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  • Cuddles
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Scattered Shots: MoP hunter changes galore {WoW}

Mar 29th 2012 4:19PM As much as I like GRRM, it's not.

The collective term for crows is actually "murder." There are actually a whole bunch of these poetic collectives for animals in the English language, going back to the days when lords or other wealthy people employed gamesmen, hunters who were responsible for maintaining game--animals that weren't suited for domestication--on their masters' lands. The collective term for these collective terms is "terms of venery," venery being an archaic term for hunting.

Why this happened isn't exactly clear, and how widespread it was isn't clear either. But they got written down in a book in the 1400s, when rich folks started hunting as a pastime (some may have been commonly used, other were probably rare, and other probably made up). And--as so often happens--because someone wrote it down in a book, others accepted it without further question and insisted that "these are the proper terms." And so they survive on the fringes of the English language as this weird but fun artifact.

A murder of crows
A crash of rhinos
An exaltation of larks
A gaggle of geese ( on the ground)
A skein of geese (in flight)
A sloth (sometimes sleuth) of bears
A business of ferrets
A tower of giraffes
A pride of lions
A skulk of foxes
An ostentation of peacocks
A parliament of owls/rooks

Fun fact: "venery" is also the noun form of the adjective "venereal." While the homonym is completely accidental (this other use comes from the Roman goddess Venus), it does leave Blizz with the option of adding "Venereal Diseases" to the Hunter toolbox. ("Toolbox," heh. I'm on a roll!)

Breakfast Topic: What's your one wish for Mists of Pandaria? {WoW}

Mar 16th 2012 11:07AM @ryan yes, but it's a one-off thing. It doesn't ignore that person's alts, or people like them. I'm hoping something can be built on that.

And the "like" function would be to nudge the system to group you with folks you had a good time with.

And there are simple algorithms out there that can figure out "if you liked this, then you'll probably like that" and vice-versa.

This would allow the "go-go-goer" elitists to be more likely to be grouped with others like them, and allow people who like to be patient and helpful and explain things and have a good time to find each other. Win for everyone.

I came back after a long absence, and had a great run a few weeks ago that kept me wanting to play for a long time. Then I had a series of runs where I was just flamed and berated because I didn't know everything (even though I always announced that I was new and learning fights and tips were appreciated and watched vids and read strats) and because I had a blue weapon still (ironically because the few times a tank weapon dropped, it was ninjaed by jerks) or dps shoulders (though reformed, chanted, and gemmed properly). Logged off in anger, asking myself why I would want to pay to be treated that way. I know there are great folks out there playing this game, but there's just no way for me to do anything to find them again.

Breakfast Topic: What's your one wish for Mists of Pandaria? {WoW}

Mar 16th 2012 9:39AM Sorry, can't limit it to just 1. :)

1) A simple "Like/Ignore" function for DF and RF. Liking people will make you more likely to be grouped with them (and people they like), and never grouped again with people you ignore (and less likely to be grouped with people they like).

2) A dungeon system that mirrors the current 3-tier raid system, so that DF offers one ilevel of gear, server-only heroics offer a higher ilevel (mirroring current normal raids), and CM dungeons that offer a slightly higher ilevel (a la heroic raids). Seven DF runs would cap valor, about 5 heroics (via a revamped daily quest), and 3-4 CMs. (Heroic and CM being server only would help get people out in the world again.)

3) Scenarios being amazing. Versions of them to teach folks their roles (tank, healer, dps), and their class (like how the FotF legendary quests relay on rogues using stealth, sap, etc). 10 of these should cap valor.

4) Ability to enter raids alone (you don't have to be in a group to enter dungeons).

5) Shaman tanks. Sorry, not going to let this one go. ;) (Followed by warlock tanks (either new spec or a simple glyph that sacrifices your demon to make your metamorphosis permanent), and rogue tanks).

Blue Posts and Other WoW News: Daily screenshot gallery, Pi day! {WoW}

Mar 15th 2012 12:21AM This is what a white hit looks like when you're decked out in full T23 gear.

All-druid guild shreds Dragon Soul by tooth and claw {WoW}

Mar 8th 2012 6:41PM I don't know why, but this sounds like a lot of fun. :)

I knew there was The Warcraft Hunters Union, but had no idea about this druid one. Are there any others (particularly on a NA server)?

Or is there an all-Paladin one? The idea of an entire raid mass-bubbling tickles me. And i'd love to see 5 pallies chain casting glyphed holy wrath in some place like Grim Batol to see how much of the dungeon they could hold at once. :) And the thought of 25 of those lvl90 talent AoE hammers stacked on top of each other... :D

I imagine there will be at least a few all monk ones come Mists.

For that matter, I wonder if a group of 5 blood DKs could manage clearing a dungeon by rotating tanking duties...

The Light and How to Swing It: A look at the Mists talent calculator update for tanks {WoW}

Feb 17th 2012 5:12PM Loving them! Much improved! Bravo! :)

I'm in love with Light's Hammer. I immediately started daydreaming about having a raid full of pallies all stacking these on top of each other and wondering how many encounters we could break. (Not counting how many we could break by all bubbling at once. :). ) Has anyone ever done this? Do you anyone will (before I get off my duff and do it myself)?

A few quibbles, though:

The absence of Holy Shield has me worried. Hoping they didn't just chuck out a signature ability of our spec, and that they're withholding info until they figure out the whole "active mitigation thing."

Now that our talents are variations on awesomeness, I find myself wondering about the less awesome but still cool talents: specifically, I was hoping to see a tier with Reckoning, Eye for an eye, and maybe blessed life (talents to make everyone think twice about attacking you). Not earth shattering by any means, but they've been a part of paladin life for a long time (well, the first two). I wonder if maybe they can go to a 9 tier system and give us some of those "eh...those are flavorful, nice to have, but not omgwtf" talents. (First world problem?)

I understood the whole "taking away non-healers' multiple heals" thing, even if I didn't like it. But removing exorcism and holy wrath as well (exo is ret only, hw is holy only, prot (me) gets neither). Exo was great as a single target pull and as a filler in ranged moments. And I personally like stunning groups of various (applicable) mobs as a way to help my healers. Active mitigation at its best. Bt no more. :( Well, now we get a non-damaging Blinding Shield. Was that whole take-and-give really necessary?

Ol' Grumpy and the crushing disappointment of roles {WoW}

Feb 16th 2012 12:50PM Great post!

Before the Mists announcement, I had decided I was a fan of the "hybrid tax" on dps. In my spare moments, I even came up with a tweak to the buffing system that allowed individual dps specs to do equivalent damages one-on-one, while allowing the "pures" to do more in raids/groups. (Not very complex, basically just give raid buffs to the hybrids; the buffs would be required for the hybrids to do "normal" damage, and would allow the pures to do normal+5%. That way would encourage a raid to bring both pures and hybrids.

But Blizz went the complete opposite direction. And honestly, I respect where they're going. This basically means they will have 34 classes going into Mists, instead of 11. But it removes the need for any kind of hybrid tax.

I will say that I think they've gone a bit too far; I chose to play a shaman and then a paladin because of their flexibility and the different ways they could handle challenges. (I'm very much miffed by the removal of exorcism and holy wrath from tankadins...I use holy wrath all the time and exorcism was a great single target opener, and filler during certain "stand way over there" phases.) But hopefully they'll loosen up and put these back in.

And your idea of combat using polearms (and agility staves?) is brilliant. These are only stat sticks for hunters (and ferals??) now, correct? And with the changes coming in Mists, only Monks would be using them...maybe? A whole genre of weapons that none of the original classes actively uses in combat is a shame and a waste. Rogues with pole arms/staves would really give the that ninja feel. :)

Also, give me a dodge/parry rogue tanking spec and I would probably level one.

I'm just going to put it out there, I think 4th specs are coming. Maybe not in mists, and maybe not for all classes, but I think Blizz knows that with Monks out soon, they've tapped all their new class potential. All they're left with is variations on themes. (This couldve been handled before within trees like feral, but now Blizz has given itself the locked-spec model.) If nothing else, the new shaman Ascendance (basically GoAK for Shammies) spell is crying out for an Earth Ascendant.

Blue Posts: MoP account-wide achievements, phasing, authenticator troubles, Balance {WoW}

Feb 7th 2012 10:35AM This. Or even better, make it so that you are in phase with whoever is party leader. There could even be a warning, "X is in a different phase than you. Do you wish to enter his/her phase?"

Related, I'm holding out hope that Blizz takes its gear-scaling tech (heirlooms, and the new challenge mode dungeons) and will allow you (and your gear) to "mentor" someone to scale down to the level of someone in your party/raid. Have a drop down item "Invite to Mentor," and a dialog pops up for that player saying "X has invited you to mentor him/her. If you agree, you will become [level of X, or +1] and your equipped ilvl will become [heirloom equivalent for that level]."

A buddy of mine stopped playing because I kept out-leveling him (3 different times). He was fine with paying the sub to play 2-3 times a month to play with me. But when mobs one-shotted themselves with my retribution aura, it became silly so he unsubbed.

In defense of intellect plate {WoW}

Feb 5th 2012 9:47PM Here's hoping for fourth specs. A shockadin for pallies is easy (they could make it a "shadow version" for flavor and to keep it from healing too well). Add in a Necromancer for DKs and you've got three specs for spellplate. (I've always assumed Unholy was going to be a Spellplate at some early point in development.)

As for other classes: shaman tanks, demon tanks, and dark hunters are also ready-made. (Coincidentally, these also happen to be the classes I play: pally, shammy, DK, hunter, and lock.) Admittedly, creating shaman tanks and lock tanks would create the same problem currently with spell plate, namely the necessity/desirability of parry/dodge mail and cloth. But then again, that hasn't stopped Blizz with bears so far. A creative mechanic might be for a crit to create a buff that completely absorbs the next normal melee hit (so that effectively, crit=dodge/parry, and haste would be valuable too I that it would allow more white crits). Or just make mastery = dodge.

I admit to having difficulty coming up with 4th specs for the others. I mean, how many different flavors of smashing people in the face can Warriors really have? But then again, maybe that's because I haven't played those classes. Melee mages ("battlemage") would be essentially creating a new class. A melee version of a disc priest might have worked, but thats what monks essentially will be.

Maybe a breakfast topic? What would your 4th spec be (without making a new class)?

2012 Predictions for Blizzard: Social features, pandas, and summertime {WoW}

Jan 6th 2012 3:43PM Good list.

Here's my more Mists-focused one:

Mists in July (maybe Aug)
Updated player models (changed in barbershop, or one-time free same-race/gender character change)
Scenarios are really good
Talents change pretty dramatically, and each class gets some damn cool ones
Monk starts off way OP, and is tuned down over time
New loot system solves many loot problems making many people very happy (also decreasing the lifespan of patches by increasing the rate of gear acquisition)
Some people still complain about loot

Hopeful but not unrealistic:
Scenarios are completely awesome and blow folks away
Glyphs get revamped into something that doesn't suck
Three dungeon modes--LFD, Heroic, and Challenge Mode--with different ilvls (like FR)
LFD only drops JP; VP only drop in Heroics (small number on final bosses); Challenge mode (small number on each boss); LFR (small amount per run); and oral and heroic raids (decent amount per boss). (I.E., you can't get the nigh-best gear, by doing the easiest thing--people very much understand this as a part of LFR).
Individuals can enter raids (Blizz just gives up and says what the heck).
Several dungeons have faction-specific iterations (a la ToC5 and ICC Gunship) - I'm thinking heroic SM as going back and forth between factions (I.e., as Alliance, you fight mostly Forsaken and Belfs; as Horde, you fight Humans, Dwarfs (and Alliance Death Knight in the GY).

Cool but will happen after Dance Studio and Path of the Titans:
User-editable guild quests that grant guild rep
People will stop predicting the death of WoW...nah...even then it won't happen. :)