Archive for the ‘Features’ Category

Sights Seen – Kitty Bomber

WoWScrnShot_022710_083054Here we see Ineveitable taking his pet Mistsabre out for a flight. How nice. Now if druids were supposed to be able to ride their land mount in flight form, that’d make this a boring shot. Instead, it makes Sights Seen. Sometimes glitches are more fun then features.

Alazar’s Party Starter – Too Busy to Use


Here’s a quick topic: When is a custom UI too busy? For example, here’s mine after a run through Heroic Forge of Souls a while back.

TooBusyUIDo you see what I mean? At what point is a UI too busy to use? Does it take no being able to see the world anymore, unmanageable lag, crashing, or is it just when it looks crowded to you? I’ve got a ton of add-ons running here, and yes, it is a little slow. My biggest issue is that I want all of the information before me that I can get. If that means sacrificing a little speed or visibility, that’s ok. That’s just me, though. I know that allot of other games prefer a minimalist approach to their UI. I’ve tried to cut back, but losing information that I’m accustomed to is frustrating. I guess to each it’s own.

Alazar’s Party Starter – Spotty Specs


Dual specs have changed WoW, no doubt about it. I would never toy with off-specs if I couldn’t keep ret while doing so. For those that were swapping between specs be it for PvP, dailies or helping on instances, this has saved them a ton of money. It hasn’t saved me much, though, because aside from my main ret spec, I can’t settle on a build like.

I’ve tried holy for healing instances, I’ve tried holy for PvP, I’ve tried prot for PvP, I’ve tried holy/prot for PvP, I’ve tried prot/ret for PvP… hell, I tried a screwy holy/prot/ret hybrid spec for PvP and that didn’t work worth a damn (ever hear the phrase, “jack of all trades, master of none”? that was me). What I need is to settle on a spec and stay with it. Right now, my PvP spec is 0/66/5, while my main ret spec is 5/5/61. I like my ret build. I does everything I need at the moment. My PvP spec, though, is fluid. I can’t tell what’s working, so I keep playing with it.

Anyone with a tip on what to do with my PvP spec, drop me a line. I’d love to hear it. Also, anyone else who has this problem, I’d love to hear your story as well.

Let me know I’m not alone here.

Alazar’s Party Starter – Casual Problems?


Welcome to our new feature, Alazar’s Party Starter. Here I’ll be touching on random subjects to get everyone thinking, and playing. There’s no limit to the topics I may touch on, so read often!

Today on Alazar’s Party Starter, I want to cover World of Warcraft’s tendency towards the casual gamer. When it launched back in 2004, it was straight from the Everquest lineage. The game was harder then it is today, it took my work then today, and dungeons and raids – once you finally reached them – were far more daunting then today. This last point was driven home to me when I took Gavelier to the Sunken Temple one time. Compared to Wrath of the Lich King’s heroics, this was a large, frustrating, clumsily-designed instance.Allot of mobs in the open world were Elites early on that aren’t so today. So has Blizzard dumbed down the game?

I don’t think so, I just think they made it more user-friendly. It’s a more welcoming game, and for better or for worse, it’s more solo-friendly. For those who say that soloists have no place in an MMO, I’d challenge them to show me a single-player off line game that offers what an MMO can… but I’m getting off subject.

Basically, the game is easier now, yes. Blizzard has definitely made concessions to reach a larger audience. The end result, though, is a game that doesn’t punish you for playing it. 40-man raids and long, slow grinds are welcome casualties to me. I look forward to Cataclysm, when the old world as a whole gets caught up to the current end-game’s quality. That will kill some crusty old hardcore vets, but for players like me – meaning players who want fun and not work – it will be a breath of fresh air.

Life of a Hero – At Creation

loah This is a self-indulgent new article series where we look back on Gavelier and company’s early days. Some of these pics don’t show me at my best, but they should all be fun to share.



Gavelier as he looked as I created him on March 5th, 2008. This is an actual screen from his creation, and not a reenactment. I didn’t have Burning Crusade yet, and was still really uneducated about WoW in general (you’ll see what I mean in a pic or two). I named him Gavelier by combining cavalier and gavel, which is what I thought his big hammer looked like.



Yay for kobold killing! I was scared of those kobolds at the time, not understanding that they wouldn’t attack on their own. Gav’s wearing  Frayed Pants, which is a dumb thing to put on a paladin. Not as dumb, though, as this.


2008-03-05_101054 A robe. A robe!! At the time I thought the robe was very paladin-y. How little I knew about World of Warcraft paladins. Now Gav runs around in huge, heavy, spiked armor, wielding a heavy sword. Oh, how far we have strayed! lol


“Yes, Gavelier, Flimsy Chain Pants are a step in the right direction. Now to just finish the set and stop wearing cloth or leather like some ‘common’ class.” I was happy to see my first mail armor drop, but this wouldn’t be the last time I’d slip into lower-class armor.


2008-02-29_102513 While here, I thought I’d share my first-ever WoW screenshot. Yup, that’s Lug. Lug is the only toon I rolled before Gavelier, which makes him special to me. So why is Lug only level 23 while Gav sits at the level cap? I have no answer.

Is Leveling Really the Best Part of WoW?

My accursed finances have forced me to retire my WoW account for a month, so updates here will be a mite slow. I do, however, want to cover one topic that’s been bugging me for a while.

I have long stood by my opinion that leveling was the primary draw in WoW. Seeing things and always having that carrot on the stick ahead of you of one more level that drove me forward. What was there to do at the level cap? I would be bored as hell.

Well, with Gav coming up on a year at level 80, I have done a solid 180 on the matter. When I play one of my lower level toons like Budman or Lug, I basically have one option: leveling. With Gav, when I log in I have a spread of things to do that I can pick and choose from at will. Do I want to work on my rep? Do dailies? Run a Heroic? Queue for Wintergrasp? Maybe I just want to play the auction house and see what I can buy. There’s no pressure here. Gavelier’s professions are both maxed as well, so I don’t have to level them either. It’s led me to change my stance on the whole leveling process. I simply don’t look forward to having to slog another toon through 30-60 more levels to get to the cap. Even Gleave’s XP shoulders aren’t helping allot.

What’s the answer? Don’t have one. I can’t say, ‘ this is the cure, let’s tell Blizzard,’ because I’m not sure there is a sure-fire cure. I saw one person comment that you should be able to ‘apprentice’ one of your lower level toons to a max-level character and the XP your level 80 would have earned would go to the apprentice instead. I think that that is a great idea. Will Blizzard ever implement such a feature? That’s totally up in the air. In the end, I’ll just have to drag myself – and my characters – through the low-level areas again like everyone else if I want another avatar at 80. Wish me luck.

Path of the Paladin IV – Mini PotP

It’s time for another edition of Path of the Paladin. Like usual, I have no goals, and am just going to wing it. We’ll see if anything of worth occurs (like anything ever has). At any rate, here we go!

  • 11:23 – Logging in as we speak. Gav reached exalted with the Kirin Tor recently, so I’m not going to be doing my profession dailies today. I think I’ll head to Storm Peaks and check on the Sons of Hodir and their dailies.
  • 11:26 – Logging can take forever some days! Ah, in!
  • 11:27 – Oh, I have mail! My dream shard finally sold, for 22g. I’ve been trying to sell that thing forever.
  • 11:28 – Crap, my bags are full as hell from earlier escapades. Lemme clear some space. Oh, guildies are on. I said hi to them.
  • 11:30 – On my way to Storm Peaks now. About time, huh?
  • 11:31 – Changed my mind. I need Ebon Hold rep, so I’m off to Icecrown.
  • 11:32 – WTF? I just got accosted by a librarian while stopping for Saronite in Storm Peaks.
  • 11:33 – Finally entering Icecrown above the Argent Tournament grounds.
  • 11:35 – Guildie got Working Day and Night achievement while I was flying to the Ebon Hold folks. GJ, dude.
  • 11:37 – Well, I’m not the only one doing certain Ebon Hold dailies; I’m finding all the Vrykul killed with swords sticking out of ‘em.
  • 11:40 – Ok, 15 drake riders shot down; now I’m off to perform arson.
  • 11:43 – Arson complete. Now, to stab some of these Vrykul that still stand.
  • 11:46 – Lotsa live ones near the southern end of the village.
  • 11:47 – Well, there used to be. lol
  • 11:48 – Man, now all the ones near the drake pen are dead too. One minute their alive, the next their dead. I wonder what could be killing them? Maybe these big swords in their backs? Hmm…
  • 11:50 – And just like that, I’m out of swords to play with. This is freaky. Hey, my claymore’s dented. How did that happen?
  • 11:51 – FYI: Any one who didn’t see the sarcasm dripping off of those last couple posts needs help.
  • 11:52 – Over a thousand more Ebon Hold rep for me, and I’m off, back to Dalaran to wrap this up.
  • 11:54 – Well, I suppose that’s that. Again, not dramatic, but it’s a read into my play style and mindset. I hope you enjoyed it. I’m off.

Updated 1/25/10 for typos, clarification and links

Sights Seen: Don’t Do the Bottle


I knew Dalaran was the City of Mages, but damn! Funny what happens when you swill an Underbelly Elixir, huh? Note to self: Don’t drink scary stuff found in a bottle in the sewers.

Hey, this may be odd, but at least I didn’t bug out like last time.GavBuggedOut

That’s all shades of wrong, there.

Path of the Paladin 3

Ok, I fell asleep after my Isle of Conquest matches, and I just woke up, so here’s that promised Path of the Paladin post. We pick up in Icecrown at the Argent Tournament grounds.

  • 4:51 – I’m going to do the “kill x number of mobs” Argent Tournament dailies quick.
  • 4:52 – Whereas I could formerly complete both of the quests – the champions and valiant variants – together by killing anything in Icecrown, they’ve swapped them up by making the champions quest require killing Cult of the Damned members and the valiant’s one involve killing re-animated heroes. Stupid Blizzard, making things harder.
  • 4:59 – What’s with these unarmed Cult of the Damned members, with all this magic they’re shooting everywhere, deciding that punching the paladin with the huge sword is a good idea? 15 CotD members slain, and I’m off to kill re-animated heroes.
  • 5:01 – Oooh… Saronite…
  • 5:05 – The only plus side to the re-animated heroes quest is that almost none of the mobs group-aggro, so you can usually just pull ‘em one at a time. I killed all 10 I needed, so now to go back and turn in these two quests.
  • 5:08 – Both quests turned in, and now I’m hearthing back to Dalaran to use the engineer’s auction house to see if I have enough gold to buy some Spiked Titansteel Treads.
  • 5:11 – Yup, I sure do. Consider them bought.
  • 5:13 – They clash with the rest of my gear aesthetically, but they’re great for my stats, so they stay.
  • 5:17 – I also bought a Bold Scarlet Ruby for my Hateful Gladiator’s Scaled Gauntlets, so I’m broke. Again.
  • 5:20 – Well, I suppose that’s all for now. I’ll post a longer PotP later.

Rawr Rules

I recently downloaded Rawr, a gear calculator/optimizer, and I love the thing. I’ve spent hours pouring over improvements, changes and upgrades to my gear with this little app. Using it, I’ve gone from 1.9k to 2.3k DPS on the Heroic dummies. It will evaluate your gear, and tell you what to upgrade to and where to find it. It also allows me to see my exact weaknesses. I was using under-performing gems and was looking to upgrade the wrong equipment. I use Gearscore in-game, and some of my decisions have been driven by a desire to raise that. When I had the option to go for either a Savage Scaled Chestpiece (over my Whalebone Carapace) or Savage Scaled Legguards (over my Savage Saronite Legplates), I was set to pick up the Chestplate. Why? Because it’s gearscore was much higher in comparison to what it was replacing compared to the legguards. Rawr, though, showed me I was taking the wrong route. My DPS was set to improve much more with the legguards when properly equipped. It’s also helped me figure out what gems I need, and showed me that I didn’t necessarily have to match gem color to socket color for maximum return. I’m hooked on this program. Here’s some other things it’s done for me and Gavelier.

There are some things it suggests that I don’t agree with, though, such as it’s talent choices. I’m not going to pass on ret talent to select Divine Sacrifice; my goal is to do damage, not take it. Also, it recommends a spell rotation that I don’t like, but I’m trying to give it a go because Rawr says it’s worth a couple dozen extra DPS.

In short, if you like to theorycraft, you could do far worse then to give this program a spin. It can download your data straight from the WoW Armory, so you don’t have to load everything by hand. It’s easy to use, and yet very powerful. I’d recommend it to any class. A true A+ program.

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