Wednesday, September 26, 2012

MoP Night One

Completely unoriginal title, I know. Everyone else is likely recounting how they did The Dew all night and blitzed to levels uncounted. SO MANY LEVELS. Like a fighter jet made of biceps.

I derped around for about an hour. Went something like this...

First time logging into a new server? Oh yeah, all my local macros are gone. Exit, copy paste, reload. Ah, there they are. Hmm... things still look like crap.

Logout, check "out of date" box (WHY WON'T YOU JUST STAY CHECKED), reload.

Forgot this. Reload.

Forgot that. Reload.

Why is the bar not moving? Alt-F4. Alt-F4. Alt-F4 MOTHA.... screw it, Ctrl-Alt-Del. Task manager, Click-click-click.

Re-login. Hmm, let's uncheck this, and that. Nope, still not loading.

Task manager, Click-click-click.

Re-login. Don't need that or this. Uncheck, uncheck.

Ah, there we go. This doesn't look half bad. What am I again? Right, Warlock. Let's make these bars pretty. Ooh! A quest... Anduin?! Noooooo!

Crap, it's midnight. I gotta work tomorrow. *sigh* Exit game...

So yeah, my first night was a typical first night with a patch. More time spent getting things set up than actual playing. Maybe tonight I'll actually kill things.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Realm Transfer

What did I do last night in preparation for MoP? Realm transfer. That's right. I got my butt off of Lothar and onto Alexstrasza. Stuff happened, and I decided to leave before things got awkward, and try my luck with a new guild. It helps that I have family in this other guy (and I'd been wanting to try to raid with them for a while now). We'll see how it goes.

Originally, I was planning to take today off and spend time with the game. Unfortunately, my life took an abrupt right turn in the last month. One of the contributing factors is that my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. She's having surgery this Thursday, so that's where my day off went. Gotta have priorities, right?

This is the time of year when I'm busy coaching high school football, so even without the added complication of a serious family illness, my playing time is limited. Thus, I'm probably going to be way, way behind the rest of you when it comes to experiencing the expansion. I'm just going to pretend that everyone else is equally slow (some undoubtedly are), so if you are reading, feeling like, "that is so last month," be kind, rewind, and re-enjoy the moment with me.

Incidentally, October is breast cancer awareness month in the US. Consider me aware.

Here's your tidbit if you're a woman. They caught my mom's cancer as part of that whole "cold smush" (as we sometimes call it) routine procedure. It's "stage 0" which is as early as you can get. It's also very slow growing, so we're in great shape. The point here is DO NOT NEGLECT REGULAR HEALTH CHECK UPS. That's your service message of the day. Cuz, like, seriously... cancer sucks.

Happy Panda-ing. Sorry to be Buzz Killington today with the srs bzns, but it explains why I'm sort of out to lunch when it comes to keeping up with an informative and entertaining blog. Also, I thought it would be helpful to know that the realm transfer went smoothly, so if you're on my new realm, feel free to say "hi."

Thursday, September 20, 2012

ZOMG Theramore

I have to say, I wasn't as disappointed with the Theramore scenarios as some others. Probably had to do with keeping my expectations low. There were things to do. It didn't take long, and that was nice. A good preview of scenarios, from what I hear. And when that bomb... Like, I can't believe they could even go so far as to. And Jaina, what a mage! She was totally and completely a mage. She needs to embrace her inner Warlock. I mean, I know, read the grimoire or whatever, but if she'd just summon a horde of demons, I'll be she could just slay the Warcheif.

Wait, what's that you say? I've not even played the scenario yet! I'm just stringing together meaningless phrases that represent a regurgitation of the deluge of recaps I've read? No way! It totally and completely feels like I've experienced it first hand. Like that time when I binge-watched Pearl Harbor and really thought I'd been a cook that had to step up and man an AA gun on a docked destroyer. Then, I thought... no way could we have had an entire fleet of combatants chilling in Hawaii and let a whole bunch of enemies get so close. That's totally unrealistic. (And you thought I was going to pick on the Ben Affleck character, didn't you? Affleck, Aff'lock. Get it? There.)

I wish blogging let me do Family Guy-esque cut-scenes. I look nothing like Cuba. It'd be hilarious.

Also, who doesn't have a crush on Kate Beckinsale?


Aaaaand lunch time.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Rapid Cast Expansion

Fulguralis: Well, this is nice.
Spaz: candy?!
Felspaz: Did-someone-say-candy?
Spaz: Whoareyou?Whoareyou?Whoareyou?
*Two voices, unintelligible arguing.*
Spaz: Felspaz. That-is-your-name.
Felspaz: Call-me-imp.Call-me-fire.Call-me-maybe, I-do-not-care! I. WANT. CANDY.
Fulguralis: You're kidding, right?
*Big Crash*
Fulguralis: Aaaand there go the lights.
Midnight: Awwww, big strong man is afraid of the dark. You know, some of the yummiest happen in the dark.
Spaz: ca-Ca-CA-CANDY?
Felspaz: Candy-candy!
Candi: Who keeps yelling for me?
Midnight: Mmmmm, speak of the devil.
Candi: Horny, baby?
Fulguralis: No. Affliction. I'm not into Demonality... Hey! Hands to yourself!
Candi: All six of them?
Midnight: C'mon, Mr. Warlock, nothing wrong with a little...
Spaz: SUGAR!
Felspaz: Sugar-sugar!
Berry Blue: No, they mean looooove.
Spaz: PIE?
Berry Blue: Long, slow, easy...
Spaz: Licorice?
Felspaze: Black-licorice. It's-bigger.
Spaz: No-no, it-just-looks...
Lord of V: I got this one, Berry.
Berry Blue: How about a duet?
Lord of V: Ooooh, good idea my brotha.
Fulguralis: Honestly, where is that music coming from? We don't own a saxophone.
Candi: We're going to...
Midnight: ....sax you up...
Candi: you like an instrument...
Midnight: ...with whipped cream on my...
Felspaz: You-scream?
Spaz: No-you-idiot. Ice...
Felspaz: You-are-the-idiot. It'sa-joke. You-are-supposed-to...
Berry Blue: This is a song about looooove.
LoV: *High Pitch* Listen as we sing about looove.
Midnight: ... and then we'll take your...
Candi: ...with the reverse...
Berry Blue: ...when the night is young...
LoV: *High Pitch* Night is yoooooung.
Spaz: I-said-ice-cream-and-you-said...
Felspaz: I-know-what-I-said-you-little...
Spaz: You're-little-too! HAhAHAHAHa...
*Sparkie starts barking wildly in the background*
Fulguralis: Faaaantastic.
*Sounds of Imp arguing, smooth singing, and sexy purring form an incoherent deluge of noise.*
Fulguralis: Guys... does anyone else see that floating... what is that? Guys? GUYS! What is it doing?!
Fulguralis: Evil I, is that you?
Evil I: Yes.
Fulguralis: What...ah... what are you doing?
Evil I: Observing.
Spaz and Felspaz, simultaneously: Creepy.
Midnight: Creepy.
Candi: Creepy.
Berry Blue: Creepy.
LoV: Creepy.
Fulguralis: Yeah, creepy.
Evil I: It's what I do.
Spaz: First!
*Things devolve back into screeching, barking, singing, and moaning.*
Fulguralis: Supremecy, huh? Bah! Shoulda went with Sacrifice...

Friday, September 14, 2012

Random Aside

Life has gotten "Holy Crap" crazy and complicated for me lately. As such, my gaming focus may be somewhat blurred. Don't expect big things from this corner of the blogosphere, and you won't be disappointed. I still plan to write about random things (hopefully gaming related), but I guess I just wanted to say: Beware Incoming Erratic Posting Behavior. No ETA yet on when the skies might clear.

Today's post is brought to you by anyone who has ever said "Well, X number of people can't be wrong."

I saw that today, in relation to a game. I forget exactly where (see aforementioned crazy/complicated disclaimer). Might have been about GW2 or TSW or WTFBBQ. All equally likely.

Whatever the case, it went something like, "Well 60,000 people can't be wrong, so obviously this game must be great." Maybe I'm completely making up this sentence, since I'm not sure where the 60k number comes from. Maybe it was a commercial on the radio. What can I say, mentally disheveled blogger is... you know the rest.

In any case, it got me thinking. There's like 311,591,917 people in America (according to the US Census in July 2011, anyway). That means that what such a claim is really saying is that 0.01% of the population can't be wrong. And that's just for America (I may be mistakenly assuming that the 60k figure was referring to people in America. It doesn't really specify. Global would be much, much smaller).

I'm pretty sure 0.01% of people very much CAN be wrong. In fact, it's probably very likely that, given any decision ever, at least 0.01% of the decisions makers choose poorly. Even if it's something simple like, "Is murdering someone wrong?" I'm pretty sure I could round up 60k people in America that would totally agree with murder.

Just because a lot of people do something doesn't mean absolutely Jack or Squat about the inherent value of the product or event. Upon reflection, the whole "a bunch of people are doing it" marketing like maybe the stupidest since adding "50 Shades of..." in front of everything known to man.

Couldn't we just flip that on its head and say, well if only 60k are doing something then the other 311,531,917ish people are NOT doing that same thing. That's a lot of people not doing something. When you put it that way, it probably sucks, right?

It just doesn't make any sense.

I suppose I shouldn't search for some sort of deep truth in marketing statements, should I? It's pretty transparent what the point of the line is. It just struck me this morning is all, and I wanted to rant about it. Probably the ultimate lesson is this:

Don't ever do something solely because a whole bunch of other people are doing something.

Unless we're talking like running from a rampaging pack of bears riding jumping sharks and wielding sniper rifles. Then, yeah, probably a good idea to follow the crowd and get the F away. Especially if you see little red dots on everyone's foreheads. Just make sure you're not around a bunch of folks with bindis before jumping to an incorrect conclusion.

(Yeah, I didn't know that was what it was called, either.)

Monday, September 10, 2012

LoL - A Close Second

If Morgana is my favorite champion, then Caitlyn has swiftly risen to a close second. She is completely win in almost every way. I even dig that she's not completely over-the-top sexy like most of the other female characters. In a League dominated by impressive cleavage, she's very sheriff-next-door.

The sound of her crazy steam-punk sniper rifle is completely satisfying. I feel like a badass killing minions. Boom, headshot. Perfect.

As I approach 30, it seems to me that the way to go, at least for a newbie summoner (and I consider anyone still trying to hit 30 for the firs time a "newbie"), is to find two playstyles you're comfortable with and the build accordingly. For instance, I've tried many champions at this point, and have decided that melee life is just not for me. I'm terrible on it. I become a feeder. It doesn't matter if it's AP, AD, or tank. I need range.

Are there any true ranged tanks in LoL? If so, I've not found them yet. Morgana seems to come pretty close. I can build her so that she's a good instigator and can take a beating. The higher I get, the more important it is to have at least one tanky character. Late team play gets really tough without them.

With my proclivity toward ranged, this pretty much leaves me with AP carry, AD carry, or adopting a support role. I wanted, then, to become proficient with both an AP and AD champion. I like to think I'm generally carry, but the truth is I probably play support most of the time. There's always That Guy on your random team that thinks he's the greatest. I've found that it's far more productive to support him, bail his ass out, and make sure he becomes the true Power Overwhelming that he is in his mind. (I'm using the male pronoun, but it could be a she or it as well. Just roll with the stereotype, please.)

I should mention that That Guy isn't always wrong. I'm not saying that it's always a made up awesomeness. I've run into some players that really knew how to carry a team, and I'm happy to tack on assists to their kill count. Needless to say, I don't much subscribe to the complaining about "KS" magazine. I'm just find with having 20+ assists and less than five deaths.

My AP "slot" has been inhabited by Morgana for some time now. She's my "go-to," especially when no one steps up to take mid. I can provide a solid mid player. In an effort to improve my flexibility, I wanted to learn a solid AD ranged champion, and be able to support a tank in a lane (or another carry). It had been open tryouts for some time.

Miss Fortune filled the slot first. However, her skill set leaves something to be desired as far as I'm concerned. She seems to have very little in terms of escape. I die a lot more than I'd like to on her, and end up feeling like a glorified turret. There's just not a whole lot of nuance to be had, at least as far as my newbie opinion is concerned.

Caitlyn was free this week, so I decided to give her a go. I'd certainly been killed enough by the sniper shot of doom that I was curious. She did not disappoint. In her skill set, I find everything that I'd lacked with MF. Traps to help others escape and annoy. A blow back to take me quickly out of range. And a deadly finishing move to finish off the runners. I have to say, playing Cait feels glorious.

I'm not great yet, not nearly as smooth as I am with Morgana, but I think I'm swiftly improving. I'm using both of my mastery pages to support these two champions. One AD carry build, one AP carry build. I've only really got the runes for my AP carry page (and even that is a work in progress), but using that isn't completely awful for Caitlyn. I still feel effective (and, perhaps more important, am a real bitch to kill).

I've developed what I think is the "key" to LoL victory. Nothing groundbreaking, I assure you, but I've found that most teams can weather a bad or learning player, so long as that player keeps their deaths low. I don't always have to play stellar to contribute. I just have to not feed. Feeding is really the cardinal sin, even if you balance it with an equal number of kills. You need to strive to be positive, or at least keep the numbers low in order to not hurt your teammates. I'm very good at keeping the numbers low.

Once I get a better feel for the nuances of Cait, I could see where she could be a very frustrating opponent. I'm learning to use traps better, to use the blowback to leap hedges (in a single bound), and trying to improve on gauging the strength of my ultimate so that I can get enemies low enough before they try to run away (there's an art there). In the mean time, I'm keeping my numbers low (and contributing to victories).

Oh, and did I mention the sniper sounds? Yeah, the Sheriff of Piltover is just plain fun.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Baby Locksteps

One small step for Warlocks, one giant leap for Warlock kind? The ODB-Butt posted the other day about a baby warlock he rolled. The article is noteworthy not (only) for its interesting wordiness, but for the first-hand experience of leveling a Warlock since they've changed things on us. If you're a Warlock keeping up with anything Cynwise has written, you're probably aware of his deep-dive into the unpopularity of the Warlock class. One of the most-substantiated (and agreed-upon) reasons for a lack of 'locks was the unpleasantness of early leveling. It sounds to me that Blizz may have improved upon it. And not only improved, but perhaps... shattered the soul of the problem?

Awful, I know. Oh well. That's all I've got for you today.

(Also, since I used a bit of parody: RIP Mr. Armstrong.)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

First Hack at New Rotation

I dug into my revamped spellbook this weekend. I amused myself by listing the items that jumped out to me as changes. Then I took inventory of my bars, tweaked a few things, and practiced what I came up with on a dummy. I was on a level 80 dummy and recount said I was doing like 20k DPS. I'm not sure how that compares to what I was doing before the patch. I think it seems about the same, but I was hardly employing the scientific method.

Here's that list, in no particular order:
  • They made Dark Intent into a raid-wide buff. No more decisions. Darn. I rather liked being able to exclude people. Felt very warlocky. This is still probably a good thing, though.
  • CotE - Soulburn for AoE. Whatever.
  • Dark Soul - This looks new. Basically a trinket pop, short term buff.
  • Fel Fire - Changed to refresh two spells now, Corr and UA. Does this make it worth it? Seems to be a lot closer now... the button presses (GCDs) appear to equal out now.
  • Life Tap - Now absorbs healing? So, you can't hurt yourself. Another thing that is somewhat less warlocky, but oh well. 
  • Unending Resolve - This is new. Something it would be nice to have on hand, it seems. Situational.
  • Soul Shatter now uses health instead of a shard.
  • Our shards are basically just for Haunt. Meh.
I pulled out Shivarra, buffed up, and hit on the dummy. No, not her. The stuffed dude. On the stick.

My rotation ended up like this:
  1. Corruption
  2. Agony
  3. Unstable Affliction
  4. Haunt
  5. Malefic Grasp as filler.
I tried to keep Haunt going as much as my shards would allow. I was much less than 100% up time. Didn't get shards as fast as I needed. That's pretty annoying.

I would switch to Drain Soul (instead of MG), but the dummy's health didn't get low. They don't really do that.

Otherwise, it was pretty much that simple. Unlike Cynwise, I really didn't feel the need to blow away all of my buttons and start fresh. In fact, most of them still worked just fine (they transferred well). My basic UI strategy involves double using numeric keys with macros. That is, I don't do a whole lot of complicated stuff. I simply set things up so that holding "alt" brings up a second set of spells. That was, all the important parts of my spellbook are right there. I think the simple approach worked in my favor with the changes.

Overall, it wasn't too bad. It felt fast, and I was a bit clumsy. I used FF to refresh Corr and UA. Not sure if that's the best way, but I'm not sure why it wouldn't be. If the GCDs are indeed equal now, you're just adding a direct damage component to your refreshing, right?

I'm sure there were things I'm missing, but I think I caught the basics. I know that Demo and Destro seemed to have gotten a lot of the "cool new" stuff. I'm anxious to try them as well, but Affliction had to be the first cut. I should have queued up for some things, but didn't really get the chance. I'm hoping to sneak back into a raid group as a sub or something. We'll see how that goes. Until then, it's just me and the dummy. Oh, and that guy on the stick.