Big Hit Box Guest Post

I finally got off my lazy ass and tried to write up something for BigHitBox, the melee blog I've talked about before.

So without further ado, a link to the post: Being up close and personal @

I've also messed a bit with the rogue blog links to make sure all blogs there are up to date.

Fun things to do in PvP

As a rogue, we are one of the two stealth classes, and this gives us a huge advantage in PvP - it allows us to pick our targets and go unseen where others cannot go. Here's some fun things you can try in PvP as a rogue (not all of them involve stealth).

Parachuting into Wintergrasp
Granted, everyone can do this, but none can do it as well as we can. Go to the southern part of Icecrown and fly into the mountains overlooking Wintergrasp Fortress. When the battle starts, fly in. As you know, Wintergrasp is a no-fly zone and you'll be automatically dismounted soon. An added bonus for us, rogues, is that we can stealth as soon as we are auto-dismounted. Unless people saw you fly over, they'll never know you're there. Now is a good time to go destroy some cannons on a more quiet side of the fortress, or you can lurk around and kill players trying to man them.

Defend a healer
You should always love your healers, especially in PvP. Defending one to the death can be a real pain for your opponents. An added bonus could be that the healer remembers you if you are both in battlegrounds on a regular basis. With many tricks up our sleeve and a bit of help from the healer, the two of you can wreck havoc on the other team.

Harass a healer
On the other hand, healers on the opposing team should be harassed and/or killed. A well-geared healer you may not be able to kill on your own, but that doesn't mean you can't keep him busy. Interrupt his heals, blind him if he's not being attacked, stun him, slow his movement and casts, ... If you can catch him out of combat, vanish and sap him. If you can't kill him but can do a fair amount of damage to him, keep pressuring him. If he's busy keeping himself alive, he's doing less healing to his group mates.

Make someone paranoid
Doesn't always work, but very fun if it does. Using distract and sap from maximum distance, you can make people try to locate you by spamming AoE or the likes. You can use this to stall people traveling to a nearby node or something, for example.
Just make sure they don't destealth you ! You can also do a 'fake' attack to keep them busy: after a few distracts and a sap or two, go in for the kill, apply some bleeds etc, and vanish (unless they're an easy kill, just kill them then). Wait until they try to heal up and attack again. This is mostly a tip for when there's opponents around that you can't kill 1v1, though.

Stalling the enemy in WSG
Your group managed to grab the enemy flag and is trying to bring it home? Bring some crippling poison and go to town with Fan of Knives on the enemy chasing your flag carrier. This is also nice when there's a group of defenders in the enemy flag room - just hop in and FoK a few times to slow most of them.
Of course, for the really persistent chasers out there, a stun or a blind will usually stop them dead in their tracks.

Is there anything you like to do in PvP that I might not have thought of ?

Comparing combat & mutilate

Yes, dear reader, back to the less emo posts (for now). First of all I'd like to test something I added when adding the new header, so I'll quote the Overkill nerf that is planned to hit us next patch.

Overkill: Talent redesigned. Now increases energy regeneration by 30% while stealthed, and for 20 seconds after breaking stealth.

So yeah, there you have it (that should look like a Blizzard quote). I won't say too much about this, other blogs have already done their predictions, I'd prefer to wait and see the impact on PvE. It's obviously meant as a PvP nerf mainly, and we knew it was coming.

Combat vs Mutilate
I'm still without a WoW subscription at the moment, but that doesn't mean I don't have stuff to write about! I dug up a few screens in my WoW folder. Right before I left I respecced my PvE spec back to Mutilate, and before I did that I ran some tests on the target dummies. I used the same gear except for the weapons (Greed/LPC for Combat and LPC/LPC for Mutilate). For the exact gear, glyphs etc used, check these chardev profiles: combat / mutilate.

I used the stopwatch and clicked to start it while I used a keybind for my opener. After 4 minutes (sharp :p !) I took a screenshot to record my current dmg done and average DPS on Recount. In retrospect I should probably have done both spec tests multiple times - I only did Combat once, and then did two tests for Mutilate because I thought I had to get used to the changes a bit (I hadn't played with the new HfB yet and such).

Anyway, the results:

Number one is my combat test, two is the first mutilate test, and three is the second mutilate test. As you can see, my second mutilate test had the highest average DPS, and the first had the highest overall damage done.

The numbers are very close together though, which is nice, people can just pick whatever they want to play, or play with whatever weapon is best for them.

I'd like to try this revamped mutilate in a raid now that I've raided as combat a few times. With the changes they made to poisons etc, I will probably be able to use my Rolfen's Ripper with Berserking (originally purchased for PvP) as my OH.

Just gotta run some Heroic HoS for that dagger there and I'll be set for some mutilating.

Supermassive Black Hole.

As I said in my previous post, the guild I was in fell apart, and I left for Japan the day after. Now that I'm back I've been thinking about my options for when I start playing again.

Option one: keep Aeltyra as my main.
The easy solution. She's my most advanced character. PvE-wise, one tier 7.10 and one 7.25 piece. One piece that acts as a decent replacement for T7. Crap weapons and quest blues besides that. PvP-wise, one hateful glad piece, two savage glad pieces, and a few titan-forged pieces. Decent OH, crappy MH.

So yeah, barely touching the rest of my guild (I was 'catching up' from my previous exam period) and since it's still a month or so before I'll get back into WoW, it's only going to get worse. On top of that, there seems to be too many melee DPS already.

Still haven't felt the awesome DPS rush either, as I was usually scrambling to stay above our tanks in DPS. I'm not asking to be better than the full T7.25 (and now Ulduar gear too I bet) DPSers, but I hate having to fight to beat the tanks in DPS and essentially being carried through raid content.

Option two: get Azretha from under the dust.
My old main. Full of memories. Level 72, and still all of Northrend ahead of her.
I could get back into tanking (which I would really like) but the lack of changes to druid forms has frustrated me. Also, I feel a bit uneasy with 'cleave' maul, mass swipe and the likes.

I could go for moonkin. It's been a while, and my old healing off-set would probably suffice to let me pick up some balance gear in Northrend. The guild might appreciate another ranged DPS.

Still, there's the druid form thing, and leveling Az would mean shelving out another 1K for Cold Weather Flying.

Option three: level my death knight.
The character I had been spending most time on before the hiatus, actually, was this death knight. She's 68 and had blasted through Outlands. She has only done three zones in Outlands. I was leveling Inscription on this character (together with herbalism and alchemy on my rogue). She's just as good a choice as Azretha to get back into tanking, if not better, because she'd actually look cool while tanking.
Only downside: normal flyer + cold weather = 2K, plus epic flying for convience = 7K.
And then i don't have a single item crafted yet to get me up to date with the rest of the guild.

Option four: reroll.
I'm not sure if this is really an option. So many hours of playtime go to waste. But I'm not sure if I want to go back to my guild, either.

When it reformed, it reformed with a few old officers and a few new officers, and most members came along (some went looking for other guilds, which is fair enough).
So probably, a lot of problems that might have surfaced in the old guild will arise in the new guild as well, since it's mostly the same people.

The officer team is different, the philosophy has stayed roughly the same, though perhaps became a bit more casual. I'm not sure if I want that. Athanatoi barely forced anything in raids. People were showing up in suboptimal specs, with unenchanted gear, without consumables, etc. If someone made a mistake, it was often waved away.

I'm not sure I want to go back to that. I may not have the time to achieve full tier gear and raid every raiding day, but I manage my time so I can be the best damn rogue with that limited time. This is one of the reasons I'm not happy with being on an RP server anymore, either. I don't enjoy RPing anymore, and I feel it is a useless waste of my precious time to sit around doing nothing, when I could level a profession, do some dailies etc to pay the bills.

That said, the goodbye party and the Ventrilo session in which we talked about our memories together were a push in the direction of the new guild and a shove away from my rogue.

When people started talking about 'group one pride' (always the tank group in our 25 man raids) and the theorycrafting in our tanks channel, I was reminded of the great fun I had as a beartank ... and then an evil little voice in my head pointed out there is nothing like that on my rogue.

Yes ... there is a melee group. But in the few times I have been in there, I didn't have the same feeling as group one. Usually, there was no talk at all. Only on XT-002 there was a bit of talk about the light bomb, and I offered to exchange ToTT with the other rogue.

So yeah .. kind of at a loss atm, and I fear it's only going to get worse for when I finally do come back to WoW.

Death of a guild

'ATHANATOI will cease to exist in its current form on May 3rd, 2009.'
And so, the message was out. Of course, the officer team knew this for a lot longer already. When our GMs became bored and stressed out by WoW, we still kind of managed, guild council style. Some officers shared the feelings of our GMs and also spent less and less time in WoW, some just had a lot of real life stuff going on.

The killshot, if you will, was probably when our raiding officer tried to quit WoW. He came back after a week or so, but refused to have anything to do with his officer position. Fair enough. We instated some of our unofficial (non-officer team) raid leaders, and some officers also had a shot at raid leading.

However, unknown to the members base, there was also a Ventrilo officer summit discussing the state of the guild. Everyone including the inactive GMs and officers were present. The GMs proposed to disband and move on. We asked for another shot at saving the guild, and were given the chance.

Hence, in the eyes of a guildie, the future was clouded, but a new lightray shone upon the guild scene. In the eyes of an officer, dark clouds were gathering. We cursed as problems such as 'What to do with Val'anyr' and 'who can raid lead the sunday progression raid this week?' surfaced.

We held on for a few more weeks. Then, things sped up rapidly. One of the remaining officers posted a long explanation on why he needed a break from WoW and how he felt about the state of guild in the officer forums. There were mixed replies, and another officer gquit over it. In the end the conclusion was easily made: most of the officers were inactive or had quit. We had failed.

And so, a two year old guild dies.

The future

Because I'm going to Japan for ten days, and I have exams when I return, I won't be resubbing for a while. I will use this time to think about what I want to do. There's several options:

- I have been asked if I would want to join the new guild that some ex-officers are now creating. It would be a more casual version of what Athanatoi was.

- I could reroll. I had joked many times to my guildies that they 'made me play Alliance', and this is true. Even Horde alts on the same server never got far, because I missed the crowded guild chat too much. With Athanatoi gone, it may be a chance to let myself be tempted to join the Horde.

- I could join another guild. I have a great reference, we had some great inter-guild relations.

I guess I have to ask myself where I want to go with this game. In all honesty I'd love to get back into tanking, so I might drop my rogue as my main.