5 Ways to Pass Time on a Saturday

5 Ways to Pass Time on a Saturday

Need something to read for your Sunday evening? I’ve got some selections for you! Did some car shopping today. Love the new car smell. Didn’t buy or commit to anything yet. Eliminated the RAV 4, Expedition, and Escape.

The Guild Philosophy of Dr. Seuss

If Dr Seuss were a raider, this is what he’d be looking for in a guild. I imagine it’s what we’re all looking for. Elizabella lists positive and appealing guild aspects (for most of us, at least).

Mistweaver Monk Abilities and Rotation

If you’re looking for a solid resource for Monks, visit my fellow WoW insider colleague Chase’s recently updated guide. It’s got a better overview of spells along with rotations and situations.

Dragon Soul Retrospective

Jasyla lays out her experience in the final raid of Cataclysm and how it was for her as a healer.

Crisis of Identity

Kaleri muses how the upcoming change of role is going to affect. Going from a healer to a tank should be an easier transition. At least, a tank knows the trials that a healer goes through in order to keep them alive.

Blizzard wants you to have fun

Yes they do. You get valor points for doing just about anything now. Can’t wait for Farmville WoW style to debut so I can get valor points for growing turnips. Personally, I like having all these options at my disposal. It means if raid gets cancelled due to real life holidays or if we have a finals week where 10 players in the guild need to write their LSAT/MCAT exams, we can still at least secure valor that week (Actually, I don’t think I’ve ever had a doctor in the guild, ever).

Four Links for the New Guys

Four Links for the New Guys

Someone on Twitter pointed this out to me the other day.

The same guy who’s selling me gems in Diablo 3 is the same guy who makes really awesome noodles and is the father of the Dragon Warrior!

Mind. Blown.

Progression wise in Diablo 3, my Wizard’s level 38 or so and is halfway through Act 2. Also, those sand wasps in act 2? You know, the ones that crap out 4 mini wasps that then proceed to take a dump and two shot my character?

Those bastards can die a horrible, fiery death.

Oh, and it’s a Saturday. The theme this week is tips for those who are new at something.

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Tips for the Middle Lane and Essentials: Last Hitting

I wrote two posts on how you can become a better player in the middle lane. Winning the center lane is a huge boost to your team because it’s the quickest access route between both bases. Also allows the middle player to roam to the top or bottom lanes and provide fire support. The second post on last hitting is a universal skill for almost any champion in any lane (supports being the exception). Excellent pointers for new players to League of Legends.

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Hey, Newbie! Stop writing!

Beej has a great piece for new, aspiring bloggers everywhere – Don’t be a writer. Writing shorter and simpler is the second longest skill for me to pick up since I had just left the academic world. There, you’re at the mercy of deadlines, word count minimums, and page limits. Your blog has the luxury of being limitless. The most common argument I see against writing shorter and simpler goes like this:

“But why are we trying to make our audience dumber? Why not sound smarter and help educate people?”

How do you plan on helping people get better if they don’t understand what you’re trying to say? If you can’t get your point across in a few sentences, then it’s time to find a new point. The job of the blogger is to get the message across. Using complex vocabulary and 6000 words you pulled from the thesaurus may look impressive to your English teacher but the cold reality is not many people will make it that far.

Why make your message harder to understand?

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Anxiety, the Scariest Raid Boss

I am not afraid of anxiety. I dominated public speaking throughout my years in school. Wasn’t afraid of standing in front of my peers. Raiding’s a little different. You’re playing with a group of players  and you don’t want to screw up. Some players get a little anxious when thrown into a guild tackling progression content. Being nervous about your first raid’s more common than you might think.

My biggest public speaking fear? Being thrown into a room with an amazingly hot woman and just screwing up talking. I’m at the point where I feel if I utter “Hi there” I get responded with “YOU MISOGYNST PIG” or something. Not that it’s ever happened, but well.  Give me the auditorium full of listeners instead.

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Four Reasons to Like Diablo 3

If you’re still on the fence about D3, check out Liore’s post on why she’s a fan of the game. She and I share the same feelings about bugs too, it seems.

MMO Declines, Being a Brewmaster, and Joining a New Guild

This week, the guild scored two progression kills between heroic Zon’ozz and Warlord Blackthorn. Otherwise, not many other events are going on at the moment. Still hard at work laying down the foundations for the guild league. It’s 1:20 in the morning as I write this and I am in the mood for some serious pho.

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MMO Decline Caused by Moves to Smaller Guilds

Theories about the decline of MMOs? Even though the past investors call from Activision Blizzard showed no significant decline in active subscriptions, there’s no doubt that people are quitting the game. Rohan surmises that it might be a result of shifts in guild sizes from large scale guilds to smaller sized ones.

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Guide to Being a Brewmaster

Sunnier has been hard at work in the beta creating a guide for Monk tanks! The guide covers basic stuff like your abilities and glyphs to the more advanced stuff like stat allocation and rotations. Give it a read if you’re thinking about tanking.

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Top 5 Things to do When Joining a New Guild

Lynesta is our newest Holy Paladin. It seems she’s brushed off the dust that had been collecting on her blog. Here, she adds a fresh perspective on different things you should do after being accepted into a new guild.

By the way, if you’re a League of Legends player looking to get started with the game or just a veteran looking to hone their skills, check out my LoL blog over at League of Matticus. Don’t forget to subscribe!

New Blogger Initiative

New Blogger Initiative

Welcome to a special edition of this week’s The Herald.

The New Blogger Initiative, run by one Sypster of Biobreak, aims to help teach and cultivate bloggers looking to improve their craft. Looks like it’s been picking up some steam as there’s a large number of sponsors (veterans) and new guys. Poking around, you can find some quality tutorial links on best practices and ideas when working with your blog.

You can find all of the published articles in one thread here (Personally, I would’ve suggested making each reply it’s own post for easier scannability or condensing similar topics into it’s own thread).

If you’re not sure where to start, let me pick out the ones you should begin with.

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Screenshots Make Your Blog Interesting

Eva’s post has excellent tips on laying out your screenshots and maximizing the art of in game photography. If you’re in an area where you’re not able to snag a screenshot, then any visual appeal helps. If you’re stuck at work and want to publish a post, see if you can generate a graph or a pie chart. Worse case scenario, you can snag some stock images from a large image service that allows it (I recommend Stock Exchange). I’m amazed at what kind of impact a 48 point white text on a black image background can make on a blog that’s predominantly light colored.

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Figure out why you want to blog

Paeroka asks you to dig deep down inside and figure out why you want to blog. Once you get that part squared away, you can move on from there. Think of blogging as a type of sub-gaming activity (Raiding, PvPing, etc). If you can figure out what you want to do within the game, you’ll have a stress-free time mapping out your activities.

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So you Wanna Be a Blogger

Similar to Paeroka, Windsoar expands further on Paeroka’s topic about getting started. You have to factor in time. You don’t need to cram your blogging on the bus or train on the way to work but how much time you set aside is going to dictate your quality and quantity. There’s no real wrong answer on things to write about. You can review different aspects of a game. Help players by writing guides. Lay down your experiences and comment on your own activities.

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Pros and Cons of Self Hosting

If you’re looking to compare the pros and cons of self hosting, Stropp has you covered. By aiming for self-hosting, you are making a commitment to yourself. It’s like signing up for a club membership at the gym. You’ve already pre-paid that one year and you don’t want to lose on that investment, so you keep going. That being said, if you’re unsure about handling the demands of blogging, you should start with a free one first. Get your feet wet. If all you care about is getting your words and thoughts out there, you can do some practice runs on the WordPress hosted plan. If you want to see how you would react to the opinions of readers, find a blogger you admire, and email them to see if they’re willing to publish your piece.

If you’re only going to listen to one piece of advice, then listen to this one:

Writers who don’t write aren’t writers.

That’s advice from my old English 12 teacher. Kindly old man. Passed away a few years ago. Always thought of him as Gandalf with glasses who used a pen instead of a wand.

I miss him.

As an aside, I’m looking to take on a blogging padawan. Any takers?

Pet Battles, Rapture, Symbiosis, and Monks

Pet Battles, Rapture, Symbiosis, and Monks

This week in The Herald.

  • An overview of pet battles
  • Why Rapture needs to retire
  • How to make Symbiosis better
  • Mistweaver Monk FAQ and Guide
Last weekend, I was over at Fan Expo Vancouver (think of it as Vancouver’s Comic Con). Not a bad event. I believe it was one of the first ones that was being organized and they were using it to test it out for future comic-ish cons. They hit capacity multiple times actually. Those who wanted to buy tickets the day of were denied shortly after lunch hour and the line was cut off. I heard both days saw around 12000+ people go in and out. Came home with this:

I miss that show.

Also, Kevin Sorbo is freakin’ tall. He was sitting next to Worf. I wonder who would win in a hand to hand fight. Hercules may be a demigod, but Worf is Klingon. Saw Marina Sirtis (Counselor Troi and might I add she aged really well). I bumped fists with Tony Amendola (Master Bra’tac from Stargate).

Hope we get a bigger and better one next year with a larger gaming presence, as well.

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An overview of pet battles

This post has a video demonstration of several pet battles from start to finish along with a preview of the new pets pane interface.

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Why Rapture needs to retire

Derevka lays out his thoughts on Rapture for Discipline and why he believes that mechanic must go. In a word, I agree with his sentiments.

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How to make Symbiosis better

Jasyla offers her opinion about the related spells of Symbiosis and offers up some alternative solutions instead.

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Mistweaver Monk FAQ and Guide

EGTactics has an up-to-date guide on the basics of playing the Mistweaver Monk. It covers aspects like suggested talents, ability usage, and gear.

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Are Good Healers Born or Created? 

Personally, my belief is that good healers can be created. But great healers are “born”. You can teach the technical skills to a player but you can’t really instill the burning desire to keep everyone alive.

Symbiosis and Monks

Symbiosis and Monks

I’m so flippin’ mad.

Times like this I wish I was a fan of golf instead.

But enough about that. Let’s get on to the highlights for this week. The beta cap in Mists has been raised. The big spotlight’s on Druids since they get Symbiosis to play with which impacts the rest of us.

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The great wall of Pandaria.

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Overview of the Mistweaver Monk

In the weekly WoW Insider Raid Rx column, you can get an introductory look at the Mistweaver Monk (The healing one) and gain insight on how the class is supposed to heal. They’re going with a hybrid DPS/healing mentality with high mobility.

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State of the Brewmaster

Sunnier has gone self hosting and has gotten a new look, new domain, and new everything. Wear sunglasses. It’s really bright. Other than that, you can check out her recent post on the recent state of Brewmaster tanks. A part of me thinks this might be a good expansion to give tanking a shot.

Then there’s the other part of me who isn’t going to trust the healer to keep my sorry ass alive.

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Symbiosis: Practical Assignments

This is Lissanna’s part 2 of Symbiosis analysis. Found this way more interesting since she has a raid composition with 5 (five) druids. You think deciding things like Focus Magic was hard? Raid leaders will have another level of headaches with Symbiosis to deal with now and here’s a theoretical case study on how it would go.

Brewmaster Impressions, Healers at Mercy, and Controversial Sponsors

Brewmaster Impressions, Healers at Mercy, and Controversial Sponsors

*sneeze*

Ugh, my bad.

It’s all these allergies.

PAX East is in full swing right now. I wish I could’ve gone but I’ll definitely be attending PAX Prime (Seattle). Enjoy the long weekend (If you have one)!

On Power Infusion

Also, would you consider removing the mana cost for power infusion? Most of the newer priest talents (save the top tier talents) like void shift, etc. use cooldowns rather than mana. 

Power Infusion probably doesn’t need a cost. I’ll discuss it with the team.

P.S. I should add that we completed a big audit of heals (for all classes) recently, and concluded that the mana costs were reasonable for the most part but that the heals were much too small for the Mists health pools. We buffed all of the heals quite a bit. We want mana to be less painful than it was at the start of Cataclysm, but we want it to matter more than it did at the end of Cataclysm. We want the slope of the line to be less steep — your higher throughput and regen in later patches will still make heals more efficient overall, just less so than they became in Dragon Soul. The static mana pool helps a lot with that.

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First Impressions of the Brewmaster

Sunnier’s a bear tank who’s experimenting as a different kind of bear tank (a Panda Brewmaster). Check out her feedback and thoughts of the upcoming tank class.

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Healers are at the Mercy of Everyone Else

New to healing? Grumpy Elf offers some pointers when it comes to the psychological aspect of the role and how to handle the inevitable flak that you’ll receive in the role. You are going to get blamed and you can help neutralize hostile reactions on your reactions.

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Adult Entertainment Sponsorship Possibly Splits Fighting Game Community

E-sports could definitely benefit from the influx of major sponsors. But would partnering with adult entertainment companies be appropriate? On the one hand, sponsors are great because they can help with financing of events and such. On the other hand, … is it a smart image or public relations move to make that kind of partnership?

Sketch notes for Discipline, Saying No, and Creating Compelling Content

Sketch notes for Discipline, Saying No, and Creating Compelling Content

Saturday’s the day where I link  material that I’ve found interesting, informative, or thought provoking. You’ll find them gathered from a variety of topics. They’re centered around World of Warcraft, blogging, or gaming.

Lots of social commentary going on this week in WoW which is cool. Civil discussion is always welcome as long as it’s done with tact and respect. I get asked about why I don’t include stuff like that here. To set the record straight, that’s not what this blog is for. You read this blog to help improve yourself. You come here to read about Priest and raid stuff.You read Lodur’s totems and healing stuff. Other bloggers can do a better job with social commentary and I would never be able to do it justice.

Many WoW blogs I’ve seen started with topics relating to the game.

  • Helping players get better via rotations, gear guides, etc.
  • Strategies for handling certain gaming aspects.
  • Profession advice and tips.
  • Working the economy.
  • Inspiring RP (which I am envious of and can never do).
Where has that gone?

This week on the Herald:

  • Sketch Notes: How to Heal as a Discipline Priest
  • Learning to say: “No, thank you.”
  • A Fool-Proof Formula for Easily Creating Compelling Content
  • Getting Started with Livestreaming
  • Hard Truth on the Sheer Difficulty of Making an Impact
  • Added Priest and Paladin information in the Mists changes page

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Sketch notes: How to Heal as a Discipline Priest

Subscribe to this guy. If not for the posts, then at least for the sketch notes. Waiting for the one for Holy. Flowcharts and diagrams are excellent.

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Learning to say: “No, thank you.”

As much as I’d like to say yes, lately I’ve had to say no more often. It’s not that I don’t want to, but many of my duties and projects keep me quite busy. The plus side to saying no is that when you dosay yes, your time becomes much more appreciated and valued.

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A Fool-Proof Formula for Easily Creating Compelling Content

Having difficulty putting your thoughts into words? Copyblogger has a formula and system that helps you get started with a routine. Cut down on the 1500 word rambles. Keep it to something succinct and straight to the point.

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Getting Started with Livestreaming

Looking to get started with livestreaming your gaming? I wrote up a quick guide to it here on WoW Insider. Right now, the guide’s meant for PC as I haven’t been able to properlyfigure out the most efficient way with Macs.

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Hard Truth on the Sheer Difficulty of Making an Impact

“Being very good at anything involves being somewhat addicted.”

Truth.