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  • Teaspoon
  • Member Since Apr 13th, 2008

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Recent Comments:

The Queue: I write about elves on Usenet, Mom {WoW}

Feb 14th 2012 7:58PM We already have Pong as a raid mechanic: see the Void of the Unmaking in Warlod Zon'ozz.

Also, whenever I'm introducing a child of the seventies or eighties to Alysrazor, the best way to explain the whirlwind phase is "Frogger in a circle but the cars are made of fire". Seriously, you can try all you like to explain about concentric circle paths and alternating directions and even dump them into it so they can watch what happens, but the time you say "Frogger in a circle" is when it will finally click.

On the topic of experience with classic games transferring to raid mechanics, we traditionally give the "get three feathers and go flying" job to whoever's clocked the most Starfox hours. Flying through rings while keeping damage up comes naturally to the Starfox pro.

The Queue: You will die, we promise {WoW}

Feb 12th 2012 6:53PM "For some reason I feel that Blizzard would have Der or Das as definite article"

Well, 'Die' is at least as inappropriate for Bart as it is for Blizzard.

Scattered Shots: Frostheim's interview with an imaginary Ghostcrawler {WoW}

Feb 2nd 2012 9:26PM "MM rarely ever cast aimed shot, you mostly use it only when you have the instant proc."

At first glance it would look like that'd be the way to go, but the MM hunters I play with have found their best damage comes from a rotation with as many hard-cast aimed shots as possible, with Chimera Shots thrown in just often enough to keep Serpent Sting up and Arcane Shot used only while moving.

Blue Posts and Other WoW News: Intellect plate, MoP talents, more Ulduar style bosses, /brofist {WoW}

Jan 29th 2012 8:12PM "Unless Blizzard were to start making 2H int swords, maces, and axes, Unholy would have to dual wield."

Blizzard ought to start making 2H int swords, maces, and axes. Also polearms. They'd pretty much just be staves, of course, except with different models and a different list of who can equip them.

Paladins and druids can use polearms. Paladins and shamans can use the maces and axes. Maybe they could open up 2H swords for priests or something too rather than having them pally-only. Or, yes, unholy DKs could share the full set with holy paladins. Ditto for retribution if they were the ones rebuilt to use caster stats.

Blue Posts and Other WoW News: Intellect plate, MoP talents, more Ulduar style bosses, /brofist {WoW}

Jan 29th 2012 7:33PM Unholy DKs are another good alternative for a plate DPS class that could be converted to prefer Int. With their focus on disease-dots and necromancy I feel they're the most castery plate DPS spec. Outside of lore reasons, though, retties are probably the best candidate as it would allow one character to use the gear for two specs the way ele/resto shamans work now. Paladins currently use three types of gear (tanky, smashy and casty) and it would be sensible and not even particularly horrible from a lore perspective to cut them down to two like pretty much every other class. Even druids with their three-and-a-half specs only have two gear types.

64-bit World of Warcraft game client now available for testing {WoW}

Jan 9th 2012 6:24PM It's probably OK to go to 64-bit with 4GB RAM. It's a small download and you can choose which one to load from the launcher, so why not try it when it comes out and see what works better?

I haven't done the research regarding Edymnion's assertion that CPUs take longer to perform 64-bit instructions, but I wouldn't think there's a significant difference between processing time for 64-bit vs 32-bit arithmetic when you have a 64-bit CPU. There's certainly a difference when doing 64-bit arithmetic on a 32-bit CPU, because adding two 64-bit numbers on a 32-bit CPU requires two 32-bit additions plus a third addition to carry the one. This probably isn't relevant to WoW anyway, because the 64-bit WoW client will likely still only be performing 32-bit arithmetic to maintain compatibility with the 32-bit clients.

The big difference between the 32-bit and 64-bit WoW clients will be the RAM usage. 32-bit addressing allow you to have 4GB worth of addresses but only half of that is used to access RAM and the other half of the address space is for direct access to hardware, so a 32-bit application can't occupy more than 2GB of RAM because it wouldn't be able to remember where it was putting things after that. 64-bit addressing squares the size of the address space to 16 Exabytes (Exa- is the prefix for 10^18), and even if the tradition of only using half the address space for RAM persists, 8EB is somewhat bigger than we're likely to reach in terms of home computer RAM in the next few years.

The 64-bit client will be able to expand to use all available RAM in your computer and will likely give some performance improvements due to not having to unload and reload big chunks of the game to stay under 2GB, but this comes at the cost of needing to use twice as much memory to remember the location of each item it stores, so it will occupy more RAM to have the same data in memory. To borrow somebody else's library analogy from earlier in the comments, the new index cards that let you access all the extra shelf space are twice the size of the old cards and thus your index card cabinet needs to be twice as big.

All that said, the extra memory required by the 64-bit client isn't going to take THAT big a bite out of the extra 2GB that's available to a 64-bit app on your 4GB system, so you'll still be less likely to run into out of memory errors.

Rotations vs. Priority Systems: The buttons you press {WoW}

Jan 5th 2012 7:43PM There are two swords with that model. There's one with Strength called the Lava Spine which drops from Magmaw in Blackwing Descent, and one with Agility called the Fang of Twilight from Valiona+Theralion in the Bastion of Twilight.

The Queue: Your head will hurt after looking at this {WoW}

Jan 5th 2012 6:56PM I don't even want the bajillion extra buttons that gaming peripherals all seem to have these days, I just want a "gaming grade" version of the Logitech Cordless Optical TrackMan ( is the one) that I use as a remote for the PC that's hooked up to my TV.

By "gaming grade" I mean high resolution optical sensor with either the new generation of wireless connectivity or even just a wired-in connection. The existing model is laggy with poor range and there's a repeating pattern of pixels that I just can't point at due to having to turn up the tracking speed in Windows to counter the low resolution of its optical sensor. With the mouse I'm currently using (while waiting for a gaming trackball) I'm able to put the tracking speed slider all the way to the left so that no pixels are skipped and then turn up the DPI on the mouse to get the right tracking speed. What the existing model DOES do right is its shape and button position. The thumb buttons, the scroll wheel and the right-click button are all in just the right spot so that my fingers can sit comfortably and still click at a moment's notice.

Logitech did release a new trackball recently ( ) with their current wireless technology, but my hands are the sort that work better with finger-steered trackballs and find thumb-steering ones awkward and tiring so I'm still waiting for them to remember that there's a whole other trackball market out there that they've forgotten to sell stuff to.

Arcane Brilliance: Guide to leveling a mage in Cataclysm {WoW}

Dec 19th 2011 7:52PM I raid on a warrior and my only other 85 is another warrior (for PVP), so I'm not an experienced caster, but I'm loving levelling a fire mage. I got to level 10 and looked at what came with each spec and just couldn't say no to pyroblast.

What is it about fire that makes you say it's difficult for levelling? Pulling with a pyro and chasing it with a fireball seems to be enough to kill most level-appropriate enemies. I usually have a scorch casting off the end of the fireball just in case, and if the scorch doesn't work I throw a fireblast. If streak's up when I'm pulling I'll pull with fireball and chase it with the instant pyro and then fireball-scorch-blast as usual. If I'm fighting something huge that won't die before it reaches me, I'll hit Cone of Cold as it gets close, then run away (using strafe to keep them "in front") and spam scorches and any instant-casts I have available. It's all pretty cruisy and the pyroblasts are awesome.

Hmm, maybe it's hard if you're in the regular gear that you'd earn from questing. I'm all heirloomed up with the big +int staff enchant and all that. Also, now that I think about it, most casters I've grouped with (guildies included) can't cope with strafing to keep enemies in front while kiting so maybe running right while scorching left is one of those advanced concepts that make it non-noob-friendly. As a tank, you have to master that trick because turning your back makes you die, so that's all second nature to me by now.

Scattered Shots: Patch 4.3 hunter trinket roundup {WoW}

Dec 15th 2011 6:05PM The thing about stat weights is that the value of every stat varies based on what your other stats are at. For example, your average DPS will be (1+crit%)*(whatever your DPS would be if you had 0 crit), but your DPS-with-zero-crit depends on your weapon, attack power, haste and mastery.

Also, the contribution from haste in particular often has a staircase shape, where getting that one extra point of haste will add an extra dot tick or allow an extra medium-shot to be squeezed in between cooldowns of a big shot, so it leaps up by a large amount and then goes fairly flat until the next big leap. I'm guessing Female Dwarf gives its stat weights based on how much damage you would get by adding another 10 of each stat so if you're getting a high weight for haste it's probably because you're only a few points short of the next big step.