The B^3 Childs Play Raffle Nears It’s End!


This Raffle is nearly over.

But not quite YET!!!

Go! Read the big post talking ALLLL about the Raffle we’re running here!

SEE! See how to donate to Child’s Play!

LOOK! Look to see how to submit your Child’s Play donation receipt as a Raffle entry!

Time is running out… I’m giving you folks until Monday morning, and then I’m closing the Raffle down and declaring the winners!

There is also still time to donate something as a prize, if you have the desire to help out in that way.

Remember, you don’t pay ME any money here! And if you already donated to Child’s Play, you’re fine as long as you’ve got your e-receipt!

So come on, folks! Give a little!


We Make More Insults…

Okay, no, not really.

But while reading our esteemed elder statesman’s gleeful post about the need for Hit Rating, and his choice to dual wield the very nice Fang of Truth, it occured to me that it might be fun to contrast that with what Cassie and I, fledgling Hunters both, are doing at the same time.

Whereas BRK chose to dual-wield the Fang of Truth, which requires level 78 and Honored with the Wyrmrest Accord faction, Cassie and I already have made all four of our next weapon upgrades.

Our good friend Graimerin crafted for us the Savage Cobalt Slicer, a Blacksmith crafted BoE weapon that is usable at level 74. And Cassie and I on our Hunters are BOTH planning on Dual Wielding them.

The mats cost for the Savage Cobalt Slicers is very, very low. It only took a total of 32 Cobalt Bars, 24 Saronite Bars and 8 Crystalized Fire to have all four made.

The Savage Cobalt Slicers lack a touch of the Hit Rating of the Fang of Truth, and of course they totally lack the Stamina, but they have a lot more Attack Power and Crit, and did I mention I get to use them 4 levels earlier than the Fang of Truth?

Think of them as the baby brother to the Fang of Truth, if you’d like. I certainly miss the Stamina, but it’s okay. That Hit Rating is quite lovely as it is.

Now, to enchant HIS Fang of Truths, Big Red chose the new Exceptional Agility enchant, which gives +26 Agility to a one handed weapon. Very nice, yes?

Keeping with the ‘low rent’ theme, Cassie and I chose to gather the mats from the Auction House to put the Outlands old-school Enchant Weapon – Greater Agility +20 Agility enchant on each of ours. Thanks Doozie!

To get the mats for enough enchants to do 4 weapons took us about 220g from the Auction House.

Now, I like the Fang of Truth, and the Savage Cobalt Slicers… but neither of them are what I would consider good enough to put the true, “Omigod are you shitting me” single weapon enchant on them for Hunters… the Enchant Weapon – Accuracy. +25 Hit Rating AND Crit? Oooooh. Aaaaahh.

I’m sure there will be far better weapons for Hunters later on. For now, the Savage Cobalt Slicers provide a very nice set of stats at a level where Cassie and I will get the most out of them, at a materials cost we can afford. Once we grow up, like BRK, and take a look around at what is available, well, that’s time enough to graduate to the big leagues.

But can I help it if I imagine the carnage if I had Savage Cobalt Slicers enchanted with Accuracy? If I was tooling around with 108 Hit rating JUST from my weapons?

Just… okay, screw it. Let’s channel some Keanu.

Just… Woah.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

I wish you all a wonderful day today, wherever you may be!

Whether you be enjoying a day off, are at work, or are traveling with the wild winds, I hope things go smoother than you expect, and that you are happier than you deserve. 🙂

You can rest assured that, while I am indeed not at work today, I will in fact be hard at work cleaning the entire house, since an invasion of all of Cassie’s family will be coming over to celebrate Thanksgiving this evening.

Now, since this IS a blog that tangentially is supposed to be related to World of Warcraft, and since my Hunter gleefully dinged 73 last night, I thought a Hunter inspired addition would be cute.

And when you talk about hunters and inspiration, who does everyone think of first?

Did you say Mania? That’s right! Wait, um, no, that’s not the answer you folks were supposed to give… okay, a little coaching here..

*whisper whisper*

Okay, everyone ready this time?


“And when you talk about hunters and inspiration, who does everyone think of first?”

Pike! That’s right!

Hey! Grrr! Yes, yes, Pike is incredibly awesome, yes I know.

Damn it, we’re going to try this again, and I better not hear any shouts for Pookie, either!

Come on now. If B^3 is going to mess with someone, who is the first Hunter you think of?

Ahhh, there we go. Now you’ve got it!

So Big Red Kitty, in honor of your recent T-shirt sales, your unhealthy pet obsessions, and your occasional ultra-rare habit of e-peen gloating, this T-shirt idea is just for you!


Facepalm: The Return!

A week ago, I brought up what I thought was a cute story about silliness in game. And I asked you folks to offer your own stories of things that you have seen other players do, both the good AND the bad, since the expansion went live.

And you have had some great stories, both in the comments, and on your own blogs where appropriate. 🙂

Little did I realize at the time I wrote that, that I would shortly see a completely different type of asshat. One based not on the usual cluelessness and aggressive confrontational behavior; “You’re a noob!” “No, YOU are!”

No, an asshat that was able to be a complete tool without ever saying a single word.

You know, for the most part, I almost never encounter a true asshat in game. Oh, I know they are out there. I’ve met them, I’ve been guilded with them, I’ve read your stories about them, and I’ve seen the videos made by self-professed ninjas revelling in their antics at Warcraft movies.

But I just… I just don’t see them very much. Not in person. Rare as hen’s teeth, mostly.

But this guy…

This guy said nothing wrong… but his actions spoke volumes.

So, Cassie is fishing at a lake in Dragonblight. Windshadow had just scored the Blackened Dragonfin recipe, a nice piece of future tanking food goodness, and as I am a fish noob, Cassie graciously offered to go get me some fishies to cook. 🙂

After dutifully looking up drop locations for the Dragonfin Angelfish, Cassie went out to the lake where they were supposed to be found most often, there to fish, hey-mack-ol-a-derry-o.

Simple, yes?

Well, yes, except that this particular lake has upon it’s icy shores a plethora of ghostly fishermen, and elementals, and other things that go bump in the night. So it requires clearing the shoreline for a bit, then fishing, then clearing some more shoreline.

Now class, what happens when you are fishing and something spawns on top of you?

Why, you get to whip the bloody hell out of it with your fishing pole, of course.

I sympathize with Berise… I’d love to dual-wield them poles too.

So Cassie is standing there, at the shore, having cleared the area around her. And she is busy fishing for her bear, as a sweet wife should.

Just at a moment when I happen to be standing there, watching over her shoulder, she is actively fishing a Pool of Dragonfin Angelfish when an Alliance Druid in Seal form comes charging across the lake directly at her, bouncing in and out of the water. Directly at her, and at the Pool.

Now, she’s not exactly hiding. She is standing there, fishing. At the Pool. Standing bold as brass on the edge of the ice flow shoreline. The shoreline that she had to clear. You know, with little shells of bodies all around her?

And this Alliance Druid leaps in Seal form out of the lake, to stand right smack on top of her. And turns around, with his back towards her, moves about 1 foot closer to the Pool, blocking Cassie’s view of her bobber… and he casts into the Pool, too.

You know, you don’t only get the Angelfish from Pools. I want to be clear on that. This is not some super rare spawn that omigosh omigosh I gotta get it! No, not hardly. They can be fished out of the lake anywhere. You do NOT have to fight for Pools to get a chance at them.

So I watch, in astonishment, while this person seriously fights to fish from a Pool that someone else had to clear all the mobs for.

And of course, as Cassie tries to manuever her camera view so she can see her bobber again through the Druid… a mob respawns, and as Cassie is one foot further from the water edge… the elemental aggros on Cassie.

Who is wielding her fishing pole.

So Cassie turns and fights furiously, beating holy hannah out of the elemental. Sadly, her Vanish was at the moment on cooldown.

We can clearly see the Druid continue to fish the Pool, a couple casts, until the Pool disappears.

And then the Druid turns around, and watches as Cassie fights the elemental. At that point, the elemental still had over 5000 health remaining.

The Druid watched the fight, without interfering in any way, not saying anything, not moving, certainly not helping in any way whatsoever. No heals, no buff, no Moonfire on the elemental.

Just stood there, watching.

About when the elemental hit 2000 health, the Druid mounted up, and rode away.

Now, your opinion may certainly differ from mine. I won’t hold it agasint you at all. It’s just a game, after all, and you meet all kinds of folks in this crazy world.

But I thought then that it was a pathetic display of casual asshattedness… and looking back on it, I still think the person honestly was a total jackass.

Was it ninjaing?

No, it was a Pool out there for anyone to go after. If we played on a PvP server, it would have been a matter of course for any Horde running by to want to try to take Cassie out, and maybe grind in the victory a little by fishing out the pool.

It’s just fish, after all. And it’s not like Cassie was in mortal danger of dying from the elemental, either.

So, what’s the problem?

Well, let me put it this way…

There was an old slogan from a hilarious movie from the 80s… “Deeds Not Words.” I’ll let my older readers laugh if they remember the horribly cheesy motorcycles from that movie.

A better quote might be taken from the book Armor by John Steakley; “You are, what you do, when it counts.”

When out on your own, you ran across a simple situation. You saw a fishing pool, and someone fishing it. You could see the bodies around, clearly showing the person was not just out on a lark; she chose to fish there. And was there first. And had put forth some effort to fish. Had an actual line in the water.

And you, reveling in your anonymous power, granted you by the wonders of the internet, decided that what you wanted to do when faced with this situation, was to charge forward, interpose yourself between the player and the Pool to make it much harder for the person to see and click on their bobber, and fight her for the Pool.

Fight her for a couple fish.

And when a respawn interrupted the other person, you got the fish from the Pool that you fought her for… and then turned around, and watched for a bit to make it absolutely clear that you were in no hurry. No, you made it clear that you were happy to take a few moments to watch and enjoy. Perhaps, just perhaps, to underscore the point? 

For a couple fish? Does anyone really think that the point was to get a few fish? Does anyone truly feel that the fish were the prize to be treasured by this fellow?

Or was the true treasure the knowledge that, for just a few precious moments, you were able to make someone else’s playtime a little less fun?

So to the Alliance Druid named Dryde on Kael’thas (US) that reminded me oh so well of how crappy some folks playing this game can act… thanks. We appreciated your performance.

EDIT: I heard from Dryde, he wrote me an email and we talked things out a bit. He really seems like a pretty nice guy, and I don’t get any feeling at all that he is just some wandering asshat looking to make trouble for others. More, it seems to me like it might have been just a random moment where he did something a little selfish, and wasn’t really thinking anything in particular at the moment at all.

Maybe he was trying to follow a fishing route as fast as he could, was watching the fishing pool indicator on his mini-map, was fending off cats on his keyboard that wanted pettings, and a wife throwing rotten fruit at his head to get his attention, all at the same time, and… well, was a little distracted. Who knows?

Honestly, can anyone here say they’ve never done anything they didn’t regret later, or did something on automatic pilot where you were just going through the motions as fast as you can, distracted by real life and not paying attention to anyone else around you?

Heck, we’ve seen comments from folks ‘in the zone’ with the herbing and skinning and mining before, where you don’t realize what you’re doing until someone yells, “Hey!”

Well, seems to me it might have been mostly something like that. No harm, no blood, no broken bones, no foul. As I said before… on a PvP server, if it was a Hordie, and he had ganked Cassie while she was fishing and THEN fished out the node, nobody would have said boo. It’s not like it was a major corpse-camping excursion.

So do me a favor, folks, and remember; please don’t go and send hateful tells or harass this guy, okay? Please? For me?

Quick Updates

Hi All,

BBB asked that I post some quick updates because the unthinkable has finally happened to him at work.  No, they didn’t start filtering the internet to block gaming websites and blogs.  No, instead they SHUT DOWN the internet!  Yes, that’s right, he has NO access to the internet at all. /cry  They used to have web-based company email, so it wasn’t an issue.  But apparently, they decided to change that and now everyone has working Lotus Notes accounts that are not web-based.  So as soon as the email was changed, they removed the internet option from most people’s computers. 

Starting tomorrow, BBB is going to try to pre-schedule some blog posts the night before or write something in notepad and send it to me during the day for posting.  But in the meantime, he wanted everyone to know why it’s been so quiet around here, and also why it will take extra time to process your emails since he’ll have to wait until he gets home at night to check.  Unfortunately it has to wait until evening since he leaves for work at 4:45am and isn’t up to doing email processing before work.  🙂

I’ve been horribly, terribly sick since last Friday (all those germs that kindergarteners have and bring home finally caught up with me).  Luckily this is not an audio blog since I have no voice today at all.  Ugh!  But we still managed to get some game time in over the weekend since I didn’t feel like leaving the house or moving from where I was sitting at the moment. 

We’ve both been working on professions and secondary stuff a bit each day, so that’s taken away from our leveling a bit.  Last night, on our mains, we finished our joint questing of the Howling Fjord and are around 35% of the way toward 73.  We did every single quest in HF, except one that appears to still be bugged.  So next we’ll be heading to Dragonblight.  We already have the flight point, so we just need to head there and start picking up quests.  

BBB hit 450 herbalism on his main last night and is quite excited to have the final version of lifeblood.  I got mine last week and have to say it’s quite handy to have, especially since I’m still 2 alchemy points away from being able to make the new healing pots.  He’s been working on engineering, has his mining maxed, has jewelcrafting at about 390 and is doing the daily to be able to buy more recipes, and also the cooking daily to buy recipes and spices on both his main and hunter (main buys recipes, hunter buys spices for each of us).  I’ve got my alchemy at 403, herbalism maxed, cooking at 422, fishing at 410, and also do the cooking daily.

BBB has also been playing his hunter when we aren’t playing our mains together.  His hunter hit 72 and did some respeccing to maximize solo questing/DPS, instead of the raid spec that he’s had.  He’s swapping back and forth between quests in Howling Fjord and Borean Tundra since he’ll need exalted with the Valiance Expedition to buy the motorcycle pattern.  He’ll need to finish both zones eventually, but is having fun switching off.  My alt hit 68 in Nagrand about the middle of the weekend and quickly abandoned the rest of the zone, took the boat to Borean Tundra and settled in to do quests in an unfamiliar zone, all by myself.  As of last night, I’m about 50% toward 71 right now and having a ball.  Overall, I’m not liking Borean quite as much as Fjord, but at least I’m not doing the same quests again so soon after doing them on my main.

Ok, I think that’s all the game updates for now.  Just a quick reminder that the deadline for the Child’s Play Raffle entry is this Friday, so if you haven’t checked it out, you can visit the main page for more details from the right sidebar of the blog. 



Creating a DPS Trinket macro

Hello! Welcome to a single, short post that I hope might help one or two folks in getting the most use out of their DPS Trinkets.

Now, we all see these great Trinkets.

They have a wonderful Equip function… and then they have an ‘On Use’ function.

Now, for tanking Trinkets, I prefer to keep those on my bar for me to choose precisely the right moment to pop them off. The ‘On Use’ function may not get used at all in day-to-day questing, but I know that I have control over thier cooldown. I use my judgment on when it is apporpriate to key them.

But for DPS… for a DPS Trinket, frankly, I don’t really worry too much about whether the cooldown is ready or not. I prefer to get 100% use out of the damage boost. I want them to trigger every single time the cooldown will let them.

So what I do, no matter what DPS class I’m playing, is choose a frequently cast ability, like Mangle for a Druid, or Steady Shot or Arcane Shot for a Hunter, or Mind Blast for a Shadow Priest, and I tie my Trinket activations into them.

Allow me to demonstrate.

First, you choose your ability, and your Trinkets to equip and have activated. For the purposes of this example, I am using my Hunter. So the ability is Steady Shot, and the Trinkets are Empty Mug of Direbrew and Bladefist’s Breadth.

First, open the Macro window.


Click “New”, and then in the new window type in whatever you want to name this macro. In this case, I chose “Trinkets”.


Next, click on the icon of the Question Mark. This will allow us to have whichever ability we are using to be the icon graphic that is displayed.


Next, we do two things.

First, we enter in the text portion of the macro.

You can simply copy the following text, and paste it into Notepad.

(Notepad or another plain type editor will remove all of the hidden HTML coding entries that are invisible. Likewise, if you use microsoft Word to copy/paste, there will be invisible Word formatting. Just use a plain text editor for copy/pasting macro text. Okay?)

#showtooltip Steady Shot(Rank 2)
/script UIErrorsFrame:Hide();
/use Empty Mug of Direbrew
/use Bladefist’s Breadth
/script UIErrorsFrame:Clear();
/script UIErrorsFrame:Show();
/cast Steady Shot(Rank 2)

The first line is the piece of code that determines what graphic icon you will be displaying on the macro button. To get the actual name of the ability, in this case Steady Shot, open up your spellbook just like we did, and with your cursor at the appropriate pplace for the first word, Shift-Left Click the icon in the spellbook. Vóila! The name Steady Shot(Rank 2) appears.

For the Trinkets, you can open your character paper doll page, and Shift-Left Click on the Trinket, and the appropriate name will appear.

It is important that on each line, there are no extra spaces anywhere after each line. It will mess up the activations.


After you are done, the next and last thing you do is simply drag your new Macro button down to replace your previous Steady Shot, or other ability. This is your new Steady Shot button.

The difference is, it will try to use the first Trinket it comes to that has an available cooldown. It will trigger the Empty Mug of Direbrew first… and then, when the shared trinket cooldown is up, the next time you use the macro it activates Bladesfist’s Breadth.

At no time will it ever interfere with your casting Steady Shot. Or Mangle, as the case may be. And the intervening codes prevent you getting error messages from ‘trinket not ready’.

I find it very nice to know that I am getting the most use out of my DPS Trinkets.

Did anyone else level to 70, mostly solo, and rarely if ever remember to trigger a trinket?

This is one way of helping us slackers use ’em.

I take no credit for creating this macro.

I originally found it from the Shadow Priest forums, in a thread somewhere long, long ago, for using Trinkets with Mind Blast. And I’ve been using it cross-class ever since.

If you play a Shadow Priest and haven’t visited the unofficial most-excellent forums, please go to the links section at the sidebar of the blog, and go see. They are an amazing community. Truly great website.

I hope this has, in some way, helped a few of you the way it has me!

Ask the Bear: Halp! I want to run something!

I had a nice email this morning that aked me a non-Theorycrafting question. Since I am, to be clear, a little tired this morning (and hoping to write a PBeM update when my brain clears) I thought this was perfect to break the blog ice.


I was hoping to get your advice on a matter of guild behavior.

I was part of a tiny guild that never even had the numbers to run Kara, and only managed to make it into a five man once or twice a month. Eventually folks in the guild pursued different priorities, and the guild split apart. Recently, I was approached by the guild leader of a fairly large (160 member) guild. I let him know that I had zero raiding experience, but that I was very eager to learn. He was fine with this, and I joined up. Both the guild leader and the few guild members I’ve spoken with seem like decent people. As far as I could tell, these guys ran instances and raids regularly, but were a bit aimless in the days leading up to Lich King, which seems about par for the course.

Now that Lich King has been out for a week, what’s become apparent is that despite their large guild roster and regularly having 10-15 members online at any given time, there’s only one specific group running instances together. I expressed an interest in getting involved in the runs, even letting them know that I had a couple of alts I could bring instead if they worked better, and was told (not by the guild leader, who’s been somewhat absent as of late) that there would really only be room if I was a healer, which I’m not. When I joined, I was given the indication that there would be multiple scheduled runs each week, but so far, I haven’t seen that, at least not beyond this one group. Even if only 20% of the guild roster is active, that would seem to leave dozens of toons trying to get into runs, but only this handful of folks appear to be cooperating. Everyone else seems to be more or less left to soloing or running with pugs, which I dread (I’m somewhat introverted and I just tend to dislike pugs – one of my biggest reasons for wanting to join a large guild was so I could avoid the pugs). In addition, because the “elite” folks are able to grind instances, they’re pretty much racing ahead of everyone else.

So I’m in a guild that has at least 5 times as many toons in it as my old guild, and I’m actually running less that I did before.

I kind of get the feeling that the only way I’ll run with these folks is if I’m one of the first to 80 and they need more numbers to fill out for raids.

Being the new guy and all that, I don’t want to make waves, and I’m trying to be patient and wait it out at least until I can get the guild leader’s perspective on this, but it’s frustrating.

So, what is your take on this? Should a guild with dozens of active members have multiple organized runs set up so that everyone can get involved, or do all guilds tend to “clique” and this is business as usual? Am I right to be frustrated by this? Is it up to me to try to organize a “B Squad” run, even though I’m so new? Am I just in the wrong guild?

I’m a decent player, I’ve geared about as well as I can for someone who almost always only solos, I don’t have a ton of experience grouping but I can hold my own and I really want to learn and I have no problem taking reasonable criticism and advice. I just want to find a solid group where I can run a few times a week with a couple of alts and start seeing some raid content, but it seems like I’m having no luck finding that situation.

Any advice?


Thank you for writing in, Mr Anonymoose!

I’m sure we’re going to have some excellent suggestions in the comments, but let me give you my take on what you’ve described.

Now, it sounds to me like you’re in a guild with lots of active folks, and that’s great.

But you’re seeing a trend that there is only one group running instances together, and only that group is active in running stuff at the moment. They play together, they’ve been doing it for a while, and when you’ve asked to join into their group, you’ve been told that they pretty much stick together and could only use a healer once in a while.

Now, you didn’t actually say that there have been any raids where you are being excluded. It sounds to me more that this is just you wanting to run instances… and asking to join the only currently active group, and being rebuffed.

My take on the core issue here is… are you standing back, waiting for officers to organize runs for you to join? Are you being passive?

And if so, is it because only officers are allowed to try and organize a group?

If the guild is as active as you say it is, my advice is to ask an officer if you are allowed as a member to try to organize a group of your own. 

Take the initiative to try and form your own group from the many other active players you mentioned.

Speak to an officer about posting runs on the forum calendar or whatever other scheduling service your guild uses. Explain that you’d like to try and get a run started. Whether just a simple run for one purpose, or a regular event with 5 folks.

If your intent is to get a group for regular runs, say so up front. See if others are also being passive, wathcing and waiting for someone else to take the lead and get it going. 

The biggest challenge in getting a run started is usually having enough active players in the guild who are all online and have the time available to do it.

If you already have a bunch of folks active, and they are used to having no structured runs available, they probably log in when they feel like it… but if you get a run scheduled in advance, they have a chance to see something is coming, and hey! Maybe they can then set that time aside and be there for the run. Some folks you rarely see online may come out of the woodwork to join in, once they know there is something special to do.

If you have a goal, like accomplishing a particular instance or getting rep or a particular drop, say so. Other may share your goals, and will be happy to join you.

Remember, for most folks, it’s not a question of your gear or capability when deciding to run with you. It’s not an attempt to exclude you.

It’s simply how well they know you.

If you are new, and have been waiting for runs to be scheduled for you to sign up… the very best thing I suggest you do is take your fate in your own two hands, and MAKE something happen. Take the initiative. Get to know people, and let them get to know you, by requesting officers put up runs YOU want to do and hope to get more players for.

The more you play with people in the guild, the more you will become a member in spirit, and not just in the tag over your head.

Now, if you make the effort to try and get things started… and you are discouraged from doing so by officers or the guild leader… then you have an entirely different situation.

And remember… be polite, and be nice about this. There is no reason why you should feel excluded or slighted when a group of friends that have regularly run together haven’t opened themselves up to make a place for you. If they bring you into their runs, then one of their friends is going to be benched. And if they still don’t know you yet, it’s silly to expect taht top happen in early days.

No, get a different run going yourself, and meet people in the guild, get to know folks, and form your OWN circle of friends in the guild that enjoy doing things together.

I bet that some of the folks in the other group will join in when they aren’t running something, and pretty soon you’ll find that you’re having too much fun playing with all your friends and having shared experiences to worry about inner circles or cliques.

And then, once the time comes to raid… why, everyone will know who you are, and you’ll be just one more active friend of everyone else in a guild that is doing lots of fun stuff!