Friday, 23 April 2010

What exactly IS the marginal tree?

You might ask. So here is what is what.

'The marginal tree' is the concept of the single tree in any ecosystem, that if cut down, will guarantee the collapse of said ecosystem. Up until felling that marginal tree, the system could support itself. Without it, it is impossible. As such, it is a terribly important tree.

Trouble is, it is really rather hard to find out which tree is the marginal one. As such, the concept serves as a warning; we might be closer to the collapse of the athmosphere as an ecosystem than we like to think.

In relation to WoW, what does this then mean? To me it is a concept of my purpose in the raid or group. You are supposed to matter. If you are expendable or replaceable, then you are not the marginal tree. It is a constant reminder to try my best and to remember that we are only successful if we work together as a group - we work as agents within a system.

Now, hippie mumbojumbo aside, according to my friend and bringer of the holy light, Uniform, this might just be the marginal tree:

I hope he is right! If this indeed is the marginal tree, we will not have to fear the collapse of the planet's ecosystem after all! I mean, what kind of person would cut this beauty down?

The long wait

I have ordered my gaming rig today! Yay!

Setting me back 1600 EUR or 2100 USD. Ish. Boo!

The day will come, of course, when I will throw in a SSD as a boot disk, then some more RAM, stuff like that. It will most likely cost me parts of my soul and/or a few disposable organs along the way. But hey! GAMUR 4 LIEF, right?

Wednesday, 21 April 2010


In getting my gaming-rig-face on, I tend to get carried away. To the dismay of my much frustrated bank, I am currently carried much further than just  'away'. I'm not sure what they call this place, actually. But it got tons of RAM, i7, 120 Hz and Crossfired HD5870s. It should do fine for a spot of WoW.

The pricetag, for instance. This stuff is expensive in Denmark, seeing as we pay taxes on consumer electronics and everything else for that matter. Because, you know, we have free health care for everybody and that is not cheap.

I have this savings account that I am using as a playground for a wad of cash. Enough cash to buy me said system, and then some. Trouble is, I think I am supposed to use those money for emergencies of some sort. There was definitly some purpose defined in some kind of will at some point.

So the battle is on between my conscience and my desire to play WoW on a rig, that can also do advanced astro-physics calculations in seconds. As it is now, it feels like my conscience might need an upgrade the most.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Work those numbers! Or, well, don't!

On theorycrafting and what it can and cannot do for you. Wasting time, perhaps, working those numbers? Or is that exactly what you should be doing, hm?

TLDR version at the bottom of every paragraph.

What theorycrafting cannot do for you

Theorycrafting has always been a very special meta-game activty for me. The experience that doing something that was only remotely connected to the game as such, would actually make me perform better, was rather intriguing. Because I like math, and I like to think that I'm reasonably good at it.

Math turned into a part of the game and as such, it became a playful activity. My teachers would have been pleased.

That was back then. Today, you are not performing at your best or nearly good enough, if you have not reviewed certain sites, filled to the brim with top notch math, done to deliver the answers to your questions.

As I was doing my own fair bit of theorycraft, I soon discovered that the more to-the-point my questions were, the more elaborate the simulation would have to be.

The math involved would get more and more advanced, factoring in an increasing amount of factors, relating to encounter-specific conditions. The amount of specific spells casts, healing per mana per second, so on. The numbers were many and the precision great. Or so I was convinced.

Late one night, it dawned upon me. This is useless, I thought. This is shit. Even though my results were generally applicable to any raiding activity as such, raiding consists of a string of very specific encounters, complete with very specific conditions. I could not possibly gain anything from this generalized mishmash.

Then again, collecting data from the specific encounter is all well and good. It would certainly provide me with precise data, but I would have to gather multiple datasets in order to be correct - or to be as correct as possible. Then another thing dawned on me.

If you have the opportunity to gather datasets from an encounter, thereby beating it in order for the data to be complete, you do not need to do theorycraft. You are alright. Just... continue raiding. Observe, learn, react and doing that, you should be a fine healer.

TLDR: Theorycrafting cannot make you a good healer. It can guide, but not teach. What you need to learn about healing is what you learn from playing the game and consulting your in-game peers.

What it is worth: What theorycrafting CAN do for you

How you heal is one thing, what you're wearing while doing it is another.

Theorycrafting can settle certain doubts regarding non-tier equipment.
Furthermore, we might just be able to allocate stats on gear with that reforging thingie for tailors, blacksmiths, leatherworkers, engineers and jewelcrafters - if it survives beta, mind you.

So what to wear? When to prioritize a stat over another? Stats once more or less specific for different classes now become more or less specific to their function (a healer being a function, along with tanks and dps).

Theorycrafting your way through your gear is one very certain way of getting dressed with sense and style. Knowing what your gear does for you, is also knowing what you can do.

Then, of course, there are the odd trinkets that might or might not be worth  something, everything or nothing at all. Since proper healing trinkets were introduced (*cough*), I've spent most time on figuring out which trinkets to go for. There are so many, and they're so pretty!
Hopefully, Cataclysm will provide many a shiny trinket for us to desire. Long for. Ache for. Cry for.

TLDR: Theorycrafting can help you make the right decisions, gear wise. Do your guild a favour, and do the math before you enter a new instance. Be prepared. There, I've said it.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Death by design

Oh, yeah, and I'll be going through various stages of hideous webdesign for the next couple of days. Sorry about that :)

Edit: Oh, yeah, I'm rather colourblind, so give it up for some funky/boring colours!

From Seed

Having played WoW on and off since Vanilla, I've seen many blogs come and go. Mostly restoration druid blogs though, seeing as that's what I play myself. To be fair, it's what I used to play. See, currently I'm in an off-phase, but I'm making plans to make a return, inspired by the plentitude of morsels, dangled before our greedy eyes by Blizzards community representatives.

Even though they tempted me to come back, it'll take a month or two before I re-enter Azeroth. My former laptop died when I decided to water it (to see if it would grow, you know) with sparkling water. Now I run Ubuntu 9.10 on a new laptop, and I won't be installing Windows 7 on it anytime soon. So I have to get a gaming rig. That'll be the first challenge.

Untill then, I'll be blogging about tree-hood. Elune knows there are plenty of things to blog about these days. My motivation for blogging is one of bewonderment, in a sense. My shuffling back to Azeroth started with repeated visits to, and from there into the resto blogosphere.

Of course, since Phaelia and Runycat stopped, it will never be the same, but I didn't like to find things so changed. 'There's something not here', I thought. Consider this blog my feeble attempt to bring something to the resto druid blogosphere.