Friday, July 29, 2011

Through Your Interface - Day 8, Vacation Spot

I'm still not finished with this Through Your Interface challenge? Ah well, have another!

If Azeroth was the real world, where would you vacation to?

This one is pretty easy: Gallywix's Pleasure Palace

It's a little oasis in Azshara. Hot, humid, and just the perfect little get-a-way for you hardcore industrialists out there. The compound contains a golf course, swimming pool, waitresses running about with booze...what else could one ask for?

The main building on the site has some pretty fancy lighting, which is right up my alley. The downstairs parlor has enough room and seating for you and several of your best homies.

The bedroom is littered with amazingly fluffy and wonderfully patterned pillows, comes with fancy lighting, the walls are covered in crazy wall paper that will drive you bananas (in a good way of course!), gold is strewn across the floor, and the bed is befitting for the pimp that you really are. Sleeping quarters for a king or queen indeed.

Did I mention that there's a pool? There's a pool. I could use one of those right about now. It even comes with inflatable horses! Yeehaw!

Seriously, my kind of place.

Fortune Fridays!

They're quirky, they're fun, they're random Azerothian fortunes! Every Friday you will see a different fortune (either from our beloved Darkmoon Faire or the new fortune cards) featured here at World of Saz. Enjoy!

Fortune Card: Disbelief destroys the magic.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Daily Grind

Once upon a time in a land far far away, a little Draenei shaman was born. Her ebony skin glistened in the sunlight of Azuremyst, her blue hair fluttered behind her as she trotted along, gleefully smacking moths with her mace. It was the beginning of a many year grind, one that would engulf this little shaman's life whether she new it or not.

You see, I began as most MMORPG noobs tend to do. I had a spirit ring here, an agility mace there, a strength shield strapped to my back and the notion that the world was my playground. I valued gear by how much armor it had, had no clue how to earn a copper (the discovery of the auction house was a trip), and really didn't know how to go about leveling efficiently. Needless to say, times have changed my friends.

Throughout the Burning Crusade I remained more or less blissfully unaware of the heroic dungeon grind, and while I did on occasion do my Shattered Sun dailies, I never fully grasped or embraced the typical "OMG I need to get my dailies done!" mentality. I made a few sad attempts to work the auction house, mainly by trying to sell greens for what I'm sure were absurd prices (greens were my epics until I capped and learned what a real epic looked like), but outside of that I didn't feel a huge need for gold besides getting enough for my riding/flying training and a mount to go along with each upgrade. I knew nothing of grinding - be it for gear, reputation, or gold - outside of logging in daily to Ironforge only to while away my time trying to force myself to go out in the world and level.

Skip ahead many, many months. Wrath of the Lich King has launched and little Saz has somehow made it to level 80 in under a month (the trek from 1-70 took over 8 months total). She was introduced first to Naxxramas (yes, my first badge of the expansion was earned in a raid, not a heroic) and soon after was dragged through many heroics. In Burning Crusade heroics were a foreign creature, something to only be ran when one needed her Alchemy specialization. In Wrath? It was a way of life. Get together with guild mates, fly to dungeon A, work way around continent to dungeon Z. We did the heroic grind because that's what you did to help your guild gear up if you wanted to down more than just one little boss in Naxxramas. Dailies were still a foreign concept to me up until Trial of the Crusader came along with its Argent Tournament, though I did become rather religious about getting my cooking and fishing dailies done (the Salty obsession began here). During this time I became hooked on the grind. I began my raiding frenzy, started leveling up my druid (she was still semi old school...we still didn't have LFD and she only had the BoA shoulders since nothing else existed) which eventually led to an army of alts, and began my mount obsession. I learned that reputations are actually useful for something, aka mounts, and began to grind those out. I farmed for Baron's mount for weeks. Outside of raiding, the only time I was fully happy was when I was running in circles driving myself batshit insane over some reputation to get a new mount or what have you.

Skip ahead to present day.

To date I have only done Baradin Hold twice. Earlier this week I stepped into Bastion of Twilight for the first time and have yet to see Cho'gall. Raiding hardcore four times or more a week no longer happens, heroics are only completed when I feel like it (rarely), and the grind to find new recruits to fill the ranks of my guild is no more. Ladies and gentlemen, I have a lot of time on my hands now. A lot of time to do non-social grinds.

To someone such as myself - a severe lagger, an introvert, someone who sometimes can be horribly socially awkward - this is both a blessing and a curse. You see, I love me a good grind. As I said just a bit ago, I have always been happiest when running in circles driving myself mad at meeting some absurd goal. However, I am currently unhappy. Frustratingly unhappy.

For starters I came into Cataclysm late due to a myriad of reasons, thus putting myself months behind on the reputation grind. I've had to play catch up on getting all of my basic faction reputations up to exalted, and while doing so 4.2 has launched while this process has remained incomplete. I'm capping my dailies almost daily on my shaman, and I feel as if though I am making no headway. I'm still doing my Argent Tournament dailies in attempts to collect the last two mounts I'm missing and I hope to acquire the Argent Pony Bridle for the achievement. I've been doing my city cooking/fishing dailies in Stormwind/Ironforge/Darnassus in attempts of finishing off those achievements + collecting the last of the vendor cooking recipes. I've been doing that damn bird jousting daily out in Mount Hyjal to get me that second bird pet. After I'm done with that I head over and do my Molten Front dailies (I still have yet to open up one of the factions, thus I don't have all the dailies open yet >.<) despite the massive lag that comes with the zone. When all is said and done, I have only six dailies left to complete, so I do six of the twelve Tol Barad dailies since I'm still missing the horse mount. I feel as if I am making no headway through dailies. It's like trying to progress through quicksand. Don't get me wrong, I see the need for gated content for the longevity of the game and in keeping the long time players actively doing something, but for someone such as myself who is late to the game? It's overwhelming.

Did I mention I've been working on Archeology, running Molten Core on my shaman as well as on my druid if I think of it, while trying to figure out a way to wiggle into other older raids for rep? Yeah...

Ladies and gents, I am drowning in the grind.

Some could say "Well, you don't HAVE to do all your dailies or dig or run old raids." and they would be right, I don't have to. The fact of the matter is though, since I don't raid or role play or run a guild, what else is there to do? Level another alt? Well, even as easy as it is these days that in itself is still a grind. I'm already up to four level 85s, I have a hunter primed to make the five level jump to cap, and I've been working on a holy paladin. Honestly though, I want some personal progression for my shaman right now, and it seems the only way to do that is of course the anti-social grind.

Now, this is an MMORPG. I am fully aware that World of Warcraft is built on the grind and that without it, this game would have died many, many years ago. The reason behind this post is simply to express my frustration over the feeling of being overwhelmed by the grind presented in this expansion. I'm sure that the grinds presented in Cataclysm are a far cry from the horrific (albeit epic) quest lines of Vanilla WoW, they are by far much more mind numbing experience than some of the ones I recall from Wrath (recall that I was mostly oblivious to most of the attunement quests of Burning Crusade...I returned to that zone at 80 and did many of the key quests, but they were a far cry from the difficulty they were at level). I feel as if though I've been doing the daily grind so much and so thoroughly lately that I'm just...numb and unengaged.

Yes, numb and unengaged.

A year and a half ago I was able to fully submerse myself into WoW and the various activities it offered. I didn't mind the heroic dungeon grind because you could queue up all day long and get several dungeons completed and snag yourself a few pieces of gear in a day or two. Now queues are 20-30 minutes as a DPS, you spend an hour in one dungeon (less if the group is over geared and know what's going on, rarely the case in a PuG), and it takes forever to reap the reward if you've already manage to snag/craft/purchase 346 or better ilevel gear. If you want to gear up your alts while still keeping your main in the race for Valor Points, you best have copious amounts of free time on hand. I didn't mind the faction grind once they implemented tabards because if you didn't have the reputation, slap on a tabard and get heroic grinding. That hasn't changed much, but to force one's self through heroics or even the quicker regular dungeons just for simple faction reputation is just torture most days. "Just do the dailies" you may suggest. Remember that bit about me capping out on dailies? Yeah, sadly those are no longer an option thanks to the new Molten Front dailies.

I do love that Blizzard is trying to get us to make choices. It can often be frustrating to be pigeon holed into one way of doing things. I have to give them some respect for trying to get out of the "this is how things must be done" way of working things. On the opposite side of the coin though it almost seems to be a bit much. Sometimes it's fun to have a bit of wiggle room to go back and finish old reputation dailies, like say Ogri'la (okay, those are NOT fun quests, but I do need to get to them soon if I ever want to hit 50 exalted reputations). Grinding Argent Tournament dailies for a year + while trying to squeeze in every possible Cataclysm dailies in order to catch up from being months behind? Not so much. Blizzard has stated that it will not be raising the daily level cap because they want players to choose what to work on next. I say I don't have anything else going on and I'd choose at this point to potentially do more dailies.

Regardless, I am beginning to see the light through the rats nest of reputation grinds, alt leveling, and I wish I could say gear grinding, but that last point is still a dismal black hole of a time sink. Within a few weeks I should finally be finished with the AT dailies on my shaman, she should be just about finished with the city profession dailies (I'll be at the cooking dailies for a while yet though), and it should only be another week or two of half assed Tol Barad dailies before I get my mount and can be finished with them. I only have one more faction to finish via tabards through dungeons left on my shaman. I should be able to open up my first Molten Front faction within the week and I only have five more days left of bird jousting (if I ever have to look at a jousting stick in Azeroth again, I may have to stab my eyes out). I will get through this grind. I will I will I will! Until that day were I finally work my way out of this not-so-fun-even-for-me-grindy mess though, I shall be in unengaged zombie mode. Frustratingly, unengaged, numb, and bored zombie mode.

I need a way to make it all fresh again. I need a way to pop myself out of this apathetic funk. How do you, dear reader that has somehow made it all the way to the bottom of this post, make the daily grind fresh or at least tolerable for you?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Through Your Interface - Day 7, Screen Shot of the Year

I'm buckling down and attempting to get another day of this Through Your Interface challenge done. Here goes nothing!

Show us the best screen shot you believe that you have ever taken and why you think it is the best (content, meaning, how you framed it, etc).

Alright, confession time. The image above certainly isn't the best image of the year for me. Heck, it's probably not even my all time favorite, but ladies and gents, I am stumped. I managed to draw a blank on a topic I myself came up with. This may be in part because I'm actually playing the game at this moment instead of obsessing over my overly huge pile of screen shots, or maybe it's partially because my currently file system is an absolute mess, or maybe I simply have to many favorites to be able to chose just one. Any way you look at it though, I fell short on this entry. I caved and went the easy route; I just chose something that was pretty and on hand. Will you ever forgive me?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Through Your Interface: The Official List

About a month and a half ago I threw out this one little challenge called Through Your Interface. TYI requires the participants to find 15 separate screen shots (or more, if they so choose) that match the topic given. General standards for such a challenge usually call for the participant to only do one topic a day, not necessarily consistently, but the Through Your Interface challenge's parameters are a bit loose. Do what you like but stay in the neighborhood of the structure. Can't be staving creativity, but absolute chaos wouldn't help create a theme at all! Or really be a challenge for that matter.

The participation in this project has turned out has been better than I could have possibly anticipated. Some folks are already finished with this challenge, some have yet to begin, and many (like myself) are still in the midst of working on finishing up with posting. The following is a list of blogs who have, are currently, or will be participating in this fun little project.

Postcards From Azeroth
The Daily Frostwolf - Druid Edition

In Progress
Revive & Rejuvenate
Jaded Alt
Dwarven Battle Medic 
Kamalia et alia
Moonkin Journeys
Tome of the Ancient
Amerence Love WoW
Jaedia's Menagerie
Amateur Azerothian
The Grizzlemaw Gazette
The Ready Check
Red Cow Rise

Poky Joes *Pokes*
Unleashed Rage
Syrco Owl

If you happen to be working on the Through Your Interface challenge and do not see your name on this list, please feel free to drop a comment anywhere! Well, just about anywhere. If you put it in your sock drawer I may never find it after all.

Many thanks to those of you who have participated or at least have shown interest in this project. It has been an absolute pleasure to see the game through eyes that are not my own and it has definitely brought some very amazing blogs to my attention. Whether or not you choose to take on this challenge personally, I highly recommend checking out the blogs listed above. You never know when you'll find a new blog that you just fall in love with!

Stay creative, my friends.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Friday Updates

It's that day. That one day of the week that marks the ending of the work week for some and the beginning of the work weekend for others. That's right, it's Friday. Here be the updates of the week for this blog and of course for myself (because I know you're super interested!).

WoS Updates
Nothing really mind blowing to report. This blog is in need of a few updates (all of the tabs could use some TLC), a new poll needs to be put up, and I should probably clean up a few other minor things. None of this has been taken care of yet, but hopefully should be done in the next week or two. Assuming I find time and whatnot.

In-Game Updates
- I'm now up to four level 85s.
- My DK is in the works. Leveling her as blood, which is by the way more fun than should be allowed. Still a bit surprised that she's getting leveled at all, but hey, there ya go.
- I've managed to tame two new rares, much to the thanks of some friends. Aotona (renamed Saylind) and King Krush (renamed Drama) are now my new pals. Now all that's left for that one is to level the her to 85 for the Cataclysm and possibly eventually the Firelands rares as well.

RL Updates
Grandma is doing excellent. She's 300x better than she was a few days ago. Turns out one of her medications was mixing badly with her pain killers which was causing her to go a bit woofy, so they switched her pain meds and now she's back to her old feisty self. She's now back in town at a nursing home for physical therapy and is expected to return home in the next 18 days or so. It's pretty crazy how a painful but non-life threatening issue with a pancreas and a mix up of meds can result in thoughts for the worst.

Grandpa is pretty awesome to hang around. Thankfully he's not too picky of an eater and seems to be able to stomach my so-called cooking alright. Other family members (my aunt and uncles) have been in and out all week to help out and take my grandfather on the journey to Green Bay. Turns out a few of my family members were working 12 hour shifts, which is a completely valid excuse for not being around as much. Others are still a bit MIA though, which is irksome.

Other than a few minor issues here and there, things are much better. I'm eager to get home again, but I'm trying to at least enjoy my stay here. Otherwise, nothing much else to report. Life is life, and it keeps on keepin' on.

Have an excellent weekend all!

Fortune Fridays!

They're quirky, they're fun, they're random Azerothian fortunes! Every Friday you will see a different fortune (either from our beloved Darkmoon Faire or the new fortune cards) featured here at World of Saz. Enjoy!

Fortune Card: Someone nearby wants to /flirt with you.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Hoarders: Azeroth Edition - Well That's Just Bloody Rare

Hello hoarders, and welcome to your Thursday! This time around I have decided to cover an achievement based on hunting the rares of Outland in honor of the rare killing spree I went on earlier this week, aka Bloody Rare. I do mean killing spree. Seven Outland rares in just an hour or two. Insanity I say!

"But I don't know anything about hunting rares! I mean, I found Seething Hate once in Grizzly Hills but I don't know how to find any others." If this is you, don't worry! We all begin somewhere and luckily for you I'm going to help you start off with a few tips and tricks, along with giving you one of those good ol' lists that Hoarders: Azeroth Edition is so well known for. Alright, maybe not exactly well known, but this series is famous in my own mind!

Things Yo' Momma Didn't Teach You
- Download NPCScan, fly over zones, profit. If a rare pops up on your screen (big noise, the screen will flash red) it will give you a little image of what it just saw, along with the name. If you click on that image (near the bottom of your screen, center) it will target the mob. Thanks to the handy-dandy new targeting system there should no longer be any crazy guess work with finding the mob.
- Download NPCScan Overylay, fly over the colored zones of the rares you have not killed yet, profit. Go into options and enable the ability to always track all mobs. If you accidently cache a mob (tamed hunter pets such as Nuramoc will do this even in cities such as Stormwind or Orgrimmar) and do not have this feature enabled, where a mob's patting area is located will be lost to you. Unless of course you have a super memory.
- Clear your NPCScan cache often! Directions are on the download page.

Tips and Tricks
- Multiple rare spawns can be up in the same zone at the same time. I've personally killed 2-3 in a single zone just minutes apart.
- While you may very well find rare mobs at random times during the day, I've had my best luck between the hours of 2am-5:30am CST (US) the morning after a server reset. This any reset really (hello rolling restarts after a major patch!). Depending on the type of restart, be it rolling or full on maintenance, you may have to do some juggling of numbers to get your times just right, but I've found that "sweet spot" three and a half hour window to be prime right after a rolling restart.
- It is possible that many mobs can despawn after a given amount of time if left unkilled/tamed. I have no personal confirmations on this information,
- On occasion a hostile mob who patrols too closely to a town *may* get killed by NPCs. This is rare though, as far as rare events happening to rare mobs go.
- Group up and farm with a friend or two. Not only is it socially fun, but it allows you to cover more ground much more quickly. Time is money friend! It's also a killer.
- While it is by no means necessary, the faster the flying you have the better. Top of the line training + class/spec speed boosts + guild movement speed increases = a much quicker and smoother farm. As I said in the previous bullet, time is money and can make or break your kill.
- Don't just camp one place unless you're down to your last rare. Jump between spawn points of the rares that you need on a regular basis. If you do it one by one, you may call Outland home for ages.
- Take breaks! I know first hand how stressful and consuming rare hunting can be. You will go bloody bonkers if you don't take regular breaks. Do your best to only farm x amount of hours a day/week to prevent burn out and to save your precious sanity. Though if you're going for Bloody Rare and/or Frostbitten (which I'll cover the tips and tricks for next week) you may be half off your rocker anyways.
- Now is a prime time to farm! For those of us non-raiding achievement junkies, a new major patch is wonderful for us. Most folks are busy with their raiding of new bosses, PvPers are starting up a new season, and most people are more about getting their precious few hours of sleep instead of flying around in boredom, killing the mobs that you're after.

These Are Not the Rares You Seek
Hellfire Peninsula
Fulgorge (He may need some closer observation. Apparently cannot be targeted while he's underground.)
Mekthorg the Wild
Vorakem Doomspeaker

Bog Lurker
Coilfang Emissary

Terokkar Forest
Doomsayer Jurim

Goretooth (Tamable)
Voidhunter Yar

Shadowmoon Valley
Ambassador Jerrikar
Collidus the Warp-Watcher

Blade's Edge
Speaker Mar'grom

Chief Engineer Lorthander
Ever-Core the Punisher
Nuramoc (Tamable)

*Please note that there is a third rare that is shown on NPCScan Overlay for Nagrand. He is however not required for the Bloody Rare achievement.

Remember, these creatures are called "rare" for a reason. You cannot simply log on one day and hope to find them all in one swoop. This achievement will take some time and above all, patience. If you're the type to get flustered easily and don't have the stamina to take on that which is rare hunting, this achievement is not for you. If you have the backbone for it though, you shall have yourself a nifty little achievement in no time. By no time I mean this could potentially be a huge time sink for you. Attempt at your own daring!

This week's Hoarders: Azeroth Edition is brought to you by lack of sleep, odd references that I'm not sure I myself completely understand, and the letter z. Therefor, I think that about does it for this week. Happy hunting hoarders!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Through Your Interface - Day 6, Favorite Line of Poetry/Lyric

You know the drill by now. It's time for another Through Your Interface entry!

Most of us have a favorite poet or song. Give us an image that you think represents your favorite line, or what line inspires you most. You should probably include said line and *maybe* give some explanation/reasoning behind it, unless you're feeling overly ambiguous.

"Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take a boat in the air that you don't love? She'll shake you off just as sure as the turn of the worlds. Love keeps her in the air when she ought to fall down, tells you she's hurting before she keels. Makes her a home." ~ Malcolm Reynolds

Burn the land and boil the sea, you can't take the sky from me.

Monday, July 4, 2011

When Real Life Drops In

It has been a good long while since I've done a sort of "Getting real with Saz" post, and there are two reasons behind this: 1) things are more or less improving for me, even if it is horribly slow progress, so I've had no real need to vent 2) it's been weeks since I've had any urge to write any sort of meaningful content. We can blame summer, we can blame apathy, we can blame the fact that I'm a lazy bugger. Regardless of what we blame my lack of quality posting on, I once again feel the need to vent a bit about real life. Forgive me if you're here for semi pretty pictures and WoW content, for this post may disappoint you in that aspect.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Art of the Cooldown - How to Solo Elites as an Enhancement Shaman

As an enhancement shaman you have many things to perfect in order to perform well in a raiding environment: execute your priority rotation correctly, know the mechanics of a fight, interrupt if needed, hero/lust on time assuming you don't have a mage popping Time Warp, and pray that the spec gets a buff so our potential damage output can somewhat rival that of other DPS classes. In a PvP environment...wait, enhancers can PvP? I kid, I kid. In PvP we do our best to slow people down, turn people into toads, and Windfury crit people's faces into oblivion, assuming we can catch them. What about in the soloing PvE environment though? That my friends is what I'd like to dig into today.

Earlier I logged onto my shaman in order to get her disappointment of the day out of the way, aka Ahune. While I was waiting for my 25+ minute queue to pop I received a whisper from a fellow enhancer. I've spoken with him a few times about our spec since he's a bit of a noob about it (we were all in his shoes at one point; how I wish I had asked someone questions back then!). How he stumbled upon me on our server is beyond me, but it's always fun to help him out. Anyways, today he messaged me and asked "Can you solo the TANK in Tol Barad?" "You mean the shark? Yeah." He then proceeds to ask me what sort of gear I was running with, and I told him my iLevel and stated that it really isn't much, and I've been soloing Tank just fine in less as enhancement (he's much harder for me to solo on my feral kitty...I blame lack of being able to self heal and retaining the ability to DPS efficiently at the same time). So I broke it down for him what I do to solo Tank, which is how I also solo Trouble, and more or less how I soloed Chillmaw back in the days of Wrath.

Even as a severe lagger I'm able to pull of quite a few nifty soloing stunts as enhancement. My biggest secret? Knowing my cooldowns. What separates a great player from the pack of good players out there is the knowledge of which buttons to hit when. This isn't to say that I'm any sort of master shaman, because quite frankly I'm not. I am however functional and quite able to solo elites all by my lonesome. What little nuggets of know-how I have I would like to pass on to you, dear reader. How I do things may not be the way to do them, but they get the job done. And getting the job done is what matters, right? Right.

Let's talk spec: I run with the more or less standard PvE enhancement spec. There's no gimmicks here, no talents into Toughness, fairly cut and dry. As far as my glyphs go, they are what they are because those are what I feel benefit me the most often. You could in theory pop in Glyph of Stoneclaw Totem for soloing elites, but I don't personally use Stoneclaw in PvE. If you prefer to be a bit more defensive than offensive, replace Glyph of Ghost Wolf with Glyph of Stoneclaw Totem. I personally don't suggest using Stoneclaw, but to each their own.

Totems: I prefer to use the method of "kill things before they kill me" so I do not use Stoneclaw unless I'm PvPing as restoration. Strength of Earth, Healing Stream, Searing, Windfury, profit. The fire elemental is no longer all that great in burst situations, unless you're in an AoE bind and decide to plow through them instead of cc'ing your way out, and your rock dude no longer does so well with his taunts against bosses/elites, so don't bother with your elementals. Play to the totemic strength of the spec.

Weapon imbues: Windfury Main/Flametongue Off

Rotation: My priority on this one may be a bit funky to you. Go with what you're most comfortable with always, but this is how I do things.
- Range pull using Unleash Elements
- Flame Shock
- Drop totems
- Pop Synapse Springs (I'm an engineer, I use what I can to my advantage) and Spirit Wolves
- Hit Twin Howl (On your pet bar, your wolves will taunt and tank for a bit)
- By this point the elite is in range, Heroism/Bloodlust and then Stormstrike
- Once Searing Flames are at 5, Lava Lash (Usually by the time the elite gets to me he already has 2 SF on him, no point in wasting a LL cd for 2 stacks)
- Earth Shock

At this point you probably have 5 Maelstorm procs up. You have two choices: use Lightning Bolt as usual, or save the procs for a Greater Healing Wave. You may ask why. Simple answer? Elites friggen hurt, and enhance doesn't stack haste. If you burn your Maelstorm procs on Lightning Bolts when you need a quick heal, you may find yourself SoL and looking at the dirt. Now, the reason I give this choice is because while your wolves are up, they will heal you. Even if they're not the ones tanking, generally their healing kick back to you will be enough to keep you alive more or less without you healing yourself. If your wolves are out and tanking, Lightning Bolt. If they're not tanking, play it by ear. If they're about to run out on the timer or die, sit on the procs until you need a heal.

- Continue with your regularly scheduled rotation. Metaphorical or real, balls to the walls folks. Do your damage.

Once your wolves die you need to go into defensive mode pronto. Use Shamanistic Rage. Any racial benefits that you have, use them. Draenei's Gift of the Naaru is great for extra healing, if you're a Dwarf Stoneform is pro for reducing even more damage, a Troll's Berserking can help things die a bit faster, a Goblins Rocket Barrage = moar damage, Blood Fury if you're an Orc for last minute burst, and Tauren...I'm not sure if War Stomp works on elites, but if it does, towards the end of the fight may be a good time to use it. All Maelstorm procs should be used for Greater Healing Waves (sadly our healing is pretty weak, but we're dust without them). I personally don't tend to carry health potions on me, but if you feel you need one, use it.

Professions: If you have any profession advantages, use them. I'm an engineer/alchemist, so I use my Synapse Springs and always have my Flask of Enhancement topped off. If you pick flowers, Lifeblood is another nice little heal towards the end. Whatever you have in your arsenal, no matter what it is, use it!

Gear: Honestly, if you're doing things right you should be able to solo the Cataclysm elites just fine with a mix of iLevel 333 gear and above. If you've gemmed and enchanted properly, you're not half specced into the restoration tree, and you pop your available cool downs at the right times, soloing the group quest elites of Tol Barad *should* be a semi hectic walk in the park that only gets easier with the more gear you obtain. As I told the enhance fellow from my realm, I don't run with gear that's all that great (I haven't raided at all this expansion and I've been super lazy about getting all the new tier through heroics) and I still manage just fine. Typically if I'm soloing Tank or Trouble in Tol Barad I end up getting help towards the end anyways, unless I'm doing dailies at 4am, so generally you shouldn't fret too much if you can't down them by your lonesome. If you wait a few minutes, someone will more than likely come along to kill the bugger as well, regardless of faction (it doesn't matter who tags the elite mobs, if you help kill it you get credit).

Bottom line for ANYONE soloing anything: Research your class/spec. Figure out the best spec/gemming scheme/enchants for your play style. Find out which priority rotation feels right and does the most numbers for you. Learn the available cooldowns for your class/spec/race/profession. I'm not saying that you must theorycraft until you're blue in the face and do nothing but research your spec for the next five months, but take 30 minutes to track down the proper information and cross reference it by looking at both the top shamans and the other shamans around you. Tinker. Go spend some time on a training dummy whacking away until you get things exactly how you want them. Spending an hour or two after each major patch change (we get one of those what, once every seven months? with a few minor adjustments here and there) to readjust to the new feel of your damage output. Go run a few dungeons to help push yourself to perform on a higher level. Hop into a random battle ground to help you learn how to manage your cooldowns. Also, learn to never turn your back on a big dude with a hammer or an angry animal with large teeth! Your buns will never live to tell the tale.

World of Warcraft is an immersive game; any character you play seriously is a sort of extension of yourself. Put a little polish time into him/her, and you'll be killing those elites in no time!

Step 1: Learn Character
Step 2: Accept Daily Quest
Step 3: ...
Step 4: PROFIT (Quite literally!)

Now go forth my little readers, go forth and immerse yourselves. Go forth and melt some faces!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Fortune Fridays!

They're quirky, they're fun, they're random Azerothian fortunes! Every Friday you will see a different fortune (either from our beloved Darkmoon Faire or the new fortune cards) featured here at World of Saz. Enjoy!

Fortune Card: The sun will shine tomorrow.