Running Out of Mana? Here’s One Reason

Running Out of Mana? Here’s One Reason

My Google reader is set to examine various search terms allowing me to keep a pulse on what’s going out there with Priests. One search result that popped up on my reader involved a holy priest. Their problem was that they kept running out of mana. No matter what they did, they had a really hard time sustaining the necessary healing required for that instance.

Out of habit, I looked up their priest on armory.

Problem solved.

No enchants, no gems, or other augments.

It almost feels like really new players take for granted the power that augments provide their characters. Do you think Blizzard balances instances around the fact that your character should have enchants and such? Maybe the harder 4.3 ones, but not the entry level heroics.

Back to the story, it turns out I wasn’t the only one who spotted the lack of character investment. When others pointed it out, the player commented by saying they didn’t have the money to afford it.

At least they have an answer to the first problem.

New players, if you want to start hitting up the harder stuff, start investing. Even if you can’t afford a Power Torrent, you can probably snag a Heartsong. Can’t do 20 stats? Settle for 15. Don’t need 65 mastery when cheaper 50 haste options exist. No sense socketing an epic red gem on a blue quality item when a gren quality red gem will do the trick for now.

Even if they’re not the best improvements money can buy, at least they’re still an improvement.

 

Reader Request: Wyn’s Guide to Northrend Reputation

Reader Request: Wyn’s Guide to Northrend Reputation

Rep

Thanks for voting in the Poll. I still can’t believe this won, but since it did, I’ll do my best to give you the best information available.

Once you hit 80, and the xp grind is over, a new grind starts – this time for reputation and gear. There are really only 3 reasons to grind rep: Gear upgrades, Profession needs, and vanity items. The best way to start churning out rep for ANY faction is to start doing quests in the zone where you find the majority of their NPC’s. After that, some factions will allow you to wear their tabbard into heroic dungeons and gain rep for them, regardless of the zone-location of the instance, while for others you’ll have to diligently knock out daily quests. Either way, it takes some planning to know which factions are worth it. I’m not listing EVERYTHING that’s available for each rep-level with each faction. I doubt you, as a healer, care much about non-spellpower shields and 2H axes.

Wyn’s Guide to Northrend Reputation

Horde Expedition

  • The Hand of Vengeance
  • The Sunreavers
  • The Taunka
  • Warsong Offensive

Alliance Vanguard

  • Explorer’s League
  • The Frostborn
  • The Silver Covenant
  • Valiance Expedition

This is a group of factions, and your rep with the umbrella faction will depend directly on your rep within each of the sub-factions. As you do quests for the sub-factions, 1/2 of the rep is also counted toward the main faction – WoWwiki explains it well: “For example, doing a quest for the Valiance Expedition, earning you 250 reputation with the Valiance Expedition, also gives 125 reputation with the Alliance Vanguard. Therefore, you must have two of the four sub-factions at Exalted in order to be exalted with the Alliance Vanguard, or the equivalent amount of reputation spread across all four.” Got it? Additionally, most dungeons will give you Rep for this faction as default when you’re not wearing the tabard of another faction.

For Horde, you can purchase these items from either Gara Skullcrush in Warsong Hold or Sebastian Crane in Vengeance Landing.
Allies, do your shopping with Logistics Officer Silverstone at Valiance Keep or Logistics Officer Brighton at Valgarde.

Revered:

Exalted

Wyn’s Verdict: The truth is, by the time you’re revered with these factions, you’ll probably have had access to better equipment in both slots, either from non-heroics, heroics, or quest-rewards. However, if you PvP, that head glyph* is going to be a MUST. If you are an engineer, you will almost certainly want to be able to make the motorcycles. If you are an engineer that PvP’s, you got lucky – since you don’t have to farm an otherwise useless faction for only one item. *Note: These slot-enchants USED to be called “glyphs” in Classic and BC. To avoid confusion with stuff made via Inscription, they’re now called Arcanums. I’m still calling them Glyphs, because it was going to be confusing either way.

Argent Crusade

The new and improved version of the Argent Dawn, the Crusade has a few bases around Northrend:

  • Argent Vanguard, on the borders of Icecrown and Storm Peaks
  • Dawn’s Reach, in Dragonblight
  • Light’s Breach, in Zul’Drak
  • The Argent Stand, in Zul’Drak

I found quite a few quests for AC rep in Zul’Drak – so that’s probably where you’ll want to start. There are also two daily quests: Slaves to Saronite and Pa’Troll.

There’s a small bug with Pa’Troll that is worth noting: Pa’Troll is a quest that requires you to go to 4 individuals around the zone, and do a quest for each of them, so it’s kind of 5-quests-in-one. The first time you get the quest (when it’s NOT a daily), go to Alchemist Finklestein and complete The Alchemist’s Apprentice. This involves you picking up 4 random things off the shelves in his lab – very easy. Turn in The Alchemist’s Apprentice for an easy 250 rep, and abandon Pa’Troll. Go back to the Argent Stand, re-accept Pa’Troll, and go back to the Alchemist. Lather, rinse, repeat until you’re exalted. I had a few people in my guild grind to exalted in a few hours, just repeating the Alchemist’s Apprentice.

When you’re ready to make your purchases, you’ll find Quartermaster Aliocha Segard at the Argent Vanguard in Icecrown. (Be aware, she’s stuck under a tent, in the back. It’s kind of a pain to find at first.)

Friendly

Honored

Revered

Exalted

Wyn’s Verdict: You’ll probably want to farm Exalted with this one, since that ring is pretty nifty. The gear in the Honored range is really just gravy – I’m sure you can get better from running the dungeons it’ll take you to finish out to Exalted. The JC pattern is a tanking pattern, but the Spellthread is one tailors wil be able to sell for cash. (You won’t use it yourself, since it’s on-par with the trainable tailor-only thread.)

Kirin Tor

The ruling mages of Dalaran. This faction is related to BC’s Violet Eye – but all those Kara runs won’t help you get any of their rewards in this xpac. Most of the rep gains will be from doing quests in Borean Tundra, around Amber Ledge and in Coldarra, and wearing the Tabard. The Daily cooking and dungeon quests also give Kirin Tor rep.

Friendly

Honored

Revered

Exalted

Wyn’s Verdict: You can’t get around needing a helm-enchant. It’s a gotta-do. And if you want the one with Crit, here’s your faction. JC’ers will definitely want the Exalted gem pattern – it’ll be a big money-maker on the AH, and all the casters in your guild will want it. Tailors will have guildies asking them for the spellthread, mostly for PvP gear, but maybe for some Shammies.

Knights of the Ebon Blade

These are your Death-Knights-turned-good-guys. They do have a base in good ol’ EPL, but for Northrend purposes, you’ll first meet them at Ebon Watch in Zul’Drak. Their main quest hub and Quartermaster, Duchess Mynx, are in Icecrown at the Shadow Vault. You cannot access the Quartermaster until you take back the Vault – a phased quest line which starts with It’s All Fun and Games and is available at lvl 77.
Friendly

Honored

Revered

Exalted

Wyn’s Verdict: Again, Jewel Crafters are going to want to farm this, for completion’s sake, and to fill special orders. The gloves at Revered are really quite nice, especially if you prefer questing to instancing. Tailors will want to make the Warlocks in their lives happy, and most casters will be very impressed with that belt (even without any regen.)

The Kalu’ak
These rather loveable Walrus-people have quest hubs on the southern coasts of Borean Tundra, Dragonblight, and Howling Fjord. Each zone has one daily quest for the faction. The quartermaster, Sairuk, is southeast of the inn at Moa’ki Harbor.
Friendly

Honored

Revered

Exalted

Wyn’s Verdict: Ask all of your JC’s VERY NICELY to pick up that gem pattern at Friendly. Buy them cookies, if necessary. Those of us that fish will want the fishing pole – it’s now the best in the game. Those that collect pets will definitely want the penguin- he’s adorable. For raiders, I would say this is a faction that can wait, since you’ll replace the gear from Honored rather quickly, and none of it is essential for boss-killing.
The Sons of Hodir

Based at Dun Niffelem in the Storm Peaks, this is a cool, lore-based faction, tying into a war with Loken and the titans. These ice giants start out aggressive to you, and you have to do a quest chain starting with They Took Our Men! in K3 to be able to talk to them. Once you’ve completed the quest chain, there are only two ways to earn rep: dailys, and turning in rather hard-to-find items called Everfrost Chips. If you don’t find any chips, it’ll take you 8 days from Friendly to Honored, 8 more for Honored to Revered, and 11 from Revered to Exalted. The Quartermaster, Lillehoff, is inside Dun Niffelem. He’s the big ice giant. Heh.
Honored

Revered

Exalted

Wyn’s Verdict: If you’re not a Scribe (Inscriber? Inscriptionist?) farming this to exalted is essential. JCs and Tailors will will want the patterns anyway, and the mounts are a nice money-sink if you swing that way. Also, this faction has some pretty cool dalies – you don’t have to run all over the place like you did with Ogri’la, and killing the Wild Wyrm is really pretty exciting.

The Wyrmrest Accord

Another example of Blizzard using the lore much earlier in the levelling experience, you’ll find the Wyrmrest Temple in Dragonblight. Joined together against Malygos’ perversion of the Blue Dragonflight, the other Dragon-factions have decided to enlist your help. Quests throughout Dragonblight will give you Wyrmrest rep (say that 3x fast), but there are also 3 daily quests and a tabard to wear in heroic dungeons. Rep rewards can be purchased from Cielstrasza, who is on the very top level of the temple, along with the queen.

Friendly

Honored

Revered

Exalted

Wyn’s Verdict: Your other helm-enchant option comes from this faction. Depending on the rest of your gear, you’ll probably want the Mp5 option over the Crit from the Kirin Tor, but that’s pretty much personal preference. Tailors who are enchanters will certainly want the bag, and this is going to be another long slog for JCers. The gear is relatively meh compared to what you’ll pick up in heroics as you grind the rep, but I know a lot of people will want the Mount. And it DOES look pretty cool.

These last two factions are a little different, in that their rep gains are inversely linked. Once you choose one, you’ll be hated by the other. I’ll go over how you choose between them at the bottom – it can be a little confusing.

The Frenzyheart Tribe

These little badger people are not as cuddly as they look, since they tend to ask you to do mean things to The Oracles – who lived in Sholazar basin first. Once you’re affiliated with the Frenzyhearts (see below), you’ll have to do daily quests to farm the rest. The dailies It takes about 8 days to hit Revered from Honored, and 12 or so more for Exalted. Buy your loot from Tanak.

Friendly

Revered

Exalted

Wyn’s Verdict: I’m never really as impressed with the gear from rep factions as I am with the gear from instance-grinding. But, again, if you’re a solo player, there are some solid choices here. Of course, if you’re a solo player, I’ll need to ask you why you’re healy-spec’d. The haste trinket seems pretty useless for casters. A word on the Pet-jar: The one you buy has to ferment for 7 days before it becomes a pet… it’s kind of like letting your fridge marinate long enough to spawn intelligent life. It also has a small chance to give you a reusable Wolvar costume, so once you hit Revered, you can buy one of those suckers every week for your chance.

The Oracles

The Oracles are a sort of super-murloc. I find them rather endearing, what with their naive devotion to the relics of the Titans, quickness to forgive you for fraternizing with the Frenzyheart, and love for “shinies.” Friendly

Revered

Exalted

Wyn’s Verdict: I think this exalted trinket is better for casters than the Frenzyheart one, but that’s not to say it’s a particularly good trinket. If you’re grinding this rep, it’s more than likely for the Egg, which is even MORE special than the jar of ooze. Like the jar, you have to hold onto the egg for 7 days before it will give you a pet. The egg can give you one of FOUR pets, and has a VERY RARE chance to give a Green Proto-Drake mount.

Okay, both the Frenzyheart and the Oracles are located in Sholazar Basin. As you quest through the Nessingwary lines, you’ll eventually meet up with the Frenzyhearts – who will have you do some rather disrespectful things to the Oracles. Eventually, you’ll be given a quest to kill an Oracle caught in a trap… but the only option presented to your character is to talk to the Oracle, and let him go free. This doesn’t sit well with the Frenzyheart, who are watching your every move for signs of disloyalty. You are then forgiven by the Oracles, and start doing quests for them. Eventually, clearing out the zone will lead you to another, seemingly unrelated, chain: A Hero’s Burden. The final quest here has you fighting Artruis the Heartless in a cave – and this nasy piece of work has enslaved both an Oracle and a Frenzyheart. In order to kill him, you must choose which one of them to save, and which to kill. The one you save is the faction you choose, starting you at honored rep – so don’t let it catch you off guard. If you make a mistake, it’s okay – the quest to kill Artruis is a repeatable daily, so you can always go back tomorrow and kill the other one. Now, if you’re a title or achievement collector, you should know that farming to exalted with the Frenzyheart will give you the title Frenzyheart Tribe, while exalted with the Oracles gives you THe Oracles. If you do first one, then the other (the order doesn’t matter), you can also call yourself a Mercenary of Sholazar.

The Bottom Line

The majority of raiding healers will need to farm their Sons of Hodir dailies every day for their shoulder enchants, and will need to pick either the Kirin Tor or Wyrmrest tabards to wear in heroics untill they get their helm-glyph. You’ll also probaby want to toss in Argent Crusade for the ring.

Scribes don’t have to farm Sons of Hodir, since their profession-only shoulder enchants are better. Jewel crafters, tailors, and leatherworkers will have a pleasant boredom-free time in the xpac, since they need revered or exalted with nearly every faction (and sometimes conflicting factions) to complete their pattern-lists.

People who like mounts and pets will want to farm Kalu’ak, Wyrmrest, Sons of Hodir, and both Sholazar Basin factions.

Update as I went to publish: Check out the lovely Seri’s perspective at Snarkcraft.

Luv,
Wyn

Gearing Your Fresh Level 80 Holy Priest: Matt’s Recommendations

Here it is, Priests. This is the list you’ve been waiting for. Remember, this isn’t the absolutely best gear you can get at level 80 for pre-raiding. This is the fastest way to get gear you can get at level 80. I’ll provide you with quest options and purchase options. Cheap enchants and select gems will be at the bottom.

The goal here is to get your Priest geared as quick as possible without relying on the RNGness of instance grinding (or at least, running them as little as possible). Means it’s going to rely on BoEs and Quest rewards although I will provide a few choice recommendations for some instances.

Head

Cowl of the Vindictive Captain (81 Spellpower): It’s the quest reward from doing the Utgarde Pinnacle quest: Vengeance Be Mine! Lack of Spirit on this one, but doubles as a potential DPS helm. No Crit either.

Frostsavage Cowl (81 Spellpower): Same amount of Spellpower as above. Contains PvP stats like resilience. Not completely optimized for PvE. Does have Crit. Opt for the cowl if possible.

Neck

Titanium Spellshock Necklace (49 Spellpower): First piece of gear with a socket! Epic quality. Downside is that it could cause a dent in the wallet. No Spirit on this one either. Decent amount of Spellpower and crit.

Amulet of the Crusade (40 Spellpower, 10 MP5): Remember those Scarlet Crusade you banged up back in Dragonblight? Here’s the Admiral. Comes from the Icecrown chain quest: The Admiral Revealed.

Shoulders

Mantle of Electrical Charges (60 Spellpower, 51 Spirit): Comes from doing the instance quest in Halls of Lightning: General Bjarngrim.

Back

Wispcloak (59 Spellpower, 20 MP5): Craftable by tailors. The tailor must have run all the normal dungeons and defeated all the end bosses in order to unlock this recipe. Doesn’t have Spirit but has a decent amount of MP5.

Shroud of Dedicated Research (46 Spellpower): Purchasable from Archmage Alvareaux. He’s the Kirin Tor quarter master. Must be Honored with them in order to purchase.

Chest

Moonshroud Robe (105 Spellpower, 89 Spirit): Ouch. Just wait until you see the mats required for this bad boy.

  • 8 Moonshroud
  • 6 Bolt of Imbued Frostweave
  • 1 Eternium Thread
  • 1 Frozen Orb

Moonshroud’s going to be the tough one. It’s going to take Tailors around 16 days from start to finish assuming they blow their own cool downs. You can cut it down to 8 if you do some tactical trading here and there by exchanging cooldowns with other players.

Bauble-Woven Gown (81 Spellpower, 68 Spirit): Comes from the other Utgarde Pinnacle quest Junk in My Trunk. Great alternative to the Moonshroud Robe if you don’t feel like breaking out the coin bag.

Wrists

Ancestral Sinew Wristguards (50 Spellpower, 27 Spirit): Slap on the Wyrmrest Accord tabard and start grinding your rep with them as much as possible. Contains a nifty Blue socket for more delicious Spirit gems.

Gloves

Moonshroud Gloves (76 Spellpower, 67 Spirit): This is the second and final piece of the Moonshroud “set”. Not as expensive as the Robe, but can be pricey:

  • 4 Moonshroud
  • 4 Bolt of Imbued Frostweave
  • 1 Eternium Thread
  • 1 Frozen Orb

Gloves of the Time Guardian (60 Spellpower, 51 Spirit): Comes from the Caverns of Time quest: A Royal Escort. Are you prepared for the “Arthas yapping” boss? Again, another cheapsauce alternative.

Belt

Fishy Cinch (60 Spellpower, 51 Spirit): Make friends with your fish pals, the Oracles. There’s a few dailies you can do start with there. I don’t have the time to work on doing dailies with them yet.

Deep Frozen Cord (61 Spellpower): Plan B is to just hook yourself up with a tailor and make this BoE purchase. No Spirit. Has some crit, however.

Legs

Frostmoon Pants (61 Spellpower, 68 Spirit): Finally, daddy’s got a new pair of pants! This one’s from our tailoring friends. Unfortunately, it does eat some expensive materials.

  • 1 Moonshroud
  • 6 Bolt of Imbued Frostweave
  • 4 Iceweb Spider Silk
  • 1 Eternium Thread

Feet

Aurora Slippers (60 Spellpower, 51 Spirit): Like the Frostmoon Pants above, this will eat up one of your precious Moonshrouds. Again, see your local tailor and skinners.

  • 1 Moonshroud
  • 4 Bolt of Imbued Frostweave
  • 2 Heavy Borean Leather
  • 4 Iceweb Spider Silk
  • 1 Eternium Thread

Rings

Ring of Temerity (54 Spellpower): A blue zero mana regen ring coming from doing the Oculus quest: The Struggle Persists.

Lion’s Head Ring (55 Spellpower, 20 Spirit): Decent spellpower and spirit from running the Gundrak quest: For Posterity.

Weapons (Staff)

Malygos’ Favor (314 Spellpower, 95 Spirit): This is the normal mode staff drop from the Oculus off the last boss.

Sempiternal Staff (314 Spellpower, 53 Spirit): Drops off that Infinite Dragonflight bad boy Chrono-Lord Epoch in Caverns of Time: Stratholme.

Staff of Draconic Combat (408 Spellpower, 69 Spirit): See if you can get your hands on that beauty. It’s a Heroic drop from the Cache of Eregos in the Oculus (last boss). It’s the bigger brother to Malygos’ Favor.

Weapons (1 Hand)

Flameheart Spell Scalpel (355 Spellpower): It feels really weird to use a weapon with hit rating on it due to the waste stats. But there aren’t any alternative daggers from quests or vendors. Purchaseable at Kirin Tor – Revered from Archmage Alvareaux

Netherbreath Spellblade (355 Spellpower, 26 Spirit): However, if you run Heroic Utgarde Pinnacle and get lucky with Skadi the Ruthless, he just might drop this sword-like dagger for you. It makes me look dashing on my Dwarf.

Gavel of the Brewing Storm (355 Spellpower): More reason to make friends with or scaly friends. The Wyrmrest mace is purchasable after hitting Revered. Fail with lack of mana regeneration, however.

Weapons (Off hand)

Handbook of Obscure Remedies (59 Spellpower, 38 Spirit): For the low cost of 25 Emblems of Heroism, you can pick up this sweet offhand from the Emblem vendor.

Wands

Purifying Torch (26 Spellpower): Argent Crusade, at Revered, will give you access to their torch.

Wand of Ahnkahet (33 Spellpower): If you feel comfortable, run Heroic Ahn’Kahet and try your luck at getting this wand.

Rings

Ringlet of Repose (43 Spellpower): All you gotta do is run Halls of Stone. It’ll drop off of Maiden’s little sister who happens to also be a Maiden.

Titanium Spellshock Ring (49 Spellpower): This epic level ring has zero mana regen but it does have a gem slot. You can opt to stuff in a regen gem of some sort or resort to it a spellpower red gem to ramp up your amperage. Up to you.

Spectral Seal of the Prophet (51 Spellpower): Head over to Drak’Tharon Keep and toggle it onto Heroic for a challenge. With luck, this will drop off Tharon’ja (Prophet).

Enchanted Wire Stitching (46 Spellpower): Say hello to Meathook! This ring drops in CoT: Stratholme off of Meathook. Don’t worry, you don’t have to set it to Heroic.

Trinkets

Soul Preserver (75 Spellpower): You’re undoubtedly going to run Stratholme a few times. If you’re lucky, you might be able to get this trinket off the end boss. It will certainly help with the mana problems that most Priests have at this stage of the game.

Mercurial Alchemist Stone (59 Spellpower): Alchemists may wish to consider using this stone. It should last them for a while. In theory.

Talisman of Troll Divinity (73 Spirit): A whopping 73 Spirit on one trinket? Hell yes. I was lucky enough to get this on my first run through Drak’Tharon Keep. The use effect will be a big bonus on fights with enrages or massive damage spikes. The net effect is that your target (or targets) should see a bonus to their healing received by ~290. Usable every 2 minutes.

Enchants and Augments

Helm enchant – Arcanum of Blissful Mending: Another reason to knock out the Wyrmrest Temple rep first. Obtainable at Revered.

Shoulder enchant – Lesser Inscription of the Crag: Sons of Hodir provide this one. Scribes need not worry about grinding their rep here. This area is only unlockable after doing a massive (and epic length) chain quest. With enough dailies, Greater Inscription of the Crag becomes an option.

Chest enchants – Greater Mana Restoration would be the call I’d make here. Mats are a bit on the expensive side so make sure you get yourself a decent chest. Enchant Chest – Major Spirit is a decent and cheap enchant to toss onto a blue for the time being until you replace it.

Cloak enchants – If you can afford it, go for the Wisdom cloak enchant. Make sure you have a damn good cloak to go with it. Otherwise, for the low low price of 6 Infinite Dust, you can get a little extra Speed. Tailors get the option of further enchanting their own cloak with Darkglow Embroidery.

Bracer enchants – Superior Spellpower is what I would consider for a top end Wrath level item. I wouldn’t use it on anything less than an epic quality due to the cost of the mats involved. Go ahead and stick on BC level enchants on your blues for the time being.

Glove enchants – Exceptional Spellpower is a (relatively) cheap glove enchant you can toss onto your mitts. Spellpower gets increased by 28.

Belt – Eternal Belt Buckle: Yes, there is an augment for belts. It is not an enchant but it’s not any less important. Hit up your local auction house or blacksmith and make sure you get one of these belt buckles! It adds an extra gem slot to your belt! This could make or break your meta bonus! Get one!

Leg patches – Opt for the Shining Spellthread first. Once you get a real set of pants, upgrade it to a Brilliant Spellthread.

Boot enchants – Greater Spirit is the main boot enchant of choice. For any sort of resist boots, you may wish to opt for Greater Fortitude.

Weapon enchants – Several interesting choices here at your disposal:

  • Exceptional Spellpower: A good starter choice for Priests in terms of economic impact. Should be affordable for most players.
  • Exceptional Spirit: Slap this on a mana regen weapon of your choice. Or even keep it on your main weapon of choice. You can’t go wrong really.
  • Mighty Spellpower: Exceptional’s big brother Mighty increases your spellpower by 63 (compared to the 50 that the big E provides). 13 Spellpower. Can you justify the mats? If you can, go for it. It’s a tough pill to swallow though, early on in Wrath.
  • Major Intellect: Although it’s an old school BC enchant, I’m wondering if it’s worth putting on a high intellect staff for the purposes of mana regen. Perhaps you could macro a weapon switch with Hymn of Hope so that it could provide a little bit more extra juice.

Gems

There’s a lot more options for gem configurations. I’ll list all of the useful ones first.

Red

Runed Scarlet Ruby (19 Spellpower)
Purified Twilight Opal (9 Spirit, 9 Spellpower) Purple gem
Luminous Monarch Topaz (9 Spellpower, 8 Int) Orange gem
Potent Monarch Topaz (9 Spellpower, 8 Crit rating) Orange gem

Blue

Sparkling Sky Sapphire (16 Spirit)
Purified Twilight Opal (9 Spirit, 9 Spellpower) Purple gem
Misty Forest Emerald (8 Spirit, 8 Crit) Green gem
Seer’s Forest Emerald (8 Int, 8 Spirit) Green gem

Yellow

Brilliant Autumn’s Glow (16 Intellect)
Luminous Monarch Topaz (9 Spellpower, 8 Int) Orange gem
Potent Monarch Topaz (9 Spellpower, 8 Crit rating) Orange gem
Misty Forest Emerald (8 Spirit, 8 Crit) Green gem
Seer’s Forest Emerald (8 Int, 8 Spirit) Green gem

Your gem configuration is going to largely depend on the meta you want to go for. You may have to switch to hybrid color gems instead of pure color gems in order to activate it. The general rule of thumb for entry level Priests is to go for mana regeneration and spellpower. This early in the game, you’re going to want to take a hard look at your Spirit and mana regen so that you have the capability to sustain yourself in raids.

Meta

Bracing Earthsiege Diamond (25 Spellpower, 2% Reduced threat)
Ember Skyflare Diamond (25 Spellpower, 2% Intellect)
Insightful Earthsiege Diamond (21 Int, chance to restore mana)
Revitalizing Skyflare Diamond (8 MP5, 3% increased crit healing)

I’ll pick Insightful Earthsiege. Reports say that the proc gives 600 mana. No doubt it has an internal cooldown.

Sources: WoWHead and WoWWiki

Last updated

November 27

Unique Equipped Doesn’t Mean 1 Per Character

You’ve seen these items drop in some heroic instances. They’re these epic high powered gems that used to say Unique on them. I had a Luminous Fire Opal drop twice in heroic Shattered Halls last night. Sadly my Resto Shaman only got one because some Enhancement Shaman I know need rolled on the other one. This Enhancement Shaman, to my knowledge, has no INTENTION of healing or going resto *GLARE*. I could’ve used 2 of these Fire Opals *sniff*.

Definition of Unique-Equipped Courtesy of WoW Wiki

If an item says it is “Unique-Equipped”, it means that you can have only one of those items equipped at any one time. You can have as many as you see fit in your inventory, but only one actually equipped to one of your items.

This is mostly to prevent absurd overpowering of characters with amazing gems, but still allows them to craft and sell them to others even when they already have one.

I know I’m not able to socket the same epic gem on the same item. I can put it on separate pieces. The definition on WoWWiki confuses me though. From what it says, if I were to socket Luminous Fire Opal on my pants and my chest I can’t equip both of them at the same time?

Ergh, if only I had both of them to socket then I could determine it for myself! :(

Thus ends my QQ post.


Blog updates

Archives

Solved my Archives problem for the time being. Thinking ahead, I know that eventually my archives will stretch for a long time since that’s how WordPress organizes it. Instead of just showing months on a sidebar or on the bottom, I transferred it so that it now has it’s own page. It’s even got a search (as if my world needs more search boxes). I’m considering doing away with either the search on the bottom or the one on the side.

Front Page

Do you use Twitter? I’ve been using it for a while and now you can follow me on it. I added a plugin that displays recent “tweets” which includes new blog posts (for those that don’t use any kind of RSS reader) converted into a tiny URL. My original plan was to display excerpts of my latest post (up to 50 characters or something) in that same spot. But technical problems have forced my hand and Twitter is my plan B.

Categories

Have to fix these sooner or later *sigh*.

Plugins

I know there’s a lot of WordPress bloggers that read my page. I was thinking about doing a piece on the weekends compiling all the plugins that power World of Matticus. Definitely not WoW related. That’s why I was going to put it up on the weekend.

Recount

My cousin’s in town and she’s leaving tomorrow. After I get home from dinner with the family, I want to write up a piece on this amazing addon. It will either be up tonight or up tomorrow morning. If you’re a raid officer or leader or healer, then pay attention to this piece because it will definitely be of interest to you!

Encouraging Raiders to Sign Up and Why

For a list of suggested add-ons or web scripts regarding raid signups, scroll down.

This is a problem that’s plagued many Guilds. Many members are simply too lazy to sign for raids. I’ve found it very frustrating as a former Officer. I know other Guilds who are suffering from the same problem. It makes my life easier if I know who is going to show for sure and who isn’t.

Let’s take a step back for a moment. Why is it necessary for people to sign up to raid?

Answer: Having Raid signups allows the leadership to determine who will show up for sure and who will not be. I would like to know what kind of assets I have available going into a Raid. I guarantee that all of us have been in a situation where our raid comes to a halt (or doesn’t even get underway) because we’re missing a certain class. Then we spend the next hour trying to find a pickup player. Then we wipe twice on a boss. Then we call it a night. It would be nice to know before hand what players will be there and what needs to be there. With information like that, arrangements can be made in advance to look for other players to fill that void.

On the other hand, I’ve heard of various reasons as to why people don’t sign up. It goes something like this:

“I can’t figure out how to use it.”

“It’s broken. I get some kind of an error.”

“I don’t want to download that add-on.”

I think that just about summarizes almost all of the excuses I have heard in the past. As leadership people, the onus is on us to show them how to operate the tools that they need. The methods you have chosen for signups will be narrowed to one of two methods: Either it’s an in-game addon or some webpage based script. I guess forums can be used, but that’s amazingly tedious.

Enforcing Signups

Now you’ve determined the method which your Guild will use to sign up. The only obstacle in the way is people’s willpower and the laziness factor. Three years and $10000 on tuition has told me that people will take the easiest route to perform an action. Why? Because everyone is inherently lazy. We’re not going to do anymore work then is required. But if we have to work for it, there damn well better be an incentive.

Let’s take a page from Skinner and look at the concept of reinforcement. There’s several ways we can influence people to sign up.

Positive reinforcement: If your Guild utilizes DKP, you can consider giving 0.5 DKP or some other arbitrary number to those who sign up and show up early. But do that only if both conditions are met. This may require additional work on the part of your number cruncher. Not the best idea but not the worse since it involves additional work. Let’s take everyone into account here and don’t forget about the guy who does the DKP who has a degree in science, mathematics, or engineering (or accounting). On a side note, power to YOU DKP guy! You deserve a raise or a beer for having to handle that kind of stress and responsibility. I salute you!

Negative punishment: Players who signup have first priority over loot (okay, so it punishes the guys who don’t sign up). The guys that don’t signup, even if they have more DKP, are forced to wait in line. Carnage utilizes this system well. I recall this precedent being set and followed twice while I’ve been with them so far.

Don’t ask about the psych terms. I learn better if I can apply these principles in real life (or virtual in this case). =)

Next question: What if I’m not sure if I can make the raid? Should I sign up anyway? I know I’ll be late, too!

Yes, sign up anyway. Leave a note explaining your circumstances. Maybe you might need to work overtime. But there is always an off chance that you can make it home in time for a raid. Maybe you live in LA and for some reason the freeway isn’t tied up with traffic or something (Hey, it’s possible!)

Addons and Scripts for Signups

Check out the following links. They just might provide the solution you need if you’re wondering what kind of sign up interface to use. I’ve used most of these at some point during my career. Personally, I favor web based signups because of convenience.

Web Based

phpRaider: This is Carnage’s interface of choice. Actually, we use a slightly dated version. But it still works.

Features (direct from the site)

  • Support for any number of classes, races, and class/race combinations.
  • Support for any MMORPG game.
  • Support for any number of attributes assigned to character profiles such as resistances, damage abilities, talents, and more!
  • Raids are arranged in an easy to view calendar format showing only pertinent information. When clicked, a detailed list of class signups and raid information become available.
  • Post announcements for your members to see.
  • Create any number of characters for each user profile.
  • Extensive permission settings allow you to customize who has access to what features of phpRaider.
  • Ability to signup for multiple raids and create recurring raids.
  • Completely free to use!
  • Much, much more…

Requirements

phpRaider requires a web server (IIS, Apache, etc), a MySQL database (4.0 or higher), PHP (4.0 or higher), and a minimal knowledge of software installation.

RaidNinja: This is an alternative to the above. I remember installing this months ago and I scrapped it for a certain reason. I can’t remember what exactly, but I do believe it was technical. It’s last update was on August 9th and is sitting on version 2.0. I think I might have to install this later on my server and see how well it is. Here’s a sample of what it looks like.

Addons

Guild Event Manager: Looks good in theory. It’s an in-game addon which allows players to signup without the hassles of having to make an account online and such. Events are made in game via a private channel with a password so only your members will have access to the schedules and such. The Guild Leader doesn’t need to be online for this to work. Don’t ask me how or why it works, but that’s the theory behind it.

I’ve never used this addon extensively. I tested it with other people to see if it could fit with our needs (HI JOSH). But, the trials didn’t last very long (partly because our Guild didn’t last very long). At the time, it was easy to use and had lots of features. Now I’ve read mixed reviews about it (mostly on the WoW forums) but the latest version came out on the 30th (2.27).

Group Calendar: Here is another promising addon which I have not had the opportunity to try out. Some of the latest updates include:

- Support for guild addon data channel
- Simplified setup and security
- New event types for doctor, dentist and vacation (doctor and dentist are not shared with the network)
- Notification for new events (minimap button and dates flash when they have new events)
- New tooltip for each date shows a summary of events for that day
- New tooltip for each event shows an attendance summary
- Events can now be created as ‘closed’ which won’t allow signups and players can only be added manually (or the event can be opened later)
- Reminders for events are given at 60, 30, 15, 5, and 1 minute before start time as well as at start time
- Calendar can be set to start the week on a Monday (use ‘/calendar mon’ command)
- Events can now be restricted to members of the your own guild in multi-guild alliances

- Players can now be manually added as ‘not attending’
- Minimap icon changes to an upcoming event one hour before the event starts
- Compatible with The Burning Crusade expansion

I really like that Doctor/Dentist feature. I don’t know why, it just stood out at me. Has anyone used this before? Your thoughts?

Anyway, the last alternative you have if none of these work out for you is to use your Guild Forums and get people to make posts saying they’ll be attending or not. It’s going to be tedious. If theres any other raid management solutions I’ve missed, please do let me know. I’m going to lay down the groundwork for a “Guild Website” series in the next upcoming days. It’s aimed at Guilds who want to establish an online presence but are unsure of as to how to do it.