Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Armory

I really like the Armory. I like being able to look at the "recommended upgrades" and check out what my guildmates and friends are up to. It breaks the monotony of work when I can use my couple of "quota-time" minutes to bypass the firewall and look at the beautiful purples that I want...

So it's sad when it doesn't work for me.

Oh yeah, I said that yesterday.

RIGHT that's what I'm here for.

PROOF that yesterday it said I had last been updated January 1st (not the 16th), 1970

Hmm... I should have changed it to my Melee stats, and been in catform. Rawr. Oh well... instead you can see that in my Mostly PvP gear I have 28 bonus damage and 80 healing yay! No wonder I heal like crap...

Alts with Professions are Too Much Fun

I love my main. Tigersoul, however, is in a bit of a rut. The only Honor purchases I might want make are the Vindicator's Band of Triumph, the Veteran's Band of Triumph (not too bad to have them both, although there are certainly better rings) and the Vindicator's Pendant of Triumph (although really I'm still holding out for Haramad's Bargain). Total Honor requirement for the 3 of them? 41,900 Honor. I currently have just over 3,000 because of my Tiger-funk. They also require 20 AV marks for the rings and 10 EOTS marks for the neck, but I've got those covered. (100 AV and 14 EOTS)

Tigersoul basically is to the point where the only real advancement he'll get is in Arenas and Heroics, and like I've mentioned before - I'm not a huge fan of PUG-anything. I did tank for a friend through the easy Steamvaults run to the 2nd key frag, so I WAS able to get one step closer to attunement. That place is quite confusing if you've never been there and are taking the back way - I could see anything through all the plants and was QUITE confused! All that's left for Kara attunement is Arcatraz, Old Hillsbrad and BM yay!

I need to get my guild to start running regular instances for a while. I think some of our almost 70s would appreciate our help.

In the meantime - I've been leveling my Rogue Katryona (28 now) and my Priest Silverthorne (32) but more importantly or rather more FUN... their professions! Katryona is a Miner/Engineer, and Silverthorne is a Tailor/Enchanter. My problem... They are both basically at 225 in their respective crafts... and they can't advance to the next level (up to 300) until they are 35. D'oh! I need to get them leveled! As a side note on rogues and druids... IF I were to advocate giving cat-form more rogue-like abilities - VANISH would be my number one request. Somebody was saying Pick Locks (?!?!?!) but uhmm..... that'd be a talented kitty I must say. Vanish I could live with. I LOVE it!

About Engineering...
I like goggles and bombs.
For a decent guide from 1-375 if you are powerlevelling Engineering - TenTonHammer has a great guide. However I will have you know that Katryona isn't following that guide because she is having WAY too much fun using her Advanced Target Dummies and wearing pretty much useless Fire Goggles because they look cool... along with all the other fun bombs and toys that come with Engineering.

Finally, I can't seem to get WoWArmory to work for me lately. That also means Warcrafter won't sync my data NOW (I'm a bit obsessive) which makes me sad. I DID get to the Armory earlier today, and I noticed something funny. In the bottom left where it says "Last updated" it said "Last Updated: January 16, 1970" Wow! That's a LONG time since it was updated!! I have a screenshot at work - and I WILL post it to prove it.

Friday, February 22, 2008

I am ANTI Gold Selling

In the World of Warcraft, Gold is a WONDERFUL thing. It is shiny. It makes me happy. I like it. I have to spend LOTS for even prettier purples and shiny enchantments for those purples.

It gets expensive. What?? 5000g for an epic flier? Almost 5000g to get five tabs in your guild bank? How in the world (of warcraft) can I afford that!?

Maybe I should spend some REAL money for FAKE money...

BAD IDEA. Don't do it. has a great write up of why gold selling is bad.

I personally have never considered buying gold. Was it a pain in the butt to get the five grand required for epic flight? Yes. Was it frustrating? At times, yes, which is even more annoying because this is supposed to be a GAME. Was it worth it? YES! Why? The time spent doing dailies, farming clefthoof and knothide leather, motes, etc etc actually was a lot of fun as long as I made it fun. AND now that I have the epic flight - those dailies that were a grind are actually a LOT more fun with epic flight. So yeah, it was a pain, but it was worth it.

Which brings me back to buying FAKE money, with REAL money. That doesn't make much sense. I mean would you go out and spend a hundred bucks to get 1,000,000 dollars for your Monopoly game? Of course not!

Now if there were a way to LEGALLY sell that fake money for REAL money... I'd be all over that. But it's not legal. You signed the TOS so please have some integrity and keep your word.

Blizzard over the years has been kind of quiet about the issue at first, but now they are much more active about it. Good for them I say!

Thanks to BBR for giving me something to write about today - his article is better. Go read it.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Best Comic Ever


As a Feral Druid I must say...

Best. Comic. Ever!

Thanks to a post by BBR at Random Ravings of Warcraft, I was able to spend WAY too much time reading Goblins! then further research made me spend WAY too much time reading webcomics. And so I finally found Dark Legacy.

Woops. I'd better log in and see how my guild is doing.


(Seriously though - I LOVE ALL Droods!)

Druid Army Fun

I leveled Treesoul to level 6 yesterday while watching "Pride and Prejudice" with my wife. (Very girly show... but quite silly and I actually did enjoy watching it so I couldn't do dailies, but I COULD do low level Night Elf Quests!).

When I got to level 5 I had a whispered conversation with a random person that went something like this:

Random Nelf - "Hey can I join your guild?"

Treesoul - "Are you a druid?"

RN - "no I'm a hunter"

Treesoul - "If you are a hunter why would you want to be a part of the Druid Army?"

RN - "Oh, um, nevermind then"

Really there isn't much point in other people joining this silly little guild. At least in its current status with nobody in it but my 2 Druid alts and a few guildies never-played Druid alts...

BUT - was I being rude? I thought it was kind of funny, but on reflection maybe I was being rude.

What do YOU think?

Monday, February 18, 2008

Blog Azeroth: How did you come up with your character names?

I'm very bad at keeping up with the Blog Azeroth Shared Topics. But I don't mind too much because I'll miss some here and there, and do some of the others. That's what works for me and I'm sticking to it.

So how did I come up with my characters names? Sit back and get ready for a big entry - not because my reasons are deep, but because I have a lot of Alts! But for the purposes of this shared topic, I will mostly constrain my explanations to my main server of Dragonmaw

Early Original Names:

- My Main, 70, druid, my favorite character name I am using. WAY back before I was even in High School, I created a group of adventurers who I was going to write books and/or video games about. I drew pictures of them, and even created and used them at the Inn of the Weary Traveler, a WBS RP Chat room. Tigersoul was NOT, however, the lead character in these adventures, rather the best friend and right-hand-man (or maybe left) of the main character. But since you can't have titles like General or Warlord in WoW names, and simple names like "Blade" are never available, my major character name that I use almost everywhere on the web was unusable. So Tigersoul became my main. I like Tigers, and this character had a special affinity for animals and especially characteristics of a Tiger. So a druid fits perfectly eh? I actually have a Tigersoul Rogue, Hunter, and Warrior throughout various servers, but my Druid is the REAL Tigersoul.

Silverthorne - Human Priest, lvl 31 - Silverthorne also came from the same group as Tigersoul - he was the noble-born patron and sometimes helper of the group. He was probably more a mage than a healer... but oh well, my guild needs more Priests so there you have it! Interestingly, there is a high level Silverthorn on my server, so occasionally I get high level items mistakenly mailed to me. I always mail it back because no way am I going to keep something not meant for me. (Grateful people have sent me money even though it wasn't expected! Nice!)

Katryona - Human Rogue, lvl 24 - I have a degree in Russian, we were considering naming our daughter this, but decided not to. Still, it fits my idea for this sexy dangerous spy/assassin/rogue. Engineering is fun too, so I'm looking forward to getting her closer to endgame!

Later Names derived from Tigersoul aka "The Soul Clan":

Soulsword - Human Warrior, lvl 46 - Plate wearing sword wielding member of the Soul Clan, Adopted of course since the only born members of this family are Night elves... So pretty simple deduction as to why he's Soul-Sword.

Soulfist - Draenei Shaman, lvl 23 - My first main on my first server was a Tauren Shammy named Bullfist. Some of my guild from there moved over to Dragonmaw with me, so Soulfist was born when I had a hankerin' to roll an Enhancement Shammy. I love dual wielding magic casting totem dropping shammies! (Unfortunately, I DO like cows more than blue skinned demon-like things... but for some crazy reason which I'll never understand, the honorable, spiritual, and not very violent Tauren are Horde) So Bullfist transformed into Soulfist.

Soulspark - Draenei Mage, lvl 13 - Even though mages don't really have any electrical type powers that I know of... I liked Soulspark more than Soulfire or Soulflame... so there you have it. She's kinda spunky.

Angelsoul - Night Elf Hunter, lvl 14 - Simple mix of guild name "Angels of Wrath" incorporated into the Soul clan. I like the hunter class, but for some reason I'm having a bit of a problem with her.

Moonsoul - Night Elf Druid, lvl 8 - Founding member and current acting guild leader of the Druid Army. He's a Balance Druid, (or WILL be rather - 100% no changes!) and Tigersoul's younger brother. Moonkin all the time in the future... so his name will make a lot more sense then!

Treesoul - Night Elf Druid, lvl 2 - Officer of the Druid Army, she's a bit slow right now... and isn't anywhere NEAR the tree-form that is her namesake. Oh well. She's patient.

Silversoul - Dwarf Pally, lvl 8 - My kids wanted me to create this one for them, but I don't particularly like playing him too much... We'll see. Mix of my priest's name and the Soul clan. Only non-elf that has the soul at the end too.. woops.

Thursday, February 14, 2008


No I'm not talking about that cute little furry animal but about the notorious MMORPG phenomenon known as a P.U.G. (Pick Up Group).

I don't like PUGs! Am I original in declaring this? No way.

Earlier I wondered why I don't accept more Heroic instance invites... And part of it (as mentioned in that post) was that I wasn't sure I was geared enough to do it. I think that was actually a secondary reason and the MAIN reason is that I don't like to group with people I don't know for a variety of reasons.

So here are some of the reasons I don't like PUGs (aka "Why I don't run more instances")
Most of them, in one way or another connect to the others:

  • Real Life ALWAYS trumps WoW - Probably one of the biggest reasons I am not a Raider, even casually. I have a beautiful wife and 2 hilarious boys with another little girl on the way. While sometimes I would rather be tanking than changing a diaper... my Wife threat meter goes WAY off the charts - and I tell ya... NOBODY wants or needs that kind of aggro! I'm lucky my wife lets me play as much as she does!
  • Time - The time it takes to run PUGs in either Normal or Heroic is more time than I want to invest playing with people I probably don't know and more often than not don't even WANT to know. I don't want to waste your time, I don't want you wasting my time. Pretty basic there. I think I play a bit more than "Casual" players - but I'm not Hardcore either.
  • I'm a perfectionist - If I can't do it right I'd rather not do it. So, when other people who I don't know mess up and it causes me to think maybe I'm messing up as well - (or if they rush me) I hate it.
  • Flow - A really good PUG that meshes well and runs the instance flawlessly is extremely rare. I've been in one or two of these my whole WoW career and... WOW! Those were some awesome groups! (Had one in ZF - and that's all I can remember now, although I know it happened) BUT, the majority of PUGs are full of pushy greedy whiners that want to hurry and think they are the only one that is important or knows anything in the group.
  • Groups in General - I love the social aspects of WoW - I have some amazing friends and guildmates. But I like questing, exploring, and soloing more than I like partying. This was most obvious to me when I used to play FFXI and you basically couldn't go ANYWHERE past a certain level if you weren't in a group. That group or nothing requirement (and school) was probably why I quite FFXI. WoW has been very refreshing in that you don't HAVE to group up to get most things done.
Now don't get me wrong, sometimes PUGs can be awesome, and on some quests, PUGs are a great way to get things done (Nethermine Ravagers, or almost 80% of the other quests in SMV anyone?).

Also for some reason my dislike of them doesn't apply to Battlegrounds. You'd think it would because many of the problems most people have with PUGs happen MORE often in BGs than they do in Instance PUGs. Whiners, complainers, AFKers, people with no beneficial input other than "Man you guys all suck" etc.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Reputation is everything right?

Well I guess it depends what you WANT...

At least in the World of Warcraft. Increased reputation brings rewards. Weapons, Trinkets, Rings, Recipes for professions, and other less-corporeal forms like just wanting to be Exalted with EVERYBODY. Everybody possible anyway, sometimes it's just NOT possible. I mean you have to choose between Scryer or Aldor, Bloodsail or Booty Bay, Magram or Gelkis, and of course Alliance or Horde. The only way to get around this is by having an Alt have a different rep affiliation than you. And well really... that just isn't the same and probably doesn't COUNT.

Anyway lets take a quick look at my rep sheet. I am very happily almost exalted with EVERY Alliance force. Those dang Gnomeragan rep points are hard to get. 1,303 points away from Alliance Exaltation!

Now I DO have a plan, which is helped by Alterac Valley and the current Lunar Festival. I get 75 alliance points from every ancestor I get a coin from - so 18 more coins and I'm exalted. That takes a lot of time though, so I get rep in Alterac Valley. Alterac Valley for Gnome rep? How can this be?? Well remember all those quests that you USED to do in AV but now you don't because they are kind of pointless? Well... other than the polished armor buffs - I think it would be pretty difficult to summon the druid and the flight masters quests and catching goats just takes too long. BUT, if the other team is determined to Turtle (which most of the time they are these days - at least in my Battlegroup) why NOT turn in the armor scraps, medallions and (my favorite) globes to the quest acceptors in between waves. Why? REP POINTS!!! First off, you can get all the way to Exalted with the Stormpike Guard fairly easily, AND it gives you quite a bit of Ironforge rep as well. Once Stormpike and IF are maxed out, it tells you how much rep you are getting from the other Allied forces you haven't maxed yet. Currently for turning in 5 globes I get +19 rep with Gnomeragan exiles. Not bad. However. If you are playing AV for Honor - follow the tried and true method of following the masses and win - you'll probably get more honor. BUT, when the other team is turtling - might as well get some rep along with those 95 kills for the game right? Right! Mixing the coin rep with the AV should get me there pretty quick. Unfortunately I'm also trying to farm Consortium rep, Cenarion Expedition rep, Netherwing, and heck, let's throw Ogri'la and Kurenai in there too! Too much rep! It's CRAZY I tell ya!

For more info on rep, Nasirah over at "A Tale of Two Druids" has been posting some AWESOME rundowns of how to increase your rep with various factions. Lower City, Sporeggar, Kurenai/Mag'har, Cenarion Expedition and more - it's awesome! The rest of the blog is a nice read as well, focused mostly on Balance and Resto Druids. I highly recommend it!


Arenas are crazy.

They can last from as short as 30 seconds to 10 minutes.

The biggest factor in a successful arena is the way that team is setup for the bracket.

Lets take a look at MY arena teams and make a quick discussion as to the good and bad aspects of these teams. (Links to Armory Arena Teams pages for each one)

2v2 - "No juice for you" - Hunter, Druid - Basically all out DPS on this team with a little healing from me. The biggest problem on this team is ME because a) I don't heal enough b) I don't Root enough c) I don't cyclone enough. I'm working on it. 3-7, unfortunately we were doing these on a Monday night so we didn't get credit for the ten. With more practice I know we can win more than we lose.

3v3 - "Wrathful Angels" - Our most successful trio seems to be the Hunter, Mage, Druid combo (yay I'm part of it!) - Last night we only needed to do 4 matches to get everybody over the 30% mark to get points, and we won every one of them. Granted - we are down near the 1200 rating mark - but you'd be surprised how many people buy those lower teams and basically "power-level" them up back to a better rating. You can tell the difference between a team that really should be at that rating and one that shouldn't. We have 5 members of this team and the constant mixing to make sure everybody gets a shot at points makes us lose.

5v5 - "Deaths Angels" - Hunter Hunter Rogue Mage Druid. All DPS is probably NOT the way to go in 5v5. Especially when you are against a group with 2 pallies, or a mix of a pally and another healing class - you will die. We finally added a priest to the mix - with him healing and me providing backup heals and DPS - it SHOULD work out a lot better. Unfortunately, one of our Hunters is Pregnant, our rogue is in the Navy stationed in Guam, the other hunter and mage are in Australia - and I THINK the priest is too, but he parties a lot - so we haven't been able to try out our new setup. I think with the good experiences I've been having in 2v2 and 3v3, I'll be much more beneficial to the team - EVEN though I'm an arena gimped Feral...

There are LOTS of PvP strategies out there - but in my blog readings today, I was reading Kestrel's Aerie and he posted a link to A Dwarf Priest where there is an awesome entry on Priest PvP tips against other classes. I actually got some good ideas from reading it (on how to druid pvp better yay!) and even learned some things I DIDN'T KNOW!! ((There is also a GREAT synopsis of the "Love is in the Air" Holiday - I got TWO romantic picnic baskets yesterday - so I gave it to a friend instead of taking it out of the gift - the baskets can not be, but the gifts of adoration CAN be traded even after you opened it to see what it was!)

Like I said I felt like I needed to use Cyclone more to help - but there are DIMINISHING RETURNS on cyclone. From the Dwarf Priest:

Cyclone has diminishing returns (first time cast on you it lasts 6 seconds, the second time is 3 seconds, the third is 1.5 seconds, the fourth and subsequent times you are immune) which get reset if combat is left.
Now why didn't I know that? Probably just because I didn't use it enough to figure that out. :p So it looks like if I run away enough to "leave combat" I can then cast the 6 second Cyclone again, right?

Great! Running away strategies!

One thing I have noticed... Some druids are good at ONLY the "run away!!" strategy and not the "run away heal run away cyclone run away heal heal heal don't run away turn into cat form and mangle the face off that remaining opponent!" strategy.

Right... Sorry about that got a bit excited about that last part there as I was able to successfully do that in all the battles my 3v3 group had last night. We only had one death in all the matches we played last night. That's not bad!

Unfortunately - because I only had time for one thing (and logged off immediately after getting everybody to 30% played) - I missed out on a VERY kind invitation to run Sethekk Halls from my good friend Ethlite. Sorry about that Helstrike!! I really want my Swift Flight Form - all this time spent "mounting" my Nether Ray is just too much time wasted when I can insta-shift into flight!!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Blog Azeroth: Druid Challenge

Thanks to Bellwether at 4Haelz for the suggested challenge... it only took me two weeks to get it done...


Hypothetical situation: Blizzard has introduced a new underwater zone to WoW. Due to this, they start giving all classes underwater abilities. The druid seal form is now utilized for more than simple travel.

Your goal: Design abilities for the seal form! Is the seal a healer? Magical dps? Physical dps? Tank? Utility? CC? Something entirely new?

Accepting the thrown Gauntlet:

Of course the only thing that could even be remotely possible here is the
Tiger Shark! (Bull shark for Tauren) Get rid of that silly seal form, for it pales in comparison to this mighty beast of the sea!!

Heck, they even have the models in the game already!! (Night Elves get the sleeker Shark, and the Tauren get something like the Hammerhead model (See - MUCH cooler than that silly seal))

Sharks instill fear into the hearts of all who dare tread in shark-infested waters! Being such scary creature makes them a powerful DPS/CC mix.

Shark Form - Shapeshift into aquatic form, increasing melee attack power by 40 plus Agility, increasing swim speed by 50% and allowing the druid to breathe underwater. Also protects the caster from Polymorph effects and allows the use of various cat abilities.

Blood Frenzy
- Upon critical strike a 50% chance to increase attack power by 150% for 5 seconds, once every 15 seconds. (Talent investment to get this or improve it)

Tailfin Swipe - A quick spin whacking the enemy with a powerful swipe of the tail stunning the target for 4 sec. and causing 150% damage.

Mangle (Shark) - Mangle the target for 140% normal damage plus 142 and causes the target to take 30% additional damage from bleed effects for 12 sec.

Jagged Bite - Serrated shark bite with damage plus greater bleed effect.

Feed - Activate to regenerate 7% of total health every 2 sec. by consuming Humanoid or Marine-life corpses within 5 yds - lasts 10 sec - 2 min cooldown (yay stealing racial abilities!)

And finally, the ultimate shark ability...
Jaws Attack - Shark disappears and all enemies abilities (up to 5 in a 30 yd radius) and spells receive an increase of 1 second to cast until the music finishes and the shark appears behind the select target for a devastating blow (30 minute cooldown) Booyah! Even better... the potentially doomed target will receive a special item right before the final blow at the music's crescendo... This item too is already in the game... Message log: "You have received the dreaded item" BAM! You die. (BTW - a must have Lucky Item that should be in EVERY guild bank. 'Cuz I say so.)

An underwater area would be great! Maybe there's a faction of less-violent Naga or Murlocs that'll give quests and help you out!

Other BA Bloggers who completed the Challenge:
The Dread Mana Turkey
4 Haelz
Lost in the Grind
All Things Leafy (Love the HGTTG reference in the title!)

Enter The Druid Army!

Moonsoul has spent entirely too long at level 4. Why? Because he spent almost an hour running around for the new guild "The Druid Army!"

The Guild Charter was purchased, 10 signatures received (begging, payoffs and threats do wonders!), Charter turned in.

Hooray, The Druid Army is born!

Now to send Moon some more money to design a very Nature-y Tabard and begin seriously leveling to really experience the Awesomeness that are Druids of Balance and Restoration. I'm looking forward to Moonkin and Tree form!

In the course of getting the 10 signatures, I made a few new friends, and was again amazed by the willingness of my Angels of Wrath Guild members to help me out in my eccentricities. Amazingly, 8 of the ten original signatures for the charter were from Druids. 5 of them were AoW Guildies, 3 were random lowbie druids, and 2 Hunters. Wait a minute!! Who let those hunters in?!?! They both left (Thanks for signing the Charter!), and so did a few of the other druids who were just being nice (wouldn't even accept 'bribes' from me). So now the Druid Army consists of 5 or 6 druids... most of which will probably never be played.

Treesoul spent a lot less time leveling. She is ALMOST level 2, and we were able to get her into the guild, and she was able to help a couple of brand new people get used to the perils of Teldrassil. Tree is a VERY helpful and patient druid! I'm very proud of her.

Heroic Tanking - Part 2

I think I have found one of my possible dream jobs through WoW Insider. I wonder how many people would apply for something like that? Unfortunately - I don't have much gaming industry writing experience - and I doubt it would pay enough to live in Irvine, California!

-Heroic Tanking Part 2-

Shortly after writing my "Heroic Tanking" entry, I logged on and found a Depleted Badge for sale on the AH for 450g. I've been keeping my eye out for this baby for a long time now - and had earlier last week bid 500g for an already charged Badge of Tenacity, only to have the seller cancel the auction, then repost at 150g higher... So I bought out the new uncharged badge immediately and charged it up - making my tank gear very nicely at over 23k armor. I also got to Revered with the Netherwing yesterday and received the Commander's Badge, but I'm trying to decide whether the added Health is better for me than the Stormpike Insignia Rank 6... I like that +24 dodge and +Restore Health... (Oh and Mulv! You're going DOWN!!)

Last night I was bored, and tired of the dailies, so I decided to head to the Scrap Heaps near Area 52 to farm Zaxxis Insignias for Consortium rep. I'm determined to get that Haramad's Bargain for my DPS gear! Before I could even start to kill those Magical Mummies, I got a whisper from a former 2v2 partner.

"Hey bro, can you tank?" What kind of question is that - of COURSE I can tank! I'm a DROOOD!!! "We need your help in Heroic Slabs to kill Murmur" Now in my opinion Murmur isn't THAT hard of a boss to tank - it's pretty easy to keep him focused on me, and as long as the healer does his duty (which is much harder than the tanks duty - and I've thankfully had some good ones here!) nobody has to die. However I'd never done Heroic Murmur, but I figured this was a good chance to try out my new gear and get over my trepidation at tanking a Heroic.

I can do it. ("I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people LIKE me!")

Our party consisted of: Warlock, MS Warrior, Fire Mage, Shaman, and Feral Druid (tank/me). The Warlock in the group had been in my guild 30 levels ago so it was nice to see him again. But, after telling me "Dude, I'm fully epiced!!" he proceeded to ask me "Are you sure you can tank this?" Grrr...

Did I mention that ALL the trash had respawned? That meant I would be tanking through all the trash with no possible rewards/drops from the first three bosses... Lovely. Oh well I can use the Lower City rep and try out that Shapeshifter's Signet someday, right?! (Optimism FTW!!)

We (mostly) cleared the way up to Murmur's hall, we wiped on the first set of mobs due to a pull when one of those extra quickly-killed-by-Murmur mobs added and pulled the next set causing mass confusion...after that wipe, the party basically fell apart.

What caused our downfall, along with a few observations on Tanking and instances in general:

  • In a group pull of 4 or 5 mobs - let ME, the Druid Tank pull so that all the mobs come after ME initially and NOT the squishy puller. Makes it a LOT easier to start and maintain Threat. On one of these pulls of the Demons here I was able to somehow keep the Demon on me even though the puller had TWICE my TPS... VERY lucky we didn't wipe on that one.
  • Haste makes Waste - I don't think people realize how TRUE this is in all areas of life, and WoW. Rushing through ANY instance is more likely to lay waste to the party many many many times than it is getting you to your objective faster. Patience and strategy can make life SOOooooo much easier. Relax! Take a deep breath! Take it easy!
  • Don't change the Mark for sheep from Circle to Moon without informing the polymorpher
  • DON'T HIT THE SHEEP!! ((Sadly this is a reminder for myself... happened THREE TIMES last night - BUT - when I'm trying to get all 4 mobs off the early pull by a clothie who was trying to show how important it is to pay attention and hurry without TELLING anybody he was going to pull...(and ignoring the first point above..) I can forgive myself that mistake in the resulting confusion, especially if only the puller dies and we are able to get out of it.
  • Don't take too many shortcuts. It can come back to bite you. HARD.
  • Don't complain about a healer that's actually doing a good job in a kind of weird group... If you are dying a lot more than everybody else, that might just be one of the reasons why! ((along with pulling too early, pulling instead of the tank and getting too much threat right off the bat, pulling the wrong guy... etc.))
Nothing new there really... but wow!! Every one of these happens a lot! Every one of them happened a lot last night too. Was I perfect? No way! I have a lot to learn.

I think another reason I often decline invitations to run Heroic instances is I don't like to rush or be rushed. If I feel like I can't put 100% into an endeavor because I have something I need to do soon, causing me to be impatient, then it's not worth doing as it will most likely be done badly. (This is true in real-life for me as well) Am I a slow person? Heck no - I like to get things done fast, but more importantly, get them done RIGHT. Rushed people don't work at optimum quality or efficiency. And they die. A lot.

So in answer to the question I asked in my last entry; Can I tank Heroics? (Slabs was a GREAT place to check this theory eh?) I will answer that question with an emphatic YES.

But... before I do Slabs again - I want to get some more experience in what I'll call "Heroic Party Mechanics" in some of the lower Heroics... ;-)

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Heroic Tanking

To date - I have been in 1 Heroic instance (Ramps) as DPS and occasional OT. 15 gold in repairs later and the PUG disbanded not very nicely.

Almost every day I receive at least one Whisper from a random person, "Do you want to tank Heroic *insert instance here*?" Most of the time I get these as I'm doing Dailies, helping a guildie with something, or MOST often; about to log off.

Occasionally though, one will catch me when I'm not doing anything important. And almost always, I decline.

WHY? I want to run Heroics, I currently have no Heroic Badges so I can't improve my gear that way or improve my Profession with Primal Nethers. (LW 371 currently) I'm also a Rep-Whore and LOVE getting closer to exalted in any Faction (I joked in /guild last night that I was going to get exalted with the Magram Centaur in Desolace...) - and I need the rep from the Heroics to advance in standing with Lower City, Cenarion Expedition, etc. (I want that Earthwarden!)

So why do I decline? PART of it is I'm a bit worried about working with a PUG and everything that goes with that. Mostly - I worry my gear isn't good enough. The thing is, as long as there is a decent healer, I should be fine in many of the heroics, I think.

Here is a quick list of my tanking gear - which you can't normally see on the Armory because I am almost ALWAYS in DPS/PVP gear when I log off.
Head - Stylin' Purple Hat (Probably replacing with s2 or s3 in the next few weeks)
Neck - Necklace of the Deep
Shoulders - Gladiator's Dragonhide Spaulders
Back - Cloak of the Valiant Defender
Chest - Heavy Clefthoof Vest (Might switch to my Gladiator's Dragonhide Tunic... slightly less armor but...)
Wrists - Vindicator's Dragonhide Bracers
Hands - Vengeful Gladiator's Dragonhide Gloves
Waist - Manimal's Cinch
Legs - Heavy Clefthoof Leggings
Feet - Vindicator's Dragonhide Boots
Rings - Delicate Eternium Ring, Ogre Slayer's Band
Trinkets - Stormpike Insignia Rank 6, Ancient Draenei War Talisman (wow need to improve these!)
Weapon - Braxxis' Staff of Slumber (someday... Earthwarden)

After MOTW (so basically self buffed) I end up with just under 22k armor, 12.8k Health, just over 29% dodge and am uncritable due to Resilience. What do you think - is this Heroic Instance Tankable gear?? I could use some help here I think. :)

In the end I think it just comes down to Instance experience. I'm lacking - I need it. I think that's my biggest problem.

HA in other silly "stroking my huge ego" news...over at Gankbang I'm FOURTH in Alliance Dragonmaw Feral Druids in Health, and in the top ten for Stamina I think, and something like 31st in Attack power. What does this all mean? Absolutely nothing because all of this info changes all the time, and other than pulling from the Armory, I have no idea how they get all the info - but it's kind of fun to see anyway. :p

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Layout Changes

First off - sorry for the long long post earlier today - I'm working on only making you read monsters like that if you want to!

I'm working on the layout a bit right now because I'm not too fond of the current theme.

I mean a Tiger with little flower bullet points?!?!? Rawr I'm scary... Yikes.

So I will fix this soon.

Thanks for your patience!

Netherwing Dailies: Not So Friendly Skies

The Netherwing quests are important.

I mean come on. After you do them a LOT you get a Dragon! You also get Gold! LOTS of GOLD! You DO like Dragons and Gold don't you?

If you DON'T like dragons or self-earned gold I might have to wonder a few things about you... But I digress.

Last night was a very interesting one. I started doing the Netherwing Dailies for more Gold (Remember GOLD! = SHINY!! = Awesomeness!!) and rep, beginning with finally finishing "The Not So Friendly Skies" quest to get the Netherwing Relics from the Dragonmaw Transporters.

I hate this quest. It takes far too long for what you get out of it. So usually I spread this one "daily" over a couple of days. I'm not alone either! Kestrel over at Kestrel's Aerie (Not a druid blog but a very good read anyway) feels the same way too. So I thought some observations on how to more efficiently do this quest might be in order.

So here is my little guide to doing this quest. In other words... This guide is WAY too long for what it entails. You have been warned.

In my experience there seems to be 3 spots where you have a good flow of Transporters to kill, have just enough time to heal yourself a bit, and kill. I have ranked them in order from the most constant to least. Of course - Which one is best for you might be different, so I suggest you try all of them if you can and decide for yourself. The usefulness of these spots also depend on who's killing what where - which might be why I was ganked by Horde later - which I will tell you about after this list.

1 - Best - "The Docks" (Coordinates ~75, 78.4)

  • Pros: Consistent Flow of Transporters; Good pulling distance; Fast
  • Cons: Dragonmaw Ascendants Nearby;
Just to the Northwest of the Transporter Docks where those two Dragonmaw Ascendants are (I hate those guys), there is a spot where a Nether ray floats around and often there is a Netherbloom there as well. Quite close to the docks - but if you stay towards the edge (but still safely away) the ascendants will leave you alone and you can safely pull the transporters. Kill the Nether Ray and you have a VERY nice spot for farming the Relics. If only the drop rate were higher so you could get this over with faster. Ignore the transporter that just stands there at the end of the dock - (at least on my server he's standing there) he doesn't move. I pull with Feral Faerie Fire usually RIGHT after they take off from the dock. They then fly straight down to you and you can kill them. If you pull before they take off, they run back down the docks by the Ascendants and around - so if you are a caster this might be better than pulling them right after they take off as it gives you more time to blast away. If you get in a rhythm here, they respawn shortly after you kill them - making this the fastest place to kill them in my experience. Only bad things about this spot - don't aggro the Ascendants, watch out for the respawn of the Nether Ray (if you are out of mana they start draining it and don't stop, so I couldn't shift back into cat to waste him so be careful!), and watch out for gankers.

2 - Next Best - "Dragonmaw Stronghold Peaks" (72, 76 and there abouts)
  • Pros: Fairly safe; Easy pull; Not too much competition (usually); Good stream of Transporters if you are lucky; finally nice Air Elementals and Nethers Ray things below to farm for [Motes of Air] and [Fel Glands] for the "Slow Death" Netherwing Daily (fun quest but I have some issues with it...)
  • Cons: Sporadic spawn rate at this path is ridiculous sometimes; Nothing else to do here - you're just sitting on a peak unless you want to get carried away killing rays and elementals anyway...
Just South of the Dragonmaw Stronghold there are two peaks that conveniently fall right under the paths of a couple of Transporters that fly out from the stronghold. Doesn't take long for you to see where they are if you just watch where they spawn. If you get a good respawn rate (I think it depends on who's killing transporters in other spots) it can be fairly consistent. Kill and hope the relics drop fast! There aren't too many bad things about this spot - it probably would have been closer to number one if the Transporters spawned more consistently.

3 - Last Best - "Floating Island"
(73.5, 76.5)
  • Pros: 2 convenient paths of Transporters to choose from. Probably the best spot if you are in a group because you can get two at a time if you are lucky.
  • Cons: Probably the most used spot (varies on how many people are doing this quest I think!)
Just North West of the Docks, a bit further North and West than where you camp the Transporters for spot number one. The first of the two paths comes straight in from the North on the NE side of the island - swoops in from high, you can even melee this guy instead of ranged pulling. The second path flies in from the higher island to the East - he follows the Southern edge of the island just out of range, then veers North at the Southwestern edge of the island where you can pull him as he flies over you - ranged pull only. The Southwestern route seems to be the most constant one on this island - probably because people are killing the Northern path from the Peaks. This is the easiest spot probably - but I think because of the competition this place ranks lowest. Also the transporters are sometimes buggy and fly off away from you after you pull them, which is really annoying.

My Experience

I first flew to my #3 floating island spot (my list wasn't cemented in ranks then and that one is the most accessible), there were 2 Horde there killing them - a Belf Pally and Tauren Shammy. At first I didn't see them though (Lag Grr) so I pulled a Transporter and as I "entered combat" and began wailing on the orc in kitty - I noticed that while it hadn't been grey before, suddenly it was and me killing this guy would do me no good - and the two hordies suddenly popped out of nowhere and killed him. I flew away to find a different spot for farming the transporters, because it's not fun getting into a gank-fest whilst doing the Netherwing Dailies! I still don't know how that pally could keep stealing my pulls though.

I flew to the Docks and proceeded to kill about 20 of the Transporters and accumulate five of the Netherwing Relics, which is actually a pretty good drop rate for this quest, when the Pally and Shammy appear and start stealing my pulls again. I was quite annoyed and moved a bit closer to the Ascendants and spam-moonfire pulled, figuring if I got enough aggro they couldn't steal my pull (which was correct) and they then attacked ME. I killed the Transporter (wasn't going to let them have THIS one) and they finally wore me down. (Both of them had a mix of Kara and s3 gear - and I have mostly s1 gear with a few s3 pieces and some quest rewards)

I flew back from the Scryer base ready for payback and laid into the Shammy getting him to about 10% before the Pally noticed what was happening (:p) and they both went all out against me. I was down to about 10% myself when a fellow Druid Helstrike (recently Resto-specced) happened by and joined in the fight, healing me (Nice guy GAL (sorry!) - we've helped each other out in the mines a few times - and shocker of shockers - she actually read this blog!! And LIKED it! Wow) and turned it into a fun and long lasting fight. The Horde had better gear than us but we were definitely holding our own and wearing them down when a Horde Rogue showed up - he had comparable gear to mine, which shifted the odds back to their side. I switched to the Rogue because I have a much easier time against them, but both the pally and the Shammy were healing away so we eventually both died - but it was a lot of fun. I think that my killing the Transporters at the docks had dried up their paths, so they came to find out why. :)
Further testing will be required. If only I didn't hate this quest. :p I still have 5 more relics to get to turn that one in.

Most of the time, even on a PvP server, places like Netherwing and Ogri'la have an unspoken truce so people can complete the dailies - but when somebody starts ganking (and I promise it's never me!) it turns into all out war - it's kind of funny, but sometimes really annoying. I'll have a rant on Ogri'la soon enough!

Hopefully this *little* (extremely bloated) guide will help somebody complete this annoying quest a little bit faster - and maybe even enjoy it a little bit!) :)

Monday, February 4, 2008

A Couple New Baby Druids and More

So reading wonderful blogs like Resto4Life and The Dread Mana Turkey have made me think,want to explore the other Druid Specs; Restoration and Balance.

Tigersoul has a TINY bit of experience with Resto because frankly, he couldn't live without Omen of Clarity!! He also recently changed to a more Feral-friendly Naturalist in the Rest-tree from a long time in Nature's focus (um, I still don't know how that happened, but that no spell interrupt boost is actually nice!) He has no experience with Balance other than partying with one a few times. (Moonkin dance is nice, but I luvs me sum dancin' bear!)

However, Tigersoul is very stubborn. He has a hard enough time turning into a Bear because he's a TIGER for cryin out loud! So there is No Way he is going to respec balance or resto. He's very adamant about this, even though it might make him more viable for PvP or Guild instance activities.

So I'd like to introduce 2 brand new additions to my "Alt Army." Going off the name I already have for my feral drood - I decided to make a nice little happy druid family. I'll probably make them their very own guild (which is something I originally considered naming my current guild "Angels of Wrath" initially) called the "Druid Army!" Yah!

Treesoul - A Tree? With Soul? Must be Resto! Treesoul is a pretty elf who we are happy to have added to the family. She's sad that she can't turn into a tree for a long time, but she's not too sad about that because she has a LOT of patience. Because of her brothers she HAS to be patient otherwise she'd probably throw them both in some roots and sink 'em into the bay just below the Ruth'eran Flight Master! She loves flowers and potions, so you can easily tell what her professions are going to be.

Moonsoul - Yeah... he's very grumpy and EXTREMELY impatient! He wants to turn into an alien turkey and spam moonfire and wrath NOW! So you can bet that he'll be spamming it anyway as he rushes through Teldrassil and Darkshore trying to catch up to his hero and big brother Tigersoul - although he'll be doing it in his own crazy way.

I'll try to chronicle the advancement of both of these crazies as they grind through 70 levels. Right now both are lvl 1 and haven't seen ANY action at all. I am going to try leveling both of these Druids as much in their respective specs as possible - No Feral levelling for them! Should be interesting!

Next time I'll introduce you to the rest of the "Family" - the non druid ones! I'll also be updating Tigersoul's goals and accomplishments, along with the 2nd part of the Ahn'Qiraj Saga of Tiger's Travels.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Patch 2.4 - Great News for PvP fans!

Wow a whole SLEW of info has shown up about the new patch (which still has no official release date) and wow there's some great ones! Others have blogged about it and you can find more info on MMO-Champion and all over the place at WoW Insider.

Some of the more exciting points are:

  • Druid Lacerate generates more damage based on your attack power - Yay! I like lacerate, and now I'll like it even more!
  • Characters don't have to relearn spells and skills from trainers after respeccing. Now I'm not a huge respeccing fan (I'm too stubborn!) but this is a really cool thing IMO.
  • Warlocks can now summon INTO instances, which will make replacements a LOT easier (If you meet the instance reqs and have a lock in the party that is!)
  • Splitting Void shards into Large Prismatics - It's expensive for those Large Prismatics right now!
  • and more! *see the MMO-Champion link above*
PVP Changes

It was with the most excitement that I read this news though: Diminishing Honor Returns will be removed in the next patch! That is SO amazingly awesome. Even more exciting than that news for me personally, is the following "blue" Quote from the bottom of this post :

"What the removal of diminishing returns means for you is that as soon as you defeat an opponent that rewards you honor, you will receive that honor, and you will be able to spend it right then. There will no longer be an estimate, and you will no longer need to wait until the next day until you can actually spend it. Your achievements through honor-based PvP will be instantaneous."

YAY! No more waiting until the next day to HOPEFULLY get that new piece of PvP gear. This was horrible. The other day I had gained an estimated 1800 honor through BGs (including the daily 400 honor reward), which put me at about 900 honor more than I needed for my new Vindicator's Boots. Log in the next day and WHAT?!?! I had lost over 1000 honor due to these "Diminishing Returns". So I had to grind some more and wait until the next day.

I am definitely very excited about this!

I wonder if Diminishing returns are being continued for regular world PvP... Might be a good idea to continue it to prevent ridiculous Corpse camping and griefing... but we'll just have to see won't we?