Good Luck on your first journeys through Pandaria, Everyone!
Be sure to take some time to enjoy the beautiful scenery of Pandaria – if you don’t, you will really be missing out on one of the best things about the expansion.
You will likely see me resurface in approximately one week (when I am forced to return to work!).
Everywhere you look, Pandaria is all the rage. People are preparing, excited to start their new adventures, counting down the days until Tuesday, September 25. And while I am usually one of those people, I’m having a hard time working up to the frenzy that usually surrounds a release. I know that the expansion is gorgeous – I marveled at the detail in the beta. I know that there are a lot of things that I’m looking forward to doing. I’ve got gear lists running out my ears, new raid bosses to explore and pokemon to play.
But when I think about next week, it’s with a little bit of regret and fair amount of sadness. And, I suppose if I’m being honest, a case of the jitters and nerves.
Let’s back up. I suppose this story needs to start at the beginning.
When MoP was released, I did what I do every expansion year: I requested a week off work, and got ready to hunker down. Brade had done the same thing. We’ve leveled every expansion together since TBC. And even though he drives me absolutely nuts leveling with him because he often forgets I’m there, doesn’t give me time to read all the quests, doesn’t account for my OH SHINY distractions and tends to be very particular about the pace at which he does things, it’s just something we’ve done together time after time. Once we’ve deprived ourselves of sunshine and sleep to reach max level, we start the gear grind together (which is significantly less rage inducing on my part!). This process is just as much a part of the expansion for me as having a gear wipe, relearning my class and spending several hours leveling fishing. Read the rest of this entry »
Our last raid of the expansion was last Wednesday. We came, we saw, and we kicked Deathwing’s ass…again. But then we told everyone to take two weeks off. Go recharge. Refresh your batteries, and your mind, so you are ready to go when MoP launches. Of course, having all this down time makes me wonder what to do with myself as we wait for Tuesday, September 25. Oddly, I’ve found myself playing more WoW than I was before! I have good reasons though, I swear!
So during this down time, I’ve decided to take advantage of the faster Cataclysm leveling and push both my inscriptionist (warlock) and my enchanter (priest) to 85 so that they are ready to handle their respective professions. It’s been relatively quick, and my priest only has a level to go – after about two days of playing her somewhat sporadically. One thing that has surprised me a little bit is how much I’ve been enjoying priest healing. I’m not really sure why I didn’t level her sooner, maybe burn out – as 5 of my other classes at 85 were healers, but I think she is becoming one of my favorite healers to play, usurping a spot left vacant by my paladin. It’s really a bit odd – I loved my paladin up until 4.3. And then the playstyle just felt a little flat to me and I stopped playing her. I don’t know if I can really explain it better than that – paladin healing just didn’t feel as involved for me as my druid or my shaman. Maybe it’s different now that 5.0.4 has hit – but I’m having such a blast PoMing my way around (seriously, does PoM not have just the best sound ever?) that I wonder if my poor paladin isn’t going to have the fate that my priest did this expansion. Max her trade skills, let her collect dust.
Anyhow, outside of the leveling bit, I’ve been doing quite a bit of reading (loving these Rizzoli and Isles novels that the show was based from!), some more cooking and trying out new recipes (some with more success than others), and debating if I should dig out some of the games collecting dust that I’ve never played, or started playing and never quite finished. Tate list is embarrassingly large. Lets see…what is on the list of shame:
- Mario 3D (in progress!)
- Kingdom Hearts for the 3DS
- Super Princess Peach (where Peach has to rescue Mario!) on the DS
- Bowser’s Inside Story (where the game is from Bowser’s PoV) on the DS
- Epic Mickey, just need to finish! And it’s such a fun game.
- Zelda (both of them….) on the Wii
- Final Fantasy…whichever was the last one that came out on the PS3 (I started it, just never quite finished!)
- Oh…and uh, Final Fantasy 12 (maybe?) was that the final one released on the PS2. (I think my PS2 s still hooked up…)
- Dance Central on the Kinect (I still don’t have all the songs unlocked!)
- Disney Adventures on the Kinect (may or may not still be in the packaging)
- Super Mario Galaxy…the first one!
- Guitar Hero Aerosmith
- Portal 2 – lost when my HD crashed. I’ve reinstalled, just never gotten back to it.
- Skyrim. I think I have like, 2? hours of time played.
- Diablo 3 – I know that I’m no where near with finished with this game, I just haven’t gotten back to it in awhile.
- Golden Eye – the remake – for PS3. Also may or may not be in the packaging, but in my defense I totally played the shit out of the original.
I’m sure this is only a fraction of my list, and if I sat down at home and went through my piles I’d have more to add. And perhaps some day I will get to them – if only that pesky WoW wasn’t in the way. I guess my thought process is that these games will always be there, but WoW is more fluid and ever changing that I don’t want to miss anything. But I can’t help wonder what I have missed because of my time in WoW. Bah. Well, anyhow, I think I might try to make my way through a game or two on this list in the next two weeks. Besides, if I don’t shorten my list how on earth will I convince Brade that I need Luigi’s Mansion 2 when it finally decides to release?
Anyhow, down time. I’ve plednty to do, just never enough time to get to it all. Or I just don’t make enough time. Probably a little bit of both!
What are you doing in the down time before MoP?
We had our final raid last night, and I decided that I would play around with Soul of the Forest a little bit. I know, I know – after last week’s raid disaster you’d think that I would just go with what is familiar to me. But between last week and this week, with the help of a friend, I managed to get my groove (and confidence) back. As such, I ran a LFR on Tuesday night where I played around a bit with Soul of the Forest, and then used it for the first six fights in Dragon Soul last night (I used ToL for spine and madness due to mana concerns on those two encounters). I’m not sure that I’m drinking the Soul of the Forest koolaid, but I’m not dumping it into the nearest potted plant either.
Yes, I am starting backwards! And I’m going to answer the ultimate question on everyone’s mind “which is better – SotF or ToL”?
Ultimately I think the choice between Soul of the Forest and ToL is going to come down to two things: Your preferred play style and mana constraints of a given encounter. While Soul of the Forest looks to be providing more output, just based on numbers alone, the other benefits to ToL should not be discounted and will be equally as valuable.
Early Thoughts on Soul of the Forest Read the rest of this entry »
You may, or may not, know that I’m an avid non-combat pet collector. I have 203 different unique pets. Since the patch hit, you have been able to name your pets. When I’ve had down time, I’ve been slowly working through some of them and assigning names. I’ve been having a ridiculous amount of fun picking names for them. As such, I thought I’d share a few of the names I’ve come up with! (What else you may, or may not, know is that I’m also a Disney fanatic….but that will become clear soon!). Read the rest of this entry »
With Power Auras having a bit of a bump in the road as we head into Mists, I have made the change to Weak Auras. I don’t know if it’s a permanent change, or if I’ll go back to Power Auras once they are fully functioning. But right now Weak Auras have been working well for me, once I figured out the interface. There is a bug where all of my auras appear to be missing, but are really there, you just have to enter combat to see them. To work around this bug simply create a new aura, name it…and do nothing else to it! This has worked well for me, and I’ve not had any issues with the bug since I did this *knocks on wood*. There is also supposed to be a lot of very cool functionality that Weak Auras has that I’ve not explored as yet that may make it more attractive in the long run.
If you get into Weak Auras and have trouble configuring them, let me know and I’ll be happy to answer any questions that you may have. I might not have the answer, as I am new to the mod myself, but I will certainly do my best to see if I can help!
Note: WordPress is having issues displaying the exports in some browsers. To copy the codes, click on them three times to highlight the whole code automatically, and then copy them into Weak Auras. Do not try to just highlight by dragging the mouse across, or you will not get the entire export.
Resto Weak Auras
This is the meat of my auras. Rather than show individual pictures for these, I figured it would be best to see how they all line up. Just like in Power Auras, I prefer to use the spell icons, rather than an aura, to mark my abilities. For me, this works best as my brain doesn’t have to go through the additional step of remembering what GIANT SMILEY FACE is telling me to do. This is subjective, however, and your personal preference may vary!
I like to know when I am receiving the benefit of mana tide. As such, this aura lets me know when I have it.
This aura lets me know that I have a clearcasting proc, and the time remaining to use the proc.
This aura let’s me know that Innervate is available for use. I was absolutely thrilled to learn that my cookie monster sound wave to let me know when it triggered was part of Weak Auras!
This lets me know when harmony is active and how long I have left on the buff.
This lets me monitor lifebloom, and lets me know how long until it expires and needs to be refreshed. I opted not to add stacks to it this time, as I can see that very well via Grid already.
Incarnation: Tree of Life
This lets me know when ToL is off of cooldown. The odd thing with this, that I’m not sure how to get around (although, admittedly, I haven’t tried very hard) is that while you are in ToL the aura continues to show because you can now pop in and out of ToL without completely losing the buff, and the cooldown remains available until ToL has expired. If this bothers you, and you find a work around, please do let me know! The other thing I’ve not done with regards to this aura, yet, is create a second aura with a timer telling me how long I have remaining on my ToL buff.
Lets me know when wild growth is available for use.
Lets me know when Nature’s Swiftness is available for use.
Lets me know that swiftmend is available for use.
Lets me know that Iron Bark is available for use.
Wild Mushroom: Bloom
Lets me know that I can explode the terrible mushrooms that I shouldn’t have planted anyways (er….did I say that out loud?! )
Lets me know that Berserking is available for use.
Tells me “HEY! DUMMY! LIFEBLOOM HAS DROPPED!”. It spins in a circle and makes obnoxious noises to boot!
Similar to lifebloom missing, this lets me know that I’ve somehow let my harmony drop.
Lifebloom and Harmony Missing
This is what the two of them look like if I’ve died, fallen out of my chair, and am no longer capable of keeping both buffs up.
Many thanks to Poneria for helping me sort this one out! It will pop up when I hit 80% mana (to let me know to hit my first innervate) and then fades away after 10 seconds.
Please don’t hesitate to let me know if you have questions!
Have you ever had one of those nights where everything just went wrong? And the harder you tried to make it go right again, the more it went wrong? Yea, that was my raid night last night. Y’all I was so off my game, that I shit you not, I didn’t use swiftmend on the first two encounters we did. Just…didn’t use it at all. Yes, I am now wearing the cone of shame.
In the hopes that this post can work something like confessional and wipe away my sins, let’s start. Read the rest of this entry »
I’ve gotten a few questions about what we should be doing once 5.0.4 goes live on Tuesday, so I thought I’d put together a quick FAQ on preparing for the patch and offer my thoughts on the changes that you will be faced with.
How Should I Spec?
I think the first question that is on the forefront of everyone’s mind is “what do I do with these new talents”. Here is my recommendation:
I’ve already talked a lot about the talent trees in other posts, so I’m not going to go into too much detail again here. I will say that you should explore the other options in the 45 and 75 tier if you haven’t had a chance to play around with them on the beta. I would also encourage you to play around with the level 60 talents to get a feel for them as well if you haven’t been on the beta. However, when push comes to shove, these are the talents that I think will work best at level 85 for our last few weeks of Cataclysm.
What haste breakpoint do I need?
Since we are still at level 85, our haste breakpoints will remain the same. You will still want to have 2005 haste. Keep in mind, however, that you will be losing your idol. So if you had any haste on your idol, you will want to be sure to find somewhere to reforge or regem so that you are at 2005 again.
Do I really only have 100k mana?
You do! You will also be losing revitalize as a source of regen and intellect no longer has an effect on your mana pool or regen. From my play on the beta, I think that you will probably feel the pinch a little, but not an extraordinary amount at level 85. If you find that you are running out of mana too quickly during encounters try backing off of your rejuv use some. If that still isn’t sufficient, reforge some of that spirit back onto your gear. I ran at about 2600 spirit at level 85 on the beta, so if you are one of the players who dropped down below 2000 you will likely want to reforge some of that spirit back before stepping into your first post-5.0 raid. Read the rest of this entry »
Yea, yea. I know, I’m supposed to be talking about patch 5.0 and how to get ready for it. But I’m not! (I’m such a rebel! Look out now!). Instead I’m going to talk about something else: finishing games.
A couple of weeks ago I saw that there was a new Kingdom Hearts out for the 3DS. I just had to have it, and so I asked Brade if he could pick me up a copy so that I could enjoy it. He gave me the look, you know the one, it’s the one that says “but you have all of these other unfinished games (and unstarted!) that you can play!”. But none the less the next day he came home from work and lovingly handed me a copy of the new Kingdom Hearts and I was quite excited.
However, this copy of Kingdom Hearts, that I just had to have, is still sitting on my desk unopened and unplayed. Which is actually kind of sad, because I can play the 3DS without too much discomfort to my hands. And, well, it’s borderline tragic because hello it’s KINGDOM HEARTS. If you’ve never played the series, perhaps you don’t understand. But getting to kick ass with Mickey and Sora is just, well, magical (plus….Gummy Ships, just sayin’). Read the rest of this entry »
So…this past weekend while I was super quiet here on the blog, on the cusp of MoP, while expansion news was flowing faster than the chocolate river at Wonka’s factory, and while I was completely oblivious to pretty much all things involving WoW, this happened:
WARNING! SAP INCOMING!
It was really sweet, and under each option was commentary that made me laugh and smile. Brade really knows me very well and knew that I’d start with “no” and work my way around to “yes”, observing each option, and so the answers played off of each other. I don’t usually do “scrap book” type things, but I’ve tucked this little square of paper away to put somewhere safe so I can look back on it an smile as I remember it.
For those of you who don’t know my history with Brade, I met him in WoW. We started talking about books one night while I was up late farming Night Dragon’s Breath back in Vanilla, and things sort of went from there, and before I knew it I was relocating to Seattle. We’ve been together somewhere around six years now. He continues to make me laugh almost daily, and helps to keep me balanced. He allows me to be who I am, with all my (many) flaws, and doesn’t judge me for them. He celebrates my joys and helps me through my struggles. And, without fail, he always finds a way to make me laugh – no matter how worked up I am or upset I am, he always manages to coax a smile from me. And I love him for that.
He once did a guild update that talked about defining moments in relationships. I can’t say if his theory on defining moments is entirely accurate – but I can say that I have certainly had those moments where I’ve said to him “if I can’t share this with you, who can I share it with?!”. I do know that I can share anything with Brade. He is the one person that I can completely let my hair down with and know that he won’t think less of me, no matter how shallow my complaints may be, or how silly the things I let frustrate me appear. Someone asked me how I thought married life would be, and I told them that Brade and I have been together so long that I anticipated it would pretty much be the same, only with better jewelry.
It’s truly amazing where and how you can find happiness, and I don’t think other people should define those parameters for you. When all is said and done, the truth of the matter is that I’ve found someone that I want to grow old with and I’m thankful every day that he entered my life. I know that I am looking forward to our future adventures, and anticipate much laughter and many more smiles along the way.