Monday, January 28, 2008

No Solace for the wicked

Well I probably would've bet an organ on the fact that Solace would pick up where they left off, boost me through DM and then I would've been +1 dreadsteed and they would've been +1 members.

Oddly enough nothing of the sorts happened. I saw the solace recruiter online a few times and started in with the usual chit-chat only to see him log-off each and every time I started chatting.

Perhaps I overstepped my bounds and said something ignorant (euhm... more ignorant than usual) or they simply got tired of putting effort into recruiting me.

So here I am... level 68... still guildless and on a felsteed... but I still have all my organs.

I am not sure what to make of it all. I guess I will simply wait and see what happens with the whole guild thing. I am in no rush. I have enough other characters that need attention to not be worried about any kind of guilding for a long time.

In the meantime another guild has made me a similar offer... join on a trial basis and we'll help you with Diremaul.

I say spare me the ignorant dribble and adjust your recruitment strategies.
If you want decent recruits as a guild you need to go out and get them. Be social, talk to people and if there's someone in there that seems decent send them a few invites for instances and whatnot.
If they work out ok then send them a guild invite and you'll at least have a decent chance of that person not robbing your guild bank and Gquitting.

I've had a guild in days (and games) long past... recruitment is about being pro-active. Passively spamming messages over public chats doesn't get you any decent people unless you're lucky.

If you want to recruit via spamming to bulk up your member count the easiest thing to do is simply to make a second guild (i.e. the academy). Give people certain goals, have some regular guildies help and train the new recruits and funnel the good ones into the guild.

There's better ways to recruit than to add your spam to that of the gold sellers...

Thursday, January 24, 2008

My soul for a horse

Well I made a dark pact yesterday. I was quite happy to see that the Solace guild picked up my trace after my login yesterday and once again started pestering me with guild invites. So I figured I'd simply abuse their eagerness a little (the whole evil warlock thing kicking in here).

I have been having significant trouble getting my epic warlock mount due to the fact that it requires an inane amount of questing / gold, patience and worst of all it requires a trip to Dire Maul.

Dire Maul is not something I can easily solo and furthermore I seem to have to go to the part of DM that requires a key which of course is hidden in some other part of DM.

The whole shebang is aggrivated by the fact that there's no one going to DM on my server.... and I mean bloody no one. I've been monitoring LFG and even spent a quite a few hours meditating on the doorstep on DM waiting for anyone to show up that was looking to go inside.
No one came... no one... no tanks, no healers, not even a jehova's witness.

But you can't not have your dreadsteed as a lock now can you?

So the Dark pact was formed with Solace's recruiter: Solace over the course of the next weeks will help me out with my dreadsteed (mostly just the DM part, I can do the grind myself) and in return I pledge my allegiance to their cause.

It feels a little like selling my soul for a horse.... and I am still not entirely sure why of all the people on the server they'd want to recruit me but I guess I was a bargain to recruit hehe

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Thanks Solace

Well I came very close to signing someone's guild charter the other night which would've been one of those freaky 1 in a million occurances.

I was flying around fiddling around with my gui (an oddly common occurance lately) trying to get the buttons to where they belong when I suddenly get an invite to caverns of time from someone whom I have been chatting with casually quite a bit.

I figured it wouldn't hurt, I had never been to the Caverns of Time...
and I have seldomly seen a run go so smooth.

The tank grabbed aggro like nobody's business allowing us to open fire pretty much right away. The healer was awake and aware, there was no squabbling about loot whatsoever and the whole instance went by in a flash.
I didn't even get called a noob! I definitely hit the wrong buttons a few times (most notably cancelling out an amped curse of doom *mutters*) thanks to my gui fiddling earlier.
I deserved a reprimand or two that simply didn't come except in the form of advice 'after' the run.

Ahhhhh... that was like having your cake and being able to eat it too...

I'll see if they invite me along again, if so I won't leave my soloing ways behind but at least I'll have a few good people to help carve out the gear it's going to take to actually make soloing content easier.

In the meantime many thanks to Solace. A group of people that shed some positive light on an otherwise dysmal experience with grouping.
Which just goes to show that not everybody in WoW is an arrogant twat.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

WoW - addons

Addons addons addons... I spent about half the weekend and most of yesterday evening trying out various addons ranging from new castbars to such things as damage meters and whatnot.

The goal was simply to maximize what I could get from my addons without using too much memory or suck up too much bandwidth. Additionally the idea was to standardize my UI for all my characters.

The default WoW UI deserves a lot of credit but I never quite managed to get used to the L shaped layout of the toolbars and the cycling toolbar on the bottom left.

So off I went into the merry land of curse gaming to dig up a selection of useable addons.

On my shortlist of needed addons:

1. A coordinate tracker that shows your current coordinates and mouse coordinates on your map 2. A damage meter to calculate total damage over time (to help improve your damage output)
3. A threat meter to be able to make threat management a little easier
4. Something that would display instance maps since I always get lost in instances
5. Something that'll provide me more information about an item. Disenchant value, ah value etc.
6. Shiny new customizable toolbars so I can put spells where I want them rather than to put them where blizzard wants them
7. An improved castbar, preferably something that would take latency into account so that you can keep casting smoothly even if you're running 600+ latency

What I didn't want was class specific stuff or raid oriented stuff. This is just clutter to me and detracts from the standardization of a ui.

Last but not least I wanted to have a 'small' set of addons especially considering the fact that it reduces the time you need to maintain your addons after a patch.

And now on to the nitty gritty...

I downloaded about 30 addons to cover the various functionality that looked worth trying. I already knew that I wanted to try Trinity bars for my UI bars so that's the only addon I downloaded in that department...

After install I fired up all the addons at once and scrapped the ones that gave me errors right off the bat. After that I cycled through the addons, compared the functionality and scrapped the ones that were too memory intensive or too 'blah' (meaning it gave me a feeling of 'blahness' and thus was rejected).

So after much deliberation and filtering here's the list of addons I ended up with and something that you might want to know: Addons do not add latency!
Well some addons do request some extra data from the server but it turns out that WoW will simply disconnect you if your addon is sucking up too much bandwidth ;)

Addons do however eat up memory... and lots of it when they're poorly written so I had to keep this in mind.

Initially I wanted to give you all a list of addons that didn't qualify... but apparantly there's a limit to the length of a blog post and I doubt you'd be all the interested in my craplist.

Instead I give you the list of things that actually made the cut:

Koordinator: A simple location addon that shows your current location and if your map is open shows the coordinates of your mouse pointer. Since everybody communicates all locations in coordinates this addon is perfect to assist in finding things. On top of that it's fairly lightweight.

Recount: Recount tracks damage of various people around you and has dozens of settings to parse data in a certain way so that you can look at your damage in whatever way you prefer. Very handy for tracking damage on a very very large scale but also makes it possible for you to test various spell rotations for optimal damage. I'd take the results with a grain of salt since I had no way to verify if the results were anywhere near accurate.

Omen: Omen is my threat meter of choice. A lot of people have it installed and for my solo use it's perfect to see when I am building threat faster than my pet. Omen has helped me significantly in doing maximal damage without aggroing the mob off of the pet / tank.

Atlas: Atlas comes with a number of informative addons such as atlas loot. The main reason for me to pick atlas is because it provides me with a few decent and marked instance maps... I'll still get lost... but at least now I can guess the general direction I need to go without having to tab out of wow.

Auctioneer: Auctioneer lets you scan auctions and figure out average prices of items. The fun part here is that auctioneer builds a database so that you can check what the average price over time is rather than to guess based on what's currently on the AH. Good for anyone who likes to make a few gold on the AH.

Enchantrix: A good way to see disenchant values of items and it also adds a nice function to scan the auction house (together with auctioneer) for deals on items that could be disenchanted for profit. Always handy to turn on since it gives a clear indication of what the item is worth to your (dis)enchanter.

Trinity Bars: Trinity bars has come a long way. I tried it in the past and didn't like it but the newer version seems a lot more sturdy. The amount of options can be confusing at times but this is definitely a solid addon to add / remove buttons to a toolbar, change the layout and even the shape of the icons as well as determine the size of the toolbar. It even goes so far as to let you autohide menus which can be incredibly useful for things you don't use often anyway. The only caveat here is that it doesn't allow you to modify the default chat and map windows which would've been nice (or I haven't found the feature yet).

Quartz Bar: Quartz is an absolutely positively great castbar. Aside from the standard castbar stuff quarts provides you with a handy meter for your damage over time spells. More importantly quartz adds a little red bar to the end of the cast bar. The length of this bar is dependant on your current latency and allows you to start casting your next spell when the first one doesnt appear to be done yet.
Basically quartz takes into account your latency and shows you (by means of the red extension) when you can start casting a new spell without upsetting the WoW servers.
If you're suffering from medium to high latencies you will love this addon.

All in all a nice bunch of addons.
Sure I could add some more to tweak the map and chat windows as well as do some other cosmetic stuff but for the time being I am quite satisfied. I'll probably post a screenshot of my GUI once I am done playing around with the general layout of things.

don't expect much from the screenshot... I am not into fancy GUIs, I just want the buttons nicely grouped and within appropriate clicking distance :)

Friday, January 18, 2008

The Warlock - Part I

For the next installments of this tremendously popular blog (*waves at his 1 regular visitor*) I will try to make a somewhat extensive guide on the affliction warlock I currently have sitting at level 65.

Essentially this will be no more than a simple run-through of the things I did and my thoughts behind the process.
With a little luck you'll be able to extract some useful information from this guide or if nothing else will give you something to chuckle about.

Remember, I am no expert... I simply read things and then try things out to see how they work for me.
This has resulted in a nice lvl 65 warlock that can take on 2 - 3 mobs on at one time and leave the battle with full health.

Part I of this multiple blog series is mostly concerned with the basics, initial thoughts on race choice and talent trees as well as professions. Part II will follow up with a condensed levelling guide and part III will go more into the gearing aspect.

Talent options

A warlock has 3 very distinct talent trees each resulting in a very different playstyle. Affliction empowers your damage over time spells (dots) and allows you to go toe-to-toe with some seriously fierce monsters whilst you drain their life and mana away with your various draining abilities.
The demonology tree allows you to let your pet do all the hard work and the 41 point talent will equip you with a felguard giving you one of the best pets available in-game. Felguard specs are amongst the easiest specs to use in PvE and Felguards are often referred to as noob guards as a result.
The destruction tree has all the tools you need to output significant DPS. Destruction is all about bringing down enemies as quickly as possible but adds the utility of the warlock demons to the mix.

Each Talent tree has different gear requirements (or gear recommendations rather) and as a result it's best to pick your main talent tree as early as possible.

The notion that there is a 'best' tree is complete nonsense. After all if you prefer playing your character as a warrior type (go in and crack skulls) then speccing destruction will be a nice challenge but will not necessarily satisfy your playstyle.

On that note I decided to leave the long range bombarding to my mages. Destruction was out (although I now do have some points in it for the spiffy shadowbolt improvements).
Demonology reminded me too much of my hunter where I would simply stand back, let the pet do the work and sit there on autoattack. It's nice if you intend to do some reading on the side I suppose.

This resulted in me picking affliction as main tree, the idea of being able to suck the life out of something whilst they beat the life out of you was interesting enough and the idea of being able to tank anything as a cloth wearing class was too good to turn down.

Race options

There's a couple of race options to choose from for your warlock:

undead: cannibalism (regen health), will of the forsaken (fear removal)
gnome: remove snares / root, extra int
orc: more pe damage, stun resistance
human: perception (rogue spotter), extra spirit and extra faction gain
blood elf: silence spell and mana tap

Much like talent trees there is really no best option but it's clear that a non-demonology lock won't have too much benefit from an orc's extra pet damage so pick to match but primarily pick a race that you think looks good.

Since I am a devout Horde player and I picked affliction the undead seemed like the most suitable choice (and I have no regrets whatsoever). The extra silence and mana tap ability of the blood elf would've been interesting but of those abilities you end up only using the silence ability since the constant mana tapping has no significant benefit and can be arduous to keep doing (plus it eats global cooldowns).
Undead can break out of fear, eat corpses for extra life and spend extensive time underwater.

In the end: Pick a race you're comfortable looking at and whose abilities you appreciate (and use). I for one am a sucker for longer underwater breathing and use this far more frequently than I use life tap on my blood elf mage. Choose what you think you'll use. If you're not going to use the racials then pick a race with passives like an orc to free up slots on your skillbars.

Profession options

Let's assume we're not gold-greedy and we actually want to be able to make some good gear for our warlock. We want our professions to provide things we need during levelling... of course everything can be bought... but there's nothing more frustrating than wanting a full netherweave set only to find out that no one's selling one, the guild tailor is MIA and the one guy that can help you doesn't have enough mats.

If you are gold greedy you're best bet is to mix skinning with either herbalism or mining (I'd say mining) and sell off whatever you skin/mine/herbalize.

Beyond that we already know that a warlock is a cloth wearing class and is more likely to use a spells/wand rather than to rely heavily upon weapons. This makes blacksmithing and leatherworking a poor choice. The items generated do not immediately help the warlock so can be ignored for the purpose of getting to level 70.

alchemy whilst useful isn't crucial for a warlock. Especially affliction warlocks have a fairly easy time to manage mana and health and while elixer/potion buffs can be really helpfull at times they are not a 'need to have' for a warlock. Alchemy can however be considered quite good for a destruction warlock.

With those out of the way that really only leaves tailoring / jewelcrafting, engineering and enchanting.

Jewelcrafting can be extremely useful later on in the game when gem socketing gems becomes an option and can to a lesser extend make getting jewelry easier in the early levels. I did however note never having problems getting rings or amulets either through drops, quests or the AH so jewecrafting also strikes me as more of an 'end-game' option.

Having only dabbled in engineering I can only say that engineering 'adds' utility to your class. Don't have a good way to pull? get engineering. Got lousy ranged attacks? pick engineering.
Engineering really adds more trinkets and doodads to your assortment and if you like mashing buttons or like to be prepared for any situation then engineering is for you. Engineering deserves special mention for PVP oriented people... whilst I tend to stay away from PvP (I get that enough at home) the overall opinion is that engineering really adds to your pvp experience.

This leaves tailoring and enchanting and frankly I think they are both excellent choices. Enchanting can be a great moneymaker by disenchanting things that you don't need and selling the components. At about 300 enchanting you can pretty much disenchant any item currently available in the game and make a profit off of the materials. You can even scour the ah for items that are for sale cheap, disenchant them and sell off the resulting components for a tidy profit.
Not only that but it also allows you to (even if it is just a little) boost the quality of your items and allows you to make up for some shortcomings in your gear. Don't have enough stamina on your boots? add some! Need a fierce glow on your weapon? Add one!

Tailoring... if you don't have a shadoweave tailor yet then now's the time to get one. The capacity to make bags and a wide selection of armor that is extremely useful to any shadow oriented class is superb. Between shadoweave, netherweave and frozen shadoweave you will never have to worry about where your next piece of gear is coming from and I can confidently say that being at level 65 my gear always consisted of at least 70% tailored gear with a few quest rewards or lucky drops thrown in.

Suffice to say that I picked tailoring. I am slightly regretful that I didn't pick enchanting to go with it but instead I picked mining for the money aspect of things as I didn't understand enchanting well enough at the time to see it's potential.

In the end gathering professions are the best way to make money consistently... but they add nothing to your utility.

My recommendation at this point for an affliction lock would be tailoring / enchanting provided you don't have have a shadoweave tailor already.

We conclude by not concluding anything and I hope to see my 1 reader back for the next installment of "The Warlock"

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

On Hacks and keyloggers

There's a lot going on in WoW and your account is more popular than ever since it represents an actual monetary value. As a result your account is a prime target for a hack or two.

And of course there's a lot wondering going on what one can do to prevent the loss of accounts. So being as innovative as I am I will simply re-list all the things you could potentially do to not be hacked ;) .

1. Pick a new browser. Whilst Internet explorer is a comfortable tool you will incur a lot less problems with a browser like FireFox. Whether there are less problems because less hackers focus on FireFox or that Firefox is simply better is a moot point. Point is that it will help protect you.
2. Don't log into the wow Forums. I know it's tempting to partake in the mindless ramblings of thousands of 12 year olds but fact of the matter is you're better off not doing it. Blizzard considers it a boon to be able to use the same credentials for the forums as well as the game, personally I think it's more of a security risk
3. Don't share your account. Don't trust your wife, don't trust your sons/ daughters, don't trust your brothers/sisters. The second you start 'sharing' your account the higher your risk of trouble is. After all you don't know if your friends computer is safe and even if they don't mean harm that'll do you no good if your account gets hacked via their PC.
4. There's a setting in WoW that allows you to save your account name which is then pre-filled when you start in WoW. This won't help much, but it'll keep you from typing your account name and thus will never show up in keylogger logs.
5. Disable scripting in your browser. Investigate the settings of your browser. You can turn off a whole bunch of things like JAVA script. Yes this will impact your browsing experience overall, so try to find the fine line of what is and what is not acceptable for your browsing pleasure.
6. Don't click links... If you really want to click a link butcher it first. More often than not you can remove anything after the first / in the link which will bring you to the main site of the link. This will at least give you some indication whether or not the thing you're looking at is part of an actual site or just some pointer to a malicious script.
7. check msconfig. msconfig (look it up if you don't know how to start it) shows all the programs that launch when your computer starts up. Google all the programs listed that you don't know and disable them all if you don't recognize them. Worst case scenario is that something stops working in which case you'll simply have to turn it back on and restart.
8. Keep your firewall and spyware scanners up to date and running. Neither do you any good if they're not up to date or not running and since most of them have automatic updaters there's no excuse not to update.
9. Stop using an administrator account. Us windows users have a terrible habit of running everything as an administrator. If you use a regular 'user' account you will more often than not be notified by the system if something requires administrator access... and administrator access is often required to be able to write a keylogger to disk. Consequent use of a user account without administrator rights can be a tremendous boost in your level of security.
10. Change your password once in a while and make sure you use lots of special characters and whatnot. The more plain a word is the more susceptible it is to a so called brute force attack.
11. Set up your firewall / router properly. Don't allow any traffic except for the traffic that you know needs to take place. This does require a bit of networking skills but see what you can do with this through some standard tutorials.
12. Via the task manager investigate running processes and google the ones you don't know. If it's unrecognized kill the process... if something stops working don't kill it next time. If everything still works find the program responsible for the process and put it out of it's misery on a permanent basis.

And now a few extras for the extremely creative / adaptive people that may or may not be that useful for you

13. Use form fillers. There are programs you can use that simply fill out information for you. You only specify once what you want entered for a specific website and the form filler will do it automatically next time you log into the site. This works because you're not using the keyboard and there's simply nothing for the keylogger to log.
14. Use on-screen keyboards. Windows has one... somewhere... but by using an on screen keyboard you're not using your keyboard so once again there's nothing to log for the evil loggers.
15. One of my personal favorites. Change your keyboard layout. If you can handle it change your keyboard layout from qwerty to azerty or even dvorak. A keyboard logger generally 'assumes' that you are using qwerty so they generally don't interpret your keystrokes correctly. Of course this will only work again stupid keyloggers (but there's a lot of those so).
16. Speech recognition software has come a long way. It's very much feasible to 'speak' your password even though this can be a hassle for complex passwords. But once again you're not using your keyboard so there's nothing to log.
17. Last but not least you can drag and drop text. If you have something typed up already you can drag the text and drop it in the corresponding text box. This doesn't always work well but it's an option that might be worth a try.

I hope this helps a little or at least gives you an idea of what can be done. In the end you have to keep your computer clean and up to date. Not only to protect your wow account but also so you can keep your dubious browsing habbits hidden.

Mudflation and you

Well as you undoubtedly have noticed: I spent the last couple of blog entries more or less discussing arbitrary things that you already knew anyway.

Despite the fact that this is mostly a blog for wow noobs like myself I think I will take a swing at something slightly more abstract that affects even the most lowly WoW players. Mudflation...

Mudflation is a term coined back in the old multi-user-dungeons when BBS' were modern and no one ever even imagined something as drastically complex as WoW running over a network spanning dozens of servers and involving millions of people.

Mudflation basically describes the process of people getting richer as they go along and how this impacts the economy of a game.

In the current type of MMORPG economies (open economies) the resources are pretty much endless, you will never run out of mining nodes and the monsters will never dissapear or stop dropping loot. This means that over the long term the more you play, the wealthier you become.

Eventually you become wealthy enough that the wealth of one person 'flows over' onto the next person resulting in the infamous 'twinking' effect where 1 character simply supplies a lower level character with equipment or monetary aid depending on their needs.

The problem with this principle is that eventually there comes a point where there is nothing to spend your gold on. As a result gold becomes fairly worthless to you and there is little to no objection to spend a few hundred (in wow terms) gold on a low level player to help them out.

This in turn results in the 'twinked' player to become substantially more powerful and devour game content even faster than he/she normally would (possibly even skipping large parts of it).

The effects of this cycle are obvious. One day your cool new purple epic item is the greatest thing on the server and a few weeks later no one really cares about your stupid purple epic because everyone has one in their bank and has moved on to the next greatest thing...

until the day that there simply is no next greatest thing.

From a development perspective this is a disaster, people running around having everything can quickly cause content to become obsolete (when was the last time you went into low level instances for the loot?).

But what does this mean for you? It means quite simply that all that nifty gear you've been collecting on your lvl 70 characters will be completely obsolete by the time the next expansion has been out for a few hours. After all Blizzard wants to be able to provide new content to keep us interested (otherwise we stop paying them) but they can't afford to make this content 'worse' than the content they already have.

No one is going to spend extensive amounts of time in Northrend if the quality of loot and things to be had is lower than what they can get in outland.

As a result each and every expansion will always bring better gear which is good for us noobs because it means we can still progress but can be rather painful for the hardcore players who all of a sudden end up replacing all their pretty epics for new greens.

For blizzard this means that expansions are an integral part of their income. Once you stop expanding your content will become obsolete quicker than you can say whatsthatpurple.

Mudflation is a sad reminder that even a world that appears to be quite alive will eventually suffer a rather extreme economic collapse.

In the end blizzard will have to device a way to infuse their game with new interesting content via other means than cut and dried expansions. After all blizzard will never be able to produce content quicker than people can consume it... that's a fact of development.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Set completed

Yesterday I rolled my final character a shaman by the name of Capow and I must say I am fairly pleased on how he's getting on so far. Managed to take him to level 10 in the short session I had last evening and so far it's comparable to levelling a priest. Fairly steady progress and decent survivability due to healing wave and a few handy totems.

Either way the arrival of the shaman completes my set in that I now have 1 character of each class.

Here's a short breakdown for those who are interested:

Capsize - lvl 65 undead warlock
Tailor / miner

Capstone - lvl 32 blood elf paladin
Blacksmith / miner

Capricious - lvl 24 troll hunter
Leatherworker / skinner

Capibara - lvl 20 tauren druid
Alchemist / Herbalist

Capone - lvl 10 Orc rogue
Engineer / miner

Capeesh - lvl 12 Orc warrior
Blacksmith / miner

Capacitate - lvl 20 undead priest
Jewelcrafter / miner

Capitulate - lvl 23 Blood elf mage
enchanter / miner

Capow - lvl 10 Tauren shaman

Not too impressive probably but considering I'm still in my 2nd month of play I am quite pleased with the results.

The primary idea here is to play the main character for the most part (burning rested xp takes a long time at high levels) and then use the gold income from the main to support the lower level characters which get levelled mostly according to whim but sometimes according to rested xp.

With a fairly small difference in levels between most characters it becomes a lot easier to disperse various loot drops so most of my characters except those in their low teens are now moderately well geared (crafted greens) for their level and my enchanter is quite happy with a constant stream of stuff to either enchant or disenchant.

The main problem I am running in to is that my enchanting character isn't high enough level to provide useful enchants like fiery, unholy etc. which is affecting the quality of weapons /armor that are available in my 'pack'.

I am considering slapping enchanting on my shaman to have a little bit more progress on the enchanting side since I so brutally abandoned my mage at xroads but I don't really look forward to training enchanting up again.

On that note I really don't know what to put on my shaman in terms of professions.
Mining is out, with 6 characters having mining there's no need to add more. If you can't mine enough ore with 6 characters odds are you won't make it with 7 either.

Interesting candidates atm are leatherworking, skinning, herbalism and potentially engineering for the utility.
The leatherworking is mostly to craft gear, although I suppose that could be outsourced to the hunter if the required leatherworking specializations matcth. skinning mostly to keep the leatherworker in supplies where I am having a bit of shortage. The same reason applies for herbalism.

I would prefer to have 1 crafting and 1 gathering skill on my shaman though.... hmmm something to medidate on while I am wasting my boss' precious time.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Post 70 expectations

I had a fairly uneventful weekend. I Considered taking my now level 65 lock into sunken temple to finish off an ancient long-grey quest that somehow survived in my quest log due to the nifty trinket reward.
Instead I ended up burning most of my time simply chatting away on LocalDefense and do a few bits and bobs for my tailoring (now 350).

I have always fashioned myself to be somewhat of a solo player. I don't mind the grouping aspect of things but I have noted that most groups are very goal oriented (get quest x done) which more often than not is coupled with an unhealthy greed for items.
Unfortunately these kind of groups don't find it amusing when I decide to fling myself from a 10 story tower or a large cliff (I like to use that soulstone charge when it's about to expire :) ).

So I had a few chats with a few high level players to see what could actually still be done alone once you hit 70 and the general response was that beyond sunken temple (and not even the last boss) I could forget soloing content whatsoever.

Not necessarily what I wanted to hear... so beyond faction rep grinding and doing a few low level instances I get to stare at my feet for the most part unless I am looking to get into PvP in which case the battle grounds could be somewhat amusing.

Still I am not going to give up on my whimsical goal of finishing the game all by my lonesome and I think I should be able to get a decent ways in before I have to lodge a formal complaint to blizzard that they're not providing content for their casuals.

This leaves me looking for information... what character can best be used to solo content, what gear am I looking for and where should I be headed with my talent builds for a pure solo PVE character.

Turns out that kind of information is scarce or as often the case with soloists not shared with the public and the main worry I am having for my own solo carreer is that of gear. How do you keep upgrading your gear as a solo player so that even if you make only limited progress you're still progressing.

For now I will stick the focus on heading for 70 and topping my characters out... perhaps with a little creative enchanting, jewelcrafting and whatnot I can stretch my gear to make up for the some of the gap.

Friday, January 11, 2008

2.4 sunwell lore

Well patch 2.4 is slowly gearing up to invade your local wow installation and with it comes a new 5-man and a new 25-man tied to sunwell lore (feel free to correct me if I am wrong).

As usual this means jack to us noobs since we will never see the inside of any high level raid content unless some large raiding guild is looking to be entertained or needs some form of monster bait.

The amount of content created on the high levels that requires a nice set of purple gear is getting more and more while the true casual players like myself get left behind with... ... well nothing.

Rather than to roll up their sleeves and add some interesting recipes to their various underpowered crafting skills and working in some interesting side-quests at the lower levels blizzard once more focusses on what the whiners in the wow forums say completely disregarding the fact that 75% of their playerbase doesn't even come in touch with their end-game content.

Azeroth is more and more becoming a temporary foothold for players where they absolve their forced levelling to 58 program before they get to play with content that's actually still being worked on.

It's not so much the subpar gear drops in Azeroth that bother me but more the fact that there's no reason to stick around in azeroth. Put in a few dozen repeatable quests for faction rep, a couple of quest chains for novelty items like the tonka tank or some form of collectable like a mini card game.

Something that is only available to the denizens of Azeroth would go a long way to alleviate this situation and it can be completely seperate from the urge to gear-up.
Hell even a few fun Soloable dungeons that are actually manageable at whatever level you are at and still fetch some XP would probably be enough.

Instead we're stuck... we're stuck levelling to 70 where we hit the wall and are forced into group play. The high level instances get further and further out of reach since no self-respecting raiding guild will take you along in your puny green-blue gear and you can't move along because older raid content isn't accessible to you unless you happen to roll into a new guild that's just starting out on the high level instances.

At some point the gap between us casuals who are for the most part only dreaming about a set of epics and the 'hardcore' players will become so large that we will simply disconnect completely.

We resent each other enough as it is... after all, we feel that they get all the cool new content and they feel that they are entitled to it because they spend so much more time in wow than we do.

Truth of the matter is that in the 8 hours a day they play wow they can get substantially better gear than if we spend 8 hours in wow spread over an entire week. This is a clear failure of the mechanics and will eventually result in a complete disconnect between the true casuals and the hardcore players.

The real point however is that the game 'ends' more quickly for a casual player then it does for a raider simply because a lot of casual players only get to Solo or two-man content for the most part due to time constraints.

So where their game continues after lvl 70 mine simply grinds to a halt and the only thing I can do is see if I can get a group together in the first 15 minutes after I log in or switch to a new character to level.

On professions

Most of the time when asking for a suggestion for a profession to pick people will say you're better off taking 2 gathering professions and just using the gold from resource sales to buy what you need.

There's a couple of problems with this concept however.

1. Supply and demand
2. (Gold) Efficiency
3. Long-term goals

Supply and demand

The question of supply and demand is fairly simple. If you want item X then you need to get it from somewhere. More often than not the item isn't available on the AH and if you're guildless (like me) then you're stuck spamming trade hoping to find someone who can make the item for a more or less reasonable price.

In that case you would've been better off having picked a profession and trained it whilst levelling.

(Gold) Efficiency

In a lot of cases if you do pick a profession at the beginning of your carreer and keep it up it will always be slightly ahead of your level and you will have a few nice items waiting for you as you progress. This takes away the need to look for your needed items (at least for your chosen profession), saves time, headaches and results in a more efficient method of gearing your characters.

Having the profession also means that if you put in some time in gathering the materials for your desired item your item essentially becomes 'free'. Sure, you spent time gathering the stuff, but if you picked your profession early enough you can usually get the materials during the process of questing and gaining XP so you didn't really lose the time invested.

Long-term goals

In the long term most people want to have all professions anyway. If you start with a profession once you are in the high 60s like a lot of people do you'll be throwing away whatever time you put into one of your 2 gathering professions and you usually spend a decent amount of time gathering materials in zones that don't give you any XP or quest progress.

Not only that but you'll be crafting items that would've been nice to have an X amount of levels ago.

Sure your epic mount will make a difference in how fast you can train things, and the gold you have to burn can help tremendously but only if the prices on the AH are reasonable or you have some other way to get the materials.

Then what?

This leaves us a couple of ways to deal with professions efficiently. One is to still pick 2 gathering professions but simply not sell any of the materials gathered.

This requires a tremendous amount of bank space but will make it possible to level up a profession of your choice quickly at higher levels.

The other way is to simply pick a gathering profession and a crafting profession when starting your character and using the gathering profession to fuel your crafting profession.

What profession to pick is largely a matter of personal choice but there are professions that are more suited for certain classes.

For now let's take a loot at professions in general and then follow it up later with a more 'per class' approach.



Tailoring is a definite boon to any cloth wearing class. The ability to make some of the best 'green' cloth armor available especially if you have an incling towards shadow damage coupled with the capacity to supply yourself and all of your alts with bags means that tailoring has tremendous utility.

Tailoring however is _NOT_ a money making profession unless you happen to have specific popular patterns.

Since tailoring isn't dependant on a gathering profession (cloth drops off of humanoid mobs) it can be combined quite well with enchanting so that green items made during the levelling process of tailoring can be disenchanted.

While some tailoring patterns require gemstones, herbs or leather there is no real need to pick a gathering profession to go with tailoring unless you need the money from resource sales.


Leatherworking much like tailoring can be a boon to leather wearing classes but provides very little additional utility until later in the game where specific patterns like the riding crop become available. Feral druids will find leatherworking enjoyable from the perspective that it can cover some of their various equipment needs which can range from tanking gear to dps gear.

It is once again worth noting that Leatherworking is not suitable to make money with unless you are a skinning maniac and have an ample surplus of leather.

The obvious choice is to couple leatherworking with skinning so that you have a constant supply of resources. To a lesser extend enchanting which can be used to disenchant greens created during crafting.


Blacksmithing is a decent profession to take for the 'tanking' classes like paladins and warriors. It is often said that there are too few good patterns in the blacksmithing tree but for levelling purposes you will find that you can always use some of the armor components that you can craft. Weapons before weaponcrafting are often dependant on what recipes you can find on the AH. More often than not you can find cheap recipes on the AH for weapons but before level 30 you end up buying most of your weapons from the AH.

Blacksmithing does not make it possible for you to craft shields. I was sorely dissapointed by this since a good tank needs a good shield and not being able to make one reduces the utility of blacksmithing somewhat.

Pick this if you want to be able to make yourself some armor but be aware that there is never a shortage of decent 'metal' armor on the AH.

Blacksmithing is best combined with mining. It's obvious and it's far from realistic to depend on the AH for the resources you need to level this since it requires tonnes of various ores and stones.

If you pick blacksmithing be prepared to pick mining and also know that the utility of blacksmithing is limited except for the occasional piece of armor (and of course rare recipes later on).


Jewelcrafting is one of those skills that has a decent amount of utility in the early levelling phases since decent jewelry is rarely dropped or offered as quest reward. However jewelcrafting doesn't really come into it's own till near the end-game (60+) when you get socketed items in which you can slot various cuts of gemstones.

With a few good recipes you can make good gold with jewelcrafting but you will hardly be able to make decent returns with it until very late in the game.

There is no one class that specifically benefits from jewelcrafting so this can be a good profession to drop on a character that doesn't really have any use for a specific profession.

Jewelcrafting is best combined with mining. A lot of the items require either specific gems that can be prospected from ore or requires bars of specific metals. Mining also has the advantage of producing gems whilst mining and as a result definitely is the skill to take with jewelcrafting.

Enchanting / Disenchanting

A tremendous stand alone skill that can start paying off almost immediately. Unfortunately you can't make a dime by enchanting things but you can make a killing disenchanting things.

At about 300 enchanting skill it's possible to disenchant pretty much any item currently in the game for various shards and essences which can be sold for good profit on the AH.

Enchanting itself doesn't pay money until you have a few popular formulas. Early on anything that enchants a weapon with some form of glow (beastslaying, fiery, icy etc.) can be turned into a decent profit and later on there's a few popular enchants that can drag in some cash.

Unfortunately since you can't pawn off enchants on the AH it requires a certain amount of activity on the trade channel to turn enchanting into a profit.

Disenchanting however will always be profitable. Scour the AH for items that are sold below their average disenchant value (addons like enchantrix can show the estimated disenchant value of an item), disenchant them and sell the result for a profit.

Enchanting / disenchanting is one of the best skills to have sitting on a bank character (if you have one of those).

Anything that fuels your disenchanting is useful. Leatherworking, blacksmithing and tailoring all produce a decent amount of green items during levelling that can be disenchanted but of these only tailoring doesn't require a resource gathering skill to fuel it.

Note that in case of picking enchanting with a crafting skill often results in your disenchanting skill being used to cope with the losses you generally incur through crafting.


Engineering is a high utility skill. Some of the most fun items in the game come from engineering and it is often one of the most popular professions for PVP oriented people.

Engineering doesn't make you money but it does help increasing the overall utility of your character. A good example of this is engineering on a paladin. Paladins really don't have a good way to 'pull' mobs other than walking into their aggro range. Slap on Engineering on a paladin and you gain a number of options to pull enemies from a distance like EZ-throw dynamite.

Much like blacksmithing engineering requires a good amount of ores and as a result is best combined with mining.


Alchemy is a good all-round skill. The various potions can be used to buff run-speed, stats and grant various other effects and is the primary supplier for the ever-popular healing potions and mana potions.

Since most potions do not require you to have alchemy to use the potion it is very much possible to have alchemy on a single character and use it to supply the rest of your characters. Alchemy is a very decent skill for potion dependant classes like cloth wearers (not warlocks) but can be considered useful for most any class.

Alchemy _can_ make you money provided you have the recipes for high level mana / health potions. Since these potions are usually in high demand a profit can be made fairly consistently provided you spend the time farming the necessary materials.

Alchemies counterpart is Herbalism and they make a decent team at that. Especially at higher levels where certain plants always seem to be sold out on the AH it can come in handy to have Herbalism to pick up the necessary plants.


Mining is without a doubt one of the most popular professions within WoW and for good reason. Ore is always needed by Engineers, Blacksmiths, Jewelcrafters and the side product of mining (gems and motes) are essential parts of some tailoring and leatherworking recipes. As a result whatever you mine with mining can be sold on the AH for a decent profit.

When in doubt, mining is the skill to pick.


Herbalism is the engine of the Alchemy profession but beyond that has some utility in other crafting professions simply because higher level recipes will often require a herbalism component. Unlike mining however not all herbs can be sold for a significant profit. Nonetheless Herbalism is a gathering skill that can bring a substantial income provided one farms the right herbs. More often than not it becomes possible (starting in outland) to 'herb' certain killed mobs as well increasing the profit one can make by killing stuff.


Skinning is without a doubt one of the most straight forward gathering skills. Unlike mining and Herbalism you don't have to spend your days running around a zone looking for little yellow dots on your minimap. Instead you simply skin the beasts you kill. The only caveat here is that you can only skin certain animals and as a result it's worth the time to find something that is skinnable when going out to kill stuff.

Skinning can be used to make a fair amount of money since Leather is often a pre-requisite for tailoring / blacksmithing recipes and of course in high demand with leatherworkers.


First Aid

First aid is considered to be a must have for any class. The ability to quickly heal up in between battles and sometimes even right in the middle of battle can be priceless. Even though you can drink / eat / quaff potions and do a number of other things to regain your health there's never a good reason not to want to be able to heal more. The profession is easy to level up and will definitely pay off.


Fishing is a rather time-consuming sport and is often disregarded. Nonetheless some of the best food-buffs come from fishing and quite a few recipes in the alchemy department have some fishy components. Fishing a little every now and then can be beneficial but it's by no means crucial to pick this up during leveling up.


Being able to cook up some raw components into edible food can be beneficial for specific food-buffs. In the most cases the utility of food-buffs isn't all that relevant before the higher levels so the time invested usually doesn't result in any 'significant' payoff.

However if you are interested in food buffs then levelling fishing together with cooking is very much possible and a very good idea.

On a side note. If you're interested in how popular certain professions are take a look at the image below .

The image is about a half year old and the low popularity of JewelCrafting can in part be explained away by the fact that it is a fairly new profession (TBC).

As always take the popularity chart with a grain of salt since it should not be assumed that since profession x is higher in the list it must also be better...

The art of zoning

I decided to give my low level (23) mage a spin the other day to see if I could get rid of my rested xp. The problem here is simply I don't enjoy playing my mage...
You can frontload a decent amount of damage but then have to somehow freeze the mob in place and get some distance in to give yourself the time needed to cast more spells.
Coming from a warlock where most spells are instant cast dealing with cast-bars that seem to take forever to fill up makes me want to pull my hair out.

The problem is aggravated by the fact that I always seem to hit a low in my available quests around level 23. The barrens is pretty barren once you tick off the usual quests from your list so you have to move on.

But to where? Thousand needles will still be slightly out of reach given the level of mobs so that leaves a quick trip to stonetalon mountain and hope that the quests there will make up for the level gap.

There are other places I could go, but since I don't have most of the flight paths on my mage I would be looking at walking the distance, something I generally try to avoid until I have some form of transportation or a stack of movement speed potions to burn.

I will have to do some research on this and see if I can't make some form of condensed 'levelling' guide that shows where to level and in a more or less consistent order including some alternatives.

Something along the lines of:

Zone / level / min level / max level / quest count

Maybe even add a quest count low and a quest count high to indicate how many lower level quests and how many higher level quests are available. There's nothing more frustrating than to walk into a zone only to find out that half the quests there are still locked or worse, try to send you someplace you don't want to go.

I wonder if I should also add the types and percentages of monsters in a zone. After all if I have a choice I'd rather send my paladin to a zone with demons and undead than one with beasts which in turn would probably be appreciated by my hunter.

Hopefully a lot of this already exists and I can just re-compile it but that remains to be seen. Any information in that direction would be appreciated.

To be continued...

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Post 2.3.2 a blinding new world

Well I had hoped that the 2.3.2 patch for WoW would bring me some form of relief in terms of latency but I was sorely dissapointed when I logged in and my latency was running near red all evening.

So I went out and modified the hell out of my network settings changing MTU size, dealing with packet offloading, forcing connection speeds, changing port forwarding on my router and whatnot.

It's amazing how much you can change in your network settings without ever noticing a single bit of difference.

So after about an hour or 4 I finally gave up and decided to just deal with whatever Blizzard could throw at me in terms of latency only to find out that on my very last login of the day they posted a message indicating some network issues.


On the upside it gave me the chance to refresh my somewhat out of date network skills (apparantly token rings are archaic... go figure) and resulted in a few more services that could be disabled on my windows box freeing up another 50MB of memory.

A small silver lining on an otherwise completely wasted day.

At the very least I would like to use this opportunity to advocate the creation of some form of web-service on a blizzard test machine so that we can do a more consistent network test and see if the connection actually remains stable or 'wobbles' all over the place.

Then again if the problem is between your ISP and the blizzard servers there's really nothing you can do except blame your ISP for picking the cheapest possible carrier.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Creating appropriate feedback

If you observe the chat channels in more or less popular areas and are privy to some guild chat as well you will often find that people tell people they're doing something wrong but they never seem to make time to tell them what exactly they did incorrectly and why it is wrong to do it.

Stratagems deviced by players are often based upon experience. If you spent your lifetime blasting critters to hell as quickly as possible in solo play then that quickly becomes your preferred strategy because that is what is required to survive in PVE solo play.

However front loading Damage as a DPS class in a group situation can have dramatic consequences because whomever can take the hits doesn't have enough time to really make a critter angry.

More often than not accusations will be flung back and forth between the various members of the group resulting in generally ill-feelings towards each other and re-enforcing the idea that pick-up groups are a terrible place to be.

Fact of the matter is that simply yelling at the mage to hold the damage means nothing to the mage if he or she doesn't understand why she/he has to do this.

Granted, this is an oversimplified example and most people know why not to put too much damabe on a monster before the tank has built up enough threat but it applies to a lot of scenarios where 1 person simply doesn't have enough knowledge about another class to make the distinction of what to do and what not to do.

After all if the warrior is supposed to tank the unitiated will also assume that the warrior has some kind of ability to build threat in a hurry.

By not explaining why something is the way it is you enforce a negative feedback cycle that will only result in anger and resentment. Either spend the time preparing your group for an encounter or be prepared to explain why some things have to go in a certain order.

Worse than that it puts people in an ackward position where they simply have no clue what to do next. "So if I am to hold the damage then when can I start doing damage again and what the hell am I supposed to do in the meantime?"

I myself have been severely turned off to grouping up with other players due to the lack of appropriate feedback. If you can't tell me why it is wrong then how can you expect me to improve?

2.3.2 network performance

Recently I've been suffering from consistently high latencies ranging well into the 400-800 range so I did a bit of checking what I could do to improve the performance somewhat and it turns out that blizzard is one step ahead of me.

Patch 2.3.2 which will probably be rolled out sometime tonight (CET) removes the usage of a networking algorithm (nagle's algorithm) and with a little luck this should result in rather drastic performance improvement.

Ironically the algorithm itself was designed to reduce the amount of overhead on a network connection dealing with small packets so the fact that this is now botching up WoW's connection to their servers is somewhat amusing.

For those of you less skilled in the art of computing be aware that there is a difference in performance and latency.

Check the little indicator on your default WoW UI and hover over it to see both your latency as well as your FPS (frames per second).
A high latency means networking issues which will hopefully see some improvements after 2.3.2 is implemented. A low FPS means your computer is having trouble displaying all of WoW's graphics.

There's a lot you can do about either one but since the networking stuff (latency related) is generally more complicated I suggest you simply wait for blizzard's patch team to make improvements in that department. If however you're suffering from choppy gameplay (low FPS) then there's a lot you can do in the settings menu of WoW.

Go to your visual settings and set everything to low that you don't need. Fancy weather effects, ground clutter rendering and the distance this clutter is visible from are things like that add nothing to the game and can be turned off.

If you're already running on video settings that are as low as you can possibly tolerate and find that your FPS is still terrible then go to your sound menu (yes sound) and turn off reverb and maybe even ambience sounds. Drop music too if you can live without it.

Other than that make sure you have as little other stuff running as possible in the background. MSN, Yahoo and various other messengers can be a drain on resources and if you can turn them off you will in most cases note a difference.

Also take another look at your addons. If you have a lot of addons then they eat a lot of memory, if you don't have a lot of memory in your PC then this will quickly turn into a bottleneck. Think about turning off addons that aren't crucial or see if you can combine a few addons / replace them with different ones.

I admit, the above is somewhat generic advice that probably has been posted a million times over, but there's nothing worse than choppy gameplay combined with high latency.

Cheers to patch 2.3.2 may you bring my latency back into the green and good luck to all of you who are having problems


Having hit outland a couple of weeks ago I am pleased to say that my warlock has recently burnt up his rested xp to hit level 64. Perhaps a paultry achievment to the regular wow players but for me a milestone in my wow carreer.

This leaves me some time to reflect on my playtime in WoW which hopefully will result in a few blogs later on detailing my impressions of the warlock class.

For now looking back at my playtime I've noted that I spent most of my time solo-ing. Doing quests alone, grinding alone and avoiding grouping for the most part.

The few random groups I did join usually consisted of people that had more interest in the loot drops than anything else. More often than not I hit 'pass' and only roll on things I really need which I consequently don't get because luck is a quality I simply don't posess.

This leaves me rather lootless... sure the XP seems to go a bit quicker in a group and the survivability is higher (provided someone doesn't aggro half the zone) but in the end I find that by consistently grouping I miss out on loot drops, get limited gold and have to deal with conflicting opinions. There's always someone who wants to do that silly escort quest along the roadside because they didn't do it yet and then consequently gets all bent out of shape because the rest of the group has no interest. This reduces the fun-factor for me. I have yet to see a group form simply to just play around a little, have some fun and if there's loot involved all the better.

The same seems to apply to guilds. There are those that seem to randomly invite everyone and those where it's almost like a job interview to get in only to notice that you have to be present for specific raiding schedules, have to respec to suit the guild's needs and then consequently have to deal with inane non-working point systems like DKP that are often skewed in favor of certain people or classes.

Maybe guilds are not for me. Maybe I am too old, missing that certain attitude that seems so dominant these days (must have 10k HP and 200 resilience or not welcome!). Then again maybe I don't need people to tell me how to play my characters or how to spend my 15 bucks a month. Maybe I enjoy the freedom of being able to completely fudge a talent build and equip my character with items that according to popular opinion are completely unsuitable.

Until I find a guild / group that simply appreciates me for my entertainment value rather than my gear I have a feeling it will be a long time coming before I give up my soloing ways...

Rest a while

One of the few things I always regretted after a couple of months of playing wow is that I didn't have the presence of mind to create 1 character of each class and simply only play them when I feel like it.

Rather than that I focussed on my lovely warlock which for the longest time was the only character I had thus forfeiting the wonderful benefits of rested xp.

Whenever you log out in an inn or in a capitol city (and to a lesser extend everywhere else) you start building up 'rested xp'. Rested xp builds up at around 1.5 levels every 6ish days or so and while you have rested xp you gain double xp for all kills you make. 1.5levels is also the maximum amount of rested xp you can build up so keep this in mind if you want to get the most out of your rested xp.

Since the gain in rested XP is constant and your levelling curve is not (it gets harder to get to the next level the higher your level is) the relative value of rested xp increases the higher you get in terms of levels.

So assume you're at a fairly low level and you need about 10000 xp to get to the next level. Since you're low level you'd be making about 50xp per kill (ignoring quests and such).
That comes down to about 200 kills or 100 kills with rested xp.

At much higher levels you'd need about 400k xp and you make about 500xp per kill.
That translates to 800 kills unrested and 400 kills with rested xp.

Now lets assume you need about 30 seconds to make a kill (may vary of course but it's easier on the math).

So at low levels your time benefit with rested xp is about 30x100 = 3000 seconds or 50 minutes
At high levels the effective time saved with rested xp translates to 30x400 = 12000 seconds or 200 minutes

This means being fully rested translates into an extreme timesaver at high character levels.

Especially if you only have limited time to spend a day and even if you are not overly interested in progressing as fast as possible it's a nice boon to take into account.

The nice thing here is that the effect is cumulative. The more characters you have the more potential you have to only be playing characters that have rested xp and thus the faster your characters overall progress.

Ideally you'd want to have a situation where you focus your play on 1 main character and then once in a while play the other characters rested xp. That way you'll have a nice and powerful main character but you're also getting the most out of your other characters.

You can make a nice rotation out of it if you don't mind switching characters or alternatively be like me and play another character when you feel like it knowing that all your other characters are building up rested xp.

I now have 1 character of each class and even though some of them suffer from neglect I can rest assured that the next time I play them their progress will be nice and fast (at least for the next 1.5 levels).

Who Noob?

Noob, an atrocious word that is generally used as a synonym to either newbie (a new 'player') or more often used as a synonym to 'damned idiot'.
But since the word never made it any further than the urban dictionary we will simply use our artistic freedom to re-define the word for the purpose of this blog:

Noob: A person lacking knowledge of a certain subject matter.

Whether or not the person is willfully ignoring the information, is simply too new to know the information or doesn't have the time to familiarize himself/ herself with the subject matter seems completely irrelevant to me.

No matter how long you have played any sort of game you will always encounter people that call you a noob even if you are the archetype of perfection (which of course everyone here is).

And this is misapropriation of the non-existing word 'noob' is more often than not the direct result of people thinking that they are superior to you in one way or the other.

Ironically in any game environment whose 'state' is not consistent (I.e. things change be it organically or through artificial patching) most people can be considered noobs after every state change (patch).
Game developers always attempt to strike some kind of 'balance' where 1 type of character is approximately equal to another and 1 style of play doesn't exclude the other.
They do this to prevent their content from getting consumed too fast. The more balanced things are the more you increase the replayability of your game, thus the longer you play and the more you pay.

But that's not what people think. People simply assume that in order to fit your role (i.e. tank, healer, dps) you are required to meet certain standards in gear and you are required to have certain skills to even be considered a tank, healer, dps.

Even worse people often base this knowledge upon somebody else's opinion who scrounged up the information from some obscure blog like this one that often bases it's information on patch information that is no longer relevant to the game.

Sure, the recommended 'tanking', 'healing', 'dps' specs can be a good basis for your own build, but they are never the holy grail of knowledge.

Never make the mistake that information represents any form of truth until you have verified it yourself through practical application. Even if this information is called current and displayed in a shiny pie-chart chances are that you are looking at an outdated piece of rubbish bound together by conjecture and creative writing.

So the next time someone calls you a noob, thank them... because it means you still have the potential to do better whereas they will never be anything more than what they are now (a relic of past patches).

You will earn the respect of your peers if you stick to your own strategy. Never turn down good advice, but in the end it's your character and if you want to tank as a mage and can do a good job at it more power to you.

Don't let the bastards grind you down. Who noob? Me noob!

Another Year another Blog

Well there we go, another year another blog. Having recently come into enough cash to buy me a shiny new Quad core PC with 4GB of ram and a halfway decent videocard I am finally geared up enough to play World of Warcraft... which should tell you enough about my Old pc if nothing else.

So yes, I will be mostly talking about wow and it's various aspects.

But don't worry, unlike many other blogs I am not going to stifle you with arguments about end-game specs, how to best gear your class past lvl 70 etc. I leave this to the people that think they know best.

Instead I will focus on the poor soul that barely can manage the time to play 2 hours a day let alone do the mathe behind spell-coefficients and whatnot.
I might dig into those things every now and again but it will always be mostly cosmetic in the hopes that we can get some understanding of why everybody keeps calling me a noob and will probably do so for the rest of my gaming experience.

So you, yes you, welcome to Noobding, the only place in the gaming industry where being a noob truly is a compliment!