Rockets and Striders

Love Rocket Is A Lie

Wow-64 2016-02-18 06-16-11-22

Last night I did little productive.  I think I am still dealing with the after effects of not sleeping terribly well on Monday night, because I ended up going to bed insanely early.  I did however get Witcher 3 installed on the new laptop, and it runs amazingly well.  The strange thing is…. it almost runs better on the laptop on a mobile video card than it does upstairs on my desktop and a full fledged gtx 960.  That has been the oddest revelation is just how little difference there has been in performance, and in some cases it seems to perform better.  I am guessing that might be due to the difference of the laptop being a 4th gen i7 and my desktop being an FX-6300…. which if that is the case I guess I will be paying the Intel tax on all future systems.  The bulk of my actual game time was switching between my six level 100 characters in World of Warcraft and trying to get the “Love Rocket” mount to drop.  Now granted I have done this for several years at this point without luck, and quite honestly I am not sure why.  Now the Headless Horseman mount is badass… and I can absolutely see why I chase that every single year I am actively playing during the Halloween event.  I would absolutely use the hell out of a flying spectral horse, because it looks amazing.

The Love Rocket on the other hand…. I am largely just chasing because it exists and I don’t have it yet.  Now I have had the Blue and Red rockets from the card game for years, and never end up using either of them…. largely because I don’t like the slight wobble while flying.  So I cannot see how having a giant pink rocket is going to make that effect any better.  That said…  the thrill is in the hunt and even though I have gotten like a dozen pets…  I am still going after the mount every single day.  The best and worst part of the entire experience is when you go to click your Heart-Shaped Box… because for a moment you get a surge of hope… only to have it dashed quickly when you find nothing interesting inside.  I think the worst part of the event are the Love Tokens, because seriously…. could they have just not made these BOA?  There are some really cool things you can purchase with them like heirloom upgrades but by running the dungeon each day during the even you won’t get anywhere near enough to do something with them.  Sure there are a bunch of quests that you can also do…  but they are freaking annoying.  I have my magenta drake from doing the holiday events, and I made a little promise to myself never to touch them again…  well apart from the dungeon encounters.

Water Strider

The other big frustration for the player base right now seems to be the fact that the Water Strider is changing functionality in the latest Legion Alpha build notes.  Original its restrictions were simply limited to “non-battleground areas” but it seems like they are greatly reducing its usefulness by limiting it to only Draenor and Pandaria.  I absolutely get the frustration that players are feeling over this, because Blizzard honestly makes a bunch of bizarre calls.  What I don’t get is why this seems to be the breaking point for some folks, and other even more confusing changes weren’t.  What I have to somehow believe is that this is an additive effect of all of the fiddling that Legion seems to be doing… and that for some they are choosing to draw a line in the sand here.  To those players…  I promise that I understand your frustration.  I am losing an entire spec…  Gladiator will not exist in Legion and I have gone through the whole “seven stages of grief” thing over that.  Being able to be a viable dps with a sword and a shield has always been my ultimate “player fantasy”.  There is just something awesome about smashing mobs in the face with my shield, and a huge part of what kept me glued to Warlords as long as I was… was the ability to live out those dreams.  The side effect of that however is that it was a horribly fiddly spec, that was difficult to itemize for…. and because of that I can absolutely understand why it is going the way of the Dodo.

To the players who are frustrated over this mount…  I hear you… I really do.  There have been many times in the past of this blog where I have railed on Blizzard for their failures.  On March 25th of 2011 I wrote an article chronicling all of the things I saw as failures in the game in my “Is WoW the WoW-Killer?” post.  I read through it yesterday… and it was a lot less ranty than I originally thought it was.  The thing is…  I’ve learned that it is absolutely okay to play other games.  In fact I would say it is pretty damned healthy to shift back and forth between games on a regular basis.  That sort of distance has allowed me to see the parts of the game that really are being done well, and learn to ignore some of the things that just out and out piss me off.  Sure it means that I often disappear from World of Warcraft, and venture into other lands for awhile…  but that distance allows me to blow off the steam and remember when I come back why I liked the game in the first place.  I am not meaning this to be trite or offensive….  but if the Water Strider is your line in the sand…  then really it might be time for you to go explore other games as well.  I am not saying “leave” the game… just go play something else for a bit. The World of Warcraft is a great game, but during these long content doldrums it can also be an extremely frustrating game to be a fan of.  Right now I am actively playing WoW, FFXIV, Destiny, ESO….  and planning on picking up The Division when it comes out… and hoping to return and play some more SWTOR at some point as well.  Playing all of those games has in truth allowed me to more greatly appreciate the quirks and things that each of them do the best…. and to some extent ignore the faults.  The only true statement is that there is no WoW Killer coming…. but instead a bunch of interesting games to explore that have their own rich communities.

Old-Lady Suit

eso 2016-02-11 20-17-56-27

Best Intentions

Wow-64 2016-02-12 06-21-16-22

I had psyched myself up yesterday to go off and do some raiding last night.  Some friends of friends had graciously offered to drag me along with them for the first part of Heroic Hellfire Citadel.  I thought to myself that this was an excellent opportunity, that could lead to gear and maybe even a moose at some point, so even though they raid PST, I figured I would make the good college try.  The problem being my body is still conspiring against me.  This is officially the sickest I have been in years, as we are now going on thirteen days for this crud.  Admittedly my wife had something super similar weeks before we went to PAX and while she got over the bulk of it… almost a month later she still has the constant cough.  The thing that is killing me at the moment is the sore throat, only exacerbated by the constant body shaking coughing fits and drainage.  So by the time the raid was starting around 9:30 my time…. I was already taking NyQuil and planning to slip into bed.  I politely begged off as best I could and if any of them are reading today… I sincerely thank them for the opportunity.  One which I kinda hope will still be available when I am not feeling like shit.

The problem I am in with Belghast is the fact that my item level is artificially low, because there are four pieces of gear that I simply cannot afford to get rid of.  I have the four piece normal Blackrock Foundry set, and every time I try and sim out swapping out of it for higher item level gear… it is a major dps loss.  The problem being that I am playing a special snowflake class that will be going away in Legion.  Gladiator just works strangely, and it feels like Blizzard inadvertently gave use the most perfect class set ever.  The two piece bonus is “Shield Slam has a 8% Chance to Automatically Cast Shield Charge” which is massive, and helps fill in those spots where I could not normally have Shield Charge up for the damage bonuses.  The four piece is essentially “Shield Charge increases the damage of Heroic Strike, Slam, and Revenge by an Additional 20%” which is the single best damage booster that I can get right now.  So I simply cannot abandon this set bonus, and the only real option right now would be to try and find a Mythic Blackrock group so I could get the Mythic four piece set.  Because of the way the Hellfire Dungeon set works… I can also squeeze in the two piece of that set giving me “Bonus Armor Increased by 145” which while not insane… is a decent dps boost since every point of armor translates to 2 attack power for Gladiator spec.  So needless to say I am stuck in a corner where my 686 gear score does not exactly equate to my performance…  but I don’t really have access to the upgrades that would actually help.  I mean as much as I hate to see it go, I totally see why Blizzard is getting rid of this special snowflake spec.  It is extremely hard to itemize for and gear for.

Madness and Cheese

eso 2016-02-11 20-17-56-27

So after getting frustrated that there was very little I could do to improve my lot in life on my Warrior, I ended up logging over into Elder Scrolls Online for some nice and peaceful questing.  I actually managed to catch Solaria on at the same time, and I spent a little bit of time attempting to help her get started in crafting.  The only problem being that during prime time it seems like all of the ore is heavily farmed down.  Since I have the insane “see it from a distance” glow effect, I am wondering about dropping down to Betnikh and helping farm up a bunch of ore for her.  She decided to go with a Heavy Armor Two-Handed Templar…. which was one of my favorite paths from alpha testing.  It feels a little bit like a WoW Retribution Paladin in the burst damage department, and has some really high survival when running around questing.  It also greatly simplifies the crafting, since Blacksmith can literally make everything they would need to use from the weapon to the armor.  The problem there is Blacksmithing honestly seems to be the most useful profession, and as a result ore is always in high demand.  I could in theory just pass over a bunch of bars, but she really needs the skill-ups from refining the bars right now, so I would be better served just going out and farming ore for her.

One of the things I had forgotten about Elder Scrolls Online was just how well written the quests are.  I completed a sequence in Grahtwood where I ended up encountering my favorite of all Daedra… Sheogorath the Prince of Madness.  You never know if he is going to attack you… or offer you cheese…  and then attack you.  What makes this sequence so great is the fact that I have tangled with Sheogorath in the past of this game.  He remembers my interactions and even seems to comment based on my decisions….  in this completely unrelated quest line.  The amount of time that they put into making sure that the dialog trees had little gems like this, is just awesome… and I am still really impressed by them when I find them.  All of the content was designed knowing that your single character might be completing all three factions worth of it.  There is just something warm and fuzzy about playing this game…  and while at one point I was disappointed in it…  I think most of that was really just me trying to make it into something that it was not.  As a largely solo experience the game is exemplary, and honestly I look forward to trying to scramble enough people together to do a dungeon or two and see if that experience improved as well.  Cheese for everyone!





A Gladiator in Hellfire

Wow-64 2015-12-02 23-14-25-23

Change of Plans

Yesterday when I got up in the morning, I had every plan of coming home after work, hoping that what I was making in the crock pot was actually edible, and then sitting down to an evening of Fallout 4.  I do after all need to finish up the main story line, so that we can properly talk about it for Saturday’s podcast where we in theory review it.  Then I saw the above tweet come across my timeline.  Now I have known Jed for ages, but never really had much of a chance to hang out with him in game.  I can’t be for certain, but I believe our connection dates back to the Blog Azeroth community, and the subsequent IRC channel associated with it.  While he hasn’t really blogged all that often in recent years, I still think of him… mostly as one of the many bloggers making up my twitter feed.  Now we zoom ahead to the above twitter message, and it scrolling across my screen.  Friendship Moose is this awesome thing that was started more or less on accident from what I understand by Thomicks.  The idea was to have a community for running Heroic Hellfire Citadel for the purpose of getting people the moose mount prior to the launch of Legion.

Now I am not technically on any of the lists, but my hope was that if I got one of my characters geared I could maybe just maybe work my way into a raid at some point.  I like the concept of getting that mount, but I am not going to be super disappointed if it doesn’t happen.  Nonetheless when I saw someone that I kinda sorta know, doing an open call on Twitter for folks to join in on an Alliance side cross realm raid for the purpose of getting in training…  yeah I was down with doing that.  Also traditionally Wednesday nights are an excellent time for me to do anything raid related, since until 8 or 9 at night I am pretty much at home alone until my wife gets out of church.  So I signed up, made some flasks and armor potions… and was ready to go.  I was idling outside of HFC when the invites came through…  at which point I was straight up ganked by some hordies while waiting.  I guess it turns out that the folks leading the raid… are on a PVP server, so that was a bit of weird sequence of events since I am pretty much a dedicated carebear who has always played on not even PVE servers… but Roleplaying Servers.

More Fun Raiding

Wow-64 2015-12-02 20-13-49-80

There was a period of time when as one of the leaders of NSR and eventually Duranub… I used to farm my alts out to other peoples raids to help them when they were running short a person.  One of my great pleasures was seeing how the dynamics of these different raid groups worked, and what their cultural norms were.  I am not completely certain if this was a regular group of people, or a group thrown together specifically for the purpose of Moose practice, but whatever the case it was an enjoyable group to hang out with for the evening.  Since I have been mostly playing my MooCowAdin, it was a bit of an adjustment to get back into playing the very APM based Gladiator spec.  The Retadin feels like it has some breathing room in your attack sequence to chill a bit, whereas as a Gladiator it feels like there is always some button I desperately need to be pushing.  As much as I dislike the fact that I know the Gladiator spec is going away during Legion… I can absolutely understand why.  It is a quirky spec, with quirky gearing requirements… and that requires spastic button mashing to really make work well.  While we were actively raiding last, I made the conscious choice to uninstall recount because watching the meters actually made me play worse.  So I have no clue how I did, but last night Jed said he was going to upload the logs at some point today.

Wow-64 2015-12-02 20-23-14-87

We made it roughly as far as we managed to make it in the Facepull raid horde side on Sunday.  We had a bunch of issues with Kilrogg, and that fight is significantly more technical than I realized.  During the Facepull run I pretty much just killed adds constantly, stayed out of the poo… and made sure the poo didn’t drop in the raid.  Past that I had no deeper understand of the mechanics, and this time around I actually got to play one of the technical roles of the fight.  Namely there is a phase where three players have to run into these portals and get transported into another realm… where they attempt to deal as much damage as possible to wave after wave of adds.  When they come out they have a large dps buff, and can make stuff dead faster.  I ended up in the third wave of folks going into the portals, and this is something that I absolutely took for granted that folks must have just been handling on Sunday night.  After several tries we defeated Kilrogg, and man when we did it was satisfying.  We hit essentially the same stumbling block that we did Sunday as well… with the Gorefiend encounter, but I am thankful I am getting quite a bit more work in on learning that fight.  The problem with the last fight of the evening always seems to be the same… whatever you raid before you stop, is the point that people are starting to lose focus, and over the course of the evening we had also lost a handful of people.  The problem with raid scaling is trying to keep that appropriate mix of healers and dps… and just like Facepull it felt like we were short one healer from making it feel stable.

Transmog as Endgame

Wow-64 2015-12-02 23-14-25-23

All in all I had a pretty great night, and the timing of the raid was just about perfect for me.  It started around 7pm CST and ended around 10pm CST… which is just about the ideal parameters for me.  If a raid goes much longer than that, I am honestly going to start fading horribly.  It sounds like this is a weekly thing, so I am probably going to offer my services more often… that is if Jed will have me.  Overall I had a pretty shitty night as far as loot went… I spent a lot of tokens and don’t have much to show for it.  The thing I am in most desperate need of is a new weapon… but unfortunately while we did Heroic Blackrock bosses, I never got any of them to drop me an upgrade so I am sitting on using Taner’s Terrible Skinner the 670 version.  It is my hope at some point this weekend to pop into LFR and focus on trying to get one of those bosses to drop me a weapon and shield upgrade, since both are severely lacking at this point.  I did manage to pick up Warforged Shell-Resistant Stompers and a decent ring… that doesn’t actually sim out to being better than the slightly lower ilvl prismatic slotted ring I was already using.

So babysteps forward in catching up my gear level I guess…  I am still largely sitting at 680 with the ability to jump up to 685 if I really needed to.  However because of the quirks of Gladiator… and how important the Blackrock Foundry four piece set bonus is for that spec…  I will likely be running several ilevels lower than I could be at all points.  This is the point where I actually wish we had managed to raid Heroic Blackrock a bit more…  so that maybe I could have gotten slightly higher ilevel versions of the set gear.  This is the problem with set loot… because if you happen to get one of the few amazing bonuses… you simply cannot upgrade out of it without taking a significant hit somewhere.  I remember that was the problem with Hunter Tier 2 loot back in the day…  that eight piece bonus was so phenomenally good… that even though we were getting Tier 2.5 gear… there was no way we could actually take it and make it viable.  I know my friend Thalen would argue with that point, because he wore a lot of 2.5 back in the day…  but it certainly felt like it at the time.  In any case…  I just hope I was still acceptable dps, because I had a fun time last night.  No matter how much I try and push raiding out of my system… it remains there clinging desperately… just waiting on me to come back to it.

Since I just rambled on for two paragraphs without talking about what I set out to talk about…  after the raid I popped into 25 man Heroic Icecrown to clear it.  Now that I am writing this… I am realizing that apparently I left after Sindragosa so at some point I will have to actually go finish up and do the Lich King.  I guess in my head… I got the item I was hoping to get so it was a successful run for me.  For awhile now I have been collecting the bits of the Red/Fel Green set of Deathknight look alike armor out of there for my warrior.  When mixed with the similarly colored set of armor from Sunwell, it crafts a transmog that I am pretty happy running around in.  I guess this is my nod to all of the fel themed stuff in the tail end of this expansion… and the next one.  Transmogging after all is the TRUE end game of World of Warcraft.  So I ended the night on a really high note by completing an outfit.

Class Previews

Media Consumption Hiatus

I always wondered which of my features I would break down and not do first.  I have a pretty bad habit of launching a series but only quitting doing it…  a month or so later.  I like the concept of a day like Media Consumption… but the truth is there are some weeks I don’t really consume much media.  This week for example I consumed a lot of Fallout 4 related stuff… because that is pretty much all I have been playing.  The problem is…  any videos I watched on how to get the most out of electricity or general base building theory…  aren’t really all that interesting to talk about.  Nor do I feel really compelled to talk about iZombie that we finally caught up with… or last weeks Walking Dead.  Literally two episodes of iZombie and a single episode of Walking Dead is pretty much all of the television I consumed this week.  So for this week I am cancelling this column, with the option to revive it as soon as I have movies, television or other media worth talking about.

Farwell to Gladiator

Wow-64 2015-06-11 21-14-01-64

This week the previews for the class changes in Legion came out… and for the most part there are two classes that I was really interested in… the Warrior and the Death Knight.  Two big things changed in Warlords that caused me to switch priorities a bit… firstly they made Death Knights feel like shit by making pestilence be part of the ability rotation… giving them a caster feel.  Secondly they gave me Gladiator stance… which pretty much was the thing I always wanted to do as a warrior…  be able to DPS with a sword and shield.  As a result I took Belghast my protection warrior off mothballs… and has quite a bit of fun raiding as Gladiator dps for at least part of the expansion.  Warlords however just didn’t have enough oomph to keep me going… even though I was playing the best possible player fantasy for me.  I guess part of me knew that it simply could not last past this expansion.  I watched as Blizzard developers struggled to figure out how to itemize tanking gear… but not making it insanely overpowering for Gladiators.  Part of this came from the fact that armor was simply a better dps itemization stat than strength.  I gained 1.5 attack power for each point of armor… whereas I gained 1 from strength.  So that mean’t for dpsing… I stacked Armor potions rather than Strength potions and did other fiddly things… like looking for +armor gear with crit on it.

It seems as thought my fears have come true and as they talked about the Warrior class changes I saw zero mention of Gladiator spec.  Even though I knew deep down in my heart that this was coming… it still feels a bit like a sucker punch to the gut.  I liked being able to play Belghast again and enjoy doing so… the problem being… that I still didn’t really feel like DPS.  My heart has never been in the DPS rotation… and as a player when it comes to DPS…  I don’t want to be last place on the meters, but I have zero burning desire to be first place either.  I feel like I am lacking the competitive nature needed to really excel at damage dealing.  Tanking however…  my deep protective streak over my friends always kicks in and I fight my ass off to hold aggro, or stay alive during this attack or that.  Basically tanking feeds off of my instincts in a way that damage dealing never has.  So while I hate the thought of not being able to deal silly amounts of damage as gladiator… and have relatively high survival…  I am totally see why they are getting rid of it for exactly that reason.  Regardless of the fight, I was almost always the last one standing because I had cool-downs a plenty to keep me alive during big problems.  There were numerous times where I could temporarily tank while we resurrected a tank, which tells me… Gladiator was just too strong.

Welcome Back Blood

Wow-64 2013-12-26 17-56-48-25

During the Crusaders Coliseum patch cycle in Wrath of the Lich King… I ended up switching mains from the Warrior to the Death Knight in theory… to give up tanking and do damage instead.  This didn’t actually work like I planned, and instead of DPSing I quickly found myself pressed into the role of Blood tanking.  This was fine by me because from the start of playing a Death Knight I had always been drawn to the high survival nature of blood.  As that turned into the official “tanking” stance I adapted quickly and came to love the class and the spec.  Through Cataclysm and Pandaria I was all about the Death Knight and it was always the first character I would level.  In fact until Pandaria my Warrior sat at level 80… and relatively untouched since I crated him up towards the end of Wrath.  When we were able to become Worgen, I race changed from human… and I felt like I was completely happy and set to be playing that class for the rest of my time in World of Warcraft.

Then Warlords came and made the class just “feel” wrong.  I have talked about this before… but it is more important how something feels to me rather than how numerically it works out.  Death Knights no longer “felt” tanky or even melee in general… but the constant pestilence and death coil usage made it “feel” like a caster… the absolute last thing I would want to play.  With the class changes it at least seems like they understand this problem… and with it is a return to mostly melee abilities for at least the Blood Death Knight.  So while I am losing Gladiator… it seems like I might be gaining back the Death Knight class as a whole?  Admittedly a lot of what harmed my enjoyment of Warlords beta… was how bad the Death Knight felt to play.  My hope is that at some point early in the beta cycle I can get my hands on some play time… and get clarification if this fixes the class.  I am getting more interested in Legion as a whole… but this is going to be absolutely crucial to my enjoyment.  I need my Death Knight back to have fun again.



Gearing for Heroics

Stutter Gone

DragonAgeInquisition 2014-11-20 19-07-40-672 So as you know over the last several days I have been struggling with Dragon Age Inquisition.  When I initially booted up the game the stuttering was so jarring that it would sound like a record skipping and freeze movement for a fraction of a section… just enough to bring you out of the  game entirely mentally.  Nvidia released and updated driver and this helped the stutter but it was still there, and still just as frustrating to try and play the game with.  Since then I have tried what felt like every possible combination of settings, none of which removing the problem.  That is except for one apparently.  Last night I finally landed on the solution to the problem and the stutter is gone.  For some reason my machine prefers to run games in windowed borderless, this has always been the answer to a performance boost.  I thought I had tried this initially but apparently not… because the moment I shifted things into windowed borderless the hitching went completely away.

DragonAgeInquisition 2014-11-20 19-00-34-952 Now I feel like I can finally play the game in peace and actually experience it.  Unfortunately last night I just was not in the mood for this sort of game and moved on to working on gearing my warrior in World of Warcraft.  That said with the stutter gone the game is a much more enjoyable experience.  There are times the game is absolutely beautiful to behold… I still feel like I need to spend some time tweaking the settings because I had fiddled with almost everything trying to get the game to function…  and now I have a few strange choices picked here and there.  The interface feels a bit cludgy for melee, so it is going to be one of the things that I have to get used to as I play the game.  So far I am not a huge fan of my companions, and even Varrack a character I really enjoyed in Dragon Age 2 is getting on my nerves.  I think maybe I just need to put this game aside and let the frustration from the back and forth with settings fade before I attempt to play it again.

Gearing for Heroics

Wow-64 2014-11-21 06-29-01-629 Last night I had two goals… one of which fell by the wayside.  I figured there was no real point in attempting the silver proving again until I actually had the gear level to matter.  So as a result I crawled through the wowhead item listings and made an effort to complete every single quest in Nagrand that had even the slimmest chance of dropping something that would improve my ilevel.  Additionally I poured the rare spawn and treasure drops to find anything that might give me a little boost.  I also spent some time pouring over the auction house, which was as I would expect completely insanely overpriced for what was actually available.  After hours of painstakingly trying to incrementally improve my gear score I was sitting at 609.  One stinking point away from heroics.

Wow-64 2014-11-20 23-17-57-827My friend Damai asked me to do a weapon enchant for him, we ended up partied as he started pulling together a group to try and help Rylacus get some gear.  A bit later I found myself tanking Skyreach since that had the lowest ilevel requirements, and the only one we were able to queue with Ry.  It turns out there are two quartermasters in the Ashran Town Hall, each of which sell 615 trinkets, and both of which bumped me up just enough to get over the 610 heroic gear requirement.  Running Skyreach however also allowed me to start my Legendary ring quest chain, rewarding me a 640 ilevel tanky ring that was almost twice as good as my previous best item.  Now it is just down to me getting through my silver proving, so that I can be ready to tank heroics for the guild.  I don’t have a lot of fear because I made it through seven of eight rounds last time, and it was really only because I got tunnel vision and stopped paying attention to my own health that I actually failed the first time.  I have gotten quite a bit more gear since that point… so hopefully tonight I can knock that out first thing.

WoW Anniversary

Wow-64 2014-11-21 06-38-34-619 This morning the WoW Anniversary content officially began, but if I am remembering correctly… the actual launch date was November 23rd.  I remember being frustrated that it was right before the Thanksgiving Holiday… which would mean I would be tied up with family and such.  A decade ago I had so many houses to visit on thanksgiving that it lent itself to being a a crazy all day occasion.  We would start early in the morning and travel throughout the day, and then repeating the process to a lesser extent on Saturday.  Its funny how things change in a decade, because now we only have a single house to go to, as everything is happening around the noon meal.  When I logged in this morning I had a Molten Corgi pet waiting on me in my mailbox.  I find it odd how Corgis have become such a video gaming mascot.  The game Rift has at least half a dozen different Corgi pets in game for example.

The primary reason why I have been pushing to gear up so quickly… is that this coming Tuesday we are planning to run the Molten Core LFR as a guild, or as close to “as a guild” as we can realistically get for a 40 man.  The LFR itself will have an ilevel requirement of 615 and completing the event will reward you a helm appropriate for your main spec so for plate it would be something resembling this one.  Completing the event also earns you a Core Hound mount, which looks really cool.  Then there are a few items that have a chance of dropping like a doodad that embues any weapon with the Flames of Ragnaros effect… at least cosmetically.  I guess with this expansion they have made it so you can transmog over enchantment effects, which is cool because some enchants look way better than others.  Basically I want to be  able to participate in all of the Reindeer games… and Damai was gracious enough to move it to Tuesday after telling him that Monday was the FFXIV raid night.

Gladiator’s Resolve

This is absolutely the hardest part of any blog post this month, is to come up with something new that I have not already talked about on the preceding 20 days.  As we near the end of the month I am pretty much going to be grasping at straws here, but I feel committed to carry out the experiment.  Since this morning I am talking about World of Warcraft, I want to say how happy I am to have the Gladiator’s Resolve talent.  Essentially for those who do not know what it does… it replaces battle stance for protection warriors, giving them a brand new gladiator stance.  When in that stance you lose the innate  survival and threat generation benefits of defensive stance… but gain a 20% damage increase.  Essentially this makes you sword and board dps, and from what I have seen in my own tests I deal a TON of damage.

This is essentially what I have wanted the entire time I have played MMOs… to be able to effectively dps while using a sword and shield.  I like the iconic look of the sword and board warrior, and while two handers are cool… they never really fit my personal style.  I used to get frustrated that games would always make shields being entirely about defense… when in real life shields have always been extremely effective weapons.  Now that I have this option…  I actually want to try pvp in Ashran.  In the past warrior pvp for me at least felt impotent, because I couldn’t be the badass heavily armored tank that I was in the dungeons.  This one talent I think changes that.  I am still extremely sturdy, and still have access to all of my protection trickery…  but this time around I can simply deal some damage with my shield as well as my sword.  So this morning I am thankful for someone finally giving me this talent, it makes me extremely happy.