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2011 In Review

6 Mar

Happy New Year!!!

Why, it seems like only yesterday I was celebrating this joyous occasion with my friends and -

What’s that? It was over two months ago?

Well. Better late than never, right?

At least the WordPress.com stats helper monkeys weren’t late when they prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog, similar to the one they put together last year. Only this year’s version comes with lag-inducing graphics.

Those same lag-inducing graphics make it slightly harder to pull into a fully commented blog post. But fear not, for I have carefully transcribed copy/pasted the text information over here so I can write snarky comments.

If you’d like to see the dazzling webpage in all its glory, just click here to see the complete report.

If you’d prefer the transcription (with my comments, in dark red), then read on!

WordPress.com presents

Me, Myself… And All Of Them

2011 in blogging

There are lag inducing fireworks for each day I wrote a post. I don’t know if they loop — I went and read the rest of the report instead. If you have the patience to watch, feel free to let me know. :D

Happy New Year from WordPress.com! And a very Happy (belated) New Year right back atcha, WordPress.com!

To kick off the new year, we’d like to share with you data on your blog’s activity in 2011. You may start scrolling! If I can through the fireworks lag. Does all this lag mean I need a new computer? I think it does.

Crunchy numbers (Om nom nom nom…)

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 11,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it. That’s a pretty solid number there. But doesn’t it sound even more impressive when you use last year’s comparison? A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers, which means 11,000 people would fill 26.44 jets! Or, if you gathered the lifetime production of saliva from 11,000 people, it would fill about 104 Olympic swimming pools! (Thanks again, Weird Converter!)

In 2011, there were 62 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 103 posts. There were 245 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 246mb. That’s about 5 pictures per week. I have a tendency to upload images first, ask questions put them into posts later.

The busiest day of the year was April 27th with 190 views. The most popular post that day was My Guild Still Doesn’t Understand Me.

This section had four images in it. I assume these images were from some of my most popular posts.

The largest image was this one, from the ‘most popular post':

Followed by three smaller images also from popular posts.

The first one is related to Xena searchers, as it was when I was introducing Xena the cat, even if her picture wasn’t pulled:

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

My new kitty!

The next are people, who like me, were looking for some Thor fanservice:

(Speaking of, I can’t wait for The Avengers to come out. I hope it’s good!)

And lastly, my perennial popular post contains this most awesome picture:

Power of the Horde, by Blood

Power of the Horde, by Blood

Someday I’ll find out who this Blood person is so I can ask gush about their awesome art!

How did they find you?

The top referring sites in 2011 were:

  • twitter.com Thanks for reading, Twitter Friends (and spam bots!)
  • daily-quests.com I drew Fyreuni for last year’s Secret Santa Art Trade and she posted it on her site. I think some of her readers stopped by to visit. :3
  • spiritbond.blogspot.com Thanks for putting me on your blog roll!
  • wordpress.com Whoo, wordpress works its magic!
  • Google Reader Thanks for reading through the magic of Google Reader (now with new privacy policies)!

Some visitors came searching, mostly for xena, unamused, xena warrior princess, unamused face, and texas hash. I’m getting steady traffic from people looking for these images. In fact, I had a huge traffic spike after Lucy Lawless was arrested… Keep it up, Google Searchers — you boost my ego!

Where did they come from?

At this point there is a map of the world with generic MSN-messenger shaped people over each inhabited continent, sized relative to how many people have viewed the blog from those locations. You can then mouse over them to get up to the top 5 countries for each continent.

Most visitors came from The United States. The United Kingdom & Canada were not far behind.

And here are the detailed stats that I am helpfully writing out instead of making you mouse over, going from largest to smallest person-thing. Unfortunately, they don’t provide the overall percentage for each region.

North America

  1. The United States 82.9%
  2. Canada 13.2%
  3. Mexico 2.2%
  4. Honduras 0.2%
  5. Puerto Rico 0.2%

Europe

  1. The United Kingdom 23.6%
  2. Italy 8.3%
  3. Netherlands 8.2%
  4. Germany 6.3%
  5. France 4.7%

Oceania

  1. Australia 86.4%
  2. New Zealand 13.2%

(I guess there are only two places in Oceania that viewed the site. >_>)

South America

  1. Brazil 65.4%
  2. Columbia 11.0%
  3. Argentina 9.6%
  4. Chile 7.0%
  5. Peru 1.5%

Asia

  1. Philippines 15.5%
  2. Indonesia 13.4%
  3. India 12.5%
  4. Malaysia 7.8%
  5. Israel 6.9%

Africa

  1. Egypt 55.6%
  2. South Africa 29.6%
  3. Algeria 5.6%
  4. Sudan 3.7%
  5. Ghana 1.9%

Whoo! Fun stats, eh?

Who were they?

Your most commented on post in 2011 was The Return of the Link Round Up! Best way to get lots of comments on a post: Link other people and respond to all comments. That way the count doubles! XD

These were your 5 most active commenters:

  • 1 TheIdiotSpeaketh 5 comments WoW bloggers may not be familiar with this gentleman, but he writes one of the most hilarious/interesting blogs in the world! I encourage you to check it out!
  • 2 Faeldray 5 comments Writer of Petoholics Anonymous, she is filled with much awesomeness.
  • 3 Cynwise 3 comments If you don’t know who Cynwise is, I… I don’t know what to say. Besides telling you to follow her him on twitter and read all his blogs immediately!
  • 4 Jasyla 3 comments Jasyla cannot be tamed! No really, that’s her blog. Go check it out. :3
  • 5 kamaliaetalia 2 comments She’s a Shaman, just like me! Go read her blog too!

Perhaps you could follow their blog or send them a thank you note? Or I’ll just thank them here. So thank you all for commenting. And YOU all should check out their blogs, posthaste! They all are super awesome!

Attractions in 2011

These are the posts that got the most views in 2011. You can see all of the year’s most-viewed posts in your Site Stats.

Some of your most popular posts were written before 2011. Your writing has staying power! Consider writing about those topics again. What was that WordPress? You think I should put in more google image search pictures to attract more google image searchers? CAN DO.

The main report page goes on for a little while longer, but it’s mostly WordPress telling you to keep blogging and the like. All in all, it wasn’t a bad year. Hopefully this year will be just as good, if not better. After all, I’m off to a great start

Cheers!

-Misha

2010 In Review

26 Jan

For this week’s ‘PostAWeek’, I’m copping out and showing the stats email WordPress sent me (and presumably, all the rest of the WordPress bloggers. Don’t worry — I’ve added comments to make the read even more interesting!

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog Me, Myself… And All Of Them did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow. At first I thought they knew I blogged about World of Warcraft. Then I realized it just meant they were impressed. Also, I enjoy how this meter has no red.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 2,400 times in 2010. That’s about 6 full 747s. Or to put it another way, if each viewer had a can of beer each time they viewed the site (which they wouldn’t, since a good number of them are spambots), the amount of beer would fill about 6.25 bathtubs (thank you, Weird Converter!)

In 2010, there were 41 new posts, not bad for the first year! Technically the first post was in April, so that’s not even a full year! There were 165 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 34mb. That’s about 3 pictures per week. They chose a cute picture for this section, suspiciously from one of my most popular posts. Good thing they picked the cute picture — if they hadn’t I would have had to change it, and fiddling with pictures is such a drag.

The busiest day of the year was July 12th with 75 views. The most popular post that day was About. That was the day I joined twitter and @ILikeBubbles told people to welcome me. I was overwhelmed by the luv on the twitters. <3 you guys!

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were twitter.com (WoW bloggers/readers, spambots), blogazeroth.com (WoW bloggers/readers), mmomeltingpot.com (WoW bloggers/readers), aodstudios.com (WoW artists), and healthfitnesstherapy.com (spambots).

Some visitors came searching, mostly for power of the horde tooth, power of the horde – tooth, tooth horde, horde tooth, and horde by tooth. These searchers end up at this post (look familiar?), as they too are trying to find out who this ‘Tooth’ is. My own searches for the artist Tooth have also been futile. Tooth, if you’re out there, link us your site so we all can find it, because you draw awesome.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

About March 2010
Since most visitors want to know more about me.

2

A Picture Tells A Thousand Words (A Shared Topic Post) July 2010
5 comments This is the post that most searchers got to while looking for the artist Tooth.

3

Live and Let Die (A Shared Topic Post) July 2010
10 comments This was another shared topic post from Blog Azeroth. I believe it was also linked to by the MMO Melting Pot.

4

Flying Ace (A Shared Topic Post) July 2010
7 comments See the comments from #3.

5

Character References For Art Trade November 2010
This post is a password protected one for the Secret Santa Art Trade, which I talked about here. Overall, this list shows some of my better works, though my more popular posts are definitely ones based off of Shared Topics!

And there you have it. A (nearly) full year of blogging is summed up nicely (and better yet, I didn’t have to do the summing!) Hopefully these positive blogging trends continue into this year. So please, keep reading!

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

Good news, everybody!

4 Aug

Have you read this article from WoW.com? Go on, I’ll give you a minute.

*twiddles thumbs*

Alright, you read it? Good!

Let me give you my reaction:

WHOOOOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

In my opinion, this is some excellent news for the RP community, and the community as a whole, on Moon Guard. As the article points out, this is the first time (that we know of) where Blizzard is actively patrolling an area for chat that abuses their ToS.

Now, I have a few baby alliance toons on Moon Guard, and yes, they have been to Goldshire (for the quests, obviously, as they were little baby humans). And yes, the ‘scene’ there is very bad. You can’t even walk in there to turn in/get quests without running into naked toons, or getting one of those ‘unsolicited tells’ from someone (at least, if you’re playing a female toon. -_- ). Sure, I could’ve written a report about all of this, but it’s easy enough to put the worse offenders on ignore, and just ignore the rest. But it would be nice if the people who can’t keep all of this in private chats would learn to do so or receive some sort of punishment.

Of course, I don’t think this will solve everything. On the article, there are already comments pointing out that people will just go elsewhere for their ‘E-RP fun’, creating a new Goldshire away from Blizzard’s active patrollers. And if people start to say everything in private chat, it’s likely you’ll still be greeted with a whole bunch of toons with various amount of clothing on. Plus, this does nothing for other servers (RP and otherwise) facing similar ‘bad chat’ problems. Heck, if Moon Guard’s Goldshire ends up clearing out, they might even more to a different RP server!

But at least this post verifies that Blizzard does indeed pay attention to the complaint reports people send them (even if the standard message “we’ll do something about this but we won’t tell you what” isn’t very… helpful or satisfying). And perhaps a new policy like this will be effective enough that they will start doing it on other problem servers. We can only hope.

-Misha

P.S. Too Many Annas has written her own post about this new policy. Vidyala has written a post about her experiences on Moon Guard. I’ll be adding more links on about Moon Guard and the ‘policing’ throughout the day, so check them out!

Live and Let Die (A Shared Topic Post)

7 Jul

Today’s post is a Blog Azeroth Shared Topic post for July 5-10. This shared topic was brought up by Ecclesiastical Discipline, who asks “When should a healer let somebody die?”, a question thought of when they wrote about how healers rule five mans.

My main, Mishaweha, is a shaman healer. I love healing; I leveled resto (before that LFD system, mind you!), which in retrospect was a very painful, slow way to level (I seem to have blocked out most of my memories on the matter). But it means that I have plenty of experience healing dungeons and raids… and letting people die in them.

Now, in my experience, there are different reasons why a healer let’s somebody die. For the purposes of this post, I will classify these reasons into three different categories: Accidental, Prioritized, and Purposeful. I’ll explain what types of deaths constitute each category, and how often I let those happen when I heal.

Accidental Death

An accident - a car has been lifted by the camper it was towing.

Whoops!

I believe that this category is the most common reason why people die in WoW dungeons. I would assume that every healer has the goal of keeping everyone alive — not only is it their job, but it also keeps the group moving. But sometimes there are… accidents while going through a dungeon. I’ve classified these accidental deaths in sub-categories for your enjoyment.

AFK-Healer

The dungeon is going swimmingly, no one is taking unexpected damage, you’ve got the mouse posed right over the your healbot-like interface (or whatever you use to heal), and the HoTs are rollin’ (if you’re lucky enough to have HoTs. Stupid druids). But then something interesting pops on the telly, or that blog post your reading is really engrossing, or that youtube video got to the really funny part, or your parents/friends/roommate/S.O. demand your attention for just a moment… Whatever the reason, you become ‘momentarily’ distracted, and that’s when everything hits the fan. The tank pulls too many mobs, randomly gets hit hard, aoe plagues the group, and people start dropping like flies. If you notice soon enough, it usually can be recovered from, but this can lead to  a wipe.

This usually happens to me while I’m raid healing trash and got bored because there were so many other healers, or when healing lower-level dungeons in LFD PuGs. Especially when on my baby healing druid. It’s easy just to throw a couple HoTs and then just look away, secure with the knowledge that it will certainly handle the next pull as long as the tank doesn’t get all the mobs on the other half of the room…

Pulling in 5… 4… NOW!

This is similar to an AFK-Healer, as you could have been AFK. But most likely you were just unprepared for the pull — the tank charged in without buffs/HoTs/a readycheck. And then they go SPLAT, along with the rest of the group that has aggro, which may or may not include you.

I’ve usually encountered this on in raids, where the tank missing buffs and HoTs is more important, such as XT, Razorscale, and more recently, Marrowgar. These fights do call for some positioning at the start, which means HoTs buy me some time to get settled into my position and getting my totems down, since I typically don’t focus on healing until after I get situated. That’s why the HoT helps, and when it’s not there tanks go SPLAT way more often.

(On a side note, I believe that tank deaths for shaman healers dropped significantly when the “Call of the Ancestors/Elements/Spirits” spells were introduced. It really helps not having to spend 4 seconds or more at the start of a fight setting down totems while the tank takes a beating.)

Hey guys — Wait up!

Oops! There you were, refilling your mana, looting, or gathering, when the tank just went right on ahead! Now they (and everyone else) are too far ahead to heal, no matter how fast you run! This is sometimes a salvageable situation, but often leads to a wipe. This can also happen when the group splits up in a dungeon on accident, leaving you to pick which group to save and which group went the wrong way (hint: if the tank isn’t with you, you went the wrong way).

A similar situation is when a single character (or a small group of them in a raid) happens to be too far away for you to heal due to fight mechanics.

I’ve mostly been annoyed by this in dungeons, as Mishaweha is a skinner. And some dungeons have oodles of mobs to skin. But very few tanks will pause to let the healer skin them all. I usually can get a drive-by of one or two while I’m in a hurry, but that sometimes causes me to lag behind. >.>

In lower level dungeons, I’ve had this happen when a dps (or two) get the notion that they are also tanks, and therefore should lead the group in the opposite direction of the tank. I usually stick with the tank, though, so the dps end up dying if they’re too far away for me to run between both groups.

The raiding situation is common enough, but usually doesn’t end up with someone dying. Death does occur every now and then, when a single dps runs to that side to avoid killing the group, and you’re on this side with a giant wall of fire in between.

Almost… done… casting… @#$&!

That poor, poor soul you were trying to heal, with just that sliver of health left, died right before your cast went off. 2 seconds are wasted, possibly leading to a wipe (if it was the tank) and makes you forever question why you chose the extremely long cast time heal instead of the faster one. It’s ten times worse if it was an aoe heal that was going to save everyone around that person too, but now they all die in the same manner as you keep picking the wrong one to try to save. This often leads to you giving up on healing the really low health targets, and aiming an aoe healing spell on the ones that won’t die in (cast time) – .1 sec.

Not that’s ever happened to me before while I chain heal a melee during aoe attacks on the group. Nope, never.

Well that SHOULD have reached them…

Similar to the above situation where your direct heal failed due to death, this situation is when your aoe heal, which you were sure would hit “that guy who’s almost dead”, does not get to them, leaving them rather dead, in most cases.

For me, this happens when I send a chain heal to a ranged person, thinking they might be standing next to another ranged person who also needs heals… but they’re not! (See “The Hunter” diagram for further explanation of the situation). I don’t know if other classes have aoe heals dependent on where folks are standing, but sometimes it’s rather frustrating!

(Side note: This is why you’re shaman healers might ask you all to clump up if they’re raid healing — that way they are guaranteed more hits with the chain heal. On another side note, this is why I hate fights that require everyone to stand at least 10 yards away from each other.)

Holy Damage, Batman!

You’re healing your main target just fine… when all of a sudden, that guy takes a holy-crap-ton extra damage! From where? You don’t know, but it’s too late! Whatever it was killed them. Could be when the offtank gets to take damage, a dps pulled threat, or the floor turned on you yet again. This has happened to me so many times I’ve lost count, but except for the cases involving tanks, it’s likely their own fault. (And even then, some tanks are known to stand in the bad floor too and get killed! Curse you KT!)

Healing Overload!

Raid damage is everywhere and you can’t keep up! Similar to the ‘Holy Damage Batman!’ but it’s everywhere, not just from a boss switching targets. XT used to be like this for me when I was raid healing, especially before it was nerfed. It’s a lot of damage going around, and if you hadn’t topped everyone off from the start… well… they were likely to be a goner. This situation often leads to an “Almost done casting” scenario.

Prioritized Death

As in, you were given the lowest priority, and now you are a floor tank.

All deaths in this category can actually be considered Accidental Deaths, since again, they weren’t intended. But this category is focusing on a particular thought process where the healer purposefully chooses someone else to live. These types of prioritizations often happen when there is a “Healing Overload” — A large number of targets are taking damage, and you know you can’t save them all. Who do you choose?

I think this calls for a flowchart, ala I Like Bubbles:

A Flowchart Showing Priorities for Healing

This proves that tablets don't make everything pretty when the person using them is lazy

You’ll note that there is no end to the flowchart. That’s because a healer must always go through and recheck this list at all times in order to be effective. It’s not much help if you heal up the tanks and move onto the dps only for the tanks to flail and die a few seconds later.

Priorities like this are why dps always seem to drop first, but that’s because they are only slightly more expendable than other tanks and healers. If your tank dies, well, that’s pretty much a wipe unless you’re in that last one or two percent that you can burn off while everyone drops like flies. You can get by with less healers, but it makes the job harder for yourself, when there are less of you, and usually leads to a wipe (especially if you end up solo-healing). However, if you lose one or two dps, you still have a good chance to kill the boss, especially if the ones with higher dps are still alive. However, it’s still not optimal to lose lots of dps, as the others have to make up for the lost damage — and if they can’t make up for it? Death for all!

Purposeful Death

A man with a flashlight below his face grinning evilly.

DIE! DIE! BWAHAHAHA!

I would opine that this type of death in WoW happens the least. This is when the healer purposefully does not heal a person, no matter what. It’s not an accident that they die, it’s not because they were given a lower priority — no, it’s because the healer has chosen not to heal them.

Typically, I don’t purposefully let someone die. I have an itchy trigger finger when it comes to staring at my Healbot, so even if I don’t want to heal someone, I end up doing it anyway. They’re probably better off alive than dead, anyway.

However, there are several reasons why healers purposefully choose not to heal someone. I have made a list:

  • Joke – Most common in guilds, this is where the healer (and hopefully the rest of the group) decide to call of healing Player X. I would guess this would usually be the tank. I know our guild has a running gag of saying we’re not going to heal our main tank, even if we do.
  • Idiocy - Player Q keeps running into the fire and pulling threat on purpose? Tank keeps pulling before you’re ready even after being told? Fine! They won’t get any heals! (I may have done this one once or twice, but it doesn’t happen more often.)
  • Refusal of Service – Most common in LFD PuGs, this is when the healer refuses to heal a certain player (or the whole group) until a particular condition is met. These conditions are usually pretty simple ones, like ‘stop acting like a jerk’ or ‘let the tank pull’.
  • Personal Vendetta – Player V, for whatever reason, has ticked off the healer. If it was a LFD group, they probably let their mouth run off and that made the healer angry. Therefore, they get no more heals. (I’ve wanted to do this on several occasions, but I always end up going for the heal button anyway).

I’m sure there are other reasons why someone would purposefully not heal someone, but that’s all I can think of for now. Since I typically always heal everybody due to my itchy healing trigger finger, I really don’t have much experience not healing people.

What about you?

Are these ‘categories’ accurate from your own healing experiences? Are there ones that happen more often for you? Have you ever purposefully not healed somebody? Have you ever been on the receiving end of no heals, or knowingly been on the ‘low-priority’ heals?

Feel free to comment and let me know!

-Misha

Thoughts on Blog Setup

17 Apr

This is my first blog. I would think that would be obvious by now, dear non-existent reader. I mean, just look at the place; sparse yet eye-bleeding design, only two posts to my name, a lack of widgets and links on the sidebar, with barren pages roaming the site. Seems pretty typical of a blogger starting out, right?

And why, you may ask, do new bloggers not bother to begin with these things, even with posts telling them exactly how to start out? Do they like avoid advice? No! But in order to get posting, one must first post, and then worry about the details like making the blog pretty later.

Right?

Well, I’d like to think that’s why everything is still messy. But here, let me tell you what I actually did to prep myself to start posting…

  1. I read tons and tons of blogs. In fact, I’m still doing this, though not as much now since I’m only reading them at home in my spare time (aka when I’m not playing WoW). And doubly in fact, I didn’t even read them in order to start blogging; I read them because they were interesting. But, it certainly helps you to think ‘I could do that too!’, now doesn’t it?
  2. I researched where I wanted to put my blog. As you can tell, I decided on WordPress, because it has lots of shiny tools… and I didn’t really want to make yet another google account to log in and out of if I used Blogger (I’m still grumpy at them for adding everyone to Buzz automatically).
  3. I spent days trying to come up with names. Names for the blog, names for my WordPress account, names for that new email address I ended up making anyway. In fact, that what was holding me back from starting this blog the most; an appropriate name. ‘Me Myself And All Of Them’ isn’t the best blog name in the world, but it’ll work for now.  (Alt in the Family and Oh look, and alt! are much better, but they’re already taken by a couple awesome blogs. I curse myself for not being clever enough to think of them first! XD )
  4. I joined Single Abstract Noun, or SAN, the blogging guild on Argent Dawn (US). It’s Alliance, ’cause they couldn’t be awesome like the EU chapter that is Horde on their Argent Dawn server. Talking to everyone there and how quite a few of them had blogs was very neat, and really made me want to start a blog even more than reading blogs. Funny how that works, huh?
  5. I actually made the blog. That’s an important step in blogging, or so I’ve heard. That means I finally made my WordPress account, spent hours and hours picking and repicking themes, messing with those themes settings, adding and subtracting widgets, adding and subtracting pages, and generally making a mess of the internet.
  6. I made Categories! That’s right, at this moment, where you only see 4 or 5 categories on the sidebar right now, I have 20 of the suckers at my command. The category tree goes at least 3 deep (so far), and has complexities that I’m sure I won’t remember later (such as ‘When I write  post in This category

So after all of that… I posted my very first post. But after that – which surprised me – there was a lag time for my posts. I started writing posts that would not be suitable to be my first post. And when I started to write the first post, I became… distracted with other things, causing me to write more unrelated posts. It seems that I have 8+ drafts at all times (though, really, I haven’t been doing this all that long, so we’ll see how my draft bucket is like later); although, most are incomplete, with  just a post title or a few notes in a list format.

But what really adds to the lag time is the fact that I don’t seem to finish a post in one writing session! What I think would be a short post (such as this one), grows into a much larger beast, one that I can’t finish writing in one day. So I write a bit the next day, and then another bit the next day, which in the end leads to a disjointed mess (yes, more than it is already) that needs to be rephrased and rewritten. And the editing phase takes much longer than I think it should. But that’s why you never see any mistakes*.

Sorry for this mini-rant about blogging. I’m a little surprised about how different my initial experience is than I thought it would be. The posting rate? Slower (I now gaze upon daily blog with envy). The number of ideas? More than I thought, if the number of draft posts I have indicate ideas (that may not be true). Are they interesting ideas? Well… maybe not as interesting for you as they are for me. Hopefully that will improve with time and experience (but for who!? We will never know).

And with all these revelations about blogging stated, I have one more to add: You should read this blog in an RSS feed instead of coming to the site. Why? Because the site is still ugly, and I don’t think I can post much more often than once a week, meaning a feed is the best way to keep track of when there are new posts without visiting the site each day and then seeing no content, yet again (not that I’ve ever had an experience like that).

That was a surprise conclusion, wasn’t it? Glad you thought so too.

* Disclaimer: There will always be mistakes.

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