Hmm, this is quickly becoming a monthly installed blog. I do not necessarily think that this is a bad thing, but it is definitely not the direction I had originally intended for the site. Admittedly, the problem behind my lack of posts is most likely a lack of interest. Not in posting the funny little eccentricities of my gaming experiences, but rather a lack of interest in the game itself. Lately, I have found that PvP has become a really frustrating grind, and the end of the tunnel is really getting to 1800 on the druid+warrior team. I will most likely either stop playing that team competitively (meaning foaming-at-the-mouth-angry over losses to 1600 rated druid+warrior in full s4 except s3 shoulders and weapon that cost us 18 points when we're at 1799) as soon as we break 1800 and get the weapons. Essentially, we are simply grinding up for WotLK now. We are in that horrible valley which came last time a WoW expansion hit beta. Nothing new is interesting enough to actually facilitate competition, whereas nothing is going to be released for a while, so we're stuck in this "going through the motions" gameplay. I go out and farm up some primal airs every day while doing the dailies, etc etc.

As I stated before, our druid+warrior team hit 1799 at one point, then this past week we fought nothing but counter-comps and ended up going 2-8 and dropping down to 1696 or so. I had stockpiled about 3800 arena points or so, because I wanted to ensure that I had the points to buy the s3 weapon when we finally surpassed that 1800 point. After a lot of nothing happening, I decided that 1800 was a crap-shoot and I should just upgrade my gear instead. So, I go to buy the helm and chest, buy the chest, realize that I need 1700 for the helm, feel terrible, and gem/enchant my new chest. The second we bump over 1700 again, I'm going to buy the helm. I sincerely no longer care if I have the points to buy the s3 weapon if/when we get there... I'll just roll 3s every week and never play the 2s team again.

On to cheerier subjects: our spriest+warlock team is essentially neck-and-neck with our warrior+druid team now. I am a very odd destruction spec at the moment. The trick about destruction is that our opponents are bad, and don't realize that I am destro until it is entirely too late. Another thing, we completely eat warrior+healer alive, unless the healer is AMAZING and I get amazingly bad luck in terms of critically sbolting. At this point, our matches are usually of a derivative of "bait the spriest who will get all his dots out, then mind-blast and death, while I sit back lobbing shadowbolts at the dps target on the spriest." The reason this works so well is because usually we have gone against a string of healer+melee teams, and they almost always choose the spriest as the main target. So, guntir just keeps the melee target breaking LoS on his healer while keeping LoS on me, so I can continue spamming sbolts, keeping dots up, and cc'ing the healer as best we can. Essentially, if we ever get the melee down to 50% and shadow vulnerability is up (mine, not his), then the melee is going to die to what we lovingly titled "the gib."

The gib works like this: sbolt crits and shadow vulnerability procs, we look at the health of the target. If he is at or below 50%, we immediately start firing dps on all cylinders launching shadowfury (trying to hit both healer and dps... guntir tries to keep them close together for this and/or his AoE fear if it is up), shadowburn, and depending on placement and cc options, deathcoil. With shadow vulnerability up, shadowfury will hit for about 1.2k, and crit upwards of 2.5k, shadowburn is comparable in damage except I have seen it go as high as 3k on a crit, mostly warriors who have not yet dropped zerkers stance, and deathcoil will always do 1k, but I will often use it on the healer if he has not been feared by guntir. Similarly, guntir will drop his patented MB-D combo (mind blast, sw:death) which will hit for usually 4k damage combined with shadow vulnerability up. With the quick math, we can see that with svuln proc'd, we can essentially drop about 6.5k damage in 1.5 seconds with the healer cc'd from either fear or deathcoil and an accompanied 5 second silence from guntir. If the healer is feared, then the melee will usually take about 7k damage instantly, which should be enough to off him, but there are also dots ticking, and I usually have conflag available as part of this gib as well, which hits for 2k and crits upwards of 5k depending on the situation. Also, this does not even cover what happens if I am casting a shadowbolt when the previous bolt lands and crits... we usually can kill a warrior in this scenario even if NS-HT lands right after the second sbolt and silence is resisted or some other such nonsense.

I made a short video compilation of some of our wins. Most of the time we are facing stupidly geared warrior+healer teams (full s4 except for s3 shoulders and weapons), but we tend to smoke those. My favorite was against a paladin+warrior team that ended last season at 2100. They started by riding around mounted for a bit, then guntir charged into them and feared, which the warrior broke and started fighting from, but the pally just kept on riding... so I put my felhunter on him. The warrior was following guntir, who was limping towards the paladin, when the warrior intercepted my felhunter, and took him behind a pillar to try and gank him. I was laughing uncontrollably at this point, the pally was trying to dispel the dots off the warrior rather than heal him, so we rounded the pillar, I dropped shadowfury, sbolt, deathcoil, sburn, and guntir landed MB:D to kill the warrior while the pally was standing there like a mook with silence applied rather than bubbling quickly and Holy Shocking his warrior. The deathcoil worked great on the warrior in that situation because it ran him around the pillar, out of LoS from his healer, and INTO the open for our gib combo. This was a team that would absolutely spank our druid+warrior team, and they got completely humiliated against our double-dps caster team.

BTW: the video is about 4-5 minutes long, and has two Bad Religion songs in it: "No Control" and "I Want to Conquer the World." I thought that the songs were apt for what we were doing.

This seamlessly brings me to my last point: what's the point of playing the game if you aren't playing it your way and having fun at it. The destro+spriest team is horribly fun to play because it beats so many of the new FotMs. Shamang+warrior, arguably the new druid+warrior in terms of outlastability and damage output, is probably one of our hardest matchups, but if the warrior OR the shamang is bad, we win. Essentially, if a warrior ever stopped long enough to think about what is happening to him, we could not TOUCH that team between earthshock, grounding totem, and spell reflect. There is no way we could be a smart shamang+warrior. On the flip-side of the coin, however, if we go against druid+warrior, we cannot really lose to that team. If the warrior goes after me, I get instant-cast sbolts while dots do their thing and guntir fears and mana-burns the druid while keeping MB:D and dots up on the warrior. Without fear of dispels, he can get DP out whenever the situation needs it, and he has free reign to spam mind-flay for extra damage. Also, I am currently testing out a new strategy that I saw on a warlock vid which is when a warrior puts up spell reflect, use rank1 Curse of Wrecklessness. The armor loss is negligible for most well-geared melee opponents, but it makes me immune to fear for 2 minutes. Coupled with being undead, this is hilarious against some teams like warrior+priest. I have had a priest watch me trinket out of hamstring, after using WotF earlier in the match, walk over and use his AoE fear on ONLY me to be blessed with the word "Immune" over my head. I am quite sure that I have caused much more annoyance than that... but our team cannot be feared between us both being undead, spell-reflected CoW, and fear-ward.

See... that seamless transition is ruined because of my fervor for competition on that team. The point I was originally going to make is this: why play if it isn't fun. Back in the day, we would play to annoy other players. Essentially griefing anyone who would oppose us. While GMs have made this much harder in the newer times, and world PvP essentially being dead, we have had to get creative with how we can accomplish this goal. My brother and I are currently grinding up a shamang (me) and a paladin (him) for the sole purpose of healing in PvP. I like the way shamangs heal in PvP... it just feels more natural. Also, my brother has long been under the assumption that "anyone who whines about healing as a paladin simply isn't doing it right." So, he's going to try his hand at it. While I do not disagree that he will be a fine healer, I just don't know how much I am willing to dedicate to getting him geared out, etc. We are currently grinding with the idea that the blue reputation PvP sets will be sufficient to start in the arena, but that might not hold true. However, the point is not so much to do well, but rather to annoy people until the WotLK is released.

How are we going to accomplish this goal? Find a disc priest.

We had this idea while golfing last week. What would be the single most annoying team to have to face in 3s, where bursting players down is much harder than in 2s? We decided that a triple healer team would, indeed, take forever to kill, if it was even possible. Currently, the 3s bracket has a few types of team comps: healer+dps+dps (usually double melee, but not always), healer+healer+dps (usually warrior, but we played against an amazing pally+pally+warlock team before), and triple dps. The triple dps teams have a REALLY hard time against the double healer teams, but then again, so does double dps+healer. So, we thought "what could be more annoying that 30 minute matches against double healer?" We came to the conclusion that triple healer (all of a variety that rarely oom, and can always bounce back when they do) would be so annoying that most teams would AFK after an hour or so of arena play, and the others would eventually OoM and succumb to measly dot damage.

Restokin, holy pally, disc priest. Essentially, pain suppression, mana drain, and focused will make the priest the worst target with two healers on him, but a pally is no better because of bubble and high armor since most double dps teams are double melee. Restokin will have the benefit of supplemental damage, good healing, and never going OoM between Dreamstate, and already absurdly high mp5 while casting, and BoW. No one on the team will need to ever cast a heal bigger than FoL/Lifebloom/Flash Heal, so mana efficiency will not be an issue. Also, the priest brings mana burn and additional supplemental damage from dots. Also, with roots, cyclone, fear, JoJ, and HoJ, any one healer will be able to strip themselves from the fight and drink at any time, with the paladin being the only one who will actually need it because of Innervate and Manafiend.

WHAT'S THE POINT!? Well, quite obviously to annoy the reroll teams. I hate queuing for 3s and seeing a team in full s4 (s3 shoulders and weapons) who have either obviously just rolled a 3s team for fun to hit 1800 and sell, or are wildly successful in another bracket and are only in 3s to goof off and beat teams with worse gear than them. We are going to specifically target these teams. The teams who would require so much time defeating our team that they could have probably gone 20-0 had they never faced us instead. They will be our main target, we will relish in the matches that last 4 hours and will result in either an 18 point loss for them or an 11 point win because it will mean that the next time they face us, they should probably just afk and try to not get matched against us. We will be the most annoying team in the bracket because no one will be able to defeat us in a timely manner, and the teams that are competing will ONLY care about beating teams in a timely manner... get those 50 games in per day to hit 2200 with a win percentage of 55%.

They're going to hate us... and at the end of that 4 hour match, the scoreboard will show our team name: "Sorry for the long match"