NaBloPoMo completed!

One month ago, on August 1st, I decided to embark upon NaBloPoMo, the National Blog Posting Month event, where the idea is to post an article each and every day for a month. I’m happy to announce that with this post, on August 31st, I’ve successfully completed the event!

Generally, posting an article every day hasn’t been too hard. I haven’t really struggled for content – only once or twice – and so the trickiest part was often simply finding the time to actually sit down and write the post itself. This has sometimes meant sacrificing other things (usually my WoW time) in order to get the post published, but that’s okay. I started NaBloPoMo whilst being pretty burnt out from WoW, and I’m still not playing as much as I used to, so I don’t mind missing playing time to write here instead.

I’ve actually quite enjoyed the experience, and in future I’m definitely going to try and post more regularly than I was before NaBloPoMo. It’s kind of a habit now! While I might not post quite every day, I want to try and keep it up.

Ding!

Ding!

In other news, my Mage, Heryst, leveled to 80 yesterday evening, which means I finally have a second max-level character!

I actually did 79-80 in Alterac Valley – after a quick guild poll as to whether I should try PvP leveling (introduced in 3.2) or just hit Icecrown, and getting the same number of votes for each (typically), I thought I’d try it out, and I was pleasantly surprised. Destroying a tower netted about 20000 xp, the same as turning in a quest, or ~1% of the level, and winning the match actually got me loads – in some cases, it seemed like 2 or 3 bars.

I’ve already been forced into a heroic Halls of Stone by my guild, and found myself doing about 1600 dps, which I figured wasn’t bad for someone in questing blues and greens. As you can see, we had a very sensible group:

Typical guild instance group: A dancing bear, a jumping Furbolg, an Iron Dwarf and a Saturday Night Fever Human...

Typical guild instance group: A dancing bear, a jumping Furbolg, an Iron Dwarf and a Saturday Night Fever Human...

Finally, off-topic for a second, for anybody interested in opera – or more accurately, the history of it – I’m going to shamelessly advertise the launch of the website of several of my associates, http://www.operastoriesonline.com. Each monthly edition of the magazine contains several stories to do with operatic history, as well as audio versions, and various other things. Personally, I’m not a fan of opera, but I’ve seen the material and if you’re interested, it looks pretty darn good.

Concluding not only this post, but NaBloPoMo too,

Vel.

Advertisements

PvPing as Destruction

My Destruction PvP spec

Anyone who reads this blog will know that I’m a Demonology Warlock through and through. Despite this, there are still times when even I need a different spec, and when dual-specs were added into the game, I decided to make my secondary spec an exclusive PvP one, based around Destruction. Let’s take a look at it in detail, and the accompanying glyphs and rotations.

Affliction Talents

This spec doesn’t actually have any Affliction talents because it’s really a deep Destruction build. The talents in this tree which would be good for PvP are really too far down the tree to get without going for a hybrid spec, so I haven’t taken any.

Demonology Talents

Rank 1

Improved Healthstone – Two points here ensure that when I use my Healthstone, I get the most out of it. Since we don’t have any proper healing abilities (other than Drain Life, etc), it’s pretty important that we can restore as much health as possible.

Demonic Embrace – 10% more Stamina is a win-win talent. More health means we survive longer, have more chance of being able to sneak in a Life Tap, and so on.

Fel Synergy – Even with the changes to pets and how they scale compared to the character’s stats, most demons will still die very fast. Because my main PvP pet with this spec is the Felhunter, providing constant heals to the pet is definitely necessary.

Rank 2

Fel Vitality – As well as increasing your health (and mana) even more, this also increases the survivability of your pet(s). A mandatory talent for PvP.

Rank 3

Soul Link – A talent which I would attempt to include in almost any Warlock build, whether PvP or PvE, its importance cannot be understated. By transferring a large amount (a whole 20% without a glyph) of the damage you take to your pet, this is a brilliant and staple Warlock talent. It keeps you alive, mitigates the damage you take, and ought to be mostly cancelled out by the Fel Synergy talent.

Fel Domination – In PvP, if your pet dies it’s imperative you summon another as soon as possible, or you’re probably going to die pretty fast. Fel Domination cuts the time of your next by a huge 5.5 seconds.

Demonic Aegis – By increasing the effectiveness of Demon Armor and Fel Armor, you’re giving a 30% buff to one of your most valuable buffs. Now, I’m a bad person sometimes, and I’ll use Fel Armor in PvP, but the recommendation is definitely to use Demon Armor – it will keep you alive, increase the healing you get, and generally make you less squishy.

Rank 4

Master Summoner – As mentioned, talents which decrease the time taken to summon a demon are great. Two points here will slash your summoning times across the board, Fel Domination active or no Fel Domination active.

Read the rest of this entry »

Guild Halls

Guildhall_9938

The idea of having somewhere in the game for your guild to hang out, hold meetings and show off achievements is one which appeals to me a lot. Coming from a RuneScape background, I was around to see their implementation of player housing, and I really enjoyed it. Now I don’t think that would necessarily work in WoW – the game is just too different, and the RS version was based around a new skill (read: profession) to do with creating furniture but I find it unlikely that Blizzard would bother with it. Giving each player the opportunity to have their own, instanced house would only lead to the decimation of the populations of major cities, and might well ruin the social atmosphere of the game completely. Besides, there really wouldn’t be much to do in there, at all. Having a shared area for your guild though, that’s a different matter entirely.

Concept

My idea of a guild hall is essentially a headquarters for the guild. In my mind, it would be a large room, with multiple levels and various pieces of furniture. It would be an area for the guild to collectively display their achievements, as well as provide an area for guilds who want to hold meetings in person – my guild does this when the officers have meetings, and I’m sure RP guilds might benefit even if nobody else did. Additionally, the room would have to be functional, or let’s face it – it would never realistically be used.

Read the rest of this entry »

Blizzcon review: Part six

Ah, Blizzcon. Yes, Blizzcon.

Ah, Blizzcon. Yes, Blizzcon.

Plenty of itty-bitty things left over from Blizzcon to chew on today, but they’re by no means all bone and gristle – in fact, we have plenty of tender, juicy gossip, fresh and ready to nourish ourselves with.

One announced change which surprised me a little bit was the proposed simplification of the character stats – we’re going to lose all of these:

  • No more Attack Power on gear. It will come from Strength or Agility instead, depending on your class.
  • Stamina is going to be more equal no matter what sort of armor you have, so clothies won’t be left behind in terms of health.
  • Armour Penetration is gone, which is good, because I never understood it anyway.
  • Defense is gone – tanks will get defense-capped from talents, like Feral Druids are already. This is good, but now tanks have no real Hit Rating equivalent, which I like the idea of.
  • Block Value is disappearing too, but blocks will apparently now mitigate a percentage of damage instead.
  • No more Spell Power – it now comes from Intellect.
  • MP5 is gone. Spirit is now the only stat which will regenerate mana, so MP5 is out of the window.
  • Haste will increase your regeneration speed for things like energy or rage. I’m not sure if this applies to mana, but I don’t think so.

Overall though, streamlining the stats is definitely a good thing, I have no doubt. It was getting complicated – us Warlocks especially have to balance and factor in hit rating, spell power, crit, haste, intellect, spirit and, to a lesser extent, stamina. That’s a lot for someone who stands there and casts spells!

Read the rest of this entry »

Blizzcon review: Part five

Having covered the more major points of the Cataclysm expansion – at least, those which have been announced so far – in my previous posts, I’m going to cover two things today and then finish up tomorrow with the smaller features. Also, I’m not going to discuss the lore of the expansion at all right now, because I’ve talked about parts of it already and quite frankly everyone and their brother has heard what’ll be happening. I might take a bit of a look at the areas which will be changed significantly in the future, but not at this time. Anyway, onwards.

It made me very happy when Blizzard announced their plans for cross-server instances. By opening up the LFG to your entire battlegroup, it ought to significantly reduce wait times for PuG instances – in my experience it tends to be the tanks you end up waiting for most, but whatever it is you need, you now have a much greater pool of players to choose from. Just don’t try to recruit players from other servers by accident!

The new system will not support raids. I’m not sure why not – people do PuG raids, and there is always the chance that they’ll be struggling for players, but maybe the hardware won’t support it or something. Admittedly it’s not much of an issue; the heroic instances put much more of a strain on the server.

As a very welcome side effect of this change, the ubiquitous problem of “Additional instances cannot be launched” will actually finally be fixed too! I forget whether it’s because of the hardware overhaul or the fact that all the players on your realm won’t be crammed into the same server space or what, but regardless it’s going away, which is fantastic. I honestly detest that message.

Read the rest of this entry »

Blizzcon review: Part four

Image courtesy of WoW.com

Image courtesy of WoW.com

As a guild leader, I was very excited to hear about the upcoming changes to the guild system for WoW. The interface hasn’t changed in the slightest since the original release of the game, except to incorporate guild banks, and the interwebs are rife with stories of how hard it is to add in another rank, set permissions for members, and so on.

So when it was announced at Blizzcon that things like guild achievements and a recruiting interface would be added, I was overjoyed. Guild currency? Yes! Guild recipes? Yes! Benefits for doing things as a guild? Yes! Guild leveling system? Yes!

Since my guild is very casual, and very small, we don’t have the ability to, say, take a guild group into Ulduar and come out with proto-drakes, or to be able to go into Naxxramas and bring back an Immortal achievement. These sorts of things really are the only way to show off as a guild right now.

However, once they implement the guild features in Cataclysm, I’m hopeful that this will change. Guild achievements are going to be a way for us to show off what we’re made of without having to do the utmost hardcore things in the game. Simply by doing normal things, for example daily quests and crafting, the guild will benefit.

Read the rest of this entry »

Blizzcon review: Part three

Worgen-thumb-435x444-22127

As previously mentioned, today is Worgen day, so without further ado, let’s get on with it.

Keeping to the same format as the Goblins, I’m going to look at the lore behind the newest Alliance race first. Now, I will admit I was a little disappointed to see that the Cataclysm Worgen were from Gilneas, and not original Worgen from their home world, because the lore would frankly have been much more interesting, not least because I really want to know who or what the Lords of the Emerald Flame are that they’re fighting.

However, the way Blizzard have gone with it does make more sense with regard to the Worgen joining the Alliance. To summarize the plot, Archmage Arugal’s werewolf curse spread past the Greymane Wall and infected the Gilneans, who sort of descended into civil war – the infected versus the uninfected. In the end though, all the citizens were affected, but not before they managed to create a potion which allows them to control their shapeshifting and presumable bloodlust. Now that Arthas has been defeated and the Cataclysm has torn the Wall apart, the Forsaken have decided to claim Lordaeron for their own, and are marching on Gilneas. The Gilneans, needing both a cure and protection from the undead, have joined back with the Alliance they gave up on after the Second War.

Read the rest of this entry »