Selective Perfection

What makes us want to excel at certain tasks? Why do some of us slave over combat logs while others look at recount summaries? What drives a person to spend years training for a job others are capable of but unwilling to learn? These questions really interest me, so I decided to write about my experiences with what I’ll call selective perfection.

I started this post a week ago but got stuck until I had a chat with my wife. My wife (being the brilliant, beautiful, and clever physician she is) had some insight into my writers block. Recently she attended a lecture about adolescent eating disorders, and the lecture really centered around one thing: behavioral rewards. The research about these disorders was focused on learning what these teens (overwhelming female of course) got out of not eating. What was the reward for them? Because one thing is true about our species, we never engage in a behavior without some kind of reward. I can’t show you the comic because of copyright but my mind instantly jumps to a Far Side cartoon where a cow drives a meat truck past his buddies. “Sorry guys, but the money was just too good.” Anyway, the point of the lecture was that they were seeing positive results by identifying the behavioral reward and trying to eliminate it.

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Death Knight Talent Synergy in MoP

Between listening to podcasts and reading articles I’m interested in the idea of synergy between new talents in the Mists of Pandaria expansion. I think this is an interesting concept and I’m excited about getting into it.

Let’s look at a few death knight talents that work together regardless of spec. After looking through the talents I find most of the synergy in combinations to be heavily oriented towards PvP play.

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MoP First Impressions & ‘Other Stuff’

Other Stuff
Tuesday was pretty much an amazing day. It started with my guild attempting our first ever current-content hard mode encounter. We had planned to pull Morchok 5 times, and on the first 2 pulls we got him to 50% before a crystal spawned too far from the boss and the tanks responded too slowly (we each took one turn screwing up). On our fifth attempt we killed the boss with a minute and a half left on the enrage timer. About an hour later, as I tabbed out during a break, I found out I had gotten my beta invite. Could this have gotten any better? Well, yes actually, because the next night after we cleared Madness we got a surprise.

Shared Topic: Who are You?

Trying to find a character in the Warcraft universe that I identified with is pretty difficult. Part of the problem is that many of the NPC’s that we come in contact with are heroic, and their exploits are legendary. I also have a strange take on this topic, in that I have two answers. One of my answers revolves around matching my real life personality with someone in game. The other is who my main character is modeled after.

Be warned, my favorite class (ever since Warcraft 2) is paladins.

Leorad is my main, even if he is not my raiding character at this time. He was the first character created during my trial period, and remains the character I level first and foremost each expansion. Leorad is a paladin specialized in Protection and Retribution. More specifically he is a soldier and a warrior. He does not go out looking for glory and honor, his actions and accomplishments are simply the result of a moral obligation to doing what is right and helping others. Whether those acts are heroic, or grant him recognition, are irrelevant. In this way I have modeled my character around Danath Trollbane. I really loved him in Warcraft 2 lore (the Second War), and enjoyed using him as a hero unit in W2: Beyond the Dark Portal. He come from a famous family, but was not inherently famous. He was simply an exceptional warrior who was recognized for his tremendous accomplishments. And when he had the opportunity to rest and bask in his glory and return to the Arathi Highlands, he chose instead to serve as second-in-command to General Turalyon and pass through the Dark Portal in order to extinguish the threat of the orcs. Finally, when Turalyon went missing, he took up leadership of the Sons of Lothar. He is a tremendous soldier and leader, because that how he identifies himself. Duty above all else.

The personal part is much more difficult. In my mind, saying that you remind yourself of Malfurion Stormrage is kind of silly. I mean, have YOU ever fight back against an evil firelord in his own realm? No? Then it’s an awfully difficult comparison. I guess I identify the most with Lord Grayson Shadowbreaker. He served with distinction in the Second and Third Wars, and now is the commanding officer of the paladins of Stormwind. He is also the lead paladin trainer, charged with teaching and preparing young paladins to serve the Alliance. In real life I am a teacher and coach. I once experienced and participated in these activities, and now I am responsible for passing that learning on to a new generation of students and athletes. Although in one respect we are quite different. He is far more patient than I am, especially considering how many times I’ve gone back to him to work on my talents. He’s rather understanding that way.

Knee Jerk Rxn: MoP Beta Glyphs

Some Mists of Pandaria glyphs are out in the beta and here is my reaction to the ones that caught my eye. Glyphs have been a perfectly good addition to World of Warcraft, but they’ve never really delivered in terms of how awesome they could be. Until now apparently.

Paladins
Glyph of Avenging Wrath
While Avenging Wrath is active, you are healed for 0% of your maximum health every 4 sec

  • Pretty excited about this one, free health is always welcome, and with the moderately short cooldown on Avenging Wrath this is a great glyph for all 3 specs.

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Mists of Pandaria

My first official post of my blog is in regards to the new expansion, Mists of Pandaria. Having been an avid Warcraft gamer since the original RTS game, I’m pleased to know that I still get excited when the game and story progresses. It feels weird to write about the expansion when the purpose of this blog was a chance for me to write about Death Knights and Paladins, but it’s on my mind.

The Good

Most of it. Honestly there is very little I’m not pleased with as I read through the new content. I’m excited to level up my warlock (eventually) with the information given about them. As a level 51 warlock the concept of fixing Destruction and Demonology was irrelevant to me, the new stuff just sounds so damn cool.

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Gaming while Parenting