Monday, December 31, 2007


As seems to be the fashion on New year's, I'ma gonna do a New Year's post.

Let's reflect on the past here...

So. I started this blog, enjoy it quite a bit, and even seem to be gaining some solid popularity out here in the cold and hard blogosphere.
Look at me go! I'm blogging about WoW! And doing ok at it! And I even provide useful information every now and then!


So where do I go from here? So far, I seem to have 3 types of blog posts. Posts where I yell about stuff, swearing up a storm and shouting in text form.
Then, I have the posts meant for nothing but sheer amusement, such as my wildly popular Urinal post.
And then I actually have the useful posts, like my somewhat disorganized 'World of Magecraft' stuff.

So what do I do? Each of them seem to be popular. I have readers who love my rants, I have readers who come here occasionally for the helpful information I occasionally provide, and, of course, everyone loves my amusing stories. I'm a bloody comedian, dont ya know??

I suppose I could become El Magi de Serioso : |
And be all helpful posts and become a well-respected blogger widely known for his magely wisdom.

Or maybe I could simply become a ranter, and essentially become a troll that has a blog. Wait, what?

Or go the amusing story route, and become the Dave Barry of WoW.

I say... let's do all of them ^_^

I'll expand on the Magecraft guides, and set it all up with a linky bar and more specific titles, a la BRK's hunter training list.

Then, once I have all that out of the way, we can rant and amuse to our heart's content, and still have plenty of useful posts linked so I never degenerate into some useless turd of a blogger.

That way I never get stuck doing utterly pointless rambles, like this post.

In Game Goals!

- Get my hunter leveled up to Outland capacity, so I never, ever need to farm primal fire on my mage AGAIN.
- Replace all those stupid blues my mage still wears. Either something from Karazhan, which I STILL haven't run, or with some welfare shinies from the honour (Canadian spelling, bitches) system. Whatever works.
- Save up gold to get an Epic Flyer mount
- Get the kodo PvP mount, which is the only PvP mount I'm missing
- Get a warlock twinked out for the 39 bracket. Underworld Band ftw!
- Finally get around to leveling my poor neglected Alliance toon. That little dranei has sat at level 4 since February
- Remember to add Icy Veins into my uber cooldown macro when I get that
- Figure out how I can spec back to raid fire, and somehow get out of all the Al'ar runs my guild does


P.S. Snuggles the wrathful tiger says hi.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Raiding as Frost

Quick Stats

Most Common Spec
10/0/49 - Clearcast deep frost
Gains 200% damage from critical hits.
Spell Hit Cap: 164 (126 for Frostbolt)

So. Raiding as frost. Can it be done?

Yes, yes it can. And well, I might add.

All three main mage specs for raiding (here we're discussing raid arcane, raid fire, and raid frost), play differently.

Arcane, essentially, specs the mage into a balls-to-the-wall Burst DPS spec, mana be damned. Going full bore Arcane Blast with cooldowns blown will put the mage OOM in a matter of seconds, but his DPS will be insane. Utterly insane. Until his mana bar goes limp.
Think of it like the spec designed to kill the trash in raids as fast as possible.
Picture it like a Drag Racer, designed to reach speeds of excess of 240 mph, but can only maintain this for a half mile.

Fire is the opposite. It specs the mage as far away from burst DPS as possible from mage, and essentially specializes the mage for boss fights. Thats why it's so popular, "the" raid spec if you will. Any fight thats under 10 seconds is a waste of a fire mages time. This spec is designed for the long haul.
Think of it like the spec designed to fight the boss mobs in raids efficiently.
Picture it like a massive trucking... truck... designed to reach speeds of no more than 80, 90 mph, but can maintain it for almost a thousand miles.

Frost is the middle ground here. It does not have the same amount of burst damage arcane is capable of, and it does not have the long haul power that fire does. It has better burst damage than fire, and has far greater longevity than arcane.
Think of it like the spec that tries to find a comfortable middle ground between boss fights and trash killing.
Think of it like a wee little Toyota sports car that can go 140 mph, and keep it up for a couple hundred miles.

So, in the effort of providing the information that will help you decide what car is best for you, I present: Raiding Frost.

Firstly, your spell rotation will look something like: Frostbolt, Frostbolt, Frostbolt, Frostbolt, Frostbolt, Frostbolt, Frostbolt, Frostbolt, Frostbolt, Frostbolt, Frostbolt, Frostbolt, Frostbolt, Frostbolt, Frostbolt, Frostbolt, Frostbolt, Frostbolt, Frostbolt, Frostbolt, Frostbolt.... you get the idea.
Frostbolt is your spell. Use it, love it, bind it to every key on your number pad and mash your fist against it.

Get a giant USB "Big Red Button", bind "Summon Water Elemental" to it, and every time that cooldown is up, YOU PUSH DA BIG RED BUTTON.
Get some spell damage trinkets, and spam the HELL out of those things. When Icy Veins gets released, HIT THAT MUTHER TRUCKER EVERY FRIGGIN CHANCE YOU GET.

The power of Frostbolt, Frostbolt, Frostbolt, Frostbolt, Frostbolt, Frostbolt is rather limited.
A lot of the true power of Frost's raid DPS is getting the absolute most out of your cooldowns.
The Water Elemental is a significant source of DPS, about 350 DPS when you, the frost mage, have around 750 spell damage.
If you don't take advantage of it, you are a magnificent moron. USE IT. LOVE IT. Trash pull going down and you need to spam sheep? Summon Elemental, send it after one of the other targets, sheep your mob. You get some nice DPS.
Standard trash pull, expected to go for a minute and a half? Summon your Elemental, sick it on something. When it expires, Cold Snap and get it right back out again.
350 DPS is a lot to lose out on, simply because you're too lazy to push a button.
Quite bluntly, a water elemental will account for a good 10-15% of your total DPS when you actually use it. Did you do 200k damage in a boss fight? That coulda been 220k if you had used the water elemental.
Timing the water elemental will be the hardest skill to raiding frost. It has low health, and no ways to protect itself. Therefore, literally any AoE effect will pretty much kill it outright.

Similar to fire, frost also has its own debuff. Whereas the Scorch debuff increases all fire damage by 15%, the frost one increases the critical strike chance of frost spells by 10%.
Just like the fire version of the debuff, you want to have it up as much as possible (yes, the water elemental gains the 10% improved crit as well).
However, you don't need to cast something besides your standard nuke for this debuff. Keep right on frostbolting away, it will build on its own.
However, due to the lower duration of this debuff (15 seconds) it will be harder to keep it up and running at all times during movement fights.
Keep in mind that Ice Lance does refresh the debuff, so use that whenever movement is required. Never, ever use an Ice Lance when a Frostbolt could be used instead. The damage difference is so huge, that spending a GCD on an Ice Lance when you could be casting a Frostbolt is a serious waste of time.
Only use it when movement is required, and you simply do not have the time for a frostbolt.

There is an interesting thing to note about frostbolt. It is, mathematically speaking, one of the oddest spells a mage has. It has two unique quirks that no other spell has. First, it receives what the mage community has dubbed a "ghost hit" from elemental precision. Namely, frostbolt receives a total of 6% spell hit from the talent rather than the 3% everything else gets. This is most likely due to the second quirk.
Most spells can do one of three things when they are casted at a mob. They can "miss" (which will show up on screen as "resist), be resisted in the technical sense (do partial damage), or hit, doing full damage.
Frostbolt is, mathematically, a binary spell. This means it can only do one of two things. It can either hit, or it can miss.
Non-binary spells can kind of hit, landing what is caused a "partial resist", whereby some of the damage is shrugged off the mob you casted at.
Like, if fireball is partially resisted, instead of doing the 2200 damage its supposed to do, it will do a measly 1100 damage. You get the picture?
Frostbolt CANNOT do that. It can only hit and miss, and cannot be partially resisted. Which means that when you cast frostbolt, it is unaffected by level based magic resistances.

(Level based magic resistance is thus: when mobs have a higher level than you, they have an innate spell resist to anything you cast. Mathematically, a level 73 mob (like a boss mob) will have a resist value of 24. This works out to about a 6% resist rate. This level based spell resist cannot be overcome by any means. GG, spell penetration.)

While both arcane and fire magic will see ~6% of their spells be resisted or partially resisted because of this level based magical resistance, frostbolts will never see that. They will always, mathematically speaking, hit 99% of the time.

Frostbolt, oddly enough, does NOT proc Judgment of Wisdom, that handy Paladin buff that some paladins toss on mobs so the casters can snag some more mana.

Anyways, there ya go. Raiding Frost. Make sure you have the Frozen Shadoweave set, and go kick some ass.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

No Time!

Too much crazy arse stuff at work this week

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Quality Post Tomorrow!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Sorry, I'm Chair Spec

Alterac Valley

"maeg tabl now kkthx"
"Sorry, I'm Chair Spec"

Standing Around Orgrimmar

"plz giv watr"
"You say plz because please takes too long to type. I say no rather than yes for the same reason"

"hey can i hav sum waters?"
"Sorry :( I'm fire specced, can't make water atm"

"yo mage water?"

"need 3 stacks water"
"Sorry, food specced"
(NOTE: This didn't actually work)

*Opens trade*
*I put 500 gold into the window*

"hey i need some food"
"Sure thing." *Invites to party* *Makes portal to Thunder Bluff*
"Click for food"
*Leaves Group*

Standing Around Shattrath

"can yo make me some water?"
"/cast Invisibility"
*Run and hide*

"i need a coupla stak s water"
"Thats nice"

"hey, can i have some Water?"
"There's actually a secret way to make your own water. When you throw a snowball at any fire elemental mob, when you loot the elementals body, it gives you water of whatever rank the elenmental was"
"Yeah! I just found that out yesterday! Go try it out!"
"Alright, thanks man!" *Runs off to flight path*
*20 minutes later*
"/lol. Pwnd"

Arathi Basin

"Yo mage, make us a table"
"Sorry, guys, it has a one hour cooldown :( Can't do that yet"
(NOTE: the other mage in the BG whispered me: "i fucking love you")

Me on my Hunter Alt to a 70 mage on Orgrimmar

"Oh Mighty Master of the Arcane... May this worthless pile of pixels beg of you for but a small drink, so that he may quench his unworthy thirst upon your Holy Nectar of the God's Themselves?"
(NOTE: Shamelessly stolen from the forums, it works incredibly well. Have never, ever been turned down with this proposition)

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Clarification on the Ret Paladin thingy

As I'm sure I've explained in the past, I no longer play on arena teams on the live servers.

Quite simply, I do not have the willpower to spend hours making enough gold to allow me to swap between arena specs and raiding specs on a weekly basis, or whenever it is called for to do so. It qould quickly cost me a fortune, a fortune I'd rather spend on stuff like consumables so I can actually raid... more better... more goodly... and yes...


I play arenas almost exclusively on the PTR's, which has some very odd, and some very zany things that come with it.

The first odd thing about PTR's is that you can transfer your character over, and whatever items he has on him, will come over.
For example, I can borrow 6000 gold from various people, log out, transfer my character, log in, give all the gold back, and have a character on the PTR who has 6000 gold waiting for me.
Thus making for some... dare I say it... fucking weird economics.

Oh, yeah, and being able to open the AQ gates is really cool. I do it every time. Or try to.

The second odd thing about PTRs is that sometimes... sometimes people make pre-mades. Sometimes you can make pre-made toons, pre-built 70 characters that come in all sorts of fanciful epics.

What this means for a 70 player is a chance to try out another class, and see how it plays.
I, for example, have discovered I absolutely loathe playing a rogue, and yet have immense amounts of fun playing a resto druid. Who knew?
Anyway, the horrible downside of this are people who are, like, level 30 on the live server, and really have no clue how the game works.
These are the people you see in Shattrath, a 70 mage in Arena S2 gear, proudly wearing spirit gems, asking in trade "WTF ARE [Badges of Justice] for?!"

So when pre-mades are allowed onto the PTRs, some very, very interesting things occur.

One of those interesting things are total and complete PvP nubs trying to do arenas with their complete and total nub friends.

One of the most common sights I see are Retribution Paladins, running around in S2 gladiator gear, weilding that big arse sword. Without fail, these people seem to be blood elves, and they all seem to band together and spend their talent points by committee.
Their ret trees look like someone scribbled over it with a crayon, and they attempted to use said scribble as a way to spec into the tree.
Oh, yeah, and the S2 arena gear is atrocious for Ret Paladins. Absolutely horrendously budgeted pieces, with the itemization trying to cover strength, intellect, stamina, spell damage, resilience, and melee crit rating together, resulting in a bunch of sad, decrepit plate pieces.
And we all know how awesome crit rating is... on PvP gear...

So. Let's combine these facts.

We have a bunch of poorly specced Ret Paladins running around, in poorly itemized gear, who have no fucking CLUE how to play their class.

You get the picture yet?

Yes, I realize ret pallies can be a dangerous foe when played well... like, if they're covered in various S3 gear and Black Temple gear, they can beat me. When I'm not frost spec. *cough*

But these Paladins are not skilled. They're gear is barely passable, their spec is laughable, and not one of them has ever played a Paladin past level 4. You can tell.

On live servers, I've been beaten by... 3 Paladins. Once in AV, by some hardcore dwarf dude from Black Dragonflight coated in S3 super gear and Black Temple ret gear.
Once in AB by some hardcore dwarf dude from Black Drago... wait a minute...
The guy from EotS was ALSO some hardcore dwarf dude from Black Dragonflight!

Ok, so it was the same guy.

Thought I'd post this here

Did this up for my guild, so's peeps would have an idea of what mages do raid-wise, specific to Anathema anyways.

It's occured to me that this guild has not had much exposure to mages as a class.

When me and Vox joined, you guys had... what, Sequel?

So I figured I'd put up this post here, in an effort to (briefly) explain how mages work, and most importantly, how us mages currently affect our current raids/dps make-ups and such.
Any wacko with half a brain can say "Mages does DPS, yuh" but feh.

First off. This guild already has incredibly strong DPS capacity. We have multiple hunters and rogues that consistently do incredibly high amounts of damage, and a couple other caster types who make me feel all sad and happy at the same time (I'm looking at you, Abby and Mord).
Frankly, we could drop a DPS group entirely and we'd be fine, damage wise. I mean, we have, what, 4 minutes to spare on average for Void Reaver?
In this regard, Anathema does not really need to have us few mages go all out balls-to-the-wall, because we already have the DPS there. We aren't filling in any holes, because there simply aren't any holes to fill.
You need look no further than some of our random WWS stats pages to see that the magey DPS is always on the low end of the list.
I can QQ all I want, mage DPS is gimped, blah blah, cry, whine, bitch, warlocks are better, blah blah I want some fucking pie.


Polymorph. Anyone who says this crowd control spell isn't amazing is a moron. Is it limited? Yep, sure is. We can only farm-animal certain types of mobs. Are those certain types of mobs present in fast numbers, and powerful, practically begging to be turned into a harmless, cute little animal? You bet they are.
This is, for this guild, the biggest reason to bring along some mages to a group. It's all about the crowd control. Y'all could give a damn about damage, y'all just want some fucking lamb chops.
And that's fine. I'm happy being a sheepbot. If it means people get phat lewtz, people have fun, then I'm more than happy. Job well done, grats Shego on Invincibility Ring. Whatevs. I's cool.


The nature of a mage's damage is far more focused on burst damage than, say, a warlock or a hunter. For example, warlock Curse of Ouchie does 2000 damage over 15 seconds. Nice, sustained DPS. A mage's Bolt Spell of Hurt does 2000 damage THIS BLOODY SECOND, AND EVERY BLOODY SECOND UNTIL THAT COCK-SUCKING NAGA BITCH IS A DAMN CORPSE. And once it's a corpse, we gaze sadly at our empty mana bar.
Simply put, mages are far better at burst damage. We have incredible burst damage. Popping all trinkets and standing there spamming Arcane Blast can easily net over FOUR THOUSAND DAMAGE PER SECOND. But we can only keep that up for.. ohhh... 10 seconds?

Put another way, this means that the mage, as a class, is designed to swiftly and brutally kill "trash". Trash mobs are practically designed to be killed by mages. The encounters don't last long, thus allowing mages to reach our full blown burst potential, mana dumping and burning something down with frightening speed.

Put us up against a boss, and we struggle. We cannot burst DPS, because thats not what the boss requires. A boss fight requires constant, steady DPS, something mages do not do very well. We run into mana issues very quickly, and usually have to do dick-all about a quarter of the time just so we actually can have any sort of mana left partway through the fight. Running OOM when the boss is only at 70% is a very, very real possibility.

I'm going to deviate a bit here, and discuss the two most common raid mage specs there is.
Essentially, its the old Arcane versus Fire argument.

Put bluntly. Arcane maximizes the burst DPS a mage is capable of doing. Arcane Blast spam has the highest burst damage of... well, anything. Like I said above, its a shit-ton of damage really, really fast, but we can't keep it up for long. It is godly for trash. Those little flappy bird thingies before Al'ar? We can mana dump into those things, and deal upwards of 20k damage in 10 seconds, in random blues we purchased from the Auction House. Again, after those 10 seconds, we have zero mana.
And against boss fights, the arcane tree is at a serious disadvantage. It does not have the staying power of literally any other DPS class/spec that exists.
I consistently run OOM on Lurker, repeatedly. I chug every potion I can as fast as I can, and using any and all mana gems whenever possible, AND scale back on my DPS just so I have a chance of bursting the adds down in any type of respectable manner.

Put bluntly. Fire spec specializes the mage towards fighting long encounters. First off, the Scorch debuff is designed for encounters that last at least 30 seconds, the longer the better. The main nuke for the fire tree is a helluva lot cheaper than its arcane equivalent, by almost half. Whereas the arcane tree keeps up a 4k DPS for about 10 seconds, the fire tree keeps up about 900-ish DPS for about 7-8 minutes, 12-13 depending on where evocation is used.
It does not have nearly as strong burst damage as arcane, by simple fact that the tree cannot bring its full power to bear until the scorch debuff has reached its maximum strength, which effectively means the combat must last longer than 7.5 seconds, AT LEAST, for the fire tree to start doing some hefty damage. On most trash, I usually don't even manage to make it to 4 stacks before the mob gets killed.

Holy crap, this is getting long winded.

Anyhoo, one more consideration to make here. Arcane is a spec that performs good, no matter what gear level you have. If you're in a bunch of crappy quest greens, it will perform good. If you're in some excellent Tier 5 epics, it will perform good. If you have the bestest, most amazing AWESOME sweet gear in the game, it will perform good.
Contrarily, in poor gear, fire performs poorly. In good gear, fire performs goodly. In excellent, bestest most amazing AWESOME gear, fire performs most excellent, AWESOME bestest GODLIKE DPS.

I had a point here...

Ahh, yes. Look at it practically. Arcane provides a ton of support to the guild for trash clearing. It has the highest burst damage possible for an offensive caster, and has a couple of highly important talents for polymorphing.
First off, Presence of Mind. Essentially gives an instant cast polymorph, allowing a marked-for-piggy mob to bite the bacon in the same amount of time it takes for me to push the "0" button on my number pad. As well, the improved + spell hit means that few sheeps are resisted. I say "few", because, statistically, 1% of the time something will go horribly wrong.

It was said in, I think, a Botanica run that me, as a mage, was better than some other PuG mage the group had. (I believe this was the run where Erol tried magnificently to get killed by worms, and thanks to the awesome that is T-man, only managed to get killed once). It was commented that my sheeps occured faster, and that I was doing more damage.
Could it be that I was a better mage than random PuG mage so-and-so? Most definitely. But I had an advantage in my spec and utility over that other mage.
Namely, my sheeps were going off faster because they didn't have a cast time. My damage was higher because I could mana-dump during pulls.
The strengths of my spec was a huge factor in the percieved better-ness of me.

Holy fucking hell this is long winded.

So with Arcane spec, as a mage, I am effectively sacrificing my ability to function in boss fights to make the trash pulls far more easier. I am deliberately taking away from DPS talents so my sheeps can be instant, thus preventing many headaches.
And I can do this, because we, as a guild, do not need the DPS on boss fights as much as we need some bloody farm animals.
If we were constantly falling flat on our faces because of enrage timers on boss fights, I would definitely spec back into fire to give us the extra fire power we need to take said bosses down.

You want some numbers? I can do that too.

Assuming cookie cutter mage (600 INT, 200 SPI, 250 crit rating, hit capped, 1k spell damage all schools, fully raid buffed.)

Cookie cutter Arcane/fire spec (50/11/0)
Mage average DPS over ten minute fight: 1193

Cookie cutter Fire raid spec (10/48/3)
Mage average DPS over ten minute fight: 1380

Almost 200 DPS difference between the two, and these numbers are assuming standard raid rotation with an infinite mana supply.
If mana is finite (which it is), the fire spec will still be casting long after the arcane spec has gone home and had a nap.

Hopefully, assuming y'all took the time to read this, you're a little more savvy about the inner workings of raid mages.

If you want your mage to be a utility sheeper trash annihilator, we'll spec arcane and suffer the hit to boss DPS for it.
If you want your mage to be a boss DPS'er, the sheeps will have a cast time, and our trash damage output will be lower.
Now you know.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

@ Ret Paladins

Please. Stop trying.

You rush at me, and try to hit me with your big ugly sword. Does it hit for a lot? I bet it does.

Do you know what I see when I see a Retribution Paladin rushing at me?

I see a warrior. Who doesn't have charge, or intercept, or any way at all to close with me once I get away the first time, assuming you EVER catch me for the first time.

What I see is a crummy melee class that only has two stuns, one of which breaks on damage, both of which can be blinked out of, both of which are, at best, a mild annoyance that can be recovered from. If you could spam Repentance, that would be more serious. But you can't. Your stuns are too far apart to be of any use.

What I see is a Mortal Strike wanna-be that can heal. Meaning, I have a spell-school that I can COMPLETELY LOCK DOWN and prevent you from doing any abilities. Like healing. Or bubbling yourself to prevent your rapidly impending death.

In short.

I see a melee class that cannot close to melee, has incredibly unreliable stuns that I can break in my sleep, and has the ability to let me lock out ALL of their abilities with a single button push.
I see a Warrior with all the necessary mage fighting abilities removed from the class.

Actually, you know what? Keep right on trying.

You Retribtion Paladins are causing my arena team's rating to skyrocket.

And I'm paired with a beast master hunter, for fucks sake.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Embarrasing Mages

So, reading around the blogosphere, far too many blogs reference crappy mages.

Like, FAR TOO MANY. We're talking everything from Big Red Kitty to Lightshield reference poor mages at some point.

Sometimes repeatedly.

What happened, mages? Why are so many of you so poor that we're reduced to being called "that idiot mage with PoM Pyro"?

You know what?

It's cause we have nowhere to go for answers. You want advice on specs/gear? Who do you turn to? You can't go to the mage forums, you will be flamed incessantly and repeatedly.
Even the idolized mages have a bad habit of outright flaming people, or at the very least, saying stuff in a rude manner.

It's no problem to say things bluntly, but do you really have to be rude about it too?

If someone puts spirit gems into their pants, you say to them "Hey. Spirit is useless. Put some spell damage gems in there instead. It'll go a lot further. Here's some math to back you up."
Then we educate the mage, make him a better person, and have essentially flashed him a smile.

Saying "You fucking moron, why the hell would you socket that with spirit?! Are you mentally retarded?"
Does that help? Well it gets the point across, sure. But now you've made him feel like an idiot, you have left him with a bitter feeling, and established yourself as a total asshole. That's not too good for the reputation of the mage community, is it?

So I think I need a goal here. I think I need to go about actually providing a useful database on magery, and provide a friendly environment (well, relatively) so that magey nubs can ask questions without getting flamed.

Well, I mean, you might get flamed anyways. Anybody can comment here.

It's just, I'm on your side. And no flamer can survive the wrath of Euripedes. If all else fails, I know a guy who specializes in Trojans.

And if you ever visit this page, I know your IP address.

Consider yourself warned.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Mind Boggling Stupidity

So I've spent the weekend, desperately attempting to enjoy PvP.

What was once one of my favorite things to do, and something I was good at to the point where it was my pride and joy, has become a quagmire of idiocy and moronity.

Quite simply, I cannot take it anymore.

I'm done. I simply cannot do another battleground at 70.

Wondering why I'm upset? I bet you are. Allow me to iterate my frustrations for you.

1) The introduction of the PvP dailies was, in my opinion, a great idea at the time. It still is a great idea, but the fear that it would attract people to battlegrounds for the sole sake of getting money has proven to be incredibly true. Battlegrounds are plagued with utter nimrods who haven't the slightest idea of how to play their class. These are the same types of people you see with one fantastic epic PvP piece, and the rest are random greens and quest rewards. And not good ones at that. When you see a hunter, with a turtle pet standing at its side, spamming Aimed Shot while getting beat on from behind by a rogue, something is wrong. Even more so when you realize its a blood elf who's tossed spirit enchants on all their gear.
I still think its a wonderful idea, to give the PvP'ers a source of income doing what they love. But its attracted endless reams of ruthlessly undergeared people, who have obviously never seen the inside of a battleground before.
Even worse are the (still) rampant AFKers. Its just they're smarter now. I've seen close to two dozen separate toons running path bots, to run them across a pre-set path through a battleground. I've even seen a rather high tech one that would automatically cast lifebloom every 60 seconds.
And its in battlegrounds that used to be AFK free. Eye of the Storm, Arathi Basin, ruined because there's 3-4 people standing in the starter area. I've even seen an AFKer in Warsong Gulch!

2) The pre-mades. Ever since the new daily quests, alliance pre-mades have sky-rocketed. Whereas before, they were a rarity, now its almost expected the opposing team would be a pre-made. I've run 15 Eyes this weekend, of which all 15 have been against an alliance pre-made. We did win one of those 15, so yay horde.
Arathi Basin gets five-capped against horde unnervingly frequently, but this is largely due to the horde players not having a FUCKING CLUE how to play that particular battleground.
Warsong... is embarrasing. Don't speak to me about that.
Even Alterac Valley has seen pre-mades, mostly from Andorhal. The closest we came was 377 : 0 reinforcement wise.

3) The boycott. If you didn't know, the Alliance on my battlegroup (stormstrike) have been running a boycott of Alterac Valley. It's to the point where the average queue time is an hour and a half.
Why are alliance boycotting? Lemme go ask them myself!

"We have TRIED to use these strats (well, some of us). We cannot get anyone to listen. Over and over we will tell people to cap IB, or that some need to stay and defend, etc.

However, these are constantly met with "I WANNA WIN, ZERG DREK" or "ZERG GALV".

We are TIRED of this. We constantly lose, and nobody on the Alliance will listen to the team strategies. There is 0 teamwork. Stop acting like you are all high and mighty because you clicked a button on the right instead of left when creating your character.

This is why we don't queue. Sick of trying hard as hell to get people to play as a team, only to have nobody listen, play a 40 minute game, and get no reward.

Then you call us pitiful cowards for doing this? Not only is that unbelievably stupid, but it only makes more people want to not queue, just to spite you."

There you have it. Alliance couldn't win, so they simply stopped.

Which sounds just great. Fine. You can't win AV, because you're players are terrible. Ok, no problem. I feel your pain. Oh, god, do I feel your pain.

Because now, I'm in the same position. I cannot get anywhere in PvP, because either my teammates were born with fetal alcohol syndrome, or I'm fighting a pre-made. Either way, horde gets destroyed, I get next to nothing honor wise, and I didn't enjoy any of it.

" What is the reason the horde are QQ'ing so much here about AV?

Are they not winning in other BG's and getting any Honor?

Is AV the only place they can get honor?"

says the little gnome rogue Peaquop from Stonemaul. Why would you say that, knowing full well I do nothing but fight endless alliance premades?

On the bright side, most AV's that DO come up are fine. In general, Horde dominates, in general ending up with 300+ reinforcements to zero. It's fun, its lucrative. Its just waiting two hours is bothersome.

If horde could actually play the same way in the other battlegrounds, I wouldn't be having this problem.

Horde is naturally adept at following instructions in AV. "Defence meet at Galv" "Need support Tower Point", and so on, is always followed up on rapidly, with efficiency and effectiveness.

Remember those AV pre-mades I mentioned? Even then we managed to hold our own for quite a while, managing to hold the graveyards for not one, not two, but 8 waves of attacking alliance before we lost it and fell back to the next.

Then stick those same people in Eye, Arathi, or Warsong. Its like someone threw a mental switch from "Intelligent warrior" to "total fucktard".
Most players seem to just mentally throw a stupid switch, stop listening, and go off randomly doing their own thing, get killed, and call the rest of us idiots.


I'm done.

I'm through with battlegrounds until alliance figures out how to play AV, or horde stops being a bunch of morons. Most likely, this means I'll never play a BG again.

Excuse me. I need to go play some arenas on the PTR. I have Ret pallies to annihilate.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Cast Times

What is a cast time?

Cast time is the time needed to cast a spell before it takes effect. Essentially, it is time that you "spend" devoted entirely and utterly to whatever ability it is that you are using.
Let's take, for example, fireball. It comes with a base cast time of 3.5 seconds. This means that you "spend" 3.5 seconds standing there, doing absolutely nothing except fireball. If you want to do something, like run so you don't die, you have to stop the fireball. You have to stop casting, which means you wasted time, and move, which spends more time on moving, thus taking away from time that could be better spent casting a spell, and therefore being useful.
Every time you are forced to move, and do nothing, that is time spent where you are useless.

Having instant cast abilities/spells counteracts this, by letting you do stuff while moving.

Let's look at this from a PvE point of view first off. We're going to deal with a fire mage for this.

Big Angry Boss Mob is engaged. Every 20 seconds, he hits every ranged DPS with a ground-targeted spell. Therefore, every 20 seconds, the ranged DPS needs to move, or get killed. At each of these intervals, our mage will be moving for 3 seconds to escape painful death.
Let's say it takes 5 minutes to kill Big Angry Boss Mob.

If our fire mage was allowed to do non-stop DPS for that entire time, our mage would put out 1449 DPS, giving us a total damage dealt of ~434700.

But now let's consider the movement thing. We have the first 20 seconds unfettered, but after that we need to move. After the first 20, we're going to be moving for 3 seconds, and only able to cast for 17 of those seconds.

This gives us 4 minutes 40 seconds of interrupted casting. Working out to 14 cycles of movement, this means that we are not casting for 42 seconds.

Before, we had 5 solid minutes of DPS time. Now, we don't. Now, we have 4 minutes and 18 seconds of DPS time.
In this amount of time, we only deal out ~373800, working out to be 1246 DPS.

So you see what happened? Our damage and DPS gets slammed because we have to move, therefore spending time moving rather than hurting. We lost just over sixty thousand damage because we were moving.

This is one of the things that is considered a "challenge" feature of raiding. Many, in fact most, raid/instance bosses require us mages to move. Everything from Prince in Karazhan to Mother Whatserface in Black Temple. Tier 5 is the worst, with every single boss requiring movement of some sort.

And that hurts mages a lot. Let's go with the classic mage versus warlock.
When a movement is required, a mage runs. He is spending this time moving, and not on doing damage. His time budget is totally used up by movement. A warlock, comparitively, is still fairly gimped DPS wise, but actually has useful (and not mana-intensive) DoTs/abilities that can be used.
Thus, the warlock can refresh corruption (or whatever), while moving. Thus, only part of their time budget is used by movement, and part is used by damage. Put bluntly, classes that can still deal damage while moving (rogues are an excellent example, as long as they stay in melee range) severely outclass those who cannot. Like mages.

So. Raid bosses force us to move, which makes the encounter harder. This reduces our damage output, which makes the encounter harder.

Genius? Or just arbitrary difficulty generated because thats just how the mechanics work?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

To Dual Wield, or Carry a Big Stick (part I)

It's an argument that plagues pretty much all casters.

"Which is better? Staff or the MH/OH?"

And the answer is almost always vastly different, depending on who you ask.

Some will say the staff, because it has better stats.

Some will say the MH/OH, because it has better stats.

Make sense yet? I thought not.

Obviously, we need to dig deeper.

Ok, so the staff options is very self explanatory. Its a 2H weapon, it comes with stats. There ya go. Take, for example, this little puppy here.

[Gladiator's Mage Stick]

Plenty of purty stats. Nice stamina, a goodly amount of spell damage, and so on.

Now let's compare it to an equal level MH/OH combo:

[Gladiator's Mage Pointy]
[Gladiator's Book Thingy]

Oooh, purty darn purty too. So let's compare the raw stats, shall we?

The staff will have 3 more stamina and intellect than the MH/OH combination. This is what I refer to as "raw stats". The staff has more of them. The staff also has 21 Spell Hit, and 33 spell crit, which the MH/OH are missing entirely. I call these stats "caster stats"
The MH/OH combination has 10 more resilience than the staff, and has 16 more spell damage than the staff.

From this, we establish our base-line principle. Staffs have higher "raw stats", where as the MH/OH combinations have more "caster stats", by which I almost always mean more spell damage.

Continuing here, the weapon loot you get from PvP differ a lot from the stats you gain from PvE equivalents. The relationship between their stats are, quite simply, different.

The relation in PvP weapons are always the same like this. The staff always has slightly more Stamina and Intellect, has more spell hit/crit, and less resilience and spell damage.
Oddly enough, I would recommend getting the staff as a PvE weapon, considering the spell hit/crit stats are very nice for PvE, but very close to useless in PvP. The MH/OH combo really is not lacking in stamina/intellect (falling no more than 3 points short at its hugest gap), so you will not be missing out on any "PvP" stats by getting it. Extra resilience, and extra spell damage.
If you're going with PvP weapons, hit up the staff for PvE, and the MH/OH for actual PvP.

This is terribly short, because my interent hates me.

Part II tomorrow!

Monday, December 17, 2007

AFK Players

This is a list of known, and repeat, AFK players that I have encountered in my battlegroup.
(This encompasses Horde side only, as I cannot take seriously the members of the Alliance past a threat that must be terminated)
The following players should be reported on sight, for they are assholes.

Warcrak, Level 70 Blood Elf Warlock - Manïfest Destïny, Scilla

Derrid, Level 70 Tauren Warrior - Veritas Invictus, Archimonde

Fätty, Level 70 Tauren Druid - Apathy, Andorhal (Something really fishy about this one. Has almost the full set of Gladiator's gear, but the rest of his gear are random stupid greens. AND he has NO PROFESSIONS. I smell an e-bay)
**UPDATE** He was active in Warsong Gulch. Even ran the flag. Did not, however, deny being afk in EotS.

(Will be updated every time new and annoying AFKers are found)

(Updated as of December 28th)

So You Want Some Mage Bikkits

Have I talked about this before? I don't know if I have, but here goes.


Ok, seriously. All you people in Arathi Basin, Eye, whatever, who ask for mage biscuits, and get alarmed and outraged when none appear, you guys need to know some things.

One. You are not entitled to this stuff. When you say in Alterac Valley /bg "wtf no mage table?", guaranteed I will never, ever summon a table for the rest of the night. You piss me off. What makes you think you deserve to have mage biscuits? What gives you the sense of entitlement that I would spend hundreds of gold to be able to get this spell, and give them away to some fucktard like you I've never met, and probably will never see again? Just shut up and buy your own damn food and water.

Two. What makes you think mage food/water/bikkits are free? Do you have any idea of the amount of gold we sink into this convenience? First off, buying the second highest food/water ranked spells costs us 5 gold apiece. Thats 10 gold just to get the prerequisite to being able to buy the food and water books.
Care to take a guess at how much these books cost?
Lemme check my Auctioneer addon, an brilliant, incredibly handy tool that no self-respecting mage, or any WoW player for that matter, should go without (spikes the camera).
The top ranked food book costs, on average: 180.9g (B.O.), 120.1g (starting bid)
The top ranked water book costs, on average: 226.5g (B.O.), 143.2g (starting bid)
So let's see. 10 gold to get the prerequisite to the books, bare minimum of about 300 gold to purchase said books. Combine that with the spell costing 9g to even purchase, and about 16 silver (or more, depending on reputation) PER SPELL, thats a ton of cash.
So... explain this to me. Why would I spend well over 300 gold to give you free food? Just attempt to explain this to me.

"Cause you'd be helping a temmate".

Yeah. STFU and petition Blizz to allow friendly fire.

And don't try and pull soe bullshit about it being free to cast because of the "Free spell" thing before battlegrouns. I still put down 2 of the dusts for every summon. Which is still 16 silver.

"Oooh, 16 silver, thats so much /sarcasm"

No, its not a lot of money. But why on earth would I spend ANYTHING on you?

So, yes. I have a problem with people asking for biscuits in battlegrounds. I spent a lot of money to get to the point where food/water are never a concern for me or my raid group.
I did not spend a lot of money so that some random scrub I meat from Andorhal can have some free food.

And to those people who /w me "Hey can I have some food?"
Don't get outraged when I say "Sure 3g a stack"
Remember. I paid gold so you can have the privelage of asking me for food. It will never, EVER be free.
Unless its downranked. In that case, its so bloody easy I'll give you 5 stacks for free.

For those who are wondering, I paid 120 gold for the food book, and 135 gold for the water book. Not bad, considering.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

This is Just Sloppy

I am talking about, of course, the current itemization of Mage gear.

At best, the budgets on our gear is spent haphazardly and inefficiently.

Let's look at why, shall we?

All DPS casters require Spell Damage. That's our job. It's what we need gear for. So, we all stack spelldamage.
But wait, mages need something else too. We need to have Spell Crit rating as well as spell damage, because we are the only offensive spellcaster in the game that fully utilizes spell crit. Amongst the cloth wearers, anyways. Priests and Warlocks, really don't need it, or want it. Do they have spell crit? Sure, sometimes. But a very hefty amount of their abilities are unaffected by crit rating, and most end up skipping the stat entirely.
When a piece of loot falls that has stamina, intellect, spell damage, crit and hit, what type of loot is it? It's obviously mage loot.
If almost the same item falls, except where the crit is moved into additional stamina, it's obviously warlock loot, except the priests are going to give 'em a run for their DKP.

In the same way that something can be labelled as "Hunter loot" or "Rogue loot" based on the stats, cloth stuff with spell crit on it is almost always "Mage loot".

So. That gives us mages a stat that the other clothies could care less about. Because of spell crit, our items will always have less stamina, less intellect, less spell hit, and less spell damage.

This isn't too bad. I, personally, do not feel this is a problem. Mages likes us our spell crit, and we have multiple talents that take totally unfair advantage of it. (Ignite anyone?)

The problem is not with spell crit. The fact is, items of a certain level have a set budget. Given a piece of cloth gear, the 'lock version will have slightly higher stats everywhere else because the mage version has spell crit. Normally, I wouldn't complain here at all.
But the problem is where the rest of the budget goes...

See, mages are cursed with a horrendous stat called "Spirit". Spirit restores mana when you are not casting. By that fact alone, totally useless for mages. A mage who is not casting is a mage who is failing at being a mage.
"But Euripedes," you say, "high end raiding has a lot of movement. Therefore, while running away from spouts or Voidreaver 'splosions, couldn't you restore mana then?"
Well, sure we could! Absolutely! We could restore maybe 50, 60 mana every 5 seconds while running around like little girls! If we spend 15 seconds running in this fashion, we get enough mana to cast an extra Scorch!

In other words, it's simply not worth it. Not even close.

What makes it even worse is the fact that Spirit is detracting from other stats. It is using up valuable budgets that could be spent on useful stats, like + spell damage, or even stamina.

There are two mechanics a mage has that takes advantage of spirit. Mage Armor, and Arcane Meditation.
Arcane Meditation is only taken by arcane mages, which we have proved before is not a spec that is well loved in raiding. And no fire mage or frost mage would even consider putting points into Arcane for this. It's just not worth it to take the points from DPS talents in other places, to stick points here to get some mp5 from a stat you'll be avoiding like the plague.
It's just nonsensical.

And Mage Armor... is laughable. It really is. Pre-TBC, it was used by any and every mage, the mana regen was far better than some extra armor crap. But with the addition of Molten Armor, Mage Armor is obsolete.

Ask any mage. Would he rather get a little mp5 from a stat that he winces at every time he sees it on gear, or get 3% crit rating?

Would you rather have 40mp5, or 3% crit?

Any mage will always say 3% crit. Hands down. Not even a question. Mana regen is a stat mages don't care about, and don't want. ESPECIALLY if it detracts from our DPS, which any level of spirit (and mage armor) does.

So. Let's recap.

Spirit is useful to arcane mages, who would still choose any other stat over spirit.

Spirit is useful to mages running Mage Armor, which is totally obsolete once you have Molten Armor avaliable.

What does this mean to you, the random reader of this blog? A mages ability to DPS is directly reduced because useless stats we do not want are consistently added to our gear. Thus, classes such as warlocks have a serious gear advantage, by simple fact that their gear is always, always better than ours.

And as an extra slap in the face?

Spell penetration is added to a lot of "mage" loot. This stat is even worse... I'd rather have spirit than spell penetration.

Where spirit is very rarely useful, penetration is always useless.

Please. Clean up my mage gear.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Deep Fire: Battleground Domination

How to leave a swathe of destruction in your path as Deep Fire.

I am not talking about Arenas here. Frost is still the best there, in my humble opinion. We are talking about PvP anywhere except Arenas. Battlegrounds, World PvP, whatever.

The blunt fact is, Fire is good at battlegrounds. Fire is damn good at battlegrounds.

1) The Theory

Ok, this right here might be the most contraversial part of this post. Let's take a broad look at this. Mages do damage. Fire is a tree that amplifies the damage dealt. It increases damage, and crit rating, etc. If you look at a raiding mage, a standard spell rotation is to Scorch up a target to max debuffs, then fireball spam away. Most of a fire mages DPS comes from these fireballs. Max out Emp and Imp Fireball, and the damage is riding high.
However, we cannot cast Fireball in PvP. Well, ok, we can, but it is highly NOT recommended to do so (explained below). Therefore, sans fireball by the very nature of PvP, fire mages lose out on a spell that is their greatest source of damage.
Therefore, in a PvP battleground, compared to other classes, on a straight up DPS scenario, fire mages are way behind the average. Warriors, hunters, rogues, et al, do not lose a major source of DPS because of the mobility issue of PvP. They can still use their heaviest hitting attacks, and pump out plenty of damage.
Can fire mages match that? Of course we can, in fact, fire mages usually find themselves at the top, or near the top of the damage chart in battlegrounds. But the fact is, out of the classes involved in PvP, we do not have the same DPS potential as many other classes.
For example. At ~800 damage, Scorch hits for 750. Two of those in the time of a fireball cast is 1500 damage. In the same time span, fireball will hit for about 1700 (2200 if scorch debuffs are present). Fireball does more damage, but effectively roots you to the ground. Which is very bad.
As a fire mage in a battleground, you will not come close to matching the DPS of pretty much any other class in the game. Even kitty druids can school you in this department.


The theory of PvP is not to DPS. DPS is not your job as a mage in PvP.

So what are we there for? If not to DPS, then what?

Quite simply, we are there to purt the hurt on people. "Huh? Isn't that DPS?" Nope. Not in PvP anyways.

See, in both PvE and PvP, each class/spec has a "job" that they do. Mages are there for Crowd Control and DPS in PvE. In PvP, we are to disrupt the enemy team, and significant Burst Damage.
For burst damage, we have plenty of Ice Lances we can rely on. I mean, plenty of Instant Casts we can rely on. Fireblast, Ice Lance, Blastwave, Arcane Explosion, the list goes on. We have a very hefty arsenal of PvP spells we can use.
Now, the job that I think we mages are the best at doing is shutting down and destroying healers. Can we kill other classes? Sure, but we're best at removing healers from the picture, either permanently or temporarily. Failing that, we can make their lives miserable.
Think about it. A 10% chance for stun every fire spell? Ability to unload plenty of burst damage? On ten targets at the same time? And able to counterspell the first heal they cast, locking them out for 8 seconds? Even outright silencing them? Perhaps sheeping them and destroying their allies whilst they can do nothing?
It's a beautiful thing.

2) The Spells

In PvP, the faster you can get stuff done, the better. Due to the nature of PvP being fast as hell, you want to avoid casting anything that's going to take longer than 2 seconds to get off. What this means... NO FIREBALL. Sorry, mages, you're going to be skipping that spell in this here PvP.
Spells like Scorch, and any and all instant casts will be used and abused by you. Fireball, Pyroblast (unless you have PoM), skip them. "Why?" you ask. Simple.
One of the hugest things about PvP is mobility. You want to stay mobile, and keep your foes as immobile as possible. As a mage, if you let something get to melee range, you are going to get hurt. Seriously. Like, a lot of hurt. If you are sitting there, for 3 seconds, casting a fireball, you are not mobile. You are stuck there, essentially rooted to the ground. Thus, you become an instant target.
Second, if you're PvP'ing, you have Impact. No question. Impact is a 10% chance to stun on any fire spells. The more fire spells you cast, the more stuns that occur. If you cast a fireball, that takes 3 seconds. You have a 10% chance to stun in those 3 seconds. You can cast two scorch's in that time frame, thus giving you two chances to inflict a stun. Thus, 20% chance to stun in those same three seconds.
Blastwave and Dragon's Breath are essential tools of the trade. Blastwave is just nasty, and DB has the capability to shut down a group of people. And it hits really hard. Harder than Blastwave.
Fire Blast should be used as much as possible. Use it as a finisher, opener, or every time the cooldown is up. Spam it.
Counterspell is extremely deadly. Use this every time you can, especially on healers. 8 seconds is an eternity in PvP, especially for a healer type. It can also be used to blanket paladins/ice mages to prevent those "Immune" abilities.
Abuse Polymorph. Everyone hates it. See a healer? Sheep it. See a rogue? Sheep it. See a druid in caster form? By gum, sheep it! Polymorph forces your opponent to either be useless for 10 seconds, or to use a major cooldown to escape. Thus being vulnerable to something else. Like cyclone. Or fear. Or even frost nova. Teamwork, people.

3) The Spec

Right now, this is an excellent PvP spec. Icy Veins has no home in a deep fire PvP spec.
Improved Counterspell is ESSENTIAL. You MUST have it. A 4 second silence is incredibly cruel, and incredibly deadly to any class that casts spells. From paladins to to druids, it is deadly as hell. Try to remember when you got silenced at some other point. Think of those thouhts. "Oh, hell." "Shit!" You are useless when you are silenced. Ask a healer. ^_^
What you do with the other 15 points in the arcane tree is up to you. Generally, get clearcast, and the rest put anywhere. Get Imp. Arcane Missiles if you plan on doing the whole "Clearcast/uninterruptiblemissiles" thing.
In the fire tree, you MUST get the following:

  • Impact (Stuns? You cannot skip this)
  • Imp. Fire Blast (More instants = more damage without sacrificing mobility)
  • Burning Soul (spell pushback. Duh)
  • Blastwave (Instant AoE? Just say yes)
  • Fire Power (10% more damage. Kinda duh)
  • Blazing Speed (Incredibly useful mobility tool)
  • Dragon's Breath (Instant? Stuns? Fuck yes!)
The rest are up to you. Generally speaking, crit rating is not nearly as important in PvP, due to the survival mechanics of Resilience. You will suffer an immense loss to your crits, depending on your opponents gear. Talents like Incinerate/Ignite are far less awesome if your target has 300 resilience. Do I recommend you still take them? Yes, I do. They are still good talents, just not as good.
Obviously, you have to take Critical Mass and Combustion, so you can get at Dragon's Breath.
The scorch debuffs are a tossup. Generally, your target will not be able to stay alive long enough to get th true benefit from them.
However. It's something that has to be dispelled. If a Paladin tries to dispell Curse of Agony, but hits this instead... heh, thats cool. If you think about it, each scorch will hit harder, and makes dispellers pissed off.
Skip MoE.
In general, anything that gives a percentile increase to fire damage should be taken. Even Playing with Fire.

PvP as a fire mage is NOT about surviving. It is about killing off the other guy before they can kill you off.

Your play style has to be frantic. You have no time to waste. When you die, leave the enemy survivors in as bad of shape as possible. Blastwave, DB, do something to make your presence felt before you die.
And always REMEMBER:


Sunday, December 9, 2007

Ok Stop Math

So why is it, then, that people spec arcane? Why is it that when fire is so obviously the best DPS spec to get, why do people go arcane? What is it that compels people to spec into it?

Well, Arcane gives the illusion of DPS. When you first shoot something as Arcane, you see tons of damage. When you fire up your cooldowns and spam Arcane Blast, all you see are huge numbers that go unrivalled.

Quite simply, Arcane has the best burst DPS of any mage spec.

So let's run our standard test, 500 Intellect, 1k spell damage, hit capped, 200 crit rating.

And compare Arcane/IV with Fire/IV over DPS 1 minute, all cooldowns blown :P

Max DPS: 1613.07
Average: 946.43

Max DPS: 1248.55
Average: 1138.13

In a single solid burst, fire gets its assed kicked. Running with all cooldowns, Arcane beats it out by almost a good 400 DPS!!
But as the fight draws out, Arcane's DPS starts to falter, and fire stays consistent.

And that, right there, is the difference.

Arcane can has much higher burst damage than fire could ever do, but fire has sustained damage that is better than arcane could hope for.

And thus concludes my random posts comparing fire and arcane. For the time being, anyways.

Saturday, December 8, 2007


.... about moving over to Wordpress.

So many wow bloggers have done that already.

Gonna goof around a bit on wordpress over the weekend, see whats what.

".blogspot" could very well become ".wordpress" in the near future.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

More Math!

Today I am going to compare the DPS capacity of an arcane mage with Tier 5 compared to one without.

First off, the set bonus from having two pieces of the Tier 5 magey gear increases the damage dealt by Arcane Blast by 20%.

So let's have a looksie at some math, kk? We're going to do 50/0/11 arcane/IV spec.

(Assuming 550 base Intellect, hit capped, crit rating of 200, and + damage of 1k for each school. Essentially rough approximations of where mages would be at given average Tier 5 content)
For this DPS test, we will use this spell rotation: Arcane Blastx3, Arcane Missiles, and then a frostbolt. Starting the next Arcane Blast timed just so to get the minimum cast time, and ending the spell at the end of the rotation to get minimum mana cost at well.

DPS without Tier 5 set bonus : 919.56.
(If we blow all cooldowns and simply spam Arcane Blast, and mana be damned, we achieve a maximum DPS of 1631.35. We can only keep it up for about 15 seconds, but there ya go)

Now, if we get two pieces of Tier 5

DPS with Tier 5 set bonus: 1008.70
(Again, if we blow all cooldowns and simply spam Arcane Blast, and mana be damned, we can achieve a max DPS of 1957.62. Again, we can only do that for about 15 seconds)

So. If we get two pieces of Tier 5, thats a DPS increase of 9%.

9 Bloody percent. That is incredibly huge.

If the number doesn't seem that big, consider that if you simply spam Arcane Blast, you're looking at a DPS increase of, in essence, 20%. (Math shows 17%, but that is still huge).

Consider that with icy Veins in the game, that a ton of mages will be dumping eleven points into Frost for, essentially, a 3% DPS increase.

Jumping that number by 9% is just absolutely incredible. You simply cannot say no to that.

Or can you?

Comparing Arcane/IV DPS to Fire/IV DPS, considering Tier 5. Let's see what happens.
And for shits and giggles, lets assume you have The Lightning Capacitor.

Arcane/IV DPS: 1068.97

Fire/IV DPS: 1130.15

Wait.... what?

Why is fire still ahead of the game by 5.5%?

Simple. Fire mages have Molten Fury.


There's Someone From Texas Reading My Blog...


Euripedes' Shopping List:

28 Spellcloth
10 Primal Might
Far Too Much Primal Fire

Essentially, I am looking to complete the Spellfire set and, perhaps, get the Spellstrike set.

Before I go any further, let me say this...

If you are playing a mage, and you intend to do serious Raiding of any sort, you MUST have tailoring!

No ifs. No buts. Just shut up and get the damn profession.

The Spellfire set you get from tailoring is just that bloody awesome. To put it bluntly, you are GIMPING yourself if you don't have it. Same goes if you're raiding frost, get the Frozen Shadoweave set.

Nothing in any heroic or 10-man instance holds a candle to the crafted sets.

You will not see a single drop from Tier 4 that will come close to your crafted set. If I ever catch a mage wearing the Chest Piece from Tier 4 or 5, I will slap them.

And in Tier 5, any and all "upgrades" are questionable. Generally, anything in Tier 5 content that drops will be, at best, a decent side-grade. And also keep in mind that anything you do replace means that the set bonus is broken. Not too bad for Frozen Shadoweave, but it is extremely painful for Spellfire users.

Keep your set together. Only drop Spellfire/Shadoweave when you have a solid upgrade for each piece, that is worth losing the incredible damage and set bonuses for.

Most likely, you will still be wearing these crafted sets right into Tier 6 content, where you will finally be able to find stuff that is actually, clearly, an upgrade.

And if at all possible, search high and low for someone who can make spellstrike. It, too, is an incredibly useful set, and also has an extremely useful set bonus.

You will be farming primals for a long time. Get used to it, the gear from tailoring is spectacular on a million and one levels.

Also, Anathema dropped Void Reaver again. Some more Tier 5 tokens went out (obviously we didn't get any), and yours truly really shined, for once.

For a mage wearing primarily PvP gear, without even a complete spellfire set, being on spam sheep duty, and spending most of the first 2 minutes of the Void Reaver running around, I think I did pretty damn well.


8th overall in the whole raid for damage done.

My DPS isn't as great as the other mages, but I attribute that solely to Void Reaver forcing me to do pretty much nothing for the first few minutes of the encounter.

It was basically "/cast Arcane Blast. Run away. Run back. Start casting Arcane Blast. Run away. Run back. Run away again. Be forced to run in a circle because he targeted me again while I was running away. Run back. Start casting Arcane Blast. Run away."
And so on.

There was about a good 130 seconds where my DPS was about 8.

Ahh, well.

Arcane is working for now, but when 2.3.2 hits, and most importantly, whenn spellfire/spellstrike sets are achieved, I'll be bidding arcane fare well.
Need to get me some action with the Fires of... Fire. /cough

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Zen Have a Nap!

Time to Theorycraft!

But I am le tired...

Zen have a nap!


So, I'm going to use this primarly to theeorycraft. This is entirely for myself, and I am studying the effects of crit rating on theoretical DPS numbers given a variety of specs. The specs that shall be tested are as follows:
Arc/Pyro - Deep arcane, and deep enough into fire to get Pyroblast
Arc/IV - Deep arcane, and deep enough into frost to get Icy Veins
Arc Frost - Deep(ish) arcane, and about 21 points into Frost for the awesome crit talents and Icy Veins
Fire - standard 10/48/3 thing
Fire/IV - Deep fire, but with 11 in frost to get Icy Veins
Deep Frost - Water Elemental deep in frost

On with the Theoriorizing!

We shall be making the following assumptions:
Base Intellect of 500.
No buffs at all outside of self buffs. (Arcane Intellect and Molten Armor)
Hit capped in all scenariors.
Base spell damage of 1000 for all schools.
Assuming Fight Duration of 9 minutes (considering raid boss fights, this number is about damn average)

At a crit rating of Zero:
(Produced DPS numbers)
Arc/Pyro = 903.17
Arc/IV = 922.30
Arc Frost = 997.88
Fire = 1044.40
Fire/IV = 1066.21
Deep Frost = 1052.75

HIGHEST DPS = Deep fire with Icy Veins. Deep Frost is beating out Deep Fire at this point.

At a crit rating of 100:
(Produced DPS numbers)
Arc/Pyro = 930.88
Arc/IV = 949.44
Arc Frost = 1036.01
Fire = 1082.90
Fire/IV = 1105.52
Deep Frost = 1086.17

Highest DPS remains Deep fire with Icy Veins. Arcane is getting it's butt kicked.

At a crit rating of 200:
(Produced DPS numbers)
Arc/Pyro = 976.59
Arc/IV = 958.59
Arc Frost = 1074.13
Fire = 1121.70
Fire/IV = 1145.13
Deep Frost = 1119.59

Fire with Icy Veins is still the highest DPS. Deep Fire has overcome frost for DPS.

At a crit rating of 300:
(Produced DPS numbers)
Arc/Pyro = 986.30
Arc/IV = 1003.74
Arc Frost = 1112.26
Fire = 1160.79
Fire/IV = 1185.03
Deep Frost = 1153.00

Let's do another, at 400 crit rating:

At a crit rating of 400:
(Produced DPS numbers)
Arc/Pyro = 1014.01
Arc/IV = 1030.88
Arc Frost = 1150.38
Fire = 1200.17
Fire/IV = 1225.24
Deep Frost = 1186.42

Hmm. No matter what the crit rating is, Fire is always on top. At about 1k spell damage, mind you, which is about where Tier 4/5 ish mages will be.

Let's do something ridiculous, and do 2ooo crit rating, just for fun:

At a crit rating of 2000:
(Produced DPS numbers)
Arc/Pyro = 1388.32
Arc/IV = 1398.61
Arc Frost = 1673.18
Fire = 1767.90
Fire/IV = 1804.83
Deep Frost = 1593.93

Why did I do all this?

Mostly I was out to prove that no matter what you're crit rating was, fire would still be the superior damage dealer. And I was hella right.
Assuming identical gear, and the only variation being the amount of crit rating, which would come out on top? Fire, or Frost?
The numbers speak for themselves. Fire wins.

And Arcane cannot even contend.


No matter what your crit rating is, Fire will STILL be able to output more damage than Frost.

And before you ask, yes, this does take into calculations the Water Elemental, the new Icy Veins, Winter's Chill, all that good stuff.

Fire wins. 'Nuff said.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

PoM Pyro For Nubs

In the old days, back when level 70's were still fresh and the majority of us were still getting boned in Hellfire or goofing off in Nagrand, the mage forums were alive with cries and screaming about PoM Pyro.
Specifically, the Arcane Power + Presence of Mind + Pyroblast + Damage Trinket that was causing mages to output incredibly high numbers with a single spell. Especially when the thing crit. (See above picture)
Many, many people called for nerfs, for cooldown to Pyroblast, for anything and everything to lower the damage that mages can output.

Idiots, the lot of them.

The forums have quited down about this issue, but roughly once or twice a day, a new thread pops up complaining about PoM Pyro, complaining about being one shot, on and on and on.

Now, I hate to take the standpoint of many other trolls, but I don't really have a choice here.

Y'all are idiots. Seriously, L2play, nub.

You will only ever get hit by incedibly high amounts of damage from PoM Pyro in the following situations:

1) You are an idiot, and do not know how to play or gear for PvP.

2) You have yet to spend enough time gathering resilience, and you are squishy and mine eyes. And when thou art squishy, thou gettest squished.

First off, every class in the game has options to survive / become completely immune to a Pyroblast. You might not always have these options avaliable to you, but then again, the mage is not always able to PoM Pyro you for insane amounts of damage.

Druids have little choice but to take the damage and hope for the best. Bear form can take an incredible beating, and you always have the options of Heal over Time spells. If a druid's reaction time is fast enough (which it will be if your any good at PvP), you will be able to shrug off a Pyro without much, if any, difficulty.
Of course, if you're a Bad Druid, you will get rofl-stomped

Warriors have a load of hitpoints avaliable to them, and most of them will simply raise their eye-brows at Pyroblast. Spell-reflect is also avaliable to be used, and quick warriors can knock up a spellreflect on a PoM Pyro fast retro-actively.

Paladins can bubble, and are usually in the same boat as Warriors HP-wise. No, you will not always have bubble avaliable to you, but you will always be able to heal yourself. And when our Counterspell is on cooldown, there is shit all we can do to stop you. The fact is, you're a Paladin. You can survive a Pyro. Not a problem.

Rogues can CloS. Oh, look, no damage. And don't complain about that being on cooldown. It's 1 bloody minute. You have that sucker ready to go, don't you? I have never, ever fought a rogue (since CloS became trainable, mind you) that was not able to pop CloS while fighting me. And if you're Subtlety spec (I see you little blink-stealing buggers), then you probably won't be killed by Pyro anyways. The laws of gambling and cheat death are in your favor.

Fellow mages can shield themself, Spellsteal Presence of Mind, Arcane Power, whatever, Ice Block themselves, even silence the other mage to prevent a Pyro. There are a lot of options avaliable to cut down on some of the damage, avoid the damage for a while, or completely avoid it.

Warlocks are strange in that some of them can take the damage, some can't. Some will be totally immune to fire damage for a while, some will simply be impossible to get high damage with (Soul Link, dontchaknow?), and some will simply deathcoil/chain fear/pinkhearts you when they see major cooldowns being used. Or spell lock you. Or simply eat your Arcane Power/Presence of Mind. Warlocks quick on the uptake will be like "What is this mage doing? Arcane Power? /sigh... spell lock... deathcoil... hrm, that was fun, wasn't it, mister wasted 3 minute cooldowns?"
Some warlocks simply will not have the reaction speed/spec, and will eat a lot of damage. Which they'll usually shrug off anyway, use a health stone, or fear / drain life you. Whatever they're into, I guess.

Priests are one of the more vulnerable classes to a successful PoM Pyro. They only have one lousy bubble, which even in its buffed form, can be knocked aside rather quickly. Specced into Disc, the priest will be hurting the mage substantially as well, but thats not much of a consolation when you suddenly eat 4k damage. A priest practically has to be disc spec to survive a PoM Pyro, because Pain Suppression / Improved MiniBubble are simply that good. Holy is pretty much boned, as is Shadow. Its certainly survivable, they are just a wee bit more vulnerable than other classes.

Shaman can have a lot of trouble with PoM Pyros. They only have one reliable way to avoid it, and thats Grounding Totem. Which the mage will probably shoot an Ice Lance at. /shrug. Without that, you are naked to the massive damage. At this point, only earth shield and praying Counterspell is on cooldown can save you. Thats no fault of your own, its just you class doesn't do good againt Mages.

Hunters are the worst off class versus a PoM Pyro. They're only defence, Feign Death, is little more than a distraction that might buy a second, or two if the mage is slow on the uptake. The only real defence hunters have is to try and keep the mage locked down as much as possible. Scatter shot, Wyvern Sting, Intimidation, even Arcane Shot and hope it dispells something important.

But even if you don't have the cooldowns ready to go, even if you don't have any real defences against a PoM Pyro, it should not be hard to shrug off the damage if you have any level of decent gear.
You're here to PvP, right? Then pick up some stats that are suitable for the job.

Pyroblast taking too much out of your hitpoints? Get more stamina. Pyroblast critting you for 7k? Grab some resilience, and watch that crit damage steadily fall.
Watch that 7k turn into 4k, assuming it crits at all anymore.

If you get the right gear, and all those shiny 3 minute cooldowns and 21, 31, 11 tier point talents will amount to is hitting for 2-3 thousand damage, and maybe critting for 4000-ish. Assuming it crits at all. And seriously? Thats not very much damage at all.
Literally any PvP spec (besides healers) can easily deal out that much without a lot of effort.

And just for speccing to get PoM Pyro, that mage is squishy as hell. We pay through the nose to get a crap load of damage, and watch it all amount to practically zilch thanks to Resilience.
A single Holy Light spell from a Paladin in any decent amount of healing gear will be able to heal up the entirety of a PoM Pyro.

In conclusion.

Stop whining. Learn to Play. Get some fuggin' resilience. PoM Pyro ain't that great, when you bother to build even a half-assed defence against it.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Ok, No More Roleplay

That was ugly. Really, really ugly.

Awesome things that have happened.

  1. We got the Spellfire Belt
  2. We finally reachd max skill in wands
  3. Reached the Hit cap as arcane
  4. Six months after getting it, my epic red gem of +12 spell damage has a home
  5. Dinged 30 on an alt
  6. Got epic boots!
  7. Reached over 20% crit rate unbuffed
  8. Hit Honored with the Sha'tari Skyguard
  9. 300 Resilience in PvP gear. Woo!

I Try To Roleplay

After many months of playing a troll, I wondered what it would be like to roleplay one. Hmm....

"Yo, mon. I am Euripedes, and I am a mage. The forces of the arcane, and the elemental powers of fire and frost are at my control. I can destroy you in a blaze of fire at a whim. I can become immune to anything and everything, including gravity. I can even turn the most potent enemy into a cute wittle piggy.

So why, I ask, is the Darkspear tribe in such a horrible condition? Why is our entire society degraded into a tiny little hovel at the bottom of Durotar? We are trolls! We are strong! Why do we not take action?


I suppose there is something to be said for sacrificing oneself for the greater good. It is no longer about the Tribe, it is about the Horde. We have a Warchief now. We have blood brothers now, outside the tribe.
We are scarred peoples. The trolls used to weild far and widespread power. Our history is one of bloodshed, of betrayal, and death. Our empires were torn to pieces by the elves, by the humans, by even other trolls. We, the Darkspear tribe, have fallen very, very far. But we will have our revenge. Of all the members of the Horde, we are the only ones to not have a land to call our own.
The orcs are even more scarred than we trolls. Their entire race, used, abused, and tossed aside like a ratty rag. Yet they saved us. We owe the orcs a great deal for our continued existence, and it is my pride and honor to fight and die beside them.
The Tauren are an honorable people, and I have a great deal of respect for them. They have solid societal and shamanistic values that have grounded the Horde, at least on Kalimdor.
The Horde of the East is a thing entirely different. The Undead, I can sympathize with. They've died, for Zul's sake, died and continue to fight on. But I do not trust them, and I will never trust their motives.
And the blood elves... traitors to their own kind. The remnants of the high elves, shunned by the Alliance for their dealings with Lady Vashj, among other things. As far as I'm concerned, they are not true members of the Horde, just lost elves with nowhere else to go.
And I cannot stand them! They are self-important, condescending pricks! What gives you damned elves the right to look down on me? What gives you the right to think yourself higher than me? You do realize that the land your precious Silvermoon was Troll land? You do realize that all you pansy ass elves are descended from trolls?
This world, it used to be ours. You, you damn elves, are nothing but the ungrateful bastard children of trolls long dead. And I will suffer your superiority no more.

But I do not hate them. I merely cannot stand them.

But the Alliance.... /spit. Conniving shitheads! The Night Elves have hunted us for centuries. They do not care. They show no mercy. They slaughter us all, given the slightest opportunity.
I hate them so... I will kill them. I will maim the men, rape the women, torture the children. They will scream. They will beg. And I will never show mercy. They will die, humiliated, and in incredible pain. They deserve no better.

And the humans.... *hisssss*. They are even worse. They will suffer even more. They will watch themselves burn, they will watch their loved ones suffer and due in front of them. It is merely justice. They have done the same to trolls, now they will suffer the same fate.
They will not die alone, but surrounded by their friends and famiy. They will watch their cities burn, watch their children fed to our Mounts, watch their wives tortured, watch their husbands ruthlessly maimed and left bleeding in the burning streets to die.

The dwarves and the gnomes are damned for their decision to join the Alliance. They will die and burn with the rest.
The gnomes especially. I HATE GNOMES!! How is it POSSIBLE for a race that annoying to develop? How can they go day to day without killing themselves? They are a cursed people, annoying as hell. They deserve nothing better than death out of spite. Stupid gnomes.

And the Dranei... what the crap are they? A bunch of self-righteous morons who worship "the light". The light? What the hell? You would base your entire civilization off a source of illumination? What is wrong with you?
Just stay out of my way so I don't have to kill you.

Fucktards, the lot of them. Nothing but a bunch of fucktards."

I was banned from the server. Something about breaking the ToS or something... I think it might have been the whole raping elvish women part.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Void Reaver has Down's Syndrome

Get it? Oh, I'm such a hysterical douche bag. Gucchi, don'tchaknow.

So, yeah. Anathema downed Void Reaver Thursday night. My jello sex buddy Sequel snagged some Tier 5 shoulders, and is hot and ready for some Tier 5 pants. Or, you know, something else Tier 5.
For those not in the know, the 2 piece set bonus from Mage Tier 5 gear is called "Cheating". It increases the damage dealt by Arcane Blast by 20%. For an arcane mage, this means... wait for it... a 20% increase in damage dealt.

Ok, ok, I exaggerate. But lemme put it this way. For an arcane mage, this set bonus is similar to:

For Druids: Increases stamina, spell damage, and healing done by an amount equal to the number of times people made fun of feral druids when the level cap was 60.
For Hunters: Increases the chance your Arcane shot will instantly kill your target by 10%
For Paladins: Gives you a 30% chance after saying the F word to become immune to all types of damage as long as you can continue saying the F word.
For Priests: Mana pool is changed to the infinity symbol.
Rogue: Gives a 30% chance for you to deal forty thousand damage to all targets within 100 yards whenever you smile maliciously. This damage causes no threat.
Shaman: All heals and damaging attacks automatically increase themselves to be the highest in the raid group.
Warlock: Curse of Agony stacks, doesn't cause threat, and no longer triggers the GCD.
Warriors: Stamina increased by fifty five thousand percent, and Mortal Strike now one-shots whatever is targeted, whether or not the ability is actually used.

So you see how awesome that set bonus is.

Anyways, I have to say that being there, being a member of the raid that took down Void Reaver, for the first time for this guild, is pretty damn sweet. I mean, sheesh, how many times to you get to be there for a guild's first kill? Of a Tier 5 boss?
Sure, its Loot Reaver, but c'mon! This troll hasn't even seen the inside of Karazhan yet.

In other news, the Blog is going to get a facelift, me thinks.

Going to add an official blog roll or something, maybe switch over all the linky type stuff onto the right hand side.
Some colors getting changed, maybe an entire new template. And *gasp* maybe even my OWN somewhat customized template!

And the World of Magecraft's are going to be revamped, and are going to have some additional stuff added to them. Maybe even some real theorycrafting and math added.
And of course, far more pointful. Stay tuned!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

$15 A Month

It comes with raiding guilds. It just does.
It's called drama.
Where people freak out, yell things on Vent, and TYPE THINGS IN CAPITAL LETTERS.

There is no avoiding it.

Anathema downed Lurker last night. Again. It took several tries before it went well, and on the second last attempt there were some pretty big freakouts.
A couple people flipped about people not getting their asses in gear, blah blah blah, and just generally getting mad at other people in the raid for not holding up their end.
Then there was the following response:

This is a typical response to many of the people who complain about people not doing their job.

It is just a game. It is meant to be played. Have fun, enjoy what you're doing, don't flip out because a mage forgot to polymorph so and so, or a rogue pressed the Envenom button too early and ate a stormstrike that the elemental shaman was supposed to have.

And so on.

You have some valid points there. It really is a game. You really are supposed to have fun here. You're paying $15 or so per month to play, so enjoy every minute of it, amiright?

But you're forgetting something.

This is WoW. World of Warcraft. It is not an RPG, it is an MMO. A Massive. Multiplayer. Online. RPG.

You know what that means?

That you are not the only person here paying $15 a month. There are at least 24 other people around you paying the same thing.

See that orc up front in the heavy armor? He's paying $15 a month to get the stuffing knocked out of him by everything from giant ogres to oversized jellyfish who shoot lasers from their eyes. Why does he do this? Why does he pay $15 a month to get shitkicked repeatedly? So everyone can have fun and enjoy awesome loots.
See that little troll at the back? The sexy one in the tight fitting dress? She's paying $15 a month to keep everyone else alive. When the orc in heavy armor gets hit, she's there to save his life. When something goes wrong, when some crazy ass naga goes around bitchslapping warlocks, she's there. Why does she do this? Why does she pay $15 a month to live a high stress job of any wipe being initially blamed on her? So everyone can have fun and enjoy awesome loots.
See that Tauren at the back there? the big guy with the giant tiger named "Fluffles"? He's paying $15 a month to shoot arrows into the bad guys. When the bad guys die, the tank stops getting bashed. When the bad guys die, the healers don't have to heal anymore. He's paying $15 a month because its damn fun to kill stuff.
To quote Shatha: "When I'm having fun, I want to kill stuff. When I kill stuff, I'm having fun."
That Tauren, he's here for murder.

So explain to me the logic that this is a game and you can do whatever. Explain that.

If you're a tank, and you bust out a 2H weapon, and die, and then everyone else dies, you just wasted everyone else's time. Everyone else does't think its hilarious to watch a tank get one-shotted. You may have enjoyed your $15, but everyone else did not enjoy their $360.

If you're a healer, and you start trying to DPS, then everyone else dies. The tank dies, the other healers die, and you die. Again, you just wasted everyone else's time and money. Their $360 a month, wasted because you wanted to have fun with your $15.

If you're a damage dealer, do the job right. Don't pull aggro. Do your job, and hurt the enemy. Do your crowd control properly. Everyone goes home happier, and you don't waste anyones time. Pulling aggro at the beginning of a fight with a 4k crit is NOT your job! Do it near the end, where you don't put everyone at risk by pulling aggro from the tank.

Learn your job. Do it well. Don't be an asshole. There is at least $375 a month at stake here, play it like you mean it.
And everyone, not just you, can have fun. And there will be phat lewtz for all.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

World War One, all over again

Ever since 2.3, there have been some major changes to Alterac Valley.
These changes, I think, were supposed to make it more strategical, and try to end the endless zerg rushing of pre-2.3 AV.

The very first iteration of AV was a monstrosity, filled with random NPCs, and even a random rampaging Troll. It has undergone many, many changes, streamlining the battleground into a PvP battleground again.
However, it is one that requires a great deal of execution compared to the Old AVs.

Pre 2.3, you got honor when you killed stuff. Thats it. So everybody bum-rushed everyone else, got tons of honor, and churned out thousands of honor.

Now, things are different. Do you still get honor from killing stuff? Damn right you do. 62 honor for killing the Captain, destroying a tower or bunker. You also snag a hefty 83 honor from killing the end general.
At the end of the game, your team is awarded 41 honor for having intact towers, and a living Captain.
So you lose honor when a Tower is capped from your side. You lose honor when Balinda/Galv get killed.
Furthermore, when one of your towers is capped, you lose 75 reinforcements. And when a captain dies, there goes 100 reinforcements.

In essence, the new AV requires a solid defence now in addition to a powerful offence.
If everyone from your team zergs forward, you lose honor when Alliance kills your stuff. But, if no one goes on offence, then you don't get any honor from killing stuff.

The old Horde adage was "Defence is for pussies". The whole horde mentality was one of simply swarming whatever needed to be done. In AB, for example, nobody would defend Lumbermill, because if alliance capped it, horde would simply zerg it back. I participated in this many, many times while leveling up, and witnessed 5-caps at 29, 39, 49, 59, and 69.
In warsong, traditionally horde would not have anybody on defence, and simply attack the alliance. Any defence the alliance had (which was generally 4-8 people) were simply steamrolled, and we killed the alliance flag carrier on our way back. That was how warsong was played. Alliance would put up defence, horde would annihilate defence, horde would win.
Over and over again.
Pre-70, thats how the game is played. I cannot say this is true everywhere, but on Stormstrike, if horde ever devoted more than 10% of its avaliable resources to defence, we would lose. Guaranteed.

But times, they did a-change.

And now AV is unfriendly to pure offence strategies.

So. You need to have some folk on defence, and they better be some damn solid folk.
Don't misunderstand this. You do not win an AV by having Defence. You delay your opponents victory through defence.
All defence serves to do is slow down and hinder the enemies attack, while your own offence pushes through to ultimate victory. At absolute maximum, half the raid group will be on defence. ABSOLUTE MAX. You need a minimum of 20 people on offence if you expect to be victorious in any kind of timely manner.
So, where do we devide who goes on defence, and who goes on offence?
First off, the people on offence will be fighting a lot of NPC's, while those on defence almost never will, and will almost exclusively be fighting other players.
Thus, people with PvE builds and gear should go on offence right off the bat, and those with PvP builds and gear are better suited to playing on defence.
Second, there are some very nice talents/abilities that lend themselves specifically to a role in AV. Rogues, for example, have been longstanding examples of excellent Tower-cappers. If you can "Ninja" a graveyard or Tower, you are an incredible asset to a team.
Any and all AoE fears are incredibly useful on defence. Priests and warlocks can ruthlessly upset the offence of the opposing team. In the same regard, a Druid's Cyclone ability can be devastating if you cyclone the main tank of the other team.

You get the idea.

So where do we stand, as mages?

If you're in Karazhan gear, play offence. You have better PvE skills, and will be far more useful to an effective offence.
If you're sporting S2 arena gear, you're better off on defence, as you'll be more suited to the heavy PvP combat that comes from playing that side.

And now to specs.

If you're arcane, you are very well suited to playing on Offence. Solid DPS and raid power, coupled with the brief PvP potential from those 3 minute mage abilities, will make you perfectly suited to playing Offence. When your offence runs into the enemies defence, you can pop those powerful abilties to steamroll them, and get right back on to killing Archers/whatever.

Fire spec is kindof a tossup. In general, you're better of on Offence, putting those handy damage abilities to good use. However, abilities like Dragon's Breath are incredibly potent, and can seriously shut down the offence of an enemy. A 3 second AoE stun is ridiculously powerful. Use it wisely, you can make a huge dent in, for example, enemy healers. Dragon's Breath can also be used on offence, and, indeed, Blastwave + Dragon's Breath can often single-handedly break a stalemate. The sheer amount of devastating damage seriously weakens your opponents, allowing your teammates to take them down quickly.
You will often die rather shortly after unleashing Blastwave/Dragon's Breath on a collection of alliance/horde, however.

Frost is an amazing defence build. No if's or but's about it. Slows, roots, what's not to like? You can frustrate any advance easily. The whole makeup of frost is mastery of kiting, and doing massive damage while the enemy is rather strictly controlled. In essence, it is perfect for defence. And if some brilliant people are defending with you, you can be unstoppable.
In old AV, I've witnessed 3 frost mages and a pair of warlocks stall the entire alliance offence for a good 45 minutes. Endless roots and fears kept them at bay for a very long time.

TL;DR version: play to your spec and gear. Prot warrior with 19k hitpoints? Go on offence and help tank stuff. Shadow Priest with 12k hitpoints and 500 resilience? Go on defence, and be the shade that wouldn't die. Resto shaman in Tier 5, with mp5 so high it makes Holy Priests cry? Go on offence, and spam chain heal. Resto druid sporting S3 gear? Stay on defence, you will piss a lot of people off.

And if you find yourself in one of those stalemate AVs, where the whole fight is essentially btoh sides rezzing and killing each other every 30 seconds?
I feel for you.
Attrition battles in the new AV really, really suck.

Monday, November 26, 2007


I experienced my very first AFKers in Arathi Basin today.

I was shocked. I was horrified.

I burst into tears at this heresy. Here we were, 11 horde strong, trying to fight off 15 alliance. For the entire battle, alliance held 2 bases, and horde held two bases, and there was always one or two nodes that were in conflict. Sometimes alliance would get three, sometimes horde would get three.
Sometimes Alliance zerged mine, and at one point alliance was capping everything except blacksmith.

And these ungrateful bastards sat in the starting room, getting their daily quest done for doing nothing at all.

Did I spam "AFK" report them? Darn tooting I did. I even went to the /bg chat and said "Report those damn AFKers"

To which some twisted soul replied "type /afk report to see the interface".

After he said that, three people on horde side promptly left the battleground


So that puts horde at 8 versus 15.

I took off my clothes and danced naked at farm.

7 horde versus 15 alliance.

Did we lose? Yes, we lost rather horribly at that point.

Was I happy? Damn right I was.

Some jackhole AFKers aren't getting a daily quest done on my watch.