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Matthew Rossi

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Matthew Rossi is not a figment of your imagination. Matthew Rossi does not live in Edmonton, AB, in the cold and storied northlands of Canada. Matthew Rossi is not a large silithid. It's possible that this bio is not entirely accurate.

2.3.2 has some issues

The fine folks at MMO-Champion have assembled a list of all the known issues associated with Patch 2.3.2 dropping yesterday. In addition to good things like Transmutation mastery being fixed, and changes like AV being hotfixed to buff Balinda and Vandar, there are a host of bugs and minor issues from the Hammerfall wind ride master hiding under her usual spot to Hunter's getting their new Volley graphic revered to its older form due to graphics issues.

The complete list at MMO-Champion is very, very long. Luckily for me and my current leveling project, Draenei Warriors (and indeed all warriors) got off light with a couple of minor bugs. I doubt my level 62 warrior (or any of my 70's) is going to be fighting Landslide again anytime soon. But Priests seem to have several bugs, every class got a few, and the environment, quests and npc sections of the list are quite beefy.

Also, rogues seem upset about the changes, if you follow the forums. While that's probably not a bug I though I should mention it anyway as an issue with the patch.

How's Patch 2.3.2 been treating you? Good, bad, or had you even noticed any differences?

Filed under: Priest, Rogue, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Bugs, Forums

Stretching yourself too thin?

Like a lot of players, I have a lot of alts. At this point, I have four 70's on Norgannon, where I play Alliance primarily alongside my wife and occasionally some old friends from the guild we transferred there with. I also have two 70's on Malfurion, where I play alongside my Horde friends who all live in Edmonton and generally share a social circle. (I've eaten cake with these folks and then run Kara the same day. Cake makes Kara better.) Now, I enjoy playing both Horde and Alliance, I enjoy having a variety of alts I can play.

But sometimes I have a problem, in that everyone I know has the same work and play schedule, and as a result, they want me to tank or heal or DPS for them at the same time. I don't know about you, but I can't tank Heroic Shattered Halls for my wife while DPSing in Heroic Ramparts for my friends. I can't heal a Karazhan run while playing AB at the same time. Even if I had two accounts and two computers, I am not a multiboxer by nature.

As a result, I tend to find myself disappointing someone on a regular basis.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW Social Conventions, Virtual selves, Guilds, Odds and ends, Alts

Don't call it a comeback

Nihilum, everyone's favorite (okay, some people's favorite) guild, would like us all to know that they plan to come back and world first the Sunwell Plateau the way they did Illidan. Apparently since putting Hyjal and the Black Temple on farm they've, well, been farming them and PvPing and taking more or less a 'holiday' away from the game, which makes sense, insofar as they don't really have any new content to see. Sure, Zul'Aman, but when you've already beaten Illidan going back to the ten mans is kind of anti-climactic. So they've basically been done with WoW. But they haven't actually stopped playing, so it's not a comeback, they've been here for years.

Yes, I made an LL Cool J reference. I went there.

They've also redesigned their site if you intend to make use of it to keep track of their progress: I have some old friends back on Norgannon I know will be watching them intently. For those of you who won't, well, it's still a very pretty site design, and you can always watch this Babe Ruth like 'calling' of their eventual success and discover with us all if it's genius or hubris.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, News items, Instances, Raiding

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: This is the year that was

The Care and Feeding of Warriors strides forth like a colossus, possibly my favorite X-Man because he's the team tank (I also kind of like Cyclops because he can shoot people with his eyes, which is just cool) to present you, the reader, with an overview of the year in warrioring. No, warrioring isn't a word. Yes, Matthew Rossi knows he can't just make up words whenever he feels like it.

Ah, 2007. A roistering, boistering year. What? No, I'm pretty sure boistering is a word. You can't find it in the OED, you say? Look again, I'm sure it's in there.

So what can we say about what's gone on the past year for warriors? The big changes (to my admittedly jaundiced eye) were the total overhaul of the honor system, the addition of the Arenas, allowing Thunderclap in defensive stance (a tacit admission that warriors were deficient multi-mob tanks compared to druids and paladins), the nerf to Thunderfury's aggro (okay, not so much important as just kinda sad), and rage normalization.

The change to the honor system (taking place in December of 2006) caused a flood of poorly geared warriors, my tauren among them, to flood the BG's looking to improve their gear. I know at the time I was fed up with running instances for marginal upgrades and then losing the rolls on those items (items I'd already collected twice on two previous 70 warriors) over and over again. While the old system forced you to grind for ranks on a ladder week in, week out, the new system simply allowed you to collect honor and marks . While a lot of long time PvPers protested seeing the same gear they'd sweated for suddenly available to more people, in general it was a positive change allowing a lot of players to step through the Dark Portal with better gear than they otherwise would have had. In the time between 2.0.1 and the actually release of The Burning Crusade, I managed to get a whole set of PvP blues and a couple of epics, and I wasn't really running the battlegrounds all that much.

Rage normalization, on the other hand, was a giant kick in the teeth. I'm still angry about it a year later. To me, rage normalization was the biggest change of 2007, the earliest screw up in the class balance, and is still felt the most almost a year later.

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Filed under: Warrior, Blacksmithing, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, Battlegrounds, Arena

Yet more free character transfers

Yes, there are more character transfers in the not too distant future: characters will be moving from selected realms free from January 4th to January 11th. If you're currently playing on one of the realms selected to allow transfers off, and you want to make sure you get a transfer, then you may want to consider getting ready as soon as the transfers open: Drysc warns, "In the event that a realm meets our transfer goals before the scheduled end date, the transfers to that realm will be disabled."

The destination and target realms will be as follows.

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Filed under: Realm News, Blizzard, News items, Forums

Totem Talk: Personally

Totem Talk is the column for Shamans. Matthew Rossi plays two shamans, a level 70 horde resto shaman and a level 70 alliance enhancement shaman. Actually, he specced his orc enhancement last night, but he'll be resto again by tonight's raid, it's just a lark.

Yes, that's my healing shaman in the back there, wearing enhancement gear. I went and respecced him to enhancement after the raid was over, knowing full well that I'd be resto again by tonight, because by the end of the raid I was literally vibrating with suppressed tension. Not because it had gone poorly, not at all, we one shot everything we saw. (Go Vees!) But on several occasions we lost one or two players on a boss, or even on a trash pull, and I realized something about myself as a healer last night.

I take it personally when anyone dies.

I really hate when I let the DPS die. Especially when it's melee DPS, because those guys are usually right next to the tank, which means it feels like it's my fault for not getting my chain heals off in time, or not targeting the right people fast enough. I get worked up when I see people drop, especially when I was casting a heal and then it fails because they died before I finished casting. This is one of the worst feelings in the world to me.

So I specced enhancement, picked up a couple of decent green fist weapons with 2.6 speed, and went out to beat on some things. I got lucky and picked up a set of Beastmaw Pauldrons last night (no other mail in the raid) so while my punchers weren't very good, the rest of my gear is fairly nice, with a couple of purples and solid blues otherwise. And I went out and I beat on things until I felt better about it. Yes, I realize this was a ridiculous thing to do. Yes, I went out in the game and did something to relieve the stress I'd accumulated playing the game. But hey, it worked, and tonight I'll be back on the healing log.

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Filed under: Orcs, Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, (Shaman) Totem Talk

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Weapons

The Care and Feeding of Warriors, in the spirit of Christmas, decides this week to talk about all the wonderful toys available to the warrior class. Matthew Rossi misses his Sulfuras. Well, he doesn't miss it, exactly, he still has it, he just doesn't get to use it much anymore.

Warriors are the class who can bash, hack, slice, or even punch things. Rogues? They can't hack. Shaman's can't slice, hunters can't bash. Paladins can't use sticks for some reason. I've never gotten that one. There's a perfectly good stick right in front of you and you can't hit things with it? It's a stick! It's easier to use than a sword! But no weapon escapes the warrior and his or her relentless quest to find new things to bash, hack, slice or even punch with. The weapon can really define the warrior... to this day, the legacy of all those Arcanite Reapers can be felt in how people view the warrior class. Sure, paladins and hunters and shamans used them. But it doesn't matter. It's the fact that for many it was the signature warrior weapon, the choice for PvP, that to this day exerts a mystique over the way people talk about warriors. Warriors who have never seen a Reaper know what the weapon was and why it was so popular.

When the Eye of Sulfuras dropped for my old guild and I got it, I was beyond excited. When I crept into BRD with a paladin and my wife on her hunter, loaded down with the mats to make the Sulfuron Hammer, I literally was as jazzed as I had ever been as a player. My guild only ever saw the eye drop twice, and we only had two Thunderfury creations in the time before The Burning Crusade - even as we were rolling into Naxx, these were special moments that helped cement a love for the game. I'm sure every warrior who tanked before the expansion remembers when he or she got Quel'Serrar. Now, post-expansion, there are of course new weapons that fill these roles, and as you level you'll gain and abandon any number of weapons, some for tanking, some for DPS, some just because they're cool. Admit it, you took Ravager because it looked cool.

This week, we'll look at weapons from Deadmines to Black Temple. Some will be the best for their role for the level, others will be weapons that have managed to earn a place of prominence or in history, and some will just be cool or different. Because a warrior without a weapon is like a mage without magic.

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Filed under: Warrior, Items, Analysis / Opinion, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors

Totem Talk: You are the panic button

Totem Talk is the column for shamans. Matthew Rossi has, between his orc and his draenei, logged no less than sixteen Tempest Keep runs over the holidays. He got some loot (yay new 2.6 speed main hand fist weapon yay), which he assumes means that Blizzard doesn't think he was a bad boy this year. EIther that, or their naughty/nice algorithm isn't as sophisticated as we were all led to believe.

Howdy again and welcome to Totem Talk. I promise I haven't forgotten about the leveling guide again. But like I said in the header, I've been running a lot of instances on my shammies lately and I thought some of the experinces I've had over the week were worth a column.

First off, I'm still sad to report that enhancement shamans only get invited along on a PuG if the group is desperate for a fourth or fifth man or if someone you know is putting the run together. Someone you know could be you yourself, I'm not super-fast to judge, but I did find that once I did a few runs with people they would start asking me back, which is nice. Since enhancement is such a good spec for soloing, it's been hard to jog myself into the instance mode with the squiddie.

Meanwhile, resto shamans still get deluged in requests to heal runs. So that hasn't changed. The orc wasn't even logged on when I got asked to switch faces and heal Botanica and Arcatraz. One thing I've decided, based on all these runs, is that as a shaman you basically have a plethora of abilities to help restore a run that's about to hit the skids.

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Filed under: Orcs, Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Draenei, (Shaman) Totem Talk

An entire day spent tanking

My wife works in retail, which means that the Christmas season is a bleak, wintry hell of surly, desperate customers for her, people who come to her department (electronics and home appliances, basically) and ask her where the yarn is. As a result, she doesn't have a lot of time to play the game, and I'm forced to PuG without her, which is a special kind of torture for me as I enjoy having the DPS in the same room with me so I can yell at her when she pulls aggro.

I never said I was particularly smart.

Anyway, the other day was unusual in that my human warrior tanked Heroic Sethekk, Heroic Underbog (not swamp or vale or forest of logs, it's your old friend, Underbog), Heroic Mechanar (and no, of course the sword didn't drop, why would the sword drop?) and Heroic Ramparts, followed up by Shattered Halls, in it's vanilla variety. This was unusual because I didn't know anyone in any of the groups, and also, it was more unusual because it was essentially the same group all the way through all of these instances.

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Filed under: Alliance, Human, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Heresies

The Care and Feeding of Warriors is all tired after a long night stabbing things in Kara. Matthew Rossi finally actually got a drop out of that instance. which, after several months now he was beginning to think didn't actually have loot, just badges. And they just put the badges in, so for a while, he didn't think anything dropped in there.

There are aspects to every class that are hard to explain to someone else, things you just learn as you play and which you incorporate into your playstyle through intuition. One of the reasons I am so unmitigatedly awful at playing a rogue and leave it to the talented rogues I know like Voi and Vizz is that I simply don't understand how to make use of those intuitives. I'm awful at understanding how to make use of things like combo points, for example.

Last night I respecced to bring my warrior into Kara as an offtank/DPS. Part of the reason was that I wanted to try out a 5/41/15 build that I thought would work well for offtanking. It seemed to do fairly well, I died once on a bad pull, but I also managed to grab agg on another bad pull when Vish, our MT, went down and saved a wipe, so I give the build a cautious 8 out of 10 stars. (I may tweak it more to be a more dedicated DW build, as right now it lacks talents in that area.) One of the things I noticed was that I have at this point entirely unlearned the process of both DPSing and tanking as a warrior. Not that I don't know how, but that I don't consciously think about them at all. I've even memorized specific patterns based on what my spec is, and when I have certain spec specific abilities like Shield Slam or Revenge, I don't even have to consider where on my bars to put them or when to use them, it's entirely ingrained.

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Classes, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors

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