Tanking Persona

I was reading Tamarind’s post on tanking BRD and the observation was made that most tanks are dickheads. It got me thinking about how I project my tank onto other players both guild and pug. First let me start by saying by all normal measures I seem to be a decent to good tank. My gear is all ilvl 232 or higher save neck, bracers and the black heart trinket. And anyone gathering tank gear knows those are all pretty hard to come by. Skill wise I’ve tanked through Saurfang in ICC. The only glaring tanking hole I have is not finishing Heroic Halls of Reflection, but that is a horrible instance to tank, and quite frankly I don’t need the grief.

So what are the tanking personas?

Option One: Be the dickhead

This one is pretty common, and as Tamarind points out it is pretty understandable why. Tanks get the most abuse in the game. Well maybe healers get an equal amount. The point is tanks have to put up with hard hitting nasty bastards AND the mobs in the dungeon.

Listen here maggot!

Most common response from the rest of the group: Silence. They will suck it up because they have been waiting 20 minutes in the LFG queue and will just ride it out, get their badges, and hope for a better tank next hour.

Most common barb thrown: You’re a lousy tank.

Most fitting response: “Listen you little shit, while you are gearing up…what is this? Your 5th DPS toon? Some of us have been taking one for the fucking team, and been your meat shield, so how about you say thanks by not pulling aggro on mobs we have no god damn business pulling EVER. Oh and if you could be so kind as to do some CC instead of bitching about how I suck, maybe we wouldn’t have to waste time scraping your ass off the floor! And if that is gonna be a problem, have fun sitting in the queue for another hour because I know I sure as hell won’t!”

Most fitting response if the barb came from a healer: “I’m sorry.”

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Bee Pit: PUG edition.

Welcome to another edition of “people I want to toss into a pit of bees.”  Today we are going to be talking about the people in your neighborhood, the people that you meet, when you’re walking down the street…. erm I mean, Pug people.

Gogogogo Mage

“Ok,” you say, “they all say ‘gogogogo’.  The bee pit is getting awfully crowded!”

This is true, however this particular mage was worse than most.

The Scene: Heroic Pit of Saron.  The group has just finished the gauntlet and is healing/mana-ing up.

The Offense: Mageypoo1 makes a beeline toward the boss, hopping maniacally, and mid-jump tosses a bolt of something-or-other at the dragon.  The hopping continues as the rest of the group, in shock due to the extreme asshattery, scrambles to get into position.

The Reaction: Tank says: “Mageypoo, you’re fired.”  This was awesome.  He goes on to threaten Mageypoo with having to tank the boss, but this never materialized.  I think we were all afraid the damn encounter would bug out and we’d have to run back.  I, for one, was not particularly concerned that Mageypoo might perish trying to “tank” and we’d have to 4-man.

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  1. I don’t remember the real name, so we’re gonna say Mageypoo

Keeping your Battle.net and Facebook spheres separate

Here’s a little tidbit from the latest info on Real ID:

Q: How does the friend finder in StarCraft II work? What’s sent to Facebook?
A: When you use the Add a Friend feature in StarCraft II, one of the options you’ll see is to search your Facebook friends list for people who also have Battle.net accounts in order to quickly send them Real ID friend requests. When you click this button, you’ll be asked to enter your Facebook login information, and you’ll then see a list of your Facebook friends who also have Battle.net accounts. You’ll then have the option to send any of these Facebook friends a Real ID friend request in-game. (Keep in mind that for someone to appear on the list, their Battle.net account email address must match their Facebook email address. In addition, you’ll see the names of any Facebook friends who have registered Battle.net accounts, regardless of whether they have Blizzard games attached to their account or just, for example, created the Battle.net account to make a purchase on the online Blizzard Store.)

It’s important to note that Blizzard Entertainment does not share any personal information with Facebook as part of this process. Keep in mind that as with other Real ID features such as the “friends of friends” list, our goal with the friend finder feature is to create convenient options to help players easily find people they know in real life on Battle.net without having to remember email addresses or account names. We hope players will find the feature easy to use and convenient.

So my facebook friends with battle.net accounts will be able to see if I also have a battle.net account?  Hells no.

If you want to keep these spheres of your life separate, the obvious and quite easy solution is do not use the same e-mail address for facebook and battle.net.

As a side note, I’m sure the dude who doesn’t play Starcraft but bought something at the blizzard store for his nephew is going to be confused as shit when he walks into work and his coworkers whom he friended on facebook start yapping about how they sent him battle.net friend requests.

Basic things every blog should have.

You want people to subscribe right?  And comments?  Good!  Ok, then you need some really basic things – and you can leave out other things that you might think are mandatory.

Stuff You Need

1. A description of what the blog is about

I’m not talking about a huge list of what you may or may not talk about ever – just the “main point” of your blog.  Even if you think you don’t have a “point,” you do.  Do you play a specific class mostly?  A specific type (i.e. caster)?  Are you a casual or hard-core player?  Do you PvP or PvE?  Are you a guild leader or officer?

You’d be surprised how many people omit this.  You may think it’s obvious by the posts, pictures, or title – it’s not.

People browsing your blog for the first time don’t want to have to dig for this information.  They don’t want to have to make an educated guess from the first few posts.  They want to see “this blog is about druids and princesses.”  And if they don’t see that, they may not subscribe, even if they want to hear about druids and princesses.

You have a lot of flexibility in where you put this information on your site, how you present the information, and how much information you give.   It’s a matter of personal preference.

Examples

2. A way to find important crap

If you write important and useful stuff, you need it to be obviously findable.

If people see important crap, your best work, while browsing your site for the first time, they might subscribe.  If your important crap is only findable by category or search term, or is buried at the way bottom of the sidebar below your 400-entry blogroll, you’re not showing off your assets.

(If you have a mobile theme, make sure your important crap is also findable there as well.  SO many people browse on their phones.)

Examples

  • SlikRX just created Page TWO
  • Jaedia has a main directory of  Guides and Lists – which link to relevant subpages by category.  This prevents the long-long-long page of stuff if you have a lot of links.
  • SamuelTempus links to both essential posts and leveling guides in the sidebar.
  • Kurn links her Holy-How-To guides in the first box of the sidebar.

Important crap does not necessarily always mean “GUIDES”. It just means stuff you want people to be able to find.

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Grid for (Disc) Priests: Shield Left Indicator

Today we’re going to learn to show how much shield is left in grid from PW:S and Divine Aegis.  This might be TMI for you.  If so, don’t use it.  But if you’re like me, I like to know when my shield is about to get consumed so I can expect sudden spiky damage.

Shopping List

Set it up

Configure Shield Left

My PW: Shield hits for around 6k, give or take (without ICC buff) so I set “low” at 1k and “medium” at 2.5k.  Adjust these values based on your shield strength, and if you raid ICC a lot, based on your shield strength in ICC.

The Aegis detection tolerance is set to 1.  If you set it too low (.3, for example), it may not detect Aegis every time.  Closer to 2, and you get false positives.

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Mage Series: The Upcoming Mage Renaissance: Oh crap buttons

Let’s face facts. We can all attest that things do not always go according to plan. There will be times where the main tank’s internet cuts out mid fight, or aggro mechanics on a boss are a bit weird, or you just simply are in the wrong place at the wrong time (see polar bears with chainsaws). Today in the Mage Series we are going to look at what tools we have at our disposal to save our own mage skin and live to keep on fighting.But more importantly I’m going to point out which buttons are best for which kinds of situations. I will not however be covering the mechanics of kiting as we covered that last time. Remember if you have a situation where kiting or polymorph are viable options you should probably use those first. This includes simple maneuvers like Frost Nova and Blinking away to safety. Experience will guide you on whether or not these are truly viable.

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Grid For Druids (and Shaman): Swiftmend and Nature’s Swiftness

We’ve learned how to track your hots using numerical cooldowns.  If you want, you can track other people’s buffs/hots as well.  Now we’re going to talk about “tracking”  Swiftmend and Nature’s Swiftness.

What You Need to Know

Now, if you want to swiftmend a target, you have to know 2 pieces of data:

  1. Is swiftmend off cooldown? This can be handled by a non-grid addon that tracks cooldowns.
  2. Is there a swiftmendable hot on the target? If you’re running with another druid, tracking just your own hots is not enough.  This data point can be handled in grid by tracking all swiftmendable hots on the target using one indicator.  Healing Through Stupid has an amazing guide detailing this simple, elegant method that requires absolutely no plug-ins.

If you want to use Nature’s Swiftness, just make sure it’s off cooldown.  You can figure that out pretty easily, eh?

Using GridStatusSwiftmend

I am lazy, and for both Swiftmend and Nature’s Swiftness, I use  GridStatusSwiftmend.

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Awesome Anonymity: A defense of the Pseudonym

I realize that anonymity has been a hot topic lately, and while the Real ID on the forums issue has been resolved for the time being, the tension between your online persona and your real identity has been a consistent theme since people started to speak using internet “handles.”

Let me also apologize to any of our foreign readers off the bat. I will be making plenty of references to aspects of the American experience. I’m sure your country has great history and traditions as well, but I am an American. It is what I know and from where I speak. That said, the logic behind much of what I will say should be considered universal.

Recently the Supreme Court of the US has said that people who sign a petition for a ballot initiative don’t have an expectation of privacy, and their names may be divulged. Justice Scalia is quoted as saying “you can’t run a democracy this way, with everybody being afraid of having his political positions known.” During oral arguments for the case, it was noted that before the secret ballot was implemented, America had over  a century of “open ballot voting“: you show up at your local polling place and say out loud which candidates you support.  No doubt that influenced the outcome of the elections, just as voter intimidation still influences elections in other nations.

Historically many prominent and influential people have used the veil of a pseudonym to protect themselves either from hostile allies, or to divorce their message from prejudices (good and bad) attributed to the speaker. I think back to Plato’s Allegory of the Cave. If you remember it (or just read the wiki) you’ll no doubt realize that when you see a speaker you will apply thoughts to them, these are the shadows on the cave wall distorting what the true message is. For example if a successful business person dressed in fine suits and wearing a fancy watch told you to invest heavily in this mortgage backed security, you might give it more weight that the Wu-Tang Clan telling you to diversify your bonds. The same message can be perceived and considered differently depending on the identity of the speaker.

Yo dawg, you need to diversify yo' bonds m*****f*****

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[Off-Topic] Kitten Update

As you may remember, we got a kitten!  At first she was tiny and fragile, but now she is two pounds, 13 ounces of terror, and runs about the house full speed with a scrabbling-whooshing sound.  At this point I’m not worried about Twig or the other cats accidentally hurting the kitten, so I feel a lot more relaxed that I don’t have to constantly “supervise.”

The kitten bites ankles.  A lot.  When you walk by.  When you’re trying to sleep.  Twig finds this very funny.

The kitten also will eat just about anything.  Stealing snacks from a baby!  You should be ashamed, kitten.

Demonstrating the New Druid Cataclysm Talent:  NOM NOM NOM

She will eat just about anything with milk in it, if I am not careful.  I caught her licking up blackberry yogurt.  WTF, kitten?

We won, but I hope we learned something too.

Did the prospect of Real ID on forums scare the shit out of you?  Yeah it scared the shit out of me too.  And man, I’m relieved that it’s gonna DIAF, for now.

However, it got us all to reevaluate what information about us is on the Internet, even under an alias. And how resourceful psychopaths might connect the dots between a casual mention of a home town and a casual mention of some other factor and – BAM!  You’re found.

I’m sorry to say, this escapade has shown us just how many psychos there are totally willing to connect those seemingly untraceable dots created by innocuous tidbits of information.  A lot of victims of stalking, mostly women, bravely stepped forth to tell their stories – stories of stalking that occurred in some instances without divulging a real name.

Your personal information is a valuable commodity, and you have the power to protect it. Maybe this incident caused you to rethink some of the stuff that you have in various places on the Internet, and to make some changes to be extra-sure.

To those who think anonymity is cowardly: Anonymity occupies an important place in our society, even dating back before the Internet, and has shaped who we are.  ArcaneTinkerTank will be talking about this in more depth next week.