Saturday, May 31, 2008

Blogroll Updated

I spent some time this morning browsing for more shaman and healing-related blogs. I actually had some success this time, so please browse my blogroll for some well-written blogs. Not all are shaman or healing-related.

Small Milestone

I bought a new chest piece for Salanthe tonight, the Wave of Life Chestguard. Socket it with an epic 22 bonus healing gem and it is an upgrade over the Golden Links of Restoration, which I had previously.

The reason I'm posting about this minor upgrade is that the chest piece was the very last thing I could upgrade on Salanthe until Illidan falls, with the exception of her bracers (which can be replaced by Living Earth Bindings or Howling Wind Bracers from Hyjal) and her shield, which could be replaced by anything.

It's kind of an odd place to be at, honestly. There is literally nothing I can do to upgrade Salanthe's gear now. It all relies on boss drops. I used to dream about having the best gear in-game back when I first started raiding, but I figured I would never see it. I'm still not sure I'll see Salanthe in full Sunwell Plateau gear before the expansion, but I do think I'll see her in full Tier 6 (minus the new SWP stuff). To think that little shaman running around in role-playing gear would be what she is now... Not at all what I expected, but everything I dreamed. It's a fun feeling.

(Shaman Salanthe Oatwind in full role-playing gear.)

Friday, May 30, 2008

Resto Talent Builds

I am considering changing my standard raiding spec. Right now, I use 8/0/53, which is a very standard raid build. After looking over some WWS parses though, I'm starting to wonder if the 5 points in Nature's Guardian are really worth it. It procs about once an hour while I'm raiding and it has never saved my life. Hence I am debating the following 8/0/53 build.

Basically, I'm taking those 5 points in Nature's Guardian and putting them in Focused Mind and Improved Reincarnation. I think I will give it a try the next time I respec. It could be that I actually miss Nature's Guardian, or I don't notice a difference with Focused Mind. Only testing will answer that question.


Salanthe was originally a tailor and an herbalist. Tailoring so she could make bags for her guild and herbalism for money. When her guild, The Earthwalkers, split apart, I decided to pursue raiding and reevaluated her professions. Ultimately I decided to drop tailoring and pick up alchemy instead.

This turned out to be a very wise decision, as one of the best healing trinkets in-game is for alchemists only, the Redeemer's Alchemist Stone. At first, I picked transmutation mastery because that was the one mastery not taken by her new guild's (Epoch Veil) resident alchemists. Recently, I decided to switch her mastery from transmutation to elixirs, primarily because transmutation was doing nothing for me.

Well today I decided to change Salanthe quite drastically. For as long as she's been raiding, she's been alchemy and herbalism. Today I decided that she would be better served with alchemy and leatherworking. I dropped Miothe's 309 leatherworking and picked up herbalism, so my little druid will now be Salanthe's farmer. Once Mio's herbalism is maxed out, I'm going to drop it on Sal and pick up leatherworking. This will give me time to farm leather on Mio as I run through low level zones picking flowers, as well as earn money doing dailies on Salanthe. I have no doubt that leatherworking will be very expensive to power-level.

I hope these choices turn out well!

On another note, according to WoW WebStats, I out-healed my nearest competition by over 1,000,000 last night. O.o

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Patience is a Virtue

A few days ago, I wrote about how the shaman class lead was leaving the game and how I wanted to be the class lead in his place. I didn't know how to broach the subject with the guild leader though.

Well, tonight she asked me. So I am now an officer of the guild and the leader of the shaman class! There are officially five female and six male officers in the guild. How unusual is that?!

I also got to inspect a WWS parse of tonight's raid, so I have a better idea of the healing differences between the new resto shaman and me. It seems as though he is a more reactive healer and doesn't manage his mana as carefully as I do.

For a while, I thought he was making liberal use of nature's swiftness to emulate haste. I knew he was casting more heals than me and that's hard to do because I am always casting. Upon examination tonight, I noticed that he uses lesser healing wave much more often than I do and he uses a very low rank healing wave to top people off. He also uses a higher rank chain heal than I do, though I can't tell if he uses rank 4 or 5 (I use rank 3).

On the other hand, I am a very steady healer. I stick to chain heal rank 3 and up-rank (use 4 or 5) depending on how much damage the raid is taking as a whole. I rarely cancel heals once I've started them because I gamble on them actually healing something by the time they land, which is also why I down rank so much. Why waste a lot of mana on over-heal? I almost never use lesser healing wave, with the Supremus fight as the notable exception. The only time I use healing wave is when I'm healing someone after a rez or pulling a "Hail Mary" heal off on the tank.

So the difference between us is due to healing style. There are positives to both methods, certainly, but we can both learn from each other as well. At this point, I think the one thing I will try to adapt from his healing style is some of the reactivity. I am a little slow to cast heals sometimes, partially because I'm already healing someone else. I'm also not as good at positioning as I should be, so that's something to work on.

It will be very interesting to see how the new resto shaman does when he gets his two piece T6 set bonus. We're already neck-in-neck on the healing meters.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Yes, you are looking at a screenshot of my guild after downing the Illidari Council. I'm in the middle near the top, looking all large and shamany.

It's an odd thing, progression. What seems like something you will never get suddenly can come together and the next instant your guild is standing before Illidan the Betrayer.
We one-shotted Reliquary of Souls tonight, steamrolled past Mother Shahraz, and kicked the Illidari Council in the teeth. It was shocking really, considering that so many of the new folks hadn't been past Anetheron in Mount Hyjal. We spent so much time outfitting new people in shadow resist gear before taking down Mother... Well, you wouldn't have expected us to actually down the Illidari Council tonight.

It started as one of our many other attempts. I didn't expect us to last long at all, just like the other attempts. But fate and skill seemed to come together in one shining moment and suddenly they were dead! It was amazing. That is why I raid - to experience that feeling of downing a new boss. Sure, we weren't server first this time, but it doesn't matter. We were Horde first and in all honesty, the only things I care about are 1) that my guild trusts me enough to include me on progression fights and 2) that it was a first for me!

See, I have a funny story when it comes to raiding. Once upon a time, I was dating a guy who also plays WoW on Moon Guard. We were in the same guild and in some aspects, he was the one that first helped me learn to heal well. In other words, I respected him a great deal, in addition to our romantic feelings. Well, we broke up and I took about a two week break from WoW. When I came back, I had to start from scratch with this guild we were both members of. Meaning, I had to prove that I was a good healer all over again. Which was stupid, but when you're trying to prove something you don't really complain that much.

Well, to make a long story short, I wasn't included on raids. So I asked my ex-boyfriend (we were supposed to still be friends) why I wasn't being invited and he told me it was because I wasn't good enough to handle the fights they did. You can only imagine how angry I was because despite my occasional bouts of inferiority complex, I know I am a good healer. Maybe even a very good healer. I realized that he was doing whatever he could to get me out of "his" guild. (Funny sidenote: I was the one that wanted to join it when we started looking around.)

Consequently, I quit the guild citing difficulties with my ex as the reason (without going into details - no one cares about that). With a new-found sense of determination, I set out to prove to everyone that I was a good healer. I applied to the most progressed guild on the server and set a list of goals; foremost among those goals was the desire to prove to the guild that I was a good enough healer to be included on progression fights.

I worked really, really hard to improve Salanthe. If you go to her Armory page, you'll see that I have almost everything maxed out. All her professions are maxed out (I hadn't even trained fishing prior to being accepted to the new guild), all her weapons skills are maxed out, she's exalted with a ton of factions... Almost all of that I did after joining this new guild. I showed up to every raid and waited outside, hoping for a chance to come in.

My new guild gave me the one thing I asked, a chance to prove myself. I did everything I could to prove to them that I was worth a raid spot and now I'm invited when I log on. It's a good feeling. And I love my guild for giving me a chance.

Since joining my guild, I've been there for four of their first kills, three of those were server firsts. It is such an honor to be there and I feel incredibly lucky every time I get an invitation for a raid. Corny yes, but entirely true.

With the bosses down tonight, Salanthe got Nadina's Pendant of Purity, a guild first drop. I had been saving my SK spot for a long time, hoping the Blessed Band of Karabor would drop. Well, the necklace was too good to pass up. Sure, I could have saved my spot for Illidan and hoped that the Memento of Tyrande or the Crystal Spire of Karabor would drop, but there are a couple of very minor upgrades I need still and it's not worth wasting an SK spot on Howling Wind Bracers or even the Bastion of Light. So I decided to blow my SK spot on the necklace and hope that those bracers drop while I'm still low on the list, so I can climb up the list again in time for Illidan. Additionally, I passed on the T6 leg token that dropped because my current pants are really a side-grade to T6 and I would rather have the T6 chest from Illidan. Definitely saving my SK spot for the chest.

The other small thing of note from yesterday's raid is a small encounter I had with the new restoration shaman. It started off innocently enough. He asked me about loot rules, so I explained how it worked. I should have done it earlier, but I forgot. Not to mention that he has other friends in the guild that could have told him as well. So I told him about SK and that if he wants to bid on something, he just whispers the master looter. This prompted an odd comment from him. He told me that he wasn't upset that I got the necklace. (Did I even have a reason to think he was? *confused*) Then he said that he didn't care about the loot; he only cared about doing well on the meters.

Yes, you read that correctly. He only cares about doing well on the meters and he thinks that the only way to do that is by getting better gear. He apparently doesn't care about actually keeping people alive... Just, wow. I had no idea how to reply to him, so I decided to take the tactful route and reassure him that he was doing very well on the meters and had no reason to worry.

Honestly, his attitude really irritates me. Yes, I out-gear him. You know what? It doesn't matter. As a healer, you should only be worried about keeping your raid alive, not about topping the charts. If you are doing everything in your power to do your job well and your raid is surviving, then you are doing well. Yes, it is cool to see your name at the top of the meters. It's an extra confirmation that you're doing your job well. But ultimately it doesn't matter.

Edited to add: Something just occurred to me. The new shaman already knew how loot rules worked because he got something the night before and I had explained it to him already. I knew there was something odd about him asking me for clarification. I wonder what he meant by all that.

Monday, May 26, 2008

WTB Threat Reduction Ability, PST

For the first time since I joined this guild, we raided without our guild leader and main tank. I was hesitant to log on this evening - afraid of wiping a million times with no progress. It turns out that the new people were surprisingly competent and things went rather well. I died a LOT, but it was because I kept pulling healing aggro.

Let me tell you, no amount of threat reduction is going to save an over-geared shaman, even if she downranks twice (my primary heal is Chain Heal rank 3, max rank is 5). You slap one of those around the main tank and melee before the tank has a good hold and you're going to get aggro. This is problematic because a shaman doesn't have any abilities to reduce aggro. Save your jokes about reincarnate, please.

We, as a raid, didn't wipe until we moved to Black Temple and we struggled a little with Gorefiend because the new people didn't know what to do or how to handle the constructs well. Despite the lack of wipes, I still ended the evening with over 100g in repairs. I was quite annoyed. If I had some way of fixing that, I would, but sometimes the tank just needs a heal.

Additionally, this new resto shaman is very, very good. He can beat me on the meters, but only if I end up dead or I don't position myself well (meaning folks are out of range). Otherwise he sits just below me. When his gear matches mine, I will be hard-pressed to top him. Consequently, I think it's time to step up my healing another notch. As of this moment, I'm at somewhat of a loss for how to accomplish that, beyond making some changes to my gear that I don't want to make yet.

I have lots of bonus healing (2332 unbuffed), which means my mana efficiency comes from downranking. I could increase the amount I healed if I used a higher rank heal, but with that comes less mana efficiency and I'm drinking more mana pots to keep up with my mana usage, since I've traded out some mp5 for more healing. I could theoretically do that - drink more mana pots. I am proud of myself for using about one per boss fight though.

The other thing I could change is add spell haste to my healing gear. I'm not sure where I can add that yet, unless I swap in some gear that's inferior in all stats compared to what I'm wearing. Honestly, I don't think the trade-off is worth it. Not only that, but the more spell haste I have, the faster I drain my mana.

Beyond those two things, there's not much else I can do. My internet connection is very solid and I have very little lag. I use Healbot for healing, so my reactions are quick. I have the add-on set up to cast 3 ranks of chain heal, one rank of lesser healing wave, and 2 ranks of healing wave with a click of my mouse. It's very efficient. In other words, there's not much I can do from an interface standpoint.

I need to do a bit of research to see if there's some way I can increase my healing efficiency, mana usage, and overall healing numbers without changing my gear. There has to be something I can tweak, because gear alone cannot explain the difference on the meters between the new resto shaman and myself. I think I need to ask him what add-ons, if any, he uses.

I will report what I find here.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Can't Catch Me!

I have decided to level a tauren druid to replace Zgu as my level 39 twink. It was a debate between leveling Heneli, my priest, or making a druid and the druid won. They are so powerful in pvp. One good druid in a battleground can win a game.

The reason I decided to roll a new twink was because a couple of my guild mates have twinks at level 39. I'm having so much fun playing with them! I don't want to stop. Hence the new twink.

In other news, that Alliance guild beat the Illidari Council tonight. It's an end of an era for my guild, but I'm not as sad about it as I expected. My guild still exists and we're still progressing, even if we have fallen behind because of good people leaving.

Speaking of people leaving, rumor has it that the shaman class lead has up and disappeared permanently. I smell an opportunity, but I don't want to say anything! I am the logical choice, since I am the most consistent and reliable shaman in the guild right now. So we'll see what happens. The guild leader is out of town until Monday which means I have plenty of time to think about how to broach the subject.

I would like to be promoted without prompting, but the druid class lead went unfilled for almost a month until someone stepped up and said they would take it. I'm not sure the shaman class lead position will be filled until someone says something about it and if I wait too long, that new restoration shaman will say something before I do.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

No Shield For You!

For aesthetic purposes, I thought it would be nice to show you what Salanthe looks like. I took a screenshot of her log in page and posted it to the blog.

As soon as I did that and viewed the blog, my little insecurity monster reared his head and compelled me to make another post apologizing for my gear. So here you go: the story of why Salanthe looks like she does.

My guild is 5/5 MH, 7/9 BT. The short version is that Sal has three pieces of T6 - shoulders, helm, and gloves. She's been exceptionally lucky in MH (in some ways) and has both the chest and legs.

I'm sure there are those readers out there who will look at that screenshot and immediately take note of her shield, belt, and mace. Yes, they are all badge vendor items, as are her boots. The belt, boots, and mace I can make excuses for. They are simply amazing pieces of gear. The shield... Well, meet my source of perpetual embarrassment.

I have a problem. It's a shield problem. No shield will ever drop for me. If my guild leader had not forced me to go spend badges on the Barbie Dream Shield, I mean the Light-Bearer's Faith Shield, I would still be using the Crystal Pulse Shield. I kid you not.

I've been running Karazhan almost weekly since November and have only seen the Triptych Shield of the Ancients drop once; after I got the badge shield. I've been doing Zul'Aman twice weekly for a month, and somewhat more sporadically for a few months prior, and have not seen the Enamelled Disc of Mojo drop yet. I have been doing Mount Hyjal for several months now and have not been present the two times my guild has seen the Bastion of Light drop. I have terrible, horrible luck with shield drops.

I am truly embarrassed to walk around carrying that shield when the rest of my gear is so solid. Someday I will be lucky... Though the joke is that we will be finished with Sunwell Plateau and Wrath of the Lich King will be out before I see a shield upgrade. I'm inclined to believe that.

Shaman Blogs

I just spent some time wandering about the internet in an attempt to find a good shaman blog. I found several but they seem to be defunct. Which is a shame.

I make no promises for this blog. I have a short attention span for such things, not to mention that I find my class extraordinarily frustrating at times. I should add that I'm not a theory crafter and I haven't been following the gaming world or Blizzard for any length of time. I doubt there will be any thoughtful, insightful posts discussing the intricacies of Death Knight abilities and how they compare to shaman. Actually, I can pretty much guarantee that I will do no such thing.

What I can offer is a discussion of healing as a shaman. I will continue to make posts like the one about my boots and I will talk about my frustrations with the class (though not necessarily objective).

I'm also sure there will be a fair amount of posts dedicated to raiding, guilds, and my alts. Not all shaman-related, in other words. I will do my best to make this blog a fairly good resource for other shaman though, particularly of the healing variety.

Oh, and if you know of any good shaman blogs, let me know!

To Twink or Not To Twink

I tried some battlegrounds on Salanthe today. It has been a very long time since I last set foot in them. I worked very hard to earn enough honor for the non-set epic elemental gear and then I took a break. Well, the guild accepted a new resto shaman yesterday. This shaman is very good. The thing that has me a little worked up is the fact that he's also extremely good at pvp healing.

It's a long story, but I switched from healing in arenas to elemental several months ago. The primary reason was that I felt useless healing. Shaman are so poorly designed to do 2v2 arena well. I thought elemental would be better.

Anyway, this new resto shaman has me somewhat jealous. I've worked very hard to be good at what I do and I have a certain measure of pride in playing my class well. All aspects of my class, including pvp. To see another resto shaman succeed so well in pvp hurts me, because I'm so terrible at it.

So the reason I tested the battleground waters today was because I was considering grinding honor for off-set epic healing gear and switching back to resto for arenas. As you can probably guess, that didn't go over so well. I really, truly hate shaman pvp. With as much passion as I've ever hated anything. I told my private chat channel today that if I didn't have so much time and effort invested in Salanthe, I would quit playing her entirely. I'm dead serious about it too.

I play this game to succeed at it. I want to do well in all aspects of it. To hit a glass wall because the creators of the game designed your chosen class poorly is the worst kind of feeling. It is literally impossible for me to excel at certain aspects of the game because of the way my class is designed. It is awful.

This is one of the reasons I made my warrior. It is a more well-rounded class in terms of succeeding in the different aspects of the game. Warrior can be good at pvp and at pve. They are essential members of raids, as tanks and dps, and there is very little that they cannot handle. Not only that, but their buffs and abilities cannot be dispelled. They can get to and away from their opponents readily. It is, in many ways, the exact opposite of a shaman.

Making a warrior was a good choice, too. I love being able to charge into a battleground and not care about anything. I don't need to care about my health because there's nothing I can do about it. I don't need to care about anyone else's health because there's nothing I can do about it. If I want to kamikaze into the middle of a flag room in Warsong Gulch, I can do it without feeling bad. Moreover, I might actually succeed in killing my opponents, which is something I cannot do on Salanthe, resto or elemental.

I'm not sure I will enjoy the tanking aspect of a warrior that much, but I won't deal with that until I have to. (And yes, I realize that many people are annoyed with warriors that don't tank. That is another issue I will have to address at some point. For now, it doesn't worry me.)

The point of this post was not to whine about how terrible shaman are at pvp, or talk about how wonderful warriors are. What I wanted to discuss was the dilemma of whether or not I should twink my warrior. (Urban Dictionary: In an MMORPG, a veteran player who makes a new character and gives a bunch of top-shelf equipment from their older, maxed-out characters to the new character.)

I have been pvping a lot on my warrior. I had certain pieces of gear I wanted for certain levels and I had to earn the honor and marks to afford them. The more time I spent pvping with Zgu, the more I loved it though. That and it is very fun to spoil an alt silly. I've purchased tons of expensive weapons and armor for her, without the intention of twinking.

Now that she's reached level 39, I had a choice to make. Do I stop leveling her and twink her out at level 39 or do I continue leveling her? Complicating matters, several of my guildmates have level 39 twinks and I've been pvping with them lately. It's very fun!

Ultimately, I decided to semi-twink Zgu for level 39. I will keep her there until I earn enough marks and honor for her next gear upgrades at level 48. Only then will I consider leveling her again, if I feel like it. And if I do decide to level her, I'm thinking of making another twink for the 39 bracket, possibly a shadow priest.

I made a list of enchants to get for Zgu's gear. Overall, her gear is very good and only one piece really should be upgraded. Thus it's fine for me to spend a lot of money on enchanting materials to make her a true twink. I'm actually a little excited to try her out once she has all her enchants. She rips through opponents already and it will be awesome to see what she can do once she's a proper twink.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

These Boots are Made for Healing

I use Treads of the Life Path on Salanthe. These are truly wonderful healing boots and are very hard to replace, particularly if you gem and enchant them properly. While they may be looked down upon in some circles for being badge vendor boots (not even 2.4 badge vendor boots), I stand by them (hehe) as one of my most solid pieces of gear.
Normally, most shaman will replace them with Stillwater Boots from Hyjal. As one of our druid healers said one night while evaluating upgrades, they have a higher item level so that makes them better! Sorry, but no. Crunch some numbers on those boots and you'll see that the sockets make the badge vendor boots infinitely superior to the boots from Hyjal.

With rare gems and the Vitality enchant, the badge vendor boots have 619 armor, 21 stamina, 37 intellect, 12 mp5, and 100 +healing. With the same enchant, the Hyjal boots have 679 armor, 39 stamina, 36 intellect, 14 mp5, and 84 healing. The badge vendor boots are superior, as the slight gain in survivability (armor and stamina) does not outweigh the loss to +healing.

When the Hyjal boots first dropped and I had an opportunity to bid on them, I did some frantic number crunching and whispered my feral druid friend for confirmation. At a quick glance of both pairs of boots, he agreed with my hurried calculations: the badge reward boots were better. Thus, I passed on Hyjal boots. When they dropped again recently, I blithely passed on them again and decided that it might be time to give my faithful treads some love.

After chatting with my guild leader, I got the okay to switch my rare gems to epic gems. * I sent a note to the guild jewelcrafter and I hope to get my new and improved gems soon. I also decided to re-enchant them after our attempts on the Illidari Council yesterday evening.

From the very beginning of my shaman healing experience, I have been a stalwart proponent of mana per 5 seconds. It was the one gearing rule I lived by. I would not replace a piece of gear unless it improved my mp5 and every last piece of gear I used had mp5 on it. I gemmed for mp5 and enchanted for it. I took pride in watching my total raid buffed mp5 reach new heights each week and it honestly pained me to lose a couple mp5 if I had to upgrade something.

While this is a very good rule for shaman just beginning to heal, it falls apart when you reach about 1800 +healing. It is about that time that you should consider dropping some of that mp5 for more +healing. Here's the reasoning, and believe me, it has taken me a long time to come to terms with this. With more +healing, you can use downranked heals, thus conserving mana. With mp5, you are merely trying to make up what mana you've already used, much like trying to fill up a bathtub with the drain unblocked.

My beloved treads had the Vitality enchant on them for a long time. This enchant gives you 4 health and mana every 5 seconds. It's the mp5 to boots enchant. Well, I decided today that having Boar's Speed, which gives you +9 stamina and a minor increase to speed, was preferable to 4 mp5. To those of you that have done Illidari Council, this makes a great deal of sense. Being able to move quickly out of the myriad of things that you shouldn't be standing in is the key to the fight, and a little extra stamina doesn't hurt either.

With upgraded gems and the new enchant, the badge vendor boots have 619 armor, 30 stamina, 38 intellect, 8 mp5, and 104 +healing. Were I to get the Hyjal boots and enchant them the same way, they would have 679 armor, 48 stamina, 36 intellect, 10 mp5, and 84 +healing. Again, the slight gain in survivability does not outweigh the loss to healing.

Hence, I am very happy to spend some money on those wonderful boots of mine, badge vendor gear or not. Those 60 badges have earned their keep and will continue earning it until the day I get Tier 6 boots.

* All gems from Hyjal and Black Temple are master looted to the guild bank and we have to ask the guild jewelcrafter to cut epic gems for us. We are only allowed to put epic gems in Hyjal and Black Temple gear that will be used for raiding. In other words, no epic gems in pvp gear. While this may be argued against and grate against some of our raiders, we do not have a huge surplus of gems and the vast majority of us are getting upgrades still. It is fair. And we are allowed to upgrade gems in "lower quality" items, but we have to get the guild leader's approval.

Monday, May 19, 2008


I need to make a rule for myself. No Zgu until after my dailies are done.

I respec two to three times a week on Salanthe, so I need the money. Elemental is my pvp spec and restoration is my raiding spec. Sometimes I respec to elemental (pve) or enhancement to make my dailies go a little faster, or just for fun.

All that money spent to respec was fine while I was still rolling in gold, prior to falling in love with my warrior. Zgu has sucked dry all that extra cash on Salanthe though. From leveling her blacksmithing and mining to buying epics for twinking to making sure she has enough for her first mount... Well, let's just say that Zgu has been a very expensive little toy.

Salanthe on the other hand has suffered from lack of attention. Being the hardcore raider that she is, repair bills are high. She's an alchemist and herbalist, so she doesn't need to spend money on that, and her cooking and fishing are maxed out as well. Those profession skills help a lot, but only if I spend the time farming materials to use them. Which I haven't been doing because I've been spending so much time on Zgu. Coupled with the outrageous respec costs, well, let's just say that I've run Salanthe a bit dry.

I'd like to have about two thousand gold on Salanthe, so I have enough to splurge on something cool on the AH. Right now, she's sitting at a measly four hundred. I have lots of work to do. It's not like Zgu is going anywhere or will suffer if I give some serious time to Salanthe... It's just that I don't want to. I love my alt and I want to get her to 70 so badly!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Progression Competition

I'm kind of ashamed of myself for doing it, but I have a bookmark for our primary raiding competition so I can keep tabs on their progress. And I just learned that they downed Mother Shahraz last night. This makes me sad because it means that they are at the same place progression-wise that we are at. They raid more days per week than we do and for a longer duration of time. With the trouble we've been having getting people to show up to raids, I think this may be the end of our server first reign. Which does make me sad, even though it's silly.

The one claim we can make that they cannot is that 1) we reached Black Temple and Mount Hyjal before 2.4 and 2) we earned our shadow resist gear for Mother. They came to BT/MH after the patch and after attunements were lifted. They also purchased -all- their Hearts of Darkness and primal shadows and lifes from off server.

For what little that is worth.


I just have to say, warrior is a wonderful class. I spent all evening long doing battlegrounds. I was trying to get enough marks for the neck, bubble trinket, ring, and sword. About 2k honor later, I got all my marks and got all my stuff. Then I leveled to 38 so I could equip it all. Then I trained.

Somewhere in the middle of all my battlegrounds, I ran into another warrior from Moon Guard who happened to be wearing the guild tag of the best pvp guild on the server. We chatted a bit and it resulted in him inviting me to his twink guild! Oooh, so tempting! The networking alone would be worth it!

Unfortunately for Zgu, she is an alt and the reason she wears my main's guild tag is so that they can find me, since I've been spending so much time on her lately. I had to decline and it makes me very sad! It really is an awesome opportunity! Maybe someday, when Zgu turns into my main and this blog's title no longer makes sense. *shifty eyes*

After I got all my new gear and leveled, I hopped back into Warsong Gulch for one last hurrah before bed. I wanted to give my new stuff a test run. Well, this warrior I mentioned earlier invited me to a group and I ended up doing a few WSGs. In between matches, he queued us for arenas, which I totally didn't know you could do below 70! And wow, that was fun! What an awesome way to learn how to pvp! We were demolished by a priest/warlock team, but we demolished a priest/paladin team. Considering that neither of us were truly twinked, that's pretty awesome.

The point of this post is that warrior is incredibly fun. I'm still completely amazed that I'm finding it so enjoyable. I mean, I actually love pvp with my warrior! *shakes head* I can't believe it. I've been a hardcore pvp hater since I started playing this game 3 years ago. Playing a shaman didn't help my opinion either. But warrior has changed all that!

Accomplishments of note for Zgu tonight: Over 1k HKs, friendly with Warsong Outriders, reached level 38. Go go baby warrior!

Friday, May 16, 2008

New People

Last night was an interesting one. After the guild drama I wrote about previously, I was apprehensive concerning last night's raid. As I said before, one of the people that left has been instrumental in helping us beat Reliquary of Souls.

Well, it was not a smooth night. We started late because so many people logged on late. We ended up 23-manning the trash to Gorefiend. And the disconnects and afks! My goodness! Once we finally got rolling, we downed Gorefiend easily despite the new folks, and things looked bright. Well instead of going on to Bloodboil, we went to RoS and proceeded to wipe for the next two and a half hours. The problem? Our brand new fury warrior (who happened to join not two days before the old one quit) was learning how to do interrupts. We actually got RoS down to 5% and then 1%, but too many people had died during Phase 2 for us to pull off Phase 3.

That attempt where we got it down to 1%, I reincarnated at the last second, just as the last person died and tried to frost shock the damned thing down, but it had just a few too many health points for my meager resto dps. It was sad and would have been absolutely brilliant if it had worked. Oh well. The lesson there is that I should have reincarnated earlier to help heal the remaining dps. In my opinion, one of the hardest aspects of playing a shaman is knowing when to use that ankh.

Despite all the pitfalls tonight, I feel somewhat reassured about my guild's future and I'm hoping that most of our attendance issues are due to the time of year - final exams and the beginning of summer. I hope that things will improve once those real life things settle down.

I do have one somewhat selfish concern though. I have to spend about a week moving my stuff from Kansas to Minnesota at the beginning of June. I'm worried that my guild will end up downing Illidan while I'm away! That would be unspeakably awful. I hope things improve faster rather than slower so we can get Illidan down before I have to take a week off!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Guild Drama

I wonder how many more people we're going to lose. Drama from months ago is still being dredged up by the officers and more and more people are quitting because of it. WTB diplomatic guild officers, please!

Our only fury warrior left tonight, along with a shadow priest. They show up for almost every raid and the warrior at least is pretty much essential to us beating Reliquary of Souls. I'm afraid that these two losses will set us back in progression and I'm worried about losing more core raiders.

Not only that, but the new people we have recruited can't show up to raids. I swear, they only joined for the guild tag and have no interest in helping. I loathe users and that's what these new recruits seem to be.

So I think it might be time to consider my options as far as raiding on Moon Guard. If my guild goes up in smoke, there is literally no where else to go. There is one other guild on this server making progress in Black Temple and they are on alliance side. The other horde side raiding guilds are still in T5 content.

It pains me to think of leaving Moon Guard, but that is the only option if my guild dies. I don't want to retire my shaman yet. Yes, I could try starting another raiding guild, but there aren't enough people on this server to make it viable. Not even close.

I have at least one friend who is interested in transferring with me, which is nice. I think I would probably be miserable if I didn't know anyone on a new server. I'll have to talk to at least one other person to see if he would be interested in transferring as well.

The hard part is trying to find a server and guild that would be a good match. I'm a T6 resto shaman and perform very well in raids. I'm a solid player and would be a good addition to any guild. I don't want to be second string though. I enjoy being an integral part of my guild and I like being valued. It will be a challenge to find a guild that fits both my needs and my friend's needs.

For now at least, this is speculation. Only time will tell.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Alts Explained

This is supposed to be a blog about a shaman, right? I mean, the title is Totem of Wrath.

Well, it is a blog written by someone who's main is a resto shaman. So yes, there is plenty of shaman-related stuff here. But this person is also an altaholic, so those alts will get some pen time too.

On the sidebar, I have a little section dedicated to the Armory. My main and most beloved resto shaman is listed first, Salanthe. There are a bunch of other names beneath her though and I may as well tell you what you'll find before you click the link.

Miothe is my druid. She was the druid I originally rolled on Ysera and leveled to 40 before coming to Moon Guard and rolling Salanthe. Since playing a shaman, I have a great deal of difficulty getting back to druid. I keep trying to level her, but she just gets stuck until I go on another leveling spurt. I also can't decide what spec to make her, so she's stuck perpetually in feral. I've seriously contemplated resto, since druids are OP, but I'm starting to burn out on healing and the idea of having another full-time healer is, well, unappealing. I'm also a bad tank and I don't particularly enjoy boomkin or kitty dps. At least she finally has an epic mount.

Zgu is my current love, next to Sal. She's an orc warrior and I'm addicted to battlegrounds with her! I never expected to find this class so enjoyable, but there you go. I never expected to enjoy shaman either. There's just something about running around aimlessly killing alliance and not worrying about anything. At the moment, I'm trying to decide if I should twink her at level 39 or level her up. Time will tell.

Hravan was my first character, a hunter. Poor thing is three years old and is only level 46. Also destined to become a farming alt if she ever gets to 70. About the only time I play her now is when a friend needs an extra dps for Uldaman or Zul'Farrak or I feel like taming a new pet.

Mirothan was an experiment. I decided that I would love playing paladin not long after I started healing full-time on a shaman. Healing style is very similar, wears plate, has better buffs and more dispels, etc. Well, she just never took off. Now I'm not so sure I'd enjoy the class, so she rusts away in Silvermoon City, waiting until I get back to her someday.

Keiaz is my next planned project. A troll mage, tailor and enchanter. Once I settle out on Zgu, I plan on power-leveling Keiaz to 70 so I have an AoE farmer, enchanter, and vending machine of my very own.

Dolendae was originally rolled on Laughing Skull. Yes, the Leeroy Jenkins and Epic Mount Girl server. She's an alliance draenei shaman. I made her to play with this guy I was sort of seeing in real life, but the interest fizzled and I decided to transfer her to Moon Guard. The problem? I don't like playing alliance.

Salbi is a Moon Guard original. Rolled because I thought a gnome warlock would be fun and because I was trying to escape my ex-boyfriend (who plays horde on Moon Guard). Salbi is fun, but she's alliance. No amount of fun can overcome that.

I also have a little level 8 undead priestess that I plan on leveling at some point. Maybe after Keiaz is power-leveled. For now, she lacks an Armory page and also a link, so this will be all the mention little Heneli receives until it's time for her to rise from her grave.

It's one thing to explain all your alts and another to explain why they exist. The reasons are so varied:

  1. Might be a fun or interesting class
  2. Want to learn to heal on this class
  3. Need the utility or profession to support a main character
  4. Real life friends want me to play on their server
  5. Escape from main character or people from your faction or server
What are your reasons your alts exist?


I was chatting with a friend tonight and he was telling me how he started up a World of Warcraft blog - a place to rant and rave about his experiences. It occurred to me that he was very smart and I should consider moving all my WoW-related tl;dr to its own blog. After all, most of those poor folks on livejournal that have friended me don't play WoW.

Just a bit about the player behind the keyboard: I'm currently unemployed because the economy sucks and it's really hard to find a job for a paleontologist/museum worker sans PhD. Consequently, I have an unreasonable amount of time to play Blizzard's World of Warcraft and have considerable material to write about.

While I have been playing since release (November, 2004), I didn't begin playing regularly until the Burning Crusade expansion was released (January, 2007). As much as I loathe to admit it, I am a BC Kid. My first character was a tauren hunter on the pvp server Azgalor. After discovering how much I hated both the hunter class and pvp servers, I rerolled on a new pve server called Ysera about a year after I started playing. I fell in love with the druid class and sporadically leveled my little tauren druid to 40.

Then I stopped playing for a while due to real life. When I returned, my druid had been removed from her guild and I didn't know anyone on Ysera anymore. I started poking around the role-playing forum, having developed a curiosity for role-playing. Not two months after I began tentatively writing my own role-playing posts, I saw a recruitment thread for an RP guild focused on the shamanistic roots of the Horde. I enthusiastically added my name to the charter and thus The Earthwalkers of Moon Guard was born and my fate was sealed.

Moon Guard is the only role-playing server in World of Warcraft where you will actually find role-play without looking too hard. It is a very small server but the community is close and it's filled with intelligent, thoughtful people. Surprisingly. I absolutely adore it. Sure, it has it's problems (small population, poor economy, bad progression, bad pvp), but the people make it a wonderful place.

Anyway, I rerolled a new druid for The Earthwalkers, but it quickly became apparent that the guild needed a venerable tauren shaman teacher/mentor for RP reasons. I volunteered for the role, despite the fact that I hated the shaman class. Thus Salanthe Oatwind was born.

I've had an interesting journey. Starting out as heavy RP player and evolving into a hardcore raider after The Earthwalkers disbanded. Currently, I'm the primary restoration shaman of the most progressed guild on the server. Not what I expected when I created my shaman over a year ago.

And so, this blog is a commentary of my experiences as a raiding shaman and altaholic. Tl;dr at its finest.