Sunday, November 30, 2008


It's my blogaversary!

One year ago I made my first post on this blog. I wrote about Dalliah the Doomsayer, a boss in Arcatraz, who I thought was tough and interesting and probably I put more importance on her than necessary. Later, I wrote more and more and more and established what I hope has been a good and helpful read for all WoW players (if especially druids), with some fun and jokes and sarcasm and RP mixed in for flavor and spice.

This blog has had a wonderful year, right? RIGHT!

Enough about me, though. I would like to extend my thanks to a large number of people, without whom this likely would not have been possible, or at least would be very different and not as good as it is now.

I love you. Thank you for encouraging me, always reading everything I wrote, no matter how good or bad it was, and understanding when I get all excited. You understand it's not "just a game" and have helped me out so much. Thank you and, again, I love you.

You write the defining WoW blog that spurred me into creating my own. You showed me that I could do this, that people wanted this sort of information. You set a standard that, though I didn't know if I could reach it, kept me motivated to give good, helpful information anyone could use. And you're a wonderful person who is fun to talk to. Thank you.

You were the first druid blog I ever read. You were fun, smart, helpful and full of attitude. You helped me shape my own style and be a less afraid of critics and more confident in myself as a writer and informant (and you probably never knew!). Not only that, but you welcomed me into your guild, joked with me, played with me, and we had a good time. Thank you.

You're a riot, you know your stuff, and you were my first WoW blog. I've never gotten a hunter past level 18, and your blog makes me sorry for that fact every day. Even though Bellbell finds your tactics frustrating, through reading your blog she managed to kill a Beast Mastery hunter a level above her in Hellfire the other day. You were my first inspiration and always have been a favorite. Thank you.

You probably aren't aware, but through reading your blog and playing with Palintera on Feralicious, I was able to write for Bellbell. She gained personality and dynamic because I read your blog and thought "I want to do that, too." You also showed me how I could make amazingly great friends through my blog. Thank you, and thanks for taking me out to dinner, too.

Thank you for being one of the best friends and the best guild leader I've ever had, and for always encouraging me to write. You've always told me I was a great druid, even when I was screwing up as a feral in the level 40's. I'll always be one of your generals at heart. Thank you.

Thank you for bugging me when I don't post, telling me I'm a great healer when I refused to believe you anyway, and playing on a server type you disliked so we could hang out. You've been helpful to me in so many ways, including showing me that good friendships really don't end when someone stops playing. Thank you.

There are so many people to is difficult to get them all, and a personalized list of even just names would stretch forever. To everyone in BA Chat, to every blogger who has helped me, given me advice, or listened to mine, to every person who has read my blog, whether you agreed or disagreed, to my guest posters, to my guild members and WoW friends, to those who commented, those who simply said thank you, who shared my blog, who linked to me, to those who encouraged me, who debated with me, who pushed me, prodded me, and in any way influenced my writing and gaming experience...

Thank you! You made this blogaversary possible!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Guest Post: The Job of a Raiding Moonkin

Macbook is a raiding moonkin on the server Stormscale US. You can read about his journey as a moonkin over at his blog, Moonkin.

If you're reading this, you must be a little interested on being a PvE moonkin. That's fair, though, because the latest patch with new talents and the WoTLK expansion have made moonkins a very viable source of raid buffs, single-target DPS, and AoEing.

Most people underestimate the difficulty of raiding as a Moonkin. They say, all Moonkins have to do is push 3 buttons, what else? I've never heard a statement more false than that one.

For starters, the main job of a moonkin is to provide its buff to the entire raid. Since the patch, your Aura of 5% crit now affects the entire raid group, and if you specced in Improved Moonkin Aura (which I believe every raiding Moonkin should), you're also throwing an extra 3% spell haste to your raid, which may not sound like much, but is actually huge. Your Insect Swarm will decrease the chance of the enemy to hit the tank by 3%, and your Earth & Moon talent will basically increase the DPS of the casters in the raid by 13%. As you can see, many of your talents really help the raid out, and you should have most or all them even if they don't directly increase your DPS.

Since the patch, I've seen a lot more moonkins floating around my server, probably because resto gear with a balance talent spec is almost as good as just having balance gear. Even with all the increase in Moonkins on my server, and even going up against Moonkins in better gear than me, I am still putting out more DPS. Why? I know my role, and I am specced appropriately for it.

99% of raid leaders have moonkins for single-target DPS, not AoE. If your guild is any good, you're not having problems downing trash, its the bosses that are hindering you. Still, I see moonkins who spec points in improved AoE spell damage, which doesn't affect your single-target DPS. I see moonkins with weird casting rotations that are not mana-efficient, meaning they have to pop their innervate on themselves, instead of giving it to a healer.

The key word in balance druid is, well, balance. You need to find the middle ground between having high DPS (aka Boomkin/Doomkin), and still helping the raid out substantially. For example, dotting Moonfire on a boss doesn't really help the raid out, and isn't really mana efficient. My casting rotation involves simply keeping Insect Swarm up, and spamming Starfire, and then rinsing and repeating. Its simple, yet very high-dps and very mana efficient. I never run out of mana even on 5-10 minute fights -- if I get low, I pop a Mana potion on myself and save the innervate for a healer.

You should always make sure to have enough mana to battle rez someone as soon as its needed, and obviously always carry the appropriate reagents. In fact, if you get the Glyph of Unburdened Rebirth, you never even have to worry about carrying the seeds for your BR, which cleared up 2 slots in my bags.

Anyways, this was a pretty large overview, but in the grand spectrum of being a raiding moonkin. I usually manage to stay within the top 3 of the damage meters in my 25-man raids, even while using up tons of mana on Battle Rezzing and Innervating healers. Make sure you build your talent tree on something that you are comfortable with, but always make sure to realize your primary roles. In most cases, AoE should come secondary, so points in AoE talents or buffing existing ones are essentially wasted, in my opinion.

Thanks for the opportunity to post here, and hope you enjoyed it!


Macbook blogs about being a moonkin, and he keeps a Moonkin blog.

Monday, November 17, 2008

An Update for the Concerned

I do not have a new computer, and will not be getting one in the forseeable future.

I do not have Wrath, and will probably not for a while longer (week or two). Wrath was released about the same time I was given, not lying, about eleven papers to write for my classes. If I downloaded Wrath, I would fail my classes.

I have not quit WoW. I am not planning on quitting anytime soon.

That being said, the times I have logged on have been depressing. Every one of my friends is over 70 and in Northrend, and all I read and hear about is the content I'm missing. The most interaction I've had with people is to run their Death Knights through Mana Tombs.

But, well, at least my Netherwing rep is climbing steadily, right? Eggs everywhere.



Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Beginner's Guide to the WoW Forums

The following post has a large volume of both inappropriate language and sarcasm (with a hint of irony) based upon observation. If you cannot stomach vulgarities or are unable to properly detect said sarcasm (with a hint of irony), this post is not for you. And, yes, this is also on my realm forums. Which are slow and down. But if you feel you must track it down, do me a favor and don't respond to any trolls. Thanks!

A. A troll is someone who either strives to entertain or create drama, or both. New trolls appear every few weeks to every few months, depending on the activity in the forum. Some will have a weird, “unique” schtick; these are hit or miss. If a troll can keep them up for about a month, then they’re there to stay, barring account cancellations/bannings. Often trolls will not have signatures, or, if they do, never post on the forums on their main. Very few trolls actually are open about who they are. If they are open about it, they’re generally considered just NERD RAGErs, forum nerds, attention whores or simply forum residents. The best trolls become forum icons.

B. People who are assholes on the forums can often be nice in-game and in real life. However, it is perfectly acceptable to dislike/hate them for their forum persona without considering the person behind the character, just as it is perfectly acceptable for them to be assholes to people they don’t know without considering the person behind that character. This is only applicable to people you do not know and like personally, because obviously when you know the person acting like an asshole, you recognize that they’re just joking.

C. The easiest attacks on a person involve things which are difficult to prove, yet are somehow hurtful and incite anger. These include anything sexual (in a negative light), gender stereotypes, profession, weight, the quality of their life, how often they see the sun, and whether they have moved out of their parents’ residence. These attacks can herald one of a few things:
    1) The subject of the attack has no other failings, so the attacker must resort to the vague and obscure.
    2) The attacker knows the subject personally and therefore knows these to be true. This is only accepted if there is evidence to back up the information.
    3) The attacker is immature or lacking in wit/intelligence, and thus knows no other response to opposition.

D. Being openly, and truly, female on the forums will invite a disproportionate amount of replies to anything they say to revolve around their appearance and sexuality, whether “negative” or “positive.” Females subjected to this and who remain on the forums travel three paths: that of the e-whore, the flirt, and the willfully ignorant.
    1) The e-whore will openly flaunt herself as a sexual object due to her feeling of internet security, and her knowledge she will never be tracked down to perform all the fellatio and intercourse she has promised. The community either feeds into her need for sexual attention or detests her for being an internet slut.
    2) The flirt is a milder version of the slut. She only makes sexual jokes with her friends, or a few people. She is never overtly sexual, and is simply playful. Only e-whores hate her, because she takes away from their attention.
    3) The willfully ignorant glaze over all posts concerning their gender and attempt to work around them. They prefer to be gender neutral and not be classified due to their gender.

E. The above is invalidated simply by stating “there are no females on the internet.”

F. Everything on the forums revolves around who likes who, and who dislikes who. For example:
    1) A pair you like who play WoW together but live very far away are in a long-distance relationship, something difficult to maintain and admirable to be involved in and be able to keep stable. However, you also know a pair in the same sort of relationship, but you dislike them. Therefore, they are e-dating, and it is sad they are so desperate for sex, and no one wants them, that they have to fly cross-country to get any.
    2) Someone can be called both an “e-whore” and a “flirt” depending on who knows and likes them, regardless of their actions.
    3) Someone will be good looking (or have some recovering feature) if you like them, while someone else who you dislike will be ugly and have no recovering feature. This is only invalid if the person is universally considered to be attractive, at which point someone will generally revert to tactics covered in point C.

The basic thing to remember is: people will only attack those they do not know or do not like, regardless of whether their friends or their selves are guilty of the same infractions.

G. Posting any inquiries about the server, especially with intent to transfer, will always garner negative replies unless you are transferring back, in which case it is up to your old server rep to decide. These are actually a way of weeding out those who are undesired and those who will entertain. Show yourself as witty, undeterred, and interesting, and you will be welcomed with open arms. Fail at this, however, and you will be mocked off the forums.

H. Asking for help will give you an immediate link to wowhead or thottbot, a laugh at your incompetence (real or imagined), providing false information, or adding a snide comment. If the thread lasts long enough, it will be derailed. If in the first two or three responses someone is helpful, the thread will die, unless the information is obscure or difficult to interpret. Then the thread will devolve into people correcting each other or giving more false information.

I. Making perfect, logical, irrefutable sense on the WoW forums will open you to an attack on your armory. Therefore, if you are about to post something which no one can argue against, be sure your gear is at the highest level, you either have no arena teams or your ratings are above 2000 with a class not considered OP, all your enchants are up to date, and you have a cookie-cutter spec. If all this is completely set, be prepared for cries of being carried, either by guild or arena teams, of win-trading, being a ninja, that PvE isn’t hard, or just generally being without skill. If these fail, then, again, prepare for that which is mentioned in point C.

J. Every long thread can and will be summed up by someone as tl;dr, whether they are joking or not.

K. There is never an entertaining thread on the forums. Any thread with entertainment value will be made in triplicate or more, and the novelty will vanish. However, if a truly entertaining thread is created and not duplicated to death, it will be necro’d, or resurrected from back pages, with regularity. This will, eventually, kill its entertainment value as well, at least for those who have already read the thread eight times. Also, a necro will never add any fresh new insight, and will generally just consist of “LOL.”

L. When all else fails, argue semantics. Obviously, what you mean when you say an arbitrary distinction is far more correct than anyone else’s interpretation of the same obscure and unclear labeling. If possible, find a dictionary entry to support your stance. Since citation is not required, feel free to modify it to suit your purpose.

M. Grammar and spelling work two ways: either be (close to) perfect, or be purposely awful. Anything in-between and any point you try to make will be glossed over by the fact that you do not separate your paragraphs, your commas are weird and you don’t use “your” and “you’re” properly. The proper response to these attacks will be along the lines of not knowing the official forums were an English class.

N. All forums have inside jokes. They can often be old, difficult to understand or simply weird. If you don't understand it, and attempt to use it, you will be mocked off the forums. But never ask about it, as you will be laughed off the forums, again. The rule of thumb is: if you don't understand something, don't use it, and don't ask. Figure it out yourself or leave it alone.

O. Remember, no matter how offensive, wrong, inappropriate, upsetting, insulting or vulgar someone is, you shouldn’t get upset. After all, it’s just the internet. The fact that real people are sitting behind the screen isn’t important; it’s just the internet. Anyone who gets worked up over the internet is [insert response from point C].

Monday, November 10, 2008

An Important Notice, and Possible Bad News

First off, Child's Play is starting again. I know a lot of you already read Big Bear Butt Blogger, and if you don't I'm weirded out (seriously, who hears of me before him?), but he's looking for people to donate prizes for a raffle. If you have something awesome, or something semi-awesome (like a runner up prize) to donate, head over and follow his instructions. Every little bit helps, and it's a great cause.

Now, I'm going to wait while you go check out those links.

Done? Well, that didn't take long. Go back and do it properly!

All right, I suppose that's well enough. We'll get on with what will now be self-indulgent drivel.

I'm considering cancelling my WoW subscription. And, the worst part is, it feels almost like it's not my choice.

My computer has been steadily dying over the past few years. Now it requires a floor fan to be blowing on it constantly in order to keep from becoming piping hot, and that will be a problem come winter. The CD tray is broken; I have to download or just do without. And I can't play WoW at anything higher than 3-5 fps, consistently, anyway. It irritates me, and then I don't enjoy playing. The worst part is, I can't afford a new one. My lifestyle demands a laptop, and they're just too expensive for me.

A minor part of the problem is I'm not too keen on the fact that I can't get a copy of WotLK (and thus a CD key for when I do download it) until a week after its release. This means a week of doing dailies, levelling my lock, and gritting my teeth so I'm not jealous of what everyone else gets to do. I suppose, in a way, it would be a blessing in disguise; my computer obviously could not handle travelling to Northrend with the rush.

Then...there is another problem. The people I once enjoyed playing with have seemed to change almost overnight. Nice, caring, helpful people who I always enjoyed talking to suddenly seem stand-offish, elitist, arrogant, or just...different. WoW is a fun game, but I don't really enjoy it by myself too much. I was looking at server transferring, but I don't know. There doesn't seem to be much scarier than starting completely fresh, even though Sharlet will transfer with me.

I don't know what I'm going to do. I'd like to try WotLK, give it a shot. And there's the fact that, while I'm at school, the only way I can do anything with Sharlet is to play WoW. It's how we spend time together when we can't be together. I've made so many good friends on the server (those who haven't changed), on other servers and in the blogging community, and I don't want the largest connection we have to just...vanish.

I suppose, once I can finally get it, I'll see how WotLK goes. If things get better, then this speculation was for nothing. But if not...I just don't know.

Anyway, that's the long, oh-woe-is-me explanation for the slow posting around here (besides school work and my job). I hope you guys can understand, though I wish it wasn't the case. I enjoy blogging, but when your playtime is an irritating photo's hard to find something to write about.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Acceptance Speech

That's right, kids.

Bellbell's 70. I'm ready to mount my snowy gryphon, pop some pretty wings and eat more Horde face with my helm of oddly-deep laughter and haste-ridden scourge set. Not to mention the beautiful new axe Sharlet handed to me just moments after that pretty Divine-Storm look-alike swirl pronounced me all-grown up, until the expansion, anyway.

I'd like to brag more about how awesome I am, and how spectacular it feels to have hit the top for the moment, but Bellwether says I have to thank everyone who helped me get here. I mean, I could have done it on my own.


Anyway, here's the list...

Harl: Thank you for running me through SM, sending me BOE blues, helping me with quests in Terokkar and Nagrand, and helping me up my engineering. You're pro.

Tremlos: Thank you for running me through SM and RFD, and spurring me on by levelling your paladin faster.

Sorli: Thank you for running me through SM.

Ignacion: Thank you for running me through SM.

Button: Thank you for running me through SM, and always encouraging me when I was frustrated and levelling your paladin faster.

Amarax: Thank you for helping me take Towers in HFP, ganking Horde who ganked me, and helping me kill elites.

Bellezza: Thank you for bringing your paladin over, my twin, Bellebelle, so we could confuse people and wreak havoc.

And, last, but most certainly not least.


Thank you for running me through SM, Razor Fen Downs, Zul’Farrak, Mara, Sunken Temple, Scholomance, Dire Maul, Stratholme, Ramparts, Blood Furnace and Slave Pens, for helping me through any quest, chasing down Horde who hurt me, helping me spec, helping me upgrade my gear, helping me itemize properly, helping me with dps rotations and pvp encounters, encouraging me, always being there to help me, and just being the most amazing person ever.

...perhaps I'm biased.

(I love you, Sharlet)