Updated BlogRoll

•February 27, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I’ve updated my BlogRoll again with more Rogue Blogs. A lot of these new discoveries are from Dinaer’s post.

I’ve also added a section called “Life on Kael’Thas” as my server has a lot of bloggers popping up all over the place. If you play on Kael’Thas let me know and I’ll add your blog.

I’m Just a Girl

•February 27, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Cause I’m just a girl, little ‘ol me
Don’t let me out of your sight
-No Doubt

I normally don’t PUG raids unless it is for 25 Mans, but the weekend of Valentines day my guild cancelled our normal Satursday run. So instead those of us who wanted to raid 10 man Naxx were left to fend for ourselves.

I have gotten a new puppy, a cocker spaniel named Tessa, who has been keeping me busy. That weekend though, my parents wanted to watch her, so I left her at their house.

This ment I had an uninterrupted weekend of play. I was doing daily quests to get my rep up with various factions (Got Ebon Blade and Argent Crusade Exalted, now working on Wyrmrest). When I get a pst from a friend I hadn’t talked to in a long time. He asked if I wanted to take his place in a Naxx Pug. I figured, “Hey why not, if the pug has already gotten down the easy quarters and are still plowing though content then it can’t be a bad pug.” I was a bit afraid as with my guild I had only seen two quarters and so didn’t know the other fights well. I was even more worried when I saw the guild tags, there was about 1 member from each of the top raiding guilds on my server.  Seems the Valentines weekend had displaced other guild’s raid times as well.

I joined the group and get the vent information. I stay quite as they are trying to find a tank replacement as well. Vent was…interesting. I’m use to a very family friendly guild, so vent is always fun with jokes and things like that. This group? A bunch of guys cussing and vulgar jokes. I continue to stay quite until they start asking, “Does everyone know the next fight?” One guy says no, and the others start to sound pissy. I speak up and say “No sorry, Azzarrea the rogue hasn’t done this fight before, if you could explain it that would be nice.” Dead silence follows this statement, they hadn’t expected a woman’s voice.

Then the RL starts to calmly explain the fights, and I hear the change in his voice. The cussing stops and instead everyone is on their best behaviour. We whipe once on Gluth, but then we get the hang of it, and crush through the construct quarter and militarty quarter with no other major wipes until we reach the 4 horsemen.  During that time everyone is friendlier on vent than how they were before they realized I was a girl. The RL continues to direct me exactly how I need to as well, giving me Rogue specific instructions which was extrodinarily helpful.

About halfway through the run the RL psts me and asks if “I have an emotional attachment to the guild I’m in.” I laugh because the way he put it was dead on. I explain to him that my guild leader and raid leaders are my real life best friends.  I was curious so I ask why he wanted to know.  He said that I had been doing a great job, that I had amazing “situational awareness” and could adapt to different and difficult situations well and that was a skill raiders needed but wasn’t something they could learn. Either one had it or one didn’t. I thank him for the nice comments and the offer but said I’d continue on with my own guild. He said he understood but if anything changes I’d have a place in his guild.

I was shocked. I like raiding a lot and I think I’m good at it, but I’d never think a hard core raiding guild would think my skills were up to their level, as I don’t raid in a typical Rogue raiding spec.  lol I’m not sure if it was my skills or my voice he liked?

Later on in the run, he then psts me again and asks why I chose to be a Rogue “Cause most girls choose something more like…a priest”. Again, I’m higly amused by this comment, and I explain, my friend who knew me really well suggested being a Rogue because they are stealthy and kill thinks quickly, and she was right, I loved the class and have always played it. He still pushes that most girls play healers, and I explain I liked the artful assissian of the Rogue, cause I use to do a lot of marital arts.

After we got to the four horsemen we started having trouble, so we decided to call the run. It had been a lot of fun, and right as I left group, another raiding guild offered me an invite to their guild, which I also had to turn down.

I’m still amused by this run. On one hand it was a great raiding experience to learn fights that my guild isn’t currently doing. On the other, it was an insightful expample that the top raiding guilds on my server do not have a large base of female players. In my guild, since we are a family friendly guild, we have a lot of spouse pairs in the guild, so having female players isn’t unusual. But with this run, they were shocked to hear my voice, and completely adjusted their behaviour to be more appropriate, they were more helpful, and one case I was hit on.

I also saw the assumtion that girls only play clothie or healer classes.  Girls can enjoy the DPS aspect of killing just as well any guy. We aren’t predisposed to “weaker” classes or have a natural desire to be motherly/nurturing to heal people. (However we may have a predisposition to playing Night or Blood elves based only off their looks.) Now I am assuming since the RL didn’t sound like a 12 year old boy, but instead in his 20’s that his comments were based soly on a need to continue a conversation with me, and were not ment to be sterotypical at all, however it did bring up an intersting mindframe of some male gamers.

I’ve heard of other female players hide their gender and never tell anyone due to thoughts of reprisal or being treated like a weaker player. I’ve never had anyone have a problem with my gender. Most of the time, guys are suprised and then friendly or helpful towards me. I’ve not had people treat me like a second class citizen or think I can’t play as well as guys. I have had though, one guy start stalking me through the game, but that was easily fixed with ignoring all his toons and reporting him to a GM.

I guess I’ve always been friends with gamer guys, that I’m used to accepted as an equal and not treated differently at all. But I guess on some level, guys will always see me as just a girl.

FoKing Rogues

•January 15, 2009 • 1 Comment

So initially I was let down by Fan of Knives, the level 80 AOE for Rogues.  It had a short intersting animation, but that was about it.  However, after a few weeks of playing around with it, I certainly am happy Rogues have an AOE now.

In its current incarnation it costs 50 energy, causes 100% weapon damage to targets within 8 yards and has a 10 second cooldown.

This has a few flaws. First, the 10 second cooldown is annoying when you want to use this ability back to back, as usually the Rogue is left standing autoattacking while waiting for energy to replenish and once the energy is back, there is usuallly 5-6 seconds left of the cooldown.  The second issue is for dagger Rogues, the 100% weapon damange is much less then Sword or Mace Rogues.

However in patch 3.0.8 it will be improved slightly.

Fan of Knives: The cooldown has been removed. In addition, now deals 150% of weapon damage when used while daggers are equipped.

So Rogues using daggers rejoice! Not only can you spam FoK, but you can now deal more damange! If you do not prefer to use daggers as your weapon, it might be benifitial to carry one with you, and create a weapon switching macro to use a dagger, cast FoK, and then switch back to your usual weapon. Since FoK is a huge energy dump you’ll have time to switch your weapons. A sample Macro could be:

/equipslot17 [dagger for MH]
/equipslot18 [dagger for OH]
/cast Fan of Knives
/equipslot17 [normal MH wep]
/equipslot18 [normal OH wep]

I’m not a theroy crafter so I don’t know the exact numbers but it may be possible that in patch 3.0.8 even with the 150% damange increase with daggers this may just about equal a sword or mace usage.

Now that FoK has no cooldown, how can it be used effectivly?

In PVP situations you can spam FoK to try to reveal enemy stealthers.  This can be particularly helpful in Areans now that the time limit is 45 minutes to help find your prey much faster.  This also means that as a Rogue, you need to be weary now of other Rogues so that you don’t get pulled out of stealth as well.

Grinding/Farming situations: I find it easier now than ever to farm mats or rep at 80.  Just run around or pull mobs to you with your ranged. Pop Evasion and then FoK, then get a combo point or two on one mob and Rupture or SnD. Move onto the next mob and do the same.  When you have sucifient amount of energy pop FoK again and watch the pretty death pile emerge.  Farming lower level mobs is usually the best for this style of grinding and if you are Sub Speced you can use Preperation to pop Evasion again. Or if you are like me and a Herbie pop your LifeBlood to sustain the killing spree.

Day to Day PVE: When out questing occasionally I’ve run into a situation where my Blind was on cooldown so I just decided to go all out, pop FoK and SnD and go all out on the multiple mobs.  The first time I was super surprised. Usually in that type of situation I would have been gavely injured or dead.  Another helpful situation is for quests like the Oracle daily, Masters of the Crystals.  If you don’t tap the mobs you don’t get to loot them, so poping FoK not only makes the mobs die faster, but lets you have a nice amount of sliver loot to pickup.

Group/Raid: This is where a Rogue can be a big help, or a major noob.

As this is our first AOE and so some Rogues may not realize right off the bat that AOE near CC is bad.  The good thing is our range isn’t that far, 8 yards. So if CC is kept away, FoK can be used safely in conjunction with CC. Don’t be the trigger happy Rogue who breaks a sheep or worse yet, your own sap. The last thing you want to hear in your raid is “Wow, that Rogue loves to FoK.”

Second thing to keep in mind is watch your threat. Most threat meters like Omen usually only show you your threat based on one target. So be aware of your tanks threat levels before you spam FoK. Running a recent instance I pulled some unwanted aggro by opening with FoK.  Either focus on one target and use Snd or use Tricks of the Trade on the tank first before you pop FoK to insure they get the aggro.

Speaking of ToT, this ability is best to Macro as well. I use this:

#showtooltip Tricks of the Trade
/cast [target=focus,help] Tricks of the Trade

This does require that you have selected your tank or appropriate party member as your /focus first.   And if you don’t see your ToT procing, double check you still have a focus.

However, once you learn how not to break CC or pull aggro from the tank, FoK is a big help with trash pulls and with the reduced cooldown it can be probable to have SnD up and then just spam FoK for instance trash.

And so all you Rogues! Enjoying FoKing your enemy!

DING

•January 2, 2009 • 1 Comment

So my grand plan to blog fell through. My beta invite was worthless, the server kept crashing so I only played around with it for a few days.

I had a bunch of posts lined up, but found most of the information would be worthless post Wrath.

I also find most of the 51 point talents for Rogues “MEH”. I tried shadowdance and hated it, so now I’m using a HAT build. If I’m in a party with my boomkin friend its insane how fast I regen combo points.

I just hit 80 the other day, and eagerly went to pick up Fan of Knives. Don’t know what I was expecting but I was a little let down by the ability. Cool animation, just doesn’t last long.

Well now that I’m 80 I’ll start running heroics and hopefully start raiding soon. Not sure if I’ll be better at this blog but if I come up with something I’ll be sure to put it up, but for now I’ll hide in the shadows.

Delays

•September 11, 2008 • 1 Comment

Sorry for not posting more articles lately. My plan was to have one new main content post a week but lately I’ve had writer’s block.  I was working on a Rogue Tanking article, but a fellow rogue blogger actually wrote up a very good post about it so that took away one of my ideas. I started an artical about the basics of rogue grouping and how to help out, but with all the recent beta changes I feel like a lot of what I could write about will change in a month or so. I have another good idea I’m working on, just haven’t had the time to work on it yet. I’ll be moving soon so have been spending a lot of time packing…and last night I just got another thing that will take away my time…

A BETA INVITE!  So I’ll be brining you insight from the BETA on Rogues and of course vanity pets.  Just installing the BETA now on my computer and will be exploring it on my 70 rogue and 56 pets!

Photoshoot Completed

•September 3, 2008 • Leave a Comment

So my plan for this blog is to have a huge content/discussion post once a week, with minor or spur of the moment topics interspurced.

I had every intension of posted tonight, but got sidetracked with a few hours of screenshots and photoshop editing.   I now have some character portraits up on the About page of my Rogue and other alts.   I’m to much of a photographer/artist in real life, that I took a lot of time trying to find the right backdrop and positioning of the toons.

Azzarrea and her Wolpertinger.

Like take for intance Azz’s portrait. I wanted something elusive and mysterious. I wanted the atmosphere to be dark, but also pensive. I wanted it to seem as if that is where Azzarrea would go to think.  I also wanted to get her wolpertinger in the shot as well. Do you know how hard it is to get a pet in a flatering shot of a tall night elf? Ended up having them kneel so the camera angle wouldn’t be strange. (Got a few pst from people in the area asking why I was emoting to no one.) But I love how this one turned out.

I knew Tai would need to be outdoors in a forest of some sort.   But there are so many forests it was hard to choose one. Taielsha’s portrait was also hard because I had to contend with two moving pets. Fortunately Shiro could be put on Stay once he was in position.  But Iro the kitten had to be coaxed into place many times.

Maielstr

And lastly Maielstra was a bit boring at first even though she had the most different looks/abilities she could do. Since she is lower level, and it was very dark outside she was kind of limted on scenery options. I think she is a bit more classy than booty bay, but hey it was the best place with a view of the ocean and the moon. Finnaly settled on this shot as the fire has some really nice flare effects.

I know I’m a bit crazy for spending hours on these “photos” but I’m really happy with the way they turned out. Does anyone have any character portraits or sentimental screenshots they’d like to share?

Vanity Pets Are Made To Be Seen

•August 27, 2008 • 2 Comments

I remember my very first vanity pets. A kind person had offered to give me a run through of Deadmines. This was probably the third week I had been playing WoW, just a few days after I had upgraded my trial account to a real account.  So I had no concept of how to really play. (The loot roll box confused the hell out of me.)  At the end he gave me the two most precious items from that run, which I still keep as a memento: A siamese cat and a red parrot.

Ever since then Vanity Pets were a love-hate relationship with me.  I loved how cute some of them were. I had fun dressing up as a pirate and roleplaying to myself that I was a roguish pirate.  But I hated how much space they took up. I ended up vendoring all the vendor bought pets, and kept quest or random drop pets.

Vanity Pets in Wrath
So I was extremely excited about the news that in Wrath vanity pets will be spells instead of physical objects that I have started collecting again.  I now have 54 pets and counting. I plan to get an addon or make a macro that will randomly summon a vanity pet when I’m questing or raiding once Wrath comes out.  Most pets are currently stored on my Rogue, and the others BoU are being held by a Bank Alt until Wrath.

I’ve recently been farming for the random drop pets and actually lucked out and got a Crimson Whelping to drop while grinding on my level 30 Mage.  I’ve killed nearly 5000 bugs trying to get the Firefly, I think at this point I’m just going to watch the AH and see if I can get it cheaper.  That what I did with the Dark Whelpling, I watched the AH every day, and found one with a bid of 900G (the going rate is usually 2500-3500). There are some really cute pets I’m resigned to never having such as the Panda, Hippogryph, or Poler Bear. But this time around I think I’ll get the Wrath Collector’s Edition so I can get my own little Frosy. Isn’t he cute?

For anyone else thinking about embarking on the insane desire to collect vanity pets I suggest Warcraftpets.com.  It has a detailed listing of every vanity pet in the game, including how/where to get pets and descriptions of the animation the pet does.  I also found joining and creating an account a helpful thing, as before I was trying to do it all in my head, and that method ended up with me buying a few to many copies of some pets.

I’m not really sure if I’ll take a fancy to the vanity pet items. The fetchable Ball looks interesting, but since it is a consumable I think I’ll do it a few times and then not deal with it.  I thought I wouldn’t bother with the Leash, however I love someone’s comment asking if it can be used on the Children’s Week Orphans.

Benefits of Vanity Pets to Rogues
While leveling up I rarely partied with or ran into other Rogues.  The ones I did run into either weren’t stealthed or were about my level and so I could see then while the were stealthed.  My best friend was a druid at the same level I was, and so whenever she went Cat I always could see her. I knew it was extremely hard to see Horde Rogues but I figured that everyone could see alliance Rogues/Druids when stealthed.

So it came as a shock one day when my tank friend and my best friend (the Druid) yelled at me not to pull mobs prematurely.  I had been pickpocketing mobs in the instance while the everyone manaed up for the next pull.  I was very confused, couldn’t they see I was just moving from mob to mob pickpocketing?  It was then I learned that when I moved far away in stealth, I was *shocker* elusive and hard to see.

I then realized the tactical use of vanity pets to Rogues and their groups.  By having an easy to see pet (either a big one like the Worg Pup, a flying pet like a parrot, or a very colourful pet) out while in an instance my party could see where I was wandering about.  It stopped the paranoia that my friends had that I would accidentally pull the wrong mob.

Drawbacks of Vanity Pets
While in group situations vanity pets are helpful, in PVP a Rogue having a vanity pet out is an example of Darwinism.

“Vanity Pets are made to be seen.  Rogues, good sir, are not.” Mcsquish on the WoW Forums.

Vanity Pets are very loyal creatures, they will follow the adventurous Rogue anywhere. While vanity pets do not aggro mobs like hunter pets do, vanity pets will follow stealthed Rogues and give away their position in PVP.

I don’t PVP much and when I do I never have a vanity pet out. Partly due to the fear I had while leveling up, that a Horde could come and kill my dear little kitty and it would stay dead. The other part is because people die often in PVP and the extra seconds it would take to resummon a pet every time would just be annoying.  I also don’t play on PVP servers so I don’t know what the recommendation for Rogues on those servers would be.  As my view of PVP is a horrific gankfest all the way up to level 70, if I was on that type of server I’d probably never walk around not stealthed and would never have a vanity pet out.

Solutions to Vanity Pet/PVP Problem
There have always been a few suggesting floating around the WoW Fourms with ideas on how to fix this issue.

  • When player enters stealth the vanity pet enters a stealth state as well.
    The problem with this is that it would nullify the tactical benefits when in a group.
  • Players of the opposite faction will not see vanity pets if the player is flagged for PVP.
    The only problem I can see with this one is that some (non-stealth class) players might get a kick out of riding into battle on their black war mount and have a vicious Worg Pup fighting at their side.

So I think with both of these options it would need to be a selectable choice in interface options, sort of like how Display Cloak/Helm works today.

  • Or maybe combine the two: when a player is flagged for pvp and goes into stealth, to members of the opposite faction it would appear as if the vanity pet stealthed as well.

The next question would be do these rules apply to all characters? Rogue and Druids are the no brainer here, but what about Mage’s Invisibility spell, or invisibility provided by potions? Or Shadowmeld for Night Elves?  Or the rumored Camouflage ability for hunters?

Maybe Invisibility wouldn’t count since it has always differed from what steath is in terms of definition and ability?  And really a Night Elf who shadowmelds in PVP is a sitting duck since they can’t move, but with a vanity pet out I’d agree that Darwinism here is warranted to teach them a lesson. And as to the Camouflage ability to hunters, we’ll have to wait and see about this one. If Camouflage only applies to the hunter and not the hunter’s pet (since only Cats can prowl) it would be a bit worthless to stealth a vanity pet if the main pet is still romping around freely.

While we wait to hear if Blizzard will ever fix this issue Rogues have only a few options:

  • Never ever use a vanity pet in PVP situations.
  • Use a Spirit of Summer, this pet has the distiction of being the only pet in game that can be summoned or dismissed while the player is stealthed.  So if you do find yourself in a sticky situation you can dismiss the pet and jump into the fray.
  • Use a Wolpertinger. Firstly what is more awesome than a killer rabit with fangs, hornes, and wings? And less important is that this pet can only be seen by party members or by drunk people.  And currently drunk detection isn’t the rage in PVP so you should be fine.

For me my favorite pet on my Rogue is her Wolpertinger.  I just think an animal that survives by being invisible and only seen by crazy drunks is the perfect pairing for a elusive Rogue.

 
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