Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Still around, somewhat

Sorry for the delay in posts for so long. I am still pretty busy getting things up and ready for the new school year including lecture notes, books, moving in and getting stuff for a new apartment, all those great things. I imagine I will get back to pretty regular posts very soon here, as soon as my schedule gets a little bit more regular.

I haven't noticed much in the way of big news as of late other than a couple of nerfs for things that 'weren't working as intended' such as fok and such, which will make 5v5 games a lot better when some rogue is running around spamming that crap.

I have been trying to get on and continue doing some raiding. We also spent our obligatory hour on Algalon, looks like we should be able to get him next week even with a group poorly tailored for buffs. We have made it through a couple big bang transitions, which seems to be the worst part.

Hopefully, things will get get rollin soon and I can bring out a video that I am still gathering clips for, which with my lack of time are not building up very quickly...

Anyway, servers are almost back up which means its time to get ready to down all sorts of new bosses and get arena rolling again.

Lok'tar ogar!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Busy as all hell..

I have been busy packing and cleaning to posts are going to be sparse. I have started to collect some video from fraps, slowly but surely. I don't know when I will have time to work on it though.

On a side note, a couple friends and I had started leveling alliance gnomes, partially because they are funny to look at, mostly to race change them to into goblins when the expansion came out. Then Blizz slapped us down and said, "Nuh uh bitches!" Yeah, so no instant 80 goblins, as least that's how it's looking. Oh well, I will probably still leveling her (yea, it's a chick with bright pink hair and such) because it gets me away from things when I just want some time to myself without people asking about enchanting and other such things.

Thanks to those who asked horrific questions about elemental shaman at Blizzcon, I wish I coulda gone, but that was when I was finishing too much stuff at work. The worst part is that there was only 1 decent question asked, too bad it was paired up with crap about another class which was the only thing that got answered.

At least in the notes it looks like totems might radically change, for better or worse I'm not sure, we'll see. Also, it looks like we might get some more mobility instead of being turrets in pvp, which should be nice. I know that description gets used a lot but it's pretty damn accurate. Blow stuff up before it gets to you or die. It's actually not that simple, earthbind rooting people helps a lot now that ghostwolf means you can be slowed below 100% run speed. Resto shaman also look to get a huge buff eventually, which is awesome. The new chain heal is very nice, but it still can prove much less effective in some hard modes than other AOE healers.

That's all I got for now, I just didn't want to leave you all hanging.

B Rab

Friday, August 21, 2009

My Last Day

Now with WoW or blogging sillies, with work. I finally get to turn in my big research project. In a couple weeks, I head back to school to finish my MS in Biostats and get back to teaching for the school year, so I'm heading back early to get moved in with my roommate and settled down. The good news? That's no more time consuming than my current job, so posts should remain pretty constant as long as I can find something to berrate, bitch, or cry about. Sometimes I might even through up helpful advice.

I still want to do some work with fraps, maybe try my hand at making a video, but first I need to clean some junk off my computer. WoW got down below 30fps yesterday, and even down to 15fps when I was doing some raiding, I didn't like that. I know, people play with like 3fps and stuff like that, but that kind of stuff pisses me off. So tonight I'll switch gears and play some Halo or COD4 and clean up my computer. Then fraps, then movie.

I want to put up a screenie of my new UI, but I am not quite happy with it yet. I think I need to do some work on getting the nice black box frames at the bottom or something to keep recount/bartender/sexymap/chat frame in.

I'm always full of promises right? This weekend while I'm packing I should be bored enough that hopefully I actually come through on some of this stuff!

Elemental Shaman Note! The totem of electrifying wind (I think that's the new name, I still can't tell you which totc is the raid and which is the dungeon so stay off muh back!) which has a chance to grant 200 haste for 12 seconds upon successful lightning bolt casts is finally an upgrade over the Totem of Hex. Some quick details: there is no known icd (internal cooldown) on the proc, although a lot of testing is saying it won't proc for around another 6 sec in straight lightning bolt or regular rotations, so if there is an icd, it is like to be around that 6 sec mark. This totem will be better on everything except fights where you are hitting the 50% haste mark while casting (Vezax, Hodir, Thorim). Yes, I said Thorim, because the easiest way to beat him is having a spriest get himself some frost resist gear that is hit capped, and gem for stam. When you MC the dark rune acolytes, they give you a 20% haste buff, these can be stacked 3 times if you have 3 spriests willing to make this sacrifice. There is a spot in the arena that you can stand in and it will never get the lightning cone attack, you wear frost resist to eat all of Sif's bitchiness.

See, fun stuff, you learned the fun/quick way to do Thorim, and got some free shaman advice. Some people pay for that shiznit. Well, they don't pay me, but...well, nevermind.

I'm looking for a good way to end this post, hopefully one that's entertaining. Maybe this clip of one of Oxhorn's Shorts will keep you going today...

B Rab

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Moving On

On a side note, that's obviously from youtube, so the comments going on don't apply to me, per se...

Not from WoW! You haven't succeded in that, yet, Blizz. No, in fact, my 5 other real life friends and I have made a move to a new guild to raid 25s. It was nice that most of the people we have been playing with for a long time understood the situation.

So onto my new home. Obviously, being the first run for the us, we were pretty quiet in comparison to our normal raids. Testing the waters, seeing what flies, trying not to offend anyone on the first night out. I should at least have seen them naked before we have our first big fight, imo. I think that we will fit in well eventually, immersing ourselves will be the difficult part at first.

I should get some new ele shaman advice up soon. The guild I moved to has an elemental shaman who is just ridiculous. I don't really understand how he does it. I plan on looking at some of the recorded parses and seeing what's different between us. It might just be the his ridiculous understanding of everything about the class. I definetly got put into my place, apparently I'm only the second best elemental shaman on the server. Oh well, I'll have to see if I can't learn some of what he's doing and bring it back, or else go resto and hide my shame.

I know a lot of people have been throwing their hat into the ring on this discussion about Ony and new class/race combos. Consider mine tossed as well...

Man, the things I could learn to do with my free time if I didn't play WoW. Well, I can guarantee you I wouldn't be trying to learn this, but you get the idea.

Anyway, back to my original point, the two major news articles.

1. Onyxia v2.0 - She's back(!) and she's meaner(?). I know there has to be mixed camps on this. First of all, there are two groups looking at this right now, those who did Onyxia at level 60 and those who didn't. To those who didn't, finally getting to see the fight will be exciting and new to them, in fact, it's the same as creating new content for this audience. Everyone else, therefor, falls under the "have already been there, done that" category. Now I think that even this category gets split up into those who barely got to see the encounter back then and those who had to farm it to get everyone Ony cloak's. The majority of the first part of this group is probably excited to have a boss revitalized and revamped so baddies can't go 2-man her at 80. I think that most people that farmed her, at least the majorrity who I have talked to, are less than thrilled about reusing content that they are already bored with from oh so long ago. My opinion? Fun for a while...I could always use another bigger bag anyway, I only have 10 open slots on my main, and even with 5 alts fully loaded with bags, I have about a free bag on each... I don't know where I get all this crap! I'm thinkin' I should take it to the flea market and sell it... To your mom! JK... What am I, 10?

2. I was only skimming over new race/class combo's until one caught my eye, and quite frankly, pisses me off (Hey, you, troll, better than being pissed on, I get it, I've heard it before) -- A dwarf shaman?! A DWARF SHAMAN?!!! Excuse me, but F' dat homey. On a side note, I will be leveling a NE druid, so I can make him a troll! Cause trolls rock mon! Can I get a 'woot woot' for the best race in all of WoW? Yea, you might think that something like this is an 'opinion' or 'up for debtate', but I assure you, neither of those are accurate. Especially with the flat 20% haste racial now. Sometimes, I pop Berserking with Bloodlust (Heroism some of you, which I don't hate because you're ally, just because you're not trolls!) and cast 1 sec lb's. Man, sh*t is crazy.

Anyway, I'm out to go chris brown some work and some WoW research, and by that, I mean knock it out!! Booyah, oh no he didn't...

I may be a hybrid, but don't expect to me to cast heals if its gonna nerf my deeps...
B Rab

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Who wants to hear some fun tidbits about WoW currently.

We, as a newly rerostered raiding guild (I will talk more about this later since it is still frustrating me), can currently down T9 content, but don't have the dps to keep the arena manageable on Thorim. Conclusion? T9 < Ulduar.

Honestly, have any of you felt a challenge yet? The current "raid" feels cheap. I feel cheated. We can take in AOE healers who can hardly break 1k hps, dps in heirloom items, and still come out victorious. Both of those, surprisingly, are not lies. We have a resto druid who constantly puts out 900-1k hps, if he gets to 1100 he thinks he did well, as well as a holy priest who manages a constant 1k also. It's no wonder that some of our best dps are healing now. In comparison, our old spriest, who went to a holy/disc dual spec, and me, obv an elemental shaman, are both putting out between 4-4.5k effective on aoe fights.

Our old healers/dps are carrying the new healers/dps, and our backs hurt. I never thought I would get to that point, but last night, I logged in for 1 reason. To talk with another guild about combining. Afterwards, I did the daily, since I am 2 emblems away from my 245 shoulders, and then logged. There was no more healing heroics so people could get new gear for things. I can't take it. The worst part is that, now, people can have 2-4 pieces of conq without stepping into Ulduar. You have no idea who is good or not just by gear. Well, if you look at weapons you get some clue, but now even H ToC, the joke that it is, is fixing that for a lot of people.

This may have beneficial on alts overall, but in many other ways, I'm just not happy with 3.2. I'm also not happy with the lack of mention still about ele shaman in the latest ptr notes. Are we in that good of a place right now? Maybe I'm just missing it since I have been lost in grid for the last couple weeks.

Anyway, to alleviate all the guild stress about taking a step back, to where half-ass Ulduar bosses are progression again, I'm going to just run away. Well, not just me, probably more like 10-12 of us are considering joining a different guild. They have been around since pre-tbc, but they may have the worst name ever on our server. They couldn't down Yogg for weeks post-double nerf. They say their problem is their bottom end is reallllllly bad. I don't know, we'll see. If that doesn't work, its probably going to open back up transfer discussions between at least the 6 of us who know each other in real life. Man, WoW is just become like a shitty soap opera or something.

To take your mind off of it, here's some Mr. Conway Twitty -- Just kidding, it's Trailer Park Choir, and it's better...(official video)

The actual music video is better and linked above, but they disabled my embedding. It may not pertain to WoW, but it cracks me up every time I hear it.

Alright, I feel like after all that I at least owe you something helpful. Resto shamans -- if you have the dps where the fight won't be incredibly long, stack haste. T9 requires a fat amount of chain heal now that it hits so many people. Hell, so does Ulduar. If you aren't going oom, thicken up the hps with some much needed haste. You could even go crazy like Mek from Ensidia and stack it to above 800 (hopefully armory link inc later when I get home). Plus, when we get out of T8 bonuses, you need to get enough haste to make up for losing the .2 sec off chain heal for 5% crit instead. What this means is take haste gear for off pieces, rob those poor elemental shaman blind of their crit/haste gear without mp5 on it. We will hate you for it, be forewarned.

Ele shaman, at least if you are doing 25's, hard or not, eventually here we will get to replace ilvl 213 boots with at least ilvl245, at least that's some good news.

- B Rab

Friday, August 14, 2009

Friday is the new plaid

I have no idea what that even means.

For those of you posting up guides on how to do Lord Jaraxxus, I'm about to one up you. That's right, I'm posting Tankspot's video for those of you who haven't seen it. It does a good job explaining the fight, especially since now that I had to deal with people a lot more often as an officer, I've given up trying to be funny while explaining the fight. That's someone else's job now.

Much credit goes out to them for consistently throwing out good video's.

Now the plan is to move on to some funnier movies though. Heck, I've even considered downloading me some Fraps and making a couple of my own. Maybe some PvP, maybe some random nonsense, I don't know. I think I will probably start collecting this weekend if I can get it up and running smoothly with all of my other addons that I have.

Thanks to a newly unblocked youtube, I can provide hours of entertainment in my corner.

Hopefully, it will be something along the lines of this, but I'm probably cooler, so it will be better. Check out all 4 of these videos about doing a little Thunder...well, you know the term.

Inc video soon and new UI,

B Rab

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Moving in Stereo

"Its so tough to get up
Its so tough
Its so tough to live up
Its so tough on you"

Man, that's exactly how I feel going to work at my internship for these last 7 days I have. I never thought I would be so excited to go back to Grad School and start teaching again. Statistics before you ask. Anyway, they have pretty much run out of project for me to work on here besides my final report that I am touching up to hand over -- at least it's supposedly confidential, although maybe one day when it gets published I'll throw in a link, and you can all see just how sweet I am at other stuff besides just WoW.

Some quick and easy upgrades:

Elemental shaman, if you find yourself still using the original badge trinket (Yeah, I was since it was either that or dying curse when I'm already 25hit over the cap without gems or socket bonuses), go do the reg ToC. It's supa easy and plus it drops an equivelant haste trinket. I ran some RAWR models from Binkenstein's blog over at EJ (sorry no links since I'm at work and it's blocked), who I think is probably one of the smartest Ele Shaman theorycrafters I've found so far. It was around a 30-40 dps increase change between the trinkets. Plus if you are still using this on all those mobile fights in Ulduar, switching it out gets your casts off faster between movement phases.

Resto shaman, there is also a nice int trinket from reg ToC. The best part -- a chance to return mana upon spellcast. These are my favorite kinds of trinkets. Unfortunatly, I have yet to grab it, it dropped 3 times in a row when we were farming it for getting someone soe other piece of gear that I can't remember for the life of me. Why didn't I get it? I had dc'd during the previous boss and continued to have internet problems all night. I kept getting text messages that it had dropped every time, those jerks.

Obviously, there are some other sweet upgrades if you haven't gotten to spend a lot of time in Ulduar for every class. The did pretty well on loot tables for covering everyone with at least some stuff, just remember only the reg mode drops the trinkets.

T9 gear changes:
For starters, 2pc T8 + 4pc T8 > 2pc T9 + 2pc T8, so first switch that off piece you aren't wearing keeping in mind there is a hit redistribution between pieces of T8 and T9, and a lot more of it on each piece. To make up for losing the 4pc T8 bonus, you need to make up a total of around 140-150dps that the electrocuted dot was ticking for. It's very unlikely that 2 pieces will do this with the new bonuses or stats.

The new 4pc T9 is a very impressive set bonus, with early estimations of around 250dps being added. The increase dmg value of lava burst by 20% means that we will be switching from the Glyph of the Totem of Wraith back to the Glyph of Lava. The new Totem (200 haste proc chance on casting lb) will be better than the Thunderfall Totem (215 additional base dmg to lava burst).

Finally, a replacement to the Totem of Hex! The new emblem of triumph (I always type badge and then have to delete it) trinket appears to be a solid upgrade with near 100% up time. I'm currently waiting for some more saps to go out and purchase it before I do, but it seems like it will be a very good upgrade.

Tonight the plan is to finish 25 Ulduar and do the Trial of the Crusader or Champion, whichever the raid is, on 25. Pretty impressive being as we only had about 10 of our core raiders left. The three of us that were strongly considering transferring instead stepped up big time and have things going in the right direction for now, should be a good night!

For all my experience, I never knew there was a smiley face under Kara until the other day. Don't know about it? Find it and check it out!

B Rab

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


It's gonna be a long week...

It seems like there has been a lot of conversation lately about "why you play." Each person has their own unique reasoning behind their existence in WoW. People vary across the spectrum of the purely social interaction, to the gold fiends, to hardcore raiders. A lot of people play for a combination of those, each to a different degree.

Why do I play? To keep elemental shamans from getting buffed. I don't want Blizzard dev's to think our damage is low and buff us, so I constantly go out and blow the hell outta stuff. Ha, kidding, I'd always take a buff, but seriously, I do blow shit up. With my mind. And lightning bolts.

On a more serious note, I know I play for a lot of different reasons. I play to stay in touch with friends, people I graduated college with, because otherwise I know that I wouldn't hardly ever see them. I play because it's fun to make money in the AH off nubs -- I can't believe that even after Blizz put in a vender price when you hover over an item, I can still buy/bid my way to a free 50-100g every night on the vender search in auctioneer! I play for loot, because I want to look as badass as I feel when I'm slangin' hate. Obviously it will be replaced, but with better, more impressive gear for my peons/admirers to adore -- they would grovel at my feet, but as a troll I don't normally wear boots, or shower, and they smell pretty god-awful. Finally, I also play for the challenge. Don't get me wrong, I don't like to wipe, but I like the feeling of accomplishment on that first kill of a real boss. Too many bosses these days though just aren't as satisfying as they should be.

It kind of stinks that I don't know when the next time I get to seriously throw some hate will be. It looks like our decision to stick around so we could play with our friends, who only pvp now, will lead to me running resto due to a severe lack of healers. I'm actually ok with this though, sometimes I fall asleep at the wheel just casting lightning bolts. Now I can spend some time staring at health bars but trying to look past them and pay attention during fights. As long as I don't die to a nova on IC like one of our holy pallies has done 5 times, I should be a'ight. Just to get some work in, I've done enough heroics on my shaman to buy 12 runed orbs... Yeah, it was a crazy weekend, but hey, I got 2 main specs and all sorts of alts that need some love. I still need to get my rogue my crafted belt and boots so I can break into the upper 4k range. Of course, a nice MH weapon would be good too, Kel's Reach just isn't what it once was.

At least it should be entertaining with all the new scrubs, ahem, players we have.

/cast Flameshock
/cast Elemental Mastery
/cast Beserking
/cast Lava Burst
/cast Chain Lightning
/s Let the bodies hit the floor

B Rab

I know you have all seen this, but this remix makes it all that much funnier to me.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Just another manic monday...

Sunday?! Pfft... I don't know what the Bangles were talking about, I actually wish it was Saturday, but I suppose then the song wouldn't rhyme as well, right?

Over the weekend, some of my rl friends in the game and I made a huge decision, a decision to pick the guild back up from the boot straps and get it raiding again. This meant recruiting our butts off all weekend long. Will we make it to a 25 man raid by Tues? I don't know, but that's the goal. If it really happens I think it will be a lot like starting Ulduar all over, at least some of us know the fights and overgear just doing it without hardmodes. The hardest part might be keeping our patience for those of us who have cleared it before and done hardmodes.

On a more shamanistic note, resto shaman I think are in a much better place. I spent the weekend healing several different raids and 5 mans, and I loved it. Mana is no longer the huge issue it once was for many of us. Personally, I've always stacked int and mp5, but I think I can start shifting away from that towards spellpower and haste. If you start going for this as well, make sure you don't make the complete change at once. You want to regem, gem by gem, until you find a happy medium, remember that the increased haste is going to mean more spells casted so you will find yourself going oom quite a bit faster, not to mention you are sacrificing regen stats for it.

5's update: 5v5 is silly.

I suppose I could have more to say about 5's, but it can be very frustrating. We spent yesterday afternoon getting the same 2 teams over and over again. Our matchmaking rating was around 1950, theirs was almost 2400. Where are the other teams? We can't actually get to our matchmaking ranking since we are getting hosed by people with full furious gear, we just cant output the same amount of damage, nor can we absorb as much. We are going to try again tonight, hopefully there are some scrub teams on looking for some points or something for the week. Next time, when the gate opens, I'm going to yell the plain and simple truth: Lok'tar ogar!

B Rab

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Second Impressions

Tonight went a lot better without all the lag. I managed to get in the new 5 man: Trial of the something or other, and the new 10 man, which is some other Trial. Also, I got to heal them and try out the new resto spec.

My first impression is mixed. I absolutely love being able to drop 21-22k crit on tanks now rather than having to get healing way up or else it being around 13k. The one thing I'm not a fan of, which can be fixed, is the new lesser healing wave. I am happy they made the change, its just that whenever I needed a quick heal it felt like this:

"OMG im dying over here"
"Hold on! I'm casting a quick heal, a lesser healing wave..."
"*gurgle as the dps dies*"
*Heal goes off*

In all actuality, only one person all night died where the quicker heal would have probably helped, but then again, they should stay out of the fire? Be more like, I was floatin like a butterfly, droppin' mad heals. Before you ask, I did a little stinging like a bee when I could, mostly on Gorehowl, or whatever his name was, when he took double damage. Yea, that's right, fat resto crits.

Overall so far, the one thing I would change is picking up some more haste gear. With the buff to mp5, I might even consider dropping some more of my mp5 gear for the ele gear for the haste and crit. I didn't have any mana issues what-so-ever even when chain casting for a while.

For some reason though, I'm having mana issues as ele. I don't know if it's because I have been running stuff without replenishment the last couple days, or if they did something sneakily to my mana regen. The first night when I was in VoA people were making fun of me for being oom, normally on those kind of fights I have 15-17k mana left at the end. Further research will be required.

On a pet project/alt note, I am going to finish leveling my 45 pally to 80 only with BG's. Why? Something different. Plus by the time I hit 60 I should be able to get a crap-ton of epics with which to further pwn nubs. Also, this ranged finisher (I forget the name right now, cause I'm a scrub when it comes to pallies), hammer of something or other, is was OP. I was just running around WSG looking for low people to throw that at. I would be like across the map and it would light up, I'd slam the hotkey and rack up another killing blow. It looks like it will take a bit longer to level this way, and by bit I mean lot. Over 3 games last night I got around 30-40k exp, but I could have easily surpassed that leveling. Oh well, doing something different for once is actually a lot of fun.

On the sad side of things, I may be uprooting and finally leaving my home. It looks like no progress towards raiding 25 mans is being made. Those of us that are considering leaving talked about our options last night. We could either scrounge up a couple new, probably scrub, tanks and start over, or move on to were we could just relax instead of dealing with crybabies non-stop. Man, being an officer just puts like a sticky note on your head that says, "Whine about stupid shit to me." The next time you are gonna bring something up to an officer, think about it's actual importance, not just its importance relative to yourself. That will save a lot of condescending remarks. Anyway, to get back on track, we are still considering putting this back together and trying to keep going even though we are losing all 3 of our tanks and 2 of our best healers on top of what we have already lost. At least 3.2 will help gear up some of these people, should we decide to stay. It's a tough decision though, leaving would take us to a couple guilds who are almost done with 25 man hard modes, which would be nice since I don't think we have enough skilled players in our guild to ever accomplish that. It's also hard leaving behind a lot of people that you know though. Plus, it's always fun downing one of the best locks in the world with his healers on him. Sure, maybe he was targeting someone else, who cares, I totally SS'ed it, so you know it's fo' reazy.

"The man who smiles when things go wrong has thought of someone to blame it on." - Robert Bloch

Zug Zug,
B Rab

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

3.2 = bleh

First off, grats to anyone that could really manage to do much of anything last night. At one point, for around an hour, I couldn't see mailboxes, npcs, or other players, but I could see all the chat and stuff like that. The one positive of that was that I was running around 80 fps in Dal, ha!

I got in the heroic daily, which was being closely guarded by some crappy alliance players (in skill, not because they are alliance) who weren't really prepared for 5 top end geared players to come pack in their shit. That was about the extent of my night though, we tried to do a couple different of the older raids (from earlier in WotLK) for some of the members who were just getting back into the game, but constantly seeing the "Transfer aborted: Instance not found" for about 10 minutes we gave up on those ideas.

The new BG is fun. I did get to spend some time in there, well for as long as I could take it. Luckily I only died at most a couple times per game, because it was like this:

You have died.
*Click release spirit*
*Wait 5 min...now you're a ghost over your body*
*Couple more min... Graveyard!*

Getting a spirit rez turned out to be a lengthy process. At least I had some fun on the gunship, got to go back door on the alliance just how I know they like it, and kill some dude or something at the end. It's quite the mix of a couple bg's, and pretty entertaining.

Sometimes people amaze me, the one raid we did manage was to get a couple 10man VoA's going, some people just don't believe you when you say that the new boss won't be there yet. It took a good 5 min of running at the portal before we were able to zone in. Anyway, we decided (this was before we gave up on 25's) that we would combine the groups when we were done for a 25 man VoA. We finished up and were waiting on the other group, and one of the other officers says in raid chat: "Stay in group, we will combine with the other group when they are done and do 25 man." This next part, I wish I could say was a joke, not 30 seconds later, with the message still on screen : "So are we gonna do 25 man? Cause we are like, 15 people short." There was just a collective groan over vent. This is, by the way, the same person who came to the 10 man VoA, and when we get up to Emalon (no deaths yet) says, "Oh, does someone have a repair bot, my pants, wrists and mace are broken." Really? REALLY? Whether or not you are a fan of Gevlon and his blog, all I could think was that we are carrying this M&S (Morons & Slackers).

On a final note, I was planning on putting up a new UI this week, but it's going to have to hold off until I can get blizz's new totem bar, and all my addons taken care of. There needs to be some sort of function to be able to hide it/turn it off. When I change specs it comes back, when I reloadUI it hides it, it's kind of entertaining.

So do any other shamans have an opinion on any of there changes? I was trying to do some healing all night, but we kept getting healers to fill up roles. It was probably good that I didn't with the way the lag was. At least the pally tank changes are nice for when everyone is just standing there while his health goes down. Ardent defender came into play quite a bit.

Until next time: trolls be wilin' out, mon'

B Rab

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

That place is a mad house!

So last night, while we were recouping from this weekend's guild drama, I helped some of the newer guys through a naxx10. Around the end, the gm and other officers asked if we wanted to start a 5's team, to prepare for when 2's was no longer as viable.

I spent all the time I could in between matches resocketing resto gear for spell power, and changes enchants from stamina into spell power. In the end, we went 6-5, not bad for just jumping into the arena without an exact idea of how we were gonna work on things. 5's is such a crazy thing at the moment though, we would face a team that was rated real low down by us at one point, then we would face teams with a matchmaking rating over 2300. Some of these 2300 teams rick roll'd us to quick deaths, a couple of them we managed to beat. In the end our matchmaking rating was around 1900 even though we only went 6-5. Let me tell you, there is so much more shit goin' on with 10 people running around than with 4. Keeping track of people's trinkets without gladiator would be next to impossible, at least for an arena nub like me. There are spells flying everywhere, rogues being giant douchebags while they stunlock people, and my god I've never seen my totems go down so fast with all those people with pets. I cannot wait until that's over! I would put down a tremor totem and it would be killed when a fear was already almost done casting. Even though all its ridiculousness, it was a really good time. Maybe pvp is for B Rab, who knows, only time will tell. At this rate though, I might end up with a fun new weapon, mabes. At least survivability seemed good when I wasn't getting focused. I was able to get most melee off of my long enough to put in the big hurt. I don't wanna brag, but I did have at least 2 kb's in all of our wins...yuuuup, I know, I'm sweet. And modest.

In other news, I know there is a lot of speculation about 3.2 today, I've already noticed a lot of topics on it in my blogroll. This is why I'm not saying diddly about it, other than that I doubt it will be since PTR's were still up yesterday. Yes, I think that is a bigger reason for it not to drop rather than them not announcing the end of arena's and such. I have been wrong before though, and if I was about this, it wouldn't be the worst thing I'd ever done. Personally, it would be nice if they would give us another week to put our guild back in order. If it is today, well, forget WoW for the day I suppose, how often do you really have a smooth night the day a patch drops?

You had me at 'zug-zug',

B Rab

Edit: A friend just told me his patch started downloading when he opened WoW before he left for work... I have mixed feelings as you can see from above.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Guild Drama Crit

It seem that at one point or another, almost every guild goes through a tumultuous time where something goes boom and the people that really care and are in a position to do so have to scramble to keep the pieces from floating off into space like a dead body in Star Trek.

A lot of things happened this past weekend which I was somehow oblivious to until they all became painfully obvious as I put together the raid last night. First, we lost 2 people who had never missed a raid before to possibly greener pastures on another server where they both renamed themselves. Exactly why they left isn't really known, one person received an in game mail supposedly with a few of their reasons, but the list he gave seemed rather shallow and pedantic...kidding, they just weren't good reasons, all explainable. So we lost our best rogue and his holy priest sister (On a side note, this kinda hurt that they never said anything to me since I considered myself pretty good friends with them, more so than many other guildies). This event led to even more problems on Sunday -- with them being gone, and several others out of town for the weekend, we invited social members (people who aren't regular raiders -- they can be either old guildies who are just getting back in, or people who are friends of raiders who aren't geared/don't wish to raid) that wanted to come. This led to a wise-ass remark from an actual hun-tard towards one of around 15 of us' oldest friends in game. His reaction back wasn't much better, but it ended up with the hunter and her boyfriend being guildless. At least she was nice enough to finally speak up on vent, although her speach was filled with profanity and I'm pretty sure she had to have covered her computer screen with spit. With that, we called the night's raid and any future raids for now. Our original, core 10-man group, is going to be working on getting a couple other people their rusted protodrakes.

Afterwards, we had some fun premade bgs, but all in all my WoW morale took a big hit when I saw how quickly little things could blow a huge hole in the guild. I'm looking to find myself an escape route by looking at some other guilds on other servers just in case things really do finish imploding. Some of the other officers are talking about becoming a pvp guild, and, as much as I like pvp, not only am I bad at it, there is really nothing new ever in it. Plus I like to see endgame content. So if we go that route, I'm probably out too.

At least with patch 3.2 on the horizon, things are somewhat looking up a little. New totem buttons, which I'm still out on the usefulness of, if you need a specific totem you might still be left throwing down each 1 individually, especially since mana in arenas is pretty precious, if you are resto at least. Still though, it will be nice for pve and some pvp situations. I know, it's old news, but I'm trying to keep my spirits up and myself interested.

Sorry, not a lot of shamanistic advice today. If you want to have some fun though, don your elemental gear and go hang out in EoTS by the flag. People only come around for the flag for the first couple minutes of the match, after that its all yours when they get sick of falling off the edge. Another fun one is knocking back the siege engines in SoTA around 30 yards when they are coming up a hill, they started just firing at us from ranged when I was around. It was pretty satisfying to see that.

Anyway, I'll leave you with a classic favorite from vanilla:

An alliance army is marching across the barrens to raid Orgrimmar when a shaman comes running up and makes a rude gesture at the general. The general points to 2 of his soldiers and orders them to kill them shaman. The shaman runs away round a mountain and the soldiers follow. After a few minutes the shaman comes back with no sign of the alliance soldiers. He insults the general who promptly sends 10 officers to kill the shaman. The shaman runs round the hill and returns again. The general getting very annoyed orders 40 men to kill the shaman. They all chase him round the hill and for 10 minutes nothing happens. Then one badly wounded soldier comes back limping and says "Sir, it was a trap! There's two of them!"

B Rab

Friday, July 31, 2009

Warning, My Mind Wandered... A LOT

It looks like more and more people are spending solid time on attempts at Firefighter, as it has finally passed 3 Tree Freya in % of people with the achievement Heroic: Firefighter. It appears as far as hard modes go now, the only thing harder would be Heroic: Alone in the Dark (discounting Algalon).

On 10 man, this fight is practically a joke, but on 25 man I imagine it could get quite hellish. I just don't trust our guild enough to do it. On a side note, anyone have any idea what dps an Affliction lock in full t8.5 and comparable off items should be doing? I'm gonna guess that its supposed to be higher than 4k -- if Blizzard Dev's looked at our recount/wws parses they would nerf me into the ground since I'm spankin his ass like a priest in an all-boys catholic school and I'm just a hybrid. Anyway, my point is that it's people like that, that don't know their class completely or how to maximize dps, that scare me about hard modes. I made the threat last night when people were asking to do hard mode Thorim, "As soon as you can all move out of the simplest mechanic in the game, then we can consider it." Of course, what I'm referring to is the cone lightning attack that occurs during the fight. "It's so hard to tell where it's coming from though." Oh wait, goes right back to the wall from which the lightning came... Surprisingly, for the first time in several weeks, no one died. Looks like I'll be eating my words next week when that comes up. [Heroic: Who Needs Lust?] -- that's a lot of fun, and if you are gonna do hard mode, you should read up on this. You can MC the Dark Rune Warbringer and cast a 20% haste buff, which can be stacked up to 3 times by having 3 MC's. If you are gonna do hard mode, I suggest getting the frost resist gear and getting hit capped with it. Our shadow priest that does it has around 35k health in his frost resist gear so he can keep MC'ing while the blizzard hits him.

Wow, this took an awful side tangent to talking about 3T Freya. I don't even feel like talking about Freya, it makes me think of the trash you have to clear. It's poopy. It makes me think of Naxx, which I am officially probably never running again, ha. I'm looking forward to no trash in the next raid, although that also means no epix on loot, I'm ok with it.

I'm just gonna continue away from where this started. Is anyone else feeling cheated by 3.2? Really? Like, yay, a new tier set. The stats are more than impressive on 258 gear, as it should be, but other than that, I'm not a really big fan of the tier gear. You think maybe they would just let me work my way back to skyshatter stuff design wise and they could give me the new stat allocations? Yea, I was a fan of it, don't hate, I'm crazy. It's kind of sad that for the most part they are going to remove Ulduar from the game with the next patch. There will be upgrades over the badge gear in there, and better weapons than older stuff, but unless someone really wants a legendary I think Ulduar will be pretty empty for the most part since you can buy most of the tier gear you will need from here on out just by running the heroic daily. I know, it'll take longer, whatev, I'm still not sure T9 ever is very deserving for someone who just runs a heroic daily. Look at me, now I'm an elitist jerk, wonder if they are recruiting.

But, back to 3.2 and feeling cheated -- are they really gonna have a raid with only 1 additional boss per week? It's a good thing there are 4 different lockouts, at least at the beginning. How sick of farming the first boss are you going to be in 1 month? Just as long as we aren't on vehicles for boss fights or ridiculous things like that I won't be too mad though. Flame leviathon was a great idea -- the first, second, maybe even 10th time through. Now though? How many people still like doing FL? I imagine there are still quite a few, but I have to imagine the majority of people in any halfway serious raiding guild is sick of going through all the annoyance involved in cracking open this loot pinata. We even do 4 Towers and I feel that way. ]

BTW, Blizz, give me new talents, I need to be able to beat mages so they can stop pretending they are sweet when 1 out of the 4 of them beats me on a fight and asks me what happened. I'm gonna set off a magma totem in their ass one day.

All I can say if you read all of that is sorry, so here's a cookie:
Two muffins are in an oven, the one looks over and says, "Is it hot in here or is it just me?" The other muffin gets a terrified look on his face and screams, "Oh my god, a talking muffin!"

Now you know that I have a dry sense of humor,
B Rab

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Back on track... Sorta

Time to crack my knuckles and get a new post out. It was kind of a nice day off driving around doing things since it gave me some time to think about what else to post on.

I've done the dried up, tired rant about 3.2, including the positives and the negatives. I wasn't happy with that post really when I released it, it felt like it was 1 more person throwing a glass of water into the ocean. Same 'ol story, same 'ol qq, etc...

I would really like to get to work on those guides of BIS for ele and resto depending on what you're raiding (and assignment) -- a.k.a. T7 10 or 25 man content, and T8 10 or 25 man content, but with last weekend being my birthday, and me being out of town every weekend for around a month, it seems like those are just going to get pushed back far enough that they are no longer relevant due to emblem changes.

I would do another discussion of last night's raid post, but my internet has been in and out, with an emphasis on out, since Sunday. The tornadoes the other night in the area didn't do anything to help out my situation. I've even called the company and now I have a tech appointment where some geek is gonna come tell me the exact same stuff I know...This was my call:

Geek: Is your computer on?
Me: Yes .o0(Thinking: I hate you)
Geek: Ok, now what is the receive/send light doing?
Me: The receive light blinks for a while, then goes solid and the send light blinks, then it resets.
Geek: Have you tried resetting your modem?
Me: Oh, I never thought of trying that, ass clown. /sarcasm
Geek: Ok, can you go to your computer.
Me: Ok
Geek: Ok, type in /cmd and then /ipconfig
Me: The problem is that the router isn't connecting, not with my computer.
Geek: Sir, we need to explore every option.
Me: So would you like me to type /ipconfig release next probably.
Geek: Yes, have you already done this?
Me: No, I didn't even think to turn my computer on to try out my internet, how would I know how to do this.
Geek: Ok, I'm going to send out a tech, if they replace wires they can be 30-40$ each, would you like insurance on your wires.
Me: I have to pay for any faulty wires that you installed? (I gotta get in on that business plan, its easier than making gold in ah.)
Geek: Yes, but its only 4$ for insurance against this.
Me: I think I'll pass.
Appointment for the weekend, supa, maybe I'll get to meet him in person, but it seems doubtful. He might have been from another country that does help requests, I don't know. All I can say is that the next time someone suggests I turn on my computer on when I say my internet isn't working is gonna get a flame shock/lava burst/chain lightning combo to the face. And I'm gonna make sure it all crits. How dumb are people that they need to actually ask this question? Also, if I hear the big fix-all speech about /ipconfig release another time, probably the same thing. Or I might just pretend I'm a warrior and shield slam them with my new Voice of Reason, inherently giving me the voice of reason when I tell them how much I hate their dumb answers.

Maybe I should move onto a more wow related note. Despite all the people calling for an immediate patch, and even me at one point, someone brought up a good point to me -- They haven't announced the end of the arena season yet. Now I know that this doesn't guarantee anything, and before that, I was telling people that I thought the patch would be this upcoming Tuesday because of the progress being made, especially due to the change in the rusted protodrake availability into 3.2, but I forgot about the fact that the new patch will bring with it a new arena season. It looks like we might actually be waiting until the Tuesday after Blizzcon. I hope I'm wrong, especially since that's a month away and I'm more than getting fed up with the current content, but I think that's more personal since our MT got a job that has had him working crazy hours so we cant get our best group together for it. Maybe this week will be the week. Now that he's nerfed I can't imagine it being too bad, but I guess all I've been doing is watching videos and pulled him a couple times. As soon as that goes down you can bet I'll have something to say on the issue.

If at first you don't succeed; call it version 1.0.

B Rab

Monday, July 27, 2009

Feliz Compleanos a ti

Yea, that's right, it was a happy birthday for me on Saturday. I made it through a whole PUG run that I started to finally get the Voice of Reason from Kel, that stingy bastard, it only took me downing him 21 times to finally actually see it. Sometimes there is just that 1 elusive piece of gear, I'm sure everyone knows that feeling.

Anyway, good news is, this all means I'm no longer a scrub -- the embarrassment of our Ulduar raids with my naxx10 cutesy shield. Instead, I've finally become a man, or something like that.

Sadly, its looking like a slow week for posts, some different field work bs activities are trying to keep me from my loyal 2 readers who come by just enough for me to post every morning. They have me out of the office for the next 2 days, I don't think they realize that I need to have a huge project done asap and their silly car rides to far away places are getting right in the way of that.

Well, from the looks of things, 3.2 might be dropping sooner than later. If you ask me, its coming in a couple weeks. I know kids did crazy posts about their pattern of dropping patches near blizzcon, but here's the thing. Most of those were larger content packages. We are only starting the first week with very little with design of only bringing out another boss each week. Also, the whole not removing the rusted proto-drakes, instead just saying they will still be available after 3.2 drops and give a months notice before they are going to remove them. To top is all off, I downloaded a second part of 3.2 this weekend. This makes me think that stuff will be dropping within the month, and by my estimate a couple weeks. We'll have to see what exactly happens with the ptr's new build and testing this week before I make any specific date predictions, but rest assured, I'll probably pick a Tuesday... We'll see if I can call the date of this patch like I did the last one.

Not a whole lot of other news floating around out there. It seems that the combination of being on the verge of 3.2 and it being the summer might have finally struck a blow to the guild. We started to heavily work on hard modes further into Ulduar this week on Tuesday, thats the last time we raided really as a 25man. Thurs obviously had a post about it, and how dc's and such kept us from going, but it seems like participation is going a little slower as of late.

Eventually here, I'll throw up a pic of the rusted proto drake we got last week, but I have been lazy/busy since I got it. Anyone got suggestions on where to get an epic screenshot? I have one of my flying in front of the BS in Dal, but I feel like that might not be good enough. I might have to go back to TBC to find something real amazing for a backdrop.

Pop your flasks,

Cyanide and Happiness, a daily webcomic
Cyanide & Happiness @ Explosm.net

Friday, July 24, 2009

Another big blizz crit

Blizz definitely crit all over our raid last night. We had constant dc's with the inability to log back in due to authenticator servers being down among the many other problems. We managed to do Hodir with about 8 dc's when we pulled, then called it a night. It had been 2hrs already just trying to get people online past the authenticator issues and then back in when dc's were occuring. Instead, I spent some time reacquainting myself with cod4.

So, tomorrow is my birthday, and I have no plans what-so-ever. Sad isn't it? I think it's cause I'm in the middle of B.F.E with no one but older co-workers around. Maybe I'll start a pug Naxx 25 and finally get the Voice of Reason that I have been waiting for for so long now. It's starting to get embarrassing having Ulduar25 hard mode gear and a Naxx 10 shield. Or, maybe for my birthday, Blizz will send me a Flare of the Heavens. I got to a point in my gear where I could stop using Dying Curse, unfortunately, my next best trinket is the badge trinket -- another embarrassing moment for me. Looks like I might be switching to the resto helm and back from BIS gloves down to T8 or something. I'm just not sure yet, sometimes you hit awkward spots with gear.

I reread yesterday's post and I felt a lack of effort. I think it was because I felt like such crap. Sorry, but, oh well, I'm not redoing it, people posting on old patch notes is old -- and boring.

The thoughts are coming slow today. Probably because I got lots to do that I'm avoiding at the moment. Enjoy your weekends, suckas.

B Rab

Cyanide and Happiness, a daily webcomic
Cyanide & Happiness @ Explosm.net

Thursday, July 23, 2009

State of Shamans - 3.2

Well, since I felt pretty terrible this morning, I called in sick and decided to write a post where I could check out the patch notes and take care of one of my promises about upcoming posts. Most of this is going to concern restoration shamans since most of the patch changes apply to that tree.

"Base health increased by approximately 7% to correct for shamans having lower health than other classes."
No one remembers why this was done, all I can say that the increase to fix it ain't enough. That 7% base health works out to around 500 health at level 80. Extra health that won't be helped by any other buffs. I know as ele I don't have a problem with my health in pve, but for enhancement, when I switch on those rare occasions, aoe dmg can smoke you way faster than most other classes. I was hoping to see an increase of more like 15%, or some extra stam on at least the tier gear.

No one remembers why this was done, all I can say that the increase to fix it ain't enough.In general, the increased shock range is beneficial for all the classes, more so for enhancement in pvp, elemental in pve or pvp. The extra 5 yards is never a bad thing. The one concern I have is the changes to earth shock -- "This spell no longer interrupts spell casting, but rather reduces melee attack speed by 10% for 8 seconds (exclusive with similar effects such as Thunder Clap)." While I think that the attack speed debuff isn't a bad idea, I think most people will have trouble using windshock as the solo interrupt where as for so long earth shock has served the dual purposes of damage and interrupt ability. The one nice thing is that they took wind shock off the other shock cooldowns and it remains off of the gcd. This is awesome for allowing both elemental and enhancement shamans to continue a dps rotation while still allowing them the ability to interrupt.

"Ghost Wolf: Can now be learned at level 16. While in this form, snaring effects may not bring the shaman below base normal run speed." This is ballin' for all specs in pvp. While you can't do anything in this form for the most part, it will allow a large increase of mobility for defensive or offensive purposes. Definitely a nice change.

Finally, the last general great change before moving on to resto shamans is the totem sets. Of course, this is also a slight burden as well. We only get 3 totem sets which means you will still need to have several of your popular/situation totems easy to access. You will probably end up with just 1 set for pve and a couple for pvp that try to counter the most popular comps. At least people will no longer be able to macro kill your important totems -- that's a great pvp change for totems. Even dropping a mana tide and then a stoneclaw to protect it doesn't do much, 2 hits tops from most pets.

  • Restoration
    • Ancestral Healing: The buff from this ability now reduces the physical damage taken by the target by 3/7/10% instead of increasing the target's armor.
    • Cure Poison and Cure Disease: Combined into a single spell, Cure Toxins.
    • Earth Shield: Dispel effects will now remove charges of Earth Shield rather than the entire aura.
    • Healing Way: Redesigned. Rather than providing a chance of increasing Healing Wave spells on a friendly target, this talent now innately increases the effectiveness of the shaman's Healing Wave by 8/16/25%.
    • Mana Tide Totem: Totem health now equal to 10% of the shaman's health.
    • Nature's Guardian: Redesigned. Now has a fixed 100% proc rate, has a 30-second internal cooldown and increases the shaman's maximum health by 3/6/9/12/15% for 10 seconds.
    • Nature's Swiftness: Cooldown is now 2 minutes, down from 3 minutes.
    • Tidal Waves: No longer reduces the cast time of Lesser Healing Wave by 30%. It instead now provides +25% critical strike chance to Lesser Healing Wave, along with the previous 30% cast time benefit to Healing Wave.
    • Improved Water Shield: This talent now has a 10/20/30% chance to be triggered by Chain Heal, and the charges of Water Shield are no longer consumed by this talent.
    Time for a look at resto specific changes. The ancestral healing should be decent depending on how theory crafters see how it works out. I'm avoiding the ptr as of late so I'm not wasting any time looking at combat logs or anything like that to figure this out. My simple opinion would be a flat 10% reduction in all incoming damage, but that's something Bliz generally avoids so it probably isn't as great as that. At least it will be good for other tanks to gain an extra 10% magic reduction or so from this talent.

    The change from cure poison/disease to toxin just saves a mouseover macro. I suppose it makes it easier for people who can't tell the different on raid frames or something, but really it's not big deal.

    Earth shield only getting dispelled by charges, not the entire thing -- ballin' in pvp. Just absolutely ballin'. Getting a huge mana cost spell just ripped off in pvp sucks. Plain and simple. If anyone on the ptr could let me know if spell steal still takes the whole shield or not, I haven't seen much on it. Mostly because my research time has been cock blocked at work with those damn website filters.

    Mana tide totem -- another pvp change. Specced for maximum health in pvp right now with deadly/furios, I have right around 23k health. This means my mana tide totem ends up with 2300 health. Not very much, but you can still drop a sstoneclaw totem to protect it, so it should get more than a couple ticks off from here on out. Overall, not bad.

    Nature's Swiftness CD reduced -- big whoopty...whatev. I'm sure no one is really all that excited about this.

    The change to tidal waves is interesting. The extra 25% crit gained on a lesser healing wave instead of the haste changes is from a quick lifesaver (sub 1sec dec heal) back to a slower heal, but with probably around a 65% crit chance in a raid setting. The one nice thing is that you can go back to getting haste for output without worrying about your lesser healing wave being faster than the gcd.

    The water shield might be one of my favorite changes. No longer having to refresh water shield to waste a gcd when things get heated and it runs out is a big bonus. Plus the ability for it to proc off of chain heal, that should help the nub ch spammers out a ton for mana longevity. With the increase in the value of mp5, we should be sitting in a lot better place when we are on raid healing -- which leads my to my complaint.

    12.5 Yards for a bounce on chain heal? Only loses 40% instead of 50% of the effectiveness? Super... /sarcasm. The only good thing is that it finally outranges the range meters for raids in Ulduar. It has a chance to possibly actually bounce between ranged. Too bad it's still gonna get the shit sniped out of it by lesser heals that kids love to throw out/max out the meters/then complain about being oom. I would prefer to see it being somewhere in the range of 15-20 yards but I guess beggers can't be choosers. The problem is still that it seems we aren't really great at anything. Holy priests and druids are way better raids healers, holy pallies are still gonna be better mt healers, especially with the ability to put more than 1 beacon on a target, and that beaconed target getting healed for the full heal (effictive + overheal). So where are we? Well, just doin' a little bit of everything.

    Overall, the patch notes for shamans are improvements, there was obviously no need to nerf any of the trees so we weren't going to see that. Were they enough to help out what they were trying to do? I think elemental might benefit the most by not having any direct notes to the patch. We mostly just gain some ground based on problems from other classes. Next, I think resto fared better than enhancement -- if you think I'm wrong don't be afraid to let me know -- but at least they are doing something for us being oom without a mana return.

    B Rab

    Tuesday, July 21, 2009

    Raid Reset and I'm Excited?

    Man, just when I was getting sick of Ulduar comes a week when I'm excited to get back in and knee deep in the poo that is a fail Ulduar run -- we recently got ourselves a legendary, and since we have doubts of getting another one done before 3.2, and don't plan on farming Ulduar afterwards, that it's time for hard mode only kills. This should show what our guild is really made of.

    This information also comes after finishing Glory of the Ulduar Raider last night with a "One Light in the Darkness" Yogg-10 kill. We also got our first night in on Algalon after also finishing Firefighter this week -- way harder than Yogg with only 1 keeper. First impressions? Algalon hits like a truck. The first pull, despite seeing videos, our mt wasn't ready for him to start combat while our holy pally was dropping a heal as he came out, can you guess what happened next? "Holy Pally gets crit for 46k, 26k overkill." Well, that was a fun main hand crit. Apparently this guy hits for around 18k main hand, 12-15k offhand. Yea, he dual wields, and he hits hard and fast, and kills with less mercy than the 80's the farm STV and Tarren Mill.

    Plans for those posts I keep promising are in the works -- just need a free weekend so I have a couple of hours to commit. Later tonight I should be updating this is a sweet new snapshot of my flying around in Dal on my rusted protodrake -- "Everyone come see how good I look." It looks way better than my Naxx protodrake, which I was getting sick of, I even started flying on some of the Sarth 3d drops even though they are 30% slower. It never hurts to look good while you kick ass and take names (sometimes I forget to take names).

    So the as the excitement builds up for me as I approach tonight, is there anyone else that is still excited to get back into Ulduar? I know progression keeps things going, and I think part of my being so excited has to deal with hanging out with Algalon while he bitch-slaps me back into the antechamber and tells me how I'm not worthy or something.

    B Rab

    Monday, July 20, 2009

    Sportin E-Peen

    Last night's raid was ballin'. We were still working solely on "Heroic: Three Lights in the Darkness" for our holy paly's legendary (25-Yogg without 1 keeper for those who aren't on top of the achievements -- we left Mimiron up top to play with himself and watch from above). We got this taken care of after about an hour, grats on nerfed content right? Thanks anyway, we aren't Ensidia or S.T.A.R.S, our raids aren't always optimal and some of us are carrying some dead weight for now. Anyway, it was an exciting day, and apparently the glyph of holy light can also proc the shields, although that only makes a shield that absorbs about 200 on everyone, it looks really sweet -- time for some people to drop the graphics down though probably.

    With our new legendary we walked over to Mim in our 10 man hard mode group. We showed him our legendary and he just shot epic lootz right out of his ass and cowered in a corner. It was awesome. All we need now is to do "One Light in the Darkness" on 10 man (which we have heard is easy, we do manage the speed kill every week on this fight with our group). The plan is to only bring down Hodir I believe? Maybe it was Thorim. It's whichever one throws the killing blow on the spawned adds, and I have been to busy to do more than show up in the way of research lately.

    Anyway, we are running back in tonight so we can have fun wiping for our hour this week on Algalon and get that last achievement required for the drake finished. I'm sick of looking at the Naxx one, its time for a new coat of paint. I really wish once I had a 310% speed mount, all of my old ones worked that way. I'd rather be on top of my Sarth 10/25 3d mounts than a proto drake -- but oh well.

    I'm hoping this week leads to me getting things done that I am working on for work, and getting some free time to get back into reading the forums and such. All these trips around the country have been wearing me and my liver out. I'm out of the office a few days again dealing with some trainings to lead and some local activities I have to attend to share that which is my brilliant genius outside of WoW.

    I still have high hopes for the gear lists , although that might be a post I have to write from home so I can do gear links and research a little easier than trying to find stuff I can look through a filter with. Also, there should be an inc resto shaman discussion and a post about my feelings on changes to shaman in 3.2 (some good, some bad -- like always right?).

    Maybe this week I'll roll a hunter and /cast Hunter's Mark, /cast Aimed Shot at the boss, and figure out who I can Misdirect his aggro to. Probably a clothy...

    B Rab

    Friday, July 17, 2009

    TGIF - Warning, It Gets Rando...

    Well, I made it through another work week. I'm not sure how, but the reasoning is much less important than the success of the situation. With the busy second half of the week, I have yet to begin work on my promised "best of" which will be basically best-in-slot gear for different raid tiers. The way I will set it up I will make sure that you get enough hit (as a horde and assuming a spriest/boomkin) and then look at the amount of haste/sp you would have at that point.

    Another thing I want to work on is somewhat of a resto shaman guide. I know that a couple people have voiced their frustrations to me about some different aspects of it. What you have to understand right now is that we are better single target healers in a lot of situations, letting ancestral awakening heal someone else for part of the crit. Until I get around to it, there are some other guides to read like ensidia's mek. He and I seem to agree on the current situation resto shaman are in, and the fact that in patch 3.2, things aren't gonna put us in much of a different situation -- there are some good things and some bad. I think if I can send myself a copy of all the shaman patch notes from home I will work on getting out a positive/negative post on how they aren't actually fixing us (cue sarcastic,"Yay, 12.5 yards on chain heal..." -- This isn't really going to fix much at all, I was looking for at least 15 since so many fights in Ulduar require spreading out so much)

    In guild news: We had probably one of the worst ever nights of raiding, half of which I'm glad I didn't participate in. One of our tanks had work till 10, so we weren't getting back into Yogg-1 until he got back on. To keep people online, as officers we decided to take requests on old 25 man runs -- well some people did anyway, I have my limits. First we did a 25-VOA which took all of 5 min even with only 20 people in the raid and one of those afk at the entrance. So, to keep people on for later, we asked what people would like to do -- Maly-25 or 3d-sarth-25 were the continual answers. The deciding votes went to Maly-25 and I went afk, cause I hate maly. It doesn't matter how good your gear is in phase 3, when you forget how to do the fight things get fail. Luckily, I was playing cod4 and had vent on my speakers. It sounded like the worst thing ever. It eventually started to piss off our mt that people either couldn't remember or didn't know how to do things so he made the decision to roll over to a sarth 3d. This I was up for, it's easy and people still need Illustration and the Pennant Cloak. I was flying over when everyone else was inside when someone pulled the left side group onto the group while the mt was getting a drink. Needless to say, all the frustration from Maly-25 boiled over and we just sat and waited until our tank got back from work.

    Now, I don't know if all this fail led to all the fail attempts at yogg, but it was possibly the worst I'd ever seen it. We only made it to phase 3 once in 2hrs -- granted, we called for a lot of wipes early that we could have made it there, but that means out of about 12-15 attempts, we only had one good p2. Embarrassing for a group of people who come in and one shot yogg most of the time. The worst part is Sunday is our weak attendance night, and normally a weaker group, so our holy pally is worried about seeing his legendary this week. We even have tried enticing people saying that when this is over, we can just go for hardmodes... Who knows when it will be over though I suppose.

    That seems like a lot of qq and hate, so I'm gonna pick it up by talking about how awesome I am. If interrupting the shadow volley on yogg was a competition, it still wouldn't be, I get the interrupts when the melee are on him, I get the interrupts as he goes/gets to Sara. Unfortunately, I think that my ability to interrupt has caused others with an interrupt to forget that there is something to use it on -- since I'm not always focused on every target (I know, what a nub right? Well, suck it, cuz I'm just only so good) some happen to go off when I'm not around, aka killing the adds on yogg, cuz, lets not forget that through all this interrupting, I'm the sickest ele shaman you might ever meet. I chuck lightning bolts from my hands, ass, and eyes. It looks weird at first, but you get used to it and the 5k I do while just running around shocking and slangin' that hate. Yea yea, you do more than that, well screw you, moving hurts me and my dps and thats all I do in p1, now relax before I take your mother out for a nice seafood dinner.

    I feel myself getting a little silly, probably because as I'm writing this I am checking in for my flight back to where I went to school (U of Michigan, bring the boos you haters -- and if any of my fan base is from Ohio, well, nm they don't have internet there I don't think) for a little bit of golfing and a lot of partying. I might be getting to old for this, I'll know Monday when I come to work while it feels like someone shot my liver and punched me in the kidneys all weekend.

    Enjoy your weekend, do something useful -- start getting the old school rep towards the insane or some new mounts, do a couple old world test towards your loremaster, run some bg's and pwn the people with less than 20k health (They are generally pve geared), or just sit on the bank sign in org (personal fav).

    You know you're addicted to WoW when your microwave goes ding and you say, "GRATZ!!"
    -B rab

    Thursday, July 16, 2009

    Today was supposed to be a, "Sorry, no post, etc," day...

    Last night we ran a quick "up to mim" 10 man Ulduar, our holy pally got a nice new shield while I am still stuck with this Naxx 10 crap. At least when he gets his legendary he won't look like such a scrub... On a side note, it's fun to know you can at least somewhat "bring the player, not the class" being as on fights we 2-heal, we use two holy pallys in these hard mode encounters. On 3T-Freya we switch our spriest to disc, but that's just his loss...

    On a fun side, in getting our holy pally his shield, we had to get the 3min Hodir kill, which last week for some reason we couldn't do (missed it by 2 sec for the first time in a long, long time) -- I stood atop my high horse and proclaimed to the masses how they could all suck on these hybrid... well you get the point, I did 12.8k dps, I was proud, I think that's my new high on that fight where I normally hover around 11k. Anyway, the point was, even after missing it last week with all 10, this week 2 dps died to the first frozen blows (its tough to not move and get rid of biting cold, don't be so hard on them) and we still got it with around 20sec to spare -- Did bliz nerf his health without me paying attention?

    Anyway, this was just supposed to be a short, no post today message since I am going to be out to a training and visiting some random places for work, at least I'm getting some OT in. Guess you got more than you bargained for and more than I was planning to give. I feel like a cheap whore, but hey, if you call it taxi cab money neither of us will get busted for prostitution so it's A OK!

    Also, on a side note, when putting in a ticket, I always think it is best to ask for an RP GM, cause they are hilarious! The last one kicked his horse into a gallop with six guns a' blazin. Sweet.


    Wednesday, July 15, 2009

    Double Post Upon Request: The Elemental Shaman

    Damn, still don't get used to the double post, it's only because someone posed a lengthy and thought out question, and I don't wanna program SAS at the moment so I spent some time drudging through an old post I was gonna post originally, and filling it out, so without further ado...

    This is going to be a rather lengthy and wordy post, so I am going to leave the math out of it. Mostly because at my current job (and I don't really blog from home, too much other stuff to do) I can't see EJ, look at wowarmory, or run simulation stuff to figure out stat values. If you are interested in any of that, head over there, learn to love Binkenstein and his spreadsheet -- man is a freakin' genious and props on that. All his work makes sense to me when he's done, but until then I have no idea how he goes about figuring some things.

    I got asked to write a blog about the one thing I actually know something about... pressing D (for me, that casts lightning bolt). But B-Rab, it can't be is simple as that can it? Well, no, but it's pretty darn close.

    Overall, an elemental shaman is decently easy to play. The rotation is fairly simple depending on where you are with some stat values. There are some things to keep in mine though throughout this post:

    Spec - There is the general cookie cutter spec of 57/14/0. This spec does have some room to play with. Since elemental shaman rarely have mana issues, and this includes even on hard mode General Vezax where we don't regenerate mana, you can move these points from convection (which reduced your mana cost by 2%/talent point, up to 10%) where ever you see fit. I prefer to spec 55/16/0, and move 2 points from convection into imp. ghost wolf. Why, is it useful? Not really, but I like to travel around in it a lot rather than mounting up. Plus, there are occasions when dungeons and raids are outside and it can help with mobility. Mostly though, its for shits and giggles. Since it turns out that each point in convection is actually worth an estimated 12 mp5 (if you want math, its on EJ), I prefer to go with 3 points in Unrelenting Storm and 3 points in Elemental Warding which is nice for Ulduar. 6% less inc. damage is always plus when we have one of the lower health pools, which leaves you with the same 55/16/0 build.

    Get hit capped -- This can mean a lot of different things. You need a total of 17% hit rating to be capped. We gain 3% from talents which means you need to get to 14% (If you are silly and are alliance and are/or raiding with a squid, you can cut that down to 13%). Finally, if you are in a regular raid group and can depend on a an imp FF from a boomkin or you raid with a Spriest, you get another 3%. This means horde would need 11% (289 hit) or an alliance would need 10% (which I think is like 263 hit? I was just working backwards without an ability to grab actual values).

    Pre-Ulduar gear is going to make getting hit capped a lot more difficult. While you are first starting out, run h vh over and over and over and over and over....well you get the point, run it 'till you the that hit trinket. It's a good start towards that cap and a decent on use for a blue that you can tie to elemental mastery. In Naxx10/25, there just aren't that many items with hit on them save for the bit on tier. Grab a dying curse asap. If you are still gearing up for getting into a Naxx 10/25 even, don't be afraid to nub it up just a tad -- save your emblems and buy the cloth belt. If you fill it with a +hit gem, thats 53 hit right there which sets you on your way. If you are still lacking quite a bit, you can even consider the off-hand with hit. Yes, you will look like a scrub shaman, but just blow 'em away with the deeps. Normally, our best hit gear will come from cloth items -- if you are in a guild that lets you roll on them, kudos to you, I get them after every mage/spriest/lock gets them, which means neva, cause we don't farm old content too often and by the time that opportunity comes around better stuff has come along (think Maly's chest and legs with all that luscious hit...). Ok, I'm sure we all understand the value of being hitcapped, and it gets easier to get there as gear improves, so enough about that.

    After you are hit capped, the best stat for you to go after is spellpower. You will generally gem for it over everything else ignoring most socket bonuses (there are exceptions, but they are few, like the amount of people able to still read this wall of text). Your stats importance will always go SP > Haste > Crit (This is due to haste effecting all spells -- it lowers your gcd for flame shock -- where crit for most people will only effect the initial hit of flame shock and your lightning bolts/chain lightning. With the T8 2/4pc bonuses, even though they are both related to crit, haste is still a more desirable stat.). The only meta is the Chaotic Skyflare Diamond (21crit, 3% crit dmg)-- don't use anything else -- fill two random pieces with a couple Glowing Twilight Opals (9sp, 12stam) to activate it (get socket bonuses out of your gear that are the best for these). Don't worry about other purple gems, spirit doesn't help us, we don't need mp5, and bosses don't have resistences that you can use spell penetration to get through. The stam is always nice.

    There are pretty much a certain set of major glyphs to use, while only 1 minor is as important:

    1. Glyph of Lightning Bolt - cause 4% more damage on approximately 65% of you damage is balling
    2. Glyph of Flame Shock - You don't want to be casting flame shock after after Lava Burst consumes it, plus it extends it so you can fit 2 lava bursts inside of the flameshock dot portion.
    3. Glyph of Totem of Wraith - There is math done here to prove that this is superior to the Glyph of Lava until you reach around 2500 spellpower unbuffed This means no totems, no buffs, no flametoungue, no flasks, nothin. This is achievable with the current gear out, but this glyph probably wont be used until T9 if those set bonuses remain the same.

    Minor Glyphs: The only minor glyph I feel is somewhat necessary is the Glyph of Water Shield, the extra orb will save you the worry of refreshing it as often (you know, cause when it falls off thats the first thing we worry about as elemental shaman with our mana problems). I just generally refresh it when I am running around. Even that isn't a very big deal. The others are just about your personal flavoring -- personally I'm all about the Jesus ability to water walk for free, and I like to not worry about hearths so I have astrall recall. If you like to PVP the ghost wolf glyph might be more suited for you. The minor to remove the knockback on thunderstorm would also be ok if you like to see big number in Naxx without pissing off too many people when you macro thunderstorm to yell, "Thunder****!!!" If you PVP a lot though I wouldn't recommend keeping it in there since the knockback and be both fun and useful -- eventually people will learn not to be near the cliff at LM (also great for seperating a healer and his dps in arenas like the sewers...

    Quick set bonuses: T7 2/4pc - 0/~30dps T8 2/4pc - ~70/120-140dps increase

    You can quickly see that when you are moving from Naxx25 -> Ulduar you can quickly break set bonuses, sometimes without even forming the new t8 set bonus.

    The Rotation: Flame Shock (FS), Chain Lightning (CL) Lava Burst (LvB) -- There are really two spots to be at in this rotation if you have at least some of the crafted epics since haste is quite abundant on most of our gear. The current premier rotation would be when you are above 520 haste or so. What you are looking for is a sub-1.6s lightning bolt (lb) cast. With this amount of haste you can fit 5 lb's in between lava bursts which means your rotation should be as follows: FS-LvB-LBx5-LvB-LBx4 and then repeat. You open with the FS-LvB to get elemental oath proc'd asap to grant everyone that 5% crit, and also to proc clear casting for yourself which increases the damage of the next 2 spells by 10%.

    If you are sub 500 haste, your rotation will depend on how far below that your haste is. If you are around 400 or higher and can keep it up, your rotation will generally be: FS-LvB-CL-LBx4-LvB-LBx4 and then repeat. The chain lightning would just save you those few tenths of a second you weren't shaving off with haste and could possibly run you over your LvB CD but shouldn't. If you are below that, many people will do a FS-LvB-CL-LBx3-CL-LvB-LvBx3-CL or something similar, or even just cast CL whenever it's off CD. If you get a few crafted pieces though, even as nearly fresh 80 you should hopefully be past this mark.

    On trash, you just want to throw out some CL and twiddle your thumbs -- if you get brave you can run in and drop a magma, depends on how ambitious your feeling. Remember -- you're here to buff, not actually dps... just kidding, you can dps too, pretty well actually.

    Ok, so that's specs, gemming, glyphs, stats, and rotations. I'm going to work on an ideal gear set using just OS/maly/naxx10, just T7 (including 10/25), and possibly one for someone without raiding. That's a pretty big goal at the moment though, since all weekend I will be back in my old stomping grounds for a golf tournament (I'm not good, I go for the drinking and fun).