Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Lonely...I'm So Lonely...

So here I am. Almost a week has passed since I've started playing WoW again – So what have I been doing? Well, I ran my dailies one day, and am surprised I remember the rotation. Um. I bought an egg from those pesky little hoppers. Uh....Oh! I also played with my UI a bit. And that's it.

I'm back on a day shift at work, which means I once again have time to play. I waited two months for this, and now that it's finally here, It made me realize why I didn't too much mind taking a break in the first place. Upon logging on for the first time in over a month, it dawned on me that Nimala was left exactly where I left her.

That is, unguilded with no friends.

When I first started WoW, it was to play with a real-life friend of mine. We never made it much past UBRS, and the guild was showing little in the way of improvement. I continued playing with my friend when I could, but I also helped found a guild on another server with some friends I had found on a webcomic. It was never a very serious guild, but I had a lot of fun playing with my friends and advertising the webcomic by the means of our little Angel Gnomes. Unfortunately, we didn't last much past the first expansion, but during our Bibblical journey, we came across another player who would turn out to become a good friend.

The guild he had was small, but close-knit. Everybody knew everybody; we were all friends. We expanded to the point where we had more than enough to run Karazhan, yet almost every member we recruited simply added to my list of people I considered friends. When our guild leader had to leave WoW for the military, the guild fell apart, and shortly thereafter I stopped playing for about a year.

Queue my new job! It was better than no job. And my co-workers were nerds. They'd talk about WoW all the time, and I was intrigued by the things they said about Wrath. Intrigue quickly grew into excitement, and I re-enabled my account, started fresh on a new server with an ickle little Draenei Shaman, and pounded my way to level 80 so I could play with my new friends.

It was around this time that I realized that one of my friends did little in the game BUT raid (and I wasn't nearly geared enough to join his guild) and the other was, as they say, “FOR THE HORDE!!!!1!!1!!1ONE!!!TWO?!!” and does not do well leveling in a party. I wasn't about to force another grind to 80, so I decided to gear up to raid with my Alliance buddy. It surprised me, however, when he mentioned at work one day that he was getting bored of raiding. He played less and less, and I knew my potential slot in his guild was getting farther and farther from attainable.

I found another guild for a short while that was progressing through ToC10, but sometime after my laptop broke and before my desktop arrived, the guild fell apart as well. This left me, for the first time since I started WoW, guildless.

For my tl;dnr audience, what I'm trying to say is that I'm very much a social gamer. I have the most fun in the game when I'm doing something with friends. I've played a good deal while unguilded, mostly grinding through dailies or working toward one achievement or another. It wasn't fun, when I look back on it, and I don't want to fall into that same pattern.

Now, here's the part where I QQ'd for a paragraph or two about how I no longer have real-life friends to play with, how I'll never find a guild as fun as my old guilds, which probably drove my standards too high for any potential new guilds, and how my healing is sub-par and "serious guilds aren't looking for sub-par".

Then I realized how much I hate whining. So I nixed the sobfest and sat back for a minute to inflect upon my predicament. If I no longer have friends I can play with, would it not make sense to simply make more friends that I CAN play with? If I really liked my old guilds, could I not simply look back on them with fond nostalgia, yet press onward, looking for a guild that still suits my desires? I know there are plenty. I just need to find them.

This is nothing more than an unexplored area of the game. Maybe I'll get some experience for discovering it.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Risen From The Dead Post: Why The Ankh?

/cast Reincarnation


In retrospect, given the name of this blog, I really should have considered that option sooner.

So! It's been almost two months since my last post. There's a reason for this, I promise. It has little to do with a lack of desire, and everything to do with the work shift that was thrown in my face. More on that on my next post.

Since I've been gone for so long, imagine my surprise with I got back onto AeL to find a comment that was not there before. I was ecstatic that my site had not been completely forgotten, so I've decided to postpone my initial welcome-back-Nim post in favor of answering my loyal fan's question. (Alright, so he may not be 'loyal' and he may not be a 'fan', but it sounded a hell of a lot better than 'random dude')

Ankh Tatoo wrote:
I am interested as to why you have used Ankh as part of your blog name. i have my own blog about Ankh tattoos
I'm very glad I was asked this question. It reminded me to take a second to reflect on the reason I began this blog to begin with, my "endgame" goal for it, and the sorts of things I wanted to write about in here. After a hiatus this long, it's easy to forget. That's not answering the question, though, so we'll just go ahead and sweep this under the rug....just like...this.....there we go. What about the lump in the rug now? Pretend it's your annoying kid sister who always wants to play with you, so you offer to play hide-and-seek and tell her to hide, then proceed to completely ignore her.

Back in mid-December, when I decided to start a blog, I knew straight away what my biggest hurdle was going to be as far as getting this train wreck up and running. It's the same problem everybody has about a billion times in their lives: wtf should I name it? I knew that there weren't a lot of Resto Shaman blogs about, so I wasn't particularly limited as far as naming the blog after one of a Shaman's spells.  I didn't like the idea, though, since it forfeited any sense of originality I have (but can only produce if I really try). Plus, If Resto Shaman blogs ever became the new 'in' thing, I would undoubtedly find myself competing with other blogs of a similar name (and they'd probably do it better than me).

I wanted a name that was not only original, but also unique to some aspect of WoW's Shaman. The three options I was mulling about were Totems, Shields, and self-resurrection. Totems were way too obvious for me. It'd have been akin to seeing a billboard that proudly stated, "McBurger's: We Sell Burgers". It just comes on too strong.

Shields were immediately nixed since the theme was already being used by somebody whose blog had helped me numerous times before and after I started my own, and it felt somehow disrespectful to take up a similar name.

I was left with self-resurrection. How could I rework the idea of Reincarnation into a blog name? I didn't know. Still don't. I liked the idea (as I've always liked the spell), so I had to work around my inability to do anything clever with the word "reincarnation". Which was admittedly much easier to do. The spell is practically synonymous to the reagent needed to cast it - the ankh. At this point, I had something to work with.

Ultimately, I decided on "Ankh = Life" due to its deceit. When you first look at the title, you might think that I really, really like Ankhs. In truth, I have no strong feeling toward or against them. I never looked up lore on them, read college papers on their origins, anything like that. Upon closer conjecture of the title, though, taking it in context with what it's used for in the game, you might surmise that the title isn't based on an obsessed opinion, but a simple statement of fact. The Ankh gives you life (or, at least, a second shot at it until you realize you just resurrected in fire). It is, in Mario turns, the green mushroom. And we all love those delicious green mushrooms.

Now does anybody actually think about this when they look at my blog's name, or do they just see it as another name for another WoW blog? I don't know! But I also don't care. Because I like the name. And I hope you do too (or at least don't hate it enough to not come back).

Thanks so much, mysterious Ankh Tattoo artist, for asking!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Resto Shaman Glyphs: What Works for You?

Glyphing is a very interesting method of character improvement. Gear, Enchanting, and Gems are all designed to improve your stats (tier bonuses notwithstanding), which in turn benefit every spell in your arsenal by a small amount per point. Glyphs, on the other hand, are designed to improve a single spell by a significant amount. They are the only enhancements you can choose from that work this way. Since you only get three major glyphs to choose from at any given time, it's important to choose the right ones that work for you.

Glyphs never cease to amaze me in the Auction House. As an Inscriptionist, I know that making glyphs is easy and cheap. For the cost of one to two inks (It doesn't matter which, Jessica Sellers will trade you any of the lesser inks for one Ink of the Sea) and the cost of the parchment, you can have your choice of just about any glyph you want. Yet, there are glyphs selling on the Auction House for far more than the cost of a few inks and some parchment.

The best thing to do if you're looking for some glyphs is to find a scribe and have them make it for you. You know a scribe. They won't mind making you a glyph. Why pay exorbitant amounts when you don't have to?

As you may know, I condone individual play style 100%. There is no single way to successfully play your character. As long as the raid doesn't die, you probably did your job. That being said, there really isn't a single glyph that all Resto Shamans need. Since glyphs enhance a single spell, it all depends on what spells you feel would be best enhanced for your how you play.

I am not here to tell you what glyphs to choose. Rather, I am here to provide a simple, math-free reference guide to what each Restoration-oriented glyph does, and how they can be utilized.

There are nine possible choices for Restoration glyphs:

Glyph of Chain Heal: Chain Heal heals one additional person per cast. You get to heal four party/raid members instead of three. Shamans may no longer be the be-all and end-all of group healing, but Chain Heal is still a staple of Shaman raid healing, and it's still what we are best known for.

Glyph of Lesser Healing Wave: Your LHW will heal for 20% more if your target has Earth Shield on them. That includes ES's from other Resto Shamans. It's a great glyph for 5-man and tank healing.

Glyph of Healing Wave: Whenever you heal someone other than yourself with Healing Wave, you heal yourself for 20% of that value. It's a great glyph if you use Healing Wave extensively, and you are taking a lot of damage. Unfortunately, Healing Wave is too expensive to use very often and, as a healer, you probably won't be taking enough damage to warrent using glyph space for this self-heal. A better alternative is the Glyph of Healing Stream Totem, mentioned below.

Glyph of Riptide: 6 more seconds of Riptide's HoT. If you're a Riptide juggler, popping the spell on a different target every time the cooldown is up, this glyph will allow you to keep an extra riptide up. If you want some extra buffer time to cast an empowered Chain Heal, this is also a good glyph.

Glyph of Water Mastery: Boosts Water Shield's mp5 by 30%. With a max rank shield, that's an additional 30 mp5 that stacks with any other mp5 buff you may have. That's a lot of mp5, but no bonus to healing. If you need or want that extra mana regen, this is a great glyph. Otherwise, a glyph that increases your healing would be a better option.

Glyph of Earth Shield: Your Earth Shield heals heal for 20% more. A lot of Shamans may not be tank healers, but every single one that specs into Resto should have a 100% uptime for Earth Shield. It's 8 free heals per application. No matter how you heal, you will always get the benefit from this glyph.

Glyph of Earthliving Weapon: This will make your Earthliving Weapon 5% more likely to proc, giving it a 25% chance to HoT your healed target. Your EL HoT won't make up a large portion of your healing, and an extra 5% proc chance won't improve it much.
An anonymous tipper has notified me that the 5% extra proc chance on this glyph is currently 5% of the 20% the spell usually gives, which means that if you choose this glyph, you will have a 21% chance for Earthliving to proc. Apparently this is a bug in the glyph (or a misleading tooltip), but it hasn't been changed yet either way.

Glyph of Healing Stream Totem: This gives your Healing Stream Totem 20% more healability. Tack on the Restorative Totems talent, and you have a totem with some serious heals. A Restoration shaman will generally use either Healing Stream or Cleansing Totem for their water totem. If the enemy doesn't give a destructive poison, the choice is obvious. It's like a 5-minute hot for any party member within 30 yards of it. It may not heal the entire raid, but it should keep yourself and the rest of your party topped off throughout most of the fight, making raid healing much easier for everybody.

Glyph of Mana Tide Totem: Every tick of your Mana Tide refunds an additional 1% of your mana pool with every tick of your Mana Tide, from 6% every 3 seconds to 7% every 3 seconds. In total, it will refund 28% of your mana pool instead of 24%. 4% more mana is certainly nothing to blow off, but in the big picture, that's only an extra 4% every 5 minutes, assuming you pop it as soon as it's off cooldown. If you're having mana issues, Glyph of Water Mastery is the better glyph to take.


Minor glyphs are aptly named, especially for a Resto Shaman. They are helpful, but not necessarily useful. You'll want them, but more often than not it's convenience over enhancement.

There are seven choices for minor glyphs:

Glyph of Water Shield: Adds an orb to your Water Shield. This is the only minor glyph that I would suggest over any other. It's not going to improve your healing or mana regen, but it will save you a GCD every time you need to refresh your shield.

Glyph of Astral Recall: Reduces the cooldown of Astral Recall by 7.5 minutes. You can hearth twice as often.

Glyph of Ghost Wolf: Whenever in Ghost Wolf form, you will regenerate 1% health every 5 seconds. It's...well, it's a glyph alright. I guess it'd be better than the others in PvP, but who cares about PvP?

Glyph of Renewed Life: You no longer need a reagent to Reincarnate. It'll save a few coins and free up a space in your inventory. If you're like me and consistently forget to buy Ankhs, you'll definitely benefit from this glyph.

Glyph of Thunderstorm: Thunderstorm? Lolwut?

Glyph of Water Breathing You no longer need those damn Fish Scales you hate to farm, but hate paying the 36 copper per stack for.

Glyph of Water Walking: You no longer need that damn Fish Oil you hate to farm, but hate paying the 2 silver per stack for.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Twitter Question Of The Week: What Would You Like To See Put Into Cataclysm?

You may remember that, a few posts back, I had an idea to use twitter to ask a question every week for people to answer. Well, it's been a week, so it's time to share the responses I got.

My first TWotW was simple: What would you like to see put into Cataclysm?

Jen over at Stories of WoW was quick to answer:
Cross-Realm BoA mailing. PLEASE.
Luckily, her call was heard! Blizzard's Twitter Dev Chat revealed that "We have cross-faction mail for BoA items now; cross-realm is a work in progress, but we hope to have it done 'soon.'" You may not even need to wait for Cataclysm for this.

Psynister of Psynister's Notebook brought up something I hadn't thought about since Vanilla WoW:
"Color customization for gear! I don't want hot pink robes, dang it!
Upon thinking about it again, I would still love to see this implemented. It would add more character uniqueness, and I can't help but picture the biggest, grizzliest, meanest Orc Death Knight rocking pink armor to take down Deathwing. Unfortunately, I don't see this happening anytime soon. Blizzard has already released quite a few armor skins multiple times with different colors for differentiation.

Khi the Tree Burglar's response was short, sweet, and I think everybody would agree that this would make for a welcome addition to Cataclsym:
More cowbell
She must have a fever. And there's only one perscription. (I can't believe there's an entire Wikipedia entry on this)

Gameldar of Wow In An Hour is a simple man with a simple desire:
 In character homage to me? Gameldar the clock seller maybe? :)
 Did I mention humble? He's totally humble.

What about you, Nim? What would you like to see put into Cataclysm? An excellent question, and I'm glad you asked it. There are many things that I would like to see in this expansion (and a lot of things I would like taken out). Out of everything, though, there is only one thing that I MUST see in Cataclysm.

New forms for Troll  and Worgen Druids.

Imagine a Troll Rhino tank, or Raptor DPS. Firstly, how awesome would that be? Secondly (DISCLAIMER: I am not a Lore nut, and thus my reasoning may be wrong), would it not fit into lore much better if Trolls, being a race that's been around far longer than Night Elves or Tauren, shapeshifted into more 'primitive' animals? They've already proven that there ARE trolls that become rhinos, and that it's possible to choose different animals (such as snakes) to shapeshift into.

I'm not really sure what a Worgen Druid should shift into, but it shouldn't be a bear or a cat. That's silly. If nothing else, it should be a wolf, amirite?

And thus concludes the very first Twitter Question of the Week. Thank you Jen, Psynister, Khi, and Gameldar for your thoughts. If you didn't get a chance to answer, but would still like to add your two cents, feel free to leave a comment. I'd still love to hear everybody's thoughts. And don't forget to follow me on Twitter (@nim_ankh)!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Changing Gears, And Improving Gear Without Changing Gear

The past few days have been pretty light for me on the WoW front. A new work schedule makes playing the game very difficult, as I only have an hour or two to play most nights. What little time I do have to play has been, for the most part, spent dicking around with Nimank, my Dorf Warrior in Single Abstract Noun (note to self: Victory Rush = OP at level 6).

There are a few reasons I've not played Nimala for more than a heroic or two plus dailies. Firstly, whereas I do have a WoWable computer, it is by no means a good computer. Dalaran lags me out and I rock a steady 6-7 fps throughout my entire playtime (9 if I put out first). Nim not make 4 gud heelz under these conditions. On top of this, Nimala is still unguilded. Who cares, right? Well...I do. I'm a very social person in WoW. I like to talk to people while I play. It makes the menial chores much more tolerable. Without it, I have very little desire to do anything on Nimala.

Queue Single Abstract Noun. There hasn't been a time while I was online where there were less than 15 people on, all blog readers and/or writers, all talking. It's much more fun to grind an alt in the company of others than my former option. If you haven't checked it out yet, please do. It's truly a lot of fun.

In any case, the former problem should be fixed very soon, assuming my glorious tax return money comes in on time. When it does, I want to be ready. I am, for a currently non-raider, well geared as a Resto Shaman. I am not, however, properly gemmed or enchanted, and I need to re-evaluate my glyphs. My I'm-lazy-so-I'll-just-use-the-devault-UI-addons need to be upgraded as well. I want to be ready when I apply for a guild.

I am currently rocking full blue gems. At first, this was a money issue. Purple gems are expensive if you don't know a Jewelcrafter. Now, though, with almost 2000 gold saved up, I have no excuse. That's not my only gemming problem, though. I am a big fan of haste. It is my stat of choice to a fault. No, I'm not over the haste cap (My sweet, unreachable goal), but I am choosing haste at a detriment to my other stats.

I'm going to need to find a healthy balance between Runed Cardinal Ruby and Quick King's Amber, as well as the best blue/purple/green gem to use to complete the meta for Insightful Earthsiege Diamond. Royal Dreadstone is probably my best bet, giving me spellpower with a touch of mp5. I was thinking about Int gemming, but Wow.com's Joe Perez (Lodur of World of Matticus) says not to, as your gear should cover you plenty in the intellect department. I figure he probably knows better than I do, so I'm going to try it his way. Looks like I need a belt buckle, too, for that extra gem.

I have been very lax with enchanting my gear. Some gear has a lower-level enchant, while others don't have an enchant at all! I'm going to blame this on money, too. Enchantments are either very expensive via scrolls, or very time-consuming via finding an enchanter to enchant your shit. A lot of gear enchants are pretty obvious, but some are more difficult to decide on.

Helm: My helm is...currently unenchanted. Whoops. I used to use Arcanum of Burning Mysteries under the (apparently false) impression that crit was more important to a Resto Shaman than mp5. Again, I'm taking Lodur's advice on the subject to see where it gets me. I will be going with Arcanum of Blissful Mending this time around.

Shoulder: Being an Inscriptionist, I get the bestest of the bestest in shoulder enchants. Once again, I am currently using Master's Inscription of the Storm for crit, but will be changing that to Master's Inscription of the Crag.

Cloak: Clear choice: Greater Speed.

Chest: I have the choice between Greater Mana Restoration and Powerful Stats. Neither option really screams "I'm your man" to me. I'm always reluctant to choose an enchantment that improves all stats. Sure, it gives a bonus to everything you want (and don't), but the bonus is marginal for them all. On the other hand, though, I rarely have mana issues, so the mp5 enchant might not be the best choice for me. This decision will largely depend on whether or not I'll actually benefit from the extra mp5. Since I'm opting for mp5 buffs in both my helm and shoulders, I don't think I will.

Legs: Another clear choice: Sapphire Spellthread.

Boots: I'm in a similar aquatic flotation device here as I am with my chest enchant. I can take Greater Vitality if I need the mp5, but I feel I'll benefit more from the stam given to me by Tuskarr's Vitality. Plus, you know, run speed increase.

Bracers: Gimme Superior Spellpower.

Weapon: Only choice: Mighty Spellpower.

Shield: Greater Intellect.

There are quite a few major glyphs that can really benefit a Restoration Shaman. Unfortunately, you can only pick three. I'm having a very hard time deciding which three I want to use. Fortunately, as an Inscriptionist, it's cheap and easy for me to test glyphs out to see which ones are the best for me.

I'm currently using Glyph of Chain Heal, Glyph of Lesser Healing Wave, and Glyph of Water Mastry. As you can see, I'm trying to get the best of both raid healing and single-target healing right now. It's a pretty safe assumption that I'll usually be on raid healing when I raid, so the CH glyph is staying. The LHW glyph is great for instances, but not nearly as useful for raid healing. I could say it'll help for "All heals on the tank" situations, though. I want to replace the Water Shield glyph if I don't need the extra mp5 (I'm not looking to end a battle with 100% mana; as long as I have enough mana to cover the entire fight, I'll be happy).

I'm looking at Glyph of Healing Stream Totem and Glyph of Earth Shield as well. The first is good for giving a HoT-esque heal every 2 seconds to everybody in my party, assuming they're within 30 yards of the totem and I don't need to do excessive cleansing. The other will make tank healing easier, even if I'm not designated to tank healing. I should be keeping ES up on him anyway, right?

I'm thinking the best choice for me would be the Chain Heal, Healing Stream, and Earth Shield glyphs for raid healing. If I'm lacking for mana at that point, I'll replace Earth Shield with Water Mastery.

Minor glyphs are much easier to decide on. Glyph of Water Shield is the only glyph here that really sticks out, as it gives and extra water orb. Glyph of Renewed Life is great for me since I'm always having bagspace issues, and this clears up a space (I know, I know. This is Ankh = Life, and I don't even carry Ankhs! What is wrong with me?). I opted for Glyph of Water Walking as well for the additional bagspace.

Since Vanilla WoW, I've been using the default UI. Recently, I upgraded to XPerl, though for completely aesthetic purposes. Everything was still positioned where the default UI was. I'm used to it, I'm comfortable with it. I'm not effective with it. It's time for a change.

With that in mind, I am not addon-savvy, or addon-patient. I know next to nothing about UI addons, and I truly don't enjoy spending 20 minutes setting up a new addon, so this'll certainly be a "fun" experience trying different addons that would best suit my style. I'm going to need to do a lot of research (another thing I "love" doing) to find some good potential addons for me.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Single Abstract Noun: Blog Community Guild

Tamarind and Miss Medicina are mind readers. I've had this idea rolling around in my head for some time, but they dove straight into my head and took it! It's a good thing, too, becuase I sure as hell wasn't doing anything about it.

Single Abstract Noun is a guild for the blogging community - that includes bloggers as well as blog readers. SAN is a social guild and a means for the blogging community to get together to...well, do whatever they want. Discussions will be had, Hoggers will be downed, RPing will be played, all-around tomfoolery and shenanigans will be declared. You can find more information regarding SAN in Miss M's post, as well as Tam's.

If you want to join, you can find us on the Feathermoon Argent Dawn RP server (both US and EU realms). US players will want to roll Alliance, and EU realms are 4 teh Horde. US players can join the chat channel "singleabstractnoun" and request a guild invite from there.

**Note** Bloggers do not need to 'recreate' their character. In fact, I would even suggest the contrary. Play something you've never played before! If nothing else, it would make for an interesting blog post. I made a Warrior. I'm sure you will see future posts by me with such titles as "How I Phail'd Warrioring" and "Why I was kicked out of yet another PuG for pretending I knew how to play a warrior".

[edit] Bad Nim! It's Argent Dawn, not Feathermoon!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Twitter Question Of The Week

I've had an epiphone. As you may know, I recently created a Twitter. I am sad that I didn't create one sooner, too, because I am in love with it, and I'm on it pretty much whenever I'm home or at work. I figured, though, that since I'm on it so much, I should make some use of it. And thus, the Twitter Question of the Week was born.

Every week, I will be asking a WoW-related opinion-based question on Twitter for anybody to answer. Every Sunday, I will be posting everybody's answers here, with my own thoughts on the subject as well.

My hopes in doing this are to get a better understanding of the WoW community - more specifically, the blog-reading WoW community, as they are generally less QQ and more "I don't agree with that". There are questions that I've not seen asked, or that I have seen asked, but in a place where many people would not have a chance to give their two cents on the matter. These are the kinds of questions you may see here.

Even though the questions will asked in Twitter, you can use just about any means to get an answer to me. The easiest way, of course, is to simply reply or send a DM to @nim_ankh. However, if you have more than 140 characters to say on the subject, you are welcome to e-mail me an answer as well (nim_ankh@yahoo.com). Hell, if you see me in-game, you can even /w the answer to me (I have WIM, I won't miss it)