Archive for December, 2008

Tigercon ’08!

Whilst I lay nestled securely in my bed, slumbering away with meager blankets clutched jealously about, casa de la Tiger was raided. They came in the night, rolling and sliding into my driveway with the utmost stealth, to be met with the open arms of my warrior husband.

Who was invaiding? It wasn’t burglars, it wasn’t the police, or neighbors, or family, or even the Alliance! No, we were raided by a Warlock and a Shaman!

And on this day I declare the start of Tigercon ’08! Two of Atrides’s guildies who have, over the course of a year or two, turned into very close friends of ours, took it upon themselves to come and visit us for the holidays!

I might have pictures, I’m not too sure. It all depends on if we can find my camera or if I can manage to get everyone to pose in front of my webcam. Needless to say, I’m really touched, appreciative, and excited.

I do have a post in the works complete with visual aids. Hopefully I’ll have that ready this week. 🙂

In the mean-time, Happy New Year to everyone! Don’t get too drunk, and stay off the roads!

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/flop

Everyone’s been holiday-busy right? Right.

yeah…

Achievements are a funny thing. I know many people who’ve been busily scurrying around doing their best to get the Merrymaker title. I had every intention to be one of them, really, I did! I even had ninja tactics all planned out on how to leech HKs off everyone else because of the shape-shifting headache.

What I did instead was, pretty much, completely disconnect myself. I don’t think I’ve logged into WoW in DAYS. I logged on a bit on Christmas Day to open my presents, and all the presents on all my alts. I was lucky enough to get three little helpers (in both red and green), and a snowman. The jingling bell eluded me, however, until I realized that just over yonder was the Auction House.

Needless to say, a hundred or so gold later I had my happy little reindeer and a very impressive stash of Preserved Holly!

Oh, by the way, all of my alts have been rendered largely unplayable due to their, some might say excessive, burden of snowballs.

Any of you remember:

/Cancelform
/Use Snowball
/Cast Swift Flight Form

?

Still works, still LOTS of fun. It’s even more fun now that I’ve got epic wings!

Oh, by the way, last week <Unemployed> went to try and take down Malygos. He mopped the floor with our face, but I forgive him.

After all, who can say no to such cute chin-fuzz?

Behold… Tha POWAH!

Of tha Sowah…

Kraut that is!

Sizzling merrily in a pan along with a ponderous length of kilbasa, imparting deliciously wonderous flavors to an already-seasoned sausage, was my dinner.

Raid time was imminent. Invites were being handed out at 6:30 in preparation for a first pull at 7pm sharp, I was in danger of being late. Between the cold, uncaring gaze of mother nature and a looming holiday party I was, indeed, in very mortal danger of being late. I arrived home amid blowing winds and drifting snow to find Mr Tigerfeet busy at the stove, counters cleaned and dinner ready to be prepared.

I eyed the green can, full of dubiously fermented cabbage with a somewhat jaundiced eye. The smell that wafted forth from within wasn’t necessarily noxious, but it didn’t leave me expecting the delicious treat that was to follow.

I hustled, upstairs and down, flew through my negligible tidying chores to get ready for the excitement of tonight. It was Tuesday, the first raid night of the 3-day raiding week. I would be tanking under Mel, the main raid leader. If there was any time to show my mettle, adaptability, and skill, this was it.

Up and down, up and down. Up to craft a belt, down to stir the frying pan. Up to accept a raid invite, and down to dish up dinner. A slow, expectant smile graced the lips of my beloved as he held towards me a fork laden with the gently steaming limp, yet crunchy vegetable. I was hesitant, but took a bite, and soon found myself enthralled.

I grabbed a plate, sliced off a generous portion of the kilbasa and watched as Atrides spooned on what, at the time, seemed like an obscene amount of sauerkraut. The hour was getting late, however, and naxxramas was waiting so up again I dashed with fork and knife and plate of kraut in hand.

I sliced the sausage, and nibbled the kraut as we worked our way through throngs of spiders. Finally, as we paused for a breif explanation on the mechanics of Anub’Rekhan, something wonderful happened.

I heaped my fork with kraut then took a slice of kilbasa. With meat perched ponderously on a mounded pile of cabbage I tasted, and found myself rocked with flavor. The sweet spiciness of the sausage was the perfect counterpoint to the tart and tangy kraut. I was hooked, addicted, I couldn’t get enough!

Before I knew it Anub’Rekhan was pulled. I used him as a rage battery, auto attacking as I loaded another fork with this magical mixture, hitherto undiscovered by me. He summoned an add, my fingers were sticky! A quick wipe on the napkin as the eight-legged horror shambled towards me and the game was on.

Lacerate, lacerate, mangle, maul, lacerate, demoralizing roar, barkskin, lacerate, mangle, maul maul maul!

The add was dead and the main tank was kiting the massive arachnid across the room. Another stolen moment and my fork was again full of culinary extacy.

And so my Tuesday night of raiding went, filled with intense concentration while my attention was secretly divided between being the meat shield for my friends, and sampling what has become my new favorite food.

Just Five More Minutes Mom!

Mmmmmm, is it Monday morning allready? Darn. I was quite the busy little beaver this weekend and I’ve got the Monday Morning Fog to prove it. I also got to enjoy being a fly on the wall and a bad guildie. Oh joy!

Ok, I was a bad guildie, and it’s eating me up! Problem is I don’t remember what happened. Apparently there was some exchange of goods for gold, involving Nerubian Chitin. I guess I had some, and charged a guildie for it! Nooooooo! I couldn’t have, could I? Did I? Did I really charge a guildie for goods or services? I cannot remember! When I play I like to have one cardinal rule ‘Do not charge guildies!’ I enjoy doing trades, like the open trade I’ve been conducting with Brajana for Nerubian Chitin to Icy Dragonscales on a 1:1 basis. Or, the crafting and supply of all necessary Nerubian Chitin with Barlo in return for the cut and supply of a fabulous meta gem. That kind of stuff I find personally acceptable. I dislike it when a guildie gives me a tip, and all tips I offer are returned. So, I’m sorry Koukou, I must plead a momentary lapse of sanity. There will be Chitin in the mail for you in return for those wonderful Eternal Waters you gave me yesterday.

Fly on the wall now, that was interesting, and informative! I ran in a group that included some of the guild leadership and afterwards, when we all went our separate ways, most of us hung around in vent and chatted. Topics that were discussed covered things like our Raiding Policy, Loot Distribution, etc. I finally got to air my small greivance about one particular piece of loot. The incident was unimportant, as said piece of loot became redundant for me within a couple of days (but still remains VERY IMPORTANT to the person who did get the piece), making it a fortunate coincidence that I hadn’t been considered for it. At the time I was unhappy, but it’s turned out to be a good thing. The mixed signals I’ve been giving my leadership didn’t do much to help either, and I’ve since cleared everything up so that we can all go on to lead healthy happy raiding lives!

Busy busy busy! As already reported over on Mend Pet, I was the lucky recipient of an Enraged Feral Staff! We ran Violet Hold first and then wrapped up with a much more leisurely jaunt into Utgarde Keep.

What she didn’t know, and therefore wasn’t able to comment on, was my run the next day that resulted in my acquisition of the very shiney and pretty-looking Staff of Trickery. I like the sparkely eyes and the cute little puppy face very very much. That second Violet Hold run though, was a bit painful.

We only had to run it twice though. If you’re not familiar with the mechanics, it’s sometimes calld Black MOREass. It’s BM with a twist. If you wipe during it you have to start all over, and the NPCs lock the doors behind you when you begin so it’s impossible for a party member to die and run back in, they have to be rezzed.

Now, we’d had a couple of deaths so far. I was running with a 3/2 guild group. Three Unemployed and two from somewhere else. One of our members was a Ret Paladin who I think needs to do some learning. Long story short, he died, a lot. When I think over what was happening I’ve come to the conclusion that he wasn’t able to focus on my target. I did my best to keep a skull up for ‘follow the skull’, but I don’t think he was really paying attention. Two portals before the final boss he dropped (again) and threw in the towel. Next thing I know he’s released and dropped from the group.

We gave it a valiant effort, we really did. I think if our healer had been a bit better geared we’d have managed to 4-man it as well. What ended up happening was, of course, a wipe. Hunter and I had been in vent chatting with Boostah (a hunter and raid leader) who was busy working on his warrior. He offered to come over and help us out.

Thankfully the secod time was the charm because we blew through the rest of the instance with no problems. We fought Mr. Tentacle-Face and Mr. Give-That-Man-A-Napkin-He’s-Dripping-On-The-Floor. The beholder Moragg was funny. I hadn’t fought him before, neither had anyone else in the group or Boost (who like I said, was listening in vent) so we treated it like a tank and spank. He started throwing out lazer eye beams. My reaction went something like this:

Omg there’s lazers! OMG LAZERS! Wait… nobody’s dying? Roch how’s your healing? No one’s dying? BUT THE LAZERS! Oh… wait, he’s dead now, ok, GJ guys!

Ichoron wasn’t a big problem either. The DPS made sure to kill the little watery guys and I found it’s ridiculously easy to kite him away to give everybody some more time.

Ok, enough of that, here’s the best part! That paladin bailed on us right? He was there for two bosses and didn’t get any loot. Once we downed dragon lady the loot fell like rain.

Like RAIN I say! Frozen Orb, of course, a Green Shield, Blue Shoulders (I think), and, most happily for me, my non-naxx puppy staff! It really does look nice. I’m sure everyone has noticed how homogenious the leveling gear is. You’ll get an upgrade and it will look like the same one you were wearing before. Granted, all the gear looks GREAT, but it can get a bit monotonous. So, you can understand my glee at having a staff that looks exciting. I’ll still be using the UK staff for tanking, at least until feral armor gets re-worked and the 700 armor on it becomes less godly.

Oh, here’s an update on my kitty dps as well. With the new staff of trickery I’m now able to pull 1k – 1.2k dps in bear spec. It’s on the low end of things but quite respectable for a bear I think.

Make sure to check out Mend Pet either today or tomorrow. She’s told me she’s writing a Winter Veil guide for achievements! Go go BrajanaBread!

I Haz a Pet!

So… Doodlebug has totally just made the mistake of allowing me to live my kitty dreams vicariously through him. We’re colluding to try and find a sweet spot with stats to optimize his ripping of faces.

He has yet to tell me to step off so we’ll see what happens if I get too meddlesome. Either way, the opportunity to dig through WWS parses and analyze armory data has been AWESOME for me. The number fears are starting to subside.

One thing I am sure about, however, Kitties can no longer Mangle-Shred-Rip their way to victory. Attack sequences now are a lot more complicated and situational. More on that later after some testing!

Stage Fright

I’m sure I’m not the only one to be afflicted with such. That double-entendre feeling of wanting to be noticed, attended to, looked up to, yet you feel your heart gripped by fear of rejection, of being reviled, of feeling the baleful eye of public scrutiny focus upon you and the chance you will be found unsuitable.

I’ve decided the Secret Agent Cat should be about all things cat-related. Knowing me, of course, as soon as something is spoken its broken and this time next week I’ll be discussing dot-rotations on warlocks. But this is my goal, to collect from all the internethers the best information regarding cat druids and the DPS thereof, digest it, then regurgitate it out for any and all in, hopefully, a more pleasing and sensible manner.

The whole is just a sum of its parts yes? Yes.

And with that said, now for something completely different!

———————————————————————-

Under the hard edge of a dirt-crusted hoof cracked the thin top layer of ice, floating atop the snow. The sky arced above, palest of washed-out blues as the snow-clad fields outside of K3 slumbered. The hills and dunes, drifts and sweeping escarpments were wrapped in murky blue shadow.

The air smelled sharp as Coal scented the breeze which creeped in, crackling inside her nose with its chill. It was the morning. As the aged druid canted her head upward she could see the line of dawn creeping down from the mountains.

How different the morning broke upon the hills of Northrend compared to those much gentler rolling plains of Mulgore. Strangely enough, she found the cold and the isolation comforting. Here the sun was a nurturing mother, greeting her children of the world with the utmost gentleness. She crept upon them, bathing them in the palest rose glow, disturbing them not, yet waking the world anew.

The Tauren loved the morning. It was a celebration of a new day and a reaffirmation of life. As the rosy line of morning crept down from the heights, Coal shook herself from her maudlin reverie, how like the Taunka she had become,  and brushed off a dusting of snow. She raised her head to the sky and shifted.

Stretching her wings she flew up, up and up. Up until the shadow of the peaks no longer wrapped her in the predawn chill, up across that magical line of morning where she could see the sun cresting the horizon, where she felt the slighest hint of warmth on her primaries.

———————————————————————-

I’m out and on the road every morning before sunrise. I don’t like it, but I’m not blind and sunrises, especially over a landscape locked under a layer of snow and ice, are absolutely beautiful.

Enjoy!

House of the Rising Cat

DISCLAIMER! The rankings on this list are likely incorrect (as are my comments about them). Please refer to the discussion in the comments attached to this post for more information before you choose your kitty gems! Thank you, and thank you to everyone who pointed out my wrong assumption on Agility vs Strength.

I’d like to fill a request I recieved in my comments for some info on gemming as a kitty! Same deal here as for the Bear gems, I’m not going to cover the epics, but mostly just because the epics aren’t all sorted out and in Wowhead yet.

PS, I just realised the possibility that color theory, which I’ve had drilled into my brain for years now, might not be second-nature to everyone else. Here’s a quick refresher and guide to the multi-color gems:

Primary Colors = Red, Yellow, Blue

Secondary Colors = Purple, Green, Orange

Red + Blue = Purple
Blue + Yellow = Green
Red + Yellow = Orange

Red:

Delicate Scarlet Ruby
+16 Agility

Bright Scarlet Ruby
+32 Attack Power

Fractured Scarlet Ruby
+16 Armor Penetration Rating

Precise Scarlet Ruby
+16 Expertise Rating

Bold Scarlet Ruby
+16 Strength

The first two are very close. Choose one or the other depending on wheather you need more Agility or Attack Power. I prefer to favor agi over AP just because we get so much AP naturally from other items, we don’t usually need to gem for it. The Fractured and Precise Rubies might be more beneficial in PvP, but I wouldn’t count on it beating out agility. Strength? If you REALLY want to, but it’s not necessary.

Blue:

Solid Sky Sapphire
+24 Stamina

Pickings are pretty slim all around for pure-blue gems. The only other options are completely useless to melee. I’d reccomend taking a look at the green or purple sections before settling on a pure stam gem. If you’re main focus is PvP then stam is great, or if you’re dangerously squishy. If you’re specced into 3/3 Predatory instincts you shouldn’t need to worry.

Yellow:

Smooth Autumn’s Glow
+16 Critical Strike Rating

Rigid Autumn’s Glow
+16 Hit Rating

Quick Autumn’s Glow
+16 Haste Rating

If you’re hit-capped (295.2) go for the +Crit in a heartbeat, if you’re not then take the +hit. I don’t care how high your crit rate is, if you can’t hit anything it’s not going to do you a lick of good. Haste rating, does that do anything for us? I still don’t know, maybe it can help you rez that rogue who thought he was so much better than a kitty.

On second thought, leave him lie 😉

Purple:

Shifting Twilight Opal
+8 Agility
+12 Stamina

Balanced Twilight Opal
+16 Attack Power
+12 Stamina

Puissant Twilight Opal
+8 Armor Penetration
+12 Stamina

Because Agility is just so important to us. Seriously, you CAN NOT HAVE TOO MUCH AGILITY! (except of course if you can’t hit anything) Purple is the +stam bracket. Everything has +stam. I left out the +strength gems just because strength really is so negligible. Agility will give you crit and AP, AP will just give you AP, the choice is yours. (take the agility)

Green:

Jagged Forest Emerald
+8 Critical Strike Rating
+12 Stamina

Vivid Forest Emerald
+8 Hit Rating
+12 Stamina

Ugh! There’s so many green gems and so few are useful to kitties! These two aren’t in any particular order. If you’re not hitcapped take the Vivid Emerald, if you are, take the Jagged.

Orange:

Deadly Monarch Topaz
+8 Agility
+8 Critical Strike Rating

Glinting Monarch Topaz
+8 Agility
+8 Hit Rating

Pristine Monarch Topaz
+16 Attack Power
+8 Hit Rating

Wicked Monarch Topaz
+16 Attack Power
+8 Critical Strike Rating

Lucent Monarch Topaz
+8 Agility
+9 Resilience Rating

Empowered Monarch Topaz
+16 Attack Power
+8 Resilience Rating

Oh, THERE’S the kitty gems. My list was twice as long before I removed the ones with strength. They would go in the list just above the ones with resilience. I’m sure you’re familiar now with the same old song and dance, grab the +hit gems over the +crit gems if you aren’t hit capped. If you ARE hit capped well, then go nuts! The Lucent and Empowered gems are a nod to the hardcore pvpers.

Prismatic:

Delicate Dragon’s Eye
+27 Agility

Rigid Dragon’s Eye
+27 Hit Rating

Smooth Dragon’s Eye
+27 Critical Strike Rating

Bright Dragon’s Eye
+54 Attack Power

Enchanted Tear
+6 to All Stats

Ok, I know I said I wouldn’t cover epic gems, but these are special. You cannot use a Dragon’s Eye unless you are yourself a Jewelcrafter. I didn’t include them in the bear list because I didn’t want to tease myself and was feeling particurlarly surly at the time. The Enchanted Tear is nice, but ferals have so few stats to stack that there really are better options.

Meta:

Relentless Earthsiege Diamond
+21 Agility
+3% Increased Critical Damage

Requires at least 1 Red Gem
Requires at least 1 Yellow Gem
Requires at least 1 Blue Gem

Chaotic Skyflare Diamond
+21 Critical Strike Rating
+3% Increased Critical Damage

Requires at least 2 Blue Gems

Invigorating Earthsiege Diamond
+42 Attack Power
Sometimes Heal on your Crits

Requires at least 2 Blue Gems
Requires at least 1 Red Gem

Thundering Skyflare Diamond
Chance to Increase Melee/Ranged Attack Speed
Requires at least 1 Red Gem
Requires at least 1 Yellow Gem
Requires at least 1 Blue Gem

Swift Skyflare Diamond
+42 Attack Power
Minor Run Speed Increase

Requires at least 2 Yellow Gems
Requires at least 1 Red Gem

Persistent Earthsiege Diamond
+42 Attack Power
+10% Reduction in Stun Duration

Requires at least 2 Yellow Gems
Requires at least 1 Blue Gem

Impassive Skyflare Diamond
+21 Critical Strike Rating
+10% Reduction in Fear Duration

Requires at least 2 Red Gems
Requires at least 1 Blue Gem

Are you salivating yet? Do you need a napkin? Here, take your time, I can wait 🙂

I can’t stress enough how amazingly awesome the Meta gem choices are this time around! Just wonderful.

Ok, the Chaotic Skyflare is a close second to the Relentless Earthsiege. If you can’t get the top one, get the second. If you’re still having trouble staying alive in AoE effects pick up and Invigorating Earthsiege, but I’d use that one more for PvP. The Thundering Skyflare is awesome, it would be even more awesome if it was a permanent buff instead of an on-proc effect. Either way, it will definitely contribute to your DPS.

The Swift Skyflare, Persistent Earthsiege, and Impassive Skyflare are most useful for PvP. Everyone hates a stunlock, nobody wants to burn Berserk just to break a fear, and getting into range is still obnoxious. Pick your flavor for those, I would probably go for the Crit Strike and Fear Reduction personally if I were PvPing.

——

And that’s all folks for the kitty gems! Quite a lot to choose from and a good deal of customizeability. I can see two different kitties, equally effective but gemmed in completely different ways. That, my friends, is just pure awesome!