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From Dubiosity (my other blog)

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Well, here's my brand new video I alluded to in yesterday's post. You can see a higher-res version on the new Baluki Facebook Page.

In it, I demonstrate the ins and outs of the sport I invented, called Beam Jumping (or Baluki's Beam Jumping, if you're going to try to form a league). Think of it as a mix of skydiving and darts.

I worked pretty hard on this one, and it's actually pretty long. I can't tell you how many times I threw myself to my death, just to entertain you.

I managed to whip it all up on my ancient copy of Adobe Premiere Pro 1.5 (they're up to version 5 or something by now) and once it was all done, I had a hell of a time getting it to render right. And THEN, once I had attempted to render it about 20 times (which took about 2 hours each time, though once it actually took 12) the program just wouldn't load the project anymore, so I thought I was screwed. Finally I figured out that I had to run it in WinXP Compatibility Mode (I'm "rocking" Vista) and run it with Administrative permissions. Oy.

If you've never seen my previous video, "Baluki and the Ring of the Law!", here it is too. I made it about a year ago (pre-BC) in Windows Movie Maker, which didn't give me any trouble at all. (I used WMM because I couldn't get Premiere to install at the time.)


I just made a new page for Baluki on Facebook. Check it out. It'll show up in the "Fan of" box that was recently added to Facebook. By becoming a Baluki fan on Facebook, you'll be notified of every genius-filled post I make on this blog (if the RSS feed wasn't enough for you).

And I'll be posting high-res videos there too, so no more watching grainy YouTube vids. If you're thinking "yea, like you're EVER going to make videos", I must point out that I've already created TWO: Baluki and the Ring of the Law, and the just-released Baluki's Beam Jumping!

Also, if you've ever wanted to link to this blog from your own site, I've made a little button for you to use, if you like.


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Tier 1Tier 2Tier 3Tier 4Tier 5

This is Part 3 in my 9-part series detailing the ins and outs of the shaman talent trees.


  • Elemental Focus
  • After landing a critical strike with a Fire, Frost, or Nature damage spell, you enter a Clearcasting state. The Clearcasting state reduces the mana cost of your next 2 damage spells by 40%.

    Let me make this simple: IF YOU'RE ELEMENTAL, YOU NEED THIS TALENT.

    Elemental shamans are all about crits, and once you have about 30% crit chance, you're going to have Clearcasting up almost constantly. This will be a huge help, since our mana efficiency isn't very good otherwise.

    Elemental Focus can proc from any jump of a Chain Lightning, all shocks, LB (of course), and I think it can even proc from a Lightning Overload (Tier 8 Elem talent).

    There are a couple other classes that have Clearcasting talents, but the shaman version is very different. For one, the bonus lasts for TWO casts, not just one, though the bonus is much less than the Mage and Druid versions. Second, it procs on spell crits; it's not just a 10% chance, so it gets more useful as your spell crit rate increases. Third, it only costs ONE TALENT POINT.

    If you're going Elemental, you'd be a fool not to get this talent.

  • Reverberation
  • Reduces the cooldown of your Shock spells by .2/.4/.6/.8/1 sec.

    Not a bad talent, especially in PvP. This will allow you to cast your shocks more often, which can be useful (though not very mana-efficient). Flame Shock doesn't need a shorter cooldown, but it can be handy in PvP to slow people (like flag runners) more often, and it's most useful with Earth Shock, so you can interrupt a casting opponent more often.

    It's also quite good for Enhance players. Probably more than Elemental players, in fact. Being able to Earthshock more quickly while Stormstrike is up is handy.

    I don't ever get this talent though. A full Elemental shaman is only rarely going to be using his shock spells, since LB and CL do so much more damage, and are more mana-efficient. In fact, I think this talent should be in the Enhance tree. Maybe it can replace Shield Spec.

  • Call of Thunder
  • Increases the critical strike chance of your Lightning Bolt and Chain Lightning spells by an additional 1/2/3/4/6%.

    Going Elemental? Get it. Crit is key to your success as an Elemental shaman. It helps you proc Clearcasting more often, thus increasing your mana efficiency. And of course it increases your damage output.

    And no, that's not a typo. It DOES go 1-2-3-4-6.


  • Enhancing Totems
  • Increases the effect of your Strength of Earth and Grace of Air Totems by 8/15%.

    Definitely get it if you're going Enhance. SOE and GOA are two of the most useful totems you have, since Strength and Agility are useful to all the melee classes (and hunters). And it's only two talent points. The extra 15% may not seem like much, but remember that's an extra 13 strength or agility for your whole group.

  • Shamanistic Focus
  • After landing a melee critical strike, you enter a Focused state. The Focused state reduces the mana cost of your next Shock spell by 60%.

    Basically, this is Elemental Focus for Enhance shamans. Once you get Dual Wield, this will be incredibly useful, since you'll be critting so much more often. It also greatly benefits from Thundering Strikes (higher chance to crit) and Flurry (faster attacks, so you crit more often).

    This also helps a lot in the mana-efficiency department. Enhance shamans have even worse efficiency than Elementals, and their mana pools are usually quite small.

    In fact, you'll be critting so often that you'll probably always have this ability ready for your next shock. Look at it as a flat 60% decrease in the cost of your shocks, for ONE talent point.

    It's basically worthless for Elemental and Resto shamans, since they shouldn't be meleeing at all.

  • Anticipation
  • Increases your chance to dodge by an additional 1/2/3/4/5%.

    5% extra chance to avoid melee attacks. It's simple, it's effective. Not a whole lot to say about it.

    I recommend it, since we shamans tend to take a lot of damage, and you forgo a lot of protection when using a 2-hander or dual-wielding.


  • Nature's Guidance
  • Increases your chance to hit with melee attacks and spells by 3%.

    This is a weird talent, because it doesn't help your healing at all. It's basically there to give Resto shamans a better chance at doing some damage.

    Enhance and Elem shamans may find it useful (especially Elem, since they should be going into the Resto tree anyway) but 3 talent points for just 3% extra hit chance is kinda...crummy. If you're really hurting for +hit, you should grab it. Don't be afraid to grab it now and ditch it later; that's what respeccing is for.

    If you're a PvPer, I think there's also a cap on +hit versus other players. I don't know what that is, but I think Elemental PvPers will want to skip this talent if they already have 3 points in Elemental Precision (Tier 6 Elem talent). I'll update this when I've learned more.

  • Healing Focus
  • Gives you a 14/28/42/56/70% chance to avoid interruption caused by damage while casting any Shaman healing spell.

    Helps you heal yourself quicker while taking damage. Very nice for any spec, especially in PvP, where you're usually on your own for healing.

    I think it's essential to Resto shamans, and also very good for Elem and Enhance. As Elemental, I usually put 4 points into this talent, and one into Totemic Mastery.

    Combining this talent with Earth Shield (Tier 9 Resto talent) or the Concentration paladin buff basically ensures that your heals will be free from pushback.

  • Totemic Mastery
  • The radius of your totems that affect friendly targets is increased to 30 yards.

    If you ask me, totems should have a 30 yard radius by default. Paladin and Hunter auras cover 30 yards, AND they're mobile. But until Blizzard fixes that issue, we've gotta put up with it.

    This talent can be pretty handy, since the stationary nature of totems makes it harder to position your groups.

    Hey, it's not fabulous, but it's only one talent point, and it actually helps more than you'd think.

  • Healing Grace
  • Reduces the threat generated by your healing spells by 5/10/15%.

    For a full Resto shaman doing dungeons & raiding, this is very useful. If you haven't figured it out by now, pulling aggro is bad. And if you're Main Healer (MH) on the Main Tank (MT), you're going to be causing a LOT of threat. This talent will be very helpful for keeping the baddies off your ass.

    For a full Resto shaman doing nothing but PvP, this is worthless. Your human opponents don't care how much threat you cause, because they work it out for themselves, and usually focus-fire you dead before everyone else.

    Elemental and Enhancement shamans don't do enough healing, so don't bother.

Well, that's all for this round. Tune in next time, when I tackle Tier 4! Things are really starting to get interesting.


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Cower in fear, for the time of the Dark Shaman is here!
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A lot of people have a hard time deciding what pieces of equipment they should work on upgrading, especially when getting into PvP, where you basically just shoot for the best you can get.

My solution was to make a chart (using Google Docs) of all the gear I had my eye on (in this case, I limited it to PvP gear) and entered the Item Level next to it. Note that Item Level is not the same as Required Level. You can find an item's Item Level easily in WoWhead or Thottbot or whatever you prefer.

Next, I entered the corresponding Item Levels of the gear I currently have. Then, in the next column, I have it auto-calculate the difference between what I have and what I want.

Once that's done, you can easily see how different the items you WANT and the items you HAVE are, and can basically just go down the list, from most-different to least. For me (in the chart above) you can see that I'll be replacing my Bracers next. Which is actually pretty obvious if you've ever seen my bracers.
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I may not have mentioned it here before, but I'm a Jewelcrafter/Miner. I picked it up right after I bought Burning Crusade (which was a couple months after everyone else) and for the most part, I've been happy with it. But there are some things about it that need to be fixed.


One of the coolest things about Jewelcrafting is that we can make Neck-slot items that buff your whole group. However, these items are expensive to make, and only have 10 charges for the group buff. The expense is understandable, but once you've used all the charges you're left with a necklace that just isn't that great anymore. The few necklaces I've equipped have gone unused, because I never want to waste a charge. And really, how often do YOU see a JC buff when you're grouped? I think I've seen it once. People just aren't using them.

Solution? Recharge kit. We should be able to make an item that will give a necklace a full charge. Simple as that.

But that's boring. I've got a more interesting idea. Create a new type of Socket and call it something like Charge Socket. Each of these Jewelcrafted necklaces should have 10 of these Charge Sockets instead of the current 10 charges. You would be able to socket a base gem (ie: Citrine, Flame Spessarite, whatever) into the Charge Socket to provide the item with another charge. When you use the Necklace to provide your group with a buff, you consume a charge, and with it, the socketed gem.

The gem required to provide the charge should correspond to the level of the item being charged. To charge a lvl. 25 necklace, you would need a Moss Agate or Iridescent Pearl. To charge a lvl. 70 necklace, you would need a Golden Draenite or Azure Moonstone.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I've got about a million of those lvl. 70 Uncommon-quality gems.

Fist Weapons

When I picked up Jewelcrafting, I was under the impression that crafting Fist Weapons would be one of the cool things you could do. But there's only ONE, the Heavy Iron Knuckles. A lvl. 27 item. Ahem.

Now, I know there are plenty of Blacksmiths out there thinking that Fist Weapon crafting should belong to them, to which I disagree. You've got Swords, Maces, Axes, and Armor (and I think Blizz intends on adding Shields). Blacksmithing fits Warriors, Paladins, and to a lesser extent Shamans and Hunters the best, so it doesn't make sense to make Fist Weapons a Blacksmith item when they're usable by Shamans, Hunters, Druids, and Rogues (and yes, also Warriors). Plus, there's already a precedent set, so Jewelcrafters get to keep them. So there.

Anyway, back to the matter at hand. Jewelcrafters need to be able to make more Fist weapons, and a greater variety of them too. There are some great fist drops in the game right now for melee-oriented specs, and we definitely need more of those, but there should also be Caster- and Healer-specific fist weapons for Shamans and Druids to use. Especially shamans. Especially elemental shamans. Especially ME. If there was one unit in Warcraft 3 that was defined by fist weapons, it was the shaman.

I'd even like to see some Jewelcrafter-only fist weapons. In fact, I've got a crazy idea about a BOP barebones dagger with around 12 gem slots, which would basically allow you to build your own customized weapon. THAT would be really cool.


If you're not a Jewelcrafter, you may not even realize that we can create stone statues that will give us a steady stream of healing for 2 minutes. They're basically single-target Healing Stream Totems, except they look like a little (attackable) Stone Golems with a very visible green healing ray.

Unfortunately, there isn't one for the 60-70 game. You can make them with each kind of stone, from Rough, Coarse, Heavy, Solid, up to Dense. Primal Earth is supposed to be the new type of stone in BC, but you can't make a Primal Stone Statue.

Or can you? I was just looking up these statues on WoWhead, and a Primal Stone Statue does indeed show up when you do a search for statues. One of the commenters says that they're craftable on the Test Realms right now. So maybe they're coming in 2.3.2. Sure hope so.

UPDATE: No, Primal Stone Statues are still not in the game.


UPDATE: This issue has been resolved to my satisfaction in Patch 2.4. There are now 5 very nice purple-quality figurines, which are basically upgrades of the blue ones. Still no spell crit figurine, unfortunately.

Another item that non-Jewelcrafters may not know about. We can create JC-only (BOP) trinkets that boost stats, and also have an on-use ability that also summons a little gem animal (I'm pretty sure that killing the gem animal also removes the on-use buff, but I could be wrong).

There are a lot of pretty cool and varied Figurines in the game, but unfortunately the best ones are only Rare (blue) items. It would be nice if we could create more powerful Epic figurines (aka MORE PURPZ!!!1), naturally using some of the rarer materials in the game.

I would also like a nice Spell Crit-enhancing figurine, but the Living Ruby Serpent and Talasite Owl work pretty well too.

PS: The Golden Hare figurine comes in pretty handy in WSG.


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Just thought I'd mention that I went back to Elemental. Screw healing.


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Tier 1Tier 2Tier 3Tier 4Tier 5

This is Part 2 in my 9-part series detailing the ins and outs of the shaman talent trees.


You can skip this tier if you want, because none of the talents are essential to any build. However, you'll probably have to come back to it to go deeper into the tree eventually. So, if you're still levelling, it's probably a good idea to skip it for now (you should have put 10 points into Concussion and Convection if you're going for an Elemental build).

  • Earth's Grasp
  • Increases the health of your Stoneclaw Totem by 25/50% and the radius of your Earthbind Totem by 10/20%.

    This talent is lousy. Even with 50% more HP, your Stoneclaw is only good for distracting an enemy you haven't damaged yet. It can't function as a tank or anything.

    And it only increases the radius of Earthbind by TWO YARDS. Don't bother.

  • Elemental Warding
  • Reduces damage taken from Fire, Frost and Nature effects by 4/7/10%.

    Not a bad talent to have, especially in PvP. This'll help you last longer against most casters in the game, and comes in pretty handy everywhere else too.

  • Call of Flame
  • Increases the damage done by your Fire Totems by 5/10/15%.

    For Elemental shamans, your fire totems are already going to be pretty powerful, and making them moreso is a good idea. But it all depends on how often you use them. You should be using Searing Totem or Fire Elemental on most boss fights, so it's worthwhile there. UNLESS you're going to be taking Totem of Wrath, in which case you shouldn't bother with this talent. More on that when I get to Tier 9. Here's a preview: don't get ToW unless you're raiding.

    Basically, if you need to put points into one of the Tier 2 Elemental talents, you should put them into Elemental Warding if you need more defense, or Call of Flame if you need more DPS.


  • Guardian Totems
  • Increases the amount of damage reduced by your Stoneskin Totem and Windwall Totem by 10/20% and reduces the cooldown of your Grounding Totem by 1/2 sec.

    Meh. I don't think this is worth 2 points. Stoneskin is kinda nice to use occasionally, but an Enhance shaman will probably be using Strength of Earth Totem most of the time anyway. Windwall is barely ever useful. Grounding Totem has a cooldown of 15 seconds. Does a 2-second decrease in that cooldown seem worth it? Not to me. Skip it.

  • Thundering Strikes
  • Improves your chance to get a critical strike with your weapon attacks by 1/2/3/4/5%.

    Get it. Extra crit is always good, and it's a prerequisite for one of the best talents in the tree: Flurry. It also helps to activate Shamanistic Focus more often, which will help your mana efficiency immensely. AND it helps to activate Unleashed Rage more often, which increases the DPS of you AND your group.

  • Improved Ghost Wolf
  • Reduces the cast time of your Ghost Wolf spell by 1/2 sec.

    The only reason to get this talent is if you like to do a lot of flag-running in Warsong Gulch and Eye of the Storm, and even then it's not all that useful.

    I suppose it's also handy if you're on a PvP server and need to be able to run away from others in a hurry, but you're probably better off relying on Frost Shock and Earthbind Totem to slow down your enemies instead.

    Also consider that Nature's Swiftness (in the Resto tree) can be used with Ghost Wolf to make it instant-cast. I'd recommend using that instead.

  • Improved Lightning Shield
  • Increases the damage done by your Lightning Shield orbs by 15%.

    This can be a nice (though certainly not essential) talent to have in your Enhance build. With the recent buff to Mental Quickness (which now gives you 30% of your Attack Power back as +Spell Damage and +Healing) this talent can make your LS quite powerful. However, most Enhance shamans that I've seen use Water Shield, due to their small mana pools and poor mana efficiency. But it can be handy in PvP, where every non-Resto shaman is usually killed before they run out of mana.


  • Improved Reincarnation
  • Reduces the cooldown of your Reincarnation spell by 10/20 min and increases the amount of health and mana you reincarnate with by an additional 10/20%.

    This can be handy if you're in a raiding guild, and it can be nice to have when leveling. But...there's nothing essential about it. If you ask me (and that's why you're here) don't bother.

  • Ancestral Healing
  • Increases your target's armor value by 8/16/25% for 15 sec after getting a critical effect from one of your healing spells.

    This is pretty nice to have if you're going full Resto. The extra survivability you can provide your group (and more importantly, your tank) with this talent should not be underestimated. Remember that you can always spam Rank 1 Healing Wave on your tank to keep this buff up (along with Healing Way, a Tier 5 Resto talent), and every jump of Chain Heal can apply the buff.

    You should definitely get Tidal Mastery (Tier 4 Resto talent) if you decide to get AH, and +Spell Crit on healing gear is easier to come by these days, since it's so useful to Paladins. And throwing a few crit and Intellect gems in your gear doesn't hurt.

    Unfortunately, it doesn't stack with the Priest talent Inspiration (which is exactly the same as AH) but Priests don't get that very often.

  • Totemic Focus
  • Reduces the mana cost of your totems by 5/10/15/20/25%.

    This is a VERY good talent for ANY talent build if you're doing a lot of grouping or raiding. Totems get expensive, especially when you have 3 or 4 down in each battle, and this talent can give you a significant boost in your mana-efficiency.

    It's also worth pointing out that the mana returned by Totemic Call is based on the totem's cost BEFORE talents are considered, so if you're on the ball, you're saving 50% on your totems.

    Another neat thing is that your Poison and Disease Cleansing Totems actually cost LESS MANA than your single-target Poison and Disease Cleansing spells with TF.