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Starcraft 2? meh….

My god, I wish I had an extra 10 hours a week. Who the fuck dictates there be only 24/7? Fuck em.

Today is the eve of Starcraft 2 bieng launched into the wilderness and the awaiting arms of the frothing masses of fanboys the world over. I have played the multiplayer beta for the past few months, and I can tell you right now, I am unimpressed. Mabye it’s because I’m harder to please nowadays (my wife can attest to that!), but I would like to think that I’m a bit more world wise than I was 12 years ago when the origional Starcraft came to market. For some of you, Starcraft 2 coming out tonite means X-mas comes early this year. For the rest of us, It’s 10 years to late.

OK, with an opening like that I’m bound to get some hate mail. Bring it. All….3 of you who read my blog.

Anyways, I’ve played the Starcraft 2 multiplayer beta along with some friends during May, and I must say that the multiplayer is not holding my interest. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll be buying the game day 1, but from the looks of things it will be because I want to see the progression of the story, not so much of the RTS action everyone else loves. Why is that? I’ll tell you. Keep in mind that I am talking strictly from a multiplayer standpoint.

Starcraft 2 feels essentially like Starcraft 1. You can take that in a good and bad way. Starcraft, at it’s time, was revolutionary. It took a fledgling genre (which blizzard already had a hand in creating), and pushed the bar so high that it would not be surpassed for years. Imitators flocked to create dozens of Starcraft clones, but none touched the quality or popularity that Starcraft had. This was in 1998. I loved Starcraft. I played it for hours and hours with friends, both in lans and online. It’s a classic game I will always have in my collection, if only for nostalgia’s sake.

It’s 12 years later. What worked then doesn’t necessarily means it works now. Why? Because the genre has progressed since then. New games have taken up the mantle to bring RTS entertainment to the masses. The C&C franchise remains fairly strong, despite EA’s efforts to kill it with the disapointment of C&C 4. Relic has entered into the buisness and produced the Dawn of War and Company of Heroes franchises, both of which are exceptional. Chris Taylor has re-entered the fray with his Supreme Commander series. If you want a more indie vibe, you got Sins of the Solar Empire. Great games all, because they take the RTS genre, pick a specific portion of it, and fill in that niche completely.

When you play a Supcom game, you expect, and recieve, large scale combat. Massive scale. The entire game revolves around this. Units are simple to manage. Upgrades are simple to impliment. You don’t micro manage your forces, you manage your army from a high level, using your forces like a blunt club. Your constantly attacking and being attacked simultaniously, with your attention split between multiple things. Combat is simple and requres no imput on your part, just let your forces go and leave them to their own devices while you focus on a dozen other things. The zoom feature is brilliant, allowing you to zoom out to see the entire map at once to get a overall picture, then zooming back down to the spot you want to focus on in the moment seamlessly. The game is designed to take a lot of the micromanagement out of picture. Now, if your into this kind of thing, Supcom delivers in spades. It’s not without faults, and there can be some definite balance issues, but overall the game is solid.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, you have the Dawn of War series, now at Dawn of War 2: Chaos Rising. Where in Supcom you direct forces like how you would direct a mallet, DoW2 is like wielding a surgical scalpel. You generally control no more than 5 or so units at a time, Maybe 8 max. Each faction has a lot of identity and personality to it (except tyranids). The action is focused on intense small scale combat. Terrain, cover, infantry surpression, all these things matter. You are heavily invested in each of your units. It’s less about planning for the future and dealing with the fight right now. All of your units need to be micromanaged while in combat, as almost all units have special abilities to be used. The combat is intense, visceral and in your face. It’s as close to twitch gaming as RTS genre dares to emulate from it’s FPS cousins. Again, it has it’s faults, but when it comes down to the nitty gritty combat, it works very well.

In the middle(ish) of the spectrum, you have Sins of the Solar Empire. While leaning in on the large, macro scale, there are moments where you need to micromanage intense space battles between large fleets of ships. The difference between someone just issuing an attack move order and someone using special abilities, focus firing specific targets, building a robust fleet, etc, make massive differences. What makes this work for Sins is that the game’s pace is slow enough to allow you to move between managing your empire and managing a fleet currently in combat. Additionally, space battles between large fleets is just awesome to watch.

Now the question is, what does Starcraft 2 bring to the table that makes me want to play it? Just telling me “It’s Starcraft 2! It’s gonna be awesome because it’s made by Blizzard!” doesn’t do it for me in the long run. It makes me take that initial look, because I enjoyed the origional so much and have this boyish faith in Blizzard’s development team, but riding on the coattails of prior success doesn’t hold water for long. I want to know what Starcraft 2 has that makes me want to play it, recommend it to my friends, post videos about it and whatnot.

From what I’ve played of the beta, I’ve yet to find that spark. It has the same charm as it’s predicessor, but it’s not as revolutionary and “new” as it was back then. I’m not saying it’s bad, but I am saying it feels pretty bland. It’s like playing a game that’s confused as to what it wants to be. You have the makings of large scale battles, but they almost never happens because all anyone wants to do is rush rush rush and try to get the game over in 5 minutes and go to the next one. When you do get into a large battle, when you get to use your race’s units, tech and whatever to it’s fullest, the tools you have are lacking. You can’t see the whole map at once, unless you want to squint at the minimap. You can easily have a hundred or so units, but having continuous units pumping out is a chore and takes attention away from more meaningfull stuff, like fighting. Your units almost all have special abilities, different modes, or something, that makes launching a combined force more difficult than what it needs to be.

The game plays best at the small scale, intense 10 minute window that the pros play at and the rest of the userbase wants to emulate. But here, there are small problems. Terrain at this stage in the game is almost a non issue. Units at this stage don’t really have any tactical depth yet. For all intense and purposes it’s too simplistic and shallow. Top it off your constantly going back and forth from fighting and building up your base. For more of the tactical elements to come into play, you need to wait until the game progresses further down the line, and then you start running into the problems I mentioned earlier.

In short, the game feels too macro when you want to micro, too micro when you want to macro. It’s like it doesn’t know what it wants to do. Now, part of the game is knowing when to do which when, but when both are done fairly clunky in comparison to the competition, it makes the gameplay is pretty jarring. Combine that with the gameplay itself doesn’t feel like it really evolved over the years. It really feels like it’s Starcraft 1 but with a fresh coat of paint. It’s oversimplifieng it but I honestly expected more from such a long development time.

Now, like I said, the multiplayer is by no means bad. What I am saying is that it feels like I’m playing the same game from 12 years ago, and that’s not necessarily a good thing.

Halion, LK, and More

So, this week Ruby Sanctum is out, and my guild went in and gave it a whirl. Now, we are not the best guild on the server, but we are good. Top 10 generally. But wendsday we were able to snag a server first 25 man guild normal kill, and yesterday we did the 10 man heroic, also a server first (and 96th worldwide). I will tell you this, completing a challenge, any challenge, before anyone else on the server did felt awesome.

Halion on hard mode is a bitch. What you don’t see in the video is the 7+ hours we spent wiping to the boss trying to figure out what’s killing us. DBM didn’t work, people stood in fire, we didn’t know about how the dispelling mechanic worked, positioning, all that shit. We had a vague idea based off a video of someone’s kill (I believe premonition), but not everything worked for us and they didn’t explain anything.

So, it took a while and a lot of wipes, but we got it and I made a tutorial video so others can do it.

I don’t know about you, but I find kill videos boring. It also tells you so little about the fight. I can understand the extreme, best guilds in the world trying to hide their tactics for a bit, but that’s not my way. I would rather go through the tough fights, figure out what’s going on, then turn around and show others how to do it so more people can have a crack at it. I get a since of satisfaction that I people learned how to do something from me. These tactics need to be shared damnit, not hoarded!

Over the months since I’ve joined AA, we have been steadily progressing the ladder on our server. I wish I could say that I was a main contributor, or that our guild became so awesome that we give the high end guilds a run for the money. The reality is, 3 of the top horde guilds on the server collapsed and quit raiding, and who knows what happened on the alliance side. Now only Thrust is above us, and we are neck and neck with them progression wise. Right now our server is at a 7 way tie to get heroic LK down first for 25.

The benefit is that those in those awesome guilds that still want to raid, they have few choices to go, and a good chunk are choosing to make AA their home. We have gotten an influx of solid players with excellent gear and a lot of raiding experience, allowing us to still raid even through the dead zone that summer brings. We’ll see how many last through the summer though.

Heroic LK attempts were started on the 1st, and he’s every bit the beast people have been saying he is. Phase 1 is a massive dps race while balancing positioning and plagues. Out of 2 hours of fighting, I think we got into P2 cleanly once. Our problems were the shadow traps and the shamblers beserking. With the traps, it’s mainly people zoning out and forgetting that staying alive is more important getting yourself and others killed. The beserking issue is the more serious one. See, if a shamble is enraged, he 1 shots tanks. Literally does 80k hits on me. Hunters need to tranq shot to get rid of it asap, and it wasn’t happening. I don’t think 2 tanks will solve the problem, as any tank we put there won’t have the gear to handle it.

Next we will try cycling stuns more often to see if I can time it just right so when they beserk they are stunned, giving the hunters more time. But this means I have to watch the enrage timer, watch to ensure I’m in the right spot or need to move, taunt ghouls off of melee at every opportunity, watch for shadow traps, constantly reposition the mobs because they like to slide around and face places I don’t want them to face, all while doing my rotation. Failure in anything means raid wipe immediately, and I’m not ashamed to say that it’s stretching my multitasking abilities a bit.

But he will fall eventually. They all fall in time.

I’ll tell you what, I was disappointed in E3 this year. Maybe it’s me getting becoming more and more jaded at the games of tomorrow, or watching G4’s coverage of the event like everything presented is awesome without giving a thought that maybe, just maybe, they are just getting fed too much of the snake oil from the marketing department.

Or…. maybe all I got of the Warhammer 40k MMO was a minute long trailer and told to wait 2 months for more. Yeah, let’s go with that.

Anyways, disappointing conventions aside, let’s go over about Cataclysm for a bit. It’s been practically a year since it was formally announced and while we know more now that what we knew then, we still don’t know much at all. All of the info we have received is disjointed and until we have beta access and the NDA’s are lifted we can get solid information from the community where everything learned is put together, not picked apart separately.

Take for example my video on cataclysm druid tanking. I completely forgot that months earlier, they had announced some of the planned changes to the class itself, and that a new baseline ability called Thrash will be introduced. It’s an AOE that does damage and causes the targets to bleed for 6 seconds, with a 5 second cooldown on the ability. While that doesn’t change what I said about pulverize on single targets, we don’t know enough about thrash if it will be used in single target fights. Judging from the description, I think its focus is AOE only.

But let’s forget that right now. The big thing that was mentioned waaaaaaay back that I never got a chance to talk about was Vengeance. All tanks will be getting this ability in their chosen talent tree. What is Vengeance? It gives you an attack power buff every time your hit. When you are hit, take 5% of the damage you received, and add that to your attack power. Continue to do this until the vengeance buff equals 10% of your unbuffed (read: after gear) health. Its Blizzards way of giving them an easy setting to tweak that just affects tanks if they need to re-arrange tank dps/threat.

If you read into interviews and whatnot with Ghostcrawler, you will notice that the focus of the game has shifted from a short term, 3 year property to something that will last for quite some time, and that the original game was not made with consideration for the future in mind. When the developers want to balance something, they have to find a way to change what they want without rendering a specific class or spec useless for PVE or PVP. In my opinion, while they have made huge, HUGE strides since WoW was first released, they still fail at this. I’m not saying it’s easy, but looking at how many survival rogues or frost mages are successfully accomplishing Icecrown even at a casual, 10 man level compared to other specs for the given classes, I think the outcome of their current efforts are clear.

Talent masteries like Vengeance is a way to fix that. Every class and spec has a version of Vengeance that increases their raw damage that is specific only to that class and spec. If say, a mutilate rogue is too high on bosses compared to the combat and subtlety, they can dial down the melee damage passive increase in the assassin tree to make it even, without gimping the spec itself. Looks good in theory, we’ll see how it works in practice.

Now, when it comes to tanking, all tanks have 2 of the 3 passive abilities, with the third being unique. All tanks will share a damage reduction bonus as well as vengeance, which will serve as our attack power bonus. The 3rd, unique ability, from the looks of things, appears to deal with the block mechanic. I’ll explain.

First, let’s take the warrior, a tank that actually has a shield to protect his face from Bad Things. A warrior’s 3rd mastery talent is critical block chance. Now, blocking in of itself is getting redesigned to shave off 30% of the incoming attack, instead of a constant value, to make it more useful in boss fights. Critical block chance for a warrior gives him (or her, for you ladies out there) a chance that the block will absorb 60% of the damage. Good stuff. Extremely useful for a warrior to tank hard hitting bosses like Festergut, further solidifying the niche that a warrior tank always handles the big baddies.

A paladin, on the other hand, gets Block Amount, which increases the amount absorbed through normal blocking, but keeping with the current theme of the class, a paladin will block a lot more than say a warrior. If Holy shield doesn’t get a massive change to its block % increase, then you will still see paladins blocking 40% or more of their incoming attacks. This right now is something I am curious to see if they will let it stand, because outside of ICC, paladins are unhittable due to holy shield. If in Cataclysm this remains unchanged, what you are looking at is a tank that, if he doesn’t dodge, parry or is missed entirely, the attack is blocked. If it’s blocked, it’s at a minimum 30% damage reduction. That means EVERY attack that lands is 30% reduction, which is huge. It’s like having a mini divine shield up, permanently.

Then you have the non shield wearing classes, the druid and DK. Druids get Savage Defense, which increases their ability of the same name. This ability is a druid’s equivalent to block, and I would not be surprised if Savage defense gets buffed to 30% of the incoming attack, like block will be. Then comes the question, what will the mastery improve? Will it make it activate more often? Will it increase its damage absorbed, like how it will do it for a pally? We won’t know until more info is released.

Lastly, and least, is the Death Knight. Since blood is being redesigned as the tank tree, and DK’s don’t have a block mechanic currently, their mastery is Healing Absorption. From the description, every time you heal yourself (death strike, rune tap, etc), you gain the ability to absorb some incoming damage. I feel that this will be a DK’s version of block. Considering that currently a blood DK does at least 2 self heals in a 10 second span, I can see that this Healing Absorption will be around 30% or a little more. It also means that DK’s can very well be the only class that can actively choose when they want to block, or get a block like affect. All of that is speculation of course, as the DK is getting the most rework out of all the tank classes.

Seeing that I’m already at the end of my second page, I’m going to end this entry here so you’re not all bored to death, the very few of you who read this far. I’ll talk about what the future of tanking is starting to look like going off of the posts and impressions from blizzard’s staff in a few days.

References:
http://www.wow.com/2010/04/09/cataclysm-class-changes-druid/
http://www.wow.com/2010/04/08/cataclysm-class-changes-death-knight/
http://www.wow.com/2010/04/14/cataclysm-class-changes-paladin/
http://www.wow.com/2010/04/08/cataclysm-class-changes-warrior/

It’s X-mas in June!

The industry event of the year to shame all others has finally come to pass. E3 is here and officially starts tomorrow, but everyone who actually matters is getting their major stuff out of the way now while they can secure exclusive press time. At the time of this post, EA is in the middle of their press release, with Microsoft already done their little dance in the limelight. Blizzard already jumped the gun yesterday with all kinds of juicy new Cataclysm details. These would be…..

- Path of the Titans got axed
- Inscription now has “Medium Glyphs”, which are described as cosmetic
- Guild Talents are gone, and they took its money with it
- Can now reputation grind your guild (ugh)
- New raid lockout mechanics, such as downshifting and swapping raid ID’s mid week
- New lore developments

All good stuff to look into and talk about. But not today, and probably not via blog. I’ll probably talk about it via video later this week.

Right now, at this very moment, I’m constantly hitting refresh on as many game news sites as I can for any scrap of information on the upcoming Warhammer 40K MMO. We have been told repeatedly that the details of the game would be revealed, finally, at this E3. I want that info. I need that info. If there is one franchise that will make me sign a Faustian Bargain for is WH40K. I love the lore, the board game, the RTS games, the novels, everything. It is the only franchise that surpasses Warcraft, in all of its incarnations, for me. Sadly, Warhammer 40K is saddled with Gamers Workshop, who I feel don’t necessarily do their genius IP right, like they are purposefully holding it back for some unknown reason.

For those of you who are not familiar with Warhammer 40k, it’s a dark gothic sci-fi setting set far in the future. Humanity is living in a dystopia, engaged in constant wars both from enemies at the gates and traitors from within. Space travel is dangerous and necessary, enemies are everywhere, mercy is for the weak and victory is never without cost. It portrays humanity in its greatest forms, with tales of honor, bravery, heroism and sacrifice. It also covers the darker sides, such as corruption, stagnation, ignorance and blind hate. It’s humanity in its decline versus enemies who show no remorse, no pity, no respite.

I love every second of it.

Anyways, the new Xbox 360 looks nice and sleek, and I will probably get one in a few months since my current 2 are broken, and have been broken for over a year.

I really wish I had time to update this more often. Between getting these tank tutorials made, raiding, family, work and, of course, other games, the blog generally comes last in priority. Also, it’s the medium I am least familiar with, as I don’t really know how to work with wordpress and whatnot. It’s a shame really, because I like to write and would like to be more social in the WoW community.

Thankfully, with the tank 101 series is at a close now. I can start focusing on more fun stuff to make video’s on. Unfortunately these videos will require a lot more editing, and thus more time. Having a weekly video is still doable, just means I will sacrafice time from something else.

Anyways, I wanted to go over something that irks the shit out of me. It happens more often than necessary, and it makes me wonder what we teach our children in our schools in terms of professionalism, respect, and good old fashon grammer.

I am talking about prospective applicants to serious raiding guilds for a raiding spot, and they make a fool of themselves in the process.

You see, the guild I’m in, as well as many guilds across the world, are labeled as “progression guilds”. We take raiding content seriously, at least enough to be able to put effort into crafting a team together of like minded people of various classes and specs to contribute to clearing content. We don’t bring people who are undergeared to carry them so they can get free epics. We don’t bring people so they can get some gear and move on to a more progressed guild. We also don’t bring in people who don’t know thier class or constantly fail in encounters where there is avoidable damage.

Above all, we don’t accept people who can’t understand the simple concept of answering a fucking question. If I asked you what is your name, and you gave me this long story of your ancestry and how you got your name, but didn’t actually tell me your name, I’m going to slap the shit out of you on principle. It makes me wonder what these people are thinking when they go through filling out the application. Are they so full of themselves that they got some notion that they will get in regardless of thier app? Do they think such massive paragraphs that answer nothing at all will hide the fact that they don’t know what the fuck they are talking about? Do they think that we don’t have people who know the class, and can see through thier bullshit? Mabye it’s a combination of it all, I don’t know.

Anyways, we generally get a flood of apps once a month, and for every 3-4 people who apply, 1 will get accepted. Recently, we got a glut of 6 or so apps very quickly, all horrible, hence this post. What also makes me wonder, is do they not look at the other perspective applicants? Surely they can see that these people put up shitty apps, and were ripped apart by myself or other players. Surely they can see where we pointed out in detail what we didn’t like about the app. I am guessing they don’t, cause then they wouldn’t repeat the same motherfucking mistakes! They are like fucking lemmings walking off a cliff!

Bah, had to get that out of me.

Anyways, like I said, I want to post more, and mabye I will. It’s either that or make more videos, and the latter isn’t very likely now that I’m trying to learn more about Sony Vegas and trying to push what I can do. Seeing that I know very little about making videos, it doesn’t take long for me to start venturing into new territory, which means immense slowdowns in the creative process as I try to figure out what the fuck I am doing.

New video up! Well, there have been several new videos since last post, but that is niether here nor there. Doesn’t matter! Starting DK tanking 101 this week.

Last week was our guild’s first LK kill in 25. It was a momentous occasion and was also coupled with a full ICC25 clear all in the same night. It took weeks to get here, and everything just fell into place that night. Not just for me, but everyone was on fire. Full ICC25 clear, plus LK, in just under 4 hours.

This week we have been doing hard modes. Since it’s the first week, the officers have said the goal is more to get as many of the “easy” hard modes out of the way first, then go onto actually staying and progressing on the harder ones. This week we did 7/12 hard mode ICC25, with marrograw, gunship, rotface, festergut, princes, Valithria and the Queen down. Queen especially surprised me, as it took over 20 attempts to get her the 1st time. On hard mode, just 2 attempts. Good times.

Other than that, I’ve been playing some other games recently. Just Cause 2 and Metro 2033. I’ve also just got the Starcraft 2 Beta, which I am currently patching. I will not be inturrupting the flow of DK tanking tuturials since there are so many, so expect additional movies in the next few weeks. In particular Just Cause 2 and Starcraft 2. The latter because like any rts fan I’ve been salavating for a chance to get my hands on it, and the former becasue it’s just fricken crazy.

On a last note, I will be a guest at Diego’s channel on youtube come next monday for a video. Diego is part of a guild called Damage Networks, a hardcore progression guild that is within the top 500 guilds in the world. They have 11/12 HM 25 ICC completed, with Diego himself almost completely decked out in 277 gear. There will be a Q&A session, so if you have any questions about paladin tanking, or tanking in general, please post it as a comment on this video.

And with that, SC2 just finished patching. I’m off to go get stomped by the people whose additude I swear makes me feel I’m on Xbox Live.

Rockem Sockem Robots

New video up!

One genre that stands out from the others for me is strategy games, in particular real time strategy. Depending on the game, it's less about the twitch skill that you find necessarry in FPS games and more about coming up with a plan to beat an opponent to submission, and adapting that plan when needed (or throwing it out entirely).

In Supcom2, you take command of your force in a much more… shall we say, impersonal way. Your units are robots, plain and simple. They don't respond to your commands with voices, they just move. They don't cry for help, run when weakened, or shout out during combat. A death to a tank means nothing, as a replacement has not just already been built, but already en route because the first tank was expected to die. You don't so much make surgical strikes rather than strike with a large, blunt hammer.

The main draw of the game is smashing massive armies against one another. The story is near garbage, played out with some atrocious voice acting. The campaign is simple and predictable except for a few missions. You have no personal attachment to any unit in the game. It truly makes the wargame very impersonal. Instead, you try to forge large, fortified bases with various forward bases, churning out hundreds of thousand of tanks, gunships, warships, bombers, AA guns, artillery, experimentals, and throw that mass into someone else doing the same thing. That is the main selling point, and to that end, Supreme Commander 2 delivers in spades.

In the match above, you see 2 of the 3 sides in action. 3 of us are Cybran, and Xeno is UEF. The Cybran force has the benifit of having the most powerfull defensive options in the game, making them incredibly difficult to assult. The Magnatron is devistating towards any ground forces. Not only will it one shot ground units, but you get additional resources from thier chewed up remains. You get a minor bonus in that forces getting sucked in are effectively no longer controlled by the player. Add to this you have the Bomb Bot, a walker which moves around with a gigantic shield on it's head. This shield can take massive punishment, and effectively makes anything above it immune to any air or artillery attack. That alone is signifigant, but it also has an overcharge ability (that you can use on command) that will 1 shot virtually any unit in a short range, both air and ground. Now add in that you can build multiple of each other, plus your standard anti air and ground turrets, plus the opposing army.

To counter this advantage, Cybran players don't have a fast way to transport ground units around the map. You have transports and experimental transports, and jump jets on land forces. These options are crap compared to the UEF's Noah Cannon and the Aeon's Space Bridge, where both have a massive range and can move lots of units quickly. The only real viable option to move lots of units around is to go air, and that's just boring sometimes.

Anyways, part 2 of the match should be up after raid tonight, so not until early friday morning.

 
New video up! This complete’s the warrior segment of tanking. There won’t be one for warrior gearing, as the paladin gear video covers the exact same stuff.

Ok, since WoW is by far the game I play the most, it will be the game I blog and make video’s of the most. Since I’m primarily a tank and that’s pretty much all that I play as, your going to see everything from a tanking perspective.

The purpose of these videos is to help people understand how to tank with thier given class effectively in a raid setting. Generally, what works for raids works for 5 man heroics, but I am aiming for raids. Big boy stuff you know.

Anyways, I love tanking. I have 3 tanks, a warrior, DK, and my main which is a paladin. I have a druid which is currently 54 and will be my 4th tank. The current plan is to have the DK videos starting in 2 weeks from today, and will be divided into 4 segments (abilities/rotation, and 1 video for each tree since you can tank in them all). This is mainly due to the massive, massive flexibility a DK has compared to any other tank when it comes to choosing which spec to use. At the end of this, hopefully my druid will be 80 and have some gear and raid time in, and I can do a tutorial of druid tanking. 

Additionally, when 3.3.5 is released, I’ll have some videos of that as well, how to tank them and whatnot.

The reason I do this is two fold. First, everyone has to start somewhere in learning how to do thier role. Some people, like myself, go to Elitist Jerks, read until my head hurts (so….20 min?), and go try out what the expert theorycrafters suggest. Other people search youtube for videos like mine. Some go to sites like Tankspot or WoW.com. Others just wing it. I like the feeling that I’ve contributed to making the general tanking population better, because there are so, so few of us.

That leads me to the second point. For so few tanks, there are so many bad tanks. Seriously. What’s with this rush nowadays to get instances done that you have to pull 7-10 trashpacks without stopping, only to die because you didn’t give the dps time to catch up and kill anything or the healer to heal you? Then you die, blame everyone else, and quit, wasting yours and 4 other people’s time because your in a hurry. Most instances nowadays can be done in under 15 min by any group that is competent enough to navigate to the random dungeon queue. Or better yet, tanks who get thier heads stuck up thier ass that they feel entitled to belittle other people for nothing more than they are new and gearing up.  And lets not get into tanks who pulled some random spec out of thier ass, walked into a random heroic, threw on a sword-n-board while wearing all dps gear and expect to do the above mentioned power pulls since they saw others do it. I can even understand not knowing a particular fight, but when has standing in the fire ever been good? How about void zones, or any of the instant dead graphics that most bosses put out? Never right? SO DON’T STAND IN IT! NO I DON’T CARE IF YOUR ICC25 GEARED AND THIS IS HEROIC FoS, MOVE!

O.K., just had to get that out of my system. Well, there you have it. I do hope the tanking videos filled in the blanks and helped you become a better tank.
 

 

 

It’s about time

Sooner or later it was going to come to this. You can only say so much in 10 min or less videos.

My name is Caine and this is going to be my little soapbox for the time being. I’m not good with introductions so let’s make this quick so you can get off my lawn *waves cane*.

I am a gamer. More prominently a WoW gamer, but a gamer nonetheless. I’ve been playing video games for the better part of 25 years now. I wasn’t there when the brown box came out, but I was there for when Nintendo delivered it’s precious grey box to America and sparked the modern video game industry, and have been hooked since. I was there when Goldeneye made the N64 actually attractive to buy, when the Playstation became the dominant console of choice, when Game Genie was in stores and Sonic was cool and not some pimped out rodent. I was there when the Doom shocked my country and kick started a fledgeling new genre into high gear. I was there when there was no so such thing as a “right click” command in RTS games (Warcraft, I’m looking at you), when there wasn’t something as simple as “mouselook”, and when PC games took a billion floppies to install.

I remember weekly lan parties, spending $80 for a 33.6k modem to get my internet gaming on, and spending 200$ for a stick of 1mb ram. I remember there used to be such a place in virtually every mall where people would get together and throw down in some Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, and Tekken, and not have it be in a Chuck-E-Cheese. I remember buying my first Space Marine miniature, my first dice, my first starter deck of Magic Cards, and writing up my first character sheet.  When portable gaming ment carrying an ugly grey brick with a black and white 2.6 inch screen. I also remember when gaming was just a hobby, when developers catered to the hardcore cause there was only the hardcore. When gamers showed a modicum of respect for others and not say such ear raping abortions that 12 year olds and grown men/women alike spew out on Xbox Live.

For all the memories of moments with friends gaming has brought me, none are as awesome as sitting here with my 3 1/2 year old son play Torchlight on his own laptop, and seeing him beat the first boss all on his own.

I write this so when you see more posts from me, you can see where I come from. I’m not new to this hobby. My intent is for it to be entertaining to you, and possibly educational or thought-provoking. I’m not here to sell you anything, or try to get you to subscribe to my site. All I want is to have my fun going off on a rant once and a while.

Now get off my lawn.

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