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..."]