I know it’s been quiet here, but it’s not because I’m in another one of those navel-gazing moods of mine, honestly. There’s just a lot going on and it’s hard to see a good blog post all the way from beginning to end. Last week’s flowchart was a bit of a fluke as I was at my desk at work with Visio running on my PC and a conversation from guild chat ringing in my ears, metaphorically. So that one more or less wrote itself.
This is not to say that work is not being done on the blog. I am around 2/3 of the way through my next omnibus overview (I hesitate to call it a review) of Unit Frame addons, somewhat related to the HUD overview a couple of months back. I won’t blurt anything out here other than a thought that the time of the general Unit Frame addon may be coming to an end. And maybe that’s a good thing.
I’m also working on yet another overwrought origin story for one of the many alts that hang out here. In this case, Floramel. How, exactly, did a hard-bitten veteran of the Stormwind criminal underworld end up as part of my virtual family? I’d be lying if I said I didn’t steal just a little bit of the story from Joss Whedon, but it was a good bit.
Guild-wise, we’re 9/12 over at Eff the Ineffable. I know that our RL and GL are probably disappointed that we have not downed any of the final 3, though we did get Cho down to 20-ish percent this weekend. That was probably our last chance to beat the 4.2 nerf, as this coming week may be raid-less. There has been talk of a lockout extension. We might get one more chance.
I do get the sense that I personally disappoint in my performance, and I regret that. I am a slower learner than others in our guild, and it makes me less likely to run the right way or have the right angle at the crucial moment, until I become really familiar with the fight. As an example, when we downed the elemental council, I was one of the first to go down on the final phase. I can try to justify that all I want, but the fact remains that 9 other people didn’t. While my DPS is generally in the top 3, my effective DPS is much lower if I’m tanking the floor. At any rate, this poses the hard decision between taking me, or someone else that does not die as much. As an RL, I know what my decision would be. Progression bosses should be faced by the best of us. If I don’t cut it, I will loudly cheer them on.
Still, on fights in which I used to die frequently, I’ve improved. For example, I survived the Atramedes fight this time, which I usually haven’t. So I can be taught.
One of the takeaways from our Cho attempt a couple of weeks ago was that our DPS wasn’t up to the task of getting Cho down fast enough – we would probably hit the enrage timer. So, I took a look around for ways to improve. One thing I did was go to Mister Robot to audit my equipment. I had been avoiding this but I really needed a sanity check. The good news is that most of my equipment choices – including gemming and enchants – were good. A couple were not. I also spent a few gold to purchase a BoE belt that is close to BiS as a result of this audit.
The bad news was that my reforging was very off from the suggested optimal. This leaves me with a conundrum. There are three, maybe four reforging schemes out there and none agree. The one I was using was an addon called Reforginator, and it was really sweet. It used the collective wisdom of Elitist Jerks to drive its optimization engine, but the engine itself made a plethora of calls that disagreed with Robot *and* Pawn. Pawn was closest to Robot’s suggestions, but not quite there. And, finally, there is the raw tap from EB itself, but that’s another story1.
The upshot is that I gave Reforginator the heave-ho and used the Robot profile. DPS improved a little bit, but not dramatically. What was interesting is that on the Cho fight, my DPS was extremely consistent, whereas in the past it’s been all over the place. I’m not sure what to make of that, but consistency is usually a good thing. Unless you’re a screw-up.
One thing I need to do next is try different reforges with FemaleDwarf.com. If this favors one over the other, that will help me decide. On the other hand, FemaleDwarf DOES suggest I take a cat in raid, as well. What is not taken into account is that the buff a cat brings is already present. I bring a wolf because nobody else gives the +crit that he does. The rather surprising news is that my DPS is 2K lower than the theoretical that FD suggests I should be getting. THAT will require some review.
The Cho fight itself is quite a task to master. Whereas most bosses have one or two gimmicks, Cho has at least four, if not more. There’s the worshipers gimmick, there’s the blob placement gimmick, there’s the tentacle gimmick and the corruption gimmick. He has both a hard and a soft enrage timer.
Each of these gimmicks has to be sorted out and mastered. Right now, we’re hurting on the adds, and Blizz didn’t make that easier when they changed the timer on the Fury debuff (I think that’s what it’s called), since it’s now out of sync with the add spawn. So that’s one thing. Then the placement of the add when he dies is also an issue. Too far apart side to side, and no one AoE will stop them. Too close together, and the add tank is two-shot by previous pools. And if you don’t burn the big add fast enough once he’s in place, same thing happens. AND if you take too many DPS off Cho to help, he’ll enrage. You get the picture. Gimmick after gimmick, and precision is absolutely necessary. So we’re learning how to be more precise.
The good news is we saw Phase 2, so we now have a real sense of the phase 2 gimmicks. I think.
Having maxxed out Engineering, I’m now working on a helm and gun that may or may not be BiS for me. Pawn says that the helm, with cogs, will be. Robot says the gun will be. I’m also farming the Jeeves pattern in Northrend, oh joy. I’m finally able to put stuff on the AH that may earn me a few bucks here and there, which is fortunate as my nest egg has dwindled to half of what it was when I set foot on the server.