Friday, January 11, 2008

What Lays ahead?

So this weekend I have a couple of things that I want to get done; both on my toon and in real life.

Real Life: I need to help the Hooved Missus clean our room and tidy up the house. What y’all don’t know is that we do foster care for drug affected infants. Right now we’ve got a 6 month old that we’re fostering, a 3 year old that we’re trying to adopt AND we’re helping raise her 14 year old sister who’s adopted, bi-polar, schizophrenic. So we have a full house all the time. Usually because of my work schedule I get to head home and basically just veg because she feels bad for me. She’s the at home parent. With the type of thing we’re doing in our life you can’t NOT have an at home parent. So since we’ve been married I’ve been the bread winner and she’s been the parent. Now, don’t think that means we have a rich lifestyle because we definitely do NOT. We live just about paycheck to paycheck but we’re incredibly happy with our lives and that’s what’s most important to both of us.

Today is payday so I have to go out and get some supplies for the house (Read:Food) and of course diapers and formula. I might spend a little money on myself. Perhaps go pick up my comics and/or buy a book from Borders.

WoW: Well this is going to be a mixed bag. I need to get Old Hills done so I can do BM, it’s a MUST basically. McGregor is going to have to take his lumps in Old Hills to really be of any use in BM and in Kara. I have to admit that while I’ve enjoyed the venture to 70, being there and getting keyed and running 10 mans, really doesn’t get my motor going. I’m not sure why this is though. I think maybe I’ve put too much pressure on myself to make sure that things get done right with the characters. When I was doing the key fragment runs the other day one of the players from Celestial Storm basically invited me to his guild but the thing of it is, I love my guild.

Divine Forsaken is a home to me. In May of last year I left the Nordassil realm because I had had it with Alliance and the drama that just seems to come from being in a guild. I had a falling out with one of the other officers and I just didn’t want to deal with bullshit anymore. Forester, my brother, would check his accounts and they would ALWAYS ask when we were coming back. I know that some of you know that most guilds, when you’re inactive for a certain period of time, they just go ahead and boot you, Divine Forsaken never did. They kept us on the roster and they still remembered us. So we came back. I’m comfortable in my guild. I don’t much care for end game progression really. Purple or blue, armor is only as important as how much fun you have playing the character.

I find myself with several 70s (4) which all have flying mounts.

I’ve got a mid 40s Druid whom I will be getting a mount for soon and 2 incredibly low level clothies that I intend to level at some point in the future. (If I can get away from the love that I feel for my Druid).
These days when I log in all I want to play is my druid honestly. I know I have some high levels that I can instance with but I love playing my Druid. Is it because I get the gratification of leveling the character up? Is it that I like knowing that my feats are accomplishing something other than gaining more gold? Yea I know that it sounds like I don’t like money when I do but the question is, what is appealing more to me?

If you think back to when I started this blog I was leveling Luciel to be a good healer for the guild. (Since I respecced it seems like I’m needed less for healing and will be switching BACK to Enhancement the next time I feel the need to play him.) Once I achieve the level that I wanted with Luciel I moved onto McGregor to make him a viable tank. Once I upgraded his gears and got stumped on Shadow Labs I moved onto my Druid.

So is it the satisfaction of knowing that I have a level to attain that makes the game more interesting for me? I think it might be. While this makes me sound like a bed hopper I swear that I’m not.

I know that there are things that I need to learn as a Shaman. I know that there are things to learn as a Tankadin. The question is, do I care?

I don’t know. I love all the classes and I think that they’re all fun. Face melting with a shadow priest was incredibly fun for the short time that I did it while baby sitting a friend’s character. Having a well equipped Warlock is awesome as I have a 41 Horde Warlock that was lucky enough to get the Staff of Jordan to drop for him while he was in STV. My time with a mage has been fun, albeit I don’t know the mechanics as well as I would like and end up being Mob bait eventually, the dynamic of making my own food was lovely. Each class brings something to the table that, to me, makes it over all unique and fun to play.

Am I rambling? Sure. Still, I’m sure that there are a lot of you out there that are smiling and nodding your heads at the things that I’ve pointed out because you find yourself with alt-itis for the very same reason.

If you want to enjoy the game, try the rest of the flavors before you decide on one I guess is what I’m trying to say. I’m learning that I have at least 3 flavors that I enjoy immensely. (For those of you keeping track I have a 70 hunter but I think that we can all mostly agree that unless you LOVE the class, it’s the easy button of WoW.) Do not let your WoW days be filled with one flavor if you have yet to try the rest, you’ll regret it later or worse, you’ll never know the true love you might find in another character.

/end tangent.

What's DPS?

I love to level my characters. While I enjoy questing and grinding, the most fun that I have is going through an instance, amass loads of experience and get the occasional drop that will be useful for the toon that I’m running at the time. (For Balance though, this is not something that happens regularly.)

The following is a true story.

I’m questing in STV last night and signed up in LFG for Mara, ZF and Scarlet Monastery: Cathedral. Let me tell you that LFG Channel was the quietest it’s been in a long time. Not ONE person was looking for anything. I don’t just mean for the instances I was trying to frequent but in GENERAL, no one was seeking anything, even in the high level instances. So when I get a whisper about whether I want to go to ZF, I answer yes. I have found that usually when I get invited into a group with my druid they ask me if I can either Tank or Heal. So I was polite enough to also tell the inquirer that I really only want to do DPS for the run.

I should have known was going to be trouble when the answer I got was, “What’s DPS?”

I went ahead and told them what DPS was, just in case they weren’t used to seeing the abbreviation and joined the group. After a couple of minutes of no one saying ANYTHING, I left the group and reentered the LFG queue in hopes that someone ELSE would pick me up.

The same group leader sends me an invite ten minutes later. I go ahead and join again, thinking that perhaps things have progressed better. I come into a full group. The group dynamic was as follows:

Druid (Me)

So, no healer AND no tank.

Left that group. Went BACK into LFG. Get an invite to Cathedral. Is it on the low side for me? Yes, but I can still get a couple of nice things, money and a little XP.

I get invited to another group. Group dynamic:

Druid (Me)

Okay, this is looking a little better. It takes, like most pugs, about twenty minutes to get two people to the stone. We all get summoned over and the first thing I start hearing is:

“Who’s going to tank?”

No answer.

“Who’s going to heal?”

No answer.

We go into the instance, there’s no one marking and one of the MAGE’S is pulling. I know this is a low level instance to me at this time. I know that the others that are with me are also, for the most part, in their mid-40s but how are you going to go in and NOT have a set up for who is tanking, healing and what marks you want to sheep and pull?

When we hit the Cathedral itself and we got six mobs at once because of agro, it’s time to move on. I left the instance and decided to just go ahead and grind it alone for the rest of the night.

I think my server is just plain weird.


So I promised earlier this week that I would start something new for the readers. I read Big Bear Butt Blogger everyday. I love his stuff and my heart goes out to him right now with the passing of his family pet. He does something called the Raid Song of the Week, where he introduces the readers to a song that he feels gets him going when he’s raiding. I loved the idea but wanted some thing with a spin all my own to put up.

I’m not raiding much at this time, as you all know. However I do play for hours on end after the Hooved Missus goes to bed. I love music but really, I want something MORE when I’m playing so I usually play with a movie in the background. This rule does change sometimes and I’ll tell you when…eventually. For now I want to introduce you all to the Movie of the Week (Copyright infringement)!

Each week I’ll post one movie that I like to have playing in the background while hammering away at some toon of mine. There’s no rhyme or reason to it, it’s just what I feel is fun.

With that in mind I’m going way back into the eighties for one of the best B Movies made of all time, Big Trouble in Little China!

Wal-Mart has them for five bucks if you want to go out and buy one or you can go to the rental store and spend four dollars on one.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


I love comic books, I'm sure you know.

While Wildstorm is putting out a decent World of Warcraft comic, these guys have had it down long before them.

Looking For Group

I'll be linking them to me, simply because they tickle me a bit (Cool points if you know where that comes from.)

As I find things that I feel will work well with what I'm doing here I'll add it on.


New Goings on

So I’m on Bosque last night grinding away the last of my STV quests, getting good XP and learning the mechanics of an excellent caster character when I get a whisper from a bud, Nineheals, who tells me We’re clearing Slabs right now, get on your tank and wait outside. I don’t have to tell you that I parked my feathered ass and switched over. Nine is a paladin like McGregor but he’s my healing counterpart and he’s been further along the end game tree than I have on Alliance. So I take his advice and his assistance with open arms.

Divine Forsaken has a sister guild now, Celestial Storm, and some of their players were getting keyed with me as well. So we’re all standing around Slabs and waiting to be invited into group to get our keys. We get the invite and run into the instance, they do before I do and I ended up getting attacked by a respawn. I run out to lose agro and then run back in. Nine is waiting for me by the steps leading to the second door and we start jogging further in, Wait until we’re there to open anything. Nine Says.


One of the CS guys opened the key box before I was in the area. So we tell them don’t kill it, we get there, kill it and what do you know…NO FRAG!

I can’t even begin to tell you how pissed and frustrated I was with the whole blooding thing. I was ready to just chunk my laptop into my television screen and never play again. I know that this sounds A) Childish and B) Retarded but honestly, I’ve been trying to get both of these characters keyed for a few weeks and to never get one fragment? I’m sorry that’s screwed.

So I just said, forget it and switched over to Bosque. Nine whispered me again and said he was getting together an uber group to clear Slabs AGAIN so I could get my fragment.

It took them about an hour and a half.

McGregor got his first fragment. I went and picked up the next quest and figured, I’ll get to them this weekend. Nope. I was told to get back on my Tank and wait for the next TWO fragments that they were going to get to NOW.

So within two hours, I had all three fragments. Now I’m supposed to go ahead and do Black Morass but unfortunately I still haven’t done Old Hills yet on McGregor and as you know, it’s about progression. You have to do the Old Hills to get a crack at BM to get keyed.

That’s what appears to be my merit for the day, getting that done. Should be interesting if nothing else.

Bosque is on the CUSP of 43 (Like 2 bubbles) and I’m going to try and hit that today. My guild has already talked about a ridiculous run of ZF, me and three 70s. Good way to get all the PHAT loot from the bosses. I already have the kilt and helm from ZF (A run done a couple of levels ago). I’m enjoying the dynamic of a Moonkin and don’t see myself going back. I’ve found a couple of online resources that have been useful in helping me understand a little more about it.

I’m going to try and get some screen shots of my characters for all to see and tomorrow I will do my first MotW! (If you’re a reader, you’ll understand the acronym)

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The (rest of the) Restoration Tree

So I’m back to make the bread and butter of this blog. Lord knows it took me forever to get off my hooves and give you this last bit that I kept promising you FOREVER ago. Procrastination is the enemy but it feels so good when you’re down in the dumps. Regardless of the reasons I’m going to go ahead and finish the tree of life (Pun).

Improved Reincarnation is really something every single Shaman should strive to get. We are only one of two classes that can regenerate after a wipe. Warlocks are the only other class that can make sure someone can come back from the dead without having to run from the graveyard with Soul Stone. Reincarnation has a one hour cool down, with two points into this talent that wait time goes down to forty minutes and I can’t even begin to tell you just how important something like that is. While grinding alone, you may not notice it; in a group setting it can make a reset for a boss fight that much quicker. If you look at most builds used by Shamans in the game now, each one ‘minors’ in Restoration.

Ancestral Healing is a talent that gives an extra boost to a player that you’ve given a critical heal to. Giving the three talent points into this one will grant the healed player an additional 25% armor for fifteen seconds. While that doesn’t sound like a big thing, you get a critical heal on a player that’s tanking and it gives them a little more unsquishability.

Totemic Focus is a cost reducer. Obviously by now you’ve realized that your totems aren’t spawning for free, there’s a tax on your mana pool. This talent, if maxed out with five points will reduce the cost of all of your totems by twenty five percent. As a healer, you’re going to have totems that you put down not only for yourself but also for your group as it’s REALLY important that everyone feel that the proper totems are being dropped for bosses during instances. It’s a good talent to think about using as with a healer, mana is what you’re going to be using the most of at any given time.

Nature’s Guidance, to me, is a throwaway talent really. Reading the description: “Increases your chance to hit with melee attacks and spells by 1% (Up to 3%)”. First off, you’re not going to be doing much melee with this build. You’re not going to be in striking distance of ANYTHING because you’ll be behind your group, praying to God they keep agro. The other thing is that your spells are going to be mostly heals and I don’t know about you but I’ve never gone to heal anyone and seen ‘Miss’. Pass on this one….

Healing Focus is nice for interruption. If you manage to get agro, and you will cause you shine like a lighthouse, this talent will make sure that you have less of a chance to get interrupted by the mob, up to a seventy percent chance to not get interrupted, this is a talent you seriously want to consider, no heals, no loot.

Totemic Mastery is a one point talent that almost feels like it’s not worth it but it very well is. It increases the radius of totems for friendly targets by thirty yards. This means that you can be further back from the action, drop a totem and the desired effect will still reach your tank and dps. Stoneskin, Mana Spring, Wrath of Air, they would all get a bigger boost in size. Great pick up for one point.

Healing Grace is a three point talent and one that any healer should have if they hate being a big agro magnet that needs to be coddled during runs. It’s a three point talent and for every point that you put in, you get an additional five percent threat reduction. So in total you’ll have lessened your threat by 15%. Nothing to sneeze at and your group/raid members will gladly tell you that. A healer himself is only as dangerous as the player that works him. If you can control your agro, then you’re golden.

Controlling agro is about learning to not use your big flashy heal but to use the more consistent and slightly less notable smaller and chain heals. The smaller the heal, the better off you’re going to be on the Agro chart. That’s why it’s so important to work on your plus healing any time you get a chance. In my low 60s on Luciel I was plus 373 healing. While it’s not a lot when compared to end game healing, it does make the job easier when you’re running through Ramparts and Blood Furnace. With plus healing, even the small heals, will heal a tank well. That’s all you need, you don’t need it to be flashy.

Restorative Totems is five points for max. It makes your healing and mana totems better. When I say better, I mean they give more healing or mana for the time that they are around. That’s something that, again, your group will thank you for as you won’t waste as much time with consumables. It also helps in fights. I always try to maintain and Mana totem up and running when I’m in a group, it helps ensure that it will take longer for me to run out of mana and ensure that the heals will keep on coming.

Tidal Master. I’ve talked with a handful of Resto Shamans and they all say the same, this is an absolute must for us. It’s a five point talent that ‘Increases the critical effect chance of your healing and lightning spells by 1% (up to five)’. Think of the moonkin aura, gives you a five percent chance to get a critical strike on every spell, this is doing the same for the Shaman but ONLY for the Shaman. Remember that many of the talents that we’ve seen in all three trees count on critical strikes, be it spells or melee. This one is spells and healing. Pass this up at your peril.

Healing Wave (3 pts) max it out and it gives a 100% chance of making the next heal that you toss at a target will heal them even more, or better using the wording given. It also stacks up to three times. So you heal the player three times, you have three chances to heal him more each time, and those heals also continue to stack. So the least you’ll have on a player you’re healing is one, the most will ALWAYS be three. Very nice.

Nature’s Swiftness is a pass for me. It’s a one pointer but there are too many drawbacks to it. First off it’s a spell that you have to initiate. When I’m in the middle of a fight and I’m healing I don’t want to think about any other spells other than healing and I’m not looking at anything else beside health bars of my group mates. Second, it has a three minute cool down. Three minutes?! And it’s only for one spell, one time. No. This just isn’t right.

Focused Mind
is supposed to help stop interruption and silence effects. However you many have already sunk the points into Healing Focus and this talent is stating that it doesn’t stack with any other talents. So do you really want two different spells affecting you that don’t stack and don’t really help you visibly? Yea it’s a pass to me, unless someone can convince me otherwise.

Purification gives you effectiveness of healing by up to 10%. This is good, it means that your heals are going to be stronger and affect the player being healed more. You should have this maxed out if you want to be a worthwhile healer without having to suffer with low mana or high agro.

Restoration Totems leads to Mana Tide Totem. The Beast of all Mana totems as it has a short life span but gives HIGH amounts of mana in that time frame. It’s a great loving totem and every group that has a Resto Shaman wants you to break it out every chance you get. It’s one point, definitely worth the pick up.

Nature’s Guardian is a talent that’s built in to help you when you’re getting agro and being attacked. It helps you in two ways. First it has the possibility of healing you for 10% of your full health AND reducing your agro. Good to have really since at some point you’re not going to be able to count on anyone but yourself in a group, hey it happens!

Nature’s Blessing is a three pointer. It’s an interesting one as it increases heals and spell damage by 30% of your intellect. So if you have 10 intellect, it increases your heals and damage by 3. That’s at three points. While it’s not HIGHLY Impressive, it does help you get up there as far as plus healing. Remember that at this point in the tree you’re in your fifties. So you’re not needing I right away but later on, as you prepare for higher content, something like this is going to be very useful It also leads into my favorite talent of this tree.

Before that talent though you have Improved Chain Heal, like I said this is a low level heal and one that you’ll end up using often. Shamans are one of the few that have something like this and it comes in handy if you’ve got three group members taking damage at the same time. Imp Chain Heal gives a boost to the size of heals that you’re giving out. Very good stuff as it’s one that I enjoy to use myself all the time.

The last talent on this Tree and the one that makes everything else worth it is Earth Shield. It’s a one point talent. Think of Lightning Shield and Mana Shield and it’s the same principle. The difference is that this is a Shield that you can throw onto another person in party with you. So you can have the Tank covered with Earth Shield and use Lightning or Mana shield on yourself. It’s great for off healing the tank while you spam heal to make sure he’s near topped off at all times.

The one down fall to Earth Shield since 2.3 is that for some reason you can’t recast it before it’s completely gone. So if your tank has Earth Shield and you’ve cleared out all the mobs before a boss and he’s only got one charge left on the Shield (There’s 10 charges to the Shield). You can’t go over and just recast it. You have to WAIT until that last charge is spent before you can cast it again on the same character. Time consuming and illogical as you now not only have to watch health bars but watch to see when that Shield has expired on your tank at all times. =/

Alright, there you have it, the restoration Tree in all its beauty. This was a long endeavor and I thank you for the patience that you had waiting for me to finish this bit of information on Shamans.

I’m going to chill on the builds for a bit, I’m working on Bosque at the moment and he’s at 42. I will however continue to blog and let you know how things are going on my realm and my life.

I had no idea that this article would be so long….oh noes!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Balance Druids Rejoice!

As I have gone ahead and gone Moonkin, Laser Chicken is my friend. Delos of the Cenarion Circle writes good good articles on his playstyle.

This here has got to be the BEST post I've seen on how the mechanics SHOULD work for a Moonkin and what to expect.

Moonkin PvE DPS

If you don't want to be a tree and don't want to be a Big Butt Bear Druid, then this post should show you what you should expect to be doing.

Good job Delos!

While I'm at it...

Currently working on the Resto Tree Round up but while I’m at it I wanted to let you know that I’m going to be including something different into the mix of the blog. Most bloggers and players that I know listen to music while they play, I don’t. Well not usually, there are some exceptions obviously since we have DF Radio.

Starting this week, at some point, I will be doing Movie of the Week. Yea I know NBC might be banging down my door about this one eventually but let me tell you something, there are some movies that just lend themselves to playing with them in the background.

I’ll share them as they come to me or as I play with them during the week. And I PROMISE that I’ll start posting images.

Frustration at 70

Yes I keep putting off the Restoration Tree but there’s a reason for it this time. I’m actually quite pissed at being 70. Since I started this blog I’ve gotten two characters to hit 70, Luciel, my Shaman, and McGregor, my Paladin. I went ahead and specced them completely different to be able to help out the guild and to be able to have either a healer or a tank when needed.

Last week, while training at work, I would go home and work on McGregor. My think was as follows: everyone is always looking for a tank. The important part of having a 5 man run is having a tank to distract the mobs while DPS just runs around and kills everything in sight. So I went out and plunked some serious gold into some nice gear, I went ahead and enchanted some other gear that I already had on and brought my defense up to about 426. Desired defense number to run Kara is 499 so I felt that I had a pretty decent defense up. I have a good mace and shield to smack and whack things with and I have the mechanics of being a Tankadin down.

Then there was Shadow Labs. My goal for the week had been to try and get my three key fragments. After that try to do Old Hills and be prepared for when BM would be run by some unfortunate fools with me. I figured a couple of things would happen. I would get some nice drops that would help me down the line to get up to 499. I would get to tank these instances and learn the things that I needed to be able to be useful to other guildies when the time came.

None of that happened.

Divine Forsaken is in a lull at this moment. Because people already know there is an expansion planned for this year (Honestly who DOESN’T know that there’s an expansion coming out?) so guess what just about everyone has done? Yup, re-rolls. I can’t say that I blame them. The ones that have been seventy for a while have accomplished the things that they set out to do already. They have their epic flying mounts. They have their Talbuk mounts, Kara keyed and have mostly purples. So they resort to other things namely Re-rolls or the ever painful PvP.

When saying some thing like, “Hey I need Slabs for Frag, any volunteers?” I feel like Elmer Fudd when he talks to Bugs Bunny, ain’t no one listening to a word I’m saying. O end up having to resort to pug groups. Do you know how many pugs I completed last week?


Out of those twelve do you know how many Kara Attunement Fragments I got out of those?


You read that right, Z E R O. I got a whooping Bumpkiss for all my time in Slabs. Cause that’s all I could run you see. Shadow Labs has become the enemy in a way that I can’t even begin to describe to you. I tanked all twelve times. We got to the third boss 11 out of 12 times. Once we only got to Mister “Time for Fun!” and had to call it.

I spent 100g in just repairs.

By Saturday I had had it. I was done with 70s for a while and I still feel that way. I really just have stopped giving a shit about Kara and that whole mess. The more I talk about it with some of my running buddies the more we agree. Why bother breaking our heads open with purple pixels if by level 71 the greens that we get from Northrend is going to be much better than the end game stuff. So why break out heads open? Seriously.

So I’m taking a break from my 2 70 characters. I feel like I’ve hit a wall that I can’t climb and frankly I play the game for fun. We all should. I kept getting people asking me, “Is this for Heroic?” I would say no and they would pass. I can understand that because you want to get further into the content but seriously? You’re going to turn your nose up cause it’s not heroic? Oh Noes! Come on!

So instead I’m turning my attention to Bosque. He’s my low level druid and he’s now sitting comfortably at 41. He’s gone Boomkin and I’m enjoying the mechanics. Nothing much will change with the blog. I’m just frustrated with the elitist mentality that a lot of 70s have and it’s not about fun as much up there. If anything else it’s about heartache. And I HATE heartache.

Guess this means that Luciel and McGregor may never see the inside of Kara, or if they do it’ll be when Kara can be taken out by a five man time of 80s.

You guys ever hit your heads against the wall and just wanna say screw it and move on? Cause this week certainly did that to me.


Ratings by outbrain