Thursday, November 29, 2012

old school

Hi folks!

A quick update before the month is out. Here's what I've been up to:

I'm learning demo on my lock. One of my favourite solo locks, Aventurka of Burning Legion, uses demo a lot for soloing old world bosses so I'm building my Power Auras up, doing my reading at Icy-Veins and getting keybinds sorted for burst (I'm looking at you Naj'entus).

I have indeed been soloing the old raids, so far:
Molten Core 10/10
Serpentshrine Cavern 2/6
Hyjal 5/5
The Eye 4/4.

Sunstrider was the hardest boss out of those - a lot to do with getting the right strat and understanding boss and sub-boss mechanics + for about three wipes I was standing in fire without realising it (classy... )

People who know locks will know the two sets of gear I'm trying to build. Hyjal rewarded me with possibly the best lock helm in game. Wings my friends, wings.

Next on the list is Black Temple and Naxx is definitely a go - especially now that Gluth has a chance to drop miniGluth!

Lastly - I've been tilling. Revered and heading towards exhalted at some speed. The dailies are interesting and building the farm is strangely fun. I plant almost exclusively Songbell seeds for the motes as I'm angling for my Depleted-Kyparium Rocket.

Stay liquid folks,


Monday, October 29, 2012


Hey folks - an update post today via screenshots.  Here we go!

got a yak - didn't look back
wasp that you say?
little fellah gets his mojo back with MoP
travelling companion - surly and blood thirsty, just the way my lock likes em
wormhole generator you are the bomb!  eventhough you mostly seem to drop me at Sra'vess  O.O
note to self: change stylist
Stay liquid folks,


Thursday, October 4, 2012


Is alive and well baby and blooming in the Valley of the Four Winds.

I tell ya it's a bloodbath out there - it's almost as if the Alliance and the Horde are at war. ; ) I'm loving the shared quest givers and the multiple small settlements throughout the valley. The terrain is sufficiently bumpy to provide cover in combat and other PVP opportunities (ie, sneaking up on folk). It's a lot of fun to simply be about your business in the valley and to not know whether when you hit town you'll be called out. "You and me dwarf - outside!" "Surely, just you and me... " (a chair falls over as an invisible crab shuffles past following the hunter out). Heh heh heh. There's something quite delightful about walking into a town to see the ground littered with Horde and Alliance skeletons.

I'm finding my hunter to be quite strong both for questing and PVP. I have a ready swag of defensive capabilities and (through picking fights with those horde I come across) am slowly learning where they go and at what time to use them.

Here's a pro tip - Readiness works on everything in mop rather than just Rapid Fire. Especially useful for my talented heals but also great for other defensive PVP cool downs. It's the same experience that sub rogues have previously had.

I also found a brilliant pet opener:

#showtooltip Bestial Wrath
/cancelaura Deterrence
/cancelaura Hand of Protection
/use 14
/cast Bestial Wrath/cast Rabid
/cast Blink Strike (Kill Command if you're untalented)
/script UIErrorsFrame:Clear()

Along with many many other great macros at the Huntsmanslodge.

The above opener usually gets me about 60K damage in the first couple of seconds of an encounter. Regardless of whether the class has self heals and can come back from that it must be a shock to see about a third of your hits suddenly disappear. A shock hopefully that gets them panicking.

One more thing - Camouflage! Love it, love it, LOVE IT! I'm not sure quite how visible I am when on the move (ie, am I a glisteny hunter-shaped mass or am I a glisteny hunter-shaped mass with a red hit plate above my head) but I love the fact that when I stand still I'm basically stealthed. I also love the fact that I still cast a shadow. This makes me subject to my surroundings if I want to use this skill properly - which makes sense as I'm not invisible, I'm camouflaged. I think this skill, perhaps more than any other in world pvp, makes a hunter a hunter. Barring your opponent's use of camera angle you basically sneak up only moving when their back is to you before finally springing your trap.

That's all for now - stay liquid guys,


Sunday, September 30, 2012

a meeting of the minds

Well, I'm exalted with the fish guys.  I like em - nice characterisation, pleasant quests - some quite amusingly named.  Getting to exalted was way quick though and was really just an aspect of completing the quests.  No one here worked for it.  Talking of amusing that woose Rell is starting to make nelfs look bad - the dwarf, human and fish guy just spend all their time carrying him around.  I loved the sniper quest - took me back to my Counter Strike days.

I'm almost 86 and am very happy with the pace of levelling - not too fast and plenty to see and do.  Even some time to hang with the locals...

+ panda schmanda!  Buggs is all over this!!  ; )

Stay liquid guys,


Friday, September 28, 2012

dwarf's best friend

There he is - look at him with his crazy blue eyes and teeny tiny little arms, who wouldn't love him!

Recent activity
BGs - full O bots!  Almost whole teams (sometimes ours, sometimes horde) just standin' around looking at the clouds... sad really.
Questing - still in the starting zone.  I like it - very pretty.
Got a new suite - check it out my man, I is purple!!  I also gained over 20K hits and almost 15% crit - mwah ha ha haa!
First aid - levelled it in a matter of minutes.  Astonishingly easy.

Stay liquid folks,


Thursday, September 27, 2012

what a mess!

Ollo folks!  This is Ennadee's Twirling Longbow - it's sleek and beautiful and due to the changes to dwarven racials it's just as good for this dwarf as a hand cannon (which is nice as that constant blam blam really starts to shit me after a while).

what a mess!

I wish I could say my keybinds were in such good order... I don't remember hunters having quite this amount of defensive abilities.  I'm not complaining but sheesh, finding a spot for everything is insane.  I've reached the opinion that deconstructing everything now is the way to go - hence the above.  I'm going to have to get a pen and paper...

Closing this post, Syltaryn asked if I screen-shotted the choppa craziness from launch day - sure did!

Stay liquid folks,


Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Could I resist calling a pet with tiny arms 'Sidekick'?

No... no I could not.

: )


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

working as intended

Ha ha! Patch day...

Syltaryn warned me against it and yet off I went anyway. Frostmourne was locked so after queuing for over 3 hours I was in.

Got on my hunter, Sidetrack, and checked spec (my MM was intact - not BM which I intend to get back into but I knew the MM buttons so I stayed with it for the moment) got my glyphs lined up, took levelling/PVP oriented talents and specced my fiery dog, Sideburns, as ferocity. The I caught a plane to Pandaria!

... alone with the rest of the server...

Potentially the first bombing-run quest is working as intended but with a million button presses all happening at the same time it got not pretty real quick. I had to off 60 horde and 8 something somethings which I managed by firing for targets waaay off in the distance (as the close ones were mown down in a Alliance rocket frenzy) but once we got to the boat at the end of the run there was a strange DNA-like strand of players in copters floating eerily whilst overlapping each other and all firing madly as they tried to break out of the loop.

Few made it. I was not one of them.

/1 in the zone was mad with everyone talking to each other and...

Sidetrack: anything you typed turned up four times!
Sidetrack: anything you typed turned up four times!
Sidetrack: anything you typed turned up four times!
Sidetrack: that's right, anything you typed turned up four times!

The nerdrage and threats towards Blizzard flowed freely which was most amusing.

Hopped out of my copter and got out of the zone and logged.

I won't be back on until tomorrow night when I'll spend some time respeccing to BM and getting my dino out again - woohoo!

Stay liquid folks,



... that is all.

: )


Saturday, September 15, 2012

freakin eyeballs

That's right - freakin eyeballs man!

Ever since I saw the Gronnstalker shoulders I've wanted shoulders with freakin eyeballs in them.  Now, here they are!

: )


Tuesday, September 11, 2012


So here's the choices for the rest of my mogul-winz week:

Warrior, prot - of course. Easiest to get back into - read: minimal UI changes required, new blocking concepts to get across but not too hard + I've levelled solely as prot through instances so there's some good muscle memory there ++ warrior tanking is fun!

followed by...

Lock - only when Power Auras is revised for 5.0.4 (I'm incapable of playing without it apparently). Locks do look sweet though - lots of interesting things happening, groovy new pets, fun changes to specs.

Here's what I won't be playing:

Paladin. Tried it last night with one of those giant blue monstrosities Blizzard calls a male Draenei. What were they thinking - teeny tiny legs at an angle sufficiently different to the females to look like they were badly set after a skiing accident, bull shoulders and comparatively tiny heads and so little expression in their faces that you'd swear they'd been the subject of some deranged plastic surgeon's Botox experiment. Then there's paladins which I assume eventually turn into an amazingly exciting class but unfortunately my initial levelling experience was so lacklustre that I have a feeling I'll never find out when this happens.

So Bankgrrl gets another run - I'm glad. Time for a quick review of the four or five random instances I might get then back into it.

: )


Monday, September 10, 2012

on whee

I winz wow!

That's right folks, all it took was paying a monthly fee since BC and then not paying it for two and a half months for Blizzard to give me a free week, and whilst I would have preferred a free week and a sparkle pony (as I now consider them delightfully retro) I decided to take my win and convert it to hard playtime! I WINZ!!!1!

Only guess what? I have no idea what to do and before I can do anything I have to learn a bunch of stuff about my toons in order to get them ready to play. I had to download the patch, reconfigure the install (apparently something that happens from time to time although I can't remember it happening ever before), update the addons and then finally get into game. Now I have to read up on all class changes and make a decision as to who gets the 85 to 90 gig. I find myself oddly drawn to my druid who was my second main and partially drawn to my lock who was third main.

Then there's starting at level 1. On this front I still have pally and shaman to go. I had thought that my next alt would be panda monk, closely followed by panda shaman so maybe pally?

Add to all this that after a few months off it felt strangely aimless to be back in game. I have other projects that I like to do now and I feel unwilling to commit to placing a large store of time back into this endevour but I know that if I'm to play it even casually on a higher level toon then a large chunk of time is what I'll need to put aside.

Some time ago now I left my warrior at 74. Perhaps now is the time to get back into tanking.

I'll have some more time tonight to muck around but do find myself bemused by this WoW ennui.

Stay liquid folks,


Saturday, August 11, 2012

why children shouldn't play MMOs

I recently read a pretty vitriolic post from Big Bear Butt blogger. First things first, BBB is a quality blog and I have no issues with the tone of the post: it was personal, it was full of drama and (sorry BBB) I skimmed through a fair amount as it was pretty long. It's okay, I can skim effectively - I used to be a checker for a verbatim court recording agency: I'm practiced. What I did get out of the post though and what BBB only mentioned at the end is that his young fellah (who's nine) had raided with the guild in question. That's when, for me, the pieces started to fall into place. IMO what we were seeing in the post was partly outrage at the treatment meted out to a fellow blogger but mostly protectiveness towards a child. I have kids and his response makes perfect sense to me. No one wants there to be any likelihood that whilst playing this game their children could be exposed to scumbags.

But you know what? They can... and that's why the rating on the game is T for teen, not because kids younger than 13 wouldn't be able to play the game - I think we can all agree that Blizz has been successful in making the game as easy to play as is humanly possible - but that it's the interwebs where you'll meet a surprisingly large number of anonymous kerb crawlers and abusive trolls. On my server there are over 200,000 players. It seems likely that in addition to upright caring players the following groups will also be represented, especially the last. That is players who are: violent; abusive; pedophiles; mentally unstable; drug users; murderers; rapists; or simply antagonistic asshats. It's in this environment of potential exposure that people are letting their children play. This is not the local village where you know everyone and even an ostensibly 'safe' guild still houses people you only know via their avataric persona. You actually don't really know them at all - you can't.

It's worth looking at the ESRB rating system here:

The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) ratings are designed to provide concise and impartial information about the content in computer and video games so consumers, especially parents, can make an informed purchase decision. ESRB ratings have two equal parts: rating symbols suggest age appropriateness for the game and content descriptors indicate elements in a game that may have triggered a particular rating and/or may be of interest or concern.


Titles rated T (Teen) have content that may be suitable for ages 13 and older. Titles in this category may contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling, and/or infrequent use of strong language.

Two things from this: firstly the rating symbols suggest age appropriateness - your under-13 year old could differ from other under-13 year olds. Fair enough - your house, your rules. Secondly though, the TEEN rating warns that your child could be exposed to crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling, and/or infrequent use of strong language. It does this because there's no way you can effectively rule out all chance that this might happen. With all the firewalls in the world up against other players the game itself will expose young children to these things. There are cogent reasons why children shouldn't be playing the game at an age below the TEEN rating.

More than this though I'd argue that it's not only inappropriate exposure to scumbags who might be loose in the game that children need protection from but from the scumbag operant conditioning that is hardwired into the very processes of the game itself. Habitualisation and Institutionalisation are tools that the good folks at Blizzard (and many other MMOs of course) use liberally in order to remain financially viable and can be just a toxic as any encounter with a questionable player.

More on this in the next post in this series: why teenagers shouldn't play MMOs.

Stay liquid folks,


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

in the age of comfort and convenience... have learnt how to grind.

Congratulations, it's not a skill many choose or have to master in these days of cable television, fast food and the nanny state.

These days, with a small amount of effort people can sidle their way through a state-funded education to a beige but secure government job. With almost no input they can let their waistline expand and join the growing obesity epidemic and potentially even develop a little type 2 diabetes as they go. Voyeuristic virtual existences await us at every turn as television and cable foist shows upon us in which we watch others proactively moving through the world, so that we might not. If you're of a mind to evidence only the lightest and slightest influence upon your surroundings then this current stay-at-home high-tech world really is your oyster.

But in-game for some reason many are cut from a different cloth. We grind together, we achieve together, we learn, we seek excellence in pursuit of our goals. Sure Blizzard shifts the goalposts but we grind and achieve nonetheless.

I feel I've done relatively well in various areas of my life but have I shown the same level of grinding application, levied the everyday focused effort it takes to be truly great at something in RL? Here and there sure - but consistently. I must honestly answer that I have not.

As I take a step back from an MMO that I've been playing for about 5 years, I wonder at the nature of gamers who develop leet skillz in games that in 6 or 12 months will likely cease to exist, whilst showing sizably less application to their own real lives. What drives us to pursue such excellence in our leisure time in such an active manner? Is there a line between the person who plays virtual games to relax and the person who is simply time and time again working to actively procrastinate away their RL opportunities.

Stay liquid folks,


Thursday, August 2, 2012

48 dailies...

...a day? Really?


Rumour is that there will be 48 MoP dailies available, worth an average of 20g each and, if they give rep, providing 250 for the respective faction. So an enterprising, but insane, player could garner 6720g a week. In round numbers. That means that a dedicated player who completes all dailies for a year could walk away with 350000g.


At 5 mins a daily that's about 4 hours per day or 1460 hours per year on dailies for 350000g. That's a 28 hour working week on dailies. Which is 240g/hr which, to be blunt, is an astonishingly crap way to earn your money.

So will I be doing my dailies?

As noted before, Mogul's rule of grinding applies: Grind if you think the grind is worth it. You might see me grinding for mounts or pets if the grind is fun and potentially for secondary skill levelling or widgets, especially if I'm not at level cap as I've tended towards levelling in BGs and supplementing with dailies while waiting for a queue to pop.

That is all.

Bear in mind folks that dailies are yet another powerful weapon in the MMO arsenal of habituating activities used to cement you into feeling like you need to play WoW in a continuous manner (hence the name). You don't. Do what's fun - ditch the rest.

Stay liquid,


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

nice guys

I logged onto my old Thaurissan guild site today and contributed to a couple of threads that've been running (shout out to Ellandria, Dudeman and Jameak!!). It was great hearing from these guys and there were a few wall-o-texts around as people caught each other up on news.

So here's the thing - my old guild has not been active for over a year and a half but folks still log in and contribute. Only one of these guys is a friend from RL but I've spent a heap of time with the rest of the team raiding while on vent and I like em - they're nice guys. : )

There's always talk on the WoW forums about how hardcore raiders (and I'd describe Epsilon as hardcore casual - we got a bunch of serious 10-man achieves and titles when they were still hard) are a self-centred, self-promoting, ruthless bunch but that was not my experience.

I don't have the time to raid these days and suspect that the game has moved on in such a way that I wouldn't be too interested anyway. But I remember those times in Ulduar and ICC and they were a lot of fun.

: )


Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Hi folks,

I've unsubbed my account until MoP.

Here's what's happened since I've logged off from this game about a week ago:

I'm getting to bed earlier.
I've been exercising - though truthfully not a lot more than I did before... ; )
I've been watching movies - B grade sci-fi!!
I've been getting things done - put simply I've found that I have more motivation than I previously did to get into RL things that I want to do.

Will I be coming back for MoP - Sure! I still have over a million gold in the bank, a bunch of max-level toons that will be fun to muck around on and the levelling of three classes to go + pandas, we shouldn't forget pandas! It's just that I find I'm happy to wait until MoP before I get back into it.

Posts will continue in their current haphazard manner and may cover other games in the interim.

Stay liquid guys,


Monday, June 4, 2012


…I hit it on the weekend and now…


Ahem… well, my rogue is. The 75 to 79 band really is an incredibly uneven playing ground. At 79 in 78/79 cata gear fully chanted and gemmed I’m sitting at over 37K hits with crit at 56% and dodge at 52%. I’m a rogue so I still have to play smart but have been guilty a few times now of popping Evasion (glyphed to last 20 seconds) and going toe to toe with DKs and warriors with my 102% dodge and effectively double hits. My only regret is that I don’t know whether my rampages are met with stunned silence or nerdrage.

Yesterday in AV I took out a stealthed rogue, vanished and got his mage mate then beat down the remaining warrior before capping the node. The warrior tried to run… : ) Suweet!

Here’s what I’m running at the moment. Total cost for this setup, entirely purchased from the AH (chants and JC work mostly by my alts though), has been under 5000g. For the fun involved it’s been gold well spent.

High 70s cata gear is a loophole no doubt but a legit one which I thoroughly recommend you take up.

: )


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

things my rogue knows

…about BGs

I can stun lock you to zero. Especially if you’re a clothy or hunter (well, you probably won’t be locked for the very last bit but that’s okay, it’s nice for you to feel you’re contributing)

I cannot hold a node on my own unless it’s 1 on 1 or maybe 2 on 1. I like to have bait. Will you be my bait? I promise you won’t get hurt … much.

I can tie up a number of opponents just using Sap, especially if they’re idiots. This is veeery useful when the other team is on the charge, if I can peel off two or three opponents before they hit my guys then numbers are working for us. : )

Timing is everything.

In terms of stepping into Mercader’s boots and pwning as he does I am not yet even a shoelace.

If you’re a fool and, on your own, rush into a bunch of horde right next to me while I’m stealthed… I won’t be helping you.

For plate, Vanishing and stepping back in for an Ambush is an elegant way to finish someone off – it’s a good death, these DKs should be thanking me.

At level 71 in honour purples with honour weps – I’m looking fine!

; )


Thursday, April 12, 2012

35-39 imba? pfft!

Following on from my previous concerns in this bracket I’ve investigated the forums with results that I suppose I should have guessed at:

Warriors are crying as they only get one distance closer in the bracket – one amusing post from a warrior stated he could charge and get a hunter from 100% to 10% in a few blows but then the hunter would spring away, stun and kite him to death and could he have another charge please? I loved this one as the OP seemed to be complaining about only being able to do 90% damage to other toons he might come across on the charge.

Also, apparently hunters are OP. Well dur! They may be OP but only if you play by their rules. The corollary being that some classes are not that qualified in the lower brackets to make their own rules; I’ve PVPd on my warrior, I wouldn’t recommend it. Serendipitously this post gives a lovely account of imba in WoW.

No one said that Rogues were OP in the bracket – pfft! – I would have thought our ability to adapt to hunters alone would qualify us. There certainly seems to be a shit-ton of us around. Recently in WSG there were all rogues and about three other classes. Needless to say we lost – picture eight rogues standing around a pally waiting for someone to break stealth…

I kid, I kid.

… it was seven.

^ that was then – currently I’m sitting at level 44 and have found the 40-44 bracket to be a much better vibe. Still many many hunters and rogues around, I wonder when they’ll all disappear (boom boom!). Seriously though at 85 the classes are much more evenly represented – I’m wondering when the change comes?

: )


Monday, April 9, 2012

phew! 35-39 BG bracket alliance

Here's my rogue gal Fquup after a hard night losing BGs.  I'm hoping it's something about this bracket that's screwy and not just BGs from here on.  I'm still enjoying it don't get me wrong; rogue comes with it's own mini game to enjoy so no worries there.  But you can see the frustration of the other players, there's trolling and backbiting - though most players are nice of course.

I'm level 38 atm and am still a nicely effective killing machine but the general vibe of these BGs is not how I like to play.  I wonder what BGs are like from the horde side?

: )


Saturday, April 7, 2012

…even Maggie has that baby with the one eyebrow


Everybody should have one. : )

I’m PVPing on my rogue and have been having superb fun. I have access to Arathi Basin and WSG at this stage and while ninjaing nodes is great I find the general chaos of WSG to be just right for me at the moment.
 But what of my nemesis? Well, not surprisingly she’s a hunter. In a recent WSG she did many things right: she hung with her posse, used terrain, CCd well and kited, and used burst effectively. Things she did wrong: she pissed me off!

Now you shouldn’t take from the general upbeat tone of this post that I was in any way successful in besting Ariel (and yes, the fact that she was named after a mermaid just made my various defeats more infuriating) in fact quite the opposite, the first five or six times we came together she handed my arse to me.

Which surprised me as I’d been doing pretty well.  ; )

The most embarrassing was when I could only walk veeery slooowly towards her as she shot me down. You better believe she very quickly became my nemesis and the great thing about having a nemesis is that they inspire you to better yourself. I changed my tactics: there was no point using Ambush for all its big crits – I needed to immobilise and get my backstabs in. I needed to husband my cool downs and pick my time. In short I needed to start playing at the next level up in my class cause that’s how she was playing. And yes, I did start to get some kills on her but I had to be concentrating and on my game or I got owned.

Following the BG I looked her up on the armory – stardard BOAs, chanted – but some nice PVP blues (belt, ring and boots which I’ve now go my hands on from the quartermasters actually ‘at’ arathi and WSG).

Seems I’m entering the phase of this character’s levelling where I’m getting new control abilities so I’d better start getting my new control abilities under… umm… control, if I wish to continue with my pwning ways.

Stay liquid folks,


Thursday, March 29, 2012

emote(ionally) compromised

Recently in a BG after being mobbed by the horde I happened to glance down at my text box to see the following:

Blahdeblah laughs at you
Blahdeblah laughs at you
Blahdeblah laughs at you
Blahdeblah laughs at you
Blahdeblah laughs (by this stage I was dead)

And I was surprised. And amused… but mostly surprised.

Emotes between the factions are much underused these days. We no longer share a communal city such as Shattrath or Dalaran and so taunting the horde by “making strange gestures” isn’t often done. Many can’t even muster up the energy to /spit – funny story about that, back on my old server of Thaurissan my slow-flying levelling druid once had a max-level hordey follow him the length of Nagrand impotently /spitting after a failed ganking attempt. Ahh good times.

But I digress, I’m now wondering whether I should, in my attempts to be the most annoying rogue I can be, resurrect this old-fashioned art form via a few choice macros.

/pity You look down upon <target> with pity
/boggle You boggle at <target>
/mock You mock the foolishness of <target>
/rofl You roll on the floor laughing at <target>
/laugh You laugh at <target>
/soothe You soothe <target>. There, there...things will be ok
/calm You try to calm <target> down
/farewell You wave goodbye to <target>. Farewell!

Of the above I think a single /farewell is the most poignant, but am also juvenile enough to think that spamming /calm would be hilarious. The true art (if this subject in any way merits such a title) is going to be in the timing of the single mocking blow which occurs immediately after the opposition’s death but before their release. It would certainly be challenging…

Or perhaps, as has been my way up until now, I’ll let my actions speak for themselves.

; )


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

stop right there!

Morning folks,

The altiness continues. I’ve parked my warrior at 74 and have rolled a rogue. It’s a class I’ve always thought would be last on my alt list but I found myself deleting one of my glyph mules, retasking some heirlooms, buying some heirlooms with honour and off I went. It was challenge and curiosity that drew me to trying this class.

I looked around the interwebz and decided to go with Subtlety for my spec. I chose this as people said it was ‘fun!’ Combat would have been more sensible apparently but people were saying Subtlety was fun. And you know what, it’s not fun, it’s FUN! Not only do I have astonishing burst but I have tools to confuse and annoy.

Last night I spent about 5 minutes tying up 2 shad priests and a shaman just using sap – watching them run around in ever decreasing circles really made my night. : ) As a lower level toon in my current band (I’m 22) Sap is a great tool – on my own I can bring to a halt almost an entire WSG horde attack simply by swapping around Sap. Rather then run on, the group dismounts and searches high and low for me. In the meantime my group is getting the flag and beginning their run back. Add to this that annoyed players make mistakes; their thinking is clouded. And if they do run on I try to make sure they run on without someone vital, such as a healer – that way when they reach my guys someone who could turn the fight for them will be missing.

I’m glad I got into this class, it’s fascinating.

: )


Thursday, March 15, 2012

we few, we happy few...

Last night there were bots in my Gilneas BG.

Guess how many non-bots there were?


Yes, that’s right – 2! I led out of the gate and so capped the first node and I was surprised when all of my team dismounted to do the same thing! But then no one went anywhere. They just sat in formation at the flag. Myself and a warrior ventured off but no one came with us... so rather than dash ourselves against multiple horde we came back. When the node was threatened the bots counter attacked on masse coordinating against single opponents and then when the horde were dead went back to the precise positions they’d sprung from around the flag.

It was strangely beautiful but infinitely frustrating as I had the choice of deserting or simply watching the time tick down to a loss.

Never struck anything like it.

If Blizz wanted to offer an amazing upgrade to the BG PVP experience for MoP they could achieve it by simply stopping the botters. As someone who enjoys the odd BG I would appreciate it if they could produce a sound product that could not be tampered with.


Thursday, February 23, 2012

arthaslol and the most excellent warriors - part 2

In this second vignette we hear about the most excellent warriors. This story occurred quite early in my 5-man tanking career, not much beyond level 30, in Maraudon.

I didn't know the instance and had not been assertive enough in engaging my fellow party members on the matter (post on learner tanks and instance knowledge incoming) and after some confusion when I went one way around a rocky outcrop and the healer the other (and we wiped) our healer and a dps disappeared in a flash. This left myself and two warriors. But not just any two warriors, two most excellent warriors! We requeued and waited… and waited. After a while we decided to forge ahead. I survived through trash via Victory Rush and eating afterwards and after a while we got to the end boss.

We gazed up at the huge weed with its spiky arms and slavering maw. “I don’t know,” said Dorf, one of my fellow warriors, (I shall call him ‘Dorf’ for my memory portrays him as such) looking over Razorlash, “there’s a lot of hits there.” “Let’s rotate the taunt,” came the suggestion from our colleague. “Alright,” I added, “wait until I’m low then you grab him, then Dorf, then I’ll blow cooldowns and see if we can’t finish him.”

And you know what – it was close but we did and we could. I’ve had many good experiences pugging but this still goes down as one of the best. Three players, finding themselves in adverse circumstances come up with a plan based upon the capacities of their class and then successfully follow through. It was a pretty easy low-level instance but this outcome felt like a great victory. We completed the run and I gave a hearty farewell to my warrior friends – hoping to see them again.

Stay liquid folks,


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

arthaslol and the most excellent warriors - part 1

Ollo folks,

Tanking PUGs gives you exposure to the best and the worst of the WoW community. I have to say that I love it. It’s challenging and it’s fun – it can be uplifting but it can also be very very odd. Two vignettes follow.

Our first scene opens at Slave Pens where a brave band of adventurers, thrown together but the winds of fate, set out for fun and fortune. I did say ‘fun’ right? They are led by the redoubtable Bankgrrl who, as a protection warrior since her early days of adventuring – having levelled exclusively through instances as prot - knows a thing of two about tanking. Runs are quick, aggro is held, the healer is protected and thanked at the end of the run (for healing pugs is a challenging role). In the way of warrior tanks it’s not ‘all’ business but it is ‘mostly’ business. She takes pride in leading her teams to good outcomes.

Bank (as she is known to her friends) surveys the team, a priest, a mage, a shaman and a death knight – a sturdy crew who seem up to the task, although… there is something odd about the DK. She can’t put her finger on it. He’s quiet as many of his people are but a little ‘too’ quiet. Shelving her doubts she begins the task.

The first few pulls go well when suddenly early into the fourth pull one of the mobs suddenly flies past our resilient tank’s right shoulder to land in the midst of the dps pack. Instinct kicks in, she slaps out a taunt and charges then works the mob back into the group.

“Please don’t pull the mobs DK (name and server address withheld).”


The instance continues. Bank decides that it must have been muscle memory on behalf of her DK companion, a Death-Gripping hangover from single adventuring until right at the next pull there goes another mob, flying out of the tight group she’s formed for AOE right into the middle of the dps pack. The healing is split, the DPS fracture, Bank blows a cooldown and charges back to grab the mob.

“Seriously? Please don’t pull the mobs DK.”


Another trash pack and more flying mobs. “What’s wrong with you – don’t pull the mobs!” And then the mage pipes up, “He’s not doing any harm.” But he is – he’s slowing down the run, he’s moving the dps between AOE and single target damage, he’s pulling bulk heals from the healer to hold him up while he grabs aggro on elite mobs he’s not specced for tanking. He queued as deeps; what on earth is wrong with him?

Let’s leave the third person narrative here. This odd DK didn’t last much past the first boss. I got on with tanking and stopped talking to him. At Mennu he continuously taunted from me and I taunted back to hold aggro. He never said a word and soon after the boss fight simply left the group. I’ve tanked somewhere between 40 and 50 instance runs on this toon and this guy was the oddest person I’ve come across; he was an enigma wrapped in a passive-aggressive riddle.

Tomorrow – The Most Excellent Warriors!

: )


Thursday, February 9, 2012

flipping at armour changes + prot warrior links

Everyone loves a bottleneck. Especially gold hungry moguls!

Recently I’ve levelled a priest to cap and am currently levelling up my bank alt Bankgrrl as a prot warrior. Along the way I’ve rediscovered a couple of very lucrative flip points for gear purchases on the AH.

The Cata Flipping Point
Cata gear starts at around level 77-78 which is at the high end of a battle group band. To avid PVPers this represents an ENORMOUS jump in stats, by comparison to the lesser geared members of the opposition, causing you to have access to one-shots and the like.

Level 40 Mail to Plate Flipping Point
Specifically for tanks this one represents an almost doubling of armour on various pieces by comparison to mail. All 40 tanks will be looking for these pieces so you can charge a premium.

Level 40 Leather to Mail Flipping Point
This one is for the shamans and is less likely to be profitable. For PVP shamans this is the beginning of a new band so even with an upgrade to mail the added damage mitigation is not going to be a great deal of help. PVE shamans are even less likely to be concerned here. It’s worth a look though.

What to buy
Now, as you approach these flipping points you’ll find at least one if not a few AHers firmly ensconced. Don’t be concerned by this – remember you’re not trying to buy ‘their’ stuff and flip it, you’re looking for the guy who’s had a drop and posted it up for 90g. A quick buy later and you have a piece that will likely provide somewhere between 300g to 500g profit. Making gold at this method requires a daily pruning of your gold bush (hmm, not sure I’m comfortable with that metaphor) to garner in the good deals and quickly flip them up onto the selling floor.

Control of the market?
Don’t even try it! Except for this one item: shields! Shields are a major source of armour for prot tanks. In the early days almost half your armour can come from your shield. There is NO heirloom shield so all tanks will be looking for that good drop or something special from the AH. If your realm is like mine then you won’t see many good tanking shields on the AH (although you will find a large number of items with Int on them). If you’re buying up to 100g and flipping to around 300g I think this could be a good market.

A Few Links for Starter Warrior Tanks
Go here for a brilliant level 15 tanking guide – this was so helpful to me – but also read on for general prot tanking tips in the bigger guide.
Pulveriser’s guide was also wonderfully graphic and contains some good high-level information – check the youtube version as well.
And best of all for a newby starter tank go to Maps For Tanks! Just go there! It has maps laid out in the sequence they come up in the LFG tool with the best path through the instance for you to take (including where quest items are). The folk from Disciplinary Action who run this site seem to be taking a break from updating it so the maps run out around the level 40 mark atm but they assure that they’ll be back soon. I can’t overstate the usefulness of this site for familiarising yourself with the instances before you get there.

That’s all for now folks.

Stay liquid,


Monday, January 23, 2012

...and he shall be my Squishy

Dory: I shall call him Squishy and he shall be mine and he shall be my Squishy. Come on, Squishy Come on, little Squishy.
[baby talk, the jellyfish stings her]
Dory: Ow. Bad Squishy, bad Squishy.

When you’re a new and under geared clothy in BGs, when you’ve just hit 85 and your stat weightings have been nerfed out of sight by the helpful gaming company to whom you pay your monthly tithe, when your lack of spell pen means your super crits are now super cute, when you have just become a little fish in a big pond…

What do you do?

Get smarter people, get smarter!

Travel in a pack (school ; )
You’re weak and squishy so get some big friends – pallys and warriors and DKs (oh my!) are your best mates. Why? Cause they won’t stand around throwing a few spells at that damn warlock or mage, they’ll get right up in their grill and bust em up good. (Okay, maybe not our mage overlords they won’t bust up but you get the picture).

Find heals and stick to them like glue
You know what’s good when you don’t have many hits? Hanging with someone who can give you some more! Priests, shammies, pallys and druids, anyone who looks all helpful and healy (a mouseover in the Blizz BG screen will tell you the dedicated healers). Follow those guys and you know what? Help em out when the horde try to off em – that’s kind of your role anyway.

Bring something to the party
Aint got umph? Aint got D? What about a voice – you’ve got one of those right? No one talks (types) in BGs – well, not Alli ones anyway. BUT… once you get a group chatting and then they have a success it’s amazing how everything transforms. Suddenly people are offering suggestions, calling out incomings, deciding on a plan and acting upon it for the win. I personally have changed the course of BGs just by what I suggested and followed through on. You think people should be going after the flag rather than fighting mid? Then say so – but be constructive, suggest a meeting point and get them all together so that you can go in and roll the FC and his cronies. Be smart, hatch a plan with your group members and follow through on it. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how many people are like you and given the chance will fall on a good idea like hungry jellyfish upon their prey (okay – that analogy could have been better but I was “not” going to say wolves!)

Squishies can sting
Yes you can, yes you can little squishy. You’re a cloth-clad squishy with low firepower and low survivability but you can still sting. But don’t sting the full hits warrior (shhh don’t even look at him, he might come over here), focus on that low-hits hunter over yonder, the one that your pally mate is beating on, finish him off quick and work out who you’ll assist next.

If you’re gonna die (and you are) then make it count
Damn if that hunter didn’t have a couple of friends and damn if the shield you just dropped on your pally mate is gone and he’s blowing his cooldowns as his hits plummet. What are you going to do now? RUN LITTLE SQUISHY, RUN! But run in the right direction, which is to say the wrong direction. ; ) You want to run in the direction that will be of most tactical use to your team as you drag your opponents with you. So bubble up, slap on your HoT, get ready to pop your trink, your fade, your dispersion, etc and run. See how far out of the action you can take those suckers before they off you – it’s amazing how long you can last when you’re just trying to survive.

Have fun
Not being able to pwn annoying horde (or alli – hi there hordy bros and sis’) into the ground with great gobbets of AWESOME can really get a clothy down. But know this: Blizzard made it that way on purpose! They ‘want’ you to grind through your BGs, to claw and scrabble your way to the top (top if you’re a mage that is – near-top for the rest of you). You’re not sucking by accident, Blizzard wants you to strive, to spend time, to pay dollars. So realise you’ve just committed to another WoW grind and have fun with it. If the frustration is getting you down then perhaps BGs at cap and the necessary gearing process are not for you – it’s a game after all you know, you can turn it off. ; )

Stay liquid folks,


Sunday, January 22, 2012

now what?

Hi folks! A belated HNY to you all.

Now what have I been doing since my last post last year?

Levelling a priest is what!

Here’s my priesty Werewithall. I’ve been having an absolute ball with her. Levelling has been mostly via instances smite healing as Disc with a fair amount of shadow PVP in battlegrounds once I got closer to the top of each respective band.

Were is my first ever heal-specced toon and there’ll be more posts to come relating to great sites I found as I levelled, smite healing and how cool it is and some of the fun transmogging I did along the way.

But today I’m posing a question: Now what?

I’m at end game and in general it’s not a part of the WoW game process I have enjoyed recently. There are two things that might change this experience for me though on this toon:

After dinging 85, crafting a full resilience set and converting the honour I’d capped (and been storing in Justice points) to some nice gear I hit a couple of BGs and found my damage to be competitive and my survivability to be fine – I’m not even chanted yet! It helps of course that these were BGs where Alli communicated well and won. ; ) So continuing as Shadow heals (post on this later) in BGs beyond 85 may be a prospect and;

Most importantly for future play at cap Were has always primarily been a healer, a fightin smitin healer but a healer nonetheless. As such there is still a progression pathway there for me on this toon: 85 normals, then 85 heroics – further instances opening up as gearing level improves. Without the capacity to hit the instances and alternate my experience I don’t think end game BGs would cut it. With it though (yes, I know DPS can instance but only every 10-15 minutes) I find myself interested to see the new content, read up on the boss fights and potentially someday hit a LFR group.

Stay liquid folks,