Gone Fishing...

Anexxia has gone fishing. BBL
Farewell, and thanks for all the fish!

I've been putting off the inevitable. But this morning, I took the plunge, and canceled my World of Warcraft subscription, almost 6 years to the day I started playing.

I haven't logged in since Christmas Day, when I logged in to pick up a few gifts for my alts under the Winter Veil tree. MIA were the many folks who've made the game fun for me. And thus I quickly logged off and went back to playing that other MMO.

I have 6 years of memories-- both amazingly awesome and incredibly disappointing-- behind me with this game. I don't think I can say the same for any previous game or online distraction.

And then there are those of you who are actually reading this post. The amazing online blogging and twitter community that has sprung up around this game over the years has been a prime motivator and instigator of so much of the fun I've had in game. I won't miss you guys b/c I am taking you along with me via twitter and the other blog.


I may be back for the next expansion, becuase I really am excited about my 150 vanity pets becoming Pokemon.

In the interim, I will still write about MMO guild management topics here when the mood moves me to do so.

But for now, I'm shifting out of the purple shadow form and hanging up my Boomkin dancing shoes for a bit.

Catch you on the flipside...

My 2011 World of Warcraft Year in Review

hitting a dead end in Tanaris

As evidenced by the increasingly irregular posts to Bible of Dreams, 2011 was not the best year of my almost 6 years of playing WoW. But still, I bring you, my annual year in review meme...(see also 2010's edition)

What were you most excited about in the past year?

I managed to find time to level up some goblin ladies and found myself enjoying every minute of it. Well, other than a few really jerky LFD groups. Overall though, had a blast and highly recommend you roll one as they are just too darn adorable to miss out on. I also logged in to make the most of the various holiday activities and bosses, other than Winter Veil.

 What was the best thing you bought?

Buying myself and Wrenz each a Vial of the Sands was definitely my most well spent G of the year. A big Bank of Azeroth balance is nice and all, but being able to turn into a huge shadowy dragon, grab a friend in my claws and fly off-- that's priceless!

What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?

I would like to have a new reason to log in and play. Right now, I am really not terribly motivated to do so. There have been little pockets of excitement like logging in to transmog my favorite ladies into the gear I most loved, but honestly, other than that and a few other things I've blogged about this past year, I haven't been super motivated above and beyond logging in to hang out and chat w/some of the folks I love playing with across my collection of servers.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Hitting the 125 pet mark for Anexxia and Psychocandy, with a little help from my friends. Thank you. :)

What was your biggest failure?

I tried to lobby Blizzard to add a tuxedo kitten to the assortment of vanity pets in game, but they didn't bite. Even though I served up the most adorable cat model for them, my much loved and missed kitty.

What do you wish you'd done less of?

Waiting around to see if I was going to actually be invited to a raid group.

What did you do in the World of Warcraft in 2011 that you'd never done before?

I stopped raiding. And it was really really weird. I've been raiding consistently on one or two characters ever since my first character dinged 58 and we needed another healer for our MC raid alliance raid. Raiding didn't work out for me, despite being in both horde and alliance guilds that were raiding. As became all to clear to me once I gave up the ghost of raiding being a possibility, I didn't find myself having as much fun in Azeroth on an ongoing basis without it, and thus, spent significantly less time there.

What was your favorite new place that you visited?

The new Dark Moon Island. And of course, SWTOR, but shhh that's not in Azeroth.

What was your favorite WoW blog or podcast?

I honestly can't pick one specific WoW blog this year, because I simply loved too many different posts from too many folks, thanks to the amazing WoW twitter community and folks like MMO Melting Pot and the WoW Insider Daily Quest that are always sharing links to posts that merit immediate reading/commenting. I will say I was really sad about so many of my fave peeps hanging up their WoW blogging hats, especially Reflections from the Pond.

Tell us a valuable WoW lesson you learned in 2011.

Watch your back. The dwarves say this to me all the time. I should have heeded them! Also, actions speak louder than words. I have never heard as much malarkey from folks as I have this year. If you don't walk that talk, don't bother flapping your jaws about it! ;p

What was your Year in WoW like? Share a link to your year-in-review in the comments!

PS Haven't written yours yet? Steal my list of Qs and link back to this post!

1) What were you most excited about in the past year?

2) What was the best thing you bought?

3) What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?

4) What was your biggest achievement of the year?

5) What was your biggest failure?

6) What do you wish you'd done less of?

7) What did you do in the World of Warcraft in 2011 that you'd never done before?

8) What was your favorite new place that you visited?

9) What was your favorite WoW blog or podcast?

10) Tell us a valuable WoW lesson you learned in 2011.

A Sort of Homecoming in Brill

Anexxia at her new office desk, thinking...

Anexxia had been at loose ends for a few weeks now, ever since walking out on her raiding team. They continued on with their never-ending fight against evil monsters, leaving Anexxia puttering about in Orgrimmar, restless.

One hot Sunday afternoon, she packed a small bag with her herbalism scissors and her sewing kit, and hopped upon the zeppelin for Tirisfal Glades. It was an easy decision to leave the dust and bustle of the City-- she'd never felt welcome there. It was merely the most convenient point from which to set out with the raiding party. With those days behind her, she was free to return to the only place that had ever felt like home -- The Dark Lady's kingdom.

Even from the zeppelin tower, it was clear that things had changed in the years since she left on her crusade for justice. Brill had grown up. No longer a hastily slapped together burg, it was now a respectable place to call one's home.

Anexxia kept her eyes peeled for for rent signs. The office was the easier find. But it took poking about in a number of unsatisfactory rooming halls before she found the studio. She'd nearly decided not to head up the stairs to look at the place after her encounter with the landlady. She was quite possibly one of the most dim-witted shadow priests Anexxia had ever met. Standing about with her flapping outdated bat-wing staff, not having been in shadow form in aeons. But her feet were getting tired, so Anexxia trudged up the stairs, and found the absolutely perfect place.

Nice rock hard bed, candles everywhere, cobwebs in every corner. Yes, this will do, she thought to herself. "I'll take it!" she yelled down the stairs at the landlady, who chirped back something about being just thrilled to have another shadow priest in the house.

Taking off her dusty boots, and lying down upon the bed, Anexxia still didn't know what she was going to do with herself. But at least she was finally home. And thus, she rested.

shadow priest at rest.

Friday Five: Firelands Screenshots 5

Because a screenshot is worth a million firey deaths...or something. ;p

It's a bird! No, it's a plane! No, it's Psychocandy suffering from creepy lag in Stormwind!

Ever since patch 4.2, I've been doing a lot of air swimming in Stormwind on my druid. It seems to take a minute or so for the screen to catch up with the idea that she in flight form.

Remind me again how this chick is unarmed? She still has hands! And her spellcaster mace!

This one never gets exactly is a spellcaster with hands intact, holding a mace, unarmed? Malfurion, honey, you need to buy some glasses!

Yeah, that's OK, you just ride around on your kitties looking cool -- I'll take care of all the trespassers myself...

All these NPCs prancing around and at best they can be counted on to waltz in and take the killing blow on a mob. Unless of course they are busy posing on their ponies, er, kitties. Mmmhmmmm.

Shouldn't they be giving us hazard pay for this? Or at least giving us a lead suit to wear? And who is this Aggra chick and why does she think she's Jaina??

Lady, I just met you. But Thrall and I go way back. What is all this true love stuff you are talking about? Who are you again? ANd how did you take over Thrall's heart? What's that? You have a book you want to sell me...?

Hangin' with my druid posse, yo!

The absolute best part of the Patch 4.2 content is my druid getting to run around as part of a druid posse. Most. Fun. In ages.

What are some of your favorite patch 4.2 moments?

Meeting my Cataclysm Goals: Sandstone Drake, Check!

Whose a cute fuzzy wuzzy shadowy dragon? ME that's who!

Each expansion, I've had a goal in mind. For WotLK, it was to save Bolvar Fordragon. This expansion, from the moment I saw the Sandstone Drake, it was to be able to shift into a shadowy dragon. And as of this weekend, that goal is complete.

I didn't want to get the Vial of the Sands for Anexxia, since she already has an awesome mount for shadowform-- the Blazing Hippogryph. Thus, my Alliance shadow priest being the lucky recipient.

I'd burnt out on trying for the Vial on my alchemist after the fourth canopic jar full of nothing more than mummified remains. Thus, I'd started searching for the Vial on the AH every time I logged in, to get a sense of how much it was going for, so I could save up accordingly.

Just last week, I'd seen it up for 75k which was way too rich for my blood. But then something funny happened over the long weekend. Suddenly there was a price war, and we had three of them up with buyouts under 49k, and bids for 44k. Still a ton of cash, but then again, it cost me a lot of cash to make my motorcycle back in the day as well.

For those wondering just how I happened to have so much cash on hand, well that's a direct result of being used to supporting raiding costs on two characters, but not doing any raiding, on the whole, for months. Instead of using up all my consumables and materials on myself, I've been selling stuff as I accumulate it. And continuing with my usual crafting. But not having anything to spend the cash on meant it piled up on the bank alt.

And thus, I've met my one Cataclysm goal to date. It's great timing too -- I'm about to be even more busy IRL due to a promotion at work. So even if I don't play seriously for a few months, I'll still be able to feel I've gone out in a blaze of glory, so to speak. And no, I'm not quitting WoW and I'm not stopping the blog, but I am a bit preoccupied with life outside of Azeroth at the moment. Catch you on the flipside.

Spirit: Still Not Just for Healers

elemental shaman can use spirit too mister pally pants!

I've been leveling my goblin shaman in large part through LFD groups. I've been enjoying the under 10 minute queues, and seeing the old instances in new level ranges. But what I haven't been enjoying as much is the non-stop arguing about who gets the spirit gear.

While in Dire Maul, I rolled need on, and won, mail spirit gloves. Our healing paladin, who, in that same moment, won the shield off the King, immediately started berating me. The conversation went roughly like this:

PALADIN: " Why did you roll need on those gloves, shaman???"

ME: "?"

PALADIN: "Don't you know anything? You use AGI not spirit, dumbass."

ME: "Actually, as an elemental shaman, with a resto offspec, I can use spirit in either spec. I have the talent that converts spirit into hit."

PALADIN: "Obviously you don't raid."

ME: "Yes, I actually, I do. Your point?"

PALADIN: "If you raid then you should know main spec before off spec."

ME: "As already noted I'm elemental and have the talent that uses spirit for hit. And you not only got plenty of other loot this run, you can wear plate so you didn't have more right to win those gloves than I did."

/ignores paladin

ME: "Next time, before you start berating a stranger in an instance over loot, be more informed about your topic."

That's right. The paladin and I both rolled on mail spirit gloves, in a run wherein they had won a ton of loot, and he threw a hissy fit about my winning them with a need roll. I am not making this up.

Back in October, when I first wrote about the changing face of spirit, I expected we would have some short term hiccups. I did not anticipate, however, that my hybrids (and I only really do instances with my SP/boomkin/ele shaman) would be the target of non-stop harangues from healers who felt that every item that dropped with spirit on it was their priority over mine.

Yes, I understand that healers really really need spirit. But hybrids also can use it. And especially when you are talking about the mail and leather gear, there isn't a plethora of non spirit gear awaiting my picking it up. And it's ridiculous to expect me, in PUG 5-mans no less, to pass on any item with spirit on it in case a healer wants it. That'd be a great way to be wearing level 20 quest gear up to 60.

Warlocks and Mages: Still Don't Need Spirit

Probably one of the more vexing related issues that crops up just as often is warlocks and mages rolling on cloth spirit gear, or my worst case so far: melee DPS rolling on and winning a spirit trinket. I know that Blizzard spent an entire expansion trying to convince locks and mages that they should have a teeny bit of spirit in their gear, but those days are past.

Yes, as someone pointed out to me in their argument as to why I was wrong that they don't use spirit at all, your rate of out of combat mana regen is dependent upon spirit. That would technically be considered "using spirit" but having a stat on your gear that you mostly reforge away because it only affects your out of combat mana regen does not really fit in with my definition of "using it" the same way that casters who convert it into hit (which you need whenever you are fighting something up to your hit cap.)

At this point, I'm going to have to make a macro to spam before the first boss drops his phat loots, that says something along the lines of: "Since it always comes up, please be advised that boomkin/elemental shaman/shadow priests actually use spirit as hit; I have it talented. It's not just for healers. Cheers." Not that it will do any good, but it will save my wery fingers from typing these worn out arguments at least...

I'm at At Loose Ends

sometimes, all you can do is dance with a friend.

Two months ago, I left  the guild I'd raided in through most of WotLK and been an officer in for over a year, and joined a friend's raiding guild. Alas, our friend's guild had a bad case of Main Tank Syndrome plus a RL revolving door and start time. Although offered the opportunity to run the B team raid and thus have complete control over the RL and start time, in a guild that is now 11/12, my SO and I both put raiding on the back burner for the first time in over 5 years (5.5 years for the SO.)

Truth be told, my RL schedule has been too hectic for the past month to take on progression raiding prep, let alone leading a raiding team. But this leaves me at loose ends. Yes, I have a whole army of neglected alts who would love some attention. But my World of Warcraft -- from the time my druid hit 58 and stepped into MC to heal our META guild's raid-- has revolved around raiding. Not always cutting edge, top 5 on the server raiding (though there has been that too), but I've always been a part of a regularly scheduled raid team since that first night of raiding.

It feels weird to not need to make any flasks.

It feels weird not to be watching tank spot videos and pestering people to read Jaded Alt's strats.

It feels weird to be poking around on alts in the evening instead of slaying Internet dragons with friends.

I don't think this hiatus from raiding will be permanent, but I do think it'll be longer than a vacation break. It's absolutely exhausting to think about trying to find a guild that raids horde-side, 6 PT start or a bit later, with fun and friendly and interesting guildies. I am positive it can be done, but I don't feel like I have the energy or the time to do it right now. And my schedule with the classes I'm taking means I don't have a more open schedule for raiding at the moment. But I know that once 4.2 hits the live servers, the urge to raid will likely tip the balance back to "must raid!" from the "not enough time to find the right fit in a guild."

One thing I know for certain is raiding progression is not enough reason to stick it out in a guild where you don't connect with the other people, or worse yet, they don't even connect with anyone else. I've already spent too much time in guilds where folks were only all about the raid and were PUGging 5-mans alone in a sea of 25+ guildies online, in-between bouts of snarking at each other in the guild forums. I want more than that. And I'm positive I'll eventually find it.

Alt Attack!

Due to a real life work and continuing education schedule that hasn't left me with much spare time, I haven't raided in a few weeks. Instead, I've spent an unusual (for me) amount of time playing my alts. And creating new alts. I blame @psynister's influence!


This past weekend, I indulged in some profession power leveling on my two goblins, speeding them through inscription (maxing out what's possible for level 35) and tailoring/enchanting (making good headway for a level 11.) But that's not even the half of it:

  • I moved my Tauren druid, who hadn't been played since the expansion hit, to the server whre I've been rolling my goblins to play with some great tweeps. 
    • And proceeded to earn her a level, bringing her up to level 81.
  • And despite all that, I still had time to push my Alliance warlock to 84
  • AND get all my toons the Legacy of Arlokk staff
  •  AND do a wee bit of Children's Week on my primary characters.

All of the above in a few short hours this weekend, in-between bouts of homework! So while all around me I am hearing about boredom and burn out, I'm back to having a nice solid "to do" list, across a half dozen characters. And that's just the way I like it.

Next up, I'll need to decide if I want to leave any of my hordelings on Bronzebeard at all. As of now, I'm leaning towards not leaving them there. In the 2 1/2 years I've been there, the server environment has changed as far as not having as many PUGs going for raid content, and not a very wide selection of raiding guilds. Plus many of the folks I really enjoyed playing with there have either left the server, or stopped playing. Our friend's guild is 11/12, which makes it great on the casual raiding front, but it's really not exactly what I'm looking for from a social standpoint, truth be told. Given all this, I'd prefer to have my beloved shadow priest on a server where she had a number of raiding options, so that she'll never again be stuck in a less than inspiring guild situation all for the sake of a raid slot.

But that's all stuff to figure out later. Right now, the class and homework schedule, plus work busyness means not thinking about raiding at all short term. For the first time in 5 years. And yes, it feels pretty strange to not have any raiding progression targets on my "to do" list. It will remain to be seen how well not raiding works out. And where I end up.

Friday Five: Five Signs That You Need to Give your Main Tank the Boot

Does your raid team wish they could put your main tank on a goblin rocket and send him off to a far away land?

 Ah, the main tank. This is the raid quarterback role. All eyes are on them, all the time. Unfortunately, as a result, and due to how important and seemingly irreplaceable a good tank can be, some guilds bend over backwards to keep them happy. Often at the expense of the rest of the raid team.

My last serious progression raiding guild, circa Burning Crusade, had such a tank. He slowly but surely drove off many skilled raiders who were also great guildies (disclosure: I wsa one such member driven away), negatively impacting their ability to progress in raids. When last I checked in with them, in very late Wrath, the primadonna tank was gone for greener pastures, and they were nowhere near a Lich King kill. From progression raiding group, to a guild unable to get even one ten man kill of the Lich King. That was the cost to the guild for coddling a tank who was a bad fit for the guild-- but able to talk a good game about how the guild couldn't progress without him.

Don't become that guild. You really don't have to. There are always early warning signs that you have a toxic main tank that needs to be neutralized before he disolves your raiding team. Here are five:

  1. Disrespects the other raid members.
    This can manifest itself as talking over other people or shouting them down, fingerpointing at others whenever an issue or challenge pops up, and telling other people how to play their role. Often, this behavior is also related to not taking personal accountability for one's actions and their consequences. Don't chew out a melee for not knowing which add you wanted them to focus on when you 1) didn't tell anyone beforehand and 2) didn't mark a target.  Bonus points if the tank also tells other people how replaceable they are.
  2. You've told more than 1 raid member to just put him on mute on Vent.
    Guildies should not have to put other guildies on mute or ignore. This is not open to discussion for me. Guildies should not have to put other guildies on mute or ignore. Yes, people are people and will have disagreements and different -- sometimes clashing-- points of view. But I have an expectation that I am playing with people who can be mature enough to have a difference of opinion without being nasty and rude to each other. If your main tank is mouthing off and being disrespectful to guildies to the point folks are upset, maybe you should tell the MT to mute himself.
  3. Comes to raids...whenever he feels like it.
    Oh, he missed the raid tonight without telling anyone because he was tired. MMMM'kk. But he wasn't too tired to come online an hour and  a half later to go to another raid? Um, no. He's playing you. By not signing up for raids in advance, and then not always showing up, he's playing a game designed to keep you walking on eggshells, saying things like "don't upset the tank!" How much do you think it upset the 9 people who didn't get to raid when he blew them off to show them their place? And double minus points if he has transferred off the server to go play with a more progressed guild at some stall in your progression.
  4. Is an alt, with a main in a more progressed guild.
    I've seen a lot more of this in the past 2 years, likely because of the ease with which we can get our alts geared up through heroics and badge/points gear. My serious raiding guilds would give an auto gkick to people who were raiding (or applying to raid) elsewhere. Why? Because you don't want a raider who is only half committed to your raid. If you're super casual this may not be an issue. But if you are working on Al'akir, and finally making some headway, do yuo want to call it when your tank bails to go do something with their main's guild? Because that's what starts happening eventually. And again, that leaves your raid team in the lurch.
  5. Thinks (or even says out loud) you can't possibly carry on without them.
    It sucks to recruit a tank for your guild. But that doesn't mean your toxic tank is irreplaceable. None of your raid members are irreplaceable. And if someone on the team has this attitude-- this arrogance, it spills over into their interactions with the rest of the raid team. People don't like someone who wields their smug superiority over them. That's not how to build team camaraderie.

A raiding team full of frenemies may have some initial success, but once you hit the end of the tier bosses, you need true collaboration and teamwork to pull things off. If your main tank is exhibiting a few of these traits, sit him or her down and have a conversation about the importance of working as a team. Don't let a key player unravel the team.

What to Wear: a Shadow Priest's Guide to Zul'aman and Zul'gurub Heroic Dungeon Gear

Patch 4.1 brings us 5-man heroic dungeon versions of a couple of classic raids: Zul'aman (ZA) and Zul'gurub (ZG), with an opportunity to deck yourself out in ilvl 353 epics, which should help ease more folks into being raid-ready from a geaer perspective.

Thankfully, the loot tables will additionally help fill in some gaps for some of the harder to source items (i.e. wands and bracers.) Personally, I can't wait for my new and improved Will of Arlokk. That was always my favorite staff...

Once the item databases provide more details, I'll subdivide the list by instance.

Note that there is also a trinket, usuable by everyone, that calls forth your own posse of voodoo gnomes: Miniature Voodoo Mask.

How Not to Make a Good Impression in Your First Raid

shadow priest Anexxia stares down Cho'gall

On a recent raid night, we somehow ended up one DPS short of a full raid (hold the jokes, please ;p). Thus, we ended up taking with us a member who had just joined the prior evening.

As it turns out, the officer who had invited this person, must not have known them very well, if at all. I say this because if they had, they wouldn't have suggested bringing him in so far into the instance. Why do I say this? Because I'm pretty sure it was his first ever raid instance.

This player kept asking what color dot he needed to follow on the mini map and was clearly perplexed when asked to just visually look at his screen to see where folks were standing and moving towards. After partially wiping the raid group by running fire in the opposite edition (he literally ran me down), over Vent he asked repeatedly why the instance wouldn't let him back in. And when he finally was in and we were about to go for what was his third attempt, he asked us to wait when the ready check popped up, and proceeded to ask why we didn't all just spread out instead of moving around on the fight.

I believe we gave him three attempts before we cut him loose. And I don't foresee our taking him with us ever again. Why? A few key reasons:

  • He didn't say he was new to raiding before accepting the invitation
  • He demonstrated an inability to follow instructions
  • He talked over vent almost non-stop through the attempts, distracting the entire team from doing their jobs
  • Despite having no idea what he was doing, tried to tell the raid leader and team what we should be doing differently, on a boss we'd previously killed a number of times.

Start with Baby Steps

Now, I do understand why someone without any raiding experience would want to join a raiding  guild. And why they would be excited to be invited to a raid. And we do al have to start somewhere. But if you have no experience with grouping for raids, unless you are a WOW savant, a difficult boss towards the end of an instance is not the place to do that. You really need to start with an easier fight, and to have prepared for it.

Your best bet for getting your raiding feet wet is Baradin Hold. A slight bit of trash, only one boss, and a likelihood your guild can carry you through the content makes this a good starting point. You'll be able to start to get familiar with the dynamics of coordinating 10 or 25 players to achieve a common goal. And gain an understanding of the tasks your class and role may be asked to perform in a raid.

Once you start to feel like you are keeping up with the group, you can start thinking about hitting some of the entry level raid bosses. But you'll want to make sure you go watch a video of the encounter and read a description of what your role does in that fight, so that you are coming into the raid armed with enough knowledge to give it a good try. Be sure that your raid leader knows you are new to the instance, and ask clarifying questions if you are unsure of what you personally are being asked to do.

I understand it can seem scary to admit to being a newbie, but we were all newbies at one point or another. And a good team of folks will appreciate your 'fessing up, versus not understanding why you are having trouble with executing on something they consider to be on farm mode.

Further reading:

Can Progression Raiding and Alts Productively Coexist?

Don't mind me Atramedes, I'm just sightseeing, said the shadow priest as she crept closer...

We're at a point in this tier of content wherein serious raiding guilds are well on their way into defeating the heroic modes, but many more casual raiding guilds are finding themselves stuck at 9/12 or 10/12 on regular mode. So you know what that means -- folks are starting to want to bring their alts. Worse yet, the people who want to bring their alts are typically the folks who've geared themselves out thanks to having attended all or most of the runs (yes, I'm looking at you MT/Raid Leader/Core Raid team members.)

A guild leader's first impulse is probably to say "OK..." when their raid leader comes to them and says "I don't want to bring my geared out toon to raids any more; I really want to play Character X." But there are a number of reasons you should think twice before sealing that deal:

  1. Often this is not the first-- or the last-- time this player has pulled the old switcheroo. Are you prepared for them gearing up this character then cycling in their next alt?
  2. You've just set a precedent. Now that you've let them swap out to their alt, why can't player X do the same?
  3. So, player Z who has stayed on their main and lost a lot of loot to the swapping player, and is now losing more gear to their alt is starting to hate them.
  4. A raid team wants to feel like a team, not a loot delivery system for the raid leader. It can be hard to respect a leader who is continually fine tuning a situation to their advantage-- raid synergy be damned.
  5. Typically, no matter how much we love our alts, they will not perform nearly as well, or have the same utility as our mains on whom we've spent months raiding.

In my raiding history, once the alts started coming in, progression ground to a stand-still. Tempers flared. And frequently, good players left my raid teams.In many of the cases, this behavior was tolerated because it was done by the raid leader-- and everyone was afraid of losing the raid leader to the extent that no one spoke up about it. But there was a lot of discussion going on in the background amongst the raiders it affected. And none of it sunshine and kittens related.

To be clear, I'm not saying a raid leader shouldn't grab someone's healer alt if a raid won't go without that happening. But allowing players, at their request, to swap characters at this stage in the game, after gearing themselves up? That has a real possibility of derailing your progression momentum.

So, What Can You Do to Avoid a Blowout?

If this issue comes up in your guild, you can't just ignore it. It won't go away. But there are a few ways you can diffuse the situation.

  • Start up an alt raid.
    You probably have enough experienced raiders with moderately geared up alts who want to raid on them. Put them all together, and let them start re-clearing the raids. Bonus points for this approach making folks work for it, versus coasting off mains' hard work.
  • Put it to a vote.
    If someone is truly adamant about wanting to make a switch, put up an anonymous vote on your forums and let the raid team decide. And do the same for if EP/DKP is allowed to roll over or if there will be a penalty spend or freeze for a specific timeframe to discourage the loot and run syndrome.

How has your guild dealt with these situations?

Friday Five: Five Fake Patch Notes That Shoulda Been Real

I'm a smidge tardy with this week's Friday Five, thanks to having spent the better part of the week out of town. But I did get home in time to see some of Blizzard's April Fool's handiworks. And thius, this week's five:

  1. Appearance tab.
    Acknowledging the continued requests of our players, an Appearance tab has been added to the game! The Appearance tab will finally, at long last, allow players to customize the look of their non-combat pets. Simply summon a non-combat pet and use the Appearance tab to change its look to that of any of the other non-combat pets you own. Summon, customize, and play!
    NOTE: of course, we'd *really* like to see this come true for characters, not pets, but still.
  2. Acknowledgement that there's not a lot of choice in the talent trees.
    Talents are now automatically chosen for a player based on the main specialization chosen.
  3. Super herber status.
    Druids now perform an area-of-effect knockback when harvesting herbs, looting, or skinning (does not remove Flight Form).
    NOTE: none of my druids are herbers, mind you, but this would be too funny.
  4. Mirror images now more magey.
    In addition to their current spells, mage Mirror Images now can randomly cast Frost Nova, Ring of Frost, Portal: Dalaran, and Mirror Image. Mirror Images summoned by Mirror Images can also cast Mirror Image. Mirror Images summoned by Mirror Images that are summoned by Mirror Images can also cast Mirror Images. Mirror Images that are summoned by Mirror Images that are summoned by Mirror Images that are summoned by Mirror Images…
  5. Priest class conversion.
    Evangelism now has a 2% chance to convert all surrounding party members to the priest class.

BONUS: Female warlocks are now correctly called witches.

What were your favorites?

If DPS is "So Easy" Why Are Folks Still Struggling?

Shadow priest basking in warmth from two-headed beast Chimaeron, recently slain

DPS is so easy. I know this because people tell me this, often.

Healing is so hard. And Tanking is so much more difficult. But DPS? DPS is so easy.

Bollocks I say!

If DPS were so easy, then everyone I know would be 12/12. I would never be in a fail 5-man PUG that couldn't get past Baron Ashbury in SFK. And this game would be so incredibly boring as I stood in one place and used a macro for my rotation.

The truth is, I am still in heroics with people who are doing 6k DPS. I've recently been in a 25-man with someone in my same spec, with better gear than me, with my same assignment, who did 50% of my damage. And on any given raid night, I see wide fluctuations in my own DPS, depending upon my assigned job in the raid.

That's right-- we DPS don't just stand around in one place and look pretty as we hurl shadowy death at mobs. We also stare at the middle of our screen waiting for the DBM warning to come up about the nastiness we need to offensively dispel off a boss, while also staying at range from everyone else, or stacking up, or running out of the group so as not to explode you.

DPS kite adds while folks focus on the boss. They click on vehicles to engage random mechanics at very specific times in your raids. DPS endure all means of crackpot schemes dreamt up by frustrated (or perhaps even just plain crazy) raid leaders. And most of all, DPS take being told, day after day, raid after raid, you are replaceable, interchangeable with any other DPS.

A good raid leader, however, knows the value of their best DPS. They understand that a raid is a team effort. The weight of the raid is not all on the shoulders of the healer, or the tank. It's on *everyone's shoulders*.

Success hinges upon the team working together seamlessly, one action flowing into another. Healers anticipating damage, as DPS damage the boss and execute their assigned tasks, and tanks maintain threat. A successful boss kill is a thing of beauty and it takes all of us, playing our best, to make it happen.

So the next time someone says "DPS has it so easy..." please consider telling them to knock it off. We're all in this together, folks.

Friday Five: Five Reasons I Raid

oh hey Maloriak, your momma dresses you funny

Last night I went in and killed this guy, a guild first. I had that awesome heart-pounding adrenaline rush, and thought it would be fun to share the 5 primary reasons I raid.

  1. I love the adrenaline rush of a new boss kill. First you make steady progress. Then you get the wipe at 17%. Then you get the attempt where everyone is in the flow. No one has died. You are in phase 2. Everything's smooth. The raid leader says "BURN HIM!" and you do. You push your character, micromanaging every GCD, You find that volcanic potion you forgot you'd stashed in your bag. Push, push push...and he's dead!
  2. I love the teamwork. The world is full of plenty of ways to be an individual contributor. Raiding on the other hand is very much about the entire team doing the dance, ebbing and flowing together. And I love being part of a team accomplishing a goal together. I also love all the silly inside jokes you have after a year or more of raiding with the same folks. See also why I never let my horde guild's paladin tank Dreb off the hook without making at least 1 funny voice for me.
  3. I love seeing new places. And taking many many screenshots.
  4. I like to push myself to be a better player. And raids have endless room for fine tuning and experimentation. You can raid on the same character for an entire expansion and still have room to fiddle with things you do in the raids to keep it interesting. And of course raiding has the potential, RNG willing, of your getting new gear with which to improve your character, which feeds back into this reason.
  5. I like to have the opportunity to shadow priest tank. What, your raid doesn't have any shadow priest tanking? My raids *always* have some shadow priest tanking. Like when both tanks die at 3%, and someone needs to keep the boss engaged long enough to finish him off. Or when a nasty dragon trash mob kills the entire raid and I get to DoT and kite him down a long hallway until he keels over. Those are incredible moments of fun and joyfulness for me.

So why do you raid?

Friday Five: Five Things to Multitask in WoW While You are on the Phone

Deepholm can be pretty

Don't you hate sitting on hold? The jaunty muzak, the boringness of it all? Just as deadly is when you get roped into a phone conversation that mostly consists of you being a recipient of someone else's non-stop monologue. These situations do not lend themselves to your joining a 5-man. However, there are a number of things you *can* easily and comeptantly do while stuck ont he phone for an undetermined amount of time:

  1. Gathering professions. Make a loop of your favorite zone and pick up herbs or mining nodes. This sort of farming does so much better while multitasking.
  2. Fishing. You can fly around searching for pools, or you can just go to the spot that provides your favorite fish, and cast+click then cast again. Heroics and raids are raraely a one-food affair these days, so it's nice to have a stack or two on hand. And if that's not enough to motivate you, you can get an achievement for maxing out fishing, and your guild can get an achievement for you fishing up every pool that crosses your path for the next few months.
  3. Profession chores. Milling herbs. Making bolts of cloth. Doing your daily transmute. Check! Check! Check!
  4. Bank maintenance. Toss all those old pieces of non-dress up gear from WotLK. You won't need them. Also toss out those quest reward greens you weren't sure about equipping along the way. You won't use them either. Are those some non-BOP stackable items I see in your bank too? Send that to your bank alt!
  5. Exploration through Archaeology. Are you a world explorer yet? If not, now's the time to go see the many landscape changes, while picking up relics from Azeroth's past. Archaeology likes to send you to there and back again, and provides a great excuse to do fly-bys of all your old haunts.

Top Thing NOT to Do While on the Phone: Queue in LFD. Those 4 other people do not look kindly upon someone who is standing at the front of the instance for 5-10 minutes, unresponsive, or who distractedly walks into another group of mobs. If you are on the phone (or at work for that matter) don't queue. Go do something solo until you can give WoW your close to full attention.

This post brought to you courtesy of my having spent way too much time on hold this past week, trying to get a firm to stop spamming me with their direct mail welcome packages (25 packages and counting so far). I feel welcomed already! Stop with the dead tree deluge! Gah!

What to Wear: The Shadow Priest's Guide to Cataclysm's Justice and Valor Points-purchased Gear

consider this a prime example of what NOT to wear

Now that you've got some justice points stacking up in your currency tab, and a few vexing greens still on your 85s, you are probably ready to go shopping, yes? But first things first -- how do you earn more of these points?

Justice Points

  • Cataclysm Heroic dungeon boss -- 75 Justice Points
  • Cataclysm daily normal dungeon -- 75 Justice Points

Valor Points

  • Cataclysm daily Heroic dungeon -- 75 Valor Points
  • Cataclysm 10-player raid boss -- 75 Valor Points
  • Cataclysm 25-player raid boss -- 105 Valor Points

Now before you hit the comment button to tell me I forgot about WotLK raids and heroics, let me stop you. At 85 you will not be earning justice points from any "outgrown" content, regardless of if they previously dropped badges for you. And now, on to the good stuff.

Justice Points Gear (ilvl 346)

 Valor Points Gear (ilvl 359)

Next Steps

If you are looking to build a set that works well for healing in addition to shadow, you will want to grab pieces with spirit rather than with hit. The relative utility of the mastery bonus continues to be debated, but is widely considered to not be worth choosing over an item without it, so also bear that in mind if you plan only to play as shadow. Additionally, there are some crafted items, including epic pants and belt, that you may wish to have made rather than spending your points.

Now that you have your wish list in place, where do you make your purchases? Horde has Jamus'Vaz <Valorous Quartermaster> and Gunra <Justice Quartermaster> in Orgrimmar's Valley of Strength. Alliance has Faldren Tillsdale <Valorous Quartermaster> and Magatha Silverton <Justice Quartermaster> in Stormwind in the Old Town area.

NOTE: It is a bummer that wands and bracers for shadow priests are not craftable, available through rep, or purchaseable from the point vendors at this point. Hopefully we shall see that rectified with a future patch. Until then, you can farm Grim Batol for the Wand of Untainted Power [spirit]. For bracers, your options are Lost City for Sand Silk Wristband bracers, the long quest chain that culminates in Doing it the Hard Way in Halls of Origination, or Crimsonborne Bracers in Grim Batol.

What to Wear: The Shadow Priest's Guide to Cataclysm's Crafted Gear

shadow priest fishing up volatiles to craft some new clothes

Note that I am not including rare quality tailoring gear here at this time since it is PvP oriented, or ilvl 333 and under. Also note that overall, until there's data showing that mastery is worth it for shadow priests, I am leaning towards gear without it when there is a choice to be made.

ilvl 359 Tailoring Epics

ilvl 346 Blacksmithing Weapon

ilvl 346 Jewelcrafting Accessories

ilvl 346 Inscription Off Hands

What Motivates You to Level?

I hope this mine car has brakes...

Two weeks into this expansion, I have my druid to 85, my shadow priest to 83, tailoring maxed out on Horde and Alliance sides, and my druid's cooking, enchanting, fishing and skinning maxed out as well. This is how I can say with complete certainty that it is the professions that motivate me to level.

I already knew that was true for lowbies. Because nothing can push me through 5 levels in a sitting on a low level alt like knowing I can skill up a crafting profession at the end of it. But it is funny to see that's true of the primary characters as well.

If I think back to the launch of Wrath of the Lich King, I think I had two 80s before I did a big professions push. But this time, it was simultaneous. Yes the new phased linear questing and all the new things to see and do kept me out there and racking up the XP. But truth be told I got just as excited at making it out to Twilight Highlands and buying my first pattern (for the enchanting rod. second purchase? the lamp pet recipe.)

This has made it easy to see that the next character I need to level Alliance side is my wee shaman. Why? Because we really need a leatherworker...


Friday Five: Five Things NOT to Do in LFD Groups

Camel-back Boomkin in Halls of Origination

Cataclysm has marked the return to random dungeon groups for many people. Some of whom seem to to be unclear on some of the common courtesy's of grouping with strangers. This Friday Five goes out to them...

  1. DON'T queue until you are ready. This is especially true for tanks and healers: you know you will get an instance almost immediately. So don't queue, come on inside, then tell us you need a 5 minute AFK. We hate you. And will kick you out of there as soon as the timer allows us to for that.
  2. DON'T be afraid to ask questions. You know how right before a boss fight, the party leader will often say "so has everybody done this?" I know it can bruise one's ePeen to be the only one raising their hand, but if it's your first time in Vortex Pinnacle, speak up. Heck, even if it's not, if you are running with a bunch of strangers, ask them how they want to handle the fight. Make sure you understand who is in charge of cc'ing the diamond. Double check if this is a go stand in something or a kite through or a run away from fight.
  3. DON'T run back to the entrance to turn in your quests. No, the group doesn't want to wait 5 minutes for you to go turn in your quest, no matter how excited you are about that quest reward item. This is a pretty surefire way to get kicked out.
  4. DON'T ignore party chat, especially when it is directed towards you. If someone is asking you a question, you need to respond to it. "Paladin X, are you lost?" crickets. "Paladin X, why are you back at the entrance to the instance?" crickets. "Paladin X you aren't keeping us all waiting here for 4 minutes now turning in your quests and not replying to us are you?" crickets. /vote to kick.
  5. DON'T be a primadonna. We don't care that you blew your uber mega DPS cooldown on that last boss 200 feet over there and it won't be up again for 5 minutes. Your meter humping is of little interest to the group. Really. I promise. It's up to you to manage your CDs and buffs, not the group's obligation to stand around waiting for your to feel everything is optimal for you for each fight.

BONUS: DON'T tell the group how every other group you've done this instance with has done it faster/more smoothly/without the boss casting meteor/whatever. The expansion has been out for a little over a week. Saying stuff like this marks you as a pretentious git. Get over yourself and learn how to have a good time!

So far I am enjoying the new dungeons. I especially liked being able to run around in boomkin form on a camel in a dungeon, as seen above. Now THAT's what I call a fun time in a dungeon -- boomkin DPSing from a camel's back.

My First Week of Cataclysm


baby gryphon daycare facility, Twilight Highlands

I haven't actually had the game for a full week yet, since my Amazon game day pre-order didn't arrive until 5 p.m. last Tuesday. But today is, nonetheless, the week marker since Cataclysm became available for us to play. How are you liking it so far? I'm having a great time overall, tho some things are driving me crazy. So let's start with that...

Things That Drive Me Crazy About Cataclysm

  • Broken quests that impede your ability to progress through the zone thanks to the funneled nature of the questing. Vash'jir, I am looking at you. I keep seeing people happily earning achievements in that zone while I remain in eternal wait for an NPC who never spawns, thus unable to complete half the quests in the zone. I also had this happen in Mount Hyjal, but it was after I got the quest achievement for the zone so I was less bitter about it. The good news is the bugged quests are known issues and they are working on them. The bad news is I know of several such quests in BC that stayed that way for most of the expansion.
  • Portals that don't spawn making it hard to get back to the new areas. Mount Hyjal portal, I'm calling you out on this one. It has not spawned for the character who got the achievement for doing all the quests there. Or for the SO's toon who did half of them. At least it is a short flight for the hordies. Alliance toons can go talk to the Cenarion Emissary in the keep to port to moonglade again then fly from there. But it is still a PITA.
  • Stupidly low drop rate for cloth. I quested for about 2 hours on my tailor, in Mount Hyjal, yesterday and she picked up 6 pieces of cloth. I shouldn't have to farm the AH for working on my tailoring, but that has been my primary source of it. Disappointing.
  • Having to shift in and out of Boomkin form constantly to be able to do things like mount up. Please fix this bug. It's incredibly annoying and lame to have to do this every time I want to pop on to a mount. Please put it back to where we automatically shift out of form when we click on the mount. Pretty please.

Things That I am Loving About Cataclysm

  • The amazing scenery. Plenty to screenshot everywhere I go. Lots of funny quest-related things I've screenshotted that will turn up here on future posts.
  • The move towards more immersive, focused storytelling. Although when you hit a bugged quest it can be annoying, overall the immersion for the new way of questing through the Cataclysm areas has been great. Instead of walking into town and having 12 quests all over the map, you get a quest or two, all together, that you can work on. And so many more cut scenes! It's a nice freshener for the game.
  • Fishing in Uldum. I absolutely love the Uldum scenery. And it feels like everywhere I fly there, I see a sparkly little fishing pool that needs my attention. Having these marshy areas be surrounded by crocs is a nice touch.
  • Pets pets everywhere! I have new vanity pets coming out of my ears, and without too much mindless farming (other than Mr. Grubs.)

So far, I have the druid to 84, and questing in Uldum. The shadow priest is 82, and questing in Vash'jir, having just finished up Mount Hyjal, other than her bugged quest.  I've spent a good portion of my auction house earnings working on my professions, but only have cooking and skinning maxed out thus far. Overall, it feels like good progress for a busy week that saw me have at most 3 hours of playtime a day. I hope by this time next week to have both these ladies to 85 and working on heroics.

What have you been up to this week?

Friday Five: Five Primary Things I've Done Since Cataclysm Hit

  boomkin on a seahorse...wut?

 Now that December 7th has come and gone, and level 85s are already complaining about how bored they are and my what long dungeon queues they have, I bring you this Friday Five, covering how I have spent the last 3 Cataclysmic days...

  1. Wading knee deep in professions. When I log in a new character, the first to-do is to visit all their profession trainers and train so I can start getting those professions skill-ups rolling. Of course I forgot to do that for my Alliance druid's skinning (that trainer is all the way out in Old Town SW, and thus was forgotten), so although she skinned plenty in Vashj'ir, you didn't gain any points for it, alas. So far, have been pushing the levers on working on my horde-side tailoring, fishing and cooking, and herbing; alliance side the most headway was made with alchemy and inscription, but tailoring and enchanting are moving along as well.
  2. Checking out the new starter instances. Given that we need to up our ilvls in order to use LFD for the later instances, I've been making sure I do the starter instances as soon as I can find a group of friends or guildies interested in doing so. And yes, I have been equipping dungeon blues to replace my ilvl 251 pieces on the druid. The SP has built a set of crafted gear to meet the new ilvl requirements as well, but is still hanging on to some 264/277 pieces.
  3. Questing and dungeoning with guildies. I easily maxed out my guild reputation from the week over the course of each toon's one evening of playtime, thanks in large part to questing with my SO (which kept me focused and moving forward through the story lines) and dungeoning with guildies and friends which kept us out of what I've heard has been a 40-minute LFD queue for DPS.
  4. Leveling slowly but surely. I've only had a few hours each evening to play, as I've had a full plate at work this week. But even with the limitation of just 3 or so hours per night to play, my druid and my shadow priest are each halfway through 81.
  5. Sightseeing. I've yet to do an aerial tour of Azeroth, or even get started on my archaeology, but when I am out in the new areas, I am making sure I stop to smell the Cinderblooms, and to take plenty of screenies. That can backfire sometimes though, mind you. Such as the case with the screenshot you see on this page. Wouldn't you agree that is is terribly unfair that I was able to ride this adorable seahorse whilst in boomkin form in performance of the quest? But that once I received my very own seahorse to have and to hold, I was unable to ride him except in caster form? I'm being opressed!.

How have you been spending your first few days in Azeroth? Speed leveling one toon to 85? Making a killing in the AH? Or taking your time and rolling new alts?

Cataclysm FAQs

gnome shadow priest gains cooking tips from Robby Flay and Barrio Matalli in Stormwind

Ah, another expansion is upon us. Which means...Gchat full of people repeatedly asking the same questions over and over. Admittedly, when WotLK dropped, I made a few macros to quickly and accurately reply to some of the questions that kept popping up in guild chat. And thus, the inspiration for this list.

Some of these questions will be old hat for those players who have been online daily since the Shattering hit us. But rest assured most guilds will see an influx of  folks who will, undoubtedly, start asking these questions straight away...


OMG! Where did the portals in Dalaran go?

Deathwing ate them.

Are the ones in Shatt still there?


How the hell am I supposed to get back to Azeroth now?

The same way you did before you got to Dalaran: take the boat/zeppelin.

Boat? What boat? / Zeppelin? Which Zeppelin?

Alliance: Valiance Keep, Borean Tundra --to-- Stormwind Harbor

Horde: Warsong Hold, Borean Tundra --to-- Orgrimmar

How am I supposed to get around from continent to continent now?

Boats go many wonderful places.

  • Ratchet, The Barrens --to-- Booty Bay
  • Menethil Harbor, Wetlands --to-- Theramore Isle
  • Menethil Harbor, Wetlands --to-- Valgarde, Howling Fjord 
  •  Stormwind Harbor, Elwynn Forest --to-- Rut'theran Village, Teldrassil 
  •  Rut'theran Village, Teldrassil --to-- Valaar's Berth, Azuremyst Isle 

 Zeppelins also go many wonderful places.

  •  Orgrimmar, Durotar --to-- Grom'Gol, Stranglethorn Vale  
  •  Orgrimmar, Durotar --to-- Undercity, Tirisfal Glades  
  •  Orgrimmar, Durotar --to-- Thunder Bluff, Mulgore  
  •  Undercity, Tirisfal Glades --to-- Grom'Gol, Stranglethorn Vale  
  •  Undercity, Tirisfal Glades --to-- Vengeance Landing, Howling Fjord

And druids may teleport to Moonglade, which is your fastest route to Kalimdor.

But there isn't a boat to Darkshore from Darnassus now. Help!

The flightmaster will happily fly you there.

 Why can't I fly now? I thought we could fly in Cataclysm?

Did you buy your Flight Master's License yet? It will allow you to ride your flying mount in Kalimdor, Esastern Kingdoms and Deepholm. It will cost you $250G.

I don't have my flying license. Where can I buy it?

Visit your favorite flight trainer. I suggest the new trainers located next to the flight paths in Stormwind and Orgrimmar.

I can't buy the flying license. Why?

Did you install Cataclysm yet? You can't fly in Azeroth without it. Cataclysm is also needed to visit the new areas and roll goblins or worgen, level your characters to 85, and to level your professions past 450.

Where do I learn Archaeology?

Talk to a guard in any major city.

OK, I learned Archaeology. What do I do with it now?

Check out the Wowpedia archaeology guide for details on where to go and how it all works.

Where do I train up my professions?

Talk to a guard in any major city; they'll put an icon on your map where your trainer can be found. Progressing past 500 on some professions may require that you level your character and then visit a specialty vendor in a higher level area, such as Twilight Highlands.

Twilight Highlands...? Where's that?

MMO Champion has a map of that area and tons of details.

What are all the new areas?

I went to Gilneas. Why isn't anything there?

It's a phased area for new players of that race only. If you want to see it, go roll a worgen.

Do I have to fly all the way back to the new areas?

Not after your first time visiting them. World of Raids has maps showing where the portals are located in Sotrmwind and Orgrimmar that can return you to those areas after your initial visit..

Can anyone in the guild link me their <profession name>?

We sure can! But did you know that you can see all the recipes everyone knows on all their characters for yourself? Go to the guild menu. In the view pulldown menu, select professions. That shows you a list of everyone who is on now, and their professions.

Why can't I see anyone for <profession name>?

Try checking the "show offline members" box in the lower left part of the window. That way you can see recipes for alts of players who are on now, and items for everyone else in the guild.

Where are the new cooking/fishing dailies?

They are given out in Stormwind and Orgrimmar now. Here's a guide to the new fishing and cooking quests and achievements for more details:

Hey! Can you bump up my guild reputation. It says I am just neutral. But I've been in this guild for years.

No can do. Everyone -- including the guild leader-- starts at neutral.

So, how do I raise my reputation in the guild?

There are many ways you can do this, just by playing the game as you would normally. Reputation is awarded for attaining guild achievements, completing instances with guildies, and many other things. There's a helpful guide to guild achievements on Wowpedia.

If I /gquit will I start at my current guild reputation level in my new guild?

Nope. You'll start back at neutral, so you will want to stop and consider the consequences before jumping to a new guild. And those with /gkick powers will want to stop doing joke kicks as those will also wipe guild reputation.

Why can't I see my friends list?

Hit your "o" key, or click on the little person icon in the top left of your chat window.

What else happened during the Shattering, other than Deathwing eating all our portals?

I was asleep when it happened so I really can't say. But Anne Stickley over at WoW Insider wrote a great piece on everything that happened in the Shattering. Note that if you plan to read The Shattering book, you may not want to read the post. Oh yeah -- there are new racial videos that also tell part of the story too, so don't hit the ESC key next time you roll an alt.

Where are the new Justice/Valor point vendors?

Horde has Jamus'Vaz <Valorous Quartermaster> and Gunra <Justice Quartermaster> in Orgrimmar's Valley of Strength. Alliance has Faldren Tillsdale <Valorous Quartermaster> and Magatha Silverton <Justice Quartermaster> in Stormwind in the Old Town area.

I thought there were supposed to be new heirlooms?

There sure are. But your guild needs to attain guild level 10 before you can purchase them. See the WoWhead Guild Advancement guide for more information.

Are there any FAQs I've missed? Let me know in the comments!

What to Wear: a Shadow Priest's Guide to 5-man Cataclysm Heroic Dungeon Gear

This is a companion piece to the 5-man Cataclysm Dungeon Gear guide. All items are ilvl 346 rare quality. What you will immediately notice is the item names are the same as their regular dungeon counterparts (with the exception of SFK and Deadmines which both have a number of uniquely named items), with a boost of stats from the regular version, and often the addition of one or more gem slots.

Please note: if you are wondering why I have included items with spirit in this list, please go read The Changing Face of Spirit. If you have taken the Twisted Faith talent, you will want to use spirit items to help reach your hit cap as needed.

Details after the jump.

Continue reading "What to Wear: a Shadow Priest's Guide to 5-man Cataclysm Heroic Dungeon Gear" »

What to Wear: a Shadow Priest's Guide to 5-man Cataclysm Dungeon Gear

Before you dive into Heroics, you'll need to get yourself a solid set of dungeon blues to get started.

Now I do need to warn you of one thing: don't be fooled by the level requirements on the items. That blue that only requires level 78 to wear? Don't turn your nose up at it if it's ilvl 279 and you are sporting ilvl 200 level 80 WotLK epics. If you're in ICC25 gear, you're probably not going to be taking any of the 279 ilvl pieces, but will want to start looking at the 300+ pieces to see if the piece better meets your itemization needs.

Note: if you plan on using the LFD finder, you'll need an average ilvl of over 279 to use it after the two introductory instances, so it is best to make your peace now about ditching your beautiful Icecrown epics for questing greens..

Also note:

  • ilvl 279 requires level 78 to wear.
  • ilvl 316 requires level 81 to wear.
  • ilvl 333 requires level 83 to wear.
  • ilvl 346  requires level 85 to wear.

And finally, if you are wondering why I have included items with spirit in this list, please go read The Changing Face of Spirit. If you have taken the Twisted Faith talent, you will want to use spirit items to help reach your hit cap as needed.

Details after the jump.

Continue reading "What to Wear: a Shadow Priest's Guide to 5-man Cataclysm Dungeon Gear" »