Archive for October, 2008

Add-On Goodness

Posted in Discussion, Tips & Tricks on October 29, 2008 by sylus

I was strolling through twitterland today, and I found a request for more blogs about addons. I thought to myself, I can do that. I have several addons, and know how to install them, so I thought, what the heck, lets give this a whirl!

The first thing you have to ask yourself before installing an addon is, what addon do I want? I have a list of addons that I use, most of them I have used for a long time, but some, I have just recently picked up after the echo’s of doom patch.

An old favorite of mine is Xpearl. Xpearl is an interface addon, or UI as the techy-geek-speak people say. This changes the way your portrait looks, it can change the size of your party and raid icons, buffs, and changes the positioning of these as well.

I’ve recently picked up bartender 4. This addon lets you re-size, move, key-bind, and add more bars to your interface. This one is daunting when you load it up, and all of your bars are all over the screen. I’d hold off on this one if you are new to the addon business.

Cartographer is a must have map addon. Once you use it, it will be hard to go back. This allows you to have coordinates on your map, make notes about quests, mark places on your map, re-size your map, and many other great features.

Auctioneer. Auctioneer is the money-maker of addons. If you use the addon right, you can eventually know market values, track trends, figure out the best time to sell items, buy items, and the suite that you can download with it has several useful addons as well.

Squinex is a new one for me. This little addon changes the shape of your mini-map. It allows you to move the mini-map, to further customize your UI.

Postman, or one of many other mail mods, helps you organize your mail box. You can open just AH related mail, it auto-fills friends and guildies names when typing in who to send it too, its very handy when you are sending atredvreenoogix some mail….everyone knows someone like this…and hates sending him mail and whispers.

My newest addon…I’m almost ashamed to mention this one…is bejeweled. I have it for flying, mostly because I’m doing the trick or treating on some of my toons for quick easy lvling. I can play and goof while questing. It takes time flying between all of those FP’s!

Okay, all of these addons can be found at Curse.com. When you go to download these mods, I recommend using the manual installer, as it doesn’t add anything extra to your computer, and I’m also a worry-wart, so I can scan everything via my virus protector before I extract the files. When you click install, you will get the option to save, open, or cancel. Always choose open. Once the files are downloaded, the box will pop up. At this point, click extract all files.  Do not auto extract to the place they want too, make this easier on yourself. click browse, my computer, C:, program files, world of warcraft, interface, then addons. This will make sure it is placing the files where they need to be to work in the game. Click Ok, then you are good to go.

Launch World of Warcraft, put in your account info, then on the character selection screen you will see a button in the lower left hand corner of the screen that says addons. Click that and you will be able to view what addons you want to enable for each toon.

There you have it. Once you get in game, you will have some work to do to set up the addons to your liking. I hope this was helpful. Look for a run down of bartender coming in the next few days. This addon is a bit of a tricky one for beginning users. Until then, have fun playing with your mods!

~Uncle Sy

Northrend, You Cold-Hearted Harlot!

Posted in Random on October 28, 2008 by sylus
GRRRR

GRRRR

WHY DO YOU HAVE TO BE OVER 2 WEEKS AWAY!!!!!

Random Ramblings and Leveling in Outlands after 3.0.2

Posted in Leveling, Random, Shaman, Warlock, WOTLKEE on October 27, 2008 by Kor

The last patch has changed so much about the game.  Everyone knows, of course.  In fact, things have changed so much, I’m pretty sure people who haven’t played the game have come back.  I mean, there were server queues last night.  That’s the first time I’ve seen queues in over a year, and the first time I’ve ever seen them on Cenarion Circle.  Now the queues may have just been something put in place by Blizz to make the servers more stable, but either way, its definitely a symptom of the new world (of warcraft) that we now know.

Since the patch hit, I’ve been working on many things.  I’ve done some achievements, a few dailies, leveled a pet from 65 to 70, leveled some trip-xp lowbies up to 60 and partook, partaked, partoken, in the Hollow’s End events.  But this past week, I’ve been leveling in Outlands.  Why?  Well cause I’ve only got 3 70s, and I’m a bit of a massochist.  No, the real reason is that I want to change my main for Wrath.  An expansion is the perfect time to do this.  Unlike during BC, when I decided to switch from my Mage to my Hunter, this time, I will have a fresh focus right from the start.  The problem with the last switch was that I had done some stuff on my Mage, then I started doing some stuff on my Hunter.  The lack of a coherent focus on one of those toons for a prolonged period of time means they both ended up doing the same stuff, are in fairly comparable gear, and yet neither of them has really made it all that far in the end game.  Fikkle still hasn’t finished his Spellfire set.  Grim hasn’t managed to level his leatherworking past 365.  I’ve done ZA and Mags exactly one time, and yet both have pretty much farmed Kara for badges, while wearing S2 Arena gear (bought mostly with honor).

The change from these two, as my Main and primary alt to my Shaman / Warlock isn’t going to be an easy one.  I’ve learned to play my Mage extremely proficiently, seeing as how he is the toon that has the most /played time.  If I remember correctly it took me about 8 months to go from 1-70 on him, while I did the same thing on Grim in 5 months.  My Sham/Lock combo will have achieved the same thing in under 3 months.  But the Hunter has been something I’ve read extensively on, learned the theorycrafting behind, and poured much of my recent time into.  But all the same, I want to learn more about this game, and I’ve had a lot of fun with the Shaman and the Warlock. 

I’ve dual-boxed with the Warlock from level 1 to 66 (where they are currently at), and the Shaman has been basically a follow character.  I did level one Shaman from 1-30 first, but since then, I’ve taken both characters into BGs, learned the nuances to each class and have come to really enjoy both of them.  My plan for level 80 and Wrath is to Raid with the Shaman and PvP with the Warlock.  Will that be the ‘best’ option for my time?  Maybe, maybe not, but that’s the plan. 

In the meantime, I’ve had some experiences getting 6 levels in the last week, while also finding the time for arenas, kara, headless horseman runs, lowbie leveling, hallow’s end stuff, achievements and the scourge invasion.  So what is the new leveling like?

Well its pretty easy, if I do say so myself.  First of all, having a healy class as a follow character for a warlock means only having to sit down and drink about once every half an hour if I really push the grinding.  Even then, its usually only the shaman who needs more mana to provide heals.  Granted, he’s specced enhancement and is still healing just fine, but its very rarely I run into a problem.  Due to the Warlock’s Dreadsteed quest and the Hallow’s End Candy buckets, my toons were basically at level 61 when I started questing.  I did HFP until they ding’d 62 and only did some of the quests in Thrallmar and some in Spinebreaker.  Skipped Falcon Watch altogether.  In Zangarmarsh, they ding’d 63, doing a few quests in Swamprat Post and then a few more out of Zabra’jin and they moved on to Terokkar.  Originally, I was going to have them join up with my Pally who’s been at 63 for a few weeks, but I decided to just push on the two of them.  They did some quests in Terokkar out of the Horde camp, a few in the Bone Wastes and after hitting 64, moved on to Nagrand. 

Now despite everyone’s loathing of the Nesingwary quests and Nagrand in general, it is my favorite all-around zone in the game and I usually do just about every quest I can here before moving on.  This time, I decided to stay until level 66.  I did all of the quests out of Garadar, Nesingwary Safari and the Throne of Elements up until the Latressor of the Blade chain.  Did two of those and both characters had hit 66.  I figured it’d be best to move on to Blade’s Edge as they were having no problems completing quests and the higher level quests would grant better xp.

So the reduced xp is real.  It is enough to make a difference over the long run, although you don’t really notice it until you’ve ding’d past a zone’s recommended level and you know you haven’t done as many quests as you used to need to do.  I’m not sure whether the dual-boxing has influenced the speed of completion, but I suspect it has.  If you were solo’ing, I still think it would go fairly quickly.

I think the 60-70 leveling changes are a positive all around.  Prior to 3.0.2, hitting 60 was like hitting a brick wall in terms of speed, and I often found myself dreading the grind after 60.  The changes bring the feel more in line with the changes way back in patch 2.3, and now, the transition from 20-60 xp to 60-70 xp feels much more natural, especially on the fourth and fifth time through the same content.

So hopefully, by the weekend, I’ll have two more 70’s kickin it end game style.  If so, I may be bringing my shaman to our Kara destruction run and get him a few epics to go with the 2 he picked up from the Scourge last night, and the other two he bought from the vendor today!  Woot!  Thanks again to Pie!  You rock man.  No seriously.  All that stuff Sylus said about you ain’t true.  ((This I typed before I read the comments from the last post, rofl)).

 Oh by the way, I kan haz 3 wulfz!

 

– Fikkle

May the Horde be with you.

Wrath Release Meet Up!

Posted in Discussion on October 27, 2008 by sylus

I wanted to take this opportunity to promote the Wrath of the Lich King release meet up in Pittsburg Kansas at the gamestop!

November 12th from 10pm-12pm.

Hope to see a few of you there!

Beast Master Withdrawls!

Posted in Discussion, Hunter on October 20, 2008 by sylus

First, let me preface this post with something. I am totally loving my survival spec. I am doing very well on the DPS having fun trapping, my crit is through the roof, my attack power has never seen numbers this high, and with a tank pet at lvl 65, he can hold aggro most of the time. With my big lvl 70 Kittie, holy crap things die fast! He tears up the place!

Now, with that out of the way, I am longing for the big beast pets of the exotic kind! I’ve got a wasp sitting in my stables, lvl 66, who will be going to 70, a gorilla that is still 65, he’s lazy and sluggish to get up in the mornings, so no lvl loving fro him yet. Then I have my two headed carrion bird, SpotandDot. He’s lvl 65 still, as he also suffers from the laziness. My plan tonight is to get out and lvl those guys. Hit up the Nagrand and skin, skin, skin.

Back to the subject at hand, I get off track easily, all of these little bunny trails to wonder down! I want some huge massive ginormous pets! I want to go out and pick up a devilsaur, like every other hunter, go pick up a chimaera, a core hound, a moth….wait, well, not really a moth…or a worm, but you get the idea, I miss my big red animals! I miss unleashing their fury all over the place.  If I go BM, I loose all of the sweet survival abilities I have come to love, unending traps, explosive shot(although not as awesome as it could be, still fun none the less), crit out the wazoo, some nice bonuses to attack power when my pet crits, not to mention my mana regin ability that parties love(Survival Hunters: Wow’s new mana batteries).

So, What will I do??? I guess I’ll stay survival for a while, until Blizzard imp laments the two build system they were talking about at Blizzcon. Then I can have my crit, and big pets too!

~Sy

Hunter Review Part 2: Synergy

Posted in Discussion, Hunter Guide on October 19, 2008 by Kor

So as promised, this is the talent review for the spec I’ve chosen.  My main emphasis when deciding on which talents to choose was synergy.  Being a Beast Master means working with your pet so that together you both compliment each other in a never ending cycle of awesome!  To that end: 

Improved Aspect of the Hawk:  While many hunters feel that this proc doesn’t happen often enough to make it worthwhile, or it happens on the shot that kills a mob, making it wasted during downtime, I feel it’s a solid talent that will benefit when it does proc.  The increased haste is going to really make a difference, especially with auto shot now off of the global cooldown. 

Endurance Training:  This ability grants both me and my pet increased stamina, giving me more staying power.  Not necessarily a must have talent, but never a bad choice either.  Generally when I needed one or two points to get to the next tier, this is where I added them.  (Only taking 4/5) 

Focused Fire: This is a bread and butter synergy talent.  While my pet is active all my damage is increased by 1/2% and the critical strike chance of my pet’s specials while kill command is active is increased by 10/20%.  More damage for me, good!  More crits from my pet, very good! 

Aspect Mastery:  A new talent to the BM tree, it gives a bonus to three aspects, Hawk, Monkey and Viper.  While not a ‘must-have’ it is a pretty solid talent, especially with the announcement of Aspect of the Dragonhawk at level 75.  If the bonus to both Hawk and Monkey are applied to Dragonhawk, this will be even better than it already is. 

Unleashed Fury:  A must have for just about every BM build I’ve ever made.  This increases my pet’s damage by 20%. More pet damage means better aggro generation and faster killing.  Um, yes please.

 Improved Mend Pet:  I think this is an extremely useful talent.  Generally, healers either ignore or forget about pets and sometimes refuse to heal pets if a hunter won’t use Mend Pet, meaning that whether soloing or in a group, it will allow me to keep my pet alive much longer.  With the reduced cooldown for Beastial Wrath/The Beast Within, I think this is an essential talent, as keeping my pet alive + the mana reduction allows me to use more shots, more BW (thus conserving more mana) and just last that much longer. This one too, is all about synergy.

Ferocity: Another must have for a BM build in my opinion.  This increases the critical strike chance of my pet by 10% at 5 points.  More pet crits means more Ferocious Inspiration up-time which means more damage for me.  Synergy! 

Intimidation: Aside from having a cool name, this talent is a must have as well, for me.  While the actual ability to stun a target on command is nice and very useful in pvp, this talent is required to get Beastial Wrath. 

Beastial Discipline:  This increases the focus regeneration of my pet by 50/100%.  More focus means more pet specials go off and more growls go off meaning I don’t pull aggro while soloing, not to mention more dps for my pet and faster killin stuff for me.

Frenzy: This gives my pet a 100% chance (at 5 points) to increase its attack speed for 8 seconds when it crits.  More speed, means more attacks, means more Ferocious Inspiration.  And look what’s next…

Ferocious Inspiration: This is another definate must have for a BM build in my opinion.  When my pet crits, all party members get a 3% increase to all damage.  The beauty of this talent is that it scales, so the better you or your group becomes, the more benefit this provides.  Once again, feel the synergy. 

Beastial Wrath:  Another must have.  Aside from its usefulness in pvp for making my pet immune to any form of cc or stun, it also increases my pet’s damage by 20% for 18 seconds.  I also love the tooltip for this talent: “The beast does not feel pity or remorse or fear and cannot be stopped unless killed.”  Oh yeah! 

Serpent’s Swiftness: One of the greatest Hunter talents available in my opinion.  This increases my ranged attack speed by 20% and my pet’s melee attack speed by 20%.  What does that mean?  Mucho Grando synergy right there.  My attack speed increases, giving me more shots, thus more chance to crit.  The more I crit, the faster my pet attacks, meaning more attacks and more chance to crit.  On top of that, my pet’s attack speed increases giving it more hits and more chance to crit, which in turn creates more up time for FI and more damage for me.  This is another never ending cycle of synnergistic hunter-pet goodness.  In fact, the icon for this ability should be changed to a hybrid between the symbol for infinity and the symbol for death.  I’m writing Blizz a letter. 

The Beast Within: When my pet is under the effects of Bestial Wrath, I also go into a rage causing 10% more damage and reducing the mana cost of shots by 20%.  Like BW for my pet, it makes me immune to all forms of cc, stuns, snares, etc and increases damage.  A definate must have for me, especially with the decreased cooldown.

Longevity: This decreases the cooldown of Beastial Wrath, Intimidation and my pet’s special abilities by 30%.  Must have.  More Beastial Wrath means less mana spent on shots, more pet damage and more hunter damage (with The Beast Within). Shorter cooldowns on pet specials also means more damage.  All win, all around.

Kindred Spirits: This again increases my pet’s damage by 20% and increases its movement speed by 10%.  Another amazing talent that I think is a must have. 

 

Beast Mastery:  While many hunters taking BM may forgo this talent in order to get 21 points in another tree or because they have no interest in exotic pets, I personally feel that it is worth it.  It allows me to tame exotic pets and it gives all my pets 4 extra pet talent points.  With the recent announcement that all exotic pets will be getting a 10% increase to damage above non-exotic pets, this became that much more appealing to me. 

That gives me 51 points in the BM tree which means its time to move on to Marksman to get some really great support talents. 

Focused Aim: This reduces the pushback suffered from damaging attacks while using Steady Shot by 70% and increases my hit chance by 3%.  Since the plan is for pets to share hit rating with their hunter, my pet will also get a nice little hit bonus from this.  More hits means more damage and more crits and… well, I think you get it by now.   

Lethal Shots: This gives me a 5% (at 5 points) increase to Crit chance.  As I mentioned before, with the synergy between me and my pet, increasing crit will increase my pet’s attack speed and thus increase its chance to crit, increasing FI up time.  Moar Damage? Uh-huh.

Mortal Shots: This gives me a 30% increased crit damage and is just all around win.  I like seeing those big numbers pop up on my screen.  This makes that happen.  Moar Damage? Yessum. 

 

Aimed Shot:  While not a must have, aimed shot is a nice extra shot to be able to throw into my rotation, especially now that it is instant cast.  The mortal strike portion (50% reduction to healing effects) is also extremely useful in pvp. 

Rapid Killing:  This decreases the cool down on Rapid Fire by 2 minutes.  More haste more often means more shots, which means more chance to crit which means more chances for my pet to increase its attack speed, etc, etc.  Starting to see the trend?  Synergy my friends. 

Go For The Throat:  This ability gives a chance for my pet to gain 25/50 focus when I crit.  Now that pets have so many more abilities that require focus, including a focus dump for every pet family, the more focus, the more damage.  MOAR is BETTAH! 

Improved Hunter’s Mark:  This increases the attack power bonus of Hunter’s Mark by 10/20/30%.  Once again, this scales, meaning it keeps getting better.  As I’ve used up all of my other points, this will be filled to 2/3.

So that’s the build and why.  While you may not agree, I think this build is right for my playstyle.  I love the synergy that it creates between me and muy pet, which to me, is what Beast Mastery is all about.  

Since this was way long enough, my Devilsaur, who recently received a new name, will be specced out in Part 3. 

– Fikkle 

May the Horde be with you.

Hunter Review Part 1: Pets’o’Plenty

Posted in Hunter Guide, Pets on October 18, 2008 by Kor

I think I have found the single greatest name for a pet-tank EVAR!  Unfortunately, someone else named it, I just stumbled upon it.  If you haven’t seen it yet, head on over to Snake in the Grass and say hello to Frank the Tank.  Please no feeding the pets, unless its pallies, you can feed Frank those.  I swear, Lactic Acid said so.  Just don’t pet him, wouldn’t want to catch the, err, well you know, plague.  Oh, and I hear he likes to go streaking up the Drag to the gymnasium.

Anyways, I posted a few weeks back my top 6 pets for WOTLK (using 1 for leveling, then abandoning it and picking up another at 80), but since then, things have changed and I’ve decided on different pets!  Go figure, I mean, I am called Fikkle after all.  Anyways, not all have changed, but here are the new choices (of the moment): 

1. Devilsaur (Ferocity)*: He’s still my king pin number one choice for a pet.  Besides the reasons that I mentioned on TNB #14, the Monstrous Bite talent is looking like it will scale very nicely but on top of that, Blizz has announced that they are going to be buffing Exotic pets to give them an extra 10% dps.  As the Devilsaur is what I was planning on using for Raiding, this min/max is what I’m after and that extra 10% is going to be extremely nice. 

2. Rhino (Tenacity)*: This is my ‘fun’ choice for a pet.  Rhino bowling looks like it is absolutely one of the funnest and coolest things in the game, and I can’t wait to try it out.  Aside from that, the Rhino is huuuge, and who doesn’t love a massive Big Red Rhino?  The last reason is for bridges and flags in BGs.  Can’t wait to send people flying off the choke point in AV or mid-field in EotS and it’ll be a great way to get 8+ flag cappers all away from the flag at the same time… Talk about relief for the relief hut!  Not to mention, being tenacity, he’ll likely stand up to a lot more punishment. 

3. Bear (Tenacity)*: If I need a pet to tank for anything, this is going to be my choice.  I’ve already settled on a skin that I like (the white one from Winterspring) and picked him up.  Frostpaw is his name and he’ll be what I use when I need single target tanking.  I’ve also noticed that Blizz modified the animations for the bear a bit so that their mouths are no longer in a perma grin, but now remain closed and open and shut as the bear moves in place.  Very nice and much more realistic looking.

4. Gorilla (Tenacity)*: I went and tamed Uhk’loc, the rare white gorilla from Un’goro about a week ago in anticipation of the extra stable slots.  Seeing as how awesome the AoE viability of a Gorilladin is, this will be my AoE pet.   

 

5. Wolf (Ferocity)*: This is going to be my leveling pet.  Seeing as how we’re planning the 5HPoA, I’m bringing the wolf for Furious Howl.  I’ll likely be ‘sending him to the farm’ at 80 in order to pick up a pvp pet. 

 

6. Bird of Prey (Cunning)*: This is going to be my pvp pet.  Having looked over some abilities many other classes are getting, there seems to be a trend that most classes are getting some sort of ability to remove movement impairing effects, making the Hyena’s tendon rip a bit underpowered with the long cooldown it will have.  Instead, I’m going to try out the Bird o Prey for its snatch ability.  I’m loving the idea of being able to grab that big two handed weapon out of the main hand of those darn fury warriors.  Depending on how this feels in pvp at level 80, this will be one pet that gets reviewed for its viability when the time comes.  The other possibility for me will be the anti-caster Core Hound of Doom! 

*All images from Petopia.

Spec

So I specced Grim when 3.0.2 went live in order to go get a Core Hound and romp around Org, shaking everyone’s screens and watch the plethora of tells from people who had no idea about anything about the patch, scroll across my screen.  Unfortunately, I missed some key talents due to my haste (read: Gozzishness) and now I’m regretting it.  So I decided to do a review of all the talents in depth and when satisfied, Grim got a respec.  I decided on a 51/10/0 spec for 70, going to a 51/20/0 spec for 80.  Call me plain, its what I know, its what I like.  The analysis and discussion of why I chose the talents is coming soon in part 2, hopefully to include the spec for my Devilsaur as well.

 
— Fikkle 

May the Horde be with you.

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