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How to carry the flag in Warsong Gulch {WoW}

Jan 26th 2012 5:30PM 1. If you pick up the flag, your job is to deliver that flag safely to a cap. Alternatively stated, if you want to rack up HKs, play return, or otherwise involve yourself in risky behavior: do not pick up the flag, or pass it off to someone else.

2. Be aware of the EFC. You can see the name of the EFC at the top of your screen, and it's possibly to simply type, for instance, "/tar Taurribull" (in this imaginary circumstance the EFC is a tauren with a pun name, okay?). That way you can see his or her health and be aware of when you need to be ready to cap or when you can safely be running around to avoid the offensive.

2b. If you are not ready to cap as soon as the flag is returned, chances are someone can quickly snipe the flag and sprint out. This both completely invalidates the rest of your team's work and really, your own. It will lose you credibility and people will be Very Unhappy. If this situation DOES ARISE, do NOT pursue the EFC. Broadcast in /bg chat where he left from, where he might be going, and any pertinent information (class, level if it's not an 85 BG, health, if he has friends with). Let others handle the return, because if you chase the EFC out the same thing will likely happen again. You chase, return, run back to cap and...hey, the flag's gone again!

3. Communicate and pay attention to the communication of others. Let everyone know if, say, it's just you and a healer hanging out on the roof and you could likely use a DPS in case of an attack. Let people know where you are. Let people know when you have incoming, and even how many. If your teammates can't see you, they can't telepathically know if you're in danger they must react to beyond simply being the FC (you're basically always in danger). Being able to say, "FC alone, healer died, send backup" can make or break a game.

4. If you have a healer with you, be ON TOP OF that healer at all times. If a rogue pounces you, stuns you, and casts Smoke Bomb, and your healer is outside the range of the Smoke Bomb, you're as good as dead.

5. This is before becoming a flag carrier, but...unless you're in the position of say, picking up a flag that was dropped, if you do not have sufficient resilience or are in a non-85 bracket and are a lowbie of that bracket (say you're level 51, you're essentially "green" to players who will be "yellow"), DO NOT PICK UP THE FLAG or PASS IT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. If you don't have the level, health and/or resilience to withstand any attack, you have no business holding that flag.

Encrypted Text: When your DPS doesn't matter {WoW}

Jan 25th 2012 2:25PM I personally use Cloak as an excuse to stay behind Zon'ozz during black-tentacly-AoE phase while everyone else clusters where they originally stacked for that phase. He usually turns, and I hop on his back, as for Subtlety most everything depends on positional abilities and I know I'm outside a lot of the AoE healing. So, Cloak + my Recuperate.

I also save Shadow Dance on Blackhorn simply for the instant stun and Ambush on sappers. When our DK tank is with us, I sprint and FoK until he's decloaked, she Deathgrips to undo his progress, and THEN I shadowstep and unleash my Shadowdance stun and burst. Unfortunately I can't reserve my Tricks for energy reduction on that bit because every time new melee adds drop I want to be sure they go for our tanks and not our resto druid.

I honestly look forward to the decoupling of Tricks from our personal DPS gain. I hate having to decide between my own burst and the "ohshit" threat redirection. I really love being able to send a new or stray add back to the tank with a quick shadowstep-tricks-nuke before it can even fathom that our healers are tasty.

Breakfast Topic: Who's the new star of the expansion? {WoW}

Jan 25th 2012 2:14PM Lillian Voss and Stormcaller Mylra, both aforementioned, but also...

Are we allowed to redact Warlord Blackhorn's death and vote him Warchief? He's so badass I wanted to reroll all my toons as tauren prot warriors.

And on the note of killed off old favorites, I'm really not looking forward to the Black Dragoness I'm going to have to assassinate for my daggers. Nalice is the reason I'll to this day do Dragonblight over again on every toon, at least until the end of her questline.

Breakfast Topic: Who's the new star of the expansion? {WoW}

Jan 25th 2012 2:08PM Mylra single-handedly makes grinding through Deepholm each subsequent time for Therazane rep tolerable. She has to be reused. Must. Fuck yeah badass female dwarves.

@ mord: It's World of WARcraft, not World of Peaceful Negotiationscraft. When the enemy is a crazed manifestation of DEATH you kind of have to take some drastic measures. Not to mention she went out of her way to be sure her charge wouldn't come to real harm. She didn't do much worse than shine a desk light on 'im and interrogate.

In The Lion King II, a Disney movie, Kiara offers Zira a hand-up while hanging from a cliff to prevent her death despite her crimes. In the original take, Zira throws herself off the cliff willingly, but even the version that made it to Disney audiences has her refuse the help and fall. Seeing no difference here, and Disney's kind of the go-to family friendly morality of the West, even if it's not infallible. If it works for a G-movie, it works for an ESRB Teen.

7 wishes for guilds in Mists of Pandaria {WoW}

Jan 24th 2012 9:27AM While I think there does need to be incentive provided for legendaries to stay within the guild that built them, I think that incentive needs to come from the community, not the mechanics. It sucks if a group works hard to prop up an individual, but if that individual hops, perhaps there were warning signs overlooked. More so what I fear is, much like how people might hesitate to abandon a guild that doesn't suit them or worse--makes their fun-time harm-time--due to losing rep/levels, having such a powerful item guild bound would worsen that.

A guild is supposed to be a group of people who enjoy doing things in game together, and ideally enjoy each other's company. If that is not true, they should not feel forced to stay together. Yeah, in real life you might have to tolerate that one jerk in the office, or that one aunt that thinks her kids are better than you and feels the need to let you know, this is a game. We need no further mechanic disincentives for leaving for more healthy pastures.

However, I do think it'd be very interesting if Blizzard implemented something to ease a transition like that. Say a guild started off well but two groups have differing opinions on how they wish to pursue their game time. Why should one group get the guild both worked on while the other starts fresh? Creating a new guild with say, half the levels, would ease it quite a bit. And to keep from that being abused, perhaps it could only happen if x amount of members founding the new guild had been in the main guild for a certain period of time.

The aesthetic consequences of new character models {WoW}

Jan 24th 2012 8:25AM I think that--with caution and care--most races could remain true to their inception while receiving increased pixelization and an update here or there. Tauren for example, I agree, are wonderful at their basis, but something like manes that don't look like a 2-pixel tumbleweed could be implemented, y'know? Along with more than four faces for females. I think they've also come a long way in understanding how things thing that always bothered me about tauren males was the legs in general. I understood the IDEA, but in reality it looks cartoonishy wrong to me. Make them locomote in a way that is more realistic. Joints. The hooves could be polished.

Without going into a bit-by-bit, I think that can be applied pretty much across the board. With goblins it made sense to trash the original model and go more on the idea and spirit than the old skeleton, but there ARE things that work about the original races. Polish, clean, bring up to date, and add more customization. While transmogrification is great, to me it felt like a cop-out on the character customizability thing. WoW is behind the game on making your character look unique. And while I could now wear just about any variety of gear WHILE in combat without losing stats, it's any variety of gear that has already existed. We need more faces, more hairstyles, and maybe more helms that showcase the most unique aspect of any race--its face--instead of completely covering it. Stop hiding what's broken, fix it.

P.S. I miss my female undead shadow priest more than I can say. Still the only "right" shadow model, IMHO.

5 ways to keep your tank happy in 5-man heroics {WoW}

Jan 13th 2012 10:12AM All of the above.

And a suggestion to go into the DPS column: anything you can do to help a DPS freely do his or her job makes us happy. That includes moving the mob's butt out of the bad so melee can happily attack from behind, or being aware of, say, a hunter's LOS while kiting when possible. We appreciate it.

Also, healers, flip on display pet bars in your raid frames. Hunter pets constitute a good chunk of any hunter's DPS, for BM, a LARGE chunk, and they're also part of hunter utility and mend pend only does so much. I was BMing it up in a BG today and I noticed earth shield on my Arcturis pet. I wanted to hug that shammy so hard.

Also, dispelling melee from snares. Essentially, anything that allows us to continue DPSing makes our day.

The Queue: The League {WoW}

Jan 11th 2012 9:21PM Aside from the other points on trash, my raid leader likes to drag those still at the computer through trash to give them something to do while a couple of us might go afk after an encounter.

I halfway wish DS had FL's initial amount of trash (trash leading up to the first boss, I mean), because it gave those of us who had a concept of "on time" something to do while we waited for those who were late or spent time finding replacements.

Trash: a distraction for cats while the remainder are herded back together.

The Queue: Donksliders 2 {WoW}

Dec 18th 2011 2:53PM Sadface. This is supposed to be a reply to Arkonn and Zacharias about seven posts above.

The Queue: Donksliders 2 {WoW}

Dec 18th 2011 2:51PM Several points:

- LFR is such a revolving door in people entering and dropping and in my experience the vote kicking works well enough that this isn't a problem. Make your case in raid chat so that your co-kickers know why you're kicking (so that they will too) and also so that the person you're aiming to kick understands/hopefully learns. I had a healing druid pulling less healing than my shadow priest, in blues and PvP crafteds, who was gimping the team. Pointed it out in raid, promptly got a kick through, moved on. Two to three pieces of PvP gear won't typically destroy a skilled player's ability to any noticeable degree, but too much and at too low a quality level absolutely does. Like DKs pulling 7k DPS. It's almost a creative level of failure.

- I request that the OP remember that WoW has both PvE and PvP content and players and that while some players from each pool routinely ruin the days of the others' by not having the decency to use the proper gear for each, PvE is no more "normal" than PvP. Both utilize iLevel for several reasons (among them easily identifying quality of gear). However, I can concur that perhaps Blizz ought to do all players a service by earmarking PvE gear and PvP gear into distinct categories and set some limiters on accessibility. PvPers get just as annoyed at being blown up by players in PvE gear as PvEers are frustrated by players not performing with some-odd 4k in missing stats and numbers due to wearing PvP gear. This is why I'm incredibly wary of the baseline resil concept. Resil was introduced for good reason, but resil seems to be balanced around the assumption that one is reducing the damage distributed by PvP-type numbers, not PvE-type numbers. There's a large difference between 20k DPS and 40k DPS.

- PvP gear has a higher iLevel, I believe, than PvE gear because it has inflated primary stats (int/agi/str/stam) to balance out the loss of throughput from resil. It works in PvP, but not in PvE.