Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Which Monitor

I got the Samsung 2333SW 23-inch Widescreen Black Flat Panel LCD Monitor with Logitech Wireless Desktop MK 300 Keyboard and Mouse Bundle" It was $98 off with free shipping. Pre-tax: a crazy low special price of $169.99 from Dell. I will not be using the wireless mouse or keyboard. They are for my wife. (It was more expensive to get the monitor without them!) I've also heard they die easily and I don't want the added response latency in my input. The monitor is great. 5ms response time, DVI, 1920p wide. Love it.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


23" of 16:9 Glory.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

New Monitor

My UI sucks. The primary reason is that I just don't have the screen real-estate for everything I want to show.

On Mon Oct-12 I purchased 23-inch widescreen LCD monitor. I got a good deal on it. It is seeming to be too good of a deal to be true. I was given an estimated delivery date of Oct-16. (Excellent!) Well, the date has changed three times. Never have I received any notification of the change either by phone or email. The latest estimate is Oct-29.

I contacted "Order Support" using the form found on their website. I received a reference number and auto-reply email. It said I would be contacted within 24 hours. It has been 72 hours without any contact. I have requested that they expedite my order and upgrade its shipping. No responses from their escallation email address.

I am accustomed to delays. I am a stockholder in their company and so I am more forgiving than the normal customer. However, no information has been provided about any delays. No responses have been made. That is not easy to forgive or forget. But it is easy to blog-rant about.

Friday, October 16, 2009

DNS Down

The host acting as primary DNS for has network problems. Verizon is working on it. Supposedly.

If you're a regular/daily reader, you probably have this in your DNS cache. Otherwise, you're not seeing this message.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Hunter Pet Tanking in the Blogosphere

Both Rilgon @SES and Arth @Warcraft Hunter's Union put up blog entries about their first significant hunter pet tanking. Grats to them both. Reminder: pet tanking looks like it will be more possible in 3.3.

Monday, October 12, 2009


I was browsing my recent achievements on my iPhone Wow app. (More on that app later.) I was a little surprised that it didn't show my achievements from Friday. I checked, from whom the app gets its data, and it didn't have them either. lists Call of the Crusade and More Dots! from my Thursday runs. It shows nothing from Friday. We were doing some wacky/dumb achievements Friday. The kind of things you might not want to do again: Rubble and Roll, and Nine Lives. We also had a couple reasonable ones: FL w/two towers, and the Assembly of Iron to get a Archivum Data Disc. We also got a bunch of other achievements that I already had.

So where'd the achievements go?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Not the Best Selection of PUGs

The other night, I was giving a remote (cross-country) lecture to a group of 40 college students. The topic was some open source software I had a hand in creating. I was using LiveMeeting and also had a camera aimed at me. It was fun.

I was doing it from my home office. It ended exactly at raid start time. So I flipped over, and yes of course I was late and the raid was full. Okay, not un-expected.

They did Onyxia-25, ToC-25, and then VoA-25. All the places I need both Triumph badges from, and where my only gear ups are from. This is the second week they've done this on Wednesday and I missed them both. So, I decided to try and PUG them and the daily.

VoA-25 is usually easy for me to PUG. Win Wintergrasp and get in as high dps. I average about 6k dps there. Well, I suspected it wouldn't go well at the beginning. We had four hunters, so I resigned myself to no loot. I was inspecting them and noticed one was in mostly greens. Even his weapons and bow. (How do you even do that?) I was thinking that maybe he was joking around so I checked his spec, and it was.. well, confused. I did what I never do, and whispered to the RL. I was impressed that he was kicked. It turns out, that night must have been brand-new-80 night because we wiped many times in VoA. But we got a half-dozen people achievements on all the bosses... At least I had a fellow dps'er in a similar raiding guild to bemoan it all.

Heroic Halls of Stone was the daily. Yes, I wanted more Triumph badges. To summarize it: four wipes, I was responsible for >50% of the damage done, eventually I went BM pet-tank spec and tank-heal-dps'd the last boss. It was 1.5hours of pain and grief. We skipped the optional bosses. "No, I don't think I feel like we need to go back and do them. Thanks for the group through."

Then I get picked up for a ToC-25 PUG. Advertised as "Be geared, have vent or know the fights very well." We had some people that weren't any of that. But we also had some of the most well-geared, amazing-in-their-mind, obnoxious, insulting, bitter, hyper-critical, self-important, raiders from the most cut-throat elitist guild. We got through faction champions but it took two hours. I was 2nd and 3rd damage done on the fights, though I was far under the gear of most of them. I took it as a learning experience. I don't want to experience it again.

As far as "loot" they beat last week's Onyxia-25 PUG where I was #1 damage done (by a large margin) on each of five attempts over an hour and we never brought her down. But as far as pain and PUGdom, it was a pleasant experience.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Boon for Hunter Pet Tanking - 3.3.0 Patch Notes

The patch notes look very good for hunter pet tanking. They are patch notes so we won't get them all, but they look nice all the same.

Call the pet you need for each encounter you face:
Call Stabled Pet: Cooldown reduced from 30 minutes to 5 minutes.

Don't stack as much Resilience just to have an un-critable pet:
Pet Resilience: All player pets now get 100% of their master’s resilience.

Avoid 90% of AoE instead of just 75%:
Avoidance: This talent has been replaced by Culling the Herd. Hunter pets now innately take 90% less damage from area-of-effect abilities like all other class pets. This does not apply to area-of-effect damage caused by other players.

Cowardice tanking! Take less damage a fair amount of the time:
Cower: Redesigned. This ability no longer affects threat, and instead reduces damage taken by the pet by 40% for 6 seconds with a 45-second cooldown. While cowering, the pet’s movement speed is 50% of normal speed. Cower now only has a single rank and is available at pet level 20.

Don't suffer the [new] movement penalty while cowering:
Improved Cower: Redesigned. This ability now reduces the movement penalty of Cower by 50%/100%.

More damage, more threat:
Culling the Herd: This pet talent has replaced the Avoidance talent in the pet trees (Hunter pets now gain that benefit automatically without expenditure of talent points). Culling the Herd increases pet and hunter damage by 1/2/3% for 10 seconds each time the pet deals a critical strike with Claw, Bite, or Smack.


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Pet Resilience Considerations and Pet Tanking

I haven't tanked or OT'd any raid content. It's a little disappointing. I'm sure I could OT stuff easily if threat isn't an issue. Talking about hunter pet tanking always will raise eyebrows. And I'm in a new guild. I tanked the brewboss a few nights. Once we didn't have a healer or tank. It's pretty amazing how fast he can go down with 4 damage dealers, plus me dps'ng, tanking, and mend-petting. (I had the two-set T-5 on the first time, but it wasn't necessary while using hard shell.)

My gear is steadily improving. I got the Koralon PvP pants the other week which was a straight-up replacement to my PvP and pet tanking pants. I also have the two brewboss stamina trinkets if I need stamina instead of threat. Un-buffed I can get to about 30k health and still maintain my important pet-tank stats. I should calculate what they do in raid conditions. It probably can get the turtle pretty high though.

In a future patch it is implied there may be a pet resilience change. In order for pets to be un-critable in the current game, the pet needs grace of the mantis talents and the hunter needs to wear gear with 328 resilience. The change would lower the resilience needed because pets would inherit all of the master's resilience:
We certainly don't think pet resilience is useless. We are considering increasing it to 100% of master's resilience to make up for the increased AE damage pets will take in PvP. We don't want pets to explode on contact (neither do we want pet classes to be twice as difficult to kill) but we did think it was a little goofy and unintuitive that pets could just shrug off AE attacks in PvP. We'd rather make pets tougher against all types of damage than be vulnerable to some and nearly immune to others.
So this would be a lowering of the resilience requirement for hunter pet-tankers. 328 was never hard to meet, and many may overshoot it often anyway because of the other benefits of PvP gear. What this means is that pet-tank gear may allow for more dps and threat generation in the future.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Punk Pets

Punk pets over at I'd go for a Polly Rotten cock-a-tease like this. ;-)

Friday, October 2, 2009

Common Hunter PvP Abilities You May Have Forgotten

Casual PvPers may not remember half the abilities that are at their disposal. PvE abilities have pushed them out of your mind. Without dipping into special PvP-talent-only, or even discussing BM, MM, or SV-specific abilities let's review the extreme basic abilities that are useful in hunter PvP.

In Battlegrounds, information is power. You can fake out druids and other hunters with Humanoid Tracking. Just flip on Aspect of the Beast. It's especially useful if you are holding onto a flag in Warsong Gulch. When was the last time you used it?

Hunter's Mark is fairly brilliant in BGs. Flag someone for execution. Make them show up on everyone's radar. Don't let somebody skirt around a battle and cap something. Point out the healer in the back of the group.

Wing Clip is useful when things get sticky. Use my one button melee macro if you think you're short on keybinds. You probably want to follow it up with a Disengage.

Flare is always nice if you're defending.

You've used Feign Death tons in your PvE existence. You used to pull to the tank using it before you got Misdirect. If you hit FD then the opponent will stop targeting you. If you don't attack them again first (or say have your pet attack them before you do), then they'll be targeting and attacking someone else until they retarget. If they bother. It's especially nice to hit right near the end of a mage's long cast time.

You got Scare Beast at level 14. Maybe you used it in Kara's Wizard of Oz opera event. Maybe you use it on the Faction Champions hunter pet. It's nice in PvP on other pets and feral druids. It used to really suck. Now it works up to 30 yards so you can cast it early. Just don't cast it in front of a hunter actively hitting you. That just wont play.

Eagle Eye rocks. It's not as good as Tracking Humaniods. But information is power. You can check out opportunities for capping things. Sure rogues and feral druids can spoil the day. But if you see them elsewhere then you'll know they can't be in two places at once. This is best for Arathi Basin when you're at the Blacksmith's or the Lumbermill. Call out the things you see. Watch for troop movements.

Concussion shot and Frost Trap are both your friend. PvP isn't all about maximum DPS. Look at the gear you get. It's about mitigating that damage. Slowing opponents is a critical step. Use these on melee as much as possible.

Serpent Sting is usually is part of our max-damage rotations because of many abilities, but it also is good for annoyance. Nobody likes to have a sting on them. Viper Sting is also nice. If you're Marks, Scorpid Sting may be a good one with Chimera Shot. (Though I wasn't going to talk about BM, MM, or SV!) Don't forget you can sting multiple opponents with stings. And really don't forget to serpent sting rogues and feral druids. The DoT will keep them from disappearing.

The same annoyance factor applies to Snake Trap. And who doesn't grin when you see it go off? What's not to like? It poisons the victim and gives them something else to cleanse if they can.

Tranq Shot FTW. See my tranq shot mouse-over macro for using it. Remove one buff. Some can't be removed, but many can.

Okay, so Aimed Shot does require you to take a talent. It however is a not so un-common talent to take for PvE people. And it isn't exactly limited to just one talent tree. (It's not like Entrapment!) So let me say this: If you have it, please use it. You can bring down targets that are getting heals.

Kill Shot is a wonderful thing. If you're good with it, you'll get your KS off early and it won't even be the killing blow. That's when you know you can hit it quickly. Of course if you pause too much with it, you will probably miss out on the window of opportunity.

Master's Call is available to everyone. Try it out if you haven't. Read the description.

Freezing Arrow was meant to be fired while you are moving. Practice doing it. Then practice doing it with a dueling opponent. Then consider how great it is. I typically will use it while riding (it does dismount you when you fire it) and placing it where I think someone may appear.