March 2010

Yesterday I purchased the dual spec ability for my rogue, (probably a brave but foolish decision considering the state of the realm economy), and promptly plugged in this spec. This is the best PvP combat sword bastardisation spec that I was able to find. I then went and got the Sinister Strike, Cloak of Shadows and Killing Spree glyphs. I had to hunt down an inscriptionist to get the killing spree one done, but eventually I found a kind soul who made it for me, (the one advantage to being on a realm with next to nobody is that everybody is eager to be your friend when they find out that you have 450 jewelcrafting and 440 enchanting under your belt). I’m using a combat spec for pvp because at present I still haven’t found another decent dagger. So my pvp plan is mostly to use a rush down attack with burst damage supplied from killing spree, coupled with crippling and deadly poison. I also handed in all my badges that I had stored up, which gave me over 30,000 honor.

By the way, could Blizzard have made this any more difficult to hand in? You can only purchase 10 at a time and they have a 2 second cooldown? Do they have any idea how long this took me to do? It wasted years of my life, or at least it seemed like years. I could have been doing other stuff with my time, like wondering how the hell to win Arathi Basin. Anyway, I ended up with over 50,000 honor so I purchased a nice new chest to match the legs which I already had. Then I threw some resiliance and stamina epic gems in there which I made myself and some resiliance enchants and I was good to go.

I had to run a couple of battlegrounds to get a few thousand honor to get the chest. The difference after having the chest was noticeable. The difference with the new spec was even more noticeable still. The new random battleground finder is a very nice feature. You don’t have to bother finding a dude to give you a quest, and if you actually win then there is some nice honor there. Mind you, the winning bit can be a bit tricky. It took me 7 tries to win one. Why, oh why did I roll Alliance? Finally we won an Arathi Basin by the skin of our teeth. My new battleground strategy is to just stay away from paladins unless I have a few players at my side. All the other classes are manageable, with warlocks being the easiest to take down. Other rogues are of course a problem, mostly due to the fact that they are specced assasination or something and manage to see me before I can see them, then they can get the jump on me and lock me down. Mind you, I won a few times against rogues when I blew them away with Killing Spree when they were at half health and thinking that they were fine. I haven’t seen another combat rogue in a battleground yet, so I’m enjoying being one of a kind.

You can quickly farm a good deal of honor with the new honor points system in battlegrounds. An hour of play got me almost 20,000 honor, almost half of what I need for some nice new gloves. You also get arena points for winning your first LFG battleground, so I could conceivably use these to get some better weapons. All in all I’m enjoying the pvp play which I haven’t partaken in for a good few years. I’m still very rusty, (oh I can use disarm on a warrior? Gee, I’d forgotten about that. And what does this Blind button do again? Hint to self – don’t hit blind after you’ve ruptured your opponent.)

The only frustrating thing for me is ganking the horde. I can’t find them. I fly around Northrend, I go to the daily quest places, to the good places to farm nodes, to flight points, you name it and the best I’ve done was springing two level 70 and a level 77 player in the Borean Tundra. So where are they all? Is there some super secret horde hiding spot in Northrend which I don’t know about? Tell me you bastards!


Windsoar over at Jaded Alt has had a project going where she gives other bloggers something to muse up. I got in on the act due to the fact that I’ll give just about anything a try once, so I stuck my hand up and she kindly gave me my muse:

“/cast Muse
Give those new rogues (new to leveling or end-game) 10 tips for not sucking. Seriously. Anything. I don’t know what it is lately, but the rogues have been bad–they used to be the smart one!”

It’s a good one for me except for the fact that there is one small problem – I’ve already done it. Only so many things out there to rant about I suppose.

Still, you have to wonder why us rogues are the bane of our own existence. I know it’s a hard class to play well but that’s the whole point. If you play a rogue you’re doing it for the challenge, to say to others, “Look at me! You won’t catch me playing a fucking paladin!” But in order to actually pull this off you have to be able to play the class well. And not just at end game. So I’m going to supply some links here for all you wanna-be rogues out there on stuff which I think might helkp you a bit. Most of these links have not been written by me. Why write it if someone else has done it in a perfectly acceptable manner already? (In other words, I couldn’t do it as well as them.)

Let me introduce you to Sam at Slice & Dice. This boy know what he’s talking about. Here are some of his posts which you fail rogues need to check out. Firstly, lets assume that you are a nooby rogue. You need to know the basics. Luckilly for you, Sam has writeen about the basics.

Basic Rogue Mechanics Stuff.

Levelling as Combat. Porbably the best way to go.

Levelling as Assassination. Quite doable.

Levelling as Subtlety. Good luck with that.

If you have clicked on these you will also notice over at Sam’s blog his Essential Post list. This includes how to do heroic dps, gearing your rogue and other awesome goodness. Check them all out.

I myself came up with some guides on how to dps some months ago. Some people liked them, they get lots of link love around the interents, while some people hate them and think that I am a big poo-poo for having written them. Which is quite possibly true, but here they are in all their glory.

Dps for Dummies part 1

Part 2.

Part 3.

Part 4.

In those posts I have links to other blogs, mostly to the excellent One Rogues Journey, which I have just discovered is not working any longer. Major bummer. He had some great gearing guides. Oh well.

So there you have it. Also, you sucky rogues, a lot of my readers are excellent rogues, so I’m asking my readers if they have any links that they like to please throw them in the comments so our sucky backstabbing bretheren can stop sucking.

ps, sorry for the three days away but I have been in Venice, which I have to say would be a mighty fine city to be a rogue.

A few days ago one of my commenters remarked that a certain type of personality played a rogue. He didn’t expand on what that personality is as he is not a psychologist. Neither am I, but in the interests of science I’ll give it a shot, (reminds me of that old joke; I’m an amateur gynocologist – I’m not a professional but I’ll have a look).

So here is my offering of the different personality types needed to succesfully play a particular class.

Druid. This type of personality can’t make their mind up with what the hell they want to do. They want to have their cake, eat it now and probably throw it up so they can eat it again. They run around trying to do everything and probably achieve next to fuck all into the bargain. When confronted by their level of ineptitude they explain it away by pointing to the inefficiencies of the hybrid class which they chose to play in the first place and inevitably pester the powers at be to boost them so they are able to feel better with their measly pathetic lives.

Hunter. People who play hunters are the sort of arseholes who try to get everyone else to do their dirty work for them. Send in the troops while you stand at the back pretending that you’re actually doing something and if the shit goes down you can roll over and play dead. These are the type of people who convince co-workers to confront their boss at a meeting about wage issues and when the poor sap stands up and says his piece, he turns around to find our hunter friend whistling and looking out the window with a ‘this is news to me’ look on his face.

Mage. Remember the neighborhood kid who liked to set things on fire so that he could put them out? Well this is your typical mage – except he doesn’t put the fires out any more. The attention seeking moron who wants everyone to look at him, your mage likes lots of noise and flashy things without actually doing very much. Like all castles of sand his is eventually washed away, but he gets away with it by throwing a party, giving everyone lots to eat and drink and then giving them a free taxi ride home. The equivalent of rent a friend. In a word? Pathetic.

Paladin. The loud do-gooder who knows what’s best for you and is willing to smash you around a bit until you come to his way of thinking. Paladins are the type of people who put up with the rest of us. They expound from a lofty perch of high morals, patiently explaining that they have to lead us all and that their lives are extremely difficult because of it whilst actually playing the easiest fucking class in the entire game. In short, a bunch of hypocrites.

Priest. Remember the dude in Life of Brian who offers to help the guy carrying his cross and ends up getting crucified in his place? Well that is your typical priest. He’s out to help us, you and me, all of us, but what he really needs is help to protect him from himself. Patient and trusting, you can lead a priest anywhere to give you a hand as he is of the opinion that all people are good and just merely misunderstood, up to the point where you sacrifice him to the wolves and he gets his head cut off.

Rogue. These people chose to play a rogue because they thought that it would be easy to be able to sneak around everywhere, in other words avoiding any real responsibility in their lives. When they found out that it was actually a bit hard they proved themselves to be doubly stupid by sticking with the class in the face of all known evidence. They are the type of people to make a mistake, never learn from it and put up with it for the rest of their lives. Your typical loser.

Shaman. I like to think of shamans as the spoilt kid from school – nobody liked the little prick but you made friends with him anyway because he had all the best toys. As opposed to the priest who lives in a world of delusion, the shaman knows that you only like him for what he can bring to the party, yet he still comes anyway because it’s no fun sitting at home playing by yourself with your totems. Expect these people to marry badly and get taken for everything that they’ve got.

Warlock. Warlocks are played by the mis-understood kid. The type who broods in the corner while everyone else is having a good time, until he pulls out his machine gun and starts shooting. Except that the warlock likes to cajole others into shooting with him, usually the really nasty kids in the school yard. The problem with hanging out with the nasty kids is that they’re more nasty than you, and sooner or later you’re going to end up in a 10 by 10 cell with a 400 pound buddy called Candy. This can cause some people to become highly hysterical, which explains the in-game behavior of quite a few warlocks.

Warrior. The big goofy guy who is everyones friend and has a nice girl back home and who inevitably charges in first and gets his face eaten off? Yeah, this is your typical warrior. He’s got a heart of gold and will wear it on his sleeve – literally. Your warrior just wants to be liked, and he is likeable. But unfortuately for him he usually makes friends with a hunter and well, that’s not going to finish well for him, is it?

Death Knight. The type of person who will try the latest new fad immediately, whether it is good or bad. They want to be the first to do it and then show off to you that they have done it and that you haven’t, not realising that the reason that you didn’t do it is because the fad is a load of horse shit and them trying to rub it into your face is akin to somebody drinking a glass of cats piss and looking down on you while doing so. People to be pitied and avoided.

Gevlon posted today what we in the Undergeared project have known for a few days, that the project is in danger of being would up. Some commenters on his blog are starting to say, I told you so etc, which is to be expected. I myself have barely played my mage for the last two weeks, primarally because I have had a very close friend come and visit me from Australia, and while we have played around in WoW during his time, it was with new toons so that we could hang out together. So real life intruded on my undergeared dedication. The other factor contributing towards my non presence has been due to the fact that the date of my bar re-opening has been steadilly approaching, (which will be sometime in mid-April), and the raiding evening of Saturday, while I had hoped to be able to be able to work my presence at the bar around it, it does not look feasible at this point in time.

So these are my own issues with regards to why I am having problems being online. But I wanted to comment in a general way about the guild and how Gevlon has gone about it as someone who has been there since the beginning. Certain comments have been made on his post today regarding there not being enough planning for the raid evenings. To be honest, I don’t know what they’re talking about. Gevlon said that the raid was to be on Saturday night from 7-10pm. How much clearer does it need to be? Part of the point of his project was to not hand hold everyone, and I think that this was quite right. If you begin hand holding, where would you stop? It was also an effective way of sorting out good players from mediocre ones. Gevlon in-guild was never a problem to deal with. if anything he was quite pleasant and there were a few guild chat conversations that I was involved in where a fair mount of joking around was to be had, with Gevlon included. Don’t get me wrong; if you said something really stupid then you would be called on it. But for me the guild was always a pleasant place to be, and with the high degree of talent present, you could always find an answer to any issue you were having with the toon that you were levelling.

I discovered one thing during this project – I am not a fast leveller. Having to reroll on a new server meant no access to heirloom items and, while some guildies levelled like a rocket, a good percentage of us took a lot longer to progress. Added to the fact that a part of the project rules was that you could not play a class that you already raided with, and it took a while to get up there. I rolled a mage due to Gevlon posting on his blog that he needed them. Maybe I should have rolled a healer or a tank but I have never played one of those at end game level and I just would not be comfortable being in a raid situation under a good amount of pressure and with my bad results potentially displayed for the blogging world to see. So I stuck with DPS. To be honest, I did not and still do not understand why Gevlon insisted on us not playing a familiar class. The project aim is to clear raid content in blues. Why give everyone the additional handicap of not being able to play classes with which they are very familiar? I would have been very happy playing a rogue, but due to the rules I was not allowed. I would have also immediately paid for a transfer and a faction change if I could have used my main so as to not waste time levelling. But levelling we had to do, and levelling takes time. (Gevlon is also insiting on new toons for his Inglorious Gankers project, which I also do not understand. I have transferred my rogue to that realm and am waiting for the time when level 80 toons can come in. Until then I am useless to the project).

I also think that this post by Gevlon didn’t help things. In it he gives a little bit of grief to a guild hunter about his DPS on a run. The hunter responded to the post three times explaining why he had problems. Gevlon didn’t respond to him on the post. Perhaps he responded in private, but that would not give any of the other guildies peace of mind. Perhaps people were thinking, I could be the next one to inadvertandly do badly and be written about a few days later. It is not an inducement to show up for a raid run. If a leader humiliates a team member in public then there is a very good chance that he will do it to others. This erodes team loyalty and a willingness to give your best.

I like and admire Gevlons projects. He comes up with very good ideas that nobody else has thought of or has the balls to attempt. He risks public failure in doing these, and while that may not effect a goblin like him personally, it may effect his blog. But he is willing to take those risks and for that I admire him. Yet I think that his projects could be planned better. It is already a challenge to clear end game content in blues or make hordies lives impossible on a clear Horde server – why put obstacles in your path that would make it more difficult for you, such as insisting on everyone starting new and unfamiliar toons? And I think that Gevlon has to learn that a big part of good leadership is about lifting people up not putting them down.

I’ve come to the conclusion that perhaps I just suck big fat donkey balls as a rogue. It could be possible. I mean, a lot of us live lives of delusion, why should I be any different? Here’s what I remember from levelling my rogue all those years ago – don’t take on too many mobs, particularly at lower levels. Lets say, around level 25 or so. What abilities has a combat rogue got? You can Sap, you can Distract, you can do not fucking much really. You can sneak around, hit a guy on the head. But get toe to toe with a bunch of mobs, say more than two, and you are seriously up shit creek without a paddle. And with nothing to drink probably.

I was thinking this because I’ve been watching my mate Mark play his shaman that he rolled on SAN. Mark lives in Australia but comes over every year to take advantage of the fact that I live in the Italian Alps in front of a ski resort. He says that he comes to hang out with me, I know better. Anyway, he rolled a restoration shaman at the same time as I rolled my protection warrior, and we’ve been buddying it up through instances and group quests and just generally hanging out in WoW whilst drinking a combination of Hendricks gin and tonic, excellent Italian wine, some semi-decent beer and a damn good cognac that he brought over. Oh and cuban mini cigars, it’s been fun. And I’ve been watching him sometimes play this shaman. Today I was watching him when he took on 6, count them 6 level 28 mobs at the same time. He was level 25. He has an ability that gives him back mana when mobs hit him. Then he puts up a totem that heals him and a totem that fires flames at the mobs and a totem that brings him a fucking coffee, I don’t know, and he wears the mobs down through sheer perserverance. And then after he took out all those mobs he calmly went over and took down the level 30 elite that was the subject of his quest. By himself.

You just can’t do this on a rogue at a similar level, or at least I can’t do this. So maybe I am the suckiness. Maybe I should change the name of this blog to ‘The Noisy Guy who Plays WoW like a Cockhead’ or something. Are there rogues out there at level 25 that can take on 6 level 28 mobs at the same time? Please tell me if you can and then go and get stuffed because I hate you. I mean, at least after you tell me how you do it because I never could. I remeber levelling a rogue as being … challenging. Challenging in the sense of, jesus christ is this ever going to end? It’s a long hard slog as a rogue, well at least it was back in the day. Perhaps it’s easier now, is it easier now? I don’t want to go and level another rogue, I have a rogue, why would I want to do that again? In fact, why would anyone reroll a toon of a class that they already played to level 80? Why would you do that? Over at Kurns Corner she has a post up about Christian Chase responding to her investigative digging of a few weeks back. In his response he writes that he has had 4 rogues and 3 paladins over the years since vanilla WoW. I mean, I just don’t get that. I don’t get that at all. You levelled a rogue and then you levelled another three. What, you didn’t like their hair? Can someone please explain this to me? Why wouldn’t you try something different like for instance a fucking shaman that can take on a freaking football team at the same time and give them all a run for their money. In a purely platonic sense of course.

I’m enjoying my warrior, my mage was a breeze to level, but thinking back on a rogue, it was hard. Perhaps that’s why we don’t see many rogues around the place. On SAN, rogues are the least represented class and we have over 120 unique accounts and something like 230 toons. I think there are about 6 rogues, that’s it. Hardest class in the game? You tell me.

I’ve been mulling this over for a few days, turning it over in the back of my pea-sized intellect. I avoided posting it because I thought that maybe it would be better for all concerned if the huge blogging drama due to Crankyhealer deleting her blog over Anna’s post would just slip quietly away. But I think that there are things to be said. It can be difficult to comment on these types of things because so much has been written, both on blogs and in comments, that you can easily fall into the trap of writing inaccurate information. And I may well fall into this trap here, and if I do, I apologise.

The thing is, in everyday life we always have two decisions for anything that we do – yes and no. Shall I do this? Yes or no. The ability to decide, the freedom to decide if you will, is what gives each of us our personal power. People in say North Korea for example, do not have this ability. But with decision making comes responsibility for our decisions and subsequent actions. When I originally posted about Cranky leaving a few days ago I kept my post deliberately vague as I did not have all the information at hand and I knew it. Now that I have some more information I feel better able to give my own opinion on this.

Cranky wrote a post that, when I originally read it, I thought that it was a little bit risquè. And Anna called her on it. But those commentators attacking Anna for her actions because of the consequence of Cranky deleting her blog fail to realise that Anna did not delete that blog. Cranky did. She has her own personal power, she has complete freedom to decide yes or no, and she decided. It has nothing to do with Anna. To say otherwise would infer that Cranky was powerless. Which is not the case.

I myself have called out other bloggers in the past, and I don’t mince words when I do it. I respect a blogger who has the guts to call someone out, but I respect even more a blogger who picks themselves up when shown to be wrong and tries to do better the next time. And I do not agree at all that a bigger blogger has a responsibility to treat smaller blogs with kid gloves. I will give each and every new blog the same treatment that I would afford an established blog. This is treating them with respect. This is working to create a level playing field. If you step into the playground then you must accept the reality of the playground. The reality is that some people have been there for a lot longer. If a new blogger chooses to write something on their blog then that is their decision and they should stand by the consequences of what they have written. Not pick up their toys and flounce off home.

Big Kahuna, my awesome Tauran protection warrior is now level 22. I ran a few instances over the weekend with SAN, with my buddy Sparky healing on his new tauran shaman. So we had a ready made Tank/Healer team and just needed to pick up DPS. You remember DPS, right? They’re those pathetic people whose job is so easy a chimp could do it. Anyway, we ran Deadmines, Shadowfang Keep and Blackfathom Deeps. We didn’t wipe in any of these runs, and I think we only had a single death in one of them. Sparky is having a great time with healing – he seems to have found his niche. My tanking is coming along. I’m having some troubles switching from one mob to another to keep threat sometimes, particularly if I have more than 3 mobs. Warriors have Thunder clap, but that has a 6 second timer which is a long, long time when you’re trying to keep aggro on a bunch of mobs. So you pull the group, thunderclap, then Cleave, then switch targets to throw a taunt on them, then back to the original and hit thunderclap again, all the while having to keep an eye out for other mobs or what is going on around you. It’s complex, and you can find yourself falling victim to a wave of panic rising in you when you see that everything is going pear shaped.

That happened to me at the Murlock boss in Blackfathom Deeps. I tried to pull carefully, but inevitably one of the little bastards got away from me and pulled a whole bunch of his mates. So I was completely absorbed in trying as best as I could to keep the whole room away from the boss. Which I managed to do, but the fight must have taken a good few minutes to get them all down. We finished the run and I was outside doing a stupid warrior quest to get some Brutal Armor, (honestly, what the hell were they thinking with this quest? They send you all over the world to get the bits, you rock up to the Hillsbrad Foothills to get one of the four components and the mobs are level 28? When you’re a level 20 warrior when they give you this quest? I mean, what the fuck is that all about??)

Anyway, I was doing my thing and one of my guildies who was on most of our dungeon runs with his paladin whispered me and asked if I could come back to Blackfathom and give him a hand with a PuG gone wrong. He was tanking so I’d have to dps, but I wanted to give him a hand and back I went, (yey LFG teleport function). They had wiped in the same murlock room and a bunch of them had left. So we got back in the queue and filled up the places and … wiped again. It wasn’t the tanking, nor the healing, it was the DPS. And I remembered back to our own run just an hour previously and I remembered what I had thought when we eventually cleared that room with the big fight, and it was, thank god the DPS were onto it, (which I wasn’t really, to be honest, as a protection warrior at level 22 specced for tanking just doesn’t really pump out the numbers and I didn’t want to use thunderclap as I was worried about stealing the threat).

Tanking is tough, don’t get me wrong. But if anything it has given me a new insight and appreciation into how important good DPS are, and how they shouldn’t be taken for granted. And the fact that you need three of them means that there is a good chance you are going to find at least one who doesn’t know what he is doing. Kudos to all the players in my guild, Single Abstract Noun, as every one of them has been top notch on every run we have done. So this is a shoutout for DPS appreciation.

Incedently, Troll Racials has a post up today about Blizzard failing to teach new players about talents. I have to say, if I didn’t have Achtung Panzercows freaking awesome guides to learn to tank from, I’d be buggered.

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