• An Album of the Best Cosplay at Blizzcon 2019

    It was another fantastic year of amazing cosplay at Blizzcon. I made sure to not miss the action so I could get an up close and personal look. There were so many good costumes but I had to pare it down so these are my favorites. I hope you enjoy!


    alt text

    alt text

    alt text

    alt text

    alt text

    alt text

    alt text

    alt text

    alt text

    alt text

    alt text

    alt text

    alt text

    alt text

    alt text

    alt text

    alt text

    alt text

    alt text

    alt text

    alt text

    alt text

    alt text

    alt text

    alt text

    alt text

    alt text

    alt text

    alt text

    alt text

    posted in Off-Topic
  • Topic Tuesday - How much HIT do tanks actually need?

    Hey guys, this is the start of a weekly section where I'll be exploring random aspects of the game or thoughts I have in general. Each week will be its own topic to dive into. This will be almost entirely my musings on whatever the subject is so you can take it as you will. It won't be based as much on hard data but more how I see it or think about it in game. Look forward to it every Tuesday or until I run out of stuff to talk about (which should be a while).

    To start this off I wanted to go over something people ask me all the time so instead of having to answer the question fifty times I can now just link this post. The question if you couldn't guess by the title is "how much hit should I shoot for when gearing up my druid/warrior/whatever tank?" And of course the answer is "it depends!" So why can't I give a straight answer? Let's dive right in.

    So what does the stat Hit give tanks? Well obviously it "increases" their hit chance but actually it is reducing their miss chance. Regardless the answer is the same - you will hit the boss more frequently. This is great. Like other key stats you wish you could have it maxed out. For a regular tank with 300 skill you want 9% to max out. If you have 305 skill you only need 6%. The problem with gearing your tank for hit is generally this comes with a drawback of moderately to severely reducing your survival stats because of the weird gear you are choosing. This drawback is exactly why Ony neck, Accuria, and DFT are such sought after pieces for tanks - maximum hit for minimum loss to survival.

    Gearing as a tank is a balance between focusing on hit or focusing on survival. You can't have both until late phases. So until then you have to choose: go for hit or go for survival. So why do you want hit in the first place? Well you don't want to miss the mob as much obviously. But apart from your DPS meters which mean virtually nothing as a tank why do you care? The obvious answer is threat. Okay but let's be real here - most guilds don't need a tank that is outputting maximum threat. So what if you are one or two percent lower TPS than perfection? Is that really going to make or break the raid? If yes then you are in an extremely hardcore guild or at least dreaming that you are. In general the answer to this is that a little bit more TPS from hit isn't really that big of a deal. No, what hit actually gives is consistency.

    So what do I mean by consistency? RNG can be a real pain sometimes. Now that we know that bosses have a massive 14% parry chance, stack that onto a full amount of miss and you're at almost 1/4 of all hits not happening at all. The chance for two of those to happen in a row is very high, and three in a row will still happen frequently. Three "misses" of an attack is an eternity in a raid, especially if the mob is immune to taunt. Increasing hit decreases the chance of this happening, and that is the real benefit. This is by far the most important for that initial pull where threat is being established and the tanks are getting situated. It's the time where the raid is the most vulnerable as DPS jump in and tanks are expected to have this threat built up to not lose the mob. Having hit reduces the chance that problems occur in that window. Yes it helps overall TPS but what it helps the most is making the initial pull more consistent.

    Okay you're sold on maximizing your hit. Glad to hear it. But remember that the more hit you stack, the less survival gear you are now using. So what's the right amount of hit to have? It still depends. You want to stack as much hit as you can that your guild can handle. How much does it matter to have tanks have rock solid threat within seconds of an encounter? How good are the healers? Basically how hardcore is your guild? The more hardcore of a mentality the guild has, the more hit will be important and the less you will need to focus on survival. The more casual the guild, the more general survival will be welcomed.

    You need to communicate with the GM, the RL and the tank and healing core to see what the best situation is. Main tanks will need to value hit more than offtanks who are there just to grab random mobs here and there. Regardless you will want to try to get what hit you can but just make sure you aren't stretching yourself thin beyond what your guild can handle. It isn't their fault if you die over and over because you focused too much on hit and not enough on survival if that's the type of guild it is. And if you are stuff as full survival with minimal hit, they just need to know that sometimes you might be telling the DPS to back off for a bit until you actually have the mob under control.

    Once we are all into later phases and the gear is generally better then everyone will have access to more hit gear options and will have enough survivability and by that point everyone should be focusing on getting to hit cap. Thankfully for warriors, Tier 3 gear has excellent tanking stats that really helps with this but druids also have gear options that get very close to cap with no loss in survival stats. Guilds should continue to prio Ony head, Accuria, and DFT to tanks if they care about this issue as those three items are uniquely able to help boost tanks early and with less gear survivability compromise than any other early game pieces available.

    posted in Shows
  • Blizzcon Unscripted - Day 2 and still awesome

    Thankfully I'm used to running on low amounts of sleep. After going to bed late and waking up early we were all tired but the excitement of the moment gets you up fast enough. There weren't any major things we were looking to hit early in the morning so our first required event on the agenda was the Q&A at 2:30. We headed to the convention center around opening time and got some pictures and talked to some Classic fans. We were able to run into Quissy and she and Pastaface gave us an interview.

    After that we wanted to take some time to explore so we checked out the Darkmoon Faire which has a really fun atmosphere. It is neat to try to bring something in game to life in a way that works with the event and I think they did that pretty well. There are activities and special shops and other specialty things that gives you access to unique items if you are looking for it. I just had to get a moonkin from there since it was a Faire exclusive. And if you get something from the Faire store you even get a special ticket patch which was a fun addition.

    We then worked our way to the Shadowlands Q&A and were able to ask a few questions of the devs. While the basics have been figured out, some of the more challenging questions didn't yet have definitive answers for implementation such as how professions will meld with the 10-50 experience since all expansions use different materials and have different levels.

    We finally had some time after this so we took it and looked for some classic fans. They were easy to spot if they were wearing their Classic WoW shirts so we snagged everyone we could and they all agreed to talk. Expect to see these interviews posted on the site soon! We finished our interviews off over in the beer garden with High Inquisitor Whitemane herself.

    whitemane.jpg

    By this point it was time to go to the closing ceremony, which I guess happened but not on stage so we missed it. Instead we saw the entertainment selection announced. We weren't interested in that so we took the time to finally look at parts of the show that we didn't even get to see like the Overwatch area as well as the arena. Ayle watched the finals between China and USA which he said was incredible and Melderon and I headed over to the Marriott again to hang out with the other Classic fans. Since we spread the word over a few days, at this point we took up three tables and managed to coax a couple of Blizzard devs to hang out too. It was a great end to the show, although I could have had another two days of it easily.

    There is so much we didn't see. I missed half the panels that I planned to go to and a lot of activities on the floor. There were Lego Overwatch things that I didn't even know about until the very end. Looking at pictures online I guess the fans put the mural together as a group. It would have been great to see that get put together throughout the weekend but at least I saw the final product.

    overwatch lego.jpg

    The D. Va statue made out of Lego bricks was phenomenal as well. I have a soft spot for Lego models so it's fun to see that kind of thing here.

    overwatch dva.jpg

    So the big question is: is it worth it to come? What about instead of a virtual ticket? Definitely! My biggest worry with Blizzcon was always that it is about such a short number of games that are featured compared to something else that might interest me. But it honestly didn't matter. The atmosphere and the people with who you meet and what you talk about is so fun. I had so much to do that I was overwhelmed and multiple Blizzcons would easily keep my interest. I am very much looking forward to going next year and hopefully I can experience some parts of it a little smoother so I can really pack it in. But regardless, it was a very fun first Blizzcon, first con in general, and definitely a fun event.

    There are more things that we will be posting such as the interviews mentioned above as well as the cosplay I took pictures of. Stay tuned for more.

    posted in Shows
  • Blizzcon Unscripted - The first day at full tilt

    We were going the entire day last night until 2 am. At this point you've seen the news: Diablo 4, Overwatch 2, WoW's new expansion Shadowlands and more. We were able to be at the Mythic stage to see all the action which was a great experience. The crowd is just huge and to imagine that it's just one of the stages available.

    For me it was really nice to see J. Allen Brack address the current controversy head on with his opening statement. It was needed and helped bring the tone back to a positive one with everything that happened. There had been a lot of wondering what was going to be Blizzard's reaction here so we got a quick and definitive answer. It seemed too that people weren't being turned away with their clothing choices as there were multiple statement outfits and shirts being worn by people that I saw.

    Everyone went nuts for the Diablo cinematic - twice actually. Of course people were excited but there was a technical kerfuffle where we lost the video feed at the con for 30 seconds. Whoops! But thankfully we can rewatch it later again and again and again.

    The Warcraft expansion was expected with an interesting twist for the next zones. We'll see how it pans out. With a level squish back to 60 and some kind of talent system as well as a simplified avenue for getting to max level it seems like maybe they are taking some lessons from Classic that could really help engagement. Time will tell.

    Lastly the Overwatch 2 announcement told us that we will get new heroes, levels, as well as a co-op and pve content. This actually got me pretty interested because I have no interest in multiplayer shooters but single player or co-op ones are pretty fun. Overwatch always interested me because it seemed like a unique take on the genre but the multiplayer only always stopped me from paying attention.

    So three big announcements left me with three actual interests for a company's products that I haven't wanted in many years. Hopefully this is a shifting of the focus of Blizzard more towards their older game-making philosophies. Regardless I'm more hopeful of the future than I've been in a while.

    Of course the real shocker of the opening ceremony is that we are getting phase 2 in less than two weeks. It's hard to know what is the long term plan with this since the phases seem to be coming really quickly. If we are continuing the pace that we are at then Classic is over in a year. They must be planning on spreading out the phases a bit later but it confuses me because phase 1 for most people is the phase with the most content. Blizzard is probably balancing out the needs of the hardcore and the casuals.

    Granted, hardcore players need more than just phase 1 to keep themselves busy. Without battlegrounds available there is a lot less to do at max level. Here's my hot take on what Blizzard will do. We will be seeing a phase 2.5 about one month after phase 2 hits. It will include the phase 3 battlegrounds but not BWL. The pvp grind and the battlegrounds will keep the hardcores busy for months and keeping the content at Ony, MC, Azzy, and Kazzak doesn't make the slower levelers way behind everyone else with raid tiers. Then they can take a generally slower approach to the rest of the phases since multiple raids with phase 3 is entertaining for a long time.

    Anyway after the announcements it was off to the demos to try Diablo 4. It felt like Diablo and had a great darker atmosphere like everyone's been hoping for. I liked the feel of it. The graphics and music were great, but it was easy. I'm sure there will be difficulty levels but a challenge is very important in a game.

    Because of the demo we weren't able to really see the What's Next for Diablo but were able to catch the WoW one. I liked the concept of how the leveling will work. Being able to choose an expansion and it will take you to max level without having to go through everything partially will give a better story experience and allow newer people to catch up with the lore in a more direct manor.

    We had a chance after the panel to be able to talk to Omar Gonzalez, the lead developer of Classic WoW. He had a small throng of the dedicated fans surrounding him. It was great to meet him and to ask a few Classic questions though most of it he couldn't go into the specifics of. I had to run off before he got sick of talking to everyone because I wanted to get a good seat for the cosplay section that was coming right up.

    I really wanted to make sure I could see the cosplay because I've seen lots of pictures online because I knew seeing it live would be totally different. The costumes that people put together are incredible and it was fun to see everyone together. I missed being able to see everyone all at the same time in that classic picture in front of the convention hall, but I guess I can hit that next Blizzcon.

    After the Cosplay show was the Community Night. This had even more cosplay which I didn't realize. I didn't know much about this event but it was fun to see. There are multiple competitions that take place. You have cosplay in different categories, fan art, fan videos, and talent competitions. There's lots of things made by the community and it's great that this kind of thing can be featured at Blizzcon.

    I finally had a few minutes free to be able to take to do something not schedule related so I was able to go to the Darkmoon Faire to see what it's like and buy some merch and then also grab my stuff that I ordered on the Blink store. It helped to not have to carry everything all day long as I got more than I was expecting but the stuff will be fun memories of the experience.

    We finished the night by chilling in the Marriott bar hanging out with guildies and other Classic fans and just trying to decompress from the very hectic day. The last day of Blizzcon will be a lot more low key with less panels and more time to talk to people and try the demos out.

    posted in Shows
  • Blizzcon Unscripted - Con Before the Storm

    What a day it's been. Thankfully it started and ended smoothly. I got to the airport on time, took off on time, and even checked into our AirBnB (almost) on time. Thankfully I didn't have to wait too long until I was joined by Josh from Countdown to Classic, and then shortly after that Ayle, followed by Defcamp and Melderon. We hung around for a bit and made the traditional stop at In-N-Out which was a new experience for a few of the crew.

    We decided to head over to the con to get our tickets and figurine so that we weren't going to have to rush on the first day. The queues for getting tickets was massive, although empty. I don't envy the people who will be trying to go through them tomorrow. You can tell the mass of people that will be at this event is hard to even comprehend.

    IMG_20191031_192631.jpg

    While walking towards the Hilton to get our tickets we randomly ran into Pohgren and he tagged along as we got our passes. We checked in and got our wristband, lanyard and ID, and Grunt statue and headed into the convention center for a sneak peak. Even at night the place looked really impressive and was a great preview of the madhouse that will come tomorrow.

    IMG_20191031_195247.jpg

    Most everything was closed but we were able to get a look at some of the displays and then we headed to the store that was open. The lines were already insane so we decided to hold off on that for now since not everything is even announced yet anyway and we are banking on stuff not being sold out quite yet.

    IMG_20191031_195907.jpg

    After we checked out the store we were able to meet up with Navak and we all headed to the Mariott for a few drinks and chatted about Classic WoW to kill time before the Con Before the Storm panel. By 9:45 it was time to wrap up and head back over to the Hilton to listen to (and participate in) the Classic WoW panel.

    IMG_20191031_224822(1).jpg

    It was great to see the support even late at night as it was for Classic WoW and even the announcer started the panel with the comment of how Classic has really taken the community by storm and has been far more of a presence than people anticipated. Josh led the panel in a round-table discussion with the health and future of Classic and roll-out of phases with a few questions from the audience to round out the 45 minute talk. At the end we had a chance to get some swag and most of us called it a night.

    So what are my thoughts so far? This event is massive. Last year wikipedia said that Blizzcon was over 40,000 people. This year I don't see why the turnout wouldn't be the same. It is really cool to see a lot of people dressed up. Most who dress up are pretty minimal - goofy murloc onesies or elf ears or even just some basic Blizzard apparel. The cosplayers are definitely around though and it is great to see the work that they put into their outfit. I am really looking forward to seeing and getting better pictures of them tomorrow.

    It is still really weird for me personally to talk about WoW in a normal conversation in the "real world" since I don't know anyone who plays the game in my day-to-day life. Talking is limited to discord voice or text chatting which feels normal enough but is very different than how conversations went today. We are sitting at the bar sipping on an Old Fashioned and talking about the intricacies of tank threat mechanics. It is completely normal and also completely foreign.

    You also just get this kind of conversation everywhere regardless of who you are hanging out with. We were standing outside and someone saw my shirt and said "oh Classic WoW? When did you stop playing WoW?" It was a connection and almost a secret password at the same time. The implied question was "are you an old school Classic fan or just trying it out for the first time?" It was great to talk to someone like that out of the blue.

    Blizzard certainly makes it easy to spot those going to Blizzcon as the statue boxes are massive so everyone carrying them sticks out like a sore thumb. Not that it's hard to guess as all of the people who are milling around the convention center pretty much are there for this. You feel at home with your gaming interest more than ever and it's really cool.

    I'm really looking forward to tomorrow and to see how it goes. So far I've been running on a little bit less sleep than normal but still doing okay. Here's hoping I can keep it up.

    posted in Shows
  • Blizzcon Unscripted - The day before the day before Blizzcon

    Introduction

    I have never been to Blizzcon before. I haven’t even been to any “con” before so this will be an entirely new experience for me. I’ve seen pictures and talked to some people about what the did and what they saw and I lived vicariously through a lot of other anecdotes, but I haven’t really read something that conveys what it feels like to be there. There’s a difference between seeing the content and experiencing it - one of the biggest reasons why the virtual pass never interested me. And given that this is entirely new, maybe I can add some perspective that will feel fresh. So that’s my plan. I am going to write down my thoughts and feelings about my first Blizzcon here as it progresses through the weekend.

    The day before the day before Blizzcon

    Here I am sitting in bed in my Brother’s guest room (he’s near the airport) getting this written down and losing sleep doing it. The weeks and months leading up to this has drawn on longer than I was expecting. Most Blizzcons have come and gone without even me realizing they happened. Two years ago though with the annoucement of Classic WoW something definitely changed. It was the point where there was a for-real reason to look and plan to play WoW again in any meaningful capacity. It’s been a long two years since then and also a long couple of months. Has Classic been out only a couple months? How the time flies.

    Last year’s Blizzcon I watched a lot more highlights. Unfortunately there wasn’t a lot to see that was classic related although the demo I’m sure would have been fun to play (no virtual ticket remember). It was good to see the devs taking the game seriously and listening to player feedback. By that point we had released the earliest version of ClassicWoW.live and were having quite the time working on everything for that. With Blizzcon happening we made a pact that we wanted to all get together by the next Blizzcon to meet up officially so here we are.

    Now it’s the day before the day before Blizzcon. My excitement has been ramping up daily. I’ve been scouring /r/blizzcon and reading the blizzcon discord religously, been trying to see about leaks and looking at the merch store and the schedule. What are the bands? As of writing this, no idea. My wife has already given me the ultimatum of the general swag that is expected from me as a present for this trip so I’ll probably be trying out the Blink store to cut through the lines (just learned about this feature from reading reddit).

    Tomorrow will be a morning flight followed by a quick drive to our AirBNB house where we are going to all hang out. I think there’s only going to be one key though so that is going to be a real logistical challenge. After we get at least most of our group to the hotel we will get our badges and then eventually make our way over to the Con Before the Storm where Defcamp, Melderon, and Ayle will all be on the Classic panel. Quite the showing for the CWL team! I will be stuck behind the camera as usual and hopefully will get some good footage that we can put on the site. It’ll be a busy day and not even the first day of the festival. I know already that I’m going to have to be powered by caffeine to get through this but it’ll be worth it.

    The checklist for me of what I want to see is: the opening and closing ceremony, the cosplay and community event sections, and the WoW Q&A panel. I am curious to see what the demos feels like. Demos in a crowded area sounds off-putting but maybe it’s more fun than it sounds. Hopefully too I will be able to meet some druid bros and brodettes so if anyone out there wants to say hi let me know on discord. I don’t have any scheduled meetups besides the basics so far. Apart from what I want to see, the experience of Blizzcon is an unknown to me. I don’t know what to expect so I’m probably excited to see what that will feel like the most.

    posted in Shows
  • Badlands Whelps Farm lvl 40-45 Grind Explained

    Here's a 10 minute piece where I discuss my experience farming the Whelps in the Badlands from levels 40-45. This gold farming spot is considered one of the most lucrative locations in Classic WoW for a few different reasons.

    Video

    Youtube Video

    The Whelps drop 2 gray vendor pieces -
    Ripped Wing Webbing
    Forked Tongue

    2 White Items -
    Small Flame Sac
    Wicked Claw

    Skinning -
    Heavy & Thick Leather
    Worn Dragonscale

    Companion <0.1% -
    Dark Whelpling

    Small Flame Sacs are used for Fire Protection Potions and Wicked Claws are used for Lionheart Helm which is BIS for Warriors and Wolfshead Helm which can be considered BIS for Druids. These reagents are going to be your main source of income and hopefully you'll be lucky enough to find a Dark Whelpling companion which can sell for +100g on the Auction House.

    posted in Economy
  • Small but mighty Judgement!

    We decided to move for the final time, hopefully, to Judgement which I'm looking forward to seeing what the future holds here, as the few people I've interacted with seem nice. Alliance seem to have the slight edge but it seems to be a decent population size (10K) and balance (52:48) with a good level of activity.

    https://wowpop.appspot.com/realms/judgement

    posted in Judgement PvP English
  • RE: The DDOS Attacks

    Last few entries of their Twitter page has some updates:

    https://twitter.com/BlizzardCS?ref_src=twsrc^tfw|twcamp^tweetembed|twterm^1170431100155584513&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.mmo-champion.com%2Fcontent%2F

    As to the why, it may never be known, unless they catch any potential suspects.

    posted in Off-Topic
  • RE: Leveling guide warlock error

    I followed the guide exactly and was over level to what the guide said I should be, so may be potential for something being missed along the way or grinding out a quest drop took shorter than the norm?

    EDIT
    Ignore me! I did a few extra things when I was in Silverpine which could explain the level disparity when I followed the guide, as I had more grind time in Pyrewood Village before I left for The Barrens.

    posted in Comments & Feedback