Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Looking at the important fixes for the 2.3 patch

I always find it interesting to look at the patches to see what the developers fix... sometimes it is annoying bugs, balancing issues and then sometimes you find such important issues such as:

  • You can now fish in Ironforge again.

It does show though that they have a solid bug reporting tool and that they do tick these smaller issues of the list. I imagine that these fixes are quite small and painless. I imagine that alliance rogues are now happy fishing away outside the rogue trainer in Ironforge.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

How to maintain stealth...

One of our defining characteristics as rogues are to keep out of sight and attack at our own leisure. Monty Python gives us a lecture in the art of "How not to be seen":

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Farming gold - Cobra scales

So in order to get cash for my epic mount I've retorted to killing cobras in Shadowmoon Valley around the Coilscar. They don't drop in huge numbers but for an hour of farming them I can usually get about 4, and they sell for 30-40g at the AH. In addition to the other drops and skin I make pretty good profit. Especially since I really loathe the daily quests. Not my cup of tea...

Also a little shoutout to my warrior friend who has started up his own warrior blog... visit him at Blood Fury. He is a bit confused but hey what can you expect from an orc wearing plate. All that metal cooks his brain...

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Taking Un'goro crater by force

Yesterday I took a break from Bioshock and returned to Azeroth with my orc warrior. At level 53 he was getting ready for the Un'goro grind. I don't know what to make of that zone - part of me hate it and part of me enjoy it. Back in the day when people were still racing to 60 the crater was a dangerous place where you had to go in pairs or you would be killed and camped. Yesterday I felt very lonely with the exception of an orc hunter I bumped into in the cave of apes.

No matter if it is a fun zone or not it is a very exp rich zone. The quests gives a lot and all the grinding adds up as well. By the end of the night with all quests completed I had gained 1 1/5 level. Btw.. I could not find any elite quests in Un'goro... strange since most other zones have at least one or two.

One thing with un'goro... the Silithid Pox disease sucks to get as a warrior ... 40-50% extra damage from physical attacks. It hurts. Lots of extra rage though.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


... WOW is in a temporary holding pattern. Just got Bioshock. Amazing soundscape!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

This week in Warcraft

So another week is nearing its end. What have I been up to... well like the last weeks I've been busy levelling and PVPing with my orc Warrior. This week I've gone from 45-51 and managed to get myself a few cool PVP items as well. From Arathi Basin I've secured the Defiler's Plate Greaves and from Warsong Gulch I first saved up for the Rune of Duty but at the very last minute changed to the Berserker Bracers which do have one slight oddity - they can be equipped at 50 (most other pvp rewards are equippable at 38, 48, 58). Just as I dinged 51 I quickly flew to Alterac Valley, got the AV quest and popped into the queue. After 25 minutes of AV the horde ended up victorious and I claimed the Ice Barbed Spear. Now back in the day when I played an alliance warrior I tried to get this weapon for ever and ever... at first you had to kill the Ice Lord but it was later changed to simply winning the battleground.

Lastly I've done alot of tanking.. especially in Uldaman. I hate the instance mainly because it is soo time consuming. Tanking can be hard but practice and practice will make it smoother. I mainly play with PUG so you can imagine that I do party with a lot of huntards and warlocks that can't keep their dps in check or even worse start pulling at their own leisure.

My other alt, a Blood Elf Warlock, turned 20 and also managed to get enchanting up to 235. To get higher I need to level him to 35 which will take awhile. Maby never.

I didn't completely forget my rogue. Dear Warspike was brought out a few times to instance a wee bit. We did Shadow Labs but with no interesting drops for me.

I am putting more and more effort into my orc warrior at the moment. I love to play the warrior class and it really suits my type of play - rushdown galore! You put everything on the table and either you outdps your target or you don't. No fancy stuff.

I am really thinking about getting the Grandmaster Axe before proceeding beyond level 60. A long grind for nothing?

Monday, August 27, 2007

Battleground faces

After reading about Eye Of the Storm tips and tricks on both Out of Mana and Massive Multiplayer PK and having a blast playing alot myself this weekend I figured that there are many different types of BG players.

First you have the Fearless Commanders trying to give a few orders to the ragtag PUG that plays. I've tried this a few times but I don't really have the patience to shout out all the commands nor the thick skin to take the shit from all the puggies who just want to assault stable over and over at the sacrifice of the other nodes.

The Suicidal Solo Maniac - running around alone on the bg and usually dying to the defense. Sometimes they manage to ninja a flag in AB. If you have too many of these it is game-over. Winning is done in groups. If an attack is called out by the commander to the gold mine, you can be sure that the SSM is heading to the stables...

The Stalwart Defender - They dig down at one of the flags or the flag room in WSG and defend it. Usually I end up as a defender in AB and EOTS. The most important thing is calling out incoming attacks early. I am usually alone at the nodes I defend so I won't be able to hold out long against a large group. My main tactic is stalling the flag cap until reinforcements arrive.

The Bored Defender - This guys starts out defending but after no action he moves - usually the node is captured right after he leaves. Patient rogues for the win...

The Big-Mouthed-PVPer - There is always one guy that has the best tactics and makes sure everyone else know they need to L2P. These guys are always the first to call out that the enemy team is a premade... even when they come from different servers.

I actually had a really good discussion with an experienced commander the other day about which nodes to capture... as a horde player I am a strong believer in capturing (and holding) Farm, Gold Mine and the Lumber Mill. That way you can have a strong force at Mine and Lumber Mill and only one at Farm. Lumber Mill should be strong enough to ride down and defend Farm when ever needed. Small diversionary attacks against BS and Stables to keep the enemy afraid of attacking. My rationale is that too many places to much importance in holding the Blacksmith - avoid it and you're enemy will have to fear loosing it instead.
What kind of battleground fighter are you?

Friday, August 24, 2007

Making gold the expensive way

I recently found one of my old IRL friends in WOW... but on a different server than me. After some consideration I decided to move a few character to his server. After all playing with IRL friends is so much more fun than with random puggies.

My first action was to create a new character on that server and check out the AH prices. I discovered that epics and certain trade goods were horribly overpriced compared to what exists on my own server.

So back on my original server I invested about 1500g in mats and various epics. At my server Ravencrest you can find epics for around 20-40g during the weekdays. Thats Stockade Pauldrons, Destiny etc. With a backpack full of ore and epics I transferred my first char.

I've already made tripple that amount of gold and I still have lots more to sell. I am also going to transfer 2 more characters in the next two months. But it isn't completely free... I do have to pay real cash for the transfer charge. But since I was going to move the character anyway =)

Now take a moment and think about how much money blizzard makes on character transfers.. how many characters do you think transfers each day on both EU and US? Its a lot of cash... and it is more than the monthly fee. Think about that.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Advantages and disadvantages of alts in PVP

For the last couple of weeks I've been focusing alot on my little sidekick warrior. I am having a blast. In PVE I have somewhat hard of running certain quests that I know was easy as pie with my rogue... in PVP I am learning that the warrior is all about offence. There is no room to hesitate or play cautiously. When it comes to rogue PVP you often have a lot of tricks that allows you to reset the fight, restealth and escape. Vanish, Blind, Sprint etc.. so many opportunities to really change the fight. Where as a warrior your options are much more limited. (Let me remind you that my warrior recently dinged 42 so not all talents/skills are available yet I assume somethings change when you have all the goodies such as spell reflect etc). My tactics as a warrior is usually based around charging in as quick as possible to get first strike and then land a hamstring before starting to seriously pound the target. I am also switching stances like crazy. I must to defeat warlocks or priests. A rend is worth gold against rogues... but a well timed Thunder Clap or Demoralizing shout is worth even more... A rogue affected by a TC/DC often behave like a deer staring down the headlights of an onrushing car.

Anyway my real issue is that after playing my warrior I am loosing alot of rogue reflexes. I assume this goes for all players going with two or more characters. If they aren't the same class they risk loosing that edge (which I am sure doesn't really impact PVE at all).

However you do gain a lot of insight into other classes which is invaluable... I would strongly suggest to seriously try to play any class that you find is a bitch to fight against with your main. My personal arch-enemy is the shadow-priest. Granted I haven't encountered that many of them the last couple of months.. but back in the days they were my nightmare.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

New gear and a subtlety build

While I haven't been playing Warspike very extensively the last week I have gotten myself some new gear... a few trips to the battlegrounds have payed off and I've bought the Veteran's Leather Bracers. I did thought about buying the Veteran's Leather Gloves first but the bracers was stats-wise a better upgrade for me. The gloves will be next though...

I've also picked up an expensive piece of head armor: The Night Watchman. The armor itself is not that ├╝ber BUT its special effect - improved stealth detection - makes me a very happy rogue. Currently I am spending most of my time in various battlegrounds and being able to detect stealthed opponents is helping me alot!

In addition to the new gear I've respecced to a subteltly build, and with even more stealth detection. I still haven't gotten the new combos and skills into muscle memory so I am having slight trouble right now of downing my opponents efficiently (i keep forgetting premeditation and preparation for example).

While the sub build offer mediocre dps compared to mutilate or a fullblown combat build it does add alot of versatility... I find myself using rupture and garrote ALOT more in certain situations where I am not the target.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

It is not the size that matters....

One of my many alts just happens to be a proud axe wielding orc warrior and for the last couple of weeks he has been running around with tiny shoulder armor. At first it was kind of funny to see all the brutish orcs with dimnished shoulders. Now it is just plain irritating. Gief big shoulders back!

Apparently this is a bug glitch that came from something completely different during the last client patch... and we have to be nice and wait for the next client patch to get brutish shoulders again. Hopefully the patch is just around the corner and if I am not mistaken already on the test servers.

When it comes to orcs - Size DOES matter!

While both june and july has rained away here in the south of sweden August now shows promising weather! Today I took the famly out to the beach for the first time this vaccation... I expect to be able to farm the beach all week...

Monday, July 23, 2007

Short stop in Arathi...

So I took a short stop in Arathi to turn in one of the AB quests (capture all nodes)... I figure since I am grinding the battlegrounds for better PVP armor I might as well do the quests associated with them. Arriving in Arathi I find Hammerfall besieged by a hunter and his friend... the hunter, a level 69 night elf and a level 33 warrior. They had apparantly been playing tough guys with our friendly hordes in the neighbourhood.

I got into stealth, sapped the hunter and killed the little one in two strikes.. before he would break the sap (obviously not wearing his PVP trinket) I could reset the fight... I hate fighting against hunters and part of me just wanted to vanish and be happy with the lowbie kill. But I went in and after a short fight the hunter lay dead at my feet. A lot of hordes praised my name with /yell and I had become hero for a day...

It wasn't much but I had great timing... and I love taking out bullies.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

First 2vs2 arena experience

So I just finished my first arena game... a 2vs2 with an IRL friend playing a resto druid. A rogue and resto druid feels strong. However in our first match we got defeated. The opposing team was a Warlock and a Paladin. Man.. I hate paladins. They seem to last forever. In this particular match we went for the warlock first. Didn't really feel good. While I pounded on the warlock, and tried to blind/gouge the paladin at all possible times the warlock did burn down my druid. In the end I was alone against them both... and it went quick downhill from there.

Next time I rather go with my gut feeling of trying to burn down the paladin first..

For our next game the server crashed... bah... so I probably started my arena career with a loss and another loss due to disconnects. It is mainenance day tomorrow so that might be the reason.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

New patch notes on PTR for 2.2.0

Well a big PVP oriented patch is on its way to PTR. For the full specs check out http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/patchnotes/test-realm-patchnotes.html

There are alot of small fixes and changes to all classes as well as instances and items. My biggest concern are those affecting us rogues:

  • Blade Flurry: This ability will now do damage to secondary targets when the primary target takes no damage due to a damage shield (such as Power Word: Shield).
  • Elusiveness now reduces the cooldown of Blind by 8/15 seconds.
  • Master of Subtlety: The bonus damage from this talent is now properly removed when a Rogue loses stealth from zoning.
  • Sap: It is no longer sometimes possible to Sap two targets at the same time in the outdoor world.
  • Sap duration against PvP targets has been reduced to 10 seconds.
  • Sword Specialization: This talent’s free extra attacks can no longer trigger additional extra attacks.

The new blind seems very sexy... and while sap is now reduced to 10 seconds of CC so is the mage's polymorph!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Death from above

Finally I've gotten Warspike airborne! A green mount seemed to be the perfect candidate for my future aerial maneuvers. Flying is amazingly fun... although with the initial flying mount it is kind of slow. I have started to grind the money for the epic mount... It will take me quite some time.

I've also managed to get exhalted with Aldor! YAY! My first faction at exhalted. Everyone keeps telling me that the Aldor/Scryer faction is the fastest one. It did net me a great 1h sword... so I am back to Combat Swords for the time being. I didn't really like mutilate for PVE and it looks like I am going to do a bit of grinding for gold...

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

NEWS: Planned Resilience Change...

Just spotted this on www.worldofwarcraft.com:

"In the next major content patch, the combat rating, resilience, will also reduce the damage dealt by damage over time (DoT) effects. As it currently stands, each new tier of equipment adds to the amount of damage DoT abilities have, yet that damage is not mitigated through combat ratings found on typical equipment. This change will help ensure that DoT effects do not scale too well compared to other damage mechanics.

The amount of damage reduced will be equal to the critical chance reduction effect that resilience grants."

Right now there are quite a lot of shadowpriest/warlock teams that are relying on dots to take down gladiators with full resillience gear. Some teams have begun stacking shadow resist gear that they switch to during the games...

This seems like a great thing. All damage should be covered with resilience!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Stalking Halaa

In the middle of the african-inspired Nagrand lies the neutral city of Halaa. It is the object of the zone's outdoor PVP mode. When killing a member of the opposing faction you are awarded a Halaa Battle Token - and if your faction controlls the city you can use these (together with research tokens gathered from the zone's mobs) to purchase pretty good PVP gear.

For about a week Warspike has called Halaa home. Especially when controlled by the alliance. You see stealthing and stalking in the Halaa is very easy.. and several 64-66 comes there to turn in their tokens and they don't really expect a dagger in the back. The guards will assist if I get too close so controlling the fight is paramount. Crippling poison or you better have vanish ready. The mutilate build is excellent for this kind of dirty burst kill.

My favourite PVP moment here was when ambushing a hunter on his flying mount at ground level. After a few stuns he managed to get away and simply soared up in the air with almost no health... I had 4 full combo points on him and next thing a Deadly Throw killed him midair! I love being a rogue =)

I've collected 60 marks.. earned a good chunk of honor and now purchased the Shadowstalker's belt and leggings. It was actually a pretty painful week to do all the marks at once. But now that I am done I can leave Halaa and the alliance there alone.

My next stop is grinding Aldor rep to exhalted... and I am very very close. You see in Nagrand I've been killing beasts like there is no tomorrow (when not in Halaa). The leather and especially the clefthoof leather sells for a good deal of gold. For those earnings I've bought Fel Armament and Mark of Saragas. Doing the Aldor quests in the Netherstorm has helped as well.

Oh.. I am close to finally buying a flying mount.. but we'll see if the gold I have after a few quests is enough.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Learing the mutilate build...

So know I've earned some experience using a mutilate build. I am not convinced that this is the ultimate build but it seems amazing for battlegrounds and large-scale battles. The burst damage you can deliver is more than anything I've been able to deal before. For PVE I think it is simply horrible. I have been trying to finish a few quests in Netherstorm for gold and rewards but with my mutilate spec it takes forever... and the corpse runs. You see when I was a combat rogue I could easily deal with one or two adds without breaking a sweat. Just pop AR+BF+Evasion... With a mutilate build there is really no ace up the sleeve when that extra add comes. I've also discovered that I am truly in need of both more crit and +hit for mutilate to shine. A missed Kidney Shot can screw up a whole battle.

After a few battles I think I got a PVE combo going:

1 Start with cheap shot for a good stun and 2 combo points
2 Mutilate during the cheap shot for 2 more combo points and sometimes 3 with seal fate
3 Wait for energy and then Kidney Shot. There is really no use throwing a 5pt kidney shot if you don't have full energy
4 Mutilate (at this point you have Find Weakness and Imp KS running for additional 19% of damage)
5 Mutilate
6 You usually have 5 combo points here... and I like to throw an Eviscerate

This can also be done against unsuspecting, non-trinketing players... but I've found out that it is seldom they'll let you bash unhindered.

I'll finish this post off with a little PVP anecdote that happened yesterday in the Alterac Valley BG. There was a huge battle raging at Tower Point, the alliance was slowly gaining more and more ground. A very strong defence kept the allies fighting for every inch (meanwhile our own attackers made progress further and further into the dwarves territory). With my mutilate build I wanted to try out burst damage. I looked for mages standing in the middle of the "crowd". I could not find anyone hurt. So I just picked one with big shoulders (usually the damage dealers from hell) and crept up behind him. I released everything... cold blood, Ferocity trinket and a long string of loud curses. I managed to get about 3/4 of his health before his friends started bashing on me. Suddenly I had a debuff list almost covering the whole screen and I got a nasty stun. When the stun released I managed to give the mage one last mutilate - it critted and the mage died. With almost no HP left I did what any rogue would do... Cloak of Shadows, Vanish & sprint. I survived... and as soon as I hit friendly space I got a ton of heals...

For me it was a glorious moment. This is what I've been dreaming of doing as a rogue in the battlegrounds. And that my friends is what still keeps me as a mutilate rogue. I am not going back to combat for awhile.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Boom 70, and respec to a mutilate build

After hours of slaving away in the Netherstorm Warspike was finally rewarded by reaching level 70.

Three cheers for me!

My goal at 70 has always been to start PVP in full. I look forward to all the four battlegrounds as well as starting up an arena team with a few of my guildies. I will not grind much more, nor quest more than neccessary so I feel confident that I can leave my combat fist spec behind. Even though it worked really good in PVP I've always wanted to go back to be a rogue with daggers.. hiding in the shadows waiting for the perfect strike.

I have two builds to try out in the near future, the first being a PVP oriented Mutilate build. The second build is the old classic dagger PVP build - 30/0/31. Actually the last one is very similar what I used with Hexapuma pre-TBC.

What was the first thing you did when you reached level 70?

Warspike almost 70

Warspike dinged 69 today ... and only a few hours later the experience bar showed a litte less than 60% left to 70. It seems the road from 69-70 is much shorter than the earlier levels. I remember feeling the same when my first toons were about to hit 60. I suspect I'll hit 70 tomorrow.. and then I'll be busy with getting flying mounts, aldor exhalted, getting PVP gear and more importantly finding an arena team.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

A dagger lurking in the shadows

So there I was, in the middle of the forest south of an alliance outpost killing Fey Dragons to left and right. That damn fey powder wouldn't drop. Just as I pocketed the last dust my debuff bar lit up like a christmas tree. This usually only means one thing... a warlock. Before I had gotten my hand out of the bag I had at least 3 dots running and more coming. Before TBC that would have been the end of the grind and the beginning of a long corpse run. Not this time. Activate cloak of shadows and then boom VANISH.

The battle has been reset.

The scared gnome mounted up faster than you can say Gnomeregan and rode away.

When I get jumped and manage to escape or turn the battle I can't let it go. So I followed him in stealth. I could follow the trail of mobs returning to their positions as he rode past. It seemed he would elude me... but then just as I spotted another gnome (rogue) my the castbars lit up... SHADOWBOLT... I had found him.. or rather my mods spotted him for me. After that it was easy to stun him to death. With Will of the Forsaken and the PVP trinket Warlocks are now easy mode...

I just love stalking the prey as a rogue. I've heard that druids are even cooler with their Track Humanoid to make the task easier. Nah that is too easy =)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

An economy going rampart?

The other day I asked a friend if he could craft the Felsteel Whisper knives (throwing weapons) as my rogue Warspike soon hits 70. He was very happy to make them for me but I had to supply the ingredients (and I would expect nothing else). A lot of materials are required for the knives - they are blue level 70 knives after all. When I browsed the AH for the materials I realized that the price for me to get all this stuff would be far more than the price of actually buying the knives themselves on AH. Just a week earlier I had seen them on AH for as little as 30-40 gold. The sum of the mats I would have to buy would on my server be 150-200 gold.

Which led us to a lengthy discussion that the economy in World of Warcraft is seriously wrong. The materials are more expensive than a finished product. Why is it that the common commodities are so expensive? One reason could be that everyone needs the same materials in this case a bit of felsteel (engineers, jewelcrafters and all the blacksmiths) but how many actually needs the throwing knives? And as a guild mate of mine pointed out... everyone and their mother are power-levelling up their crafting professions which makes a huge material demand. And it doesn't end there but many end-game players choose to have two crafting proffessions for those imba BoP's. Every rogue should have blacksmithing for the Drakefist Hammer and jewelcrafting for the Nightseye Panther ... or enchanting to play the AH market for even more gold to afford those pricey materials.

So what possible solutions are there? I see none within the current game mechanics of WOW. So I'll throw out a few ideas...

#1 Restrict the crafting skills to one craft per player

#2 Allow everyone to gather material - this will probably flood the market with mats and thus make sure that a finished product is worth more.

#3 Have mats gathered be BoP and redesign a new interface for the crafting where the crafting can be made into a group action. It can be as simple as a Warlock's summoning. Click on the forge .. add a few mats and BOOM a new item.

#4 Stop the gold buying... we all know that has one of the biggest impacts on the economy.

What are your suggestions?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Warspike's modified pvp combat build

Currently Warspike's build is combat fist but with a slight difference from the cookie-cutter build. I've put points into MoD for additional stealth - and when doing lots of BG that stealth is very welcome. I can easily say that rogues without MoD are very easy to spot... For me MoD has become a requirement.

Warspike's Combat Build

Assassination Talents - 15 points

The first tiers of the assassination tree is almost a requirements. I would recommend all rogues to go for 11 points here. Malice, Ruthlessness and Relentless strikes are god send.

# Improved Eviscerate - rank 3/3
# Malice - rank 5/5
# Ruthlessness - rank 3/3
# Relentless Strikes - rank 1/1
# Lethality - rank 3/5

Combat Talents - 41 points

Combat tree for sustained damage. If you do venture down the combat tree make sure you pick up the signature moves here - Riposte, Blade Flurry and Adrenaline Rush. When you combine BF and AR you are effectively in god mode. Add evasion and not much can withstand your fury. This goes for both PVP and PVE. Although make sure you have the target stunned before starting.

Personally I chose to go with Combat potency (for that extra energy) and all the way to Surprise Attacks (10% damage increase) and I love them both!

# Improved Gouge - rank 3/3
# Improved Sinister Strike - rank 2/2
# Deflection - rank 5/5
# Precision - rank 5/5
# Riposte - rank 1/1
# Improved Sprint - rank 2/2
# Improved Kick - rank 2/2
# Dual Wield Specialization - rank 4/5
# Blade Flurry - rank 1/1
# Fist Weapon Specialization - rank 5/5
# Aggression - rank 2/3
# Adrenaline Rush - rank 1/1
# Nerves of Steel - rank 2/2
# Combat Potency - rank 5/5
# Surprise Attacks - rank 1/1

Subtlety Talents - 5 points

The king of the rogue talents - if you are the stalking kind of guy that is... I cannot play wihtout it, I feel naked and I do even consider dropping a few points from assassination and put them into camoflage for increased speed as well.

# Master of Deception - rank 5/5

This works for me, although I used to play with maces before getting my Nexus-Claw and that was even more fun! With mace specialization you get a chance to stun and increased weapon skill. Very handy... and very annoying for your cloth targets.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Patch 2.1.2 is here - Arena Season 2

Right now the 2.1.2 patch is getting downloaded ... with lots of warnings on the downloader that "the download is not authorized"... sounds interesting. I guess I'll know about that in a few hours when the servers gets back up.

So lets just quickly look at what the new patch brings.

* Start of Arena Season 2...

The biggest thing with the patch is of course the start of the new Arena season. This also means new gear! I am at level 67 (almost 68) so for me the season could have waited a few more
weeks. I'll be getting into the season early on though. Just as everyone have upgraded their initial gear to season 2.

And the second biggest thing (IMHO):

* PvP Trinkets: Insignia of the Alliance, Insignia of the Horde, Medallion of the Alliance, and Medallion of the Horde have all been redesigned. The trinkets for all classes now have the same effect: Dispels all movement impairing effects and all effects that cause loss of control of your character.

This is huge - and will be very interesting to see how it will work. This will even out the playingfield between a few of the classes.

You can view the full patch notes here.

Update: It seems that a few people's anti-virus programs are detecting Trojans in the patch. According to Blizzard this is false alarm and you simply need to update your anti-virus program.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Finally - Cloak of Shadows

So finally Warspike has reached the esteemed level of 66 which means a trip to the rogue trainer for that lovely skill - Cloak of Shadows. The skill allows a rogue to remove all harmfull effects and then have 90% resist to everything nasty for the next 5 seconds. The number of PVP tricks that this skill alone allows is amazing. Needless to say CoS is an integral part of end-game PVP.

In addition I've made it to Nagrand now. A beautiful zone with lots of beasts to kill - and skin! It seems that every mob that goes down has something for a faction, a quest or just plain simply some good knothide leather. The landscape is very interesting - rolling hills with little ponds and other interesting landmarks. Even though it is pretty open it is hard to spot the opposing faction... very interesting.

I haven't taken part in the world PVP action in Nagrand yet. There is a neutral town smack in the middle and apparently either horde or alliance will have control over it - along with its questgivers and other NPCs.

Going from level 64 - 66 went amazingly fast and I guess the main reason is the ease of doing the quests in Terokkar forest.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Reputation grinding in WOW

One of my biggest problems with WOW is the constant requirement to grind repetation for the various factions. Actually it is not the need for the grind but how the grind is supposed to be carried out that disturbs me.

Take Thrallmar for example. A high reputation for Thrallmar is required for a few crafting recepies but more importantly the key to the heroic instance in that zone. When a new player arrives at the Hellfire Penisula the most obvious thing to do is to do quests for Thrallmar - for reputation, experience and gear. But the most effective way to gain reputation is actually to avoid the Thrallmar quests and go for the ones out at Falcon Point (gives reputation for Silvermoon) and hit the ramparts and blood furnace over and over again until honored with Thrallmar. When finally honored with Thrallmar then should the quests should be completed (at this point the player is also probably over the minimum/recommended level for the quest making them a breeze). This saves multiple runs into Shattered Halls later on for that precious exhalted reputation.

While I understand the need to have reputation grinding as part of the current system, I would prefer it to be a little more similar to how Aldor/Scryer reputation is gained - using quests, and token turn ins. For example I have choosen Aldor for Warspike and it allows me to either go out and kill orcs for tokens or buy them on AH... buying them on AH allows me to grind other things I find more interesting and sell or trade tokens. It gives me freedom to play where I want to... I have yet to experience the new 2.1 content with the daily quests and all - I expect it to work out much better than that annoying Thrallmar reputation =)

It reminds me of the old days in Diablo II where most (end-game) players kept doing runs into Mephisto to get the good loot. It was the only way to really gain good end game gear.

Oh and Warspike turned 65 the other day! I have him decked out in the Thick Draenei leather set so far. I am not going to get overboard in gearing up until I hit 70.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

New patch 2.1.2 incoming

Seems like the big 2.1.0 patch spawned quite a few issue to be taken care of... mostly minor changes but for us rogue there is the revertion of Sword specialization:

The change to Sword Specialization making its extra attacks appear in yellow has been reverted. Extra attacks will appear in white and act like any auto-attack. They will no longer reset the swing time of your weapon. [2.1 changed Rogue Sword Spec to do yellow damage and not reset swing timers. This reverts the "yellow damage" part.]

I guess yellow damage and no swing reset was too powerful or conflicted with something else. It has been reverted for warriors as well. I never had any time to try it out as I have been busy with joy over mace specialization.

Check out the full patch notes at: http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/patchnotes/test-realm-patchnotes.html

Also there seems to be new functionality over at the armory with an item database and more goodies. It is not implemented on the european site yet. Actually going to the armory at the european site crashes my firefox... over and over again.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Ding 64!

Warspike is slowly sneaking towards level 70 and all the goodness that awaits! Recently he passed the 64 mark. I've also installed the mod auctioneer to see if I can get some help in making great money from the AH. I usually manage to do Ok but it can't hurt right?

It does take quite awhile to scan the AH for prices and the mod itself do have a heavy memory load. I'll see if I can manage to keep it around.

What is your experience with auctioneer?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A few good combat rogue macros

I've scurried around the official rogue forums in search for a few useful macros for a combat specced rogue such as myself. The first one incorporates riposte into a mashable sinister strike/riposte macro. I am not overly enthustiastic about it since it relies on spamming the button. It does allow you to use riposte a wee bit more at the sacrifice of full control.

/castsequence reset=1.5 Sinister Strike, Riposte

The next one covers blind. Using blind against multiple targets can sometimes get a bit tricky, especially if both are all over you. This macro allows you to throw blind by simply moving the mouse over your intended target and press your button.

/cast [target=mouseover] Blind

Finally the I.W.I.N. Button for combat rogues. Pressing it turns on all those killing moves and ends with a sinister strike for good measure. I've not really used this one and I am told that if evasion is on CD it will end right there.

/castsequence reset=120 Blade Flurry, Evasion, Adrenaline Rush, Sinister Strike

Regarding macros - I very rarely use them. The only one I've used extensively was a weaponswap macro for my warrior - swapping between sword+shield and my trusty 2-hander.

How many macros do you use?

Monday, May 28, 2007

Work in progress...

Doing some changes to the visual layout of this blog. Don't worry I'll have it refreshed in no time. Actually it do feels a little bit of what I am doing when the main character is getting a bit boring - i.e. getting a new alt.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

New rogue build - combat mace

With my beloved horde rogue Warspike dinging 62 last night I bought him a spanking brand new mace (Fist of Reckoning). Its a great weapon for Hemo but even although I love the sub tree I want to investigate a combat mace spec first. Not being 70 yet I had to ditch a few assassin/combat talents...

My build (11/41/0) - I might actually end up placing the next points into MOD instead of more DPS from the Assassin tree.

I was extremely pleased with the result. Adrenaline Rush + Blade Flurry = God Mode

Combat Potency procs alot - giving me faster energy regen. It is more like I am used to with hemo or even seal fate. I need to get myself an even slower offhand. Right now I have some Unyielding sword from a quest.

Surprise Attacks - Increase damage 10% and make the finisher undodgable.
The mace spec procced very often and I can't wait to take this build into the battlegrounds to see how it fares against various classes.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Recruited by the Horde

So for the last couple of weeks I've been playing almost horde exclusivly. A year ago or so when I played my first horde alt (a rogue named Rippz) I used to despise the other horde players. When they talked in general complaining about the weak alliance I just wanted to log in my alliance rogue and gank the living daylights of them.

Now that my main is a horde character (well.. I guess Warspike is my main character by now) I've learned to appriciate the horde much more. It is funny though.. when I played as alliance I always had to listen to the whining in the battleground channels. I thought this was mainly an alliance phenomenon:

- "just let the other side win so we can get a mark"
- "AV is so unfair"
- "We always loose - why bother"
- "Quickly, all turn in your marks before we loose"

However now that I play horde I keep hearing the same thing... did those players switch as well or do both faction have the same kind of players. I believe the latter... and that the green always seems greener on the other side.

Warspike update
Lately I've been playing in AV to get enough honor to get the Insignia of the Horde. I realized that just after a few games I have enough marks and honor for the lobotomizer. Back in the days... I never managed to finish the grind to get the lobo for Hexapuma. AV was simply too slow, too long queues and the rep required too much for me. As soon as I have the insignia I am going to wait with the BG until close to 70.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Simple Lockpicking guide

Skilling up lockpicking can be tough, especially if you don’t concentrate on it from the start. There are basically four ways to skill up lockpicking and that is from junkboxes, footlockers, doors and treasure (chests/lockboxes).

For me I’ve used footlockers to around 250 and then moved over to junkboxes and doors. When arriving in the Outlands I rely completely on pickpocketing all the junkboxes i need.

First of there is an excellent guide to lockpicking at http://www.wowwiki.com/ and if you have the time check out their lockpicking article. I am going to just mention Junkboxes and Footlockers in this post…

I’ve only marked the skill level to when it turns green…

Battered Junkbox – skill 0-75 (drops from level 22-32 mobs)
Worn Junkbox – skill 50-120 (drops from level 32-42 mobs)
Sturdy Junkbox – skill 175-225 (drops from level 42-52 mobs)
Heavy Junkbox – skill 250-300 (drops from level 52-60 mobs)
Strong Junkbox – skill 300-350 (drops from 61+ mobs)

A hot tip is to save all junkboxes you find in the outlands and use them to skill up while you level. When you’ve filled your level’s five skill ranks, mail the remaining boxes to an alt and have them returned when you ding!

Opening footlockers is the reliable way to grind your lockpicking skill up to 300 as it doesn’t require you to rely on luck from pick pocket. Your rogue trainer will tell you where suitable footlockers for your skill level are located. Personally I switch place as soon as the footlockers are turning yellow… after that it fails too often for me to have the patience to continue.

Ashenvale (Zoram Strand) 75-95+
Hillsbrad (Durnholde Keep) 75-95+
Stonetalon Mountains (Windshear Crag) 75 – 110+
Stonetalon Mountains (Windshear Mine) 105 -150+
Wetlands (along the coast) 110-145+
Desolace (along the northern coast) 150-175+ (bring water breathing apparatus/potion)
Badlands (Angor Fortress) 150-200+
Swamp of Sorrows 175-200+
Searing Gorge (slag pit/quarry) 200-225+
Searing Gorge (slag pit/upper quarters) 225-250+
Tanaris (Pirate area) 225-250+
Azshara (bay of storms) 235-275+ (bring water breathing apparatus/potion)
Eastern Plaguelands (Tyr’s Hand) 250-275+
Zangarmarsh (Feralfen Village) – 305-310+
Nagrand (Kil’sorrow Fortress) - 325-350+

I strongly recommend you to avoid Angor Fortress and instead go for Desolace. The trafic in Angor Fortress on my server is unbelieavable...

That's it!

Monday, May 14, 2007

The Light at the end of the tunnel - Ding 60!

After several days of hard labor - my undead rogue turned 60! It is time to go over to the dark side of the horde for good.

The last part was boring and nearly crushed me - only my alt hunter kept it going.

So introducing Warspike soon in a battleground near you.

My first big adventure will be going into Stormwind to do the mandatory ganking on poor unsuspecting PVP flagged players.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Hunting high and low...

So I have two pet projects at the moment... one is to level up a new horde rogue to go arena fighting and dungeon-crawling with my RL friends. The other is a Blood Elf hunter..

Introducing Hexaspider - the hunter of all hunters (or at least of my characters). At the time of writing he is approaching level 22 - and it goes fast. I had almost forgotten how quick this class levels. Zero downtime and capable of handling multiple mobs at the same time. Given I've played a hunter to 60 before and knows the in and outs of the class - especially how to manage the pet.

My first challenge with Hexaspider was to get myself a worthy pet - and that pet is a spider boss at the Draenei starting area of Bloodmyst Island. Just going there at level 20 was a very exciting mission. It took a few deaths at the Auberdine docks, but otherwise it went just fine.

I've been taking the path of the Beastmaster... being a loyal reader of Big Red Kitty, I've been following his advice on how to build a beastermaster.

By the way.. extra kudos if you recognize the band this post pays homage to.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Another trick up the rogue sleeve

The rogue has a unique set of skills that allows him to respond to a situation in an instance going ballistic. Take the following example. Your party is inside an instance busy fighting a group of mobs, the mage has one mob sheeped and the others are being dealt with. Then behind you a new group of patrolling mobs appear... this is usually disaster for a PUG group trying an instance at the correct level. As a rogue you have several means of avoiding this....

1. Throw a distract, turning the oncoming patrollers away for a few precious seconds. Might give you enough time to down that mob and avoid panic.

2. If the group is humanoid - vanish, distract and sap one of the incoming patrollers.

Usually #1 is the correct way as it gives the group valuable reaction time to the new threat.

The New and Improved Rogue
For awhile I've been levelling a new rogue, albeit on the horde side. The time has come for me to switch to the other side. I am still fighting with the road to 60 and to speed up the process I've decided to stay away from battlegrounds (a vice of mine). I am also dangerously close to getting burned out on WOW. My own recipe for that is to take up another alt until the feeling passes. So... I have a little hunter in training as well.

Damn this altism =)

Monday, April 30, 2007

The different faces of the rogue

While endulding myself in the deepest ressesses of altism - to level a horde rogue to be able to play with friends again - I've discovered a few types of rogues.

There are actually three types of rogues:

1. The War Rogue - Only plays the rogue for the PVP. If they progress beyond mid-level they end up doing countless and countless of AB/WSG/AV and now probably also the new outland BG - The Eye of something. These rogues are usually horrible in instances. Going for very specific PVP gear such as all-out-AP, disregarding lockpicking totally, have no clue of aggro-management at all. Finally they lack all the finer finesses that is possible with the rogue class. How to recognize them - they will challenge you to duels over and over and are most likely twinked beyond all reason.

2. The Raiding Rogue - These rogues have raided for far too long. Actually they spend very little time on their rogue not raiding - PVP is done with a warlock/hunter/shadow priest and they might even have an arsenal of alts to keep wow being fun. Take these rogues into an instance and they over-aggro over and over again while putting all of the blame on the tank or priest. While they are powerful they expect themselves to be able to handle any instance by themselves - and are over and over proved wrong.

3. The True Rogue - This is a player dedicated to the rogue class - PVP, PVE and raiding, The true rogue knows his class's strengths and weaknesses. They are the ones that can pull an ace out of their sleeve when the shit hit the fan. In an instance they will almost never pull aggro unless it is to save a clothie. They have full lockpicking, switches poison depending on the situation and knows when to vanish =)

Personally I love to group myself as #3 =)

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Incoming altism - take cover!

I don't know if it is the pain of leveling enchanting or if it is just the fact that most of my old WOW friends have rerolled and now plays on the dark side..err the Horde, but I feel a strong pull towards creating a new toon.

I know it is going to be a rogue.. but I can't decide if I am going with a Blood Elf or an Undead. I don't care about the racial traits (if so I would probably have chosen a gnome) but style and appearance.

I've alreay created two horde rogues on my preferred server, one elf and one undead. I did create a female bloodie mostly because of the sick cool stealth animation they have. If you haven't seen it... roll a blood elf rogue and level her to 2 and get stealth... its currently maintenance over here or would gladly have posted a fresh screenshot. Didn't find any animation on youtube besides this one.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Getting enchanting 1-300

So previously Hexapuma was herbalist and engineer. Engineering was really sweet in PVP with all those little gadgets and especially spell interrupting grenades. In a couple of patches ago the grenades were nerfed big time. A grenade throw would be aborted if you took any damage.

I do understand that the developers might have considered grenades or actually engineering a wee bit too powerful for PVP. At one time almost everyone dedicated to PVP had to be an engineer.

Come TBC I didn't find any new gadgets or gear I thought interesting... so why keep the old profession. Also the factions out there doesn't give any cool engineering recipes when gaining reputation.. I decided to take up enchanting. Now I always find myself wanting loads of enchants but never the patience of waiting around in Ironforge to find a decent and trustworthy enchanter.

So last Friday I dropped engineering and went for enchanting. I figured that if I spent sometimes in deadmines and then the higher instances I don't have to spend a fortune in buying reagents.

Boy was I wrong!

Running Deadmines did help me raise enchanting from 1-100 but thereafter... oh the pain. You actually need to disenchant ALOT to get the required stuff. I've heard that it is actually totally worth it to level tailoring at the same time to be able to control the enchanting ingredients. And cloth is easily farmed.

By the end of the weekend I've raised enchanting to about 275 and it has so far cost me about 200 gold. I expect to spend almost the same amount on the next 25 skill points. And then its the next level from 300-375... although I am not that stressed out of increasing that last part so quickly. It is getting it up to 300 that is important for me now.

To help me level enchanting I've used this Enchanting 1-300 guide. It is excellent and I strongly recommend it!

Oh.. Hexapuma dinged 67 while finishing up the last quests in Terrokar Forest!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

T6 rogue armor

Even though I am not a raider I do find the new T6 armors interesting. The rogue T6 armor is somewhat cool looking but nothing special. I sometimes wonder if Blizzard's art department do make the tier sets look cheesy so that we casual gamers can laugh behind the raiders' backs.

From MMO-Champion.com:

Monday, April 16, 2007

Have gun, will travel

Hexapuma turned 66 this weekend and in addition to getting the fantastic rogue ability Cloak of Shadows, he can now wield the very slow fist mainhand weapon: Nexus-Claw! The weapon is fantastic because it has a whooping 2.8 weapon speed which is very uncommon among the new weapon arsenal of TBC.

Why get so excited about a slow mainhand you ask? Well for a rogue a slow mainhand is king as it allows bigger insta attacks. In addition attack power addition to the talent hemorrage (or plain and simple hemo) is not normalized - which means that hemo takes full benefit of a weapon being really really slow such as the Nexus-Claw.

The Claw is a green vendor item sold by Dealer Jadyan in the Netherstorm. The weapon is rare so odds are you'll find it overly expensive at AH or worse, you reach Jadyan soldout.

For me it was pretty exciting to travel to his location as it included lots of ganking (with me being the victim) and a fine moment of revenge at an over-confident L69 undead rogue.

Now with my amazing pair of claws I am actually thinking of respeccing into a build containing both combat and subtlety...

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Musings from Terokkar Forest

Going from Zangarmarsh to Terokkar Forest was a wee bit of disappointment for me. The washed out colors of the zone does not sit well with me and for some reason the initial kill X timber worgs to collect their tails isn't doing it for me either. I guess I really hate animal-collection quests. That quest aside - I did have a lot of fun with the numerous birdmen quests.

I've now reached The Bone Wastes, helping refugees and what not. More collection quests, although these have better drop rates. I am seriously thinking of leaving this zone and move on to Nagrand or the Blade's Edge Mountains.

Did you like Terokkar Forest?

Monday, April 09, 2007

Epic Tiger Mount....

So while I have been doing the first parts of Terrokar forest, I've also taken Hexapuma over to the Night Elf starting areas and completed all quests.. all on Teldrassil, Darkshore and in Ashenvale.. the result was exhalted status with Darnassus and a brand new epic tiger mount.

With the remake of the riding skill around the release of TBC, an epic mount now only cost 90g (with exhalted discount). The part that is expensive is actually getting the epic riding skill. So without having to spend a single gold on runecloth I dinged exhalted. Now... do I need one of those mechanostrider-thingys as well?

I guess in the end it is quite pointless since I expect to start grinding for a flying mount soon.. but hey.. you have totravel in style while grinding.

So what are you riding?

Monday, April 02, 2007

The Underbog

I've tried another instance last week... the Underbog in Zangarmarsh. Compared to the Ramparts it is much more fun, more interesting fights and way cooler layout. I wouldn't mind going back in a couple of times. The loot was all mail or plate so no goodies for me. Did pick up a mushroom trinket though that grants 200 health after each exp yielding kill. Don't see myself using that anytime soon. 200 health is less than peanuts above level 60.

Hexapuma dinged 64 as well and I am actually already close to 65... Looking forward to 66 as it marks the level where I'll be getting new weapons.

Still questing in Zangarmarsh. As soon as I think I am almost ready a whole new bunch of quests opens up. This time it was getting friendly with the Kurenaithat unlocked a new quest hub.

Even though I really love the marsh it is time to move on... thinking of going south to Terokkar Forest next.

Regarding PVP - I've not found one shaman in the zone... plenty of hunters and other rogues though. And lets not forget all the Blood Elf paladins running around judging things. So far none of them are causing me any trouble.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

A rogue's adventure in the Ramparts

Yesterday I decided to explore the new instances in TBC. While I did like the instances of old the whole process of finding a group, going there and actually running the instance took forever.

Now it was as simple as opening the LFG tool, check the instances and wait. It took me about 5 minutes to end up in a group that filled up... just missing a tank. After 15 minutes of waiting and shouting in general/lfg I got a whisper from another group. "We need a DPS"... Without any remorse I switched group and entered the instance.

Our setup was warrior, priest, shaman, paladin and me as a rogue.

The Ramparts was fast and very linear. Actually I had lots of fun but when I think back on the layout it felt much as a long corridor lined with trash to the end. I had loads of fun shadostepping in for a quick sap. I was busy the whole time. Our tank took the role of leader and did an excellent job of marking targets and when needed giving sound tactics.

During two of the boss fights, I had the chance to play hero in taking over the tanking after our warrior died at the very end of the fight. I can tell you that preparation + evasion does allow for superhuman feats for almost a minute. At least it was enough for us to down the nasty dragon. The paladin in our group was retribution specced but more importantly did not show any sign of being capable of holding aggro or even using a shield.

Oh.. I almost forgot.. I did manage to do a few noobish mistakes. I am certainly I caused one wipe with a really bad pull. Halfway into the instance I got cocky and decided to pull what I thought was a solo mob to speed up our progress. I ended up pulling too much for us to chew. The leader was real good though, instead of giving me a public scoulding he whispered "What the hell was that"... After a few embarassing "I am sorry, won't happen again" we continued.

Also I learned that while shadowstepping + sap sounds really effective, it isn't when stealth sniffing dogs are involved. It is much safer to distract and then use sprint to run up to the target... shadow stepping has its disadvantage that 1) you sometimes don't end up where you thought and 2) there seem to be a slight delay before you can use an ability right after a shadow step...

Rewards... well I replaced my old Nightslayer boots and also managed to grab a nice blue sword.

The whole instance run took about an hour...

Zangaramarsh PVP
After the very fun adventure into the ramparts, I returned to Zangarmarsh for a little more questing. I did encounter a few horde that needed to be taken care of. One was a L63 warrior armed with dual swords. I've always had a problem with warriors so in order to learn I waited until he was healed and not in combat.. and attacked. The warrior fell so fast it wasn't even funny. I looked him up on the Armory and discovered that he had some extremely strange equipment... most of the stuff was green plate with additional intellect and mana regen... and his equipped trinkets was The Eye of Shadow and the Argent Dawn trinket... now what kind of player has this gear? My final guess is someone using a powerlevelling service...

Hello Zangarmarsh

So I've finally left Hellfire Penisula behind me and entered Zangarmarsh. I love this zone! It looks amazingly beautiful, a vast improvment over Swamp of Sorrows which it reminds me of. Another zone I really liked.

There are quests a plenty from the Cenarion Expedition outpost, the Dranei town and the odd but cute Sporregars.

For once I found myself stop doing quests and actually really enjoying grinding faction rep by killing giants and nagas. It took me very little time to get to honored with Cenarion Expedition and friendly with Sporregar.

I've met almost no horde while running about in Zangarmarsh... compared to Hellfire this zone feels almost deserted. Also after discovering the PVP rewards available at the Scout Outpost I am doomed to go back to Hellfire to grind away Honor Marks by capturing the outposts.

I've updated my gear with a Fist of Reckoning and it works wonderfully with my hemo specc.

I haven't set foot into any of the instances yet - but I do plan to try to find a PUG for the Ramparts. I need to get started trying those out as everyone says they are much faster than the WOW 1.0 instances. Fear the PUG though... usually the group starts killing without declaring tank, tactics or other vital things and when I bring it up I am usually ignored or laughed at.

Hexapuma Rogue Challenge
So how did my rogue challenge turn out? I did find one poor shaman to kill but after moving over to Zangarmarsh I haven't encountered any horde at all with the exception of the odd rogue or priest. So for the next week I have to continue with shaman-hunting.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

New gear for the hemo rogue

I've been shouting for joy over shadowstep previously. Well while going deep into the subtletly tree you might as well pick up hemo for its energy-saving qualities. Actually I probably have a wierd talent build at this point, but I'll cover that in a later post. I've picked up a nice and slow mainhand fist weapon just for big hemo numbers and I've made some gear arrangements and started to pick up on the AP. Judging by numerous post on the official rogue forums you need at least 1000 AP for hemo to be worthwhile.


You can do fine with less. However it is good to have a goal and room for improvement. Most of the posters on the official forums are trying to be top of the crop.. and it doesn't matter what spec you go with it is going to have high gear requirements.

Hexapuma rogue challenge
In order to improve my pvp skills I've decided to give myself a challenge every week. This week's Hexapuma Rogue Challenge will be to:

* defeat 3 different shamans of equal or higher level in a non-battleground or duel environment.

Update - One down, two to go. Bagged a shaman of one level higher. By looking at the armory the shaman was enchantment specced and enjoyed dual wielding. Well doesn't seem to be the best pvp build.. or?
This challenge is only for me to learn better how to fight as a subtletly rogue.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

The joys of shadowstep

I've been enjoying the 41 point talent shadowstep immensly. In PVE it allows you to almost soar around when grinding mobs and I've found that most quests on the Hellfire Penisula either requires mobs to be killed or areas with gates/siege equipment etc to be cleared. Shadowstepping around reminds me of playing a warrior with a stealthy charge.

PVP the skill is also super nice. Stealth/vanish and a moment later you are already behind your enemy ready to plunge that dagger into his/her back.

Not hours ago I was jumped by a mage while I was engaged in turning a Hellboar into a steak. Granted the mage wasn't really that hot but even so I can imagine that he was mighty surprised when I vanished right before he landed his sheep and ended up behind him... *splat*

In other news.. I've been away from WOW a couple of weeks as I've been visiting US.. actually I attended Game Developers Conference 2007 in San Fransisco. The conference was alright but more importantly San Fransisco is a wonderful city... not the horrible spawl I find LA but really nice. I could get used to live there... and who knows what the future holds.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

How to AOE grind with a paladin

Recently with the new talents of TBC and the enormous flood of new Blood Elf paladins a new way to level with the paladin has emerged. It is the AOE paladin, capable of going toe-to-toe with a whole party of mobs. The more the merrier. For a full guide on the subject of AOE grinding with a paladin I suggest you check out Iloveari's guide. I'll explain the very basics...

AOE grinding builds on the idea that you reflect damage back to the attackers using the Retribution aura and shield spikes. As your Protection paladin levels up you add more reflective damage through Blessing of Sanctuary and Holy Shield. During the battle the paladin keeps Seal of Light/Wisdom both judged and as active seal to keep the mana and life up. For increased pacing - pop Concecration once or twice. A very important talent is Reckoning which allows the paladin to do some decent damage at his current target but even more importantly speed up the mana/health regeneration through the SoL/SoW.

AOE grinding can be pretty fun - seeing all the numbers explode around you as 6-7 mobs are beating on your poor paladin is pretty fun.

A few hints on AOE Grinding:
* Make sure you always face all the mobs, or you won't block/parry the mobs
* Use a fast 1-hander to ensure that your mana and health stays up. Remember its not the damage from your 1-hander that matters. Its all the reflects and block damage that does the trick.
* Find a good grindspot with lots of melee mobs that are easy to round up. At level 50 Sorrow Hill is an excellent place.
* Stay away from casters - your tough armor and shield won't do shit against fireballs ^^
* Check out Iloveari's suggested talent build.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Blizzard undoes the bubble nerf

After several days of wild whining on the official paladin forums about the expected upcoming nerf to the paladin bubble the unexpected happens - Blizzard backs down on a proposed change. Good news for the paladins but only temporary, Blizz will find a way to balance the divine shield...

Re: Forbear. and DS/AW nerf added to ptr note

"After further testing, we've decided to undo the following changes to the Paladin for the next patch as we felt the adjustments were too imposing on the class' ability to tank in dungeons.

-Increased the duration of "Avenging Wrath" by 50% (now lasts 30 sec.) This ability no longer invokes "Forbearance", but shares a cooldown with "Divine Shield".

-Forbearance now reduces damage dealt by the affected player by 15%.

With that being said, we do feel that the Paladin is currently capable of producing too much burst damage and are investigating reasonable ways to make minor reductions for the future. "

Very interesting as my Paladin, Hexapanther, is nearing 60 and one of my hopes is to bring him into the arena at level 70...

Level update
Hexapanther dinged 59 yesterday after some questing in Silithius. I respecced him from heavy protection into heavy retribution. The AOE grinding days are over for now.

Ripperjack the Troll dinged 15 somewhere in the Barrens. He will slowly progress mainly during lunch hours...

Monday, February 26, 2007

Your WoW personality

I spotted a "wow personality test" over at Kinless' Chronicles and just had to take it. The result:

Human Warrior


Humans tend to be the ones in the middle. Not as sexy as the Night Elves; not as stumpy as the dwarves or gnomes. As a human, you pretty much go with the flow of things.

As a warrior, you like to take charge of things. You feel that you're an important part of what's happening - and if things turn sour, you like to have a very large weapon on hand that you can use to negotiate.

Find out your real-life WoW race and class at QuizGalaxy.com

Well it could be worse.. still I am happy I ended up a melee character. I've had lots of various characters in WOW but it seems only melee characters are surviving the race to 60. I've tried to love and play clothies but it just don't work for me. Something about them being totally fragile and depending on gulping mana potions left and right.

I currently have a Blood Elf Mage at level 20 that I hoped would keep my interest but right after finishing up the Bloodmyst area I created a new horde character - a Troll Warrior.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Full subtlety rogue build

Well, being persistent about actually doing something about the carebear nature of the outlands at Ravencrest I respecced Hexapuma from a full Seal Fate / Combat Fist build to going all over to the dark side... the subtlety tree.

I've always loved the talents in the subtlety tree but I've always felt forced to stay assassin/combat. To hell with it... I need a good gank setup to start fights and going all out in the subtlety tree allows me to do that.

Hexapuma is still 60 so I had to do with a 60 talent build... and in my case it turned out to be 10/0/41. I am not completely satisfied and I think I put a few points wrong. I do miss imp. gouge for getting enough energy for backstabs. Initially I did not use hemorrage so I missed improved sinister strike... after a few test runs I've slowly adapted to the new way. I need a good slow fist/sword to dish out hemo damage but also a slow MH dagger for those imba ambush crits.

Using shadowstep is a ton of fun in PVE.. but its use is limited when you want to pick a mobs pocket first. And in order to get that lockpicking up you need to pick a lot of pockets for junk boxes.

So... what am I doing in the subtlety line of PVP?

Sneak up to the target - with Master of Deception it is much easier to approach higher leveled players without alerting them. It might not be all that useful at 70 but right now it is godsent as most of my targets are 58-62.

Shadowstep to target *poof* and you are behind your mark. This is incredibly handy. No need to slowly stalk your target. Step into the shadows and you are ready to plunge the dagger into the unsuspecting fool's back.

Behind your target you have many opptions but start out with Premeditation and what ever opener you go with you almost always have a full 5 point finisher to follow up with. I haven't fought many paladins or warriors yet but I am dying to try out garrote -> rupture & vanish... with preparation it is possible to do this twice...

I've found that my pvp skills are somewhat lacking since my long break and also that I've spent too much time in Battlegrounds.

Better start reading up on some rogue tactics ... I've always liked the ones Osiris wrote. I wonder if he still plays a rogue...

Friday, February 16, 2007

I am stuck on a carebear server?

Am I playing on a PVE server?
Seriously the horde and alliance seem to have a truce going on in the Hellfire Penisula. Orc and human fighting side by side... I jumped an undead priest and shortly after his demise I recieved whispers from another ally in the area to cut it out since the horde would revenge...

Seriously, I feel that if you want to play side by side with the other faction - go play on a PVE server. I chose a PVP server to experience the thrill and additional excitement of being a munchy target at any time. Yes, sometimes that means I get to run back to my corpse, yes, sometimes several times.

When I started playing WOW two years ago the world of Azeroth was a harsh place. If you spotted a red it surly led to combat. I played a warrior and I did get my fair share of corpse running from "imba" mages and priests. Strangely enough - I miss it. In the end game world pvp dimnished and now it seems to be even lower with all PVP concentrated around the BGs and the arenas focused on item grinding. Dont get me wrong.. I love fighting in the BG but I also need that extra excitement when doing mundane quests.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Combat and PVP in the Outlands

I've started on the various quest chains originating in Honor Hold and I find myself replacing my PVP and Tier 1 gear at an alarming rate. Actually I love that... WOW is an RPG and gaining level and replacing equipment is what you are supposed to do, anything else and it would have been a huge disappointment.

A few observations so far:
1 - World PVP - almost non-existent. You pass horde characters sometimes alone and sometimes in groups. Neither attack. People are simply to busy to level to engage in some serious pvp. For me still being 60 and everyone else around 62-65 it doesn't do much. But I do play on a PVP server... My initial 1-60 race back in the days were riddled with world pvp, corpse runs and gankpatrols. I can't say I miss the corpse runs but I do miss the excitement and the fear...

2. The Quests - Blizzard is doing so many wonderful and new types of quests. The bombing run quests are excellent! I hope these odd quests are not the only ones, rather I hope you'll be able to find these all the way to the end.

3. Visuals - So far I am kind of disappointed with the looks of the outlands. It feels like the unholy mix of Max Max's wastelands and some crazy purple cartoon from the childern's channel. The floating islands are very cool though ^^

Gearing up
A nice MH fist of the monkey dropped yesterday.. and so far I have not specced into any specific weapon type so now I am wielding a fist. Very nice.. I've also managed to replace the very cool ghostshroud with a very ugly leather helmet. Feels good to wear greens again =)

Draenei update
My Draenei warrior dinged 20! I have completed almost all the quests on Bloodmyst island including the two-three elite ones. I'll be finishing up those and then probably put the character on hold while I try out the Blood Elves starting grounds. My intial plan was to level a BE mage but after a few comments about how cool the BE stealth animation looks it might be another rogue =)

Thursday, February 01, 2007

My combat rogue build

So I finally took Hexapuma into the Outlands today and before doing that I had to decide a talent build. Hexapuma mostly have pre-TBC pvp gear and the weapon arsenal consists of lower tier raid weapons, which means that most weapons would probably be upgraded in the first few levels. In order to be as weapon independent as possible at start out I opted for a Seal Fate - Combat build... or 30/21/0 build at level 60 and then continue to add points to the combat tree towards level 70 (especially imp kick and other goodies).

My rogue combat build at 60

You might notice that I haven't put any points into daggers/fist/sword/maces.. but the idea is that what ever godly weapon I'll find.. I'll pump up. Most likely I'll end up respeccing to try out different things but this will get me started.

A quick description of my chosen build

* Strong PVE
* Blade flurry and AR+EV = lots of multi-pulls
* Fast combo-generation with SF
* Strong finishers with imp. evis ( When trying out the new finishers I might end up ditching this)
* Quick-recovery - very interested to see how good this is with my life leeching gear (lifestealing enchant, heroism deck etc)

* Not especially powerful in PVP (in my experience combat build isn't really that strong since it lacks true burst damage)
* Not that fun - mash sinister strike over and over again.
* No MOD! - big issue for me since I like to sneak around, both in PVP and PVE to explore new content.

I'll keep you updated of how my build feels and when/if I do any changes. Right now I can tell that I am very interested in going maces. I'd love to see how the stuns will work out in the arenas. Disruption ftw!

Draenei update
My Draenei warrior have now reached the respectable level of 16. That means she is still adventuring in the Draenei zone. I am still very impressed with the zone - the way blizzard have spread out the quests is really great. You have something to do in every area of the zone and there is very little running back and forth. Something I found you would be doing a lot when leveling up as human or any alliance for that matter. Darkshore anyone?

Protection Paladin
Hexapanther my paladin keeps amazing me with how awesome a protection specced paladin can be. I've now main tanked Zul'Farak and Sunken Temple and the Aoe grinding he is capable of is amazing. I regularly hit 40-50K exp/hour when grinding at the "correct" spots. Good grinding spots so far include:
* Sorrow Hill (the undead)
* Tanaris - Noxious Lair
* Tanaris - Pirate cove (forgot the correct name)

Regarding the noxious lair - this is probably my only character that actually thrives down in the insect caves.. multiple adds - no problem, poisoned - no problem it can be cleansed...

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Impressions of the burning crusade

Playing the Draenei
Let me start by saying that so far I am really impressed with The Burning Crusade as a whole. Yesterday I stood in the AH checking out all the new cool items wondering if I should blow some gold on items before getting into outlands with Hexapuma. I really haven't settled for a good build either. Lots of confusion. While I stand there next to the auctioneer thinking this Draenei shaman runs up to me asking for the opening of a lockbox. That shaman was already 50... and then I realized that sooner or later I'll have to check out the two new races starting points.

The Blood Elves doesnt really interest me at all. The whole horde need a pretty race seems a bit wierd to me. Instead I rolled a female Draenei warrior... The male draenei looks really bad. They are so top heavy with their wierd tentacles and "soft" horns. Some of the face textures on the male characters are stretched and thus bugged... So it had to be a female and they actually look pretty cool. I selected warrior because I really like melee and heavy armor ^^

The Draenei starting area is beautiful compared to the old races starting points. Lots of vegetation and details in the environment. One thing Blizzard has done really well is the amount of quests in the new Draenei area (I guess the Blood Elves have the same). It seemed I always had quests and didn't really have to comeplete all quests because there were just so many of them. I´ve now reached level 12 and it has been an amazing time. I found myself reading all quest descriptions and really trying to understand how the Draenei story relates to the rest of the WOW lore. At first I was a bit sceptical of the whole "Draenei space ship" thing.. but after playing through the first 10 levels it feels pretty cool. So unless I am completely mistaken The Exodar is not only the Draenei captital - it is also the space ship which they crashed on Azeroth with.

I am really looking forward to play the next Draenei zone and I will probably keep all other characters on hold until that is finished.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The many personalities of Hexapuma

I am such a sucker for alts... and now that I have returned and no longer raid and the honor system has been revamped I have much more time to actually play alts. While my rogue is without a doubt my favourite character and my "main". I enjoy playing a paladin as well. They are very different since they have so much more to offer in terms of support.

Having played so much battlegrounds as a rogue it is very refreshing to play support and healer sometimes. Of course everyone really appriciates my heals and buffs =) If I were to add something to the rogue design it would be some sort of buff or aura... doesn't have to be super or amazing at all.. just a little something to repay friendly buffers.

The server I play on, Ravencrest, is unstable at best and during its downtimes I've started an undead priest on another server. It is actually quite fun and I can't wait until my first battleground expeditions. Since I am going to try PVP early with her I am going into the shadow tree.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Preparations, preparations

Just getting back into the game was more difficult than I anticipated... of course Blizzard's manage account page had to be down when I finally decided to return. I quite understand it though as the pressure on Blizzard's site must be huge now that all subscribers are upgrading their accounts and with all of us oldies returning to play again.

Finally I managed to re-activate my account when the next problem appeared ... deciding the new talent build for my rogue. Well ... when I left WOW in October last year I was very happy with SF dagger build. With all the new talents I have a really difficult time to decide upon my next build. Fortunately there are a few good sites out that gives a pretty good orientation of various builds.. I strongly recommend www.roguespot.com and www.worldofming.com...

Before nailing down the talents... I ran into another problem. MODS! Most of the mods I used before doesn't work anymore so just getting them all back is going to be a pain.

Instead of going for the old ones I used I've downloaded Wowace updater.. which you can find at www.wowace.com ...

And by the way… for some fun podcasting I recommend listening to a couple in Azeroth’s podcast… which you can download from their site here.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Joining the Crusade

The time of rest is over. Hexapuma returns to Azeroth.

I've just downloaded three huge patches and updated my client. I still haven't purchased the expansion but I am going to return to check out the new arena play, the new talents that has been introduced for TBC. Hopefully I'll be able to brush up my old rogue skills after being absent for a few months. If I like what I find I'll probably go running for the actual expansion asap.

So What have I been doing all this time?

I've played a lot of other games... Total War, Silent Hunter IV, Civ IV and making out with another great MMO.. EVE-Online. Eve is pure fantastic... focused on PVP but do lack interesting settings and environments.