Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Silly Holy/Discipline DPS Spec

Here is the spec I have worked out to try and do as much damage as possible. I used the elixir and the food mentioned in the previous article, because upon looking in my bank, I found that I didn't have the Bat Wool ring or the neckpiece I thought I had. I used the weapon chain offered up by Llanion, because I ended up using all my materials on my hand and foot enchants. A bit over the hit cap, I hearthed to Dalaran and portaled to Silvermoon to use their Boss level dummy. It is probably no secret that Silvermoon, on a regular or PvP server, is a barren wasteland, and so, anything you would normally have to fight your way in line to get to is waiting eagerly to serve you.

I buffed myself with my improved Fortitude and improved Spirit buffs. Working with a dummy doesn't allow for much testing of reflective shield, so I'm probably going to have to wheedle my way into dpsing something soon to get an idea on how much dps that gives (if it registers as mine at all). I started out the old fashioned way I had read on Elitist Jerks, by moving in close and starting with a Holy Nova until it procced Surge of Light, with Shadow Word:Pain and Devouring Plague refreshed when needed. After blowing a whole bar of mana, I realized that, in order for that to work, I had to have many additional targets for Holy Nova to potentially crit on. My dps for that try? About 900. No misses, but some partial resists.

Next try, realizing my crit was a bit low, I tried starting with Holy Fire, then dotting with Shadow Word:Pain and Devouring Plague, then casting Smite until I needed to reapply dots. Running out my mana bar again, the resulting dps was 1050. I think Surge of Light procced twice. Better, but I wanted more.

Third try, I dotted with just Shadow Word:Pain and Devouring Plague, then Smite, then Mind Seared. I didn't even get past that first Mind Sear before I realized this was not the way to go. My dps was sitting around 795. I sat, loaded up my mana bar, and tried again.

Fourth time, and the guild is throwing together an impromptu run of Naxxramas (10). I get them to invite me as I carelessly threw in a couple of Shadow Word:Death casts into the mix with a rotation similar to test number 2. Resulting dps? About 1000. But I wasn't giving it my full attention. Tomorrow is another day! Maybe I can find some fun glyphs...

We took out the Spider Wing (first for me!) and started with the Plague Wing. I got to keep a nice drop from Grand Widow Faerlina, Sash of Mortal Desire. I think I will start questing and buy me a socket for it :)

Did I mention I didn't respec to do this fight? I was super low on the healing charts, but if you had been in my raid, you would have seen bubbles on everyone! Rotation? Bubble, Prayer of Mending, Flash Heal and Greater Heal when needed, cast Power Infusion on the Shaman when up, and renew bubbles if the heal from the bubble didn't top them off. No wipes until Heigan, but then, none of our guild had tried him yet, so it was to be expected.

Off I go! Have some leveling to do on a hunter, or a rogue, or a warrior, or even a mage. Who do I choose?

HIT ME! A Consumables Guide for the Hit Impaired.

Alright, so I need 40 more points of hit rating. There are a few options in the temporary buff category. If you are an Alliance character, that paltry 40 hit is taken care of by your friendly draenei raider, who exudes Heroic Presence. If you are a Horde, like myself, or just have no Draenei friends, you will have to take advantage of your local alchemist or cook. Elixir of Accuracy gives 45 hit rating, which gives some room to gem differently. Snapper Extreme and Worg Tartare, give 40 hit and 40 stamina, freeing you to use elixirs for spell power, crit rating, mp5, or whatever your little heart desires.

Next, I plan on exploring a spec that will do as much damage as possible using mostly the Holy and Discipline trees. Silly? Of course! That's why it is sooo worth doing. Until next time...

Friday, January 30, 2009

I'm a Spammer!

I was going to post last night, but due to my going ape doo over WoWHead links, Blogger's spam bot shut me down. Thanks for reading my posts. I should have a post up later this evening or very early tomorrow morning!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

HIT ME! Gems, Enchants, and Other Gear Enhancements (Part 3)

Alright. So you've assembled some decent gear. The sockets are empty, the weapon isn't shiny, and the cloth just doesn't have that magical sheen. What can we add to our gear that will give us more hit?

If you are like me, some of those items I listed are long forgotten, a bit of dust enhancing some other piece of gear, or a few coins tinkling in your change purse. Here is what I have so far for a DPS set.

Turtle-Minders Robe
Dark Soldier Cape
Ancestral Sinew Wristguards
Breeches of the Caller
Cleric's Linen Shoes
Rune of Infinite Power
Medallion of Heroism

These items pump my hit rating to 336. Not bad for just gear. Now, to help get the last 110 points, we want to enchant and enhance our gear. What can an enchanter do for us? Formula: Enchant Weapon - Accuracy gives 25 points of hit and 25 of crit, which I am sadly lacking. Enchant Gloves - Precision gives us another 20 points of hit rating. Enchant Boots - Icewalker gives us 12 points of crit rating and 12 points of hit rating. By just enchanting 3 items, we gained 57 points!

We need 53 more points of hit rating. I used to be counseled against using gems to get hit rating. I can't remember the logic behind it. The set I am wearing now has 6 sockets to fill. The pants are part of my healing set, and as such, I don't want to mess with anything I have done with them. The shoulders, gloves, wrists, and boots are also parts of that set, but with less sockets to fill, I can justify changing a gem every once in a while. Or, not totally changed, but shared. The blue socket in my wrists, instead of the 8 intellect/3 mp5 I have placed in them, could instead have Shining Forest Emerald, which would still grant some mana regen, and some damage and healing, but also give us 8 more points of hit, and still match the socket for the bonus of 4 intellect. Pardon me, I am a big fan of socket bonuses, when they fit my needs. In the shoulders, instead of the straight intellect gem I have, I could put a straight hit gem in them, like Rigid Autumn's Glow. If I felt a little cheap, I might see if a jeweler got a lucky cut and made Perfect Rigid Sun Crystal. My gloves will keep their gem, and their enchant for healing purposes. Time to invest in a new pair? But the boots, there is an area for tinkering! Veiled Monarch Topaz will keep the spell power and give me 8 hit rating. So, (8+16+8)-20=4 more hit rating! Not wonderful, but closer to our goal.

Thanks to Llanion of Mooonfire! for reminding me that Blacksmiths can make an extra gem slot to put on your belt (yet another spot to stick a hit gem!), and informing me of the weapon chain that gives hit and keeps your weapon closer. This weapon chain is a less expensive option for those that find the weapon enchant pricey.

Are there other ways to gain that last 49 points of hit rating? Yes, and they are called consumables. I will explore that in depth this weekend, or earlier if time allows. Bye for now!

Monday, January 26, 2009

HIT ME! Cloaks with Hit Rating(AKA Part 2.5.2)

I realize this is all incredible sillyness, trying to cap my hit rating so I can DPS as Holy. I mean, why not just respec to shadow and save all the fuss? Because that is what EVERYONE else is doing. Shadow is fun, but I want a pet project. This is it! So, without further ado, the back pieces I missed a couple posts ago.

From reputation purchases, the Knights of the Ebon Blade have to offer Dark Soldier Cape. Getting to honored with them is not difficult, as I was just at the beginnings of honored when I peeked at my reputation tab, and I don't remember doing all that many quests for them. From regular dungeons, Volkhan in Halls of Lightning drops Cape of Seething Steam. Gal'darah in Gundrak drops Shroud of Akali. In heroic dungeons, hit rating cloaks are for the stabby types. Getting your hands on one of these three shouldn't be too hard.

Happy hit rating hunting, my spell casting friends. I plan on doing item enhancements such as enchants, gems, threads, and patches during this week. Off I go to beg for a spot in Naxxramas!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

HIT ME! Rings and Necks for DPS set (Part 2.5)

Seems I forgot those in my last post. So a quick post before I shuffle off to track down elders in Northrend, or alternately, try in vain to win the Stranglethorn Fishing Extravaganza.

Borean Tundra is the place to start for your first opportunity for hit rating on a neck piece. For Alliance players, the quest line starting with Sergeant Hammerhill in Valiance Keep will take you to Gerald Green, who will work you pretty hard for a final reward of Pendant of Revolutionary Thought. For Horde players, Do a quest for a goblin in Taunka'Le village to open up a quest chain that culminates in a 5 man quest to kill three baddies in a necropolis, and when you finish, you get Chain of Vigilant Thought. They look the same? Even the same icon? You didn't think Blizzard was biased toward a faction, did you? Alliance players will be happy that they don't have to hold onto that neckpiece for long, as there is a quest in Utgarde Keep that awards Necklace of Fragmented Light. Just pick up some old Vrykul weapons for nice Defender Mordun, and it's yours. If either faction player is doing dailies in Icecrown, make sure to do this one, as it has a chance to drop an additional note to deliver that will start you on a quest chain to get Emeline's Locket, which is an excellent reward, with room for a hit gem that gives a hit bonus! After all that questing, if you find yourself in Ahn'kahet:The Old Kingdom on heroic difficulty, Prince Taldaram might drop his necklace, Necklace of Taldaram.

Now, for your fingers. The first ring available to both factions is the Bat-Wool Signet. Koltira on Orgrim's Hammer or Thassarian aboard the Skybreaker in Icecrown want you to mess around with plague cauldrons. Amberglow Signet is also available to both sides from Brann Bronzebeard, but the Alliance folks will have to fly him somewhere as an additional step after helping him make a keystone. A quest in Gun'Drak, also available to both sides, yields Voodoo Signet. Ring of Northern Tears can be crafted by a jewelcrafter that has purchased the pattern from Tiffany Cartier in Dalaran. Start pestering your local jewelcrafter for this design, and perhaps this beauty can be yours! Lastly, Krystallus in heroic Halls of Stone has a chance to drop The Prospector's Prize. I'm sure I have given enough choices that I don't need to go into green items. If you feel I am wrong and I need to do more research, please comment below, and I will release Part 2.5.2. Enjoy your travels in Azeroth, friends!

Lunar Festival Break!

A long night put in by myself and my man, visiting all the elders in Eastern Kingdoms, Kalimdor, The capitol cities of all factions, and some notable dungeons. Tomorrow, Northrend!

As if it hasn't been mentioned before, the guide by WoWwiki is excellent! It would have been a longer, more painful trip without it. Thanks to both /hug and Letters from Birdfall for their pointers, too! Definitely, go to them for the info. I'm too busy having fun to repeat what is already too good to improve on!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

HIT ME! DPS Armor for the Holy Priest (Part Two)

Last article I found some weapons and trinkets that would be useful to increase spell hit rating. Today I will explore the world of cloth armor. Thankfully, vests have been left out of Northrend, probably because they don't keep our legs warm enough. Unfortunately, depending on your choice to get this gear, a lot of it looks about the same. Much like any fighting force, we now have uniforms. You fashionistas will just have to accessorize with a cute mini pet.

Let's start with Robes. The most obvious piece on your character, this one also is the one most heavily laden with stats. Before I go into easily attainable blue gear, I want to touch on crafted epic gear. If you heal raids, more than likely you have already crafted a Moonshroud Robe, or even a Spellweave Robe for the additional haste rating. So you know the materials are not very hard to come by. Therefore, I propose you set your mind to gathering the needed materials for the Ebonweave Robe. Why? Why not? I thought I'd throw in that it would work in any spec, but shadow doesn't need as much hit to cap, so you'd probably favor one of the other two for the added spirit. It's just nice to have.

Blue quality robes are not too hard to acquire. From Boss drops, we have to offer Water-Drenched Robe. With luck, Ichoron from Violet Hold(heroic) will be one of your encounters, and he will drop it. This is the most desirable choice, for the sockets and higher hit rating, even if it is very serviceable looking and blue. From reputation purchases, the Kalu'ak sell Turtle-Minders Robe. It comes in a lovely shade of red, and hitting honored with the Kalu'ak is just a matter of doing all the quests in a couple of their areas. For 25 gold and small change, it is a worthy purchase! From quests, we find that the quest requiring Loken's tongue in Halls of Lightning comes with a very nice reward. Robes of Lightning look like many of the green quest rewards, so if you had some greens you were working around, this would not clash.

For the head, another crafted item comes to the forefront. The materials are not hard to gather, and it is indeed a stylish addition the the normally drab uniform. The Hat of Wintry Doom is not only stylish, but very useful, as it sports a meta socket! From questing, we have earned The Argent Skullcap. See Brother Keltan on the Horde flagship in Icecrown to get the quest that takes you to the Argent Vanguard. Alternately, you Alliance need to seek out Absalan the Pious on your faction flagship to start the same quest chain. It opens up a new area and you get the hat as a reward. There are no auction house options, and no boss drops for this slot. There is a item you can purchase for clams, Sea King's Crown, available in the Borean Tundra from a murloc. There is a quest you can complete in Storm Peaks that will get you Mildred's Cowl. I only mention these for the additional socket, and if you cannot attain the others.

Pants? Forget about 'em. The highest level hit rating pants I found in blues were the Oblivion set pants. Highest green? From a quest in Netherstorm. Epic quality pants drop in the Eye (heroic), Sapphiron in heroic Naxxramas, and a random drop in heroic Naxxramas. Like I said, forget about it. Those mages want their hit, and so do those warlocks. Let them have it.

For the feet, there, again, are no blue items. Instead of automatically going for green, I looked at epic quality items, and found some attainable items. Titan-forged Slippers of Dominance can be purchased for 15 Wintergrasp Marks of Honor. Those who know me, know I don't PvP. Or rather, PvP infrequently and only in groups or when I have a reason. I have no idea how long it takes to garner 15 of these marks, so I wish you good luck. I am more likely to try for option 2, Xintor's Expeditionary Boots. At 40 Emblem's of Valor, this is not an expensive purchase, and if you have been healing Naxxramas or pugging Archavon a bit, you probably have these in mass quantities. After you have bought all your wonderful healing gear, buy these. Then buy your twink some heirloom items :) For those not so motivated, or the questing type, I offer a green, Leiah's Footpads, from a quest in Icecrown.

For the hands, there was only one blue option, a drop from Violet Hold. If you encounter Lavanthor, he may drop Lava Burn Gloves. You can, however, craft or have made for you, the Ebonweave Gloves. If you run Naxxramas a bit, you might be able to con your way into Gloves of Dark Gestures, by reasoning that you need the spirit. But, again, if the mage and the warlock and the shadow priest need them, please don't stand in their way, much. There are two green quest reward that have hit on them, but I didn't see them as interesting enough to link, mostly for their lack of anything else worthwhile to a level 80, as they are very low level.

For the wrists, the choices are equally slim. No blue level items were available. There are two epic options, one of them being Wraps of the Astral Traveler. At 60 Emblems of Valor to purchase, this would be a frivolous purchase only justifiable if I had nothing else I needed to use them on. If Preceptor's Bindings drop fairly regularly while you are in Naxxramas, perhaps the caster DPS will eventually allow you take these for your own. There are some useful options from quest rewards, like Fleshwerk Shackles from Icecrown, Soothsayer's Wristwraps from Zul'Drak, Highseas Wristwraps from Dragonblight, or even Icestriker Bands from Howling Fjord.

It seems the shoulders may also be difficult. If you are running Naxxramas, Loatheb and Gluth both have a chance to drop a shoulder token in regular mode, which result in Heroes' Mantle of Faith. If you aren't running Naxxramas, there are several green options from questing. The best option, from a quest in Icecrown, is Mantle of the Underhalls. Not as good, but worth mentioning, are Spaulders of the Runeseeker, from a quest line that portals you to Un'goro crater, and for Alliance, Bell-Ringer's Shoulderpads from Grizzly Hills.

I haven't forgotten the belts. From reputation, an easy belt to acquire is the Sash of the Wizened Wyrm. Honored with Wyrmrest is along your journey to revered for the helmet glyph, and 14 gold and change is a daily quest away. From boss drops, Meathook in Heroic Culling of Stratholme might drop Belt of Unified Souls. Flowing Sash of Order drops in Heroic Halls of Lightning from Loken. The death knights in Icecrown offer Lithe Stalker's Cord as a reward for scouting for Malykriss. There are epics to be had, as well, but I think I have been reaching a bit far. We don't know yet whether we are keeping this spec!

Now, I imagine this could be a starter list for about any caster DPS looking for some hit rating. But, I have tried to compile a list with an item for each slot because holy priests need so much! Coming soon, enchants and gem choices, also known as Part Three....

Thursday, January 22, 2009

HIT ME! Holy Priest Guide to a DPS Set. (Part One)

A healing priestess has no need for hit rating. Unless someone has silenced you, you are assured of a healing spell hitting your intended target. But what if someone needs you to dps instead? Below you will find some not too hard to attain blue quality weapons with hit rating.


From drops we have these beauties you might be able to pick up while you heal for a group.

Ancient Measuring Rod - from Loken in regular Halls of Lightning.

Wand of the San'layn - from Prince Keleseth in Heroic Utgarde Keep.

From quests, there are no blue rewards with hit rating. But there are a few notable greens. If you are in it just for the stat, these will do for a spell (Get it, spell? I kill myself...).

Wand of Blinding Light - Kill a few Scourge in Dragonblight (Light's Trust area to get quest)

Whelpling-Skull Zapper - depending on your faction, this baby either is from escorting and undead apothecary to safety or from an escort in the Utgarde Catacombs.

Frail Bone Wand - Vereth on the Rise of Suffering in Icecrown wants you to kill Rokir. Here's your reward.


Are you fond of staves? Here are a few fun options!

You might find one in the auction house...

Zabra's Misplaced Staff

or quest for one...

Chilly Slobberknocker - if you do this just for the fun, do it! Funnest quest line ever! This is in the Ampitheater of Anguish in Zul'Drak.

Stave of Youthful Sorrow - Work for Tirion in Icecrown, he'll give you this!

Tower of the Infinite Mind - For Horde, this one is practically a freebie. Apparently, the alliance do a group quest to get this, but they get paid, too.

Main Hand

Some of us prefer having the versatility of a one hand weapon and off hand to compliment.

Reputation purchase...

Flameheart Spell Scalpel - 74 gold and change when you are revered with Kirin Tor. (not hard to accomplish if you are doing profession dailies in Dalaran, and wearing a tabard from 78 on during instances.)

No quest rewards, world drops, or boss drops for this slot with hit rating, unless you want some agility, or this green...

Ritualist's Bloodletter - a little ghost boy in Icecrown has you collect blood from some faceless creatures, and gives you this.

Off hand

Telestra's Journal - from Heroic Nexus

That's all, unless you don't mind toting a green Manual of the Tides around.


Figurine - Twilight Serpent - Jewelcrafters, this is where you shine. Socketed trinkets. And I stuck with enchanting....

Mark of the War Prisoner - drops off Cyanigosa in Heroic Violet Hold.

Sphere of Red Dragon's Blood - I only mention this drop from Heroic Nexus for the sheer mass of hit rating. The attack power is useless, but if this allows you to use an item with better stats, roll on this. But roll greed. Let that rogue get it first, please?

A notable green mention, Rune of Infinite Power, can be obtained by protecting your past self.

You will want to collect as many of these items as you can. There are no talents that help with hit rating for Holy damage, so at 80, a holy priest would need 446 points of hit to cap.

Holy DPS? On a Priest?

Our guild is full of all sorts. We have raiders, groupers, solos, explorers, achievement junkies, altaholics, pvp fanatics, etc. If you can think of it, we probably have it. We have fast levelers, and slow levelers. That said, lately there has been opportunity for me to run in groups with a few of our guild mates that were away for a while playing Warhammer, but they didn't need a healer. Why? Because this husband and wife team always have one. I didn't think of it the other day when they were looking for one more for their group. There I am, in a group with a death knight tank, a retribution paladin, a holy/imp spirit buff priest, a fury warrior, and me, the odd girl out. Didn't need my spirit buff, because she had better. Gear comparisons not needed, for where mine was better in some slots, she had it all in others. So I said, I'll DPS. Our guild likes to do things the hard way, so off I go to run some heroic as holy dps. I didn't respec, changed into a few piece I had to add hit rating, and away I went.

The results? Heroic finished. How was my dps? Abysmal. So, I have decided, if they ever release the ability for me to dual spec, that I will explore the Light and how to throw it as a weapon. I cannot gimp my role as a healer at this time, because, as understanding as my guild is with spec changes and altaholism, if they need a healer, that is the whole reason I pulled Delgada out of my twink closet and leveled her in the first place. So, until then, I have decided to explore gear options, starting with blue level, easily attainable, and in the 78+ range. Research begins tomorrow!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Packing Up and Moving, SWG Style.

A couple nights ago, my husband reminded me that there were free character transfers off our dead server to any server we wanted, so long as we met the deadline. Well, I hit that deadline hard. My main character, Karin, was able to pack up her structures and transfer easily, but Eromee had to leave it all behind. I wish moving in real life was as easy as telling the structure to hop into my datapad.

I'm not playing this game seriously right now. I was given 30 days free, to try it out again, and I just had to see my houses again. I missed my houses. I spent a long time decorating them. World of Warcraft doesn't have this feature, and it's kind of sad. It's nice to have a place to hang your hat that you can really call your own!

So, since Eromee had left her factories, houses, and merchant tents behind, she had to buy a new crafting station and house. With veteran rewards and some odds and ends she hadn't placed, she has made a small dent in decorating her small Nabooian house. I'm looking forward to pooling Karin and Eromee's resources to see what feats of decoration we can accomplish together!

I'll post some screenies (without the ui when I remember how) of my houses when I get them.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

New Server - New Priest

My husband and I have some real life friends who play on the Ysera server, Horde side. They have tried to live the PvP server life style, and it just leaves a bad taste in their mouth every time. So, again, my husband and I have started afresh on a PvE server. I started a priest, for no other reason than I wanted to start a robe collection(Note my robes are a bit low cut. This is intentional :)). My husband started a mage.

Going through some of the vanilla content all over again after several months of just racing past it during the recruit a friend period we paid for, I feel so slow! Where we merrily completed 1/3 of the quests in an area and moved on before, now I find even at the end of the area I want another level to cushion the blow of questing alone. My husband is out in the Blood Elf area skipping along, tapping mining nodes, and taking things a bit slower. Evangelista is trying very hard to meet expectations. You see, the second I whispered my friend in game, I found myself in a guild. It's a smallish guild, and that is fine. The guild master had set before me the task of grabbing all the Wailing Caverns quests and said she would run me and the husband through. I only sort of grabbed a few quests. I had forgotten that it takes some time to get a couple of the quests, and when she was ready to go, I was still in Thunder Bluff grabbing the Leaders of the Fang quest. I returned to Crossroads, helped summon my hubby (still level 10) from Silvermoon, and missed grabbing the quests in the eye of the cave. While I was in Thunder Bluff, I forgot to grab the Serpentbloom quest, too, so I was in there with only two quests and the promise of a third. We ran through, grabbing the loot as she ran by dotting everything, and I skinned until I ran out of room and hit my skinning level cap. Not much cloth dropped, and I missed grabbing the gem off Lady Anacondra.

To sum up, I gained 2 levels today, until my internet connection decided to become Local Only as I listened to the Twisted Nether Blogcast. My husband gained one, and a nice new robe. Thanks to Pastina for the run, and the promise of a Shadowfang Keep run soon!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Healing - do I really need THAT add-on?

Recently on several blogs I follow, there has been a discussion, and heated rebuttal, of whether it is good to use add-ons while healing. Now, I am no expert on add-ons (my husband is nodding his head as I type this), but there are a few I use because they help me with my awareness. I'm big on not so many add-ons, mostly because I operate on my husbands last built computer (now hooked up to the 42" widescreen in the living room) or my laptop, and have not so much memory and disk space that I can use them frivolously. These add-ons don't cast heals or dispels or disease cleaners. Do I lean on them too much? Perhaps. It is hard, in a raid, to use the Blizzard supplied UI to spot things like disease and magic debuffs. I am able to spot low bars, and renew/bubble/omgty insta-flash heal the ones I can catch, but if it's a dot that is killing them, they're just going to die anyway. I am not that good.

Now, I have guildmates that use quite a few add-ons to heal. They are more knowledgeable and, more than likely, have more space/more memory/less crap on their machines with which to handle the added usage. Do they do better on the charts? Yes. Dispel-faster than me. Cure Disease-before I even think about it. But then, who am I kidding? They are also college students with faster reflexes and less distractions. Quite likely, they could run modless and still run circles around me. Oh, yeah, circles, can't do that either when I am healing. I still haven't learned my key bindings, so I'm clicking. I'll bet if I used some of their add-ons, it might even out the reflex/distraction difference.

I got side tracked. I think there are some talented add-on authors out there. Some add-ons are wonderful additions that can aid a healer in spotting areas of necessity. Would I use something like Healbot? Nope. I just read the Curse page on it, and I like plug in and play add-ons...this one wants me to configure stuff. Some of you like spending time in game configuring add-ons (my husband is not paying attention, I was pointing directly at him), I do not.

My conclusion to this discussion? It doesn't change my position...if you got 'em, use 'em. If they're broken and you can't live without them, well, sorry, here's my unused copy of World of Warcraft Programming. Fix it or wait for the author to catch up. Maybe that level 12 hunter you've been using as a bank character needs a few levels? I'll continue being an adequate(not fabulous) healer with my sad short list of add-ons.

For those that are curious...a list of what I currently use (hopefully pictured well in the snapshot above)

Auctioneer(not pictured. gathers pricing data and eases auctionhouse headaches)
Autobar(all consumables,trinkets,buffs,and much more...on configurable bars shown in default setting)
Bartender4(allows skinning and arrangement of bars/buttons your way!)
Cartographer(discovers the map. allows note taking and waypoint creation)
Gatherer(not pictured-gathers your nodes and group/raid/guild found nodes and puts them on map)
Lynstats(line on top of screen with latency, memory usage, xp to level, mail indicator, rested indicator)
MBB(gathers all my minimap buttons in a handly little area)
MikScrollingBattleText(not pictured-adds ready abilities notification (off cd or on activation)
MrPlow(not pictured-sorts bags)
Omen(not pictured-threat meter extraordinaire)
OneBag3(takes all bags and makes them one :))
OneBank3(not pictured, but set up much like above)
Postal(not pictured, adds open all and other great functions to mailing)
Questhelper (buggy atm..I don't reccomend it for WOTLK stuff)
RatingBuster(shows what stats on gear add what to healing/dmg/etc)
Routes(not pictured, works with gatherer to make a node route on maps)
SexyMap(gotta have something pretty to look at!)
Violation(not pictured-a meter for all things measurable while grouped)

What add-ons help with my awareness?

Bartender has a range indicator on the button when I target.
Omen (and the red ring on my picture, and the larger scrolling text) let me know when to cool off and let people take a little damage so I can survive.
Autobar helps with buffing (class specific bar with left click self, right click group/raid buff options)
MLKScrollingBattleText to announce debuffs starting and buffs ending and special abilities that have come available.
All these add-ons do is translate information and abilities already available to me into a more easily digestable form. I still have to act on that information. And that is how I like to play.

Play it your way, it's your 15 bucks. Just wanted to throw in my 2 copper.

5 man San Diego Wild Animal Park

Thankfully, this lunch lady has a 4 day weekend after that hours long raid yesterday. I'm tired, sore, but feel like my group was successful at having fun. Here are some pictures (My kid only...we won't upset others by posting pictures without permission!)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Mommy, sit over there!

I get home, hang up my apron and lanyard, and sit down to my computer. I kick off my shoes, hit the on button, and turn around to my lovely 2 year old daughter.

"Mommy sit over there. I sit here."

Apparently my laptop has become her own little entertainment center, while I am at work.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Dumb Warrior Learns New Trick...err...Macro.

Delgada is ready for raiding. Mostly. Tonight she hit 438 enchanting, and her tailoring is at 440ish. She is missing a few enchants (mostly because I have been using my materials to level, and not to improve her gear), and could probably upgrade some of her gems. All in all, she is ready. If she needed to heal Naxxramas, she could do it. Not alone, mind you, but she would be an asset to a raid. KNR isn't raiding, seriously, yet. I think someone posted a raid for this week. As we just lost our main tank (C, you are missed! Damn this economy for making you do this!), scheduled raids for the last 2 weeks have been cancelled due to lack of...interest? Or maybe it's because we don't have enough of the right people in the right places. Whatever, it turns out we are lacking in tanks. Delgada, it has been fun. Dust off your tank set, Shawndra.

So, I borrowed 50 gold from the guild bank to respec back to protection. All these new talents, what to pick? Sure, once leveling is over, I'll look for the perfect "cookie cutter" spec for her that will fit the guilds needs, but right now, let's play with all these new talents! I am really enjoying sword and boarding through my quests. I'm a dual wielding troll at heart. Somehow, going the sword and board route this time doesn't make me feel like I am missing out. It helps to see my shield (sporting a new titanium spike) slam for 1800-2100 when it crits. Makes me all giddy inside.

I hate having twenty different buttons for every stance that I can use. It drives me crazy! So, I had this insane idea. Let's map 2 abilities to several keys. What a concept! You know, I am not the smartest cookie sometimes, and my husband, the rogue, smiled at me, patted my head, and sent an instant message with the kind of macro I wanted, soI could copy, paste in game, and edit. For those of you who think this sounds like a good idea and may not have done this before, I will put below an example of what I did.

/cast [modifier:ctrl] Cleave;Heroic Strike;

I used the "?" icon for the macro, so that it would show which attack I was using. Heroic Strike is to Cleave what Frostbolt is to Cone of Cold, sort of. Frostbolt is for one target, Cone of Cold is an area of effect cone. Heroic Strike is a single target special attack, where Cleave does about the same thing, to 2 mobs. So, if I have only one target, the button is fine, just use it. But if there is more than one mob attacking me, I'll hit the ctrl key, and now I'm hitting two mobs. I felt so clever when I was done, as I paired up hamstring with rend, devastate with victory rush, shockwave with thunder clap, shield bash with pummel...

So, I feel as if I have accomplished something huge today ('s 1 in the morning here). I got out there, quested quite a bit, and hit 72. Replaced a ring and a ranged weapon, and didn't cry too much when that paladin killed me the tenth time. And I killed a death knight! OK, I had help. A very nice shaman from Sad Panda kept me up until she cast that infernal anti magic shield. Sent enchanting materials and raw materials for cooking to Delgada, sent leather to Maura, and sent all the leftovers to my bank character. Busy, Busy, productive day in World of Warcraft.

And the house only sort of looks day is a success! Off to bed I go. Any suggestions for a rusty tank, please leave them below!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Light and Undeath

Life. How do you define it? Does it require breath? Does it have to be warm to the touch? When you prick it, should it bleed? I believe not. I was once possessed of such qualities, but no longer.

I was once a woman, skin freckled from the sun, amply endowed, amply fed, too. I spent the large part of my days tending to the needs of my widowed mother, and my nights tending to the sorrows and triumphs of those that frequented the inn I worked at. Plump, rosy cheeked, hair dark as the starless night, I was alive.

New days came, fall leaves were covered by winter snows, and spring sunshine melted the snows, filling rivers and lakes. Summer growing seasons yielded to bountiful fall harvests. That is, until the year of the Scourge. Our grain silos infected with a virulent plague, our villagers, too sick to fight, succumbed to the will of Malganis, and lost their own. I was one of them, conscious only of what my new king wished of me, for more time than I care to remember.

One day, as I dined on yet another of the dead, I looked at the hand in my own, and saw, though mine was withered, that they were the same. Appetite lost, I shambled off after the others, sorting through this revelation. Over the next few weeks, things long forgotten revisited my memory, bringing me a sense of self I hadn’t felt in a long time. I fought to remember more, all the while doing less of my king’s bidding. I grew angry, even bitter. I wanted revenge! I looked to the others, hoping perhaps to find someone else like me, but they all seemed engrossed in their daily rituals. None would notice my departure, it seemed, so blatantly, I walked away from the group, and out into the world.

Half a day away from my oppressor and my kin, I found a small cottage. Needing to see what was left of me, I entered, not caring if anyone was there. I tripped over a floor rug as I walked to the back and what looked like a sleeping area. Over a small chest of drawers there was the mirror I had hoped to find, and I shuffled in front of it, looking up to see who I was. The freckles faded, the rose had fled from my cheeks. In their place was a slightly green face pocked with holes. Hair, once the color of midnight, was now muddy and grey, shorn raggedly to just above the shoulders. Once chubby cheeks were now sunken, and once fat and healthy body was now unhealthily thin. I noted the odd curve of my spine, remembering that I had to look up to see my image in the mirror. The name I used before seemed unfit for me, but there seemed no reason to dig another up. I moved to leave the cottage, but not before someone else decided to enter. They screamed, in words I didn’t understand. I picked a few sounds from their anxious cries, as I slowly left their house.




La Luz proteja!

They didn't follow. I don't think I would have cared if they had. I kept walking. Midday gave way to dusk, dusk surrendered to the night. I felt no hunger, was neither hot or cold, and did not tire, so I kept walking. There was no reason to walk, yet there was no reason to stop. The dawn broke over the horizon, and I found myself walking though a cemetery. I fancied some of my kin might have been lucky enough to be buried in a place such as this, not wandering, consuming their neighbors, clearing the way for Malganis. I thought maybe it might be nice to have a nice patch of grass waving over my head, with some nice saying on my headstone.

"Here lies Bella

she poured a mean mug of ale

and was kind to old women

Light keep her soul"

Shaking my head to clear other bad ideas for headstones out, I continued walking through the graveyard, stopping to look at a stone here, poke my head into a mausoleum there. The place was overgrown with rose vines and wildflowers. I tripped over a broken stone, and noticed that the grave it belonged to had been...vacated? The pine box was there, the lid broken and thrown aside. I walked away, noticing more stones fallen or broken with similar holes under them. I looked up, as my view naturally cast toward the ground, and found I was nearing the edge of the cemetery, and there looked to be a town a little further down the road. I craved company, and though I was sure to get the same reaction as I got from the people in the cottage, I felt I had to see this town. I stepped through a broken patch in the fence and walked on.

The town had an abandoned air about it. It was midday, and there should have been some sort of marketplace operating, children running around the ware traders carts, villagers striking deals and packing up purchases. There was no such thing going on here. I noted that no horses were stabled as I looked to my right at the bit of tack that jingled and caught my ear. To my left was the town hall, usually bustling with the local busybodies, silent on the outside. I decided to walk in, to see if anyone was there. The entry hall was empty, as was the small library alcove that led to the main meeting room. Inside the meeting room, the benches looked to be empty, as was the podium. I watched as a page from a ledger blew over, then returned, blocked by a large quill. I walked down the center aisle toward the podium. Facing the benches, I looked into the ledger on the podium. It was a list of names and towns. Some names had no surname, some had no town, some sounded absurd, even made up. None of the names were familiar to me, and as I wondered silently what this list was for, I looked out onto the audience area. There was a crumpled heap of clothing on the second pew. I looked down at mine, seeing for the first time how little was left of the shift I once wore. I decided to see if the clothing was useful. As I reached for the collar of the shirt, the heap took form and sat upright. This, thing, as I hesitate to use the term person, has a purplish caste to what was left of his skin, and what hair was left was gathered into short spikes. A leather strap held most of his face together, and his elbows and knees had worn through his clothing. The collar I had reached for was his shirt, which was under a crudely stitched leather vest, topping a pair of equally crude leather pants. His feet has lost all of their skin, and were without shoes. He coughed, then made to speak.

"New here, aren't you?" He stood up, as stooped as I was, and walked toward the ledger. "Name, family name, profession, and hometown, please."

I choked. Bella was no more than a happy memory of times past. Andorhal, Stratholme, Hearthglen were all just dots on the map, and made no difference to me anymore. I remembered back to the shouts from the two in the cottage. "Delgada is my name, no surname."

"Alright, then, Delgada, where do you hail from?" His hand poised with the quill waited for her reply.

"I can't remember.", I lied.

"Fair enough, I'm sure they had you filled with enough of that plague to scramble your circuits. What can you do? We're trying to build a community here, and we can use anything you have."

"I have no idea what I used to do. I'm sure if you have someone here that can train me, I can learn about anything.", I hoped aloud as I lied. What good is a bartender to a town full of things that don't need food or drink?

"We have a few who remember their past well enough to train. Here, let me take you to the inn. They're all kind of waiting for a reason to do something, and you look like good enough reason to me."

I followed the roguish character to their inn, and was surprised to see a nice crowd starting. I looked up, but saw none I recognized. Not surprising, really, as I hadn't recognized myself when I saw my own reflection.

"We have a newly risen mage, a warrior, a priest, a warlock, and the rogue, of course." He smiled and bowed at me, grinning a somewhat toothless grin as he straightened. "My name is Umbrage. The others may or may not reveal their names. We have trainers for tailoring, mining, smithing, leatherworking, skinning, and for herbalism, achemy, and cooking, though I honestly have no clue what you'd need to know THAT for." He waved me toward the small crowd at the bar."Some still drink, and for those who have lost the parts to keep it in, some still have to clean. Welcome to Brill."

He was gone too fast for me to protest. I found a seat near the bar, to listen in on the locals banter, and to think about my new path. I could be ANYTHING I wanted to be. No more was I restricted to caring for an elderly widow. I remembered back to the screams of the peasants.

"La luz proteja!"

Proteja sounds like protect. The town I came from, as the Scourge were at our heels, heard many shouts of, "Light save us!" Perhaps that is what dug me out of my mindless servitude. Light! I would serve what lifted me out. I looked around for a priestly looking figure. Who was I kidding? We're all dead here, sort of. I bellied up to the bar.

"What can I getcha, kid?", the bartender asked as I sat down. I thought for a minute, and realized nothing sounded good.

"Just need to be pointed toward the priest trainer, please."

"Father Bartholomew is upstairs in one of the guest rooms. I really doubt he was ever more than a choir boy, but who am I to judge? ". The bartender polished a glass and put it away under the counter.

I headed up the stairs to a new future. Perhaps this sort of life is not so bad, after all...

My thoughts every day...

Yeah...La Cucaracha said it all in one frame of his strip today...

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Another day, another 500 gold...

I found that if I spend a good hour to hour and a half doing all the quests I have missed, I can grab a significant amount of gold. I know, this is not surprising in the slightest to anyone but me. I am actually enjoying the quests I have done. Yesterday, I was questing in the corner of Storm Peaks and the adjacent corner of Icecrown. I really enjoyed unlocking the Argent Crusade area, and made some nice cash and got a new trinket, too!

Toward the beginning of my time out there, as I was depending on the aid of some death knight or another, I found that, if I clicked on their portal as they left, they returned me to the quest hub. It was quite by accident that I stumbled upon this. Maybe not entirely by accident.

"Look, a gear, I wonder what will happen if I right click on that", says Delgada's operator.

Delgada shakes her head and just waits for her inevitable demise.

It was especially encouraging later on, as I got lost looking for Tirion Fordring, who was not in the place I left him, hearing the cheering below me as I flew to the Pinnacle to get my reward. I had (almost) single handedly pushed back the Scourge onslaught. Go me!

So, after flitting between K3, the Argent Vanguard, and Crusader's Pinnacle, I had amassed a small fortune. I decided at around 540 gold, that I would go to the auction house and see if anyone had dropped some inexpensive green 75+ gear on the auction block. I spent quite a bit, then realized I probably had the means to buy the materials needed for my Moonshroud Robe. I purchased enough cloth and eternal life to finish the project, emptied my mailbox and disenchanted all my armor purchases, and transferred a couple enchants onto vellum for easy sale. I milled all my cloth into bolts, turned the regular bolts into imbued bolts, and organized my materials for the next day.

After begging a few friends for their Moonshroud cooldowns, I was asked by a few guild mates to run Utgarde Pinnacle on heroic. Most anyone outside my guild would not know that I did not instance my way to 80, even though I was specced mostly into Holy and Discipline from 70 to 80. So, I discovered the Pinnacle tonight. I took the two quests available, was given the daily quest for the instance, and we went on our merry way. We died a few times, mostly because we were trying to do some of the achievements as well. We weren't able to finish the first one, but we did get the second after a few wipes (healer lagging, healer out of mana, healer dead and reset, darn that priest anyway!). I replaced my robe from the Kalu'ak with the quest reward after one wipe, and all the bosses persisted in dropping leather, even though none of us used it. Even Ymiron dropped an epic pair of leather gloves. Well, instance finished, we all went off on our own. I caught a bat to the Emerald Dragonshrine, and made my last bit of Moonshroud cloth. One more upgrade for Delgada!

Friday, January 2, 2009


Thankfully, not me, but a good friend of mine from way back in my start in MMO gaming. It's the holidays, and I don't remember seeing much of him, but then, noone has really been on a whole lot lately. Pie>WoW, after all. So, late, late last night, verging on early this morning, my hubby is hanging out in our Ventrilo server with a friend who only can play while his family is unconcious, and another who like to hang out late night, just because he can. Graham mentions that my friend is on, and that he is in the Shadow Labyrinth. He says he tried talking to him in guild chat, then in whispers, but all he got in response to "How are you?" was "hi". I was just getting ready to turn in from a long session at Rock Band, soloing my way to stardom (who needs a stinkin' band anyway?), when he said this, so I logged in to see what I could do.

It started out with the obligatory, "Hey man, how are you tonight?", which, after several minutes, I finally got a "hi"back from. My friend is no one word wonder. He is intelligent, and knows how to carry a conversation. So I shoot back,"What, don't you know how you are tonight?". This time the reply is much faster,"?". I know I am definitely not dealing with my friend, so the whispers stop. I go to the guild page, and remove him from the guild. Oh, that sparks more than a single character response! But it is garbled. Almost as if someone was typing in their native tongue into a Babelfish type translator. I reply to the idea of "Why did you kick me from the guild? Can I come back now?" with,"Until the owner of this account logs into the ventrilo server and asks to be reinstated, no.". Then I open a ticket. Now, I know in the past there really hasn't been much the GM department can do of suspected hacking, but
I figured, it was worth the time it took to type out. As I waited for an answer back, I grabbed my friends e-mail address from the site contact list and sent him an explanation. In retrospect, I should have marked it URGENT! I'm going to do that now....

Alright, task accomplished. Now, today when I logged in, my ticket had been escalated. Still no more than the "we have flagged the account" kind of action. But, better than nothing. Hey, if it gets caught fast enough, my friend could very well be a wealthy man!

On a slightly similar note, A level 74 of the Horde faction was yelling in Dalaran today, in rather garbled engrish,"Port to Shaatha, 5 gold, hurry!" or something along those lines. Sounds like another hacker. Believe it was a shaman. Not surprisingly this comes so shortly after Blizzard warned everyone in a game wide in game mail to do what you can to make your information secure.

Authenticators are inexpensive. Less expensive yet are the safeguards you can employ, for free, to keep your passwords safe. Run a not so ordinary browser, like Firefox, Chrome, Safari, etc. Block Java and scripts from sites unless you are 100% sure they are safe. Keep your information to your own computer don't know where those other computers have been! And, for heaven's sakes, don't buy gold or use leveling services! The price you pay up front is only a small amount of the cost.

I'm anxious. No new word from Blizzard or my friend. I have to log into game now. Please, heed this piece of advice. Lock your system up tight!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

One day left of Winter's Veil!

I've had my Honeycomb (or reasonable facsimile), have my orange juice beside me, and 3 of the 7 are still sleeping, at 11 AM! I have to try and get the last two achievements done today. So, wish me luck as I get 2 kill credit per battleground as a gnome....

I may not be merry now, but I will be a Merrymaker by the end of today!