Thursday, December 16, 2010

And...Here We Are

Its been about a week since Cata launched and I have been quite wrapped up in it. I have taken a few days off work to be immersed in my favorite subject and these are my impressions.
Initial install and day 1 play was relatively smooth. I had no problems logging in on launch morning and was up and running fairly quickly. I am always very shy about heading into new content. I tend to kinda linger. I take my time reading quests and try to let the initial onslaught of players wing by me so I can go at my own pace. It looks like the leveling is extremely quick. Not at all what I expected. When they said these 5 levels should take as long as the last 10 they lied. Even my slow pace has left me sitting on the cusp of 84 not 9 days from launch. Usually it takes me a good 1-4 months to level through, and I enjoy that pace. For me leveling is part of the fun of the game and I get bored easily once I hit cap. I enjoy raiding but it's not my only reason for playing. Someone in my guild hit Loremaster of Cataclysm last night. Now she doesn't know what to do with herself. If I hit that point this soon I'll end up quitting. That's ridiculous, and that's half the game Blizz. Do you really want people blasting through the content that fast then being bored out of their minds? That is a sure fire way to lose your customer base in 6 months.
For me it's all been rather surreal. I have made it through half of Hyjal, all of Vash'jir and I am about 2/3's of the way through Deepholm. I have been mostly impressed with the quest chains, very impressed with the artwork and left kinda wondering with the lore. There are minor quest bugs all over the place but they are few and far between. The questing has been fast and well centralized. Rarely do you have to wonder where you're going next. On this note it is very quick. If you don't enjoy questing then this is definitely for you. I haven't felt like an area is particularly overwhelmed by other players either. I see them around, but for the most part we aren't ganking each others mobs and I feel relatively left alone which has been nice. Though I look around and wonder where everyone else is every once in a while. The only time I ran into a mob of people was in Hyjal the very first day and even then after about a dozen quests the oodles of questers seemed to break up quite a bit. I attribute that to if you want to go fast you can, and you pretty much will zoom by others in the area and then you never see them again. You won't continue to run into the same people unless you're questing at the same pace.

Friday, December 3, 2010

WoW and Addiction

This is a topic that people have written copious amounts on. I would like to briefly touch on it, perhaps circling back around further down the line. We have all heard the stories or had an experience where ourself or a guildie was given an ultimatum to quit the game or lose a spouse. Or when someone comes to the realization that they play to much, or is spending to much time in-game and not enough time in real life (RL). I myself recently lost a guildie to the first. His wife finally said its WoW or the marriage. He was a smart man and said goodbye to us, if even for a period of time. We haven't seen him in about 3 months. I wish him well, and hope he's able to return some time down the road. The podcast The Instance recently covered this briefly in Episode 210 regarding a caller that was looking for suggestions on how to get his wife into playing WoW before it destroyed their relationship. They didn't spend a great deal of time on the topic but they brought up some great points around the subject of balancing game and RL. I'd suggest a listen if you have the time.

Before I go any further, I am not a licensed psychologist. I have not treated anyone, and I do not claim to have the answers. I am simply delving into a topic I find interesting and presenting my own hypotheses and opinions. If you find any of this "rings true" with you, or you feel you need to talk with someone or need help, please contact a professional.

Leveling in the New World...of Warcraft - What are the new zone levels?

I, along with several guildies, have been caught in a strange predicament. If you were leveling anywhere in Azeroth (1-60) prior to 4.0.3a you are probably in the same situation. Where should you now be questing?

I took a little trip over to Wowhead and found a leveling map and guide. Found here.

I couldn't find just a list of where to go at what level so I have put that map and area guide into a handy dandy list of leveling ranges by zone. I thought I'd share it with everyone.
I think I got every thing. If you see something missing in the level 1-60 areas please let me know.

Friday, November 26, 2010

WoW Psychology & Philosophy - Intro

For a while now I have been putting a great deal of thought into this topic. I'd like to take my field of study, psychology, and start to put it into a WoW perspective. It always seems weird to put words like "games" in the same sentence with "psychology", "sociology" or "philosophy", but the more I play and read the more I find it fascinating.

The Shattering - Some quick thoughts and observations on 4.0.3a

I mounted up and decided to go on walk-about across Azeroth. In no particular order.

Monday, November 8, 2010

4.0.1 Random Thoughts

Some of it is awesome some of it I just don't understand. 4.0.1 has turned a lot of things upside down. My lock is full of awesome fiery goodness. I love feeling like I'm burning the hell out of things again! My warrior is totally weird. I've had some conversations with another prot warrior about stats and such and I'm trying to re-tune my brain to the new stats and it's just not sinking in. I think I'm just over tanking. Speaking of, I have had a lot of asshole tanks lately. I don't know what it is. Perhaps they think they can ramrod through instances still, I don't know. Perhaps it's because the toons I'm taking into instances lately are not tier 10 geared like most of these folks are. Either way its been pretty fucking annoying.

My poor new 80 healer is still trying to catch up. I'm just starting to figure out disc again by the way. Very weird concept of damage=healing and mana regen. It works but I'm still working out rotational stuff. I am doing this blind. I know what's going on, but I am not looking up rotation info anywhere so I'm making it up. Seems to be coming along, albeit slowly. I am enjoying the challenge for the most part but my husband has had to listen to me yell at tanks a lot more these last few days. I'm taking the hard road I know, don't tell me please :p

Let's see...what else is up with this patch? The glyphs are pretty cool, though I have found there can just be a tremendous amount of choices. That is good and bad. I wonder if I'm picking the "right" one. I'm sure some asshole will tell me eventually what the "right" one is.
Talent choices in some trees seem limited and in some others don't. For example, my warrior seems to have a lot of choices in fury or arms trees that would help with prot. My warlock does not seem to have as many cool things for destro in other trees. She also doesn't seem to have as many cool glyph choices as say my priest. I think it's more difficult to get diversity out of the pure dps classes then it is the hybrids or partial hybrids. Warlocks, mages, hunters and rogues are going to find they are more limited in, as Ghostcrawler says, "cool choices" to make.
All in all I am excited about the patch. With the changes to threat reduction talents in dps and the promise of CC down the line, I can't wait to get my claws into some new instances.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Blizzcon 2010 - Short and Sweet

Since I'm writing so late about this I figured most everything you could want has already been covered. So I'm just going to include a short article I wrote that was read on TNB Blogcast episode 106.

I don't have much else to add. It was great to attend the panels, walk around the vendor booths and be at Blizzcon in person. There is not a whole lot of Cata news to share that isn't out there already.

When Fim asked me to write about Blizzcon for the show I was at a loss as to what to write about. It didn't take very long for me to narrow down the topic. I found that the best part of Blizzcon for me was meeting everyone. Not only Fimlys, Nibuca and Hydra, but oodles and oodles of people that all wanted to do the same thing. Talk about and experience Blizzcon, Blizzard and WoW. I am lucky to have a husband who plays, as well as some friends at work. I always have people around to "geek out" with. Blizzcon though, brought a whole nother level. Walking down the streets of Anaheim and listening to people espouse about ganking or being ganked, nerfed or buffed was a unique and awesome experience. Knowing that I was surrounded by 25,000 other people that think and speak the same way I do, and are as excited about WoW as I am, was something I will never forget. I remember turning to my husband and saying..."It's meh people!". Truth be told it really is. Rarely have I felt as much a part of a community as I did that weekend.
I think what made the experience come together though, were the plans and meet-ups that happened off the convention floor. I don't think I would have had as much fun if it wasn't for the rest of the Twisted Nether crew. If you ever have a chance to go to any of the meet-ups, and I mean any meet-up at all, do it!! Fight the nerd urge to be shy or introverted and go. You will not regret it.
Blizzard didn't have much news for us WoW'ers this year. The panels were kinda lackadaisical, and all the info and trailers for Cataclysm are already out. There was nothing there that could not have been bought on-line somewhere or viewed over the webs or satellites for a nominal fee. What you couldn't get any other way was the camaraderie.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

What's In a Name - Blog Azeroth Shared Topic

Hello there. This post is based on this week's shared topic at Blog Azeroth.

What takes the longest to choose, is the first thing people see, and is the one thing they always remember about you and your character?

Your name.

How did you decide upon the name for your character(s)? Did you delve into Norse, Greek, or Roman mythology? Did you choose a name from one of your family members? Did you mash the "Random" name generator button in vain until you stumbled upon something you liked? Is your name a play on aspects of your class, using spells or other traits? Did you play around with syllables, vowels, and consonants until you found something that you loved?

How long did it take you to come up with your name? Do all of your characters share the same 'theme' or naming convention? Have you ever run into someone who had a similar name? How did you feel? Does your character have a partner with "the other half" to your name (such as "Salt" and "Pepper"). Do any of your characters have a "themed" guild that goes along with your name? Do you have a nickname that your guild, friends, or significant other has given your character?

Has your character name become your online persona, or maybe the other way around?

Do you have any tips for naming your characters in WoW, or any other game? Resources, name generators, mythology websites, sources of inspiration, etc.

If you are an avid roleplayer, how was your name decided upon by family/friends? Did your character choose the name later in life or were they given it at birth? There are whole stories behind naming/birthday celebrations that I am sure are floating around out there.

So much can be said about names. What does yours say?
I have had wonderful times creating character names and was really excited to contribute to this weeks topic. Here is where my bountiful list of names derived from.
Normally, if I don't fall across a name I like, I run through the random name generator to see what Blizz thinks that races name characteristics should be, such as the double "i" at the end of draenei female names. Every once in a while I will seek out translations of words, as you will see.

Zabine - human warlock, derivative of Sabrina and the German Sabine. Wanted to give her a decidedly unique flair and went with the "Z".

Moondream - NE warrior, I thought this followed the standard last name convention already established in the game. This is actually her last name and her first name is, as yet, a secret. I felt that a last name reference made sense for a warrior.

Naohm - dwarf paladin, Irish Gaelic for holy, which she is. I have found that this seems to be a male name but I like it, and pronounce it Nah-ohm instead of Nome.

Brennii - draenei priest, a combination of Brenwyn which I had used on another server for a dwarf priest along with the double "i" from the draenei name generator.

Sephyrea - draenei mage, this is a derivation of zephyr and Sephyra, the dragon from...omg I can't remember the movie!.... fail. Sephyra and other derivatives were taken so this was my change up.

Lynei - draenei shaman, this is actually taken from my middle name Lynn, and is the closest to my actual name of any of my toons. This toon was created during a particularly difficult time when my husband needed open heart surgery and I needed something easy (like a new toon) to keep focused on when I wasn't at the hospital.

Bluhighway - human death knight, I'm actually not so happy with this one. My idea of her was as a rebel so I really wanted either Blue or Highway but both were taken. This was my concession.

Vashee - troll hunter, this name came from the naming convention for trolls that I'd seen around and I really wanted it to be Va'she. Blizzard doesn't allow you to use apostrophe's or other punctuation in the name so I opted to add the extra "e" so it would be pronounced the way I thought it should.

Erfrieren - orc death knight, the name is German and it means "death by freezing". I thought it was pretty cool. I had simply looked up a translator in German for death and came up with several verbs.

Maica - orc warrior, love this name and its one of the few that came directly out of the name generator with a minor change in vowels.

Rozwyn - undead warlock, this one was a name I had bouncing around in my head for some time and was seriously considering using it for a dwarf. An undead seemed just as good, kind of old fashioned but with a twist again with the "z".

Zallania - BE priest, this name was just a random one I quick thought up at the moment. I was looking again for a "z" name and took the last half from the naming conventions through the random generator.

All in all I am partial to names that are names and not Oneshotyou or something like that, with a few exceptions. I tend toward unusual letters such as "z" or different spellings while retaining the elegance and look of a name. Lately I've been trying to find the shortest name possible and have one set aside that is 4 letters long. I also have a name set aside for a worgen. I appreciate names that have double meanings or are true to their race. Of course that is pretty subjective.

So that is what's in my names. :)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A Guild in Motion Tends to Stay in Motion

I have to thank Matticus for his great guild advancement post, which can be found here. I'm sure others have done it before but this seems to break down the guild advancement system into something simple and straight-forward. Even though that is what inspired this post, it is not why I'm here.

Actually it's shameless self promotion, kinda sorta. I was thinking about the end of his post where he suggests to look for a guild now. A nice stable guild that has weathered the End-of-Wrath-Blues. This line of thinking of course let me to my own guild, and how in spite of my lackadaisical attitude over the last few months, has managed to put together a post-cataclysm incentive package to boost our guild reputation as fast as possible.

This is not the first slow down that our guild has suffered. We have weathered the storm between all the previous expansions. From vanilla to TBC and then on to WotLK we have managed to maintain a relatively healthy guild.

The secret is not really a secret at all. It is simply the momentum of the guild as it was established. KG is not any particular type of guild so when things drop off such as raiding we simply move into other areas. We do that as a group for the most part. Right now its been finishing Lich King and getting some PVP in on the side. Some of us are doing some intense rep grinding and have been going together or, at the very least, supporting each other while we whine about it. We excite each other in a sense. It's not just about the loot but the people. When you have a reason to show up it's not so hard. Granted it is getting boring, and we're all dragging our proverbial feet, but at least we're dragging together and in the same general direction.

I have one person in particular to thank for taking on a huge job. Our fan-tabulous raid leader, Kaerras. I'm very glad that when some of us (namely me) have been unable to hold up our end of the bargain, that he and a few other brave officers have picked up the slack. He has taken the time to create a post-Cataclysm plan specifically for boosting our guild rep as fast as possible, or at least giving it a really good jump-start.

I just want to take a moment to publicly thank the officers and others of KG for the perseverance and leadership they have shown over the last few months. I couldn't have had a better group of guys and gals to lean on.

 Rorac - right hand man and guild papa
Kaerras - tankadin, raid leader extraordinaire, and uber planner

Laridoris - 2nd to none but Kaerras in the raid, unless his bike breaks down ;)
Rickyboby - confidante during rocky times
Feorah - shoulder and sounding board
Celeste - one of those behind the scenes couldn't do it without your support guildies and cheerleader
Holysnapx - Ficus and laugh track, thanks for being a good kid, we appreciate you :)

With all my heart I thank you for being, doing and generally putting up with everything. And still coming back day after day and week after week to play this crazy game with me.

Love ya,

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

PTR and Guild, Warlock & UI Changes, Some Interesting POI.

I'm going to go ahead and post this and then hopefully get some screenshots inserted so you can see what I'm referring to.
I was having a meltdown about warlock changes. That combined with what seemed to me to be a lack of warlock info coming out of the beta, I decided to download the PTR. This was purely to satisfy my neurosis that I would never be able to play my lock again and WoW would be forever dead to me. Something I dread actually.

2 attempts, exceptional band-width hogging (which my husband was NOT happy about), 25 hours of downloading and a video card driver update later I was finally on.
     **by the way I highly recommend that you update your drivers before Cataclysm**

I appeared in Feralas right next to Thousand Needles. From my Dire Maul farming (see previous post). Immediately the first earthquake hit. I was excited and terrified at the same time. I am standing at the spot that is supposed to be flooding! Holy Shit! I have to get out of here! Back in reality my brain processed the info and realized that there are no land changes going on here. After that the earthquakes were just really cool to experience :)

I took the long way and trotted my ass to Theramore to take the boat. My goal was IF and a target dummy.

First, no add-ons. Arranging my screen to be a little closer to my normal button mashing skills became first priority. I understand you can copy your add-on folder to the PTR folder, but after all the hassle I had gone through just to get this thing going I'm not worried about it.

Feeling Up Your 'Lock
Finally in IF. Second was training. Discovering what I had and what I needed. Warlock training and profession training.
After that target dummy practice. I got a feel for the spells I still had, and the new ones I had acquired. I am not a theorycrafter. I don't crunch numbers. I'm sorry I can't give you any specifics regarding spell mechanics and all the ins and outs of what's going to be great and what's going to suck. I can throw out a few things here though.
My second night on the PTR I did hit an instance. It was nice and calm and was probably the longest H Nex I've run in a long time. That was perfectly ok with me. I think we were all just feeling it out. Soulburn; using a shard to impact a spell. I didn't use this much. I think I'm still used to being shard-conservative. At 80-81 the number of spells you can affect is actually pretty small. I think there were 3 uses for it, none of which I found very useful right off the bat. Soul Harvest; The spell you cast to get shards back, looks and acts just like mage evocate. Bane of Havoc was OK. You cast it on one target then hit others. Kinda interesting, but because it's working on another target I didn't get a "feel" for it. It was off working its magic while I was doing other things. I hope this will get more fun as I get used to it. The thing I really got a kick out of was the proc for Soul Fire. Being Destro I don't use it much. I have no proc for it and the cast time and use of a shard have kept it out of my rotation. It was cool to be able to use it again. Along with that comes a Power Aura type screen flash. There was also one for Backdraft. I found the graphics for both to be unobtrusive and kinda cool looking. All fiery and stuff. So I'm happy. It will not replace your Power Aura though. All in all I found that my rotation did not change considerably and the feel is still quite similar. That was what I had set out to do. The only thing I was not happy with was the loss of spell power conversion on the Glyph of Life Tap. The new glyph lowers the cool down. There is no more spell power gain. Booo!

So I texted a friend I knew was on the PTR and asked him to come play. He gave me his toon names and I hit "O". Nothing. Hmm ok how do I get the social up, the friends list, all that jazz. I finally typed /who and the box came up. I still don't know what letter is supposed to bring that up. When he came on I did a shift-click to see where he was and got this with his name "Hunters". So I say what's that? Are you more than one? He says that's my guild. Oh Guild!! Yes gotta get me one of those. I joined the "Warlock" guild, local 357 I'm sure :) and hit shift-G. Nothing. WTF how do I get my guild social up now...grrr. I find it on my bar and upon mouse over discover that it is "J" not "G". What? Weird but ok, random alphabet choices. As I recollect you can still hit "P" for your professions and your spell book,"N" for talents and glyphs, and "C" for your character sheet. I told you I was a professional button masher.

The Guild UI is now a separate entity. It is no longer connected to your friends and raid tabs as it is now. It has 2 tabs currently, one for guild members and one for MoTD and other information. There is also a handy sort to sort by professions and other things. All very useful. I am hoping to speak to the "Warlock" GL about some of the guild leader options as well as the calendar and event options. I don't know how much is currently implemented.

Guild Interface (Achievement, Professions & MoTD)

The Social now only has friends, chat, raid listed...and no button to bring it up yet lol. Yes this stuck with me. I don't know how many times I pushed the button to try and get the window up and nothing happened.
(edit: You can pull this up using "O")

Social (Friends, Who, Chat & Raid tabs)

The Character sheet I found to be really cool. It now has a box that slides open to the side with all your stats. Each stat section can be moved up or down the line depending on what you want to see, or can be closed down if you don't want to see it at all. Pets and mounts are no longer here. I missed getting this pic for you :(

The Profession sheet or spell book I found the most confusing. It now contains tabs for your professions, mounts, pets and other miscellaneous things. It seems to be the place to put things that don't go anywhere else. The professions tab was a bit confusing at first, but I attribute that to the fact that while it said I had them they were not available to use until the second night I got on. Then I had to re-train all my cloth and enchantments to make them active. Time consuming and something I hope we will not have to do with Cataclysm. It was also a huge money sink, so I wouldn't expect so. It was probably just a PTR thing. The button to open my enchanting book was there. It is no longer located on the first page of the spellbook. I did find it handy that all my professions, including secondaries, were all on the one tab by themselves.

Spellbook (Spells, Profs, Pets, Mounts & Companion Pets)

All in all I found my time on the PTR to be worth the headache of the download. I assuaged my warlock fears and found that the majority of the changes coming are very clean and useful. I also found that the changes were not so drastic that I couldn't figure it out fairly easily. The jump from the current UI to the new will seem minimal. I think we will all be happily plodding along in Cataclysm in no time.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Are you Exalted?

So I'm wandering around Dalaran and I see this title I've never seen before, "the Exalted". I'm thinking hmmm. I like unique titles I wonder what that is? After a quick look up on WowHead I found it is the title granted for 40 factions to exalted reputation. Exalted So I look to see how many I have and low and behold there I sit at 32. I'm thinking 'I'm not too far off...what can I do?' Thus began my new crusade!
I begin by checking to see which factions are closest that need the least amount of work. Let's see....

Oracles, ok I can finish that up
Skyguard, ew hated that one but it might be a bit easier at 80
Ogri'la, ok this one was really "ew" so we'll have see
The Steamwheedle Cartel quadruple are all sitting at revered...possibilities perhaps
The Consortium
Zandalar Tribe
I also began looking at easy-to-turn-in-for-rep grind factions such as Thorium Brotherhood and Darke Moon Fair.

Now, about 3 weeks later I am slowly making my way there.
-Oracles done. This was mostly completed. I just needed about 3 days worth of dailies to finish it up. I had just been dragging my feet.
-Skyguard done. This was 3-5 days of grinding. Kill the birds (each kill gives rep). Get shadow dust. Turn in the dust for the shadow potion (each turn-in gives rep). Kill the birds under the influence of the shadow potion for the pages. 10 pages at a skull pile to kill one of the mid-level mobs (easy at 80 and gives rep). And, if you have enough people (2 at least), kill the big guy at the center skull pile. My grind also included doing the dailies at Skettis and Blades Edge which all give Skyguard rep. The dailies in Blades Edge will give Ogri'la rep as well. Oh, and kill the tree guys wandering around, they are actually worth 33rep a piece. Bear in mind I'm human so I think that equates to 30 rep for everyone else.
-Consortium done. Farmed insignias near Area 52 and used the Etherium Prison keys whenever I had them.
**35 exalted**
Steamwheedle Cartel - all 4 factions are now between 35-50% through exalted; these include Booty Bay, Gadgetzan, Everlook, and Ratchett. This one has gotten monotonous but it seems to be the best way to grind all of them at once. I am doing the Free Knot! and Gordok Ogre Suit quests at Dire Maul that were recommended on WowHead. If everything drops in the dungeon, such as the shackle key, I can turn in both for approximately 470 rep per run. Each run takes me about 10 minutes and that works perfectly for the 5 instances per hour cap. I will usually make a run to Feathermoon to dump stuff in the mail about every 4th run. Each run puts me about 2.5% closer. So at that rate I figure I've had to run this at least 100 times. It is starting to wear me out but its 4 for 1 in my opinion, and it's better than killing pirates for 3 rep a piece. Now that's a lot of friggin' pirates!
Zandalar Tribe - 36% through exalted. This is from mount farming and coin turn ins. I'm also buying a few when I find them at a decent enough price. I have had some wonderful donations from guildies who have had them tucked away and decided they aren't going to use them.
Thorium Brotherhood I was able to get to honored. Once you reach honored the rep turn-ins become based on Dark Iron Ore stacks and all the cores from Molten Core. Unless I'm farming MC they are hard to get ahold of, or I can spend a small fortune on them in the AH. All of them run about 50g each on average. I have more or less given this one up. Perhaps one day I'll come back to it.
I should be able to complete ZG and Steamwheedle before we have a Cataclysm hit.

Because I'm grinding Steamwheedle I've had a couple people ask me if I'm going to do Insane. I can't see running all these only to turn around and run them back down again so right now the answer is a resounding "no! not on your life".

Until next time, off to Dire Maul...

Monday, September 6, 2010

My Stash of Junk

This weeks topic at Blog Azeroth is about what random item(s) we keep and why we've kept them. Regardless of how much bank space my trinkets and baubles take up I have a propensity to keep many things. Just about every holiday garb piece I have made or bought is in there. The tier 1 warlock set, or what I have of it, because it's cool. Every tabard I could get my hands on, seriously we need a rack for those if Blizz intends for us to collect them, and assorted other stuffs. But that's not what I wanted to talk about. The items that I can't seem to get rid of are the keys. I AM the keymaster! The random items you had to have to get into a dungeon or raid or to make something happen while in there.
Top of my list is the Drakefire Amulet. The key to Onyxia's Lair. This quest chain was so horrendously long it literally took me months to complete. It also took a lot of cajoling of guildies to help me with it, and picking up groups whenever I could to get the next leg completed.
Second would be the Seal of Ascension. The key to Upper Blackrock Spire. Another long quest line that involved having a dragon melt the seal and several trips into the dungeon. A hunter friend of mine lost her rare pet while doing this quest at the time. :(
The memories associated with doing those two quest chains are just too awesome for me to let them go. I worked hard for those keys and spent some fantastic time with friends while doing them. I think that's why I keep them. They are like trophies now. While you no longer need them for the dungeons they were intended for, they represent all the work I had to do to get them. They also represent all the people that helped me along the way.
In that vein there are a few others I'd like to share that I have stored away.
Mallet of Zul'Farrak reminds me of Solbiane. He is the one who helped me get up the mountain to get it forged.
Scepter of Celebras back in the day when you had to have it to kill the Princess. OMG the memories of being lost in Maraudon.
And finally the Spectral Essence. Not a key per se. This one represents all the trips to Scholomance. Which is still by far my favorite instance.
When I hit my 50's during the vanilla wow era I was finally one of the "big kids". The 60's began taking me into dungeons with them. All these items represent that time of my wow playing where it WAS totally epic. You had to strive and slog through long quest lines to get something so you could advance in the game. I do miss those epic lines. While we see them now as very long tedious pains in the ass, when I look back I have really fond memories of them.
While I miss them I don't think Blizz will ever be able to put them back in the game the way they were. The Black Temple and Serpentshrine Cavern quest chains I think were the last of the epic lines we will see. Even the Wrathgate line, which was long and epic, did not involve the steps you had to take back then that involved multiple dungeons and long convoluted quest chains and keys.
With the exception of the Spectral Essence, none of the items I have listed from my bank actually function as they were intended to. All the keys have been removed and those quest lines whither away and die. It is all I have left to remind me of my epic journeys.

General Doings with Wrathgate

Not much going on in WoW and way too much going on in life these days.

Work has been kicking my ass for most of the year really, but these last few weeks have been nothing but nose to the grindstone. I've hardly had time for twitter it seems. This past week I have been sick with a cold, so I've been hitting the couch or bed almost as soon as I get home. Stress is a wonderful thing....not.

My priest hit 80 last week. That is my 5th toon. That makes me a cringe a bit. Apparently I don't have a life. To prove it, my house is a mess and my mom comes to visit this weekend. It is time to kick myself into gear and get a move on. Today will be spent mostly house-cleaning and shopping...I hope.

So why am I here you may ask? To share a small tidbit about what I did yesterday. I spent the majority of the day on my horde troll hunter. She is now 72. My goal was to get the Wrathgate quest line done on the horde side. I heard that quest line may be leaving once Cataclysm hits due to some semantics in the, well in the everything. It sounds like quest lines beginning at level 1 will be skewed toward the fact that we've defeated Arthas and the Burning Legion. That leaves the Wrathgate line slightly out of balance. I have a feeling that's not the only one.
Back on topic...I did complete the entire chain. It is very cool to see how the Horde and Alliance differ. On the Horde side I was left feeling very defeated, and felt so bad for the horde. Especially for Thrall. Thrall expected to find peace with the Alliance somehow and this event completely dashes any hopes of that.
I recall when I completed the Alliance side for the first time I was very angry at Varian for holding on to his spitefulness.
Regardless of which side you're on, there is no doubt that the Horde and Alliance were being steered toward inevitable ongoing conflict, and all out war. I remember feeling very "Oh My God!" the first time I saw it, and coming to that realization. That there was no turning back from the hate. The Wrathgate event alone is the catalyst for the setting we will find ourselves in during Cataclysm. Now, more than ever, the two factions want to annihilate each other, and this time it's personal.
Prior to seeing that quest chain for the first time I wanted to believe that the two factions would find some sort of peaceful resolution. But then who wants to play a game where all you do is pick flowers for each other all day. We want BLOOD!

Saturday, August 28, 2010


The other night I had a terrific karmic moment. While the PUG didn't go all that smooth there was one moment that just made it all worth it.

The group was comprised of myself on my warrior, doing dps instead of tanking this time. My hubby on his holy priest, a prot pally, an unholy dk and a hunter. The instance: Oculus (heroic).
The tank was very congenial and asked up front if everyone was staying before we started. Then he immediately stopped talking and just stood there. It was clear to me he'd DC'd. The hunter jumped around and went and pulled the first group. The DK and I ran up and took them out. The tank still wasn't moving. The hunter jumped around some more then pulled the next group. Now I'm slightly annoyed and ask they wait, the tank isn't with us. This is what happened.

Vote to kick tank
me: No
Vote to kick tank
me: No
Vote to kick tank
me: No
/sigh (now more annoyed)

In my mind you should be able to give people more than 2 minutes to get back. If this guy, who seemed pretty damn nice, is having a problem he deserves the benefit of the doubt and at least 5 minutes to get his issues worked out. I have no problem with this. I have system issues all the time unfortunately, but once they get sorted out things are fine if people can just hold their panties on.
By now, if you haven't, I have decided this is a huntard. He's one of those idiots that thinks it's ok to just run around and nuke everything without regard to the rest of the group.
Tank returns after only 3-4 minutes gone stating his power went out. I'm thinking poor guy ok lets go.
The rest of the instance is fairly normal, though my respect for the tank goes down through the course of the instance as I watch him let the hunter set the pace.
We take down the 2nd boss, Varos, and then procede up to the next ring. The huntard has decided he's going to drop right down onto the guy before the mobs spawn and stand there. He nearly dies that first pull. We move to the next ring segment. All of a sudden the hunter goes off the ledge and dies. My husband thinks he was knocked off somehow then we see the tell. "disengage is right next to misdirect on my bar". That is where I just laughed my ass off. This guy, who apparently thinks he's the shit, had disengaged himself off the side of the ledge. I LOL'd extensively at him and just chuckled to myself through the rest of the run.

Somehow, that one little moment made all the annoying crap he was doing up until then, worth it just for the laugh.

Monday, August 23, 2010

T-shirts for BlizzCon

My mom loves embroidery. Has a terrific machine and everything. I asked her to make me some shirts with our guild name and logo for me for BlizzCon.

I think they're awesome and so I'm going to post some pics here for the guildies to view. :)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Immediate Future...

That was just a clever title. I have nothing much to mention these days so here's a recap of the last week or 2.

I have been on my first ICC25 PUG. It was good, we got as far as Rot & Fester, which is about as far as I've done on 10man.

I have been finishing up my humanities class, which I passed with a B. Not the best but not as bad as I thought I was doing.

I have leveled my horde hunter another 3 levels, pushed her leatherworking to 350 and got her ass out to Northrend. At 69 she is doing well in Howling Fjord. woot!

The weekend 10man has gone once out of 3 weeks. I'm ok with that. We should be good to go for another run this weekend.

I have bought my own domain currently being supported through google so it is similar to this. It also requires me learning more about web stuffs. I am reluctant to post it here as there is not much to it at the moment but what the heck.

Other than personal stuff going on in RL that's about it. No beta yet, nothing grand to report...doing dailies and biding time I suppose. Leveling alts and losing my mind.  (almost sounds like a bad country song lol)

Friday, July 23, 2010

What has WoW taught me?

Hello all. This is a week late but I really wanted to get in on this Blog Azeroth Shared Topic.

It seems that my life and WoW have been kinda moving along the same direction. As I have moved up in my guild I have moved up in my job. Strange but true. Coincidental? I don't think so. So, here's the list of things I learned from WoW. In no particular order.

1) How to manage people and still be friends with them.

2) How to let things go. People and ideas come and go. The ones that stick around are important. The ones that don't needed to go their own way.

3) Weighing the one vs the many is freakin tough!

4) All girl toons are not girls. I still mess this one up.

5) Time management. Real Life can really get in the way sometimes. : /

6) I am really happy I rediscovered my gamer side.

7) I have met some wonderful terrific friends that I never would have met any other way.

8) You can make your own place in the world with a little grinding and farming.

9) Time is as much a commodity as anything else. I have found that the time I have invested in game is priceless to me. I don't think I could ever delete my toons, even if I stopped playing.

10) Leet-speak. I remember the first time I heard someone say "respawn". I thought that was the weirdest term I'd ever heard. Now it seems I can't speak anything else. ;)

11) A new way to spend time with my husband. Where else can you enjoy each others company and kill things. A couple that slays together stays together.

12) I have discovered a whole new group of interesting people that came out of WoW via podcasts, twitter and blogging. I love this community, they all really support each other and have fun.

13) Anonymity can allow someone to be really stupid, weird, annoying, and generally an asshat. Actually I already knew this, but I can't believe the number people that act like total jerks some days.

14) Just because something didn't work doesn't mean that I have failed.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

What Type Are You? Guilds in WoW and Finding the Right Fit.

The type and style of guilds have changed as the game has changed. I remember when the difference between a hard-core guild and a casual guild were miles and miles apart. These days you can have guilds that are a combination of both and everything in between. Definitions of what is "hard-core" vs what is "casual" have changed as well. I've seen descriptions of guilds ranging from raiding casual to social non-stress. What does that mean these days? Depends on you and what you think they mean. Everyone has a different idea of what all these different definitions are. I'm sure that if I polled my guild I would get several different answers depending on the person, how long they've been playing WoW, what level they are, and how long they've been in the guild.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Raiding is EVIL!!

As mentioned in a previous post I have been working long and hard to get my guild raiding. Today my guild is raiding without me and I'm pissed off! I have spent years working and pushing and trying to find the right officers while not alienating others in the guild. I worked long and hard fighting to make sure that the guild is great all around, not just a raiding superstore. Where we can do it all. Have fun, quest, pvp, be social and fit in raiding on a regular basis. Much easier done now in the days of Wrath then at any other time in WoW history. I am not raiding tonight because I can't stay up that late and continue to stay sane and awake and functional at work. It's my choice and a choice that I had to make but I am not happy with it.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

When should a healer let someone die?

This is from the shared topic on Blog Azeroth. If you are a blogger and interested in joining this wonderful community please stop by.

When should a healer not heal?
I have a holy pally and my newb take on this is I heal everyone as long as I can. I have not been healing long enough to be able to discern if you're an idiot and let you die. Which by the way I agree with. I don't yet have the balls to do it. If you are the dumb-ass dps standing in the crap or pulling aggro you deserve to die. In most cases I have found that if they're doing that I can't get them healed in time anyways. They are not my first priority.
I have nearly let tanks die that have decided that running waaaay ahead of the group and pulling mobs is ok. Especially while their healer is either A) looting or B) drinking. Extremely annoying.

When should I, as a dps, not be healed?
This is more up my alley. Being a crit happy lock I have a tendency to pull aggro. Just a tad. ;) I have learned how to monitor and control it. Occasionally I get out of control or don't pay attention. As I have told my friend and guildmate who is a healer, if the choice is between me or anyone else, save the anyone else first. I have ways of getting myself out of a mess and getting back some health. I also think that, as a dps, I am expendable in a group, particularly 5-mans. A healer's priority has to be themselves and the tank. If things get hinky that is what I expect them to be focusing on.
Second to that, I'm a bit lazy. If the healer survives I get a rez. If they don't I have to run my behind back to the instance. Let me couch that by adding that I think everyone should have to run back. If the healers have to run then by god so should the rest of you idiots. It's only fair. To lay there licking the floor and wait for someone to come get you is just downright disrespectful.

Friday, July 9, 2010

RealID and Me

So I guess its time to weigh in on the RealID thing. First let me set myself up here.

1) I use Twitter
2) I use facebook
3) I have a blog, obviously, and do strive to have some sort of internet "presence"
4) I have only mildly been concerned with internet security as far as how much I am "out there"

I have had some concerns. I'm not ignorant, and have tried to safeguard myself against identity theft and other associated on-line evils.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The World of Warcraft Blues

Are you bored yet? Are you looking for something to do? Are you level 80 and tired of doing the same old stuff, be it farming or fishing, dungeons or raids?

It's that time folks. The time at the end of an expansion when everyone is, for lack of a better term, just plain over it!
I keep hearing it in podcasts and lately I've been feeling it a bit myself. Do I really want to log in and do this again?

So the question is...what keeps bringing me back? Truthfully it's the same thing that kept me logging in from the beginning. I don't have the same goal every day. Sometimes I want to wander around and look and sometimes I just want to kick some ass!! Depending on how I feel, what I've been doing, listening to or reading will determine what I'll be doing in game for the day. Sometimes what others are doing will determine where I go. So I don't get bored very often. There is ALWAYS something for me to do. The only time I get really bored is if I've been doing the same thing over a couple of days, then all of a sudden I will have to step away from the game for a day. I believe Blizzard must be employing some sort of social psychologist or they have some extremely smart game developers. The idea of creating multiply areas of play is what is allowing them to rake in the bucks. WoW can appeal to anyone, and I mean anyone. Like puzzles? Do quests. Like art, walk around and inspect the architecture and style of the world. Like to talk to people? There are plenty standing around in the cities just waiting for you to stir their pot. Want to beat people up? Well hell, you can do that too! Yes! You too can be an asshole, battlegrounds and arenas are just a click away. Or you can join a PVP server and grief people all day long! Co-op or challenging? Dungeons and raids of all levels and types await you! How can you NOT like this place?
(disclaimer: I like battlegrounds and pvp and am in no way assuming PVP'ers are assholes. I'm just saying you can be one if you want to)

Those are just a few of the things out there to do. And when you get bored with doing them on one toon you can start something else and see how the other half live. Are you a tank? Start a priest. Caster? Find a melee class to try. Not sure? Grab a hybrid such as a druid, paladin, or shaman and you can try all 3, or 4, or 5 different play-styles.

So there you have it, that's what keeps me going during the long slow dreary days of waiting for the new expansion.

What keeps you coming back?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Stack Your Tank

Hi. Since my post about maximizing dps I have learned a few things about stacking for tanks I'd like to share.
This will not be as extensive due to some time constraints at the moment.

I had an opportunity to off-tank ICC a few weeks ago and learned some great techniques. Though what I'm going to share is primarily for prot warriors I'm sure there are many that can be utilized for other classes.

Glyph - specific to prot warrior is Glyph of Blocking. Increasing the block and duration of your shield slam.

Next is to either use Greater Rune of Warding or even Lesser Rune of Warding. Either will give you a small amount of damage absorption. And remember, anything is better than nothing, no matter how small.

Third is potion stacking. The potion most useful seems to be indestructible potion.

Use Shield Slam whenever it becomes available, or right before you taunt when you're swapping tanks.
Follow this with the potion during critical times in a fight can make the difference between a wipe and a successful boss kill. Such as during the 3rd inhale in the Rotface encounter. I learned the hard way on this one.

I'm sure there are other tips and tricks that can be applied but so far these are the crucial new ones to me I wanted to pass along.

Happy Hunting!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

What's in a Guild?

The time has come. I have been meaning to put some guild ideas down on computer...and I have not been able to decide where to start. I've opted to begin with my philosophy of what I think a guild should be. Let me start from the beginning.

The Beginning
When I first became guild leader I was overwhelmed and I must admit a bit panic-stricken with the idea of being in control of this thing that was made of so many other people and personalities. I was voted in, and accepted the nomination thinking I probably wouldn't be able to cope with it for very long. I have a strong dislike of conflict and am really quite afraid of confronting people. Even though I seem to put my opinions out there freely and I will admit, I have a big mouth and sometimes a big attitude to go with it, I will shy away from confrontation.

Friday, June 11, 2010


I hadn't had the chance to share this yet....I got tickets!!! woot!

Hope to see everyone and anyone at Blizzcon 2010 :D

(this is where I spent 20 minutes trying to find the logo and insert it here. As you can see, it didn't work all that well and I'm out of time)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Dumb and Dumber

Feeling all full of myself I offered to help a guildmate who was running regular Azjol-Nerub and was in need of a tank. I logged over to my prot warrior and joined the group. I promptly proceeded to wipe the group several times on Hadronox. How you may ask? Well...let me tell you.
We took out the first boss ok fine. A little messy. Sometimes you forget how the aggro radius is on a 72. Ah well, moving on.
Everyone gets in position and I pull the first mob to begin the event on Hadronox. The other 2 melee dps run down to join me, aggroing the other mobs close by. I drag them all up the web to get away from anything else and we take them out. We pull another group, I don't know where that came from and are almost done when they suddenly disappear on me. I'm standing in the area where the first mobs spawn and they're gone. Weird but ok. I've seen people bug out this encounter recently so I figure it is bugged. I move down the web ramp halfway around the spiral heading to Hadronox and the rest of the group follows me. Spiders begin spawning at the top heading down to Had and they KEEP spawning. Oh shit this isn't right! I am now tanking about 15 spiders, the healer is healing her little ass off and everyone is wondering (including me) what the hell is happening. We wipe. K now I feel totally stupid. I explain I thought it was bugged, don't know what is going on etc. The Shammy restores herself right there and rezes me first. Before she can get up the rest of the group the spiders start spawning again. Again I find myself tanking a shit-ton of them while everyone desperately tries to keep alive. We wipe again. Now I'm done. I apologize and leave along with my guildmate.
I have never felt so stupid in my little WoW life as I did at that moment. Here I was going in to save the day and completely fucked the entire encounter up.

I was listening to a podcast the other day and I was so flabbergasted by what this guy did that I feel the need to repeat it here. The podcast is Wowphiles. I've been listening to them since their 2nd show and was really excited to see others out there in the podcast world trying out new things. Now I don't ever know if I will listen to them again.
Jason, the main host, was asked to start a guild by his listeners. After long thought he decided it would be a fabulous idea to start a guild on another server on the opposite faction. His tale starts off innocently enough. He rolled a level 1 NE druid and proceeded to run to Darnassus. Where he then began a begging spree that has left me with my jaw on the floor. From begging a mage to port him to SW to begging everyone for 10s to start his guild charter and then begging people to sign it.  I am just astounded that an adult person, who had at least one level 80, has played the game for over a year, and I would expect to have some sort of sense in his head, would stoop to the level of a 10 year old noob. Really tell me you're joking. I had to turn off the podcast right then and there and I don't know if I'll ever be able to turn it on again. That was truly the stupidist thing I'd ever heard anyone do. At least anyone who has had any substantial time in the game.
Let me add. I told this story to a friend of mine who does not play WoW. Even she was amazed and had come up with another plan he could have used instead of begging.
I hope he enjoys his time on his new server where half the population has already put him on ignore.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

To Cat or Not to Cat?

Seems these days you can't get away from anything Cataclysm. Not that I would want to mind you :)

However it begs the question....How much do you really want to know?

I am terribly torn. This year I decided I wanted to spend more time making a difference in the community, doing something. I began blogging more seriously (well, except for lately; blame work :P), and I started helping a podcast with their wiki. How much help I'm actually being is left to be said at the moment since I have given them about as much time as my housecleaning. Which is to say, slim at best. So my thoughts turn to what can I do ingame that would make a difference.
Living in Florida and far from California, getting a job is more or less out of the question. So the next best thing is the PTR and the Beta. There I can test the new things and give my opinions and feel like I'm lending the proverbial helping hand.
So far I suck at it. I have not joined the PTR once. Yea I'm a slacker...or really, I'd rather play my current toons and play with my friends, then play with total strangers that might point and laugh at me.
I have not yet made up my mind about the Beta but I'm getting closer and closer to going to and setting up my opt in features. Currently, there are more reasons why I shouldn't then why I should. But I've always been a rebel. ;)

In the mean time, there is all this information floating around out there, and yes I've taken a peek or two. I dove head first into all the class previews that Blizz posted on the Cataclysm forums and have taken to checking out the screenshot of the day. I picked through some of the pics and info on MMO Champ but I take all that with a grain of salt. I don't like the way they do things and I'm surprised every time when they come up with what they do and still have a website and their pants.

In the end I know I will be moving through this content over and over. Do I really want to add another time? My first time? Do I want to blow that awesome factor when I first experience it by doing it with total strangers?! And answering questions about it?

I still don't quite know if I'm willing to go that route but I'm going to go do the opt in anyway and see what happens. I may change my mind. I don't know if I'd mind going through the leveling content and the starter areas to see how that plays. I'm addicted to 1-20 anyway.

Maybe I'll see ya there. :)

Friday, April 23, 2010

It's All About the Damage Baby

Maximizing your DPS
There are a few things I have learned relatively recently that I'd like to share. Some of these will have a decidedly warlock twist but you'll just have to put up with it.

Clipping DoT's is the term for casting a damage over time (DoT) spell or ability onto your target before the previous one has finished its complete damage cycle. I was amazed at the change I saw in my dps when I started paying attention to my ticks. A tick is how often a DoT does damage or when a DoT does damage. Not allowing your spells to fully complete a cycle on your target wastes your time and mana, and stops that spell from getting that last bit of damage out. It can also take valuable time away from casting other spells or abilities in the interim, or stacking on what you've just started.
Optimally you want to place your DoT back on the target just as it's wearing off. I am using a mod called in-line auras along with the built in bar timers that come with Bartender, and can see how much longer (in nice large easy to read numbers) each spell has left on it. The number displays right over the spell on my bar along with the GCD timer. Taking into consideration casting time, I will begin casting my next spell as the one that's on my target reaches 2 or 1 second left. For instant cast the time will differ of course. That will insure I get all the ticks out of my DoT and, if done correctly, will keep the damage flowing without missing a beat.

I had always heard about and looked at rotations and tended to follow one myself. Lately, while investigating more in-depth, I have seen a lot of information that leans more toward priorities rather than rotations. I first encountered this when I was looking for prot warrior information.
Since then I have seen it quite a bit and have come to believe that everyone functions on this system. Based on your spec, glyphs and what you may be wearing at any given time, spells and abilities change and fluctuate. Every change in gear can mean your timing changes. Perhaps you have more haste than hit or vice versa. That can make a big difference in how your rotation FEELS. And that is the key. Have an understanding of your spells enough to be able to make those subtle changes as you adapt to changes in your gear or your environment. This is where priority comes in. Priority becomes important when you get into the maintenance phase of your dps. What I mean by that is you're in the middle of a boss fight. You have applied your openers and are now in a state in which you maintain and increase your dps for the remainder of the fight. As DoT's end and fall off you are re-applying and then using some sort of maintenance spell in between your DoT's and your major abilities while they are on cool down. You make that decision based on what ability becomes available next and if more than one does, what priority those need to be re-applied in. Basically, your rotation is your opener. Your priority will determine your maintenance during the fight. This is of course barring other elements occurring during the fight such as moving out of the goo on the floor. Those elements will cause you to reevaluate your priorities during the fight.

This is twofold. First, if you have spells or abilities which benefit from each other you should know what those are and how they work. It is like buffing your spells. As an example this is my opening rotation for my lock.
Life Tap
Hit my trinket
Curse of Doom
And then I begin my maintenance with Incinerate
I have Glyph of Life Tap
Looking at all these elements you can see how they stack on top of each other. Life tap with the glyph converts spirit and buffs my spell power followed by popping the trink which adds even more. I then cast my DoT's which will tick with a greater intensity and CoD will time out with more damage. This will also boost my Immolate. Conflag damage will then get a boost off my Immolate. I have Glyph of Conflagrate which allows my Immolate to keep ticking, while the Conflag itself gives me burst damage and causes Backdraft to start. Backdraft gives me a haste boost going into the beginning of my maintenance phase. Basic priority then becomes which of these come up first, but stacking them correctly as they time out is what makes the difference. Usually this specific casting list comes up in my rotation every 2-2.5 minutes (taking into account reaction time), when my trinket goes off CD. In the mean time it is balancing which of these elements becomes available and stacking them appropriately. Life Tap is kept up continuously, as well as Immolate and Corruption (no clipping). In between is Conflag, Incinerate and Chaos Bolt when it becomes available. In that order to get the most from each spell.

The second part of this is the finish. If you've run in any kind of raid or large group and have been on vent you may have heard your Raid Leader suddenly shout out "Blow all Cool Downs!!". For the longest time I would look down at my spells and think "what cool downs, I'm in the middle of them all already.". For the most part this is true but I have begun potion stacking during the more intense portions of a boss fight or towards the end when your raid partners are dieing and you are racing against an enrage timer.
Once that call is made, as soon as I can I begin the above rotation again with the intention of maximizing everything available. This time along with the Life Tap and trinket I will also pop one of these potions; Wild Magic or Speed. I carry both with me. I also have begun stacking in Flame Cap. Since you can only pop one potion per fight I try my best not to use Health or Mana potions and when in a bind go for my Healthstone first. A Warlock should NEVER be without one.
Throwing in all 4 of my spell buffs; LT, Trink, Pot and Flame Cap followed by the additional haste and damage bonus with Conflag can be awesome. If you can time it on top of Shammy Heroism/Bloodlust you have a winning combination.
The "trick" is to get all the boosting items you can that will stack on top of each other. Flame Cap is a BC herb that I used to use but had dropped a long time ago thinking it was outdated. Truth is it still offers an additional 80SP that I didn't have before. Considering that my large damage spells are all flame based this was an obvious choice to include. It probably would not help anyone else except a Pyro Mage or possibly Elemental Shaman. In addition it is good for 1 minute and can be used again during a single fight after the CD. I can pump out a lot of spells in 1 minute :)

How do I do this?
Regardless of your dps class or spec these tips will help you get more out of your abilities. The first thing to do is to look at your talent trees. Read up on what tree you would like to pursue, then do some research on what talents will help you get the best out of that spec. I have always enjoyed Destro so I had to go out and find the best way to talent and play that spec.
A helpful beginner site is WoW Poplar. This site not only provides the most popular specs but the most popular glyphs, enchants and gems for each one. If you want to get into the number crunching try Elitist Jerks (EJ). If you want more class specific websites go to WoW Wiki. In the search box type in your class/spec such as Arcane Mage or Combat Rogue and down at the bottom of the page is usually a list of websites dedicated to that class or spec. I use The Warlock's Den to get into more class specific discussions.
Second, open up your talent tree. Mouse over and read what your talents do. Moreover, have an understanding of them. So often these days we race to 80, grab a spec that works and then expect to just play it. Without a basic knowledge of what you're doing and how each ability works and is applied you will fail. Case in point, I am horrible on my ret pally. Why? Because I have not taken the time to understand what I'm doing, I just hit buttons. Yes, I admit it. That's her off-spec so I don't pay much attention where I should.
Third, understand your rotation and priorities and why. You have to know what ability benefits from another before you can apply them correctly. Again, refer to my ret button-mashing mentioned above.

I know some of this is basic information, and perhaps common sense. I am one of those people that has to understand the pieces to see the whole picture so it took me a while to really get it. I only hope that some of the knowledge I've gleaned can help someone else along the way.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Ain't I Pretty? Gemming your Destro Lock

I put this together because I was losing track of what I had and what I needed. It started as a rather strange looking outline lol.
This is by no means the end all be all of gemming, but I have found this works for me. It's a little clunky in this format but it works well enough.
As with anything WoW, as your gear changes you will have to re-evaluate all your gem choices and slots seeking the best combination.
While Hit is normally my #1 priority followed closely by Haste and Spell Power, I have found I'm giving up some Hit for Spell Power lately. I guess it's all about the burn ;)

This will of course change when Cataclysm comes out. But until then...happy gemming!

For Meta socket --> Chaotic Skyflare Diamond


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Warlock Preview - Cataclysm....The Wait and See Approach

All right... so being a warlock I feel like I should have something to say about the preview that was posted. (click the header for direct link to the forum post) Albeit a bit late.
Truth is, I don't have much to say.

Let's see....
New spells;
Fel Flame, looks kinda cool. I love the fire ;)
Dark Intent, sounds similar to the focus a mage has. Might be interesting and another proc to work off of. I've always been interested in contributing more to a group in terms of buffs so this might be something to play with.
Demon Soul...ok I have a beef with this. First, the Demon Soul was an item in many of the WoW books that the orcs used to control the red dragonflight and Alexstraza. It was created by Deathwing himself to take over and rid the land of all but the blacks. Seems like a terrible waste of a name for a class spell. Second, the explanation doesn't make much sense to me. I guess until they release what demon will provide what type of "self burst cool down" (whatever that means), we will just have to wait and see.

Soul Shard Overhaul.  Pfft. Until I see it and exactly how they implement it I really have no idea. Right now it sounds like a version of the DK runic system. This makes me unhappy. So I'm going to pretend I don't know anything and wait and see.

Curses turned to Banes?? Ok yea I guess.
Demon mechanic changes; Sounds like that combined with the dev chat from last night means more CC. I'm good with that and hope it's interesting.
New Talents; some interesting stuff but nothing great. Shortening CoD would be pretty cool since I use it during all large boss fights.
Mastery; nothing more than I expected.
Fire Direct Damage Increased. Sounds good to me.

Really, in case you couldn't tell, I'm just gonna see how it turns out. All I wanted was stacked soul shards and they're changing the whole damn system around! How happy I am with it will depend on how it changes my game play. I am really worried about being a mage with a pet. I want it to continue to have it's own distinct class feel and all I can do is hope that Blizz will make the right choices.
Only having seen bits of info here and there I hesitate to make any guesses about how it will all work out.

Twitter Dev Chat

Twitter Dev Chat from last night is posted. Here is the forum link. Not a whole lot of new info but some insight into what they're trying to get out for Cataclysm.
(click on this posts title to go to the site)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Busy Bee

Hey! It's been way too long but life has happened with a vengeance.I have had relatives visiting and then out of town to visit other relatives. Not to mention work is a bitch and is driving me crazy.

In game our guild has gotten all the way to Festergut and we should be downing him tonight. yay KG!!
We seem to be having issues with raid combination for Saurfang. Since we are normally melee heavy we have been having to swap out people for the Saurfang fight. I am not happy about that. I don't like to bench people or bring in people for just a fight or 2. The problems we face are that we don't have a usual raid group. We have a core that is almost always there but there are about 4 spots that end up rotating depending on who shows up. The bane of being casual I guess. We just don't have folks that can show every night. That means that the raid composition changes nightly and sometimes we are having to start from scratch explaining fights.
I am trying not to be too annoyed because really I'm happy we're going at all. But it is hard to stay focused and not get frustrated when we are explaining a fight for the 10th time and wiping on something we should have down better by now. Maybe my expectations are too high? I don't know...I do know that some nights I am part of the problem, so who am I to talk. It's always easier to point fingers at other people or factors right?

It feels like I haven't had much time to do anything but raid and prep to raid these last few weeks. I can't wait to have a Pajama Sunday this weekend. It's been like 3 weeks. Get some farming done, level some stuff, do some JC on my warrior. Yea yea, that's the ticket. :) Have some fun with the guildies...though I have to say that raiding these past few days have been the most fun I've had all week with work being so shitty.

Future plans:
1) Spend some time with the TNB Wiki and get some work in.
2) Start guild info blogging stuff....still formulating plan
3) Review warlock cataclysm preview, though really I don't have much to say but I'm sure I'll find something

Oh hey, I have found a WoW meet-up group in my area. Totally awesome way to find others in the community I think. Looks like someone is trying to plan a Blizzcon meet-up as well.

Here is the Orlando Meet-Up group site. WoW Meet-Up
All I did was Google WoW, my area, and "meetup" to find them.


Friday, March 26, 2010

Love for the Guild

To some who raid regularly this might not seem like a big thang. For anyone who's been there you may understand the pride I feel for my peeps.

We have been raiding randomly for years. For years we have tried to get enough people and time to put together a group that could go.

Without giving tons of back story we have had quite a roller coaster of no go's and fails over the long history of KG. At one time we were raiding regularly and stuck in Kara only to lose a significant portion of people due to egos and the want to raid too often. I know, its an oxymoron, but let me say our guild is casual. We have people of all levels and I expect as their leader that everyone gets time. I expect guild members to go out and help other lower level toons or new people. I refused to let a raid group trash that idea. They were not interested in the rest of the guild, they wanted to raid only and wanted to be treated better or different because of it. Now there is nothing wrong with that, it just doesn't fit who we are. So they took off. S'ok by me. 'Nuff said.

So we are many years later and we have a system that works. We have finally found enough people that feel the same way. They want to be part of a family guild, they want to pvp, they want to run others through dungeons, they want to quest and stand around in Dal and chat, but they also want to raid at a higher level.  This means that we don't raid regularly. Sometimes for weeks on end we simply get the weekly done and that's it. The best thing is that we're all cool with that as long as we are still moving forward, albeit slowly, toward something more. Trying something new, even if we don't succeed at first.

So to quit blathering on. We are moving through ICC! Amazing but true! Completely awesome! Having a blast! We are moving slowly. We have a 10man and right now in the last 2 weeks we've made it to Sauerfang. Now mind you, this is raiding 1 maybe 2 nights a week if we can get everyone together.

It ain't the top but man it ain't shit either. We have enough people that have taken the time to get the gear needed. They have taken the time to gear, gem and enchant their hearts out. They have spent some time learning the fights. All this amongst kids, family, jobs, loss of jobs, and all the general RL bullshit that comes down the pipe we have managed to stick by each other and make it work.

You might ask why? Why spend all that time? Why not bail for a guild that is raiding instead of waiting? Well, simply put, I like the people I run with and I enjoy my guild. I have a deep seeded loyalty that some of you may think is crazy, but that's ok. I have RL friends in my guild and have met in person a handful of others. I consider them friends. You don't just take off on your friends because they have hit some hard times. So I guess in that respect it's more personal than anything to do with the game itself.

I am so proud of my guild. The wonderful and vast range of people that make it up, run it and stand by it. If I could, I'd give them all a /hug, and maybe a /kiss too.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

This is a Test...

this is a test

Green Linen Shirt

Wow cool, I have now figured out how to add pop out mouse over tool tips into my blog.
Been working on that for a week to find the information and finally found someone who had actually written down enough steps for me to understand.

If you would like to do this too I will add it to my blogger help page but you can also follow this Blog Azeroth link here: Blogger How To  and read all of the posts...that was my first mistake, not reading all the way through.
Thanks to the contributors for their help :)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

A Little Love

Hey guys,
So I've decided to spread the Zabby love and put myself out there a little, as well as dedicate some time to some other WoW areas of the community.

I have volunteered to be a wiki-brarian for Twisted Nether Blogcast which is a podcast about their blog site about, of course, WoW.

I have also added myself to their Big List of Blogs as well as submitted an introduction at Blog Azeroth.

Both links I have included. If you're interested in reading more than just me, check it out.

If you found me through them I welcome you to my world, and as everything else around here...take it with a grain of salt and know that I do not proclaim to be exceptionally knowledgeable about anything in particular. Just highly opinionated. :)

The Twisted Nether Blogcast
Blog Azeroth

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Are You a, Person?

1) Fanboys play the game more than they actually work.
ME: not quite but close

2) Fanboys read every scrap of literature they find.
ME: almost, I don't read the comics and I only read a few blogs

3) Fanboys listen to every podcast ever made about WoW.
ME: I have 11 and growing...scary

4) Fanboys follow everyone on Twitter.
ME: yep!

5) Fanboys argue over gaming mechanics, specs, stats and anything else they feel strongly about.
ME: kinda...I will engage in light debate

6) Fanboys talk about WoW incessantly.
ME: whenever I can :P

7) Fanboys think their class is teh best, their guild is uber l33t, and all others are stupid.
ME: no never...well, hardly never...almost never??

8) Fanboys organize "game sessions".
ME: nope, unless you call "Pajama Sunday" organized

9) Fanboys troll the forums to point out how everyone else is a loser.
ME: not on your life...I'm usually one of the losers

10) Fanboys are geeks, nerds, freaks, dorks and generally crazy.
ME: yep totally, at least 4 out of 5

11) Fanboys go to conventions to meet other geeks, nerds, freaks, dorks and generally crazy people.
ME: would SO do this if I had more cash to splurge on that sort of thing

12) Fanboys know the devs by name.
ME: most of them yes, at least the key players

So what does this mean? I am very nearly totally a fanboy. Yea it's hard to admit but there it is. I just love this game!
So I am trying to look past the crappy lowlife hanger-on connotation of the word, and have decided that being a fanboy is ok in moderation. :)

**Disclaimer: This post was meant for fun. If I have insulted you in any way it was completely and utterly fabricated in your head.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Leveling the Old Fashioned Way.

I remember leveling my main. It was fun, interesting, always felt like there was something to do, and it was long.

It used to take 10 levels to get through a zone, and I'm talking vanilla WoW, and now BC.

You know what? I really liked it that way. I realize that I am probably in the minority these days. I hear a lot about how great it is to bring up alts really quickly, at least to 68.


This is my dilemma; I am raising a new "main" so to speak, on a different server. My horde toon is 65 and I have stopped playing her over the last week because I've run into an issue or two.

I would like to move through the content progressively and be able to see all the story-lines and lore available. That is the main reason I created a horde toon to begin with. Right now I feel like I've skipped a great deal in Old World story and am now in BC and hitting the same problem. I have completed Hellfire Peninsula and have moved on into Zangarmarsh, but as I said I'm 65. At this rate I will not get to see all the BC content either before it's time to head to Northrend. I'm bummed about that.

Second is professions. My leather working skill is so low that I will be spending a huge chunk of time simply grinding out leather. I do hate farming.
I had decided to do the Venomhide mount quest for the Venomhide raptor mount and took that time in Un'Goro to get my leather working at least to 303 so I could begin in Outlands. What am I going to do but farm to get out of BC? I am not looking forward to that.
Cooking didn't seem to be much of a problem but my fishing is STILL around 27.

Third is gold. Being this is my main toon on a new server I have no other toons to give me a leg up. I do not have regular flying skill and am just reaching a point where I will be able to afford it soon. I do have to say though, that I distinctly remember there being a gold shortage the first time around. Azeroth it seems is broke, or at least very cheap when it comes to paying their heroes. But in WoW's defense, the first time around we didn't fly until we were 70. By that time you had the cash.

All these add up to a not so great experience with leveling. Had I started WoW now, during this expansion, I don't know if I would have enjoyed the leveling process as much as I did way back in the day. All my friends would be even further off in the distance than they were then. 80 seems really far away when you're 14 or 27 or even 52.
The experience of going through all the zones and seeing everything has been so decreased you can literally skip whole areas of content and still level. Whole story-lines and ideas are just missed completely.

So that leaves me with my question. What do I do? Do I just continue, level and say screw the story and the content I want to see so badly and "start over" in Wrath? Do I continue leveling through BC as normal? At that rate I will be 75 by the time I move on to Northrend. This dilemma has stopped me short and I have not been able to decide where to go from here. I understand there is a great story in Nagrand so should I skip the rest of Zangar? What about Terrokar and Shadowmoon Valley? All those quests in Shattrath? Aldor or Scryer?? OMG!!

Ok...take a with the good out with the bad...

For me a great portion of the game is about playing the entire game not just end-game content. I bring up alts to explore new areas or to re-explore old quest lines I enjoyed or had forgotten about. I do not bring up alts to do heroic dungeons at 80 or to help my guild down a boss in TOGC. I am a firm believer in playing a toon for it's own enjoyment and not necessarily how much you can contribute to a raid group. Don't get me wrong. I know that that certainly has a place in the game and I enjoy my raiding. It is just not all there is to the game for me.

I still don't know what to do, and my toon still sits in Swamprat Camp waiting for me to make up my mind. /sigh
Nothing is going to get done this way.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Random Stuff About Me and My Toons

So I was writing my about page...finally I know. And I kept having to hit the backspace. I found I had just a bunch of silly tidbits of info I wanted to include for some random reason. So here is the list of silly little things you may or may not want to know about me ingame.

1) Zab was the first toon I ever created and she remains my main to this day.

2) I have 4 level 80's, each has maxed main professions.

3) I WILL get a horde to level 80. Currently she is 65 :P

4) All my toons are female.

5) Most all my toons have a backstory. All my high-level ones definitely do.

6) I have at least one toon of every race and I have tried every class at least once. The only ones I found I didn't care for are rogue and mage. I think it's because I'm just not that quick on the trigger.

7) I have RP'd in game and in more ways than I care to disclose in this post.

8) I always play with the game sound and when possible with a headset. I love the music and the immersion. Only once have I listened to my own music while playing. I was farming at the time.

9) I would rather farm the mats for something than buy them, I have not figured out why I do this.

10) I love to complete things. Achievements are the bane of my existence as I now have a built in "to-do list", and I feel the need to check them off. lol

That's it for now. If I think of any more possibly interesting things I'll edit or post another.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Cataclysm - Some Stat Changes Announced

First and foremost, for the full blue post please go here Forum Post 

Read it once, read it twice and then lets talk about it.

My initial response on the first read through was;
"Well Hell! Let's just all get a shield, wear mail and call it a day." The stamina stat changes lead one to believe that we shall all be equal. Or equal-ish. And..."Crap, those poor elemental shammies and balanced druids will have to do the same thing my warlock does now with spirit to spell power conversion, except it will be spirit to hit. Haven't we just moved the problem to somewhere else then?" I disagree with the spirit to anything conversion, having had to do it for all of Wrath. I felt stupid looking for spirit at first but have now gotten used to it. Frankly, converting one stat to another is frustrating. There must be an inherent gearing problem here somewhere that no one is talking about. Perhaps spirit itself IS the problem? I thought we were eliminating those this time around?
Finally, after the first read through I find I am terribly disappointed. These changes seem somehow so much more homogenizing than I expected. They also seem, at first glance, to be just as confusing as the stats we're currently working with. Block rating?? I had to scroll back up and reread what the hell that was in the first place. It's 30% plus something??

Ok so now I'm going to take a break. Go have some lunch. Let the initial shock wear off of seeing not at all what I expected to see. Then I will be back and reread this and see if it makes a bit more sense.

And Poof! We're back!
I have taken the afternoon to think about all this and have reread the post. My initial reactions still hold pretty much true. I read this out loud to my husband and the questions he through out were very close to what I had rolling around in my cranium.
Rather than rehash the whole kit and kaboodle, there are brief areas I'd like to look at.

Stamina - Because of the way we will be assigning Strength, Agility, and Intellect, non-plate wearers will end up with more Stamina than before. Health pools will be much closer between plate-wearers and other classes. 
  Armor - The way Armor mitigates damage is not changing, but the Armor stat has been rebalanced to mirror changes to the armor curve in Cataclysm. As a result, bonus Armor will go down slightly overall. We are also changing the mitigation difference among armor types so that plate doesn’t offer so much more protection than mail, leather, and cloth. 
Lead me to believe that I WILL be a tanking warlock! Now, where did I put that sword?

Block Rating - Block is being redesigned to scale better. Blocked attacks will simply hit for 30% less damage. Block rating will improve your chance to block, though overall block chances will be lower than they are today. 
What IS this? I guess I'm going to have to wait for EJ to find out what the formula is? Or how/what this means to me?

Being Removed from Items

Attack Power - This stat will no longer be present on most items as a flat value, though it will still show up on some process. Strength and Agility, which will be present on items, will grant the appropriate amount of Attack Power (generally 2 Attack Power per point of Strength or Agility) depending upon which stat a particular class favors. Agility may provide less Crit than it currently does.

Spell Power - Spell Power is another stat that you'll no longer see present on most items. Instead, as mentioned above, Intellect will grant Spell Power. One exception is that caster weapons will still have Spell Power. This allows us to make weapons proportionately more powerful for casters in the same way they are for melee classes.

Armor Penetration - This stat will no longer be present on items. Armor Penetration will still exist in talents and abilities.

Shield Block Value - This stat will no longer be present on items, since the amount blocked is always proportional to the amount of damage done. Talents and other effects might still modify the damage-reduction percentage from 30%, however.

OK, so either get rid of them or don't get rid of them. This "It doesn't exist but it does" shit, doesn't cut it for me.
Going Away Completely

MP5 - This stat will be removed from the game completely. Holy paladins and Restoration shaman will be redesigned to benefit from Spirit.

Defense - Defense is being removed from the game entirely. Tanking classes should expect to become uncrittable versus creatures just by shifting into Defensive Stance, Frost Presence, Bear Form, or by using Righteous Fury.

Spell Ranks - Spell ranks will cease to exist. All spells will have one rank and will scale appropriately with level. The levels at which you can learn certain spells are being changed in order to fill in some of the gaps, and we will be introducing some new spells to learn along the way as well.

Weapon Skill - This stat will be removed from the game completely. Classes will start with all the weapon skills they need to know and will not need to improve them.  
Happy with all of this but Weapon Skill. So I was just born knowing how to wield a mace?

If you are a Balance druid or Elemental shaman:
  • You will still share gear with Restoration druids and shaman.
  • Your gear will have Spirit on it. It won’t have Hit on it.
  • You will have a talent that converts Spirit to Hit. We will adjust talents accordingly so that you want about as much Spirit as, say, a warlock wants Hit.
  • Hit on rings and other such gear will still benefit you.
  • Raid buffs will no longer boost Spirit, so you shouldn’t find yourself unexpectedly over the Hit cap because of buffs.
I can only say, "I'm sorry". Having had to put up with the spirit to spell power conversion throughout Wrath I can only wish you the best with this one. My opinion of the gear issues stated above still stands.
In my mind I see a big chart on a wall with diagrams and arrows and stats and gear all over the place. There, right on the bottom right edge is a hole. Oh? We'll give that to balanced and elemental. The warlocks got moved to this (pointing at chart) gear spot over here with intellect and cloth gear. we're going to lump them in with mages until we can get this crazy shard UI figured out. Now what do we do with mail again? <scratch scratch>

OK. Now that I'm done being Negative Nancy over here....I had an expectation of a very pared down system harkening back to the days of vanilla wow. Where the core stats modified everything and all this mumbo jumbo didn't exist so much. Or was that all in my mind? It's possible after all that I'm romanticizing the pre-BC days. I really didn't spend any time raiding in them so I could be way off base here.
This is what I pictured.
Stamina = HP, possible defensive additions
Strength = defensive of some sort, block, melee crit
Agility = attack power, melee haste (after all what does agile mean?)
Intellect = mana pool, spell power, spell crit?
Spirit = mana regen
That's it. That's all that resides in my little brain. Hit can go away along with haste. Make it all a base modifier such as the 2 Stam=1AP.
I understand the need to boost through gear and I'm not trying to be dumb. However, in some cases the current proposed changes seem dumbed down to me. Scaling armor differently is a prime example. So much of what I am, what I do, and where I stand in relation to my group and mobs/bosses is based on my clothie status, that I'm kinda left without words. (You can now stand in the stupid, stupid. Oh god, I didn't just say that did I?)
No, I'm being overdramatic here. I don't expect this to be that massive that we can all go tank. But it sure reads like that at first glance.

In the end I am relying on Blizzard to make the right choices, and in a way I trust them to. I fear that they may be heading down the long slow road to death and I pray that is not the case. Truly I do. I hope that this glimpse is just a small piece and that the puzzle it fits into is much greater than the sum of it's parts.
Ever the optimist in the end.

*All excerpts are from the original post by Eyonix on 03/01/2010 and are the property of Blizzard Entertainment. The post, in its entirety can be viewed through the link provided at the beginning of this post.