Thursday, January 31

Pimp your Enh. Shaman: Crafted Gear

My Enhancement Shaman just dinged 70 and i want to get it geared to get better chances in battlegrounds and am more usefull in instances.
One of the ways to get better gear is by crafted gear and that's what i will discuss in this post, other options may follow later.

How much an item costs depends on yourself... most of my gear i (plan to) grind the mats for myself, either on my Shaman or an other toon.
For some materials you can perhaps make a deal with friends or guildmembers, you grind herbs and trade them for leather.. or sell your stuff and buy whatever you need on AH. In such a way your new gear shouldn't have to require much of your gold.
I've avoided items which require items from SSC/TK/BT as those are quite expensive.
Most Epic items do require Primal Nethers for which you will need to pay a fee, still a small price for an Epic tho. Also you might to be able to craft yourself some nice BOP Epics if you have a crafting profession and got it near max. level)

The above counts for any class ofcourse, in my list below i've focused on both mail and leather items.. as most leather items (for rogue's or feral druids) give good Enhancement Shaman stats aswell. In raids your armor is less of a concern then in PvP so i'm personally not too worried.

Lots of these slots can be quite easily filled with PvP gear aswell so if you have trouble getting a certain slot filled with a crafted item you could try getting yourself some Honor. The shoulder items are quite cheap for example.
Above combined with instance drops and quest rewards should get your Shaman more then able to dish out a good beating, at least.. that's what i'm working to. ;)

Wednesday, January 30

What class and personality match?

A guildy of mine somehow made me think of this eventho i tried to trick him into a screenshot situation. He was wondering if each class would match a certain personality.. he offered his toons as an example and told me why he found that those toons matched him:

  • Priest: As he his somewhat religious he liked the stature of this class, that combined with the fact that he likes to take care of the people around him makes that a matching combination.

  • Mage: He looked at his mage as being a scolar, a well educated person.. i guess the intellect is good proof of that.
    Now this straight away shows that a person can't be fit into one box and have a personality which matches multiple classes, but there are classes which won't fit a person at all. This guildy mentioned to me a Warrior wouldn't be his thing at all.

    So what personality matches the other classes? I'm sure people have different views on the matches and it also depends on not just on the class' spec but on how it's played aswell. Let's do some rough assumptions here tho, might get the juices flowing.
  • Hunter: I myself like the fact that i can determine when and how a fight starts, that makes me a person that likes to be in controll i guess.
    Those who don't pull probably the fact that they can deliver damage from a long distance at relative safety.
    But perhaps you like the bit of going out there with your pet, making you more of a Lone Ranger type.

  • Warrior: On my Tank i again like the idea to be able to controll the fight, but this time while it is in progress. I'm guessing my faith in other people is something that i need to work on, then again the desire to keep danger from other people is an admireable treat.
    A dps warrior might match a whole different personality, someone who likes to be in the heat of battle.. a wolf among a pack, not a crucial part but contribution none of the less.

  • Rogue: Stealth is a big part of this class, mostly during leveling ofcourse. I'd say a Rogue which likes to ambush his "prey" at a somewhat unfair advantage likes to dominate other people and needs a feeling of superiority. The more combat orientated Rogue's are those who want to be in the frontlines, compareable to the dps warriors.

  • Druid: So many options here.. A Resto Druid might like the connection with nature and taking care of people, a caring personality both for man as nature.
    A feral druid may either like the bear bit where he can be in controll of a fight or more the kitty side, as a result of a more rogue'ish character.
    Moonkin may have a more caster like personality, prefering to stay at the end of the battle.. doing is part in a somewhat saver enviroment.

  • Paladin: A Paladin is a whole different breed i think, they consider them defenders of the light (at least the Alliance ones) and have more of a good guy personality, altho i do see horde paladins as evil beings...
    Depending on their later spec they get a more tank, healing or dps touch.. matching a controlling, supporting or agressive personality.

  • Warlock: Evil is what most people would say at first, but my experience learns that that aint true. It's more the out standing people playing this class, people who are a bit hard to lay a finger on. They are often chaotic and have some strange habbits which you will either hate or love.

  • Shaman: Again a class which can harbour different personalities.. the caring/protective type (resto), the agressive (enhancement) or the supportive (elemental). But again a combination of personalities can be possible, think of the enhancement shammy who drops a heal on fellow melee when they get low.. he then seems to have a protective or even worrying personality stroke to it aswell.

    Now all the above could be dismissed as bullshit as a large quantity of Wow players never knew what their endrole would be when they had chosen their first character. I never played a MMORPG before and i wouldn't expect to be needed to pull later on, i just like having a pet as it seemed it would give me something more to do with the micro-management involved.. making the class more interesting. But then again i didn't chose a Warlock so something in my personality must have made me choose the Hunter.
    My Warrior is more of a product of personality, i could have specced it DPS but i've chosen to be a Tank.

  • Tuesday, January 29

    My Second Officer Mistake

    Part two of this series (and the end unless i make more horrible mistakes later on), first one here.

    The Burning Crusade had hit us and most of our members had reached 70 and we restarted raiding again. As we used to raid 40man instances before (this was in my second guild btw which is still the guild i am in today, i'm a pretty faithfull guy i suppose) we had plenty of people to make two Karazhan raidgroups. 20 places for 50+ people was kind of tricky (we lost a few raiders in the start of TBC) so we had thought of a couple of rules to try and make things fair to our members. We had tried various rules and raid priorities actually and we were using what we called "the seat-system" at that point.
    Basicly if you helped clear to a certain boss in Karazhan you would get priority to get you seat back next raid to avoid others getting to the good stuff while you did the work. You needed to be there on time ofcourse.
    At the start of a fresh instance we would try to give people priority who missed out last week as long as balance would allow it.
    You can imagen we would still need to disappoint quite a few members each raid and the job of a Raidleader is a pretty tough one at that those moments.

    I was setting my raid up as i was the Raidleader of one of those two groups. We were still saved so the people who joined us earlier had priority, i invited those people along with the essential ones. After that i had 1 spot left and i had 3 rogues as option, let's call them A, B and C. Rogue A was along last raid but he left early and i replaced him with a healer (probably for Maiden), that healer was the one who got in again as he was last one in that seat. Rogue B had left early the last few times and i prefered someone who could stay till the end for a change so i checked with Rogue C if he was going to stay till the planned time and he did so he got the job. So far so good and it seemed we were set to go.
    But then the drama bomb landed: An officer started complaining in the officer channel that he didn't get a spot again, he went totaly crazy imo and didn't respond much to reason as i remember it... The reason he didn't get an invite was that he wasn't saved this week and he wasn't needed either as we had enough of his class already. He had a different view on things tho, he passed his spot at the beginning of the week for someone else and in his opinion he deserved a raidspot just as much.
    Remember the stress story from my previous post? I hadn't had a nice day and the evening wasn't much better so once again i snapped.
    I invited that guy into the raid, made him Raidleader, left the Raid myself wishing them good luck and logged onto an alt.
    By the time i relogged and came back into the officerchannel he was going totaly beserk... my action didn't fall too well with him. :) (yeah i can laught about it now, took me a while tho) Shortly after he did his /gquit.
    People asked me to log back onto my main and do the Karazhan run and eventho i didn't feel like it any more i still did it.

    But wait, we aint there yet. My GF was on teamspeak and heared someone who was often very quiet go mental there.. talking or more yelling about me behind my back. Ofcourse i logged on and had to take some verbal abuse with which i totaly didn't agree.
    The stupid thing was: this didn't go so much about "giving" my spot to the other officer which resulted in him guild quiting but about me being unfair?
    WTF? Me being unfair? Apparently i invited Rogue C over the other two as he was a friend of mine... i only had seen that guy once in my life!
    Rogue B who didn't get the spot either i had seen the same ammount of times but i had contact with him ingame alot longer then with Rogue C.
    And why didn't i invite Rogue A then? Well he lost his seat when he bailed on the raid early, besides he didn't even bother to show at Karazhan but was still somewhere in the Outlands... how the hell am i supposed to know he wants to raid or not? I'm sure as hell not going to whisper each and every person if he wants to come or not, enough stuff to do.
    The next morning i made a post on this topic again, hoping that guy would be more reasonable by now and would understand it better if it was on writing.
    I also told him i was heavily offended by his accusations and i didn't want to have him in my raid ever again if possible, but trying to be professional about it i would have no choice other then giving him a raidspot anyway.

    The flaming started and once again the people agreed with me, the whole "i forced the officer to gquit" 9who got back invited a week or so later) wasn't even part of the discussion.... just me being unfair and giving a friend an unfair advantage. I got praise from fellow officers and members alike for all the effort i had done and they wholeheartedly disagreed with what my name-less offender had said about me, the flame quickly turned against him as he remained to be abusive.
    It went quiet for a couple of days as both this guy and me had lost the appetite of playing this game and didn't bothered to show.
    After that he said he was sorry for what he had said and that he had been wrong. Altho i guess i could kind of see this of a victory i don't feel like that at all.. i had a couple of terrible days and i still get myself worked up thinking or writing about it.

    Did something good come out of this aswell? I did feel appreciated by most people anyway and i'm still an officer in this guild so i haven't been broken.
    We as officers also tried to invent new methods of prioritizing members, making it easier for raidleaders to setup a raid and make it more understandeable why someone is sitting out (hopefully). The guild has reformed under a new name in which progress we did lose a few people who weren't as focused on raiding as we wanted them to.
    It makes me feel like a bad person but i'm still happy both the flamer as the gquited officer didn't come to our "new" guild.
    Yeah life is pretty good in our lovely home nowadays.

    Monday, January 28

    Wow saves money

    I've used this argument before when people were surprised that i payed for an online game and i've never had anyone disagree with me when i made my point. Before i played Wow i played various other games, the better games i bought and as i managed to finish most quite fast the next comparison is easily made:
    A game costs € 40,- An average game would take me 2 weeks to complete. To be playing all month it would cost me € 80,-
    € 15,- subsciption doesn't sound so bad all of the sudden does it?

    But Wow saves me more money then that actually.. much more.
    Playing a good game is like taking part in an interactive movie, i tend to choose playing a game over going to the cinema and watch a film there... unless it's one of those films you "must" see on a bigscreen, but those are limited imo. Chatting with guildies online while raiding beats a visit to a pub/bar anyday so thats another way Wow saves me money
    But the most important one is: As long as you play Wow you won't spend money on the world outside! (you risk online shopping tho)
    Instead of going to town on a Sathurday and spending my money on useless crap, i spend my gold on virtual crap.

    Yesterday we went to Ikea as a passtime for our Non-wow Sunday and we needed a closet for our wardrobe anyway, if we would have stayed in we would have saved a nice amount of money.. sure we would still be living out of boxes then tho. (that pants you need always seems to be in the bottom of the very last box you look in) So from 3 till 9 i was trying to put the wardrobe system together, cursing both Ikea for inventing such a stupid system and (silently) my GF for choosing a system which didn't fit in the room as planned forcing me to adapt on the spot. (ok, i didn't bother to check her measurements either... not too bright ey?)
    Anyway, she is now two shelves and a lamp away from having herself a walk-in closet, a little girls dream come true right?
    That is surely giving me some slack to feed my Wow addiction for a few weeks without being requested to go out shopping for stuff i don't need or want anyway.

    Friday, January 25

    My Daily Fix

    Something lite in between before i continue with some other posts i have ready and waiting... i wanted to share with you where i get my Wow-fix each day. Apart from browsing Wowhead for my character planning i check out several blogs, there are many many good blogs out there and i often check out most out during the day that i have found... however i always tend to start with a few who tend to update daily.
    The fanatic blog readers among you probably know most already but; Blogroll inc!

  • Wowinsider: The first Wowblog i started reading. Most article's are a bit short and more set to provoce reader comments but i fend a few nice articles to read there every day.

  • Big Red Kitty: It's a Hunters on which i offers many info for those who seek it. I myself come there for the more nonsence articles (me smrt hunter!) where his old army stories are a personal high. High ammusement factor.

  • Need More Rage: Blog written from the viewpoint (and dialect) of the characters, quite funny most of the times. Ratshag is the main blogger but he lets his other toons do guest appearances aswell.

  • Big Bear Butt: Actually a Feral Druid blog (which i don't have) but his sidetracking often offers some nice topics. He's a bit like me and can't stop once he starts writing.. if you are looking for a long read, here is where you will find it.

  • World of Matticus: Just recently discovered this one and he is on my daily check list now. He blogs about any subject he can think of in Wow and offers links to other good reads he found on the web

  • Laser Chicken: A Moonkin's blog who touches several other topics aswell. When i would happen to choose my 64 moonkin alt as a next alt project, this is where i'm gonna check first.

  • Altitis: Stuff about any class as this blogger has a serious alt addiction. I'm always curious what the current project is and if i can share the love of my own alt fanatism. (altho i tend to level an alt to 70 once i start it)

  • Gun Loving Dwarf Chick: I'm trying to get over my Dwarf Hunter adversity and reading this blog sure helps with that. Light read (unless you miss part of the pre-events, then article's happen to make no sense)

  • Egotistical Priest: Mostly priest and healing related but very educational and entertaining if you like to know about this role or class. Might make me restart my alt Priest someday (level 34 for 2 year now!).

  • The Game Dame: Truth told, just discovered this one today but already like what i see. And with a blogname like that, it can't be bad right?

    Recently a new site for Wow bloggers have started aswell: Blogazeroth, offering a place for bloggers to introduce themselves and discuss ideas and possible topics.
    I was shocked to find out just how many blogs are out there which i still hadn't discovered, a nice overview can be found here. There are still plenty of other good reads ou there and i hope to find them all, if you happen to know any.. don't hesitate to drop me a line. Also when you are a blogger, sign up at the earlier mentioned site if you haven't already.. can't ever have enough fame can we?

  • Thursday, January 24

    My first officer mistake

    This is a two part story, i've made two mistakes in my carreer as an officer in two different guilds which i am going to share with you.
    I likely have made more but these are the ones i see more like i have failed someway and wished my mind would have kept the upperhand and not my feelings. Still i was still an officer after both so i guess there was plenty of good stuff aswell

    I was in the first guild i ever joined which was a casual guild with a shitload of members... somehow i managed to become an officer in there.
    Despite not being a raidguild and having a huge variety in players young and old, skilled and unskilled we managed to get a Molten Core raid going.
    We had such a big guild that i would do tactics every time as there was always someone who didn't know how that boss was done, despite of this we stood eye in eye with Ragnaros after a while.
    Due to other Raidleaders leaving i was quickly forced into that role in which i spend lots of time reading tactics, seeing movies and writing long posts with information on the various bosses... i spend waaay too much time on that and then there were loads of other guildmatters to attend to aswell.
    I wasn't the GM but at times it surely felt like that.
    So after a few tries on Ragnaros we are back one night and i start doing tactics.. the slow way. If the tank would stand on the eastside.. i would go there and show him his spot, if melee was supposed to form a line i ran up that path a couple of times and would people to take their correct positions.
    We did the total Ragnaros event without the actuall boss where i would should "Sons incomming!" so people would simulate what they would do then.
    It was a total stupid and time consuming way to do this but as 80% didn't bother to read tactics (or at least it seemed that way) there was no other way to be sure everyone would understand his part.

    I had done it a couple of times before like this and i did it again that evening. The pressure was on me as i felt responsible for our succes or our failure, more for the latter even. I was in a stressy job and in the evening that stress continued in my hobby.
    And so it went wrong: People were chattering like madman while i was explaining tactics, i kept asking peoples attention as they didn't did what i asked them to do.. simple instructions like "come stand here". At that point i snapped, i said something like: Like hell i ain't gonna wipe here if i'm the only one willing to do the effort", made someone else Raidleader, HS'd out and logged. It was long ago i was in bed that early and i was still flaming with anger and couldn't sleep over it. After a while i settled down and started thinking if that was the smart thing to do,i gave the wrong example to our members i basicly left them behind as i was likely the one with the best knowledge of the tactics at that point.... i felt bad in more then one way.
    The next day at work i started writing a post; trying to explain why i did it and appologizing for leaving them there.

    To my surprise i didn't get flamed... no, the members appologized they didn't pay attention and they told me they really appreciated all the effort i had taken on Ragnaros and other bosses before that. I didn't need to feel sorry, they should is what they said and they understood why i did it.
    My fellow officers gave me a pat on the back for putting my balls on the block like that.
    Still i feel i shouldn't have bailed on them like that but perhaps it did have some effect as the next raid people were paying alot more attention.. alot more!
    It wasn't long till be downed Ragnaros and i felt damn proud to have helped my guildies to that victory.
    An happy end afterall i suppose ;)

    Wednesday, January 23

    The Hard Way

    The fun with playing alts is finding out new stuff.
    And when you are afraid to find something out yourself you can always ask the guild ofcourse.

    Some other guildy poured some salt in the still open wound an hour later:
    Missi, fyi: you can also jump off the aldor terrace to shatt i just found out

    By the way: Missi (Misstree's main) didn't mind if i would use his name in this post, just think his desire to get famous is a bit far fetched.
    Ow and to share in the loss on anonimity, Bellus is my Shammy alt. Now that i think of it, didn't expect people to trust my blindly... i could have used my powers in a way more effective way, damn!

    The noob filter

    Thats me.. the noob filter! Many of the applies to our guild get by me lately if it's a "stray" apply. My job is pretty simple and even some fun now and then: filter out the noobs and give them a quick no. That saves them alot of time but also the other officers and classleaders. Potential candidates are forwarded to the correct CL once the get past me, we've got the luxury where we can be select on who we invite. :)

    So yesterday it was time to test the filter again as i got a whisper:
    him: "Hey mate i am sorry for distributing you but do you have 1 moment ?"
    me: "I am about to start on Kael but if you don't mind a silence now and then, go ahead :)"

    Now it's pretty obvious he's looking for a guildspot to me so i check his guild (shift-click name) and go check out his profile on the armory.
    I liked the use of distributing instead of disturbing here, giving me a clue he aint English by nature or simply not too bright :P

    It remains quiet for a good 5mins...
    him: "Hey mate i am sorry for distributing you but do you have 1 moment ?"
    I was tempted to end the conversation right there but i decided to give him the benefit of the doubt here... at least he took time to prepare his conversation as he obviously cut&pasted that message.
    Before i answered i checked his guildname once again as i forgot what it was and now he was guildless suddenly, weird.
    me: "Scroll up m8, i've already answered that question"
    him: "my bro retarts my comp so i didnt see will you repeat it?"

    Hmm.. a retarded computer, nice typo. Anyway he messed up his good first impression thus far.
    me: "Starting on a boss now so might be some silence now and then but give it a shot ;)"
    him: "I will ask ya now and you respond when ya can"
    him: "OK look, i would like to join Elysium because there is nice ppl and dont execpt to get raid every day i would like to raid when ya can give me a chance i help ppl when i can also and i am not spammer really would like to join that guild , Thanks"

    Hmm.. not the way i would have typed it, how many sentences are that supposed to be exactly?
    Like i said i checked out his profile right away which tells alot about a person, this person had some nice PvP epics and even two early Karazhan ones but he didn't bother enchant most of his stuff and used no or just green gems.
    The most shocking to me was a hitrating of 38 which aint even enough for PvP imo.

    I was quite quick in responding:
    me: "well i'm afraid we dont have a hunter opening atm m8"
    me: "and too be honest, your gear is missing some essentials aswell"

    him: ":S omg i hate this stupid server i will move of this bull shit"

    Ow lol, we got ourselves a dramaqueen here. Anyone wanna guess his age?
    me: "lol"
    him: "not funny"
    him: "always same story"
    him: "we not take hunters bla bla bla"
    him: "its ok"

    Now i lol'd at this guy as it pointed out straight away i made the right choice, but as i felt a bit sorry for the guy:
    me: "i can give you a few pointers on how to improve your gear and stuff so you have a better chance at a different guild if you want?"
    me: "Make sure all your gear is enchanted and gemmed with blue gems. Also crank up that hitrating to at least 115 imo"

    him: "I did not have time to get money as i was pvping all the time mate"

    Did this guy not ever raid or what? Does he expect easy epics or what? Pots, Flasks and repaircosts can get sky high when raiding.. not even talking about the expensive enchants and gems you will need on new gear.
    me: "raiding is expensive m8"
    him: "ok mate i understand you like all others to say me always why the hell i asked to join ...thx and cya"

    Not a very positive attitude and he was not gonna do anything with the advice i was willing to give him so i didn't bother with him any longer and ended with "cya"

    Now such talks aint funny all the time, people can start foulmouting or just offer a boring chat... but at times you will have a real nice chat with someone or a quite funny one. Makes it worth my time.

    Tuesday, January 22

    Fun feature

    Seen this?

    A= Zoom in / Z= Zoom out

    It's a 3D model of Sunfury bow of the Phoenix but since last week both Wowhead and Thottbot offer 3D models of various items and mobs. (think thott just items for now) It's not complete yet and still in beta but it's a nice little toy.
    The above model is from Thott eventho Wowhead is my prefered database nowadays but they don't offer the embedding of models (yet).

    Too be honest i'm not sure just how usefull this is going to be but there is no denying that it looks pretty cool. Wowhead offers a Java version besides teh Flash version aswell which offers a more superior quality.. altho my Wow tends to slow down when i open that one on my second screen and my PC is just 2 months old so it's some kind of collision i suppose.
    Perhaps this feature is helpfull for people who use modelviewer when they need a screeny of a mob or item otherwise, a lot faster this way i guess and easier to find aswell. Still won't replace modelviewer as that program has loads of extra potential, it allows you to put your model in popular stances for example where the wowhead/thott feature just offers 3D stills.

    For your info: the titlebar and some of the pics in the bar on the right have been made with images taken using modelviewer.
    Some more info about how i did that and what else i used in one of my earlier posts here.

    Monday, January 21

    Standing still is going backwards?

    Our guild has reached a speedbump in the road; a boss which stops progress untill you defeat him... there are ofcourse more bosses like this, mostly in more linear instances, but i'm talking about what some call Guild breakers.
    These Guild breakers are harder to master bosses and sometimes it takes a guild too long and they fall apart, teared apart by frustration.. pre-TBC Vaelstraz was such an example.
    Since we stepped into the Outlands the instances are less linear; there are more choices, more ways to go in an instance most of the time.
    Take SSC and TK for example, except for the final bosses you can choose which other boss you take on first. Karazhan has multiple choices aswell once you've done a few required bosses (Moroes, Opera and Curator).

    When we were learning Vashj we still had the oppertunity to go do TK if we wanted to but at this point we are focusing on the TK final boss: Kael'thas.
    There is no need to go do SSC at the moment as we got most of our players the needed quest item from Vashj, once we killed Kael we will need a couple more runs to get the rest this item but that should be doable in a few days. However at this point we have no other ways to experience new content as long as we didn't kill the Bloodelf Prince, one of the hardest bosses in the Outlands!
    It's this guy who drops the second quest item and with both you will be attuned to Mount Hyjal. Once we downed the first boss (which is supposed to be a pushover) in there we are ready to enter the Black Temple.. the big boys raidinstance :)

    However our current obstacle is still this Tempest Keep boss which we've only be trying for 2,5 weeks now and we are making good progress on him.
    I have no doubt we can down him soon, if our member can just hold on and keep giving 100%. Wiping weeks in a row on the same boss over and over can break people's spirit and can result a guild to end up in a downwards spiral. Some people start skipping raids due to which the raid might not at its most ideal composition, resulting in more wipes... more people won't bother to show for raids and so it gets worse each time.
    We've have been in such a spiral with one foot before but somehow we managed to motivate enough people to kill the next boss on the list and get the train back on tracks. This is a returning phenomenon and we have to be aware to spot it on time and change our approuch to raiding to avoid this.

    Last Friday was a wipe night, i knew that in advance. But wiping aint bad if you at least are making some progress... sure we had some stupid wipes aswell (someone's mouse got stuck and ran straight into Kael when we were still rezzing for example) but most importantly we had fun.
    I have full confidence this guild breaker won't break us, just a week or 2 at the max and we get to step foot in new content. I can hardly wait!

    Friday, January 18

    Hands... Shaking...

    Ow it's true, i'm in desperate need of a Wow fix right now! This week has been quite a tough one for a Wow addict, let alone a fulltime one...
    Last Sunday i volunteerly gave up my wowday and the night before i even went to bed early while i could have played deep in the night.
    The following monday i had some Shaman alt time (remember that drunk tank story?) and didn't use my playtime 100% either and went to bed on an actuall normal time, mostly because i was frustrated by the 3 hour instance run i suppose.
    The Tuesday was reserved by friends and i had fun (to my surprise) playing Guitar Hero which one of my friends brought along, after we were done with that we did the standard Halo3 and CoD2 deathmatch thing, ended by a quick match of Swos. My GF did play Wow and had some good attempts on Kael'thas.
    Wednesday there was some more alt time available for which i turned down Karazhan which my warrior alt could have attended, but as i got pain in my arm atm, i like to avoid intensive play for a bit. Once again i went to bed early but we did manage to get my Shaman and my GF's Paladin to level 66 before that.
    The day after my brother in law came to visit us, luckily that is less boring as it sounds as he plays some casual wow aswell and various other games. We did a bit of Gears of War, Halo3 and then watched a movie: The Seeker: the Dark is Rising, a film with a reasonable story, filming and effects but totaly messed up. There was simply too much info packed into this info and the bad editing made following this one even harder, not that is was such a complex movie but blinking would allow you to mis a small twist in the plot.

    So today it's Friday... my last raid was a week ago and i'm looking forward to join tonights raid. As i want to stick to the no-wow-sunday idea for now that leaves me with Sathurday to get my wow-fix in a more flexible way. But yesterday my GF came with a dreaded suggestion: "Lets go shopping for clothes on sathurday!" Great there goes my alt time... at least a big part of it.
    I could play hard get and stay behind the screen tomorrow but her mood might suffer due of that. Sure she will join me with alting probably but i will have to mind my steps throughout most of the day and when i'm total7 honest, i could actually need some new pants.
    I'll probably will go out shopping and thus limit my wow time even more...
    A bit disappointing as i was really looking forward to get my Shaman (which is currently my favorite project as you might be able to tell) to the next level.

    Two weeks ago i spend 90% of my free time on Wow which was 40-45 hours that week, about 25% of my total time... the other 75% was spend on work (another 25%), sleep and other required stuff. This week it's gonna be a rough 12%, still sounds like alot? Well you will be sleeping about 33% of your time this week, which is of the two is time better spend?
    I suppose i still get to play alot more then some people who want or are possible to, but it still feels like i'm standing still while the rest of my online "friends" move forward.
    Perhaps it's about time my router goes up in fire, might be good for me once i stop shaking from going cold turkey.

    Thursday, January 17

    Close to the edge

    When i start a new toon i often hop a few guilds before i end up in my own one again, just for the fun of meeting new people and realizing just what great guild i'm in once again. But what often strikes me is how little people in some guilds have in common, there is actually nothing keeping those people together... loads of people don't even bother talking or responding, let alone laugh when i try one of my withy remarks in guildchat. (ok perhaps they are not all thát funny but try to humour me ey?).
    My humour can be a bit dark at times, vulgair at other times but often close to the edge.. not too be appreciated by all. The last pug-guild i was in with an alt i was having a blast and was on a roll and might have gone a bit too far, i wasn't booted tho but decided to add a sort of sorry as i didn't know people would actually appreciate it. The guildleader however assured me he did and there was no need to stop.
    But when he wasn't online my joking landed on deaf ears so i re-joined my own guild soon after, unlike some people i like people to actually listen when i talk, at least a few would be nice.

    The mood in our guild is a very typical one i guess but it seems to be what keeps us together even when problems arrize. No matter how bad things are we always find a funny subject or a willing victim to mock, our Raidleader is good in taking abuse for one which helps alot.
    Apart from that the most dirty-minded remarks often spawn whole lol-streaks in the guildchat.. i really should write a few down next time.
    But it's not all about giving, it's about receiving aswell. Well i consider myself to be pretty quickly with my remarks but i'm on the receiving end of the mockery some times aswell which is okay, even mocking myself is part of routine.
    The brilliant bit is our guildies know it's just joking so you can get away with quite alot.
    A while back i was talking dutch using /say when a non-dutch guildy said "i love you" (ik hou van je) in Dutch, i assumed it was one of the few dutch things he knew and wasn't 100% sure it actually ment what people told him to so i said "What? You like gay sex?".
    Quite an innocent joke but i got a whisper from someone else saying this guy was actually gay... while this guildy was fairly new i had a feeling he wouldn't take it too seriously but just in case i whispered him "just let me know when i go too far m8 ;) " and shortly after he whispered me "actually i do like gay sex but i guess that is normal when you prefer men? :)". I told him i was just pulling his leg as he knows and have no issues with anyones sexual preferance. He told me not too worry about it (which i didn't :P) and indeed knew i was just joking around.

    But now i wonder; i like to "accuse" some easier targets of them being Queer (again not meaning offence for my readers), should i accuse gay people to like the opposite sex? When telling a gay man he was pegging the Raidleader just now, would he be slightly offended (as that is the intention) or would he like the idea? You might have seen that guy spanking his monkey on a dancing Nightelf, would a gay man be turned on by a human character immitating Travolta's smooth moves? Ow man.. where am i taking this post?
    I guess this is a good example of what twisted minds our guild contains, if you can stand the over the top sexual jokes or even better.. can add to them; you are fit to join the guild! Btw, some skills would help aswell.. it's not just all harassment in here, there are raids aswell. :)

    Wednesday, January 16

    To Heal or not to Heal

    Once again a thought that is on my mind: should i try out a healing character for a change? I got myself a Warrior specced as a tank and to my suprise i like doing that alot... i tanked more 5mans pre-TBC with just a couple of points in protection so i already had some experience with it.
    When i reached 70 i was in doubt for quite a while if i should go full prot but when Alt-Karazhan was introduced i respecced on my second run as i was gonna be that days Main Tank as there weren't any of our Mains tanks... i was sold and have had many runs as a MT in Kara since then.
    Would i mainswitch to my tank? Quite a hard choice, if only i sucked a bit more at playing a Hunter. (but no, i don't)

    On my Shaman i've done some offhealing but never mainhealed a 5man yet, let alone a raid. I don't have the gear for it yet but i am curious if it would be a valid spec later on...truth told i do like doing dps on my Shaman aswell and again, eventho i say so myself, i do a pretty good job at it.
    Apart from the fact that i topped the damage meters in most 5man runs i did so far, i also drop an occasional heal if needed and drop totems for my fellow partymembers.. even those who didn't benefit myself.
    Like i likely mentioned before my GF is trying out healing on her Paladin so there is no real need for me to go resto, but somewhere i'm kind of disappointed i don't get somewhat forced into this role... this would at least force me to have a small taste of it.

    Back in the MC days i had this Oomkin druid which i took along on a MC run. Now Moonkin Druids were quite crappy back then, 3 Starfire's and we were out of mana... i was happy if i could last one Core hound! So i often just helped along on healing, sometimes even without a choice.
    Now what i do remember of that time is that i wasn't seeing more then healthbars and that healing was more like a whack-a-mole game as some other blogger called it on Wowinsider. I didn't see a single thing of what happened arround me (not that MC had that interesting surroundings tho).
    I did blame this on my own noobness on healing and i figured if i had more practise things would have gone smoother, leaving me more time to enjoy the raid. I also realise the way people heal has been changed quite a bit in TBC so trying to sketch an image of a possible healing carreer might not be a fair thing here.

    Going healer will give me quite a bigger shot at joining 5mans later on so that should be part of the equation aswell imo, but if i delay that choice too long i might miss out on healing gear... i don't want to pick dps quest rewards over healing ones and be sorry about it later.
    I'm also doing some PvP and it would be a damn shame if i would spend my points on the "wrong" set of kit.
    The plan, as poor of a plan as it is, is to get as many healing items as possible from quests and perhaps an odd instance drop if the present healer doesn't want it... and hopefully i end up with some reasonable kit anyway. I'll stay dps as long as possible and will slowly gather an offspec kit. Perhaps i can get myself some crafted stuff later on aswell, a couple of blues will get me a long way i suppose.
    Sadly enough i already vendored some Elemental (spelldamage) rewards which could have been a nice alternative to healingkit for now, not so smart ey?
    Guess i'm truelly lacking Intellect at the moment.

    Tuesday, January 15

    Worse then a PUG

    You likely have all experienced PUG's, Pick Up Groups.... a group of individuals who ain't used to play together and have a big chance to mess things up. Often groups like this contain at least one person who doesn't play his class well, is a jerk, "needs" all loot, has an AFK habit, has no people skills or any negative side effect which will once again confirm your negative view on PUG's.
    Good pugs excist but those are more rare, likely as any reasonable skilled player has dito friends or a dito guild and rather teams up with those then take his chances with some random people.

    Yesterday we formed an all guild alt party to go do Auchinai Crypts. We all logged on to Teamspeak which makes tactics easier and also adds some fun chatter. But when i logged on i heared our tank had had some premature fun already, he had quite one too many.
    I was worried a bit but someone else in the party assured me this was nothing yet... he could get alot worse then this.
    Well it started out reasonable, we had multiple mobs at once and he tanked one while we did our best at CC'ing the others or just nuking them down.
    Sure as a Shaman i wasn't meant to be an offtank but our healer could keep up quite well, when i didn't have aggro i would throw in a couple of heals aswell to try and save our more squishy members if the healer itsself got too much healing aggro.
    It was quite funny in some way actually, the tanks stood somewhat away from the rest of the group and tanked the one target with a skill on it while we killed the rest of the group.. and somewhere in that period of time the tank's target would die followed by an "I win!" announcement on Teamspeak.
    I'm guessing he would celebrate at this point with another drink as he would stand still for a bit then not bothered by any other possible mob still sheeped or beating on the healer.
    At this point i figured a bad guildrun could be worse then a pug: i can't just auto-run into a wall here, shout "Laaaaaggg" and then ALT F4.

    Some trashpacks later he would position himself in such an akward way that he would pull an extra patrol which would be our first demise.
    While i started rezzing the tank told us on TS he would be right back for a drink, we were in doubt if a drink was actually what he needed... perhaps a strong pot of coffee. So we waited for him to come back... and waited... and he went offline... i started to think he was getting that drink at the local liquor store by then. Quite a while later he did come back blaming it on the router, not the most likely thing but it could be i suppose.
    Five trashpulls and a wipe later the last thing we hear on TS is another "I Win!". We kill the last remaining mob ourselves while our tank seems to celebrate his uberness again and don't get any reaction from him again.
    We call out on TS for him, spam the chat but there is no response. After waiting for 15minutes again we decide to boot him so he gets ported out.
    Another alt tank is summoned in and we can finally move on. Sure we still wiped now and then but we were slightly below the required level, slightly demotivated and got our ass handed to us by our own overconfidence or bad tactics but we got there in the end.

    This instance actually took us 3 hours to complete with no quest for extra xp completed or any great loot for any of us, somewhere i do feel like it was an evening wasted but at least i learned a valuable lesson: a Drunk tank is a bad tank! (probably works for any class btw)

    Monday, January 14

    Friendship and Honor don't mix

    Last week i took my level 64 Shaman out on a quest; to obtain a new totem (gear); this Totem of Impact would be a nice replacement for my Totem of Rage which i got from BRD. Now the tricky bit was that that i needed 15 Mark's of Honor Hold which can only be obtained by either doing the Hellfire pvp daily which requires to capture 3 towers or killing an enemy player near one of these towers or those in Zangermarsh.
    Now that is the tricky bit as world pvp would give me quite a high change to encounter level 70 players in Epic gear.
    I'm happy to report that i díd manage to get it.. i got 6 tokens from the daily quest (2x3) so the rest came from killing Horde.

    Some highlights in my World pvp sessions:

    • Killing a level 64 twice before his level 70 buddy beside him managed to take me down. (first time i was even at half health as i spawned behind him after a corpserun, 2nd time cost me a selfrez to finish the job)
    • 2 level 70's happily waved at me (and vice versa) when i was unflagged but that didn't stop them to try and kill me later on, i didn't want to give them that pleasure so i made a succesfull escape.
    • 10 mins later i encountered one of those 70'ers at 60% so i decided to try and teach him a lesson. If his buddy wouldn't have come to his aid at the last 5% i would have gotten him, however i did have my selfrez up and killed him anyway with plenty of time to "lol" him afterwards. (pwned by a level 64 :P)
    • A level 64 Alliance Paladin logged his Horde level 70 Warlock to cap the 3 towers so we could capture it back afterwards to complete the quest, quite helpfull.
    The rest of the Sathurday i did some instances, including the dreaded Mana Tombs escort, and a couple of quests to get myself to level 65. All together with my GF's Paladin ofcourse, don't wanna risk a RL corpsrun. ;-)
    I even started doing some more PvP on moments where she couldn't join me on quests, which netted me a nice 7k honor already. With this pace i can get myself a nice Epic as soon as i ding 70!

    For those who read my previous post about my decision to make Sundays a non-Wow day... i actually kept my word and didn't log on all day! I didn't even took an extra dose on Sathurday as i logged at 10-ish which is many hours earlier then normal Sathurdays (it was 2h30 the day before tho).
    So when looking at the Sleep vs Wow equation i managed to have two early nights in a row and i'm actually quite awake at work for a change, haven't jawned all morning. :O
    But tonight i do plan to do some nice alting again cold turkey for me sir!

    Friday, January 11

    Good thing i'm not a woman

    While i can think of a couple of reason why i would want to be a woman, the reason i'm happy i'm not is their infamous ability to go shopping spree, with no cooldown. Shopping can be fun and thats exactly what i'm trying to do: buy something.
    What is that something? A Flying mount! Well.. not entirely true, i just want the Expert Riding skill which will allow me to fly those damn things.
    My mount is gonna be this little engineered beauty, yeah thats correct... a flying machine!
    To give you some more info: it's gonna be the flying mount for my latest project, my Shaman. Sure she's a girly but i'm the man behind her taking care of the creditcard :P

    This alt has drained my other characters reserves for quite a bit already.. i was lucky to have leveled up my level 70 warrior's mining from 0 to 375 just a month before so she could level her Engineering to 356. Besides that she totaly abused the Thorium stock i builed up an another toon.
    Also my AH toon send her quite some gold for training and recipies as she totaly used up all her money on skilling engineering.
    But at least she made it to a nice level for now.
    Her mining has reached the max aswell and she has been sending spare ore (not all) and greens and blues and other sellable crap to the AH toon.
    This way she managed to repay the money she was borrowed and even a bit extra.
    She netted herself about 500g sofar from which a large part comes from questmoney. While she is still level 64 that leaves quite some time to reach 70 to be able to actually train Expert riding which costs 800g... as long as i stick to just repairing, buying myself drinks and train my skills (and perhaps the odd gem for gear) i have no doubt i can easily make this.
    But extra cash won't hurt as i will be needing more expensive gems later, enchants and who knows what other mats to get my gear in shape aswell.

    Besides.. if i keep going like this i might even make a good start towards the extra 5000g needed for the Artisian riding which is needed for Turbo-charged Flying Machine... *drool*
    Ah well, a girl can dream can't she?

    The Road to Freedom

    Somehow i managed to get myself thinking with yesterdays post... how addicted am i really?
    I have called this blog Fulltime Wow Addict but to be honest it was more joking eventho i do realise Wow is quite a part of my sparetime spend.
    There are people out there more addicted and as i like to compare myself to them and tell myself i aint thát bad it's not about them here is it?
    Throughout my Wow carreer i've had various stages i suppose and now is a time as good as any to analyze them.

    Stage 1. Tunnel-vision
    When Wow first came out there was nothing more interesting then playing this game.. i played it till late in the night/morning, sometimes even on worknights resulting me into be OOM the next morning so i would call in sick. After a few hours sleep i'd restart the gaming marathon again.
    Yeah it was pretty bad, i wasn't "sick" for weeks but 2 or 3 days a month wasn't an unfamiliar sight the first year. Now in my defense i had a lot of stress at my job in that period of time (actually i only just toned down, shortly before i started this blog) and had to escape the world in some way anyway.

    Stage 2. Out of phase
    I got more balance into things and gaming sessions ended at reasonable times (at least for me), often somewhere between 11-12h. I still gamed 7 days a week where the Friday and Sathurdaynights still often ended when daylight came through.. but my work suffered alot less.
    Still social events were limited, still did stuff with the local Scoutinggroup but more because i felt socially pressured to.
    At the end of this stage i got a willpower boost for some reason which pushed me to the next phase in my Wow carreer.

    Stage 3. Cold Turkey Sandwich
    I decided to get out of the current flatappartment i was in, mostly because they were gonna renovate it in a few month forcing me and my GF to find someother place to stay for some weeks and deal with intrussions into our home during a few months and noice, dust and mess in- and outside even longer then that. We went home shopping and found a nice place to buy shortly after, 2 months before we would move i canceled our internet subscription to force us to prepare and get packing... it wasn't as bad as i would have expected altho i did have the urge to log in at times.
    2,5 months later we had settled in our new home and most chores had been done when i found out we had internet again. The first thing we did was log in and say hi to the people we had sort of missed for such a long time, it was a bit like comming home after a long vacation.

    Stage 4. Balanced Diet
    We found out there wasn't much we actually missed in Wow, we had found other ways to entertain ourselves and really enjoyed making our house more comfortable. A couple of times a week we joined raids which were old fashion fun but apart from that we had no idea what to do in the game.
    The rest of the week was spend on watching movies and mostly unpacking stuff, we went to bed at normal times as we were still beat up from a month of hard labour (did a small renovation job on the house; breaking/removing stuff, painting, flooring rooms, hanging curtains.. that sort of stuff).

    Stage 5. Gravity: On!
    While there are still some small chores left the house is habitable. So we are treating ourselves to a break and spending most available free time on relaxing and doing stuff we like to do. A big part of that has become Wow again, average 6 days/evenings a week with now and then an extra break for a social visit or a movie. Truth told we are pretty close to stage 2 again, we won't ever get into stage 1 again but stage 2 is already scary enough.
    But then again, pre-Wow my time was devided up by gaming (30%) and watching series/tv/films (60%)... now i just game more (80%) and watch TV less often (10%), it's still time spend behind a screen. Of two "evils" i'd say Wow is the better as it atleast provides some social play and stimulates your brain more then most tv-shows do. I do feel the Wow pull slowly increasing tho.

    So where do i want to go? While stage 5 is better then stage 1 and still better then stage 2, i think it's better if i get into a stage 4½ where i find some more time to do chores as i still aint ready in the house with more stuff to do in spring (the guarden). As a side effect i'm gonna enjoy time spend in Wow more when i am able to be there a bit less often.
    Measures have been taken and we have planned to have at least 1 non-Wow day a week as i told you in previous post. Not just an evening but an complete day.
    I'm not planning to get cured of my Wow addiction, i'm not someone you would find in a bar anyway, but some fresh air won't hurt ;)

    Thursday, January 10

    Sleep vs XP

    It's a comparison i make always daily, often XP is replaced by some other wowfactor like Badges of Justice, dkp, epics or just plain gaming fun... but the factor sleep is always part of that equation.
    Our guild raids from 20h30 till 24h during weekdays normally and sundays we even start 30mins earlier. Our English friends join us on the raids but due to the timezone it's 19h30 till 23h for them.

    Now let me sketch my situation here, however non-complex: i get up at 7h and try to arrive at work at 8h. Nine hours later at 17h i'm released from the clutches of the Raidleader at work and i head home. I cook/eat/feed the cats/whatever else is needed and then i often find myself in the virtual world of warcraft. 6 out of 7 days there is a raid available, 2 of those are optional but if you are one of the required classes there is quite some strong pressure.. mostly from myself in the form of guilth. Let's say we actually manage to stop at 12 (often we manage to pass that with 10-20mins, sometimes even a bit longer), this would mean i'm in bed within the next 10mins but then i often need a moment to settle after high pace action so i often see the clock reach 1 o' clock before passing out.
    That adds up to 6 hours of sleep each night at the max, if i manage to wake up early or during the night i miss out even more.
    I'd like to say this is the minimum ammount of sleep i need but truth said i'm on the edge here... around 12 my eyelids are growing quite heavy and i often have to fight against sleep to end the raid. Once i go past 12 o'clock the fight has gone too far and many times i start to develop a headache.
    The next day i will be jawning constantly and if i really pushed it that headache will still be around to remind of yesterdays raid, the old gods only know why i don't have these use bags under my eyes after weeks of this abuse.

    When i do manage to go to bed early for a change, i notice i'm more active during the day.. not much but still. So i am aware the effect staying up late has but still i'm not willing to give up on the fun. Gaming bad? Nonsence! Just staying up too late for it.
    If i wouldn't have gamed online with other people it would have been easier to quit when i was tired but it's not so easy to abandon 9 other or even 24 other people. People you consider some sort of friends and who count on you. If i quit that can often ruin the raid, especially on the 10man runs and i'm playing the tank. I try to warn people in advance that 12h is my absolute endtime but when we manage to wipe on a boss due to a stupid reason at 11h56 you do know what is gonna happen: another try.
    People do know whats the deal and ask me if i'm up for another run or that we should call it.... any idea what my answer on this normally is?
    Eventho i told them hours in advance that 12h is the end for me i find myself torn once again, my bed is calling me and i can almost feel the fabric of my pillow on my face, yet the guilth is nagging again and then i hear myself say: "Okay, let's do a last shot then.. but i'm going after that!"
    Luckily often this one extra attempt is all we need but what if we wipe again? It's up to me then to decide if we leave empty handed or not, do i want us to taddle off like sad little feldogs with their hanging tails between their langs?

    This next sunday i won't log on.. not at all. Not in the morning, not in the afternoon and certainly not in the evening. I will use my time more effective for a change, do some long due chores, clean up in the house and most importantly: go to bed early!
    I will be missing a raid because of this and i truelly hope i can be missed aswell as my GF who is going to be part of the package deal here, but i do feel a total non-wow day might do us some good. If this turns out as a noticeable positive thing i might make this a weekly event, perhaps try to attend the raid in the evening and take some other night off.. but lets see where this leads first.
    I suppose an addicts first step towards getting better is admitting he's an addict, at least that point is behind me. ;)

    Wednesday, January 9

    The Honor plan

    My Shaman alt is at level 64 now which is the same level as my Girlfriends Paladin alt. We've kinda agreed to level up together so we won't quest without the other. But it still happens that she's on when i'm not or vica versa, how do we kill time on that alt then?
    Well skilling up professions has been one, i've been leveling Engineering and i'm up to 354.. she's been doing Blacksmithing and is somewhere around 300. We mine a bit to get more ingredients or for selling so i can afford my flying mount in a few levels.
    But the newest non xp gaining time spending is doing Battlegrounds.

    The plan has been to do BG's once at 70 to gather ourselves some nice gear but i started a bit early with that now to kill time.
    Now what i noticed is that certain Battlegrounds have players with a maximum level of 69, i think that Alterac Valley is the only exception to this actually.
    So i'm encountering players from level 60 till 69 and against quite a few of them i stand a good chance with my level 64 Shaman, even managed to end up pretty high on the meters a couple of times. (both kill wise as dps wise) My dps is pretty well i guess but i heal aswell if needs be, it's about winning.. not about getting that kill right? I've been pleasantly surprised by a few wins even altho i don't contributed as much to that as i could in a few levels ofcourse.

    Anyway, this early BG joining had starting me thinking again.. when i would level to 70 i would enter the BG's in my greens and couple of blues i would get totaly slaughtered by those peeps and their well-fare Epics. In Alterac Valley i already noticed the huge impact of this and i got ripped to pieces at times where my gear aint that bad i think with 90stamina just from 2 engineering items, not to speak of the other items yet.
    Yeah i do wear alot of Leather still so damage reduction aint as good as supposed to be and resilience is something my Shaman has not heard of yet.
    The idea that sprouted is likely not something new: What if i just leveled till 69 and would stay there for a couple of weeks while i would "grind" myself some honor and badges? Sure the honor gained would be lower then at level 70 but if i would get more kills in, wouldn't that even out? Or as i am actually hoping; would give me a better result in the end. Worst case scenario i would gain less honor but i would be less frustrated with getting ganked all of the time, resulting in me doing more BG's a day before i get sick and tired of doing them.
    More time consuming that way but i would be nice if i would actually have some fun in the BG's aswell right?

    EotS weekend end of this week (as found on the Calendar) so you will probably find me there ;)

    Tuesday, January 8

    Choose your path

    Most classes are able to choose a path or more commonly known as a spec. For some the diversaty in this is more prominent then others, a Rogue is still a dpsclass whichever path he chooses... one spec might be more fit for solo, an other for raids and a 3rd for pvp (guessing here) but in the end it's all about dealing damage. The same story goes for Mages, Hunters and Warlocks.
    Some other classes can go into 2 or even 3 directions; Warriors can choose for a tank build or for a dpsbuild and Shamans can choose between 2 dps builds (caster and melee) or a healing build while a Priest can choose to heal or dps.
    Druids and Paladins can choose to go dps, healing ór tanking which makes them the most versatile class.

    Now when i rolled my Hunter it soon became clear; i was gonna be a damage dealer.. there wasn't an other option anyway so i would try to be the best i could. I've tried each talentree on various stages always following the one who would give me the highest possible dps.
    But what if you rolled a Druid for example? Perhaps you rolled him just because it was so cool he could shapeshift, not even realising at high level you would be pushed to follow a certain path.. a time ago a Druid was a Jack of all trades but king of none but nowadays they can master each tree as long as they are specced right.
    Paladins used to be the just fit for healing but Blizzard has given them options to dps and tank aswell, how well they perform in those directions still result in heavy discussions so i won't go into that just now (yet) but the choice is there.

    A while back i rolled a Shaman... why? I didn't play one before (at least not beyond level 11) and was curious of the class. I started out the first 15 levels with an Elemental spec (the caster dps version) but then i switched to Enhancement as going OOM all of the time was quite frustrating and limited my questspeed. But now i'm nearing 70 i'm starting to wonder what direction i should choose.
    My choices are affected by my other toons however; i have Hunter so dps is sorted.. i have a Warrior which is protection specced so i have a tank, the only direction missing is a healer.
    I healed a bit on my Druidalt back in the MC days but i don't think i quite mastered it back then, i'm not sure yet i will ever but perhaps i could.. i simply don't know at this point. But i'm having quite some fun on my Shaman as dps aswell, would i want to risk speccing into a direction i wouldn't like afterall?

    For people with more spec options there might be another thing to consider: Requirement. On my tank it's pretty damn easy getting a party for an instance and even on my Hunter it aint that hard. But what if i am an dps Shammy? No CC (CrowdControl; Trapping, Sheeping, Seduce, etc) makes them a somewhat more impopular choice for at least Heroic instances. As a Resto Shaman it would be quite a bit easier to get a group but then i would be required to keep the people in my party alive.. with such limited healing experience and crap gear that might be quite a challenge.
    I've healed a bit in the past even on my Enhancement Shaman in Zul'Farrak but we had a good tank there... ever tried healing a pug where the Rogue thought he could better tank then the Warrior and the Mage rather AoE'd his own sheep ánd the Hunters trap then assisting the tank? Not to speak about a Hunter who adores his Multishot skill, a living nightmare for any healer. Not exactly something i am looking forward too... i've already experienced this sort of parties on my Druid in the past and that was more then enough.

    Just 6 more levels and my Shaman is 70 and i better try to have figured out what i want to do by then. Preferable even earlier so i can grab some kit for an other spec aswell... altho my GF ninja'ing a healingkit for her Paladin aswell might make that abit harder. :)

    Monday, January 7

    Wow is a feeling

    As i stated in my previous post i use my second screen to browse the internet during downtime at raids. Why i often don't have time for it as i'm doing an effort to assist the Raidleader by marking or otherwise preparing/tweaking a bossfight, there are times where i manage to check out some new Wowmovies or even some cartoons.
    Yesterday i stumbled upon Pure Pwnage again and i noticed they offered quite a bit video entertainment... i had seen some of their episodes before but even the ones i'd seen were fun to watch once more.

    The serie is about a supergamer and his humoristic way (and often unrealistic) with life and how gaming is brought into RL. You will encounter many wow terms when watching this show as the leader character's (The Owner, called Jeremy in RL) GF plays Wow (and so did he for a while, you might know the "World of Warcraft is a Feeling" song which came from one of their episodes. )

    A small clip i wanted to share with you is of one of the Owner's sidekicks: Doug, or fps_Doug as he likes to call himself (Booom! Headshot!)
    I hope you enjoy and make sure out to check out the episodes next time you are stuck on a bird or waiting from that guy to get back from AFK.
    I must warn you, i went to bed with still one of their songs ringing in my ears.. ("Cause I pwn you, like I pwn you like pretty hard and stuff right">

    3 toons in instances

    It's been a busy weekend for me, wow-wise ofcourse. We started out with Tempest Keep: The Eye on Friday and i was ready and waiting on my main (my Hunter) when the Raidleader asked me in the officer channel to bring the Tank aswell as he might be needed on Al'ar, the first boss.
    Now i have dragged my alt more often to an instance only to be replaced in the very last second by a main logging on so i was not worried.
    We cleared the trash where i was still on my Hunter but as the raid started on the last trashmob i Cheetah'd my way out so i could log the tank, it seriously looked like i was going to tank a TK boss... or at least a small period of the time.
    I tend to read up on everyones task in a raid not just my own, so i had a general good idea of what a tank had to do on this event. Still i checked with my GF who was one of the other 2 tanks if i had everything covered.
    Now i don't know if you know the event but tanks take turns here, waiting at pre assigned spots but they often need to run to that spot last minute as the boss likes to nuke those tankspots. When the boss (a giant flaming bird) is at that tankspot and no one is in melee range he does a instance wide AoE which can not be healed through for long.
    Now when a tank runs in and then intercepts it's quite hard to avoid one of these flamebuffets, when we just started trying this boss we often got 2.
    I was the new guy here and had to learn a new trick here but i was most pleased he only managed to get two off the very first time, the tries after he did just one which without a swiftness pot is a okay. I tanked Al'ar on my alt! :)

    On Sathurday and during the day on Sunday it was Shammy time.. i managed to level it to 62 in meantime and we did Scholo for the GF's palladin so she could get herself an Epic riding mount aswell. We succeeded and cleared the rest of the instance after that aswell, supported by a level 70 mage from the guild... he didn't make a bad tank actually altho he did grew a bit overconfident once :P But even the best drops in this instance weren't able to compete with level 60 Outland greens, i wonder if the next expansion will make level 70 blues obsolete.
    Sundays we focused more on the Outlands in which we did Ramparts, Blood Furnace (twice) and Slavepens. Now this was quite interesting as it was one of the first times i was able to compare my Enhancement Shaman to others. The first run we had a level 67 Hunter along and a level 69 Tank, i was quite surprised i was top of the meters by quite a margin. Not sure if that states more on me then the Hunter tho... let's just say i'm just too overpowered :P
    The last run of the day we had party of level 60-63 members with just a mage to CC and a Ret Paladin to heal. Besides a bad pull (which we almost survived) we had a smooth run along with a dose of old fashion instance fun. I'm level 63 now btw.

    The last toon to run an instance was my Hunter who attended Sundays raid to Moroes and Vashj. The giant was quickly downed with just Vashj remaining. Now about every time we do her the Raidleader forgets to set the loot to Free for All so any person killing a Tainted Elemental can pick up his drop which is needed to shut down a shield generator to get to the next phase.
    This is often good for a first wipe as we need to keep up the second phase for a longer period of time and increases the chance of some bad luck or mishab happening. Now our raid seemed hexxed yesterday, we got tanks dieing (at least we now figured out why.. damn parries!), people disconnecting, bad timings or just small muck ups. Lots of time was lost waiting for those people who DC'd to get back online and in the end we simply had to let her live for a couple more days till we return on Tuesday.
    Surprisingly the wiping didn't bother me too much, i enjoyed myself well enough and Feign Death even managed to save me some repairs a few times. :)
    During downtime i entertained myself by checking out most of the episodes of Pure Pwnage, got to love a second monitor.

    Friday, January 4

    What makes a main?

    I got various toons now and i've always considered my Hunter my main.. he was the first to reach 60 and later the first to reach 70 aswell.
    My alts would be the lower toons at first and some of them managed to reach the max. level after a while; my Druid and Warrior both made it to 60 and of those two my Warrior made it to 70 aswell. My Druid is parked at level 64 but from down below a Shaman is climbing up aswell which is level 61 now and got a good chance to overtake the Druid soon.
    So what makes a toon a main? For me it is the character who raids, the character you spend most time and money on... but that rule might not be so accurate at the moment, or not at all even. On the moment i'm spending most time on my Shaman but he ain't my highest character, i don't spend the most money on it (altho that epic riding mount was quite expensive and engineering is a bitch aswell), i wouldn't consider him my main... at least not yet.

    What if level is a factor then? I got a Warrior who is 70 aswell just like my Hunter and you know what? He raids! Karazhan and not SSC and TK like my Hunter but he still does. His gear is quite epic (think just missing 1 epic ring) while my Hunter is still wearing 2 blue trinkets.
    But when comparing itemlevels my Hunter still would be the best equipped as he has a few SSC and TK epics aswell so that still doesn't make my Warrior a main, even with the ammount of gear he has that would many Tanks who raid Karazhan jealous.
    Does gear make someone a main then? Still i would need to say no, at least not in my case.

    I think there are 2 factors which determine which of your toons is your main. The first factor is you, you have to decide that a certain character is going to be your main... your character you are gonna spend most effort on.
    The other factor depends on your guild (if you are in any) and if you are raiding; your guild is that second factor. Can they affort you mainswitching?
    Ofcourse they can't stop you from switching but they can tell you you won't get a raidspot on your new main as they simply don't need anyone of that class extra.
    But changing mains while in a raidguild can also leave a gap in the raidgroup.... maybe you were filling a spot or you were simply good at your class and it it feels like a waste to leave a skilled toon like yours on raids.

    Now i wouldn't present this topic to you if it wouldn't be something that would keep me busy.
    As an officer i've seen requests to mainswitch more often, many times we would have to decline that request.. because we couldn't afford to miss that persons toon or simply don't require the new main on raids. We work with raidranks; we got raiders, backup raiders and casuals... if someone decides to mainswitch he becomes a casual in theory, losing his earlier earned raidrights. This seems quite fair to me actually, how can we know if the player can skillfully play his new main aswell? And how about that toons gear? Surely no one is willing to take him by the hand and go back to kill bosses which already been farmed to death and are no longer on the route.
    If you are somewhat skilled (there is always more to learn, i won't believe you if you said you play your alt to its fullest... not untill you had at least as many hours /played on it as your main) and you do have the gear which allows you to jumo in directly, then nothing but the earlier mentioned 2 factors stand in way of a mainswitch.
    Doors may close behind you tho so be very sure of that mainswitch because you might be stuck in that new virtual body for quite a while.

    Thursday, January 3

    And there i thought i was smart

    I've been running instances with my low level shammy for a couple of weeks now (altho is 60 still low?) and i've been able to compare my dps to other players for a bit now. Without bragging i can say i managed to outdps most other players quite easily.. i didn't pot and even offhealed now and then if needed but i was first on the meters most of the time (apart from a few level 70 players who came along :P ).
    Now i'm quite a serious player... constantly thinking about how to maximize my character or playstyle, in my shaman's case: her dps. (yep it's a girly.. damn in HAWT)

    What i never believed in (and still don't do) is plainly copying other peoples gear, builds, playstyle.. you name it. Copying won't maximise your potential!
    You need to figure out for yourself how you can improve and if you check out other peoples theories, don't just accept it... understand it.
    Figuring out how things work might not always be fun but the result can be quite alot, in the end it's worth it imo.

    One of the things i can't figure out for my shammy is the weapon buffs you can cast. Windfury is thé best buff to cast on Main hand but what about Offhand? To not bore you with details you offhand weapon does 50% of the damage of a mainhand weapon, windfury gives your weapon a chance to hit for twice the weapondamage + extra attackpower. Now comes the tricky part: when it procs it starts a hidden cooldown in which no new proc can occur on both MH as OH. So when my OH procs (lower damage) my MH can't proc either for a bit. And what prevents my OH to proc again after that and keep the MH locked out? I've been trying WF on both weapons aswell as WF on MH and Flametongue on the OH which adds firedamage and makes sure only my MH can use the WF buff.
    Confused? Well i am.
    My current theory is that i need a as slow as possible OH before Windfury on it gets worth it... as long as i got this fast OH i'm using the flametongue.

    But there is more smartness required, something that can have major effect on your usefullness is your talentbuild... your spec so to say.
    A warrior who wants to be a tank will be limited in his capability if he skips the extra threat talents, a warrior who wants to dps must certainly not skip on the extra crit talents. Sounds simply enough right? Well it's not always this obvious i'm afraid.
    There are talents which are secretly alot better then you would say at first and there are bad talents which you need to take to get to the next tier to get to the good stuff.

    Now you can skip the next bit if you want if you don't want to see me discuss my little shaman, i'll try to keep things obvious for non-shamans ofcourse.
    Anyway i went Enhancement which is the melee shaman who uses shocks for some extra magic damage. The talents in the enhancement tree have been well spend imo, been avoiding the crap talents (or at least those with limited value). But now i have some to spend in either elemental or restoration.
    Restoration is healing, Elemental is casting... since i use shock Elemental seems the most valid choice.
    So i've planned to make my build like this:
    Now today i followed my own advice and checked out the Elitist Jerks posts on Enhancement shammies.
    I quickly found this:

      One of the more prevalent suggestions is that Enhance Shaman should 'optimize' their DPS by speccing into Elemental for a 5 second shock cooldown, 5% increased shock damage, and of course the Elemental Devastation Talent.
      Bad idea.
    Say what? extra shockdamage, faster shocks, less mana for shocks, chance on even more shockdiscounts and more meleecrit. Doesn't seem like such a bad deal imo.
    Instead they advised to take a talent in the Restoration tree which i didn't spot before, 3% extra hit for melee and spells. They showed how minor dps upgrade the spells in Elemental would actually be which seem to make sense, i'm still gonna take another look at this but the theory about it seems valid.
    The bad part is i need to some "crappy" talents to get to that talent, healing talents and/or cheaper totems which might not be not worth the points.. certainly no the healing ones as a dps shaman.
    This would result in a talentbuild somewhat like this, gonna try it out once i actually have enough points to reach that extra hit talent.

    My point, if there was one to start with, is that you can always learn more about your toon...
    A different playstyle (different spellrotations for example) or a different build can be found through theorycrafting, debating and testing which will show its result. Don't accept your way as the best and you can always improve.

    Wednesday, January 2

    All for nothing!

    While leveling my Shaman i did it together with my Girlfriend who created a Paladin awhile back and we're going up quite steady, doing most of the "Old Skool" instances together. Not just us ofcourse but with other alts out of the guild of about equall level, now and then with a level 70 alt.
    But i must tell you its been a long time ago i had that much fun running an instance! Especially with just partymembers of equall level those instances like Maraudon (we started teaming up for runs at that level) is really like the old days again, challenging but still good to do... exciting and reward in both drops as experience. So we've done Maraudon, quickly followed by BRD, then Sunken Temple, Lower Blackrockspire, Diremaul East and Diremaul West.
    Me and the GF dinged 60 in meantime where the rest of the party is in between 56 and 59 so the next instance planned in Scholo.
    Now we weren't that much in a hurry to go to the Outlands, we are having way too much fun exploring those dungeons just like when we did doing it for the very first time time on our mains when everyone was doing the levelrace.
    Eventho some of us stepped through the Dark Portal in meantime we plan to do each instance at least once; Scholo, Strat, UBRS en Diremaul North still on our list. (hoping to do Scholo tonight for my GF's Epic Paladin mount)

    But let me tell you this; i always check out an instance lootlist in advance and see what possible cool upgrades i could get. It's not all about the loot but having a good fun run is just a little bit better when you got something to remember the run by at the end.. i was thinking about saving the heads of all endbosses as a souvenir but i couldn't be bothered with that after killing the Princess for some reason. Yesterday we entered the outlands and the very first quest i did got me an upgrade... which replaced a Diremaul item. Previous toons i entered Outlands with at mostly Epic gear so i didn't had this "problem" right at the start before. Again i was confronted with the Green > Blue rule.
    Four quests later i replaced 2 of my items, an instance run followed and i replaced 3 more. The 2 quests i did afterwards replaced another item... suddenly i didn't see much use for doing those Azerothian Dungeons anymore. XP was worse there and loot was very obviously not worth it (i replaced both my blue weapons by greens within the hour).
    Sure i'm gonna do those old skool instances still, mostly for fun but also for helping those other alts catch up a bit so we can quickly emerge us in the new world and it's large variety of instances.
    I forgot how much fun it was leveling an alt... i forgot how much fun you can have with a party in a challenging dungeon... i experienced how challenging and fun Outlands can be for non-Epic geared characters.
    It seems i'm getting more and more infected with altitus.

    Back from AFK

    I've been being keeping this blog poorly updated during the x-mas period.. i've could say i have been busy with reallife things and commitments but instead i'll just say i did research for my Wow blog... okay, okay.. i've just been gaming. As a true wow addict i rather play then write a blog but in my defense i did actually experienced some cool new stuff (for me at least).

    Perhaps you remember me writing about my shaman alt (enhancement, better known as the melee dps spec) who was about level 40 somewhere halfway into december.
    Then my little holiday break hit me and i've been testing the new improved leveling Blizzard introduced in patch 2.3
    And you know what? On the last day of 2007 i dinged 60!
    More about this alts adventures and shammies in general in upcomming posts, hopefully matched with new topics and raidadventures. I'm back at work so plenty of time to create some nice reading material for you people :P

    Anyway, wishing you the best for the new year.. not just in reallife but at least as important in-game aswell!