Wednesday, December 31, 2008

December Musings

  • Big respect to Sci Fi for bringing Gundam back to America. Now that Cartoon Network seems to be out of the anime business, it's nice to see sonebody breathing life back into it. Between this and Gurren Lagann, Sci Fi is becoming a force in American anime.
  • Maybe I'm a hungry guy, but the new McDouble doesn't satisfy me as much as the old Double Cheeseburger. Is one slice of cheese THAT much?
  • Seeing a Hellreaver with Minor Beastslayer? Funny. Seeing it on a Hunter? /facepalm
  • I'm a little disappointed with Confessor, Terry Goodkind's finale of the Sword of Truth series. I feel he wasted a couple hundred pages following the wrong characters while all the interesting stuff was happenning in the background. Way too many Deux ex Machina moments and a major plot point from earlier in the series left completely forgotten and unresolved.
  • However, Jim Butcher is quickly becoming a favorite author of mine. I've blown through each of the Dresden Files novels in record time, and I'm voraciously devouring Captain's Fury, the fourth book in his brilliant Codex Alera series. The only other author I haven't been able to put down like this is Dan Brown.
  • I think the upcoming Hunter changes may be nerfing Hunter Utility too much, while NOT nerfing Hunter DPS enough.
  • Lots of good nerd movie trailers out there. Star Trek. Wolverine. Special. Fanboys. Hulk VS. WATCHMEN. Monsters vs Aliens.
  • And then there's Dragonball...

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

How was your 2008?

2008 was a big year for WoW, but who cares about that? I'm more interested in how everyone was affected personally this year.

2008 was an overall very positive year for me.

First of all, finally working things out to play off and on some weeknights was a huge win. My alts made some serious progress these last few months.

Samodean, my Warlock sat on the shelf for most of the year. As my main, he was the first character I "completed" in Burning Crusade. However, with the release of Wrath, he's been by far my most played. Northrend is an absolute blast. Honestly, I can't remember why I liked BC after clearing a few zones out there. Level 80 may not have been achieved this year, but it's not too far off. Gotta stop and smell the roses along the way. He dropped Skinning in favor of Inscription, which is a ton of fun. With Tarmr rapidly approaching Northrend, I should soon be able to level it past 360. Tailoring is slowly coming along, as well.

Ralken, my Hunter had an... odd... year. After my account got hacked a couple years ago, Ral was completely wiped out. No gear, not even a pet. I lost all motivation to play him. However, after much convincing, I finally managed to pry my other half off Final Fantasy XI for an extended stay in Azeroth. Helping her shape her Hunter got me back into the groove and I started leveling him again. He got to level 70 and had a little fun, but never really accomplished much. It's a bit sad to see my first character get left behind, but, honestly, he'll probably be the LAST of my characters to reach 80. The others are just much more fun to play.

(Thankfully nobody reads this thing, or BRK would smite me on the spot and revoke my Hunter License.)

Ullic, my Paladin is very confused. Leveling as Protection in Outland is a chore. Too many casters and ranged attackers to effectively AOE. Once I found out Death Knights were a tanking class, I decided to respec him to Retribution. However, once I replaced all my Prot gear, I realized that Ret was no fun at all, so I went back to Prot. Thankfully, the rest of his Outland experience will be fairly easy. He's currently sitting in Terokkar, waiting for his turn.

Haddar. Haddar, Haddar, Haddar. Shaman is so insanely fun, it makes me sad that I didn't initially roll Horde. While Sam and Ral were capable of pumping out some serious damage, they're built more for survivability and efficiency. Haddar, on the other hand, is my first character capable of DESTROYING anything he comes across. He carves a path of devastation, leaving enemies in his wake. I can't wait until Sam reaches a point where I can start playing Haddar again. Hell, I ALMOST jumped straight into Northrend with him. Jewelcrafting is still a pain to level, though.

Of course, the big story of 2008 was the launch of Wrath. Death Knights, Inscription, Northrend... all fantastic additions to the game. I love leveling Tarmr and making a complete joke out of Outland and quests that used to give me trouble. Of course, my adventures in Northrend have been chronicled in my Weekend Warrior series.

Unfortunately, not everything was rosy this year. My guild completely imploded.

No, that's not right.



The top players decided we weren't progressing quickly enough for our CASUAL guild and decided to stage a coup. People were kicked, half the roster left for greener pastures, close friends started over on other servers. It wasn't pretty. After a while, I tried to take control of the guild, but the stewards that were left in charge were all MIA, so I started up Denarian.

And so, one of the oldest guilds on one of the oldest servers faded into oblivion.

Denarian is stagnant, recruitment is nonexistent, and I fear for it's future. However, I remain hopefully optimistic for what 2009 holds.

The brightest spot of 2008, by far, was the decision I made back in October to start up this blog. It's so nice to have a creative outlet. Even if nobody outside of my coworkers and guildmates read this, it's worth all the time and effort.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Machinima Monday: The Craft of War: BLIND



This has got to be the single greatest machinima I have ever seen, from a technical standpoint. I have no idea how this was made.

HQ video can be found here.

Thanks to Nauloera over at That Damn Role Player for bringing this to my attention.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Winter Veil

Things should return to normal next week.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Machinima Monday: Shut Your Mouth

I'm not dead yet.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Weekly Roundup: 12/19

Starting a new concept of providing links that I find interesting.

Is WoW stronger than ever? - BBB chimes in on the differences between BC and Wrath and the future of WoW.

A further look into the den of the hardcore players - Larisa posts her impressions on an interview with then-Nihilum. Definitely a little depressing.

Freezing Arrow for Non-Hunters - Pike gives a little insight to the limitations of Freezing Arrow vs normal Freezing Trap.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Guild Recruitment FAIL

I have no words to describe this.

I... who... what the? Did he? What's that???

Monday, December 15, 2008

Machinima Monday: The Demise

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Weekend Warrior 4

That, children, is the word of the day.


Continuing into Dragonblight!

The Warlock version of Mirror Image

This is from the quest Mystery of the Infinite. In this quest, you summon a level 80 version of yourself from the future to fight by your side. Some funny dialog is shared. Good stuff, Bliz. Also, there is a level 80 version of this quest where you must go back in time to assist yourself.

Watch your hands, buddy

Flight of the Wintergarde Defender. I hate this quest. I'm sure the continuing Comcast lag didn't help, but this quest is a pain without it. You must fly around and pick up villagers. No problem, right? Well.. they're running around like idiots and you have to stay still while you cast the pickup spell. They usually run out of rage while you're doing this. Also, with the lag, they kept dropping off the back of my gryphon. The best advice I can give is to control your flight with your mouse and use they keyboard for casting. Not all players are used to this, so practice.

I have no idea



Dragonblight is awesome.


An End and a Beginning. Nearing the end of a long questline. This Lich is about to rock everyone, until help shows up. No I'm not saying who. Although, it is nice to see old-world characters showing up. To put it simply: we know who this Lich is.



This is where the eipcness comes in. I'm sure most know what happens at this point. However, I will not ruin it for those that have not.

And there's even more EPIC to follow this event.

This can't end well

The Truth Shall Set Us Free. Very nice quest for those who know Warcraft III lore. I know there's more to this questline with some awesome story points, but I will get to that next time.

Level 74 reached, Dalaran is awesome. Weekend Warrior will return in 2 weeks!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Feralfen Hunter incoming at 12 O'Clock!

How in the heck did I end up in this position, you ask?

Well, honestly, it's just some creative camera positioning with this event:

Well now. This is what heppens when you Death Grip a near-death running mob that then dies from disease in midair. One flying corpse!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Quest Reading FAIL

This post chronicles the FAIL of Denarian member "Junior" as he recounted it to me. Sadly, he did not have the forethought to take screenshots of his FAIL.

Junior was in Dragonblight, working on the quest That Which Creates Can Also Destroy for the Wyrmrest Accord. He makes his way over to the Northeastern corner of the map to engage Overseer Deathgaze. Junior realizes that Deathgaze is a level 74 Elite. He checks his questlog to make sure that this is NOT a group quest. Seeing that the quest is indeed listed as a solo quest, he assumes the Elite must be soloable. Using every trick at his disposal, he barely scrapes through the fight and kills the Overseer.

He did not receive credit for the kill.

"Hmm... perhaps someone else tagged him."

Junior waits for the respawn, and manages to defeat the Overseer again.

No kill credit.

"Okay... there's a Paladin farming here, he MUST have tagged it again with Consecrate. Jerk."

For a THIRD time, Junior makes absolutely sure he has claimed the Overseer and for the THIRD time, he barely escapes intact.

Overseer Deathgaze slain: 0/1

"[1:General] Junior: Is the quest [74]That Which Creates Can Also Destroy bugged?"
"[1:General] SomeGuy: Nope, I had no problem with it"

At this point, Junior submits a GM Ticket, confident that SOMETHING must be hosed up. The GM quickly responds and Junior recounts his experience.

"Did you read the quest?"


Allow me to point out a line of the quest text: "While the seeds would outright destroy one of the lesser Scourge, they will greatly weaken these three. Enough so, in fact, that you should be able to handle them on your own."

The questgiver gives you three seeds which you must use to weaken and kill the three Elites in question. Upon realizing his noobishness, Junior uses the seed and mops the floor with Deathgaze.

Weakened Overseer Deathgaze slain: 1/1

Congratulations, Junior, you are Hardcore Casual's first FAIL!

(A quick recognition to Junior for agreeing to let me post his story. Of course, he was sure to ask if I'd use his real character name. No worries, I never do that without permission.)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Machinima Monday: Thrall's Crib

Weekend Warrior 3

Decided to drop the "Wrath" fom the title. I guess that can be assumed at this point.

I wanted to run Nexus, but decided not to with the recent connection issues.

I moved into Dragonblight, which involves sailing from Unu'pe in Borean Tundra.


Yes, that is a giant turtle. Yes, the captain is using carrots on a stick to guide it. Yes, the freaking thing takes forever when you're waiting at the port.

The Tuskarr in Moa'ki Harbor will send you on some quests, including Slay Loguhn, where you have to kill the leader of the local Wolvar tribe. At first, I was pronouncing this "lo-GOON." However, once I saw the guy, it sank in. Humanoid wolverine, wearing claws... Logan.

At Wyrmrest Temple, I ran into a few old friends.

Alexstrasza and Krasus

Alexstrasza, Aspect of the Red Dragonflight and Krasus, aka Korialstrasz. For those of you who don't know Krasus, he was a major character in the War of the Ancients novels.

Nice to see she found her way out of Andorhal

Well... not exactly, she's still in Andorhal. AND at the Temple. She is a Bronze Dragon. They can do that.


A very fun quest, Defending Wyrmrest Temple. This is a daily. If you can accomplish it in under 2 minutes, you will earn the achievement Rapid Defense.

Ysera, Aspect of the Green Dragonflight

How... awkward...

This is from the quest The Best of Intentions.

Reached level 73. More Dragonblight next week.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Comcast Issues

Apparently, Blizzard and Comcast are not getting along this week.

What SEEMS to be the issue is that, after a server crash Monday night, most, if not all, of WoW-playing Comcast subscribers are having lag issues. Comcast users are having no issues with other games, and non-Comcast players are not experiencing additional lag. The only ones who do are in former Comcast territories still running off Comcast servers.

Normally, I have a latency of around 100 ms. This weekend, I was at a constant 300-400, with spikes of up to 1000.

Blizzard has a post on their Tech Support forum here.

Now, I'm not expert once these things leave the local level, but it appears that once the data hits the AT&T owned hardware on the route, things get hosed up. So, there are potentially THREE companies that need to get together to figure this one out. I seem to recall a similar issue this summer with Time Warner, but I'm not sure how that turned out.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

T's Death Knight Guide, Part 3: Talents

This is part 3 of an ongoing guide that will later be compiled into one large "uber-guide" for up-and-coming Death Knights.

Part 1 can be found here.
Part 2 can be found here.


As previously mentioned, a Death Knight's talent spec does NOT determine his role. Each tree is capable of performing all 3 roles, just in differnt ways.

Here I'll give some sample talent builds and look at a few key talents within each build. This is by no means a definitive list, but I feel it hits all the major options. I won't do any full talent-by-talent breakdowns like I have in other guides, as the only tree I have any real experience with is Frost.

What makes this so difficult is there really is no WRONG way to talent a Death Knight. Sure, some are better than others, but across all 3 trees, there is no bad talent.


51/13/7 Cookie-Cutter DPS build.
Abomination's Might: Awesome group buff. Does not stack with Hunter's Trueshot Aura or Shaman's Unleashed Rage.
Hysteria: Can be cast on yourself or another player. Make sure NOT to cast it on someone low on health, though.
Heart Strike: This attack will replace Blood Strike in a Blood Knight's default spell rotation.
Dancing Rune Weapon: Amazing DPS boost, but do NOT use unless you're at full Runic Power, otherwise it's a waste.

50/0/21 Blood with Gargoyle.
Dancing Rune Weapon scales with gear. So, for DKs with limited high-end gear, the Gargoyle spec will provide superior DPS.

52/14/5 Blood Tank Spec
Honestly, probably the least effective tank spec. However, will help out your healers if they're undergeared. Make sure to keep those Blood Runes on cooldown for Blade Barrier.

63/8/0 Sam's Crazy, Super-Bloated, Insane Survivability Build
Honestly, the only real purpose this build serves is never dying. Ever.


17/50/0 +4 Frost DPS
This is essentially my Frost DPS build. The points in Rune Tap, Hungering Cold and Frost Aura are Wild Cards and can be spent elsewhere.
Note: Between Annihilation, Rime, Subversion and Dark Conviction, your Obliterate has an extra 32% chance to crit. That is what this build is designed around. Frost may not give the highest sustained DPS, but it has great potential.
Why only 2 points in Runic Power Mastery? Simple. 120 RP grants you 3 Frost Strikes. 130 grants you 3 Frost Strikes with 10 useless RP left over.

5/59/7 Frost Tanking, arguably the best tanking build for early gear levels.
Excellent physical mitigation from Toughness and Frigid Dreadplate.
Acclimation and Frost Aura also help with heavy magic-dealing enemies.
Lichborne and Unbreakable Armor give Frost Tanks other skills to use while Icebound Fortitude is on cooldown.
While Hungering Cold may seem like a great AoE tanking ability, I don't feel it's necessary. A 1 minute cooldown means you can only use it once on most AoE pulls. I feel you're better off using a combination of Death and Decay, Pestilence, Howling Blast and Blood Boil for multiple mobs. Plus, that RP cost means you're more than likely only using it part way through the battle.

17/54/0 Frost PVP Build
Frost's incredible burst potential makes it perfect for PVP.
This is really the only time I suggest taking Icy Reach and Deathchill.
This is where Hungering Cold really shines. Death Knight Frost Nova FTW.

10/56/5 Dual-Wield Tanking Build
Insanity! As everyone knows, Dual-Wielding causes extra parries. Every time (most) mobs parry, their swing timer resets and the next attack comes faster. Dual-Wield tanking leads to getting Parrygibbed. Right?
First of all, read this. Long story short: A DK Dual-Wielding 2 slow 1-handers actually has LESS chance of being parried than a Warrior using a fast 1-hander, as tanking Warriors do.
I've seen DW tanking builds that weren't heavy Frost, but I don't like them. Frost Strike cannot be parried. That is essential, as far as I'm concerned.
Dual-Wielding allows you to equip 2 good, defensive 1-handers. This should give better tanking stats over a 2-hander in most situations. However, the tradeoff is slightly reduced threat generation.
Please note, this build requires VERY good gear and is not recommended for entry-level tanking.


17/0/54Unholy DPS
Keep Bone Shield up at all times.
Don't forget your Ghoul Master of Ghouls gives you a very potent source of extra damage.

17/0/54Unholy DPS - AOE Variant
This build drops Night of the Dead for Corpse Explosion and Unholy Blight. Although, I am unsure how useful Corpse Explosion is in a group setting.

5/8/58 Unholy Tanking
Once again, keep Bone Shield up.
This build excells at higher gear levels, when Frigid Dreadplate is no longer necessary from the Frost build.

0/11/60Unholy-Bloat PVP
This build is geared toward GROUP PVP. I feel Frost is a better option for Lone Wolf PVPers. But, hey, go with what you want. I've said over and over how each tree is viable.
This is the only build where I suggest Desecration. Movement impairing effects are always great in PVP.


15/37/19 The famous Dual-Wield Tri-Spec
**Due to only one talent that increases melee hit rate, TONS of hit rating is needed.
This build relies on 4 factors:
1: Speed
Icy Talons and Improved Icy Talons are required.
2: White Damage
On average, 2-Handed builds will only have 20% of their attacks as white damage. Dual-Wielders will have far more. This is really the only time Necrosis is worth talent points for anything other than getting down to the next level.
3: Procs
Killing Machine and Blood-Caked Blade will go off all the time.
4: Howling Blast
Unlike Obliterate and the various Strikes, Howling Blast does not scale off weapon damage. This makes it the attack of choice for Dual-Wielders.

Part 4: Combat

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Small Update

I have slightly updated Part 1 of my Death Knight Guide.

A Cry for Help

Tell your Guild.

Post on your message boards.

Tell your kids.

Call your mom.

Write your Senator.

Whatever you do, for the love of the Light, spread the word.

Death Knights can DPS, Tank or do anything they want REGARDLESS OF TALENT SPEC.

After pounding my way through Hellfire (for the FIFTH time, mind you) and being surrounded by fellow Death Knights, I can unquestioningly report that I am sick of the ignorance.

DK1: "what should I spec?"
Tarmr: "Whichever tree seems the most interesting, they're all viable."
Yes, I punctuate and use correct grammar in General Chat. Shocking! Maybe that's why nobody pays any attention to me...
DK2: "Blood FTW"
DK3: "everyones unholy"
DK4: "blood for dps, frost for tanking, unholy for pvp"
Tarmr: "Wrong, wrong and wrong. Each tree can perform each role, it's a matter of playstyle."
DK2: "lol, blood is by far the best raiding spec"
Tarmr: "Blood is by far nothing. How much raiding are you doing in Hellfire Peninsula? I've seen Dual-Wield Hybrid specs topping Naxx damage meters."
True story. Well, not personally, but I've read the accounts and seen the WWS reports.
DK1: "Frost seems like it can do some nice burst"
Tarmr: "Absolutely, I currently have an almost 50% chance to crit with Obliterate."
DK4: "bliz said frost is tanking"
Tarmr: "Yes they DID..."
Tarmr: "...last year."
Tarmr: "They've since changed their design philosophy."
Ruh-roh, big word.
DK5: "what should I spec?"
Tarmr: /facepalm

NOTE: This is not a direct transcript, but rather a compilation of several chat sessions. They all went about the same.

Trust me. I've been researching specs for the past week and a half for part 3 of my DK guide. (Why do you think it's taking so long?) Thus far, I've come up with almost a dozen serious talent builds, with a few more that still function, if not optimally.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Machinima Monday: Big Blue Dress

I dare you to get those Gnomes out of your head.

More awesome videos from Cranius can be fourn here.


About Me

My photo
A part-time player trying to exist in a full-time world. Guild Master of Denarian on the Azjol-Nerub server.


Image courtesy of Nexodyne

Current Goals

  • Haddar - Level 80
  • Tarmr - HERBS!
  • Samodean - Wyrmrest Accord Exalted
  • Samodean - Finish Northrend Quests


  • Watching - Primeval
  • Playing - Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood (DS)
  • Watching - Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
  • Playing - The Last Remnant (360)
  • Playing - Persona 4 (PS2)


Warcraft Bloggers