Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Healatica Principia

This started as a response to an Ego post on downranking, but grew well out of scope. The short version:

For raiding, you do have to offset damage taken against the healing you expect them to receive from other healers.


For raiding, the key points are:
#1. There is a minimum amount of overheal required to keep a raid tank alive
#2. The goal is to run out of mana exactly at the end of the fight
#3. Mostly, healers have SICK amounts of regen now. We aren't in MC any more. Eldr has nearly 600 mp5 oo5sr and he's far from leet.

Healing by prio is very effective:
#1. Can you CoH 3+ people?
#2. Does anyone need a shield+pom?
#3. Does anyone need a flash?
#4. Is PoM on CD? If not send to tank.
#5. Is a tank healer having trouble keeping up? GHmax
#6. Is renew up on tanks?
#7. Do you have <10% mana? Take a spirit break
#8. Chaincast GH1, even if the tank is full

Besides this, there has to be awareness of the other healers. Paladins are spike saviours, let them do it. Druids prevent spikes, Shaman spam CH4 - help with spikes more. Even if you have paladins, if there's spiky damage on ranged they may be FoLing, watch where others are healing and be cautious - better to waste mana than lose the tank.

We rarely allocate dedicated healers (and my priest is an alt), so I prefer to help out all over rather than try to muscle in on a specific area. Everyone is better at something than priests, I see it as my job to keep the toys going (coh, pom, renew) and help out as necessary. When flashing, I often target the person second-most in need of a heal, as my heals are smaller than others' and the other healers are very, very fast!

Monday, June 16, 2008


response to another of shamus' posts.

Slang serves many purposes and leetspeak is a fine example of all of them. It's being studied. The key driver imho is not technological change per se, but the availability and routing of comm channels. Rigid language is a form of redundancy which helps the language survive long journeys or periods of isolation. "Rosy fingered dawn arose above the wine dark sea".

The internet, dictionaries and the vast body of modern literature available make this redundancy unnecessary, so language is naturally evolving to a more portable, rich, fluid form.

I use a lot of spoken leet, but usually for effect. I like the subtleties of emphasis it allows. For example:

lol: just funny. Generally people say 'hehe' now.
lul: funny because someone's being stupid or a dick which is what lul means in Dutch.
kek: Alliance side, this means kk (ok) but also that I think you're telling me to do something dumb
lolwut: like wtf but less offensive

Most people probably don't get these subtleties, but that's the point of slang.

WTF is pronounced wuh-tuh-fuh. Pwned is powned or owned, I honestly couldn't care less. Anyone who says pee-owned is an outsider.

I do sometimes find it difficult speaking to work colleagues who still have a tenuous idea of what the tubes are about. Most of the little jokes, references and asides I usually pepper my conversation with I have to omit or expect to be ignored. This probably makes me seem kinda boring, when in fact I'm trying way harder to understand their hobby than they are mine. crai crai. (self-aware emo)

I met a work colleague who didn't understand emo the other day. After a pause, we silently agreed this was an unbridgable chasm and we should just move on.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

The content

After Ego's visit, I'm all starstruck and concerned someone might actually read this blog. Or try to. Doesn't look like there's much here, hm?

All the links are in my shared items, so as not to clog this blog. I read a lot of news, mainly slashdot and lolcats, but now and then I stumble on something like findlaw or ethicalcorp.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Second comment on the same post. I'm gonna have to start paying Shamus for storage.


@DevNull: yay I'm not alone! I feel less dirty for liking WoW now. A little anyway.

Are cookiecutter builds so bad? With scarce resources, not many people will actually achieve the perfect build. It gives people an easy point to aim for, letting them get 'on the path'* without a statistics degree. A rich, well-balanced system will allow playstyle differences to make deviation profitable. So newbies can get on the path to cookiecutter easily, then when they get there they're pro enough to understand the deviations they want to make. I raid felguard.

I actually love the idea of legendary weapons, which provide 50-75% of your character's power. I would like to be able to name my weapon, pop different mods in and out, upgrade the core weapon down multiple trees and so on. I'd be happy to get 1 new weapon every 20 levels, that would require a LOT of work (or some work and the gutting of my current weapon) to bring up to a reasonable level. Each weapon would give my character almost entirely different abilities.

Of course what I'm talking about is a mech game that isn't a frackin mech game**. I've hated every one I tried, totally unapproachable, no story, post-apoc setting. Don't they like selling games?

HG:L screwed the pooch on this one by not allowing you to remove enchantments. You could screw up your uberweapon, forever. In short: no respec button. So close, but no cigar. I'm not Korean, nor am I unemployed, therefore the chances of me ever getting a really good weapon are nearly nil.

That's really demotivating. CRPGers will put up with a hell of a lot if they're on the path. HG:L tips you off the path at every opportunity, one misstep and boom you're dead. Call me obsessive but playing without a respec button is like hardcore mode to me.

* 'on the path' is not my idea, but I wish it was.

** Click my name.

and yeah, I did mention I like obsessive analysis right?

HG:L response

re: Hellgate:London Autopsy, Part 3

Where HG:L really screwed up is not in making crafting a viable way to obtain and customise top-end items, but allowing it to eclipse the other methods. WoW has several playstyles which reward loot, each generally has a few best-in-slot items to offer which encourage diversifying one's experience.

For the most important gear (read: stuff you might use), WoW is moving towards point and token buy systems. This avoids some of the real-money-trading issues around gold while providing the guarantee of item X after Y points. The Diablo concept of maybe, juuuust maybe a SoJ dropping off a random zombie has been dead for a long time in favor of custom loot tables.

The HG:L tooltips aggravate me more than anything else in the game. One of the revolutionary innovations in WoW was simply putting a DPS (damage per second) number on weapons. It's a small but significant step away from pnp handwaving. It speaks of a culture that cares about mechanical balance and a confidence that 'exploiting' the system is simply playing well. *

The (generally) extremely accurate and detailed tooltips allow theorycrafters to construct wonderful spreadsheets to allow you to figure out your actual DPS. Programmatic access to the combat log allows in-depth postmortems and metrics.

It all comes down to providing control and continual positive feedback. These are key to the usability of any system, not just games.

Veering briefly back to the OP, HG:L has none of that. It's a game-killer to a systems junkie like me. WoW's transparency culture produced the armory**, HG:L can't even tell me what my spells do before I buy them.


* AD&D is phenomenally exploitable so there was a continual game of "what can we get away with?". There's a theory that munchkins find this question so inescapably fascinating they are unable to focus on actual roleplay while it stands. Consequently they test the DM to destruction.

Technically coins can be thrown 3/round for 1 damage. Plus strength modifier. That gets pretty crazy with a haste (6 coins /r) and a +10 strength mod. They're more like Stinger missiles at that point.

** The Armory is an inspiring example of a web application. There aren't many websites this sophisticated.