Friday, July 31, 2009

Broadening Her Horizons - Part II

I enlisted our second child's help in demonstrating the abilities of another tank class to the Baby Tank.

See those, Kiddo? Those things are why Daddy says bad words when he fights Paladins in battlegrounds.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

All Dressed Up

With nothing to tank.

3.2's on the horizon, and as such, I have little to no motivation to do much of anything PvEish. When the patch drops I'll probably be wanting to hit some heroics, but right now it seems a little pointless.

That explains my recent PvP adventures. I log in, do some auctioning, maybe do the cooking and fishing dailies, try to run at least one WG, and hit some BGs to round out the night.

At the rate I'm going, my PvP set is gonna be more purple than my tank set pretty soon.



Last night I was doing the "Go get the herb pouches from Horde players....or you can just kill the elementals and stock up on Crystallized Life which you have no other way of getting as an Engineer" quest along with the kill 10 Horde players quest and the other WG PvP dailies that you can accomplish without actually engaging in any PvP. The daily fishing quest was there, too, so I was able to get a chunk of gold and honor in one zone.

Efficiency - I likes it.

Anyhoo, I'm going to the Steppe of Life and stop on my way up the hill to say something in /gchat. All of a sudden, while my chat box is open, some Rogue decides it would be fun to try and stunlock me. I casually delete the text I had written and got rid of the chat box so I wouldn't end up entering "Hey guys I think it would be cool if 52432627252423" in /gchat.

He managed to knock my health down quite a bit, but I popped a pot and Enraged Regeneration and took care of him. Cheesi was watching over my shoulder and giving me some insight into what he might try as I fought him, so with a Rogue advisor on my side he didn't have a chance.

Got 5 of my herb pouches off of him. Life is good.

I encounter an Alliance Shaman on the Steppe who whispers me:

Shammy: There's a rogue hiding around here.
Me: Yeah, I just killed him.
Shammy: Nice.

I'm feeling good about myself, so I go about my business. I don't wanna spend all night on the Steppe, so I round up two elementals at a time: one of the smaller ones and one of the bigger ones.

When I'm on my second or third round of elementals I notice my rogue buddy saw an opportunity to take me out considering I was already in combat and at about 3/4 health. I didn't react fast enough, and he succeeded.

Me: Argh. He just killed me while I was in combat.
Shammy: He did that to me. They fight like that. Should've stayed. Sorry, man.
Me: Don't worry about it. All's fair in Love and Warcraft.

We won the WG that started about 20 minutes later. I made sure to pay special attention to any Undead Rogues I saw running around during the battle in the event that I encountered my new friend.

I hold nothing against the guy. Like I said to the Shaman, all's fair in Love and Warcraft.

In fact, if I could talk to him I'd probably thank him for making my night more interesting.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Prot PvP

Blizzard has, more or less, stated that Warriors, by design, fall into these roles based on their spec:
  1. Protection = PvE Tanking
  2. Fury = PvE DPS
  3. Arms = PvP
So let it be written, so let it be done. The Powers that Be have spoken.

Well, here's the thing. Since I haven't been able to make raids lately due to scheduling, I've spent a good deal of time in BGs and Wintergrasp. As I mentioned a couple of posts ago, I made my secondary spec Arms since I just didn't see myself using Fury at any point in the near future.

The problem is, my PvP gear needs some work.

How do you get better PvP gear? You PvP.

So, I've been collecting honor, Stone Keeper's Shards, etc and picking up PvP pieces. Once I get a respectable set, I'll feel comfortable walking into a battleground as an Arms Warrior.

Until then, since the vast majority of my gear is designed for a Protection Warrior, I've been PvPing as a Protection Warrior. I swap out my stam trinket for one with a bit of resilience on it to make up for the fact that PvE gear has none, and I boldly walk into battles ready to sword and board my way to the middle of the damage meters.

My observations:

A lot of people will categorize a tank in a BG as a flag carrier or somebody who is only useful when you need to tank the bosses in AV. While we are certainly well qualified for either, they are, by no means, the only roles we can fill.

As a Prot Warrior, your strengths are exceptionally useful on the battlefield. You're built to be hard to kill, and, whether it's a PvE mob or another player trying to kill you, you are still hard to kill. This, in and of itself, is an advantage in a battleground. If a group of opponents decide they want to take you out, it takes time. That time allows your teammates to do something without having to worry about the group that thinks you'll be an easy HK.

There have been several times when a group of 5 or so Horde have decided to use me as a punching bag in a Warsong somewhere in the midfield. That's 5 less Horde that my flag carrier or flag defenders have to worry about. If I can keep them occupied, it gives my team a temporary power play of which, hopefully, they will take advantage. I don't care about ultimately dying, but if I can stay alive as long as possible I'm helping my team.

The Protection talent Warbringer is so good as a PvP talent that I'm afraid to write about it because Blizzard may nerf it. You can Charge in any stance and in combat. That makes you a terror for an opposing flag carrier. Charge them, tangle them up a bit, and then if they get range on you Charge them again. Don't forget about those pesky trapping Hunters and blinking Mages.

As a Prot Warrior you've been blessed with an amazing collection of abilities that can stun, interrupt, and silence. If you're reading this post as a Prot Warrior, I won't have to list them because you should already know what you have in your arsenal. Just remember that Heroic Throw silences if you spec into Gag Order and Revenge has a chance to stun if you spec into Improved Revenge.

That Heroic Throw silence is golden (cwutididthar?) when you're fighting someone in melee range only to realize that (a) some caster is pummeling you from a distance or (b) there's a nearby healer. Just target the pest, Heroic Throw, and shut them up for a few seconds.

Your stuns can be amazing when you're carrying a flag, too. One big piece of advice I can give you is to learn how to do a jumpshot. If you don't know what I'm talking about, it's basically jumping in the air, turning in a half circle, using an ability, then turning back around before you land while never breaking stride. Hunters who are really good at kiting use this a lot and, if you know one, they can probably give you a pro tip or two.

Why learn to do a jumpshot? Imagine that you're running with the flag and you've got a couple of your opponents behind you giving you grief. Jump, turn, Shockwave, turn back around, keep running, laugh when you cap the flag. It's useful and it'll make you look cool.

And, finally, don't forget that fear isn't just for Warlocks. Intimidating Shout can really come in handy.

Case in point:

Last week we had a Pally running the flag. Behind the Pally was a group of Horde. I was a little ways behind the Horde and we were all in our tunnel. I picked a Hordie in the center of the group, targeted him, Charged, and cast Intimidating Shout. They were running around feared while our Pally capped the flag and ended the game.

In closing, you probably won't be topping damage meters. You won't necessarily be leading the BG in kills or killing blows. What you can do, however, is far more important than those things, and that's making a difference in the battleground and helping your team win. As a Protection Warrior, you are well-equipped to do just that.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Gamer Pride

Our oldest daughter, for whom I have yet to develop a good blog nickname, asked me if I was a "gamer" the other day. I said that I considered myself one, and she said she wanted to be a gamer, too. That got me thinking...


For years, there's been a stigma attached to the word "Gamer." While those within the community embrace and celebrate the term, those without picture adult men living in their parents' basement camped in front of a computer or a console for hours on end (think the Jenkins character in South Park's Make Love Not Warcraft).

While there's certainly truth to some stereotypes, they're generally the exception rather than the rule. I'm a gamer with a full-time job and a beautiful family. I know others who are also living full, happy lives while proudly waving the gamer flag.

People, however, see video games as a waste of time. If you spend several hours on a Saturday in front of a video game you're not out doing something "productive." People see gamers as geeks or nerds who can't get a date. These stereotypes are firmly affixed to the word "gamer," and while we in the community may wear that brand with pride, we're often looked down upon.


So here's where Uncle Mis gets ornery and picks a fight with the world...

It's 2009. Many games, PC and console, have online capability. MMOs, Xbox Live, the Wii Network, etc, etc, etc all allow people to log on and interact with individuals from all over the world. You can chat, team up, compete against one another, and make friends. Instead of going to an arcade at the mall like I did when I was a kid, I log on and, now, the world is my arcade.

If I chose to spend my free time golfing, playing on a beer league softball team, or making models of little boats in bottles everybody would accept that as a legitimate hobby. So what's the difference between any of those things and being a gamer?

Exercise? Fine, I'll fire up my Wii and, believe it or not, get a pretty good workout.

Teamwork? Yeah, there's a ton of that. Read a raid guide.

Skill? Hand-eye coordination, the ability to adapt to changing situations and decide, in a split second, the best course of action to take, on-the-fly calculations...oh, and let's not forget people-managing and leadership if you're a GM or RL.


My wife used to play softball on more than one team at a time. I used to get out and play music a lot more than I do now. When we had the Baby Tank, though, we had to scale back because of her special needs.

WoW is our way of getting social interaction. We've made friends in-game who we talk to out of the game. My brother-in-law plays, and if we didn't we probably wouldn't get to talk to him as often as we do.

We don't really have the time to get to a gym, so we bought Wii Fit. Our oldest daughter uses it, too. Speaking of the kids, about the only time they're not fighting is when they're playing Mario Kart or another game.


Bottom line, I'm proud to call myself a gamer. I think that we, as a community, have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. Play your games, have fun, and hold the banner high.

To the teenager who puts up with all the evils of high school society and finds solace in a video game, to the hard-working 9-to-5ers who like to blow off steam when they get home from work, to the moms who like to sneak in a Wii workout while the little one's taking a nap, and to everybody else who chooses to live the life of a geek, a nerd, a gamer...

I salute you.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The End of the World

...of Warcraft...

is not going to happen in the near future.

Why am I making such a bold prediction? Have I discovered information about the Mayan calendar or interpreted a Nostradamus Quatrain? Have I studied eschatology in the books of Daniel and Revelation? Nope.

It's because of masks.

Yup, masks.

The discovery of female and male goblin and worgen masks caused a significant amount of clusterfudgery. Everybody went nuts making assumptions about the next expansion. Are these the new races? Is Cataclysm part of the name of the next expansion? Is the Maelstrom related? We have to know!!!

I'm fairly certain the UN had an emergency meeting on the topic.

Let's face it, a game on its last legs wouldn't cause that much commotion over a couple of files that relate to a holiday event. If WoW was close to dying, that discovery would have invoked a meh reaction that would have been forgotten in a day or two.

WoW's getting old, no question about it. Newer MMOs have much better graphics that make WoW look dated. Does that mean it's over? Nope.

Blizzard could lose half of its subscriber base and still own the internet. They've done what they do better than anybody else, and they'll be just fine for at least two more expansions. We'll see a couple of races and at least another hero class before they shut the servers down for the last time.

Don't jump ship yet, boys and girls. There's still plenty of WoW left.

Let's see what kind of insanity the inevitable big BlizzCon announcement inspires.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Broadening Her Horizons

I'm raising the Baby Tank to understand the ways of the Protection Warrior, but I believe it's important to expose her to the other tank classes...sort of a tank rumspringa, if you will.

Tonight, she learned about Druids.

Behold the power and majesty of Bunny Form.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Advice for the Next Generation

Gather 'round, kids.

Have a seat on Uncle Mis's lap and let him give you some advice.

When you finally hit your 80th season and decide to start running those heroic dungeons or raids to get all that fancy gear you've seen folks in Stormwind walking around in, here's a couple of things you should know. Now, they may seem pretty obvious, but there are plenty of folks out there who didn't have an old battle-worn tank to tell them about it, or they just didn't pay attention.

I know you've learned plenty from others of your class, and I know they've been giving you good advice about how to do the most sustained damage you can. If you wanna get on your tank's good side, though, and stay alive long enough to finish the fight, listen closely:

Be Patient

You're gonna be in situations where a tank is gonna pick a fight with a bunch of big scary bad guys, and your first instinct after fighting through 80 seasons is going to be to jump in and start laying into them.

Just hold off a second.

Your tank has a couple of things he needs to do first. If it's me, I'm going to start by hitting one of them, likely a caster, with a Heroic Throw. That'll silence the caster and get them to run at me so I don't have to do anything fancy to invite them over for a tea party.

Once they get close enough, I'll Thunderclap to let 'em know I mean business, yell at them to make them feel bad about themselves, then pop off a quick Shockwave to make them forget who they are and why they were running at me in the first place.

After that, jump right in the fight. Hit 'em hard and often.

If you get a little fidgety and start doing your thing before I've gone through that little song and dance routine, there's a good chance that they'll decide you'd be a more enjoyable target and start beating the living nether out of you.

Stand Behind Them

Now I know you've spent a very long time standing toe to toe with those big, mean, scary people....or things....or whatever, but from here on in, that's gonna be my job. That means it's time for you to get to know their heels for a change.

The first reason it's a good idea to stand behind them is because these guys'll parry attacks from anybody standing in front of them. If they parry one of your attacks is just going to make their next attack come quicker. Since I've hopefully done a sufficient job insulting their mothers and they're looking to pummel me first and foremost, those quicker attacks are gonna land on Uncle Mis's pretty face. You don't want that, do you?

Secondly, some bad guys have a tendency to cleave or do something else that may affect any number of people standing in front of them. If you're behind them, you'll be safe from getting hurt by something like that.

Oh, and let's not forget about dragons. 99.9% of the time dragons are gonna breathe fire or something else that's pretty painful...that's kind of their thing. A dragon that doesn't breathe fire is pretty much just an over-sized lizard. Standing in front of dragons is very, very bad. Here's the kicker, though: dragons also have really big tails they like to swing around, so don't stand behind them, either.

When fighting a dragon, then, stand to the side. All of their vital organs are there for you to poke at and you're pretty much safe from getting fried or frozen or knocked into next week.

And there you have it. Next time you run off into a heroic or a raid keep these things in mind. It'll make your tank very happy and keep the healers from having to waste a bunch of their mana resurrecting you while muttering under their breath.

Run along now, kids. Aunt Cheesi made cookies.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Into Battle

I've been acquiring mounts for my Albino Drake. I realized that, at 43 mounts, I would only need 2 more in addition to the 5 extra mounts the Argent Tournament provides (400g + 5 Champions Seal's each). It occurred to me that I was very close to being able to afford a war mount from the honor system, and I already had enough marks to pick up the Stormpike Battle Charger.

So, off to the BGs I went. I spent most of the weekend in my Prot build...not doing a ton of damage but enjoying silencing, stunning, interrupting every caster I could get my hands on, and running flags. I had fun and picked up the marks to get the Black War Steed.

Yesterday, I decided that maybe my secondary skills would be better served if I took an Arms PvP build instead of the PvE Fury build I never seemed to use...ever.

I levelled Arms but haven't gone that route since my early 60s and, while there were some things I recalled, I still had to get back in the groove of using Hamstring combos and some of the other tricks PvP Arms Warriors use. I did have some serious fun with Bladestorm, though.

I did receive a lovely whisper that said "You're the worst Warrior I've ever seen. Stay out of the BGs until you learn how to play" (which I addressed with a pleasant "I just respecced Arms after playing Prot for a long time. Thank you for your constructive criticism." This led to a "I was just talking about your Hamstrings and stuff." End of conversation, I returned our flag to the base, we won), but I did much better on the damage meters and landed more killing blows than I ever have. I didn't make as good of a good flag runner, but I was much more effective in one-on-one combat.

I picked up some meh PvP gear to load some Resilience, but I'm planning on upgrading that as I get more honor. I'm also thinking that, when I get some better gear, I may want to give Arenas another go.

It's certainly nice to have something to do when not instancing that doesn't involve doing dailies over and over. PvP can be infuriating, frustrating, and a lot of fun.

Oh, and I did finally pick up the Drake.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Chasing the Dragon

My buddy Eckhart's been on the hunt for the Time-Lost Proto Drake. Lately, every time I've seen him online when we weren't running an instance he's been in Storm Peaks. Such was the case last night:

Me: Still chasin' the dragon, huh Eck?
Eck: Yup.
Me: I admire your tenacity, my friend.
Eck: Some would call it insanity.
Me: "Insanity" is a word coined by those who don't understand genius.
Eck: Well put.
Me: You are kinda nuts, though.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Just Beyond My Wintergrasp

Leave it to me to start to enjoy Wintergrasp right when they're about to change it.

I've avoided PvP since Wrath dropped, but I decided to check out WG a couple of days ago. I really enjoy it...the siege engines, the destructible buildings, even the sheer mass of people (despite the lag).

I'd lost my taste for battlegrounds for the most part after I respecced Prot. When 3.0 came along and brought with it the new Warrior abilities, though, I found a small, smoking ember of PvP enjoyment again while waiting for the expansion.

Wintergrasp has an entirely different feel to it compared to other battlegrounds. The farming is great, and the skirmishing between battles spices things up on my PvE server. For example, I ran into a Warlock last night about half an hour before the next "official" battle and picked a fight. There was no one else around, just him and me. I killed him, only to die a few seconds later to his DoTs.

I didn't care that I died. He could have chain-feared me until I dropped dead without laying a single finger on him and I wouldn't have cared. It was a breath of fresh air...a welcome break in the monotony.

I'll probably continue to go there after they convert it to a non-instanced battleground with a queue and such, but I'm going to miss seeing that many people in that small a zone fighting it out.

There's something very epic about it the way it is right now. It's a shame that it's changing.

Misanthropy II

This time it's personal.

I like most of the people in our guild. Most of the people in our guild are friendly, helpful, and a joy to play with. Most of the people in our guild don't suck.

I don't like some of the people in our guild. Some of the people in our guild are whiny, elitist, or are just a chore to play with. Some of the people in our guild suck.

I stepped down as an Officer of our guild when I took my hiatus. We have another rank, "Veteran," that is higher than "Member" and lower than "Officer." When I stepped down, I was demoted, by my request, all the way to Member. I'm OK with that choice and I have no regrets. Our guild needs more than I was able to provide.

I try not to do a lot of complaining about the people in our guild. In one case in particular, the vast majority of our membership likes the person who I'd like to roundhouse-kick-in-the-face, so complaining would be more harmful to me than anything else.

What's the point? I have little to no idea, frankly. I guess my question is what do you do, as a guild member, when there is a minority of people in the guild who you absolutely can't stand?

I suppose you could simply avoid them, but, in my case, some of the people are raiders and our guild has a very small number of people who raid on a regular basis. If I chose not to run with them, I'd be shutting myself out of raiding.

You could say something about it to an officer or guild leader, but, again, would you be hurting yourself if that person had friends in high places?

The extreme solution would be to simply leave the guild, but if you liked the majority of people you'd be burning bridges to save yourself from having to deal with the asshat minority.

So what's the solution?

I don't know.

Maybe venting in a blog post will make everything better.

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Perfect Pet

This past weekend I started to feel a little guilty about running off doing raids and heroics while Cheesi was still grinding out the last few levels to 80. I decided that I'd go and get her a new friend to keep her company while adventuring.

I asked her what she wanted, and she selected the Teldrassil Sproutling. Little did we know that this was, without a doubt, the perfect pet for her.

So what would a Gnome Rogue and a toddler tree have in common? Two things in particular:

1a. Cheesi is short.
1b. The Sproutling is shorter.

2a. Cheesi's attention span is short.
2b. The Sproutling's is shorter.

Also, I have crab. So...umm...anybody who was in Naxx with me yesterday should probably get checked out.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Baby Tank Says

Go here.

You must obey Baby Tank.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


Despite my religious, Southern Baptist belief system one of my greatest struggles is my tendency to assume the worst in people. I find that it's much easier to go into a given situation believing that someone is a jerk until I'm proven wrong. It just feels safer to me to make that assumption and be pleasantly surprised than think that everybody's a good person and be consistently defecated on.

As a result of this mindset, the very aspect of World of Warcraft that I enjoy, the social aspect and playing with my friends, is often the thing that makes me want to log off and do something else.

Last night, I was invited into a 25-man Vault PUG. In the event that I haven't made it clear enough in previous posts, let me restate that I hate PUGs.

I should have known better. I'm nowhere geared enough to tank a 25-man anything. As a result, the subsequent asshattery is partially my fault. However, I believe that a quick whisper from the raid leader telling me that they'd rather have another tank would have prevented this symphony of monkey crap from reaching a crescendo.

I zoned in to a half-wipe. This should have been a red flag. Someone grabbed a trash mob before hardly anyone was in the instance and we just managed to drop him before he killed us all. Rez, rebuff, start handing out assignments.

The wisest of us (not me, unfortunately) took this as an omen and started to leave. The main tank was one of those justifiable deserters. And so it begins:

Asshat: Please tell me Misneach isn't going to tank. I'll pull aggro off of him.

I shake it off. Let's get moving. We fill spots and a new main tank arrives. Cool, now I can fade into the background as an offtank and not get singled out as a mentally ill n00b by the 19 year-old virgin who thinks purple gear makes him a success at life.

One more trash pull:

Asshat: If the tanks can't keep aggro I can't dps. I had to feign and shadowmeld and I still pulled aggro.

OK, big guy. That's plenty. Can we just kill the boss please?

Main tank is assigned to the adds, I'm assigned to the boss. Very simple job on my part. Grab the big guy and hold on.

Asshat: Mis can't be the boss tank. He'll die.
Main Tank: Well, he can't AoE tank the adds.

Well guys, thanks for making assumptions about my ability and talking about me like I'm not here.

Boss attempt #1. Adds don't die fast enough. We wipe.

Asshat: Seriously, if the tank has blues we can't dps fast enough to kill the adds.

Funny, I wasn't tanking the adds. Generating enough threat to allow the DPS to burn the adds wasn't my responsibility. But hey, if 19 year-old virgin thinks it's my fault, he must be right.

Boss attempt #2. Healers don't know their assignments. I die quickly. The raid leader singles out the healers and tells them that they didn't pay attention to the assignments.

Asshat: Doesn't matter. If Mis is tanking the boss he's gonna die again next time.

That's it. I work a 9-5 job at a well-known corporation in a leadership position on my team. I spent the day doing a ton of my own work as well as helping others on my team, both my subordinates and superiors, get their jobs done because I'm a specialist and they need my input to complete projects from time to time. I go home at night to help my wife raise 4 kids, one with a disability, and a niece who's currently living with us. I also work a part-time job on the weekends.

I log onto the game to have fun. I like the vast majority of the people in our guild. They're fun to play with, chat with, etc. I don't have the patience, however, to deal with the jerkoff population that roams around Azeroth talking to people like they're second class citizens.

For those of you who think it's OK to treat people like that, grow up and show some respect. If anyone in the raid didn't think I was capable of running the instance, tell me, I can take it. Shoot me a whisper and say it. Don't blame every mistake that someone else in the raid made on me because I happen to be the guy who's still sporting a couple of blues. Treat me with respect and I'll walk away thinking that you're a pretty decent person, even if you're offering criticism.

If you're incapable of doing that, DIAF.

/rant over

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Oh Come On

Laziest. Mount. Ever.

Poor City Planning

This isn't gonna work.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


It's proof that I live in a house with six women when I get excited that my new cape matches my tabard.

Snagged the new back piece from the AH for a ridiculously cheap price. It was an upgrade from the previous cloak that I had, even though it reads more like a feral tank item. I could afford not having defense on the item because I was way over 540 before equipping it, and I love me some expertise. I also upgraded my shoulders to these thanks to another AH deal.

I still need upgrades across the board, but at least I'm getting myself in position to be an asset in a raid rather than a liability.

I really need to get rid of my TBC trinket that I'm still running around with. It's getting embarrassing. I'm thinking that even after they change the Emblem system I'll still get my old Pocketwatch's big brother. I feel like I'll get my tank card taken away if I don't.

Also, my new profile picture and Twitter avatar reflect my new image. I busted out the Just for Men and gave Mis a midlife crisis makeover.