Tag Archives: Cynwise’s Field Notes

On a Fistful of Cyns

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Since this comes up every so often on Twtter, here are all the Cyn-alts I’ve rolled over the past few years.

  • Cynwise
  • Cynwulf
  • Cyndershot
  • Aggravacyn
  • Cynedra
  • Cynew
  • Cynic
  • Cynshine
  • Cynsprocket
  • Cynwë
  • Discyngage
  • Cynbegone
  • Cynchronic
  • Cynderblock
  • Cynderbloom
  • Cynderburn
  • Cynderspark
  • Cynewulf
  • Cynexxister
  • Cynhilda
  • Cynix
  • Cynlthea
  • Cynnerella
  • Cynneth
  • Cynralyl
  • Cynstomp
  • Cyntilate
  • Cynwii
  • Cynwyn
  • Darkbladecyn
  • Cynwine
  • Ellicyn
  • Lillicyn
  • Lunacyn
  • Cyncodemayo
  • Cynebriated
  • Cyndragosa
  • Cynnestra
  • Cynsong
  • Cyndri
  • Cynxl
  • Cynstar
  • Cynli
  • Cynewave
  • Cynifra
  • Cynixie
  • Cynred
  • Cynder
  • Cynner

(It’s amazing what you find in your WTF folder.)

Proposed alt names from this afternoon that I haven’t used (so I don’t lose them):

  • Electricyn
  • Cynergy
  • Noncynse
  • Cyndication
  • Cyncerity
  • Cyncerly
  • Cynical
  • Lecyn
  • Cynonym
  • Discynchant
  • Cyngledout
  • Cymply
  • Cynseless
  • Medicyn
  • Cynsative
  • Cynnamon
  • Cynderella
  • Cynsational
  • Kerocyn
  • Cynpossible
  • Incynsear
  • Cynlikecheese
  • Cynse
  • Cynsible
  • Hemocyn

Some really good ones, like Cynchronicity, are just too long.

I’ll leave it as an exercise for the reader as to what the class/spec/hair color of many of these alts were. :)

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One Reason Isle of Conquest is Effed in EVERY Bracket

Isle_of_conquest_-_demolishers_at_84_-_graveyard_camping_-_lol
  1. “It’s the Isle of Conquest.” – Narci.

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Five Ways in which the 80-84 Isle of Conquest is Effed Up

Cynwulf_-_isle_of_conquest_-_demo_graveyard_-_destroying_the_siege_engine_-_lol_-_better_get_maaco

The Isle of Conquest isn’t my favorite battleground, but it’s so broken in the 80-84 bracket it’s not funny.

  1. Bosses are effectively unkillable. It’s not just that you need a geared 84 tank to take them out – you do, and good luck finding one of them – it’s that geared level 84 healers can’t keep up with the damage due to scaling. Level 84 characters are good for DPS, that’s about it.
  2. Bracket imbalance between 80 and 84. Some classes are exceptionally powerful at 80 when geared properly and can take out 84s – but the cost of gearing up a toon in full Wrath PvP gear is prohibitively expensive. DPS that scales with gear improves through 84 (84 Frost DKs are a nightmare) while healers get less effective. This isn’t a problem with IoC specifically, but it’s my list and it’s a problem with the bracket.
  3. Graveyard control can funnel entire teams into a single, easily-camped graveyard. This isn’t really a problem with the bracket, but if you control the rez vectors you can get the entire opposing team to rez at your keep’s GY. (Or their keep’s GY, but someone always takes their flag.)
  4. Siege engines do MASSIVE amounts of AoE damage. They can be used to 1-shot everyone. I mean, everyone, including level 84 twinks. Hey, eat 120k damage!
  5. Entire teams can get 1-shot every 30 seconds. Take #3, add #4, and now you know how to win IoC in this bracket. 40 players rez beside enemy keep, Siege Engine charges, kills all of them. Back up and repeat.

See what I mean about being broken?

Winning strat: Everyone to Workshop. Let enemy take Docks and assault your Keep. Take Hanagar, hold Workshop while capturing their Keep (turn the GY.) Retake Docs. Send Siege back to your keep but DO NOT RETAKE. Ensure that opponent’s rez vector is toyour Keep. Protect siege as it grinds rez waves. Rack up massive HKs, win on reinforcements.

Sanity-preserving strat: Consider /afking and questing instead.

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On ESDF, Old Dogs, New Tricks

Cynwulf_-_av_-_bunker_defense_-_lol

One of my goals in my Mists bucket list is to learn to use an ESDF keybind. It’s a little odd. There’s a story behind this goal, and … I don’t know how it ends. See, I’m not trying to move from WASD to ESDF (which is honestly a difficult move for many people.) That shift over one key can have a big impact on your playstyle and muscle memory.

No, I’m moving from a system where I steered entirely with my mouse to using some of the keyboard to steer, freeing up more of the Naga mouse buttons for casting. This somewhat unconventional system has worked for me for a while – over a year – but there are some drawbacks which I hope ESDF will help address.

And to date, it’s been a disaster.

THE PRICE OF COMPLEXITY

Cynwise_-_demo_ui_starting_point_-_mid_december_2011

I used to play WoW exclusively on a 13″ MacBook. I detailed how that influenced my keybinding in some detail on CBM over two years ago – and while things evolved and changed over time, the basic philosophy of pinky on Tab, move with mouse, and rebind the entire keyboard stayed the same. I got better moving with the mouse, binding my strafe keys to it, getting a Naga, binding autorun to the center button, things like that.

The biggest advantage is the huge number of keybinds I can squeeze out of the laptop. The picture above is a recent shot (mid-December 2011), and is actually a somewhat stripped out PvE keybinding. The PvP binds were more full:

Cynwise_-_lillis_-_pilgrims_peril_-_uc_-_i_brought_a_fork

It was complicated, and a little overwhelming, but I could get to everything. And there are like 80 keybinds without even thinking too hard about it!

The problem came when I started healing again, and suddenly I’m supposed to be mousing over things to heal them.

And moving.

Huh. Okay, that is a bit of a challenge.

I actually figured out how to do this, with a combination of Click-to-Move and Autorun that worked out pretty well. But all the while, my keybinds and bartender setup got more and more complicated, and further from the standard. No problem, right? I have backups, lots of backups, it doesn’t matter that my bars have only a superficial relationship to the original mapping, right?

*sigh*

IT ALL FALLS APART

Got a new computer. Yay!

It’s hooked up to a huge screen. Yay!

Wow, look at all that screen space! I bet I could actually … see my screen, not have to viewport it just to be able to see my feet under my casting bars. The possibilities!

Maybe, just maybe, I could try out some of those fancy UI packages that people always rave about. You know, ElvUI or TukUI or … anything, really. I have a new computer, so it shouldn’t affect my other UI settings, right? I have backups and screenshots and the like.

I’ll just try it out on one character. Sure, ElvUI kinda screwed up my previous UI, but that was because it was on the same computer. I’m sure I’ll be able to revert.

Ok, huh, a couple of setup steps… looks nice, looks cool… the bindings are gone, but that makes sense, Bartender has its own settings. They’ll come back. This is kinda neat.

Huh, my abilities are all in odd order, must be something with the bars. I can fix that later.

*plays around with it for a while, switches to a different toon*

Wait. Where are my keybinds?

*different toon*

Why are the bars all messed up? I mean, not only keybinds but actions are gone? Buttons are messed up?

*switches back to toon with ElvUI running*

Keybinds are gone, bars are messed up here, too.

Ok, don’t panic. I have backups.

*exits WoW, uninstalls ElvUI/TukUI, restores WTF/Addon folders, logs back in*

Oh god.

They’re gone. They’re all gone.

*goes to laptop, logs in*

Same here. Keybinds are stored on the server. Whatever ElvUI did to the binds must have wiped out all the bartender settings, too.

*opens macro pane*

Dude, where are my macros?

Cynwulf_-_parachute_failure_-_lol_facepalm

DESPAIR AND DESTRUCTION AND THE ALLURE OF PEER PRESSURE

Well, fuck.

I still don’t know how it all happened. I went from installing ElvUI and going, okay, looks nice, but doesn’t scale well down to 13″ (which is why I rejected it originally), let’s try something else, to losing the heart of my custom UI across all characters.

I could have rebuilt it. I could have rebound the buttons and gone through each character, recreating their macros and trying to match up what I had done before.

But I thought, you know what? Maybe this is a good thing. Maybe this is a chance to start fresh, to throw it all out, eliminate the cruft and get something that can work on both computers. I can figure out how to sync them, I’m sure I can pick something simple that uses the default bars. Maybe I can finish up that keybind post by revisiting my own binds. After all, most really good PvP players seem to get by just a few addons, not major reconfiguration of the bars.

Maybe I should try doing it the way everyone else does. Maybe there’s a reason I should be using WASD that I don’t know about. Everyone else does it, it lets them use their mouse to click on things, I wouldn’t have to autorun everywhere.

Maybe not WASD. Didn’t Christian Moore have a post on ESDF? Oh yeah, that looks a little better, let’s try that. It’s not universal like WASD, but it’s got some clear advanatages, let me try that out.

*tinkers*

So, ESDF is now bound on all my characters. Right in the middle of my prime keybind space are movement keys. I’ve shifted my hand to a different position, unbound strafe from my Naga, rebound all sorts of action keys to it…

…and I kinda suck with it.

I’ve been playing with ESDF for about a week now, and there’s no real good way to put it. I suck. I flounder and mishit abiliites. I’m slower with casting off the Naga than the keyboard. Not finding the button – pushing and then spaming it. I switch to mouse driving, then remember I’m supposed to use E to go forward.

The UI layout is also confusing, because the buttons aren’t laid out in a visual way. So I’m like, wait, where is that ability? It’s on that bar, what is that key combo? Shift-3, REALLY?

So I’m kinda at a low point here with this new keybind experiment. I’m struggling to find a clear and compelling reason to stick with it, aside from “this will take time and a lot of practice.”

Like, just because something is popular and The Usual Suspect, does it mean it’s the best option? Is this like driving a car, where you want to have controls be standard across all models and types? Am I doing ESDF just to fit in? Or do I really believe it’s going to turn out to be better?

I don’t know. I don’t see compelling evidence yet that it’s going to be that much better than mouse-driving.

But maybe that’s because I haven’t really given it a good solid try. That’s what worries me. Maybe it’s just a matter of not putting in the effort, and that a week isn’t enough. Maybe it’s 2, or 4, or 6 weeks until it’s comfortable.

Maybe. I dunno.

I hope it’s worth it.

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On Making A Bucket List for Mists of Pandaria

Cynwulf_-_maelstrom_-_thrall_-_twilight_threat

Is it too soon to be talking about making a bucket list for Cataclsym? I don’t know, but I’ve been thinking about it, indirectly. And maybe it’s time.

By cancelling my recurring subscription, I’ve accelerated the end-of-expac mindset and have to start thinking about what do I really want to get done in game. I’ve placed a constraint upon myself – not a hard constraint, but a soft limit that challenges me to define what I want to do, see if I can do it by a specific date, and then evaluate if I’m still enjoying playing enough to justify purchasing another month. Or three. Or if I should take a break.

I like constraints. I wrote about embracing constraints at the end of Wrath, and while I’m not feeling the same pressure I did back then – I don’t think all the revamped zones I haven’t yet seen are going to disappear when Mists is released – by drawing a line in the sand it’s at least forcing me to ask what my goals are, what do I really want to do? There’s a difference between action and accomplishment, and MMOs blur that line. I enjoy logging in to my Druid and kind of mindlessly healing battlegrounds now, free of the grind, free of anything other than trying to better my performance and win a fight – but that doesn’t necessarily get me closer to goals and accomplishments. I still have attachments. I still have desires. I haven’t reached satori yet.

There’s more to this desire than just an expiring subscription, though. Killing Deathwing means that Cataclysm is over for me, at least from the story’s standpoint. Sure, I can kill him a few more times, but … why? I think the only reason I’d venture back in to Dragon Soul is if my guild is short a DPS, or if I have some friends who are running LFR. Hey, Cyn, want to go? Sure, why not? is about what it comes down to.

So all of this makes me think it’s time to put together a bucket list for this expac. Get some focus. Have a list of things I want to do before it ends, and do them.

Caveat: I don’t think this is going to be especially deep or anything like that; sometimes it’s just nice to write things down to organize your thoughts around them.

TL:DR: there are many bucket lists. This one is mine.

Everyone

  • Since keybinds and UI got wiped out last week, go back and rebind everyone to a ESDF model. Switch over to ESDF from previous mouse movement + keyboard casting model.
  • If you can’t be bothered to rebind a character’s keys, delete it.
  • If you have more than one alt of any given class, consider deleting.
  • If alt is on a server I haven’t visited in 6 months, delete it.
  • General bag and bank cleanout.
  • Redo addon profiles in ACP for each toon. This got fubared in the computer move too.
Cynwise_-_blessed_by_elune

Cynwise

About the only thing I can think of is getting ‘wisey some gear for the looks. That’s it.

  • The only gear that really appeals to me, visually, is the S11 Conquest gear. It looks great, and I’d like to have it for mogging later on. But I don’t have a lot of Arena options right now, so this goal might be shelved.
  • Consider filling out the T13 look with lookalike VP gear, if I want to make tentacle jokes later on.
  • (I can’t even be chuffed to go max out the Catalyst reputations. Is that bad? Maybe I should do that so I can get the BoA enchants for next expac, at least? Nah.)
Cynli_the_greenhealer

Cynli

  • Exalted with SSO for BiS alchemy trinket, resilience head enchant, and really cool tabard.
  • Design mog outfit to go with Waypoint tabard.
  • Design mog outfit to go with SSO tabard. Go buy the title, why not, you’ve earned it, right?
  • Complete bear set, tank a few times to make sure keybinds are ok.
Ashwalker_-_untwinking_at_70

Ashwalker

  • Level to 75 to max out professions, especially JC.
  • (Consider dropping Engineering for something that makes money)
  • (Consider leveling to 85 for possible main replacement in Mists)
  • Design mog outfit to go with Gilneas tabard (already have other alliance tabard outfits).
Parachute_failure

Cynwulf

  • Screenshots. LOL screenshots.
  • That’s it. Dude is done.
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Waylan

  • Sell off contents of guild bank, everything must go. Consider selling guild bank (5 tabs, anyone want?)
  • Level to 75 (currently 60) and max out professions. If you can’t get back into playing a rogue, consider deleting and leveling Enchanting on Ash/Cynix.
  • I haven’t really enjoyed playing a rogue. I like this character concept and homage, but … I haven’t enjoyed roguery since level 30 or so. :(
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Cynedra

  • Once keybinds are done on secondary spec, she’s done.Don’t have any desire to level her up at this point, not even to see Hordeside quests.
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Cynix

  • Not going to lie, healing LFD is kinda boring. If I can’t level Waylan up to 75 easily, then I’ll level Cynix up to 75 healing LFD (currently 42) and consider making her my new enchanter on Durotan.
  • Otherwise, done. (Hey! I didn’t say delete her, I’m improving!)
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Cynderblock

  • Done. Already has all Cata BiS gear.
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Other Alts < 20

  • You probably need an AGM at this point to not get deleted, to be honest. That leaves a human mage and a blood elf pally, as well as my level 24 hunter twink.

—-

I didn’t think too hard about the list – this is very much the first or only things that came to mind as I went through my roster of characters. What I find interesting are two things:

  1. How professions-oriented it is. With the exception of some mog outfits, it’s all about getting professions to a level where they’re useful at endgame, not about getting the toons to endgame.
  2. It’s fairly grounded towards a return. Most of the goals presume that I’ll be coming back to the characters and actively playing them, hence a focus on cleanup.

I’ll have to think about this list some more, and probably prune it down some. There’s only so much time between now and mid-February, so I don’t even think the whole thing is possible. And there are no BHAGs like the Ambassador project to really sweep aside all other motivations and get me going.

So. We’ll see how I do.

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On Tree of Life Form in Battlegrounds

Cynli_-_tree_of_life_form_-_strand_of_the_ancients_-_courtyard_-_lol

Tree of Life form should be capable of doing siege damage in battlegrounds.

I’m just sayin’.

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On the Bittersweet End of Cataclysm

Cynwise_-_maelstrom

Spoilers here for the DW fight.

Cynwise killed Deathwing tonight. I’d honestly thought it was something I’d either miss this expansion, or that it would be an end-of-xpac kind of kill. I thought it would be something I’d be trumpeting and going AW YEAH and TAKE THAT and PWND and /FLEX.

I’m not feeling any of those things. Oddly, I think it’s a hugely fun fight, epic in the right ways, with enough action cues to make me go AW YEAH while I was doing it. On to the ship! GO GO GO GO grab a parachute GO GO GO GO GO on to the next rock GO GO GO GO GO stop Deathwing before he blows up the world GO GO GO YOU LAGGARDS!

Matthew Rossi covered this feeling of epicosity well in Big Stakes and the End of an Expansion. It’s a good read, about how – story wise – this is a perfect ending to this expansion. I completely agree. I finally feel fulfilled with the story, engaged with it, my own characters place within it has solidified in a way that only happened once Arthas lay dead at my feet in Wrath. Cataclsym didn’t feel real to me until End Time and Dragon Soul.

But there’s a real difference here, too. With DS, my response to Deathwing’s death was, dang, that was cool. It was fun and fulfilling. It also took about 1 hour tonight, and we 1-shot bosses I’d never seen before in LFR.

With ICC, I sobbed when Arthas hit the ground. Months of frustration and learning to raid and trying to get the right group and Jesus why am I dying to Infest and all the rest culiminated into a cathartic outpouring of relief and joy.

These two experiences highlight, for me, the difference in hitting story-based goals versus hitting performance-based goals. Before LFR, they were intertwined. Now, I can experience reaching the story goal without also reaching the performance goal.

This is good, because my interest in actually pursuing normal raiding is pretty low. I’m probably not going to kill Deathwing on Normal, and I’m okay with that.

But it’s bad, because by removing the story-based incentive Blizzard also lessens the impact of (and motivation for) completing the raid on normal difficulty. I’m pretty sure that I’m done with Cataclsym at this point. I might level up a few alts, hang out with folks, but that dragon thing? Stick a fork in it. Done.

Is that really bad, though? I mean, if I was already drifting away (and let’s face it, I have been), is it better to go out with a great story and having fun? Or should the game try to keep me engaged, try to get that sense of real accomplishment out of hitting a raid goal?

I think, all in all, that just letting me go with a fun action-adventure that didn’t take all that long was probably the right thing for my long-term interest, if not my short term.

So.

I’m done with Cataclysm. That’s strange to say, it feels strange to consider it that way, but it’s really true. I’ve won the xpac. I can go do something else now.

I have some minor gripes about some of the motifs and imagerly used in the end of the story arc, mostly with the “Age of Mortals” idea, but I don’t think I want to dwell on them tonight.

It’s a bittersweet thing when a story ends.

Cynwise_-_fall_of_deathwing_-_skybreaker

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