Wednesday, October 31, 2007

022: No!



Damnit, the thing that always attracted me to the Winterspring Frostsaber was that it required a
ridiculous amount of time and effort to get. I wanted the one thing in the game that isn't easy to achieve (besides 0.000001% BOP drop items, obv).

Now it's going to be common.

Sad panda.

Ah well, at least Pinne the Shaman will be happy. Her grind won't take nearly as long as mine has (and I'm not even halfway).

021: PvP

I play better PvP when I'm drunk. That's how much of a carebear I am, isn't it sad? I've been hauled off to the Arena a few times a week by the Healadin for 2v2 and now I've got a 5v5 too. I'm not really doing it for a valid reason anymore either. First off I wanted to get the Merciless Gladiator's Spellblade, but you need to pay an arm and a leg for that and now that we have Prince in Kara pretty much on farm... yeah no. So I glanced at the Shadow Priest set and decided it looks quite nice. Probably gonna pick up the headpiece first and then go for the shoulders. Dunno if I'll bother with the rest, I'm pretty much only doing it for the awesome looks! (Because I really need yet another set to carry around in my bags... /sigh. At least I'm not a Paladin.)

Is it just me or could the Arena matching system be a little better? Last week we walked into a 1400 rating 5v5 that waved a freakin'
Warglaive of Azzinoth in our faces. It got messy.

Knowing that PvP and I will never be friends, why on earth am I on a PvP server? Long story made very short: friends. Originally I had a warrior on Eonar PvE, but I re-rolled when the bestfriend started playing. I make due the best I can and just switch to alts if things get too bad. Probably the only time I actually enjoy PvP is when there's twenty Alliance outside Kara and a couple of Horde decide to try and run through. Though technically that's more of a massacre than PvP.

I feel completely justified in massacring outnumbered Hordies outside Kara after what they did to us during Hallow's End though.

(Headless Horseman? Yeah he's in the SM Graveyard. Which one that is? Easy, just aim for the one with the two feet thick carpet of skeletons outside. Watch out for the thirty-five Hordies camping the instance portal, the two hunters with traps patrolling the entrance to the Monestary and the group of about seven that's guarding the summoning stone. Have fun.)

Proper entry is coming - I accidentally saved over my notepad draft of Serious Post #2 and have been avoiding it since.

Monday, October 29, 2007

020: Gayadins and other animals

MBB: is that a unicorn pala?
Healadin: oyea
MBB: its somehow not as cute as a plain unicorn
MBB: or a plain pala for that matter
MBB: even the human inside that armor looks embarassed
Healadin: hehe
MBB: hes like
MBB: 'there's a purple horn on my forhead, isnt there'


MBB: is that an arrow on his crotch?
MBB: subtle.
Healadin: haha yeah, showing where da power is :P
MBB: and you keep telling me paladins aren't gay.
Healadin: that's not a hint focused towards other men you know
Healadin: you always tend to think gay ways
Healadin: :P
MBB: it doesnt say that anywhere
MBB: however, you have a purple horn on your forhead
MBB: i think that speaks volumes, personally

Actually, he doesn't, because he passed on it for a very happy rogue. Our healadin is a gentleman and we love him for it. That doesn't mean I won't make fun of him when he eventually does get his t4 helmet token though!

Obv this means Prince
went down last night. \o/

019: Comics and Ponies

I promised my guildie the Wonderbear (now respecced to Boomkin Tree? What? Seriously? He'll always be the Wonderbear in my heart /sniff) that my next blog would be about Ponies. Yes, Ponies. For those of you who have been living under a rock lately, we are of course referring to the Looking For Group comic. FOR PONY!

Randomly, it may serve as proof of how frequently my mind is elsewhere to mention that I was once in a PUG with a warlock named Richaard with two a's. It took me two weeks to realise that, duh!, he was a fan of LFG and that's why he'd named his warlock that. Perpetual head in the clouds, I tell you. End random story and onward to the comic goodness!

Penny Arcade (Horde and Alliance)
With such a vast community around it, it's not really surprising that so many comics have blossomed around Warcraft. I encountered my first one in the official strategy guide before I'd even started playing. Unfortunatly I don't think the strips
Penny Arcade made for the guidebook are available anywhere online, only this brilliant one that they made around the time BC came out. However, I will actually go as far as to recommend buying the guidebook just for the comics in it. It's probably not all that expensive now that it's partly outdated anyway.

Looking For Group (Horde)
LFG is the only one I know of that's properly published, and thus, it's not based 100% off of Warcraft. Copyright issues, of course. You'll find that Richard - the undead warlock - is able to do things a warlock wouldn't be able to do in the Warcraft Universe. Like making portals and raining hail on innocent villagers. Apart from little details like that though, it's obvious where their inspiration came from. This one is so heartily recommended that I'll be dissappointed if you don't click the link and check it out. Come on, do it for Pony! (make it to page 42 in order to get the Pony reference)

Manic Graffiti (Horde PvP and Alliance PvE)
From what I understand,
this comic has made regular appearances in the livejournal community worldofwarcraft for who knows how long. I don't frequent that community, but from the moment my friend passed me a couple links over MSN I was hooked. The art is stunningly detailed and I may be in the process of comissioning a portrait of Tieryn as we speak. Well worth a read! PS Druids are emo.

Dark Legacy (Alliance)
Superbly funny. It also has the best screenshot from warcraft ever: the infamous boatride to Stonetalon Mountains. Yes, they took the boat from Theramore and ended up in the Stonetalon Mountains. Which, as I'm sure you know, is simply choc-full of ports to dock in. Not to mention sea.

Chronicles of the Flaming Ruby (Alliance)
A Night Elf with a chronic licking problem, gay Rogues, gay Paladins, Warlock-school, horde kidnapping the artist and demanding to be featured in the comic as ransom, Warcraft Soccer with the GMs as referees and so so so much more. You're missing out if you haven't read these! The Chronicles (and the dancing video) are the core reason I got obsessed with Blood Elves.

Flintlocke's Guide to Azeroth (Alliance)
Sadly this comic is no longer updated, but it still deserves a link even if GameSpy's intervening ads are fiendishly annoying.
Flintlocke is the only comic I know of that uses screenshots for the artwork, btw. I was going to say something about how that must have been nitpicky work that took ages, but it's not like hand-drawing everything is any easier. Anyone else recognise themselves?

The Noob Comic
Lastly, there's the
Noob Comic. It's last because it isn't about WoW as much as it is about MMO's in general. While some aspects of it might confuse people who have never played EverQuest, Guild Wars or Final Fantasy XII (like me), the basic issues are the same as you find in Warcraft. Plus it's still funny, even if your mind revolts at their pvp system.

I'm sure I haven't linked all the WoW comics that exist but that wasn't the point of this blog either (feel free to comment with your favorite links though!). If I was able to introduce you to one you weren't aware of yet, that's more than good enough.


Monday, October 8, 2007

018: Oldschool Sunday

We were unable to do Kara this Sunday due to both our Kara-tanks being busy, thus there were a lot of people online without anything much to do. Pinne (the level 50 resto shammy bestfriend) had been dragged to BRD by the crazy oldschool mage, so I tagged along for the ride. Still hadn't got my Shadowforged Key so why not? We took down a variety of bosses in an attempt to make Pinne ding 51, including the one that drops Ironfel. Haven't figured out exactly where I need to go place it yet cause crazy mage yelled 'Ony!' and then things began to rumble, kind of like an avalanche.

There were echoes of 'Ony!' throughout the guild, so we scheduled her at 7pm. Our newest healer hadn't done the last part of the attunement chain, thus an UBRS raid was quickly formed. I'm not sure if anyone has ever plowed through UBRS quite as fast as we did yesterday, it honestly felt like we'd reached the end-boss in about five minutes. It was a lot of fun though, especially for me since I'd only been there twice before. There was QQ when the beast didn't let go of his Pristine Hide. There was a random drop which would have made a lucky raider very rich before BC. There was laughter. I can't have been alone in having fun though, because suddenly hungry players wanted more more more and a spontaneous Molten Core raid was formed. I'd never actually gotten attuned to MC but that part was fixed in 5 minutes (Thank you Kabale♥).

It was my first time venturing into the Core. What impressed me the most I guess, is that the trash was actually tough to take down. We were ten people ranging from 64 to 70ish and we still had plenty deaths and at least one wipe. The best part though was when the tank went afk for ten minutes. Naturally we got restless and the rogue looks up at the two Molten Giants in front of us and goes 'I can tank one'. Kabale goes 'Tieryn can take the other, I've seen a Shadow Priest do it before'.

Mooseh and Tieryn sizing up their targets
Oh moment of glory! But unfortunatly a DPSer or two went afk too, so we had to wait.

Obviously I wasn't going to let the chance escape me though, so when the tank was back and charged the skull, I Mind Blasted the hell out of the star and managed to nab aggro. It was a bit difficult to hold onto it but I managed to and look Mommy! I tanked it all by myself! Of course I realised afterwards that I'd done it all with Salvation still on, so that probably explains the difficulty in holding onto the aggro :P

Yes, I am crazy enough to have rolled the epitome of healers with the intent of using her to tank. Because it can be done. To an extent, anyway. My grand goal is to tank Onyxia as Shadow Priest, because
it's been done and one day I will do it too.

There was much laughter. There were demands for the Wonderbear to call out the raidwarning **LOOT THE DAMN DOG**, which he did. There was more laughter.

Anyway, we took down
Lucifron & Magmadar and I made cheesy screenshots because damnit, they were my first ever MC kills. By then it was almost 7pm and people would soon be logging in for Ony so we hearted out, picked up our medallions from the bank and set out for Dustwallow Marsh.

Tieryn fighting Onyxia
Sadly I died along with 2/3 of the raid at the beginning of Phase 3. (I moved out of the way of her breath - unfortunatly she moved too.) That didn't stop us though and she was 3-manned by the sexy gay rogue, the Wonderbear and the best damn Healadin on the server. My new goal is to fight Onyxia and live through the whole thing :P

No loot. I had hoped for the tier 2 headpiece to drop from Ony or to at least end up with the backpack as a souvenir of the event, but alas. She actually dropped Shammy loot I believe, and the shaman that had logged on his old priest alt cursed high and wide. Not that tier 2 is any important anymore, of course. It's just so damn pretty! And wouldn't it be something to be able to say that yes, you're in full tier 2 and yes, you got it all after BC? Now that, my friend, is an acomplishment.

Dear Guild,

let's declare oldshool days more often. Please? Also, I want my Benediction/Anathema now, so can we do Majordomo next time? Meanwhile, you'll find me farming for The Eye of Shadow in Winterspring.

your Mana Battery

Saturday, October 6, 2007

017: Lucky week

First Ritssyn's Lost Pendant dropped in Kara and I won the roll. The next day I gave up on looking for a crafter and dragged guildies into Shattered Halls for a rep run: Pattern: Spellstrike Hood drops. Then, the day after that, we do a guild run of Botanica for rep and what do you know, both Kamaei's Cerulean Skirt and Pattern: Whitemend Hood drops. I'm the only clothie and the only tailor, I get both.

So now I finally have my precious hood and a bunch more to boot. Happy as can be :D

Thursday, October 4, 2007

016: I'll keep you my dirty little secret

On a different server somewhere out there, a belf gayadin and a gay belf rogue found a private corner to unwind at the end of a long day leveling. They, in turn, where created after a long day spent leveling the resto-shammy and doing whatever Tieryn was doing that day. We were bored. We needed something new. And that male belf dance is so much fun.

This post was heavily fueled by Chidori and the Flaming Rubies.


All I want is my Spellstrike Hood crafted. Had a guy lined up to do it via a friend, he said no problem, whenever I was ready with the mats just whisper. Friend even said he'd log onto that guys account and run a heroic to get the nether himself if it came to it. I was a happy Mana Battery. I was purring.

Crafter quit playing wow.

Right, well, gotta troll /trade to find a new guy then. Not so hard, yeah? Spend 3-4 days periodically calling for a crafter with no results. See other people doing the same thing. Finally one day I come back from afk'ing to see that somebody has infact advertised that they can craft Spellstrike Hood in the trade channel and they also have a Nether available. Great! Whisper! 0 players found! Whatever, he logged off, it happens, I'll add him to friends and he'll be back eventually.

He does come back, but I'm the polite kind and do not whisper people while they're in a raid. I wait and wait and wait and two more days pass and finally I catch him idling in Shattrah. Whisper. No reply. Wait, wait, wait, oh look he's gone afk. Fantastic.

Player comes back from afk, I whisper again. He has no Nether. No, he says, he doesn't really run heroics often either.

I JUST WANT MY HOOD PEOPLE. It took me weeks of grinding to gather all the mats now GIMME MY HOOD :[

The Raiding Shadow Priest Part I: +spell hit

Disclaimer: I only raid 10man, things might be different in 25man raids. Also, I don't know everything.

In almost every post in this blog I've been going on about my +spell hit rating. So what's the big deal really? Why is it so important? What does it do for a shadow priest?

First of all, let's look at the concept of spell hit. Wowwiki says: "The more spell hit gear a caster has, the lesser the chance an enemy will resist his spells." As the game is set up there will always be 1% chance to miss, no matter what we do. It's the remaining percentage that we're concerned about.

If you throw a spell at a mob that's 3 levels below you, your hit chance is 99%. If you throw a spell at a mob that's the same level as you, it's 96%. When you get into Karazhan and throw a spell at a mob that's 3 levels above you (or any boss), your chance to hit is 83%. That's getting a little low. Since it's obviously necessary to down mobs and especially bosses as fast as possible, it's vital that almost 2 out of every 10 spells you cast are not resisted. Any spell that is resisted is a waste of casting time and mana.

Enter +spell hit.

PvE raiding mobs marked with a skull are considered as level 73 and thus you have 83% chance to hit them. At level 70, you gain 1% hit for every 12.6 spell hit points you've gathered from gear. The theorycrafters have done the math for us and tells us that 202 spell hit rating converts to aprocimately 16% and 83 + 16 = 99. In summary: to not resist more than the unavoidable 1%, a shadow priest needs +202 spell hit. That's a lot.

Enter Shadow Focus.

Shadow Focus is a tier 2 talent in the shadow tree and has a maximum of 5 points. For each point in this talent, you gain 2% spell hit for all shadow spells. Since pretty much everything we do is shadow magic, that's one hell of a useful talent! In fact, it's imperative for a raiding shadow priest to max out this talent until they get their +spell hit going.

(The talent Focused Power also helps the +spell hit for Smite, Mind Blast and Mass Dispel, but being in tier 6 of the Discipline tree it's really not worth it IMO)

So let's say you're level 70 and have no +spell hit but you just specced 5/5 in Shadow Focus. You now have an extra 10% chance to hit with all your shadow spells, landing you at a comfortable 93%. You will need 76 hit rating in order to cover the remaining 6%, which is a much more reasonable number. Once you reach 101 hit rating, you've covered 8% and can downspec to 4/5 Shadow Focus and spend that point on something else. The full list has been posted before but I'll throw it in again:

76 hit is the cap with 5/5 Shadow Focus
101 hit before you can go to 4/5 Shadow Focus
126 hit before you can go to 3/5 Shadow Focus
152 hit before you can go to 2/5 Shadow Focus
177 hit before you can go to 1/5 Shadow Focus
202 hit before you can go to 0/5 Shadow Focus

All numbers rounded up to the next whole number.

When I digned 70 I had a puny amount of +spell hit because I didn't know what on earth it was. Once I figured it out with a little help from my guildies I set about gathering any +spell hit piece that was available to me. For example the day I realised that 2 pieces of the Mana-Etched set gave +35 spell hit was a glorious day and it got a big ol' post on this blog. (I'm still using those.) It's not easy accumulating all that hit but it's not easy to down bosses without it either, and most high-end guilds will require you to have 202 spell hit as one of your most prioritized goals. I won't say the most prioritized because guilds differ, obviously.

That said, it's not only gear that can help you hoard spell hit. Xornot's Gem Finder, which is linked to the right, lists all relevant gems at the click of a button. Any enchanter that's revered with Cenarion Expedition will be able to put +15 spell hit on your gloves. (Consider getting that instead of the +20 spell damage enchant until you've reached your cap.) There might be other ways too, but none that I'm aware of.