Archive for March, 2009

Prioritizing

March 30, 2009

I wasn’t good at this when I started playing.

I happily spent my entire day playing WoW instead of cleaning, cooking, or even playing other games. Even before I had made the friends in-game that I have now, I spent far too much time in game. I remember, sometime after BC came out, typing the dreaded /played command and balking at the number there.

Comparatively, it was probably small. But to me, it was a textual representation of exactly how much of my life this game had taken up. It scared me, so I made a rule.

Rule #1: If all I’m doing is sitting around and waiting for something to happen in the game, then find something else to do.

It was simple. Instead of farming Timbermaw for no real purpose, log out and go play a different game. Pick up the bedroom. Play with the cat. Or if I simply -had- to be in game for whatever contrived reason, find something else to do while I waited. I refused to spend my life in game simply because it was there.

Months passed with this rule, and all was well. I started raiding, and caring about my class, and the mechanics of the game overall. Then I realized that suddenly, more than before, real life was conflicting with the game. I had to cancel appointments to raid, or raids to keep real life appointments. Then I really had to sit down and figure things out.

What was the game to me? In most ways, it’s a way of entertaining myself. But with raiding, with its strict scheduling and demanded focus, I couldn’t just slap the ‘for fun’ label on it and leave it there. Raiding was more than fun – it was competition. It was self-challenge. It was a chance to better myself for the sake of a team. In lieu of softball, which I had played for 11 years, I now have World of Warcraft. And I am totally okay with that.

So I made another rule.

Rule #2: Raids are scheduled on par with real life events. Raids cannot bump real life events. However, real life can bump raids.

And, for good measure,

Rule #3: Real Life > WoW

This is working pretty well.

March was a very busy month for me. I’m sure you noticed (or didn’t, actually) that I hardly posted at all. That’s because I was between work, a gaming convention, a visit to Georgia, and doing taxes. As per rule #3, real life came before WoW.

This all works so well in part because of my wonderful husband, who I won’t gush about too much here. But we’re both gamers, geeks, and neither of us can live without an internet connection for very long. He’s incredibly tolerant of my raiding, and I’m learning to be tolerant of the new ASCII game he’s been playing for the last month and a half.

It’s hard. I’m trying, I swear.

In the end, I’d like to think that if I reach a point that I realize WoW is just more detrimental to my health than beneficial, I will have the presence of mind to pull the plug. Cancel my account, uninstall the game, and focus on the things that matter far more than a computer game. So I have a lot of respect for BRK’s decision to do just that, and I pray that all of his readers show him that same respect.

Best of luck to you, BRK, to you and all of your family.

Oh…and can I have your stuff?

Dazed and Twittered

March 12, 2009

It started with a twitter.

pikestaff: This may sound crazy but with Steady Shot getting a bonus from dazed targets I wonder if Imp. Concussive would be worth it o__o

Then I had a couple replies. Because I tend to use twitter more as a chat platform than microblogging. I’m a rebel like that.

tchann: @pikestaff Since Steady Shot is no longer our top shot (easily out done by Auto Shot alone) it’s probably not worth the points.

tchann: @pikestaff A random thought along the same lines – do the bonuses to Steady Shot from Serpent Sting and Conc. Shot stack?

And, eventually,

tchann: @pikestaff Y’know, I should be doing work, not theorycrafting Steady Shot. :: dives back into the spreadsheet ::

Certain things needed to be taken into consideration: one, cooldowns. Two, damage. Three, effects and how long they lasted. Other things needed to be made steady for the purposes of calculation: one, a standard duration of time. Two, a set attack power. Three, my sanity. I let the last one go.

What I ended up with is a spreadsheet that lets me plug in my AP, weapon damage and ammo damage, then spits out a dps estimate based on special shots alone (no auto-shot). There are two shot rotations, each going to or close to 100% base mana usage over the course of the rotation, without regeneration.

The first shot rotation uses Improved Concussive Shot, and keeps Concussive Shot up as often as possible to get the Steady Shot bonus. The second shot rotation is the standard Arcane/Steady spamming we’ve come to know and love. If you’re really curious to look at the sheet (published at 3500 AP for the hell of it), you can see it here.

So in the end? My gut reaction was right – Imp Conc Shot isn’t worth it for the damage boost. The ability costs more mana to cast than Steady/Arcane, and the effect is only up for 6 seconds max, with a cooldown of 12 seconds. That’s only a 50% possible uptime for the buff, not to mention, when was the last time we saw a boss that could be dazed with Concussive Shot in the first place?

I didn’t find out if the bonuses actually stack or not – I just assumed they would, and assumed in favor of the Imp Conc Shot rotation. It still lagged behind the regular rotation by 60dps – not a whole ton, but as we all know, every last point counts when it comes to those damage meters. 🙂

Dragon fall down, go boom

March 11, 2009

One of the other hunters in Monday’s raid managed to Fraps our Malygos kill. Of course, it wasn’t the attempt that left me alive and unharmed on the platform, but it’s still nifty to see the fight in its entirety. I also realized that the third phase lasts way longer than it feels.

And yes, that’s my giant red devilsaur you see. Isn’t she cute? ^.^

This should totally be an achievement

March 10, 2009

Wings fluttered and flapped as we hung in midair, perched on the backs of our red dragonflight colleagues. The atmosphere was tense, singed with fire and ozone and the ever-looming possibility of defeat. There wasn’t much time left, and despite our best efforts, the situation was looking grim.

Malygos, in his all his ever-present magic and glory, reared up and gave a deafening roar, and we knew that it was over. The heat and pain from his attacks intensified and we felt death upon us. One by one our drakes faltered and fell, their wings broken, dropping our fellow adventurers into the black abyss beneath us. I watched from the corner of my eye as each comrade winked into the inky ocean below, while concentrating on doing what I could to direct my drake into possibly defeating the mad dragon before me.

My heart quaked as I realized that only I remained, mounted, staring down the terrifying dragonkin that now focused his attacks on me. I prayed and used every trick I had available, but it was nothing compared to his power. I felt the drake crumple beneath me, and shut my eyes as I, too, fell into the timeless abyss.

Thus, imagine my surprise when my hooves landed solidly upon hard stone! I looked around, and found myself all alone, and alive, on the platform on which we had initiated the battle against Malygos. I had survived the unsurvivable!

Of course, immediately cheering into Vent about having lived through a phase 3 Malygos wipe probably wasn’t the most polite thing to do. ^.^;

Welcome to the PTR

March 4, 2009

I’m really an impatient person. When I first heard that PTR copies were available, I camped my account management page until I was able to squeeze in a copy. Then I spent hours downloading the PTR client and patching it so I could log in. Then I logged in and got disconnected fifteen times in a row. Finally I was able to stagger over to a hunter trainer long enough to dual-spec into something I’ve been wanting to try for a very, very long time.

Of course, that was a while ago. The PTR crashed and I promptly forgot about things until this evening. With a new version of the PTR up, I wanted to push a little further with my experimentation. Login went smoothly and I found myself grinning at my copied hunter at the trainer.

Out of curiosity I cast the new stabling ability, ‘Call Stabled Pet’. Sure enough, a stable screen popped up in front of me, and I happily traded out Mijikai (devilsaur) for Murinandai (rhino). The trade finished and I had my happy rhino next to me. Of course, Muri needed his talents redone, so I opened up the talent pane to do so.

This is when I discovered he only had one talent point. Which the interface refused to let me spend.

Well, that was no good. I quickly brainstormed that perhaps I could fix things by swapping him into the stable the normal way and swapping him back out. I ran around the corner and did so…only to notice, with horror gnawing at the pit of my stomach, that Mijikai was missing. I had four pets and an empty stable slot.

A small voice in the back of my head started yelling that I should have known about this. I told it to shut up, and then got back to thinking of a way to fix it.

Thankfully, my first and favorite pet was still in the stable, so I swapped Muri out for Mahrou (wolf). Mahrou loaded and I breathed a sigh of relief as I went to check his talent pane. He was missing all of his talent points.

I stared at the screen. Now what?

On a lark, I put Mahrou carefully back in the stable, into the empty slot that Mijikai had once occupied. Then, before my eyes, Mijikai reappeared! Her name and icon gracefully filled the “Current Pet” slot, and I waited for her to spawn next to me.

Of course, this was not to be. I tried calling her, in case she had somehow despawned, but received a stark red message which informed me that I did not currently have a pet. Forlornly, I stared at my stable pane, wondering if I’d see her on the PTR ever again, and a system message popped up in chat.

sammich
I didn’t get a sandwich, but I did report the bug and log off. There isn’t much a hunter can test on the PTR if she doesn’t have a pet. ;_;