Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Continuing the Improvement Plan

[edit] You'll see mention of 3.0.8 patch in the article. At the time of the writing, I was of the impression that 3.0.8 was being released to live servers tuesday. I was wrong. Read on....

See, I'm trying to keep the titles somewhat consistent for the Improvement Plan posts, in case you hate them, you can skip them. They're long, they're dry-ish, and they have a nice unhealthy sprinkling of ego stroking.

But I like to write them (A) to help organize my own thoughts, and (B) maybe someone else out there is trying to improve their own toon, and they just might glean something productive out of my experience.

Standard format: review previous 5 steps, throw in some stuff that happened outside of the plan, assess the results, write up the new top 5 steps.

Review Previous Five Steps

1) Hodirs: Continue doing this daily. Only missed a single quest a single day so far. And that was because the server crashed half way through my 6th attempt for the day at the Grip the Dragon, Stab the Dragon quest. Dinged Revered over the weekend which opens up one additional quest. Read up about Everfrost Chips. Searched high and low for a long time. Found a grand total of ZERO chips. I am no longer searching for chips.

2) Shoulders: Over the weekend, I replaced my T5 with a pair of blue leather shoulders that dropped in Heroic [something]. Reasonable stats and no longer look like I'm clinging to the good old days. There are definitely upgrades I'm still looking for, but this new pair is milk chocolate with a creamy +hit center.

3) Legs: During the last update, I wrote "Maybe RNG will smile upon me Thursday night." and did she ever! Beautiful pair of Leggings of Failed Escape. T5 is now on the shelf, and I've had to re-learn my love for Mend Pet.

4) Aces High! To practice for Malygos Phase 3, I've been doing this quest every day. It is a frustrating quest, due in large part to the cludgey interface, sloppy game mechanics, and overall bugginess. But, practice makes perfect, so to speak. To quote our DPS Officer "Amava rocked the DoT's during Phase 3" in response to my output during P3 for our guild-first 25-person and 10-person Malygos kills.

5) Knights of the Ebon Blade: Doing the 6 dailies pretty much every day. For some reason, I have massive math block regarding calculating determining if tuesday's set of dailies will ding me revered or not. It really is strange, its like this massive black hole in my brain. You'd think X + Y = Z would be pretty simple for a guy who likes calculus and differential equations and infinite set theories, AND who also is reasonably well versed in spreadsheets (lol). But its a brain fart that's stopping me from figuring this out.

Its as if there's a secret directive programmed into my brain like Robo Cop had, preventing me from the simple calculation. Either way, I'll know tuesday night when I finish the dailies. If revered, I get new Helm Arcanum and a pair of blue shoulders that're a DPS upgrade.

Oh, and I now wear the Ebon Blade tabard in Heroics.

Some stuff that happened outside of the plan

1) Argent Crusade: While technically not part of the documented previous 5 steps, AC rep was always on my backburner. It came to the front burner Monday night and I became possessesd with exalted. PuG'ed my way through Heroic Halls of Stone, which was a little bit tough, but fun, despite the Royal D0uch3 Bag of a death knight, followed by a 4-man run of Heroic Nexus once the tank booted His Royal Highness. But I digress. With Exalted AC comes a very nice Hunter chest piece, the Polished Regimental Hauberk.

2) Mirror of Truth: This is an outstanding epic trinket available for 40 or so Emblems of Heroism. Happily replaced one of my last remaining Northrend greenies with this puppy.

3) Hammerhead Sharkskin Cloak: Available for Emblems of Valor out of 25-person raids. Wonderbar! This is a fantastic cloak that I highly recommend if you have access to dead 25-person bosses.

4) Belt: I wrote about this guy yesterday, but for the sake of completeness, the Depraved Linked Belt landed around my waist via a circuitous path. Still need to get a belt buckle and gem for this little baby. According to Max DPS, this is the best-in-slot item for a Beast Master, so me likey.

Assess the Results

I'll not bother with the epeen'ery and what not. Suffice it to say, the nerf is presumably incoming with tuesday's patch 3.0.8, and I totally understand why. Mass Quantities of Sustained Ranged DPS. MQoSRDPS. The M should be changed to an I for Insane.

During 25's (and the couple 10's that slipped in there), its all about pumping out ludicrous damage, and the Improvement Plan makes it ludicrouser and ludicrouser with each passing day.

I really hope we get a shot at Patchwerk (the perfect pew pew benchmark boss) tuesday night so I can see the impact of the patch. Maybe that's why they call him Patchwerk? Test out how the Patch Werked? lol.

The New 5 Steps

I'm only partially overlapping the action item steps I listed in the previous post. Some of the items are simply tasks I need to do tonight (aka, enchant the chest and fill empty gem slots) and others are sort of upgrade paths (aka, get a new ring crafted to replace an old one).

1) Sons of Hodir: Exalted cannot come soon enough. The Horde gankfest, the Alliance ninjas who refuse to accept invites, the low drop rates, the buggy grippy/stabby quest. Just make it go away, please. And the biggest joke is that by the time I'm exalted, they're going to let you turn in Ulduar thingies for rep. What a slap in the face!

2) Revisit the Gear Wishlist: I created the first revision of my formal Gear Wishlist over Thanksgiving weekend. Along the way, I've done some small maintenance, but things have been changing so fast, I need to revisit the whole list. I recently started playing with Its a fantastic source for creating an upgrade path, so I'll need to examine where I need to go for each item slot.

3) If you like it then you should'a put a ring on it: One of my rings is a Northrend greenie, and is ripe for the replacing. My initial view of showed me the nice Titanium Impact Band as an easily accessible JC crafted upgrade option.

4) Learn about Darkmoon cards: I've never really explored getting a Darkmoon Cards piece of gear, other than idly collecting most of the Furies deck, but never following through and ended up selling the cards for a nice profit. MaxDPS shows that Darkmoon Card: Greatness is one of the best trinkets in the game right now, so I'll have to take a look.

5) Knights of the Ebon Blade: This one might be "done" on tuesday night, depending on if the dailies yield me enough to ding revered. Or if they bring me close, maybe grab a tank and a healer and just kill 15 or 20 trash mobs in any old heroic before the raid. I want the new Arcanum of Torrent, and also the shoulder pads they've got.

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