Monday, January 26, 2009

New DPS Numbers

So I was really flip flopping between going UH or the 32/39 spec... so I tested some numbers again, now that I had *some*  +hit while DW'ing, and I had a better 2hander for the UH build. 

DW is very nice.. you see some really big numbers (2-2.5k HB procs across 3 targets) and you hit with white damage really frequently, but the staying power just isn't there. The deathstrike based off of weapon speed + dmg really just doesn't favor DW's, oblit and Sinister Strike are the same way... higher the damage weapon = more damage from the styles.  Spikes from DW were nice, and you could 1 runic rotation drop an even level...

but then, there's AoE Unholy.. you don't see *as* big of numbers (I've seen some 2k+ SS crits tho).. but it's the CONSTANT string of numbers. Between Frost Fever, Ebon Plauge, Blood Plague and D&D... some disease is scrolling constantly, which can 'jump' and proc on adjacent mobs. Add in the 4 disease per target, and Oblit and SS doing additional dmg per disease and you're getting some nice sustained DPS. Tack on the pet damage, plus Bone Armor and Desecration... and you're doing some really nice DPS with decent healing in reserve too. 

Actual numbers @lvl70 versus a level65 target dummy:

31/29 -  Capped at 1028.3 DPS, sustained 984 DPS
8 / 0 / 53 -  Capped at 1191.2 DPS, sustained 1158 DPS

Couple the increase DPS with also the ability to heal better as well as augment party members damage, and unholy is still the spec to level with... I just really miss my Killing Machine and Rime procs =/  IT and HB with Back-to-Back crits was really nice. 

Woes 2 Work

More stressful times at work =(   Why can't the periods of... quiet.. seem to last longer than like, 4 weeks?  We've got so many huge projects coming up the first of this year.. most of which I'm in charge of, and it'd be really cool to not have to worry about the day-to-day grind type stuff as well as these big budget items. 

No one ever said it'd be easy though I guess. 

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Real World DPS Numbers

Taking the 950 DPS spec out into the real world... it looks like im only pushing about 650-675 before the mobs die. The problem with this spec is that... Death Strike heals on a % of weapon damage + # of diseases on the target. with 0 / 31 / 29 you've got a max of 2 diseases on the target and are swinging a 1hander... this yeilds only about 600 hps healed per death strike, 1600 on a crit... where as with either X / 0 / 51  or 0 / X / 51 you've always got at least 3 diseases on the target, sometimes 4 and are swiging a 2hander... average return on death strikes is 1600-1800 non-crit and 3K on crits. 

All this switching between specs has kind of made me poor tho, lol =(

I'm thinking on respecing to Unholy, for leveling, whenever I hit 70... or a couple of my auctions sell. 

Friday, January 23, 2009

DPS numbers

So I've been toying with spec's... and I've got some cash to burn, tbh.

So I tried out a couple different specs... I went:

#1 - 0 / 31 / 29   DW (mistake! but turned out ok)
#2 - 0 / 32 / 28   2H 
#3 - 8 / 0 / 51  - 2H

DPS Results on a lvl65 Target dummy:
Rune rotations were as best I could, consistant.. test times were up to 400K, I used D&D (not glyphed) and HB whenever I could. No trinkets, UH spec used bone shield and I kept HoW up all the time.

#1 - 968 DPS , Spiked @ 1012.2 DPS... simply amazing single target DPS for my level, some of the DPS was splash from AE targets with D&D and HB... but overall simply amazing. 
#2 -  736 DPS, Spike @ 815 ... I don't know why I saw this drop. It could have been my rotations ... I felt rune power starved some. IDK. I want to try 2H 44 / 27 spec too. 
#3 - 850 DPS, Spike @ 910 DPS.... really great AE, if I would've taken 3/3 Wandering I would have seen even more DPS, but it's all AE DPS.. which is great in certain regards. UB keeps you busy. 

I don't really know which one I'm going to go with ... #1 is the highest, but I think #3 may pan out better for leveling... and might could even be made better. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

New spec

FINALLY caught 2 of the new WotLK 1handers (83.1 DPS) mace's in the Auction House... apparently Runetotem's economy sucks, like the real world... paid an arm and a leg for them. 

Put RazorIce on both of them... picked up a new helm and new neck, socketed it and respec'd:

Stats:  523 Strength        397 Agility  573 Stamina         23.2% Crit

I've had better Strength and Crit...the stats on one of my items is less than ideal, and my belt and rings are kind of outdated. 

I went with the beginings of the 'awesome'  0/32/39 spec.. and dropped thru the frost tree first for the DW'ing, KM, Rime and Howling Blast.. then ran up thru Unholy. 

I'm still on the fence about this spec... *sometimes* I'll drop a single target before I ever get to my second portion of my Rune rotation, and thats without using Death Coil.  The ammount of bursty DPS that's potentially there is amazing, and I can see why everyone loves this spec. 

But I think I tried for it too early... I died a couple of times, which is rare... to situations that a 2handed Unholy DK would've prevailed. But I mowed thru an elite... so /shrug. I think it's 6 one way, half a dozen the other.  The problem i have is 

1) Lack of Ebon Plague (for Death Strike Purposes)
2) To-Hit chance for offhand... I'ev got a 23% miss rate on my offhand right now =/
3) Slow off hand - sucks
4) Lack of Steady AoE DPS -  HB is *AWESOME* AE burst damage... but wandering plague mixed with 3 diseases is <3>

All in all... it was still a really fun spec; I only had 1 quest I couldn't do.. and it suggested 5 people. I think I need to still stack more STAM, but I'm about to hit Northrend, so it's NBD. 

Think I'm going to respec to something like 0/16/45 for heading to Northrend... go back to being full holy till I have the gear to support 0 / 32 / 39.... ONE good 2hander seems to be easier to find than TWO good 1 handers too. 

DWing is just so fast! 

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Weekend wrap up

Another weekend down...

This weekend was pretty fun! Saturday, me and Jill got up and went to Saturday Serve.. we're going to start doing this once a month; a group from out Church goes out and does service projects around the community... from fixing people's houses, to serving meals, to helping out at the Atlanta Dream Center. This is a great way for the Church to reach out into the community and be a positive influence, as well as not be the typical 'armchair church'... meaning, not a church who talks the talk but doesn't walk the walk. 

We volunteered at a youth center off of Austell road for children 13-17 who came from either abusive situations, drug related situations, domestic disputes or DFCS temporary placement. Most of the kids there were there temporarily, just as a place to stay, while DFCS found them a more permanent home... but some were there indefinately.  At the shelter, they have access to a computer / study area, several books, a nurse, a "common room" to play board games, pool and watch TV... as well as a lunch room and laundery room. Despite being in a shelter with tight security, the kids are offered a great degree of freedom and responsibilty.  The church came in to help with some organization projects that the shelter needed done, but didn't have the time/resources to do so. We cleaned and organized an office supplies area, nursing station, storage room, hygenie closet and their laundery room. Mine and Jill's project was the office supplies cabinets... we were to inventory and straighten it so that the kids could get what they needed more easily, without having to pull the entire contents of the cabinet out. 

I really enjoyed the service project; it was a lot of fun and for something really good... but I wish I could've talked with the kids more. Because it was saturday, they slept in till about 11:30, so we really didn't get to talk to them too much... we got to talk to the workers a lot tho (met a cool guy, Tim, who was one of the caretakers there). Next time I think we're going to volunteer at MustMinistries (Homeless Shelter) or The Atlanta Dream Center (Shelter for Homeless / Adicts / Prositutes) where you interact more with the people there. 

Saturday afternoon we jut kinda chilled and took it easy... played some WoW; picked up and straightened up.. etc. 

Sunday we had KCRG... the kids were a little crazy this sunday for some reason.. and our Hall-Coach was in a bad mood (she kept getting onto our kids).  Our kids had a really good time tho... I got to talk to a couple of kids about the lesson in more depth than normal, until the room exploded with craziness. There's one kid.... Jake Mantooth, who's a really good kid, but I just like messing with him.  I kept telling him that I had my eyes on him and was watching for him to be bad.... and would do the "I'm-Watching-You" motion during like.. big group, and just all during sunday school... he thought it was hillarious.  The lesson this sunday was about how Words have power and can really have consequences... which was easy to convey to the kids by talking to them about playing Wii late at night, and their parents saying "no". They all got the concept real quick!

Got my DK to 68 this weekend... really really really enjoy the class. It's so cool cause you can play it as a Tank... AE DPS, or single target DPS dump.  I'm trying to scrounge up 2 good 1handed weapons so that  I can respec back to frost and start DW'ing. DWing just looks so much better, and your white-damage is a lot "more" of your overall DPS.. but I keep getting awesome 2handers. First it was Hellreaver (lvl64 Polearm).. then right as I was outgrowing that... Verik's Pike (69 Polearm.. 93.3 DPS). I don't know if I have the +Hit to do DWing yet.. but it *Just* *looks* *so* *cool*.   Debating a different spec too... Unholy is fun for AE DPS, but thinking I may go Frost (gasp!).. it'll cost me 5g to respec I think, then 6g more if I don't like it. I've gotta find two decent 1handers before I respec though... Killing Blow and Rime procs are dependant on crits.... more swings = more crits = more free / critical Howling Blasts. 

Friday, January 16, 2009

Bon Qui Qui

For those that haven't seen this madTV skit...

HILLARIOUS.... especially if you've ever been to a fast food in like, downtown Atlanta... or downtown Charlotte! lol!

Telecom Companies

Gonna take a minute to vent about Telecom companies... 

I'm sure everyone's had a run in with them... AT&T, Comcast, Bellsouth. They're notorious for their poor customer service, unreliability, over charging,  and unwillingness to admit fault. It's a terrible business model, from a Consumer point of view; having to pay for a gauntlet of services in order to utilize less than 60%... bulk buying for a specific item, if you will. 

On an enterprise level.. where the bills are 10x higher, downtime 100x more costly than residential service, SLA and Commit Contracts exists and lawyers are involved... Telecom companies are just as bad. 

Over the past 7 days, of which only 5 were business  days, we've experienced no less than 8hours of downtime during production hours. This was related to Circuit-to-Circuit MPLS issues existing inside of our WAN Cloud (Read: our branches couldn't "talk" to each other). This creates a Customer Service Nightmare... especially given the economic period of uncertainty in relations to financial institutions. This downtime doesn't also consider downtime during off hours (11pm-3am), which goes unaccounted for by our ISP. 

After 21 phone calls to customer server, 13 emails, 4 voicemails and 11 calls directly to Network Technicians and Supervisors, we've began to resolve the issues. While 2 of the outages were related to a Network outage, we've got a SLA garunteeing 99% uptime commitment, and a Commit time on our T1's of 4 hrs... one outage was fixed at 3hrs and 57minutes. I've worked OT every day this week.. going in at 5:45 one day and not getting off till 9:15 the other... all over these stupid network related issues. 

After a bunch of calls.. because I'm the "vendor" guy of the department (AKA the guy who can make vendors bend over backwards)... we've arranged for $1,500.00 credit to this months bills, next month's PRI (phone service) free and a re-evalution of our SLA and commit times along with a dedicated NOC to generate a full network scheme for us and find was to decrease single points of failure as well as increase our overall efficiency. All of that though, still doesn't buy back the full business day that our customers were unable to reach us, check their balances, transfer funds or use any electronic services. 

Anyways... just wanted to rant. But the next time you call Cox / Comcast / RoadRunner / Windstream.. and get aweful customer service. Don't think it's just because they don't care about your "piddly" $130 a month... cause they still treat you that way at the $12,000 / month level too. 

They all just suck imo. 

More Flipp'n poke'n

Been poking around on a couple of different sites... it looks like there's a fairly big disparity in what accounts are selling for; which wasn't there when I was flipping about a year ago. 

"Quick Flips" aren't selling for as much - a Standard level80 looks like its going for 250ish with a single 80 on it in quest blues / greens. 

then you've got like... this massive gap in $. I don't know where this comes from, because in my experience,, 70-80 content is fairly easy... if it can be pugged as a 25 man broadcasting in a capital city, it can't be THAT hard. 

So after the $250's... it jumps to like, $750. There's massive difference in gear.. but still! People in WotLK Epic Purples and Set pieces are selling (selling.. as in transactions being completed) for 1K+, as much as 2K sold. 

Keep in mind.. these people are in 'sets'.. meaning they have all 5 of a desired piece of 'Tiered' gear. That takes time... you've got to run 25 man NAXX enough till the pieces you need drop AND you win them... that can take a while. The accounts all have their epic Flyer, which entails dropping a cool 5k gold on a mount.. which ain't cheap. Still tho.. jeez; I can't believe someone would pay that.  While the 1-2K accounts aren't the norm... there's at least 125 accounts on 1 site priced above $700.

There's a lot of Warriors, Paladins and DK's... Death Knights seem to be going for *a lot* if they're 5/5 in T7 or the latest Arena Season gear. Professions seem to making more of a difference too; before they were just an afterthought... but with the Inscription / Echanting and jewel craftin profession changes... looks like they're very desireable. 

Just some quick thoughts from browsing the market place this morning. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Flipping 101

Ok.. so people have been asking (actualy more than 1, fer realz) about Flipping Accounts; why you do it, how you do it, and exactly how much money is in it. 

First...What is Flipping Accounts exactly?

Flipping accounts in respect to World of Warcraft is the same principal as flipping real estate, but on a much smaller scale. You take a under-developed 'piece of property' and develop it... you invest time and money in order to scale your return when the inventory is sold. People will pay good money to keep from having to invest the time to get a new character to 80; people pay for convenience. 

Despite that it may seem dumb; there's the potential for good profit in flipping accounts... it all depends on the type of flip you do.. there are a couple different types: 

  • Full Flip - A full flip entails leveling a character from 1 to 80, gearing them as much as possible(quickly) and then selling them. 
  • Quick Flip - A quick flip is leveling a character from 1 to 80 as fast a possible and selling as soon as you reach 80, regardless of gear. 
  • Dedicated Flip - Dedicated Flips are the most lengthy, but have the greatest Profit potential. Level a Character from 1 to 80 (or 70 to 80). Once at 80, take the time to 25 man and PvP for Arena and Epic gear; once you've accumulated several desirable end-game items, sell the account.
  • Pickup Flip - This is the quickest, but lowest margin. Pick up a semi-leveled character for a low price, then level to 80 and Gear as quickly as possible, then sell for more than you have invested. 

Obviously, you’re going to invest the most time in a Dedicated Flip and the least time in a Pickup Flip; but a dedicated, typically, is going to yield a higher return. You have to keep in mind, while flipping and setting prices that you have to cover your costs invested:  Expansion Packs and Monthly Subscriptions.

2) How do you flip an account?

This is a really big question… You level a character to 80 and you sell it; but there’s a lot more to it than that…

… Lets play Hot-or-Not, WoW Style!

                What I mean is, you’ve gotta do some research! To make the most money, you’ve gotta have a product that the market desires. So… go to WoW-Insider, poke around on the WoW Official boards and look around at thottbot’s banter, see what class is OP’d at the moment; it changes with each patch. Example:   When I was flipping, Balance druids were some hot stuff, and Beast Master spec’d hunters were *epic* in PvP…. Now, a BM spec’d hunter isn’t going to get that much, because they’ve been nerfed, and with WotLK everyone wants Resto or Feral druid, not balance. FotM’s change with the winds; so you’ve gotta be good at theorycrafting and mining the forums to see… what’s OP’d now, and what is going to stay OP’d in the future.  Do some other poking around and see what characters are moving? Five threads with  80 Warriors for sale that’s been bumped for the past 2 weeks? Then you probably don’t wanna roll a warrior…

… To grind, or not to Grind? That…is the quest(!)ion…

Ok, so now you’ve got your class (omg FotM bandwagoner) and you wanna level now, what’s the best way to do it? Well, up until about 40… you’d better like questing, cause you’re gonna be doing a lot of it. Without PvPing, equipment is essentially worthless… because you outlevel it so quickly, so don’t spend time running instances unless you’ve got a slick, quick group who knows what they’re doing and can maximize the Xp/Hr from the instance. ALWAYS LOGOUT IN A CAPITAL CITY; rested XP makes a world of difference. Once you hit 40, if you can AoE pull; do so… 2 accounts helps with this, but isn’t necessary. AoE and Quest when applicable till you hit 58, then run to outland… quest like a motha’ in outland till you hit 70 and can go to Northrend.  Flipping accounts is all about efficiency.. the faster you level, the more profit you make; so maximize your time online. Don’t spend countless hours at the Auction house, buy the best bags you can buy over buying new equipment (more bagslots = less travel time to go sell) and ADDONS, ADDONS, ADDONS. QuestHelper is your very best, ultimate friend…. In fact, its mandatory; go download it now. Also, download Cartographer.. QH mixed with Cart will plot ever quest objective and even tell you the order to do them in to maximize Xp / Hr. TitanBar will let you track your XP/Hr gained… keep maximizing it! If you’re lost for where to quest next, or where to quest in general: and use the Leveling guides there;  both Horde and Alliance are listed.

WoW Combat Style and Playstyles – Live them , love them, learn them.

Coming from DAoC, this was the hardest, longest thing it took me to learn… WoW is ALL ABOUT DPS in leveling… survivability is negligible until you hit 80, or are running instances.  So maximize DPS for leveling; only cast spells that let you kill someone quicker, burn trinkets/timers/CD abilities everytime they’re up.. if you *can* take 8 mobs at a time and kill them as quick as 1, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, DO IT! Ending at 10% health in WoW isn’t a bad thing… eat & Drink (at the same time!) and do it again; you’re still getting more xp/hr doing that than single pulling. DON’T WORRY ABOUT EATING AFTER FIGHTING. This is the hardest thing to get use to; it’s NOT about how much health you ended the fight with; it’s how fast the XP rolled in / mob(s) died.

… Wait, wait, wait.. what about Servers?!

Typically, someone will pay more for a PvP server, because they’re generally more fun.. but a pain in the butt to level on. Now, if you factor a character transfer INTO your selling price.. you can level on a PvE server, pay the $25 and transfer to a PvP server (it’s free if you go from a High Pop to low pop.. but that’s bad for business). While this will help market you to a person desiring a PvP Character; your transferring ability will be down for 90 days; which is a selling point. Transferring is your choice.

… Ok, so I’m leveled.. but what about getting these purples I see everyone running around in?

THE big issue… gear. People have paid two times the price of another 80 because of the gear available; so it’s a very tangible benefit to have epics; but epics take time AND effort… or a complete lack of morals.  There’s two ways to tackle the epics issue… you can read Ready-Check on WoWinsider, learn about 10 and 25 man raids, dungeon tactics and boss tactics; then get in a general/open raid guild and start running 25 man Naxx runs every night and progressing that way. This helps you learn the game for future flips, and it actually is semi-enjoyable the first 10 times or so. The other option, is loot ninjaing… but you have to essentially use your character transfer before selling; because you WILL be blacklisted among the general population. Ninjaing entails need rolling on every piece of gear you can use in an instance, or running a group and setting yourself as the master looter; then before  rolls are done… you log out of the instance, thus stealing all of the loot for yourself.  Both of these are very unethical; but they CAN save you time… you have to decide if the trade off is worth it however.

Ok… so now you’ve got your 80 Fury warrior with two purple 1-handers and epic-lewt-of-God Shoulders; how much is this badboy worth!?

Pricing really depends on the market; but generally a single level 80 with moderate gear will go from 300 to 450… anywhere in that range, with a few exceptions. If you’re an 80 in blues, fresh out of the Questing-oven… you can offload the account quick for 250-400, depending on the class demand. Taken your time, ran that resto druid thru Naxx 30 times and got epic’d out? Well then, you just made yourself a cool $500+… got that Prot pally in epics and even got him the Season-4 Arena weapon? $500+.

But do your homework when pricing!DONT underprice yourself.

If you’ve already got WoW installed:

WoW classic – Free

Burning Crusade – 14.99

Wrath of the Litch King – 39.99

Subscription fee – 14.99 / month.

If it’s taken you two months to level that noob to 80… you’re breakeven is going to be roughly $85. That epic druid that took you’ve got, and it took you 5 months to finish… break even on her is gonna be about $140.

What If I got two level 80’s on an account?!

Two isn’t always better than one, always. Another 80, depending on the class will raise your price somewhat.. but typically people are willing to only pay X amount for 1 character; a second character is a bonus, so the profit decreases dramatically for the second. The nice thing with Wrath of the Litch king is the addition of the Death Knight. Death Knights take leveling to the Nth degree; completing 4 and 5 man group quest by themselves, and very capable of AE pulling 5 to 10 mobs at a time without the need to eat between pulls; and added benefit is that they start at level 55; thus decreasing the amount of time needed to invest in leveling and gearing; which raises the ROI.

That’s the basics of flipping… it’s not an all inclusive “Click here to make TONS of money in WoW!” guide, but it’s the basics to get you off the ground or to get you asking questions… there’s a lot more thought and effort put into WoW than you can imagine, so you can get as detailed with this as you’d like… I’ve crunched a lot of numbers on this, and have played WoW a fair amount, so please ask whatever questions you’d like.



Sunday, January 11, 2009

Quick shoutout

To Pandora Online Radio... if you haven't heard about it; it's an awesome online radio where you input the artist / song / genre that you'd like to here... and it intelligently (using the SHAZAM engine) builds you a random online playlist with songs that are similiar to your input criteria. 

it's very awesome... it's got everything from Third Day (Atlanta - Christian [what what]) to Korn and In Flames (... not christian, lol). 

And.. for ya'll who don't have the cool IT hook up around your Website / URL Filter appliance... right now Pandora isn't on McAfee's radar, so usually it won't be blocked =)

leik whoa

So I was thinking about something tonight during N-Weds that I really wanna do... it came whenever Greg and Barbara were talking about 'their' time each saturday morning; and I really wanna start doing this (new thing) with me and Jill... but it really has more to do with just me. 

Everyone who knows me... knows I love computer games. It's what I do. Period. I mean, I like to do them to relax... unwind... escape... a various plethora (25 pts!) of reasons. But... at the same time, its a big detractment from 'us' time, between me and Jill.  Sure, we play(ed) WAR together, and it was something fun for us to do... but, it's not quality time, or together time per'se. It's staring at monitors making fun of nubs whilst pwning. lol. 

So this semester, me and jill are gonna be pushed for 'us' time.. her schedule is crazy Monday / Weds / Friday... we've got Church and NWeds on sundays... Saturday Community Server with NMC on (duh) Saturdays.. so our time together for this semester is going to be very limited. very... limited. 

So, I'm giving up the PC on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Unless the CU is in some state of.. super-natural breakdown or something, I'm going to leave the PC turned off. I've got plenty of time Monday / Weds / Friday to get in all the playing that I want.. then there's whenever I can shove some time in on the weekends. But I really wanna dedicate Tuesday and Thursday to sharing with her... If we'd like to do something like... play Guitar Hero 3 on those nights; then thats fine. But, I'm not gonna recluse-upstairs in the office... I'm not gonna have a ton of time with her this semester because of school, work and life... so I want to maximize every little drop I can squeeze out of it. 

I'm also gonna try and get involved in some type of Men's Ministry.. I'm hoping for a  M / W / F class; I know the class I'd like to go to is @ 6:15 on Friday mornings.. but with my schedule I don't know if I can swing it. I'm going to see what I can do though. 

For those of you who may be interested in NMC or just knowing more of what it's about.. check it out:

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Woe to WAR

So... I canceled our WAR Accounts today. 

After all the hype.. it just couldn't deliver. With so many problems facing the game, its not worth the time investment right now.  3 Months down the road, 6 months? I'll check back then... it took Funcom a year to keep AoC from dropping subs (they're on the uptake now); so hopefully WAR can deliver on promises after 15 months (from release). 

So.. DK here I come, perm.  It looks like we're gonna pick back up on some kind of Foursome again on WoW; rerolling to a PvP server probably... for the ability to gank lowbies at 80, plus PvPing in outland / northrend. It's sad, that a game touted as RvR - Centric and built around PvP actually has less PvP in it's end game content than a PvE-Centric game. 

We're probably going to be rolling something along the lines of... Prot Pally / Unholy DK / (Mage or Shaman) / (Druid or Shaman)... shooting for clearing non-heroics in Outland. Figure that 4man could clear Ramps / Hellfire in no time... Heroics, without a priest that could hurt... Mage / Druid would probably end up working out better, but Rest Sham + Rest Druid could probably heal thru about any heroic. We'll see tho.. 

Rolled a new Male DK on Archimonde.. debating there as being the new PvP Server; got a 70 Druid and Mage to cake-walk instances with; but I think the Population is just medium-ish... but that means smaller queues late night tho. 

We'll see... but after like, 3 years.. WAR just was, meh =(

Sunday, January 4, 2009

One more thing!

Laid on the guest bed today after figuring what and where we were going to hang a bunch of pictures (new collage coming in the office that was my idea, what what!)... and had like, an hour+ long conversation about life with my wife. 

That was, by far,  the highlight of my week. Love is an amazing thing. 

More... Death Knight-y-ness?

So the DK I was playing the past two nights was a Blood Elf on the PvP server I've got a 70 Mage and Druid on... I decided, after thinking about some stuff and the posibility of transfers.. yadda yadda, to roll an Alliance DK.  Because of the "purge", +1% to hit, +1% to not be evaded/dodged, +10% Rep... went with a Human. They're the best alliance race from a PvP and PvE standpoint (tied PvE with Dranai.. but they're just, odd w/cloaks on). 

I decided to go with a different spec too.. with the Blood elf I was trying out the Beggings of *the* new PvP spec (0/32/39), which really was amazing... The biggies being full time pet, gargoyle and bonearmor; then dumping the rest in frost to increase IT and get the self-haste; eventually going DW and Killing Machine\Rime procs... 

This time I went more unholy, less frost.. I dropped gargoyle, picked up Ebone Plague (+13% Magic dmg, +3% Crit Chance vs. Diseased Targets), picked up the Mount speed tactic for faster questing times.. and grabbed the +2 ticks disease tallent. I wasn't able to out-of-the-gate go as deep into frost as I was, so my IT doesn't hit as hard (and I don't have the haste buff yet)... but the spec is amazing for dropping targets fast.... Once I get haste, I think I'm going to just go deeper Unholy for the 'extra hits' (Wandering Plague) chances. 

To augment this.. I picked up a couple of 'glyphs' from the AH (for those unfamiliar.. they're WoW's new response to tactics; they function the exact same). One is that Bloodstrike (60% of weapon damage + xtra per diease) hits 20% harder when the target is snared... the other is DeathStrike (60% Wpn Dmg + xtra per disease + Heals for a % of the hit per Disease on the target) hits and heals for 2% more per 5 Runic Power (up to 20% more at full RP).  That's all the Glyphs I could afford ( you can have... 3 Major Glyphs and 3 Minor Glyphs)... I also bought some Armor kits to increase Strength / Stamina and AP. 

The results.. breathtaking. The human DK drops targets fast. And by "fast" I mean @ lvl59 I'm dropping lvl61-62's in one runic rotation. Thats IT, Plague Strike, Blood Strike, Death Strike with White Damage (regular hits) inbetween and critting like a madman. Biggest hit has been a 2K Deathstrike (full RP) crit; healed me for like 2200 or something. 

I've ran some more instances too... ran Ramps about 4 times last night; easy, quick, good loot and fun. 5 DK's can do it without a healer... and the 1 run with a healer (Priest + 3 DK's, 1 Prot Pally) was only 4 total pulls... the prot pally pulled all the aggro while the DK's went AoE-Nuts.. entire run was done in about 12 minutes. 

I've had a couple of PvP fights on the Human DK... got dropped like a bad habit by an 80DK griefing Burning Crusade starter zone... took a 62 Rogue, dropped a 59 priest and made a stupid mistake and died to a 61 Pally (omg kicked myself over that one). 

It's certainly fun tho. 

(I'll edit this to include pics lata!)

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Jackson & Me

This (Marley & Me)  is a must-see for all you 'pup-rents' out there.. who think that your dog is a part of the family. 

I mean me... My blog is named after the two most important people in my life; and notice I said
 people, one is just shorter and furrier than the other. 

Marley & Me is an amazing story that revolves around how special our companions are to us.. and that they're there with us.. thru thick and thin, and despite their quirks and misbehaviors.. they're one of the few things that love us with their whole heart, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It also describes the special bond that a man develops with his furry friend.. there's nothing that can really describe it; and its unlike
 anything else... if you're ever fortunate enough to have "the" pet, which I hope everyone is.. then you know what I'm talking about. You can tell what they're thinking, what they're feeling.. when they're sad, when they're in a great mood, and when they just wanna curl up and lay next to you... they feed off of your emotions; they can someh
ow tell when you've had a bad day and they try to comfort you in their own little special way... it's this special bond, between a man and his best friend.. that the movie goes over. 

Sadly, no matter how hard we want it to not happen... all good things must come to and end. One day, all things shall pass... and while sad, it just means that you should relish each and every moment you have with them; because like you, their time is limited, especially once this "epic" bond is formed... this doesn't come along every day, so you should harness it and squeeze every last drop of happiness out of it. 

I've just got a big soft spot in my heart for animals; but especially dogs. I've been fortunate to have very special dogs in my life... Lady, Joey, Sadie... Jack and Chance.  Jack and me are best buds tho; and we've formed this kind of bond I'm talking about. 

The movie Marley & Me just makes you realize how precious they are.. and how you can't over look the little things, and cherish every moment you have with them. They're not here forever. 

I balled my eyes out in the theatre... and have balled them out while writing this post. 

I Love my special furry family members. 

Semi-WAR Hiatus

So.. because of problems that are awaiting us in T3 / T4 in WAR.. (Fort crashes, keep swaping, Renown rewards not working, itemization, PvE Dungeon lockouts, CTD issues... to name a few).. I decided, that since WoW has 12 Million subs now.. and a new class I've never played... why not, I'll give it a shot... there's a 10 day free trial.. get to try out the new Death Knight, take the epic'd druid out for a spin in the lvl80 content... see what its all about. 

Holy Crap. 

1) Northrend is amazing, visually. I
t's still the WoW art style (cartoony).. but thats their thing. For a WoW zone(s) its very nice. It's got depth, a lot of different hubs... and a *lot* of players running around in it. 
2) It's all PvP Contested territory... all of the new content is. I got the crap ganked out of me on the druid by a couple of drive-by lvl80's... but I did manage a 7 minute fight vs. an even level pally and raped a level 68 Warlock... poor guy =(
3) Death Knight is.... 2 parts PWN, 1 Part OWN.  Man these things are amazing... I mean, they're BEGGING for the nerf bat tho (Blizzard isn't, typically, very heavy-handed with it tho). A Plate-wearing tank, with a pet, with AoE attacks, 2 passive DD procs, DoT's, Dual Weilding, Self Healing, Aura-wearing, Self buffing piece of ooey-gooey goodness. It's also a completely different mechanic than WoW has (rune system) and makes combat extremely fast. 
4) Leveling - they've increase again the speed of leveling for the 30-50 bracket, 60-70 and adjusted the 70-80 to be in line with the previous changes... so you can solo quest, or group instances and feel like you're actually accomplishing something  in just an hour or two (59-60 took me right at 1.5hrs). 

Differences between WAR and WoW... after playing both:
  • WoW's art style... while I don't really care for it, they carry it throughout the entire game nicely. WAR's graphics still, to me, are 'nicer'.  
  • WAR's humor... I think WAR pokes a little more fun @ the entire genre + grim Warhammer humor; WoW's taken a more.. poke fun @ the gamer culture aspect (jar of epic tears dropping off PVP kills = I lol'd). 
  • Combat Pace - this was odd, but WoW's combat is much more fluid, responsive and fast. WAR's in comparison seems extremely slowed down and less responsive... almost like WAR's GCD doesn't work quite right
  • Abilties - They're pretty close here; WoW has now added Knockbacks and 'pulls'.. which is funny. WoW's abilities have a little more utility and more group-synergy... WAR's seem more DPS straighforward. 
  • Active / Responsive fights - Man, there's a lot of !@#$ going on in a WoW fight. It's hard to keep up with all the various debuffs, buffs, temp abilities and pops (reactionaries). This makes combat feel even faster
  • XP for RvR - Really, after 4years you'd think WoW would've learned by now. 
  • Dyes - Again...  4 years? Come on Blizzard, get with the program.
Something else WoW has changed.. is they're revamping (or have already) their talent trees so that each line isn't pidegeon holed into a specific role. While a Protection Paladin may be better prepared than a Retribution (DPS) pally to tank... that doesn't mean that the Prot Pally can't DPS (somewhat).. which is a big change from their previous Tallent system. 

All in all I actually had fun.... I've leveled my Death Knight from 55 to 61 in 'roughly' 2 days, but pretty much just 1... doing 57-61 tonight. I've gotta lot of experience playing WoW (I use to flip accounts for extra $$$$ for those that didn't know).. and really it was a lot of fun tonight. 

Have I *really* PvP'd, like running an arena (not 80!) or goofing off in AV or WSG? Not yet
Have I ran a 10-man or 25-man Heroic in Northrend? Nope
Have I ran a regular instance in Northrend? Nope
Have I ran a instance with my DK? lol yeah, 4 DK's and a Priest tore Hellfire ramps up, lmao. 

I mean, I haven't really done a lot of what Northrend has to offer, and the DK doesn't really take off until.. 65-70 (I've got a mob-TTK atm of about 4-5sec tho, lmao). But really... WotLK seems like it's kind of force to be Reckoned with. It hasn't sold 4.5million copies already for no reason I guess *shrug*

EDIT:  Think of that revenue stream that Blizzard has... $14month per account. 12 Million subs... then 4 Million WotLK Boxes in 3 months @ 40 a piece.  Thats..  168 Million per month in Subscriptions, with an additional 160 Million in box Sales... so since the November WotLK roll out... 2 months @ 168mil / month + 160Mil retail = $496 mil... take out operating costs, but still... man, what a revenue stream. 

Friday, January 2, 2009


So looking back over 2008 and 2009, we've been very blessed... and it's really just amazing. 

2008 was a tumultous year, financially speaking, for the entire country. With all the layoffs, hard times, closings and especially bank failures, one should be very happy to simply have *a* job... let alone a well paying one. This past year we've been blessed  in that the Credit Union has really gorwn by leaps and bounds; which has been very rare by Financial Instituion standards... the 'typical' rate of membership growth across the country has been roughly 2.4% (if at all)... our Credit Union has experienced a phenominal 9% growth (as of December 1, 2008)... while other institutions have experienced marignal loan growth at best, we've seen dramatic increases in loan dollars (with deposit dollar increases to compensate(go go Onboarding! yeah!))... allowing us to achieve our Quarterly goals each quarter; which in turn grants each employee a bonus 2weeks worth of pay each quarter. This bonus has been a Godsend for everyone, and given the grim economic forecast, is very not-so-much the "norm" for 2008. It's been just such a blessing that we've had the finanical income given to us this past year. 

We were blessed by finding North Metro in 2008; which has been a pheonminal turning point. Its not everyday that you walk into a church, especially when typically your very skeptical of churches, and immediatly feel at home. It seems like every sunday, the topics are just specifically tailored toward whats going on in our lives... and how we should deal/cope with specific situations we're dealing with. North Metro has had such a dramatic impact on our lives.. daily... that becoming involved with it (IN it) has been one of the defining points of 2008.  N-Weds has also been one of the greatest things to happen in 2008.. we've built so many friendships from this experience, it's been amazing. 

I've been blessed with the greatest thing in life, a loving wife who genuinely wants to simply see me be happy... and who loves me with every ounce of her being. It's very awesome, to post-10/18/08, call her my wife. Each morning, in the shower (daily prayer-time + warm shower = awesome way to start every day) I thank God for her, and everything she's helped me with. She's played a huge role in getting re-involved in church, and is just everything I could ever ask for and want in a spouse. And on top of all that awesomeness... she's even a phenominal cook! I think everyone can look at my ever-expanding waisteline and determine that she's a very good cook =) Being married is the greatest thing in life, and I'm just so thankful for every minute I've gotten to spend with her, and look forward to what we've got in store for '09 (Italy, schweet!). 

Jack and Chance... despite their affinity for carpet-ruining and leaf-dragging in; they're two tiny blessings (one a little smaller than the other).  You can't really ask for a much better companion than Jackson; he's a wonderful dog... fun, always happy, eager to please, and cuddley... he's about as perfect as they come. Chance is also a great puppy... I mean, he's just 13wks old. He's getting on with house training... he's fun, quirky and always energetic. They're both just so happy they have each other (as evident from the N.C. christmas vacation)... and we're blessed to have both the little nuts... 

I could go on and on... family,  health, working cars, stable finances, school, 1st house, promotions.... there's not really enough room on the blog to detail every aspect that we've been blessed in. 

But here's to 2009... hoping that the economy and everything turns around, but the blessings continue to roll in.