Friday, November 30, 2007

What are you all doing to me?

Didn't I just tell you all I was done with blogging for November? Why are you making me update my blogroll to include active links? And why are you all buying custom domains?

Just kidding of course. Blogroll updates:

  1. Hunter Mayhem has a new web address. Gratz on your personal domain. And I hear that there's a "vanity" domain out there too. No details, but makes me wonder!
  2. Kestrel's Aerie is also sporting a brand new address. Makes me think it's time for me to take the plunge as well. Congrats Kestrel.
  3. Gorespike stopped publishing The Blood Fury. I'll miss you Gorespike and good luck in whatever is distracting your attention now.
  4. Mania's Arcania is a blog I've been lurking on until now. Finally adding it to the blogroll as it has deserved.
There. I think NOW I am done.

I'm done

It's November 30. I have more than 30 posts for November and at least one on every day! I win.

Okay, I don't really win anything. It's more of a personal goal. And I achieved it! Woot. Go me.

And on that note, there'll be a few minor changes to the blog.

  1. No more freaking weekend posts. Ever. Or until next November. Whichever comes first
  2. No more feeling pressed to put up anything just to meet the "ZOMG I've not posted feeling"
  3. No more of the readership (BOTH OF YOU) having to read the craptastic stuff I posted. If you don't believe it was bad, go re-read last week...Say November 19-25.
That's it. NaBloPoMo is in the history books.

Thursday, November 29, 2007


I like trades. There's just no getting around it. If I were starting a new character, I'd answer firstly what race and class I wanted to play. But shortly after that, I'd turn my eye to what the new guy's trade skills should be.

For me, at least, I turn an eye towards what I think this character's end-game goal will be. Do damage? Tank? Heal? Sometimes this all backfires on me, and I end up totally re-doing a trade from 1.

For instance, on my priest. I chose alchemy and herbalism. This priest was destined to be a healer (in fact at the time, I'm not sure Shadow was viable end-game) and I knew he'd need buffs from elixirs and lots of potions. Being able to transmute the arcanite for my blacksmith was also a bonus. Since I didn't have another source or herbs, I chose herbalism as his secondary. When Burning Crusade came out, I didn't change his trades. With further examination of the Primal Mooncloth pieces, I had no real choice but to respec him to tailoring (dropping herbs). But I've discussed all this before. I guess, in short, my step one is look at what BOP items can be made that match the perceived role for this guy.

Secondly, I look at racials. For the race I've chosen, is there something that is just too good to pass up (engineering for gnomes, for instance). That's how my gnome warlock wound up being an engineer.

Third, I look at what other skills or class abilities form a nice complement. Rogues always have vials around for poisons, so alchemy seems like a viable choice.

Now we get to secondaries. Is there any reason to not have cooking and first aid? I think not. You're going to pick up TONS of cloth on your level up process. More probably than you can use even if you're a tailor. Make bandages. Do it. You won't regret it. And there are several cooking quests (at least on alliance side) that fit in nicely with the normal grind up. And having a food buff is soooooooooo good.

I rarely level fishing. That skill is probably at most 75 on most of my characters. Only one guy has nudged it all the way up. And the memory of the pain of that grind is still so fresh, that I cannot convince myself to do otherwise.

So, here's where I'd probably put skills if I were making toons today:

  • DRUID - Probably skinning, leatherworking. Make nice equipment end-game.
  • HUNTER - Mining. Either Engineering (make your own ammo) or Blacksmithing (make your own armor)
  • MAGE - Tailoring. Second choice could be any gathering skill or enchanting. I'd likely go enchanting.
  • PALADIN - Mining. Blacksmithing. Speciality for BS chosen based on role.
  • PRIEST - Tailoring. Second choice could be any gathering skill or enchanting. I'd likely go enchanting.
  • ROGUE - Either Skinning/Leatherworking or Herbalism/Alchemy.
  • SHAMAN - No honest clue. Currently my baby shaman is Mining/Skinning.
  • WARLOCK - Taloring. Second choice could be any gathering skill or enchanting. I'd likely go enchanting.
  • WARRIOR - Mining. Probably blacksmithing. The speciality for BS would be based on the end-game role.
Several people that I know end up doing two gathering skills. This is great for money making. However, if you're ever going back to pick up a creation rather than a gathering skill, I strongly recommend that you look at a 1-375 guide at the start and "save" all the materials you'll need to make a quick run in the bank. It will make it much less painful than actually going back and collecting all the materials.

Please remember, what I've listed are just the choices *I* would make. Please don't feel that these are the only viable choices. Trade skills really are all up to what you want to do.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

What are the odds?

Warning: This article may contain math or have been produced in a facility that handles math. Severe allergic reactions could occur.

So, I took last week off from work. I got some time in to prep myself for the American Thanksgiving holiday, get some much needed time off from work, and of course play tons and tons of WoW.

I've been leveling Bremmie my little rogue with the companionship of a like level Shaman. We eventually got to the point where it was time to run Scarlet Monastery and since we didn't have folks on in the guild to run and neither of us wanted to pug the place, we traded runs on our 70s for the little guys.

I got to go first. Once Herod was down, I gleefully looted the Tabard of the Scarlet Crusade. This only drops off the newbies that Herod summons as he falls and at some point became a green. I've always wanted this piece on one of my toons and was so happy to get it.

Then it was the shaman's turn. Lo and behold, the tabard dropped for her too!

So, I got to wondering, what exactly are the odds? Allakhazam reports a drop rate for this bugger around 0.56%. I figure There are a dozen or so of the non-elites that can drop it (I didn't count, just an approximation). At 12 x .56, we get 6.72% chance for it to drop in a single run. Since each event is (presumed) independent, the probabilities are just added up.

But we both got it. On separate runs. So, those are also independent, but we multiply them in this case (since we have to hit that 6.72% twice) and come up with 0.45% chance for both of us to get the drop. Pretty lucky that it worked out like it did. If you ask me. Which you didn't.

I'm just saying is all.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Things I found out the Hard Way

There's a lot to learn about this game. Most of my learning comes with a diploma from the School of Hard Knocks. Here's a short list of some of the things I had to learn the hard way in this game.

  • Trade skills are king! This is doubly true for the secondary skills like cooking, first aid and fishing. Although it gives you something to do once you reach the level cap, there are better ways to spend your time than killing level 6 boars for boar meat so you can learn to cook. Likewise for killing level 8 humanoids so you don't have to buy the linen cloth to level your abysmal first aid.
  • Bind on Equip greens can sell for a lot of money. Or at least more than the vendor will give you.
  • As soon as you finish an instance, repair. You never know when you'll go to your next instance.
  • PVP servers are not for me.
  • Battlegrounds are fun (see PVP servers)
  • If you don't feed your hunter pet, it will get so angry it will eat you. (Okay, not really, it'll just slink off and find its own food. And don't even think about whistling for it again)
  • Add-ons good. Trying to play a level 40+ character with default UI bad.
  • There is no such thing as too much RAM.
  • Don't live with bad choices in your skill tree. Respec.
  • Sometimes doing the math and making all the "right" choices leads to less fun. Don't be afraid to be sub-optimal if you're having a blast. This is an entertainment medium.
  • Sometimes people die. No matter how good a healer you are.
  • No one EVER runs towards the tank when they have aggro. No matter how many times they've been told.
  • Sometimes when the encounter just isn't working, it's better to call it.
  • Leveling speed isn't a race. We all encounter the game at our own rate.
  • Watch for upcoming patch notes and understand what they mean. Otherwise, you'll get a 250G deal on the plans for an Arcanite Reaper (retail a few weeks before the patch). In fact, you'll probably buy two and plan to sell one after "the price stabilizes." Instead, you'll be lucky to make 80G after the patch.
  • Don't try to control the market -- no matter what Auctioneer says.
  • Auctioneer can help you spot deals
  • Auctioneer can help you lose lots of gold.
  • Some people are just not nice.
  • Sometimes people give you crappy advice (on spec, on talents, on spell rotations, on gear, on get the idea)
  • Always have an enchant on your gear if you are leveling an enchanter (or know one who is leveling)
  • Always have potions of the healing and/or mana variety.
  • Drink elixirs if you're leveling an alchemist (or know someone who is)
  • Eat buff food.
  • Sometimes things don't work the way you think they do.
  • As long as the gear you have is allowing you to progress, don't take too much time getting better gear. All gear gets replaced eventually.
  • Take more bullets than you need.
  • Laugh more often. Sometimes it just isn't that serious.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Kiting Basics (from a Kiting Noob)

I have a confession to make. My hunter wasn't 60 before Burning Crusades came out. As such, I don't think he's ever been inside Upper Blackrock Spire which you may know is the primary instance in which hunters learn to kite. Since I spent exactly zero time kiting Drakkasith, I'm usually pretty ill-equipped to kite when it comes up now that I'm 70. So, the caveat here is that everything I say may be dead wrong. It's just things that I do that seem to help in my meager attempts at performing a key hunter skill.

First off, I've very rarely been asked to or suggested kiting in non-heroic instances. Most of the non-heroics allow other methods of crowd controlling the mobs in question where a kite isn't necessary. And since I'm not an expert, I don't try kiting unless there's no other method of dealing with whatever pull makes it necessary.

So, here's the things I do:

  1. Turn on Aspect of the Monkey if the mob is melee based. If the mob is slower than you can run with Aspect of the Cheetah, use that instead. Just make darned sure you don't get hit.
  2. Put a Frost Trap in the mob's path. There isn't much chance that a heroic dungeon mob will be affected, but it can't hurt.
  3. Park your pet as far away as you can and use misdirection to put the mob on your pet. This is almost surely going to result in a dead pet. But, it will buy the rest of the group time. Hopefully enough time to dispatch whatever else is there to necessitate the kite.
  4. Use concussive shot. Again, like the Frost Trap, probably ineffectual, but if it does slow the mob down, all the better.
  5. Use geography. The pathing algorithm for mobs will generally make them follow a real "path" instead of following your daring leap.
  6. If Frost Traps or Concussive shots are slowing the mob at all, use them whenever they become available.
  7. Know where you're running to. Especially on heroics, parties like to skip mobs because the risk is too high from engaging things you don't need to. We all know that heroic mobs hit hard. If you don't need to kill a group of 3, you don't. However, when it comes time to kite, you may need to run through where that group is or find an alternate route. Kiting is a last-ditch attempt for me, so if there are mobs in your kiting path, make your group clear them first. The last thing you want to do is make the last-ditch situation worse by adding 3 or more uncontrolled mobs to an already dicey pull.
  8. Know when you are going to pull aggro off from your misdirected pet. If you park the pet far enough away, it won't take long.
  9. Be ready to care for yourself. Take a potion if you get hit a few times.
  10. Be aware when the kite is over. Be ready to feign death and get the mob back on the party.
  11. Be aware of the path the mob will take. If for some reason you've kited him around another uncleared group, he's probably going to bee-line for your group once you feign. If he goes through the previously navigated uncleared group, he's going to bring them all back to your unsuspecting party.
So there's a list of things I do before a kite. I thought it might also be useful to point out the places I've been asked to kite mobs and how I've found to do it.

Place One: Steamvaults (Heroic or Normal)
The first boss in Steamvaults comes with two elemental adds. They are immune to all forms of crowd control except banishing. Since you can't have a warlock with you in every group, there are a few options. Have the tank get all three mobs and burn down the elemental adds in a pre-determined order or kite the boss. In heroic tanking all three mobs is probably a precursor to a party wipe. Directly out the boss' room is a rock (often with a mineral node on it) with a path on the other side. I park my pet down there near the water, then stand up beside the rock so I can see my pet. Cast misdirect and boogie over to the boss and fire. I get another couple shots in and then run back toward the chamber that leads to the second and third bosses. And hug the wall back towards the entrance of the instance--that's generally the direction we've cleared in. Take special stock in point 11 above. If you haven't cleared on the way in, she may run back through the mobs in the anteroom.

Place Two: Slave Pens (Heroic)
The two naga directly before the hallway leading to the first boss are not controllable. Two mobs hitting a tank in heroic is certain death. Luckily there's a large pump directly off to the right of those mobs (as you look at them). You can park your pet back there and misdirect away. I believe both of those mobs are slowable by frost trap and concussive shot.

Place Three: Underbog (Heroic)
The two guards directly before the first boss again aren't controllable and cannot be separately pulled. Luckily they are up on a platform with a long winding trail leading up (or down). The mobs will follow the path, but are quite quick. Pull (or misdirect) to pet and jump down.

That's all I've been asked to kite and all I know on the subject. Good luck out there.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Personal Stuff

Not a big post today. Having a little personal WoW-related drama. But I did want/need to post something.

Anyhow, hopefully a real post tomorrow.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Google Searchbot says...

Since I'm totally out of ideas now that I've been out of work a week and leveling a lowbie, I took a look at the Google Web Tools and found that one of the big searches that's getting hits on the blog is for the daily cooking quests introduced in 2.3.

I've done the daily cooking quest on at least one of my characters most days. However, I think I've found exactly three different quest varieties. Here they are in no particular order.

  1. The Giant Kaliri Wing one. When this is the daily quest, its a good day to do Skettis Dailies! The sky is literally picked clean of these giant, annoying birds. It takes 1 wing and 3 warp burgers. Cook until bubbly in the provided cook pot and you're done. Pretty easy.
  2. The Blade's Edge Mountain one. For this one you need to get some Serpent Flesh and some Mok'thanal Shortribs and combine them in a cooking pot in the corpse of a dead elemental in Blade's Edge. I found that you don't even have to kill it, as long as someone else's kill hasn't despawned you can use that corpse.
  3. The Spiritual one. This requires some foodstuffs (I can't actually recall which) to be combined in the cooking pot in the spiritual grounds in Nagrand. Pretty simple.
The rewards are either a crate of meat or a barrel of fish. Both of which can contain a recipe. Although I'm told it doesn't matter, I've gotten only meat recipes from the meat crate and only fish recipes from the fish barrel. So, if you're wanting a particular recipe this may affect your chances.

Additionally, I've not seen the berry picking on that Kaliope described from the PTR. But, the past few days, I've not been diligent. It's been all about Bremmie!

Friday, November 23, 2007


Okay, well, not quite.

Bremmie did hit level 40 just a few minutes ago. It's been a grind, but I'm avoiding the long periods of grinding called for in my leveling guide.

It's also pretty cool how well a shaman toting a shield around and a stealthy rogue play together. Let the shaman pull the mobs, attack from stealth, stun the crap out of them while building combo points. Kill. Rinse and repeat as needed.

I've got roughly 2 more days to go. If I can keep up the 2-3 levels a day business, I'll be 45 by the time I go back to work. Of course, I'll have forgotten how to play all my other toons in that time as well.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


WARNING! Lots of Non-WoW stuff ahead!!

So. Today I was going to write a very creative article where I laid out a full Thanksgiving Dinner in terms of WoW food items. It shouldn't have been hard. In fact, I didn't really spend too much time researching it. It became a question of me enjoying my own Thanksgiving away from the computer (and Azeroth) or writing the blog.

So to salvage some of the cooking idea for the day, I'm going to share my Mom's Cranberry Sauce Alternative. She found this recipe several years ago and began making it instead of the jellied stuff with the can ridges in the sides. And as the two kids grew up, we also made it for dinners we were invited for. And it's the one dish that gets asked for again and again. For something so requested, it shouldn't be so simple.

And what better place to share it than on the interweb :-)

So, Here goes.

Mom's Cranberry Salad

1 box cranberry Jell-O (the large size)
1 can crushed pineapple
1 can whole cranberry sauce
Chopped Walnuts

Mix the Jell-O with the hot water called for on the box. Stir in the pineapple (with the juice) and cranberry sauce. Sprinkle the top with the walnuts. Refrigerate overnight.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I walked barefoot to school, through the snow, uphill--both ways

That's what it's like talking to old school players like me. We love to tell the "newbies" to the game what it was like in the old days. There is something to be said for the old days. Our hunters didn't misdirect, they pulled with something big then feigned next to the tank. We counted sunders instead of looking how much aggro the tank had. And we waited for visual cues that the boss was doing something special (like casting a heal). Nowadays, we have new skills for the hunters. And we have mods that tell us when we're about to pull aggro--or when the boss is going to do something special.

But I've noticed on a few fights that some of these new-fangled things don't work quite so well. In particular, let's talk about the Maiden of Virtue in Karazhan. She does this repentance thing that stuns everyone in the room for about 12 seconds. And no boss mod that I've tried can predict exactly when she's going to do it. She's a finicky lady that way.

And it's in these cases that the training that the oldbies received in places like Molten Core and Zul'Gurub starts to pay off. We just live with a boss warning mod that doesn't tell us exactly what's coming when. I've even seen newer players really complain about pulling threat when "the tank was a good five kay over me." In some cases it's the mod. In some cases it's the player not understanding aggro.

But in each of these cases, I get just the slightest smile and remember the old days.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


I'm not really feeling a full blown blog post today. So, I'm just going to throw you a few bones here. *smile*

When I started my blog back in September, I wasn't sure I'd keep it going or that I'd even really advertise it. I shared with a very few people saying things like "Here's a little something I wrote." or "Here's my blog address, but don't put it in a feeder or anything. It may not last."

Then I wrote a post about Werenal, The Farmer God -- and had to share it with him. And then Neshura started asking good hunter questions, which I answered in the blog. And told her to check there. And then, well. I'm over one thousands hits, per SiteMeter.

To date, I know of at least three blogs that have been started either by real life friends or guildmates after reading my blog. I'm almost like Typhoid Mary!

Since I try to look at them every day, I've put two of them in my blogroll. Now I'm adding the third. So, here they are, reviewed again.

  1. Can Tank, Will Travel - Ironshield just needs to focus. He has too many alts on too many servers. But I will say he's done his research on tanking and group dynamics. Irks me only slightly that he posts way less often than I do, but still has comparable hit counts.
  2. You Wake It, You Tank It - Owaru impresses me with the amount of reading and research he's done. He is my information source for paladin tanking and general tank statistics. No, I don't know about uncrushable for paladins even though my Ventrilo text-to-Speech is "Encyclopedia Bremtanica." Why would I need to know--I have access to Owaru.
  3. KDots - K is the raid leader in my guild. What impresses me most about K's blog is the extremely easy read. Reading the blog is essentially like talking to her. And welcome to the blogroll, K!
And I just noticed they all use Blogger too! Shouldn't I get a commission or something?

Monday, November 19, 2007

Levelling Post 2.3

So, with the advent of 2.3 I've finally gotten around to dusting off an alt (or 3) that has over-stayed his (or her) welcome at your neighborhood inn. I tried to stay away from alts, because honestly what player really needs FIVE level 70 toons? It just gets sillier and more difficult to answer as the number rises above five, too. I'm just saying.

So, let me introduce you to Bremmie. One week ago, he was a lowly level 28 gnome rogue cooling his heels in the Duskwood Inn. I started playing him again a couple of days ago. And he's now about halfway through level 33.

When I concentrate on a character, its easy to get one or two levels a day--depending on other stuff that's going on of course. His leveling speed isn't over the top or anything, but he's moving along at a comfortable clip.

When I made the push to get my hunter up from 37, I followed Jame's Alliance Leveling Guide. The only thing I didn't like about the guide was some pretty serious grinding sessions lightly peppered throughout the guide. Quite often on the hunter's journey to 70, I'd go "off guide" and do some instancing or questlines I knew I liked from previous trips through the process.

As I continue to level Bremmie up (eventually to 70 we hope), I'll make a few posts. I'm hoping that the nasty grinding portions of the guide will be totally eclipsed by the more rapid rate of XP gain. I'm also really finding that leveling a toon is gratifying. It's been ages since I've been able to type "Ding!" in guild chat, and I'm kind of liking it.

However, I still no nothing about playing a rogue really. But I'm having fun!

P.S. I noticed when I was looking for the guide, that Jame has released the 60-65 edition of the guide. The final note in this chapter hints at the conclusion (for now) of the guide from 66-70 around December 10. I can't speak to the goodness of the new chapter, I've not read it in detail. But the first 3 volumes got me through the levels in a rapid fashion.

Sunday, November 18, 2007


I've often said in voice chat, "I never want to see what a heroic Shadow Labs looks like."

Well, thanks to Blizzard's new daily dungeon quests with Patch 2.3, I got to find out today. All in all it wasn't bad, but we didn't get far--we started too early in the day and were fighting against the heroic reset. With only about an hour and a half when we began, we were destined not to get too far.

We did kill the first boss before we decided there wasn't enough time to kill the second before we got kicked out. Here are a few things I noticed in my short time in there.

  1. Loot didn't seem to change. I guess I expected that from an already 70 instance, just noting it for completeness.
  2. Like any heroic, the trash hits VERY hard and the bosses, other than perhaps a new ability, don't change much.
  3. Instead of 3 channelers around each pillar in the room before Hellmaw there were 4. So with only limited crowd control, it was challenging. Luckily paladin tanks can still tank multiples with good healing.
  4. They bosses still drop stupid Spirit Shards, for which I've found no good use.
  5. I still don't have enough badges on my priest to get what I want.
  6. The Fel Overseers take most of the mana bar on my priest to heal through.
Hopefully tomorrow's heroic will be something I have more time for and have a prayer of getting through. The two things I did hear about changes to Slabs that I can't confirm are:
  1. You can't graveyard zerg Blackheart.
  2. Vorpil randomly banishes someone (and that someone can be the tank or healer)
Maybe someone has better (or at least first-hand) information about this as I can't confirm it.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

How to be a Bad Raid Leader

Fresh idea from the Google top searches. Eleven ways to be a bad raid leader.

  1. Be Steadfast in your understanding of Group Composition - Blizzard designs raid encounters to work with a very focused group. If you absolutely need a rogue for a particular encounter, please do not let your raid sway you into putting something else into that position. Clearly as the raid leader you have a better understanding of the encounter and know that another DPS class won't work there.
  2. Make sure people follow their Classic Raid Roles - Priests, paladins & druids heal, warriors tank, everyone else provides DPS. It worked in Molten Core--it works now too.
  3. Stick to your Loot Distribution Scheme - The loot rules were written ahead of time and shouldn't be altered arbitrarily. Who cares if you are sharding a serious upgrade for a shaman? If he doesn't have the DKP, it gets sharded. Besides, it'll help the guild bank.
  4. Punish Bad Performance - If someone isn't cutting it in their assigned role, kick them from the raid. If you have the power, you may want to kick them from the guild as well. It'll make a leaner stronger guild in the end.
  5. Take control of voice chat - Please don't let your raiders chitchat on voice chat. Voice chat is a tool for successfully executing a raid. You don't play around with serious tools. If they can't comply, use your power to mute them. Besides shouldn't the raiders want to listen to you and only you?
  6. Be strict about time - If people can't show up on time for a raid, start typing /gkick. In the end, you'll have a core of serious folks who will better be able to succeed now that the dead weight is gone.
  7. Call out offenders by name - Nothing fixes poor performance like a little public humiliation. You'll be surprised how quickly your team turns around.
  8. Use Profanity - They're all adults right. Nothing fosters good will like calling someone an "Effing Idiot" or a "Gee Dee Moron" or even better a "Stupid Em Effer." They'll rectify their ways so as not to be the target of this right quick.
  9. Keep them in the Dark - They don't need to worry about the upcoming fights. They just need to keep doing their jobs and let you worry about the boss fight. Especially don't ask for input. You're the raid leader, that's your job. Their jobs are to do what they're told.
  10. Take the Best Stuff for Yourself - Being a raid leader is a thankless job. You should get first pick of the loot. It's the only way you're getting paid for your raid leadership.
  11. Don't Give Breaks - Your raiders should be prepared to perform you commands at a moment's notice for the length of the raid. They shouldn't need breaks. If they "make their own breaks" by being AFK, kick them. Additionally, don't use a readycheck. They should be ready without you asking


  12. Ignore Everything in this list - There is not a better way to lose your entire raiding staff than following the first eleven points in this list to the letter.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Google Me!

Ratshag asked in a post earlier this week what Google searches folks were doing to find him. It got me curious as well. I was hoping this would give me some good ideas for upcoming posts -- if they're already getting my site as a result, wouldn't it be cool if what search led them there was actually answered there. Here is the (edited) list. I've removed all searches for other blogs that returned my blog as a result:

  1. wowwebstats
  2. bremm - Apparently also a German town
  3. karazhan pet training
  4. hunter attack power food raid
  5. glyph of shadow warding
  6. pet trainers wowwiki
  7. deadzone - Maybe for the bad Anthony Michael Hall Series?
  8. glyph of nature warding
  9. h0w to be a good raidleader
So. There's not a lot there. Maybe it'll spark an idea or two.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Yay for Us!

So, a couple of my guildmates went with a friendly guild last night to Zul'Aman. I think you can see the results of our visit!

We only cleared to the one boss and were clearing on towards the second when we ran out of time and energy.

I'm very happy with our performance and a hunter from my guild got the oh so lucky drop of [Pauldrons of Primal Fury]

He's just lucky I was on my priest or I'd have totally won those shoulders!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Blizzard gets patch day right!

So, whatever children, small furry animals, and unidentified spices were sacrificed the to WoW gods seemed to have appeased their wrath. My UI did not completely bust (there were a few smallish coding fixes and some non-critical add-ons that need updating) and the lag was not game stopping. In short, 2.3 was a rockin' success.

Now, I didn't experience everything that changed--there's no way that could be done in just one night. Instead, I ran around like a lunatic swapping from character to character as I remembered things I needed to do. Here's the short list of things I did manage to accomplish:

  1. Log into the bank toon, make sure the UI works. Make a few tweaks and call it a day.
  2. Log into the priest, drool over the amount of spell damage he does (678). Go kill a quick monster to show myself how much easier it is. Hearthstone. Log out forgetting to check his mana regen.
  3. Log into the warlock engineer. Fly out to Wildhammer and pick up the plans for the engineered flying mount. Hearthstone (cuz flying to Shattrath would take JUST. TOO. LONG.) Gather mats from bank, head to anvil, create flying machine of death.
  4. Log into the hunter and look for daily quests. Find both dungeon quests and daily cooking quest. See I need a Kaliri Wing and head up to Skettis. Now, I don't know about you, but the damned giant Kaliri have knocked me off my mount about a bajillion times. In fact, I'm pretty sure some of them have cloaking devices considering how they've swooped at me while I'm all unawares. The place was empty--of birds. There were plenty of folks hovering about up there waiting to kill a bird. I flew about a bit and did the daily egg-bombing quest. Then I started buzzing birds on my epic mount. If I trained them carefully, I could ensure I got the first hit in. It only took two birds and I had my wing. Back to The Rokk.
  5. Turn in daily cooking quest. Choose box of meat as my reward. 6 Warped Flesh, 7 Chunk o' Basilisk, a random grey and a new recipe, I can now make [Hot Spicy Talbuk]
  6. Head over to Nagrand to lay the smack down on some Talbuk. And discover ZOMG -- the deadzone she is dead. *rejoice*
  7. Get back to Shattrath. Log the priest back in. Go get Mad Alchemist recipe at the bird guys in Lower City. Make some. Drink one. Woot. Works. Make some sundry pots for my hunter. Log out without remembering to check his mana regen.
  8. Log in the hunter. Find a friendly guild leathercrafter who is revered with Honor Hold. Sweet talk him out of a Nether. Get my new 24 slot ammo pouch! Woot.
  9. Get into the Heroic Ramparts daily quest. Finish it after some really nasty bugging. The instance went nearly flawlessly (like 2 wipes) up until the dragon boss-which is who we have to kill for the daily quest. He has the two mobs just in front. Their death usually signifies the dragon landing and the last encounter starting. Well. Not for us. Each time we'd kill one of those dudes, another would re-spawn. Put in a ticket cuz I was getting. my. badge. Found out each kill gave 15 rep. And in a never-ending cycle. So..of course, the dragon aggros and starts the final event when we're not ready. Wipe. We think we figured out that if you kill them very close to one another in time that the dragon comes down. Not at all sure. Finally, finally, finally take down the big ugly. Get my item and hearth. Turn in.
  10. Log out. Go to bed.
So. What's next?
  1. Potentially get invited to a Zul'Aman tonight *cross fingers*
  2. Remember to check the mana regen on my priest?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

2.3 Hits Today?

Well, from everything I've heard/read/seen we should be going live with Patch 2.3 today. Probably even as you read this.

What does this really mean? Well, I just finished reading the patch notes and this one is huge. There are sweeping class changes. Changes are being made to racial skills that have existed since the beta. The vast majority of the changes being made are anti-nerfs. And they're introducing the first new 10-man raid instance since, well, ever. All in all, I'm very very excited about the patch.

Now, on the down side. It sounds like my UI held together by used chewing gum and leftover twist ties from Wonder bread is going to crash. Badly. And I'll not be able to play until I get something cobbled together. I guess we'll just have to see how bad it is tonight.

And as much as I've said I'm excited, I'm also kind of dreading the patch. There are things that are way good, but things I'm not excited about. So, I'd be just as happy if patch 2.3 did not hit today as well. How's that for hedging a bet?

Monday, November 12, 2007

Every time you heal a rogue*

While it's potentially blasphemous or irreverent, the title is pretty descriptive of how I feel. Especially when I'm healing a Karazhan or a Heroic, the rogues (and other DPS classes) don't get as much of my attention. My primary goal is to keep the tank(s) in a fully upright and locked position.

What this means to the DPS classes out there is this -- if you draw aggro, you're probably not going to be getting much of a healer's attention. You might; you might not. It really all sort of depends on what kind of shape the tank is in at the moment.

A good rule of thumb, perfectly summed up by my good friend Neith is "If it weren't for shadow priests, rogues would never get healed." And this goes perfectly well with other DPS classes (as noted in the footnote). You have a job to do, keep your aggro below the tank's aggro. That way the healer can more better focus his or her attention on the tank. It's less frenetic and more mana efficient.

Now, this isn't to say a healer expects you as a DPS class to take zero damage. There are area attacks. The monsters are going to try to give you chin music. But if you keep your aggro down, then all the hate can be focused on the tank. That makes it easy to focus all the healing on him or her as well.

* Insert the favorite DPS class here. They all apply.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

1878 Healing

I made the final piece of my primal mooncloth set last night. Now, only buffed by myself, my healing is at 1878. Raid buffed with Blessing of Kings and Gift of the Wild, it would be higher. Probably much higher. Maybe approaching 2,000.

As my healing has continued to go up, I've made small adjustments to my raid consumables. When I was an itty-bitty healer just starting out in Karazhan, my healing was somewhere around 1150. Yes, I know that's probably low, gimme a break. At that time I was squeezing every drop of +heal out of consumables that I could. I ate Golden Fishsticks like they were candy; I washed them down with huge quaffs of Elixir of Healing Power. It was before the great alchemy nerf of 2007, so I was actually drinking a lot of elixirs. Sort of like some 21-year old co-ed at a fraternity mixer.

As my healing began to grow on gear alone, I've begun to swap my consumables. I've been trying to do the Ego thing and get more into mana regeneration. I've gone to Blackened Sporefish as my food. And Elixir of Mastery and Draenic Wisdom. Self buffed, I'm at around 378 mana regen--without potions mind you.

I guess the point of the post is three-fold:

  1. To brag about my final set of primal mooncloth
  2. To discuss how your consumables needs change as your gear does
  3. To post on a Sunday in November for NaBloPoMo

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Beginning to Hate the Dailies

Maybe it's just me. But I'm beginning to find my daily quests to be very, very boring. First off, it's up to Skettis to bomb the Kaliri Eggs and then find the damned escort. Fly back, turn in, ka-ching.

Then a quick flight to Ogri'la. Play Simon. Bomb the stacks of fel cannonballs. Banish some demons. Rope a few aether rays. Fly back. Turn in. Ka-ching (x4).

Log out. Log in the next toon. Repeat (twice). Yes, I have three characters that can do daily quests. It's somewhere just shy of 300G if I do them all. And they're easier on the hunter with the epic flying mount, but still boring.

From what I've read the dailies being introduced in 2.3 (c'mon Tuesday) are having some randomness built in. So it won't be exactly the same grind every day. And if I were truly dedicated, I'd finish the Netherwing pre-quests to get up to working on that rep. But right now I'm finding them boring and time-consuming. Maybe it's just me.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Blogroll Updates!

I dunno why Blogger insisted on posting my last with a post date of Thursday, but I shall endeavor to persevere -- by posting updates to the blogroll today...

The Delusional Hunter - A quite well-written blog about (you guessed it) the art of huntering. Sometimes you find good stuff in comments.

You Wake It - A co-guildies blog. Although he normally comments on my blog under "Scott" he stealth commented the other day. Only last night did I detect it was indeed someone I know.

Stormrage's Dreaming - I'm not sure where I found this one exactly. But it's a resto-druid blog that breaks the "druids use blogger; priests use wordpress" paradigm. And a good read to boot!!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

All your resource are belong to raid.

Several classes have skills, abilities or cool-downs that will help them level. And for 70 levels, these things have belonged exclusively to the player to use, abuse, misuse or forget to use at his or her leisure.

However, with your entry into the world of raiding, you should definitely get out of the mindset that these abilities intrinsic to your class are yours. Most raid-leaders definitely believe these choices are not yours to make but belong instead to the raid. Here's a short list:

Soul stones: While it's nice to be able to self-resurrect after a bad pull, in Karazhan and beyond your soul stones no longer belong to you. The raid leader should indicate who should be soul-stoned. Remind the raid leader when the cool-down is up as he or she may wish to change the target.

Battle resurrection: Druids, please do NOT use your resurrection if there's anyone else available to do it. Since yours is on a longish cool down, it's better to have that available to fix a set of unfortunate circumstances on a boss.

Pets: Hunters and warlocks may be expected to sacrifice pets to achieve a particular goal. While not true for hunters, warlocks are often expected to summon a pet to fit the current fight. Don't get attached to your imp!

Divine Intervention: I'm listing this only for completeness. Most paladins aren't in the habit of using this except to prevent a wipe. Since the target of the DI is immaterial (as long as he or she can resurrect the rest of the raid), you should just be ready to pop it on anyone who can rez that's in range.

Enervate: If you're a restoration druid, your enervate may actually still belong to you. However, if you're feral or moonkin, please do not use your enervate until the raid leader calls it out. He or she may be relying on that enervate landing when it's called for. So don't use it unless asked for.
Self-resurrection: This applies both to a recipient of a soul stone and shaman using an ankh. You should likely know whether you're meant to use the resurrection upon death or if you are to quickly get the raid back up after wiping. So make sure you're not wasting the chance by resurrecting before you should.

That's about it. If you keep these things in mind, it'll help you not look like a n00b and keep the raid leader getting what he or she expects. Good luck in your raid!!

ZOMG! What's on your head?!?!?

In this post, item number five, I mention glyphs. This'll be a short post to more fully detail the glyphs I speak of and where to get them. Somehow I should web all these posts together. But that's another thing for another day.

  1. Cenarion Expedition
    • Glyph of Ferocity (+34 Attack Power, +16 Hit Rating - Revered) Hunters, rogues and DPS warriors this one's for you!
    • Glyph of Nature Warding (+20 Nature Resistance - Honored)
  2. Honor Hold/Thrallmar
    • Glyph of Renewal (+35 Healing, +7 mana/5 seconds - Revered) Healers, duh.
    • Glyph of Fire Warding (+20 Fire Resistance - Honored)

  3. Keepers of Time
    • Glyph of the Defender (+16 Defense, +17 Dodge - Revered) For you protection warriors & paladins and of course feral druids.
    • Glyph of Frost Warding (+20 Frost Resistance - Honored)

  4. Lower City
    • Glyph of the Outcast (+17 Strength, +16 Intellect - Revered) Honestly, I'm perplexed. Who would buy this? Retadins? Bad Rogues? Survival Huntards?
    • Glyph of Shadow Warding (+20 Shadow Resistance - Honored)

  5. Sha'Tar
    • Glyph of Power (+22 damage/healing, +14 spell hit rating - Revered) DPS Casters - locks, mages, shadow priests, boomkins
    • Glyph of Arcane Warding (+20 Arcane Resistance - Honored)

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


Last night was kind of busy and I wound up staying up WAY past bedtime. So, in light of the post from yesterday I'm sort of feeling like the blog is on cooldown.

A few highlights so this doesn't turn into a post just to keep this thing daily.

  • Successfully ran an Arcatraz key-frag run for new 70 warrior (which we desperately need in our raid groups).
  • Successfully ran a Black Morass for same warrior.
  • Took same warrior into Karazhan for his first time ever (Moroes & Attumen)

  • What's so freaking hard about giving a tank a few seconds to get some solid aggro?
  • Why were our shackles breaking on the Moroes adds so often? Sometimes as little as 2 seconds. And no, there were no dispelling adds unshackled.
  • Why won't the Mongoose enchant EVER drop for us for just one lousy guildie?

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Like playing a Hunter

It's funny how many real-world items have similarities to WoW. For instance, writing a blog is very much like playing a hunter. Hunters have a wide range of shots, stings & attacks at their disposal. The well-played hunter mixes up each of the shots to suit the exact needs. The well-written blog also mixes up the types of posts available to it, again to suit the exact situation. In both cases, spamming the same type of shot(post) over and over gets boring for everyone involved.

Let's look at the types of posts we have and the analogous hunter attack.

Misdirection: This can be one of the simplest posts of all. Find a good blog or website, post a link to that site (perhaps with some explanatory exposition) and hit publish. Your work here is done, effectively sending the masses off to another blog for their daily dosage. This shot is most often followed up by adding the blog to the blogroll.

Pet Attack: This is similar to misdirection. Find a good blog post. Where someone else has done all the work for you. Explain the linkage and link to the post. This can often be followed up with a post of your own either agreeing or dissenting with the original post. The difference between this and a misdirection is you're highlighting a particular post with pet attack, while a misdirect is just a good general blog.

Arcane Shot: Quick post. This is probably a quickly written post, containing mostly opinion or very trivial facts. There isn't a lot of writing or research time. Not a lot of thinking is required by the blogger for this type of post. Sometimes marked with the "rant" tag.

Stings: These are posts that give information over time. Taken together these can be quite long posts that require a lot of thinking and research. However, since they are presented over time, it is less work to both read and write on a particular day. Nearly all multi-part posts fit into this category.

Steady Shot: Medium effort posts both in terms of writing and research. In game Steady Shot has a 1.5 second cast time, thus there's a fair bit of commitment to this type of post. However, research shouldn't be excessively long and it should be fairly easy to spam this type of post. May even be re-packaging or collecting information presented elsewhere in a simpler format.

Aimed Shot: Here it is. The big mother. This post can take a very long time to research. The information is likely scattered in several places and must be painstakingly collected, collated, spindled, folded and mutilated by the poster. Even then the long time may require the poster to begin work days before the readership even knows its coming. Is sometimes broken up into several shorter posts, at which point it becomes a sting.

What post types are left off? Clearly the various hunter traps, but I don't like to write posts that execute malware scripts and highjack the reader's browser (freezing trap) and I'm not sure the various widgets that track hits and traffic on the site (track humanoid) are really blog post types.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Raiding Checklist!

So you think you're ready to raid? Let's take a little quiz:

1. Do you have enough flasks and/or elixirs to survive for how long you're going to be at it? Please take into account that flasks last two hours. If your raid is scheduled to run for three hours, you're going to need more than one. Flasks are expensive but don't have to be reapplied after each death. If you opt to go for the less expensive elixirs, have enough to reapply after EACH death for the length of the run. Also make sure you're using both a guardian and a battle elixir. Yes. Both.

2. Do you have enough food? Any buff food is good, but a spellcaster eating attack power food is worthless. I wrote a blog post about food for raids. Please have the right food on-hand to reapply any time you die. If you absolutely cannot cook it yourself, make sure you have someone who cooks it for you before hand or who can cook it right before the raid. If you go for the latter, please bring the cook the needed materials for a fire.

3. Is your gear enchanted? Anyone's gear that fits in the following slots can be enchanted: Cloak, Chest, Wrist, Gloves, Boots, Shield, Sword. If you are an enchanter, you can enchant your own rings. Please do not show up to a raid with gear not enchanted. If you absolutely must get an enchant right before the raid, make sure the enchanter is carrying his or her enchanting rod and that you bring the right materials for the enchant.

4. Are you carrying enough weapon enhancers? Here I'm speaking of Mana or Wizard Oil, Poisons, Sharpening or Weight Stones. These little enhancers may seem trivial but can be very important.

5. Do your shoulders have an inscription? Does your helmet have a glyph? Is there something in your pants? Inscriptions come from your Aldor/Scryer factions. Glyphs are for sale by most quartermasters at both honored and revered levels. And I wrote a post about pants.

6. Is your gear gemmed? Please, please, please don't walk into a raid with open gem slots. You'll just look foolish.

7. Do you have enough health and/or mana potions? This is kind of a no-brainer, no?

8. Bullets or Arrows? Rogues, Hunters, Warriors please have enough. For rogues or warriors, a stack (or two) is fine. Hunters should be prepared for anything.

9. Do you have any situational items? Think about second gear sets for an off-role. Repair bots for engineers. Resistance gear or potions might make sense too.

10. Enough bag space to loot? Mostly a joke, but with everything else you've brought make sure you've got some slots to receive your phat lewtz.

Hope you enjoyed the quiz. And you better have passed -- with flying colors.


Oh. There's two more...

11. Do you have pet food? If your pet is going to die (and it likely will at some point) have some food to make him happy. If it's a bear and will eat mage conjured food, you're lucky, if not have something else. And don't forget sporeling snacks (or in 2.3 the new pet foods) to give your pet a food buff too.

12. (And this one is mighty important) BE ON TIME AND BE REPAIRED. Do I really need to expound on this one?

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Seven Potions

This is one for the alchemists out there. Once you're in the Outlands and leveling alchemy past 300, there are exactly seven alchemy recipes that are Bind on Equip (i.e. sell-able or purchasable at Auction House) that are world drops. So, getting one (let alone ALL) of these things is pretty much incredibly lucky or very costy.

So, here are the seven.

[Insane Strength Potion] - Increases strength by 120 and decreases defense by 75 for 15 seconds.
[Elixir of the Searching Eye] - Increases stealth detection for 10 minutes.
[Haste Potion] - Increase haste rating by 400 for 15 seconds.
[Destruction Potion] - Increases Spell critical chance by 2% and spell damage by 120 for 15 seconds.
[Heroic Potion]- Increases strength by 70 and health by 700 for 15 seconds.
[Elixir of Major Mageblood]- Gives you 16 mana regeneration every five seconds (Guardian Elixir).
[Elixir of Empowerment] - Decrease magical resistance of your spell targets by 30 for 60 minutes (Guardian Elixir).

Of these, my alchemist has found ONE. The Empowerment one. Boy do I feel lucky

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Karazhan - Denied

So..For a guild first ever, I was not invited to Karazhan. Actually, I was invited, but I declined so that others could go. Instead I went to Shadow Labyrinth on my priest, getting within one (or maybe two) runs to revered. I'd attempt that in heroic, but yuck--Heroic Mana Tombs sucks.

We also got Akhilles' first key fragment. Which is awesome cuz we need more Karazhan tanks. I'm pretty sure I'll get called on for Sunday's Karazhan run because well..they need me!

In a side note, I'm in NaBloPoMo.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Consortium - Blech!

So. 2.3 patch is being loaded by the WoW downloader. That means that soon my little gnome engineer will be able to make the engineered flying mount. It'll be nice to finally have the four toons I have each with a different 225 flying mount. Currently the hunter and warlock have the white gryphon.

But this means, I'll need some seaforium charges. And to do that I need to be revered with the Consortium. While the grind itself is bad, the best places I've found to grind are in Netherstorm picking up Zaxxis Badges. True, I could grind on ogres in Nagrand--I've even had an epic blacksmithing pattern drop from them, but the ogres are as over-farmed as the Zaxxis dudes. Couple that with a lower drop rate, and its not an exciting proposition.

I guess buying the seaforium is something I *could* do, but I don't generally just buy. Looks like it's off to Netherstorm and compete with EVERYONE else to get my few little badges.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

WoW Web Stats - Demystified

You absolutely MUST go read Ego's post on her site.

And if anyone from my guild wants to start running raid logs, I'll be happy to be the designated log mangler.

Blogs You Need - Updated

I've finally updated my "Blogs You Need" section. I added "Aspect of the Hare" and "Need More Rage" as new discoveries of mine. I finally corrected a MASSIVE oversight and added "Big Bear Butt Blogger" to the list as well.

And I'm not removing either "Can Tank Will Travel" or "Big Red Kitty" even though I think there's some collusion there with BRK linking Can Tank before he got around to misdirecting onto my blog :-)

(Can Tank is an IRL friend and I can tease him like that)

Neshura asks about pet training

So, fellow BRK acolyte from my guild, Neshura, asked about how to train her gorilla to be a better tank. While there will be pretty graphs in this post, there may also be just the teensiest bit of math. You've been warned.

I did some preliminary research, stopping at wowwiki first and finally ending up at petopia. While I've always found wowwiki to be particularly good especially in the formulas area, in this case they failed me. Petopia give me the information I wanted (almost).

The two pet skills she asked about in particular were Great Stamina and Natural Armor. Both of these skills have ranks that run from 1-11 and are available from your local pet trainer. I quickly produced two graphs (one for each skill)

Stamina Graph

Here, the orange line shows the number of stamina points received for training point. Notice how it starts high, gradually falls off into a bowl, and then shoots up at the lip. You're getting the most effect for training points up to about rank 6. The purplish line tracks for Neshura, using a gorilla and having her current stamina the effect on pet health for various ranks. The formula in question here is:

Pet Health =(Base+(30% hunter's stamina+ great stamina+spells)*10)*EndTrain*PetMod

Petopia only has base health for up to level 69, so I used that number (3941). I also used Neshura's stats & talent build from the armory to do my calculations.

Armor Graph
Here the orange line again shows the armor per training point spent and has roughly the same shape (without the lip on the right). The purple again shows the armor increase as the ranks increase.

The formula in question here is:

Pet Armor = (Base*Gorilla Adj.+(35%NeshArmor+Natural Armor))*ThickHide

Petopia only has base armor for up to level 69, so I used that number (6495). I also used Neshura's stats & talent build from the armory to do my calculations.

So what does it mean?

Knowing how Neshura plays, she's not doing a lot of raiding. And not much instancing. Basically, she's still burning through her quests. With this in mind, she probably doesn't need Avoidance (which cuts down on AOE damage) until she does instance. If she's fighting things that primarily do melee (not spell) damage, she'll be better off with putting priority on Natural Armor. However, if she's fighting casters, she'll do better with Stamina. Since the gorilla's thunderclap is one of 3 pet skills that can affect threat (the others are growl and cower) Daffodil shouldn't have problem HOLDING aggro. The only concern is her living through the aggro she holds. If I were training the pet, I'd max Growl, take the highest rank of Thunderclap available (I know she trained Daffodil in STV, but don't know which gorilla she got), get some points in bite and spend the rest in Armor and Stamina. And I'd give priority to one over the other based on what I expect to fight.

Hope that helped, Nesh.