Monthly Archives: March 2010

I’ll have the sweet and sour raid chicken with a side of the egg rolls of disappointment.

I know I’ve been absent for a few days (or weeks, I’m not sure at the moment) and I apologize for that. Between raiding, school, work and recruitment I haven’t had any time, or anything to write about actually. I was going to write about how a healing style can change over time, to adapt to a changing healing team, or a lacking one. However, I have been greeted with several metaphorical “kicks in the nuts” in the past few days. So, in the interest of an article that isn’t distracted and sloppy because of my current mental state I abandoned that idea and decided to write about something that’s been bugging me for the last few weeks.

As most of you know, I’m the recruitment officer for my guild. At the end of an expansion pack like WoTK recruitment is difficult– good players are either sticking with their guilds or looking for Hard modes already, and the lack luster players won’t cut it in a progression guild. The lack of difficult raiding content in the Trial of the Crusader period has left many raiders with an instant-gratification attitude. ToC was a raid that was not difficult; it was quick, easy, and allowed sub-par players to skip over Ulduar and all the trouble with Yogg, and jump to breaking open loot pinatas in ToC. With several months of that type of raiding we all got used to getting every piece we wanted weeks sooner than we would have dreamed possible in the days of Ulduar and as far back as vanilla.

Now we come to Ice Crown Citadale. It does not require the skill that Ulduar required (although I could be looking through rose-colored glasses), and with the backing of the ToC attitude, people want their content down and they want it now. Wiping for days on a boss is un acceptable, and it makes everyone much more angry than it would have in the past.

To top it all off, I’ve just had the very face smacking realization that selfishness wins out in most cases in WoW, especially among players of my generation. As always, there are exceptions. My personal opinion is because, in a large percentage of cases, we never see the people behind the screen. Through immaturity, delusion, and self-absorption it is easy to ignore the feelings and desires of someone whose face you don’t know, whose lives you don’t have to know anything about beyond their prefered class in WoW.

We liken a raiding group to a sports team, and on the surface it is. But underneath the surface the biggest differences between the two are that you often live very near your team mates, you know their families, their schools, you have infinitely more access to an understanding of the personal feelings of a soccer team-mate than a fellow raider who can be just pixels to you without any trouble.

It is not specifically among raiders that we find this attitude, but amongst all of us at one point or another. Recently, a lot of hate has been spilling out of the holy paladin corner of the blog-o-sphere. Warm fuzzies are not to be found seemingly anywhere in the WoW-o-sphere. To me, this is one of the most disappointing things I have seen in my WoW career. The reason I began blogging was because I wanted to practice my writing, I love playing my class, and I found a community that was laid back, honest, and had players that inspired me with their funny writing style, and extreme understanding of what they are talking about. The pen has been exercising its might in the last few weeks, and bloggers have been forcefully speared upon its ink spattered tip. This pompous warring has brought about the end one of my favorite blogs from one of the most helpful woman I have ever met in the blog-o-sphere. I’m not going to tell anyone how to write, but it goes back to the pixels-versus-person attitude. It is so disappointing to see the effects of  such angry blogging, and commenting, between all of us.

However, I’m getting off topic here.

My point (since I do eventually have to get to it) is that players are not colorful dots on your screen–They are people who work, have families, want to succeed, and in some cases, actually want to help other people succeed. I know I’m up here on my soap box condemning everyone–including myself– but I’m doing it because I do not want to see the feeling of the pre-Toc Wow community vanish in favor of a group of short-tempered, self-involved, angry people.

…I suppose I owe an explanation for the spark that set this grumpy fire.

In the last 48 hours my two resto shaman healing partners left the guild. I understand that not every place is the right place for everyone, but it’s not like a band-aid– the faster you do it does not make it better for all involved. As all of you know, having a stable healing team is a huge bonus for a raid group, and now I am the only healer left over from what I’ll term the “sundering” of Surge. I enjoy the three healers who are left, but the only one I know slightly well is out-of-town. Not to mention the lack of resto shaman’s abilities will be a sever detriment to our raid group.

I suppose there isn’t anything I can do about it now. We’ve been thrown a curve ball and I suppose we’ll have to deal.

So, I suppose I’m just going to sulk, eat chinese food, and ponder the state of the WoW world in a grumpy and sullen manner.

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Filed under Guild life, Guild recruitment, Progression, Raids, Soap box

Healer Experiments: Mouseover Macro’s in practice

After several hours researching the elusive mouse over macro (thanks CrankyHealer, you’re such a time saver!) I successfully typed out all the macros I thought I could and key bound them using Bartender 4’s own key binding system. It was much simplier to configure via the addon than through Blizzards own keybinding system. To do it you

 -Type /bar into your chat window

-Go to the top right corner of the addon configuration

 -Hit the red “keybindings” button

 -Check “character specific” box so you don’t mess with your level 22 shaman’s keybindings…which I totally did…

 -Mousover the macro or ability that you want bound

-Hit the number/letter/key combination you want to correspond to that spell

-Rinse and repeat until finished

When I was using Blizzard’s personal key binding system I couldn’t bind any of my recount bars without extensive searching, and in several cases, accidentally unbinding things like my “walk forward” and “open backpack” keys. I arrayed my key bindings like this

*Note: I’m totally in love with all the low quality paint images that seems to have become a fad in the blog-o-sphere.

The most used spells, holy light and flash of light, are arrayed where I can easily hit them without thinking to hard. Other things like BoP and Bubble Sac require actual thought to hit, to avid tank deaths and accidental bubble popage. Judgements are within quick tap-with-pinky reach, and my SS and BoL are nicely fit next to them on key’s two and three. In theory it’s a great layout for my playing style—quick, simple, and easy to remember. It didn’t start out this way though, and only though nervous tweaking of the system between pulls did I find a layout I could use effectively.

After I wrote all them out and key bound everything we lined up for an unusual Wednesday night ten man run. We sent two groups into ICC 10 and raced each other to Putricide’s death (Side note: all rules of racing should be layout in clear terms to all participants otherwise you end up with one confused and grumpy prot paladin). Here are some snippets from my brain in Wednesday night’s ten man where I first tried my macros:

Marrowgar Trash—

 ME: “I am not prepared!!”

Resto Shaman: “Don’t worry, you’ll be fine, it gets easier as you practice. You’re going to suck harcore for the first two weeks, but then you’ll go back to normal.”

 ME: “Well thanks for the words of encouragement–”

 VENT: “OMG who pulled the entire room of trash?!”

ME: “Ahhh, R, F, #5 the agro pulling ret paladin…what key was holy shock?! *PANIC SETS IN*/facepalm!!”

Raid Leader: “Okay, good job everyone, trash is down.”

ME: “Sigh”

Lady Deathwhisper—

ME: “Alright, this isn’t too bad, I’m getting the hang of this. I guess it helps that RS can practically heal this entire raid alone. What?! Who pulled?! I’ve got no mana! Ack, where was Holy light again?!/facepalm.”

Festergut—

Raid leader: “Okay guys, we’re going to two heal this in the interest of time.”

ME: *sputter*”But..”

Raid leader: “Pulling”

ME: “OMGOMGOMGOMGOMG…Okay, who didn’t get all their stacks? Where was my trinket macro again…stupid RS always healing more than me, I want chain heal…”

VENT: “Whoooo! Aww…and crap drops again.”

Blood Queen—

Raid leader: “So can you guys two heal this fight?”

ME: “Um…maybe…but I’m just trying out these new macros so—“

Raid Leader: “Okay, pulling.”

 ME: “BAH! Run over here, hit 2 + 3, heal raid, C F F F F R, Pact of the Darkfallen?! Noooo! Palms sweating…Air phase? Tremor totem! Refresh 2! Yes! Okay…hunter get away from me! F C R R R R…I think I’m going to be sick…”

VENT: “Wooot!”

Raid Leader: “Good job DPS…Just kidding, good job healers. Lets take 5.”

RS: “I think I need to go throw up…”

ME: “BRB, dying.”

Dreamwalker—

Raid Leader: Okay, Shadow Priest, respect healing for this fight, and you’ll heal outside while Phea and–”

Shadow Priest: “Oh, but I’m only specced for Greater Priesty ness and it only works for healing the boss.”

Raid Leader: “Okay Phea, you’ll heal the raid and RS and SP will go in the portals.”

ME: “But, I just gemmed two pieces for a full SP set for this fight, and really paladin’s and shaman are great for healing the boss…fine, I’ll do it.”

Raid Leader: “Alrighty, pulling…nice job everyone.”

VENT: “Whoo, that was easy!”

ME: “Zomg, that was so boring! Rogue, try to tank something next time, make it interesting!”

Sindrgosa—

 Raid leader: “Okay I’m going to tank this in my full frost resist set so we only need one tank. Ready? Okay, pulling.”

SINDY: “RAWR!!”

VENT: “Ahh, ice blocks, don’t break them out yet, zomg frostbolt from the sky!!… dead.”

 Raid leader: “Well at least I resisted ¾ of her attacks.”

ME: “Lamest tank damage ever.”

Raidleader: “Okay guys one more pull and–”

RS: “Nope sorry, got to go, girlfriend wants to use the computer to do her dailys. And it’s already 11PM.”

VENT: “ohh…sigh…Saturday!”

And so ended the epic night of ten mans.

As I said, two healing Blood Queen, is un-recommended. In fact, it’s severely UN-RECOMMENDED, unless you want to give your healers high blood pressure and possibly aneurisms. That was the hardest healing I’d ever done in my entire—abet short—WoW career. Everything was incrediably franic; red line of death over there, tank damage over here, Blood Queen’s version of legion flames back there. Both the shaman and I went Oom near the end, and we didn’t even have an innervate because our druid was tanking! In the end he still managed to smoke my 5.5k HPS with his 9k. Grumble. Looks like I need to go dissect WoL some more to figure out why I was lagging behind so much.

All in all, the night went very well, despite my trepidations and tribulations. Everyone worked really hard, and we one shot everything up to Sindy in 3 ½ hours. We’re going back in tonight and I think we’re going to try the Raiding Rainbow’s strat which makes the fight look stupid easy. Tankspot’s strat is really designed for using two tanks instead of one. When we discovered that if the tank was wearing a full frost resist set he resisted most of her attacks, so we we decided against tankspot’s approach and used our OT to heal. Our tank was a Bear, so I’m not sure if that influenced our success with the one tank strat, because all he stacks is stamina and that’s all frost resist sets give besides the resist.

 Here is the world first Sindy10 man kill from Reading Rainbow that we’re trying tonight.

Now back to Marco-ing

 The macro’s I wrote were all very simple and self explanatory. I didn’t want to try anything too complicated on my first night. They mostly looked like this

# show tool tip

/cast [target=mouseover] Holy light

The “#show tool tip” is there so it will show the image of the spell rather than an image I selected or the ugly read question mark. At first I tried to vary my macros a bit, and I tried this for Beacon of Light

# show tool tip

/cast [target=focus] Beacon of Light

I used a /cast focus macro to cast my focus on the OT at the start of the fight, but I found that I wasn’t always focusing the player I wanted to beacon so I changed [target=focus] to [target=mouseover] and I just need to be careful who I’m mousing over on grid.

My personal opinion on mousover macros:

They’re great, and I recommend them to any healer trying to shake up their playing style from a click-click-cast or a mouse bound sytem. I’m going to go after raid and dissect my World of Logs report from tonight and compare it to Wednesday’s raid, but moving your mouse and casting works far better—and faster—then the clicking then casting I was using before. I’ve tried binding to my mouse through a unit frames program like clique or heal bot, and I’ve tried not using anything but unit frames, a mouse, and my keyboard, but mousover macros have won me over. Even in the few short hours I used them I noticed a subtle improvement in my healing percentage,and my stress level during encounters has gone down. I doubt I would have been able to two heal Blood Queen at all if I hadn’t been using this new found ability. Added bonus—On major patch days I can just pop out my unit frames (or the basic WoW ones) and go to town healing while other healers wait for their addons to update. Just sayin’.

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Filed under Healing Expriments, Raids

Healer Experiments: Mouse over Macros

I’m starting an experiment for myself. A while back I posted about the addons that I use, and mentioned how I don’t use mouse over macros or clique, etc. Well I think the time has come to chance that.

On sunday we ran Putricide 25 for four hours. The wiping wasn’t terrible– we had a semi-new group and we were getting the mechanics down slowly but surely. However, our healing make-up was very strange. We’re still in the stages of finding a good holy priest to accompany us, so we ran with 3 Healadins, 2 Resto druids, and 1 Resto Shammy. Sunday nights are always a catch and grab for players. Throughout the course of the fight I found I was fighting to even stay above last or second to last on the meters. Not for lack of trying I might add. I’m still trying to sort out why, and short of my judgement of light constantly getting over written, and all of us beaconing the tank and raid healing, I can’t really account for my super low healing. It could also be that I spent a majority of the fight running out of goo, into players targeted by the green ooze, and away from puddles. Give me a Festergut, give me a Blood Queen, and I’ll rip the roof off the raid. Put me in a Putricide and you might as well tie my hands and have me faceroll, apparently.

Well, after talking to my Resto Shaman officer I’ve decided that my healing style isn’t fast enough. After watching him do an astonishing 28k on Dreamwalker 25 the other night I asked him his secret. He uses a combination of mouse-over macros and Vuhdo, while I use grid and my basic key bindings.

First questions: What the heck is a mouse over macro?

Second question: How do I write them?

Third Question: Are they useable with raidframes?

I’m off to do research on all these topics, and hopefully I’ll have them ready for tonight’s raid. Farm night seems to be to be a good chance to test these out!

The goal of these experiments will be to test my boundries as a healer and to find the most successful way to heal, at least for myself. I don’t like getting so comfortable with my healing that I start seeing my performance go down. When I’m falling behind other healers I out gear, and when I understand more about my class, it’s definitely time to chance. I can’t be the foremost authority on Healadin’s in my guild if I’m stuck in an outdated healing style!

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Filed under Healing Expriments, Progression, Raids

Secrets, secrets are no fun, unless you share with everyone…

I’m posing a question to my fellow bloggers: Is your blog a secret?

Whether it’s in your day-to-day life outside WoW, or in your guild, do your friends and family know you keep a small corner of the internet for your ideas and thoughts about a video game we play?

My parents found out about my blog.

 Well, at least not voluntarily from me. Let me tell you, I have the most persuasive (and often scary) step-dad in the entire world. I inherited my video game dork-ness from him, and my book nerd-ness from my dad. I was destined to be nerdy. Anyway, a few days after I started writing this blog I accidentally mentioned something about  a piece I’d written about WoW. Now, why I would do that I’m not sure. I think it’s because I can’t keep my mouth shut, but that’s another story. Well, after coercing me for several hours I gave in and told him my website name. Lo-and-behold the subsequent conversation my Mother and (actual) Father had about me over dinner with my boyfriend, sister, and two half-brother:

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Filed under Guild life, My life, Soap box

Oh fine, the Resto Druid is the hero.

First Dreamwalker...healing...on ten man
We finally got the Dreamwalker fight down last night! After only three more attempts we managed to heal her to full and get our ten man to 10/12 ICC progression. Although I would love to take credit for this, I can’t. I managed to lose my stacks (only time all night, bummer it had to be the one we downed her on, heh) on the second to last portal. I think playing with the other portal healer in the same room really helped us recover from that. As soon as I started yelling profanities to the sky because I’d lost my stacks, Punch told me to stay out and raid heal while he went in the next portal and finished the boss off because she was at 90% to full. It worked really well, she was up in few seconds after he jumped out of the last portal, and no raid members died (I like to think because I helped, but our new resto druid was really amazing as well. Talk about feeling useless!) unfortunately nothing good for me dropped and we actually had the loot going to offsepcs. Sigh, oh ten man you are a cruel mistress of the loots.

 

We gave Sindy a shot, but I don’t think most peoples hearts were in it. For it being a “progression” group a lot of people certainly wanted to go farm Festergut and Rotface for badges. We had the cleanest Rotface kill I think I’ve ever seen, and then moved on to Putricide. We had two new recruits, a hunter and resto druid, who had never done the fight before, but for all that we managed to get him to 4% (!) before people had to leave at 11. I hate that alchemical bastard.

 

I want to say thanks to everyone involved in the Dreamwalker fight, congratulations to us! Especially thanks to our two new recruits Zald the resto druid, which is spelled incorrectly because his “a” has an accent over it (if anyone can tell me how to make an accent over an “a” in WordPress that would be great), and Caliberr the hunter who did their first 10-man with us! Thanks for joining us guys!

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Filed under Guild life, Progression, Raids