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Month: August 2012

MoP Planning #1: Concept of a ‘Main’

When Cataclysm launched, I put my then-main Reliq, a Blood/Unholy Death Knight, to the side and instead focussed on levelling and gearing Baym, my Holy/Protection Paladin. My thoughts were that the guild I was in would benefit from having a healer/tank all set to go when we inevitably began raiding soon after launch.

As it was, the officers decided at launch, or soon after, that raiding would be on the back burner for some time to allow the guild’s members to focus on enjoying the content. By then, I was already set on Baym being my first level 85, and so he would be – and would remain my main focus in the expansion for the first 3 months or so, leaving Reliq to inch his way to 85 whenever I fancied a break.

I moved on to play my shadow priest, Aotearoa, around this time as a break from PVE, and got half-decent on her as a PVP mind-melter. Good fun. But in due course, my attention was being dragged back to what was, in my heart, my first love: my death knight, Reliq.

He is the toon people know me by. It’s the name I use on Twitter, everyone who knows me in-game refers to me as “Rel”, and if you shouted the name out in the street I’d respond (although probably keep walking, because humans confuse me).

So, finally, about 6 months into Cataclysm I took to playing Reliq properly. I’ve levelled and geared other characters in the last 12 months or so, but Reliq has always been the main priority, especially since branching out earlier this year and starting my own guild and raid team. Reliq is our main tank, with only occasional-appearances by other toons (usually my shaman Pakeha), but I now have a definite main.

The crux of the matter, and reason behind this post, though, is my feeling of lost time from Cataclsym; I spent so much time faffing about, that my experience of this past expansion seems fractured due to not having a focus at the start.

I don’t intend on making that mistake in Mists of Pandaria.

While I do intend of levelling each tanking class to max, and getting them geared enough to raid (in time), my main focus will be Reliq. He is the one I will run challenge modes and scenarios on. He is the one who will have his own farm and work on his Tiller reputation. He is the one with the raid achievements first, and priority for everything else.

MoP looks to be an exhaustingly-exciting expansion, based on what we’ve seen coming for end-game content, especially the non-raiding content.

Mists of Pandaria Cinematic – Favourite Shots

Thoughts on a Blood Death Knight talent build in Mists of Pandaria

I haven’t had a chance to delve too deeply into the Blood DK changes for MoP as yet, but by all accounts they’re minimal (compared to the changes other classes are), but I thought I would at least look at the upcoming talents now we’re getting close to 5.0.4 landing, with the hope that the system as it is now on the beta/PTR is final.

As you all know, the talent trees have seen a complete revamp, with the ‘must have’ talents now being given to you automatically when you choose your spec, with others being selectable from 3 per ‘tier’. Here is the window as it appears for Death Knights, with the talents I’ve chosen already selected.

Now, these have been chosen with a mix of 5-man and raiding in mind, as that is my general bread and butter. Some talents will be moved around, but for the most part I’m happy with this.

Disclaimer: I am not a theorycrafter. I am interested in my class, and go to decent lengths to be knowledgable about it, but for me it’s all about gameplay, not the stats.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this, especially if you have some information to help me choose a better setup, or if I’ve missed the point of a talent altogether.

Level 15
Roiling Blood
Wow. The thought that I could spread my diseases so easily just makes me giddy. I’ve seen this in action in a video, and seeing the black tendrils leaking out to all enemies in a back with a simple Blood Boil (itself already dealing Shadow Damage) is lovely. For AOE tanking, and trash pickups especially, this is ideal.

I can’t see the point of Plague Leech here, and Unholy Blight strikes me as a pure DPS or even PVP ability.


Level 30
Anti-Magic Zone
I was tempted to take Lichborne, since it is very useful – especially in 5-mans where your one healer may decide to sit on his hands for a minute, leaving you to fend for yourself. But in a raiding situation, AMZ makes perfect sense to me – and an extra raid wall is always good.


Level 45
Death’s Embrace
Moving faster is always a good thing, especially in 5-mans. I was very tempted with Asphyxiate, as a ranged silence is nice and the crowd-control element would be useful, but really your DPS should be taking care of CC IMO.


Level 60
Death Pact
Oh my giddy aunt, this is a useful talent. Again, useful for those moments when your healer is picking their arse and leaving you near death: raise a ghoul, then sacrifice it to get a great self-heal. Use Vampiric Touch right before this, and you get healed for even more. Lovely. Death Siphon and Conversion also look very good, but until I get a chance to put them into practice, I’ll be sticking with what I know.


Level 75
Runic Empowerment
It’s actually a toss-up between this and Runic Corruption, and I may go with RC if I find my runes – despite depleted ones being regenerated with RE – slow to come back into use. This is a funny tier of talents, as it’s all about those bloody runes, which – to be quite frank – I pay little attention to until I see I’m nearly resource starved. How this will play out in MoP will be interesting. I will say, though, that my limited time in the beta has seen me starved of runes more often than not, but I can’t remember which talent from this tier I’d chosen.


Level 90
Gorefiend’s Grasp
Like Roiling Blood, anything which makes everything around you stand up and take notice is a good thing, in my mind. Remorseless Winter is, in my eyes, more a DPS ability to control packs of mobs until the tank can get to them, while Desecrated Ground I see being more useful in PVP, or in fights where there is a mind control or something.


Mists of Pandaria Cinematic – Thoughts (with spoilers)

So, it dropped today as expected, with its world premiere at Gamescom, and being posted to the official WoW YouTube channel a short while afterwards.

Technically, it’s excellent.

Story-wise, I love the fact that it’s the Alliance & Horde landing on a new, unknown world, immediately go into conflict, but are thrown by a new element – a Pandaran rolling into their midst.

It’s an unknown foe to them both, and being the naturally-violent factions they are, they attack it – and choose their closest, but known, enemy as an allie.

The kick at the end, where the panda shows that, the combat is not a major thing to them but part of the balance of their lives, is a perfect balance to what will in truth be an expansion where the Alliance and Horde conflict impacts greatly on this peaceful land with its own problems.

I can’t fucking wait.

Brief Bits: Thoughts on LFR

From my Twitter – @ReliqEU

WoW, and the Immediate Judgement effect

(Warning: aimless rant ahead)

Location: Baradin Hold, sometime during the first month of T13.

Reason: to face off against Alizabel. Again.

Company: a ragtag bunch of strangers from Trade.

I fell into a BH 10 pug as a tank on my DK main, Reliq, because I was bored. No other excuse. I had no real reason to be there; I didn’t really need or want the gear (and wasn’t interested in the possible PVP drops), but it was something to do.

The raid leader was, if I recall correctly, one of the healers or DPS. The other tank was a warrior, and we then had the usual mix for a typical 10m class run. We cleared the trash, and stood facing Alizabel in her many-armed glory.

“Tank #2, after her spinning attack, I’ll taunt her back”, I say. I like to make this clear just so we both know who will do the pickup duties. It’s not necessary, but I feel it helps rather than both wasting our taunts at the start of the next section of the fight.

Then the raid leader piped in: “LOL you taunt on Skewer. Do you even know this fight?”

“Umm, yes,” I said. “I’ve done it a few times now.”

“Doesn’t even know the fight,” he said again.

“Just go,” said one of the DPS, and so we did.

The fight went its usual way – the odd DPS not moving from the boss as she spins around the room doing her whirly-gig blade-spin thing. Meanwhile, the raid leader is saying, “I bet he gets the achiev after this.”

I ignore it. He’s judging me because he misunderstood my statement to the other tank. That’s not my fault, and can’t be helped.

We finish the fight; I don’t get the achievement, as I had it from the first week Alizabel was available, like many other people. I hearth home, drop group, and go about my business. But I’m pissed off.

I’m not pissed that the raid leader questioned my ability, but rather that he jumped to the conslusion that I deserved to be judged because of his own misunderstanding. He came to an immediate judgement of me based on one sentence.

  • He decided I didn’t know the fight
  • He decided therefore that I’d never done it before
  • And, no doubt, he decided I was a lesser player because of it.

The fact was: if he’d tanked the fight himself, then he would have understood why I’d said that to the other tank (as that tank did). But the tactics around this are moot — what’s important is the jumping to judgement.

This is all too common in many areas of WoW (and other games too, I’m sure).

  • Someone logs into a 5-man wearing nothing but PVP gear, therefore he’s a shit DPS who’ll fail.
  • Someone gems/reforges for X rather than Y, therefore doesn’t know his class.
  • Someone asks for clarification one a boss, therefore doesn’t know the entire instance.

Where does this get us? The PVP-geared player often out-DPS’s whoever was giving him crap. The player who prioritises other stats may well have their own reasons, and simply doesn’t follow the EJ-sheep herders. The guy asking for extra info on one boss’s tactics may have done the entire thing before, but can’t remember one tiny strat.

Why do we do this? Once someone forms a judgement of a person, it’s difficult to get that person to retreat. They’ll hold onto their opinion like a rabid dog, no matter how hard you hit them around the head with your logic shovel.

It makes the game impersonal, causes people to pull back from doing anything with strangers, and once we get to the point where people will only run content with people they know, what’s the point of playing an MMO? Why not just make the game into a single-player adventure with co-op modes?

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