Friday, January 28, 2011

Yay I get to BUBBLE AGAIN!

Things are going well, all in all. RL's been very stressful and busy, so blogging was not a priority. Yup, I am a bit fail.

Murderotica's downed Magmar, and we're working on him again this week. We've made it to lvl 13 as a guild, yay perks (mmm, heirloom cloaks of awesome and rep gains). Baradin Hold guy is on farm, and best of all, I get to be disc again!!

I've never really been comfortable as holy, and well, last night my raid leader asked if I wouldn't mind switching back. Of course she asked in the middle of the raid, so I did my best to set a time record for respecing, reglyphing, redoing my bars, and redoing my vuhdo.  We got much further once I went back to disc, and my comfort level was higher.

I do think this experiment with holy was good for me. I'm now much more familiar with my group-healing tools, and I've gotten a new understanding of why I hate Chakra. The number of times I've yelled FUCK! as Chakra falls off just as I'm casting Holy Word:Sanctuary, well, it's in the hundreds. I will miss my Lightwell, and the lovely massive group heals, but I have my bubbles back!

Plus, I can go into TB or bgs as disc without feeling useless, and I get to smite. Yup, I went for an Atonement/Smite build, though I don't really have a good sense of how I feel about it yet. Hopefully I can talk some guildies into a heroic or two so I can practice and get a feel for how much healing Atonement does.

In other news, feral kitties are way OP. My lvl 84.6 kitty should not be within a couple k of Lyllea in dps. It just shouldn't happen. Feral dps has grown on me, and I plan to keep the kitty spec, and maybe do resto as well. The tank need's diminished, so I figure I'll do something I know I like, and if we need another bear down the line, heck, bears and kitties have a lot of gear overlap.

I'm still trying to figure out which alt gets leveled after the druid. Garetia's a blast to level, but her alchemy's maxed and there's nothing for her to learn in Twilight Highlands. The pally is not as fun, but I know there's blacksmithing and engineering patterns to unlock there. And then there's the dark horse DK, since there's enchanting patterns in Twilight too.

And some fun stuff. First, Monera got a title (she's the kitty in the center)..
And Lyllea finally got that rare spawn killed and thus a new pet...
If you're wondering, that's Jadefang, the only green shale spider, and she drops the Tiny Shale Spider pet, who looks just like her, but tiny.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Raiding. Easier than heroics? Also, 3 of my favorite addons.

The Baradin Hold boss certainly is. Whee, stacking, running in circles, then loots!
On the other hand this guy...

Well, he's a bit tricker. Not quite Deadmines with a drunk tank level, but pretty hard.

In other stuff, I've been profession-leveling, toon-leveling, and heroic-running. And no, I have not forgotten about the UI series. I just got distracted by...
a confused dog in way too much snow. So much snow that it basically shut down my city for 4 days. Not that I'm shocked, mind you. We have about 1 dumptruck with a plow attachment per million people. Yup, gotta love Hothlanta.

But I do have some addon stuff for you. Three great addons that really have nothing to do with each other, but I love all 3.
First-> Archy. You can see it in the below shot. It lists the artifacts I'm working on, the dig sites I have (and identifies which type they are), prompts me when I have enough pieces to finish one, and gives me a little distance indicator. Best of all, I can make it vanish with just a click.

Second->MarketWatcher This is an AH addon. You tell it stuff to scan for, scan occasionally, and it keeps track of prices for you. You can even mouse over the items and it'll show you a nifty graph. I use it to keep track of gem, ore, and herb prices, so I can find deals and get a sense of when it makes sense to post cut gems and when I should just wait. It's also keeping track of Shadow Dust for me, mostly because otherwise I forget to look for it.

Third-> Buttonfacade. This is a UI addon that allows you to skin your buttons. See, here's default...

Here's another skin (dream)

And here's Zoomed (what Lyllea's currently using)

I tend towards subtle skins, but there's a ton out there. Just hit Curse and look. Caith's quite popular, I know, so is Gears.
ButtonFacade also works with many other addons. For example, Satrina Buff Frames, so your buffs can match your action buttons. It's a nice way to keep a consistent feeling, plus I think the skins look nicer than the default.

There you have it, 3 of my favorite addons.  Now back to farming for the shale pet. IT MUST BE MINE!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

How I Make A UI Part 1: A Starting With Bartender 4

This is just a walkthrough of how I get some of the addons I use to look the way they do. We'll be working with bartender 4, shadowed unit frames, vuhdo, align, sunn viewport art, sexymap, and DS Graphics Sunn Viewport Skins.  This section starts with bartender, since it's the first addon I configure in a new UI. Originally  I was going to do them all in one big post, but well, that would have been a REALLY big post, so I split them up. Next time will be Sunn Viewport Art and Shadowed Unit Frames. Here's a nice picture with the addons all labeled so you can see what is what. It's also a good example of what you'll see when you first log in with all these installed.

Now to configure!
First off, we start with our action bars. So type in /bt and hit enter. You see...
We're going to go to the Blizzard Art Bar option and disable it. I don't particularly like that art. That gives you...
Now, enable bar 2 if you want. I like to have bars 1-4 enabled, but it does depend on how many bars you want.

Then type in /align in chat. That'll put a grid on your screen so you can line stuff up. Then you want to uncheck the Lock box in the bartender window, then close the window. Don't worry, you can get it back any time by using /bt, and this way we have space to move bars around. Move the bars where you want. I go for bars 1 and 2 centered at the bottom of my screen, but that's me.

Now, not only does bartender let you move bars where you want, you can also change the scale of a bar (I shrink my bag bar and micro menu, since I don't need them as big as the default has them), change the number of rows (allowing you to make an action rectangle instead of a bar), and even change the number of buttons per bar.  You can also do cool things like having bars faded out.

Once you're done moving things around, lock the bars. I ended up with...
That's bars 1 and 2 in the middle, and 3 and 4 on either side. 3 and 4 have been scaled down a bit and also made into 3by4 rectangles. The micromenu, stances bar, and my bag bar hang out neatly on top.

Now, I know you're thinking..."But I don't want to configure bars for all my alts. That's such a hassle!"  And with Bartender, you don't have to.  All you need to do is...

Log in on the alt.
Go to Profiles
Select Copy from
And copy from the toon you just set up.  See...
Here I'm copying my previously setup hunter's bars to my warlock. And it looks like....
And there you go, you now have customized action bars and you know how to use bartender 4.  And remember, you can always reset the profile if you hate what you've done. Oh, and set your keybindings if you need to.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

One Boss DOWN!

Brief post to brag...

That's the voa boss of Cat, and I healed him. Undergeared me! Oh, and a awesome holy pally too, but yay I raid-healed and I didn't go oom (though I did have to pop 2 of my 3 mana cooldowns) and no one died. Plus, we two-shot it! Yup, I have awesome guildies.  We split into two groups, stacked on the two tanks, and ran around like chickens with their heads cut off during the lots of fire phase.

Raiding officially starts Thursday, and my gs seems stuck at 338. I'm hoping the purple gloves from Earthen Ring bring it up enough, and maybe a few more heroic drops? Every item I have is 333 or above, so I'm not in bad shape, just not as good as I'd like to be.

So here's hoping that this BIG STORM that's supposed to hit Sunday night brings loads of snow and no power outages, so I can run heroics all day for rep and shinies. Mostly rep.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

My redone UI (thus far)

I spent a hour or so on this tonight, and so far Lyllea's, Anput's, and Eiunn's UIs are doneish. Here we have a few before and after shots...
Eiunn, the shaman. Before....

Eiunn's after. I still need to fiddle with Sexymap to make it match better

Lyllea's, in shadow, before

Lyllea's, also in shadow, after. Vuhdo's not completely set-up, I do not want it in the middle of my screen as shadow, but that's tomorrow's fix.

I've gone from 70+ addons to 40ish, which I think is good, and I like the switch to the lighter grey color-scheme. Also, that spell timer isn't visible all the time, I just hadn't locked it when I took the cap.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

My Current To-Do List

Okay, this is mostly because I'm getting myself confused, and needed to write this down somewhere.

First Goal: Get Lyllea raid-ready. To do this I need to/should probably...
a)unlock Hyjal and start that rep grind. Ideally I'd be at exalted when I start raiding. While I'm at it, I should probably start running Wildhammer dailies and figure out if Ramwhatever has dailies and unlock those.
b)get therazane and earthen ring to exalted
c)either level Monera's inscription to get This great holy offhand or get the mats and get a guildie to do it. I already have 4 of the inks needed, and all of the volatiles. 4 more inks would be 800 gold, or I can keep herbing and buying up cheap herbs when I see them.
d)get enchanted. I've been slacking on this, partly because I have to level the DK to get mats and I don't really wanna level more in Northrend. Been there, done that way too many times.
e) actually run heroics and normals. I've been avoiding doing this, but with the first raid in a couple of weeks, I REALLY can't put it off any more.
f) Building two gear sets, one for holy and one for shadow. This isn't horribly urgent, since I know I'll be healing in raids to start with, but it'd be nice to at least have a hit-capped gear set.
g) Redoing my shadow spec to pick up silence.
h) Get rawr working and have a gear upgrades list ready to go.

Second Goal: rebuild my professions web. There's some overlap here with getting Lyllea ready. For this I need to...
a) level Monera's inscription and herbalism, since she's the current leveling alt. While I'm at it, I'll be attempting to get her heroic-ready.
b) level Garetia's alchemy for access to metagem and truegold transmutes. This may or may not involve actually leveling her. I'm not sure if Alchemy has some recipes locked in Twilight Highlands or not.
c) look into the other professions (enchanting, leatherworking, blacksmithing, tailoring, ect.) and see what I feel I'm going to need. Tailoring, enchanting, and leatherworking are all on toons that have to be leveled to be useful at this point, so they're probably on the back-burner.
d) Actually remember to do the cooking daily on Lyllea, Monera, Garetia, and possibly Eiunn. Also need to remember to do the fishing daily on Lyllea and Garetia (Lyllea for the skill points and Garetia for the pet).
e) Get Lyllea all the gem cuts she and Monera will need. Then pick up gem cuts for other alts as I level them. This means hitting EJ and looking at what fashionable priests and druids are socketing this season.

Third Goal: get my UI cleaned up. This is probably going to involve a complete rebuild, starting by backing up all my addons and settings, then reinstalling what I think I can't live without. I know I'd like to find an addon that can replace mfclip and hotcandy, as well as show me feral dots. I might try a new bar mod, and I'm certainly going to find a new buff mod, or just not use one at all. This'll probably end up being a blog post or two. It's really high past time I rebuilt my UI from first principles, and a new raiding season's as good a time as any to do it.

Fourth Goal: look at pvp. Seriously, I haven't even set foot in Tol Barad or a bg since Cat hit (except for a very brief Strands match).

Fifth Goal: Don't panic, remember it's a game, and have fun!

Sixth Goal: Get Lyllea a special mount. I don't care which one, I just want a nifty flying mount. Skyguards, Netherwing, and raid drakes are all possibilities. I may even get lucky and win a roll on one in a guild fun run. And I'd like to push Garetia to 50 mounts and 100 pets. She's been at 46 and 92 for a long time, and it'd be nice to hit that.

Obviously this is a ton of things to do, and I don't think I'm going to have all this done any time soon. But hopefully getting it all written out will stop me from logging on, running some dailies, and then going "crap, what am I supposed to be doing?"

Saturday, January 1, 2011

It's been a crazy, crazy week

In RL, not in WoW. In WoW, well....there was an awesome fun run and I got some nifty achieves. Personally I'm the most fond of More Dots, since I was shadow at the time.

I'm starting to come to terms with holy. Most of my frustration is, well, mana. My current philosophy is "tank near full, dps gets a renew if I have extra mana, otherwise they fend for themselves unless they're under half health and the tank is good". I may need to rethink that keeping the tank near full, and just go for tank above half.

As far as gear goes, my list goes...
int>spirit>haste>mastery>crit> to hit.  I'm reforging to add spirit whenever possible, and while I know this gear priority isn't ideal for shadow (shadow likes crit more than mastery), I figure it'll work for the moment.

Rep wise, I'm doing the dailies for Therazane (aka Hodir for Cat), and wearing the Earthen Ring tabard so I can get those sexy purple cloth gloves. I'm revered with both, and I'm hoping to get exalted soon. I'll likely keep checking on the Therazane dailies even after I'm exalted though, since I want the baby earth elemental pet. Oh, and if you're having problems with that quest, hug the right wall. Trust me, it works.

Then I need to make some decisions. Wildhammer has a nice neck, Hyjal has my head enchants and a purple waist, but I need to unlock them and do the zone, and Ramkahen has purple shoes and a camel. Probably I'll be doing Hyjal (since ooh spirit on the waist), and running dailies for Wildhammer. Meanwhile, the druid's leveling slowly, and sending all her herbs to Garetia for leveling alchemy.  I want access to that truegold transmute, darn it!

So, that's where I stand atm. Hope everyone had a happy new year, and here's hoping 2011's a bit brighter than 2010!