Home Sweet Home

Posted in General with tags , on August 24, 2010 by Korzik

If you follow me on Twitter you know that during the past couple of months I have been in the process of buying a home, which has been the main contributor to my absence from the blog. And while it takes time and energy to find the right home in the real world, it also takes effort and consideration when thinking about your home in game: your guild.

With Cataclysm approaching and some major changes coming to how one approaches the game, now is the time to think about what type of guild best fits you. Whether you want to raid 25 mans, 10 mans, or do high ranked rated BGs, each of these will likely require a different type of guild. While it is possible to have a secondary group of 10 man raiders in a 25 man raiding guild, it won’t be common and will feel more like a guild within a guild. The same is true of raiders participating in rated BGs. Raiding guilds can and will most likely do them, but without attention focused on truly succeeding, they will not do nearly as well as a battleground focused guild. There are obviously exceptions to this, however. For example, many of the best players in the world who are in the top 20 guilds are also repeat gladiators.

How to find the right guild is the tricky part. On each server there will be several guilds of each type. Here are a few tips that will help you find the right guild for you.

  • Visit their website – Take a look around and read all the threads you have access to. Forums and websites can give a lot of insight on what type of overall attitude and humor a guild has.
  • Talk to the management – Ask them what is expected of members, what activities they plan to do in the expansion and how things will be run.
  • Talk to members – Get a feel for how members feel about the guild. Ask how much turnover the guild has had historically. Ask how issues are handled and how management handles things like mistakes and under performance.
  • Talk to previous members – Find out why they left. This is one of your few chances to hear the downside of your prospective new guild. Just remember to take what they say with a grain of salt and don’t take it all to heart. Their information may be false or skewed to make them look better.
  • Try to get an alt in – This is both the most difficult to achieve and possibly viewed as slightly underhanded. It could also be the best the thing you do. You’ll be able to experience first hand what the guild chat is like, what times the guild is most active and whether or not they match your own play times. It is exactly what it seems: a chance to spend some time in the guild without committing yourself to it. If you are okay with frequent guild hopping go ahead and disregard this tip. However, if you are like me and tend to pick a guild and stick with it this could be invaluable to finding the right guild for you.

Now is definitely the time to make a guild change. Even if you are happy in your current guild be sure to ask what the guild’s plans are for Cataclysm. Guilds will become much more focused their primary goal in game and finding a guild that matches your own will go a long way to making your in game experience as enjoyable as possible. The next most important step in finding your new guild home is making sure you enjoy the people in it. For, even if you love the people, if you aren’t included for whatever reason, you will not be as happy as you could be. And remember that just because you leave a guild of friends, that doesn’t mean those friendships are over. After all, that is what the friends list and RealID are for.

Cataclysm Reading List

Posted in Cataclysm, Lore with tags , , on June 28, 2010 by Korzik

One of my guildies asked me which Warcraft books they should read in order to get caught up on lore for the expansion. I thought this was a really good question and that I’d share my answer with you. The spoiler-free answer will be before the break. Spoilers and more in-depth explanations will be after, so click through if you don’t mind reading some spoilers about both the books themselves and the Cataclysm expansion.

List of books:

All three (five if you count the Archive as individual books) of these books have story lines in them that you will see continue in Cataclysm. If you want to know the story to the upcoming expansion I highly recommend reading these books. If you don’t want to read them all, or want a brief run down of how they are connected to the Cataclysm expansion, then follow me after the break. I won’t be covering every little detail, but at least you’ll better understand how a few things fit together.

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Guide to Successful Vanishes

Posted in Guide, Rogue with tags , , on June 18, 2010 by Korzik

Vanish is arguably the second most defining ability of the rogue class, second only to stealth. It gets you back into stealth instantly and is capable of canceling incoming damage from an attack that is in the air at the time. At least, that’s the idea. Vanish is also broken. Even most people who don’t have a rogue know that. It could be argued that vanish isn’t broken, but is simply trying to do two separate things at once, but that’s an entirely different topic. The goal of this post is to help you get a clean vanish to put you back into stealth to stay alive or, to get a reopen.

Before getting into what you can do to increase your chances of a successful vanish it helps to know who the biggest offenders of breaking vanish are. Pets, Hunters, auto attacks, DoTs and, Faerie Fire/Flare all are great at completely negating your attempted vanish.

Now, how do you help avoid getting immediately taken out of your vanish? Here are a few steps you can take to greatly improve your chances:

  • Get some distance – Move away from melee and pets. Putting some distance between you and your opponent will go a long way to getting a clean vanish. The goal here is to get out of melee range so that auto attacks won’t be able to bring you out.
  • Pets – Pets are the worst offenders of completely ignoring your vanishes. A pet can react one of three ways to your vanish: they can drop target and return to their master, attack you out of vanish or, worst of all, stop attacking but continue to follow you all around the map. There are only a few ways to combat this. The first is to get some distance from them (which is very difficult against most pets). Secondly, you can use line of sight and vanish in the split second you have where they can’t hit you. Lastly, you can use a gouge or blind to guarantee a clean vanish against them (only really viable on a clutch defensive vanish).
  • DoTs – DoT ticks will break you out of vanish if you aren’t paying attention to them. However, there is no need to waste a cloak just get a Cheap Shot off. Pay attention to the interval between the DoT ticks. Even with three or four overlapping DoTs on you there should be a gap large enough to Vanish and Cheap Shot/Sap/etc. Half a second is more than enough time with decent latency.
  • FF/Flare – There isn’t a whole lot you can do about these. You’ll either have to move out of range of the Flare, or cloak the Faerie Fire off.
  • Hunters – The bane of rogues everywhere. Add two things that are already on the list (Pets and Flare) with a fast firing ranged physical attack (think ranged melee), and you have one very tough obstacle to get a vanish off against. The only surefire way to get a successful vanish against is a hunter is to CC both the hunter and his pet before vanishing. Outside of that there are a couple of other things you can do to combat them. Hunters normally carry slow two-handers, so vanishing in melee range is a lot safer than being at range (this contradicts point one, but hunters are unique). Line of sighting a hunter eliminates the factor of the hunter itself and leaves only their pet to contend with. It is possible to vanish a Hunter’s shot just like you can any other spell, but it’s much more difficult due to no cast time and how quickly the next one will be on its way. You’ll need to vanish as soon as the shot leaves the hunter and before the next one fires in order to get a clean re-stealth in the open.

All of these strategies are what you can personally do to increase your chance for a successful Vanish. If you have some friends around things can get a lot easier. Cleansing of DoTs, extra crowd control and bubbles go a long way. Wait, bubbles? How do bubbles help you vanish? Absorbed DoT damage will not break stealth. If a priest friend puts a bubble on you before a vanish you’ll have until the shield wears away before DoT damage will bring you out.

Another tip for vanishing is to know why you are vanishing. This may seem like a dumb statement but, the reasons for vanishing plays a huge part in the steps you take before and after the vanish. Defensive vanishes are when you’re at low health and need to sneak away to heal up. In this situation, you should know where you have to go for safety (for example, towards a teammate or out of line of sight). An offensive vanish is when you want to get back into stealth for another opener. In this case, make sure you have enough energy pooled so that you can immediately reopen and start doing damage again.

And, finally, if your vanish does fail, don’t panic. Continue to do what you were planning. What happens to a lot of rogues when their vanish fails is they panic. This panic and confusion is what causes most of the problems, not the actual vanish failing.

Slow Torture

Posted in General with tags , on May 30, 2010 by Korzik

High Priest Thekal is very slowly torturing me. Once every three days he has his fun with me, leaving me dejected, tired, and frustrated. For over eight months he has kept up this routine. Why do I keep giving him the opportunity?  Well, ever since the first time I saw the Swift Zulian Tiger, I wanted one. The only thing that has ever tempted me to play Alliance was the opportunity for every one of my characters to have a beautiful, graceful cat to ride (well and, the chance to see the lore from the opposite side).

I never became serious about obtaining one until I found my true class: the rogue.  Ever since I hit level 80 on him I’ve been there almost every three days (vacations intercepted a few opportunities) to check. And I’ll go back every three days for as long as it takes until that beautiful orange cat is finally mine.

What about you? Is there any single thing in game that you continually put yourself through torture in order to obtain? How long have you been at it?

Preparing for Cataclysm

Posted in Cataclysm with tags , , , on May 24, 2010 by Korzik

This  Shared Topic post was suggested by Nexdominus.

Cataclysm. It’s coming. Not soon, but you can already feel the effects within your server and guild. So, how do you prepare for it? There are several things to keep in mind when figuring out your pre-expansion plans.

But first, there are some questions you should ask yourself:
What will you be doing first? Are you racing to level 85 on your main, then getting raid ready before you start to explore the other changes? Or, are you going to roll that Goblin or Worgen and explore all of the new content? Want to cash in on the new expansion first before starting to level?

Each one of these scenarios has a long list of things you can start doing now to make your life easier come Cataclysm. However, I don’t think I can go into every little detail without turning this into a Greymane Wall sized post. So instead I’ll just run through a few general tips that I hope will get you thinking on what you can do specifically to help you with your goals:

  1. Clean out your bags and quest log. Keep only the essentials. Sell, store, or delete anything that you’ve been hanging on to ‘just in case’.
  2. Consumables can give you that little bit of an edge while leveling. Whether it is a level 83 quest or a level 13 quest, the right consumables can save the day.
  3. Professions. Stocking up on low level herbs for Horde or skinning bags for Alliance should net you some easy gold. Also, remember the days of 100G stacks of cobalt? Get your farmer ready if gold is your main priority.
  4. Save some gold. There won’t be any need to reach say, 50K, but keep a little bit more in your bags than you normally do. A lot of people are expecting this expansion to greatly increase how much gold the average player has. Therefore (assuming that turns out to be true) the gold you currently have will be worth less come Cataclysm, so no need to amass a huge amount; just enough to easily cover training costs.
  5. Research! Unless you don’t want to be spoiled (in which case, beware of this site), read everything you can get your eyes on pertaining to what you are wanting to do come launch. Knowing what to expect will go a long way towards being ready.

Now, that’s all fine and good, you may say. But am I doing? Well, thanks for asking! Unfortunately, I haven’t completely decided yet. I’m torn between getting raid ready, and then playing around while I wait for the rest of my guild to catch up, or doing several days of serious farming to set myself up rather nicely for the rest of the expansion. Either way, I’m starting to gather low level herbs, and accumulating a nice little bankroll.

However, there is one other thing that I plan on doing to prepare: finish Wrath of the Lich King! I have to kill Lich King on 25man or I will view WotLK as a failure on my part. I set a goal for myself at the start of this expansion to kill him on 25man, and I’ll accept nothing less. I would also like to get the “Battlemaster” title, but after doing some math and realizing I’ll need to play over 160 hours of battlegrounds to get all the wins I need, I’m not sure if that’s going to happen. Besides that, I’m thinking of leveling my warlock up to at least 75 and maxing her Tailoring.  That way, the only crafting profession I’ll be missing going into the expansion is Inscription.

Regardless of what your own Cataclysm plans are, I trust that this post has given you some ideas on where to start. And remember, it’s never too early to start preparing.

A Plea to Beta Testers

Posted in Cataclysm with tags , , , on May 19, 2010 by Korzik

With the Cataclysm Beta hopefully starting up soon and the Beta opt-in already active, I have a request to make of everyone who has signed up to get a possible invite:

There is a reason why they call it Beta Testing. You are there to test the new content and to give Blizzard feedback. Make liberal use of the leave feedback feature on the Beta (or any patch PTR). Even if you think the issue is well known, leave a comment about it.

Leave feedback on: your class balance, quests, items, zones, bugs, or anything else that just doesn’t feel right to you. No matter how small you think the issue might be, if it doesn’t seem to fit, let them know.  That is exactly why you’re there. It may not get changed but, at least they will be aware that not everyone likes how something works.

The opposite is also true. If you really liked a certain quest line, leave some positive feedback on it! Enjoy the new battleground? Let them know. Even Blizzard developers like to hear that they got something right even if it isn’t completely finished yet.

Don’t just be a contributor to the server stress tests. Leave your feedback, just remember to be constructive and, give a reason. Saying, “I really like this quest” isn’t nearly as helpful as “I really like this quest, because the objective is entertaining and provided a good amount of challenge without being frustrating”.

Setting the Dead Horse Straight

Posted in Cataclysm, Raiding with tags , , on May 13, 2010 by Korzik

I was really trying to avoid this post. The Cataclysm raid change post. However, after catching up on some podcasts I heard a lot of opinions that weren’t taking all of the changes into consideration. So, here we go:

First a link to the blue post over at MMO-Champion; I’ll wait while you refresh your memory…
Now, you can’t take any of these points as separate issues, as they play off of each other (something a lot of people have failed to recognize).  What I’m going to try to do is follow Blizzard’s thought process on the changes.

Let’s start with the loot and raid difficulty. By combining loot tables Blizzard eliminates the flaw that the current system has: 10 mans are a lot easier because they have to make it realistic for strictly 10 man players to complete the raid with only 10 man gear. The 10 mans (while still easier than 25s) are not a face roll if you only have 10 man gear from the previous raid. The reason why so many people view 10 mans as being a lot easier is because they are going into them with the superior 25 man gear. They can now balance 10s and 25s around the same quality of gear, thus making each raid relatively close in difficulty. This is where I believe the Dev team started the changing process at. They wanted to make 10s and 25s a lot closer in difficulty, and by having both share the same loot table, they will be able to do just that.

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