When in Doubt, Raid!

We had to cancel our Hard Mode Wednesday and Thursday raids this week. Again. It’s now something like the fourth week in a row. It’s none of our raiders’ faults- a good twenty of us have been online, prepared, and ready to go every week. However, due to insane holy paladin initiates (rage quit because he was a loot whore/general douchebaggery), bad warrior/death knight dps initiates (told they were not up to par with raiding with us), and good mage/warlock initiates (who happened to be friends of said bad warrior/dk who took the stunning revelation of “3k dps isn’t enough for ToGC as a personal insult), we’re just down a lot of pixelated bodies. Come Thursday night, morale was getting a little low (even for me, which is strange- I’m pretty much perpetually happy. It’s a condition.) So, our fearless femme fatale of a guild leader, stuck 20 minutes away from home while we were trying to get our group together, gave our officers an order: “Run something. Anything.” And we did. And it was the start of an awesome weekend of raiding for me.

Back in March, after I begged and whined and followed Ell around Orgrimmar like a sick dog, Surreality welcomed me back into their humble abode. (The story of my leaving the first time is one for another time- in a nut shell, peer pressure is bad. Unless I’m the one pressuring. In that case, listen to me.) They had pretty recently downed 25Sarth+3 for the first time, while my experiences had me at 10+1, a few sloppy Malygos 10 kills, and attempts at Undying that ended on Heigan. Thus, I was elated when they let me back in (and as enhance! ^_^. I was resto when I hit 80. Gross.) I was even more elated the week I planned to skip class to down Sarth+3 with them- I’d get my Twilight Vanquisher title pre 3.1, have some fun with my new guild, and feel like I actually got to experience some progression content. …that was the week 3.1 decided to land. I skipped class anyway in hopes of getting in on our first Ulduar pull, but my campus internet was at 2k, I was an initiate (and not trusted, at that), and the lag monster that is post-patch raiding reared it’s ugly head. I was pretty majorly bummed.

It was pretty awesome, then, when one of the officers let us in on the game plan Thursday night- Besting the Black Dragonflight, Twilight Zone style. With a full raid of twenty-two whole members, we ran in and engaged the fatty dragon like pros. the other 21 members of the raid (who had at least experienced whiping on 3drakes) were pretty used to the layout. I was stuck in the pug mentality of BIG DRAGON GO IN CENTER, (I’d done 2drakes once before, but not enough to be familiar) and promptly died to a void zone while trying to run away from a lava wave at the last second. šŸ˜” I ahnked to be a badass…and then got hit by a random fireball. Buff reincarnation hps imo. Two lives down, and starting to feel like I was in a SNES game, our Marksman-Hunter-Turned-Resto-Druid battle rezzed me, and I proceeded to hold tightly to my bottom of the meter status. (Hey, even with my time spent dead, and no buffs, I outdamaged the tanks and hit 4ishk. I’m not -that- bad! :P)

Yes, it's seven months too late. Yes, I love it anyway. And yes, I am wearing the title. It's cute on me. :x
Yes, it’s seven months too late. Yes, I love it anyway. And yes, I am wearing the title. It’s cute on me. šŸ˜”

Our Thursday night raiding didn’t stop there. While the brunt of our raiders left- some mages left to pee vee pee on their tree drood alts, some warlocks left to benchpress skyscrapers, and some tree druids I might name were busy getting an education rather than raiding, we managed to scramble together 12 raiders for a 25 man instance. A 25 man instance we had never seen before. A 25 man instance known as the Sunwell. (Sunwell Plateau if you want it to sound less epic.)

We didn’t technically wipe on the first boss. We happened to dps him rlyrlyrly hard, and he hit 0 before we realized the point of the encounter is killing the demon in the portal first. We then spent the next 10 minutes leveling weapon skills on a banished boss, hoping he would enrage and kill us all. He didn’t, our weapons dinged 400, and we proceeded to hearth out and reassemble. We pulled ourselves together, smacked a bitch dragon up, and proceeded to Brutallus…where our bear tank forgot he was in kitty gear and got murdered when it was his turn to taunt. We had no further issues, I topped dps on Brut and was happy, and I nabbed some sweet t6 token. We then wiped on Felmyst. It took us four tries to properly avoid the mind control fog. It was especially fun on the attempt we actually downed the dragon because dots made her hit 0 HP in midair- only one of us had to survive to win. All 12 made it through that time, though, and we moved on to Eredar Twins.

This is the point of the night where we stopped listening to our elemental shaman explain boss strategies, and we developed strategies of our own- pop bloodlust, hit buttons, and kill it before it kills you. Somehow, this strategy brought us through Eredar twins, Mu’ru, and Kil’Jaeden. I was rewarded for my efforts hitting my bloodlust key rly hard with some sweet lolArmor Pen gauntlets, and our main tank was rewarded…with a legendary.

The Sunwell- 1,000Xmore powerful than a lightwell?
The Sunwell- 1,000Xmore powerful than a lightwell?

Yes, that is our main tank being a meanie and taking the bow over a hunter. However, he was nice and gave it back later. šŸ˜› And I know, lolLevel70 content and lol70 weapon…but honestly. It’s orange lettered. It’s golden gilded. And it fucking SHOOTS LIGHTNING arrows. It’s awesome. ā¤

That was not the end of my Thursday night, oddly enough. Somehow, I managed to scrounge up our New Zealandish Tree, fresh back from school, and 6 other friends from our ex-guild and put together a “The Dedicated Few” Naxx10 run. (Actually, that’s a small lie- the tree’s mage brother kept DCing and left, and I kicked a bad pug ret paladin. What started as a naxx10 turned into naxx8 by Gluth.) I think I might go more into detail about this in another post, but for now I’ll mention this: Paladin healing is fun. 1.75 second holy lights on KT frost blocks are fucking intense. However, I’m not about to rehash stuff that has already been said, and I want to sleep, so I’ll say this: I’m writing this rather than sleeping right now because tomorrow is maintenance day. So, in my mind, either A) You’re bored at home with no wow and only blogs to read, or B) You’re bored at work with no wow and only blogs to read. Either way, if you want the full story of Ent and Evangelist, head on over to Tank N’ Tree and check out this entry, which includes a treatise on why I’m the biggest douchebag in the world.

This was it for my Thursday night of raiding. It was a very fun, laid back, low stress night- the exact opposite of the raid we did on Saturday night(also an amazing one), which I’ll blog about tomorrow. It was also a great call by our leadership to have us raid old-but-fun content, at least imho. We’re considering farming Sarth+3 for drakes and trinkets weekly, now. So, I’m interested to know- feel free to comment, to e-mail Elamtheshaman@live.com, or to link to a blog about it- what awesome raid nights have you haad in the past? Any in particular that stand out for a reason other than “Omw we killed progression boss X” or “I got BiS item Y?”

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On an entirely different note, I’ve become addicted to alts and alt specs over the weekend. First off, after a disasterous attempt at tanking ToC10, and due to my utter hatred for tanking, Grazeless went back to being blood dps. However, I hate blood dps (even though 13k death strike crits are pretty), and due to a generous rogue friend, a boe holiday drop, and my realizing I was a champion of Thunder Bluff on my zombiefemcow, I was able to spec DW Threat of Tharassian, the dps talent spec my DK had been wishing for in her cold little heart the entire expansion. I happen to have an insane love of DW which predates WoW, and might even predate Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (best console game in history). And no, it doesn’t stem from a love for Drizzt Do’Urden- for all I care, while this may offend some, R.A. Salvatore can be crushed by a gigantic flaming pile of Star Wars novels for what he did to Chewbacca. And Drizzt/Co. lack any form of character development or personality. I’m happy now, with my pretty little zombie cow, and glad she finally can drink her problems away while beating them senseless with the mug.

I like her 2pc t7, 2pc t8, 1pct9. Gogo mismatched tier gear!
I like her 2pc t7, 2pc t8, 1pct9. Gogo mismatched tier gear!

Notelam hit 80 with the intention of one thing- going Retribution. Like Grazeless, she started as a He. unlike Grazeless, she started as a filthy human on Uldum. I could not stand for this, and 45 minutes after faction changes were announced, Idrawaggro the male human paladin from Uldum was Notelam, the female belf from Black Dragonflight. Much like her gender/spec/race, I was a bit confused with my plans for Notelam- I leveled her while I was on a melee kick (which I’m still on), where I wanted one of every melee class at level 80. However, paladins are super freaking boring with their SHINYLIGHTATTACKONE and SHINYLIGHTATTACK2 and YOUGETTHEIDEA attacks. Couple my boredom with religious light effects (my parents are both Presbyterian pastors- I don’t need more shiny lightside stuff in my life), and the fact that I leveled a lot in Alterac Valley where low level heals are infinitely more useful than low level dps, and we have a recipe for healing success. That said, she only has like five heroics under her belt, and it was a big stretch for Naithin and Co. to allow her 1600spellpower self into Naxx10. (He insisted I did well, I call bollocks.) Nevertheless, I found healing to be pretty fun, and I’m pretty comfortable keeping her that way, especially now that she sits just shy of 2k spellpower.

SHINYLIGHTATTACK42
SHINYLIGHTATTACK42

Elam is not an Alt. Elam is a main. He is enhance mainspec/resto offspec a good deal of the time, but has spent some time as enhance offspec. What Elam had never done, however, was spec Elemental- at least not this expansion. The last time I dpsed anything as elemental was early last October, where I rocked 1k dps on Caverns of Time: Durnholde trash through Chain Lightning/Lightning Overload awesomeness. I had not tried Elemental since Lava Burst/Wrath of the Lich King hit…and I’ve been missing out. Lava Burst crits for 10k on target dummies is awesome. Lava burst/Chain Lightning burst in battlegrounds is intense (though I admit to dying a lot- part of that is the staff, anyway.) Thunderstorming people off the Arathi Basin Lumber Mill cliff is hilarious. In all, Elemental is just a really, really -fun- spec, and I’d like to keep it my offspec. (This isn’t possible, as I’ve had my already-precarious spot in guild ten mans taken away if I keep it as my offspec- it seems being able to go ranged on ranged-friendly fights is not as useful as being a bad healer on healing intense fights. xD.) I’m not really upset about this decision, though- it makes sense from a guild point of view, even though I don’t like it. However, until I’m called upon to change it, I’m rocking my Elemental offspec and tearing up battlegrounds/alt and heroic runs.

I’ve got that BOOM BOOM POW.
I've got that BOOM BOOM POW.

How about everyone else? Do you have a new alt you’ve fallen in love with? Or tried a new spec you hadn’t used before and found yourself enjoying it way more than you might want to? I’d love to hear!

Please remember that I have gone self hosted. I’m no longer resizing screenshots for this blog, writing with the intent of posting on it, etc. If you’re interested in reading more, head over to shamanonramen.com to check stuff out.

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3.2.2 and you! (Lol rhymes. :x)

The happiest day of the month (or most dreaded, dependent on who you are) is finally here, bringing with it a sleu of nerfstoenhancepvpD: minor-yet-fun changes to Enhancement PVE, as well as the return of a lovable-yet-diabolical dragon with a bad attitude (and no basis in lore! :P) Now, on to the meaty stuff: Shaman changes in 3.2.2

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Icebound + Judgement of Wisdom= Sense?

In reference to Lissanna over at Restokin, and because Blog Azeroth opened the question up to be answered, I’ve spent the past 12ish hours pondering: If I could change/remove/seperate/annihilate/lick any talent in the enhancement tree, what would it be? After less than 5 minutes of thinking, I had the answer: the rest of the day was spent wading through work, getting annoyed we had to cancel raiding again due to attendance (btw we’re recruiting, just saying), ToC 10, Dailies, complaining about my headache, commenting on other peoples blogs, and lacking the actual willpower to write. However, I have buckled down and started, and here is my answer: Shamanistic Rage.

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Beating the Beasts.

By this point in the patch, the majority of us have probably taken our firsts steps into Heroic Northrend Beasts, be it on 10 or 25 man. This means that a large number of you probably know the basics of the fight: It’s a DPS race, as the bosses are released on a timer. There are no drastically different additions are changes to the fight, other than the scaling up of boss damage/hit points and the fact that Icehowl no longer gives you a sprint buff when he charges. Rather than talk about the general fight, here are some of the specifics of the fight itself as it pertains to Enhancement Shaman, as well as my perspectives and tips on not dissappointing your fellow raiders like they’re Taylor Swift and you’re Kanye West.

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The ultimate Shaman UI.

I’m always looking for ways to make my game better, especially when it comes to ui/addon improvement. Today, IĀ  stumbled on a thrwad on the forums started nearly two months ago- I had checked it out, but didn’t pay much attention to it. The name was “The Ultimate Shaman UI, by Syronius of Killrogg. Here is a nice (10 minute long!) video the designer posted as an introduction to it.

Now, for anyone who has a computer that can actuall run really nice -and large- UIs, I’d suggest at least going to this thread and checking it out, as well as giving any opinions to the creator. It looks clean, it looks nice, and it looks fun to use. And, it looks like Syronius put -a lot- of thought and effort into creating it (down to handmaking the Power Auras!), and they really need to be recognized for that. Go Syronius- you’re awesome!

Disregard Everything I Say

I feel a little bit guilty. In https://shamanonramen.wordpress.com/2009/08/19/no-blizzard-doesnt-suck-at-enhance-you-do/, I spent quite a bit of time, words, and math showing how the Elemental t9 totem was better for Enhancement that the actual Enhancement one, and how I thought that was a good idea and intended by Blizzard. It seems I may have been wrong.

If you head over to the front page of mmo-champion, you’ll see this little tidbit of news:

Totem of Quaking Earth now gives 400 attack power for 18 sec each time you use your Lava Lash ability. (Up from 200 Attack Power)

Now, this makes sense. If you compare that totem with the death knight and paladin relics and understand itemization, you’d know that 200 Strength =/= 200 Attack Power, so the Totem of the Quaking Earth was not incredibly well itemized for it’s tier. 400 Attack Power makes a lot more sense for an iLevel 245 item.

(For some quick math, 400 AP that is up 100% of the time-with an assumed Trueshot aura/Unleashed Rage/Aboms might-is a static 440 EP.Ā  Haste, on the other hand, shifts ep with each few points of haste you add on, so it’s nearly impossible to develop a static ep value for the entire 200 you’d get from Electrifying wind. It’s -possible- that you EP haste at like 2.7, which I saw on the shaman forums today, where Electrifying Wind might still be better. For the most part though, the 85%ish uptime and around 2.0 EPs will mean that Quaking Earth remains on top.)

I’m not annoyed about this change. I’m glad that Blizzard listened to Enhancement shaman who were annoyed by the lackluster totem. However, I’m not a fan of how it effects those of us who already spent our first 25 emblems of triumph on the elemental totem having to spend another 25 on the next totem. I don’t feel we should get reimbursed for our totem- giving Shaman 25 free Emblems of Triumph is unfair to other classes. I do feel that the best response would be to refresh the item sellback time on all totems, so that when we log in after 3.2.2 we have 2 hours played time to trade the totem in.

Because Everyone Else is Talking About It:

I’ve been wildly debating whether or not to do a Cataclysm “omgwtfbbq” post going over every single change in detail and talking about how much it makes me want to squeal with excitement. After about 30 seconds of being like “BUT THATS LIKE A LOT OF WRITING AND STUFF,” I decided on “yes,” since a new expansion is pretty much a bloggers wet dream. That said, this is not that post.

Why is that? Because I want ALL the information before I post about it, so I think I’m going to wait until the end of Blizzcon to update. I just want to be able to go through, nitpick on every single thing and go “omgz thats kewl and hears y!” Suffice to say, however, I don’t think I have -ever- been excited for a video game in my life as I am for World of Warcraft: Cataclysm. It seems amazing, and I give props to everyone at Blizzard for making it look so appealing. That said, here are the things I currently dislike!: (Btw spoilers for you bads who are blocked from WorldofWarcraft.com at work, so don’t go below this shiny linkbar if you’re afraid of finding out that Sirius Black is dead, Snape Killed Dumbledore, Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker’s Father, and Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen will make you ask for your money back.)

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