Challenge Mode Primer

Challenge Modes were by far the feature I was most looking forward to in MoP; it’s fair to say they’re primarily why I resubbed after my long break. A few weeks ago I finally had the time/opportunity to get a regular weekend group going, and we’re getting close to completing all of the gold times. This actually brings me to my first point about challenge modes–even after a few months delay on getting started, they’re still exactly the same content for me as they were for the people who did them in the first few weeks. Unlike raid content, I can start whenever I have time and not have missed out on doing it as it was when the expansion was fresh, before everyone outgeared it, etc. That’s pretty novel.

I’ve been putting video guides of zones I’ve finished so far here. I do think those should be helpful for anyone who’s trying to learn any specific instance. But I also wanted to make a post with general information on things you might want to know before making a challenge mode group.

This is primarily for people who are trying to get good at the zones to achieve a certain time (whether your time goal is gold or something lower). If you’re just looking to run a zone once for a daily, which is incidentally the fastest way to get VP, it doesn’t apply as much.

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Problems with Food in 50 Shades — Book 2

First off, big thanks to @Jenny_Trout for linking my post on the first book on her great 50 Shades recaps. She’s currently working on an awesome book in response to 50 Shades, called The Boss. This is radical for several reasons: it presents a BDSM romance in which the submissive heroine is not a doormat and the dom is not an asshole, but I think the really crazy thing here is that the heroine works hard, likes to eat, respects her friends, and worries about paying the rent. Chapters will be posted for free twice each month, and I’m very excited to see how this unfolds.

If you’re new here, much of this blog covers game-related topics, but I do have another 50 Shades piece from the summer. It’s called 50 Shades of WoW and mashes up the game my website covers with the awfulness of 50 Shades.

Anyway, onto food in Book 2:

Christian ordering Ana to eat gets really fucking weird in the second book. We learn he’ll stop ordering her around to eat when he wants sex, even when minutes ago he appeared so worried she was starving. He doesn’t appear genuinely concerned for her at all: ordering her to eat is just another way he can control her when he can’t control her with sex.

This book makes the first book seem healthy in comparison. I’m going to organize this book slightly differently and summarize all the food references for each day, because some days have plot arcs that center around food consumption. These chapters are also laced with control about Ana’s body–from “small” things like arguing to let her drive with music on, to majorly wtf things like forcing her to use birth control because he dislikes condoms, even down to scheduling appointments without her knowledge.

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Healing Theory, Part 2: A Tour of Your Character Sheet

My last post was a trip back to the fundamentals of healing, and claimed to be the beginning of a series where we build from that to more detailed analysis of the various healing classes. There’s still a little ways to go before we’re ready (both in terms of my math work on healing classes, and in terms of laying the foundation in posts) for very detailed cross-class comparison or balance discussion. But let’s get a little less abstract than the first time around, and look at some stats. Along the way we’ll not only relate back to the principles of the previous post, but finally have some foundation to approach the throughput and regen questions of the earlier Int vs. Spirit post.


All heals scale linearly with spellpower–there’s a base heal amount and then a spellpower term with some coefficient particular to each heal. An interesting point in MoP is that for nearly all heals, the base amount is scaled to be roughly 11,000 times the coefficient. For example, Divine Light has a mean base heal of 16817 and a coefficient of 149%, a ratio of 11287. For the HoT portion of Lifebloom, the base heal of each tick is 9315/15 = 621, and the coefficient is 5.7%, for a ratio of 10894. I actually don’t know of any heals off the top of my head that don’t follow this, but there are probably a few.

The significance is that heals tend to scale in proportion with each other as your spellpower increases. With 11000 spellpower, they all do twice as much as they do with 0, and so on. Since for raiding purposes, your spellpower is affected by a 10% buff, the better rule of thumb is that the base heal is worth 10,000 spellpower. This is handy to keep in mind, as it gives you a concrete picture of what a spellpower increase means to you. If you had 20,000 spellpower when you started raiding and now you have 30,000, you can expect that all of your heals are healing for 1/3 more than what they were before (and that’s before mastery scaling and any other benefits you might have).

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