Did I Read Divine Hymn Wrong?

Here’s the updated PTR wording on Divine Hymn:

You recite a Holy hymn, summoning the power of the Divine to assist you in your time of need. Heals 3 nearby lowest health friendly party or raid targets for 4320 to 4774 every 2 sec for 8 sec, and increases healing done to them by 15% for 8 sec. Maximum of 12 heals. The Priest must channel to maintain the spell.

At first I was under the impression that it would only heal the three lowest nearby targets, period. After staring at it a little more, I realized that Divine Hymn is a smart heal similar in kind to Circle of Healing. My guess is that every time it ticks, it will constantly scan your group for lowest health players and heal them up accordingly.

So 3 players per tick every 2 seconds for 8 seconds. That’s potentially 12 different targets or the ability to save nearly half the raid from one of Kel’Thuzad’s nasty Ice Blocks. Of course, that’s assuming you have 12 players all standing on top of each other. Actually, no that isn’t the case. Only 6 can be saved.

I can see why the cooldown on it was increased to ten minutes. Yeah, it’s a channeling spell. I think if you cast a Shield on yourself while channeling, the chances of being interrupted go down (since the damage is prevented). A lot of players indicated that because it is a channeling cost, it’s underpowered and not worth using. But what are the alternatives?

  • Instant cast: A fire and forget spell allowing the Priest to cast it and forget about it. Priest would be able to move around and let the spell run the course throughout the raid.
  • X second cast time: Heals 12 different people at the conclusion of the spell? Too overpowered also.

The intent of Blizzard here is to create a potentially raid saving spell usable once every two or so attempts at a raid boss. This fits the bill just fine. Because it’s a channel, it will force the casting Priest to use discretion and time it in such a way that it won’t get interrupted. Yeah it’s a slight handicap. But it’s no different in the way we’ve been using Hymn of Hope over the past half a year. Let’s stop trying to hope for the things that may not change and start planning on adapting this spell to our needs on our terms.

Say Hi to No Stock UI!

Say Hi to No Stock UI!

nsui

During the summer of 2007, I started World of Matticus. In the summer of 2008, I opened the PlusHeal discussion community for healers to take part and actively contribute their ideas for other players to learn from.

It is now spring of 2009.

Enter No Stock UI.

This will be a magazine style blog with a few notable bloggers around the community:

You can find out more about us if you’re interested! You’re also certainly welcome to contribute! We’re all UI enthusiasts at heart.

What’s the big idea?

No doubt some of you are wondering what’s the point in a UI blog. But some of the most passionate and heated blog posts stem from bloggers who write about their UI and different addons. Often times these useful posts are scattered, buried and tossed aside never to be read again.

Here at No Stock UI, our goal is to deliver compelling and quality content centering around your gaming experience. Topics will range from:

  • Addons
  • Macros
  • User Interface
  • Design
  • Reviews
  • Comparisons

To start with, the blog will be updated every Tuesday and Thursday. Hopefully we can pick up the pace as time goes on. Eventually, I’d like to see it get to the point where readers can get a new post everyday. One step at a time, right?

Our posts

  • 4 Popular Heads Up Displays
  • Why Aesthetics are Important
  • 6 Nifty Addons You Might Not Know About
  • 30+ FuBar Plugins You Can’t Live Without
  • Where to Find Your New UI
  • Killer Combinations: AuctionLite + Skillet + LilSparksWorks
  • In Depth Analysis with Recount

Hope you’ll enjoy reading our posts as much as we loved writing them!

And the Award Goes to…

And the Award Goes to…

awards

My fellow Blog Azeroth colleagues (altoholicmom and Stop) have seen fit to offer World of Matticus one of the most prestigious awards in blogging today! I’ll be accepting it on behalf of the entire team. Blogging is not easy but all of us put in an effort to make it look as polished as possible. The design uses the Matticus standards of blue. It’s the revolution music theme I purchased from Brian Gardner which I’ve customized.

The conditions of acceptance are as follows:

  1. When accepting this auspicious award, you must write a post bragging about it, including the name of the misguided soul who thinks you deserve such acclaim, and link back to the said person so everyone knows she/he is real.
  2. Choose a minimum of seven (7) blogs that you find brilliant in content or design. Or improvise by including bloggers who have no idea who you are because you dont have seven friends. Show the seven random victims names and links and leave a harassing comment informing them that they were prized with Honest Weblog. Well, theres no prize, but they can keep the nifty icon.
  3. List at least ten (10) honest things about yourself. Then pass it on!

Now, it’s my turn to nominate and award seven other blogs around the blogosphere which is going to be difficult. But I will try!

too-many-annas 

Too Many Annas: For outstanding blogging. Her ability to represent the three Rs (Resto Shaman, Raiding, and RPing) are unparalleled. Her site design is the latest evolution in Informational Shamanistics. She doesn’t know it yet, but shes up for an honorary healing degree from the Matticus school of Raiding.

big-bear-butt

Big Bear Butt: This bear has managed to outwrite and outproduce World of Matticus in terms of sheer quantity (and quality!). The award goes to Master Patricelli! ;) Renowned for writing thought provoking, eyebrow raising, and mind warping posts, Big Bear Butt has entertained and educated readers since the summer of 2007 (right around when World of Matticus formed)!

duct-tape

Duct Tape and a Prayer: For most promising healing blog formed in 2009, I nominate @etherjammer. He’s come to the conclusion that haste is indeed better than crit going forward into 3.1 for Discipline Priests. His weekly link posts are an excellent source of reading material if you’re looking to kill time somewhere. Keep an eye on the jammer. I suspect his presence will be around for a while.

druid-kitty

Druid Kitty: Having been read 10000 times is no easy feat. Many aspiring bloggers give up before they even reach that mark. A big congratulations are in order for @superkathoid for reaching the 10000 mark. Before you realize it, you will break the 100000 mark. But keep writing. Don’t give up. Never look back.

tanking-tips

Tanking Tips: Without tanks, there would be no need for healers (since we’d die too quick to be effective). Veneretio has been a beacon to countless protection Warriors both novice and veteran alike. His tenacity for tanking is matched by his ability to engage discussion. For this, I nominate @veneretio for outstanding blogging and service to the pin cushions of WoW!

need-more-rage

Need More Rage: Ratshag has provided countless hours of laughs and tears with his posts. What goes on in his head when he writes? I would love to know that myself, actually. As such, it is only fitting that Ratters earn the title of “Most Wackiest WoW Blogger”

paladin-schmaladin

Paladin Schmaladin: This blogger popped up on my radar a few months ago. She is a contributor to the Retpaladin.com community. Some of you might know her as Ferraro. I don’t know of very many Retribution Paladin bloggers myself. But I did learn a thing or two from her for my Paladin.

Honorary mentions:

World of Warcraft, eh? – I had the pleasure of meeting Cadistra two weeks ago (and she’s cool to boot). It’s a great WoW comic and it should be added to everyone’s RSS. Totally blew my mind how much time and effort is involved.

And now to the facts portion. As a twist, I made an extra stipulation that none be WoW related.

Facts about Matt

  1. Favourite beverage is coffee. Usually grabbed from Starbucks for the sake of convenience. No cream, no sugar. I like my coffee black.
  2. Brain teasers and logic puzzles are what I do when I need a break from anything WoW related.
  3. I still have yet to watch Princess Bride.
  4. I let out large sighs of exasperation when I’m not happy about something. (My guild can attest to this)
  5. The only genre of music I don’t like to listen to is country.
  6. I once took Salsa and Waltz lessons (but call me the dancing Dwarf, and I will smite you).
  7. Dogs scare me. A dog came up to me on my bike when I was younger and caused me to fall off.
  8. When skating, the only method by which I can stop is crashing into the boards.
  9. I worked as a carnie for three years. Yeah, I was the guy that let your kids into the bouncy castle. However, I was not the guy who cleaned up after your kid if he peed in it (I made someone else do it).
  10. I have the world’s messiest handwriting. There are some days where I can’t even read myself. That’s why I purchased my Macbook for school

Facts about Wynthea:

  1. My birth was announced by a fortune cookie which proclaimed "There will soon be an addition to your family" to my mother. She was pregnant, but didn’t know it yet.
  2. I once auditioned for The Real World because it was the season to be set in Paris, even though I’ve never seen the show.
  3. I don’t own a television. (well, i do, but it’s only hooked up to my DVD player…)
  4. When I’m stressed, I count to twenty in my head… in French.
  5. It’s taken some time, but I’ve finally learned to control the facial twitch that happens when I introduce myself, and people respond: "oh, like the little mermaid?"
  6. I can bake excessively delicious cookies, muffins, and brownies.
  7. My birthday is New Year’s Eve. It is AWESOME.
  8. I got my nose pierced today.
  9. My guild makes fun of me because I am notoriously un-funny. They’ve learned to give me pity laughs in vent though, which is why I’ll never leave them.
  10. I know all the words, and can rap along to, this Outkast track.

Facts about Lodur

  1. I’m addicted to all things steam punk. I’m just fascinated by the artwork and gadgetry and overall style
  2. I obsessively watch hockey and soccer. (GO MANCHESTER UNITED!)
  3. I have been referred to at work as "Super Mario" since Halloween of 2007 when I showed up to work in overalls, red shirt, over-sized cartoon gloves and an embroidered red hat with the "M" on it. Helps that I’m short, round and mostly Italian.
  4. I’m a classically trained singer (not kidding) and performed in the traveling show of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in the early 90′s as part of the children choir
  5. I’ve named all of my guitars
  6. I’m named after one of The Beatles.
  7. The demo for the song "To Be With You" by Mister Big was recorded in my childhood home
  8. I’m addicted to Tim Horton’s coffee… no seriously they put one across the street from my home and I have to buy at least one cup a day.
  9. My favorite T-Shirt has the words "Cereal Killer" on it with a skull and crossbones with two spoons as the crossbones. Yes, I love the movie hackers.
  10. I’m an Apple fan boy. I love me some Mac!

Facts about Sydera

  1. I am a big reader. I always was, for my whole life. I was that kid who really did read the encyclopedia–it was a set of 1966 World Books. My favorite books of all time are Don Quijote, Pride and Prejudice, Bleak House, and Jane Eyre. However, I read mostly sci-fi and fantasy in my spare time now.
  2. I am a southerner, but I don’t have a southern accent. However, ask me sometime to imitate my mother or grandmother–guaranteed to have you in stitches!
  3. I hate flying. A lot. Have you ever tried to take a cat to the vet? Getting me on a plane is a lot like that, except I have to do it to myself.
  4. I am a big-time procrastinator. In fact, I totally could have written this list yesterday, but I didn’t.
  5. I love vampires. I like to read about them, watch movies about them, and debate other vampire fans about vampire culture. I almost started a vampire blog, but then WoM came along! I’m currently working on my own vampire novel about an 18-year old girl vampire. I think it’s sexist that it’s mostly men who get to be vampires in all the stories. My favorite contemporary vampire authors are Anne Rice and Tanya Huff. I just read Bram Stoker’s Dracula this year and I really loved it. And just for the record, I read the Twilight books and enjoyed them, but I wouldn’t say I’m a fan. Vampires have no business being outside in the daylight. I always did love vampires, even as a kid–I blame the Bunnicula books. And, of course, my favorite Sesame Street character was Count Von Count, the numerically-gifted vampire puppet.
  6. I scare really easily. If you walk around my house with your hands in "claw" formation while making "monster" noises, you’ll definitely get me to scream. Yes, even if you didn’t surprise me. A part of me will suspect you’ve actually turned into a zombie.
  7. I am a cat person. I like dogs too, but if there were a box of free kittens and a box of free puppies, guess which box I’d be putting in my car? Baby kittehs for sure.
  8. I am obsessed with matching pajama sets–you know, the sporty cute kind that my undergrads often wear to class. I mostly buy them at Target, but I look for them everywhere.  My favorites are the holiday PJs–especially the purple ones with skulls that I got for Halloween last year. I am currently upset that I have not been able to find any Easter pajamas. My ideal would be yellow PJs with a chick on the t-shirt and an egg pattern like polka dots on the pants. I always raid in cute PJs.
  9. I am a wine snob. I prefer Sonoma to Napa, dry to sweet, and red to white, except where a French-style grenache rosé is involved. My very favorite wine is the Hawkes Cabernet from the Alexander Valley. You’ve never lived unless you’ve had a good northern California Cab with a juicy steak. Despite my love of wine, my go-to raiding drink this year has been hot chocolate with Baileys. I just moved to a really cold climate!
  10. Strawberries are the best fruit, and asparagus is the best vegetable. Sushi makes the tastiest dinner, but crème brulée is the most proper dessert. Ham is superior to turkey, and fried chicken outclasses fried fish. If I have to eat potatoes, they’d better be french fried or mashed, but I’d rather not eat them at all.

Monday’s a big day. Stay tuned…

Image courtesy of CanadianSc.

Are You Happy at the Threshold?

Are You Happy at the Threshold?

ha-gao

I’m going to let you guys in on a secret.

I’m not the best Priest in the world.

I’ve failed the ledge boss. I’ve died to the frogger boss. In fact, last Monday I got nailed by two back to back fire walls. The harshest critic anyone can have is themselves. The exasperation I could hear from my guildies that were not being transmitted over vent was nothing compared to the pissedoffedness I was feeling at myself.

More importantly, I am not the best geared Priest out there. I get a lot of observations about this from colleagues and readers.

“Why haven’t you gotten this item yet?”
”Why are you using this instead of that?”
”Have you thought about using that instead of what you have?”

It’s ironic isn’t it? Here I am with a blog where the mission statement is to make readers better players in every aspect possible with whatever advice and experience I can hand out. Yet getting the current best items in the game isn’t that big of a priority for me.

Because I’ve reached the threshold.

The Perfectionist

This is the player who sticks by enchanting and jewelcrafting to maximize their stats as much as possible. In fact, there are guilds who ask all of their guild members to exclusively use these two professions. I’ve noticed that these are the players who juggle a wide variety of variables in their head. An example would be a Paladin who would ask themselves if they want to pick up this helm for an MP5 set or a different helm for a crit set. This type of player isn’t satisfied with just being good enough. They will never be satisfied until they can excel in every area under their role. I’ve got tanks that have threat sets, stamina sets, and damage mitigation sets.

Same concept.

The Slacker

Not quite as worried about their loot. However, they do need to hit a threshold level of gear to be effective. The slackers are generally the healers. At the current level of raiding, there’s a point where your Spirit, your MP5, your spellpower and all those stats become useless. 1250 MP5 will be the same as 1245 MP5. 2500 spellpower is the same as 2490 spellpower. Once I hit the 220 spellpower mark, I started dishing out the passes to other healers who needed to augment themselves more.

There is nothing wrong with either of the two mindsets. I’d even go as far to say that a healthy guild will benefit by having both kinds because the perfectionist will never be satisfied and the slacker won’t raise hell because they’ve reached the threshold.

This reminds me of a discussion I have with my dad. We both like our dim sum. Specifically, we both like our ha gao. He refuses to eat at a cheaper Chinese restaurant if there’s something better nearby. There’s a decent Chinese restaurant on 1st (for the Vancouver guys, there’s a plaza there. It’s on the 2nd floor opposite the T&T). And it’s pretty good. It’s crazy packed. Huge wait list. But I’m happy with the food I get. So’s my aunt because she ends up paying 2 bucks a dish instead of 4 bucks a dish. My dad prefers the slightly more expensive Chinese places which offer the 4 dollar ha gao.

After sampling both, I say to my dad, “Dad, there’s virtually no difference between 2 dollar ha gao and 4 dollar ha gao. They taste the same.”

“No, it tastes better.”

“It’s the same amount of MSG and the shrimp comes from the same ocean.”

“Yeah, but it still tastes better.”

As you can see, some people just have to have the best stuff. Others are okay with the second best.

Ugh, and it’s 1:30 AM and I just made myself hungry. And just so I’m not the only one, I’m taking the rest of you down with me. If I’m hungry, I’m making the rest of you hungry!

xiu-mai

This is called Siu Mai (My spelling’s off, I know)

ha-jeong

This is called ha jeong (Shrimp wrapped in flat rice noodles)

matt-sig

Filling the Void Until Ulduar

Filling the Void Until Ulduar

picture-411

Sorry for the long silence there, but Real Life has a way of rearing it’s head when you least expect it.

We’ve been hearing a lot about the content that’s coming. Class changes, Raid bosses, Loot and set bonuses, but there is still a current game we are paying to play going on.

Some guilds have stopped going, feeling they’ve already beaten the content and have their main core of raiders geared, they are taking a break. Some people are leveling alts up getting ready to have another viable toon ready to go. Other people are farming rare mounts, like the Zul’Gurub Tiger Mount, or Baron Rivendare’s Charger. Another group of people are preparing for the new content by stockpiling consumables, farming gold, or even working on achievements. My guild has been casually working on achievements, trying to see how many we can get done without pushing the entire raid to the brink of insanity to get them.  (The picture above is an old one now, but I love it, it’s my favorite achievement, you’ll have to forgive me) Something that I think my guild might pick up after last night’s shenanigans is trying boss encounters in different ways.

Last night we had 7 raiders M.I.A. for various reasons. We knew about them in advance so it wasn’t horrible since we have a lot of veterans and friends and family in the guild we can bug every now and then to come along with us, get them gear and to have some fun. Last night was interesting for us in the way of composition. First of all we only had 5 healers, which is less then we normally run with.  While not horrible it just meant more mana was going to be spent and more time was going to be spent inside the 5 second rule. These 5 consisted of two Restoration Shamans, Two Restoration Druids and a Holy Pally. Yeah it was a pretty sweet 5 healers to have.

Secondly and probably the most  fun part was, we only had 1 priest. This was going to make Razuvious fun, since we only had one Mind Control to use. Rather then be daunted we decided to utilize the 3 hunters we had just sitting around shooting things. We had the hunters stand in a triangle around the center ring for Raz, our priest MC’d one student and tanked until it was time to let go of the MC. At this point one hunter distracting shot Razuvious. That hunter then cast Feign Death right before Razuvious got to him and another hunter distracting shot repeating the process. Essentially making Raz run around in a triangle until our priest could pick up the MC again and start tanking. Now, hunters died and tanks had to taunt and kite Razuvious as well, but I have to say that was some of the most fun I’ve had in a long time in Naxxramas. There is something gratifying seeing a boss that can one shot you running around like a fool while you hear the Benny Hill Theme playing in your head. This seemed to have gone over really well with the guild and a lot of people thought it was great fun and had a good laugh.

I think next we’re going to do one sided Gothik the Harvester =D

How are you guys spending the time before Ulduar?

PTR Alchemy Changes

Hang onto your Frost Lotuses, people. MMO Champion has just datamined a huge change to alchemy for 3.1:

All flasks recipes will now create 2 flasks for the same amount of ingredients but now last 1 hour instead of 2.

Oh noes! The sky is falling!

Maybe not, but the prices of flasks certainly will be. The only silver lining here is that PTR sellers say that flasks are stacking to 20 (a net buff) and proccing up to 10 per combine.

Quick Analysis

1. This change benefits flask buyers. Now they will be able to buy flasks to suit the typical raid time for their guild as opposed to “wasting” an hour or so on a flask.

2. This change is a slight disadvantage to elixir-specced alchemists. We didn’t usually mind wasting an hour on our 4-hour flasks. On the whole, I predict less sales volume for those of us who sold large amounts of flasks. Our customers will probably stay the same–raiders. You can’t make a noob flask just by making it more convenient! He’ll still say it’s too expensive. The customer’s gain here is the seller’s loss. The same players will buy less total flask hours. I’m not sure what will happen to the price–it may all settle out to about the same margins, but it may not.

3. This change is a HUGE setback for stockpilers. Thankfully I’ve been selling out my stock every day. I’m down to 5 flasks of the Frost Wyrm and 4 flasks of Mojo. I guess I’ll sell the former before the market reacts and drink the latter.

4. The biggest losers here are guild banks. Many of those–including Conquest’s–have stockpiled hundreds of flasks. To those guilds (psst, Matt)–I recommend selling what you can now or just letting raiders drink them for the full effect. Hold off on all future combines at least until there’s an answer on what happens to old stock. My guess is that all flasks, including ones made before the patch, will become 1 hour duration, but players and guilds will not receive doubles. That’s in line with past policy changes, for example, already-acquired Je’Tze’s Bells did not change from soulbound to BoE when the item lost its BoP status.

Anyway, time to rethink my flask business!

Edit: Stockpilers are safe! We’ll be able to trade in one of the old flasks for two of the new. Read the blue post on the subject below.

As many of you have learned, we will be reducing the duration of flask effects so that they only last one hour. However, all recipes that create flasks will create two instead of one for the same material cost. Additionally, we will be increasing stack size from 5 to 20 as we anticipate players will need to carry more flasks at a given time. Vendor value for flasks has also been reduced to keep the auction house deposit low.

Our goal with the change was to allow players greater flexibility when determining how long they plan to raid, as currently we were seeing many players balance time spent raiding around flask duration. We also anticipate that this change will make using flasks in dungeons and battlegrounds a more reasonable decision for players. Though this change will not occur until patch 3.1.0, we wanted to give as much advance notice as possible in case some of you who are stockpiling flasks would prefer to wait to do so until the change is implemented.

We realize players who currently have stockpiled a lot of flasks may feel like they will lose money with this change, since their current flasks will only last for half as long once 3.1.0 goes live. To partially remedy this, we are going to allow players to exchange any current Northrend flasks (Flask of the Frost Wyrm, Flask of Stoneblood, Flask of Endless Rage and Flask of Pure Mojo) for two flasks with the shorter duration. Flasks from older content will not be grandfathered in, and going forward, it will only be possible to make the flasks with a one hour duration.

A Guide to Mouseover Macros

A Guide to Mouseover Macros

mouseover

One of my buddies from Conquest, the resto-shamantastic Catrii, asked me a question this week about setting up mouseover macros. I thought the explanation might benefit the community as a whole, especially as many of us are cleaning up our UIs in an attempt to be faster and more accurate once Ulduar hits. Here’s a short guide to my preferred UI-altering technique: the mouseover macro.

Mouseover what?

A mouseover macro is a series of commands that lets you press a single button (on either your keyboard or your mouse) to heal the target that your mouse pointer is currently hovering over. It replaces tab or click targeting as a quick way to pick up heal targets. With the standard, unmodified interface, healing is a 3-step process: 1) decide who to heal, 2) left click to target her, and 3) click the spell on your action bar or press the keystroke bound to it. This is a very slow process that requires you to move your hand not once but twice. Mouseover macros let you target a player and cast a spell in just one movement. As a note, I’m using druid spells as examples in this post, but mouseover macros will work for any healer. Just substitute in your spells of choice!

Examples

To make a basic mouseover macro, go in your character-specific macros window and click “New.” You’ll be prompted to choose a name and an icon for your macro. I usually assign a two-letter code for the spell. For example, I use LB for Lifebloom and RJ for Rejuvenation. But you can call it pizza, and believe me, it won’t matter. After a while, your fingers will learn the key binding and you won’t need to look. I prefer to choose highly individual (and funny) icons for mine, but you can also duplicate the original spell icon, as I will explain below.
macros-interface

Once you have your name and icon, go into the dialog box and type your commands one per line. Each command line starts with a / just like when you type commands manually. I don’t personally mess with cast sequences, and I actually think it’s best if healers make each macro cast only one spell.

Here are a couple of simple examples for what you might put into a mouseover macro. As you can see, the name “mouseover macro” comes from the first line, the one that lets you target by hovering over a player’s health/information bar in your unit frames or the Blizzard default UI.

/target mouseover
/cast Lifebloom

/target mouseover
/cast Rejuvenation

If you want the Blizzard standard spell icon to display instead of using a new one of your choice, write your macro as shown below and choose the red question mark as your icon. The #showtooltip command will update that question mark to the default icon for that spell.

#showtooltip
/target mouseover
/cast Lifebloom

As per reader Llanion’s suggestion, if you would like to cast a spell on mouseover without switching your target (keeping your target set to the MT or the boss), write your macro as below:

/cast [target=mouseover] Lifebloom

Fellow blogger Keeva contributed another version, which you’ll see below. And if you haven’t been to Keeva’s blog, go now! Well, as soon as you finish reading my post, that is.

#showtooltip
/cast [target=mouseover,help] Lifebloom; [help] Lifebloom; Lifebloom

As per Keeva’s explanation, this macro means:

“If I have a mouseover target, cast Lifebloom on them
If I don’t have a mouseover target but I have a normal target, cast Lifebloom on them
if I don’t have a mouseover target or normal target, cast Lifebloom on me.”

These examples represent the very simplest incarnations of the macro, no frills. You can add lines to your macro if you’d like to, say, use a trinket with your spell.

Here’s a macro you might use to link up your Swiftmend spell with the effect from the Living Ice Crystals. Doing this is called “slaving” a trinket to a spell.

/target mouseover
/cast Swiftmend
/use Living Ice Crystals
/script UIErrorsFrame:Clear()

Don’t forget to put in the line to clear the error message! Otherwise you’ll get annoyed by red text and alarm sounds if you hit the macro when the trinket isn’t off cooldown. There is some debate about whether to slave a trinket with an on-use effect to another spell, but personally I’m all for it. Your trinket has a greater impact overall if you use it any time it’s up.

Ok, I wrote my macro–now what?

Here’s the tricky part — keybinding the macros to a particular position on your action bars. I keybind my macros to a position on the standard action bars as I don’t use mods like Bongos or Bartender. Follow these steps to bind a keystroke to a particular location on an action bar using the Blizzard default UI.

1. Press the escape key
2. Click on Keybindings

key-bindings

3. Scroll through the long list until you see the name of whichever action bar you are planning to populate with your mouseover macros. I favor Right Action Bar, as you can see below.

4. In the Key 1 column, click one of the red boxes. Once you’ve selected it, just press the key you want to bind to that place. You’ll see the results displayed on your interface, illustrated below.

key1-column

5. Once you’ve selected your new key codes, hit Okay. If you don’t, kiss your changes goodbye! Go ahead and laugh, but I’ve made this mistake many times.

hit-okay

6. Next, hit /macro to bring up your macros interface. Click and drag the icon for the desired macro onto your action bar. Match it to the space now labeled with the keystroke you want to assign to the spell.

drag-icon

Special Cases

Action bar mods like Bongos or Bartender generally have different names for action bars and you have to configure the keybindings from within their configuration menu. Chances are if you’re savvy enough to set them up in the first place, you’ll know how to configure the keybindings.

A gaming mouse also takes an extra level of configuration, and you’ll need to consult your mouse manual to figure out how to bind the extra mouse buttons to keystrokes. The software always comes standard with the mouse. On my Razer Death Adder mouse, I assign the special buttons to F9, F10 and F11. They now function just like keys.

Charting your key bindings

The point of this exercise is to set yourself up for comfort and speed. Here’s what I do. In addition to the mouse buttons, I always bind some keys I can easily reach on my left hand: 1,2,3,4, F, G, R, C, V. Sometimes I overwrite a function I actually use, like the command to toggle the character panel, and I make sure to bind it somewhere else on my keyboard. If you really never turn with the keyboard, A and D are available real estate as well. I recommend that you never, ever, ever bind Q or E: you will need to strafe some time or other. If you want to use Q or E, make sure you have strafe available somewhere else. The same applies to the space bar–don’t be caught on the ledge without a way to jump! I have smallish hands and a short reach, so 1,2,3, and T are a little far out for comfort. Somehow I can reach 4 really well…it’s a mystery. I have offensive spells on 1-3 and push-to-talk on T. I keep my mount on V on all characters for those quick getaways. Below is a chart of where I put the mouseover macros for my major heals.

Click wheel: Lifebloom
Additional mouse button 1 (thumb): Rejuvenation
Additional mouse button 2 (thumb): Swiftmend
F: Nature’s Swiftness/Healing Touch
G: Wild Growth
R: Regrowth
C: Nourish
4: Innervate

My key bindings are based on personal preference, and yours should be too. I have an approximately equal number of casts on the left hand and the right hand, and that helps reduce repetitive stress injuries. I made sure that I could easily reach my “best” spells and that they fit comfortably in my hand.

You can use your macros to modify your behavior and correct bad habits. Rejuvenation is the very easiest spell for me to reach–do you think I would have put Healing Touch there? I also use the letters to remind me if possible. I tried Wild Growth on F, but I kept wanting to hit G for Growth, so I just went with it. Muscle memory ensures that you will grow accustomed to your keybindings–wherever they are–with practice. The only trouble I ever have involves the click wheel. My best click wheel advice is to either stay away from binding the scroll up/scroll down function or to bind them to the same thing. If you can differentiate those two movements well, more power to you! As for me, I only bind the button press function. Even so, it can be awkward to Lifebloom while mouse turning, but I’ve gotten used to it (and I don’t spam LB as much as I did back in BC. In Hyjal, I had the click wheel AND F bound to Lifebloom). If you want a clean-looking interface, you can set up all your macros on one action bar (for example, RightActionBar) and then un-display it once you know the keybindings and clicks by heart. Your macros will work whether or not an icon actually displays on your screen.

What unit frames do I use mouseover macros with?

Mouseover macros pair really well with most unit frames. I’ve used them with both Grid and X-Perl. Pitbull works just as well from what I hear, but I’ve never tried it.

Are there mods that can set up mouseover macros for me?

Healbot supports them to the point that they’re pretty much built-in, and Clique is essentially a mouseover mod. I prefer my homegrown solution because it’s extremely customizable, and now that macros sync between computers, keeping them in shape is a cinch.

But what if you like the mouseover idea and want less set up? Try Healbot or unit frames + Clique. The one drawback to Clique is that it encourages you to do double key combos, as in Shift+right click for Rejuvenation. Any time you have to press two keys to hit a heal, you lose precious time. I know this quite well–I used to use Shift+F for Rejuvenation, with the result that I almost never cast it. Lifebloom (F) was a lot faster. Since then, I’ve gotten a 5-button mouse and I have all my heals bound to a single key or click.

Common Macro Mischief

Here’s a list of the mistakes I’ve seen some players make. Try to avoid them as you learn to play with mouseover macros!

1. Binding the left and right click of the mouse to a spell. Don’t do it. You still need to be able to target, inspect, invite, etc. Some unit frames (I think Healbot) let you use left and right click to heal when you’re hovering on the frames and return those clicks to their normal functions when you’re not mousing over health bars, but I wouldn’t try it without the mod. That’s a macro that’s too complicated for my taste.
2. Letting your macros do too much for you. As I’ve said, I don’t like cast sequence macros for healing. Healing will always be at least partly reactive, and you need to be fully in control of spell choice at all moments.
3. Combining two abilities that invoke the GCD in a single macro. You’ll have to hit it twice. I believe this is the case with castsequence macros as well–you have to click for every cast in the sequence.
4. Misunderstanding trinket cooldowns. If you slave two trinkets to a spell, it’s very likely that only one of them will go off at a time. They might share a cooldown, or there might be a hidden cooldown of 45s or so preventing you from blowing both at once.
5. Changing targets without meaning to. Make sure you’re in control of where your pointer is at all times. Mouseover macros work not only on unit frames but on the avatars themselves. You can use mouseover macros for what Matticus calls “heads-up healing,” but beware that you could also switch targets unintentionally. This is why mouseovers are dangerous for dps–they were more so in the age of crowd control.

Disclaimer

I’m no expert on mods or UIs. I try to play with the standard interface when I can because I like as little clutter as possible, and macros are part of that. If you want to learn more about UI building, I’ll refer you to Keeva’s Healbot v. Grid series. I’ve learned so much from her. There’s also a topic going at PlusHeal forums with more macros for other classes, including some that are more complex than the ones I’ve talked about here. Some of that information is outdated, so be sure you read the parts of the discussion pertinent to WoTLK. I’m also interested in hearing what the community has to add to my thoughts on mouseovers. If you have an idea or clarification, please post it in the comments and I’ll try to keep this little guide updated and corrected.

Yes You Can Multi-Box with Battle Net Account Merging
A Blizzard Tribute to Phaelia (Her Own Vestments)!

A Blizzard Tribute to Phaelia (Her Own Vestments)!

phaevestments

If you wander over to MMO Champion’s loot scan list of items from Ulduar, you might notice this item for Druids.

Yup, you’re not seeing things. There is a Chest piece from Ulduar that drops. It’s called Phaelia’s Vestments of the Sprouting Seed!

It’s a clear tribute from Blizzard who has recognized her efforts and contributions to the Resto Druid community. Big grats Phae!

So this begs the question. If you could have an item named after your character, what would it be and what would you call it?

I’d probably call mine the Mallet of Matticus. It would have to be a healing mace for sure.

13 Tips to be a Naxx Immortal (and Undying)

13 Tips to be a Naxx Immortal (and Undying)

tips-immortal

This is a guest post by Ulkesshern, a Holy Paladin from the EU!

Undying and Immortal two achievements that are on paper really easy to get, but in practice seem to be fiendishly difficult.

Below are some random tips to hopefully help you all get some of the coolest titles in the game.

  • Do Razuvious first – Until you kill a boss you aren’t saved and thus have no raid ID to be marked as “Contains Dead People” should the mind controllers mess up and get someone killed, simply wipe the fight, disband the group and reform it with someone else as the leader and try again!
  • Use scrolls – Lucky you scribes, you finally serve a purpose! Especially in 10 man you aren’t going to have every buff, for example I’m frequently mage-less, a quick scroll of Intellect later and I’m a happy man, Scrolls of Fortitude are also a life saved!
  • Buff up properly – It really is serious business, don’t skimp on consumables!
  • Die on trash, lots – Its fun and doesn’t endanger the achievement!
  • Use Divine Intervention during trash – If you are a Paladin the last thing you want to do is somehow DI someone during a boss fight, keep it permanently on cool down (Stupid as it sounds I have heard of this happening)
  • Take it steady – its not a DPS race.
  • Take three(normal) or seven(heroic) healers – its much better to have bored healers than stressed healers.
  • Don’t try and do all the other achievements on the same run!
  • Don’t be afraid to sit someone out for a while - the achievement is granted to all players who take part in the Kel Thuzad kill on a clean raid ID. If you have someone who really can’t dance for example then get them to sit the fight out!
  • Health Potions and Health Stones are your friends – DPSers, use them!
  • If a DK dies while under the effect of Shadow of Death then its okay! He’s not dead yet!
  • Having Undead in your raid doesn’t make the achievement impossible, despite the contradictory nature of their bios, Forsaken aren’t dead! (or are they and when ever you resurrect one you are killing it :/ )
  • Relax and have fun!

There’s also one extra tip that I have not been able to personally verify, there seems to be some strong evidence kicking around that only deaths from Baron Rivendare count…. I don’t know for sure, but my advice is if someone doesn’t die to him but does to one of other horsemen don’t give up and keep going, you might still get it!

Image courtesy of flaivoloka