Thursday, January 28, 2010

Not Really Motivated

Not much to talk about this week. Since I've barely logged in and played WoW much all week and from the weekend, not that much to really feel motivated to talk about or passionate to spend several hours writing and constant correction even writing about something.

I don't have any goals either at the moment to feel driven to accomplish and though I can maybe think of many too long to list, I'm just not feeling motivated and motivated to make any. I like to play and do whatever motivates me to do so and to my own internal beats.

Often its a struggle with some form of balance in having a life and playing WoW. Its good to have a job, its good to be employed. But some days I'm just so damn tired after work and that feels like all the time that is. I'm up at 4am in the morning for my long commute and have to be at work by 6am. I don't get home till by 8pm usually. Its the same when that flips and work at nights. Its quite often physically draining and mentally spent.

Last thing on my mind on those days thinking about sitting on my PC and trying to write something interesting to update my blog is not that close to mind. Logging into WoW and dealing with all else that comes with logging in and dealing with guildies and their constant drama is not something I want to have to deal with when I really want to unwind and get a little peace of mind or be left alone. So I don't feel that motivated to want to log on at such times.

But day by day I fall behind on my 2 daily Frost of Emblem that I can gain from Heroics daily or even the weekly quest. I'm ever so slowly getting falling months behind on that since I'm slowly not feeling internally motivated to log on daily to do so.

I'm just feeling tired from work life and the daily grind of going through life and being damn tired and feeling too tired to do some other things while needing to do other things or besides WoWing.

Many a times I've thought about logging in to play after a long day at work. But a few mins on the couch to slowly unwind and before you know it a complete new day or too late and never even made it to playing WoW let along Blogging. So I slowly fall months behind on things and on my Frost Emblems and day by day it feels even less motivating to even try and catch up. The reality of things is i'll continue to fall behind and thats not motivating to me.

A bit hard to be that motivated at time. Just the reality of life for one guy playing WoW. So goes my Life and Times. Life keeps happening to you while doing everything else, even while trying to enjoy playing WoW whenever that is.

We all have some form of real lives or complex lives each of us all and that has real impact on how much or how we even play the game itself.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Signs of Things to Come, Tank AE and AE Tanking

And interesting WoW Forum thread and some thoughts from GC in this thread about Protect Warrior possible dps increase yet relevant as well to all tanks as a whole and possible signs of things to come in the future at some point. Clearly some things here are on Blizzards radar. Such as the oversimplified use and style of AoE tanking everywhere all the time and the whole AoE Tanking game.

A few things:

1) We're much more concerned about tank single target dps than we are tank AE dps. Especially in Icecrown, there are virtually no fights where the tank's dps contribution on an AE fight is really going to amount to much. You can make an argument that the single target dps can be relevant on e.g. Festergut (though again, I still don't think there are that many cases where the difference between success and fail are the tank's dps).

2) You may find Devastate boring, but Devastate is a very easy ability to buff because even small tweaks have large effects given how often it is used. Buffing say Shield Slam (or even Def Stance) would make the PvP balance we're trying to solve even worse. You'd have to buff Revenge enormously to see a difference. Any buff to Heroic Strike affects dps warriors in PvE as well who aren't hurting at all. Some of the ideas about e.g. Rend are interesting, but we're pretty sure the last thing the warrior needs is yet another ability to manage while tanking. Long term that might be the kind of thing we consider, but given that we're looking for a safe and easy buff, that's not the kind of thing we want to mess with now. (Consider that even if we did a PTR, who is going to be on there when the competition is new bosses in Icecrown?)

3) There are differences in how tanks generate AE threat, and therefore damage. Warriors are jealous of the DK and especially paladin persistent area-based damage, and the others are jealous of the warrior's burst AE threat on incoming adds. Druids are jealous of anyone with more than one button. :(

So, yes, one way of handling this is to give every tank a burst AE attack like Thunderclap, a sustained AE attack like Consecrate, and a mass taunt like Challenging Shout just for good measure. That's the kind of thing we are really reluctant to do though because it just works against the justification for having 4 tanking classes when they all perform the same way including using the same kind of tools. Now, on the other hand no tank should be horribly gimped in any of those situations, and except for rare exceptions they really aren't. We're mostly talking quality of life issues here. (One such exception: DK offtanks on Yogg had trouble picking up adds and the dps couldn't afford to wait. As long as there aren't a ton of fights like this though, we don't think it's a systemic flaw.)

4) Long-term, the paladin manner of generating AE damage and threat is probably too good, especially given how simple it is. To be honest, we have very mixed feelings on the whole AE tanking game. We brought the druid and warrior more in line with the paladin for fear of recreating the Shattered Halls / Mount Hyjal experience, where other tanks just weren't competitive. What that has led to of course is the AE tank + AE style of damage for almost every pull. You need the tools to be able to tank legitimate adds fights (imagine lots of incoming mobs), but does that mean every pull needs to devolve into that? We'd like to see less AE overall, so buffing everyone's AE tools isn't going to be tops on our agenda. That does however mean that we really can't afford to have a "best AE tank", and while things are more fair there than they were in BC, they aren't fair enough.

Sorry for going off topic here, but these kinds of questions have come up a lot lately, so I figured I'd just share some of our discussions publicly.

Lead Systems Designer

I guess if you read GC's comments that it can be read different ways to different people. Such is as everything else in WoW. Anyway Paladin Nerf incomming! ETA Dunno!

Seems to me that's the AE Tanking style that is now may not be as quite intended by Blizzard or probably somewhat out of hand with some imminent changes for the future. But the issue and more is on Blizzards radar for Cataclysm in whatever form changes may come with a less AoE form of Tanking perhaps. Who knows! And I guess in a way this is somewhat related to the debate that's going around with Tank AoE and CC. As well the thinking that everything now is just AoE with all tanks. Tanking without much thought required, unintelligent mob trash packs that are just all AoE all the time it seems, especially in Heroics and some raids. Elite trash mobs just don't feel all that elite anymore, more like pushovers with everyone AoEing all the time.

What I really would like to see for Cataclysm with tanking is not everything being a AoE tanking grind like it is now, that's just boring at some point. Nor would I quite wish to see a great amount of CC return to the overall game, yet some measure of it for relevance in intelligent trash pack design to return for the sake of intelligent tanking among all the tanking classes and some form of intelligent dpsing as well as a result. Much of that is missing in WotLK. See Blessing of Kings as well for some intelligent thought here and older posts.

As far as Heroics and maybe some raids it don't even feel all that heroic anymore when all some tanks do is just run into a pack of mobs as a tank with no consequence whatsoever of anything or abilities a pack of mobs can do. Add some form of intelligent reaction required to how a tank reacts or intelligently pulls a pack of mobs for a challenge as well challenge the dps as well. It was good to give all tanks viable tools to AoE dps yet much of that has lead to just AoE Tanking with much lack of thought and with many dps who do much the same.

Its to be seen how things will turn out, but it seems its on Blizzards radar for the future and Cataclysm to focus on less AoE overall. Be interesting to see how that all turns out as well as it relates to Tanking. Who knows what Blizzard will deliver in the future....

Hoping Blizzard can deliver a fun expansion with Tanking with a bit more Intelligence and with more a lively challenge required for the often bored dps as well.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Lost Skill and Art of Target Crowd Control (CC)

That loose Hunter in (Shackle Undead), I CC'd It and without the Tank asking me to.
The ability to Crowd Control (CC) a loose target and mob in a Instance to the benefit of a Instance party seem to be a lost Art & Skill that's almost gone the way of the dinosaur. Maybe not quite, but it sure feels like it. But lets face it, quite allot of players today in WotLK era have no idea What (CC) is, How, When, Where or What CC they can use at their disposal if needed.

Crowd Control is simply the spells and ability that many players have from various classes to limit a mob target ability to engage in active combat or to incapacitate them in some way. That ability limit the amount of mobs in a group in active combat to make a chaotic situation much less chaotic and a bit more controlled for the person doing the pull which is Tank.

In age of WotLK expansion where Blizzard has made every dps class to AoE like rain, and all tanks have high threat AoE to just round up groups and AoE there is no real adverse effect to how a group is ever pulled and burned down. With most mobs in group pulls having no real deadly spells and abilities to lock down or counter for a more controlled pull its all AoE all the time every time.

There has been no emphasis through out WotLK on the real use of Crowd Control skills to any real degree in use by classes that have the utility which are almost every class. And in a way what that has done is that second natured utility skills that many players had in tBC they can barely remember how to use. Overall it used to make things interesting when you had to CC something once in a while. Some players cant remember how to CC. Some never players have no idea what the hell that even is let alone ever heard of it or know how to and when to use if they ever even had to.

This is one the thing Ive though about for some time as well. And even in my guild who has allot of newer player to WoW who was never around in the tBC era many of them have simply never heard of CC, or even know what it means or what to do. If you were around from the Vanilla and tBC era at this point in WoW your totally from the old school era of WoW. Back in the era of tBC at least you knew how to use CC if it was required and it was almost in every tBC dungeon/raid you went to. Most players knew how to use their skills or they often saw it in action or was called up at various point to lock down a target at some point.

Its no secret that tBC dungeon tactics was much different to WotLK era and that's totally by Blizzard design and many players wanting easier dungeons with less emphasis on CC and faster dungeon runs start to finish. Everything is for faster and easier instances. But there are always Cause & Effect when things change. With easier faster dungeons you have less trash, more AoE and when it comes to a mob CC target pull to make things interesting........ who cares! Its a AoE grind!

No longer you have the smart surgical pulls that many tanks has skills in with X target CC on pull to make a pull interesting. Most players don't want that it seems. But what's always easy and quicker don't always make it fun or overall good for the player from a skill point or game challenge. Where is the challenge when a Hunter as dps don't get to pull and trap or chain trap in a Dungeon or practice his art once in a while to feel valuable. Or a Mage to feel he/she can get to Polymorph something once in a while or other classes to use their utility skills.

I'm a bit torn at times as well when players want a dungeon to be over in 10 mins and only have to run in kill one pack of trash and then boss dungeon over. As a player I enjoy the challenge vs having it all been totally brain dead easy. Players seem to want things all to easy but that don't always make it fun. But the effect of things is that you have dungeons with less emphasis with barely any any form of CC use ability because the mobs in the trash pack are lol easy AoE.

I like to AoE as much as anyone being a Tank. Yet often I find it quite boring as well if you cant use some strategy given the group you have to execute pulls with some form of control or lock down of a target to make things interesting for the rest of the group.

I remember the fun times back in 5 mans back in tBC, the pull before the 2 boss in Shadow Labs fun times with that room. The pull with the Tempest and the Champions immediately after the giant crab boss in Slave Pens and the pulls going up the hill all the way to the last boss. The pulls in Tempest Keep Heroics fun times! The pulls at the beginning and all the way through Steamvault. Allot of players really hated that place :) and are not going to share that sentiment because of group combination some players always thought you had to have. For CC one form or another and people using them properly. People just needed to know how to play as a team and use their spills properly. Nor do many want to go back to that era either. Why? Because it was hard or seem like it was. I more less though it was a fun challenge the dungeon tactics required vs the almost brain dead era of WotLK where you AoE everything. And where new Tanks as well seem to learn that and believe thats how you do everything as well.

But tBC had more emphasis on players ability to use their CC skills/utility as a art more so than WotLK ever had. Its like the forgotten skills. The other day through some means the conversation came up in our guild and that lead to the topic of Crowd Control. And when I mentioned the ability to CC in guild chat, it became evident that with quite a few 80's and others in our guild they totally had no damn idea what I even meant. So I asked if they knew what Crowd Control is? And barely anyone even knew that either. That kinda shocked me a bit though not as expected either. But yet I would imagine if your at lvl 80 you have some idea what CC is right? Most players in my own guild even didn't know! And that started to make me wonder even more why is that? They never had to use their skills or even seem anyone else use it to any real value or in a group. In the age of AoE all the time every time, who needs CC is the general and overall thought. Why do others care or should have to learn how to properly use their utility skills? Often many those players get to a raid environment where it may be required but they fail at using their skills and cause you potential wipes.

One of our fairly geared Hunter I asked out of curiously if he knew how to chain trap? He never heard of it! He had no idea how and wondered why he even had to know how. He figured he can easily throw a arrow and drop it at the mobs position and have it trapped. Chain Traping, he had no clue though. The thing that bothered me a bit was I knew these things, but barely anyone in my guild did. Barely anyone in my guild been around before WotLK. When I talk about how it was in tBC in the old school days of WoW to them in chat its like talking about a forgotten era in WoW how it used to be.

In all the dungeon instances in all of WotLK I've ever personally been in. I have never seen a Mage Polymorph anything! I've never seen a Shaman Hex anything though I did use it a time or two leveling up my Shaman just to see what the spell does out of curiosity. I've seen a Rogue's Sap a target just playing around before a pull. I've never seen Repentance use ever by any other Paladin besides myself. I've never seen a Hunter ever successfully Freeze Trap anything at range or on aggro pull. I've never seen a Warlock Banish, Enslave or Seduce anything, I have no idea if they still even have the spell or if they even still have the Succubus. Never seen a Druid use CC anywhere. I seen a some Priest use Shackle Undead a few times at least at various places doing things. Overall not much CC have I ever seen other than what I've used on a Alt personally. But its kinda sad that's quite allot of classes with utility I've never ever seen spells used anywhere. Lost skill and art?

And to me when it comes to the ability to use CC it seems in WotLK even though not really required by content design by Blizzard, many don't seem to know how to avoid breaking the spell ability when cast if its even used either. Because everyone and every class now use AoE! Someone cast a CC, someone else immediately now breaks it. Sucks!

In the new ICC Heroics where its possible to use some form off CC I've seen the ghostly waves of trash tanked out in the open and in the alcove both. I've been there on my Paladin as tank and Ret dps on different occasions. I've also been there on my Shadow Priest as well. On every occasion been there I've used my own CC at least once minimum as dps. And the funny thing is almost every time I CC a target at range or close by out of AoE range, someone else almost immediately breaks it and often its not the tank. At times I've popped Repentance on the ghostly Hunter or a Mage at range just outside AoE range, someone breaks the CC almost immediately. I cast Shackle Undead on a target at range, it never last the duration of the spell barely 5 secs as someone else breaks target CC with AoE damage. I'm using my utility skills where its good to do so and very helpful to the tank and the healer both for a bit more control of chaos. But others just breaks it. But at least I thinking and using the abilities when necessary.

I have Repentance on my Ret Paladin as a macro that yells in chat I'm CCing a Target and which target so everyone sees the notice on cast of spell, people still break the CC every time! Same with Shackle Undead on macro and only yesterday of all the times I ever used it that someone didn't break the Shackle Undead. But it was quite funny in that when the other mobs were dead everyone was wondering why the that Hunter mob was standing there in Shackles before they finally decided to burn it down. What that did was help the healer out in that instance healing. And though the healer died in yesterdays run on the next waves of trash, we still managed to finish the waves of trash, kill the 2nd boss all with the healer dead. Was able to CC a mob, dot a target or two and hit a healing spell to get through trash then dps and heal the boss all while the healer was down for utility. Hell I found that more fun than anything but it was teamwork at that point to avoid a wipe with a healer down. You never know when you need to use other skills in playing as a team instead of just trying to top the damage meter all the time. Its good to have usable utility and know how to use as needed.

That deadly caster mob over in the far left distance, I CC'd it with (Repentance) without being asked.
The only other time I've managed to use CC and no one broke it is in the picture above. It was hard to try to take the shot while dpsing due to the lag as well. But I had the article in mind and I needed a active CC shot at work for this because it seem rare. No one else in the whole run used any form of CC ever on any the trash pull. Of course its easy to AoE everything right? But i do remember how many people got killed due to Ice Spikes across the floor as well from those same casters earlier. But its less chaos when CC is used and saves people from unnecessary death when you don't have a caster throwing Ice spikes across the floor killing people. As causing unnecessary healing to have to be done.

I remember in that same ICC pull we couldn't find the trap for the Bone Ward Giants mobs. And on pulling the large trash group before the first boss in ICC raid while pulling the trash one of the two remaining Giant Bone Ward mobs immediately popped and could be a potential wipe. I immediately popped Repentance on the caster in the distance since I knew he be casting the Ice Spikes across the floor constantly while trying to kill the large trash pack and the Giant Bone Ward mob. Not once only but twice successfully I used Repentance on that same caste to keep that mob locked down as Repentance was up. And who knows if the other giant in the alcove would pop as well. That saved a potential wipe and no one really died on the pull either. The thing was there were 3 Ret Paladins and a Hunter in that pug ICC run, yet none the others thought enough to CC a stray loose cannon mob.

CC isn't dead, few just remember how and when to use it or even why I believe. But its teamwork to use your utility to help and benefit your group to control the chaos. Often someone just blame the tank saying the tank didn't get the stray mob. But if you have the ability to lock down a mob on the fly with a usable form of CC which takes a second or two of utility then its your fault if you see it and never do anything about it. And if someone marking or tanking don't say to CC something loose, many just seem to possibly ignore the fact that they can do something as a team player and locked down a stray mob. Group play is a team effort! They'll probably do good dps on target, but its like not caring if loose mob kills someone else in the process or cause healer added work load enough that someone or more possibly dies.

As a player I like the challenge of interesting pulls, being able to execute it and mark my targets or CC if I have to. Yet I can AoE them all if I needed to, though more chaotic. Its a choice what one chooses to do somewhat given the group they have. Yet its good to practice your utility skills or know how to use them, you just never know where and when you will be required to use them. And when you do, you just stand out that much more than the next average player in your group who didn't think enough to use his/her ability.

Monday, January 18, 2010

LFD System Potential Impact On How We Used To Make Friends.

I've been thinking about this for a while. I've had reasons to think about it for various reasons or just thinking about things and remembering how it used to be before the new LFD System as well as back in tBC. Just my belief that the new LFD System has had a impact on how many people on their own realms make new friends and will continue to make new friends as well. A bit likely that more people will become strangers on their own servers or already are.

Maybe its just me and my observation but I'm wondering if other players have noticed it as well who actually used the system allot now as well as before in the old system. I also kinda believe that the new LFD System is also a bit antisocial or fosters more antisocial behavior which also impacts making new friends. For a person on their own realm doing LFD System content due to cross server members there is not much chance of making friends and not much chance of doing much communications either when in group.

Its all business or just about almost in random LFD! Lets get this run started now, lets get it over with asap and I don't want to talk to any of you any longer than I have to be here. And when its over I want to be gone just as fast back to my realm where I came from. That's pretty much to me how most people in random LFD acts and how my experience has been in LFD as a whole. There is little real conversation if any, its minimal and at most just a "Hi" or "Hello". And when the last boss is dead there is barely a "Bye" at that. Poof gone! For some people its that random jerk they meet in LFD cross server that they never will see again that impact their experience.

I think this makes it really hard to make friends or for a person to make friends on their realm or know people outside their guilds. More so I believe for a new person in WoW to grouping because communication is few and far in between in groups and if someone is failing in a group or need help learning something some players are not that helpful in trying to help but rather try to quickly degrade the player to a noob of one form or the other. I believe that has some impact on making any lasting friendship based on what those players experience was in a Instance.

The number one way I made friends on my realm was in doing 5 man Instances or puging a raid. Sometimes I make friends on my realm because I often use certain players and repeatedly for profession services and I often tip them well so they kinda remember you just by often needing a profession service performed that they have. So you tend to know some those players or as friends over time. I'm not the kind of player who participate in /2 chat or care much for it or pay it any real attention nor can you find any good friends their either. Often I quickly find out who the server jerks are rather. I used to like the fact when I actually knew more people outside my guild than I knew that was in it. Sometime you meet good players in raids or on a good raid run or exceptional players at playing their classes while enjoying the raid. Often you notice who the bad ones are as well.

I can remember back in the old days of tBC on my old server when I used to run allot of 5 man heroics. I even remember my first heroics. It was a group of strangers, I wasn't new as a tank. But I was somewhat still new to group Tanking and in a heroic. It was Shattered Halls. And I almost had a heart attack tanking the place. But you had people that was at least friendly on your own server who just kinda had a good time and helped you along the way making pulls, having conversation and not quick to judge you as noob tank go learn to tank. It was hard to find a good tank back then to tank 5 mans and most were more decent and skilled than what you actually have now in random LFD. I'm sure I made a friend at least from that run or remembered what guild they were in on my own server. I became good at puging heroics back then when heroics was actually really hard and you had to be a fairly smart competent tank to tank hard hitting heroics back then and using tactics and CC properly on pulls.

Many heroics I ran often and in each and every dungeon group it was people from my own realm that you formed group with that was on the run. People got to know who was who and what guild each other was in. You chatted while on the run, you worked as a team because stuff was hard back then allot more than you do in WotLK era. I was infamous in some was for all the pugs I used to run and often. Through all that process I made lots of server friends from various guilds. I knew people in lots of guilds and knew their guild tag and knew some their guildies. I had them as friends on my list. Often when I ran heroics I picked friends off my list to form groups. You became better friends and met people that way. Of the few guilds I ever been in at lvl 70 back in tBC every one of them I met in a heroics the officers or the GM every one. We noticed each other as good players and we often ran heroics together and had a good time.

Even my last guild on my old server the GM a Warlock and his wife I met in a pug heroics. We just kept running into each other and whenever I formed a group he was on my list of friends to invite and he always asked if his wife a Shadow Priest can come on the run and it was more than a few. They became friends and we met others in heroics that became friends from strangers eventually as well because they were from our own realm. You saw each other around town. That was then back in tBC and made lots of friends that way as people had time to have a good time in heroics and chat a bit in conversation along the way. In WotLK I made some friends that way as well when I server transferred to a new server well into WotLK after being on break.

When I ran a bit of heroics on my Shaman after getting him to 80 I made a few server friends as well outside my own guild. This was well before the new LFD System as it was all server groups. I remember running quite a bit of heroics with a one particular Paladin that we became friends. He eventually burned himself out as well. Whenever he would log on and I was logged on he would whisper me asking me if I wanted to dps a few runs. I was always up for it and we had a good time as well on smooth runs. Along the way we made some new friends that way as well in groups that they became repeat group members and friends for other heroics runs. But through the process you met and learn who some players were on your own server.

Contrast that to today in the new LFD System era. Its more likely that few people from their own server will form a random heroics as a actual group or even know enough friends to be able to form a group with friends outside of a guild, queue and do random instances. Its obviously easier and faster for some classes to queue up in LFD and play with strangers. Most people run with strangers in LFD. They mostly cross server players. They not your friend and don't want to be your friend. They are there to get their Emblems as fast as the run can go and when its over they gone faster than the RNG can finish the loot roll. You wipe in the group, someone can just easily quit as a result as well. Now a days with the cross server instances those people memory of you will only be as long as the run will last and if your a total jerk they may remember you for a little longer with emotional anger. But most people wont nor is there any reason to, your not on their realm. So you even have less chance to make friends or have any real conversation if any. Whether the experience is positive or negative its less opportunity to get to know others and make friends with people not on your server. And this pretty much is what I tend to notice while in LFD System. Maybe its just me that notice this, but its seems somewhat a bit antisocial with LFD.

I've done my share of grouping in the new LFD System and in all the groups I been in even on good runs I cant say I made any friends. I mean most people are on other servers what's the point. Needless to say you have less conversation as well or barely even at that. At most you get a Hi, Hello and bye if that. And its back to where you were before, count your Emblems and ready for your next encounter with random LFD and hope you its a good one. Making friends these days probably last thing that can cross your mind in LFD, after all those people not in your guild and they probably from other servers.

I think when it comes to pug raiding this has some impact as well or will continue to. After all need a tank, dps, healer? Anyone in group know a tank, dps or healer? Nope! No one in my guild is on and I don't have many other friends. If the person aren't in your own guild allot of people don't know any other or real good friends not in their guild. They have less ways of telling who good players are from the bad ones due to not much experience with players on their servers. Its one the reason I think you got some people relying heavily on gearscore or achievement checking thats frustrating to others. Often the guy asking for achievement I notice often don't even have the same achievement as well which is funny in its own way.

But many players it seem don't know the people on their own server and less likely to these days with real way to know the good ones from the bad ones. You never seen or heard of player X before, you never grouped with them before and have no group experience with them on any previous content. You have no idea what their skill level is or their attitude as players, no real way to judge them as players because to you they are strangers even on your own server new players or older players.

When players are strangers among themselves even on their own server and less likely to group with others, potentially network with each other, share group experience and make friends among themselves in instances its hard to believe that the new LFD is not having a impact on all this and will not continue to have a impact. Its likely your next 5 man dungeon will be full of strangers and you probably will leave as one. You probably aren't making no friends today and I'm not sure when either.

WoW Update 12/18/09

I feel like I haven't been here updating things much. I didn't get to play much WoW last week either. Nor did I get much Emblem of Frost as a result as well, I just didn't have that much time to log in while I was busy working all last week at nights. But played a bit on the weekend, and weekend kinda just ended but I can barely remember what I did as well. duh!!

As for my Protection Paladin and gear well I don't really need anything from Heroics or Emblem of Triumph gear. I pretty much have all the pieces I really need and pretty much did that for the most part all in the first week that I really started playing my Paladin again. I got most of all the emblem gear I need all in one week just running allot of LFD. So pretty much looking forward to raiding for upgrades and just for the fun of raiding and seeing the new content.

I could of gotten into some ToC10 man raids or ICC with all the LF Tank. But I just didn't one the problem is I'm having some UI problems that affects my movements and I just didn't want to be bothered with it as a problem in a raid environment. I'm been having the problems a while and tried various ways to fix it and seem problem keep coming back to no avail. So until I get it fixed I rather not quite raid with the problem. Its hard to describe the problem. But the problem always result whenever I get feared from a boss or a mob but mostly a boss when you loose character control. In my case with my UI after the fear has ended and you stop running around from fear.

In my UI case my character directional orientation and movement is now all screwed up. Character does not move correctly or its moving in wrong direction and takes a while to re-orient to correct movement direction. You can see how bad that is or can be when your tanking or the seconds it takes to get it moving correctly and the frustration of doing so in combat. Sometimes its just doing little movement changes and all of a sudden my character movements is off or completely off. I can never quite tell sometime why its happening. I think its the UI or a corrupt addon file that's causing it but I don't know which one. Ive tried removing or deleting addons and the problems seem to go away and then next time I get feared like in Heroics I notice the problem again and then the problem really start to happen again easily from there. Frustrating it is. So this week I'm not only going to delete WoW and all the addons but I'm finally going to erase reinstall my HD on my PC and reinstall WoW and just the addons I really use. Only way I can get a peace of mind about fixing the problem. Sucks to have to do all the re-installation but only way I can think of fixing the problem.

But for the weekend I ran a few Heroics just for improving my Retribution gear and mainly just for the Frost Emblem. I got decent Retribution gear somewhat but need a few pieces but mostly Emblem upgrade just need. Playing Retribution if ok and fun in some ways, seems fairly easy. I don't find it all that challenging or all that fun to play and I can do good dps at that. But I have the utility in dual spec and fairly decent gear in good shape as well. For the most part I kinda like playing my Shadow Priest as dps though and did some LFD and finish getting him a few more Emblems to finish out getting the last piece of gear he needed for Shadow. So my Shadow Priest now has all the gear he needs and can get from Emblems of Triumph with all other upgrades from raiding ICC for the most part.

I haven't played my Shaman for a while and though I really enjoy playing my Enhancement Shaman I just haven't had the time to gear him up from T8 to T9 at since getting my Shadow Priest to 80 and getting him geared up as well as playing my Paladin. Will at some point.

With not much reasons to play around in LFD much I just spend the time rest of weekend leveling up my Shadow Priest Tailoring which I had put off at some point while leveling up. Got him up to 446/450 Tailoring. Also started leveling up his JC profession and kinda long way to go on that. Did some guild stuff and didn't do too much else for the weekend in WoW.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

WoW Armory Model View Updated

Your character view in the WoW Armory now has a 3D Model view with some cool script animations and model pose view. You can now play around with it as well as custom set model pose how others see your armory on looking you up. Some other neat features and such as RSS character feed update.

Fun stuff to play with looking at your character in the armory. All cool. So far I found the RSS Feed or Recent Activity cool to link it here to my blog as the coolest feature for me. Looks like I haven't done a Heroic for Frost Emblem in 3 days, man i'm really getting Months Behind!

Make sure to check out the new Armory features on your character.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Wrathy said It Best!

Wrathy has a really nice post up on his blog that I read much earlier in the morning while I was at work on The Power of Knowledge and I couldn't agree more as well. I thought its a great post to not miss and link to if you never been over to his blog and you really should go there as well. He really writes good stuff and other bloggers who have more time do write stuff worth reading as well :)

I'm just too busy working all week on night shift and day sleeping and just not much time to write anything let alone log in WoW and get my daily Frost from heroics :( But I read allot of blogs around the community from on my IPhone being mobile, so at least I can link to other blog post for others to catch that i've read.

Anyway the simple fact that your eye balls are even here means that your more knowledgeable, more aware, more informed and on things to various degree to improve your WoW knowledge/play much more than the average WoW player by far. Wrathy's post linked Here.

I'd really like to put my perspective on a post to follow up that when I have time as well........

Monday, January 11, 2010

Icicle DPS Tanking Toy

Lucky Lucky me. I picked this up this morning just doing a H HoR run. Just the luck of all things I was able to win it with no real melee in group and have it to use as a dps/threat weapon toy. At least another weapon to add to my collection for gear swapping as a dps/threat weapon. Can easily maintain above 540 defense as well with it equipped so all good.

Not if my Shaman can only be so Lucky to pick up a pair of those let alone just one. Anyway I can have fun with it when I need to do dps tanking with SoComm (Seal of Command). A Shaman probably get heartburn seeing someone dps tank with it lol.

Been thinking of what to put on it and did a bit of research over at Maintankadin boards. And I probably end up putting Berserking on it. DPS tanking fun times with a Icicle toy for awesome dps. Someone else probably get heartburn thats been trying to pick that up in Heroics.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

2009 & The Year That Was.

Yeah better later than never. Seems kinda late to be writing about reflection of things looking back at 2009 and how I played WoW. My holidays were just busy, I happened to have worked through all the holidays while most people enjoyed the time off from school and work. Writing a review of 2009 in WoW wasn't exactly close to top of my list of things to do. Sleeping during my short days off was just a bit better choice.

On Hiatus.
Looking back 2009 started with me being on hiatus from WoW for various reasons. Actually I was already on hiatus from WoW since the launch of WotLK back in Oct/Nov 2008. Some the reasons being a bit of burnout on WoW and from playing WotLK Beta and for other reasons the roller coaster ride of the constant buffs and nerfs that Paladins was receiving at the time which seemed to occur weekly leading up to WotLK. At that time the only class and character I played in WoW was exclusively a Protect Paladin. I pretty much had enough of it and was just a good time to walk away from the game and do other things. So I did. And so the year of 2009 began not playing WoW at all and actually I enjoyed that time away from the game as well.

Playing Again.
I really didn't start playing WoW again and started leveling my Paladin till February 2009 and eventually got to 80 somewhere in March. My old guild was already raiding Naxx 10 & 25 at the time and had gotten much bigger than I remembered it as well. I ran Heroics on my own and geared up on my own and later joined my Guild in Naxx 25 for a brief time in April time frame. It wasn't long after that my old guild fell apart after our GM decided to call it quits for many various reasons some due to raiding and to finish his senior year in college. But just like that my guild and home that I had known all through tBC fell apart and was up to each member to decide to go their separate ways. Guild fell apart before we got KT on Naxx 25.

Choices, Decisions & Moving On.
Seeing the guild fall apart was a bit hard. And after deciding what to do after a week or two which was now around May I decided to move on and transfer to a new server and start all over vs joining another guild on my server. I just felt like starting over and leaving the old server behind. And I guess that choice basically set the course for what was to be the rest of my 2009 in WoW.

I eventually joined a fairly large and progressed raiding guild on my new server but this wasn't really a good place there for me not knowing anyone there. I pretty much did what I've always been use to so I Pug tanked Naxx 25 and got to down KT which my last guild never got to do. It just felt hollow getting the achievement. I Puged tanked Ulduar 10 and for only 2 times raiding Ulduar I was able to reach as far as Freya but not beyond. I didn't spend any time after raiding Ulduar again.

I wasn't in my new guild on my new server barely over 2 weeks when it fell apart too after the GM sold out all his characters. So out of a guild and on a new server I decided to start over in some ways.

Starting Over: Altism.
One of the things I wanted to avoid was burnout from WoW. Many the readers on this blog commented over time that I should embrace playing a alt or two other than just playing my Paladin. So in some way on a new server and without a guild I decided to start over playing and leveling a Shaman. I've always wanted to play a Shaman, i just now had a good excuse. And in some way it was one of my goals for the year as well leveling a new alt character. So I did.

I started a leveling a new Enhancement Shaman and I started a new guild as well. So I spend a good deal of time just having fun, avoiding burnout, playing a new class and enjoying leveling my Shaman while most people raided Ulduar and eventually ToGC. I got my Shaman to 80. Eventually I moved on to lvl up my Death Knight, my tBC 70 Hunter, my forever lvl 20 Shadow Priest all to lvl 80 as part of my own project to level a set of alts to lvl 80.

And for rest of the year that's pretty much what I spent and enjoyed doing with my time leveling a few alt characters. It was a unwritten goal I had and wanted to accomplish for the year leveling up all the way a few alts and since I was already leveling alts its was a good time to do so. And for the most part I just enjoyed the time learning to play a few new classes other than what I always knew on my Paladin. So I accomplished that goal of having 5 lvl 80 characters before the year was out.

For the most part that's been my 2009 just kicking back leveling a few alts, learning to play new classes, enjoying the game and avoiding WoW burnout. WoW burnout is a bitch and I just did my best to avoid it again.

On Blogging.
This is now my 4th year blogging about my character playing WoW, and mostly its always been about life as a Paladin. That's a long time to be blogging about this game and one character. I've seen many bloggers come and go and I've seem many call it quits. Its something to survive this long as well. I don't write as often as I used to, I'm ok with that. Its tough to balance a work life working a wired shift schedule that I work, have time to do other things, playing the game and trying to keep up writing a blog. Its tough.

2007 - 252 posts.
2008 - 250 posts.
2009 - 123 posts.

Blogging about WoW for me is just a extension of playing WoW. I'm a much better and aware player because I blog my thoughts and my happenings in WoW and the feedback you get from readers. I am not all knowing, but I do try my best to do a fair amount of research as well. I guess as long as I continue to play WoW I'll continue blogging as I can.

I could say I wish I had got to raid more. But I also wished I got to sleep more as well. Time to raid full time has always been my enemy in WoW with my work schedule as its not a good work schedule for a weekly raid schedule with good attendance. I work a full time shift schedule that includes working days, night and weekends. And with a new year in WoW much won't change. So I'm ok with that and always been.

What I spend Most My Time Doing in 2009.
For much of my time playing and leveling new alts in 2009 I spend almost as much time researching the new classes I was playing, reading new blogs of new classes I played, reading more blogs of interests. As well I spent allot of my time reading over at Elitist Jerks reading numerous threads on every forum of ever new class I was leveling and playing. Thats allot of time! I read more forum threads at Elitist Jerks from page 1 to whatever than I can remember. I learned allot best I can say. Needless to say I spend less time blogging due to leveling alts and rest of that time reading and researching.

What I learned in WoW last year.
Too many players in WoW are plain lazy bastards and cry babies!

Gold War Chest.
When I went on WoW hiatus I had given away all my gold, was left with 0 gold. When I came back to playing I had to level Paladin to 80, start a guild, buy 4 guild bank tabs, level 4 new alts to 80, give them all Mounts, Epic Wings and all. I still manage to finish the year with 60K+ gold savings. And I really don't go out my way that much to really attempt to make money.

What I regret in 2009 in WoW.
Sucked that my old guild on my old server fell apart. It would have been a completely different year it that didn't happen. But life is making choices and because that happened I moved on and made other choices to do other things that I found fun to do. I also never got to really play my Elemental spec on my Shaman, he has a full Elemental gear set yet never got the time to really play the spec.

What I look forward to in 2010.
Just enjoy playing WoW and maybe the new expansion. As well maybe playing less WoW?

For me 2009 in WoW was much a detour, sometime life is as well.

The Oculus

The number one Instance that most people always seem to drop once they see the loading screen on random heroics and drop group before they even get to the instance. Just amazing.

Anyway just a reminder after killing Eregos the last boss to make sure to actually loot the chest for your extra loot bag of goodies which contain the 2 extra Emblems, gems and a chance at a Azure Drake.

Some people drop and leave group so fast after the last boss is down they completely miss out on their extra bag of loot. Allot of people seem completely unaware that there is even a extra bag in the chest they have to loot for the goodies. I was in a group earlier that didn't even know that there was a extra loot bag to loot from the chest. Make sure to loot yours!