Mar 30, 2009

News report live from the dark side

We have cookies! Don't tell me you didn't see that one coming. Unless you were expecting a Darkfail rant, a game I have no intentions of touching.

By dark side, I am referring to my new little alt boytoy that you can see to the left, Vanor. You see, he's a paladin. Most who know me will know that I have a deep loathing for them. I could go on about knowing thine enemy and stuff, but the bottom line is I want to taste that overpoweredness for a change. ;)

So far, my presumptions have been spot on. He is so easy to play, cuts things to shreds before you can say hammer of justice. The scary thing is, I'm enjoying playing this char a lot, he's perfect for winding down after a long evening of raiding, or changing scenery a bit from the regular daily quest grind.

I might just keep levelling this guy for my 2nd 80 project instead of my priest that is currently on hold at 73. We'll see. It might just be that he's in a sweet spot right now, I did a bit of battlegrounds to get him the defiler plate and some other goodies (Bind on account gear, with 10k honor shoulder enchant and crusader).

He is currently level 44 and almost finished in Stranglethorn Vale which has been a blast to revisit, it hasn't changed the slightest. Meaning, if you stand still for just two seconds there is some alliance druid or rogue gnawing at you, or you're feared with dots ticking away. Or some raid decked 80 pops out of nowhere as you quest to impress you with his insta-gibbing skills. Awesome zone!

I have also been to an instance or two and witnessed myself that awful itch to comment (in the spirit of helping of course) when you're suddenly in a completely different role than you're used to and observe other tanks in action. So far I have managed to limit myself to suggesting to a warrior that untalented slam spamming with with a 1.8 speed onehander is probably not your best aggro tool. But it is a struggle ;)

Mar 28, 2009

Tanking tips

Hello again,

After the tanking issues with heroic strike was brought back in the spotlight over at Tobold's blogspot it feels fitting do a writeup on things you can do yourself to relieve your fingers and your poor keyboards, and perhaps also up your performance a bit as well.

The first and most important thing you can do to help keeping up with regular tank moves and continuous heroic strike spam, is to remap your keybinds. There is no golden rule on how exactly it should be done, we all have our preferences but a good start is to keybind as much as possible to the keys around your WASD movement keys (assuming you use those). Cram in as much as you can and think about which abilities you use the most (HS, Shield Slam, Revenge, Devastate, Thunder Clap and Shockwave for me, for example), you want those in easy and comfortable reach.

Once that is done, consider what more abilities you also use on a regular basis, perhaps Cleave and medium cooldown abilities such as shield block, last stand and such. Often you have short time to react when the need arises for them, so get those keybound as well. It goes much faster than taking your eyes off the battles to mouseclick Shield Wall or Challenging Shout. Shift, Alt and CTRL modifiers are great for these. Once everything is set, practice. For me at least it can take quite some time for my fingers to get used to new binds. :)

The other big thing that can save you a lot of stress, and in some cases free up some key binds is to get sorted with some macros. At the risk of losing cred with the super hardcore tanks out there who shun macros like the devil, here are some that are very useful to me.

Edit: All these macros use #showtooltip, to get ability tooltips when you mouseover the macro icons and to make cooldowns display properly. For this to with you will need to select the first icon available for the macro, the red question mark. When you start using the macro the icon will change to the skill specified and display things proper.

Charge/Intercept + Victory Rush:
#Showtooltip Charge
/cast Charge
/cast Victory Rush
More a general use macro, most of us keep charge and intercept in easy reach, but using this you can combine them and remove victory rush from your bar, freeing a slot up. The beauty of this macro is that despite having two so different abilities macroed together, they will never conflict, either you charge if you are in the appropriate range, or if you're in melee and hit it, it will attempt Victory Rush. Swap Charge in line 1 and 2 with Intercept if you want to set one up for intercept as well. (Edit: Just make sure you have the mob you want to hit targetted for Victory Rush, and not a mob in the next trash group! ;) )

Shield Slam/Devastate/Revenge + Start Attack:
#Showtooltip Shield Slam
/cast Shield Slam
Get rid of that Attack icon finally, if you haven't already. Very simple macro that makes sure your autoattack is on, useful when the mob you had targetted just died and turned your autoattack off and you start on the next one in the pack. If you don't have enough rage to cast shield slam, it will still make sure your white hits are running, getting you rage again. I've set up Shield Slam, Devastate and Revenge all to also do /startattack. Again, to make this work with Devastate and revenge, just swap the skill names in line 1 and 2.

Shield Slam/Devastate/Revenge + Heroic Strike + Start Attack:
#Showtooltip Shield Slam
/cast Shield Slam
/cast Heroic Strike
Same as above, but with heroic strikes thrown in as well. Use this with care please. There are some fights where you are drowning in 100 rage non stop such as Patchwerk in Naxxramas, Malygos and also Sartharion with extra drakes. On those fights, setting yourself up with this macro will save your fingers a lot of strain. In most other cases you will not be swimming in rage and using this macro then will leave your rage at 0. Heroic Strike should only be used when you are sure you can do it in combination with your other regular moves, otherwise you will lose a lot of aggro instead of getting more. On my tank I have those macros ready in the interface for it, and replace my shield slam/devastate/revenge buttons with this modified one for those select boss fights.
 (Obsolete, don't do this in Cataclysm, seriously)

Shield Block + Blood Frenzy:
#showtooltip Shield Block
/cast Shield Block
/cast Blood Frenzy (or other beneficial ability that doesn't trigger GCD)

/use [name of useable trinket here]Before I made that macro I kept forgetting to use Blood Frenzy all the time. Now if its off cooldown, it goes off with the shield block, adding an extra bit of oomph. Same with the last line. (For example, at time of editing this I'm tanking with a mastery trinket that has a /use for 20 sec extra str). I'd never remember to use either of those without some help like this, I know, I'm weak. :)

One more thing that is a popular choice for reducing stress around keeping up heroic strike spamming, is the option to bind /cast heroic strike to your mouse wheel. Roll that thing and it'll cast heroic strike 4-5 times per second, the downside and the reason I don't use this myself is that I can't zoom my view then, using the wheel for that is just too convenient and quite often I have to change the zoom level to keep a clear view of what's going on. (Again, outdated, don't do this)

Added by Raeli, not tested:
Mousewheel down Heroic Strike:
#show Heroic Strike
/cast !Heroic Strike
/run if UnitExists("target")==nil or not UnitIsEnemy("player", "target") then CameraZoomIn(1) end

Mousewheel up Heroic Strike:
#show Heroic Strike
/cast !Heroic Strike
/run if UnitExists("target")==nil or not UnitIsEnemy("player", "target") then CameraZoomOut(1) end

This was what I had to offer for now, as always comments are welcome, in particular if you happen to have other genious tips to offer that I've missed completely. :)

Tank safe!

Mar 27, 2009

Things I wish Blizzard would have considered before shipping WotLK

For anyone new to my blog a quick introduction is in order. I am a WoW player, having WoW as my main and only serious gaming pursuit since it launched. I've found a passion for the Warrior class and have taken my loved orc through clueless trispeccing and tanking in Molten Core with 31 arms spec, being owned (and owning before choice balances were implemented) in PvP, to pursuing the deep reaches of raiding in TBC and WotLK as a tank.

Despite the negative title, this isn't a Blizzard bashing post. Wrath of the Lich King added a lot of fun to the game and despite things I like to heartache about, far as MMO expansions go I have seen them lot worse. DAOC expansions spring to mind, with the exception of Shrouded Isles they were all awful. But I have never had so much fun levelling in new content as I did in Northrend, job well done!

Nevertheless I have some serious concerns and I'll break my bullet list virginity on this blog by pointing out some glaring things I've found or found missing rather, while fooling around on WoW that I wish developers would have noticed and done something about, before they shipped WotLK. Having all that out of the way then, lets get on with my list of concerns.

  1. PVE Progression: Up until 3.0 we always had a ladder to climb before taking on "endgame". Even at level 60 I was doing Dire Maul runs to get those blues that would help in Molten Core. Having some T1 from Molten Core was a requirement for stepping into BlackWing Lair, and you were in for a tough time trying Zul'Gurub if you hadn't spent some time preparing for it. Even if you had a strong guild to carry you, there were attunements to finish before even being allowed inside the raid instances. Today this is all history, you ding 80 and go 25 man malygos for ilvl 213 epics without much hassle. Why did you eliminate the whole concept of progress, Blizzard? I thought you wanted to keep subscriptions running?
  2. Raid content: To clear the raids available once we're done levelling we need a total of 5-6 hours, just a few months after the expansion has been released. To make it worse, the only raid that takes more than 20 minutes to clear is recycle material from level 60. I realize you think you did a great job with Naxxramas at level 60 and want more people to see it, but come on. You did nothing whatsoever to update the instance to make it interesting 2 expansions later besides raising mob levels accordingly and removing some trash. Also, I strongly believe the lore buffs who were actually interested in seeing the glory of Naxxramas had ample opportunity to do so joining retro raids at level 70. How could you think the player base who has an interest in raiding would be satisfied with a 3 hour Naxx rehash and two single encounter raids at level 80 ? All of this being easily puggable ?
  3. Hard mode: You may have been looking down on those playing this game to stand out and be a notch above the rest, but this is ridiculous. Its beyond ridiculous. You're basically having the player core who actually did Naxx at level 60 not only having to do it again at 80, but you try to create game content out of making all kinds of silly conditions to get achievements. If you wish to reply with the "1% of the players saw Naxx at 60", please see point two.
  4. Gear advancement: At level 60 and 70 we had an excellent balance on our self progress. Yes it was a grueling process to reach the end, but we had a clear path to take. Even purely social players were content knowing that before they'd get to do AQ40, they would have to gear up for it. That meant gearing for MC doing 40 (Edit: Went a bit fast indeed, wrote 60 man) mans, doing a bit of farming in MC, ZG and AQ20 for the next tier, collecting some pieces from BWL before taking on AQ40, and finally some gear from that place to be able to carry your weight in Naxxramas (Edit: I'm old and forgot that AQ40 came before Naxx *blush*). We had a similar climb in TBC. By skipping the need for this gear climb, I think you've made a grave mistake by ignoring completely how long this gear grind kept people busy, playing your game. Today you have all content available for players signing up with unenchanted, green gemmed quest rewards. Blizzard, if you have an interest in keeping us playing, bring back the progress grind (yes, I said it).
  5. Dungeon set armor: We've had our dungeon 1, 1.5 and 2 sets and while they were not strictly required to take on the next gaming tier if you had suitable replacement pieces, they were mostly useful, added class flavour and many many players took pride in completing their sets. I think the upgrade quests for the dungeon 1 sets were fantastic and I had lots of fun working to complete it even after I had gotten my fair share of drops from molten core. Why did we lose those ? The old sets had issues where they were not really useful for certain specs, but with a little effort you could easily have implemented a token drop system for 5 mans for dungeon tier armor in WotLK to let players pick dungeon tier armor suited for their specs. For me and many others feeling finished with the game, just working on completing or improving our sets like we could in the past would add a lot of replay value.
Plea to the developers: Listen to the concerns above, you will find each of them are actually helping you in keeping the WoW subscribers staying. While some of my concerns are undoubtedly rant-like, they are meant to be constructive. I will also urge you to reconsider the stance you've taken on the pace new content is added. To quote a blue post:

"Ulduar has a ton of bosses. While I’m sure some players would love for us to deliver an instance with that level of content every month or so (and throw in a 5-player run to boot!), it’s not in the cards, at least not for the next couple of years."

This looked almost like a WoW suicide note to me, if its one thing your game needs, it is more content, and lots of it. Under normal circumstances I would understand you not wishing to over saturate the players, but as it stands WotLK is lacking severely in level 80 content. A large part of it is based on 10 or 25 man Naxxramas, and for more players than I suspect you realize, this is old content already.

Get to work, we know you can do wonderful things and you still have a LOT of unexplored material already present in the WoW realm. Ravenholdt, The timbermaw cave in Aszhara, Uldum in Tanaris, whatever lies beyond the great wall in Silverpine forest.. There is much more that I can vouch for a lot of players wishing to explore further, make use of it first and put your creative idea minds to work on other fresh things further down the road.

In closing, I would like fellow blog readers visiting to voice your thoughts if you made it this far before closing the page, let me know if you think these are valid concerns or if I'm just being a whining troll, anything goes!

Mar 25, 2009

So a Prot Warrior and a Death Knight walk into an arena...

Time for another PVP update!

The Muscleteers 2v2 tank team is still at large, boldly shield slamming away despite impossible odds. Hidden rating, how I loathe thee!

Last week I suffered a bit of big numbers envy, and decided to give Fury PVP a spin. It's not the first time I embark on the ship of fail that is PVP'ing on anything that isn't protection spec, but I figure as my pvp gear has improved to well above average now I can't do that bad no? Well, wrong.

We did a number of games and while I of course didn't expect to live long with a death knight partner instead of a healer, the pure humiliation any kind of setup put me through was just appalling. Being easier to bring down I can live with, but nibbling away like a toothless kitten while one Hiroshima nuke after the other gets dropped on my head.. Well, it didnt go well. I did some practice rounds before our rated games started and after those were done I landed at 4 wins, 5 losses.

What really threw me off was how easily any class in any spec shrugged me off, and even healer classes were rarely stressed despite bringing the fury 50% heal reduction. The only thing I can think of that might have worked would be to go in PVE dps gear, but being a tank in raids, my kit is far from good and seeing how ridiculously fast my 26k hp while sporting 812 resilience gets blown away, I can't imagine surviving even a mean stare in PVE gear. I saw several 6-8k instant cast crits taking solid chunks of hp at a time, while I was returning fire with 800 max white hits, and in rare cases up to 3k crits. With weapons so slow most casters can get a couple spells off between the pushbacks..

I have always liked the Fury play style, but this is just.. meh.

So, today it was back to Protection pvp spec 2v2. It was nothing short of a night and day experience let me tell you, compared to the fury fails last week. We went off on a 5 win streak before running into a Ret Pala+Blood DK comp that gave us trouble. We won the first match where they tried to focus me down but kept running into them and they quickly learned, focusing down my DK partner first and winning the next two encounters, before we finally landed a second win by managing to separate them and chew up our respective targets.

There are few things sweeter than reflecting hammer of justice in a paladin's own face. Except sending a warlock running from his own death coil.. or watching a mage instantly combust from a pyro+fireball reflect. Ok reflecting things get me all giddy quite often.

Bonus tip: If you PVP with a Death Knight, make damned sure they do their best to raise you as a ghoul if a team member dies! We have won a good number of games now where I tanked for as long as possible while nuke teams burn their CD's, only to have me raised as ghoul to quickly dispatch the enemies. As a ghoul, you keep your stat bonuses and if you happen to be a melee, you're looking at 1.7k non crit spam, a heavy finisher and of course the stun finisher.

Mar 24, 2009

Raiding, 3.1 and achievements.

zzz Every now and then I read forums. I visit new blogs. Curious to find news about the game, fresh info about 3.1, whatever, I do it. And more often than not I regret taking the effort lately, as the general gossip and bits of news to be snapped up, have never been so grave from my POV.
Thousands of players are waiting eagerly for the next big content patch for WoW, hoping for months of fresh content to battle against. Ulduar has since it was announced been hailed but perhaps more importantly hyped as the next, harder, tougher, unforgiving raiding tier. The vast majority of the wow population has seen all WOTLK has had to offer so far and are rightfully feeling bored out of their minds. If you wonder why that is, Axiom offers great insights, and although all emo sensors known will overload upon loading his blog, he does have some fair points. He is also one of the causes for my heartache in the first paragraph. Its downright depressing reading, fresh as his lingo might be.
Now, I didn’t start writing here with the intent to bash his blog though, and for what it is, he writes well. What I wanted to vent about is this snippet, snagged from his blog which was in turn taken from mmo-champion apparently.
Raids & Dungeons - Hard Mode
Ulduar has a ton of bosses. While I’m sure some players would love for us to deliver an instance with that level of content every month or so (and throw in a 5-player run to boot!), it’s not in the cards, at least not for the next couple of years.

Instead, what we tried to do with Ulduar is offer a lot of different ways to play the encounters. While the progress-oriented guilds may clear it quickly, we hope that some of the hard modes will offer them a lot to chew on. All of the players who are somewhere between barely being able to clear the instance and the “world first” crowd should be able to find a comfortable difficulty level as well.
Your old model towards end game was a success, it brought you eleven million players.
Most of whom never had a chance to finish a raid. They didn’t get to see some of the best art in the game, hear the unique music or voice over, or in many cases even see the villian at the end of their quest line. From a production POV, instances are very expensive. It seems an odd choice to lavish all that attention on such a tiny percent of the player base.
At the same time, we know there are players who love a challenge and are willing to do almost anything to beat a raid-destroying boss provided they also have a shot at the best loot. They don’t want the instances to be over too soon. They like banging their head against the wall.
And so hard modes were born. We tested the water a little with Obsidian Sanctum. We’re going full bore with Ulduar.
Lets take a moment and review what they are saying here. So.. If I read this right, we get an instance puggable within the first weeks, that will follow the achievement hunter model of Sartharion. Great.. Let me offer my piece on just that.
Ever since I learned and experienced that the new take on raiding at 80 was based on the achievement hunter formula, I’ve found a growing distaste for raiding. It started with looking over the heroic 5 man achievements and the stupid, stupid drive to complete them and peaked with Sartharion 3D. Or so I thought. It seems this has been deemed a great way to provide content for raiders and it is going “full bore”, whatever that means, in Ulduar. I don’t like the sound of it.
Not one bit in fact, and I completely agree with Axiom on the point he makes in another post. It is the same damned instance, 10 and 25 just means we do it twice per reset just with 24 or 9 others. When we clear it, we will go back next week for the same instance again, and when we feel confident about the gear collected from there, guess what, we will go and do the same damned instance again.
Leaving a few raiders out for the sake of 10 achievement points, doing the same bosses with an add or two for another 10 points, neglecting parts of the tactics for the bosses so that they are no longer dumbed down enough for your average PUG for another 10 points..
I want to ask you readers, what is the worth of those achievements, the completely useless score you earn, the slightly recoloured proto-drake you might get instead of one that drops in a 5 man heroic or from the oracles rep? Do you feel the same drive to compete and try to reach for those, compared to the old raid progress formula, where you had raiders working to beat Lady Vasjh, and others were wiping or defeating Illidan or Kil’Jaeden? When we didnt have every single purple hunting player stuck in the same damned instance ?
Is this what we want?

Mar 16, 2009

Under construction

I had a mate make a nice header image for me to use on the blog, thanks a bunch Rhuk it looks great :)

Now then, as you'll see, something looks very off about the title.. I've looked inside out on all the layout options i can find for the blog, but surely there must be some way to have the picture centered, instead of automatically left aligned ?

Preferably without nuking the entire layout for a new one? Halp!

Edit: I r pro html haxor and found it finally!
Edit #2: I r noob. Seems title is centered on IE, but left aligned on Firefox3. Argh!

Edit #3: Lisandra to the rescue! Can't check on Opera/Firefox atm but it looks like its fixed now ?

When you find yourself in times of boredom..

Spice things up a bit!

I came up with an idea for silly evenings of hopefully, fun, that is basically stolen and modified from Diablo 2 Ironman tournaments, where you try to get as far as possible in the game with severe restrictments.

In that game, it meant starting a level 1 character and seeing how far you can get in without any help allowed from higher level chars joining or passing down gear, and also no town visits to repair and buy/sell gear was allowed, what you found as you killed your way was what you could use. This was a quite popular tournament type back then, and I've been toying with the idea of modifying this quite a bit to try with the RUIN raiders and WoW.

I'll give a brief rundown on how to possibly do this here, but please help me if you see any problems that I don't or things that should be added. This is of course totally pointless, but... if the game's getting dull, why not make our own fun ?

So without further ado!

Project Ironman:

As the result of a Guardians strike in the Caverns of Time, things went a bit out of hand, and mysterious forces managed in their attempts to mess with things to turn back time on Azeroth, and great evils long thought defeated and part of history are again all bent on making things unpleasant for your average person living on Azeroth.

As if that was not enough, the powers of the great heroes who in their time vanquished these foes are also revoked, possibly also to prevent death knights from just going back and soloing them again. So what do we do? Well, as the good heroes and heroines we are, we go back and re-school the bads!

Rules for participation:
Any high level (80? 70? 60?) character may join.
Basic gear allowed only, whatever gear your char has currently is assumed to have gone poof. (25g for example start fund, any choice of vendor equipment allowed, no AH)
Start zone: Molten Core or maybe Zul Gurub (depends on signups and how hard it will actually be, havent tested)

Beating the bads of WoW once again, from start to finish, using only what we find on the way.

And thats it pretty much. For this to work I'd guess it needs about 20+ interested. So, my questions are, does this sound like something that could work/be fun? And has anyone tried something similar before? If so, please share your experiences with it!

Mar 12, 2009

I need a hero!

Back with a vengeance and generic update postage! Post title might make more sense further down.

Despite little writing going on here, I've been about and busy as usual, here's the rundown..

PVP: Done a LOT of honor grinding and Wintergrasp, finally kitted with 4xsavage, 1x hateful, rest epic honor rewards including both 80 trinkets, sitting comfortably at 775 resilience now. Been running VoA vigilantly each wednesday but warrior items are mysteriously gone for 4 weeks straight, bleh! Only upgrades left now is the 40 mark pvp helm from wintergrasp, two pieces from VoA and well.. Arena rating requirement gear. Still, what I have now is getting good enough that its worth putting on instead of tanking epics.

Oh and.. Ding 50k lifetime kills :)

The (mis)adventures of arena tanking team, "The Muscleteers" continues and we've actually gotten quite good at teamplay now. Getting even better at decimating 2 dps comps and uh.. still working on the dps+healer setups. Paladins and priests are hard to get down, druids are doable as they tend to get careless and open for burst if it looks like they are winning (hi2u last stand, enrage regen, shield wall, shield block, spell reflect, open can of whooparse), and finally shamans are quite manageable. With Gag Order shield bash, conc blow, shockwave, fear, shield bash, charge stun does a great job locking them down. :)

Interesting thing to notice, despite all the strengths of death knights, my two partners really struggle against both caster and healer teams on the matches they play dual dk when my string of stuns and interrupts isnt there. Talked a bit about it and they will try to time better their 3+3 interrupts, if they get it right I dont see why they shouldnt be winning a lot too. Also and perhaps a teamplay issue, one of the dk's is frost or unholy, the other goes blood spec for our games and we seem by far to have an easier time with the blood spec approach.

PVE: Raid side of things our raid community has made progress too, first by defeating Malygos25 and second, after a bit of wipeage taking down Sarth+2 drakes! On our first Malygos kill the dragon died from dots after enrage just as our last raider fell off his drake, guess it can't get much closer. The next week we managed it with everyone up after a few tries, ended with a super clean kill. :)

Sartharion with two drakes was even worse for us, we had a whole evening cleared for it and it took many, many tries to get it done. I'm proud of my raid companions for not giving up though, its butting our heads against those progress walls that make us stronger and I think everyone there will agree it felt bloody great when it finally worked out. Well done, RUIN! :)

Related to raiding, I've noticed is that our signup pool is slowly shrinking. There's logical reasons for this of course after content has been beaten, many players join for the ride against beating the raids but have little interested in farming the last pieces of epics out of them. I hope we can still field some farm runs to prepare for 3.1 though, I bet I'm not the only one with a big list of upgrades to nab out from Naxx25 still.

Sillies: Tonight I was lured along for retro sillies again, first by a guild run to Sunwell Plateau (bit low attendance but got to Felmyst. Full stop there though... Damn gas breaths).

If that wasn't enough I was also lured along for another nostalgia spree by a couple mates. We did ZG for the mounts (no luck), went to SSC and fished up lurker a few times for the achievements and then for kicks 3 manned Karazhan. Pretty wicked fun aoe tanking big big big groups of trash after it got a bit easier, thunder clap and shockwave on some 25+ mobs will never get old for me I think (room outside 2nd boss, for the occation winamp had picked Bonnie Tayler's I need a hero for me, very fitting!) :) Curator (I pulled 3 trash groups+Curator in one go... godly healing Blackie!),Aran, Illhoof (1 healer, healer sacrificed.. errr..), Netherspite (pala died early, warrior and shaman 2-manning 50% and down, 3 beams, glorious chaos), Chess event (we wiped once!) and of course Prince (I failed at moving out of fire and got retri pala killed in a fire again, d'oh) were all also very entertaining fights :D

In other silly news, to spice up 5 mans which started getting a bit dull now I've also started a little side project.. Time Attack mode! Simple enough, clock starts from fist pull and stops when last boss drops, tracking the best clear times for each heroic run, should be fun :)

Hmm.. Perhaps this could develop into one of those blog fads we love to hate, post best clear times of x instance? For now I have UK clear in 21:01 and Culling of Stratholme full clear with drake boss 21:20, what times can you pull? ;)

Thats all for now, Vads out.

Mar 2, 2009

Tonight's raid canned, we tune in to extreme UI makeover.

I went to work on my outdated interface and here we go, extreme UI makeover, WoW style.

I kept some elements from my old UI that I liked and moved things about a bit, resized here and there, changed some things like buff frames and minimap, formatting for unit frames, tried to hide buttons and bars etc I dont need and tried to make everything blend together as best I could.

I've seen a lot of minimalist UI's but there's no way you're going to get me to ditch my action bars, sorry :) I need my cooldowns visually and I hate using extra cooldown addons, so this is what we'll stick with. I'll trim it down a bit more (I dont really need those craft buttons for example), but for half an hour's work I'm pretty happy with the new look :)

Apart from the action bars which I dont want to do away with, is there anything else I can hide ? Details I've missed, things like that. Figure as I spend a lot of time watching this screen, it might as well be kind to the eye. As long as I'm already trying to tweak it a bit I'd be happy to hear some opinions. :)

Took a raid shot as well to show the extra frames etc. Oh and looking a bit closer at the minimap I reckon the red runes should be toned down a bit, looks a bit intense.

Breaking the habit

No, I'm not going to start singing, you can keep reading.

Tobold wrote today about the focus many WoW players have on the content to come in patches and throws in the idea that we are much more focused on that, than what is the current game.

Guilty as charged, here. I have not copied over to PTR to playtest Ulduar (I'll play it when its done, tyvm), but I am keeping a very close watch on all the class changes and of course especially those that affect warriors. Must.. resist.. sidetracking..!

But yeah, like many I find myself mostly finished with WoW 3.0.8. Still raiding on regular schedule to complete my tank gear, but it doesnt feel like its needed really, and theres nothing new to take on. NO, killing the same bosses on a onewheeler while jumping through flaming hoops to get 10 achievement points is NOT new content.
Still, there's PvP. But I'm not built for hours and hours of endless arena/bg grind, so the time spent there is somewhat limited as well. I farmed around 70k honor total this weekend, including cheating a bit by handing in a bunch of bg tokens for honor, and for me thats nothing short of exceptional. :) Just another... 99200 honor to go for belt and trinket..

So, I might actually follow Tobold's lead and fill some dead time in WoW with trying out some other titles. Well, I already have a bit as some previous posts here show. I got a copy of GTA 4 that has mostly been unused, I installed it and got put off immediately by all the graphic glitches and performance problems. If Rockstar has some fix out for that by now I might give it a try again. I loved the other games in the GTA series :)
There is still that WAR account I can sneak onto. Last time I was on there I had a witch hunter in the making that was actually kinda fun to play, if the account is still alive I may try that out again as well.

Oh and I want to try out Fallout 3! And of course Starcraft II and Diablo III when they're out. Gah, so much funs to be had! Aaanyways. Thats a bit down the road, and despite today's rant edition I still enjoy WoW quite a lot so giving up on it is not an option as of yet. But I think getting some variety in will only help keeping my interest in WoW up.