Shamantastic: Healer Hootzpah

There’s no qualifying benchmark that indicates you’ve chain healed your way into the pros of healing. How do you know, then, when you’ve got what it takes to raid?

Generally if you’re successfully and easily healing heroics then you are ready to raid. Of course healing raids isn’t as easy as being a heroic farmer; you have to have the skill to react to emergency situations and the situational awareness to stay alive yourself.

Cata heroics are a big step up from Lich King content and serve to teach a lot of raid skills, especially such important principles as don’t stand in the fire. These principles of raiding will come in time with practice.

Another important facet of healing that is folded into being able to heal heroics is smart stat gearing. If you don’t know your class well enough and don’t prioritize the correct stats you can easily fall short of making ends meet. Gemming and enchanting are another important resource to consider that can add some extra breathing room to fights like Admiral Ripsnarl. A good practice is to gem and enchant all 346+ gear and heroic gear as you’ll have those for your first couple weeks of raiding.

Overall you’ll know that you’re ready to heal when you feel that your gear is well put together and that you know your class well enough to comfortably heal hard encounters.

Shamantastic: Ouch, My Mana Hurts…

(EDIT: If you’re looking for a healing guide on Lord Geoffery Tulvan for the Crucible of Carnage event The Earl of Evisceration, check out this link!)

Remember that post I made where I was lamenting the fact that elemental and restoration shamans literally could not run out of mana? Well I was certainly wrong. Now that Cataclysm has actually come and I’ve seen the changes, I’ve eaten my words. However, as far as I’m concerned at this point in time, the fact that I actually have to care about my mana again is a good thing. What does this mean for shamans? Well today’s post is mostly about restoration (one of my first), which is the spec hit hardest by Cata content in terms of mana reduction. Here’s why! Continue reading

The Shattering

I feel… strange. De elements haven’t been speakin’ to me like dey usually do. I can feel da peace of mind when da water elementals are at harmony, da surge of intensity and de anger when da fire elementals are right in dis world. I feel da winds at my back when da air elementals be unrestricted and I can feel da satisfied rumble under my feet when da earth elementals are at rest.

I feel none of dese tings today. I woke up from my slumba wit da screams of unimaginable pain from uncountable elements and da people of dis world. My people. I was sweatin’ more furious den when in da throes of passion and I had a feva most severe. When I stepped out my front door da world seemed normal. Da sun was yet to rise but da trees outside of my little hut in da stranglethorn vale quivered unnaturally. I had visions… flashes of de elementals becoming uncontained, da horrible misery of deir fires and winds, rocks and water bein’ uncontrollable. What can one shaman be doin’ to save dem from deir pain?

I untied me raptor Dezz’ilish from his harness bar. He usually be da bravest raptor I know but he was squirmin’ an’ trying to hide his head underneath me shoulder. I ran me hand down his neck and he calmed down a bit but he was whining, and when a raptor be whinin’ you best be plugging your ears. Dey loud mon. Me gut twisted and I knew I had ta get out. Somethin’ dangerous was comin’. I ran back into my hut and grabbed everyting that was precious to me. Me necklace dat my grandmotha’ had given to me along wit my gear and my bags. I ran back outside and Dezzi was running around frantically. I didn’t know what had set him off but I ran over and jumped onto his back. A raptor’s intuition is one ta be trusted. No sooner had I cleared da front of me hut, a flamin’ rock flew right into it. I tell ya mon, dat rock was big. At first I was angry dat some interlopin’ gurubashi ancients be attackin’ my hut. I only stole a few of deir shrunken heads and some of deir artifacts. Dat be no reason ta hurl a flamin’ rock into me hut. But den, as we was going down de path towards booty bay, I saw more of dose damn rocks flyin’ around. It was all I could do to move Dezzi out of da way and stay close ta cover.

When we got closa’ to Booty Bay I saw a druid. He was fightin’ some elementals and looked worse for da wear. I jumped off Dezzi and started healin’ ‘im. No point in lettin’ a good druid go ta waste. At dis point I be thinkin’ we be needin’ all da help we can get. After he finished off dem elementals he tanked me and we traveled to Booty Bay togetha’, watchin’ each others backs. Booty Bay was up in arms, dey were a chaotic mess. Da goblins were only lettin’ some people in. I talked ta one of dem and said I was an agent of da Warchief.

“Which warchief you talking about?” I couldn’t quite tell what he wanted to hear.

“Thrall of course, mon. I be insulted dat you tink anyone else could be considered Warchief.”

“What about Garrosh?”

“Mon, he ain’t Warchief yet. Let us in?” It seemed I had found da right bruiser. He let us in and showed us up ta da second floor tavern where da other horde were.  Dis is where we are now. I be writin’ this to da rumble of da earth beneath. Da elements still not be talkin’ to me and it seems da other shamans be feelin’ da same way. I’m just hopin’ dat Booty Bay doesn’t get hit. Den where else am I goin’ ta go?

Shamantastic: Patch 4.0 and Shaman Talk

*rumble*

"Uh, Jinra, is that you shaking up the place?" "Nope." "Shit."

Finally, I have a little time to play WoW, which means, wabam, I have time to attempt to entertain you all with information you’ve heard a thousand times! I bet you haven’t gotten a sub-max level opinion on the changes though, so I’ll put some of that in this post too. As a short side story, I was in-game earlier and the world shook. My friend genuinely thought that I was using earthquake and he had just gotten back into WoW so he wasn’t aware of the world effects. The caption of the picture says the rest, heh heh. Anyway, aside from daft guild members and loads of ridiculous homework (can you believe I’m on academic alert for failing a midterm because they wouldn’t reschedule the study session to avoid my three hours of meetings and classes? :() let’s get to some meaty, shamany content.

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Where’d my new spells go?

One of the hardest things for me while leveling a character is keeping track of the new spells that I get. In Cataclysm, every time you level up, you’ll be shown which spells you’ve received. For the time being, my mind is stuck splintering into two focuses (note that this is different from multi-tasking, which I can do), one aimed at trying to be the most efficient leveler I can be so that my $15 a month is not wasted, and the other half wondering and trying to figure out which new spells I got and where they are in my spellbook. Honestly, up until the announcement that the level up UI would be different Blizzard has been depriving us of an easy way to organize those new spells.

The mind splitting is difficult for a mind like mine which likes to focus on one thing and only send one stream of data from one source at one time. I’m sure there are addons that keep track of this and also there is wowwiki and wowhead, but that’s just opening a third mental track, which fragments my ability to think through my focus much more. What we really need is better organization in the spellbook, something which I feel is important enough to release with the remarkable changes to the level up UI. If we could only show the most recent spells, in some order, on each page, then we’d be doing much better. Instead of seeing each spell rank 1-9 or however far some may get up, we’d only see the most recent rank. The lower level spells would be minimized and come up with the player wants to see the full list. Even a simple change such at that can improve the efficiency of the spellbook.

Not only that, but instead of flashing until clicked on each spec tab, it’d be great to autoflag the new skills and abilities as you get them so that when you look for them in the spellbook, they aren’t hard to find. This would increase efficiency a lot, and remove headaches for people who are bothered by this sort of thing.

Of course all this musing is pretty much obsolete since we know Cata will redefine the level up system and auto-reward you for it (last I heard).

Where’s the Humor Gone: Voices Edition

Who doesn’t need a little laughter in their lives? This new column strives to put a smile on the face of each and every reader. If I don’t succeed, please email me and tell me! Well you don’t have to, but it sure would be fun to try the challenging cases where people don’t even grin a little when someone smiles at them. To start off this inaugural post, I present to you, courtesy of Jesse Cox of Ten Ton Hammer, the Day Deathwing Came!

And a different take on Maltek’s portion of the story:

And a little fun from Katie Tiedrich over at www.awkwardzombie.com:

http://www.awkwardzombie.com/comic1-072610.php

I’ll update with more as I find it for this week! Undecided on my Friday post, but there will be something good I’m sure!

On Raiding Guilds

http://www.duelinganalogs.com/comic/2007/09/30/leeroy-jenkins-a-legend-is-born/

An online gaming community is a fascinating construct to examine. Hundreds to sometimes millions of people are deposited into an online forum in which they can interact with hundreds of other plays from anywhere in the world, but under the convenient shroud of anonymity. The name you make for yourself is the name of your character, and it is by that nickname that you hold fame or infamy.

What’s even more interesting to me is the establishment of player run organizations, created for and by the players. These organizations hold the unique attribute of being completely pliable, flexible and diverse. The constraints are placed by those that are members of the organization and can mimic any real life political structure, real or philosophized, that fit the needs of the organization. Games like World of Warcraft don’t allow quite as much autonomy in this respect as some other games, but the medium is still there to construct a guild that has a specific purpose and is governed by a set of rules and standards.

I enjoy analyzing these player created institutions and watching how they progress, experiencing whatever influences they encounter, from within in the organization as well as from the outside. Take the jump for a look at raiding guilds and other games that are classified as “social simulations.”

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