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.)
In Real Life
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.)
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. 😄 )
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!
Hello random people!
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.
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. 😄
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.)
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!
- 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!
- 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.
- 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…
Yes, Shaman Healing, something once familiar to me, is now… only slightly less familiar to me. 😄
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.
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!
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!