Monday, March 31, 2008


This is to help people with a high level of anxiety or tension who have difficulty relaxing. It also helps me to get to sleep.

Start by either lying flat on your back with your arms at your sides with the palms down, or sitting up straight in a chair, feet flat on the ground and palms flat on your legs.

Begin breathing slow, deep breaths. For these to be "properly deep" breaths, your stomach area should move and fill before your chest starts to move. This can take some practice, and some do it easier than others. Don't work too hard at it, though, or get frustrated by it; that will ruin the point of the exercise.

Think about somewhere warm. This sounds silly, I know. But even thinking about being warm can increase your circulation marginally and help you relax.

Now, starting from your toes and working your way up, tighten and tense your muscles. Hold, for example, your toes/feet tense for a couple seconds, then release. This helps you to realize what parts of you are tense, and the difference between relaxed muscles and tense muscles. Sounds silly, but you can be tense and not know it. Slowly work your way up your body, doing everything from your lower back, hands, arms, to forehead. Do it slowly, take your time. Then work your way back down, making sure to fully release your tension each time.

Done properly, this whole process can take about fifteen to twenty minutes.

I hope this helps someone. I'm really swamped with work at the moment, so this is all you're getting out of me for a few days!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Speech 101

Communicating is hard to do. I’m not kidding; to do it right is an absolute art. To not say too much or too little, or to convey the proper message, can take a lot of tact and social awareness. And then you can say things exactly how you mean them and people will take it and make it mean something else, just because they can.

[16:29] Bellwether: augh i can't unpeel my banana
[16:29] Nightravyn: ...
[16:29] Fimlys: ahem.....
[16:29] Fimlys: can't comment on that
[16:29] Nightravyn: soooo many ways to take that Bell
[16:29] Bellwether: The banana won't unpeel T_T
[16:29] Nightravyn: again... sooooo many ways
[16:29] Annas: *ponders how to answer*
[16:29] Bellwether: there's so many ways to take YOUR MOM
[16:29] Matticus: i just use my bare hands
[16:29] Nightravyn: haha
[16:29] Fimlys: LOL
[16:29] Nightravyn: we know Matt /pat
[16:30] Fimlys: good timing matt
[16:30] Matticus: you have to apply lots of pressure sometimes
[16:30] Matticus: it depends on the size of the banana
[16:30] Matticus: but be careful
[16:30] Bellwether: really? i'm trying to rip off the stem.
[16:30] Matticus: too much pressure, and you might exert too much force.
[16:30] Fimlys: it could explode
[16:30] Matticus: ah but if you do, then the tension becomes loose and whats inside will explode out
[16:30] Bellwether: i think i'll go get a knife
[16:30] Fimlys: lol
[16:30] Nightravyn: /dies laughing and gets weird looks
[16:30] Bellwether: oh wait, i cut off part of it with scissors
[16:31] Fimlys: ouch
[16:31] Bellwether: all good now
[16:31] Annas: that's what I was going to suggest Bell

As I write this I am enjoying my banana, thank you very much, but the point of this is not to show you how everyone in the BA chat is a goof with a smutty mind, but rather because there has been a problem lately I wish to address. This problem is: people don’t want to talk to each other because they’re afraid they won’t know what to say or how to say it or maybe the other person will take it the wrong way or I don’t want to start a conflict augh fret fret worry worry stress.

Okay, stop right there, take a deep breath, and I will now demonstrate how to have a mature discussion of differing opinions without causing an argument. This is done by not accusing the other person of doing anything wrong. Please repeat that. You do not accuse other people of having done something wrong or hurtful. Why is this? Because it immediately puts people on the defensive, and they feel they must protect themselves from you. This leads to arguments and a distraction from the original purpose.

Let’s look at a situation. Let’s say Shaman A and Hunter B are doing Arena together. Throughout the course of their ten matches, B keeps up a running critique of A’s abilities. B also becomes frustrated and upset at a few points with matches they “should have won” and takes it badly if A challenges him on something he has said with offhand comments like “well, that’s how I know it, but if you think you know better…”

Now, many people will think “B is a jerk; A, go find another partner.” Well, let’s throw this variable in the mix: A and B have been good friends for a while, and A knows B doesn’t usually act like this. What he does notice is that it mainly happens while they are doing Arena. B has a few options: ignore it and hope it gets better, decide it’s not worth it and find or a new team, or talk to A about how he feels.

Assuming A values his friendship with B and is a mature, responsible adult, we’re going to assume he decides to talk to him. Let’s look at two ways to approach it.

A: Hey, I didn’t appreciate how you were talking to me before. That wasn’t just mean, it made arena suck (expletive). Why did you do that?! I know how to play a shaman, you don’t have to (expletive) tell me how to (expletive) play my (expletive) class!


A: Hey, what’s up? Are you okay? I’ve noticed lately you seem kind of stressed out and upset when we do Arena. I know you’re just trying to help, but it seems like you’re not enjoying it anymore. What’s going on?

While attempt one might seem more personally satisfying from the beginning, it isn’t likely to cause things to end well. But hey, you say, the second one doesn’t address the things that would really be bothering A! He didn’t mention the controlling nature of B or B trying to tell him how to play his class or how B is being overly critical!

That’s right, A didn’t. Because if you start out with everything that is “wrong” then you will automatically put the person on the defensive, as I said before. Whereas if you start by asking if everything is okay, if something is wrong, if they’re not having fun, B will realize “Hey, A is concerned about me. Let’s talk about it.”

Face it, people like to talk about themselves, but they either want to be “good people” or “hurt people.” Not many people like to see themselves as the “bad guy.” If you don’t make them the “bad guy” they are more likely to engage in conversation and discuss things with you reasonably. You can slowly work in something like “Hey, I know you’re just trying to help, but when you try to tell me how to play my class it makes me feel like I don’t know what I’m doing. Do you think we could talk about what you think I’m doing wrong, and I can give you reasons for why I’m doing it? If your idea is better, I promise to give it a try.”

Now, if you say that, be aware. You have just made a promise to actually listen to the other person, and to concede the point if they understand it better than you, or give you a new facet of information you had never discovered before. That is part of a mature conversation. If you notice the other person is not giving you the same courtesy, gently point it out in a non-confrontational way, and continue on.

Something else to keep in mind is the fact that text does not always convey the proper tone, so if someone says “that’s not how I took it,” please believe them, and clarify how you meant your words to come across. Even over the phone or Vent etc., you’re missing out on a lot of non-verbal cues. So if misunderstandings arise, try not to think of it as you being “misquoted” and do your best not to become upset. Simply use this line, “I am sorry you took it that way, but that was not my intention. This is what I meant to come across to you.” Do not say it condescendingly or in a patronizing tone, and hope the other person is rational enough to realize you truly did not mean what they thought you had said.

If at any point the discussion breaks down into an argument, take a step back and decide to address the situation again when you’re both more cool-headed. And please, remember, a difference of opinion does not always equate an argument, and it takes both people in the conversation to allow it to escalate. Do not be a part of it.

Monday, March 24, 2008

The Return of Pirate Queen Bellwether

Oh no! It's one of those "what I did today" posts!

Well, if you want to know what the title's about, you have to read it! Mwahahaha. And you know, what I have to talk about is awesome.

My weekend did not have the most auspicious beginning. We were supposed to do Gruul's, but it didn't happen. So! We did the daily heroic. Which one was that, you ask? Slabs! Er, Shadow Labyrinth. /shudder

You see, I've run Slabs until Exalted, all for one thing. The idol. Which idol? Only the best frickin' idol in the game for a resto druid. That's right, that idol. And it has never, ever dropped. It has dropped three times for one of my feral friends, and for our boomkins, but never, ever for me. Everything else has dropped, probably even stuff not on the loot table. But I took a deep breath, grabbed the daily, and respec'd feral.

Wait, what? But you said you're staying resto!

Well, I am. But Twal's paladin needed the mace off of Murmur. And my Boomkin set is not up to par with my two feral sets. So I respec'd (forgetting Shredding Attacks /facepalm) and headed over to the instance. We brought along a ret paladin, a shadow priest, and a rather familiar paladin tank. Oops. No CC. Guess what that means? Yep, my tanking gear is in my bags. It may not be my strongest personal skill, but I'm there in a pinch.

So we head in, first pulls go well. The spriests is getting used to a new build, so he pulls some aggro, but we're mostly doing well. Then we get into the room with the banished first boss and pull a group of four and a Felguard. Oops. This is a heroic dungeon and this is potentially bad. I manage to activate my bear gear in my Outfitter seconds before getting into combat, and I grabbed the Felguard. No. One. Died. I'm gonna chalk that up to the amazingness of a pally tank, Twal's on-top-of-it heals, and lucky fear resists. That and some vain little self congratulations. /preen

Prior to my tanking gig (and there were more than a few spots I needed to tank due to lack of CC) I had almost 400 dps without Shredding Attacks or Omen of Clarity. Why without Omen? I'm a noob and forgot to add it to my action bar. Insert another /facepalm. I don't know personally, but Twal says that's not bad. I wasn't topping the other dps, but the spriest was rocking Frozen Shadoweave and the retpally was in dps epics.


Anyway, we get to the first boss and down him, and like always, I hold my breath while looting him.

No way. No. Really? No way. No. Way.



It seems all it took for me to get the blasted thing was to trick the instance. It did its usual scan and was like "Ah, Bellwether returns. I see we have finally beat her into submission and she has turned feral. We beat the resto out of her. Mwahaha. Put the idol back on the loot table."

Well, Slabs, I have one thing to say to you. (Following emote is NSFW)
(/endNSFW) I'm going back resto tonight for Kara. Up yours!


Anyway. We didn't get past Vorpal. He's a bitch. But along the way I got to do a lot more off-tanking. Usually not more than one mob because pally threat is insane. By the way, if you can, MC the shadow priests in the Inciter's room. They topped our dps charts with 1k+ damage. But we'd started late and people had to go after a few tries on Vorpal. Who is a bitch.

So, Easter Sunday! I'm stuck at college, so no family time. One of our priests wanted to go to through Strat, so Twal and I took our two ferals over and went through. Knocked the Baron out in under 45 minutes, but no mount dropped. Now, the priest had wanted to skip the Scarlet Monastary part. He left, and Twal and I headed over. We killed things etc, etc and then...I got the best drop ever.

Arr, maties, Pirate Queen Bellwether be back. And I see some scurvy dogs saw fit to retake the keep in me absense. Aye, they'll regret that, they will. Ready, aim, fire!


Wait, who is Pirate Queen Bellwether? What's the story on that? It's a story, an epic one, for another day. I know, I'm a tease. As it is now, I'm going to get used to being forced to dance during every raid due to what Twal got when we went back through to get me the Key to the City.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Deadmines Dress-up

Here's a fun game to play if you're ever bored!

Get a group of people together and head to the Deadmines (or Wailing Caverns, I suppose, but I prefer Deadmines personally). On the way, drop off all of your clothes in the bank. All of them. Don't hold onto your rings, or your weapons, or anything. Put them all in the bank, or your bags if you must. Then go to the instance.

Ready? Here's the game.

You go through the instance normally, just naked. As items drop, if you can equip an item, you do so. Blue, green, white or gray, it all goes on. Everyone rolls Need on BoE greens and BoP blues and phat epix, and the person who gets them, gets them. This means that clothies roll on leather and everything else.

Why is this?

The goal is to wear more clothes than anyone else by the end of the run. If you are, say, a priest who gets the leather pants off the goblin, congratulations! You have prevented a leather wearer from gaining a point. You get one point for every article of clothing (including jewelry and trinkets and weapons) that you are wearing at the end of the run.

Now, clothies and leather wearers may seem disadvantaged, but they do get a bonus.

Clothies: 2 point bonus
Leathers: 1 point bonus
Plate/Mail Wearers: 0 point bonus

This way, if a cloth wearer only gets leather drops or mail drops, they still have a possibility of winning.

So, keep everyone else from getting dressed while putting your own clothes on. It's like reverse strip poker, only you start out naked and you get to party with Mr. Smite.

It's great fun!

What do you win? Well, that's up to you. You could win a gold pot, or some rare drop, or perhaps a private session with that hot little dwarf with the cute boxers.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

4 fite?

I'm still resto and plan to be so for a long, long time.

However...I do have some questions for my feral friends. I'm a completist; I like to make sure I have the gear sets to cover any and every situation. I honestly hope they may the guild banks even bigger in WotLK as I'm going to run out of room. I'm already out of room. I have my PvE healing set (complete), my PvP healing set (incomplete), my moonkin set (almost complete), my feral tanking set (mostly complete) and my feral kitty set (complete-ish). I have a good set of gear for most of them, if they're not necessarily Karazhan or tough-heroic ready.

So, here's my question:

How should I gem, enchant and what should I switch out on my feral tank gear so that, if I am needed to tank something like a heroic or maybe even Karazhan, I can do so. Here's what I have gathered so far:

Head: Helm of the Claw
Neck: Strength of the Untamed
Shoulders: Junior Technician's 3rd Grade Shoulders
Cloak: Burnoose of Shifting Ages
Chest: Heavy Clefthoof Vest
Gloves: Gloves of Dexterous Manipulation
Belt: Tree Mender's Belt
Legs: Heavy Clefthoof Leggings
Feet: Heavy Clefthoof Boots
Rings: Delicate Eternium Ring
Trinkets: Arena Grand Master, Violet Badge
Weapon: Earthwarden
Idol: Idol of the Wild

All right, to point out the obvious: yes, my cloak has shield block values on it. To be fair, our tank did not need it when I was there to pick it up (as in the case of any of our instance gear, I only rolled when no one else needed it) and it's the only "tanking" cloak I could find.

Yes, I'm missing a ring. The one I use right now is a random "of the" ring.

Yes, I don't have bracers listed. I don't have bracers for my feral set. I'm not sure why, I guess I just haven't been able to pick any up.

So, for my feral friends, what are your suggestions? Good replacements that I could find, what gems I should socket, and what enchantments I should get. I'm not planning on making this set do much more than be prepared if I'm needed, so perhaps nothing too expensive, but I do want to be heroic-ready. At least gear-wise, of course!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Am I Missing Something Here?

The site Be Imba is a fun, experimental little site that gives you information on your character and their gear. It has helpful information on enchants, gems and talent choices. It is more PvE geared than PvP, which is fine, and it even tells you where to go to get gear upgrades and what level you are performing at.

And it's with the final part where they mark your progression that we hit a snag.

This is a screenshot I took of my Be Imba profile (click the picture for a larger version):


Now, I'm in all Kara and Badge-bought purples with one blue (soon to be two or three with an idol I hope to someday get), and I know for a fact there are upgrades for me in Gruul's and Magtheridon, if only the t4. But it puts me at SSC gear drops and Hyjal/BT ready. Something is wrong there.

How do other resto druids fare? Is it just off for us? I only have 1447 +healing and 130-ish mp5 while casting. This to me does not scream "end game."

Monday, March 17, 2008

Priest Envy

Cloth cloth cloth cloth cloth.



Okay, after that nonsensical opening, let me just say this: I think priests have the easiest time getting gear pre-25 man. As the quintessential "healing class" it seems there is more healing cloth under the Outland sky than plate, mail and leather combined. And they sure seem to get geared up faster than us dr00ds, shams and pallies. Take, for instance, a little priest we'll call D.

D is a great healer, and a discipline priest (last I checked, anyway). She has been 70 for maybe 3 months? Four? She is 200 +healing ahead of me. I don't begrudge her this, no matter what people may think, and I believe it's awesome she can gear up so fast. It causes me to make growly noises, though, as I look through my gear and hers. Warcrafter puts my "e-peen" score higher than hers, yet, my gear doesn't seem to reflect that. Self-buffed, she is at 1700 healing exactly, with more mp5 than I.

I'm not QQing about her being better than me. I'm self-confident(ish) as a healer that I can do a relatively good job with my own healing. What I'm wondering is if I should drop my herbalism so I can dump all my dwindling epic flight fund into a mooncloth robe set just to catch up to the cloth curve. This would be kind of...drastic, and I don't want to do it. The long-term rewards promise to even out, but my impatience and my uncertainty of my guild getting anywhere "longterm" in the near future make me itch to improve myself now.

Of course, there is the difference in healing styles. Priests cover for the spikes and chunks, we soften the blows. Maybe this means we need less +healing in the beginning (this makes little sense to me, but I'll roll with it). I won't pretend to know what paladins need other than crit, and I won't even begin to fathom what shamans are into (other than totems). I see so many healers toting cloth. Pallies and shamans are laughed at for it, and druids kind of duck under the radar. I personally have no personal problems with wearing cloth gear. However, I do have problems with taking cloth gear from our priests, who can only wear cloth, while I can deck myself out in leathers.

Odd conundrum, but it's there.

At least leather is sexy.


Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Orange Button

Another title for this post could be "Why You Will Never See a UI Post from this Blog in the Near Future."

You see, I play on a little laptop. It has a small, crowded screen, and very little memory (I had to buy extra RAM just to run WoW) and therefore my UI is very crowded, and rather embarrassing. I can't see much of my screen when raiding, but this is all right for me because I can still remain situationally aware and I have large, helpful health bars that light up different colors when there's something I can decurse/abolish poison. It's still embarrassing, and no you cannot see it.

But that brings us to a conversation in the Blog Azeroth chat, where Jon over at the Bronze Kettle told me I should add a donate button to my blog so maybe I can afford a new computer. I think it was said in jest, as I don't really feel my blog warrants the sort of...something...that would inspire people to just give me money for a few amusing and/or helpful posts.

Now, you all might remember that the amazing people at the Kettle had a big fundraiser for Child's Play. Really, they were spectacular. I cannot hope to match that. However, I've decided to add a donate button to my site. Each month I'm going to be changing its target. This month, it's for Polio. Please, if you've got a couple spare bucks you were considering giving to me at the start of this post (as weird as that sounds to me) I'd much rather it goes towards that little orange button on my sidebar.

Thanks everyone.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Wow, so you all apparantly really liked Feralicious. There are so many links to it on so many blogs and forums (some I can't even visit without registering, so I hope what they're saying about it isn't too bad) that it seems to be responsible for a large portion of my blog's visitors. Thanks everyone!

I'd like to take this time to point out that Bear may have found someone to sing it, so if you want to get away, now would be the time.

Also, Phaelia at Resto4Life has written her own song, entitled "My Trunk," another Fergie song , but this one for Restos.

And for those who don't know, the very first druid-type song I ever read was by Soboruto of Steamwheedle Cartel who modified "Under the Sea" into "Summon the Trees."

Once again, thanks to everyone who has visited. Expect more posts from me soon; I'm on spring break and so sleeping in.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

...what have I done?

Important Note: Previously, I was missing a line to the rap. All is well and it is fixed. No one noticed, but that's probably because you wanted to save my fragile little ego. How sweet of you!

Seriously, this is all Bear's fault. He basically made me do this. All I did was mention how "Feralicious" sounds like "Fergalicious" and it spawned this huge thing where everyone wanted me to write it. So, I took a couple days and, against my better judgement, did so.

Once again, I'm really sorry. Bear's talking about finding a professional to remake it. Button's talking about making me sing it. I hope that's one torture the world never experiences.


One, two, three, pull

[Male Part]
Listen up y’all ‘cause this is it
The bear that is tankin is for the win

Feralicious definition: lacerate and mangle
Don’t use caster, don’t spam moon blaster, lacks entangle
You can heal me, you can’t kill me
I ain’t wiping, this ain’t hyping
I’ve got key binds, you should see mine
I’ll just own your face in no time

Feralicious (feralicious)
But I ain’t coniferous
This bear is just ambitious
My stats are all factitious
I am vicious
Make all the guilds slash who, who
And they be waitin’ in my queue ‘cause I’m good at what I do

Feralicious (I rock, rock)
Feralicious (Recount’s got me top, top)
Feralicious (You cannot take this M-T’s spot)
I’m feralicious (t-t-t-t-t-tankin’, tankin’)

Feralicious def-
Feralicious def-
Feralicious def- (echo)
Feralicious definition, down them bosses easy
They always think I’m cheatin’
But that just makes ‘em crazy
I am U to the R, T, A the N, the K
And if you want no wipes you’ll do just what I say

I’m feralicious
DPS is vicious
Duel it up with me and the outcome’s not auspicious
Make all the guilds slash who, who
And they be waitin’ in my queue ‘cause I’m good at what I do (one two three pull)

Feralicious (I rock, rock)
Feralicious (Recount’s got me top, top)
Feralicious (You cannot take this M-T’s spot)
I’m feralicious (hold, hold, hold, hold, hold up, buff the raid)

Guildy, guildy, guild-y
If you really want me
Maybe get some patience
Maybe then you’ll get a tank
Run’ll be easy, easy
Epic drops there will be
It’s so easy, easy
My threat is crazy

M to the A to the N G L E – bear you’re tankin’
M to the A to the N G L E – bear you’re tankin’
L to the A to the C E R A T E S, L to the A to the, to the, to the

All the time I turn around guildies gather ‘round always wantin’ some instance boss down, wantin’ all my (threat)
I just wanna say it now – I ain’t tryin’ to round up drama, I don’t wanna, I’m not gonna take your spot
And I know I'm coming off just a little bit conceited
And I keep on repeating how the raid bosses eat it
But I’m tryin’ to tell, how much skill it takes to do this well
‘Cause they say I’m…

Feralicious (feralicious)
But I ain’t coniferous
This bear is just ambitious
My stats are all factitious
I am vicious
Make all the guilds slash who, who
And they be waitin’ in my queue ‘cause I’m good at what I do

One, two, three, pull

Feralicious (swipe, swipe, swipe, swipe)
Feralicious (swipe, swipe, swipe, swipe)
Feralicious (swipe, swipe, swipe, swipe)
I’m feralicious (t-t-t-t-t-tankin’ tankin’)

M to the A to the N G L E – bear you’re tankin’
M to the A to the N G L E – bear you’re tankin’
M to the A to the N G L E – bear you’re tankin’
M to the A to the, to the (one, two, three, pull)
L to the A to the C E R A T E S, to the
L to the A to the C E R A T E S, to the
L to the A to the C E R A T E S, to the
L to the A to the, to the, to the (one, two, three, pull)

L to the A to the C E R A T E S, to the
L to the A to the C E R A T E S, to the
L to the A to the C E R A T E S, to the
L to the A to the, to the, to the, to the, to the (fade out)

Spitting Mad and Unapologetic

Blizz has lost its mind. And it has me seriously looking at Bellbell (Paladin, 38), Razira (Priest, 26), and Totemo (Shaman, 2) and wondering if I can get them to 70 before two of three of my guild's main healers suddenly drop in healing potential due to some weird, idiotic, convoluted thinking on Blizz's part.

If you want to know why I'm so angry, head on over to Phaelia's new posts. She can explain it much more coherently than I can or even care to at this point.

GG Blizz.

And for all of you who are thinking that's a "good reason" that Blizz put forth, you can go stick your heads out of a moving van because your brain is doing you no good as it is.

"Druids are low on the heal charts, so we'll decrease the healing coefficient of their main spell!" 

Thanks, Blizzard. My guild's gonna love this. For sure.

I just love it when the people in charge of keeping me alive lose their ability to do so. I wonder if next we'll nerf surgeons so they can no longer clean their scalpels. The scalpel is still there!
It's just not as effective. And potentially dangerous.


I'll let you guys know when I can raid SSC, okay? It'll be after Illidan's fallen and I beat out the other feral and boomkin druids for "lol offspec" items. I suppose this is why I've been building up so many different gear sets all these years, so when Blizz decides to make an asshat move I'm not completely useless to my guild.

At least warlocks got de-nerfed. Kudos guys, maybe us trees should start threatening to devour babies. Seems to get results.

Also, I love my warriors. Head on over to Button Mashing, a new blog by my absolute favorite warrior ever. His first post ever is a doozy.
Button Mashing

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Lifebloom 101: A Guide for the Saplings, the Unseasoned, and the Stupids


It's come to my attention that not everyone knows how Lifebloom works! /gasp

This is of course me being in my own little druidy world assuming everyone's got the lowdown on the HoTtest heal ever. However! I think I can write well enough about it that I can lay it out, give it a good going over, and hopefully my faithful readers (I'm assured I have more than one!) can point out any errors I make, as I can be prone to them.

Let's begin, shall we?

To start off, it's called Lifebloom! Aw, how cute. It's your life, and it's blooming up, up and up! Just the way we all like it. I'm not sure many people like when their bar starts dropping, unless they're a mana starved tankadin. Even then, they want it to go back up. Mmm, delicious heals.

Right, moving on.

Next, let's look at the mana cost. There's only one rank of Lifebloom (at the moment...WotLK may change that) and it has a fixed mana cost of 220 mana. If you factor in Tree Form's 20% reduced mana cost, it becomes 176. That's really inexpensive, which is really helpful, but we'll go into that more later when we start talking about how it's used.

40 yard range, that's pretty standard. Instant cast, too, is fitting in with the druid's unique playstyle. And now we're on to the meat of the skill.

"Heals the target for 273 over 7 sec. When Lifebloom completes its duration or is dispelled, the target instantly heals themself for 600. This effect can stack up to 3 times on the same target."

What does it all mean, Bellwether?!

I'm glad you asked! See, Lifebloom is a HoT. What's a HoT?


Still with me? Okay. So, Lifebloom is a HoT which is applied to a target for the sole purpose of healing them. It can stack up to three times, and heals for more each second with each stack. Like this:


Now, that's not the most optimal casting order when you have one target. That would look more like this:




And so on with many variations and Swiftmends thrown in at opportune moments.

But it all really depends on what your tank needs at the time! We won't get too picky about that now. Especially since it's dragging in other skills and I'm focusing on just Lifebloom.

Now, Lifebloom lasts 7 seconds. And if you let it expire within those seven seconds, it "blooms." The HoT buff disappears and the target heals themself for a set amount. This bloom amount does not change with varying stacks. A stack of one will bloom as much as a stack of two as a stack of three.

Now, let's take apart what I just said.

First part: the disappearing of the buff after seven seconds. You want to keep the Lifebloom rolling at 3 stacks constantly. This is the most efficient (PvE) use of Lifebloom. With multiple tanks, this is up to 4 tanks with three rolling lifebloom stacks (depending on your latency) due to global cooldown and ignoring any need to use another skill within that rotation (Innervate, emergency Nature's Swiftness plus Healing Touch, Rebirth, etc.) This makes the mana efficiency of Lifebloom all-important due to a Resto druid never being outside of the 5-second rule. Never.

Next part: The bloom. The bloom counts as the healing of the target it blooms on. Basically, this heal will not show up on your healing meters, and will give the person it blooms on threat. This sounds good in theory, but in PvE cases Lifebloom should not be allowed to bloom as much as it is in your power to keep it rolling. It is highly mana inefficient to allow the spell to bloom, but that part will also be explained a bit later in the post.

Final part: Since one Lifebloom will bloom as much as a stack of two or three, it is important to realize you should not stack it if your plan is to allow it to bloom (such as giving the tank one lifebloom before he pulls, giving him bloom threat).

That's all well and good Bellwether, but why do we care?

I'll tell you why!

Once you get into 25-mans, Lifebloom will become 80-100% of your healing. Multiple Lifebloom stacks rolling on multiple tanks. Druid healers fill their own special little niche called "damage mitigation." Our job is to give the tank a steady supply of regenerating health while the other healers (priests, paladins and shamans) take care of burst/spike damage. Basically, we're a living Major Troll's Blood Potion on crack and caffeine with ADHD.

Now, let's address the bloom. That little bugger has its place, sure enough as I type this now. This place is snuggled securely in the (un)welcoming arms of PvP. You see, when Lifebloom is purged or spell-stolen, it blooms automatically on its target, granting them that last spurt of life as a sort of consolation prize. However, this will only work on the last Lifebloom in the stack. You can have two out of three purged from you and get nothing in return, so don't get too cocky. They're also handy when you're being forced to turtle in bear form and can't get to your buddy to give him or her a good heal boost.

So, let's summarize!

Lifebloom is mana efficient and low cost as long as you keep your stacks rolling. You don't want it bloom unless you have no other choice or are giving your tank initial aggro on a pull, and then it's best if it blooms on a stack of one. If you do it at any other time, congratulations! You just casted the longest delayed-time heal in the game for minimal results.

Any questions?

EDIT: It turns out there were questions! What follows is a conversation I had with my fellow bloggers to clear up some of the misconceptions about Lifebloom!

Matticus: since it expires afte 7 seconds
Matticus: dont subsequent lifeblooms like trigger the bloom when it overrides previous blooms?
Matticus: like, bloom, bloom, bloom, bloom OH SHIT HE BLOOMED and start over?
Bellwether: you just keep refreshing the three stack
Bellwether: the timer starts over when you add a new lifebloom
Matticus: one timer for ALL three stacks?
Matticus: not one time for EACH stack?
Bellwether: you can stack lifebloom three times on one person. so it's one stack of three individuals.
Matticus: and adding a 4th does ntohing
Bellwether: just refreshes the timer to keep it from blooming.
Matticus: *scratches head*
Twalkins: Are you familiar with sunder armor, Matticus? Maybe lacerate?
Matticus: *blink*
Matticus: healed my whole career
Twalkins: Ah...guess not.
Twalkins: Hm.
Twalkins: Lifebloom stacks on a single target up to three times.
Matticus: that part i get
Twalkins: So if you hit someone three times with LB, they will have three stacks for seven seconds.
Twalkins: If you hit them again with LB, it won't add a fourth stack. It will simply refresh the duration of the third stack, bringing it back to 7 seconds.
Matticus: like a judgement..
Leafshine: So each cast of Lifebloom resets the timer.
Twalkins: Like a judgement.
Matticus: otherwise i have to recast the seal and judge it again..
Twalkins: Right.
Twalkins: Instead of having to rejudge, a druid has to re-LB three times to get the three stacks.
Leafshine: Yes.
Twalkins: Once LB blooms, all three stacks go away. You'd have to start over.
Leafshine: Yes.
Twalkins: And no matter how many stacks you have, it will always bloom for the same amount.
Matticus: and when it booms, the amount healed makes no differennce be it one boom or three booms
Twalkins: right.
Matticus: and i dont understand this 5sr stuff and how it relates to druids. depending on the encounter, i stay inactive for a while to try and spirit regen my mana
Twalkins: it'd be pretty cool if you could choose when to bloom lifebloom.
Bellwether: We can't be inactive.
Bellwether: It's not how we work
Twalkins: 5 second rule means that you won't regain any spirit-based mana until after five seconds pass of no casting.
Bellwether: We're keeping the tank with a steady regen going.
Matticus: right, that part i get
Bellwether: If we "take a break" the tank loses that steady regen
Siha: Priests are the only ones who _can_ be inactive, really.
Twalkins: So you don't have time to stay out of teh 5sr when LB is only 7 seconds.
Phaelia: druids are pretty much always in 5SR but we have tools that make up for it
Bellwether: especially with multiple stacks
Phaelia: such as lower mana cost spells, Innervate
Phaelia: and general awesomeness
Matticus: you cant just like... sit there for 10 seconds and rely on other healers to do stuff?
Leafshine: And we stat heavily for Spirit if we're seep enough Resto to be trees.
Bellwether: That's not what we're there for
Phaelia: we are healing stream totems
Bellwether: We're there to keep the tank steadily regenning life while other healers care for the spikes.
Leafshine: We are the steady buffers.
Leafshine: We keep Prot Pallies happy with constant mana regen…
Phaelia: when I heal on tough encounters with multiple stacks rolling, my face is about two inches from my monitor and i rock back and forth to keep my rhythm ... you would think me autistic to see me heal ^_^
Leafshine: *nods*
Matticus: okay, so hypothetical scenario.
Leafshine: My attention rarely wavers from the top left hand few inches of the screen...
Bellwether: and if it ever blooms you're like "Dammit! My whole rhythm is out of whack!!!"
Matticus: 3 tanks on a boss. all three tanks are steadily taking damage.
Matticus: do you go from tank 1, to tank 2, to tank 3? or do you stack up 1, then move onto the next?
Matticus: or just not care about 2 of them?
Bellwether: you stack on all of them
Twalkins: You can easily keep three stacks up.
Phaelia: i do 1, 2, 3 ... i rarely worry with spamming 3x
Twalkins: four depending on latency.
Bellwether: and you stack 1,2,3
Phaelia: especially at the beginning where other healers are likely to be on top of things
Matticus: lets assuming you're on lan
Matticus: and latency means nothing
Bellwether: 1,2,3
Twalkins: You'll have no problem 1,2,3,1,2,3,1,2,3 lifebloom stacking.
Phaelia: besides doing 3x on 1 then 2 then 3 would be so expensive ^_^
Bellwether: And you would interrupt stacking three on one of them to refresh on the others and it would be a mess.
Phaelia: i have trouble with 3 tanks + rejuv cycles
Matticus: i see

And then another conversation, only a bit later, with a former guildy:

Harl: so spellsteal counts as a "dispell" effect in terms of whether lifebloom blooms or not?
Bellwether: yep.
Bellwether: had Alt help me test it out
Harl: interesting... does that mean the mage doesn't actually steal anything?
Bellwether: i don't know
Harl: or does the target and the mage benifit?
Harl: er, benefit even
Harl: does it still the whole stack?
Harl: er, steal
Bellwether: just one
Harl: the target gets credit for the heal when it blooms, right?
Bellwether: yes
Harl: so you could drop a single cast on the tank and let it bloom at the start of a fight as a minor agro gain?
Harl: or is that even significant?
Bellwether: yes
Bellwether: as long as you drop it before the tank actually pulls
Bellwether: otherwise it just negates your aggro
Harl: I'm fuzzy on how much threat healing generates
Bellwether: one sec, I'll find you the article
Harl: oh, you even mentioned that part in here. I just hadn't read that far, yet

The mage part is an interesting question. I'm going to assume when a mage spell-steals a lifebloom, they get it and the person losing it gets the bloom. Anyone know otherwise?

EDIT2: Helpful commenter celimos replied:
"when a mage steals it it blooms on the original owner, the mage get the buff, and it will bloom again on the mage afterwards."

Monday, March 3, 2008

Alterac Valley Postulations

For those of you who are unaware, the Alliance in the battlegroup Shadowburn is "boycotting" AV. It's less a boycot, really, than a subconcious unanimous decision to queue for BGs we win more often, and where losing does not mean 0 honor. Now, there's been the general fighting and spitting and hissing back and forth by the Horde with hour-long queue times and the Alliance sitting happily with their EotS winnings from 12 minute (MAX) games. And then, like a beacon of shining reason (albeit a decaying and possibly smelly beacon of shining reason), an Undead Mage named Cythorb from Lightning Hoof writes the following in this thread:

"Everyone knows that the Alliance is not truly boycotting AV, but instead is signing up for other BGs because they get more honor there than in AV. It is also generally known that the current version of AV favors the Horde, and that the previous versions of AV generally favored the Alliance. Yet we see that the Horde never "boycotted" AV no matter how imbalanced it was in favor of the Allies, and the Alliance is "boycotting" it now. Why?

I propose that it has nothing to do with the type of player that chooses Horde or Alliance (all WoW players being equally pale and pimply), and has everything to do with the design of the AV map.

TLDR VERSION: The Alliance is strong in the backfield but weak in the front field. The Horde is strong in the front field but weak in the back field. This means that when imbalances favor the Alliance, the Horde is still able to get honor; but when imbalances favor the Horde, the Alliance is unable to receive any honor and creates the illusion of a "boycott."

AV is not a mirror image: the Alliance and Horde each have incongruent advantages and disadvantages that are SUPPOSED to even out and create a balanced map. The Alliance has a very weak initial defensive position (in the Stonehearth region), but a very strong defensive position in the back two graveyards and towers. The Horde has a very strong initial position (the Iceblood region), but a very weak back two graveyards and towers.

Postulate: Should a map imbalance happen in favor of either faction, that faction will tend to defeat their opponent at the advantaged faction's strongest defensive position.

When we look at the Alliance's historic AV advantage, we find that the Alliance will always lose SH GY, Balinda, and its first 2 towers to the Horde, but could put up an overwhelming defense in their backfield. This means that even in games where the Horde never came close to capping SP and never even saw the Dun Badr towers, they would still receive honor for the initial objectives. The Horde would grumble but then queue up again because it was still the best honor in the game.

When we look at the Horde's current AV advantage (under the new reinforcements rule), we a reach very different conclusion. The Horde, like the Alliance, will stop their opponent at their own strongest defensive position. For the Horde this means Iceblood Graveyard, the first position the Alliance attempts to capture. Thus, when the Horde defense works, the Alliance IS UNABLE TO CAPTURE ANY OBJECTIVES AT ALL. The Horde, in order to exploit a favorable map imbalance, MUST shut the Alliance down entirely because their backfield is too weak to defend once penetrated. Thus, the Horde imbalance leaves the Alliance with virtually no honor and forces them to queue for other BGs.

If the map is balanced, then everyone is happy and AV works. If the map is imbalanced in favor of the Alliance, then the Horde is unhappy but AV still works. If the map is imbalanced in favor of the Horde, then the Alliance receives no honor and AV becomes totally broken. We must therefore conclude that Blizzard must balance the map or favor the Alliance, but can never favor the Horde.

The only solution I see is to redesign the map fundamentally into a mirrored battlefield, so neither side can ever have any advantage at all. This is a somewhat bland solution, but would forever eliminate the historical AV imbalances.

I for one applaud this thread, and I take particular joy in noting that it is a Horde who steps up to reveal the exact reasons why our Alliance just doesn't bother with AV unless it's a premade. Sure, we could probably PUG a group, but I'd rather spend that 30 minutes rolling through something that, even if I lose, still nets me honor.

Sunday, March 2, 2008


Well, a lot of bad-good-wtf stuff has been happening to me lately, but instead of going into that, I'm just going to leave you with a chat log that warmed the cockles of my heart. Yay!

I has fans! I'm so glad I'm helping people in my own small way!

If you're wondering why (s)he was asking about my main's name... 

I was on Bellbell at the time.