standing at the back in my sissy robe

August 11, 2009

All change

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tamarind @ 2:52 pm

So … this is kind of terrifying.

M’Pocket Tank and I recently came to the realisation that we blogged in rather similar styles about rather similar things. Add this to the fact that we are pretty much co-dependent in WoW anyway and … yes, as you can surely see, there was only one logical way forward. We’re getting married. We’re starting a joint blog.

For what it’s worth, I see this very much as a continuation of what I’ve started here at In My Sissy Robe and what M’Pocket Tank has been doing over at I Deathard. It’s a new blog only in the sense that it has a different name, in order to better reflect its slighter wider remit and the fact it has two authors rather than one. Oh and the furnishings are slightly different but I insisted on my right to a splash of sissy robe purple.

I am genuinely sad to be leaving this blog and putting aside the sissy robe name under which I first discovered the blogsphere. But the sissy robe of a man lies in his heart, not in his words and I assure you there will be plenty of sissy robe action over at the new place.

I’ve also managed to import from here, and I Deathtard, our old posts, and more importantly, all the fantastic comments people have left me which, frankly, I value far more than anything else on the site.

Anyway, this is already far too much preamble. Please update your blogrolls, bookmarks and feedreaders, for Tamarind and his Pocket Tank are now the Righteous Orbs.

We’re still basically moving in over there, so there are the blogging equivalents of cardboard boxes and trailing wires scattered about the place. Do be careful not to trip over anything but we are in residence and having a blogwarming party. There are virtual twiglets and everything.

Also for anyone thinking about upgrading to their own site my advice is: run away screaming now while you still can. Okay, so that’s slightly pessimistic. But I have been in wordpress-hell for the past week, shedding sanity like confetti. Seriously, any seemingly straightforward change you attempt to make would inevitably lead to a cascade of DISASTER AND WOE that sweep over the nascent site like an avalanche, destroying everything in its path, including the bits I thought I got fucking working only about five fucking minutes ago. Thankfully I have coding-savvy friends were able to take the chainsaw from my trembling hands and sort the particularly knotty aspects of it all out for me.

WordPress is not a friendly creature. It is feral, and it hates you, and it has no aggro-table.

And as for comment threading… *weeps tears of blood*

Even now Righteous Orbs looks just a little bit like 2fps but, dammit, it’s the only WordPress site in the known universe that doesn’t stuck and, anyway, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery … right?

So I shall bid you all farewell … and hopefully greet you again very soon.

August 10, 2009

an open letter (I am the anti-Nim)

Filed under: Bitchin 'n' Moanin,Deathtards & Co.,UR Doing It Wrong — Tamarind @ 10:09 am

Dear Melee DPS (and, yes, Dicknight, that means you),

What in fuck’s name is wrong with you people?

Don’t stand in fire.

Don’t stand in green.

Don’t stand in mana-wee.

Don’t stand near whirlwind.

Don’t stand near bladestorm.

If the ground looks funny, don’t stand there.

Seriously, what is wrong with you? This is elementary WoW. Are you stupid or merely lazy?

Think about it. If you were going about your life and you looked down and suddenly saw you were standing in a circle of fire, and your clothes were starting to catch alight, and exposed portions of your skin were starting to blacken, would you keep on doing whatever it was you were doing?

Would you?

Whatever it was?

No. You wouldn’t. You just wouldn’t. This is not the Burning Times. You can get out of the fire.

Would you, moreover, expect a passing paramedic to start giving you emergency medical treatment while you whooped it up in the raging inferno?

Again. No. You wouldn’t. You just wouldn’t.

Ignorance, I can forgive. But when I specifically say at the beginning of the fight “please try not to stand in the [whatever]” you have no excuse.

Just plain fail, I can forgive again. I cannot count the occasions on which I have been so engrossed by healing that I haven’t noticed the enormous pool of death in which I’ve been standing. On the other hand, when I have noticed, I’ve moved, and bloody quickly.

What I can neither support, nor forgive, nor understand is what seems to me to be a resolute reluctance to undertake something as profoundly basic as NOT STANDING IN FUCKING FIRE.

I am trying to get into your head here – tiny, stultifying place though it is. And I only assume that your perspective on the matter is that you taking damage is not your problem, and that I ought to be man enough to heal you through it regardless.

Well, fuck you. With a rusty teaspoon.

To be honest, I usually can heal your moronic arse through it but why the fuck should I? Why should your selfish determination to make the game an order of magnitude easier for yourself make it an order of magnitude more difficult for me?

Quite frankly: you don’t deserve to live.

I am not wearying my mouse fingers to the bone grinding for epix in order to allow me to heal dribbling, syphilitic cockmonkeys like you through damage a touch of generosity and a smattering of common sense would allow you to avoid.

Unfortunately you kind of have me by the short and curlies here because there’s nothing I can do. I could stop healing you. And then you would die. But without the DPS to take down the big bad, probably the rest of us would die too. And whereas I’m pretty sure you’d take no responsibility for the wipe whatsoever (shitty healing, you’d say), I’d feel as guilty as hell about it.

I could, of course, refuse to group with you full stop.

But even though healers are moderately in demand, you are out in there in your multitudes. Attempting to put together a group for anything with only caster DPS would the height of silliness.

So yes. You have me. You win. But I hate you for it.

And one of these days I will snap, and respec shadow.

Yours at the end of his tether,
With loathing and contempt,
And certainly no hugs
Unless my arms were lined with poison-tipped spikes,

Tam

August 9, 2009

Schadenfreude Sunday

Filed under: Deathtards & Co.,World Beyond My Naval — Tamarind @ 2:58 pm

I’ve been all over the rhino place this week but here are a selection of the posts that grabbed my eye:

Two really Azeroth-love inspiring over at Aspect of the Hare on the different zones: here’s the Eastern Kingdoms, and here’s Kalimdor. I really enjoy reading about other people’s reactions to the game. I’m completely shallow when it comes to levelling. I like to go places that are pretty. There are whole sections of Azeroth of which I’m completely ignorant because they’re not Tolkeinesque forests or the African savannah – places like the Blasted Lands, the Burning Steppes, the Badlands, Desolace. I should really stop being so silly, packing up some honeymint tea and put on my hiking boots. There’s still a world out there waiting for me. I still remember visiting the Eastern Kingdom for the first time on my small, wide-eyed cow. It was so different from the rolling plains of home and, dear god, the hotels were terrible! The beds were as uncomfortable as coffins … oh wait … they were coffins! A lesson well learned: never buy a package holiday to Hillsbrad from the goblin travel agents Floggit and Leggit.

Kahleena over at Feldeeds is doing a fantastic series of articles on levelling as a warlock. I’m not much for the number-crunching m’self but I do really enjoy this style of witty, discursive analysis. Also special kudos for encouraging eager young warlocks not to give their healers a heart attack by discriminate life-tapping. Part one is here, part two here and the floor is opened for questions here.

Finally, of course, there has been major excitement and many many words over patchday. At two opposite ends of the spectrum, there is gigglesome cynicism from Wildgrowth and joyous enthusiasm from Priest With a Cause.

Schadenfreude

I was hangin about in Northrend this morning, when I got a moderately polite whisper asking if I’d be willing to heal heroic TOC. Putting aside for the moment I refuse to associate with jousting even for a second, I didn’t want to be responsible for any wipage on account of not really being geared for it. So I whispered back to say precisely that, but that I was willing to give it a go if they were desperate for a healer and willing to go a little carefully.

The reply?

Lol, ru in quest greens

Well, a mixture of high end quest greens and instance blues. But they guy was such a dick, I didn’t bother to answer.

You can imagine my satisfaction to see the same guy wailing and begging for a healer over General for the next two and a half hours.

Finally, he whispered me again, saying they were willing to deign to let me heal for them.

“I think I’ll pass,” I said, gleefully, the same manner as one might say “fuck you.”

Wtf, came the astonished response.

“I don’t want to heal for you,” I explained.

Wtf u no you need the epics.

“Yes,” I said, “but you’re a price I’m not willing to pay for them.”

And then I slash-ignored and went about my business.

August 7, 2009

Ready steady rhino!

Filed under: Real Men Wear Purple — Tamarind @ 11:19 am

I apologise for how flaky I’ve been about blogging this week and for the greater than usual quantity of incoherent random in my posts – I’ve been high on life, 80 and piggysniffle medication. The sky’s the limit, as long as you don’t forget to cast slowfall. But I’m nudging good health again which means long days of doing nothing except playing WoW are over. This is both a good thing and a bad thing. I’ve quite enjoyed just ploughing a massive amount of time into the game without any particular feelings of guilt or shame about it, since trying to see people would be vastly antisocial (hello, lovely to see you, I’ve brought a bottle and some swine-flu) and I was too ill to be able to concentrate on doing anything remotely demanding. There has been a more marked sense of progress than I’m usually conscious of – which is compelling – but life-WoW balance is important to me.

I’ve also lost the blogsphere plot so Friday links are temporarily going to have to become Saturday links. I have a lot of reading to catch up on now my brain is semi-functional again.

A combination of hitting 80 and acquiring a guild has really transformed the game for us. Although the spanner-to-sane ratio is not as high as it could be, everyone is at least friendly and willing. And by sheer dint of being moderately competent (most of the time, well, M’Pocket tank especially, I’m, y’know, me) we’ve found ourselves in a semi-privileged, not entirely deserved position. The main advantage is that you can put together a group for pretty much anything within minutes. There are still only 3 80s, including us, but there’s a run of people in the mid 70s so currently we’re hitting Northrend instances and Outland heroics. The truly weird thing is that we’re healer heavy. I could dual-spec shadow of course but I’m kind of committed to standing at the back in a sissy robe.

I suppose I could stand at the back wreathed in purest shadow, spilling forth fel-wee to smite my enemies but… nah. It’s just not the same. Felwee.wordpress.com…. I don’t think it’s me.

Yesterday we ran BFD on our alts with a guildie and Gundrak on our 80s, and it really emphasised the differences between old world instances and Northrend instances. BFD is huge, sprawling, contains about 83 bosses (well, maybe not 83) and, hell, it’s bloody hard. We were 3-manning, at level (admittedly the guildie wasn’t entirely on the ball, in fact he was so far from the ball it’s possible he was playing checkers) and the combination of size, scope, fleeing murlocs, and large groups of casters makes it damn near lethal. And I stance-danced. I’ve never stance-danced before. I am very much a noobtank but it felt like it was some rite of passage. A hasty hamstring and then ducking back behind my shield. Now try to flee into a large group of mobs, El Murloc!

Gundrak, by contrast, is just a big wheel you walk round, looking at the exhibits on your left and right. On the other hand, whoever designed it was clearly on crack, which redeems it rather in my eyes. I think it’s tactically less interesting and significantly less demanding than BDF but it is also chockablock with rhinos.

Rhinos!

Rhinos!

And there’s the boss who turns into mammoth. Least intimidating transformation sequence ever. I shall make myself FLUFFY with CUTE LI’LL HORNS and you will tremble, oh adventurers of Azeroth. Actually he nearly did for us because I was incapacitated with laughter and therefore almost failed to heal through his mammothian foot stomp. Ironically, the footstomp came literally the second after I slashmocked so I think he was making a point.

Seriously … though … rhinos?

Also occasionally we would face not one but two Jormungar worms rhinos.

And why do you occasionally get a poison-style DoT from them? In what way are rhinos poisonous? My god, are those trolls cross breeding them with SNAKES?! The sick bastards!

By the time we reached the final boss, we’d all gone rhino-crazy, which manifested in replacing arbitrary words with the word rhino, extra points if the word originally began with ‘r’. We weren’t having readychecks, we were having rhinochecks. Is everybody rhino? Rhino! Rhino! Rhino!

Of course, Gal’darah had to join in. “You wanna see power? I’m gonna show you power!” he bellowed, promptly turning into … a … yes, you get it.

That completely finished me. I was practically crying with laughter. But somehow I managed to type: “you wanna see rhino! I’m gonna show you rhino!”

And then he impaled me on his mighty rhino horn, right in the innuendo.

Ouch.

August 6, 2009

Ding!

Filed under: Vainglory,World Beyond My Naval — Tamarind @ 1:27 pm

Well, there are advantages in being horribly ill: you play an awful lot of WoW. So much, in fact, that we dinged 80 the day before patch 3.2 hit. Given that I basically played WoW for 2 days solid it’s shocking think how long that would have taken me – probably at the very least a couple of weeks – had I not gone down with piggysniffles. It’s a weird pay off, although it simply makes me feel guilty in several directions at once, since being ill is meant to be spent lying in bed, feeling crappy, not sitting in bed feeling crappy AND playing WoW.

Being 80 is quite frankly bewildering.

The game has basically inundated me with Things I Could Be Doing, and I’m staggering around like a punchdrunk weasel. Polish the Horn of Whojamiflip? Sure. Blow up some garm? Yeah, gimme. Dark cultists, you say? Show me where. This scattergun approach is far from sensible, I have no idea what I’m doing half the time, or what it’s achieving. But after all whinging about Northrend, I am quite digging the quests in Icecrown. They’re not too fiddly, a lot of them involving good old fashioned killin, and it feels nicely like you’re part of a proper war in which you can, y’know, participate rather than follow lore figures about, singing the “you so fine you blow my mind” song. Although having battled side-by-side with Tirion to drive back the forces of the Scourge, I want to know why he has come to the conclusion that what the battle against Arthas really needs is a Renaissance Fair. I guess I’ll just save up the cash for an epic flyer (alas! Pointlesswing!) for now and then see what happens.

I suppose running heroics is Where It’s At, except I’m probably not geared for it. Hmmm. Problem.

We also attempted to celebrate 80 by taken down Magister’s Terrace heroic. And we failed. It was actually pretty tricky. The thing about being 80 is that you secretly or not-so-secretly think you are now become invincible. We were doing pretty well though, thanks to judicious use of mind control. I love mind control (or mindrape as we call it) in every conceivable way but what I love best is taking control of enemy healers. Not only do you inspire all their compatriots to turn on them, but you can also use their spells to heal your own tank. And before the mind control wears off, you can blow all their cooldowns and leave them there, utterly violated and on about 20% health.

But that damnable Priestess and her posse did for us in the end. I hate that fight with a passion, and not the interesting sort of “I will take you down my nemesis, bwhaha” kind of passion. Maybe I just need to step back a bit and smell the OCD but I don’t like fights I can’t control. The best you can hope for is to control the pull, control the location and, hopefully, deploy some cc – even so, it’s carnage. With 2 of you, especially when you’re both pvp noobs, it’s fucking stupid. There must be a way of handling it but I’ve no idea what that way might be. Of course, the only cc we have is MC to which they’re all immune (wah!) which doesn’t help. But they stunlock M’Pocket Tank and then tear through me like I’m damp paper. It feels like there’s literally nothing we can do, except maybe get to the stage when M’Pocket Tank can solo them, and I’ll cower behind the wall while she does, with my WoW dwindling to about the size of a brazil nut. I guess we could duel-spec shadow / retri but that seems a bit extreme, and I suspect we’d resent it.

Dear Blizzard

I don’t like pvp. That’s why I’ve chosen not to do any, as is my inalienable right. Why must you punish me for this? Seriously not cool, Blizzard.

Fuck you,
Tam

So, yes, what with dinging 80, the arrival of the patch was kind of eclipsed. The only real change I noticed was the tidal wave of riding achievements over guild and the fact all my add-ons had fucked themselves sideways with a banana. There was, however, a buzz in the air as people ran about discovering changes and new content, which was nice. The weird thing is, now I’m 80, I’m not perpetually late to the party guy any more so I could have been doing that myself. But I’m still half-entrenched in the notion that none of it really applies to me and I’ll get to it in my own time. Except it does now, doesn’t it?

I did roll out my druid to check out his sexy new catform though. Failfriend also has a druid and didn’t know about the redesign so we met at Vengeance Landing and kittied together like crazies. Well I was pretty crazy. I ran in gleeful dash-fuelled circles around High Executor Anselm until I made myself dizzy while FF sat there, washing his face and yawning. Despite the awesome earring, I am still not a big bear fan. I’m sorry, but it’s the butt. I simply can’t tank from behind it. The catform is really kittyish though. I love the sleekness of it, and the way it moves. Comfrey is a kind of toffee-russet coloured kitty. Failfriend is black, with a mean look. It’s tempting to roll up a nelf just to see what I’d get.

I think the thing about 80 and the thing about patches is that … well … they’re kind of similar to losing your virginity. No, stay with me here, I know what I’m doing with this analogy (hah, do I ever). They’re both massive events you build up in your head to the point that you genuinely believe they’re going to completely change your life and the way you think about yourself. And then it happens, and although conceptually it was the most overwhelming and exciting thing ever because finally, finally you’d got there but practically it was awkward and fumbling and you were semi-paralysed with “is it supposed to be like this and am I doing it right” anxiety, and that never happens in the movies. And somewhere in the middle you get a glimpse of some receding wonder but it’s only a glimpse. And when it’s done you wait for that moment, the one that’s going to change everything, and then you realise that it’s never coming, because you’re still you and change comes, if it comes at all, in incremental fragments on your journey towards the infinite horizon.

You can also say the same thing about getting your hair cut.

So, here, let us fix our add-ons, grab 3.2 by the, err, horns and loft ourselves on our cut-price flying mounts … into the future.

August 5, 2009

Tamarind does not see the point of needles cougars

Filed under: D'oh,Sweets for the Sweet,Vainglory — Tamarind @ 9:22 am
Come Pointlesswing, to the skies!

Come Pointlesswing, to the skies!

Meet Pointlesswing and Needlesstail, two loaned wind riders from the dodgy second hand mount dealer in K3.

Pointlesswing goes very well uphill if you get out and push.

The problem is … the problem is … they have names now.

And I’m totally convinced that the dodgy goblin mount dealer is going to take Pointlesswing to the knackers as soon as I hand him back.

Needlesstail is from The Thousand Needles. We know this because there are Needless Cougars all over that place.

(Yes, yes, I know, they’re Needles Cougars, not Needless Cougars, but I’ve been mis-reading their name since I was a small cow and it’s an in-joke that’s stuck).

M’Pocket Tank wants her very own, non totally generic flyer so she’s going to take Needlesstail to The Thousand Needles and destroy the harness, which we think will symbolically represent releasing him, in his dotage, into the wild.

But, well, I can’t bear to part company with Pointlesswing. He may have a list to the right, gout, a dickey heart and only one tooth but, dammit, he has spirit, he has zest, he has verve. We’ve been fighting the Scourge in Icecrown together. He has as much right to take the fight to Arthas (slowly, very very slowly) than any young wippersnapper of a proto-drake.

Ways I have died in the vicinity of Pointlesswing:

1) Forgetting I was on foot
2) Summoning my chicken by accident and then leaping off cliffs
3) Dismounting in mid-air
4) Being shot off his back by a variety of allies, vrykul and scourge siege weaponry
5) Soaring blithely out of his licensed zones
6) Attempting to do funky things with levitate – now it has no reagent cost – and failing. Badly.

More to come, I’m sure.

August 4, 2009

glyphs and why they suck

Filed under: Bitchin 'n' Moanin,Soapbox,UR Doing It Wrong — Tamarind @ 10:32 am

In news unconnected to WoW. I think I might I have swine flu. I have a special number given to me by the special pandemic hotline (we have a pandemic hotline? Holy fuck!) in order that I may receive anti-swine flu medication from the government. I feel kind of bad, but not bad enough not to be bored. Also I wish it wasn’t called swine-flu. Firstly it sounds way over-dramatic (pigsniffles, if you please?) and secondly it sounds basically unhygienic. As if Fair Tamarind in pigsty lay… (poetry NSFW, and I assure you I’ve been doing absolutely NOTHING with pigs, or in pigsties). So you’ll have to forgive me if my comments sound like I’m stoned on anti-pigsniffle meds and my posts are a bit more unfocused than usual.

I’ve recently been on a glyphing spree and I’ve realised something.

So, glyphs right? I hates them, precious.

I am not, however, debating their utility. They are extremely useful. That’s kind of part of the problem. They are so unarguably, indisputably useful that you’re pretty much obliged to have them in order to play your class effectively. While you’re levelling, enchanting or gemming or any of that other stuff is a bonus. It’s nice if you can get it but since you go through gear so quickly anyway it’s not a necessity. But that’s not the case with glyphing. Not having the right glyph in place is the equivalent of not having spent a couple of talents points or having forgotten to visit a trainer (not that I ever do that, oh no, not at all, ahem). Whereas having a decent enchant or a gem is a fortuitous improvement, not having a glyph is actually a hindrance.

Glyphing is basically an arms race.

Every other holy priest with half a brain at my level has the glyph of Guardian Spirit. Thus they are a better a healer. And no matter how inspired, quick-moused or intelligent my healing may be, they still have a basic, mechanical advantage that I’d be a fool not to take for myself. So I have to have the glyph of Guardian Spirit.

What’s ostensibly in the game to give you a greater degree of choice and customisation, is, in practice, extremely restrictive. Basically all glyphs fall into one of the following categories:

Glyphs That Are So Useful You Can’t Not Have Them

For a holy priest, these would be the Glyph of Flash Heal, the Glyph of Renew, the Glyph of Prayer of Healing and the Glyph of Guardian Spirit. Ultimately which selection of them you have (oooh, mighty choice, 3 out of a possible 4, wow, I’m so glad for this increased customisation) is basically dependent on your playstyle, how you use renew, whether you’re single-target healing more, or AoE healing more, or if you’re neurotic about Guardian Spirit.

Glyphs That Would Be Nice But You Will Never Use Them Because of The Glyphs That Are So Useful You Can’t Not Have Them

So, for a holy priest, these might be something like the Glyph of Power Word: Shield (although this probably goes in category 1 if you’re a disc priest), or the Glyph of Inner Fire, or perhaps the Glyph of Circle of Healing. Again, it would be really nice if you could tweak your skills to suit your style but ultimately there’s no point giving yourself the Glyph of Inner Fire to make yourself more durable if you could instead give yourself a 10% mana reduction in your most used healing spell.

Glyphs That Remove a Regent Cost

I genuinely don’t see the point of these. I’ve got a couple because they tend to be minor glyphs and there’s rarely anything better to do with minor glyph slots. I’ve got the Glyph of Levitate for Tam which basically means I spend an inordinate amount of time standing on one leg in the air … because … well … why not? And I’ve got the Glyph of Unburdened Rebirth for my druid. But the availability of glyphs to remove the reagent cost of spells, especially when the reagent is readily available from vendors, seems to merely render said reagent cost pointless. If the fact the spell costs a reagent isn’t actually balancing anything (because if it was you wouldn’t let us remove it) why is there in the first place? Huh?

Special Occasion Glyphs

So that glyph of Fear Ward. Yes, it actually makes fear-ward semi-viable but how often, seriously, do you use fear ward? Enough to deny yourself a 10% mana reduction in your most used healing spell. Didn’t think so. I suppose these glyphs would be worth it if you were going into a fight, a raid maybe, in which your primary function was keeping a nasty de-buff from settling over the group. In which case possibly you’d temporarily replace a Useful Glyph with an Occasional Glyph, but you’ve still got the problem of what you’re going to replace.

Glyphs That Actually Make Your Class Less Interesting to Play

Hello Glyph of Swiftmend. Fancy seeing you here. This is the most egregious example I can think of. I love the way druid healing works. I love the fact it’s different to pally healing and different to priest healing. I love the carefully balanced ticking HoTs. What the Glyph of Swiftmend does is remove an interesting tactical decision and replace it with a bog standard, instant cast healing spell. Thanks Blizzard. But, again, you can’t not have it because a boring instant cast healing spell that doesn’t consume a heal over time effect is better than an interesting one that does. M’Pocket Tank’s lock informs me that the Glyph of Conflagrate is similar.

Glyphs That Are Completely Useless

Of which they are too many. Glyph of Fade anybody? I’m sorry but if the tank didn’t get what was attacking off you the first time round, being able to cast fade again more quickly won’t help. You’ll need the Glyph of Not Having A Tank That Sucks. Or there’s the Glyph of Drain Soul which gives you something like a 1% chance of getting an extra soul shard sometimes. Woot! Or what about the Glyph of Consecrate – the glyph that makes one of your primary abilities fit less well into your rotation.

Minor Glyphs that are Disproportionately Useful

So you have our friend the Glyph of Fade which reduces the cool down on something that you shouldn’t have to use more than once per fight anyway. Compare that to its precocious little brother the Glyph of Fading, which reduces the mana cost of fade that one time you use it. Not only is this actually better than the major glyph but it’s better than quite a lot of other minor glyphs. Given the choice of being able to stand on one leg for no apparent reason whenever the whim takes me and my 1-off emergency button costing me less mana, I know which wins my vote.

Ultimately I think glyphs just don’t fit comfortably with the way we play WoW, and the way WoW is designed to be played. Essentially each class has a relatively narrow core of primarily abilities on which they rely, surrounded by a much wider selection they use on specific occasions. Naturally glyphs which buff the former are fundamentally better than glyphs which buff the latter. It doesn’t help that Blizzard doesn’t seem as though its been able to settle on the function of minor glyphs. Currently they range from the absurdly pointless (yes, please, improve my Eye of Kilrog!) to the pleasing but cosmetic (I love you penguin!) to the actually genuinely useful (ah, my old friend, glyph of fading). Either they have to be purely cosmetic or purely functional. You can’t balance one against the other because although players love customisation and will go to great lengths to attain what you might call luxury glyphs ultimately the nature of the game means utility will always trump aesthetics.

As for major glyphs. I think we’re just fucked.

I will say this though. There is one major glyph I like. It’s the Glyph of Fireball. This removes the DoT effect of your fireball spell but ups the crit chance by 5%. I think this offers you a genuinely interesting tactical proposition, but not such an overwhelming advantage that you cannot be a fire mage without it. The glyphed fireball does less damage overall but if you’re reliant on crits for procs then it’s a sound investment. It just depends how you’ve specced your fire mage.

Isn’t it this kind of thing that glyphs were meant to do?

August 3, 2009

Holy Priest Tanks Dragon!

Filed under: D'oh,Real Men Wear Purple,UR Doing It Wrong — Tamarind @ 11:32 am

Hmmm…bad choice of headline I think, since the story is much less interesting than the concept. I believe that’s what the Earl of Rochester would term imperfect enjoyment (blowing one’s load too early). Annnyway….

I ran Ramps Heroic with my guild, basically for the lulz and the practice. M’Pocket Tank was away in Cambridge so I was healing a DK tank (well, if you’re in different collegiate universities it doesn’t count, right?). He was significantly squishier than M’Pocket Tank and had made some questionable spec decisions (no toughness?!!), added to the fact that I’m so accustomed to the rhythms of healing M’Pocket Tank that learning a new tune can be a pretty fraught initially. It was one of those incremental-learning runs I find so satisfying. And in terms of the diplomatic / political aspects of running with guildies, having the guild leader with us was very helpful indeed in that I was tactics-guy and she was “please don’t do that stupid thing again” girl, which meant I didn’t have to worry about alienating people with my outrageous demands, like following kill order and letting the tank pull. We died more times than a group of 70s has any right to, but we learned and we improved and eventually we triumphed.

The final fight was … shall … we say … unorthodox.

When Nazran came down, he went straight for the healer – as is his wont – and the tank just couldn’t get him off me. I’ve no idea what he was doing, but I tried everything, fading, running towards the tank, everything. The thing is, I don’t know what you’re meant to do when you’re a healer under those circumstances. If you’re DPS, it’s obvious. You stop DPSing and hope for rescue. But it’s not like I can just stop healing. Anyway, in a state of panic, I threw up the usual protections, kept up a steady stream of healing on myself and did my damndest not to stand in fire.

And, of course, the best way to do this when he’s right in your face is to kite Nazran round in a circle. I died when he was on about 2% health, and then the DPS finished him off. And then I realised that, apart from a bit of splash damage, everybody else was absolutely fine.

I had, entirely inadvertently, tanked the drake.

Holy priest tanking! It’s gonna be the next big thing!

The DK, who’s basically the loveliest guy, apologised after. But the next time he makes me tank a boss, he’s healing, dammit.

The other thing I learned from this experience is that tanking = fucking terrifying. I’ve done a bit of tanking but at much lower levels. And maybe it’s different if you’re in a full set of spiky macho platemail but if you’re a skinny guy in a sissy robe who’d much rather be standing at the back and instead you’ve got an enormous, black, bat-winged drake right in your face spewing fire, well, yes, I found it genuinely traumatic. Bosses look considerably less scary when you’re standing behind them, some distance away and somebody else is whacking them in the face.

Disconnected update on Queen Susan’s Guardian Spirit. The glyph has helped the situation considerably but I’ve uncovered yet another problem with Guardian Spirit. Casting it makes you feel like you’ve done something. This is actually lethal. Because obviously what you need to do is keep healing. Perhaps it’s the happy little wings or something but casting GS feels so much like having solved the problem that I tend to chill out completely instead of following up. ARGH! Can I never win?

August 2, 2009

this will be my mousterpiece

Filed under: Bitchin 'n' Moanin,Real Men Wear Purple — Tamarind @ 6:06 pm

The thing about running regularly with a guild is that it makes you think about the stuff you’re actually ostensibly there for, in my case standing at the back in my sissy robe (healing). Although on the subject of sissy robes, despite the fact the one I have is blatantly rubbish I’m loathe to let it go because, unlike every other robe in Northrend, it is not black, black like my soul, black like my coffee, black like a teenage goth’s bedroom. It’s. Um. Mostly black. And, in the right light, if you’re feeling generous, purple. Not the kind of glaring beacon of purple-ness Blizzard has led me to expect, more a sort of bruise-coloured indigo. But, holy fuck, it’s a colour, and I’m not knocking it.

[Mournful edit: woe, woe and thrice woe upon the House of Tamarind. Since writing the above I have been obliged to replace the robe with a new robe. And guess what that looks like. Sigh.]

Recently, I’ve been putting a lot of thought into my healing (which I shall relate in excruciatingly detail later, be assured) but the long and the short of it is I’ve been experimenting with more mouse-click centric healing. It’s going quite well except for one minor drawback.

My mouse is shite.

Except, no, that shouldn’t be the case. My mouse is average. It’s a 4-button, not bog standard but not top of the range either, kind of mouse. I’m not really up on mouses, since a mouse is the sort of thing I invest in only when the current model has died and been pulled back from the brink so many times it might as well be Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I, therefore, had trouble when I went out to purchase Microsoft Shite Mouse 3000 because mouse technology had, of course, swept into the future, leaving this luddite wringing his hands and saying things like “but don’t want it to be cordless, mouses have cords.” Also, perhaps this is another sad example that I may be turning into my mother, but I don’t believe a mouse should cost one over £30. Not unless it is made of solid gold, calls you darling and gives you regular foot massages.

Anyway, the drawback of the Microsoft Shite Mouse 3000 is that, although it comes equipped with a reassuring cord and is basically functional, WoW only deigns to recognise 2 out of its 4 buttons. To be fair, they’re the important two, but still. The 3rd button, which lurketh beneath the mouse wheel, it remembers exists maybe 66% of the time. This does not a happy healer make. In fact, it’s worse than the button just not working at all because part of you believes that if you can just make it function enough of the time, this will somehow, miraculously lead to it working all the time. So instead of concentrating on healing a fight you’re fingering your mouse like you’re trying to find its G-spot. Harder? Softer? Change of angle? Different finger? What if I flex my wrist like this?

This is just the sort of trivial technological setback I find disproportionately irritating because it’s basically insoluble. There are few sensible things you can try, and each potential solution lulls you into believing that this’ll be the thing that sorts the problem out, but, after a while, you just get completely and helplessly stuck. I mean, I’m not a mouse whisperer. It’s not the sort of technical problem you can demand Blizzard or Microsoft fix for you. You can’t even take your computer down to Dodgy Dave The Laptop Fiddler to see what he can do about it.

So I did everything I could think of to deal with the problem in WoW. And I did everything I could think of to deal with the problem with the mouse software. And then I sat there, growling.

There was the computer.

There was the mouse.

There were buttons 3 and 4.

There was World of Warcraft.

Why won’t you believe in each other? For fuck’s sake, it’s RIGHT THERE. THE BUTTON IS RIGHT THERE. Gah! No, I don’t want you to bring up a magnification window. No, I don’t want to invert the mouse. Come on, this is perfectly simple. Mouse, meet Rosamunde, she’s my laptop. Rosie, this is Microsoft Shite Mouse 3000. Rosie enjoys over-heating, running out of memory and scanning for malware when I’m trying to instance. Microsoft Shite Mouse 3000 enjoys making me tear my hair out by the roots. You two should get along beautifully. Rosise, MSSM3k, this is 4th Button: I don’t know what 4th button enjoys because neither of you will talk to him.

It makes me suspect the problem was not technological but philosophical. We started from first principles and, although my mouse now knows it thinks, therefore it is, it still doesn’t believe it has a fourth button in World of Warcraft.

Why, in the name of God, why?!

Anyway, I now have a new mouse. And it has caused me precisely ZERO trouble.

Excuse me, I have take the Microsoft Shite Mouse 3000 out back, where I will be hitting it with a hammer.

August 1, 2009

Silly Saturday: fuck off enormous dinosaur of the week!

Filed under: Diversions — Tamarind @ 7:49 pm
What do you get the fuck off enormous dinosaur who has everything?

What do you get the fuck off enormous dinosaur who has everything?

Excuse me, but I’m trying to get to the auctioneer, there’s a queue here you know. Just because you’re an enormous fuck off dinosaur doesn’t mean you don’t have to respect the rules … well … okay … maybe it does. Aieee!

That poor beleaguered warlock is my bank alt. I feel rather guilty about him. The Prettiest Elf was meant to fill the role but he has no brain to speak of, so not the best candidate for being entrusted with all your worldly wealth. Persimmon signed up to harness fel power but all he does his handle fel finance. Alas!

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