Worgen Ho!

Meet Wilgrane, my worgen mage (in training). This will be my first attempt at a mage. It was a difficult decision to go for a mage but with 2 pieces of cloth heirlooms and no plate heirlooms (for a warrior) I couldn't resist. I also have 2 viable tank classes that I don't use as tanks because I dislike it so much. I think it is more a lack of desire for melee combat. Maybe it's the whole fantasy game genre or the fake feel of the melee combat, I don't know. I have always enjoyed ranged DPS or healing more than physical combat. Now that Meralis is no longer around I am also without a tutor. With all the assistance of Blizzard and the new quests and dungeon finder it shouldn't be too difficult though. I think between this guy and my Pally I should be able to stay in the rested experience range on both characters. I have my Pally to 81 and quite a bit of rested to chew through now that my mage is "feeling normal". The hardest part with the mage is getting to an inn after questing. I can always recall to my bind point but that can make for a long run to get back where I was questing. Now, on with the show!


Experience Boost for my Holy Pally

I just have to take advantage of the new experience boost from 70-80. After getting my Lock to 80 and a 5k gear score I am now working on my Paladin. I started at 70 and have already passed the halfway point to 74 in just a few days. With the Blizzard provided boost and a couple heirlooms (even if they are cloth, they still have int. and crit.) I am at +40% experience, that's really nice.

I must say I am impressed with his healing ability in the new 4.03a world. I know it's a big change for most Holy Pallies but speaking from someone who has never healed as a Pally, it's not bad at all. I have decent burst healing, I can heal on the run and I have have numerous "oh shit" buttons. The only thing I am lacking is a HoT. I am really thinking about glyphing for the HoT with Word of Glory just to try it out. We'll just have to wait and see how things work at 85. I hear it's a whole different world (never tried beta or test realm).


Diablo III: The Demon Hunter

Diablo III: The Demon Hunter: "

Aaaand the final class reveal for Diablo III. It’s the Demon Hunter, a class which which Blizzard describe as a conventional ranged class with a dark twist. So a kind of sexy dark-magic ranger with dual-wielded crossbows, then. There’s a trailer for the class below, mixing FMV with a bit of in-game stuff. Looks pretty Diabloy. Diablo-ie. Diabloey. Hmm.


Looks like my Druid will be my Cataclysm main

Here is my link for 4.0 Resto notes. Looks like this will be the route I take in Cata. My priest is my "closet main" I guess. He is my old-school main but I just think Druids will be more fun to play in Cata. Plus epic flight form in Old World is going to be a LOT of fun.



Healing Burnout

I guess I am in a burnout stage. I log in to heal but I just can't bring myself to queue up. I don't know if it's boredom or what but I just can't seem to get into it. I should start reading up on Cata stuff. I know it's right around the corner. I guess I'll just have to start workign on the Shaman again...


EPIC Maelstrom

This is pretty funny. I must say that is one reason I've played Wow for so long. The developers really have a good sense of humor.

The Maelstrom is probably epic enough for you now


Around Azeroth: The unfrozen tundra

Around Azeroth: The unfrozen tundra:"

Nephrolepis of <Strife> on Cenarius (US-H) sent in this picture from Amber Ledge in Borean Tundra, along with a note. "If you stand near the edge of the great cliffs, you can see the sweeping auroras ease themselves across the sky, along with the occasional dragon, of course," she writes. "Standing there amongst the flowers and greenery, it is easy to forget that you are in the snowy north. The wind gently bends the grasses, the distant calls of mammoths and woolly rhinos echo over the plains, and your pet pink plainstrider named Floyd relieves itself in the bushes nearby. Ah, such is the life of the mighty hunter."

Do you have any unusual, beautiful or interesting World of Warcraft images that are just collecting dust in your screenshots folder? We'd love to see them on Around Azeroth! Sharing your screenshot is as simple as emailing aroundazeroth@wow.com with a copy of your shot and a brief explanation of the scene. You could be featured here next!

Remember to include your player name, server and/or guild if you want it mentioned. Please include the word 'Azeroth' in your post so it does not get swept into the spam bin. We strongly prefer full screen shots without the UI showing -- use Alt Z to remove it. Please, no more battleground scoreboards, Val'kyr on mounts or pictures of the Ninja Turtles in Dalaran. Older screenshots can be found here."


Raid Rx: Is addon-less healing possible?

It's not impossible, just harder. And why make things harder just to prove you can? I use Clique to make it easier and avoid huge cumbersome macros. Does that make me less of a healer or just lazy? I use Grid because it's just easier to set up compared to the default raid frames.

I don't think it changes your knowledge or performance. It's just a matter taking shortcuts or a different route to get to the same place.

Raid Rx: Is addon-less healing possible?:

Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand pooh-bah of World of Matticus and a founder of No Stock UI, a WoW blog for all things UI-, macro- and addon-related.

I see a fair number of emails and messages about this topic. Is it possible to heal without using any addons of any sort? Naturally, the default user interface (or UI) includes a limited number of features where this is possible. Is it recommended in dungeons or raid instances? No, not quite. I've seen opinions from some players where they practically insist that healing without addons should be the way to go. Anyone who does use addons is relying on a crutch. I don't think that's quite fair to say. It's not like these addons are scripts or anything that can 'think' and heal for you.

Custom Blogger CSS

Well, I upgraded to a new Blogger template. I had to add some custom CSS to get the background (header coming soon).


Rocket Fire!

Okay, I gave it to Wilgron even though he doesn't have epic flying. He needed a good mount. And I felt this was more a Warlock mount than anyone else.


Dev Chat Notes on Flying in Cataclysm

Here are some notes from the recent Dev Chat about how flying will work in Cataclysm. I must say I am excited about just buying 310% flying. But then again another grind for 5k gold (or whatever they make it cost) won't be fun.

Q: Do you intend to have all 280% flying mounts scale to 310% when a 310% mount is earned, or will only purchased mounts do so? A: Our current plan, is that in Cataclysm, you can learn a new rank of flying that lets all flying mounts move at 310% (even current 280% mounts). That will probably be as fast as mounts will ever get. We don’t like it that when you get a 310% mount that you stop using your old ones.

Q: If 310% speed is becoming trainable, does that mean we'll be able to fly in Azeroth from the get-go? A: We have considered the concept of “Old Weather Flying.” Just kidding. More than likely, you’ll just be able to fly from the beginning.

Under Da Sea: Navigating Vashj'ir

I can't wait for the underwater zones...

Under Da Sea: Navigating Vashj'ir:

Following up on our post about Blizzard's preview of the underwater zone Vashj'ir, here is a more "in depth" (ha ha) look at the zone.
A city of Kalimdor's night elves, Vashj'ir was swallowed up by the sea, it's inhabitants transformed into naga.

Vashj'ir is a level 78–82 zone in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm where players will be called to explore the depths of the Great Sea and stop the naga from seizing immeasurable power from the realm of Neptulon the Tidehunter. This expansive underwater zone will feature an unprecedented fight for survival against the naga overwhelming the area, several new quest hubs -- including Alliance and Horde naval ships and submarines -- all-new underwater travel and combat mechanics, several pocketed undersea caves free from water's grip, two new five-player dungeons (Throne of the Tides and Abyssal Maw), and the first-ever opportunity to explore the remains of the once-majestic city of Vashj'ir!


Celestial Steed Makes Blizzard 2 Million Dollars on Day One

Celestial Steed Makes Blizzard 2 Million Dollars on Day One:
In the first few hours after making the Celestial Steed and Lil' Xt available on the online pet store, Activision-Blizzard made over two million dollars. In less than four hours! That's pretty impressive - or depressing, depending on what side of the currently-raging-fence you're on. For one thing, the Steed is priced at $25 a pop; To share your feelings on that, drop into our forum discussion here.


Wilgrin's New Ride

After years of wanting and only a couple tries I have my favorite mount. Thanks Avah!

New Recruit-A-Friend mount coming soon

Continuing the very unusual middle of the night announcements from Blizzard, Bashiok has just posted that the Recruit-A-Friend program is getting a brand new mount soon to replace the Zhevra. Presumably this is to give players with the zhevra some reason to bother with the program going forward.

Beginning in just a few days, players who participate in the Recruit-A-Friend program will receive a whole new reward for showing a friend the ropes in Azeroth: the X-53 Touring Rocket, a two-seater flying mount that automatically increases its speed as your mount skill improves (up to 310% speed if you already have a 310% mount). The X-53 will be replacing the current Zhevra mount reward, which is retiring from the Recruit-A-Friend business after a good run. If you've already claimed a Zhevra (or claim one prior to the change), you'll be able to hang on to it, of course. We'll have more details on the new Recruit-A-Friend mount once it becomes available.

Current Recruit-A-Friend FAQ - http://us.blizzard.com/support/article.xml?locale=en_US&articleId=20588

I won't lie, I'll be getting my hands on this mount sooner or later. A two-seater flying mount that will scale up with my 310% mount? That's hard to resist. Well played, Blizzard. I wonder if my imaginary friends want to check out WoW...


The Full Healy-Blog List

The Full Healy-Blog List: "I follow a lot of healing blogs. I mean, a lot. Big or small, I’ll add most any healing blog to my feeder to at least give it a shot. I will highlight what I think are the best posts of the week every Friday, but if you’re wondering what my resources are for making my Friday post (especially if you’re wondering if I’ve missed something), here is my full healer specific blogroll.

Of course, I have lots of non-healers I read, but if you are looking for a list of just healers in the Blogosphere, I imagine this one should be pretty exhaustive. People don’t always focus their blogs, so a lot of these blogs cover multiple specs of a certain healing class (a la Restokin).

I don’t limit my list of resources due to popularity, size of readership, or any politics. I don’t care if the writer bashed me in a post that one time, or if they are smelly and a big jerky mcjerkface. If people post something I don’t like, or I’m not interested in… well then. I just don’t read that post.

The purpose of this list is to keep me up to date with what healers are saying in the blogosphere – from the small bloggers to the big ones. I don’t care if you only have 2 subscribers, and I’m one of them. If you post something that is good, I want to know.

This is a direct list from my feed-reader. If you know of a healy blog that is not on this list, please let me know so I can add them to my personal feed-reader.



Multiple Class Healing Coverage



Warcraft Workout: Jogging in a Virtual World

The other day I was running on the treadmill and I let my son run my character around Elwynn forest for a little while and it hit me.

What if I could rig up some way to turn my character while running on the treadmill? Then I could zoom into 1st person mode and hit autorun. I'd actually be RUNNING IN THE GAME!

I could actually see how many miles it is from Menethil Harbor to Ironforge (a run all new Night Elves were required to do back in Vanilla Wow).

I think I can rig this up with my Macbook and my new magic mouse. There are many utilities out there that will re-map right and left click to a certain function. You can even save these as a different configs for different applications. I can easily map them to the "A" and "D" keys. I can then hold my mouse in my hand while running. This could be done with any corded mouse as well but it wouldn't be near as cool.

If the plan comes to reality I will certainly re-post here with updates.

*update* DarwinRemote works perfectly in this capacity. Makes me glad to have a mac. I'll post a setup of the rig when I get it working.


Mouseover Macros

Here is a wonderful explanation of a Mouseover Macro; something all healers should know about.

The Light and How to Swing It: Essential addons and macros for holy:
Every Sunday, Chase Christian of The Light and How to Swing It invites you to discuss the finer side of the paladin class: the holy specialization. This week, we examine the addons and macros that can be used to make your life easier.

Holy paladins have come a long way since our days in vanilla WoW. Back then, we were a three button class: Cleanse, Flash of Light, Holy Light. The infamous addon Decursive even did all the dispelling for us, leave the human user simply casting Flash or HL for hours on end. Seals and Judgments were for retribution and protection: we were standing 40 yards away filling up life bars. Things didn't improve much in TBC either: while Holy Shock was fun to finally use, we ended up being purely FoL bots in most raid situations.

Blizzard took a new approach to healing in Wrath, including completely revamping each existing healing tree to make sure each one was balanced, viable, and most importantly, enjoyable. Holy paladins now enjoy a complexity that is multiple times more entertaining to play than anything that we've seen in the past. However, with this added functionality comes added complexity. To help us lighten the load, we can use a few amazing addons and macros manage our 'holy 3.0' paladins; this allows us to focus on keeping people alive.
Continue reading The Light and How to Swing It: Essential addons and macros for holy


To pull or not to pull... a healer's perspective.

Okay, I've been healing in this here game for years (since the beginning I suppose). I have a Druid and a Priest running heroics and a Pally waiting in the wings at 71 so I am familiar with most aspects of healing.

I mainly stick to random dungeon pickup groups. As you can guess, the latest changes have been a great benefit to me in many ways. As a casual player I rarely get time for raids. This post is applies to pickup groups as raids always have a mechanism for this type of thing.

I've come across all kinds of Tanks and all kinds of DPS. One thing I've never understood is the agreement on when to pull and when to wait. Sometimes, rarely, but every once and a while this will be agreed upon in the beginning. Some times there will be the simple "r?" in party chat, other times it's just pull, pull, pull until someone says something. Here are the 3 methods I've seen.
  • An agreement before the first pull on who sets the pace of the run. This is ideal but slows things down a little bit.
  • The generic "r?" in party chat. This is bad because nobody EVER waits for everyone to respond.
  • Pull, pull, pull until something bad happens or someone says "Wait a sec...". This is bad because something bad usually happens before anything changes.
The other day in Utgarde Pinnacle I was running with a particularly eager DK Tank (I know, hard to believe) and he runs like two rooms ahead and charges into a large group. Now we were outgeared for this instance in general but he pulled the whole room, around 8-10 mobs. By the time I get there he was dead and the Pally DPS was next in line. I backed away and with a little luck, melded successfully. I proceeded to apologize and rez people. The first thing he says is... "Wow, that sucked... I didn't get one heal.".

My suggestion to every tank or aspiring tank is to make a quick macro. If nothing else just use it in random pickup groups. It will save the party from much grief and your healer will thank you, I promise. If nothing else it can just say "/y The tank is pulling now...". If you want to get creative you can throw in an audible emote. This makes things great for that errant healer that might be watching the television while drinking or alt-tabbed out to browse applicable loot. It gives just enough warning that when the flesh starts to fall, a greater heal or a regrowth should be right behind.


Patch Improvements

I'd just like to take the time to thank Blizzard for the drastic improvements on the quality of the last few patches. I remember not too long ago that a patch and/or maintenance meant an entire day of downtime. The last few patches and scheduled maintenance periods have gone very smooth with little, if any, unscheduled downtime.

Thanks for the quality control Blizzard. Now let's hope it becomes the norm and not the exception.


Oculus loot updated, Reins of the Blue Drake!

Apparently people dropping out of random Oculus runs has been noted. I know it happened to me the other night.

Blizzard: Run Oculus, win fabulous prizes:

Despite the nerfs in Patch 3.3, it's pretty obvious that whole lot of people still hate Oculus, enough so that they immediately bail when it comes up as a random dungeon. Apparently, it's a substantial number of people doing this, enough that Blizzard's taken notice and taken action.

But they're not removing it from the system. Instead, they're incentivizing it -- or, if you prefer to be a bit more pessimistic, turning final boss Eregos into a loot pinata in the most direct way possible. Zarhym's announced that those who happen to get Heroic Oculus with the random dungeon finder and stick it out to the end will find their own personal loot bag in Eregos' cache. The bags will contain two extra Emblems of Triumph, rare gems, and a chance at the Reins of the Blue Drake, formerly the rare mount drop from 10-man Malygos. To make up for the switch, the Reins of the Azure Drake will have a chance to drop from both 10-man and 25-man Malygos.

Will this staunch the exodus from Oculus? Will the lust for yet another pretty dragon mount inspire people to tough out the dreaded vehicle mechanics? Or will people just tough it out until they get their drake and start group dropping again? It should be fun to see what happens.