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Where I’ve Been For The Past 2 Months

21 Feb

… As told through a series of pictures.

At first I was playing a lot of Star Wars: The Old Republic.

Star Wars: The Old Republic Logo

Quick! Hand me a lightsaber!

I also spent a lot of time putting items into void storage in WoW.

Mishaweha Void Storage

Yup, that void storage is sure filling up fast!

Then it was time to go visit the folks for a week and a half over the holidays.

A cartoon of a family in a car with lots of luggage on top of the car.

It's a four and a half hour drive... which I do about once a month.

Then Christmas happened.

Cartoon Christmas Tree

PRESENTS!!!!1!

I may have gotten a kindle.

A Kindle Fire

I downloaded a Google Reader app to keep up with blogs. Then I downloaded Angry Birds and haven't looked back.

Then I made some more Star Wars characters.

Star Wars Mask of Nihilus Character Loading Screen with Ashandi

Ashandi was my first character but then suddenly two more appeared. I have no idea where they came from... >_>

Xena demanded pettings.

Xena, a white cat, sits on an ironing board.

PET ME!

We drove back home because the holidays were over and it was time to go back to work! Boo!

A cartoon of two kids in construction outfits, moving an i-beam.

This is what you get when you google 'working clipart'. And it has nothing to do the type of work I actually do. XD

I then caught a nasty flu and was sick for about 2 weeks.

A cartoon of a woman sneezing.

Like this, only ten times worse plus a lingering ear infection.

As I found out, you shouldn’t transmog outfits while sick:

I think I might have made it worse. Maybe this 'as few items transmogged as possible' idea isn't the BEST idea. XD

Right when I was getting better I remembered I needed to draw comics for the student newspaper ASAP (my second ‘job’)

A panic button

PANIC! I FORGOT TO DO SOMETHING AGAIN!!

After the comics were drawn I went back to playing making more characters in SW:TOR.

Star Wars Lord Adraas Character Screen Chakaara

Wait, when did all you guys show up here? >_>

Xena wanted more attention.

Xena, a white cat, sits on an ironing board.

PET ME!

I visited my folks for a weekend — at least 3 of them had contagious colds.

Stay Away From Me

You all better not get me sick!

Back again, just in time for more Roleplaying, both in WoW and SW:TOR!

Star Wars RP Session

RP Time! I've had lots of RP time in both WoW and SW:TOR - there's a lot on my schedule!

Xena demanded even more petting.

Xena, a white cat, sits in a box.

Pet me or I won't leave the box!

Yup, that about sums it up. There’s definitely more that happened the past two months (like the Secret Santa Art Trade!) but I think this summary if adequate.

Hopefully there will be some more normal blog posts soon. If not, see you in two months!

-Misha

P.S:

Xena, a white cat, lies in a curled fashion next to some newspaper.

PET MEEEEEE!!!!

A Brief Conversation About Kitty Christmas Lists

25 Nov

Here’s a paraphrased conversation I had with The SA about Xena, our adorable kitty.

Xena, our adorable little-over-a-year-old kitty, sleeping.

Me: Hm, I suppose we should make a Christmas list for Xena. What do you think she’d want? More sparkly balls? Another shoelace to chase around? Some treats and gooshy food?
The SA: A friend.
Me: … … … D: D: D:
The SA: … What?
Me: WE’RE HORRIBLE KITTY PARENTS. T_T

>.>

But does Xena really want a friend?

"If I get a friend do I have to share the pettings? I don't want to share the pettings. Also, may I have pettings now?"

I’m still randomly crying out ‘A Friend!’ with much angst every now and then. I blame The SA for all of this.

-Misha

[White Ribbon] – Heart of Gold

17 Nov

White Ribbon "Working to end violence against women"

“With one voice, as one community, we are speaking out and working to end violence against women.”

Links:

I stand with the WoW Gold Blogging Community as we support The Gold Queen. My thoughts and prayers are with her.

Some of these links are now on the sidebar, including a link to RAINN as seen in this post by The Mental Shaman.

-Misha

How To Clip Kitty Nails & Avoid Injury

25 Jul

Around the time we got our cat (who we later named Xena), I was touting some of her more … interesting qualities on Twitter.

Xena, a white cat, lies down with her front paws curled.

"You heard the vet - I'm an adorable doll! And am therefore incapable of doing misdeeds!"

Mainly the one where she peed on our bed, twice, for no apparent reason. We decided to get her spayed shortly after that, as we were guessing she might’ve been in heat (Apparently when cats are in heat they pee more. She hasn’t peed outside the litter box since getting spayed, though she is still banned from entering the bedroom at night, more because of the whole  “I attack feet that are under covers” and the “I jump onto high places and knock things down for attention.”)

Anyway, I mentioned on twitter that we were getting her spayed, and Rith the Warluid (@riththewarliud on twitter, who blogs at http://riththewarluid.wordpress.com/), who knows a thing or two about cats, asked how old Xena was. At the time she was around six months, and age Rith approved as old enough to get her spayed (hooray! Less peeing!) And because Rith knew so much about cats, I decided to ask some questions with regard to trimming kitty claws, a task I was apprehensive about.

Here’s the conversation we had on twitter (modified from its original version, formatted to fit be read on this blog).

Misha: Now quick – tell me what kind of clippers to get and also how to clip her nails. XD

Rith: I don’t think the brand of clippers matters; we have a standard pair of scissor clippers that work just fine. It would be good if you could get her used to being on her back in your arms. I know it’s hard to do with a kitten!

Xena's Paw - Deadlier than it seems.

But that way she may not fight you as much when you go to clip her nails; I cradle the cat in my left arm like a baby and clip with the right as I am a righty. Generally I don’t have many issues; it helps if you have another person to scratch their ears and distract them. Also, treats are your best friend. If they get too fiesty, towel burrito them.

(Ed. Note: Sometimes she can lie on her back in my arms, though I usually can’t get a good handle on her to clip the nails. Instead I just sneak up with the clippers while she’s sleepy… Also, I have completely failed at all attempts to towel burrito Xena.)

Misha: Mmm, towel burrito. We’ll have to try it out. She loves lying on her back on stretching, but not as keen for being held.

Rith: Haha. Another thing you can do (if you can catch her and hold her still long enough!) is play with her feet to get her used to it.

Misha: Good news is I think my friend did that a lot, so she doesn’t mind her feet being touched. We’ve touched them a lot. :3

Rith: Awesome! I like your friend more and more. :) Best of luck getting her nails trimmed! Also, invest in some of that clotting powder incase you cut a bit too short.

Rith: And let me guess; way too much information? xD

Misha: No, no. In fact I’ma gonna copy it all for further study. :3

(Ed. Note: That’s what this is.)

So there you have it. Lots of handy information on how to clip kitty nails! I’ve been doing pretty well so far, but I’ve only been making really short cuts so there are no bloody nails, as I still haven’t invested in some blotting powder!

Thanks again for the advice, Rith! And I’d appreciate any more advice on clipping cat nails that any of you might have!

"You want my paw? Fine. Here it is. You get 15 seconds before I start nipping."

Review of ACEN 2011

20 Jul
Capt. Jack Sparrow poses for a picture with Officer Jenny and Nurse Joy

Only at ACEN will you find Capt. Jack Sparrow hanging out with Officer Jenny and Nurse Joy.

“Recently” I went to a certain anime convention called Anime Central, and I’m finally getting around to sharing my thoughts on it with you, dear readers. If you’re not really into anime or manga (or if you don’t know what those are), you may want to skip this post as I didn’t see any WoW characters running around in costume!

I’ve attended Anime Central (ACEN) almost yearly since the end of middle school (which would be the year 2000… I’m old. T_T), and there’s been a lot of changes. It’s moved to different locations, likely because it gets bigger and bigger each year. I’ve heard there were some good 20000 attendees this year. 20000! I remember when 10000 attendees was a huge number for this convention…

A woman on black fabric covered stilts poses for a picture.

What better do while waiting in line than to take people's pictures?

Of course, it had a much different feel when it was ‘small’. You didn’t need to line up nearly 1 hour before a panel and there was usually room for everyone. As the convention got bigger, the lines got longer — for some of the main programming you’d need to line up for hours and hours beforehand. Heck, I don’t think we’ve ever been to a masquerade at ACEN just because the line for that has always been ridiculously long.

Because of the growing size of the convention, some ACENs fared better than others. Either they had more space or better planning or both. I seem to recall that the cons from 2007-2009 being particularly painful due to horribly long lines everywhere (not to mention the teenage vandals. Those darn teenagers…)

The 2010 con, for me, was one of the best in recent memory. They increased the number of panel rooms by holding some in the vendor area and other nearby hotels, which helped to reduce the line at most events. Their line control was quite good. And the vendor area was in a newer and larger location that was easy to walk to. It was an excellent experience.

This year in the 2011 con, it was similar. There were a few hiccups that I wasn’t expecting due to how well the con was run the previous year, but overall everything went well (in my opinion).

Although the people in this registration line were probably more irritated:

A long line of people waiting to register for ACEN 2011.

The registration line the day before the con. It went on for a few blocks.

The registration line Thursday evening was supposed to open at around 4:30. We stop by around 6:30 to grab program books… and they hadn’t opened the line up. I was rather shocked; registration/badge pick-up usually goes much more smoothly than this, especially after they started to mail pre-ordered badges. I for one will always pay an extra two dollars to have my badge mailed to avoid any situation like this!

But enough about waiting for lines in panels — here’s a gallery of some of the cosplayers that were there! (And there’s a slideshow with all the images further down as well!) Enjoy!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Kitty!

6 Jul

Remember how I mentioned The SA and I recently got a cat? Well, I just got another one! Check it out:

Mishaweha rides a black cat with white-fire tipped wings.

My new kitty!

And it flies!

Mishaweha rides a black cat with white-fire tipped wings that's flying.

Whee!

What was that? Oh! You wanted to learn more about the real cat that we had gotten? I suppose… After all, we have decided on a name for her.

I’m pleased to reintroduce you to our cat, Xena!

Xena, a white cat, sits on the ground looking at the camera.

Xena, Warrior Kitty

That’s right, we named her after Xena, Warrior Princess.

Xena, Warrior Princess

The Original Xena, Warrior Princess. Can you not see the resemblance?

If we get another cat, we’ll have to name her Gabrielle (or Joxer if it was a boy).

It’s a fitting name for her; kitty-Xena has mad hops, just like the person-Xena. And she has a tendency to play-bite a lot, which I guess is something person-Xena would do if she were a cat. We’re trying to stop kitty-Xena from biting though, so far with only marginal success.

Xena, a white cat, looks at the camera while in a sink.

"Me? I wouldn't harm a fly. Well, maybe a fly, but not you (very much)!"

Xena, a white cat, sits in a sink investigating the faucet

Yes, she loves the sink and playing with the water. It's adorable.

Xena's Surgery Incision

Xena's surgery incision while it was still healing. You can hardly see it now.

Recently we got her spayed (to keep her from peeing on beds while in heat, besides that not getting kittens thing), so she’s been recovering.At first she took the confinement to the bathroom pretty well, but she got impatient as time went on. By Day 5 after the surgery she was ready to go.

Xena, a white cat, stretches on the floor.

Xena demands her freedom by looking adorable!

A row of small balls with many very thin reflective strings sticking out of them.

She will play fetch with these on occassion.

Too bad she was supposed to stay confined for 10-14 days. We let her out into the other rooms, especially when it got pretty warm (there was no AC for that side of the apartment), but we kept her away from her sparkly balls, which she loves to aggressively play with.

Her after-surgery check-up was just the other day, so we forced her into her carrier (for some reason she has an aversion to it now…) and headed off to the vet, who said that she looked fine. So she could run and jump yet again after those sparkly balls!

Of course, the vet also gave her a feline leukemia vaccine, which was scary because it made a loud noise. But Xena was still an adorable kitty – it even said so on her report back from surgery: “Xena is a doll!” Apparently she was being all cute in the cage before the surgery — rubbing against the door, flopping down in cute positions. You know, the usual for her.

Xena, a white cat, lies down with her front paws curled.

"You heard the vet - I'm an adorable doll!"

Xena, a white cat, sleeps on a table.

Flop! Right by a book! Again.

She always flops. We get home from work and it’s accusing meows for leaving her alone all day, followed by a flop in the middle of the floor by no one, as if to say, “You! Come here and pet me for I am adorable!”

Xena, a white cat, lies on the floor.

"I'm adorable! Where are the pettings?"

Welp, when she’s right, she’s right.

*pets*

Thoughts on Thor

18 May

Last weekend, I dragged The SA to the movie Thor with me, now in a theater near you. We thought it was pretty good. If you’re into superhero type movies and other action flicks, I’d advise you to go see it.

Below, for your reading pleasure, is a list of random thoughts about the movie (as I am not accustomed to writing movie reviews). Don’t worry, it’s mostly spoiler-free.

  • The beginning of the movie was a tad slow and/or boring. Don’t worry, it gets better.
  • There is a surprising amount of humor. Well, maybe the amount isn’t too large, but it had a tendency to sneak up in scenes when you weren’t quite expecting it. And when it does, it is pretty darn funny.
    •  More interesting, a fair amount of the humor is slapstick based, especially near the start.
  • Holy character development, batman! There was a lot of it, in a lot of characters, and it was good.
    • I especially enjoyed the fact that Thor’s companions got to enjoy a fair amount of screentime. When the story moved from one world to another, I thought we were done with them, but I was wrong.
    • I also liked how the romance wasn’t the complete driving force behind the character development, and I also liked how she (i.e. the romantic interest) wasn’t just a lame damsel in distress.
  • There seemed there was more behind the story that they couldn’t fit in. Yey for rich backgrounds!
  • Also, I really liked the gatekeeper. He was cool. :3

If you do go, make sure you stay through the credits. Not only are there pretty graphics, there is also a small “DUN DUN DUN” scene at the end.

And if my random rambling haven’t convince you to go, the sweet, sweet fanservice should.

Smexy.

And it’s waaaay better in person too.

So — I recommend seeing the movie Thor. If you go see it (or if you already have seen it), let me know what you think (thought) in the comments!

-Misha

I Choose You, Kitty!

24 Apr

My plans for posts this week were distracted by a new addition to our family: KITTY!

A white cat sleeps on a car seat.

New kitty doesn't believe in sleeping in cat carriers.

She’s 6 months old, born to my friend’s boyfriend’s roommate’s cat (my friend’s boyfriend now owns that mama cat, I believe). We still haven’t come up with a name for her — any suggestions? :)

NaNoWriMo and Me

10 Nov

As you may have guessed, the reason why I haven’t posted after that long but I’m sure extremely interesting post, is that I’ve been working on NaNoWriMo. You know, that thing where you write 50,000 words in the month of November and hopefully come out the other end with a novel.

Here’s the situation so far:

  • I’m more than halfway behind the “Suggested Cumulative Word Count”.
  • I find I write better with at least some humor in my tone, and I’m not good at ‘introspective thoughtful narrating’ where it’s deep. Nope, can’t do that.
  • It would probably be best if I kept myself to writing Young Adult fiction, as that’s almost all I read, instead of trying to write a Sci Fi sort of book… only to have it read more like Young Adult fiction only with no teenagers in it.
  • I write faster and I write more when I don’t look at what I’m typing too much.
  • I get an obscene number of typos when I don’t look at what I’m typing too much.
  • It’s easier to correct most spelling and typos later.
  • I’m no longer caring if a sentence is woefully out-of-place in a paragraph (or if it shouldn’t be in the book altogether!)
  • I think this story may actually be presentable later, if it gets cleaned up, even with it’s lack of plot (unlike last year’s)

So, there’s all that.

I have a feeling that I might write faster if I don’t pick a story that’s been in my brain since, well, a long time. Both this year’s and last year’s stories have long danced around in my head, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that a lot of the stories in my head don’t make the best read. They jump around from scene to scene, and usually deal with the angst of one or two characters, with no discernible plot other than to throw more angst building situations at them. I’ve realized that doesn’t make for the most interesting read, so when I do take a story from my head, I’ve discovered the need to add more depth to it, and to insert a better plot.

Last year’s experiment at doing that didn’t really work… however, the story shifted from my original envisioning, which lead to me thinking up a similar, yet I think ‘better’ story. One that could actually have a plot.

But this year I decided to pick up a different story, just to keep things different. Only problem was that while I had more than 1 character, and a probable villain, I didn’t really have a plot.

Of course, I still don’t really have a plot, but I’m hoping it’ll show up in the next few thousand words or so. XD

Hopefully once NaNoWriMo is all done, I’ll be able to edit and spruce up the story enough to post on this blog here. I originally thought I could do that during the month, but… there’s no way, with the amount of writing still left to do!

And maybe next year I’ll actually prepare and plot out my book, so that way it’ll have a solid backbone before I start writing…

*stifles laughter*

-Misha

And We’re Back

30 Oct

Boy, did we miss a lot of going ons whilst on our honeymoon. So here’s a recap of the past few weeks in an extremely long post that I should probably break into two posts, but you know what, no, I won’t, just because. It’s more or less chronological, carefully labeled with ‘In Real Life’ and ‘In Game’ headers, in case you actually didn’t want to read about my wedding.

(Because you totally do.)

(Right?)

In Real Life

The Wedding

The wedding went very well,  mostly thanks to my parents and friends who dealt with all sorts of details that I may or may not have planned for. At first I was worrying about everything that needed to be done while I was running around town, but once I got to the church it was much easier to let everyone else worry instead. There wasn’t much to oversee from the changing room anyway (although I could’ve used the advice of taking off my pants first and then putting on the dress. Way to drop the ball, bridesmaids.)

Wedding Dress For Happy Couple in Love

This ain't us, fyi (Image by epSos.de via Flickr)

The only ‘major’ issue was that it took much longer than we anticipated to actually get to the reception hall. The service itself was only 30 minutes. But we had to greet the receiving line, do the paperwork, remove all of our stuff from the church… by the time we left, it was only an hour until dinner!

So we only had time to stop at one place for pictures (though that was fine by me and The SA, since he doesn’t like getting his picture taken, and I like eating food). But when we finally go to the reception, dinner wasn’t quite ready to be served, so all was well (except for the guests, I suppose, since they actually had to wait for 2+ hours for us to show up).

Let me tell you, I will no longer be impatient when there is a long gap between the wedding and the reception — the bridal party is actually pretty busy!

Even with the wait, our guests weren’t completely bored — at each table there were logic puzzles for them to solve! The purpose of said puzzles? To ‘make’ us kiss during dinner, instead of clinking glasses. Some of the puzzles came from the Professor Layton games, a few from a CS class I used to teach, but the majority I got from der Hexenmister‘s Weekly Warlock Wind-Up. Go check them out, they’re really good puzzles. (And people solved more of them than I thought they would — alas!)

After dinner, a lot of people left, which was understandable, given the number of people who would likely be traveling home that night (as it was a Sunday). But the bridal party stayed and danced until the end.

(Side note: My friends dance very dramatically. The bartender said he enjoyed watching them dance a lot. XD )

The Honeymoon

The next morning we opened wedding presents at my parents’ place (the wedding took place in my hometown, not where I’m currently residing), inviting over friends for breakfast as well (making the ones who arrived ‘early’ cook!).  And once they left, it was time for last-minute packing to go on our honeymoon!

Where did we go, you ask with bated breath?

Why, we went to DISNEY!

A picture of Cinderella's Castle in Disneyland.

Hello random people!

*squee*

Hey, don’t look at me like that. The SA picked it out (… whilst considering what I like >.> ).

But we had a blast. First we stayed at the Yacht & Beach Club Resort, which has an awesome pool and easy access to Epcot (and a boat to MGM Hollywood Studios, which is pretty cool).

Then we went on a CRUISE.

A DISNEY CRUISE.

The Disney Wonder

Cruise!

It was totally awesome and I loved every minute of it. It was only a 3-day cruise down to the Bahamas and Disney’s Castaway Cay (that’s pronounced Castaway Key, but if I had a private island I would give it a silly spelling too). We got to swim with dolphins and snorkel over (de-barbed) sting-rays. Good times.

Incidentally, I now have plans to go on another, longer, cruise in the future.

After the cruise we had more fun at the parks, while staying at The Grand Floridian Resort, which was very posh. Sometime around then The SA caught a cold, perhaps because we stayed out pretty late at one of the parks.

Not my fault.

But we went home soon after he got his cold, so none of our plans were ruined. I think the whole thing was a huge success.

Especially since we flew first class, both ways.

(I drank so much soda on those flights).

Life After Wedding

But now we’re back here, where it’s cold again, and we have to go back to work. I desperately want more vacation time now. XD

Sure, there are still things to do — like writing thank you notes, finding places to put presents, returning unwanted gifts (not that we got any of those), getting photos… but other than that, all this wedding business is behind us now. Yup, life as usual…

*sighs longingly for cruise food as she cooks dinner and plans her NaNoWriMo novel*

But now I actually have some (more) time to play WoW! And I have a lot to say about that as well!

(Did you like the segue? I did.)

In Game

Patch 4.0

Here’s pretty much my reaction when first signing into WoW after the honeymoon: “What did I missssholy crap!” Indeed, the few weeks we were away were very eventful on the WoW front. There’s nothing as exciting as coming into a game and finding your characters have changed and you have to redo all of their talent trees.

(Of course, redoing talent trees now is much easier now that there are fewer points you need to spend).

I’ve been avoiding reading other WoW blogs for the time being to compose my own thoughts on the new patch, so I present to you… The Pros and Cons (and Annoyances) of 4.0!

Pros

  • The changes to Hunter pet management — This change has been a long time in coming, and I cannot be more thrilled. Now there are plenty of stable spots, and the ease of going out and taming a new pet (or even just taming something random you’ve stumbled across) is, well, easy! I already have two more pet gathering trips planned for my hunter(s). Side note: I also enjoy the ‘move pet here’ feature. This will make RPing with a pet that much easier.
  • Ammo no longer needed for ranged weapons — Woohoo!
  • The new glyph system — Changing out my glyphs whenever and I don’t have to keep buying new ones? Don’t mind if I do! Sure, it’s a little painful to collect all the glyphs initially… but luckily I haz a scribe.
  • Selling glyphs on the AH made before the patch — What was that? The markets are still out of whack even after I get back? Don’t mind if I do! (Note: with glyphs now taking 3 inks to make, their base price should now end up 3x what they were before. However, since the glyphs made before only took 1 ink… it’s like 3x the profit at least!)
  • The new water effects — Shiny! I played in water a lot when I realized it had a new (and cool) effect. I plan on trying some water wave experiments later, too.
  • Showing unlearned spells in the spell book — This is handy when wondering if you know a spell that a talent would affect. Convenience!
  • No more totem carrying for Shaman? — I think that Shaman don’t need to carry around totems to make the totem spells work. Quite a difference, I must say. I still have the ones I quested so hard for in the bank that I’m holding onto, but I don’t have any in my bags that aren’t relics. And the relics don’t have the text saying they stand as totems anymore since…
  • Relics are now stat-sticks –- This is good because then I don’t have to carry around 123897923 of them in case I want to change to a different effect. Instead, I just need one to wear and one for offspec. This is one of the main reasons I now have bag space, along with the fact that…
  • Elemental Shaman have spirit turn to hit — While my offspec (from resto) is currently enhancement, this means that if I do decide to have an elemental offspec, I won’t really need much other gear besides my resto gear. Hooray! Another bag space saving measure!

Cons

  • Adjusting my hunters from mana to focus — I thought I would hate focus, but I actually don’t mind it. What’s really annoying is that all the water my hunters were carrying is now useless to them, along with any int gear their wearing. Sigh.
  • Also, getting rid of all my ammo — Yes, all that ammo that my hunters bought/engineers had made. I feel bad for a guildie who had bought and stockpiled the high level ammo for a lot of gold, only to have all of it become useless.
  • The new guild window — A lot of the information in the guild window I would like to see all at once, instead of flipping from view to view. That’s pretty annoying, and I’m not sure how to get around it.
  • The death of QuestHelper — QuestHelper is dead. :( I understand it was hard for the owner to run it once in-game donation pleas were banned, and then Blizz made their own ‘quest helper’ so… yeah. But I’ll still miss it.

Annoyances

  • Glyphs costing 3 inks each now — It makes sense, considering the permanence of glyphs now, but it’s still annoying.
  • All my addons breaking — Standard for large patches, I know, but this one seemed to cause more issues (or am I just imagining that?) I think they changed some variable names that messed up pretty much every addon.
  • The new key binding for the guild window — I keep hitting ‘o’ instead of ‘j’. So now I remember I need to type ‘OJ’ to get both social menus. (And don’t tell me I can just change the key bindings — that would ruin my complaining fun!)
  • Trying to remember just what spec that alt was — Maybe that’s a sign I should play some of my neglected alts more often. Either way I’m going to stumble across another alt that has no spec months from now…
  • Coming up with specs for all my new hunter pets — A lot of my new pets are going to be sitting around specless too. And, most likely, will still bear the name of their species…
  • Auto-loot being turned off by default — Argh! So annoying!

But these lists aside, I’m actually pretty happy with the changes that have been introduced in 4.0. Such as the changes to…

Shaman Healing

Yes, Shaman Healing, something once familiar to me, is now… only slightly less familiar to me. XD

The main difference to shaman healing is the addition of a new, direct heal, besides the fact they changed the way the old heals worked, which I experimented with once I got all my talents set and my skills retrained. Below is my take on the three direct heal spells:

  • The ‘basic’ or ‘small’ heal is now Healing Wave. It has a long cast time (2.1 seconds for me), healing for 6k or so. It’s also really cheap to cast – I don’t run out of mana if I spam it. Good times.
  • Then there’s a really big heal, aptly called Greater Healing Wave, something Shaman didn’t really have before. It has the same cast time as Healing wave, but triple the mana cost and healing done. So it’s good to get someone up to full, as long as you have the time to cast it, but it is definitely not spamable.
  • In between those two is Healing Surge, a fast direct heal that heals twice as much as Healing Wave, but costs nearly as much mana as Greater Healing Wave. So it’s good to get out some fast, singular heals, as the expense of mana. Unlike the now dead Lesser Healing Wave, you cannot spam this one often either without fear of running out of mana.

Nothing else has really changed besides those spells; we still have the same Chain Heal, Riptide, Cleanse (although it now cleanses Curses and Magic, which has really confused me and killed my Tricky Treat buzz), Nature’s Swiftness, Earthliving Weapon, and Earth Shield (since we don’t have Healing Rain yet).

I had the opportunity to test the healing out in an ICC raid the other night, where I found I’m still getting used to my new key binding. (It’s one additional spell, so I had to move a few things around.) Unfortunately, that led to me tripping up my fingers, so to speak, and possibly failing to get the right healing spell out. I’m sure no one died because of that though. >.> But it wouldn’t hurt to re-evaluate the key bindings I have set up.

I reviewed the healing done on Recount; the top three spells were Greater Healing Wave, Chain Heal, and Riptide. Healing Surge was much farther down the list, possibly due to it being the new key bind. And so was Healing Wave, surprisingly; perhaps folks were taking too much damage to make worth my while. (Although now that I think about it, perhaps these healing numbers were skewed by the Dreamwalker fight… >.> )

I was pleasantly surprised to see that Ancestral Awakening (the talent that will magically heal someone) was a good 10% of the healing done, as well as Earthliving Weapon. So I’m glad I took that Ancestral Awakening talent, and I may consider getting the talent that is more likely to apply Earthliving Weapon on targets with less health.

However, some talents I did not utilize were the ones dealing with shocks and lightning bolt. They both seem like good ideas — overall the shock one makes heals more effective (while removing some of the mana cost), and the lightning bolt one helps to recover mana. The downside was that I hardly had time to cast shocks while I was healing, let alone lightning bolts. Either those talents are more useful for soloing, or they will be more useful with the boss fight style in Cataclysm, which I heard-tell is different. In the meantime, it might be best to skip those talents and put the points into something else that would help healing directly.

I still need some practice dealing with ‘all these spells’ (I can hear priests and druids snickering), but I think I kinda like this new(ish) Shaman healing.

Hallow’s End

But the patch 4.0 changes weren’t the only things we arrived to — it was also Hallow’s End! This led to my days off from work being spent logging from character to character on my main server, trick or treating and cursing when the ‘wrong’ toon got the Hallowed Helm and/or Sinister Squashling. I was a little worried that Mourninglory, next in line to complete the “What a Long, Strange Trip It’s Been” achievement, wouldn’t finish her only Hallow’s End achievement left, which was, you guessed it, getting the helm and squashling. But fortunately, after hours of trick or treating at inns and running the Headless Horseman dungeon more or less each day, I got the goods and she’s that much closer to getting that protodrake.

After she got the Hallow’s End achievement, I was a little less zealous with the trick or treating. I’ve still been doing it, especially on Misha, to try to get some more masks for that seemingly impossible achievement.

I also moved onto another toon, Mamisha (the next highest in level), to try and complete some of the Halloween achievements, for her protodrake (one toon at a time, is my motto). I finished her PVP based one over in Southshore. I did it during the day when I was home from work, in order to avoid ‘traffic’ (aka bored Alliance campers), especially since Mamisha is level 70. Luckily, my plan worked, and I was in and out of there without dying. Hooray!

Corny Conclusion

So that’s what I’ve been up to, dear reader(s). What’ve you been up to? Any life altering changes or have you just been living the life? And what is your opinion of the brand ‘new’ WoW (patch)? Comment below, I’ll be reading!

—Misha

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