Archive for Shaman

Frostshock and You

I was looking on the Auction House on my bank character the other day, when I happened across something I’ve not seen for a good, long time. Someone had obviously been farming Dire Maul, because there were a few books for sale on the auction house, and among the pile was one for shamans called Frost Shock and You.

In the days when Dire Maul was popular (that’s going back a while), the place turned up a whole raft of these manuscripts. This specific item would have been horde-centric, because back then, only the horde had shamans.

So, I bought the book for a few gold off the auction house, and tomorrow, I’m going to run Stormshaper through Dire Maul to see if I can 1) actually find the fortitude to do the whole instance which will lead to some pretty nice achievements, 2) she will get her hands on the Crescent Key and 3) complete this quest. The reward for this quest is a trinket with the rather grand name of Royal Seal of Eldre’Thalas.

Back in the days of vanilla World of Warcraft, before the Dark Portal was opened, and the Draenei crash landed off the coast of Kalimdor, this trinket was hunted down for shamans who were going off to battle level 60 Onyxia. Those days are, of course, long since gone, but I am going to see if I can get it for completeness sake. Part of me is a bit sad that I’d forgotten this item was available in Dire Maul. I would have liked to have attempted to get it when Stormshaper could have used it, but no-one runs Dire Maul these days, and the sad truth is that she would have been in for a dreadfully long wait in order to find a group to run the instance continually in the hope that it dropped.

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Shamanistic Rage Power Aura

Looking through the WowWebStats logs, I could see a flaw in my play style, which was inhibiting Stormshaper’s mana regeneration. Shamans have a talent called ‘Shamanistic Rage’, and when its used, it reduces all damage taken by the shaman by 30%, and, importantly, it gives successful melee attacks a chance to regenerate mana equal to 15% of the shaman’s attack power. The spell lasts for 15 seconds, so that’s 15 seconds of substantial mana regeneration that I’ve been missing out for a good long while.

Ideally, Shamanistic Rage should be up, and kept up for pretty much the entire duration of any fight, and according to WowWebStats, this wasn’t happening because I was only triggering the talent once Stormshaper’s mana dropped to 20%.

To overcome this problem, I’ve written a Power Auras Classic aura which will trigger using the spell cooldown and put a line of text across my character saying “SHAMANISTIC RAGE READY!” any time the talent is available. The logic being as soon as the message appears, I hit my Shamanistic Rage keybind and the job is done.

The aura will only show if I am in combat, as there’s no point in having it showing when I’m out of combat as it would display pretty much all the time.

The Export for this Power Auras Classic string is here:

Version:st3.0.0E; gcd:bofalse; b:nu1; anim1:nu2; g:nu1; optunitn:bofalse; ignoremaj:botrue; stacksLower:nu0; target:bofalse; icon:stInterface\Icons\Spell_Nature_ShamanRage; size:nu0.75; torsion:nu1; r:nu1; y:nu-30; x:nu0; customname:st; groupany:botrue; isAlive:botrue; timerduration:nu0; unitn:st; bufftype:nu15; stacks:nu0; focus:bofalse; raid:bofalse; texture:nu29; alpha:nu0.75; aurastext:stShamanistic Rage Ready Now!; symetrie:nu0; owntex:bofalse; isResting:bofalse; duration:nu0; mine:bofalse; multiids:st; inVehicle:bofalse; speed:nu1; anim2:nu0; spec2:botrue; stacksOperator:st>=; realaura:nu1; InactiveDueToState:botrue; threshold:nu50; exact:bofalse; textaura:botrue; sound:nu0; wowtex:bofalse; groupOrSelf:bofalse; customsound:st; combat:botrue; id:nu13; inParty:nu0; HideRequest:bofalse; Active:bofalse; aurastextfont:nu1; buffname:stShamanistic Rage; inRaid:nu0; tooltipCheck:st; customtex:bofalse; stance:nu10; isSecondary:bofalse; thresholdinvert:bofalse; spec1:botrue; Debug:bofalse; beginSpin:bofalse; Showing:bofalse; UseOldAnimations:bofalse; begin:nu3; off:bofalse; party:bofalse; texmode:nu1; inverse:bofalse; ismounted:bofalse; targetfriend:bofalse; randomcolor:bofalse; finish:nu3; timer.InvertAuraBelow:nu0; timer.dual:botrue; timer.HideLeadingZeros:botrue; timer.h:nu1; timer.ShowOnAuraHide:botrue; timer.UpdatePing:botrue; timer.Texture:stDefault; timer.enabled:botrue; timer.Showing:bofalse; timer.y:nu0; timer.x:nu0; timer.HideRequest:botrue; timer.Transparent:botrue; timer.a:nu1; timer.CustomDuration:nu0; timer.id:nu13; timer.cents:botrue

The string can also be found on the Power Auras Wiki as well.

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Soloing Chillmaw

Sometimes, it can be hard to find a group for the Threat From Above quest in Icecrown, where you take on and hopefully defeat Chillmaw, the giant Frostwyrm that circles endlessly. Two days ago, Stormshaper found herself in that position. There were no takers to join up to defeat Chillmaw. Only one thing for it, drop the totems, use Feral Spirit and the Fire Elemental and see what happens.

What happened was truly immense.

I know that the shaman class is able to perform incredible burst damage, but this was amazing. Chillmaw and the three cultists who ride it around were dispatched, literally in seconds.

When you use your spirit wolves using Feral Spirit, they immediately spawn and attack your target. They last for 30 seconds, and in that time, they gain 30% of your attack power as a buff, and also heal the shaman (and themselves) for 150% of the damage done. This means that any damage caused by Chillmaw or her cultist riders was pretty much negated.

With the Fire Elemental blasting out fire nova and fire blast at the opposition, Shamanistic Rage popped early on in the encounter, when it was all over, and it was all over very, very quickly, all that remained were Stormshaper, her totems and the elemental. Everything else was destroyed.

I’ve tried this same quest on my hunter and my death knight, and neither of them have been able to do this solo. On the hunter, I have a Beast Mastery ‘tank’ spec, where the hunter, when fully geared has over 35K health from armour and buffs. His pet is a turtle, the best tanking pet in the game, but I’ve found that I can’t get the pet to last through the damage caused by Chillmaw despite healing from my hunter. Once the pet goes down, that’s at least 40% of my hunter’s DPS finished and inevitably a ‘Feign Death’ is called for.

On the death knight – I’ve tried this battle as blood spec, unholy and even frost tank spec. Each time, the death knight can get Chillmaw down, but won’t have enough survivability to last through the cultists. It’s been close a couple of times, but Stormshaper walks away with full health and mana. It really is no contest at all.

Stormshaper has a few group quests left in Icecrown, the rider quests that are given as part of the Ebon Blade storyline. I might take her and test her ability on these quests, as each in turn is quite a tricky fight. I’m interested to see how she performs in these tussles.

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The Shock of the Lightning

Stormshaper is pretty well geared now. A couple of weeks of doing heroics – not farming heroics – just doing them on an “as time permits” basis has been enough for her to get four pieces of Tier 9 shaman armour. Of course, there have been a few choice issues with rude players, incompetent players, rude incompetent players and so on, but if I am honest, I’ll say that only about 40% of the dungeon runs she’s been on have been negative. Overall, not a bad percentage, all things considered.

Late last night, Stormshaper completed 140 quests in Icecrown, which means she got the zone achievement, and as I’ve done previously, I’ve moved zones, so she’s in the Storm Peaks now, doing the starter quests there, which will ultimately lead to the Sons of Hodir reputation grind. Not something I’m looking forward to, but a necessity due to the shoulder enchants that they have available from their quartermaster.

Quite why Blizzard haven’t retro-fitted a tabard for these giant dwarves (there’s an oxymoron) is beyond me. They have, in the shoulder enchants, something that every player wants. I know you can farm the relics of ulduar, and buy honour with badges, but a tabard would have put an end to one of the most tedious reputation grinds since the original Wintersaber faction grind in Winterspring.

As Stormshaper needs nothing from the 5 man dungeon runs, I’ve adapted her dungeon finding a little bit. I know that I’ll get badges from completing dungeons whatever happens, so I’m now purposely selecting the 5 man instances that were added after WoTLK came out, so that means Trial of the Crusader, Forge of Souls, Pit of Saron and Halls of Reflection. Trial of the Crusader I’m doing in heroic mode only, the others are normal and heroic, because there are items available in both versions of the dungeons that Stormshaper can use. Just today, for example, this dropped for her, on only her second run in Forge of Souls.

Having recently equipped two Ironforge Smasher’s this is a magnificent DPS upgrade and I’m hoping to reap the benefits when she steps into Halls of Reflection for the first time next week.

In the meantime she’ll continue doing the 5 man runs until she can equip either another Nighttime or, if she’s lucky, a Black Icicle!

I put the Berserking enchant (500g – ouch) on her new axe as soon as I left the instance. It looks sick!

Now – Berserking. I decided that once Stormshaper had equipped two epic items of level 200 or higher I would enchant both her weapons with Berserking. This enchant is beastly for melee DPS. When it procs, which is often, it increases your attack power by 400. The trade off is reduced armour, but shamans can self-heal so this isn’t too much of an issue. Besides, by the time you’ve unleashed on your target, they’re not going to cause you too much damage. Remember this is on both of her weapons, and yes, the enchant will stack if both weapons trigger the berserking proc!!

To try out the enchant when Stormshaper had her two Ironforge Smashers equipped, I ran her around Jotunheim, doing the “Leave Our Mark” Ebon Blade daily quest where you plant 15 banners in slain Vykrul. Seriously, they were lining up in front of her, getting halfway through their smack-talk and then dying at Stormshaper’s feet. “I’ll eat your face” – smack/unleashed rage/smack/berserking/smack/Dargon’s Blood/smack/gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

I’ll take her through there later on to see what Nighttime brings to that particular party.

In other news, Stormshaper has moved into a mature guild, finally. A guild that has been around on the server for over three years. This is brilliant news. A mature guild with a membership that know each other and are friends in and out of the game, and do regular events. Isn’t THAT what World of Warcraft is all about? Happy days!

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How to Lose Friends and Alienate People

Vault of Archavon. Free loot for everyone. You know the drill. Get 10 or 25 people together, go inside, spank down some trash, spank down some bosses who stand there and let you, loot, roll win.

Tonight, Stormshaper went into Vault of Archavon for the first time. In there, she took down the new boss, Toravon the Ice Watcher and Koralon the Flame Watcher. Two nice achievements to be had, all well and good.

But that isn’t what this post is about.

This post is about the remarkable reaction some people have to winning loot. You see, Toravon the Ice Watcher dropped these. Nice aren’t they?

Anyway, in the group of 25 there were 5 shamans. The raid leader and master looter said “Main spec roll” and with that, every shaman rolled. Stormshaper rolled 95, and Stormshaper won the boots.

Now, that is normally where it ends. Loot distributed, move to next boss.

No.

Not when you have a shaman in your group called Pamphilos. You see Pamphilos has thousands of PvP kills, therefore, Pamphilos believed that as he rolled the second highest roll, the loot should go to him.

I got an immediate whisper.

“If you were a nice person, you would give them to me.”
“Eh? But I won them fairly.”
“No. You ninja’d them. You have only 66 PvP kills. You don’t PvP, you should give them to me.”
“Umm, no. If I had 0 PvP kills, you could say I don’t PvP, but I have 66, so I have actually PvP’d on this character.”
“No. You should give them to me.”
“No I shouldn’t. I rolled fairly and won.”
“You ninja’d them. You should not roll on PvP gear.”

In the raid, people were arguing.
You should give them to Pamphilos.
You ninja’d that loot.
No she didn’t ninja the loot she rolled and won.
You have twenty people here who think you’re a ninja.
We’ll never group with you again.

“Fine.” Says I. “This is my care face. Can you see me caring?”

By now, Koralon is engaged.

“900G for the loot”
“No thanks.”
“You fucking prick”
“Excuse me?”
“You fucking ninja prick”
“I didn’t ninja anything. I won them fairly, deal with it.”
“You’ll never get invited to somerandomguildname
“But I don’t want to be invited to somerandomguildname
“Ha! You fucking noob. They’re ranked 3/4 on the realm.”
“Okay, good for them. I still don’t want to be invited to somerandomguildname.”
“You’ve made enemies here.”
“Eh? Enemies? Where? What are you talking about?”
“You’re a ninja and you’ve made enemies. I’m serious. I’ve got over 10,000 PvP kills. Those boots should be mine.”
“These 10,000 kills, did you QQ them to death?”
“Fuck off. Prick.”
“Nice.”
“You had no right to roll on that loot.”
“I had every right to roll on it. I was part of the raid that killed the boss. I did my share of damage, that gives me the right to roll.”
“No it doesn’t. You should not roll on PvP gear.”
“Says who?”
“Me.”
“Well, you’re not the raid leader or master looter, and you didn’t make the loot rules up.”
“STFU.”

By now we’d taken out Koralon. Another achievement. Yay.

I couldn’t tell you if any loot dropped off him that I could use, I was too staggered by what was on my screen. I found it hilarious. Such a devastating reaction.

Time passed and the raid ended. I was in Dalaran.

“Mate.”
“I’m not your mate.”
“Mate, give me the loot, I really need the upgrade.”
“No chance.”
“They’re PvP and you’re not going to use them.”
“How do you know? How do you know I’m not going to use them? You don’t know that.”
“You can’t use them in PvE.”
“Yes, I know. I’m not going to use them in PvE. I already have a full tier 9 set for PvE.”
“Noob.”
“Oh! Oh here it comes. Okay, lets get the nerd rage out of the way.”
“I’m going to kill you.”
“How exactly are you going to “kill” me?”
“I will duel you.”
“Okay, and then will you loot my still warm corpse for the footwear?”
“STFU Noob.”
“Ha! You’re hilarious.”
“You’re a prick. You fucking noob.”
“Ha! Ha! Got any more? How about ‘Your mother’ jokes? Got any of them?”
“Look, this is your last chance, seriously. Give me that loot.”
“Eh? Last chance to give you the loot that I won fairly and squarely? What will happen if I don’t take that last chance?”
“I’ll kill you. When I find you.”
“Well, I’m on the flight path in Dalaran.”
“I can’t kill you there.”
“Well, technically, you can’t kill me anywhere, but don’t let that stop you trying.”
“You’re dead. You’ve made loads of enemies today.”
“Hmm, cyber nerd rage enemies? I’ll live.”
“You prick.”
“Okay, you’re boring me now.”

With that, I flew off from Dalaran to hand in a daily in Argent Tournament.

“Yeah, go on, fly away.”
“I have.”
“You prick.”
“Okay, here’s a suggestion. If you really, really want the feet that dropped, go and round up all your buddies, and farm VoA, the same as everyone else does.”
“STFU noob.”
“Okay. Well, don’t cry too hard, they’re just pixels, and there’ll be more soon.”

And with that, I logged out.

So Stormshaper has made a whole slew of enemies now and will never be invited into somerandomguildname. I wonder what will become of her?

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Some Information on the Forthcoming Cataclysm Changes

Couple of interesting articles in relation to the post from Blizzard about stat changes in Cataclysm.

First, Rich Maloy from wow.com offers his thoughts on what’s coming, and similar detail from Kam at Flame Shock.

Both of these articles offer quite a deep insight into how the potential changes might play out for Shamans. The increased stamina will be welcome for enhancement shamans. The weapon skill change is a subtle one. As soon as you learn a weapon you are instantly at maximum value for that weapon. No more wild swings on mobs trying to train yourself up. Is this a boon, or is it another step along the line of dumbing down the game?

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Gearing Up

Yesterday was more of the same, questing around Icecrown, Argent Tournament daily quests and random heroics. Quite a few random heroics actually. Of course in the random heroics, you get level 200 blues dropping off most bosses, and a level 200 epic dropping off the final boss.

Stormshaper was unlucky with the epic drops from the final boss. Out of all of them, only a ring in Culling of Stratholme would have suited her, but she lost out on the roll. However, she did receive quite a few decent blue items. From Violet Hold she won the Solitare of Reflecting Beams and Mark of the War Prisoner. From Azjol Nerub she won Hollowed Mandible Legplates which I enhanced with a precise dragon’s eye (jewelcrafter only gem) and a precise bloodstone (yes I know its low level, but so are the pants), both of which increased her expertise level somewhat.

These were all nice gear upgrades for her, but the real highlight came from the Emblem of Triumph vendor. As Stormshaper had run so many heroics, she had accrued quite a few emblems of triumph and I decided that her first emblem purchase would be Shoulders of the Fateful Accord. A substantial increase over her BoA shoulders.

The thing I am really struggling with at the moment are weapons. There is a fist weapon that drops in Culling of Stratholme she can use, called Greed, but after that, I think the better weapons drop in Trial of the Crusader on normal and heroic. There is a nice axe that drops from Lavanthor in Violet Hold – but the chances of getting that are quite slim given the random number of bosses, and the random loot they each drop. The weapon upgrades are a priority for Stormshaper now.

I have checked out the Argent Tournament which is a good source of reasonable weapons for people in heroics and just starting on the raid schedule and there is an Ironforge Smasher available from there. However, that is some time away, due to the grind of actually earning Champions Seals. We’ll see how it goes.

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