Saturday, March 31, 2007

Or finding mushrooms.

I noticed this today, for the first time. What a beautiful fountain. Reminded me of Italy, and don't the Draenei make the perfect Nymphs?
It's not all about nuking Forsaken.

Sometimes you stop and watch a moon rise.

Then you get back to the business.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

"And if I live, something will die."

We were two Level 36 Paladins and we completed a level 39 elite quest in Stromgarde.

Seal of Light stacks with Judgement of Light. I know that today.

And Reckoning with a very fast weapon just puts out a flurry of attacks. Very cool.
Folks say Paladins are at their strongest in their 30's. Does this power go down in later levels?
"I'm not here to do damage. I'm here to live."

That's what Honorus tells the two warriors that have summoned him to the summoning stone outside of the Scarlet Monastery.

They've seen his little Knightly Longsword, and compared to the big axes on both their backs, they assume he's not going to do much with it.

"My wife is a Mage. She's the killer. I just live."

And that little Knightly Longsword, with a fast fast 1.5 second swing, that gets enough hits in to let the healing from my Seal of Light flow.

We had a good enough romp into the Scarlet Monastery. We first visited the library, where I only needed to find a book, and kill Loksley the Houndsmaster. The two warriors, Night Elves on Jumping Jacks, were literally bouncing everywhere and ensuring we never had a dull moment, with full and double pulls the routine. One of them was level 34 and the other 39. We also had a Draenei Priest along, and a level 32 Druid. The Druid later left and we replaced him with another Night Elf, this time a Rogue. Well we worked our way mostly to Daon, but in the last room they managed to get all the groups and we wiped. Coming back we realized there'd been a repop behind us. Game over. Well, I'd gotten my book, and we'd killed Locksley, so now what?

So they decided to try the Graveyard. Turns out there is a rare spawn in there that carries a rare sword. (The rare spawn was there but I lost the need roll.)

But here is where this little Paladin shone. The warriors would go to both sides and bring back groups of ghosts. This is where my Consecration spell came in handy. Over and over, and I stayed at the top in DPS. Not bad for a little sword, or Pally survivability. And at nearly 1900 health, if I'm remembering right, I had more health than even the 39 Warrior.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

A new technique.

And the wife was just blown away. She was laughing with power. "That's what I'm talking about."

The new idea? For us at least. Honorus gathers together a handful of mobs, she melts them with AoEs. We realized (yes, yes, we're such noobs) that killing one was as hard as killing six. If I could survive six beating on me, which I can, we can up our kill rate sixfold. Sweet.

Running a Protection build now, she deep in the Arcane tree, we sought mobs we could round up and beat down. The Kurzen guys we gathered up in their huts, and dispatched them. Like pigs in a poke, or fish in a barrel.

Fun, fun. Those Kill X quests should go more quickly now. Warhorse and Chestnut mare, we'll be collecting ours shortly.

Later, trying to wrap up my Stockades quests, I joined a group with three others. 21 Nelf Priest, 21 Nelf Druid, and a 27 Draenei Shaman. I'd turn on Seal of Light, let the Consecration flow, get mana back from the heals I got. I'd run into groups of Defias prisoners and we'd end their pathetic little riot.

I've so much yet to enjoy in this game. Burn-out is other people's problem.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Hellfire Ramparts through the eyes of a Beastmaster.

Last night was Arcarius's turn into the Ramparts. So far I've taken an Enhancement Shaman on healing duty, and a Protection Warrior on tanking duty, so now I was going in as a Beastermaster Hunter on DPS* duty. (*I use "DPS" lightly because I achieve half of the numbers that BRK's dwarf, Damh, gets. I removed my damage meters last night, but I might reinstall them. I'm not one that prints them out in chat, "WOOT! LOOK AT MY LEETNESS!", but I do think knowing my relative contribution to the efforts (healing or damage) is important.)

Did I get sidetracked or what?? Anyway, using the Looking for Group tool I was relatively quickly matched up with a Mage (pink ponytailed fire meteor throwing mage), a 60 Arms Warrior ("No shield, I'm Arms. ... By the way, I don't have a shield."), a 64 Druid (Feral/Balance), and a 65 Paladin, of talent spec unknown.

So, I'm yanked from Zangarmarsh and wind up outside the instance. The LFG tool, and the summoning stone thing, are wonderous. So much easier going instancing with these tools. Good job, Blizzard!

The Mage is the party leader and we simply start. No marking. The first two pulls are easy, and we start into the Ramparts, and on the first or second dog packs we wipe. Ouch. All except the Arms Warrior who's managed to reach the exit. We recover and move on. That was our last wipe.

And I started by laying freezing traps, to immobilize one of a group, but the Paladin said he wanted to AoE them so just lay a frost trap. The Paladin had a shield and that worked pretty well. The Mage had a propensity for gaining aggro, but I'd jump to that as I could, sending in my new Ravager pet (loyalty level 2, noob) to protect her, and interrupt spell casting with Intimidation.

We got into a comfortable rhythym and that worked very well. The first boss was a joke. His first healer was melted, the second was grazing on grass, and he went down. The groups were easy enough, no challenges there. The demon boss was a cakewalk. The dragon was next.

Now, the dragon has wiped every party I've been in so far. And while Blackhoof has seen him killed, Msaker is missing that satisfaction. But this time, with this group, he dropped like he'd taken a whippit shot. His health dropped so fast I thought I was watching lame duck poll numbers. Flawless I thought.

That was a good run. I'm pretty pleased with that.

My new ravager... The former one, which I tamed for the Gore 8 ability, and the cool looks, was a green one with purple highlights. I named him Outlandish. He reached loyalty level 4 or so. But he wasn't all that. So I dismissed him right outside the Cenarian Expedition and tamed a new ravager. This one is all purples, with red glowing eyes. I named him, or her rather, Darkense. (It seems I may have mispelled that. It should be Darckense. Ah, well, no loyalty loved or lost there. A new one will be tamed tonight and properly named.)

Anyway, I can be pretty oblique sometimes. Anyone want to speculate why Darckense is the most chillingly perfect name for a Ravager?

I mean, I wasn't even really going there. I was looking for a good name, of a protaganist or so, and wound up spotting and settling on this one. And the reason behind it, and she's a Ravager, is perfect to a T. (And the source is an incredibly excellent read as well. Don't read too much background though, cause the spoiler is a Crying Game type twist. If you're at all into the genre it's one of my favorites.)

Monday, March 19, 2007


Msaker has been a Mortal Strike Warrior for some time now. In his 40's he was Fury, dual wielding for leveling goodness, but upon getting into Alerac Valley, and getting his mitts on an Ice Barbed Spear, he was specced for Mortal Strikes because that was good for burst damage and that's good in the Battlegrounds.

Yes, I had a shield, and I knew the basics of holding aggro, and I considered myself a "Tank." But sword and a board don't a tank make. Yes, I'd tanked Scholomance to good acclaim. But how was I going to stack up in the Outlands? Where, oddly, there are no Warriors tanking. (I see why, since Outlands is clearly Paladinlands with regards to plate gear.)

So, I stepped into the machine, journeyed to the Undercity, and became transformed. I am now a Tanking Warrior. Full Protection down to Devastate, some points in Fury for crit chance, and the rest of the points in Arms. I'm not sure if it's a typical build, but for me, it seems to fit the requirement. (I am now putting points into Iron Will after being stunned over and over by the Orcs in the Blood Furnace. I can't tank if I'm stunned.)

(Scene from the Blood Furnace. Yes, that is a Tabard of the Protector from the Dark Portal opening event.)

So, my first order of business of practice with the new build. Into the Armory wing of the Scarlet Monastery. I killed everything, including Herod, and then Thunderclapped his students. I never even paused. Into the Cathedral wing. I killed everything, looking for Scarlet gear for my wife's Paladin, and even started into the Cathedral itself, pulling, and killing, two at a time. Again, without a worry. I don't know if I can solo the Cathedral or not, but it looks awfully promising that I can. The build worked, and I've got my buttons set up decently.

So, test of fire, back to the Outlands for a real instance.

I didn't have any quest there, not having done the Ramparts yet, but into the Blood Furnace we went. A Resto Shaman for healing, a lock, mage, and somebody. Woot. One death and we cleared the instance.

So, still full of energy, positive rage, and after dinner, I returned, and this time went into the Ramparts, Paladin, Mage, Warlock, and Rogue with me. No deaths until we hit the Dragon. Woot. And this Paladin, Protection specced, healed like a Priest. I see now why Holy Priests are furious. This guy was main healing, and handled it great.

Protection Warrior Tank. This is going to be an interesting career move.

P.S. Devastate feels a lot like a Rogue finishing move. My MetaHUD puts sunders up like combo points, and while you can Devastate with any number, the more sunders you have, the more damage you do. But, rather than get cleared, the sunders are refreshed! So it's like finishing moves that you can do over and over. At least that's what it felt like.
Two are better than one.

Blackhoof was in the Bone Wastes the other day. Slowly, and methodically, working off quests given to him by the folks at the stranded caravan. One quest involved entering the Shadow Tomb and recovering some artifacts. I worked my way down into the tomb and discovered a Dwarf Hunter, named Bluntte, and his bear, Oscar. He was going into the same side room as I was. It quickly became clear that we were working on the same quest, and that fired off the partnership. He'd pick one of a pair, I'd get the other, and we'd help the other finish theirs off. Left and right sides taken care of and we moved to the end room. We cleared this using the same tactic and were at least at the big four armed lady there. He pointed at her, and pointed at me. Ah, he's letting me have her and her loot. Thanks. So we kill her, no loot of note, and grab our artifacts.

Now this room also contained a Broken prisoner, Akuna. And he needed rescuing. So I pointed at him, then at Bluntte. And we were off.

Well, Akuna (I hope I've got his name right) is one annoyed Broken. Rather than quietly, and quickly, coming with us to his freedom, he walks till he spots one of his Orc captors, and runs to attack them. Much hilarity ensued, however, we did manage to get him out into the night air. And out onto the sands and heading to the caravan. Except for the group of two that materialize around him, joined by two more that were already there, and the two skirmishers that just rode up.

Akuna the Maroona, was dead. Bluntte cried, I sighed, and he turned and pointed back to the tomb. I nodded. If at first you don't succeed...

So we head back down, and Akuna is there again, none the worse for the wear. Bluntte points at me, then Akuna. My turn. We head back out, trying to keep him safe. As we clear the tomb Bluntte goes ahead and clears the path. Excellent. And Akuna instead runs to the right, behind some tents, and finds two more we didn't even consider threats. Good grief. What an angry Broken.

But, lo and behold, the pre-clearing worked and Bluntte and I got Akuna to safety. Now I pointed back to the tomb, and we both returned.

And once again Akuna was recovered and delivered to safety.

Bluntte and Oscar, of the Rangers of Kirin Tor , I salute you.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Just the two of us. Happier wearing, not singing, the Blues.

I see the crystal raindrops fall
And the beauty of it all
Is when the sun comes shining through
To make those rainbows in my mind
When I think of you some time
And I want to spend some time with you

Halcyon is level 20. An up-and-coming Paladin. Ready to serve the Sin'Dorei causes. One new mission was laid before her by her Paladin Trainer. To acquire the materials for the Blood Tempered Ranseur, the trade-mark weapon of the cadet Blood Elf Paladins.

There was a part to be retrieved from Deathholme, but we would save that for another night.

The other parts appear to be slightly more difficult in getting. But Halcyon has friends. Powerful friends. She knows 800 pounds of bovine intelligence: Blackhoof. And, well, in the old world a level 65 Enhancement Shaman is a force to be reckoned with. If you happen to be one of the beginning instances.

So, our first target was Shadowfang Keep. He met in the Undercity, she porting in from Silvermoon City, and I from Shattrath City. We both hopped bats to the Sepulcher, and ran to the Keep. Rawr. (Sorry, but you get to feeling like that when you revisit old instances, particularly ones that gave you problems.) We make our way down to the jail cells, whack, whack, turn the dogs to bone. We speak with Sparky, the Keep's new (NEW?!?!) prisoner in the jail cells. He reveals the secret of where the ingot, the first material she needs, is to be found. In a box in the stables. I can't kill him, pink skinned human, (URGES!) and oddly, I can't lock the cell again. (Heh.) And then we speak with the Forsaken prisoner who gets us into the courtyard. And there I am unleashed rage, a Shaman on the warpath. I leave everything dead, and those already dead, they wind up deader. WOP WOP WOP WOP dead dead dead dead. Hooah! /flex. And there's Sparky, in new skin. Furry skin. Thin skin. Paper thin. Aw. Poor Sparky.

Halcyon enters the stables, her path cleared before her like she was royalty. I wish I had some rose petals to dust the path before her with.

And I decide it's just a minute or two more until we reach the ghostly Commander Springvale, so let's pay him a visit. And we leave Springvale pushing up daisies and Halcyon loots him. The Commander's Crest drops. (A nice, blue, level 23 Shield: [623 Armor, 13 Block, +6 Str, +3 Stam, +3 Spi]) She's dinged 21 by now, and in 2 levels she'll be able to use it. Nice. We shake the dog fur off our gear and make our way out and back to Tirisfal Glades.

The next step was the zeppelin flight to Orgrimmar, and into Ragefire Chasm. Halcyon happened to be on a quest there already, and the two tomes she needed quickly dropped. (What are Orc hooligans doing with reading material??) But the real goal was killing a named Orc and activating the orb behind him and summoning a demon. Demon summoned, and we've got his blood. Two materials acquired. When we departed the average intelligence, and beauty, of Orgrimmar's populace plummeted. (Blood Elves have behaved themselves remarkably well on Kirin Tor. The feared nekkid belf dance parties on the mailbox outside the bank never materialized.)

Next stop was to make the trip into the Night Elf lands. We ran to the Crossroads, picked up the flightpoint, then turned north for the long jog to Splintertree Post. That flightpoint in hand, we veered west and travelled around Astranaar ("Hello you lop eared bastards! Get into the sun more you freaks!" /wave - Life on a PvE server isn't all death and bloodshed!) to Zoram Strand. The last materials we'd get in the old world was the gem, and those drop quickly off the naga outside of the Blackfathom Deep's entrance.

It was a long night. Halcyon and Blackhoof visited three world instances, on two continents. And Halcyon is just short one material, the insignia of the Blood Knight. That task will fall to her and Sunstriker when next they return to Deathholme and complete the last of the missions they have there.

Just the two of us
We can make it if we try
Just the two of us, just the two of us
Just the two of us
Building castles in the sky
Just the two of us, you and I

(Just the Two of Us, 1980, by Bill Withers.)

P.S. My wife *hates* pugs and enjoys it best when it's just the two of us. And I love seeing her happy, wearing, not singing, the blues.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

"Call me Legion." Lol.

Last night we took it easy, the wife and I.

Our Blood Elves are nearly done with the new Blood Elf area. The Amani Trolls have been put in their place. We've poisoned their food, collected their Juju, killed them, and killed their leader. We've also killed the traiterous Blood Elf found in Deathholme, we've killed the giant dead guys wandering the place, and now we're tasked with a few final quests, and that is to find and kill his lieutenants and rescue some folks.

Our Draenei are also coming along. Still on Bloodmyst Isle.

I think I prefer the green, albeit gloomy, atmosphere of the Ghostlands, to the red, stifling, atmosphere of Bloodmyst Isle.

But, flipped around, I liked the Draenei northwestern forest feel of the beginning area a little better than Eversong. I guess I prefer cool green to warm reds and oranges.

Anyway, as we were getting our training, and after Zimraphel logged off, a guild recruitment announcement caught my eye. Legion of Light was recruiting.

I thought to myself "I'm all about the Light, being Draenei." So I ask the recruiter what kind of levels? Casual or endgame? Some 60's. Casual. Hmmm. I'm about to take the bait. Wait, wait, do you have a website? Yep. (See sidebar.) Alright, they had me at Legion. Sign me up.

Hello. Welcome. welcome, they greet me with. Hello everyone, I say.

Then I mention to her I had a few more characters. I see that there's not that many 60's in the guild. No 70's. The recruiter, Druid, is only a Private. I later meet the guildmaster in person, a Paladin, and he's not wearing a set. And he's got no PvP title. And then I look at the guild roster. So many low and mid-level characters. Cool! This sounds like a casual guild.

So I bring Arcarius on. And get him an invite. They're happy to get another level 60+ character to instance with.

Then I bring Darkhand on. And get him an invite. At this time I say "Call me Legion." They laugh.

So I bring Greenclaw on, /gquit the abandoned Nightsong Moon (they having left for a new server), and got him an invite.

Then I brought Freewind on. I feel like I'm pushing the limit of something. (On the other hand that's 2 40's, a 48, and a 62 that are new to the guild.) The guildmaster is a blacksmith and offers to make me anything I need. Truesilver Gauntlets and Heavy Mithril Leggings. And I had the materials already. Cool.

Then I brought Honorus on. I think I confused them at this point and got a party invite, and not a guild one. Lol'd, and they /ginvited me.

It turns out the guildmaster was going to go help someone in Uldaman because he likes the place. Cool.

Six invites. So I tell them my wife plays a little too. And she tells me that anyone can recruit. Nice.

And the guild chatter was friendly. No rping, though I ask about it. When I mention that my Horde guild rp's in guild chat and does out of character stuff in an additional channel they immediately create an lolooc channel. And they plan a lolrp channel for heavy roleplaying. And within seconds of getting each guild invite I was promoted twice, getting the ability to recruit, and they recorded my professions in the player note.

It's past midnight and I bid them a goodnight. "Goodnight, Legion. Lol."

It's nice having a friendly chatter in the background again.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Running around Terokaar Forest. And back to Hellfire Peninsula and into the Blood Furnace.

Blackhoof, completing most all of the quests in Zangarmarsh, and dinging 64 in the process, graduated and moved to the forest around Shattrath City, Terokaar Forest.

Most all of the quests are easy enough to accomplish solo. Highlights include taking out the Firewing liaison in the Bonechewer Ruins. This wound up being the worst. I didn't die as I returned to kill Vindicators and those Warlock types, and I managed to kill the liaison easily enough as well, but as I grabbed my last Vindicator, standing in the back of the compound on the wooden beams of the dam, I must have pulled the Vindicator and a mounted patrol. They beat the stuffing out of me. I ankh'd and tried again, carefully backing away. And a Peon appears and the two of them start beating me like egg whites, and I don't make it. I come back and gleefully, no quest needed, slaughter that freaking peon, and the vindicator, and go collect my reward. As a Shaman none of the rewards mattered for that quest. Oh, well. The vendors will buy most anything.

The quests centered around the Cenarian Thicket were easy as well.

And a few quests took me to the Arakkoa sites where I slew more than a few of the feathered punks.

Dual wielding Grunt's Waraxes from Thrallmar, buffed with Frostbrand, I was doing about 200-220 DPS if I remember right. That's not too bad I guess. (Outland greens and blues at the moment.) Rank 1 Earthshock for spell interruption, and there was a whole lot of that going on in Terokaar.

The Cenarian Thicket quests took me to honored with the Cenarian Expedition. Woot. I returned and bought the Preserver's Cudgel, a really nice one-handed mace that looks like a massive totem and has +105 Healing on it. My old Staff of Dominance is a two-hander which had +40 Spell/Healing, to which I added a +55 Healing enchant. The mace has +11 Intelligence versus the +37 of the staff. But, it's a one-hander, so I can use the Landslide Buckler too. That too has +11 Intelligence, and +13 spells/damage. And the +3 mana/5s on the shield adds to the +5 mana/5s on the cudgel, and with +2428 armor, it's a clear winning replacement. Less +Int, but adding mana regen, so it's a great trade off.

And I was about to put it to the test.

Employing the Looking for Group tool I signed up for the Hellfire Citadel's Blood Furnace. Within minutes we were assembled. All of us mid-60's except the one guy we added, a level 70 Hunter.

The Warrior was level 66, and had run the Furnace for something like 30 times already. He just wanted one particular drop off The Maker. A set of plate gauntlets. I play a Warrior too so I know that this is 2nd piece of plate for the hands a warrior can get in the HP. So he was experience.

The Druid was level 61. He was in Molten Core Cenarian gear, and he was Resto, (Good for him!), and he healed like a madman.

We had a level 65, or so, Warlock.

The Hunter was level 70, and me, level 64 Shaman.

I signed up planning to heal, and I pretty much stayed in that gear for the run. That'd be full Earthfury + Landslide Buckler + Preserver's Cudgel. +196 mana/5s and +395 Healing.

I was more the "Other tank" on this run, since the Druid did some spectacular healing. I did spot healing, but more importantly, I did my best to pull unintentional aggro off the Warlock and the Druid.

And this group made the place look simple. Three bosses here, The Maker, Brogguk the eye, and Keli'dan the Breaker. The trash mobs were easily handled. The Warlock kept his charm active, and/or his banishes, and we really only ran into difficulty once. That was when the Warrior ran past a group to grab another. We survived, but it was crazy hectic there for a bit.

Basically I kept Windfury and Strength of Earth Totems down. We really didn't need to exercise more care. We ran the place, almost literally.

So well in fact, that when those gauntlets failed to drop the first time, we completed the instance and reset it, and tried again. Second time was a charm, and he at long last got his gauntlets.

I liked the Blood Furnace, and the story behind it. They made it very clear how the Fel Orcs came into being.

And Blackhoof dinged 65.

And, yes, I occasionally donned my Enhancement kit and tried DPSing. Sometimes 2nd on the DPS chart, occasionally touching the #1 spot.

When I first started dual wielding I was focusing on keep Windfury on the weapons. You know, Windfury Rank 4 on both. Ha! I got suckered. Because most self-respecting Shamans knew to keep different ranks so both have a chance to Proc. I started doing that and Windfury was proccing way more. SCT was just a spam of Windfury hits. Niiiiice. They said they've "fixed" that and I supposedly don't get these "double" procs anymore (Why the hell should the buff on the 2nd weapon NOT proc??!), but it still "feels" good and productive.

But against anything with any armor, that's not the best. Fire ignores armor, so Flametounge appeared to be a good buff. But what I found was Frostbrand was doing better DPS and as a bonus slowed the mobs down when they thought to run. And those Waraxes are 1.90 weapon speed, so reasonably fast. SCT was showing a good deal of Frostbrand spam too. SCT is just plain fun for a Shaman.

Next stop for Blackhoof will be to start on the quests down in the Bone Wastes. And with the Looking for Group tool, hopefully soon into Coilfang Reservoir.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

A Clear Winner. By a nose. Of the Darwin Award. Now I need Midas.

My Frostwolf needs it's brakes checked.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Here are my add-ons, and the sources for them.

What it looks like:


WoW Interface
Curse Gaming
WoW Ace Addons
WoW Ace Addons Listing
Gazmik Fizzwidget’s

A lot of my add-ons are Ace based so I can use this program to automatically update them:

My friend told me about WoW UI’s updater program. UI Central. I will have to check it out.

The add-on list:


This add-on will suppress error messages.


This adds countdowns to your action bar/hot bar icons.


Another bug swatter. Duhr.


The backbone of any Ace add-on suite.


This gives me a nice crafting window. Sortable by item class or difficulty. Nice for finding recipes to level up on. Includes a queue and a “buy missing reagenst to fulfill the queue from vendor” function.


Tells you how many hours you’ve played. Or days.


This is a set of bars for enemy casts and buffs.


Atlas is an in-game map, different from the built-in map. Loot, Instance, and Quest features are helpful.


Invaluable for casual Auction House play.

AutoBar & AutoBarConfig

Keeps my potions, mounts, pets, hearthstone in a place separate from my action bar/hot bars.


This provides auto-repair, automatically decline duel requests, automatically accept group/raid invites from friends and guildmates.


Another add-on that auto-sells vendor trash.


My action bar add-on.


Roleplaying emotes and communications. “For the Light!” shouted when you heal someone. Or whatever.


I keep this since add-ons aren’t perfect. This will take the bugs and quietly just suppress them, doing away with the red text pop-up in the middle of your screen.


Battleground add-on for flag timers, resource count, time to win/lost, ownership, etc. Nice.


This is your built-in map on legal steroids. Highly recommended.


These are timer bars for buffs, totems, etc.


This is new for me. It supposedly ties in loot recommendations to the tool-tip. I.e. “That Hand of Ragnaros is definitely a Shaman weapon.” That kind of thing. ;)


This is an easy click to cast add-on. Set up bindings (shift-right click) and associate a spell with it. It works and is simple. Like Clique.


This add-on makes other add-ons like Bartender, TrinketMenu, Autobar, etc., look better. My current favorite gives the appearance of a piece of glass over every action bar icon, beveled at the top.


How am I doing DPS, Healing, against the competition?


This really works well. Gives you small little boxes to click when folks get diseased, poisoned, etc.


I used this to keep track of Druid mana in animal form. I’m not sure if XPerl includes it already, or if it uses this.


The built-in buff display is lacking.


This should be built in. Hover over an item link and it’ll put what you’re already wearing/wielding next to it.


Makes sure your friend lists of your characters are the same across all the characters of the same faction on a server. A godsend if you have a lot of alts.


All these I like. Fubar is far and away better than Titan Panel when it comes to resource useage. Titan Panel would kill my warrior with memory leaks.

Fudge & Nudge

No, it's not a new Girl Scout cookie. Fudge is for casters, and Nudge is for Hunters. It’ll show you what’s in range of a spell, or not. And for Hunters it’ll show you out of range, in range, deadzone, and melee. I’ve put this so that it backlights the name of my target in MetaHud. For my Shaman I’ve tied it to Frost Shock range. (Since that’s a mid-range spell.)


Tells you where that recipe in the Auction House is actually sold so you can go buy it yourself.


Wonder what that Hand of Ragnaros will disenchant into? Wonder no more.


Got pets that demand feeding? You need this.


This will tell you what type of vein to mine the gem from.


This will put the beasts abilities in the tooltip of a Hunter. I.e. see what that Ravager will come with when you tame it. Highly recommended for filling out the pet abilities.


This lets you use the tracking minimap button to select your tracking type. Also used by paladins, herbalists, and miners. (Fewer action bar/hot bar buttons lost.)


This is a very compact raid health overview.


This will make your Warlock Minion training screen look like all the other training screens. Say goodbye to books.


This is my primary healing/buffing/shielding add-on. Get it if you heal.


This provides bars for your Heal Over Time casts.


In Flight will give you a bar once you’re airborn to tell you how long you’ve got until landing. That way you know how much you’ve got to grab yourself a beer, or visit the nearby McDonalds drive-through.


This will reveal to you what the internal item level of something is.


Get this. You use different items? Get this. Still the easiest to use imho.


This just shows me that Shamans can easily grab aggro form Warriors. It’s broke, or my Warrior is.


I like information. On screen, centered.


This add-on provides information to the unit frames so you can tell exactly how much health a mob has. Handy.


This add-on sorts your bags for you. And your bank bags. And it works with other bag add-ons.


This is a graphical user interface for all the other Ace Add-ons you are running. Like Duece Commander, but easier to use.


This is a casting and mirror bar replacement. I like it. I like that all my various timer bars have that cool “NotSteel” look.


The one to rule them all. This is basically an all-in-one bag view. And you can always see what's in your bank, and you can see what's in any of your characters bags or bank. (You'll have to view them all first so the add-on can remember.)

Personal Sentry

This is very interesting in battlegrounds. Basically hover over a blip in your minimap and you’ll get a bar with which you can target the person. Hunter/Druids will like this one.


This will make your combat log straighten it’s act out. Info, not blah, blah.


This will track my leetness. My best scores, and provides another damage meter.


This does something. Oh, wait. “RecipeBook is a mod that allows you to browse tradeskill recipes with one alt and see whether your other alts know it.” Oh, yeah. That's it.


This will mark on your minimap where recipes are found in the local area. Helpful if you want to get those rare recipes that vendors are selling in out of the way corners of Azeroth.


This is the minimap shaper for the corner. Nifty.


This is a new add-on for me. It’s a listing of your gear. Since probably 30% of my bag space is taken up by gear, this lets me quickly see what all I have (four sets of gauntlets???) and compare them and begin planning some space reduction.


Scrolling Combat Text, and Scrolling Combat Text Damage. I’ve got it where the incoming damage scrolls down on the right side hud bar, and the outgoing hits scroll up on the left side hud bar.


This remembers those rare mobs that you occasionally see wondering around. And marks them on your map. Why? Because they can drop decent loot.


Hmmm. I have this and I don’t know what it does. It might work with Prat in some way. (I’ve got too many add-ons!!)


This reduces Spam. (The state meat of Hawaii! Yum.) Don’t have enough energy? Need more rage? You’ve heard that enough, haven’t you?


This appears to be broken for me since I only see a few slots now. I like the utility of the program though so a definite for me if I can find an upgrade for it.


Wasn’t sure how much I’d like this. On a basic level it’ll put spell damage, heal amount, right on the icon in your action bar/hot bar.


This shows your two equipped trinkets, and lets you switch them out.


Stand-alone addon for displaying craft item dependencies. Hmmm. I'm sure it's doing something for me.


This is like Item Level, which is the “built-in” item level of something, but this one does math and tells you what it really is. Another way to look at your gear when comparing it with possible replacements.


This replaces Quick Loot, putting the looting window under your mouse, wherever it is. Small and slick looking.


This adds a smaller looting window in the same style as XLoot and XLoot Monitor.


This will leave, for a bit, a list of loot won and who won it.


This is a good-looking unit frame, with animated character portraits, and easy to configure.


Yet another Totem Add-on. I like this one. Call of Elements doesn’t seem to do the things it used to, so I opted for the Ace based replacement.


This is the hunter mod that provides bars for pet abilities, tracking (which I’ve turned off), traps, and aspects.

And that's it. For now.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Addons, the live list.

What I plan to do in way Addons, and using Bloggers label feature, is keep a listing of the addons I'm using, explain why I like them, and keep a link for where I found them, and keep this in a post I'll keep updated. A precursor to that list is the list below (if you've browsed directly to posts with the Addons label) or found in the Jan 2007 archives.

When that list is done visitors can use the link in the sidebar, "**** Add-ons I use **** " in order to jump to it quickly.

Some folks don't like add-ons. They think addons are crutches, and to that I say "Hey, whatever lines your cave." Blizzard has built the functionality into the game for users to customize their interface however they like. They build in restrictions as well to keep it from getting out of hand. It's a feature Blizzard supports. And Blizzard appears to have designed raid encounters that demand add-ons of one type or other. Mass decursing in Molten Core anyone? And Blizzard has taken some of these good ideas and built them into the interface over various patches. (Usually not as good as the "state of the art" that the addon authors produce. Scrolling combat text, for one.)

For those that like add-ons, hope my list proves of interest and/or value to you.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

The Lost Craft.

What happened to it? Where did it go? Is it hidden in the code somewhere, waiting for a new expansion or update to be released? Was it dropped to the cutting room floor, lost forever amidst the crushed cans of Jolt Cola and Cheeto bags?

What I'm I talking about? The very foundation of Warcraft! Wood.

What game of Warcraft did not start with peons being immediately sent to the nearby forest to harvest wood? Wood is the veritable foundation of every crushing victory. And where is it in the World of Warcraft? Nowhere. Why?

How would it work? You could harvest Wood like an Herbalist gathers herbs or a Miner mines ore. I'd love to see a "Tree Node" and when you set to work to harvest it, it would first drop to the ground with the first harvest action, and then disappear when the node is fully tapped. Every area could have it's own tree types to harvest. With ever increasing level of trees in the higher level areas.

What would you do with wood? Enchanters already require wood for wands. But they buy it from Trading Supplies or Enchanting Supplies people. Simple wood and then Star Wood. But they can only make 3 wands. The Lesser (at 15) and Greater (at 70) Magic Wands, then the Lesser (at 150) Mystic Wand. Requiring Simple and then Star Wood as one material, both you can get from a vendor.

How about more wand types that required gathered materials?

What else could it be good for?

You know leather workers can create armor kits that cover four armor slots. Legs, chest, hands and feet. Why couldn't gathered wood not supplement this? How about wood armor kits for shoulders. Anyone see a Forest Troll lately? Think wood fashion.

In addition to more wands, what else could be done with them. How about a carpenter craftsman type being able to make weapons and ammo. Just like engineers use metals to makes guns and bullets, how about a carpenter being able to make bows, crossbows, and arrows? Why not? And wooden stocks for engineers to make guns with.

And what blacksmith makes Staves? None. A Carpenter could craft staves. And off-hand items.

Maybe the amount of items that could be made in wood might not warrant a complete crafting profession, so how about a new craft that combines gathering and manufacturing into one? Woodsman. Able to harvest wood, and in addition to providing basic materials for other trades (enchanting, engineering, etc.) be able to produce some armor kits, produce arrows, and produce weaponry like bows, crossbows, staves, and offhands.

Anyway, I'm sure others have thought of it too and I think there's enough here to provide a little more crafting in the World of Warcraft.

Edit: Crafted Shields! Let them make Pally, Shammy, and Tank shields. At all the levels.
And, something completely different: Troll Paladins.

Troll Paladins.

No, not the race. Paladins able to regenerate insane amounts of health. Like a Troll.

I brought Honorus out last night, and he quested a bit with Effilda. This is our Human Pally-Mage duo, where I'm the Paladin and my wife the Mage.

Anyway I was curious about something after reading a little about Paladin AoE grinding.
Anyway, the tactic basically boiled down to

Keeping Blessing of Wisdom on myself.
Casting Seal of Light
Judging mob with Seal of Light
Casting Seal of the Crusader
Finishing off mob Judging Seal of Crusader

It was pretty darn amazing. At level 32 every swing got me +25 health. And holding a 2.00 speed one-handed mace, sped up by the Crusader seal, I was recovering any health lost. The Retribution Aura produced Holy Damage, as did the first Judgement, and I've got Righteous Fury going. Plus my shield's got an iron spike on it, when I dinged 33 I put a point into Redoubt in the Protection tree. With 4 more points there I'll put 5 into the talent to reduce the mana cost of seals and judgements.

So Effilda and Honorus traveled to Southshore and we went to the Yeti Cave and got fur clumps from them. That was nice with no down time.

And when Effilda got aggro I used a macro in the KiSS principle: /target Effilda, /cast Righteous Defense. It worked but it didn't hold like a Warriors taunt does. I.e. I'd get a swing in and it would revert right back to Effilda. We'll have to experiment a bit more with that.

Honorus and Effilda are good practice for Halcyon and Sunstriker. And being a Troll sometimes is good.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Life in the Swamp. What's up with the gear? One of these races is not like the other.

The questing continues. Blackhoof discovered that windfury weapon buffs on two weapons do not both proc, unless they're different ranks of the buff. He felt pretty powerful there. But, being Shaman, there is a nerf incoming.

Msaker and Droonda also started the quests there in the Marsh. The Lost Ones fell to our Orcish invasion of Umbrafen Village, and we rescued the Cenarion Refuge Tauren lady. Next stop for them will be assisting the Sporelings

I'm enjoying the Swamp.

And Msaker is still wearing his rare PvP gear. Now some of the greens that are dropping, or are quest rewards, they've got a bit more +Stamina on them, and more Armor, but none of them have any decent crit rates. I've even sold a few socketed greens because the +4 Crit Chance gem I can buy for it just doesn't seem worth it. The synergy of having the full PvP armor set is still greater than the Outland greens, and I'm singing the blues.

I like crits. I party with a healer. What do I need a lot more armor for? And, by the time I need to behave like a responsible warrior, and be prepared to tank for others, I'll have level 65+ greens and blues. Other than the mining helmet I got from the goblin who ran the mine under Thrallmar I've vendored all the Outlands plate I've gotten. And the items I could actually use, belt and bracers, I had to find those on the Auction House.

And, for love of all that is Holy, or Shadow if that's your ticket, why is all plate in the Outlands for Paladins? The Maghar Orcs are giving out Paladin plate for crying out loud!

Work with me here:




(The two don't mix! Seriously.)

Friday, March 2, 2007

Death in the Mosh Pit.

Last night was a good night.

Last night I, Msaker, rustled through my bank account and bags, sold all that I could spare, and amassed another 300 gold. Mind you this was on the heels of my own purchase of the training required to ride an epic mount just days earlier. Not sure how I managed it, but there it was. The last of the auctions collected from the mailbox and tallying the figures, 300 gold.

Now Droonda had already been given some gold. Blackhoof had given her no small amount already, his Outland questing going well enough. (And the big cow has had an epic mount since forever now.) And Darban-"I'm not a bank alt!!!"-ville has been selling a lot of Outland derived loot and materials. Her activities provided a large amount of the cash Msaker needed, and Droonda got some as well.

Anyway, Msaker rejoined the story in progress, in Kargath, and he goes to the Burning Steppes in his quest to get a little more thorium. And in a "pics or it didn't happen" moment (I'll add pics later! - added) I actually mined an Arcane Crystal. WTF? I've been mining thorium for months and that's my first one. Ever. I was so shocked I had to screen shot it. When it turns out I need 3 for an Arcane Rod for my enchanter, Darban-"I'm more than an enchanting alt"-ville, my heart sinks a little. (Blackhoof later transmutes it, with a little Thorium, into an Arcanite Bar. Woot! I was perplexed however that the item text wasn't orange for legendary.)

All the Thorium will buy plans so I can craft an Imperial Plate set for Halcyon, my wife's Paladin.

So, back to the story, Droonda logs on and I tell her to check her mailbox. She's got cash. I've returned to Orgrimmar and ask her to meet me at the wolf seller. It's time she bought her epic mount. I gave her the last 250 gold she needed and she picked the Swift Gray Wolf. She's got her trinket and I've now got spurs made and am waiting to put them on her boots. Two Orcs on fast wolves. Nice.

So, that mission done we hearth back to Shattrath and fly back to Falcon Watch to wrap up some odds-and-ends projects.

Not much later we're asked by a guildie could we please come to Un'Goro Crater. ... That's like 20-30 minutes away. What did he want? His level 54 Blood Elf, Mortannon, had found King Mosh and wanted to kill it and see what loot it dropped, and skin it for mad amounts of Ravasaur Leather.

Well, we fly to Shattrath, port to Orgrimmar, and fly to Marshals Point. The hunt was on.

Well, the first go wasn't stellar. Droonda was not wearing her "Healing" outfit and the 54 Hunter's DPS wasn't that great, and King Mosh has 61,000 hit points, and that's 10 times what I have. I'm stomped, the Hunter goes down, and Droonda, beloved Shaman Princess, bites the dust of Un'Goro Craters floor.

Alright. Plan B. Mortannon logs off and brings out Maelstrom, his level 65 Undead Warrior. Msaker would tank, Droonda would be healing in her Healer gear, and Maelstrom would DPS.

The first fight I noticed the bear was feared a lot. Msaker was never feared. The second fight I was feared over and over. But with a Tremor Totem out I recovered quickly enough.

And the 2nd time King Mosh did the dust munching thing. Pwned. Shammy and two Warriors.

We loot and King Mosh had a Jade Plate Chest Armor hidden on him (not a bad piece of armor) and Mortannon returned and skinned King Mosh. The big guy dropped 1 piece of Ravasaur Leather. One. :) Ah well.

We saluted Mortannon and hearthed back to Shattrath. We did finish the couple of quests we'd started and then we journeyed to the Cenarian Refuge in Zangarmarsh and logged off for the night.
P.S. Going to Paris for the weekend. Woot. Viva la vacation.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

New feature over at World of Warcraft: The Armory.

Tobold noticed this. He's not sure about it given the privacy issue.

I think it's a pretty cool idea. I've set up links to my characters here in the sidebar.

Or I started to until the service died. Beta! ;)

Into, and out of, the Hellfire Ramparts. Looking for Group Tool works.

Blackhoof got some extended working hours last night. (The wife didn't feeling like playing.) So I returned to the marsh and recovered his body. Collected a few more spores sacs, rounding out to 20 again, and then I returned to Fahssn, the Sporeggar who is trying to protect their young by enlisting passersby. Turning those sacs in, and the Bog Giant tendrils as well, Fahssn indicated Blackhoof had pleased his race well enough that it was time to go visit them personally. Cowman in Mushroom Land. I checked out the quartermaster's offerings, sold some of the garbage Blackhoof had been holding on to, and then set out for more adventure.

The first mission was to kill a wasp called Blacksting for a troll in Swamprat Post. Something about big stingers impressing the ladies. *What* was the troll talking about? Heh. That was an easy enough task since this named wasp wasn't elite.

Next, while I was in that corner of the swamp, I turned to go visit the Lost Ones of Umbrafen (Shadow Swamp) Village. And slay a lot them. For a Broken back in the Cenarian Refuge. He'd do it himself, but he's old and/or tired. (Slacker!) These Umbrafen Lost Ones were a bit of relief. I felt strong again fighting these. I pretty much cut a swath through their huts to where their leader resided. About this time two Night Elves show up. A Warrior and a Druid. I don't make note of their levels but the Warrior is wearing his full Valor gear. We move in together, the Warrior and I, with the Druid hanging back in caster form. Kataru, both our targets apparently waited upstairs. The Warrior indicated that I should go first, (I had reached the house first. This guy was certainly polite!), so I did and he took out the Witchdoctor. Kataru is a rather easy kill. I sit down to drink some water and wait around so I could assist the Warrior when Kataru returned with another Witchdoctor. But then I saw the Druid was level 70, he was 62, they were in the same guild, and she was probably just healing him and not grouped with him to maximize his xp. I stood, waved, they waved, and made my way out. I was looking for a few more Witchdoctors when I saw a lonely looking Tauren woman sitting in one of the huts. Ah ha! A damsel in distress. Gentleman that I am, I ask if I could help her in any way. Of course I can. Escort her back to Cenarian Refuge. I'm actually done with my appointed task there so I agree. We make our way back to the road and only encounter two or three pair of Lost Ones trying to stop us. They die just as quickly as she helps too. We make our way back to the Refuge and she thanks me. There was even a reward for that, either a nice caster type necklace (what I should have taken, maybe) and a nice one-handed mace (what I did take). The mace had 48 DPS versus the 40 my axe that I was using had, an easy enough trade-off.

But, the title of this post alludes to something more than knocking out little quests. Let me get to that.

I figure I had all night, so why not try the Looking for Group tool? I haven't heard good things about it, but what did I have to lose. I picked Hellfire Ramparts, and two of the three group quests I had left in Hellfire Peninsula. A Troll Mage joined my party almost immediately. Level 62. "Sup" he says. "Hey." With me in Earthfury, we got some healing. With him we've got DPS and crowd control. Then Anaz, a Warrior, whispers me "Can you use a Fury Warrior?" "Do you have a shield?" "Of course." So I invite him. Level 62 Orc Warrior. Things are looking up. This tool works. Then I'm whispered by a Paladin. (Old School Horde thinking: "WTF? Pally?") Level 65 Blood Elf Paladin. "Kuljit said you could use some help?" I'm thinking tanking, and healing. "You bet." I invite him. Now things are really looking up. A Shaman whispers me but I'm thinking two Shamans... maybe we'd best hold out for a priest. "Alright." he says.

We're individually working on stuff while we wait for our 5th. Then my friend Nachmahd logs on and asks "What's up?" "Trip to Hellfire Ramparts. Want to go?" "Yep." Alright, in the case of friends and guildmates I'll make exceptions. ;)

A level 62 Mage, a 62 Fury Warrior, a 65 Ret/Holy Paladin, a 63 Resto Shaman, and me, a level 62 Enhancement Shaman with some decent healing gear.

And it starts out well. We sheep for crowd control and generally melt faces. The Paladin topped the DPS at 300+. The Fury Warrior came next with +240 or so. The Mage was below that. I was doing a mix of healing and casting and Nachmahd stuck to healing. He had the Warrior and I had the Paladin as our charges. We worked our way through to the first boss, Watchkeeper Gargolmar. They call that a fight?

He dropped some blue mail leggings, socketed. No Hunters in our group, and nice for an Enhancement Shaman, but with +Int that a Restoration Shaman might consider. Nachmahd told me to take them since I'm Enhancement. "You sure? We can roll on it." "Buy me a beer," he whispers. "Sure." Nice. My first socketed item.

But, bad news. The Mage has got to go. Roh roh. "Invite Doomrogg," says Anaz. That was the Shaman who whispered me earlier. Hell. Why not. We're doing pretty good.

No crowd control though. Two Enhancement Shamans (one with decent healing gear), a Resto Shaman, a Fury Warrior, and a Paladin. Do you think we quit? Nope.

It was sweet. We worked our way to Omor the Unscarred. This was an easy fight. And, in general, we weren't missing crowd control at all making our way through the mobs. And Omor drops this nice Caster staff. No mages, no priests. Hmm. Well, I've seen the Crystalfire Staff before. It's a nice looking staff. But I've got my Staff of Dominance still, from my Molten Core days, and that's got a +55 Healing enchant on it. It's still, I think, a slight improvement on the Crystalfire Staff, so I wasn't going to need it. Doomrogg was Enhancement, so he shouldn't have needed it if Nachmahd, fully Restoration, wanted it. (Nachmahd kept Anaz Earthshielded most of the time.) Doomrogg said he didn't need it, and Nachmahd said he didn't either (WHAT?!?!) and they started rolling on it. WTF? So I rolled on it, and won. Grats, Kadaj, the Paladin said, and the group moved on. Sheeyet. Nachmahd, my friend in real life, has been in back healing with a Cold Forged Hammer in one hand (which has some +Int and +Mana Regen) and his Immoveable Object in the other. "You need that. Take it." I start running towards the group. Nachmahd turns around and loots it. It's a wild upgrade for him if he's going to be healing. Kadaj asked "Did Nachmahd loot that?" I said "Yeah, he should have needed that." "Ah."

So now we've gotten to the last bosses, Vazruden, the rider, and Nazan, the dragon.

Well, the Paladin knows what we need to do. He's explained all the fights well. But we still wipe. Twice.

Three Shaman = three wipe recoveries. And a Fire Resistance Totem = Fire Resistance Aura. They don't stack, but we can have complimentary stuff up.

Anyway, first time, Nachmahd is standing in flames and he's trying to keep healing, but he's burnt to death. I'm hopping around like a jumping bean and healing, but those bosses aren't going down.

Oh, yeah, one thing I found funny. We're standing in back. And I see that Nachmahd still has his Hammer and Shield in hand. I whisper him "Why don't you have that staff equipped." "I'm in defensive mode." I'm taken a bit aback. "Huh? You aren't being hit." ... "If you're in back healing like this, go ahead and equip that staff. If you're out soloing than the shield might be fine." It takes a little bit but then that staff comes out. It's a damn nice looking staff too. I love the stuff that's got glowing auras all over it. The Staff of Dominance glows *and* includes the occasional lightning flash. The low rumble of thunder from a chain heal... this game rocks. (And now I'm wondering, as I'm writing this, where did he leave his Landslide Buckler? He's still got that, right??)

Third fight. Vazruden drops like he's been slipped some Rohypnol. And we're working on Nazan. We're avoiding the flames, but still... we lose the Warrior. We lose Nachmahd. We lose our Paladin. Roh roh. I see Doomrogg there, Nazan is really low on health, and then, booyah, he's dead. The dragon is dead. Anyway, third times a charm. A defensive plate item and a defense necklace are in the chest. Both go to Anaz. But, hot damn, we did it. Hellfire Ramparts. 3 Shamans, Warrior, and a Paladin.

Later, recovering in Thrallmar, I comment to Nachmahd that he's gotten a nice staff. And to keep the shield for soloing. "I'm a healer! I'm not soloing anymore." Heh. Blackhoof saluted him and he logged off. Blackhoof rode back out to where Anaz was and helped him with some Ravagers, and then we started working on the Giant Collosii. After the 2nd dies (Warrior+Shaman. Not bad.) we start on a 3rd. I've got adds and I can't heal as well, and he says "CRAP, I've got to go," and he dies and I die. He never came back.

I return to Thrallmar and decided it was a good night. Nachmahd's got a point. If you can party with someone, and you create some synergy with DPS+Healing, etc., do it.

And Shamans: If you're Enhancement, carry some healing gear. And if you're Restoration, carry some fighting gear. I've got like 7 points in Restoration, and all the rest in Enhancement. But my gear lets me heal real good. If you're Elemental then your +mana regen and +spell/healing is going to work either way.