Friday, July 31, 2009

Don't Fear The Cooldown.

I was in a group about a week or more ago, knocking out group quests in Dragonblight, when just before a fight I dispersed to gain some mana instead of sitting and drinking. The kid next to me promptly says,"What are you doing? Do you know that has a 3 minute cool down?" To me, it was just a quick fill up to help speed things along. To him, it was a really big thing.

How many times do you stop before using an ability and think,"Hey, maybe I should wait and use that on something else?" I do sometimes, usually while in instance groups or raids. But its not as frequent as it used to be. If I were always saving the cooldown on my shadow fiend for just the right time, I would hardly ever use him. I like my shadow fiend. He's purple and he has the same aura as I do, and he is pretty tough. I let him tank a couple of group quest bosses while I was soloing today. If I could name him, his name would be George. I like to see him more often than the random boss fight. I also like to change into a big pouffy cloud of purple mana and shadow more often than when it is absolutely needed. And those nifty angel wings I can give to enhance healing that keep me from being labeled the worst healer ever? I use them as often as possible when grouped. I'm glyphed so that, if it doesn't save my butt from the horrible healer tag, I get to use it again in a minute. Too cool for words. That, and the angel wings are so neat!

Moral of the story? Loosen up! Run around while questing and use that nifty spell whenever it tickles your fancy. Whip out your Fire Elemental to take out a critter if you want. Make those cooldown savers have a mini heart attack. When you've finished demonstrating your prowess, waste another cooldown. You'll be glad you did. Just make sure your resurrect spell is off cooldown. That poor mage just keeled over because of your silly wastefulness of cooldowns!


Now comes the REAL grind :)

Monday, July 27, 2009

What Is This Blog About?

According to the few Google searches that reach my page, it is about 19 twink rogues, gear and spell rotations for priests, and hit rating gems, consumables, and enchants.

I haven't posted much of anything useful in a while, mostly due to my insatiable desire to have one Alliance character at 80. Since I am nearing that goal, I think it is time to sit back, look at my blog, and find something to write about.

So, I'm sitting back, I'm looking at my blog, and I am drawing a blank. What do you want to hear about? I know, let me list my credentials as an avid alt-aholic. This should help me decide what to write about, shouldn't it?

  • I have one of every class now above at least 19 (if you don't count the druid, I have one of every other class above 56).
  • I have leveled every profession except blacksmithing to at least 300, either for my characters or my husbands. The professions of choice? Alliance, herbalism and skinning. Horde, enchanting and tailor, herbalism and alchemy or skinning and enchanting (first is priest, second is hunter, third is warrior).
  • I have learned how to level the city factions the best way from level 1. I am learning the best way to level these on an 80, with as little runecloth as possible.
  • I can make money on a strange server, strangely easier than on my main server.
  • I have one of every race on my account. The Gnomes and Blood Elves belong mostly to my children.
  • I have been a guild mistress, an officer, a veteran, and a regular guild member. I'm not so good at being guildless.
  • I play with my husband, or without my husband, depending on his mood. He claims he has fallen out of love with WoW.
  • Some of my children play. My eldest has her own account that is activated for good grades. She hasn't played since junior high ended before Blizzcon '08. /sigh
  • I don't PvP much. I generally PvP alone on my twink rogue when I am so frustrated that I need to feel good about something. When I want to feel powerful and unstoppable. When I PvP on my 80 level characters, it is usually in a guild group. It is painful and unpleasant alone. At least in a guild group we can all laugh at the number of times my priest eats dirt. My priest sports the title "Scout" proudly.
  • I get lost easily. I use Carbonite to quest with. It saves me so much time!
  • Add-ons. I have a few I swear by. Aside from the previous one mentioned, I use SmartDebuff (I use it for dispelling and curing disease, as well as for an easy raid frame to heal people), Autobar (to keep all my silly pets, mounts, fishing stuffs, consumables, trinkets, etc. at my fingertips), Bartender (I like having 3 rows of bars, all in the center bottom of my screen. smaller area to mouse over, as I use a combo of button mashing and mouse clicking to cast), Onebag (so I can have one huge bag instead of 5 different frames), MrPlow (to organize my big bag), Postal (so at one click all the junk I sent my banker of the moment can be emptied into her bags, MBB (to put all my mini map buttons in a nice collapsible row), Rating Buster (for those times my brain can't see where a new item can benefit me), Recount (for the mage/hunter/rogue that is begging for a dps report), Omen (so I can see when I am about to drag the boss away from the tank, which is often!), Automaton (to sell greys and repair easily), and Auctionmaster (lighter than Auctioneer, it makes auction listing easier and better imo). Well, that was a post in itself!
  • Aggro. I live with it in and out of game. Hubby aggro is easily taken care of with a quick Distract or Misdirect. Kid aggro can sometimes be handled the same way, but can also be taken care of with Cooking. Aggro of the in game variety can be taken care of in skill points spent and in careful management of your damaging/healing abilities. I even know how to get aggro and hold onto it. I just don't like to talk about that much. My warrior sits, fishing pole equipped, waiting for another try. Tanking makes me grit my teeth and tense all my shoulder and neck muscles.
  • I have finally figured out the mystery that is the background downloader. I had been wondering why my husband had almost all of the new file Blizzard has been handing out, and I had almost none. Seems I have to stop playing for it to download. Silly me.

There. I may have missed out on a lot. But I guess I could write about something in there. If, after you have read this post, you have an idea you would like to hear my thoughts on, comment below or send me mail! Where? Shawndrakai at gmail dot com.

Need A Security Guard? Please Comment.

In my blog reader there have been at least 5 accounts in the last week that have been compromised. I know the number is much larger than that, but 5 in one week on my blog reader seems large. In the interest of helping my little corner of the World of Warcraft community a little safer, I will be choosing one person from the comments on this post to receive one gently used authenticator, from the Blizzcon '08 goody bag. I used it on my account up until today. I just installed the nifty authenticator on my Ipod, so I won't be needing this key fob style authenticator anymore.

So, leave a comment! If you already have an authenticator and still want to comment, go right ahead. Just play nice and let me know in your comment that you do not want in on this raffle, to give others that really need it the chance to secure themselves, free!

Good Luck!

Edit: I forgot to give this an end date. I will have the drawing for the authenticator on Monday, August 3rd. This will give people a week to post comments and find my blog :) I will announce the winner in a short post that same day, as well as on Twitter (my username is Shawndra).

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Hey Ma! I'm On The Radio!

I thought the 2 or 3 people who read this blog might be interested, so here I am, along with a few fellow guildmates, rambling on about anything and everything we do in World of Warcraft, and some stuff outside of game. The podcast is The Illuminati of Warcraft, a guild podcast for the guild Illuminati Order on Shadowsong-US. I know the last 4 episodes are on iTunes, but I can't see this one. So. Here is the link. Keep in mind this is the fifth episode, and 3 of the 5 of us have never been in a podcast before. It was a lot of fun, and I wanted to share it with all of you!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Sum-Sum-Summertime Blues

Sorry. I know I should be writing about the wonderful time I am having in game right now, enjoying the members of the Illuminati Order while I level Halinka. Or I should be writing about how the reputation grinds are going as I level, sneaking away to Skettis and soon Shadowmoon Valley to grind Skyguard and Netherwing reputations. Or I should probably touch on how the kindness of strangers and friends have me leveling my bank hunter, who is so close to 30.

I'm sorry I haven't. I hope you don't mind. I have been playing an awful lot. A lot on Shadowsong, and hardly any on Smolderthorn. Hubby brought it up the other day, and I admit, I feel a little bad for not visiting. Every time I've logged in, it has been to one or two people. It is summer vacation, and I remember this happening last year. KNR will always be my first guild, and I will keep in touch with them. I got into computers when I was a kid because they were fun, and when I got into dialing out to BBS systems, I kept doing it for the company. When I moved back to California, I found my husband while I was looking for people to talk to. Hubby introduced me to MMO gaming, and I enjoy it for the community. I can't play the game without someone to chat with and run things with.

One of my guild mates on Shadowsong also plays on Smolderthorn. He mentioned that he plays on Shadowsong in this guild for the community. I was in tells while leveling the other day with a fellow blogger, and he was contemplating changing servers because of the lack of community involvement in his guild. Here I am on Shadowsong, avoiding the problem of no people in my horde guild. It's a common theme. What do you do when your friends don't log in? Some of my horde guild mates are entertaining themselves playing Command and Conquer. Some of them are playing Battlefield Heroes. I'm sure a couple in our guild are playing the other side of the fence, still playing WoW, but on other servers. Some are waiting for us to go back to play with them, grinding out achievements while they wait.

I'll just keep telling myself, "It's summer vacation. People will start coming back when school is back in session." Maybe I'll be right, again. I sure hope so.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I'm Not That Kind Of Hunter!

...Or, strange things players have done in my presence.

The day before yesterday, I had my bank alt, Minya, sorting through auctions when out of the blue someone asks me if I want to run Deadmines. Sure, I said, and was whisked to Moonbrook. The group consisted of Minya (23 hunter), a 17 hunter, a 18 druid, a 21 druid, and a 17 rogue. The rogue was only in it for the blade, and so was the hunter. I was just along for the ride, as were the druids. Before we settled on a full group, we had a few hiccups, but once we were all in, things fell pretty quickly, as we decided to let the pets tank. As we were rolling, and the hunter expressed that he needed that blade, I mentioned there was a better hunter drop at the end than the blade. As the rogue agreed (more so he would have no competition, I am sure), the hunter exclaimed, "I'm not that kind of hunter." To which I replied, "What kind of hunter are you?". Maybe at higher levels a hunter might decide to aim for more intellect than agility, or more attack power or hit, but the lower levels shunning an item with that much benefit seemed silly to me. Sadly, we did not get much further than Smite, as someone pulled a whole level of pirates down on our fragile heads, and heals could not keep up. The rogue said forget this and split. Then a druid disconnected. At that point, we had left a druid who professed to be new to the game (and was doing quite well), and the hunter, who had run out of arrows right before the goblin workshop. I told the druid to add me, and said I was sorry, but I had auctions to process, and I hearthed back to Stormwind.

Last night. after my cherry cheesecake was an uncomfortable memory (no, I shared, but something didn't agree with me last night), I logged in Minya again to sort through some auctions. I stood idly in the bank for a minute or so as I turned to see what the kids were doing on the Wii, and when I turned back, there was a human paladin standing back to back with Minya. I asked if he liked tall, dark, exotic women, and he replied, "YES!". I replied that I was likely too young for him, him being a 53 warrior to my lowly 24. Turns out his paladin was a leatherworker, and he wanted to help get Minya some better gear. Who am I to turn a guy down? He was very generous in gifting Minya some shoulders, boots, gloves, belt, and a cloak for later. He also crafted an armor kit for me, which I slapped right on my chest piece, since I figure I'll hold onto it for a while. We chatted, mostly one sided, as I didn't get the answer to my question, "Why did you choose leatherworking for your paladin?". But the guy was thrilled that he could help upgrade someone. It made his day. To me, that is just awesome. Here I thought I was just getting the benefit of someone hitting on a girl (he was trying to see Minya's face, because she had this fabulous hat on and it was in the way), and he was just one of those guys that really likes to help. I'm planning on sending him an anonymous donation of level appropriate leathers for him to work his leatherworking skill up, because I know he won't take any money.

People astound me with the decisions they make in this game. When given arrows, why does a hunter continue to melee? Why choose a profession that does close to nothing for your character? Why do people show up for a raid without food, potions, water, bandages, and elixirs or flasks?

The world may never know.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Where's The Cake?

Been busy the last few days, and today is just one in that same run. Yesterday our family drove out to spend time with some guild mates and their family who live close by. Who would have thought, on an East Coast realm, you would find West Coast friends? We had a barbecue, the kids played with the Wii and the several computers in the house, and we chatted about everything, with a little WoW splashed in. I got drowsy around 5, so we left, grudgingly. When we got home, we loaded up WoW and headed out to kill Archavon, then tried out Ulduar for giggles.

Today, I am rushing out a post to say I have posts waiting on the back burner, but it's my birthday, and we are going out for dinner, then maybe dessert! Sorry to the pug Nexus run Halinka ducked out of prematurely. She explained first! After all, I didn't know I was going out until I told them. I hope you were able to find another healer.

I'll be back tomorrow with something fun. Working title? "I'm Not That Kind Of Hunter!"

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Armory Woes

In case anyone has visited and tried out my armory links, it seems that they aren't updating. I noticed that Halinka's armory page says she is level 61, is missing several achievements, and is wearing the wrong gear. My new druid, Ravahniel, is level 19, and not even mentioned in the armory. Well, actually, she is mentioned in the guild roster of The Illuminati Order, but when you click the link, "Error Encountered" "File Not Found".

I searched the forums, found a short thread, but no comments from Blizzard on it. I wrote a letter about the problem. I hope this is cleared up soon. Silly to blog about a character and all her neat upgrades when no one can see them and know I'm not fibbing!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Hurry Hurry!

In the interest of getting to Northrend more quickly, Halinka has set aside her reputation grinding until she reaches 80. She can't have everything she wants. As the server was being shut down today to increase instance capacity, Halinka hearthed to the Sewers, just a smidge into 67. She has changed her plans of sticking it out in Outland in favor of starting Northrend at 68. Her gear is less than fabulous, but her trade skills are up there where they should be. Gear is pretty much a non-issue, as we all know the starter quests pretty much gear you out for your start in the area.

Tomorrow, Halinka should be on a boat to the frozen North, in a leotard and ripped linen slacks. She'll be so cold she will be questing like a mad woman to get a warm robe!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

What To Do, What To Do?

I took the normal road while leveling my first characters to maximum level. No sidetracking to build reputation, no stopping in one place to farm for a certain item, no trying to finish out an area after the quests became less than yellow in difficulty.

Then came the Burning Crusade. Shawndra got to 70 behind most everyone else, for no other reason than she was just slow to level. Carlotta was second to 70, but she hit that mark in Zangarmarsh, killing fireflies for the Captured Firefly. It wasn't for her, she was just the person dedicated to the task. Shawndra wanted it, so Carlotta spent a long time in Zangarmarsh.

Northrend hit, and normal paths to normal leveling happened. Delgada was first to 80 this time, followed by Carlotta. Noone has pursued unusual farming practices, but experiments have been launched on the other side of the conflict, on a non PvP realm.

Is it because, having been playing for so long, that I finally know what I want out of a character? Is that why I have been leveling Halinka this way? She finished out her Gnomeregan Exiles reputation grind today, hitting Gnomeregan for a few easy quests, then doing 17 runecloth turn ins. This amount of turn in did not happen for the other reputations. Why did she stoop to do this? Impatience. I had in my mind that she would have all the Alliance factions in Vanilla WoW at exalted before she hit 60. Today, at 62, Halinka was able to purchase her mechanostriders. She is still happy about it, but I had hoped to have had this finished already.

I logged Halinka out in her favorite inn-by-the-sewer with a drink in her hand. It was a rough day for her, mostly spent in Gnomeregan trying to find her way around. She didn't find Mekgineer Thermaplugg, but she was able to find a radioactive slime sample, save Techbot's brain, and gather some essential artifacts. Not as helpful as she wanted to be, but she was in enemy territory without a guide, and found the entrance more frequently than she found anything else. So, sitting on the edge of the dock with her hooves in the strangely refreshing magical waters of the sewer, she sips a fruity cocktail while she waits for her next adventure.

I started the Wintersaber Trainers reputation grind with her, and she is just into friendly with them. She had also been working on Timbermaw reputation, as they work well hand in hand. I had thought to finish out those reputations with her before she crossed through the portal into Outland, but a guild mate is urging me to hasten my leveling to 80.

So, I sit here trying to figure out how to get what I want and still be able to give what they want. In Winterspring, it is pretty solitary. I run into the rare person as I make my trips back and forth between Winterfall Village and Frostaber Rock. My quests are done rather easily, and I am able to harvest a large amount of herbs and high level skins while I am questing, not to mention the cloth and gear I loot. When I was working out there, I was making about 250 gold a day. Now that I am in Outland, it seems that every Tom, Dick, and DKFluffy is skinning and herbalizing too. The prices I get for the Outland herbs are roughly a third what I was getting for Icecap and Mountain Silversage. Same with the leathers. The gear that drops? I have relisted the same few items now twice. I sure hope they don't come back tomorrow. I haven't tried selling the cloth yet, as Halinka is stll leveling her first aid. On the economic side, Outland is not looking very bright.

On the experience side, it looks far brighter. The only experience I was getting on my reputation grind in Winterspring was from the kills. After the first turn in, the quests only give reputation. The amount of time I was traveling between quest mobs and turn in in Winterspring made my time spent seem wasteful. If only they would allow the collection of the items needed (the meats) to be done much like the beads and feathers for Timbermaw rep, the grind would be more inviting. In Hellfire, at least all my questing is giving me experience for both kills and completing the quests. And, I am cashing in most of the gear rewards, so I get a few gold from them. It's not nearly enough to make up for the loss of income from the items I was picking up in Winterspring, but it helps. After purchasing all her epic mounts, Halinka sits on about 100g (down from about 1700 she had at 60), and still needs to purchase the last epic mount from Steelgrill's Depot. This means that she needs to save roughly 2100g to buy her flying training, all three flying mounts, and her dual specialty by 70. She will then need to start saving roughly 6800 gold for her epic flying skill and cold weather flying. This is not even counting any reputations she fancies grinding out in Outlands (She will be trying for Netherwing and Skyguard reputation, and possibly Cenarion Expedition for their flying mounts, and Sporeggar for their pet). Staying in Outlands really doesn't make sense financially, but it does on a leveling perspective.

In the end, I guess I have made my mind up to stick it out in Outland. I have rolled a new character on Shadowsong, Ellence, a rogue. She will accompany my husband when he decides to play on the server with me. He is taking my normal go to combination of herbalism and skinning, so I will be taking mining and the freebies of fishing, cooking, and first aid. I would welcome any suggestions for a second profession. I'd love the skinning on the rogue for the extra critical chance, but trying to grab a target to skin before the hubby does will be quite difficult! I would prefer an easy money maker, so that I can regain some of the sales I lost moving on in the world.

As always, comments are encouraged!