Thursday, November 29, 2007

Skinningfang Keep

Shocks and Seals decided to 3-man yet another instance. This time: the reasonably cool setting of Shadowfang Keep (SFK). This is the place where you go the get vengeance on those bastard Sons of Arugal that probably ganked you while you were minding your own business in Silverpine. Yeah, it was served cold.

Much like the aforementioned Deadmines, SFK is also a gathering heaven. This time though, it's for skinning. Nearly every mob is skinnable, causing my teammates to have to fight things on their own with only the help of my trusty totems much of the time. Skinning is serious business.

This foray was a little more difficult than the one into the Deadmines in that we wiped on the last boss once. The run back was more epic than the boss fight, honestly, and my opinion of this instance was downgraded from a B+ to a B- as a result.

Friday, November 23, 2007

WoWered by WoWHead (sorry)

This site is now also powered by WoWHead. If you don't know about this site already, it's basically a better Thottbot, except it doesn't have the custom weighting but it does have a slick look.

The other thing it has is javascript so that your site can use its popups when linking an item. Hover over it. Try it.

Thanks to this WoWInsider article for the awesome tip! (Note: I coloured you in legendary cause I <3 you, Mrs. WoWInsider with your funny writing)

So uh... why do they call it the Deadmines?

I went to the Deadmines last night with a couple of guildies (shammy and a pally). The first thing you'll note about the place is that it is some kind of mining paradise. While my guildies were busy pwning level 18 elites, I was hoarding (horde-ing?) all the copper, tin, and silver I could cart out of there.

The second thing you'll notice is how much cooler this place is than the dreaded 3 hour tour that is the Wailing Caverns. I mean, this place has an entire section devoted to pirates! I even stole one of their parrots, but I was forced to strangle it when it kept repeating what I was saying (gawk, repeating what I was saying). The design is much better than WC, and there's even a backdoor for quick and safe exiting.

The third thing is that the place is kinda buggy. Besides the shredder pathing abuse, which allowed us to defeat the boss and his minion even though our pally forgot to bubble (the noob), there seems to be some weird aggro going on. And the safety wheel on the ship.

All in all though, we had no wipes and 3 manned the entire instance at level 21 with no tanks or healers. Of course the enhancement shaman and ret pally in this group were kinda twinked with their fiery weapons that shoot shadowbolts and what not. Here I am with my puny +11 nature damage (+18 post-Deadmines loot) tickling mobs with my ~100 damage lightning bolts feeling like the little kid who is shooting in a small nerf hoop while his big brothers shoot on the big people hoops.

After making out with another level and some nice gloves, we had to come up with something else to do. Let's see... we were three young males, still feeling the rush of 3 manning an instance that was around our level, and already in enemy territory. You can see where this is going.

We ended up owning (read: pwning) a whole bunch of level 23-29s in Raven Hill until they called in a couple of 70s. That, of course, meant we had to bring our 70s. All I'm saying is.... East Siiiiiiiiide.

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Waiting Game

Etsuko has hit 20 for a week or more now. With the arrival of 2.3, leveling from 20-60 will be much easier, especially with my guildies. However, it seems like they have lost the will to play this quirkily-themed band of Hordies, so I really don't have much more to report, except that soloing as a elemental shaman from 15-20 was a bit odorous.

Now it's probably not as bad as it is for you healy types. But my main is a druid, so I'm used to tanking 5 gorillas, and then my first alt is a shadow priest, and we all know how busty they are, so having trouble with quests even slightly higher than my level was quite a bummer. I've even been buying random equipment to try to help myself out.

With some help from rested XP and some lower-than-me level quests, though, I made it to 20. Here's to hoping my guildies will level me the rest of the way.

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Barrens

Etsuko is in her sweet 16s. She's in this strange spot where the quests are either too easy or too hard for her. God, I hate the Barrens. Even with general chat turned off, it's such a large zone to travel. But the skinning is good at least (she is a Miner/Skinner). Hopefully now that she is of a comparable level, she can do quest with her guildmates instead of solo (or stag, depending on how you want to view it).

True fact of the day: NPCs will be dead at the Crossroads, no matter what time of day you log on.

I'm still having trouble with multiple mobs, although I can handle two as long as they're not both 2 levels above me or more. My current strategy involves putting down a Stoneclaw totem to keep one of the mobs occupied while I focus all of my elemental fury on the other one. I can't seem to kill my skull target fast enough though, so there's always that period that both are hitting me, and then I have to heal once I get to the second mob, which is a rather risky proposition considering the knockback.

Also, she now has her own Armory page. Thanks Blizzard for validating her existence!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Day 2: A new revelation!

Etsuko is now level 12. I will begin with a complaint all shamans are familiar with: The Call of Fire quest chain sucks the ass of life. Hey Blizzard, if you didn't know, walking around in your expansive world kind of sucks.

I am very prone to trying to min/max, and last night I was trying to max experience while minimizing walking time. This lead me to, as I had been doing for the first 9 levels, shock-kiting with my teeny earth shock. This is akin to covering yourself in delicious sauces, running by some raptors, and then pelting rocks at them while you run.

For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, you essentially shock something as you run by, and keep running, and when your CD is up, you jump, spin, cast your shock, then spin back to the original way you were running before you hit the ground. This way, you keep going in the direction you want to travel while earning some XP. This works well at the lower levels because mobs don't run as fast as you. When they do, I throw down my earthbind totem.

However, because I'm a big noob, last night I died a couple of times while doing this because I was determined to take the shortest path to everywhere I was going, which meant I ran through a lot of mobs. And you don't want to be stringing extra mobs around when you're doing that, it turns out.

It wasn't so bad though, because I had a revelation as I took a spirit rez at the Razor Hill graveyard: Dying and spirit rezzing is the best way to travel. The penalty at this level is 1 minute of rez sickness and of course doesn't really cost anything, especially with Big Daddy supporting her. So in the next few levels, I plan to die a *lot* more often.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Picking a build

Before I have done any investigation into what Elem shamans are supposed to be working towards, what kind of equipment is out there, I have made a very rough Elemental build. I can afford to be elemental because my guildmates seem to have tanking and healing covered with their pallies.

The nitty gritty. The aim of this build is to have really good PvE viability without being gimped in PvP (it is a PvP server, after all). It really bugs me that I basically have one floating point in the resto tree that I can't decide what to do with. The main consideration in the Elemental tree is whether I want 3/5 Reverberation & 2/3 Eye of the Storm, 3/3 Call of Flame 2/3 Eye of the Storm, or 5/5 Reverberation.

Basically, I made the decision like this:

The usual rotation for Elemental Shamans in group settings is:

0s: Lightning bolt
2s: Lightning bolt
4s: Lightning bolt
6s: Lightning bolt
8s: Lightning bolt

If you add in Shocks, it would look like:

0s: Shock
1.5s: LB
3.5s: LB
5.5s: LB
7.5s: LB
9.5s: LB
11.5s: Shock

With 3/5 Reverberation, it now condenses to:
0s: Shock
1.5s: LB
3.5s: LB
5.5s: LB
7.5s: Shock
9.0s: LB
11s: LB

It's very situation, but my gut feeling is that fire totems could get troublesome in a lot of environments. 5/5 Reverberation seems to have just a wasted affect considering the GCD.