Friday, December 7, 2007

Shaman Building part I

So yesterday I touched base on what I think is the best class to use as a shaman on Horde (Tauren!) and talked about some of the aspects of the Alliance race that can carry the mantle of a Shaman.

The difficulty in having a Shaman at a low level is that there are no totems, at least not until level 6 or so when you get the Earth Totem and you get the Stoneskin spell totem. I know that many Shaman don’t use it after a certain level, they feel they can get better use out of the Strength totem but honestly, when you are a low level, you should be popping this out every time you’re in a fight. Let me tell you why.

You’re health is low at this point, you get five six good shots on you and you’ll be running back to your body in no time. The other part of this equation is also that your mana pool isn’t very big either. You don’t have intellect buffs on your armor, you don’t carry around Scrolls of Intellect, you’re still too low to even garner something like this and even if you do, it’s not going to amount to much. So that means that the resources that you do have you’re going to be using to heal yourself, which will take a big chunk of your mana with it.

The Stoneskin totem gives you durability. It allows you to really deal with the melee crap that you have to throw out until you start getting higher level. You look at any shaman starting area and you’ll notice that they are all doing melee damage and little casting.

So recommendation: Even before you get into it with a mob, drop a Stoneskin totem. Yes I know that it’s obnoxious, and that you have to recast every time that you move however, it’s going to help last longer in a fight, especially if you accidentally agro more than one mob at a time. You’re going to be tempted to drop the strength totem when you get it, don’t. It’s not going to give you survivability in the least. Yes it’ll help you with mobs but bottom line; it’s not going to make your health any higher. While Stonekin won’t either, it’ll help you’re survival rate.

If you can try to stick to the Mace and Shield combo as your weapons, the reason being is that at a low level, you’re dps is going to be low in any event. The shield will also help you in the living longer area of your gaming. I used a mace and shield until about level 50 and then went dual weld and eventually switched to a two handed mace. I can’t tell you the amount of times I was grateful for the hateful looking shields that would drop for me as a low level. Shaman can also use staves but with the exception of a stat that one might carry as a low level this is a waste. You can’t do any damage and it doesn’t help you when you’re trying to save yourself.

At about level 10 you’ll get the grounding totem. This is when you’re going to be alternating but you also have to really start paying attention. Many of the mobs that you’re going to be facing at this stage are going to be hostile and runners. The grounding totem will help you in making sure that they don’t run around and bring more friends with them when they do. It’s excellent for when you’re attacking a humanoid mob, I’m thinking of the Moonkins in Darkshore and of the pirates over in Rachet. They’re usually grouped close together and easily brought into the fight.

As you start, at least until level 20 or so, these three are your bread and butter. You NEED these in order to effectively make it that far without having to Rez a billion times during the time that you’re going to be working your way up.

While this should give you some of the tools needed to start up. Next time I’ll break down some zones for you that would best work with your new Shaman.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Shaman Business: Rolling...

I've been playing WoW for a year and a half. I've had two Shamans. One is a seventy and the other is getting there. One in each faction.

I know that there are many players who complain about the Shaman and the abilities that it is able to use in a manner which either a group or a pvp fiend can truly enjoy. Let me first say that I am not the end all be all of Shamans. I enjoy the class, alot, probably more than other people do but it's the versatility which I find both endearing and welcoming when playing the character.

On the Horde side Shaman race choice are a bit trickier as you have three different races to chose from, Orc, Troll or Tauren. Personally I have always been partial to Taurens for a couple of reasons.

First, Warstomp. It is without a doubt one of the best racials in the game. An additional stun, that costs no mana and has a decent cooldown. I can't even begin to tell you how many times it saved my hide when I was a low level and I was battling multiple mobs. It's something that I miss to this day because Dreanei don't get to have it.

The other thing that attracted me to a Tauren is really, that they made the most sense to be a shaman. When you look at the other two races that can be Shamans, they aren't very well known for loving and caring for the land. The Tauren MUST take care of the land as they thrive on it and realistically, they're a cow! What cow do you know what to destroy the world? None.

Taurens are great for herbalism as they get a 5 point boost to that talent just for being who they are. Course mine was always a skinner because I needed money for the way that I wanted to gear out my toons.

Still, Horde is not something that I play much anymore so I'm going to focus mainly on Alliance Shaman and leveling. I think it's important to note that while I might have good notes, the leveling increase in patch 2.3 has bascially made anything I have to impart either irrelevant or mundane, as I've had friends tell me that they are leveling faster than they can complete some of the ares.

Dreanei's are an interesting race. First looking at the fact that they crashed landed into our world, mutated everything around their vessel, they have somehow managed to create a trust with the land and have been able to go ahead and become Shamans. Their racial trait is the Gift of the Naaru. Another nifty little trick if you think about it. It's a self heal that continues to grow as you level. So it increases the healing done upon yourself in appropriate balance with the baseline health that you recieve when you level. Furthermore, it's also a trait that you can share with a party member by casting it on them. Automatically that makes you a great healer if you think about it. You're in a five man and run outta mana? Cast Gift on your tank and then drop a Mana Spring Totem and regain some mana.

One of the biggest things that I continually hear is that Shamans are broken because the totem set isn't working properly, that you have to drop totems all the time, to me that's what makes it appealing honestly. You have to think out what you want to drop, what you think is going to give you the most help. It's about stratergy and that is what appealed to me the most.

So the first thing I'm going to tell you, regardless of what spec you're going to turn into at level 10, 40, 60 or 70 is gather Intellect. You need it more than anything else in your life. We are completely mana hungry (not as bad as Belfs though) and you need to make sure you have a big enough pool. I have a 41 Warlock (Voltz) who has a 9000 mana pool. So I know we can get up there. Just remember that the other thing you need is Stamina.

There's some background/groundwork on the Shaman class. Tomorrow we'll talk about the best way to level (Spec) and the skillz you might need to help you along the way.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

66 and more!

So I dinged 66 last night, thank you thank you (Imagining applause). I have to say that by far, right now my favorite area to go and level in is Nagrad. There's a pleothra of quests once you reach at least neutral and then after that, man it's easy to get up to friendly and so on. The fact that alot of the quests don't have to be done in two man groups or higher and you just enjoy soaking up all of that XP. I know that the ring of blood quests need a 5 man but even then, that's a small chain that can be cleaned out quickly and still made to feel like fun. I'll probably have 4 bubbles of rested xp when I get home that I can't wait to burn through. Of course Forester, my brother has already hit 68 and will be coasting to 70 this weekend and then gloating about it because, you know he'll have a flying mount. Mumblemumble.

Other news for the day, Trina's significant other, Dissection, has rejoined the ranks of WoW players. He quit a little bit after the expansion but we finally talked him into coming back. He's brought over his 60 hunter from another server and is going to level him to 70. D is a good player, he's got several toons at 60 over int he Horde side and this is his only high level Alliance. It's funny that it's his first toon that he's coming back to but it seems that he's enjoying the life of a hunter at the moment.

Also dealing with guild, Darkzealot, came back last night. I wasn't there for his return, I had to work late HOWEVER, my thoughts of him having left due to the drama that the last group of deserters gave us. He did take it personally and honestly, he has every right to. With everything that's gone on with the game and the friendships that you make, how could you not?

I don't know if I've told you but I've leveled two Shamans and my horde shaman has hit 70, did it a while ago and has purples and a flying mount to prove it. I think it's interesting that before, each person would have his/her own way of 'power-leveling'. For the longest time my brother and i would laugh. I would BURN through 1-40 and then slow down when he would pick up speed and just THROTTLE through the last 20 levels. Now with the new patch, all of the trade secrets of a power leveler are almost wasted. Even with that said, I'll share with you the things that I've done in the past to level faster.

I would post more but it's a busy day at work, yea I know that's just wrong, and I need to finish up my paperwork if I want to manage to leave this place on time.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Kara, drama and everything in between

How was the weekend friends? Was it everything you hoped it would be or was it less that you desired? For me it was a mixture of both.

While the Hooved Mrs. didn't feel well this weekend and took it easy, I was busy with guild duties.

First let's comment on Friday. As I said on Thursday, I tried to get into Kara and it was a no go because I was an hour late. Friday was different. My brother, Forester, called me and told me that they were WAITING for me because they needed dps. I hustled home, got on my hunter and headed to Kara where we lived for about SEVEN hours until we finally downed Romeo and Juilet. We went ahead and cleared to Curator and called it a night.

Saturday is when the drama started.

I was on my Shaman, working my way up to 65 (Which I dinged this weekend and am already halfway through) when one of the pillars of the guild logged in.

A little history on DIVINE FORSAKEN; it's a multi-game community. Which means that while we have a guild on both the Horde and Alliance side in WoW, we also play everything else like LOTR, Tabula Rasa, CSS and anything else that might be MMO style, including Halo 3 and Call of Duty 4. So many of the players that we have, have played together for several years.

Darkzealot is one of those long time players. He's been playing so long that he has a Teamspeak server set up for us that can house enough players that we can run a 25 man comfortably and still have people in the lobby chatting it up. He also has been the one that put together our website, maintains it and allows us to have DF Radio. (that's right, we have our own tunes playing at any given time)

So, I'm questing away Saturday morning when he comes in game. He is usually the type of guy that will type something like "GET'ER DONE!" when he walks in cause he's just like that.

This is all he typed when he came in on Saturday:

Thank you DF for all the fun times that we had together. You guys are going down the right trackm just keep moving.


I know that most of you are thinking, "So?"

You have to understand that he LOVES the guild but more importantly, he plays other games with us and uses the TS server so he would get bombarded with questions as to why in God's name he would leave. So he did what any rational man would do, he took down the TS server.

No explination.

No word to anyone.

Just gone.

Personally? I consider him a friend. He and I would go back and forth and harass each other non-stop about the dumbest things and have good laughs. His leaving REALLY took me off guard. I would not want to celebrate someone's departure. My first and only thought is, we are cancelling Kara for the night. I mean seriously why not? It's a good way to mourn the leaving of one of the important people in the guild. I tell this to some of the officers and what I get back is, "Why bother? He left us in the lurch, we shouldn't stop what we're doing because he's gone."

Granted I'm an emtional sap but that struck me as odd. I mean this guy was everyone's friend. He stuck up for the people that no one wanted to stand up for. He was always willing to help with a run, always willing to help with money in game. How difficult would it be to just take one day off when the instance is going to rest in 3 days? Plenty of time to still do whatever.

Kara was still run.

From what I understand it went well. They took down Curator and did the Chess event which garnered good pixels for all around. It was after this that things went south again.

Most of our players that were in Kara Group One suddenly said good bye and left the guild. It seems that they were the reason, the catalyst for Darkzealot to feel like he needed a break from WoW. They had told him earlier in the morning of their proposed plan and had taken it personally. These were people that he had stood up for time and again. When we booted a group of people recently, it was at the behest of this same group because they felt that the booted group was not contributing to the guild. Now here they were, doing the same to us. Yes it was hurtful, they had planned within themselves for a week but had never even bothered to tell the guild leader of what they were thinking of doing.

Of course the guild is fine. We still have a plethora of 70s, many of which are Kara tuned to run 2 groups at the same time. We still have the desire to do endgame content at some point but what alot of people don't realize is that there is life outside of WoW and that's what gets them bent out of shape.

I wanted to write all of this out to see if it made more sense. Some of the people that left I truly felt were good people, they still are good people, they just decided to take a different path.

Such is life.


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