Monday, 21 April 2014

Know your Enemy! A guide to dealing with different classes in Arenas

Happy Easter to one and all!! I'm rather enjoying Noble Garden this year, having been rather lucky and won a mount and pet in the first 100 eggs collected I consider myself a very happy bunny ^_^ (see what I did there?) 

This weeks post is a little late as I spent the weekend with family, but here it is none the less! I am going to talk you through the various different DPS classes that you will deal with in Arenas, more specifically I shall dish out some nice ways to deal with them as a Mistweaver*, so sit back, relax...you know the score by now ;)

*Please note this is  a simple guide for around 1500 rating, I'm not rocking 2k+ just yet ;)

Mages.

Damage type - Magic Caster
Cc abilities - Deep freeze, Polymorph, Improved Counterspell.
Defensive abilities - Iceblock, Invisibility, Blink, Spell Steal, Ice/molten Armor.

Mages are one of my least favorite classes to deal with in general. Most of the mages you encounter will be frost spec, you may come across the odd fire mage and on rare occasion (for me once in 200+ 3v3's) you may see an arcane. A Mage will nearly always start the encounter invisible, so rushing jade wind can be nice option for this, however, it is mana intensive, and unlike a Rogue, a Mage does not need to be right next to you to begin his/her attack. With this in mind, I would look at the rest of their team before you take RJW, for me, Xuen is a nicer option to take against casters as he can provide a very nice DPS boost and you can stay out of harms way while he does his thing. Frost mages are riddled with stuns and more annoyingly slows, so tigers lust is pretty much a must here. An important thing to try and do with a Mage as a healer is line of sight him/her as much as possible to stop yourself getting continually polymorphed. Diffuse magic is nice to take here to help you survive an opening burst if you are the target of choice. 


Death Knights. 

Damage Type - Shadow/Physical melee
CC abilities - Deathgrip, Asphyxiate/Strangulate, Remorseless Winter.
Defensive abilities - Desecrated Ground, Anti-Magic Shell, Anti-Magic Zone, Lichborne, Icebound Fortitude, Dark Simulacrum.

Most Dk's in arenas these days are Unholy. If this is the case, be prepared to deal with a high amount of sustained damage, some irritating Cc and a Gargoyle. My preference is to take Dampen harm when I come across any physical damage dealers, however as UH DK's spit out a shed ton of nasty magic dots, I do favor diffuse magic. Depending on which of your team mates are gone on, you will be needing to keep as much top up healing rolling as possible to deal with the dots, so renewing mist and uplift will be your best friends. Ring of peace is also an excellent choice against DK's, disarming them can stop a hell of a lot of damage on an ally at a crucial moment, giving you some healing space, but don't get too comfortable, UH DK's have access to two really annoying "you can't cc me" spells, Lichborne and Desecrated Ground, so keep an eye on what CD's they have left before you use it.

Druids. 

Feral;
Damage type - Physical melee
CC abilities - Cyclone, Disorienting Roar, Maim, pounce.
Defensive abilities - Bear Form, Might of Ursoc, Stealth, Entangling roots, Dash, Displacer Beast, Natures Grasp.

Feral Druids are another stealth class, and will often start the encounter invisible. One of the major things to note about ferals is that they can cause a lot of heavy bleeds on your allies, which you much of course heal through. They also have an annoying amount of Cc, so LoS is again very important. RoP I have also discovered does little to sway a Ferals Damage, so, depending on the remaining enemy team, Leg Sweep may be more appropriate here. Druids are also, like you as a MW, notorious kiters, and thanks to shape shift, slows and roots do little to keep them in place, however, as a nifty MW with your roll and disable, you should be able to do a pretty good job of keeping up with them.

BoomChicken;
Damage Type - Magical Caster
Cc abilities - Same as feral
Defensive abilities - Same as feral.

BoomChickens are ranged with a ridiculous burst if they are allowed to free cast. Setting this as your focus target if its not the kill target must be a priority, and interrupting him/her and silencing him/her as often as possible to stop them from casting is essential.
KILL IT WITH FIRE.

Hunters. 

Damage type - Physical/Magical Ranged
Cc abilities....LOADS. Scatter Shot, Freeze Trap, Wyvern Sting/Binding Shot/Intimidation, Silencing shot. I'm not going to list the pet abilities, but basically through their pets, hunters have access to EVERY CC ability in the game.
Defensive abilities - Deterrence, Disengage, Stealth, Feign Death.

Dealing with hunters is not easy. They have a big burst and a lot of CC. Make as much use of your Transendence as you can to get behind pillars to line of sight them. If you have your set bonuses (and you should have by now) be sure you use your thunder focus tea before doing ANYTHING that requires you to stand and cast or you will get interrupted. Something to note about hunters is that they will use a cc method whereby they scatter shot you, which will cause disorientation, then lay a trap at your feet, which you will walk into. Try not to panic pop your trinket on the disorient, and let them use up the trap CD before you use it. You're going to want your life cocoon handy to save allies from the damage they can put out, and RoP once again will save your melee friends from damage for a short time.

Priests.

Damage Type - Magical Ranged
Cc abilities - Fear, Silence.
Defensive abilities - Dispersion, Fade, Vampiric Embrace (Glyphed).

Priests are pretty easily dealt with, although they can be a little annoying for your dps to kill, they only really have one major ability for you to worry about which is devouring plague. Make sure you dispel that and the priest will not be able to do much damage. Leave that on and the priests next mind flay is going to cause you some serious issues. One thing to note, dispelling Vampiric touch will case you to be feared for 3 seconds. This IS worth it to get rid of the devouring plague, however VT is heal-able on its own. Taking diffuce magid is nice here, as it will negate a devouring plague on you, thus saving you a dispel. 

Warlocks.

Damage Type - Magical Ranged. 
Cc abilities - Shadowfury, Mortal Coil, Howl of Terror, Fear, Blood Horror.
Defensive abilities - Unending Resolve, Sacrificial Pact, Demonic Gateway, Demonic Circle.

Warlocks will either dish out sustained magic damage (Destro) or let you deal with some nasty DoTs (Affliction). On the odd occasion you come across a demo lock, they will deal a farily ample burst and their pets can be highly irritating. 
The most important thing with warlocks is to stop them getting their gateways up, thus disabling their ability to nip around the arena and out kite you. One majorly noteworthy thing about walocks is that most of them will use the succubus pet. This thing is probably THE single most annoying entity to deal with. Ever. It will cast a mezmerize on anyone and anything that attacks or attempts to CC the lock. Of course you can kill the pet, but it will be re summoned instantly and as they have a large amount of HP this becomes a pointless exercise. Line of sight is the best way to deal with the warlock, though in comparison to Hunters and Mages their burst damage is not too bad, as they will need time to build up their embers/soul shards before they can really get going. Dispelling unstable affliction will return damage to you, so make sure you have HoTs on yourself if you need to dispel it.

Shamans.

Damage Type - Ranged magic melee/caster
Cc abilities - Hex, Capacitor Totem.
Defensive abilities - Spirit Walk, Healing stream totem, Air Totem.

Elemental shamans and Enhancement Shamans both have a fairly hefty burst, with the Enh Shammy being the slightly worse of the two. You'll want your life cocoon and RoP ready for whoever they decide to open on. Make it your mission to kill as many totems as you can, as soon as they are deployed, thanks to Crackling jade lightening you can do this from a safe distance, whilst line of sighting them to keep out of  Hex range. Diffuse magic is nice here to quell some of the burst if they go on you, and of course you can use the trusty RoP to disarm the Enh Shammys.

Rogues.

Damage Type - melee Magic/physical
Cc abilities - Sap, Gouge, Blind, Kidney Shot, Garrote.
Defensive abilities - Feint, Evasion, Vanish, Smoke Bomb, Cloak of shadows.

Rogues are another stealth class, one which I really like to take RJW for, this enables you to "find" them easier when they are in stealth. Their poisons are quite hefty and they have the ability to chain CC and kill you pretty instantly unless you are quick enough to disarm them and get out of there. They are not the easiest Class to kite as they can shadowstep to you, and they have a speed boost should they select the talent. Too keep your allies safe the RoP is essential, and glyphing your life cocoon is also pretty life saving.

Paladins.

Damage Type - Physical Melee
Cc abilities - Turn Evil, Blinding light, Hammer of justice.
Defensive Abilities - Divine Protection, Hand of protection, Hand of Freedom.

Paladins can deal a massive physical burst if allowed to. RoP works nicely to combat this, especially if you wait until they pop their wings and the guardian. As long as you and your allies can keep their burst down to a minimum, and you can keep out of LoS, they are really easy to deal with compared to other melee classes. The only hugely annoying thing they have is the infamous bubble, you generally have to dps them down until they pop that then start all over again as by the time its done they will be full HP again.

Warriors.

Damage Type - Physical Melee
Cc abilities -  Intimidating Shout, Charge, Disarm.
Defensive abilities - Spell Reflection, Shield Wall, Second Wind, Beserker Rage, Heroic Leap.

Warriors are, in my humble opinion the worst of the melee classes. They can case insane amounts of damage and CC and take a fair bit of punishment all at the same time. If they go on one of your allies you will want RoP and Cocoon at the ready. Tigers lust is also very nice for dispatching that hamstring. Fortunatley, they are relatively kiteable, even with their movmemnt buffs such as charge, as your roll and TL and Trans will out manouver them, and also cause them to potentially waste their own speed boosts. Note that they also cause some heavy bleeding, so keep HoTs up at all times.


 

Monks.

Sigh, where to start. The short answer to this is that if the monk is anygood at all, you are going to have a hard time. Their CC abilities are the same as yours with the addition of fists of fury. They can also Kite you for days, or keep up with you if you are kiting them. Be prepared to deal with a lot of physical damage and a huge burst. 

Hopefully this can be of some sort of use, as I said in my little disclaimer, this is only stuff I have discovered myself, and not in any way a professional guide, just things that work for me :D


 

Friday, 11 April 2014

The Libester award (and some other..stuff)

Happy Friday guys!!

Well the first thing I saw when I logged on this morning was that I have hit 5000 pageviews, this is a relatively small number in comparison to some other bloggers I am sure but for me that number is pretty huge, considering when I started this blog I actually thought it would only be me reading it! At this point I would like to say thanks to Sunnier for helping me get it off the ground, and for taking the time to advise me on how to blog. 

I FINALLY finished my Ulduar transmog set, so now I look like a rogue that can wield a staff :D However I ditched the helmet because it's not very nice looking, and traded in my Deathblow X goggles, which can also drop from a boss in Ulduar!


The Libester Award. 

A big thank you to Vaylen for nominating me for this award!
Vaylens Blog is here and you can read more about the award here.

Rules to follow!
- Write a blog post about the Liebster Award.
- Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
- Display the Award on your blog.
- Answer the eleven questions that the blogger has given you.
- Nominate up to eleven blogs who you think deserve the award.
- Give eleven random facts about yourself.
- Create eleven questions for them to answer.
- List the rules on your post.
- Inform the bloggers that they have been nominated and link them to your post


The questions I had from Vaylen:

 
- What made you start blogging and why?

I really enjoy writing as a hobby, and was inspired by Sunnier's blog originally. I spend so much time playing WoW I wanted to document some of it. I also wanted to be part of the monk community in general and most of us have blogs or columns of some description. It's a nice way to get information on your class and see other peoples ways of doing things.
 
- What class stands out to you the most and why?
My Monk of course!! I have got a 90 of pretty much every class in the game now except a Shammy and Mage and the monk is still the one I enjoy the most. I love the fact that you can fill any role and have an amazing amount of unique utilities. I also like the ability animations and the fighting style.
 
- If you could choose your top three raids what would they be?
Even though I am an MoP baby, i am a mogaholic so I spend a lot of time in old raids, a lot of which I would have loved to experience when they were current. My top 3 are: Firelands, Ulduar and Karazan.

- Your favourite location within WoW?
This spot. Right here.
 


- If you could re roll to any class, what would it be and why?
 For someone that has as many alts as me this is difficult, because I enjoy playing them all for different reasons. If I had to pick one, probably my Druid, as I love the versatility he offers for roles.

- If you had any tips for new bloggers what would they be?
Be yourself.
 
- Any post your most fond of?
 
- Most memorable moment in WoW?
Our raid team downing Garrosh on normal for the first time.
 
- Whats your favorite City in WoW?
Undercity! I am a hallowen nut so yeah, I love the creepy places :D
 
- If you could be any Warcraft Hero, who would it be?
 
- Do you like bacon as much as me?
I'm more of a sausage person myself :)

11 random facts about me:
1. I also play Warhammer.
2. I have a little lore story for each of my toons.
3. I suffered with depression.
4. I am obsessed with pirates.
5. I love Disney films.
6. My geographical knowledge is shockingly bad.
7. I am a Pastafarian.
8. I have OCD.
9. I am terrified of cows.
10. I have a low tolerance for unintelligent and/or ignorant people.
11. I like to study micro expressions and body language.

People I am nominating:

Sunnier - http://sunniersartofwar.com/
Arielle - http://theincbear.com/
Tzufit - http://treehealsgowoosh.wordpress.com/
 
My 11 questions:
 
1. How long have you played WoW?
2. Are there any other games you like to play?
3. What was your first character and why did you pick it?
4. If you could have one spell from any other class on your main, what would it be and why?
5. Where do you like to AFK?
6. What's the worst "oops" moment you have had in a raid?
7. What is your favourite raid boss?
8. Do you have any pets? If so, what do you have?
9. Did you enjoy the legendary cloak questline?
10. Who is your favourite character in WoW and why?
11. Do you like Bacon as much as Vaylen?

I think that's it! Thanks again for all the support on my blog, and here's to another 5k views!!
 


 



Thursday, 3 April 2014

Step into the Arena

Hey guys!!

So, I know I haven't posted as frequently as normal these last few weeks, I've recently embarked on a journalism course and have been settling into a routine with that where I can balance that writing with my blog writing. I am just about all set up now though so hopefully I will be able to manage my time well enough to post more!

For this weeks blog I am going to be talking PvP, this will include, Battlegrounds, Arena, a short guide on gearing up and how I have found building. I have been doing PvP as a mistweaver and REALLY enjoying it, it's sent me a fresh new challenge and I've really learned more about my monk and her utilities. So, as always, grab a brew, and I shall attempt to impart my PvP learning so far.....


Where Do I Begin? 

The best way I found to get into PvP if you have never dabbled in it before is random battlegrounds. please note, these are A LOT more enjoyable if you have a group of friends with you, even though you can have a max of 5 people per group, it's far less stressful if you're with friends. There are a good few BG's that you can join, whereby you will either be fighting for map control, flag captures, or on some occasions, storming the enemy base and killing NPC's. In these BG's you will mainly be earning Honor points for your faction, you can earn as many of these as you like in any given week but you may only carry 4000 at once. You can also pick up Conquest points but only 150 for your first win of the day and 75 therafter, these are easier to pick up in arenas with a reward of 180 per win. The Honor points will be used as currency for the last seasons gear, so at the moment, that is the Grievous Gladiators set. This item set is 522 ilvl, and a pretty nifty transmog if I do say so, with some very pretty shoulders that have a blue serpent animation.The Conquest points are currency for the Prideful gear which is 550 ilvl, you can only earn 1800 per week unless you do rated BG's in which case the cap is 2200. There is no maximum amount of conquest points you can carry, unlike the Honor.

Gearing up.

The Mistweaver gear will often offer you a choice of two pairs of stats, either spirit and haste, or crit and mastery, they will offer other options for neck pieces and trinkets. 
Important note: as of the latest season beginning, you can currently obtain the latest Prideful gear from the Celestials, you can get the neck, boots, belt, back, wrist, legs, rings and gloves. It's entirely up to you whether you want to wait out weeks of farming all this or you can go the safer route and purchase the 522 gear with the honor from your BG's. The reason I say safer route is that if you were to start collecting gear now, you must bear in mind that most people already have full sets and you will suffer quite badly in BG's with no gear. 

The best order that I have found to collect gear in is as follows:

Trinkets: The Medallion of Cruelty (Extra Crit) Medallion of Tenacity (Extra Stamina) or Medallion of Meditation (Extra Spirit) first as it will remove any CC abilities once every two minutes, which is invaluable when you're a monk and already have nimble brew to get you out of trouble.Pick up your second trinket after this, again you will have a choice, you can either have a passive which will grant you int procs, or a useable one which will either grant int or stamina whenever you need it. The two trinkets together will grant you 5280 resilience.

Set pieces: Pick these up in whichever order you can afford. The set bonuses for mistweavers are; 2pc gives you 500 PvP power and when your renewing mist is dispelled you gain a stack of mana tea and 4/5pc grants you 1000 PvP power and when you use your thunder focus tea, you become immune to all silence and interrupt effects for 5 seconds.

Weapon: You can purchase your weapon(s) when you have earned 7250 honor points for the season, so keep an eye on how much you have earned and make sure you get your weapon as soon as possible, you may find that you get it after 2 set pieces.

Non set pieces: Boots, belt cloak and rings.

As I mentioned earlier you can obtain Honor from BG's. If this is not your cup of tea you can also convert justice points into honor (250H for 500JP). The other thing you can do if farm your relevant factions 3 PvP mobs for 250 Hp each, once a day. For Horde, these are in Krasarang Wilds at Lions Landing, and for Alliance they are in Krasarang again at Domination point.

So, what stats do I need? 

     I have tested a number of different builds, first off I went with my usual PvE build of all the crits and ints, with hardly any spirit. Needless to say in PvP, as soon as someone sees you chugging Mana Tea, you're going to get interrupted, especially in arenas. With the luxury of my tea being on hand whenever I needed it removed, I went for a higher spirit build so that I would not oom so quick. For battle grounds I run Spirit>Haste (to 3145)>crit>mastery. 
    However, upon stepping into arenas I discovered something totally bonkers....Mastery becomes useful. Actually useful is a lie, that stuff is the absolute tits, its FREE healing, that your team can run through at their leisure. Funnily enough when people actually WANT to stay alive, they WILL run through them, unlike in PvE where you can finish a fight with 100 little bubbles left, which I swear dps run around. 
    For my arena build I still like high spirit as mana tea becomes very hard to drink, particularly if you're doing 3's. I then run Haste (still to 3145) Mastery>crit. This seems to serve me enough spririt for minimal Mana Tea consumption, and enough damage to help my team out. 

Arena - being more than just the helpful healer. 

    As a Mistweaver you can bring some really nice utilities to a team. While you don't have any fears like priests and no major stuns unless you talent it, you have one thing a lot of healers don't. Damage. Particularly in 2's, you can help out massively by helping your partner with dps.

Talent choices: 
I go for; 
Tier 1 - Tigers lust, this is really nice for yourself or your team mates, particularly against frost mages.
Tier 2 - Chi wave is pretty much my default choice, a cheap, spammable multi person heal and damaging spell.
Tier 3 - This one I tend to switch between Ascension and Chi Brew depending on what I am against, if it's high damage (warriors) I like Ascension for the extra mana regen.
Tier 4 - Ring of peace is again my default choice, the leg sweep is nice if you're against a full melee team and you get targeted, but the RoP is more valuable as you can put it on your team mates to save them from damage and also silence healers if they are targeting them, as I play with a warrior partner I find this talent to be the best choice for us, although it may not be so useful if you play with a ranged partner. The charging ox wave is nice if you are against a full ranged comp but it does need aiming and sometimes in the heat of the moment it can miss and you've essentially wasted a CD.
Tier 5 - again this is situational, if I'm up against high physical DPS its dampen harm, however, against magic damage dealers like Warlocks and Mages, Diffuse magic is alot more beneficial. I have not actually tried healing elixirs but my personal preference is to have a controllable CD.
Tier 6 - I switch these two between RJW and Xuen, I tend to lean towards Xuen for ranged opponents and RJW for melee.

Glyphs:
Life cocoon, being able to cast this while stunned can mean make or break if you're CC'd and your teamate is in trouble.
Surging mist, the less you have to target heal, the better.
Fortuitous spheres, really useful if you fall below 25% hp yourself, they can heal for enough to keep you alive without having to use a GCD.
All these glyphs are major, as the minor ones are not really helpful in any way.


Macros which have found useful. 

These are the current set of macros that I use:

/cast [target=party1] Detox - Targets your part member in the first frame slot and detoxes them. 
/cast [target=party2] Detox - as above. Note: As I now use decursive I don't find myself using these all that often anymore.

#showtooltip
/cast [target=party1] Tiger's Lust - Frees your first party member from snares and roots.

#showtooltip
/cast [target=party2] Tiger's Lust - As above but for your other party member.


/cast [target=party1] Ring of Peace - Puts RoP on your first part member
/cast [target=party2] Ring of Peace - You see where this is going....

/focus - This is the shortest way to set focus on whatever enemy you like.

#showtooltip
/cast [target=focus] Paralysis - Casts paralysis on your focus target, bear in mind you need to be close enough to do this.


I shall endeavor to make some videos of arenas at some point, I'm trying to enjoy my spells like my healing spheres as much as i can while I still have them ;)

If any EU players fancy coming to Arenas with me then shoot me an invite on my battlenet which can be found in my contact page. If anyone has found themselves no longer on my friendlist I do apologise, my account was hacked a few weeks ago and I seem to be missing a few folk!

Oh, and here's a pretty thing I won on a random Firelands run :D









Thursday, 20 March 2014

Stormwind. Nynaevê's Story, Chapter Three.


    Nynaevê flew for a good few hours on the Hippogryph, after flying over nothing but sea she was eventually surrounded by beautiful forestry, with the odd quaint little building dotted around. Eventually the Hippogryph dropped her off on a small island, with not much but a dock on it. She turned to the Hippogryph and smoothed the feathers on the back of its neck, a way of saying thanks that Stephanos had taught her. The creature caw'ed in glee before gracefully taking to the skies once more, to return to it's master. She surveyed the isle before her, There are Three docks here....which boat must I take? As if in answer to her question, a deck hand from the boat stationed at the middle dock yelled "All aboard for Stormwind!!" Well that was a spot of luck! She hoisted her staff and small bag over her shoulder and trotted down to the dock. 
"One trip to Stormwind please!" She gushed excitedly at the deck hand.
"Hop on board Madam, don't mind the sailors, try not to fall off the side!" He gave a short bow and ushered her onto the ship. What a strange thing to say, why would I fall off the side? She saw immediately why when they set off, the ship was old and it lurched away from the dock, almost sending her onto her backside had she not been leaning on a crate at the time! 
   The trip was long enough that she could sleep. When she awoke the air smelled different and the pink hue in the sky had been replaced by a clear delphinium blue one. Nynaevê hadn't seen sky like this since Pandaria! 
"Laaand HO!" A yell from the deck hand in the crows nest made her jump.
"Alright boys, bring her in nice and easy now!" Yelled the captain.
THUNK!! The ship clipped the dock and almost sent her over again. The captain was obviously not the best sailor in the world! Still, i'm here in one piece! She thanked the crew and stepped onto the dock, looking up for the first time at her surroundings she was gobsmacked.


 What a sight! She hadn't really known what to expect but this surely surpassed any ideas she had come up with. Not knowing where to go or what to do, while at the same time wanting to go everywhere and do everything she made her way up the steps into the city. Everywhere she looked was busy, people seemed to be bustling about their daily businesses, and everyone seemed to know where they were going.  I will NEVER know my way round this place she thought, suddenly missing the serenity and hominess she had found on of Azuremyst. A distant memory of Lorewalker Cho came to her.

    The wise old panda was serving his special tea. For a time they sat in silence.
"It's funny" She exclaimed, the old Panda looked at her with inquisitive eyes, 
"Silence is funny?" He asked. "No, the way you can enjoy someones company, even when you're not talking". She smiled at her friend, and the Pandarens eyes lit up. 
"Ah, young one, you are understanding the beauty that silence can sometimes bring to life!"
"I love that about Pandaria" she sighed happily, "always there is so much peace."
Chos face went a little sombre, "This is true, but do not expect to find this peace everywhere you go, young Nynaevê. Some places are far from peaceful....but if you have inner peace, you will find happiness, even in the loudest of places."
      
    "HEY....MOVE!!!!" she was startled from her daydream by a new voice, she span round to face a very short and stout little man pushing a cart full of things that she had never seen before, she had to jump out of his way, lest she be hit by his cart. Snapping back to reality she supposed there was someone she could ask for directions, her tummy was grumbling and the sea air had made her very thirsty. She noticed what she thought must be a guard standing by an arch way, he was dressed in some very shiny silver armor. 
"Excuse me"she asked tentatively,
"Ma'am" he bowed his head courteously, "Can I help you with something?" 
She wasn't used to this politeness or formality! "Well, I'm new here, I'm lost, and I need food and drink, if you could show me where to go?"
The guard politely gave her directions to an inn where she would also be able to stay if needed, she thanked him and made her way deeper into the city, wishing she had written the directions down. 
 
 Eventually she found herself stood in front of The Gilded Rose inn. The innkeeper was a human, who introduced herself as Allison.
"I have a room spare, but no cook to make you dinner, though you might want to try the Blue Recluse for that" Allison showed her to a neat little room, where she put her bag before setting off to find the Blue Recluse. Trudging through the city, she saw the funny little man again with his cart, and was quicker at getting out of the way this time! She saw many shops, most of which had shopkeepers stood in the doorway, either talking to passers by or yelling to the shopkeeper next to them. One thing she noticed about Stormwind was despite its hustle and bustle, it really was beautiful city. The buildings were all old and finely decorated. There were lawns with perfectly kept grass dotted about, and many statues and fancy decorations. She finally arrived at the Blue Recluse. She almost missed it was hidden behind some trees in a small square type place, with a large central tower. 


      Stepping into the in she was greeted by a man.
"Afternoon!" he said brightly, "looking for something to eat?"
"Yes, and something to drink if you have it" she repllied hopefully.
"Well, you've come to the right place! I'm Steve Lohan, and this here is Angus" he motioned to a man who had just come out of a room at the back of the building. "Angus here is the finest chef in ALL of Stormwind, isn't that right Angus!" Angus said nothing, but smiled lazily and brandished a large knife looking object before going back into the room from which he had emerged. 
"Yes, we have food and drink here young...sorry, I didn't ask your name?"
"Nynaevê" she replied, slightly bowing her head.
"Wonderful!! Well Nynaeve.." He waved wildly at a man stood behind the bar, almost knocking the glass he was cleaning out of his hand, "Joachim, is my bar tender, he will fix you up with a drink right away!" Clearly Steve had a zest for life, I have never met someone THIS enthusiastic, but I think I like it!  poor Joachim managed to fumble with his glass, then he smiled and nodded to Nynaevê.
  Soon she was sat down with a drink and a hot dinner. Steve was very chirpy and asked her about a thousand and one questions. He was also very helpful, he provided her with a map of the city, and told her where she could try to purchase a mount, and hilighted a few other places of interest on her map. After finishing her meal, she chatted with Steve a little longer then started to make her way back to the inn. Night was falling on the city and everywhere, little torches were being lit on walls and buildings. By the time she reached the inn it was almost completely dark, and she was glad to fall into a nice soft bed.



~*~

 


Friday, 14 March 2014

Heroic progress is not as easy as it looks when you have two jobs.

     Hey guys, I've been on a fairly personal journey this last few weeks, and I'd like to take you with me.So, grab a brew (or water in my case) and put your feet up for five minutes, and indulge me while I try to compose something tangible to read.

   Ok, so, you know that back story by now, in case you don't, I was originally a brewmaster on my monk, did a horrendous job, found the site Sunnier's Art of War (Happy 3 year Blogoversary Sunnier!!) and learned how to do it properly. Since then I have gone from strength to strength, tanking all of Siege of Orgrimmar 10m normal with minimal difficulties, simming my own gear and completing the gold tank challenge in proving grounds. A few months ago, my Husband (Who plays a resto druid in our guild's main progress group) was away for work, and the group replaced him with our own resto druid from the guilds second raid team. I was asked to fill in as a healer. At the time we were progressing on Garrosh and working on getting from Thok onwards on farm. With the help of various different people from the monk community, I managed to get myself a UI set up, a build I could follow and some really good tips on how to fistweave and mistweave. From there I managed to act as a second healer with our shaman to our group and successfully healed bosses 1-13 on normal, on my monk. I switched to my priest for Garrosh progress as it is easier for me to play and raid lead on, I was still learning monk healing at this point and it was too much for me to focus on and often I would find myself making bad calls which in turn affects the team. 


    More recently: our full group is back together, we currently run 2 x warrior DPS,  a warlock, hunter and a mage, tanks are a paladin and a warrior/paladin who replaced me when I healed, he also uses his warrior for DPS (yes I know, 3 warriors looks crazy but believe me, when adds appear and those blade storms go off....you get the picture.) Our current healers are a druid and a shaman, both fully normal geared with a few heroic pieces thrown in from where they have helped the main group on occasions. Then there's me....the tank/healer. As soon as we started heroic progress we realized that some of the fights would require a third healer, which we don't technically have, so once again, I was asked to heal. Me, healing heroic progress. My initial reaction was; (and excuse my french but) "Are you f*cking insane?" Don't get me wrong, I REALLY enjoyed my month or so healing but I was SO ready to go back to doing what I love the most!! But, on thinking about it, it was either we spent all night with oom healers and many many many many wipes, or I suck it up and give it a go and we just have half oom healers and only many many wipes. How hard can it be?

  Turns out, HARD. Healing heroics is the most challenging thing I have ever done. As a tank you can stick me in front of any boss with no tank swap required and I'll solo that thing, I find that sort of thing easy and fun. Stand me in front of Immersius heroic with my healing gear on and all of a sudden I've lost my voice and I need to change my trousers before we've even pulled it. My main concern was my output, my HPS is nowhere near as high as the other two healers, this is due to a combination of gear and skill (mostly skill). So I was massively worried I would look like more of a "3rd wheel" type of healer, and that I wouldn't really contribute much to the fight. Still, I tried my best and followed all the mechanics and healed my arse off and Immersius went down on the first night of Heroic progress for us. I of course finished up a gracious third on the healing charts, about 80k hps, with our shaman on 90 and our druid way up there on 135. Now, I am an advocate of numbers meaning little to nothing but I could NOT help feeling envious and wishing that I could pull numbers like that, Still, even with my modest healing, my over-healing was kept to a minimum, my buff uptimes were reasonable and the raid survived. So I was happy.

   For anyone interested, for this fight, I took tigers lust, chi wave, Leg sweep, diffuse magic and RJW. My glyphs are the surging mist, renewing mist and detox. I spent most of the fight maintaining my renewing mists and using some fistweaving on the little adds that spawn while the boss is active. I found the RJW to be very useful for clearing them up and healing the melee at the same time. 

  For me, Immersius on heroic was pretty intense, but then moving to the fallen protectors brought a whole new meaning to the word "DAYUM", because let me tell you, as a healer, that fight is INSANE. There is SO much damage coming out from literally everywhere you need to have 2 pairs of eyes and 2 pairs of hands to cope with it all. The mechanics for the fight have changed a fair bit and getting the group to adapt to the fight was initially quite hard, as most of these fights are muscle memory, so having to unlearn and relearn is not easy. Especially when you are unlearning taking and learning healing! Fortunately as I have tanked that boss I am well aware of the abilities of both Rook and He, and I knew what to expect damage wise from both of them. For the first 20 or so pulls I was mistweaving, this was because I preferred the vision it gave me of what was going on. however after a while, the tactics clicked into place and we started hitting an enrage timer. Not enough damage. So, I wondered if I could possibly make a difference by changing my healing style. To be honest I didn't think I would have that much of an impact on the DPS charts but hey, why not give it a go? After 2 attempts with me fistweaving instead the boss went down with 12 seconds to spare on the enrage. My 70k dps had been enough to secure the kill. Not only that, but afterward when I was looking at logs, I was actually pulling 120k HPS to go with that, again with minimal over-healing. 
  
   I'm finally gaining in confidence in my abilities, I've managed to bag a heroic OH and trinket for my healer spec so far, I now have my normal 4 set apart from a flexible chest, but I can live with that. I am really enjoying having two jobs in our raids, for Norushen and Sha we are using two healers so I have once again returned to tanking. Norushen went down after about 6 pulls and we are working on Sha this week, which is going well enough, we are starting to see the end of the fight now, a little more fine tuning and hopefully it will go down on Sunday. 

   One thing I have discovered is that over the past two months I have come to think of myself as a healer, rather than "a tank that heals a bit". I'm really proud of how far I have come in such a short space of time, and I am looking forward to more challenges, whether they be healing or tanking ones!! (Never thought I'd say that!) If you want to see me healing Immersius you can check out my You Tube channel , Since this was made I have minimized my screen info quite a lot, I realized while watching these back it was FAR too full of things, some of which were not really necessary, so hopefully for the next healing video I make, the screen wont seem as cluttered!

   So, thanks for reading, hopefully my ramblings have made some sense! I will try to get the next chapter of my monk story out this weekend, having had a fairly busy week I did not get enough time to dedicate to writing it properly, and I don't want to put a half-arsed version out!

Dark <3

Monday, 10 March 2014

On the E-Sofa with Dark - Special Guest Interview - Philippa Blenkey (Pip's Portraits)

Morning guys!!

As promised I am joined on my E-Sofa this week by none other than Philippa Blenkey, who runs the Etsy shop - Pip's Portraits.

I will be interviewing Philippa and finding out as much as I can about her and her fabulous drawings!

If you have not yet visited this fabulous shop, let me demonstrate to you exactly why you should just go there...like NOW (read the rest first of course!!)
A guildmate of mine showed me the one that he had done of his warrior, I LOVE this style of artwork so it appealed to me immediately, so I got in contact with Philippa about having one...ok two...of my own drawings done. The result was epic, I sent these two pictures of my Hunter Lazeebow,  and my Monk Dark:


The result....


I literally "Squee'd" when I opened the email!! She's captured both characters beautifully and they are SO cute!!
I have some more of her work to show you, including a project of her own design, but first lets meet her and find out a bit about her!!
*Pats E-Sofa* 

Dark: When/how did you get into drawing/art?
Philippa:  I never really 'got into' art, it's something I've always done! My parents didn't think much to the 'stick them in front of the TV' approach to parenting and so my brother and I were usually kept busy with more hands on playtimes- for me my hands were on the pencils! I was very much an introvert at school and preferred to sit on my own making comics and creating new characters in my own little world. Someone once told me to become any good at something you have to be doing it consistently for 6 years; I've definitely been drawing longer than that! Drawing is amazing as a hobby though; because you've got all your old pictures that you can look back on and the improvements you made are right there looking at you; it's a great feeling of accomplishment to know you've improved and learnt new skills!

Dark: How long does the average character take you to do?
Phillipa: For the chibi characters; they take around an hour and a half to two and half hours depending on how focused I am; I am terrible at timing myself, I'm usually doing a few things at once! For the larger pictures I can spend a few days getting each piece done! The picture with my hunter and druid on their mounts fighting is really recent and took about 8-10 hours start to finish over the course of 4 days. My process is sketching, then inking (sometimes I do these together and sometimes they're in different sittings), then scanned into the PC and coloured on photoshop or I use copic ciao markers if I'm colouring by hand. I've really taken a shine to these markers; they're my favourite thing to use at the moment! So bright and vivid and blend-able!

Dark: Do you do special commissions? Or would you consider them? (like a whole raid team for example...NOT that i'm thinking about this, honest :D) 
Philippa: I'm open to trying anything! To be honest when you first said a whole raid team I thought "Oh God; 40 characters in one picture?!" Then I remembered that it's only ten now! I'm still in vanilla mode.. I always consider anything I would think of as a challenge or a big piece of work to be something I can have under my belt, so when it's finished I can think "yeah it was hard but we did it!" and also cheeky pieces like that look great in a portfolio; when I draw for myself it's not often a big full piece, it's usually busts with no background!

Dark: How long have you been playing wow?
Philippa: I've been playing WoW since 1st March 2006! I raided a resto druid in vanilla and then in TBC I raided much more seriously, I never had any alts until Pandaria and now I have five!

Dark: What is your main character and what drew you to this toon?
Philippa: My main switches between my tauren survival hunter and my worgen (used to be tauren) resto/moonkin druid. I started leveling alts when after years of playing druid I started to feel she was under-powered and not so fun to play, this is when I found my love for hunter!! Although recently I've been playing my druid as resto again in arena as I really want the pvp mounts! I started playing druid as I liked the whole idea of 'one with nature' I've always played support type classes and nature based heroes in other games and tauren druid was just so cuuute!! I switched her over to worgen at the beginning of Cata to play with some friends but I missed having a tauren (I am seriously a lady tauren fan), I originally wanted a hunter to get all the spirit beast pets as I'm a super avid pet and mount collector but the more I played hunter the more I enjoyed the laid back maneuverability of her; such a change of pace from druid!

Dark: A birdie tells me you are a transmog fan, are you looking forward to the potentially pretty weapons and armor when WoD comes out?
Philippa: Yessss! I love transmog; but mostly I love the old sets! I tend to prefer sets up to T6 (the last set of TBC) so none of the newer sets have really wowed me; I hope that with all the new character models and changes made aesthetically we will get some great new tiers that aren't brown. I'd love some bright coloured, shiny, flashy goodness! :) It would also be great if we could have some way the transmogs don't take up any more bag space because seriously I have full bags, full bank and full void storage! I can't take it! How's a druid to herb?!

Dark: Whats the easiest way for people to get in touch with you if they want a character done for themselves?
Philippa:   I check my email address PhilippaBlenkey@gmail.com almost daily and if you just want to have a look at some pictures my DeviantART page is FeedApollyon.DeviantART.com and if you just want to chat on WoW my characters are Antileah on Turalyon (A), Applecore on Darkspear (H) & Keylah, Starscream, Elarah & Moonscream on Quel'Thalas (H). Or Just Antileah#2100 haha!    




A lot of time, care and dedication goes into this work, and I think it is worth showcasing, you can find Philippa's shop on this link----> Pip's Portraits 
So that's it for my interview!! Next month I shall be praying upon someone else to join me on my E-Sofa so beware!!