Who Am I?

•April 2, 2008 • Leave a Comment

While blogstorming over at Blog Azeroth, Bunnyfer suggested that we write about how we came up with our character names.  After reading several different posts about character names, I decided it was time to make my contribution as well.

I stole the name Birkin from a game I played on and off for about 4 years, called EVE.  Back in 2003, a few buddies and I started playing EVE together.  During the installation, we were trying to decide how we wanted to play the game.  Like WoW, you could create guild-like groups, called corporations.  Collectively, we decided that we wanted to live the evil mercenary-for-hire role, and therefore needed to come up with a corporation and personal names that would be recognizable and coincide with each other. 

EVE

While we were all staring at the character creation screen, we finally came up with our theme.  We decided to name our corporation, The Umbrella Corporation.  Yes, we’re all Resident Evil fans, and so we then began to name our characters after toons in the series.  I knew who I wanted to name my toon after from the moment we came up with the theme.  I quickly typed in “William Birkin” and exalted when I saw the name wasn’t already taken.  I quickly made my toon high in Intelligence and Research skills, as I wanted to fulfil the mad scientist role. 

This was the beginning of my journey in the most in depth MMORPG I have ever played.  No matter how many times I took a couple months off to try another game, I always came back to EVE.  I ended up creating 2 OTHER accounts so I could run 3 simultaneous characters at once.  (Not nearly as complicated as WoW to do)  Even in my second account, I continued the Resident Evil theme with my next highest skilled player, James Marcus.

Clue 10 - I sure want to listen to a Disturbed song right now.

Well, after playing together for a year, my buddies didn’t like the passive skill system in EVE as much as I did, and decided to move along to the next big hit: World of Warcraft.

I was totally against the change.  I loved playing EVE, and I thought WoW was a phase.  Little did I know that WoW would be the force it is today.  I resisted playing WoW for quite a long while, until one day, my buddies ganged up on me when I came to visit one weekend and presented me with a 10 day free trial key.  Reluctantly, I installed WoW, and was again, forced to choose a character name. 

Surprisingly, instead of choosing Birkin, I googled some “god of war” and came up with an Undead Warrior named Mider.  After leveling in the beginning zone to level 5 with two of my closest friends hovering over me and helping me get used to the controls, they finally left me to go play their late 40 toons.  I got the invite to their guild that they had created, and surprisingly had about a dozen people we knew from friends of friends in real life. 

I had obviously had a late start on leveling, so I went to work!  After a couple of days, I found myself at level 18 in Sepulcher, and I was not enjoying my Warrior at all.  I didn’t like melee combat.  I didn’t like having an escape route if I got too much aggro while questing.  I just wasn’t enjoying it, and mostly it was due to a lack of understanding of the class.

I decided to start a new character.  I created an Undead Warlock named Sheikra.  I got the name from a roller coaster at Busch Gardens.  🙂  After leveling to 35 and standing at the top of a plateau in Thousand Needles, getting pissed off by the second that I can’t kill this stupid elite Thunderhawk before the adds around her respawn, I decided that WoW wasn’t for me.  I missed EVE too much, and my friends were in their late 50s already, and my leveling was coming slow as ever.  I was fed up.  I quit WoW.

About 6 months later, I decided to give WoW another chance.  I had reigned supreme in EVE for a while, and was living the high life.  I wanted to supplement my easy living in EVE with a bit of WoW on the side. 

After reactivating my account, I logged into my Warlock.  There I sat, in the same spot in Thousand Needles.  I immediately logged out and went to the character creation screen, and knew that I had to start on a new character, as this was going to be a whole new experience for me.  I was determined to avoid the same mistakes I made the first time around that made the experience so unenjoyable for me.

After thinking for a while about what I wanted to play, I came up with an Undead (yes, I like Undead) Priest.  I knew immediately that I wanted to use the name Birkin for my toon.  I wanted to start out on an upbeat note and I knew that branding my new toon with a name that I’ve grown to love over the past year and a half would kick start my WoW career like nothing else could. 

Unfortunately, by the time I reactivated, my two good friends that started me playing, were in two different raiding guilds at this point.  They had left the original guild behind for the casuals.  I stayed in that guild until I hit level 40.  At that point, I knew it was time to part ways and seek out a change.  It turns out that my friend’s guild was merging with another guild in the same boat as them, and so I took that time to join Draconis Occisoris.  It was all downhill from there, as I kept the Birkin name, and cancelled (then reactivated, then cancelled, then reactivated, then cancelled…) my EVE account off and on over the years.

Currently, I’m an officer in DO and we’re making the transition to 25 man content due to the recruitment push I set forth in the past couple months.  Every once in a while I’ll get a whisper with someone proclaiming how big of a Resident Evil fan they are, and all I can do is smile and reminisce.

Beneficial Addons: Highroller

•April 1, 2008 • 2 Comments

Highroller 

I found the Addon on Curse Gaming. This mod basically allows you to /roll 80+ EVERY time!!! If you’re ever in a PUG, you can basically guarantee your epic. Check it out!!!Here’s a quote straight from Curse!

Quote:
This AddOn uses an advanced algorithm to time your roll requests to the server in order to increase your average roll value.Note that the addon is rather large due to the advanced algorithm. It has to take many things into account including your Name, Class, Race, location, and guild (among other things).I have done everything possible to increase the efficiency of the AddOn by Aceing it (since Ace makes stuff so much faster).Note that despite this, the AddOn is still about a tenth of the size of Atlas.I’m not sure if its completely legal (though they say anything that can be done in the default UI is), so download it quickly before its taken down!Note: Due to initial calculations, you may be locked out of your UI for a bit the first time you roll after installing the AddOn

The MMO-Champion team posted these instructions to configure HighRoller to gather information from the server and get your rolls sky high:

1. Download and extract the mod in your usual “World of Warcraft/Interface/Addons/” directory.
2. Enter the game and calibrate the mod by doing the following :
– /random 100 (5 times)
– /random 200 (5 times)
– /random 1000 (10 times)
3.This should be enough to detect everything needed on the server, if your average /random 100 value is below 96 just do a few more /random 1000.”

http://media.curse.com/dl2/47/49/41.zip/HighRoller.zip

***EDIT***

Ok people, it’s not a keylogger!  It’s the most amazing April Fool’s joke ever.  I saw the writeup on WoWInsider and although I knew it was a joke, I had to see what it did!  I’m telling you, if you’re up for some good entertainment, you can still check this Addon out.  I posted it on our guild forums and got a kick out a few guildies that fell for it.

Now I’m debating on if I should add it to the Beneficial Addons quick links!  😀

Healer Tips for Karazhan

•March 31, 2008 • 2 Comments

For the past six months, Draconis Occisoris has had Karazhan on “farm status.”  Every week for the past 25 weeks, all bosses have been sent to their deaths, and I have been apart of the vast majority of kills. 

During this time, I have been an officer and a healing organizer for our raids, and have seen what works, and what doesn’t in any given situation.  Due to my extensive experience healing Karazhan, I’d like to offer tips for all healers (from a priest point of view). 

Before I get into tips for each boss, I’d like to reveal the single, most useful, Priest macro for Karazhan.  This macro is for ALL priests, and not just those healing.

/stopcasting
/cast [target=focus] Shackle Undead

When the mobs are marked, quickly set your focus target to your shackle mob, and mash the button associated with this macro.  If you are in the beginning stages of Karazhan, this will turn your Moroes fight into a mindless feat.  The reason for the stopcasting is, generally, your first priority will be to keep your mob crowd controlled.  If you are in mid-cast, this will stop what you are doing to re-shackle your responsibility.

Tips for Bosses

I am going to assume you have read up on all your fight strategies and you know how the fight mechanics work, so I’m not going to include these in my tips.  These tips are for those people who already know how the fight is supposed to work, but need something to make their lives easier.

  1. Attunemen – Do not use HoTs immediately before transitions.  During the transitions, you should cast Prayer of Mending (PoM) on the pickup tank, then Fade until they maintain aggro.
  2. Moroes – Use the Shackle Focus Target macro provided above.  HoT Garrote victims and use a HoT timer to keep track of when you need to renew the HoT.  By casting a HoT on Garrote victims, you can “fire and forget” to keep them alive and maintain healing on your assignment.
  3. Opera – Big Bad Wolf – Fear Ward the tank.  Cast Power Word: Shield (PW:S) and PoM on Little Red Riding Hood, then spam cast heal them and ignore overhealing.  This is a short fight and you don’t need to worry about mana.  It’s even shorter when you can keep your raid alive during the debuff.  If you’re bad at running from BBW, use a Swiftness Potion to give you extra run boost.  Wizard of Oz – Set Dorothy to your Focus Target so that you can see who she targets.  As soon as she targets someone, start casting a low rank heal on that target.  During your cast, change targets to her next victim.  Repeat the process.  This is the easiest way to be a proactive healer during this fight.  Romeo & Juliette – Focus Target Juliette.  Hit “V” to see health tags above mobs names.  This will allow you to see both mobs’ health bars at once and you’ll know if you need to conserve mana (if they’re going to respawn) or not.
  4. Maiden – Run into the Concentration Aura before she casts Repentance on the raid.  This will break yourself out of the stun and be able to continue healing.  HoT the melee and use PoM on the tank every cooldown to help heal melee.
  5. Nightbane – Fear Ward yourself.  Your tank should be a warrior for this fight and will be able to stance dance out of the fear.  As a healer, not getting interrupted is key to this fight.  Cast Fear Ward on yourself before the pull, so the cooldown will be up sooner.  When Fear Ward is used, Undead should use Will of the Forsaken right BEFORE fear is cast again.  This will prevent you from being interrupted, instead of having to use it AFTER you’re already running around.  Don’t use HoTs while Nightbane is in the air if you can avoid it.  The reason being is that your HoTs might not wear off until after he lands and you’ll get aggro.  If you HAVE to HoT someone, ask them to right click it off of them before Nightbane lands.  PoM your tank before Nightbane lands to give him a bigger buffer on threat.
  6. Curator – Use low rank heals on the raid.  The spawns don’t do that much damage.  This will help conserve mana if you are somewhat light on DPS.  Use Shadowfiend on Evocate as it will fully restore ALL of your mana.  If your guild is still going through multiple  Evocate phases, save it till Evocate #2 if you can get away with it.  If the raid is topped off on healing and you just used Shadowfiend during Evocate phase, help DPS as you won’t be able to spend your mana fast enough.
  7. Shade – Focus Target Shade.  Use a low rank heal (Greater Heal 3 or 4, depending on your +heal.  It should be around 4000) for Shade’s victims.  By having Shade as your focus target, you can see who he is targeting at all times.  Click on Shade’s target, cast your heal, then change to Shade’s next target while casting.  Your 2.5 second heals should land right after they take damage if it’s a Fireball or a Frostbolt.  If it’s Arcane Missiles, do the same thing, but follow it up with a Renew.  You can tell if his cast was interrupted or not because he will immediately target another player.  If you start casting on someone, and he immediately changes targets, you should do the same.  If you have to run, PW:S, PoM, and Renew his targets until you can stand still again.  After running out of Arcane Explosion area effect, take a couple steps forward again so that you can gain line of sight on your raid.  If you stay in the alcove, you many not be able to see them.
  8. Illhoof – Watch Raid Warnings for Sacrifice victims.  Keep the center green circle clear as much as possible so that it’s easier to see who is being Sacrificed (if for some reason you missed the raid warning) as you also have about one second to target that person before the Demon Chains effect appears on their avatar.  You can use this time to quickly target them if you have issues finding them on your raid frames.  Focus Target the Warlock or person doing the AOE so you can monitor their health at all times.  Cast PW:S on the AOE to give them a second of uninterrupted casting.  If you gain healing aggro on any of the imps, Fade should fix this easily.
  9. Netherspite – It is a good idea to have a dedicated healer for the Blue Beam soaker, unless it’s a Warlock with Drain Life or a Shadow Priest with Imp VE.  Even then, they’ll need tons of healing, especially if they let the debuff stack too high.  Stand as close as possible to the center of the room so that you can have range on as many people as possible.  You don’t have to worry about being in melee range, just so long as you’re not in danger of getting in the way of a beam.
  10. Chess – If you are playing a Healer piece, make sure the Pawn in front of you is moved so that you always have an escape route to move out of AOE effect on your tile.
  11. Prince – Stay out of 30 yard range of Prince at all times.  An easy way to check this is to target Prince and see if your Wand icon is greyed out or not.  If you can wand Prince, you’re too close.  If you have to move a far distance due to infernal drops, do not move the entire distance without stopping, if you can help it.  Run a little bit, use a quick heal, then run again.  If you can’t stop running, then make sure to PW:S, PoM, Renew, and even Circle of Healing if you have it.  This is especially important during phase 2 when the tank can take substantial spike damage.  Use PoM often to help tank aggro, as many of your dps will be threat capped if you get lucky with infernal drops and don’t have to move much.  When Phase 2 hits, spam heals.  At this point you can throw overhealing out the window because if your tank dies, you have to start over.  If you have mana left at the end of this fight, you didn’t spam heals enough in Phase 2. 

Overall, this is an overview of tips that I came up with to help Priests and healers with turning Karazhan into an effortless night of raid healing. 

What’s New in 2.4?

•March 25, 2008 • Leave a Comment

The latest patch notes can always be found at
http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/patchnotes/

The latest test realm patch notes can always be found at
http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/patchnotes/test-realm-patchnotes.html

Fury of the Sunwell

The glorious fount of arcane energy known as the Sunwell empowered the
high elves for millennia, until the death knight Arthas laid siege to
the elven kingdom and corrupted its sacred energies. Seeing no other
alternative, a band of survivors led by Prince Kael’thas destroyed the
ancient fount. Over time the surviving elves fell pray to a crippling
magical withdrawal.

Now, promising salvation for his people, Kael’thas has returned. Soon
the Sunwell will shine once again, but whether the sacred fount will
usher in deliverance or destruction remains to be seen.
 

In Memoriam: Gary Gygax

Blizzard Entertainment would like to dedicate the patch in memory of
Gary Gygax. His work on D&D was an inspiration to us in many ways and
helped spark our passion for creating games of our own. As avid D&D
players and fellow game developers, we were all saddened by the news of
his passing; we feel we’ve lost a true adventuring companion.  Thanks
for everything and farewell, Gary. You will be missed.

Continue reading ‘What’s New in 2.4?’

You are feeling well rested…

•March 21, 2008 • Leave a Comment

RestedXp

 This past week I have been on vacation.  I decided to go camping in Georgia.  The weather was perfect!  It was mid 70s during the daytime and low 50s at night.  I caught up on some much needed rest and relaxation, and I couldn’t have asked for a better get away. 

 Now to get back into the swing of things.  Any ideas of what to blog about?  Send me an email and I just may write about it.

What Do You Pack?

•March 13, 2008 • 1 Comment

Over at Blog Azeroth, the author of Shifting Out posted about consumables they bring to raids.  After reading their post, I found that I am not the only one who has half of their bag space taken up by needed raid consumables.

Since we’ve been farming Karazhan for endless months, I no longer use consumables here, but I still keep them handy just in case.  I actually used full consumables when I had to solo heal the first six bosses. 

Now that we’ve been spending some time in Zul’Aman and tinkering around in 25 man content, I am fully buffing myself to give us the best chance of success.  Ever since DO started Kara way back when, I have kept a full stock of raid consumables handy at all times. 

Bare minimum in my bags:

5x Flask of Mighty Restoration

5x Flask of Distilled Wisdom

20x Elixir of Healing Power

20x Elixir of Mastery

20x Elixir of Draenic Wisdom

20x Golden Fish Sticks

20x Blackened Sporefish

1x (5 charges) Superior Mana Oil

20x Super Mana Potion

10x Super Healing Potion

40x Heavy Netherweave Bandage

100x Sacred Candle (Fortitude/Spirit/Shadow all use them)

These items ensured that I could perform at my highest at any given moment.  Now that we are starting T5 content, I usually bring an extra 20x Super Mana Potions, 20x +stamina food, 20x mp5 food, and 1x (5 charges) Brilliant Mana Oil.  This, along with all my extra gear, assures that I am prepared for ANY situation, and can manage my buffs accordingly.

When 2.4 comes out, I’m likely going to be bringing along some Elixir of Mastery since there are going to be changes to how mana regen is calculated.

 Is this extreme?  Is this the norm?  What things do you consider essential?

[e]Added new consumables since 2.4

Beneficial Addons: Heal Organizer

•March 11, 2008 • 4 Comments

HealOrganizer1

Heal Organizer is an addon that allows you to quickly and neatly assign healing duties.  This tool will help streamline the healing assignments and should be used by all raid leaders, healing officers, or anyone else that may need to help out with healing assignments for a raid.  This is an Ace mod, that can be managed using the tools explained in my previous post, and can be downloaded here

The slashcommands are all under “/ho” or “/healorganizer”

The first thing you want to do after installing the mod is to create a macro that says:

/healorganizer dialog

Place this macro on one of your hotbars for quick access, instead of having to remember to type that command each time you want to make a change or broadcast the assignments.  Once you have the GUI up, you can start the process.  

You can create titles for up to 9 fields in Heal Organizer.  They are prefilled for you to give you an idea of what you can name them.  I like to put in the names of the tanks, specific people that are going to need healing, or a duty, in each of these fields.  Just click on the title to bring up a box that allows you to rename it.  Once you choose the title, click Save to enable the changes.

HealOrganizer2

Once you have created your titles, you can drag player names from the left column to their particular assignment for the fight.  The list will let you choose from EVERY Priest, Paladin, Shaman, and Druid currently in the raid, regardless of spec, so be careful who you assign a duty.

HealOrganizer3

The next field that you need to fill in is the “Remaining” field.  This is about half way down and it’s pre-filled with the text “ffa.”  In this field, you can type anything you want.  This will be broadcast in your messages.  You don’t have to use it for the remaining healers that you didn’t assign.  I like to type something like, “Confirm Assignment with Birkin” so that when my healers read it, they can let me know that they got their assignment.

HealOrganizer4

Now that you have the assignments set up the way you choose, you can click “Save As” to bring up a box where you can give this setting a name.  This way, you don’t have to set up the titles every time you come to this fight.  You can just choose your previously saved data, and fill in the healers next time.  If you end up making a slight tweak to a saved setting, just click on “Save” for the changes to take effect.

HealOrganizer6     HealOrganizer7

The next thing to do, now that you’ve made all of your titles, given assignments, and noted any other comments, and saved your selection, is to broadcast this to your raid.  If you click the button at the bottom that says “Raid,” this will automatically send multiple lines of text to your raid channel.  It breaks it down into multiple lines, so it is easier to read.  You can also broadcast this to a specific channel, if you have a specific one set up for your healers.  Just type in the channel number in the “Channel” field and click the corresponding button.  Also, you may choose to select the option to “Whisper healers their assignment.”  If you do this, along with the raid or channel text, you will also automatically send everyone with an assignment, their duties. 

HealOrganizer8     HealOrganizer9

Also, as you see in the chat box, the last line says, “Whisper ‘heal’ for your assignment.”  This means that anyone in your raid can whisper you the word “heal” and it will send them a whisper back with their healing arrangement.  If they are not a healer, or not assigned anything, it will tell them so. 

 Since I am in charge of healing assignments for my raid, I use this as a crutch.  There’s nothing worse than having to deal with macros or whispers to your healers individually.  This addon has made my life so much easier, and I fully recommend using this if you think you’ll ever have to give out a healing assignment.