Clones and Linking in ForteXorcist

If you are a shadow priest, and even if you’re not, you might be using ForteXorcist.  Hey, it appears in the UI of Aliena, the holy priest who narrates the Tank Spot videos.  So if she uses it, it’s hard core, right?  (There are other addons that are out there that are just as good, but we’re not talking about them today, k?)

Anyhoo, there used to be a big warning that clones were not working, so I did not bother.  But now they are, and I am super-excited.

What Is A Clone?

Simply put, it’s a copy of something you already have, complete with all the same settings.

But you don’t want to keep an EXACT copy.  Two bar sets that do the same thing are not cool.

The whole point is that you copy over your settings to the clone, and then you make some tweaks so that the clone is useful in its own right.  However, you don’t have to redo all the options you’ve already set that you like, such as bar size, bar texture, font size, and other things that are time-consuming to duplicate.

If you click "New" you get "clone of X" (whatever tab you were on when you clicked "new"). You can rename "Clone of X".

See FAQ: How to make a new profile or clone

What’s Linking?

There are three types of linking.  Linking PROFILES, linking CLONES (bar sets), and linking individual OPTIONS (like bar thickness).

Here’s what linking does: the items are exactly the same, and will stay exactly the same.  If you make a change to one, you make a change to the other.

I do not recommend automatic linking, period. There is nothing more frustrating than finishing modifying your NEW bar set only to find out that you inadvertently applied all those settings to your OLD bar set and have to undo them all.  If you want to link, set the default to not link, and have linking be a purposeful choice.

If you want to keep your settings the same across all toons, you don’t need linking.  You just need to use the same profile.

Where linking might come in is if you want to use some (but not all) the same bars across toons.

This has automatic linking enabled (not recommended). It also describes how to un-link something.

See FAQ: Using Linking

Example: My Shadow Setup

You're gonna have to click to embiggen. Srs.

As you can see, I have 3 sets of bars pictured (and one not shown).

Set 1. My current target.  It will include all dots that I’ve applied.  I have decided not to include other people’s dots at this time, but I could.

Set 2. All targets of my offensive spells.  This includes my current target, but also includes my focus and any other mob I have dotted up.   Notice here, I have multi-dotted 3 target dummies.  The one that is not faded is my current target.

Set 3. My cooldowns.  I use this bar set only for longer cooldowns over a minute.  I have filtered out shorter cooldowns such as prayer of mending.

Set 4. (Not Pictured) This bar set is for my focus and shows ONLY my crowd control spells.  That allows me to keep an eye on my shackle duration when I’m using a focus target.  I have filtered out other debuffs on the focus.

Dr. Frostlove: or How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love Frost Spec

Recently I gave frost a second look because my offspec arcane I never played for two reasons. First we have two other raiding arcane mages in Eff the Ineffable which would make three complete lunacy, and second because I find arcane boring. Personal preference.

Now, I will admit I wasn’t initially eager to try frost because I am not a pet class lover. My only pet class (a warlock) I play affliction like it was a DoT mage, and since the water elemental (Squirtle) was a key part of being a frost mage I was not terribly enthused. However, this week has been an experiment in Frost and one that has me excited to feel like I have choice again when playing a mage.

Unleash the Beast Within With Frost!

Stat Priority

If you go by a broad approximation from Ask Mr Robot you find that Intellect and Spell Hit are topping off the list and Haste, Crit, and Mastery are well below that and virtually interchangeable.

Intellect=1
Spell Hit=.94
Spell Power=.82
Haste=.44
Crit=.42
Mastery=.41

So basically reforge as much as you can into Hit and don’t worry so much what secondary stats gear has. If it is cloth and doesn’t have spirit, it should be fine. No real haste vs crit angst like fire or mastery vs haste like arcane.

The Spec

I built off a basic frame Elitist Jerks provided and got this.

Key talents:

  • Shatter 2/2: Frozen targets have three times the normal crit chance against them and your frostbolt has 20% increased damage against frozen targets.
  • Ice Floes 3/3: Decrease almost all your big frost cooldowns.
  • Ice Shards 2/2: This is optional, but can be very useful in slowing down packs of adds.
  • Fingers of Frost 3/3: your chill effect has a chance to proc this which treats the target as if they were frozen. (Thus you get the benefit of shatter)
  • Improve Freeze 3/3: Your pet’s freeze ability can force Fingers of Frost
  • Enduring Winter 1/3: Replenishment. There is no reason for taking more than one talent point here as the mana savings aren’t that big, and you spam frostbolt enough that you will probably have high replenishment uptime anyway.
  • Brain Freeze 3/3: Makes Instacast Frostbolts proc.
  • Reactive Barrier 2/2: If you take damage dropping you below 50% health you get an automatic Ice Barrier. Nice Survival talent.
  • Frostfire Orb 2/2: Changes your Flame Orb to have a slowing effect.
  • Deep Freeze 1/1:  On Bosses a preferred Finger of Frost damage proc.

The Glyphs

The Glyphs I’m running for a PvE environment are as follows

Prime

Major

The Rotation

The rotation reminds me of Fire in the use of procs more so than Arcane does. Basically follow this list on priority for the spell to cast on single target fights.

  1. Frostfire Orb
  2. Deep Freeze if Finger’s of Frost is active
  3. Frostfire Bolt if Brain Freeze Proc is up
  4. Ice Lance if Finger’s of Frost is up but Deep Freeze is on Cooldown and Brain Freeze has not Proced
  5. Pet’s Freeze ability to force a Fingers of Frost proc. Ideally you’d wait until Deep Freeze was off cooldown and of cource if you have a Fingers of Frost proc up wait until it is gone before making another.
  6. Frostbolt spam.

For AoE you will pretty much use Blizzard. Maybe Cone of Cold if they get too close or frost nova and blink away to start casting blizzard again.

Squirtle Management

Like I said above I am not one for pet classes in general, but I find the Squirtle AKA Water Elemental to be pretty easy. First thing you want to do is bind the Squirtle’s freeze ability to some key you can easily get to instead of trying to remember ctrl+4 or mousing over to your pet bar. Second generally have your pet on passive by default. The last thing you want is to be lumped in with the hunters and warlocks who wipe a group because of a bad pet.

When a fight starts get the pet attacking the main boss. Don’t worry about trying to get your pet to attack adds, it isn’t worth your time to be micro managing the pet that much. Use the freeze ability on cooldown, but otherwise just forget about it and let it auto attack the main bad guy while you do everything you need to be doing.

Final Advice

Frost is pretty proc heavy, but doesn’t feel like it has as much as debuff management as Fire. I still don’t like having a pet, but it is not as bad as I remember. Be sure to set it on Passive though and direct it where to shoot. The last thing you want is to have your pet pull stuff before people are ready. For me frost has been on par with my Fire DPS on some fights, and trailed on others. But what it really gives me is some choice in how I want to raid a particular fight. For movement heavy fights I will probably stay fire, for fights with lots of adds I may choose frost. And sometimes just knowing a different way to play your class can help you refine your skills on your primary spec.

Srs Bzns Gaming Equipment: The Adult Sippy Cup

When you’re gaming, it’s seriously important to have the right drinking equipment.  After all, you don’t want to SPILL, do you?

I present to you the adult sippy cup:

This is the one I use, but there are a bunch of similar ones on the market.  Key features include:

  • Insulation.  This is good for not just keeping your drinks cold, but for preventing condensation from forming and dribbling all over your desk (or onto your keyboard!  The horror!)
  • Straw structural integrity.  This bad boy can be used for milkshakes.   Milkshakes while raiding rule. Sissy straws that get bent by an overactive chewer (admit it, you CHEW) are fail.
  • Lid security.  A screw on lid is nice. A pop-on lid is asking for trouble.

The adult sippy cup: Twig tested, gamer approved!

Guild Cauldrons: Bring on the Math

We just got cauldrons!  YAY!

Now comes the hard part. MATH! Who should click, and how many times?  This depends on:

  • guild perk levels
    • how many clicks you get
    • how long the flasks last
  • how long is your raid
  • how many alchemists you have (cause, hey, they get longer flask times)
  • anyone using spirit flasks?
  • what herbs do you have in the bank (no, really, I’ll explain).

OK, let’s say you have a 3 hour raid with 10 raiders.  2 are alchemists.  Currently, in our guild, we have Rank 1 Chug-a-lug but that is our only cauldron perk.  Each cauldron has 7 clicks.

  • So each non alchemist raider will need 2 cauldron flasks or 3 regular flasks.
  • Each alchemist raider will need 1 cauldron flask or 2 regular flasks (with an hour wasted at the end, so this is a bad option.)

This is what we’re encountering in our first raid. Believe me, my mind is swimming.  I think we were all confused.

So… we put out 1 cauldron.  7 people took a flask and chugged.  Then we put out the 2nd cauldron.  The remaining 3 took a flask and chugged.  There were 4 charges left, and we told the non-alchemists to take a 2nd flask for later.  Since we only had 2 alchemists (who did not need a 2nd flask), and we had 4 people taking an extra flask, that left 4 people without flasks for the 2nd half of the raid.

We could have put out another cauldron, but that would have been a waste.  We opted instead to open up the gbank at raid halftime and dole out some single flasks, which was actually not ideal.  In theory there would be a half-hour at the end where the flasks had expired on those who took a single-flask (1 hr) after the cauldron flask (1.5 hr), but we were running late, so it worked out.

Now, if we had been SMART about this, we would have had the intellect-users and tanks have cauldron priority. This is because their flasks are the biggest pain in the ass to make (twilight jasmine).  If we have to dole out some single flasks during the raid, it is far better to dole out the cheaper single flasks with easier-to-obtain materials.

If we had been SMARTER, we would have designated some people to be flask-only and some people to be cauldron-only for a 3 hour raid, rather than having a few stragglers chug a cauldron-flask and then a single-flask.  Remember, if someone does a cauldron-flask (1.5 hr) and then a single-flask (1 hr), there’s a half hour missing at the end of the 3 hr raid, which would involve chugging another flask.

To simplify, let’s say you have 2 charges left.  Joe and Bob have not taken flasks yet.  If Joe and Bob each take 1 cauldron flask (1.5 hours), they will each need 2 single flasks (4 single flasks total)  for the last 1.5 hours of the raid (actually it’s a total of 3.5 hours because it’s a 1.5 hour cauldron-flask plus 2x 1 hour single-flasks).  However, Joe could take 2 cauldron flasks (1.5 hr x 2 = 3 hours), and Bob could use 3 single flasks (1 hr x 3 = 3 hours), with no wasted half-hour bits left on flasks.

Confused yet?

Next time, I may chug a spirit flask myself, which will, of course, screw up the math again.

In the meantime, don’t feel bad if you can’t figure this shit out.  I can’t either.  I can’t wait until guild rank 20 (Happy Hour) so we get 10 charges and don’t have to think about this junk.  Rank 22 (Rank 2 Chug A Lug) won’t be bad either, since we’ll only need 1 cauldron for our short 2-hour raids.

When Husband and Wife Fundamentally Disagree (about raiding policy)

ArcaneTinkerTank (otherwise known as Gnoble, Husband, and He Who Sleeps On Couch) is dead wrong.  Now what?

It all started when Gnoble announced that he was going to start tracking death rates on raids.  With like, numbers.

I have no effin clue why I blacked out the names since you all KNOW who is in our guild. Duh.

Now we can get into the pros and cons of the policy – but that’s not the issue.  The issue is that he’s my husband and I thought he was being dumb.

I obviously (privately) told him he was dumb.  In fact, I have his ear quite a lot, so I can explain the dumbness – over IM, in the car, during dinner (Mama Murloc is refusing to take sides).  But now what?

You see, if I say nothing on the forums, it looks like I agree with him – not because silence is usually construed as agreement, but because I’m his wife.

On the other hand, posting on the forum is incredibly artificial because… well he already knows what I think.  My arguments have obviously done nothing to sway him from his opinion.  Why the hell bother?

Ultimately I did post on the forums, just a short list of why I think it’s dumb, for the benefit of the other guildies.  And he posted back, a short list of reasons why my arguments are dumb.  It was a pretty dry exchange, since we had already scripted this out long before in our discussions over the dinner table.

However, I did get to threaten him with sleeping in the cat pan (not the couch, the CAT PAN) if this turns into healer blame for deaths.  I am also annoyed because this new “death ranking” doodad has foiled my nefarious plans to let Alas die for her lolwell haiku.

Jin’do has been vanquished by me (and 4 other guildies, but mostly me).

Morehnai promised that he’d help me get Jin’do thoroughly dead, and he stuck by us, even though he wanted to go to sleep last night, to kill Jin’do.  Yay!

Of course, Jin’do dropped crap that nobody needed.  But we finally got the achievement!  And the satisfaction of killing dirty, stinky, pain-in-the-ass CHEATER Jin’do.

Now I can safely NEVER RETURN to Zul’Gurub.  Oh, except I need a wand.  CURSES!

Team DPS and Team Tank Attempt to be Like Team Heal

There have been some discussions in the guild lately about how we can do better raiding as a team.  And when we talk about teams, sooner or later we get around to just how AWESOME Team Heal is.  Because we totally are.

Alas even came in and said something like “they communicate and support each other to get their collective job done.”  But it was hard to hear her over the sound of our own awesomeness.

"There is no charge for awesomeness... or attractiveness."

The result of this is a slightly worshipful attempt by Team DPS and Team Tank to emulate us, the awesome team heal members.  This means they have created their own private chat channels for use on raid nights.

And they won’t let anyone else into their secret little channels!  We don’t even know the names of the channels! Oh the horror!  The exclusivity!  The… oh wait, that’s how we run the healer channel.  Never mind, carry on.

I Find ALL the Winners in Pugs: Time To Reopen the Bee Pit

I haven’t pugged in forever, but I did ONE LOUSY PUG last night.  Hey look, I found a jerk, on my very first try.

Apparently I did not zone back in FAST ENOUGH for the tank (who, by the way, was already on my last nerve for failing to wait for mana, even after I reminded him in chat, repeatedly… at which point I was told to “calm down.”)

He’s such a winner, maybe he’s Charlie Sheen.  Oh right, Charlie Sheen is a Warlock.

Jin’do must die. Or Hakkar must be unchained. Something like that.

I am freakin UP TO HERE with stupid Jin’do.  I’ve done all the bosses in ZG like a bajillion times, but every time we get to Jin’do, we just DIE.

Now, this isn’t your basic shit-pug.  This is our crack team of all-guildies on their mains being HARD CORE.  I’m assigned a suicidal bodyguard to keep the spirits off me (Warlock).  The tank also attempts to keep me alive.  I blow all cooldowns (as Alas says, “Blow early, blow often”) and I STILL get my little gnome face gnawed off by evil spirits who are IMMUNE TO PSYCHIC SCREAM.

What. The. Hell.  I swear I need Chakra: Pwn and Holy Word: Win!

It’s not just when I’m healing.  It happens to ALL our guild groups.  All our healers, all our tanks.  OK, maybe Morehnai’s finished once, but other than that…. what the hell, right?

I need help.  WE need help.  It is crushing Alas’s SOUL not to have the achievement for finishing this damn instance.

Thank you for your time.

Test Drive: Aura Frames for Your Buffs and Debuffs

With Satrina Buff Frames looking for an addon updater, I went searching for something new.

Aura Frames is awesome for buffs and debuffs.

Why It is Awesome

1. You can do multiple “containers” for sorting buffs and debuffs. For example, sorting by time is not enough for me.  I created a new container for auras without a duration (pally auras), then buffs with a duration of 30 minutes or more, and then a third container for buffs with a duration of under 30 minutes.

2. You can do frames or bars or both.  I have my buffs in frames and debuffs in bars.

3. You can do junk with dot timers for your target.  I admit, I use another addon for this, so I’m only really focusing on the buff/debuff on self part.

Configuration

OK, getting to the config menu is easy.

General options allow you to hide the blizzard buffs (recommended) and your boss addon bars (DO NOT DO THAT).

Then… you create a container.  Bars or buttons.  Not sure what that third option does.

After creating the container, decide what it will show:

In what order the buffs/debuffs will display

And the layout… like how big the boxes are, etc, what kind of text, cooldown sweeps, and so on.

Move them around…

And set warnings (like expiration warnings)…

Advanced Lessons: Filters

Now comes the fun part.  Filters.  The default options are not that good.  You’re gonna need to go into expert mode.

First up, we’re going to look at my “buffs with a duration of over 30 mins” as an example.  I used the option of “original duration” because I don’t want the buffs to drop to a different category as they tick down.  But you can do it that way if you want and do your containers based on time left.

Now, let’s look at my options for the short buffs:

This one has 2 conditions, connected with an “and”.  You can also do conditions connected with “or.”  In this case, I put “under 30 mins”.  Simple enough…  However, persistent auras without a duration count as zero duration (which makes no sense to me, but whatever).  In order for these NOT to show up in my short-buff bar, I made sure that the original duration DOES NOT EQUAL ZERO.  Problem solved.