Ξ January 28th, 2010 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Uncategorized, WoW, data nerd, star trek |

The Dork
Believe it or not, it has occurred to me that I’m pretty dorky. I know. Between the hours a week I spend writing for a Star Trek RPG (yes, it’s measured in hours), my habit of muttering “failed reflex save” whenever I trip into or out of the conference room (because simply tripping in front of the executives isn’t quite the right kind of embarrassing), and the fact that I have my WoW raid schedule in my work calendar so no one schedules a server maintenance window they expect me to attend over the dragon-slaying, it took me a long time to come to the same shocking conclusion… but here we are. Pretty dorky.

Or rather, there we were.

I have realized today that I may have stepped away from the realm of “pretty dorky” and, if not entirely doused myself in, at least tested the waters of “Good god, what is wrong with you?” levels of dorky. Perhaps I’m even ascending ever closer to the tantalizing heights of the transdork threshold1.

What could possibly be dorkier than spending one’s free time writing for a Star Trek RPG and playing WoW?

It might just be worse than you can even imagine2.

The Meta-Dork
Have you ever wondered about the population variations between PvP and PvE realms? What the most popular gems are by class and spec? If the character gender distribution skews toward female for more attractive models? I have. So has zardoz, of recent WoW Insider fame. He has managed to collect a great deal of raw data and, between a little SQL and a dash of xsl, has started giving us some neat insights into population characteristics.

But beyond simple data collection and reporting…

Have you ever wondered about causality? Suspected anecdotally that there has been some sort of change to the population, proven or disproven by actual comparison to a baseline that such a change has actually occurred, and then wanted to dig deeper to identify possible causal relationships? A content patch? A major class modification? A critical change to PvP mechanics? Changes to gear scaling or stat mechanics?

Have you ever wondered what makes a world-class guild precisely that? Beyond the simple explanations – They’re better players. They raid more often. It’s a hardcore guild. – are there other behavioral traits that contribute to their success, traits we can actually tease out from the data about their players? How do members of a world-class guild spend their time in game? What is the temporal relationship between a dungeon/raid launch, the accumulation and dissemination of gear, and the receipt of achievements? How quickly do members change specs, gems, or gear following a significant mechanics change? Do gear, gem, stat, and build preferences vary greatly between functionally-analogous individuals within a class or are the same trends occurring between all? If it’s the latter, does it occur all at once, suggesting a much more structured, top-down guild management structure, or is there a waterfall effect between members, a more bottoms-up kind of view, with the changes occurring at the individual level before spreading over time to the rest of the group? If it’s the latter, are there individuals who consistently drive the changes, power-players we can identify simply through these relationships?

Given a spectrum of characteristics, some relevant and some not… have you wondered where your guild lies compared to the world-class ones? Have you wondered where you lie on that spectrum, compared to same-spec toons in those world-class guilds or sitting pretty on top of the PvP rankings? Which of those characteristics are relevant? Which are suggestive? Which are evocative?

Oh yes. I wonder about these things all the time.

And more than that, I wonder how I can answer these questions using nothing more than raw, clinical data. This is the good stuff, the holy grail hand grenade.

I’ve been mining both the Armory and Wowhead for quite some time3. We’ll see where this goes.

1. Or maybe I just need a new kind of dilithium.
2. Please just take my word on this and don’t even try. The Borg are still working on it.
3. I’ve actually been mining my Star Trek RPG for years too and there’s some great stuff there. (And maybe some not so great stuff. Do I really want to know why the writers on one ship in the fleet write proportionally more posts – we’re talking a statistically significant number of posts here – with their characters on the holodeck versus any other location? I’m not so sure I do…) But really, we’ll have to save that discussion for another day. There’s only so much dorkiness a single post can hold.

Original post by blah


Good News / Bad News: WoW 3.3.2 and PUGs

Ξ January 26th, 2010 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Uncategorized, WoW |


The Good News:

Shield Slam: Damage modifier from block value decreased, and scales worse at low block value levels. Players in high-end gear shouldn’t notice the change. In addition, threat generated by Shield Slam has been increased by 30%.

The Bad News:

The only PUG warriors out there are the ones who are tired of waiting in the dungeon finder queue and spend the first ten seconds of the instance respeccing to Prot and changing into their 2.5k GS tank set.

The Good News:

FoS: Trash mob Spell Reflect abilities have been changed. It now has a casting time, and will proc only twice at a rate of 75% instead of 100%.

The Bad News:

Now we have to wait for the PUG mage to fail at assisting, somehow pull aggro despite his terrible dps, and die after running out of healing range instead of just Arcane Missile-ing himself in the face.

The Good News:

Dead players are now able to re-enter the instance when the Ick/Krick and Forgemaster Garfrost encounters are active.

The Bad News:

They don’t get automatically booted from the group and replaced with a toon not being played by a monkey. They celebrate this small victory by pulling all the packs you diligently and efficiently avoided the first time through.

The Good News:

YES! They have finally heard our prayers and are removing all the repetitive fight mechanics that make all the vastly overgeared players who are running the instance only for frost badges heave much-put-upon sighs and afk.

HoS: Brann Bronzebeard has been working out, so he’ll run faster during the escort event.
Nexus: Anomalus will create rifts only once.
OK: Elder Nadox’s Ahn’kahar Guardian will only spawn once.
OK: Jedoga Shadowseeker will initiate her volunteer phase only once.
UP: Players can bring down Skadi’s drake using only three harpoons, down from five.
UP: Svala Sorrowgrave only casts Ritual of the Sword once, down from thrice.
VH: Portals will open faster after Portal Guardians are killed.

The Bad News:

PUGs will still

  • Diligently stand in Searing Gaze. They will avoid Searing Gaze only when there is Dark Matter to go stand under. Once afflicted with this debuff, they will then resume standing in Searing Gaze.
  • DPS Anomalus even though he’s invulnerable. After not noticing that they are doing no damage at all during this phase and allowing the tank and healer to carry their dps, they will celebrate the boss kill by jumping off the first platform and falling off the ledge.
  • DPS Elder Nadox even though he’s invulnerable. After not noticing that they are doing no damage at all during this phase and allowing the tank and healer to carry their dps, they will celebrate the boss kill by running out of the healer’s dispel range with Brood Plague on and pulling the geist pack.
  • Diligently stand in the lightning AoE and Cyclone Strike. They will avoid these only when there is an add for them to fail to dps.
  • Diligently stand in Grauf’s frostfire breath. They will avoid this only when they are busy asking what the harpoons on the ground are for.
  • Diligently stand directly underneath the Ritual of the Sword while looting Svala’s corpse.
  • Mention between 5 and 20 times that they only need one more boss for Lockdown! as they skin the mobs from two earlier portal spawns.

Original post by blah


The World of World of Warcraft

Ξ June 11th, 2008 | → 0 Comments | ∇ WoW |

I love the onion.

Original post by melktart


WoW: 2.4 Sunwell Dailies

Ξ March 27th, 2008 | → 0 Comments | ∇ WoW |

I thought I’d put this here. It is a guide to the new dailies with the 2.4 patch, including when new vendors, etc. will pop up for you:

From the very beginning, there are five Outlands dailies that can be done for the Offensive. Those dailies should always be available. I don’t know if they assist in reclaiming the various areas in Sun’s Reach.
* - Gaining the Advantage
* - Sunfury Attack Plans
* - The Multi-Whatever Something-or-Other Survey
* - Blood for Blood
* - Blast the Gateway

For the actual reclamation project and the dailies associated with each phase. Note that some of the dailies can still be completed after they finish, replacements are marked with a —

Phase 1 - Recovering Sun’s Reach Sanctum
* - Erratic Behavior
* - The Sanctum Wards

Phase 2 - Recovering Sun’s Reach Armory
* - Further Conversions (Replacing Erratic Behavior)
* - Arm the Wards (Replacing The Sanctum Wards)
* - Distraction at the Dead Scar
* - The Battle of the Sun’s Reach Armory

Phase 2a - Building the portal to the Sunwell from Shattrath
* - Intercepting the Mana Cells
— - Maintaining the Sunwell Portal
— - Know Your Ley Lines - This is logically where the quest would go, but it is unknown at the moment.

Phase 3 - Recovering the Sun’s Reach Harbor (All of this is speculation)
* - The Air Strikes Must Continue (Replacing Distraction at the Dead Scar)
* - The Battle Must Go On (Replacing The Battle of the Sun’s Reach Armory)
* - Intercepting the Reinforcements
* - Taking the Harbor
* - Making Ready - Creates the blacksmith and armor/weapons vendor.
— - Don’t Stop Now

Phase 4 - Finishing the City
* - Keeping the Enemy at Bay (Replaces Intercepting the Reinforcements)
* - Crush the Dawnblade (Replaces Taking the Harbor)
* - Discovering Your Roots - Creates a reagent/special items vendor
— - Rediscovering your Roots
* - Open for Business - Is unlocked when Discovering Your Roots is completed
* - Disrupt the Greengill Coast
* - A Charitable Donation - Helps build a monument
— - Your Continued Support - A Magnanimous Benefactor can only be done during the “A Charitable Donation” portion. For a 1000 gold, and probably an Exalted reputation requirement, the “of the Shattered Sun” title can be obtained.

I am a daily quest junkie, so anything else that comes my way, wow, I’m there.

Original post by moch


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