Be a World of Warcraft God in 5 Steps

Be a World of Warcraft God in 5 Steps

wow-god

You’ve got the game. You’ve done the raids. You’ve finished the PVPing. For some reason, and you can’t quite place it, there’s still a hole within you. It feels as if though there is something missing. You were a hardcore gamer before. In Counter-Strike you’d consistently dominate with the AWP in your hand. In Warcraft 3, dominating the opposition was nearly effortless especially with multiple tournament wins and top place finishes.

Not only that, you actually beat Tetris.

You’ve mastered shooters. You’re renowned in RTS games. Now you’ve set your eye on the MMO world. How does one “conquer” World of Warcraft?

Raid. Raid a lot.

The best gear in the game can only be acquired by tackling the hardest bosses in raiding instances. Until you’ve taken down Illidan and Archie (and now Kil’Jaden), you’re just a small pup. Get the best gear you can possibly get!

PvP Endlessly

What good are all those shiny weapons going to do if you can’t actually use them? It’s one thing for your opponents to make a note of the firepower you’re packing. It’s something else entirely when you go up to them and cleave them in half. Furthermore, a strong push to the 2000+ rating is almost a must. Non-stop BGs and Arenas are your ticket to be the Unstoppable Force.

Post often to forums

Forum trolling is an acquired skill. Some people just grow up having the innate ability to cause an uproar. The point here is to make your presence known and felt. A real gaming God is not content with just be a one man wrecking crew. Their name has to be known in households worldwide. The only way to do that is with constant posting. Reply to other threads, answer other questions, or start some discussion of your own.

Have insane amounts of gold

Like it or not, the WoW economy is one of the central pillars that drive this game. Gold makes the world go round. Without money, you can’t buy the supplies you need. Yes, although WoW Gods don’t need trivial things, armor and weapons could use some buffing and shining every so often. Although some players would be willing to do it for free, the merchants in the cities need to make a living somehow.

“Contribute” to Trade chat

It’s not enough to own the forums. You have to own trade chat! Start making references to bad movies! Make fun of Canada! Go ahead and randomly insert support for some political candidate! Get people to react to you! I saw this one guy in trade chat who said that “heals can’t crit” and I observed in amused amazement as the entire channel went off in an uproar for a good 45 minutes citing every resource base in the game that “yes, heals can in fact crit”.

Addon: Instant Health is Pants Crappingly Awesome

During this weeks Twisted Nether blogcast, one of the questions posed by Fimlys was what addons I currently favor the most. I said to him that I favoured Pitbull the most but there was another addon called Instant Health that was beginning to grow on me. I touched about it in some details on the blogcast and promised a blog post specifically on the addon and here it is.

The problem

WoW servers don’t update health bars instantaneously. The information is sent from a player to the server, then from the server to your UI. There are two interaction points where lag due to hardware or ISP issues can cause problems, and although this typically happens in regular intervals, it can take as long as 3 seconds to complete.

All healers have been in situations where their heals have gone off, yet the target still died. Cooldowns and trinkets were blown at the last possible moment to add more “oomph” to their heals. Our efforts were futile because even though it showed that we did cast our instants, it did not appear to have been tracked or anything.

The solution

I acted on a tip from Aylii and Lang, my main tank. They both advised me to take a hard look at an addon called Instant Health. The beta was released a little over a week ago. So what’s it about?

This addon updates the health of player/party/raid members and pets much faster than normal by using your local combat log data rather than waiting for the server to send updated health information to you.

It works with Blizzard’s default UI as well as ANY custom addon you might have installed. All you need to do is put it in your addons folder and enable it!
Notice, this addon only speeds up health updates for player/party/raid members and pets. (People that are recorded in your combat log.) Players/mobs that are not in your group will have their health updated normally.

The trial

Intrigued, I had to get a copy of the addon quickly and stress-test the sucker. I forwarded a copy to Wynthea as well, so we could compare notes afterward. So how did Instant Health stack up to our combined play?

In a word, scary. This mod updates health lightning fast. You’ll get a better idea by observing a protection Paladin tanking waves of trash in Mount Hyjal. By updating health on a much faster scale, I’ve found that I’ve been able to make decisions even quicker. Information is life for healers and the faster we get it the faster we can make choices. It’s an awesome addon for us twitch healers that rely on quick reactions. Non healers might think that it’s redundant for an addon that updates heath only a fraction of a second sooner than server updates but they wouldn’t understand. 9 out of 10 Matts agree that this addon is an absolute must have for any raiding healer (the other Matt passed out in shock and stress of watching health bars drop too fast).

-Matticus

I’m very impressed with the potential of this add-on. Personally, I heal less Whack-a-mole style, and more proactively – paying attention primarily to those with aggro – so the benefit to my reaction time on MT healing is negligible. Where this mod really shines is with tough decision-making: you can see which player’s health is dropping fastest and react with better information. The biggest drawback to Instant Health is that when it acesses the information, it somehow changes what is reported to any other combat log parser you may use. Recount, SWstats, WWS, and Recap will all be so dramatically skewed that they become unusable. If you feel like rolling up your sleeves, you CAN fix it yourself – rename the addon’s directory, LUA file, and TOC to ZZZ_Instant_Health, so that the order-of-access is properly aligned. (If you don’t feel completely comfortable doing this, DON’T!) There is also a minor issue affecting default UI Target-of-Target frames that cannot be corrected. Other raid-frames do not have this problem. These relatively minor issues aside, I think this is a great tool. Spell Haste is becoming more and more important as a stat, and anything else that can decrease the time it takes to get a heal on someone that needs it is huge.

-Wyn

Wyn’s UI – Part One

In the beginning… there was stock. And it was okay, but very limited. Thankfully, Blizzard designed the game to be almost infinitely customizable by players. I started out just wanting to show you the view from my chair, but then I realized that I’ve never found “standing around a major city” screenshots useful. Instead, I’ll be posting some “action shots” of my UI, the mods I use, how, and why. You’ll get a better idea of how I heal, and how I’ve gotten my UI to help me do that. There’s a lot of explanation involved, so I’ll do this in a couple of parts.

Personally, I don’t like a lot of crap that I don’t use sucking up power or my attention. I also like mods that pack a LOT of information into tiny packages. That said, I use a lot of add-ons, and I’m constantly auditioning more and deleting the old ones. Your eyes would bleed if I marked each one and told you what it was, so if you have questions, feel free to leave them in the comments.

Intro to my UI:

I had this idea in the middle of Black Temple, so I waited to get a nice, basic shot. Things will get a little more complicated when it’s in action. Personally, I want the middle of my screen as clear as possible. Priests have a bad reputation for dying, and I’ve found that keeping my field of vision very clear helps me move out of the way and stay alive. The mods I look at the most are right below my ‘toon, with those less relevant during combat further from that point.

Basic UI Shot. Englarged version coming!

1. The bar across the top is FuBar. Lightweight, with lots of modular plug-ins, FuBar makes it really easy to access and customize your mods. Keeps buttons off my mini-map, too. My personal favorite is RegenFu. This little gem tells me my int/mp5/spirit ratio on the fly, and how much time I’m spending in the 5SR; (85% on last fight). It also has a timer bar (which is faint, over my raid frame) that shows when I’m in the 5SR. Over time, I know if spirit or mp5 food or elixirs are more appropriate for a given fight, and I can better control my mana-consumption rate.

2. AG_UnitFrames. Before I used grid, I used AG for my basic Raid Frames. I still use it for 5-mans and a couple of other things because it’s lightweight, and very customizable. I’ve tried Pitbull, but found that it couldn’t do anything AG couldn’t do, and I already had AG the way I wanted it.
(2a) My frame and my target are at the top of the screen, and just above my chat box
(2b) you can see my focus frame and their target (in this case, I’m focused on myself for
some reason, so it’s just a miniature of what’s going on upstairs. Sorry about that.)

3. Grid took some getting used to, but it’s now my favorite mod. It shows a LOT of information in a very elegant and minimalistic manner. My groups are arranged horizontally, and the player names are cut off at a max of 4 letters. They are also colored according to class. That “W…” is me, and my group includes Wizendone (resto-shammy), Nl (s.priest), Haidi, and Alden (both healadins). Those that are greyed out are simply out of range.

A word on targeting: Obviously, you can see my target up at the top of the screen. One of the best rules of being an efficient healer is to maximize your reaction time. Minimizing the distance your eyes need to travel to get the information you need helps. Part of my solution has been to set Grid to have a white border around my target’s square. (Since I have myself targeted, and priests are denoted in white, it’s not showing properly.) Also, I use Quartz for my casting bar, and have it set to show the name of my target in the cast bar. Like this:

This makes it easy to avoid healing the wrong target, since my quartz goes right above grid.

4. Your spells have to go somewhere, and I use Bartender3 to keep mine organized. There are a LOT of mods that do this; find one that you like. You’ll notice that nearly all of them are hotkeyed – I navigate and target with my mouse, and cast with my keyboard. (That blank spot is for my Spirit buffs when I spec disc on the weekends.) You’ll probably notice a lot of icons you don’t recognize – I use macros very heavily. You’ll also notice how many ranks of Greater Heal and Flash heal I use. 4 of each. The fifth (5 and T, respectively) are stopcasting macros with the max-rank of the heal. (T is a little special, but I’ll get to that in the upcoming post on macros.) You may also notice that the only offensive spell I have hotkeyed is Pain. This is because I’m a healer, not a DPSer. Don’t worry, my offensive spells are easy to access (hold shift and scroll the mousewheel up once), it’s just that in the average raid, I don’t need them taking up space. I tend to click pots and such, so I don’t hit them accidentally while typing. The average amount per heal (or offensive spell) on each icon is from Dr. Damage. It helps me down-rank without having to read tool tips and do math in my head.

5. Recount. Use it. Love it. I have some great shots of how to use it for self-coaching later on. I have it running, set to “current fight” AT ALL TIMES. (Which is why it cleared once the boss was dead. Sorry about that, too.) See my previous post for why.

6. Simple Mini Map. I like it because it interfaces well with cartographer, it’s light, and it is very customizable.

7. Prat. A chat mod that lets remove you those damn arrows, and scroll with your mousewheel. Has a bunch of other nifty features I find useful. You’ll notice I don’t keep a combat log open. Recount substitutes for that.

8. ElkBuffBars. Matt made me get this one, and I’m glad he did. Montiors buffs, debufs, and everything else you need to know in a (say it with me!) Lightweight, customizable format.

Essential mods that you can’t see:

Deadly Boss Mods. Don’t leave home without it.

Omen Threat Meter. KTM was great. Omen is better. If you haven’t upgraded, do it now. Omen interfaces with KTM, too, so just because your Tank lives in the stone age isn’t an excuse for you to do the same.

Instant Health. This is a combat log parser that updates the health of your party or raid, with any raid frames, without waiting for the information to be sent to the server and back. It saves insane amounts of time (up to 3 seconds!!), and buys you time to react. As people keep stacking more and more Spell Haste, this kind of thing is going to become more popular.
(Edit: As I’ve been using this, I’ve noticed it messes with Recount and other combat-log parsers. Please be aware that it may interfere with any other mod you have reading this information; it is a known issue with the beta.)

More on Quartz. This has been around for a while, but I wanted to point out that it does more than allow you to change the look of your casting bar. The tail end of a given cast comes up in red (or any color you pick), and alerts you to your latency. What’s more, it allows you to begin a new cast before your computer has finished communicating with the server. This means you’re less at the mercy of Blizzard and your ISP to get those heals off in time. Pre-2.3, Quartz and a stop-casting macro were indispensible for quick heals. I still use stop-casting, although now more for mana regen purposes than global cooldown.

PoM Tracker – I found this after I took these screenies. I used to use Mending Minder, which stopped working at 2.4. This tells you who has your ProM, how many bounces it has left, and how much it’s healing. Nice.


To Be Continued. . .

BREAKING: Introducing the iRaid

BREAKING: Introducing the iRaid

I’m working frantically on an essay right now which is due tomorrow afternoon, so I don’t have a lot of time. I don’t want to reveal my source about this, but you know how Apple’s opened up their API’s and such for third party developers?

Yup, you guessed it.

World of Warcraft is now on the iPhone. In fact, Apple’s secretly working on a product that completely strips every component they have from the iPhone to create a new device that is far more superior than it’s predecessor in any way shape or form.

This new product is called the iRaid. You people with lives, yes you the ones that bail out at the last minute, now don’t have any excuses to skip out on raiding anymore! With the portability of the iRaid, now players can literally raid whenever they want wherever they want. It’s perfect for players whose lives are way too busy.

On top of that, the interface has been completely re-written. Actually, it’s been completely removed. Now World of Warcraft can be played without having to mash any buttons or observe any tool bars. Everything has been designed with simplicity and automaticity in mind. There are no bars at all, raid frames, or meters to worry about. Threat is automatically calculated and should you hit the cap, then the iRaid automatically locks up preventing you from casting any further spells. There’s a nice heads up display which shows useful information such as nearby players their information, nearby enemies, and their range.

How it works

Using Apple’s intuitive touch interface, players can simply create motions with their fingers to perform certain actions.

For example

  • As a Mage, drawing a circle with the letter "S" inside generates a portal to Shattrath
  • As a Shaman, drawing an "X" over an enemy target will automatically trigger chain lightning
  • As a Priest, drawing an oval creates a Power Word: Shield around the target
  • As a Warlock, tapping an enemy target followed by a fast jab in any direction results in a fear
  • As a Warrior, drawing swirls will trigger whirlwind
  • As a Paladin, drawing a square with the letter "B" adjacent to it activates Divine Shield and your hearth stone
  • As a Rogue, repeatedly tapping anywhere on the screen while adjacent to a target causes your rogue to perform sinister strikes
  • As a Druid, targets you tap on will get moonfire spammed

And it gets better! During raids, all that needs to be done is for you to tape a person’s health bar and it will cast the most mana efficient spell in order to heal that player. Heck, if you’re busy, you can always toggle the "lock" switch which locks your iRaid device and sets it on autopilot. It will not register any taps or presses on the screen and perform the logical actions. The new iRaid essentially RAIDS for you so that you don’t have to do a darn thing!

Chat Interface

The chat interface doesn’t deviate much from the normal iPhone. It uses the same interface which you can rotate in either direction. Based on the nature of the message, the iRaid is capable of determining what chat channel or person to send your message to.

 

Other useful stuff

iraid2The iRaid comes with extra features like a "death time counter". It tracks the amount of time that you spend as being dead so you can prove to the rest of the raid just how useful you are because you spend such little time being dead.

There’s loads more of other stuff, but it’s either still under development or under wraps.

No one knows when this product will debut, but my guess is that we will not be seeing it for a long time. It’s wonderful to see top companies collaborating together and combining innovative technologies and software to deliver even more fun addictions.

In order to maximize space, useless things like calendars, music players, browsers, and the like have been removed. Since the iPhone still has a mic and an ear section, voice communication has been built in to allow iRaiders listen to the praise of their raid leaders on what an excellent job they have been doing throughout the raid.

The all new iRaid: Buying skill is now a reality.

Extreme Makeover – Matt’s UI: Part 2 (Addons that I use)

Extreme Makeover – Matt’s UI: Part 2 (Addons that I use)

Here’s the before post of my UI when I was in the process of tearing it down entirely. This is the after post of my UI in various stages throughout one of Sunday’s raids.

matt-ui2-tb
Clicking on the image takes you full screen. While you’re there, proceed to laugh at the 2 melee that died.

I’m extremely happy and satisfied with the way it looks now. Before I had to drag my eyes all over the screen to get information I needed. I sat down last week and spent a good, solid 3 hours asking for some advice from the lads in the BA Chatroom. Some of the modifications will be the same. But there are some brand new elements. I designed my interface with the goal of having important information towards the center of the screen because that’s where my eyes will be concentrated a majority of the time. All files are linked to either Curse Gaming or WoW Ace.

The Meat and Potatoes

matt-ui5 Here’s a cropped action shot of the force in Black Temple taking out the trash.

Metahud: I was inspired by Top Gun for this one. Instead of using the normal boxy frames to display my health and targets, I opted to use something called a HuD (Heads up Display). It has a nice graphical representation of my target’s health, my health, my target’s power bar (mana, energy, rage), and my mana. My information’s on the inner circle and my target’s are on the outer circle. Not only that, but it shows me the hard numbers of a person’s health and their percentage. On the top right, you can see the cast time remaining on a spell (Greater Heal which I just finished casting). Notice that I have an Ashtongue Primalist targetted (bad guy).

Metahud displays me the approximate range to that target (9 – 28 yards). It also tells me who it has targetted (Lang, our MT). I moved Pitbull’s Target of Target bars to the bottom right for the sake of contrast and easy selection (until I figure out how to change those colors).

DoTimer: Knowing when your cooldowns are up is integral to any healer as it allows us to time our trinket use and other "long CD" spells. I moved my cooldown window to the center of the screen below my HuD. In this case, by being aware of when Prayer of Mending is up, I can get ready to activate that on Lang instead of dropping a Greater Heal. Knowing your Cooldowns allows you to mentally adjust your spell process on the fly without having to constantly guess to see if you can cast a spell or not.

ScrollingCombatText: At the top, you can see the amount of mana I’m getting back. I believe it’s mana spring totem. I moved SCT above the HuD and set the transparency to 50%. Not only mana, but it displays other important information like health gain or damage done to and so forth.

NaturEnemyCastBar: I still like NECB. It tracks the cooldowns of other people around me. Never again will you have to ask when banish is up. I repositioned it slightly from where it was in the shot above. It’s now located towards the middle of the screen and is flush against the power bars on the right.

Elkano’s Buff Bars: Far right side. I like it better then the default Blizzard one. It shows me both buffs and debuffs and the time remaining.

Pitbull Unit Frames: Yes, I know a lot of people pressured me suggested to use Grid. It’s a lightweight raid frame, I got it. But I’m already married to Pitbull! I have this set up on the left side along with my own frame and my target’s frame right below. It’s slightly larger then the raid frames above (Refer to the first shot). The reason why I wanted two of them is so that there’s less eye movement for me to do. If I’m focusing on raid healing, I still have my target up on the left side. If I’m focused on tank healing, I can keep my eyes glued to the center. Each portion of the screen is set up for a different purpose. Also interfaces with Prat =).

Deadly Boss Mods: Raid requirement. Either use that or Bigwigs. But either way, it’s a must for raiding. I placed mine at the top with full opacity above SCT.

Quartz: It’s a graphical bar that shows cast times and stuff which adjusts for latency.

Visualheal: Displays in a bar the approximate amount of health they will gain when factoring in your heal so you can visually see it (hence the name?).

Bottom of the Barrel


Poison elementals are serious business. We made our Druid tank shift out and cleanse. 

My chat windows and other secondary information is located at the bottom of the screen. From left to right, it’s combat text/general chat, Omen, Bars, Recount, chat windows 1, and Guild/raid/healer chat.

Prat: It came highly recommended as thee chat frame of choice. Shows timestamp, colors the player name according to class, level, group number of person, and more importantly no annoying overlapping scroll arrows!

Big Brother: Raid Leaders – This is a must for you guys. Found out who broke that sheep! Also displays nifty stuff like flasked players, buffs that may or may not be missing, etc, etc.

Omen: The standard in threat meters now. Don’t enter a raid without it. You can have it minimized as long as it’s transmitting. Although 9 times out of 10 it won’t matter for healers, it’s still nice to have around.

Bongos2: I use Bongos2 for my bars. I shrank it as small as I could since I’ve mapped every option to a key at this point. Anything I need to click on is at the top anyway.

Recount: See previous post on this excellent measurement and raid diagnostic tool. Has meters for everything and you can output the information into raid. Warning: Can inflate ego.

Stuff you don’t see

All that stuff above was meant primarily for raiding and healing. Here’s all the addons that make other aspects of WoW a little easier to manage.

ATSW: It stands for Advance Trade Skills Window. I use it to keep track of and sort my various enchanting and tailoring recipes easily. Might be abandoning it soon due to lack of support. Exploring for some alternatives.

Cartographer: This handles my mapping functions. Shows my coordinates, and tracks herbs/mining nodes and the like.

 TipTac: This is a particularly useful addon. It’s a simple tooltip information window. In this case, all I did was mouse over Maeve and it displays information like his title, Guild, buffs, health, spec, and who else has him targetted. It sure as hell beats the default tooltip in the game.

Swatter: Do you have annoying UI error messages that seem to show up? I use Swatter mostly to debug the information and then close it afterwards. Doesn’t seem to be in active development as I can’t find a link.

XLoot: It’s a looting interface. It’s a simple remake of the default loot window.

XRS: It stands for X Raid Status. This raid leading addon echoes what buffs are missing from the raid. Make sure you have an A. Like Kilmster says, rain of fire is serious business. Full buffs should be granted before attempting to go into one.

Stinky Queue: Lets me group queue into Alterac Valley. Will be obsolete once 2.4 comes.

oRA2: I had to install this addon to please the brass. This is the Patriot Act for raid leaders. I give up my privacy so that I can raid. With it, they can see the durability of my armor, reagents, potions, underwear size and so on.

Itemrack: Lets me switch outfits with a click of a mouse button. I can go from suave and sophisticated to smooth and sexy in under a second. No more having to search through bags and equipping every piece of gear manually.

Caster Weapon Swapper: Automates the switching of weapons. I use it to manage my Spellsurge, mana regen, and healing staves. It switches them based on my mana pool and what I’m doing. I wrote a post about it a while ago.

Aloft: Replaces the default Blizzard name plates.

Atlasloot Enhanced: It’s a database of items obtainable from vendors and drops from bosses.

Proximo: If you plan on doing any kind of Arena PvP, you will want this addon. Helps you identify and coordinate your efforts on taking down players in PvP.

Class Specific

Serenity: It’s a priest specific addon, I believe. It just announces who I’m ressing and Shackling in chat.

Totemus: Similar to Serenity, Totemus is for my Resto. Shaman and shows me the time remaining on my totems.

Pally Power: This is a must have for any Paladin. Handles Blessings without you losing your mind.

6 Signs You Masturbate Too Much

We all do it at some point, but we all deny it. Yet we do it because it brings us pleasure and sometimes we have to hide it from other people. Obviously as this is a WoW based blog, I am referring to WoW masturbation. It can be incredibly unhealthy for you. If you start noticing the following signs, start looking for help right away.

Tired

1: Extreme Fatigue

You start feeling tired throughout the day. Why? Because you have been up all night again playing with your toons. Your eyes are nearly blood shot. When you go to bed, your hands are shaking incessantly from the surge of Red Bull and coffee. But you still do it anyway because it’s only one more attempt. Then two. And it slowly snowballs after that. Before you know it, it’s 3 AM and you have to get up at 5.

2: Self-Admiration

So you got yourself some nice shiny purples and you are spending most of your time checking yourself out and showing yourself off to everyone you know. Damn, man! Go and do something with all that gear and make yourself useful, eh?

3: Obsession

You have to fire it up every day because you can’t seem to get satisfied.
You have to finish every quest.
You have to get the best possible gear.
You need to farm as much gold as possible in case the economy crashes.

Hell, you ARE the economy!

4: Can no longer perform

You just can’t keep it up anymore when you’re depended on. Your marks are slowly dropping away. You’re blowing off important emails from Bob in accounting while you’re busy reading up on your favourite blog. Your productivity in life is slowly withering away top the point where you can’t seem to look yourself in the mirror anymore.

5: Losing touch with people

Your friends don’t even bother inviting you to Friday night poker because they know Friday’s a raid night for you (sniff). But that’s okay, because you need the money that you would have lost to pay off your WoW bills. Your boyfriend or girlfriend has to buy the game just to speak with you and hold a conversation. Normally I would suggest watching TV, but with the writer’s strike happening…

6: Physical pain

This one applies to me. My back hurts. It’s probably due to sitting down in one position for too long. It pays to get up once in a while and walk around the house. In fact, I’ve made a conscious effort to get out of my room and my house at times to grab some coffee. Most of my blog posts are being written via pen and paper initially before being typed on my computer. During long raids, I like to fix myself something to drink. If your joints start feeling sore and your limbs are feeling cramped, change your posture or consider playing standing up for a few minutes. Learn some Yoga.

Here’s an idea I’ve been thinking about: Everytime you wipe, do 10 push ups.

Hopefully these telltale signs will be noticed by you in time for you to act upon them. If you think you have a problem, seek help immediately. There’s actually an Online Gamers Anonymous. Consider seeking counseling or other extreme forms of treatment. If you think you have the will, then you might be able to quit WoW cold turkey by uninstalling the game in order to get your life back on track. Video game addiction is being considered for the DSM. Let’s not forget that people have died from WoW.

Remember, WoW is only healthy in moderation!

Weekly Digest: Kael Still a Douche, Hunters Saddened, and Mattcast Going Through

What’s Happening in WoW

By the time this post goes out, I will have finished getting the necessary Sporregar rep to transmute Primal Earth to Water on my Paladin. No more spending gold to buy Primals to transmute Skyfire or Earthstorm diamonds!

Kael is still giving us a hard time. I’ve localized the problem down to the transition from Phase 3 to Phase 4 which has been the largest headache. All of us know our jobs and what to do. But there’s a lot of stupid mistakes going around that by themselves are minor. When combined together though, the raid caves.

Thankfully, our GM has publicly called out some of these players to step up their game. Hopefully it will have a desired effect on Sunday.

What’s Happening with the Blog

I’m still hard at work changing up my blogroll. I mentioned it before, but the blogroll will have it’s own page. My intention is to set it in such a way where when it is loaded, there is a different blog spotlighted every time.

Technical problems, but nothing my gnomish engineers can’t fix!

The hard part about blogging is finding interesting topics. It becomes much more difficult when the blogger intends to do a podcast. I am virtually committed to doing a podcast and I have some great ideas to explore. I might even go a step further and turn it into a video cast. We’ll see. I’ve always had a passion for public speaking and giving presentations. I don’t want to reveal too much for now. I don’t like to make empty promises. It’s a fairly monumental project in it’s own right and I don’t even have the technical knowhow on how to pull it off.

Haven’t quite picked a name for it, so I’m going to tentatively refer to it as the Mattcast since saying World of Matticus Offical Podcast repeatedly would get old after a while.

Lots of learning and lots of reading to do in addition to my school work, that’s for sure.

Latest Blog Posts

Trends in the WoWosphere

There’s been a large outcry over Blizzard’s reversal in their stance of the ghost wolf pet (formerly a bug). Others don’t see the big deal.

I don’t have a hunter myself, so I cannot even begin to imagine what it must have been like to lose the ability to tame it. Blizzard’s decision ultimately cost them the subscription of a player-blogger.

Personally, I think it was a combination of things that made him quit.

Past Hits

Past articles that I’ve written that still hold true to this day.

Blog Spotlight

Light’s Grace – It’s a brand spankin’ new WoW Blog! He’s She’s a Blood Elf Paladin (oh great, not another one). Kulrayk, the blogger, followed me on Twitter for some time and we’ve chatted for a little bit. Now he’s she’s decided to create his own blog! Go show him her some support! It’s tough to get a blog going from the start because you often question yourself and wonder if you have the motivation and dedication. All it takes is some readers.

This is My Last Post

… of 2007.

Tomorrow I will be out and about celebrating and counting down to New Year and all that fun stuff! I’m going to use what little time I have left today and tomorrow to finish up my new layout. It’s going to be simpler yet more functional. I hate coding. I transferred out of this profession years ago and having to modify this theme extensively for the past two months has reminded me why.

With a New Year comes new resolutions! Much like Honors Code who recently published his goals, here’s my list of things to do for 2008.

World of Warcraft

Mallet

* Kill Illidan
* Kill Zul’Jin
* Obtain Epic Flying Mount
* Break the base 2000 +healing mark
* Break the 300 MP5 while casting with full buffs mark

Saphfira

* Obtain 5/5 Vengeful Gladiator’s set (Elemental)
* Finish out Vindicator’s pieces (Ring, Belt, Boots)
* Level fishing to 375
* Improve myself more in PvP

Valoray

* Acquire Thunder
* Become viable in PvE as retribution (pigs might as well fly)
* Acquire a Flying Mount
* Become keyed for Karazhan
* Level blacksmithing to 375
* Become elixir specced
* Get reputation with Sporregar so I can transmute these useless Primal Earths to Waters

Personal

Blogging

* Start and finish out example healing assignments in Mag/TK/SSC
* Write less, but frequent
* Write more, but less often
* Continue pushing myself to deliver quality, timeless references

Academic

* Studying smarter, not harder
* Studying instead of raiding
* Not suck

Those are my resolutions. What’s yours? I will see you all in 2008!

Have a Happy (and safe) New Year!

No One Else’s Fault But My Own

Masters Leiandra and and Trollin’ have asked the one question that sits in the back of our minds ever since we started playing this game.

Why are you playing this game? What made you get into this game? Who did it?

For me the answer is very easy but lengthy to answer. My first real game was Gizmos and Gadgets. Then I graduated to RTS’s with Warcraft 2. I loved the fantasy universe and I knew I would continue to play Warcraft games for a long time. Fast forward a few years and I met up with some people online in IRC (who happened to be local in my area). They asked me to play and compete with them in Counter-strike (1.5 was the norm back in the day). From that day onwards, we formed our own gaming clique. Whatever the current ‘fad’ in video games was, all of us would participate.

It started with CS
Then we moved to DoD
Warcraft 3 debuted and most of us played that
Back to CS: Source
DoTA
Lineage II Open Beta
Guild Wars
Then World of Warcraft hit

At first I resisted for several long months. I had a good excuse. I was just a poor high school student with no source of income. That summer I got a job and made a decent pile for a student. I decided to give WoW a try and I was hooked immediately. Several months later, most of us split due to some stupid issues. It was all my fault because I failed to heal one of my friends in STV and abandoned the field of battle because I didn’t want to participate in PvP anymore. I killed my subscription for a while and stopped playing. I stopped coming around on vent because I felt I didn’t deserve the flak I took for saving myself in a hopeless cause. It’s a little difficult to engage in combat as Holy and while I would perform well in PvE environments, I wouldn’t have a clue as to what to do in PvP. I didn’t really know anyone else to play with and it just wasn’t enjoyable without friends. I started nodding off when I did some quests or other things by myself. I got bored of the game, essentially.

Anyways, I started playing the game again because the same guys wanted to form a reroll raiding Guild. I figured why not? I’ve never truly seen the end of the game and I wanted to see what it was like. I picked a Priest to symbolize my dedication and goals: I picked, at the time, the class that was most in demand and underplayed (Dwarf Priests). You know what was stupid? Completely randoming his look. Sheesh, now I’m stuck with a scowl and a glare for the rest of my WoW career.

What I want to say is the only reason I’m playing this game isn’t for the raiding. I’m not here to get all the best loot as possible. I don’t care about progression and epics and the like. I’m not interested in showing my dominance and prowess in PvP. Some people take pride in pressing buttons faster and more accurate than the next guy. I lost that drive after Guild Wars.

Digression: We worked our asses off in Guild Wars to take the Hall of Heroes and get our damn sigil. Then we stopped playing after that.

Anyway, without caring about loot or PvP abilities, what does that leave?

Why then do I continue playing this game?

Because all of my friends are playing it. Truth be told, if my friends all stopped playing WoW, I would stop playing altogether. A lot of people have this idea that all WoW players are addicted to the game.

They’re not.

It’s their choice to play it. If I wanted to quit WoW, I could easily pull it off. I just don’t want to.

They’re not addicted to the game. They’re addicted to the friends and the people they’ve met playing this game. The reason I play WoW is because of the people I play with.

Told you the reason was simple.

2007 Best of World of Matticus

Boxing day shopping is one of the most grueling things anyone can do. It takes a lot of heart for someone to crawl out of bed at 3 AM to go line up in front of a store. This year I camped out in front of Best Buy to snag some swag.

This year I picked up some DVD-R’s (50 pack for $18.99), iLive iPod dock ($89.99), Rayman Raving Rabbids ($19.99 but dang if it ain’t an awesome game), 40 GB portable HD, and some other miscellaneous stuff.

2007 – World of Matticus debuts

I started this blog at the end of August because I was growing weary at the amount of Priests who were running around without a clue as to what they should be doing or the best way for them to maximize themselves as healers. BBB’s post accurately summarized my feelings on the topic.

Start your own blog (it’s free btw) and prove it. Write. Be brilliant. Show us how awesome you are and how crappy we are by comparison. Don’t just say it, DO IT.

What a brilliant bear. He’s way smarter than the average picnic basket to boot! He’s even secured a spot on WoW Insider!

I did exactly what he said. I went out, purchased my own domain and server because I had a vision. I wanted to help educate people and show them what works and what doesn’t. If they choose to follow my teachings, power to them. If they don’t, that’s perfectly fine. I wanted to be a resource for aspiring Priests and raiding officers. World of Matticus evolved from Priest topics to an interesting blend of tips, tricks, and techniques for the new GM or the officer (while maintaining stuff for Priests). The one thing that’s been a constant in all my guilds is a Holy Priest in a position of leadership. Maybe that’s just me. Anyways, that was my main goal: to help, to educate, and to teach.

I think I did a pretty darn good job for 4 months worth of work.

Statistical Growth

I never believed I could reach these kind of numbers by New Years. When I look at them, sometimes I’m still in a little bit of disbelief.

  • Subscribers: 124 – At least it’s above 0.
  • Posts: 150 – I’m averaging a little over 1.1 posts per day ever since I started writing back in August. Heh, I definitely would not have been able to make the WoW Insider quota.
  • Comments: 490 – Feedback is always good to have no matter how much there is.
  • Site Viewers: 10000~ – I installed Google Analytics around mid-October. Right now it reads around 9670 visitors. There’s no way to know for sure down the decimal, but I think a figure over 10000 is believeable.
  • Site Views: 23000~ ~ Again, same reason as above. The actual figure is 21484 since I started using Analytics. Factor in the uncounted stuff during August and September, and it should be around 23k.

Bests Posts of 2007 – By Month

I’m not basing these on page views or popularity or the number of comments or anything else like that. I’m basing this list on what I feel is the best that I’ve been able to do.

August

September

October

November

December

One More Thing

If even one or any of my blog posts have helped you become a better player in any fashion, then I know I’ve done my job. Without your support and readership, World of Matticus would not be what it is today. I want to take a moment to thank everyone for reading my corner of the WoW blogosphere. There’s a lot of WoW Bloggers that I hold a lot of respect for even though we may disagree on some points. If I’m not able to read your respective blogs throughout the week, I would not be able to get through my lectures nor have (relatively) interesting topics to blog about. Galadria (whose been quiet lately), Ego, Fate, Megan, Mercuri (AWOL) Kestrel and Kirk for the Priests. Phaelia, Karthis, BBB have all been terrific. Gwaendar, Galohart, Rohan, who have done an admiral job representing my plate wearing brethren. Pike, One Among Many, and BRK of the sharpshooting variety. The insights of GMW and Leiandra continue to be valued.

There’s a lot more people I want to thank. All the Guests writers who have volunteered to help pitch in when I was not able to do so (Leiandra, Ryan, Brendan, TDQ’s Matt, etc).  My bed looks enticing right now. There are more blogs I’m following now but I can’t possibly list them all. Next year, no doubt this list will increase in size. Some of you will retire from writing or WoW entirely and move onto other projects. But that’s getting too far ahead. 2008’s almost here and I can’t wait to share another new year of WoW adventures with everyone as well as reading about yours.

Okay, bed.

P.S., to all bloggers, I’d love it if you all highlighted your best posts from ’07!