There are altaholics.... and then there's the rest of us. A Druid blog for the player that never wants to have to roll another character again. A Bear/Tree/Cat blog dedicated to being able to queue for all three roles in the Dungeon Finder.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

On finishing the bucket list:


One long-ass, annoying, artificially-lengthened questline and $DEITY I hate farming Elementium so damn much, I am DONE with the AQ questline. Push button, receive shiny Feat of Strength.

On other things:

  • Complete Loremaster.
  • Get Raven Lord mount.
  • Get Twenty-Five Tabards: 
    • Failed. Somehow, I conflated this with Twenty-Five Exalted Reps. Whoops.
  • Get Insane in the Membrane: 
    • Scratched. It will continue to exist, sans Shendralar. I am very pleased that when it was announced that it might not make it, that I was able to unload all of my stockpiled Darkmoon Cards, Pristine Black Diamonds, and Librams for DISGUSTING MARKUP. =3
  • Get a rogue to level 60 to use for Insane in the Membrane.
    • Scratched. See above. Also, couldn't stand doing ANY 1-60 content. I blame Loremaster.
  • beat The Lich King like a rented mule.
  • Get a Venomhide Ravasaur.
  • Run Zul'Gurub as many times as possible in order to try to get the mounts.
    • But, given my luck, I will likely never see one drop.
  • Finish out the holiday events for a VPD.
    • AND I didn't cave and buy super-fast-flap. =3
  • Get an Ulduar drake.
    • Scratched. No raiding. ._.
  • Farm up mats to sell once Cataclysm hits.
    • Will be working on that soon.
  • Farm up a Piccolo of the Flaming Fire for the sake of goldseller griefing.
  • Farm up a Deathcharger
    • There's still hope that it will drop before Cataclysm!
  • Farm up a full set of Dungeon Set 1
    • Scratched. The dungeons aren't going anywhere.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

On Eating Crow:

Here's a quote from a while back:

"Now, we move on to Ulduar, and knock out those hardmodes so we can get 310% speed mounts before the expansion hits, save everyone 5K gold. Again, not as excited for this, because you know that I am only ever going to use Swift Flight Form, anyways, although the extra speed boost will be nice."

 ...okay, confession time. I finished the What A Long, Strange, Trip It's Been achievement, which, as I have mentioned, came out literally days before I was ready to finish it and get the VPD. And despite the ghastly purple color.... Proto-drakes are REALLY REALLY COOL! +_+

Which makes it all the more tragic that we stopped raiding due to people's schedules changing. I am not *entirely* opposed to the idea of actively seeking a Rustbound Proto Drake anymore. (You know, as opposed to passively, "Oh, well, if I get it, I get it. I'm just along for the ride")

....pardon me. I need to go bribe some people into Ulduar. +_+


Saturday, October 23, 2010

On the definition of insanity:

  1. N [60] What Tomorrow Brings - 250 reputation
  2. N [60R] Only One May Rise - 500 reputation
  3. N [60G] The Path of the Righteous - 500 reputation
  4. N [60] Anachronos - 500 reputation (requires neutral with Brood of Nozdormu)
  5. N [60] Long Forgotten Memories - 50 reputation
  6. N [60] A Pawn on the Eternal Board - 100 reputation
  7. N [60] The Charge of the Dragonflights - 10 reputation
  8. Obtain the Shards:
  9. N [60] The Might of Kalimdor - 500 reputation
  10. N [60] Bang a Gong! - 500 reputation (only within the first 10 hours of opening the Gates of Ahn'Qiraj)
  11. N [60] Treasure of the Timeless One - 500 reputation (after 10 hours)
Why yes, I very clearly AM insane, thank you. For the record, I only need to grab Fox and have her soak a mind control so we can burn Dr. Weevil down, and then farm some Elementium, (easy enough, I have an open raid ID set up for it) and that's it.

Elementium counter: 2/10.

(The above excerpted from Wowwiki.)


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

On big farewells:

Last night, just before the servers went down, Kirin Tor-H got together a bunch of trees, and started dancing the night away. It started over at the north bank in Dalaran, but eventually, we moved it all over to the fountain in the middle. I give you this screenshot:

Obviously you should click to embiggen, but yeah, that's Bloodlusted trees, all the way around the fountain, both Alliance and Horde, popping one final Tranquility before we go poof.

Now, again, I should state for the record that as far as changes go, I am neutral about this. Yes, it's rotten brocolli. At the same time, where is our Tree Form armor increase? They said they were going to roll the bonuses from Tree of Life into the spec, but unless they decided they were going to give a flat 150% armor boost to all pieces of spell leather, I don't see it anywhere.

Here's to a new era.

Here's to hoping they don't f&$! it all up.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

On terrible puns:

Okay, I know that nobody out there reads my blog, but I'm going to pimp this anyhow:

Yes, I love terrible puns. Yes, I also love the Raid Warning podcast. But the class roundtable special podcasts are particularly awesome, and you should all totally go listen when it goes down October 12th.


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

On a finalized tanking rotation and spec:

So it's coming close to Cataclysm, and my usual druid tanking forecasting annoyances aside, I think we can finally put together some kind of tanking priority list.

Since I generally tend to do The Hybrid Thing, here's the spec I've been throwing around lately: 0/31/9 with one floater.

I think it, as well as some of my glyph choices, could be tweaked significantly, especially since switching glyphs back and forth will be much easier. The fact of the matter remains though, that there is really no good 3rd bear tanking glyph, which is what I usually will be doing. Lemme break it down row by row:

T1 Feral: Of the three talents, only Predatory Strikes is not hybrid, so we don't take it. The other two are both useful to us, and we need five points to get to T2, so we grab them all. The five-point requirement aside, maxing Furor will save us headaches down the line when we make our initial charges, as we will likely be using the redesigned Thorns spell on ourselves just before we shift to Bear and charge in. Since word is that it's not castable while in Bear or Cat form, we don't care about the glyph as a result, but it will definitely be used just before pulling despite its steep mana cost. Yes, 3/3 Furor is also wasted on a cat, since between the GCD afterward and haste increasing our energy regeneration, we likely will shoot from 66 to 90 or 95 energy before we can even do anything, but having to shift back and forth to get the rage required to Feral Charge will save some sanity. Feral Swiftness, free 4% dodge, 30% extra movespeed. Yaaaaaay.

T2: Oh how I hate this tier so much.

Infected Wounds is necessary as a tank. Primal Fury is necessary whether you tank or DPS. Fury Swipes is purely a DPS increase, but math right now says it's more useful to Cats because of their inherently faster swing timer. Feral Aggression is also valuable to both tanking and DPS. Since we're hybrid, we put points into everything except Fury Swipes.

But why Feral Aggression? And why 2/2? Unlike Warriors, we are going to have to juggle both Lacerate and Feral Faerie Fire stacks on our tanking targets. We also don't have a Devastate to apply stacks of Faerie Fire/Sunder Armor for us as well. And given that it only stacks to three instead of five, I figure it's better to eat the extra talent point in Feral Aggression to save the many, many extra GCDs needed to apply that ONE last stack of Faerie Fire. As a result, in for a penny, in for a pound. This may pan out differently, though, since more classes are getting the major armor debuff, it may not be imperative for just us to handle it. No word on whether any one will overwrite the other, though. It would totally suck if you slapped a stack on a boss, only to have someone accidentally hit the wrong button and wipe it out, making you start over.

T3: Get everything.

Okay, so maybe it's not that cut and dry. King of the Jungle is necessary to DPS with, although whether or not we can get by with just 2/3 or 1/3 remains to be seen. Feral Charge is absolutely necessary, no contest. Thick Hide is necessary for tanking. But IFC/Stampede... well. The increased melee haste after a Bear Charge is interesting enough. It's not increasing haste rating, otherwise, you'd never see a Cat Charge ever again, but the way things are set up right now, I would say is a bit of a tossup. If you were a full-on Cat, I could see you Bear Charging in to take advantage of the immobilize and increased melee haste to throw out more white hits and proc more Fury Swipes. It's a LONG buff, relatively speaking, too. The damage on Ravage still needs to be shaken out, a bit though. If this becomes more attractive to Cats than Cat Charge + Ravage, something probably needs to be tweaked. As it stands, Stampede isn't *explicitly* necessary? But it's certainly very tasty. If you choose not to put points here, hold onto them until T5.

T4: Leader of the Pack got it's Improved effect rolled right in, grab it. Brutal Impact is necessary as a tank, grab it. (We have a ranged interrupt now! Yay!) Nurturing Instinct is one of those spells that only helps if you have the time to shift out of form to take advantage of, (i.e., emergency Cat Tranquility) but since we're tanking most of the time, no-go.

T5: Primal Madness: I don't see this as explicitly necessary for tanking or DPS. It's just one of those talents that boosts the top end damage. Survival Instincts is necessary as our Shield Wall. Natural Reaction is required as a tank. If you didn't take 2/2 Stampede earlier, you can grab 2/2 Endless Carnage here, which pads out the Rake, SR and Pulverize durations. Since physical bleeds aren't affected by haste, (no, you read that right. Bleeds aren't affected by haste.) this will primarily just make the rotation less tight.

T6: Blood in the Water: Damn you for changing the name, Blizzard. ;_; Cat-only talent, also dead to us. Dead to us, I say! Rend and Tear gets maxed, as before. Pulverize.... I wish we didn't need to take Pulverize. I wish it were more like Devastate, were it refreshes instead of consumes. But alas, it is not to be. Necessary tanking tool, take it.

T7: Berserk: Take it.

Resto T1: Blessing of the Grove no longer buffs Rake damage, so that's one less thing we have to take. Naturalist is useless to us. Heart of the Wild is only three points, so what's left? Natural Shapeshifter. I'm not thrilled to have to take it, but since Thorns has a very steep mana cost, (35% of base) it helps take the sting away. On the plus side, it makes Master Shapeshifter (just one point) available, so.

Resto T2: Hooray for Perseverance. 6% less spell damage will stack with the Effulgent Skyflare Diamond, bring that passive spell damage resist up to 8% Are we still going to be of the "we handle spell damage by having massive health pools" school? Probably not, since we now have a Shield Wall equivalent, so it remains to be seen how important it is. But less damage taken is always a good thing, so 3/3 that sucker. Drop a point into Master Shapeshifter while you're at it.


Saturday, September 11, 2010

On Bucket Lists:

Things to do before Cataclysm hits:

  • Complete Loremaster.
  • Get Raven Lord mount.
  • Get Twenty-Five Tabards.
  • Get Insane in the Membrane.
    • Bloodsail Admiral
    • Steamwheedle Cartel
    • Darkmoon Faire
    • Ravenholdt
  • Get a rogue to level 60 to use for Insane in the Membrane.
  • beat The Lich King like a rented mule.
  • Get a Venomhide Ravasaur.
  • Run Zul'Gurub as many times as possible in order to try to get the mounts.
  • Finish out the holiday events for a VPD.
  • Get an Ulduar drake.
  • Farm up mats to sell once Cataclysm hits.
  • Farm up a Piccolo of the Flaming Fire for the sake of goldseller griefing.
  • Farm up a Deathcharger
  • Farm up a full set of Dungeon Set 1
 More to come...


Friday, September 10, 2010

On /khaaaaaaaaan:

Blizzard, you bastards, why did you have to change Nom Nom Nom to something else?!


Saturday, September 4, 2010

On a new mission:

Well, it's official. Zul'Gurub is going poof in Cataclysm. Now I know what my new thing-to-do is.


Saturday, August 28, 2010

On topics that change while you write:

So I figured at some point, I should write some articles about actual Druid issues in general again. But let's face it, I can't bring myself to write about the stuff that's going on now, not when there are others who are still writing excellent articles about things like tanking cooldowns.

(That, and it's kind of hard to hold a candle to the Big Bear, y'know?)

So then I decided that I should look forward to druid tanking in Cataclysm. Specifically, cooldowns.

Mechanically speaking... we really ARE becoming like Warriors. Survival Instincts is becoming the bear's AND cat's Shield Wall, while Frenzied Regeneration picks up the old Survival Instincts's effect in addition to its old regeneration effect. Barkskin, thankfully, remains just the same. Skull Bash is Intervene + Gag Order. Bash is becoming Concussion Blow.

My criticism of the druid tanking experience in general still holds, namely, that it is becoming incredibly close to Warrior-style tanking, that is, tanking in the buff. (An awesome shirt, by the way, even if it *is* a Night Elf. *rolls eyes*) Recent changes to the game bear this out as well, given that Swipe is no longer spammable, and the threat values of our attacks have been shuffled around. At this point, it appears that we will likely deal with trash packs as Warriors do now; Feral Charge in, (Note the lack of an interrupt effect.) Swipe, Thrash, Demoralizing Roar, then tab-target around and Lacerate, (Only stacks to three, now) Mangle, and Feral Faerie Fire. (which is now a Sunder Armor effect. Both only stack to three.) The only appreciable difference is with the new changes to Maul/Heroic Strike, (Maul hasn't gotten the tooltip updated to reflect the changes to it yet.) where we can no longer macro these in with every attack, and instead now save those abilities to burn off excess rage.

For reference, the current Cataclysm Warrior setup is to Charge in, Shockwave, Thunderclap, Demoralizing Shout, then tab target around with Revenge, Shield Slam, and Devastate, using Heroic Strike or Cleave to burn excess rage. As I understand it, Warrior tanking is not fundamentally changing.

I suppose homogenization is inevitable, really. Even as big a studio as Blizzard is, I really don't expect them to try and create two completely different tanking methodologies with two completely separate toolkits using the same energy source. It's a Herculean task of asinine proportions.

But I still have a number of reservations about this setup.

Namely, uptime. Between all of our abilities, in order to maintain the absolute maximum threat on a group, we need to, in no particular order:

1) Keep 3 stacks of Lacerate going
2) Keep Pulverize going
3) Keep 3 stacks of Feral Faerie Fire going
4) Keep Mangle up
5) Possibly keep Thrash up, depending in how the numbers bear out.
6) Keep Demoralizing Roar up

Of particular contention is the difficulty of maintaining stacks of two abilities on multiple targets. Warriors only have the one to deal with, Sunder Armor, which not only is automatically applied with Devastate, but is neither consumed for any ability, and when glyphed, applies multiple stacks at once, or if a glyphed Sunder Armor is used, affects two targets at once. Sadly, the glyphs are purely speculation at this point, given that the new glyph system is not yet implemented, especially with the added tier of glyphs.

It's pointless for me to complain about this, given that I don't have a beta key with which to test things and see just how difficult this task is going to be, but I do hope that the consumption effect of Pulverize is either changed into a "Adds a charge of Lacerate" a la Devastate, or "adds X seconds to the duration of Lacerate" or "refreshes Lacerate to its full duration".


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

On deflation:

Like taking an icepick to an inflatable bounce house, seriously.

So, found this on

Jason asked:

So ... I'm concerned about the guild achievements, in particular the 50,000 quest achievement. I've heard that any quests done prior to Cataclysm don't count towards that total. If that's true, then my guildies and I who earned Loremaster are looking like we're screwed. Also, can someone explain what's meant by the top 20 players in a guild being the only ones who count towards guild achievements? Is that based on guild rank or total achievement points?

You might be misunderstanding what a guild achievement is. It isn't "if 20 people in your guild have Loremaster, your guild has the Loremaster achievement." While you might have an achievement for being in a group that kills Cho'gall, your guild has a separate achievement for killing Cho'gall in a raid where 20 or more people are from your guild.

The top 20 earners count toward guild advancement, not achievements. Your guild can gain levels by people PvPing, killing bosses, doing quests, etc., and only the top 20 earners for the week will contribute to end-of-week XP gain. You also get guild XP for getting guild achievements, and Blizzard says it grants a "big chunk" of XP, so it feels good to get them.

The quests you completed prior to Cataclysm's launch won't count toward your guild's total for the 50,000 quests achievement -- but that's so when the system becomes available, everyone will be on equal footing. Note how all of the achievements say "as a guild" in them, too.
Dude. Top 20? And 50,000 quests? We don't *have* 20 active people in our guild. And let me tell you, doing Loremaster was the Worst. Thing. Ever. I mean, yes, I wanted the title, so I cheerfully made like a Korean and ground my way through them all, but Jesus H. Christ on a pogo stick with Mary and Judas, but I do NOT want to do anything remotely even LIKE Loremaster again. Never again!


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

On disappointment?

You know, I don't often get excited about kill achievements. Especially when there's a pity buff ticking along in the background. Taking down The Lich King and, in effect "beating" WotLK was not very exciting for me, but everyone else in the guild seemed to have the jitters and immediately ran off to get celebratory alcohol. Me? Quite literally, I was more excited to finally make Anzu my bitch, or to get my Cenarion War Hippogryph than beating the Lich King, even if I *did* have to tank him after most everyone else was dead, so our DK and Mage could burn him for the last couple of percentage points. (Again! You may may remember my previous heroics in stepping in and tanking Sindragosa during a connection blip.)

Oh well.

Now, we move on to Ulduar, and knock out those hardmodes so we can get 310% speed mounts before the expansion hits, save everyone 5K gold. Again, not as excited for this, because you know that I am only ever going to use Swift Flight Form, anyways, although the extra speed boost will be nice. (Exceptions are given for when I feel like showing off with the Hippogryph. Did I mention how much of a druid-nerd I am?)


Monday, August 9, 2010

On advertising

Hooray, I got linked by John Patricelli! You guys may have heard of him. He's kind of a big thing amongst Druid tanks. And we don't mind when he decides to go on a tirade, either. =3

It's been a while since I've posted, obviously. Between a two-week break in raiding because people were getting burnt out, and the subsequent release of Starcraft II, things have been very quiet on the home front. Pretty much the only thing that stands between us and our shiny Kingslayer titles is Harvest Soul. And then after that, we take a break from ICC, and go clear out our older raid achievements. Ulduar is first on the list, so we can get those shiny 310% speed mounts, and then who knows what we'll do from there. (Really, it's not like I ever use anything other than Swift Flight Form anyhow. The only mounts I ever have bound to my bars are SFF, my Mechano-hog, my Raven Lord (YES! I FINALLY GOT HIM AFTER A YEAR OF FARMING! (Woo! Parenthetical abuse!)) and my Cenarion Hippogryph. I just want the mount for the 310% speed.)

Still steadily whacking away at achievements, though. Since I finished Loremaster, AND beat Anzu into submission, I've been looking for some new, overarching project to complete. Insane in the Membrane is an option. Twenty-Five Tabards, en-route to 40 Exalted Reputations is on the list as well. These are also on top of the Venomhide Ravasaur I'm doing daily. Since I just got exalted with Scryers as well, I'm inclined to start farming the materials needed to switch over the Aldor and get Hero of Shattrath as well. One of the other  non-achievement things, that I mean to do as well is roll that second druid for Boomkin, but I've been inclined to hold off on that so I can try the new Mulgore and re-learn Cataclysm druid tanking from scratch. I've also been pondering letting out some slack on my altitis as well. There's an Arms/Prot warrior I've been meaning to make, as well, and a Frost DK that needs levelling from 70 to 80. I'm giving up on the priest as well. The cost-benefit for making a threadbot isn't worth it, seeing as Fox told me that the epic spellthreads are rep-earned, and therefore out of the reach of a level 65 profession-only alt. Oh right, and I need to make a rogue for that Insane in the Membrane too.

....yeah, I've got a lot on my plate. Any suggestions?


Thursday, July 15, 2010

On REAL ID's fallout, a post-mortem:

(...although really, calling it a "post-mortem" is like saying "Dracula is dead". He always comes back. =T)

All in all, though, I'm not happy with Blizzard. Or Activision. Or any one of a giant nebulous "them".

It's kind of hard for me to *not* hold everyone at Blizzard as accountable for this whole fiasco, partly because of the lack of information on what happened behind the scenes, and partly because all the CSRs, whether forum or phone-based, were all told to hold the company line.

I'm not happy with Blizzard anymore. I mentioned in a previous post that I regarded Blizzard as the gold standard for a video game developer. It's cliche, but the magic is gone. It's like a studio exec deciding to axe Firefly. It's like LeBron leaving Cleveland for Florida. It's like Garrosh being a dick and pissing off people in Cataclysm. It's any semblence of "cool" that Blizzard might have once had has now evaporated. Just look at my Achievement points over to the right. I have invested a great deal of time and money into WoW. I was ready to keep telling Blizzard, "take my money, please" all the way through Cataclysm, as long as they kept giving me a great game to play every time that I logged in.

I mean, quite literally, I was just about ready to give Blizzard my $55 dollars to transfer an old 80 from another server and faction change it. I had planned this out months ago, working up all the things I would need, by liquidating my now-abandoned guild's vault, and buying things in anticipation of reselling them Hordeside on Kirin Tor. Oh, and the things I bought. I picked up a Rowan's Rifle of Silver Bullets for 900 gold. I found an Eye of Shadow. I bought cheapish ICC BoEs. I bought every single ToC recipe, most of the Ulduar recipes, gobs of Alliance-only pets (most of which consisted of White Kittens), every single Alliance-only Cooking recipe, stacks and stacks of Hakkari Bijou, and Coins, Sunfury Signets to turn in for Scryer's rep, Dreadfang Venom Sacs to change to Aldor, and Marks of Kil'jaden and Sargeras to pump that up quickly. I bought out Books of Glyph Mastery, flasks, fish, gems, both cut and uncut, enchanting materials, and just before this whole thing blew up, I was starting to stockpile Primordial Saronites. Basically, if it could be sold for a profit Kirin Tor-H, I was buying it in spades. And now all I'm left with is wasted effort, and goods that now sit in my bank and bags, rapidly depreciating in value.

I don't want to reward Blizzard's stupidity on this issue. Again, there I go blaming the entire company again when it was probably just the work of a relatively small group of people.

But man, I want to have *someone* to blame, and cast out.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010


I think I'll let the headline do all the heavy lifting here:

 ESRB unintentionally exposes email addresses of people who filed complaints over Blizzard's Real ID system


I mean, seriously, now. I'm just glad that I filed my complaint using an email from


Monday, July 12, 2010

On hedging one's bets:

Just a quick note here, because I sit in wait with bated breath. From His Crabbiness:

If I had to guess, Omen of Clarity will be a trained ability. It's too useful to different kinds of druids. Even if you put it shallow in Resto, Feral wouldn't be able to benefit from it until very high level.

But we'll see....
Long story short: Talent trees REALLY AND TRULY TRIMMED this time around, "boring talents" turned into passives that are level-based, everyone picks a specialization, blah, blah, blah, you don't live under a rock like I do. =P

But this brings up some very interesting ramifications. Hopefully if it *is* trained, it should help smooth low-level druid levelling, especially if, as has been hinted, that we will not have access to our second talent tree until something heinous like 70+. Assuming things stay relatively the same as they are now, missing Furor for 70+ levels is going to be an utter pain in the ass. At the same time, though, one wonders if we'll be able to delve far enough into Restoration to be able to pick up Naturalist for the +10% damage, or if that's getting streamlined into passives as well.

Here's to hoping there's some tasty news that comes along later today!


Saturday, July 10, 2010

On retractions:

Today, Blizzard co-founder Michael Morhaime walked Real ID back.

Great, right?

....not really. There are still too many things *wrong* with what they're doing. Like they're putting the cart in front of the horse.

I wrote up a forum post in the same thread, maybe you've seen it, maybe not, but I'll cross-post it here, because I don't think I can explain my position any better than I did.

Thank you for your letter Mr. Morhaime. I feel that you've done right by the community by putting the kibosh on things, even if the decision is only "at this time".

That being said, I'm still very disappointed with what did happen. Blizzard was the gold standard to which I held other video game companies, always thoughtful, never impatient, and always listening to their playerbase. I can't help but feel betrayed when it seems that the first two of those were thrown out with the bathwater.

I don't mind a greater community. Community is good. But community doesn't happen when some force from the top brings down stone tablets with fifteen! *crash* Ten Commandments! and commands us that we have to be closer to each other. It just doesn't work that way. Community is the funny chatter in a PUG Heroic that leads to "Hey, can I friend you?". Community is the camaraderie that you get when your random PUG raid turns into a weekly ritual. Community is your guild, the people you can whine to when you go through four or five healers and tanks in a row in a H:HoR wipefest.

So I'm thankful that you've taken our collective voice, and listened to it.

Please listen again to what I, and others have to say.

Real ID isn't the way forward. There are too many intrinsically *wrong* things about it. There *are* people that we know, cross-server and cross-game, that we know only by a screenname. We are good friends with those people. We might know the names of their cats, we might know that they live in their parents' basement, we might know that they raid better drunk than sober, or that they eat pizza with everything on it, and by god, I mean everything, and if you forget the anchovies again, there will be hell to pay. But in the end, we only know them by screenname, and that's all we want to share with them. We just want the ability to friend people, cross-server, cross-game, what-have-you, without having to share one's One True Name. (And that's not a joke, either. In the age of Google and, and readily available background checking sites galore, having one's real name *does* give them power.) Given the rapidity with which poor Bashiok had his information found and collated, and I can understand if the official line is to deny that is his personal information, because it is a real danger, and a real risk.

A community is frequently compared to a web, and the depth of the community is often compared to how strong that web is. Now, there *are* two ways to make a web, or community stronger. You can make the threads linking people together stronger, or you can let people make more connections with more people. And wouldn't you know it, the way nature takes its course, nature tends to favor the latter solution instead, making ever more intricate webs, and letting the individual people make their bonds together stronger as they see fit.

What I'm trying to say is that Real ID is too binary. There's an "On" position, which lets you friend everyone, and tells EVERYONE who you are, and an "Off" position, which tells nobody who you are, but also traps you to your own server or game. There needs to be a middle ground, one where you can friend that funny person on another server, or your younger sister that's off at college, and the only time you ever see her online is on Bnet. I can't imagine the community at large getting angry with these kinds of greater community bonding.

And the most important thing is, is that it's not Blizzard's choice to reveal our personal information.

So give us the ability to use a unique "Gamertag". Link that gamertag to all our other profiles. Link it to all our WoW characters, even the ones under level 10. Make it so that no matter what we do, the rest of the community can see past any the disguises used by trolls, make them traceable to the community at large.

Again, I want to thank you for listening, and for stepping in and walking things back. My relationship with Blizzard, one that I've had for a very long time, has taken a hit, a very severe one.


Kirin Tor-US-H

PS: One more thing, and I feel that I should still get this off my chest. I am still *very* disappointed with the Real ID announcement. I meant it when I said that I felt Blizzard was the gold standard in the video game industry.

You can be sure that I will never take anything that Blizzard says at simple face value again, nor should anyone else. With such a drastic move with such blatant disregard for privacy, I feel that my intelligence has been insulted, that someone at either Activision or Blizzard said, "Oh, they'll think this is a GREAT idea!"

For now, I'll trust you again, but not until after I've verified.

Maybe not even until *after* I've verified

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

On getting it in before it becomes old:



On Real ID, and why what Blizzard is doing is a bad idea:

The first rule of internet safety is to never use your real name.

That's it. That's all I have to say about the new Real ID changes.

This is the rule that was first drilled into me when I first started using the internet. When the heck did we stop teaching kids this?

Oh wait, I know. It's because of social networking sites, like MySpace and Facebook.

But that's not why I'm really mad. If were supposed to be a social networking gaming site, then yes, I wouldn't be as... angry? No, too strong a word. Annoyed? Not strong enough...

Let's settle with a facepalm and an "Oy." and go from here.

The reason why I throw out Yiddish colloquialisms is because I didn't enter into an agreement with Blizzard, about this being a social networking site. If I'm going to sign up for a Facebook, I understand what I'm getting into, because I expressly desire to put my real name out there for people to find and communicate with me. But when I bought my Blizzard games and got a account, I had no such intention. Whatever my original intention, the decision to sign up for a social networking site, has been taken out of my hands entirely.

And for the record, I *hate* social networking. I think it's stupid and idiotic to plaster your name all over the internet. For pete's sake, potential employers do not need to find out that you frequent furry forums or see your spring break photos of you drinking shots out of some girl's cleavage.

Let me tell you guys a hypothetical story.

Let's say that at one point in time, a person who we will refer to as "A" did a presentation for one of their college courses. And let's say that during this presentation, this person asked for people to volunteer their names so that "A" could demonstrate the kinds of things that they could find on the internet from just using Google and their first and last name, and filling in information as they go. "A" would start with the name, and then include information like the college they were attending. "A" happened to find a mention in an article in the college's newspaper, as they were being interviewed, mentioning their high school. "A" might have gone on to find an old profile on a forum somewhere, finding not only their interests based on the contents of the forum, but also an email that matched several other places where that email address was used. And "A" might have also found different distinct usernames that were attatched to the email address, which in turn also led to more usernames, all the while taking note of this person's hobbies and personal information. "A" started culling bits and pieces of information from innocent blurbs on blog comments, and forum posts, starting to move on from hobbies, age, and location to more specific information. Where they lived. Who they lived with. What cell phone provider they had. Who they were going out with. Where they were going to be next Friday, and who should bring the beer.

This information got more and more specific with each search, until this person demanded that "A" stop what they were doing, which "A" complied with and closed everything down.

"A" recieved an A for their presentation

 That person just disappeared from school.

I'll say it again. The first rule of being safe on the internet is to never use your real name.


Wednesday, June 30, 2010

On that was not such a good idea after all:

Glyph of Rapid Rejuvenation.

Oh, such a good idea in theory.

Such a terrible idea in practice.

In the post T9 level of itemization, you really do have to get back down to the 1-second GCD haste cap once again. There is no longer any ability to hover just above in order to take advantage of Rejuv crits.

But now that I'm back down at the haste cap again.... Rejuvenation now only lasts a paltry 10 seconds. BARELY enough time to blanket a 5-man and still be able to cast Regrowth on the tank and Wild Growth everyone.

So back to Nourish it is, for me.


Friday, June 18, 2010

On Dun-dah-dun-tah~ *dons fedora*:

Okay, so I don't own a Fedora. But I do own a flat cap! ....which would make me Shia Leboufoufoufoufouf. Goddamnit. And I would have chosen something more.... well, Heroic, but Iron Man, Captain Marvel and Captain America don't quite exactly have theme music. (Okay, Iron Man did, but I! AM! IRON MAN! over and over isn't my idea of "heroic".)

No, I didn't take down the Lich King Heroic. Hell, we're still sorting out how best to do Phase 1 and manage the adds properly. But we did take down Sindragosa. So let me set the stage here. Co-tank-I-love-to-bits (Hereafter, I shall refer to as "Fox".) and I have gotten our Frost Resist gear all assembled. I actually have gone a little overkill, and am allegedly over the resist cap once one of our other paladins puts up Frost Resistance Aura. First three times, we wipe, getting back into the groove of things after having had Stuff come up for people the previous two weeks. (I should note: We completely trashed all 10 other bosses the night before.) The usual was happening. Extra people getting caught in ice tombs, extra people getting caught in ice tombs, people not watching the stacks of either the melee or the spell debuff, extra people getting caught in ice tombs, and killing the tombs too fast for stacks of Mystic Buffet to wear off. Oh, and extra people getting caught in ice tombs.

So fourth try rolls around, and we transition into phase 3... and Fox disconnects from WoW. She's still on Vent, so she tells me that I need to get my fuzzy but into place and hold Sindy until she can get back in.

Well, I did it. I started blowing everything I had, both offensive and defensive, in a last chance bid to hold the line until Fox got back. And I did it, too. And we succeeded. But just to give you an idea as to what I was up against (And click to embiggen):

Yes, several of us did faceplant, but we *did* do it. And 23 stacks! I don't think you're ever supposed to *get* that many stacks! I think you're supposed to die before you even get that far!

Point is, we rule, Sindy drools, and then we all stripped off our gear, started the Lich King fight, and punched him in the face a few times. TOTALLY WORTH IT.

Next week!: We begin to bash our heads against The Lich King for four weeks! Just like Blood Princes all over again!


P.S.: Here's an extra screenshot. Do observe the bottom-left-hand corner.:

Monday, June 14, 2010

On that ONE guy in the guild:

I think the image says it all.  No respect! I get no respect!


Saturday, June 12, 2010


When he is Raid Leader, he does not merely lead raids. He leads them on Broadway song and dance numbers, with loot.

He mines Primordial Saronite.

He escaped from Alcaz Island using nothing but a Sprung Whirlygig, a Minor Mana Potion, and an Ensidia Guild Tabard. But he always comes back to play poker with the guards every other Thursday.

/gkicking him always backfires.

He has read all of A Steamy Romance Novel: Northern Exposure, and its sequels.

There is only one druid that he cannot tame: Himself. Although if he tried, he probably could.

He is: The Most Interesting Tauren in the World.

"I don't always drink beer. But when I do, I prefer Dos Ogris."

"Stay thirsty, my friends."

(I blame Ratters and DB.)

On the other hand, I smell a machinima project...


Friday, June 4, 2010

On downtime:

Slooooooow week out here in BTC-land.

With all the trying to 8-man the Jarraxus for the raid weekly, ('FLESH TROMBONE!' Now you won't be able to hear it otherwise. You're welcome.) the regular main tank having prior engagements both this week and the next, and out usually top-DPS DK having to switch to the Tankadin alt to fill in instead, we did not get to the Frost quarter... shame, too, because I really was looking forward to taking down Sindragosa. Hopefully, next week things will be ironed out between me and my temporary-co-tank, and we will be able to take her down. (ASDFJAKSDFJAKSDFALSJ HATE HER SO MUCH.)

Had a chance to take my Cat-based PVP build into ICC25... managed to top out at 8k DPS according to Recount on Saurfang.... I think I screwed up somewhere. I'll get another chance to try it again this coming Monday, but I think the raid leader will want me back on tanking duties. We'll see!

PVP post is still forthcoming, although it appears that I'm being recalled back to Resto duties... not so sure I want to go back, but I am entertaining the notion.

Friday, May 28, 2010

On ohgodkillmenow:

Just got The Argent Dawn, Argent Champion, Loremaster of Eastern Kingdoms, and  Somewhat disappointingly, it was off of Chromatic Mantle of the Dawn, and not In Dreams or The Battle of Darrowshire as I had intended. But hey, it's done, I'm finished and I don't have to finish...... the rest..... of the...... *twitch* quests...... there........ right? *twitchtwitch*

(Goddamn me and my completionist streak. It *will* be the end of me, one of these days.)

On the other hand, still wiping on Sindragosa. I had *hoped* that I would be able to carry it out without any Frost Resist gear, after seeing my co-tank resist damage like nothing else, I got suspicious that it really might be me that was holding everyone back. So, one quick trip to the AH, one quick trip to my local Leatherworker, one quick trip to the bank to fish that dusty mark out of the vault, one quick trip to the leather armor shop, and one short hop to Dun Niffelheim, and I now have a set of frost resist gear, and a Sanctified Lasherweave Headguard to go with it, gemmed with an Effulgent Skyflare Diamond. After today, I should also be able to pick up an Idol of the Crying Moon as well. (My sense of overkill, or lack thereof, will probably be the end of me, too.)

Yes, that's right. I plunked down 95 Frost emblems for a second Lasherweave Headguard, and then gemmed and enchanted it up as Sindragosa gear. Now, the new meta gem is nothing new. I have been seriously considering using it in place of the time-tested Austere Earthsiege Diamond, but intended to use it once I had gotten much closer to the armor cap. Now, however, appears to no longer be an option. Testing it during the rest of ICC this next Tuesday should give me the data I need to determine whether I should be using this full time, geared as well as I am. I'd also resisted getting the Frost Emblem idol, since the ramp-up is murder on trash packs, but against Sindragosa, I want to leave nothing to chance.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

With apologies to Mary Schmich, Baz Luhrmann, and Lee Perry:

Ladies and gentlemen, tanks freshly 80:

Talk to your group.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, talking to your group would be it. You let them know what you're up to, they let you know what they're up to, and things generally go smoother that way. The rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own long-suffering experience. I will dispense this advice, now.

Look around you, and enjoy the environment. Oh, never mind. You will not understand just how awe-inspiring the dungeons that Blizzard makes are until long after everything's on farm status. But trust me, in 20 levels, you'll look around when retro-raiding and recall in a way you can't grasp just how fantastic the environment and atmosphere was, just how much detail Blizzard put into the game.

Don't worry about wipes. Or worry, but know that worry about wipes is about as effective as trying to /silly them to death. The serious wipes are apt to be the ones that happen when you go and one-shot Blood Princes, two-shot Blood Queen, and then bring Sindragosa down to 1% on your very first try.

Try to tank something more challenging each day.


Don't be recless with other people's repair bills. Don't put up with people who are reckless with your repair bills.


Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you win the loot roll. Sometimes some Elesham with a Resto offspec and no business in a Melee DPS trinket wins it. The path to BiS is long, and, in the end, loot comes and goes.

Remember the fun people when using the Dungeon Finder. Forget the insults from stupid ones. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old tank trinkets. Sell or DE your blues and greens.

Move out of the fire.

Don't feel guilty if you don't know if you want to keep tanking at 80. The best tank I know started playing WoW on a Warlock. She still plays that Warlock.

Run 5-man Normal Trial of the Champion. Get The Black Heart. I still use that trinket when tanking ICC-25, to this day.

Maybe you'll get A Tribute to Insanity, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll beat The Lich King, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll keep wiping on the last part of Heroic Halls of Reflection, maybe you'll PUG 25-man ICC and one-shot Sindragosa Hardmode. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your tanking is only one part of the equation. Healing and DPS are too.

Enjoy your insta-queues. Use it to help people out whenever you can. Guildies, friends, random strangers. They will appreciate it and you more than you'll ever know.

/dance, especially in the killshots when you first down a raidboss.

Read the guides to tanking on Tankspot, Wowhead, or Wowwiki, even if that one obstinate DPS doesn't follow them.

Do not read the sites of top raiding guilds. They will only make you feel inferior.

Get to know your guild officers. You never know when they'll retire from the game. Be nice to your guildmates. They work just as hard at content as you, and you need them to progress.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Try to bridge the gaps in geography and work and school for raid times, but understand that a game is a game, and real life takes first precedence, even if you're the main tank or the fight-gimmick-enabler.

Play a healer to 80 once, but stop before it makes you bitter. Play a DPS to 80 once, but stop before it makes you soft. Tank.

Accept certain inalienable truths: Epic BoEs are expensive. Raids will wipe. You too, will get tired of tanking. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, epic world drops were cheap, raids never wiped on Professor Putricide, and Children's Week quests weren't bugged.

Respect your elders. The internet does give you free rein to be rude, ya whippersnappers.

Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a rich guild. Maybe you've cornered a market on the AH. But you never know when either one might vanish in a puff of smoke.

Don't mess too much with your spec, or by the time you figure it out, you'll have blown more gold than a goblin competing against a gnome trying to build a better death ray, only to come to the same conclusion that Elitist Jerks did five patches ago.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of looting a crystallized element from a trash mob, mailing it off to an alt, running it through a few professions, then crafting a BoE and putting it up on the AH for more than it's worth.

But trust me on talking to your group.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

On Achievement Spam:

I have been a *very* busy BearTreeCat lately. We one-shot Blood Princes, which was a complete and utter stumbling block for us for AGES now, two-shot Blood Queen, three-shot Valithria, and then brought Sindragosa down to ONE! FREAKING! PERCENT! on the first try. And then we wiped it the next four times. But no matter, we'll definately get it next week! And then.... The Lich King!

I'm cooking an article right now, though. Trying to figure out the legend and mysteries that are Feral PVP. I shall record my findings here for all to see, a testament to the ages.


Saturday, May 15, 2010

If I Had To Write Another Blog: Healing Edition

I like healing.

And yes, if I had to write another blog, I would write a healing blog. You may have seen the kind of criticism that sites like World of Matticus get, but when it all comes down to it, I like healing, and people like it when I heal. It is very rare when I play a game where I *don't* do some form of healing.

It's my stated goal to have one of each flavor of healer, at some point. I already have a Shaman, which I've mothballed due to my dislike of everything degenerating into Chain Heal spam when the going gets rough. I have my BearTreeCat, which I love, even despite the massive overheal numbers. I have my priest, which I am considering mothballing for now, because I just can't stand doing any low-level content, unless it's for my Druid's Loremaster achievement. The Paladin healer won't come until Cataclysm, though, because I can't stand Blood Elves. Which means yes, I do intend to make it some flavor of either Holycow or Retbull. (Yes, those jokes are old. No, I'm not going to stop using them.)

But I like healing. It's why I originally started this blog, alongside my Tanking. DPS didn't come until much later.

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.


Monday, May 10, 2010

On Cataclysm changes:

Did you guys have a good weekend? Happy Mother's Day to any and all mothers out there. I'm pretty sure that's not the only thing that happened to you guys over the weekend, though. Because, y'know, there's just a tiny little thing called a "Cataclysm Friends and Family Alpha Leak" that happened over at MMO-Champion...

...and I'm not going to cover it. I'm not. Just flat out, plain not going to cover it. It's an Alpha build, plenty of talents have not yet been implemented, not all of the boring talents that need to be pruned have been pruned, and I don't care to have to revise things every time a new alpha build comes out. Maybe once it hits closed beta, definitely once it hits open beta, but not at the alpha stage.

I hear there are some pretty screenshots to be looking at, though!


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Completely Unrelated:

Because there is something oddly compelling about Hugh Jackman dancing his ass off, in a Japanese hotel, with ninja gardeners, and leading everyone, staff and tourists alike, in a giant dance number, all set to French funk.


Monday, May 3, 2010


No news is good news, right? Nothing of real value on the Druid front, really, aside from some squawking over Resto spells that got blue responses back.

Our guild changes their raid schedule this week, and, given that I am going to be trying as best as I can to kill a flag carrier in WSG, things.... are probably going to be rather quiet for a bit.

All I have to say is: Two cats working in conjunction to take out targets is absolute murder. And I'm all for murdering Alliance. *AB win-flex*


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Point Break

Um... new blue post is up. And I dare say it fills me with trepidation. Still, I'm going to keep the "woohoo!~" in the holster.

Basically, the point is this: Instead of Emblems, you rack up points instead. Hero points (low-end) and Valor points, (high-end) like how we have Honor points and Arena points. (Arena points are being converted to Conquest points, earnable from both the rated BGs and Arena, but that's a different matter.)

When a new tier of raiding gear or PVP gear is released, everyone gets their high-end points converted into low-end points. Fair enough, it'll keep the bloat of different flavors of emblems down to a minimum. (I'm up to 195 EoF, by the way. I think I might just hold onto them all until I can buy the head and chest T10, and the Corroded Skeleton Key all at once. This way, I can keep renting the Skeleton Key from the ICC vendor in the meantime.)

Also according to the devs, there's a cap on high-end points earned weekly:
"To explain the reasoning for the weekly cap on points for the higher tiers, this is to provide flexibility in how players choose to earn the points without feeling like they have to do all of the content as often as it is available. If your Valor income from raiding is sufficient, you may not feel the need to run Dungeon Finder every night, or perhaps even at all. Likewise, a PvP player could choose to participate in a lot of Rated Battlegrounds but no Arenas, or focus on both, and still be able to earn the points they want."
Now, I am *all* for rated BGs. If there is one thing that has consistently irked me, it has been that Arena just doesn't fly for me at all. Either my 3v3 isn't all on, or we suck to much, or whatever, point being, PVP weapons are consistently Top 5 in terms of PvE tanking thanks to the overinflated Stamina and Agility numbers on the weapons. Also,

"We're removing personal rating requirements on almost all items; they're definitely removed for weapons"

There is no guarantee that future seasons' gear will remain overinflated with Stamina and Agility once everyone's stats are revamped, but if they remain even somewhat in-line with their current state, you can bet that you will see a LOT more Ferals in PvP, gearing themselves for raid content.


Monday, April 26, 2010

On Raids in Cataclysm

Well, this was certainly unexpected. I certainly didn't expect things to change in such a drastic manner. And frankly, I'm not entirely sure I approve.

Take whatever side you will on the 10/25 divide, but while I primarily raid 10-man, I learn mechanics in 25-man. I feel that it's easier when you have additional people to pick up the slack when execution fails, and to have the full set of raid buffs/debuffs at hand allows for greater tolerance in... well, greater tolerance in fail.

I'm not completely against these new changes? And I won't make any judgments regarding smaller loot tables = less betterer itemization, because itemization is changing for everyone. But it's an interesting thing that they've put here.

Still, though. Temper your reactions, this is still Blizzard telling us stuff without actually telling us anything, again.


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Queuing as DPS

It's a guilty pleasure of mine. And honestly, I don't know why I didn't start doing it sooner. Yes, it's queuing as a Cat. (Argh, the more I look at the word 'queue' and 'queuing', the weirder it looks, and I keep thinking that I'm spelling it wrong.)

But there are problems with Cat DPS in heroics. Given the long start-up time required for our DPS to start rolling in, you really do have to change your priority list to do things well. Here's what I've been doing so far:

  1. Rake if it isn't up already.
  2. Savage Roar as soon as possible after engaging, even if you only have 1 point. Keep it up at all times.
  3. If there are 3 or more mobs within your 180 degree frontal cone, Swipe. Even if you bottom out on Energy, you still do more damage-per-energy with one Swipe than with a mangle on each mob.
  4. Mangle to build CP.
  5. If a mob is going to cast a WTFtanksplode, Maim it.
  6. If a mob is not going to last much longer, and you have 3 to 4 CP, Savage Roar and switch.
  7. Ferocious Bite, and always on a bleeding target.
  8. If you bottom out on Energy, and your Nature's Grasp is ready, use it to give yourself an extra shot at an OoC proc.
Now, I don't claim to be a priority theorycrafter, but this seems to be working well when doing heroics. I might need to tweak it here and there, but this seems to be working well enough.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Mangle experiment results:

Quick post, because I *really* don't want to write about the Cataclysm stuff. Really, I don't. Matter of fact, I'm sick and tired of it all.

Largely because one, everyone has pretty much beaten it all to death, but also:

  • I know that Blizzard is still going to be changing more than they just told us
  • Blizzard told us stuff, without actually telling us stuff, so any theorycrafting is utterly useless.
  • I believe that Blizzard has some seriously intelligent minds working on game design.
  • I am very laid-back. Do *not* harsh my chill.
So I'm going to talk about Glyph of Mangle, instead.

A week ago, after tanking 25-man Deathbringer, I forgot to replace my Glyph of Mangle with Glyph of Maul. And I kind of have been too lazy to fix that. That being said, I seriously have not missed it at all. Single-target tanking only benefits from the 10% damage boost to Mangle, Boss + Add situations also benefit during Berserk, and large-pull tanking still seems to be just fine. I mean, I already tab around with my Swipe + Maul macro, like a Cleave-spamming Warrior, it wasn't a stretch to have to do it for extra targets. Just spam Swipe until Maul hits (look for the Infected Wounds debuff to show up), tab to the next, throw out a Mangle if it's up, or wait for the next Maul, tab to the next, and so on and so forth.

And my PVP performance certainly hasn't hurt either. Since I don't Shred, (positioning behind during battles royale is something that I am so woefully incompetent at) I mangle, and the 10% extra damage is wonderful too.

So I'll say this. If you are really intent on Hybrid-ing, you cannot go wrong with a Glyph of Mangle.


Monday, April 19, 2010

If I Had To Write Another Blog: Making Gold Edition

I like making gold. That being said, it tends to flow out of my hands like water, since I'm always lending it to guildies.

I don't mind gold blogs. The resources are there for people to find them if they want to find them, and to put them into practice if they're smart enough.

I hate the Gold Capped weekly articles on They give away a lot of secrets wholesale. That's not to say that I don't make money off of them. On the contrary. More often than not, when goes live with a Gold Capped article, the markets for whatever it is they just showed everyone in the world will, invariable, tank, allowing me to buy everything up for dirt cheap, hold onto for a bit until prices come back up, then flip for a profit.

My objection to Gold Capped is that it doesn't make sense to reveal your secrets to the whole wide world on a whole. Nine times out of ten, people are going to read what they see in a guide, and then execute it to the letter. This works just fine for things like build, talents, and gear, but the AH is a shifting, mutable, living organism. You can't just follow a recipe and expect to get results. But yet, there they go. And every time they reveal a core money-making operation, like the Saronite Shuffle, I suppress an frustrated scream.

Now, on the other hand, if I were to write another blog, oh man, I would love to share things with you guys. But, since I'm writing this blog, you guys will just have to settle. =3


Saturday, April 17, 2010

One-button mount? Pff, that's old news.

By now, if you *haven't* seen My Starry Pwny yet, you clearly have been living under a rock. Go ahead, take a loot. Drool at it. And then come back.

Done? Okay, good. Now, one of the benefits that this mount provides, since it scales itself from a 60% speed mount, to a 100% speed mount, to a 150% speed flying mount, to a 280% speed flying mount depending on your riding skill, (And if you have a 310% speed flying mount, it will scale up to that too.) is that you only need to have one button on your action bars for an all-purpose mount.

....except that that's what I kind of have been doing all this time*. With a little bit of clever macroing, you can accomplish the same thing. All you need to do is to fill in the name of the mount of choice.

#showtooltip Great Gray Kodo
/castrandom [flyable] Bronze Drake; [noflyable] Great Gray Kodo
/cast Great Gray Kodo

Make sense? No? Okay, here's how it works. The #showtooltip lets you pick the icon that you want for it. Replace "Great Gray Kodo" with whatever you like.

The /castrandom part lets you define a couple of different mounts to use. All you need to remember is to prepend [flyable] if it's a flying mount and [noflyable] if it's not. And if you really want to be clever, you can define the mounts by spell ID instead to save space.

This would normally be all fine and dandy, but there are a few places where just that line fails, such as Lake Wintergrasp. You *can* fly in Wintergrasp, but whenever there is combat going on, a flag is turned on, which disables flying. But because it is an outdoor zone, something doesn't work right, so the second line is the failsafe. That way, if you can't use either of the previously defined mounts, it will default to the second line.

The above is the example that I use on my bankalt. This is the version I use on my druid:

#showtooltip Swift Flight Form
/cast [flyable] Swift Flight form; [noflyable] Mechano-hog;
/cast Mechano-hog

Now, one last thing before you head off to use this: Ostensibly, you're all druids, right? Remember, if you use the new shiny Algapony, you lose the benefit of Swift Flight Form's instant cast time, (Which, if you're an avid world PVPer like I am, is a gift from heaven.) as well as the ability to loot things without dismounting. So choose wisely!


 *You can take my Swift Flight Form and Mechano-hog away from my cold, dead, deathgripping fingers! Seriously, I don't know if the Sparkulpony has enough height to cause issues with a Tauren rider, but I vehemently refuse to use anything other than those two, just so I don't have to freaking dismount to get into doors. Drop a line, if you can clarify one way or the other?

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Professor Putricide down, we got 10M Plagueworks!

Sadly, I was the abomination, so I didn't get to tank much except at the end. Oh well.

Also, like the fool I am, I forgot to take a screenshot. Ugh.

Oh well, on to Blood Princes!


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Finally, some sanity.

I've expressed respect and admiration for Allison Robert of to others before, but she's recently written an article that that makes me breathe a sigh of relief that reassures me that yes, Virginia, there are people who are looking at the Tree of Life forms rationally, and don't need to be talked down from the ledge*. It's a good article that expresses pretty much how I feel about what they're doing as well, except that while we both play female tauren**, the casting animations don't matter to me one bit.


*Ouch. Bad turn of phrase. I just watched the first episode of the latest season of House.
**I was not about to roll a character that liberally scratches its ass every five seconds. The exasperated sigh works much better, especially given the nicknames that get thrown around the poor girl's, and, by extension, my direction. "Steak", usually. But "Bear butt" is a close second.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

On Glyphs: Cat Edition

Man, I'm not even going to go into a big fuss, but here's the thing. Since we're approaching Feral from a hybrid perspective here, one, Survival Instincts is more useful to us, since we reap its benefits in both Bear and Cat. Two, since I am giving up Shredding Attacks for a massive cooldown reduction on my Bear stun Bash, my combo point generation is primarily Manglespam. Which means that the newly redesigned Glyph of Mangle becomes a very attractive option when I am DPSing in earnest.

Now, I know you're going, "But what glyph would we replace?!" For me? Likely Maul. Since I'm already tanking 25-man Deathbringer Saurfang these days*, I already have a stack of Glyph of Survival Instincts and a stack Glyph of Maul to swap back and forth between when we get to that fight. Since my current glyphs are Frenzied Regeneration, Growl (because I HATE missing taunts), and Maul, I should probably go to Survival Instincts, Growl, and Maul, then swap Maul with Mangle depending on whether I am tanking normally, or tanking AoE-sensitive fights/DPSing.

Remember that without a second target for Maul, the glyph does absolutely nothing for us. If anything, Glyph of Mangle is clearly and DPS and threat increase when we are restricted to single-target attacks.


*ICC10's Deathbringer is stupidly easy. I sigh in annoyance every time we fight him. Since we have found that the best way to beat Deathbringer is to just burn the Blood Beasts down in place, ignoring their Blood Power mechanic, kiting be damned, I no longer bother to switch glyphs, so I *can* hit the one Blood Beast that invariably gets stuck in melee. So lacking in finesse!


Just a month in and bearly a fistful of blog posts later, I have to change my blog name. Why? Because I started Kitty DPSing. You see, at first, I didn't *want* to Cat DPS at all. I wanted to be the renegade, the rebel, the maverick! I wanted to make a full-on bear tank spec, with no regard for cat DPSing at all, the hybrid nature of Druids be damned!

Hand me that bottle of Tabasco, will you? This foot is a bit bland.

Back when I started playing my Druid, it was because my guild had hit GUILD DRAMA, and we'd lost a rogue DPS and our warrior tank. Because of this, raiding was pretty much out the window because we only *had* 10 people, and until our raid leader found someone to replace the two slots we weren't going anywhere. So we had a month of downtime, and I was getting more and more disillusioned with my Shaman. I'd originally wanted to make her an Elesham for raiding, But like any good Trekkie, I held to Spock's famous words, "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few," and converted her into a Restosham. But something rubbed me the wrong way about it. As time went on, I found myself growing to rely more and more and more on Chain Heal spam to heal my raids. And that was getting seriously boring for me, just mashing the same button over and over again. I've had many arguments with my Discipline priest raid leader over this. I think she still considers me a moron for giving up such a great spell. But I hated it. My line of thinking was that when that one spell becomes the *only* thing you do, something needs to change. So I went looking for a new healer to make. Now since, my favorite Shaman healing spell is Riptide, I naturally started looking at the most HoT-centric healer I could find, the Restoration Druid. And so I bought some heirlooms, and started to level.

Along the way, we discussed a number of things in guild chat. We also recruited friends from other servers to help us. In the end, it was concluded that if I were to go Bear with my druid, we could source another Resto Shaman from our alliance guild and, along with a guildie's roommate, we would be 10-man ready once again. This wasn't really a problem for me, since I was absolutely loving being a bear. A Repurposed Lava Dredger enchanted with Crusader, with a Darkmoon Card: Heroism in one trinket slot, a Mark of Conquest in the other slot, and Improved Leader of the Pack meant I could get away with all kinds of stupid antics overpulling and still get away, alive.

So I sped towards 80 blindingly fast, and geared myself up. Heck, the Restoration offspec that I originally wanted was rapidly left by the wayside, untouched from levels 40 to 80.

Now, since I was gearing a pure Bear tank, this required me to spec and gear in a certain way. All gems? +30 Stamina gems, except for one Nightmare Tear! Forget Improved Mangle, I gotta have Bash down to thirty seconds! Shredding Attacks? Who needs a reduced Lacerate energy cost, those points are going to go into 5/5 Furor instead. I want instant rage when I shift! And.... I kind of have one point left over. Eh, let's reduce shapeshifting mana costs and drop it into King of the Jungle. And I'll get a small 5% damage boost when I pop Enrage, too.

And off we went. We went through all of Ulduar 10-man and ToC 10-man, and I blissfully upgraded my gear as we went along. But as we went along, there weren't always fights that needed two tanks. Or four healers. So as to actually be contributing and pulling my weight during those one-tank fights, I started shifting into cat and whacking things, throwing down 5-point Rips before shifting back to refresh Lacerate, and struggling to even do that, with only 1/3 King of the Jungle. I even started to gem my new gear with a mix of red and blue gems, slowly inching along towards hybridism. But I still resisted, putting myself as a tank first, and using cat to help the raid burn things down faster.

And then T10 came along. If you've been playing for quite some time, you know the four-piece bonus by heart now. That was pretty much the last straw I needed to finally respec. As soon as I was able to buy an Ikfirus's Sack of Wonder off the auction house, I bought my T10 pants, and then respecced from 5/5 Furor and 1/3 KotJ into the more mainstream 3/5 Furor and 3/3 KotJ.

Which brings us to the last two weeks. My guild has been running heroic 5-mans a lot, lately. Several of us have gotten freshly-80 alts. A veritable DKpalooza, really. One of our hunters has been picking up tanking on his DK, and we've been having him Blood tank instances to practice. Our main tank's DK finally hit 80 as well, so she's feeling out Unholy DPS. And since I wasn't needed to tank, and we had healing in various forms, ranging from the aforementioned guild alliance Restosham, picking up Elemental gear for his long-neglected DPS set, to another hunter's trying out her Retadin's Holy spec.... I started DPSing as well.

And I've been liking it so far. It's only in the past week or so that I decided that I was going to embrace all three roles, Tanking, Healing, and DPS fully. So that's my story. That's going to be the focus of this blog. There are going to be Druid blogs left and right. There are going to be dozens of Feral blogs, both Bear and Cat. There will be Restoration blogs as well. But this is going to be the blog that focuses on the druid (population: me!) that wants to do all three roles with one character, and never wants to roll another alt to slog from 1 to 80 and Loremaster AGAIN.

Welcome to Bear-y Leafy Kitty, folks.


Saturday, March 13, 2010

On Glyphs: Tree Edition

Hey, the blog *is* called Bear-y Leafy, y'know.

The biggest reason why I'm tackling this topic now, is because I recently had a very abrupt and severe jolt when I upgraded from 4pT9 to 2pT10. It was a fairly easy thing to do, since for some bloody reason, I managed to get into two VoAs without a single Tree, nay, a single druid in sight. So where do the Lasherweave Gauntlets and the Sanctified Lasherweave Legplates go? Yeah, me. So now I'm rocking 3pT10 for my tanking set, and 2pT10 for my healyset.

Or was, up until Tuesday.

The weekly raid was Malygos, and, since I usually crank out the HoTs.... my numbers sucked. I mean, they REALLY sucked. Malygos phase 1 is usually heaven for Trees, just stand in place, and throw instant heals. Whirlwind? Peh, just HoT everything, and by the time everyone lands, everyone is pretty much at or close to full HP. Phase 2? Breath? What breath? But the other healer pulled me aside and told me my numbers were stinking, and so I re-equipped the T9 gloves in the meantime. It's obvious that I'm going to need to make some adjustments if I want to keep my raidgroup up on its feet. And I hate the feeling that I might be the one responsible for the group wiping.

So here's my current setup: I've got Glyph of Swiftmend, Glyph of Nourish, and Glyph of Wild Growth.

Swiftmend is almost required. There's nothing worse than gobbling valuable HoTs when you try to give someone a shot in the arm.

Nourish, I am actually considering dropping, since I don't do much tank healing. Most of the time, it's just the strict 5 Rejuvenates - 1 Wild Growth rotation for me.

Wild Growth is also a candidate for being dropped as well. Ish. It's impact is difficult to gauge, given that you may not always find the fifth or sixth target when dropping it, especially either in 10-man content, or in fights where everyone has to spread out, a la Deathbringer.

If I want to roll with the 2pT10 bonus, maybe I'll have to swap either Nourish or Wild Growth out for Rapid Rejuvenation or Rejuvenation, but probably Rapid Rejuvenation, since that effect is useful no matter what level of HP the target is at.
Now, Wild Growth in and of itself might not always connect with every single HoT,

Friday, March 12, 2010

On Glyphs: Bear Edition

Woot for me, I picked up a Battered Hilt for roughly 8.8k in barter today. I'm very pleased with myself. I am going to love the hell out of the resulting Lightborn Spire, because my threat has been lagging severely, what with being stuck first with Marrowstrike all through ToC and then with the Orca-Hunter's Harpoon up until now. I'll not divulge my secret sales methods (which, by definition, are a secret, =D) but I will touch on glyph choices.

Now, like all good Bears, I glyphed my Maul. And like all good Bears, I ran into the problem where I had to unglyph it to tank Deathbringer without wiping the raid. It was a fairly easy thing to do, since I usually run with a Growl, Survival Instincts, and Maul, I dropped the Maul for a Frenzied Regeneration. (I *refuse* to work with a taunt that can miss in general, but especially on Deathbringer.) I didn't reglyph after the run, and frankly, completely forgot to reglyph again the following day, beating the tar out of Onyxia. (I mean, come on, I'm usually on Whelp tanking duty. Maul ain't helpin' THAT much there.)

But what came after was a bit of a disturbance. When doing my usual once-daily Heroic for the Emblems of Frost, I really found out just how much of my threat really is wrapped up in that one Glyph. Trash packs that were usually manageable without so much as a how-do-you-do were suddenly a lot more challenging, requiring Warrior-like tabbing around to make sure everything was suffering equally. I am rather ashamed to say that on the first pull of three Iron Dwarves and two Iron Golems in Halls of Stone, the healer and two DPS bit it. (Although I do note that the Frost Mage in the group was running Ice Armor the entire time, rooting the golems that would charge him in place, which would inevitably turn and beat on the thing closest to them, usually the healer.)

Long story short, I had to take that dungeon a lot more carefully, only going 3rd gear, instead of "ravening-hellbeast-furballrocket" gear, although the constant Tricks and Fan of Knives spam from the rogue probably helped a lot. (God bless you, whoever you are.)

But afterwards, I hit up the auction house to reglyph Maul back into my usual setup. Now, understand, what Elitist Jerks says is all fine and dandy... but Kirin Tor is kind of a laid back server. Progression-wise, we kind of only JUST had someone do a Realm First: Algalon achievethingummy about a month ago. My 10-man and 25-man groups are not uber-leet groups trying to get the Realm First achievements. So yeah, carrying around a stack of glyphs and swapping them out as the fight demands is a bit of a foreign concept to my groups, but I can recognize the rationale when the argument for it is presented to me.

But when the time came to reglyph, a thought hit me: Was Glyphing SI really the best choice? Would I get better mileage out of glyphing FR instead?

So here's the math:

Raidbuffed, I sit at about 50K HP.
Survival Instincts increases your max HP by 30%, while your actual percentage of health remains unchanged. (Yes, your current HP does go up to match the original percentage before going big and red)
Glyph of Survival Instincts makes SI increase your max HP by 45% instead.
Frenzied Regeneration, assuming you don't get ragestarved, will convert 100 rage into a HoT for 30% of your max HP.
Glyph of Frenzied Regeneration, again, assuming you don't get ragestarved, will convert 100 rage into a HoT for 36% of your max HP.


unglyphed Frenzied Regeneration: 15000 healed
unglyphed Frenzied Regeneration + unglyphed Survival Instincts: 19500
unglyphed Frenzied Regeneration + glyphed Survival Instincts: 21750
glyphed Frenzied Regeneration + unglyphed Survival Instincts: 23400
glyphed Frenzied Regeneration + glyphed Survival Instincts: 26100

So it's clear. If you only have room for one, glyphing Frenzied Regeneration is best.


Seriously, though, you and I know full well that there are varying flavors of Bear. I myself tend to favor a full-bear spec, but if you're a hybrid, you might want to take Survival Instincts anyhow. SI works in both Bear and Cat forms, unlike FR which only works in Bear. On the other hand, if you've taken up Herbalism Frenzied Regeneration might be more up your alley, since Lifebloom will get a boost out of the increased healing effect of the glyph as well. Of course, if you're a Cat primarily.... WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU READING THIS BLOG FOR, MAN?!

Me, I think I'm going to experiment with the two before making a final decision.