Friday, December 28, 2007

A Helpful Hint for Arena Shammies

You can't be sapped in ghost wolf.

Thank you.

(This short, simple, sweet advice brought to you by Mahndo, and it was brought to him by some very awesome warrior in a battleground)

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Heal Meters

Many people tend to be competitive about things. DPS meters are a good example of this, though they can cause some problems. But what about healing meters?

I have a love-hate relationship with healing meters. In Kara, I'm generally third out of three healers on it for amount healed. I run with two pallys or a pally and a priest generally. Most people would say "that makes sense."

No, no it doesn't.

I'm talking about healing meters where over-heal is factored in. We have very good healers in my guild, and they do their job. But I am a mitigation healer. They are reactive healers. My HoTs stop ticking when their target is health-capped. Reactive healing such as Flash of Light and Greater Heal will hit a target for their amount regardless of where the person's health is, and any extra is lost as "over heal."

Druids can overheal in four ways:
  1. The initial burst of Regrowth
  2. Swiftmend
  3. Healing Touch
  4. Lifebloom's bloom (self-only)

Of those four ways, the third is used least of all heals on a druid (save for perhaps Dreamstate spec). Regrowth is the least used HoT of the three, and Swiftmend is situational. And you shouldn't let Lifebloom bloom if you can help it, though Lifebloom's bloom only counts as your own personal heal when it blooms on yourself. A druid's heavy reliance on continuous stacks of Lifebloom and Rejuvenation means, more often than not, we don't overheal, or at least it isn't counted as overheal.

Instead, when using a heal meter, check to make sure the option that counts overheal is removed. Or do a heal per second chart. This should give a more accurate idea of what your healing actually is and how well you are doing. Don't forget to also post pure over-heal, as that should help you see if you need to be more careful when applying your skills with that potential.

As druids are generally employed as "off-healers" who keep HoTs on the tank(s) while spot-healing the raid, you should actually be healing for more, depending on your gear and your other healers.

Just be careful you don't get too competitive! Remember, first priorities are to work with your fellow healers to keep the raid alive. Competition comes second.

Monday, December 17, 2007

10 Druid WSG

I like to hang around the Druid forums once in a while. Mostly because, between all the trolls crying for nerf, there's generally a gem to be found. For instance, this beautiful idea of a ten-druid warsong gulch run. Fantastic. I love druid-centric things. This doesn't mean I don't love my other guildies, but druids hold a special place in my heart.

I sincerely hope you enjoyed that as much as I did. Now I'm wondering how well the rest of the battlegrounds would run populated by only druids...


So, I went eight posts into this blog without introducing myself or explaining its purpose. That may be some kind of record. Doesn't everyone start out their blog with "So, I started this blog because..." or something? Anyway, on with the introducing.

I'm Bellwether. Or I play her. Sometimes I can't distinguish the difference, but it should suffice to say that Bellwether is a restoration druid. She's been through the wringer, that one. Started out with aspirations of Balance and moonkin dancing until realizing kitty form was being used more than wrath. A quick shift in the talent points and I was a pre-Burning Crusade rawr druid, who made a few mistakes along the way (like Improved MotW instead of Mangle...). I was all gung-ho into it, too. Very much loving the clawwing and the bleed and watching the people I slashed across the face die even after I was dead. I tasted a warlock's glory, for sure.

So, how did I turn from the carnage and satisfaction of a feral kitty to of a tree? If you could call it sedate. I wouldn't really, due to our mobile healing.

Well, it started with a simple goal of mine. That goal? A ram mount.

I had created my ickle Night Elf before they'd streamlined the rep gains for city factions, and she was my first character on my WoW account. This meant I did not know what I was doing at all. But when I saw those gorgeous rams, I knew I had to have one. Ironforge rep...was a dream for a while, but that dissolved. When I saw the Black War Rams, however...I was hooked.

And so, at level 60, I pvped. And PvPed. And pVped. And I began to notice something...

Why was no one healing?

I mean, I was in feral form and we didn't have the nice popping-out of forms we received in 2.3. So me healing was out unless I wanted to give some wimpy ones and kill my dps. And I really, really wanted that ram. So, I bit my lip and respec'd tree.

It was tough at first, but I slowly realized I loved it. I loved keeping people alive so they could kick ass, I loved the fact that I was generally the last to be targetted. I liked learning new places to hide so the enemy couldn't see me and would be so utterly confused as to why they weren't killing my comrades.

I loved being needed in instances, getting the heal gear and just being so useful. It complimented my patience and my easy-going manner so that even the PvE grind to 70 wasn't hellish. I was slower than the guild ferals and balance boomers, but so what? I was having fun.

Now I'm 70 and the No I In Alliance druid class officer. This blog was create to supply my ickle druids with information and because I like the neat WoWhead links (it's like a new toy). It's going to be mostly restoration focused, as that's what I know (and what a large part of our druids are) but I'm definitely going to add other spec information in here. I'll also add little fun randomness like my Care Bear post.

So, if you're here, enjoy. If you're not from No I In Alliance, thanks for stopping by. And if you're not and on Dark Iron (US) and want to join a guild that's casual and fun, we're recruiting! Especially priests, but everyone is great. But you know...priest shackle...Kara...

Well, enjoy the blog!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

What's So Wrong About World PvP?

A lot of people complain about world PvP. The profanity filter fills chat with interesting @#!$%'s and ^&*!'s when someone’s come out on the losing end of an attack, and I hear the dreadful moans of people when new zones like Zul'Aman open up or events like the Headless Horseman take us deep into Horde territory. There we know they'll be lying in wait, ready to chain-fear-stun-MS-DoT-PoM-Pyro us into oblivion. The odds are heavily against us in such situations, and, yet...

I love it.

Perhaps it's just in my nature to enjoy this clash of uneven proportions. When you go into an instance, you have some idea of what you're facing. You look up the dungeon, you know in general you need a tank and a healer and some dps and cc. You're going to pull some trash, the boss is going to have tricks up his sleeve. Fun, but it can become routine. Everyone knows to interrupt Dalliah’s heals right after she spins; it’s like clockwork. PvP, however, is a surprise. Unless you've memorized every armor graphic in all its colors and uses you can't always tell what you're up against. Is that priest a soon-to-be splatter of holy sparkles or are they going to suddenly turn purple and melt your face? Is this paladin going to be largely ineffectual yet take an hour to burn down or are you going to be hurting from super-buffed holy shocks? ...Is that a rogue in the bushes?

It's not always fair. You can be the ganker or the ganked. You can be in the middle of an epic battle and be sniped from a distance, utterly mutilating your storybook ending. But amazing things can happen as well. You can come across a rare elite, gather some guildies, and find that some Horde are now trying to take it down. You take them out and proceed to go about procuring the elite's pretty blue drop. And then the horde come back and assault your healer in the middle of the battle, and, amazingly, you kill them, all while your tank keeps aggro on the elite and you down that sucker for some nice boots. It's that kind of event that makes you love PvP servers.

Skeletons strewn all over the floor of Scarlet Monastary, outside of Karazhan and piled high on the Arena Vendor give testament to the blood thirst. Uneasy truces outside of the Coilfang instances end when some Hunter looses a single bullet and then no one is summoning, not until one side shows its dominance (generally whichever side has an SSC raid going that day). You learn who to avoid when you’re out by yourself. These are the same people you desperately want to introduce to the dirt someday and also have that tentative Sun Tzu-style respect for at the same time. In a way, you get to know players of the faction much better. I’ve learned the names of several Horde who were content to let me level on my own, even helping me or allowing me to help them. At the same time, I know who not to be caught in the same zone with, and who will spit on my corpse and do a little dance.

It spices up gameplay. How often have you killed that same group of clefthoof bulls? Odds are, more times than you care to remember or that even the most diligent psychoanalyst could dredge up from that wall of mental repression. Now, how often have you killed them while looking over your shoulder for that level 70 feral druid who desperately wants both the bulls and you dead so that he can complete his clefthoof set? It paints a slightly more frantic picture in your mind of quest completion and dodging the reaper. It also prevents the situation in which you need to report the unflagged prancing elf for ganking your quest objects after you unwittingly pulled the mobs away for him time and time again. Upset? Want some retribution? Smack him in the face with your hammer and grab your quest item. Problem solved.

If you have some aversion to dying or "wasting time" I could see how PvP could be annoying. If you don't like the uncertainty of winning or losing, PvP can be a hassle. And yes, ganking generally sucks, as does the fact that Horde primarily control elemental plateau when all you want are the mats for +81 healing to your shiny new mace. But the thrill of the come-from-behind win, the killing blow on the rogue who thought it would be easy to stab you from behind, or making three Horde chase you for over a minute away from the front of Kara all the way past the Vice and almost to the bridge, travel-forming, healing and abolishing poisons the whole way so your guildies can rez and summon your raid to thoroughly slam your pursuers’ faces once they return completely, in my mind, makes up for any bad experience to be found at Nessingwary's.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Restoration Level 70 Loot List (part 2)

Please note: previously listed instances drop their same loot in heroics with a few exceptions. To see what they drop, please check part one. I will mark them with an * so it is easy to tell which ones these are.

Watchkeeper Gargolmar
Cloak of the Everliving
Omor the Unscarred
Faol's Signet of Cleansing
Reinforced Fel Iron Chest
Raiments of Nature's Breath
Iridescent Fire Opal

Blood Furnace
Signet of Repose
Kel'idan the Breaker
Robe of Effervescent Light

Shattered Halls*
Luminous Fire Opal

Slave Pens
Earthsoul Britches
Swamplight Lantern
Royal Tanzanite

Swamplord Musel'ek
Crown of the Forest Lord
Swampstone Necklace
The Black Stalker
Ring of Fabled Hope

Steam Vaults*
Warlord Kalithresh
Pontifex Kilt

Mana Tombs
Band of the Crystalline Void
Nexus-Prince Shaffar
Lucid Dream Bracers
Warp Scarab Brooch

Auchenai Crypts
Shirrak the Dead Watcher
Scintillating Headdress of Second Sight
Exarch Maladaar
Light-Touched Stole of Altruism

Sethekk Halls*
Talong King Ikiss
Bands of the Benevolent
Blessed Tanzanite

Shadow Labs*
Shockwave Truncheon

Panthaleon the Calculator
Boots of the Pious

Imperial Tanzanite

Durable Fire Opal

Durnholde Keep
Lieutenant Drake
Lordaeron Medical Guide
Captain Skarloc
Dathrohan's Ceremonial Hammer
Pontiff's Pantaloons of Prophecy
Epoch Hunter
Cord of Sanctification
Necklace of Resplendent Hope

Dark Portal/Black Morass*
Nothing new (aka: not worth doing on heroic just for your own gear)

Sunday, December 9, 2007

For the Heal Chest

To get the Lifewarden's Breastplate, there is a series of quests you need to complete, ending in an elite who you will need a small group to complete.

The chain:
The Archmage's Staff is a quest in Netherstorm which you receive from Ravandwyr in Area 52. You will have to complete this quest, the next step (Rebuilding the Staff) and then the third step (Curse of the Violet Tower) to gain access to the actual chain which ends in the breastplate.

This quest is called Malevolent Remnants, is from the npc Custodian Dieworth, and is six steps long. The last quest is called Destroy Naberius and, after you kill him, you are rewarded with your leather healing chestpiece. Congratulations!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Restoration Level 70 Loot List (part 1)

This is just the beginning of a list; soon I will compare and contrast them all and see which is the absolute best. More to follow; I'm just tired.

Rep Rewards
Honored: Inscription of Faith
Exalted: Greater Inscription of Faith
Honored: Inscription of the Oracle
Revered: Seer's Cane
Exalted: Greater Inscription of the Oracle
Cenarion Expedition
Revered: Watcher's Cowl
Exalted: Windcaller's Orb
Honor Hold
Revered: Glyph of Renewal
Keepers of Time
Exalted: Bindings of the Timewalker
Lower City
Revered: Lower City Prayerbook
Exalted: Gavel of Pure Light

Instances (non-heroic)
Sethekk Halls
Darkweaver Syth
Light-Woven Slippers
Talon King Ikiss
Avian Cloak of Feathers
Hallowed Trousers

Shadow Labs
Ambassador Hellmaw
Idol of the Emerald Queen
Black Heart the Inciter
Moonglade Handwraps
Grandmaster Vorpil
Hallowed Pauldrons
Hallowed Garments

Hydromancer Thespia
Cloak of Whispering Shells
Warlord Kalithresh
Moonglade Shoulders

Shattered Halls
Warbringer O'mrogg
Jeweled Boots of Sanctification
Warchief Kargath Bladefist
Lightsworn Hammer
Hallowed Handwraps

Cache of the Legion
Vestia's Pauldrons of Inner Grace
Boots of the Glade Keeper
Mechano-Lord Capacitus
Hammer of the Penitent
Nethermancer Sepethrea
Cosmic Lifeband
Panthaleon the Calculator
Moonglade Robe

Commander Sarannis
Prismatic Mittens of Mending
Thorngrin the Tender
Runed Dagger of Solace
Mantle of Autumn
Warp Splinter
Bangle of Endless Blessings
Moonglade Cowl

Zereketh the Unbound
Cloak of Scintillating Auras
Wrath-Scryer Soccothrates
The Sleeper's Cord
Dalliah the Doomsayer
Lamp of Peaceful Repose
Harbinger Sykriss
Choker of Fluid Thought
Hallowed Crown

The Dark Portal/Black Morass
Chrono Lord Deja
Ring of Spiritual Precision
Epoch Mender
Moonglade Pants
Scarab of the Infinite Cycle

Monday, December 3, 2007

Healing Belts

In my opinion, the hardest piece of armor to find for a healing class, any healing class, is the belt. I've been running Arc over and over for The Sleeper's Cord and it hasn't dropped yet. And here I'm still wearing a green Boneshredder Belt of Healing that I bought off the Auction House at around level 68. I'm convinced Cord of Nature's Sustenance will drop before the Arc belt. So why is there such a problem with healing belts?

It often seems like waists and bracers are the most over-looked of items. It could be they're not as showwy as a chest or shoulders (shoulders are so telling of your armor that you can always tell who is a pvper and who is not thanks to them), or just that when you think of armor you don't often think of a think strip of leather around your waist. It might also be because they're less fun to design. Whatever the reason, there is a lack of good healing belts.

I perused wowhead to find some nice level 70, pre-kara belts. It includes cloth, as it is an option to us druids (though we don't always like to use it). This will hopefully help people struggling to find their options in this area. I did not include PvP as that would have made the list rediculously long.
This link will take you to all the level 70 druid pvp belts.

The Sleeper's Cord
Drop - Normal and Heroic Arcatraz - Wrath Scryer Soccothrates
Windhawk Belt
Crafted - 6xHeavy Knothide Leather, 16xWind Scales, 12x Primal Air, 2xPrimal Might, 1xPrimal Nether - You must be a tribal leatherworker to wear this item and you must craft it yourself
Please note: the Life-Step Belt has been removed as a heroic badge (60xBadge of Justice) reward and put into the ZA loot table.

Lifeblood Belt
Craftable - 5xBolt of Netherweave, 4x Knothide Leather, 3xPrimal Water, 3xPrimal Life, 2xNetherweb Spider Silk
(Edit: This item was removed from the game. Blizzard sucks. That is all.)
Cord of Belief
Drop - Heroic Slave Pens - Mennu the Betrayer
Primal Mooncloth Belt
Craftable - 4xPrimal Mooncloth, 2xNetherweb Spider Silk, 8xPrimal Life - You must be a Primal Mooncloth Tailor to wear this and you must make it yourself
Cord of Sanctification
Drop - Heroic Old Hillsbrad Foothills - Epoch Hunter

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Why You Cannot Transfer From PvE to PvP

(Written from the viewpoint of my Area 52 character, Funshinebear)

Hello, dear friends. This is Funshine Bear, your friendly neighborhood Care Bear coming through with an in-depth explanation for all of you who seem to want to transfer from the Kingdom of Caring and venture into those dangerous zones called “PvP Servers,” henceforth to be known as “the Land of the Meanie Faces and Bad Guys.”

Now, the Land of the Meanies Faces is home to those such as Professor Coldheart and Grizzle. They fight each other over Star and Heart buddies, hitting each other and just generally setting a bad example for children. Why do we allow these Bad Guys to come to the Kingdom of Caring? Well, that is simple! See, we believe in the Power of Friendship and also all things Good and Caring. And we want these Bad Guys to see the Love and Joy we have to share, and transform into Good Guys, perhaps even become Care Bears themselves, albeit Grumpy ones. Or, at the very least, Care Cousins! This is beneficial for all, as we can always use more Care Bears and Cousins to further the cause of caring!

For Care Bears wishing to go to the Land of the Meanie Faces, however, the trip is just not possible. And I will now explain why.

Many Care Bears aren’t aware of why these zones were created. You see, in the Kingdom of Caring (comprised of Care-A-Lot and the Forest of Feeling) we have what is called the “Caring Meter.” This Caring Meter measures the amount of caring in the world. This must always be full! So, we have to go out on caring missions to gather Star and Heart buddies. The Kingdom of Caring allows for quick and efficient gathering so that the Caring Meter never falls to a dangerously low level. In fact, Care Bears are the most efficient gatherers, not having to worry about the Meanie Faces and the Bad Guys. Though sometimes Grumpy Bear stirs up some trouble, we Care Bears can always make him smile or laugh and then continue on our way!

But, in the land of the Meanie Faces and Bad Guys, they, as mentioned before, actually hurt each other for Star and Heart buddies. This is bad behavior for a Care Bear and a Care Cousin, and they just cannot condone it, much less perpetrate the action themselves.

“But, Funshine, I want to go and help the Meanie Faces and Bad Guys see their wrong ways, and help them learn about caring and the Power of Friendship!”

I understand, friend. I truly do. It is a noble and righteous cause, one that Proudheart Lion would valiantly cry “Charge!” for. However, these Bad Guys and Meanie Faces won’t listen to a Care Bear or Care Cousin, or even a Good Guy Who Was Once Bad. They would rather hurt you for your Star and Heart buddies than listen to the wonders of caring. Also, there is one dark secret they hold deep in their soul, even more carefully than Secret Bear.

They are afraid of us.

You see, due to our law of caring in the Kingdom of Caring, we can gather Star and Heart buddies much faster than they can. They fight too much over who can have this one or that one that it takes twice or even three times as much work to get a Star buddy than we Care Bears have to work. That is fact, dear friends; Bright Heart Raccoon did the calculations. This quick gathering of buddies gives us quite an edge on the Meanie Faces and Bad Guys, along with our belief in caring and the Power of Friendship. That ultimate of abilities, that supreme enforcer of all that is Good: the Care Bear Stare.

The power of the Care Bear Stare would shatter the Land of the Meanie Faces and Bad Guys due to its high concentration of Anger and Sadness and Bad Words. Now, we Care Bears don’t want to annihilate our neighbors and would rather bring them to see the wonder of caring and the Power of Friendship, as well as the warmth of a warm snuggly hug. Therefore, I present to you this suggestion:

My fellow Care Bears, instead of petitioning to go to the Land of Meanie Faces and Bad Guys (as admirable as it is on your part to attempt such a good deed), encourage the Meanie Faces and Bad Guys you know to consider placing a symbol of Love and Joy on their tummies and making their way to the Kingdom of Caring. Do not cross the line into their Land; your Care Bear Stare will shatter their world, and that is not the way of caring.

Kara Druid Loot List

A druid in my guild asked if there was any loot for druids in Kara.

Check it out for yourself. Of course there is sweet druid gear. I think I got everything in this list though.

A word to you all...

I marked everything as to what type of druid would get the most from what is available. Of course, Balance and Resto can sometimes have interchangeable gear. However, what I marked as only one of them means that it is my opinion that that type of druid would get first dibs against other druids. This does not include things like rings, off-hands, weapons, necklaces, backs and trinkets where you will have to also compete against other non-leather wearing classes. I did not include cloth items

Trash Mobs
Ring of Unrelenting Storms
Balance druid
Zierhut's Lost Treads
Feral druid

Attumen the Huntsman
Bracers of the White Stag
Balance druid
Gloves of Dexterous Manipulation
Feral druid
Spectral Band of Innervation
Balance druid
Worgen Claw Necklace
Feral druid

Brooch of Unquenchable Fury
Balance druid
Edgewalker Longboots
Feral druid
Idol of the Avian Heart
Resto druid - idol (druid only)
Lucky Pocket Watch
Feral druid
Royal Cloak of Arathi Kings
Feral druid
Shadow-Cloak of Dalaran
Balance druid
Signet of Unshakable Faith
Resto druid

Barbed Choker of Discipline
Feral druid
Bracers of Maliciousness
Feral druid
Mitts of the Treemender
Resto druid
Shard of the Virtuous
Resto druid

Opera Event
Red Riding Hood's Cloak
Resto druid - Big Bad Wolf
Romulo's Poison Vial
Feral druid - Romulo and Julianne
Earthsoul Leggings
Resto druid - Any Opera Event
Ribbon of Sacrifice
Resto druid - Any Opera Event

Forest Wind Shoulderpads
Resto druid
Garona's Signet Ring
Feral druid
Staff of Infinite Mysteries
Balance druid
Gloves of the Fallen Defender
Any druid - Tier 4 Glove Token (druid, warrior, priest only)

Cord of Nature's Sustenance
Resto druid
Mender's Heart-Ring
Resto druid
Shadowvine Cloak of Infusion
Balance/Resto druid
Terestian's Stranglestaff
Feral druid - druid only
The Lightning Capacitor
Balance druid

Shade of Aran
Aran's Soothing Sapphire
Resto druid
Drape of the Dark Reavers
Feral druid
Pendant of the Violet Eye
Balance/Resto druid
Rapscallion Boots
Feral druid
Saberclaw Talisman
Feral druid
Shermanar Great-Ring
Feral druid

Chess Event
Bladed Shoulderpads of the Merciless
Feral druid
Forestlord Striders
Resto druid
Girdle of Treachery
Feral druid
Mithril Chain of Heroism
Feral druid
Ring of Recurrence
Balance druid

Cowl of Defiance
Feral druid
Jewel of Infinite Possibilities
Balance druid
Mithril Band of the Unscarred
Feral druid
Shining Chain of the Afterworld
Resto druid
Skulker's Greaves
Feral druid

Prince Malchezaar
Adornment of Stolen Souls
Balance druid
Farstrider Wildercloak
Feral druid
Jade Ring of the Everliving
Resto druid
Light's Justice
Resto druid
Nathrezim Mindblade
Balance druid
Ring of a Thousand Marks
Feral druid
Ruby Drape of th Mysticant
Balance druid
Stainless Cloak of the Pure Hearted
Resto druid
Helm of the Fallen Defender
Any druid - Tier 4 Helm Token (druid, warrior, priest only)

Chestguard of the Conniver
Feral druid
Emberspur Talisman
Resto druid
Nightstaff of the Everliving
Resto druid
Stonebough Jerkin
Resto druid
Talisman of Nightbane
Balance druid