Saturday, November 29, 2008

It's not 4 anymore.

Habits are quite strong, and on Kuan I've had Earth Shock hotkeyed to 4 as long as I've HAD Earth Shock, which is roughly 37 months now.

He's also had 6,7,8 being Heal, Lesser Heal, Chain Heal, well, ever since he's had Chain Heal, which is probably 36 months now.

But as of hitting level 75, Kuan has gotten Lava Burst (which by the way has the lamest entry in Wowwiki ever as of this writing, perhaps I will take the time to fix). So I spent last night moving buttons around, and trying out different arrangements. And the above button placements do not make any sense any more, so after some fussing, I ended up with these.

Playing in Violet Hold (which struck me as super easy), and also against Arugal, what I finally settled on was not quite a cast sequence, but an opening fight sequence and the rest is as-cooldowns-dictate. If pulling (i.e. outdoor questing), open with Lightning Bolt, then Flame Shock, Lava Burst, Lightning (Chain if CC isn't an issue), Lightning Bolt, Lightning (Chain if CC isn't an issue), repeat since Lava Burst unless CDs run out, then Flame Shock again. I didn't really see many things last that long. that didn't work so well on Arugal becuase of some immunity mechanic I have not researched.

However that niggled in the back of my head, so I went to the Elitist Jerks forums and looked at what they had to say. And after a lot of debate on how to fit 3 casts with 8 second cooldowns in a 16.5 second window and what haste would make it possible, the conclusion of the thread I was readying was screw sequences, just remember spell priorities (Flame shock > Lava Burst > Chain Lightning > Lightning Bolt) and try to keep as much as could be on cooldown (or dot ticks). If more than 6 seconds left on Flame Shock and you were moving (so instant casts only), cast Earth Shock.

Meanwhile, Earth Shock isn't 4 anymore, it's reversed spots with Flame Shock. And Frost Shock is 6 instead of Heal. I'll be hitting the wrong buttons for a while, I can tell.

EDIT (the next day): turns out I was misremembering about the heal keys. I found a screenshot of a Hakkar raid from Oct 2006 (yes, that's about how far I've gotten uploading the screenshots):

Minor Glyphs

The topic of Minor Glyphs came up last night. Specifically the OP Ghost Wolf Glyph for Shamans. "Hey look at me! I'm stealthed and regenerating health! Oh yeah, and I'm running away from whatever hurt me faster too!"

Meanwhile Mages get AI cost lessened, No feather needed for Slow Fall, or turn your sheeps into a penguin. Lame!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Scenic Grizzly Hills

Perhaps it's becuase I love the redwoods, but I think Grizzly Hills wins for prettiest zone. It totally beats out Nagrand.

half-way there

Kuan and Viljo are now 75. Kuan has Lava Burst, Viljo has Frostfire Bolt (and has re-spec'd), and both have spent a wee bit of time at the training dummies in Orgrimmar checking out cast sequencing changes and, of course, the animation.

Kuan now has a problem that other shamans have been whining about since the WotLK beta, namely working out the max DPS cast sequence when the Chain Lightning has a 3.5 sec cool down, the Shocks have a 5-6 second cool down depending on talents, and Lava Burst has an 8 second cooldown, and of course they are all subject to the global cooldown.

Gahhh. Possibly it's time to glance through the EJ shaman forums. Or, I can just do some damned math.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


I have always wondered why the directory that contains account information in the World of Warcraft application is called WTF.

spoilers and moral dilemma

There are very few poison quests Kuanchichi has done. He doesn't trust the apothecaries of the Forsaken, and agrees with the Druid standing at the entrance of Stonetalon mountains that the Shaman and Druid both have a relationship with Nature, and should act against those who poison it.

Kuan hasn't done the poison quests Lydon hands out in Hillsbrad, and still refuses them. One quest he did, at the direction of Master Gadrin, to down Shadra. That turned into a poison quest for Lydon and he was very upset.

In Dragonblight, in Agmar's Hammer, the Apothecaries asked him to take a package, and he did. But the Earthwarden there said they were up to no good, and when the "Plaguebringer" in Venomspite asked him to get ingredients for "Blight," he refused, thinking that sounds too much like poison.

All well and good right? It's a role playing game and that is how he is.

Until, I hear from Amy the barista about a quest chain that teaches us about Sylvanas. and from Patrick about the quest line that gives him "chills". From guildies about how "Wrathgate is awesome." From everyone else about cut scenes. "Do the blight quest, it's worth it."

It's hard to make good RP decisions when the player knows a little but not everything more than the character. Sigh, I did go and look up the blight chain. I guess it's not poison, per se, since it appears to be mustard gas to use on the Scourge.

So I did do the quest. The cut scene is pretty damned awesome. And the end result, Kuanchichi has a permamently changed game environment that makes him actually pretty satisfied... and more than that is a spoiler I won't post here.

Monday, November 24, 2008

what's wrong with the red dragons?

the leader of the black dragons became Deathwing.
the leader of the bronze dragons went missing.
the leader of the green dragons is caught in nightmare.
the leader of the blue dragons went insane.

what's the catch?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

This insult could save your life

"If you're ever captured by the Legion, tell them 'Xar il romath da tidesbi.' They will kill you instantly for insulting their god, saving you intolerable torture or worse..." -Commanderr To'arch of Reaver's Fall

Well, actually it will just guarantee you a swift death, if you say it to forces of the Burning Legion. But better a swift death than torture.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Screenshots again.

I mentioned that I was working on uploading screenshots to Picasa. The link in my first post about it is now bad, and it's best just to look at I am not using Picasa for anything but Wow.

I've been trying to do a few every night before logging in to WotLK, and I now have 51 screenshots up there of varying quality, including some of Kuan going to Shatterspear Village and the opening of AQ on Hyjal, which was only the second server to do it. It's pretty obvious how much both my hardware and the Wow graphics engines have changed! Of course, the most important screenshot of that second set doesn't actually exist: Kuan getting the killing blow on Colossus of Zora. I was so excited, I hit cmd-alt-escape instead of cmd-shift-3 and *poof* there went my Wow client.

At some point this weekend I'll drop a permalink in the Blog UI for the screenshots. It will take a while before their subject matter... exits my LJ history and catches up to Blogger here.


So I did some research. And it looks like the top dps spec for mage at 80 is: 0/53/18 At least according to the most recent Elitist Jerks post on mage theory crafting.

It's an actual elementalist build! Or at least as close to elemental as you can get with the current talent trees. I guess it's really a deep fire build with a bit of frost talents thrown on top to make frostfire bolt even more powerful.

From looking at the talents and reading a bit, it looks like frostfire bolt will do less damage than fireball, but will have god-like crits. I foresee that Viljo will have to get a bit faster with the invis/ice block. Or, heh, maybe the tanks can actually build enough threat.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Content vs Levels

Well, Darkfall had 3 level 80s as of this morning, and it was plain another handful were on the verge of it. Holy cow!

Clara and I are playing for content. When Clara can't log in, I try to skill up Tylara's Blacksmithing (she's 225) or Ikoli's Inscription (she's 125 now). When she can, if they are not out of rest, we play Kuan and Viljo, and if they are, we have been playing Eeyan and Telt.

Monday night, we took them into the Nexus, after piling up as many quests as we could. It was easy, which makes sense. Level 70 normal instances have been easy for a while. It was also pretty.

Kuan and Viljo started in Dragonblight last night. Finally, there are actually herbs showing up on the radar! ...and, they need Herbalism 400. $#^Q!*@!!! So after Clara went to bed, Kuan ran around Borean Tundra and picked flowers until he was 400. Then he went to go get Tiger Lily and some Dranei Shaman grabbed all all in front of him! Stupid Alliance!!

But back to Dragonblight and the content. The story seems convoluted with Horde finally fracturing along the cracks they have always implied it would. It is also clear, story-wise, that Kirin Tor are assholes and I personally am annoyed the game forces you to gain rep with them. On the other hand, the Undead story in Howling Fjord is funny. The Apothecaries just can't seem to get it right.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Mornara is 58

Mornara has left the Death Knight starter area.

After the defeat of the Death Knights at Light's Hope Chapel, she was sent to Orgrimmar. On her way through the streets of Orgrimmar she was spat on and had rotten vegetables thrown at her. She carried a letter from Tirion Fordring to Thrall, asking him to pardon Mornara and all the rest of the Death Knights. Fortunately Thrall has a more open mind than many of the citizens on the streets, and despite their calls for vengeance Mornara was accepted into the Horde.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

First LK PvP

Kuan and Viljo were turning a quest in just before they leveled in Borean Tundra, when suddenly a dwarf hunter and a draenei shaman start attacking the nice Taunka lady. Well we can't have that! So we killed them. :D

I am most amused because the hunter tried to Feign Death, and I just stood on his soon to be corpse and exploded, like a good mage.

The only thing I'm sorry about is that I forgot Tanthalas' suggestion and didn't drop my Romantic Picnic Basket.

...aaaaand Ding

Kuan and Viljo are 71, even though we are deliberately not power leveling.

Friday, November 14, 2008


...actually, for all I've healed lowbie stuff with her, and I've healed with Kuan, I really don't know what I'm doing much for a healy priest. I knew all about mana effciencies and theorycrafting for one before Burning Crusade dropped, but... wheee! I've left Ikoli unspec'd since the 3.0 patch dropped. After all the spec doesn't matter when she's hanging around Ogrimmar, milling herbs and learning Glyphs, and waiting for her Knight in Black Armour, I mean for Clara to get her Death Knight out of the instanced area. Which of course will be a while as Kuan and Viljo are off questing in the newly opened continent.

I do know I want her Imp DS. So, here is what I'll do now.

For 80, if she gets there, I am thinking, perhaps erroneously, but hard to tell for me right now, that enough efficiency is available to me I don't have to overtalent for it, and I'm going to go for haste and crits. Perhaps that's my inner shaman talking. Anyhow, here's a shot at that idea, it's not got CoH, maybe I do want that, but right now, haste and crits. If it seems a bad idea, well, there are 10 levels she's got before she needs to even think about changing those points.

Speaking of my inner shaman, Inner Focus in the priest Disp tree is very similar in concept to the shaman Elemental Mastery. I should macro that in front of the standard 'big heal' Ikoli would cast most in a group situation, the way Kuan macros it in front of his lightning casts. But which is it?

Viljo and Teltanara's Talents at 80

Fire build. Not sure if I like all the places I've put points, but it's a decent guide for now.

Arcane build.

Fire with both Focus Magic and Icy Veins

Holy build with Guardian Sprit.

Holy Build without Guardian Spirit, instead putting the last point into Inspiration.

Enough disc to get Improved Divine Spirit.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Screenshot Adventures

OK, whilst waiting for Clara to come home from work so Kuan and Viljo could explore Northrend, I sat down to figure out how to convert png screenshots of Wow on a mac to not ass-ugly JPEGs and upload them to Picasa.

Since I am occasionally methodical, the first results of these are a set of shots of Kuan and Ikoli flying about in August 2005. And, my since-then-deleted lock, Mathers, catching his first glimpse of Thunder Bluff in the moonlight.

And now, it's time to explore Northrend, at least a little. Or perhaps, wait in a queue...

Arthas Comes Home

Was thinking of this today after rolling my Death Knight, Mornara, last night.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

TK Pug

Kuan and Vilo were offline when Darkfall killed Kael. We were both quite pissed as we are missing that vial remnant, and therefore lack a title and quest completion. Since Darkfall didn't raid this week because of upcoming expansion we weren't going to have a handy guild run to kill him again. So I decided, fuck it, I want to kill Kael. I'd gotten pugs together to go into heroics, a raid can't be too much harder since I can probably still get a bunch of guildies to come along.

So Sunday night I actually managed to get a raid together for TK. I'm the one who didn't talk on Vent for months after joining Darkfall, but here I was leading a raid in TK. I got a lot of help from various people. Had a couple of people doing the marking and pulling, and another couple telling me what mob did what and needed to die where for Kael. Without those people helping out the raid would never have gotten as far as it did get.

We oneshot Al'ar and Void Reaver and then only had time for 3 tries on Kael. Unfortunately he didn't go down in that time. So I told everyone that we'd try again on Monday night, and if they wanted to whisper me at 9pm server.

We tried again on Monday night, and had time for 5 tries, I think. Unfortunately that didn't go much better. We got the positioning for the advisers down and were able to reliably get to phase 4, but the MC in phase 4 just fucked us too hard. So no Kael dead, no Vial, and no title. :( Maybe when we are all mid-70s we can go back and kill him.

Now leading a pug TK raid on Vent was actually breaking one of my cardinal rules in WoW. Namely: don't let random people know that the male troll mage is a girl. My experience in the past has been that once someone knows you're a girl you're not really going to have a normal conversation with them, unless the other person happens to actually be mature. And even if they are mature, most of the guys will take a little bit of time to adjust to the fact that OMG!!1!! UR a Girl!! Girls play WoW??!?!!

So here I am, leading the raid, on vent. I did a little bit of talking, and someone was all "Is a girl leading our raid?" I briefly considered suggesting they leave if that was a problem, but settled for saying yes. There was a bit of talk about, oh good I was kind of afraid if that was a guy's voice. And most of it ended there.

Unfortunately not all of it ended there... There was a resto druid, who was pretty stoned, who hit on me a bit. He had clearly never encountered another female player, or at least another female player who admitted her gender to him. Not really surprising considering his attitude. He was quite surprised when I told him there were at least 2 other women in the raid.

Anyway, not that I didn't already appreciate Drognin and the other RLs we have, but leading a raid is hard. I imagine it'd be easier if it was an all guild run, where you can trust people, at least mostly, to do what they are told.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Obama in WoW

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Long time No see

I've been so busy I haven't updated this in a while. The 3.0 patch dropped! All those achievements... that Kuan has done... and has no credit for.

So, first things first, got the 3-4 map points that were missed taken care of. Then a bunch of other random stuff. Then, some methodicals, Classic Dungeonmaster, and only one BF run away from Outland Dungeonmaster.

Raiding wise, shaman is fully nerfed. Eeyan does way better than Kuan, to my bitter disappointment...
and those of many others. Here are some links for future reference:

Blue promises to have a serious look at it... before next expansion. But agrees ele shaman tree + coefficient nerf needs to be looked at, and will... sometime before the next expansion. Great.

I spec'd Tylara, still prot, but haven't really played her much. Paladin has changed so much I have to learn how again. Ikoli still remains unspec'd, I have no idea how to spec a 50-something healy priest. But she needs to be healy, she will play with Clara's death knight after next week.

Ikoli is also 75 inscription now. She's got a long way to go, but that's OK. She can learn the daily minor glyphs. Her first one was some hunter one.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


I will have my DeathKnight do Inscription as a profession. And DraNgNon has taken her priest, Ikoli, to be a scribe as well.

So here are a few useful links for how to level the profession:

WoW Professions - Inscription
WoW Guide - Inscriptions