Getting Back Into The Swing Of Things

Just after Cataclysm came out I decided it was time to take a break from WoW. I had been playing since Vanilla and was just downright bored. After nearly two years away from the game I found myself curious about the new expansion. Pandas!? I mean, there are so many possibilities for Blizzard to turn into content, but I didn’t think it would be the Pandaren. Alas, it was, and I was finding myself itching to know more. I finally relented and bought the expansion and fired up my WoW account once again.

Some things hadn’t changed, others were incredibly different. For people who are coming back to the game, here are some things I learned either by accident or with the help of some friends that you might want to learn about too.

  1. Core Abilities Tab – This tab tells you about your most important spells, and when you should use them. Having been away for a while I found this tab to be awesome at refreshing my memory at how to play the various classes. You can find this under your profession/spell book page.
  2. What’s Changed Tab – There’s a tab that explains what recent changes have been made to your class. I’m one of those people that usually reads the patch notes in depth, but if I wanna get lazy about it I’m glad that this tab is there.
  3. Dungeon Journal – It’s like Atlas Loot, but also explains boss abilities, and information about a dungeon in addition to listing the possible loot. Extra bonus, it has filters to narrow down not only your class, but your spec, too! You can view this by pressing Shift+J.
  4. Pet/Mount Journal – There was a tab for this before, but now it’s got it’s own journal. In addition to simply being a place to access all your collections, it’s also the interface for pet battling. You can access this by pressing Shift+P.
  5. AOE Looting – This is one of those things I had to figure out. I was killing groups of mobs, but could only loot one. Gone are the days of looting every body, now it’s just one and done!
  6. Pet Battles – It’s like Pokemon, but in WoW! Remember all those vanity pets you collected up over the years? Now you get to battle other pets! You can even capture new pets in the wild. It even has a host of achievements to go along with it all.
  7. Daily Quests – Ok, daily quests aren’t new. In fact, they aren’t generally a favorite either, but the cap is now gone… and I have one friend who called this the “Expansion of Dailies” and I’d have to agree.
  8. Scenarios – It’s like a mini dungeon, but only requires 3 people, has a really short queue, and rewards you with gold and Valor points. These are great options for people who want to do something outside of the usual dungeon crawl.
  9. All the Usual Changes – All those things you expect to see in a new expansion such as new dungeons, gear, abilities, locations, profession changes, et all. I would love to list them all here, but that is something I’d like to expand upon more in another post.

For all that has changed, the game is still the same at heart. It’s a place to be social, have fun, and explore the lore that is Warcraft. I’m glad to be back and if you’re thinking about coming back, don’t forget about those Scrolls of Resurrection, if you qualify, you can automatically have a toon leveled to 80 for you. I’ll see you out in the World.

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You Survived!

Did you ever see that quest? If you ever played a Draenei, I bet you have. It’s the first one you get when you start the character. The quest sticks out in my mind because my good friend Denny picked it up his first day playing the Alliance and read it to us. “You Survived…… YESSSSSS!”. Trust me, it was rather entertaining.

So yes, I survived my surgery. As I said, it was minor, and though I am uncomfortable still, I am fully functional, and able to get back to posting. I have been playing WoW still in my absence and have managed a few achievements. My guild did finally clear Naxx10, they also downed new bosses in 25, namely, Gluth and Four Horseman. However, we’ve hit our brick wall with Thaddius. It doesn’t help that our tanks keep taking off. We’ve lost five in a very short amount of time. Most of them have left for bullshit reasons, others, well… I’m just gonna stay out of it, thats how bad it is.

The officer situation is getting a little tense. It nearly always does at some point or another. I had to kick one officer for just flat out being a dick. However, one of the four GMs is having some, well… she said she needed a break, but with all the time she is spending on Garrosh, I’m inclinded to think otherwise.

I’m so proud of the guild lately, and frusterated at the same time. We’d made progress, good strong progress, but no matter that fact people still got grouchy, still got upset that we weren’t as elite as they wanted the guild to be, and of course, those that were the most pissed off about it have left, the rest… well, they bitch a lot but they keep on truckin.

I’m so proud of the ones who keep going. Even the ones who complain.

However, it’s getting to the point where if we dont burst through that brick wall soon, there wont be enough bodies to break through it ever. I keep trying to express that, but no one seems to listen. Honestly its like a selfish spoiled only child who sees his neighbor’s shiny new toy and forgets the one in his hand. 

Yeah. I’m ranting. I don’t think I’ve ever done much of that before.

Good news, though. We’ve gotten our orders, and we’re moving out of Alaska this summer. We’re taking a good old fashioned road trip to our final stop in Cheboygan Michigan. Yeah… you heard right, Michigan, not Wisconsin, and yes, it’s almost exactly the same as Ketchikan… except it’s got roads, and thats all I need.

So we’ll be taking a trip, from May 27th until July 15th. We’ll be stopping in Bremerton Wa, Bosie ID, Salt Lake City UT, Great Bend KS, Des Moines IA, Milwaukee WI, and Green Bay, WI. If you know of any awesome sights or eats along the way, let me know ok?

Also. My DK hit 80 tonight. Bout Freakin’ Time.

wowscrnshot_032309_163753

Being Prepared: The Holy Priest

Looks like Garen has got a whole series of priesting posts for my readers to enjoy. Perhaps he’ll eventually become a full time writer here… in the meantime, here’s Garen’s post on priest preparedness…

-Andrea

I warn you now, this post may seem a bit controlling, BUT, this is how I learned, and some of the things it taught me were actually very helpful. So, take it for a grain of salt.

When I was younger, between the ages of 12 and 18, I was in the Boy Scouts. While enrolled in that great institution, we had a motto. 
Be Prepared!
Seems simple enough doesn’t it?
Make sure you have what you need, when you need it, so that you don’t die, someone else doesn’t die, and you don’t get eaten by a bear. From that idea, with the exception of the bear thing, it seems like Boy Scouts and Priests have a lot in common. Well, Priests don’t usually carry Gnomish army knives. But that is neither here nor there.
What I intend to rant about in this space is what all a good priest needs in order to be prepared. This will include things to carry. Macro’s that are helpful. And simple tips that a lot of people/priests don’t always consider. It’s a tips and tricks of the trade kind of thing.

I’ll divide this up into two sections. I hope you enjoy.
THE BACKPACK
What to Carry

The basis of being prepared is what do you take with you when you go places? This can be instances, raids, battlegrounds, etc. Everything you carry is all you have to work with. You can’t take the bank to battle.

Bags: (Big) You start the game with a single 16 slot backpack. This is enough to keep you happy until level 2. MAYBE level 3 if you are competent. But, from that point on, bigger is better. As a level 80 priest, bag space is at a premium. There are a few different methods of acquiring bigger bags. If you are the raiding type, then Zul’Aman is an option. Onyxia’s lair and Magtheridon’s lair are options as well. But if you just wanna burn the cash, then picking up tailored bags of the 18-22 slot variety is your best option. Once you have a stack of bags, you are going to want to designate ONE of them as your utility bag. Set it as your last bag slot, because we will be keeping it full of fun stuff.

Candles: (4 Stacks) Priests have three major buffs that they hand out to their parties/raids. This is Prayer of Fortitude, Prayer of Divine Spirit, and Prayer of Shadow Protection. These buffs utilize candles. Now, since a recent patch, buffs affect the whole raid, not just parties. This is limited the number of candles that each priest must carry. However, since I’m lazy, as most people are, I plan to be prepared.  I carry FOUR STACKS OF CANDLES. That’s 80 candles. That’s enough mats for around 30 buffing sessions. Put these in the bottom row of your utility sack.

Food: (2 Stacks) Food is interesting for a priest. Since you can heal yourself, you don’t really NEED to carry food, but there are those times where you don’t want to drink, heal, then drink some more. So, food is useful there. However, there is another type of food. Stat Food! That stuff is awesome. As a healy priest, I usually carry +Spell power and +Spirit food. But if that isn’t available, then anything that increases spell power or haste is always a good thing. You want two full stacks of this. Nothing is more irritating that starting a boss fight and realizing you ate your last firecracker salmon on the last fight. You want the highest level you can get your hands on.

Water: (2 Stacks) Heals take mana! Mana is restored by drinking. If your regen is high enough, then having a lot of water isn’t really needed, however, there are times you need to drink. (Flashbacks to that 10K hp “tank” at level 80 who didn’t own a shield and preferred the stats of leather and cloth!) Two stacks make sure that you are ready. You want the highest level you can get your hands on.

Potions: (1 Stack of Each) Potions come in many colors. I assume the different colors do different things, but I’m not sure what. Okay, I’m kidding. I know what they do. Considering the dynamic nature of priesting, you always need to have one stack of Mana and one stack of Health potions on you. They stack to 5, which isn’t bad, but could be better. Blizzard made it better by introducing the potion injectors. If you grab an injector kit, you can fill it with 20 charges. That’s usually a better option than only carrying 5.

Elixirs: (1 Stack of Each) Elixirs come in two styles. Battle and Guardian. Each can grant different buffs. Since I’m still leveling my alchemy, I don’t know which ones I’m going to carry yet. BUT, you’ll need one stack of each.

Weapon Oil: (2 vials) The new level 80 oils haven’t been released as of this writing, however, as soon as they are, there will be two vials of the stuff in my bag! +Spell power is preferred.

Bandages: (1 Stack) While it IS true that priests can heal themselves, there are times in combat where you are unable to heal for various reasons such as mana constraints, silence, and so forth. For this reason, your first aid needs to be maxxed out and you should have one full stack of bandages on you at all times. You never know when heals may get that critical.
Inventory of your “Utility Bag”: (Assuming 20 Slot)
1. Candles
2. Candles
3. Candles
4. Candles
5. Food
6. Food
7. Water
8. Water
9. Mana Potion/Injector
10. Health Potion/Injector
11.Guardian Elixir
12. Battle Elixir
13. Weapon Oil
14. Weapon Oil
15. Bandages
16. Profession Specific Slot
17. Profession Specific Slot
18. Profession Specific Slot
19. Fishing Pole
20. Hearthstone
SURVIVAL
How to light a fire under water

For this section, I will provide a few little tools that will make you even more useful that you already are!

Trinket Macro:  Most priests carry trinkets of the healing sort. A good number of these trinkets have a “/use” feature. And again, a good number of the priests who carry a good number of these trinkets never use a good number of these /use features. A hunter friend of mine (Dechion) found a way to combat this. I have since made it part of who I am and how I play. BEHOLD…. A macro.
——————–
/use 13
/use 14
/cast Greater Heal
——————–
The reason this is attached to the greater heal is because you use it all the time, which means your trinkets will get used all the time. Also, you won’t be opening the fight with greater heal, so you don’t waste your trinkets on a spot where they aren’t needed.

Rez that Jerk!: In scenarios where there could be multiple deaths, there is the problem of numerous healers trying to rez the same person. This causes lost time and a confusion as to who rezzed who. How do we solve this? Well, this is a throwback to days of yore in the Molten Core!  BEHOLD…. A macro.
——————–
/s %T, way to die! Now I have to rezz you. (Or some other witty comment)
/cast resurrection
——————–
Now, the “%T” is the important part, because that is what will tell the crowd who you are resurrecting. If you would like suggestions for something witty to say, you can hit the priest forums on the WOW forums. They always have a thread up about witty rez macros.

Sunscreen: A couple of years ago, Baz Lurhman put out a song called “Sunscreen”. It was about good advice that could be attributed to life. While I am not nearly as successful as he apparently was, I offer the following.

Do Not Let Your Tank Die! The results of keeping your tank alive have been proven to increase your life span and the life span of those you are partying with. This will reduce your repair costs, the cost of reagents for buffs, and frustration from your party. The rest of my advice is just that, advice!
•    Always open combat with a prayer of mending and a renew. It gives you a good start on any encounter.
•    Don’t shield the tank unless you have to, or he has sufficient threat/rage. Shielding him can cause him to not generate enough agro to keep the party safe.
•    Use your shadow fiend at every opportunity. You never know if you will be around at the end of the fight. The same goes for your  Inner Focus.
•    If you have to pick a member of your party to let die… It’s going to be the rogue.
•    You are the person keeping the party alive. If they don’t treat you well, you can always leave. But, don’t be a snob, your reputation can precede you.
•    And for the love of everything holy… You don’t need crit rating. That stuff is for mages! You want haste and spirit and regen!

That’s my series of thoughts on the above matters. Now, it may seem like this post came to an abrupt close. And you’re right. It did. I apologize for that. I’ve just been working on it for two days and I’m sick of looking at it. So there you go. I hope it helps. This is my personal contribution to being part of the priesting gustapo.

I’m gonna go write a post about how things are supposed to be pronounced.
And then I’m writing my damn farming guide. Money for free baby!

Lets Talk About Rogues

dpsMy rogue is currently level 75. I had never been one for melee classes, but I am enjoying her. I admittingly am NOT a rogue expert, as I am still learning the class. I however hope to play her equally as well as my other classes, and maybe get to run with her every now and again. I am completely noob to the rogue, still learning all the ins and outs… but at level 74 I pulled over 1k in an instance… which isn’t bad. For now, I am just leveling her up, mostly through questing but lately Ive been pulling some instances, and I also took a good hard look at her spec. I knew I didn’t know what I was doing, so I hit up a senior rogue in our guild, and asked his advice… here’s what we came up with.

Poofnstab is running 15/51/0 (eventually it will be 20/51/0 when she finished leveling) Lets take a look at her spec thus far:

Combat

Tier 1

Improved Sinister Strike (2/2): Reduces the energy cost of Sinister Strike by 5. Being as this ability is rogue bread and butter (unless you are sub, then its hemo) I figure a little less energy cost is a good thing.

Duel Wield Specialization (5/5): This increases the damage done by my offhand weapon by 50%. Since combat is about sustaining damage, this is a good one to pick up.

Tier 2

Improved Slice and Dice (2/2): Increases  the duration of Slice and Dice by50%. I use Slice and Dice on every fight, when soloing I only put up one or two points before I pop this and it lasts me the whole fight. For a boss fight putting up all five points will last you quite a while.

Percision (5/5): Increases chance to hit with weapon and poision attacks by 5%. This helps with that whole hit rating noise Im still working on.

Tier 3

Endurance (2/2): Reduces the cooldown of Sprint and Evasion by 1 min, and increases stamina by 4%. Adds a little surivability for when you go aggro happy.

Tier 4

Aggression (5/5): Increases the damage of my Backstab, Sinister Strike and Eviscerate abilities by 10%. I don’t really use backstab, but two out of three isn’t bad.

Tier 5

Blade Flurry (1/1): Increases attack speed by 20% and also hits a second mob. I usually pop this ability after getting Slice and Dice up and follow it up with Murder Spree when there is more then one mob around. Watch the numbers fly.

Sword Specialization (5/5): Gives a 5% chance to get an extra swing in on your mob. Now I just like swords. Some people prefer maces, or daggers. I’m a sword kinda girl, and thats all it is.

Tier 6

Weapon Expertise (2/2): Increase Expertise by 10. I’m still learning about this attribute, and will write more on it at a later time.

Blade Twisting (2/2): Increases damage of Sinister Strike and Backstab by 10%. Also has a 10% chance to daze your target. Again, I don’t tend to use Backstab, but Sinister Strike is constantly going off, so that 10 percent is worth it. Also, an occasional daze doesn’t hurt.

Tier 7

Vitality (3/3): Increases energy regeneration by 10%. Rogues are always out of energy, this helps lesson how often I recieve the “I can’t do that yet” error message.

Adrenaline Rush (1/1): Increases energy regeneration by 100% for 15 seconds. Great for those extended boss fights.

Tier 8

Combat Potency (5/5): Gives your offhand autoswings a 20% chance to regen 15 more energy… this is starting to sound like Mp5 right? Well thats the idea, except rogues don’t get to have mana pots.

Tier 9

Unfair Advantage (2/2): Gives a chance when you dodge an attack to strike back with 100% of your weapon damage. Yeah… that is a little bit unfair. I reccomend you read the comments on this ability under the link… its uses are truly entertaining.

Surprise Attacks (1/1): Finishing moves cannot be dodged, and gives Sinister Strike, Backstab, Shiv, Hemo, and Gouge abilities a 10% damage increase. Those little increases to Sinister Strike are really starting to add up now.

Savage Combat (2/2): Increases Attack Power by 4% and physical damage taken by mobs by 2% when they have poision effects on them. All in all, a more damage please kind of talent.

Prey on the Weak (5/5): Increases the chance to crit by 20% when the target has less health then you (as a percentage). This means if you kill it faster than it kills you, you’re gonna whoop his ass with some high numbers.

Tier 10

Murder Spree (1/1): Allows you to step behind multiple mobs hitting them every .5 seconds with both weapons until five hits are finished. You can also do this to a single target. I usually pop this with Blade Flurry when there are multiple mobs around. Its really a quite nice talent.

Assassination

Tier 1

Evisercate (3/3): Increases damage done by Evisercate by 15%. I use evisercate a lot when Im soloing, and as part of a rotation for bosses, so really, this is used often.

Malice (5/5):  Increases crit strike chance by 5%. Rogues are well known for popping out of no where and killing a mob before they even realize whats happening. Crit is a major factor in this.

Tier 2

Ruthlessness (2/3): Gives finishing moves a 40% chance to add a combo point to the target. Always nice for getting started on the next rotation.

Tier 3

Lethality (5/5): Increases crit strike bonus of all combo moves by 30%. In the previous tree we worked on the direct damage, on this tree, we’re grabbing some crit.

Obviously, that isnt all the points, but its as far as Ive gotten. I imagine I’ll continue down the Assassination tree and grab up some poision talents before Im done. Ive tested out this spec, and recently replaced a lot of gear… even going so far as to craft my new epic engineering goggles. My unbuffed attack power sits at 2168 and my crit strike is at 26.34%. I believe this is decent for a 75 rogue, but I don’t know what final numbers should look like yet. I’m going to have to start focusing on my hit more as I get closer to 80… but I imagine that will come on its own in time. Hope this helps any nublet rogues like me out there!

WoW Code

I saw this over at the Pink Pigtail Inn, who orginally found it at TyphoonAndrew’s. I thought it was so awesome and geeky, that I should of course try it out for myself. You can find all the orginal coding over at his site… and here goes mine:

M:Pa78, Ms: Holy, Mr: Dr, S: Draenor – PST – PvE, G: Mythos, PvP+, PvE++, 2004.12, D: C++, Ori: BT, L++, !Dr, : D, Alt: SRo71, SL/SLWl70, HolyPr70, BMHu63, FDK63, AWL62

Thats insane. So… how geeky are you?

Undecided

I am all kinds of prepared for the expansion. I know which toon I’m going to level first, I know the second, the third and even the fourth. I have ideas for how I will go about leveling… and I know what professions I am going to focus on first… but for the week we have left of TBC? I haven’t a clue.

I have a few options at my disposal… including working on achievements, leveling the lower alts some more, and touching up on last minute things, like my fishing skills. However, can’t seem to dedicate myself to just one thing. This is actually why I have so many alts in the first place. I can’t ever decide what to do with them. 

Speaking of decisions, the US has spoken and Barack Obama is our new president. I am not surprised at all, and I am not upset by it. I did not get to vote this year so really, I don’t have any right to complain anyways, but I thought I’d share in case you didn’t know. Here’s to hoping for great things these next four years from America’s first African American President. 

Other then that, I got nothin’

The Grind!

Oh man it is upon us, the last four weeks before WotLK hits us. I am franctically trying to finish up everything I wanted to get done, including leveling the hunters, leveling the warlock, topping off professions, crafting the Roflcopter for poofnstab, and grinding out repuations.

For the profession stuff, I have a few more points in fishing for Pally, I got Wife up to 338 tailoring in one shot and 80 herbing, (I DE’d all the tailored stuff btw, sold it, and made nearly 500g!). I had hoped to get the shaman started on some jewelcrafting… and I haven’t even picked professions for the hunters.

The sudden reputation grind comes about due to achievements. One of them is to achieve 40 exalted repuations…. and I have 11. It’s not a bad start really. There have recently been an influx of articles talking about repuations and the grinds… be sure you check it out.

On top of all of this, I tried to take some screen shots of my bank for you lovely readers, but they didn’t take, so I will try again. In the meantime, I’m off to get started on the long grind ahead of me…. how much do you think I can get done in this short amount of time?