Raiding in a yellow submarine

With thanks to @demeternoth and @stormcrack, and apologies to the Beatles, our take on going to Vashj'ir in a submarine.

On the realm where I was born
Lived a gnome who sailed to sea
And he told us of his raids
In the land of submarines

So we sailed on to Vashj'ir
'til we found a naga queen
And we raided 'neath the waves
In our yellow submarine

We all raid in a yellow submarine,
yellow submarine, yellow submarine
We all raid in a yellow submarine,
yellow submarine, yellow submarine

And our guild is all aboard
Many other guilds are just next door
And over Vent, we start to chat

(trumpets play over Vent chatter)

We all raid in a yellow submarine,
yellow submarine, yellow submarine
We all raid in a yellow submarine,
yellow submarine, yellow submarine

(Full speed ahead, Mr. Copperpot! Full speed ahead!)
(Full speed over here, sir!
... At least you nearly got my name right that time,
Captain Cloudkicker...)

As we swim in epic seas (epic seas),
Every one of us (every one) has all we need (has all we need!)
Replacing blues (lousy blues), and sharding greens (so many greens!)
In our yellow (yellow raiding!) submarine (submarine, haha!)

We all raid in a yellow submarine,
yellow submarine, yellow submarine
We all raid in a yellow submarine,
yellow submarine, yellow submarine


We all raid in a yellow submarine,
yellow submarine, yellow submarine
We all raid in a yellow submarine,
yellow submarine, yellow submarine

Bits and pieces

piecesApologies for the sudden unexpected silence. I've had bits and pieces of posts bouncing around in my head; none of them fully fleshed themselves out, so here they are glued together into some semblance of a post.

Patch 3.3.3 for DK tanks

And yes, no matter what Gravity tries to tell you, it's 3.3.3, not 3.33. ;)

Blood tanks: our plan B is now plan-B-ier. It's also even easier to understand: Damage that would take you below 34-35% health or taken while you are at 34-35% health is reduced by (4-5/9-10/14-15)%. Voila. Will of the Necropolis is now better, but still sort of a worst-case scenario. Frankly, I just want to know when it kicks in - does WotN put something in the combat logs? Does anyone know?

Frost tanks: If you're specced into Improved Icy Talons, it (1) now double-dips to give you more melee haste and (2) should now be taken whether you have an enhancement shaman along or not for basically that reason... if you're dual-wielding. DW got more boosts, in the form of more off-hand damage. (That also kind of makes me want to look into frost DPS again, but I've not been keeping up with the latest math wankery on whether frost DPS is competitive again. Plus I need new weapons.) Two-handed frost tanks... please stand by.

Unholy tanks: ... sorry, I got nothin'.


My shaman has been receiving a bulk of my attention lately. I like shamans! It took a while for the totem mechanic to grow on me, and I can still see a number of fights that my DK is doing now where totems would be more or less very awkward to use, but it doesn't make me like it any less. I've been leveling elemental, and doing a few Outland dungeons as elemental so I can get used to it in groups. It's a real culture shock, after being a death knight solely for so long - what do you mean, I have to not use up all my mana? Bloody hell, I'm an aggro machine! And so on.

I also got unexpectedly pressed into resto'ing (as elemental) in Underbog when our healer decided to plop his fat dwarven butt on the ground prior to the naga section and, y'know, not tell anyone, nearly causing a wipe. Once he got punted, I was asked to heal until we could find a healer, and so I swapped over to Earthliving, put my 3 heals on my bars, and along I went. I ... liked that too! I sense 1000g is coming up in Kallech's future to make him dual-spec ele/resto. Y'know, right after the combined 6000g for epic and cold-weather flying.


Finally makin' it. Thanks Jewelcrafting! And thanks primarily to Hydra and Rip for the advice. :) I won't be hitting the gold cap anytime soon, but my total grows little by little and I'm no longer scraping the bottom of my empty change purse to try and pay for repairs or raid consumables, and that's an improvement in my book.

WoW is like Pokemon

No, seriously. At a very high level, there's a lot of unusual similarities, especially in playstyles.

First, you've got the people who play for the leveling, or for the story, or both. These people might do things that seem strange to some of us, but they like what they're doing, and sometimes they're 9 years old, and who can fault them for that?

Then you've got the people who get really, really srs bzns about it. These people crunch math, look at stats, find advantages, and in the end they boil the 'acceptable' standards down to certain combinations of stats and maneuvers in tiers. For WoW, these might be hardcore raiders or arena folks; in the world of Pokemon, these are competitive battlers. Hell, both games even have simulators that allow you to engage in full-on math wankery in an idealized version of the game environment.

Oh, and altoholics? Come on, that one's easy: gotta catch level 'em all.

Pokemon even has its own version of Elitist Jerks: it's called Smogon.

No wonder I'm such a fan of both games.

Caffeine is still recruiting

Especially healers. Seriously. Join us. Joinnnnnn ussssss. Now 7/12 in ICC-10, after a decisive Orb-Whisperer-included victory over Team Edward The Blood Princes.

Shaking off the dust; WoW resolutions

Unrelated note: how many times did I type "reoslutions" instead of resolutions? If you guessed 3, you're a winner.

So the holiday lull is over and the new year begins. My real life resolutions for 2010 aren't anything impressive, and I've been cheating on WoW with consoles so I could really use some goal setting... so let's take a look at what I intend to get done in WoW this year.


  • Finish *Insane in the Membrane before Cataclysm - or at least the goblin and Shen'drelar portions*. Ideally I'd like to have all of this done by the expansion, so I can march into Deepholm and prove that I really am insane - see, it says so right above my head... Barring that, I'd like to at least finish the Steamwheedle Cartel and Shen'drelar reputations. Feralas is marked for some pretty heavy changes, and as it's the easiest source for both of those (or at least the best for this title), I'd like to get done with that place while I can. Goblin I can do - Shen'drelar will be hell on the pocketbook... I suck at making money. This also has a sub-resolution:

  • Get my rogue to 60+. This is the only way I'm going to be able to pickpocket all those Heavy Junkboxes unless a miracle occurs. The problem is, I really don't like playing my rogue, so I need to use my remaining month of recruit-a-friend time and power-level her.

  • Finish *The Loremaster on my warlock.* This is the title I originally wanted for him back when he was a little Forsaken warlock. Then he was a gnome warlock on Kael'thas and I'm sorry, I just can't play gnomes. Now he's an orc warlock back on Feathermoon and is only a few levels higher than he was at the end of Wrath. He's halfway done with basically all of Loremaster, barring Northrend, so I guess I should also add:

  • Finally (FINALLY) finish *Higher Learning.* Do you know how close I am to this? I need one book. One. It is never there. I have seen its joke replacements for the last four months. I WILL FINISH THIS ACHIEVEMENT THIS YEAR. Finished on January 18, 2010.

  • Get my warlock to 80 before Cataclysm. That way I can ignore him until it's almost time for the expansion after that. Ha ha, I kid.

  • Get my *Violet Proto-Drake. *As it stands, I'll get this during the Midsummer Fire Festival - assuming I don't get boned by the RNG again during Valentine's Day. The Midsummer Fire Festival is the only event I'm not at least 33-50% done with, because it was the only holiday that passed during the time that I quit playing WoW. I've been cleaning up so far, and I've got no reason to stop. Hot Pink Drake of Speed, here I come!

  • Level a druid, paladin, or shaman to 80. Really, just level anything to 80. I'm pretty sure I'm the last remaining person in World of Warcraft with one level 80 character. And I've really had the urge to level a kitty druid lately... and I do have the leather heirlooms for it... I've just been trying to hold off on it until I finish leveling my rogue, and I was also kind of waiting until troll and worgen druids were available. However, I'm bad at not giving in to temptation.

So yeah, that's it. There's my list. It's a short list of resolutions (spoiler: I typed "reoslutions" again), but it should be enough to keep me occupied.

Especially Insane in the Membrane, which some days feels so overwhelming that I start to think maybe Battlemaster would've been a better idea.

Oh wait! I forgot one!

  • Post informative stuff about Death Knights again. The death knight blogosphere shrank about as fast as it grew, didn't it? And my old guides could really use a good revamp. So yeah, I figure 2010 is a good time for me to get back into posting about the art of death knighting again.

So what are your goals for the year?

Letting it languish


Ah, December - that time of the year where I typically let my blog posts trickle to a minimum. Not out of neglect for you, O dear reader, all 3 of you. No no - I simply find a lot of other things to do that happen to coincide with the holiday season, plus I spend a good deal of time out of town and not playing WoW.

I've been running PUGs, like everyone else, but to be honest I don't even have a good story about those. Oh, there's the one where our tank ninja-quit during the fourth wave in the Tribunal of Ages in Halls of Stone, and me and the fury warrior ran around like chickens with our heads cut off, keeping the billion dwarves off of our druid (who kept us all up!) and our elemental shaman (who knocked them all down). And then we went and punched Sjonnir in his ugly face to round out the night.

And yes, I'll be finishing up Winter Veil. I only have 4 achievements until the title that I couldn't finish last year, so this year, Merrymaker is mine!

However, I've also been playing other games. Gasp, shock! Blame the Polygamerous podcast (episode 3 just came out! Check it out here, it's a good listen), but I periodically play other games now. Finally beat Persona 4, for instance, and a little Modern Warfare 2 and Zeno Clash (which wins hands-down for weirdest friggin' game of the year). However, the game I can already tell is going to eat a lot of time now that I have it again is Mass Effect.

I've said it before, I'll say it again - the only people who can match and, in my opinion, far exceed Blizzard's ability to create a fictional universe down to the niggling details that don't affect gameplay are the fine folks at Bioware. I'd love to know how many of them are frustrated ex-tabletop GMs. :) Mass Effect was one of my favorite Xbox 360 games, if not the favorite, back when I had a working Xbox 360. However, due to complications with the 360 itself, I never quite got to finish it... and so when I saw it was only $20 on Steam....

Well, Merry Christmas to me. :)

(Incidentally, if you'd like to be friends with me on Steam, here's my profile.)

So that's why you may not hear much here in December. Now you know!

Still alive

Hello, faithful readers! According to the stats chart for the past week, you people keep coming even if I'm not writing anything, and that's both inspiring and fascinating. In fact, one of my busiest days on this blog - ever - apparently came in the middle of last week, while I was on the road!

I haven't been writing because I was on vacation, so if you were in or around Greensboro NC or Greenville SC, you may have seen me! However, you probably wouldn't have known me from Adam. Such is life.

Anyway, here's a smattering of things I felt were worth mentioning, and I'll try to post something slightly more substantial soon.

  • Two more down: Eye for an Eye and Skeleton Jack are closing their blogs. So long, gentlemen. E4AE always made ret paladinning sound fun, and SJ - well, what can I say? You made me like Unholy-spec DPS, despite all my best efforts to the contrary. Adios to both of you.

  • Your stupid food trick of the day: you can eat a Magic Eater, be transformed, and still ride Argent Tournament jousting mounts (you'll hover somewhere above it, except the basilisk, who rides on its back). If you're in whelp form, you'll also have a tiny whelp-sized lance in your paw attached to your wing.

  • Thanks for saving me a month or two: The Argent Hippogryph is being lowered in price from 250 to 150 seals as of, well, today (even if it displays wrong - reportedly it may cost 150 but still display 250). I am pleased, as thus far I haven't spent a single seal because I'm aiming to get the ‘gryph. It'll actually be my 25th mount.

  • Personal accomplishments: Freya down, Hodir down more smoothly than last week, Thorim...well, still working on that one. We essentially have The Siege and The Antechamber on farm, so I'm hoping I can see a Worldcarver soon. Or a Rune Edge. Either would be a nice upgrade. Unfortunately, the theme for Ulduar this week was "holy caster drops, Batman!" We did see two of the Rogue/Death Knight/Mage/Druid tier pants tokens this week, and I snagged mine, so hello best-in-slot-for-now pants.

And to finish this off, here's a couple screenshots of the Magic Eater/Argent mount combo. Click to embiggen:



Coming soon to a server near you

nelfdk Well, I didn't raid last night. It was an oversight, but one hopefully avoided soon. (Yes, I reserve the right to be cryptic.) However, in my don't-feel-like-doing-anything funk resulting from aforementioned oversight, I started leveling... another Death Knight. Those starter quests go a lot quicker once you've got 20 days /played on another DK, except for the fact that I keep hitting buttons for abilities I don't have yet.

If you're on Kael'thas, say hi to Voltarus. Trust me, I'm just as surprised as you are that they accidentally let me name myself after Drakuru's personal necropolis.

Rise from your grave

Behold, my new Army of the Dead (click picture to embiggen):


Sadly, there were not enough cows to merit an achievement.

I'd like to give a hearty shout-out and a hello to Kel from Awakening in Progress, a fairly new blog. Kel's got a holy priest and a death knight, and a pretty good storytelling style. Oh, and she's further proof that there are girls on the internet! I particularly liked her post on the reputation of a Death Knight - how we have to prove ourselves more than other classes for a raid spot due to a massive influx of idiots (my words, not hers); Kel goes on to include some tips for DKs looking for raid spots on how to Stop Doing It Wrong.

An excuse to post achievement screenshots

It's Monday again? Sheesh. Too sleepy to post real post yet. Here's screenshots of what I did this weekend. First, Zulfon:



Then, new recruit-a-friend warrior Joratox (leveling with Vandersloot's new warlock, Vandorah; I told him she needed to finish World Explorer so she could be Vandorah the Explorer):




And back to Zulfon for the late-Sunday-night finish:


Not pictured because apparently three achievements won't show up simultaneously: finishing The Argent Crusade and The Argent Champion (yes, my death knight is now Zulfon the Argent Champion) also earned me 5 Exalted Reputations.

I’m only surprised it didn’t happen sooner


I kid, of course: I write for me, but I also write for you. And apparently that earned me some recognition in the form of the above award, disguised as a meme, and handed out by Lady Jess herself. Thank you, thank you. I couldn't do it without you, the little people (and I don't mean the gnomes)!

"This award is bestowed upon a fellow blogger whose blog content or design is, in the giver's opinion, brilliant."

I can only assume it's the content, because the design's stock-standard. I should work on that. Anyway, like many awards, which come with rules like "don't pose for Penthouse after being crowned" and "don't use performance-enhancing drugs," this one comes with rules too. Here we go.

  1. When accepting this auspicious award, you must write a post bragging about it, including the name of the misguided soul who thinks you deserve such acclaim, and link back to the said person so everyone knows she/he is real.

  2. Choose a minimum of seven (7) blogs that you find brilliant in content or design. Or improvise by including bloggers who have no idea who you are because you don't have seven friends. Show the seven random victims' names and links and leave a harassing comment informing them that they were prized with Honest Weblog. Well, there's no prize, but they can keep the nifty icon.

  3. List at least ten (10) honest things about yourself. Then pass it on!

Honesty is the best policy, I suppose. Here's ten things about yours truly.

  1. I have an addiction to shiny pretty brand-new gadgets, limited only by my budget and common sense, and moreso the former than the latter.


  3. I have alt-itis, but at the same time I have alt-paralysis. I have a bunch of alts, ranging in level from 35 to 70, most of whom I only log on in fits and spurts. My druid has been getting a lot of love, though. To be honest, my first character was an undead rogue, but my first character after I learned how to play was a tauren druid, and I think it's some of that nostalgia coming back to me. (That and the fact that blowing stuff up is fun.)

  4. I'm on an RP server, but I really don't RP. Funny thing, eh? I do write little RP journals on Path of a Hero for Whitebough when inspiration strikes, but I'm horribly out of practice.

  5. My Halloween costumes have gotten progressively nerdier over the past four years, and I largely blame my roommate(s). In ‘05, the four of us went as the Fantastic Four (I was Reed Richards). In ‘06, the three of us went as Mario, Luigi, and Link (I was Mario, and I talked my girlfriend into going as Princess Peach). I can't remember what was in ‘07. In ‘08, my roommate and I went as Mega Man and Dr. Wily (I was Dr. Wily). This year? Who's to say? If he played WoW, we'd probably go as Varian and Thrall or something, and maybe I could talk my girlfriend into a Jaina costume.

  6. I am really, really bad at PvP. I can't believe I managed to rope Llanion and Siha into an arena team with me. THE FOOLS, MUAHAHAHAHAcough.

  7. I have a lot of trouble coming up with things about myself. You wouldn't believe how long I've been sitting here thinking about this (hint: most of the day).

  8. I once managed to break both of my big toes at once by falling over onto them on a concrete floor because I was inside a sleeping bag and hopping from one spot to the other instead of getting out because it was cold, damn it.

  9. I used to play FFXI, and I still have an account, but recently my linkshell (WoW players: read that as "guild") broke up and everyone scattered to parts unknown and so now I really don't have a reason to go back there. A hello to Wendell and Skaphia from Midgardsormr, if they happen to run across this; Socrates misses you guys

  10. I used to be a complete Mac addict; now it's toned down to more of a strong like. I actually have articles published in O'Reilly Media's Mac OS X Hacks, which is now out-of-print (and the tips I wrote therein are obsolete). Still, it's nice to know I'm in print somewhere.

Okay, there we go. Now let's see what we can do about tagging some other folks. 7 bloggers, eh?

  • Bellbell at 4haelz, my current druid mentor!

  • Everyone at World of Matticus. Yes, all of you. Individually. Is that cheating? Screw you, it's my blog and my award!

  • Trustyn at Zap!

  • The recently relocated Llanion, at Mad Cow Chronicles, without whom Banana Force M would be less Banana Force M-pressive. (Grooooan.)

  • On that note, also Siha!

  • Ms. Nibuca, over at Mystic Chicanery!

  • And, a guy more of you should be reading, Linedan at Achtung Panzercow!

You all rock! Now get to writin'.