Friday, January 28

UI time!

Every few months I take a look at my UI and make changes or tweaks. It's usually not the most sexy or even sometimes efficient, but sometimes changing things all at once just makes things worse.

I wanted to show what I was using largely because I had a guildmate or two ask about it. The rest of you are along for the ride! This first part will show Clique and Power Auras.

I still make changes but here is a screenshot of my UI just sitting there (well, with one low mana indicator but I will get to that)

To break it down here is what I have:

Sexymap with a Resto4life configuration
Default buffs and debuffs (X-perl still wasn't working right as far as their buff/debuff configuration)
X-perl unit frames
Dominoes bars
Vuhdo party/raid frames
ForteXorcist cooldown bar (spell bar is off due to using Vuhdo instead)
PowerAuras using Krogarum's Tanking Auras bear export, TBJ, and my own healing set up
Skada meter
Other hidden things like Omen and DBM.

There could be ways to make this even cleaner or smoother but it works for me. What I enjoy is the amount of so called Real Estate space on the screen. Since Cata, with healing circles and bad things on the ground, actually seeing stuff matters! To clutter your screen with too much stuff will hurt you and your raid.


If you haven't tried it yet and using mostly click to target methods, I would say this is a lifesaver. It may take some getting used to with the mouse keybinds, but after a while they will part of your muscle memory. I previously used it with Grid, but Vuhdo has an option to use keybinds through their mod or just import your Clique bindings (which saves a lot of time setting everything back up).

There is an option to create modes for friendlies, enemies and both so you can easily switch from dps to healing and back. Before I went feral, my Clique was set up for boomkin and resto and because of that I kind of ran out of mouse options due to laziness (Starfall is still on their but I am not spec'd for it now). I will spare you the full list but here's a screenshot of most of it:

You don't have to go hog wild like I did if you are starting out. Even just binding your commonly used spells to a few buttons will help you see a difference in performance.

Power Auras

This one intimidated me the most. I didn't know how to begin so I started with tanking first since that's what I had the most trouble tracking.

I started with importing previously made codes by Krogarum at this link.

Not everything he had I was interested in so I chose the ones that mattered the most to me, namely Pulverize, Maul, Demo Roar, FF, Berserk and Lacerate. Barkskin was also important so I used Keeva's at TBJ. After that I tweaked with opacity and such to suit my needs.

For healing, I started mostly with the ones on TBJ but I found using symbols didn't translate well for me. I needed words, so I used the option called "Text Aura" and typed the words I wanted on the screen with the Moonstar font (but you can choose any font).

Edit: since this post I have discovered RestoDude's Auras and I found that I enjoy that set up of Omen of Clarity and Lifebloom reminders.

Innervate Export:

Version:4.9; anim1:6; g:0.6667; icon:inv_alchemy_elixir_02; beginSpin:true; r:0.3804; bufftype:9; alpha:1; aurastext:Innervate; duration:2; sound:23; threshold:80; textaura:true; spec2:false; aurastextfont:12; combat:true; size:1.06; y:174; finish:4

This gives me a pulsing "Innervate" on my screen when my mana reaches a certain threshold. Also, it has a sonar sound that isn't obtrusive but still gets my attention. All of this is helpful because I want to innervate early during a boss fight so it is back up in a timely manner. You can set the threshold to whatever works best for you.

Low Mana Export:

Version:4.9; b:0.9333; anim1:10; icon:inv_alchemy_elixir_02; r:0; begin:3; x:92; groupany:false; unitn:Only for raid/group.; bufftype:9; texture:9; alpha:0.5; aurastext:Low Mana; symetrie:2; isResting:0; sound:37; stacksOperator:=; threshold:30; textaura:true; aurastextfont:12; size:1.1; y:-24; finish:3

This gives me a warning early that my mana is getting low and I need to make some emergency choices. Additionally, I wasn't happy with the default message blizz gave us so this new message is bright and circles around my character in case I missed it the first time.

The result:

To use an string that someone has made, copy the code then open Power Auras (/powa). There should be an option to "Import" then Ctrl-V (paste) your new aura.

Honestly, it felt easier to make whatever auras I wanted after seeing how a pre-made was done. I think I spent an hour or two just playing around with it and seeing how it worked, giggling most of the time.

Later I will show Vuhdo and it's glory and a brief mention of FX.

Thursday, January 27

UI time (Part 2)!

I previously mentioned what I use as far as Clique and Power Auras set up. Now we move on to the crux of my mods, Vuhdo.


I was unhappy with Grid and it's extras not being updated timely and I missed the customization when I used the default frames. Thus, I looked into Vuhdo.

This video has a good introduction, even if some of it is possibly out of date.

There is a lot of nitty gritty that I tweaked and messed with.

Explaining it all would take a video, which I am not that savvy at, but I will point out some adjustments I made and show what it looks like. Note that a lot of functions have their own tooltips explaining what happens when you enable/disable them.

Here is the misc General configurations. Notice I check marked Clique to use those keybindings I had set up. I hid party and raid frames, well because that's what Vuhdo is for, and at the bottom there you can use their feature to announce resurrections.

This section can change the color of the panel to show the color of the debuff that is on the target. I wasn't quite happy with the default colors so above is what I have set up.

This is all my hots going. What I didn't realize after making that screenshot is you can enable the mod to show stacks of say... Lifebloom as well as the timer. Now, this looks like my frames have the case of the measles but I am quite used to it.

This is what the frame looks like with some hots, a raid icon, and showing incoming heals.

Example of a debuff during a Deadmines run.


This mod originally was a warlock mod (which still works great for that and I use it for my lock alt) but it has increased it's functionality for all classes. One of our healers uses the default raidframes, so using the spell tracking feature that FX provides helps him keep tabs on those pally things (read: sparkly buttons).

For myself, I have Vuhdo for most things, but FX combined with Power Auras let's me track so much more. The cooldown bar tracks my trinkets, internal cooldowns like Nature's Grace, Swiftmend etc. It's quite handy and can be moved to anywhere on your screen.

Similarly, if you are only wanting a cooldown bar without having to turn off a bunch of extra features, try CoolLine. It's lightweight and has a similar look to FX (inspired by it actually).

You can find all these mods at your favorite addon site (Curse, WoWInterface, Ace, etc).

Tuesday, January 25

Was I crazy to drop Furor?

Some time ago, after the rumors of a reduced Rejuv cost was in the works, I was taking a look at my talents and decided that I really wanted to try Genesis. The problem was, how the heck was I going to be able to pull that off? I was irked at Efflo and thought the answer was to drop that to grab more points into Balance.

Then I came across Leiyan's blog which explored that very same idea in a way.

Since I wasn't quite ready to drop Efflo because I needed to see how it performed in 25s, I decided I wanted to have my cake and eat it too...

Thus, this is the spec I am playing around with. I dropped my two points of Furor, dropped GotEM to 1 point, kept Living Seed and Efflo and put two points into Genesis.

Now, I understand the argument for keeping Furor. A boost to that mana pool means lasting longer not only because you have more of a resource to build from, but it means your revitalize ticks for more. I am not saying it is a bad talent at all.

For myself, I went from 111k mana self buffed to 110k mana roughly. This seemed an acceptable tradeoff to get all my hots to work better.

What I didn't do is take Blessing of the Grove. Despite Rejuv being my most casted spell, I needed to keep points in Efflo for that all important parser testing. I will say that the parser did show an improvement on Rejuv (and other hots) I can't be entirely sure if it was the new Valor boots I got, usage of mastery, the talent change, or all of the above. Keeping an eye on it.

Another thing to note is what my roles are. One week I was tank healing with some raid thrown in, another week I was raid healing with some tank healing when those healers were busy (like running from oozes). This effects spell usage to a point, though to be honest Rejuv is up there regardless of whatever role I am in.

As a slightly off topic, I'd like more Priest, Shaman and Pally blogs! If you know of some really awesome ones I would love to know (Lifeingroup5 for example is a Shammy one I hadn't seen until last week).

Tuesday, January 18

Breaking bad habits

If there is one habit I need to stop doing is overhealing. Especially when it comes to rejuvenation.

I did this all the time in Wrath, just rejuv rejuv opps they have one already! Oh well, just keep at it.

But now, man, overhealing rejuv is just a waste and something I am slowing retraining myself to NOT do. And I admit, it's difficult.

Then I started to take a hard look at other things I could be doing differently.

What I could fix

Stop swiftmending the person who is out in the middle of nowhere unless you really need that instant heal (tanks not included). Lonely green circles makes kittens cry.

Stop refreashing rejuv mindlessly.

Watch for times when it's ok to let LB bloom. Stop switching LB targets before the bloom.

It's ok to use Tree form. It won't kill me or anyone else if used properly.

I don't need to chase the dps who ran so far away. Do remind them to stay in enough range to not kill the raid while avoiding bad things.

Mind over Spells

This leads to something I hear from healers which is "Get your mind retuned." Things like understanding when it's ok to panic that folks are at 50 percent and when it's ok to just ride the wave.

The synergy that Cata has instilled for healers causes much more critical thinking. This is where I start to feel bad for Shaman. Their spells seemed to be rather gimped as it is, but imagine going for a couple of years just doing chain heal? The argument could be made for the rest of the healers, but after looking at the various Shaman mechanics, I just feel pity for them. I would say they are the prime example of the huge shift the game has made.

So now that I have exposed my flaws for the world, I can get back into the business of holding my breath for Rejuv+WG spam again. Hopefully, I will have learned how to heal smarter by the time the patch comes.

Thursday, January 13

What I signed on for

I am the floater; the one who says "Sure thing" when a spot needs to be filled. The implications of this was felt right off the start before last night's raid.

Not the first night! sigh

A healer for Team Martin had lost power for several hours and we didn't expect to see her online in time. I mentally though I had prepared for myself to be filling her spot, then panicked. I had no food, no flasks, no mana pots. My bags were filled with tanky stuff. Twenty minutes before raid time, I am scrambling to get my crap together... and just before we zone in poor snowed-in healer logged in. Yay!

Tonight, we are out other healers for Team Charlie, which means more shuffling. At least this time I will have my consumables prepared, but now the task is to get caught up on what fight and strats the other team was working on. Thankfully, my finance was a tank for Charlie so I was able to at least understand what progress they had made.

All of this opens my eyes to the big picture. While we run these 10s in preparation for 25s, my job is to be aware and prepared for anything and possibly fit myself into a team that had worked on something for a night already without screwing up their flow.

As things move further down the road, we will be shuffling everyone around in order to keep things fair, which means at some point our fights will be reexplained to more people than just myself.

Balancing act

I have points to spend, but I am at a loss of how to spend them. My job as the tank is hopefully a short one because it means we can move to 25s. But, when we get to 25s I want to be on par with the rest of our healers. I currently am at a loss for how to walk this tight rope. I can just hear my raid leader saying to not stress about it, we are still early into raiding, but I am a planner. I need to have something scribbled out as a framework. I think it helps that the RL is also doing the bouncing thing like I am (dps to tank and back).

Words of wisdom?

For those who are also playing dual roles actively, I say "Wow, you are a crazy person". I also say, stay on your toes and be patient and flexible. Communicate to your officers about what they expect of you. If you are an officer, like I am, refer to crazy statement and hang on for the ride.

Saturday, January 8

Things heard around the guild

Still working out my tank set while we made a trial run at some of the raid bosses this week. Looks like I will have my work cut out for me trying to keep a tank and healing set optimal! In the meantime, some stuff seemed so random from people lately, I had to write it down for blog fodder.


Luminas: I want him for a pet
Gel: I want him for a hat


Greybow: Does he get you preggers?

RL explains the worms and how they multiply

Greybow and Lum collectively: Yep, he does. (giant penis)


Lum gets a new set of leggings for his healing set.

Lum: Yay, new legs!
Me: Lt. Dan! You got new legs!!

In hindsight, the rum n coke plus late night heroics made this much more funny.

Anti's new sig

Karuken: Herbs do not fear.
Karuken: Herbs do not run.
Karuken: They accept what is life.
Antithesis: /sings
Antithesis: "What is life? Baby don't herb me. Don't herb me. No more."

We start our first round of real raids soon, so I hope to have something more substantial to write about. Been busy with other things (like gearing and reading the forums) so forgive the fluff posts :P

Tuesday, January 4

That's a lot of... and Critter Kill

That's a Lot of Bait and Critter Kill Squad are two achievements I constantly have up tracking. I get rather excited to see the numbers go up, even in small increments.

Man, fishing is soooooo boring!

While everyone enjoys killing level 1 things, all I hear in gchat is how much fishing sucks.

I don't know who to be frustrated with more: the players or the design. We need 10,000 fish caught (only in pools, mind you) in order to get our upgraded feast. It seems the mentality is something like "My best food is caught in open water/made of meat/etc", so why bother sitting there fishing?

We thrived on feasts in Wrath, and I get why the design team would want to expand the options on food buffs. I just wonder what will happen a little bit down the road we start asking folks to have their food buff and they beg for a feast. Meh, maybe that won't happen.

To compensate, I have been fishing the heck out of eels and guppies in order to kill two birds with one stone- get mats for the feast while moving the counter towards the achievement. But then I see that the bank is pitifully low on Lavascale and just shake my head at the whole thing.

I also understand that not everyone thinks like myself. I am working on Limnologist which does not help getting our feast. So... I catch maybe 100 pools fish before spending an hour trying for a bloated freaking whatever (not that I am bitter about my luck on drop rate or anything). I was trolling some blogs and noticed one guild made a contest out of getting their fishing done. I read that and admired their ability to get the team together.

On to Critters

Thankfully, this is less ranty. Despite the attempts to nerf the ways to get these critters killed faster, R.I.P. instant sheep, our guild found another one and we are meandering our way there. As of writing, we have less than a thousand to go.

However, the pet takes exalted with the guild to purchase. This makes no sense to me. I don't care that the pet is epic quality. It's a freaking pet. It's not game breaking or providing one guild with an advantage over another. It looks badass, don't get me wrong, but to put that kind of roadblock to it seems unnecessary. OK, this was ranty, too.

Oh, if you were wondering what our secret is... groups are best. And Eastern Plaugelands. That's all I will say because I don't want to jinx us when we are so close.

Monday, January 3

Dropping leaves for claws?

I have been playing WoW since... well I think since Feb or March after release (there's something on the web that tells me, but I can't find it right now). Anyway, in that time, I have done many roles and gone through many incarnations of the druid: cat dps not better than a 41 rogue, bears first foray into tanking MC, restos as the bastard children of healing, etc.

Healing in Wrath made me a goddess. Healing in Cata, while I have not lost my divinity, was a welcome challenge.

Why the hell would I want to switch to tanking? Frankly, I miss it. All through Wrath, I kept my scraps of a feral set in my bank. Once a month or so, I would put it on, then shake my head because I didn't know the first thing about the new feral mechanics. Wistfully, I would plop it all back in the bank.

I still don't miss carrying so many sets of gear. But I do miss the challenge of being up in front, taking the shots. Bears might need a little love in Cata, but I think they (Blizz) will get it right soon. Or in a year... hell, look at Death Knights and how long it took to figure them out.

Guildies worry that the stress of being a tank will break me again. I've gotten a little older, I don't swear in vent so much, and healing has certainly given me a zen approach to when crap happens.

Now, having said all of that, I wish to say that I don't dislike healing. As I said before, I have played all the roles at one point or another and seen virtually all the changes. I don't think Restos are broken or unplayable. I admit, I rock heroics like a queen and was getting apprehensive about the transition to raiding but that nervousness was not the catalyst for the desire to switch.

Our guild lacks a 4th tank (while not needed in 25s, kinda important for running two 10s). It is supposed to be my brother, a DK, but real life is keeping him from raiding. And, our guild prides itself on diversity. We like a good mix of every class and spec and play to the strengths of those classes and players.

Enter the bear. We haven't had a bear since BC and this is my chance before our first real raid to step up and fill in.

Despite my desires and intentions, the jury is still out on what kind of raiding we will actually be able to hit in the coming weeks.

As for the blog, other bloggers have changed their specs or quit their blog entirely so I will keep writing about what interests me or what I observe, with an ample dash of unsolicited opinion.