February 23, 2010

Latest UI

So, here we have it... Von UI revision... oh f**k, I have no idea how many times I've changed it!

New changes since last time aren't really that drastic. Some tighter packing together of action bars to regain screen real-estate, and a separating out of a dedicated "group" chat window from everything else. The group window clusters all guild, party, raid, whisper, emotes, etc, together. Everything else, like loot, experience gains, trade channel, etc, remains on the general tab on the RHS of the screen there. Of more interest, I can have the combat tab and the party/raid chatter both up at the same time.

Ventrillo Enabled

A-Von moved across to Aman'Thul last week, because, let's face facts... WoWCrack without friends is just an overcomplicated variant on the First-Person Shooter. The move has been a good call. With the server operating in prime Aussie playing time, there are actually people around. BGs and Instances pop without much of a wait, and WG is just plain full-on:

I'm hoping to experience some premade PvP action. Nothing to report on that score yet, but I'm not really trying just yet either. On that score, I've spotted the occasional premade forming with the request for peeps to join Vent.

Now.. I run Ubuntu natively, so the answer to this dilemma for me involves installing wine and Vent to run within Wine. There is a bit of a trick to getting it working, which involves unticking the "Use Direct Sound" checkboxes:

I gave it a bit of a burl last night with Guildies, and it seems to be doing the trick. Now to get over the introversion when the next premade forms...

February 14, 2010

Feeding Vandar the hordies... one toon at a time.

So, it's been an AV Holiday weekend, which means Honor galore, and very small queue times. Which has been excellent for upgrading A-Von's kit. Over the course of the weekend, I've developed a love of defending Vandar (A disturbing number of losses where I'm sure they picked up the Blitz achievement).

So.. here's the basic approach. Stand way back in Vandar's room, death-grip then chains of ice the first to step into the room, rinse and repeat. Now, it doesn't really matter if they decide to rush, but they gotta get over the headspace first of "Oh god, I just got pwned by Van and friends".

There's only one charge in this death grip, but which one o'you sons-a-biatches wants it?

February 9, 2010

H-Von taking a new path

So, My Horde Vonmalefic has seen me decide to take a radical departure from my "familiar" keyboard layout. Unfortunately, now that the Arena Season has just ticked over, A-Von can get lots of PvP upgrades. It's time to align both layouts (or remain VERY confused). Here's how H-Von currently looks:

Salient points changed:

  • The combat ability bars are now smaller, and laid out visually close to the centre of the screen, so I can keep a better eye on cooldowns with the peripheral vision.

  • Protective abilities, such as CC breakers and damage absorbers are all now clustered together.

  • All things that inflict CC are now clustered together, and tied to mouse buttons (with a shift key modifier).

February 8, 2010

Macro Madness

I've embraced the dark side, and rolled a Tauren Death Knight on Barthilas. His name is... Vonmalefic. *shrug*

I'm taking a bit of a different approach this time. I'm not going with the macro madness that I did with A-Von. Still, here are some notes on what I did, just in case I ever want to go back to the macro madness approach.

First off, here is an example showcasing the general form:

#/cast [nomod:shift] Death Strike; [mod:shift] Obliterate

Generally, I try to put the more likely to be used ability as the "nomod" one, and pair up abilities that are somehow similar. Here's the current list (heavily weighted around the blood talent tree):

  • Death Strike/Obliterate (both cost one unholy and 1 frost rune)

  • Heart Strike/Blood Strike (Both cost 1 blood rune. Being single-target, Blood Strike would seem to be a good PvP choice, but even with glyph buffs, Heart Strike comes out on top in DPS output, regardless. Thanks for the heads-up Reubs!)

  • Death and Decay/Blood Boil (differing rune costs, but both AoE, with D&D putting out more damage, and needing to be "placed", which makes it unattractive when also using a shift modifier)

  • Empower Rune Weapon/Blood Tap (ERW is more useful, but they both serve to get me a little more bang for buck WRT rune cooldowns).

  • Raise Dead/Army of the Dead (both call ghoul(s), but RD has a smaller cooldown, making it more frequently reusable)

So what am I doing instead? Taking advantage of Bartender 4's paging mechanism. In my naive reasoning, macros probably require more client-side CPU cycles to crunch. Ok, I admit it... it's more just trying to go deeper with BT4.

September 7, 2009

Bringing you down to my level: Death Gripping flying fools and other follies

So.. Death Grip... Signature DK ability, and surprisingly, there seem to be way too many people who don't realise its full potential. Pay attention. If you have a DK, note that the tricks below are really quite useful in the right situations. If you don't have one, be aware that this is all possible, and you don't want to be the patsy.

Firstly, After watching you tube videos and reading discussions on DK abilities, I'm now a firm believer that death grip is not an opener. Go to them, or better still, bait them into coming to you. Engage, wait till they decide to run, CC them as best suits the class. If they break the CC, NOW you can death grip them back knowing that their options to run are greatly reduced.

I have a different rule for bottlenecks where front-lines have formed on both sides, and it becomes a HK fest. I'll just go "hell for leather" drawing a hordie to the alliance front line the moment it comes back down off cooldown. If I notice a healer needs it, I'll use it to yank the hordie away for a time, hoping it'll give the healer the window they need to survive the mess.

Secondly. Three times now, I've been in a winning WG, waiting for the NPC quest givers to respawn when an idiot hordies has decided he can do a low-flying pass over the alliance toons gathered below. Each time, I've death gripped him down to the ground, given him a good dose of chains of ice, and participated in the bloodbath that follows. Keep your distance if you don't want to supply that nice tasty HK without tenacity granting you the edge you had while we were still contesting WG.

Thirdly, (and this is especially true in AV, but I've seen it work in WG as well). You can step far out on a ledge as a DK, far enough that somehow (I can't explain the mechanics), you are allowed to successfully death grip someone on the ground. Vica versa, if someone is further out on a ledge than normal, you can successfully yank them down off their perch. It's a special moment, grabbing a hordie running past the tower you're guarding, and letting your team mates mash the poor surprised fellow into gello.

Finally, a warning. I've had warriors successfully wield a spell reflection on me so that instead of the warrior coming my way, I suddenly find myself within the hordie front line. Hilarious, and thankfully, rather quickly resolved. Still, occasionally, if there aren't many hordies about, this might work to your advantage. Nothing quite like being sucked into the melee zone of the warrior/healer team, locking down the warrior and feeding at the buffet of healer tears that has just opened.

August 25, 2009

Engineering PvP

I had a thought today that Engineering may very well be the PvP profession. The gods know you don't do it for money, so that just leaves love... of the bloody mess variery, as a preference.

So.. here's a quick list of interesting Engineering offerings I've used to good effect in a Battleground:

  • Nitro Boots: Great for running down anyone who realises they aren't going to be able to survive a little DK loving, and think that their crowd control + hasty exit will be enough to get clear of you. I've not thought to use this to run away yet, but I can imagine it's just as special as a defensive tactic.
  • Flexiweave Underlay: If you're standing on some tall ledge and decide that you need to get to the bottom stylishly, leaving your gravity-bound new friends behind, this is simply a must-have. Arathi Basin is especially nice for those big drops from the lumber mill and to the mine.
  • Frag Belt: Situationally very useful. Situation? Someone pounding on you (not likely to move errattically away, so we're probably only dealing with melee types) who you want to drop a 3 second stun on. It's an AoE thing with a small radius, so it can be hard to judge where the toon is going to be if you're at distance. The damage isn't special, but if you can trick them into blowing their cooldown on this, all the better. Further, you can still install a belt buckle alongside this tinkering, which I count as pure win.
  • Goblin Beam Welder: Now, this allows a pretty goodly extra amount of life to seige engines, which might just be enough to see you get that wall down.
  • Saronite Bombs: Seige damage. Nuff' said, except perhaps that they come out of a box of bombs.
  • Gnomish Lightning Generator: I'll be retiring this at some stage, but until then, it's delivers a nice whallop if you're out of runic power, and just need to give that toon at a distance just a little more hot-blue loving.
No doubt there are ones I've missed, that I'm not as fond of, such as the poultryizer (I'd rather have a trinket that does damage, even if it's occasionally to me, than one which could get me all clucky instead of my new hordie friend).

Oh, and on a non-PvP note, has anyone else thought that parking Jeeves right next to the auctioneer bot in Dalaran is just a recipe for pure win?