Sending Senpai Supplications


Aka “Why it’s not okay to keep sending directly to community experts about stuff”

One of those prices of “e-fame” and/or being known as an expert is that people tend to come to you to ask questions about things in your wheelhouse (and sometimes outside it). This is a short conversation point about why it’s better to exhaust other options first, like reviewing previously written information/guides or asking other players on chat/forums.

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Community Info: Issues & Moving Forward


Please note this was originally intended to be posted early January as a collaboration between Callimonk and myself, but due to a bunch of different reasons it’s been delayed until now. Calli will post her parts on her own blog soon

In December last year there were two posts by Zooper on Blizzardwatch regarding what is commonly referred to as “Cookie Cutter” builds about how there is generally a single accepted talent build, and player attitudes based around this knowledge. These posts are a small part of what our posts will be addressing, but also somewhat of a starting point for the rest of our points as well.

It’s worth pointing out that there are some generalizations made in Zoopers posts, partially around how large the “problem” of binary answers in guides actually are. In a quick survey of 6 Fury Warrior guides 3 did show a binary answer (MMOC, Noxxic and Wowhead) while the Icy Veins & WoW Forum guides explained that rage capping was an issue behind Furious Strikes, and lastly Methods guide indicated that Furious Strikes is “slightly weaker” than Sudden Death. This means 50% of guides had a binary or non-explanatory answer, which could be reduced to 33% if you consider the fact that the Wowhead guides are intended to be for beginners.

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Niche Design is for the Birds


One of the design approaches we’ve seen over the years in WoW is the “niche design” approach, where each class or spec has a specific thing that they’re good at. This applies to all roles, so that some healers may be better at tank healing than raid healing, some tanks may be better at quick movement, but the biggest area is how this is applied to DPS specs. Read more of this post

On “Cookie Cutters”


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No, not those cookie cutters, although Ninja Bread Men are cool. “Cookie cutter” refers to a popular/predefined selection of options, or in WoW it refers to an “ideal” set of talents. There’s been some recent discussion about whether these are good, and whether players are too hard/hostile towards individuals who vary from the perceived idea.

There’s two parts to this problem, and I don’t think the problem lies with guide writers like myself. Read more of this post

My 6.2 Elemental Weak Auras


Yes, I know I’ve been a bit slack lately with this, but I have my Weak Auras mostly finished. There are a few tweaks I want to make, but they can wait. One word of warning for non-English users: everything uses spell names rather than spell IDs at this stage. If I get some time I’ll try converting it over to IDs where possible.

Important! There is now a flashy lightning “animation” over the center bar. This is the extra ES 20 warning, and is two copies of a custom texture extracted from the game & fixed up by Steven Eson. You need to download this and put it into a ICONS folder in your World of Warcraft\Interface directory (eg: G:\World of Warcraft\Interface\ICONS).

For a video preview/explanation of the auras, I now have a handy video for it

To the left & right are my standard Lava Burst auras, and in the middle are some reminders for Lightning Shield, Searing Totem, and Augment Rune.

The fun stuff is the section at the bottom. Starting on the left we have a Flame Shock icon. This will show when Flame Shock is on the target, with a green border when under 9 seconds remaining (if you have Core of the Primal Elements I’d recommend changing this to your FS duration * 0.3) and now with new functionality the Unleash Flame or Elemental Fusion icons will show if one or both were used on the current Flame Shock cast, thanks to LUA work from Pawkets. It won’t show if you have 1 or 2 Fusion charges applied, but it’ll be a good indicator of when you can refresh early.

The icon under Flame Shock on the left is Earthquake, and will show either the Echo charge refresh or the cooldown, along with Enhanced Chain Lightning as the border glow effect (ie: it’s buffed & instant cast).

The central bar that goes blue -> yellow -> green -> red is my Lightning Shield tracker. Green is the ideal cast range, as is yellow if you have T17 4pc otherwise it’s the “get ready” area. Red indicates you’re capped out, and I’ve added a lightning bar behind it for this as well to make it more apparent (if I can trim the bars at each end of the texture I’ll put a better version of this in). Lastly, the background shows the shock cooldown as a red bar.

On the right we have a Lava Burst cooldown timer, with the Ascendance timer underneath it. The outer right icons are a Fire Totem tracker (the question mark) and a Fire Elemental tracker. The Legendary Ring tracker is to the left of Ascendance (and glows when it’s up). The icons in the middle from left to right are: Astral Shift/Stone Bulwark Totem, Shamanistic Rage, L100 tracker (Storm Elemental, Liquid Magma, Elemental Fusion charges), Unleash Flame, L60 tracker (Elemental Mastery & Ancestral Swiftness) & Spiritwalker’s Grace.

As an added bonus there is now a “mini totem tracker” which dynamically displays cooldowns for all those other totems you have. Includes: Capacitor, Earthbind/Earthgrab, Grounding, Healing Stream, Tremor, Windwalk.

Lava Burst
Reminders
Primary Cooldowns
Talents
Lightning Shield & Earth Shock
Totem Group

Why so many links? Turns out loading many hundreds of Kb of WA strings disconnects some people, so I have to split some of the groups up.

Stand By For Stuff And Other Things


Ok, I’ve decided to resurrect this as my online Wall-of-Text posting thing. Content will eventually happen, and cover various games which I’m playing and feel like writing about, which will include World of Warcraft (mostly Warlords math and possibly Alpha content if I’m lucky enough to get in), Diablo 3, Heroes of the Storm (Yes, I’m in the Alpha for this) and whatever else I end up playing, which may include things like Wolfenstein: The New Order & Civilization 5.

One question for readers though: Should I put a donation/fundraising plugin thingie whatsit into my blog? I’ve seen various streamer/video types doing it (or having ad content), but since I’m a more infrequent text content producer I’m not sure of the pros/cons/etc, but it wouldn’t be for “extra access” or whatever, more just “Hey, I like that stuff that you do, have a few $$ as a thank you” type thing. Something like FundRazr is what I’m thinking, although if someone has an alternate suggestion that would be cool (or I just make a post with my Paypal details in it).

Oh, and yes, I’m working on a WoD 6.0 Ele spreadsheet for modelling/testing stuff. I don’t expect it will last past the release of WoD as things are much to variable to model accurately, but it’ll be useful as the Alpha/Beta goes on.

Handy Dandy Google Docs for 4.3


Being a spreadsheet guy, I build sheets for tracking stuff. For the last two expansions I’ve made a Jewelcrafter organisation sheet, so people can see who has what cut (at least, in the early days where cuts are limited). Early in 4.2 I also made a Legendary Progress sheet as well, if only to avoid the constant “how many cinders do you have?” questions.

I’ve made “blank” copies of each, for interested people to copy & use.

Legendary Progress

Jewelcrafting Cuts