Monday, 28 June 2010

Enhancement loot for Halion: Ruby Sanctum

Patch 3.3.5 drops in the EU today, introducing a new possibly-puggable raid, the Ruby Sanctum (as well as some privacy-intruding features). Given all the loot is listed on Wowhead I thought I'd take a look at what is available for the Enhancement Shaman.

Normal 10 man (LFM 2 tanks 3 healers)
Baltharus' Gift
Kam is currently using Precious's Putrid Collar from ICC 10, so this neck is a good upgrade. The only tricky aspect is the loss of 55 hit rating, probably requiring regemming all my expertise gems into hit ones. However I guess I would want this at this late stage of the game anyway, expense be damned.

Twilight Scale Shoulders
These initially look good, until I noticed the dreaded Armor Penetration on them. 50% magical damage does not make for good use of armor penetration. Quite apart from anything else, these are in the prime shoulder slot which is taken by one of my 4 piece Tier 10 items, so replacing the shoulders would cost me more Frost to buy the chest to keep my 4 piece T10 bonus. No thanks. Then there is the issue that these are actually worse than the Tier 10 shoulders according to my loot scale, likely the armor penetration is dragging their rating down.

Normal 25 man (LFM all no more DKs)
Returning Footfalls
Kam is currently sporting Taldron's Long Neglected Boots for which these are a direct upgrade. If feeling flush, one may be using Rock-Steady Treads and again these are an upgrade. Even if I were to be using the best boots in ICC10 the Footfalls are still a good upgrade. However a 25 man raider with Treads of the Wasteland need not worry - the Footfalls seem to be a minor upgrade. Myself, I shall be trying to PUG RS25.

Signet of Twilight
This is a nice ring and is only bettered by Seal of Many Mouths from Rotface 25, although if the expertise on the Seal is going to waste maybe not. The exalted and revered Ashen Verdict rings are better, but they only fill 1 ring slot. So there seems to be something for everyone here, 10 and 25 man raiders alike.

Ruby Sanctum
We already have news that Premonition have killed up the place on Heroic for a World first kill, although given the servers are not yet up in the EU I will say that currently "World" equals "US". No news yet of how hard the place is, I assume the Premonition guys are seriously well geared and good raiders, so it will be interesting to see how hard the encounter is for us normal folks.

If the raid is puggable (by which I mean easy) then I will have a good crack at the 25 man loot as well as the 10 man stuff. If it can only be done in guild, I will be restricted to the 10 man loot. Hopefully there will be a lot of PUGs going to Ruby Sanctum this week without the usual "link achievement" stuff, until next week. So now is the time to strike, while the iron is hot, and the achievements are not in demand! I'd quite like to see the place with Kam and maybe score some of that tasty loot. Check out the WoWWiki Halion page for more information about the fight.

Friday, 25 June 2010

Totem Recall: A Shaman Round Table Event

Your regularly scheduled programming is interrupted to bring you this special announcement:
On July 13th the Raid Warning crew will be joined by some of the biggest names behind the Elemental, Enhancement, and Restoration specs. They will be answering your questions, comments, phonecalls, and emails while kicking back and having a few laughs.

Guests are:
Joe “Lodur” Perez of and World of Matticus
Rich “Stoneybaby” Maloy of and Big Crits
Borsk of Borsked
Jhaman of Castaclysm
Pewter of MentalShaman
Binkenstein of Elitist Jerks
Masanbol – Elitist Jerks

I will definitely be grabbing this off iTunes when it appears.

So what are you waiting for? Check out the full info at their site and even post a question which might get answered on the show!

Tuesday, 22 June 2010


The Midsummer Fire Festival is here and Wowhead have a nice guide up. It looks mostly the same as last year and as I did it all on Kam for the meta-meta achievement, I shall not be bothering this year.

But wait, what is this? Lord Ahune has been updated with some new item level 232 loot. The The Frost Lord's War Cloak has some very nice stats (ie no armor pen) and is an upgrade over Shawl of the Shattered Giant from Ulduar 10 or Accursed Crawling Cape from Forge Of Souls normal.

It is no ICC 10 cloak nor will it match a Recovered Scarlet Onslaught Cape for 50 frost. However, if you are not raiding, or are doing 10 mans and haven't got lucky on Marrowgar, or have better things to spend Frost on (like 4 piece Tier 10 say), or just running a physical DPS melee alt, The Frost Lord's War Cloak is definitely worth checking out. I certainly will be doing for my scabby alt.

Secondly, when queueing for the Lord Ahune encounter using the Dungeon Finder, you will now also get 2 Emblems of Frost for the first kill of the day, on top of the 2 you can get by running the Daily Dungeon (to be confirmed). Thus it seems we can all get 4 frost per day for a few weeks while the festival is on, or at least get the usual 2 by killing Ahune rather than running yet another boring Heroic.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Cataclysm Shaman talent preview

Now that Blizzard have released some preview talents to various websites, I can discuss them again, as if some other leak of talents never happened.

Most of the Enhancement talents are the usual stuff, I did notice Improved Windfury Totem is gone (cry) and now the entry level talents are Focused Strikes, SS damage by 40%, and Ancestral Knowledge now increases mana by 15% at 5/5. Maelstrom Weapon still does not affect Lava Burst in this tree either, which I was looking forward to. Hopefully later.

Ancestral Swiftness is interesting, increasing movement speed by 15% at 3/3. Given than I use Tuskarr's on my boots for the 8% speed improvement, and a previous commenter has pointed out how poor we are in movement fights, this talent might be somewhat compulsory.

The really interesting stuff is further down the tree.
Tier 5 - Searing Flames (5 ranks available) - Causes the Searing Bolts from your Searing Totem to have a 20/40/60/80/100% chance to set their targets aflame, dealing damage equal to the Searing Bolt's impact damage over 15 seconds. Stacks up to 5 times.

Searing flames seems to be an attempt to make Searing Totem some use again. This adds extra damage to targets hit with Searing Totem and the 5 stack is not too shabby. According to Wowhead ST casts every 2.6 seconds, so that is 10.4 seconds from the first to last cast to get a 5 stack. Then it is down to the mechanics how long the 5 stacks lasts, usually when you stack a debuff it refreshes a stack and starts the countdown to the stack expiring again, so this may result in a permanent 5 stack if you can keep ST firing once every 15 seconds. I assume the design here is to make Searing Totem better than Magma for a single target for Enhancement Shamans.

However Searing Flame also plays with another new talent and may add an extra dimension to "playing smart" and give us more to react to:

Tier 10 - Improved Lava Lash (3 ranks available; Requires 1 point in Lava Lash) - Increases the damage of your Lava Lash ability by 10/20/30%, and by an additional 7/14/20% for each of your applications of Searing Flames on the target, consuming those applications in the process.

Improved Lava Lash will increase LL damage by 20% for each Searing Flame debuff on the target. So with 5 stacks thats an increase in LL damage of 130%, but this consumes the Searing Flame debuff. I can only assume the design is that it will be advantageous to wait until Searing Flame is up to 5 stacks on the target, then Lava Lash for the extra damage, removing the debuff and then wait until Searing Totem has got 5 stacks back up again.

If the Searing Flame stack is refreshed with each hit from Searing Totem then we could LL at any time after 5 stacks is reached. If the stack only lasts 15 secs from the first application, then we get a window from 10.4 secs to 15 secs from the first blast to get a LL in, which would certainly make prioritizing LL interesting.

Will LL be worthwhile without a Searing Flame debuff and a mere extra 30% damage? Whether to use the Searing Flame stack or not will also depend on the relative damage of Lava Lash with 130% more damage compared to stuff like Storm Strike, and then we might find using the stack at 4 is good too, which would make things even more fun. Still this is looking like an interesting new mechanic for sure.

I guess I have decided to cover Beta information, when it starts to hit. Usually there is a slow period after Beta starts where the only news about WoW is beta information and anyone who wants to avoid that is reduced to pretty much no WoW news at all. Combined with the summer wind down of raiding activities, there will be not much to talk about here otherwise.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

How not to write a fishing email

Recently my inbox has been full to the bursting with phishing scam emails, some of which I read for amusement. Sadly they are all not very good and don't really convince me that I have got into the Friends and Family Alpha, or my account is under investigation.

Clearly the people writing these are in fact utter morons, so here are some handy tips they can use to improve their efforts. They also could serve as reverse-tips you can use to detect such fishing scams.

Do not send to the wrong email address
I have several email addresses, only one of which is associated with my WoW account, that also being the Battle Net login. Please actually send your fishes to the email address Blizzard use to communicate with me, any email to any other addresses are clearly fake. If you get emails from Blizzard in an account they know nothing about, they are fake.

Use proper English
Blizzard is a large corporation who employs many hundreds of people. So when they send out any official communication, it is most likely to be written using a template which has been proof read by many people, checked for spelling and grammar errors. It really looks bad when a company communicates with you using bad language (no, not cussing. Although that doesn't go down well either).

"We have the evidence to prove that your account involved in the controversial game currency transaction"

Damn it I shouldn't have bought that Lovely Black Dress but its not that controversial really.

"As you may not be aware of,this conflicts with Blizzard's EULA under section 4 Paragraph B which can be found here:"

Space after a comma! Did you not pay attention during typing class?

"It will not affect your game uptime.If you are unable to successfully verify your password . using the automated system,"

Also, space after a full stop, and no full stops in the middle. Of sentences.

" investigation!?‏"

It may be important, but is an exclamation mark and a question mark really warranted!?!one!eleven

"This is an automated notification sent from our account security system. You logined your account successfully at 3:14 on May 30th form the 203.11.151.* range. As other users report and after investigation, we foud that the account published spam information in the game world of warcraft.This harassing other users seriously . This action has violated the GAME RULES. As too many customer complaints, the IP range above has been blacklisted. "

I certainly did not logined to my account then, or using that IP address. Also other users may well report things, but you didn't tell me what. This harassing other users seriously... what? Annoys you?

"When you receive this letter to mean that your account will be disabled within 48 hours. this time disable your account is permanent."

Remember to use a capital letter in the first letter of the first word after a full stop.

If there are spelling or grammar errors in the email, it's probably not from Blizzard.

Send the mail from
So given Blizzard are inviting me to Alpha/warning me/banning me, I would expect the email addressed from to actually come from Luckily apart from detecting fishing, Google Mail will show you where an email was mailed from, by clicking the "Show Details" link on an email.

"from: BLIZZARD "
"subject: Final Warning"

I didn't realise Blizzard used hotmail these days. Can't they afford their own email servers? Worse is in Google Mail you can click on the little arrow to the right of the email and select "Show Original" and see:

Received: from whq ([]) by over TLS secured channel with Microsoft SMTPSVC(6.0.3790.4675); Sat, 22 May 2010 11:06:48 -0700
From: ""

Not only can they not spell "reply" but also it seems kamuel_2 at is the actual sender of the email, not blizzard as claimed.

Sadly hotmail won't let you show the original message source, but both gmail and hotmail seem pretty good at flagging up suspicious emails which don't come from where they claim to.

The Beta hasn't started yet
An email titled "Cataclysm Beta Test Invitation!" which turns out to be an opt in invitation, really isn't a Beta Test invitation. However also remember the point about good English:

"The disaster of the beta test, come on! Azeroth world turmoil coming, and you certainly do not want to be forgotten in the cold winds of Northrend , unable to enjoy the pleasant sun Corzine on the island."

Just... I don't even know where to start with this one. Soon you might be receiving invitations to the actual beta, at which point it's worth checking it has actually started.

Link to the actual Account Management page
The URL to the European account management page is or For the US it is or Any time a link in an email shows one URL but links to another (as shown in the status bar of a web browser at the bottom) gets me all suspicious.

I'm pretty sure is not the right address, as is not actually or Really you fishers need to link directly to the actual WoW account management pages, or just tell people to go login using the links off the official websites where their account violation messages will be waiting for them. Oh wait. They won't will they.

This one will be hard for the spammers to work around. Google mail shows a warning if links don't go to the place their text says, and also disables the links. In any case, if you are told you need to log into anywhere to verify an account, ignore links in the emails and go straight to the appropriate web site and log in there.

Anyway I hope none of the spammers read these tips as their emails might get better. Stay safe out there people.
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