Thursday, January 31, 2008

Following the Herd

It's time to try this again. There was a community post idea over at BA about what you love about your class. I decided to do it in pictures. Let's conintinue, shall we? Click on the pictures for the larger versions. Silly sayings belong to Alamo, not me.

Druids are friends, kay?Sometimes, we are seals.Overall badassery.That's right, it's dead.
Here I am......rock you like a hurricane!Because one just isn't enough.If you've never jumped off Teldrassil, you've never lived. Okay. You probably lived longer.
Inquiring minds want to know...Bag space? What bag space?Druids like to have fun.Helpful advice!
That's right, bitches. Immune.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Myth of Selflessness, or Why Selfishness is Good for You

People tout the works of those who do things altruistically, or selflessly. Doing things for others without expecting anything in return is something respectable, admirable. It can give you a good, warm feeling inside. I am here to break it to you that there are very few truly “selfless” acts. And that, contrary to popular belief, this is not a bad thing.

The word “selfish” has a very negative connotation practically glued to it, with flashing lights and a siren. A selfish person thinks only of themselves to the exclusion of others, doing things they shouldn’t or wouldn’t had they thought of others’ feelings and reactions. This is on some parts deserved. At the same time, it is undeserved. Being "selfish" is healthy, when applied in the correct circumstances. Allow me to explain.

When you perform a “selfless” act, there is something you generally get out of it, even if it is simply the satisfaction of having helped someone or having done something you didn’t have to but that bettered someone else. This is great! Some people question if they’re doing things for others simply because it makes themselves feel good. Short answer: yes. Long answer: No, not really, it’s more complicated than that. You care about these people to some extent, or this cause, or you are troubled by an event, the list goes on and on. You have some motivation. But without the return feeling, it becomes unhealthy. Using WoW, I will now detail what I mean.

Let’s say, hypothetically, you are the main tank in a small guild. You are the best geared tank and so therefore many people want you to help them run five-mans, both heroic and normal, and are always called on when a Kara group is thrown together. You are a tank, you like tanking, so you readily agree. You’re so well-geared that these five-mans give you nothing, but you want to help your guildies. It gives you a sense of satisfaction, a warm glow. You’re the best tank in your guild. Everyone wants you, needs you, for their instances. You feel great! This is considered a “selfless act.” You don’t know these people too well, or maybe you do, it doesn’t matter. You like the thrill of being helpful.

Now, let’s fast-forward. Guildies are still asking you for runs. They’ve become over-confident, running here and there and becoming lax and lazy during the runs. Your repair bills mount because they pull stupid stunts. Your epic mount is farther and farther away. You lose the happy feeling and instead start to feel like a babysitter, ushering people through instances who simply smile and fool around while they wait for you to make the epics fall in their laps. You begin to feel used, worn out, and exhausted. You are no longer getting anything, either satisfaction, loot, or happiness from these runs. That’s right, you are now doing these runs with a hope of nothing in return. You have become truly “selfless.”

Does that second scenario seem familiar? Does it sound like that tank is about to burn out and blow up in disgust at his or her guildies and their runs? But that’s selfless! That’s the epitomy of selfless. The action is being done with no hope of anything in return. Selfless means “without self.” Does that sound optimal?

When you get nothing out of something, you begin to burn out. There’s no return. When you give and give and receive nothing back, you are “emptying” yourself of energy without reciprocation you burn out.

Being moderately selfish is better for you in the long run. And it is not bad. It is not evil to think “I won’t have fun, I don’t need this and I don’t want to do it,” and based on that decide not to. It’s healthy!

When I talk about selfishness, I want to make it clear. I mean benign selfishness, that which does not slight or hurt others overtly. I am not advocating ninjaing loot or stonewalling guildies. I do not mean you should demand compensation for what you are doing for other people. I am saying examine your reasons for doing something. Are you doing it because you want to? Or are you feeling pressured, guilted or pulled into it?

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Seal Form Go!

Well, it was my challenge, so I should give it a go, right?

What do you mean, what challenge?! Well, here it is:

Hypothetical situation: Blizzard has introduced a new underwater zone to WoW. Due to this, they start giving all classes underwater abilities. The druid seal form is now utilized for more than simple travel.
Your goal: Design abilities for the seal form! Is the seal a healer? Magical dps? Physical dps? Tank? Utility? CC? Something entirely new?

I'm going from the tank point of view, grabbing a bunch of different ideas from tanks all over. But not just any tank; a tank with CC.

I'd revamp the seal's abilities, for instance, and, in keeping with the other forms, give it a nice new aura.

Shapeshift into aquatic form, increasing swim speed by 50% and allowing the druid to breathe underwater, increasing melee attack power by 120, armor contribution from items by 400%, and Stamina by 25%. Also protects the caster from Polymorph effects. Grants members of your party within 40 yards the ability to breathe under water. Allows access to several seal abilities.

What? You just copy pasta'd the bear's abilities into there and added some fancy aura for breathing as if you have gills! Absolutely. Bears are tanks because of this, therefore, a seal tank needs it.

Now, on with the skills.

We're giving seals Mangle, 'cause they need it. In place of lacerate, though, they have:

Harpoon - Hit enemy for a high amount of threat. Causes 200 bleed damage over 20 seconds.
It's a lacerate without the initial damage and a longer duration. Not a big change, but necessary.

For the Pod - Charge an enemy attacking a comrade, stunning the enemy for five seconds.
That's right, it's a charge that only works if an enemy goes loose. Why? The warriors would QQ if we got everything good.

Next we have Bite, your run-of-the-mill damage attack. La-dee-da.

Fin Slap - Interrupt an enemy's spell cast and prevent spells of the same school from being cast for three seconds.
Standard interrupt.

Puncture Lung - The target begins drowning for three seconds and is unable to move or use any abilities. Fifteen minute cooldown.
Drowning does a lot of damage. Even three seconds of this is hurtful. And since they're unable to move or cast, it's gonna hurt. Thus the extensive cooldown.

But you said there was CC!
I'm getting to it. we go.

Bubble Breath - Encase enemy target in a bubble, preventing them from moving or using any abilities. Breaks on damage.
Yep! It's the druid's very own CC, underwater though it may be. I can already hear the shaman crying.

What about a tank's "oshi-" button? Well, here it is.

Natural Selection - Player gains 10% temporary health and 50 haste rating for fifteen seconds. All physical debuffs are inactive for these fifteen seconds. At the end of the fifteen seconds, the debuffs will resume as normal.
Wow! That's crazy! Yep, it'll make druids the must-have-tank for all these water encounters. And it will be sweet, sweet victory.

It's all gonna be nerfed in a couple patches anyway.

Others who answered the challenge:

Posts of the Week

Perry Bible Fellowship
It's time once again for more posts of the week!

Sporeggar - A Tale of Two Druids
This caught my eye because, being the total noob in Outlands that I was, I completely botched my Sporeggar rep progression and it's taking me a thousand times longer just to get the transmute, let alone the pet I so desperately want. This should help anyone else from making the same mistake I did!

I feel light - Laser Chicken
A sadder sort of post...Laser Chicken is leaving WoW behind. I think he's doing it for the right reasons, even if he will be sorely missed. /salute

Fighting the intangibles - Of Teeth and Claws
This is a great article with some detailing of ZA for bear tanks, but a more important look on confidence and the loss thereof.

Arrrghhh!!! Trinkets!!! - Resto4Life
Phaelia over at Resto4Life delves into various trinkets and their returns, helping you find which one suits your needs. Like some things, the item (more specifically, its rarity) may surprise you.

On Agro Management - Elvis Does WoW
My Hunter CO details various ways to not pull mobs off of your tank, keeping you alive and doing your job, whether it's dps, cc or healing.

A Question for the Ages Leads to an Informative Post - Aspect of the Hare
Pike and Tux head to Dr. Doom to check out the increase in their dps using various trinkets and abilities. It's detailed with screenshots and the outcomes are highly favorable.

EgoRaidLeader: Five Principles to Raid By - Egotistical Priest
The Ego's RL stepped in to give everyone some fine-tuned advice on how to go about raiding. Whether you're casual or not, there's truth in there for everyone. There's more tips in the comments!

Guest Blogger: Galertruby - Need More Rage
Truly wisdom for the ages. Galertruby knows all.

6 Reasons Why I Will Never PUG a 25 Man Raid Again - World of Matticus
One of those painful, so-glad-it-didn't-happen-to-me Schadenfreude reads. In case you actually needed more reasons not to PUG raids.

He loves me, He loves me not - Gun Lovin' Dwarf Chick
A quick, helpful post on pet loyalty and getting those cute little buggers to fawn all over you.

Blog Spotlight: Three Druid Noob
He has three druids! THREE! One of each spec! This can only get more interesting.

Friday, January 25, 2008

What's in a Name?

Druid, drood, dr00d, durid, bear, bare, rawr, cat, kitty, feral, tree, trees, tree mafia, moonkin, boomkin, oomkin, featherkin, panzerkin, owlbear, doomkin, seal, manatee, cheetah, travel, caster, humanoid, spamfire, bees, dreamstate, OP, balance, boomy, resto, laser chicken, feathers, KFC...

Wow, druids have a lot of monikers. I don't even know them all, probably. What's interesting is there are more for Moonkins than any other druid spec, and it's the most underutilized!

Did I miss any? Can you think of any more?

Added by others:
space turkey - Phaelia
laser pigeon - anonymous
restro - nilianil

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Blog Azeroth!

So there's this awesome new place to hang out. You've probably seen it pop up on a bunch of blogs, and now mine! Astounding. Why is this happening? Well, now you can know!

It's called Blog Azeroth. Now, you've probably all gotten the same spiel, but! I want to do it too. I want to be part of the "in" crowd and invite you all to read further and then join a great community!

So, how's it work? The oft-quoted Phaelia says,

Blog Azeroth was created to facilitate the exchange of information and foster community among Warcraft blog authors. While we all appreciate and thrive upon building our own separate communities of readers and — in some cases, members of the class upon which we have focused — we are all part of the same community. Many of us struggle with the same problems, be it the cumbersome migration from one blog platform to another, knowing what stats are the most helpful, or gold spammers trying to take advantage of a publicly available platform. By sharing what we’ve each learned individually, we increase our collective knowledgebase. And all without having to hunt down an e-mail address or post a comment in an attempt to contact each other!

That's right!

I don't know where she got the idea!


Encouraging Bad Habits with Good Healing

I have an obsessive need to see everyone's hp bars at full. It's true. I was running Steamvaults with a mix of PuG and guildies when one of our members had to go (it was kind of late). So, we asked our Hunter CO, Harl, to fill in for us. He was nice and gracious and logged off his little priest so we could use his amazing BM dps. Now, I knew he wasn't in the group prior, I knew he wasn't in the instance and he wasn't even in the same zone, but, since we were in battle, immediately as he joined I noticed there was a small chunk of his life missing and I tried to toss him a lifebloom. I was upset when it said "Out of Range." I told my guildmates and they laughed, and Harl thanked me for trying to save him.

You might be thinking, "That's all well and good, but what does it have to do with the title of the blog post?" Well, I'm getting to it.

Due to my excessive need to make sure everyone is alive and well and performing optimally, I cover for others' mistakes. I do overgear for 5-mans. I'm at 1299 +healing with enough mana to ride through most bosses with no innervate or trinketing. Now, some mistakes are honest and unavoidable. The pet got feared into another group. That's what I'm here for, the honest mistakes. I'm geared up as much as I am so that I can keep you alive. It's what I live for, honest. I tried to BG on my hunter and was frustrated with my inability to fill the flag carrier's health bar while he was being attacked.

What I'm really addressing is the attitude that occasionally carries over with a healer who is well-geared and over-geared for an instance. People start to get sloppy. "I can handle the threat because of my gear." No, handling the threat implies you are making sure you are not generating more than the tank, especially when it's a tank who needs practice and wants practice. Making things hard on him is not going to instill confidence.

Unfortunately, due to my obsession with not letting people die and my fear of being yelled at, I cover for others' purposeful mistakes as well as innocent ones, as I'm sure many do. It's difficult sometimes to just let your teammate die because they are playing the "who has more threat" game, because healers tend to feel responsible, and they are often held accountable when the group dies. Unfortunately, when people see that they can pull these stunts and get away with it, it just reinforces the idea that they can do it again, and that it's acceptable. Meanwhile, the healer is chain-chugging pots and innervating and working their butt off to make sure everyone in the party stays in tip-top shape in case another pat is pulled. At the same time, the feral druid shifted from kitty to bear to play taunt tug-of-war with the warrior and the hunter is meleeing with his pet unrezzed for half the instance, while the mage wands the CC.

Maybe these are your guildmates, and they're just trying to have some fun and relax. Explain, calmly and clearly with no accusatory language, that you are not having fun, you are not able to relax, and you are using valuable consumables to try and keep them alive while they have their fun. If there is a guildie who is being "trained," as it were, explain that this is setting a bad example and is not helping them to improve their skills. Help them understand that it is not a good idea to screw around in level 70 instances, even if they're geared from SSC and beyond, especially when there are lesser-geared members along. If they continue along the same path, let them die. When they become upset, tell them you explained it and you cannot use your time in such a way. If you're feeling charitable, give them one more chance to fix it. But remember, your repair bill, especially as you start getting to the point where you over-gear for instances, is oftentimes more expensive than what you will get from the instance. Remind them of this.

If it is a PuG, you owe them nothing, and you do not owe them an increase in your repair bill. Explain that you cannot finish it with the group, and leave. Do not be derrogatory or accusatory, simply state that you cannot finish, and leave. If you feel like maybe they will listen, then explain the situation. If it does not improve, you can leave with a clear conscience.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Posts of the Week

So, this is something I'm going to do every week (give or take, when time allows) where I highlight my favorite posts of the week. This does not mean that they were written that week, but...this week was when I read them! So, let's get started.

Pump out even more DPS in Kara (or threat) - Laser Chicken
Though not written this week, I always like finding new and interesting trips that put new spins on clearing TBC instances.

Snobbery, Elitism and Things That Go "Boom" - Leafshine: Lust for Flower
A great article on the need to feel special, and different. I want to be a snowflake!

Shockadins vs. Heal Specs - Crusader Aura
A great comparison on the difference between Shockadins and Healbots (er...Healadins).

/tap tap tap - Big Red Kitty
Blogs no one has done before. Except now, someone did one. Welcome Captain Pugger to the blog scene!

Talent Spec: Levelling Restoration/Balance - Resto4Life
A great guide if you want to level as a druid, both being able to dish some damage and learn healing as you progress.

Is Feral T5 Worth it? - Of Teeth and Claws
A great breakdown of T5 for the feral audience! Seriously.

Beneficial Balance Builds - A Tale of Two Druids
Great for anyone who wants to know how to build a better Balance Boomy.

10+3 Personalities Every Guild Leader Needs Around - World of Matticus
Not only funny, but true!

Shifting Perspectives: Levelling and Talent Specs - WoWinsider (as written by Big Bear Butt Blogger)
And finally, it's time for the feral levelling builds. Moar mangel plz!

Need More Rage - Ratshag
It's...Ratshag. You's Ratshag. Just go read the whole blog. Go. Do it. Technically, this is a whole blog, and I've been reading it for a while, but the whole thing is amazing.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Randomness! Things That Are Happening! Stuff!

So, it's a brand new year. Hooray!

Yes, I'm a little late. I have this thing called school I'm still doing. It keeps me busy. As does being Druid class officer, light raiding, family events, forum play and social life things. But! Enough with the excuses. Here is something I want to do for the new year. All right? All right.

Well, there are so many amazing WoW blogs on the internet, floating around with their helpful information. And now that I've posted on the same topic as Phaelia in roughly the same time frame twice, I started wondering. Why can't we all get together and discuss these things?Everyone wants their own little space and I respect that. We each want to be a unique little snowflake. Heck, I want to be a unique snowflake! But, you know, sometimes snowflakes get together and make some snowfall. Or a snowstorm. Heck, a Blizzard (ha, pun).

Anyway, where I'm going with this is...

what if some of us get together once in a while to discuss things? Maybe, once a month, some bloggers come together and talk about the druid class and WoW in general, to discuss the past year and the coming one, to muse on druids and simply have some fun. Heck, it could even extend beyond druids (but I'm biased and it's what I know. And biased. Mmm, waffles). Then we record it in some fashion (Vent/chat/irc/etc), post it up, and, ta da! A whole lot of discussion!

So, why bloggers? Well, this may be me over-generalizing, but I tend to believe that, because someone has taken the time to create a blog (as easy as that is nowadays) and report their opinions and findings about WoW and their druids (or other classes) to help others and share their enjoyment, that they actually care about the game and the people who play. They want to help people, they want to inform and be informed. So they do their best to keep themselves in the know and on top of it all.

Of course, with everyone's busy schedules it might never happen. Just a happy idea of mine.

In other news, my guild's downed Onyxia! Nowai. Yeah. We did. Podias even managed to skin Onyxia before our Paladin purposely, in the spirit of things, killed us by aggroing all the whelp caves. I didn't live through the fight because Onyxia would fear me to just by her tail and, as I tried to get away, Podias would move just ever so slightly, Onyxia would shift, and her tail would smack me right into the whelps. First time I wiped us; second time the rest managed to live through it.

Not bad for seven people, two of which weren't even 70. Yes, it's been done with less. No, we don't care overmuch. Next: on to BWL!

Yep, we're old-world-tastic.

In case you missed my last post (or you already knew because the huge influx of readers I got today was from himself linking to me in one of his own posts), BRK reached 1,000,000 visitors today and killed his own website, and it keeps rising now that he's alleviated the insane glut that is his empire. I'm a proud, free-loading, no-tax paying member. Does that make me part of the Rebel Alliance? But I like BRK...S'pose I should start farming for Light Feathers.

Sadly, because I am still in school and care about my grades, I missed the 1,000,000th mark because I had to go to my Honors Biology class. Let me show you:

So close......yet so far away.

The first one was taken right before I left for class. The second one was taken right after. I like the consistency in the numbers, at least!

Speaking of BRK, he's not only teaching me not to be so huntarded when I once in a while dabble on my hunter, but he's making me a better druid! Let me explain.

I was on BRK's blog watching the video on how to be a proper lowbie hunter when he began talking about "strafing," and his little Brktestbed dwarf did this funny diagonal running thing. I had no idea what this was, but I thought I would give it a shot. So I logged onto my ickle Tauren and...failed. And failed. And....oh, look at that...FAILED.

So, I logged onto my druid and whined to my Hunter class officer. And he, nicely enough, took me to a little deadzone between Nagrand and Terokkar and introduced me to the keys "Q" and "E." Feeling like an absolute oblivious moron for not knowing this through 70 levels, I found strafing to be simple enough once I rebound some keys, and Harl graciously allowed me to moonfire spam him to death, chasing me around so I could practice strafing and he didn't kill me with his intense BM wrath. So now, thanks to BRK and my Hunter CO knowing his stuff, I learned something I should have known a long time ago, and am much better for it.

I was over at Big Bear Butt's place rockin' out to some awesome music when I actually decided to read past the tunes I was adoring. And then, pay attention to the video (I tend to space out while music is playing). And it made my heart glad that right in front of me was the default WoW UI. Yes, there are addons. But, as one of the people who cannot use too fancy a UI due to my poor-college-student laptop, it made the cockles of my heart warm to know that you could be uber successful even without the fanciness and the bells and the tinsel and the sparklies.

I do like sparklies, though.

Suddenly, almost all our guild tanks are paladins. Okay, so that's not entirely true. But! We have our guild leader, a new shiny pally who just needs a bit more gear, and another pally interested and on our forums. How interesting is that? One of the least utilized specs, and we've potentially got three.

And I'm loving it.

That's all for now! Be on the lookout for my extensive (and exhaustive) breakdown of every single druid skill. That's right. All of 'em.

Until then!

By the way, I'll be mostly gone this weekend. Why? My boyfriend is a culinary arts student and is visiting. He brought pie. 'Nuff said.

Congratulations are in Order!

BRK is on the verge of 1,000,000 visitors! So go over there and congratulate him, and maybe win yourself a prize!

(Seriously. Go. I'm not that exciting this morning.)



(Okay. Go now.)

Thursday, January 17, 2008


You know what those are, up in the title? Those of you who read the druid forums do. They're waffles. They've been popping up everywhere, and for quite an interesting reason.

You see, the druid forums have been inundated with such an over-powering number of "nerf" threads that they've begun responding to them with waffle recipes. This stemmed from a generally accepted "don't feed the trolls" slogan, and an illusion to waffles. Plus they're rather easy to represent via simple symbols on a keyboard (see title). Some offer to force-feed the trolls the waffles in a most violent manner, but many just cheer and are delighted by the breakfast delights. Due to this, I've decided I'm going to find a couple and post them! So, let trolls beware! The waffles are here.

First, we have this recipe from Liquidia of Mal'Ganis:

Basic Waffle

4 3/4 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 1 cup
4 3/4 ounces whole-wheat flour, approximately 1 cup
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
3 whole eggs, beaten
2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
16 ounces buttermilk, room temperature
Vegetable spray, for waffle iron

Preheat waffle iron according to manufacturer's directions.

In a medium bowl whisk together the flours, soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar. In another bowl beat together eggs and melted butter, and then add the buttermilk. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until combined. Allow to rest for 5 minutes.

Ladle the recommended amount of waffle batter onto the iron according to the manufacturer's recommendations. Close iron top and cook until the waffle is golden on both sides and is easily removed from iron. Serve immediately or keep warm in a 200 degree F oven until ready to serve.

Then, from Darcian of Silvermoon, comes this recipe:

Pumpkin Waffles:
1 cup cake flour
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup melted shortening (transfat-free)
1 large egg
1 large egg white

2 to 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 crisp apples, peeled and sliced thinly
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup toasted walnuts

Special equipment: standard 4 x 4-inch waffle iron

For the waffles: Preheat a waffle iron to medium heat.

Whisk the flour, wheat germ, sugar, baking powder, spice and salt together in a large bowl.

Beat together the milk, pumpkin, melted butter, and melted shortening, egg and egg white, in a large measuring cup. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Whisk together to make a slightly lumpy batter.

For the topping: Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the apples and let cook until slightly browned, but still crisp, about 4 minutes. Add the maple syrup and walnuts and toss to coat.

Pour and spread about 1 cup batter into the waffle iron. Cover and cook until crisp and a rich golden brown, about 7 minutes. (Try to resist the temptation to open the waffle iron too soon. Steam will puff out of the iron while the waffles cook, when this stops the waffle is cooked.) Repeat with the remaining batter. Serve hot with the apples.

Finally, though it isn't a recipe per se, from Chezza of Ursin we get this lovely waffle complilation.


I hope you enjoyed that as much as I did! I wish I had a waffle iron...

Please note I didn't link to the original posts. I'm betting Blizz will delete the threads soon anyway and I don't want dead links on my blog! This thread is just for fun, and is meant as light-hearted silliness to boost some morale. For a more sobering look at forum trolling, read In the Shadow of the Nerf Bat by Phaelia.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

On How People Think

"The human understanding when it has once adopted an opinion (either as being the received opinion or as being agreeable to itself) draws all things else to support and agree with it. And though there be a greater number and weight of instances to be found on the other side, yet these it either neglects and despises, or else by some distinction sets aside and rejects; in order that by this great and pernicious predetermination the authority of its former council may remain inviolate."

-Francis Bacon, The Four Idols

Once people have an opinion, they accept what correlates with it and disregard what does not, no matter who or what may disagree, no matter the facts.

This goes for you too, Boomkins. I'm sorry some people still think of you and "lol." Just cannon-fire their asses and go back to tanking raid bosses while boosting crits and improving your party's dps.

I still love you.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Mana Recovery

For Restoration and Balance druids, mana is all-important. Without it, we're reduced to smacking things futiley (or, in the case of our owlbears, semi-futilely) with our weapon or tree-fists. And as mightily powerful as you think your tree-fists are, there are more useful and important things you could be doing. Therefore, it's important to learn as many ways as possible to keep your mana up. Hopefully, this should help, and if I'm missing anything, I'm counting on my limited reader base to help me fill in the gaps. Phaelia also recently added an article on the same subject, and I would encourage you all to go read it, as she has the math to back it up and I didn’t say everything she did. It would feel like plagiarism! However, I did add a few things she overlooked, especially as I am looking at this from both a Balance and Resto perspective.

Moonglow – This talent reduces the mana cost of your Moonfire, Starfire, Wrath, Regrowth, Rejuvenation and Healing Touch spells by 3/6/9%. Moonkins are especially mana-pressed (hence the derogatory term “Oomkin”) so any reduction on cost is helpful. Since it works with three healing spells as well, it is also good for Balance/Resto hybrids.

Dreamstate – This talent allows 4/7/10% of your intellect’s worth of mana to regenerate constantly, even while casting. This used to be the defining talent of the popular Dreamstate healing build, but now it is used mainly by Moonkins, with Restos favoring the tree healing specs.

Moonkin Form – This form allows your mana to regenerate from successful melee damage. Make sure to have an AP staff on macro equip for when this becomes necessary (I recommend the Cenarion Expedition Exalted rep level Earthwarden, or, if PvP is more your style, Twalkins/Twalvanis of my guild recommends any of the Gladiator's Maul variants).

Natural Shapeshifter – Reduces the mana cost of all shape-shifting by 10/20/30%. This is a must for all feral druids, and is handy for anyone who knows how much shifting forms occurs in arena. Is also welcome for when you are forced out of form to decurse or abolish poisons (depending on your form at the time). However, due to the abundance of other talents in the restoration and balance trees which are more readily available, it may be wise to skip this unless you are a raid healing 1/0/60 or 0/0/61 spec.

Intensity – Allows 10/20/30% of your mana regen to continue while casting. Every druid, no matter spec, should consider this talent (it has bonuses for ferals as well) as it is remarkably powerful.

Tranquil Spirit – This talent reduces the mana cost of Tranquility and Healing Touch by 2/4/6/8/10%. This may not be worth taking, however, if you are not a 0/0/61 or 1/0/60 raid spec, as Healing Touch and Tranquility are highly situational.

Living Spirit – Increases your total Spirit by 5/10/15%. Since Spirit is connected with mana regeneration, this is another helping hand on the way to keeping your mana pool available to you.

Tree of Life – Though this form limits what healing spells you can cast, their cost is reduced by 20%. This form should be used wherever mobility isn’t an issue, due to the 20% movement speed decrease.

Lower City Prayerbook – Though this is only helpful for restoration druids, it decreases on use your healing spellcast costs by 22. Now, this may not look like a lot, but with five casts of Lifebloom within this 15 second timer, you have already saved mana equivalent to one free Lifebloom. And with its nice bonus to healing, this is an all-around good trinket.

Pendant of the Violet Eye – Most people are raiding at least into Kara these days, so I don’t see this as too high a goal to consider unreasonable (drops from Shade, one of my favorite boss fights). This pretty trinket, though having no “equip” effect, on use will return you 21 mp5 per mana-costing spellcast for its 20 second duration. Of course, you have to remember that as soon as the 20 seconds are up, all that mp5 disappears, so your spell cast speed should still slowdown a bit to take advantage of this ability. As it only has a two minute cooldown, it is good to use this trinket whenever it is available. And since this operates on mp5 and not on spirit, pairing it with your innervate will give no special bonuses.

Bangle of Endless Blessings – Phaelia over at Resto4Life wrote an in-depth article describing how best to use this particular trinket. Its on-use ability increases the wearer’s spirit. This works well with innervate, which increases your spirit-based mana regen by 400%, and 100% while casting. Couple with a high-spirit weapon to switch out and your mana will boost rapidly. Its equip ability is handy as well when it procs.

Dark Moon Card: Blue Dragon – This allows, on a 2% chance proc, with each spellcast to gain mana regeneration while casting. This is a good trinket to have if you are strapped for mana or an anticipating a long fight. Without an equip use, however, it is slightly weaker than a trinket with straight mana regen. Natural Perfection's Aftereight wrote a very nice article about it.

Party Members You Love to Have
(Retribution) Paladins – You’re maybe thinking “What?! Who uses ret pallies?” Well, my guild does. We also use prot pallies. And, you know, a holy pally. Somewhere. He’s lazy. But having someone with judgement around is spectacular, especially if they’re the obliging sort who will judge the mob with wisdom to return mana to whomever smacks it with a stick. They also bring lovely blessings which boost your mp5 dramatically. However, as a boomkin, you may want to forego the Blessing of Wisdom in favor of Salvation. Any pally can give you blessings, however, so that is why ret is in parentheses. The more pallies you have, the more blessings, though you cannot get two BoW.

Shadow Priests – Oh, how I love thee. Their special abilities return health or mana to the party, easing up your job in one way or another. There’s hardly ever a reason to not want them around.

Feral Druids – Specifically, ones not tanking (though we love them, it is not in the same way as pertains to this article). As ferals, they don’t especially need their innervate, nor will they be wearing gear to capitalize on it. Often, they don’t mind shifting from kitty to pop one over to a druid (or priest) who asks. If they are a tank, an option is for them to throw an innervate on you right before pulling. This does waste some mana you could gain from that innervate, but shifting out of bear form mid-fight is suicide, and that is mana you would not otherwise have. My tankbear does it to keep me from drinking between fights. But he’s impatient.

Mages – Arcane Intellect increases your intelligence, which increases the size of your mana pool. The larger your mana pool, the more you have to play with. Also, they bring these nifty little tables with delicious biscuits.

Holy Priests – These priests have a spirit buff. This is excellent, as druids are spirit-based mana regenerators, and innervate is based off of spirit.

(Resto) Shamans - I totally did not forget them so Mahndo has no reason to be upset at me. Right? Right. On with the explanation part. Why does everyone love Shammies? For the totems. Shamans can drop mana spring totem, which gives 20 mana every 2 seconds (at the highest rank) to anyone in the party within 20 yards. And restoration shammies have the talented mana tide totems, which don't live as long but restore 6% mana every 3 seconds for 12 seconds (total of 24% mana).

Lesser Known Consumables
Major Dreamless Sleep Potion – These are highly situational, for moments where you only have a brief rest. Used judicially in boss fights, they return more mana than you would get off of a regular super mana potion, with health returned to boot. But you are out of commission for 12 seconds and if the sleep is dispelled you stop regaining mana. Before using these potions it is recommended you announce it, and scope out a fight prior so you are aware of your time constraints. I personally found them handy while chasing after Thrall, the noob in the leather gear who charges into mobs without waiting for the healer’s mana and rides a horse in such a way that travel form outstrips it. No wonder he couldn’t escape.

Fel Mana Potions – For this potion, you really need to read this article. (Yes, I link to Resto4Life a lot. That’s because she knows what she’s talking about.) Their nasty debuff effect can easily be cancelled out by making sure your base healing/spell damage is high enough to buffer it, or by drinking an Adept’s Elixir (for Balance) or Elixir of Healing Power (for Restoration).

Demonic Rune – This must be carefully used as it does hurt you for a possible 600 to 1000 health. Its return, possible 900-1500 mana, is light, and is best used for shorter fights where you are in negligible danger and your pots are on cooldown, or you don’t want to waste them (though traveling with downgraded mana pots is also recommended). Since they do not share a cooldown with potions, they can be handy for emergencies in boss fights when everything else is on cooldown. They can be farmed easily from the satyrs in Felwood but are Soulbound, so you must do it yourself. This is easy for even a Restoration druid as they require only one or two applications of Moonfire apiece. They can also, in an emergency, give you a durability-loss-free kill, as if you can time it so you kill yourself with one of these it counts the same as if a pally DI’s or a lock hellfires to death. Please, however, wait to make sure it's going to be a wipe before suiciding.

There. It's a bit short, I'm aware, but, like I said, I don't like repeating what other people have said, especially when they get to it first. I'd shake my fist at Phaellia if she wasn't so darn helpful and informative and nice and stuff.

I hope this helps, though it is by no means complete.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Oh Lazy Pallies...

Running Karazhan, no big! We do it all the time. So what made this run different?

Well, for the first half of the run, I was the workhorse.

Run makeup was (at the time): Sannhet, tankadin extraordinaire; Podias, raid leader and reluctant off-tank feral; Lare, arms warrior with pvp fury unmatched; Esyla, sick and groggy but lock-ariffic; Twalkins, shiny and pally-powered; Hezakarth, totally new mage with wide-eyed gleeful wonderment; Finnvarra, boomkin doomkin deathkin awesomekin; Darelin (and Moonshade), with the traptastic skillz; Evenfall, our puggalicious priest with the shackle we crave; /wave.

Everything goes great. We down Attumen, one shot. I'm wearing the round condom of shame to signify that everyone needs to stand on top of me (having done nothing shameful, it was either that or wear a "nipple" on my head and at least with a condom I'm protected).

Sannhet is a kickass pally (CC? Whazzat?) and therefore there is only one target to heal throughout the whole boss fight (for those of you who don't know, it's Sann). This allows me to keep 3 stacks of Lifebloom, a rejuvenation and a regrowth on him constantly. I also had to innervate, pop my trinket twice and pot once.

At the end, what does Twalkins say?

"Hey Bellwether, look at our mana."

So, like an obedient little druid, I do.


They had barely a chunk out of theirs. Due to our strategic placement, a single heal target and my ever-ticking HoTs, Evenfall and Twalkins had barely had to lift a finger the entire battle. Maybe Even threw out a DoT or two, but...nothing!

On one hand...this means all the time I have spent grinding and pvping and working for gear is starting to pay off.

On the other hand...I worked harder than them all and had to use a valuable mana pot to do what I did when, if they had simply said "You don't have to do that, Bell, conserve your mana," I wouldn't be one pot down.

So. I think, next time the three of us are on Attumen, I'll scale back on the HoTs. And ask for a heal meter next time. And take a screenshot. And make many shaming noises. And pop my Barov's Peasant Caller instead of my trinket.

That'll teach 'em.