Silent Ice, Raging Fire (Part I)

Afternoon folks…

I’ve got a little series coming up that I’d like to share. It isn’t a blog on a specific subject, but one of my own writings that I thought I’d toss out there. Maybe let you all get a feel for it, and even toss around some editorial comments.

The story is called “Silent Ice, Raging Fire.” It is a compilation of the life of my World of Warcraft Paladin, between the expansions of Wrath of the Lich King and the Cataclysm. It has a couple of twists and turns, and even a little love story attached.

It is a pretty rough draft. I’ve only gone over it a couple times, and made changes here and there, but haven’t really proofread it fully yet. I’m pretty sure that the chronology should be in place, but any comments are welcome.

We’ll start it, after the break…

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The candle begins to flicker

As one of my favorite Staind songs goes… “It’s been a while.” Things have chilled out a bit at work and at home, but so have things around Azeroth, at least until the next patch goes out. I’ve been keeping myself busy with the current expansion, hitting a few raids, doing the casual thing, even got my Kurenai rep topped off (finally, Talbuk mounts!!).

The candle begins to flicker.

The candle begins to flicker.

Anyway, I guess that I’m starting to see the candle that is WoW burn down to its base. I’m not saying that I plan to quit, nor that I’m closing this blog (it hasn’t even been open that long), but that you can expect fewer posts for a while.

I currently have the 4.0.1 patch downloading, and plan on hitting the PTR once I’m able to copy a character over (3 day queue… is long). I don’t really want to start a new character, and plan to just let the queue burn down a bit, and hop on then. You can be sure to expect some Talent Tree posts, as well as usage of the new baseline abilities now available, and some pretty pretty screenshots of the new UIs.

But until then, if you still check out this blog, I apologize that it will be light on content and posts for a while.

What if? – Arthas: Part 2

Well, we left off with the change in Sylvanas’s life, in the case that Arthas had made different decisions. So today, we will continue with some other lore figures whose lives would have changed if Arthas had made some different choices.

Prince Arthas Menethil

Prince Arthas Menethil

So far, we’ve gone through:

  • Prince Arthas Menethil himself.
  • King Terenas Menethil II
  • Thane Muradin Bronzebeard
  • Uther the Lightbringer
  • Kael’thas
  • Jainia Proudmoore
  • Sylvanas

In this article, we’ll focus on:

  • Illidan
  • Anveena & Kalecgos
  • Dar’khan
  • Jorad Mace & Tyrigosa
  • Ner’zhul
  • and back to Arthas

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What if? – Arthas: Part 1

Good morning everyone…

I have thought about doing a series like this for a while. I’ve always been one to be really into the Lore of World of Warcraft, and as such wanted to think about situations that could have changed.

I’m going to start out this series with a good ‘ol paladin turned Master of the Scourge, appropriate for a Paladin blog :)

Today’s “What if?” topic: Arthas Menethil, Prince of Lordaeron.

Today’s topic started with some incredible fan art from one of my very favorite artists, pulyx. (I hope to get written permission, but until then, here is a link to his DeviantArt page, all credit goes to him and his incredible talent. In fact, all the art featured in this article are by Pulyx! Incredible work).

King Arthas Menethil (by pulyx)

King Arthas Menethil (by pulyx)

What the art above shows, is Arthas Menethil if he had not persued Frostmourne, and instead continued to learn under Uther, and eventual rose to power after the natural passing of his father.

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Thinking about Mechanima

Good morning everybody!

Happy Towel Day!

Anyway, I’ve lately been checking out some of the latest WoW mechanima out there on da YouTube. There are really a lot of creative folks out there, and some really good works. I, however, have always wanted to make one myself. Ever since I learned that I could export the models from the WoWModel Viewer to 3DSMax files, all kinds of thoughts flew through my head. I had even created several characters from my “novel” about Khraden’s history and thought about making an actual book cover from them. But that was before the WoWModelViewer got all borked, and never seems to be totally stable.

I’ve had ideas of videos based on some of the music that I listen too, and how several songs fit so well with the subject matter, no matter how modern the music.

Rock ON!

Rock ON!

Anyway, this morning, I heard a song on the radio, on the way to work. It was “Familiar Taste of Poison” by Halestorm. As I listened to the song, sadly, I pictured in my head a video presenting the reminisent memories of a widow, who’s husband was a Rogue. I had all kinds of transitions from one point of the song to another, and all kinds of camera angles. Unfortunately, I don’t really have the tools to create such a thing. Well, not yet.

Here’s where you all come in.

Does anybody else do any Mechanima, and if so, what tools do you use? Have you found a good copy of the WoWModelViewer? Anything free or “trial” !! :)

Thanks for any ideas. Now back to your regularly scheduled Paladin news.

Illuminating the Lightsworn set bonuses

When I first saw the set bonus.

When I first saw the set bonus.

As of last Thursday, I believe, I now have the 2pc t10 set bonus for my holy set. It is a beautiful set bonus, and far out trumps the rediculous 2pc t9 set bonus. I had been slowly collecting my Frost emblems over the last few weeks, eventually reaching the 95 emblems I needed to get the headpiece. It was a good feeling to finally have it. Especially since it illuminated that oh so beautiful text in the tool tip:

While your Divine Illumination talent is active, your healing spells are 35% stronger.

Since I currently do not gem like everyone else, and do not have the MASSIVE amounts of mana that others may have (though I am sitting at 30k), anything that helps me increase my throughput while gaining mana is a plus.

Normally, if I am running low on mana, I’ll pop Divine Illumination and Divine Plea at the same time.  This will allow me to continue casting some bigger spells without eating the mana that I’m trying to gain back with Divine Plea. It also allows me to cast those bigger spells in an attempt to mitigate the 50% decrease in healing spells that is enacted upon hitting Divine Plea.

With the 2pc set bonus, I can now mitigate that even further, allowing me to reduce that decrease in healing to only 15%, and still only costing half mana to cast the spells. Now, if only it was usable more often. It did add some new playstyles however.

For example:

  • Use Avenging Wrath and Divine Plea.  This will again reduce the decrease in healing to 30%, allowing for better throughput  while still regenerating mana. I have used this for a while now.
  • Use spellpower trinket and Divine Plea.  This works much like the Avenging Wrath style, dependant on the amount of spellpower increase. I have used this for a while now.
  • New: Use Divine Illumination, and Divine Plea.  This reduces the decrease in  healing to 15%, allowing you to continue throughput for discounted mana costs.

What I’m trying to get at, is that I almost feel as if this Set Bonus is a bit OP… but don’t get me wrong… I loves me some set bonus.

Oddly enough, I’m not sure how well the 4pc T10 set bonus is in comparison. Much like tiers before this, it appeared to go from great 4pc bonuses for early sets to great 2pc bonuses for the next tier up, and it appears to have happened again.

For example:

  • 2pc T9 Set Bonus: Increases the duration of your Judgements by 10 sec.
    - (WTF?)
  • 4pc T9 Set Bunus: Increases the heal over time effect from Flash of Light in conjunction with Sacred Shield by 100%.
    - (For me, this was awesome, cause I used Flash of Light a lot more then Holy Light.)
  • 2pc T10 Set Bonus: While your Divine Illumination talent is active, your healing spells are 35% stronger.
    - (SEXAHS!!!!)
  • 4pc T10 Set Bonus: Your Holy Shock spell causes the next Holy Light you cast within 10 sec to have 0.3 sec reduced cast time.
    - (Very situational, as Holy Shock isn’t often used by those who use Holy Light a lot, though for me it would be somewhat of a time saver. Nearly half a second in reduced cast time never hurts.)

There may be other Holy Paladins out there salivating over the 4pc set bonus, but it is kind of “meh” to me, nothing compared to the sheer utility of the 2pc bonus. In addition, you may have 10 sec to cast the Holy Light for the reduced cast time; however, due to GCDs,  you actually only have 8.5 seconds. Sure that seems like a lot, but if things are crazy, that time flies. It also appears to be more useful for movement fights. A good example that I can think of early on, is the Lord Marrowgar fight.  If he goes into a Bone Storm, you’re going to be moving a good bit, and if you stop, you’ll likely either get hit by his Whirlwind, or Coldflame. Having a little bit extra time (.3 sec in fact) to get back to running can be helpful, though situational.

My final recommendation is to pick up the 2pc bonus. I happened to use shoulders and headpiece, which seems to be the consensus among other Paladins. For the other pieces, dependant on your raiding level, pick up the offset pieces, or even the Emblem of Frost pieces to fill in the spaces.  Once those two T10 pieces are upgraded to their Heroic Sanctified versions, they are actually considered BiS, so it’s definitely worth it.

As for me, I currently have T10 head and shoulders, t10 equivalent offset ICC 10 man boots and leggings. I plan to pick up the EoF chest piece and belt when I get a chance, and eventually the gloves… but that’ll be a lot of Emblems later.

DPS Validation and Accountability

Well, here’s the final role specific addition to this series. It is also the one role that rew people realize as being as important as it is. The role of DPS is also the most popular role to follow, simply because of this misconception.

More often then not, though, most DPS feel that Tanks and Healers have some sort of entitlement when it comes to grouping. Simply put, they feel that because they are “must-have” roles, that they are more imporant than the lowly DPS. In some cases this is true, as if you did not have a tank, the DPS would get swarmed by mobs, and if you didn’t have a healer, those mobs would slice down the DPS with no resistance. However, without the DPS role, Tanks and Healers would never finish an instance within a single night, nor would they ever meet enrage timers. It was once joked that 2 paladins could almost do an entire instance (at level), it would just take 3 weeks to do it.

Because of this perception, a lot of DPS feel that they have to push themselves into the forefront so that they can get noticed. Hence the rise of Damage Meters, and the DPS ePeen. However, there are those who still stand in the back (figuratively or literally) and work hard as hell to keep the pain flowing, but also help out the rest of the group/raid. It is here that you can separate the real DPS from the twatmelons.

Don't be a twatmelon.

Don't be a twatmelon.

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The NDA and you

At the moment, the World of Warcraft community is all up in a tizzy. Yesterday, MMO-Champion.com spewed a massive amount of leaked screenshots onto their main page. These were apparently pulled from the Alpha Client. The interesting part about it all, is that the Friends & Family Alpha is supposedly covered by an NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement). A Non-Disclosure Agreement is:

a legal contract between at least two parties that outlines confidential material, knowledge, or information that the parties wish to share with one another for certain purposes, but wish to restrict access to by third parties. It is a contract through which the parties agree not to disclose information covered by the agreement. An NDA creates a confidential relationship between the parties to protect any type of confidential and proprietary information or trade secrets. As such, an NDA protects non-public business information.

So, according to the contract, which I’m assuming had to be signed to be part of the Alpha test, the party who is agreeing to the contract must not leak or provide information provided from the Alpha test to the outside/a 3rd party.

Slight SPOILER ALERT, after the break, one image, but it’s kind of important, I’d think.

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