Thursday, May 31, 2007

Coming along.

Last night was a pretty interesting one. It didn't start out that way.

Droonda was taking a break doing her nails. (Orcs are so vain!) So Blackhoof ventured out, not to do any quests, but to farm some Motes of Shadow rather. A Primal Shadow goes for 18g on my server. And some joker was selling 4 Motes of Shadow for 4g. (Now there are bargains to be found. Somebody was selling a full stack of 20 Primals for 30g. I should have bought it without hesitating. I hesitated. And I've found partial stacks of Motes of Shadow for sale cheap. 7 Motes for 1.5g. I didn't hesitate.) Anyway, I farmed enough for 3 Primal Shadows and tired of it. That raises Msaker's Primal Shadow count to 11. Just 9 more and he's got enough, and all the other materials he's already gotten, to craft his epic The Planar Edge one-hander.

Flying above Shattrath later Blackhoof gets a /whisper: "Have you run Shadow Labs yet?" "No." "Do you want to go?" "Yes." That was from the guildmaster and so we had a little guild run into the Shadow Labyrinth, to secure for me the Karazhan key fragment, and to get Lower City reputation for everyone.

Our group was two Priests, shadow and holy, a Mage (frost), a Warrior (maxed protection, 5/0/56, 12,000 health), and yours truly, Blackhoof (enhancement). What's nice about my guild is they're fine with all our specs. When I mentioned "Enhancement" they say "Cool, DPS."

And what a run it was. Only one wipe, and that was against a 5-man pull. We'd sheeped the healer and the two priests did us in. (We later sheeped one of the priests and killed the healer first. That was the ticket.) I was DPSing my Tauren heart on all bosses except Murmer. Well, when healing was required I pulled back and did my job. There were some moments, but we did fine. And a shadow priest can generate some truly amazing healing, and mana regen??. Combined with the holy priest spot healing, the place went easy enough. Wait, we did have another wipe. That was against the Inciter. (Or did we? It was an extremely close fight.) The fight against the Warlock, Volpir, went smoothly. There's tactics to use, and we had them down.

For the Murmer fight I stayed at a distance and never got anything worse than a knock up into the air. Otherwise it was just lightning bolt spam. And Murmer dropped something for me, for the healer/caster in me rather, the Tidefury Kilt. My first piece of D3. And I got my key fragment for the Karazhan attunement quest.

Blackhoof's coming along.

Next stops will be The Arcatraz, Steamvault, and the Caverns of Time, Durnholde and the Black Morass. And that means shots at more Tidefury (Steamvault and Arcatraz) and Desolation Battlegear (for my fighting side) (Caverns of Time).

And when Droonda's ready for more action, Msaker and she will be making our own way down this road to Karazhan.

P.S. It's nice being in a competent, and casual, end-game capable, guild.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Ding. 70. Flight.

Oh, yeah.

Broke, but elated.
Playing with Orphans, we find a bully. Visiting former times.

Had some fun last night running around with our Blood Elf orphans. Msaker scouted the way out, and Blackhoof and Droonda followed behind.

The Orphans last request found us traveling to the Caverns of Time. And there we, Blackhoof and Droonda, took a side trip. To the Hillsbrad of before the Scourge, but trouble is imminent.

What a blast. That was really cool.

"'Blades of light!"? Punk."

And Blackhoof and Droonda didn't look too shabby. A mite pale and furless though.

Nobody in Southshore suspected a thing as we rode in our Frostwolf and Kodo. And the vendors there did business with us. If you like riding, you might have a look.

It's not like a regular instance. Going to Old Hillsbrad you get to play a tourist in the area around Durnhold Keep, Tarren Mill (mind the guards, they were red elites, our level), and South Shore itself. Watch Sally Whitemane running around, with her champion. And the discussion that goes on in the Inn. Lots of familiar faces. ... And that just makes the whole history that unfolded after that much more dramatic and sad. (Except for Herod. Apparently he was always a punk.)

Friday, May 25, 2007

Fury+Protection. Looking for some thoughts.

Can I play a Fury Warrior, and be Protection at the same time? I.e. can I level, and tank, with one build?

My experience with playing a Warrior has been pretty much that of leveling one up. I've never been a regular group's "main tank."

But I do know a thing or two about tanking, I think, and I always carry a shield and a +STA one-hander for tanking purposes.

A couple of days ago I joined a pug in the Auchindoun. Not sure which part of it. The level 70 Mage that went with us (Shadow priest, two hunters, the mage, and me) complimented me on my tanking. Thanks. Not bad for a Fury + some Arms Warrior I guess.

But I'm always wondering "Can I do more?"

Blackhoof got a whisper the other night. "You Resto?" "No." Nothing more. Somebody was seeking a healer for an instance, and they decided to go with a Shaman?? Hmm. But I do know, as an Enhancement Shaman, that I'll sooner or later need to set up one of those "Take a number" units to dispense tickets, and then I'll call out, in general chat, "Alright. #53. #53? I'm ready to join your group now. /Invite please." You know everyone wants an Enhancement Shaman along to join their groups. Ah, ha, ha! I jest! qq

Anyway, where was I? Ah, yes, "Can I do more?" Can I be of more use to others than just myself. And, frankly, now that we've made Droonda a killer queen, gunpowder, gelatine, dynamite with a laser beam, guaranteed to blow your mind, anytime windfury procs, she does do a little DPS. She gives my DPS numbers a run. Stormstrike and she steals my aggro.

So, could I party better if I were a tank that could do some damage? I.e. keep some of my Fury, to let me put my The Planar Edge to use someday, and still be more of a tank than I am now, go into the Protection tree some?

Can I be Fury/Protection and enjoy the benefits of both worlds? It's got to improve my tanking from what it is now. But would I give up too much DPS?

What do you think? My reasoning is below...

Link to build.

Warrior Talents TalentsMinimum Required Level: 70Required Talent Points: 61

Fury Talents - 30 point(s)

Cruelty - rank 5/5
Critical strikes are good.

Unbridled Wrath - rank 5/5
Need more rage!

Commanding Presence - rank 5/5
Improves Battle Shout for fighting, Commanding Shout (at 68) for tanking.

Dual Wield Specialization - rank 5/5
I need to remain viable in DPS for grinding/questing.

Enrage - rank 5/5
This leads to Flurry.

Flurry - rank 5/5 (filling this talent last to 70)
This for the fighting.

Protection Talents - 31 point(s)

Anticipation - rank 5/5
Defense skill is good.

Shield Specialization - rank 5/5
Put that shield to use when I'm using one.

Improved Shield Block - rank 1/1
More blockage.

Improved Revenge - rank 3/3

Defiance - rank 3/3
Need threat to hold aggro.

Improved Sunder Armor - rank 3/3
Faster, cheaper, sunders, easier threat maintenance.

Improved Taunt - rank 2/2
"Don't hold back too much. I've got it."

Concussion Blow - rank 1/1
Stunning. If it's stunned, it can't hurt me.

Improved Shield Bash - rank 2/2

One-Handed Weapon Specialization - rank 5/5
This must apply to off-hand one-hand weapons as well.

Shield Slam - rank 1/1

So, to you Warriors out there that Tank and DPS. How does this look? I don't PvP at the moment so don't see the need for Mortal Strike.

Now I briefly played around with a 41 point Protection build earlier. I liked the feel of Devastate.

Now with a The Planar Edge in hand, would Devastate be worth getting vice the ten points I've put in Enrage+Flurry?

I'm thinking the One-handed Weapon Specialization + Dual Wield Specialization must stack so for PvE/non-tank fights, I'd be dual wielding.

110% damage on main hand + 85% damage on off-hand. (vs. 110% on main hand + 60% on off-hand).

Or I could skip Shield Slam and take Blood Thirst.

Is the 30 rage getting me 217+ damage and +150 health recovered worth it?

Versus the 20 rage 478-502 damage, plus threat?

Thoughts on the proposed build please.

Edit: Some further analyses on my part, and using Llew Mason's Armory analyses, and the numbers there.

Improved Shield Bash silences for 3 seconds. Ordinary Shield Bash will interrupt the spell and stop casting from same school for 6 seconds. That's probably enough, and this would be a PvP ability. 48% of Protection Warriors use it. So I could drop that. Improved Revenge is used even less, 43% of Protection Warriors use it.

Now Concussion Blow, Defiance, Shield Slam, and Shield Specialization, all of which I've planned, these are the Top 5 talents Protection folks take. Good. Vitality is next, but too far down the tree. Toughness next, and I can take that.

So I'll drop Improved Shield Bash, and Improved Revenge and put the points into Toughness.

The same 0/30/31 build, but following the crowd.

P.S. Yes, yes, my gear sucks. I'm casual and suffer from self-induced altitis. I won't be tanking your Karazhan raid. Nonetheless, advice would be appreciated.

Edit: Deflection. 5% Parry. How do I work that into the build? I'd assume 5% parry chance is 5% damage avoided. Which means rage generation is avoided. Keeping One-handed Weapon Specialization over in the Protection tree generates 10% more damage, which implies more rage. Parry would decrease my rage, more damage would increase it. Since I'm also Fury, and need rage, it seems that it's best to not take Deflection at the cost of One-handed Weapon specialization.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Druids are not broken. The lonely Hunter. The world is broken. Pretty cool.


Last night we brought the Druids out to play. Sending some money out of the "Epic Mount for Arcarius the Old Fashioned Way: We Earn It" fund, Itarilda respecs and goes Feral. She'll be the Tank and Greenclaw will be the DPS. (Being a Bear is easier, she says. And she did me proud, charging into most every fray with zeal.) One little incident aside, Col. Kurzen got himself taken down, got himself taken downtown, express bus, no stops.

"Hey, man, you don't talk to the Colonel. You listen to him. The man's enlarged
my mind. He's a poet-warrior in the classic sense. I mean sometimes he'll...
uh... well, you'll say 'hello' to him, right? And he'll just walk right by you.
He won't even notice you. And suddenly he'll grab you, and he'll throw you in a
corner, and he'll say, 'do you know that "if" is the middle word in life? If you
can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
if you can trust yourself when all men doubt you'... I mean I'm no, I can't...
I'm a little man, I'm a little man, he's... he's a great man. I should have been
a pair of ragged claws scuttling across floors of silent seas..." (from
Apocalypse Now)

Yeah, yeah. Hubris. Downfall.

So the Druids did pretty good last night. Arcarius is a little poorer, but what the hey.


Speaking of Arcarius... Many moons ago Arcarius once travelled down into the Swamp of Sorrows. He was after elusive prey, the Swamp Jaguar, with it's rumored high rate of attack speed. The swamp jaguar tamed, the pair took to further adventures.

When at last the 40th season came, Arcarius returned to Darnassus and selected his mount. He took the white spotted saber. It fairly matched the jaguar and that made it cool. It was quite a nice sight. To ride across the land, faithful pet at one's side.

But those days are gone. Hunters must choose. To ride on their mount, or be accompanied by their pet. Why? Huntards with flying mounts. Too lazy to dismiss pets, annoyed that the land based pets would run after them, anywhere. Why couldn't Blizzard simply auto-dismiss pets upon mounting a FLYING mount. Leave us old-timers alone. Let us have our pets back. Give us our pets back. Our partners in crime. Our friends. Let them run alongside us as they've done for 30 levels of our lives now. Mounted Hunters have become loney.


Anyone else notice glitches in the world? The distance flashes with blocks of terrain flickering. (Changing visual effects doesn't change that.) The bats in EPL have green in their wings and look wierd. The Elder Mistvale Apes, one of them was hopping about like a Gnome Mage, about 2 meters in the air. We fought it while it was in the air. The Reaver of Hellfire Penninsula has developed a new hobby. Ice skating. The world rumbles, as if with every stride, but he's ice skating. My wife's interface, which is pretty clean of add-ons, no unit frame add-ons, her target isn't always showing, or it'll not update. I noticed that with X-Perl too, figured it was an add-on problem. But since she had it too, I suspect it's the game. Not my add-ons.

I basically unloaded all my add-ons. Then I reloaded the ones I can't live without. (Cartographer, MetaHud, Healbot, X-Perl, KTHM, Damage Meter, simpleminimap, etc. etc.) and found I'd left like half in the old folder. Hmm, might not have needed them after all.

ALL of my add-ons pretty much worked post patch, after updating them via UI Central and WoW Ace Updater. (Keeping Ace mods up-to-date is super easy with WoWAceUpdater. And their collection of add-ons, extensive, get updated nearly daily it seems.)


Arcarius did some more Zangarmarsh quests last night. I'm seriously trying to clear out the quest log so I can take more in Nagrand.

Anyway there was a quest to go return to the Broken in Feralfen and talk to them, ask them to come to our side.

The quest involves turning myself into one of their bird spirits. It turned me into a Arakkoa.

Now I had five minutes to play with this.

Naturally, the first thing everyone does turning into another race: /dance!

Interesting. The Arakkoa have their own dance.

Then I waved. It looked like a creepy granny wave. Palm open facing out, and the fingers closing in a wave.

Then I saluted. Kind of like a two finger boy scout salute.

You know what they say. SPECULATION RUMOR MILL: If they program a race to have all these emotes, they could make them a playable race. WoW Wiki says they have "sage" and "warrior" classes, and they're pretty smart. And they have owl companions. Mage, Priest, Warlock, Warrior, Hunter, Rogue.

Naga for the Horde, and the opening of the Maelstrom, and Arakkoa for the Alliance, with further outlying Outlands found.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Unbreakable, I like Naga.

Particulary the STV Naga just outside Booty Bay. They don't cast.

Me, Honorus, 41 Paladin, and Effilda, 40 Mage, can easily take on two 43-44 Nagas at a time. Without breaking much of a sweat. Seal's flying, swings landing, our biggest problem was the Nagas were of a level to keep resisting Effilda's magic. She's even taken the Arcane Subtelty talents. But that makes her the equivalent then, if my theorycrafting is right, as a level 42. Which means these Nagas had their usual resist chance, or better, against her. Of course a spell resisted is Aggro not taken, so not at all a problem.

Ultimately, the Akiris Reeds we gathered were to be delivered to Theramore.

Stranglethorn Vale gets old, and we were seeking a new haunt for a spell.

Our first quick little business there in Dustwallow Marsh was the level 40 Mage quest given by Tabetha involving some Orb. Let's say "Big Gun" and leave it at that. Job done.

With that out of the way we retired and the upcoming humankind adventures will be in the Marsh. This is a short, enough, ride down to Tanaris, and Un'Goro, and Silithus. All new, kind of, quest locations for Effilda (and my wife).

Demon Killing. And their minion too. Or does Honor stay my hand?

Blackhoof, 69, went to Azshara seeking some quick mageweave. The elves carry runecloth. The stayrs and ghosts near Valormark carry mageweave. Problem solved. (Mageweave becomes bolts of mageweave become low 40 gear become, hopefully, dream dust, becomes materials for enchanting and getting Darbanville's enchanting up. 280 right now, with material enough for 4 more skill-ups. 300 is my goal, and a quick run again to Thrallmar, via windrider, not skeletal horse, to train in everything else.) Back to Blackhoof in Azshara... Suddenly I see a yellow name. Names. Warlock and voidwalker. Yellow. Bad people, managed to get flagged. Not being nice he was. Warlocks soooo infuriate me. Oh, please Blizzard. Please Buff Warlocks More! Please! Nerf me, personally, if you need to balance the game. Nerf Shamans so you can buff Warlocks. (Done.) Anyway, where was I? Ah, yes. So I see that this Gnome (yes, double it) and see that he sees me. Stopped in his tracks, then scurries away. What? Like I'd just run over there and kill him? A Warlock? Someone who will gleefully DOT the hell out of me, my friends, and my allies, and laugh and /spit about it? That person needs to live? This steaming pile of dishonor should live in peace? This is why we seem to lose yet win: Honor. I let him be and continued farming my mageweave. Yes, I had 14 levels on him. He was dead. But I left him alone. A little while later he reappears. Blue, killing my ghosts. I laugh, got two stacks of mageweave and it's midnight, so I hearth home to Shattrath and pop the goods in the mail to Darbanville. Karma.

Monday, May 21, 2007

No, I don't think a cat is better.

Well our Draenei finished up their quests in Azuremyst Isle. All of them. We have tabards to prove it.

As an almost aside, as if it didn't matter, we concluded, after getting the tabard and the cheering crowd, with closing out the quest to actually close the Sun Gate. (I mean we got cheering crowds before we'd done that.)

My only quest left was the Shaman quest which was to take a Bota Bag and fill it with wine, I mean water, in Ashenvale. But that's something I can get to.

Anyway, when our day comes, as it does (see characters on Kirin Tor sidebar) we don't want to be riding those goofy elephants.

So we got to thinking... We've got cloven hoofs. Hmmm... Rams have got cloven hooves. (And Tauren too, but by the time you can mount a Tauren, it's dead and unrideable.) So we headed to Dwarfland, Khaz Modan. Into the snowy reach of Coldridge Valley we started our quest to have the Dwarves like us.

And it was a good opportunity to build up some weapon skills. One shot still gets you a level up.

Time drew to a close as we headed out of the Valley to Kharanos and the Thunderbrew Distillery.

Anyway, as we were in the Frostmane Cave in Coldridge some dwarf stopped us. Both very clever, and very assuming. "Cats are better."

Maybe so. Except we want to ride Rams.

Friday, May 18, 2007

When am I going to learn to play?

Yeah, yeah. Blackhoof is level 69 and change. But can I claim I know how to play?

I'm pretty happy that I got to spend months raiding Molten Core in a well respected guild. I was a guild officer and Shaman Class Leader. Have I told you about all my purples I once showed off in Orgrimmar? That was me. Happy as a clam with my Unstoppable Force. Then I'd switch over to my healing get-up (good enough to still out heal the Resto Shamans even after I went Enhancement) which was full Earthfury. Onyxia never dropped the helm for me. "Hey. I've arrived," my gear announced. Last Summer I knew exactly what I was talking about. Class leader in a great guild, in the gear, my opinion should have mattered.

But I'm not going over to the official Blizzard Community Shaman forums now and saying one damn thing. Not one. I'll admit the Shaman Class has wants. I've respecced numerous times to meet raiding, pvp, and pve requirements. But I'll also admit the class can get things done. And overall it's a fun class. But I'm not going to open my mouth.

Even if I were 70, my gear sucks, my opinions don't count. Yeah, it's AH greens if I can get them. (That I did around level 60. Since then I've been hording cash.) Or an instance blue, if I can get into one. Or just a lucky world drop, or quest reward.

Or Vendor greens. They're not that bad - for my needs. Blackhoof picked up the Consortium fist weapons from Stormspire. And for 8g, eight!, no rep required, Msaker picked up the Arkadian Claymore (80.3 DPS, +28 Str, +42 Sta, +27 Crit Strike rating), and some Ninja Stars, after the Blue Moon rose and Horde took Halaal.

But, anyway, my gear sucks. It's not stuff out of Kara or gotten from mindless reputation grinding.

So, posting as a "Level 70" with an opinion, and greens for gear, I'd only be shot down, bbq'd, told to "shut it" (hell, that happens here on my own blog!), because I'm not raiding Karazahn. Two years plus playing a Shaman and my opinion about the class would mean NOTHING on the forums. Level 70 Draenei Shamans would be flaming me. I don't need that.

But does it mean I don't know how to play?

Nah. I do know how to play.

I play to have fun.*

How about you?

*And would I play another Shaman knowing what I know? Yep. Too late. My Draenei Shaman is level 20. (Already out-leveled my Warlock who's ignored at 14.)

P.S. Tseric, requiescat in pace.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

World of Craftcraft.

Blackhoof is about 20% into level 69. What's he spend his time doing? Farming motes. Water breathing helps immensely getting Motes of Water from the water elementals in the lake north of Garand, in Nagrand. The air elementals also found in Nagrand supply Motes of Air occasionally. Then he'll fly up to Area 52 in Netherstorm and fight various mobs for Motes of Mana. Water and Mana are plentiful. Air can be, but last night it wasn't. It seems there are areas reachable only by flying where there are more, but he's not 70 yet, and not flying.

He does have Transmutation Mastery, except I don't see where it says that in my character info. And the one Transmutation I did, for Primal Might, resulted in one Primal Might. (So no proof that it works yet.)

Now I could be doing quests. But I figure I'll have to get these motes sometime. May as well save the questing for when I'm 70 and the XP I could have earned just translates into gold. Every mote I get is roughly 10 mobs, and that's a lot of xp I'd be losing out on. So, he farms motes. And, damn, does that take time.

He's not the only one.

Msaker, after the grueling drive to 300 Blacksmithing, and getting the full Imperial Plate plans, because he could, circling the Plaguelands looking for Thorium during free moments, is now circling the Outlands (a loop that stretches from Thrallmar, through the marsh, into Terrokar, yes, by wolfback) looking for ore veins. He's now at 330 Blacksmithing so far, and a bank full of gems for some jewelcrafter to cut for him. And mining brings in Motes of Earth and Motes of Fire. Together they ought to be able to produce a Primal Might every day.

Where do/will the Primal Mights and the ore go? Ultimately into a The Planar Edge for Msaker. (That is until this patches collection of nerfs drives the material cost up.)

Otherwise Darbanville is kept busy just selling all the greens and blues that drop, or get crafted, in the Auction House.

Alliance side we just checked out mail boxes and took care of some admin business.

Can you tell we didn't really play last night? And, yet, still put hours into it?

Otherwise, a normal gaming session, Msaker and Droonda, or any of our other couples, will find us questing and enjoying the changes of pace.

And what will the material farming get us? Better gear, for starters. We don't really instance, and that's a handicap. Msaker and Droondas last venture into Ramparts failed, yet again, to kill the Dragon. One single Death before the Dragon, and yet unable to kill the Dragon. Blackhoof has been into Coilfang a few times, and the groups always fall apart before the last bosses are killed. (No, wait, one time he was invited in for the last boss that they took down.) The Fel Iron Plate has good stamina on it (the Imperial Plate set of the beginning Outlands, but all trainer provided) and is a set with bonuses. The Fel Iron Chain, for fighting Shamans and Hunters, isn't bad either. GRANTED it's not the leet best you can get, but for a husband-wife team, playing relatively casually, it's not bad. And the axesmithing will provide an epic axe for him, The Planar Edge. Otherwise, group quests are possible, and planned on, especially the Ring of Blood and Wanted: Durn the Hungerer. That'll provide a nice one-hand fist weapon for Droonda, a nice two-hand axe for Msaker, a nice healing dagger for Droonda, and a decent tanking sword for Msaker. (The 2nd fist weapon, Droonda dual wields, is the main-hand we can buy off the Consortium vendor in Stormspire.) We can get to 70, easily, with this. And once 70 I'm sure knocking out instances will be easier. Particularly if we return to the states and can raid with the guilds.

The Motes and Primal business will also be a profitable one, in the future. A Primal Air sells for, or is is being sold at, rather, 30g. Not sure what the Primal Mights sell for. It must be a healthy amount.

Too bad there appears to be no money to be made Axesmithing. The good stuff is all Bind on Pickup. You can provide mid-range stuff to the masses, but only the good stuff to yourself. Is this unique to Blacksmithing and Engineering?

I guess this all comes to mind in recent discussions about what the end-game is. Or what it can be. It's not all instance raiding. Some folks make a game out of crafting. Some folks make a game out generating income. Some folks make a game out of roleplaying. ("Zug, zug." There. My Roleplaying is done for the day.) Hell, I'm making a game out getting to level 70! :)

With all my characters, so many yet to get to 60, much less 70, this game has got some damn long legs. And, frankly, I've yet to get bored.

P.S. I *am* curious what the next Blizzard product will be. Buzz is a new MMORPG. World of ... Starcraft?

Monday, May 14, 2007

Coming along.

The Orcs are doing fine in the Bone Wastes. With a little help from our friend, Nachmahd, the cow with wings.

Friday, May 11, 2007

We've decided to kill stuff.

Droonda has gone Enhancement.

Msaker has gone Fury. I'm saving the last 5 points for Deep Wounds 3/3 and Impale 2/2.

Together that's four axes flying, and a lot of Orc.
Blizzard sells out.

This is the visual equivalent of the whisper wall of gold spam I'm getting when I'm logged in now.

If something's broken in the game, it's the goldsellers spam. This needs addressing.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007


He dropped cloth boots. Must have been made out of asbestos.
Doing something.

Friend told me to attack, so I did.

We wound up killing this 68 Elite Farahlon Giant thing.

I'm Enhancement, he's a 70 Resto.
Folks, it's the same as it ever was.

I've played a Shaman going on two years.

I think it's just funny that all these level 70 Draenei Shaman are posting in the official forums, QQing, about the upcoming nerf. (No longer letting different ranks of Windfury to proc independently, and some Elemental stuff, to which I say "whatever.")

They've invested so much time into the character, and then Blizzard takes it all away. They'll just /wrists and /quit. These folks have all of a couple months invested and now they're shocked?? Let down? Disappointed? My Shaman was 60 before we even knew we were getting Draenei. They were promised one thing, and now it gets taken away?

QQ - Shamans been doing this from the start. Deal with it. It's still a great class to enjoy.

And, Welcome to my world! Is this a Revelation for you?

You might have asked, I'd have told you.

Folks, being a Shaman is going to be the same as it ever was.

We were never leet DPS. We never took out Elites our level on our own. Hell, I remember 60 Shamans who couldn't clear the Scarlet Monastery on their own. (We needed a 60 Warrior for that, and he had to work at it.)

But our Dungeon gear, The Elements, let us do a little of everything, provided we weren't really looking to fight. ZG finally produced some Hunter gear with +Attack Power that we eyed and took seconds on.

When we started to raid, Molten Core and such, just look at the Tiers 1, 2, and 3 armors. We were expected to be healers. Nothing more.

The old adage: If you can heal, you heal.

New adage: If you can heal, you heal, unless you're a priest, and we'll leverage your shadow abilities to greater effect.

It was our PvP gear that let us PvP, and favored the Enhancement Shaman.

Otherwise, the "serious, raiding, Shaman" was, is, and will be, a healer type.

That's right, "Healbots" if you don't like the role, respected "Healers" if you do. I did.

Now, and then, and in the future, being a Shaman was and is about 1) Healing, Buffing, and Cleansing in Raids and Groups, or 2) playing an Elemental or Enhancement off-spec to PvP, or 3) leveling/grinding as Enhancement. That's how it's always been. That's how it's going to be.

Hey, I got a few levels in Nagrand dual wielding with Flametongue on both weapons. Not Windfury. Yeah, I really appreciated Windfury lately, with good weapons, with two different ranks, but if I were called on to go into an Instance, I'd expect to heal and cleanse. I've got a bag full of healing gear. And I can still just get a kick out of dual wielding with a little windfury thrown in.

The Shamans have always been what they are, and what they're going to be. It's all the same as it ever was.

Shaman, medicine man, healer. Not rogue in mail, not mage in mail.

P.S. And until I start raiding again I'll be Enhancement, and I'll be loving it. Do note that I have *two* Shamans on Kirin Tor. I won't be deleting my Draenei Shaman.

On to another topic:

Pearls Before Swine

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Zauberin, my wife's Mage, reaches 40.

A little while later she also got Whitemane's Chapeau. Stylish.

You'll note the cats on Blackhoof's hands. I call them Tom and Felix. They are the Nexus Claw and the Void Talon. I picked them up in the Stormspire from the Consortium guys. Level 66 vendor stuff. I was cranking out over 400 dps with them in the Scarlet Monastery. Absolutely brutal. I guess I always figured faster was better for Shamanistic Rage and mana regen. But damage output is damage done. The Hungering Bone Cudgel was just too fast for a proper main hand. I needed top end damage and the Claw delivers. Now if I could get some proper Shaman weapons...

Too, there is a quest in Blades Edge. The final reward is a dagger with +109 Healing. The Thunderlord Scalpel. Thing is it's One-Hand. Most every +Healing one-hander is for the Main-Hand. This isn't. So I'm dual wielding it with the Mogor's Anointing Club, with +160 Healing, for some healing goodness. +573 in my +Healing getup. Finally something to replace my Landslide Buckler with.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Great jobs:

Rescuing kids from parrots gone bad. "Bad, Polly, bad. No cracker for you! Now let their children go."

But I've got to ask: There are Draenei kids. Sure, that's expected. It's their world. (Kind of.) But the human kids? What's up with that? "What are you kids doing here? And stay off my lawn!"

"And so, Miss. There I was. Surrounded by Alliance. To the left of me. To the right of me. The enemy flag beckoning me to capture it. Not a friendly tusk in sight. ... Do you dance?"

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Being (nearly) 70 means: No Pugs for the wife.

Zauberin was taking a mana break. We're in the Scarlet Monastery. She'd hopped up on a cannon and said "Take a snapshot with me with the big guns."

At first I thought she meant me.

But if she didn't, certainly she meant to.

P.S. My screenshots are treated before I post them. I usually do a Gamma Correction of 2.0, and then, to correct the resulting color washout, I adjust the Saturation to 120 or so. This makes the screenshots brighter and richer than the saved screenshot. But it also looks more like it does in game.

One of WoW's strengths for me is the vivid richness of the colors. And I must add Commander Morgraine's armor never looked better. (I know they update NPC's regularly. Has he seen a recent gear/appearance upgrade?)

The software I use to crop and edit screenshots is called Irfanview. It's freeware and will read the screenshot in their native .tga (?) format. It's then easy to crop, enhance colors, and save as .jpg or whatever.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Blizzard strangles own head to grow new disembodied one. Old one left in place to wither away on it's abandoned body.

Off a newsgroup posting:

> I finally did the grinding needed for that last half-level and my warrior hit 58 tonight. As I understand it, I can now walk through some portal.
> Where is that portal?

That's right. Why on earth is this poster going to spend one hour in the formerly 58-60 areas, and in the 60 end-game content? Why? You'd have to be an idiot, farming, or a farmer, to do so.

Killing some Fel Orcs in the minutes after this person has stepped through the portal will result in gear better than 95% of the player base found in the old world. Getting to 65-66 will find him being able to have replaced Tier 1 gear, had he ever gotten it. (However, his Warrior is in for a bit of a shock since most plate armor quest rewards have +Int and +Healing on them. He'll have to make friends with the Sporeggar before he picks a new shield up.)

Gone are the reasons to go to BRD, LBRS, UBRS, or Molten Core. Gone is the reason to go work for Argent Dawn and go to Stratholme and Scholomance. The entire 58-60 game content has been eliminated as any value to the average World of Warcraft player. Replaced by seven zones in the Outlands.

Blizzard is most likely spending a lot of it's time now developing content for the smallest fraction of it's players. Pretty soon, maybe I'm just an optimist here, but I think Blizzard will be spending all it's time developing content for nobody. 100% of it's effort for 0% of it's players. Imagine the creativity let loose when they don't have actual constraints to worry about! I mean, if you don't need to worry about players not having 30k health and +1000 mana regen/5s, the sky is the limit! They'll knock our socks off (and leave us for dead).

I still love the game. But I'll say it would blow us all away if they spent a little more time developing content for the rest of us too. We aren't all level 70 yet. Some of us, shocking, yes, I know, actually still have characters in the 10-50 range, and like it that way.
Otherwise I'm just looking at the maps, and the region levels (i.e. Durotar, level 1-10) and thinking about the races and their routes to 60.

Some quick thoughts:

Orcs/Trolls and Tauren have it easiest. They never have to leave Kalimdor to get to 60. Durotar - The Barrens - Stonetalon Mts - 1000 Needles - Desolace - Dustwallow Marsh - Feralas & Tanaris - Azshara - Un'Goro & Felwood - Winterspring & Silithus. It's "Horde favored" according to Blizzard through Desolace and level 40.

"Alliance favored" on Kalimdor ends in Ashenvale at level 30. Now how Blizzard figures Ashenvale is "Alliance favored" given two Horde Flightpoints, go figure.

The Eastern Kingdoms is a little simpler. Each of the four races, Blood Elves, Undead, Human, and Short People, have their 1-20 zones for themselves. Here the "Horde favored" ends at 20, and the Alliance have two zones, Wetlands and Duskwood, that end at 30. Those really are Alliance favored given no Horde Flightpoints in either. But, countering that, Badlands and Swamp of Sorrows both have Horde Flightpoints and no Alliance Flightpoints. Clearly "Horde favored" and that's at levels 35-45. Blasted Lands. Nearly forgot about this place. Alliance Flight point, 45-55 level range. Pretty much "Alliance favored."
Did cavemen ski?

I know ol' Ötzi the Iceman used snowshoes. But, if they had skiied, and I guess if they wanted to go spend a nice afternoon snowshoeing and raiding their neighbors, they'd have had some difficulties in the Spring time what with the melting snow. This last weekend I was up there, in the Austrian alps, skiing the last of the snow. Watching it melt before my eyes as I rode the lifts up, spying the marmots spying me and whistling "Danger!" to their buddies. Melanie C, former Spice Girl, performed up above, and the bottom station was a party zone. Good beer after some decent skiing. (If skiing mashed potatoes can be called decent. But it was sunny, warm, skiable, so decent.)

Last night we brought out the dead. Zauberin and Darbanville knocked out a few quests there in STV. Collecting a pristine tigress fang and 8 shadowmaw claws, and then collecting some tumbled blue crystals off the Venture Co. geologists. It was painfully easy. A bubbled fire mage can put out some damage on single targets. Darbanville kept her shielded and all was good. We really need to play around with some AoE grinding tactics.