Saturday, June 21, 2008

Breaking the Fire

I do have a work related story to share, I do, I do! But, this is *supposed* to be a WoW-ish blog, so that comes first.

Logged in today for a while (actually went to the place I once called home), and ran around killing things on my baby shaman (as well as defending the Stormwind/Ironforge Tram against the B+ Team, a Horde guild on our server that are the main aggressors against Guildwatch). Did the three beginner beast mastery quests in Stranglethorn Vale (-inner shudder-) and then Cil and I went up to Scarlet Monastery, and he had me hop into his vent.

So while I was "helping" him kill all of the Scarlet Crusaders in the Armory and Cathedral, as well as the ghosts in the Graveyard (helping as in sometimes tossing Chain Lightning, a spell I just got recently (Nirkanta's thirty-two... or was to start off the night. Got a level and a half with that bonfire buff!), leaving a windfury totem down, healed him all of four times, and trying not to play bait and die), I was listening to Rising Nova talk on vent.

Eight or so of them were in Ironforge dancing around the Pole... and they discovered that if they got a couple more people, fireworks and large fiery strands would come out of the pole. Along with a raid by B+ upon Ironforge, there came defenders -- the 'Watch, of course.

Some rather foul things were said against the defenders (mainly by two people), saying that the defenders should just leave them be, they wanted to visit the bonfire. (Which may have been believable if it wasn't a B+ raid, and if we hadn't had a huge skirmish in the Tram not too long before.) Wasn't too pleased about that, but lets move on. After the attackers were driven off, a good many of the defenders joined the pole... and, instead of the effects getting even more spectacular, it started kicking people off the pole! Not only that, they *broke* the pole -- it would no longer be pretty and shiny and work.

Apparently, that was possible... So they went off to go check on Stormwind's pole. (Shattrath's was broken too, so they say.) Backup plan? Mess around with Darnassus'. Last resort? Goldshire. (Now, that one got a lot of horrified "noooooooo!"s, let me tell you.)

Midsummer spirit is alive and well with Rising Nova, and the rest of Azeroth, it would seem! As long as one doesn't overwhelm the festival games, that is!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Pictures speak more than a thousand words...

But, because I'm me, I can't resist a few words anyway.

We went to see Antelope Canyon (in Arizona, I believe), Bryce Canyon, Zion Canyon (latter two both national parks), Rainbow Bridge, made a round in Vegas, went to LA for a day (where everyone spent the whole day shopping at the 99 Market and other such Asian stores). (Rough summary of all the pictures above. Oh, and that last one is M&M World. Nifty.)

Oh, yes, and they're all taken by me.

These eight were just... well, eight... out of the six hundred or so pictures that I have stored from the trip. Gorgeous places, and the reason I wasn't able to go to work... but that I'll explain when I'm a bit more calm and reasonable. So I'll leave these for now to speak a tale.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Aaaand Triple B beats me to it.

Serves me right for being a slacker... of course, this just means that I don't have to be the one to go face angry people to pick up my macros.

BBB a couple days ago gave a highlight to Focus Target Macros. Go check it out if you are not familiar with this method for more-than-one-mob tanking!

[ Sorry I've been a tad... quiet... concerning real WoW stuff. I've been without it for near a month, and am poking my head trying to see whether or not I can find something. If not, maybe I'll retire Elune's Guidance as a WoW-ish blog and put it up as a more general blog (which is what I do anymore), or even just keep focus on roleplaying. We'll have to see how things go, as I don't plan on being without WoW forever, just for the upcoming month or so.

...I need to get a new desktop. ]

Edit: I'll let you guys decide. See the poll to the side.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I wish I had that type of talent.

So, as my own version of TJ's "I love this kid"...

I actually sat down in front of the TV and watched something that *wasn't* Law and Order: SVU (which is what I watched the nights before bed on my vacation [ which I have six hundred pictures of. When I'm actually going to bother putting it on the computer, much less show them to you, I don't know. Maybe I'll just find the site's promotional pictures and show that instead]). What was it? Well...

Before I get any farther, I'll say this clearly. It's definitely a not-about-WoW post. If that's all right, keep reading.

I've spent the last two hours watching America's Got Talent, and *geeze*. That six-year-old kid from Britain's Got Talent? Who was a close contender to Paul Potts (last year's winner). She's totally blown out of the water by the just-turned-four-year-old Kaitlyn Maher. Also a singer and utterly *adorable*.
Sharon: "Are you from New York?"
Kaitlyn: "I'm from America"

You can't deny the absolute adorable-ness of that! ... Oh, and getting absolutely beat in singing by a four-year-old... -ignores the fact and plows on-

Neal E Boyd gives last year's winner of Britain's Got Talent -- the previously mention Paul Potts -- a run for his money while singing Nessun Dorma. To hear it for yourself, here is Neal E. Boyd's, and here is Paul Potts.

Hrm... although I can't say that I've watched Britain's Got Talent (in fact, I followed it so lightly that I only managed to learn about Paul Potts and that adorable six-year-old after the fact. <3 style="font-style: italic;">does have the talent to match, if not beat, Britain's best.

[ I sound so patriotic. o.o ]

Some other fantastic acts:
Nuttin' But Stringz. Violinists! And... rap? Odd combination, don't you think?

Jonathan Burkin Batons! Oh my! Flaming Batons, no less! Scary!

And even a Britany Spears impersonator! (Who... was... er. Amazing, actually. [David Hasselhoff] [didn't] know whether to sing along or ask for a date. [ Quote from TV Guide ].)

Those are the most notable highlights (in my opinion, of course and as always!). For more, check TV Guide or - America's Got Talent.

Until next Tuesday, and we'll find out who else makes it through the auditions!

Monday, June 16, 2008

TNB [4]: Starring BBB!

I started to listen to it all, but realized that I can't keep up with BA Chat (and it's fifteen people) and and my five other Pidgin tabs, and do the occasional site look (such as Resto4Life's Tee-Shirts), and actually pay as much attention to the blogcast as I would like to give it.

So, I'll listen to it later. But it's BBB, and I thought I'd announce it. Go give it a Twisted Nether Blogcast [4]: We Like Bear Butts and We Cannot lie!

[[ Not that Bell or Matt were any less exciting. I just actually remembered to blog about this one.]]

Saturday, June 7, 2008


Grandparents and I are going on a road-trip (to Utah, no less) starting tomorrow. We'll be back on the fifteenth, so don't expect any blog posts between then and now.

... Not that I post that often anyway, but just a head's up.

Friday, June 6, 2008

[ Unveiling Druids ] :: The Hurricane Pull

The Hurricane Pull

Another option for three and more tank targets (such as the pull at the top of the ramp in Ramparts) is a Hurricane pull.

Yes, I did say Hurricane pulling. It's a spell I dearly adore, and I am always quite shocked when I hear that some druids don't even know what that spell is! (I've had to explain that spell and where to find it to a druid before.)
Whether you do know or don't know (and just can't be bothered with hovering over the link), here's what Hurricane does:
Creates a violent storm in the target area causing 206 Nature damage to enemies every 1 sec, and increasing the time between attacks by 25%. Lasts 10 sec. Druid must channel to maintain the spell.
Now, yes, it does cost almost 2K mana (being 1905), but hey. You're a bear. You don't really need all of that mana anyway. Most bears average about 5.3K mana, depending on gear. (I can assure you that most of you, if not all of you, can afford to use this spell and switch back into bear form without mana issues.)

Why Hurricane Pulling?
You are standing in front of a group of mobs. The party's CC either doesn't work on them, the ratio of mobs to CC is greater, or it's just an AoE pull. Whatever the reason, don't panic. You -have- an AoE, and one that will help you get aggro in a snap and help you hold it for a while before (situation depending) your AoEers enjoy themselves a little too much.

Example pulls: The mana worms in both the Curator's room (though I really don't suggest you stand around for more than one blast especially if it's one of the later pulls in the room) and the ones in front of Vexallus (the second boss in Magister's Terrance). The pull at the top of the ramp in Ramparts. Pulls in Shattered Halls. Any situation with lots of mobs. Take your pick.

How to Hurricane Pull
Before I cover this pull, there are some notes I would like to remind one.
One: Mark the targets. Even if it's an AoE group, there are classes that can't AoE, and would like to know what to kill first. (Along with marking them, making sure that everyone knows the kill order.)
Two: Let your healer(s) know that you will be AoE pulling, so they can be ready to pull off some bigger heals to start with in case you don't manage to make it into bear form in time. And your CC, too, so they won't be insulted if they do their jobs right away and it breaks due to your cast.
Three: If there are casters in the group, the pull works a lot better if you stand right next to a spot of LoS, cast it, and then move around the spot of LoS afterwards. Beats having them cast at you until they run out of mana / everyone, including you, finishes killing all of the melee mobs and going to them. This way, you can swipe at them when they get to you, or it'll pull the mobs closer to make it easier for CC such as sheeps/sleeps/banishes/and even seduce to do their work.
Four: Have your main target selected. It's just easier for you to start tanking right away if you have them selected before you pull, rather than trying to find them as they're running for you/standing in front of you hitting you.

Now, none of these are necessary, but it's rather nice and makes it easier for pulling and for your group.

Step One: Test Out Your Template
Because Hurricane is an AoE (similar to Blizzard for a mage), there is a template given when you hit the button. It will rain chaos on those certain points -- try to position the template in a place where the mobs will be hit at least twice (I, personally, like to mark my off-tanking mobs closest to me, and have them in my template. When I pull, they will run through the template, being hit two or three times before leaving, and everyone else will come through it as well). If you have CC up (such as Sap), be careful to position the Hurricane *away* from it. It'll make your rogue thankful. (This is made easier by having the sap target (which, for me, would be a star) at the edge of the group, away from where you are positioning your template.)

Step Two: Cast Barkskin
This really can be step one as long as you feel no need to eye out the template -- I put step one where it is due to the fact that there's a time limit and a cooldown on it. I personally like to do this after eying it out as to not burn the twelve seconds all the way through while positioning.
The druid's skin becomes as tough as bark. All damage taken is reduced by 20%. While protected, damaging attacks will not cause spellcasting delays. This spell is usable while stunned, frozen, incapacitated, feared or asleep. Lasts 12 sec.

Using this is always nice, due to the damage reduction on it (which makes the healers happy, for sure), and... well. If one of the bad guys gets to you before everyone else gets at least hit by the hurricane, you can stand a hit or two.

Step Three: Hurricane Away!
Again, watch the pre-existing CC. (Other CC may be applied after you drop into bear form/the CC target has passed the hurricane so that you have initial aggro on it when it breaks.) Put the template where you had positioned it and let it go.

Four: Go Bear Before They Hurt You Too Much
Hard to elaborate on this one. As you're tanking three or more mobs, common instinct should tell you to drop into bear before all of them starts hitting on you seriously (and no, not in a good way either -- this way is painful, the other might just be embarrassing for them). You've only got so much health, and you're a lot harder of a target to hit (how, with a massive rear, I don't know... but I suppose it's better than a shiny shield) while in bear, so get into it!

There you have it. The basic hurricane pull. It's not at all difficult, and it will allow you to get initial aggro on many things so that, even if you aren't on top of your game, you don't have to worry nearly as much about that mob (or few) deciding that it likes your healer more because you haven't hit it enough.

Good luck tanking!

[[ Picture provided by Tiggerman, who is utterly amazing and who I am a fan of. here.]]

Sunday, June 1, 2008

[ Unveiling Druids ] :: Bear Tanking

While it may be hard to believe for some, there have been druids that have never been feral before, and had finally decided to renounce their healing/moonkin ways (-grins- I kid) and try their hand at clawing things to death. In theory, it shouldn't be that hard right? You have vaguely decent enough gear for both tanking and dpsing, and just need that respec. You portal off to Moonglade, talk to the trainer, you're x amount of gold poorer, and ready to examine the feral tree and decide what you should put points in.

After studying guides (such as my own feral talent guide (yes, shameless advertising, but I'm allowed!)) and messing around with various specs on sites such as WoWHead, you place your points, buy all of those new talented spells, and get on the road.

After a while, you get asked to tank.

Then, it hits you. You don't know how. Don't panic! It's not as hard as it may seem.

Basic Tanking

If you find that you’re having threat/aggro issues, and for basic learning, I’d start off in caster, Starfire (or Moonfire) pull, switch to bear, and wait around for that rather unhappy mob to come and get you. This way (for the beginning tank), you can afford to not worry as much about aggro while you are still familiarizing yourself with your rotation.

Start off with a mangle, lacerate a few times, and then mangle whenever the cooldown is up. I, personally, like to spam maul in between my lacerates (especially after I’ve gotten a stack of five, and am only really doing it to keep the stack up) and mangles — generates more DPS, and, through it, threat. If you have a cooldown to spare, toss faerie fire feral up there too for good mix (and, if you are multitanking, demoralizing roar (could do it on a solo mob, but I find that extra ten rage better suited toward killing the mob faster)).

Rinse and repeat.

If you don’t need extra threat and/or are more than comfortable with tanking now, or have a huge rage bar left over from the previous fight and therefore, don’t want to shift out, I normally hit enrage, wait until the effect is almost over, and pull through faerie fire feral. Feral charge is another good way to start if it’s a safe place to engage where your mob stands and then do that rotation. My only issue with feral charge starting is that I like to use that as a backup if something goes wrong (I’m multitanking and my other mob gets hit a little too hard, a CC broke loose and has a craving for someone squishy, someone aggroed extra mobs) and I can charge them and get aggro on them again (hopefully, at any rate, with a mangle, and, if necessary (or mangle's down), with a growl) before they do damage where they shouldn’t. If you start with a charge, there’s a good chance that your cooldown might not be up yet, and you are stuck running to the mob. (Which takes forever.)


For tanking two, I've seen it done both ways. A bear tank friend of mine likes to pull the second kill with a cyclone, go bear, mangle and lacerate the first kill before the second gets there, mangle/lacerate the second kill for a bit more aggro, and occasionally tosses a swipe to keep aggro on the second while they finish up the first, then turn her full attention toward the second. I, personally, like a bit more aggro on it and, therefore, start off with a starfire on that one, and a moonfire on my main tank target (so the DPS can start on it without too much trouble almost right away) and then go bear and do what I mentioned previously. (Three targets is about the same, just that you starfire the third target, moonfire the second, and mangle the first, then swipe-fest (and demo-roar) your way through, with mangle chucked in there as well.)

I have a focus macro for dual tanking, which I'll have to snag and show the next time I hop in game.

There's also the Hurricane pull for three and more mobs, which I will (really, this time. I have it started and partway done!) go into great detail about next time. (And will edit with a link to it when it is up.)

Edit: The Hurricane Pull. Oh, lookie! Lin *finally* finished it!

Just keep a sharp note of your surroundings, and hit those few buttons, and you’re good to go. Tanking’s cake.

[ Post inspired by Softi of Softthistle's Spot / A Little WoW for Me, where the beginnings of my post may be found. ]