Saturday, December 20, 2008

So not WoW related...

I'm going on vacation in a few days. So I was both clearing off my camera and taking pictures of my bunny, fooling around with the camera.

When I bought the camera, it came with a bunch of photoshopping software that I have never used.

On a whim, I decided to try something. It isn't very good, because it's my first time doing something like this. But it made me bust out laughing so hard, and made my husband bust out laughing ... that I had to share.

Everyone knows that Boba Fett is arguably one of the best Bounty Hunters in the Galaxy. His most potent weapon isn't his mind, his disintegrater pistol or thermal detonators (it certainly wasn't his ability to use a jetpack...)...

It was ...

Hazel the Bunny. (Bonus points if you can figure out where the name Hazel comes from.)

I guess I should explain this just a little bit.

We have a friend who, like us, is a big Star Wars nerd. Said friend's favorite character is Boba Fett. His favorite animal is also the rabbit. Jokingly, we'd often talk about Boba Fett and rabbits in conjunction and if only Boba Fett had used a bunny, he'd have been just fine that day out in the sands of Tatooine. Because bunnies are immortal and invulnerable to all bad things.

So a few years ago I drew him a picture of Boba Fett holding a bunny, with his bounty hunter logo/insignia replaced with a bunny insignia.

See. Much more funny now. :)

Revisit the Naked Paladin

Wearing only my Stormpike Tabard, I have a whopping 11.03% crit.

I will have to assume that is due to talents that I have when completely nekkid.

However... when I put my gear back on, my crit dropped to 17.51%. Down from 19 and change. I don't know why. Boon thinks I may have had a buff on that I wasn't aware of.

Who knows! But there you have it, by gear we need to make up about 14% critical strike to keep Vengeance up most of the time. Maybe we can reduce that by increasing our speed, so we're hitting faster so we have more crits / time rather than more crits / swing? Or whatever.
Well, I'm home now, time to play play play!
Edit: I figured it out. For some reason, my mouse-down box keeps going from melee stats to spell stats.

Paladin: Hit, Crit, Agi, Expertise and Armor Pen.

With the advent of Wrath of the Lich King, we've had a lot of itemization changes.

Spell Damage and Spell Healing have been merged into Spell Power.

Melee Hit and Spell Hit have become Hit.

And most of the plate has merged to become: Tank, Melee, Healer.

Lucky holy paladins. :P

What does this mean for us Ret Pallies? We're sharing armor with DPS warriors and now DK's. Neither of the two of them use intellect (which I mean in so VERY many ways!) and so a lot of the gear that's floating out there for us to use also has no intellect.

Which means a magical shrinking mana pool!

But that's besides the point. That's why we have Replenishment and Divine Plea and Seal of Wisdom and Judgement of Wisdom. You start getting low in mana and you do something and poof, back it comes. The bad part of having a small mana pool is also the good part of it - you don't need a lot to fill it back up!

The other thing of note is the scarcity of gear that makes us sit up and jump. All of a sudden we have all these new things being thrown at us. Expertise and Armor Penetration, Hit Rating? What?

With the loss of Precision, suddenly we paladins need to start thinking of our hit ratings.

And how do we handle this expertise and armor penetration? How important is it over our tried and true crit rating?



So here are some K-Derived numbers (take as truth at your own risk!, all my numbers were generated through wowwiki or worldofwarcraft forum research).

Hit Rating
If we can't hit, we can't crit. (or do damage, really...) so hit rating, especially at the level of 80 heroics and raids, is very important.

The hit rating assumes that you have maxed weapon skill.

Lvl 80 requires 5% hit. Lvl 81 requires 5.5% hit. Lvl 82 requires 6% hit. (Lvl 82 is, iirc, the level of most heroic bosses.)

Lvl 83, the level of all raid bosses in Northrend, requires a whopping 9%!

So, I hear you say, those numbers are the same as they were in BC! We always needed a 9% hit.

Ah, but as we all know, the amount of stat required goes UP UP UP the higher level you are. Which is why people wearing their Uber-Classic gear at level 70 were always looked at sideways. Yeah, real cool that you have it, and sure, it LOOKS like it's got stats that are equivalent to what gear that drops for you now appears to have... but the gear level is too low and so those numbers don't mean what the numbers seem to mean!

Blizzard likes to screw with our heads this way.

So, not only do they take away our pretty pretty Precision (which gave us ret pallies at 3% hit), but they then increase the amount of hit rating points we need!

A 32.79 hit rating is equal to 1% hit.

So at level 80, with 400 weapon skill, you need 295 hit rating to hit a level 83 boss.
At level 80, with 400 weapon skill, you need 197 hit rating to hit a level 82 boss.

And by hit, I mean 'not miss'. This doesn't stop parries or dodges however. So don't attack from in front of the mob. Not only do you piss off the tank (because who knew! Mobs hit faster after they parry! So if you're causing them to parry, they're hitting the tank more often. Which incidentally will probably irritate the healer, even if they don't know that you're the cause. Be a good little DPSer. Go stab the mob in the ass.) but you get parried.

If you're a draenei or always run with a draenei and have access to Heroic Presence (1% hit rating), you need 262.21 hit rating to be hit capped.

Agility or Crit? Or both?
Wrath has been very stingy with the drops of pure crit gear. I have seen my % crit plummet from in the 28% range to less than 20%. This makes me a very sad sad person.

However! We have a bunch of talents that increases our critical strike chance!

Heart of the Crusader at max rank will increase our critical strike chance by 3%.
Conviction at max rank will increase our critical strike chance by 5%.
Sanctified Seals at max rank will increase our critical strike chance by 3%.

So just by talents alone we have 11% critical strike chance.

To keep Vengeance up at all times, it is recommended to have about 25% critical strike chance.

At level 80, it takes 52 agility to get 1% crit. At level 80, it takes 46 crit rating to get 1% crit.

We need to 'make up' 14% crit from our gear.

Now, just looking at Kvasira, she has ~6.7% from crit rating and agility. But according to her tooltip, she really has ~19%. Is this the other 11% from talents? Or some other source? I DON'T KNOW! *aieeeah*

I plan on getting nekkid when I get home today and seeing what crit% I'm at wearing no gear whatsoever.

Regardless, it is easier in terms of stat to % to stack critical strike rating. However, a lot of gear out there seems to have a lack of critical strike rating at all... and then when you do find one with lots of crit rating, it's worse in all other areas than what you're currently using.

Such as Brann's Lost Mining Helmet that dropped for us last night. However, I am wearing the Faceguard of Punishment... which is great in terms of crit! That's 2% increase in crit! ... but oh, yeah. A huge drop in stamina and strength. Poop. (For those interested, Strength increases our attack power by 1 str = 2 AP.)

If someone out there knows, does the tooltip on the character sheet take into account talents or not? I had thought it did NOT (hence why Heroic Presence doesn't show up in hit rating on the tooltip). If so, where is that extra 13% crit coming?

I WILL revisit this idea when I have a chance.

Regardless to say, you need to look at the gear overall to determine if taking that tasty tasty crit rating is really an overall upgrade in terms of the other things we need to have.

One of the new kids on the block, Expertise decreases your chance of being parried and dodged. There's not a ton of information on this out there, other than 'it's good.'.

Gee thanks!

As near as I can figure it's another 'rating to actual expertise' stat. So 8.2 expertise rating really gives you 1 expertise?


214 is listed as the 'soft cap' for a decrease of 6.5% dodging. Melee DPS don't have to worry about avoiding parries (because why class? That's right! Melee DPS stab in the ass.)

People used different terms, one person saying you need 26 expertise to avoid dodges and 60 if you want to avoid parries. I'm ASSUMING they're taking of actual expertise, rather than expertise rating.

So, expertise is also an important stat in terms of not getting dodged. Dodge is not the same as a miss. You can be hit capped and still get dodged.

In terms of what is more important however, it is still advisable, imnsho, to stack strength, crit and hit before you worry about expertise.

Armor Penetration
So, one day long ago I had discussed Spell Penetration. And that is still true. Spell Penetration is NOT armor penetration. Armor Penetration is not necessarily the melee version of Spell Penetration and is useless for PvE.

Because otherwise Blizz is telling us all to get off the carebear server and go PvP with as much armor pen they're throwing at us.

Is it good for PvP? Yes. Does that mean it's useless for PvE? No.

Armor Penetration reduces the amount of armor your attacks have to actually deal with. It's an ability that doesn't 'stack' additively, but exponentially (according to Retlol).

Yet another 'stat to rating' stat. 7 Armor Penetration is equal to 1 Armor Penetration Rate.

1000 ArP = 142.8 ArP Rate = 9.2% ignoring of armor.

In the past, this varied with the amount of armor you're dealing with. Against things with low armor, the % bypassed was higher. It's now a flat rate.

15.39 ArP = 1% armor ignored.

This is another 'new kid' for us in terms of how useful it is. WoWWiki indicates that it's useful for bosses as well. Retlol says that it gets better the more you have. Bully for us! I'm old school. I want my crit. :(

This is another stat that doesn't have a lot of immediately useful applications that you can read about. However, the more armor you ignore, the harder you hit. This is a good thing.

And last but not least, Haste.

I know the title doesn't say it. But meh. Haste is another new-old friend that we're seeing more of. To my knowledge, Haste does not reduce our cooldown of Crusader Strike or Divine Storm or Judgement or anything else.

But it does make us swing that big ol' two hander faster. And if you have Seal of Command (or your seal of choice) on, then that means it has more of a chance to activate.

Haste is both additive and multiplicative.

Meaning multiple pieces of haste gear add up, 10 haste here and 14 haste there = 24 haste.

But it is multiplicative with other sources of haste.

Yeah, I don't know what those things are. The example they give on wowwiki is hunters... they get haste from Serpent's Swiftness (ability) and their quiver. The SS gets multiplied by the quiver haste which gets multipled by the additive values of your haste rating gear.


So it makes us swing our big two-hander faster. Yay!

That isn't really sarcasm, because a good portion of our damage comes from when we whack things with our weapon and our seal of command (or whatever you're using!) goes off. Which is not to say that Crusader Strike still isn't our baby, but hey, we take DPS where we can get it. :)

Haste additionally improves our casting speed and GCD on spells cast. With Art of War, even Flash of Light takes forever when it isn't instant, so imagine casting Holy Light? Oy. Can a spell take any longer to cast? Geeze!

Now, to make life easier for everyone, there's a nice addon called Rating Buster. It compares what you're looking at with what you're wearing in terms of percentages, etc.

However, nothing beats the human brain.

Let me repeat.

Nothing beats the human brain.

Do not just look at what the tooltip tells you and say, "I take shiney." because it looks better in terms of that particular item. What do YOU need? If you're hit capped, will trading out that piece cause you to unhitcap? Or will it drive you over hitcap and free up points you can use for something else delicious?

Take care with what you're wearing and what you're looking for. Know what you're shy in, what will help you better, what you need to work towards and all that fun stuff.

Now, to go home and get nekkid.

Friday, December 19, 2008

I've been tagged! *squee*

I was tagged in the little blog thing bouncing around the interwebs by Abigore over at Fear.Dot.Win.

(Yay, I'm on the interwebs in more ways than just my own aggrandizement!)

(Yes, that's really a word.)

Who was my first ever commenter (whom is still blogging)?

On my first EVER post, titled "Deathcoil the Paladin for Fun and Profit", Owaru over at You Wake It, You Tank It lamented how he needed to play his poor bereft warlock Byouki more because she had yet to ever deathcoil any healer, let alone the paladin.

Ah good times.

Now, Owaru hasn't blogged in MONTHS and MONTHS (August, to be exact), but he's still active (because I say so).

In other news, a few people seem to be having issues commenting on my blog?

So I will hereby do something really silly!

Or not so silly?

I have created a new hotmail account for people to contact me at if they so wish (and I will see if I can figure out how to set up my blog with a contact button thingbob), this will include people who want to comment and can't, people who don't want to comment but want to tell me that they can't comment anyway, and people who don't want their comments to be public or have questions or... whatever ya'll want.

k.dots @ hotmail . com

And now for the tagging!

Boon @ Tales of a Guardian Knight
Owaru @ You Wake It, You Tank It
Pos @ Gnometastic
Dradis @ Light's Vengeance
Frijona @ Blog of Corruption

Gimmicky Bosses and You!

It's a love/hate relationship. We all know the gimmicky bosses, where it seems luck is the major deciding factor on whether you survive or not.

Prince in Karazhan is one such boss. No matter what method you pick of fighting him, the post, the door, moving, the back wall, whatever... there's a component of luck. We've all had that happen, where the infernals just seem to follow your pack of DPS... or your tank.

You can be doing everything EXACTLY right and still wipe multiple times due to sheer random gimmick!

I have encountered another gimmicky boss! The first time for me, though I've done Violet Hold maybe three times?

That's right. I'm talking about Zuramat the Obliterator.

(There he is, right above. Look at the evil glowyness of him. JUST LOOK IN HORROR! (and how I wish Bargrave looked like that!))

For those not in the know, he's a void walker boss that's found in the Violet Hold instance within Dalaran.

He summons little void sentries, who are invisible unless you are the lucky person he gives the void shifted debuff to.

These sentries do a shadowbolt volley every few seconds unless the person who is void shifted kills them.

The boss also does Shroud of Darkness, which can stack on a player up to 5 times, for 20/40/60/80/100% reduction in healing recieved, if you hit him while he has this activated.

We had a poor group for this. We had THREE melee (tank, two DK), one caster (warlock) and one healer (my shaman).

The first time around, he kept void shifting ME. (As the healer, I'm a little busy trying to keep people alive.)

After that, he shifted the warlock a whole bunch of times, the other DK a whole bunch of times, the tank once and never Seraphelia (Boonybaby).

We wiped ... 4 or 5 times on that boss.

The super-frustrating thing? These little void sentries have 500 hit points. Yeah, even I could kill one if I wasn't otherwise occupied trying to not let the tank or the DPS die.

I wasn't the DPS, and I wasn't watching what everyone was doing (busy healing, kthx!) but I would imagine that as long as they were vulnerable to AOE damage, Rain of Fire, Unholy Blight, Shockwave, Thunderclap, Death and Decay... all of that should work to knock out a bunch of them if you're one of the types of 'dps' (I include the tank in that) targetted.

But it's a gimmick. It's as much luck of who gets debuffed as it is skill.

A hunter gets debuffed, easy! Volley, Multi-Shot, hell, even auto-shotting would kill them, they just need to auto-shot, tab, auto-shot, tab, auto-shot, tab...

Finally, the tank calls it and I say, "Let's try to reset the instance, maybe we'll get a different boss?"

And the other DK says, "Yeah, it will."

And I look at him and say, "Why did you not tell us this important pertinent and worthy piece of information before now?"

His answer?

"I thought you wanted to kill this boss." ... which while true, I DO want to kill this boss just so I can jump up and down on his corpse and crow with delight and glee, take screenshots and kick and spit on it a few times... but I'd also be just as happy to never ever have to fight him ever ever again.

Hate gimmicky bosses!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Restoration Shaman Glyphs

This post is going to focus mainly on the glyphs (mainly major) that are beneficial for restoration shaman and why they are all so delicious and it's not fair to only be able to get 3 of them.

Please keep in mind that all numbers given are numbers based off of Karika, who is only level 74 and has only a little over 1k bonus healing.


Glyph of Chain Heal

  • There are plenty of times when you're Riptiding/Chain Healing like a mad-goat! Those snarky AoE attacks, times when everyone seems to be taking tons of damage all at once. (Or DPS going craaaaazy and everyone pulling a different mob while the tank rips out his or her hair or fur...) With Chain Healing being our only 'group heal', besides our Healing Stream Totem, this is an interesting one to consider. However, the things to consider about Chain Heal... that it decreases by 50% per person as it bounces.
  • Let's consider those numbers? I'm level 74, so I don't know what a level 80 would do, but right now I'm doing about 3k primary heal (a little over 1k bonus healing)... second person gets healed for 1500, third person for 750... a fourth person would be healed for only 375.
  • With Riptide, which gives your chain heals a boost of 25%, that's 3.6 to 1.8 to 0.9 to a whopping 450 health by the fourth person.
  • Any health is better than no health, and with chain healing now being intelligent, it should heal the person who needs the health most with the larger jumps and so on down the line.

Glyph of Earthliving Weapon

  • Earthliving Weapon increases your healing by 110. It carries a natural 20% chance to proc on any healing spell and causes 456 health over 12 seconds.
  • The glyph will cause this to proc 5% more often. So a 25% chance to proc.
  • Instead of proccing once every 5 casts (or so), it will happen once every 4 casts (or so).
  • If I'm doing the math right (and this may not be the case!), every 20 casts unglyphed you'll have Earthliving Weapon doing 2000 healing. Glyphed and that number jumps up to 2500 healing. Woopee, right? 500 more healing. Extend that out please. Try 200 casts of a healing spell. Those numbers become 20,000 and 25,000. Now you're talking about a 5,000 hit point difference.

Glyph of Healing Stream Totem

  • Base Healing Stream Totem heals for 20 health per five seconds.
  • The glyph makes it heal for 24 health per five seconds.
  • Over 1 minute, base heals for 240 hit points, glyphed for 288.
  • Over 5 minutes, base heals for 1200 hit points, glyphed for 1440.
  • Over 10 minutes, base heals for 2400, glyphed for 2880.
  • imnsho, this has limited use for things other than possibly PvP and long boss fights where people take small amounts of splash damage. (Please comment if you disagree or see a utility for this glyph/totem that I am not seeing.)

Glyph of Healing Wave

  • Healing Wave heals for 2162-2465 (tooltip). When I cast it on myself, my numbers range from 4k to start, then as Healing Way takes over, an additional 6%, 12% and 18% up to 8k criticals.
  • The glyph will heal me for 20% of my heal when I heal someone else.
  • An 8k crit will heal me for 1600. A 4k heal will heal me for 800. 5k for 1000, 6k for 1200 and 7k for 1400. I'm sure you can figure out the trend.
  • This glyph, imnsho, appears highly situational. Where most of the time you aren't going to need the effect and very few times when you will. Again, PvP, high splash damaging fights, etc.

Glyph of Lesser Healing Wave

  • Lesser Healing Wave does 1392-1588 (tooltip), in my hands, that comes out to about 2.5k
  • The glyph causes this to do 20% more healing if the target has Earth Shield on them. (And how often do you not have Earth Shield on your tank, who is getting a vast majority of your heals anyway, I ask you!)
  • A 2500 heal becomes a 3000 heal, a 2700 heal becomes 3240, a 3000 becomes a 3600. I'm sure you can also see the trend in this.
  • In my opinion, given the loss of downranking, I tend to use LHW more than HW, since I don't want to overheal with a big HW, but I don't want to stand there not casting for an hour. Thus I wind up doing a fair amount of LHW between sometimes needing to boost them with a HW.
  • Useful for PvP as well, given that most shaman that I've seen there go for the fast heals of LHW rather than the more hefty but longer casting time HW.

Glyph of Mana Tide Totem

  • Mana Tide Totem gives 6% max.mana every 3 seconds for 12 seconds. This equates to 24% mana return.
  • Glyphed Mana Tide Totem gives 7% max/mana every 3 seconds for 12 seconds. This equates to 28% mana return.
  • At 10,000 mana, this equates to 600mp3 to a total of 2400 mana gained and 700mp3 to a total of 2800 mana gained.
  • At 15,000 mana, that's 900/3600 and 1050/4200.
  • Given that your Mana Tide Totem is often an 'oh sh....t' button for when the healing has to go out fast and heavy and your mana is getting way too low, this is a nice little boost. The 5 minute cooldown makes us cry.

Glyph of Water Mastery

  • Water Shield gives a base 65 mp5 at my level. Each charge gives 246-247 (tooltip) mana returned. Most restoration shamans that are not soloing run Water Shield on themselves and Earth Shield on their tank.
  • This returns 780 mana per minute when active. With 3 charges used, that's an additional 738 mana returned.
  • The glyph causes 30% passive mana regen to our water shield. Our 65 mp5 becomes 84.5 mp5. This causes our 780 mana per minute to become 1014 mana per minute.


In my opinion, the minor glyphs for shaman are neat little perks, but only one really gives me tingles. So I'm not going to spend nearly as much time on them.

Glyph of Astral Recall

  • Reduces the cooldown of Astral Recall by 2.5 minutes. From 15 minutes to 12.5 minutes.

Glyph of Ghost Wolf

  • While in Ghost Wolf form, health regen increased by 1% hp5. This is nice because most of us use Ghost Wolf when we're running away from a fight because we're low on mana (and thus likely low on health). However, not all that useful since you can't use Ghost Wolf in an indoor instance.

Glyph of Renewed Life

  • After reincarnating (who does this anyway!), all stats increased by 5% for one minute. This is a nice glyph, especially when you're reincarnating less as a raid/party save and more as a 'oh crap, need a healer NOW to try to kill this boss so we don't have to have a raid/party save!'. And how many times do we do that and wind up dying again right away?
  • So we go from 20% health and mana (for arguments sake, we'll use my stats, 9500 and 12000), which is 1900 and 2400. By increasing our stats by 5%, our top ends go to 9975 and 12600... which gives us 1995 health and 2520 mana. Frankly, that doesn't impress me. That's still low enough a sneeze by an elite will take me out.
  • Okay, so maybe a level 74 shaman isn't the best to take numbers from! Okay then, let's just boost those numbers up a bit? 15000 and 15000! A little more accurate probably? Possibly? That's 3000 at 20% and 3150 at 25%. Still not good odds imnsho.
  • Boon just pointed out that this, combined with Mana Tide Totem, will actually increase your rate of mana regen if you have to reincarnate and pop Mana Tide Totem. Which I had not considered. So, our 15000 max mana becomes 15750 max mana... so Mana Tide Totem would return (unglyphed) 945 mp3, total of 3780 and (glyphed) 1102.5 mp3, total of 4410.
  • For comparison, without this glyph, with 15000 mana, Mana Tide would return 900/3600 and 1050/4200.
  • Still not good odds, imnsho. :)
  • And ANOTHER thing, apparently resto shaman can get improved reincarnation (really! Who needs this!) that at ranks 1/2 gives an additional 10/20%. I'm too tired to do the math. You do it.
  • (I do not have improved reincarnation on my resto shaman. It is something I will consider. But really, how often do you need to reincarnate? I rarely have to!)

Glyph of Water Breathing/Glyph of Water Walking

  • No reagents! @whee!

Glyph of Water Shield

  • One additional charge on your water shield. Instead of 3 charges, that brings it up to 4 charges.
  • 3 charges gives you 738 mana. 4 charges raises that to 984 mana before the shield dissipates and you need to burn your GCD activating another one.
  • GCD on shocks, healing spells, purge, totems and cleanse spirit.
  • imnsho, this is the best of the minor glyphs, besides the no reagents to the water breathing and water walking!

I am certain that there will be people out there, shaman among them!, who will disagree with some (or all! Who knows?) of what I say. Which is great! Post why you disagree! Let's chat. :)

(And yes, I do realize some of the linked abilities/spells are at rank 1. I'm too lazy to go and figure out if I should get the rank I currently have, or at rank 80 or... bleh. I can't do ALL the work people! Geeze.)

80 and 74

Kvasira hit 80 last night. I flew her out to Sholazar Basin, since I 1: had never been and 2: I figured a new quest hub would have more condensed quests than an older hub that has you going every which way.

I was right! And I hit 80 in a brief period of time. During that time I had a troll rogue named Rogueray ninja a saronite node from me. (Hi Rogueray!)

I was there. I was tapping. He rides up. He dismounts. He taps. Unfortunately, I have auto-loot on, so I wasn't able to 'hold' the node. :(

Now, could it be an issue where one of us is lagging slightly and thinks they really were there first? Sure! But I doubt it. Rogues are sneaky bastids. They steal things. It's in the class definition!

(So, for your roleplayers out there, how do you handle someone doing something 'in character' for them, even if it's a rude thing to do, like node-ninjaing?)

I power leveled my JCing (yes, my paladin is a miner/jewelcrafter. Hush.) so I can start to do the JC dailies. And since I have 4 BOP world blue JC drops from Northrend, I figured it was worth it.

Then last night I went into Old Kingdom with my shaman. She was a pitiful level 73. Rawr. The only time we wiped was because someone *coughwarlockcough* who shall not be named *coughAbsitivelycough* aggro'd 9 people.

And then I used the soulstone that was on me and started to rez. And a patrol tagged me.

And then I used my reincarnate (ignore previous post) and continued to rez.

And then I saved the day (rawr) when some minion or another *coughFelguardcough* was set on aggressive and went and aggro'd another group of six after a boss fight. We lost no one, even though mobs were everywhere at first! I am teh awesome. And I was using my staff instead of a shield. And I didn't die. So NYAH.

Of course, I suppose the druid tank and the deathknight deathgripping things to be whacketted on and off of the squishy/crunchies helped a teeeeensy bit. But it was so all me. *flex*

(I will completely gloss over the fact that I forgot to put on Earthliving Weapon. Nope. Didn't happen.)

And now my shaman is 74. *woot*

Yay for progression! I have so much fun healing as a shaman. I was contemplating glyphs the other day for her. Something I will post more in-depth on later.

My healing experience, let me just say, has been a priest as holy from the getgo, a shaman that went resto at 58, a druid that started balance/resto, went resto briefly at 58-60, then went rawr-tank and a paladin that says, "Holy Light? Oh, you mean the really SLOW healing spell as opposed to the instant Art of War Flash of Light?"

Monday, December 15, 2008

Who needs reincarnation...

... when you never die?

My shaman is my secondary project to Kvasira and at a mighty mighty level 73, I spend a good portion of my time soloing, trying to catch up to Boon's DK, who keeps outleveling me because he's mean.

Now, I am FIRMLY in the camp that ANY class/spec combination is soloable. You just have to know how to do it. (This explains how my holy/disc priest leveled as holy/disc.)

When I hit outlands, I shifted from enhancement to restoration on my shaman. This involved me dying a lot as I tried to figure out how to solo things as a healy shaman.

I got some very good advice from Shougeki over at You Wake It... namely, "Earth Shield, Searing Totem, Flametongue Weapon, Auto-Attack and read a book."

I spice this up with the occasional lightning bolt, or if there are more than one mob, chain lightning.

Sometimes I go on full lazy mode and literally do just that. Earth shield, totems, weapon, auto-attack, and read a page or two in a book.

Sometimes I pay attention, especially if they are casters. Or if I get more than just one mob attacking me.

There are variations in the game of soloing as a restoration shaman. Sometimes it's more fun (and geez, who wants to have fun?) but it does take more effort and management than auto-attacking.

Restoration shaman have so many tricks up their sleeves for surviving ... something I knew from my attempts to kill the (insert horrible curse word here) in battlegrounds ...

I regularly go riding boldly through mobs and mobs of enemies because I know if I get knocked off my mount and have to kill six or seven of them, I can do it.

(Of course, that rational doesn't hold true necessarily if I'm on someone else, and I still ride boldly through mobs and mobs of enemies... because I'm insane.)

My amazing survivability soloing as my shaman has led me to be rather confident in my ability to solo elites. Now, I'm not STUPID (contrary to public opinion) and I know that I can't solo everything, because there are things that hit me for more than I have health. Earth Shield can't heal that much!

But I'd like to see a holy priest survive through that! Hah! Not when you have to use massive amounts of mana to DPS... that or you take forever with PW:Shield, SW:Pain, Wand-Wand-Wand-Wand... (not that restoration shaman are much faster on 'auto-play', but at least we have the option of playing faster!)

I find myself alternating between water shield and earth shield, lightning bolting and earth/fire shocking, riptide and mana tide totem/mana stream totem... oh the endless possibilities! (Okay, not really, but it's still fun.)

The only times I die is when I have to idle and I park myself somewhere for a minute and come back to death. Or in instances when the tank can't keep mobs off of me! You'd think wearing mail armor I'd be a little more crunchy than squishy, but apparently not.

And for people out there, I have a question for you. Or rather, a scenario.

You're a healing shaman. Most healing (and elemental) shaman wear a shield and a one hander. You're healing an instance and a staff drops with a crapton (that's a real measurement, at least in Urban Dictionary it is) of spell power on it.

No one else wants it. You look at it and you say to yourself, "That would give me almost 300 more mana and close to 200 more healing power (or so ratingsbuster says. Does anyone know if RatingsBuster looks at offhand items/shields as well as the main hand that it being replaced, if you're replacing a one hander/offhander with a two-hander?).

I ask if I can take it. Everyone except the mage says sure and grats. The mage tells me I'm a moron because shaman use shields.

My immediate thought is 'what level is your shaman, punk?!' but I didn't say it because you never know... My next thought was, 'I'm not going to use the big staff for soloing, because then I lose a crapton of armor from the shield. But if I'm in an instance and I'm healing and I'm not (theorhetically) being hit, why do I need a shield, exactly?'.

I however, didn't say anything.

What is your take on it? On that scenario? Do you pass on something that is an upgrade in what you're DOING, even if it isn't classically what someone of your class should be using?

This is very evident in terms of downgrading armor. Warlocks, Mages and Priests have no choice, they can only wear cloth.

But everyone else has the option of downgrading armor, even if the stats are otherwise better. I say, unless you're the TANK where high armor is very very important, it makes complete sense to downrank your armor if you're upgrading other things.

Granted, you may not want to solo in it, but for instances or when you aren't being hit, why not?

Sure, a shaman can USE shields, but if it doesn't give me the bonus that some other combination (or singular item) does it make sense to use it if I don't need the armor as much as I need the +healing/+intellect?

People who are rigid like that really frustrate me sometimes, because I said to myself, I could wipe the floor with you, little gnome, if only you knew who you were dealing with! Rawr.

I can use whatever the heck I want to use as long as it doesn't negatively effect my gameplay/ability to keep you alive, so BITE ME.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Changes, changes, changes...

Some of this post is venting, some of it is explaining and some of it is soundboarding. Read or don't read, contribute or don't contribute, as you see fit.

As you may have noted, of late my warlock blog has become a little less warlock themed and a little more alt-themed, with my posts ranging from random game minutia to paladins to shaman to priest to warlock to bear to quests to trivia to etc.

As such, I'm contemplating changing the title of my blog. Still at kdots since, why not, but a different title page than 'More dots!'.

I just don't know what I'd change it to! More alts! More alts! just doesn't have the same ring to it, imnsho.

Other changes that may be in the air is I'm contemplating retiring as an officer in my guild. Right now, I'm basically just a guild-invite program. And that doesn't seem fair to the other officers. I have given to my guild, ideas, time, effort, and I'm contemplating taking some time to just be me and play the game, without worrying about leveling this character for the guild, but instead leveling my character for me.

I already feel very guilty that my retribution paladin is level 79 and my next highest is my restoration shaman at 73. My tank(s) hasn't(haven't) been touched. My 'main stream' DPS classes haven't really been touched either. Yet I can't find it in myself to level them right now. And I hate feeling guilty for it. I'm not the only officer, nor am I the only officer leveling a DPS as opposed to a tank or healer, but me being me... being raised Roman Catholic with a heavy dose of Italian Grandma... I can't help but wince and wonder when people are going to pounce on me and say, "Why are you leveling THAT? You're going to go prot/holy with her, right? You surely aren't staying RET, right?!" and that is exactly what I am going to do - stay retribution with my paladin.

I'm having too much fun enjoying the game with Kvasira, and then I feel guilty for it. That isn't how I want to play, y'know? My paladin started ret. Has been ret. And will stay ret.

And I want to stop feeling guilty about who I play and who I take to instances and who I sign up to go on raids with.

I started Guild Event Days for the guild and organized several of them, but then people stopped showing up and I lost interest in trying to organize something for people who didn't show up. Another officer has taken over running GED's, and I'm glad because they are an awesome idea for a friend-oriented guild and I'd hate for my apathy for anything officer-related to kill a great idea.

I used to help organize raids, but I stopped that a while back, for a variety of reasons, and haven't started it yet again. Granted, the only raids we could do would be the old 10-mans in BC and Classic, but I still have no interest in trying to organize it. Figuring out who to take, why to take them, why to have someone go as someone else, trying to balance raid utility and classes and this and that and blah blah blah. I don't want to do it anymore.

I tend to be a bossy person, especially in something I feel I do well. I think I have a good handle on people and their abilities and I put out an expectation and I find that usually people live up to that expectation. And I feel that given those things, how well I do things, the effort I put into things, that my opinion should count for something.

The downside to my personality is that when I have my face rubbed in the fact that I'm a bossy person, I get horrified. I wasn't raised to be a bossy person. I was raised to be a good little Catholic Italian girl and wash the dishes and do the laundry and keep my mouth shut when other people are talking so I don't hurt their feelings with my own inconsequential thoughts. Now, I say that and I tell you that my parents did not realize they were raising me that way, and undoubtedly would be horrified if they realized that I equated my upbringing with that outcome, and then they'd laugh at the mere thought that I came out that way (because I didn't), but I still know that's the way I should be.

So I get horrified, my opinion made to be less than I thought it was worth, and I go crawl into a hole made of my own shattered self-esteem, pride and emotions. It's a vicious cycle. And instead of scaling back my behavior, I go 180 to what I was, so instead of being bossy and authoritative about what I'm doing, I go to not participating much at all.

Such is me.

Such happened to me not too long ago. I did what my bossy opinion told me was the right thing to do, based on what I knew about the game, the mechanics involved, etc, etc, and it blew up in my face.

So poof, I go to not organizing anything.

So, I don't organize, I don't participate except to say 'I'll go as whatever' and I do nothing except feel guilty about shirking my self-imposed leveling duties.

So I ask myself, "Why am I an officer? Is it a rank thing? So I can say 'I'm an officer!'"

What is power without responsibility? I'm not abusing my power, but I'm not doing anything with it either. Is it still then appropriate for me to be an officer? Or worse, am I an officer for no other reason than time spent in the guild and the sheer amount of alts that I have?

I'm not saying anyone did this, but my paranoia can't help but say...

"Make K an officer, so this way we can tap any of her alts we want to have come, rather than waiting for her to offer it herself."

In other news, my warlock has not moved much in the last little bit, and I've fallen far behind the raiding guild requirement of level 80 by December 1st. I don't think they CARE that she isn't level 80, but I don't feel comfortable keeping her in a raiding guild if I'm not planning on raiding with her anytime really soon. Yet more of the 'if I'm sitting in there taking up a spot (not that a virtual spot takes much room anyway), I should be doing what is expected. So if I'm not doing what is expected, maybe I should not be there.'

We're going on vacation for the holidays starting the 22nd until New Years Eve. Honestly, I can't wait for the break. Not that I'm not enjoying the heck out of the expac, but I think I need to take some time and evaluate where I want to go with the game, where I find myself going and what I want to do next.

And damnit, I need an epic flying mount on my paladin. Boon spends most of our in-flight time zooming circles around me and making train noises.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Epic Fail of Loot

Undoubtedly there is a whole range of people out there, from the people who were waltzing through BT, TK, SWP, etc, etc to the people who could barely finish a level 70 5-man on regular... regardless to say, one of the things everyone looks forward to when they start a new place, new zone, new instance is... new loot.

New phat epikz.

My own toons fall in between the spectrum outlined above. I had Kikidas and Kathe and Kiljara and Kvasira who were geared super-nicely to the point they could waltz through any given heroic and Mags/Gruuls/ZA without a care in the world.

Well, okay, they cared about ZA before the nerf-battage, but they still did A-O-K.

Then we hit Northrend and we eagerly look at quest rewards, wondering what we'll be upgrading.

On one hand, the thought of upgrading a hard-earned piece of purple with a quest green gave most of us nightmares. Thankfully, I had no one in position to have nightmares at the start of BC, but I've heard the whining.. er, QQing... erm, I mean, the valid concerns of people who were raiding pre-BC and how they felt about post-BC quest upgrades. (I jest, I'd have been irritated too.)

Then I hit Northrend with Kvasira and Kikidas, arguably two of my most well geared characters. Kvasira is geared mostly in PvP gear - Season 2 purchased with honor and the Season 3 gloves. For a ret pally who is PvEing and not in raids, this was awesome gear! It had crit. It had strength. It had intellect (ah, the days before Divine Plea).

I hit 74 without really upgrading more than maybe one ring. And then finally I started to upgrade pieces of gear. Here and there. The first upgrade was a twinge and a wince. I was really about to get rid of my hard earned gear. The thought of all the PvPing I had to do to get that gear... *sigh*. Now that I'm 77, NOW I'm starting to really get pieces that are clear upgrades to my gear. Sidegrades are so wierd.

And none of the gear has INTELLECT on it. My mana has tanked. Thankfully, with the improvements to retribution paladin mana returns, I haven't had too big of an issue.

And then there's Kikidas. I don't think I've upgraded anything on her yet. Granted, she's only level 72, but I don't expect I'll see an upgrade until 75 at least as well.

Then there is the other end of the spectrum.. Karika my shaman who dinged 70 on my Birthday, which was one week before the release of Wrath. She had the blessed cloth pieces from the Scourge Event, but other than that, was really not well geared. And I'm upgrading just about everything, with the exception of the chest piece, which though it's cloth, is still better thus far than anything I've run across. I'm sure it'll change soon.

Now, what is all this about, I hear you wonder. Because really, it's rather boring.

Boon and I have been feeling very let down by the lack of upgrades. We feel like though the content is cool and the quests are awesome and the storyline is epic... we were still in most of our Outlands gear.

Suddenly, playing the Deathknight/Shaman combination is much more exciting (and will make the crawl to 80 that much slower, as we split our play) as everytime we turn around there's an upgrade or a sidegrade. It's so much more exciting when you know there's a good chance that you'll get to upgrade something.

And has anyone else noticed the switch in gear? All of a sudden everything has haste rating and armor penetration and expertise.

Now, please do correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't armor penetration like spell penetration - more useful in PvP than in PvE? According to RetLoL, Armor Pen increases damage exponentially. Does that still hold true, with all the changes that have come? Or is Blizz trying to tell us something?

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Happy Belated 1-year Anniversary .. to me!

Apparently, my first ever post on More Dots was November 11th, 2007.

I can't even remember my own anniversary.

Happy anniversary, K! How did you manage to fill over a full year with useless prattling semi-funny drivel?

Hopefully this next year will be just as much fun. :)

Lawn Darts and Trivia

Yesterday Knights of Utopia played Lawn Darts and Trivia!

I guess Lawn Darts doesn't quite convey what it was. We were on Aldor Rise. One of our officers earlier volunteered to go first and left his corpse there, unrezzed, while he alted to someone else.

Then the rest of us, up on Aldor Rise, tried to hit his corpse with our own. Neshura used her volley-overlay as a dart board. The closer you were to the center (her and the corpse), the more points you earned!

This was quite amusing as a bunch of 70+ naked people jumped multiple times off of the Aldor Rise. We had a few people ask if we were trying for the Going Down achievement. To which we replied, "Nope, we're lawn darts."

Afterwards was trivia. This was also fun! It consisted of WoW Trivia mostly, some guild trivia, some real life trivia, and then was open to everyone to toss out trivia questions.

Amusingly enough, I was the answer to one of the 'guild trivia' questions. "Who is our only guildy to have 10 characters over level 60?"

I answered first! :)

There were others, such as raid quotes and trivia. You had to name the raid and the boss that said it.
Dungeon quotes and trivia.
Lore trivia.
There was a whole group of questions where the theme was, 'The answer is Neshura!'.

Is it sad that I knew most of the raid quotes, all of the dungeon quotes and a good portion of the lore trivia?

We weren't allowed to use atlas loot or the others, and once you buzzed in, you had just a few seconds to answer.

Some of the questions, you wonder? See if you can answer them off the top of your head! No cheating now. These are out of order, because I don't have perfect recall. :P The ones in quotations are... quotes. The ones that are questions are... questions. For the quotes, name the instance and boss, for the questions, answer them.

I won't include the ones that are guild only, nor the real world ones.

1. "The Menagerie is for guests only."
2. "Time for fun!"
3. "Come closer, come closer and burn!"
4. "I'll turn your world upside-down!"
5. "I'll show you this beaten dog still has some teeth!"
6. "I... hate... you."
7. "You call on da beast, you gonna get more dan you bargain for!"
8. Who is Medivh's mother?
9. What is the name of Cairne Bloodhoof's son?
10. "Arise my champion."
11. "Fools... kill the one in the dress!"
12. Who is the last boss in Molten Core?
13. What is Whitemane's first name and where can you find her as a little girl?
14. Where does Stitches patrol?
15. What did Stormwind used to be known as?
16. What instance would it be useful to go into with a 'snufflenose command stick' and a gopher?
17. What zone did Dalaran used to be located in?

And that's all I can remember from last night. :)