I got a drop. The other night, in ICC. It was just a little drop, a small thing, nothing to write home about by the name of …

Flesh Carving Scalpel, oh my god, holy bucket of snot!

Not that I’m excited or anything.

Regular readers of my blog, (all 7.3 of you), will know that I have had a dry run with regards to getting some daggers. So this baby dropped and there were two rogues in the raid – me, and some other rogue. Now normally this would be the cause of great angst to your truly as I can tell you right now that I do not have either achievement called needy or greedy or whatever they’re called. You know, the achievements for rolling 100 on something? Yeah, I don’t have those. Cause I don’t roll 100. My roll is closer to the 10 side of things. If there was an achievement for you suck at rolling then I would have had that a long time ago. That could be a good achievement line:

You suck at rolling – roll 1 on a need roll.

You still suck at rolling – roll under 10 on 20 need rolls.

You suck at rolling so much you should just stop rolling. – that would be me.

Anyway, there was no horrible random rolling problem here as this was a GDKP run. And you know I love those. So we start bidding. The rogue bids 100g, and I’m just about to bid when the hunter bids 250g. Now, I know this is a joke on her part but the other rogue immediately starts screaming and calling her a huntard. I’m assuming that he didn’t know that she is Gevlons girlfriend …

So I bid 500g, just to get things moving. He increases it to 600g which tells me that he is trying to keep the bid low. Awww … he’s trying to keep the bid low.

1000g from me.

1100g from the rogue.

1500g from me.

There is a long pause, then the rogue says; “Come on, just stop already.” Just stop already? I haven’t even got started. I’ll take this all the way to 10,000 if I have to. The rogue bids a measely 1600g. I top it off to 2000g. There is a looonnng wait. Is there a time limit on how long we can wait? Eventually the rogue says;

“Why are you even bidding, you won’t even use it!”

Ah, I see. You’re looking at my combat spec and thinking that I won’t even use it. Have you ever heard of dual fucking specs and that we are doing these raids to get drops for our little PvP mission that the guild was made for in the first place you moron??

I don’t say that of course. I just mention politely that I also have a mutilate spec. This rogue only joined the guild a week previously. He left his other guild on the realm because he wasn’t getting to raid ICC enough. Yes, you heard it right. The ganking guild is now getting recruits from the two major raiding guilds on the realm to do ICC. They were making fun of our raiding prowess a few weeks ago. We’re now 10/12 in ICC and last night we got Sindy down to, wait for it, 33,000 health before we all keeled over and died. No Alliance guild on the realm has got the Lich King down yet. It will be a source of wet dreams for us if our pvp guild can do it before the raiding guilds can. Because don’t forget that we have been concentrating on pvp gear. Some of our guildies have mega-awesome PvE setups, but a lot of us don’t. I have an ilvl 200 trinket, 213 wrists, 219 boots and 226 chest among my other crappy pieces. But still we’re 10 from 12.

So anyway, back to the bidding. His next bid is 1600g and 5 sets of leg armor, I can’t even remember what they’re called. This is amusing, I thought. Can I throw in a stack of abyss crystals? How about some fish feasts? But then Gevlon comes out with the news that his bid is now worth 2400g taking into account the AH value of the leg armor. What the fuck? It’s not valued at didley squat until he sells it. I thought this was gold bidding? Can I throw in my grandmother too? (I would have if it were possible).

So I bid 2500g. Gevlon just wanted to bump up the price as he loves weapon drop bidding wars. The dagger is mine. I hand over the gold and gaze at its icon with a tenderness bordering on madness. I will never disenchant you my beloved, never ever ever.

After the raid wraps I go and look up my new piece on wowhead. I love doing this as I get to read the long list of comments from people saying how much they love it and how they wish they could have one. But then … only 2 comments. And they’re saying how much the itemization sucks. What the fuck do they know anyway?

The Ruby Sanctum loot list is up and I can honestly say that I am underwhelmed. How underwhelmed? More underwhelmed than a troop of boy scouts being given a single badge? More underwhelmed than being told by your boss that your expected pay rise has been deferred until 2020? More underwhelmed than a hooker being told that she’s a pretty good lay? Yes, more underwhelmed than all of those.

We have in 10 man loot a chest, a ring and a neck piece. In 25 man loot we have some armbands, the same ring and neck and a trinket. Well, whoopee fucking poopee. Would it be too much to ask for some fucking weapons? Like some daggers? Or how about some cool stuff that we can’t get from badges, like some boots? Those would be nice. Nope, none of the above.

“But we get a trinket!”, I hear you say. Have you seen the stats on that trinket? Armor penetration and attack power. And what 2 stats are going the way of the dodo in Cataclysm? Lets see … having a look here … hmmm …

Armor penetration and attack power. So you tell me what the fuck is going on and I’ll give you a few more scout badges.

Gevlon has a post up today about a little situation in our guild the other night concerning a guildie who got saved to ICC and then when asked why in guild chat replied with, ‘That’s your problem.’ Apparently Gevlon got whispers that he should kick the ‘traitor’, which I find incredible as if you know Gevlon that is a good way to find yourself kicked as a result. However, I did reply in guild chat myself at being disappointed in his decision to get saved. And he won’t find me bending over backwards to help him in the future either. Does this make me a dreaded social?

ICC is starting to become hugely important, and that is for one reason: weapon upgrades. At the moment I have 232 weapons. The only upgrades I can get are from ICC or Arena. The problem with Arena weapons is that they require an 1800 rating. The problem with getting that rating is that once you find yourself above 1200 your opponents for the most part have ICC weapons. So you hit a sort of advancement brick wall. There aren’t that many daggers in ICC either. And we cannot include drops from 25mans as we’re not going to get into those in the forseeable future. Lets have a look at them and where they drop:

Bloodsipper, which drops from the Blood Queen.

Flesh carving Scalpel, which drops from Putricide.

That’s it. Oh, the Lich King has a drop as well but yeah, I don’t think we’ll be seeing him anytime soon. Lets be honest, I don’t like our chances of seeing these two bosses anytime soon either with a once a week raid that some ‘smart guildies’ give up on to go and PuG the first boss with another group.

And if we manage to get one of these bosses down and one of these 2 daggers drop? Every rogue in the raid will be wetting themselves over these. And here is the big problem with guildies pugging this raid over coming with us. Gevlon announced a few weeks ago that we would be using a GDKP system to distribute loot, partly as a means of ramping up our interest in the AH. I love gold runs as it means I have a much better chance of getting the drop that I want. Yet when we dropped Marrowgar on Sunday and we went to distribute the loots, we were told to roll. The reason? We had to PuG a couple of players from outside the guild. So the big effect of guildies getting themselves saved to ICC is that we cannot use gold to bid on the drops and have to instead press the horrible ‘/roll’. I tend to sacrifice a small child just before hitting enter, you know, for luck.

It’s worth mentioning that there are a couple of dagger drops in Trial of the Crusader, but these are only worth getting on heroic mode, and even then it is a small upgrade from a 232 weapon. There is a real dagger brick wall in end-game WoW at the moment. And we all know that a rogue lives and dies on their weapons. It’s not worth trying to PuG these raids as you are certain to get a fail group. It’s a tricky situation for us dagger dependant rogues and unless I get very lucky I seem to be in a right pickle.

I was in Dalaran standing around waiting for a guildie to give me some enchanting mats when I suddenly got invited to a group by a stranger. Almost as quickly the invite disappeared and then I got a whisper of apology. It was another rogue. I whispered back;

“Those damn invite and inspect buttons are just too close for comfort, eh?”
“Indeed,” was his reply.

Truth be told, I myself had inspected him only a few moments before, checking out his impressive ilvl 264 weapons which I would do naughty things to an elephant in order to be able to get my hands on. The rest of his gear was all top level PvE stuff as well, nicely gemmed and enchanted. A wonderous thing to look apon. Some of his gear had the little heroic label on it and some of it was obviously from 25 man ICC. The best gear I ever saw on a rogue was back in BC when I saw a rogue decked out with all the top gear and the legendary twinblades. Man that dude looked cool.

Blizzard has announced that they will be giving the same gear and achievements to 10 and 25 man raids in the next expansion. There has been a lot of wailing and crying and happy people about this announcement in the time since, though things have quietened down somewhat in the last few days. I myself am happy with the change but I do think that it will be the death of 25 man raids for the simple fact that there will be no way to demonstrate to somebody inspecting you in Dalaran that you have run it. In short, running 25 mans with all the extra hassle and difficulty will garner you no prestige. You will have no special gear or achievements. There will be no way for you to show off with it. And this prestige goes a long way to getting players to put up with all the hassle of 25 man runs. Oh sure, maybe you’ll be able to find 10 or 15 players who still want to run 25 mans. But you won’t be able to flesh out the rest of the raid with the players who were doing it for epeen glory.

The question then is, where will the prestige be found? Arena gear will no longer have ratings either. Will the prestige be found in mounts? The common player needs the pull of potential prestige, even if they don’t have a realistic chance to get it. I hope Blizzard keeps this in mind for the next expansion, because otherwise we may see a decline in WoW.

In yesterdays post, Sid responded to me with a well written and articulate argument – that the new epic-gear system is good because of the trouble that it alleviates for new players. I quote:

” … I’ll tell you what happened to me: I reached level cap for the first time (lvl 70) at the end of the BC, a month or two before Wrath.

The way progression worked then, was Normals -> Heroics -> Kara -> etc, etc up to Black Temple and Sunwell. You couldn’t “jump” from Tier 4 to Tier 6, you had to do it all in order. Sounds logical and fair right?

Now, going on with my story, When I hit 70 I didn’t have good enough gear for heroics, I had to do normals. Nobody did normals at that time. I had to be carried by my guild through Karazhan for badges but it was hard to get a spot since everybody in the guild wanted to steamroll Kara for “ez-epikz lol”, and my gear level didn’t allow me to PuG it.

So I couldn’t start raiding, because I was “too late”. Imagine if we had the same system now. How many guilds do you see doing Naxx nowadays? …”

I agree that new players who wish to raid need to be geared up. And he does have a valid argument in a lot of ways. But what Sid went through in BC being boosted by his guild, isn’t that what a guild is for? This is a MMORG, right? So it’s supposed to be a multi-player game. If you get boosted by your guild through Naxx you are guarenteed a few drops. And if it coincides with the weekly raid, then they’re in for a big haul of 10 badges as well, (as are you.) Plus they might do the run with just 8 or 9 players for an achivement. There are a lot of incentives already to get players to go back through those runs.

” … People that doesn’t raid has raid-level gear (not the same as “raid gear”). How is that bad for the game or the community? If the reason you kill raid bosses for is loot, then you miss the whole point of raiding: “You don’t raid to get gear, you get gear to raid” the motto of almost every dedicatesd raider.

And I still see people bring up these point of “better gear to differentiate us (the raiders) from the rest”. I feel really sorry for those who need to jerk their e-peen and show “superiority” to others in order to feel acomplished.

It’s no different from the idiot in real life who buys a Ferrari just to get other people’s attetion and show how “successful in life” he is.

“I haz Ferrari lol, Im better than U”

Isn’t that what Gevlon calls a “social”? …”

But the rest of the argument is facetious – this is a gear based game. When I play any game for a long period of time I do it for the pull. The pull here is the gear. The rarer the gear, the more special, the more I want to get it. Not to “wave my e-peen”, but to get satisfaction from the way the game has been set up from the beginning. This was the challenge – to get the rare gear so as to be able to perform well in raids. There has always been a small percentage of the player base from the beginning who wanted this, and Blizzard catered for them. Because these are the players who stay with the game for the long haul. They are the rock-solid base on which the company making the game, in this case Blizzard, can rely on to pay their costs month in, month out. The other players are the socials, those that flit in and out, those that were never video gamers but came in because maybe they saw it on South Park. And both groups were happy. Until the general mass began to complain about the raiding situation. They wanted that gear too but just “didn’t have the time to raid.”

I don’t have the time to raid either. I never have. My absolute maximum number of nights that I can raid a week is two. Sometimes I can stretch it to three. This has been the case for me all the way through WoW. And I have managed to keep up with the gear. It was a challenge, don’t get me wrong, but that’s the whole point.

Not any more. Blizzard has left no challenge that leaves a feeling of satisfaction because they have redisigned their game away from its core beginning. Iron bound protodrake? Please. I have to be honest with you, I don’t even know what that looks like. There are so many mounts now that they’re all beginning to look the same.

The idea of making blues the new purples, of getting this content down without having one epic, this is a challenge. And what’s more, it feels like I am stepping off the epic-band-wagon-merry-go-round that raiding has become. I just hope that they don’t catch on on our realm and jack the price of blues.

A long time ago, when I was a little level 50 rogue, I ran the Sunken Temple. It was my first time in the instance, and I ran it with friends that I had made over the course of my slow leveling progress. We took our time in the instance, as only one other of the group had been in there before. He was a paladin tank, and he was excellent in that role. We finally got down to the Shade of Eranikus boss, and got him down after one wipe.

Then this dropped, oh my god.

It was the first epic that I had ever seen in the game, and it was a sword. I used swords. I was a combat sword rogue. This did great damage, had okay speed, and it called forth up to three dragon whelps at a time to fight for you in battle. There was much excitement in the group but we managed to stay calm and then the paladin and I rolled on it – and I won.

My first ever epic. I had The Hanzo Sword as my off-hand and the two together made not only for a righteous fury type damage/speed/proc combination, they also looked amazingly cool. I was a level 50 rogue and I would get stopped in Stormwind by level 60 rogues complimenting me on my weapons. I was proud of my swords, as any good rogue would be to have these equipped at that level. And having an epic was, well, epic.

Not anymore. We’ve all heard this argument before, too many epcis, welfare epics, blah blah blah. And I agree. So why am I writing this now? Well, the new patch 3.3 has ushered in a new era of players getting gear. It’s extremely easy to have epics. Everyone has epics. My mum has epics and she doesn’t even play wow. The point is, epics don’t mean anything anymore. Raiding isn’t high end, hell, with the new LFG system you can get geared for raids and do raids without being a member of a guild. I know, I’m doing it.

But now that I am fully geared in epics, do I feel more epic than when I got that first epic drop? Nope, not one bit. That first epic felt special. Epics that I earned in Burning Crusade felt special as well. I came into Northrend fully geared in epic 70’s, but holy damn did I earn those things. I think that my last one remained until about level 76. But now everyone has epics. It has been the great social leveling crusade in WoW. We’re a communist game now, comrades. Epics for all. You all deserve epics, you are all special little flowers.

Well, I’ve been running with some people with epics in these LFG groups that are most certainly not special little flowers. Special little retards maybe, but not flowers. How can you have epics equipped in every slot and put out 1200 DPS? That requires sincere and lasting commitment to being a retard.

Which leads me to my next point – if epics are not special anymore, what is?

I have the answer – Blues. Yes, you heard it right, blues are the new purples.

I have joined the Greedy Goblin on his quest to raid in blues. I rolled a new toon on that realm, gave him a whisper and got an invite to the guild. The guild is interesting. For a start, it’s an instant demotion if you write, “lol.” You are demoted to “lolled” rank. As some of my regular readers know, I really hate the use of lol, so this sits very well with me. Another nice aspect – nobody says “grats” when an achievement pops up in guild chat. I really, really like this. There are about 50 of us in the guild, and we are all running around leveling and helping each other. No doubt some regular retards have snuck in, but for now everyone is doing their level best to not stick out as a moron. Time will get the better of some of them of course.

I will periodically post updates of how this is going. I hope that it will be epic.

Thursday is my day off which coincided well with the release of patch 3.3 yesterday. After lunch I jumped online to see what was up for offer. The first thing was to check my addons. At this point in time, Deadly Boss mods and Atlasloot have been updated and are working fine. Omen3 and recount have not. The next thing was to get my attunement for the Frozen Halls 5 man dungeon. I used the new looking for group feature which uses your realms battlegroup to find players for you to run the instance with. It was a bit slow, we had a 10 minute wait at one point to find another tank, but it worked quite well. As recount is not working I was not able to compare damage charts, but our group which had a hunter and shadow priest with me for DPS worked well. The hunter was mostly geared in lvl 245 gear and we had no problems running through the three dungeon wings. A lot of plate dropped. In fact, only plate dropped. And a two handed hammer. And a tanking cape. Sucks to be us. The dungeon was interesting, and I must say that I like attunements. Also the emblems really start piling up quickly.

I am still specced combat and I am going to stay that way unless I get some awesome dagger drops. I will be the lone rogue flying the combat flag. Yey me. The big news though is the daily raid quest. This awards 5 emblems of frost and 5 triumph. Holy crapparoony. Today all you have to do is take down Ignis the Furnace master. You can do it in 10 or 25 man, heroic or normal. I think that this is a game changing feature. You will be able to use this to gear up to raid without being in a raiding guild. And seeing as I am now guildless, this will be a nice little experiment for me to try out. The Looking for Group interface does not list raids anymore. For that you need to go into the new raid browser. Here is a guide.

The other big news? The next wing of Icecrown opens in 28 days. As I thought, Blizzard is going to string this one out. They say that the next one will be released quicker. Yeah, it’ll be 25 days.

I still have to run the Heroic version of the new 5 man instance, which I’m planning on doing tonight. The normal version was not that challenging – it was a lot of fun, but we never even looked like wiping. I have heard that the Heroic version is a good deal harder, we shall see this evening. What else? Apart from a constant stream of players spamming chat for Battered Hilts, that’s about it. Encrypted Text has a post up listing the new gear in the patch. Have fun wading through all of that. One thing about the gear, they are really pushing Haste and armor penetration. As Chase says, Hit is becoming a rare stat in Wrath end game.

Me? I’m hoping to find some new swords. Bugger those dagegrs for a joke.