Cassandri Gets Gabbing

Zivanci the Worgen

Meet Zivanci the Warlock #2

I’ve struggled to get back into World of Warcraft for the past year. Most of my attempts have been failures and I just wasn’t having fun. The game has changed (mostly for the better). I just don’t seem to fit in anymore.

On this attempt to re-enter the World of Warcraft I wanted to start afresh. And try out the new Worgen starting area.

So I’d like you to meet my Worgen, Zivanci.

Read More »

Shadow Priest Design: Never Broken

The Shadow Priest concept remains strong and sound. But we still need attention.

I started writing a very long comment in reply to Natarumah’s very interesting analysis on the Priest Class Q&A and Expectations for Shadowpriest design in 5.0.

My point of view is a little different. I agree that a lot of creative thought at Blizzard seems to be placed on the healing aspect of Priest-ing. And there are many wasted opportunities for Shadow Priest game play improvement and design. As I spend most of my time soloing content and doing dailies, with the occasional 10 man raid thrown in – I do, occasionally, get to participate in my guild’s “alt” runs – I see our spell and talent abilities differently than players who only raid or PVP with their Shadow Priests.

Natarumah makes many excellent points about the current problems a Shadow Priest is likely to experience while raiding. And he has many creative ideas on how the class could be re-imagined and further developed. Please do read his well rounded post. And then come back and try and understand my impressions and haphazard observations.

First and foremost I do think that a big reason that developers don’t try and “fix” Shadow Priest game play is simple numbers. People still play Shadow Priests. Many players choose to play Priests. DPS Priests and Warriors never seem to fall out of favour with the player base. Numbers indicate that there is no problem with Shadow Priest-ing. So why change it? Read More »


Approaching Hodir-Hardmode

Approaching Hodir: Aug 2009

You may have heard this fact quoted in serious discussion about World of Warcraft: According to Malcolm Gladwell, 10 000 hours spent doing an activity (before the age of 21) is all that is required to become a “virtuoso”:

showing masterly skill or brilliance
a virtuoso performance

The average World of Warcraft player spends quite a bit of time in the game. To many it becomes something of a part time job: voluntary and unpaid, unfortunately. Play for a good few years and you could very well have approached that 10 000 hour mark.

Do you dare type /played right now to find out? Read More »

Normal, Heroic and Slightly More Heroic

Guild members help us complete ZA the 5 man heroic

Lathere and I face down Akil'zon with the help of our guild

If you follow Lathere and I on Twitter you probably read our despondent tweets a few nights back where we lamented the general sea of impatient and unkind players found via the Dungeon Finder.

After being carried through Throne of the Four Winds Lathere was wearing purple coloured glasses (if you can imagine such a thing). And the best place for us to get gear right now? The Heroic Zul’Aman and Zul’Gurub dungeons. And before we can qualify for the Z Heroics we need a bit more gear from normal Heroics.

Isn’t it odd how even between dungeons, normal or heroic, there are still different shades of difficulty? Read More »

Efficiency Ruins Questing

Sunset in Stranglethorn Vale

A quest giver (and hand in) who travels with you. I like.

I had a little spare time to play the other day so I branched out from my daily Heroic Steamvault run to try something new. But what to do? I left so much partially done when I stopped playing after the January floods that I’m often at a loss to know where to start.

I inevitably have these thoughts “what to do?” when I’m standing in the heart of Stormwind when I’m contemplating logging off for the night. It seems as though everyone in the city is busy: chatting, negotiating or otherwise playing with A Purpose.

I want one of those. Read More »

Where Lath Became One of Those Players….

Throne of the Four Winds (Picture by MMO Champion)

I hopped onto WoW last Friday night expecting to do some BC raids in preparation of the next patch and transmogrification.  Instead I found myself heading back into the raiding game thanks to an old raiding buddy, Dopz, who was determined to help me get some gear and up my average item level (post Friday it was sitting at 330 which I believe is one step above abysmal). Unfortunately we didn’t have any tanks online who were willing to help so we had to PUG them + 1 extra DPS.  And that’s how I found myself sitting in front of some genie dudes in Throne of the Four Winds ready to heal some big baddy bosses in my extra fail gear.

Read More »

The Steamvault Revelation, Knowledge Transfer and Level Design

The Steamvault

The Steamvault: Have you been doing it wrong too?

I’m currently clearing Heroic Steamvault each day for a chance at the rare tailoring pattern. The helm model that I would like to own for my future transmogrification look comes in two items available to me, as a Priest. The Battlecast Hood is one of those items.

The Battlecast Hood pattern eluded me, and Lathere for that matter, all the way through the Burning Crusade. It drops off the very last boss in The Steamvault, a level 70 dungeon and like many tasty patterns of the era its chance to drop in Heroic mode is higher than its chance to drop in Normal difficulty. Read More »

Flashback and the Items You Remember

Minstrel, from Holy Word: Delicious, made the mistake of asking me to name my level 70 weapons. Considering just how important weapons are to your DPS and, even measuring them against the size of your character in terms of pixels, they’re pretty god damn important as far as gear slots go.

So surely I would remember off by heart the “glory days” of my early raiding and my hard sought after weapons? Nope.

However, because I’m sentimental and also because I used to be a graphic designer (probably more of the latter than the former) I do have visual, eye candy, memorabilia, pre-71-Disenchanting:

Cassandri BC Gear

Cassandri's BC Gear - click to enlarge

Read More »

Transmogrification: Pants are Optional

Cassandri wearing Tier 5

Technically I could be wearing hot pink pants under this robe.

I’m in full transmogrification planning mode right now.

Lathere and I, with the help of two very geared guild-mates, did a quick run through the BC raids last night. We went right past our bedtimes (oops). It’s 7.30am now and I’m running on a couple hours sleep but, even without the alarm set, I always seem to wake up at the same time anyway (goddamn work alarm!). I hate that.

Running the BC raids last night (for those who don’t believe I used to play a Rogue in BC here’s a flashback) splintered my focus and got me trying to finish all my raid sets. I was very confused. I don’t think I got one item in the end. I had most of what dropped in the bank! I spent a good hour thinking I needed boots for all my sets, only to be reminded that, duh, boots aren’t part of Tier 4 and 5 five piece sets.

So I’ll point out some basics to remind you, dear reader, and myself. Read More »

Vanity and Yet Another Transmogrification Post

Cassandri in level 70 gear, current gear and future transmogrification set

Cassandri in level 70 gear, current gear and future transmogrification set

I must be the last player to catch the news that Blizzard intend to bring transmogrification to World of Warcraft.

While I’ve not really been playing much (cough – not at all – cough) I have kept on top of my feed reader. I’ve been reading about World of Warcraft. I’m sure I’ve skim read at least 10 posts that mention “transmogrification”. And I just kept thinking that:

I’m going to transmorg my latest pair of gloves!

actually meant

I’m going to crudely turn the blue polygons on my latest pair of gloves into a greenish snot colour instead

Hardly inspiring stuff! But that’s not what Lathere promised me at all. Read More »