Monday, October 1, 2012

One's Too Many, A Thousand's Not Enough - MOP Disc Priest Glyph Choices for PVP

Well, it looks like the "choices! choices! choices!" mind set in WoW development has manifested itself quite obviously when it comes to choosing glyphs for Disc Priest PvP in Mists of Pandaria. Where PvE Holy Priest glyphs are in a famine state, there are (arguably) around 17 choices for glyphs for PvP'ing as a Disc Priest.

In this post, I'm going to go over these choices and explain why having a glut of glyphs might not be so daunting after all.  After all, we're lucky to have so much choice, right?

So the way I look at it is that each of these glyphs are going to be extremely situational and choosing between them will require some planning, data, information, and guess work.  The main thing we're going to have to suss out is what comps are popular for Arena and Rated Battlegrounds - this forthcoming information (i.e. what you end up seeing when you queue up after September 25th) will allow us to set some parameters within which we can decide on which glyphs to use.

I actually dipped my toes into the two new Battlegrounds this week and got absolutely stomped all over.  Couldn't kill anything, couldn't stay alive - I think I'd forgotten that first week of expac PvP is all Glads vs. me in zero resilience.  I bet I looked tasty.  In any case, most of my glyph choices didn't matter because things were...a little crazy.

In any case, here are the glyphs that are looking viable for this season's Disc PvP:

Glyph of Desperation:  This is one of my top choices in any PvP situation, and it has proved to be invaluable, especially in 2s.  An obvious good choice - and after this week's BGs, where I felt like every class has a stun now, I would definitely make this one of my #1 glyphs.  This glyph remains unchanged from Cata.

Glyph of Dispel Magic:  As with the other dispel glyph, these usually are too understated to have any real impact.  I had 362k hp in epic PvP gear at level 90 on Beta - 4.9k isn't much of a dent.  Only pro is that offensive dispels don't have the same cooldown as defensive dispels now have, so it's ostensibly spammable.

Glyph of Fade:  Damage reduction is always good - this is high on my list now that mana burn is out, since instead of burns/cc's, I assume healers will be focused even more now.  In addition, if your arena/RBG team doesn't require you to take a tier 1 CC talent (because you have other CC'ers) then this would be great in conjunction with the tier 1 talent, Phantasm.

Glyph of Fear Ward: Same as in Cataclysm - while this may have been vaguely useable in the past, taking up a precious glyph slot may not be worth it.

Glyph of Holy Nova: I found Holy Nova pretty useful in Arena against Death Knights who were trying to catch me with a Dark Simulacrum!  But, like the Fear Ward glyph, I'd say this probably isn't great at this point.

Glyph of Inner Fire:  In season 11, I swapped from using Inner Will to Inner Fire because, among other reasons, I was having trouble surviving against melee and thought a little armour might help me - if this remains the case in Season 12, this might be a useful glyph but...probably not.

Glyph of Inner Focus: MUST HAVE.  I cannot stress this enough - please glyph Inner Focus.  This is the only problem I have with the new talent system - lots of awesome tidbits that were originally baked into priest talents have been removed, like this beauty.

Glyph of Inner Sanctum: Depending on which comps are popular, the spell damage reduction may prove useful - also this is dependent on you using inner will, so if you don't...don't glyph it.  With the new movement talents, the movement speed portion of this is arguably not required anymore.

Glyph of Leap of Faith: I have been frustrated in the past (mostly in RBGs) that I will LG someone and they won't move because they are under a movement impairing effect - this is, of course, my own fault but I was always of the opinion that Leap of Faith should just freaking move you regardless.  This glyph will give you that.  If you aren't running with a paladin, this one is probably a good idea - it's basically a 2 minute Hand of Freedom for priests!

Glyph of Levitate:  I think for this glyph to be worth of an entire slot, you'd have to be willing to spam Levitate - will probably end up being a waste of globals.  Also after some testing today, this glyph is self only.  Not worth it for that miniscule increase.

Glyph of Mass Dispel:  Obviously, an amazingly useful glyph - reduces base cast time of MD to 0.5 secs.  I have been stuck without this glyph in arena a few times (due to my own idiocy) and sorely missed it.

Glyph of Penance:  This is the celebrity-status new glyph for MOP for disc priests.  Penance while moving?! Yes please!  I think this may end up being a required glyph in arena at 90, although I didn't use it for the last two weeks of arena at 85.  Since Penance also causes Atonement healing when used offensively, this glyph basically triples its effectiveness.  I can't wait to play around with this one!

Glyph of Power Word: Shield:  Kind of a no-brainer - you're going to be shielding people anyways, best to have it give an instant heal as well.

Glyph of Prayer of Mending:  For me, this glyph (and it's Cata iteration) is a favourite - I rely heavily on PoM, and cast it on cooldown.  This glyph makes that very worthwhile.

Glyph of Purify:  Like glyph of dispel magic, I'd argue this 3% is too small to have any real effect.

Glyph of Reflective Shield:   Replaces a talent that no one took anyways.

Glyph of Renew:  Glyphing renew for Disc PvP is something I've always done because I rely on instant heals almost exclusively when Inner Focus is on cooldown.  At specific haste breakpoints, this will still be worth glyphing (see Derevka's Haste Breakpoint Chart and further discussion on the renew glyph at Tales of a Priest.)

I have omitted the Atonement buffing glyphs (Smite, Holy Fire, etc) although things may change as we get more gear with resilience.

And a final note: ABSOLUTELY NEVER USE THE MINOR GLYPH HOLY RESURRECTION IN PVP!  Might as well wear a "Kick Me" sign.

Good luck in the new PvP season!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Mists of Pandaria Pre-Raid Gear for Guardian Druids

As we're all getting ready for Mists, the question circles around "Who's making a gear list for <insert class>?" I decided to post my own pre-raid gear list by slot that I wrote up for personal use and maybe it'll help give some of you an idea of where you want to start!

Quick note: Most of the rep gear is listed first. This is because the ilevel of the available rep gear is 489, and therefore has more stats allocated to it. Heroic gear from dungeons comes in a close second. Don't stress out if you can't get all the rep gear right away; there are great heroic dungeon options!

Red Smoke Bandana Hit and Mastery - meta and blue socket + 180 agility - Klaxxi
Windblast Helm Haste and Mastery - meta gem/red socket + 180 agility - Siege of Niuzao Temple
Soulburner Crown Hit and Crit - meta and yellow socket + 180 agility - Scholomance

Delicate Necklace of the Golden Lotus Crit and Mastery (Quest Reward)
Choker of the Klaxxi'va Hit and Crit - Klaxxi
Engraved Amber Pendant Crit and Haste - Siege of Niuzao Temple
Scorched Scarlet Key Hit and Exp - Scarlet Halls

Imperion Spaulders  Hit and Crit - yellow socket + 60 agility - Golden Lotus
Fizzy Spaulders Crit and Haste - red socket +60 haste - Stormstout Brewery
Doubtridden Shoulderguards Hit and Exp - red socket + 60 exp - Temple of the Jade Serpent

Softfoot Silent Wrap Hit and Exp - Two sockets (Y/B) + 120 agility - Golden Lotus
Greyshadow Chestguard - Crit and Mastery - Two sockets (Y/Y) + 120 agility - Leatherworking
Korloff's Raiment Hit and Crit - yellow socket + 60 agility - Scarlet Monastery

Blackguard Cape Hit and Mastery - Shado-Pan
Windsoaked Drape Crit and Mastery - Temple of the Jade Serpent
Aerial Bombardment Cloak  Hit and Crit - Siege of Niuzao Temple

Quillpaw Family Bracers Hit and Crit - The August Celestials
Lightblade Bracer - Crit and Mastery - Scarlet Halls

Fingers of the Lonliest Monk Exp and Haste - The August Celestials
Greyshadow Gloves - Crit and Mastery - red socket + 60 crit - Leatherworking 
Hound Trainer's Gloves Exp and Mastery - Scarlet Halls

Klaxxi Lash of the Burrower Crit and Mastery - blue socket + 60 crit - Klaxxi
Icewraith Belt Crit and Mastery - Scholomance

Dreadsworn Slayer Legs Crit and Mastery - red socket + 60 agility - Klaxxi
Wall-Breaker Legguards Exp and Mastery - red socket + 60 mastery - Gate of the Setting Sun

Tukka Tuk's Hairy Boots Hit and Haste - The August Celestials
Dashing Strike Treads Crit and Mastery - yellow socket + 60 agility - Scarlet Monastery

Seal of Ghoulish Glee Hit and Crit - World Event (Hallow's End)
Pulled Grenade Pin Crit and Mastery - Gate of the Setting Sun
Signet of Dancing Jade Crit and Exp - Temple of the Jade Serpent

Lao-Chin's Liquid Courage Static stam + mastery on use - Shado-Pan
Relic of Niuzao Static stam + dodge on use - Darkmoon Ox Deck
Relic of Xuen Static agi + agi proc - Darkmoon Tiger Deck
Brawler's Statue Static dodge + dodge on use - World Event (Brewfest)
Heart of Fire Static mastery + dodge on use- Shado-Pan Monastery
Iron Protector Talisman Static stam + dodge proc - Mogu'shan Palace

Many viable trinkets here, so it depends on your playstyle! (Or the encounters you will be coming up against.)

Inscribed Tiger Staff Crit and Mastery - Inscription
Snowdrift's Bladed Staff Exp and Mastery - Shado-Pan Monastery
Firestorm Greatstaff Crit and Haste - Scarlet Monastery
Amber Spear of Klaxxi'vess Hit and Haste - Klaxxi
Spear of Xuen Crit and Mastery - Archaeology
Ghostheart Crit and Haste - Mogu'Shan Vaults

Mists of Pandaria Leather Reputation and Dungeon Gear

Mists of Pandaria is only a few days away and there's plenty of information out there. In the interest of having something easy to read, I've compiled a list by location of various reputations and dungeon bosses that have the gear that Guardian or Feral Druids may be interested in.

Reputation Gear

Bracers: (crit/mastery) Cruel Mercy Bracers

Neck: (hit/crit) Choker of the Klaxxi'va 
Belt: (crit/mastery - blue socket + 60 crit) Klaxxi Lash of the Burrower 
Legs: (crit/mastery - red socket + 60 agility) Dreadsworn Slayer Legs

2H Polearm: (hit/haste) Amber Spear of Klaxxi'vess

August Celestials
Cloak: (crit/haste) Bladesong Cloak

Hands: (exp/mastery) Fingers of the Loneliest Monk
Bracers: (hit/crit) Quillpaw Family Bracers
Feet: (hit/haste) Tukka-Tuk's Hairy Boots 

Legs: (hit/mastery) Tough Mushanhide Leggings
Ring: (crit/haste) Mark of the Dancing Crane

Trinket: (static stam/mastery on use) Lao-Chin's Liquid Courage
Cloak: (hit/mastery) Blackguard Cape 
Helm: (hit/mastery - meta and blue socket + 180 agility) Red Smoke Bandana

Golden Lotus
Gloves: (crit/mastery) Surehand Grips

Shoulders: (hit/crit - yellow socket + 60 agility) Imperion Spaulders 
Chest: (hit/exp - yellow and blue sockets + 120 agility) Softfoot Silent Wrap
Ring: (hit/haste) Anji's Keepsake

While you're leveling (or afterwards if you plan to farm some dungeon gear) here's where to look for leather drops:

New Mists Dungeons - Normal ilvl 410 Heroic ilvl 463

Stormstout Brewery

Ook Ook
Chest: (crit/haste - heroic: blue gem slot + 60 agility) Nimbletoe Chestguard (Normal) (Heroic

Yan-Zhu the Uncasked:
Shoulders: (crit/haste - heroic: red socket + 60 haste) Fizzy Spaulders (Normal) (Heroic)

Belt: (hit/exp) Belt of Brazen Inebriation (Heroic)

Gate of the Setting Sun

Saboteur Kip'Tilak
Bracers: (haste/exp) Saboteur's Stabilizing Bracers (Normal) (Heroic)
Ring: (crit/mastery) Pulled Grenade Pin (Heroic)

Legs: (exp/mastery - heroic: red gem slot +60 mastery) Wall-Breaker Legguards (Normal) (Heroic)

Shadow-Pan Monastery

Master Snowdrift
2H Staff: (exp/mastery) Snowdrift's Bladed Staff (Normal) (Heroic)
Trinket: (static mastery - dodge on use) Heart of Fire (Heroic)

Ring: (hit/haste) Seal of Hateful Meditation (Heroic)

Siege of Niuzao Temple

Vizier Jin'back
Neck: (crit/haste) Engraved Amber Pendant (Heroic)

General Pa'valek
Cloak: (hit/crit) Aerial Bombardment Cloak (Heroic)

Wing Leader Ner'onok
Helm: (haste/mastery meta gem/red socket + 180 agility) Windblast Helm (Heroic)

Temple of the Jade Serpent

Wise Mari
Cloak: (crit/mastery) Wind-Soaked Drape (Heroic)

Lorewalker Stonestep
Trinket: (static agility + haste proc) Windswept Pages (Heroic)

Liu Flameheart
Ring: (crit/exp) Signet of Dancing Jade (Heroic)

Sha of Doubt
Shoulders: (hit/exp - heroic red socket + 60 exp) Doubtridden Shoulderguards (Normal) (Heroic)

Mogu'shan Palace

Trinket: (static stamina + dodge proc) Iron Protector Talisman (Normal) (Heroic)

Xin the Weaponmaster
2H Polearm: (crit/haste) Ghostheart (Normal) (Heroic)
Feet: (haste/exp - heroic yellow socket + 60 agi) Boots of Plummeting Death (Normal) (Heroic)

Scarlet Halls

Houndmaster Braun
Hands: (exp/mastery) Hound Trainer's Gloves (Heroic

Armsmaster Harlan
Bracers: (crit/mastery) Lightblade Bracer (Heroic)

Flameweaver Koegler 
Neck: (hit/exp) Scorched Scarlet Key (Heroic)

Scarlet Monastery

Brother Korloff
2H Staff: (crit/haste) Firestorm Greatstaff (Heroic)
Chest: (hit/crit - yellow socket + 60 agi) Korloff's Raiment (Heroic

High Inquisitor Whitemane
Trinket: (static hit + agility on use) Flashing Steel Talisman (Heroic)
Feet: (crit/mastery - yellow socket + 60 agility) Dashing Strike Treads (Heroic)


Instructor Chillheart
Belt: (crit/mastery) Icewraith Belt (Heroic)

Jandace Barov
Legs: (crit/haste - yellow socket + 60 haste) Ghostwoven Legguards (Heroic)

Lillian Voss
Hands: (hit/haste) Tombstone Gauntlets (Heroic)
Trinket: (static crit/agility proc) Searing Words (Heroic)

Zone: Helm: (hit/crit - meta and yellow socket + 180 agility) Soulburner Crown (Heroic)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Shared Topic - Three Must Haves

My first Blog Azeroth Shared Topic comes from Mataoka of Sugar and Blood;

...with the new patch, and all the new things coming, what are three things that you will absolutely not leave behind? Consider these three objects your virtual backpack- the twist is, a tiny story to go along with each item.

My priest, has many sentimental memories associated with her, but not really a big amount of items I would save. I rifled through her bags to see which items I would never be able to delete, and came up with three things - though one is a "set".

 WoWHead Image
Argent Dawn Commission

I remember picking this up and thinking I would farm Argent Dawn rep at the time. I was hooked on this trinket because it used to make your character salute and a light effect would surround you (kind of what the leveling "ding" animation is).

There's no way I'm getting rid of this now, as the trinket is no longer available in game. I like to have things that no one else does!

Original Tier 6 

My first full tier set on my priest was T6. I raided in T4 and T5 but the Frozen Shadowweave Set was far too good to replace until T6 (and even then, the Shadowweave chest was still better than the T6 chest).

My dagger is still enchanted with Frost and Shadow Damage, my cloak still has 2% Reduced Threat and all the gear has the original gems and enchants.

I have great memories about T6 and the Burning Crusade, so my T6 will always have a place in my bank - no matter how many spaces I seem to keep filling!

"Best in Show!"
Precious' Ribbon

I love this pink shirt, and I love that it gives your character a "Best in Show" buff! I remember looking at Precious when we were in ICC and thinking that it was adorable that she had a ribbon on her neck! Obviously someone really cared about that pooch.

When I won that shirt I wore it around everywhere and it's my default shirt when it doesn't clash too horribly with my outfit.

Since I've had my druid as long as my priest, I decided to check what items she had that I placed value on.

Chained Essence of Eranikus

Ah, yes. I love this trinket, and I really thought the questline was neat up until it just kind of... stopped. I did this quest on my priest first and lost her trinket but decided to keep it on my druid.

Everytime you use this trinket, Eranikus speaks to you;
  • It hurts so much... Itharius, my old friend... please help me...
  • Will the nightmare ever end?! I cannot force myself awake!
  • Torture me no more! Release me, mortal! The Swamp of Sorrows... mortal... please
  • My eyes! It burns... it burns...
  • Foolish mortal, I will rend your soul in two once I am released!
  • My charge to watch the temple has failed... my corrupted soul knows no peace...
  • My soul is not a trinket! Mortal, you must release me from these chains!
  • Foolish mortal, I will rend your soul in two once I am released!
  • You are an agent of their wicked god, fool. I will see you destroyed!
I remember when I first used the trinket and Eranikus was quite angry. I'd never seen anything like this before, and I still feel sad for Eranikus being trapped wherever he is.

This particular version of the Essence is no longer available in game, but I plan on keeping this trinket forever.

That green stuff is the Essence of Eranikus, I swear!

Essence Infused Moonstone

Once upon a time, druids had to complete a long (awesome) quest chain in order to get their final flight form. This key used to be part of the chain where you had to go summon Anzu, the Raven Lord and defeat him to move on with the chain.

Afterwards, you got to keep the Moonstone and go back to Sethekk Halls whenever you wanted to farm the mount Aznu drops.

I had a group of people who I used to bring my key for so that we could farm the mount. Now that you no longer need a druid there's no reason to keep this key, but there's no way I can get rid of it.

That's me in the middle!


My very favourite weapon. I farmed Cenarion Expedition rep so hard to be able to have one of the best tanking maces ever. I collected spears, unidentified plant parts and ran Underbog so much I'm sure I went crazy.

It was sold by Fedryen Swiftspear for 265g, which at the time for me was not a trivial amount.

I tanked with this mace for a long time, I never did get a Wildfury Greatstaff... I loved that bear druids got a mace called Earthwarden - it's a very fitting title!

I'm saving this mace in the hopes that one day, druids will have a viable tanking mace to use so that I can transmog to Earthwarden.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Meet The Exodar Athletes: Transmogolympics

A familiar face to many, the Exodar flagbearer was pictured on WoWInsider just weeks before the competition!
All good things must come to an end, and with the event of the summer nearing its closing ceremonies, the athletes of the Exodar will strut their stuff one last time. I had a wonderful time creating all of these outfits, and I'm excited to finally be able to reveal them (without the anonymity).

I worked hard to put together some outfits that I thought were great and fit the themes really well - this competition really got the creative part of me working in overdrive. Hats off to JD and the judges for all their hard work!

Check the links to see the actual event posts! Cycling, Hammer Throw, Discus, Wrestling, Archery, Javelin, Equestrian, Freestyle, and Fencing.

Cycling (matching the Mechano-Hog):

When I think of ladies in a biker gang, I think leather, goggles, and studded shoulders.

I tried to go with a red and black theme to keep with matching the Horde version of the Chopper. I also included two Bloody Brass Knuckles because this lady means business.

Check out her gear set here!

Hammer Throw

I agonized over this set. I couldn't decide if I wanted to go with more purple or if I wanted the mace to stand on its own.

In the end I went with a grey/purple scheme and I really like the way it turned out. I think if I had to do it over I'd pick a more purple-y set of boots.

Check out her gear set here!
Restricted to Paladins: Shoulders are Heroic tier.


I was a little disappointed with the posted results for this outfit. The gold winner looks remarkably similar to this set!

In the end, this set didn't place at all and I can't help but wonder if the judges don't like all the dwarf skin.

Check out her gear set here!


I found this great belt and lo and behold there were matching bracers! Since we weren't going the traditional Olympic style I thought this was perfect.

This Tauren is ready to ruuuuummmmmble!

Check out his gear set here!


I love this bow, and this set looks incredible with a Stormwind Tabard. Unfortunately, I was unable to use another faction's tabard but if you wish to recreate this set I recommend it.

Check out her gear set here!


I really like this set. The replica Beastmaster gear worked perfectly with this great polearm.

I came super close to the podium on this event at 382 compared to the winner's 387!

Check out her gear here!


I chose to match an outfit to the Baradin Wardens Spectral Horse.

I'm pleased with the icy blue look I achieved and I think it matches that horse really well.

Check out her gear set here!


My freestyle outfit ended up being a creation of a new goblin banker. I wanted to use the shoulders so badly, and it works with the rich colours of green and purple.

This lady is trying to explain to these people that time is money, and they're wasting hers.

Check out her gear set here!


The final entrant in this years Transmogolympics!

I chose a fiery sword, and matched elements in her outfit to the fire theme.

Check out her gear set here!

In the end, none of my sets gained any medals but my Javelin set came the closest. I'm a little disappointed, and I have some disagreements (for sets that weren't even mine!). Overall this was an excellent transmog event to participate in and I had an absolute blast creating everything.

I really enjoyed participating in this, and I hope that I can find some more Transmog events to try my luck at. It's hard enough competing in an event such as the Transmogolympics, but it's another thing entirely to organize and judge the entrants. Thanks again to JD at Amateur Azerothian, Tome at Tome of the Ancient, Matty at Sugar & Blood and Khizzara at Blog of the Treant.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Grinding for Archaeology mounts?

So remember that pet and mount you never ever ever got from Tol'vir solves? And how you hated having to bust ass all around Kalimdor for a measly 1 Tol'vir dig site and 3284091238 Night Elf dig sites?

My rogue got lucky, but you may not have!
Well, my pals, those days are over - and honestly, if you're currently trying to get that mount, STOP NOW.

Here's the scoop (and this isn't a full archeology preview, I'm just here to let you know that the Tol'vir mount WILL BE YOURS):

All those extra white/grey items you used to get doing all your other solves are now (with Mogu and Pandaren solves) white items with an on-use that puts them in a crate. Once you have maxed out archeology (which takes very little time in Pandaria) you can trade those crates in for any pre-MOP fragments you like! I had about 25 boxes to turn in when I maxed out my archeology so I got 25 boxes of Tol'vir fragments - they each had 6-9 fragments each and I was able to do 7ish Tol'vir solves right then and there.

Of course, I didn't get the mount to pop but it's only a matter of time, right?!

If you're into achivements, there are some achivements that require you to solve 20 of each white item for the Mogu/Pandaren items so right there is 20 boxes of Tol'vir fragments per achivement!

Not only are you going to get all your Pandaria archeology items and achivements, you will simultaneously be working towards that elusive Tol'vir bug mount.

For a complete archaeology preview, check out the Wowhead Archaeology Preview by she of the best socks, Perculia

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Lulls and Changes

Expansion transitions are interesting times. People start to review what they need to finish before they have to worry about leveling again; old achievements, battleground goals, profession material farming and more. So a few posts have been circling about that are listing what folks are trying to finish up before the Mists of Pandaria comes to Azeroth.

Profession Work

With my main swapping from priest to guardian, I had to look at what I needed to get Kalbeari raid ready (aside from leveling her to 90). Currently, I have Leatherworking and Skinning but have gathered all of the mats needed to level Jewelcrafting once Mists hits and I've leveled Leatherworking.

The problem with this set up is that I've recently found out that Alchemy will blow JC out of the water for my choice of second crafting profession. Currently, the Guardian druid mastery is scaling things like armour elixirs and potions, (GC confirmed that it is intended) and with the Alchemist perk Mixology, it's clear that I'll have to farm mats for yet another profession.

The plan is to level in Mists with LW and Skinning, then drop Skinning and powerlevel my second profession - Alchemy.

Filling Time

There are things that Kaleri has that I would like Kalbeari to have, so I've been leveling my cooking and fishing so that she'll be self-sufficient. I picked up a Dalaran ring, and a guild cloak for easy transportation back and forth.

I've been doing mount runs every Tuesday with Serrine and Serrath two guildmates of mine, and so far we have: an Ashes of A'lar (mine), a Blue Drake from Malygos (Serrinne) and an Azure Drake from Malygos (to Serrath). Not bad for about a month's work!
Caw! Caw!
Raising some gold is a priority, too. I've never been super rich in WoW and with the introduction of some big gold sinks (Grand Expedition Yak, new JC mounts, Black Market Auction House) I'd like to have some extra gold.

I've tanked an LFR on the Beta, watched a bunch of livestreams and videos, recorded my loot list and have generally been itching for new content. I want to make sure I'm as prepared as possible!

Blog News

With main-swapping comes the consideration of what this blog will be once Mists rolls out. I originally intended to write about priests and raiding but I feel that once I am no longer playing my priest I won't carry the same authority that I did in Cataclysm.

I've asked my friend Sara (@SerrinneWoW) if she would be interested in writing some posts come Mists of Pandaria for priest related info, so expect to see some posts written by her in the future. (Plus that means I can keep part of the blog name the same - bonus!)

I'll still be here, but you can expect some more tank-centric and druid related articles from me in the future.

The url of this blog may be changing, not sure to what yet - have to pick a good name! If you notice some funky things happening with the layout and background don't worry, it's just me futzing around with some changes for Mists.

What are you doing to prepare for Mists? Are you taking some time off between expansions? What are you up to in the meantime?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A Crisis of Identity

Flying through the Vale
Preparing for an expansion is no small task. There are mats to farm for leveling professions or making gold, there's massive amounts of guild organization and there are decisions to be made about characters and roles you want to play. If you read Kurn's Corner, you'll know that there are steps to take when preparing a guild for a new expansion, and having guild members decide what role they'd like to play in the future is one of those steps.

I had to decide; healing priest or bear tank?

Ultimately, I chose to play my bear in the upcoming expansion. I've been having a bit of an identity crisis with my priest lately, and the more I play on my druid, the more I enjoy the game. I love my priest, I even wrote a post about how much I love her, but we've had a disconnect somewhere down the line.

Knight-Captain Kaleri on her Vicious War Steed
I am a good healer. Hell, I'd venture to say that I am a great healer but it just doesn't feel right and it doesn't feel like a challenge. I think that part of the reason for this is the race change of Kaleri from draenei to human back before Firelands, and the other part are the nerfs in Dragon Soul. She's still my priest, but she's not Kal. This fierce little human with a penchant for PVP and Hardmode bosses isn't the draenei I rolled back on Bronzebeard, clumsily fighting through Karazhan, applying to guilds through the mail system, and tailoring her own clothes.

Taila (or Kalbeari, now) has been a steady rock since Karazhan. She's mangled and swiped her way to victory over Malchezzar, Kael'Thas and Vashj. She held the lines while Illidan was vanquished, used the Tears of the Goddess to thwart Archimonde and stood in awe of the Sunwell. Together we've been the shield for the healers and the damage dealers through many battles, and that will be our role in Pandaria.

I leveled Kalbeari to 90 on the beta, and started goofing around in heroics with my friend Sara, a healing priest. Watching Cascade bounce around, or seeing Spirit Shell makes me a little regretful, but as soon as I hit that Incarnation button and become SUPERBEAR, those feelings go away. I watch the boss previews from MMO-Champion and I think, "I get to tank those. My raid will need me to be at the top of my game to survive and take the hits.". It's exciting and scary but I know it will be the challenge I need.

Does the class make the person?

My priest was my safe haven for some time. I created her just before University began, and played her while my struggle with Crohn's Disease was at it's height. I accomplished a lot with her, and many memories are recorded in her achievements and Feats of Strength. I was Kaleri.

My druid was created before my priest but the guild I had joined needed a priest healer (I was later asked not to heal, but to instead play as shadow). Kalbeari was always there when I needed a break from priesting, and I always thought of those two characters as friends of a sort.

Kaleri with the DS raid achievement mount
When I play Kaleri, I am a healer. I support my teammates, I take care of them and they keep Horde and enemies away from me. It's not my fault if someone dies to a loose add, but it is my prerogative to heal the tanks, so they can catch those adds. Healing can be a thankless job, especially when you do it so well no one will know what you had to do to pull it off.

Take Heroic Spine as an example. My job is to heal the tanks and watch the dispels. It's not a particularly hard job to dispel, but if you screw it up the entire raid knows it was your fault. However, if you do it perfectly the raid never has to know that there is a dispel mechanic and you take away that problem for everyone. You rarely get thanks, but there's a certain satisfaction when you can do it that well.

But when I play Kalbeari, I change a little. I have to be a little harder, take more control and be ready to help the raid as I can. Meaning anything from tanking more adds if someone goes down, using cooldowns like FR to the raid's benefit, to battle-rezzing someone or doing as much DPS as possible while I'm tanking. There is so much a bear tank can do right now to help out, it's insane.

Will a new role change me?

I think it will, a little. I feel like I've changed and grown as a person since I first created my characters. I've always been in awe of excellent tanks, and it never ceases to amaze me how a good tank can make or break a dungeon or raid run. I will have to take charge more than I do now, and speak up with more authority if I have to call something tank-related.

I'm afraid that I will feel a little helpless at times, not being able to heal but my priorities will shift from watching the raids HP to keeping an eye on my own. I used to get really antsy watching other healers while tanking but I've started to learn to let it go. How can I be a good tank when I die because I'm too busy watching the raid frames and I miss my cooldown? That can't happen and I'll have to place my trust in the healers, just like our current tanks trust me.

WoW needs more tanks, in particular it needs more tanks who are women. I'm proud to have the ability to switch to my druid and fill those roles.

Mists of Pandaria is approaching and it's nearly time for Kaleri to take a break from fighting monsters and the Horde, and fish by the gates of Stormwind for a time. The world has changed, and so have we.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Transmogolympics: Introducing The Exodar
Image from Amateur Azerothian


I've thrown my hat into the ring for the Transmogolympics! The idea stems from JD at Amateur Azerothian because with the Summer Olympics around the corner, what better way to pay homage than to host a competition of our own?

There are 24 total entrants as of this post. Each entrant must create 10 outfits total, and there are rules about what each outfit has to have to be able to participate. The first outfit is your faction's Flagbearer, because every country always has their flag in the opening ceremony. The rest of the "events" are as follows:
  • Archery – Build an outfit around your favourite bow.
  • Cycling – Build a biker outfit to compliment the Chopper.  It must be either Leather or Mail.
  • Discus – Build an outfit around one of the shield skins seen here
  • Equestrian – Build an outfit to compliment one of the horse mounts in the game.  (Faction limitations apply, so no Orcs on a Stormwind pony)
  • Fencing – Time for some swordplay.  Build your best outfit around the 1h sword of your choice.
  • Javelin – Build an outfit around the polearm of your choice.
  • Hammer Throw – Build an outfit around your favourite two-handed hammer.
  • Wrestling – We’re going to deviate from olympic wrestling and go to the sports entertainment aspect instead.  Using one of the “championship” belts, design your own Azerothian pro wrestler.  Think of the oversized belts, such as the Firemend Cinch seen here.
  • Freestyle – Build your own NPC. Could be an innkeeper, could be the Green Orc Lantern.  Doesn’t matter.

With all that in mind, the very first (and only) outfit I can reveal is my faction's Flagbearer. Each entrant was randomly given a faction, and I drew The Exodar! Fitting for me, since my main (before the race change) and most of my characters have been from the Exodar, I am excited to represent them.

When I picture Draenei in the Exodar, I think rich purples and golds, and of the strong connection to the light that the Draenei paladins have. I went to the Exodar to get a little inspiration, and Velen's guards gave me some ideas. I also traveled up to the Argent Tournament to find out how the Exodar represented itself in the past.

This time, the Exodar representative will look like this:

At home, in the Exodar.

I ended up going with some very recognizable paladin gear, but I wanted to mix and match the sets, so there's some t4, t5 lookalike, and t13 in this set. The shield (not visible in this image, but see the final image in this post) is the one that Velen's guards carry. The tabard is part of the requirements for the Flagbearers, so I chose to make that the stand out, since she's representing her city.

Checking out the Argent Tournament.

My item list is on WoWHead here: Exodar Flagbearer

Head: Glorious Headdress
Shoulders: Pauldrons of the Argent Sentinel
Chest: Justicar Chestpiece
Gloves: Gloves of Radiant Glory
Belt: Girdle of Valorous Deeds
Legs: Justicar Leggings
Boots: Boots of Valiance
Main Hand: K'iru's Presage
Shield: Emperor Shield

Armor type: Plate
Restrictions: Paladin

I hope everyone enjoys the sets that we'll be putting together, I can't wait to see what we've all come up with. Good luck to the other participants!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Mogging to Match - Transmog Set: Quel'Dalar

I have two sets to showcase today focusing specifically on matching to the Quel'Dalar sword to two sets of gear. These sets weren't easy for me, and I really took a long time to get them together between finishing school, Diablo, and moping around my house.

A while ago, when I sent out a "feeler tweet" for items people couldn't match to transmog sets, I got a request for something (from @WalknBullseye) to match the Quel'Dalar sword for a Death Knight. I looked at the sword and thought that it wouldn't be that hard, but this thing had me stumped for weeks. Without further ado, I present the first set to match Quel'Delar.

This outfit is a mash up of a few sets from WoW. The Overlord's Plate set makes up two pieces and the Deathbone set makes up for the rest. I really liked the way that the Overlord pieces work with the Deathbone, and I think a tabard would really complement this set well.

Item List:
Helm: Overlord's Crown
Shoulders: Stoneform Shoulders
Chest: Overlord's Chestplate
Hands: Deathbone Gauntlets
Waist: Deathbone Girdle
Legs: Overlord's Legplates
Boots: Deathbone Sabatons
Back: Formidable Cape

Argent Crusader's Tabard, Tabard of the Argent Crusade, Tabard of Brilliance

Any of the three tabards here would work well, though the Tabard of Brilliance isn't readily available in the game.

Instead of a black and silver set, I came up with another angle to complement the sword of choice. This set uses many of the pieces from the Righteous Armour set, with some pieces from the Battlegear of Valor Recolour.

Item List:
Shoulders: Pauldrons of Brute Force
Chest: Breastplate of the Righteous
Hands: Ironblade Gauntlets
Waist: Tenacious Defender
Legs: Legplates of the Righteous
Boots: Ironsole Clompers

What do you think of these sets? Would you change anything about them? Do you have an item you just can't match?

Monday, May 7, 2012

Two's Company: Raiding as a Pair

Roses among thorny skeletons.
There were quite a few posts circulating a while back on WoW couples and how to 'deal' with them. I had mixed feelings because I am part of a WoW couple - I met my boyfriend through this game and we have almost always raided together. Some of these posts were negative in tone, while others were positive and even discussed the types of people you might see.

Matticus wrote a post about WoW couples called "Handling Raiding Couples" which came across as extremely negative. 

At the end, Matticus goes on to say that,

"After a while, [he] realized then that some couples just aren’t worth having around especially not with such an overprotective attitude like that. GMs need to be able to deliver that honest feedback without a vulture jumping in and protecting every chance they get." (Emphasis mine) 

I get that perspective and I'd like to note quickly that it isn't just dating or married couples who are overprotective either. Pairs of friends will do this as well. But I was disappointed in the tone of the article at the beginning. There are mostly negative references to couples (I would hate to be referred to as a vulture) and a quick mention of 'mellow couples' in his guild at the time. I was angry, and then a new series came out on another blog.

Sheep the Diamond wrote a five (FIVE) part series on "Couples and WoW"
  1. Part 1
  2. Part 2
  3. Part 3 
  4. Part 4 "The Finalé"
  5. Part 5 "Surprise Feedback Follow-up"

I really enjoyed this series. I thought it came across as informative and welcomed discussion from many folks in the comments. Stubborn talks about different animal pairings and how you might be able to apply them to couples in your guild.

I'd like to think that Chronis and I are "Penguins":

Penguins are really easy to deal with.  Penguins by nature don’t mind being separated in their tasks, so the best way to approach penguins is honestly and directly.  If you’ve only got one spot, just tell them that; don’t come up with excuses or stories to alleviate your guilt; they don’t mind parting for a few hours.

Then I found a post on the official WoW forums titled "Catering to Couples and Groups". Which is basically from someone who has had a hard time with couples or package deals and needed advice. Some people say that you have to treat everyone as a separate entity and others simply say that it isn't worth it.

This post "My perspective" by Askevar over on You Yank It, You Tank It is a good read and sounds very similar to my own experiences in WoW while playing as part of a pair.

All of these posts got me thinking; Am I part of that stereotypical feared/hated WoW raiding couple? Do I defend my partner if someone critiques him? Does he do the same for me?

Friday, April 27, 2012

Transmogrification Week: Day 5 - Custom Sets

Welcome to the final transmogrification installment this week. Today's sets are sets that came about because someone had a tough time matching a specific item they really liked to a set they could like just as much. I asked on Twitter the other day if there were items that folks were having trouble matching into their transmogs. I got a few bites, and decided to make up a few sets.

This week's schedule:
Day 1: Cloth
Day 2: Leather
Day 3: Mail  
Day 4: Plate
Day 5: Matching to a certain item: Sets I've created on request

To see the items on WoWHead, click on Item List or links provided beside each set.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Transmogrification Week: Day 4 - Plate

Welcome to the fourth of five transmogrification installments this week. Today's sets are compilations of plate items. I had a little trouble creating a pally set that I liked enough, so I asked my friend Serrinne for some help and she offered her paladin's outfit.

This week's schedule:
Day 1: Cloth
Day 2: Leather
Day 3: Mail  
Day 4: Plate
Day 5: Matching to a certain item: Sets I've created on request

As always, to see the items on WoWHead, click on Item List beside each set.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Transmogrification Week: Day 3 - Mail

Welcome to the third of five transmogrification installments this week. Today's assortment of sets are compilations of mail items. My two mail wearing classes are hunter and shaman, so I put together some sets that I think represent each of them.

This week's schedule:
Day 1: Cloth
Day 2: Leather
Day 3: Mail
Day 4: Plate
Day 5: Matching to a certain item: Sets I've created on request

As always, to see the items on WoWHead, click on Item List beside each set.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Transmogrification Week: Day 2 - Leather

Welcome to the second of five transmogrification installments this week. Last time we looked at an assortment of cloth sets, today we'll be looking at various leather outfits.

This week's schedule:
Day 1: Cloth
Day 2: Leather
Day 3: Mail
Day 4: Plate
Day 5: Matching to a certain item: Sets I've created on request

Exactly like yesterday, to see the items on WoWHead, click on Item List beside each set.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Transmogrification Week: Day 1 - Cloth

Welcome to the first of five transmogrification installments this week. Think of it as Power Word: What?'s Fashion Week (or the week after which Kal completed exams and is now bored to tears). Essentially, each post this week will showcase different armour classes and various transmog sets that I've designed, with some advice from my editor, Serrinne.

This week's schedule:
Day 1: Cloth
Day 2: Leather
Day 3: Mail
Day 4: Plate
Day 5: Matching to a certain item: Sets I've created on request

First up, we'll be looking at an assortment of cloth transmog sets that I've put together. To see the items on WoWHead, click on Item List beside each set.
Without further ado...

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

"Then and Now"

Vidyala over at Manalicious just wrote a post called "Then and Now" in which she credits her inspiration for the post to Hya from Gkick (who posted some screenshots of her toon, here and here) and the recent "Sixth" meme that had been circulating.

I decided to do a quick check and see if I had some old screenshots on my Photobucket account to participate in this, and I had the perfect set of photos for this.

To start off, here is Kaleri in her first 25 Man raiding guild, < Forever or Never >.

Kaleri ~ 2007

Here she is now in her current 25 Man guild, < Apotheosis >.

Kaleri 2012

Some differences here; Kal is now a human and has been one since the Firelands was introduced. Since then I've enjoyed having Every Man for Himself and the free reputation from Diplomacy. I am no longer shadow spec'd, and haven't been actively shadow since just before Ulduar. What is similar is the background - I LOVE the Netherstorm sky - and interestingly the shoulders. Shadow Kal is wearing the Mantle of Nimble Thought, and Disc Kal has her shoulders transmogged to the same model. Also, look at the titles. At the time, Shadow Kal had only the Champion of the Naaru title available and I've proudly displayed the Hand of A'dal title since I achieved it in 2008.

I thought it would be interesting to check my old raiding UI and compare that with my current UI. This is one of my very first forays into a raid with < Forever or Never >.

Look at those buffs! Superior Wizard Oil?!
Ay yi yi. Xperl, a very unconfigured Grid, and a really weird looking Bartender. Look, there's Decursive! And Ora2! And Elkano's Buff Bars!

Currently, Kal's UI looks like this;
Screw you, Ultraxion trash.

Much better. I'm not really sure what the Omen meter is doing over there on the right, normally it's next to my Recount. Since my first Black Temple trash run, I've cleaned up my UI quite a bit. I properly configured Grid to suit my needs, installed and took to Clique like a bird to flying, got rid of the hideous-looking Xperl and overall made my UI much cleaner and much more conducive to raiding.

I'm much more 'serious' about the way I play WoW, I play to raid and have left a guild where they decided to stop raiding six months (SIX WHOLE MONTHS) before Cataclysm. I've learned a lot of things since 2007.
I still like to tell the story of how I applied to my first serious 25 raiding guild. I was in Forever of Never as an officer and stayed until the guild dissolved. I was looking at the WoW Forums for Bronzebeard and saw that Resurgence was recruiting. Since FoN was effectively dead, I sent the recruiter (a holy priest from Australia named Heavenley) an in-game mail inquiring about the recruitment process.

I was fortunate enough that he sent me a tell later that day asking to meet up in Ironforge to look at my gear and that he wanted to speak with me on the Resurgence Ventrilo server. He asked about my raiding experience compared to where Resurgence was progressing (they were going for Archimonde that evening) and I told him that I'd only ever been as far as the trash in Black Temple and Hyjal. They must have been pretty desperate for shadow priests because they took me on that day.
The great thing about Resurgence is I met my current boyfriend and some great people there who are now also in Apotheosis.

I am very much looking forward to the next WoW expansion, and I can't wait to see the changes it brings.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

This Six Thing

I'm finally able to get around to doing this. Cymre over at Bubbles of Mischief tagged me in this post to participate in the new 'thing' that's been going around lately.

Unfortunately all the really cool screenshots I had have been wiped when my PC died a few weeks ago, so I really had no motivation to do this. But I figured why not, and decided to check what screenshots I did have.

The rules:
1. Go into your image folder (or screenshot / WoW folder)
2. Open the sixth sub-folder and choose the sixth image (or if you’re like some others with one huge folder, try six down and six across)
3. Publish the image! (writing a word or two about it wouldn’t go astray either)
4. Tag six new bloggers and watch them squirm (GL with finding six who haven’t been tagged yet) 

I checked out my WoW folder and found this:

This is my hunter Missdirect doing an LFR with a few friends of mine.

Not too interesting so I checked my image folder:

My druid in her transmog set  (feral)

Finally, I checked my desktop background folder and BAM:

Glorious Mass Effect
Quick edit here; I won't be tagging anyone else with this - the people I would have chosen have already done this by the time I got these up.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Wetlands; In-Game and Out

Midday in the Wetlands
Here's something you might not have known about the World of Warcraft; the zones are pretty similar to real world environments. Or maybe you did know it, but didn't know that there was actually some scientific/geographic explanations for it. I don't mean similar just in looks, I mean they are similar in ways that make me think they must have a Geography major working with them. It is something I noticed while playing through Swamp of Sorrows a few years ago and again while I was participating in the Pilgrim's Bounty achievements on my druid this year.

I'm on my way towards earning a Bachelor's degree in Environmental Studies - specifically Geography, and in the fall term I took a course titled "Wetlands". It's one of the required 4th year courses and it was a large step up from other courses I'd previously taken. This course teaches the basics AND the advanced knowledge of wetlands and their inner workings, so it is a lot to absorb in four months. What I'm going to try to do is give you a crash course on things I learned that translated into seeing WoW environments in a more appreciative light.