Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The end of n era

Note, this originally started as a response to Honor's, of Honor's Code et all post about the lore behind the fall of Arthas. It grew too long for a response and needs cleaning so it will go here for now.

it is an interesting idea, but i think the responses have it right honors, Arthas is corrupt, he is lost like Illidan (not an expert, but doesn't he start out good too?) but where Illidan had this relatively paultry temple, Arthas in the Lich King has this massive fortress. Comparing the two, Look at the size of the battlements, look at the depths we now see of it when we enter into the forge of souls, We cannot physically destroy ice crown, or the citadel, there is too much power and physical space there.
Second, the matter of the redemption/good of Arthas, From everything I have seen, including Halls of reflection Arthas is past the poit that he could be saved, It turns out that his soul truly harbored evil, Anakin harbored guilt and shame that lead to pride and anger. (I unlike some see no reason there cannot be a good comparison drawn from Star Wars to WoW) These things are the, Chink in the armor of the soul, the things that allow a person to be devoured by evil. So, is there good left in there? sure, even the most evil of people, Stalon, Hitler etc could show kindness and good, But the overwhelming thing that is left is pride and evil. Another paralel is Smeagol, we can see the good left in that poor creature, but he is too far gone to ever be truely saved, It was a compassionate death that smeagol received even though it would have been painful for a moment or 2.
Also I agree that we will see a new king of the scourge rise. from a lore point, I suspect that when Arthas falls we will see Thrall, Jania and possibly Tirion at his fall, healping us, and or restraining Arthas in the end. from this point We have a couple things to consider, first is how do we end wrath with actual closure, and second how do we spark off war between the alliance and horde.
From a lore standpoint I can think of one way to set the war of azeroth, whoever is there to represent the horde and alliance argue over who will take up the blade and hold the scourge at bay, Whichever faction looses their leader to that will most certainly be pissed, and what if the soul making the sacrifice cant control the power right off the bat, (IE when He (and I am going to go with Thrall for this one, since the last king was alliance) grabs hold the power is out of control for a few moments. In that line of logic, you have the other Hero, Jaina in my example sacrifice themselves to contain the power until the other can control it, by having the blade be driven into them. Bingo, Horde blames alliance for loosing thrall, and the alliance wants vengeance for the death of Jania. This also works to reunite Jania with the soul of Arthas, sealed forever in the blade.
I have no clue if this is what is going to happen, but its possible, and would provide both closure of the lich king saga, and plenty of reason to start all out war between the Horde and the Alliance. (note this is only enhanced if Jania becomes one of the Lich generals) Finally, there is the matter of what causes deathwing to become active again, I don't know where he as been hiding (not a lore expert) but the kind of power that could be released when Arthas is pulled down might be enough to wake a slumbering giant...

Friday, December 11, 2009


Into the stronghold of the Litch himself.

Wednesday was My first trip into the new raid instance, charging in with my guild to take down Arathas... or with the schedule of release at least one of his peons....

First thing I have to say is that the encounter rooms somehow felt small. especially the last boss, though I think that may have been on purpose to make the fights more of a challenge. Dont stand in shit that hurts becomes so much more apparent when there is less space not covered by shit that hurts.

Beginning the raid there are some rather narly trash pulls. For the groups with spiders, these take priority, and must die quickly. The pull requries both tanks to each take a spider and for the dps to be watching for Webbed victims, this is similar to the webbing from the last boss of the spider wing in Nax, except it doesnt throw you against the wall. CC in the form of a sheep or 2 is helpful, but rewuires your AOE happy dps to single target.

The other trash pulls leading up to the first boss arent really of note (I cant honestly remember them, so they couldnt have been that bad, The one caviat is that there are large skeletons standing at the sides of the first couple of rooms, they become mobs after certain actions, I have heard conflicting reports that they are either un-avoiadble spawns or a trap rogues can disarm. For now I do not reccommend disarming them if they can be, the rep gain from killing the guards is a nice chunk, though if they are traps, having a rogue to set them off one at a time would be a good thing... too many of them could wipe the group.

First boss: a dragon: Dont stand in shit that hurts... fire really hurts, when he whrilwinds run. when he stops he wipes aggro, so dots can get you killed tank, spank, run rinse repeat, dead dragon... again.
I almoss forgot: his whirlwind will leave a stacking bleed.. so dont stand near shit that hurts, and he will impaile random raid members so the dps has to free them, Just like the first boss in BT, but here you dont do anything with the spikes once you have them.

second boss: This anoying little twit starts with a mana shield it has to be burned by your dps. Just to make things interesting she summons adds in waves from the left and the right ( i hear from the back as well in 25 man). Tanks tank them, and stay out of shit that looks like it might hurt. She will rez some of the Adds when she does they become either melee imune or magic immune. Have the appropriate dps take these adds the F*$( out and be quick about it. Once the shield is broken, no more adds. Tank spank, clear debuffs that look like they might hurt, loot and move on.

Third boss... AIRSHIPS HOO!!! Ever land on the wrong airship in icecrown just to be pwned by one of the NPC's... its time for payback, everyone gets a rocket pack from the guy standing on the ship at the start. Have 2 dps hop in the cannons on the side of the ship after people practice with their rockets. the goal is to, sink the opposing factions battleship =) for the start of the fight everyone stays on their ship and the gunners pound away at the horde. every now and then a mage from the other ship will freaze the canons on your ship, at this point a tank, healer and DPS uses the rocket packs to jump ship and kill that mage, though the point of the Tank is to tank the capton of the other ship. The mage must be taken out quickly as you both need your canons back, and the Capton gets a stacking buff to beat the crap out of your tank. While this is happening a portal opens up above your ship and a landing party hops out, the other tank picks up these guys and tanks them, while the dps kills em. Rinse repeat till the ship be dead maties... ARGG

You face one final boss at this point. Depending on faction you will face one of the leaders that were at the battle in the north west corner of dragonblight... The horde will apparently find Highlord Bolvar Fordragon, For the alliance its orc dude the lesser. Their souls are lost, time to face punt them into the cosmose:
First off, this is a tank and spank, plain and simple, He will at times put a debuff on the tank that heals him, switch tanks at that point (he is tauntable) your melee should have fun pumping max dps for this fight, Tank spank, switch, rinse, repeat, loot.

For those of you who thought I was finished, and that he sounds easy... Here is the caviat to that fight: He is kinda a DK, kinda rogue in his function, He will do certain abilities every now and then that earn him something akin to runic power or combo points. One of these targets a random raid member and damages them, it can chain so stay 12'+ away from everyone if you are at range, thankfully this will not target melee. Each time it chains he gets 6 more combo points. The big problem are the face chewing adds he spawns every now and then, every time they hit someone he gains 3 combo points, these cannot be tanked and must be kited, Reccomended putting at least 2 ranged on either side and slowing them/ burning them as fast as possible.

You should be wondering what he does with those combo points at this point, well, each time he reaches 100 he will put a debuff on a random party member, damaging that person, healing him (if they die) and generally making life difficult. The debuff is not cleared by death unless he is reset (our shaman got picked both times, dmn the man). This is to be avoided at all costs, so Tanks, No AOE, melee dps, no AOE, or chaining abilities. This made life fun for me and my co-tank, both paladins, missing consecrate sucked, and HoR could spell trouble too.

All in all a fun, and rather easy instance. Two shotted the final boss and the rest were oneshot.

Happy hunting people

Monday, November 23, 2009

Mounts N things

Going for the 100 mount challenge is... interesting. Last week when CoS was the herroic daily I took a group of players into there. Ret Pally, holy Pally and Prot (me) with a boomkin and mage (frost I think) Just before or after the first boss died the Ret pally's internet went out. Since we were going for the timer we couldn't stop and hoped for his return. Long story short apparently something went sideways in flordia, and he didn't log back in till well after we finished the instance. All in all we 4 manned the instance, including the timer with 6 min remaining. Unfortunately we all had the mount so it went to waste (making my inner mount whore sad) . All in all this is now a very easy mount to get, and I wonder if there is any profit to be made in running people through for this mount.

In other mount news getting these last 20 some mounts is going to be a pain. the only ones i have left are either gold intensive (mammoths chopper several faction mounts, etc) or time intensive (pvp mounts, Argent crusade token mounts, fishing mount et all) so it is likely to be months before this one is complete (to get enough tournament tokens alone requires something on the order of 100 days of all the dailies(after crusader title is earned) , i have one of those mounts so far, and cant stomach some of the dailies, and don't do them every day so we are looking at next year to be finished with that.

/ramble off

Monday, November 2, 2009

back to basics

Well, here once again is an actual post On warcraft.

I currently tank a 10 man TOC normal/ony10 raid for my guild, while wearing everything from ilvl 200 epics to ilvl 245's I am dual specced holy and run that set with a similar set of "everything under the sun and more" including a blue in there. Finally I am an engineer, and blacksmith (no uld or toc patterns)... so right now I am screwed on getting gold, so i guess the DK is gonna get leveled so i have a miner/skinner to at least farm on... O joy of joys

Monday, October 12, 2009

begin rant

You should guess by now that this is my own personal rant space, i may post some good stuff, but in general if something pisses me off, im gonna mention it here right now its this case now i can understand some reluctance in stuff, but his mother is way out of line. To say that he is a "sacrificial lamb to the US" is... it befalls words. I wonder what her opinion would be if it were a US hacker possibly extradited to the UK. The honest truth is the law is the law, he broke serious laws here.

It just annoys me to no end that she would think that her boy is so special that he should be above the law. Sorry the "wank" needs to live up to his being a "Citizen of the realm" and live up to the consequences of hacking into government systems. Personally I cant wait to get his ass here and on trial, I might even try to attend some days.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

yes i do oracle

So, one of the things I have had to do recently is partially reverse engineer some data structures in a couple oracle databases, Now this would have been a trivial task if one of the following were available:

(if you just want code examples scroll down =)

1An ER diagram (document your shit people always document it)
2 Foreign Key structures (for those that don't know this involves telling oracle, or another standards compliant RDBMS, information about what is in the columns in the table, that for example Column A in table beta is the foreign key for table gama, and is contained withing column G this means that any data in column G must be found in column A and that there is a relationship between those two table.
a simplistic Banking example: lets say that data about who you are (birthday, name, address, all that good ol personal shit)is in one table that also contains your social security number and that your soc is used in the table that holds all the data about your accounts, account type, current balance, APR for the account, all stored neatly in one table. The soc in the you table is a foreign key to the accounts table, because you cant have an entry in the accounts table without there being a user in the you table to match a soc to. (I know there are holes in this, not the least being that there wouldn't be one table for any of these things and that you really wouldn't use a soc as a foreign key, but it is a unique number, and if you can see these holes what are you doing reading this section =P )

If your database has either then this probably isn't for you, instead use those resources, its faster, cheaper, and less prone to both pissing people off (explained later) and error then the method i am going to describe This is for those times when you are dealing with a vendor system that you need to extract data out of in a way that the system was never intended to give. A tenant of ALL RDBMS is that you have relations between the data, now this requires you to have some semblance of intelligence to use, and you need to understand the app you are going after, as random relations mean nothing a similar method (which I will detail in a later post) should be used to begin your search, finding some table that contains data you know (be it user names, a part number, a description etc, to give you your starting point, The following is a slightly obfuscated example for how you can check all the columns in one table (table A) against all the columns in another table (table B)

select distinct 'select '''|| trim(t1.table_name) || ':'|| trim(t1.column_name)||
':::'|| trim(t2.table_name) || ':'|| trim(t2.column_name)||
''' from dual;'|| chr(10)||'select count(*) '||
substr(trim(t1.column_name),1,15) ||'_'||
substr(trim(t2.column_name),1,14) ||' from ' || trim(t1.owner) ||'.'||
trim(t1.table_name)||' t1, '|| trim(t2.owner) ||
'.'||trim(t2.table_name)||' t2 where t1.'||trim(t1.column_name) ||
' =t2.'||trim(t2.column_name) ||' ;'
from all_tab_columns t1, all_tab_columns t2
where t1.owner = 'SCHEMATABLEA' and
t2.owner = 'SCHEMATABLEB' and
t1.table_name = 'NAMETABLEA' and
t2.table_name = 'NAMETABLEB' and
t1.data_type = 'NUMBER' and
t2.data_type = 'NUMBER'

The above assumes you can get access to the ALL_tab_columns table, which is a table detailing every column in every table for all tables you have been granted access to, this might vary in other distributions but i suspect you will find a similar table of information.

In the where section replace SCHEMATABLEA with the schema owner of the first table you want to compare, and SCHEMATABLEB with the owner of the second, nametablea and nametableb should be self explanitory. the last two restrict the columns looked at, in this case it assumes that the relationship columns in the tables will only be numeric, and not a text or other field.

this creates an output similar to this:

select count(*) FLAG_ACTIVE
where t1.FLAG =t2.ACTIVE ;
select count(*) FLAG_ERROR
where t1.FLAG =t2.ERROR ;
select count(*) FLAG_NAME
where t1.FLAG =t2.NAME ;

(NOTE* the sql here has had additional carriage returns inserted so that all will show on the page, I need to get better at this blogging stuff so i can insert scroll bars etc normal output would output 2 lines per table/column combination, each SQL statement on its own line)

save this output and run it against the database, (in this case I took 2 random oracle system tables and ran the query against them.
It will in turn generate output similar to this:


1 rows selected


1 rows selected

6 lines of data for each item you select, the upper output simply tells you the tablename:columnname for each table, separated by a triple ':'
the second set of output is a count of how many rows matched, in this case 0 you will want to grep for non 0 numbers in the output in some fashion.

This is a starter post for how to actually RE a database, the starting tools if you will, the above query can be expanded, simply leaving out one of the table names searches against all tables in that schema. This is the catch with people wanting to kill you, you can easily end up running 100k or even millions of queries against the database if it is large. this may seem like a good idea at first, but performance issues will creep in to other users, do this off hours and study the outputs during

adios for now, tomorrow.. hopefully a better explanation of this code and how it really works

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


This was origionally posted as a response to Rohan's issue with Larisa's view of faction changes,

It is really a matter of two different ideals and purposes. Rohan, your purpose is to allow friends who meet (probably in RL) that play different factions to play together without having to level another toon on another faction. In this case, the faction change works, and should work out of game, (though for maybe a bit more than 10$) Your desire is to play together, and have fun, in this case factions are a simple hinderance to this, For anyone who doesn't care about lore and rp this is fine, new paint and shrubs... good to go.

Then there is the other side Larisa is right too, There should be an in-game mechanic for those who for RP, or achievement reasons want to become the other faction as their current character. They truly want to play the traitorous imp, or the disillusioned hero jaded by their own leadership, For them the faction change isn't about fixing an out of game issue (hey we are two people but cant play together because we started on diff factions) its about exploring the world from a new perspective

To expand on the idea, Think about what the next expansion is set to bring to the world a cataclysmic sundering of the land and open war between the horde and alliance, I forget the esteemed blogger who talked about it, but His point was that essentially there is no more just war when you are the first to move. War in the past was purely an extension of politics (again famous quote that I don't have time to look up) Now, In our culture it is hard to view a war as being justified when we look at the people who started it. This presents the problem of however the war starts between the horde and alliance there will be problems that people have with their side's justification for war. This gives a perfect in game reason to want to change factions for us Rabid RP fans (ie We RP in raid people... its how we role). This is problematic however, because it makes no sense to "change factions" and suddenly be a whole different species, not to mention blood elves are prissy little things, and my dwarf pally would never become one.

The penalties for the change should be huge, becoming hated with all your old factions, and having a cap on how trusted you can become with the new, for a time, You should have to earn the right to be exalted among your new friends, through hard work, and crazy long quest lines. Now it might be possible to switch, or maybe even some day act as a bridge across the divide as champion of both, but that is a lengthy and hard process, Possibly flagging you for pvp for both factions until you prove yourself once again.

Just a thought

Tomorrow, interesting oracle scripts for reverse engineering database structures

Monday, September 14, 2009

Well, here i go again on my own

That being a shameless plug of a favorite song of mine......

So, what am I doing here? I am an oracle dba/coder/whatever else is needed tech kinda guy first

2 I am a Prot spec paladin in World of Warcraft, I raid prot, and holy, being one of those masochists, er i mean helpful people.... who didn't take a dps spec.

This is an attempt to lay down some of the information I have on both subjects, possibly at the same time If anyone is watching, I give no guarantees that this experiment lasts longer than this post,

Apparently you can also follow me on twitter, i have one fan atm... and have never posted anything =) cant even remember the address