Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Pit of Saron: A Pug's Tale

Last night I had the strangest PUG.

At first, we had done a very fast run of Heroic Forge of Souls.  At the end we decided to go through the portal to continue onto Pit of Saron. The tank discovered he was saved so he apologised and dropped group, letting the rest of us pug another tank. So far, so spiffy.

When a new warrior tank joined the group, the rogue piped up and started going on about how we should vote kick this guy, "He's no good, the run will fail, he's got *expletive* gear".

I checked, and he was right.  Mostly blues, 24k-odd health. I myself have about 21k health. This could be interesting, but I remembered what it was like being a new healer in this place.  Besides, the rogue was being a dick about it.

I said, "Calm down. Are we going to get started or what? "

Roguey says: "Watch how fast I pull aggro from him!" (in rather worse spelling).

After the first pull, when he didn't, in fact, pull aggro, the rogue said "If we make it through this run I'll apologize and retract my words"

I replied, "Low HP tanks are the healer's problem anyway, so it'll be me you're apologising to later."

At this point the tank pipes up with, "Oh, don't let the rogue bother you, I already ignored him right back at the start!"

We continued on.

Then, halfway to the second boss, this flashes up on my screen in a whisper:
Rogue: "how much do you weigh leesah?"

At this point the tank nearly died because I was staring open-mouthed at the screen, wondering if this guy was serious. I guess others would have vote-kicked or given him a serve, but at the time I was healing the tank heavily so I had no choice but to ignore it and try to concentrate. He continued with something along the lines of, "link me your facebook, sorry I can't be your e-boyfriend if you're unattractive. "

I said "what if I'm a bloke?"

He replied with something like "nah, you're a girl, are you hot?"

After that I did tell him where to go, in no uncertain terms.  But I don't like putting people on ignore in the middle of an instance. So I ignored him by not replying further and continued healing, furious and wondering whether he was a 16-year old up past his bedtime or just rude and immature.  I ignored him later once the run was complete.

The tank did fine, despite at one point riding off up ahead to pull and causing a wipe since he was out of range, and later during a boss fight shouting "bres me!" about 3 times when it was on cooldown and I was too busy spam healing the DK to reply. Since we was obviously still gearing up and learning tanking, I had no problem with these things, but I think the pressure was getting to him a bit because at one point he whispered me with, "Omg pls don't kick me".  I felt sorry for the poor guy.

At the bottom of the hill after the second boss, the rogue says "we'll wipe here.  I'll leave"

I held my tongue and thought Do us all a favour and leave now, and concentrated on keeping people alive.

Adrenaline-fueled healing is great - it puts you on your toes and your reflexes are sharpened. I managed to keep that low-hp tank alive up the hill and through the tunnel without any wipes, all the while the rogue alternating between complaining about the "bad tank" and shouting song lyrics for some reason.

Anyway, long story short, we got it done with only one wipe on Tyrannus and with the rogue whispering me with some BS about being made for each other. If at any stage it had got obscene I would have vote-kicked him in a heartbeat and probably reported him, but it was pretty harmless, and by that stage I was past the furious stage and thought the whole thing was hilarious. He was only saying it in whispers, not party chat. Not that it mattered much because I suspect everyone in the party but me was ignoring him!

My emotional rainbow went something like this over the course of the instance:
Start, mildly inconvenienced by the tank leaving.  New tank, hooray!  Rogue being an arse, annoyed. Can't believe what I'm reading, furious. Determined. Bemused. Amused. At the end I was shaking my head and thinking what a bizzare game this can be at times!

Still, here's a tip for young players: don't go giving your real name out to random strangers in pugs!

The moral of the story is, give newbie tanks a chance! When I was a noob healer (still am to be honest), a well geared tank made runs easier. If the tank is undergeared, it's the healer's problem. If the tank and the healer are both undergeared, then the problems are bigger, but not insurmountable.  I probably should have vote-kicked the rogue at the start and saved myself the stress.

So, dear readers, if you've made it this far I salute you ;)  How quick are YOU to vote-kick someone? Would you have kicked the tank at the start?  I'm guessing most would have kicked the rogue!

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Shared Topic - Starting Over

I thought it was about time I took part in one of Blog Azeroth's shared topics, and this one is particularly interesting to me because I've recently done it!

From Pieces:
If you had the chance to start all over again in WoW, but your char is already level 80, or level 1 depending on if you like to level or not. What class would you pick? What race?   What faction? Why would you pick that class/race/faction?  And most of all what would you plan to do with it? Raid, PvP or just hang out in Dalaran?

About a year ago, my husband and I were just about to leave the UK to travel on the adventure of a lifetime, home to Australia.    

We said a sad goodbye to our guildies on Eonar-EU, and my Priesty ate some chocolate cake so she could log out very happy, sitting on her favourite bench in the south bank of Dalaran.

The journey home took us across the world for 5 months, during which time I desperately missed the game. It didn't help that we kept hearing about the great progress our guild was making in Ulduar, and later ToC. I hate to miss out on things! The WotLK soundtrack was a great comfort, especially the Dalaran music.

Once we finally got home moved into our place and got connected, we made the difficult decision to reroll on an Oceanic server and start again from scratch - we started over in the most complete sense - no realm/faction transfers, no heirlooms or money - completely from nothing. I had fired up my UK account and played a little, getting a few upgrades for my Naxx gear and getting to see a couple of the raids I'd missed, but I couldn't really play with my old guildies anymore and the latency was dreadful.

Why a Druid? 
The second character I ever made in the game was my nelf Druid, but I didn't get her to max level until early 2009. My Priest was my main, and I didn't get to play my Druid that much, but I loved healing on her. I wanted my new main to be a healer, and I liked Druid healing more than Priest healing, so Druid it was. Besides, shape changers are awesome :)

Why Horde? 
My husband had briefly had a max level hordie before switching to Alliance to join me many moons ago, but I'd never had a hordie past level 40. He says the horde are more cool but I'd play either faction to be honest! I'm so glad we decided to see the other side of things - Northrend especially is such a different experience for each faction. 

Why Tauren? 
I really like playing a Tauren as their lore is really interesting. Plus, they have a really chilled out dance! There's something about being a big beautiful cow-lady that brings out my motherly side I think - perfect for a healer wouldn't you say?

Why Nagrand?
We wanted a server with a decent-size horde population. Originally we were going to roll on a PvP server, but when my chosen name wasn't available I chickened out of PvP and we ended up on Nagrand.

What do I plan to do with it?  
Raid when I can. I've recently discovered that I quite like healing in PvP although once someone targets me I'm not much good at keeping myself alive. I'd be rubbish in an arena but I do alright in Wintergrasp, throwing out the heals in big battles. I haven't done much in the way of Battlegrounds yet but perhaps I'll give it another go sometime. The hanging around in Dalaran part is a given :)

The leveling process
Our three months of Refer-a-Friend time has just run out in the last few days.  We didn't use it as much as we could have, but after three months I have a level 80 Druid, 72 Mage and 41 Shaman.  My husband has a (just dinged today!) 80 Shaman, 60-odd Mage, 60-odd Druid, 41 Warrior and a smattering of other lowbie alts. My husband's mage was gifted 60 levels from my characters as a refer-a-friend perk, and he then had to go buy a tonne of cloth to level up tailoring so he didn't have to wear level 10 gear to start Outlands in! He still hasn't got his Zhevra mount - I think we'll be getting in touch with Blizz after this weekend since that's why my next subscription is due.

In all it was a crazy-fast way to get back up to the end-game, but it served our purpose perfectly.  Money was a problem - we often didn't have enough money for training, in fact my druid still hasn't trained any of the feral talents past level 40 or so... I really should get that sorted one of these days! We didn't buy any gear because we grew out of it too quickly, so by the time we made it to Outlands and the GOGG I was still wearing some level 30-ish gear.

The tourguide addon for RAF was a godsend, but by the third time through we almost knew where to go without looking at it. I'll be interested to see where the normal tourguide takes me on my Shaman, now that I won't be skipping every other quest.

If you ever or find a need to re-roll and start from scratch, the hardest part is probably the leveling. These days, once you hit 80 the emblems and then gear flow like water and you will be in top content before you know it.

The part that I'm finding difficult now, is that I miss the things I had on my old characters. When we left the UK I had two level 80s, both of which had epic flying, plus a few alts in their 70s. I had a load of bits and pieces in the bank collected along the way - the Urn from Kara, Direbrew remote, a Frozen Shadoweave set and other random junk that nevertheless meant something to me. I left behind my Onyxia whelpling, Vampiric Batling, Baby Blizzard Bear and my beloved Nether Drake. Most pets, mounts and achievements can be acquired again, but I'm missing them for the moment. At least I still have Mr Frosty, even if his cuteness looks vaguely evil.

Monday, 29 March 2010

RIP Cartographer

For those of us who use a custom interface for WoW, our work is never complete. My UI is always changing, and it's still not perfect.

Even though I try to keep my addons pretty much up to date, there's not much we can do when the developer of an addon stops work on it, and a subsequent patch breaks it.

Such a thing has happened with one of my favourite addons, Cartographer 3.  It was a Google-esqe map that was seamless and zoom-able.  I was sad to see that once patch 3.3.3 hit, it no longer worked, and the cartographer inside me cried quietly in the corner.

The problems with both the original Cartographer and version 3 will not be fixed - the addon's page at Curse says that it would need a complete re-write.

Matticus posted on No Stock UI about a few different addons that can replace most of the functionality of Cartographer. I have now installed two of them - Mapster and Cromulent.  I already had Atlas installed for instance maps. I recommend visiting NSUI to check the other addons suggested, including those mentioned by commenters.  A couple of commenters suggested that you can make orginal Cartographer work by disabling the "Look and Feel" module - but Cartographer 3 doesn't have that module and wouldn't work at all for me.

So, I'm trying out Mapster. It doesn't have all the bells and whistles that Cartographer did, but it has the basic functionality and shows coordinates.  One of the really cool things it does have is a minimise function, where it makes a smaller, non-clickable version of the map in the middle of your screen. If you adjust the alpha on this map so that you can see your toon through it, it makes a neat navigational aide that is a little Diablo-ish.  I'm not sure if I will use it much since it does obscure the view a bit, but I can see it being useful while travelling. It looks a little faint in the picture - it's not quite so bad when the background is moving.

You can set the alpha and scale for both the full-size and minimised maps, as well as configure icons for group members and options for fog of war.  Mapster also has an instance map component, so perhaps I can do away with Atlas. More testing required first though.

Mapster also shows quest objectives on the map in a similar way to the default world map - with numbered circles.  You can choose to hide these panels. The green area on the map is the fog of war (ie, unexplored areas).

The other addon I've added is Cromulent. All it does is add information to the map window about the zone you're mousing over, showing the recommended level range, instances that are in that zone, plus the level of fishing required to fish there. The text across the top of the map in the image at the top of the post is Cromulent in action.

Cartographer and Cartographer 3 were broken by 3.3.3. They're not going to be fixed.

Two useful replacement addons are Mapster and Cromulent. I've liked them so far! Read Matticus' post on No Stock UI for more suggestions for Cartographer replacement.

PS. So far we have had 29 blogs sign up to hide an egg for the Great Blog Noblegarden Egg Hunt! Wouldn't you like to join in? :)

Friday, 26 March 2010

The Great Blog Noblegarden Egg Hunt

The festival of Noblegarden starts on Sunday April 4 and runs until the 10th.  It involves players hunting for Brightly Coloured Eggs throughout Azerothian cities and the surrounding areas.

In the spirit of the Secret Admirer Project and the Elder Blogging Event, I'd like to invite you to participate in the

Great Blog Noblegarden Egg Hunt!

Bloggers and non-bloggers alike are welcome to take part in this event!

Go to to see the list of blogs taking part and start hunting for eggs!

Here's what to do:
  1. Bloggers, register your name and blog either by sending an email to wowegghunt at gmail dot com, Twitter me @angelya_au or comment on this post by Midnight GMT, Saturday April 3rd.

  2. Somewhere on your site, on or before Sunday, April 4, hide an egg. That's a whole week to register and hide an egg. More information below...

  3. On Easter Sunday, April 4, I will post a list on R&R of all the blogs and sites taking part.

  4. After Easter Sunday, go hunting!  The first two people (!!) to email wowegghunt at gmail dot com a complete list of the exact locations of the eggs, are the winners!  If no-one has located all the eggs by midnight GMT, Wednesday April 7th, the winners will be the two people who found the most eggs.  The winners will be announced on Wednesday April 7th.


I'm very pleased to be able to offer not one, but TWO fabulous prizes for the first two people to email me the list. Mason Cole, an artist who draws amazing fan art for Warcraft and other comic characters, has offered to draw a character portrait for the winner, plus a montage of classes for either Horde or Alliance for the person who comes in second. You can check out some of Mason's work at his DeviantArt gallery!

Guidelines for Egg Hiding

The egg on your site could be in an image, a link to an in-game egg, some reference to an egg... basically you need to be creative so it's not too easy for people to just google "egg" and find it, but obvious enough so that people looking for an egg will recognise it!

For example, in my side bar, under the Blogroll of Doom, there is an egg.  Congratulations, you found your first one.  Click it, then come back here. Go on!

There will be a lot of eggy posts around at that time as people post guides for Noblegarden achievements, so in order to not confuse it with those posts, you could have it link to another page that confirms that they've found an egg.  You can use the link to my confirmation page, or save and host the image yourself, or make a different confirmation message, or if you think your egg is obvious enough, leave it without a link. The image is my dreadful handiwork by the way, not Mason's ;)

Please don't hide your egg in a post that's over a week old. People shouldn't have to hunt through weeks of archives (unless they really want to of course).

You could hide your egg on your front page, in your about page, your blogroll, an image in your latest post, your blog header...

There will be more guidelines for Egg Hunters closer to the time.

How to Register your Blog

You can either email me at wowegghunt at gmail dot com, Twitter me @angelya_au or comment on this post with your blog name and address. If you don't get a direct confirmation reply from me in a few days, I may have missed your message and you may not be on the list.  If that happens, ping me again and I'll make sure you're in.

Happy Hunting!

PS. Thanks to Anea and Jen for the images at the top! There are more to come ;)

I got Interviewed!

If you go over to WoW in an Hour today, you'll find Gameldar's weekly WoW in My Hour column... is an interview with me :)

I just wanted to thank Gameldar for giving me the opportunity to answer his questions - I've been enjoying the other posts in the series so far and I'm really happy to be part of it :)  Keep up the good work mate!

If you're visiting for the first time from WoW in an Hour, welcome!  Stay a while, and listen. Or something.

Actually do stay a while, exciting stuff coming up later today!

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Pining for the Fjord

Click the image for a 1600 by 900px wallpaper image.

Howling Fjord, from the dam wall next to Utgarde Keep.

Want to see more pretty pictures? Visit R&R's Gallery Page.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Reader Roundup 24 March

I'm going to do a reader roundup a little early this week as there's some exciting stuff happening over the next few days... stay tuned :)

This last fortnight has been a busy one for the blogosphere, between the dramas of last week and Patch 3.3.3 hitting today.  I'm not going to link to or weigh in on any of the drama stuff because I think enough has been said about it, but it was interesting watching the community's reactions to it.  And that's all I have to say about that.

The patch, however, is good fun stuff. The image at the top is inspired by [Frosty Flying Carpet] and getting A Whole New World stuck in my head all day. Anyway, to the links!
  • A possibly quite useful tool was released by the Wowhead crew.  It's at (let me wowhead that for you).  Basically you put in a search term or the results url to a filtered search, and you get a link that takes you directly to the search results, so you can help people with specific results in wowhead. It's a great idea and one that may well come in handy for helping people out!
  • Larisa wrote about creating a Cataclysm - doing something different in game to shake it up and make it more interesting for yourself.
  • Tamarind wrote a really entertaining post about playing for the other team and giving head to the King of Stormwind.  No really, it's SFW, unless your work is the kind of place where it's not allowed to gigglesnort for no apparent reason.
  • If you've ever wanted to start blogging but aren't sure how to go about it, Saresa gave some top tips this week.
  • I completely agree with Merlot about the fact that baby hordies should feel upset that the Zalazane they've been dying to and killing for years isn't, in fact, the guy himself.  Ripped off!
  • Now for story time. This week's fan-fic link is a story of Tauren - The Crows of Thunder Bluff is an exciting story from Cocles of Loregy.
  • Fealen of Cow and Bones drew some really cute mspaint diagrams while remembering how Moonkins have changed over time.
  • The cutest post of the week goes to Wugan at Flow for his post about pets and raiding. Specifically, comparing different types of pets, and the pros and cons of each. Complete with adorable pics!
Happy Patch Day!  I hope things have settled down by the time your guild gets into a raid ;)

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Patch 3.3.3 is Incoming

Patch 3.3.3 is incoming.  Tuesday morning for the American realms (or tonight for us Oceanics), Wednesday for the EU. sayeth, so shall it be done.

In case by some chance they are misinformed, at least here's a heads-up for a week or two's time, right?

The full PTR notes can be found here, and as soon as the patch officially drops, the 3.3.3 live patch notes will be found here.

As always, MMO-Champion have a thorough analysis on the changes, and's guide to 3.3.3 is full of useful information.  I just wanted to highlight a few changes that I thought were important.

The big news is for Balance Druids.
  • Talents
    • Balance
      • Starfall: The damage done by this spell has been significantly increased.
If you read some of the analysis of what's going on the PTR, Starfall is now a significant dps contributor. Moonkin should use [Glyph of Starfall],[Glyph of Starfire] and [Glyph of Moonfire]. Replacing [Glyph of Moonfire] with [Glyph of Focus] if you don't have the 2pc Tier 9 bonus that buffs Moonfire is a DPS increase, but don't do it if you think reducing the range of Starfall is going to be a problem.

Restokin and Sunfyre's Nest have more information, and as usual there's a load of theorycrafting at Elitist Jerks.  Graylo talks about glyph choices and spell rotation changes in this post. I'll be updating the Balance Cheat Sheet after the patch drops.

Feral Druids are also buffed.
  • Talents
    • Feral Combat
      • Mangle: The debuff from this talent now lasts 60 seconds, up from 12 seconds.
  • Glyph of Mangle: This glyph now provides 10% increased damage done by Mangle instead of increasing the duration of the debuff.
It should be a decent buff to Mangle damage though - more information at the Fluid Druid. On bosses your Mangle key won't get so much of a workout and will free up energy for other abilities.

Interestingly, the only metion of the ICC pity buffs is here:
  • Hellscream's Warsong and Strength of Wrynn now provide their bonuses to player pet health and damage, as well as the absorption amounts of Power Word: Shield and Sacred Shield.
There's no mention of increasing it to 10% - we'll see tomorrow if the buff has been increased.

The most awesome change (apart from the Starfall buff):
  • Culling of Stratholme
    • Players may now skip the initial introduction dialog to this dungeon once they have completed it at least once.
Hoo-bloody-ray!  This first time, this dialogue was made of Awesome and WC3 flashbacks, but after the ten millionth time we can practically act it out, as these people did in Ironforge.

We've been hearing about this for a few weeks already, Frozen Orbs will now be used as currency.
  • Frozo the Renowned has moved into the Dalaran Magus Commerce Exchange and will be trading your Frozen Orbs for various other trade goods.
Basically he will be taking Frozen Orbs in exchange for items such as Eternals, Frost Lotus, Crusader Orbs and Runed Orbs.  Expect Auction House prices of these items to crash soon after the patch, and Frozen Orb prices to rise.  There's more information about this guy at MMO-Champion.

There are huge changes to PvP and also quite a few tweaks to the Looking for Dungeon System - I'm not going to list them all here but I do suggest you read through the notes to check them out.

There's also a lot of small, neat changes that I see being very handy, such as taking away the ability to roll Need on Frozen Orbs, the ability to see different building/city layers in a map, and having uncomplete quests show up in dialog windows as a grey question mark instead of yellow.  It's almost like someone at Blizzard went through the suggestion box and fixed up a few little things that were bugging people. I'm looking forward to seeing this stuff in action!

Monday, 22 March 2010

Resto and Balance Gear List Resources

Now that I've started raiding regularly I need to know a bit more about gear that's available than what's in the Fresh 80 gear lists for Tree and Moonkin.

Rather than make new lists myself, I thought I'd link some great lists that are already out there. I still maintain my own spreadsheet, and I recommend you work out a wish list yourself for the raids that you go to frequently - it really helps to know ahead of time what loot there is for you, and your loot master appreciates it if you don't spend a long time working out whether to roll on gear after a boss is down.

The main thing to remember with Resto gear is to stack Haste until 735 if you have 3/3 Celestial Focus. For each 40 Haste rating after that you can take a point out of CF. The Haste cap without CF is 856. More information is in the Resto Cheat Sheet.

Moonkin have a range of caps to reach and juggle - you can read more about these on the Balance Cheat Sheet.

And that's pretty much what I'm looking at to help me with gear.  If any other druids have guides that you know of, please comment and let me know.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

A Travel Album

This post was inspired by Windsoar, acting as the Blogging Muse on the occasion of her 6 month blogaversary!
/cast Muse
Hello my twiggy friend, I notice that you have many an alt, and make some beautiful wallpapers as you travel.
What are your favorite places to visit?
This is actually quite a tricky question, and sent me on a wild goose-chase hunting through all my screenshots and poring over the Azeroth map, but I think I've narrowed it down a bit!

I love to take screenshots, just as I like to take photos in real life. Life can get very monotonous if you just continue on the daily grind, but if you really stop to look every now and then, you will find amazing things in the most common places.

It's the same with the World of Warcraft.  There has been amazing detail lovingly put into the game, and the incredible thing is that unlike the real world, it didn't just grow there naturally - every single thing was put there into the game by an artist and developer. This makes me feel like I need to share everything I see!

WoW isn't the first game to be visually beautiful. I played a lot of Morrowind and Oblivion back when they were new, and I used to just ride around and around looking at the scenery and getting annoyed when those demon gate things would show up to interrupt my tourism.

A lot of my screenshots these days are from the addon Multishot, which snaps a pic when I get achievements, but you can still find me stopping in the road to line up a pic like a true tourist.

I love sharing my screenies with you but unfortunately at the moment my blog theme doesn't allow very big images on the main page - I'll have to leave them small, so click them if you'd like a closer look.

Thousand Needles

The Blizz artistic magicians do a good green foresty zone, but for visual impact you can't beat Thousand Needles.  Day or night, the zone is visually stunning with the rock pillars casting long shadows and the light shining off the surfaces. 

There are other Old World areas I love to visit such as Ferelas, Winterspring, Ungoro Crater and the Hinterlands, but some really amazing scenery is to be found in the expansions...

You might have seen this image before - there's a wallpaper version of it here. I'm not much of a fan of Hellfire Peninsula and rush through it as quickly as possible to get to the utter awesome that is the huge blue mushroom forest of Zangarmarsh.

Underbog is probably my favourite outland instance apart from the Botanica.  Don't ask me why, I just always enjoyed doing it :)

Nagrand is a beautiful zone, completely with floating rocks and waterfalls.  Don't tell me you didn't immediately think of Nagrand while watching Avatar! The sunsets here are really special.

Howling Fjord and Borean Tundra
My favourite places to be these days are definately in Northrend. The immensity of the Fjord itself is something that definately gives the Alliance a picturesque spot for Valgarde.

The northern lights in Borean Tundra and Howling Fjord are really beautiful, and the real-life version is something that has fascinated me for years and I'd love to visit someday.

My favourite wallpaper - I even had it on my work computer for a while until people kept come up and asking me "Where's that? It's beautiful!" and I had to exaplain that it was from a game.

Grizzly Hills
A lot of what attracts me to Grizzy Hills is the music that plays there. It's very peaceful, especially if you are near running water. I look forward to being able to fish in Northrend so that I can go chill out there.

Sholazar Basin
Another beautiful place and this time it has the added bonus of a completely gorgeous quest line for the Frenzyheart vs Oracles. I absolutely love doing this zone on every character, but I don't go back to visit it much as it's so far away.

So there you have it. A collection of some of the most beautiful places in the game.

I'll leave you with a few random shots I've picked up along the way.
Ever seen the Rocket Chicken of Booty Bay?

The Kvaldir ghosts on the beach in Borean Tundra turn into seaweed and starfish when they die.

The All-You-Can-Scoff Buffet at the Filthy Animal in Dalaran is awesome!

Can he swing from a web?  No he can't, he's a pig.

Enjoy the scenery!

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Horoscopes for Thursday, March 18

Greetings, Madame Angelya here. Today I put my mystical, er, gold coin hat on and attempt to read the meaning concealed within today's star alignments for your guild. May you find truth and enlightenment.

The Healer 
Your nurturing nature will get a real work-out today, Healer. Try to remain calm in your pugs but if you have to let the DK die, do it.  You'll feel better afterwards. There is loot around you but it I feel it is destined for the dps - make sure to sweet-talk the raid leader before the start.

The Raid Leader
The planets are aligned for your guild run today.  It doesn't happen all that often, but when it does, trash and bosses will drop like flies and your raiders will stay out of the fire (mercifully). Chill! Let your raiders know how they're doing, but not like this guy. Be wary of finding yourself taking over the pug raid that you may be tempted with in the afternoon.

The Teen
Sometimes, everything feels so unfair, and that no-one understands you, and that somehow, it is all your Mum's fault, all of it. Today, Teen, people in your guild are starting to wonder about your outbursts and if you want to keep going to raids, it is probably best if you just keep your mouth shut and do the great job that your guild loves you for. It will pass.

The Drunk
Be careful how many you have at the pub before the raid tonight, Drunk!  There's loot on the cards for you for the first couple of bosses.  After that, I don't see much more of interest in your stars so... cheers!

The Girly Girl
You know how to get what you want, Girly Girl, and today it is definately within your grasp. If you ask, help will come, just make sure to let everyone know that you are in need of it! I sense special attention from a certain young mage who has his eye on you!

The Robot
Business as usual for you today, Robot.  You'll cream the damage meter, and once again leave everyone wondering whether you're a real person. Make sure not to speak to anyone to maintain the illusion.

The Mum
I sense a great struggle for you today, Mum. This struggle may involve a great deal of vomit. It's probably best if you don't sign for the raid tonight.  Your guild loves you, but they will thank you for not making them wait for 20 minutes while you're afk to clean up the mess.

The Overachiever
The World (of Warcraft) is your oyster today, Overachiever! It's a great day to go clean up those 230 or so quests you have left in Kalimdor, but make sure you keep an eye on the time - you don't want to miss the raid again.

The Altoholic
I feel the stars are not right for pugging TotC today, Altoholic.  Your time could be better spent grinding heroics on your second Shaman, or perhaps getting a few more levels from multiboxing with your second and third accounts. Your guild run for tonight will need healers - don't bother trying to get your mage or hunter in, they won't buy it.

The Pro
Today will feel very much like you're fighting against an enrage timer with all the farming you need to do before the next raid, Pro. Rather than beating your head against things, let the trial members do the fishing and the flask production.  A better use of your time is to hover over the well outside the bank in Dalaran on your Icebound Vanquisher and be admired by the unwashed masses below.

The DPS-Hound
Things will seem frustrating today, DPS-hound.  You will try and try but that top spot on the meter will elude you. There is loot coming your way, but make sure you check the spreadsheet well to make sure it's really an upgrade before you roll.

The Comedian
Everyone loves you, Comedian, so get ready for a raid invite where you can dps as little as you like.  Make sure you have trade channel turned on if you're in town today, as an opportunity could come your way.  A few mentions of anal [Rupture] should start things off.

So.. what's your sign?

Ps. No, the pic at the top is not me, I pinched it from and I'm sure the good people of Scunners won't mind me borrowing it :)

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

A Post of Whine and Two Qs

Today is Saint Patrick's Day, on which lots of people use the Irish Patron Saint's day as an excuse to paint themselves green and go out on the town to get completely trashed.  I happen to have met a few Irish people along my way and I can tell you that in most cases, this is exactly the thing that they most like to do in the world! So have at it, and enjoy!

Today is also, according to Klepsacovic, Whiny Post Day - the one day a year when bloggers can whine all they like, because we hold it all inside the rest of the time.  He also says to not actually post this today in case it interferes with your St Pat's celebrations, but I will post because I've been home sick and that means I'm not going anywhere to get trashed.

Which brings me to my first item of whine:
1. I am not going anywhere for St Pat's day to get trashed. I got sick, on my birthday, and I still am. I have spent two days in bed but thankfully, my body has allowed me to actually sit at the computer today.  This brings me to my second item.

2. I have been raiding recently and doing a lot of heroics. This means I have been getting quite a few gear upgrades.  You may say, "But Ang, this is no reason to whine!"  I'm afraid it is. Gems, my friends, are FREAKING EXPENSIVE. And the enchants that go on your head and legs?  At least 100g a pop! I may be a tree, but I am certainly (and most unfortunately) not a Money Tree (see below)!  I have spent my whole day today chaining heroics and doing the whole Hodir chain in the Storm Peaks to get enough money to buy three, yes THREE measly gems, one of which wasn't even epic.  And I need seven. I've really got to get my little miner up to Northrend, or l2play the AH properly.

3.  My third point of whine is that after work, there are just not enough hours in the day to play all my characters, raid, level up several alts, make a bit of spare cash so that poor Aefa can l2fly, level up fishing and cooking, and sleep. The good thing is that all that stuff is really good fun ;)

Whew! With all that whining out of the way I can now return you to your usual cheerful Ang!  Happy Saint Pat's!

PS. Since I'm jumping on the whine bandwagon I might as well jump on the mspaint one also. May I present, the Money Tree.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Garrosh's Landing

Aefa grumbled as she crunched across the gravelly beach. She'd only been in Northrend for a few hours and already the cold had seeped into her bones. The cold didn't seem to bother the Orcs who called Warsong Hold, well, their base - she doubted whether anyone called Warsong Hold home.  It was a cold, soulless place in the middle of a war zone.  The people there did what they had to and prayed to go home to their families. 

Aefa didn't hold any particular allegiance to the Horde or their Warchief, but she had joined the fight for the North because she had a bone to pick with the Lich King. Her father, along with other sin'dorei, had followed Prince Kael'thas and Illidan to Northrend many years ago. They had been defeated by the then Prince Arthas Menethil and forced to retreat. Aefa's father never survived that battle. When her magical studies had required her to visit the city of Dalaran in order to progress, she had jumped at the chance to see the place where her father had died and perhaps take part in another successful attempt at the Lich King's life.

The reality of the trip to Northrend hadn't been so glamorous. She had been told on arrival at Warsong that she was required to help the war effort in Borean Tundra for a while first before continuing her journey to Dalaran. Now she had been sent down to the icy beach near the Hold and ordered to fetch some goblin's toolkit and a few shiny trinkets for one of those strange walrus-people. As if the task couldn't get any more distasteful, a cold, damp mist was covering the beach and it was hiding all sorts of creepy Kvaldir spirits, who weren't hesitating to let Aefa know that she was certainly not welcome there. At least her Molten Armour was keeping the chill away a little. 

Aefa fired another frostbolt at an angry spirit and turned away as it froze in place, letting her water elemental finish it off. She looked up the beach at a damaged building.

What a forsaken place, she thought as she called the elemental over. "This must be the shack the goblin was talking about. Let's go check it out. " 

The elemental muttered something and followed after Aefa obediently. The elemental didn't say much and Aefa didn't speak Kalimag, but Aefa found it was as good a companion as any after she had parted ways with Mengfu back in Draenor.

She poked around in the hut but the thingummy-jig the goblin was after was nowhere to be seen. She was just about to head out the door again when she heard a faint whimpering noise from somewhere above.

Aefa crept up the rickety stairs, trying to be quiet in case it was another spirit up there, but instead she saw a young Tauren girl huddled in a corner, wide-eyed and whining slightly.

"Are.. are you here to... rescue me?" she asked pitifully. "Please don't let the bad things hurt me!"

Aefa sighed. She hated escorting pitiful souls out of their predicaments but there was usually something in it for her at the end. Plus, this Tauren girl looked like she could use the help more than some others she had helped recently.

"Alright, " she said, helping the Tauren to her feet. "Have you a name?"

"It's Mootoo. My fathers name is also Mootoo, Elder Mootoo. Oh, will you help me find him? I think I know the way out of this mist!" She set off down the stairs with a clatter.

Aefa and the water elemental shared a withering look, and then hurried after the Tauren.

By the time they got downstairs, Mootoo had already wandered out of the hut door. She announced, "I think it's this way!" and headed off straight towards a group of Kvaldir ghosts.

Aefa saw where she was headed and said in a loud stage whisper, "Don't you think it would be better to go this way?"

Mootoo shook her head. "It's definitely this way. I can feel my father's aura!"

The ghosts fell upon her in a few seconds and Aefa and the elemental dove into the fray, throwing water and ice at the attackers. Once the ghosts were reduced to piles of seaweed on the beach, Aefa stood panting. "I'm sorry, I don't know any healing magic to tend to your wounds but..."

"No matter," said Mootoo, "this way!"

Aefa hurried after the girl as she wandered into another pack of Kvaldir. The girl has a death wish, she thought as she wound up another frostbolt. She was sure the muttering she heard from the elemental was a few choice elemental oaths.

Eventually, the mist thinned. Mootoo shouted "Father!" and ran into the enormous embrace of a large Tauren standing on the edge of the camp.

"Daughter! You've returned!" He turned to Aefa with a look of joy. "Thank you so much, blood elf! Please accept these gloves as a token of my thanks. "

"Well, you're welcome," Aefa smiled at the happy reunion, even as she wondered what kind of father would bring their daughter to such a dreadful war-torn place as the frozen North.  Her own father certainly would never have allowed such a thing.

She turned to the Goblin, who was looking hopefully at her from a short distance away.  "I'm sorry, but you can go find your own thingummy-whatsit," she said, shuddering.  "I am NOT going back into that mist again.  I wonder if there's anywhere in Warsong Hold a girl could get a hot bath..."


This story sums up my feelings about escort quests.

It also raised a couple of questions:
  • When you summon a Water Elemental, is it the same one each time? Warlock demons have names so you know you have summoned your old mate Flaadhun or whatever, but elementals all look alike. We should be able to name them.  Aefa usually refers to hers as "Welly", which she suspects it hates.
  • There are a distinct lack of bathrooms in Azeroth! The occasional dip in a stream or the ocean is all very well, but sometimes a girl just needs a hot bath, y'know?

Monday, 15 March 2010

Storming the Citadel and Making a Mess

So after dinging yesterday I have ended up flat on my back ill.  Nice birthday present, eh?

After sleeping most of the day I had enough energy to go into Icecream Citadel tonight and get Saurfang down, to end up with the first achievement.  After that we went and got Mr Festergut as well, so it was a good night all round.

I've also created an About page for this blog, so please go and have a look at it and let me know if you think I've missed anything in my painkiller-addled state.  I need all the help I can get today, to be honest :)

Friday, 12 March 2010

Reader Roundup: March 12

Most of what has been going on around the blogosphere in the last couple of weeks has been related to SAN, and thanks to all the new blogs I've discovered through the guild, my reader is overflowing with blogginess! I've picked a few gems to share.

First things first, speaking of gems, I've made a couple of changes to my mining charts here and the gems from mining and prospecting chart here, so go check them out.

A Druidy post first. Lissanna at Restokin wrote about Moonkin DoTs after patch 3.3.3 hits.  Looks like we'll be getting more dps increase by replacing Glyph of Insect Swarm with the Starfall glyph, and dropping IS refreshes to a low priority.

Another Moonkin post today - Graylo from Gray Matter has completed his update to the Moonkin ICC Raiding Gear List.  This list includes hard mode ICC and crafted items for Moonkin, but Graylo asks us to keep in mind that the list is a guide only and should not be used as a strict how-to-gear bible.  It is up to each player to keep our hit, crit and haste caps in mind while juggling gear.

Some healy goodness from Zahia from One More Alt, who posted a great beginner's guide to setting up Grid. The step-by-step instructions might help you overcome your fear of the configuration menu!

For those who use Wordpress, here's some security advice from Problogger.

The Lunar Festival finished last weekend and with it, the Elder blogging event, organised by Khi.  You can see the full list of blog entries written for the event over at Tree Burglar.  And stay tuned for the next event - Noblegarden starts in a few weeks and there's a blog event in the works for that as well!

The Daily Blink came up with a real gem this week - Yes, Arthas Really Is That Evil.

Finally, this post made me giggle - it's about the Sydney City Train system and you'll find it on Pugnacious Priest.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Progress Post: Dinging 30

This post is inspired by one on Pugnacious Priest, in which she considers that she could be wasting her childbearing years on WoW, and gets a little bit Bridget Jones-y.

In a few days time, I will ding 30 in that other game known as "Real Life".

It's easy to get depressed about it, considering I am still pretty much doing the same job that I'm not that passionate about 6 years after I finished uni, and have been spending my evenings for much of the last three years playing a computer game.

But it's that computer game that has given me a lot over the last three years.  It has taught me so much about people, about teamwork, basic management skills and improved my reflexes.  The people in the game were my family during the time when my real family was a world away, it's given us cheap entertainment when we could be spending a lot more money on other stuff and has also inspired me with a new outlet for creativity in the form of this blog.  Not to mention being such brilliant fun that we are still playing it three years later!

While we lived overseas, we had less family commitments so our nights could be taken up with raiding several times a week.  Now that we're at home, I don't have the luxury of being able to commit to four nights a week, 90% attendence.  I wanted to join a casual guild who wasn't necessarily focused on the latest raid progression, but rather raiding a few times a week and enjoying simply seeing the content. I've been fortunate enough to find that now, and so far, things are good.

I want to be able to ease out of the game when the time comes to start a family.  I couldn't hack going cold turkey again.  The first time was bad enough.

When I consider the real life depressing side of turning 30, I just have to remember that we spent 5 years living in a foreign country (which I loved), traveled across the world to get home ( if you're interested) and my wonderful husband and I now live in our own home and both have jobs.

So what am I getting at here? Although I'm about to officially stop being "young", sometimes you have to look at things another way to see the positive side.  It's still only six months since we got home.  It's just the start of a new chapter. 

Count your blessings and be happy how you are.  Then everything else is a bonus.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Shinies part 2: Mining and Prospecting for Gems

** Now updated for Cataclysm **

Leveling up Jewelcrafting can get very expensive, very quickly if you are buying materials from the Auction House.

If you don't need the income from selling metals, Mining is a great way to get the mats you need. If you're trying to level Jewelcrafting along with Mining, these charts may help with collecting gems through prospecting.

My Mining charts might also help you locate the ores you need.

Early and Outlands gems:

Wrath of the Lich King and Cataclysm gems:

How the charts work
Each gem has a chance to be mined from a node or prospected from ore. These values are gathered from and represent the percentage drop rate.

I've separated the mining and prospecting values for each gem, from each type of ore. This means you can see for example that you are more likely to get Star Rubies from prospecting Mithril than you are from Iron or Thorium.

Cataclysm gem drop rates are still only a few weeks old and therefore possibly not accurate due to the small sample size.  I'll try to revisit the numbers in a few weeks to update them.

I hope you find these charts useful!

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Leveling Mining in Cataclysm - Where are the shinies?

Last updated: 21 Dec 2010 - This is a work in progress!

When Deathwing roasted Azeroth, he left fiery destruction in his wake. The volcanoes, tidal waves and rents in the crust thrust different metals to the surface, while melting others clean away.

I have now updated my Mining charts, showing the post-Shattering zones where ores can now be mined.  The current version was created using current spawn count stats from Wowhead. It will be updated again in a couple of weeks once the stats get a little more mature. 

Mining 1 - 300 & Outland:

Click the chart to make it bigger

Mining in Northrend and Cataclysm zones:

How to use the charts
The number in each box is the number of nodes of metal that spawn in in each zone, based on data from I have put an asterisk in the starter area boxes because there are a LOT of nodes in each of these zones.

Look at the metals that you are able to mine at your current level of mining. Where do those veins spawn the most? Where does the next level of ore spawn, and what level do you need before you can mine it?

For example, if your mining is currently at 79, you can currently mine Tin, and combine it with Copper to make Bronze.  Smelting Tin goes grey at 75 so you won't get more levels from smelting Tin, but Bronze isn't gray until 115, so you could mine more Copper and Tin and make Bronze out of it. Iron isn't available until 125, so you're either going to have to hang around in Ashenvale or other areas spawning Tin until you get up to 125, or come back and do it later.

Once you get to Outlands, keep in mind that you need to have at least 350 mining to start your Northrend gathering, so pick up any Fel Iron you see.

Cataclysmic Metals
Mining Obsidian starts at 425. On Wowhead at present no counts are showing for Mount Hyjal, but commenters report that there are indeed plenty of nodes there. There seems to be an issue with phasing, similar to that experienced in Icecrown, where you can see nodes on your map but they are not in your phase so unable to be gathered. I'll try to update this in a few weeks if the issues have been worked out.

Note that Dark Iron is now only available within Molten Core and Blackrock Depths.

There is one last thing that I can't help you with, and that's that you must remember to train the next level of Mining before levels 75, 150, 225, 300, 375 and 450!

Please feel free to comment with any suggestions for improvements for the charts, or to tell me if you found it useful!

EDIT: I have created another chart showing the gems that can be mined and prospected from ore.  You can find it here. It is not yet updated for Cataclysmic ores.