Friday Afternoon Memo…

September 28, 2007

To Merck Food Service:
Mixing shredded chicken with medium salsa in a sandwich wrap and heating on a grill pan does not mean you can label the item “Hot Buffalo Chicken Wrap”. Please call it “Medium Salsa Chicken Wrap”.

To the Man at the Urinal Next to Me:
If you shake it once, that’s fine. If you shake it twice, that’s OK. If you shake it three times, that’s playing with yourself. If you shake it four times, and splash the toe of my right shoe with your pee, that’s just disgusting. Please be more careful.

To Women:
You may or not be aware that wearing a low cut shirt and a long necklace with a bulky charm that rests at the top of your breast cleave will draw the attention of male eyes. This phenomenon is akin to using shiny, flashy metal lures to catch barracuda. Please do not cast your bait into the ocean if you do not desire to have it bit.

To the Wrigley’s Scientist(s) that Created the Raspberry Mint Flavor for Orbit Chewing Gum:
Thank you.

To Bungie Games:
I’m so glad we are together again. It was a rough couple of years, wondering if your letters promising physical and spiritual rehabilitation would ever find their way from my heart to my HDTV. I’m so happy to have you back. Last was night was great, and I hope we can do it again soon. I love you.

To the Ninja Blog Reader:
I know you are reading. I can’t see you, but I can feel your presence (and see your IP address in my WebStats). Please, reveal yourself and let us enjoy a cup of steaming green together.

To My Fiance:
I’m sorry to have to tell you this way, but I am in love with someone else. His name is Master Chief, and I am running away to play 4v4 games of Eliminatio, Slayer, VIP, CTF, and Territories with him. Please don’t be sad.

To the Weekend:
HERE I COME!

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Blinkstep

September 28, 2007

I had heard rumors, but I /scoffed and /huffed that the Blizz developers would actually do it. Yeah. Come patch 2.3, Shadowstep won’t require stealth. Huh? We can…blink? Well, without the stun and bond removal, yes.

Ok, so its not really blink…but wow. Along with a couple of other changes, the Subtlety tree just might become a top performer among PvP specs once again. Not only will deep sub specced rogues be able to use Shadowstep in combat (what a great combo CoS + Shadowstep will be against frost mages!), but the Dirty Deeds talent will also increase damage from specials by 10/20% (respectively, based on 1/2 or 2/2 points) against targets below 35% health. Hemo is getting retooled as well, but there are no details. I would imagine that they are either going to increase the damage per rank that it adds to physical attacks or add a damage bonus similar to Sinister Strike. I’m pretty excited about these changes, as I leveled 60-70 as lewlstep, just because it was fun and I solo’d a ton. I will definately respec for a few days once 2.3 comes out, just for the sake of trying it out.


Hello world!

September 24, 2007

Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!


Friday’s at a Pharma

September 21, 2007

Summer…hours? You mean…people are allowed to leave at noon on Friday’s during the summer? This is a concept, a practice, that I will have to get used to. Too bad this is the last acceptable Friday of summertime. I won’t be leaving at noon today anyway because, well, it’s my first full week and just doesn’t seem right. Anyway, on to more important things…

More on Hit Rating and Mutilate
Epic post coming. I’ve been lotioning and oiling and oiling and lotioning…er, rather, calculating and testing and testing and calculating. I did resocket a number of my gems to gain more hit rating than I had before, and my stat line now reads 1594 ap / 23.75% crit / 202 hit. Not too bad right? Eh, Wednesday night was my first test run, as we did up to and including Curator. The other 41/20 raiding rogue in our guild was out dpsing me by a fair margin, maybe 1/2%, on trash through Attumen and Moroes. His baseline stats are 1399 / 28.08% / 167. This was confusing to me at first, as I was predisposed to relate it directly to my change in hit rating. One would think that the -4.33% crit would be offset by the +195 attack power and +35 hit rating.

I was confused.

Alas, I was a psychology major in college. If there is one thing I learned from analyzing results data, it’s that there is seldom just one cause for any one effect. What were the other factors? Well, our attack power difference became normalized because he was using flask of relentless assault + ravager dog, and I was using neither (Why? Because I have this thing about “overdamage”. What? Yeah, it’s just a wierd thing. I dont like to waste resources like flasks, pots, food unless I really need it.). That’s 120 + 40 = 160 attack power. 1594 > 1559, but you can see how it wouldn’t have the same impact as 1594 > 1399. Two other major factors: I was attempting to lead the raid, but was failing miserably because I was very distracted by some real life goings-on type stuff. That being said, I was not paying attention to my cooldowns and timers, instead dividing my time between *trying* to lead the raid and *trying* to deal with the other stuff. Anyway, Sunday and Monday will give me much better results as we are doing through Prince and Gruuls respectively.

What is my hypothesis? That when considering the 41/20 build for raiding, hit rating is slightly less important, but not near irrelevant, than attack power and crit rating; once miss chance for specials has been pushed off the table (approximately 9% hit rating, or 143 hit rating), crit rating becomes even more valuable. When I complete my experiments and calculations, I will propose more background research and critical variables to the subject matter.

Random workness
Working in such a big office presents more opportunity to encounter interesting and captivating randomness. These are my observations so far today.

It is very hard not to chuckle when standing at a urinal and the middle aged, important-looking man in a full three piece suit standing at the adjacent urinal lets loose a squeaky, high pitched breaking of the wind from his buttocks.

The following are incorrect, and TJ agrees are entirely infuriating when heard:
-fustrated
-could care less
-imput
-lyberry
-drownding
-nuke-you-lar
-perscription

Walking to the snack machine, I happened to pass by a woman’s cubicle to hear the following (in subdued sob), “I can’t believe she passed away…”. This is the kind of thing that will haunt my conscious for the next few days, every so often prompting me to place myself in her seat on the day I get the phone call that one of my loved ones has passed on to the next life. This is why it is so easy for me to understand and relate to others.

One Last Thing
This is the best streaming radio availble. Everyone should try it at least once.


High Queen Ballerina

September 18, 2007

On our 7th try ever, Aetherial Circle slew HQB and his merry troop of en pointers. Our mage-tank had 15k hp buffed, our hunters MD pulled onto their tanks with precision, and our DPS was tremendous. The guild raid leader and MT, Celliana (who had previously been raiding a hunter through a fair amount of 25-man content), gave excellent directions and kept us calm through the chaos of learning the initial pull strategy.

One thing that will never cease to amaze me about this guild is our collective discipline when learning new fights. All through Kara, and now starting into GL, it seems that there is just an inherent dedication to knowing ones role in a particular fight; and not just knowing the role, but mastering every aspect involved. As the Great One-Eyed Prima Ballerina was holding onto his last few thousand hit points, Celli was already exclaiming that this had been the best group he has had the pleasure to raid with. /tear. WTF is this salty discharge at the corner of my eyes?

Ok, so why do I keep referring to High King Maulgar as a ballerina? Because every so often he will do this little move called “whirlwind”…but thats no whirlwind at all. No, no. You sir, are pirouetting. Seriously, the fight is not very hard at all. That is, after the first pull. To illustrate how important the initial pull is, well, the first 6 times we tried the pulls were off. Someone didn’t grab aggro on the right ogre, someone got death coiled, spellsteal got resisted, etc. On the 7th try, the pull went off without a hitch, and it was chewy chocolate chip cookies from that point. Here is a video of the fight, thanks to Cayleigh.

Roguery on this fight is very simple. Myself and 3 others joined a private chat channel to discuss kick and kidney shot rotation on Blindeye, and we proceeded to stun and interrupt the bastage to his death. Not one heal got off. I managed to die on my way to Olm, because he was just a bit to close to Krosh and I took a nasty fireblast. But I got a battle rez right after the last of Maulgar’s council died, and helped finish the fight. Drops were good, but I didn’t have enough SWAPS points to win anything.

Note: Being dead for more than half of a boss fight doesn’t help you stay on top of the damage meters. No matter, I was just as happy that we were able to pull it all together and drop him.


More on Hit Rating and 41/20/0

September 17, 2007

The following is an email I wrote to a friend, asking for his opinion on my quest to figure out how hit rating relates to the combat mutilate build.

“The thing about me critting is that I need crits to generate combo points. This is what I worked out. If I replaced my rare agility and crit rating gems with the appropriate socket color hit rating gem, my stats go from…

1598 / 24.38% / 182 to 1562 / 22.06% / 222

I lose 36 attack power, 2.32% crit chance, and gain 40 hit rating. Not to mention it would cost me about 400 gold to resocket all of these gems.

Here is my dilemma, figuring out if the reduction in those stats will affect my overall damage negatively or positively. Supposedly, I missed 36 regular white attacks during the nspite fight. Of the ones that landed and didnt crit, the average damage was 305. Had I not missed any of those, I would have added at lease (36 * 305) 10,980 points of damage. This of course increases as you think about that any one of these could have procced mongoose or instant poison. Losing 36 attack power is about 2.5 dps. But what happens to Mutilate? Since my spec is based on combo point generation, will I have less combo points to work with, or will it even out and maybe now I wont feel like I have TOO many combo points and that some are wasted energy (2 or 3
point evisc for only a few hundred damage). BRKs stats showed that I crit about
33% of the time on my white attacks. It would seem that reducing that to
30% may not be that big of a deal?

Honestly, I don’t think that I need to be doing any more damage than I am doing right now, since I’m head and shoulders above everyone else in raids, except for BRK.

What do you think? Is it worth it for me to spend 400 gold just to try and do THAT much
more dps? Or should I just wait and let my hit rating climb as I continue to get new gear? Or the opposite? Should I stack hit rating now and let new gear settle me back into increasing attack power and crit?”

Anyone out there care to comment on that at all? I’m just very cautious about changing something that works so incredibly well, just because other people say its the right thing to do. Jabari pointed out that hit rating is probably more important for combat/sword spec rogues because the build is heavily reliant on procs (extra attack and combat potency). Hmm…


Hit Rating and the Noob Within

September 14, 2007

Well, first let me say thank you to everyone who left advice about PvPing as a rogue. I like doing arena every now and then, and maybe someday I’ll actually spec for it. But I’m a raider at heart. Through and through, I just love the PvE experience.

A little bit of an update, I know have not been keeping up with posts at all lately. I’ve been doing quite a bit of moving around, what with quitting my old job in favor of this new one. Had a bit of a time getting myself set up with a new workstation both while I’m staying with my parents (while I look for a new place closer to the new office) and at the new job. Anyway, I’ve been doing alot of reading, and I’m confused. This…hit rating thing.

After trying to do some of my own calculations based on what I’ve read, I was only able to come to one solid conclusion. I am a noob. N00b. n3wb. WTFhowever you spell it, it’s me. I’ll try and explain my predicament. Maybe someone out there can shed a little extra light on the topic for me.

Ok so, in this post on the WoW-Euro forums, Cryinfreeman writes what seems to be a fairly informative breakdown of some hit rating theory. It’s important to note that it is just a theory. At no point has Blizzard ever revealed as truth or fallacy the ideas/calculations presented on forum posts like this or on sites like wowwiki. However, he does present some very strong game-tested evidence, via screenshots and such.

Anyway, he gives a pretty solid argument as to the existence of a circumstantial 1 or 2 roll system. As it pertains to melee, if the attack is non-special (aka “white damage” or “autoattack”) then the roll may have only one result: [Miss] [Dodge] [Parry] [Glancing Blow] [Bock] [Critical Hit] [Ordinary Hit]. If the attack is a special or skill attack, then the roll will result in one of [Miss] [Dodge] [Parry] [Block] [Hit]; then, well, to plagiarize, “If value rolled is block then roll for blocked hit or blocked crit If value rolled is hit then roll for ordinary hit or critical hit.”

I am ok with this, it makes perfect sense. I am ok with the fact that hit rating is NOT related to how often you successfull land a melee attack, but rather how often you miss a melee attack (in other words, hit rating decreases your chance to miss, it does not directly increase your chance to hit). I understand that based on all of these theories, a hit rating cap for dual wielding melee has been set at around 220 + talents.

What really spins my wheels is trying to figure out how important hit rating is to the 41/20/0 build. Is it really THAT important to max out the hit cap at the total expense of crit% and attack power? I understand that a raiding rogue should have at least the minimum 9% hit rating (apparently the special attack hit rating cap, regardless of dual wielding or two-hander). But for a combat mutilate rogue to reach 220 hit rating while still attempting to acquire gear from Kara, that rogue would have to sacrifice alot of crit%. Is it worth it to have a 220 hit rating but only a 20% crit chance?

I currently have 175 hit rating and 24% crit. To get 45 more hit rating points, I would need…screw it I’m not wasting time figuring out how my stats would be affected by changing all my gems. Personally, I’m not sold on whoring all of my gear and gem socket selections for less of a chance to miss my target. I’d rather balance hit, crit, and attack power to scale equally with the progressive content. Anyway, thoughts?

Edit: Melnayo brought up a good point in taking a look at the breakdown of where the majority of my dps is coming from. Here are two screenshots from last nights Kara run (Curator through Prince + Nightbane in under 2 hours. Only one wipe the whole night, which happened on Nightbane.) The first is the damage meter totals, the second being the itemized damage totals by source.

As you can see, more than half of my dps comes from white damage. I also frapsed the boss fights for my own analysis of glancing blows and misses, and I’m still going through them. I can say that on the Prince fight, I saw a handful of glancing blows, and maybe 5 or 6 misses per minute.