donderdag 14 augustus 2014

10 Years/ 10 Questions

One thing about the summer is vacations. I am working at a school, so I really have a long summer-vacation. And this one has been busy. 2 weeks I was in South-Wales, and 2 weeks where spend on the Innovation-Guildmeet.

I missed a lot.

I missed a lot of the Malasian Airplane that went down over the Ukrain. Although some of that emotion did reach me, not as huge as it was in the Netherlands though. I also did not raid for 5 weeks (well, except one night). I was also not able to participate in Beta as much as I wanted. And now I am back, my blogroll is full of 10/10 things.

Alt:ernative over at is asking players to fill in 10 questions for a series of podcasts. It is WoW's 10th anniversary soon, so this seemed a good time to do that, and here are my answers.

1. Why did you start playing Warcraft?

There were two reasons I started playing World of Warcraft. I had started a new Job in januar which meant that instead of a 60+ hours/week working at irregular hours, I now only had to work 32 hours, on very regurlar hours. So I had some time left. Second, there where rumors of a Star Trek MMO:RPG coming, and I had hardly any experience with RPG's or MMO's, so in febraur 2007, in my first vacation working at a school, I started playing World of Warcraft try-out version.

2. What was the first ever character you rolled?

Mendak, Dwarf Hunter with his bear Ursa. I played this character in my first week of try-out, no idea what I was doing. But I did like the game, and after a week I bought it. At that point I also made my second character, a Blood Elf Tankadin named Gowron.

3. Which factors determined your faction choice in game?

I have no idea anymore why I started with Alliance. maybe the trailer I saw with the dwarf hunter in the snow influenced me. After a week playing, and doing some more research, I thought I would like the paladin class, and because I already did some Alliance, I opted for Horde, to see what was on the other side.

4. What has been your most memorable moment in Warcraft and why?

This has me thinking. I have enough memories of won fights due to actions I did (wrong trinket on Hydross ; solohealing an ICC-boss), and enough memories of close bosskills. I could go for the moment I actually hit the wow-download button, but to be honest, I don't remember that. I think the most memorable moment in WoW, is when I really stepped into raiding Hardcore.

The fun part is, it was outside the game. I was at my friends house (Kemwer/Gunho) and we where both part of XII. Both of us where officers, and we where talking about the lack of focus and direction or something. At the end of the evening we decided on a radical step. I opened the calendar, and put a raid in on every day for the next month. At that moment, XII became a 'Hard-Core', as did I...

5. What is your favourite aspect of the game and has this always been the case?

Overcoming obstacles, and it really doesn't matter if that means killing that Elite-bird in Winterspring, doing some Black Prince related quest, or a Raidboss after 50 wipes. Just that feeling of  'I/We did this'. And with an obstacle I mean something that does not go down on the first tries, ...through wiping, we learn.

6. Do you have an area in game that you always return to?

Thunderbluf would be my first instinct, but has been a long time since I was there. I think this really depends on the expansion. There is not really a place where I would go to just do nothing.

7. How long have you /played and has that been continuous?

Since I started playing in februar 2007, I have never unsubbed. At this moment I don't even have to add time, it is all automatically, no mid-raid end-of-subscription moments for me.

According to Althoholic, my current time played of a characters still existing is 539 days, 10 hours and 56 minutes. Although during checking I removed at least 14 hours of gameplay, and I now I have deleted characters before...  so my estimate would be upwards 560 days played at the moment.

Which, is a about 5 hours a day since I started playing.....

8. Admit it: do you read quest text or not?

Yes, I think. I am a fast reader, so I scan the text for big clues, and fill in the gaps of the story the first time around. My raiding character must reach max level... With the next few alts that pass the quests, I will read it more thoroughly, after that I skip it.

9. Are there any regrets from your time in game?

Not really, considering where I am now, regretting something that happened, which may change where you are now feels a little strange. Your successes and your mistakes make you what you are today. The only thing I may regret, considering it would not change much, is disenchanting all old gear on my Paladin, because I could never use that again..  damn you Transmog.

10. What effect has Warcraft had on your life outside gaming?

A lot. I am one of those people that will try no to plan anything on the raiding-evenings. I see it the same way when I was playing a sport. Three times a week I go to that sport, either to train, or to play a match. So I try to plan non-WoW stuff on the other four nights, does not always work, but most of my friends now that Su-Tu-Th is taken for me. And this is not even the biggest Impact WoW has on my life.

Somewhere during a guildmeet 2 years ago, I fell in love with Innovations Healing Lead.
So yeah... that has some effect on my life.

maandag 30 juni 2014

First steps into Beta

Spoilers ahead

Although I don't have much time ahead next weeks, something about a Guildmeet coming up, and the fact that I still raid (Sha-HC down, so now 7/14HC), I managed some time on the Beta...between servers disconnects, and world servers down.

First of, I needed to make a lvl90-template, the european transfer is not working, so what did I choose? One of my personal goals in beta is to figure out if I like the new Moonkin game-play, also, I didn't want to spoil the alliance side, so at least I have something new to look forward to, so Morshando, a Troll Boomk came onto the Beta.

Morshando had no idea what to do, really... there was no quest that pointed me somewhere, but I did find my way to Draenor, there is a portal at the cata-portals.

The first thing you do is to build your garrison, you run around doing some quests, and tada, your own town is there. There are some well know characters there, of which the next one made me shuckle.

I hope he tells it takes a while......
So far I encountered some loose quests, some rare spawns, some phased questhubs, and Thrall is running around.. Of course there is the quest where you have to release NPC's... with a spawn-time around 5 minutes...  and 500 people running around...

Considering the boomk-gameplay...  I don't know. 

The biggest problem I have is the eclipsebar. Starting a fight is not a problem, just go hit starfire, but if you are clearing mobs, you continually have to look out if you have to cast either SF or Wrath. Even the sleightest delay because of, say, moving, you have to rethink your whole plan.

But, at the moment, for levelling, that's not a real big problem, mobs die fast enough, and I sometimes see crits of 13k, wow.... but 3-sec Starfires being pushbacked because somethings hitting you... pfff, luckily my first perk was an increase of 20% to starfire.

Flying over Frostridge

vrijdag 27 juni 2014

We are still in Pandaria

The amount of Alpha chatter is very high, people are excited, and it fills almost every channel. And after today, it will be even more.. Beta will start at 21:00 GMT+1.

This does bring us closer to patch 6.0 I hope. Innovation already is feeling the effects of the long wait. A few raids have been cancelled, a lot where undermanned. And that did slow us down, both the cancelling, and getting new members in the fold.

But, we did manage to down Nazgrim-HC. We did skip Shamans, and Sha is also not yet down, but having an unsure roster, we do need to have two targets, else more raids will not happen. Last night, on our first serious attempt on Sha-HC since I don't know-when, we reached P2, so no problem there.

One problem I do have is gear at the moment. As everyone knows, Blizzard ghost-nerfed the current content  by giving us the option to upgrade 4 times. Before that happened, I had almost all WF-normal gear two times upgraded towards Ilvl 567. In theory I can still upgrade those twice more (which I did with some like weapons/trinkets).

But I am not swimming in Valorpoints, and I now have three Heroic pieces of gear in my bags, their Ilvl is 566, one below the WF-normal-2/4. Because they are in my bags, they are from bosses we already downed, and apart from Nagrim, jave on farm, so a WF-HC version is waiting to drop for me. So, atm I am very reluctant to use the HC-gear, which I have to upgrade first to be better then the gear I am currently wearing. Which goes against the new Blizz-thingie, equip your new gear immediately.

Further personal news, is that both my Paladins are past the PvP-part of the legendary, and are now collecting some coins before the buff works off... it seems my 4th and 5th legendary cloak are not far off.... but...

I did get an e-mail today, so I am going to test this new sinus-eclipse curve for Boomk's this weekend.. if the servers are not down or whatever else happens on Beta.

dinsdag 3 juni 2014

The Day I Rage Quit XII

I was wondering if any of you were Nozdormu and could control time, what would you change in your WoW history? Did you leave a guild you wish you had stayed for, did you transfer servers or faction but regretted it later? Have you lost an item you can never get back or deleted something that is now gone forever?

What have you regretted?

Dragonray from Azerothian Life
This is this biweekly shared topic from Blog Azeroth, and here in lies more a philosophical question. Regretting something is normal for humans, but are you really regretting something that happened years ago, because if you could change that, wouldn't your current life change?

Of course there are things I did in World of Warcraft that I regret doing. Not doing Classic is one. But now that I am in 2014, an look back, I am happy I didn't do it, I would not be where I am now... especially concerning meeting my girlfriend in my current guild. If I would have done a different thing somewhere, I probably wouldn't be here.

Saying that, let's talk about the time I rage-quit a guild...yes, I did that stupid thing. And I don't think I actually wrote this down on this blog, that probably says something about how I felt about it back then, now lets' go back to the late summer of 2008 (insert Wayne's World sound here).

I was playing the maintankadin Gowron back then. I also did a lot more, like raid leading, loot master, class leader, and the voice of XII on the realm-forums, but starting september, I was moving, so I had to let go of a lot of those functions. Biggest thing I gave up was raid leading, I had no idea how long it would take for me to get back, so I handed that task to a co-tank-officer.

At this moment we had about 5 tanks, remember you needed a lot of tanks on some fights. By far the best where the now raidleader, another warrior, and me. The other two where lesser geared, and not that good. Further more, the other warrior was on a one-week-raid for a few weeks because of his work. That gave him a certain spot the day he was on.

Myself had missed one week, but I was able to sign up for a raid, and probably not the next few ones. At this moment XII had been wiping on Vashj for a few weeks, sofar that I even went in hours before the raid to actually figure out new tactics. Now you probably can see whats's coming.

For this evening, all 5 tanks signed up, and you only needed 2. The raid leader being one, I was expecting either me or the warrior to be the second tank. I think we actually talked about it that one of us was missing the raid. Considering how much we two did together, even being in Retribution, that would not be a problem, we where both good. But the new RL opted for going in with the same team as last two days, and bench the two well geared good tanks over the newer lesser geared one.

In /o I tried to discuss with the RL, be his was 'not to be swayed'. What really hurt me was that I actually didn't get that much support from fellow officers. Between all this, the other Tank went into a guild channel and starting arguing, and now it gets hazy, but I suppose it got to a wild discussion with me and the other tank leaving the guild.

As far as I know, if one of us would have been taken, which would have been logical considering all things, that is gear, experience, and seniority...  and us not being in the raids before (we had a rotation in XII at that moment), nothing would have happened.

But trying to remember that moment, I really regretted giving up the reigns, to someone who apparently was doing something I found against what the raid stood for. I did rejoin, but XII would never be the same for me again.

In hindsight I was partially to blame. I could have seen this coming, and the way XII was going, becoming a more hardcore mindset then I always wanted, was probably because how I lead raids, and who I left the reigns to.

But if I could go back, I wouldn't do it. Because of this I stopped raiding somewhere early 2009, started levelling a druid called Mardah, and joined Innovation late 2009, but yeah, this was the day I rage quit a raiding guild called XII

donderdag 29 mei 2014

New gameplay form Boomk's... not again....

Now, to be honest, in th time I played Moonkin, the gameplay didn't change that much. Of course there where some spells lost (like Insect Swarm) and some spells added, but the gameplay didn't change much. You had this eclipse bar which moved left/right when casting either Starfire or Wrath. And now Blizzard seems to be changing that.

On other characters I already know how that feels. Going from TBC to WotLK, the complete gameplay of tankadins was changed. Most notably going from Spellpower to Strength gear. There where also a gazillion spellchanges. Going into Cataclysm they added Holy Power, which was one of the main reasons I actually stopped playing Paladin for a while.

I also had a lot of problems with hunters after they lost mana, and gained focus. You get so used to a certain gameplay, that heavy changes really hurt your joy when playing a character. I still have troubles using all the bigger cooldowns on my hunters, they have a lot of them.

Last week, Blizzard released the new Alpha patch notes, with lots of changes for the Moonkin. If you want to read them, go Google it, or visit the patchnotes somehwere. I am not going into a lengthy rant about them. What I did have was a gut-feeling that I don't like them. There is something amiss it seems, and it took me 5 days to actually find what I didn't like.

The problem is two-fold. The first one is that all DoT's will become 'fluid'. At this moment DoT's are 'snapshotting' the stats when being cast, and keep that for their whole duration. In WoD, the DoT's will look at your stats everytime they tick..... except the Moonkins eclipse-bonus, that is still a snapshot. Which means you still want to cast Moonfire/Sunfire at the highest amount of eclipse possible.

The other factor is the new eclipse-bar. At this moment it is moved by casting spells, in WoD it will move automatically on a 30 second interval. That means you no longer have control over the eclipsebar, it just keeps moving while you are in combat. And there is the problem, your spells have the biggest oomph when eclipse is high, same as now, so what's the problem? Well let's look at the start of (almost) every fight I do (It starts around 1 sec before pull);

Pot-Starfall-Wrath (to hit lunar)-Sunfire-Treant-Moonfire-4 time Starfire-Starfall-Starfire-Celestial Alignment-Moonfire-Starfirex3-Starfall-Treants in between, and always Starsurging and...  now the problem is movement here. If I have to move in that first 45 seconds of the fight, it will be a huge dps-loss.

 Luckily most fight have a fairly static beginning, but now imagine having a big cool down every 15 seconds...that activates automatically, and you have only a 4.5 second window to cast the big spells. That's how I see the new eclipse-system. If for whatever reason you have to move during that top-eclipse-phase, you will loose a lot of dps.

Now, we don't know what kind off fights we will have in WoD, they may be more static then now, but the fact that RNG can heavily influence boomkin-dps seems silly. And that's I see the system....  which may not be implemented. Maybe it will actually work..  but we need to wait for that.

vrijdag 23 mei 2014

Interface and Addons (Blog Azeroth)

This dualweeks shared topic on Blog Azeroth is Interface and addons. Now I do have alot of addons, and they are all downloadable from Curse. But which addons do I use?  Well, first up, here's a screenshot of Lorinthe in an LFR.

A lot of things look different here then in a normal UI, but one of the most profound things to notice is the bottom-centre. There are 12 buttons larger, comparing to the rest. This is because I actually do not use the keyboard for raiding, but a Belkin N52TE gamepad. And because of the layout, and how my owns hands work, I use 11 hot keys, and the joystick on the side for movement.
I know it has a lot more functions, but I normally don't seem to need them. Because I use this, all my alts have the same basic layout, using Bartender, I also made 2 12-blocks both side of the centreblock for cooldowns, buffs, and other frequently used spells, while the big strings that go to both corners are mostly for mounts/professions and other stuff.

Now looking at a Mardah-screenshot, you immediately see the similarities, but because Mardah is my main raiding character, there are some things better positioned, and some more addons. Still the centre-block, with all the mainspells stays the same.

List of addons I see during raids.
  • Skada (Top left)
    • Damage meter, but also more important a where-did-I-die-from-section.
  •  Deadly Boss Mobs (Middle left and center)
    • Boss timers and cooldowns, sometimes the only thing I see.....
  • Bartender (Lower-screen)
    • More shuffling around with bars then the original one.
  • X-perl (raidframes and character-info-blocs)
    • Mainly because I like it more that my own info is closer to the center, and under my feet.
  • Affdot-Druid (above char-bloc)
    • Reminder to recast Moon/Sunfire if there's a huge difference in power (like here for Moonfire)
  • Weakauras (above char-bloc)
    • Various cooldowntimers that are important, so i don't have to find them in the mess near the map. Some are not shown at the moment, because they are Buff-Duration-timers.
  • Balance Power Tracker (under character-bloc)
    • Replacement of the default, this one is set to the new eclipse state the moment I play a spell.

Now if you look closely, all the important information for me is centered, and a little bit under my feet (depends on zoom-factor). This way I can both see my own health, which button to push, boss-cooldowns, and whatever is happening under my feet.

The other info, like Skada, rest of raid,chat and debuffs on me are more away from the centre. I do look at them, but more like every 10 seconds. It's information I don't need to know all the time.  Important buffs I can extrapolate from the Affdot timers, and boss-stuff is always warned in DBM. The big Gap under the boss-info-bloc is used by my petclasses. Their targets and toolbars are there. It's also the place for my ExtraActionButton1

I also like the fact that both left and right is rather free of stuff, so I can see what's coming from that side.

As you can see above, my Gwaednerth-raid-UI has a lot less info, but there's another thing. If you look closely around the map, you see more buttons then normal. There are also the Addons I dont use during Bossfights, so here is that list;
  • Althoholic
    • Well..  it's very easy to loose stuff with all those alts I Have.
  • Atlasloot
    • Besides the handy what-does-the-boss-drop-list, it has many more lists.
  • NPC-scan
    • Most of the time turned off. I do sometimes go on a rare-hunt.
  • Auctioneer
    • Easier use of the Auction House, but I don't use all the options.
  • Decursive
    • In case I go healing
  • Enchantrix
    • Because I always forget which dust/ink is going to appear.
  • Healbot
    • See decursive, fun part, this actually puts a second raidlist on my screen (Right-lower)
  • Postal
    • Easier use of the postboxes (open all)
The main-layout of my UI hasn't been changed much since I got the Belkin, and was tanking Malygos, way back when that was current content. That's about five years ago??  So this UI really works for me. Some little changes will be made when Warlords of Draenor comes around, I'll probably loose the Dot-timer (Dot's will become fluid), and I may try the default raidframes. But as long as I have the belkin, the general layout will not change much.

And for fun, my layout during 2008. Gwaednerth (then Gowron) tanking Leotheras the Blind;

maandag 19 mei 2014

Raiding on the other side

Yes, so far my vacation, and other things. And a lot of things have happened last month. More news from alpha, and more news from alpha, and more news...wait.. ALPHA, where is the freaking Beta??

But, for myself, the most important news is that Argent Dawn is now completely Alliance for me. Somehwere last month my last two Horde Characters left Single Abstract Noun, and went to the Sha'Tar. SAN has been dead for a while, and with the absence of Rasout, I really lost any reason to log in there. So, I transferred both Gowron and Luaran of to that Sha'Tar guild I joined a few months ago.

Beyond Redemption Friday-Flex team

Luaran was Lucky enough to keep her name, Gowron had to be changed. A part of me was sad about that. The name was with me for more than 7 years, but no longer for this paladin character. His new name is Gwaednerth, wich is Welsh for blood-strength. Don't ask me how to pronounce it though, and in beyond redemption the name G-man has already been opted.

Why is the pronounciation important?  Well, I have joined Beyond Redemptions Friday-Flex. Actually, they just started that, but I couldn't attend the first run. The next two I did join, and it is fun. Do mind, that most characters are undergeared, or at flex-gear. And we even have some people raiding for the first time...and there's a mumble-account.

The Mumble is strange. In Innovation we don't use something like that, all things are discussed in /raid or /instance... or one of the other dedicated channels. One of the reasons is that everyone is in raidchannel, as with the 2 flexruns, not everyone was in Mumble... but at least I experience the laughter when people try to pronounce Gwaednerth.

This Horde-expedition does not interfere with my Alliance raiding. But I do wish that new 20 man-raids would be introduced tomorrow. Especially with the late release of Warlords of Draenor, now estimated after Blizzcon, people stop playing, and go on a break. I think we have 15 people on a break now....

Oh, yeah, I mentioned AD being completely Alliance now. So, the two new faces to my army of alts are Doiral, Draenai Monk  (different one then the one I played for Alt:Appreciation) and Jinnowhaen, Dwarf Death Knight, to finish off all the classes. One of these two will be boosted, and at the moment I am betting it will be the Death Knight. Doiral is running up the levels at the moment.