Addon Collection

I don't use many add-ons. I try to be as purist as possible. But some things just require a little bit more attention. I have tried the new raid frames and dragging party windows all over. I've tried to set mouseover macros but I just can't get the same feel as the Grid and Clique combo. Believe me, I've tried. And we all know Deadly Boss Mods is just a no-brainer. I think I also have a bag mod but it's getting annoying without any recent updates. It appears to work fine but there are quite a few warnings. I think I also added alt-o-holic to the list now that Cata is in full swing.


Jame's Blog

Jame (of Wowpro Guide fame) has a blog (imagine that). I have added the feed to the page.

Meet the Wizard (Diablo III)

Blizzard has posted the video for the Wizard class in Diablo III. I have also added a feed box for Diablo II news.



Wowpeek is a new Warcraft Information site that has a slick look and great datatbase. Check it out to the links on the right.


Hunter, Warlock or Priest?

My Hunter, Wilgrun, hit 70 the other day in a rather dull, unexciting moment deep in the heart of Blades Edge Mountains. This makes my third level 70.

I am now grinding my pet Gorilla up to 70 and farming some gold for flight training. I can't decide whether or not the honor farm is worth it right now. It won't be too long until a whole new range of gear will be flooding the game.

Now I need to decide which class gets the bulk of my effort on getting to 80. Who would you raise; hunter, warlock or priest?


Warcraft Screensaver

I have a nice collection of Wow screenshots over at Flickr. I like using the Google Screensaver to grab them via RSS. It makes for a nice Wow based screensaver that I can update easily.


Artisan Fishing Guide

Nat Pagle, Angler Extreme
Ok, here is a guide to the Artisan Fishing quest. I hope it helps, I will try to keep it up to date. But since, I won't be doing the actual quest again I will have to go by what I hear and read. It is written from an Alliance standpoint but I am sure Horde will be able to figure it out (maybe with a little help, since they are Horde anyway).

Let me introduce myself first. At the time of doing the quest I am a level 45 human priest on the Aggramar server. I had fishing at around 175 and hunted down a big iron pole at around levl 30 in preparation for the fishing competitions rolled out in the 1.7 patch. I have yet to do any of the competitions as I hear most people who try have 300 fishing and all the uber gear already. We'll see how that goes eventually I am sure.

First of all you need to be level 40 from what I hear and have fishing at 225 before you get the quest. I went to visit Mr. Pagle at level 45 with ~200 fishing just to find him and he would not offer me the quest. When I hit 225 I ran there lickedy split and he gave me the quest. He is located near Theramore out in Tidefury Cove at location 58,60.

There are a variety of 40ish mobs around him in the water so be careful if you try this quest at level 40.

He sends you on a journey to catch 4 different fish (imagine that, for artisan fishing you have to go on a fishing trip). This are all fairly simple catches just time consuming for all the travelling (hope you have your mount).

Catch number 1 is Misty Reed Mahi Mahi in the Swamp of Sorrows. The Duskwood or Nethergarde flight paths are closest. The strand is located on the east side of the swamp. You can run along the north wall to be safe but at 45 I ran down the road and didn't have much trouble. I sat at the far northern edge for quite some time (even afk at times) without any aggro. So that seems like a decent place to fish. I didn't use any lures here. Caught a bunch of crap fish (cod, yellowtail and a few blackmouth/firefins). Got the Mahi Mahi on about the 30th cast, the longest by far. This was my last fish in the group so it goes along with my "The last quest item to get always takes forever to get" theory that I have yet to prove.

Catch number 2 is a Sar'theris Striker on the strand in Desolace. From the Feathermoon flight path I ran north into Desolace and then west to the beach. There are some high 30s mobs there but if you are careful you won't have trouble. I had to kill one of the crablike humanoids on the beach but I could have avoided him. I caught the Striker on about the third cast with no lure. I can't remember what else I caught, nothing too amazing though.

The third catch is the Feralas Ahi. The hardest of the group. Grab the Thalanaar flight path from Theramore and follow the road through Feralas to the river. You have to detour around Mohache but I am sure you have done that by now anyway. You could grab the Fethermoon flight from Auberdine I think then ride east to the river too. It didn't take long for the catch but after 3 cast that got away I used a bright bauble. After that I think I caught the Ahi in just 3-4 more casts. Not too difficult.

The fourth fish is a Sailfin from the Savage Coast of Stranglethorn Vale. I got there from the Booty Bay flight path in SW but you could run south from Duskwood or even Westfall then west to the beach I imagine. I levitated and ran north out of Booty Bay and over to the southern beach. I had to kill 1 buccaneer but I could have easily avoided her too. After about the 4th cast with no lure I had my Sailfin.

After that, it's back to Mr. Pagle for the turnin. Congratulations, now how many nightfin snappers will it take to get to 300?

Maps courtesy of your local Thottbot.

Copyright 2005 by Wilgrin, wilgrin@magicalbox.com

World of Warcraft copyright 2004 by Blizzard Entertainment.

Mind Vision Antics

I was bored while waiting for the AB queue the other day so I started using Mind Vision on various NPCs. It's amusing to see how far you can get jumping from one to another. You can even use rabbits and squirrels to get around. I managed to get all the way to Searing Gorge when I grabbed someone who jumped on a griffon. There must be a distance limit at some point. Here are some interesting facts about Mind Vision.
  • You can recast on the current subject
  • You can use any NPC including rabbits, snakes and squirrels
  • Screenshots will cancel the spell and take a screenshot where you are standing, not from the subject
  • The subject can see the spell on them but can't cancel it

I will update this as I discover new facts about the mystery behind Mind Vision.


Lich King Date

Blizzard has announced the date for Lich King. November 13 will be the magic day. I haven't seen a price yet. I did see another pet available for the collector's edition. It's a "baby frost wyrm". Let's just hope it's not as lame as the last $50 pet.


Suggestion Box: Random Harvest Times

While pulling weeds in the garden the other day I made an interesting observation. It doesn't take the same amount of time to pull each weed. Some come out of the ground quickly while others seem to be held in with Mighty Putty. I am sure the same would be true of getting copper and silver deposits out of the ground. Or even for skinning a freshly killed animal.

I feel that in order to make most tradeskills more realistic the "timers" should be a random amount rather than a set number of seconds.

Now, I don't know what is more sad; the fact that I think of things like Warcraft while weeding the garden, or that I was comparing Crabgrass to Felweed.


Maximum Characters per Account

Well, I never thought I would hit that limit. I guess I haven't really hit it personaly but my son has.

He likes creating characters, leveling them to 3-4 and then moving on to a new server. He has whole servers filled up with various similarly named characters. They rarely make it above level 5 and never leave the starting areas (He's only 6 himself).

I have since learned that you can have a maximum of 50 characters across all servers. I have 10 on my main server and the rest are all his "alts".

He does have a NE Hunter on my main server that has made it to 24 with a little help from Dad. Now that he can get a mount at level 30 I feel the need to help him out just a little more.


Multiboxing AV with 5 accounts

Tonight was an especially wonderful night for the Alliance in AV. In my battlegroup the Alliance have enough trouble winning with the constantly turtled Horde. But tonight there was one clever horde (is that possible?) with 5 accounts and 5 identical Tauren Shaman (surprise). It was quite humorous to run into Galv and find huge stacks of totems and elementals running everywhere. It may have been fun for him but it made for an awful boring night for a lot of other people.


New Blog List

I just updated my Blog List using Blogger's new feature. It's rather nice but takes up just about the whole column.


Diablo III Announced

We've all been waiting for this one. I must say they have done a good job of keeping it under wraps. There have been a few small rumors but nothing of note. And from the looks of the trailers, they have been working for quite some time. The game play looks fantastic and the art work really makes me want to dust off my D2 disks. In the mean time I will just bring up the Flash Page and enjoy the background music.



Originally uploaded by loatswil
Screenshot of Lakeshire, one of my favorite towns.


Warcraft gets a little Slashdot luvin'

The Changing Face of World of Warcraft

Back in March Blizzard released patch 2.4 and significantly altered a good portion of the overall gameplay and provided a much more casual experience. Since then Blizzard has continued to make the game more approachable through new dungeons and removing attunements and other restrictions throughout the game. While this may open up a lot of new content to the masses and help the game's overall appeal, does this continuing trend promise to alienate the high-end players who thrive on new challenges? Should Blizzard care?


PA doing Molten Core

Another classic Penny Arcade series from a few weeks back.

Cloaked In Twilight

Template Change

I changed to a new Blogger template. I couldn't deal with the width limitations on the old one. I can pretty much duplicate the colors in this one and it is a lot more legible.


Chat Antics

This traveled fast. Just saw it in guild chat this afternoon.


PA Contest for Upper Deck Gear

Cloaked In Twilight

Check out their site for complete details but here are the "rules".

"Securing these mounds of treasure is simple, but not effortless: you must write a short story, set in World of Warcraft, and this story must be precisely ten words long. Then, you must mail your story to Gabriel, with the subject line "Ten Words." This contest is easy and fun. At least, for me! But Gabriel has told me that I cannot win, so you've got a shot. Something along these lines, maybe:

His father's sword, shattered to the hilt, fell like stars."


Great Wow fan art

Wyndforge releases new WoW character art

Posted Mar 17th 2008 6:00PM by Mike Schramm
Filed under: Fan stuff, Virtual selves, NPCs

If you're a fan of fan art and haven't seen Wyndforge's work yet, it's definitely a must-see. He basically creates digital art direct from screenshots, and by combining poses (along with a few extra sparkles), he turns out some pretty amazing stuff. And while he does sell custom orders if you want a shot of your own character, Wynd gets bonus points for opening up all his other work as wallpaper-sized versions in the galleries. He doesn't list prices on the site, so we're not sure how much it costs
to make one of these, but even if its pricy, it's fun just browsing through the galleries. Very nice stuff. He really has a talent for sculpting the screenshots together, and keeping the original look of the characters while also adding a little extra to make them epic enough to be framed and hung on the wall.


Wowhead, Thottbot, and other sites are having trouble with banner trojans

One more reason I recommend Firefox and No-Script. Everyone should check this out just to see how many sites runs scripts on your machine. I have seen one simple blog attempt to run scripts from 10 different sites on my machine. There is usually nothing wrong with this. But it certainly makes security much more difficult.

WoW General News - Mar 12, 2008 8:50 PM PST | Posted by Eldorian

As reported by World of Raids and then later WoW Insider, it seems that Wowhead, Thottbot, and Allakhazam have had some recent troubles with a banner trojan.

From WoWInsider.com:

You don't even need to click on the banner, apparently, simply mousing over it will be enough. Wowhead says that all they know for sure is that it originates from "ad.yieldmanager.com", and will produce a redirect to "xpantivirus.com." They're working at isolating it.

Some of the security methods you could use to prevent this kind of attack in the future is to download the Firefox web broswer and get the No Script extension. If you keep the javascripts causing this blocked you don't have to worry about it.

The problem seems to be stemming from a third party advertiser that their network seems to have little control over the content of and has been tough in tracking down. I'd just like to take this moment to let everyone know that the Stratics network does not use third party ad networks whatsoever for this reason alone.


Good article about Gary Gygax in the NYTimes

Read it in the Sunday Papers


Sunday’s New York Times included the full version of the above Geek Love flowchart and a glowing tribute to recently deceased Dungeons & Dragons co-creator Gary Gygax.It’s obvious from the scientific chart that lack of romantic success can be blamed on early exposure to D & D, but one could also theorize that lack of romantic success can be blamed on OTHERS’ early exposure, like the entire EverQuest and Ultima Online development teams. Make sure you mention that to your therapist — he/she’s tired of hearing about your mom every week anyhow

Epics for everyone!

I will never understand why some people seem to think they are more entitled to epics than others. We all pay the same amount to play this game. And when you strip off all the QQing and PWNing that is all that matters.

Do you really think that Blizzard cares HOW MUCH you play? Do you really think Blizzard cares how well your 3s team plays? They just want to make sure you keep playing and paying. So, in their eyes all players deserve the same chances/abilities to obtain epic items. They are rewards to keep you playing.

Do you really think that the ability to play 8 hours a day makes you more worthy of an epic item? Does the ability to coordinate 25/40 people to properly play their class make you more worthy of epics? If it did, then only raid/guild leaders should get them. Does the ability to roll through AV after AV just going through the motions make you more worthy? How about the ability to work with 2-4 friends and grinding away in the Arena? How are any of these examples any more difficult than the others? Explain how anyone can't accomplish any of these tasks. It doesn't take talent. It doesn't take skill. It just takes time and that is not reason enough to think of yourself as "better" than other players.

Sure, there are a few truly hardcore players. People who really love the game itself not just the love of beating the game. People who know the lore and have followed Warcraft through the non-MMO stage (yes, Warcraft was around before Wow). These few truly hardcore players follow the storylines, play on PVP/RP servers and participate in true Pvp. They conquer evil and reach goals that most people don't even know exist. These are the people who truly deserve epics.

It's too bad there is no reliable way to distinguish these players from the epic-farmers in the game.


Mods to look into...

A guildie just told me about Lightheaded and Doublewide. A couple mods for leveling alts. Gonna have to check them out. I'll update after checking them out.

Well, both mods are very well done. I must say they are among the most impressive mods I have seen. Almost seamlessly incorporated into the default UI. A must have for anyone with alts or actively working on quests.

Lightheaded links quest information to comments on Wowhead.com. Along with clickable locations that turn into waypoints (a very nice feature), there are usually multiple pages explaining each quest.

Doublewide simple allows you to view quest text along side the quest window. It essentially makes the quest window "double wide".

Both mods are very well done and should be a part of the default interface in my opinion.

Warcraft Postcards

Eversong Woods
Originally uploaded by Batty aka Photobat
Very clever idea and great use of Warcraft screenshots. I have plenty of screenshots. Maybe I'll start making some. Not sure if I have the required Photoshop skillz.

Nice Warcraft Comic

CPG Comic Page 2
Originally uploaded by Batty aka Photobat
Here is a nice Warcraft comic on Flickr. Hope there is more to come...


The Dark Side

With my priest almost covered in S1 gear from battlegrounds (well, some mooncloth too), I now feel myself turning to the dark side.

I am on the welfare epic road with my Lock now. I specc'ed SL/SL and just picked up my Gladiator's Dreadweave Hood and I have started down the dark path. Here are my stats with blues and greens (Okay, I have the Halloween event epic rings).


Scalable Instances

Why oh why can't Blizzard make instances scalable to the number of people who enter?(It should be noted that my main is covered in "welfare epics" and my other 70 has simple blues and greens because this is all the content I have time for, not because of leet puprz)

It burns me up to think of all the content in this game that I will NEVER see. There is absolutely no way most people will ever get to see the best parts of the game. I don't care about the gear. I just want to see the zones and experience the fights.

I don't understand why Blizzard does it. Why do they develop so much content only to restrict it to the few people who have the time to spend 4-5 hours a day playing? Don't we all pay the same amount? Why can't instances be scalable? I don't expect to have the time and flexibility to be able to be the first person to see the new content but sure as hell want to see it eventually!

It happened first with BWL and Nax when TBC came out. These places are all but deserted now. Now it is destined to happen again with most of the BT, Eye and who knows what else once WotLK is released. I guess I can always keep raising my rogue in hopes of stealthing parts of it at level 80.

Raid vs. Pvp Rewards -- The Real Answer

I understand Raiding takes a lot of time and effort, Pvp does too. I also understand the people who excel at these deserve to be rewarded properly. But rewarding them with "better gear" is not the answer. Simply because as soon as the next batch of content (Pvp or Pve) comes out that gear is just trashed and any sense of accomplishment is gone. They need to be rewarded with "unique gear" (not just in color). Something along the lines of the "Champion of the Narru" or Gladiator titles. Or perhaps the "Purple Trophy Tabard of the Illidari" (I know that is not raid level gear, just an example). And I don't mean unique as in just one drops each time you take 5 hours to kill one boss. I mean unique as in each raid member gets a "My guild made it to the Black Temple and all I got was this lousy teeshirt" kind of deal.

I still have my Benediction staff because it's unique, not because it's a great staff. I don't use it but I can whip it out and cart it around to show it off as an accomplishment in the game. I'm sure the same goes for many GM staffs.

If Blizzard would stop re-shading and upgrading stats on old gear and work on unique equipment/rewards this whole argument would go away.

I know there is the whole argument about performance issues and character models and how much RAM is required but that just doesn't make sense to me. The idea of unique is that there aren't thousands of them. If there were a few people on each server it wouldn't create that much overhead (the unique mounts for example).

How many people on each server get to see the real end game content? Is it too much to ask that they can show it off for more than a couple months? In Arena Pvp you have titles with some meaning why not more of this in for the raiders? Perhaps this gear does exist but is indeed so rare that most people never even seen it.

It seemed for a short time there we had a distinct division between Pvp and Pve rewards. There was the title system for Pvp, restricted barracks, and officers quarters. There was unique gear for raiders (tiers 1-3) and unique Pvp gear. I think the problem started when Blizzard got lazy and started merging this gear (the graphics anyway). At least the weapons haven't fallen into this trap. It is usually easy to tell a Raider from a Pvper by the weapon they carry. Why can't armor be the same way?

There is clearly a distinction between playing style, there should be the same distinction in gear.


Blog links added

I added a load of Blog links on the right side. Too bad I can't list them all. I may add some as I get a chance to read them. I chose the names that stood out and looked to be active. Hopefully some will return the favor.



I recently found an ad for NoGold.org on the main Blizzard site and immediately joined. The site offers a list of active gold sellers for Webmasters to use with Adsense to filter gold sellers from their sites. I quickly updated mine. Google's filtering mechanism doesn't allow for wildcards which can make it difficult due to the large number of sites and possible URLs. Hopefully this can raise awareness and put some pressure on the business that continues to plague the gaming industry.


Non Combat Pets

There are two types of pets you can have in WoW: agressive and non-aggressive. Aggressive pets are pets who can do damage. They are the Hunter's tamed beasts, the Warlock's summoned demons, the Engineer's created combat toys (dragons and chickens and yeti), even mages and priests have minor pets in The Burning Crusade. Non-aggressive pets are just graphical pets that follow you around. You can have both types out at the same time. This guide is centered around non-aggressive pets (my hunter is only in his 40s). Throughout this guide when I refer to 'pets' I am referring to the non-aggressive type.

Pets are usable by either Horde of Alliance although obtaining some of them can be difficult. The neutral auction houses are always a viable option but be prepared to pay more.

There have been many new pets added with The Burning Crusade. I will gradually add what information I can get. The main addition is a vendor in the Stormspire in Netherstorm. This is a neutral location where you can buy snakes, rabbits and my favorite; the mana wyrm. Some of them are quite expensive but worth it if you ask me. In the Exodar you can buy very nice different color moth pets. These are much nicer than the collectors edition Nether Drake (we got the shaft). Many other interesting pet quests have been added including a magical crawdad that requires a high level fishing.

Dianius' Pet Guides

World of Warcraft's tamable pets


Mind Vision Antics

Mind Vision
Originally uploaded by loatswil
I was bored while waiting for the AB queue the other day so I started using Mind Vision on various NPCs. It's amusing to see how far you can get jumping from one to another. You can even use rabbits and squirrels to get around. I managed to get all the way to Searing Gorge when I grabbed someone who jumped on a griffon. There must be a distance limit at some point. Here are some interesting facts about Mind Vision.

  • You can recast on the current subject just by retargetting them
  • You can use any NPC including rabbits, snakes and squirrels
  • Screenshots will cancel the spell and take a screenshot where you are standing, not from the subject
  • The subject can see the spell on them but can't cancel it

I will update this as I discover new facts about the mystery behind Mind Vision.


Miss Danna and Beer Goggles

Miss Danna
Originally uploaded by loatswil
Miss Danna and Belbi's Eyesight Enhancing Romance Goggles make for an interesting pair.


Grid and Clique

Update - 01-11-23
So, they finally rolled this into the game via Keybindings. You can finally configure Click Bindings in the game. I'm not sure when it was added, but it works fairly well aside from Macros. The frames seem to eat the click when using Macros so the spell is just cast on yourself. Maybe I'm just not doing it right. I'll keep experimenting. But for now, one less addon!

UPDATE - 06-23-2018
I no longer use Grid, but Clique remains a part of my Addon list. I just don't think Blizzard will ever bake that functionality into the game.

First let me say that I am not a huge Addon fan. I have a few but I consider myself a minimalist at heart. Currently I use Auctioneer, Bagnon, Recount, Grid and Clique. These are the few Addons that I have been unable to do without or replace by some function of the default GUI.

I have a Druid, Priest and Pally all in their 80s so I've been around the block when it comes to healing. I don't have a lot of Raid experience (outside of Molten Core) but I've done my share of heroics (haven't we all).

I have heard it all before "If you can't heal without mods then I wouldn't want you healing in my raid..." blah blah blah... Well, I am sorry but using the default interface just limits what you can do. If Blizzard didn't want you to be able to change how targets appear when they were out of range, they shouldn't have built the function into the GUI and made it available to Addons.

The main reason I use Grid is because I can see all the raid targets and know who I can and can't heal/decurse/dispell with 1 single click. I can tell if they are out of range. I can tell if they have a HoT on them. I can even tell if they have aggro. That just can't be done with the default GUI. Cataclysm has brought some improvements on this but it's just not hte same clean interface you get with Grid.

With the default UI raid window sure I can drag groups out. I can even drag classes out to be on my screen. But, I can't tell when they are out of range and I can't tell what buffs/dots they have (without targeting them). Grid allows me to do that very easily. It can even filter DoTs to show only the ones I need to worry about.

Clique allows me to assign up to 8 spells to each mouse button (left or right). At first you want to disable all unit frames aside from the ones associated with Grid (under Clique's options). This way you can still target and right-click targets just like normal and mouse-overs only apply to the Grid.


This gives you an amazing array of options for single click mouse-over casting. You don't have to worry about targeting or even pressing a function key. This can also be done via macros but you have far fewer choices. I can leave my left hand on the keyboard and my right hand on the mouse and heal, heal heal!

I try to make all my actual healing spells different variants of the left-click and utility spells all on the right-click. This way I can have renew, gheal, flash heal, PoM, penance/CoH, and binding heal all on my left-click and buffs, shield, dispell and cure disease on right-clicks.

Couple this ability with Grid's status display and it makes healing very easy and efficient. I am constantly on the top of the healing chart in any BG (unless I defend a tower or something).

Give it a shot. I guarantee you'll be hooked.


Tankspot Grid Tutorial
Basic Grid Options
Shadow Weaving Grid Config
Configuring Grid - Youtube


Auction House Antics

Auction House Antics
Originally uploaded by loatswil
A guild-mate showed me how to get on the balcony of the AH in Stormwind the other day. It can make for quite a show.


On route to SW

Elwyn Forest
Originally uploaded by loatswil
Quick screenshot of Elwyn on the way to Stormwind.


Stormwind at night...

Originally uploaded by loatswil
Nice shot of the moon over Stormwind. Hey, there's a good title for a Blog.

Wow Screensaver (well, sorta)

Being the sysadmin that I am, I have many machines performing many tasks. I am always on the lookout for a nice screen saver. I have one such setup with the Google screensaver that grabs screenshots off Flickr.

On yet another machine I have been known to just log in to Wow, find my favorite spot, zoom all the way in, hit alt-z, and sit there. Of course I have to hit the space bar every once and a while to keep me from AFK'ing out, but it provides a nice screensaver and allows me that little Wow-shot-in-the-arm to keep me from twitching from withdrawal.


Post ideas...

Well, here are some ideas for future posts.

  • Grid/Clique Operations
  • Click Casting
  • BG Healing
  • Protect Your Healers!
  • Farming for gold...


Wilgrin gets pwned with a bonecrushing sound!