Saturday, February 27, 2010

Tsunamis are like patches....only worse, and more dangerous.

So I'm sitting here waiting for the tsunami. It's expected to hit around 11:19. Before the tsunami hits, people tend to think of all the ways it's going to inconvenience our day. My daughter had an end of season beach party for her tennis team. That will obviously be postponed (imagine if a bunch of teenage girls were suddenly sucked out to sea. Justin Bieber would be ruined. If you know who that is, you have a teenage girl at are a teenage girl.....or you need a serious talk about what's cool and what's not!!!). I'm supposed to go downtown to my office and open it up for the cleaning crew to do the floors. Not in a flood zone, but I have no idea whether the workers will show. Pretty much everyone goes into a holding pattern. It can last for several hours after the initial wave. Of course we only look at it as an inconvenience because the thought of it hitting and the damage that could be done is too abstract. I think we tend to not see the potential seriousness of things until they come and bite us on the ass. Sirens just went off and they're starting coastline evacuations. If the waves do hit with any force, the loss of life should be minimal if not absent. Property damage is another thing! We'll see how that goes. I'll keep ya posted! /holds breath.

Friday, February 26, 2010

God do I love work....

Actually I do. I really enjoy my job. I may not enjoy my employer all the time. I may be frustrated by co-workers (for a variety of reasons!). I may scream about the bureaucrats who tell me how I can and can't practice what I went to school for so many years to do. But in the end, it's all about helping the people who come into my office. And that's what keeps me here. I have a tremendous opportunity to influence positive change in alot of lives. That being said, I also really enjoy reading my damn WoW blogs in between patients. I can only guess that the IT guys caught wind of it (paranoid much?) because my blog and all the other WoW blogger dot coms are blocked. Damn. What does this mean? I can still post. I can even read comments, as the "edit post" option on my dashboard is not blocked. The major pain is that I can't read the blogs I have come to enjoy. I won't link them, but they're all listed right there on the right! what?!?! Guess I'll have to read at home. Anyway all, have a great weekend.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Mitigate...the untold story

Well, thanks to Miss Medicina for setting off a world-wide firestorm debating the proper use of healing terms such as reactive, direct, and mitigate. Currently at the forefront of WoW philosophizing...mitigation vs. prevention. Or something like that. Anyway, reading Miss Medicina's post and Wugan's follow up one realizes that there are many different ways to define and interpret healing and the words we use to describe it. There are a few words that came up in particular. The word that started it all was mitigation. To lessen. In healing terms to lessen the effect of damage. By definition all healing spells are mitigation spells (for the sake of argument, "all healing spells" includes actual heals, shields and poison/curse/disease eradicators), because all of those spells have the potential to lessen damage. A shield will lessen damage, in fact it may prevent the damage from a blow entirely. In a raid/instance, it is unlikely that a shield will be entirely preventative, as it will more than likely absorb the maximum amount of damage before it times itself out. For the sake of easy numbers lets say the shield could absorb a 5k hit and the tank was hit for 10k. 5k damage was prevented....and the 10k hit was was lessened in severity. Now, if the hit was only 2.5k and the mob only hit once before he died, then yes the bubble was entirely preventive. A cleansing totem can be both preventive and mitigative. Hunter gets hit by poison bug in AN. Damage starts to roll. Cleansing totem ticks and abolishes poison effect. It has mitigated the effect and prevented further effect. Can a healing wave do this? Or a flash heal? No. They can only mitigate damage. Damage occurs and a traditional heal spell heals the damage...mitigates it...lessens it. Life was removed from our health pool, and the spell filled it again. So all healing type spells mitigate, but they don't all prevent. Some can do both...but not all.

So, if we're clear on my vision of mitigation vs. prevention, let's move on to the next set of words I saw. Proactive vs. reactive. To be fair, the spells themselves are neither proactive or reactive (for the most part!). It is how they are used that is proactive or reactive. If a druid casts an HoT in anticipation of damage, it is proactive. Same for a shield. Same for a chain heal. If it's cast before damage, to either prevent or mitigate by landing as close to simultaneously as is proactive. The key word is before. A bubble could be cast as much reactively as it could proactively. The priest sees a dps going down but the tank requires some fast healing. The priest could reactively bubble the dps to prevent or mitigate further damage. Therefore, I suggest that proactive and reactive be reserved to describe healing itself. The style with which one heals. Obviously any healer uses both, and all healing spells could be used both ways (for the most part! One would not cure disease or cleanse something proactively so those dont apply). I also said the spells themselves are not pro or reactive, rather it is the cast that is. Casting an earth shield is proactive. However, I would say that the way the spell itself works is entirely reactive, as is PoM. I suppose they are proactively reactive. We still on board here?
The last pair of words I saw were direct vs heal over time. This is the obvious one. All traditional spells fall into one or both categories. I think really, these are the only two words we need to describe traditional healing spells. Do they fill the health pool right away, slowly, or a little of both.

In conclusion...all healing type spells mitigate. Some prevent. Some do both. The healer casts his/her mitigatory or preventive (some of which may or may not be direct or heal over time) spells in a proactive or reactive manner. Man I am so lost. Feel free to comment on my awesome philosophization.

An alarming new trend.

It has come to my attention (through certain unnamed sources), that some members of the alliance have actually begun to eat certain Horde races. Yes. You did not read this incorrectly. The alliance has begun to consume their Horde foes. Now I'm not saying all alliance members are doing this, and I cant be sure that all alliance races/factions are participating. I can however tell you with no doubt, certain gnomes have eaten Hordies. Tauren, orcs, undead (gross!), trolls and blood elves (not so bad, most Hordies have at least thought about it), all have been on the menu. Now, we all know that gnomes are delicious. There is no debating that. But crunching gnome bones and enjoying a mouthwatering dorf eyeball is absolutely Horde territory. We expect that. We're Horde for Pete's sake (Pete was Thrall's lesser known brother...infamous for enjoying juicy gnomekabobs). If these reports are true and munching on Hordies is any more that a rare isolated incident, then we should all be very concerned. This crossover foe-munching could signal a break down in our socio-economic strata that has up till now maintained things the way they are. What's next? Trolls and night elves living together. Tauren and dwarf couples? Gnomes and orcs hanging out at work together? I shudder to think of the possibilities.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Migraines, healing, grid and healbot...

Okay, so my intent was to post my thoughts on grid vs healbot yesterday. Unfortunately I was sidelined by a migraine. I've only had one other migraine in my life, about 7-8 years ago. For those of you who get these anymore than once per month....I bow to you and offer my sincerest sympathy. I don't get headaches in general that often, but when I do they're usually not much more than a nuisance. Migraines, that knocked me out. Fortunately I only had morning appointments so was able to leave the office and sequester myself in a room with some painkillers and no lights until it went away. Needless to say, I wasn't feeling all that great so WoW wasn't on my list of priorities. A little later in the day I did get in a random 5 man on my shammy. Which leads me to the second topic in my title....healing.
I am still a relatively new healer. I'm no longer at the bottom of the learning curve, but certainly not at the top yet. Truthfully I have been known to drop a group when the HoR or PoS loading screen pops up. I just haven't felt ready to heal those. And I figure the group is now in front of the queue so they'll replace me in less than a harm, no foul. Yesterday however was different. I queued for a random as a healer and sure enough up pops PoS. I let group know that I had not healed this instance and they were all okay with it. Everything started out quite well. Moved through the trash without any problems. Got to Garfrost and finished him off no problem. Of course it was after Garfrost that I realized I had entered the instance without any mana restoring beverages....duh. Fortunately mana regen with water shield and mana totem is pretty fast so again group was okay with my noobishness. Moved on to Ick and Krick, one shot. Easy. Everyone did what they needed to do. Cleansing totem was a great help and despite retpally dc'ing during fight we still did it relatively easy. So far so good, I was feeling pretty confident. Of course its the mobs on the hill as you move up to the ice tunnel that are the real test. First group, tank falls off side and loses aggro...which quickly shifts to myself and the others.....wipe. No problem, we dust ourselves off and get back on it. Tank marks everyone this time and we knock out the first group. Hate those fire guys man...they are killers! Mark second group and finish them. Then we move on to the skeleton guys. Thinkgs get a little laggy and I don't get a heal in time and tank dies...el wipo (that's spanish for "wipe"). No problem, we're all okay finish off the rest of the skeleton yucky melee and caster guys. We get to the tunnel and all run for the middle plate/disc thingy. Tank spams thunderclap, I throw RT's on as many people as I can and we easily make it through the first wave. Then tank decides not to wait for everyone (not sure why???) and start second part. Myself and another caster who were getting mana are left behind...result....le wipe (that's french for "wipe"). Tank apologizes, we rez and everyone arrives at tunnel entrance and for some odd reason the tank starts in...ZOMG! We're all at half health and half mana, but we manage to pull it off. We agree to one shot tyrannus which we do actually quite easily. A good learning experience over all. Thanks to the boomkins colossal dps (retpally and spriest were not so stellar, but not bad) we made it! I had just changed my glyphs too. I now have earth shield, LHW and CH. LHW works perfectly for the other 5 mans, but for these ICC 5 mans, it's definitely underpowered. You must use HW. Fortunately with the speed buff from RT, HW works very well. Big heals, relatively fast. I am considering changing to HW glyph instead of CH glyph. Totem choices for PoS. Obviously the cleansing totem for the ick/krick fight (I use mana otherwise). Wondering if the frost resist totem is useful and if so do the benefits outweight the loss of the flametongue totem (my default fire totem). Otherwise, stoneskin and wrath of air for the other two.
On to the great grid vs. healbot debate. Crankyhealer pointed me to a great comparison that had already been written by Keeva at Treebarkjacket. A better and more thorough comparison I could not have written. The only thing I had to add probably has more to do with clique than grid as grid and healbots frames are pretty similar (grid being a little more modifiable with addons). One of the things I didn't like about clique was that binding spells to an unmodified left, right or middle mouse click leads to all kinds of problems when using those buttons for their other ingame uses. It is possible that I have not figured out some modification that makes those functions only apply when over a grid unitframe, but not sure. The mouseover click feature of healbot is smarter so it literally only applies when you're over a unitframe. This means you have more possible mouse key bindings. For me, shift and control are the only easily useable modifiers, so that gives 9 bindings on healbot to cliques 6. I use a combo of keyboard and mouse so it's not a huge deal for me particularly with the limited shaman spells. Priests however have just under one thousand spell choices, so having those truly functional extra three mouse click bindings is really nice. As I said, I may have missed something in the setup that negates all of what I just said, but for now that is my two cents (for what it's worth!) on the topic. Again, check out Keeva's post for a really nice, easy to read and thorough evaluation.
That is all.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Clique/Grid vs. Healbot

Much has been written about which healing add-on is the best. Truthfully I don't know that one could be objectively proven better than the other. I don't think it's a stretch to say that it comes down to personal preference. I personally use grid and clique. I found the basic functions of both to be very easy. Grid gives me a simple, clean unit frame that shows all that I need it to show. With a little work it can be modified to fit your tastes. Clique is a very simple way to bind spells to mouse/key clicks.
Healbot is an add-on that I am not at all familiar with. I have never used it. I've heard people sing it's praises many times however. So many times in fact that I decided I should check it out. I have a 42 druid that I have never healed with. I decided to download healbot and check it out. I have only just started so have little to report as yet. I expect that after this weekend I should be able to give an informed report as to the the plusses and minuses of both. I can say this now. I often hear that healbot is much better/easier out of the box. To be honest I found the setup and initial use to be no easier and no better than clique/grid. Both took about the same amount of time and effort to get it set up as a useable healing add-on. Anyway, if I'm feeling adventurous I'll even try healbot on my shammy. Might be a better experiment anyway to try both on a healer I am comfortable with.
Any suggestions or pre-experiment thoughts/advice?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Priest Healing

So the priestly healing effort went much better yesterday. I tried to use bubbles and renews on party members to keep them up/topped off. For light party wide damage, PoM and CoH worked well. Keeping tank up is no problem. Last time it was the boss encounter damage (party wide) that I couldn't seem to keep up with. My problem was that the spells I was using weren't getting people back up fast enough. With Eda's advice, I kept my stacks of serendipity up and used PoH instead to bring party back up after heavy aoe damage. I suppose as a holy priest running 5 mans, its a little damage mitigation (bubbles and renews on the group members who seem to be damage magnets) combined with some whack-a-mole healing (grid/clique). Right now I'm using the PW:S glyph, FH glyph and PoH glyph. I'm at about 21k mana and 511 mana regen and what I notice is that it feels as if my mana is going fast. It's not uncommon for me to get below 50% and even close to 25% mana. Granted, I'm only in about 1/2 healing gear (still haven't completed full set). I may be used to healing with my shammy, where my mana rarely drops below 80%, but is this normal? I feel like I need to drink relatively often. I'm assuming this will improve as I get more spirit with my healing gear. Or is this normal for priest healing? I admit to being paranoid about running OOM!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

New talents for Cataclysm.

I'm not able to read most WoW forums, websites, etc, due to filters, so this topic may be out and covered already. But, as it is my blog and I'm mostly talking to myself anyway, I shall post it. 5 new talent points for cataclysm. What will they do? Will it just add to the talent tree we already have or will new talents be added? Or, will old talents be modified? I've thought alot about what I'd really like to see. While I haven't given the dk and warrior alot of thought, I'd love to see some kind of new spell for my spriest...some kind of shadow bolt sorta thing....priesty death fire or something. Right now it's pretty much dot's, mind blast, SW:D and mind flay, lather, rinse, repeat. I want to shoot some kind of fireball or death bolt or holy missile of doom! For my ele/resto shammy I'd love to see something more instant for damage. Shock spells aren't really used other than to place the dot and make lava burst crit. The lightning and lava spells are pretty long casts so often mobs are dead before my second spell hits. I know, I know...we're a hybrid class....not pure dps, damage should be less. Why? I want more! Don't get me wrong, I usually do 3.5-4k dps in a 5 man (and I'm only moderately geared), which I'm happy with....I just hate the cast time. Maybe decreased with new talent points...i dunno. For my resto spec I'd love to see a decrease in the riptide cooldown. It's a great spell and I'd love to share it with more of my party, as druids and priests do! I'd also like to see something changed with chain heal (cast time, or some kind of additional aoe effect?). I love that spell, but it either hits melee or ranged...rarely both. Could there be some kind of aoe or party wide cast? Or some other instant added to help keep up those that CH didn't hit? Anyway...what would you like to see as far as talents/spells for cataclysm?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Lunchtime H VH...yeah!

Okay, so I live 5 minutes away from my office so I always go home for lunch. Wallet stays fatter and stomach stays skinnier! Anyway, I ate and decided to log onto my shammy and heal a quick instance. I selected Violet Hold since it can easily be finished in 15 minutes. Second to last portal before cyanigosa, we get the group of dragons who come from one of the upper portals and split into two groups. Tank was a little late getting up there so he allowed them to split and waited for them by the entrance/exit tier. The fury warrior decides he's not patient enough to wait and begins tanking one of the mobs. He dies. I'm unable to rez before next wave. We finish of last portal keeper. I try to rez again but boss combat begins before I can. Now in all this time, he could have so easily run back. Right? In fact his only comment was "guess I'll just lie here and watch". Wtf? Is that your only option with VH? I mean the GY is perty darn close. Once we down cyanigosa, I mention that he could have run back. One group member comments that he couldn't have because the door is locked. Another group member comments that we should have kicked him. Now I have absolutely died in VH, run back, talked to the lady in front of the locked door, and teleported back in. Right??? I mean like even up till last week. So once instance is over, he is still lying there dead. And asking me to rez him. I let him know that I was busy skinning. Seriously? I think Gevlon commented on this some time ago. This is not real life. No effort will be expended running back. Are you seriously so frickin lazy that you can't pretend run your pretend character from the pretend GY back to the pretend instance? Well, then I shall pretend I don't see your dead body lying there....ha!

Protocols and SOP's....yuck

Well, I've avoided work for about as long as I can now. This morning I am happily writing up protocols for tuberculin skin testing/reading/reporting within the various departments that I work with. Wow! Is that exciting. Today is my administrative day where I don't have patients but get to catch up on all the paperwork I don't have time for when I see 40 ppl a day on all the other days! Of course I only get one 4 hour block of administrative time (not the whole day!). And of course I'm using that time to catch up on WoW blogs! Ha ha! Being that it was Valentine's day and a long weekend, I actually didn't get all that much WoW time. Most of my computer time this weekend was spent editing last summers family vacation photos/videos into a DVD. How did I get roped into being the video guy? My brother is the tech nerd, not me! Anyway, as I have little to say (of any importance anyway!) I will guide you to some funny/interesting blogs this morning. Keredria had a funny post today with a play on Dante's Inferno. Gevlon provided my daily "huh?" as I'm afraid I didn't really catch the meaning/significance of his post. However drop by, read it and prove that you are smarter than I. I suspect I had the same look on my face reading his blog today that I had for most of my econ, accounting and stats classes in college! Now I have nothing else for you unless you'd like to discuss CDC recommendations for reading TB skin test results in an occupational health setting for at risk and not at risk employees. No? You sure? You can read over my new protocol and standing order? Really? Okay...let me know if you change your mind!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Priest vs. Shaman healing

So my healing experiment continues. As I've said, I have healed quite a bit with my shammy now. I've done quite a few heroics and feel pretty comfortable. For the most part, with earthshield, riptide and an occasional LHW, the tank is quite easy to top off. Riptide has a longer cooldown than I'd like, but it works well to top of individual damage and chain heal is great for group wide damage. Range, casting speed (including the fact that there is only one instant heal) can be an issue but it forces you to be aware of where your group is. Generally one CH followed by 1-2 LHW's for those that were missed by CH works great. Yesterday I decided to try out my holy priest. Granted he is only in about half healing gear, but I found priest healing much harder. There could be several factors here. I chose VH as my trial grounds. DPS was very underwhelming with top being around 2100, lowest 1100. However, this is not PoS or HoR. It's VH, and that should be enough. We got Xevozz as second boss and tank was having a hard time kiting him around. We had alot of those spheres and the squishier DPS were not moving well and I couldn't keep them up. It was taking too long to burn him down and group wiped twice. It could have been a combination of these things, but I just felt underpowered and awkward. For the tank, things were easy, PW:S, PoM and rolling renews. With heavy group wide damage however I was at a loss. I'd have a PoM going around at all times. CoH just didn't feel like it was doing it. Plus, with the longer cooldown I was having to use FH to top people off. With the fast and furious damage that comes in during Xevozz I just couldn't keep people up. The group was getting too spread out for HN to be of any use although maybe the extra dps could have helped. TBH I forgot about guardian spirit and that could have helped too. I'll find out today!

Friday, February 12, 2010

The smell of WoW...

So it is possible that I am just an idiot (but I don't think so cuz my mom always told me how special I was), but does anybody else wonder what WoW smells like? I know, I know...totally random. But it's a good question. What does WoW smell like?

Tauren-If you've ever been near a herd of bison or elk, you know. I suspect that's what tauren smell like. Which also leads me to believe that Thunderbluff must smell really, really bad.

Orcs-No idea. They must smell awful. But it can't be your garden variety human body odor.

Trolls-Not sure either. Weed maybe? They're all natural-like so it can't be all that bad.

Undead-Well they're frickin dead, so they must smell awful!

Blood elves-Perfume and flowers (the females too)

Alliance (all of them)-I only play horde, so I have no idea. I suspect they smell like fear, urine (from wetting themselves) and zit cream. (Except for gnomes...they smell just like chicken)

Stinkiest zone- My guess, Zangarmarsh....or Duskwallow.
Best smelling zone- Ashenvale (but I still hate it!)
Worst smelling city-Sorry Horde, but Orgrimmar must smell awful. Then again, Undercity must totally reek! Thunder Bluff probably has a good cross breeze, otherwise it would be at least in the top two. I'll have to get back to you on this one.
Best smelling city-Silvermoon (night elves look a little stinkier than belfs).

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Basic survival list for the 5 man newb.

Now that I am pretty actively playing all three classes (dps, heals, tank) I am rapidly building more appreciation and more awareness for each class. Now I am by no means pro at any class, but the majority of my experience is as dps (ranged and melee). I have absolutely been guilty of unloading on mobs with little regard for kill order or aggro (sorry!). Due to my periodic (very, very rare!) errors, I have decided to write a brief list of pug/instancing tips for the new player (or the seasoned player who forgot!)

1. Relax. For the most part you control the pace of the group. Don't let group outpace you, but don't outpace your group (especially your healer!). Being on a different page from your healer is definitely a bad thing!
2. Please let buffs get done, mana and any other prepping before your go running off to the next fight (i.e. check mana attention!).
3. Keep on eye on your mobs. Don't get tunnel vision. Your healers or dps may not let you know that they are being chewed upon.
4. If you'd like something done in a particular way, please let the concerned party or parties know.

1. Relax. Giving the tank 2-3 seconds to establish aggro is absolutely not going to make a bit of difference in your total instance time. If you don't have the extra 35 seconds to spare, maybe you shouldn't be playing right now!
2. Do not outpace your tank. If you pull something, you better be prepared to tank it yourself. Your tank may or may not help. Your healer may or may not help. If you do accidentally pull a mob, or entire room, apologize. Easy.
3. I know you feel your epeen size is directly related to your dps, but the truth is, it's an inverse relationship (he he). It's not about recount. If you ramp it up, pull aggro and die, who cares if you were doing 6k dps. Staying alive and doing great overall damage is more important. The whole group staying alive and having a good time is even more important!

1. Relax. You'll do a better job and have alot more fun!
2. Let your group know what you need. They can't read your mind.
3. Sometimes people forget. Friendly reminders are nice!
4. Have whatever supplies you may need. Mages may not be there to be your personal drink dispenser.

1. Relax. It's a game!
2. Be aware of others. If you queue, please be an active part of the group.
3. For the most part, if the floor on which you are standing is currently not the same color (such as purple, green, red) as most of the instance (particularly if mysterious little red numbers are scrolling up your screen around you), please move.

So there ya go. Some simple tips to make everyone's lives a little easier. Feel free to add any tips that you feel may be needed as well!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Something about me.

Wugan over at Flow, has a great picture on his blog, and it got me thinking. Being that many bloggers share a little something about themselves irl, I figured I should do the same. I grew up on the West Coast, Solana Beach CA to be exact so surfing was/is a huge part of my life. I now live on a lovely Pacific island so I get to continue my passion. Anyway, I have this picture on my wall in my office and I love looking at it. It is truly beautiful. Perfect. Just figured I'd share the love! For those of you in the snow, look at the pic and imagine a warmer place!

Newb tanking

Okay, so the tanking experiment is going well. Thanks to some good info from Darraxus , I've had some decent experiences so far. I have only tanked VH a few times and nexus twice so we'll see what happens with more difficult content. Charge in when I can. Thunderclap, shockwave, devastate, revenge, SS. Switching targets, Thunderclap again when it was up. All in all it went pretty well. It certainly requires more situational awareness as you must keep an eye on others, particularly your healer. Some problems I was running into were in highly geared groups, there may be some trouble building aggro as they are usually not willing to wait the 3-5 seconds for me to grab the mobs attention and the mobs die so fast they are for the most part doing little damage to me leading to almost no rage build-up. My feeling is that if the group is that well geared, then my ability to effectively tank is really irrelevant particularly in the easier heroics. If this whole tanking thing doesn't work out I may go ahead and start writing lengthy articles about the social ills of saying "ding" and "grats" or alternatively linking anal in trade chat all day. Either way it's a win:win for me.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Shaman healing

Wugan posted a nice piece about shaman healing over at Flow. And thanks to Miss Medicina for linking it in the first place. One of the great things about shaman healing is versatility. Now I often bemoan the fact that I don't have all that many instants. Only one to be exact. Riptide. But it has a nice instant heal and then keeps rolling after that. When followed by a chain heal or a few lesser healing waves, it's a very powerful combo. Of course the shaman must be very aware of party movement because of cast time. The versatilty really comes in with totems. It's great to be able to adjust your totems for the specific situation. At this point I'm only running heroics, but I change up my totems frequently throughout an instance. In AN or TOC (with rogue) I will definitely drop my cleansing totem. Nature resistance is nice for lighting damage. Stoneskin totem is really nice for some damage mitigation (but if there's no dk and I'm in a nice mood, I may drop strength of earth for you...maybe). Frost resist. Fire resist. Even dropping your elemental totem during tough fights (black knight, phase 2!). We have so many choices. For me what works well is to have my default totems set up (stoneskin, flametongue, mana, wrath of air). I then have my other common utility totems set up on their own bar (using bartender), cleansing, life, resists, elementals, etc. It's nice to just drop my defaults and then change as needed with a click. Using key bindings and clique/grid then puts all of my healing spells within easy reach and keeps a nice clean interface for me. Right now I have RT, LHW and CH bound to my F, E, and R keys. Earth shield, cleanse spirit and HW are then bound to the mouse through clique. So far it's working well. Any other ideas or thoughts on how you've streamlined things or things you've done to tighten up your healing?

Monday, February 8, 2010

The scoop on my oculus complaint.

So, 3 people in the world...oh wait, 4 (me!) wait, 5! I forgot the GM....zertfizzle or whatever his name is. So, somewhere between 4 and 6 people in the world are aware that I have been stiffed 2x...2x!!!!! in oculus when there was no bribe bag for me in the trunk! I wrote a mini-rant last week and Jenn (clearly a person of extreme genius) recommended I open a ticket. And open it I did! It was hilarious. I simply wrote up a report that twice now at the end, when collecting loots, there was no extra bag for me. Essentially there were only 4 in the trunk. I mentioned that this had happened to another pugger in a previous group as well. I asked if they'd heard it before and was there anything I could do to avoid it in the future....other than not run oc. The first response was classic. It was basically "Thanks you for your information you provided us re: that thing you wrote about. We shall keep it on file. If you have any questions please let us know. If you have no other questions, please click message read." Huh??? In other words, your very important issue will now be filed and placed in the giant storeroom where we're keeping the Ark of the Covenant. TYVM....
So of couse I had to write back. "Um yeah....I have a question still....huh? You didn't even remotely address my concern. I'm not expecting free stuff, but at the very least, say you have no idea why it happened, you're working on it and as soon as you have some idea how to avoid it again you'll contact me. Otherwise, I'll just d/c everytime I get oc." So next letter I get is some tongue in cheek response about retrieving my bonus bag from a goblin the the Barrens. Nothing about the issue itself, but at least I got one of my bags. Has nobody had this happen yet? I must be special :)

first timer

So I think I've been playing WoW for about 1.5 years now. I have never tanked. Seeing the abuse heaped upon tanks should any error occur pretty much kept me away from that! However the recent changes to lfg and the obvious shortage of tanks (including my guild) has made me rethink that. I have been trying to decide whether to go with the dk or the warrior. By default, the warrior won as he had more tank gear. I spent a good part of yesterday reading about glyphs and spec and things of a tanky nature. Got my troll geared. A few purples, mostly blues. Got the numbers. Hotkeyed some talents. Got "omen" (although I have no idea how it works yet!). Decided to start easy and queued for H VH. Took all of about 1 second and I was in. Let the group know it was my first tanking ever and that I was appropriately geared. One dropped, the rest hung in and we went at it. Things went very well! I held aggro at all times. I don't think that's saying alot with VH, but that is the reason I chose that instance. My healer let me die a couple times, but no wipes so it was good. I'm doing glyphs of blocking, sunder and cleave, with the idea that that will give me better aoe aggro (less target switching). Now, devastate is better than sunder due to the damage effect, but my question is does glyph of sunder armor work when I use devastate? Gonna have to check on that. Otherwise I guess I'd be better off with glyph of devastate. Any other ideas? Basically I wade in, demoralizing shout, maybe a thunderclap, devastate (use revenge and SS in between). I've also been putting a rend on mobs with the assumption that the dot would help with aggro although I don't know how much truth there is to that. I'll try some of the easier heroics today and we'll see how it goes!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

To tank or not to tank?

I have a warrior and a dk. Both are totally dps. Never considered tanking. Never. People are such douchebags that I just have no interest in doing it. That being said, my guild has a tank shortage. If we're going to get anything going we're going to need some tanks. I have collected a decent number of epic gear from instances. I have rep with enough factions that with crafted items added, I could put together a tanking set. I don't really want to waste time dual speccing both. My question to the 3 or 4 people who have glanced at this blog is....mechanically....or whatever.....what is easier to tank with, warrior or dk. It seems both classes have advantages and disadvantages. Anyone care to break it down for simple brain hurt when read EJ.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Oculus....what? Again?

Yes....just a very quick rant. Oculus is by no means hard. I suppose if you have difficulty with the flying/3D aspect I can understand. Not a problem for me. I get excited when I see the loading screen come up. I'm going to get another 2 badges, some gems for my jc and the chance at a cool flying mount (which I got on my shammy!). But twice now I have not been able to loot the bag from the chest at the end. There just isn't one for me. I see everyone else with their bonus gems and badges....just not me... :( Anyone else having this problem? Bribes don't work all that well when the briber doesn't follow through!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Random pug healing...finally.

Yeah, so I finally did it. Yesterday I signed up for healing heroic VH. Easy. Just wanted to get the fingers going. Then I sucked it up and entered the queue for a a healer....yikes. So hilarious that I was actually! Anyway, I did breathe a sigh of relief as the screen for UK came up. Zoned in and I asked the tank to go semi easy as I was a new healer. He said no problem. Then again there aren't any really big pulls there. Most of the pulls were 5 or 6 mobs. Pretty easy. I'm glyphed with water mastery, LHW and RT. For the most part I just keep my earth shield up on the tank, RT(+85 sp per, stacks x3 for 15 sec.) and LHW as needed. Of course I use chain heal quite a bit too, particularly if I have a melee heavy group that is taking alot of aoe damage. I wish the cooldown on RT was shorter. Do the other healing classes HoT's have that long a cooldown (6 secs I think)? Anyway, now I'm wondering if the glyph of chain heal is a better deal. It seems the glyph of LHW only benefits the tank (+20% heal when earth shielded...i think?). Any wide aoe, it would certainly be nice to have a 4th target for CH, but then again that's assuming all are within range of the bounces. Any shammies care to add? So the UK run went fine. No deaths. Easy instance though. Queued up again and got HoS. Made me a little nervous as this instance has a layout that allows for big pulls. Again asked tank to "tank it easy". He said no problem and pulled the entire instance in 3 pulls instead of 2.....Things went okay though. No wipes, several deaths. Lots af aggro running around. Tank couldn't hold very well. 3 melee so lots of damage to heal. I was majorly lagging as well. All things considered I thought it went quite well. Suppose I'll hit random again today and see how things go. Fingers crossed!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

IRL money for in-game services

Lots of different people play WoW. And all of those people play WoW differently. Some PvP. Some RP. Some sit in Dalaran and troll trade chat all day ("know why they call it an xbox 360?"...grrrr). Some love making money. Some love raiding and anything else is painful for them. Others are totally content doing a little 5 man, a few dailies and getting some new gear every now and then. Which brings me to my point. I'm hearing a lot of people worrying about paying irl cash for in game services. Buying a pet for actual dollars. Buying a faction change. Buying a server change. Clearly Blizzard's intent is to make more money. No problem says I. If people want to pay for a little monk pet or to be human instead of Blizzard seems pretty clear that people who pay for additional items/services with irl money should not and will not have an advantage over players who don't. AH access on your iphone? I don't really play AH, but I can see how this could be seen as an advantage. However the truth is all players have access whenever they want. Whether you go off to work or school and ignore your auctions for 8 hours is entirely up to you. To be able to check AH remotely is certainly convenient, but everyone has the ability to monitor their auctions as frequently as they'd like. So it's not providing something to paying people that isn't available to non-paying people. The truth is it would be fine if people were given the option to purchase gear for irl money. Not everyone wants to level and gear up. That's not the fun part for them. If you buy full t10 do you have an advantage over me? Nope. I can get it. I just have to jump through the appropriate hoops. Now if you sold gear that was superior and only available through irl purchase, that would be different. I suppose what I'm trying to say is that I have no problem with Blizz offering things for irl money. It's really just cosmetic (pets) or convenience (iphone AH access) but not truely an advantage because we all have access. Each of us determines how we'd like to play and the amount of time we're going to put into it. If you can pay 200.00 bucks to have a level 80 geared toon waiting for you, no skin off my teeth. I could do that too. I can buy one or level one but the end result is the same. Thoughts?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Random acts of WoWness...

So it seems (to some degree anyway) that most of the complaining about douchebaggery and asshattery had declined in the last week or two. Have the douchebags and asshats given up? Hardly. I suspect that along with the cross-server LFG tool, people were just shocked by the sheer number of d-bags. They're still there, we just aren't surprised by it anymore. Some would say "it's my monthly fee, I'll act however I want", or "it's just a game" or "whaddayougonnadoaboutit?".
I think it has little to do with the fact that it's an anonymous video game. The truth is we run into this kind of behavior irl all the time! Many days I think there are more d-bags than not in the world. Is it really hard to hold a door for someone? Does it really take alot out of your day to let another driver merge into your lane? Is it a major inconvenience to pick up your trash? Maybe I just wasn't aware of it when I was younger, but it just seems this selfish and downright rude behavior has permeated our everyday lives!
My solution. My proposal. I decide, in all aspects of life (videogame, irl, whatever) who gets to continue. Doesn't matter whether you've paid or not. I will henceforth be the GM in life and will decide who will be banned (permanent or temporarily). So, of course the current problem I'm having is how to actually implement this. I mean logistically it's no small thing to make yourself the overall GM of the world (not to mention how to do the bans!). I am working through some kinks now, technical and legal (apparently you can't just perma-ban people from life!?!?!). So if you have any suggestions (I believe Darraxus favors the simple uppercut), please let me know.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Monday Haiku.

In the interest of continuity (and I know little about giving WoW advice other than "don't stand in fire", nor did I have any horrible pugs since last group and couldn't think of anything else to write), we'll do another Monday haiku. Feel free to add one of your own. Very zen.

Gnomes....very tasty
Fried, baked, broiled, sauteed or raw.....
Really, I love gnomes!

I'd like to dedicate this Haiku to Keredria and all of her cute (mouthwatering), pink haired (delicious), spunky (tasty), full of life (not for long...) little friends! ;)