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For the… Horde? Thoughts on MoP So Far

29 Sep

I went to pick up my Collector’s Edition from Best Buy Tuesday night (I had to order from a Best Buy farther away because the closer one didn’t have any for some reason). Stopped at a Wendy’s for dinner to avoid cooking, so that way I could get straight to Pandas! I’m gonna share with you what I did that evening, and why I haven’t been (entirely) gripped by this expansion (yet).

Making Pandas… Later

First thing I thought I would do would be to make a baby panda monk on my main server. Unfortunately, I couldn’t think of a name that fit my naming scheme (must start with an M!) and I really didn’t want to just rush one together. Thanks to @_anea for suggesting Maizhu; that just might do. We’ll see.

I did like the look of the new character creator though. Pretty spiffy.

Also, what is up with hair highlights for Pandas? Weird, amirite?

Panda Hair Highlights!

Their technology and culture are so advanced that they can make hair highlights! I haven’t decided just how many of my pandas will get said highlights though… (It’s neat you can have black fur base with brown hair highlights!)

I Choose You, Lil’ XT!

So abandoning panda creation for the time being, I logged onto my main and made a beeline for the pet trainer. You know, to train battle pets. Then began the arduous process of picking out my favorite pets (like near half the list), then adding some more favorites to make sure I had a good cross spectrum of abilities there. And then the battles began!

Pet Battle - Capture That Dung Beetle!

Pet Battle – Capture That Dung Beetle!

And it was very fun! It’s a little repetitive if you do a lot at once, but it makes for a nice break. I kept switching my pets around so I would always have attacks that worked to my advantage (after the first disastrous battle in which I had the weakness!) It would be nice if you could save sets for your team. Maybe this would be a good addon… (and it turns out it is! Fancy that. Thanks to @vitaemachina for pointing that one out!)

I also love that I’ll now have another activity to do on my bank alts, or on my twinks/leveling toons while I wait for a dungeon. I have plenty o’ pets that could use some leveling, so I think it will last me quite some time. A much better mini-game than archeology, I reckon.

Only downside about it being account wide is that you’ll get achievements for collecting pets and winning battles on alts instead of your main. I know the achievements are account wide, but it bugs me seeing an alts name instead of my main’s name. Maybe because instead of them being “Mishaweha’s pets” they are now “Everyones’ Pets”. Obviously this means I’m going to need duplicates.

He's Mine! Achievement on Methril

Sweet! An achievement! … on Methril? But Misha did most of the work!

Did I Mention I Dislike Questing?

Because I do. A lot. I’m not sure why; it’s probably because I prefer healing to dps. And if I’m not in the right mood for questing, it seems to take a loooong time and I get bored easily. I suspect I’ll get most of my leveling done through instances and not quests, and it will still take me forever. (I have a feeling my guildies are making bets as to when I’ll hit max level and are probably placing it sometime late October, haha…)

My Fugly Enhancement Gear

My Fugly Enhancement Gear. It’s mostly leftovers from raids. Turns out we didn’t have a lot of people wanting mail agility gear. Either way, I’m too cheap to transmog something that will be replaced soon.

But if the storyline is interesting enough, I’ll be more willing to quest. And while the Horde introductory questline is interesting, it really rubs me the wrong way, which is not good for my ability to keep questing.

And that brings us to the title of the post:

For the… Horde?

Because I don’t think I can support the Horde if they keep acting like real, actual bad guys.

As that is what they are most definitely doing with the introduction to Mists (Nooo Theramore) and the few quests I’ve completed (I haven’t gotten very far yet; I’m still in the first zone. Hopefully things change direction and I’m just jumping the gun here. But it bugged me that much!)

It’s a little rough, coming in with a Manifest Destiny attitude to an obviously well developed and lived in land (did we not see those ANCIENT RUINS and this VILLAGE WITH PANDA PEOPLE IN IT?) when throughout the rest of the game we have been Heroes of the Horde. Suddenly attacking (presumably) defenceless alliance because Garrosh made angry faces at us? Not a heroes style, certainly not my character’s or mine at any rate.

Sure, I can understand that in theory, a good portion of the Horde is following Garrosh. But I’m presuming the majority of players are definitely not with him, and not having a voice — in-game — to voice a dissenting opinion is a little annoying.

And I know the Horde and Alliance have fought in many places throughout the game (*cough*Battlegrounds*cough*), including the destruction of town in Cataclysm itself (excluding Theramore), but for some reason the current expansion’s initial entry to Pandaria seems more direct and generally more unpleasant. From the sounds of it, I can only expect it to escalate the rest of the expansion.

Even the Pandaren we meet early on seems to question the Horde’s idea to “paint the continent red” – why are we fighting? (Wait that sounds familiar…)

Mists of Pandaria - Gi-Oh's Quest Text

You’re preaching to the choir, Gi-Oh. Preaching to the choir.

At least we (probably) get to kill Garrosh later, which should smooth things over a bit (I hope). But how can I, in the meantime, support the Horde like I have in the past OOC like when we are obviously the bad guys now? The Alliance can always hold this against us forever, so then I have to be all apologetic all the time. What a pain.

Unless the Alliance do something equally as horrible as what the Horde does, at which point we can both just put our atrocities behind us and be friends. Right? RIGHT?

Post Them Glyphs!

Anyway, all this ‘killing alliance because we can’ business got me down (and the infinite mob spawns that were swarming me got me down too, but nevermind that), so I decided to check my auctions for a bit.

Glyph sales have actually stagnated for me a little bit, from the 15k in one day high it was when the patch first hit. I’ve had a little more competition than I usually have had (Ysera has quite a few people who post glyphs); usually I see a decrease in my sales when someone new joins the fray or I happen to get caught posting right before my competitors do.

However, I think sales will pick up as people start leveling more, maybe later this week or next week. Either way I think I’ll stop refreshing the auctions every day and go back to my two-ish day cycle for awhile.

Cancel/report glyphs every day? Ain't nobody got time for that!

Cancel/report glyphs every day? Ain’t nobody got time for that!

Leather, Glorious Leather

Inspired by the auction house and incredibly fast mob spawns, I logged back onto Mishaweha and started farming leather from the cats in the first zone. Mmm, leather!

One of our guildies always used to say “Just leaving money on the ground!” when there were leather mobs unskinned (and unlooted. She would always call out to the people who didn’t lot their skinnable mobs so she could skin them!) And boy, is there a lot of money on the ground! I followed a few people around and skinned their kitties (and helped them kill them too, once I knew they weren’t going to skin them. That’s the one thing about skinning other people’s mob – you wait until they leave the kill site before going in the skin them, lest you steal their skin!)

I got a little over 3 stacks of the base leather, which isn’t too shabby considered most of the leather was sha-touched. Still haven’t decided if I’ll sell it or use it for my LW. I know you’re supposed to sell it but I hate buying mats off the AH because I am cheap. And I’ll need about 300 leather or scales to level LW up, too! Sounds… fun. XD

Exotic Leather

The Leather – It is Exotic! Also, check out those prices! Let me waffle on selling them until it is too late.

Running Dungeons

The last thing I did was run a dungeon with a mostly guild group. I was skinning while we waited for one person to get his iLvl up high enough to run the instance.

We got the brewery one. I had a pretty fun time, though I didn’t get a chance to really read anything that was going on because my guildie tank is definitely of the ‘gogogo’ mentality (also, he’s good at tanking and I’m good at healing so no problem there).

However, we did hit a little snafu at the first boss when I and two others followed the monkeys out of the boss’s room and then got locked out. Whoops.

So that just left the tank and the pug dps fighting the boss. Needless to say they died. Whoops.

Both a guildie on vent and @NicolaiGrunnet commented that this was a fairly common occurrence, even in beta, so I feel a bit better. I felt even more better after I got to ride around on barrels during the fight itself. Whee!

But the rest of the instance went well. It was pretty fun, actually. Like the part when you heal while drunk (in-game). Whoo! Blurry screen!

So how have your pandaland adventures gone so far? Let me know in the comments!

Mists of Pandaria Login Screen

Ah, this is much more pleasant than staring at Deathwing’s face.

Heroic Raiding and Other Shenanigans

27 Aug

I’ve been quite content the past few months, with nary an update. I seem to only get motivation to write at work or while otherwise occupied, but today I’ve finally decided to write — if only because there will be little point to talk about this expansions exploits with Mists just around the corner!

While my out-of-game time has been filled with house hunting and playing in the Pathfinder Society (and work), my in-game adventures have been filled with Heroic Raiding (a relatively new experience for Xcessive!) and Auction House playing. Both activities have been done with great success.

Heroic Raiding

As of writing, we’re 6/8 in Dragon Soul Heroic. This is, by far, the farthest we’ve ever gotten on Heroic in any dungeon — a huge accomplishment for our raiding team, even if we’re definitely not ‘cutting edge’.

Our first successes were Morchok and Ultraxion, which I think it fairly typical for raiding teams. We stuck with them for awhile until we felt ready to tackle Yor’sahj.

I had looked up the Yor’sahj Ooze calls on Icy Veins’ Heroic Yor’sahj Strategy Guide (and I would highly recommend their site for looking up boss fights – it’s very informative!) Based on their recommendations, I came up with the prioritized slime kill order… and therefore became the person who called out the slime kills for the fight. I think on our first day it only took 2-3 attempts to get him down, and we got the Rainbow achievement too, haha. So from then on I became the slime call person, which works out pretty well since I can easily tell the other healer when we need to count our heals.

I’ve even put them kill order into a handy dandy chart to read, though it’s a little late to be helpful now. Oh well. ūüôā

Oozes, Slimes, Same Dif

After Yor’sahj, we moved onto Zon’ozz (it took a little bit to get the fight but we have it down pat now, as long as the DAMNED BALL BOUNCES CORRECTLY). Ahem.

Hagara gave us a bit of trouble for a few weeks, but our fearless raid leader found appropriate strategies for both the lightning and ice phases that lead to minimal deaths. I believe we have only four people total chaining lightning during that phase, so it’s easier to heal. We’ve got that phase down very well. Ice phase takes us longer and people are more likely to die, but now that we know you run inside to be dispelled we can actually do it. We’re definitely better off when the fight starts with lightning phase though.

And just recently we’ve got ship down. Most of our trouble was with the ship dying right before we got to the second phase, but we worked on our ‘standing in purple’ thing and I’m very certain we can repeat our success.

We’ve looked at the Spine fight, but I’m not sure we’ll get it down before Mists, especially with the patch that will change everything arriving tomorrow. We’ll see. I’m not really looking forward to it, because Spine is one of my least favorite fights of the dungeon; it’s a competition between it and Zon’ozz.

Raiding Shenanigans

Raiding is only really fun when you’re doing it with friends who can all joke around. And be flexible with strategies.

For example, did you know you can have a Shaman soaker for Heroic Ultra? It can be done — I know from experience! However, it can only be done once… and only while reincarnate is off cooldown. ūüėČ

(We didn’t plan it that way, of course. One of our soakers just happened to die pretty close to the time they were going to stay out, so I merely stood in their place).

Also, make sure you look out for mealstroms in your raid. I’ve heard they can rain mashed potatoes on your head, with a side of peas.

(Yes, someone said mealstrom instead of maelstrom. It was funnier then, you had to be there.)

Auction House

I’ve steadily kept up with the glyph market. Some weeks I post every other day (or slightly more often); other times I barely make it once a week. Either way I’ve done fairly well for myself the past year+. I’m up to around half a million (that sounds much more impressive than five-hundred thousand, doesn’t it), though if I moved into more markets and/or posted more often I’m sure it’d be higher. After all, that’s pretty much my entire profit for the year or two I’ve been doing it. I know those ‘real’ AH players make waaaay more than that in the same amount of time, but I think I’m doing pretty well for myself.

It’s been easier since I’ve branched off to three characters to post my glyphs. They all get the right amount of glyphs so they can hold extras of every glyph without running of of inventory space so multiple trips to the mailbox aren’t necessary as they were in the past. And I only craft when I need 3-4 more glyphs, which cuts down on the number of times I need to craft in a week, which is the major time-sink.

And all my success of late is due to TSM, the heavyweight AH addon. I setup my groups in there and bam — don’t need to think much about it anymore. I’ve taken to using it for setting up other characters to sell ‘random items’ and other mats I have extras of that aren’t part of an active crafting business. I have a few who do that on my main server, and quite a few on my ‘alt’ servers as well! They bring in the money for my Ally toons, as I am accustomed to a certain kind of gold stockpile as I level. XD

Other Shenanigans

I’ve been up to quite a few other things as well, as presented here in no particular order:

  • Transmogging Misha’s gear with gear I already have on hand
    • Because I’m too lazy to find other gear right now
  • Using Mogit obsessively
    • But not buying gear because I’m too lazy to write out a list of what I need
  • Lazily leveling my DK
    • She’s halfway through 84 (still)
  • Running random lower level toons through instances and pvp
    • Weirdly enough, most of these toons aren’t on my main server
  • Twinking a level 24 druid
    • That I still need to acquire gear for (see aforementioned laziness)
  • Planning out new characters to roll for Mists
    • Including which ones should be recruit-a-friend buddies, because I totally need more accounts

Busy times, I’m sure! And we can add to the list ‘relearning my class, again’ once the patch hits tomorrow.

What have you been up the past few months? Hopefully it’s something fun!

-Misha

Random WoW Thoughts That Are Mostly About Gathering

18 Oct

I’ve recently started to level my low-level toons again. And by ‘level’ I mean ‘get their bags and professions in order and then maaaybe think about leveling them’. Poor low-level toons.

Anyway, here’s a list of some random thoughts I’ve had on the matter

  • Turns out a lot of the herbs you can gather for leveling Herbalism are not very useful for leveling Alchemy.
  • I’ve concluded that there is no Goldthorn. It is merely a myth. The extremely high-priced “Goldthorn”s on the Auction House are fakes, and there is no way to level your Alchemy past 200 because of all the so-called “Goldthorn” that’s required.

    Moisha levels up while picking plants

    Moisha demonstrating how to ding while gathering herbs (she's so fast at gathering she was mounting up to go already!)

  • Dinging your toon while grabbing herbs is pretty cool.
  • Tauren are super super cheap while gathering herbs now. I’m really glad my Tauren Druid gathers herbs, because it will be way cheaper later on when she’s a bird.
  • I’m able to farm in a zone for 1, maybe 2 passes before I become bored and see if I can make anything with what I’ve gathered (answer: No, I can’t. No Goldthorn).
  • When I start to level a toon I haven’t touched in awhile, I tend to do these things first:
    • Rearrange the spell bar (only if it looks ‘weird’ to me. This involves me actually remembering what the icons are, which is not always the case).
    • Clean out the bags by getting rid of junk and reorganize where everything is in the bags.
    • Check if the bank needs to be organized too.
    • Figure out if I should level up my professions some more and then attempt to do so.
  • After I complete all those steps, I usually stop playing and don’t level them. ENDLESS CYCLE!
  • A lot of stuff I saved in the past is total not worth it now (Lvl 12 Healing Potions on my level 40 toon? That will help.) Sure clears up a lot of bag space.
  • I wrote down a list of all the pets I want Mamouska, my second hunter, to collect (my resource being Petopia). I’m having her pick up winged pets. Naming theme is the NATO phonetic alphabet.
    • Hopefully I can keep the list down to 26 pets; otherwise I’d have a pick a new theme! Horrors!
  • I took Mamouska out to Stonetalon to go get a Ghostly Green Owl (the Emerald Spirit). I always wanted a Green Owl ever since they came out in Wrath, and a ghost one can only be better.
    • I’m still going to get the Green Owl though, once Mamouska is high enough in level.
  • You can buy limited quantities of Volatile Rum in the Thousand Needles Inn. Time for more Goblin Rocket Fuel!
  • It’s weird taking a mid-level toon into these new Cataclysm quest zones. Things are familiar… and yet they aren’t. I guess it depends on the zone.
That’s all for now!
-Misha

How’s Your Cataclysm?

20 Jan
WoW Cataclysm Deathwing

Image by SobControllers via Flickr

One of the reasons why posts have been lacking here (and elsewhere) was because Cataclysm came out. I’m sure most of my readers (besides the spambots) were busy with Cataclysm too! Here’s a list of the things I was keeping myself busy with, and of things I still plan to do in Cataclysm. Share your own experiences in the comments!

Things I Have Done

  • Made a Worgen — Surprisingly, I like how the male worgen look, even if I don’t care for the human male models. I wasn’t as fond of the female worgen model at first (possibly because of their dance), but it grew on me. I’ve designed 4 more worgen (and have already rolled two of them).

    Reby the Worgen in Stocks

    Daw, look at those sad puppy eyes.

  • Completed the Worgen starting zone —¬†This is a fairly impressive achievement for me. I usually get a character to 5, reach the next city, and then say ‘well, that’s enough for tonight’. The storytelling in Gilneas compelled me to continue questing. I’d recommend doing it.
  • Made a Goblin — The females are super cute, even if it is weird the nose/chin shape change based on their ears. I don’t think I will be rolling a male goblin, though.
  • Rolled lots of the new race/class combos – I suppose this really more related to The Shattering, but I’ve made quite a few new race class combos, including…
    • Tauren Paladin
    • Tauren Priest
    • Night Elf Mage
    • Dwarf Shaman
    • Gnome Priest (I don’t think she will be around for long; I have a really hard time playing gnomes)
  • Made a lot of money on the AH — My glyph business is doing well, along with selling random things I no longer needed.
  • Dug at Dig Sites — I’ve hopped on the archeology band-wagon and have headed to dig sites on Mishaweha.

Things That Need Doing

I’d like to…

  • Level a toon to 85 — I’m 84 on Misha, so I’m almost there!

    Kaehi has some bling

    Goblins got bling, baby!

  • Finish the Goblin starting zone — I’m nearly done, but I think I may have one or two more quests to finish up in Org. Overall, the zone is much more light-hearted than the Worgen zone. I especially like the rogue and warrior trainers.
  • Max a non-gathering profession — It’s expensive to craft these days! Curse you inflation! *fist shake*
  • Complete all the new dungeons — I haven’t even unlocked them all yet! It’s a bit of a bother to get to the entrances of them, especially since I’ve only completed the quests of three zones so far.
  • Do heroics and/or raids — Which is a given, since I haven’t gotten to 85 yet! And I heard that they were hard.
  • Roll some other race/class combos that seem interesting: Such as a…
    • Dwarf Warlock
    • Dwarf Mage
    • Undead Hunter
    • Human Hunter
    • And many, many more!
  • Make an¬†artifact — While I’ve dug up some¬†fascinating¬†things out of the ground, I’ve yet to put the fragments together, since I still get skill ups from finding junk! I’m almost there, though.
  • Stand in fireBut not just any fire. Where’s Deathwing when you need him?

I think that’s all the major things I’ve done and have yet to do. Are there other things I should do that’s not on the lists? Should I skip out on things I’ve listed? Do you have a Cataclysm to-do list? And have you already done it? Let me know in the comments!

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. ūüė¶ 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