Friday, 29 August 2008

Nightbane - summoning an undead dragon

Once again the brave forces of the Violet Eye ventured forth into Karazhan, this time to summon the undead remains of Arcanagos, now named Nightbane, in an attempt to recover a Faint Arcane Essence of Medivh himself. Well, those of us with the quest did.

Typically Kam was there as Elemental DPS, so some standing at the back throwing Lightning Bolts was the order of the day. Things I discovered were:

  • Totems are immune to charred earth effect Nightbane puts on the ground. This is very handy because generally I had to run around to get out of charred earth, if the totems were affected they would be burnt within about a second.
  • One Tremor Totem per group is very good here to stop those fears dead.
  • This is a long fight, 9 minutes, so Lightning Bolt spam is the most mana efficient "rotation" to use if mana is an issue. Can you rotate between the same spell? Probably not...

The fight ended with Nightbane dead and those mysterious Violet Eye types with more Medivh residue, whatever they are doing with it in that purple bubble of theirs. Growing a new Guardian of Tirisfal is my bet.

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Testing video capture

Kam went on another Karazhan run last night, but let's not talk about that now. I've recently discovered the website, which appears to be a YouTube but for video games. They host vids, but what's more interesting is they provide a free client for Windows which records game videos. So I gave it a spin last night, just briefly.

The quality is reasonable and it was very easy to use; when the client was running a little square appeared in the WoW window, a single hotkey started and stopped recording. It did slow the creaky old PC down a little bit, so I didn't try it on boss fights.

Without further ado, I present (although not really proudly as such) my awesome test footage:

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

The Price of Peacebloom

I saw on Random Ravings of Warcraft the news that our new talents and much more from the expansion will be arriving soon. Apart from the weeks of confusion over which talents to pick, one item from the features jumped out:

New profession: Inscription

No it's not the new hairstyles, although Kam could do with a Mohawk. No, Inscription! Denizens of Azeroth will be able to select Inscription as one of their two professions and level up to a skill level of 375. This means the price of herbs is set to go through the roof, as a legion of new Inscribers power level to 375. It may already be too late to gather a stock of low level herbs from the Auction House - usually when news like this hits the price goes up immediately in anticipation of the demand.

Interesting news. Now where's my hairstyle brochure...

Image courtesy of Thomas Mathis.

Saturday, 23 August 2008

Kam's guide to Opera: Wizard of Oz

The Wizard of Oz event - the only Opera we ever see in Karazhan with any regularity. Below I present my guide to it, the only reason I'm writing this is because I got my hands on the perfect illustrations for each boss. You'll see what I mean.

The Oz event starts with you facing off against 4 bosses; Strawman, Dorothee, Roar and Tinhead. These bosses activate in the order: Dorothee, Roar, Strawman, Tinhead, and Dorothee will summon her dog Tito at some point. Basically this fight is about following the kill order and certain classes get to do some specific things to help out. Let's look at each boss.


Dorothee has no aggro table, so she attacks whoever she fancies with Icebolts. After a while she will summon her dog Tito. Basically we nuke Dorothee as fast as possible and don't tank her; when Tito spawns, a hunter will put their pet onto him to tank him - Tito is the next to die. Having a somewhat tough pet helps her, as does keeping Mend Pet up and using Intimidation to stun, if you have it.


Roar is a cowardly lion who hits quite hard on cloth. Because he is cowardly, he can be feared easily, so we generally will get a tank to hit him a couple of times to build some threat, then get a warlock to chain fear Roar around the place. Roar spends most of the fight being feared and is killed after Strawman. A hunter can also use Scare Beast in case the Warlock's fear is resisted and Roar is massacring the clothies.


Strawman, being made of straw, is very susceptible to fire damage. We usually assign a tank to Strawman who will drag him somewhere and keep him busy. However, when we have been short a warlock, we have put our 2nd tank onto Roar, so a mage has had the awesome task of keeping Strawman under control. Because any fire damage has a good chance to disorient Strawman for 6 seconds, a mage can keep him locked down permanently with Fire Blast and Fireball. Usually Strawman is the third to die, right after Dorothee and Tito.


Tinhead hits very hard and so is tanked by the main tank. After a while he rusts and so the tank can actually kite him around the back of the stage, resulting in the tank not taking too much damage. We usually therefore put the Bear onto tanking Tinhead and Tinhead is the last to die. I say last but actually what I mean is....

The Crone

Once all the travelling companions are dead (killed by some evil loot-seeking raiders), The Crone appears after a short break, short enough for us to start drinking to restore mana. This is a tank-and-spank fight, apart from the large cyclone which whirls around the stage. The tank and the raid need to move around to keep themselves out of the cyclone - anyone in the cyclone is whipped into the air and takes fall damage. The Crone has also learnt some Shaman tricks - she periodically does a chain lightning attack which can be mitigated by a Nature Resistance Totem or a hunter Aspect of the Wild.

Once The Crone is dead the raid can collect their loot and badgers. Loot of note is the Ribbon of Sacrifice, and Legacy only because every Kara-raiding hunter wants it.

Healing stuff

Having not actually healed this I can't give any massively useful tips. Dorothee will damage anyone so I would expect to be on the look out for random people taking damage. Roar is nasty if he gets lose into the clothies. Tinhead hits hard initially but after a while his tank should be taking little damage. Strawman, if tanked by a mage, should be locked down but the mage might appreciate a watchful eye just in case he gets to them. The pet tanking Tito is most likely in need of a heal; Mend Pet just isn't enough to keep a normal DPS pet (such as a cat) tanking Tito with its face, however if this isn't possible a pet will keep Tito busy for long enough that the raid should be able to kill Dorothee and then focus fire on Tito. The hunter won't be happy with you tho :) The Crone does that chain lightning which hits multiple people so more raid damage, although any nature resistance buff seems to mitigate a lot of it. Finally if anyone is silly enough to get caught in the Cyclone they will probably take fall damage, so again more multi-person damage. Really see the Hoof n'Healz guide to Oz for a good guide.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

The Bear haz the blues

Poor old Big Bear Butt Blogger seems to have the pre-expansion blues, specifically regarding the huge amount of churn and rewrite which seems to be going on to all our beloved classes. Enhancement Shaman will know what I mean.

I am somewhat bemused that Blizzard keep on rewriting the game with each expansion, instead of just adding content. But I guess they aim for the “new” WoW to be an improvement so I have to have faith that they will get it right.

It is sometimes a hard pill to swallow when they change how your beloved stats work, sometimes entirely. I was the victim of stat "adjustment" when they changed the hunter stats from favouring agility to favouring attack power - I dreaded that my gear would suddenly suck. It didn’t because they seemed to re-itemize well enough that my existing gear still worked. Now I may be facing this again as they tinker with Shaman attack power itemization.

At the end of the day, after all the dust has settled, (*thinks of a third cliche*) our community of bloggers and websites will rake over all the new stats, skills and talents and come out with some good recommendations and advice. By the time I hit 80 I’m sure I’ll be able to find the answers out there, and that’s good enough for me. Plus a little theorycrafting can be fun.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Adding Yahoo! Buzz(TM) buttons to blogger

Seems Yahoo! have opened up their Buzz(TM) service to anyone. What is Buzz? It looks like a way of publishing content to the Yahoo news and home page, where someone can submit a story to Buzz, provide a description, then subsequent users can vote the story up or down in some way.

Anyway, because I like all this Web 2.0 technology, I thought I'd add the Buzz buttons to my blog. You can grab the code for buttons On the Buzz site along with how to use it. I've hacked my blogger layout template to add a button to each post - the code provides the post title as the story title, hard-codes the category to "entertainment" and links the story content to the post's permalink page. Here is how:

  • From your blog control panel, click the Layout link then click Edit HTML. Check Expand widget templates.
  • Before you change anything I really really advise backing up the template. Click Download Full Template and keep the file somewhere secret and safe.
  • To add the button at the bottom of each post, before the summary section (the bit with the comments etc):

    • In the Edit Template window with all the code, search for <data:post.body/>, which should be surrounded by code like:

      <div class='post-body entry-content'>
      <div style='clear: both;'/>

    • Just below <data:post.body/> paste the highlighted code so it ends up looking like:

      <div class='post-body entry-content'>
      <!-- yahoo buzz button -->
      <script type="text/javascript">
      yahooBuzzArticleHeadline = "<data:post.title/>";
      yahooBuzzArticleCategory = "entertainment";
      yahooBuzzArticleType = "text";
      <script type="text/javascript"

      <div style='clear: both;'/>

    • Preview the results and save if you are happy.

  • To add the button at the bottom of each post, inside the summary section:

    • In the Edit Template window with all the code, search for <div class='post-footer-line post-footer-line-3'/>, which should be surrounded by code like:

      <div class='post-footer-line post-footer-line-3'/>

    • Just below <div class='post-footer-line post-footer-line-3'/> paste the highlighted code so it ends up looking like:

      <div class='post-footer-line post-footer-line-3'/>
      <!-- yahoo buzz button -->
      <span class='post-author vcard'>
      <script type="text/javascript">
      yahooBuzzArticleHeadline = "<data:post.title/>";
      yahooBuzzArticleCategory = "entertainment";
      yahooBuzzArticleType = "text";
      <script type="text/javascript"


    • Preview the results and save if you are happy.

The results should look something like this:

Monday, 18 August 2008

Gearing for the hit cap for an Elemental Shaman

This is information for The Burning Crusade, before Blizzard nicked our easy hit talents from the Resto tree. For better info, see Too Many Alts cos it's not that easy any more, unfortunately.

When I signed up to DPS Karazhan, I made sure I sorted out Kam's spell hit so that he would have the best possible chance of hitting bosses. After all, a spell missed is damage lost.

Firstly I took the talents Elemental Precision Rank 3, Totem of Wrath and Nature's Guidance Rank 3. These give a total of +12% to spell hit. According to WoWWiki, a level 70 Shaman starts with an 83% change to hit a level 73 boss mob with spells. Unfortunately a caster always has a 1% chance to miss. Thus the target additional spell hit which needs to be reached for a boss is +16%. Which means, given the talents outlined and a healthy Totem of Wrath, we need an extra 4% spell hit from gear. Again according to WoWWiki, 12.6 hit rating gives 1% spell hit, which means for 4% we need 12.6 * 4 = 50.4 = 51 spell hit to be sure. So to manage this feat in the same way that Kam has:

Get the Shamanistic Helm of Second Sight and put three Great Golden Draenites in. This doesn't get the socket bonus, but allows us to get +18 spell hit on a single item.

Get the Netherfury Leggings and put 2 Veiled Flame Spessarites in. Then fill the last slot with whatever you fancy, Kam has a Runed Blood Garnet. Interestingly, instead of the two Spessarites, you could use a Runed Blood Garnet and a Golden Draenite, which would give +6 spell hit and +7 damage. However, the two Spessarites give 2 lots of +3 spell hit and +4 damage which is actually +6 spell hit and +8 damage, one more spell damage than using a Garnet and a Draenite. I think this is the "rounding error" that I've heard our warlocks talk about.

Get the Seer's Mail Armor and put 2 Great Golden Draenites and 1 Veiled Flame Spessarite in. This will keep the socket bonus.

Get the Netherfury Boots and put 2
Great Golden Draenites in. Again the bonus is lost but I'd rather keep the bonus on the chest than these boots.

The above items give exactly 51 spell hit rating and one of the socket bonuses are maintained. Once Kam is revered with Sha'tar he could get the spell damage glyph which also comes with +14 spell hit and would be able to re-gem an item to get some extra spell damage.

Sources WoWWiki, Elitist Jerks.

Friday, 15 August 2008

Elemental Shaman enchants

Update: For Wrath the enchants are obviously different, but they are generally upgraded versions of the old TBC enchants.

  • Legs - Sapphire Spellthread. Quite expensive so I may well go for the cheaper Azure Spellthread.
  • Bracers - Superior Spellpower.
  • Gloves - Exceptional Spellpower
  • OR I have seen Gloves - Precision. I guess you could take this if you have low hit rating or the Spellpower is a little expensive.
  • Chest - Powerful Stats. This is good due to Shaman stat conversion (from WoWWiki) adding mp5 and critical chance, plus more mana.
  • Main hand weapon - Mighty Spellpower. This is a tasty enchant but quite pricey, so consider Exceptional Spellpower.
  • Shield - Greater Intellect. All the other shield enchants seem to be for melee types.
  • Boots - Icewalker. I have one with movement speed increase for my hunter, which is very useful for fights where you have to run around a lot. But the movement enchants have either +stamina or +agility, neither of which seem to be highly useful to a spell caster.
  • Cloak - Greater Speed. Threat is no longer an issue (shouldn't be anyway) so haste wins.
  • Head - Arcanum of Burning Mysteries (Kirin Tor - Revered). Oh dear, this involves running a lot of Heroic in general.
  • Shoulders - Inscription of the Storm or the Greater versions.

TBC post for history
For some reason, the Elitist Jerks Elemental Shaman wiki doesn't list enchants to grab, which isn't too helpful as my Elemental gear is mostly unenchanted, due to a potent combination of laziness and not being prepared.

Luckily we have an uber Elemental Shaman in our guild from who I can steal the following list of enchants I really should get. This is for a PvE Elemental Shaman, as I have seen resilience and stamina on PvP Shaman's gear.

  • Legs - Runic Spellthread (10 Primal Mana, 1 Primal Nether). Quite expensive so I may well go for the cheaper Mystic Spellthread (5 Primal Mana).
  • Bracers - Spellpower (6 of each Large Prismatic Shard, Primal Fire, Primal Water).
  • Gloves - Major Spellpower (6 of each Large Prismatic Shard, Greater Planar Essence, Primal Mana)
  • OR I have seen Gloves - Spell Strike (8 Large Planar Essence, 2 of each Arcane Dust, Large Prismatic Shards). I guess you could take this if you have low hit rating or the Spellpower is a little expensive.
  • Chest - Exceptional Stats (4 of each Large Prismatic Shards, Arcane Dust, Greater Planar Essence). This is good due to Shaman stat conversion (from WoWWiki) adding 3.4 mp5 and approx 0.1% spell critical chance, plus more mana.
  • Main hand weapon - Major Spellpower (8 of each Large Prismatic Shard, Greater Planar Essence). This is a tasty enchant although ideally there would be an enchant for +50 nature damage, similar to Sunfire.
  • Shield - Intellect (4 Greater Planar Essence). All the other shield enchants seem to be for melee types.
  • Boots - Vitality (6 Arcane Dust, 4 Major Healing Potions, 4 Major Mana Potions). I have one with movement speed increase for my hunter, which is very useful for fights where you have to run around a lot. But the movement enchants have either +stamina or +agility, neither of which seem to be highly useful to a spell caster.
  • Cloak - Subtlety (4 Small Prismatic Shards, 2 Greater Planar Essence, 8 Primal Shadow). As Andrew points out, threat can be a real issue for high-critting Shaman, so this enchant is well worth the primal shadow.
  • Head - Glyph of Power (Sha'tar - Revered). Oh dear, this involves running a lot of Tempest Keep instances. Still, it's pretty nice.
  • Shoulders - Inscription of the Orb, Discipline or the Greater versions. You could take the 5 mp5 inscription from Scryer if you are short of mana regeneration, but I prefer critting things.

What does all this add up to? Taking the Mystic Spellthread, Inscription of the Orb and Major Spellpower on gloves, we get 122 spell damage, 0.8% spell critical chance, 7.4 mp5 and 14 spell hit rating. Consider that my blues-and-greens Shaman has around 400 spell damage, that extra 122 is pretty nice, so I really ought to get some enchants done.

What if I have a green item in a particular slot, should I bother enchanting it? My approach is that if the enchant/inscription is cheap, I'll get it done, because it won't cost me much when I replace the item. Whereas something expensive like Major Spellpower won't be put on my Talbuk Sticker.

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Karazhan on Cowboy - Aran, Prince and Illhoof

Warning: this is a huge post. TLDR summary: Karazhan as an Elemental is fun although interrupting Aran is a pain.

As previously mentioned, Kam went to Karazhan on Tuesday as Elemental spec DPS. The raid was starting on the mobs just after the Curator's room, in the library area. So having logged on right in front of my Orgrimmar neighbourhood friendly Shaman trainer, one respec later I was once again an Elemental Shaman, ready to sling some lightning bolts. Luckily I had a stack of spell damage food and some Elixir of Draenic Wisdom, so I wasn't totally unprepared. Only mostly.

The raid consisted of 1 warlock, 2 feral druids (including Medrare), 1 hunter, 1 warrior, 2 shadow priests, 2 healing priests and myself, Elemental Shaman extraordinaire. Excellently the raid leader was paying attention, and I found myself in group 2 with the 2 face-melters and the healers. I was using the following totems pretty much all the time: Totem of Wrath, Wrath of Air Totem and Mana Spring Totem. With two Vampiric Touch spells and the Mana Spring Totem we had our own little mana party going on. Kam also had no threat issues at all, possibly due to Elemental Precision, more likely due to the average amounts of damage Kam was doing.

Shade of Aran

For the tactics for this shady character, see and for some nice healing tips, see Jagerbombz's guide to Aran. Which I wasn't using, because I was damaging stuff instead. They are really good though.

During the Aran fight I was given the honour of interrupting his Frostbolt, which required me to watch his spell cast bar like an Earth-shocking hawk. The Quartz mod was most helpful here, putting Aran's cast bar right below my own so I could see at a glance what he was casting. I was using Earth Shock rank 1 to preserve mana, because the interrupt component is the same for any rank.

Still, it was quite tricky to interrupt and DPS; I had to wait before starting a cast to see what Aran was going to cast, and if I was in Flame Wreath I could hardly interrupt a Lightning Bolt cast by moving, so I was generally standing there waiting for Aran to do his Frostbolt.

Was I prepared? Having got down to the thinnest sliver of health, Aran did a polymorph during which all of my health was restored. Great I though, I'm back in the game again once this Polymorph runs out and he does his AOE fire blast for 8k. Then suddenly it occurs to me how much health do I have?. The answer was 7500 health. To survive an 8k fireblast. Oops. Surprisingly I was killed outright - I need to work on my stamina for this fight.

So how much damage does an Elemental Shaman in blues and greens do on Aran, while interrupting? That's me, Ando, languishing at 7. Not so good, but in this fight running away from Blizzard and trying to keep the interrupts up really doesn't help.

Prince Malchezaar

For the tactics for Prince, see and for some nice healing tips, see Jagerbombz's guide to Prince.

Our tactics for the Prince fight consist of hiding in front of the door while we hope the Infernals don't land anywhere bad. So I was mostly stood... in front of the door, chain casting Lightning Bolt. In this fight the elemental talent Storm Reach came in very useful; I was able to stand far out of range of Prince's Shadow Nova and didn't worry when the tank moved a bit close to the raid group.

My bloodlust was called for in phase 2, where Prince's damage increases. Other than that it was pretty much a tank and spank type fight. My spell rotation was Lightning Bolt spam in phase 1, due to the need to give our warrior tank a threat lead. In phase 2 where more damage was required I switched to a 3 Lightning Bolt, 1 Chain Lighting rotation and kept that up till the end. The 3 LB 1 CL rotation does more damage per second, but uses more mana. Eventually Prince died and so Kam managed to complete A Demonic Presence, the reward for which is a nice stamina trinket which hopefully might mean Kam has over 8,000 health buffed.

So what sort of damage was an Elemental Shaman doing on Prince? Ando is doing much better here, 577 dps and some pretty competitive damage. The warlock had Curse Of Elements up on Prince the whole time, so that helped. Plus I was mostly standing still so had very little spell casting interruptions.

Terestian Illhoof

Again, for the tactics for Illhoof, see and for some nice healing tips, see Jagerbombz's guide to Illhoof.

Not much to say about Illhoof really, it was mostly again just DPS the boss, apart from the Demon Chains which occasionally try to sacrifice someone. Burst damage is needed on the chains, so I kept my Earth Shock ready, followed by a Chain Lightning with Elemental Mastery if it was up. I did get to use the Fire Elemental Totem when the Imps were becoming a little too many for the warlock to kill, but after killing a few Imps the dozy fellow wandered off to have a go at Illhoof! Mixing in Chain Lightning on Illhoof would damage a few Imps too.

DPS wise Ando managed a respectable performance, similar to Prince. Go Ando, go! Ando got The Lightning Capacitor for his efforts, thanks to Zaphria who won the roll but passed it to me, which makes me very happy as Elemental Shaman are all about the lightning, and more lightning is always good.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Pew Pew LB McGrew, Chess Prince Illhoof

Or the One where Kam goes Elemental in Karazhan

I got into Karazhan last night as ranged DPS, so off to the trainer I went to respec. Why DPS? As BigRedKitty mentioned in the past, a DPSer does not need a minimum level of gear in order to enter Karazhan - you have 5 other DPS buddies to help out, whereas a tank or healer definitely does need a certain level of tankage or healing in order to not die horribly. Although my healing gear is probably good enough for entry level Kara (and I do intend to try it out one day), I don't think its up to bosses like Aran or Prince. So DPS it is.

Because I have just so much to say about the experience, I'll be splitting it across several posts, coming soon. Including loots, personal lessons, spec discussion, gear, etc. So, erm, stay posted.

Image by Axel Rouvin courtesy of Wikimedia.

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Farming honor for Wrath?

So as I was lurking in Alterac Valley, my favourite battleground, farming for the Olympic pet, I realised I was earning honor points despite having no actual spending aim. That got me to thinking; these honor points will be around come Wrath and eventually when I hit 80 I should be able to spend them on some "free" epics. A shaman in our guild recently ground battlegrounds incessantly and collected almost 60,000 honor to spend on resto PvP gear.

This then got me to thinking, should I be farming honor points now so that when I hit 80 I can spend them all on epic honor items? I'm assuming here there will be some epic honor items to spend on, but I don't know how much or little an honor point will be worth. I also don't know how much the new level 80 items will cost.

Looking at the current game, the cost for the level 60 PvP epic chest is 13,770 honor, the cost for the level 70 PvP rare chest is 13,219 honor, and the level 70 PvP season 2 chest is 14,500 honor. So that's very little difference between a level 60 and level 70 item. However I won't predict anything about the future based purely on the cost now, so it may well be that there will be honor inflation in the expansion, and any honor gained now will be eroded in value. Still, it's an interesting idea.

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Ring of Blood and Gorefiend

As I've mentioned, the raid on Thursday was cancelled with a lot of notice. So because we had a fair amount of raiders hanging around, we hit the Ring Of Blood quests. This was mainly for gold; each quest paid almost 11 gold, but I also had my eye on the Mag'hari Fury Brand to add to my Enhancement set.

Total chaos is all I can say; total and utter chaos. There were 2 other groups at the ring trying to do their quests. I was in a group with a Bear tank, hunter, dps warrior and ret paladin. If you've not done this quest line, it's a lot of fun. You rock up to Gurgthock the goblin, who stands next to the ring, and accept a quest to fight a certain boss; this triggers the boss to appear in the ring and off you go. Once you kill the boss, you hand in to the troll standing next to the goblin, then you're ready to talk to Gurgthock again to fight the next boss. If someone else is fighting the boss you can't talk to Gurgthock. Once you can talk to him... its a bun fight to be the first so you get a crack at a boss.

So each tank from 3 groups would try to talk to Gurgthock first to get their boss in the ring; when the boss appeared he'd find himself being attacked by all 3 groups, and we'd have random by standing Ogres to deal with too. When I was too slow with handing in the quest, a member of my party would start the next boss before I was on that part, so I didn't get credit and we'd have to do it all again. Total chaos. The hunter would also periodically pull aggro and then have to feign death; sometimes he would get away with it and sometimes he would get hit and would need a heal. Hunters - if you have a threat meter, feign death before you pull aggro!

Eventually we prevailed and the offhand was mine. Looking to cause more trouble in Outlands, we hopped on over to Shadowmoon Valley to help out an Ancient Shadowmoon Spirit divine the location of one Teron Gorefiend. The mission: recover Gorefiend's armour. The method: kill Vhel'kur. The madness: Rather than wear my Spectrecles, I kept my healing helm on instead so I couldn't see the dragon attacking anyone. Luckily I could still heal and even more luckily once we'd finished him off I could equip the Spectrecles and then loot the corpse. Unfortunately because I couldn't see Vhel'kur's health, I popped Bloodlust just as he died. Oops. I learnt in this fight that Earth Shielding a mad mage who is bound to pull aggro is a very good idea indeed. Once I'd handed in the quest and made a colossal mistake (damn you Gorefiend!), I was left with some helm choices. I'll probably take the Shamanistic Helmet of Second Sight because I've somehow signed up to Karazhan as DPS so I'll be needing some socketed items to put spell hit gems in. The Spectracles quest line is a really fun one, full of some cool lore. It's just a pity I won't be able to kill Gorefiend, but Chief Apothecary Hildagard did say "Should you ever find Teron Gorefiend". Gorefiend's exact wareabouts are unknown to me, I suspect he is in the Black Temple but I'm not going to verify that any time soon.

I am finding that having the ability to heal groups for 5 mans and quests is very useful; we can put together a group if a tank is around because there are usually a lot of DPSers online, and therefore I can get all those annoying group quests done without too much trouble.

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Obligatory BRK-style post

3 AV wins and Kam has an Olympic pet!

If I could have a Shaman flying mount it would be...

What with the Death Knights possibly getting their own custom flying mount and the Druids having the cool chicken form, I got to thinking, what would a Shaman use if we were to somehow be blessed with our own class-specific flying mount?

Shaman worship the spirits through the four elements and are the conduits through which their power flows. Shaman borrow power from the elements, requesting the elements come to their aid, in such a way shaman have agreement from the elements to hear the shaman's call.

So a good flying mount, lore-wise, would be if a Shaman could call upon the power of the Wind to help them get from place to place. This could actually be in the form of some sort of large wind elemental which the shaman rides upon, perhaps looking like a chimera but made out of clouds.

Our Shaman could have a series of exciting challenges to go through to learn of and tame the power behind such a mount, cumulating in getting the mount itself. In other words, a honking big quest line. I love big quest lines; the lore, the sense of being on a journey, the endless pestering of guildies to come help.

If you want to ignore lore, game-wise something like a frikkin' great big dragon made out lightning and smoke would be awesomely cool, but I'm not even going to attempt to draw one of those. Or even more graphic-card intensive, a smoke monster such as that on Lost which actually shifts forms between dragon, giant snake, etc as you are flying. Not going to happen, I know Blizzard's graphics design department would have a migraine with that one.

As I have hunter and warlock alts, I could also dream up some mounts for them too, but I'll leave that as an exercise to the reader. So come on...

Friday, 8 August 2008

Raid cancelled due to low turn out

Oh dear. I was signed for the Karazhan raid on Thursday which was due to start at Attumen, as healer-specced, but because we only had 9 signups, the raid was cancelled. The Bear, our venerated raid leader, has made the ruling that if we don't have enough sign ups by the time the raid list goes up, the raid gets cancelled. This is to avoid pestering people in guild chat to fill slots; we aren't a raiding guild so we don't pressure anyone to raid and it was felt that such pestering was causing pressure and potentially problems. That and the Bear was pestered solidly during work to cancel raids and finally relented and made such a rule.

Only having 9 sign ups on the first night of Karazhan is an unusual situation. A few months ago we would have 12-14 people signed up and the headache would be fitting them all in across the week. However, the summer has hit and although we don't have many students in the guild, we do have a lot of parents.

Because children don't need to get up early to go to school, during the summer holidays their bed times tend to slip later and later; no parent would pass up the chance to have a bit of a lie in after all. This means that a previously-attainable raid start time of 8:30 suddenly is slap bang in the middle of putting the kids to bed. The result is parents can't sign up for raids any more and have to log in later and do dailies and other grindy stuff.

So it's school holidays which seem to be having an impact on our raiding schedule; people have a load of alts they want to take into Karazhan so we are not short of signups, just those critical last few. For me, it may be some time before I can get into Karazhan healing, so I've signed up for the end-of-kara tuesday run as DPS. I'll find out tuesday lunchtime whether I'm successful or not.

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Most Outrageous Guild Applications

This is a Blog Azeroth shared topic suggested by Cathmor. Well ok maybe these apps are not outrageous but amusing. Here are a couple of the strangest ones we've had in the sleepy world of our little guild.

My pet is revolting

This first application appeared shortly after we did a run with another guild where a Ravager pet managed to out DPS one of their rogues.

Application Fluffykins - class ravager - melee dps

Can't see a pro forma to fill out so a little info about myself. I have limited experience raiding Karazhan, SSC and wiped on Tempest Keep. I am 1 month old and accept I need to work on my stamina. Happy to respec as needed.

I believe I can adequately compete with rogue dps based on my raiding experience.

Would love to join in my own right instead of my hunter master taking all the credit for my dps. Happy to accompany you on heroics as a trial member if that is as you wish. Unfortunately due to Blizzard's oversight for my class I am unable to earn my own rep for factions, but as a side effect do not seem to suffer from not being keyed for instances, so I guess there are some good aspects to it.

Hope to here from you in game, Your sincerely, Fluffykins

Hiding in the system

This application came from someone who wanted to remain as anonymous as they could:

KEYS: (Heroic keys/Kara)none on this char (yet) lol

Personal info:

IS THIS YOUR MAIN?:No this isn't my main. I would rather not mention my mains at the moment in case <main guild> have spies checking on applications to other guilds, but if you wish to know who they are, you could whisper me or ask <members name removed>, who incidentally I have been levelling my pally with his pally.

However both our guild and <main guild> are using Guild Portal, so when he posted using his guild portal account, GP helpfully put a link on the post to see his account details. Which lists all of his characters. In all guilds. It didn't take too long to figure out who his mains were. Let's hope <main guild> don't have spies checking.

Saturday, 2 August 2008

DPSing The Black Morass

Because our raid leader has dictated that we must be Karazhan keyed in order to raid, I have been on the key chain for a month or so. Having got key fragments 2 and 3, wednesday was the big push to get through The Black Morass and get the Master's Key. Unfortunately we had a Resto Druid along for the keying, so I strapped on my rusty Elemental DPS gear and tried to keep up with the Hunter and Mage, while Medrare tanked.

I've seen Elemental Shaman do this thing before, so a quick rewrite of my totem macro later, I'm running Wrath Of Air, Strength Of Earth and Mana Spring Totem, for the spell damage, extra mana and, erm, well the Earth totem school is somewhat underwhelming so extra strength for the druid. Occasionally Tremor Totem for the fearing adds. From what I've read on Elitist Jerks, Lightning Bolt spam with a Chain Lightning thrown in when its off cooldown is the way to go, so that was my spell rotation. Finally, because we were not crowd controlling anything, I liberally sprinkled the swamp with some Searing Totems.

The result was indeed a dead Black Morass, Medivh was saved and ... the Orcs invaded enabling them to raze much of Azeroth. Although apparently this causes the unification of the humans into the Alliance, enabling Azeroth to withstand the Burning Legion invasion. So that's ok then. In a strangely Brannon-Bragga-esque twist, I gave Khadgar's key to Medivh who kept it to give to Khadgar in the future, whereas I was given Medivh's personal key.

Unfortunately a Resto Shaman masquerading as an Enhancement Shaman with some reasonable gear did less damage than the tank. Oops. Oh well, now Kam is keyed for Karazhan and can get started healing in some of the lower (and easier) parts.

Friday, 1 August 2008

What you need to know about Shaman

This is a response to a Blog Azeroth shared topic suggested by Aos. Which is quite late, but there you go.

  • Stick together team. Chain Heal is the most awesome of spells I have. When the party all takes damage together I would much prefer to fire off a couple of CHs rather than have to single-target heal every one of you. But CH has a limited range, 5 yards according to WoWWiki, so ideally the melee would be stood next to the tank and the ranged DPS would be stood together. This isn't always possible in some fights though (Curator springs to mind) which may make them a total pain to heal.
  • Earth Shield is ace, so ask for it. Earth Shield is also an awesome spell, providing enough healing to keep a tank topped off on most 5 man trash. I do use the Earth Shield Tracker mod, but sometimes I might forget. So tanks, if it's not up before a pull, please ask.
  • Totems have a range. I do have Totemic Mastery so the range of my totems is 30 yards. But that's still 30 yards, so please don't run off out of their range if you want to benefit from their lovely buffs. Without this talent it can even be 20 yards. Which leads to...
  • Totems need to be taken up and put down. Because totems have limited range and they don't move, generally in an instance I'll need to take them up and put them back down. Even tho I have a super-nifty macro to drop totems, it still needs 3-4 seconds to get all 3 totems down, so please wait for your totems before pulling.
  • Shocks have a 6 second shared cooldown. Shocks are on a 6 second cooldown, shared across Earth, Frost and Flame Shock. So if you want one... ask and don't be surprised if the others are missing. If I have to Earth Shock the shadow priest on Moroes, she won't also be getting a Frost Shock to slow her movement. Elemental shaman with 5 points in Reverberation will have a 5 second cooldown.
  • Nature's Swiftness. I have one emergency heal every 2 minutes. So if you hear I've used Nature's Swiftness, try to be careful out there for the next 2 minutes.
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