Friday, November 27, 2009

What Would You Think if I Sang Out of Tune?

Lately, I've fallen into the experience of leveling alts. I've been spending a lot of time not playing Luthvian. First, it was leveling up my death knight with my boyfriend's shaman. Then, to see what all the fuss was about, I leveled a druid, figuring that I'd play with it until I got bored. I figured it would last a week or so, then I'd go back to my mage. The problem (but is it one, really?) is that I never did get bored. As I was creating the druid, and complaining that I always abandoned my Night Elf characters when I got sick of their starting zone (too much distance to cover), someone made the radical suggestion that I shuck the NE zone and head straight to one I did like. So, Siuan the Night Elf Druid headed to Azuremyst Isle, and thus overcame the first hurdle in her leveling.

From the beginning, this was a different experience. I started Luthvian because my then-roommates played Alliance on Stormreaver, and one of them played a mage and it looked like he had fun. I got power leveled through lowbie instances, run through quests. I don't remember much of my leveling experience with Luth - it just never seemed important at the time. I don't remember what strategy I used for talenting - I just remember that it wasn't very well-thought out.

On my druid, I actually researched talent trees and gear upgrades and whatnot. I leveled as Feral, which is a completely different playstyle than anything I'd done before. There was so much new and interesting with my druid, it became my new favourite character to play. I was logging on to Luthvian only for raids, maybe for some dailies. The leveling process on my druid didn't feel like a long grind to 80. I had fun working for the little things. I was so excited when I finally got Kitteh form that I pranced around and danced all over town when I first got it. I did the actual quest to get swim form (I didn't even train it beforehand), and at level 70 I did the whole quest chain for Swift Flight Form, even though waiting to finish it stalled my leveling for a few weeks.

Now, I'm leveling a priest. She's a Troll. Once the faction restrictions on PVP servers were lifted, my guild formed a Horde counterpart, Descended. I figured I'd make a character, maybe a class I'd never really played much, and let her sit a while. I named her Lewthveean, because I thought it was funny.

I've attempted priests before. I think I've started... 4? maybe 5 priests. None have gone beyond level 25, and most never made it to level 10. It was never something that really held my interest. There was a lot of dying, a lot of running on no mana. I just figured it was too much work. This one got to level 5 on the first day, then sat in Sen'Jin Village for a while.

Xelaeno was a guildie in my first guild back on Stormreaver. She writes the blog Holy Fire Spec, and two weeks ago she posted a level 1-80 leveling guide - as smite. I never liked the Shadow playstyle - sure, shadowform sounds fun, but you have to wait until level 40, and Shadow sucks before then. So I decided to give her guide a test run.

All of a sudden, leveling was fun again. Sure, the mana issues were still there, but thanks to a gold-related deal with a friend
(and a pair of lucrative gathering professions) I could afford to buy a good wand off the AH. I carried two full stacks of water with me, and went to town.

I haven't logged on to Luthvian for anything more than checking the mail since the day I went smite on this priest. My priest is level 30 and still climbing. Since I'm having too much fun to leave her parked in Inns for any period of time, she rarely has rested experience. As such, I have a lot longer to enjoy the scenery:

Yes, her raptor matches her hair.

I'm also becoming addicted to healing instances. Last night, I found myself in a group of players that vastly out-leveled me (I was 28, they were 35, 36, and 40) who needed a healer for Scarlet Monastery. We plowed through Library, Armory and Cath (where I learned that the mobs are all ?? skulls and I have a huge aggro radius) with not a single wipe. Not one. When we finished, I was so proud of how well I had healed.

That feeling, of being proud of an instance run, I never had that on Luthvian. She never prevented wipes by getting a critical bubble off just in time, or saving the warlock when he pulled aggro (I know, I know, un-Mage-ly of me). She never got sought out to join instance runs (I know that's just because I'm a healer, but still). I feel important, I feel wanted and appreciated. It's different playing a vital role in a group. I like that feeling, and I wish I could have had it while I was leveling my mage.

I think this is the root cause of my sporadic posting lately. I'm burned out on my mage, and I'm burned out on the current tier of raiding. I've been reluctant to post about anything else because this is, by design and name, a mage blog. So what do I do, now that my mage is no longer my focus?

We'll see.

Friday, November 20, 2009

We totally kick ass!

After 5+ weeks of learning the fight and practicing it and cursing it...

Ascended, I love you.


x3! Additional grats to Pallymar (Overhealer Extraordinaire) and Aeman (our Fearless Leader), who also triggered the end of the world.

All that's left (well, for most of the raid) is Yoggy +1, so hopefully soon I'll be able to post a screenshot of us all proud of our drakes. And then, maybe, Algalon will die. Maybe.

And also, hopefully soon, I can come up with a post of substance.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Call of the- oh, wait, wrong patch

So, looks like patch 3.2.2 is dropping on the live servers today. Seemed like an appropriate time to reemerge on this blog and discuss some mage-y things.

Due to my computer SUCKING COMPLETE ASS, I haven't been able to get on the PTR. Ever. It just won't load the installation application, and it just doesn't work. So, take all of this with a grain of salt. I'll run some testing later tonight, or tomorrow when everything is live and stable.

Full patch notes can be found at MMO Champion. It's been updated a few times already today, and I'd expect to see more updates once the servers come back up. Here's the pertinent magely info from the patch notes:

  • Arcane Blast: The buff from using this ability now stacks up to 4 times instead of 3, and each application increases mana cost by 175% instead of 200%. In addition, the duration of the buff has been reduced to 6 seconds.
  • Arcane Missiles: Casting this spell while both Missile Barrage and Clearcasting are active will cause only Missile Barrage to be consumed.
  • Missile Barrage: The effect from triggering this talent now removes the mana cost of Arcane Missiles. In addition, the chance for Arcane Blast to trigger this talent is now 8/16/24/32/40%. All other listed spells continue to have a 4/8/12/16/20% chance to trigger it. This talent no longer has a chance to be triggered when spells miss.

Combustion: This talent now also increases the critical strike damage bonus of Fire spells by 50% while it is active. In addition, Living Bomb periodic ticks will no longer interact with the count or the charges on the talent.

First, let's discuss the fire changes, since that's easier. Summary: ABOUT FREAKING TIME! Combustion was a talent that I specced into from habit, but I don't think I've used since, uh, Naxx. Especially paired with the LB glyph, it maybe lasted about 6 seconds - hardly enough time for anything substantial to crit. The only time it got used was when I got MC'd and the boss decided to pop my "cooldowns".

A 50% increase in crit damage bonus is nice, but Combustion is still rather underpowered. Compare it to what the other specs get, like Icy Veins (20% haste) or PoM/Arcane Power (instant cast/30% more damage with 30% more mana cost). In comparison, getting three guaranteed spell crits is probably not worth a, what, 3 minute CD? Yeah (EDIT: still a 3 minute CD, and lasts until 3 non-periodic Fire spell crits). I'd be happier if it had a set duration/set crit chance bonus, or a shorter CD, or both! In its current format, you're not even guaranteed a Hot Streak proc. It needs a major overhall.

Now, for the Arcane changes... these I really want to get on and test. I've been specced fire for over a month now (and my arcane spec got cannibalized into a pvp frost spec for Faction Champs), and my roommate (a fellow mage, and diehard Arcane fan) and I have been really hoping that the potential buffs make Arcane a competitive spec again.

The Arcane Blast change can only be considered a buff, at least, as far as I'm concerned. We're going from a total of 600% mana increase:45% damage increase, to a 700% mana increase:60% damage increase. This is an increase in our DPM (damage per mana), which is so tenuous with Arcane mages. I'd like to test how this change, especially with the shorter duration, will affect our mana efficiency when paired with the Missile Barrage change.

Now, on to Missile Barrage. There was some confusion with this change (and since live realms are still down, I can't confirm either way). The patch notes state that "this talent now removes the mana cost". This is the wording generally used when the talent itself has changed. They usually put "this talent, in addition to its original effects, now removes the mana cost" if it's, well, an additional effect. The patch notes seem to be saying that the effect has changed from half the cast time, to no mana cost, but people were reporting that the talent was behaving, on the PTR at least, as though the mana reduction was an additional effect, and were still proccing half-time casts that were free. The latter would be an amazing boost, but the former just... sucks.

EDIT: as of last night, Missile Barrage got an awesome change! First: yes, it is free. As in, no mana cost. So that just saved you 960 mana. Woo! Second: it no longer casts "in half the time". No, the cast time is reduced by 2.5 seconds!!!! That, my friends, is AMAZING. I just lost a half second off the channel time for my Arcane Missiles (well, when I'm not fire specced). So I'll be casting Arcane Missiles that channel in 1.5s, and do 60% more damage, and they'll cost me no mana! This was a patch of Arcane-Mage-ly LOVE!

EDIT AGAIN: Just adding this in: my roommate, the other Arcane fan that hasn't yet abandoned her spec (I feel like a failure in my Frosty side), was running a heroic dungeon yesterday (dunno which one, though). After it's done, she runs in my room, and says 4 magic words:
I gained 1000 dps.
Oh. My. God. Wtb respec. (For comparison's sake, she's still in about 80% Naxx 25 gear, including her weapon, and she was pulling 6k dps or more. I'm actually going to wait a week or so for things to settle down. I fear an incoming nerf.)

Hm, I really haven't made any big insights on this post. Sigh. What a terrible comeback post.

Check back later in case I do update this. I'm also going to go work on what is, arguably, a more interesting post about how Vezax is EVIL.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Mage in Absentia

Well, hi. Yeah, things have been quiet around here, but I haven't really had much material to go on. Over the last month or more, I've logged maybe 10 or 12 hours played, total. Aside from visiting my parents and my in-laws (there's 2 weeks WoW-free), my account was hacked in June. Luckily, it was restored within 4 days, but since then I've raided I think once, maybe twice.

I'm not quitting WoW, just not playing as much as I used to. Which is fine; I need to find something productive to do in real-life anyways. Like a job, and school and things. I went out and bought yarn, size 8 knitting needles, and Knitting for Dummies yesterday, and I have vowed to finally learn to knit. I will rather likely be moving before the summer's out, back on campus. Last year, I attended less than half of my total days of school because getting from my home to classes was a chore (also, the breaks between said classes were too long for me to entertain myself at school, but just short enough that I didn't have time to bus home and back).

Things are afoot! Changes will be made!

Also, 12% mana cost reduction for Arcane Blast? Blizzard must love me!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

PAC, cont'd

In response to yesterday's Power Auras post, Gnomeaggedon asked me to make a list of my auras and settings that I use. For most of you, it will be more worthwhile to read my previous post before this one :)

My mage has the most configured auras of all of my characters, however most are for her alternate specs. Here are the Auras I use:
  • Fireball! (Frost), Hot Streak (Fire), Missile Barrage (Arcane)
These three auras all use the same settings, just switch the name of the buff in the Activation tab.
  • Living Bomb (Fire, FFB)
This Aura doesn't have a timer, since it is set to show only when Living Bomb is not active.
  • Icy Veins/Combustion/Arcane Power/Heroism/Trinket procs/etc.
These settings would work for any aura that you want triggered by a certain buff. These all show a timer.

I put these in separate from my Missile Barrage procs, etc., even though they use the same settings. For my trinkets and cooldowns, I generally use static auras - they don't bubble, pulse, move, or whatever. For my trinkets and Mana Surge (from my 2pcT7 bonus), I have the transparency on the aura set almost to zero - I'm only interested in the timer. Heroism does pulse, to make it look cooler ;)

  • Arcane Intellect, Armor, or Food Buff fade
I use these auras to show when these buffs are not active. I've shown the example of my food buff, since I've set the duration in the animation tab to 30 seconds, so that if it fades during a boss fight, or I don't feel like refreshing it, the aura will fade and it won't clutter my screen.

For my Arcane Intellect and armor Auras (the Arcane Int. tab settings are shown in yesterday's post), I have the "only if in raid" option unchecked. That way, these auras will show while solo-ing as well.

  • Low Health/Mana
Using the health or mana option gives you a percentage slider:

It's that simple! If you check the "Enemy Target" option, it will track your hostile target's health - useful for abilities that require the target to be below a certain percentage, or if you just want to know when to unload your awesome cooldowns.

And thus concludes another picspam post. Just keep in mind that the graphics used and the animations are entirely up to you - customize this awesome addon to your own needs! These settings can be adjusted to any class for any buff, debuff, whatever.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Power Auras Classic

I've been planning to do a post about Power Auras Classic, but WoWInsider beat me to it by featuring it in today's Addon Spotlight. I have a few screenshots lying around, and I figured I'd make a little tutorial.

I use this addon for
everything. Pretty much all of my characters have something programmed into PAC, and my mage most of all. Power Auras will make an aura (an on-screen graphic) appear whenever something specified happens. For example, if my mage procs Missile Barrage, this is what my screen shows:

There's a big purple, pulsating graphic that is impossible to miss, even in the busiest of fights. It even has a timer at the top, showing me how much longer I have left on my proc. I've used the same mechanic to track Fireball! procs on my Frost spec, and Hot Streak procs as Frostfire/Fire. Here's how it works:

STEP ONE: type "/powa" to bring up the main menu, which I have moved over to the left of the screen.
STEP TWO: click on the red "new" button at the bottom of the menu, to open the configuration menu, which I have moved over to the right of the screen.

STEP THREE: customize your graphic! Slide the texture bar across to see the different graphics available. Clicking the "WoW Textures" box gives you a second set of textures, and you can add your own textures if you click "Custom Textures", but I've never done this. The little box at the bottom left of the sample graphic allows you to change the colour. Resize and move the graphic using the X-axis, Y-axis, and size sliders.

In this example, I'm creating an aura to show when I do
not have Flask of the Frost Wyrm (my raiding flask) active, but only if I'm in a raid. Here's what my graphic looks like:

The first option I click is "show when not active" (the box in the first image above). If you leave this unchecked, the aura will show when the proc is active, like with my Missile Barrage example, above. By checking the box, it will only appear if the buff/debuff is not active. I use this option to show whether I have a food buff (again, only in raids), as well as all of the time to show when my Arcane Intellect and Armor have faded.

Next, you should fill in the information about the buff/debuff itself. In the "Activation" tab at the bottom, type in the name of the spell. From the drop-down menu, chose whether it is a buff, debuff, or any other number of conditions. If it has a specific stack number that you're looking for (for example, 5 stacks of Imp. Scorch, or Maelstrom Weapon), enter that number in the "Stacks" box, next to the menu.

Next, click the options below that apply to this buff. Do you want it to only show up during raids? Click that option. Is it a debuff on an enemy target? Click the red "Enemy Target" option, and it will track it for your current target. If there's going to be more than one of the same debuff on a boss (for example, three Fire mages all cast Living Bomb), click "Cast by me" to track only your debuff.

To set up a timer, click on the far-left customization tab. Move the timer to where you want it on-screen, and that's it! The first time the aura activates, the timer will calculate automatically. You can also set manual timers, if needed.

The last bit of customization that I use is the animations. I set most of my auras to Bubble and Pulse, since that makes them very noticeable. There are many options, all of which can be previewed.

Here is what the set-up for my Armor aura looks like:

I've added in all of the possible armors, separated with slashes. I did the same for Arcane Intellect, Brilliance, and the Dalaran variations of each.

Here are the options for my Living Bomb aura:

To set up an aura for low health/mana etc., click the option from the drop-down menu and move the slider to the desired percentage. For example, I have an aura pop up when I'm at 10% mana, and 20% health:

To conclude this picture-heavy post, here is what my screen looks like with all of my raiding procs up:

The red at the top is for Heroism (Bloodlust, for you Hordies), with a timer. The purple circle and timer are for Missile Barrage. The yellow and green timers are for my two spellpower trinket procs. The pink timer at the bottom is for Mana Surge, the spellpower proc from the 2pcT7 bonus. The blue graphic and timer at the very bottom are for Icy Veins.

THIS IS NOT JUST FOR MAGES! I know there's an addon called Scorchio that does most of what I just showed you, but I love how much I can customize and adapt PAC. I'm working on making an aura to show when Pallymar, greedy little healer he is, has my Focus Magic buff. My DK uses PAC to track her diseases and Horn of Winter/Strength of Earth Totem. My pallies have auras for when they're missing Seals and Blessings. Power Auras Classic is a very versatile addon, and definitely worth trying out.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Noob-ish Mistakes - as tagged by Averna

So, Averna at Nerf This Druid tagged me to write about my noobish mistakes.

First, as I mentioned back in the beginning, I played a lot of lowbie alts before I settled on a mage, and I made a variety of noobish mistakes on them all. I'll try to compile a list, but I've no guarantee it'll be amusing:

  • my first noobish mistake was rolling a freaking warlock, and an Undead one to boot! That fail character is still sitting at level 17, never to be touched again.
  • I used to be not-so-familiar with talent points, and just stuck them wherever, without reading what came further down the tree. I think when I was first speccing Luth, she had talent points spread across the first tier of all three trees until like level 30.
  • I have, on multiple occasions, forgotten to go "level up" when I dinged an even level. I did this at level 42 on Luth! I was a noob for a while with her.
  • On my shaman, I decided that totems were too much of a hastle, and stopped using them. I also tried to level as resto, and just melee'd until the CD on my Earth Shock was up.
  • I definitely specced into Improved Wands. Yep.
  • I didn't move my hearthstone for probably the first 30 or so levels. I just walked everywhere.
  • I have definitely beaten mobs to death with my staff.
  • I didn't spec either of my paladins into Seal of Command, which I later learned is an absolute must for leveling. Oops.
  • Just because I can wear it, doesn't mean I should. My shaman has Agilty gear, and she's caster.
  • I specced Frost for the very first time like a week ago. At the same time, I actually learned how to pvp. I've never won against a ganker; I just wait to die, and then move on.
I can't really think of anything overly... funny that I failed at. I never had to do the corpse run through Wetlands... not only was I leveling a mage, but I was being mentored by another mage, who just ported me everywhere.

Sorry Av, my post is fail :(

EDIT: Ooo, yeah, I forgot to tag people!
Gnomeaggedon at Armaggedon's Coming. Happy birthday! Now tell us your noobish fails!
Xelaeno, my dear old guildie, at Holy Fire Spec.
Aaand I've run out of people to tag :( I was considering tagging Tal, but I don't think this is quite up his alley.

I'm also going to try to make a real post later, a lot of people have been debating over Mage Armor vs. Molten Armor for Arcane mages, and I'd like to look into it.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I has a pretty!

As you may have noticed, I'm making an attempt to make my blog prettier. Or at least, not so "default". Unfortunately, HTML and I are not great friends, so this might be as far as this one gets. So for the next while, there may be some cosmetic changes (hopefully improvements).

In-game, I haven't been doing much. Went on a trip to visit my parents, so I had a week of IRL time that happened to start the Wednesday after patch day. So, consequently I'm more than I week behind on Argent Tournament (I have 12 Valiant Seals for Exodar, not a Champion of anything yet), and I missed a week and a half of Ulduar raiding (UPDATE 05/02: successfully Championed Exodar last night!).

I caved and bought dual specs, since my roommate decided that she was going to teach me how to PVP. I am terrible at PVP, and if I'm being ganked I'll just stand there and take it. The sooner I die, the sooner I can rez and get back to questing, right? However, Frost is, uh, more survivable, and having some extra health from (crappy) PVP gear kinda helps. I only managed to beat Burstãngel twice, in what seems like dozens of duels, but what else can you expect when you're dueling one of the best ret pallies on the server >.>

So right after I've become comfortable with my Frost spec, I log on to find... talent point bug! Both of my trees had 63 of their points refunded (???). All the points where still accessible, but it was as if I had specced into the first tier of my tree, then stopped. All of my abilities were unlearned, and my points waiting to be spent. I respecced my Arcane tree, but since I, uh, don't know my Frost tree off by heart, it still needs to be fixed.

Hopefully, someday, I'll turn this into a productive blog. For now, I'll make it pretty.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

OHAI, there's a Mage! and Other Stuff

As I suspected, I got lazy at this whole blog thing. It's exam season, so I've been working on last-minute end of school projects and studying, so my time's pretty limited.

I've also, in my "well, crap, engame is on farm" boredom, started leveling a few alts. Most notably, my Death Knight Chaostí, who I'm leveling in tandem with my boyfriend's shaman Lampyridae. I also (guiltily) started a mini-druid, Siuan.

Druids are a lot of fun. Things... die. Really fast. I guess this is a characteristic of melee classes, since my OP Death Knight (in the true nature of the class) whacks things to death faster than my mage can cast at them. I watch my roommate (Burstãngel) destroy things on her retadin, and I get jealous. Not to mention, not being squishy helps a lot too.

When I was in high school, a group of friend and I started a, um, "club" called G.E.E.K. Stood for Gifted English Enrichment Klub, but really we were playing Dungeons and Dragons. With our grade 11 English teacher. Yes, I played a spellcaster (a wizard, if I recall, but sorcerers are more fun) and wandered around in my cloth armor, carrying my greatstaff and hoping that I didn't die.

In WoW, you're restricted to only certain armor proficiencies. A mage cannot don mail shaman gear. However, armor works differently in D&D. Rather than outright restrict you, they penalize you.

Here's how it works. If a caster that's a cloth wearer wants to wear a Leather Jerkin of +1 Asskick, rather than be locked out from it, they gain an additional chance that their spell will fail. I like this mechanic. Many leather and mail pieces are simply superior to cloth, and the added armor and less-squishiness is nice, too.

If this mechanic were to translate into WoW, I assume it would simply decrease our hit chance. For some classes (poor rogues and paladins), hit cap is merely something they'd like, but will never, ever see. Rogue hit cap is something along the lines of 800+ hit rating, and ret pallies actually lose overall DPS by striving for hit capping. However, for us lucky mages (Arcane mages even more so), hit cap is actually too easy to obtain.

For example, up until Monday (when I grabbed a few new hit rating-less pieces) I was over hit cap, self buffed, by 0.90%. Not even with an SPriest or Boomchicken. A lot of our item budget is wasted on excess hit. If you were to wear what is largely considered best in slot, a mage would have over 400 hit rating, which would translate into something around 25% hit. Excessive.

Now, I'd gladly take a hit chance penalty to wear, say, Unravelling Strands of Sanity. I'm always reading over loot and wishing I wasn't locked from the remaining 3 armor classes. Shaman grab cloth boots and bracers, Druids like some cloth pants, ret Pallies have leather items that are almost best in slot. I'm stuck with lousy cloth, with no other options.

A Warlock in my guild suggested a lore-friendly reason why he should be able to wear leather: due to their mastery of demonkind, Warlocks have learned to craft leather armor from their hides. If only mages could, say, "control the elements of earth and space, and gain proficiency with mail".

So I'll be off to enjoy my non-squishy alts until Ulduar, and try to get Lampy raid-worthy (crossing my fingers, we could always use another shaman). Until then, my Arcane-wielding, world-shattering Mage will take the back burner.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A Little Burnination

Edit (04/10): It has been brought to my attention that Ignite may, in fact, have become a smart spell. I'll have to spend some time looking into this, so, uh, the following post exists so you can mock my terrible math ^.^

Ignite is a Fire talent in the second tier
that causes your critical strikes from Fire (and Frostfire) spells to burn the target for an additional 8/16/24/32/40% of the damage dealt over 4 seconds. It ticks for 20% each tick, 2 seconds apart. This is a sizable contribution to overall damage and dps, since it essentially adds an additional 40% crit strike damage bonus (if it ticks for the full 4 seconds).

However, here is the issue. Ignite isn't a smart spell. If you crit with one spell, and then within 4 seconds crit with another spell, the ignite from the second spell will overwrite the first ignite even if the first ignite was greater. I think we could all agree that this would cost dps, but let's explore this a bit further.

Now, a disclaimer: these numbers are all based on older WWS logs, since I respecced Arcane last week. I went back to our last one-night, full clear for the data. This WWS report I'm using is from 3 weeks ago, so the numbers are lower than they are now, owing to different gear and a superior spec now.

Here's what my damage table looked like for all boss fights (no trash):
Ignite is a huge part of my overall damage. It outdid Living Bomb, which is usually considered the key dps component of Frostfire and Fire specs. While the overall damage is a bit inflated by Thaddius (I can't really crit for 26k) looking back to other runs where we didn't get to Thaddius, the breakdown is about the same.

The pyroblasts are purely from Hot Streak procs. I'd never waste time on the 5 second cast. And I apparently crit a lot with pyroblast, which means I cast Ignite a lot from pyroblast. Let's do some number crunching:

Hot Streak procs from Fireball, Fireblast, Living Bomb (the bomb part, not the dot), Frostfire Bolt and Scorch. For these spells, I had a total of 433 spell hits, of which 255 were crits - about a 59% overall crit rate. I procced Hot Streak 188 times through the whole instance - but bear in mind several factors, not the least of which is Lotheb. Compare the proc rate - 188 - with the hit rate - 79. I wasted a lot of Hot Streaks.

Normally, if I proc a Hot Streak, I hold on to it. If Living Bomb is about to go off, I prioritize letting LB finishing before I toss of the Pyroblast. Why? Ignite munching!

I assume a spell is going to crit. If Living Bomb goes off and crits, as per the above WWS, it will do a (slightly inflated) average of 2085, with an average crit of 3656. The Ignite from this Living Bomb would be 1462 damage over 4 seconds - and extra 365.5 dps while that Ignite is active.

Pyroblast hits for an average crit of 9399, which would make the Ignite bonus 3760 over 4 seconds, or an extra 940 dps. That is a huge increase over the Ignite bonus from Living Bomb.

All of this assumes that both the Pyroblast and the Living Bomb will crit, but nonetheless, this would result in a 574.5 dps loss if the Ignite from Living Bomb overwrites the Pyroblast. As such, I usually hold on to my Hot Streak procs until after Living Bomb ticks (unless it's way early in the Living Bomb duration).

Sometimes, I proc a Hot Streak before I've cast the first Hot Streak. This is also a massive loss in dps. Not only are we losing the Ingite (if it crits), I've also lost the 4888 average hit of the Pyroblast. I never ever intend to do this, but sometimes I proc twice in a row, or I lose it waiting for Living Bomb. I rarely cast the Hot Streaks when I should have - I cast barely half of the procs I got (I got 157 procs on bosses that weren't Loatheb). I was a terrible Frostfire mage :D

All in all, I figure it's best to hold on to that Hot Streak until LB is up, but I absolutely welcome feedback.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


So, I've been working on a post about Ignite munching for a week or so now (there's a lot of math...), and it was nearly done when I had to go out of town for the weekend. So, it's still a work in progress. I figured I'd pop in just to assure you (well, whoever reads this) that I am still here.

There's been more changes on the PTR for mages (crap). The only one I actually like is that Mirror Images won't cast polymorph anymore. I don't PvP, ever, so I don't really care that it's a PvP nerf - I consider it a PvE buff. I've had a mirror image polymorph a worshiper on Faerlina - BAD! Not being able to do it anymore is good. The only other change I'd want to see is that they prioritize attacking my target, rather than, say, run across the room on Four Horsemen.

I'm only minorly irritated by the nerf to Improved Scorc/Winter's Chill. I'm not Frostfire anymore; I respeced Arcane last week and have never been happier. So 5% crit doesn't phase me as much as it once would have.

On that note, I am in love with Arcane again. It broke my heart just after 3.0.8 when I couldn't work with it. I needed mana! But now, I've finally reached the point where Arcane is better than Frostfire - by a lot! Like, second highest DPS on Patchwerk (grats Theine on COMPLETELY OWNING MY FACE - hunters are awesome) better. Like, tying Burstãngel for DPS on Thaddius (we both got 8248 - no joke, it was awesome, she's like the best geared player in our guild, let alone an awesome Ret pally). So, hopefully my newly rekindled love for Arcane won't flag any time soon. This is so much fun :D

Sunday, March 1, 2009


So, every blog I follow has made a post about something with the PTR. It's the hot topic on our guild forums, WoW Insider is posting every 5 minutes, it seems. Suppose I should put in my two cents.

However, I haven't touched the PTR yet. I have the client, but when I try to update it errors. So I haven't logged on. I've also not had any motivation to do so. A group of fellow guildies and I all copied over with the intent of testing Ulduar, but so far we're still waiting on copies and haven't been able to get in to test it. So, that's out.

And honestly, what would I comment on? Let's outline the upcoming mage changes:

Frost: Improve Water Elemental changed to Enduring Winter
Enduring Winter is a new talent, which will grant Frostbolt a 33%/66%/100% to provide a Replenishment buff to up to 10 of a mage's party or raid members. It works like every other Replenishment buff (don't we have enough already?) in that you get 0.25% of your total mana back per second while active.
Here's my issue with this talent - it's all an attempt to make Frost mages a valuable contribution to a raid make up. Except that Frost mages can't deal the damage needed to keep up with Arcane or Frostfire mages.
Bear in mind, I've never played a Frost mage. I leveled Arcane, I raided at 70 as Arcane (even when it still sucked), and have played Frostfire since I hit 80. My roommate always played Frost. She hates that she can't play Frost as a raiding mage. She tried once, and did 900 dps. Respecced Arcane and nearly tripled that in the same gear.

So... hurrah, mages get a buff that is already brought to the table by nearly every other class? I know that Ascended will never raid without a Ret pally or two, and we always have at least one Spriest in 25-mans, etc. etc. So, this is useless. Thanks, Blizz.

Well, that was thrilling. Not. I personally take this as a sign that Blizzard likes mages where they are. I don't agree that mages are where they need to be - they've nerfed a 51-point talent because people QQed and even now, they've come out with Glyph of Arcane Barrage. All this means is that Arcane mages need to glyph to make up for Blizzard's attempt at nerfing them.

Armor, Pyromaniac and Arcane Meditation are being buffed to allow 50% of your And yes, as casters we also will experience the mana regen change, and accordingly MageOOC manaregen to continue while casting (up from 30% when fully talented). However, my roommate noted that this makes Glyph of Mage Armor useless, since it would add 20% mana regen, and mana regen is capped at 100%. So that glyph may go by the wayside. As Frostfire, I doubt I'll see much of a difference. I usually finish a long fight with about 80-90% of my mana, and I've got way more than enough (20k raid buffed).

There's tons of glyph changes coming up as well. The only ones I'm even a bit interested in are Glyph of Living Bomb (lets the ticks crit, which might proc Hot Streak) and Glyph of Mirror Image (gives the images' Frostbolts apply Winter's Chill and give an extra 5% crit chance). Most of the other glyphs are geared towards Frost mages and pvp. Not interesting.

But really, here I've gone on for way too long about this, when it's all been done to death by so many other blogs (better written as well). TO SUMMARIZE: I am thoroughly underwhelmed by the upcoming mage changes (but I am excited for Ulduar) except Glyph of Living Bomb. Yay....

/afk (and damn, this post was terrible, sorry guys)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Yes, I Can DE

I know there was a post about this on wowinsider a week or so back, but I think it's a valid point. Luthvian is an enchanter, and a miner. To get ore from mining, I go to a node and tap it, no fuss. I can do that anywhere.

To get mats as an enchanter (especially since I still need more levels to get capped) I need to disenchant some high end items (blues and greens). Such items are found in instances. Rarely from quest rewards, especially seeing as the only quests I haven't done are in Howling Fjord and some under-75 zones.

However, every time I go into an instance, it's "oh, we'll roll on these shards". Last night I was with a leather worker in Nexus, who skinned every dragon. Did we roll on his leather? No. What about when we mine in instances? Do we roll on the ore? No! Those mats stay with whoever gathered them, and yet I have to give up my shards every time.

Maybe I wouldn't mind so much if I was capped in the profession, but endgame has made leveling too hard, since I never have mats to use. Either they get rolled on and taken, or dumped in the guild bank (which I agree with, I'd rather see them gbanked than handed out anyways).

The only way I get shards of my own now is to DE my old gear. Which means that right now I have 7 Abyss Crystals and no Large Dream Shards.

Just something to think about.


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Your Welcome!

One of my pet peeves, and one that I know is shared by many, is bad grammar. It seems that, nowadays, wherever you look, be it general chat, forums, what have you, people are mangling the English language.

Grammar is a subject usually taught at the early elementary school level. So it would be a safe assumption that a given WoW player (even the 12-year-olds) should have a grasp of basic grammatical structure. Unfortunately, that does not appear to be the case, and so I endeavour to outline a few basic rules of English.

The Basics
The core unit of the English language is the sentence. The most basic sentence structure is the simple sentence. A simple sentence consists of a subject and a verb. There are more complex sentence types, but let's take it in baby steps.

A subject is the person, place or thing that the sentence is about. The subject is a noun or a pronoun. There are three types of pronouns:
1st person: I, me, we (plural)
2nd person: you
3rd person: she, he, they (plural)
Also, there are proper nouns, which are names (ex. Claire, Joseph, Toronto).

A verb is an action word. Verbs describe what the subject is doing. Verbs have tenses, which describe when the action is happening:
Present: walking (I am walking)
Past: walked (I walked)
If you want to express a verb in the future tense, it generally requires a modifier as such:
Future: will walk (I will walk).

A Few Simple Rules
Believe it or not, there is a big difference between "its" and "it's"; between "your" and "you're", and so on. "Its" and "your" are possessive. For example, if I were to say "your car", I am saying that the car belongs to you. However, "you're car" makes no sense. Likewise, "its car" means that the car belongs to "it" (where it is an ambiguous third person pronoun).

Apostrophes have three uses:
1. to form possesive of nouns
2. to show the omission of characters
3. to indicate certain plurals
Now, I know I just said that an apostrophe-s is not possessive, but the structure does indicate possessiveness in some cases. For example, it is "the boy's hat", meaning that the hat belongs to the boy.
If an apostrophe is used in a word such as "don't" or "you're", it is showing the omission of letters. If those words are expanded and the apostrophe is removed, you get "do not" and "you are".
Now, using apostrophes to indicate plurals only happens on words ending in "s", because you can't add another s to the end of the word to indicate plural.

When you have a sentence like "Mary and I went to the theatre", there are a few rules that must be followed. First, the third person pronoun (Mary, in this example) must always go first. If you have more than one third person pronoun (if your sentence was "Mary, Jason and I" or "Susan and James"), it doesn't matter who goes first (pick your favourite). Second, you must use the correct first person pronoun. I usually double-check my structure by removing the other subject as such:
"Mary and me went to the theare."
"Me went to the theatre." This sentence is incorrect; the wrong first person pronoun was used.
"Mary and I went to the theatre."
"I went to the theatre." This senctence makes sense on its own, therefore "I" is the correct pronoun.

Now, there is so much more grammar to be learned, but for now I leave you with these basics. If you keep these rules in mind, you will be able to communicate in an intelligent fashion in trade chat. I thank you for respecting the English language. Next week: French!


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Guild

Being in a guild brings such an elevated purpose to playing WoW. If I wasn't in a guild, I honestly don't know what I would do. Not only as level 80 (wtf how would I raid?) but even my lowbies. The alts I play most are the ones in a guild. I play an alt on an entirely different server where I am the only person I know that actually plays regularily, and I have so much fun because I'm guilded on that character.

Imagine, for a moment, that guilds didn't exist (and PuGs didn't suck, so you could still raid). What would the game be like? Would trade chat still be the seething cesspool it is now? Perhaps. Would more people use their friends list (and for that matter max it out)? Certainly it would be harder to get groups, etc., but at the same time would it still be fun?

In real life (yes, it exists) I am very socially inept. I'm not comfortable making friends, I'm very shy, and I won't talk to someone unless they talk first. I never initiate conversations, not even on MSN. In WoW, I am, quote Pallymar, "the most outgoing person on vent". I can have active, productive conversations, I can enjoy being with other people, even in a virtual setting. I make silly jokes, contribute to off-colour discussions, and generally make an ass of myself and have fun doing it.

This in itself is a revelation for me. And, to return to the point, none of this would be possible without a guild.

My first guild was None Shall Pass. NSP was (and still is, though membership has unfortunately much diminished) a guild composed mostly of RL friends and a few in-game friends. It was all levelling, PvP and social. No raiding whatsoever. I actually joined NSP by accident ^.^

One day, in my low 20's, I was running around through Ashenvale. Suddenly, I find myself dead, ganked by a horde. And as I'm about to release and run back to my corpse, I notice that he's camping me. Well, crap. So I sit at my corpse, planning to either wait it out or just log off when a group of Alliance come up the hill. Our guild leader Blackdog (70 at the time) was running a few of the lower level characters through some quests and happened to be in the area. He quickly dispatched the horde and the priest rezzed me. I waved, thanked them for their help, and was about to continue on my way when BD sent me a ginvite.

Now, I was honestly hesitant to accept it, since the last one I got was a "OMG I GOT THIS MANY RECRUITS PROMOTE ME NOW!" guild. But I figured, eh, they seem helpful, and joined up. And stayed with NSP for almost a year.

I loved NSP. It was a great environment, everyone was nice and talkative, and they became my little circle of friends on Stormreaver (especially after some drama with my old roommates). I levelled straight through to 70 with them, and was loathe to gquit, even for a raiding guild. I passed up on tons of endgame in TBC because I couldn't bear to leave NSP.

Eventually, I left for a raiding guild on Stormreaver that was pretty much a grown-up, raiding version of NSP. I still kept in touch with all of the NSPers and ran instances with them all the time. In fact, just before I transfered to Bonechewer to join Ascended, my friend Xyliaj and I ran one last heroic together, and I actually delayed my transfer by a few days to wait for her.

Now, in Ascended, it's like a family. A crazy family that you wouldn't necessarily want to introduce to your boyfriend, but a family nonetheless. And it's awesome. There is a coherency to the group that makes us work real well together. The guild has its jokes and its serious moments. We talk about boobies in mage chat one minute, then the next we strategize. Hunters talk about MDing Vic, but hunters are... weird. To summarize: Ascended makes playing fun. And unpredictable.

If I hadn't had such an awesome group of friends on WoW, I probably would have given up ages ago. In my opinion, you miss out on so much if you're not guilded. It is an absolutely necessary part of the game, and one which makes it all the more enjoyable.


Why I Rolled

Well I guess as good a place to start as any is from the very beginning.

I've always prefered magic-users and spellcasters in RPGs. In D&D I've always been a sorcerer or a wizard (for the record, scorcerers are more fun). I've been facinated with magic since I was a child, and I still consider "hit with stick" classes mundane and boring.

My main (and really my only character) is Luthvian, a level 80 Draenei Mage on Bonechewer (though originally of Stormreaver). But she was not my first character.

My account was originally my boyfriend's account, and was created in January 2007. Luthvian was created in October 2007. Whatever did I do for... *counts* 9 months and change? Experimented with a series of terrible characters.

I started on Chromaggus as an Undead (didn't have BC yet so was stuck with ugly Horde) warlock. I stubbornly played that character until she got to level 17 (took forever, I hated it that much). Deciding that maybe she wasn't my type, I went and made a bunch of low-level alts both on Chromaggus and as Alliance on Antonidas. My very first mage was Karla, a Gnome on Antonidas. She is level 11, and has been for almost 2 years now. The only character I ever stuck with for a measurable amount of time was Piratecake, my Tauren Shaman.

In October 2007, I moved into a house with some new roommates, both of which played Alliance on Stormreaver. One was a warrior, the other a... mage! So I picked up BC and started myself a Draenei mage, figuring I'd play for a bit and then toss in the towel again.

And yet, here I am, a year and a half later still playing little Luthvian. A lot has changed since we started. I can't explain why I had a particular affinity for Luthvian. Maybe because Draenei are really hot? For sure, at lot was because I had people to play with (well, run me through stuff, they were both level 70 before I hit level 20).

However, I think the primary driving force was that early on, I got into an awesome guild.

And as much as I'd love to wax eloquent about my guild, this post is long enough. That'll come later.


What am I doing here?

Oh yes. I am jumping on that bandwagon, following the lead of my fellow Ascended members Tal and Averna, and will attempt to create a coherent blog of all things mage-y and World of warcraft-y that crosses my mind.

No promises. I'm a lazy blogger and not a stellar player.

Prediction: this will be my only post for months. Yep.