Archive for September, 2009

Memory of a Moron

September 30, 2009

Way way back, nearly three years ago, Tchann was a little level 60 hunter who loved to run Blackrock Spire. She would three-man LBRS with her rogue and shaman friends. She even taught herself how to kite so that killing Drakkisath was easier for every group she was with. She was proud of her 156 melee dps, and happily ran into the fray with her pet wolf, Mahrou, fighting by her side.

…quite obviously, I wasn’t the best hunter there was. I raided occassionally with a near-static pickup group, but my rolls were constant crap and I only ever got one epic (a pair of bracers from AQ20). Despite being a noob melee hunter, I took my role seriously and worked to do my best at all times.

So, after months of running BRS and knowing the place inside and out, I ended up in an odd pug for UBRS. I don’t remember much else of the group, although I recall that I did know several of the other members personally. All I recall clearly was the other hunter we pugged, somebody decked out in epic purples from head to toe. While he was a jackass to the group, I watched him carefully in case there was something I could learn from him.

By the time we were at the bridge before Drakk, I’d determined that he was a complete moron.

As far as I could figure, he did less damage than me, despite being decked out in purples (and, y’know, doing damage at range like a hunter should do). Sadly, it wasn’t until the bridge that I realized what he was really missing: his pet.

I remember being flabbergasted when I figured it out. Tentatively, I tried to mention to him that he’d forgotten his pet somewhere, shouldn’t he bring it out?

“Pets r stupid,” he replied. “Ur a noob.”

He went on to completely tear into how stupid my gear was and how sucky of I hunter I had to be. I took it all in, still in shock, wondering how he could say those things while outright refusing to call his pet for combat. My mind was stuck in a constant “WTF?!” loop, and he just bitched that I didn’t have a pair of Bone Slicing Hatchets.

He then insisted that he kite Drakk, died horribly, and I picked up his slack by keeping the big guy occupied. The hunter chestpiece mocked me by not dropping, and the other hunter mocked me one last time before dropping group and hearthing.

Sometimes I wonder what his name was. I wonder what he’s doing now, if he’s even still playing WoW, let alone a hunter. But most of the time, I just wish I could sic Mahrou on his face.

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I named her ‘Highwind’.

September 29, 2009

When I first -really- started raiding with a guild, it was Karazhan. I loved the instance and thought it was wonderful in so many ways…except for the ballroom. Because the ballroom, filled with dozens of ghosts all dancing to the music, made my frames-per-second plummet to 3.

If you’ve never raided at 3fps, try it sometime. It will make you appreciate expensive computer parts.

After a month of two of that, I upgraded my computer by adding a video card, and suddenly the game was beautiful. Things ran smoothly and I could see so much more in the game. It was like my eyes had just been opened and I was seeing everything for the first time.

Then Lich King arrived.

At first I didn’t notice too much because I was leveling. But as time wore on, I saw my frames drop bit by bit…until I was running Ulduar and barely able to dodge the fire tornadoes because my fps was a solid 7. Still more months passed and despite dropping my graphics settings, I was doing fights in Ulduar at a dismal 3fps once again.

It was at about this point that I started drifting away from WoW, and my raiding was reduced significantly, to the point that I only vaguely remembered that I had graphics issues. Then, when I came back for Brewfest, I found my fps tanking while I fought Coren-freaking-Direbrew, and enough was enough.

Three days later my shiny new parts arrived, with just enough time for me to put them together and go to bed. Two days later (because I was busy on Saturday), I logged in and went to give Direbrew another shot.

Then I gave him a few more shots. Because my fps was a solid 23 the entire fight.

I’m sure the more elite of you are scoffing at the number. Yes, it’s not 60, or even 30. But you know what? It’s not 7. In fact, it’s more than three times seven and quite honestly? That’s good enough for me.

What I upgraded:
Single Core 2.0 GHz CPU    ->    Quad-Core 2.8 GHz CPU
1.5 GB DDR RAM    ->    3.25 DDR2 RAM
Geforce 7600 Video Card    ->    Geforce 8400 Video Card
80 GB HDD    ->    320 GB HDD
Crappy Case From Hell    ->    Awesome Case of Awesomeness

It may not have really been much, but it’s awesome nonetheless. 😀

Wolf vs. Devilsaur

September 23, 2009

“Did Devilsaur get a stealth nerf?” tweeted the Pike this afternoon. “Consistently showing Wolf > Raptor > Devilsaur. YMMV.”

My eyebrow peaked. But Blizzard, I cried into the ether, worrying my coworkers, didn’t you say you wanted exotic pets to be on top, always?

They did. But apparently, they also changed their minds.

I only have three pets at level 80: Mahrou, a wolf; Mijikai, a devilsaur; Murinandai, a rhino. Since rhinos aren’t exactly known for being top-of-the-line dps pets, I squared off Mijikai and Mahrou head-to-head in Silvermoon, my preferred testing ground for all things huntering.

The conditions were static between the two tests: I had one buff (Kings) leftover from a Coren Direbrew run. Each test went for two minutes exactly, using the stopwatch feature as a timer. I would have Hunter’s Mark active before the beginning of the test, and started each test out with Bestial Wrath, punching it one more time during each test. Both pets’ specs were exactly the same. Lastly, I kept on attacking until I ran out of mana, hit Aspect of the Viper until I was up to ~7000 mana again, then turned Dragonhawk back on.

I had Recount running for preliminary numbers, but they were sort of shady so I ended up ignoring them. Then I spent a good half hour switching between log websites until I found one that a) worked, and b) accepted a log without a boss fight. Then I looked at the numbers.

Then I tried not to cry.

Sure enough, Mahrou, my first pet ever from way back at level 10, out-damaged Mijikai the freakin’ DINOSAUR. He hit harder (avg of 640/hit vs. Mijikai’s 590), he critted more often (51 vs. Mijikai’s 47), and buffed my plain hunter damage by nearly 200 dps (Furious Howl). Mijikai just couldn’t keep up, despite being, y’know, A GIANT FREAKIN’ DINOSAUR.

I might be a bit hung up on this, here.

So it seems that wolves have climbed above the TYRANNOSAURUS FREAKIN’ REX. I don’t know if this was a stealth buff, stealth nerf, or if somebody at Blizzard is just really, really drunk. But I do know that Mahrou is by my side once more until further notice.

How exactly do I put this?

September 3, 2009

At the end of June I went on a self-imposed hiatus from WoW in order to prepare for visiting family. While the preparations were completed, I also remembered that I had other ways to entertain myself in the evenings. So when I returned to WoW, finally, I was far more focused in my efforts, and really only logged on in order to raid.

Then I acquired a new job. This new job is fantastic, something I’d wanted for years and was excited to finally get. Longer hours, longer commute, but far better pay plus benefits. I’m very happy with it, but unfortunately, it cuts into my evening a bit more. So after I get home from work and cook and eat dinner, I have less time to spend with entertainment than I did before.

On top of all that, 3.2 was released and suddenly my guild’s progression was split between finishing Ulduar and doing all the shiny new stuff. Also, my computer’s frame rate during raids dropped from 7 (barely manageable) to 3 (deadly), and I cannot find a reason for it.

So I find myself in a tight spot.

I still enjoy raiding, but I can’t raid without giving my computer a major overhaul (new motherboard to handle more memory, etc…). But my computer still runs all the other games I like to play just fine, plus I’ve been getting back into console gaming. Even when I’m willing to suffer the 3fps to raid, my schedule doesn’t link up with my guild’s raiding schedule anymore, and the raids I can sign up for ultimately get canceled. Additionally, I started taking my Eee to work in order to write posts, but ended up restarting a novel I began writing ten years ago.

Lastly, Cataclysm looks fantastic and I find myself upset that it’s not here now.

The point of all this is that I haven’t quit the game. Nor have I quit writing. My attentions, due to the circumstances, just happen to be elsewhere. So if anyone is still reading this, I promise I will be back. Fer srs.