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[1.Local]: Celestial RMT and the Fresh Steed {WoW}

Apr 18th 2010 8:55PM Ghostcrawler promised me a pony.

He did not, however, promise that it would be a *free* pony ...

Spiritual Guidance: Discipline 101, Page 3 {WoW}

Mar 21st 2010 11:40PM I've been raiding as Disc for about 9 months now. Discipline priests are not the best at raid healing, nor are we the best at tank healing. We are, though, arguably the second best at both. Tank healing, we are close to healing paladins, though not quite as good as them. For raid healing, a disc priest makes all the other raid healers lives easier. In fights with reasonably predictable incoming raid damage discipline priest really shine.

Disc priests, if you let 'em off their leashes, can markedly slow the tempo of the healing game for the rest of a raid's healing team. An ICC-geared disc priest can cast, every GCD, a PW:S that will absorb almost 10k of incoming damage. This has the effect of giving every other healer in the raid a bit of cushion for their own decision-making. Discipline priests, played competently, make every other healer in the raid just a bit better.

Is the Alliance aiming to retake lost lands in Cataclysm? {WoW}

Feb 12th 2010 1:48PM Drat: there's no way to edit what I wrote earlier. I meant to type "Putress", not "Putricide". Can you tell where I've been spending my time lately?

@Angrycelt thanks for the kind words, I appreciate it. While I can lament that you consider Forsaken as KOS, I am encouraged by the certain knowledge that some day, inevitably, you will join us.

Is the Alliance aiming to retake lost lands in Cataclysm? {WoW}

Feb 11th 2010 9:31PM "The Forsaken are the former Lordaeron citizens who DIED. Dead people don't have the right to property. When they died, their former possessions and property were given to their living relatives. ... Legally the undead have no right to Lordaeron, since the dead cannot own property."

There's only one word for this sort of bigotry: vitalism, pure and simple. To deny me and my fellow reanimated our place in the world has been the agenda of the living since the Forsaken first regained our will. Fear of the free will of the Forsaken is the driving force behind vitalism in all its ugly manifestations. It's the same mindset that views death as something to be avoided rather than embraced. It's the mindset that says "hey, he's dead, let's drain his blood, pump him full of embalming fluid, and stick him in solitary confinement under six feet of cold, hard earth, and then let his relatives haggle over his belongings."

Denying you're a vitalist, of course, just confirms your vitalism. There are some Horde who will say to us "why I've got several Forsaken friends," as though that makes their own fear of death and subsequent reanimation perfectly okay. They may talk about all their "Forsaken friends" but just let one try to date their daughters and out come the industrial-strength disinfectants and the plastic slipcovers for the living room furniture "to prevent dripping, don't you know". Deep inside, ALL the living are vitalist. I suppose you can't help it. Your cultures compel you to be mortiphobic from earliest childhood. Don't even get me started about reanimated couples who might want to adopt a living child who would otherwise be an orphan.

Oh, we've all heard what you say about us behind our backs, the foul epithets: "walking dead", or "zombie!", or "ohgodsohgodsohgods they're coming for us RUN!" and frankly, we've had enough of it. There are plenty of good, decent, Scourge-fighting Forsaken who think that Putricide wasn't "wrong" or "evil", or similar vitalist constructs: we think he was just not very thorough, and that his flair for the dramatic gesture outweighed his ability to think really long term.

Oh, what I wouldn't give to have the Forsaken become their own, third faction, in league with the Death Knights (how, exactly, can the Alliance scu- er, Alliance vitalists accept Death Knights in their midst?), with the Undercity as our capital and all of the Eastern Kingdoms under our enlightened, moriphilic, leadership.

Really, death's not so bad once you get used to it.

WoW.com Giveaway: World of Warcraft Programming, 2nd Ed {WoW}

Feb 9th 2010 9:38AM Free books? Sure, sign me up.

Breakfast Topic: The Happy Accidents {WoW}

Dec 19th 2009 9:53AM The best thing about this new feature, I think, is that it combines features already in the game (battlegroups, instances, dual-specs) to make content more accessible. The enthusiastic response to this shows that Blizzard did this just right. Well done, Blizz.

I've run anywhere from 5 to 10 randoms a day since the patch, and I absolutely love it. In all that time I have had only one group that disappointed: 2 of the members were in the same guild, had a boss strategy none of the rest of us had ever seen, and failed to communicate it. After the wipe, they proceeded to insult the rest of us. I said "find another healer, have a nice day", added them both to my ignore list, and dropped group. The 10 minutes of waiting was worth it for not running with jerks.

Every other random run has been great fun in one way or another. Some are utterly silent relentless death machines slaying everything between them and the two tasty bonus emblems at the end of the run. Some have been more laid-back affairs where people start cracking jokes and doing lightweight roleplay. All are utterly enjoyable.

Raid Rx: Settling the over healing question {WoW}

Jul 19th 2009 6:07PM Overhealing is a great example of a number that is easy to calculate, easy to compare, easy to score ... and very, very difficult to interpret unless you know the details behind the situation that gave rise to the number. As such, innumerate readers of logfile parses will latch onto it because it is 'objective', while failing to dig into the particular circumstances that generated the data. If the innumerate reader is a GL or healing lead this can lead to bad outcomes for the group as a whole.

No one bothers to measure, much less compare, "overkilling" scores for DPS. It would be easy to compute, easy to compare, and subject to all the same issues of interpretation that overhealing numbers are prone to.

Do yourselves a favor: ignore overhealing unless analysis of the fight reveals healers going OOM. If they did, figure out if it was a communication issue, assignment issue, or gearing issue.

When should you Life Tap? {WoW}

Feb 13th 2009 10:40AM I think my view of lifetap is a bit out of the mainstream of warlock thinking, at least the slice of it I see here at wowinsider and on elitistjerks. I do not agree with "The only good time to Life Tap is just before you run out of mana so that your next cast won't result in an Out of Mana error message and when you move during a fight and no instant cast DoTs need to be refreshed."

I lifetap early, and I lifetap often. By "often" I mean that I will try to time my lifetaps early in the fight to coincide with the travel time of my returning Haunt when I refresh it: once every 8 to 12 seconds. Any health that is returned to me, either from Haunt, from SL, or from a friendly HoT, is a use-it-or-lose-it resource. If I'm at full health, I'm wasting either my SL ticks, a Haunt return, or a HoT. If I can time my taps so that they don't disrupt my DoT stack I am, in effect, giving myself a larger mana pool. Note that I'm not an absolutist about this: I'll happily let HoTs, SL, or Haunt roll into overhealing on me if it makes tactical sense to just DoT/nuke instead. However, the more mana I keep in reserve by tapping early in a fight, the more tactical flexibility I'll have late in a fight when my bonus for Death's Embrace kicks in, and when DS ticks for 4x damage.

I agree that a 'perfect' fight would end with my mana pool at zero and the boss dead at my feet. I'm not perfect, though, and neither is any other warlock. As such, I try to keep some mana in reserve at all times. The easiest way to do this is to tap early and often, prior to your Death's Embrace kicking in, so that your HoT/SL/Haunt act as souped-up mana regen. Once you get into the final 25%, you should have sufficient mana in your mana pool to finish the boss without tapping again. There is, yes, a small trade-off in DPS that makes this a balancing act. If you're a DPS uber alles purist, that is sacrilege. I'm not a purist: I think that my job is more than just topping the DPS meters, it's putting my whole team in a position to win the fight. Part of winning long boss fights is having the resources to execute the boss when he's down to 1/3d health. My lifetapping strategy enables me have the mana I need at that point in the fight.

Part of the fun of the affliction warlock is the strategic balancing act between high DPS and damage longevity. Our self-heals via Haunt, SL, and DL and the mana-for-hp exchange of lifetap make us unique. Lifetap enables us to keep cranking out robust damage in long boss fights. Ye gods, how I love it!

Soosdon wants your Gnomes {WoW}

Jan 28th 2009 7:58PM Gnome hate is a serious problem in Azeroth? Are you kidding me?

I'm a Forsaken warlock and I, for the record, do not hate gnomes. In fact, I love gnomes. I have an especially good recipe for gnome tartar I can share. Also a gnome pate ("pate de foe gras") that goes great on crackers.