Saturday, December 19, 2009

"They're More Like Guidelines Anyway."

Ah, LFG. It's gone over a great many changes over the last few years. It was once a channel that you could spam day and night anywhere. Then they introduced the LFG interface; put yourself in, state what roles you are willing to fill, go do whatever you want, wait for people to ask you to go to x. People mourned the loss of the world wide LFG channel, and custom channel popularity soared. Other than that complaint, however, most people enjoyed it. It was convenient with little fuss involved. Except for the time factor as one is sitting in LFG just looking for people to pick them up. Or them asking every other group they saw if they needed [tank/healer/dps]. Time that some people didn't have. Blizzard noticed the flaw with their plan, and decided to, once again, change it. They returned the missed LFG channel to the cities, and put in a new system. You still state your willing role [no more days of asking “what spec are you?”], queue up for a random heroic, normal, or even a specific one of either, and just wait... a fraction of the time that it took in the past.

As a tank, a queue will appear almost immediately.

As a healer, a queue will appear in a minute or two.

As a DPS... well. Good luck. Queue will probably pop sometime after that set of Sons of Hodir dailies as well as a round of mining around Sholazar Basin.

Unless you tag along with a tank. Then you get the benefit of the fast tank queue. If you tag along with a healer, the following scenario happens:

Group: “We need a healer!”
Blizzard: “Here's on—Oh, no, wait, there's a DPS attached. Sorry.”
-a minute later-
Group: “We need a healer!”
Blizzard: “You know that healer we wanted to pass off last time? They're still grouped with that DPS. Try this one instead!”
-another minute-
Group: “We need a healer and a DPS!”
Blizzard: “OH THANK GOD we couldn't get rid of that darned DPS, here you go, TAKE THEM!”

On your end:
Healer: “That took a long time. Lets go.”
-Enter Dungeon-
Healer and DPS: “... I hate Blizzard. Freaking Halls of Stone. Again.”
And the instance starts.

That's, as far as we can tell, about what happens. Healers have it easy, tanks have it even easier, and DPS are mostly out of luck. The reasoning is easy enough: there are a small number of healers out there, but there is an even smaller number of people willing to tank. If you're one of those people who don't mind tanking, 98% of the time, you'll get assigned to tank. Even if you said you could DPS. Even if you said you could heal. You're tanking. Better enjoy it.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Patch Day! 3.3 Headaches!

Well. As everyone knows, the long awaited patch 3.3 has landed! Having pre-patched, I only had to wait forty minutes for my WoW to patch.

Upon getting in, I got asked to go do the three new instances on Normal. They're interesting, to say the least. A bit more challenging than what we're used to, I want to say, as there's not so much as real damage as there is the mobs casting a reflecting shield, and your party members killing themselves on accident if they don't pay attention. Still, though, rather interesting.

Afterward, my regular twenty-five man group decided to test the waters of ICC.

That was painful. A few wipes to trash, a few to Lord Marrowgar, and too many wipes to want to think about to Lady Deathwhisper. We managed to get the Lord down, but the Lady... she conquered us. It's not a real friendly fight, we discovered, and even worse on classes that use both melee and spells [such as my Enhancement shaman, the only character that raids 25s]. We ended up recalling that, on new boss fights, our raid leader likes to talk. A lot. A few points during the explanations our group [consisting of melee] all came to the consensus of the fact that none of us have comprehended a word said in the last two out of three hours of raid. And that Lady Deathwhisper's fight went to the effect of "blah blah blah mana shield, blah blah blah adds" and something about killing things. Basically, kill things, avoid other things, and kill more things (adds). That's all the DPS had to know about both of the boss fights we encountered. Of course, it's the same on every other fight, but still. Our attention spans could have been likened to that of an ADD six year old. At best.

Raid time ended after what seemed like eternity, and everyone was pumped to leave and go do something else. Something else being the new instances, that was... except, Blizzard had other ideas. Three minutes looking at a load screen, get kicked out, rinse and repeat. For an hour or so. Until boredom and that good ol' ADD kicked in and alt tabbing just wasn't cutting it, and tiredness was starting to creep upon people.

The expectation of things not being broken on patch days has never been met. It's understandable, naturally, but still a source of frustration to the player base that had been waiting with baited breath for new content to play with. Instead, they're faced with headaches as instance servers crash, shiny new features broken, and incredible lag. I did, however, notice that the effects on the character selection screen -- the backgrounds -- were brighter and were a touch more active. Cheers, Blizzard. Our greatly anticipated day became a day of frustration and realization that the patience was rewarded by a prettier character screen. Until things are fixed, anyway.

Guess there's always tomorrow.

And the next day.

It's not going anywhere, and it can only get better.

So one can hope, anyway.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Try Two!

After seven months off from writing, I think I'm ready to come back. I've been restless as of late -- can't stay in WoW too long, can't be happy with just reading. Answering questions on forums just didn't seem enough anymore... and I realized. It was one of the reasons why I first started Elune's Guidance. Because I wanted my opinions out there. I wanted people to know what I thought, what I do, why I do it, and how much I enjoy doing what I do. Another sign was when I got in a heated discussion about mages, and I ended up pulling up ten tabs to try to aid me for my argument. And I felt no satisfaction from doing it, because only one person would know the results of my findings.

I've missed writing. Sometimes it felt like a duty to find something interesting I wanted to write about, and other times, the words just couldn't wait to flow from my fingers.

I realize it's been seven months since I've made a post, and a lot has happened since then, both in real life and in the game. I realize that the blogging community has grown so much in those months, and that I have a lot of catching up to do, friends to reacquaint myself with, a reputation to grow. I considered restarting completely, but EG is my home. I made it as a hobby, and while I did lose interest in writing for a while -- and everyone can relate, I am sure -- I'm back. I want to write, I want to explore ideas, and I want my ideas to be known. I need a place to reference my research, so I don't waste time looking stuff up again. I would like a place for other people to view my research and leave their own thoughts and opinions, striking up, perhaps, a good discussion to research deeper in.

So here goes!

Welcome back, EG.

Who will come with me through this journey of renewal?

Friday, May 1, 2009

"The Noble"

Ah, Noblegarden is over, but there were a lot of memories accumulated during the past week for many people, I am sure. Despite the controversy over a certain achievement, I had a blast. I found that egg picking was ridiculously addictive -- over the course of the week [although it was more centered on a few days rather than spread out], I picked over eight hundred of those pretty eggs, got six shirts, six pants, and six elegant dresses, along with more than enough chocolate to make me a diabetic, as well as three titles of "the Noble".

That's right, Lossemenel, Nirkanta, and Meliensa all have that title stored away, to use whenever I feel like it.

Why the obsession? I can't quite explain it. It was just "one more egg", as well as the fact that I could do many things while egg picking, such as catch up with friends and guildies -- something I tend to rather fail at while instancing or raiding. Also, by the end of picking a hundred and fifty eggs, I had down pat a route that had nine egg spawns as long as there were few people around, and, therefore, the egg hunting was rather like a game than a long chore.

While the rest of the event -- the running around, the "running-around-Dalaran-looking-for-breasts" were... interesting, to say the least, it was far less running around than many of the previous holiday events, which was probably my biggest draw.

The best memory of this holiday, however, was how it seemed to draw people together. I saw Alliance openly helping each other, even pointing others toward egg spawns [but, on the same token, I saw name calling go on between people for camping the same three-egg spawn].

A friend and I noted how it brought the two factions together one day, when a female or few of every race stood on the steps of the north bank of Dalaran, all wearing their Elegant Dresses and dancing. It was a lovely scene, and despite it being against our character's personalities [as we both roleplay], we too had to join in the dance, for it was a sign of unity, how a holiday event could bring allies and enemies together.

Images from the "party"!

Good times, good times...

Monday, April 27, 2009



In other words, "Party is to raid as a hostess is to raid leader".

Not a party as in a group of five people coming together for an instance or even quests. A party analogy to the real world. Perhaps pot luck would do better. Either way, however, my point stands. As a hostess, you plan the event. You send out the invitations, prepare your house and perhaps an itinerary for the meet. You expect people to be there, [in the case of a pot luck] you expect them to bring something.

In that way, a raid leader is like a hostess. A raid leader plans out the expedition, finds the people, arrange a time, expects those who said they could come to come on time, and if not on time, call ahead. In return, everyone else expects the raid leader to be there, have everything figured out, and lead the raid.

But what if that silent contract was broken? As many raiders -- and raid leaders -- know, some raiders can't show up all the time due to family, work, or other business. That is understandable. They notify and sometimes even find a replacement. However, there are also other raiders who simply fail to show. They may have promised up to five minutes before invites to show, but as the raid time comes, there is no sign of them. No word with anyone in or out of the raid, or anyone in game, they're just not there.

Those are the raiders a raid can not afford to keep around. Most raids need someone dependable, most raids need their people that say "yes, I will come" to actually come. The waiting around without any certainty wears on the raid, and the best thing to do is to ask them to kindly step out for someone more reliable.

Another situation.

What if it was the raid leader him -- or her -- self? What if it was they that failed to show? What if they did not send invites and all that they could say to the question of "is there a raid this weekend?" was "don't know" or "too busy right now, ask later"? What if, on the raid night, the raid leader isn't around, hasn't told anyone, hasn't appointed a substitute raid leader in her absence? What then?

It was the situation one of my Naxx10, was to move to Ulduar10 raids found themselves in. She had lead us well for six weeks, then started fading away and leaving the group uncertain. A few weeks later, we were still getting the "I don't know"s and "too busy"s. During this time, I had taken up leadership and made an alts raid for those of the raid members that had wanted to continue and bring alts, and moved it to a different day so that, when she returned, we both could run a raid and keep everyone happy. Sure, it was not as smooth as the mains -- some people had no alts, and, therefore, dropped out, but we did manage to get through it and had fun despite the length.

However, it was this past weekend that we found out the truth. The week before, she had taken her only eighty to an impromptu Naxx, and come the weekend, said eighty was saved and her other character was level seventy-six. That was the week when she said that the vote was "Naxx or nothing" -- we had meant to start Ulduar that week. Naxx it was, and leadership was handed off to me that week, and it took me an hour to find substitutes for the raid leader, her significant other, and two others who wouldn't go if she wouldn't. Last weekend, we asked about Ulduar again, and she said something to the effect of "not this week -- can [Lin] lead it?" She was going to shove raid leadership of a brand new raid instance off to me, with three hours of prep. It was established by the interest the week before that some of the people refuse to go unless she lead the raid, for they were her friends.

I refused.

One of the raid members sent her a tell in query, and found out that she "had little interest in raiding tens", and, in essence, probably won't come back to us. That was frustrating, for, in our channel she was still acting indecisive with her "I don't know"s and "I'm busy"s.

In relation, I thought it fitting of a hostess. A party can not proceed if the hostess is unavailable. If the planner does not plan, how are people to know when and were to be?

For a raid leader to act quite unlike a raid leader without a good reason, it is unacceptable. They have nine [or, in a twenty-five, twenty-four] people looking to them for guidance, and they signed that silent contract to give said guidance when they decided to put together the raid.

So what is to be done? Do we move on without them? Do we let the raid fall apart?

There was enough interest in our group that I am going to attempt to start Ulduar without her, with both the people from the original raid, as well as friends of those from the group.

My worry is that the raid leader's alt is near eighty. What then? Will she have a sudden renewal of interest in raiding so that her alt can be geared up? Are we then obliged to let her join the raid again and take over leadership, for it was once her raid, or do we have a right to say "no, you ditched us when you say no profit for you, why should we gear your alt up"?

In that, I need advice. What is to be done? Have I taken the right steps by moving on, creating another raid out of the ashes of hers? Can I even let her back into the raids and take leadership again? What happens then when she gets bored/out geared for the content again? We will land up right where we are now...


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Where to Now and Raids...

Three-point-one today. Another ginormous "We'll fix it!" patches, where Blizzard admits that their content wasn't quite right and is going to flip every other thing that all classes know around a bit. Oh, and a new raid content to explore and have many wipe fests on. Joy!

Forgive me if I don't sound super excited. I have mixed feelings about the patch.

On one hand, new goals to strive for, as well as the highly anticipated Dual Specs [which my druid and shaman are going to participate in -- resto/PvEferal for Losse, resto/enhancement for Kanta [I have an unhealthy obsession with healing, can't you tell? It's a good thing, I suppose, for everyone else! I'm just glad I can now be resto for my raids and still kill things effectively!]].

On the other hand, learning wipes. I hate learning wipes. I know and understand they're necessary and bound to happen, but, at the same time, I hate it. [And yet, somehow I'm in a raid where we die fourteen times over the span of four hours to kill everything in Construct and Noth. Eight wipes on Grobby-face, not fun! Ah well, they need to learn and have a guide...]

Also, I have only a vague concept of how to be enhancement. I was resto from one to thirty-nine, enhancement from then to about seventy-one [healed off spec for all instances though], and resto from then on, more or less. It's been two or so months since I've hit eighty, and a few more on top of that since I've truly been DPS. So I get to learn how to play enhancement all over again, and remember that button mashing really doesn't do much [never does, but I do it as a bear anyway]. Spec wise, I have the general gist, minus a few odds and ends here and there. Hopefully Stonebaby at Big Hit Box will be able to shed a bit more light on it all.

My mage, for now, will stay her frost/arcane spec. Her Glyph of Frostbolt makes PvP a pain, which is why I will be considering a different spec -- or even the same spec and a few tweaks with different glyphs for PvP. This would have to mean I would PvP a lot though, so it's an entire new dilemma.

Raids! RBD got their first KT kill a while back, and since then, we've been struggling weekly to kill him. Some weeks, we succeed, other weeks, stuff happens and we only have one shot at him or we have to end on Sapphiron. I am proud of RBD, but I think we can achieve more if we can kill during loot, as well as starting on time rather than waiting for all twenty-five, including subs and pugs, to show up. After a few months, Losse is finally feral for them, and she tanks every boss in Construct up to KT himself, where she gets to be on add duty thanks to her better survivability [so the raid leaders say].

Kaizen, Kanta's twenty-fives, got Sarth3D last week as well as the twenty-man Naxx run with only four healers, for which she was one of the lucky four. Her raid makes me cry a bit and wish Losse was with them. Losse deserves all of the best because she's my favorite and first, but Kanta's taking the spotlight. As long as I keep telling myself that at least I get to see the content and take those challenges, no matter who I am on, I am content...

Mel's Naxx10 was two deaths away from Undying this past week, which annoyed all of us. One of them was my dying -- healers didn't heal me through Jagged Knife, and I died -- and the other, because our raid leader stood too close to our healer on KT and she almost blew both of them up. We managed to save the healer but couldn't quite get her... She did, however, go do twenty-minute Oculus and got that achievement with one minute to spare -- it was the raid leader's last achievement needed, and, therefore, we were able to watch the raid leader zoom around on a pretty red proto-drake.

Where are we now?

Waiting for the servers to come up so we can dump our gold into dual specs and start moaning about the server instability that always occurs after a patch, and wondering if raids will actually take place today due to said server instability...

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

We Did It!

Three real nights of Sarth3D practice, two weeks off for breaks -- we [Kaizen's raid] did achievements in the meantime. Ten hours of pain and suffering, probably around two hundred gold repair each of the three nights... [two-thirds or so of it was paid by the guild bank, so I'm not sobbing too much].

But it was all worth it.

Sartharion with all three drakes up on twenty-five man. It was messy, it took a lot of practice, but, in the end, we persevered.

So now, I have a shiny new title to show off for all of our hard work:

Twilight Vanquisher Nirkanta.

Has a nice ring to it, don't you think?

[[ I lost the roll to the drake by ONE. Now that's something to cry over. That's okay. I saw it was very blue. It's the magey that really wants it... But now I'm off to bed. Seven in the morning and I've been having stomach pains all night. Had to share the good news though! ]]

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Messy Organization

It's what I would call my UI. Messy organization. It works for me, but some people might find it difficult to understand.

I've labeled most of the items on there, but will break it down, from the left hand side of the screen to the right.

My unit frames, I left alone. The text on the unit frames -- percentages and numbers, are from CTUnit_Frames.

My chat, too has been left alone.

Over a bit is Decursive; my raid frames fill up to the edge of DoTimer and then group five below, and next to group five is the pet bar. Next to the pet status bars is Decursive. DoTimer are my cooldown timers of choice, although I tend to look more at my action bars than it.

My action bars are formatted with Dominos; I took a few bars and put them on top of each other for more convenience and more room for my chat window. I both click and use my number keys -- the important stuff I'll hit a lot are 1-5. Everything else not as important but I should have on my bars anyway are spread around. My vertical sidebars are for mounts, toys, Kitty, Bear, and Healy are for weapon and idol change-outs, and the two idol pictures near those are cat idols for the different occasions -- trash, boss. Macro for Vent, my professions, and the buttons I don't need very often but still need -- hearth, portal to Moonglade, Gift of the Wild.

My tell window is supported by Windows IM -- yes, that's my Aussie in the party, and you can see some of our chat history -- not intentional, mind you, but hey. Individual tells put off to the side so even if my screen is scrolling really fast because there is raid chatter and loot windows and people hopping in and out of channels, I won't lose my tells.

My Mini-Map is an utter mess, but I've tried to label it to the best of my ability -- Altholic [favorite add-on ever -- it tracks everything about your characters. From professions and being link to them from any character to what's in a character's bags and back to their achievements to /played on every character [and it combined too] to all the money you have on your characters. It's also got a search feature, so if someone asks you if you have [insert item here], you can look it up and tell them without alting loads. It's a must have for any altholic, which I can say I am...

Atlasloot -- a list of most of the loot in the game.

ItemRack -- I prefer this over Outfitter. An outfit changing addon, for quick set swaps. Another must have for any character with more than one set of gear, especially hybrids!


CTMod -- for my buffs and my unit frame text. Manages my mail a bit as well, but main purpose for me is the buffs and text. Built in is a expense history, which is kind of nifty to see how one's expenses break down.

SRaidFrames -- I like the look of CTRA, a mod I had since my days of subbing in Molten Core. It was in BC that I finally replaced it with an addon that will tell me if someone's within range or out of range by fading it out, so I wouldn't be forever trying to heal someone too far away. That's when SRaidFrames came in. I still had the look of CTRA, but it had the functionality I needed.

My Omen window itself is normally placed right next to my CTBuff_Mods. My threat meter of choice.

Not showing:
DBM -- Deadly Boss Mods. For timers and everything useful for raids.
Cartographer: Map manipulation, so it's smaller, has an opacity, and I can navigate even while having it up, as well as notes and fog light for those unexplored areas but you still want to see where they are.

Those are the main important ones, I think.

Hopefully, it gave you a sense of the view port out which I look every time I log in!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

[ RPJournal: Mel & Losse ] :: A Respite

Together again, they were, the druid and the mage.

They had agreed to meet in an inn, instead of their normal home in Stormwind, which was being kept by a family that Mel had taken in during the long months that Losse had been away. Before she had felt the calling in her own veins, a calling to proceed to Northrend after her sister, to follow the bidding of the King.

She was lounging on rich carpet that lined the floor, her eyes closed. Mel stared down at the curled up cat, smiling. It had been many seasons since she had last seen Losse embrace her feral side and slide so easily out of what the druidess had always considered her "natural" form.

She, on the other hand, was sitting on the bed, her legs hanging off the side, her ankles crossed. A half finished robe laid in her lap, along with the different sorts of cloth she had so carefully imbued with magic over the last few weeks, and had finally made enough for what the pattern called for. On her right side, still on the bed, was an open book. The rough, well worn leather bound book had seen better times, she knew, and she would ask Losse to make her a new binding soon, but it still did its job, and Mel couldn't complain.

The large cat stood up and stretched, rolling onto her back, her legs outstretched. "Nearly done with the robe, Mel?" Losse queried, her voice a quiet purr. Her sister had been working on the dress for ages, it seemed. Even with her untrained eyes, she knew it would be a fine piece of work. Her own talent laid with working with leathers, making the most out of an animal. The balance of nature, never to let anything go to waste. Something she had been taught ever since she had taken up the druidic arts.

"I'm working on the top right now," her sister answered, glancing at the book beside her. "It's the most difficult part, getting that stitching right and the coloring -- after this, though, the rest is fairly simple."

The cat nodded. There had been a few patterns her leatherworking trainer had taught her that required the same patience, a patience she had won through years of close work with nature. "I have wondered, though..."


"What made you finally decide, after all these months, to come to Northrend?" She knew of her sister's initial reluctance to take the long journey over the sea. Losse actually found it rather amusing, that a mage of frost, with such command and ability to manipulate the elements, didn't care for water in its natural, liquid form. "Had you finally conquered your dislike of the sea enough?"

It was the lie she had told her family. It was not quite the truth, for, in truth, Mel had not ventured forward earlier due to her fear of the Arcane and its possible powers over her. It had taken months of special training from Jeannea Cannon, one of her former tutors, to regain that careful control mages wielded, to regain her confidence in her path and powers. The powers had always been innate within her, and had always been her calling; the time had not been easy, but easy had never been for adventurers. "I like the sea well enough, Losse." She said slowly, looking up from the dress. "It tends not to agree with me. 'Tis why I normally prefer to travel through the aid of magic." It was rare that one would ever find her on a boat by her own will; she disliked the lack of control she had while on a boat, as well as the fact that the swish and sway of the water tended to make her ill. The potions Cirwen made helped alleviate the symptoms, but still, it was hardly her favorite form of travel. "Curiosity got the better of me," she smiled, "besides, who would cook for you?"

"I'm learning how to slowly." She blinked glowing gold eyes at Mel. "And you know my forms hardly care whether the food is raw or cooked."

Mel rolled her eyes. It was true, but, at the same time, she didn't approve of her sister eating raw meat when she could make perfectly good meals for them both, and anyone who cared to drop in. "I am here, none the less, and have made quite a fair bit of progress, although nowhere near what you have achieved. I have heard of your achievements from afar, my sister. They seem like quite the feat..."

"Hardly. Just another obstacle to overcome, another foe to defeat, and all on the never ending quest to bring balance to the world."

"You are far too modest." Of course, it must be the elven way, Mel thought, shaking her head. Humans had a tendency of boasting of their feats, and as long as she had known Losse, the elf had never made a boast about her accomplishments, but, rather, spoke of the good in the general achievement. "Northrend agrees with me, though, I will admit. It's far colder here than it is in the Outlands, and even more so than the coldest places of Azeroth. I find my magic, and my control of the elements, easier. It's far more peaceful here for me than elsewhere."

"I am happy to hear that. It's harder for me, here, for while I see nature everywhere, there are lands that seem to always be in a state of eternal frost, where there is no rebirth. While there is still tranquility in those glades, it's lacking a certain aspect without any regrowth." Losse's voice was soft, still that purr her voice took on while in cat form.

"So you stay in the lush lands and I will take the cold, and together we can save Northrend?" The mage teased, picking up her tailoring again.

"Perhaps. We do what we're told, Mel, remember that. We're adventurers, soldiers, representatives of the lands we hail from."

"And, on occasion, mercenaries?"

The cat rolled back to its stomach, resting her head in her paws and staring up at Mel. "Sometimes, unless you bare the name of Cirwen, in which, for you, is all the time and then some more."

Mel smiled as they changed the topic to their other sister and what the hunter and her ever devoted Void was up to these days.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Tasty Maintenance?

Just a quick update:

EG is going through maintenance so I can get blog links updated, tags updated, and if I feel really productive, old posts too [don't count on the last bit]. I'm also hoping to run out and get my car back today, among other things -- one thing at a time!

I will promise a "here's-what-I've-been-up-to" post though, later on.

Think Sarth will decide the feasts are more tasty than us?

This was taken after four hours of Sarth3D learning -- twenty-five version -- and we had finally decided that raid time was nearly over and we'll do 2D, which we do easily.

Conversation went along the lines of us not needing a fish feast since we won't be doing any progression attempts, so a pig was laid out.

Then another.

Someone laid out a fish feast anyway.

Then a small feast.

And a large feast.

And a few more.

It was rather amusing, especially after four hours of learning.

Beside that one incident of our drake tank getting hit by the fire wall while tanking Tenebron, was knocked into a fire tornado, and chucked across the room, that had to be the highlight of the night. His healers were quite baffled as to where he went, and he was cracking up on vent.

It was a wipe, obviously, but it completely hilarious.

Oh, and that's the guild raid that Kanta's been running with for a few weeks, and finally joined.

We're so close to Sarth3D it's not even funny. Just got to get past the third drake. Can get up to him, and a bit more, but then something happens -- either the whelps eat healers, main tank dies, something -- I don't know, I just heal.

More practice. Almost got it!

[Names blocked for privacy.]

Sunday, March 15, 2009

SOS: Rogue Help an' I Give Up

I've got a rogue friend -- okay, I've got many friends, but this particular one is the one with a problem. He came to me about it... which is unfortunate because he's a rogue. And rogues are completely foreign to me: closest I get to a rogue is my druid, who is more bear than anything. Say something in rogue-speak, and I'll stare at you baffled unless you can give me a druid equivalent. Then I'll stare at you and say, "I don't know, I'm a big stupid bear or a tree".

Anyway, his problem.

It's his DPS.

He reads Elitist Jerks, is combat, and is in a mix of heroic and normal instance gear, with a few crafted here and there.

Recount says his abilities used are [this is through all of... Old Kingdom, heroic]:

And this is what Armory says about his stats.

His DPS is at 1.3K, and he's completely baffled as to why his DPS isn't higher / as to what to do to increase it.

As I know nothing about rogues, I'm turning to you guys for help. It is a gear issue, or is there something that he's doing wrong? If it's the latter, pray tell, what and how to remedy it.

Oh, and as a side note, being very last on activity meters in a twenty-four man raid [being 532 to the top activity meter of 1131], but being eleventh on overall damage done and second on DPS [2,669DPS vs. my 2,629DPS -- only five of us are about 2.1K -- everyone else is below 2K] makes me very very sad. Five or so attempts on Noth this data was collected. I know Mel loves her aggro, but when the tank uses Shield Slam six times from engaging Noth to him being at 48%, through two teleports, it's hard NOT to pull aggro. Activity was so low because I'm either standing around managing cooldowns [popping Mirror Images, Water Elemental, Icy Veins], Invisibility-ing and letting it go all the way, standing in Ice Block for the full duration, or decursing. Or twiddling my fingers because if I hit Noth again, I'll be tanking him for a few seconds. If I'm not that, I'm dead.

It's very disheartening, and I think, for my own sanity, I'm going to not attend that raid anymore. I want to help, but at this point I'm in Naxx on both normal and heroic on all three of my characters, and if I'm going to be going in there so much [yes, I'm crazy and have no life, I know, it's a transitory stage of my life], I really don't want to spend even one raid wiping excessively -- if I'm in there a lot and it's vaguely successful [such as we can down at least three wings in three to four hours], that's fine. We're in, we kill stuff, we die a bit, we're out.

But to go in and die over and over again to a boss... I don't think I have that much patience. Especially if I only have an hour's break between that raid and my Naxx10 run on the same character.

I hate to leave a group, but... somehow, I get the feeling that my reasoning is justifiable. Now if I can keep my newly built bond with that raid leader...

Mind you, I like the people in the raid. And I will understand if they forever will call me bad names for leaving after wiping and getting nowhere, but I just can't do it. Not when I have so many other raids I attend.

Not when I feel like I need heavy therapy afterwords in the form of a few hours of blog reading or reading in general.

... Yet, why do I feel so bad?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

You are the Dancing Bear, Youn--Wait. Bear?

Lin, Lin, you've got the lyrics wrong! Isn't it supposed to be "you are the dancing queen, young and sweet?" Well, here I tell you: no.

We'll be dancing bears soon, if what's in the PTR goes through.

Er, Lin. Do we *want* to know?

Maybe. Well, either way, you'll hear it from one person or another, and probably get to play it too.

And no, I'm not talking about the Gloves of the Dancing Bear [which, by the way, if you can explain to me why the Dancing Bear gloves are caster gloves... well. I'll give you more strudels than you can ever eat].

What I'm trying to get at is Swipe. We'll be dancing bears soon!

A few days ago, GC said,
We are going to take another look at Swipe. Since we are trying to fix some problems where druids are too good at tanking it seems reasonable to also look at cases where they struggle.... [in] this case we are trying to realize our goal of having 4 viable MT classes and druid AE threat generation is cumbersome.
As a response to the health and armor nerfs [yes, again. I dislike you, Blizzard, I hope you know] that is in effect on the PTR.

The new version of Swipe? A friend classified it as "bear-swipe-clap" -- a bear Thunderclap.
Swipe: The Bear Form and Dire Bear Form version of this ability no longer has a targeting requirement and hits targets behind the druid and to the sides.
What I want to know is how our paws will reach behind us to Swipe. One friend suggested we used our back legs to do it. Another... well, he imagined us doing pirouettes. A big lumbering bear dancing to get all of the painful stuff to hit us instead... because we dance so awfully.

Yeah. That's it.

Either way, it seems to be an acceptable solution for Swipe [for, as a tank, I've often charged in and be spun around, and have to readjust to hit everything, and, by then, the overzealous DPS have started in and things are just everywhere]. 

Acceptable, yes, but how do they justify it on a bear? What will the animation look like? Will we spin? Will we stand still? Are we doing pirouettes?

This may be very, very interesting...

[Caption: "Owww. Dancing hurts. And I'm really dizzy..."]

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Patches, Nerfs, and Buffs - Druid Version

Well. The new patch notes are out, as is the PTR. As a druid, I felt compelled to look at the two trees that matter to me: Resto and Feral.

Feral druids get a buff... and resto druids get nerfed. Well, there's buffs and nerfs all around, but that's how I see it as. More buffs than nerfs for bears, more nerfs than buffs for trees.

Sure, ferals could have used a buff, but not in mitigation, but, rather, in AoE threat [-recalls the many times her DPS has pulled off of her due to little rage-]... but we got a buff anyway:
Savage Defense, 1 rank, level 40 - Each time you deal a melee critical strike, you gain Savage Defense, reducing the damage taken from the next physical attack that strikes you by 25% of your attack power.

Savage Roar has had a change too:
Savage Roar changed to increase physical damage done by 30%.

The topper for feral changes [this made me salivate]:
Primal Gore, Tier 10, 1 point talent - Grants the periodic damage from your Rake, Lacerate and Rip abilities the ability to critically hit.

DoTs critting? Now that's just as exciting as allowing Blizzard and Hurricane to crit! ... Well, almost.

Oh. Ferals get a nerf as well, but it's not grossly awful:
Survival of the Fittest (Tier 6) now increases your armor contribution from cloth and leather items in Bear Form and Dire Bear Form by 11/22/33%. (Previously 22/44/66%)
Someone obviously decided that we had too much armor. Again. Big surprise...

On the other hand, Maim will stun instead of incapacitate now... So it won't be useless outside of soloing.

Now for the Resto nerf...
Improved Regrowth (Tier 6) renamed Nature's Bounty. Increases the critical effect chance of your Regrowth and Nourish spells by 5/10/15/20/25%. (Previously increased just Regrowth crit by 10/20/30/40/50%)
Yay, Nourish won't be as useless [unless you've had the T7/7.5 four piece]... but they're nerfing the in-built crit on Regrowth by half. Half!

It will force druids to start looking for a bit more crit on their gear, rather than mostly haste, for we will still want the benefits from Living Seed and Nature's Grace.

Perhaps it's a blessing in disguise, but, for the larger population that doesn't have the four piece, it seems like a nerf...

Well... we are getting more passive mana regen to go with the Spirit Nerf...
Intensity (Tier 3) now allows 17/33/50% of mana regeneration to continue while casting. (Previously 10/20/30%)
And Replenish will work with Wild Growth... But with our point allocation as it is, I can't see myself putting more than the usual one point I have in there.

They are, however, giving us another small buff built into a core talent: Improved Mark of the Wild: Now also increases all of your total attributes by 1/2%.

PvP trees, rejoice! A buff for you:
New Talent: Improved Barkskin: Increases the damage reduction granted by your Barkskin spell by 5/10%, and increases your resistance to Dispel mechanics by an additional 30/60% while under the effect of Barkskin.

And for the trees that get stuck with casting Thorns on people... You can do it without having to become an elf or a cow. Nature's Grasp works in tree too now.

In sum, to me, it looks like trees are getting a buff for PvP, a nerf for PvE. Feral DPS and mitigation is getting buffed, but, in exchange for the mitigation buff, we get yet another armor nerf.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Quitting While You're Ahead

So the Jewelcrafting daily today was the Bright Armor Relic, collected from Northern Revenants. As per my habit, I take the portal to Wintersgrasp -- a chance to find Titanium along with other ore on my way to killing revenants, oh yeah, I'll risk seeing Horde.

On the way down to the Cauldron of Flames, I see a Death Knight -- trouble, to be sure, I knew.

And, sure enough, he was. A Death Grip and the game had started.

Now, mind you, I'm awful at PvP. I know how to spam heals on myself while whimpering "don't die" at my computer screen. Apparently, I'm better at it than I thought, for I lasted about four or five minutes against the Death Knight -- I was, by the way, on Kanta, the resto shaman -- before he got me.

I like tempting fate... so I run back.

He got me again, quicker this time.

I was on Skype with The Aussie, and he volunteered to bring his shaman [elemental] out to play as well...

So I lingered by the graveyard a little bit, and, when he was close enough, headed back down there again.

Guess who was waiting?

He engages, I do the whole spam-heals-on-myself-ohheylookflameshock! game on him... and, out of nowhere, his health drops and he's dead.

DING! Achievement: 100 Honorable Kills.

The Aussie had come in to save the day.

I'm sure he had a huge "WTF just hit me" moment as he stood in the graveyard, waiting to ressurect. And probably scrolled through his combat log to find out what happened. I just laughed about how fast his health went down and how he was my hundreth honorable kill.

But, he, apparently, is just as stubborn [or idiotic, I'm not sure which] as I am, and decided to return and have another go at it, only, this time, stopping to check behind the rocks that surrounded our combat area before Death Gripping me again.

I giggled at his check -- The Aussie was hidden behind rocks on the other side of the road.

He tries, again, and, when The Aussie came out to save the day, he went for The Aussie.

He dies; killing the DPS when you have a healer sitting right there is a really stupid idea.

We decide to have pity on him and continue to the Cauldron of Flames. On the way, we see an undead rogue. I made a comment about the rogue to The Aussie, who noted that he wasn't attacking, so we left him well enough alone.

A minute later found us at the Cauldron, cheerfully killing the Revenants for my quest item... As we fought one of the normal elementals, I notice that, off in the distance, there were a lot of red names. And they were coming at us.

The Death Knight had summoned his Army of the Dead and was coming for revenge. We engage, and find that the rogue had decided to play too; I was being kicked and had issues healing.

Nature's Swiftness saved the day, and The Aussie slaughtered them both.

Again, we move on, out of the Cauldron, and come across the Death Knight... who, apparently, still hadn't learned. The Aussie dug in, he died.

We move a bit farther, and decided that, while we're ahead, we should leave -- I had, after all, picked up my quest item. I hearth.

He, being a few seconds behind me... didn't make it.

"I'm being attacked."

Without a healer, The Aussie goes down. At the graveyard, he ressurects and hearths, leaving both of us rather amused and wondering what the Death Knight and his rogue friend thought of the whole incident.

Moral of the Story?

Resto shamans have powerful friends.

And griefing them is a bad idea.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A Little Guilty Secret

I've got something to admit.

I am addicted to Recount.

Not just the whole "how high can I be on there" addicted, but the whole "what are my best numbers" addicted. The "compare myself with everyone else" addicted.

Unfortunately, with this sort of addiction, I tend to find flaws in other people. By being addicted, I can see a general trend among tanks, healers, and DPS of all classes. Now, mind you, I tend to do it only toward classes I understand -- rogues are a mystery, know nothing of warlocks, and the only thing I know about paladins and warriors are the stuff my friends tell me when I tell them I see one of those in need.

[Although, a warrior friend says I know a lot about warriors! I keep him alive.]

But druids and shamans right now I tend to look at a lot, especially if their performance on the meters are low.

For those who don't know me, I am a PvE nut. I'll dabble in PvP to help out, but mostly it's the whole "oh, my, someone wants to kill me! Don't die, don't die, don't die! -spam heals on self-" sort of PvP. And I die anyway. So, basically, I'm useless in there.

I currently attend four Naxx raids -- two normals and two heroics for my two eighty characters. It's ridiculous, I know. They're all at different stages of progression: Losse's twenty-five clears all wings up to Thaddius, and we've just recently conquered him [thank heavens! He's really not as annoying as that raid makes him!], her tens full clears Naxx, does Vault10, does OS [we're aiming for a drake this week, maybe two -- week before we eight manned him], and killed Maly for the first time -- second week trying him, four weeks of being together. Kanta's twenty-five I just changed to a friend's raid, and may become healing leader for to help things along, and her tens... well. A good bunch of people they are, yes, but they are PvP focused roleplaying people that want to see raid content.

Some things just don't go over so well from the transition of PvP to PvE. One uses different abilities, has to keep different things in mind, and has to watch out for more than yourself and maybe a few friends/partners.

My warrior friend, for example, never stepped a foot in most of the BC instances until about two months before Lich King came out. [Which was really funny. Take him to heroics and we'd hear on vent -- "Oh, hey! I discovered The Slave Pens!"] All he did was PvP -- he had one character, and that was what he did. While now, in Lich King, he does many instances and heroics with us and has even expanded to raiding, he has 75K honorable kills. He entered Lich King with over 20K gold. He's mentioned in reference to dead bodies by other guilds, and Horde fear him because he can't resist a flagged target. It took him a while to get up to speed -- when teaching him normal instances, references to "okay, pretend you're guarding the farm. Mobs that run at you are Horde... kill them" were made. Still, not an easy transition.

I applaud them -- it's great that they're willing to step away from the defense of towns for a slaughter more brainless. However, there are a few things one must know before one leaves their PvP flags behind.

And this is where I come in. As someone who has always been quite involved on the PvE scene, as a tank, DPS, or a healer, I've learned a lot since I've started playing. As someone who is just a wee bit obsessed with looking at Recount, I tend to know when things are a bit out of place. I also have other situations to compare them to, for I attend three other raids that attack the same place: Naxxramas.

And tonight, after at least three deaths to Anub'Rekhan, I decided to put my PvE and obsession to use.

I started with the tank. Most issues with groups tended to stem from the tank and healer ends -- the lack of enough DPS ends can be seen easily enough. From Recount, I realized that in an eight minute boss fight, Shield Slam was used twice. For those who aren't warriors and aren't familiar with the spell [I just knew it was good in theory, not specifically what it does], basically it does lots of damage and has a high amount of threat.

A druid analogy would be mangling twice in a boss fight.

Not good.

Especially when it is buffed by Sword and Board -- a free Mangle? I'll take it!

And, looking over at the resto druid, I notice that she's not using Wild Growth. At all.

Trees are currently the strongest healers in game, so I've found. Two trees top Losse's Naxx25 over two shamans, a paladin, and two priests. Our resto shaman is bored in Losse's Naxx10 because the tree has HoTs everywhere and has pretty much nothing to do half the time. They're strong healers.

Which is why I thought I'd stop in and look at the druid that was doing significantly less healing than me.

Wild Growth is a very strong spell. To not use it is like not using Chain Heal or Circle of Healing. Really rather silly, if you ask me.

All three of the aforementioned trees, in raids, have Wild Growth as their top heal. I know I whined slightly about Chain Heal in one of my previous posts [at the very end], but I've come to the conclusion that Wild Growth really is much more amazing. [Please don't nerf it any more, Blizzard!]

With these in mind, I checked gear... and found it lacking.

After the raid, the raid leader and I had a long talk, and, in essence, we agreed upon a class workshop. To help those who aren't as familiar with what is needed in PvE, and to get them better acquainted with their abilities.

To make sure they get in the A-game.

To make sure we stop dying to silly things.

And, maybe the most important of all, make sure I don't go out of mana halfway through a boss fight despite using Mana Tide and Figurine - Sapphire Owl -- my two best friends on my shaman... nearly twice.

New Title? Raid Analyst.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Everything and Nothing

It happens to be the summary of my blog.

I started EG a year ago as of the first of February. It was then that I decided that EG would serve as a journal for me, an outlet, and perhaps a guideline or a source of... something for everyone else.

I've realized that, in the past year, despite my neglects to EG, I have made some "good" posts -- stuff that people supposedly care about. I've also made some "me" posts -- what I've been doing, how I feel, and just a log of my characters and their progression.

And I've made a whole crap ton of posts apologizing.

For what?

For not actually posting.

Seems silly, really, thinking upon it. It is EG, my pet baby, and I should coddle it when I wish, or put it aside when I just need do advance in the game.

But yet, I still do it.

Apologize, write a bit, and stop for a long while. Rinse and repeat.

I think, somewhere in the year, I realized that, yes, while I originally started EG as a "me" thing, it's become more than that -- or, at least, it would if I actually did something with EG. Other people read this, and, therefore, as a writer, I ought to cater to other people.

But I'm selfish. I'm at a point where there is still a lot for me to do in the game, and the blog has started to feel like a burden than a fun past-time. A negative thought, for sure, but that is where the end of the blogging year brings me.

EG will be my precious still, and I will still write in it, but I do need to recall that I made it for fun, not so it can be another task, another thing to put off for a while.

Happy Blogversary, EG!

... Now what shall I do...?

Find a muse again, somehow.

Here, muse-y muse-y!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Heroic... What? Heroic Heroics?

Thirteen days after the thirteenth, I find myself at a spot I knew I would be in soon nearly a week earlier. Currently, I have nothing to do with my life -- it's a transition stage for me, so I've found myself hopping onto WoW a lot more than normal. I mentioned that I hit 80 on my druid on the thirteenth last time, and every day of that week to the following Tuesday I ground heroics.

Three to four heroics a day is my definition of grinding, with a top off of seven one night [remind me to never do that again. Seven is quite excessive, even if two of them *are* Violet Hold and our daily dragon run to Culling of Stratholme].

I went from being in mostly BC epics -- ranging from a few leftover pieces of Kara I just couldn't get rid of no matter *what* I did to BT/Hyjal gear -- to pretty much half epic'ced out in raid and heroic gear with a few reject pieces. Another week passed, and I'm -- minus a hat and a trinket -- fully epec'ced out. Two weeks!

It's incredible, thinking back upon the previous two times when my characters have been at max level, and looking at my characters' progression this time.

At the end of Vanilla WoW, I had been sitting at sixty for so long at Losse and had run so many runs of Baron Stratholme and Scholomance that I ended up halfway through revered with Argent Dawn on Losse, then, when I started my mage and got her up to sixty, Mel as well. My hunter, although being made before Mel, got to level thirty-two.

At the end of BC, I had been raiding T5 for two months at the very most, and had seen the T6 raids only very briefly. Losse, Mel, and Cir had reached seventy, all having been to Kara and ZA at the very least, and Kanta was sixty-four.

And now, three weeks into hitting eighty, I'm seeing twenty-five man raids, very nearly fully geared in epics on Losse, Mel being seventy-three, Cir still at seventy, and my shaman making a stand at seventy-seven.

Healing heroics went from being a struggle to keep everyone alive, to being just as boring as they were in BC. Sure, there are still some pulls in some instances that end up messily, but I'm sure that happens with any healer. Not only that, but most of my tanking and kitty gear from BC have been replaced as well, so that, when the chance comes, I may bring Losse as either feral or resto.

I've moved on and started to level up the shaman, trying to make sure I do my jewelcrafting dailies every day, at the very least, and get another part of a level on her.

It's been a good few months of playing [maybe playing a bit too much though] and of leveling. There's still so much to do, and so much more I can improve.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

To Infinity, and Beyond!

It was the morning of the thirteenth. Very early morning -- somewhere between one-thirty and three -- and it was then that I finally, after a whole lot of questing and instancing for the past two days, hit eighty. Seven or so hours of questing will make one who already disliked questing utterly hate it. But ah well.

I immediately went to bed afterwords, and not too long after waking up and talking to Pet Tree about WoW and he offered to get me into his raid tonight, hopped into WoW.

... And immediately got dragged into a Heroic Gundrak with Zee. Being feral and no where near geared enough for a heroic -- at least, tanking wise, as DPS really didn't matter as long as I didn't pull aggro -- I told her I wanted to DPS. So DPS I did... and quite awful DPS, but I was with a group of people who were Naxx10 and 25 geared, so there had never been any real competition from the moment I glanced at their gear.

Near the end of it, Pet Tree asks if I really do want to join his Naxx25 -- they were short on healers.

Decisions, decisions!

Now, mind you, last two expansions I didn't get into raiding until late -- usually, the summer before the next expansion came out, and it was just the beginning stuff [Zul'Gurub, AQ20, Karazhan, then ZA] -- or finally reaching T5 and beyond raids with only six weeks to the expansion to go. So the idea of joining a Heroic Naxx raid within... [lets say I hit eighty at three, just for the math] fourteen hours of hitting eighty was quite exciting.

I had been speeding to eighty on Losse for Zee's Naxx10, that was to be occurring over the weekend, but Naxx25! Seemed a bit scary, really. Fresh eighty, being chucked into a higher level raid. Oh, and with healing gear mostly left over from BC. The other thing was, I had wanted to spend at least *some* of eighty feral, and now, it seems that I am plunged right back into being a tree...

I did take the opportunity though, being unable to resist.

It was rather an amusing thing I did. And a good thing. On top of saving Sash of the Parlor from being sharded [replaced a ZA piece], I seem to have... gained more in my "cult", as people have called it.

Yeah, cult. Apparently, there's some quality in my voice that people like. I don't understand it, but I'm finally being brought around to accept it [three some odd years of being told about it really helps]...

Well. I hopped on Vent as required, and spoke.

It had been very chatty up until that point, and when I spoke, there was silence. Then, a few moments later:

"Officer chat just exploded with comments about your voice."
Me: "...Okaaay..."
"They think it's sexy."
Me: "All riiiiight..."

And continued on to trying to figure out how to spec resto now that I had ten points I never had before. It was mostly figured out when they summoned me into Naxx...

"Hey, guys? I don't have any resto glyphs..."

And a few people jumped to offer me their inscription, and asked what I wanted. Pet Tree told them as I didn't remember, and I had three glyphs pop up, and some gold to cover respec's... But, having come directly from Heroic Gundrak and still carrying lots of feral gear, I had no bag room.

Upon informing them, a mailbox and a scrapbot were dropped.

Then the gold and the glyphs appeared again, which, after some protest, I accepted.

"Er... I kind of need a book for these to be useful..."

Portal to Stormwind came up.

I have to admit, I was impressed. I would have been even more impressed if they actually pulled out a Lexicon of Power... And it didn't change too much from there. Something about how, if I stayed, I can have lots of loot [jokingly, but still, amusing], and when I had to restart to try to get more than a framerate of three [yeah, it was awful], I got a "whatever you like". And cat-calls somewhere in the mix of the raid too.

It was entertaining... and I also apparently impressed them by being able to keep up with their healers [Naxx10 and above geared, mostly] on the healing meters, and got invited back. [The voice didn't hurt, either, so I was told.] I accepted... which is why I really ought to be instancing for better gear right now, for the raid in four hours.

Oh, and afterwords, I learned I couldn't heal Heroic Utgarde Pinnacle. Zee wanted me to. I struggled. A lot.

So now I'm resto with both a ten and a twenty-five Naxx raid nearly right after hitting eighty, playing with a framerate of five and still impressing people.

My last revelation last night: my macro for Regrowth that I used on my tree bar was outdated. Apparently, it was using Regrowth(Rank 10) instead of Regrowth(Rank 12). Oops! Healing will probably be a fair bit easier now...

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Holidays, New Years, and WoW

And everything in between, it would seem!

So, in one quick breath, I hope everyone had a happy holiday and New Years [and didn't get too drunk, I hope!]. And maybe productivity in WoW.

As for myself? I had a lovely New Years -- it was spent with three friends from WoW, and we played cards most of the evening. And a few days afterwords, we went horse riding with them [the third was different though], and that evening, there ended up to be eight of us -- seven us of guildies but we all played -- out for dinner. It was a blast. [Want crazy fun people? Apparently, that guild [and Melbourne in particular] are just filled with them!].

I do find myself apologizing, though. With me in Australia and living with the Aussie [we're still trying to figure out if we want to make it permanent], I haven't really had much time to devote to the blog. I know that real life is first, but it's a blog, something I started because I enjoyed writing about my experiences from WoW, and, if I were to judge by how much I've written, I must not have played at all in the past few months.

But I have.

I've been leveling. Slowly, yes, but doing so anyway. Seventy-seven, seventy-five, and seventy-three for Losse, Kanta, and Mel, respectively, as they are the only three I am somewhat actively working on. Recently, though, I've been making a push on the druid -- Getting pressure from one of the Melbourne people, my old raid leader, to get Losse to eighty and geared enough to off-tank Naxxramas. Kind of looking forward to that, raiding again, but, at the same time, the gearing up and then getting stuck in a schedule of living around the raids isn't appealing. Still though, it ought to be fun. For once, I have a raid awaiting me and I won't be doing instances/heroics forever until I get really lucky... For Burning Crusade, I only managed to get into the raiding life five months before Wrath came out. It should be interesting and a nice change. Losse is feral again, as well, which makes levelling easier. She's been back to tanking/DPSing for quite a few levels now [since 72 or so] and it's been lovely. I've converted Kanta to healing, so I have a tank and a healer about the same level.

Shaman healing is... different. It took a while for me to actually settle into shaman healing, remembering my shields and forgetting the fact that I don't really have HoTs, so I have to pay more attention to healing... but now that I'm used to it, it's not really that bad. A bit more interactive than druid healing, a bit more reactive, but good in its own way. It makes me almost interested in trying a priest and a paladin healer, just to see how healing differs from character to character... But naw. I have one squishy character already [being the mage] and I don't need another... and paladins? I could never really get into them. I think it's the lack of real ranged abilities that turn me off from them. Also, though, I realized recently that I have five characters to get to eighty, gear up, and raid with eventually, and I hardly need another.

Oh, and I'll point out that being able to fly again is wonderful. I really missed it.

Somewhat back to the shaman: I'm dreading leveling her to 77. I'm currently broke [it's the leveling professions thing that I'll mention again here shortly], and the Kanta doesn't have a flying mount of any sort, nor the training [having been 63 when Wrath arrived, she went straight from Outlands to Northrend and didn't stop to buy a flier as she didn't need it]. Having all three of my high level characters -- back in Burning Crusade -- with epic fliers, I know that I'm going to want to get Kanta her epic flier as soon as I can... which means that I may just have to start doing a lot of quests. Which I hate.

It ought to be a fun experience... unless I can find friends... -ponders that one-

Anyway! I think I found one of the more useless minor glyphs out there: Glyph of Pick Lock -- although, reading up on it in Wowhead, it tells me that I would save... 1308.75 seconds in training from 1-350. Joy. Well, if you need it, my Dae can make it for you... Until then, I'll laugh at the glyph. Unless one of you guys can convince me of its usefulness?

As to professions in general?
I will say that leveling Leatherworking, Jewelcrafting, Enchanting, and Tailoring at the same time is awful. Sure, one gets greens/blues from two of them to dust, but there just doesn't seem to be enough dust to go around [even after one has wheedled greens from their friends]. It's slow going, all of them, and highly irksome.

I'm excited about the patch though, and its changes to Enchanting:
Many high level enchantment recipes have had the amount of Infinite Dust and Greater Cosmic Essence requirements significantly reduced, but with Dream Shards being added to them.
Meaning, from now until the patch, I hoard all of my mats. If people want enchants, they can use their mats. It's a fantastic change [after all that I've got as donations from people] and I'm rather excited about it.

That's an update, and a few odd notes here and there... and with that, I'm off to bed. [One-oh-four in the morning!]