Rank 4 Healing Touch: What You Need To Know, Part 1

Rank 4 Healing Touch (herein R4HT) has stumbled over a rather good read on the MMO Champion forums and is pointing it out to us. Well, that’s a bit of an understatement: he’s practically waving his arms up and down and making frantic noises that somehow suggest we should read this post. How’s he doing that on a blog? Simple: he’s re-posted most of the post in question on his own blog – with full rights to the original author of course.

He also says he’s going to follow up with his own thoughts on the subject. So why the big deal? Well, the information he’s linking (and reproducing) is about what Wrath players need to know going into Cataclysm. Both R4HT and the original author are quick to clear that definition up: “wrath players” means anyone who’s played during Wrath, not just those who started playing in Wrath. They’re addressing anyone with an account and a pulse.

So what’ve they got to say? Well, the original post says we’ve got into some bad group habits and those aren’t going to fly in Cataclysm. Our limbs might though. Fly, that is, if we don’t drop the bad habits. But the gold dust of the post and the real reason that R4HT highlighted it is that the post then goes on to make very sensible and necessary suggestions of things we could all remember. There are general suggestions for all of us, a list of tips and good habits to remember each for DPS, healers and tanks, and even… a TL:DR:

Wow, are you guys still here, or did you just skip to the end?

If, as I suspect, this was WAY too long and you didn’t care, here’s a brief summary.

Be patient. Be observant. Communicate with your group. Own up to your mistakes. Learn as much about your class as you possibly can, and use all of your tricks. Learn to kite and Crowd Control. Learn to mitigate as much incoming damage as possible, even as a dps. Manage your mana. Think on your toes!

It’s a great piece of writing and is exactly the sort of thing we need to keep in mind as we leap into Cataclysm next week. Wait, next week? Really?

Anyway. I’m also really looking forward to reading R4HT’s own thoughts on this topic in a seperate post – and yours. What do you think – are there any habits we should remember that aren’t on that list, or bad habits that we really need to get rid of but are going to be oh so hard to break?

_Quote taken directly from R4HT’s post, which is a direct reprint from the original post on the MMO Champion forums by Daetur

You can find Rank 4 Healing Touch’s homepage here_

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TL:DR – A Tale In The Desert's Cooking Skill, Part 1

OK, so some time ago I promised a TLDR (which, in case you didn’t know, stands for “Too Long: Didn’t Read”) on Cooking as a subject in A Tale in the Desert.

Wow, that’s a big, big topic.

Cooking sounds attractive in Tale because it’s one of the few ways to raise your stats, and higher stats mitigate some of the limitations and frustrations in the game. Higher Strength means you can carry more weight, higher Dexterity means more bulk, higher Speed means you run faster, and so on. (As we’ll see next time, some of these stats are more effective than others, so caveat cook-or).

So what’ll you need to get started on cooking? Well, you’ll need the skill Cooking, you’ll need something to cook, and you’ll need something to cook it with or on.

The Skill Itself

To get Cooking, which you can get from any School of Worship, you need 100 each of Garlic, Cabbage, Onions, Leeks and Carrots. To grow those, you’re going to need seeds.

Now, if you visit a University of Worship (and have a paid account), you’ll get a random pack of 4 seeds for one of those vegetables. No problem, you might think, I’ll just multiply those seeds like I can multiply flax seeds, then trade for the other ones.

Not so fast. Multiplying seeds is fiendishly complex and so far at this point in Tale 5, no-one knows how to do it, or at least they’re not telling. From my experience, trading for seeds is likely to be a dead loss for anything other than other seeds, although that will probably depend on your region’s culture. So, how the hell do you get seeds?

You visit each and every University of Worship, and hope for the best. There are 7 regions in Egypt in Tale 5, and most of them are connected by chariot routes (see this handy page for lists of available chariot routes, all of which are now open). To use a chariot, you’ll need offline travel time, probably a few days’ worth of it. Alternatively, you could run, but that’ll take you the best part of a real-world day.

With any luck you’ll get enough seeds. You might not. In that case, trade 4 seeds of one type for 4 seeds of your missing type, and hope. This might take a while.

Vegetable Growing

Now you’ve got to grow your veg.

To do that, the most important thing you’ll need is water, and lots of it, which you gather in jugs. That means you’ll need, at minimum, about 20 jugs, which you create with clay using the Pottery skill on a Pottery Wheel. Getting all that lot together’s outside the scope of this guide (read the relevant entries on the Wiki), but one important point is that you’ll need leather and stones to create a pottery wheel. To get them, either ask if anyone will give you those things in trade chat (or trade for them, although my experience is that ATITD players are more likely to offer simple things as gifts than want to trade for low-level goods, and all this stuff counts as very low-level) or just use some public pottery wheels and kilms, or ones belonging to your guild. (Note: Being in a guild will REALLY help you as a new player, or indeed as any player – things like furnaces and mines, which you’ll need in a minute, are a real pig to build yourself). There’s a list of public buildings on the wiki and individual region pages like Sinai’s will often have details on buildings not on that list.

So, you’ve gotten clay, made jugs, fired jugs, made more jugs, and generally gotten sick of the word “jugs”? Great. Now it’s time to get sick of the word “vegetable”.

Growing vegetables is, in principle, easy. Plant ’em either in sand or grass (Onions, Leeks and Garlic like sand, the others like grass), then water them each once, and again whenever they grow in size. Make sure to plant them far enough away from each other that you can actually distinguish them when they get large, because the final stage of each plant is VERY large. Finally, they’ll grow large enough you can harvest them, and you’ll get your seed back, and … some vegetables.

How many depends on a number of factors. In general, a yield of above 6 is good, and the simplest way to get to 100 vegetables in that case is just to keep growing them. Occasionally, however, you’ll see very low yields (1 or 2), and at that point, you’ve got a choice.

You can keep growing them that way. Aargh. It’ll take forever, and growing vegetables requires you to stare at the screen constantly. Alternatively, you can try and trade another type of veg for the one you suck at growing. Or you could try and find a way to grow them better. Each vegetable has different conditions that it requires to flourish – again, check the Vegetables page of the wiki for hints on that, which will vary from “travel to the Magic Onion Patch” to “try growing carrots in 4 hours”.

Eventually, you’ll get your 100 vegetables and your cooking skill. And that’s where it gets even more complex.

TO BE CONTINUED SOON. In the meantime – build a Firepit BEFORE you build a kitchen, unless you have access to mutton and oysters already.

Any tips on growing vegetables or getting seeds, or *shudder* building up your pottery equipment solo?

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TL:DR – A Tale In The Desert’s Cooking Skill, Part 1

OK, so some time ago I promised a TLDR (which, in case you didn’t know, stands for “Too Long: Didn’t Read”) on Cooking as a subject in A Tale in the Desert.

Wow, that’s a big, big topic.

Cooking sounds attractive in Tale because it’s one of the few ways to raise your stats, and higher stats mitigate some of the limitations and frustrations in the game. Higher Strength means you can carry more weight, higher Dexterity means more bulk, higher Speed means you run faster, and so on. (As we’ll see next time, some of these stats are more effective than others, so caveat cook-or).

So what’ll you need to get started on cooking? Well, you’ll need the skill Cooking, you’ll need something to cook, and you’ll need something to cook it with or on.

The Skill Itself

To get Cooking, which you can get from any School of Worship, you need 100 each of Garlic, Cabbage, Onions, Leeks and Carrots. To grow those, you’re going to need seeds.

Now, if you visit a University of Worship (and have a paid account), you’ll get a random pack of 4 seeds for one of those vegetables. No problem, you might think, I’ll just multiply those seeds like I can multiply flax seeds, then trade for the other ones.

Not so fast. Multiplying seeds is fiendishly complex and so far at this point in Tale 5, no-one knows how to do it, or at least they’re not telling. From my experience, trading for seeds is likely to be a dead loss for anything other than other seeds, although that will probably depend on your region’s culture. So, how the hell do you get seeds?

You visit each and every University of Worship, and hope for the best. There are 7 regions in Egypt in Tale 5, and most of them are connected by chariot routes (see this handy page for lists of available chariot routes, all of which are now open). To use a chariot, you’ll need offline travel time, probably a few days’ worth of it. Alternatively, you could run, but that’ll take you the best part of a real-world day.

With any luck you’ll get enough seeds. You might not. In that case, trade 4 seeds of one type for 4 seeds of your missing type, and hope. This might take a while.

Vegetable Growing

Now you’ve got to grow your veg.

To do that, the most important thing you’ll need is water, and lots of it, which you gather in jugs. That means you’ll need, at minimum, about 20 jugs, which you create with clay using the Pottery skill on a Pottery Wheel. Getting all that lot together’s outside the scope of this guide (read the relevant entries on the Wiki), but one important point is that you’ll need leather and stones to create a pottery wheel. To get them, either ask if anyone will give you those things in trade chat (or trade for them, although my experience is that ATITD players are more likely to offer simple things as gifts than want to trade for low-level goods, and all this stuff counts as very low-level) or just use some public pottery wheels and kilms, or ones belonging to your guild. (Note: Being in a guild will REALLY help you as a new player, or indeed as any player – things like furnaces and mines, which you’ll need in a minute, are a real pig to build yourself). There’s a list of public buildings on the wiki and individual region pages like Sinai’s will often have details on buildings not on that list.

So, you’ve gotten clay, made jugs, fired jugs, made more jugs, and generally gotten sick of the word “jugs”? Great. Now it’s time to get sick of the word “vegetable”.

Growing vegetables is, in principle, easy. Plant ’em either in sand or grass (Onions, Leeks and Garlic like sand, the others like grass), then water them each once, and again whenever they grow in size. Make sure to plant them far enough away from each other that you can actually distinguish them when they get large, because the final stage of each plant is VERY large. Finally, they’ll grow large enough you can harvest them, and you’ll get your seed back, and … some vegetables.

How many depends on a number of factors. In general, a yield of above 6 is good, and the simplest way to get to 100 vegetables in that case is just to keep growing them. Occasionally, however, you’ll see very low yields (1 or 2), and at that point, you’ve got a choice.

You can keep growing them that way. Aargh. It’ll take forever, and growing vegetables requires you to stare at the screen constantly. Alternatively, you can try and trade another type of veg for the one you suck at growing. Or you could try and find a way to grow them better. Each vegetable has different conditions that it requires to flourish – again, check the Vegetables page of the wiki for hints on that, which will vary from “travel to the Magic Onion Patch” to “try growing carrots in 4 hours”.

Eventually, you’ll get your 100 vegetables and your cooking skill. And that’s where it gets even more complex.

TO BE CONTINUED SOON. In the meantime – build a Firepit BEFORE you build a kitchen, unless you have access to mutton and oysters already.

Any tips on growing vegetables or getting seeds, or *shudder* building up your pottery equipment solo?

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TL:DR : A Tale In The Desert: Bricks, grass, and other annoying things.

Rebecca and I have been playing A Tale In The Desert a fair bit recently, and enjoying the hell out of it – it’s incredibly deep and complicated, and there’s always something to learn. Unfortunately, that something often seems to be the tremendously complicated skill that you need to learn before completing the construction you just ground out 2000 bricks for, and now need Something You Can’t Get from Somewhere Bloody Miles Away.

(“Miles”, in ATITD terms, does not mean “one five-minute flight away”. We spent an hour and a half running to get to our local tarpit at one point.)

So, over the next few days we’ll feature a few quick guides to some of the things we’ve tried to build and tripped over the complexities of. (Hopefully this will also serve as a bit of an insight into Tale In The Desert for those who don’t play it yet).

Grass looks to be about the most annoying minigame ever. You need to click the “pick” icon, then step a couple of steps forward, then click the “pick” icon again, step forward… And you’ll need a few hundred grass most of the time.

There are a few tips that speed things up, however:

  • You get straw as a biproduct of processing rotten flax for a loom as well as by drying grass. Since you’ll need All Of Teh Twine In Teh World later on, this is a pretty valid alternate way to make straw.
  • You only need to pick a few hundred grass total before you can set your character to pick it offline. Once you can do that, you’ll basically never need to pick grass again, since one overnight stretch will net you 800 or so grass.
  • Gathering grass doesn’t stop you moving. So, click somewhere on the horizon across a load of grass, and then just click the grass icon whenever it comes up.
  • Alternatively, and in my opinion even quicker, you can simply hold down one of the arrow keys with the chat minimised, and you’ll walk in that direction. Now just stick your mouse over the place where the grass icon comes up, and click when it appears. With a bit of practise you can do this without even looking at the screen.
  • Annoyingly, there appear to be no good fully automated grass-growing macros, probably because it takes less time to get offline grass growing than it does to write the macro.

Bricks are a bit of a PITA to make too. The essential problems with bricks are that they’re very heavy, they require a mixture of ingredients, and they’re made in brick racks, which appear to be made from rotten balsa wood lightly dusted with sulfuric acid, and break into a thousand pieces any time you, another player, or a nearby sheep look at them funny.

  • The key to your brickbuilding process is your brickrack building process. Brick racks can break any time after they’ve been used 5 times – there’s a 1 in 6 chance for any use after the sixth that the’ll break. In my experience, it’s best to assume they’ll break after six uses, and make sure you’ve got enough boards in your inventory to create brickracks equal to your intended number of bricks over 36 (6 bricks per rack and 6 uses per rack). For simplicity, that’s your intended number of bricks divided by 9 in boards.
  • You should definitely use hotkeys for brick creation. Minimise chat, then hold down B and swipe your cursor over your brickracks to fill all the ones within range. Swipe with T to pick up dried bricks.
  • How many brick racks should you create at once? That’s definitely determined by how many you can reach – from experience, if your avatar stands in the middle of 20 racks, you can reach all of them without moving. Any more and you’ll have to move to fill them, which will really slow you down. 20 racks will let you create 120 bricks a time, which isn’t too bad – replace any broken brick racks as soon as you can.
  • My Top Protip Evar on brick production: Build a chest in your house. Half-fill that chest with brick supplies. Then create your brick racks within access distance of that chest. Drop bricks in when you finish them and take supplies out as you need to. IMO, this halves your production time.

Other Stuff that might be useful:

  • Boats look like they might be awesome. However, simple ferry boats can only cross very small rivers. Unless your region has learned how to make advanced ferries (ask in chat), it’s not worth the endless schlep to get tar.
  • If you build structures like distaffs outside, they’ll gradually degrade. Structure repair’s a bit of a pain to learn, so you’re apt to end up with broken buildings and wasted materials. Build ’em inside your house if at all possible.
  • Travel between regions is actually pretty quick and easy using a Chariot Stop. There’s a list of open routes available on the wiki. If you want to trade for more advanced or rarer materials, a quick bit of travel may be just the ticket.

So that’s it for now. Any tips we’ve missed for simple gathering? Tomorrow, either cooking or sheep. I haven’t decided.

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TLDR: Rogues In August 2010

We all know that forums like Elitist Jerks are where the top players go to share tips and work out tricks for insane DPS or amazing healing. But who has the time to read through all those massive threads?

MMO Melting Pot is on the case. We hack through the math so you don’t have to.

So, Rogues…

I guess the summary for our August TL:DR on Rogues is “nothing’s really changed”. If you’re up to date with your Roguing as of 3.3 (here’s the Elitist Jerks guide, which should tell you just about everything you need to know, and here’s the quick FAQ if you’re short on time or can’t be arsed, both from the truly awesome Aldriana), you’re up to date with playing a rogue.

Although there are some neat tricks you can pull with Killing Spree…

  • The State Of Play. Mutilate and Combat are about even damage-wise (in PvE). Rupture’s pretty much gone away as a used skill (although see below). Subtlety still sucks badly. You’ll still get shouted at on EJ if you try to use Black Magic on either of your weapons. There’s probably lots of interesting stuff happening in rogue PvP, but I’m afraid you’re on your own with the Arena Junkies Rogue PvP forums (unless anyone can write a guest post?) – I don’t speak Gladiator. Apparently they use a Subtlety spec a lot. Who knew?
  • Rupture News: If you’re a Mutilate rogue, don’t use Rupture. Just don’t. [pullquote] For mutilate, envenom just doesn’t do damage in one hit, it also increases your poison proc chance a lot and refreshes Slice and Dice. Not to mention, Rupture scales with only one thing, Attack Power. Arp, Haste, Crit, Hit -> all of it worthless for rupture.[/pullquote] If you’re a Combat rogue, the question of whether a High-Rupture (90% uptime on Rupture, Rupture prioritised over Eviscerate) or an Evis-only cycle still rages, but appears to be coming to a steady conclusion. There appears to be some agreement that on very, very static fights (Saurfang and Festergut) Rupture is ahead on DPS, but not by a hell of a lot, and it’s a complete pig of a playstyle to maintain against all other bosses. Try it on Hard Mode Putricide.
  • Sindragosa and Killing Spree. There’s some question in the EJ forums as to when the best time to Killing Spree on Sindy is to not get Tail Swiped. Agreement seems to be that you either want to KS when she’s breathing (because she won’t interrupt that to swipe, I think) or when she’s just landed.
  • Hard Mode Lich King and Killing Spree. In Hard Mode LK, it’s possible to use Killing Spree under rather specific circumstances to recover from a Valkyr dropping you off the edge of the platform. Essentially, you either need a) another valkyr near the same edge, or b) the valkyr that dropped you to go below 50% health, at which point it’ll fly back in and up. If you’ve got an Engineering cloak, that really, really helps, apparently. However, I’m afraid that HM Lich King is a bit beyond my pay grade, so I can’t confirm if this works!

That’s about it for this week – Rogues are, well, what Rogues are.

Any tips or tricks for Rogues I missed? Anyone have the foggiest clue what the state of the art is in PvP Rogueing? And any requests for the next TLDR class choice?

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TLDR: Magtheridon, Serpentshrine Cavern, Tempest Keep and Black Temple at 80

Herding Cats have recently been hacking our way through all the legacy content raids in WoW at level 80, in order to finally get the chance to experience every bit of raid content in the game. And so far, it must be said, we’re absolutely loving it – this is a personal and controversial opinion, but IMO very little in Icecrown Citadel matches up to the heights of Serpentshrine, Tempest Keep OR Black Temple in terms of dramatic, fun, story-driven fights. Lady Vashj was particuarly awesome.

One thing we’ve been finding is that for a 10-man raid, it’s possible to go into most fights without checking the tactics, and actually figure them out on the fly. It’s not a total faceroll – we had plenty of wipes yesterday – but it’s fun, challenging and refreshing.

Hence, our problem became how to know what tactics we really needed in order not to wipe our raid, and what tactics we could be surprised by and figure out on our own. We figured the list out, and now it’s time to share it so that your raids can be more surprised whilst being less unexpectedly flattened.

Magtheridon at 80

When he starts casting Blast Wave, LEG IT to one of the cubes and click on it.

Serpentshrine Cavern

  • Lurker Below: You need to raise this boss by fishing in the “Strange Pool” at the middle of the watery bit.
  • Fathom-Lord Kalethress: Kill the spitfire totem ASAP.

Tempest Keep

When Kaelthas starts casting Flame Strike, get the hell away from it. It will murderise you even at 80.

Black Temple

  • Reliquary of Souls: When it enters Phase 2, WATCH YOUR DAMAGE. You will take as much damage as you deal. Oh, and interrupt the Spirit Shock.
  • Mother Sharaz: If you get Fatal Attraction on yourself, run away from the other people who have it, quickly. Like, Defile quickly.
  • Illidari Council: You actually need tactics here. Have a ranged class tank the mage, DPS the paladin, and have another tank tank the other two mobs. And interrupt Lady Malande’s heals.
  • Illidan: When he summons fire elementals, stay close. If anyone goes more than 25 yards away from them they’ll enrage and wipe the raid.

And that’s all you need to know! More soon, I hope.

Did I miss any tactics, or would you like to suggest some for other instances?

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