Friday, January 4, 2008

Not much..

So I'm still training and I'm on my break and I start looking at my usual suspect bloggers that either give good recommendations or just make me laugh and after I read their updates, I started clicking on some of the blogs that THEY read. (yea, I know, I'm starting to sound weird.)

Well I found that ALL of them were good bloggers and I found this.

Kestrel's Aerie

The gentleman that runs the blog had already found yours truly! Man I felt honored and then sheepish because I had never frequented the man's site. I apologize for this oversight and have added his Aerie to my list of bloggers that should be read if time allows.

My short stint as a trainer is almost at an end which means that next week I will be back in full force and finish the restoration tree that I already started.

After that....perhaps Paladins are in order since I have begun to focus on ole' Mcg.

See you in a week!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Building a Better Shaman: Restoration Tree part 1

There is no easy way to really go about and decide you’re going to be a healer. Yes there is an exception to this rule; the odd ball people that WANT to start their toons as healers. The rest of us however realize we’re going to be healers in one of two ways. The first is that the easiest way to get into a group nine times out of ten is to be a healer. 5 man instances are just about always begging for a healer. Sometimes they have to resort to using a shadow priest to heal them if they’re in a pinch. The other is that the guild you run with NEEDS a healer in their ranks and are willing to work with you to get you experienced and geared for your new assignment.

Still even when we decide to become a healer we have this moment of complete blankness when we stare at the restoration tree and try to work out what exactly would be best for you in the long run to put talent points into.

I just made Luciel into a Restoration Shaman and while I know the mechanics well, having specced Resto in the past with both Gam and Luciel for short amounts of time in the past.

I know that images have been requested by at least one reader and I’ll try my best. Just hang with me. I usually go from left to right on the tree, from the very top of the tree to the bottom. I will try to go back in the future and add some images for those that request.

On a side note let me say this. Having now both a healer and a tank available to play with, I steer more towards trying to tank an instance than wanting to heal it. Part of the reasoning is that I can set the pace that I feel that I’m comfortable with. The other aspect of it, it’s harder to get tanks right now in my realm than healers. So while Luciel still has a place for me, I’ve been gearing out my tank and doing multiple runs with him in the past two weeks.

Let me say that it takes a special person to want to heal. I currently have a ad hoc healer set with me at all times. It’s made up of cloth, leather and mail pieces that I felt could get my healing up to a respectable area. (My healing currently sits at plus 743 with this set on) However, I know that I’m going to have to make sure that I have a better set for when the time comes to do Kara and other instances because no one wants a Shaman squishy. While Paladins are considered the best at the moment because they’re plate, Shamans have a unique healing style that really benefits the groups you are in.

Also let me say this, I have never known a player that has leveled a Shaman in restoration spec. Ever. I’ve been playing for over a year and a half and every Shaman that I’ve run into has specced Restoration after hitting the level plateau, be it 60 or 70. The thought behind this is that it’s HARD to grind with Restoration spec. So be warned of that.

With that said, let’s tackle this last tree available to Shamans at the moment.

Improved Healing Wave is a very nice talent. It shortens the length of time that it would take for any of your healing spells to be cast. It might not seem like such a big thing to begin with but when you’re in a five man and your tank is about to go down because there are three mobs on him and they’re tearing into him that shortened cast time comes in REAL handy.

Tidal Focus is incredible, at least to me. This talent has the ability to give you up to an additional five percent mana pool. Shamans are incredibly mana dependent. Be it for attacks or healing, there isn’t one spell that doesn’t just suck the mana out of you. As a Restoration healer I’ve found myself having to stop after every encounter to mana up. A weekend ago I went to Shadow Labs with Luciel and while the Tank and I were the only ones left up during the second boss fight, I was out of mana almost immediately.

(Point of fact: I went to Shadow Labs twice with Luciel and didn’t get past the second boss. Going with McGregor as tank, we killed him with one shot…twice.)

To the matter at hand though, Tidal focus is a must in any of the branches. Remember those points I told you about, the ones that you would have left over after completing your tree? Five of those points could easily go into Tidal Focus, regardless of the build that you’re going to be working on. I could almost suggest that you put in these five points as soon as you have points to use.

With that I’m going to stop here, I’ve been working on this all day but I’m training a new worker this week. So bare with me.

Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

Just wanted to take a moment to wish all of the readers a Happy New Year!

Next year is looking promising as I'm going to be advancing on into more End Game content.

WotLK comes out as well, something to look forward to.

On a personal note, I hope to finalize the adoption of my son, who is now three years old. Praying that my marriage continues to prosper and that Mrs. Hooved continues to put up with my love for WoW, Comics, Movies and Music.

A blessing on you all that this new year brings you growth, happiness and light.

See you next year!

Spider-Man Rant

Activity Abounds

I know that I focus mainly on the World Of Warcraft scheme of things, I think partly because I’m comfortable giving up some of my in game experience to you, the readers. (There are some readers out there…right?)

Most of my posts up to this date have either been about my Shaman, Shaman building or talking about the Paladin, McGregor (He hit 70 this weekend while he was completing the ‘Cipher of Damnation’ quest chain.)

While I will continue to do that, as I am going to be doing the much awaited Restoration tree here soon, I promise, I wanted to touch on something not of the WoW thought process. So I say this as a warning to those of you who come here for that when I post, this post will mainly be about something else that is in my heart, Comics.

You have to know firstly that my mother was an immigrant and I was the first person in my family to learn English. When we watched movies, before DVDs, I would pause movies and translate for them what was going on. The way that I learned my language was two fold. The first was cartoons. Show me a child that isn’t plugged into cartoons most of the day and I’ll show you a parent that has way too much time on their hands or is trying to home school a kid. I would walk up at the crack of dawn to watch, Alf, the Smurfs, Transformers, G.I. Joe, C.O.P.S., Lone Starr and Thundercats. From them I learned a bunch of sayings that some times to this day come out in my speech. The other thing that taught me A LOT was comics.

I was a Marvel Zombie for the majority of my teen years, X-Men, Spider-Man, Hulk, Warlock, and Daredevil to name a few. While many captured my imagination, Peter Parker was the guy that I could relate to. A complete geek from birth Parker was picked on non stop by his peers, much like myself. (Shocker, a gamer who was teased! It wasn’t as commonplace back then as it is now, the gaming I mean.)

I stopped following Spider-Man when the Clone Saga hit. If you don’t know what that is, it’s a storyline that was followed through the mid-nineties where it was believed that Peter Parker was really a clone of the true Spider-Man who had been in suspended animation for years, Ben Riley. What this did is that it allowed for Spider-Man to be a hero without any baggage of having a wife or family.

Thankfully this was later re-written and Peter Parker was once again given the mantle of the one true Spider-Man. The damage was done however and the sales of his books went into the toilet.

Until about six years ago.

J.Michael Strazynski, does that name ring a bell?

How about Babylon 5? Or Jeremiah? (For comic fans) Midnight Nation? Rising Stars?

This is a creator who has had a plethora of awards for his work in television and in comics. About six years ago he took over Amazing Spider-Man and put it through a renaissance where it was THE must read book of the month for hundreds of thousands of fans out there.

On Friday, he wrote his last Spider-Man story for the foreseeable future. His tenure on the comic has seen several ups and downs during publication but his swan song was mandated by the editor in chief of the company, Joe Quesada. Joe Q was a fan favorite artist for a long time before he became EiC for Marvel comics. During his stint he has made no bones about the two things that he wished he could rectify. The first being that there were less mutants running around in the Marvel universe, he took care of that two years ago.

The second beef that he had was that he felt that a married Spider-Man was not a good Spider-Man and that he would find a way to make that an error he could fix. One More Day was a four part story that ended the run of JMS and also brought to fruition of the idea that Joe Q had, a single Spider-Man. In it, Aunt May is in critical condition after a sniper took a shot at Peter and missed, hitting May instead. He spends three issues looking for ways to help his aunt. From friends, to enemies to magic and comes up zeroes. At the end of the third issue, Mephisto, ruler of hell comes to call on Peter and tells him that he will give his Aunt May more time in the world, for exchange he wants the marriage of Peter and Mary Jane. He would make it so that the couple had never been married and that was his payment.

They both agree. With Mary Jane asking Mephisto to let her remember that they were married and not Peter, the hell lord agrees.

So now twenty years of Spider-Man stories are in question.

I hate to sound like a nerd, though I am, but I’m kinda pissed. All of the stories that I grew up loving might never have happened now. Peter is single and STILL living with his Aunt (Get a life guy!) and Mary Jane is the girl that got away. This January Amazing Spider-Man is going to be running three times a month with this new storyline and while part of me is excited I can’t help but wonder, what does that do to the stories and the growing that Peter Parker did during those years of his life that he was supposed to be married?

I feel like a character that I grew up loving has been sullied by the ideas of one man that thinks his idea was better than the product that was already on the streets. Time will tell what Spider-Man will be in the future but it’s a bleak future that almost holds no appeal to me.

I’m in mourning my friends. I feel that a great character has died and been replaced with a lukewarm copy. Sorry, I had to vent.


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