World Of Twigcraft

Guess who is 6 years old, has an ever-changing number of teeth, and just got a wow account?  Yeahhhhh…

It’s every parent’s dream, when your kid can start farming gold for you. And by “farm gold” I mean “swindle us out of all our gold to fill up the pet journal and the toy box because, seriously, pets and toys.”

We find it highly amusing to listen to her yell at the bad guys, or more often hear her character say “I need a target” or “I need to get closer.”

And, if you’re wondering, I locked that shit down so hard with parental controls.  Especially when I considered that she might be walking through Goldshire.  Granted, her reading isn’t that good yet, but there are questions that I do not want to answer.

I locked her out of Real ID, obviously, but also “muted” her account which means she cannot hear any players saying anything in any channel ever.  We can group with her, although she cannot see group chat.  We were allowed to send her mail, but I suspect any messages along with the mail items would have been stripped.

I also set “playtime limits” which amounts to me cutting it off during the night so she doesn’t sneak out of bed to play video games at 2am.  This has happened.  I was both annoyed and proud.

Stay tuned as I feebly try to curb her swearing at the screen, because I have no idea where she picked that up… (I blame Star Lord.)

How To Make Pugging Better

Dear Blizzard,

I know you listen to me because I’m important, right?  Well here’s what you need to do to make pugging better before I tear my hair out.

1. Better Notification of New Spells

Back in the day, you went to the trainer anxiously hoping for a new spell, and when you got one, you were so psyched that you read about it and slapped it on your hotbar, and, most importantly, you knew you had a new spell.  You had to know.  You just bought it.

In the post-trainer world, there needs to be some in-your-face notification that You Got A New Thing but not necessarily a trip back to the trainer.  Either you have to buy it on the fly for a nominal fee, or you get an obnoxious popup.  When I level, it goes by so fast that unless I’m watching the scroll, I could miss it.  The name of new spells are buried in the list of unlocked instances.  And once the new spell is learned, it just goes in alphabetical order into the spell book, with no indication that it is new.

Here is a good example why we need a spell notification: I met a level 60 warlock that did not know he could summon other players.  Did not know that summoning was a thing warlocks did.  At 60.  For real.  And, as dumb as I thought this guy was, I could see how he could be plodding along and just plain miss it.

Another time, the group stood around stupidly while I was dead on the floor because I had a mass rez debuff.  I said to the monk that he could rez.  Like just normal rez, no mass about it.  This was a big surprise, apparently.

2. Spirit Healers Right Outside The Instance Door

In the group finder world, it’s a safe bet that nobody in the group has any idea where the instance is located.  It’s also likely that none of them have wiped on said instance because instances are pretty easy, and because leveling is so fast you are unlikely to get the same one too many times.

Well, then, when you do manage to wipe by some miracle of stupidity, and you’re in a random area of Zangarmarsh and it’s not particularly intuitive that you have to walk out to the center of the lake and swim down a pipe.  If you weren’t here in 2007 or so, you’d have no freaking idea.

Also, I never did find the door to maraudon.  I had to wait for the rest of the group to run back and resurrect me.  It was embarrassing.

In conclusion, these are my reasonable demands.  I mean requests.  Totally requests.

XOXO

Zel

Or I Could Be A Druid

Warlords of Draenor Approacheth

I’m so glad I started out with Monk.  If I had done it as an alt, I probably wouldn’t have gotten around to it.  It’s got completely different mechanics and the dual resource system is quite the challenge.

That said, not sure I want to raid with mistweaver.  Some classes just click and others not so much.  I like monk, but I wonder if I could be any better than average at it.

So I am trying Druid again, since I haven’t healed on a druid since Lich King, and I remember why I liked it, and why I stopped playing one.

One of my beefs with Druid in cata was the loss of tree form.  Yes, it’s just sentimental and stupid but goddamnit you cannot take my tree.  Now there’s a glyph.  When I realized this, I was a little too excited.  I grabbed that sucker and I’m back, like retro style, healing stuff with my branches waving in the air (like I just don’t care).  I know the glyph does nothing substantive.  I don’t care.  It’s so awesome.

It's OK to be jealous.

It’s OK to be jealous.

So far, I’ve noticed that druid flows better than monk in terms of when you get abilities.  Mistweaver Monk is horribly gimped in the leveling process. The only thing I’m missing right now on Druid is an aoe.  I feel weird without ANY aoe, not even an oh-shit button.  When do I get Wild Growth? Not soon enough.

You’re probably wondering at this point why I don’t just use my 90 boost.  The answer is that, even though I know how 2 druid, it’s been so long that I didn’t want to boost to 90 and then go duhhhhh.  Right now I’m learning, getting a feel for new abilities, glyphs I like, etc.  It’s funsies.  Also, it will be super-crowded leveling 90-100 anyway, so why the rush?

Supervillain UI: Gaming in Style

Remember how awesome my UI looked after I got it all prettyfied with ElvUI?

There, you see, he's INVISIBLE

Shiny

Well that little dream got dashed all to shit when it was revealed shortly thereafter that there was a “backdoor” in Elv that was a Bad Security Problem.  Since the offending code was removed, I did not immediately panic and uninstall it.  However, I did start searching for an alternative.

Many of the so-called UI replacements are really just a cobbling together of a bunch of different addons, with someone else’s settings applied.  I wanted something like Elv where all the moving parts are mostly dealt with in the same options menu, and dragged around in the same move-screen (it is SO difficult to line things up when you have to move one addon… then lock it… then open another addon to unlock THOSE windows…)

Then I found Supervillain UI and there was no going back.  I fully admit that it has less customization than ElvUI, if only because it does not have a community of plugin-writers adding to it.  However, what little bit it lacks in customization it makes up in sheer style.

Observe the awesomeness.

Observe the awesomeness.

It reskins everything.  I mean everything.  Like the initial login screen everything.  And it looks fantastic.  The comic theme goes well with the so-called “cartoony” look of WoW.

Ready Check Screen

Ready Check Screen

An example of the comic-themed tooltip.

An example of the comic-themed tooltip.

Me: (sees warlock is out of range) I think we’re missing the warlock.

Thehusband: I don’t think anyone ever misses Chlamydia.

Ok, caveat, if you don’t like comic book style, and you want your UI to look more SRS bzns, you might be unhappy.  It might be very labor-intensive or impossible to strip all the details.  But really, why would you want to make your UI more boring and less awesome?

The little touches are so cute and giggleworthy.  Unfortunately, I don’t have screenies for the BAM and SOCK and BLAMMO sort of things that appear on-screen like in the old Batman and Robin TV show.  But they appear.  And it’s so much FUN.

Raid frames are perfectly functional out of the box.1  You can have them horizontal like the default frames or like the defaults in Vuhdo, or in little vertical squares like Grid.2  I mostly used the vertical squares version until about level 85, and it worked fine.  However, I needed a more a healer-specific highly-customizable setup 3 as I neared 90 for raids.  The default frames have ambiguous coloring on debuffs and lack of hot timing or customization of hot display.  For purposes of DPS, tanking, or low-level healing, it’s completely workable and probably shows 90% of what you need to see.

And with that, let’s talk about what the addon does not handle and what you might need an outside addon for.  Mostly these are things beyond the scope of a UI replacement and things that Elv didn’t have either.

Click casting will need to be done through Clique.  You can do mouseover macros but I cannot recommend that! See, mouseover works on both frames AND mobs/friendlies in the world.  If you’re in group mode, it’s very easy to have your cursor slip and um… end up healing your own jade statue.  Clique only works on frames, and you can blacklist certain frames at that.

Supervillain UI doesn’t have boss warnings, but does skin both Bigwigs and DBM (and I think a couple others).  It also skins Recount if you’re into that sort of thing.

This is my UI with the dbm warnings and bars and proximity monitor.

This is my UI with the dbm warnings and bars and proximity monitor. Boss bars are on the right side, under the map.

The mod reskins the default scrolling text to Awesome Font, but does not otherwise modify the display of scrolling text.  Probably I’d use Mik’s, the industry standard, but I have not braved the setup yet.

Player Buff Frames are not very customizable.  I’m currently using Raven, but it lacks a consolidated buff bar.  Raven can also handle dot and hot timer bars and a cooldown line similar to Coolline.  BUT WAIT!  Apparently Satrina’s Buff Frames (SBF) is back!  I used that back in the day and after Satrina works out the kinks (after being out of game for a few years) I am going to take it for a test drive.

Weak Auras 2 because duh.  The default spell icons look horribly out of place in the slick UI, so I downloaded Masque Clean Icons to make them look square and more like the supervillain theme.  It goes without saying that I made the fonts in my auras match some of the supervillain fonts for consistency.

A resource tracker.  I’m currently looking for an updated one since the one I use is terribly old.  I just like having my mana/chi front and center, separate from my unit frame.

Crafting and auction stuff.  Pick your poison.

Anyway, if you’re looking for an alternative to Elv, or just for a snazzy new interface, join the dark side and go Supervillain.

  1.  Group frames have TMI, but can be fixed.  Although currently you have to scale group frames to match raid frames separately, and it’s kind of annoying copying settings across different sizes of raids because each size has its own settings, apparently there is a patch to fix that in beta.
  2. If you pick the grid option, it overrides specific size/buff display settings for each raid or group size and makes the squares uniform.  This was great since I’m lazy.
  3. As it happens, I settled on a healing addon, Grid2, but that’s a subject of another post TBD.

Open Letter to PUG Hunters from your PUG tank

Dear PUG Hunters,

Since getting back I’ve leveled up a warrior as a dungeon finder partner with Zel. I tank, she heals, no queues. Here I am with an awesome helm.

smallwall2

 

Since I’ve pretty much just done PUGs since level 30 I’ve noticed a few trends in your class that I feel I need to point out. Now I know there are good hunters. I’ve seen them, I’ve raided with them. But based on the hunters I’ve seen the last few weeks in PUGs, I am starting to realize the good ones might be the exception than the rule.

What I find annoying can best be summed up with three examples of bad play:

The Tale of Mr. Fluffy
One thing that happens more than it should is pets have some kind of taunt on. This makes sense when questing. It does not make sense in dungeons. In the wilds of Azeroth, a hunter would prefer angry things hit its pet, than its shiny mail armor which happens to be the second toughest armor in the game. Heaven forbid anything bleeds on it.

Anyway when in a group you (the hunter) have someone who signed up (the tank) to take the bloodstains you normally put on your pet. That person has a design for each pull, where they want the baddies to stand, where the baddies should face. When Mr Fluffy or Porkchop or Fartingbearlol taunts, that whole system your PUG tank is working for has been derailed. Bosses have AoE cleaves, and you pet can endanger the nice rogue who set up for back stab action.

The Tale of the Coke Fueled Ferret

The second bad bit of play I see involves a jumping hunter who thinks they can decide on the speed of the pulls. Maybe I’m not ready. Maybe I noticed the healer is low on mana. Maybe I’m waiting for a patr… Oh fuck you did it. Shit shit shit. Now I have to taunt it off you and okay I got this. WHAT THE HELL DID YOU PULL THAT OTHER GROUP FOR? SON OF A B—

[RELEASE SPIRIT]

The Tale of the Clueless Pull

So the first two tales are so generic they are ubiquitous. This last one is just too perfect to leave in general terms. In a PUG for the Throne of Tides we had a paladin who was pretty cool, and a hunter who seemed kind of clueless. It was fine because he actually didn’t fall into one of the first two problems. We had a wipe or two as we all struggled to remember the mechanics of the bosses and were headed down a hall that had these nasty little goblins with poison spears. If the tank rolls into the pull they all throw a poison spear at him and it is easily half to three fourths of the tanks health. The other mobs in the hall are these horrors things that do a nasty ground slam.  We managed to get to the second to last pull towards the third boss in the place. The paladin and I asked the Hunter if he could send his pet in to take one for the team (meaning “pet dies from the yucky poison rather than the tank”). He didn’t get what we were asking so we told him to have his pet attack, figuring this last pull of goblins was particularly bad and better to have a dead pet than a dead tank. So off his pet ran…to the two horrors just past the goblins, thereby pulling the two hardest pulls in the place at once. After the wipe the hunter dropped group. The paladin and I were just dumbstruck. Even when you give them instructions to pull a group, they still manage to screw it up.

The conclusion that I’ve drawn here is that when I see a hunter come up in my group I am preparing myself for the worst. I don’t want to, but collectively you’ve pushed me to say that hunter is BELOW warlock in my class estimation at the moment. If you turn off taunt and just not pull, I think you can regain my esteem, but I’m not holding my breath.

Sincerely yours,

Arcanetinkertank

Instance Crashes? Seriously?

The last 2 nights have been plagued with instance crashes.  We’d be a couple bosses in and I’d disconnect.  I was afraid the first time that it was just my connection and that the group would die without my awesome healing capabilities.  But, no, it was everyone.

Random disconnects I can deal with.  But when they reset the damn instance, that makes me a bit stabby.  And I just want to hit 80 so I can get my chi balls (snicker snicker).  But last night I had to log off because it was apparent that we were not going to finish anything.  Two nights of frequent crashes is frustrating.

Part of the reason I returned to WoW is that it’s a solid game that generally has few bugs.  Like mac n cheese out of the box – tasty but not too exciting and at least you don’t have to worry about a random hair in it.  Fun story, in a European country that shall remain nameless which I visited, I sometimes found long hairs in delicious baked goods.  It was a risk I was willing to take for deliciousness.  But in my mac n cheese?  Oh hell no.

Blizzard, fix yer shit or I might start complaining even louder on the internet.

The Destination Looks Good. The Journey Makes No Sense.

The night before 6.0, I hit 64 and got a new monk ability, healing sphere.1  Haha, I said, that’s going away tomorrow.  And it did.

But here’s the fun part: Detonate Chi, the new ability that “replaces” healing spheres, is also learned at 64.  I gained Detonate Chi and I’m like… what am I supposed to do with that?  I have zero healing spheres to detonate, and won’t until 80 when mastery kicks in.

Sure, I have healing spheres proc… in Windwalker spec.  Greaaat.  No Detonate Chi there.

So I have this ability for 16 levels that does absolutely nothing.  How on earth does that even make sense?  Am I missing something?

Meanwhile, I didn’t get my jade statue until 70.  Now THAT made my healing not suck.  I was struggling mightily at 68-69 because my healing could not keep up.  The healing is balanced around the statue, and right before it, it’s horrible.

I don’t think you can even do fistweaving effectively without that statue, because it doubles your trickle of healing.  So… stance of the spirited crane is pretty much gimped for healing purposes until 70.

At the end, when you’re going to raid, nobody gives a crap when you got an ability.  You just have it.  But for those of us who are working their way up, these discrepancies are glaringly obvious.

  1. I am convinced they called it “sphere” because “balls” LOL! I’ve been calling them “chi balls,” which is incorrect, but makes me giggle.  Yes, I am aware there are actual chi balls in windwalker spec that contain a charge of chi rather than healing.  Shut up.

Stitches Smash!

This weekend, I’m doing utgarde whatsit for the 50th time1 and some enterprising person had a… thing that turned us all into Stitches!

Yep, sneaky.

Look at us!.

First, the rogue went invisible, which is hilarious as a giant monsterbeast.  CLOMP CLOMP, I am sneaking up on YOU!

Totally invisible

Totally invisible.  Also I became overzealous with the name blurring and blurred myself.

The best part was the monk roll.  It was more of a launch forward, belly first.  WHEE.  While I did not capture that, you can see the warrior charge here:

There, you see, he's INVISIBLE

CHARGE!

Feel free to admire the awesomeness of my UI.  Its is ok to be jealous

  1. You will see me complain in the screenshots – why do they even CALL it “random” if I get recycled to the same one every time?

Outlands Dungeons in 6.0. You are Not Prepared.

Monday I was happily roflstomping through the outlands instances.  Last night, I got my ass handed to me.

Things may be balanced for endgame, but they are a bit off for leveling.  Sure, I heal for less.  A lot less.  But that is supposed to be because of something something deliberate decision making.  No, there was no deliberate decision making because the tank STILL could get killed in a few hits.  Old style damage spikes, new style healing.  This leads to SPAM SPAM OMG SPAM on the tank and having the dps unceremoniously die if they got aggro.  Sigh.

To add insult to injury, the graveyard is pretty damn far from that stupidass underbog.  That was not fixed when they decided to make things ridiculously easier for everyone in cata.  I feel sorry for people who are new, did not play through BC, and get one of these tricky to find dungeons via the dungeon finder.  We had to talk a group member through it last night.  “Ok, so you walk out to the middle of the lake and there’s a star thing and in the middle you dive down and there’s a pipe…”  Hell, I had trouble finding the pipe and I knew basically where it was.

I’ll talk about new character models later.  Still recovering from the epic beatdown.

Hell Is Other People (In Pugs)

This weekend, a lot of pugging occurred, and I remembered why I hate pugs – people are assholes.

The majority of people were innocuous enough.  A few were even good.  And then there were the assholes who, realistically, were few in number but it felt like there were so many because of how unpleasant they were.

Remember, also, I was running as a healer with thehusband as a tank, and there’s only so much dumbassery 3 dps can cause.

The Hunter Who Needed

So we’re running some Blackrock nonsense for the millionth time and WHOA, a nice purple cloth hat dropped.  Now, I hadn’t seen anything that nice drop like ever in a pug, and I’d been pugging for days, just amazing.  We had a mage in the group.  Isn’t that nice. So, while I would have taken it for healing purposes if nobody else could use it, I chose greed because we had a mage and I am a leather-wearing monk.

It did not go to the mage.  It went to the fucking hunter who also rolled need.  The mage exclaimed something profane (and totally justified) in instance chat, at which point I noticed the loot rolls.  Oh hell no.

I stopped the group.  I just fucking stopped the group and thehusband and I said “You either give that back to the mage or we vote kick you.  We’re waiting.”  Sure enough, the hunter gave it back, and we carried on.  I guess the DPS queue is pretty long after a kick.  The mage whispered his thanks, and I said “No problem.  He was being a dick.”  We ended up doing another instance with that same mage (minus the hunter) and everything went well.

I am relieved, now that we are in outlands dungeons, that the loot interface would prohibit a hunter rolling need on cloth.  Because, seriously.

The Mage Who Pulled

Wait, why are we in combat?  Who pulled that?

Answer, the mage.  Politely, thehusband says to the mage “Please don’t pull, (mage’s name).”  Mage continues pulling.  Sigh.  Husband says, less politely, NO SERIOUSLY STOP PULLING.

To which the mage responds “Well then go faster.”

I wanted to kick that mage so bad.  Here’s the problem: You can’t kick someone in combat.  We were always in combat because the mage was pulling.  And for some reason the other group members felt compelled to assist Sir Pullsalot, meaning I couldn’t just neglect to heal him and have him croak on his own accord.

In between battles, I tried to kick him and failed because there was a 5-minute lockout.  I’m not sure what the 5-minutes are for.  Someone can very well be a total dick in the first four minutes.  Maybe we were locked out of booting him because he had been booted from every previous group since the beginning of time.

The best I could do, since I couldn’t kick him, and he wouldn’t seem to just die without healing, is that I put him on my ignore list so I would never be matched with him again.

The Tank Who Ran Fast

I decided to run an instance when thehusband was not around to tank.  This was a mistake.

The tank did not care about my mana.  The tank did not care that the entire group could not physically run fast enough to keep up with him.  The tank sure as shit didn’t care that he was pulling one group and then running into another, expecting the dps to just handle all the things on the move.

The only way I remotely kept up was to use my rolls.  I regularly ran out of charges.  I do have the extra-charge roll talent.

We wiped.  There was no reason to wipe.  But we wiped.  This was stupid.  It took more time to recover from a wipe than to just damn well kill the groups in an orderly fashion.

The Death Knight Who Was A Death Knight

I’m sure there are a lot of people who know what they are doing with their death knight.  I’m happy for them.  But those people sure as shit were not in my pugs this weekend.

Upon graduating to the outlands dungeons, we were rewarded by having at least death knight in every group who thought he was invincible while simultaneously having no fucking clue what he was doing.  Yay I’m pulling aggro.  WHEE where’s my pet?

For most morons, starting off at 55 is probably a mistake.  I shudder to think of these idiots in possession of a lvl 90 boost.

The Mage Who Hit 60

Upon reaching the end of (yet another) Hellfire Ramparts, a mage who had been courteous throughout the run said that he was SO close to 60, and would we mind queueing for another with him.  Sure, we said, and queued again with him.  He was happy!

We got into Ramparts.  3 pulls in, he dinged 60.  Before we could “grats” he fucking dropped group.

Cool Story, Bro

That was my weekend.  Morons galore.  Hooray.