Oct 062012

(xposted on TFD and WoM)

Warning: Real life trauma ahead. This is not a happy post.

So, in my last post, I mentioned my wife was in the hospital. Well, things got worse.

Originally (last Monday), she was in for a routine intestinal hernia repair. No big deal, everything was great; hell, I brought my laptop in to her room, tethered it to my phone, and got the Realm First mining achievement Tuesday, plus a bunch of monk time. She was feeling great, so they discharged her and we came home.

Well, either during the surgery or sometime following (I’d say around Friday), she suffered an intestinal perforation. Unfortunately, I attributed her lethargy and fever to post-surgical blahs, and didn’t catch on that something else was going on until Tuesday of this week, when she spiked a 102+ fever. I brought her in to the ER, thinking she just needed some antibiotics or something; she was immediately admitted and sent off to emergency surgery. The intestinal perforation had caused contents to leak into the bloodstream, which caused her body to go into sepsis (infection of the blood) and then septic shock.

It’s now five days later. Things were very close for a few days; she’s had three surgeries since Tuesday to find the perforation, repair it, and attempt to fully clean the abdominal cavity of the infection. At this point, she’ll be okay, but she’s likely to be in the ICU for multiple weeks and the hospital for longer. She was airlifted to the Army medical center in San Antonio, so I’ll be living out of the San Antonio Fisher House for a while. I’d like to get back to playing and writing about WoW, so you’ll start seeing some more material here in a few days. (It’s either that, or sit here, stare at the wall, and mentally kick myself for not getting her to the hospital sooner.)

I’ve got about 200 emails/messages to get through, so if you’ve asked me a question, I will get to you, just give me some time. I’m finding it difficult to string higher-level thoughts together at the moment.

Chase (Alaron)

 Posted by at 4:40 pm
Aug 312012

Just a quick C/P from the blue thread so I can find it again when I go looking in a month. :) I’ll try to add other proc rates in here when I find/confirm them. I also went back and updated the table of combat ratings, since apparently it’s the highest search result on Google.

Weapon Enchant Proc Rates:

  • Lord Blastington’s Scope of Doom – 1 PPM, no ICD.
  • River’s Song: 2PPM on melee attacks that land, or are dodged, or parried.
  • Dancing Steel: 1PPM on melee attacks that land.
  • Colossus: 3PPM on melee attacks that land, or are dodged, or parried, with a 3-second cooldown.
  • Elemental Force: 5PPM on melee damage, or non-periodic spell damage/healing, with a 0.1-second cooldown.
  • Jade Spirit: 10% chance on spell damage or healing, 50-second cooldown.
  • Windsong: 1PPM on melee damage, or non-periodic spell damage/healing, with a 1-second cooldown.
Trinket Proc Rates:

— Vision of the Predator – 15% chance on direct/periodic spell damage dealt, 105 sec ICD.
— Carbonic Carbuncle – 15% chance on direct white/melee/ranged/harmful-spell landing, 105 sec ICD.
— Windswept Pages – 15% chance on direct white/melee/ranged/harmful-spell landing, 65 sec ICD.
— Searing Words – 45% chance on direct white/melee/ranged/harmful-spell crit, 85 sec ICD.
— Light of the Cosmos – 15% chance on periodic damage, 45 sec ICD.
— Essence of Terror – 15% chance on harmful spell landing, 105 sec ICD.
— Terror in the Mists – 15% chance on direct white/melee/ranged/harmful-spell landing, 105 sec ICD.
— Darkmist Vortex – 15% chance on direct white/melee/harmful-spell landing, 105 sec ICD.
— Relic of Yulon – 20% chance on direct/periodic spell damage, 50 sec ICD.
— Relic of Xuen (STR) – 20% chance on white/yellow melee landing, 45 sec ICD.
— Relic of Xuen (AGI) – 20% chance on white/yellow/ranged crit, 55 sec ICD.
— Bottle of Infinite Stars – 15% chance on direct white/melee/ranged/harmful-spell landing, 45 sec ICD.
— Vial of Dragon’s Blood – 15% chance on direct white/melee/ranged/harmful-spell landing, 45 sec ICD.
— Lei Shin’s Final Orders – 15% chance on direct white/melee/ranged/harmful-spell landing, 45 sec ICD.
— Qin-xi’s Polarizing Seal – 15% chance on direct/periodic spell heal, 45 sec ICD.
— Spirits of the Sun – 15% chance on direct/periodic spell heal, 105 sec ICD.


— Killing Machine – 6 PPM on white melee landing, no ICD.
— Sudden Doom – 3 PPM on white melee landing, no ICD.
— Fangs of the Father
—- Assassination: 23.139% chance on white/yellow melee landing, no ICD.
—- Combat: 9.438% chance on white/yellow melee landing, no ICD.
—- Subtlety: 28.223% chance on white/yellow melee landing, no ICD.
—- These chances are multiplied by 0.9 for lvl 89 targets, 0.8 for lvl 90 targets, 0.7 for lvl 91 targets, 0.6 for lvl 92 targets, and 0.5 for lvl 93+ targets.
—- After adding a stack, if you have >30 stacks, you have a [1/(51-stacks)] chance to proc the Fury buff.

 Posted by at 6:44 pm
Aug 192012

Hey druid fans, as many of you know, I’m also writing WoW Insider’s monk content, so I’m composing  guides for both classes. As it happens, I finished up the windwalker guide first, so go check it out and let me know what you think! I’ve excerpted the beginning below.


Windwalker monks are a melee DPS class that was newly added to the game for the Mists of Pandaria expansion. Any race, except Worgen and Goblin, can be a monk. (All my pictures are pandaren because, well, that’s all the art at the moment.) Like all monks, they have two resources that must be managed; energy and chi.

Energy regenerates at a constant rate (10/sec), and is used to power several abilities. Windwalkers have a 100-point energy pool. Energy regeneration does scale with haste, and can also be temporarily buffed by Energizing Brew.

In contrast, chi is a static 4-point pool, similar to a paladin’s holy power, that decays when out of combat. To build chi, a windwalker monk will typically use a “chi builder,”  such as Jab, which hits for very little but generates chi. The windwalker monk’s hardest-hitting abilities, or “chi consumers,” use that chi to generate the bulk of the windwalker’s damage. The key difference between chi and other secondary resource systems (such as holy power or combo points) is that all chi consuming abilities have a fixed cost and damage, compared to the others where damage/effect scales based on the amount of secondary resource currently banked.

What does that mean? Well, it opens up your flexibility quite a bit. Rogues, for example, pretty much never use a finisher unless they’re at maximum combo points, because of the way it scales. In contrast, windwalkers have the flexibility to alternate chi builders and consumers for steady damage, or use multiple builders to store chi, and then multiple consumers for extra damage during a burst period.

Every fight against non-trivial enemies will require careful management of both resources. The two primary mistakes you want to avoid are chi dumping and energy capping. Chi dumping is using a chi builder when you are already at full chi (thereby wasting time and energy) whereas energy capping is allowing your energy meter to fill to 100, which causes your energy regeneration to stop. As you get used to the spec, you’ll learn how to weave chi builders and chi consumers together to keep a constant flow going.

Primary Abilities

These are the abilities you’re going to use most often, so know them, love them, hotkey them.

Ability Icon Discussion
Jab 40 energy, no CD. Basic attack. Increases chi by 1 baseline, increased to 2 via Stance of the Fierce Tiger. Can proc a free Tiger Palm/Blackout Kick via the Windwalker’s Mastery, Combo Breaker. Primary chi builder for single-target.
Rising Sun Kick 2 chi, 8s CD. Heavy damage to current target and causes all targets within 8 yds to take 10% additional damage (from the Monk) for 15 sec. Use this on cooldown.
Fists of Fury 3 chi, 25s CD. Unlike the other instant abilities, this is a 4 sec channel that hits 5 times for significant damage. It also stuns enemies during the channel. Downsides: expensive, it’s channeled (can be interrupted, no autoattack during the channel) and it splits damage among targets hit, which makes it not very good for AoE unless the stun works.
Blackout Kick 2 chi, no CD. Hits for good damage, and adds a DoT for 20% of the damage if attacking from behind, or a self-heal for 20% if attacking from the front (Combat Conditioning). Occasionally usable for free due to Combo Breaker.
Tiger Palm 1 chi, no CD. Moderate damage; adds a 10% armor debuff for your damage to the target. The debuff stacks 3x, so 30% armor reduction. (10% armor reduction = 3-4% more damage, roughly.) Occasionally usable for free due to Combo Breaker.
Spinning Crane Kick 40 energy, no CD, generates 1 chi if it hits three or more enemies. Channeled 3 sec AoE that hits 4 times. Primary chi builder for AoE.
Energizing Brew 60s CD. A energy regen cooldown, very similar to a feral druid’s Tiger’s Fury except slower. Like TF, you’ll want to use this as soon as it comes off cooldown and the extra energy isn’t wasted.
Tigereye Brew  This is your “click me for more damage” button. It doesn’t have an actual cooldown, but you’ll want to use it at 10 stacks to maximize the effect, so roughly every 75s-90s, or more if you have to stop attacking a lot.
Zen Sphere Your Level 30 talent. At the moment, things are fluctuating as to whether this (or the other L30 talents) will be used in the rotation, or just for self-healing purposes. More on this in the Talent section.
Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger Your Level 90 talent. The other options appear to be more AoE focused, so we’ll rely on Xuen for the time being.

That’s it! Master those 10, and you’ll be 95% of the way there for single-target DPS situations.

Reminder: Hit this page for the full guide.

 Posted by at 8:22 pm
Jul 202012


So, the Twisted Nether Blogcast has this thing where they interview WoW bloggers, and it’s my turn. :) Come hear me wax lyrical, or at least grumble a bit, this Sunday at 11pm ET.

Maybe I’ll actually write a blog post between now and then and be considered a blogger still! Yay! (I blame Blizzard for not making more interesting druid changes. Seriously. It has nothing to do with the coincidental Steam sale that I most definitely have not bought ten games from.)

 Posted by at 2:56 pm
Jun 262012

So, I was going to cover the new posts in the Class Balance Analysis Thread (henceforth abbreviated as the CBAT, because bats are awesome, even those who were mediocre in school) but I’ve had quite a bit to do at work and other people have written it up better already. Link post? Link post.

  • Go see Sunfyre for info on the revamp to the balance rotation (stronger, more frequent Starsurge and a maintenance buff to keep up) Graylo will probably also have something bloggish to say about it soon, I’d wager.
  • Arielle over at TIB had two Guardian roundup posts (one/two) Really liking the part about how Rebirth’s CD might be reset on a wipe, and bearcats were “not” OP. Um, right. I disagree with GC here. I’m cool with “world firsts have to resort to unusual strategies” but bearcatting wasn’t unusual, it was fairly customary to my knowledge.
  • Reygahnci throws out some numbers as to why Incarnation really is that terrible currently, and why Wild Charge really is that OP.
  • Oh, right, and I summed up what I saw as the current issues for balance and feral (in the beta) on WoW Insider.


 Posted by at 11:10 pm
Apr 242012

I spent a few hours playing the TERA open beta over the weekend, and here’s some quick thoughts. (I’ll start doing these every so often, especially when there’s no druid news to talk about.)


The gameplay is quite good. Initially, things are confusing as heck (you start at lvl 20, play a short tutorial, then go to lvl 1…none of which is really explained at all) but the whole action-combat style works well. Very similar to a multiplayer version of Kingdom of Amalur, though like KoA, it really works better for melee classes than ranged classes. Having to move + dodge frequently because you’re right up on enemies = fun; stand and nuke = not as fun.

Questing isn’t any better or worse than any normal MMO…nothing to see here, really, and the storyline is also quite forgettable. Leveling is quite fast, and you do want to level quickly, as the AI of the early mobs is simply terrible (thankfully, they get smarter.) I didn’t try any of the crafting or PvP, so I can’t speak to that, but all the buttons were there.

Remember how I said leveling was fast? Several people were already at level cap, and complaining about how there was nothing to do. (If you preorder the game, one character per server will not be deleted when the open beta closes. Interesting incentive.)


The UI is good for a MMO game. All the elements can be moved around the screen by default, though I couldn’t immediately see a way to minimize/close them. This annoyed me, as one of the UI elements was showing how my spells were mapped to my controller, even though I was playing with mouse/keyboard. There’s a rudimentary combat log, but no mod support, so good luck with doing any kind of comprehensive analysis. (Yes, WoW has spoiled me on this. The question about whether that’s a good or bad thing is a whole nother’ debate.)

Look and Feel

The big controversial point: it’s pure anime styling. The men all look like Marcus Fenix or Ezio Auditore, while the women are all in stripper gear. There’s even a “race” that looks like pre-pubescent females, complete with available bunny ears and panty shots. Combine this with the marketing campaign (which features a MMA fighter beating up people who play other MMO’s until they switch to Tera) and you can see EXACTLY which demographic this is targeted at. That all said, the world design (monsters, weather, backgrounds) is the best I’ve seen in any game to date, so that’s something.


Two thoughts. 1) If I was 18 again, I’d probably be all over this game. Now that I’m 28 with a wife and son, this kind of thing just feels tawdry. 2) I don’t know what their goals are, but the target demo + the lack of endgame (which appears to be all PvP) tells me this thing is going to be big for a month or two, then flame out as everyone moves on to the next big thing. Again, a lot like KoA where about 15-20 hours in, you were like “Welp, I’ve seen everything this game has to offer.”

 Posted by at 9:00 am  Tagged with: