Monday, June 29

Just when you thought it was safe to blog...

MMO Champion puts out new info on the PTR.

I mentioned before that I thought it would be neat to have a teleporter out in K3.

Dimensional Folder: K3 - Step through an ultra-safe dimensional fold to teleport to K3 in Northrend.


Other fun things:

Jeeves - Requests the presence of Jeeves, the perfect gentleman robot butler, whom will attend to your needs for 10 min. Jeeves can grant bank access to very skilled engineers and perform mundane tasks such as buying, selling, and repairing for anyone.

Mind Amplification Dish - Dismantle and reassembles a helm with a mind amplification dish, allowing you to attempt to engage in mental battle with your enemies and, hopefully, control them. Can be used every 10 min. Changes the appearance of your helm and binds it to you. Only grand master engineers can activate the mind amplification dish.

A Steam-Powered Auctioneer has been added to the Dalaran Like Clockwork engineering shop, allowing access to one's faction Auction House. The Steam-Powered Auctioneer was programmed with a superiority chip, and will only interact with Grand Master engineers.

I hope this means that Engineers will start feeling the love.

Item Buy Back Feature Revised

* The Item Buy Back time will now expire if the player enchants or sockets an item. Players will see a confirmation dialog box now when they attempt to enchant or add gems to an item giving them a last chance to reconsider.

This kinda makes me sad. Sometimes, my maths need be moar gudder, and I can't really get a feel for an upgrade until it has the bells and whistles. Oh well. At least they aren't removing the buyback feature entirely.

New Dungeon Loot Feature

* Players will now be able to trade soulbound items with other raid or group members that were eligible for the loot. This system will work like the Item Buy Back system and allow 2 hours for players to trade an item after it has been looted. Players who choose to enchant or add gems to the item will get one last confirmation before losing the ability to trade the item.

I know this info has been floating around for a few days but thought I'd add it here. Apparently, my guild isn't the only guild that has this issue. I thought for sure we would get a GM online to tell us we used up our "oops" tokens and they would cut us off.

The latest builds also added many tweaks to classes and their glyphs. There are too many to put here, so go here for more information.

Saturday, June 27

3.2 PTR Tradeskilling

More information is coming out in regards to the changes 3.2 will impose on tradeskillers. Of note is the transmutes Alchemists can do for the epic gems.

* Epic Gems transmutations now have a 20 hours cooldown.
* Transmute: Ametrine now requires 1 x Monarch Topaz and 1 x Eternal Shadow
* Transmute: Cardinal Ruby now requires 1 x Scarlet Ruby and 1 x Eternal Fire
* Transmute: Dreadstone now requires 1 x Twilight Opal and 1 x Eternal Shadow
* Transmute: Eye of Zul now requires 3 x Eternal Life
* Transmute: King's Amber now requires 1 x Autumn's Glow and 1 x Eternal Life
* Transmute: Majestic Zircon now requires 1 x Sky Sapphire and 1 x Eternal Air

(Edit on 6.29)

Everything is subject to change, as it seems to change often. I had much different information going from Saturday into Monday.

I had a whole though process going on the gems, as at first it seemed they were placing things more heavily on the Sky Sapphires and Forest Emeralds, but now things are more spread out. Almost all the Eternals seemed to be used and more gems used for the transmutes. Looks like my engi will be pimped out for crystalized extraction.

In addition to these proposed changes, some servers are seeing a spike on the prices of the lower quality gems, presumably for folks stocking up on Icy Prisms. The return on Icy Prisms far outstrips the return on prospecting Saronite if you are looking for Rare quality gems.

As for the new way to get Tokens, Titanium Powder, the results are looking rare so far.

Per Insider Trader:
Timothy Jones, your friendly neighborhood trainer and merchant will soon offer a quest entitled Titanium Powder. This is repeatable, and not a daily. Ten Titanium Powder can be exchanged for 1 Dalaran Jewelcrafter's Token, but as you can see, acquiring enough powder may take you awhile:

* Out of 12 Prospects (60 ore), Kaliope of the Crafter's Tome prospected only 10 powder, enough for one token. That's about 0.83 dust per prospect, although this is a small sample size.
* Ranjurm posted on the Elitist Jerks forums that out of 564 prospects (2820 ore), 417 powder was gained. That's about 0.74 dust per prospect (5 ore).

Some folks are doing some serious testing on the PTR. Out of 940 Titanium ore (geez that's a lot), here are the results of one tester:


7 Kings Amber12 Eyes of Zul6 Cardinal Ruby9 Majestic Zircon10 Dreadstone5 Ametrine
10 Autumn's Glow8 Forest Emeralds3 Scarlet Ruby8 Sky Sapphires5 Twilight Opals13 Monarch Topaz
62 Sun Crystals42 Dark Jades42 Bloodstone39 Chalcedony45 Shadow Crystal 52 Huge Citrine

Also, a total of 139 Titanium Powder.

This ends up being a rather low percentage of mats yielded (only about 5 percent of the total ore was epic gems). Given the amount of farmers looking for titanium for their own mats or to sell in the AH, we shall see if many of these will end up on the market. Probably will be best to buddy up with an Alchemist in order to get the gems you need.

Seems the new patterns will be purchasable through tokens, just when I thought it was safe to stop doing those dailies, and there are a boat load of them.

For now, there is no cooldown on the Transmutes, but that may or may not change when things go live. It could very well be off a cooldown in order to promote proper testing.

The tradeskill forums are full of rantings and ravings from the Engineering community.

On the PTR, you will not need the goggles to track the clouds and only will need the zapper in your inventory. This is great, as many folks ditched their goggles for better gear. However, wouldn't it be neat to actually make upgraded goggles instead? I have to go with some in the community when they say Ulduar should have been the time when Engineers got a chance at some upgraded patterns. Almost all the other tradeskills got something nifty out of Ulduar (except Jewelcrafting, which I am fine with since I am missing some world drop patterns still) and many of them are BiS, I see no problems with making goggles a potential BiS for those who wish to obtain them.

Potion Injectors now increase the amount gained by 25% when used by engineers. Quantity produced by recipes for Runic Healing and Mana Injectors has been increased.

This is supposed to compensate for the fact that potions will now stack to 20 regardless. I actually use injectors on both my level 80s, though only one of them is actually an engineer. I suspect the potion change is really for pvpers and those who regularly use Potion of Wild Magic, Potion of Speed and other potions in lieu of mana or health. With the changes to mana regen, it is hard to say if the viablity of Mana Potions will increase or not.

Moll-E will have a reduced cooldown to compensate for the changes they made to the upgraded Argent Squire. Yes, your little whipping boy will run errands for you including a mailbox and a vendor. While I thought the mailbox was super cool in the beginning of the expansion, I think the squire will dwarf it. I am, however, still grateful to the engineers that do drop a mailbox during a raid :)

They changed the transporter devices to be used from the inventory, much in the same way they changed the Jumper cables several patches ago (CLEAR!), but the sad thing is, they did not add a teleporter in Northrend. K3 seems to make the most sense (close to Dalaran, close to Ulduar and ultimately the instances in Icecrown) but instead, you can buy a tabbard that teleports you the AT area.

It's hard not to be on board with the Engineering community when they say they feel shafted. Some small changes are being debated (haste for gloves for those who wish to forgo the spell power enchantment), but overall what is seriously lacking with the tradeskill is the sense of fun it had in the older days of WoW. I mean, it was kinda funny to use the shrink ray, only to have the whole group get zapped instead! Some risk with the reward was nice.

Of course, everything is still in the testing stages so I may post more later as things come down the pipeline.

Roots: Where I came from

I am considered a "old" gamer in many senses of the word. Demographically, yes, I am older but I have also been playing games since I was in gradeschool. How old, you ask? My first game was Frogger, like many others I know.

Lately, I have been getting a strange desire to see the old games I loved so much. In addition, I started to think back to those old games and how they influence how I play my games today.

In part, I blame my dad. We had this old game for the Intellivision called Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Treasure of Tarmin in which you would walk around hallways and rooms getting gear and powers to defeat bigger monsters further down the dungeon. It was possible to keep playing this game for ages by not collecting the game ending treasure but to keep going further (255 levels in all). My dad would go on sprees and I sometimes would wake up the next morning with him still playing the game. Resilience, my dad had.

This is what my dad would stare at for hours.

Of course, when NES and SNES came out, my dad found a way to get us one. Thus began the gaming mentality slowly embedded in the brains of my brother and I. Faxanadu and Final Fantasy sparked my love for RPGs, but also the need to "collect" everything.

My brother and I would take turns on the games; one to fight the monsters, the other to look up the abilities and "strats" to defeat them. Without the lovely internet, gaming magazines and long hours of trial and error were what you needed to complete most of these games.

Looking back, I can see where my brother got his min/maxing from. Gameshark and cheat codes started to become his staple, whereas I didn't mind spending hours running in circles hoping for random mobs to appear.

The Final Fantasy series really did it in for me. I remember spending hours collecting all the gear in FFIII (or IV depending on how technical you wish to get) only to have my brother lose the Moogle Charm during an arena match! Or, later, trying to get a Golden Chocobo.

Storylines and unfolding game mechanics highly appealed to me. Suikoden and Chrono Trigger are probably two of most endearing games for me. I loved the concept of what you do in the game affecting the ending, thus encouraging you to play them again to see how it turns out differently.

The journey has been a long one to my WoW days: Nintendo, table top RPG, UO, EQ, DOAC.

So what does all this influence accumulate to? I am considered by my guildies as a Completion-ist. I have a sickness with pet collecting. I am a lootwhore at times. Seeing wolves run off to kill rabbits never gets old for me. I don't mind letting Brann ramble on about dwarves and titans. Every time I do my fishing dailies, I wistfully remember button smashing in order to reel in large fish.

Friday, June 26

So the MT got some Epics but you got a dumb T-Shirt

A long while back, our guild had some growing pains to say the least. During the lull between BC and WOTLK there was a serious lack of tanks. Our main tanks would log on for raids then promptly be missing for the rest of the week. This led to a huge rash of players building up tank alts who eventually became mains.

All these new mains then led to a bigger problem in the form of drama. They all wanted to be rotated in or out in out considered as a main tank. So while poking through our old forum posts, I found a write up on the state of the back up tank.

I will be honest with you, being a tank has its share of politics. Its not the end of the world, and most every guild I have been in has its share of it. Guilds have their Main Tank(s). These guys are the ones who the guild turns to for direction, movement, and solid beefiness. These guys respond to the situations at hand, and lead the raid into battle accordingly. A lot of things ride on their shoulders, and because of that, a lot of trust is put with them and from them.

Breaking in to be a Main Tank does not happen actively. Over time, things just happen within a guild and they see who they trust. If you are coming into a guild or raid to be a "Main Tank" walk away now because that, in my opinion, should not be a goal. Doing the job right and well is priority.

More realistically, a guild already has their main tanks. What you then are is considered Off tank which could mean second or third string back up. Imagine being the back up QB for a pro football team? The "real quarterback" gets all the glory and face time, and you sit on the sidelines tossing a ball back and forth to keep warm.

Now, a back up tank is an important job as well. The guild has been progressing thus far with their main tanks, but something happens and they aren't there one night. It is the time for you to step in and fill their shoes. This is the crucial moment for you. Not only are you expected (unfairly, probably) to perform just like the main tanks, but you have to do it instantly and usually with little warning. The guild can not hold your hand and they are putting a lot of faith in you to see the raid through. They don't care that you have as many purples as the main tanks (though, mind you if your stats and mitigation are less than superior, be honest about it and the raid will thank you for it). What they do care about it is "Can we trust this guy?"

Yes, the overall theme. Trust. So how do you gain trust?

There are various ways and folks to gain trust with. The healers have to be confident in you to not kill them. It is a stressful job enough making sure everyone stays alive, and the more you can help them achieve that the better. This means knowing the situations at all times, being able to adjust and flow, and communicate with others when shit hits the fan. This might mean mob positioning, keeping a high threat per second ahead of the dps, and/or watching when adds run off and quickly gaining them back. Sometimes, the tank has to eat some damage in order for the whole raid to not take Dragon breath in the face.

The other tanks have to trust you too. After a while, the main tanks have an understanding with each other. They know each others weaknesses and strengths, and know that if something goes wrong the other tank has their back. Now, a member of their little two man team is gone and some new guy is there. You need to keep communication with the other tank and be willing and open to constructive comments made to you. Tank egos are fragile yes, but if you want to come back the next time, set that ego aside and say "yes". In addition, the other tank doesn't know you, so please speak up if there's an ability or mechanic you are sure to be suited for. The main tank may already understand what you are presenting, but if you present yourself respectfully and cautiously, it will go a long way. (Forcing your side may not work)

Raid leaders are also the guys who you need their trust from. They have so many names and people they are working with, and next to the healers, they have to fill the tank role first. Be patient with them. If you keep screaming "Put me in coach", without bending a little their direction, you might get passed over for someone else. Do not give them drama. Do not give them emo QQ over shit. Be as intelligent and thoughtful as possible. Barrage of tells to the raid leaders will quickly get you ignored. A simple statement of availability and interest seems to go better like "Hello. I know you are busy. When you have you have a second, Id like to bring up something". When you get your reply back something like "I know there are other tanks online. I am ready to go and understand the fights. If you need me, I will be around."

If you have worked your way up with building trust with raiders and other leaders, the time your name comes up it will be looked at in a more favorable light. Still keep in mind that most fights need 4 tanks at the very, very most, and usually just need two or three. How you perform and behave in the small windows of time you get with the guild will go to keeping you in the rotation.

Let us all take a moment to reflect...

Last night was going very smoothly... at first. Hodir and Freya were nearly one shotted despite newer folks listening to involved strat explanations. We were in good spirits going into our break.

We come back, only to see we are facing Thorim. I think a lot of hearts sank.

I was elected raid leader for the night (yes, we rotate. No supreme leaders in our guild; we are a nice happy collective bunch). I would have preferred Mimiron instead, but I hadn't studied the 25 man strat and I didn't feel I could "wing it" based on just my 10 man experience.

After a couple wipes, tempers flared. The private channel erupted, O chat exploded, and the raid chat was about to implode. Seeing a melt down on the way, I said over vent:

Arena Team. It sucks. We all know it sucks. Staying outside sucks, staying inside sucks. Let's just take a moment to reflect... on the suckiness.

I meant to say "Let's take a moment to get up, breathe, take a break" but somehow my mouth couldn't stop mentioning how much it sucks.

I admit to failing on gaining control over the boss and the raid. Everyone has an opinion on what should be done, what the problems are and what needs to be done to fix them. The problem comes when the raid leader hears/sees 15 different thoughts on what to do and has to filter them and make a choice on how to go forward. So, I made a couple bad calls and we ended the night with very low spirits.

Time for a change up, a breath of fresh life into the raid. In the meantime, bask in the suckiness.

Thursday, June 25

T8 or T9 second look

Rolling Hots Broke down the math and the implications between t8 and t9 sets. Very smart cookie. Basically, Blizz is finding ways to nerf our regen through our gear.

I did find it odd that the socket bonuses for each piece of T9 was more spell power and the bonuses for the pieces are crit based. After reading what we potentially could be losing in the mana regen department, I am now all but given up on the Tier Game.

Yes. I want to take my ball and go home.

In BC, the feral druid set bonus was essential for getting max dps on a raid. For T9, having moonfire dot crits, plus more crit on starfire locks in the Lunar rotation for dps and is seriously worth looking at.

Crits on Rejuv? While I squealed like a little girl on her birthday at the Resto T9 bonus, after reading the stat changes I am not so sure I want to be on board with that. Of course, I am a WoW player and I want the set bonus but I do my job very well right now and I don't regularly run with 2 pieces of T8.

I am another step closer to saying screw it on T8 and try for T9, but now armed with more caution on my stats. My brother is already an Mp5 whore for his resto off set, and while I snickered before, I will be hanging on to my mana regen pieces more tightly now.


Slightly different direction, one of our DPS switched mains to a Holy Pally. This means we have 8 healers now in our rotation and last night I raided Boomkin again. Largely this was due to the THREE (omg) mages that came plus two holy pallies all craving crit. For the sake of boosting raid dps, it was suggested to me to go dps for the night.

Afterward, I panicked. I asked in Officer Vent if I needed to pay attention to my dps set a little more. Typical replies "Play what you want to play" but I actually find healing easier than dps right now. I don't have rotations as a healer (generally; Hodir is an exception), and I am very comfortable with my role as a healer. My dps set is mainly Ulduar 10 man with some 25 man Naxx stuff, so it lags behind many other full time dpsers. Do I care? Certainly. I like to know I am pulling my weight. Thus, I panicked because my dps set needs lots of love in order to make me feel good with it.

Then, the realization hit me. While we have 8 healers in our rotation, sometimes 9, not all of them can play every night. Healer burnout is still a real threat as we push into harder content, on top of real life and its snags. So, my role as a healer will not be going away just because another healer is on the raids. What this does mean is I will have to carefully on work my dps little more.

Wednesday, June 24


Took most of the afternoon, but the tweaking to the site is finished. I have gone through several "redos" and maybe I will stick with this one for a while. It's certainly not the cleanest work but will suit me till something else comes along.

Now, Minime and I need a nap

T8 or T9?

It's still early and who knows when the new instances will come out, but there is a large part of me that wants to say "screw it." Really. Why bother working towards the T8 when T9 is around the corner so soon?

There are many druids that already have their full 4pc set with the happy bonuses. I am not one of them. The EPGP list is full of Deathknights, Druids, Mages, and Rogues. And I, being different, decided to go the route of steady consistant upgrades verses saving my points for the tier pieces. Do I regret it? No. However, I know I probably sound a little bitter about the whole thing and maybe I am, a little.

Before Ulduar came out, I waited until the last moment to grab my last T7 for the 4pc bonus, knowing that it would be super helpful while we learn the fights. Now that we are more settled, I have embraced the role of raid healer, and thus, my healing style had to change rather quickly.

I have two pieces of t8 which I swap out for occasionally for things like hard modes or whenever I know I will be using swiftmend regularly.

I think the biggest problem for me is I don't even want some of the items. My helm from 2D Sarth is almost exactly the same as the T8 helm, down the stats. I just don't see the need to spend emblems or points on an item that is nearly the same.

I'd love to get shoulders as I am wearing some 10 man cloth ones and the same goes for gloves, but that's still only three pieces (I broke down and bought the chest). For these items, skipping t8 and waiting for t9 makes more sense for me.

Or hell, skip going after the bonuses and just mix and match gear like I have currently been doing.

Thursday, June 18

Blue speaks, I drop my jaw.

There are so many things in the PTR patch notes that all I will do is link the MMO champ site, instead of copying the whole thing here.

There is a lot of things going on that don't make sense to me, some things that look great and the rest, well, are the rest. Of course, all is subject to change and so these changes warrant further watching in the weeks to come.

Of note:

Flight Form: Can now be learned at level 60. Flight speed increased to 150%.
Innervate: Duration reduced to 10 seconds, and cooldown reduced to 3 minutes. This means each use of Innervate will give half as much mana as before, but it will be available twice as often.
Lifebloom: The final heal that occurs when this spell blooms has been reduced by 20% on the base and on the spell power coefficient.
Mangle: Ranks 4 and 5 base points reduced by about 11%. Scaling from attack power unchanged.
Rake: Ranks 6 and 7 base points on initial and periodic damage reduced by about 7%. Scaling from attack power unchanged.
Rip: Ranks 8 and 9 base points and points per combo point reduced by about 6%. Scaling from attack power unchanged.
Savage Defense: The animation for gaining this buff will no longer make the bear stand upright
Shred: Ranks 8 and 9 base points reduced by about 10%. Scaling from attack power unchanged.
Swipe (Cat): Percent of weapon damage done reduced from 260% to 250%.
Travel Form: Can now be learned at level 16.

* Balance
o Balance of Power: Now reduces all spell damage taken by 3/6%, rather than reducing the chance to be hit by spells by 2/4%.
o Eclipse: The Starfire and Wrath buffs from this talent are now on separate 30 second. cooldowns. In addition, it is not possible to have both buffs active simultaneously.
o Owlkin Frenzy: Now also restores 2% base mana every 2 seconds for the duration (10 seconds) in addition to its current effects.
* Restoration
o Empowered Touch: Now also increases the amount of bonus healing effects for Nourish by 10/20%.
o Improved Barkskin: No longer provides dispel resistance to all effects on the druid, but now reduces the chance your Barkskin is dispelled by an additional 35/70%.

I'm scared of the idea that innervate needs to be casted more often, considering they are changing the mana regen on Replenishment. This says to me they are planing some real mana sucking encounters in the months to come.

With the changes to Empowered Touch, a possible Nourish/MT healing spec could look like this which drops GoEM in favor of Nature's Grace and Empowered Touch. Very interesting. I'm sure some resto's out there will be excited but since I've been rocking it on raid heals, I will not be moving my precious points yet. In addition, it seems rather odd to implement this when the T8 focuses on Rejuv based ablities, but would be nice for T7 and who knows what T9 has.

Lastly, I suppose Blizz didn't like the 20k crits on lifebloom. Shame. It's not like it procd Living Seed or anything and usually was overheal. /shake fist.

Chain Heal: Jump distance increased to 10 yards. In addition, the amount of healing now decreases by 40% as it jumps to each new target, instead of 50%

Improved Water Shield: This talent now has a 10/20/30% chance to be triggered by Chain Heal, and the charges of Water Shield are no longer consumed by this talent.

Kinda ok. The rest of the changes make me feel like Shamans are still under appreciated by blizz. Interesting way to deal with the Shaman's mana regen issues, but perhaps changing the mechanic of Elemental Focus to proc off Damaging and Healing spells. Cuz, you know, it reduces mana cost of both. Sadly, though, the trees are bloated a bit anyway and finding a way for a resto to fit it in seems damn near impossible. However, since Druids and Priests are able to Clearcast, I don't see why shaman can't either. At least the silly little orbs of water don't pop anymore.

Yet another overhaul for DK's with a talent refund to boot. I'd QQ about having to respec my alt every time I play her, but I don't think my DK friends would find it funny.

The ravasaur trainer Mor'vek has returned to Un'Goro and will offer to help Horde players raise and train a Venomhide Ravasaur as a mount... if they can survive the creature's deadly poison.

This seems too good to be true. The poor guy has been sitting in the jungle for several years, watching the allies ride by on their Saber Mounts wishing his boss would give the go ahead to offer the Horde their own special time sink. Of course, I am willing to help the guy out but I fear with all the other things getting pushed to live by Blizz that I won't have time to spend for this. Sad, really.

Chef's Hat is now superior quality and allows the chef to cook faster

Faster? Really? Was it that slow to begin with? Sure, I'm cool with it being a blue hat now and I am happy blizz is realizing it needed to have a special ability to go with it, but I would have liked to have seen maybe a chance to proc extra food or something. We spend all that time on the daily, the least they could do is reward us with having to use less mats on our final products. Blizz obviously needs to watch the Food Network more often.

Toughness (Rank 6) provides more stamina
I snicker at this. I already have more Hit points than some of our melee dps, and while the Enhance shaman is looking forward to having more health, I can't wait to for his reaction when he sees that I am still more beefy than he is.

# The Nexus: The Oculus & The Eye of Eternity

* Vehicles (drakes) used in these instances now scale with item level.

Maybe I will finally finish the Achievements that go with these.

Non-Combat Pets: 8 new pets have been added (not including Argent Tournament rewards). Raptor Hatchlings can be found on rare and elite raptors throughout the game world. In addition, an Obsidian Raptor Hatchling can be purchased from Breanni in Dalaran.

Why do I get the feeling they are going to add the 100 pet achievement? I have over 80 at this point, and I don't even have the special TCG, Blizzcon, or Collector's Edition pets.

# Emblem System Changes

* Both the 10 and 25 player instances of the Crusaders' Coliseum drop a new Emblem of Triumph.
* Any dungeons that previously dropped Emblems of Heroism or Valor, such as Naxxramas or Heroic Halls of Stone, will now drop Emblems of Conquest instead. Emblems of Conquest can still be converted to Valor or Heroism.
* The heroic dungeon daily quest will now reward 2 Emblems of Triumph and the normal daily dungeon quest will reward 1 Emblem of Triumph.
* The existing achievements to collect 1, 25, 50, etc. Emblems of Heroism, Valor, and Conquest have been converted to Feats of Strength since Heroism and Valor Emblems are no longer attainable.
* New achievements have been added to collect various amounts of any combination of emblems.

So much of this hurts my head and confuses me. I don't understand why they continue to have us purchase items with these emblems, then reduce the ways to get the emblems, make the achievements Feats of Strength, but add a new achievement that rewards you for Collecting combos of said emblems.

OK, back to work before my head assplodes.

Tuesday, June 16


I swear to the gods that there is more QQ going on than usual.

Some folks don't like our strats for bosses. They either mention this in a tell, separate channel or out openly for all the raid to see.

After a while I just got so sick and tired of the complaining, I made a post on our forums in an effort to make the communication more civil and constructive.

I really need to stop doing that though. Every time I make a post to the guild to remind them of things or inform them of how the officers feel about certain subjects, raiders get the "shoot the messenger" syndrome and I am the target.

Example? A conversation involving one of our smart players saying they will "just shut up." That is entirely what we DON'T want people to do. Instead, how about channeling your ideas and energy back to the forums so you aren't feeling frustrated that you aren't being heard, huh?

Another more recent example: in a separate, private channel, a couple people keeping mentioning that they thought of strats weeks before the raid leaders decided to go with them. I didn't know half their ideas and the other half are in this closed channel that no one else can see. Do they expect me to relay the information for them, especially before a pull when I have several other things going? I have no idea, but I certainly can see why they are frustrated. My response? "POST IT!" What folks say either get lost or ignored on a raid but if it's posted, people have time to look, digest, make informed opinions on others ideas.

This guild is not just Officers at the top and everyone else are the minions. I feel a little bad that our raiders are so full of smart ideas but would rather keep it to themselves. I know they probably feel like we don't listen to a damned thing they say, but actually we do! But, if they were trying to keep a raid flowing in a small window of time, I doubt they would be willing to listen to 5 different ideas on a strat right before a pull.

So please, don't ever shut up. Find avenues that your officers are most receptive to, unless of course you raid with assholes and retards or megalomaniacs.

I never thought it would happen...

But I actually went on a raid as a boomkin. We had 8 healers signed up and since we only need to run with 7, the officers were deciding what to do. Alindy (and sometimes Heal Leader) suggested one of the shaman go elem. I half jokingly replied back "Boomkin!" which was immediately approved.

I can't say I was upset at all. I have been getting the DPS itch lately, which has led me to leveling my warlock again (never mind that affliction is viable again, which makes me happy). But to be considered for dps on a raid made me surprised. Granted, my dps is no where close to what it should be, but we all know moonkin provide a number of raid utilities which help everyone else. From the Earth and Moon to Imp Fairy Fire (with 3 percent hit should Rizzoe not be around) and of course the crit buff.

Ulduar is murder on me though. I am not with a Solar rotation, so I prefer to stand in one place and nuke the hell out of things with Starfire. Fights like Hodir just blow.

Regardless, the raid might be seeing more feathers than leaves should we run into a similar situation again.

Thursday, June 11

Silly UI stuff

After looking around at some other UI's, I decided it was time for a change of pace. See, I have been running with the standard, old, hot bars the blizz gave us a million years ago. I have tried to have different ones, but it was getting frustrating when the hot bar mods couldn't keep up with the shapeshifting bar. Either the bar would be hiding behind something, completely broken, or not save buttons that each shape provided. I gave up for a couple years.

Recently I DL'd Dominos and I must say it's very nice. Granted it's not the best thing out there maybe, and seems similar to Bartender (which my boyfriend uses) but compared to my life before, it rocks. Making things smaller or larger or move it out of the way entirely was cool. In addition, I finally cleaned up what was on my bars. I think I had Regrowth and Rejuv in the same places since I first got the spells, and with Clique+Grid, there was no reason to keep them there anymore. Same goes for a few other spells I have bound to buttons.

Also, I am not sure why I felt it was necessary to have the group up when I would be staring at grid anyway. In fact, it was so bad that Grid overlaped the party frames and was just more clutter. This is what happens when you are stuck in a rut.

The result is a much more steamlined version of the crap I have on my screen. This may seem silly when you consider that Grid is HUGE and therefore engulfs everything. But, considering everything else I have is small, I end up with a lot of open spaces on my screen which goes a long way to situational awarness.

It's funny, I started this post a couple days ago and finally am getting around to actually posting it. In the meantime, I was reading the WoW forums on how someone feels Grid kills situational awarness.

The problem is not the mods, at least not 100 percent. It's a two part issue. First, Blizzard has decided to heed the call of healers who claimed that healing was boring. They don't call it wack-a-mole for nothing. To combat that issue, there are now a ton of things happening at the same time and in the midst of it all, sometimes the healers are asked to move or switch to critical targets (think Slag Pot, Lazer beams, what have you). This requires a high level of not only situational awareness, but maintaining an eye on raid frames at the same time. This leads to the second issue which is the player. Some healers are just not wired for the level of information saturation Blizz has given us. This requires a lot of work on the part of the player to train themselves to move beyond the boxes and listen or look for other things going on.

Old set up:


Lots of crap on my screen, a defunct NeedtoKnow mod sitting off to the side because I didn't have it configured and Grid overlapping party frames.

New set up:


Still could some work, but it's so much better than it was before.

After watching a video of Healbot set up, I have to admit it looks very attractive. Sadly, I can't give up my Grid+Clique set up. I am sure Healbot could keep up with all my hots and boss debuffs I watch for, but I am not in the mood to relearn a whole new raid frames set up.


Slightly off topic, it's now summer time for me. I am writing this from work. Now it's not a paying job, but I decided to stay on with this agency after my internship was down for the term. It's quiet now (thankfully) leaving me some time to type. Summer also means more time to play around with the blog, my characters, and getting my house cleaned before the rash of company invades us.

Friday, June 5

The tank died...

A strange thing happens on our raids. Our main tank dies a lot. Sometimes, he's dead on trash, other times it on the boss. No matter what, he tends to go down.

Believe me, it was kinda funny in Naxx for the last boss in the spider wing. But lately, it's been on several pulls through out the night.

If it's not the main tank, its an OT.

So, here are my theories:

The tanks tend to pull without saying they are pulling. They can not blame the raid for this. They have been known to jabber on vent, presumably while waiting for a pat to come back around, then all of a sudden they run off. If they aren't running off, they are moving to odd places away from the group. I don't just mean for the good reasons like WW or chain lightning, but really, really odd places like around the corner or whatever.

If the tanks aren't running off, the healers are going afk assuming that the other healers will pick up the slack. This becomes a problem when three healers try to rez folks, and three go do whatever leaving one or so left to try to keep up with said running tanks. This leaves more people dieing the cycle repeats itself.

We have long and stressful raids. Thankfully, we don't have anyone who says they have to tinkle or feed their dogs or ask questions over vent that could be done in tells. Those were our SSC days, but something similar is happening here in Ulduar and it's getting to be a chore. Folks tend to lose focus during the trash, which slows our game down which leads to more tired folks by the time we get to our bosses.

I told one of our tanks that I rarely bitched about the kind of job they are doing, as I used to be a tank, but this is a growing trend so I will just propose my solutions (now that I have finished ranting) and see what comes of it.

Tanks need to say something! Anything! "Inc" "Pulling" and preferably a few seconds before they run off so the healers can run WITH them. They know when they are going to pull, as it doesn't take that long to get a sense of when a pat is due to return. If it's a quick pull, add a little urgency to that battlecry. It's not doing anyone any favors if the pull is made without the healers.

Healers need to communicate a little more. Use that healing channel to say you are afk. And, since I am a culprit of this as well, we don't need half our healers to rez people. Keep one person back and the rest can catch up. If it's a major screw up then we can yell at the tanks to slow down in order to get enough people back up and running. One or two dead does not warrant that much attention.

Since I never really got to do Sunwell trash (aside from the entrance) I can only be reminded of The Eye trash as we clear to things like Freya. It was a bitch, had to keep focus or the whole thing started over. Ulduar is not quite that painful, but it is evil and will only get worse (Mimiron, shudder).

Monday, June 1

Healing Hodir and Iron Council

These two fights are about as easy as they come for me. I don't have to worry about the tank eating an eleven-ty gazzillion hit that may or may not be interrupted. I don't have to worry about the dps too much. All I have to do is roll hots and win the imaginary healing meter game.

First up, Iron Council. I have been lucky to only raid heal for this on 25 man but I have tank healed for 10 man. Here is a typical set of spells as the pull goes off.

Before MD is in: Regrowth, Rejuv, 3 stacks of Lifebloom on MT.

After MD is in: WG a stack of people, begin rejuving everyone on my grid list. WG as soon as its up. Possible swiftmend for those oh crap moments. Repeat.

That's all. I am pretty sure some healer is probably helping because, honestly, it takes me a little while to catch everyone with rejuv. The WG catches those folks I am trying to get to. So far, my system works rather well. Lag is my only problem here. If I lag behind even a little bit, the hots fall behind and my grid starts falling like dominoes.

Hodir took a number of trial and errors. Originally, I used a combination of regrowth, rejuv and nourish to try to keep everyone alive. This probably would have worked had I stuck with it, but I was not happy with the results. Sometimes, with all the ranged standing on the fires, that is the last place I want to be because of ice falling.

I recently got the new Nourish idol, and that same night someone whispered me "Oh, you are MT healing for Hodir, will be nice to use the idol." I replied "Nope. Still going to use Rejuv more than Nourish." Regardless of if I am helping heal the main tank or just concentrate on my group, here is how it goes:

First, I try to manipulate it so melee are in my group. I am evil like that. I hope the shamans don't catch on.

Same as IC, I load the MT with hots before the pull. Once the pull is made, my constant moving begins. I hit everyone in my group with rejuv, even if they aren't taking damage. With revitalize, it's not going to waste. Eventually, someone in my group will get hit with Ice so having the hots on them is proactive. I hit WG every so often to catch the MT and/or other melee.

As soon as frozen blows are announced, I toss lifebloom to everyone in my group. Frozen blows lasts around 10 to 12 seconds (last I checked, I could be wrong) so the bloom hits them in the middle of things giving me time to refresh rejuv, toss WG and swiftmend (to those needed).

Provided no one in my group is caught in ice, this plan works 99 percent of the time. Between revitalize and blooms, I have yet to need to innervate or use a pot despite the constant healing.

If I am healing the MT in all this, much is the same though I do stop moving a little more often to refresh regrowth and toss nourish on the MT. I have only been on MT duty once for this fight so I still have some tweaking to do.