All Aboard the Failboat

Posted in World of Warcraft with tags , , , , , on April 16, 2010 by Randul the Dwarf

Captain:  Randul the Dwarf (actually it’d be Daenaran, but that’s just being picky)

I’m not perfect.  I do  stupid things from time to time.  I hear “failboat toot toot” in raids and vent pretty often.  More often than not it’s just me being absent minded or a minor oversight, but last night I joined the ranks of EPIC fail.

I was healing a random heroic (Utgarde Pinnacle) and for some reason a thought from a forum thread I read this past week fluttered through my mind.  The person was talking about an addon called Rankwatch to see which newbs were not using max ranks of their spells.  After reading that, I went home, went to the trainer and made sure that all of my spells were trained.  That’s my due diligence, right?

Apparently due diligence isn’t enough sometimes.  Sometimes the game just hates you and wants you to look like a total moron.  You see, there’s a bug out there with dual spec that even though you train the highest level of your spells and the game is SUPPOSED to put those max ranks on your action bars, things don’t always work out that way.

I’ve been level 80 and running heroics on Daenaran for a few weeks now.  I’ve been healing them for the most part, but doing a little bit of Elemental DPS from time to time.  I’ve run enough heroics to have four pieces of T9 gear and the iLevel 245 ring.  That’s a few emblems.

The entire time I’ve been doing this, I’ve been at about half power.  I can’t remember the exact ranks, but Healing Wave, Lesser Healing Wave, Chain Heal, Lightning Bolt, Flame Shock, Earth Shock and Chain Lightning were ALL at about half their possible ranks.

……………………………………..________
………………………………,.-‘”……………….“~.,
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……………../………………………………………………,:`^`..}
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…………./__.(…..“~-,_…………………………,:`………./
………../(_….”~,_……..“~,_………………..,:`…….._/
……….{.._$;_……”=,_…….“-,_…….,.-~-,},.~”;/….}
………..((…..*~_…….”=-._……“;,,./`…./”…………../
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…………(….`=-,,…….`……………………(……;_,,-”
…………/.`~,……`-………………………….\……/\
………….\`~.*-,……………………………….|,./…..\,__
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…..`=~-,_\_……`\,……………………………\
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…………………………..`:,,………………………`\…………..__
……………………………….`=-,……………….,%`>–==“
…………………………………._\……….._,-%…….`\
……………………………..,< `.._|_,-&“…………….`\

I respecced out of Elemental dps because I thought I was terrible at it.  If you think not having max ranks of your primary spells makes you terrible, then you probably agree.  I would agree that I am a terrible player at this point, but I don’t know that I am a terrible Elemental Shaman.

The really sad thing about all this?  I was succeeding.  I didn’t typically have wipes on my runs and I was healing at about half my potential.  Last night when I finally made the change, I was practically giggling every time a heal would go off.  Going from 1k Lesser Healing Waves to 7k LHWs is a pretty big deal.

I’m just glad I noticed this before going into a raid where I was actually expected to carry my own weight.

The lesson here, ladies and gentlemen, is to log on tonight and look at your spells.  Not just at the trainer, but on your actionbars.  MAKE SURE you are using the max rank of those spells, because you don’t want to be like me.

Oh, and for anyone that’s curious how things are going with the Shaman, I’ve got him to about 4300 gearscore.  2 piece t9 Resto & 2 piece t9 Elemental.  Last night I managed to snag the neckpiece off of the last boss in Heroic Forge of Souls, so I’m coming along nicely.

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A tribute to good writing

Posted in World of Warcraft with tags , , , , , , on April 9, 2010 by Randul the Dwarf

There are a lot of things going on right now in the world of World of Warcraft.  Class changes for Cataclysm are being previewed and information is flowing freely.  Part of me wants to write about some of those changes.

Another part of me wants to write about an article I saw on wow.com that is done RIGHT.  I have been critical of wow.com in the past, but Chase Christian did one little thing in his Combat 101 article that made me stop, take notice and pay tribute.

You can find the full article here.  It’s an introductory article on Combat Rogues.  Nothing really spectacular or groundbreaking about all that.  What I do love, however, is his intro.  I’ll quote it for you.

The assassination rogue sees the diplomat enter the dimly lit pub. He silently spikes a cup of wine with a toxic poison and hands it to the barkeep to send across the room. Upon receiving the drink, the diplomat quickly puts it down and decides to relieve himself before consuming his beverage. As he enters the bathroom, the subtlety rogue who has been waiting in the shadows for him begins to make his approach. Garrote wire in hand, the master of stealth is ready to end this man’s life quietly. Unfortunately, a bystander walks in at this very moment, forcing the shade back into stealth. The diplomat dries his hands on a soft towel and exits the room.

The combat rogue is standing in front of the diplomat. He grabs the noble’s fine silk shirt by the collar and throws him into a table surrounded by rough-looking men. Their drinks and food and dishes fill the otherwise silent bar with a raucous noise as they hit the ground. As the rogue approaches the table, the men rise from their seats and reach for their weapons.

Unfortunately for them, the agile rogue draws his tools faster. He then unleashes a barrage of stored adrenaline into his blood stream and begins smashing the bar’s patrons and the unconscious diplomat with a flurry of blows from two very heavy-looking maces. Moments later, he is the only one left standing amidst a pile of bodies. He kicks the door of the bar open and walks down the street into the night. He does not close the door.

Some wow.come authors try to be witty and clever in their intros.  Some just give a quick “who I am and what this article is about”, but in this article I feel like Mr. Christian went above and beyond.

First of all, this introduction is different.  You don’t see this style very much, especially in these types are articles.

Secondly, it really does convey the differences between the three specs of Rogues.  Assassination Rogues work with poisons, although in wow they are on weapons more often than in drinks.  Subtlety is all about being sneaky and attacking from the shadows.  Combat is all about being up in ya face.

I loved this intro and wanted to give this writer props.  Well done Chase Christian.  Keep up the good work.

Easter Post

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on April 7, 2010 by Randul the Dwarf

I should have done this a couple days ago, but I got distracted.  I am a Christian.  I believe that Good Friday represents the day that Christ died on the cross for my sins.  Easter Sunday represents the day that he rose from the dead, defeating death, sin and the devil to secure my spot in Heaven.

Now I want to share a few videos that illustrate my feelings and beliefs.  I don’t want to say too much, but know that they are Christian videos.  The first represents what happens when you die without accepting Jesus, it’s too late to apologize.  The second shows deep love for God, even in the face of opposition from friends and peers.  The last video shows a girl’s struggle with sin and how Jesus fights for her.

My Shaman UI + Keybinds

Posted in World of Warcraft with tags , , , , , , , on April 5, 2010 by Randul the Dwarf

I’ve done a keybinding post for both my Warrior and my Death Knight, so it’s time to post one for my Shaman.  I’m going to add my newly finished UI to this post as well, because I finally found a custom UI I like and I wanted to share.

The UI

As you can see in the picture above, I have my bars set up so that my three primary bars are front and center with my totem bar above them.  Then I have my peripheral abilities to the right by my bags.

Addons:

  • Pitbull – For me,my target and a few others.
  • Titanbar – For general info such as Location, Gold, Durability, Performance, etc.
  • Sexymap – Map mod, just for pretties.
  • Power Auras – All the graphics around my character. I LOVE this addon, I’ve got it set to show me an icon when Riptide is available, when Tidal Waves is active (and how many stacks), when my Triumph Totem procs and also to show me when Earth Shield & Water Shield AREN’T active.
  • Grid – for my raid & party frames, with addons I’ll discuss later.
  • Sunnart Viewport – Resizes my playable area and makes that nice console area at the bottom.
  • Pratt – Chat Mod (everyone seems to have this, not sure what it’s doing for me)
  • Bartender – action bar mod, allows me to move them, add more & keybind.
  • Recount – DPS Meter
  • Omen – Threat Meter (I stack Recount & Omen and only show Recount out of combat and Omen in combat)
  • MSBT – Scrolling Battle Text

*Grid is very configurable.   I’m using an addon to put numbers in the corners as shown above.  I also have Grid set up to give me an icon when a debuff I can remove is on the target and a little dot when there’s a buff I can’t remove on the target.  When someone has aggro their border glows red.

The Keybinds

Main Bar

1 – Auto Attack
2 – Lesser Healing Wave
3 – Healing Wave
4 – Riptide
5 – Wind Shear
6 – Frost Shock
7 – unbound
8 – Trinket
9 – Trinket
0 – Hex
– – Res
= – Mana Potion

Secondary Bar

G – Nature’s Swiftness + Tidal Force + Healing Wave Macro
V – Nature’s Swiftness + Tidal Force + Chain Heal Macro
X – Chain Heal
Ctrl F – Fire Nova
C – Grounding Totem
Z – Tidal Force
Ctrl ` – Cleanse Spirit
Ctrl Tab – Gift of the Naaru
F9 – Heroism
F10 – Fire Elemental
F11 – Earth Elemental
F12 – Ghost Wolf

Third Bar

Alt 1 – Totem Set 1
Alt 2 – Totem Set 2
Alt 3 – Magma Totem
Alt 4 – Flame Shock
Alt 5 – Mana Tide Totem
B – Earth Shield
Alt B – Water Shield
Ctrl X – Chain Lightning
Ctrl Z – Lightning Bolt
Ctrl C – Earth Shock
F4 – Oh Crap! Macro (both Trinkets)

Assorted Other Keybinds

Ctrl D – Cleansing Totem
T – Stoneclaw Totem
H – Earthbind Totem
` – Purge
Ctrl S – Stoneskin Totem
Ctrl H – Heal Potion
Ctrl B – Bandage Self
alt M – Ground Mount
Ctrl G – Flying Mount
Ctrl T – Tremor Totem

The biggest thing I probably need to do is put my heals on mouseover macros, although I’m not sure whether or not I want to go that route or not.  I suppose it would save a split second on each heal since I don’t have to click, but I feel like I’m doing fairly well as it is.

Comments, suggestions or critiques?

Shammy Time!

Posted in World of Warcraft with tags , , , , on April 2, 2010 by Randul the Dwarf

I have to admit, I am having a LOT of fun on my Shaman.  So far I’ve only healed Heroics and a pair of easy raids, but it’s been different and fun.  The key word here is DIFFERENT!  I love my Warrior, but I ALWAYS tank on him.  I love my DK, but eventually I want to do something other than melee.  Apparently whack-a-mole suits me.

To this point, raid healing has been slightly frustrating and extremely easy.  Much easier than healing a Heroic in fact.  Frustrating because I’ll be winding up a heal on someone and they’ll get healed by someone else before my heal lands.  I don’t feel like I’m accomplishing much.  Granted, we haven’t done true healing assignments in the raids I’ve been in, so that is probably part of it.

Hopefully when I’m actually doing something relevant I’ll be given an assignment and be a little more useful.  To this point I’ve been mopping up raid heals as the third healer on a VoA10 (starting with Koralon) and a Naxx10 (Loetheb, Sapph & Kel).  I do feel like I did a little more on Sapphiron, but I didn’t help much on Kel until our second healer died in a …. red thingy that you are supposed to not stand in.

My gear is shooting up in quality.  Overnight (literally) I went from “Go do Naxx & OS10” to “Go do EoE10, Naxx25 & OS25.”  Yes, that’s low-level content, but I’m working my way up.  Tonight I’ll have enough emblems to buy a Triumph ring, so I’m pretty excited about that.

I do have some things I need to work on and tweak.  I’ve got my UI looking pretty slick, but I really need to work on Grid a bit to meet my standards.  It’s pretty much out of the box at this point.  That’s not good.  I’ll be posting a screenshot on Monday of my current UI.

I also need to work on my utility stuff.  I let my totems drop and didn’t put them back up on Loetheb.  I also forgot to Heroism.  Bad Shaman is bad.  Of course, my raid leader should be calling for it, but I’m also a raid leader so that’s no excuse.

Here’s the man in his current incarnation.  Yeah, I need to stick a few gems in there and I REALLY need to work on his professions, but I’m too busy right now having so much fun!  I think after I get that ring trinkets are next on my to-do list.

Till next time, enjoy the weekend and happy Easter!

Screenshot of the Week

Posted in Screen Shot of the Week, World of Warcraft with tags , , , on March 30, 2010 by Randul the Dwarf

Finally a new one.  Nothing really funny about this one, just an interesting shot of Randul being epic.

Extra tidbit

My hits went from an average of around 40 per day to a whopping 148 so far today.  I have no idea why.  Unless my stats page is broken, these visitors are coming from nowhere.  I had 2 referrers and no Search Inquiry referrals.  Odd.

I miss that wonder

Posted in World of Warcraft with tags , , , , on March 29, 2010 by Randul the Dwarf

Do you remember when you first started playing the game?  Did you have that sense of wonder, newness and excitement?  I think that wonder comes with the start of any new game.  It’s basically the excitement of being a newb.  I miss that.

Unfortunately, there are only a handful of ways to get that wonder back.

  • Start a new character.  This is tricky because if you’ve made enough alts, (I have 9 who are level 20 or higher.) you aren’t really going to see much in the way of new content, especially if you stay within your faction.  Which brings us to the second way;
  • Start a new character on the opposite faction.  This would actually be a viable option for me, as I have only leveled one Horde character.  I would have to level in the Eastern Kingdoms to get new content, but that’s doable.  The problem with this is I would be separated from my friends and only the content is new…not the mechanics.
  • Start a new game.  Not really an option for me, but this is the most surefire way to get that sense of wonder I’m looking for.  Start out as a true newb in a new game.  I’ve played four games in my online gaming life.  Everquest, Dark Age of Camelot, Ultima Online and World of Warcraft.  Each of these games had that sense of wonder and exploration that I love as a newb.  Unfortunately, I can’t afford to do this, nor do I want to abandon my current online friends.

So where does that leave me?  I have no idea.  Any thoughts on how I can recapture some of that wonder?

On a side note, the Shaman

Daenaran is coming along nicely for an alt of a player with limited time to play.  I believe his current gearscore is around 3300.  His wow-heroes score is 1499, which places him right in the “do Naxx10 and OS10” territory.  I’ve managed to get my hands on two pieces of T9 Resto gear and some iLevel 200 gear from Heroics & Normal ToC.

The next thing I’m going to shoot for with Emblems is a new totem, apparently a totem that decreases the mana cost of lightning bolt isn’t doing much for my healing.  I think I’m ready to dive into Heroic ToC and maybe the normal ICC 5-mans.

I’m really enjoying playing on him, although I tend to queue as dps when doing pug randoms more often than not.  Maybe now that I’ve got some t9 pieces I’ll feel more confident about healing.  Other than normal gearing, my biggest challenge with him now is going to be getting a UI that suits my needs and desires.  Something about the default UI is lacking to me, but I have trouble getting a custom UI to work.  I’m very picky.

Tips?