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From Dubiosity (my other blog)

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In a previous post, I mentioned that I had finally surrendered and respecced Resto, since I was so fed up with dealing with all the crap that came with being Elemental-specced. Now, I'm going to talk about how that's been so far.

First, I had to pull together a set of healing gear, and what I've come up with is pretty goddamn sad. I've only got 4 or 5 pieces of pure Healer gear (since I swore to never go Resto again, I didn't bother to save any from quests for quite a while), so I've had to find other sources.

I threw on a few pieces that I had with high MP5, and put some healing gems in them. A couple already had them, because as of 2.3 a Royal Nightseye is actually a very good Elem Regen gem (and helps me get the socket bonus on my Tarren Mill Defender's Cinch, whereas a Lustrous Star of Elune wouldn't).

Finally, I went and bought a Watcher's Cowl to boost my +heal, and to hide my shame. There are some slots where I just don't have anything to replace my Elem items with, so I just make do.

So I have about +818 healing and 119 MP5. Not bad. Certainly not good enough for Heroics though.

I haven't been in any dungeons yet, but I've been PvPing a bit. And I've gotta say, I'm shocked by my survivability now. Previously, a rogue would stunlock me to death in about 5 seconds. In my first AB match as Resto, I survived having a rogue beating on me for what seemed like a full minute, with me doing nothing but healing myself occasionally, until a teammate came and killed him.

My sustainable DPS may be laughable now, but honestly, it's still pretty good for grinding and occasional PvP offense.

I'm still planning on putting all my Marks and Honor points toward Elemental gear, and hopefully in a month or two I'll have improved my gear set enough to be a more serious contender.
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It's hard being an Elemental shaman. REALLY hard.

For starters, it's really hard to find a group. Everybody knows that your standard dungeon party has one tank, one healer, and 3 DPS, and there's always plenty of people available for DPS. And to make matters worse, now that most people are doing Heroic dungeons, nobody wants you if you don't have any crowd control. People would rather take a lousy hunter over an excellent Elemental (or Enhancement) shaman (not that I'm saying that I'm excellent).

Ever since 2.3 was released, I haven't been able to get into a group. I've been invited to Kara a few times, but I don't even have my key yet. Getting into Black Morass has been very hard, and now nobody is doing it in Normal mode (I'm just one full clear away from my CoT key) and nobody would take me even if I COULD do it in Heroic.

So instead, I've decided to try PvP a bit. I'm not normally a big PvP fan, but I need better gear, and this is the only way I can do it (and non-PvP Elemental itemization is lousy anyway). But PvP just makes me angry and frustrated, and I really hate it. Every Alliance character I see starts to look like they're mocking me, and I start taking it personally and thinking that every Alliance player is an asshole. And of course all my teammates are complete idiots, or so it seems.

And Elemental shamans just aren't any good in PvP (or at least in Battlegrounds). I can hide in the bushes launching lightning bolts and do some decent damage, but as soon as anyone sees me I basically have to run away or die. All I can do is shoot lightning bolts and a shock every 6 seconds. I don't have any pushback resistance or anti-stunlock. Against hunters, I'm worthless. Against warlocks, I'm just feared forever while they DoT me up. I don't even bother fighting back against rogues anymore. I don't have any CC, I barely have any anti-CC. How am I supposed to deal with this?

Well, today I finally had enough. I can't do what I want to do with Elemental. Just don't bother with it until Blizzard wises up.

I went Resto. God dammit.

I really don't want to be Resto. I was Resto back in my raiding days, back before BC was released. After going through Molten Core, Blackwing Lair, Ahn'Qiraj, and halfway through Naxx, I burned out on healing. I don't like being the one whom the success of the group hinges upon. But what choice do I have? I could continue with a spec that I like but doesn't work, or I could go back to doing something I don't really enjoy that is in high demand.

My healing gear is pretty crappy, but at least I'll get into groups. And if I let my groups know ahead of time, I should be able to continue building on my Elem set while I'm healing. I don't really know how long I'll stay Resto, but it may be until WLK comes out.

I'm really starting to consider just giving up on my shaman completely, for the first time in 3 years. The Elemental tree just doesn't work very well in the game as it is right now. There are still serious, deep flaws and overall design problems that keep it trapped in the pre-BC game (not that it was ever very good then, either).

My Hunter is 67, but I'm probably not going to bother trying to do dungeons with him; there are already too goddamn many hunters out there. Same with my 50 warlock, although I'll probably PvP with her at 70 out of revenge, and also because they're basically unstoppable. My next highest is a 44 Prot Paladin, which may become my new "Main" but I just don't know right now. I don't think I like the other classes enough to make any of them my new main. Switching to a Death Knight when WLK comes out sounds damn tempting at this point.

Here's hoping that Blizzard gives Elemental some REAL attention in WLK, and hopefully before then too. The changes in 2.3 were nice, but Elem just isn't viable in its current state.

EDIT: I should point out that I'm not talking about Raiding or Arenas. Just 5-man dungeoning and Battlegrounds.

EDIT 2: I also should point out that this post should be taken with a grain of salt. It's mostly just frustrated complaining (which is why it's in the "Bitching" category). Things are certainly better than I make them sound, though that's not to say that there aren't still problems.


I just installed WoWhead's new insanely-easy-to-install tooltips app. Now, any items I link to can be hovered over, like so many other sites.

Like this.


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You've all seen a shaman do something cool and thought "gee, I wish I could be as cool as a shaman". Well, there are actually a lot of items in the game that can help you to replicate those abilities, though some are more reliable than others. Unfortunately, none can make you as cool as a shaman.

Water Breathing

  • Hydrocane: Drops from a semi-rare boss near the beginning of Gnomeregan. Very easy to get solo if you're 50+. Constant.

  • Deepdive Helmet: Requires Engineering. Constant effect.

  • Waterbreathing Elixirs: Crafted by Alchemists, though there are also some you can receive as quests. 30-min and 60-min varieties.

  • Band of Icy Depths: You're never getting this. Ever. Constant effect.

  • Unending Breath spell: Warlock spell. Same spell, but requires no reagent. Thanks a lot, Blizz.

Water Walking
  • Hallow's End Pumpkin Treat: One of its numerous effects is that it'll turn you into a ghost, which gives you Levitation. Only available during Hallow's End holiday.

  • Priest Levitate spell: Same basic idea as Water Walking, except that it also gives them Slow Fall. least this time it requires a reagent.

Ancestral Spirit


Lightning Bolt
  • Lightning Capacitor: A 13% drop off Illhoof in Karazhan. Not nearly as reliable as the real thing of course, and only works for casters.

  • Gnomish Death Ray: Kinda similar, and can put out a decent amount of damage. Requires Engineering to make it (and it's BOP) but not to use it, so if you drop Engineering you can keep using it (like I do).

  • Haste Potion: Chug one of these and go crazy. Only lasts 1/3 as long, and I don't really know how the speed-up compares. Also apparently only works on melee and ranged, not spells.

  • Drums of Battle: Gives your whole GROUP an 80 haste speed buff that lasts 30 seconds, with a 2 min cooldown. Requires Leatherworking to use. 50 charges. (Thanks Frogs!)

Lightning Shield
  • Electromagnetic Gigaflux Reactivator: Sort of like Chain Lightning and Lightning Shield in one crazy-looking gizmo! When you activate it, you basically get a Thorns-style buff that does 5 nature damage to anyone that hits you, not just every 3 seconds like LS. And as long as I've mentioned it...

  • Druid's Thorns spell: A simliar punish-your-attackers effect, but causes less damage. However, it activates EACH time you receive damage, without the 3-second cooldown. And it doesn't have any charges to use up. The downside is that you need to find (or be) a Druid to use it, and they're almost as rare as Shamans these days.

Healing Stream Totem
  • Stone Statues: Feeds you a steady stream of healing when activated. Jewelcrafter-only. Unfortunately, Blizz didn't make any designed for lvl. 70 players.

Searing Totem
  • Gnomish Flame Turret: A neat Engineer-only toy that burns up everyone in range. Materials seem ridiculous though.

Well, I could go on, but the remaining stuff is kinda nitpicky. I'm trying not to stick too many profession-based items in the list, since I want the list to be primarily items you can go out and get, no matter what.

Of course, the easiest way to be as cool as a shaman will always be: play a shaman!

EDIT (Nov 19 `07): This post was featured on WoW Insider today! I feel famous now. Maybe I should put some ads up...


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Frequent readers of this blog may know that I don't get to do dungeons nearly as much as I'd like to, due to the fact that I rarely have a couple hours of uninterrupted time to play. However, lately I've been throwing caution to the wind and grouping up when I normally wouldn't.

And so, this week I finally got into THREE dungeons that I've never been in before: Shattered Halls, Black Morass (aka Dark Portal), and Steamvaults.

My two SH runs were phenomenal. I ran with a couple guildies who happen to be decked out in Tier 5 gear, a Prot Pally and some sort of Warrior. And let me tell you, Prot Pally tanking in SH is the way to go. He would run through the area, aggroing 2+ groups at a time, and he held them like glue. I love it when I can blast Chain Lighting like a lunatic, and at the end of the first run I got the Tidefury shoulders, which made my CL even more powerful.

My two Steamvaults runs were a lot of fun too. That's definitely one of my favorite dungeons right now. I got to kill a lot of gnomes, get another piece of my Karazhan key (which I thought was in Black Morass) and picked up the Scintillating Coral Band.

Before all of that however, I got into a Black Morass group. I've gotta say, I really don't like that one. It's completely unlike the other dungeons; it's basically just "Guard the VIP" in the middle of a wide-open space. It was a nightmare for me, because I can't produce the DPS necessary without going OOM. And to top it off, we wiped 3 times and only downed the first boss. But I'm ready for another try now, but only because I've got to for my Karazhan key. I got a ton of MP5 gear so I'll last longer, and patch 2.3 is coming tomorrow, so I'll have better mana efficiency/regen too. Once I get my KZ key, I'll probably never go back there.
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No, I don't really hate Firefox. I'm just having a hell of a time getting this site to work in both IE7 and FF, AND having to deal with cramming my CSS designs into BlogSpot's XML templates. So if something looks wrong, I'm sorry, and I'm working on it.

According to my visitor logs (zomg, im trackin u!) 49% of my visitors are using FF, 38% IE, 6% Opera, 5% Safari, and the remaining 2% are the wanna-be browsers. Pretty interesting, especially when you consider the global browser stats. Obviously, this site picks up a lot more tech-savvy people than is normal, and a lot of tech-savvy people switched to Firefox back when IE6 was the only other viable option.

Of course now, IE7 is every bit as secure and stable (or moreso) as FF, but old reputations die hard. The nice thing about having FF around is that it gets Microsoft off its ass and back into innovating new browser features (and vice versa). That's why competition is cool.

Then again, designing for multiple browsers sucks. I think that's really the point of this post. Just don't bitch at me about web standards, because I don't want to hear it.

UPDATE: I found the problem I was bitching about. It was caused by my own shitty programming. Oh well.


Raid Day

on Sunday, November 11, 2007

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My guild hit the two World Bosses today. This is the first time I've been in a raid since a few weeks before BC came out.

The thing I missed most was having all those people there, beating on the same target. Things can go wrong in a second, and one boss can kill half your raid in an instant.

On both fights, we killed the boss on our second attempt. I died on the first Earthquake in our first Doomwalker attempt; I didn't realize that the Earthquake could do 8000 dmg to you, or that I could easily stay out of its range. Let's hear it for researching the fight beforehand.

The Kazzak fight was a lot easier, at least to me. I killed him countless times back when he was just a lvl. 60 boss before BC, and they didn't change the fight at all (that I'm aware of) besides upping his damage output and hit points. We wiped once because a bunch of people died (I think someone let their mana go too low) but the second time we only had one death.

Neither boss dropped loot that I could use. Oh well. It was still a lot of fun, and I hope I can get back into raiding some day soon.


I died almost immediately on our first Doomwalker attempt.


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Well, I FINALLY have this site looking the way I want it to. I've been toying with this design for a few months, and yesterday I finally went ahead and put it all together.

But that wasn't enough. Once I had it all laid out and looking great, using CSS instead of tables, I had to try to shoehorn it into Google's code. And CRIPES, that's a pain in the ass. Google's blog templates use XML for everything, and since I don't know XML, it was basically just a 2-day long session of trial-and-error. Honestly, I think I reloaded the page a few thousand times, trying to get everything looking right.

I still need to add some more of the sidebar items to the site, and there are probably still a few things that aren't working right, but at least it's usable, and if you ask me, it looks great.