Dungeon Finder Queue Times Fixed?

I didn’t suffer the previous 40 minute queue time much as a DK Tank and only slightly as a Hunter from time to time but with me recent love affair with my Hunter, I’ve queued up a few times and the dungeons have popped pretty quickly.

I was running around doing some Twilight Highlands quests, queued up thinking it’d be awhile and had to cut a quest short to jump into a dungeon. Yesterday I popped into queue while doing some Tol Barad dailies. We had Baradin Hold I was doing the ones in there (undead wing) and the dungeon popped before I could complete those three undead quests – I hadn’t even started on the non-random quests.

Is it fixed? How long before tanks or healers get all the goodies or give up on them?

Another thought, does this prove that the average WoW player is greedy?

MM Huntering in 4.1

It is 4.1, right?

I switched one of my hunter’s specs from Beast Mastery to Marksman, leaving Survival around just in case. I always preferred MM but didn’t like that they switched the system from a rotation to a priority/proc system much like SV was. I never really was all that excited about SV either.

The results?

My DPS jumped up. A lot.

In a PUG Throne of Tides group, I was doing upwards of 15k DPS for single target boss fights. I had one where I hit 18k. Yeah, it’s a heroic so I don’t really count trash too much, but damn I was pleased with my DPS given my current gear (which is actually showing two upgrades I scored after ToT; epic ring and neck). I don’t pass the character audit – 3 enchants missing, I haven’t used my Chimera gems, I’m missing some tinker and no belt buckle. For SV I was doing roughly 2k less and didn’t hit 15k or18k unless I was spamming Multishot on large groups (though in those scenarios as SV I’d be over 18k, into 20k sometimes).

I then walked into Zul’Gurub with a guild group. Our main raid tank was playing DPS (Mike a.k.a. Babe), we had out top healer (UFTimmy the Cruel), a recently returned DPS (hai John – DKs really do has b-rez nao ;)), Babe’s girlfriend was tanking (hai Melissa) and I was DPSing. Yes, I said I walked in. We had to walk in because my item level was only 341 at the time so we couldn’t use the DF to pop in.

Let me stop and thank those folks for walking in knowing that I was below the item level. I wouldn’t say I was carried though UFTimmy would (hence “the Cruel”).

Back to the DPS jump. Overall (by the end of the ZG run, and it was long) I managed over 12k DPS and was second overall.

Now back to the instance – keeping up?

I have to admit I liked the instance – a lot. It was nice seeing a change in the fights, some of the mechanics, and having more mobility and responsibility. I suspect some of that was the class I was playing but I can comment that I liked that it was a big instance with lots of mobs, mini-bosses, and no real set path to do the bosses in.

I don’t know if we one shot anything, but we might have. I am having a hard time picking out a fight I didn’t like. If I had to pick one I’d have to say the panther one. It just felt too cramped down there. The toughest one we faced was Zanzil, mainly learning to see how many people needed to drink from which cauldrons and we were a little melee heavy so some fire oopses got us. Another time I ate the fire because my back was to Zanzil while trying to deal with the berserker spawn. I think that fight wasn’t as bad as it seemed, we were just getting tired because it was near the end.

Oh, we one shot the last boss for sure.

I have done a little bit of ZA as Smaken in SV mode, the DPS wasn’t as good (likely my failing) but we did manage to kill some bosses off before our healer (Babe) was burned out and we lost one of our DPS. We ended up doing Heroic FK (this was on Wednesday night) which was fun for our poor PUG healer.

Hunters looking to give MM a try should take a good look at what Frostheim has up over at Warcraft Hunter’s Union – it is good stuff.

I’m still sorting myself out over the targeting fix. I was used to it so I’ve been leveraging it effectively so now that it’s fixed, I have to remember to tab target or set up an assist macro. There were still several times I found myself without a target heh.

Good times!

Smooth Like Butter…

Butter is smooth like butter, not the 4.1 patch. That was bumpy. After extended maintenance there were several server reboots. Well one, but the instance servers kept having issues.

I expected a lot of addon breaks, though something like Recount exploding was a surprise. Also seemed to cause people to lag out – probably because of all the errors it was throwing. But addons aside, wow.

I pop in as Smaken, cycle through my pets watching as they silently auto-ding to 85. So unrewarding. Ah well. I puttered around closing all the various Swatter controlled addon bugs (eventually I disabled several; MSBT, Recount and SUF to name a few) as I did my dailies, checked my luck on some rare drop mounts from TBC (Ravenlord from Sethek Halls and the other bird from Magister’s Terrace). Things were fine.

I switched over to Kremus to do one of the new instances (Smaken’s ilevel is too low to get into those) but we ran into issues. Namely that the instance could not be found. Woo! After several attempts we gave up, I went and ate supper.

I got back and puttered around on Smaken some more – completing all my TB quests. I decided I’d stop slacking and get back to completing the Twilight Highlands zone on Smaken – that should open up more dailies – yay! (zzzz)

I got part way through when I got invited into a heroic group with some guildies (just some lowly members like the guild leader and another officer – no one special) so we queued up for a heroic. Got GB. Whee. Got to the first boss, wiped with the damn boss being a Kill Shot away from dying and me being the last one standing… with Kill Shot ticking away on cooldown… grrr. If I was Marksman I would have popped Readiness and beat it.

Healer DCed after that so we bailed and decided we’d try our luck again with the instance. This time we fielded a full guild group and went to the zone in and.. well, zoned into Zul’Gurub. That was met with more success.

We killed the first few mini-bosses and got up to the first boss. Only had one zonewide disconnect up to that point. It was a good one too. Some of us reappeared at our bind point, others appeared ungrouped in the instance then got teleported to the bind point and one actually appeared to discover he was dead.  We then struggled getting back into the zone.

You know there are problems with an instance when you see a ton of people hanging around outside the entrance of the zone.. or on the other side of the glowy portal.

Back to the first boss. It was that Venom Priest or something-or-rather. Very weird fight. He hits like a kitten, but has this channeled DoT which needs be interrupted. He also has a frontal cone attack that seems to insta-kill you if you get hit by it. Oh and while fighting him this green stuff flows across the floor making a maze. If you touch this green stuff you die. Kaput. Dead. At some point during the fight he’ll pop back up to his alter and create these beams of death that will chase a couple of players through the maze.

I think you can jump over the green part of the maze, but I wouldn’t suggest it unless it’s a last resort because if you miss, you die.

We managed to get it down after several attempts but had to call it there because our raid started.

Back over to Kremus, Blood Deathknight of Studly Face Pounding and off to BoT.

Trash was interesting. I think I was actually getting disarmed by some of them. That sort of sucks for a DK and I don’t remember it happening previously. Also, my runes seemed a little wonky with how they were refreshing. In some cases they didn’t seem to. Weird.

We step up to Halfus. It’s an easy combo. We decide I’ll tank Halfus while the other tank deals with the two drakes. Shadow Smite/Bite/Kite/DoDamageToTheRaid ability was up so I had to interrupt him.

Oh.

Did I mention I ditched the Runic Power free Mind Freeze talents because it was also part of my Lichbourne spec? A spec that had the glyph nerfed and didn’t seem all that great after the changes? Yeah, I decided to spend those 7(ish) points elsewhere. Longer disease times, more damage… good, fun stuff.

Looks like I’ll have to switch back. Don’t tell UFTimmy though, because I’m doing my best to deny that I have to switch back. Oh wait, he reads this. No, I should be safe, it’s clearly too long for him to read through. Whew.

So we swapped tanks and two shotted Halfus (first attempt being a wipe because my RP cost requiring interrupt cost RP… and I didn’t have RP for it. I took the drakes and the other tank took Halfus. Win. Got the achievement too. And a Guild Challenge.

All sorts of win.

I had a brain fart moment on Valiona, namely during the set up. We had to juggle roles because it’s one tankable. I thought I’d DPS, other tank (offspec heals) would tank and we’d flip a DPS (Hai Jason!) to heals. That sorta didn’t make sense so someone suggested another change. What I heard was, Mike (other tank) heals, I DPS and you tank. Which was what Jason said only ‘you’ was me and ‘I’ was him. I didn’t flip around the you and I so I heard I’d DPS, the other tank would heal and the DPS (ele shaman) would tank.

Yes, I admit. I had beer.

That sorted out, it was a one shot and almost a two-heal (I think?) because we lost Tim pretty early on. I was impressed that we only faced Theralon once, usually we see him twice and there is a messy phase switch because we get a blackout while Theralon is dropping his balls on us.

Speaking of two heals, we two healed our way through the earlier fights in BWD on Sunday. It was nice to have extra DPS.

Two tank pieces dropped. I picked up a bracer (had more STR which helps parry and replaced an expertise/mastery secondary with parry/mastery). I asked our back up tank if he wanted it but he was fine with the Ramkahet rep ones (which I had). The other tank piece was the awesome trinket. I still had priority over the other tank but passed on it because it wouldn’t make sense to snag it while I’m hoping to ramp up Smaken for a DPS spot.

Don’t tell the other DPS, they’ll be scared.

I’m still a ways off though. As noted above, Smaken’s ilevel is too low for the newer heroics and he’s into the older ones mainly because I bought my way in with PVP gear. Still lots of rep to work on and even tradeskills.

Summer Boredom

Summer is around the corner and I’m already feeling a dwindling interest in MMORPGs. I’ve been feeling it for a while now but I do find the odd glimmer of amusement by still playing here and there. Admittedly, it’s more fun playing with someone else… so why is everything now available to solo players?

For WoW, I’ve been mainly raiding or running old heroic instances hoping for a rare mount/pet to drop. I did have some fun a few weeks back when I started a Warlock and was working my way through the revamped content. It seems I’ve done the Worgen and Goblin starter areas then motivation has died off. My motivation for the Warlock was catching up to the LBO who is into Westfall and really enjoying the storyline. Unfortunately, he’s put that aside for quite some time now with his focus mostly being on playing Minecraft with a kid from up the street.

I can’t bring myself to play a new character for a number of reasons. I’ve been through it, whether the content is new or not, I’ve killed enough murlocs, gnolls, pigmen and stuff in my time playing WoW. It doesn’t bring me any satisfaction or joy. I know the way there and I know I can do it but there is no motivation to do so. I think that’s a de-motivator – I know I can easily do it so I don’t feel a need to do so.

I haven’t played much of anything outside of WoW. A little bit of Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War 2 – Chaos Rising (yeah, that’s a mouthful) but I haven’t gotten too far into it yet. I think I’m about four or five missions in. I just unlocked my Terminator armor, which I love. I admit I like the single player of this game but don’t like the multiplayer or custom game options. I miss the base/unit building from the first DoW. I found it much more enjoyable. I especially enjoyed Conquest-type modes that showed up late in the DoW series.

I’ll end up playing some more of that single player.

I had Portal (the first one) gifted to me. I didn’t realize how short it was. Definitely fun, but short. I’m reluctant to pick up Portal 2 because it seems short as well, though not as short as the first one (which takes a couple of hours at worst).

I poked around Steam a little last night and downloaded the demo for Dungeons. It looked like a Dungeon Keeper type of game but it wasn’t quite as customizable as that. The dungeons appear to be predefined, though you can have minions make some changes for you. It didn’t do anything for me so I uninstalled.

I eyeballed Two Worlds 2 but without a demo I don’t know that I’ll try it.

I do still have several games to complete: Dragon Age 1, Divinity 2, Overlord 1 and Overlord 2. Maybe I’ll work on those some.

Still, none of those scratch the itch that is wanting a shared, challenging and memorable experience with friends.

The Sound of Choking…

Vancouver Canucks. 3-0 series lead dropped to a 3-3 series tie.

And a little gagging come from the Buffalo Sabers too, but not as loudly.

Of course, I’m doing my best to avoid mentioning the 8-2 drubbing the Pittsburgh Penguins ate on Saturday.

RoT: Because You Wanted to Know

A bunch of random bits since I’ve been lax with the updates.

Salt and pepper, boxer-briefs.

I’m going for the Penguins in the East and the Canucks in the West.

WoW guild is 8/12 on regular mode bosses; Magmaw, Omintron, Maloriak, Atramedes, Chimaeron, Halfus,Valiona and Conclave of Winds all down. We’ve started to rotate extending lock outs. One week we extend BWD and reset BOT then the next week we extend BOT and reset BWD. Working on Council in BoT. Downed Halfus on his tougher combination – involved three tanks. Craziest raid involved PUGing six people – yes, I said ‘six’ (6). Only people present were the guild leader, two officers and an advisor – it went well, we downed 4-5 bosses.

The more and more I read about guilds having problems with Cata raids, the more I realize just how good we are and how good are raid leaders are at keeping things as simple as possible. Honestly, one of the most common thing we hear from PUGs who apply is that they like how our raids are run.

I ran a raid. Hated it. I like attention, but not authority. Don’t want it. Get enough of it at work.

Love for Mike and Dennis as raid leaders. Love for Mike and Jason in picking out PUGs. Love for Jason recruiting. But I’m going to keep heckling. I can’t help it.

I need to say ‘no’ more.

Right?

Yes. Err. No.

Damn.

I set up a Minecraft server locally (as in my home LAN kind of local). The boys like playing it and love spawning stuff. Opened a port for the kid down the street to also play on it. I thought I’d work on an area away from where they were creating large holes in the world with TNT and spawning gaudy building materials so I created a house up on an earth/stone pillar – I was hollowing it out and creating some mob prevention). Was going good.

Then LBO blew it up with TNT while I was off doing something with TheWife (watching TV…).

I cried.

Not really.

But I was annoyed and saddened. I deop’ed them for a few hours as a punishment. LBO, having played on a server where he can’t spawn stuff or teleport around wasn’t too impacted by it, but you’d have thought I crippled the kid down the street. “Awww, but spawning is the fun part!”

Later they planted TNT in LLO’s house. He figured out what was being done so he didn’t set it off but before he could ask me to come sort it out, the kid down the street set it off.

LLO cried.

Really.

I wasn’t pleased. LBO didn’t do it and the kid down the street didn’t realize LLO would be so sensitive about it (LLO was tired) and apologized. I quickly rebuilt a house for LLO.

Achievements were added to Minecraft and weather too. Seems stuff also spawns in your house now if your bed is close enough to an external wall. I’m a little hazy on this. Weather was neat, though the rain continues underwater. And LBO already has all the achievements. I’m missing the one where you ride a pig off a cliff. The one for the mine cart riding took awhile to set up but it was a team effort between myself and LBO. That includes my only death during the construction of the 1km long railway; I stepped up near the lava and LBO bumped me in. Team effort.

Played some Super Mario Smash Bros Brawl (I think it’s called?) with LLO. That game makes little sense to me. Being the type that enjoys figuring out systems and mechanics for games on an intuitive level (I don’t need to bother with the precise mathematics of it.. but I can). I soon discovered the complex scoring system in that game consisted of: mash buttons – mindlessly seems to yield decent results.

I kid. Mostly. I’ll have to read the instructions for a better idea of what is what.

LBO caught the tail end of Oceans 11 and he liked it. I’m scared.

Not Dead Yet

I just had a wicked flu or something but I’m feeling better. Just the sniffles and some sinus congestion.

Over the break I managed to watch the final season of 24. Good stuff though I don’t know that I liked the ending so much. Jack Bauer sort of loses it a little too much. I also thought the President flipped and cast aside her principles too quickly. And to leave it with Jack being hunted?Sort of meh.

Though  there was talk of a ‘feature length film’ for 24 so they could have left it there for the sake of that. Still, rather unsatisfying. After all he’s done and gone through, you want him to have a happy ending. No, not that kind.

Ah well. I certainly enjoyed the series.

Now what do I watch?

Your EQII account has been activated for 7 days‏!

So?

Okay, I give them credit for implementing flying mounts. Something that WoW has had for two expansions (maybe and a half in there) and even failing games (like Vanguard) have had since release.

My first thought was, “Meh. I can’t go back to EQ2. I liked it way back when, but it doesn’t interest me now.” Really, through no failing of its own. It’s a good enough game, I just lose enjoyment of it after a month or two of playing it. Some of that comes from disliking the fact that things are zoned and these zones don’t feel as big as the ones in EQ1. Also, I’ve created a bunch of characters and leveled through the starting experiences several times. Qeynos, Freeport, Neriak, EoF, RoK and even did a trial of the Velious starting area when that was available. I get to a point (usually DoF content) and I lose interest. On the rare occasion I hit KoS content and lose interest again.

Meh. It’s not doing anything for me.

My second thought was, “How will this work in a seamed world? You know, where you have to hit a zone line and pop over to another zone rather than just fly over the rocks separating Commonlands from Nektulos Forest?”

Again, I think the small zones sort of kill this. On the bright side, you’ll be able to fly up and over some things that previously blocked you in some zones.

I see they’re giving away XP Potions – I already had a ton of them stashed away from length of subscription rewards so not really a motivator.

Nope, not going to do it.

And NO, you cannot have my stuff.

Leaders Debate 2011

Wow.

I’ll go over a couple of highlights, paraphrasing mostly.

Liberals

Ignatief to Layton, “At least we have been in power” – well neener neener Jack Layton! There’s my side of the debate. Despite the many good answers he had, the one thing that stuck with me was his ‘neener neener – we’ve been in power recently’ statement. Oh, that and some of the items he was pushing we things the Conservatives have already done.

The thought of raising corporate taxes is scary (given that I work for a corporation) but having seen how much other countries tax corporations, I know we could bump it up to 18% and still be far more competitive the several other major countries. But there was no talk of tax relief other than things that are already in place – subsidies for renovations to make our homes more green? It’s already in place. I am curious about this School Pass item mentioned.

One point he brought up continually was the plans for budgeting money for ‘jets’ and prisons. I won’t talk to prisons yet because I can’t fathom how he can be so against budgeting for military upgrades, like “jets.” Not budgeting for upgrades (or updates) to our military’s equipment is forcing our military (fathers/mothers, uncles/aunts, brothers/sisters, and sons/daughter) to do their job with aged equipment. And when your job deals directly with situations involving death – do you really want them flying around in vehicles that are nearing the end of their life expectancy?

We need to plan for these things. Ignatief suggested we put out a competitive demand for the vehicles – no kidding. That should be done, but you still need to budget and plan on how much you can spend. You don’t say, “We want to buy jets… but don’t know where we we’re going to get the money for it because we haven’t planned for it. Let’s talk cost then we’ll try to raise the money for it.” Where do you think that money will come from? Either more taxes or digging a deeper deficit.

Remember, these aren’t obscure people fighting for your freedom – they are fellow Canadians. Family members of yours or your friends or neighbors (currently fighting for freedom and peace outside of Canada). I’d rather see money going towards keeping them safe and well equipped than funding language police in Quebec or being wasted on gun registries that govern types of guns rarely used in crimes.

Prisons. I agree that there should be better systems in place to prevent crime, education and rehabilitation being main areas to improve this. Citing that most of the offenders didn’t have high school diplomas was interesting but the real question is – why didn’t they? Is it something Canada could change? Knowing several of the kids that dropped out of High School or turned towards crime – no, I don’t think it was something the government could handle unless they adjusted our education system and allowed it to be more flexible.

NDP

Layton on healthcare, shortage of doctors, “We will implement more doctors…” – seriously? I thought they took years of education, internship and a certain type of person willing and capable to do the remarkable things doctors do. They’re not something you ‘implement’. This isn’t a software service solution – these are highly trained and educated people. Another beauty was calling out how the Bloc has 17 seats while the Green Party has none, yet the Green Party had almost as many votes as the Bloc – why does our election system work this way?

Well, Mr. Layton, the Conservatives held a referendum to get this changed years ago but Canadians foolishly voted it down. Where was your voice and your party’s efforts in backing the Conservatives and ensuring the proper message of what this change was got out to the voters? You ducked behind the Conservatives and let them take the bullets of ignorance and fear over ‘making this country in the U.S.’. Really, that was one of the overarching tones of being against the election changes. You did nothing to clear that up then, but now you’re complaining?

Most of the ones I talked to didn’t understand it so they went with the status quo. Worse were the ones that wanted the new system but didn’t understand that it was exactly what they wanted. It really was sad.

I agree with Harper when he suggested you cannot just set metrics for green action without planning for how to meet this metrics. I love your ideals, but there is little substance behind them. They’re ideals, not plans or measures to implement them. On the other hand, he’s looking to implement people – how do you ‘implement’ doctors? Maybe they could help the Liberals implement teachers to sort out the School Pass idea.

I think his heart is in the right place but can’t help but feel he lacks the means or know how. Now, it might not be fair to suggest he needs to know everything – that’s why you have ministers of various areas.

Conservatives

Harper.. I can’t really quote anything from him *half-grin*. He did his best *smile* to keep his nose clean and *grin* stick to the message of his *smirk* party. Even if he hasn’t learned when *smile* to slip a smile into a *smile-no-wait-no-smile* his dialog, er, I mean *grin* defense.

Because it was like his government was on trial – it was a debate, not a hearing. The questions often got lost as which ever candidate was talking attempted to smear the current government.

To be fair, the Conservatives upset a Liberal party majority that was getting away with far too much and platformed on accountability. We haven’t seen so much of that yet from the Conservatives. This wasn’t quite a point brought up in a tangible fashion.

I did think they defended themselves well enough, but still wish there was data backing their defense and even the attacks against them – more so the attacks against them. If the others had valid points, they needed to qualify them because they were getting lost on the fact that Harper was a target.

“Okay, this question is up for one on one debate between Mr. Layton and Mr. Ignatief. Roll the tape for the question.”

This was followed up with more negative comments about Harper and the Conservatives. Why wasn’t this an actual debate between NDP and Liberal viewpoints? Harper and the Conservatives weren’t part of the question – the question was how would YOU address it. The mudslinging made you (other) parties look bad, petty even, and gave Harper the opportunity to turn the other cheek or show himself as being a better man.

You handed him this.

When asked about Immigration, Layton couldn’t help but sling mud at the Conservatives. Instead of saying, “We recognition there is a significant backlog of immigration applications and here are our plans to improve this process to ensure Canada brings in good people and their families in a timely, cost effective way,” he went on the attack, looking for pity and sympathy for immigrants who are waiting for the rest of their families to be allowed to join them. Yes, it’s sad… what are YOU going to do about it? Details.

Bloc

Duccepe? Again. I don’t understand why he was there. I can’t vote for him and his agenda is to milk Canada for all he can, directing those tax dollars towards Quebec until he can somehow managed to tear Quebec out of Canada … while still getting federal funding. His party has some pretty awesome plans… just for Quebec only. Instead he played the role of the devil who’s made deals with each and every party member.

For the record, when I mention ‘candidate’ in this post, I exclude Duceppe and May. Again, Duceppe can only be voted for in Quebec so there is no way in hell he can be Prime Minister unless the rest of Canada simply doesn’t vote.. May is excluded from ‘candidate’ only because she wasn’t present for the debate and I’m discussing the debate.

General

I was pleased to see the candidates appeared to be against coalitions working over existing minority governments. Even though Harper pointed out the wording used implied the Liberals would go this route. On the other hand, the other parties made it sound like Harper (and the Conservatives) were refusing to compromise with the other parties on some of their items. Though he said he did.

While no one directly said the other was lying, they did point out that most of what was said wasn’t the truth.

So what do you believe? What can you believe? No one really provided any evidence of anything they claimed. Can you believe any of it or was it all just a waste of time?

I think it was rather ineffective and next time, candidates should be allowed to prepare and bring data forward. Back up what they’re saying with hard data and not hearsay or, in some cases, incoherent rambling and clever double speak.

Or maybe our candidates are ineffective?

Clearly our system is ineffective or out of balance. Two out of three candidates appear to agree – I couldn’t really see where the Liberals stood on that regard but I think they stood to benefit from overall votes. I know in my riding, it was pretty damn tight.

Again, I’m excluding Duceppe. It’s clear that if we moved to a system that tallied total votes, his party wouldn’t have much of a voice.

I’m not sure which way I’m going to vote this year. Obviously, I can’t vote Bloc. I don’t like Ignatief’s less than humble (and somewhat childish) attitude. Layton has great ideas for Canada, but not a whole lot in the way of plans. Harper hasn’t shown the firm accountability he promised during the first election. Did he word it as “other parties and governments other than our own”? And I haven’t the slightest idea of where or how May would have presented herself or represented her party on the various topics.

Sad thing is, I don’t feel I can spoil the ballot.