Archive for the Uncategorized Category

Me and my lag

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on January 19, 2009 by Natarumah

inv_misc_toy_01pngEver since I installed Wrath, I had been having the most terrible lag issues. At times, my screen would dump me at 1 FPS, and all sounds would become a horrible crackling noise that would make the wailing noises on the video tape in Ring seem like a fine orchestra. Loading screens took forever, and once I got in, I could watch the whole world being rendered layer by layer.

Also, if I would have any other program running besides WoW, all would be going very slow, and alt-tabbing gave me enough time to get a fresh cup of coffee.

I tried defragmenting, I installed Ccleaner, ran virus checks every day and even started disabling programs in startup. Nothing helped, and it even slowly started to become worse.

At first I thought it might be Windows Update secretly working in the background, so I put it on manual. It seemed to work for a while, but the lag came back soon after.

Because I have Windows Vista, I started checking out ways to improve performance. I disabled the Aero Glass theme, which requires 50 MB of memory just to give you those nice mouse-over screens on your menu bar. I even disabled some service that are no longer in use (including some old remnant that is used for dial-up internet, yikes!)

Finally, I found the holy grail. I right-clicked the WoW icon, and went to properties. I selected the “compatibility” menu option tab, and put it in Windows XP Service Pack 2 mode.

Problem solved, WoW runs like a dream. And how much does this all affect my playstyle? Let’s just say that the difference between before and after the fix is 500 DPS. Yeps, you read it right. 500 DPS.

Guess the best way to run WoW in Vista is to make it believe it is not installed under Vista. ^_^

Jinglespam, jinglespam

Posted in Uncategorized on January 5, 2009 by Natarumah

spell_shadow_auraofdarknessWell, it was the season to be jolly, that had to be said. Between trying to get the winter’s veil achievements and grinding cash for my epic flying mount for my druid alt, I was hit between the eyes mostly with spam.

Goldspam.

After the spam in general chat and the throngs of level 1 human warriors plying their illegal trade in Stormwind, the letters being sent to me by companies who wanted to sell me gold, I thought the whispers were the worst. “Hey friend, want to buy gold again?”.

Ho, there pal. I know this trick. You think that I can’t report you now, since Blizzard will think I bought gold from you before? Well, guess again. Since the ticket I am making will now also include “player’s whispers are personally offensive and seek to blackmail me, or besmirch my reputation.”

The spam is worst on servers where a lot of gold is bought. Let’s face it, it takes a lot of work to get such operations going, including the ad campaigns. They do this most heavily on servers where most people buy gold (ie. high success rate). And on an RP server, raiding is not the dominant factor on which your success is dependant (far from it) but rather sense of style and such. And to achieve this, people believe they need that mammoth, that 20k gold chopper or that special war hyppogyph. And so they buy gold. And as long as they do, the spam continues.

And then the holidays came, and it all became worse. The letters have long since stopped, but Trade chat was positively vile. Goldspam even haunted you outside the capital cities, as they had placed town criers in Northrend zones now (The light knows how, as it’s pretty hard to do with level 1’s).

And then more whispers of course. “Hey friend, we have gold in stock.” But honestly I can’t be arsed anymore. I just hit the report spam button and inform them kindly that they have been reported.

Will there ever be an end to this?

Anyway, next up something useful again.

Enchant material requirements are going to be lowered in patch 3.0.8, according to posters on MMO-champion. If this gets through, it means we finally have enchants that do not cost the world resulting in nobody wanting them. Sucks for all of us (including me) who leveled it to 440 and beyond, wasting piles of gold and materials, but at least our future consumption will be lowered.
Saves the environment, I guess.

Stitching it all together

Posted in Shadowpriest, Uncategorized on December 11, 2008 by Natarumah

inv_helmet_100Gearing your baby Shadowpriest, redux

Well, you run your heroics, you badger your badges, and you tailor some epics. In the end, where does it lead you? By request, it’s time to get a summary of it all in bird’s-eye-view. First a recap and rehash of the general rules, and then the collection of the gear to get and the people to see. Have fun!

General Guidelines

  • +Hit until you are capped at 17% (16% as a Draenei) including your talents. This is about 442 Hit Rating at level 80. Note that there is no separate spell hit anymore; any +hit will do. In Heroics (as opposed to raids) you can permit yourself to lower your hit to about 14% including talents without real disadvantages.
  • Shadow Focus gives a total of 3% hit with Shadow spells.
  • Misery gives 3% spell hit while your target is afflicted by Shadow Word: Pain, Mind Flay or Vampiric Touch. Note that you still will have to hit your opponent with one of these spells first, so it may not be the wisest to rely on this overly much.
  • Spell Power is king, even in Wrath it is our most powerful stat.
  • +Stamina/Intellect as needed to survive encounters and have enough mana to last an encounter.
  • Critical Strike rating now benefits us a lot more than before; Mind Flay can crit as does Mind Sear, and our Shadow Power talent boosts our critical strike damage as well. Additionally, if you have a Glyph of the Shadow, you gain 10% of your Spirit as Spell Power. This stacks with Twisted Faith, as it seems all bugs have been resolved.
  • Gems should always be red +Spell Power gems, unless the socket bonus would give you more +Hit or +Crit.
  • +Haste seems to be good for us around the board, but it does burn through your mana quicker. I’d advise to sparingly add Haste once you are comfortable with your other stats, and maintain some basic mana efficiency.
  • Runed Bloodstone gives +16 spell power when socketed, +19 if the Jewelcrafter was lucky and made a Perfect Runed Bloodstone. For now, Runed Cardinal Ruby are the best we can get, at +23 spell power. That is some serious pain!
  • Enchants: WoWwiki has a comprehensive list; if you can get the +damage one, go for it. If there is no such enchantment, then go for what you feel you need the most. Mana issues? Go for MP/5. Dying? Go for +Stamina.

Previous articles

Heroic Loot -> Taking your Shadow to Naxx

Some reputation items -> Le Big Ding!

Tailoring

Tailoring offers some nice items as before, but is now much more separated by function. As an example, see the “craftable epic sets” below:

As such, tailoring has lost a bit of its glamour, as it now crafts items which compare to Heroic gear, instead of gear that was on the T5 level before. But then, the stuff we were able to crafte before was sort of ridiculous, and may have even been the cause of our previous nerfs.

As an aside, tailoring is still a solid profession for being able to make your own bags (20-slotters at the baseline) and Spellthreads (Slightly more powerful than the TBC ones, but also cheaper) and the weaves for one’s cloak (such as the ability to deal holy or shadow damage on a successful spell hit, regain mana, etc.)

Tailoring is still solid for us.

Enchantments

If I had Naxx or higher gear, I’d probably opt for the following enchantments:

Especially the weapon enchant leaves a lot of choice; in cases where you are AoEing with Mind Sear, it may come out on top. Accuracy is the best if you are just short of hit capped, but don’t want to sacrifice other gear choices. Mighty Spellpower is the all-round winner and works in any situation.

As for the cloak, we should not have too many aggro issues, and the Spirit bonus is really lacklustre. Still, there’s no substitute for it unless you are a tailor and can get Lightweave or Darkglow Embroidery. Yes, the Lightweave one does Holy damage, but it is still one of the least mitigated damage types, and it triggers from your other spells without requiring actions or Global Cooldowns.

As you can see, we have more options per slot than before. While this makes recordkeeping a bit more tedious, it also gives us more choice in how we reach our hit cap, or how we gain more Crit. More than ever, Wrath is a game of mix-and-match, rather than paint-by-numbers.

So, I hope this list will help you. See you in Northrend, in a cathedral near you!

That big black hole

Posted in Uncategorized on December 4, 2008 by Natarumah

ability_warlock_eradicationWell, we’re in the Twilight Zone. After leveling to 80, and getting my main quest lines done, I noticed that there’s really not that much to do until enough guildies level to 80 to get Naxxramas going. I have spent way too much money and time on leveling enchanting, while a few others knit together and run heroics back-to-back. Some people actually have fun and I envy them a bit, because I am not having much fun at all.

You see, I have upgraded my gear mostly, but still my DPS is lower than almost any other player I know with equal skill. Maybe it’s because we’ve got to focus on more stats now, but it feels like I need almost godlike non-existent gear to get myself out of the hole. I upgrade, and my DPS increases marginally. A fury warrior gets an upgrade, and adds double digits. I feel left out in many, many ways.

I could always do my dailies and grind rep and get myself one of those Dalaran rings. I could max fishing and cooking, and level my enchanting at steep prices to get enchants half the server will not need until about a month (and trust me, I am at 430 now, and nobody wants them. They are too expensive).

But in the end, all I want is to have fun. I’ve been playing with the thought of just leveling my Druid to 80, but in a series of unfortunate events my community’s lost some DPS players, and suddenly we need DPS people for our coming Naxx raids. At the same time, we’ve gained 2 healers, so that thought got repressed pretty quickly.

I’ll just have to strongarm myself into some decent heroics and make sure that my gear’s worthy of full enchanting and gemming.

I miss the days of being the mana battery. At least we were not 2-bit Mages with Affliction Lock gear.

Le big ding!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on November 28, 2008 by Natarumah

achievement_level_80So, I finally hit level 80 last evening. It took me two weeks exactly to get it done, considering I was refurbishing our new house and thus only had time to spend in the evenings. Especially the last 25% of the level was slow and tedious. /taps foot.

That said, I am glad I can finally start doing some real instancing and focus on my tradeskills a bit more. In order to level I put a lot of effort in steamrolling quests and stringing quests back-to-back just to maximize the use of my time. I skipped some quests that would take too long or too many people were on, since that would just have taken time I could have spent doing something else.

The one dilemma I have now is whether I level my Druid and Mage next (for tradeskill synergy and because my guild still needs another healer – especially a tree) or whether I am going full-out on reputation and achievements.

I noticed that a lot of the reputation rewards are pretty unspectacular until you hit exalted, and even then…the shoulder and head enchants are a no-brainer, so that means getting some of that anyway. But let’s take a few of the rewards useful to Shadowpriests:

Frenzyheart Tribe – Sholazar Basin – Exalted:

Oracles – Sholazar Basin – Revered:

Oracles – Sholazar Basin – Exalted:

Ebon Blade – Icecrown – Exalted:

Wyrmrest Accord – Dragonblight – Exalted:

Argent Crusade – Icecrown – Exalted:

Kirin Tor – Dalaran – Revered:

So far, the Kirin Tor seems to have the best return on investment, while the others are marginal upgrades or even sidegrades to my own gear. It seems a bit sad to hit 80 and have (except trinkets, gloves and boots) the same gear as I had at the end of TBC.

Especially considering the fact that my gloves were from Karazhan and my boots were Frozen Shadoweave…

Anyway, I am sure some upgrades will come my way from the (heroic) dungeons and eventually Naxxramas. I will try and get a good list together for gear we can snag in Naxx, as well as what would be a good measure of stats to have when first entering.

The one thing I will not fail to do, however, is getting Exalted with the Kalu’ak. The thought of running around at the shore with the Mastercraft Kalu’ak Fishing Pole is just too damn attractive…