Friday, December 14, 2012

Sticking Together (On Cross Realm Raiding)

As people likely know, ever since cross-realm raiding came into existence via Real-ID it has been Blizzard's policy to allow it for every raid tier except the current one.  Rohan at Blessing of Kings and Stubborn at Sheep the Diamond recently made a pair of posts regarding the subject.  Rohan tried to build a case for Blizzard's current policy and Stubborn suggested reasons why the policy should be changed.

I'm going to agree with Blizzard's policy but for different reasons than Rohan's and I'll actually have two separate arguments.  The first is more general and applies to social bonds and opportunity cost, the second is directed at progression raiding.

On Social Bonds
This may shock people, but Blizzard charges a monthly subscription.  Thus, they want you to stay subscribed.

It's possible that you've considered quitting raiding and/or WoW, for whatever reason.  But when you did, it's likely you felt like this:

One of the main points of MMOs is social bonds, building relationships with people in a persistent world.  Those relationships are what generally keep people playing even after the available content is consumed.  Doing a dungeon for the 50th time probably isn't fun.  Doing a dungeon for the 50th time with friends might be.

So how does this apply to cross-realm raiding?  Well, let's say you're considering quitting but you're part of a raiding team.  In which of these two scenarios are you more likely to quit?

1, to fill your spot and allow the group to keep raiding, someone just needs to have a friend somewhere on some server some character that's able to fulfill your role.

2, to fill your spot and allow the group to keep raiding, your guild has to recruit someone, most likely cross server.  This person has to go through an application process and be vetted and then pay a transfer fee, at which point your guild can evaluate them in a raid environment and see if they're an adequate replacement.

In terms of social bonds, it's a lot easier on you in terms of quitting in the first option.  You may feel guilty for making them do that work and you know you're likely introducing a complete stranger into the group of friends.

But there's more.

The man in the above image is discussing the idea of "opportunity cost."  In short, opportunity cost means that whenever you do something, you're giving up doing something else you could have done instead.  To summarize the summary...

"Time is money, friend!"

Let's say you have a mage in your guild.  He's not performing quite as well as you'd like, and you're considering replacing him as a result.

Currently, to replace him you have to advertise, go through applications, pick someone, and have them transfer over with the knowledge they may fail their trial and thus have wasted their money.  That's probably quite a bit of effort and time invested.  In short, it puts up a barrier that means you're less likely to replace someone on a whim or for a very minor improvement.

"Good news, everyone!  We spent a week of slaving over applications to replace our old hunter with a new one that's 1% better!  Totally worth it!"

On the flip side, if you can replace him with someone who's a friend of anyone cross-realm, that lowers the barrier to replacement and means you're *MORE* likely to replace people because the opportunity cost is lower.

Note that this also can work favor of new applicants.  Let's say the old hunter actually had to quit raiding for whatever reason.  You get a new hunter, but he's 1% worse than what you want.  Is it worth going through the hassle of recruitment again to try to find a better hunter?  For the vast majority of guilds, the answer is no.

And this also even helps prevent people from leaving!  A person is less likely to try to "trade up" in terms of guilds due to the necessity of transferring and such instead of joining a friend's cross-realm raid group.  Or on a social level, if drama happens, people are more likely to try to work things out and stick together.  There's a much higher cost associated with leaving for a new guild in these scenarios.

In short, putting up barriers (by not allowing cross-realm raiding on the current tier) helps maintain guild bonds because the opportunity cost of recruiting someone new (or leaving for a new guild) is much higher and so it happens less.  It makes moving between groups less fluid and preserves more relationships, which keeps more subscribers, which makes Blizzard happy (and is good for the game).

On Progression Raiding
All that said, allowing cross-realm raiding also causes issues in the progression arena on at least two fronts...

The first front is more obvious: realm firsts and realm rankings.


Note: that's not my achievement.

Allowing cross-realm raiding for the current tier muddles these waters.  If Guild A borrows someone from Guild B cross server for a server first kill, is that considered a realm first?  Or let's make the example really horrid...Group A uses nine of their people in a cross realm group with Guild B on Guild B's server to get the realm first on that server.

Or let's say realm firsts aren't even involved.  Let's say my guild is 16/16H in a month or two and we don't need one or two of our raiders for, say, Heart of Fear.  So they go help some friends on another server who are working on normals or early heroics in Heart of Fear.  You might imagine that the competition on that server might not be thrilled about this.

Are realm firsts and realm rankings outdated and archaic?  Perhaps, but a lot of people still enjoy it.  It's a lot more fun to say "We're 8th on the realm" instead of "We're 8,589th in the world."  Note: 
those numbers are taken from an actual realm.

Is all of the above possible within the same server?  Yes, but trying to pull off the above within one server is a lot harder than when you have access to every server.

The second front is somewhat tied to the first front: maintaining an appropriate roster.

One of the challenges of progression raiding is striking a balance with your roster. You want enough people to handle all roles and to cover absences, but you don't want so many raiders that people become unhappy due to sitting and loot gets diluted (a 10 man roster gets 50% more loot per person than a 15 man roster, to use some extremes).  If you try to raid with exactly 10 people and someone has to miss a night, you're in trouble, and that's the penalty you pay for trying to play it fast and loose.

Allowing cross-realm raiding for the current tier encourages people to use smaller rosters because finding a replacement is a lot easier.  You just need one raider who knows some person who can fill in the spot for the missing person.  As a result, it places less emphasis on the guild as a self-contained unit, which weakens social bonds, and we've already discussed how Blizzard doesn't want that.

So there you have a few reasons against cross-realm raiding for the current tier.  Allowing cross-realm raiding for the current tier will result in...

1, more people quitting raiding and/or WoW due to ease of replacement

2, more people being replaced in guilds since the barrier of replacing is lowered

3, more people leaving guilds because the barrier of trialing for new guilds is lowered

4, weird (and detrimental) effects on realm firsts and realm rankings

5, less emphasis on raid groups as self-contained units which weakens social bonds

When you're sitting there and missing one person for a raid, I'm sure seeing a bunch of friends online cross realm seems to taunt you.  And individually, letting you bring that one person doesn't cause an issue.  But WoW players have a tendency of taking things to extremes.

To draw a parallel, taking a friend to LFR with you wasn't really a big deal.  Allowing that, however,  resulted in guilds doing 10 runs a week using 3 new characters and 22 "saved" characters to get people tons of loot.  If you open the door, people will abuse it.

Perhaps you're still thinking "So what?  Social upheaval is fine, people will eventually sort themselves out, cry havoc and let loose the dogs of war!"

Whenever social upheaval occurs in WoW, guilds tend to dissolve and people tend to quit.  So how much stability are you willing to give up for fluidity?  How much are you willing to sacrifice on the altar of cross-realm raiding?

That's an answer you'll have to decide for yourself.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

How Many Mogu Lives and/or Gold is a Ring Worth?

In my last post I discussed the idea of Blizzard adding a new ring vendor who sold 509 rings and suggested that people would value the ring at different amounts.  To be "fair," I spoke about both paying in gold or killing Mogu for drops to use as currency instead.

So now let's see what people actually think!  Inspired by a suggestion from Stubborn of Sheep the Diamond .  Again, to summarize the scenario:

Pretend Blizzard has added a new vendor in your faction's "capital" in Pandaria.  This guy sells 509 rings that are unique-equipped as a set, so you can only use one.  Also pretend you're a reasonably new level 90 who is looking to acquire gear (likely for raiding, though perhaps to get into LFR or simply because you like gear).

We'll also assume that the ring is perfectly itemized for your spec (or the vendor offers a variety so you can pick the best).

There are two potential methods to pay for the ring.  The first is to kill Mogu for a drop (one drop per Mogu so you can't make a group and grind them incredibly efficienctly) and the second is to pay gold.  What I'm mainly looking to find out is the threshold at which you go from saying "Yeah, that ring's definitely worth getting" to "You'd have to be crazy to get that ring."

There are a pair of polls on the right hand side of the blog, it'll be interesting to see the results.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Ring Vendor (On "Optional")

So, are the dailies for Klaxxi/Golden Lotus/August Celestials/Shado-Pan optional?  Is running LFR for upgrades optional?  What do we even mean by optional?

I realize I'm a bit late to the party with this post.  And frankly at this point it doesn't even matter, the damage has been done (for now).  So why write this?  To explain the problem, illustrate the frustration people experienced, and hopefully prevent this situation from happening again.

On a personal note, my guild is currently 6/6H in MSV at the time of this posting and hopefully we'll kill another heroic boss or two by the end of this week (we only raid Sunday/Monday).  My guild did the daily grind, the valor grind, and the conquest grind during the first few weeks (along with gearing up in heroic dungeons, of course).  We hated it, but we gritted our teeth and put up with it.  In other words, this is from the perspective of a person who's been there and done that, not someone sitting at 0/0 neutral Golden Lotus and whining about how things are unfair.

So let's imagine a scenario.  Blizzard has decided that they want to give people an additional gearing option so they create a new vendor in your faction's "capital" in the Vale.  This vendor has 509 rings (which are as a collection unique-equipped) which cost no money, all you have to do is talk to him and get the ring you want (or more than one ring for different roles).

You're estatic, surely this ring will help you down more raid bosses.  It's not an earth-shattering bonus, but it will help.  You show up on raid night and you see that everyone has one of the new rings...except one person.  Surprised, your raid asks the fellow why he doesn't have one of the new rings.  He says "We get gear from raiding and we'll eventually kill the bosses anyway, so getting the ring is optional."

How many of you would accept that answer?  How many would say "Oh, yeah, sure, you having the ring would help us kill bosses faster while we're all relatively undergeared but it is optional, you're totally right."  My guess is none of you.  In fact, you'd probably try to get rid of him and replace him with someone who actually cares about helping the raid succeed.

Now let's throw a wrench in the works.  Suppose the ring costs 100g now.

Most (if not all) of you probably still think he had damn well better have that ring if he wants to be in the raid.

What if it was 500g?  Or 1000g?  Or 5000g?  Or 1,0000g?  Or 50,000g?  Or 100,000g?  Or 500,000g? How about 1,000,000g?

My guess is that somewhere along that line you went from thinking "Yeah, that guy had better have the ring" to "You'd have to be crazy to have that ring."

I'll also guess that the point at which you thought it was worth getting the ring varied among you, that some of you thought it was worth maybe 100g at most, others thought that a 509 ring that didn't cost a capped currency (valor/conquest) or require a raid ID was worth 100,000g, and most of you probably fell in the middle somewhere.

"But Balkoth, what if we're bad at making gold, that's not fair to people who aren't AH barons!"

Okay, for argument's sake, let's change the scenario.

Now, instead of having to pay 100g, you have to kill 10 Mogu in the Vale for a drop (and each Mogu drops only one item, so grouping doesn't really help).

Most (if not all) of you probably still think he had damn well better have that ring if he wants to be in the raid (that's basically one daily quest, after all).

What if it was 50 Mogu?  Or 100 Mogu?  Or 500 Mogu?  Or 1,000 Mogu?  Or 5,000 Mogu?  Or 10,000 Mogu?  Or 50,000 Mogu? How about 100,000 Mogu?

My guess is that somewhere along that line you went from thinking "Yeah, that guy had better have the ring" to "You'd have to be crazy to have that ring."

And again, I'll also guess that people have different opinions on how many Mogu lives that ring is worth.

So what can we conclude from this?

Trying to claim that getting the ring is "optional" is meaningless.  In a sense, it's technically true.  In the same technical sense, using gems is optional.  Enchants are optional.  Using flasks is optional.  And wearing pants is optional (you could technically kill every raid boss without wearing pants eventually).

What we really mean, then, is that guilds have expectations that raiders will do what they can within reason to maximize the likelihood of success in raids.  And as we've seen above, exactly what "within reason" means depends on the guild.

For raiding guilds, this means getting getting items from heroic dungeons.  This means gemming and enchanting the gear.  This means using flasks, food, and potions.  I have never seen a guild that would consider any of this optional.

But there's something important to point out here.  Even this isn't clear-cut: most people, even those who cleared 8/8H Dragon Soul pre-nerf, didn't use epic gems in every slot for every item no matter what.  Most people used lesser enchants at the beginning of Cataclysm because Maelstroms were so expensive.  And if flasks suddenly cost 5000g each for some reason, I doubt we'd see many guilds using them.

Now, in Mists of Pandaria, raiders have additional ways to maximize the likelihood of success in raids.  They can do dailies for reputation for Valor items.  They can PvP for Conquest items that are effectively 483 PvE items for all but tanks.  They do do LFR for items and sigils.  They can get Golden Lotus/Klaxxi exalted for two "free" 489 items (that don't require an RNG drop or a gated currency, i.e. Valor/Conquest).

Guilds serious about progressing quickly in heroic modes consider this all within reason.  Thus, it becomes mandatory, just like gemming/enchanting gear is mandatory.  Just like using flasks/food/potions is mandatory.  Just like wearing pants in the raid is mandatory.

If someone showed up to your raid without pants and claimed wearing pants was "optional," would you accept their reasoning?

One of my next posts will discuss possible solutions to this problem.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Conflicts Due to Conflicting

The title seems rather weird, I imagine.  But hopefully it will make sense eventually.

The state of the WoW community (or lack thereof) is a frequent topic of discussion.  Stubborn of Sheep the Diamond recently made a post about trying to get people to find common ground in the concept of honoring the game itself.  The example given was a DPS who was just auto-attacking and simply not putting forth any effort in a dungeon (and how that makes the experience worse).

However, to properly talk about this subject, I think we need to distinguish between, for lack of better terms, regular jerks and situational jerks.  By that I mean there are some people who are always jerks, who leech, need on everything, troll, and generally abuse others as much as they can no matter the situation (regular jerks).  But others may generally be well behaved except when put in certain situations (situational jerks).  My goal here is not to excuse the situational jerks, but to understand why they may act the way they do in an effort to figure out a way to improve the situation.

Specifically, I'd like to talk about people who are regularly raiding heroic modes who do dungeons for valor (note: not all of these people are situational jerks, but some of them are).

But before we do that, let's analyze some main reasons for doing dungeons:

1. Seeing the dungeon (new stuff is cool the first few times)
2. Group content experience (people often like participating in groups)
3. Loot from the dungeon
4. Achievements
5. Valor

These reasons are not exclusive, in fact the more that apply to a person, the better they're likely to behave in a group.  Because they *want* to be in the dungeon.  It is probably fun or at least feels rewarding.  Let's break these traits down:

1, if you're new to the dungeon, you're excited about new stuff and figuring things out.  Whether you wipe or how long you take probably doesn't matter very much to you.  Because either way, you're doing a new or relatively new dungeon (how cool is that)?

2, if you're there because you like doing stuff in groups, you again probably don't care too much about what actually happens, you're there because you like group content.

3, if you're there for loot, wipes or delays don't affect what the bosses drop, so it's not a huge deal.  Especially since you only get one shot per day in most cases with specific queues (unless you get lucky with a random queue).

4, if you're there to try to do an achievement, you probably want to work with the group and get them to do whatever the achievement is.  Again, one shot per day with specific queues (this group is probably the rarest).

5, if you're there for valor, then anything that slows down the run lowers your valor per hour.

So let's go back to our serious raiders who only care about valor.

1, they've seen the dungeon probably at least a dozen times
2, they get their group content fix in a raid with people they know
3, they don't need the loot from the dungeon
4, they don't want to do achievements (they already have them or don't care about them)
5, they only care about valor/hour.

In short, this is exactly the type of person we DON'T want in the dungeon.  What they want (fast valor) directly conflicts with what several other people might want (exploring and seeing stuff, achievements) and they are probably indifferent to others (group content experience, loot).  In and of itself, we can already see that this is a problematic person to have in a group.

But it gets worse.

Especially with the new expansion, raiders had (just roll with the idea that they did indeed *have* to do these things, I'll have another post discussing that concept soon.  If it makes you feel better, assume I said "raiders felt like they had to" because the differentiation doesn't really matter in this case) to cap conquest each week for 483 items, spam heroics to get 463s, do likely 30+ dailies each day, and valor cap each week.  That's a lot to do in a short amount of time, and there are many raiders who are resentful due to this being a drastic change from Cataclysm where they just could raid each week and maybe do a few dungeons for valor cap.

It's worth noting that I am *not* talking about the people who whine about dailies yet are still honored with Golden Lotus and haven't killed a raid boss or something.  I'm discussing the people who invested the several hours per day on top of additional hours raiding and likely feel burnt out and frustrated.

And now this crowd is feeling like dungeons are their best source of valor (since they're probably done with dailies and raiding only gives 400 valor with all 16 bosses dead).  Worse, doing dungeons for valor seems like monotonous, tedious, terrible busy work.

So we have a group of people who are burned out and frustrated with "chores" thrown into a dungeon where they only care about getting done quickly with people who are most likely far less capable and who have different goals.  Where they constantly see others who are terrible or not trying (as in, doing 15k DPS on tank and spankish fights or dying to stuff like Rattlegore's Bone Spikes) and these things worsen the sole reason the raiders are in the dungeons: valor per hour.

That just sounds like a massive powder keg to me that Blizzard has set up here.

Is it any wonder that some of them will be annoyed when things aren't constantly pulled?

Is it any wonder that some of them will say "screw it, if these people aren't trying I'll just auto-attack?"

Is it any wonder that some of them will insult and be rude to others?

Should these things happen?  Of course not.

But do they happen?  It's human nature.  They're mad at the other players and they're mad at Blizzard for setting things up the way Blizzard did.  Especially when they feel like Blizzard is expecting them to carry others.

So, back to Stubborn's idea of "Man, you need to honor the game."  For this group of people that I'm talking about, I doubt you'll accomplish anything.  Either they're already grinning and bearing it and honoring the game or they're at the point where all they want to do is give the game the middle finger for making them do this stuff instead of only worrying about raiding.

Again, I'm not claiming every heroic raider in a dungeon acts this way (see above about many of them just grinning and bearing it) or excusing those who do.  Just offering some perspective on why it might be happening.

This, then, is the basis of the title.  Some of the conflicts in dungeons (and also LFR) are due to people being there for very different and often conflicting goals with very conflicting capability.  And with the valor upgrade system coming and every serious raider having to continue to cap each week, it seems this problem may only get worse.  You have this whole segment of the population who thinks "Great, let's get this over with" upon starting a heroic, and that's not conducive to a good social experience (note: that feeling applies to more than just heroic raiders, but I'm trying to keep my scope limited).

I think easily 90% of heroic raiders entering these heroic dungeons have, at best, that "let's get this over with" attitude. But when you start with this attitude (or worse), it's easy to cross to the point of not caring at all. Unfortunately, it's fairly common to find people doing 15k DPS on tank and spank fights when they should be doing double that at a minimum (even when starting heroics). And when you see that, it's very easy to adapt the mentality of "screw it, I'll just auto-attack and alt tab to watch Youtube or browse forums or whatever." They feel like "well, if others don't give a damn, why should I?"

And they'd prefer to spend 20 minutes in a dungeon with 10 of them alt-tabbed instead of 15 minutes in a dungeon actually trying. It's a lot less effort on their part and they would actually feel better about the 15k people, since they don't feel like they're carrying people who don't try.

Is it hypocritical? Yes.

Does it hurt the community and dishearten anyone in the group who is trying? Yes.

But people are happy to cut off their nose to spite their face. They're fine with a longer run if they don't feel like they're being taken advantage of (despite the fact it means they're taking advantage of others).

Perhaps the sad thing is that the easiest way to solve this particular problem is to make it so heroic raiders don't feel obliged to ever run dungeons for valor.  It won't fix jerks from other groups within the game, but it'll remove one source and probably make the entire group much happier.

Hit is Actually Your Worst Stat

At least when you're deciding which gear to use.  The gist of this article is that when you're looking at gear, most sources will claim that gear with Hit (or Expertise) on it is far better than it actually is.

Note: the following is written with casters in mind, though the same logic applies to expertise.

If you're casual about the game, you've probably seen something that looks similar to this:

Intellect > Hit > Haste >  Crit > Mastery

The primary stat and order of the secondary stats may differ, of course.  If you're a bit more worried about the numbers, you may have seen something like

Intellect: 1.00
Hit: 0.70
Haste: 0.50
Crit: 0.40
Mastery: 30

 or even

Intellect: 3.4
Hit: 2.38
Haste: 1.7
Crit: 1.36
Mastery: 1.02

All three of these formats are guides to what stats your spec desires to perform optimally.  This sort of thing appears on the WoW class forums, Elitist Jerks, sites like AskMrRobot/Icy Veins/Noxxic, and more.

And they're all lies.

Well, that's a bit of hyperbole.  It would be more accurate to say that if you use these stat values, you'll probably pick inferior gear and perform worse.  Let's do some math:

To understand why this is so, imagine you have a choice between two items that are identical besides the type of secondary stats (and we'll use the values from the second guide, the one where intellect equals 1):

Item 1 has 100 hit and 100 mastery

Item 2 has 100 haste and 100 crit

The question I pose to you is, which item should you prefer?


Okay, have your answer?

You probably picked item 1 (and if you didn't, kudos to you).  The easy math is to do the following:

100 * 0.7 (hit value) + 100 * 0.3 (mastery value) = 100 intellect for item 1

100 * 0.5 (haste value) + 100 * 0.4 (crit value) = 90 intellect for item 2

Item 1 is clearly the equivalent of 10 intellect better, right?  Well...not quite.  To understand the problem, let's look at a full gear set made up items with the stats of item 1 and item 2 respectively.

Set 1 has 35% hit and 35% mastery.

Set 2 has 35% haste and 35% crit.

Hopefully you already see an issue: we have way too much hit in set 1 that's completely useless.  So let's do some reforging for both sets.

Set 1 has 21% hit, 14% haste, and 35% mastery

Set 2 has 35% haste, 21% crit, and 14% hit

Let's do our math again for the overall value of these stats:

15 * 0.7 (hit value) + 14 * 0.5 (haste value) + 35 * 0.3 (mastery value) = 28 total value for set 1

35 * 0.5 (haste value) + 21 * 0.4 (crit value) * 14 * 0.7 (hit value) = 35.7 total value for set 2

Whoa.  Set 2 is 27.5% better than set 1 in terms of secondary stats.  But why is that?  We followed what Simcraft and all of these sites said.

The answer, in a nutshell, is that any hit over the cap has a value of 0.  That's obvious, you say.  What perhaps isn't as obvious is that as a result hit is only as valuable as the stats you have to reforge away to get the hit.  It's a matter of opportunity cost, a concept in economics.

Because there is a limit to how much hit you need, the value of hit is that of the stats you trade for the hit.  Another example to illustrate the idea.  You have three items and need to chose a trinket (which gives you four items total).

Items 1 and 2 have 15% haste and 15% mastery.  Item 3 has 7.5% haste and 7.5% mastery.

For item 4, should you take a trinket with 15% haste or 15% hit?  You aren't hit capped (in fact you don't have any hit), so 15% hit seems like the obvious choice.

Okay, let's run the math...

37.5 * 0.5 (haste value) + 37.5 * 0.3 (mastery value) + 15 * 0.7 (hit value) = 40.5 total

But what if we reforge away the mastery to hit on the items and take the haste trinket?

52.5% * 0.5 (haste value) + 22.5 * 0.3 (mastery value) + 15 * 0.7 (hit value) = 43.5 total

Huh.  Even with not wasting any hit in either case, the haste trinket option is nearly 10% better.  If you look at the math, you notice that if we take the hit trinket, we effectively lose 15% haste to keep 15% mastery.  Which is clearly a bad trade since haste is better than mastery in our example.

In short, the value of hit (normally 0.7) in that last example is actually 0.3, since we're giving up mastery for it.

Hopefully you're convinced by now that this logic is right (don't be the guy in the image).  But what does it actually mean in practical terms?

Well, at the beginning of an expansion, it's unlikely you'll have enough of your worst stat (out of haste/crit/mastery) to reforge away to hit.  And even if you could, you'd avoid items with that worst stat on them anyway when possible (if mastery is your worst stat, clearly a haste/crit item is superior to a haste/mastery item).  So in general, when trying to figure out the overall power of an item, use the *worst* of those secondary stats as the value of hit.

With the stat values we've been using, that means we'd value hit at 0.3 (the value of mastery).  Which, lo and behold, would lead us to choosing that haste trinket over the hit trinket.  In short, unless you severely lack hit, you want to be reforging to hit as much as possible and avoiding items with hit as possible.  In particular, trinkets with hit (such as the Flashfrozen Resin Globule) are actually terrible unless you cannot reach the hit cap without it.

But perhaps you're not comfortable trying to do all these numbers and adjustments yourself.  I have good news!  Some places with gear lists (such as AskMrRobot) let you enter in your own custom stat weights.  So instead of accepting the default

Intellect: 1.00
Hit: 0.70
Haste: 0.5
Crit: 0.4
Mastery: 0.3

swap it to

Intellect: 1.00
Hit: 0.40
Haste: 0.5
Crit: 0.4
Mastery: 0.3

The only difference is you adjust the value of hit.


If you do this and check item item upgrades (AskMrRobot actually works very well for this), you'll have a much more accurate upgrade list when trying to figure out which items are optimal to use.

Happy DPSing!

That Dreaded First Post

I think this is the part where I'm supposed to discuss why I got into blogging and what this blog is about.

Unfortunately, there are several topics which I'd prefer to write about first and which I feel are a more pressing concern, so if you're passionately curious you'll just have to wait until I have the time to come back and edit this.  But don't worry, I'll let you know when this gets updated (and please bear with me in the meantime as I figure this whole thing out).

In general, though, I've played a shadow priest in World of Warcraft for roughly the past six years (and have been playing since about a month after release overall), though I had a two year hiatus from WoW during that time period.  I raided 25 mans in BC up to about halfway through Sunwell and currently lead <Despotism> (, a two night a week 10 man heroic raiding guild.

Pretty much anything is fair game on this blog, though typical topics will be shadow priests, raiding, things happening in WoW, game design philosophy, and possibly random stuff about a few other games.

Any tips/suggestions are welcome as are any ideas for topics you'd like to see discussed.