Monday, 30 June 2008

Two Captured Flames - I have them

Or for those of you who like lolcats, 2 Captured Flames - I haz dem. But enough of that. I did in fact spend all my play time this weekend flying around honouring and desecrating flames, so much so that Kam is now the proud owner of a Captured Flame and is several hundred gold better off. My hunter alt also has a Captured Flame because, well the gold is really easy.

Why the pet and not the Brazier? Some one had put a Brazier out in Shattrath, so I got to try out the /dance emote on it myself. It *is* quite neat to be turned into a burning, dancing Draenei, I must admit, however after a minute's dancing I got bored and moved off to do some quests. Which is what I suspect will be the case if I got one myself. So a pet it is, to follow me through whatever instance I am in, into all the dark places, in and out of danger. Or maybe not quite yet because lots of other people will surely have them now, so maybe it's time for the Winter's Veil robot to come out.

Saturday, 28 June 2008

New Shaman spells in Wrath

As the beans have been spilled according to this Wow Insider blog from the WWI dev panel, time to talk new shaman spells.

Hex, 1.5 sec cast, turn an enemy into a frog for 8-10 seconds, 1 min cooldown. This looks similar to druid Hibernate, a short duration CC. I expect this to be used at the start of a pull to CC an add for enough time to DPS down another one, similar how we use Hibernate today (when the druid in question has trained it). It will also be really good for controlling unexpected adds, either to give time to kill the original target, or to leg it. Always welcome since my only escape option is Earthstomp followed by Ghost Wolf. I'd really prefer a better, more reliable CC like Polymorph or even Freezing Trap, but this reasonable if the cooldown stays short enough for it to be useful for every pull.

Combining totems, eg Strength of Earth and Grace of Air on the same totem. Interesting, this will lead to less spamming totems if we can put 2 down to cover what 4 did, but how will they explain putting an Earth and Air element effect onto the same totem exactly? Can you say Retcon?

Totems will affect the whole raid. This is awesome, along with news that windfury will affect druids in beast forms. It will help our raid leader figure out a good group setup, and probably make Shamans even more in demand in our 10 man raids.

Weapon enchants revamped, Rockbiter is replaced by Earthliving, which gives a +Healing buff. Yes please is all I can say, extra +Healing is always welcome, especially as I shouldn't be meleeing when in healbot mode.

So far so good!

Friday, 27 June 2008

Desecrating bonfires

As I've previously mentioned it's midsummer season in Azeroth and Outlands, so rather than grind Shattered Sun Offensive reputation, PvP Honour or anything else, I've been flying around Outlands and Azeroth. The reason, other than trying to collect a big stack of 350 Burning Blossoms, is gold.

There are two quests of note here, Honor the Flame which pays 5g 95s and 5 blossoms, and Desecrating the Flames, paying 11g 99s and 10 blossoms. The Wowhead entry for Honor the Flame has a big list of the locations of all the various bonfires, in the comments. I also used Kaliope’s cheat sheet from Kaliope’s WoW Crafting Blog.

There are 25 horde fires, 27 alliance fires and 5 neutral towns with both. This means from honouring flames a level 70 can make 178g 5s and 150 blossoms. For getting a bit nasty and doing some desecrating, a level 70 can make 383g 68s and 320 blossoms. Kerching! Of course the honouring can be done safely in small play time chunks; flying around Azeroth on bats or windriders takes a fair amount of time, so I can watch TV, read the web, etc while doing it.

I was also spotted last night Stealing Darnassus' flame. These are the most fun of the quests, involving infiltrating enemy territory and stealing their flame. Well, clicking on their bonfire, getting a fire explosion back and a quest item appear in your bag. Note nothing else seems to happen; I clicked on the fire a number of times before I noticed the item in my inventory. Luckily there were only lowbies hanging around, none of which attacked. The reward is 25 blossoms and more gold. I'm planning a early Sunday morning raid into Stormwind and Ironforge, hoping the alliance will all be sleeping...

Thanks to WoW Insider's guide

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

10 Unforgettable WoW moments, causing irreversible reputation damage

Cheers to Cathmor from Eye for an Eye for this BA Shared Topic idea.

For me its the people who make the most memorable moments in WoW, so here are the top 10 silly things my friends have done in WoW.

From the WoW Dungeon Tips page: "If you pick up an item by mistake, you can cause irreversible damage to your reputation as other players might not believe it was an error."

  1. Scarlet Monastery Cathedral - the Case of the Healing Mace. In the days before need and greed rolls - there was just roll or pass, so our usual loot rules were to pass then /roll. Mograine is killed by a party of priest W, resto druid L, resto druid M, feral druid D (me). The Mograine's Might drops. A roll proceeds. Feral druid D wins. The next loot item is Hand of Righteousness from Sally Whitemane, a very nice healing mace our priest would just love to have, and makes it clear in chat with a "NEED". Having lost pretty much every roll of the evening to me, resto druid M just rolls on the mace straight away, thus ninja looting it from our priest. The next thing I see in party chat is another "NEED" from the priest followed him logging off. He later claims it was network issues and he wasn't really annoyed, I'm not so sure. Resto druid M had to use that healing mace for quite a few levels afterward. We still tease him about it today. Irreversible damage you see.
  2. Blackfathom Deeps - the infamous Blue Cloth Trousers. Twilight Lord Kelris drops his Gaze Dreamer Pants. Same party as for SM. Quite a lot drunk, resto druid L proceeds to roll and ninjas these blue cloth trousers right from under the nose of our priest W, who had expressed a strong desire to get them. We still tease druid L about this even today, all blue cloth trousers are now "clearly druid loot". Yet more irreversible damage. Priest W surprisingly gave up healing and rolled a mage when we switched to Horde.
  3. The long lived Staff of Westfall. This was a quest reward on the Alliance at level 22. Just look at it, nice for a resto druid. Unfortunately the druid in question (resto druid L) was still using it at level 40 or so. He claimed he couldn't find anything better, but of course he didn't check the Auction House or look at quest rewards. Now any gear kept for too long is referred to as a "Staff of Westfall".
  4. Upper Blackrock Spire - The Mysterious Way Of The Druid. The 15 man raid faces off against General Drakkisath and his two dragonkin guards, druid D (myself) and druid L are present. Spotting there are two druids, the cunning raid leader calls for both guards to be kept hibernated while Drakk is dealt with. Druid L announces that he cannot hibernate. Confused, the raid leader assures Druid L that Hibernate will be somewhere in his spell book, please could he find it and put it onto a task bar. Druid L proceed to announce that he can't Hibernate because he never learnt it from his trainer; it was too expensive to learn all the druid spells. The raid leader, a little bemused, proceeds to get Druid D to hibernate one guard and the raid to nuke down the other guard instead. Later when challenged, Druid L claims conserving gold is The Way of the Druid.
  5. Karazhan - The Return of the Way of the Druid. Much later after the previous incident, in Karazhan Druid B (a reroll of Druid L) is asked to use tranquility to assist with healing. Druid B confesses not to have trained Tranquility once again due to the cost. Despite already having been caught not training Hibernate. The Way of the Druid is strong with this one.
  6. Area 52 - the case of the Atal'ai Spaulders. The Atal'ai Spaulders, a very nice pair of shoulders for a feral druid from the Sunken Temple. A level 60 feral druid that is. While walking through Area 52, Druid B receives a whisper from a random passer by who has recognised the Atal'ai Spaulders model and can't believe Druid B is still wearing them. At level 70. Druid B once again claims he hasn't found better, which is partly believable because shoulders are hard to come by as quest rewards. However The Way of the Druid dictates living off the land, thus using the Auction House for upgrades is a big no-no.
  7. The Case of the Impossible Combat Res. Karazhan - a wipe is incoming on Moroes so the raid leader calls out for Druid H to perform a combat resurrection. Druid H claims she can't combat res. Later on we have several attempts at convincing Druid H that her Rebirth spell works in combat. She flatly denies having a resurrection spell which works in combat. Finally many weeks later, after being persuaded to try it in combat, she relents. We now haz combat res hurrah.
  8. Murder in the Ungoro Crater. Late at night, Druid M is following Druid L in Tanaris, heading for the new and strange land of Ungoro. Having never been there before, Druid L reasons that a Crater is a hole in the ground, he can see the edge of the Ungoro crater on his map, therefore the quickest and easiest way to enter the crater is to head for the nearest edge. Which he proceeds to do. With full optimism that his cat form will save him in the event of a small drop, Druid L hurls himself off the side of the Ungoro crater to discover that it is... quite deep. Druid M, following manually, foolishly trusts Druid L and also leaps off the side of the crater. Two druid-shaped holes in the bottom of Ungoro are later discovered. This episode begs the question "Who is more the fool: The fool or the fool who follows him?". In this case I think they are equal.
  9. Hit Gems in the Slots. Warlock C decided to get his hit rating up, so he gemmed pretty much all of his gear with rare hit rating gems. Hold on, did I get that link wrong, isn't that a melee hit rating gem instead of a Spell Hit Rating Gem? No, Warlock C got it wrong and had to later regem all his gear again with spell hit. Still, melee hit is good for grinding staff skill...
  10. The underwhelming Pom-Pyro. Maraudon, the Princess boss. Mage A has a tasty Pom-Pyro talent spec, he is geared out in +fire damage items from the Auction House and can destroy elites with a couple of fireballs. Because he needs 6 seconds to cast an amplified fireball and is sure he can take her down quickly, Mage A insists on pulling the Princess. He pops trinkets, charges up a fireball and unleashes hell upon the Princess, a POM Pyroblast follows for maximum damage. Her health bar moved downward by the tinyest of chinks and she becomes rather annoyed by Mage A. He starts running but it is too late, our mad fire mage is squashed instantly. The next pull we decide to let the druid tank have a go...

Hopefully from this you can see that some of my compatriots are a little interesting and they certainly make WoW a whole lot more fun. I'm also not trying to make druids look bad, I have one, but our druids are certainly a unique breed.

Saturday, 21 June 2008

Midsummer's questing and Ice Lording

Today the Midsummer event starts, so lured in with the promise of free epics I went along with a guild group to see Lord Ahune. The rest of this post contains spoilers so beware!

Firstly I picked up a quest from Orgrimmar outside Thrall's hall - apparently the Twilight Hammer are up to no good again so off to the Zoram Strand to investigate some Unusual Activity I went.

When I got there the missive I looted from a corpse indicated something was up, so I has to go spy on some mysterious guests using an Innocent Disguise - the disguise is awesome because you turn into a Crab!

As a crab I pottered up the beach to discover that the Twilight Hammer is plotting to release a Frost Lord to fight the Fire Lord and take over in the resulting chaos. Back to Orgrimmar to report my findings, the elder I spoke to there was shocked and I was immediately dispatched to Coilfang Slave Pens to report for duty.

My group in Slave Pens was a Hunter, 2 Feral Druids, 1 Tankadin and myself. We were charged with summoning the Ice Lord Ahune ourselves and killing him. After thawing the big ice cube Lord Ahune appears in a spectacular style and proceeds to send waves of ice elemental at us.

This fight was not easy at all, certainly far harder than the Headless Horseman from Halloween. The waves of adds came with an elite ice elemental which had to be tanked and did a stacking debuff on the druid tank which made him harder to heal. The small non-elite ice elemental adds were rounded up by the paladin and DPSed down by the feral druid, while the hunter DPSed the elite. Periodically frost crystals would form at my feet and seconds later turn into a giant spike of ice which sent me shooting up into the air, interrupting heals. The non-elites also randomly frostbolted party members, so the damage taken was all over the party. I kept Earth Shield up on the tankadin and healed the druid tank and everyone else with a mix of Chain Heal and Healing Wave. Worse the frostbolts kept on removing my Water Shield so I had to keep an eye on that.

With the first phase over the Ice Lord's crystal became attackable so 25% of its health was taken down before the waves of adds started all over again. During this time I had ran out of mana, so received Innervates, potted or dropped a Mana Tide Totem. Frost resistance totem and/or Paladin frost resistance aura would help immensely during this fight, if only either of us had remembered to use them.

Finally after a couple of wipes we got him down (on phase 5 I kid you not), and a chest spawned with a quest item and 1 epic cloak. It was a fun fight and quite hard for our group which lacked AOE damage. Definitely not wellfare epics for us.

Unfortunately the healing cloak didn't drop but I did get a DPS caster cloak, the Cloak of Frigid Winds. Definitely the most challenging healing of my career thus far.

Friday, 20 June 2008

Shattered Halls solo healing

Our main tankadin is currently grinding Thrallmar reputation with a view to getting the subtlety cloak enchant. So last night I went on a Shattered Halls normal run as main healer; our group was Tankadin, Enhancement Shaman, Warlock, Holy Priest dpsing and me. Very little crowd control but who needs it with a tankadin?

Generally things went well; I put Earth Shield on the tankadin before a pull, kept an eye on the shaman and only needed to heal the tank when ES wore off. Again Chain heal came in very useful - when the shaman took damage I could CH him and it would bounce to the tankadin and heal her up too. A couple of times we managed to pull an extra group of 6; once we died when we pulled yet another group of 6, once we survived when we kept them under control and burned them down. Mana Tide totem certainly came in handy there. Again the emergency healing macro I got from Elitist Jerks came in useful to save the lunatic enhancement shaman - you're not a tank you know!


  • Grand Warlock Nethekurse. Pretty easy, he deathcoiled me twice but I was keeping Earth Shield up on the tank so no healing was lost. Probably best to have a Tremor Totem down for this one. At 20% he goes nuts and starts shadowbolting and does big damage to the melee, so I had to start chain casting chain heals onto the tank until they got out of his range, then quickly Lesser Healing Waved anyone who took damage. I put a Searing Totem down to do a bit of DPS.
  • Warbringer O'mrogg. He does an AOE fear so I had a Tremor Totem down to catch it. Again I kept Earth Shield on the tank - because the healing from ES is attributed to the healee, the tank actually gets more threat from ES, so when O'mrogg does his aggro reset he generally tended to stick on the tank. Again a Searing Totem was my guilty contribution to DPS.
  • Warchief Kargath Bladefist. Amusingly because we had a tankadin she tanked both Kargath and his adds, so I kept ES up on her all the time, stuck down a Fire Elemental and went to hide in a corner. The melee needed healing because of the adds; Chain Heal is great for this. When he did his blade dance most party members took damage so needed a heal or two. This time the enhancement shaman and I coordinated our bloodlusts so we had around 60 seconds of it before Kargath died. One tip I learnt is to recall any totems before running up the steps to start the encounter; if there are totems in the corridor they will aggro the assassins who spawn at the bottom of the stairs. Not good.

A pretty good run, only one death and one wipe, I completed The Will of the Warchief and got a very nice cloak upgrade as a reward. Plus yet more Enhancement gear no one else wanted.

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Crazy shoulders from the Old Hillsbrad Foothills

I was in Nagrand making progress on the Greatmother Chain when a guild run to Old Hillsbrad Foothills started to form. I keenly signed up because one has to complete OHF before one can get into Black Morass so it is indirectly on the Karazhan keying chain. Our intrepid group consisted of a Druid tank, holy priest, shadow priest, mage and resto shaman (me). So again I got some healing practise but I've not yet been allowed sole responsibility for a group.

Mostly the run went well; I've coded those /stopcasting macros onto my heals now so I don't need to twitch around. This makes it a little easier to keep a heal in flight then cancel it at the last moment. I can also switch who I'm healing by selecting them and casting the heal I want, the one in flight is now cancelled and the new heal starts.

So some tips from my experience:

  • The guards down in the internment camp AOE fear, so a Tremor Totem is good to have down.
  • The archers in Tarren Mill (or something) does a lot of poisons. After trying to manually remove poison a few times I stuck a Poison Cleansing Totem down.
  • When you follow the big green guy Mr Thrall, he can and should be healed. Unfortunately he does not come up in the party or in Grid, so I set Thrall as my focus using the in-game "set focus" key binding, which I have set to Alt-F. I run the FocusFrame mod which shows your focus as another target frame, exactly like a targetted mob, so I could see when Thrall was taking damage. Clicking on the focus frame then targeted Thrall so I could easily heal him while healing the group. Boy does he have a lot of health - a max rank Healing Wave was restoring a sliver of his health.

The highlight of the run was when I got the Ravenwing Pauldrons from Lieutenant Drake in the internment camp. Now although not strictly Shaman items, they were better than my previous green shoulders so I nabbed them. Plus they look really quite silly, with giant feathers almost half my height sticking out of my shoulders. Unfortunately I later handed in a quest on the Greatmother chain, received 250 Sha'tar rep, dinged honoured and bought the Seer's Ringmail Shoulderpads which beats the Ravenwing Pauldrons in all but appearance.

Now I am honoured with Sha'tar, only Lower City and Keeper of Time are left. The OHF run got me to half way through friendly with KoT, so once Black Morass is complete I should be honoured and can get the Seer's Ringmail Headpiece.

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Shared Topic: Preparing for Wrath

This is a response to a Blog Azeroth shared topic.

Although Wrath is probably 4 to 5 months away, it lingers at the back of my mind like the whispers of the Lich King himself. Well ok maybe not, but I do keep it in mind. Part of my mission with Kam is to get a feel for what healing is like, whether I enjoy it and if I want to do it come Wrath. An expansion and the consequent gear rest is the ideal time to switch mains, so knowing which character to take forward is a definite aim of mine.

Gold wise I'm sure that the many quests in the expansion will provide a fair amount of gold; the flying mount at level 70 was 800 gold but I had made around 1000 just questing, so I could easily afford it. The epic flying mount is another matter entirely; if Blizzard follow the current mount pattern with Wrath there will be a highly expensive thing to buy for a whole lot of gold. Having a large cash buffer all ready will enable me to buy this thing when I hit 80, so I am slowly piling up the gold. Will the skill to fly a mount in Northrend be this thing, or will a mount-with-passenger slot be it?

As a fairly casual player, I will definitely be planning my questing with respect to the reputations; in TBC doing the dungeons first or getting to honoured by RRQ hand-ins was key to easily hitting revered for certain factions. I can hope that Blizzard won't do it this way again, but there is always a certain amount of grind built in - instances need to be run multiple times to get reputation and I suspect they will design Wrath like this. I'll be doing a whole load of quests and hope to see the inside of every instance between level 70 and level 80. I'm counting on being a healer will help here and I can get into guild groups or even PUGs. I'm not totally convinced by levelling as resto, but if enough people are online tagging along to do quests in groups will help immensely.

While the internet is awash with alpha leaks, I'm trying not to find out about everything so I might be surprised when I get questing in Northrend. I'd hope to experience some of the lore and maybe surprises I reckon Blizzard are putting in; discovering that Dwarves are in fact Earthen moulded by the makers back in Ulduman was very cool for me, finding out fel orcs are powered by the blood of Magtheridon in Outlands was awesome. I'm really looking forward to the Tauren lore and more on the whole undead scourge storylines, given the Plaguelands are some of my favourite zones in the game.

So, in conclusion, while the Wrath news is coming out and we're getting excited, I'll be getting on with some Shaman action in the current World of Warcraft.

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Midsummer festival Shaman items

On Saturday the Midsummer festival begins in WoW, with plenty of quests to go lighting bonfires around Azeroth. What's interesting for me is that the festival was revamped to add a Headless Horseman type boss in the Slave Pens, by the name of Lord Ahune. This guy will be summonable once per day per character, so 5 times in all for a full group, and drops some nice loot. Basically the loot seems to be renamed 25 Badges of Justice cloaks, plus a 2 handed spell damage scythe, so this is a good opportunity to save on spending badges and get some nice loot for yourself.

The item most of interest to me is the Shroud of Winter's Chill with 46 +healing. Compare it with Bishop's Cloak; they are the same. The cloak has 17 int and 8 mp5, which beats the crafted White Remedy Cape I'm after by 1 mp5. With 3 points in the Nature's Blessing talent the 17 int equates to +5.1 healing, so the cloak will give +51 healing overall. Still not the +59 healing of the White Remedy but that int also gives 255 mana and 0.21% crit (according to is pretty good for doing all these calculations easily, although I've noticed that it doesn't pick up on Nature's Blessing, so it still shows the cloak has +46 healing whereas it actually gives +51. Still, it saves too much head-scratching so that's good.

According to a recent Kunzite's blog post, Badges of Justice can be a Source of Gold, where one badge could fetch as much as 20 gold if you bought an epic gem with them then sold it. So in theory getting the Shroud of Winter's Chill could save me 25 badges thus 500 gold; well 500 virtual gold anyway, I have far too much badge gear to get to be spending them on things to sell.

As well as the healing cloak, Lord Ahune also drops a decent looking enhancement cloak and that spell damage scythe, all good for offspec and farming gear. I'm hoping our regular guild raids will be rescheduled to allow plenty of farming time on Lord Ahune and I recommend you all take a look.

Monday, 16 June 2008

Whispers from the void

Over on 4 teh fite is a post about everyone's favourite - random whispers asking about your talent spec, which inevitably lead to invites to fill a group slot. Surprisingly as a hunter I never ever received a single whisper. As a shaman I've only ever gotten one asking if I was resto, and I was elemental at the time, so I said so. My tank friends say they get such whispers all the time. So my top tip if you want to avoid PUGs is to play as a hunter, if you want to meet new people and get them killed in instances, tank is the way forward.

Read More..

No more content really.

Saturday, 14 June 2008

Nagrand Resto quest reward items

I was helping out a couple of guildies in Nagrand yesterday, on a mad trip to try to get all the prerequisites for the Greatmother Chain done. This is a cool epic quest chain with some nice lore at the end, and I love both long convoluted quest chains and lore.

The reward for completing Forge Camp: Annihilated is the Metallic Headband of Simm'onz, which is a very nice upgrade from my previous Of Healing greenie. What's more amusing is that the WoWhead comments seem to think this is a tribute to either Gene Simmons or Richard Simmons. Having investigated and I reckon it's Gene of Kiss (and the recent programme where he makes schoolkids rock) fame, due to his wearing of metallic gear in the 70s. These little unexpected touches contribute to making WoW such a nice game, when you recognise or get a reference its pure magic.

The other interesting thing I learnt last night, from the resto shaman accompanying our party, was that the Engineering Epic Mail healing helm can be used at level 62! It wasn't easy to get one before 2.4, but now the required Primal Nether is Bind on Equip, it is entirely possible to make one and start using it at level 62.

Finally it is possible for Durn the Hungerer to be killed by a party of 1 level 67 feral druid and 2 level 70 resto shaman. We managed it by using both fire elementals for DPS, alternately healing then DPSing and popping Bloodlust one after the other.

Friday, 13 June 2008

Gear lists for Resto Shaman stepping into Karazhan

Because lists of gear are very useful, I've been keeping my eye on several places to get a good list of places to go, quests to do and crafters to hassle for resto gear. So in no particular order here they are:

  • WoW Loot Kaliban's Shaman list. This is a nice list of good Shaman items which can be gotten from TBC 5 man instances and quests, broken down into Elemental, Enhancement and Resto. I usually go from the bottom up, starting with quests in Netherstorm, comparing to my gear and noting the quests to do. I would advise not to stop too soon either; initially I only looked up to BEM and then last night was surprised to receive Metallic Headband of Simm'onz as a quest reward in Nagrand.
  • Matticus' recommended pre-raiding checklist for the Restoration Shaman. I have previously found several of the items from this list by checking WoW loot, but thanks to Matticus I've discovered I don't have the crafted White Remedy Cape and moreover someone in the guild can make it. There is a good discussion about which gems to use as well, whereas WoW loot doesn't really make any recommendations about specific gems.
  • WoW Insider's Totem Talk Column: Stuff to wear to kill stuff in Karazhan Pt. 2. Despite the huge title, this is another good list of Resto, Enhancement and Elemental gear items to get pre-kara. There is a Part 1 and should be future parts. The article doesn't go into a lot of detail about where some of the items drop, but wowhead links are provided so you can find out yourself.

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Erk! Shaman class changes

Excitingly a thread about if people would stay Shaman in Wrath has been commented on by a Blizzard class designer no less. Unfortunately the response was somewhat short, merely stating I think you'll stay. Luckily later on we have a funny parody of Family Guy with some actual information... that Totems are in the physical school now. Seems like this is a useful change for Arenas and PvP, although I'm not convinced for PvE at the level I'm playing (ie fresh 70 level). I'd also be surprised if a Blizzard class designer posted "Actually I'm gonna slack off on this class this time around, I got GTA 4 to play you know" or somesuch thing, so these kind of terse responses are a bit annoying really, revealing only that they are indeed doing their job at the moment and designing some stuff. I just hope Koraa can be lured into revealing more juicy tidbits.

I'm personally hoping for more elementally talents, like control of elementals (an enslaved elemental as a minion would be cool), some more fun with fire and of course more lightning.

Monday, 9 June 2008

A solution to cancelling heals by twitching

On my Ramparts and Blood Furnace runs I was having difficulties cancelling heals when they were not needed. Now I'd got it into my head that I could move around a bit to cancel the heal, all very well apart from making me look a little odd, twitching around at the back of the party. However I was using one hand to guide the mouse around to select people, the other hand was pressing the healing buttons so that left no hands free to move around.

Luckily Wynthea over on world of matticus posted her Super-Secret Macros which include how to create a macro which cancels the currently casting spell and casts a heal. Something like:

#showtooltip Healing Wave(Rank 12)
/cast Healing Wave(Rank 12)

I'll definitely give this a go next time I go healing. On an unrelated note you wouldn't think the infernal above could be frozen would you?

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Ramparts and Blood Furnace sandbagging

Finally last night I managed to get a group together to do some instance healing. Unfortunately the instances in question were Ramparts and Blood Furnace, normal mode, in a full level 70 group apart from a level 64 feral druid (who was DPSing). Predictably Ramparts and BF fell without any trouble, apart from a scary moment when the tankadin got bored and decided to pull about 10 mobs onto himself. My emergency heal macro came in very useful in that situation.

Because we had a melee heavy party (Enhancement Shaman, Tankadin, Lock and Cat Durid) I was using Chain heal an awful lot and it really shone. Typically 2 or 3 of the melee units would take some damage, all I had to do was target the most damaged, hit chain heal and the other 2 would magically be restored. Awesome.

I was also practising using the Grid mod which seems to show health a lot clearer than the default UI, especially as I have positioned it near the middle of my screen so I can see it quickly. I am however having funny issues with the using one hand to cast the heals, the other hand to control the mouse to select the healee and finding some way of moving to cancel a heal. Maybe I need a key bound to a /stopcasting macro or something.

Despite the low level of the dungeons, I still managed to get a gear upgrade; the Holy Healing Band from a quest in Blood Furnace. A priest friend of mine says she still uses her band in Karazhan, so I'm quite pleased with it. I also wonder quite what's up with the item distribution in WoW that a ring from a level 63 instance hasn't been replaced by entering a level 70 raid instance. Maybe there is a better ring out there in a higher instance, or maybe the loot really is just all over the place.

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Shadow Labs, lies and videotape

Our venerable Raid Leader has dictated that people must be Karazhan keyed in order to raid in there, even though the requirement has now been removed. His reasoning is that by doing the instances on the quest chain you might pick up some gear, get experience of instancing, and of course get access to the upgradeable ring for Violet Eye reputation.

So last night I was in the Shadow Labyrinth attempting to get my first key fragment. Which was very easy due to the instance group I was part of on my hunter clearing the whole place first. We were helping out a level 69 Resto Shaman in the guild to get some badly needed XP, so I went DPS with a little bit of crowd control. I was watching the resto shaman to pick up some tips; he had the Tremor Totem down for the mobs which feared and seemed to be using Wrath of Air, Strength of Earth and I think Healing Stream Totem.

So 1/4 of the Karazhan chain complete, no loot and no instance healing experience. If the key fragment containers were somehow tied to the players in the instance then this sort of thing would not be possible, much like how the Chess event in Karazhan was changed so only those who did Chess could loot the chest reward. I'm not complaining because it worked in my favour in this instance, but I know a lot of this sort of thing went on before the Karazhan attunement was optional, so it did trivialise the attunement process for alts quite a bit.

Anyway I have plans to heal a Sethekk Halls run tonight so hopefully some healing experience in a real (virtual) world setting will be forthcoming.

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Netherstorm Resto quest reward items

Once again I had a short play session today, so any instance action was out of the question. Luckily a few guildies were online and I was able to recruit support for the two group quests Hitting the Motherlode and Dimensius the All-Devouring. I'd spotted the rewards from these quests were very good Resto upgrades for me, courtesy of wow loot, a really excellent gear guide for all classes.

Firstly a large rock giant by the name of Cragskaar had to die, achieved quite easily by myself and a protection paladin. My earthshield managed to keep him topped up without me needing to heal, so I did a little DPS (a guilty pleasure I'm sure) and ended up with a nice Celestial Jewel Ring. From the comments on Wowhead this is a really good healing ring, certainly a great upgrade from my current greens. Unfortunately the alternative was a cloak which is apparently one of the best PvE blue spellcaster cloaks. What a bind, I had to improve my resto set at the expense of the elemental set, but as a primarily resto shaman such is life.

Next up was a large angry void demon called Dimensius. I had the help of a Captain Saeed and his men, but from a previous attempt to solo it, I don't have enough healing power to keep him alive. This time with a warlock, prot paladin and a resto druid I managed it no problems. Unfortunately the resto druid was epicly geared, so my healing was somewhat minimal. One Void Slayer's Tunic makes a very nice upgrade to my previous chestpiece. Now I just need to get it enchanted and research more quests for gear upgrades.

I'm plotting with some fellow guildies and a newly levelled tank to go have a look at Sethekk Halls next week as a training run, for both myself as noob healer and him as noob tank. Should be interesting, and expensive if you know what I mean.

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