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Have I been labeled?

4 May

So, this morning before I went to sleep, the lovely Kialesse and I were discussing the idea of throwing guest posts on each other’s blogs, since neither of us particularly knew what we were going to write about for our own blogs at the moment. Don’t get me wrong, I am quite certain I could find something beta related, monk related, or something of that nature to comment about, and fire off another thousand words+ in that general direction, but nothing *inspired* me. Then I woke up this afternoon and started scanning my feedreader, and came across Kia’s latest post, added sometime while I was asleep. I read through the first couple of paragraphs and said to her “My blog isn’t a tank blog. It’s a blog run by a tank, distinctive difference.” Her response was “well yes, I know that… that was sort of the point of my post, that you’re more than just a tank.” So I read onward into this whole thing where Kia delved into the psychological effects of labeling people and things of that nature.

Now, i’m not here to completely that Kia is completely wrong or completely right. In fact, I am sure that she is right about a lot of these things, but I have to think that to a point *some* of these things don’t necessarily apply to the gaming/mmo world. For instance, Kia thinks of me as a tank. Y’know what? I am *perfectly* okay with that. Why is that? Because tanking is what I do most in WoW. It’s what I do best in WoW. Sure, I have a DPS DK that I tool around with sometimes, and a shaman healer that I bring if I have to, and i’m not particularly TERRIBLE with either of those toons, but I am by far the most comfortable being the one to get hit in the face instead of everyone else. I just… know how to react to things better that way. Maybe it’s a bit of a control issue that I have, but I think that to a point tanks should have that desire to control things. I’m getting a bit off the subject matter here. I’ve actually had a similar discussion with Jen before as well. Her main is a resto shaman, but occasionally she’s been called on to sub in as DPS when the signups were a little light. Now, I know that she doesn’t MIND DPSing as a fill in, but I also know that healing is where her heart is (for lack of a better term.) She’s told me on more than one occasion that even when she’s dpsing, she is far more aware of everyone’s health than she probably should be. She still has the healer mindset, and wants to make sure everyone is going to live through the next big bad ouchie, even when her job is to just PEW-PEW FOREVER OMG.

My point is, I guess, that while everyone may not let themselves get pigeonholed into specific roles, some of us DO. And it’s not necessarily a bad thing. I think the majority of us come across that one toon that just fits like an old glove, and we feel back at home in them. Does that mean we’re labelled by our role, or class as our entire identity? Maybe, maybe not. I have never claimed this blog to be a tank-specific blog, but I (probably) end up talking about it the most because it’s what I love doing. I don’t think that being “labelled” as a tank is a bad thing really. In fact, I take a bit of pride in being seen that way. It means I am doing my job well… when i’m actually DOING that job, that is. I apparently do my job so well that Kia has taken upon herself to make me tank even when i’m not tanking… I will admit that i’m not entirely sure WHAT to think about that.

Also, apparently me cursing over vent has some sort of Pavlovian response to make Kia feign death… I feel like I could abuse this from time to time.

Y’know… for funsies.

 

Roly Poly Patch Day

25 Apr

This is a beta patch, so don’t get excited. I wanted to discuss the new beta patch rolled out late last night/this morning. Actually, to be more specific, I wanted to take a look at the monk changes, since that’s pretty much the only thing i’ve spent any time on in the beta. So, away we go! (As per usual, I will focus on brewmaster, and maybe touch on some windwalker stuff… mistweaver doesn’t exist to me, as I don’t heal haha)

Baseline changes:

Blackout Kick – Now costs 2 chi, up from 1 chi. Base damage increased by 20%

Pretty good change, imo. The extra chi makes it feel more like a finisher, which is what it’s SUPPOSED to be (sub-50% health), and the damage increase helps offset the extra chi cost. Well thought out change for an ability that was in a bizarre place beforehand.

Crackling Jade Lightning – Now costs 1.5% of base mana, down from 3%. When dealing damage, you have a 15% chance to generate 1 chi.

The mana change is clearly directed more at misweavers, clearly, so it doesn’t matter to me. The chance to generate chi though is nice. Maybe this is starting to take a direction more towards Mistweaver, since it really seems useless for Brewmaster and Windwalker.

Detox – Now removes disease effects instead of bleed effects.

I saw this change coming from the moment I looked at the tooltip of this ability. Only having one class that can cleanse bleeds would cause all kinds of balance issues in pvp.

Fortifying Brew – Now increases your health by 100%, and reduces yoru damage taken by 20%. Lasts 20 sec.

A good change for an ability that really made no sense before. However, it’s another tanking cooldown for a class that, right now, is LOADED THE FUCK DOWN with tank cooldowns. I’m not sure I understand what’s going on there.

Grapple Weapon – Now grabs non-ranged weapons. If you steal a better main-hand weapon, your damage or healing will be increased by 5% or damage taken reduced by 5%.

The first part was most likely a pvp change to keep from making hunters and casters useless. The second half is most likely a clarification of what the ability does, because the previous tooltip didn’t make any damn sense.

Healing Sphere – Now costs 2% base mana up from 1.5% base mana. Now instant cast down from 1.5s cast. Now has a .5s cooldown.

A curious change. I can’t imagine they’ll want tanks casting this on themselves in the middle of combat all the time, so I don’t quite understand why they removed the cast time. IMO, if they’re going to nix the cast time, they should make that a mistweaver-only passive. 

Spinning Crane Kick – Now costs 2 chi, down from [sic] 1 chi. During Spinning Crane Kick, you can continue to dodge and parry.

I’m not particularly surprised by this change. SCK felt too powerful and spammable at a cost of 1 chi. Keeping the ability to dodge and parry just lets tanks use it to solidfy aoe threat. All the other tanks have aoe abilities that don’t remove their dodge/block/parry ability, so it only makes sense that this one wouldn’t either.

Tiger Palm – Now deals 50% additional damage if the target is above 50% health.

Another good change, probably made to counterbalance the change to blackout kick. They definitely want to make sure you use one above 50% health, and one below 50% health.

 Transcendence – Now has a 45s cooldown, down from 3 minutes.

I haven’t played at level 87 so I can only comment on this ability in speculation, so… Sure thing, alright then. lol

Talents:

Charging Ox Wave – Now affects all nearby enemies within 5 yards, down from 40 yards.

This makes a lot of sense. Having an ability that knocks back all enemies within 40 yards is a little ridiculous. 5 yards makes more sense.

Chi Torpedo – Chi Torpedo replaces roll.

I feel like this was most likely a pvp change, because having 2 rolls, with a movement speed increase, and then chi torpedo, and then flying tiger kick (or wtfever it’s called that windwalkers have) means WAYYYYYYYYYYYY too much mobility for monks. Just sayin.

Dampen Harm – Moved to level 75 from level 60. Now has a 1.5m cooldown, up from 30s.

30 seconds of the cooldown for this talent was WAY too good in pvp and for tanks. This makes a lot of sense. The change from level 60 to 75 is pretty much an indifference as far as I care.

Healing Elixirs – Moved to level 75 from level 60.

My guess is this was moved solely so you had it to compete with Dampen Harm. The two of them mixed together would just be too powerful.

Karma *new* – Reduces all spell damage taken by 90% and clears all magical effects on you, reversing them back to their original caster if within 40 yards. Lasts for 6s. 1 chi, instant 1.5m cooldown.

This is an interesting new talent (the tooltip shows at level 75 as well, so it makes sense to choose between this, Dampen Harm, and Healing Elixirs). I could see the cost being increased to maybe 2 chi at some point in the future, because this could be ABSURD in pvp against classes like DKs, warlocks, and shadow priests. I am also imagining the cooldown being increased, but it looks to be a fun addition to the toolbox.

Leg Sweep – Now lasts 5s, down from 6s.

Meh. An aoe stun is an aoe stun, and 5s vs 6s is really not that big of a difference if you ask me. 

Zen Sphere (Formerly known as Rolling Force Globe) – Summons a Zen Sphere at the target location. Deals (x) damage to the 3 lowest health enemies within 20 yards of the sphere every 1s. If the enemies die from the Zen Sphere, they combust, dealing (y) damage to enemies within 8 yards. Use Zen Sphere again while active to detonate it, instantly dealing (y) damage to all enemies within 20 yards. 1 chi, 40 yard range, instant.

If i’m reading the tooltip changes correctly, instead of having the Force Globe be a boomerang that combines healing and damage to anyone in it’s path, this is instead a stationary object that is strictly for damage dealing. Losing the healing aspect of this is a bit sad, as it could’ve been a fantastic little ability for monks of all specs to throw out on high-AOE damage times. Overall, not a terrible change.. 

Rushing Jade Wind – has been reworked and now has a 30s cooldown, down from 45s. Summon a whirling tornado that travels 0 yards in front of you, dealing 5454 nature damage to all targets in it’s path and increasing damage taken bu your Spinning Crane Kick by 30%. For 8s after you cast Rushing Jade Wind, you move at 200% speed while using Spinning Crane Kic, and reduces Spinning Crane Kick’s chi cost by 1.

This has “AOE fight” written all over it, and I really like the way it’s been reworked. It’ll probably be a staple for trash on dungeons, and on fights with lots of add phases. I’m certain this will see some good use.

Tigereye Brew – Now costs 3 chi, up from 1. Now has a 60s cooldown, down from 90s. Now increases your damage and healing done by 15%. (Level 60 talent).

3 chi seems like a pretty steep cost for a moderate dps/hps increase. It doesn’t show a duration in the tooltip, at this point, but that doesn’t mean anything. I’m sure it HAS a duration, because a stacking buff like this would just be way too strong to ignore otherwise. I’m betting it drops to a 2 chi cost at some point, because 3 is just.. a lot.

Tiger’s Lust – Now has a 30s cooldown, down from 60s.

I hadn’t paid much attention to this, but this seems wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy too strong to be on a 30s cooldown when compared to similar abilities like Will of the Forsaken and Escape Artist. I don’t know what they’re playing at here.

Brewmaster abilities:

Avert Harm – Now reduces damage taken by 50%, up from 20%

This is, most likely, to keep monks from getting exploded by large amounts of damage re-directed from everyone else (half of 80% is 40%, the old way. Now half of 50% is 25%, so it’s a net damage reduction for the entire raid)

Brewmaster Training – Blackout kick portion reworked – After you Blackout Kick, you gain Shuffle causing the 3 attacks taken to become staggered within $115307 (that’s really what the tooltip says atm lol).

This is a *fantastic* change. Blackout Kick was really just another way to deal damage before, and having it be chi-free when parried made it fit really oddly in the brewmaster’s toolbox. This makes a LOT more sense in the grand scheme of things. BOK will still cost 2 chi, but now it’ll be another form of “active mitigation” that Blizz is so into these days, and I think it’ll fit nicely into the toolbox.

Clash (formerly Clashing Ox Charge) – You and the target charge each other, meeting halfway and stunning all targets within 6 yards.

This still seems kind of like a wonky ability, due to the whole “meet halfway” mechanic. I haven’t actually been in the beta since patch yet to see whether they’ve fixed the bug of it not always working with casters, so we’ll see. The aoe stun portion is pretty nice though.

Dizzying Haze – Now costs 20 energy, up from 10. Now reduces movement speed by 50%, up from 15%. Misfire chance now stacks up to 3 times.

The energy cost of this was never the issue. Nor was the movement speed reduction. The fact that it’s still a 3-stack still is all kinds of weird to me, and I don’t understand why that’s the one thing that DOESN’T get changed. I just don’t understand.

Summon Black Ox Statue – Now instant cast, down from a 1.5s cast.

Brilliant. Having a tank cast in the middle of combat to put another one of these up is a surefire way to get his ass gibbed, and this is the perfect solution to that. Bravo.

All in all, a lot of these changes are really good. A couple of them don’t make any sense to me, but getting some insight in where Blizz wants to take the monk class is always helpful. My only complaint, really, is Dizzying Haze still. Argh.I really wish they would make DH just a 5% misfire chance with 1 stack, that way using the targeting reticle wouldn’t be so damned awkward. BUT i think i’ve ranted enough about that already. Also, this post has gotten a lot more wordy than I was expecting. Overall, I see a lot of things monks have to rejoice over right now. Running forward for 30 seconds and then taking a couple steps backwards (or more like sideways, in all honesty) is still a net gain in the end.

ETA: A few addendums i’ve noticed after playing in the beta for 5 minutes or so.

Shuffle, as an active ability has been completely removed. Instead it is entirely worked into Blackout Kick. Holy fuckberries you guys. If it weren’t for Tiger Palm increasing our Guard amount, this might eliminate it from our rotation altogether. Holy crap.

In regards to Dizzying Haze: They have reworked it slightly to where it DOESN’T stack, unlike how the tooltip (as per mmo-champion) reads. Instead it is indeed just one stack. Also, the reticle will stay up on your screen from DH allowing you to quickly throw it where you need without having to hit a button, click, hit button, click again. It now works like the Wild Mushrooms. Good change Blizzard. Very good job. I stand completely corrected regarding Dizzying Haze.

Breath of Fire has also been reworked. Instead of dealing more damage based on the stacks of Dizzying Haze (since it doesn’t stack anymore), it now deals a DoT over 8 seconds when it hits them. Whether or not they’ve fixed the conical aspect of the spell remains to be seen. Also, the cooldown appears to have been removed. *thumbs up*

All in all, this patch is a complete effing win for Brewmaster monks. Thanks be to the game designers.

>Holy hell what a week..

8 Jun

>Sorry guys, it’s been a LONG week (or 11 days) which has kept me from posting. I appreciate your patience with me.

So, first thing’s first. I continue to manage to not piss off the owner of hordereview.com… in fact he thinks i’m making some killer posts there for beginning hunters. If you feel like checking it out, go to hordereview.com, lol. Secondly, if you ever listen to the All Things Azeroth podcast, and you managed to listen to the newest episode (Which was recorded yesterday, so I dont think it’s live yet) then you may have heard a rare treat… I recorded an intro for a contest they’re running, and it was played live yesterday. The contest is, in essence, for a guest hosting spot on their 200th episode (which is in 3 more weeks). SO.. There’s a possibility that yours truly will be a guest host with Medros and Shade on ATA’s illustrious 200th episode.

Alright, now that i’m done tooting my own horn, let me tell you a bit about my week in WoW.. I’ve kind of set my pally on the shelf for a bit. I think she’s 45 right now, but i’ve been playing my druid who is now level 78. I recently respecced my druid’s off-spec to feral, and used a metric S— TON of leather to make him the Eviscerator’s set (Which, incidently, is great for tanking because it’s a lot of stam, and a lot of attack power…) I’ve picked up a couple rings and a necklace that are good for tanking, but tanking on him is a little more tough than you might think. Why is that? Because i’m still adjusting to the rage mechanic. Battling rage starvation is kind of a pain in the ass, but i’m working on it. My first random tanking gig took place in Halls of Stone, and I think I did a pretty good job. No one died, and everyone said I did alright, so yay for that. I was battling for aggro with the ret pally a few times, but he was really good dps for a pre-80…. and he also didn’t seem to want to wait long for me to build threat.. No problem, he was well geared and any beating he took didn’t hurt him too much. I was thrilled at this group having gone so well for me never having tanked on a druid before. Woo!

Outside of WoW, but still related, i’ve been playing Warcraft 3 a lot lately. Man, i’d forgotten how FUN that game is, and also how damn FRUSTRATING it can be. Right now i’m in the undead campaign (not in The Frozen Throne, just original WC3). One of the (unanimously decided) most DIFFICULT missions in the game… I’m going to quote how I worded it on twitter last night. “Protect Kel’thuzad for 30 minutes while we throw a whole fucking map at you, so he can summon Archimonde to go hump the World Tree”. If you don’t get the reference about Archi and the world tree then you NEED TO WATCH THIS VIDEO.

Alright, that’s enough babbling for me today. Thanks for bearing with me through my lack of posting.

>Hitting "the wall"

29 May

>So, if you follow me on twitter, you’ve probably heard me grumbling slightly about this. I’ve been sinking a lot of time into my pally lately, and i’ve hit what is referred to (in a lot of varying activities) as “the wall”. You have been doing so well up to a certain point, and then you just hit it. All your momentum comes to a grinding halt. You seem to run out of quests that are at appropriate levels. The dungeons at your level just… don’t do it for you. Yeah, you could probably suck it up and just do them, but do you really want to? Most of the time, pugs for those places are terrible. You don’t have all the tools for your class that make the places go easily. As a paladin that would prefer to tank, i’m missing Avenger’s Shield, Hammer of the Righteous and Divine Plea. Mana consumption for pally tanks is far too high at lower levels especially with Consecration being your main aggro ability.

See, I have a pattern I follow while levelling an alliance toon, and that pattern always leads to a wall from 42/43-45ish. Once you hit 45, Gadgetzan is doable, Feralas is doable, Searing Gorge is doable… it’s all good for a while there. Does anyone else have this problem? Where do you find is the “hard areas” to get past when levelling your alts? By comparison, where do you find the easiest levels to get past are? (Aside from the Outlands, cause you can pretty much hit 10 levels in two zones almost with any BOA gear).

What do you do when you hit these “walls when levelling”? Do you suck it up and hit the dungeon queue? And how about that, are there any dungeons you run across while levelling that you just can’t be arsed to be any part of? Personally, I loathe Maraudon. Purple or orange, don’t matter. Pristine Waters doesn’t bother me as much because it’s rather scenic and pretty to look at, but I just don’t like the dungeon as a whole. I am, however, glad that the LFD tool seperates it into those 3 areas, cause that place is retarded long.

I also have serious problems doing Dire Maul or BFD, because it seems like nobody knows their way through those places, and they all end up getting lost and failing miserably… and when the group inevitably wipes, NO one knows how to get back to the dungeon enterence.

Wow, okay, I went off a lot longer than I meant to, but please, leave me a comment and tell me about your levelling experiences. I really want to read them.

>See, what had happened was, I ran out of ideas…

27 May

>So yeah, apparently i’ve not been writing in this blog as much as I had initially hoped. I really am going to try and rectify that, but I am not entirely sure that I have a lot to say other than senseless babbling.

Levelling my paladin goes well. I have him up to 35 now I think. I dunno, levelling isn’t really all that bad for me, I don’t guess. At least, ffs, it shouldn’t be with as many toons as i’ve leveled. (6 80s, 3 70+s, a 60.. yeah. it’s crazy) The paladin really is one of the easiest classes to level. Yeah, it can get a bit tedious at times because the consensus is that you basically auto-attack until level 50 when you can get crusader strike. There really is a lot more to it than that. One thing that people tend to overlook is that paladins have a damaging taunt. Hand of reckoning is immensely overpowered at low levels, and really makes killing things quick and rather painless. And you get it at level 16 I mean come on. I’ve had Hand of Reckoning taunts that crit and instantly take out more than half of a mob’s health… Mobs the same level as, or higher than me. Here’s the cool part. Anytime a mob “Runs away in fear” they’re no longer targeting you… nuke them with your taunt before moving on to the next mob. Also, if a mob is healing himself, he’s not targeting you, so bam.. nuke him with the taunt. Dead useful when you’re fighting things like those bloody redridge shamans/mystics or something of that nature. And hell, once you get your pally to level 20, you get consecrate. That’s the be-all end-all of aoe levelling. Don’t like aoe levelling? Well, you also get exorcism. Does just as much damage as Hand of Reckoning does, give or take. Cool thing? Your taunt isn’t on the GCD. You can wind up an exorcism and throw HoR at the tail end of it, and they’ll both damage the mob. Instantly half dead = win.

Wow… I rambled on a lot more about pallies than I thought I would. Heh. I’m sure no one minds. Or maybe you do, idk. I don’t care either really. You’ll either read the blog or you won’t. 🙂 With that, though, I am going to close this out.

Oh, one last thought.. Who in the hell taught Lady Gaga the secret to music taking up permanent residence in your brain. A friend of mine was listening to “Bad Romance” and it’s been stuck in my head ever since.. This was fracking almost TWO DAYS AGO. Someone help me.

>Stream of unconsciousness…

22 May

>Hey everyone. Sorry I haven’t posted in a few days, it’s been a kind of crazy week. So, i’ve decided to put a hold on my priest until Cataclysm in order to have at least one character to level through the new content. If you know me at all, though, you know that i’ll level at least one more character after it happens. Right now, i’m working on a paladin (my effing 3rd one.. what is wrong with me? lol). I want this guy to be a tank though… but I hate the idea of gearing up a tank at 80. Anything before that is no big problem though… especially once I hit 70. Cobalt gear makes for easy tanking.

Oh, have I mentioned that I am the new hunter column writer for Horde Review? I took up the position a couple of weeks ago, but I honestly don’t remember if I mentioned it on here or not. I will have an amazing interview with Brigwyn from The Hunting Lodge and Brigwyn’s Corner. I will probably have to break the interview up into several parts, but I should hopefully have it up on the site within the next couple of days. (Mental note: find a better way of logging IM conversations. Took forever to edit the messanger names out of the conversation). Brigwyn is an awesome guy with a great view and unabashed opinion on all things in game. All of the old The Hunting Lodge podcasts are still up on his site (the one I linked earlier) and they’re some great listens. They’re not specifically FOR hunters, they’re (as Brig put it) about Wow, from a hunter’s perspective… or actually 2 hunter’s perspectives. I would be completely remiss if I didn’t mention Brigwyn’s cohost Daewin. Maybe i’ll try to talk to him at some point.

Anyway, I’m doing quite a bit of babblng, so I think i’m going to wrap this up for now. Thanks for listening… er… reading.. 😀

Update: bahaha.. Oh man guys.. I just fixed a bad html code. I was REALLY tired when I wrote this.. guh.. fail on my part. >_<

>Spoil the surprise?

16 May

>I’m going to try to not be like everyone else. Cataclysm is coming. Any fool knows that. Beta is on it’s way. If you haven’t opted in for it, and you want in on the beta, be sure to do it now. I’m going to bring up a less-discussed topic. How do you fight these “end of expansion blues”? Some people roll alts. Some people take breaks from the game. Some people satisfy their time by devouring every single tidbit of information about Cataclysm that they can. Here’s the question though, and it’s something that was brought up in portion by Brigwyn on his first podcast earlier this evening.
The question is, should we obsess over every piece of Cataclysm we can get our greedy little claws on? Is it right for us to play the beta into an endless oblivions so we know all the content backwards and forwards before the live release? Or, when we do these things, do we cheat ourselves from the surprise? Do we deny ourselves the wonder of seeing the finely polished product as Blizzard intends it to be seen, when we see the beta “warts and all”? It’s honestly something I hadn’t thought about previously, but it really is something to consider.
Now, I’ve only been playing for a couple years, towards the end of Burning Crusade, and I was never involved with the beta for Wrath of the Lich King. I will never forget the first time I took my mage, Achloryn, aboard the boat from Stormwind and stepped on the shores of the Borean Tundra. Hell, even playing through the scourge invasion events prior to the launch really gave you a feel for what was coming. Read through the text of the first few quests when you arrive in Northrend. Blizzard does a magnificent job of giving you the sense that the first soliders really breathe a collective sigh of relief that you are there. YOU. The generals and commanders of the spearhead are glad to see you there.
I’m getting off topic more than I intended, but I think you get the point. Are we doing ourselves a disservice by spoiling all the surprises? Well, there’s no real right or wrong answer to that, of course, because it’s all in personal preferences. I’m as guilty as the next man, and probably everyone else, when it comes to reading up on the spoilers and all the other goodies. Now, however, after a lot of thought, I think i’m going to hold myself back a little bit. I want to be able to experience the new quests with my hunter on the day of the launch and experience it as amazingly as I felt when I first stepped onto Northrend.
Now, if i’m given a beta key, you better believe i’ll be there…. let’s not get crazy.