Inscription is Facked.

FACK

I’ve been long delayed in my report on BfA inscription.  A large part of that delay has been Blizzard’s delay in implementation of a reasonable system for Scribes to create Glyphs.

Lemme essplain.  No. Is too much. Lemme summarize.

Starting in the expansion following (3.0) the introduction of Glyphs (2.0), Blizz offered a mechanism for Scribes to create glyphs that were introduced in every expansion. In short, the Ink Trader.  The Ink Trader allowed you to exchange whatever the current expansion’s primary ink for inks from previous expansions.  So, for example, if you were in the Cataclysm expansion, you could exchange Blackfallow Ink for any ink required to create glyphs in Vanilla, BC, or WotLK. In MoP, then you could exchange inks from that expansion for older inks. And so forth. I hope you’re keeping up.

Which brings us to the most notable absence from the current expansion.  Normally, at the introduction of the x.0 patch for an expansion, the Ink Traders in all faction hubs (Stormwind, Shattrath, etc as an example) would provide an exchange of whatever that expansion’s most common ink was for any other ink in the game. For example, in Legion, we could exchange Roseate Pigment for inks from previous expansions.

But now we’re in weird territory.

When BfA rolled, we expected an Ink Trader in the faction cities to accept one of the inks from the current expansion (we figured it would be Ultramarine Ink) for inks from previous expansions. But we found nothing. At that point, the previous expansion (Legion) still held sway. So the only way to create inks for all expansions was: farm Legion inks (Roseate Pigment) or go gather herbs on the continents from the previous expansions, and mill them. This was less than optimal. In a world where we expected to exchange Ultramarine Ink  for other inks, we were met with disappointment, at a massive scale. And now we are in 8.1.0, and there is still no sign of an ink Trader in Boralas, much less Stormwind.

So what we are doing, here in the first content patch of BfA, is farming Legion herbs.  BfA herbs are almost useless – there are three Druid glyphs in this expansion, and that is it – so we are currently either selling them off – a poor financial investment – or banking them against an expected future where they are actually useful.   At this point, I am becoming cynical.

So what is actually going on?  Those that are willing to attribute an  actual plan to all of this are welcome to comfort themselves in the actual market, but those of us that are embedded in the current market are doubtful. Currently, Dreamleaf (https://www.wowhead.com/item=124102/dreamleaf#comments) is the king of the Inscription market due to its secondary conception of Roseate and Sallow (especially Sallow) pigments. BfA Inscription is pretty much dead. And the WoW customer service accounts are pretty much silent on the topic after multiple pokes.

That is: currently. Aside from Cards of *, it is currently impossible to turn BfA herbs into a profit. And Blizzard doesn’t seem to care even so much as to stroke your ego. Sorry.

BtW: in case you were thinking of switching to Alchemy:

image

Herb-related crafting in BfA is, to be quite brutally honest, a cluster-fuck.  You’re best served in just selling the herbs (especially Legion herbs) than trying to make a profit at Inscription or Alchemy.

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It’s the Seventh Annual Finding Jaina Day

jaina 2016-12-17

It is the time of year that we celebrate the Finding of the Cat That Lived, our glorious little Birman mix, Jaina.

For those that missed out on the first six installments, we found baby Jaina wondering around in the parking lot and scooped her up. Later, when we took her to the vet, we were told she had FIP, which is fatal, and that she had weeks to live.  Well, here we are seven years later, and she’s entering middle age without showing any sign of keeling over.   And so today we celebrate.

jaina 2018-03-20She has continued to be Mommy’s girl when it comes to laps. She’ll play with me, and adores the kid, but when it comes time for laps, Mommy is her go-to.

Sparta and Butterscotch 2018-12-19We also have some new-ish denizens of the local scene, namely Ghost, a stray cat that we’re watching after, Goblin (same), and their child, Sparta, seen here with Butterscotch.  We’re trying to lure at least the mom and Sparty here inside so we can get them fixed.  The jury’s out as to whether they become permanent fixtures.  Jaina, of course, does not approve.

There’s another stray, who the kid named Plisskin, that is a black Maine Coon and very, very hungry and very, very friendly.  We’re trying to get her used to coming inside too, but she’s so afraid of other cats.

Jaina

Jaina and her string in 2012 (Year One)

Jaina’s antics with her favorite toy in the whole world continue to be adorable as hell. As you may know, her favorite toy is a shoestring that she’s had all her life.  When she wants attention, she will pick it up, drag it around, and sing while she does so.

I have finally captured this and I share it here with you. You can also see clearly why we call her a bearcat, or Little Bear – the bear shape is pretty clear in this vid.

She’s also developed a knack for taking it with her when she climbs on top of things. This is the best pic I have, but there you have it.  She is wicked smart, and I have found her with it on top of even the high top table in the dining room. “Clever Girl.”

Jaina 2018-05-19

The string, by the way, is reaching End of Life – it’s really starting to fray after several years of being dragged around and washed.  We’re working on smuggling in a new one, but you parents know how it is when replacing a cherished teddy bear, so we’ll see.

Jaina 2018-10-23

Her favorite spot to sleep at night continues to be on the corner of the bed closest to the door, which in this pic happens to be at the end of my pillow (me and Mrs Grimm have swapped since then, and the Bear continues to favor the corner, not the person).

Overall, it’s been another great year with the little bearcat.  She continues to flourish, continues to be the boss of everything, and we intend to continue to keep our promise of chin skritches and laps whenever she wants them.

So, if fortune is kind, we’ll see you this time next year for her Eighth.

Jaina 2018-11-06

Mrs Grimm can’t put anything in this cubby on her desk, for floofy reasons.

Burn, baby burn!

port 2018-12My mage has been, but for a brief time in Vanilla, Frost through and through.  But when Legion came around, Frost took a big hit in effectiveness. Reluctantly, I gave fire a try … and over the course of the expansion, got to like it – a lot.

When BfA came out the sims were showing Fire had declined and Frost was once again ascendant. Not entirely happy with the rotation, but I took it up and got into the swing of it again, and it was reasonably serviceable, and my numbers were not hideous.

But looking at the charts, I found that the sims seemed to be not entirely accurate – fire was, in the raid charts, far higher up on average than Frost. 

So here I am again.  The old rotation is  gone (that rather required that famous sword and its attendant abilities) but the current one doesn’t feel as broken now as it did at the start of the expansion.

And when those crits pop … so satisfying, I can’t really put into words how amazing it is when they string out one after another.

The downside is that this is a short-lived crit train … once the party’s over, I have to build up some procs again, and that’s usually boring old fireball after fireball.

The charts also show that Arcane is king of the Mage specs right now.  I tried Arcane once.

ONCE

Never could get the hang of it.

But setting things on fire … that never gets old.

I have doubts, mate

jasra-logoThe past couple of weeks, I’ve been tap-dancing around a subject that seriously pains me.

To wit: do I suck as a healer?

Let me lay the background on you. On my first three LFD Heroics, everything seemed to be okay. Keeping people alive wasn’t a big deal, and the 2nd one was especially awesome.  The tank was so good, I could have stuck to DPS.

And then I got a string of bad ones. All of them sucked. Everybody died. In some case the baddies were easy to spot – the assholes that stood in the bad and then yelled at me for not dispelling them, that sort of thing. 

But as a whole, it was a trend, and I started to have real doubts.  Maybe … it was me. Maybe I was just that bad in this expansion. I mean, I didn’t feel any different, but maybe the rest of the game picked up and moved on, and I didn’t Get The Memo.

I was sad.

I had been avoiding running more, to be honest. Any excuse not to, I was taking it. I thought, maybe I’ll skip over Heroics and go right into LFR.  Safety in numbers, that sort of thing. Nobody will notice a really sucky Disco priest in among a crowd of 25 or so, right?  I mean, I was low.

So tonight’s run was a real conundrum. See, I had that quest that requires you to go into Tol Dagor and get that fourth key, in the Jaina Is Trapped quest line.

I could have wimped, and run it in Normal difficulty, but I felt dirty in that scenario.  So in I went.

The first bit was pretty good.  The tank was a Brewmaster Monk, very aggressive yet rarely below 50% even when he ran off into the boonies. But then we got to the last boss and toons started dropping like flies.

I don’t know if they were just standing in bad and expecting me to protect them, but both hunters and the ret Palli went down.  Now it was just me, the tank, and the Boss.  And for the next few minutes I shielded, healed, ducked, covered, and dodged like never before.

And we prevailed.

Everybody in the team was like, “Wow, that was awesome” and stuff like that.  I was humbled and stoked all at the same time. We rezzed our fallen, no harm no foul, and all was good.

It reminded me of that time when the Bunnies were raiding Naxx and it was me and the Palli we called Spartacus doing the Safety Dance with Heigen. We took it almost all the way to the enrage timer as we danced our way to fame and fortune. It was an epic win, and this one felt the same.

So after tonight’s adventures, I’m willing to try a few more to see if maybe I just had some bad luck.

Amazing what one good night will do for one’s attitude.

Qua Taelia

If you’re Alliance, you’ve met Taelia, agent of Kul Tiras, Fury warrior par excellence, and giver of some of the best stinkeye I’ve ever seen in-game.

 

 

 

There is a big spoiler near the end of the main arc in this the initial stage of the expansion, so I won’t ruin it if you prefer to stay … unruined.  Turn thy virgin eyes aside, and come back after you find out … well, you’ll know.

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They gone?  Man, what a pain.  But here we are.

Anyway, as you may at this point know, Taelia’s full name is Taelia Fordragon, daughter of Bolvar Fordragon, who was last seen atop the Frozen Throne in Northrend.

Blizzwatch has already had a shot at what that means for purposes of her upcoming lore – i.e. she thinks daddy’s dead, nobody’s told her, this can only end in tears, that sort of thing.

But from the moment I saw her and Anduin Wrynn in the room together, I knew: this has to happen.

Yes, I know that Flynn’s carrying a torch for her.

I also get that Flynn is the Jack Sparrow in the Jack Sparrow / Elizabeth / Whelp sammich, and I think that Anduin is the Whelp in this case.

 

Yes, Blizz does tend to borrow from others and embellish, why do you ask.

Anyway.

  1. Anduin’s gonna need a queen.
  2. A Fordragon would be a fabulous choice.
  3. It would unite Lorderon and Stormwind once and for all, with a side of Kul Tiras.
  4. He’s a priest, she’s a warrior (maybe she can spec change to tank).
  5. jaina

    Come here, little king. Want some candy?

    Jaina’s a bit old for him (back off, cougar lady).

  6. Moira would be just wrong. Shadow and Holy? G’wan.

You see where I’m headed here?

Now, it’s possible, with the whole Bolvar the Lich King thingy going on, that Taelia will Go Dark at some point.

I figure we have a 50/50 chance of that, and a 50/50 chance of Anduin going dark. And I just can’t really get into the whole king-going-dark-for-the-dozenth-time thing again, so it’s possible that, if Jaina doesn’t grow a mustache to twirl, that Taelia will be taken from us, go rogue and go after Daddy Dearest or something weird like that.  The sort of thing that happens every other day in Warcraft.

But I hope not. We’re running out of good lore characters, and we need some interesting ones to take their place. But I’m worried because Taelia’s model is just basically a player character model with little to know real upgrades, making it appear that she’s not going to last the expansion out.

Anyway.

I have shipped Anduin Wrynn and Taelia Fordagon, and there’s nothing you can do about it.  Thanks for attending my TED talk.

 

So about that thing

If you’re not up with the latest happenings of the past hours (i.e. the commencement of War of the Thorns Pt. 2 and the animated Sylvanas Warbringers story) and care deeply about spoilers, close this tab now and come back when you’re caught up.  There will be no further coddling.

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I want to say first of all a few words about some peoples’ reactions.

One rotten development of this is that a lot of people have been harassing Christie Golden and others associated with the writing of this game, the shorts, and related media. I don’t care if you don’t like the direction a character is taking, harassment is out of line.   It’s one thing to analyze the story without mercy, to call shit out, and express even disgust with the proceedings. Fine. Be as dramatic as you want about a video game.

(I don’t care how many years of your life you’ve “invested” in it. That just makes you look bad when you couch it in those terms. Stop making a fool of yourself).

But personal abuse of any sort is way beyond the pale. Take it down or get the Bitch Slap of the Apocalypse for your troubles.  That’s my personal promise.


Back to the story.

We’ve known for a year that Teldrassil would burn. We’ve known that likely Sylvanas would be the burner, and that Azerite might in some way figure into all of this.

Blizzard assured us that Sylvanas wasn’t going full on evil, saying the world was “gray, not black and white”, or words to that effect.

Aaaand Sylvanas then turned full on evil.  She burned that tree down for spite’s sake.

I don’t want to hear how she was better off not fighting a Resistance so it was a good tactical move. She had full on planned to capture until Delaryn Summermoon sassed her, telling her she would never defeat hope. And Sylvanas, morally grey Warchief of the Horde, who until then had other plans, ordered the tree burned. AND forced Delaryn to watch it. Deliberately, sadistically.

This is not me RPing angry Alliance, this is me saying that the character they depicted shows all the signs of a sadistic, evil creature not too far removed from Garrosh Hellscream himself. Cruel, capricious, and, from what I can see, just plain greedy. She’s missing a moustache to twirl, but so is Elon Musk.

And that’s a problem for Horde players that have been “we’re not evil” for all these years.  Granted, this is the same Horde that Pearl Harbor’d Theramore and Scourged Gilneas, but otherwise a peaceful, pastoral group of people that were just trying to get by, farm grain, murder elves, same as everyone else.

The Horde now have a maniac in charge again, and I think this time it’s breaking them.  I have seen a LOT of people revolting. (I’ve seen some revolting people too, which we’ll speak of in a moment). They are not happy and they are making themselves known.

In a way it’s kinda comforting to know that some people, when confronted with what their nation has become, will not, in actuality, go along with it.  It feels like maybe we’ve learned something from the Nazis after all. Refrains of “Not our Warchief” reflect the real-world cries of “Not our President”. In a way, I wonder if Blizz isn’t making some sort of statement here.


jas and teldrassil

Sliding back into the story … it’s hard to take it all in.  I have two Kaldorei toons, both noob’d on Teldrassil back when getting to Stormwind was a harrowing journey through high-level dangers. I have a lot of memories associated with Darkshore, Teldrassil, Auberdine, and points beyond. A big chunk of my WoW history is literally up in flames now. Others are taking it even harder. Some people are tremendously attached to their gentle elvenfolk and feel as betrayed as the Hordies that can’t cope with their murderer-in-chief.

Right now the Kaldorei and Gilneans are camped out in Stormwind Harbor (seriously, Anduin, can we get some housing here?) and presumably they will be in search of new digs after all of this settles. Though, personally, I think, after they fill in that nasty basement, Lorderon would make a fine new home for our displaced friends.  And maybe they’ll team up and take back Gilneas as well – that’s a huge waste of a beautiful city otherwise.

Maybe once the Sindorei disavow the Horde and join the Alliance, they will reunite with their sylvan relatives, we can fire up the jets, and Kaz Modan can fly off to Mars like a rocket ship.

Hey, you never know. Haven’t you read ElfQuest?

Might be a long wait

Mrs Grimm noticed on her hordie that the zep to Undercity was missing, and there was just a portal there now.  On a hunch, I sped my way to Stormwind harbor, to see what there was to see of the boat to Teldrassil. Yep, it was gone, too.

I kindly /tell’d the person waiting for the boat to take the portal behind the ballista , and as I did so, I heard a ship’s bell, and this happened.

where's the boat

Those two guards and their prisoner just appeared out of nowhere, and are headed off to the stockades.

Aside from where’s-the-boat, the other pressing question is why are Alliance troopers toting obviously Human prisoners from Teldrassil?

Something about Genn

While waiting for the login issues to clear up, I noticed something a little odd.  It involves Genn Greymane.

In the opening cinematic, Old Wolf is in his canine form during the battle; counseling Anduin, getting beat up, getting major healz, that sort of thing. We get a few good close ups of ol’ snaggle-puss, and then I noticed it.

Genn's Tooth Jewelry

See it? I circle’d and arrow’d it in case you miss it.

Old Wolf has tusk jewelry, like an Orc might have.

So what happens to it when he changes back to human form?  His big goofy duster coat stays the same. What about the jewelry? (and noting a lot in his hairy earlobes, too).

And he’s what, around 100 years old now?  Pretty spry, isn’t he?

I’m telling you, there’s something a bit OFF about Genn Greymane.

How to Disco: BfA Prepatch Edition

anduin-poseToday, WoWHead released a guide to changes that will take place in each class in the BfA pre-path on July 17. Not all guides are created equal, and by that I mean that the rest of the guide owners are probably PISSED at Bendak, who pretty much overachieved on all levels for the BM Hunter guide.

The Disco Priest guide is a little less thorough.  I’m not hating – Bendak sets a high bar to clear on any occasion. That aside, I feel like a little bit of fleshing out is in order.

Say Goodbye

Light’s Wrath is gone, of course (I actually approve of this as it means we’ll get more choices on weapons and stuff), and with it are its abilities.  That means that our massive healing nuke is gone.

The other biggest change you will notice is that the Global Cooldown now applies to a number of spells. What this means is that you won’t be able to cast a spell on Global Cooldown until the Global Cooldown cools down. This is not true for all spells, so pay attention to the spell descriptions.

Spell Changes

Another significant change is that only three spells will lay down Atonement now.  We also lost one spell (Plea) that applied it instantly.

Before this expansion, my favorite rotation was more or less this:

  • PW: Shield on myself; then PW: Radiance to spread out Atonement; then again, to get another 5 people covered, then Evangelism to extend Atonement for all 11.
  • Keep DoTs up on the boss (SW: Pain and Shadow Squid), hammer the boss with Penance and Smite until it was time to lay down PW: Radiance again
  • PW: Shield where it was needed, mindful of its cooldown.

It was a pretty simple rotation, but it got me through LFR fairly well.

The new rotation will be changed due to changes in the various spells used.

  • PW: Radiance is relatively unchanged.  It is one of our Atonement spreaders.
  • Evangelism is relatively unchanged.
  • PW: Shield doesn’t have the limitations we had before; it is now our defacto spam. It applies Atonement to whatever it shields. In effect, Rapture got baked right in.
  • Shadow Mend is relatively unchanged.  It also applies Atonement.
  • Penance is relatively unchanged, however, is now generally better spent as a direct heal than Atonement healing. Unfortunately, it does not spread Atonement when used directly.
  • SW: Pain (or Purge the Wicked) is relatively unchanged, and I think that Penance still spreads it when used for damage. This of course will also increase your Atonement healing.
  • Smite is still Smite, with its damage component and its shield component.
  • Halo is unchanged, and is still an optional damage / heal AE spell.
  • Holy Nova is now also a Disco spell, giving us a ‘native’ AE spell that relieves us of having to choose Halo over something more interesting. It also applies to Atonement healing, but only the FIRST target struck does so – additional targets struck by Holy Nova do not provide Atonement healing.  I think this is rather shabby.
  • Rapture now increases the duration of all bubbles by around 7 or so seconds. In my opinion, this improves it massively.

So basically it boils down to:

  • PW: Shield on myself; then PW: Radiance to spread out Atonement; then again,
    to get another 5 people covered, then Evangelism to extend Atonement for all
    11.
  • Keep DoTs up on the boss (SW: Pain and Shadow Squid), hammer the boss with Smite until it was time to lay down PW: Radiance again
  • PW: Shield where it is needed. Cooldown isn’t so relevant now, so anywhere you see a need, drop it.  Use Rapture on CD to extend that.
  • Save Penance for big heals unless fairly certain that it won’t be needed for that, in which case share the love via Atonement.

You may notice that Shadow Mend isn’t top of the list.  I tend to only use it in emergencies.  The long cast time and odd pain/pleasure dynamic makes it far less than a winner to me.

Stats

As before, Spell Power is the primary component of all of our spells.  Only PW: Shield varies on that, in that it also improves on Versatility. I’m pretty sure Crit will feature in a lot of the calculations, but those are your two main stats of interest.

Conclusionish

As has been the case for ever, my main concern is in how clumsy healing can be.  It requires a lot of direct or mouseover targeting, which means one hand mousing while the other is keying the commands required. During high-movement fights, healers are at a huge disadvantage when compared to others. PW: Radiance was a good step in the right direction in this regard, giving us a way to propagate Atonement without making it about as clumsy as an elephant on a high wire.

However, it appears that Blizz did not expand on that theme, and instead moved us away from that mode of operation. I mean, I’m kinda glad that we’re moving more towards bubblePriest mode, but it does require a lot of mousing around to get the shields distributed around, which is dependent on a lot of things, not the least the clumsiness of the wielder Smile

I am also bitterly disappointed that yet again, Disco priests don’t have the Frisbee.   I mean, what is Disco without the Disc? In my mind, I see the Frisbee as method #4 for spreading around our Atonement Goodness.

But overall, this looks like a very viable spec going into  the new expansion. As always, it will require a bit of play time to learn for sure where we stand.

Oh, and also? New expansion, new mog. While I loved the look of the silver haltertop and skirt I affected in Legion, it had a couple of real issues.

  1. It was a skirt, making running problematic. Remember, sometimes it isn’t whether you’re faster than the monster. But it matters if you’re faster than at least one other person in your party.  As Flora and Illume have proven before, nothing beats a good pair of jeans for adventuring.
  2. No pocketses, precious. What is this, anyway?

Vinettes, One Expansion Late

I was over in Nagrand looking for an Inscription recipe and couldn’t resist the chance to take a selfie with a national landmark.

Garrosh and Gromash.png

SPOILER ALERT: Yes, I did.

Also I hocked it.