Saturday 27 February 2010

Monkeying Around

Every now and then in WoW you find something, an item or a new area or quest, that really throws you - something that makes you stop and have a Keanu moment ('Whoa.').

Then there are those moments, that make you giggle like a 5-year-old.

Tonight I was in a Heroic ToC, and the [Super Simian Sphere] dropped.  It's a trinket that turns you into a monkey, in an arcane globe, for 5 minutes.  That's all it does.

It also works in forms.  When I went into bird form, I was a flying monkey in an arcane globe.

I love being a Druid :D

Friday 26 February 2010

Reader Roundup: Feb 26

The  Lunar Festival doesn't finish until March 7th, but Leesah managed to get to visit the last few Elders to become one herself.  The heroic grind continues...

The blogosphere has been busy this last couple of weeks - here's a few interesting reads to start the weekend, starting off with an Elder post and some Druid posts:
  • Khi at Tree Burglar has suggested an Elder Event, similar to the Secret Admirer project for Love is in the Air.  The idea is to become an Elder, and educate other players on something.  If you're a blogger, head over and check it out!  You might see some Elder-type posts around here as well, if I can think of something to write about...
  • With the changes coming to Moonkin in patch 3.3.3, Graylo discussed the buffs to Starfall and how it could affect our glyph choices.  
    • Now for something completely different - you may or may not have noticed I've added another character to my little list on the right there... Balindah, my baby Shaman. A few days later, this awesome post from Jaded Alt appeared, about totems and when to use them, complete with flow charts!  
    • If you're looking for a way to show the world your love for our favourite game, Vixsin from Life in Group 5 posted this list of How to be an Unabashed Wow-Gamer. You're not a real Wow-addict until you've done at least one of these.
    • Some sad news for altoholics was reported on Flame Shock this week - the creators of the Tour Guide addon have sold it to a paid leveling guide, so it will no longer be available to download for free.  The good news is, those of us who already use it will get to keep it.  
    • Some other sad news from the blogosphere - this week two more of the blogging community have decided to hang up their blogging hats - Pike from Aspect of the Hare and Jong of Forbearance. Both will be missed, but will be around in other places I'm sure.
    • And to finish on a happier note, this post on MMO Champion gives an overview of World of Warcraft Lore, written by Richard Knaak.  It also nearly made me snarf my coffee.  Enjoy!

    Thursday 25 February 2010

    Power Auras for Healing

    Updated 1/9/2011

    Do you have an addon that you would feel lost without?  That you would feel like one of your senses was missing, like you had the sound effects turned off or something?

    Power Auras Classic is such an addon for me.  I use it on all my toons.  It feeds me essential information about all sorts of stuff.

    A little while ago I posted about my power auras for Moonkin. I thought I'd go through the process I used to create auras for healing.  These auras are for my Resto Druid, but they could be tweaked for any class's spells.

    My first post about Power Auras shows some of the basic settings if you would like to make your own rather than importing mine.

    At the end of the post I've listed a few links to how other healers are using Power Auras, to share a few more ideas, and make sure you check out the Power Auras Wiki for loads of information and ideas for every class.

    Planning your Auras
    Think about all the spells you use and which of them you'd like to keep track of. 
    • Are there buffs are that you need to keep track of while out of combat?  Eg. Mark of the Wild, Paladin auras, food, flasks...
    • Buffs while in combat? Eg. Nature's Grace, Clearcasting
    • Debuffs in combat for specific fights?
    • Cooldowns to keep track of?  Eg. Swiftmend, Nature's Swiftness, Wild Growth
    • Is there a proc that could happen that means you need to fire off another spell to take advantage?
    • Do you have a macro that is only available under certain conditions?  
    • Notification for when you're low on health and/or mana?

    How would you like the aura displayed? 
    • When the spell is available or unavailable (for the duration of the cooldown)? 
    • A circular aura around your toon, or an icon that shows in an easily-visible location?
    • Would you like the aura to have a timer?  Or to be a timer? (there doesn't have to be an icon at all!)

    The location of the auras is very important because you need to be able to see them easily in a combat situation, but not have them get in your way.  Make sure once you have made a few that you turn them all on to make sure none are covering others up.

    My Healing Auras
    Everyone likes their notifications in different ways, but I like to show auras around my toon for when my major spells are on cooldown, so that I can tell at a glace what is available for casting.

    I've found colours are very important to me. I will easily forget what an indicator is for, unless it is coloured the same as the spell.  For example, I made my Swiftmend aura blue like the spell icon, to help me recognise that Swiftmend is on cooldown, even though I don't even have Swiftmend on my bars anywhere.  Don't ask me why that works, but it does.

    So, here are the auras that I am currently using.  You can import them directly into PowA by opening the menu with /powa, then clicking "Import" and copying and pasting the import string.

    Mark of the Wild / Blessing of Kings
    The icon shows when I do not have Mark of the Wild or Blessing of Kings on me.

    Version:4.22; b:0.8667; g:0.5137; icon:Spell_Nature_Regeneration; buffname:Mark of the Wild/blessing of kings; x:1; texture:29; alpha:0.8; PowerType:0; size:0.32; y:107; texmode:1; inverse:true

    Wild Growth
    Shows after I cast Wild Growth, and disappears when the 6 sec cooldown finishes.
    Version:4.22; b:0.3804; icon:Ability_Druid_Flourish; buffname:Wild Growth; r:0.1608; bufftype:15; texture:17; size:1.51; y:-1; texmode:1; inverse:true

    Shows while Swiftmend is on cooldown.
    Version:4.22; g:0.6078; icon:INV_Relics_IdolofRejuvenation; buffname:Swiftmend; r:0.0627; bufftype:15; texture:23; size:0.88; texmode:1; inverse:true

    Nature's Swiftness
    Shows while Nature's Swiftness is on cooldown.  I use Nature's Swiftness as part of a couple of macros. You can read about them in my Macros page.
    Version:4.22; b:0.1725; icon:Spell_Nature_RavenForm; buffname:Nature's Swiftness; r:0.0824; bufftype:15; texture:28; alpha:0.45; inParty:true; size:1.19; texmode:1; inverse:true

    Nature's Grace
    This aura is shared with Balance spec, and shows when Nature's Grace procs.  It helps me catch up with the rhythm of faster cast times.
    Version:4.22; b:0.1412; icon:Spell_Nature_NaturesBlessing; buffname:Nature's Grace; r:0.2431; texture:16; PowerType:0; texmode:1

    Also shared with Balance spec, this aura shows Clearcasting procs so that I can decide to cast Regrowth or a mana-expensive heal.
    Version:4.22; icon:Spell_Shadow_ManaBurn; buffname:Clearcasting; texture:4; size:1.09; texmode:1

    * New* - Low Mana Indicator
    Shows when mana is below 50%.
    Version:4.22; g:0.8078; icon:inv_elemental_primal_mana; r:0.0863; bufftype:10; texture:70; PowerType:0; combat:true; size:0.45; y:-111; texmode:1

    * New* - Harmony
    The Restoration Mastery, Harmony, requires a direct healing spell to be cast every ten seconds. This combination of two auras shows a rotating circle if the buff is not present, then a countdown while the buff is present. The circle will only show while in combat.  I totally stole these two auras from Beruthiel, and made them bigger. Thanks Beru!

    No Harmony (circle spins)
    Version:4.22; b:0.1686; anim1:11; icon:Spell_Nature_HealingWay; buffname:Harmony; r:0.0667; x:-160; texture:142; alpha:1; mine:true; combat:true; size:0.44; y:-13; texmode:1; inverse:true

    Harmony countdown
    Version:4.22; b:0.1686; icon:Spell_Nature_HealingWay; buffname:Harmony; r:0.0667; x:-160; texture:142; alpha:1; mine:true; size:0.44; y:-13; texmode:1; timer.h:1.73; timer.enabled:true; timer.cents:false; timer.y:-14; timer.x:-160

    More Ideas for Powa

      Wednesday 24 February 2010

      Leveling Inscription

      I recently dropped Leesah's Herbalism and leveled up Inscription.  I tried to make sure I had a good stock of herbs of each type before I dropped herbing, since I didn't really want to have to buy herbs. 

      I originally found the leveling instructions and recommended herb amounts in the slightly out-of-date Inscription Guide from Siha at Banana Shoulders.  The guide was first written during the PTR before patch 3.0.2 (when Inscription was first introduced to the game).  I tried to get as close to the amounts Siha suggested as I could before I went mad from flower-picking.

      When I finally started actually leveling Inscription, it turns out that the numbers of herbs recommended in Siha's guide are really high compared to what you actually need. I'm guessing they either increased the drop-rate of pigments from milling, or they reduced the number of inks needed to level up to each new training level.

      I built this quick-reference shopping list chart similar to my Herbalism Chart, so that I could see which herbs are in which pigment group, and the herbs that mill into certain pigments and inks.

      Click image to make bigger!

      The numbers of herbs in the chart are approximately the numbers I used in my leveling process.
      Now it turns out that once patch 3.3.3 goes live, many of the glyphs that require two inks to make will only need one.  So you will need even less herbs than I have in my chart!  I'd estimate about two-thirds of the values I used will be needed after the patch.  Of course I am over the moon about this, especially since they decided to announce it after I was already over 400 inscription (/grump).

      During the leveling process, try to make orange and yellow glyphs and scrolls to level up.  Make sure you make the rare inks such as Hunter's Ink and Fiery Ink as they become available and before they turn gray.  Also, make sure to train every five levels to get the next set of orange glyphs.

      Once you reach 75 Inscription, Minor Inscription Research is available.  This 20-hour cooldown spell teaches you one minor glyph, until you have learned them all. In Patch 3.3, there are currently 35 minor glyphs in the game.

      At 385, Northrend Inscription Research is a second 20-hour cooldown through which you learn the remaining major glyphs that can't be learned at a trainer.

      As you level up, blue and epic off-hand items become available to craft.  The mats for these items are usually fairly expensive but once you get to the higher level items they usually sell well at the Auction House so check out the values of mats compared with the finished product on your server to see if making them is worthwhile.  The epic items [Faces of Doom] and [Iron-bound Tome] can sell for hundreds of gold on my server.

      At level 400 Inscription, the Master's Inscriptions become available.  These are the replacement for the Sons of Hodir reputation shoulder enchants, and was often the sole reason people level Inscription in the first place.  Now it's not quite as arduous to get to exalted with the Sons of Hodir, but I'm happy to not have to bother with that rep grind.

      And that's pretty much the deal with Inscription. 

      Tuesday 23 February 2010

      Heart of the River

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

      River's Heart, Sholazar Basin.

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

      Monday 22 February 2010

      Progress Post: Heroic Healer

      Time for a quick update since it has been a whole week since Leesah dinged 80. 

      It was quite a successful weekend.  I had started off healing normal level 80 dungeons and struggling to heal normal ToC, and doing shocking dps in random heroics as Moonkin.  After a couple of lucky drops and a badge upgrade or two (it was mainly Bone Golem Scapula and 2-piece tier 9 that convinced me!), I decided to bite the bullet and heal a heroic. 

      I chose carefully from a few select dungeons and ended up in Utgarde Keep.  What followed was the most ridiculously quick blast-through I have been part of.  I barely healed - the tank barely took damage, and each pull lasted no more than 10 seconds.  The whole dungeon was complete in about 10 mins.  I got the feeling that my victory over healing a heroic was slightly hollow.

      I healed many more heroics over the weekend, but there were two that really made me feel more like a Real Heroic Healer.  Firstly, Heroic ToC.  I was petrified when the loading screen came up, especially after the Champions were down and next up was Paletress.  The group wasn't super-geared and we had to work for it, but we got through it all and no-one died, and I was ecstatic and shaking like a leaf by the end of it.

      The second one was Halls of Stone.  I knew that the Brann event was tough to heal - I had been in there on heroic as Moonkin the previous day when a few of the group had died, but this time I healed my lil barky arse off and no-one died, and I was so proud that I had to go and have a stiff drink afterwards.

      Tonight I picked up the Looking For Many achievement as well, but I've still got a few more dungeon elders to visit before the other title of the season.

      So even though Leesah now has more purples than blues (but still green trinkets!), I know there's still a long way to go.  It's all about practice, and getting those Emblems at the moment.  And I'm loving every minute of it :)

      Saturday 20 February 2010

      The Priest and the Druid

      The Priest and the Druid, they went to sea
      In a beautiful pea green boat,
      They had taken a quest, at the urgent behest
        of a Carefully Folded Note.
      The Druid looked up to the stars above,
      And sang to a small guitar,
      'O lovely Priesty! O Priesty my love,
            What a talented Priesty you are,
      You are,
      You are!
      What a talented Priest you are!'

      Priesty said to the tree, 'What I certainly need,
      Is to raise my low GearScore!
      O let us kill Hogger! He won't be much bother:
      And he drops an epic ring!'
      They sailed away, for a year and a day,
      To the land where the Oak-tree grows
      And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood
      With a ring at the end of his nose,
        His nose,
        His nose,
      With a ring at the end of his nose.

      'Dear pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling
      Your ring?' Said Hogger, 'Graaaarrrgh!'
      But they took it anyway, and were pugging next day
      In Heroic H o R.
      They picked up gear, and knew no fear,
      They would both face the Lich King soon;
      And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
      They danced by the light of the moon,
      The moon,
      The moon,
      They danced by the light of the moon.

      (Apologies to Edward Lear)

      Ps. I wasn't sure how many people had seen this buried in the comments on Tam's post for the Secret Admirer Project and it took me so long to come up with it that I wanted to record it here as well :)  I hope you got through Love is in the Air with everything you wanted out of it!

      Friday 19 February 2010

      Fresh 80 Moonkin Gear Plan - Part 2 - Legs and the Rest

      The Moonkin Gear Plan has moved to a new page!

      Please update your bookmark :)

      Thursday 18 February 2010

      Fresh 80 Moonkin Gear Plan - Part 1 - Head to Waist

      The Moonkin Fresh 80 Gear Plan has been moved to a new page!

      Please update your bookmark :)

      Wednesday 17 February 2010

      Balance Cheat Sheet

      Welcome to the Balance Cheat Sheet!  This page is designed as a quick reference for Druids to easily find information relating to the Balance spec.

      As with my Restoration Cheat Sheet, I've tried to distill as much information about being a Balance Druid from several places into one post.  At the moment it is aimed at 80+ druids, and new-ish 85s.  You can find links to more Moonkin resources at the bottom of the post.

      I know there are already plenty of guides like this out there and it wasn't meant to copy or replace them, but as a Druid blog I feel R&R should help with making the information available, and the more the info is out there, the easier it is to find.

      If you can suggest any improvements to the information I have here, please let me know!

      Information is current as of patch 4.1 and was last updated on 27/4/11.

      Please don't take any of it as gospel - I recommend reading the other guides listed at the end of this post to keep up to date on the latest information. 

      The most popular spec at the moment according to is 33/0/8.

      Elitist Jerks recommends something like 31/0/6, which has four extra points to be placed wherever they are useful. If mana is an issue, take Furor over Moonglow. 

      Patch 4.0.1 introduced a new glyph system, consisting of three types: Prime, Major and Minor Glyphs. The Glyphs are now learned, so they can be swapped between fights.

      Prime Glyphs to choose from include:

      The top three are Insect Swarm, Moonfire and Wrath. Swap in Starsurge if there are multiple targets to be hit with Starfall.

      Major Glyphs: There are many that may be situationally useful, but [Glyph of Starfall] is definitely a dps increase.  None of the others stand out as being particularly useful, but you have [Glyph of Rebirth], [Glyph of Innervate], [Glyph of Thorns], [Glyph of Focus] or even [Glyph of Hurricane] to choose from. 

      Minor Glyphs: Personal preference. [Glyph of the Wild] could save you mana while buffing and [Glyph of Unburdened Rebirth] saves you a bag space. You just never know when [Glyph of Aquatic Form] might come in handy... I guess.

      Hit Cap
      Hit Chance of +17%, or Hit Rating of 446.  Hit Chance can now be seen on the Character screen, with our other Spell stats.

      Moonkins now get Hit rating from both Hit and Spirit on gear. If you find that you're way over Hit cap, try reforging or swapping Hit/Spirit pieces for Haste or Crit.

      Intellect > Hit rating = Spirit (to cap) > Haste rating > Crit rating > Mastery.

      To translate, Spellpower now comes from Intellect so it is our most important stat. 

      Stack Hit until you're capped, but remember that Spirit also gives Hit Rating with the Balance of Power talent and also gives us mana regen. 

      Haste is more important now as it now affects DoTs, so stack as much as you are able. Eclipse is no longer dependent on Crit, so Haste takes priority.

      Mastery is the new stat for Cataclysm.  Moonkin mastery is Total Eclipse.  

      In your meta socket use [Burning Shadowspirit Diamond]

      Use [Brilliant Inferno Ruby] in red sockets and wherever the bonus is worse than 20 Int. In other yellow or blue sockets, use [Reckless Ember Topaz] or [Purified Demonseye].


      What Spells Should I Use?
      The Elitist Jerks Moonkin thread also has a more complex discussion of rotations but is summarised well:

      • Start by applying Insect Swarm and Moonfire, and casting Starsurge. Whenever either DoT falls off the target, or Starsurge comes off cooldown, recast it.
      • Cast Starfire until until a Solar (Wrath) Eclipse procs, then switch to Wrath. Cast Wrath until a Lunar (Starfire) Eclipse procs, then switch back to Starfire.
      • Repeat this Eclipse cycle, always keeping your two DoT's on the target and using Starsurge, Starfall and Force of Nature on cooldown.


      Further Moonkin Resources

      Leesah the Love Fool

      Just a quick one today because I am a busy bee.  I finally got a Bouquet of Ebon Roses to drop so I pitied a couple of fools and ended up with the Love Fool title!  Cue Jamiroquai...

      I even went into an Arathi Basin to get it - the first time since starting to play again that I have done any PvP.  Despite going in as a healer and spending a lot of the match guarding the lumber mill, I managed to pick up [The Grim Reaper] despite firing off I think one offensive spell in the whole BG.  Not sure how that happened, but I was getting honor kills even during the time sitting up on the cliff not healing anyone.

      It struck me as odd that Hordies also get turned into humans in Culling of Stratholme.  I guess I assumed they would be turned into orcs or something, although it's not like Prince Arthas would be massacring innocents with a bunch of orcs, would he?

      I'm pleased to report that the rest of the night went well also - I healed through normal ToC twice, with Paletress both times!  No wipes and one very happy Tree, although I didn't pick up any gear from there.  I haven't healed any heroics yet, but I did do a couple as Moonkin and I feel a little less self-conscious now that I've replaced my Soiled Trousers with the Kilt of the Forgotten One.

      Thank you for all the lovely comments encouraging me to get into heroics!  I'll be in there once I feel I'm ready.  Told you I was chicken ;)

      Tuesday 16 February 2010

      Healing is hard, m'kay?

      Last night I logged on my newly 80 Leesah with a plan in mind:
      • Wyrmrest daily
      • Tournament dailies
      • Random normal
      • Sort my inscription
      After I did,in fact, sort my inscription (now sitting at 390, woo), I decided to cut to the chase and joined LFD.

      It was ToC, which is fine, I've been there before, I've even healed it before on my old Druid, no worries. How wrong I was. The first part was fine, the Champions were a pushover.

      Then out came the Confessor and started fearing and smiting everyone. I didn't even see what memory she conjured, I was clicking away at grid like the whack-a-mole of legend.  It didn't help that we had a DK tank, who tend to take more damage than the other tanking classes.

      We wiped twice before I apologised and dropped group, tail between my legs. I stood in Dalaran and wallowed in self-deprecating misery for a few minutes, until I snapped myself out of it. The pep-talk in my head went something like this:

      "Ang, you should not feel bad about this. You only dinged yesterday, you're still in questing greens for Chrissake.  ToC is hard! It was hard the first time on your other Druid and she was in full epics! (okay that was heroic but that's beside the point) One purple does not a healer make!"

      So, I queued again, and kicked the arse of the Culling of Stratholme. I felt much better after that.

      It occurred to me then that I could do a heroic as Balance. It's a bit less group-breaking having a low-dps Boomkek than a fail-healer. So I queued for a random heroic and crossed my fingers.

      I was a little "uh oh" when the loading screen for Oculus came up, but it was fine! No-one dropped group which was the main thing that was worrying me, and we scooted through it with no problems at all. I managed to do not great, but not terrible dps on the movement-intensive first two bosses, I think about 2500 (although Gevlon might still have kicked me), and managed to pick up Cuffs of Winged Levitation at the end through pure greed-luck! I had also forgotten that Blizz not only nerfed the place, but added extra rewards as well. Hello extra emblems!

      So the first heroic Leesah did was Oculus.  Do I get some special award from Blizzard for that? ;)

      I think, in all, a successful evening.

      I had a few comments on my ding 80 post about jumping right into healing heroics, and I think I've talked myself into "two purples = healer" so I might just do it tonight!

      Monday 15 February 2010

      Secret Admiration Revealed

      So the Secret Admirer event has come to a close, and I can now reveal that the subject of my admiration has been...

      Tamarind from Righteous Orbs!

      Tam said in his original post that "some poor bugger who would never in a million years want to read my blog is having to endure my dreadful, not especially subtle doggerel for three solid days."  Au contraire!  I have been a reader and fan of Righteous Orbs for quite a while now, long before Tam won his well-deserved award from LarĂ­sa and friends.

      Tamarind and Chastity have a brilliant blog that makes me laugh out loud at work frequently, or sit in quiet contemplation of the more thoughtful posts.  Thank you, guys, for making such a great contribution to our WoW community :D

      Tam and Chas are blessed with a readership who comment like it's going out of fashion, so if you're looking for my secret admirer posts, you can find two on this post about Kumquat and one on Chas' post about Circular Game Design (sorry for hijacking your post there ;)

      I'd like to thank Lissanna from Restokin for charming me with fellow druid-admiration over the last few days.  I had guessed before it was revealed - there were only a few druids in the list after all!  The feeling is mutual, I am not worthy! :D

      Further thanks are due to Dristanel from The Physician's Log for arranging the whole Secret Admirer event- I had a great time writing and reading other's comments and the chatter on twitter was priceless!  Don't forget to check the Big Reveal post to see the full list of Admirers and Admirees!

      Now I'm going afk to find a place to hide from Tam's other perhaps not so secret admirer...

      Image at the top is from

      Progress Post: Level 80!!

      It has been a weekend of distractions, but finally, Leesah has dinged 80.  I found myself just a few thousand short of the end after doing a quest, so went flying to make it an exploration ding :)

      So um, what do I do now?

      From level 70, I tried to do a random dungeon every day, so the first thing after dinging was head back to Dalaran to work out what to spend my 36 [Emblem of Triumph] on!  I settled on the Runetotem's Handguards of Conquest, the Tier 9 gloves, because the gloves I had were possibly the worst thing I was wearing.  So I got a shiny purple!!!

      I went and made sure to train level 80 spells in both specs.  I also bought a few BoE pieces from the Auction House - I already had a Ymirjar Physician's Robe in the bank waiting, so in all, there were a few instant upgrades.  Unfortunately once I went back into a dungeon to try out Forge of Souls, which by the way is much harder to heal than the other normals so far, one of the paladins needed on the Spiteful Signet and dropped group immediately.  Not happy.  One thing I was suprised to see in FoS normal was that you get [Emblem of Triumph] for killing bosses in there. I might try running that one a few times to get more emblems before I try healing a heroic!  Also doing the questline in there scores you a few [Emblem of Frost] so that's a nice kick-start.

      So, the plan continues - run normal 80 dungeons until I get a few upgrades and run daily randoms to get emblems.  I have no idea when to try a heroic but I'll have to at some point, because I won't be able to upgrade any other way.  Can anyone suggest which heroic might be the easiest to heal?

      A quick re-introduction
      I might just quickly re-introduce myself since it's nearly been two months since I started this here blog and I have a few more readers now (hello new readers!).

      My husband and I started playing WoW back around Christmas 2006 on a European server, since we lived in the UK at the time.  My first level 70 was my Human Shadow Priest, and I raided with her from around May 2008 (up to Black Temple in TBC) up until March 2009.  I also had an alt 80 tree druid who I loved to play.  At that time, we were farming Naxx like everyone else, then just a few weeks before Ulduar was released we left the UK and traveled for 5 months to get home to Australia (but that's another story). 

      The addiction runs deep and I couldn't shake it off in that short time, so I started playing again as soon as we had internet.  The latency to European servers is pretty bad from here, and the timezones meant that we never got to play or raid with our old guild, so we made the decision to start all over on an Oceanic realm.  Just before Christmas 2009, my druid Leesah was begun and leveled up to 60 in just a few days /played using refer-a-friend.  The rest of the leveling has taken a while but I'm there now.  I am really missing being in a guild - that will be one of the next challenges:  finding a guild who is as awesome as my guild on the EU realm was ;)

      Anyway enough of that.  Hang around because tomorrow (or later tonight for this side of the world), my lovely secret admirer will be revealed, and you'll get to hear who I've been stalking admiring these last few days!

      (Click the image to big-ify)

      Sunday 14 February 2010

      Fireworks are in the Air?

      So I was all set for today's post to be a Progress Post for level 80, but as I logged on last night to finish off with a few quests in Icecrown, there was some emergency maintanence and the server was shutting down in 5 minutes.  GJ Blizzard, cheers for that.

      So anyway, yesterday I said to enjoy the last few days of Love is in the Air.  In fact, it's not finishing until Feb 20th, which means that for the next week, it's definately festival season as we have the Lunar Festival starting today (Sunday) as well, and running until March 7!

      Usually the Lunar Festival would be before Love is in the Air, but with Chinese New Year being so late this year, they are overlapping a bit.  Never mind, more festival fun, and just in time for Leesah to ding 80!

      At Lunar Festival time, we honour our elders.  This means running all over Azeroth, which nets you the title "Elder" once you have completed the meta-achievement.

      I'm not going to make a guide because the Overachiever one is very comprehensive, so go check it out.  I am sure that a blogger last year wrote a great guide listing the optimal route to visitng all the elders, but I can't for the life of me remember who it was, or find the post.  If anyone can enlighten me, please do.

      In the meantime, enjoy both festivals.  I know I am :)

      Edit:  The Lunar Festival Elders page contains precise locations, maps and a walkthrough for each faction.  In fact the only thing they don't provide is a service to run your character around for you.  So no excuses!  Honour your Elders today!

      Further Edit:  To make things even easier for everyone, there is now a version of Tour Guide that will take you around the Elders.  Thanks to Rakhman at Flame Shock for linking it!

      Saturday 13 February 2010

      Flirting with Disaster

      Leesah sipped her glass of Pinot Noir as she sat in a quiet corner with Aefa in the Orgrimmar Inn.

      Aefa filled her glass again from the bottle and smiled.  "Do tell," she said conspiratorially.

      "Well, " Leesah began, looking left and right to make sure none of the orcs were listening.  "I had only gone to Undercity to drop something off at the bank, and stop by with a gift for Lady Sylvanas.  I happened by Jeremiah on the way back up to the surface.  I happened to be carrying with me some bourbon, so I sat and shared it with him for a little while."

      "As any friend of Jeremiah would," Aefa agreed, although she definately wouldn't have gone near the cockroach seller.

      "So anyway, one moment I was sitting there and he was telling me about how he enjoyed this time of year since all the ladies come to see him, and... it sort of all goes fuzzy after that..."  Leesah trailed off, embarrassed.

      Aefa gasped with glee. "No!  So what happened?  Do you remember anything?!"

      "Not really. The next thing I knew I woke up in Dalaran.  I have no idea how I managed to get back there - I suppose I must have remember how to use my hearthstone!  I smelled like this cheap perfume, and I had rose petals in some interesting places..."

      Aefa burst out laughing and several of the orcs looked up from their ale to look over curiously.  Leesah shushed her and she tried to contain her laughter.

      "The worst part is, I do vaguely remember something..." Leesah said hesitantly.

      "What, what is it?" said Aefa, barely able to contain herself.

      "Well um... I think I might have.. kissed him."

      Aefa gasped again and roared with laughter.  Leesah blushed bright pink around the nose but she grinned sheepishly and sipped at her wine.

      Friday 12 February 2010

      Reader Roundup - February 12

      Time for another Reader Roundup, where I slack off and tell you about stuff that I enjoyed reading recently.  It is Friday after all!

      First, two posts involving Lore, because we all like a bit of a story now and then.

      Richard Powell, who is also behind LoreCrafted, wrote this guest post on last week about whether Arthas is redeemable.  Not whether he is redeemed, but whether, after all the terrible things he's done, whether he deserves to be redeemed.  He's not the nice prince you thought he was! A well thought-out argument and very well presented.

      Related to the Arthas story, is this post from Vas at Daily Quests - The Lost and the Forgotten.  It is a detailed re-telling of the events after the Lich King's demise, so if you don't want to see spoilers, do not click the link. If you don't mind, then go read, it is an awesome story.

      For something completely different but still educational, Anna of Too Many Annas wrote about Healing your first instance.  If you're still going through the under-confident-healer stage like me, this post helps with making things easier for yourself to ease into the role.

      Thinking of starting to write a blog?  Anea compiled this list of advice for new bloggers. Very useful advice - I'm a complete noob at this still so I enjoyed reading this and working out what I need to improve around here.

      Wulfy on the Barrens Chat wrote about how when Cataclysm comes, the Horde need a Hero to prevent Garrosh from taking over and declaring all-out war on the Alliance.  Read about how Varok Saurfang is our only hope!

      In the cute news of the week (I feel a new column coming on), the Blizzard pet store will soon be offering new in-game pets, but this time they come with a real life plushie as well!  The Wind Rider Cub and the Gryphon Hatchling look totally adorable - I can't wait to see them in-game :)  I will most likely not be shelling out real cash for one for myself, but, y'know, if someone wanted to buy me a present, I would be totally ok with that :)

      And of course, don't forget to keep your eye open over the weekend for comments around the blogosphere for the Secret Admirer project!  And enjoy the last few days of Love is in the Air, before the Lunar Festival begins on Monday!

      Thursday 11 February 2010

      Sharing the Love is in the Air

      You may have noticed, that Love is in the Air!

      Over the next few days, Dristanel over at The Physician's Log is coordinating a little spreading of the love between bloggers.  Secretly commenting on each others blogs and trying to guess our admirers?  Sounds like a perfect way to spend the weekend, in a totally non-stalking way!

      Today is the last day to add your name to the list, so if you're a blogger and you'd like to take part in the communal luuurve (okay, that sounded slightly icky) head over to the post to sign up, or send a tweet to @physicianslog!

      Don't forget, there's only a couple of days left until V-Day itself, so make sure you pick yourself a flowery present to give your loved ones!

      Wednesday 10 February 2010

      Fresh 80 Resto Gear Plan - Part 2 - Legs & the Rest

      The Fresh 80 Resto Gear Plan has moved to a new page!

      Please update your bookmark :)

      Tuesday 9 February 2010

      Monday 8 February 2010

      Restoration Cheat Sheet

      Welcome to the Restoration Druid Cheat Sheet!  This page is designed as a quick reference for Druids to easily find information relating to the Restoration spec.  It is mainly designed with mid-80s and new level 85s in mind.  The information was distilled from several sources, which you can find listed at the bottom of the post. 

      I know there are already plenty of guides like this out there and it wasn't meant to copy or replace them, but as a Druid blog I feel R&R should help with making the information available, and the more the info is out there, the easier it is to find. I've included links to sources wherever I can.

      I'll try to keep it up to date - the current version is current for patch 4.2 and last updated 20/07/11.

      I would encourage you not to take any of it as gospel, but try different ways to see what works best for you. At the end of the post is a list of links to further information.

      The most popular spec at the moment according to is 7/3/31, although there are a number of popular variations.

      Jasyla suggests other talent specs for post-4.1.

      Patch 4.0.1 introduced a new glyph system, consisting of three types: Prime, Major and Minor Glyphs. The Glyphs are now learned, so they can be swapped between fights.

      Prime Glyphs to choose from include:

      Major Glyphs to choose from include:

      At the moment I'm using Innervate, Wild Growth and Rebirth.  Healing Touch could be very useful when combined with a Nature's Swiftness + HT macro, if you find you're doing a lot of tank healing on heavy damage fights.

      Minor Glyphs are your choice as none are particularly game-breaking, but [Glyph of the Wild] could save you mana while buffing and [Glyph of Unburdened Rebirth] saves you a bag space. [Glyph of the Treant] allows you to keep your old Tree of Life form, if you wish.

      There is no longer a Haste "cap", but because HoTs are now affected by Haste, there are a series of break points whereby we gain extra ticks of each HoT spell. For more information on how break points work, check out the links listed below.

      Aim for at least the first break point for Rejuvenation: 915 Haste (rounded up). The first Lifebloom break point is 1220. Even my Leesah in her non-raid gear is managing to make the first break point for Regrowth of 1423, but the Wild Growth value of 2004 Haste is much harder to reach.

      Some more resources on Hasted Hots, Dots and break points:

      Mastery is the new stat for Cataclysm. Patch 4.2 brought Resto Druids a new mastery - Harmony. Direct heals such as Nourish, Swiftmend and Healing Touch gives us the Harmony buff, which gives extra healing from our heal over time spells. 

      You can find a more detailed explanation of Mastery at Fun in Games, and there's also some great information at Jaded Alt.

      Stats on Gear
      Intellect > Haste (to breakpoint of choice) > Mastery > Spirit > Crit

      In Cataclysm Spellpower is only found as a stat on weapons and enchants, but we now also get Spellpower from Intellect. Intellect also increases mana pool and gives a small amount of Crit.

      Stack Haste to breakpoints. Beyond that is personal preference, but other stats take preference.

      Spirit increases mana regeneration so we still need plenty of that to keep mana issues at bay.

      Mastery increases our throughput, especially in a setting where we are throwing a lot of HoTs around. Stack as much as you can without your mana suffering.

      Critical Strike Rating is more important than it was because our HoT ticks are now able to crit.

      Trees do not need Hit.

      In general, reforge Crit and Spirit to Haste, without crippling your mana regeneration. If you're not able to reforge to Haste, Spirit or Mastery is preferable to other stats. 

      Gem [Brilliant Inferno Ruby] in all sockets, except for two [Artful Ember Topaz] for meta activation.

      In your meta socket use [Ember Shadowspirit Diamond].

      (Gem information from Elitist Jerks.)


      What Spells Should I Use?
      In patch 4.0.1 we didn't gain any new spells, but most changed in effect, duration and/or cast time.

      Lifebloom can only be cast on one target at a time, so will mostly be used for tank healing - roll three stacks, try not to let it bloom. In addition, Lifebloom's duration can be refreshed by casting Nourish. We can also cast Swiftmend on a HoT-ed target to proc Efflorescence, a green area-of-effect healing spell.

      Healing Touch becomes more efficient as a big heal, and Nourish can be used to refresh Lifebloom as required. Regrowth is faster to cast but less efficient - time it with a Clearcasting proc if possible.

      Don't forget, our Tree of Life cooldown gives us some great bonuses for heavy-damage situations. Plus, it's nice to see the old tree from time to time!

      For more healing advice check out Tree Bark Jacket or Fun in Games.

      More Resources