No Shirts, No Shoes

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Pictured: sadly not an actual shaman ability
Pictured: sadly not an actual shaman ability

Yesterday I went from rank 3 to rank 7 of the Brawler’s Guild. It was a lazy Sunday. While I’m currently banging my head against GG Engineering (best attempt: 40%; it’s a horribly unforgiving fight but I’m getting there), I had time to watch a lot of fights. Specifically a lot of deaths. Thought I’d pass along some words of observational wisdom.

You need a DPS spec that you don’t suck at

Believe me, I’m as thrilled about this as anyone. I’d love to tell you that you can go into Brawler’s Guild as a tank or a healing spec and do just fine. But I’d be lying to you. Brawler’s Guild is a celebration of two things: surviving against the odds, and massive damage numbers. See, what they don’t tell you when you walk in the door (although DBM will - it has a Brawler’s Guild module) is that the fights all have approximately a 2 minute berserk timer. There are a few fights that are forgiving due to some sort of mechanic, or bosses with a lower health pool because the focus is on surviving, but there are a great number of fights where you simply need to DPS as hard and as fast as possible. You need a DPS spec, and you need to know how to play it well.

I watched a holy smite priest start rank 1 yesterday. The full holy monty, too - Chakra: Chastise, faster-than-a-GCD Smites, good uptime on Holy Fire and Shadow Word: Pain. I watched this holy smite priest barely make the enrage timer on the rank 1 fights, which are extremely forgiving. Perhaps sensing what the audience was thinking - to my knowledge no one actually said anything - she told us, “all I have is holy/disc and I usually out DPS shadow priests.” I didn’t have the heart to tell her she was barely beating enrage timers by 2-3 seconds, which against certain bosses means you are already dead.

Tanks, similarly - you’re going to have a decent time at the beginning of the matches, but you don’t get massive stacks of Vengeance like you’re used to - you will encounter problems DPSing your way through Brawler’s Guild. It’s just a matter of when.

Get a DPS spec. Learn to play it. Learn to love it - or at least tolerate it enough to whip some matches.

Put your interrupt on your bars

I cannot tell you how many senseless deaths I’ve seen due to people not having their interrupt on their bars, or not speccing into it, or what have you. There’s really no excuse for this - Brawler’s Guild has a lot of casters, and almost all of them have some ability you should interrupt.

And yes, you have interrupts. You do. I promise.

  • Death Knight: Mind Freeze and Asphyxiate, available in all specs.
  • Druid: Solar Beam for Balance, Skull Bash for Feral.
  • Hunter: Silencing Shot, a talent, or a Nether Ray, Gorilla, or Moth pet. Word has it Crane AI will also use Lullaby during casts, but I haven’t tested that.
  • Mage: Counterspell, available to all specs (albeit on a terribly long cooldown), and Frostjaw, a talent.
  • Monk: Spear Hand Strike, available to all specs.
  • Paladin: Rebuke, available to all specs.
  • Priest: Silence, available to shadow priests.
  • Rogue: Kick, available to all specs, and Deadly Throw, available as a talent (if you can spare the DPS loss to use it, anyway).
  • Shaman: Wind Shear, available to all specs.
  • Warlock: Spell Lock, available either on your felhunter or by sacrificing it, or Optical Blast on the observer. (The observer scores bonus points because there are some enemies who have dispellable buffs for it to steal.)
  • Warrior: Pummel, available to all specs, and Disrupting Shout, a talent.

That doesn’t even cover using stuns or disorients as pseudo-interrupts. You have interrupts. Use them.

Group up

A common practice in Brawler’s Guild is to group up - to offer advice, cheer each other on, and perhaps just as importantly to share buffs. When you get in, ask the people present if there’s a buff group to get invited to. You never know - it could make a difference. (Plus usually there’s someone there willing to rez you. The run back to Brawl’gar Arena is pretty convenient, but I’m not sure about Bizmo’s Brawlpub.)

Don’t go AFK unless you’re standing by where people exit the match

No, seriously.

The first hazard is getting warped into your own match while you’re still waiting. That orc might have just told you you’re third in line, but if #1 and #2 leave the arena, tag - you’re it. No one wants to lose their match while AFK.

The second hazard is the angry spectators. These are spectating NPCs who will occasionally get mad that someone won (or lost) and go from being normal green NPCs to aggressive ones. If you wander by them, they’ll start attacking you - and they do a pretty serious amount of damage, all things considered. They’re also around every part of the ring except where people exit. So if you’ve got to go AFK and you’re not queued up, go stand by where the live winners/dead losers are ported out.

(Bonus: these guys are the targets of Bottle Service. Find the NPC selling Expired Blackout Brew - Lidiya Peyton blueside, Esme Sunshadow redside - and throw it at the angry NPCs to get them to simmer down.)

The third hazard is a bug that popped up for me yesterday - unfortunately for my opponent - and is apparently commonplace enough that other people there knew about it. Occasionally you will get ported into the arena during a match still in progress and your own match will begin. Rumor has it that if either competitor wins, both of them win, but since my opponent was losing badly against Blat and I was fighting Ixx, it was pretty much game over. Ixx won.

And last but not least…

Brawler’s Guild is much harder for melee than ranged

Simply a fact of life. But that’s nothing new, now is it? :)

Light, Tunnel, Etc.

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This time, it was so long between posts that I forgot how to operate Octopress. This is a bad trend; time to nip it in the bud.

What’s new?

  • I’m a troll now.

you come get da voodoo

Partly for the aesthetics and partly for the crazy burst DPS.

next time, Corv. NEXT TIME.

  • I’ve finished up several of the Pandaria reputations. It’s kind of amazing how much time some of those dailies took up. But now that I’m down to basically August Celestials and Dominance Offensive (and, uh, I guess the Anglers, but I’m not really working on them because I hate fishing) I’m left with lots of free time to do things like solo old raids and pet battle. I’ve put up a page about my enhancement soloing efforts, in fact!

  • TTGF is now 6/6 in Mogu’shan Vaults and 2/6 in Heart of Fear; we’re supposed to start working on Garalon tonight. I’m partly looking forward to it and partly thinking back to the first time I saw this fight. (What Rades didn’t tell you is that I’m one of the sad melee dead in those piles of pheromones.)

We’re also looking for some consistent DPSers, preferably ranged; Monday/Wednesday nights, 10pm EST/7pm PST.

  • Still don’t have a Sha-touched weapon. 11 Empress kills, used a coin on every single one, no weapon. Next time I go to Heart of Fear I’m just taking a knife and cutting her damn hand off.

look, ma, dragon


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Goodness, has it really been a month and a day since I posted anything here? It’s not like I have a lack of post topics - it’s really more of a lack of time to update the ol’ blog. Hopefully that’ll clear up soon - on top of (hopefully) being done with my Masters degree, I’m also starting to hit exalted on reputations with my shaman.

Did I say with my shaman? Yes, I did. My oldest existing character, who was supposed to be my main in Cataclysm, is now my raiding main in Mists of Pandaria. He’s also a brawler - thanks to a RL friend who dinged rank 7 in there, I snagged a Brawler’s Pass (stalking the BMAH for a Blood-Soaked Invitation was not paying off). Last night, after dawdling around in Pandaria a bit, I decided to head off to the Brawl’gar Arena and see what was what.

First off, I take back what I said about the arena being boring. Sure, Brawl’gar Arena doesn’t quite have the atmosphere of Bizmo’s Brawlpub, but then again, we don’t have an underground tram to have a bar underneath, so they did a pretty good job, all things considered. It’s still got a lot of character, even in the grey items that you get in your Brawler’s Purse:

Seriously, Mankrik

There’s a lot of interesting characters in the Brawler’s Guild - from obvious Fight Club reference Robert Paulson (he needs a hug, he says) to the slightly more obscure Dirk Roughly (a nod to Dirk Gently). Volda Gan’dra insists that shoes are for the weak. And I must admit, seeing some old World of Warcraft friends again was neat - even if it was Dungeon Master Vishas, still on the hunt for Naughty Secrets that he insists on ripping from your flesh. You’ll even see Bruno Flameretardant, last seen in Azshara and Kezan, working the bar at the arena.

But for me, I was actually cracking up at was this fella. Duke Studlington.

Hey look, it's Bruno Flameretardant

I’m fairly certain the Duke is related to a certain other foppis–err, fashionable paladin. He follows you around Brawl’gar Arena - usually after you win, but sometimes just at random - and /flexes at you. Constantly. He also has three lines of dialogue; the last is my favorite:

  • “I beat up three orcs and a tauren last night, all without breaking a nail.”
  • “You want a knuckle sandwich, chump?”
  • Do you even lift, bro?”

I kept cracking up when I realized that even when I had trotted all the way to the other side of the arena, the Duke had followed me–


oh crap, he’s right behind me, isn’t he

Five More Ideas for New Pets

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The Menagerie is for zookeepers only.

Over at press 5 to capture, Ratshag has come up with five new ideas for pets from Burning Crusade content, to complement the ones showing up in Vanilla or formerly-in-Vanilla (Naxxramas) raids. There’s some great ideas in there - I’d definitely go farm for a Lil’ Reliquary - But why stop at 5?

Lil’ Curator: Magical pet. Drops in Karazhan. Spawns its own helpers. Occasionally stops and regenerates mana despite the fact that magical pets don’t even USE mana. Drops pet tier for everyone but you.

Arakkoa Hatchling: Flying pet that doesn’t actually fly, but uses a lot of magic, humanoid, and undead attacks. Capturable in Skettis. Level 20 ability is a hefty self-heal called Dark Crystal.

Mini’ru: Undead pet with magical attacks. Patched into the game after Blizzard realizes the majority of the other pets have been caught. Drops in Sunwell. When he dies, he turns into a different pet with an entirely different set of abilities for one round. Looks frickin’ awesome either way.

Loot Reaver: Mechanical. Drops in The Eye. Not actually very hard. Everyone has one after a month but no one uses it.

Baby Kraken: Aquatic pet. Found by fishing in Serpentshrine Caverns. Has a unique ability that does aquatic damage and forces the current front line pet out of the battle (and probably into a pit of pirahnas, knowing my luck).

Missing Animal Parts Epidemic in Pandaria: Solved?

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While adventuring in the Krasarang Wilds, I complained quite a bit about a quest called The Murksweats, given by Anduin Wrynn (yes, even to the Horde). Here’s why: nothing about the quest says that I need Pristine Murkscale Heads, or Undamaged Murkscale Heads, or even Particularly Venomous Murkscale Heads - I just need Murkscale Heads, and yet 7 out of every 8 snakes does not drop a head. Let me reiterate how stupid this is: the snake, which has just been biting me with its head, no longer has a head. I apparently turned it into a fine red mist.

This is irritating enough, but yesterday, leveling my hunter in the Jade Forest, specifically in the area around Grookin Hill, I started running into bugs that didn’t have legs and, even more inexplicably, birds that didn’t have any guts. Then I started thinking after talking to Fimlys and Ratshag this morning: what do these two things have in common?

While I’m out murdering these animals, the Horde expedition is bringing Anduin Wrynn to Grookin Hill.

Ladies and gentlemen, I’ve found the person with the reality-warping aura that is causing vital body parts to disappear from Azeroth’s wildlife, and his name is Anduin Wrynn. We must kill him before this disappearing-body-parts epidemic goes any further.

It’s for the good of the planet.

(Note: reports are unconfirmed as to whether Anduin is responsible for the disappearance of tongues from the mouths of mushan. Investigation is ongoing at this time.)

Headless Horseman as Healer Training Dummy

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Hi, I’m back. I’ve got a level 90 monk now (and going 1-90 before two of our usual raiding crew could go 85-90, although not quite in time to beat Lizzy) and I’ve had time to catch my breath in between a billion dailies I don’t feel a visceral urge to do, so I figured I’d use it to get back to bloggin’.

My offspec - possibly my main spec, depending on how rosters shake out - is mistweaver. I’ve made no secret of the fact that I want to heal on my monk; I find it super-interesting, especially compared to the kinda clockwork DPS setup, but the other weird thing about healing is how difficult it is to find a good opportunity to heal in a group setting.

Low-level dungeons are so non-taxing that it’s often a non-issue figuring out how they work - Blizzard essentially knew this when building mistweavers, as all you have for party heals between 10 and 32 is Soothing Mist and Eminence heals, aka “DPS heals,” aka fistweaving. It’s more than sufficient, but low-level groups move so fast and take so little damage it’s like hardly healing at all. (Side note: low-level mistweavers? Quit spamming Soothing Mist! Get in there and hit something! Soothing Mist spam for 22 levels is mind-numbingly boring!)

High-level dungeons? Also no good. Healers are pretty much expected to have come up learning to heal, so unless you can snag guild groups basically all the time, it can be a real trial by fire. And sometimes a trial by vote kick. Not fun.

So what’s a new high-level healer to do? If only there was some kind of training dummy for healers (granted, Proving Grounds might be this if they ever go in, but I digress)–oh wait, there is! He’s lean, he’s green, he’s not too mean… and he drops loot-filled pumpkins.

Let fate choose now the righteous o--quit hitting me! I'm trying to rhyme!

If you’re a new healer, the Headless Horseman - the Hallow’s End special boss - is probably one of the best chances to learn how to heal a group in a low-stress environment.

Speed and Weight

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Recently someone on the forums posted, basically asking “why would anyone want to play a male pandaren?” Allow me to give my answer in the form of videos:

And, well, anything Chen Stormstout ever did.

This filler post brought to you by the fact that due to a flurry of monk leveling I haven’t really had time to come up with a real post.

Herald of the Titans

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So it started out kinda rough.

Let the bodies hit the floor

Then eventually he coughed up his cache of loot and achievement and sweet-ass titles. I did not live, despite what this screenshot might lead you to believe.


Dalaran lit up a light show for us.



I’m the one on my green proto-drake because I don’t have an Ulduar proto-drake yet… buuuuut I’m only one achievement off, and I did get the green one in Ulduar…

I don't know who has that horse, though

This pales in comparison to Rades' exciting minipost, I know

Grats TTGF!


Many dagrons, Alliance bank, handle it

You Got Your Natsume Game in My Blizzard Game

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Like this but with more Pandaren
Like this but with more Pandaren

Well, friends, Mists of Pandaria is upon us. The first thing I’ll be doing tomorrow is… going to work. Yeah, it sucks, but hey, I got the rest of the week off! After that, I’ll… be rolling and leveling my monk to 90. Luckily I have RAF active so with dualboxing and fully kitted-out heirlooms that hopefully won’t take a super long time. Then after that?

I’d be lying if I said the faction I was looking forward to playing with most wasn’t The Tillers. If you’ve not read a lot about them, Perculia has penned a fantastic Guide to the Tillers on Wowhead.

I know a lot of people want to immediately decry the Tillers and Sunsong Ranch as YOU GOT YOUR FARMVILLE IN MY WOW but, if you stop and look at it, there’s a bit more to it - and more than another resemblance to a different farming game. Let’s take a high-level look at the Tillers quests:

  • You start your little quest not by being given a farm, but by being put in charge of a run-down farm owned by a deceased or otherwise missing relative. Granted, in this case, it’s Farmer Yoon’s grandfather. Initially, the rest of the village of Halfhill isn’t too wild about you; Yoon is mocked for his urban upbringing, for starters.
  • You have a sort-of crisis: the Tillers initially don’t want Farmer Yoon farming on Sunsong Ranch because they’re convinced he can’t run a proper farm.
  • You can make friends with each person in the village, each of whom has their own wants and needs, and become friends with them all (at which time they bring you stuff for your farm).
  • The cycle of things to do runs on a daily basis. Yes, this is a daily hub.

A relative’s farm? A manufactured crisis? A bunch of unimpressed but at least friendly people I need to make friends with? This isn’t Farmville. This is Harvest Moon.

No wonder I liked the Tillers when I first found out about them!

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