Sunday, September 30, 2007

Did Alchemy Draw the BoP Short Stick? (Bit of a Rant)

When I began playing, I chose Herbalism and Alchemy as my professions. At the time, my decision was based more on the fact that I had just started a real life herb garden in the back yard and less on what herbalism and it's sister profession, Alchemy, could do for me and my character or guild.

Honestly, I'd never really given my profession choices much thought until BC and the new and interesting BoP items that all the other professions seemed to get. Sure, Alchemist can make the Alchemist Stone, +15 to all stats and a 40% boosts to health and mana potions but, I'm a druid and always in Bear form...tanking. I don't drink very many potions. Yes, the +15 to stats is nice, but once you get into Heroic instances and Kara, you need and can get, better. Honestly, by the time I got the rep to purchase the recipe, I had better trinkets.

But, this post isn't so much about me complaining about the quality of Alchemy's BoP item, it's more about the quantity of Alchemy's BoP items...or, lack thereof.

I spent the last two and a half days compiling a list of all the BoP items for each of the professions and let me tell you that, other than healing, it was the most tedious task I've ever done. ;p But, I'm stubborn and once I started I felt compelled to finish it. Mainly, I wanted to assess the percentage of BoP items that each profession had to see if I was justified in feeling like alchemy was the red-headed step-child of the profession world and my conclusion is....YES!

Alchemy has 1 BoP item out of 177 items we can make or transmute. That is a staggering 1/2%! Compare that to Jewelcrafting that has 12% of it's items BoP!!!

Honestly, I'd like to see some potions, elixiers, and/or flasks that are BoP and are somewhere around 30% better than the current options. Maybe a few general ones that all alchemist can make and then have some specific to our specialization. Potion masters could make potions 50% better. Elixir masters could make elixiers with +10 to all stats. Transmute masters could make better trinkets, etc.

I really think they did a great job with Jewelcrafting and their creativity in giving them statues that can heal them, figurines for trinkets, and some really nice gems for end game...especially when end game is all about the socketed items. Now I'd like to see that carried over into the other, older professions. At least make us feel like our choices were still good ones rather than feeling like we need to switch to Jewelcrafting. ;)

Ok, /end rant. If you want to view the BoP items for the various professions, I have them linked below. If not, no need to scroll down further.

Alchemy - 1 out of 177 items; 1/2%.

Blacksmithing - 6 out of 324 items; 2%. Including Sub-categories - 43 out of 367; 12%.

Armorsmithing - 10 out of 12 items; 84%.

Weaponsmithing - 3 out of 7 items; 43%.

Master Axesmithing - 8 out of 8 items; 100%.

Master Hammersmith - 8 out of 8 items; 100%.

Master Swordsmithing - 8 out of 8 items; 100%.

Enchanting - 5 out of 216 items (excluding rods); 2%.

Engineering - 12 out of 190 items; 6%. Including Sub-categories - 25 out of 228; 11%

Gnomish Engineering - 6 out of 18 items; 34%.

Goblin Engineering - 7 out of 20 items; 35%.

Jewelcrafting - 28 out of 237 items; 12%

Leatherworking - 8 out of 329 items; 2%. Including Sub-categories - 26 out of 355; 7%

Dragonscale Leatherworking - 8 out of 12 items; 67%.

Elemental Leatherworking - 5 out of 7 items; 71%.

Tribal Leatherworking - 5 out of 7 items; 71%.

Tailoring - 8 out of 302 items; 3%. Including Sub-categories - 17 out of 311; 5%.

Mooncloth Tailoring - 3 out of 3 items; 100%.

Shadoweave Tailoring 3 out of 3 items; 100%.

Spellfire Tailoring - 3 out of 3 items; 100%.

Saturday, September 29, 2007


In an effort to re-assess my gear and my 'over the cap' defense rating, I've been playing with a program called Rawr. This program allows you to compare gear for Bears based on mitigation (avoiding damage; i.e. dodge) and survival points (taking damage; i.e. health and armor). After playing with it some, I decided to write about it and give my likes and dislikes.

  • Can quickly download your character, gear, enchants, and inscriptions from the Armory. No need to enter all that data.
  • It's like a virtual dressing room, you can change out gear to achieve stat goals so you know what items to target.
  • Will search the Armory for possible upgrade items.
  • Can select from a variety of enchants for specific gear to compare stats without having to do math or farm/spend gold on mats.
  • Can change gems in socketed items to compare stats.
  • Can easily enter in new items by typing in Wowhead's item number.
  • Can enter in raid buffs so you can see your stats come raid time.


  • Doesn't (or, at least, from what I could tell) recognize defense cap and suggest items with an alternate stat.
  • Recommends items with the highest combined mitigation and survival points rather than letting the user specify they stat(s) they want to increase.


Overall, I like the program and will continue to use it for gear analysis. I liked that I could change out enchants and gems most especially and see the changes in my stats without the in game expense. I also liked that it can grab data from the Armory and that new items can be easily entered with a number. It is still in Beta, so hopefully, he will make some changes like the recognition of the defense cap. In his write up on Druidwiki, he states that it does recognize the armor cap (I did not test this), so hopefully the next version will bring in the defense cap as well. Maybe even take care of my other dislike by allowing the user to select which stat they want to increase and recommending gear for that.

My Defense Cap Issue

Well, after assessment, I've decided not to worry about being a bit over the cap. All my defence comes from my that I will need until and when I get the T4 chest and leg pieces. Once those are replaced, I'll then need to incorporate defense gems to get me back up to par.

Friday, September 28, 2007

The Polls are In...

Well, actually, they've been in for a few days now. I'm just slow in posting about it. It seems that 10 out of 19 of you do not want the 'read more' feature, which allows a small portion of the post to be viewed and a link to read the remainder.

One of you doesn't want it, yet wants me to write shorter posts. I've tried. Really, I have. But, when I'm done, it's long and I don't know what happened. My husband keeps telling me I should break posts up into parts (i.e. Part 1, Part 2, etc.) but, if I do that isn't it a non-verbal way of saying he's right? ;p I just get an idea in my head and want to write about it as thoroughly as possible....perhaps if my ideas could come in parts....

Eight of you want the 'read more' functionality, but it seems you're in the minority, al biet, marginally. However, that slim margin does justify my lazyiness. ;)

Hopefully, this weekend I'll have a section over there on the right --->
for featured articles. Karthis over at Of Teeth and Claws (my fav Feral site) told me what to use...I just have to get it set up...or better yet, get my hubby to set it up. :D

So, I'm going to remove the poll thingy now...just thought I'd let you all know in case someone wanted to revise a vote or add one, etc. If so, just do that in the comments.

Curator the Druid Way and Emergency Tactics

Last night was my raid group's second half of our Kara run. Even though we had a successful night overall, we did have a bit of a hiccup on our first Curator attempt, which caused me to try a couple of new, risky maneuvers to help heal and to control threat...making it the funnest Curator encounter evah! Well, at least for me, it was....

Typically, Curator is a walk in the park for us. However, last night, we had a couple of slightly under or borderline geared healers, no mana-battery Shadow Priest, no Shaman and their wonderful mana totems, and a Pally that put Blessing of Salvation on our healers rather than Blessing of Wisdom. To say that mana was an issue on this attempt would be an understatement and even with two Innervates in the raid, we still had all three healers out of mana well before the Curator enraged at 15%. Needless to say, this attempt ended in a wipe, but not before I got to have some fun!

Our second attempt ended in success as the simple matter of switching Blessings seemed to fix the healing problem. However, I had a problem of creeping perilously close to our Main Tank's threat...once, actually passing him for about 30 seconds when I had an unexpected crit. I stopped attacking all together which enabled him to regain agro, however, later, I did have to do something to get it under control before another crit created the same problem.

So, this morning, I decided to write about the Curator encounter for Druids in the Main Tank role, the Off Tank role, DPS role, as well as a section on emergency tactics.

Main Tank

Main tanking Curator is pretty simple; run in, get agro, build threat quickly, and continue to build threat. Typically, I move up the hallway and wait for him to come to me. As soon as he sees me, I pop into Bear form, Feral Faerie Fire, Mangle, Lacerate X3, Mangle, another set of Lacerates, then I begin adding Maul and Demoralizing Roar into the sequence and refreshing Faerie Fire. When I see an Astral Flare (we call them sparks) pass by, I throw in a Swipe for good measure too. Even though I'm main tanking, I still watch the threat meters. If my Off Tank is creeping up on my threat, I know I need to kick it up a notch as I don't want him to have to hold back as he's generating room for DPS to go crazy. So, basically, main tanking Curator is a threat race. If I have a good lead on the off tank's threat, I will hold back a bit before Evocation to allow my rage to build and then unload it when he's more vulnerable. Also, after DPSing the sparks in last weeks run, I'd like to advise turning the Curator so his back is facing the raid group. Usually, the Rogues and Cat form Druids are meleeing the sparks, by turning him around, it saves them a tiny bit of time getting into position during Evocation.


Off tanking Curator is a threat balancing act. You need to keep your threat under the main tanks, but over DPS with room for them to keep the damage flowing. When I'm off tanking, I like to keep my threat around 85-90% (whereas MT is 100%). Both KTM and Omen threat meters show percentages. This 10-15% buffer gives room for crits on my part and misses on the MT's part leaving plenty of time to adjust. I usually go in, after the MT gets off a hit, with a Feral Faerie Fire, start the auto attacks, and, based on the MTs initial threat damage, follow that with a Demoralizing Roar (3k or lower) , a Maul (3-6k) or a Mangle (6+k). This beginning phase is the most difficult to manage. Not only do I watch the threat percentages, but I also watch the threat damage. So, in the beginning of the fight, I keep on eye on both threat stats and adjust my attacks accordingly based on their threat values. As total damage increases as the fight progresses, the room in the 10-15% buffer range becomes greater giving room for more attacks and less micro-management. If I have a good threat lead on DPS, I will hold back before an evocation so I have more room to deal damage when the Curator is in that phase.


In this role, the job is to get the sparks down and get them down fast! We typically have the ranged DPS and Healers standing about 30-40 yards back fanned out across the hallway. This way, they are grouped together but with enough range to prevent the arcing sear from spreading. Basically, I drink some caffeine and run around like a chicken with my head cut off. ;p Well, not really, but that's what this role feels like. I like to start up close to the Curator and as soon as a spark spawns, I jump on it with a Mangle as soon as possible. When it starts moving toward the raid group, I chase it with some Shreds and a Ferocious Bite if I have 5 points and it's still alive. Rinse and repeat with each new spark.

Emergency Tactics

Main Tank
  • Innervate - Innervate can be safely cast when the Curator is in Evocation.
  • Rebirth - Rebirth can be safely cast when the Curator is in Evocation.

Off Tank

  • Innervate - Innervate can be safely cast when the Curator is in Evocation or if the healer didn't plan ahead and there is no time to wait for Evocation, you can, with minimum risk, cast it directly after a Hateful Bolt.
  • Rebirth - Rebirth can be safely cast when the Curator is in Evocation. This is the only time I recommend doing a combat rez. If you do it right after a Hateful Bolt, you run the risk of mistiming and taking a bolt out of Bear form or the person accepting it right as a flare spawns and them taking too much damage.
  • Cower - Cower? But that's a cat ability and I'm off tanking! Well, if you find that you're perilously close to the main tanks threat, at the next Evocation, pop into cat form and Cower. I did this last night and went from 98% to 72% threat percentage (threat reduction will vary based on how much damage the MT deals while your performing this tactic as well as home much time it takes as you are not dealing damage). The only risk to this is getting your percentage below DPS. However, if you're fast on the draw, you should have time to get in a Cat Mangle or even a Shred after the cower and then switch back to Bear form before Evocation ends...just keep an eye on the Evocation timer! You don't want to be caught with your armor down. ;)
  • Health Pots/Stones - If your healers or low or out of mana, you can safely do these during Evocation or immediately after a Hateful Bolt.
  • HoTs - If your healers or low or out of mana, you can safely do these during Evocation or immediately after a Hateful Bolt. Last night was the first time I risked healing myself after a Hateful Bolt and was pleased that I had time for a Regrowth as well as some Lifeblooms. The risk here is the untimely spawn of a spark as their damage will delay spell casting.


  • You can do all the emergency tactics above, however your optimal time to do them is when the Curator is NOT in evocation. Since your job is DPS, it's best that you are available to deal damage when Curator is the weakest.

The most exhilarating times, for me, are when things go awry and I'm forced to 'think out of the box' and stretch my abilities. Until last night, it had never occurred to me to Cower when my threat was in danger of making me MT and it was exciting to suddenly realize something that could, and did, fix it, thereby enabling me to play rather than stop attacking and hope he can generate a decent lead before I get bored out of my mind. Last night was also the first time all our healers ran out of mana at the same time. As there was nothing to lose by risking heals after a Hateful Bolt, I tried it and was successful. Now I know it's a viable emergency tactic.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Munchies and Snacks!

We've all been there log on just to knock out your daily quests or farm for a bit, an hour later someone asks for help with a quest, which turns into 4 quests and another hour gone, then someone else asks you to craft them something and you stand around for 30 minutes while they gather their mats, then another guildie invites you to run Heroic Botanica....two bosses in, you suddenly realize it's 2 hours after lunch time and you're starving! You're in the middle of an instance with 4 other people so you don't have time for a meal....what do you grab?

We have a variety of options here for those times when we get stuck in game or just plain don't realize how much time has ticked away.

His Snacks
My husband's favorites are Wheat Thins, Pringles, and Robertson's Real Beef Jerky, which he says is the best beef jerky available....I take his word on that as I'm a vegetarian. ;)

Her Snacks
I tend to go in cycles as to what I like for quick and easy snacking. Sometimes I can make do with some crackers and cheese (I buy the kind already cubed or in cracker size squares). I also keep hummus on hand for making a fast sandwhich of hummus and cheese. Although I'm not a huge nut fan, Mrs. May's seed and nut crunches are yummy. A few months ago, I used to make mini frittatas in muffin pans rather than the traditional skillet. These make nice, nutritous snacks and with a variety of options for fillings, can be changed up based on what you like.

Chocolate deserves it's own category and every raider knows the need for this all important snack. We typically keep M&M's and/or Mini M&M's on hand. I also keep the snack size Hershy's bars (those tiny, baby ones) around as well. And, when I'm really bad, I <3 the Ho Ho's.

So, what do you snack on?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


With the advent of Brewfest, we get a new non-combat pet! For those of you who don't know, I am a pet junkie. It's an addiction...and there is no 12-step plan for it...nor do I want one. ;p So, anytime a new pet is added to the game I get very excited and can't wait to acquire my new baby. :)

With Brewfest, we get a quest to Catch the Wild Wolpertinger (Thanks to Ryvan for the link!) which grants this little fella.

An interesting point to note is that your new friend can only be seen by you and drunk individuals. At first I didn't like this as no one would be able to see my cute little buddy hopping along after me, but then I realized the benefits...I play on a PvP server and when I'm stealthing around all sneaky like in kitty form I can't have any pets out with me as they would give away my position. Which, as you can imagine, is devistating for a pet junkie. However, this little guy can be my new stealth pet as, unless they are drunk, no one will see him but me. :D He also responds to emotes, which I think is a nice addition to non-combat pets and I hope that they make this a regular addition.

I've already sent my husband a link so that he will be well prepared to devote tonight's activities to obtaining out new babies....yes, I make him get all the pets too. ;)

*** Edit ***

My husband just informed me that Brewfest doesn't start until October 2nd. /sigh I guess I have to wait. :(

*** 2nd Edit ***

Added quest link.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Bearing Gruul's Lair

Sunday was our guild's Gruul night and although it seemed we got off to a rough start (a couple of wipes on the High King) we did pull ourselves together and get the High King down. Gruul was a different story, though. This time, the gates stayed open for us, but we seemed to keep wiping around the 40% range. After assessment, it was determined that our DPS was lacking (a few of our high DPS players were not in attendence), but we still gave him our best several times while working on our positioning and coordination.

Even though we have yet to down Gruul, I thought I'd write about my role in Gruul's Lair since I've been contemplating it and how to improve. I haven't been to Gruul's enough to give full detail on all Feral activities (Kitty) within this instance, so I'll be focusing on the Bear's role on trash and only tanking Kiggler the Crazed and Off-Tanking Gruul.

Trash Mobs
The trash mobs are Lair Brutes and Gronn-Priests. We typically have our Warriors tank them and have our Druids in Bear form hanging back with the healers and ranged DPS. Every so often, the Lair Brutes will charge into the group, wiping agro, and it's our job to pick them up and escort them back to the tanks.

When the pull is announced, I pop into Bear form and hit my Enrage ability. While I'm waiting for my rage to build up and the Brute to charge in, I target each mob and apply Feral Faerie Fire to pass the time. Once the Brute charges, I get within range (they are usually too close to Feral Charge however, if I can, I use it), Growl, slap a Mangle on them, and spam my Lacerate. This usually assures that I have the target and I begin walking him back to the tank area. While escorting my fella, I continue to apply Mangle when the cooldown is up as well as Lacerate and the odd Maul. As I'm pulling him back to the tank area, I keep a close eye on my Target of Target and as soon as I see the tank pop up, I stop attacking. It's very important that you let the tank have his mob back as it's your job to be back protecting the rest of the raid. It's also critical to keep an eye on your rage as well as the threat meters as you must maintain agro until you can pass them off to the tank while still maintaining enough rage to pick up the next mob that charges. Rinse and repeat until all the mobs are dead.

Along with the static trash mobs there are also patrols. While picking up any brutes that charge, also keep an eye on the patrols and if one agros, secure it and tank it in the tank area until one of the tanks are free to take him, then go back to your assigned job.

The only other thing to note about the trash mobs is that the Gronn-Priests do heal themselves as well as the other mobs. When possible, keep them out of line of site of the other trash and/or have a Warrior or Rogue interrupt the heals.

Kiggler the Crazed
Every time I've been to Gruuls, it's been my job to tank Kiggler the Crazed. Since he has a tendency to polymorph his primary target, a shapeshifted Druid is optimal for this task. Our guild has me tank him pretty much where he stands prior to the pull and if we have enough Hunters in the raid, I'll get a Misdirect, but whether or not I have one, I still pull with the same strategy.

We start with our mage, who tanks Krosh Firehand, counting down from 10, 1 being timed when his spell fires. When he begins his countdown, I shift to Bear and Enrage. At 1, I Feral Charge, Mangle, spam Lacerate, etc. Sometimes Kiggler is still on the run, though, and after my charge is complete, he's still out of range, on those occasions, I Feral Faerie Fire as I run to catch up, then apply Mangle, Lacerate, Maul as I drag him to the tanking area. Once I have him in position with my back against the wall, it's pretty much tank and spank. Every so often, he will do an Arcane Explosion AoE which will knock you back as well as lower your threat. Most strategies advise running out to avoid this, however I've always stayed in and the one shaman healer assigned to me has never had a problem keeping my health up, but he is one of our best healers. When Kiggler does do his Arcane explosion, knocking you back, he runs off. At this point, it's a simple matter of charging to him, picking him back up again, and dragging him back into position. Always make sure you have at least 10 rage available for this charge.

I'd also like to note that we had a new mage doing the pull on Krosh last night and he counted down from 3, which left no time for an Enrage. Even though I didn't have a Misdirect, it was simple enough to make adjustments and still pick him up with limited rage. I played with two strategies with equal success. Strategy #1 was run in while firing Feral Faerie Fire to get his initial attention, then proceed with the usual Mangle, Lacerate, odd Maul routine. This worked fairly well. Strategy #2 was to Feral Charge in then Feral Faerie Fire, by the time the global cooldown was up on the Faerie Fire, I had plenty of rage to do my attack routine. Once his attention is properly secured, drag him to the tank postion and continue as above in the 10 to 1 countdown strat.

High King Maulgar
After Kiggler the Crazed has expired, the only mob left should be the High King. Even though I named this post Bearing Gruul's Lair, I go into Kitty form here and do my best to help DPS him down even though I'm still in my Bear clothes...except for my weapon, thank goodness they let you switch those in combat. The only thing to be aware of here is every once in a while he does his traveling sit spin (Whirlwind) attack. Stay well away from that and you should be good. By this point, it shouldn't take long to down him.

More Trash
Use the strategy above. The trash right in front of Gruul's gate did require me tanking one of the priest. Be sure to keep priest out of line of sight as well as have someone interrupt their heals.

Make sure you know your tanking position prior to engaging. Typically, I always off tank at the 10 o'clock position. If you're using the Pie Slice, sometimes called Pizza Slice, strategy, ensure that your group is in your same pie slice so your healers can reach you.

When the main tank charges in, I follow behind. Typically, he'll have a Misdirect, so I don't need to worry about passing him on the threat meters...although I always keep an eye on them, just in case. The off tank job isn't too difficult, I make sure my threat is under the main tanks and over the DPS. Every once in a while, I'll get knocked around. At this time, I Feral Charge back in to Gruul. It's imperative to get back immediately otherwise, the highest melee DPS on the meters will be killed. So, considering this, I always make sure I have, at minimum, 10 rage for my charge. The only time this is a problem is in the very beginning of the fight when I'm working to gain a sufficient lead on DPS. After the knockback, charge in, and do your best to get back into position as quickly as possible.

That's pretty much it for how I do my job(s) when our guild does Gruuls Liar. I'm sure there are a million and 1 strategies out there, and I'm always open for input.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Daily Quest Perference?

Since buying my Badge of Tenacity, I've been subjected to the daily quest grind to replenish my cashflow. Until recently, I had not subjected myself to this unique form of torture Blizzard has devised for us, and, as I'm sinking my teeth into the various forms of turture, I'm finding I have some I prefer to do and some I'd rather avoid.

When daily questing alone, I do:

Sadly, that's about all I can take. I guess I seem to prefer the ones where I can stay in Flight Form and not have to deal with mobs or being ganked.

When with my hubby, along with the two above, we also do:

Honestly, I hate The Relic's Emenation. Since I'm 39 and my husband is 42, it seems to take both of us together to get the stupid quest right...and that's even with Ogri'lazy. I guess that quest wasn't designed for old people. ;p We've also tried a couple of the Netherwing quests and can't seem to muster up the energy to continue on with those.

Which daily quests to you prefer to do? Which ones do you absolutely hate?

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Casual Raiding Guidelines and Etiquette

You've joined a casual raiding guild and are anxious to attend your first raid. You see in the message of the day that a new Kara run begins in 3 days. Awesome! All you have to do is log in that day, state in guild chat that you're ready for an invite, and wait for your summons, right? Wrong! One of the biggest misconceptions about Casual Raiding Guilds is that guidelines, etiquette, and general courtesies are optional. However, these things become even more important as, in a casual raiding guild, people (guild leaders and raid leaders included) don't have the time to micro manage everything and everyone. Lets take a look at what we, as casual raiders, can do to help our guilds run successful raids.

  1. Sign Up - Sign up for raids on the guild website. This is important as the raid leaders need to know if there are enough people interested and available to run a raid on that day and time. They need to know if they have enough tanks, healers, melee DPS and ranged DPS to make a good combination of people and classes for a successful raid. And, if running more than one raid at that day and time, they need to know, before hand, who will be in which raid group for easy and quick invites. Signing up for raids applies to everyone, even guild leaders and guild officers...even healers (just because there is a shortage of healers and you know you're guaranteed a spot doesn't preclude you from signing up.)
  2. Be On Time - When signing up for your raid, make note of the 'Invite Time' and 'Raid Start Time'. Be sure to log on at the invite time. If you can not make the invite time or will even be late for the raid start time, be sure to discuss this with the raid leader in advance. Since you're in a casual raid guild, leniency in this area is allowed, but do the raid leaders the courtesy of letting them know and even finding someone to 'fill in' for you until you arrive. Also, log out at the instance the night before so you're ready to jump in without requiring people to come out and summon you.
  3. Be Available - Along with being on time, you also need to be available at the sign in time. Being on, but in a Battleground, does not count. Being on, and at the last boss of a 5-man, does not count. Anything that can unaccountably and uncontrollably run past the sign in time should be avoided. If you're bored while waiting then work on short daily quests, farm some herbs or mine, or spend your time killing Bogflare Needlers in hopes of obtaining a Firefly for your favorite Druid Off-Tank.
  4. Be Prepared - Make sure you're repaired. Yes, Kara has vendors that can repair, but only after you're Honored. Also, the repair vendor for the second half of the instance is a considerable way in, so you may not make it to him if you're at a low percentage. As well as being repaired, make sure you're stocked up on reagents, poisons, etc. There is nothing more frustrating then being at the 3rd boss and someone has to hearthstone to repair or stock up and then need people to come out and summon them. It's not just about the other 9 people having to stand around waiting, there are also spawn timers...the more time it takes to kill that boss, the fewer attempts that can be made.
  5. BYO... - Bring your own health/mana potions and elixirs/flasks. Yes, a lot of guilds have a guild alchemist that churns out potion after potion and elixir after elixir for the guild. 'Guild Alchemist', that term conjures up some nondescript character that automatically fills your needs with nary a complaint. Sadly, that character requires someone to run it; someone to farm all those stacks of herbs, someone to buy all those vials, someone to stand around in the bank queuing up all those potions and then sit there doing nothing while the character churns them out. You're in a casual raiding guild, remember? This means everyone in the guild is a casual player including the guild officers. None of them have the time to spend hours preparing potions, elixirs, and flasks for the entire raid. So, take it upon yourself to acquire all the pots, elixirs, and flasks you will need. If you're going to have one of the alchemist in the guild make them for you, then be sure to supply them with vials as well as herbs.
  6. Make the Run - You're on at the sign in time and you're available, now go the extra mile and make that run to the instance rather than waiting on a summons. A lot of times, assistance is required to clear the summoning stone so, get out there and help!
  7. Vent Etiquette - This can be one of the most troublesome areas for a casual guild. While guild and raid leaders want their guildies to have a good time and banter, they also want to be able to disseminate pertinent information without having to wait 5 minutes for someone to stop yammering on and on about whatever. Bantering and having fun is typically welcome in casual raiding guilds. However, 10 minute discussions on the intricacies of your level 56 alt or the figurine you painted last night is not. If you have something you want to discuss with another guild mate, ask them to stay on after the raid. Even bantering has it's limits, once buffs start going up, quiet down so the raid leader can give instructions and start the pull.
  8. Wipe Recovery - Your raid just wiped and you need to go afk for a few minutes, perfect time, right? No! As mentioned earlier, there are timers on trash re-spawn. You need to stay at your keyboard so you can either accept the rez or run back into the instance and to the buff location. Even if you're a non buffing class, you still need to get to the location in a timely manner because you do have to be buffed. Wipes are frustrating and demoralizing as it is, don't compound that by being afk when others need you to be present and ready.
  9. AFK - The often necessary but dreaded afk. They spontaneously pop up all the time. Someone needs a bio break, then at the next pull another person needs a drink, then the next pull someone has to tuck their kids in, then the next pull another person needs a bio break...they add up. Help alleviate the AFK problem by sending your raid leader a little tell 5-10 minutes in advance. Most often, he will work in a 2-5 minute break after the next boss which will allow all 4 of the previously mentioned afk situations to happen all at once. If people know a break will be coming up soon, they will wait and do their afk business at that time.
  10. Know Your Job - Know your job prior to the pull. If you're unclear as to your job or role, ask and then be prepared to act upon your task when the pull is made. If you are responsible for crowd controlling a mob, know when and where it needs to be controlled and be ready when the pull is made. If you're job is to off heal, off tank, or DPS, have on the appropriate gear. If you're required to MD to the tank or Innervate a healer, make sure your macro is set up and working beforehand rather than scrambling at the last minute.
  11. Proper Mindset - Be in a proper raiding mindset. Yes, this is a game and you are in a casual raiding guild, but you can still be a serious raider within that construct. If you're flitting around, goofing off and not paying attention, then unintended pulls will happen and your response time to adds and key player deaths will be reduced. You need to be focused and attentive to whats going on and your surroundings so you can be a valuable member of your raiding team.
  12. Listen - One of the most important things you can do is be quiet and listen. Pay attention to instructions from the raid leaders as well as your class leaders.

Following this simple list will help your guild progress through the end game content without having to take on a more 'hardcore' stance. This will ensure that your guild can remain 'casual' and continue to meet your casual raiding needs.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Three Piece Club

Last night, I officially joined the Three Piece Club, when I finally looted my T4 glove token from Curator!

Well, I supposed I can't say finally as I've looted them once before. I was the first to get a T4 item from Karazhan in our guild and it was so long ago that it was prior to patch 2.1.2 where Blizzard did a massive item upgrade. At that time, the Gauntlets of Malorne were not as good (not even close) as the Verdant Gloves, so I tossed my token in the bank thinking I'd take some time to assess my choice. (Actually, I was a noob and thought the Nordrassil items were T4, otherwise I would not have looted it.) But, everytime I logged in or someone else logged in, I'd get tells in guild chat to link my, I succombed to peer pressure and made a quick, and as it turned out a few weeks later, bad decision. I chose the Handguards of Malorne.

I'll never forget the tears in my Guild Leader's eyes and the hurt in his voice as he said, "Am I losing my Off Tank? I thought we had a bond."

After assuring him that I'd never go resto and that our bond was still intact, I set my new gloves up in my healing gear set in Outfitter and went on my merry way....for a few weeks, at least.

Then Blizzard implemented the 2.1.2 patch and all the items changed. It was exciting and wonderful to see how your stats went up overnight, literally! I couldn't wait for Emmerald to update his items lists so I could see the new rankings of all my current gear and the items that I should now be working towards!!

Then finally, the new lists came out. As I sat at my computer clicking on link after link checking out all the gear that was better than what I had on, I saw it....the Guantlets of Malorne....way up high on the list....where they hadn't even been close to before. I couldn't believe it. Before, they were around number 30 on the list, now they're number 3?!?! Had I known they were going to improve them that much, I'd have gotten them with my token. /sigh

So, I waited, and waited, and waited until everyone who had started running Kara back when we began had gotten their t4 gloves before finally asking our Guild Leader if I could begin rolling on them again or if I needed to wait until the newer Kara folks had upgraded as well. Thankfully, he said I could start rolling....actually, he never said I couldn't roll before, I just thought it would be in ill taste to get 2 before all those people had gotten 1, so I waited to ask. (Actually, I did ask before one member had gotten them, one of our warriors, but I had thought he'd gotten them already or I would have waited until he had to ask.)

So, I get my green light to roll again and then it hits....the dry spell. The Gloves of the Fallen Defender cease to drop. For a long time. A really long time. Did I mention it was a long time?

Then yesterday came along and, prior to our Kara run, I decide to upgrade some gems in my gear. While trying to decide where to put one of my Solid Star of Elune's a fleeting thought runs through my mind, "I bet if I put this gem in my current gloves, I'll get the T4 ones tonight." Already worried that just having that thought enter my mind would jinx the Jedi mind trick I was hoping to orchestrate, I quickly, and without any more thought, popped that gem in my Gloves of Dexterious Manipulation. That was it, I refused to think anymore about my ploy that day as I didn't want the energy of my intent to alert Blizzard.

Then raid time came and we began clearing to Curator. Since one of our DPS was unable to log on, we pulled in the newer druid from Tuesday to continue on as Off Tank and I got to run as Kitty....but, that's another story. So, I'm busy in my alternate roll which was a nice change and mixed it up enough that I had actually forgotten about the Jedi mind trick I had in the works. We begin on Curator and I'm running around like crazy chasing sparks and then he goes down and all of a sudden, I say to my husband, "The Gloves are gonna drop because I put an expensive gem in my current ones." After waiting for an eternity (I know he was waiting to torment me), he finally loots the boss and up pop the Gloves of the Fallen Defender. Immediatly, I click on my roll macro and, yep, the best ever Jedi mind trick in the world because I rolled a....


Some other people rolled and they were good trys, but since no one tied me and I didn't have to do a roll-off, I got to get my 3rd piece of the Malorne Harness. Now, I'm really excited to venture on to the Four Piece Club. ;)


Yesterday, I was playing around in the settings and, apparently, turned comments off for non-registered users. So, if you tried to comment and couldn't, I apologize.

While playing around, I did categorize my Druid links. If I put you in the wrong category, please let me know. Typically, it's blindingly obvious, but I ride the short bus, so...

Hopefully soon, I'll have a different color scheme. I played with them yesterday and, unfortunately, the only 'revert color scheme' button changes everything back to the original settings rather than just the last color changed. /sigh

As I've said before, this is my first blog, so any tips, comments, suggestions on layout, colors, appearance, etc. are welcome.

Also, any comments on my posts are welcome as well. Mainly, I write about whatever I feel like (as a blog should be), but if you'd like to see more of a type of article, content, etc. let me know and I'll try to prioritize my ideas. I have a whole list of things I'd like to get to and it seems to be growing, but I have no particular order set for writing about them. So, let me know what you'd like to see more of...

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Druid Off-Tank Job Description

Job Overview

To function, primarily, in an alternate tank position as a form of crowd control, damage mitigation and absorption, and back-up tank when the main tank expires or is drastically debuffed. In certain situations, will be called upon to deal melee or spell damage, heal, Innervate, or resurrect an expired member while in combat. At times, will be called upon to fill two or more of these rolls simultaneously.

Job Duties
  • Gain threat quickly on target #1 on the Kill Order List to enable DPS to utilize their skills to maximum effect.
  • Pick-up and build threat on any alternate targets as specified by your Raid Leader.
  • Analyze and adjust your positioning to protect team mates from damaging attacks.
  • Analyze and adjust your positioning to maintain an adequate distance from crowd controlled mobs.
  • Analyze and adjust your positioning to avoid patrol areas and other enemies in the vicinity.
  • Once all assigned targets have been terminated, DPS the main tank's target(s) as specified by the Kill Order List.
  • Watch for any disengaged mobs and pick them up in a timely manner.
  • Watch all crowd controlled mobs and pick them up if they break free and/or resist new attempts at crowd control.
  • Watch for Adds and intercept them in a timely and efficient manner.
  • Perform Innervate function when needed without detriment to your task at hand.
  • Perform Rebirth function when needed without detriment to your task at hand.
  • Maintain awareness of team mates health status and perform spot heals between tanking and/or DPS.
  • Function in a Melee or Spell DPS role when enemies do not require tanking and in accordance with the Kill Order List.
  • Function in a Healing or Off-Healing role when requested and needed.
  • Assist in AoE damage when needed.

Job Requirements

  • Tanking gear set meeting or exceeding the minimum gear requirements for the raid.
  • Melee DPS gear set meeting or exceeding the minimum gear requirements for the raid.
  • Healing/Spell DPS gear set meeting or exceeding the minimum gear requirements for the raid.
  • A thorough understanding of threat mechanics.
  • Threat meters and the ability to interpret them.
  • A thorough working knowledge of Tanking, Melee DPS, Healing, and Spell DPS abilities.
  • Ability to focus and maintain attention on multiple tasks at once.
  • Ability to quickly analyze situations and adjust with the needs at hand.
  • Camera view manipulation skills.

Kharazhan as a Spectator Sport

Night before last, I was able to sit out of the first half of Kara while one of our new Druids filled the Off Tank position. This was a big deal for me as I've been running Kara since our guild started it, with the exception of a few nights, due to a lack of Feral Druids. I've gotten all my Bear gear except the T4 gloves....well, I have the gloves but, I got them back before the item re-vamp in Patch 2.something or other, and *gasp* got the healing ones because the feral ones sucked back then. And, as far as Kitty gear goes, I just need a few pieces from the later half of the instance. So, yippy!!! I get a night off from Kara!

After logging out in Kara so I can easily, and quickly, get back in for Curator, I log in my baby priest thinking I'll level her up a tiny bit while my husband slaved away as the Kara Raid Leader for one of the two groups. Well, I thought I'd be leveling my priest, but it was quite distracting as my eyes kept being drawn to his monitor.

Mainly, I couldn't keep my eyes off of my commenter, Darkriver, as he masterfully played his Resto Shaman utilizing both is healing and dps skills. (Was that enough sucking up to get my firefly now? ;p )

Seriously, though, it was a rather unique opportunity to watch the Kara action without the distraction of being there and doing my job. Since I'm the Druid Class Officer in our guild, I was able to observe our new druid rather than asking the other attending officers how he did. Since I wasn't tanking, I was able to send him tells (between pulls) to offer suggestions or advice or to give Druid OT specific instructions before boss encounters.

It was really interesting to watch the action from a different viewpoint and see all our people functioning in cohesive order; watching the response time of the tanks when mobs broke away, watching the dps and how quickly they adjusted, and the healers and how fast they responded and with what heals, etc. I know this evening, when I run the second half of Kara, I will be performing my role with a whole new perspective in my arsenal. As of yet, I'm not sure how I will apply it, but I do look forward to experimenting with my new 'detached' viewpoint.

I know Blizzard would never implement it, but it would be nice to have the ability to enter Kara as a 'camera view' only. It would really help officers observe their guildies play so they could make corrections. Raid leaders could use the camera view to run the raid thereby allowing another guild member to run in their spot. Guilds could even require that new raiding members attend raids in view mode prior to actually attending the raid so they could see how more experience raiders in their class functioned. To prevent 'cheating', Blizzard could even make it an 'Eye of Kilrog' kind of thing so people couldn't scout ahead (mobs could kill it). But, I think dreaming about this functionality is about all we can do....unless you live with or near one of your guild mates and can watch them play.

The only drawback of this was that I couldn't grab my husband's mouse and move his camera around to other views than the one he had....well, I suppose I could have done that, but I don't think he would have appreciated it. ;)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

OMG!! Feral Druids have an AoE Spell?

And you thought all that mana was just for shape shifting!

I think one of the most forgotten abilities that Feral Druids have in their arsenal is their Hurricane Spell. I know I'd forgotten about it. In fact, I'm embarrassed to say that I had been running Kara for over three months before it dawned on me to use it on our AoE pulls. So, tonight when I was watching my husband run one of our guild's 2 Kara groups through, which happened to have one of our newer Feral Druids Off-Tanking, I noticed him frantically swiping in Bear form trying to help out as best he could. I immediately sent him a whisper and suggested that he cast Barkskin and Hurricane on the next AoE pull.

This is one of the best things we can do, as off-tanks, on an AoE pull. Swipe only hits 3 mobs on each application...if they are directionally in front of you and within range and if you have the rage. However, Hurricane affects all the mobs in the target area. Lets take a look:

Hurricane - Creates a violent storm in the target area, causing X Nature damage every 1 sec, and reducing the attack speed of enemies by 25%. Lasts 10 sec. Druid must channel to maintain this spell.

At Rank 4, hurricane will do 206 damage to each enemy in the targeted area each second for 10 seconds. That is a lot more damage on a lot more mobs than what your swipe will cause. My swipe (and I'm going on memory here), typically does around 130 damage to each of the 3 enemies I'm attacking unless I crit, then it can be 200-450 on 1 or more of those mobs. So, lets say I do an average crit of 300 on one mob and base damage of 130 on the other two, total that's 560 damage. However, one tick of the Hurricane spell on those same 3 mobs totals 618 damage. Now, considering that you'll have a lot more enemies in the target zone than 3 (I used 3 to compare to swipe) we can see how this spell is much more effective in burning the enemies down.

Another good aspect of this spell is the attack speed reduction of 25%. I know before I started using this spell, we'd always emote /bye to our mage prior to an AoE pull as, about 30% of the time, he'd die from the agro generated by his AoE spells. So, the 25% attack speed reduction can actually help save his life enabling him to dispense with the mobs more quickly.

There are three drawbacks with the Hurricane spell. One is it's a channeling spell and therefor generates a lot of threat and when you get hit, it can be interrupted wasting that 1,905 mana it costs (usually about a 3rd of a feral druids mana). However, this can be avoided/reduced by casting Barkskin prior to Hurricane.

The second drawback is that it has a one minute cooldown (as well as Barkskin). So, if your tank pulls two AoE groups in a row, you won't be able to use your AoE spell on the second group. This can be easily fixed by asking your MT to alternate AoE pulls with the single patrol pulls, when possible.

The third drawback is that Hurricane is a targeted AoE spell. This means that once you place that big green target, that is where the damage happens. If the enemies run out of that area, they no longer take damage. There are quite a few things to consider here; if the tank does a ranged pull and you target the area the mobs were originally standing, you'll be lucky if one or two stays in the target zone. If you place your target where the tank is, but hang back in the healing and casting area, you'll find that a few of the enemies will break away and come to attack you...which means you just pulled baddies into your squishies...doh! You also have to consider the positioning of the mage as he's the one who will generate the most threat and will have most of the mobs surrounding him and these are the ones that need the attack speed reduction. Since I'm usually in my Bear clothes, I just run up to where the MT is (our mage is usually nearby as well), cast Barkskin followed by hurricane and position my target around us and the mage. That typically takes care of the majority of the mobs.

Once Hurricane has run it's duration, I check to see how many mobs are left and what level of health they have. If I see one or two on the 'out skirts' with a decent amount of health, I go into kitty and burn them down quickly. If I see a couple over near our healers, I go into Bear to ensure I get their attention. Overall, though, once we're all done with the AoE, we rarely have more than 3 baddies left and they certainly don't last long.

In Kara, there are a lot of AoE pulls in the first half of the instance. Most of these are found in the Banquet Hall with Moroes and in the Ballroom. The only time I do not use Hurricane is when we have an AoE pull with more than one elite; for example, the pulls containing the two Philanthropist. On those pulls, you will need to off-tank and, since the non-elite adds are minimal, you and your MT should be able to hold agro on them all.

So, the next time you're in Kara and your raid leader announces a non-elite AoE pull, cast Barkskin followed by Hurricane and position you and your big, green target between your MT and Mage. Then bask in the glory of all that damage text drifting across your screen!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Gruuling Adventures Voided

Last night was our scheduled Gruul's run. Actually, it was our first full, guild only Gruuls run. We'd attempted the trash in the beginning once before (a long time ago) but, we didn't have enough people and we were very green (gear-wise and coordination-wise). So, to say it was a wipe fest on the first mob would be a gross understatement. :P We'd also run a couple of 'co-op' runs with another guild on our server and, although we downed the High King and made decent progress on Gruul, the other guild didn't exactly meet our needs. Our guild is a casual raiding guild and, even though they advertised themselves as casual too, they were more lackadaisical in every raiding sense you can imagine. So, after two attempts with them, we decided to dump them, get another guild to merge into us, and do our own 25-man runs.

That brings us to last night...our first 'Official Gruul's Run'. After spending months, and I mean months, running Kara....and remembering how it was when we first started learning the instance, I went in with fairly low expectations. Even though we had all our veteran players (those who started Kara, learned it, got geared up, then began running/teaching others the instance), we still have quite a few 'green' folks. People who had just started running Kara and weren't familiar with everyone's play style, how we operate, how to coordinate, and even still in green gear. So, I went to Gruul's with the expectation that we'd wipe on the beginning trash 1-2 times, down the High King on our 3rd or 4th try, and then get Gruul to around 10-25% before it got too late to continue.

So, it was a nice surprise when we made it through the trash with minimal deaths and zero wipes! There were a few times where agro stealing was an issue, but our warriors and druids were very good at regaining control (Charge!! ftw!)....well, those who died may not feel that way...but, this is my story and I'll tell it like I wanna. ;p

After we cleared the trash, we find ourselves looking at the High King and his Court (Is it just me who sees big Michelin-men babies when looking at ogres?) Tank assignments are given (I'm on Kiggler, as before on our co-op runs), dps instructions, healing orders, MD directives etc. Thankfully tank instructions are always first as I just don't have the attention span to make it to the end…although I did catch that I wouldn’t have a misdirect, but that’s ok, I don’t need one. Thankfully, Druids can generate a lot of threat quickly and Kiggler is the last to die with the exception of the High King.

After instructions and the obligatory ready check, our mage does the count down and I charge in, fairie fireing on the way. I pick him up easily enough and drag him to the assigned tank spot along the wall. Only twice did he bounce me against the wall and run off, neither time did he get very far before I charged, mauled, mangled, and lacerated and then drug him back. Now, being against the wall, you have two viewing options; 1) the inside of your body or 2) the top down view where you position your camera directly above you. Since the funky graphic clipping issues in view #1 annoy me, I always use view #2 in these situations. However, neither of these views allows you to see what’s going on with the rest of the raid. So, while periodically checking the threat meters, I also scan the 5 group boxes to see who all is up and who all has died. None the less, this still gives you no clue as to how far we’ve progressed on the kill order, unless, of course, you have the attention span to make it through the full instructions and memory enough to remember the kill order. So, I was surprised when my target was announced as the next to DPS so quickly into the fight! After he went down and I innervated Ledde (he’s always on my innervate macro!). We all went after the High King and soon enough, we was dead with the rest of the Michelin-men babies!! Awesome!!! We downed the High King in 1 shot with only a couple of deaths. We got Pauldrons of the Fallen Defender and Pauldrons of the Fallen Hero and something else that wasn’t Feral Druid related and not worth remembering. ;) Thankfully, since I'd gotten my shoulders on the first of the two co-op runs with the other two guilds, I didn't have to worry about rolling or spending DKP on these!!! (Co-op runs didn't earn or spend DKP...can you say FREE SHOULDERS?!?!)

On we progressed toward Gruul. We downed the trash in a much more cohesive and coordinated manor than the prior trash. Then we stood gazing on Gruul himself. Baklor, our GM begins giving out the instructions. I hear, “Mooire will be the Hateful Bolt.” And begin zoning as he goes through the pie slice strategy. Then after outlining the positioning, jobs, fight synopsis, etc., we charge in and begin our fight. I make sure that I watch the threat meters so I stay under Baklor (MT) and above everyone else. I also make sure that after I get bounced around, I quickly move back to my 10 o’clock spot so I’m near my healers….all good on both fronts.....unfortunately, I noticed people dieing, and then Baklor dies. Suddenly, I’m MT, but not for a terribly long time, then it’s a wipe. Gruul was at 61%. Not too bad for our first shot. We then start releasing and run back in….only to find Gruuls doors shut!!! NOOO!!!!! We only tried once! They can’t be locked!!!

At this point, I remember that after we told each group where thier pie chart positioning was, we have a shuffling of folks within groups. Even though Minder, one of our Priests, and I said (in raid chat) to point out the group positionings again after the shuffle, somehow, that got overlooked. Our healers were unable to heal some members in their group because they were going to their previously assigned groups pie piece. Oh well, lesson learned. But, even though we learned a lesson, we were still locked out of Gruul’s room.

Ever the adventurist, Baklor suggests that we go to The Eye and give the Void Reaver a try. So, they all hop on their flying mounts…except for us Druids who instantly switch to flight form…and head out to Netherstorm. None of us had run this instance before so it was all new and a definite welcome change of scenery!!! We wiped a couple of times on the trash in the beginning but we quickly adjusted and preformed better as we went along. As we got to Al’ar, my video card drivers started hanging, so as I was logging and re-booting, they cleared his room. Since our goal was the Void Reaver, we skipped Al’ar and continued clearing trash to him.

Once we got to his room and began clearing in there, we did have one more wipe and a couple semi-wipes (people would die and run back in as soon as they could while the remaining people continued to fight). Once the trash was cleared we then began the instructions, “Blah, blah, blah, we have 4 tanks that rotate…Baklor is 1st tank, Mooire is 2nd….blah, blah, blah…..”. (I wonder if I’ll be in trouble when our GM reads this and sees how little I pay attention….) We charge in….or, rather Baklor and I do…our other two tanks were a bit behind but, they made up for it at the end as Baklor went down, then I went down not long after, Slashappy was up next and he stayed up for quite a while, but soon we lost too many to sustain him. When all was said and done, the Void Reaver was at 83% and we were at 0%. Since it was Midnight Central time, we decided to call it a night with plans to continue our 25-mans each week.

Honestly, though, not too bad for our first guild-only 25-man raid night. I look forward to more nights of learning and raiding. As, for me, it’s about learning new instances, learning how to adjust my abilities to fit the instances, mobs, and other players. Hopefully, in the future, I’ll be able to write about that more as I become more accustomed to large raid groups. Since I only played WoW for about a year when it came out, I missed out on all the 40-man raids. So, large group raiding is new to me and I'm looking forward to more.

Also, hopefully, either I'll learn to write shorter stories or get that 'Read more...' code set up in my template. ;)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Badge of Tenacity takes a Ferocious Bite out of my Gold

After months of sporadically farming the Ogri'la Plateau and watching the auction house, I have finally acquired my Badge of Tenacity. To be honest, I can't say that I have been diligent in my efforts. When it comes to farming, I'm lucky if I can make it through a 30 minute MotW buff. And, checking the AH? Gah, I have to run to the center of Shat, take the portal, run to the auctioneer, and, when done, HS back. That's a lot of effort. So, when I say sporadically, I mean that in a sporadically, sporadic sense. ;)

So, last night, after playing some baby chars with my husband (I'm playing a Warlock! Is that sacrilegious to my Druid commitment? O.O ) . I decided to log in my Druid, buff up, and log in my kitty clothes so I could look on the armory this morning and get my stats for an upcoming article I've been contemplating (it involves math and such so it may be a while). While in, I decided to check the AH. Previously, after making the extreme effort to 'go out of town' and check the auction, there would never be so much as a Depleted Badge let alone a Badge of Tenacity. But, none the less, I checked anyway and, to my amazement, there was not just one Badge of Tenacity, but three!!!

Two of them were over 1000g (1007 and 1017), but the third one was 999g 99s 99c. What a bargain!!! I quickly check my available funds and my heart sinks as I only see 927g in my packs. Than my husbands says, "Don't you have money on your AH character?" OMG!! Yes! But, how much? I hadn't logged her on in ages! In fact, I'd been getting items back in the mail that I'd sent to her to auction. I quickly log out Mooire and rush to log in my AH char....all the while just knowing someone is going to snatch up that badge! Once I get her logged in, I check her packs....83g! Perfect!!! I quickly mail myself 80, hoping 3 gold will be enough to auction some of her stuff to replenish her funds, log in my Druid, grab my gold and run back to the Auctioneer.

Thankfully, the badge for less than 1000g (just barely!) was still there. I quickly hit the buyout button and run to the mailbox so fast that the first two times I checked it, there was no badge. O.O Finally, my badge shows up and I get it set into my 'Bear' outfit in Outfitter. The item that previously occupied that trinket spot was my Alchemist Stone. So, even though the Badge of Tenacity is awesome and, along with Moroes' Lucky Pocket Watch, the best trinket set up available, I was a little sad to see that my health and dodge decreased a wee bit. Here are my previous and current stats, self buffed only (sorry, I don't know how to set up a table here):

Alchemist Stone
Health 14,442
Armor 26,249
Defense 439
Dodge 30.28%
Resilience 4

Badge of Tenacity
Health 14,200
Armor 27,913
Defense 439
Dodge 29.26%
Resilience 4

Over all, I'm happy to have finally gotten my BoT. Especially after firing off that puppy, my dodge went from 29.26% to 39.73%....then, when I activated my pocket watch, it jumped to 55.58%!!!! (That is with both trinkets activated at the same time.) Mainly, I like that I can increase my dodge dramatically for 30s (20s on BoT and 10s on MLPW) out of every 2 minutes. Also, I'm not too worried about the loss of health and dodge as I have some defense gems socketed that I can replace since I'm over the cap (415) on that stat.

What I wasn't happy with, though, was looking down and seeing 7g 46s 51c left in my packs....and I was even more unhappy when I realized I'd forgotten to repair after my last trip to Kara and needed over 9g to do so.....and...ooops....we have Gruuls the next day. But, once again, my sweet hubby came to my rescue and when I logged on this morning, I found 90g sitting in my mailbox. :D Plus, after doing a few Daily Quests, I'm up to 143g, and that includes repairing and stocking up on reagents for tonight's Gruuls.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Alliance Pet Mill

It all started with the White Kitten. I didn't plan on building a full scale Alliance Pet Mill, it just sort of happened. But, lets face it, the Alliance pets are cuter and they have 4 more pets than the Horde does. And why shouldn't I have all the pets I want....even if by nefarious means? And even though pet mills are evil these are Alliance pets, so, it's ok. So, I've decided to develope this article which explains how my pet mill evolved and the best strategy for developing you're own Alliance Pet Mill.

But, like I said, I didn't start with the intention of building a pet mill, I just wanted a kitty. While perusing Breanni's Warcraft Pets website, I noticed that the White Kitten was not only sold in limited supply but, it was also sold by a vender that rarely spawns....on the Alliance side.....I'm, not only would this little kitten be rare for the Alliance, it would be very rare for the Horde. I had to have one!!!

I promptly sent my husband a link to the white kitten on gtalk and told him I wanted one...which he correctly interpreted as, 'Get wife white kitten ASAP.' Since he was at work, I did all the research to find out who sold it, where he spawned, and what path he walked. I also read comments on both Wowhead and Thottbot to discover any known spawn times or tips and tricks to find him. Of course, all the while, sending him IMs of any new bits of information I gleened. By the time he got home, he knew this was a #1 priority.

After dinner (yes, I let him eat first), he made a little human character on his son's account (we're on a PvP server) and began leveling him to earn the 60s to purchase my little kitten. By the time he got to level 6, he was no where close to the purchase price and decided he'd run the baby char to Booty Bay, put up his Tough Jerky for a few gold, and be done with it.

Well, his baby char is level 6 and he had to run to Booty Bay....through Stranglethorn Vale....on a PvP server. That's a long run, through a lot of baddies, that have an extremely large agro range when it comes to being only level 6. Finally, after dying several times and reaching that 6 minute timer to rez, he decided to run to Ratchet and take the a ghost! Yes! You can take the boat in ghost form and when you get to the other zone, use the Spirit Guide to rez without being transported to the graveyard near your body. So, he rezzes at the graveyard near Booty Bay and has to run through the tunnel and all the way through town. Surprisingly, most of the Horde ignored him except for one level 41 rogue. /sigh. I told the rogue to leave him alone....even a level 70 Alliance Shaman emoted 'No' to him, but he was a jerk and killed him anyway and promptly jumped into the water to avoid death.

By this time, my wonderful husband was a little more than irritated with the kitten quest I'd set him on and I began to realize how much of a pain it's going to be doing this all over again when he brings my kitten to the auction house. So, I decide that when we do it again, we'd dang sure better make it worth it....we'd better get as many kittens as we can possibly get...and, heck, why not get some of all the other pets too!!! So, before the mean rogue could make his way back to kill my husband again, I had him put his jerky up for a whopping 30g. Surely that would be enough money to get several kittens, moths, owls, and bunnies!

The next day, I set out to build my Alliance Pet Mill Empire!! The first order of business was to aquire my kitten. My husband had already procured flight points (to make the next AH trip easier) and made his way back to Stormwind and positioned his char near Lil Timmy's path. I promptly made a targeting macro so I could run his path (counter clockwise so I'd run into him rather than chase him) and began my search. Thankfully, it didn't take long before Lil Timmy showed up and sold me his kitten!!! I made note of the time and commenced with the other branches of my organization.

I decided that the character my husband made the night before would be the 'hub' character since he had the flight point to Booty Bay as well as 20 somthing gold (30g less AH fees). So, my next task was to set up a Moth buyer. Since the moth vender resides in Exodar, I made a Draenei character, aptly named Mothilda, and ran her straight there. The run was quick and uneventful. After tranfering some money to her I promptly purchased one of each moth and mailed them to our Hub character...COD, of course, so we could replinish her funds.

The next buyer would be for Owls from the Owl Trainer in Darnassus. This time, I made a Night Elf named Owlene and ran her to Darnassus with only one death. After tranferring money to her from the Hub character, I purchased two of each owl and mailed them COD.

The third buyer was for the Snoeshoe Rabbit, so I made a Gnome character, Bunnae, to run to the farm, stopping by the town halfway there to transfer money and hearthstone to avoid the run back to the mailbox. This was the most challenging. Poor, little Bunnae died a few times on the run, then had to chase down the rabbit vender who happens to be chasing a rabbit. Rather than running around like a chicken with your head cut off, watch Yarlen for a few minutes to learn his path, then stand near where he'll be running and be quick like a bunny with your click! Since this was the most aggrivating of venders to buy from...and the cheapest pet to buy....I bought as many as I could afford so I'd make as few trips out there as possible.

After these three purchases and aquiring 4 of the white kittens, I then had my husband run out to Booty Bay to put them on the AH for me to buy on my Horde character. The transfer was fairly uneventful and when all was said and done, I had 4 white kittens, 3 moths, 4 owls, and 8 rabbits!!!

After distributing most of the pets to fellow guildmates and making plans for camping the kitten boy and purchasing more of the other pets, I felt that I needed more variety and decided to add the 4 cats from the Crazy Cat Lady to our pet line. Initially, I had decided not to buy cats as the kitten was better. However, since the kitten is hard to get and flooding the guild with them would ruin their 'specialness' I decided to bring in cats as well.

This time, I made a human, Catrinae. Her run was quick and easy. After making a stop in Goldshire to pick up funds, I trotted over to the Crazy Cat Lady's home and purchased two of each, hearthstoned back, and mailed them to the Hub character.

After making a character for each of the BoE pet venders, I thought, what about the Prairie Chicken? Even though this pet is BoP, wouldn't it be handy to have an Alliance character stationed there just in case one of our guildies really, really wants that chicken? So, I made another human named Chikina and ran her to Sentinal Hill to Hearthstone and pick up money (you have to purchase the feed for the quest). She is now ready and able to get the quest started so my guildmates can aquire their own pet Prairie Chicken!

I expect to make another pet transfer this weekend. So far, I have 5 kittens, 6 moths, 8 owls, 10 bunnies, and 8 cats. I will be making these gifts to some of my guildies. I'm sure at some point I'll sell some on the AH, but right now, it's more fun to give them away. :)

That's the story of Mooire's Alliance Pet Mill. If you want to set up your own, it's pretty easy and, other than camping Lil Timmy, isn't very time consuming. Just make sure that you hearthstone the characters that can't buy and mail in the same town (bunnies, cats, and chicken) in the town closest to the vender's location. Also, it helps to name the characters similar to the pet it purchases so you know who gets which pet. With the exception of our 'Hub' character, all the other ones are still level 1 and have not done any quests or killing. I just made them and ran them to their destination.

Now, some of you may be wondering why all the character have cute names that relate to the pet they purchase except for that first character that buys the kittens. Well, his name is a boring regular name because my husband made that character. I can assure you, had I made him, his....well, it would have been a girl so, her name would have been something like Kittina or Kittenae. ;p

As I said in the beginning, I didn't plan on having an Alliance Pet Mill, it just sort of evolved. :) I hope if you set up your own, this story/guide helps. Please feel free to ask any questions or post comments!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Ferocious Nibble!

Welcome to my new blog. I struggled with what to call it....Ferocious Bite as our ability is called or Ferocious Nibble which is the term I like to use. The first time I said Ferocious Nibble, my husband thought I said Ferocious Nipple, so it's a bit of a joke with us and certainly conjures up some odd visual images. O.O

I have no preconceived intentions regarding this blog, so we'll just see where it takes us. It may take us to some informative aspects of Druidism, goofy things that I've done, rants, non-combat pets (of which I love), etc. But first, a wee bit about me, my play style, and playing experience.

My main WoW character is a Feral Druid and she is my only level 70 character. Her name is Mooire and is in the Rogue Angels guild on Detheroc. I began playing WoW as soon as the game came out and was dead set about playing a druid. I played for a bit over a year, then took a nice long break until the expansion came out. There were several reasons for the long break, but one of them was that I hated my druid. She was big and ugly and, OMG, a freakin' cow! She also died a lot (through no fault of mine, of course! ;p ) and I always had to heal (could there be anything more boring?). Honestly, I don't even remember how I was specced back then. I know she was resto and balance, but to what degree of each, I don't recall.

Then, The Burning Crusade came out and I started playing again. This time, however, I went Feral. During my long break, my husband had switched his main character from a Warrior to a Rogue and he assured me that playing feral and stealthing around in kitty form with him would be much better. Immediately, I saw the genious of this! If I'm in kitty form, I don't have to look at my big, ugly cow!!! Awesome! So, as soon as we installed our games and I got my little Netherwhelp pet out of the mail, I went to respec and began my new Druidic life as a sneaky kitty. I soon found out that I loved playing in cat form. I could sneak around mobs, catch them unawares, cower when I got agro and make them beat on my husband, and, best of all, I didn't have to heal! We played our sneaky twosome all the way from 60-70 and had a good time doing it. But, then came the horrid Druid nerf and, suddenly, all our really good druids re-rolled or quit and I was soon asked those three little words that incite terror in a little girl kitty's heart, "Will you tank?"


But, I'm kitty!!! If I tank, that means, I'm out in front...leading....first in.....making decisions.....coding the mobs with lucky charms......taking damage!!! But, I did it, because there was no one else to tank....the old Druids were gone, most of the warriors were Fury, I was it. Did they realize how low they were stooping to ask me to tank? I didn't even know the difference between Growl and Challenging Roar!!! So, I tanked with no clue as to what I was doing. I didn't know what my abilities were and just randomly clicked on the icons. To my amazement, no one seemed to notice I was a big dumb bear!! Or, perhaps they didn't want to run off one of the few playing tanks, I'll never know.

After that night, I studied those strange bear abilities, posted on our guild Druid forums asking questions from our prior tanking bears, began tanking on a regular basis, and soon found that I loved it!!!! I no longer had to worry about getting agro, being hurt, and hoping the healer noticed, that was what I was supposed to do! I no longer had to pay attention to the long, drawn out explanations of strategy except for the part of, "You get the boss and tank him over there." I no longer had to worry about my numbers on the damage meters being good enough. All I had to do was keep the mob(s)/boss on me and away from those squishy people. DONE!! Well, except for keeping them off of Soontir but, it's required that he die a lot. ;p

Anyway, after those early days of the initial glee of realizing the benefits and joys of tanking, I have grown in my tanking abilities and still love it!!! The only time I'm in another form is off-healing on Maiden or Nightbane or Kitty on Shade or Prince. But, most of the time, I'm tanking (unless I'm farming). Even though I've cleared Kara with my guild (usually the off tank, but I have main tanked a few times) and we've progressed onto Gruul's lair (downing the High King and getting Gruul to 20ish %), I consider myself a casual gamer. My gaming time is usually spent in PvE. I have done some PvP, battlegrounds, and even arenas, but I really suck at PvP. Perhaps if I practiced more I'd be better, but.....meh....

Well, that's my introductory post about me and my blog. You can decide if it was a Ferocious Bite or Nibble. ;)

Feel free to comment and give feed back!