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!

Armor my furry butt!

Armor my big furry bear butt, that is.

Oh, wait, I’m missing half the sentence….

“They’re letting me keep all the lovely armor on my big furry bear butt.”

Ghostcrawler posted an update providing more details on the Armor changes in the pipeline. A very specific, incredible update.

I mean, seriously… he sets down what they’re doing, how they’re changing things to compensate for it, what effect on our gameplay they expect it to have, and when we can expect to see it go live.

That’s like, the definition of how to provide me a happy-happy update.

Enough of my babble, here’s what GC said;

This is an update to my previous post on Feral armor changes.


As previously announced, we are changing the way bear armor works so that bonus armor on items does not receive the bear armor multiplier. Specifically this means that weapons, trinkets, rings, necks and cloaks with bonus armor will not be multiplied by the bear bonus.

Only cloth and leather will benefit from the Bear and Dire Bear multiplier.

We are compensating Ferals for this armor loss by improving the Survival of the Fittest talent. In addition to its current effects (stats and crit prevention), it will now also increase armor contribution from cloth and leather items by 22/33/66%. That should be very close to your current armor bonus.

This makes Survival of the Fittest rather over-budget by talent standards, but we figured it was one talent we can be pretty certain most tank-oriented druids will have (and to be honest nearly all Ferals).


We are no longer going to have weapons in the game which improve feral attack power. Instead, your attack power will scale based on the dps of the item. Practically speaking this means almost no change for any gear you currently use — you should not see your dps change.

What it does mean is that we can create the occasional dps staff that could be used by druids or hunters (or very undergeared warriors), and that Ferals may occasionaly use two-handed dps maces.

We are going to convert all existing Feral staves over to this new system (but again, you should not notice any change to your dps).

We are also adjusting the UI so that when druids look at these weapons, you will see what the improvement will be to your damage in forms. This does not mean we are no longer going to create bear and cat weapons, just that those weapons will be slightly less niche than they are now.

These changes will be in place in the next patch. This patch will ship sometime before the 3.1 major content patch featuring the Ulduar raid.

So… are there any questions?

Effective Armor and DPS will remain close to current levels, after the changes. So what is this doing for us? Or to us?

Well… as has been said, while having an item like the Badge of Tenacity with it’s equipped armor will still be nice and useful… without an applied multiplier, it’s going to be perfectly viable, when faced with the choice of another Trinket with stats that boost our tanking in some other way, to be able to look for an armor upgrade elsewhere that is massively affected by the multiplier to make up for that lost armor.

Hey, let’s look at this seriously, before starting to moan about the ‘good old days’ of Bear armor.

Yes, our bear armor has been awesome. I, personally, have always loved being a big furry tank.

But our itemization has come with a cost. And one of those costs was the pain of choosing between a massive armor upgrade from an item… or an item that provided Hit Rating, Expertise, Haste Rating or DPS boosts that would improve our ability to generate and maintain constant reliable threat.

We have long been in a position where we could ‘no brain’ it for gear choices. Did it have tons of armor affected by the multiplier, plus Agi (Or Dodge/Defense) and Stamina?

Then you take it and shut the heck up.

And we would work up our Mitigation/Survival gear lists, and fine tune them, and at the end of the day, the question we would get most often is, “But what do we do about our Misses? Our high rate of Parried attacks? Our occasional Growl getting resisted? Our low Spell Resistances?”

So… I’m optimistic. I am. I like where we are at now, I really, really do.

Our Mitigation against Spell Damage alone is worth the price of admission to 3.0.1, not to mention the crazy Threat generation.

Hey, who could have imagined before the big patch that we would never even notice Salvation being removed?

It’s things like this, however, that I’d like you to bear in mind, when you email me asking when I’m going to release a bear tanking gear guide for Wrath…

My answer?

“When we have a reasonable expectation that the way things are now will last more than a week.”

Look, use the best stuff you get now, and if it has Armor, Stamina, Agility, Hit Rating, Expertise, Defense Rating, Dodge Rating, Haste and Crit, don’t throw it out if you’re undecided. Hold on to it. We’ll work it out later.

For example… there are two Trinkets that you get from two different quests in the same area, the First Mate’s Pocketwatch from The Jig is Up, and the Fury of the Encroaching Storm from Return to Atuik.

Both are clearly awesome DPS trinkets… but the Haste Rating makes them both pretty darn nice for Bear Tanking threat and DPS generation, if your other stats allow you to use them.

Would I choose them to tank with over Hit or Expertise? Well, no… but I just wanted to highlight how awesome those two trinkets are, to be honest.

Okay, there are other nice Trinkets… Foresight’s Anticipation in Dragonblight, which really is pretty darn nice, the Crusader’s Locket, Fezzik’s Pocketwatch… ahh, the fun!

Okay, those technically aren’t Bear Tanking trinkets…

The Trinket I want right now for Bear tanking drops in Heroic Azjol-Nerub from Hadronox… the Essence of Gossamer.

Notice how it doesn’t have armor on it? But I am going to be all over that sucker.

Okay, this started as “Ghostcrawler is awesome”, and ended up as “Trinkets I am drooling over”… where did this post go wrong?

So, I’ll end it with the greatest Trinket in all of creation….

The Super Simian Sphere.

Man, having played Super Monkey Ball a LOT, that’s just… that’s just hilarious. And Epic!

Feral Druid level 80 Hit, Expertise and Dodge

It’s that time again.

Level 80 brings with it revised ability and combat statistics. And now that there are folks nearing (or at) level 80, it’s time to lay down the new law.

I’m going to do my damndest to make this as clear as possible.

Level 80 Hit

At level 70; 15.76923275 Hit Rating = +1% Hit.
At level 80; 32.78998947 Hit Rating = +1% Hit.

Druids are, always, at maximum Weapon Skill in forms. At level 80; Weapon Skill = 400. NPC mobs are always at max Defense Skill per level. This means that, unlike other classes, we do not have to account for varying levels of Weapon Skill at level.

The base chance to miss a target when both attacker and defender are the same level is 5%. (400 Weapon Skill vs 400 Defense Skill)

If the defender is 3 levels higher (such as a level 83 raid boss with 415 Defense Skill) the base chance for us to miss increases to 8%.

At level 70, we needed 141.921 (effectively 142) Hit Rating to overcome that 8% chance to miss.

At level 80, we NOW need 262.32 (effectively 263) Hit Rating to overcome a 8% chance to miss.

Cut to the chase: New level 80 Feral Druid Hit Rating Cap: 263

Level 80 Expertise

I have found a correction to my original Expertise Parry information here at Elitist Jerks, which I will incorporate into my edit.

At level 80, a level 83 raid boss has a 6.5% chance to Dodge attacks from all directions, and a 16% chance to Parry attacks from a 180° arc to the bosses’ front.

10 Expertise = -2.5% to enemy chance to Parry and Dodge, regardless of level.
4 Expertise = -1%.

The Talent Primal Precision (2/2) grants 10 Expertise/ -2.5% to enemy Parry / Dodge.

Gear does not have Expertise. Gear has Expertise Rating.

At level 70; 15.76923275 Expertise Rating = 4 Expertise / -1% Parry / Dodge.
At level 80; 32.78998947 Expertise Rating = 4 Expertise / -1% Parry / Dodge.

With Primal Precision (2/2), we need to overcome 4% enemy chance to Parry / Dodge.

At level 80, with Primal Precision (2/2), we now need 131.15995788 (132 effective) Expertise Rating to eliminate enemy Dodge.
At level 80, with Primal Precision (2/2), tanking Bears can now use up to 442.664857845 (443 effective) Expertise Rating to eliminate enemy Parry.

Cut to the chase: New Feral Druid Expertise Rating Cap: 132 Kitties, 443 Bear Tanks.

**Level 80 Dodge**

The big one for Feral Druids that intend to tank; Dodge.

A lot of factors are involved in determining our actual chance to Dodge.

I will briefly describe each factor that is involved, before getting into how to apply them all for a total result.

Base Dodge is different for each class. It is the base chance a character has, standing naked without consideration for Talents or Racial abilities,  to Dodge an incoming attack.

Since Patch 3.0.1, level 80 Druids have a Base Dodge of 4.951.

Agility to Dodge ratio. How many points of pure Agility it takes to achieve 1% Dodge.

At level 70; 14.7059 Agility = 1% Dodge.
At level 80; 41.6667 Agility = 1% Dodge.

Dodge Rating to Dodge ratio. How many points of Dodge Rating it takes to achieve 1% Dodge.

At level 70; 18.92307854 Dodge Rating = 1% Dodge.
At level 80; 39.34798813 Dodge Rating = 1% Dodge.

Defense Rating to Dodge ratio. How many points of Defense Rating it takes to achieve 1% Dodge.

Some brief background. Defense Rating adds to Defense Skill. The following data assumes that you are at level 80, and have maxed your Defense Skill to 400. Defense Rating adds to your chance to Dodge, Block, Parry and avoid being struck by Critical Blows. Bear tanks cannot Block or Parry. With Survival of the Fittest (3/3) Bear Tanks cannot be struck by Critical Blows from a level 83 raid boss. We therefore will ONLY discuss the benefits of Defense Rating in terms of bonus to Dodge.

25 Defense Skill provides +1% Dodge.
1 Defense Skill provides +0.04% Dodge.

At level 70; 2.365385056 Defense Rating = 1 Defense Skill.
At level 80; 4.918498039 Defense Rating = 1 Defense Skill.

At level 80, it therefore takes 122.962450975 (123 effective) Defense Rating to achieve +1% Dodge.

Warning! Only whole values of Defense Skill are applied. The value of Defense Rating is NOT rounded up to the next whole Defense Skill.

An example;
You have 19 Defense Rating. 19 Defense Rating / 4.918498039 = 3.862 Defense Skill = 3 Defense Skill. 3 Defense Skill = 0.12% chance to Dodge.

You have 20 Defense Rating. 20 Defense Rating / 4.918498039 = 4.066 Defense Skill = 4 Defense Skill. 4 Defense Skill = 0.16% chance to Dodge.

Talents. Feral Druids have two Talents that directly increase Dodge.

Feral Swiftness (2/2) increases chance to Dodge +4%.
Natural Reaction (3/3) increases chance to Dodge +6%.

Racials. Night Elf Druids no longer get a 1% chance to Dodge from Swiftness. The Night Elf Racial was changed to instead give +2% chance to be missed.

When computing your Dodge%, please take this into account. Note that Night Elves get +2% Miss, but do not factor it into your Dodge.

This is a buff, with some consequences. Lemme sum up;

It has gone from +1% Dodge to +2% Miss, and 1% Miss has the same mitigation effect as 1% Dodge. So this is a nice increase. The significance of the change from Dodge to Miss is that Warrior effects that proc from the opponent Dodging, like Overpower, are not procced by misses. Likewise, the enemy Swing Timer is reset by Dodges… not by Misses. This means that a Night Elf gains 2% increased chance to miss over a Tauren, without incurring a corresponding increased Swing Timer reset chance. But it also means the +2% Miss does not help Druid Rage generation from Natural Reaction. So again, when you’re analyzing your Dodge%, and seeing how it therefore applies to Swing Timers and Rage generation, make a mental note that Quickness is good, but has limited effects.

Opponent Level Modifier. There is a Dodge difference due to Defense Skill vs Weapon Skill, when fighting higher level opponents. When a level 80 Druid fights a level 83 raid boss, you suffer a -.2% Dodge Penalty per level you are lower, due to your reduced base Defense Skill in comparison to the higher level Weapon Skill. So with your Defense of 400 vs Raid Boss Weapon Skill of 415, you suffer a total of -.6% Dodge due to the difference in levels.

How to apply all this to determine Total Dodge.

I have been asked to apply the Diminishing Returns rules to this, so that the final result you get will in fact be your correct Total Dodge. This is going to be miserable, but I’ll try to simplify this as much as I can.

Your Total Dodge consists of two different categories: Those stats affected by Diminishing Returns, and those that aren’t.

At this time, Base Dodge and Talents are unaffected by Diminishing Returns. Agility, Dodge Rating and Defense Rating ARE affected.  

So we have to split things up into two sections; Base, and Pre-DR.

Add up the Base stats; 

Base Dodge = 4.951
Feral Swiftness (2/2) = 4
Natural Reaction (3/3) = 6
Level difference from 83 raid boss = -.6

The total, 14.351, is our Feral Bear Dodge unaffected by Diminishing Returns.

Next, add up the Pre-DR stats.

Dodge from Agility = Your Agility from gear divided by 41.6667
Dodge from Dodge Rating = Your Dodge Rating divided by 39.34799
Dodge from Defense Rating = Your Defense Rating divided by 4.918498039, rounded down to the nearest whole number, and then the result multiplied by 0.04

We will call the total Pre-DR Dodge.

We will now work with your Pre-DR Dodge total to determine what the final value after Diminishing Returns will be.

The formula that Whitetooth derived that we will use is as follows;

Dodge (After DR) = 1 / (0.008555 + (0.9720 / Pre-DR Dodge))

Your final Total Dodge after Diminishing Returns is;

14.351Dodge (After DR)

I so, so, so did not want to get into Diminishing Returns in this post. Sigh. I apologise for the pain. I really hope that it came across clearly.

I’m going to give you one example.
For the purpose of this example, I’m going to pretend that you do not have ANY Dodge Rating or Defense Rating. Only Agility added from equipped gear.

We start with 200 Agility. Our Pre-DR Dodge would be 4.799996%.
Dodge (After DR) = 1 / (0.008555 + (0.9720 / 4.799996))
Dodge (After DR) = 1 / (0.008555 + 0.202500)
Dodge (After DR) = 1 / 0.211055
Dodge (After DR) = 4.738101%

200 Agility before DR, 4.799996% Dodge.
200 Agility after DR, 4.738101% Dodge.

We now increase it to 400 Agility. Our Pre-DR Dodge would be 9.599972%.
Dodge (After DR) = 1 / (0.008555 + (0.9720 / 9.599972))
Dodge (After DR) = 1 / (0.008555 + 0.101253)
Dodge (After DR) = 1 / 0.109808
Dodge (After DR) = 9.106804%

400 Agility before DR, 9.599972% Dodge.
400 Agility after DR, 9.106804% Dodge.

Remember, after obtaining the Dodge (After DR) value, you still need to add 14.351 to it.

I’d like to thank the hard work of Whitetooth, creator of the RatingBuster addon who posted so much core data analysis at the Elitist Jerks website, the historical data at Wowwiki, and the insanely awesome folks at MMO Champion and Wowhead for giving me the tools for putting this post together.

Facepalm moments in the Wrath rush

I wanted to take a moment to share a story, and ask for stories, just because we had a new expansion, and a huge push to level and do crazy new stuff.

Things are now starting to settle down, but for a few days there, when everything was shiny and new, a LOT of people’s true personalities rose to the top. The hidden face was revealed.

For both good and bad.

Now, I could mention a lot of glowing, shining moments of happiness. Really, I can.

Like, Sunday, when I was mining on Windstar in Howling Fjord, doing my personally-developed route that has served me very well, and saw a node. Right on the edge. Right in front of me. Nobody around.

I moved forward to get it, still mounted… and as I stopped, my fingers fumbled, and my mount moved just a few feet farther forward… off the edge.

To drop about 3 feet onto a lower landing.

And as I stood there, still mounted, and turned to run back up… another Hunter rode up to it and instantly started mining it, right in front of me.

Happens all the time, right? At least, having others try to gank nodes that you are on top of seems to be a long standing tradition.

In this case, I was frustrated with myself for losing the node by my own clumsiness, and I whispered him… just a frustrated “Oh, come on… “. No swearing or anything lame like that, just a recognition that, yes, thanks buddy. Appreciate it. Glad the ore is worth it.

But the Hunter stopped, paused, and then came close to me, where I was at the lower level within touching distance already, and I swear to you, he opened trade and tried to give me the ore he just mined.

No, I’m not kidding!

Well, I refused of course, apologised for whining since maybe he didn’t see me (okay, I was standing 1 foot away from the node, facing it and him… just 3 feet lower. How did he not see me? Nevermind, not important.), thanked him for his generosity but told him that he mined it, he earned it, but thank you very much for making my day by being so nice. Someone going to hadn over ore to someone else? Are you serious? That’s like… that’s like something I’ve done before, but I’ve never seen anyone else do that, ever.

Nice story, right? Heartwarming?

Of course, the story doesn’t end there. Oh, how I wish it did.

See, he then, for some reason, decided to descend to the ledge I was on… just as I realized this particular ledge had no way back up. I could have reached the ore to mine, but I couldn’t run up there. I had to do the fall/drop down to the beach, and run around to a lift.

And now, so did he.

No good deed goes unpunished, right?


Anyway… I encountered lots of nice people in the two days immediately after Wrath hit.

But I also got the ones that were such incredible idiots, I had to just blink in astonishment.

I would like to share one such  story with you.

It was the very first afternoon after Wrath was released, and Cassie and I were leveling together in Howling Fjord.

We had done the starter stuff, and had then taken the explorer plane across the water to where some brave soul wanted us to train a hunting hawk to feed… by sending it after Turkeys.

So there we were… Cassie and I. Brave, bold, badass level 70s. With Hawks to feed, and rock grubs scavenged from under stones to get them in the mood. Oh yes, we are leet.

And we stroll on over to the West, where the Turkeys are supposed to be… to find a hundred blown apart Turkey carcases… and a single Mage named Msfrost standing in the middle of the area. As soon as a Turkey spawned, this Mage blew it up. Anywhere.

Now, you might think that Cassie and I were a bit irritated at having some moron blowing up the quest items. First day in the starter zone, and this is what you are doing with your free time?

But, well, it’s not like there aren’t more Turkeys somewhere else.

Cassie and I ran around, and worked the zone, and of course we found enough Turkeys after a bit. It was a pain, that Mage was mounting up and running around trying to scarf them up, but we got ’em, and went on to do the next step of the chain.

So we got the next one, going after the Falcons on the rocks, and that was pretty fun. Finding birds on rocks, timing our swoops so we would each grab one bird… hunting them in the air itself for mid-flight snatches… it was pretty fun.

But finding the twin bird spawns did take a while, what with the natural competition. Not Mage competition, just others doing the quest.

Still, with the time involved, it was over 30 minutes later before we were running back to turn in the falcon quest.

And Msfrost is STILL blowing up Turkeys.

Really! I can’t make this crap up!

So I whisper her, and ask, “Why are you blowing up all the Turkey quest items in the area?”

And I get a response…

Oh, this is priceless…

“I’m killing them for a quest, stupid… DURRRRRR………….”

Just made me stop dead.

Is there a follow up quest we don’t have yet? I thought we did the complete chain.

Well, come to find out much later… no, there is no quest to icebolt Turkeys. You unleash a Hawk on them. You certainly don’t have a quest requiring you to shoot them yourself. And not for over 30 minutes.

I mean… okay, so Msfrost is… disadvantaged.

Either they are too stupid to comprehend the quest instructions, and honestly thought it was just the worst drop rate on the planet grinding Turkeys for 30 minutes, plus however long they were at it before or since we were there… 

OR, and this was Cassie’s thought.. maybe they were trying for the “Kill 15 Turkeys” Achievement…

Now, Msfrost said they she was killing them for a quest. An Achievement is not a quest. But, okay, I’ll give you that one. If you’re not that bright, quest, achievement, I guess they could be considered the same thing. Minus the drops and XP, of course.

But come on. If you’ve been trying to get the Achievement for over 30 minutes in a heavy Turkey area (and that area is considered one of the absolute best for Turkey camping for the Achievement), and you’re a Mage, then I’m sorry. You need to learn to play. I don’t care how heavily camped the area is by quest people (those damn people with their quests, interfering with my girnding an achievement! arrghh!). 

You’ve got 3 minutes to kill 15 Turkeys for the Achievement. There are a LOT of Turkeys in the area. Rhey respawn, even then, damn fast.

Of course, we won’t go into how polite it is of you to camp the Turkey spawn area during prime playing time when everyone else is trying to do the quest on day one. 

But if you’re not trying for the Achievement… if you’re just committing massive fail on understanding a simple quest to feed your Hawk? For over half an hour?

I don’t care, either way, no matter how you slice it… everything about the situation was a normal day questing in WoW, except for one thing… answering a simple question on why they are blowing up the quest items (as opposed to nabbing them with a hawk) with a nice big fat “DURRRRRR” all in caps.

I can’t remember the last time, outside of high school in the mid ’80s, that I heard someone say “Durrrrr”. And here somebody TYPED it to me? In all caps?

OMigod, I had to share that with Cassie. That right there… that was priceless.

Bloggers, here is my challenge to you!

Share with us on your blog your favorite moment of asshatery commited against you in these first few days of the expansion. It must have some funny twist that raises it out of the norm.


Share with us your “WoW, people can be awesome out of nowhere” moment.

I’d invite my readers to comment and do the same, but… eh, I was told by the folks at the meet and greet that trying to force a community response is lame.