Wednesday, February 25, 2009

PTR 3.1 early impressions

First of all, check out the gorgeous 2mn preview of Ulduar.

I'm not sure if I'm more impressed with the movie or with the content of the page:
<?xml-stylesheet type="text/xsl" href="layout/ulduar.xsl"?>

<page lang="en_us">
How awesome is that?

As for the PTR, the client keeps crashing so it's barely usable right now, but the short time I spent there confirmed to me that dual specs are fantastic. The UI is very intuitive too, and you get a full set of new toolbars for each spec (I was afraid they would limit the change to the main bar, not sure why).

I was a bit disappointed to find out that talent points are still spent immediately, so you need to plan ahead and not make a mistake or you'll have to pay the respec fee to start again. I seem to recall that Blizzard wanted to do the same thing as the Talented add-on: you define your spec at your own pace, move points around until you're satisfied and then you say "Ok" and the spec is applied.

Oh, and instant spec change == epic win.

I haven't tried the gear manager yet but it seems to be a bit primitive compared to the existing add-ons (and it doesn't appear to automatically switch when you change your spec). I suspect that ItemRack/Outfitter will still be useful, especially for their abilities to define gear sets based on other sets.

I noticed a few changes in the DK talent trees that were not documented anywhere, need to spend more time playing with them.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Calculating a gear score by scraping the Armory

I am very impressed by the content of the Armory pages: they're 100% XML. No HTML, no CSS, no Javascript. An XSL spreadsheet does all the magic and a request just returns your full model in XML.

As an experiment, I wrote a quick Ruby script that calculates a gear score for a character. Here is a sample output:
Valorous Bonescythe Helmet:213
Icy Blast Amulet:213
Valorous Bonescythe Pauldrons:213
Valorous Bonescythe Breastplate:213
Belt of the Tortured:213
Valorous Bonescythe Legplates:213
Boots of Captain Ellis:213
Thrusting Bands:213
Dislocating Handguards:213
Strong-Handed Ring:213
Ring of Invincibility:213
Mirror of Truth:200
Fury of the Five Flights:213
Hammerhead Sharkskin Cloak:213
Webbed Death:213
Sinister Revenge:226
Spinning Fate:213
Gear score for Rozz: 3595
Reference: Blue (Superior):2992 Heroic:3096 Naxx10:3200 Naxx25 (Epic):3408 Max:3616
The script is about forty lines of Ruby and you can download it here.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Here are the dps charts from our latest Sarth3D kill last night.

Top DPS. I haven't seen that since the early days in Black Temple on my Rogue, and Rogue DPS has been declining steadily ever since.

I still find it disturbing that a Death Knight that has been raiding for basically two weeks can top the dps charts like this, even though Sarth3D is obviously very AOE intensive.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Confessions of a botter

No, not me, him.

This guy makes very good points (and his responses to haters in the comments are worth their weight in gold), some of which hit near home for me.

I have run out of things to do in WoW besides raiding, and that's even after I switched mains (my DK now has almost reached the same level of gear that my Rogue had).

I'm playing Left4Dead when I'm not raiding now, but honestly, I would rather continue spending my videogame time in WoW, and that would probably be possible if I had more than two 80 characters, but I'd rather eat my own eye than leveling one more toon in this game.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Twilight Vanquisher

We finally killed Sartharion + 3 drakes last night.

The final kill was actually one of our sloppiest attempts of the night. We had killed Shadron a couple of times in our previous wipes with most of the raid still alive, but for some reason, we lost one healer and quite a few dps to enraged drakes and void zones during the Shadron battle. Still, with Shadron dead, the damage on our Main Tank decreased considerably and the remaining healers were enough to keep him (and the adds tanks) up.

I was one of the unfortunate people to die early, which was a bit frustrating since I'm usually one of the last people standing on our attempts, but this allowed me to witness the rest of the fight as the rest of the dps slowly whittled away Sartharion's health while keeping the add population under control and dutifully entering each portal as it spawned.

Looking back at our history, it took us over 120 attempts and it cost the guild about 20,000g in repair. By far the most difficult fight we ever faced.