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July 9, 2009

I’ve stopped playing WoW frequently and consequently have been letting this blog slide. I got a new job about the time I wrote my last post and haven’t had time to play very often. I’ve been spending a lot of time working, knitting, and hanging out with the folks from my knitting group (very awesome people). I returned to the game today and I wanted to write about a few of the things that happened to me.

I haven’t been online in a little over a month on any character. It’s been a nice break and I got all kinds of knitting done. Unfortunately, I’ve found myself watching a lot of crap TV. So much TV that I’ve found myself getting irritated with certain commercials because I’ve seen them so many times. I’d rather spend my time socializing with other people, even it is a video game, than watching the same stupid commercials over and over again.

The socialization is what I wanted to talk about though. Let me just say, I was extremely disappointed by the lack of maturity in-game. I guess all the time I’ve spent hanging out with my knitting friends this last month has spoiled me. Apparently I expect a certain level of respect and maturity and man, WoW does not even come close to meeting that desire. Here’s what happened today:

1) A fury warrior snarked at me for not keeping him alive while he tried to tank 8 mobs ( I’m not exaggerating) in Zul’Farrak. I was healing on my level 44 shadow priest and I had been alternating between shadowform and healing throughout the instance, depending on the severity of the pull (so he knew I wasn’t holy or disc). To be perfectly honest, fury warrior, I don’t have to heal you. Oh, and if you had at least put on a shield or, you know, let the real tank handle those mobs, you might have lived.

2) When my heroic Azjol-Nerub group wiped on the first pull of the first boss, the death knight refused to accept a rez and wouldn’t run back. We waited quite a while before deciding to replace him and then spent a considerable amount of time trying to find another dps to replace him. I wish he would have said that he was going afk or asked to be replaced, rather than wasting our time like that. Mr. Death Knight, you are an ass.

3) A warlock snarked at me for using thunderstorm in the middle of a group of mobs, sending them flying. Nothing was pulled by the flying mobs, as I used it judiciously and in combination with my Elemental Mastery spell for extra crit power. No one else complained and that was the only time I used it that way. Yes, I understand that thunderstorm is annoying but all self-respecting shaman like to pop eight mobs in the air at a time. The trick is having the situational awareness and discrimination to use it appropriately. In other words, using it where it won’t pull other mobs and after the tank has established aggro on everything so that a momentary disruption won’t result in another party member dying. Mr. Warlock, there was no reason to snark at me. I didn’t use it stupidly. I didn’t cause a wipe. No one died. Get the stick out of your ass and appreciate the beauty of eight non-elites flying simultaneously through the air.

4) When visiting Thunder Bluff to respec, a level 6 hunter started pestering me for gold. His spelling and punctuation was impeccable: “pez gold” I finally whispered “No.” and put him on ignore. He emoted begging for another minute before wandering off. Just because I’m level 80 doesn’t mean I have gold. I am habitually broke on all my 80s and I had just respecced, leaving me all of 20 gold. Not to mention that you’re on an RP server. I have given gold to people that actually attempt to role-play while asking for money, even in my perpetually broke state. A little effort and respect for others would be much appreciated. Hell, it may even net you more than you expect (like runs through an instance, gear, or a new friend).

Incidents like these are perhaps taken for granted by the majority of WoW players. Most probably don’t even notice. After my extended break however, these things really grate on my enjoyment of the game. It makes me reluctant to log on, let alone heal (in reference to the first incident).

Let’s not forget the hours I spent in lfg trying to get a ZF group for my priest (I logged on at noon and didn’t find a group until nearly 5pm). Then the heroic Azjol group I was in on my mage couldn’t get past the first boss, so I had to switch to my shaman for totems. Almost every piece of gear I needed on my mage dropped (of course). Oh yes, and the heroic Oculus group I got into on my shaman (last boss she needs for the Champion of the Frozen Wastes title) couldn’t get into the instance because “No new instances can be launched at this time.” Seriously? Not only do I have to waste my time dealing with stupid people, but Blizzard can’t run their game properly.

Obviously, I wasn’t very impressed by my return to WoW today. I’m certainly not going to put aside time to play every week. The only upside to being online was seeing my friends. They are the reason I log on!


An Award? Huh?

March 26, 2009

Anea of Holy Discipline tagged me awarded me with The Honest Scrap award. I’m still unsure if this is a compliment or constructive criticism! Judging by the well-aged quality of the “award,” I’m leaning towards a critique, particularly given my posting frequency lately! I mean, I’m definitely not slacking at all. Just busy. Yes, busy.

Either way, thank you for the award, Anea! I adore your blog, so I’m flattered that you like mine!

“This award is bestowed on a fellow blogger whose blog content or design is, in the giver’s opinion, brilliant.”

  1. When accepting this auspicious award, you must write a post bragging about it, including the name of the misguided soul who thinks you deserve such acclaim, and link back to the said person so everyone knows she/he is real.
  2. Choose a minimum of seven (7) blogs that you find brilliant in content or design. Or improvise by including bloggers who have no idea who you are because you don’t have seven friends. Show the seven random victims’ names and links and leave a harassing comment informing them that they were prized with Honest Weblog. Well, there’s no prize, but they can keep the nifty icon.
  3. List at least ten (10) honest things about yourself. Then pass it on!

In keeping with the other recipient’s/giver’s honest things about themselves, this will be RL-flavored:

  1. I am a true nerd. My undergrad degree is in geology with a minor in biology and my masters is in museum studies. I also worked in a library while in graduate school. So yes, I’m a librarian/rockhound/museum worker. I don’t wear glasses though.

    David Bowie in Labyrinth

    David Bowie in Labyrinth

  2. My stupid party trick is contact juggling. Yes, like David Bowie in the movie Labyrinth. And yes, I did dress up as him for Halloween one year. It was epic (and I really wish I had pictures of the costume!).
  3. I read Questionable Content every day. Total Hannelore fangirl, right here.
  4. My undergraduate college is a Swedish Lutheran private liberal arts school. I am neither Swedish nor Lutheran, but my blonde hair and Minnesotan accent allowed me to blend in seamlessly. Ya, you betcha!
  5. I play WoW on a Mac. I have two Macs and I love them dearly.
  6. Alternative is my kind of music. The Twin Cities doesn’t have any good alternative music radio stations. This makes me a sad panda on a daily basis.
  7. I’ve read Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series at least six times, with fewer repetitions on the later volumes. I eagerly await the completion of the last book, written by Brandon Sanderson.
  8. Adding to the mounting evidence that I am a true geek, I was a hopeless marching band nerd in high school. I played the mellophone (like a trumpet, only bigger) and the horn. I was the head of the uniform crew and section leader for two years. I nearly majored in music, but came to my senses and stuck with the dinosaurs instead.
  9. Firefly is the best television series ever to exist. Haven’t managed to get the firefly pet though. *sad face*
  10. I am learning how to knit and I love it. Love, love, love it. I’ve been sacrificing WoW time for knitting time, which is the “busy” I referred to earlier.

Now, my own awards show! Let’s see… Seven blogs that I think are brilliantly designed and have excellent content:

  1. Aspect of the Hare by Pike. She’s awesome and even though I don’t play a hunter, I love her blog.
  2. Big Bear Butt by John Patricelli. What can I say? I’m a devoted fan. I love his attitude towards helping folks out.
  3. Tank Like A Girl by Kadomi. She’s inspiring! Her blog layout is fantastic, too.
  4. Shields Up! by Drug. My go-to blog for all things shaman.
  5. Embers by Aestiah. Spreading around some Moon Guard love and giving a nod to a good RP blog.
  6. Tanking Tips by Veneretio. Excellent resource for prot warriors specifically, but useful to other varieties of tanks as well.
  7. Binary Colors. This blog frequently makes me laugh out loud.

(I’d totally tag Too Many Annas as well, but Anea beat me to it!)

For Phaelia, Love Blizzard

March 20, 2009

I didn’t follow Resto4Life closely while it was active because I was a noob for so long and didn’t understand things like blogs and researching your class until recently. Still, Phaelia of Resto4Life was an icon among WoW bloggers for a long time. She was respected and loved by a lot of WoW players. That’s why this is so cool.

Tribute to Phaelia

Tribute to Phaelia

Thank you, Blizzard, for giving Phaelia the tribute she deserves. ❤

Weekend Extras: Therapy

March 20, 2009

While reading various blogs, I stumbled across this post from the wow_ladies community on livejournal. Someone posted a funny conversation they had with someone they didn’t know who wanted help with quests half the world away. This sort of thing happens all the time in WoW. Typically a low level character will whisper a high level character to ask for help with quests or for money. While I don’t get a lot of those whispers unless I’m hanging around Thunder Bluff, I do get the spam whispers from people looking for tanks or healers for various heroics or raids. I find it endlessly amusing when someone whispers my shaman to come dps something. Salanthe? Dps? She’s been resto for years.

I’ve always been at a loss for how to deal with requests like those. Most of the time, I apologize and politely decline. If the person is persistent after I said no, I’ll place them on ignore. Very rarely, I will give someone a few gold if they ask politely, in character, and are standing right next to me.

One of the replies to the post from wow_ladies included a link to an add-on that she uses to deal with annoying requests. After clicking on the link and reading about it, I am resolved to give it a try! It’s called Automatic Goblin Therapist and can be found on wowinterface. If someone whispers you an inane request, you can activate the add-on and it will respond to them with randomly generated “therapy” questions, like “How does ___ make you feel?” or “Come, come. Elucidate your thoughts.”

Reading some of the sample conversations had me laughing hysterically. I can’t say I’d ever use this add-on because I’d probably feel guilty, but I love the idea and I’ll certainly give it a try!

New Signatures

March 18, 2009

Well, new signatures to me anyway. I think they’re quite attractive!

Found here at Here are All My Mains!

Weekly Report

March 17, 2009

Miothe: Got her epic flying finally, courtesy Zgu! Mio’s guild also downed Sartharion with one drake this week.

Fast bird!

Fast bird!

This was the first time we tried to do Sarth with a drake and we got it on the 3rd attempt. I’m quite proud, despite dying 3 times in the attempt. Glad the warlock soul-stoned me and that the druid was able to battle rez me! Turns out, trees don’t tank little dragon whelps very well. And I still haven’t beaten my death record of 5 deaths in one boss fight, which I managed while healing the Illidari Council on Salanthe. Shaman are really good for inflating deaths because of reincarnation.

Zgu: Hit 440 blacksmithing. Now I just need to use my titansteel cooldowns so I can make her upgrades! Then maybe I can run heroics on her.

As for my weekly L2P Patch Day post, I’m working on it! It’s requiring more research than I anticipated. As a teaser, it is a list of all the important stats you need to enter Naxxramas, for every class – hit rating, expertise, defense cap, recommended regen, etc.

A Dash of Emo from Blue

March 11, 2009

Eyonix says:

We are making a change to these spells so that their benefits are exclusive in patch 3.1.0. The buffs will be equivalent, but will no longer stack. Mana Spring will affect the entire raid instead of just the shaman’s party. We felt that both paladins and shamans brought too many unique buffs to a group. Additionally, we have been trying to tone down mana regeneration in large groups, and were concerned raids would feel the need to stack paladins or especially shaman to have enough Mana Spring totems. We have also been trying to get more benefits out of the party and into the raid, and Mana Spring previously was still a party only buff. With this change, if there is only one paladin, he or she can bring Blessing of Kings while the shaman offers Mana Spring. If there are two paladins and the second offers Blessing of Wisdom, then the shaman can offer healing or cleansing with their water totem instead.

I just read about this, so I’m still trying to process it. My initial response involves much gnashing of teeth and pulling of hair, maybe with some ashes on the face for good measure.

Mana regeneration is a rather passionate topic of mine, specifically as it applies to shaman. I raided heavily as a restoration shaman in Burning Crusade and the main reason I’ve switched raiding characters in WotLK is due to mana regen. I do not feel that shaman regen is well-designed and I do not feel that shaman have good regen mechanics. This post from blue feels a lot like kicking me while I’m down, and I’ve been down a while.

Mana Spring Totem

Mana Spring Totem

I understand the reasoning behind it. Making Blessing of Wisdom and Mana Spring Totem equal makes sense. It frees the shaman from relying so heavily on that one totem and let’s face it, shaman do. It will be nice to have the freedom to drop the cleansing totem without worrying about the loss to regen. This is, of course, assuming that shaman don’t struggle with mana regen currently and that this nerf won’t hurt us.

So, why do I feel that shaman mana regen is poorly designed? It relies heavily on gear, is completely passive, and the shaman has no control over it. I strongly believe that Blizzard is balancing the game around PvP and 25-man raids. All these changes might be great for people that do PvP or 25-man raids, but what about everyone else?

In my experience thus far (since 3.0), shaman mana regeneration has been incredibly frustrating. This is coming from the perspective of a shaman that raids 10-mans and heals a lot of heroics. I don’t always have replenishment available to me in my 5-mans and 10-mans. Without replenishment, healing certain fights can become pretty horrific because I have no control over how to manage my mana pool. My options are to heal less or run out. I loathe the fact that downranking was penalized in 3.0 because that was a mechanic I loved. I could throttle my healing to match raid damage and had personal control over my mana pool.

I could go on for a while about how I feel as though Blizzard is making a big mistake regarding healing. It boils down the fact that they’re removing it from the hands of the healers. Shaman used to be teased all the time in Burning Crusade about how our healing was so simple, a monkey could do it. Sure, I cast a lot of chain heal. Per raid, I switched between four ranks of chain heal constantly. I adapted to the amount of damage my raid was taking and managed my mana pool and healing per second accordingly. That was a lot of fun. Now, I go into a 5-man or 10-man and when my raid starts taking a lot of damage, I start praying that my mana pool and healing per second can manage. That’s the difference. Healing shouldn’t be based on hope. It should be based on skill.

Maybe once I’ve had time to sit down and organize my thoughts on this issue I’ll be able to formulate a better argument. Or maybe I should just accept that Blizzard is changing healing mechanics in a way that I don’t find enjoyable and respec my healers to dps roles. I’m still on the fence about that.