Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Is it random?

This is a spreadsheet that totals up all of my Heroic runs on all of my characters.  I can't believe I've run 315 heroics.  You will see that the probability that my dungeons are distributed evenly is less than 0.01%.  That's not good.  Why the hell is Drak'tharon Keep so high?  I knew I was running that place too much.

Now, there are tons of things at play here, and the dungeons that I'm getting are also a result of player behavior. Perhaps players often drop out of Drak'tharon Keep?  It's important to remember that the Dungeon Finder is subject to player behavior and isn't just taking 5 people and tossing them into a dungeon.

If you are savvy enough with spreadsheets, here's how to make your own.
  1. Make a column for each of your characters, and a row for each Heroic.  I only used the old dungeons in the randomness calculations since the other ones are new and thusly I should have fewer runs of.
  2. Calculate the total number of times that you have run each Heroic.
  3. Calculate the total number of (old) Heroics that you have run and divide that by 12.  That is the number of times you would have run each dungeon in a perfectly random world.  That number will go in every cell in the expected column.
  4. Difference is the absolute value of expected minus total ( eg:  =ABS(F4-G4) )
  5. Chi-partial equals the square of difference divided by expected (=Difference^2/Expected)
  6. Chi square is the sum of all the Chi-partials   =SUM(H2:H13) on mine
  7. Degrees of Freedom is 11    (12-1, it's a statistics thing)
  8. Go to and enter Chi-square under X^2 and 11 for 2.
  9. Calculate and multiply by 100 to get your percentage.  
My actual percent chance that this was completely random was 0, but I knew that was a rounding error so I changed it to what I put there.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Love is In The Air Boss Strategy

This year, with Love is in the Air, there is a boss encounter in Shadowfang Keep.  The boss encounter is composed of 3 bosses put together, Apothecaries Hummel, Baxter, and Frye.  My suggested positioning for the beginning of the battle is pictured.

The gist of the fight that everyone needs to keep in mind is that they should each use either a cologne or perfume neutralizer and make sure to not stand in the areas of the fragrance that they are still vulnerable to.  Green is for cologne and purple is for perfume.

Hummel is the first boss to activate with Baxter activating second and Frye activating last.  When Hummel activates the tank will taunt him so that both Hummel and Baxter will be standing in front of his/herself.  That way, when they use their cologne or perfume frontal cone AOEs, they won't affect the rest of the party.

Frye is not so bad, he will activate and run around, slapping people and dropping aggro constantly.  The tank should use his/her taunt in order to keep him under control, but he can't be kept under control constantly.  When taunt fades, he will likely run off again.  He doesn't do much damage, however, so just do your best.  He mostly just throws down vials of cologne and perfume and runs around.

Furthermore, minor apothecaries spawn during the encounter, run around, and eventually explode for damage.  They can be killed to prevent the explosion, and depending on how good your healer is, you might want to assign a ranged to do that.

The big trouble with this encounter is making sure Baxter and Hummel are not facing the rest of the party, and making sure not to stand in the cologne and perfume AOEs.

If you're having more trouble with the encounter, wowwiki has some additional tips.

Good luck, and happy loot hunting.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Priesting is fun.

I've been running several random dungeons on my Priest lately and it's been both a blast and uber-frustrating at the same time.  If I have a poorly geared group, I am challenged with how well I can heal through people who aren't being careful enough for their gear level.  If I have a well-geared group, I am challenged with how much DPS can I do while still healing.  Using Mind Sear to proc Surge of Light and using the instant cast Flash Heals as my only healing is fun, honestly.

If the healing required is a bit higher, and more AOE oriented, I'll just jump around and spam Holy Nova.  I discovered I could do this when I was running Ahn'Kahet and the tank decided I needed a challenge (literally, he told me was going to make it fun for me) and pulled 6 mobs in the area between Prince Taldaram and Jedoga Shadowseeker.  I countered this by frantically spamming Holy Nova to heal and to make them die faster.  It's incredibly fun, but it does destroy my mana.  Mind Searing is nicer on the mana.

I've yet to be blamed for anything though, so that's pretty good.

I'm left with a list of frustrations:
  • Dear Warrior DPS, you may wear plate and have a bazillion hp (it's ludicrous) but if you pull threat, you can still die faster than I can heal you.  This is especially true on bosses.  Also, don't stand in a boss' whirlwind, it's still really damaging.
  • On a related note:  Tanks, when someone pulls off of you, it can be hard to tell it's happened and it's very frustrating when it does, but taunt it back onto you.
  • When Scourgelord Tyrannus knocks you back, tanks, it is not an invitation to charge right back into his Enraged self ("Power Overwhelming"), you're supposed to be kiting him over the frost patches so I don't have a heart attack.
  • On the same fight, I don't know if it was an accident or not, but please move your Regrowth button away from all of your tanking buttons, Madame Druid Tank.  Bosses hit hard on druids who aren't in Bear Form. True Story.  If you're running out of bar space go here.
  • Mirrored Soul means to stop DPSing, or else you'll kill somebody.  Me.
  • Before the second boss in TOC 5-man, don't pull 2 of the groups simultaneously.  You'll destroy my mana pool and make the subsequent boss fight a frantic hell for me.
On a closing note listen to In the Moonlight, from Modern Family.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Game Review: Uncharted 2

I absofuckinglutely love this game.  It opens with the protagonist, Nathan Drake, shot, bleeding, and freezing to death in a train car that is hanging off of the side of a cliff and only not falling because it is connected to the next train car.  He must then climb his way along the outside of the train car and run for his life to get onto safe land.  From there, the action never stops.  The game then flashes back and the story progresses until we see how Drake ended up on that train in that position and continues from that point to its conclusion.

The cover-based third-person shooting never becomes old because of how well it is implemented and because the levels are not only varied in location, but have differences in theme for the gunplay.  Some levels emphasize stealth.  Some levels emphasize explosive action.  In some areas you are just running for your life.  These, as well as many other scenarios kept me interested and happy.  My first playthrough clocked in at around 10 hours played, and there never was a dull moment.

Stealth, platforming, cover, melee, and gunplay are all designed and implemented excellently and kept me happy throughout the duration of the game

One of my complaints about the first game was that the platforming elements that were played up in previews of the game were not featured as heavily as expected in the final product, and appeared to disappear towards the end of the game.  Uncharted 2 keeps the varied gameplay elements omnipresent throughout the duration of the game.  Furthermore, the game is very flexible in how you approach each situation.  If you want to try to stealth kill all of your enemies, you can be successful with that, if you want to kill them all Rambo-style you can.  Each method has its challenges and rewards.

Furthermore, this game has realistic, non-cartoony graphics that also have color and style.  The character models are well done and respond to changes in environment.  Clothes become wet when you swim, and your boots gather snow as you plod through the mountains.  The script, acting, and animations were excellently done and portrayed an interesting story.

I'm almost done playing through the game a second time on the hardest difficulty, Crushing.  Afterward, I'm going to send it back to Gamefly and eagerly await for it to be released on Greatest Hits so I can buy it cheaply.

Great job, Naughty Dog!