Friday, May 28, 2010


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Linkage for a Busy Week

I have been utterly swamped this week with office work, house work, and outside projects. While it has been remarkably productive, it has also been quite exhausting, stressful, and time-consuming... as such, I've had little time to blog this week. I'm taking some time now to give myself a mental break before diving back into the thick of my work, and sharing with you a few links to things that have kept me sane through the mess.

  • Puddle sharks.
  • Keredria at ToL has a short discussion about gamers and their control over dreams, which I found fascinating.
  • Vortex has almost gotten its full raiding roster their ICC drake mounts. We'll have to redo Sindragosa's all-you-can-eat achievement next week to finish us out, though, which means we're pushing back our heroic Lich King work for another week.
  • Vortex is recruiting two melee dps (rogue, pally, or deathknight) if such players happen to read my blog and are interested in joining us for ten-strict raiding. We lost a couple of our melee due to outside commitments (my hubby included), and would like to get back up to a 14-raider roster.
  • I've been amused by BRK's Cataclysm Alpha notes, which are posted in a completely non-spoiler (and non-NDA-breaking) kind of way. He posts his reactions to things over a night of play without leaking the details. The gist of them is that things are changing, and lots of things are currently broken... it *is* an alpha, after all!
  • Murloc Parliament recently posted a long discussion on gaming and relationships: namely, addressing the "WoW widows" concern and how it is often treated differently from other hobbies, the "me-time," which in itself is a necessary part of any healthy relationship.
  • A relatively short post by Dinear at Forever a Noob regarding the supposed "death of 25 man raids." The topic has simmered down, recently, after its initial burst of blogging activity; his post is a good summary of what the iLevel-equilization will mean for guilds.
  • Graylo at Gray Matter had an excellent post on surviving as a moonkin in raids. The majority of the tips apply to resto druids as well.
  • Disapproving Kayak.
  • I have a mod that splatters my screen with blood when I meet a certain crit number. I'll link it later when I remember exactly what it is. It makes me happy.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Offtopic: Summer Classes

A quick rant under the guise of a quiz. Multiple Choice. Each question is worth 20 points.

1) A form tells you that you should submit it at least two weeks before the start of the semester. It is an important form that all of your students need information on before class can be held. What do you do?
  • a) Submit at least two weeks before the semester starts.
  • b) Submit the week before the semester starts.
  • c) Submit the weekend before the semester starts.
  • d) Submit the day before your class starts.
  • e) Submit one hour before your class starts. Call the department angrily when it is not immediately processed.

2) A form only provides one drop-down menu for requesting times on a single day, and you wish to have multiple days in the week. There is a comment box that allows you to type in extra information. What do you do?
  • a) Type in the additional times in the comment box.
  • b) Ignore the comment box and submit two forms.
  • c) Submit two forms, writing in the comment box "same class, two days."
  • d) Submit two forms, writing in the comment box "lol I can't see a place to request two times."
  • e) Panic and call the department's front desk during lunchtime, when they're understaffed because their student workers have gone home for the summer.

3) A form asks what semester you would like to request. What do you do?
  • a) Request the semester you want.
  • b) Leave it blank and assume they'll guess correctly.
  • c) Request the wrong semester, and then blame the department when they get it "wrong," even though they have your form on record.

4) A form asks you to check a box if you wish to have a special condition occur. You would like to have that condition. What do you do?
  • a) Check the box.
  • b) Don't check the box, and then blame the department when they get it "wrong," even though they have your form on record.

5) The single staff member that is receiving and processing these forms works part-time and has a class this afternoon, yet you:
  • a) Submit your request late.
  • b) Submit the wrong information.
  • c) Leave out information.
  • d) Call the department when you don't get it processed immediately.
  • e) All of the above, and then nitpick on an inconsequential typo in the response email.

/sigh. I want to go slay pixel monsters.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Mages vs Warlocks

While I have never played either caster dps class past level 30, I have a very clear idea of the differences between mages and warlocks based on my experiences with them.

General Disposition:

I may be a bit biased by the races of the locks and mages I am familiar with. But I'll go with it, because it's funny.

Mages: I'm a pretty blood elf! Like a flower!
Warlocks: I think my jaw fell off. I could use it to bludgeon you to death.


Mages can make snowcones, heat up a mug of cocoa, and dazzle small children with pretty light shows. They also turn people into harmless sheep, and have a fun little feather-fall spell.

With traditional elements of fire, ice, and "innocent" arcane energy, their spells don't, in their base nature of power, really scream "evil."

dazzle small children into oblivion.

No offense, locks, but I'm not going to ask you to babysit my mini-tree anytime soon.


Mages have pets that look like they were fermented out of clouds and bubbles, like a misshapen balloon animal. They also have shiny, pretty bracelets.

Warlocks, meanwhile.... well, that imp may LOOK cute and chibi from its tinyness, but have you ever really looked at one up close? Really?

Click on the image to zoom in.

Do it.



Thus, I believe that all mage gear should be adorned with rainbows and flowers, and warlock gear covered in skulls and the blood of their victims.

...that is all.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Well, we finally did it.

We had killed heroic Sindragosa 3 raid lockouts ago (this week will be our 4th kill of hardmode Sindy), and had been wiping horrifically to heroic Putricide since then. This is notable only because it is so "fail"... every other (10-strict) guild to be 10/12 had Putricide down yet struggled with Sindy, while we did the opposite.

Well, I think I've established before that my guild is weird when it comes to raiding, I guess this is just another page in the case file :)

What we found that worked for us flies in the face of the other recommended strats we've read or that have been suggested to us: every other guild we've talked to swears by stacking on the green ooze-spawn location to dps it immediately. Now, I can understand this if you're running a melee-heavy raid, but tonight, we had two melee: and they were the tanks. Not only that, but the person targeted by the red ooze often gets caught up in the green's first explosion if you stack at the green spawn point, and they can't get healed quickly enough to survive more than two ticks of the red's own damage.

On TOP of that, having all of your casters sailing through the air and then running around trying to reposition for the next explosion really cuts into your dps. Significantly.

So what did we do?

We stood in the middle by the door for transitions (and made sure we held transitions to not have three oozes up). Equi-distant to the two ooze spawns, it gave the red-ooze target time to react and flee, and our ranged dps were able to kill the green before it even reached us... even without our abom slowing it. After that, it was only a short few seconds before the red ooze died its own bubbly death, and we could pour "free" dps into Putricide himself while he was fiddling with flasks at the table. It went fast. P3 was a breeze compared to P2: it was just a matter of keeping the plagued person away and the tanks alive.

With 2 healers, 6 ranged dps, and two tanks, with the above transition strat and a lot of vocal communication to swap off the plague BEFORE it killed its current host (I got a bit rabid about that and started inserting myself into the disease rotation to make sure the host didn't die from a slow runner), the fight went way.too.smooth. Eerie, /facepalm, omgwhywerewewipingonthisbefore kind of smooth. As in, we spent full 4-hour raid nights wiping to him in previous weeks, and tonight, after clearing blood and lower wings, we put 4 attempts on him and had him down. After wiping on the trash to Marrowgar, we pull down heroic Putricide, who has been haunting our nightmares for weeks, on the first night of the week.



11/12 heroic ICC10.

/stares at Arthas and grins.

Edit: I looked back down the list, looks like there are some other 10-strict guilds that have followed our trail in the weeks since our Sindy kill and they have tagged Sindy before Put hardmode, as well. Good job, fellow Sindy-slayers!

Edit2: our turkey gave more detail on our strategy, and even used MS Paint (cheer!). You can check out the strat we used on his blog, here!

Monday, May 17, 2010

F.lux Screen Tinting: Light and Nighttime Computer Use

I was linked an interesting article last week that highlighted some research on the glow of screens and their impact on our sleep cycle: most notably, on how the light of a computer screen can increase insomnia.

There is a free program that you can download that will automatically alter your computer monitor's settings to a light that is less likely to mess with your internal, hormonal time-clock: reducing the bright blue tint that mimics daylight, without really impacting your ability to use the computer (as long as you aren't doing really color-sensitive work, like photoshop, but even then, you can tell it to turn itself off for an hour to let you work).

Left: Flux evening monitor color; Right: normal "daylight" monitor color
(color change simulated)

I was interested enough that I went and downloaded the software myself and tried it out over the weekend, which included a raid. (F.lux website here)

Based on the research linked on the site, there are several interesting impacts of warmer light:

  • Conflict Resolution:
One study found that people under a warm light were more disposed to collaborating with others to resolve conflicts; those under a cool light were more likely to just avoid resolving the problems and let problems linger.

My take on this: does this mean that a raider is less likely to contribute to strat ideas or confront problems in ICC (a very blue instance) than in Sartharian or Molten Core (firey red/orange hues), before they reach a snapping point?

  • Volunteerism:
A similar study found that those under a warm light were more likely to spend more time volunteering for unpaid tasks; a cooler light shortened the time they volunteered. Providing unexpected gifts (in the case of a game, this would be loot/epics or even offering to pay their repairs) extended the time in both cases, pretty much equally.

My take on this: does this mean raiders have more patience wiping in instances like Sartharian (firey red/orange hues) than in Icecrown (blue)? More patience dealing with people who stand in fire than dieing to Sindragosa's LoS iceblasts, perhaps?

  • Alertness:
They found that "higher colour temperature" (which is more blue, ironically) resulted in higher alertness and mental activity, while lower (reds) result in more drowsiness.

My take on this: this is probably the key to the insomnia, where the daylight of a late-night computer screen will increase your alertness and make it harder for you to fall asleep afterwards. There is a flip side to this, however: are we more likely to be drowsy while raiding in those red-hued instances and firey boss fights than we are when facing down the blue-hued Frozen Throne?

  • Sleep Quality:
Segwaying to the sleep side of things, researchers found that people who were exposed to brighter (blue-daylight-type) lights in the hours before bedtime had less restful sleep than those who spent time before bed under lower "color temperature" lights (warm red/orange). The brighter daylight blue light is known to supress the production of melatonin, the hormone that regulates the production of your other hormones, and also sets the rhythm of your 24-hour internal clock.

My take on this: so computer screens themselves (including iPads and TVs) are disrupting our sleep from pre-bedtime light levels, even if we get a "decent" number of hours of sleep. Depending on the type of light bulbs in your home (I'm thinking particularly of the violently bright "daylight" CFLs I have in my garage, for example), these may be exacerbating the problem as well.

My experience:
I've only been trying it for a few days, but so far, I haven't found the program to be disruptive of my late-night websurfing or raiding. I like the program for its ability to cut the sharpness of the screen colors, making it easier for me to get "night vision" and not need so many lights on, or have a computer screen in the early morning hours of dimness hurt my eyes.

Now, since I know it will impact "alertness," that is something I'll need to be mindful of during progression raids. I may need to hit the "off for an hour" if I find myself getting drowsy early.

I suggest giving it a try, and reading deeper into the research linked on the F.lux website if you're interested :)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Res Speeches Revisited

I took the time to browse through a list of all the quotes out of Portal, after BBB's post today reminded me of the wonderfulness that is the Portal game. As such, I've added the following macros into my res-speech repertoire... you can find my full, comprehensive list here :)
  • Not in cruelty / Not in wrath / The REAPER came today / An ANGEL visited / %T's gray path / And took the cube away
  • Because %T could not stop for Death, He kindly stopped for me; the cube had food and maybe ammo. And immortality.
  • So I'm GLaD %T got burned. Think of all the things we learned for the people who are still alive.
  • Aperture Science; We do what we must because we can. For the good of all of us. Except %T who is dead.
  • Who's going to make the cake when %T is gone? Me?
  • You euthanized yourself more quickly than any test subject on record. Congratulations, %T.
  • This next boss could take a very, very long time. If you become lightheaded from thirst, feel free to pass out, like %T. An intubation associate will be dispatched to revive you with peptic salve and adrenaline.
  • As part of a previously mentioned required test protocol, we can no longer lie to you. When the testing is over, %T will be...*bzzt*... missed.
  • Despite the best efforts of the Enrichment Center Staff to ensure the safe performance of all authorized activities, %T has managed to die inside this room. A complimentary revival will be performed in three, two, one...
  • While safety is one of many Enrichment Center goals, the Aperture Science High-Energy Zones seen in many cases as black, green, red, or blue puddles can and have caused permanent disabilities, such as vaporization. Please be careful, %T.
  • As part of a required raid protocol, a previous statement suggesting that we would not heal this raid was an outright fabrication. Good job, %T. As part of a required raid protocol, we will stop enhancing the truth in three, two, o--
  • %T: please be advised that a noticeable taste of blood is not part of any protocol, but an unintended side effect of the Aperture Science Resurrection Grille, which may, in semi-rare cases, emancipate dental fillings, crowns, tooth enamel, and teeth.
Ahh fun times. I considered making one out of the cake recipe... but that just got a little morbid!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


What is "Difficulty Balance"?

When I argue that 10s and 25s can be balanced, my idea of "balance" may be different than someone else's.

100% perfect Balance:

This is not attainable, not for all bosses in all raids. There will be no perfect, 100%, absolutely equal difficulty between a ten-man boss and a 25-man boss, not without years of testing and balancing and perfecting, and even then, it's not likely, not for all the many bosses and encounters that require attention. While theoretically attainable (anything is possible, after all), it is unlikely to be practical, at least in terms of a development team's time commitment. This is not my idea of balance.

95+% Balance:
A 5% difference in either direction allows for some wiggle room for raid size to impact an encounter's difficulty: insta-wipe mechanics, room and need to spread, aoe size (both damage and heals), number of adds, available class-specific mechanics, etc. This can be brought closer to 98/99% by providing a mix of mechanics in the instance that reward and punish the different raid sizes: a 10 man may wipe a lot on Boss A and push Boss B over quickly, while a 25-man may spend more time than the 10 on Boss B, instead.

Given practical time commitment, it is likely that patches would be required to more closely fix a misbalanced mechanic that slipped through testing. It is unlikely that a Sarth3D difficulty difference would be left for long, for example... but a situation like the Rotface plague timer (set even to 25-man on its 10man release) may still happen and be hastily patched again as it was in WotLK.

Perception of this balance may be skewed by Blizzard's wish to more quickly gear up 25s, depending on whether or not the upgrade-speed is factored into their planned balance. Guilds are unlikely to know, going into an instance, that the other raid size is x% easier than their own raid size, because the balance will tip slightly in each encounter towards one side or the other. The overall percentage tally for the instance will be mitigated and altered by things Blizzard can't or won't control and we can't easily numerize: player skill, disconnects, mod use, user graphics hardware, guild morale, emergencies, etc.

I suppose the best way to describe it is with the saying, "close enough for government work."

This is my idea of balance: not extreme, but viable.

Less balance:
Some people don't like the idea of 10s and 25s being equal, and refuse to beleive they should be balanced. Many times, these are players who have no perception that their gear is actually making the WotLK ten-mans easier for them, and are used to traipsing through a ten-man for giggles and badges while using their 25-man gear to more easily survive the mechanics that are otherwise brutal to those with less health, dodge/block/parry, attack/spellpower, haste/crit, and mana. Their idea of a raid balance is to have an "easy ten for lawls" and a "true progression 25." They want this. They think that is balanced. They're in for a rude awakening, based on what the Blizz staff have told us.

So this brings me to wonder on the unanswered question:
How is Blizzard going to judge the balance?
  • Are they going to balance against gearing speed in 25s? Can we expect 25s and pure10s to actually progress at the same speed, based on gearing, or will we still have ten-strict rankings for a separate progression list?
  • Are they going to balance based on relative ratio of healers and tanks per party?
  • Will it just be based on how quickly two similarly skilled teams of players tackle the instances?
  • Will the balance be tallied per boss, or per wing, or per instance?
*shrug*. Time will tell.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Comic: ICC10 Lich King (Full)

DONE! /collapses over mouse and keyboard.

P1 Quicklink
P2 Quicklink
P3 Quicklink

*edit note: Some raids may need to split their melee and ranged into clusters for the transitions, if their healers are not able to maintain the healing needed to handle the chain-damage from the Lich King. If that is the case, the tank will need to be especially on their toes regarding silences and taunting/picking up any spirits that spawn on the ranged group, before the spirit kills anyone.

The irony is that the stick-figure-warlock could survive if he had a teleport pad up on the edge there. ;)

This has been another episode of Kae's stick-figure theatre.
Many pixels were harmed in the making of this comic.
Sanity remains intact... but questionably so. ;)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

A UI Overhaul of the Unexpected Variety

Alternative title: the long post where Kae has to fix her UI from a version of itself that is a year old, and serves as a reminder to Kae of what blog UI posts need to be updated, and what topics probably still need to be blogged in case a worse crash occurs.

The Why:

I'd been running Windows Vista for way.too.long. I picked up a copy of Windows 7 (64 bit) back when it was first released, but due to complications with my network card and its inability to support wireless on windows 7 64-bit, I had to leave it on vista until such time as either A) my landlord agreed to drill the holes to bring the internet in through MY level of the house rather than my housemate's, thus letting me get a wired connection, or B) move out of the rental and set up my internet on a wired connection in my own house, or C) drop the money on a different wireless card.

I had to opt for B, moving. Sounds a little crazy, but hey, I'm out of the rental and in a nice house all of my own, starting my life as a homeowner with my husband, in a nice quiet neighborhood without a long commute, with a lovely fenced-in yard just WAITING for a puppy. Now, I have moved, and finally had the chance this week to rush into wiping my system and setting up Windows 7 (after spending about 12 hours on Saturday trying to figure out what box I had packed the OS disk in).

Okay, all well and good. Copy all the necessary files: music, docs, and pix folders... special fonts and backups of my adobe photoshop styles and brushes... and, of course, my WoW screenshots, WTF, and Interface folders. Simple enough, right? Once the slow process of reinstalling WoW on my freshly reformatted harddrive with its shiny new operating system was complete, I copy the files off the portable harddrive I had stored them on and fire up WoW.


My addons aren't up to date. Like, 50 of them aren't up to date. Weeeeird. Little alarm bells start going off in my mind, but I do my best to silence them and go to update them all.


There are addons completely missing. And why is CowTip enabled? I thought I traded that in for TipTac.

...where is Power Auras?


The alarm bells turn into screaming sirens.

I hadn't copied my WTF/interface from the right folder. Or my screenshots, for that matter. The screenshots inform me of the date of the "most recent" picture: 4/27/2009.

Thus began my panic, mitigated only somewhat by the fact that I had backed up a lot of my UI in the form of blog posts. I was thanking the powers that be for server-side macros and whatever muse had nudged me into pasting my Power Auras exports and Grid layout on my blog... and my custom artwork.

My docs/music/etc folders were all fine and current. My WoW data just... wasn't. It had slipped back a year like it had just jumped in Dr. Who's Tardis for a joyride and miscalculated the return date.

As a note, those who know me will say I *never* curse. Those who know me well will say I do curse, but only when it really is important or meaningful. With that in mind...



I have no idea how I made such an error, but I've been paying for it, dearly. I discovered my UI problem about 1.5 hours before a raid on Tuesday.

I also discovered just how quickly I could pull my UI back together into some semblance of "working," and discovered I was lucky that it had only been a year old rather than 2, or 3, or completed GONE.

First priorities: Grid, Keybinds, and no LUA errors.

In this phase I updated addons, downloaded missing addons, reconfigured Grid to my custom settings due to age of the wtf files, and quickly combed WoWhead's ICC boss list for abilities I needed to add back to Grid for boss debuff monitoring.

Grid was still missing a few abilities I hadn't noted or missed in my visual scan of wowhead as I raided this week, resulting in frantic mid-raid additions to my Grid's debuff auras and a panicy reshuffling of what frame section they appeared on, as I couldn't quite remember which of the GridIndicatorCornerIcons locations I had originally used as "top" and "bottom," and some of the locations result in tiny, hard-to-see icons for some bizarre reasons.

Speaking of, here's my list, though it's missing my ToC debuffs atm:

Center Icon:
Boiling Blood
Death Plague
Dominate Mind
Frenzied Bloodthirst
Frost Blast
Fusion Punch
Gaseous Bloat
Gut Spray
Harvest Soul
Necrotic Plague
Pact of the Dark Fallen
Saronite Vapors
Swarming Shadows
Unbalancing Strike
Unbound Plague
Volatile Ooze Adhesive
Wounding Strike

Top Icon (top right corner left):
Essence of the Blood Queen
Frost Beacon
Gas Spore
Mark of the Fallen Champion
Recently Infected
Sara's Anger
Storm Power
Plague Sickness

Bottom Icon (bottom left corner right):
Gastric Bloat
Iron Roots
Rune of Blood
Sara's Blessing

Yes, I could've broken down and installed the GridRaidDebuffs module... but then I can't split the debuffs up between 3 separate locations, which i find important in cases like Saurfang where a player might get Mark of the Fallen Champion along with Boiling Blood, and then they're taking significantly more damage that I need to heal.

Then I found GridIndicatorSideIcons, and /facepalmed at myself about the whole corners thing.

Beyond that, my keybinds needed to be updated, but fortunately I had quite recently mapped them all out in a handy visual guide. Once again, THANK YOU my bloggy MUSE. Now, I did have to go out and install drivers for my keyboard and mouse, and recreate the custom macros I use for them (in terms of telling the mouse button to push "y" and do it in a way that it doesn't just type "y" into my chat frame, cuz the software is confusing!), but I got it working pretty quick. Thus, the most important raiding aspects of my healer UI: raid frames and keybinds, were fixed.

Second priorities: Power Auras and Cast Bars.

Thank you, dear bloggy muse, for tasking me with posting my Power Auras export strings. It's not all of them, and my poor shaman's are completely gone, but it's at least the big ones that are most important for me as a raider! I even saved my rogue alt's exports.

Quartz just needed some repositioning to allow for the cast bar to not be in the middle of my Grid frames. I also had to edit my settings on texture (I have switched to Melli Dark Rough for most of my bars) and the "interruptable" alerts for target cast, and reposition all of them.

Third priorities: Pitbull and DBM.

Pitbull3 was pretty easy to fix, as I hadn't made any major overhauls to my settings in the past year. I was grateful I hadn't tried to switch to a different addon. I did need to fix their positioning, most notably of my focus frame, since I like having that down where I can quickly see it next to my Grid boxes.

DBM required only a tiny bit more work: aside positioning of the bars, I had switched to a custom skin layout for my timer bars from DamiaUI... but I was prepared for that, and already had given myself instructions on how to add it again. Zing also has a more detailed walkthrough on how to do it, so I was in good hands.

Fourth priorities: the other mods.

Many of the newer (for me) mods useful while raiding needed some setup: SexyCooldown with its personal cooldown bar that I position running vertically up the side of my Grid frames, TargetCharms' positioning on my screen in its preferred place under my chat box, and tweaking TipTac (pictured left) away from its (rather ugly IMO) default settings into a tooltip I'm comfortable using, complete with health/mana bars and guild ranks.

oRA2's mt frames positioning and skin. Omen and Skada's skins. TidyPlates and its module ThreatPlates, with my own settings tweaked to remove the ugly green glow the default settings put on "happy" enemies.

IceHUD's complete configuration, which I had very heavily customized before.

Unfortunately, I had to do these fresh and from memory, as I haven't blogged about these mods before. Something to add to my to-do list?

Fifth priorities: the Gravy.

These are things like adding my list of resurrection macros back into LunarSphere, and re-importing my custom UI art into kgPanels.

ButtonFacade also had a lot of skins to install and add to my Bartender and Buffalo panels. I also needed to install _Cursor and CastDonut... because I really just enjoy those little mods.

I managed to get most of this done while sitting around in Dalaran... and some mid-raid while running back from wipes.

Still to-do:

As a "happy" ending to the story, I have, for the most part, repaired my UI to my liking.

There are still some things that I need to do, though.

RaidCooldowns was also installed, but for some reason, it refused to fire up the /rcd config on command. It's not a mod I actively rely upon in raids, however, and oRA2 emulates it to a limited extent, so it's not a huge priority.

Grid and Power Auras will still be tripping up over the inevitable missing debuffs I forgot to add back in. That'll be an ongoing effort and annoyance for me.

Debuff Filter hasn't gotten much in the way of tweaks the past year for my UI, but I do still need to get into catform and fix its positioning to my preference. I don't use the mod much while healing, but rely on it heavily when feral.

My alts. My poor, poor alts. They still need to be fixed.

The Lesson:

When bringing your UI settings over to a fresh system, make certain that you aren't, for some reason, copying over a set of files that is a year or more old.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Stream: Sindy and Putricide Hardmodes tonight

Hitting Sindy first since we've done it before, then hoping for our guild-first heroic Put kill :) Will likely be a wipefest tonight, fun times!
  • Sindy hard down
  • Festergut hard down
  • Rotface hard down
  • Put in progress, though our camera was rotated out of the raid.
  • Didn't quite get him down last night; morale, RNG, luck, whatever wasn't on our side :( Oh well, we shall try again Sunday!
Gonna work on getting my own stream running for those times our camera-guy is rotated out of the raid.

Join us here at

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Cata 10/25 Difficulty Balance Issues: Addendum

Dinaer at Forever a Noob had an interesting point today about the 10s vs 25s raid difficulty balance for Cataclysm: healer-to-tank ratio and its impact when tank health is made equal. While my initial reaction was "25s don't let all 5-7 healers spam on one tank! Or so I thought?!"... I read back through his post again and did some quick ratio calculations and saw that he did still have a point.

Here're my thoughts on the matter:

Healer/Tank/Raid ratio:
The relative tank/healer/total-raid-size ratio is different for each raid size. Currently, 10s run either a 1/1 per party or 1/1.5 per party ratio (2-3 healers); 25-mans run between a 0.4/1 per party to 0.12/1.4 per party ratio (2-3 tanks, 5-7 healers). Simply put, there are more available healers than tanks per party in a 25-man raid, allowing for more focused tank-healing without that tank's healer having to worry about raid-healing at the same time. To give an example, 2 healers in a 10-man with two tanks each have a tank to heal AND the rest of the raid, while in a 25 they will have the raid-healing job taken over by 3-4 other players, in addition to some extra hots, bubbles, splash-heals, cooldowns, etc. to help with the tank healing from the raid-healers.

Why does this matter? Well, when gear and raid buffs are homogenized in Cataclysm, the tanks should, in most cases, have the same health pool regardless of their raid size. Damage from the boss will have to be balanced with consideration towards how many healers (in terms of HpS) will have their sole attention on the tank... and to some extent, how many raw healers there are in the raid who have tank-saving cooldowns available to help out in emergencies. Otherwise, if it's the same damage to match the same tank stats, then having more healers available to help that tank in the 25-man (or even just having the complete focus of one healer who doesn't have to OT or raid heal as well) will make it seem easier than in the 10-man. Similarly, designing the boss to do more damage in the 25 (to counteract the higher concentration of healers and cooldowns) will make the tank seem squishier than in the 10, and run a higher risk of a tank being one-shot in the 25 when they could've taken the hit in a 10.

There are other ways to counter this, however: the 25 could require more concurrent tanks (be it by adds or damage-sharing links like Lana'thel/Marrowgar), or adds may do more damage in a 25 than in a ten (requiring more attention from the 25-healer and letting the ten-healer do raid heals in conjunction with healing the add tank), or raid damage could be made more avoidable in the ten, freeing up the "raid healing" to allow those healers to focus on their tanks while keeping the raid healers busy in the 25.

It may also be that 3 healers becomes the accepted standard for raid-balance purposes on 10-man fights (as it has leaned more heavily towards in ICC with 10-strict guilds), allowing at least one healer as a "raid healer" who can cross-heal while allowing each tank a more focused healer of their own, and mechanics in 25s could be made to consume the higher number of available cooldowns to balance them out.

It's stuff like this that makes me happy I'm not the developer/designer tweaking these mechanics :)

~~Please read the comments for further discussion on the topic, as many great points have been raised! ~~

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Comic: ICC10 Lich King Phase 2

I know, I know, it's taken a while... forgive me!

Phase 1 here

The irony is the stick-figure-warlock could survive if he had a teleport pad up on the edge there. ;)

Stream: Put Hardmode Work Tonight

7:30-11:30pm EST :) Plans tonight are to wipe horribly and repeatedly on Putricide Hardmode. If you wish to watch our oozy chaos, join us at

  • Festergut Hardmode down
  • Hardmode Putricide in progress. If we don't get him by late in the night, we'll knock him over normal and kick over Lich King for loots.
  • 9:15... 50% attempt :) yay we survived a transition.
  • 9:30... on 15-minute break. sub-40% last attempt, we're getting better.
  • 11:45: unfortunately, ~30-some-thing% was the best we got, and we got sloppier as the night went on from tiredness. Oh wells. Tuesday's a new week!

Warlock PoV :)

If you don't want to watch that, or want something more amusing than watching all the ways we can wipe, then watch this: Reduced Shakespeare Company. Linked is Hamlet part 1, with the awesome ghost.... er er er er WHEEEE!!!