Thursday, July 31, 2008

10 Rules For Young Druids

Elune-Adore. My name is Lassindra Nightwhisper. Some of you may know me as Palintera's mother. Palintera is a good girl, but I fear that, despite my best intentions, she is falling under the influence of certain individuals of Ill Repute. Therefore, I am writing this post to provide young druids with guidelines to help them avoid similar dangers.

My dear late husband Telnor, Elune watch his soul, was a druid, before he was lost at the Battle of Mount Hyjal. In our day, young women were discouraged from becoming druids and instead encouraged to pursue more feminine arts, such as needlepoint and dual-wielding swords. But in the nine years we had together, I learned many of the rules and requirements of being a druid, which I will now share.

1) Unless it is absolutely necessary to stay in an inn, when away from home druids should sleep in the woods. Under their own trees. What about places like the Burning Steps, where there are no trees? Druids shouldn't go there.

2) A druid should always rise before dawn and eat a hearty bowl of granola.

3) Tattoos, other than the traditional facial markings of Night Elf women, are completely inappropriate.

4) Piercings, whether of the ears, the nose, the bellybutton, or *ahem* anywhere else, are strictly forbidden. We are not, after all, Gnomes.

5) A druid's hearthstone should always point to Teldrassil or one of the provinces such as Darkshore or Ashenvale. Cities such as Ironforge and Stormwind reek of foreign influences and are no place for a young Elf. Do not get me started on Shattrath.

6) Proper hygiene is important. Not only yourself, but your bear and cat forms should receive monthly flea and tick baths. And remember to have your aquatic form checked regularly for mites.

7) Alcohol is a poison and damages your brain. Do not consume it.

8) It is permissible to be on speaking terms with Tauren druids. But never make the mistake of thinking of them as friends.

9) Running naked through the woods was an appropriate activity when almost all druids were men. But now that young women are becoming druids it can only lead to impure thoughts. And these can lead to impure actions, and you know very well what these can lead too.

10) Being a druid is a position of respect and honor amoung the Night Elf people. Never demean this position by referring to yourself by any of these new "hip" terms such as ferlol or lazer chicken. And you must never refer to yourself as Your Own Bottom! (Yes, Miss Windshadow, I'm looking at you. Don't forget your mother and I are in the League of Elven Needlepointers together)

If you simply follow these ten rules, you will have a long, successful, and happy career as a druid, and bring honor to your people. Instead of shame. I keep telling her this, and telling her, and telling her, but does she listen? No! Why should she? After all, I'm just her mother...

Goddess watch over you.

Bellwether is on vacation from the twenty-fourth to the fourth and appreciates your patience in answering all your comments and e-mails. Please enjoy these pre-scheduled posts and guest bloggers in the meantime!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Vacation Post: What is it About Hunters?

Despite anything Bellbell may have to say on the subject and the current (slightly confusing for others) legal battle between Druids and BRK, I do adore the hunter class.

I am now in the process of leveling Scary Murder Cow, a.k.a. Rums, who is my sixth hunter. I only play him with a friend (Friendly Helper Cow the druid, a.k.a. Lagers), and since I have little time lately to play him, he levels slowly and inefficiently, but it’s fun. He’s not level 10 yet, so no pet, but when he does reach that magic number I’ll be hunting down the Rake for my first pet.

However, I have a deep, sinking, I’ve-been-here-before feeling about this hunter.

You see, I have never been able to level a hunter past 17 before abandoning it. Not because I don’t love the hunter class; it’s fun to just do straightforward, send-the-pet-in-and-shoot-it DPS. It’s fun to play with traps and jump shots and concussive shots and all sorts of different tracking. No, my reason for having abandoned the hunter class a total of five times has been due to events besides enjoyment of a class.

Hunter One, a dwarf female named Katholen with a cute smile and red braided pigtails, was created on Cenarion Circle with a couple friends for the sole purpose of relaxing RP. However, a fallout occurred with one of the friends, and I ended up deleting Katholen and her bear, Brun, months after it was final that the fallout was not something the group could recover from.

My second hunter, a female Tauren, was made with other friends who wished to try out Horde side. We were all Tauren, and had planned on making a guild called , full of only Tauren. Unfortunately, no one ever seemed to want to play the cows at the same time (or didn’t have the same free time open), and so Dylana reached level 17, my highest level Horde character (and hunter) ever, got Echeyakee before I realized just how common the white lion was Horde-side, and then I played her perhaps once in four months if I wanted to try a little non-twinked Horde PvP.

My third hunter, Rums, was made because some friends were considering rerolling Horde. That fell through at around level 11.

Gesic was created for an RP server again; this time, Moonguard. However, my raiding career was shaky, the schedule kept being changed, and I never was able to make the events of the guild I had joined. I was removed, and Gesic was pushed aside. He did, however, run to Darnassus and get an owl, a feat I was incredibly proud of since it took forever. Later, I tried to play him with four other bloggers, but once again, clashing schedules caused his hiatus.

My fifth hunter, another Rums, was an attempt at reconnecting with my (now-ex)boyfriend. Obviously, it didn’t work, and I wasn’t going to keep that hunter around after the fact.

It seems I have bad luck when it comes to hunters, but perhaps someday I’ll be able to have a pet and kite and lay traps and do competent CC. My plan has always been to be a Survival hunter, but with WotLK I may have to go BM just so I can have a pair of pets. That sounds…intensely interesting, strategically (of course, it may all boil down to having two dps kitties…unfortunately uncomplicated)

Here’s to hoping!

Oh, and if you're wondering why the name "Rums" appears so much, it's because I want to name all his pets "Cokes." Rums and Cokes. Ha's funny, laugh.

Bellwether is on vacation from the twenty-fourth to the fourth and appreciates your patience in answering all your comments and e-mails. Please enjoy these pre-scheduled posts and guest bloggers in the meantime!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Vanity Fair and You: The Untold Story.

Oh hi, fellas! I suppose it's time for a more formal introduction. I'm Surazal of Dark Iron, Bell's home realm! If you decided to click on my name, you probably noticed that I am not only geared up in disappointing blues, but that I have also haven't played since last year! With that being said, I'd like everyone to know that I am quite aware that things may have changed in that time, and that my lack of raiding experience makes me an unreliable source in the first place. That's all right, though. This rant really applies to the trip to level 70, not raids.

So... TheoryCrafting, amirite? I'm not very familiar with the subject, considering I never actually read one, but they still grind my gears. The people who follow them like some kind of holy scripture do, anyway. In my... travels, or as I like to call it, my sitting in my room playing this game for a year, I experienced many jerkfaces who decided that they are better than everyone else because they learned how to play from reading Vanity Fair, or whatever they read that tells them how to play.

Well I'm not so sure it's something to be proud of.

The most rewarding part of this game for me was being good at what I do and the learning process that led me there. To me, it seems like people who open up Seventeen Magazine and read the "HOW2WoW PLZ" guide are just cheating. The most upsetting part about this cheating is that it usually produces characters that really only care about their own damage. "Oh, I don't use Curse of Elements or Shadows because they're a waste." "Oh, I only spec Arcane/Fire because being useful doesn't exactly have the DPS output that I desire." "Oh, I like hitting things with maces because -insert good rogue skill here- is not a good skill." (actually i've never quite understood the mace rogue theory, since it seems like they don't do damage and they're not stealthy. but i felt i should mention them because... because they are lolz, i guess)

Don't do that :[!

Now I'm not saying that every Cosmopolitan entry on WoW is rife with misinformation, but in my experience, everyone who ever said, "Hey I read about this spec..." ended up being absolutely horrible at their job in every way. Therefore I made up these horrible stories in my head that all guides everywhere tell people to spam shadowbolts and arcane blast and completely ignore everything except the numbers on the damage meters. If I happen to ever start playing again, I can modify my opinion, but for now I'm sticking to it!

Anyways. It's just very frustrating to see people be completely selfish in a teamwork-based game after 30 days of playtime. Are teen girl magazines to blame? Possibly. It really depends on whether I want to think that the WoW population is easily brainwashed, or just stupid and selfish.

Circumstances have called for an edit:
I'd like to be quite clear that I am not being mean to all research everywhere, nor am I picking on everyone who has ever done research for their class. I am only criticizing those who like to take all of their knowledge of their class from the internet without putting any thought into it. And yes, I fully understand that mages who don't sheep and warlocks who... are idiots exist regardless of their reading habits.
You'd understand if you had met Rick. ;-;

Monday, July 28, 2008

Need More Drood Forms

This be Ratshag, substitutionalizing fer the vacationized Bellwether. Hello, you buggers.

I's gonna be talking droodish stuff today, which be why I done borrowed some of Bell's gear. I ain't to sure about this chickenorc helm and shoulders - the feathers kinda tickles. The kilt is kinda likes though - not fer wearing into combat, of course, but fer hanging out at Bell's crib it ain't bad. Allows fer everything ta be kept cool and ventilated. Is much more comfortables than a felsteel codpiece. The beer? Is me favorite brew: Uncle Bonechewer's Day-Old Piss. Hadda bring me own - she don't keep it in her fridge. Although I tells ya, the stuff that girl keeps in her next-to-bottom drawer, you would not believe. Great googly moogly. But I digressifies.

Druids. They turns into animals, what be like the different classes of adventurers. Ya gots yer treeform which be like a priest, and yer moonkin what like a mage, cat form is rogue-like, and of course yer bear form, what be a real fuzzy warrior. That fast cat form is kinda like a hunter with Aspect of the Cheater on, and aquatic form is most like a ... uh ... marine biologist? I know, I know, there's differences - I's just talkin' in generals. Trees can't do bubbles, and cats can't pick locks, and bears can't drink whiskey outta a bottle withouts making a huckuva mess.

But that got me thinkin' about some of the other classes, and how I thinks there oughtta be other animal forms for to be like them. I explains you what I mean with examplizings:

Skunk form. Damage over time, fear, unloved by everybody. Would be just like a warlock.

Puppy form. Leaves droppings all over the floor fer the unwary - just like a shaman with totems.

Armadillo form. Plate armor, self-absorbed, not too bright and eats bugs. Perfect representation of the paladin class.

Chameleon form. Changes itself ta meet the needs of its immediate surroundings, for to gain an advantage. Is just like a druid ... umm.. wait a sec. That's all circular. Neverminds.

Anywho, you get the idea.

Bellwether is on vacation from the twenty-fourth to the fourth and appreciates your patience in answering all your comments and e-mails. Please enjoy these pre-scheduled posts and lunatic bloggers in the meantime!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Guest Post: Five Reasons I Play a Druid

Today's post is brought to you by Horns of Yet Another Warlock Nerf!

1. Easy leveling

Bear Form

Although many druids choose balance for leveling, smashing mobs as feral is much easier. Once you get your cat form at level 20, it becomes a breeze. Casting an occasional heal on yourself is enough to keep you going without any downtime. After level 42 (or 47, depends if you like Furor or not) with Improved Leader of the Pack you rarely need to rest, and you'll be killing elites and soloing group quests like no other class. But it gets better when you get Mangle - that is without doubt the best talent you will ever get for feral druids, so good you won't be using Claw ever again. With decent items from Outland, you'll be unstoppable.

2. Stealth

Cat Form

I tried leveling some other classes after my druid but could never stick to it, partially because of Prowl. Of course, I did manage to get my rogue to 67, and hopefully some day to 70. Those quests when you have to kill that Mr. Big Ogre at the back of that cave with 30 other ogres standing in your way become so much easier.

3. Versatility

Tree of Life, Travel & Robot Forms
Although druids in their forms are not supposed to be as strong as other classes, they're pretty darn close. With proper gear, you can be anything you want: a very strong meat shield with plenty of health, a furry kitten who can DPS almost as good as a rogue, a fat feathery bird with awesome nukes even mages frown upon, or a tree-like creature with the wackiest dance ever.
Looking for a tank for instances? No problem. Need a DPS? Invite! Whatever you choose to be when you grow up, you will always have a place in groups and raids. Ok maybe we can't be some fancy robots, but we're working on it.

4. Crowd Control

Moonkin Form

While we're not known to be the best class to crowd control, we still do have our moments. Hibernate is rarely used, but there's always a beast or two around which needs to take a nap - why fight two when you can fight one. Cyclone, the notorious spell which caused much uproar, is probably the second most annoying crowd control in game - Fear obviously being the first. We can even Charge our enemies to immobilize them and interrupt their spell casts, and if that fails we can Bash the living hell outta them. Kitty druids can Pounce and Maim to keep their targets from staining their fur. But that's not all: Entangling Roots and it's young sister Nature's Grasp will make sure our nemesis stay exactly where we want. In Wrath, we can even cast it indoors - who needs mages anyway.

5. Flight Form

Flight Form

The only instant cast mount will make sure you never die if you miss the elevator at Aldor Rise. We even get it 2 levels before anyone else, which makes roaming around Blade's Edge Mountains a whole lot easier. And the best part: if you picked up Herbalism like myself, you can gather herbs without the need to dismount. Now that's epic.

There you go, my top 5 reasons why I love and play a druid. I could probably write 50 reasons, but nobody would read that. You're most welcome to comment and tell the world what you like about druids.

Bellwether is on vacation from the twenty-fourth to the fourth, and appreciates your patience in answering all your comments and e-mails. Please enjoy these pre-scheduled posts and guest bloggers in the meantime!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Needs More Locks

Hey. I want an introduction post before I start throwing madness all around, as well.

As it turns out, our dearest Bellwether left me the keys to her blog, too. While I'm certainly not as exciting as my co-blogger, Ratshag, I'll still leave you with that deep remorse in the pit of your heart. I will still make you wonder, "Where is Bellwether and why did she give him blogging privileges?" Don't worry, I'll still try to at least touch on trees, but don't you expect me to do a good job.

Oh yes. This'll be an amazing 4 Haelz adventure.

Bellwether is on vacation from the twenty-fourth to the fourth and appreciates your patience in answering all your comments and e-mails. Please enjoy these pre-scheduled posts and lunatic bloggers in the meantime!

Need More Haelz

So. That tasty piece of elfflesh Bellwether done went vacationizing, and left me the keys to her blog. I'll have some really good stuff ta say in the next week what ain't got nuthins ta do with tree healing, but first! I's gonna go rummage around 'til I find where she keeps the really goooood herbs.

We'll see if she ever lets me back in again.


Bellwether is on vacation from the twenty-fourth to the fourth and appreciates your patience in answering all your comments and e-mails. Please enjoy these pre-scheduled posts and guest bloggers in the meantime!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Vacation Post: Collage Time Again!

I haven't done one of these in a while, and I thought it would be a fun little thing to leave for you while I'm packing and driving and picking people up from airports and more driving and finally vacation relaxing and lacking internet access. Enjoy! (Mouse-over the pictures for more information)

Bellwether is on vacation from the twenty-fourth to the fourth and appreciates your patience in answering all your comments and e-mails. Please enjoy these pre-scheduled posts and guest bloggers in the meantime!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Foshizzle My Druizzles! For Solidarity!

This is your standard news post from me, Bellwether. Yay!

First of all, I mentioned earlier that I'd be going away for a while at the end of July. Ten days or more, in fact, and the odds are I'll have little internet. I'm working on posts to go up in the meantime, but I'm wondering two things:

  • Would anyone like to make guest posts on here at that time?
  • Would anyone like to post articles I had written for me at that time?

Obviously, any who apply will need a blogger account so I can give them author access. If you'd like to help me out while I'm on vacation, send me an e-mail, grab me on Skype or AIM. The information is all on the right-hand-side underneath the tree in the pot. You can ask other people who've contacted me; I don't bite! (Insert "bark is worse than bite" pun here)

For those of you who want to understand the title, check Here, then Here and most importantly Here. We druids are well-known for presenting a united front.

In fact, I now encourage every druid blogger to make a post with "Foshizzle" either in the title or body of the text. We are many, we are powerful, let our voices be heard! And let them be heard to be saying "Foshizzle!"

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Bellbell Writes a Letter

Dear Bigredkitty,

I don’t normally do this, but Bellwether tells me that my normal method of axe-to-the-face isn’t going to work with you. Besides you being much more experienced than me with better gear and more levels and some sort of enlarged crimson feline, you can most likely destroy my face for the exact reason I’m writing you. I’m also supposed to be “polite” because Bell is friends with some of your friends and blah blah blah I stopped listening to her at some point.

Anyway, so I was in STV and I met this Blood Elf hunter. “Met” as in, I was killing a gorilla and she sent her stupid pet after me. I don’t even remember what kind of pet, because I didn’t care about it. I just cared about tracking that hunter down and smashing her face in. And even though she ran from me, I have Pursuit of Justice and two stuns, so catching up was as easy as sharpening my axe. But I ran into a problem.

She froze me. I was a giant icicle! And then she fled. She fled to the goblins and I could only take my frustrations out on the next druid, rogue, warrior and priest I met. The same who later joined forces to destroy me, because apparantly they can't take me on their own.

Not only that, but she did it again later, running to the goblins again!

Now, you may think, “What’s this got to do with me?” But I’m sure you know exactly what it has to do with you, sir. You know, I generally think of you as a fine, upstanding member of the Alliance, with that thing that you do. I’m sure it’s surgery or professory or something, because I don’t know how else all these hunters are losing the rocks in their heads, and it’s all very admirable, ra, ra. Pom poms. Woo.

But I find such things as this and this to be questionable in nature. Gloating about killing a paladin? Teaching people how to kite melee dps cough paladins cough? My, my. The only redeeming nature of the one article is that it’s a Blood Elf that you killed, and everyone knows they need to be put out of their misery. The druggies will just go through withdrawal at some point anyway. Better to save them the misery, yeah? Plus, it’s great fun to watch them squeal about their nails and their hair and oh my GAW that was PRADA.

Anyway. So. Yeah. I guess what I’m saying is either make your blog Horde-proof or stop blogging about kiting paladins. It’s bloody annoying to be kited by a hunter, especially when I would just need to catch up and you'd be sucking dirt through a straw.

Bellwether is telling me not to add threats to this. She says I can’t carry them out and its undiplomatic and won't accomplish anything. Since I can't kick her butt yet and she is the captain, I have to say PLEASE.

She also says its ridiculous to even ask, but then again she made a fuss about the bloodstains on the letter. I told her it wasn’t my blood, but for some reason that didn’t reassure her.

Anyway. So yeah, that’s it.


P.S. Bellwether told me not to post the letter with the blood on it. She gave some sort of excuse like “It’s hard to read” but I thought it drove the point home better. Feh.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Hmm, This Situation Looks Familiar

So, not too long ago, I told you about joining Sunder, I’ve been talking about my raiding, my guild firsts, my problems with an encounter…

And now it’s done.

Like many such guilds, Sunder could not overcome the summer-attendance boss. On Monday night, a mass exodus occurred with a majority of the main raiders leaving to join Overrâted, a guild progressed into Sunwell with a few static raid spots open. But only a few. Others joined merely to follow their friends or for the mere chance at getting into a raid, which was, sadly, more than Sunder was able to offer at that point.

So, what did I do?

Well, at the moment, I’m still hanging out in Sunder. I have no hard feelings for those who left, and I’m happy for those of them who are going to get to see Illidan, probably Thursday night, for the first time. A few have already been in Sunwell. That’s great for them.

My personal decision at this point…is to have none. In about a week, I will be sans-internet for about ten or more days. There’s no way to say “Yes, I would like entry, and a static raid spot, but, ah, could you wait for a few weeks for me? Yeah, thanks.” At least, no way to do it and be taken seriously.

Besides this, my step-siblings have arrived from Ireland, and it is now my weekday job to watch them from about 6am to 5pm, or, basically, whenever-they-wake-up to whenever-a-parent-gets-home. Not only that, but my new puppy requires constant supervision even though he is learning very quickly to scratch at the door when he needs to go out and not to chew on everything with an end. Most Dark Iron raiding guilds raid from around 9 PM to 1 PM my time, which was really great for me when I didn’t have to get up early, because it allowed me family time after painting walls and balancing checkbooks and perhaps a short nap. Now, however, it would only allow me maybe five hours of sleep, and certain people think that’s unhealthy for me (I do too, but don’t tell them).

So, I’m kind of stuck. I don’t want to transfer servers, really. I’ve spent a lot of time getting to know people on Dark Iron, making friends, maybe enemies (but I’m not sure). You get used to a server, you know who runs good organized Battlegrounds, who the good tanks are, where the enchanters are…you know, when you get comfortable in a place? But, really, it’s the people.

I’m considering, once I get back, seeing if any of the SSC and TK level raiding guilds would like to take me in a pinch. I still need my Vial Remnant from Vashj, and I’d like to finish the BT attunement. Since I skipped the whole Tier 5 raiding scene but Lurker pre-Sunder, it’d be a great new experience for me. As a bonus, the guilds wouldn’t have to worry about me wanting to take gear from their druids, as there are few upgrades for me in that tier of raiding (past new shoulders, I suppose). It would be new experiences, meeting new people, and hopefully I could find guilds who need me on occasion and with earlier raiding times.

Who knows? Bellbell is getting antsy now that she’s got the blood flowing again, Feralicious is getting more involved with Pali, and Scary Murder Cow…er, Rums…has joined the crew. I still don’t have epic flight form, and there’s plenty more to do. I’ll have more time to get my PvP on, so, we’ll just have to see.

Will be an adventure, I’m sure.

At this time, I pause to relive an old memory…

[Trysten] Moon forgot to yell last night.
[Trysten] Its why we had to call the raid.
[Mooneth] hah
[Bellwether] Heh
[Bellwether] sorry, I'll mess up more or something next time
* Trysten nods
[Trysten] Make sure you do.
[Bellwether] You could always make something up.
[Bellwether] I've gotten yelled at for things I clearly didn't do so many times.
[Bellwether] Oh. Okay. I'll do that next time.

Good times.

Monday, July 14, 2008

I Made a Friend!

Perhaps my favorite part of PvP is the uncertainty of encounters with the opposite faction. Will they attack? Will I attack? Will we just pass by? Who knows! Exciting.

But, anyway, I was down in the Caverns of Time, checking out the price on Timelapse Shard (much too expensive for the rare times I would use it), and, out of nowhere...

WOOSH. Stunned. What's this? An Undead Warrior...? Oh no. I'm totally dead.

...wait. Wait. That's all he's hitting me for?

I do a quick check. All right, he's in Thrust, so he's in the top Horde guild on our server. And he has...oh. He has Illidan's shield. So, he's a tank, one of their main tanks, to have that shield (then again, they've been farming Illidan so long he could be an alt; I wouldn't know any better), and he's obviously spec'd prot at the moment. His damage is...laughable. Like, "Oh, um, I guess I'll Lifebloom now" laughable. The 2k crit from what I suppose was a shield slam hurt a bit, but I just hit Rejuv and sort of...stood there.

I hit him with an Insect Swarm and almost a Moonfire when I stopped. Poor thing was just like me, unable to kill anything. Though, I honestly could have killed him. But, I waited. He did a /cry. I did a /soothe and then, coming to a quick decision, I asked him to /wait.

He backed off, probably curious about what I was going to do. Well, I opened Outfitter and went to the rarely used option called "Birthday Suit." And then suddenly I was wearing nothing but my tabard, rings and trinkets.

He laughed, and I sat down. What followed after was short and bloody and I walked back to my corpse. When I rezzed, I redressed in my armor, and he showed me his Bear Mount. I showed him Bear Form, being not in posession of a Bear Mount. Then we had a picnic, and a campfire, and I told him a few jokes and he laughed. His Shaman friend ran by and laughed at us, but I wasn't mowed down in the three seconds it would have taken that Enhance Shammy to cut through my PvE gear. After a few minutes, I waved good-bye, he returned the gesture, and I hearthed to Shatt.

I think I made a friend! Maybe, for life?


Friday, July 11, 2008

New Talent Trees: I am SO Excited

So, Wowhead put up the new talent trees (as I'm sure everyone is aware of by now), and I've been playing with them. I've had very little internet time as of late, which is why I feel a bit tardy to the party, but I have to say:


A lot of this stuff is crazy. I can see Moonkins becoming actual vital parts of raids instead of the liability lots of raiding guilds see them as. Still no talented threat dump, but perhaps a trainable one will appear. Otherwise, I can see it still being difficult to get them into raids without gimping their dps at times to keep from pulling aggro. There's also a sort of odd jump for them in the Restoration tree if they want "Master Shapeshifter" - They'll need to take a few points in either a distinctly feral or distinctly resto talent to get there, which isn't optimal at all. I can plainly see a few "PvP" talents, such as "Owlkin Frenzy" which works off the player taking damage.

Ferals are getting scary. Looking at what they can do, I can't imagine there will be too much Arena QQ. The ability to remove all loss of control effects on your character and be immune to them for the duration of "Berserk"? Adding an infected wound, being able to hit up to three targets with Maul and Mangle, being refunded energy for a miss on a finishing move...just intense, imo.

The Restoration tree does not disappoint either. Especially with one certain thing I noticed...

There is no longer any movement impairment effect in the Tree of Life tooltip.


There's a little blip in the talent progression: If you take Imp MotW and Nature's Focus, then Subtlety and Natural Shapehifter, followed by Intensity and Master Shapeshifter, and then take Improved Rejuvenation, you are left needing one talent point in something to progress further down the talent tree. Since ToL still doesn't have Healing Touch available to it, there's a question as to where you put this free-floating point.

The first thing I thought of when I saw the talent "Replenish" was the Reliquary of Souls fight, with the Essence of Anger. The tank in that fight has to dump their mana/rage as fast as possible, as Anger does an attack which burns it from them and gives them a high amount of damage. If there are any fights where this occurs, having the "Replenish" talent could actually be a detriment. Though, of course, I'm sure these situations would probably be few in number.

Overall, I'm excited to try each and every one of these trees when WotLK comes out, and I can't wait until I'm healing with a Flourish.


Monday, July 7, 2008

Opting In

Well, there it is. I have officially opted in. Last time, I didn't know how, and I wasn't even 60, but perhaps I'll get in this beta!

Here's hoping!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Bellbell: A (Re)Introduction

Most of you don't know me, and even more of you didn't even know I existed until just now. My name is Bellbell, and I'm the highest level member of Bellwether's crew under Bellworker herself. 'M not as into the whole pirating thing as the Pirate Queen, who seems to be enjoying picking fights with goblins these days, but I wouldn't say no to taking down a ship or two. Though that's kind of going off on a tangent and it seems necessary that perhaps I be a bit more professional here. *snerk*

Like I was saying. I'm Bellbell, and I'm a Retribution Paladin. I once had a little space to myself where I said I was going to be a Shockadin, but I didn't take care of it so Bellwhiner took it away. Said it was obviously too much work for me and that, if I had something to say, I could just say it here.

I don't know what she's thinking. I'm not the best at healing (though, unlike some Paladins, I haven't forgotten that I can), and I'm certainly not some pine-scented woodland frolicker. I'm also pretty lazy. I leave all the technique stuff up to other people unless I get in some sort of responsible mood. Ha.

Last time I talked about myself, I was massacring the denizens of Scarlet Monastary with some help from friends, piecing together a pretty red set and content to just chill out at 39 and smack some Horde in the face in a Warsong or Arathi every once in a while. Bellwether was busy pretending she'd ever see past Karazhan. I guess it worked because she got there, but this isn't about her. For once.

Anyway, things happened, comrades retired, and I'm left sitting in an empty guild with an obsolete guild tag. I drop that like a bad habit and I'm a free agent, and I'm thinking I may stay this way. Guildies chattering away in your ear doesn't let you savor the death throes of your enemy, you know? Life was pretty easy.

But one day Bellwhatever charges into my room in the Ironforge inn (I'm sure it has a name, just as I'm sure I don't care enough to learn it) and sort of dumps me on my butt. She can get scary, even if she is some sort of healer. Then she goes on about how she's tired of doing all the work for the crew and we have to start pulling our own weight or no more cherry-flavored health potions and lazy days of Horde killing.

Now I pointed out she was taking away my lazy days anyway by making me go out and do something, but you know how it goes. I lost the argument, grumbled, picked up my axe, and went back to Dustwallow.

For the record, I hate swamps. Grime and muck and moss and mold squooshing between the cleft in my hoof ain't exactly comfortable. And I had gotten soft and lazy, but I eventually picked myself back up and could cut through things again. Solid things that go SCHLUCK when you pull your axe out of them.


I gained my pony, Princess Sparklebutt, and some Paladin Bellwhimsy has been making eyes at ripped apart that place with the pigmen (I'd been there before with a Rogue, but I had somehow found even more quests for that stank hole), and then he pushed me over to Desolace to get quests for some horribly convoluted place called Maraudon.

I need to rename my pony, as I can never think about the name "Princess" in the same light again. Gag-me-with-a-spoon-and-stab-me-with-a-fork, but that...elemental, I guess...was just deformed. The fact that she actually procreated makes my libido want to kill itself.


I was originally doing Jewelcrafting, which seemed like a good idea at the time. But I kept wrecking gems with bad cuts, and going to the Exodar everytime I needed a skill was just plain hassle. I had to take boats and gryphons and hippogryphs just to get there. And then I'd get there and the guards would be all "oh no, she's back again" with the faces and the looks.

I flunked Paladin school, did you know?

Something about Justice and Right and Protect the Weak and blah, blah, blah. I have an axe, I introduce it to Horde face. It seems to work well enough so far. Everything else is pretty much complication.

That orc guy Ratshag has been wandering around in some buff Draenei suit as of late, but I'm sure he's having some sort of identity crisis by this point. Don't even know if he's really Horde anymore, to be honest.

To continue, I hated Jewelcrafting, but I didn't know what else to pick up. Professions are kind of a pain in my opinion, but Bellwarning says it's obvious no one will ever want me, so I have to learn to fend for myself. She was kidding, I think, but just to be safe...I picked up Engineering.

Which of course, for a lazy gal like me, was probably the worst choice ever. I had to make four trips around Elwynn to mine copper. Everything takes copper. I do like the bombs. Quite handy if I want something to come to me.

Don't know what the point of telling you all this was, though. Bellwriter thought you might be interested to know about me; I think she's off her rocker. Expect to see me around a bit more in either case, whether I want to be here or not. Gotta do what the boss-lady says, amirite?

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

A Rebuttal for Bear

Now, after reading, rereading, making some French toast, and reading once more Bear’s latest rant (and saving it into a Word document so I could refer to it again), I’ve taken a deep, calming breath, and have this to say:


I disagree.


Upon further deliberation, I decided perhaps I should give reasons behind why I disagree with his attack upon the PvP system. Well, not “attack,” per se, but rather him “calling it out,” as it were. And it's going to crit your face by way of length, so hold on.

The PvP system is not bullshit. I repeat, it is functioning. And is, dare I say it, a good idea.

Perhaps I have a different mindset. I started on a PvP server, and I actually love it. I have to wear PvP gear when I go to highly populated areas such as the Isle, and I do take dirt naps far more often than I help others get to sleep. When I play on my PvE servers, I do notice that whenever the conversation turns towards PvP, so many people view it as a chore rather than just a different way to play, a different and fun facet of the game, that I just say how I like it, give some tips, and then kind of excuse myself from the conversation quietly. However, this does not change the importance behind understanding the PvP system, as well as its lack of male cow fecal matter.

If you look at the disparity between Season 1 gear and the new Brutal’s set (hell, even the Vengeful set), you will see that there is an expansive gulf, just as there is between Heroics and Kara versus Sunwell epics. Already, people in S1 gear had a very difficult time in Arenas against Vengeful and Merciless players. With the advent of Brutal gear, S1 is virtually obsolete. Going into an Arena match with S1 will get you cut up like paper. If they had not added Merciless to the battlegrounds, a few things would happen:

  • The gulf between the top end Arena players, the good, the bad, and the new would widen a great deal.
  • A fresh level 70 would have little to no way to compete in arenas. Not with any prayer of advancement, anyway.
  • PvE high-end raid gear would, as in pre-BC, begin to trump that gear gained by PvP

I absolutely hate the mindset that PvP gear are “welfare epics.” I cannot stand it. Especially not now, when you can turn in tier tokens for PvP gear, when you can purchase PvP gear with badges, when you can entirely skip a tier of raiding thanks to badge gear. If running through BGs is welfare, why isn’t badge gear?

That last item, the skipping of an entire tier of raiding, I know personally about. Without seeing any boss past Lurker in SSC and never setting foot in TK, I received a spot in my current guild, Sunder (which, at the time, was 4/5 Hyjal and 5/9 BT), and am currently their only regularly raiding Restoration Druid. I had been to Gruul’s maybe four times, and downed Magtheridon perhaps twice. But I farmed Kara for four or five months. That will do you a lot of good, in the long run.

For Restoration Druids, the new 100 badge pants are arguably better than the pants which drop off of Shade of Akama in Black Temple. The 60 badge shoulders are the best shoulders until Void Reaver in TK. Druids in Sunwell guilds are still using the 41 badge healing trinket. I know, I’ve seen it. I didn’t agree with her gemming choice, but I definitely took note of her trinket.

41 badges. That’s two weeks of full Kara clears with a badge leftover for kicks, and it functions through Sunwell.

Being in T6 with T6 gear does not automatically equate competency. Just about every single day in guild chat someone laments another raider’s gear choice and enchants, or their wasted talent points. I’ve seen druids better geared than me with straight +healing gems (that’s all; no spirit, no intellect, just straight plus healing) and a load of talents only partially filled.

Now. I do not agree with Amanda Dean. I actually am not too over-fond of her, especially regarding her somewhat snobby attitude in general. I do not believe PvP > PvE or vice-versa. I do disagree with another of your points, though, Bear.

Technically, I run raids with PvPers. My server is PvP. Our MS/Slam warrior had a 2k rating, we had, at one time, an excellent mage with the “Grand Marshall” title, our MT has the “Justicar” and “Duelist” title, and our best Paladin, Sharlet, has three pieces of the Brutal Gladiator set after the first week of Season 4, not to mention (if I recall correctly) the new belt, boots and bracers, only available through the BG honor grind. He also very recently explained to me why different ranks of Starfire were better than max rank (in PvP and PvE situations), he can tell you exactly what rank of Holy Light to use in certain situations, he can give you a proper DPS rotation for your rogue, tell you how to gem and enchant your Feral Tanking set, and give you the location and level requirements for almost every quest in the game. And he can, with a Holy, not Shockadin, but Holy spec, grab you by the scruff of your neck, slam your face into the dirt, rub your nose in the mess that is your skill and make you wish you had no idea that WoW existed, let alone PvP. With his raiding Holy spec and his Prot gear, he tanks Hyjal trash.

PvP does teach you a lot about what other classes are capable of, in a sense, as well. And that’s not helpful to face other players in a PvE setting, per se, but to work with them. This is to a limited extent, since PvP requires different rotations, more reaction/prediction than memorization and often different specs. However, though chain trapping is more difficult in PvP, I cannot see how a hunter so skilled at ice traps that a warrior is stuck powerless while they burn down the one healer at the node and then rip into their CC’d target cannot handle a distracting shot on a mob.

It most certainly does teach mana conservation. If you are out of mana in a BG, you are dead, unless you can find somewhere to hide and drink. You win nodes by your healer outlasting their healer (if people forget about the “kill the healer” rule, anyway). You have to know when to pot, when to run, to move out of the AoE, so on, and so on, and so forth. You know, “don’t stand in the fire”?

Fights like the Priestess fight in Magister’s Terrace and the Illidari Council are made immeasurably easier by people having been exposed to PvP and who can keep their cool in a chaotic, unpredictable situation.

And yes, Battlegrounds do let you “coast” to an extent, to get gear. However, the grind is eternally longer the worse you are at cooperation, just as getting your raid drop/badge gear will take inexorably longer (unless you’re extremely lucky, and in that case you can be terribad and very lucky) if you don’t work together or don’t know your class. But you can actually gain far better gear, in most cases, by farming badges than by farming Honor, if your goal is to be a PvE raider, and you don’t get looked at funny by your raiding guild.

Cooperation is actually paramount in BGs, and you can make the grind short and pleasurable the better you are at it, just as in raiding. In fact, the fastest, most efficient way to gain honor is to download Preform AV, make sure you have working Vent, and join a premade/org. Even trade-chat-formed premades can function together and take BGs by storm. In these you learn to take directives, often from a stranger, work with people you hardly know to take down an unpredictable enemy, and utterly decimate EotS in under eight minutes for an intense amount of honor. And, just like in PvE, you have to learn the strategies each BG requires and adjust it according to what players you have.

And, unlike in a raid, if someone isn’t pulling their weight, you can flag them afk or alert a GM, and they can lose all their PvP gear and their privilege to fight. You tell a GM someone is just wanding in a raid while gloating about their new epic shoulders of pwn and you’ll probably just get laughed at.

The nature of BGs themselves are changing as well. Throw someone into one with PvE gear, and you might as well lock them in a room by themselves with Nightbane. A PvE geared person stands little chance against someone in Vengeful or Brutal. Blue rep-PvP gear or S1? You’re still going to struggle. Without making Merciless available by honor grind, you’re ensuring many people’s times in both BGs and Arena are full of bloody, painful death and a slow, unrewarding grind.

That secret conversation you have regarding the PvP-geared members of your Kara Pug? I’m quite certain that when you stroll into a BG with PvE gear on, you get the same treatment. Because, let’s face it, PvE gear is not for PvP, except in certain cases (and it’s best to learn that there will always be exceptions that go both ways). I’ve had to gem and enchant PvP gear for PvE, and I’ve seen people gem and enchant PvE gear for PvP and do quite well. Bosses in Shattered Halls and Botanica and I’m sure others drop weapons with resilience on them; those are decidedly PvE instances.

A hunter I ran Kara with a lot back in my old guild was full PvP gear, both arena and that which you buy with honor, and he kicked ass on the meters and CC.

And, I cannot stress this enough: If your main hatred for BGs is the few asshats who spew profane and idiotic garbage, learn to use two tools: your profanity filter and “report spam.” If you put on your profanity filter, every word showcasing someone’s lack of vocabulary and ingenuity comes out in neat little symbols like this: !@#$%. And if you report someone for spam, they get ignored without filling up your ignore list. I play with my profanity filter on; it’s both functional and hilarious, especially when your guild finds out and wants to play the “is this censored?” game. Report spam is quick and easy; and if they’re filling up BG chat with caps and franticness and freak-outs, what else is it, really?

Merciless gear through honor not bullshit. It’s only bullshit to people who dislike Battlegrounds because you want something you can’t get without it or don’t want to raid for. It’s like how my feral friend hates raiding. He covets the gear from some of the bosses, but he finds raiding too monotonous and predictable. So, he only PvP’s, and mostly only BG’s, as he can only log in during odd, inconsistent times. He has done Heroics for badges. He’s complained that he doesn’t like it, but he doesn’t call it bullshit. Yes, feral druids are in a unique position with their gear requirements, but I know Paladins like gladiator gloves, that rogues like the arena weapons, and hunters like the axes. And, perhaps the greatest practical joke of all: the +15 resilience to chest drops from doing PvE. A two minute trinket is required by my guild for Winterchill and Archimonde (and at only 8k honor, it’s hardly something horribly painful to grind out), but every applicant who wears other PvP gear gets questioned as to why they have it over better PvE gear or badge gear.

And, honestly, if you don’t want to do T5 level content, why do you feel you need the gear? In some cases, it will actually gimp your threat generation as well as making your rage bar slow to fill. I know plenty of tanks, of all classes, who take gear off just so they can tank better.

And, now that I have written this, painted a wall and a deck, reread it, taken a shower, reread Bear’s post and added more to mine, let me say, with confidence:

They’re two different grinds. The gear from each can be used interchangeably, to an extent. You can get gear for either-or through one of the grinds, to an extent. Some of one is needed for the other, to an extent. You can coast through both for good rewards, to an extent. They both teach valuable skills that can be utilized in the other, to an extent. Both require cooperation and teamwork to get done in a reasonable amount of time, to an extent.

Neither one is bullshit.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Restoration Raiding Consumables

Yes, it’s another of those posts. Inspired by Bear’s consumables post for Feral tanks, I want to take an in-depth look at all consumables available to a Restoration Druid. There’s a variety of these things to choose from, so let’s get cracking, shall we?

Elixirs and Flasks
For at least every boss fight, and perhaps some of the trash, you’re going to want either both a Battle Elixir and Guardian Elixir or a two-hour Flask. Generally, Flasking is cheaper, especially on new content, while Elixir combinations are more powerful, but fade when you die. It’s often a good idea that, if you expect to die a lot with little or no progress, Flask. Let’s take a quick look at all your options available to you.

Battle Elixirs
Elixir of Healing Power – This is hands-down the best Battle Elixir you can chug. It’s a straight-up +50 healing to you, and everyone loves the higher healing. However, when WotLK rolls around, it seems like…
Adept’s Elixir - …this sort of elixir may be a better all-around choice. Phaelia revealed that critting with heals will give a great bonus to a Tree’s spells. Though I am sure WotLK will bring all new alchemy recipes, including probably a better version of this. Still something to consider bringing along if you run out of mats for Healing Power; it does have a bonus of +24 healing.

Guardian Elixirs
Draenic Wisdom – Thanks to the changes in mana regen from patch 2.4, this has become the premiere raiding Battle Elixir. Increasing both your Intellect and Spirit by 30 helps your mana regen, increases your mana pool, and adds about 7 +healing to your tree aura. A triple threat!
Elixir of Major Mageblood – This elixir is a straight 16 mp5. If you’re going to be out of tree form for a while, this is arguably a better Elixir for the job than Draenic.
Elixir of Major Fortitude – Sometimes, you just need a boost to your health. Many upper level encounters have large AoE burst damage you just cannot mitigate, such as Naj’entus in BT, who deals an unavoidable 8k+ of pain when you burst his bubble. If you don’t have enough stam, consider bringing this along for 250 extra health and 10 hp5.

Flask of Distilled Wisdom – There is some debate over this Flask. After 2.4, an increase in Intellect is an increase in the mp5 benefit of Spirit. This also has the added benefit of giving you a larger mana pool, which is almost as good as mp5. And for fights like Kaz’rogal, where your mana is drained and a lack of mana to drain results in someone exploding for over 10k damage, starting with a bigger mana pool can never hurt.
Flask of Mighty Restoration – This is a straight-up, no math required addition of 25 mp5 to your mana pool. This is a huge amount of straight mp5, so if you’re down on this vital stat this isn’t a bad flask to pick up.
Shattrath Flask of Mighty Restoration – This flask is exactly the same as the above mentioned buff, but it can be purchased using a Mark of the Illidari from those snooty guys in your Scryer or Aldor bank. However, you must be exalted with either the Scryer or the Aldor, the Sha’tar, and the Cenarion Expedition.
Flask of Chromatic Wonder - This flask was recommended by ryfo in my comments. He lists many great reasons to use this flask: it's cheap, it stacks with Blessing of Kings, it gives resistances, and is an all-around well-balanced flask. Consider this alternative, especially if you're going to be hitting Mother Shahraz or other resistance-sensitive fights.

Food buffs are delicious, but perhaps only if you’re into seafood. Though you’re generally not supposed to exercise on a full stomach, being well-fed should ensure you’re never running out of steam.

Golden Fishsticks – This is the best food buff for both healing Priests and Druids. +44 to your healing and 20 spirit. The spirit adds to your mp5, as well as gives your aura another +5 to healing. Beneficial and well-rounded, this is almost always the food of choice.
Blackened Sporefish – This is a more situational bit of fish, as the straight 8 mp5 is not as beneficial as the spirit to a Tree druid, but that extra 20 stam can be a boon if you’re lacking health.
Spicy Crawdad/Fisherman's Feast - Providing a +30 stam buff and a +20 spirit buff, this is also a great option for when you need more stam than regen, and +20 just isn't enough. These were also suggested in the comments by kaaylia.
Feltail Delight – Though there are many food buffs that supply the same +20 stam/spirit combination (Mok’Nathal Shortribs, Talbuk Steak to name a few), I like this one because I can get it at the same time I fish for the other food buffs. It’s great for farm content/trash, and is generally much less expensive than the other two.

Weapon Oils
Brilliant Mana Oil – This is the best oil for the job. Well-rounded, with 12 mp5 and +25 to healing, the only problem with it is the cost. It’s an old-world recipe (Zandalar Rep), and rather rare, so expect its price to be gouged in the AH when you can find it, and the mats to be a bit more difficult to come by.
Superior Mana Oil – Acceptable and a nice mp5 boost, this is the most commonly used mana oil. 14 mp5 is nothing to scoff at, and every enchanter worth their salt will have the recipe.
Superior Wizard Oil - thanks to my amazing readers, this oil has been pointed out to have an unstated +42 buff to healing. Which is great if your mp5 has been soaring up but your base healing has been lagging behind. Thanks guys!

Though these don’t stack with player buffs, it’s nice to have something to spot-buff yourself with in-between chain pulls should you be unfortunate enough to die or after a Rebirth. This is particularly helpful with streams of pulls like in Mount Hyjal, where all pulls are timed and there are no/very few breaks for rebuffs. Included in this are Scroll of Spirit V, Scroll of Intellect V, and Scroll of Stamina V. Not necessary by any means, but, should you pick some up, they’re worth hanging onto.

Super Mana Potion – This is the mainstay of all mana-users. It’s a straight return to your mana, and therefore keeps you going when you’d otherwise be basically useless.
Auchenai Mana Potion - Just as good as a Super, this potion is purchaseable with two Spirit Shards. A nice, money-saving alternative.
Mana Potion Injector – This is a primo item. It saves bag space (something druids are always in desperate need of). There are a few mats needed besides just 20 Super Mana Pots, but I believe the space saved is well worth it. You need the room for all those epic loots.
Super Healing Potion – It’s always a good idea to carry a couple of these around. Sometimes, your mana pool is just fine, but you desperately need a boost to your health.
Auchenai Healin Potion - Just as good as a super, and purchaseable with two Spirit Shards.
Healing Potion Injector – Since you shouldn’t use so many Health Pots, this isn’t really necessary, but once again nice for the bag space.
Super Rejuvenation Potion – These suckers are great when you need health and mana! Just suck it down, enjoy the lovely grape flavor, and get back to healing without having to heal yourself. As much, anyway. Their mats are a little more extensive than a Health or Mana pot, however, so if you have the choice it might be better to go with…
Mad Alchemist Potion – Only for alchemists, these are like Super Rejuvs only with way less expensive mats and an interesting side-effect: a random elixir buff. The random buff won’t replace your current buffs, so feel free to use the whenever.
Fel Mana Potion – Though this potion supplies a debuff to your healing, its Mp5 value is arguably greater than a slight momentary drop in heal value. Obviously, this depends on the fight and your own gear, so it’s a judgment call. Phaelia did an article on the advantages of the Fel Mana Potion, but it may be out of date with the changes to mana regen in 2.4.

Remember, when available, to use raid-specific potions such as Cenarion Healing Salve and Cenarion Mana Salve for SSC (purchaseable with Coilfang Armaments right outside the instance, if you are Exalted with CE), and Bottled Nethergon Vapor and Bottled Nethergon Energy for TK.

**Be aware: all of the following share a cooldown with your Healthstones**
Fel Blossoms – These mini-shields are handy for times when your healing isn’t going to do anything; such as the first phase of Reliquary of Souls, where all healing is effectively reduced to zero, including that of pots and stones. They can help keep you alive for just a bit longer. They are also only available to Herbalists.
Charged Crystal Focus – If you’re out of healthstones and there’s been no time to lay down a new soulwell, these work nicely in a pinch. You should find one or two every day you do your dailies in Blade’s Edge, and they only take a few Apexis Shards to charge up.
Demonic Rune – These are good for “oh no my mana pot is down but I really need some mana NOW” situations. They hurt you, and the return is small, but with how inexpensive Lifebloom is, it’s basically worth it to squeeze out another few if you’re in danger of going OOM. They're easily farmed from satyrs in Felwood.
Luminous Bluetail – A very small amount of mana, it may not be worth the healthstone cooldown. However, this one doesn’t hurt you like the Darkrune does. They're fishable on the Isle of Quel'danas, so you can snag some while you're doing your dailies, if you don't have to worry about being stabbed in the back.

Now that I'm done critting your face with my wall of text, I hope that's helped you decide what you need for raiding!

EDIT: i r dum when it comes to Mana Injectors. They are splittable. Thanks, Jon!