Intermission

Word on the street with a lot of raiding guilds this month seems to be that things are on a downturn. Think U.S. housing market 2009.

I know our current 10 man team is having trouble with the desire to push on to 4.2. We took a vote and decided that taking a complete break until the Firelands would probably spell disaster as far as a solid team is concerned. So we’ve opted to chug a long. We dropped our raid night down to one night a week, cut out our alt run, and elected to not worry about clearing heroic modes.

These decisions may not seem like a big deal, but coming from a group of former top 50 hardcore raiders going casual isn’t always easy. The main group has been raiding together in one form or another since Molten Core. The rest of us were added to the gang during Sunwell progression.

Is it us or the game? We probably do fit the “aging gamer” model. We’ve all been playing since the first year of launch. We’ve moved from being carefree college gamers to mid-20’s to 30’s professionals. I’m not sure that WoW in it’s “glory days” would hold our attention in the same way it did in 2004.  Also, we’re unwilling to run the 10 + 30% bench that would be required. We have 10 people. It’s all or nothing baby.

A few things that for me would make the game a bit more playable:

1. Shorter heroics – I don’t care if the hardcores think I’m bad. I don’t want to spend 2-3 hours in a pug heroic instance. It’s not fun, it’s tedious. Plus, I’m unwilling to make the time.

2. Tol Barad – If this zone was anything remotely like Wintergrasp, I’d probably log on for a game a day.

3. 10 man Heroic Difficulty – We can clear 12/12 normal tier 11 in 1.5 to 2 hours. With half drunk people. On all but Halfus, we were running into solid walls on our heroic attempts. About a month ago, we checked to see how many guilds had cleared Heroic 10 man worldwide it was around 30 mostly Asian. In the US, that achievement dropped to 3. Uh yeah. We can read the writing on that wall.

In the interim, I’ve played through some Star Trek Online, reduced my 5K completion time by about 3 mins, and enjoyed some spring bonfire cookouts. Win. Win. For me anyway. Whether or not Blizzard will continue receiving subscription dollars from me when SWTOR comes out, remains unknown.

Rogue UI – My Favorite Addons

 

I love a large, clean middle of my screen. The better to find and stealth kill you, my dear. Unfortunately, I’m playing on a 5 year old laptop. The graphics upgrades to the game have not been friendly to my tired machine.

My solution has been to whittle down my addon usage to only “necessary” additions. By necessary, I really mean what I must have to be able to stand to do what I enjoy in game. As a 10man raider and avid arena player, I need clear space, quick information, and room for many keybindings.

Best change implemented in recent Cata patches for me was definitely moveable target and player frames. This allowed me to live with ditching Pitbull and Grid and move to using only the Blizzard standard raid and party frames. The name of the PvE game in Cataclysm is interrupts in Tier11 content as well as the 4.1 Troll heroics. Being forced to look at the top left corner of my screen for a spellcast in addition to watching my environment for danger and managing my cooldowns/buffs was enough to drive a gnome girl mad.

And so, the list:

1. Dominos – I absolutely cannot stand having the standard, unresizeable large standard bars. I have everything in my arsenal bound to various hotkeys. I’ve been using these abilities for 6 years plus, so I definitely don’t have to stare at them. Dominos is lightweight and extremely customizeable for all your action bar needs.

2. PowerAuras – With PA, you can show buffs & debuffs on your character with various “auras” that you can size, resize and place left, right, up, down or all around your character.

3. FuBar & Plug-ins – I use DurabilityFu & MoneyFu.

4. Omen – Threatmeter. A dead rogue does ZERO dps. Also helpful for realizing when it’s your turn to pop evasion and tank it up.

5. Skada – Damage meter, how you died, % of damage by abilities, etc.

6. Deadly Boss Mods – My favorite raiding boss timer addon since BC. I’ve tried some of the others, but I always end up using my steadfast DBM.

7. GnomishInterruptor – Announces successful interrupts to your party for easy rotation management (or finding out who failed at their blast nova on Nef). Not updated for 4.1 as of Tuesday, unfortunately. 😦

All of the above are easy to find by a quick visit to wow.curse.com.

 

UI Raid Style

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

UI -full keybinds

4.1 – Stealth Buffed? Wtf?

Never in my wildest rogue dreams would I imagine Blizzard granting the following:

“Stealth base cooldown has been reduced to 6 seconds, down from 10, and the movement penalty from being in Stealth has been removed.”

A buff to our most hated ability? We must be dreaming. After a week of battleground and arenas in my Sub spec, I can say the buff to stealth is fun but it just feels evil.

My other favorite class gain in 4.1?

“Tricks of the Trade now has a 100-yard range, up from 20.”

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Now I don’t have to run 40 yards from my assigned Al’Akir spot to reapply TotT if my guildies get chatty when we should be pulling. 🙂

A full list of the Rogue specific changes can be found here:

http://us.battle.net/wow/en/blog/2657803#rogues