Tuesday, March 30, 2010

/spinning in circles

What happens when you combine a paladin, a deathknight, a resto druid, a fluffy black companion cat, and a whole bunch of power tools?

...you have some tired home-improvement raiders and a very dusty cat (who is oddly unafraid of saws and likes napping in sawdust).

I am closing on a house tomorrow. Blogging time is a bit crunched this week until the dust settles :)

As a side note of interest, the ICC zone buff was increased to 10%. Considering I might be tanking tonight (!) I think it's gonna make my failbear a little less fail.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Picasa Problems

The image-hosting platform for blogspot/Blogger is down at the moment. I was gonna post a little chart I made, but with the image host broken, it'll have to wait.

Google staff are working on fixing the problem.

I've noticed a trend...

Years of raiding and back-seat raid organization have taught me this.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Offtopic: Bottled Water Awareness

Because I've been swamped with work, prepping for moving to a new house, and working on a SEKRET PROJECT (to be revealed later), I'm posting this little informative offtopic vid link today.

I drink tap water. I don't put absolute trust in bottled, store-purchased water: it is only as safe as its source. I have a nice reusable metal water bottle sitting on my desk that is far cheaper than the plastic bottled stuff. For those curious, I studied Environmental Science in college. This included environmental engineering, groundwater flow, soils, plants, wetland mitigation, water treatment, and wastewater management, including tours of 3 different sets of water treatment and wastewater treatment plants.

And when I go backpacking and camping, I *certainly* don't drink straight from the filthy, polluted, wild streams and springs that the bottled-water companies claim they get their "pristine" water from. No, I filter and purify it so I don't end up with Giardia or worse. Deer Park? Reminds me of a time I found a dead deer laying in a mountain stream just up from where my hiking group had just purified some water. A fresh spring from the ground? Wanna know what people stick in holes on their farms or dump in the woods that filters down into that lovely groundwater? No, you really don't. Don't buy into those little logos and images of "fresh clean wild" water. We have water treatment plants for a very good reason.

I live in a country that has very strict regulations on its tap water. Things are monitored closely and constantly. It's as safe and sometimes safer than bottled water: I've visited my local water treatment plant, I know how they clean it, and I trust them to keep operations running smoothly. Yes, sometimes a problem comes up in some cities/regions, but same can be said for the sources of bottled water: there are reported cases of bottled water containing bacteria, viruses, and other contaminants as well. City water is more tightly regulated and monitored than bottled water.

If you live or travel in an area that does not have well-regulated water treatment, there are water purification techniques that can be done in the kitchen or over a campfire. Simply bringing water to a boil is enough to disinfect it; filter it with the standard water filters or even clean cloth to filter out particles.

Ultimately, I'd rather not deal with the higher cost, waste, and potential BPA problems of bottled water as much as I can help it. I will stick with my reusable bottle.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

ICC10 Offspec Kitty Gear

So, as I've been working through ICC and the dps have picked up their gear, naturally some of the feral leathers have found their way into my bags for my dualspec kitty time. There is a lot of off-set feral leather in ICC10, enough to more or less skip the entire T10 kit... of course, that would be loosing out on set bonuses, but when it's your offspec and your frost badges are being sucked up into resto, there's not much you can do.

One major thing I've noticed with the ICC10 leathers is that it lacks expertise.

This is a pretty big problem. I have the T9 232 hat with its little chunk of expertise keeping me just a bit below the expertise cap (which is 26 total, including talents; I have about 22), and now I've also picked up the funky little Discarded Bag of Entrails that looks like it came off the digital set of the movie "9." The ICC hat is, of course, a huge upgrade... in everything but expertise. And, as if to mock me, the gem socket is yellow: not something I can easily slip a pure expertise gem in to attempt to make up for the huge loss, not without loosing out on the socket bonus.

The alternative is, of course, to socket expertise in other parts of my gear. Using those wonderfully expensive cardinal rubies and overwriting the agility rubies I put in not two weeks ago. All for an offkit.

See where this is annoying? Balancing all the melee caps is THE MOST irritating part of trying to keep up a kitty offspec, because I know that as soon as I put in those expertise gems, I'm gonna probably pick up some new pair of legs or bracers or neck and end up just socketing agility into those anyway.

Grrr. The feral gearing fury and wrath, it burns.

For now, I've not socketed out the new hat. I've been healing in all the raids lately so I haven't needed to equip my feral kit, but the hat has sat in my backpack, staring up at me with its little glowing wisp of green smoke curling up around my flasks and potions and lucky rock. I'm worried it's going to eat my T9 hat before I get a chance to swap them... but I will take that risk, and bide my time until I either break down and get the expertise rubies for my other pieces, or get a new piece of gear that I can socket fresh with that missing expertise.

"Current stats:" 731 Arp (w/NEScorp), 221 hit, 22 expertise
New hat stats: 819 Arp (over cap), 221 hit, 14 expertise

A neck upgrade dropped my expertise another -2 points and overinflated my hit by some phenomenal amount. Gahhhhh. Why do upgrades mess with my head like this?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


..."load out of date AddOns."

That is all.

Patch Day! 3.3.3

Items of PvE Druid Interest, straight from the patch notes:

Dungeons & Raids

  • Culling of Stratholme
    • Players may now skip the initial introduction dialog to this dungeon once they have completed it at least once. ...about time.
  • Icecrown Citadel
    • Blood-Queen Lana'thel: Pact of the Darkfallen now applies damage twice as often, but for half the damage. This change will make the removal of the spell a bit more responsive. Translation: it'll react more quickly to the "hey look your pacted buddy is near so we don't have to stand here together forever waiting for the debuff to go away."
    • 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. Mm, but will this buff my teldrassil sapling?
  • World Event Bosses
    • Holiday bosses (such as Ahune for the Fire Festival) will now be accessible through the Dungeon Finder.
      • Players must use the Dungeon Finder or speak to special holiday NPCs in the world to queue up and access these bosses.
      • Upon accepting a queue for any holiday boss, the party will be ported directly to the necessary area for confronting that boss.
      • The previous summoning criteria for these bosses have been removed. Players can queue up for and fight each World Event boss as many times as they want for any standard loot that they may drop.
      • All rare holiday items (such as The Horseman's Reins) will have a chance of being found in holiday-themed loot troves which will drop once for each player in the party no more than once per day, in the same manner that doing the Random Dungeon daily quest will provide a specific reward the first time it is completed in a day.
      • Kae might actually be interested in doing the holiday bosses each day of the week now.

Classes: General

  • Several raid buffs have had their ranges increased to 100 yards, up from 45 yards, to prevent select buffs from repeatedly getting applied and removed during highly mobile encounters. Some buffs, such as paladin auras, totems, shouts and Blood Pact are intentionally meant to have shorter ranges and remain unchanged. Let's not encourage stragglers to take forever running back to the instance after the pug wipes again on Toravon, please. I like the idea of "you take too long, you no gets buff."


  • Nature's Grasp: Now has 3 charges, up from 1. Trees with heal aggro on multiple targets is a rare thing unless your tank is really being terribad or the tree is being silly and not taking the aggro to the tank. But, it can be useful for situations where there is some mind-controlled melee beating you in the face.
  • Talents
    • Balance
      • Starfall: The damage done by this spell has been significantly increased. Moonkin-turkeys now want to use it.
      • Typhoon: Mana cost reduced to 25%, down from 32%.
    • Feral Combat
      • Mangle: The debuff from this talent now lasts 60 seconds, up from 12 seconds. Kitties everywhere are dancing. Including Kae.
      • Go check out Alaron's post at The Fluid Druid for more Mangle info.


  • Frozo the Renowned has moved into the Dalaran Magus Commerce Exchange and will be trading your Frozen Orbs for various other trade goods. Hallo, lowering of the frost lotus and flask market!
  • Glyphs
    • Druids
      • Glyph of Focus: Now increases the damage done by Starfall by 10%, down from 20%. Cuz the starfalls got buffed all on its own.
      • Glyph of Mangle: This glyph now provides 10% increased damage done by Mangle instead of increasing the duration of the debuff. Leveling glyph, or bear threat glyph.


  • Runed Orbs: Recipes which require this item have had their material requirements significantly reduced. Cuz all they're used for is alts and starter gear before you pick up an upgrade out of ToC/ICC.
  • Engineering
    • The Pet Bombling and Lil' Smoky non-combat pets are no longer Bind-on-Pickup. Ba-BOMBOMBOMB!
  • Fishing
    • The "Monsterbelly Appetite" daily fishing quest has changed so it now takes place outside the Violet Hold in Dalaran. The quest still requires a Severed Arm and has been renamed to "Disarmed!" Yeah, can't say as I ever did Monsterbelly or Blood Frenzy anymore. I'm a lazy fisherdruid.
  • Inscription
    • Most recipes that required 2 inks now only require 1. My glyph-swapping now seems a bit less expensive.
  • Mining
    • Titansteel Bar: Creating this item no longer results in a cooldown. Except most titanium gets dusted into powder for gem recipes anyway.
  • Tailoring
    • Glacial Bag: Creating this item now invokes a 7-day cooldown. YOU CAN NO HAS BAG.
    • The cooldown and location requirements have been removed from creating Moonshroud, Spellweave and Ebonweave. This is why the glacial bag cooldown was made.

User Interface

  • All Alert pop-ups now have new and fresh Alert icons.
  • Dungeon Finder (aka making our pug life less painful)
    • The Deserter debuff given to players who leave a dungeon prematurely when queuing via the Random Dungeon option has been increased to 30 minutes, up from 15 minutes. The cooldown for using the Random Dungeon option remains 15 minutes.
    • The Random Dungeon cooldown is no longer displayed as a debuff. Instead, players will see the cooldown time remaining displayed in the Dungeon Finder window when Random Dungeon or Random Heroic Dungeon is selected from the pull-down.
    • If a player in your party has the Deserter debuff, or is on cooldown from the Random Dungeon option, his or her character name will be displayed in the Dungeon Finder window listed as "On Cooldown," preventing the group from queuing.
    • Anyone in a dungeon party can now re-queue their group for a dungeon, as players will still be prompted whether or not to accept their chosen role.
    • Players who use the Vote Kick option will now be prompted to provide a reason for kicking a party member. This reason will be presented to everyone in the party except for the person voted to be kicked.
    • When joining as a group, more generous level requirements will be used instead of Random Dungeon level requirements so that players of different levels joining together will be eligible for a greater number of dungeons.
    • Parties randomly created via the Dungeon Finder will always be arranged in the party interface from top to bottom in the following order: tank, healer, damage, damage, damage.
    • If a random party is created via the Dungeon Finder and a player cannot roll Need on an item, a reason will now be provided.

Bug Fixes

  • Classes
    • Druids
      • Cower: This ability can no longer trigger effects on items that trigger from melee weapon attacks. Who uses Cower anyway?
      • Frenzied Regeneration: This ability is no longer noted as Rank 1 (it has no subsequent ranks).
      • Hurricane: If a druid begins casting this spell while in Bear Form, Dire Bear Form, or Cat Form, the spell will now cast as normal instead of immediately canceling the channel. FYI, Swipe > Hurricane.
      • Lifebloom: The final bloom heal from this spell can no longer trigger talents, trinkets, and set bonuses for the player being healed.
      • Rake: This ability will now always land. It will no longer sometimes give a "more powerful spell" error message.
      • Tier-10 Balance 4-Piece Set Bonus: Corrected a grammatical error in tooltip.
      • Tier-10 Restoration 4-Piece Set Bonus: The Rejuvenation effect caused by this set bonus can now be overwritten by the druid's own Rejuvenation spell casts. In addition, the combat log tooltip for this Rejuvenation effect no longer spuriously claims it requires Tree of Life Form.
      • Tranquility: The combat log tooltip for this ability will no longer spuriously claim a range of 100 yards.
      • Tree of Life Form: Corrected a misspelling in the tooltip.
      • Typhoon: Lower ranks of this spell displayed incorrect damage information on tooltips.

I dunno about you, but I'm looking forward to cornering my local engineer for some minipets :)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Kae's Keybinds and Peripherals

I made this pretty keyboard and mouse layout with my keybinds.

Clickie to enlarge (and make the text more readable).
  • The gray-hued buttons are keybinds I typically use the keyboard to access.
  • The brown-hued buttons are keybinds I typically use the mouse to access.
  • Unlisted abilities like tranquility, buffs, and resurrections are just clicked on action bars.
  • Macros are used to enable multiple abilities on each keybind using [form:x], [spec:x], [stealth], and [mod:x] to differentiate among them. You can find links to most of my macros in the dropdown menu at the top of the page.
  • I use Bindpad and Bartender for most of my keybind needs. I like to swap to vehicle/posses keybinds for my main 4 buttons (q, M3, e, and t) and Bartender lets me do that by applying the keybind to the action bar slot, rather than applying the bind straight to the macro as Bindpad does.

I use an old-school G15 keyboard from LogiTech with 18 extra keys along its sides. I use 3 of these for most of my characters, though I am branching out to the G11 key with a couple of alts (too many darn totems!). The newer G15s are backlit orange (mine is blue) and have fewer side keys, but they are in easy reach.
  • I have shift-A and shift-D bound to strafe left/right to make up for rebinding q and e.
  • I just am not comfortable reliably pressing z, x, c, and v while moving around in combat.
  • left-CTRL is my Ventrilo push-to-talk, so I don't use it as a key modifier.
  • I use the numpad for quick-swapping gear sets.


I use the WoW MMO gaming mouse from SteelSeries, which is shiny and comfortable and jam-packed with 15 buttons (counting left/right click and scroll wheel). I will probably expand to different binds on the thumb-pad as I grow more comfortable with the mouse.
  • The UI for mapping the mouse's buttons is a complete pain, because it refers to the default actions each key is bound to in-game, rather than the actual keystroke. It was worth the headache to set up, though.
  • The "steel" coating has started to peel off from where my palm rests, after 3 months of use. A bit of an annoyance, but it doesn't impact the mouse's operation. The LogiTech gaming mice had similar problems, but only after a year or more of heavy use.
  • The spines light up and glow. You can choose the color and pulse speed and such... I chose blue to match my keyboard's back-glow, though sometimes I change it up for giggles.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Happy Birthday, Dreambound

One year ago, a little gnome mage came to me over IM and asked, "Kae, do you still have that resto healing guide you had on the old guild forums? I have a few druids in my new guild who could use some tips."

I did still have that guide, in fact, but as it was from TBC, I knew it needed to be updated. I also knew that simply emailing it wouldn't do: no, I should post it up in a place that they can easily reach it that had decent formatting. In fact, why not post it in a place where ALL druids could potentially find it?

http://dreambound-druid.blogspot.com was created.

I spent a few days hacking my old vanilla and TBC guild guides apart and updating them before finally posting them to my new blog. I told myself, "Hey, blogging looks like fun. I can share a few things and keep myself up to date on druidly goings-on, rather than get stuck with no other resto druids to share my ideas with in my little 10-man guild. I'll try to just post once a week and keep up with it... after all, people say keeping a diary is a good idea, so why not make it a public druidy diary of useful stuff?"

...I post, what, at least 4 times a week now? :)

Thank you to all of my followers and fellow bloggers and commentors who have shared tips and stories, or have just made use of the muddle of math and strats I've posted over the year. You guys are why I'm doing this. Your support makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

In honor of Dreambound's first year, I have completely overhauled my Resto raiding guide. I have learned so much over the year not just from my own experience within the game, but also from reading other blogs or comments and learning about other styles of resto raiding. I will continue to work on it: I'd like to add illustrations, because I believe illustrations and graphics considerably help the learning process beyond what mere text can communicate.

You can find the new guide here, with its own section of pages.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

ICC10: Vortex Lich King Videos

Being the epic final adventure that the Lich King is, we got this recorded from THREE(!) perspectives. It was then cut into two separate movies:
Both have spoilers if you don't want to see what ultimately happens at the end. The Priest/Pally video contains the cutscene and some pre-story as well.

They are currently hosted on YouTube, so I'm linking them in here to share the hard work our three cinematographers put into these videos!


Part 1:

Part 2:


Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

~~If you have any strat specific questions, we have at least two bloggers working on making strat guides ATM, but I'm more than happy to answer questions on what we did to the best of my ability!~~

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Zeppelin Attack!

On Sunday before raid time, after I spent a mind-numbing half hour fishing flagged in Wintergrasp to provide my guild with feasts for our Arthas attempts and a good 2 hours before that herbing for flasks, I joined my guildie Mujeae in circling Dalaran with our minipets. We had fun "roleplaying" about how the little elekk needed to take a poo and I asked, "Did you remember to bring a plastic bag?"

She responded, "Oops :( "

...and then at the same time, we both said "Well we'll just let her go in the alliance district, then!"

(This all was happening in /say... but of course, the alliance around us don't speak Orcish, so it just resulted in laughs from the scattering of horde players that happened to be nearby!)

Now, walking circles in Dalaran only keeps you entertained for so long, even with humorous conversation, so I pulled out a zeppelin kit from the toy store.

One single zeppelin can result in over an hour of fun.

We took turns throwing the zepp back and forth as we ran around Dalaran, keeping just out of range of the zeppelin graphics catching us. A small fleet of them chased us through the city. We eventually went out to Krasus' Landing and just ran circle-laps around the landing pad, going in opposite directions, tossing the zeppelin back and forth as we crossed paths, forming a relative bee-swarm of zeppelins between us.

...and we were giggling like children.

It was not the first time a pair of Vortex girls had an hour+ of fun with a zeppelin kit. Many months ago, two of our other raiders had discovered the giggle-fest that is the zeppelin toy, only they actually took a video of it!

(edit: and I can't spell zeppelin.)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Orcish Stick Figures

So, after some of the comments in the Lana'Thel comic strat, I quickly whipped together a stick-figure collective of all of the main raiders of Vortex (my 10-man guild). I posted it to the guild forums.

Responses were generally positive. Attackattack of Hand of Salv said "I of course look sexy." Again, however, Rul of Ancestral Knowledge was upset by my representation of Orcs.

Rul: "Those are the most emasculated orcs ever. :P Needs more mohawks, beards, tusks and scowling. That should add the appropriate amount of Ugly(tm)."

My immediate response was to dig up a photoshop-colored sketch (zomg hand-drawn!) I did years and years ago of a chibi orc and gnoll from D&D.

Kae: "Too cute still, I'm guessing? It's the chibi eyes."

Rul: "Rul would cry if orcs were capable of doing so. This is what ugly looks like:"

The other shaman was very amused: "OMG Kae this makes me so happy :D"

Our guild leader, Alyae: "your dude is rather ugly rul.... but Kae's super cute version of you wins. therefore when you add them both together, it still brings the cuteness down a lot, but the overall effect is still above the neutral scale and thus your toon is cute. Ha! :D"

...which inspired me to "try again" for some sort of even ground, as it were.

Kae: "Oh, I am greatly enjoying this.

Meanwhile, our mage asks, "I wanna know how come out of all the female blood elves...Kuch and I are the only ones with boobs???? LOL"

Kae: "Easier to put em on robed people ;) They look weird coming out of a stick!" ...translation, they look nekkid. Robes infer clothing. We raid with our gear on, people. ;)

Now, Rul came back with his own sketch response: "Fixed! ;D

Kae: "How dare I forgets the facial hairs. :D"

Rul: "Like most orcs of either gender, Rul was born with a beard."

So there you have it, folks. Stick-figure orcs must have tusks, mohawks, heavy eyebrows, and... beards. Rul has thus decreed it.

I have some demanding guildies, but I <3 them.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Arthas 10-man down. Major achievement for a 10-strict guild!

Of course, you know what this means...


Edit: Videos here. Strategy guide in progress.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Sketch - KaeElfLady

Still haven't had time to write. Most of my freetime has been consumed with Arthas wipes (saw P3 once), researching options for home improvements, and doing some volunteer work for the FIRST high school robotics regionals. Of course, this does mean that I am completely out of flasks and fish feasts, and need to make time before Sunday to farm up more!

I won't leave you without anything, though. I took a few minutes this morning to sketch in photoshop.

(Her right arm must be hidden behind her. Yeahhh that's it.)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Life is Busy

So here's a picture of my cat with a screwdriver.

(She claims she's helping.)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Res Macros P2: Revenge of the Res Macros

It's been 11 months since I originally posted my funny resurrection macros list, and it has grown a bit over the year. I wanted to "revive" the topic (ha) and point out some new ones that I have added!

You can find my full list here.

As a reminder, I use Lunarsphere's random speech generator to manage my res macros. The mod will choose one from my list randomly each time I cast a res spell.

My Own:

  • *pokes %t with a stick* Um, guys? I think it's still alive...
  • %t died! /roll for blame!
  • So, how much experience do I get for killing %t?

From the Forums/Blogosphere/Misc Quotes:
  • Forgive me, %t! Your death only adds to your repair bill!
  • studiesshowthatbythetimeyoufinishreadingallofthis%twillbealive!
  • Ok, one more time. The bad guys are supposed to die, the good guys are supposed to live. And %t? We're the good guys.
  • %t, stop worshiping the ground I walk on and get up.
  • It's not that I didn't try to heal you, %t, I simply found it more mana efficient to rez you.
  • DISCLAIMER: I learned how to rez from a recipe on the AH, so accept at your own risk, %t.


  • Alright, %T, I'm going to res you. Just relax and let your mind go blank... shouldn't be hard for you, considering you're, well, dead.
  • So you just figured you'd come here to the most hostile environment known to men, with no training of any kind, and see how it went? What was going through your head, %T?
  • Arise, %T, and we will see if your insanity can be cured.
  • Nothing's over while I'm breathing, %t!
  • Sooner or later, %t, you always have to wake up.
  • Sometimes your whole life boils down to one insane move... lucky for you, %t, I can give you another chance.
  • It's my job to keep you alive. I will not succeed. Not with all of you. *looks pointedly at %t*

Star Wars:

  • Not a bad bit of resurrection, huh, %t? You know, sometimes I amaze even myself.
  • Uh, we had a slight weapons malfunction, but uh... %t's perfectly all right now. We're fine. We're all fine here now, thank you. How are you?
  • You know, between the raid's howling and %t blasting everything in sight, it's a wonder the whole instance doesn't know we're here.
  • You don't need to see %t's identification. This isn't the corpse you're looking for. You can go about your business. Move along.
  • I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened... oh wait, no, that was just %t.
  • Judging by your current state, I suggest a new tactic, %t: let the wookie win.

I'd love to hear what others have to add to the list. Remember, the above quotes are only the "new" ones I have added: you can find my full list here, where I've been updating it since its original posting last year.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Single Abstract Noun

...the blogger's social guild on Argent Dawn (US). I jumped the bandwagon and rolled Kaelai, a night elf druid carbon copy of Kae, to join in the giggles and play around. I'll be goofing off there throughout this afternoon (EST time).

Can't say how much time I'll dedicate to playing there, between moving, work, and keeping up with my mains, but it should be a fun and relaxing goof-off spot every now and then!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Cataclysm and Your Raiding Roster

I doubt my guild is the only one with this thread on their forums: "What do you want to do when Cataclysm rolls out?"

We saw it with TBC, we saw it with WotLK, and we'll assuredly see it again with Cataclysm. Players opt to try out the newly released race/class, and some simply just want a change. While there will be the eventual opportunity for players to race-change their mains to one of the new races (goblin/worgen), some will simply wish to reroll and level afresh, be it for story, role play, or just "clearing the slate."

Guilds need to be looking ahead to this, because it means a changeup of their rosters. An unprepared guild could find itself flailing for raiders to fit specific roles, and could easily disband over time as the players seek out new, stabler homes. Is your guild ready for this?
  • Start up a discussion. Even if you're just opening the door for some "alt nights" to play out the new races, you need to start somewhere. Many raiders may not say anything about their plans unless asked.
  • Talk out roles. Is your tank suddenly becoming a healer? Your healer going dps, etc? What will that do to your roster? Is there someone else interested in switching to that empty slot, or do you need to keep an eye out for recruits? Is the new role one that they have played before and have some experience with, or is it just a wild guess that they want to try out and may not fit with them, leading you to a longer wait at 85 as they figure out what they want to do?
  • Talk out races. Is the player that wants to switch to the new race able to wait and perform a race-change on their main, or will they need time to re-level and, possibly, learn a new class or spec?
  • Talk out classes. Is someone disillusioned with the class that they play? Do they have an alt that they enjoy more? This is a chance for them to change it up and get out of the rut with their current class, which will in turn keep them interested and enjoying the game.
  • Talk out mechanics. Not everyone follows blogs or news sites, and the surprise of the changes may be waiting for them as late as them logging into the live update: surprises like that, particularly if they're rolled out before the expansion is released, can put a dent in your ICC raid nights while the uninformed player tries to quickly make heads and tails of it all.
  • Talk out professions. Notably for Cataclysm, every player should be made aware of reforging (altering gear stats slightly with tailor/leather/blacksmithing) and the Archeology secondary profession. This can also include individuals' profession changes, such as the slew of jewel-crafters that emerged in TBC, and inscriptionists that came out with WotLK; if your favorite enchanter is planning to level a new profession, you may have a problem. Motivating the guild to stock up ahead of time on materials for leveling professions into the expansion is also a very good idea.
  • Talk out schedules. I'm talking long-term vision here: is someone starting up college? Graduating college and starting a new job? Picking up a summer job, or taking evening classes? Not allowed to raid during the fall? Picking up a sport or martial arts? Having a baby? Moving to Antarctica (or just a couple timezones)? What do those players wish to do about raiding, then?
Of course, on top of this, inevitably every class will see some playstyle and/or spec changes. Just among druids, TBC's release saw making feral a viable raiding spec and tree form, breaking away from Healing-Touch spam and into the world of pure lifebloom. Towards the middle of TBC, moonkin started fighting their way onto the real raiding scene. Then, with WotLK (and Sunwell), bear tanks were suddenly no longer relegated to OT duties, moonkin raiders were accepted and even wanted, and tree druids had to ditch lifebloom in favor of Rejuv and Wild Growth while incorporating nourish into the arsenal.

For a non-druid example, Mutilate rogues became viable raiding specs from the laughable fail-specs that they were, and for a time they enjoyed a WotLK single-target dps spotlight of overpoweredness. What TBC rogue would've expected that?

Be ready for class changes, and be ready for your guild to change things up on you. Don't let your guild get blind-sided with Cataclysm :)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

3.3.3 Mangle changes

While this has much less impact on kitties in raids with a bear tank or arms warrior,

Mangle (and Trauma) now increases the damage of bleed effects for 1 min. (Up from 12 sec)

/jaw drop

Especially in ten-man raids, cats often have to apply their own mangle. Mangle does less damage than shred, and it must be juggled around rip, rake, and savage roar. Few druids glyph it in favor of stronger glyphs. This change is drastically reducing the impact of Mangle on the kitty-druid-dot-debuff-juggle.

It boils down to more raw dps on a single-target fight, since the druid can spend more time shredding and less time mangling. Yay!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Misc Stuff

I am the sick, headachey, groggy druid. I stayed home today to rest and hope that the constant pressure of a thousand murlocs banging on the inside of my skull would abate... and after being unsuccessful in my attempts to sleep, my little shaman alt Stardance hit 80. She's been temporarily nicknamed ScrubShammy.

I was going to post a druid-specific run-down of the stat changes, but I feel like a bunch of other bloggers have beaten it into the ground already and I don't really have anything new to add. Whee.

Have a raid tonight... hoping it will be more successful than the past couple weeks'. Last week saw the instance eject the entire group at Saurfang and not let us back in until the next evening, and then we had a bunch of raiders with rl problems/moving/religious dinners/etc that caused us to cancel about 3 total raids over the past 2 weeks: we only have three raid nights per week as it is. This on top of the instance being broken and not letting us in for a night has made for a very mopey Kae in regards to getting in on the Arthas slaughter.

We've also got the zone-wide buff now, added in this morning's maintainance. I'm sad that we didn't get to say "in before the nerf."

Kaeya-rogue-alt did get her "alt ToGC10 run" started this past weekend. After banging our heads repeatedly on the beasts, however, we slowly started filtering back on our mains: many alts just didn't have the gear or class/role experience to make it possible. We finished the run with an Anub kill with a single guildie alt and two pug alts (one an unguilded friend of Vortex) in the raid... everyone else, myself included, were on mains. Kaeya didn't get a single boss kill... and I had to shard her boots and a dagger (had to swap to my main to heal the Beasts). My rogue hasn't come out of the corner she holed up in, and the ground is still damp with her tears. /console rogue alt.

Bought a house. Moving next month. Have lots of painting to do. Been watching HGTV and DIY to get some ideas. Plotting on getting (finally) my puppy. Working on not being sick anymore. Gonna go run my random daily and help finish making dinner before the raid starts.

That's my ramble for the day :)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Customized DBM Bars from Damia UI

I'm always on the look out for ways to make my UI more easy to use, including making certain I can easily read and notice important boss timers. I have used Bigwigs and Dues Vox in the past, and DBM is my current favorite: it's updated frequently and tends to have timers that the other mods miss.

Unfortunately, the bar style tends to get pretty crowded. Even with icons to help differentiate each bar, it often turns into a mass of hard to read timers when my eyes are so often locked on Grid and making sure I'm not standing in Bad Stuff. It takes time to pick out a particular ability from the mass of timers.

So, when I ran across a couple UI screenshots from Zing at Totemz, I quickly noticed the nice layout of the boss timers. Zing was very helpful in pointing me towards where I could duplicate them for my own DBM!

The visual layout was created by Damia and can be downloaded as a part of Damia's full UI compilation on WoWInterface. Damia has done a ton of .lua edits, so this does mean that in order to use even this one DBM change, you do need to keep a backup copy of the template file to put back into your DBM folder each time you update it. Some people may find this to be far too much hassle; for myself, I like the layout change so much that it is worth the extra step.

To install, download the DamiaUI zip file and find inside of it the interface/addons/DBM-Core/dbt-template.xml.
  • Copy the dbt-template.xml file into your own interface/addons/DBM-Core folder.
  • Copy HalM.tga from Damia's DBM-Core/textures folder to your own DBM-Core/textures folder.
  • Copy frameborder.tga from Damia's DBM-Core/textures folder to your own DBM-Core/textures folder.
  • Keep a copy of both on hand for future DBM updates.
You don't have to do any in-game changes. You're good to go! Optionally, you can go into the wtf/account/accountname/servername/charactername/SavedVariables folder and copy Damia's DBM-Core.lua settings to your own character's SavedVariables folder, just to have the screen placement pre-set. You will probably want to tweak the positioning in-game to fit your own UI.

I've raided a few nights with this tweaked DBM texture file and I love it. If the DBM crew could incorporate this texture as an option in the original mod, I'd be ecstatic!