Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Goggles, Getting Stoned and a Flying Machine

Oh woe is me, for I have marking to do.  As such, this is going to be a cop-out post.

So, it turns out that it takes about one and a half hours to go from 1 to 332 2H mace skill with a 2.6 speed mace and our good friend, the Servant of Allistarj.  I measured this using the highly scientific method of  Counting How Many Times I Had To Reapply Greater Blessing of Wisdom.

I know this because [Hatebringer] dropped in Underbog for Porphyrria, who despite knowing how to throw around two-handed swords, axes and even polearms, just couldn't bring herself to pick it up and use it in combat.  Since then, I replaced it with [The Oathkeeper] which I snapped up from the AH for a song.

On the subject of neat gear, I can't wait to yank that spiffy [Blessed Book of Nagrand] out of Nesingwary's blood-stained hands.  Still trying to get a group for the elite parts...

I also cleared out my bank and AH alts' mailboxes over the weekend.  Perfect thing to do when you're sniffling and can't think straight.  Ended up not only making nearly 1k in gold from a single day's auctions, but also "discovered" that I had a massive stockpile of the various outland ores...

...which I then put to good use by finally dragging Its' Engineering skill up to 375.  The question then was what to do with all the surplus power cores I'd made.  Thankfully, the answer presented itself in short order:

It's Its Flying Its' new Flying Machine.  And yes, I *did* pick his name so I could write sentences like that.

Two new purples in one day!  [Turbo-Charged Flying Machine Control] and [Surestrike Goggles v2.0] mean I'm now flying in style.

Already on a bit of a crafting bender, I found an Alchemist to make Por her [Mercurial Stone] and got her another 15-20 points in Jewelcrafting.

Finally, doing a bit of an audit on Its' gear, I think I'm getting close to being ready-ish for Kara.  My immediate goal is to get over 20% crit and 1300 RAP, while trying to get another 700 or so HP, maxing out my hit rating and scraping up some more mana.  Fun times.

As for Por, she's now about 1/3rd of the way through level 69, and has most of Blade's Edge Mountains to do it in.   This is good in that it means lots of quests left over for cash.  This is bad in that I absolutely loathe BEM.

Finally, I'll hopefully have a new, actually informative post ready for the weekend.


And I don't even have an audience yet.

Saturday, 26 April 2008


(Sentry Facesmash, a Fel Orc with a huge blade for his right hand is standing dejectedly in one of the training areas of the Shattered Halls.  He sighs as Warchief Kargath Bladefist passes by.)  Warchief Kargath Bladefist: What's going on here?!  Why aren't you mindlessly training for battle?!  Sentry Facesmash: Warchief Bladefist! I, uh...  Bladefist: Out with it!  Facesmash: I miss my pet.  He went missing last night, and I just can't stop thinking about how he's out there all on his own in a big, cold, uncaring world full of dangers for such a tiny, defenceless creature.  I want so very badly to go search for him and bring him back to the safety of his basket, but I cannot abandon my duties here!  Bladefist:  That's... that's...  That's so sad!  Don't worry Sentry Facesmash!  I'll find your precious companion for you!  Facesmash: Wow, thanks Warchief!  (Cut to Kargath Bladefist standing in his room, a yellow exclamation mark over his head.)  (Caption: A few hours later...)  Bladefist: Good news, Facesmash!  I found your little white kitty!  Facesmash: Cuddles!  Bladefist: And it only cost two of those blue badge things heroes are so crazy for these days.  Facesmash: Thank you so much, Warchief!  My heart is filled with joy!  Bladefist: Think nothing of it; anything to bolster the morale of my troops.  Facesmash: Come here and let me pet you, Cuddles.  (Facesmash kneels down to pet Cuddles.  Sound effects: shink, mreeow!)  (Facesmash jerks upright, blood covering his blade and spraying in the air.)  Facesmash: Cuddles, noooooo!  Curse my absurd sword-for-a-hand!  (Bladefist sighs.)  (Cut to Kargath Bladefist standing in his room, a blue exclamation mark over his head.)  (Caption: The end.  (At least, until 4AM server time...))

Thursday, 24 April 2008

Apparently, Growl was UP

That's "UP" as in "Under-Powered."

A few notes.

Firstly, someone misinterpreted my comments on the Dire Ravens being tamable as being sarcastic. Don't get me wrong: I'm happy each time Blizzard adds a new pet to the tamable menagerie. Plus, it gives Mania something to do (i.e. updating the already fantasticalicious Petopia.) For those who are having trouble following along, nothing in this paragraph is sarcastic. Except this sentence, which is.

Speaking of Mania, she's made several posts on 2.4.2 already. One of the things she did was post a picture of the Dire Ravens in question; I hadn't remembered it, but they have the same model as Alliance Druids in Flight Form! Since we can already tame those lynxes which have the same model (if not skin) as Alliance Druids in Cat Form, it's only a matter of time before all the forms of the Alliance Druids serve the Horde! (...I'll have them serving the curly fries.) What's better, it seems that the Ravens have a pretty fair selection of skills available to them, so they aren't likely to be sidelined like those poor Spore Bats. Remember kids, if you see a Hunter with a Spore Bat pet, give them both a hug.

Finally, it seems that Nethaera has clarified the worrying line about Growl no longer scaling. In typical Blizzard style, they completely failed to mention that instead of scaling with pet AP, it will now scale with the Hunter's AP. Which is probably a buff, all things considered. Which is awesome. The reason it appeared in the Bug Fixes section is because it seems that Growl was supposed to scale with Hunter AP in the first place.

Incidentally, the patch has created even more work for poor Mania, with Neth's casual aside:

Other pet abilities such as bite, claw, etc will still scale with pet AP.

...eliciting the following reaction from Mania:

Wait — Bite and Claw scaled?!

You learn something new about WoW every day, it seems. Except on the days you don't, but those don't count and can be excluded as statistical errors.

Finally, a few other potential changes in 2.4.2 have come to light via MMO-Champion and World of Raids. I say potential because they were apparently data-mined from the PTR client data files. I'm fairly sure the Tuskarr model is in the client's data files already and I don't know about you, but I haven't seen one in-game yet.

None the less, it's an interesting list. More bullet-points-with-commentary coming right up.


  • Aspect of the Viper - The hunter takes on the aspects of a viper, regenerating mana equal to up to 55% of his or her Intellect plus 35% of his or her level every 5 sec. The lower the hunter's current mana, the more mana will be regenerated. Only one Aspect can be active at a time.

Emphasis mine. Apparently, we were having unintentional mana-regen issues. This will hopefully help with having to sit and drink after every two or three fights. That said, I was hoping Blizzard would address mana regen problems for low-level characters, and those classes that simply don't stack spirit or much intellect. I know my Paladin's been quaffing Purified Draenic Water like a hard-boiled detective drinks whiskey.

Item Changes

  • [Nightfall] now has a chance to fail for targets above level 60

When I first read that, I thought it meant the Warlock Nightfall proc. That would suck, one of your own talents randomly failing as soon as you ding 61.

  • [Wushoolay's Charm of Nature] now grants 70 (instead of 400) spell haste rating, and reduces the mana cost of Rejuvenation, Healing Touch, Regrowth, and Tranquility by -5% for 15 seconds.
  • [Hazza'rah's Charm of Healing] now grants 70 (instead of 400) spell haste rating and reduces the mana cost of your healing spells by -5% for 15 seconds.

Wow. Sometimes items get hit with the nerf-bat, and sometimes items get smacked with the nerf-sledgehammer before being sealed in concrete and shot into the sun. Those trinkets, in terms of haste, are now only 17.5% as effective. I believe the Rogue trinket has been nerfed as well. Thank goodness that they're from ZG, and thus there aren't going to be many people with them anymore. Hopefully, anyway. If you did still use these, commiserations.

This looks worse than I think it is. You'll see.


One of my favourite quests just got a nasty nerf. Reported by World of Raids, they don't specify what it gives as a reward instead. All I know is that since I don't raid, and have enough trouble just getting a group for regular instance runs, I don't think I'm going to be getting any badge gear for quite a while...

New Mounts

  • Swift Zebra - Summons and dismisses a rideable Swift Zebra. This is a very fast mount.
  • Headless Horseman's Mount - Summons and dismisses a rideable Headless Horseman's Mount.

The second one is most likely related to the Headless Horseman events around Halloween, so even if this mount becomes available in-game, we're probably not going to get a shot at one for several months. None the less, this might be almost enough incentive to pull my old shadow priest out of storage; undead shadow priest riding the Headless Horseman's mount? Hell yeah!

The other is... somewhat strange. I just can't imagine where this is going to be available from. From what I remember, they're not called "Zebra" in game, they're called "Zhevra," which could indicate that the mount isn't ready yet. Also keep in mind that Zhevra show up in exactly one place in the entire game: The Barrens. My initial thought was that it might be a special mount only summonable in The Barrens and usable at low levels (a bit like how Draenei get to ride an Elekk around at level 10 for a while,) but the "very fast mount" part makes me doubt that.

I suppose we'll have to wait and see.

New Portals

  • Teleport: Stonard - Teleports the caster to Stonard.
  • Teleport: Theramore - Teleports the caster to Theramore.
  • Portal: Theramore - Creates a portal, teleporting group members that use it to Theramore.
  • Portal: Stonard - Creates a portal, teleporting group members that use it to Stonard.

World of Raids has confirmed that these are new Mage spells, learned from a trainer in the respective town. At level 35 for both teleport and portal.

Something mentioned on MMO-Champion is that there's a belief with some that just as getting to Outland required you to go to The Blasted Lands, getting to Northrend will require you to first go to either Theramore or Stonard, which might explain why those two in particular are getting portals.

Mount Enchants

That's right; it looks like we'll eventually be able to enchant our mounts. Old items haven't been replaced on the PTR (so your [Carrot on a Stick] is safe for the moment.) They appear to work by being single-use: you "enchant" a given mount, and the item is consumed. Additionally, it seems that there are plans for crafting the new Carrot on a Stick from Simple Wood, Fine Thread and Golden Sansam (the carrot is a lie!) [Skybreaker Whip] and [Riding Crop] appear to be keeping the same speed bonus, but are now single-use as well. As for you Druids, fret not, there appears to be an item which increases your speed in Flight Form and Swift Flight Form by 10%, but I've no idea whether it's a single-use dealy, a spell, or what. It could be that we're seeing an early form of Inscription.

Keep in mind that Blizzard has introduced things to the game's data files long before they're intended to be active before. Back before Burning Crusade, a number of Jewelcrafting recipies made it into the game's data files long before it actually launched. Heck, we've already got at least one Inscription spell in the data files right now! It could be that all this is simply being put into the data files in preparation for Wrath of the Lich King. The Druid flight form boost smells particularly Inscriptionish.

On the whole, I think this is a good, if completely and utterly unexpected, change. This means a little more business for Leatherworkers (making professions more useful is never a bad thing) and it also means one less bloody trinket to carry around.

One thing that no one seems to know is what will happen with regards to the Paladin and Warlock summoned mounts. I'm going to assume for the moment that something similar to the speed increase to the Druid flight forms is in the works.

So it looks like there's a bit more to 2.4.2 than we expected, even if we're not likely to see the more interesting parts for some time...

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Because Growl is So OP

So, Blizzard just took the lid off the changes in the upcoming Patch 2.4.2.  Rather than make an actual attempt at coming up with any real content, I've decided to instead just repost the interesting bits of the patch notes, inserting my paltry attempts at wry humour betwixt the bullet points.  Onwards, for great laziness!


  • Dire Ravens in Blade's Edge Mountains now tameable.

Because you can never have enough pet choices.


  • Arenas
    • If a character's personal rating is more than 150 points below the team rating, they will earn points based on their personal rating instead of the team rating.
    • If the average personal rating of the players queuing for a game is more than 150 points below the team's rating, the team will be queued against an opponent matching or similar to the average personal rating.

Hahahaha!  Take that, you arena point-selling bastards!  Right in the unethical misuse of game mechanics... gland... thing.  Sadly, I don't see how this is going to solve the issue of me being steamrolled by teams in full Season 3 gear in sub-1500 brackets.  That's just wrong.  And also, not fun at all.


  • All 23-hour profession cooldowns are now 20-hour cooldowns.
  • All 4-day cooldowns are now 3 days, 20 hours.

Something that always annoyed me was that, taking the Transmute: Arcanite spell as an example, because it was virtually impossible to use it at exactly the same time every day (especially if you simply sold the cooldown and didn't transmute your own materials,) you would eventually push it so late that you just had to skip a day.  At least this change gives people a bit of leeway.

  • Engineering
    • The Engineering supply item Delicate Copper Wire will now properly fit into engineering bags.

What I want to know is what they had to do to get this to work.  Did they have to go back through all those already purchased engineering bags and sew a little pouch into the inside for the copper wire?  Or is it merely a case of mailing out a spool attachment of some description?

Dungeons and Raids

  • Black Temple
    • Illidan will no longer despawn if a raid group wipes during his death speech.

Wow.  Can you imagine how much that would suck?  Your guild's first kill, you just barely manage to down him, and then he suddenly vanishes with your phat lewts.  That's some serious "hole-in-the-wall" angst right there.

  • Magister's Terrace
    • Vexallus is no longer immune to taunt on Normal difficulty.
    • Kael'thas is no longer immune to taunt on Normal difficulty.

"Nobody calls me chicken Kil'Jaeden, nobody!"  Did Kael'thas learn nothing from Back to the Future?  Or Star Wars, for that matter?  Come to think of it, he's starting to look a bit like Yoda lately...

    • The doors in Heroic Magister's Terrace will no longer respawn after a soft reset if a boss has already been killed.

Nothing worse than vindictive sentient undead doors.


  • Goblin Jumper Cables are no longer a trinket item.

And it only took them four years to realise they shouldn't have been a trinket in the first place!

  • Many items sold by Consortium vendors are now bind on pick up: Formula: Enchant Weapon- Major Striking, Design: Delicate Blood Garnet, Design: Shifting Shadow Draenite, Design: Lustrous Azure Moonstone, Design: Thick Golden Draenite.
  • Many items sold by Aldor reputation vendors are now bind on pick up: Design: Gleaming Golden Draenite, Design: Royal Shadow Draenite.
  • Many items sold by the Shattered Sun quartermaster are now bind on pick up: Naaru Ration, Design: Ember Skyfire Diamond.
  • The Lower City reputation item, Recipe: Flask of Chromatic Resistance, is now bind on pick up.

I just checked, and it looks like you needed the rep to use the items, so I don't really see the major issue with these.  Maybe people were selling them at vastly inflated prices on the auction house to people who weren't very good at reading the fine print.

What am I saying?  Of course people were doing that!

  • The Romantic Picnic Basket will now display the blanket properly.

What set of patch notes would be complete without an item that you look at and think: "of all the things they could have spent their time fixing, they chose to spend it on this."

In the same vein, no patch would be complete without something like "fixed X to do Y," where "Y" is the entire basic function of "X."

  • Tauren weapons while sheathed have had their graphic readjusted to their pre-patch (2.4.0) state.

And there was much rejoicing.

  • The Winterfall Firewater buff is no longer dispellable.

Just... why?  Why this one particular effect?  I mean, it's not like it's a particularly special buff.  It's a pain to farm for, and it basically just makes you a bigger (quite literally) target in PvP.  I really think Blizzard should be forced to attach reasons to their patch note items.

"Changed because Tigole had it dispelled off him in an AV game and boy was he pissed!"

World Environment

  • Creature versions of the Polymorph spell no longer heal the affected target.

Now that's just unfair.  Mobs always get the cool spells.  Non-healing Polymorph, Death Hand, Deep Breath...

  • The dragons in Blade's Edge Mountains will no longer instantly knock you off your mount.

Although incredibly annoying, I've never had that much of an issue thanks to my trusty [Parachute Cloak].  There is, without exception, no Engineering item in the game as useful as that thing.  Shortcuts into Un'goro, getting to the Blacksmith from the Lumber Mill in a few seconds, dismounting in mid-air and raining death from above... good times.


  • Cinematics playback is working again.

What I want to know is, given that the only way you'd even notice the cinematics are missing is if you'd either reinstalled the game and were paying really close attention or attempted to view them manually, how long has this been broken before someone noticed?

Bug Fixes

  • Female Draenei horns will now correctly protrude through certain plate helms.

I know the joke goes "Yes, they are real and they can cut glass," but isn't that just a little excessive?  I can just imagine the squealing of steel when a Draenei puts on that helm that drops from Scarlet Monastery, gouging a great bloody hole in either side.

"Fits like a glove!"

  • The Vengeful Gladiator's Rifle will now play the proper sound when used.

Yeah, the murloc aggro noise was getting on my nerves a bit...  man, that would be totally awesome if I wasn't just making it up.

  • The hunter pet ability Growl will no longer scale with pet Attack Power.

Now this, right here, has me worried.  First of all, it's listed under "Bug Fixes," which is disconcerting since I've never seen any indication from Blizzard that this was unintended.  But more importantly, I'm concerned as to what this is going to do to my pet's threat generation.  2.4 screwed up something that made threat generation weaker, and now it's going to get worse?!

I suppose jumping to conclusions isn't going to be hugely constructive, so I'll just have to wait for the PTR to see what the real effect is.

  • Paladin healing spells used in castsequence macros are now properly completing the cast sequence when a rank is not specified.

Sometimes, I really wonder what the source code to WoW must look like.  Not "spells," or "healing spells" in general; Paladin healing spells.  Methinks Blizzard doth have gremlins...

  • Shaman Talent: Frostbrand (Enhancement) Rank 6 will now properly do more damage than Rank 5.

Now that's just sad.  "Guys, I think we forgot to make Frostbrand VI do more damage than Frostbrand V."  "Whoopsie."

  • Warlock Spell- Drain Soul will no longer continue to do damage to another player after they have died.

So wait, does this mean they were taking damage after they ressed, or were their ghosts going into negative health?  At least it's not as bad as back when Warlock DoTs didn't wear off after duels... that was not funny!

  • Priest Spell: Power Word: Shield now has the correct sound associated with it and can no longer be heard from large distances.

Ker-pshing!   Yeah, it was getting a little old.  I still say having a gun that makes murloc noises when fired would be hilarious, though...  for about five seconds, anyway.

  • Whirlwind now has the correct sound associated with it.

Yeah, I was wondering why whirlwinding mobs sounded like one of those giant industrial buzz-saws they use in movies to cut secret agents in half revving up.  That seemed just a little unlikely.

On the whole, apart from that Growl nerf, nothing that big in this one.  Of course, that's only to be expected at this point.  We're only likely to see small tweaks and changes until WotLK comes out and breaks everything.  Aah, what fun.

Saturday, 19 April 2008

Now, hit me in the face.

I love the Servants of Allistarj. What's that? You don't know about them? If you're one of those classes that only loves their weapons for their stats, you can go ahead and skip this one; the rest of you read on.

Ok, now that the prissy casters are out of the way, let's talk technique. How often have you had an awesome new weapon drop that not only bests your old one stat-wise, but looks just plain bad-ass? So you equip your shiny new toy, go out to farm for those blasted Sunfury Attack Plans, only to discover that every single swing is missing. And then you get killed by a mob four levels below you.

It's only then you see this in the chat log: "Your skill in Polearms has increased to 64."

Damn. So now what? You've got to go train your skill up. That means running around with the lowest level weapon you can buy, flailing ineffectually against various types of bears until they die from a lucky hit, forcing you to find a new one.

This is where the Servant of Allistarj comes in. This chappy is a level 54 mob in The Blasted Lands. He has no special attacks whatsoever. His only means of damaging you is hacking at you with his one-handed sword. No stuns, knockbacks, drains, etc. This means that once you're over about level 60, the guy can't really kill you unless you fall asleep.

He does have one special ability, though: he can't be killed. Well, OK, he can be killed, but only if you're on a long quest chain that nobody bothers with any more, and even then you've got a very small window of opportunity in which to do him in. But apart from that, he can't be killed [1].

So what you do is, you aggro him, pull him somewhere out of the way of the various nearby patrols, turn on auto-attack, and go watch TV. Or paint a picture. Or read your sizeable collection of Terry Pratchett novels. You need to stop by every once in a while and just chug a health pot, or maybe keep him at arm's length for a few seconds while you bandage. Also keep in mind that you can actually go AFK while in combat. If nothing else, just hit jump every 15 minutes or so.

If, however, you are a Paladin like myself, you can just judge Light and switch on Devotion Aura. If you've got enough armour and a fast enough training weapon, you can pretty easily out-heal the poor guy. He's just gonna stand there fruitlessly chopping at you for the rest of eternity.

Incidentally, I just got a point in Defense. It's now 330/330!

Seriously, I have gone off, made a snack and a cup of coffee, checked my mail, created this blog, and only lost about 30% of my health, if that.

So, the next time you get a cool new weapon, and discover that you only really trained one-handed maces so you could equip [Last Year's Mutton], go have a chat with the Servant of Allistarj in The Blasted Lands. He'll appreciate the company.

Incidentally, for you casters (and Hunters) out there: Dr. Boom for the win.

For those of you wondering about the title, that's largely paraphrased from what a Kendo instructor once said to me. I had to try very hard not to laugh at how absurd it was for me to be standing there, repeatedly beating him over the head with a wooden sword, with him saying "harder!"

[1] Back before Blizzard "fixed" them, you could kite these guys all the way to Stormwind. Once there, they would aggro the guards. At this point, the Servant would gleefully run around Stormwind, killing everything. The only way to get rid of them would be to page a GM and wait for them to come along and death-touch the poor chap. Incidentally, it was on just such an occasion that I levelled up my Druid's dagger and unarmed skills...

Oh, the horror of it all.

I've made a blog. For my World of Warcraft characters. I don't see the four horseman, but it's only a matter of time now...

Now that you're here, you might be wondering where all the content is. There is none, sadly. I haven't even fixed the layout so it isn't candy-lime green. Honestly, why are half the templates you get to choose from green? Was Google on an eco-bender when they chose them? Or worse, are they colourist?

In any case, if I haven't already scared you off with my nonsensical ramblings, you may want to come back later. For now, I have a header to design. Huzzah for amateur design skills!

Blog Sub

Blog Azeroth is a pretty nice (gonna use a growed-up word here) resource for us WoW bloggery type persons.  One of the things they suggest is for all us aspiring attention whores members of the blogging community to let you, the bored person at work reader know what we, ourselves are reading to avoid doing anything constructive with our lives.

And so, here is my Blog Sub (because I prefer subs to rolls *ba-dum tish!* [1])

[1]  I grow in power each time someone groans from that joke. Seriously; it's like the source of all my evil super-powers...