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Hello world! September 15, 2009

Posted by faradhim in Uncategorized.
1 comment so far

Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!

How to serve death knights September 9, 2009

Posted by faradhim in All around weirdness, Blacksmith, Faradhim's rant, Paladin.
4 comments
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My paladin is in outlands! Him along side of another 99 screaming death knights (DK). Leveling my paladin and blacksmithing in outlands made me acutely aware of two things.

One, if you can heal in outland, your life is wonderful! Well, maybe not that wonderful since you have to deal with the incessant plea of DKs looking for healer in LFG. But if you need to run an instance as a healer invites would fly in like snow flakes. What is also funny is none of the DKs seem able to tank. Since I can only tank or heal at a time I am often relegated to the unfortunately choices of either heal a DPS tank that thinks he can tank because he has put 3 points in frost or tank myself and wait for the group to find another healer.

Two, you can make a good living in WOW just by catering for DKs. I already kind know this since my primary glyph customers are DKs. Out of all the glyphs my inscriber can make, DK minor glyph sells best. I wouldn’t be surprised if I had made a flying mount doing exactly that. Blacksmithing is all together something else. It has been a huge money drain from the get go. Not only does it cost a fortunate to buy the ores so you can level up; save the occasional rod sell the crafted items from BS has been completely junk. They are either white or crappy greens that doesn’t sell at all on AH. The situation completely turned itself around after the painful stretch of 250-300. As soon as I skilled up into the DK range (>300), stuff made using BS suddenly are selling like hot cakes. For earlier recipes (300-310) I would break even on AH while the lately most things I craft are selling at a profit! My currently best seller is the Adamantite Cleaver which costs me 15 gp to craft but sells between 30-40 gp on AH. I looked up these buyers and sure enough they are all DKs.

Considering 40% of server are DKs I guess BS is worth having just to serve them.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm August 21, 2009

Posted by faradhim in Cataclysm.
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A new world of warcraft expansion: cataclysm has been announced at BlizzCon 09. A new website has been released to public containing new game’s trailer/graphics/features.

http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/cataclysm/

Following straight from the web site:

Two New Playable Races

Adventure as one of two new races–the cursed worgen with the Alliance or the resourceful goblins with the Horde.

Level Cap Increased to 85

Earn new abilities, tap into new talents, and progress through the path system, a new way for players to improve characters.

Classic Zones Remade

Familiar zones across the original continents of Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms have been altered forever and updated with new content, from the devastated Badlands to the broken Barrens, which has been sundered in two.

New High-Level Zones

Explore newly opened parts of the world, including Uldum, Grim Batol, and the great Sunken City of Vashj’ir beneath the sea.

More Raid Content than Ever Before

Enjoy more high-level raid content than previous expansions, with optional more challenging versions of all encounters.

New Race and Class Combinations

Explore Azeroth as a gnome priest, blood elf warrior, or one of the other never-before-available race and class combinations.

Guild Advancement

Progress as a guild to earn guild levels and guild achievements.

New PvP Zone & Rated Battlegrounds

Take on PvP objectives and daily quests on Tol Barad Island, a new Wintergrasp-like zone, and wage war in all-new rated Battlegrounds.

Archaeology

Master a new secondary profession to unearth valuable artifacts and earn unique rewards.

Flying Mounts in Azeroth

Explore Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms like never before.

And much, much more…


Why enchanter is raking it in after patch 3.2 August 20, 2009

Posted by faradhim in Enchanting, Faradhim's rant, Profession.
1 comment so far
Life being an enchanter is good after the patch. For that matter life being a inscriber or a gem cutter isn’t too bad either. Enchants that never move at/below the cost of making them are flying out of the doors. Case and point, one of the most popular enchants I make(according to wowpopoular): Scroll of Enchant Gloves – Exceptional Spellpower; which cost me between 30-40 gp to make has been selling for well over 70 gp since patch 3.2. I made 5 of them last night and three of them were already sold by the time I got up this moring. Two of the five sold at 100 GP! Other popular enchants such as Enchant Bracers – Greater Stats; Enchant Boots – Icewalker; Enchant Chest – Super Stats are also going faster and higher than what they normally would have went.

The reason for this change is: Trial of champion. Now everyone and their grandma is walking in purples the raw demands for enchants/gems for these gears are just unreal. So who gets the short end of the stick? Crafters. Since epics are dropping like purple rains the need for crated purples are next to none. I have not crafted anything worth selling on my tailor for eons and raw material prices are going through the roof to supply gem cutters and inscribers. Predicatively price for Abyss Crystal had also fallen off a cliff; a crystal used to go between 200-300 GP on my server are now going between 30-40. I suppose this is expected since so many purples are sharded from ToC.

I don’t know if this is what Blizzard intended, but it is neverthenless fasnating how one little change can completely turn the professions’ world around.

I am enjoying while I can. I can never predicate what will happen or how long the boom will last.

The next expansion is called "Cataclysm" August 10, 2009

Posted by faradhim in Cataclysm.
2 comments

So you have it; wow.com has reported that next World of warcraft expansion will be called “World of Warcraft: Cataclysm”.  The new expansion will contain two new playable races: Worgen (alliance) and Goblin (horde). 

I don’t hold any loves for most of the alliance races; with that said the gnome is a lot of fun to run around in because of the small size.  I think it will be exciting to duplicate that vantage with a little cute goblin!  Although I am drade have to level up another toon.

The name Cataclysm is also an interesting choice.  Typically cataclysm doesn’t occur until half the world gets destroyed by gods.  I wonder if Blizzard will toss us some world event that will have some part of our existing world destoryed.  I would think that is an excellent idea; most of the leveling zones are deserted as it is. If you remove half of them (such as sillithus), a few players may not even notice.

Faradhim’s quick guide to "trial of champion" August 5, 2009

Posted by faradhim in Guide, instances, Trial of champions.
6 comments


Patch day wasn’t too bad. Sever came back online around 8:00 PM local eastern time. I logged in around 9:15 PM with no queue and wasted no time gathering a group for the new 5 men dungeon called trial of champions.

A few of my guild mates were happy to oblige and we gathered a group and headed toward the instance. Here is the group composition:

Tank: DK with 80 DPS gear (mix of blue, green and purple from heroic).
Heal: Holy priest (Heroic, badge and Naxx 10 gears).
DPS1: Hunter 1 (Heroic, badge and Naxx 10 gears)
DPS2: Warlock (Naxx 25 gears)
DPS3: Hunter 2 (Heroic, badge gears)[Me]

We decided to do it on normal since none of us have seen the instance. After the second fight the warlock switched to his NAXX 25 geared DK for tanking.

The instance is located inside the coliseum in the Argent tournament ground. There were no summoning stones so everyone had to make their own way down through ice crown. There is no reputation requirement to enter the 5 men instance.

The first battle of the instance is mounted combat similar to those you do for the Argent daily “before the citadels”. You can grab a lance from the weapon rack along the wall after you enter the instance but I think your own Argent lance from the dailies can be used here as well. After everyone mounts up you talked to Jaeran Sunsworn who stands in the center of the jousting court to start your instance. After some prolonged period of speech/cheering/entrance you get down to business and fight 3 groups of mounted champions. There is no heal/tank/DPS assignment for mounted combats and everyone pretty much swarm the enemy knights. A sounded strategy is to have one person tank (close lance combat) an enemy knight while the others take turns charging or shield break the same target. The knights have 189K health which is pretty squishy in jousting terms. The group can take turns to tank but we didn’t have any problem having one person tanking majority of the fights. After the jousting phase is over you need to dismount and combat the grand champions on foot. The only trick here is to remember switching your argent lance back to your normal weapon. We had no issue downing the three rounds of mounted knights and the grand champions on foot. At the end of the fight you are awarded a single level il200 purple.

The second phase starts when the front door opens and Argent Confessor Paletress enters with 3-4 groups of her adds. Adds are composed of a healer and 2 melees. Each group can be pulled separately but will aggro if one gets too close to another. The healer can’t be death gripped or misdirected. A sounded strategy is to have your tank pull back the healer away from the other groups. When she is pulled back far enough everyone can nuke her until he/she goes down. Otherwise the healer will heal the melees. After the adds have been cleared you will face Paletress by herself. The fight has two phases. First phase is straight forward until she gets to 25% health where she will summon an add. When the add appears after a brief stun all DPS should switch to the add. Paletress will regain her lost HP as her add does damage to the party. It is possible to still damage her but her health will replenish much faster than the damage you can do to her. She also uses holy smite on random party member and must be healed through by the healer. This was our hardest fight and we wiped twice before figuring out we need to focus all fire on the add. After you defeat her a chest will appear on the ground and you get another piece of il200 purple (or was it 2?)

The last fight is with the black knight. This is a three phase fight but fairly straight forward. There is a living phase, a skeleton phase and a ghost phase. Through out different phases the black knight spams AOE as well as summons adds that will hit most of the party members. I tried my best to help the healer by laying frost trap in front of her but was dismay to discover most of the adds can only be trapped for a few secs (like heroic). Since this is a healing intensive fight some sort of health potion would help DPS. We lost the healer and 1 DPS at the end of the fight but were able to drop him on our first try. He drops 2 pieces of level il200 purples.

The instance is very short and has excellent rewards for its time. On the order of difficulty I would place it is above regular HoL and on par with easier heroic dungeons. Well geared tank/healer are a must and average DPS of 1500 is advisable.

Gibbie’s Wisdom on Trial of Champion (Added 9/9/09)
All three fights can be significant challenges. The largest unknown is who will be the faction champions. Various strategies exist to take them down, but typically go for the healer first; otherwise you won’t burn down the dps fast enough. I’ve seen strats where you can interrupt the healer, but I’m not skilled enough to tank the other two and interrupt the healer while burning down the dps.

Paletress is simply a healing/dps check. For DK I pop AMS when he does the fear (or lichborn if I’m too late). AMS cooldown is faster than the fear cooldown.

The Black knight has his own challenges, in heroic the exploding ghouls hurt alot. Simply kite them and do not do AOE, and especially do not blow up ghouls on healers. In the third phase as a healer I have someone help me heal, whether a lock with drain life, or DK rune tap/death strike. Usually this third phase is the most intense, and with just some tricks we can get through it.

I find that most PUGs expect everything to be tank and spank, which relies too heavily on the healer and tank. If both are not overgeared and well skilled, typically the elitist dps takes off. As I recall we replaced several 3k-4k dps with guildies doing 1.5k who were willing to learn, and got through it fine.

That’s one thing I do like about our guild, everyone is pretty smart and it doesn’t take many wipes to figure it out.

It is good to be an engineer August 4, 2009

Posted by faradhim in Engineering.
2 comments

This comes directly from 3.2’s patch notes. Some of these sounds so much fun I can’t wait to play with them!

Engineering

* Added a new Mind Amplification Dish attachment for helmets, allowing engineers to control other humanoid targets. Some restrictions apply: does not work in Arenas, dish sometimes reverses targets, unable to stack with other stat-improving head enchantments and makes your helmet look… stylish? This attachment provides a passive bonus of 45 stamina.
* Added a schematic for a Goblin Welding Beam that can heal friendly mechanical or vehicle units.
* Alarm-o-Bot functionality changed. Materials required reduced.
* Box of Bombs no longer requires an anvil.
* The Cobalt Frag Bomb now incapacitates enemies within a 3-yard radius. A short cast time was added, but they are usable while moving. This change applies to any Cobalt Frag Bombs already created. The existing recipe now makes 3 at a time.
* Engineers can now learn to create a portable Wormhole Generator for Northrend. The Wormhole allows them to travel to different locations in Northrend, although the locations are sometimes in dangerous places.
* Flying Machine: The level requirement needed to learn how to build and use this machine has been reduced to level 60, down from level 70, and the engineering skill level reduced to 300, down from 350. Material costs reduced.
* Gnomish Engineers and Goblin Engineers can now switch profession specializations for a fee.
* Increased benefits from Hyperspeed Accelerators, Hand-Mounted Pyro Rocket and Reticulated Armor Webbing glove modifications.
* Increased the passive bonuses provided by Springy Arachnoweave, Flexweave Underlay and Nitro Boosts.
* Mote Extractor now has innate tracking for gas clouds while it is in your inventory. Tracking of gas clouds has been removed from goggles.
* A new repair bot has been added, and his name is Jeeves. He is the ultimate gentleman robot butler, able to perform all the mundane tasks of repairing, selling and buying junk for your entire raid. Additionally, he can open bank boxes for skilled engineers (350+). Jeeves is not destroyed when used, but due to pressing engagements, can only be summoned once an hour. The schematic for this handsome robot was said to be hidden within the parts of another robot – hoping to be found by an engineer one day.
* Nitro Boosts: Now have a 5-second duration.
* Potion Injectors now increase the amount gained by 25% when used by engineers. Quantity produced by recipes for Runic Healing and Mana Injectors has been increased.
* Reduced the materials needed to create all engineering Dragonlings, and reduced their cooldowns, although they still cannot be used in Arenas.
* Significantly reduced the cooldown on MOLL-E.
* The Spynocular belt attachment has been changed to a Frag Belt. The Frag Belt periodically produces a Cobalt Frag Bomb that can be used from the belt every 6 minutes (never runs out!).
* A Steam-Powered Auctioneer has been added to the Dalaran Like Clockwork engineering shop, allowing access to one’s faction Auction House. The Steam-Powered Auctioneer was programmed with a superiority chip, and will only interact with Grand Master engineers.
* Transporter devices are no longer classified as trinkets and can be used directly from your inventory.
* The Ultrasafe Bullet Machine and Saronite Arrow Maker schematics have been simplified to create a full stack of the appropriate ammunition. No longer requires an anvil. Reduced the materials required to make this ammunition.
* World Enlarger: Cooldown reduced to 15 minutes, down from 1 hour.

My farewell. May 20, 2009

Posted by faradhim in Last post.
5 comments
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I am leaving the world of warcraft. There, I said it.  I am done.

It feels like a server transfer without the time pressure.  I cleaned up all the mail boxes for my toons.  I have been using mail as extra storage for my alts.  You will be surprised how much crap you can accumulate in this game.  What I can liquidate I have liquidated.  Sorry for everyone I undercut on AH one last time.  I spent a few thousand gold and pickup another 3 tabs for my personal guild bank.  Now they are stuffed with manner of junks I cared or didn’t care about. I am telling myself I am doing this because I may come back one day.  The truth is that going through everything you have accumulated is an excellent way to say good bye.   

I haven’t really done any real playing for over 2 weeks now.   No dailies to run, no tournament to attend, no scourge to slay.  It doesn’t feel like a job anymore. No more obligations of step into Naxx to help the guild.  No more heart acnes for healers/tank searching in PuGs.  No more rude and immature comments in the trade channel.  No more pets to collect. No more spirit beast to camp.

2 years of my life, 3 level 80 Naxx geared toons.  An army of alts.  A fully stuffed personal guild bank.  17K gold.  A blog with 75K hits.  A guild I started with membership in the 240s.  I had a good run and I am leaving at the height of my career. You can’t beat that. I wish everyone was as lucky as me.

I am dispersing my worldly virtual possessiones to my friends (RL or otherwise).  I may come back, but mostly likely this will be it.  In many ways leaving is the eaiest decision to make.

Goodbye my blogger friends: Pike, Creep, Kestrel, Cat, Gibs, Jov

Good bye Azeroth.  Until next time.

Warcraft lore May 5, 2009

Posted by faradhim in Faradhim's rant.
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World of warcraft is a great game not only because how it plays also because it is rich world based on long history.  Before world of warcraft there was Warcraft III, II, and I.  The lore  of of Azeroth goes back as early as 1994 when the first Warcraft RTS game was released (BTW which I played back in 1994).  The world has graduately become more detailed with each release of of the warcraft game and eventully reached its peaks with Warcraft III.  For those that has never played Warcraft III.  They are missing a lot of great background lore  regarding the history of alliance, horde and the world. 

I recently discovered that Sylvanel on youtube was nice enough to paste together most of the Warcraft Lore III movies into a lore series.  I think these are interesting to watch for anyone who hasn’t seen them.  But it was also pretty nice to just be able to watch all of them uninterrupted outside the game.

Newbie Tanking, defense and resilience April 28, 2009

Posted by faradhim in Uncategorized.
1 comment so far
My warrior dinged 80 last week. Now I am off gearing him to tank Naxx. As a healer or a DPS I cared very little about reduction to critical strikes. As a tank on the other hand this is a bread and butter stat. My raid leader spent a lot of times trying to explain to me why I need 540 defense. Despite of his heroic effort I only got half what I said.

After some extensively researching the topic I believe I have completely unraveled the mystery of defense. I am posting it here in hope it will help other newbie tanks. Although there are some good discussions on the web on the topic (such as tankspot), I found most of the guides didn’t express clear enough the mathematical relationship between defense, critical strike and resilience.

What is my defense(Skill)?
This is a simple and most elemental of all questions about defense. But believe or not most newbie tanks don’t know how to figure out their own defense. I had trouble finding it myself the first time. What you need to do is look on your character sheet and select defense from the drop down menu. Your character’s defense is shown on the second stat as illustrated above. Unless you are a tank this number is likely to be 400 at level 80 which means you have no extra defense gained from gear. The number you are shooting more is 540, which you gain by stacking +defense rating gears which is not the same as getting defense. Sounds confusing, I will explain below.

What is defense rating?
Defense rating is the increase in defense you get from gear. When you get a piece of gear that says +70 to defense rating it doesn’t mean you now magically gain +70 defense on the character sheet. These two numbers are related but doesn’t have a 1:1 relationship. In order to understand the relationship we first need to understand critical strikes.

What is critical strike?
Critical strike (often abbreviated as “crit”) refers to 100% bonus physical damage (twice your normal damage) that occurs as a result of an attack made with melee or ranged weapons. A Mob that is same level as you always have 5% chance to critical strike you. A raid boss is always considered 3 level above the character they hit.

And mob that is higher level than the character gets a bonus to the critical strike rating. For raiding any boss (or a mob which has a skull shown as level) can critically hit a tank at 5% + a bonus number. This bonus number is 0.6% for level 80 characters or 5.6% of total chance. Although 5.6% doesn’t sound like a lot considering boss attacks all the time and tank gets hit all the time this stacks up pretty fast. So in order to prevent this from happening you will need a total of 5.6% reduction from critical strike when you equipping your character.

The magic 540
If you have tanked you probably have heard this magic 540 defense before. How did this number come about? Remember on top we said each character has 400 innate defense at level 80? This means in order to reach the magic 540 you will need 140 defense extra from gears (again, note I said 140 defense, not 140 defense rating). We also know we need 5.6% reduction from critical strike at level 80. Therefore

5.6%/140 = 0.04%

or each point of defense you gain will reduce critical strike chance by 0.04%.

Now let’s explain why there is a difference between defense rating and defense and their relationships. If you hover your mouse over a piece of equipment. It will tell you how much defense rating it has. Why doesn’t blizzard just simply give you +Defense instead of +defense rating on a piece of gear? The answer is that a piece of gear would give you different amount of defense dependent upon your level. Since we are confining our discussions to level 80 only. Defense rating = defense x 4.92. How this weird multiplier came about again has to do with critical strike rating. We won’t go into that at this is already complicated enough.

So simply put, if you want to gain 140 defense you will need +688 defense rating from all gear combined. Now you see that the task isn’t as easy.

Resilience
But wait. This gets better. There is another way to reduce critical strike against you. Yup. If you guess resilience you get full credit. Resilience is introduced in Burning Crusade as part of the new combat rating system. Although it is mostly used for PvP it has meaning for tanking. This is because:

  • 1% Resilience will:
    • Reduce chance to be crit by 1%
    • Reduce damage from all crits by 2.2%
    • Reduce damage from DoTs by 1%
    • Reduce mana drained by 2.2%

    At level 80, 82.0 resilience rating equals 1% resilience or 1% reduction to critical strike against a character. Therefore,

  • 1%/82 = 0.0122%

    or every point of resilience will reduce critical strike chance by 0.0122%.

    As we already discussed we want to reach a total of 5.6% reduction in critical strike chance. To gain amount purely from resilience you will need 459 total resilience.

    Putting it together

    So what have we learned here. You can reach the magical 5.6% critical strike reduction by stacking defense or resilience. Each point of defense you gain equals 0.04% reduction to critical strikes while each point of resilence you gain equals 0.0122% reduction of the same.

    In addition, roughly every 5 points of defense rating gained from gear translate to 1 point in defense at level 80.

    To look at this another way: each point of resilience gained from gear is worth roughly 1.5 times defense rating from game. A piece of PvP gear that offers +60 resilience will have the same effect of reducing critical strike as a piece of PvE gear that has +90 to defense rating (at level 80).

    Assume your defense is X and your resilience is Y

    0.04 * (X – 400) + 0.0122 * (Y) > 5.6%

    Use a pratical example of my tank. He currently has 490 defense and 150 resilience. If you calculate using the equation supplied above.

    He will have a total reduction to critical strike chance of:

    0.04 * (490 – 400) + 0.0122 * 150 = 3.6% + 1.83% = 5.43%

    This means he is still just below the cap with raid bosses who can critical strike him with 0.17% chance.

    Now don’t you wish you have paid more attention in your math class?

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