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Blood Pact: Using CompareBot to see differences in logs

Blood Pact Using CompareBot to see differences in logs MON
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology, and destruction warlocks. This week, Megan O'Neill didn't waste time getting a Whole Body Shrinka' so she could re-enact the Genie describing his living arrangments.

Originally, the last part of this column's series on World of Logs (WoL) would be talking about the other parts of RaidBots (EpeenBot and DPSBot) with WoL rankings, but as time went on, I realized I wanted to look at that data over a patch or tier rather than over just a week. Besides, I believe it's time next week for a break in these serious warlock matters.

The previous four posts went over a very basic introduction to WoL, the graphs of WoL important to warlocks, looking at buffs and debuffs on a timeline, and digging deep into the combat log. This final post will look at comparing two logs more easily than flipping between browser tabs.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact, Mists of Pandaria

Ventrilo vs. Mumble

"What's your Vent info?" is as ubiquitous as "What's your GearScore?" Voice chat programs are a fact of WoW life, and by all means Ventrilo dominates the market. After five years of using Ventrilo, I say it's time to change to something better.

One of the most common questions I get from the show Big Crits is "what's the mod that shows who's talking in Vent?" It's actually not a mod, and in fact it's not even Ventrilo. Big Crits uses Mumble, a low latency VOIP program for gaming. It's mostly unknown in WoW, as Ventrilo clearly dominates voice chat in our world. Mumble is perhaps better known in FPS circles, where the low latency really gives it a competitive advantage.

I started this article with every intention of making a pros-and-cons comparison between the two programs, but in truth, I had a hard time coming up with pros for Ventrilo. I'll run through features, but don't be surprised if you come out of this with a new perspective on voice chat options and a strong desire to switch to Mumble.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Compare items on Wowhead

Wowhead keeps adding new features, I know. But this is a big one. Last night, while most of us were busy watching the vice-presidential debate, they launched a fairly sophisticated tool for comparing items or sets of items. Basically, you can add any item or set in the database, and group them up however you want (by dragging items between groups), and then compare groups against each other to see what stats you gain and lose on.

There are tons of additional features to this tool, and it might be worth reading the instructions to see all of what you can do. Some things I particularly like:

  • You can add stat weighting scales, to see (an estimation of) how good the item is overall for your class and spec. Click the scores to toggle the display format; I like the percentage display particularly, which shows the "best" group as 100% and everything else in terms of that.
  • The "gains" row shows you in short what's different between your groups, by subtracting out all shared stats.
  • All item listings on the site now feature checkboxes that you can use to quickly compare items.
  • Each group has an option to view in 3D, so you can now finally use Wowhead as your dressing room: just create a group of items you want to look at, click the little triangle on the top bar of the group, and select "View in 3D."
  • You can set one group as your "focus" by clicking the little eye icon, which shows all stats relative to that group.

I will definitely be making use of this in the future; it's much easier than figuring it out in your head or making a spreadsheet.

Filed under: Items, News items

A WoW player's guide to Warhammer Online

Heard about Warhammer Online, but the thought of a whole new virtual world to get lost in frightens and confuses you? Worry not -- our good friends at Massively (like WoW Insider, but for all MMOs) have you covered. Just in time for the impending Warhammer Online release, they've posted a WoW player's guide to Warhammer Online. With their in-depth guide, you can take all that knowledge you've racked up about Azeroth and its inhabitants, and carry it right on over to Altdorf and the rest of the world of Warhammer.

Need a class translation guide, or want the lowdown on what quests and crafting are like? Perhaps the biggest difference between WoW and WAR is a bigger emphasis on PvP of all kinds, and Massively's got the story for you on that as well. If you've been interested in checking out Warhammer at all (or if a few friends have mentioned they're switching), this guide will bring you right up to speed.

Of course, even EA admits that Warhammer won't really be a rival to World of Warcraft, but there's no question that the game has already influenced how even Blizzard makes its games, so no matter how many players choose to cross over, there's no question the new MMO on the block is going to make a splash. The game comes out in just over a week on September 18 -- if this guide has piqued your interest, stay tuned to Massively for more on what's up with the game and its release.

Filed under: Night Elves, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, PvP, Quests, Death Knight

WoW Heroes sets you right at endgame

We've covered sites like this before (Be Imba is probably the one best known), but here's another character comparison/improvement tool for you to use online. WoW Heroes is a site that will look up your character's significant info from the Armory, put it in an easy-to-read format, and then help you check out all your stats, enchants, and gear, and help you find improvements to what you're wearing. It's not as judgemental as Be Imba -- you just get the stats and the facts, not yelled at for not having gems in your sockets (though getting yelled at might be just the motivation you need to get better), but it does provide suggestions in a much gentler way, including what kinds of enchants to use and what kinds of instances to run.

And one fun feature that isn't as easy to do on Be Imba is the comparison tool -- you can put in two characters' names and servers and very easily look at both at the same time, comparing item levels and/or seeing where the gear came from. Neat feature, and very easy to get up and running, no login or signup needed.

There is one drawback -- you can't see any characters in the system that are below level 70, so WoW Heroes is only for people trying to find improvements and options in the endgame -- if you're below 70, you'll have to go elsewhere. But as an endgame character improvement tool, it's another good option to use.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Instances, Classes, Enchants

Forum post of the day: If the NBA was like the Arena...

It's pretty clear that despite it's flaws, I love the Arena. I know that a lot of people don't but usually the forums are filled with complaints rather than constructive criticism. I was pleasantly surprised by a post in the PvP forums that was amusing and made a great analogy for the Arena Syatem. Phel of Tichondrius compared arenas to the NBA. I've included his complete list after the break.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Humor, Forums, Forum Post of the Day

Realm progression rankings for the Shattered Sun questline

The efforts to retake the Isle of Quel'Danas proceed apace. Some realms are going faster than others, but Drysc assures us that even the low-population realms will get the phases auto-completed for them eventually if they don't have the manpower to get there fast enough on their own. What if you want to see exactly how the realms stack up? We talked last week about a manually maintained forum post; however, that has problems with trustworthiness and the difficulty of keeping it updated.

Edur, of Gorgonnash-A (EU), has created a web site that relies on game data form participants to rank the realms according to their completion of the Sunwell questline, and a very nice site it is. You can see all the US and European realms and where they stand both on the main phase quests and on the side accomplishments, like constructing the portal from Shattrath to Quel'Danas. There are also nice progress charts for each individual realm, and, most usefully, ETAs for when the objectives might be reached given current rates of completion.

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