As any healer who has spent any amount of time healing at level 85 may know, everything is always all about your mana bar. More specifically, it is how your mana bar bleeds as you work to keep your group alive. You put a lot of thought and effort into making sure that you chose the right spell, at the right time, all in an effort to make sure that your blue bar stays full enough to survive the encounter.
Now sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you need a little blue bar boost from your local alchemist. The kind that restores enough of your mana to push just a little bit further. Those alchemists can be tricksy folks – and are often found lurking amongst their herbs in the darker corners of Orgrimar and Stormwind. While they may look a tad frightening sitting there with their herbs, vials and distillers surrounding them, fear not, they are generally a gentile group of people. Just, uh, don’t drink in anything that you are freely offered and didn’t ask for! Heed this advice, because if you turn yourself into a toad don’t say that I didn’t warn you!
Anyhow, aside from the scariness of the alchemist in general, they do have a few brews that you will absolutely want to explore to assist you with your mana needs.
Potion of Concentration – the new version of the Dreamless Sleep potion, this potion has quickly become one of my favorite mana restoratives. It will allow you to regain 22,000 mana over a period of 10 seconds. But there is a kick, you cannot do anything for those 10 seconds if you want to get the full effect of the potion. Now, this will not be ideal for every encounter, however there are some raid encounters where it is absolutely perfect (Magmaw’s exposed head, for example).
Basically, anytime that you can get at least 5 seconds of this bad boy off, it is your best bet mana wise and will restore the most mana. Just be sure to communicate to your other healers that you are going to be out of commission for a few seconds so that they can cover any healing that may need to be done while you are “concentrating”. Should you need to break your concentration, don’t worry, all you have to do is cast and it will cancel the effect (damage taken does not seem to cancel it, from what I can tell). I have been using this as my mana potion anytime I can. Double the mana is absolutely worth trying to time using this potion.
This potion requires 2 Azshara’s Veil to craft.
Mythical Mana Potion – This is your typical stock mana potion. It will restore a constant amount of mana (~10,000). If you cannot slip in a potion of concentration (and believe me there will be times you just can’t), this would be your go to mana potion. Oddly enough, enemies no longer seem to drop these, and so the only way to obtain them is via crafting or the Auction House.
This potion requires 1 Cinderbloom and 2 Whiptail to craft.
Mysterious Potion – This potion is a little bit like playing Russian roulette with your mana pot. It can restore anywhere from 1 to 15,000 mana (and I’ve seen some reports of up to 20,000). And while the high end seems pretty great, the low end is pretty terrible. I’ve seen reports with mana returns as low as 4,300, which is pretty awful if you are really hurting for mana. Additionally, unlike its counterparts in the past two expansions, this potion no longer grants a random elixir effect, making it even less desirable. In short, I would not recommend this potion. The variance is just too great, and too unreliable.
This potion requires 2 Deepstone Oil to craft.
Migh ty Rejuvenation Potion – This potion will grant you 8,550 mana and health. And while this is less mana than both the Concentration and Mythical Mana potions, you should not discount the health return benefit to this potion. There may be times when you need that extra boost of health to survive. However, utilizing just a healing potion leaves your potion on cooldown, and provides you with zero mana benefit. As such, anytime that you find you need to chug a healing potion, I would recommend this guy here.
This potion requires 2 Whiptail to craft.
And there you have it! Gather up all of your flowers and vials and visit your, er, friendly alchemist today! Remember, tipping your alchemist may make them less likely to slip
something…unfortunate…into your potions ;)
So after a bit of rambling on Monday, and getting some feedback from folks, and doing a little more research on it, I have decided that I am going to take the leap and redo our front page utilizing WordPress. Now, I’m sure that you are thinking that this really isn’t anything huge – and certainly isn’t worth its own blog posting here. But I disagree!
When I took everything over regarding the website at the twilight of Vanilla, I knew nothing. Zip. Zero. Zilch.
When it was put in my lap, I evaluated what the most important piece was to keep the guild functioning, and determined it was the forums. I printed out, and bound, the PhPbb instruction guide and taught myself how to administrate our forums…which is a bit of an undertaking for someone with my background. But, I figured I’m nothing if not a great researcher, and just about all problems can be solved with a bit of time, effort, research and elbow grease.
However, when it came to our front page, which was done completely via HTML coding and style sheets and OH GOD WHAT IS THIS – I was absolutely lost and incredibly intimidated. One of the guys in the guild offered to step up and manage the front page updates for me. And I all but threw it into his arms and ran the other direction screaming in terror. Somewhere in the process, he registered us for the service that we have now that completely simplifies everything – utilizing bb code instead of HTML to update. Something that I know and I am familiar with, and we’ve been using that for the past 4 years.
But somewhere between then and now, I started this blog. Read the rest of this entry »
So here we are, almost one full week after patch 4.0 deployed onto live servers. There have certainly been ups and downs with this patch, and I have enjoyed some things and completely hated others. So here, I will present you with my random Monday thoughts on them. If they are extra rambly, please forgive me, I just got back from a week of travel and I am staring Blizzcon down, so my mind is wandering in about a million different places right now! Read the rest of this entry »
edit – I’d like to give a shout out to Kae and Vortex for their US first, World second, 10 Strict HM LK Kill today as well! You guys amaze me!
After ordering my very own copy of SC II so that I could get my in game WoW pet, after learning that I wouldn’t be able to snag Brade’s (DON’T JUDGE ME!!!), I decided that I’d go ahead and install SC II and give it a go. I mean why not? I used to play all kinds of RTS games before I started my fairly monogamous gaming relationship with WoW. Not only that, but I was actually pretty good at those that I played. But, I never really got much into Starcraft. This would be my first foray into this world.
As Brade and I sat down last night to start up the SC II campaigns I felt pretty rusty with my RTS skills and mildly uncertain about what I was about to do. So, after watching the introduction, as Brade was debating over which difficulty to start with, I went straight to the “Tutorial” section of the game. I figured I may as well get some guidance before getting started.
Now, some of what was in the tutorial was pretty basic, and I was like “I get this!” and some of it I, quite honestly, just kind of tuned out. Of course, I partly blame that on my passing notes during class via the in game Real ID system (which by the way, is pretty cool!). However, I went through all eight or so tutorials, and then decided it was time to start the game.
The first hurdle that I needed to cross was selecting a difficulty setting for myself. And let’s be perfectly honest here, even though there were technically four options, for me there existed only two: Casual or Normal. After giving it some serious thought, and reading the descriptions associated with each setting, my pride got the better of my brain and I decided to go with “Normal”.
On starting my campaigns, my first big shock came when I realized that I didn’t get to start as the big blue guy that we saw in the opening cut scene. No, I was some sentimental, seemingly alcoholic guy that hangs out in bars and doesn’t even smoke cigars! WTF. Ok, I can deal with this. I’m sure if I had some knowledge of the first game I’d know a bit more about the back story here, but when all of the advertising seems to show the protagonist of the game as this totally bad ass, mean looking, cigar smoking beast of a man, a girl has her expectations set. Y’know?
Alright, no biggie. I don’t get to be the blue dude (yet?). Let’s carry on.
As I enter my first campaign, I look to see what my objectives for the mission is and get started on my way. Now, in the tutorial, they tell you to select your troops and move them by right clicking on the ground where you’d like them to travel or on the mini-map. This will instruct your troops to go from point A to point B. (I was paying attention for this part!). You even had to move your troops in this fashion in the tutorial in order to complete that segment.
And so I looked at my map, and my mission, and I gathered up all my troops and started right clicking on the map with my non-blue suited guy. However, I was quick to learn that if you don’t move your dudes with the attack command, they will not stop and fight any enemies that they find along the way. Nope, not at all. In fact, they will just continue trooping along as your enemies gleefully shoot at your backside and deliver headshots (BOOM!) destroying your, seemingly oblivious, troops.
This is very bad.
And so, as Raynor approached the final objective of the first mission alone, and with a whopping forty life, I was eternally grateful that the captives, uh, assisted, with the completion of my mission. I actually speculate that it is impossible to fail this first mission, there is no way I should have made it to the end with my four health.
Lesson One: Always Attack While Moving!
As I am barely not failing my very first mission, Brade is completing his second. I kindly request (read: beg) that he hold off on starting the next and help me with the second, more involved mission. I am more comfortable with this mission as it starts with gathering resources and building. I can create until I feel like I am awesome enough to completely annihilate the enemy when they should have the misfortune of crossing my path. Because, honestly, is there any other way?!?!
But it’s here that Brade teaches me about how to create “groupings” of units that I can separate and monitor outside. Of course, as he’s trying to tell me what to do, I am all “I took the damn tutorial, they didn’t say to do it this way!!!”. Or we could just call me stubborn. So it is in this fashion that I learn that I can gather a specific unit of my troops and via the use of CTRL + 1 (or 2, 3, etc) create a setting just for them. And that if I double click 1, it will take me directly to those units.
Ok, I’ll admit to you (as long as you promise not to tell Brade) that is pretty damn handy!
This mission feels more comfortable to me, and I build a massive army that is most certainly overkill for my given objective, and then go and annihilate my foes. I feel the rust shaking off.
Lesson Two: Creating set units to monitor saves time, and streamlines your command of the forces.
Feeling somewhat confident, I enter my third mission. This is a timed mission with the objective being simple survival. And lo and behold, it’s another building your forces up mission. Only I get more toys to build and play with! Oh, and they already started my base and I have reinforcements in place.
And so, with my first barracks, I attach a “Reactor”. I have no idea wtf it does…but hey, it’s new!
As I’m training up my completely overpowered army, I hear a call for assistance from people stuck in different areas of the map. I know straight away that I need to take a force (using my newly acquired ctrl + 1 ability!) to rescue them, and start my preparations to leave my completely, no one is getting in here, fortress of awesomeness. It is then that I realize I can’t make any of the medics to heal my marines. And, I panic.
Brade calmly points out that the reason I can’t train any medics is because I haven’t built the right things (um…wtf, I have a reactor! A REACTOR!). He tells me to attach a medic creating thingie (that is a blizzard trademarked term…just in case you were wondering!) to my barracks, which then causes more panic because HELLO I DO NOT HAVE THAT OPTION! But apparently, I do. I just can’t have a reactor and a medic training thingie on the same barracks.
I finally get some medics trained up and head out (all the while adding more bunkers, rocket turret things and lots and lots of marines!). I remember to utilize my “attack” command to direct movement so that my people don’t have zerglings hanging from their asses as they move. And I easily rescue the appropriate people. I was able to hold the front until the rescue arrived and continued to build and stockpile.
Oh…and I learned what a reactor did. It makes two marines at a time instead of one!
Lesson Three: Know what you are creating and what it does before creating it!
After all of that excitement, it was sadly time for bed. Which I was actually a little sad about, because I was starting to have some fun!
However, I thought that I would share, and impart on you the knowledge that I learned that the tutorial didn’t teach me. Three key lessons that I am sure will help me along with my next missions.
Now comes the real challenge…let Brade learn all my strategies as I work my way through the campaigns, and expose my weaknesses to him, or go top secret so that I can totally kick his butt in the 2v2? ;-)
On Raiding – after only about 2 days of work on Sindragosa’s Hardmode, we saw 3% last night. However, more exciting than that was the fact that by the end of the night everyone was putting ice blocks in the proper locations for the air phase, our tanks weren’t dying and we were starting to get the hang of our new phase 3 positioning. Hell, we were getting into phase three in just about 5 minutes. I think we are very close to a kill on this, and I’m quite excited about it. All in all, it seems to be an easier encounter for us than HM Putricide. There will be drakes for everyone soon!
On WoW in General – I’m at a little bit of a meh point. I have a number of alts to level, but then I just think about what I’d do with them once I got them to level, and end up just doing something else. At this point I have Beru who is extremely well geared; both Mynn and Dannie who are very well geared; Kitai who is working on being very well geared; Earenn who is decently geared; and Tsuname who is ok geared. And I find myself starting to get increasingly bored in game, looking at my loading screen and going “meh”, or logging in for a bit and not really having the motivation to do much. I’ve been opting to either veg in front of the television…or try to get out of the house some while we have nice weather.
Of course, I’m bored outside of the game a lot too. So perhaps I’m just in an “I’m bored with everything” phase right now. It’s possible…but I hope that it passes, because it could get expensive! Although, I saw an advert on the playstation store the other day for a Monkey Island Anthology and I was pretty excited by it, so perhaps I’ll go snag that. I also still have the newest Final Fantasy to play, with only about 3 hours currently invested in it. I’ll need something to keep me occupied while Brade’s trudging through SCII!
I also really wish they’d announce the release date for Cataclysm already. Read the rest of this entry »
I’d like to take some time to speak with all of you regarding our desire to make the Blizzard forums a better place for players to discuss our games. We’ve been constantly monitoring the feedback you’ve given us, as well as internally discussing your concerns about the use of real names on our forums. As a result of those discussions, we’ve decided at this time that real names will not be required for posting on official Blizzard forums.
It’s important to note that we still remain committed to improving our forums. Our efforts are driven 100% by the desire to find ways to make our community areas more welcoming for players and encourage more constructive conversations about our games. We will still move forward with new forum features such as conversation threading, the ability to rate posts up or down, improved search functionality, and more. However, when we launch the new StarCraft II forums that include these new features, you will be posting by your StarCraft II Battle.net character name + character code, not your real name. The upgraded World of Warcraft forums with these new features will launch close to the release of Cataclysm, and also will not require your real name.
I want to make sure it’s clear that our plans for the forums are completely separate from our plans for the optional in-game Real ID system now live with World of Warcraft and launching soon with StarCraft II. We believe that the powerful communications functionality enabled by Real ID, such as cross-game and cross-realm chat, make Battle.net a great place for players to stay connected to real-life friends and family while playing Blizzard games. And of course, you’ll still be able to keep your relationships at the anonymous, character level if you so choose when you communicate with other players in game. Over time, we will continue to evolve Real ID on Battle.net to add new and exciting functionality within our games for players who decide to use the feature.
In closing, I want to point out that our connection with our community has always been and will always be extremely important to us. We strongly believe that Every Voice Matters, (http://us.blizzard.com/en-us/company/about/mission.html ) and we feel fortunate to have a community that cares so passionately about our games. We will always appreciate the feedback and support of our players, which has been a key to Blizzard’s success from the beginning.
CEO & Cofounder
All I can say is…I’m happy they heard all of our concerns.