Saturday, August 15, 2009

Where in the world has tarskin been??

Entertaining the idle hope that some people actually care about more then just warcraft related news i figured i should give those people an update on what has happened to me (aka where have i been):

1. Parrot decided i played too much warcraft
She started plucking her feathers which is quite painful to look at, she comes running to me for help as 'something' is hurting her. She relaxes as she believes i will protect her, followed by her plucking another feather and repeating the cycle.

2. Major stress-related trouble because of master's degree research
The stress of finising my degree combined with writing the thesis and the feather plucking problem turned me into a neurotic that couldn't sleep. That problem got fixed but now i'm going cold turkey on stress/sleep medicine ftw

3. Motor cycle accident during vacation to the french alps
Racing down a slippery mountain road on my Suzuki RF900R (see picture) was not the smartest thing i ever did. I locked up my rear tire going into a turn at 90kph which resulted in me rolling over the road a bit.

4. Busted hands during a 'adventure park' visit
The motor cycle crash took me about 1 week to 'recover' from and when i decided i needed to go out and do something so i went to an adventure park. There i managed to tumble down from a obstacle and like an idiot i tried to hang on to the rope resulting in open/bleeding hands... woot.

The only good thing i really have to mention is that i am now a 'Master of Science' in genetics... Time to start praying for a Ph.d position, which could be a pain because of the credit crunch.


Friday, June 19, 2009

[Feral] 3.2 Patch Notes

Kitty nerfs below
# Mangle: Ranks 4 and 5 base points reduced by about 11%. Scaling from attack power unchanged.
# Rake: Ranks 6 and 7 base points on initial and periodic damage reduced by about 7%. Scaling from attack power unchanged.
# Rip: Ranks 8 and 9 base points and points per combo point reduced by about 6%. Scaling from attack power unchanged.
# Savage Defense: The animation for gaining this buff will no longer make the bear stand upright
# Shred: Ranks 8 and 9 base points reduced by about 10%. Scaling from attack power unchanged.
# Swipe (Cat): Percent of weapon damage done reduced from 260% to 250%.

All of these changes are clearly designed to lower the starting kitty druid's dps a bit which makes perfect sense as a proper player can easily outperform anyone else at that gear level. The one thing i am unsure about is they'r mangle change, i WOULD assume that it refers only to the cat version of it as i personally do not believe that anyone would argue that bears need a nerf right now -.-

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Mount Change and the effect on Flight Form

The latest blue posts show that the way mounts work are going to be changed, below is a copy/paste of the relevant part:

Expert Riding (Skill 225)

150% flying mount speed; 60% land mount speed
Requires level 60
Cost: 600 gold (faction discounts now apply)
Mount Cost: 50 gold
Can now be learned in Honor Hold (Alliance) or Thrallmar (Horde)

Flight Form is something we learn at level 68 and it only grants 60% speed increase, the logical thing for Blizzard would be to lower it's level to 60 and also increase the speed by 150%.

I have seen nothing to suggest that they are doing that but i'm pretty sure they will once they realize this -.-

WoW nearing it's end?

As i have nothing interesting myself this week i thought i'd share a interesting read i found yesterday (thank you Karthis for the link):

Is Alexa Charting the Decline of WoW?

Now on a WoW related note, being trial sucks.... I didn't get to raid yesterday and behold, twisted visage drops *crai*.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Yogg-Saron and new forms

Is a damn cool fight, just a shame about the randomness of charm in phase 1. Nothing sucks more then just when your mob is about to be killed on Sara that you get charmed and your mob runs to the raid and explodes there -.-

Taunt DR is also quite annoying but i ain't complaining, if these problems weren't there it wouldn't be a challenging fight so \o/ for Blizzard.

On a unrelated sidenote, i know how i will look in 3.2 apparantly:

Thank god i don't look like the pink hello kitty one, as i would refuse to change the way i have looked the past few years just because of a new model blizzard implemented.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

New Guild part 2

Yesterday was the first day i raided after my 'break' and the new guild cleared up to yogg-saron on the first day, honestly makes me wonder what the hell people in my old guild were doing. That is saying a lot considering still there are some people failing this new guild and that the top 5 dps usually is the dps'ers that came with me to this guild from my old guild *shrug*.

What i have to admit tho is that raiding without any responsibility is such bliss, can't believe howmuch stress the raid/guild leading actually gave me. The only sad part is that i am no longer main tank and in yesterday's raid they had 4 tanks for some reason so i was kitty dps'ing most of the stuff which isn't really my thing.

So all in all i must say i'm pretty pleased and hope i can get a proper tanking spot as soon as possible.

PS: Got my Conqueror's Nightsong Legguards in that raid tho \o/

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Raiding Again

After the collapse of Shafted some of the more active members have decided to swap over to Fate, which is basically a reformation of my old TBC guild with which i got quite a few server firsts in BT/Hyjal back in the days.

Expect me to be raiding again starting this next wednesday and i am actually really looking forward to being just a 'member' again, no more harassment from people who have too much time on their hand to play WoW complaining about loot \o/

During this week break i have allready watched more of my favorite anime series then i have in ages before :p For those of you who wonder which are the ones i am following right now: Pandora Hearts & 07-Ghost.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Long Overdue Update (Guild Failure & New Druid Dorms)

Some of you might have noticed that i haven't come around to updating my blog lately and that is due to a number of reasons; Biggest reason was just work related pressure and then racing home to barely manage to be on time at raid time while eating in front of the computer.

Then when raids get cancelled because other people just don't show up without any explanation people get frustrated which i can completely understand. This is followed up by said people leaving which means the guild goes in a ever worsening spiral leading to untimely death.

Which happened yesterday, Shafted is now a casual non raiding guild

Due to the stress that this gave me i will probably take at least two weeks of a break from WoW because it felt like work and was no longer fun at all with all the hassle around it.

Now on to the main point of this post:

In case you missed it, here's a recap from the blue post about it:

In our next major content patch, druids will find a host of new textures for two major forms, cat and bear. There will be five different designs for each of these forms for the Horde and Alliance. Night elves can choose to change their cat and bear look at any time by visiting the barber shop and changing their character's hair color, while tauren will be able to change which look they use by switching skin tones in the barber shop -- a new feature for tauren in the next major content patch. Given that there are more hair colors and skin tones than unique form looks, some colors and tones will overlap with these new textures. The hair and skin colors chosen will, in most cases, correspond with the color seen in the look of each form. Some similar colors that may share a particular cat texture will not necessarily share the same bear texture.

At first i was like YAY! customizable forms like i (we?) wanted but when i looked at the preview i was getting a nasty feeling like: "Wait, isn't that exactly the same as old model but with just some extra texturing on it? I mean it still has the fly catcher mouth"

Then when re-reading the blue post i noticed this thing: "Night elves can choose to change their cat and bear look at any time by visiting the barber shop and changing their character's hair color"

All i can say about this entire thing so far is .... FAIL BLIZZARD!!!

I mean i get to select a slightly different texture for my bear form while keeping the OLD MODEL by changing my hair style in night elf form to neon pink? Wtf....

UPDATE: I just saw a reply from Neth: "Also, in the screenshots the bears are roaring, but when just sitting normally, their mouths will close in a toothy grin so to speak", if this is true then it's not as bad but still having to change my hair colour is retarded...

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Ulduar progress

This Monday and Tuesday we had some proper raids going on again with the aftermath of Queen's day, my guild claims i was still pissed (slang for drunk) on tuesday *shrug*.

Anyhow, there was plenty of mobs left so we started with an easy farm kill to set the mood (Razorscale), which dropped Eiya's second fragment of Val'anyr.

Next up was Ignis which we could not kill the week before because the kiting/tanking of the constructs wasn't done correctly but this week with a slightly different approach (read: death grip abuse) that shit was sorted so easily that it became a basic face roll.

We figured we should try Kologarn next and within the officer core we prayed people would not run around spastically with the laser beams on them for once and behold... we were wrong. Headless chicken style running around seems to be everyone's favorite past time but we did have 1 attempt where the only people that got beamed were the ones with a brain so he did go down.

Last boss we did this week was the Iron Council where we first attempted to keep the Runemaster alive but the consequent explosions which involve (surprisingly) people to move away killed too many people so in the end we opted for the easiest one and left the Stormcaller alive for last. The enrage timer on this fight has been nerfed so hard however as my Omen was screaming at me that he was enraged.... which he wasn't.

I did get a new toy from him tho \o/ and Eiya got his third Fragment of Val'anyr.

Now next week we have to kill the chick with kittens from hell, which were dropping there tanks faster then i can go afk when i want a coffee.

For those who might be interested i will write a tanking guide (specifically for bears) on the first two wings of Ulduar somewhere this weekend.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Ulduar nerfs

The ammount of nerfs that Ulduar has received over the past week is just mind boggling, when i saw World of Raids this morning (clicky) i was both happy and sad at the same time.

Happy because it means that my guild can actually kill Ignis and Kologarn, sad that the nerfs come so fast after the instances release.

I would gladly have whiped one or two more weeks on these bosses but the reality was that we couldn't, most of our members have been spoiled by WotLK so far and whenever they whipe for more then one hour they start to moan and bitch and before you know it they don't even log on for progress/whipe nights.

You might wonder, why didn't you recruit more people then? Kick the slackers? or more...

I would have if we could, the problem is that Zenedar is a really shitty server at the moment in the sense that there are too few good people (the average alliance player is a lot more childish then the average horde player sadly) and there are too many guilds (semi)-raiding Ulduar.

Personally i just hope that the new people we do get are good enough to replace those that can't be arsed to whipe because if it's up to me, the slackers are demoted to casual (if not kicked).

The single good point today is that it's Queen's Night today and Queen's Day tomorrow, expecting myself to be sober again somewhere on the sunday or so ^_^

Monday, April 27, 2009

Must learn to take my own advice

I was still using glyph of maul while i advised everyone to take glyph of survival instincts, i just could not get myself to actually drop that sexy thing. That is untill i got tossed around like a paper bag because i was breaking the mobs that got CC'd near me in Ulduar all the time.

At least this means raiding is more like proper raiding and not the mindless AoE fuck-fest that was Naxxramas, so in conclusion i'd like to have a minute of silence for my old dear friend.

May you help all the baby bears out there with their heroics.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Breaking News: MSS wins out in the end

Rawr gives data that made two bloggers (Marino and Tarskin) reach different conclusions based on the same data, this became very clear when i come home semi drunk yesterday and read Marino's latest post where he employed a GCD based excel analysis which can be found here.

The key to his analysis were the threat numbers taken from Rawr for the seperate moves and with those he concluded that iMangle creates more threat then MSS, a conclusion which kept me awake most of the night (sad, yes i know) untill i hit my eureka moment somewhere at 6 AM.

My eureka moment basically was : "How can i use Rawr data and conclude X and he uses Rawr as well and concludes Y?"

To do this i must first say which part of the Rawr data i used, personally i used the Highest TPS Rotation values from Rawr as a support for my idea, this gives the following numbers (based on my toon):

0/55/16 (MSS Build) = 3327 DPS / 7303 TPS
0/60/11 (iMangle Build) = 3286 DPS / 7183 TPS

This means that according to Rawr's Highest TPS Rotation MSS wins out easily, yet these numbers are very different from Marino's. It took me untill 11 AM this morning to find the flaw in his work, his excel sheet does not include Maul hits and Lacerate DOT ticks and i have notified him of this hoping he'll redo the excellent methodical analysis (which he did).


Master shapeshifter is 1.3% better then Improved Mangle for threat, to see the complete math go to Marino's reworked post here.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


This week's first day of Ulduar went quite allright, i must admit that the XT-002 trash was a bit harder then i expected but that was well compensated for by getting 4 trash epics and the fact that XT-002 died \o/

Beyond that we just face rolled Flame Leviathan which is i must admit a lot more fun then i expected, firmly hated the idea of having to do a fight by not using your own character but this implementation of vehicles scaling is quite good.
Added bonus of killing him was the ring that i got :)

Lastly we also killed Razorscale but yet again people seem to have the reaction time of a dead horse and once dead complain about the fact that the healers could not heal them up while they kept standing still in the fire *sigh*

All in all a quite succesful day 1 of this week and with 3 25-man raid days remaining for this week i'm hoping we can get to a total of 5 bosses downed.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

How expertise and hit influence Improved Mangle

A recent post made by Monedula at Omen of Clarity shows that when you have the Idol of the Corrupter Improved Mangle can be worth it again, his reasoning and math can be found here.

The ammount of misses and parries you get obviously has some influence on this all but how big this influence is was left unclear, therefore i decided to look into that using part of his math.

Below math is a shameless copy of the format Monedula used in said article, just with different numbers and a different approach to calculate the downtime because i used downtime percentage and not duration to compare in the end.

NOTE: I use the word hit here to mean not getting parried and not missing (hard cap expertise and hit).

Scenario 1 - 100% Hit, 68% Proc Chance and 6 Sec Mangle CD

Chance that the idol buff is not refreshed on a mangle:

1 time = 32%
2 times = 10,4%
3 times = 1,0%
4 times = 0,01%

The duration of the buff is 12 seconds so to have 6 second downtime of the buff you need to miss twice in a row (= 10,4%), continuing this path you get the following numbers:

18 seconds = 0,01% of the time
12 seconds = 1,0% of the time
6 seconds = 10,4% of the time

This means the chance to not lose the buff is 100 - (10,4 + 1 + 0,01) = 88,59% which relates to 11,41% downtime

Scenario 2 - 100% Hit, 68% Proc Chance and 4,5 Sec Mangle CD

Chance that the idol buff is not refreshed on a mangle:
1 time = 32%
2 times = 10,4%
3 times = 1,0%
4 times = 0,01%

The duration of the buff is 12 seconds so to have 1,5 second downtime of the buff you need to miss thrice in a row (= 1%), continuing this path you get the following numbers:

6 seconds = 0,01% of the time
1.5 seconds = 1% of the time

This means that the chance to not lose the buff is 100 - (1 + 0,01) = 98,99% which relates to 1,01% downtime


The difference then is 11,41 - 1,01 = 10,4% uptime difference off the buff between both situations, to put this into perspective we first have to look at what the proc actually gives:

2.44% dodge and 1.98% crit

10,4% of this means that with the Improved Mangle talent you gain 0,25% dodge and 0,21% crit IF you have the idol of the corruptor and never get misses or parries.

Scenario 3 - 90% hit, 68% Proc chance and 6 sec Mangle CD

Chance that the idol buff is not refreshed on a mangle:
1 time = 35,5% (0,32 / 0,9)
2 times = 12,6% (35,5^2)
3 times = 1,6% (..)
4 times = 0,03% (..)

The duration of the buff is 12 seconds so to have 6 second downtime of the buff you need to miss twice in a row (= 12,6%), continuing this path you get the following numbers:

18 seconds = 0,03% of the time
12 seconds = 1,6% of the time
6 seconds = 12,6% of the time

This means the chance to not lose the buff is 100 - (12,6 + 1,6 + 0,03) = 85,77% which relates to 14,23% downtime

Scenario 4 - 90% hit, 68% Proc chance and 4,5 sec Mangle CD

Chance that the idol buff is not refreshed on a mangle:
1 time = 35,5% (0,32 / 0,9)
2 times = 12,6% (35,5^2)
3 times = 1,6% (..)
4 times = 0,03% (..)

The duration of the buff is 12 seconds so to have 1,5 second downtime of the buff you need to miss thrice in a row (= 1,6%), continuing this path you get the following numbers:

6 seconds = 0,03% of the time
1.5 seconds = 1,6% of the time

This means that the chance to not lose the buff is 100 - (1,6 + 0,03) = 98,37% which relates to 1,63% downtime


The difference then is 14,23 - 1,63 = 12,6% uptime difference off the buff between both situations, to put this into perspective we first have to look at what the proc actually gives:

2.44% dodge and 1.98% crit

12,6% of this means that with the Improved Mangle talent you gain 0,31% dodge and 0,25% crit IF you have the idol of the corruptor and get 10% misses and/or parries.


Comparing the 100% Hit and 90% Hit situations shows that the more misses or parries you get the better Improved Mangle is for mitigation and threat IF you have the idol of the corruptor.
The actual effect of getting misses or parries is a lot bigger without the Improved Mangle talent then with it, a 10,4% difference (100% Hit rate -> 11,41% - 1,01%) versus a 12,6% difference (90% Hit rate -> 14.23% - 1,63%).
That itself means that by gaining 10% more hit you gained 2,2% (12,6% - 10,4%) uptime of the buff, which relates to 0,05% dodge and 0,04% crit.

For threat the talent Master Shapeshifter still outperforms Improved Mangle even if you have the idol because a flat 4% damage increase (4% * 2,07 ~ 8% threat) out performs a 0,25% - 0,20% critical strike chance increase, so in the end it's all about your situation....

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Main Tanking Build

This post is dedicated to showing and defending the build that i personally view as the best tanking build out there, altho it should be known that some people would use different builds because they use different raid set ups or have very specific gear (Idol of the corruptor and improved mangle).
I will post my reason for having each talent when i discuss the talents that are in the build.

This is the build i am referring to.


Ferocity [5/5]
At first i would have thought that with the advent of Ulduar i might not be rage starved and could switch these points into Feral Agression for the added effect on demorolizing roar, sadly i was quite disappointed that i still badly needed this talent to keep my rotation going.

Feral Instinct [3/3]
Swipe is important skill for AoE tanking and also quite a good threat move to have in your rotation so you can't go without this for threat.

Savage Fury [2/2]
The massive damage increase on maul and mangle make this a must have for tanking damage and threat.

Thick Hide [3/3]
Must... have... more... armor (damn 3.1 nerf).

Feral Swiftness [2/2]
You are a tank, you want to take as little as damage as possible so can't say no to 4% dodge.

Survival Instincts [1/1]
Proper oh shit button, use when you get to low on health.

Sharpened Claws [3/3]
Crit makes savage defense proc so can't miss this, it's also a pre-requisite for Primal Fury and Primal Precision.

Predatory Strikes [3/3]
Attack power increases our bear-block value and it's also a pre-requisite for Heart of the Wild.

Primal Fury [2/2]
Can never have enough rage.

Primal Precision [2/2]
Free expertise means less parry/dodge and more threat/rage/savage defense procs.

Feral Charge [1/1]
Technically not so important, but i kinda like it. Needs to be seperate cooldown for bear and cat however ;(

Natural Reaction [3/3]
Grants extra dodge AND rage? Yum

Heart of the Wild [5/5]
Grants more health, your bread and butter as a bear.

Survival of the Fittest [3/3]
Increases stats which is nice but the key part of this talent is that it makes you uncrittable versus boss level encounters.

Leader of the Pack [1/1] + Improved Leader of the Pack [2/2]
Healing yourself every time you crit effectively makes you have more health which is a very good thing, the buff it offers to other players is also very nice.

Protector of the Pack [3/3]
Pure godly talent, grants more attack power which increases the bear-block value and reduces damage taken by a flat ammount.

Infected Wounds [3/3]
Could do without this talent on single mobs as a lot of classes overwrite the attack speed part of the talent but on multimob fights like Razorscale it helps a lot in terms of reducing the damage taken.

Mangle [1/1]
Mangle it self is a good threat move, reducing the cooldown is just useless however, if you don't know why read this post. NOTE: If you have the idol of the corruptor then improved mangle offers a substantial increase in survivability, read here to see how and why.

Rend and Tear [5/5]
The damage and threat this talent gives is simply amazing, can't live without it.

Primal Gore [1/1]
The threat this gives is not great but every little bit helps, the main point in my opinion is the critical hits that trigger Savage Defense.

Berserk [1/1]
Great to pop during heroism or at the start of a fight for a threat boost, once lacerate is going.


Improved Mark of the Wild [2/2]
This talent is so godly with the 2% added stats now that i can't see any druid not having this talent (no matter the build).

Furor [3/5]
Furor always has been a PvP talent in my opinion so not always having the 10 rage when i go into bear is no big deal for me as i pop enrage before i pull a boss anyhow.

Naturalist [5/5]
10% extra damage is a lot of damage and threat, take it.

Natural shapeshifter [3/3]
Useless, pre-requiste for Master Shapeshifter however.

Omen of Clarity [1/1]
Free attacks helps a lot as you will have times when you just seem to dodge everything and not have any rage to use.

Master Shapeshifter [2/2]
A flat 4% damage increase helps a lot for your threat (2.07 modifier so that's ~ 8% threat), also the damage it self is quite nice.


Glyph of Survival Instincts (Major)
This new glyph is very helpful when healers let you get to low on health.

Glyph of Growl (Major)
Nothing is worse then getting a resist on growl.

Glyph of Frenzied Regeneration (Major)
When you pop this you need health, so taking extra healing is a perfect bonus.

Glyph of Challenging Roar (Minor)
Nifty little glyph to have when pulling lots of big packs in short succession (ie Naxxramas).

Glyph of Thorns (Minor)
A lazy druid's best friend *cough cough*

Free Minor Glyph
No real nice minor glyphs left that are really important for tanking, you could pick up Glyph of Uburdened Rebirth if you want to be sure you never have to say 'oh shit, i ran out of reagents'.

Things i did not take but could be handy

Feral Agression [0/5]
Would like to have it but can't lose points anywhere else, just use normal demoralizing shout.

Shredding Attacks [0/2]
Having 2 rage cheaper lacerates is nice but not good enough to warrant losing 2 points somewhere else.

King of the Jungle [0/3]
The added threat when you use enrage is nice for threat-bursts but it requires you to enrage, which is something you should not want to do as a (Main) Tank. The type of bonus is nice i'll agree and that's why i included Master Shapeshifter in my build.

Glyph of Maul (Major)
Nice glyph to have for when you want to get high on the damage meters or doing 5 man heroics but with 3.1 Glyph of Survival Instincts is a far better choice for pure main tanking purposes.

I hope this helps some people finding their builds specifically aimed towards tanking.

Tarskin's case against improved mangle for a main tanking bear

First of all it’s important to notice that I do not run with the cookie cutter 0/60/11 build but with 0/55/16 because I believe the added dps/tps from master shape shifter is worth more then whatever you can throw at me from within the feral tree.

Pre-3.1 I used to go with 3/5 R&T as I wanted improved mangle which meant higher threat in my rotation but with the changes to the threat and damage done by faerie fire it is damn good, good enough to always use it whenever it pops off cool down.

This is where we run into a problem as faerie fire is on a 6 second cool down and mangle is on a 4.5 second cool down (if talented), for those who do not see this yet here below is a representation of 18 seconds worth of fighting.

As you can see on GCD 10 there’s a problem that both mangle and faerie fire come off the global cool down at the same time which means that you are losing threat as one of the moves will be not used while ready.
Therefore the threat offered by improved mangle talent is not as high as it was or as most people think it is, I therefore make the case to not take imp mangle so that mangle and faerie fire have the same cooldown which makes for a better rotation as follows.

Which is a rotation that makes perfect sense and frees up 3 points which can be put in 5/5 R&T and 1/1 primal gore which makes more threat then a 3/5 R&T build where 1 out of 3 improved mangle cool downs are wasted.

This would mean that the perfect build for 3.1 Main Tanking in my opinion would still be a 0/55/16 build and the defense of this build will be a seperate post as it goes beyond the scope of this post...

Monedula from Omen of Clarity makes a case that improved mangle is worth it IF you have the Idol of the Corruptor and threat is not an issue, read his reasoning here.