0/53/18 What is your primary group Tanking environment? (i.e. raids, pvp, 5 mans) 10 Man Heroic Mode What is your favorite thing about the class you chose for your primary Tank and why? I didn't really 'choose' Paladin to be my Tanking class. I had gotten to Level 60 with my first toon (Paladin) and then decided I wanted to Tank. I didn't even know what a Tank was when I rolled Honorshammer in 1.9. At that time, Paladins w