A Fresh Start
June 25, 2010 § 1 Comment
Sometimes I delete my Cache/Interface/WTF folders because it’s a cathartic thing to do. Typically this happens after three or four point patches (re: 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.3.3, 126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206). First, I want to make sure that I’m not getting unnecessary errors by having out of date addons and bad settings. Often I find that there are a lot of old addons that I don’t even use anymore, cluttering up my folder.
Also, I like to make sure that I don’t get stuck or complacent in my game play. I’m a little obsessive compulsive and kind of a control freak, so I tend to like things the way I like them because that’s the way I like them. The problem is that often allows me to fall into bad habits and prevents me from correcting mistakes. So every once in a while, a good addon/wtf flush is a good thing.
When I start fresh I have a chance to rebuild my UI from the ground up. I take everything I have learned over the past few months about tanking or healing or any other aspect of the game, and I try to incorporate it into my gameplay.
I hadn’t planned on doing that for this particular patch, but since I’ve been experiencing issues logging in, I figured this was as good a time as any to start the process again.
My goal this time around is two fold. First is to find a good set of every day utility addons, and configurations for them. These addons would handle things like questing, banking/auctioning, professions, mail and so forth. (I already have a good idea what those addons would be.) Second, I would like to improve my set of raiding addons. Right now everything feels so cluttered. All the information is there, it just doesn’t get displayed in a very clean and efficient way.
My three biggest hurdles right now are buffs/debuffs, ability procs/cooldowns, and action bars. I’m decently sure I can find something to handle the first two, but I’m struggling with the third–primarily because I don’t like action bar mods. I really like the default action bar set up that blizzard has. I like those giant birds hanging out at the bottom of my screen. I like the relationship between the action bars and the utility/bag bars. I just wish that there was a way to resize and move that frame. Because I need a little more space on the sides and if I could resize the action bar frame (but keeping the default skin) I would be golden. Until then I will just keep angsting away about it.
The other thing I may do is change some of my key bindings for my shaman. Most of the healing I do is through healbot so I could probably move around some of the healing spells and just put in more dps spells.
“[Insert clever sign off phrase here]”
Bulletin from the Gnomeregan Gnews Gnetwork, Re: The Ice Stone
June 23, 2010 § 4 Comments
I wrote this during the great Ice Stone disaster of 2009 back before I started this blog. Originally it was posted in a Tankspot thread, but I thought I’d post it over here. I know it’s not timely or particularly topical but I did the midsummer festival event today and was reminded of it when I caused the Ice Stone to melt when I summoned Lord Ahune. Also I think it’s a pretty funny post I thought I’d share it with y’all.
And for those of you who have no idea what the Ice Stone disaster of 2009 was here’s a brief recap. During the 2009 Love is in the Air event there existed a bug. A fairly annoying, then amusing, then annoying again bug. For a few days, at random intervals there would be a server wide emote that said, “The Ice Stone has melted!” Nobody had any idea what was going on. Most people had no idea that the Ice Stone was related to summoning Lord Ahune, and those that did were confused because the midsummer event was months away. So, people all across the internets started coming up with various theories and amusing jokes about it. This post is my take on it.
This requires immediate translation!
April 30, 2010 § Leave a comment
I don’t know what’s going on but I’ve never wanted to be able to speak Chinese so badly. Who is that dwarf in the fancy blue dress? Why is he in Thunder Bluff? Who is that Alliance envoy he is with? And what, pray tell, is that Tauren so worked up about?
The clip in question runs from 4:44 to 6:23.
The magic of interrupting casters
April 8, 2010 § 3 Comments
Because at one time I played a tank, my healing style is a little unique. I am hyper aware of what the tank is doing, where she is placing her mobs, and how she is grabbing them together. I will admit that from time to time I get a little bit critical of the way they choose to pull their mobs but I always keep it to myself. Nobody needs to have some opinionated shaman telling the tank how to do their job in the middle of a run. That’s what blogs are for.
Anyway, because I know what goes through the mind of a tank during a pull, I try to do what I can to help them. Sometimes pulls can get a little bit messy–and quite often this is because of the caster mobs. Occasionally we’ll come across a pack of five or six mobs, very spread out and most of them are casters. Even the best of tanks can struggle with packs like this. No matter how they pull or who they choose to attack first, there’s always at least one caster mob that refuses to budge. You know the ones I mean–those really annoying casters that don’t ever seem to want to go after the tank? The one’s that stand defiantly in place, carrying picket signs, locking arms and singing ‘we shall not be moved’? Yeah, those ones.
With these packs the way I try to help is by gently encouraging those casters to stop tossing glowey balls of death and that it’s totally a good idea to move into melee range and slap the tank around with their fists. As a shaman, my preferred method of interrupting is [Wind Shear]. I have it bound to one of my mouse clicks so it’s ready to go at a moments notice. Wind Shear is awesome for three reasons. 1) It interrupt spells. 2) It causes a two second silence. 3) It lowers my threat. Oh! Four reasons. 4) It’s off the global cool down so it can be used at any time.
Take the 5-mob pull in Pit of Saron right after Krick and Ick. I wait until the tank charges in (usually going after the big lady in the middle) and gathers up some aggro and then target one of the other caster mobs. In between tossing around chain heals I will interrupt their casting with a well timed [Wind Shear]. What this does, for those of you not quite with us, is causes said caster to move towards the tank’s melee range. This makes it a bazillion times easier for said tank to get and keep aggro on the mob.
How am I able to do this you ask? A combination of situational awareness, clever key bindings, and Healbot. Because Healbot is set up so that I interact with it via my mouse (by hovering over the targets’ name and clicking), I am free to tab-target the enemies that want to get a piece of the tank like a tween at a Jonas Brother’s concert. And because I have my key bindings set up so that [Wind Shear] is easily accessible at all times, I can cast it on a moments notice. True, I may have to temporarily stop healing for a brief moment, but if everyone is above 50% health with no huge incoming damage it makes much more sense to convince the caster that really they want to go after the tank instead of me. Then, while the tank and his new fan are having some quality time together, I am free to heal, and the dps are free to unload their ‘phat deeps’ without fear of reprisal.
Although that brings me to another point. I know, because I checked, that many other classes have some sort of spell interrupt. Granted some are more powerful than others (silences), and some are more useful (stuns), but everyone that has an interrupt is capable of doing it. I know this is a frustratingly foreign concept for some dps to grasp, but taking the time to stop damaging and toss out an interrupt can actually be more useful than continuing your dps. If you notice a caster, off by his little lonesome, trying to get the tanks undivided attention the only way they know how (by spewing firey, glowey, balls of death), maybe you could, oh, I don’t know, do something about it? Yes, you will have to briefly interrupt your rotation. Yes that means you might dip slightly in the total amount of dps that you are putting out. But if you bring the caster to the tank with a clever interrupt, you help everyone.
Think of it this way. Tank charges in, grabs everyone’s attention except that poor caster off by his own. For whatever reason the tank is unable to get him to move (don’t bother speculating why, just go with me that he can’t). You start unloading your super-mega-death-kill-maim abilities, steadily climbing the aggro chart. Suddenly that caster that was so interested in the tank is now interested in you. And while the tank is able to absorb the 10k hits like a windshield might absorb bugs on the freeway, you are not built that way. You’re total health may only be 20k and if that caster hits you twice in a row, you’re going to drop like the price of heart shaped chocolate on February 13th. It behooves you then, to briefly pause and interrupt the caster, so that he starts moving towards the tank. Even if you aggro him, if he runs past the tank, then the tank will actually be able to pick him up and save you from death.
Because your ‘phat deeps’ don’t count for squat if your dead.
“[Insert clever sign off phrase here]”
~Fizz (and Zula)
When do you say, “enough”?
March 29, 2010 § 6 Comments
First, a quick 5-man fail PuG story. Then a 10-man fail PuG discussion.
I’ve been working on my shaman’s DPS set, in case I need to swap roles during a raid for any reason. Because of that I’ve been queuing as DPS so that I can also get practice as enhancement. I’m finally feeling the long-queue wait pains that DPS folks have been facing recently. There were multiple almost-starts along the way, but someone would decline and I’d go back to the top of the queue.After nearly an hour hanging out in the queue I finally zoned in to the Nexus. There were multiple almost-starts along the way, but someone would decline and I’d go back to the top of the queue. I was unamused that it was the Nexus, but I sucked it up and stayed. (I hate the Nexus because for some reason, the color scheme makes it hard for me to distinguish the enemies from the environment.) The group makeup was me (enhancement shaman), a marksmanship hunter, a subtlety rogue, a protection warrior, and a restoration druid.
Right from the start it went badly. The hunter decided to take it upon himself to pull extra mobs. The tank called him out on it. It wasn’t in the most polite way, but he certainly wasn’t being a jerk about it. He just very clearly and directly told the hunter to stop pulling. The hunter decided not only to deny that he’d been pulling extra mobs, but that it would be fun to pull even more extra mobs.
When we engaged Grand Magus Telestra the hunter went back out into the hallway and pulled the extra packs of mob back into the group while we were fighting her. Even though we didn’t wipe, it was really obnoxious. This of course set the tank off. The warrior and the hunter spent the rest of the time yelling at each other. They were still fighting when we got to Anomalus. The warrior then did one of the strangest things I think I’ve ever seen an angry, retaliating tank do.
As a form of retaliation he engaged Anomalus and proceeded to kite him away from us. Back down the ramps, across the platforms, and back towards the hallway we’d just come from (where Telestra was). And I know it was retaliatory because he made a point of telling us, “I’m doing this to annoy the hunter, and because I think it’s funny.” The warrior got Anomalus a good way away from us and by the time we were able to catch up he’d gathered up additional packs and Anomalus had opened a bunch of Chaotic Rifts and tons of angry mana wraiths were coming through the rifts.
I know that some groups actually do this kiting technique on purpose for the achievement. But they usually don’t also aggro as many extra mobs as possible, and then laugh about making it hard on the hunter.
The hunter died, followed by the warrior. But the rogue, druid and I managed to take care of the rest of the mobs (shaman tank ftw!). The hunter and warrior continued their pissy bitch fest. Finally I gave up and said, “Look I can’t deal with this anymore. I know it will be easy to replace me as dps, but I’d rather eat the debuff then put up with this nonsense anymore.” And I dropped group. The healer dropped group too. (It took me a second to get from typing to clicking ‘leave party’ and in that time I saw him drop.) I’m willing to bet the rogue left as well. And I doubt that the hunter and the warrior even noticed through all their bickering. I wouldn’t be surprised if they did their corpse run, got all the way back, pulled the first group, died, and then got mad at the departed healer for letting them die before they realized anyone was missing.