Sunday, August 24, 2008

Glimmering Naaru Sliver

This trinket is amazing. Although it has been belittled and heavily criticized by the general healer community for its inflexibility and unreliability, I strongly beg to differ.

I think as time goes by, people will realize that this trinket has been denied the kind of theorycraft that it should have been subjugated to in the first place. First of all, the trinket has 119 passive healing, in other words in terms of raw healing, Glimmering Naaru Sliver is identical to Redeemer's Alchemist Stone and Mememto. Here comes the critical exposition: how much Mp5 does the trinket offer? In my opinion, this trinket is better than Memento, and may even be better than Redeemer's in rare circumstances. Below are my calculations:

Assuming the trinket is used on the 2nd and 7th minute of a 10 minute fight and is given full grace, the trinket gives a total of 4000 mana.

MP5 for 8 ticks per usage = (4000/10/60*5) = 33.33
MP5 for 1 tick per usage = 4.17
MP5 for 2 ticks per usage = 8.33
MP5 for 3 ticks per usage = 12.5
MP5 for 4 ticks per usage = 16.67
MP5 for 5 ticks per usage = 20.83 <-- Better than Memento
MP5 for 6 ticks per usage = 25
MP5 for 7 ticks per usage = 29.16

I did mention that it could be better than redeemer's, but this hypothesis requires some annoying assumptions. That is, the trinket has to be used twice in 7 minutes with good timing.

Mp5 for 8 ticks per usage: (4000/7/60*5) = 47.62 <-- Better than Redeemer's
Mp5 for 7 ticks per usage: 41.67 <-- Better than Redeemer's

Explanation of the trinket mechanics:
1. When clicked (activated), the user casts the Evocation spell (channelled). The name of the chanelled spell is exactly as said, "Evocation". The player also receives an Evocation buff icon on the buff table (during the cast) that is not categorized as magic; I assume it's for an indicatory purpose.
2. Without any spell haste or casting speed modifier, the Evocation cast is 8 seconds and ticks for 250 mana at each second for a total of 2000 mana.
3. The channelling spell is subjected to melee and spell pushback, however Improved Concentration Aura gives it 50% resistance (35+15) to pushback.
4. The cast cannot be Silenced (Arcane Torrent, Silence, etc) or Counterspelled (Counterspell, Spell Lock, Pummel, Kick, etc). Kick and Pummel can cause pushback due to damage dealt.
5. The cast can be cancelled at any time without any penalty to the mana you have already received.
6. The trinket is placed on 5 minute cooldown upon use.

Interesting pointers:
1. Each tick of mana does not place the caster in combat. After 6 seconds of usage the user is guaranteed to be out of combat, ceteris paribus.
2. The caster will receive out-of-combat regen after 5 seconds of the channelling.
3. Some theorycrafters suggested inputting the base mp5 you get while channelling the trinket because the caster does forfeit healing (or dps) during the channel. However I have not done so because of the impurity of the calculation.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Back to WoW

I'm quite satisfied with my work this week. I had two fantastic presentations for 2 separate modules despite deliberately not attending 1 test for another module. I think a lot of my classmates thought I went nuts for not taking the test considering it was worth 5% of marks for our final year project. Let's put it this way, I didn't attend so many of her classes and I don't really think I deserve to take the test anyway. Aside from that, in my personal opinion, the module sucked. Some people may like to be involved in theater and drama, others just like to watch theater and drama, give me a break ya? I'm just that introverted, eat that. Either way I only feel bad because I do think Joyce is a nice person, I just dislike her lesson outline and I did her a favor by self-exempting myself from her lessons heh.

So Mu'ru is probably going to die this week I hope. It's great to have some progress after so many months of stagnation. I have not really geared myself to the level I expect yet but I'm slowly getting there. I'm quite excited about gearing myself because my gear optimization received hours of thought and reiteration. In a way it's still in the concept stage and I'm always testing the numbers out on paper when people are wiping.

"+Heal is as good as if not better than Haste."

That was basically the initial hypothesis and indeed it stands. In fact in most cases +Heal will always be theoretically AND practically better than haste. I'm not going to paste the numbers here because it'll just make my blog look too jargon'ish, but feel free to email or post questions here. There is still the question of crit. It's an excruciating stat to talk about because like most Paladins say, crit is RNG. No doubt I agree, which was why I decided to try something else. Having said that, crit is still a potent powerful stat for MT healers in particular and I should say that having 1 crit paladin in the raid is ideal.

Notes: Armory Nhomak (vodka) to see a max haste Paladin.

I've received numerous enquiries about haste for arena. To be honest, I think it's rather weak. Its potential lies in having haste stacked. But it's hard to stack haste because you will have to sacrifice gargantuan amounts of stam and resilience. On top of that, you may have to forego a significant amount of +heal and most importantly Mp5. My experience in arena tells me how haste would not be greatly useful. If you have CoT on you, you can't drop a decent heal period. So haste is only really useful for healing through 1. Ping, 2. Fast switches, 3. Crap mages/locks, 4. Perhaps conserving a tiny more mana via drink-exploit or FoL spam. All of which have valid and strong counter-arguements. So at the end of the day MP5/Heal (Zilea) or +Heal (in Zyori's case) builds still remain the most powerful. DO NOT stack crit if that's all I may advise.

Oh yes, I might start a Gameriot blog for real. I've drafted some really interesting topics so catch that out.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Age of Conan...

goes to show that MMOs are extremely profitable with unique selling points, acute marketing strategies ("the hype") and a nostalgic storyline. With these in your ammunition package, you can simply don't bother about UI, leave your attributes system hanging in the balcony and still sell 400,000 copies of your game on the first week! Just wow! Get real, I'm very unimpressed by the ethical stand-point of Funcom. What an extremely unpolished MMO that has neglected so many critical areas upon release.

Believe me when I say WoW is so successful because of its insanely user-friendly UI. AoC did not pick this up. Now, I understand that FPS game designers struggle with UI because apparently, it kills the 'feel'. I do think at some level yes, it is true, but it's largely because of FPS gaming habits. Most FPS dumbdown their GUI, which is fine because the focus of traditional FPS games has been to aim and shoot. In Dark Messiah and Oblivion you swing your baby and you don't really need a GUI for that yes. But hey in an MMO you socialize to gain political leverage (I'm making my point serious here). Keeping quiet and not participating is not real gaming and in some way, really phoney as well... Not having a decent chat interface for your paying subscribers is a gargantuan insult to the bread and butter of mmogaming period

Yet another critical mistake by the devs - sticking to traditional quest design. Come on, EQ did it, EQ2 did it, WoW did it, even small MIC (made-in-china) MMOs have done it. Yes, I give AoC high marks for being able to tell stories through their quests, but the whole system of quest-for-XP is so blatantly plagiarized and cliched. Can someone bring in an idiot so we can a different perspective already?

It was quite fascinating to hear somewhat professional voice-overs (when I wanted to) on every NPC I talked to. There was finally some level of emotion coming from an MMO, not the cheap player-based drama that MMOs commuters have been feeding on. But I'm sorry to reveal that all that voice-over in AoC disappears after lvl 20. Kudos to Funcom, they're Republicans now.

I hit lvl 53 after 1 week of play. Not bad I think. If I went harder I could have hit 55 (assuming I had no current knowledge of the game). It's definitely possible to grind to 80 in like, 100 hours of played time or less, but that kinda defeats the purpose anyway. I'm sure eventually someone would find an exploit to get 80 within 24 hours or something ridiculous like that. Athenelol

On a final note, the specs required are too ridiculous. I certainly do believe that their artists fcked up the texture sizes. It takes a couple of seconds to load scenes on a 8600 with extremely compromised video settings. It cannot be that way, and I believe that it's not the fault of the engine infrastructure too, just poor optimization...

By the way, I'm blogging tonight because servers are down lol. This patch better be good hehe and catch my aoc rants next time! ^_~

Monday, May 5, 2008

The Fury of Sunwell

I've been back to PVE again. I'm having problems coping with the late hours and I've missed a lot of classes. It's just been 2 weeks and I already want to take a step back.. A huge part of the problem is the difficulty scaling of bosses past Kalecgos. I'm not saying they're impossible or are unimaginably difficult to kill, but for example Brutallus and Felmyst have 23k bursts and I'm not sure if main tank healers are expected to heal it up. A lot of people are blaming Sunwell Radiance, I disagree. Case-in-point, the bosses hit too hard. Felmyst's corrosion needs to be nerfed and Brutallus needs to have a insertion time to prevent him from hitting 15k and 8k within 0.2 seconds. The only solution to such bursts are having more healers spamming so somehow a heal lands between 0.2s but yeah, that IS rng... Soccer only has 11 moving players and already so much rng is involved. It's a massive undertaking to organize 25 people, to lead them, to understand them, to rectify them, to see improvement, to see it all syncing. It can happen but only the top 0.001% can achieve this at an acceptable rate, if at all. Elementium has achieved it to some extent but not enough, not enough.. for the final 2.

I woke up feeling lost and depressed yesterday. My bio-clock is going a bit crazy, I think. Another theory is because the people I've been playing with for long hours (hardcore PVEers) have distinct mentality differences from PVPers. I have to say I'm culture shocked. Some people said Milynn was too hardcore too strict too rigid, I never agreed and I won't, because he was not. Kron is a bit crazy ever since he left DnT too, it's a mentality issue really. In a way the negativity during raids was something like Kyvaan who just snapped. This is the fury of PVE.

Twin Eredars is not a difficult fight at all, just rng. I'm still pissed we got to 10% and failed because cert died. It was a bit my fault because I knew cert was going to take much damage and was ready to drop a holy light but the burst.. at the same time everyone else missed the heal too.. But in retrospect we ultimately spent 7 hours in there.. So stupid..

Mu'ru is going to be worse and I'm not sure if I want to participate this much. Mekon, GM of SK-Gaming said of Mu'ru:

"Without doubt the best designed encounter Blizzard have made since Naxxramas. M'uru / Entropius is the hardest non blocked fight ever made no question. It is perfectly tuned, you cannot make a single mistake and need a flawless strat. It's a really fun and intense fight that allows all classes to play an active roll rather than sitting and spamming. I'm really not sure how many guilds are capable of killing it, the amount of dps you need is crazy and the healing is soo tight because you cant use many at all. I'm really proud of everyone in the guild and the effort they have put into this, it was well deserved. Looking forward to the race on KJ now!"

This was not the PVE I wanted. The difficulty is capped too high. As game designers Blizzard should know that playability =! hours of rng. I have 350 days of played time, I have 150k lifetime kills, Lambert is now the highest rated player on Blackrock, I spend more time than anyone else duelling, I do theorycrafting during insomnia, I draw spreadsheets, I read forums during classes but it's not enough... why do this to me and others..? I didn't get to see Kel'Thuzad under the same circumstances and believe me it's not an issue with being burning out, some bosses are just too difficult for 99% of guilds even if they're given the time...

I'm running out of time to raid 6 hours a day until Eredars... Muru... and KJ are down. There is skill involved but that doesn't mean it's necessarily fun. I take every fight seriously - I use consumables, I give my all but 1 mistake from any member is a wipe already... I don't blame people for mistakes, everyone makes mistakes and they must learn from it, but video game is not real life; UI, latency, com specs cannot be changed overnight. Some people just have poor UI and can't deal with so much crap, so that means more wipes and more time and more frustration... Mu'ru will be even more unforgiving and KJ would be unimaginable.. Maybe being top 0.0001% PVE is not my cup of tea.

I love you Episkey.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

My Resolution

A lot has been happening in school, at work, in WoW. It's haphazard but I'm dealing with them quite well. I have been ignorant about troubles at school because I don't want to be part of the cesspool. It's something that I've shunned for quite a while because it's not my cup of tea anymore. I've played 17 MMOs and studied in 6 institutions, I'm sick of office politics. But this is the deal: I've kept my opinions under the carpet for a while and now I have finally used my voice when I felt it was most needed. Who wants to be a Millionaire enthusiasts know that a key strategy to win is to save lifelines till the very last moment. Undoubtedly, I had to execute my opinions at the right time, to the right persons and under the right circumstances and in the most rationale manner. It looks like I had entered the danger zone, picked up epic loot and got out of it without being ensnared.

My official ITP with Ksatria Gameworks ends tomorrow. It has been a wonderful journey. I have witnessed raw team synergy, dedication and solid player skill. I was largely soft-spoken because I didn't know my place. They're all so good and have inspired me to work harder and learn more. Some of them are so pro, especially Cedric the imbalanced. He's like the patriarch of the company, the untouchable and revered. Raymond my supervisor is pro too! I know I've been naughty and late a number of times, but I'm working on it! =p

This year my resolution is not too much to ask for. I'm going to attempt to juggle work, school and arena. This week we managed to pierce into top 5 5v5 again. It doesn't mean much really. We're one of the strongest 2345 teams but the latest comps completely nullify burst attempts. Fortunately I think we're beginning to be able to counter trifecta teams after losing so many points to low-rated ones. Anyhow, there is a high chance I won't be raiding as a full-time raider anymore and believe me when I say I still loathe the fact that Paladins require PVE gear to perform in 5s.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Celine Dion ft. Andrea Bocelli - The Prayer

I pray you’ll be our eyes,
and watch us where we go
And help us to be wise,
in times when we don’t know
Let this be our prayer,
when we lose our way
Lead us to a place,
guide us with your grace
To a place where we’ll be safe.

La luce che tu dai
I pray we’ll find your light
Nel cuore resterà
And hold it in our hearts
A ricordarci che
When stars go out each night
L’eterna stella sei
Nella mia preghiera
Let this be our prayer
Quanta fede c’è
When shadows fill our day
Lead us to a place
Guide us with your grace
Give us faith so we’ll be safe

Sognamo un mondo senza più violenza
Un mondo di giustizia e di speranza
Ognuno dia la mano al suo vicino
Simbolo di pace e di fraternità

La forza che ci dai
We ask that life be kind
È il desiderio che
And watch us from above
Ognuno trovi amore
We hope each soul will find
Intorno e dentro a sè
Another soul to love
Let this be our prayer
Let this be our prayer
Just like every child
Just like every child

Need to find a place,
guide us with your grace
Give us faith so we’ll be safe

E la fede che
Hai acceso in noi
Sento che ci salverà

Saturday, March 1, 2008

What's Ahead

Viewing my unforced temporary departure from WoW as a mini-sabbatical of sorts, I've gotten in the mood of thinking what's next again.

I've been for a long time contemplating my desire to write a novel -- a fantasy one of course. I thought Conclave was a good attempt at fantasy, but it was inclined to be terribly cliche. My ideas tend to be lofty with some level of rationality in them, but this in my opinion constricts the level of creativity and eccentricity that is required to evoke good fantasy. I mean, magick has always been irrational.

My knowledge of the fantasy realm is truly limited. I didn't read a lot as a kid, so that's quite a disadvantage especially when time is of the essence. My advantage herein is a unique set of knowledge that has quite propitiously presented itself over my adolescent period. Romance of the Three Kingdoms has always captivated me and so has medieval fantasy. Can these 2 varying eras be merged into a new fantasy world? Yes, why not? Unfortunately there are some who staunchly reject such an appeal. I could never explain why. In fact, during the pre-production phase of the abomination - Stranger In The Mirror, suggestions to have some level of rojak in the story were refuted by my group members.

Anyway in some way or another, being intellectually cleansed of other similar works of fiction can be an advantage to any novelist. Think laureates who reached their level of literary evocation from the depths of post-war caste systems. The important ingredient in my opinion are ideas, which is why I always had some level of respect for History & Theory of Ideas. Unfortunately Year 2 was rather decimating (lolgpa), but through some level of practice over the last 2 years I'm now able to read really fast, grasping ideas from narratives without actually having to fully comprehend the story. So my plan of action is to read as selectively as I can. To say the least, working on Lone Wolf has helped me a lot.

As a disclaimer, I don't intend or have any thoughts of stealing Joe Dever's ideas. In a really brutal fashion, they have been robbed, twisted and exploited over and over again anyway.

I'll be celebrating the first anniversary of this blog in a couple of months. Don't expect much though, I'm completely antisocial to birthdays and what not. What I'll do though is start a series of short stories in attempt to slowly ease myself into the mood for writing. So maybe watch out for that =p