ilvl 720+ link curve

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lilloCONTROVERSY

THE DEATH OF ALL STATS

ONLY ITEM LEVEL MATTERS NOW

newStatsPane

So as you can see above (image courtesy of MMO Champion) the character panel has changed slightly. Whereas before, it showed everything even if it wasn’t relevant to you, now it shows only the stats you should care about. It shows your tertiary stats too if they are present on your gear, but doesn’t if they aren’t. Snazzy little change!

(It’s important to note, however, it’s not showing Spell Power for intellect users, and I assume Attack Power for others. I think this should change personally)

It’s dumbing the game down!

No it’s not. The stats you have now are still in the game (bar Multistrike), it’s just not showing stuff that isn’t relevant to the class/spec you are playing. Mages don’t need Strength, why show them what that stat is? The displayed numbers are rounded, but you can hover over them to show you to specific decimal places, as well as the flat number of the stat present on your gear (I assume after passive ability modifiers).

That’s not my major point today, however,

It makes item level so prominent! They’re making it the most important thing!

*sigh* Here’s where I take potshots at everyone and everything.

Item level is a barometer, it’s one of many factors that decide the power of a character. It’s prominent probably because of the emphasis people put on it. Before item level was a thing and displayed in-game, you had gear score and it functioned much the same as ilvl does now, despite being largely invisible and calculated by external addons.

“720+ no scrubs”

Having a high item level is an indication of roughly how you will do in a fight. The higher the item level, the higher your DPS/HPS will theoretically be. Of course, this doesn’t take into account many, many factors, such as:

  • Your spec: It’s all well and good saying you should pull 80k DPS on a fight, but what if you’re playing as a Destruction Warlock, and have to move a lot? Your DPS will suffer for it, a lot more than a Beast Mastery Hunter, who can perform all of their rotation while on the jog.
  • Your secondary stats: Fantastic, you’re a Fire Mage with 740+ item level! You’re still HEAVILY dependent on having Critical Strike on your gear, and if you got unlucky enough with your secondary stats that you’re sitting barely above default? DPS will suffer.
  • Skill level: It’s all well and good being of a high item level, but if you die because you stand in fire, that’s DPS/healing you’re not doing.
  • Arrogance: “wtf this is only LFR/Normal/Heroic, mechanics don’t matter here!” Yes they do, my lovely.
  • Can you do effective DPS? Best way to explain this is with the Paragons fight from Siege. 9 bosses, 3 at a time, looks like an AoE/cleave fight, but actually is a single target fight because when one dies, the others restore their health and buff their damage. It’s easy for a Shaman to spam Chain Lightning and top the DPS meters, but only 33% of it is effective DPS because they’re attacking 2 targets they shouldn’t be*.

And so on and so forth. People are at the point now where generally, people know Hellfire Citadel inside out, and because they want to grab tier pieces, class trinkets and ring upgrades, people generally don’t want to take people still learning the fights. That’s all well and good, people are free to advertise their raid groups (or ANY group) however they feel like.

However!

It also creates this weird thing where people who may not have a regular raiding team are stuck at a particular item level range of roughly 690 to 710 or so, who can’t get into groups because they’re asking for 720+ to steamroller through fights. They can’t get into groups with their “low” item level, yet need to get into groups to increase it. They want to get Ahead of the Curve, yet need it to get into a group.

“But they can do Mythic dungeons”

Yeah, about that. Increasingly I am seeing groups who, again, want to steamroller through things to farm Valor points for gear/ring upgrades, and so again they ask for higher item levels than the instances even drop, gear-wise. They want speed, they want no screw-ups, they want to be in and out, and don’t have the patience for “fucking slack dps” and what not.

Who is to blame for this situation? Well, everybody and nobody, in a way.

The people who placed a high emphasis on gear score way back when, when it was an intangible number calculated by some addon started it, to be sure. Blizzard then displayed item levels on gear, and slowly this became the de facto way of judging the “worthiness” of a player. Never mind that someone with high item levels can ignore important stuff that wipes groups, or have just bought their way to high gear (either from the auction house, black market auction house, or from carry runs) and so don’t know how any fights work, they have a high item level, they MUST be good!

It’s prominent because YOU MADE IT SO.

*there ARE classes that benefit from a little bit of cleave. Off the top of my head, Destruction Warlocks benefited from throwing down Rain of Fire and having Immolate up on three targets, because it generated Burning Embers that they could then pour into their Chaos Bolts on their primary DPS target, but this is pretty much the exception, Paragons was a single target fight masquerading as an AoEfest.

Transmog Spotlight: Pinkadin

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My Paladin is called Poundshopwig, because he’s all about the cheap-ass weave. He is resplendent, his beard is fabulous, he is a beacon of light in a world of darkness.

Or at least a zone of darkness, because damn if Shadowmoon Valley isn’t terrible for screenshots.

psw

Ordinarily a Holy Paladin, Mr P. S. Wig is currently rocking Retribution, ’cause it kills things slightly quicker in Tanaan Jungle, and I am terribly impatient. The chest, gloves, legs, boots and belt are of the Bloodscale Plate set (Bloodscale Breastplate/Gauntlets/Legguards/Sabatons/Belt), which tend to drop from the normal mode Hellfire Citadel (Outland version) dungeons. The shoulders are the Blood-Stained Pauldrons, and these babies drop from Rage Winterchill, in the Battle for Mount Hyjal raid, so I’m terribly sorry about that one, but at least he’s the first boss. The Bloodscale shoulder item actually don’t match the set properly as they’re red, not pink. Disastrous.

Crown of Empowered Fate drops from the Reliquary of Souls encounter in Black Temple. The sword he’s waving around is Gurthalak, Voice of the Deeps which drops from Madness of Deathwing. When he’s in Holy, I have him looking like this:

poundshopwig2

That shield is obviously the Bulwark of Azzinoth, dropped by Illidan Stormrage of Black Temple fame. It thankfully dropped first time for me, so I hope it does for you too! His fetching purple mace sees you go back to the Battle for Mount Hyjal to engage the third boss, Kaz’rogal. The item? Hammer of Atonement. There is a fetching PINK version that drops from the trash mobs located in the place called the Hammer of Judgement but I got impatient trying to get it to drop.

Transmog transmog transmog. Where would we be without you?

Disco Inferno

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What’s the best way to breathe new life into a game that’s going a bit stagnant at the moment? Why, do exactly the same thing as you’re doing now on a SHINY NEW CHARACTER!

Say hello to Huomofa the Fire Mage!

huomofa

know, a MAGE, fancy that. I’m playing a class some loser once described as the second worst in World of Warcraft. Thing is, I had never played as Fire before. Frost and Arcane bored the junk out of me, and I could never be bothered to respec to Fire to try it out, so my other Mage sits at level 90 on my old server.

Fire as a spec is often compared to the Warlock spec Destruction, probably because on the face of it “they both throw fire around so it must be the same right?” which is kinda like saying “Frost Mages and Frost Death Knights are the same because brr cold?” really. There are superficial similarities. They both like Crit and Mastery, albeit for different reasons and in a different order. They both indeed throw fire around. They’re both incredibly fun.

But while Destruction is all about building up resources then spending them all when you get powerful buffs, Fire is about fishing for critical hits so you can power up and insta-cast your nuke. While Destruction has a trivial DoT in Immolate, Fire has SEVERAL important ones in Pyroblast (which procs from Pyroblast, believe it or not), Ignite (which procs from most fire damage you deal), Combustion (which is based on how high your Ignite is when you cast it) and potentially Living Bomb (a talent). Destruction has a major DPS cooldown and an execute, Fire has… neither (unless you take Mirror Images I suppose?).

huomofa2

I picked Fire to play as because I figured it’d be similar to Destruction, my main’s main spec. I continue playing it because, le gasp, I was wrong and I’m so glad of that. I leveled her to 60, then I boosted her because a) I got paid and this is a way of treating myself, and b) PROFESSION BOOSTS YEAH.

You know it’s really difficult to play Fire in low level dungeons? Not because it’s a tough spec, or because of the low crit levels, but because by the time I’ve got a Fireball cast off, everything’s dead. Boss damage I excelled at, but trash? Might as well let everyone else deal with it. They also have that ol’ turret issue that Destruction faces, but this is mitigated slightly by the Ice Floes talent. Not that I took it. I like Evanesce. It makes me purple.

Does render me unable to turn myself into an ice cube though.
Does render me unable to turn myself into a confused ice cube though.

Playing a Mage makes you play a bit clever too. Sure, Fire is capable of melting some serious face if the RNG favours you, but when the crits stop flowing and there’s enemies beating you in the face, you don’t have plate armour or a pet to take the heat off of you, so you need to react accordingly. Prepare for a fight by Polymorphing extra enemies, or laying down a Ring of Frost. Make sure your Frost Nova and Blink spells are in easy reach. Dragon’s Breath acts as a nice pseudo-interrupt as it has a 4 second disorient effect, and your Counterspell locks enemies for 6 seconds with a successful interrupt! Evanesce allows you to avoid everything for 3 seconds, and when the shit REALLY hits the fan, Greater Invisibility will drop all threat, make enemies unable to target you, reset everything and allow you to retreat, heal up and try again.

All in all, I am really enjoying this character! She’s really thrown my Legion plans into disarray though. I had originally intended to focus on just 3 characters, one for each role (Destro Warlock, Brewmaster Monk, Holy Paladin), but now I wanna throw Huomofa as a fourth in there too. I have zero interest in Frost or Arcane, so I don’t have to worry about the offspec blues either, whereas I know with my Warlock and Monk, I want to play Demonology and Windwalker alongside their main specs.

Legion’s gonna be a busy time. Better go prepare, I guess?

*insert Illidan joke here*

Things You Do That Bother Me

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Not you specifically, you generally. People. I’m going to generalize here, you see. Here’s a list of behaviours people exhibit in World of Warcraft that bother me in some way:

  • I don’t mind so much the PvPing. I’m on a PvP server, it’s to be expected. I’ll admit it, I’ve nuked someone a lower level than me on the way somewhere, just because I COULD, I think most of us have, but if you’re a level 100 and you’re constantly killing people lower level than you (I mean to the point of having killed the same person several times), and trolling their questing experience for your shits and giggles, then you’re a twatbox.
  • You’ve joined a group, probably Kazzak, and the first thing you do is some variation of “SUMMON ME,” whether it’s that, or yelling “123” (why does that mean “summon me”?) or “TP” for the French among you because you’re too lazy to mount up and fly there. You douchecannon.
  • MORESO if there’s no Warlock present in the group ANYWAY. Turdbin.
  • You get a bit of a pass though if you literally CAN’T fly there because you haven’t done the Draenor Pathfinder achievement. Only a bit though, you lazy sack of hammers.
  • You’re in a PUG, and someone asks the group to speak up if you don’t know the tactics. You don’t speak up, even though you don’t know at ALL what to do, and you wipe the group because you keep mixing the fire together on Xhul’whateverthefuck, or you drop void zones where they don’t go, or keep hold of the damn Eye of Anzu. Speak up next time, you wankrocket. They won’t shout at you, they explicitly asked, which implies they’re okay with explaining stuff.
  • Raid leaders in PUGs that don’t explain fights, or don’t bother to ask if everyone’s up to speed. Not everyone’s as super advanced as you, bitchstick.
  • The GOGOGO sort of people you encounter in dungeons. Sweetie, I go at my own pace.
  • The tanks that speed off into the horizon, when Paladin mobility feels akin to a snail wading through molasses. Cockhammock.
  • People who complain about other people all the time, seriously, BE the change you want to see. Oops, nothing to see here.

shoryukengif

That’s not to say there aren’t wonderful people in the game. For every wankstache, turdcanoe and, I dunno, dicksmacker, there’s wonderful people who do the opposite of the above. They explain, they’re patient, they’re friendly and undemanding, they’re attentive and polite.

Call out the dickish behaviour you see. Don’t tolerate it. If enough of us push back against the idiots, maybe we can make this game one that new players will be happy to play, one that will nurture and teach them, rather than tear them down and drive them away. And speaking of new players…

Hearthstone has a cross-promotion with WoW at the moment, where if you level a character to 20, you get a new hero to play with. As a result, people who haven’t played WoW for a long time, or even EVER, are floating around the low-level areas, trying to get their bearings. It’d be nice if some of those players stayed, y’know?

I’m not saying we should all go to low level zones and baby them through, but how about not actively working against these people? How about helping them if they ask, rather than mocking them? There’s potentially going to be even MORE new players when the movie comes out, consider this a trial run for then. These new players could be your guildies in the future, your healers and tanks, the friends you never knew you had.

They could of course be the GOGOGOers and the 123ers we never wanted, but we never know until we get there do we?

lillocurious

Well done for sitting through all this. Here’s a Pandaren.

The OFFICIAL “Best Races in World of Warcraft” List!

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It’s official because I say so.

Let’s start with the (un)lucky losers.

13) WORGEN

Like, you’re cool and all but I just can’t with the sniffing and the opening area. I don’t WANT to do Gilneas. You can’t make me!

I can’t even include a picture of one because I just can’t DO Gilneas, it makes me want to scream, so here’s a dog instead.

nocake

12) NIGHT ELF

Let’s be honest here, Malfurion’s really holding you back here. He’s such an endpiece, you need to get rid.

druidlose

11) HUMAN

I’m human. You’re (I assume?) human too. Human’s like the most BORING choice anyone could make. Who’d even make their main one anyway? Oh wait

Only until Pandaren can be Warlocks!
Only until Pandaren can be Warlocks!

10) ORC

Frankly I think we’re all sick of them by now. BRING ON THE DEMONS.

Comedically large shoulders though, so that saves them from oblivion.

Hi. I'm an overused antagonist.
Hi. I’m an overused antagonist.

9) TROLL

We’re all waiting on the inevitable Troll raid in Legion. I mean we went a whole expansion with nary a Trollish hand raised against us! Blasphemy!

Hi. I'm an overused antagonist too. Mon.
Hi. I’m an overused antagonist too. Mon.

8) GNOME

So we get to some difficult decisions now, and Gnomes get the short end of the stick.

Get it? SHORT end? SHORT end?

Ohohohoho!

They give 100% sassface though.
They give 100% sassface though.

7) FORSAKEN

Owners of some of the most rad hairstyles in the game, but with a disappointing habit of having bones appear through everything. Even plate for some reason.

"DEATH TO THE LIVING" whoa there settle down
“DEATH TO THE LIVING” whoa there settle down

6) TAUREN

COW PEOPLE. MOO!

They also have comedically large shoulders, and are all peace & love!

Sadly not called Retbull
Sadly not called Retbull

5) DRAENEI

Tentacled space goats with booty.

Yes, even the men.

disgleirio2

4) GOBLINS

They may be locked into their start experience just like the Worgen, but the difference is that the Goblin start area is actually FUN, and that’s what’s important, kids.

IT'S BEHIND YOU
IT’S BEHIND YOU

3) BLOOD ELVES

The men aren’t the size of houses and are voiced by Liquid Snake. The ladies all give better sassface than even Gnomes.

Plus that casting animation:

DeMolauy

It’s like he’s saying “BITCH I’M AMAZING, CONSIDER YOURSELF LUCKY THAT I AM THE LAST THING YOU’LL EVER SEE.”

2) DWARVES

Poundshopwig and his resplendent beard have really made me fall in love with the diminutive Dwarven race! Being able to turn into stone every so often is pretty damn cool too.

But that beard. THAT BEARD. It demands respect and inspires fear. I envy the lushness and fullness, when all I can grow are smoky wisps of nothing. He oils it every day so that it may inspire all who come into contact with it.

poundshopwig

1) PANDAREN

Like you’re shocked by this. Really.

 

I AM
I AM

I mean have we met?

Not that I'm aware of
Not that I’m aware of

Pandaren are the BOMB, yo.

TOPLESS PANDA PARTY TIME
TOPLESS PANDA PARTY TIME

The Thoughts of a Levelling Holydin

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poundshopwig

Say hello to Poundshopwig, he of the holy light and the cheap weave. He recently hit level 60 through a combination of questing and dungeons, and I’d like to present my thoughts on Holy Paladins thus far, and levelling in general, as it’s not something I have done for quite some time:

  • They’re relatively simple. My Clique bindings don’t number in the hundreds! I have the main single target heals (Holy Light/Flash of Light) bound to left click/alt+left click, Holy Shock as right click, and a couple other spells bound to the middle button and the two side buttons. I have one more spell to get (Light of Dawn at level 70) and I may bind that to where Cleanse is now, and have Cleanse on alt+right click, so my two Holy Power-spending heals are next to each-other on my mouse.

clique

  • Questing as Holy isn’t too fraught, considering Holy Shock hits like a goddamn truck. Being on a PVP server also means people are going to try to engage me in a fight, and so far I haven’t died to someone on/around my level! Taking a lot of damage? Healing spells! Spend Holy Power on Eternal Flame! Killing stuff does end up being “use Holy Shock on cooldown, spam Denounce” though, with occasional uses of Crusader Strike if an enemy gets too close.
  • Goddamn there’s a lot of level 100’s that just camp Hellfire Peninsula, aren’t there? I had to log off and play another character because the Horde would just kill quest NPC’s all night long. Bugger off some of us are trying to level here.
  • Hexweave Bags are stupidly cheap at the moment, so take advantage of this and deck your alts out. I got mine for 800-900 gold each! Remember when they were THOUSANDS? Yeah well not any more.
  • Pet hates in dungeons: Monk tanks. They roll/Tiger’s Lust out of my range all the damned time, and Paladins are REALLY damned slow when Speed of Light is on cooldown.
  • So grateful that intellect plate heirlooms are a thing.

flashoflight

  • Alongside Humans and Blood Elves, Dwarves are one of the only races where I’m happy to go male rather than female. This is not to say I dislike Dwarven ladies, but the males get some splendiferous beards and it’d be a crime to pass that up.
  • Seriously, leave Honor Hold alone.
  • I dislike the Blasted Lands as a quest area. It’s just dull and uninspiring. As soon as I got the Loremaster achievement for the area, I dropped it like a sack of hot shit and bailed. Hellfire Peninsula is no better really. It’s just BIG, and it makes flight a necessity to not become horrendously bored, but also to stay somewhat safe. Also too much brown.
  • Protip! Don’t level in Hellfire Peninsula during the evening on a PvP server.
  • There’s this one part of Hellfire Peninsula called Shatter Point that’s really badly textured and it just bothers me. “Shatter Point might make you queasy!” says the Dwarf that mans the flight path and YOU’RE RIGHT, IT DOES.

shatterpoint

So that’s that, I guess. ONWARDS TO 100!

Panda Steve’s Least Favourite Warlords Bosses!

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Oh look, filler blog content Okay so you know I like lists? Well, here’s a list of the bosses in this wonderous expansion I like the least, because everyone likes opinions.

These are in no particular order, sweeties. Also I’m just getting the images from Google Image Search, they’re like the first ones or something. Like hell do I care enough about these AWFUL BOSSES to make custom sexy images.

Hellfire Assault

martak

Okay so I googled Hellfire Assault and the above image came from… my own blog? OKAY THEN.

Can you even CALL this a boss? I mean, there’s Siegemaster Mar’tak at the start of the fight, but she runs away at 50% health and nowadays that takes, what, 5 seconds? Then follows trash wave after trash wave. It’s like Galakras in Siege of Orgrimmar, except not as cool because there’s no fucking DRAGONS.

I swear it’s the longest boss in the bloody instance, bar Mannoroth or something.

Hans’gar and Franzok

hans

Okay so we have Hans Gruber and Franziska von Karma or whatever they’re called from Blackrock Foundry. They have amusing soundbites, sure, and comedy German accents because why not? I dislike them though because of the conveyors and stampers and the having to move ALL THE TIME and seriously this is not a fight for Destruction Warlocks WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS TO ME BLIZZARD?!

*casts Chaos Bolt*
*has to move*
*interrupts cast*

times a MILLION.

The Blast Furnace

Blast-Furnace

Like, I’ve not done this on Normal+ but the LFR version of this fight is a goddamn nightmare because nobody seems to know what they’re doing. I assume an organised group can knock it out the park with 0 effort, but the random nature of LFR means this fight just becomes a 10 minute slog as everyone ignores the enemies at the side, or the dudes making shields, or just plain stands in fire.

THIS IS FINE
THIS IS FINE

Tectus

tectus

RISE, MOUNTAINS
RISE, MOUNTAINS
RISE, MOUNTAINS
RISE, MOUNTAINS
RISE, MOUNTAINS

oh come on you knew that was coming.

Hellfire High Council

hellfire-council

Ostensibly this is an easy fight. We’ve never had an issue with it as a guild, and even in LFR it goes down like a sack of spuds, so why list it here?

BECAUSE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD WHY WILL YOU NOT DROP THE HEROIC DESECRATED SHADOWMOON INSIGNIA I’VE BEEN WANTING FOR MONTHS?!

That’s right, people. Selfish reasons!

mememe

So this expansion has been largely successful raid-wise, as there’s only a handful of encounters that are mechanically troubling for me, as opposed to Mists of Pandaria, where I could shout endless obscenities at Elegon, Un’sok, Garalon, Lei Shi, Durumu et al. Which bosses have been in YOUR nightmares in Warlords? Do let me know!