Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Some Resolutions For The New Year

It's time to resolve to do, and not do.

Before I get into what mine are, I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year, and remind you to find a designated driver and chain them to your hip tonight! Have fun out there, but not so much that you forget to act responsibly.

Now, my resolutions are few. I have my one eighty. I am happy with her.

Number 1- Take time off for a walk or to play Wii fit with the kids at least 4 times a week. For some reason they really like to do the jogging game with me. Weird kids...

Number 2- Pug more often. I need to develop a thicker skin. Most of my guild before this expansion hit had pugged places in many raids. My skills and gear when they started this were comparable. Priest For Hire. Yup, that's gonna be me!

Number 3- Blog more often. I have noticed on a good week I may post 3 times. There are many weeks I don't post at all. Perhaps I can tie this one in with number one, and dictate my post to my mp3 player as I jog. In between huffs and puffs.

Number 4- Lure the hubby back into game with whatever I can, and find a way to keep him playing with me. Anyone got any suggestions?

Number 5- Cook dinner more often. I think I'll aim for 4 times a week, with at least once on the weekend. Tuesday and Thursday nights are leftover nights, for obvious reasons (are they obvious? Tuesday is reset day, and Thursday is day 2 of raiding. for some reason our guild had a hard time getting Wednesdays going).

That's it. Too many and I feel bad that I didn't accomplish all of them. Keep it short and simple, and you're more likely to succeed!

Happy New Year everyone!

Something old, and something new...

I'll start with the new first. A few of my guild mates wanted to run heroics last night and couldn't find a healer, so I offered myself up. I had not run a heroic, so I figured they'd be nice and start with something easy. Well, they decided to do the daily regular and heroic dungeons, both of which were Halls of Lightning. Never having been inside, I figured, how bad could this be? I had the flight point, courtesy of a run through that other dungeon over there (something about stone with an event featuring one of the Alliance's favorite bumbling explorers). So I grabbed some candles and accepted a summon. The first bit was ok. I only killed them all once in the area with the forges as they ran through. For some reason, I lived, revived them all, and we trudged on. Well, we got to the end, and we met Loken. By then we had wiped completely maybe twice, and I'm willing to be it was the healer's fault (snicker) both times. I was given some pretty simple instructions. Fight close, and when I say run, run straight away on this line of lightning in the floor. Well, let's just end this saying the healer is great if she can stand still...They decided when things started respawning to call it and run Naxxramas instead. I, feeling like a shmuck, stayed out. If I can't handle a silly heroic, why should I go to Naxx?

As I was moping in the Crystalsong forest picking the carrots for my stew and hoping the stag and wolves out there would supply my last piece of chilled meat, someone asked if I would heal a heroic. I pleaded, " I just healed my first heroic and found I suck @.&. Please allow me more practice on my guildies, as I hate being a bad pug." They replied favorably, so I continued looking for one piece of chilled meat. None turning up, I decided my next bet would be to respec. I batted my eyelashes across the desktop at my hubby, and begged 100 gold for respec and a couple pieces of gear off him, and the set to fixing my problems. I hadn't specced into Circle of Healing, why I can't remember, so I did that, still keeping my Divine Spirit buff. As I was respeccing, someone whispered, "Heal Kara 100g" at the same time people were breaking off from a particularly bad run on Naxxramas. I had already promised to help my hubby with the Greench quest, so I excused myself from subbing in to help him. We finished up, and I traveled back to Undercity. As I landed I got another whisper, "Heal Kara, 150g". Alright, it couldn't take that long, so I said invite me.

Well, we had in our numbers a couple of relatively new 70's, some in their early and mid 70's and 3 80's. The trash went down quickly, and so did Attumen. Every encounter was a run in sloppily and kill them all sort of thing. Shackle? Forget about it..I'm a death knight and I'm gonna lay my aoe circle on top of your shackle. Heal through it, %*#@^! Then it was Maiden. I wasn't able to keep the tank up, and then after the tank went down they moved her off the platform, causing all sorts of line of sight problems for me. Most everyone died, but so did she, so revives all around and on to the opera. Wizard of Oz...no fear (what? 2 priests and a hunter are fear enough!)..it was a mess but it was probably the one we died the least on. up the steps and through the trash like a steamroller, we met up with the Curator. Again, tank down, messy as hell, did I mention that one of the group had been disconnected since before Moroes? Eh, I handed over the shards I had made, and maybe that was the reason the mage disconnected and never "really" came back. I had been toying with the notion most of the time. When someone thinks they have to tell me to heal them or buff them or resurrect them, it really irks me. I got on my soapbox, and said,"Please allow me to anticipate your needs. I know my job well." Well, that got completely ignored, as I was still getting "Healz plx" and "Buff me" and so I countered with a "I have an order to things. Dead healers get first priority, then healing, then buffing." Again, ignored, asI was still getting the same requests from the same one person. SO I responded with, "Bite Me", and stated that "If you ask for me to heal you again, I'm leaving". Which was promptly responded to by one of the other 80's by, "Chill out, let's keep this fun, we're halfway there, noone needs to leave." I reminded the raid that I, at 99/100 exalted with the Violet Eye, did not need this run. So, I stuck it out, finished Illhoof, finished Shade, killed Llane with my pawn, and proceeded on to Prince. Now, I asked if anyone needed to know the fight, and tried to explain it. They ignored it, discussing loot options instead. They wiped. I dusted off my robe, rezzed everyone, and the fight was explained again. They wiped again. So I resorted to something I have NEVER done. I feigned a disconnect. Any of you from my server reading this that was with me on that run, I apologize, but I cannot abide by groups that will not listen to boss fights and follow the rules. There are some fights that you cannot steamroll through.

So there you have it. I kept no shards, got no loot except enough cloth for one netherweave bag out of the deal, and my gold count went from zero to about 43 (after numerous repairs). I'll consider that payment in full.

Maybe someone will ask me to heal Serpentshrine next. I haven't been there yet...

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Too Busy To Play How Others Want Me To.

I'm sorry. The holidays are kicking my butt. There is always one more person to visit with, one more gift to wrap, one more person to call, ten more messes to clean up...

I haven't had the time to devote to getting my priest geared or to study where I should be getting geared. My other 3 seventy-somethings sit in the wings untouched, for the most part, because logging in to Smolderthorn on any of them means immediate whispers to heal heroics, at least 3, most times more in the span of 5 minutes. I have been secretively logging in to an unguilded alliance character on the same server as Esoterique, moving her through the starter zones, getting her reputations levelled with her experience. A few minutes is all I generally have, and the quests are grey and green, so I can get 2 or three done.

I'll stop ditching my obligations around Tuesday of this week. Obligations? Ack, maybe I need some fun time in this game I was enjoying playing until I hit 80. Maybe by Tuesday they won't feel like obligations. I sure hope so.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Slow Christmas Eve

Hubby and I did Winter Veil quests tonight. Nothing special to report. The Greench is as mean as ever, but we downed him with one level 70 Frostbolt and one level 80 Holy Fire. Metzen was released from his pen in the Searing Gorge. Greatfather Winter was given his milk and cookies. I brewed some egg nog and hot apple cider. Next, to find a group to do a few instances so I can get my winter hat. My outfit just isn't complete without it. Oh, and I plan on hitting Ironforge before the festivities are over to get my Red Winter Clothes pattern. Apparently, a goblin will sell to ANYONE!

I just glanced at my husbands monitor, and there is quite the crowd hovering just under the branches of the christmas tree. No presents yet!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Spend some of those shards on your twink!

I decided to go see what Blizzard had added in the 1-19 bracket, courtesy of WoWHead, in Wrath of the Lich King. When I saw the list, my hand immediately flew to my forehead and my eyes rolled. How could I have forgotten about the heirloom items that were so talked about a few months ago? Anyhow, with the help of another handy dandy WoWHead tool, the in game link, I was able to convert the stats to level 19 to see if they were worth the time and the shards or emblems for purchasing them.

Balanced Heartseeker 40 emblems of heroism
one hand speed 1.70
17-33 Damage
(15.o damage per second)
+2 agility
equip - +8 attack power
equip - +1 hit

This does not match up to the ultimate dagger, the Assassin's Blade. It does beat the runners up, though. Unless you are desperate, I'd pass this up. The others are easy enough to get with a run through Deadmines or Wailing Caverns.

Battleworn Thrash Blade 200 Spirit Keeper's Shards
one hand speed 2.4o
25-46 damage
(15.0 damage per second)
equip - +3 resilience
Chance on hit - may grant extra attack on next swing.

Depending on the proc rate, this may be a nice purchase. The dps is significantly lower than Rowena's Shadowfang, but on par with the next best choices. If Shadowfang eludes your grasp, this might be a worthy runner up. Unfortunately, only enchants this baby will take are those without level requirement.

Charmed Ancient Bone Bow 65 Emblems of Heroism
29-54 damage speed 2.40
(15.0 damage per second)
equip - +5 attack power
equip - +1 critical attack
equip - +1 hit

Rowena has her Throat Piercers. There isn't really all that much at this low level with worthy stats when it comes to a ranged weapon. This is superior for the extra 3 attack and the extra .73% crit chance. But the agility also provide me with .48% dodge. It's a toss-up. If you have the extra emblems, go for it. This would be on the bottom of my shopping list.

Exceptional Stormshroud Shoulders 200 Spirit Keeper's Shards
69 armor leather
3 agility
6 stamina
equip - +8 attack power
equip - +4 resilience
equip +10% experience per kill

1 more armor point, 6 less agility, and 6 more stamina. I'm looking at adding a bit of attack, and a bit of health, at the cost of crit rating and the loss of almost 1.5% dodge. What does .32% resilience do at this level? I'm not sure I'm willing to trade out what I have. This item, in my opinion, is too costly.

Inherited Insignia of the Horde 250 Spirit Keeper's Shards
trinket-unique
equip - +6 resilience
use - removes movement impairing effects and effects that cause the loss of control of your character (5 min cool down)

HUZZAH! A trinket!! This one would fly to the top of my list for that reason, and the fact that before Wrath, the Insignia of the Horde was not attainable by under level 20 characters, at least as far as I remember. Now that I have done the search for the equivalent, I may go get some honor and get the lower item.

Sharpened Scarlet Kris 200 Spirit Keeper's Shards
one hand speed 1.50
15-29 damage
(15.0 damage per second)
4 stamina
equip - +6 attack power
equip - +3 resilience

Another dagger. I'm not a dagger rogue, but for those that are, this one falls short. It's fast. It has attack power, and stamina. All these things you can get from the Scout's Blade. What you lose in .2 attack speed and 2 stamina you gain in .54% crit and .96% dodge. Not worth it, in my opinion.

Stained Shadowcraft Spaulders 40 Emblems of Heroism
69 armor leather
4 stamina
equip - +14 attack power
equip - +4 hit
equip - +10% experience per kill

Have I mentioned how I love agility? Sure, these babies have a lot to offer. But my Serpent's Shoulders have all that yummy agility...1.22% crit rating and 2.15% dodge, and the 9 attack power all in one small handy package. Another pass for me.

Swift Hand of Justice 50 Emblems of Heroism
Trinket
equip - +6 haste rating
equip - heals you for 2% of maximum health per kill that yields experience or honor.

Another TRINKET! This one is not unique, and I'm sure the second effect doesn't stack. Still worth it for the haste rating. Not many 19 twinks bother with haste rating, but there are some enchants and items available to help in that area, and more haste = more attacks. That, and this may be by far easier to get than two of the Arena Grand Master trinkets. I say put this on the shopping list as a must have!

Upgraded Dwarven Hand Cannon 325 Spirit Keeper's Shards
30-56 damage speed 2.90
(15 damage per second)
equip - +3 attack power
equip - + 2 crit rating
equip - + 1 resilience

Umm...on the fence with this one. I like the .48% dodge the Throat Piercers give, but the extra attack power and crit rating are enticing here as well. I'm gonna put this one on the "if I have too many shards" list.

Venerable Dal'Rends Sacred Charge 40 Emblems of Heroism
Main hand speed 2.90
30-56 damage
(15.0 damage per second)
3 stamina
equip - +3 attack power
equip - +3 crit rating

Slower than what I have, less top end damage than what I have. Eh. If you cannot get something better, get this for the crit. There are better swords out there for less effort. Save your emblems.

So, to wrap this up, this is some very cool stuff Blizzard has given us the opportunity of owning. New twink trinkets, and some pretty promising ranged weapons. The weapons and armor only seem to really be desirable if you are just unable to get anything else, and really, you CAN get better. 19 is not a hard level to reach, as I know from my accidental "let's see what the daily PvP quest can do for me?" re-roll after the dungeon gear upgrade.

Please, leave me a comment. I'd love to hear thoughts, or debates, on my opinion piece! :)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Improving on my 19 twink rogue

Rowena is my bank character. Since leaving Orgrimmar, Thunder Bluff, or Undercity means certain experience point gain, that is all she can do, aside from putting the hurt on the 10-19 bracket in Warsong Gulch. I rarely take her out, but when I do, I like to make sure she is holding her own out there. That means she needs some updates.

What has changed recently that a 19 might want to take advantage of? Let's start with the new profession, inscription. For a rogue, there seems no benefit for being one. However, there are the new Darkmoon card sets that can be made by a scribe, and glyphs, of which a level 19 will have 1 major and 1 minor to fill. Rogues Deck gives a quest for items (the quest giver is summoned right to you!) That have a level 10 requirement. They are green, but with the random enchantment, you really never know what you are going to get. Might be worth toying with. As for glyphs, there are many major to choose from, but few minor. Here are my picks...

Glyph of Evasion-5 seconds is enough to get away and bandage, to kill the other person, or to cap the flag.

Glyph of Eviscerate-Eviscerate is great at low levels, because you don't have many spells. For higher level rogues, this glyph is meh, but for 19, 5 combo points can mean the death of almost anyone out in that battleground, twink or not. That is, if you stick around long enough to lay those combo points that thick...

Glyph of Sprint-I'm on the fence on this one, and this is why. At 19, twinks drink Swiftness Potions like kids drink Kool-aid on a hot summer day. That extra speed increase might get you ahead of them faster, but to have it drop off sooner? I'm still thinking on that one. Not sure if it's worth a major slot.

Glyph of Sinister Strike- Another one I'm not too sure of. I think I would take the evasion over this, because sometimes I may hit one stinky gnome, then hare off and stab an icky draenei. If I'm gonna have both of them hitting me while I jump on the "catch the flag runner" train, I'll need the evasion.

Glyph of Backstab- I personally am out for damage and evasion at 19. Those that do use daggers, this is an excellent boost in damage for you, especially if you are handy with your sap and gouge attacks.

Glyph of Garrote- Another nice boost to damage for my stealthier counterparts.

There are more to be had at this level, some for spells you haven't even learned yet! Take a look at them here.

As for minor glyphs, there are only three, and they aren't really handy for low level rogues that are stuck in major cities. If you are a fishing twink, you might be able to use the Glyph of Blurred Speed to get away from aggressive mobs/players. Otherwise, pick pocket and pick lock seem kinda silly.

How about the new buffs given to gathering classes? Let's look into these and see what benefits we can reap from them.

Mining gives us Toughness. The buff is small at first, giving 30 extra health. At maximum, it gives 500 extra health. This is a huge boost! I heard that the restrictions for level on gathering professions had been tossed aside, but is it possible to smelt all the way to the top? Let's look. According to WoWHead, this chart seems to tell me you can smelt, though it may become expensive, all the way to 375. This should give you Toughness, a boost not to sneeze at.

Herbalism now gives Lifeblood, a nice heal over time effect. This is not a profession you can do alone to level higher than 150. If you have the experience to blow, or are starting from scratch, and have a buddy that is much stronger than you along, this could be overpowered. Lifeblood at this rank is all your health and then some over 5 seconds. Hot Dog! This can be cast in stealth after the next patch, if I remember right..

Skinning awards us Master of Anatomy, figuring we have skinned so many beasts that we now know just where to hit to gain extra damage. This, again, is not a skill you can level alone. If you have a buddy and enough experience points, wouldn't this be a wicked addition to what should already be a high percentage of crit?

As Rowena already has mining, I may, over time, slip her some ore to smelt to get her health bonus. She is also a semi-fishing twinklette, her boots waiting in the bank for an enchant, and hat still uncaught.

That is all for now! Did I miss anything? Tell me below!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Toying with healing builds.

Delgada started out as a 39 twink holy priest. She didn't get much play time, but when I did pull her out, she was fun! A few rounds of Arathi Basin playing her was a blast. But, at heart, I was an arms warrior, wielding a huge Halberd of Smiting, and wearing a good amount of the Zul'Gurub plate wear for fashionable warriors.

Burning Crusade came along, and Shawndra didn't get much play. She wasn't a tank, and she was undergeared. While everyone else was starting to run the level 70 instances, Shawndra was sitting it out, while I leveled a hunter. Carlotta was fun, but our healers wanted to play their alts, so I dusted Delgada off, respecced her to shadow, and started leveling. At level 70, the guild discouraged her from healing, instead begging her to become a mana battery. She was a mana battery until the doldrums before the Wrath of the Lich King expansion. Then, healers and tanks started dropping left and right. Delgada was needed for healing. With her off set gear she had put in the bank for "just in case", she started to learn. The guild trembled in fear as I changed her spec, wishing someone else would step up to the plate. I hope they were happy with the results. They must have been since they have been begging me to hurry up to 80 because they need a healer.

So, I have figured out a build, I think, that will allow me to be a good healer with some decent mana regeneration/conservation. I'd really love to be able to grab the 51 point talent in Holy and still be able to spec into the spirit buff. I figure, until we get more people at 80, I'll have to live with this as it is, because I will be one of the few they have to heal, and that spirit buff is essential, in my opinion. Here it is, my take on a holy priests talent tree. Comments would be appreciated, as I did no research, but chose the talents I thought would work best.

Now, that is very heavy in the holy tree. I remember reading and hearing this around, that the discipline tree is no longer a spare parts tree, and can be a very viable PvE healing spec, if the right talents are chosen. Can these be the right set of talents for a discipline priest?

Well, comment or no, Delgada will be monkeying around with both specs to see how they play out. Any suggestions on spells I should have chosen and some I could have skipped will definitely enter my "play around with healing specs" period. :)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Fast as Fast can be...



Today is the day I look forward to all year long at my school...Gingerbread Man day. That's not the official name for it, but it's tradition, so it has been named today. Every year, 2 weeks before Christmas break, the kindergarten classes at the school I work for read the Gingerbread Man story, then make gingerbread men. Then, the teachers bring their men to me, and the kids warn me not to peek in the oven until they are done, because they might run away. I solemnly promise to be careful with the cookies, and put them in the oven. A little later in the day, they come back, and all I have to show for the cookies they made is a cookie sheet with a few crumbs on it, and big puppy dog eyes.

"I tried so hard not to peek, but they smelled so good, and I thought it would be alright just to open the door a little bit..."

"But we told you not to peek!"

"I'm sorry, I couldn't help it. I tried to catch them, but they were so fast!"

"It's okay, it's not your fault, they are tricky."
"Can you look for them?"
"We made a trap for them in the sandbox. Don't worry, we'll catch them!"
"Kids, if we are very quiet, we might sneak up on them. Everyone stop talking and we'll start looking!"

"I'm really sorry! I'll look for them, and if I find them, I'll lock them back up in the oven so they don't run away again!"

After this small bit of subterfuge, I start to lock up. Since the kids are gone, I sneak another peek at the cookies...



YUM!

They'll get their cookies tomorrow and the next day so they can decorate and eat them. But today, I feel just a little bad for letting all those ginger boys and girls run away.

Well, maybe not. :)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Finally...the Sholazar Basin and Nesingwary!




I cannot tell you how I have looked forward to moving to this zone. I had hoped to be welcomed by Hemet himself, telling me his bud had lost their favorite book of campfire ghouls stories, and I had to find all 40 pages, and would I please kill 2,000 of every species available in the whole continent of Northrend?

No. You don't get your way! I want you to go fetch me an airplane engine part, find my wedding ring, and kill Venture Company lackeys, say his expedition help. Blah, I hope he gives me a mindless kill quest soon.

Delgada is about a quest and the experience from kills away from 77. Guess I'll log in and give the boys a thrill.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Broke...time for the farmers to hit the scene!

I have many characters ready for Northrend. Their chosen professions are at max level, or really close, they have gear that will last them at the very least the first 5 levels, and their bag space has been emptied in preparation. Quests from the old worlds? Dumped.

So, what to do? Delgada has been my focus, being that the guild needs a healer. I am such a pushover. We have our main tank already at 80 running heroics for gear. DPS, well, worth a dime a dozen. So my tank, Shawndra, and her DPS sisters, Carlotta and Maura, sit in the wings, waiting to go in. I think now may be the time to do it.

You see, Delgada is broke. And Rowena is broke. I have siphoned as much as I dare from every one of my 10 alts, and Delgada still has 8 recipes to train from the tailor trainer, and 3 from the enchanting trainer. Expensive...Delgada needs a sugar daddy, or momma, as it may be. I logged Delgada out near a trainer, and brought Maura out of the Undercity to hop the blimp to the Howling Fjord. I'm hoping that the skinning she has, and her pick pocketing, might net a nice stock of cloth and an income Delgada can rely on. She's less than half a level from cold weather flying! There's another 1000 gold she'll need.

I know that if I had just waited until Delgada had some levels under her belt to start her profession leveling, that I wouldn't be in this predicament. But I couldn't wait..the guild needs an enchanter! And a healer! YESTERDAY!! Though, they have asked if I could shoot for Tuesday. I don't think I am that good.

So, here is the plan. Delgada goes out, makes level 77, and logs out after using what cloth and enchanting materials she has to level with. Then, Maura comes out, and starts her questing, spending all sorts of fun time in the starter area, skinning everything with a skin, and sending all her greens, cloth, and gold to Delgada. With any luck, by the time Maura is 73, Delgada will be healthy, still not flying, but at least able to get her professions trained.

The flying carpet will just have to wait.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

I finally found..the worst quest EVAR!

I won't spoil it for those who are behind me, but there is this giant, and you have to find this other giant, and kill his buddies.....


He can go find him all by himself. I'm tired of getting there when 20 other people are trying to kill him.
And, if you really, really wanted me to kill him? You'd make it so I could group with all yourselves that are running around.

Bah. I'm gonna go find something bad to eat.