Archive for August, 2008

Alas Poor Powershifting, I Knew Thee Well

So, didja hear the news? Apparently all the clever little kitties out there have been exploiting the system by Powershifting. Apparently, instead of saying “Hey, what a neat unintentional consequence of furor our players discovered! How can we use this to make the game more interesting yet still keep things from being Overpowered?” Nope, it’s getting a general nerf-bat. That’s right kids, thanks to Kal for giving me a heads-up, but Powershifting, as we know it, will be no more.

I could continue to QQ about the vanilla-izing nerf-bat and mention other games where unintended consequences were discovered and embraced, but that’d spawn a rant, and not something I’m trying to accomplish here.

What I want to talk about is an ability that’s near and dear to every druid’s heart, the reason we all chose to roll druids and my very favorite thing in the whole wide world about playing a druid. That’s right, our adaptability! Nerf balance? I’ll go feral! Nerf that I’ll still rip faces (somehow)! I don’t care what you do to me, I’ll adapt!

Here’s the posts, both blue and non, about the energy changes coming in WotLK, and their affect on the ever-resourceful druid community.

Jimmythenumbers says:

The Cat Form energy regeneration mechanics you are seeing in the current beta build are a bug resulting from “powershifting” being partially fixed. We changed energy regeneration on Cat Form so that it occurs continuously no matter what form the Druid is in. However, the second half of the change did not make it in before the data pull for the build. When Furor triggers on shifting to Cat Form, your energy will be set to the minimum of its current value and 40. So, if you are over 40, it goes to 40. If you are less than 40, you gain no energy, but keep the amount you gained through normal regeneration. If Furor does not trigger or you do not have the talent, energy is set to 0.

“Powershifting” was never an intended mechanic. However, it has become so prevalent among Feral Druids that if we did not eliminate it, we would have to balance around it. So, this change effectively eliminates the possibility to gain extra energy regeneration through the Furor talent. For the intended use: shift out, heal self a bit or Innervate or Tranquility or Rebirth, go back to Cat Form, it will work as well as it ever has.

Followed by:

Astrylian!, who says


Q u o t e:

This part is true.

Furor IS still giving you energy….you can shift out and cast spells and assuming your energy would have ticked back anyway, you will shift back to cat with 40. The only difference is that now powershifting is pointless.

It’s quirky things like powershifting that have made the devs hesitant to buff our dps. It’s always felt more like an exploit than a cool ability, imo, and I’m fine with them taking it out so long as they man up to their promises to make cat dps competitive.


I just confirmed that nothing has changed since 8820 on beta currently. I’m asking Jimmythenumbers about which of his contradictory lines is correct, not your guess at it. As is,


Q u o t e:
When Furor triggers on shifting to Cat Form, your energy will be set to the maximum of its current value and 40.


…directly contradicts…


Q u o t e:
So, if you are over 40, it goes to 40. If you are less than 40, you gain no energy, but keep the amount you gained through normal regeneration. If Furor does not trigger or you do not have the talent, energy is set to 0.


If the first line is true, it’s a minuscule buff from on live (only difference besides the tick timing is you wouldn’t lose energy if you powershift when energy>40), and still allows powershifting, which contradicts the whole point of his post.
If the second line is true, it’s a significant nerf, actually reducing the energy gain when powershifting (to 0, in most PvE), and goes in line with the point of his post.

Originally, I was hoping they’d remove powershifting in WotLK, because I didn’t want to have to code it in Rawr cause it’s nasty complex. But after playing with the powershifting mechanic in beta, I found it so fun, I would hate to play without it, and found it would be easier than I thought to code.

Which is then ‘clarified’ as:

Jimmythenumbers says:

You are right, I typed faster than I was thinking. Your energy will be set to the MINIMUM of your current amount of energy and 40, or, from another point of view, it will be maxxed at 40. Sorry. I’ll correct my post.

Here’s an example:

At time 0 I have 0 energy and I shift out of Cat Form, but I’m on global cooldown for 1 sec. from the last Cat Form ability I used. I cast Rebirth on a fallen party member, that takes 2 sec. During that 3 sec, I gained an additional 30 energy. I shift back to Cat Form with the Furor talent and have 30 energy. WIthout the talent, I have 0.

Another:

At time 0 I have 0 energy from killing a mob with a critical Ferocious Bite. I shift out of Cat Form. Once the global has passed from the FB (1 sec). I regrowth myself (2 sec). and Lifebloom myself (1.5 sec.) I go back to Cat Form. 4.5 seconds passed, so I am entitled to 45 energy, but Furor cuts me off at 40 energy when it fires.

Another:
I’m in Bear Form as an off-tank. My mob dies, and I shift to Cat Form to help kill the next target. I’ve been in Bear Form for longer than 10 seconds, so my energy bar is full, but Furor cuts me off at 40 energy.

Yes, there are some cases like the first one, where if I have no latency, never pause for any decision-making, and only cast one spell out of Cat Form, I get less than 40 energy. However, in most cases I will always be at at least 40, and so Furor will give me the intended amount of energy without creating the degenerate “powershifting” case.

Ok, so I don’t know about you, but the first time I read through this it was about as clear as mud. After knuckling my brow and picking out pieces that made sense (‘current amount of energy and 40’ could be taken to mean any number of things) I’ve come to my own conclusions.

Powershifting, in the past, has been a way for druids to convert mana into energy through the Furor talent, thus allowing us to attempt to be viable dps in end-game. (we really are kind of borked on the dps side of things, even at my best in my full dps kit it’s a struggle for me to maintain 600dps)

This conversion of mana into ‘free’ energy was not intended and it’s being ‘fixed’ in the following manner (as I understand it):

Energy will continue to tick while in caster form. If you’re running along, have been in caster form and have a full energy bar then shift into cat your energy bar is wiped.

Taking the skill furor (5 ranks) will allow you to keep up to 40 of those energy points.

If you’re dpsing and you have 0 energy and execute a powershift (/cast !Cat Form) you will find yourself back in cat form with 0 energy.

So, in essence, there is no point to shifting out and back in to cat form without doing something else in between (like casting some heals or a rebirth). In essence, it’s a soft cooldown on furor. Furor is designed as a skill to soften the blow when a druid finds it necessary to shift forms and perform some other task as opposed to an energy-gaining buff skill. (I believe there’s been some druid changes that give us one of those now, more on that in another post)

You might be thinking that you can now ditch that /cast !Cat Form button, but I wouldn’t reccomend it. Personally, I’m pretty bad at powershifting, but I do find that button extremely handy for getting out of snares. I used to simply click my cat form button twice but between server lag and my own unremarkable reaction time I’ve found myself stuck, stunned, or dead in caster form more often than not.

You would use this macro in a number of situations

  1. Getting away from the Shade of Aran when he gets ready to cast his huge AoE explosion. (Powershifting removes the movement debuff)
  2. Getting away from Rage Winterchill when he freezes everyone in place just before he ice blocks someone. (I like to run in the direction of the healers)
  3. Running after that pesky little mage in BG who thinks they can frost nova you to the ground, or that foolish druid that thinks rooting you would actually accomplish anything. (Seriously now, why would you ever try to root another druid? Waste of time and mana when a feral can just be sleeped)

I’m sure there’s more applicable circumstances to use Powershifting, even after 3.0, but I’m sure you get the idea now.

For those of you that have never done much Powershifting life will continue as normal. For those of us who do well, we’ll just have to put Tiger’s Fury back on our cast bar now won’t we?

Shared Topic: Character’s Theme Song

Didn’t I already blog about this? Sometime, not too long ago?

WHELL! *huff* /cue fakey exasperated belligerance (which is a much better word than pugnacious).

He-ey! Well, I guess I’m just early/late on the ball? Perhaps I really should start paying attention to that paragon of a blogging quest hub, Blog Azeroth. Then I’d have been prepared! *snrk*

Ha! This blog was BUILT around my theme song baby! And with this kind of attitude, odds are I won’t live to see tomorrow! What, you say the Night Elf Hunter convention heard that last /yell? You say they’re wondering what’s a stream of Tauraje doing comming from Cutthroat Alley? Oh… oh geez… um… I’ll catch y’all later.

/stealth

Theme Song

There’s a cat who leads a life of danger
To every gnome she meets she stays a stranger
With every move she makes another chance she takes
Odds are she won’t live to see tomorrow

Secret agent cat, secret agent cat
She stealths along the sidelines, causing mayhem where she can

Beware of pretty faces that you find
A pretty face can hide an evil mind
Ah, be careful what you say
Or you’ll give yourself away
Odds are you won’t live to see tomorrow

Secret agent cat, secret agent cat
They’ve given her a mangle, and taken away her mane

—— lead guitar ——

Secret agent cat, secret agent cat
They’ve given her a raid slot but make her use a litter box

Swingin’ in Zul’Aman one day
And then layin’ in a BT alley next day
Oh no, you let the wrong word slip
While kissing persuasive lips
The odds are you won’t live to see tomorrow

Secret agent cat, secret agent cat
They’ve given her a raid slot but make her use a litter box

Secret agent cat

Theorycrafting Part 1 : Ferals and the Restoration Tree

Alright folks listen up! Wrath of the Lich King is just around the corner, and it was announced by Bilzzard that they will be releasing patch 3.0 in the ‘coming weeks’. I’ve finally decided that it’s probably about time I took a long hard look at the new talents offered and try to build accordingly. Links will be added to this mini ‘table of contents’ as the posts are made.

Part 1 : Ferals and the Restoration Tree

Part 2 : Feral Skills Tier 1-3

Part 3 : Feral Skills Tier 4-6

Part 4 : Feral Skills Tier 7-11

Part 5 : Skill Options Breakdown

Wrath Kitty DPS Leveling Build 1.0

Wrath Kitty DPS Leveling Build 1.1

Wrath Kitty DPS Leveling Build 1.2

I’m going to go ahead and break down every skill in each tier and talk a little about why I’m either choosing or not choosing to take it. Keep in mind that I’m attempting to build this as my DPS spec. Blizzard has stated that they want ferals to have to choose to either dps or tank through their spec, and this is something I’ve seen to be true in trying to build a spec from scratch.

First I’ll start with the restoration tree: (I’ll only comment here on the skills I did choose to take)

Furor: Rank 5/5

Gives you 100% chance to gain 10 Rage when you shapeshift into Bear and Dire Bear Form or 40 Energy when you shapeshift into Cat Form.

This skill, all 5 ranks of it is not only necessary to gain access to the goodies farther down in the resto tree, but it is absolutely essential to being able to Powershift. Powershifting is the act of shifting out of then back into cat or bear form when energy/rage is at 0 in order to gain the ‘free’ 40 energy/10 rage that furor gives you. I don’t reccomend doing this as a bear, leave the druid stance dance to the kitties k?

Naturalist: Rank 5/5

Reduces the cast time of your Healing Touch spell by 0.5 sec and increases the damage you deal with physical attacks in all forms by 10%.

First glance at this you might thing ‘huh?’ but notice the last part. ‘Increases the damage you deal with physical attacks in all forms by 10%’. This scales as 2% – 4% – 6% – 8% – 10%. This is my first sticking point I’m not alltogether sure about. I don’t need all 5 points to be eligible for the next tier and if I sacrifice some points in this skill I can put them elsewhere. (I’ll go more in depth about my different options in another post.)

Natural Shapeshifter: Rank 3/3

Reduces the mana cost of all shapeshifting by 30%.

At first blush this is a skill I’m tempted to write off. It’s something that is very handy to have in PvP when you’re changing forms almost constantly, but during the regular course of PvE I don’t find myself running out of mana much, even with copious use of Powershifting. Investing 3 points in this talent, however, is necessary to unlock Master Shapeshifter. (More on that in a moment)

Omen of Clarity: Rank 1/1

Each of the Druid’s spells and autoattacks has a chance of causing the caster to enter a Clearcasting state.  The Clearcasting state reduces the Mana, Rage or Energy cost of your next damage, healing spell or offensive ability by 100%.

As of right now this skill is the whole point of a feral going this deep into the Restoration tree. Free attacks = good. However, with the next skill I intend to take I’m beginning to re-think OOCs necessity. Like I said before, I’ll hunker down and get to the nitty gritty in a following post. Suffice to say, this is one I’m wavering on. A note: As of BC this skill needs to be cast. It was said that in WotLK it will be passive. I don’t see anything about it being passive on the tooltip but I’m assuming it will say something about that when it shows up in our spellbooks.

Master Shapeshifter: Rank 2/2

Grants an effect which lasts while the Druid is within the respective shapeshift form.

Bear form – Increases physical damage by 4%.

Cat form – Increases critical strike chance by 4%

Moonkin form – Increases spell damage by 4%.

Tree of Life form – Increases healing by 4%.

This talent scales from 2% on all effects. I am very seriously pondering dropping Omen of Clarity to be able to afford two points into this talent instead of 1. The increased critical strike percentage for kitties is invaluable. There’s a fine line that cats have to tread between attack power and crit chance in order to maximise DPS. (I’m very sorry, but I saw a nice graph on AP vs Crit Chance on Elitest Jerks once but I can’t for the life of me seem to find it.)

That’s it for the Restoration tree as far as ferals are concerned (both Kitties and Bears). Tomorrow I’ll post the first third of the feral tree. As I’ll be touching on every skill there weather or not I choose to invest points on it I’ll be splitting the feral tree up into 3 separate posts. Post 2 will be to the 3rd tier, post 3 will be tiers 4 through 6, and post 4 will be tiers 7 through 11. That leaves post 5 for going in-depth about the skills I’m unsure about.

Questions, comments, suggestions? Feel free to post in the comments section or e-mail me (info on my about page) If you see I’ve stated something wrong or have some constructive criticism please supply pertinent links or the theorycraft behind what you have to say yourself. I’m a very novice theorycrafter and I don’t pretend to know everything.

Because I Love More Than WoW

Ok, stole this shamelessly from Mend Pet, ’cause I can, and ’cause she steals my words >_>

The Big Read is an NEA program designed to encourage community reading initiatives and of their top 100 books, they estimate the average adult has read only six. They encourage us to:

*Look at the list and bold those we have read.
*Italicize those we intend to read.
*Underline the books we LOVE

1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch – George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald

23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
34 Emma – Jane Austen
35 Persuasion – Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne
41 Animal Farm – George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving
45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding
50 Atonement – Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel
52 Dune – Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
72 Dracula – Bram Stoker

73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses – James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal – Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession – AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web – EB White

88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94 Watership Down – Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo (abriged)

30 – Though I always was an odd bird and once spent an entire day gleaning incredulous glances from my fellow students in Jr High for lugging around a giant hard-cover copy of the Pearls of Lutra.

As long as we’re talking about books, I reccomend anything from Mercedes Lackey and Anne McCaffrey as well. Isaac Asimov and Roger Zelazny, Piers Anthony, Robert Jordan, Dean Koontz… I could go on but I’d need to consult my library.

Two double posts in two days? I know, what am I thinking?

Blaze of Glory!

It’s new lingo time calves and kittens!

e-man | Verb

  1. To intentionally attack a boss while alone or with companions such that victory is impossible, thus dying in a blaze of glory. That rogue and I totally just e-manned Lady Vasj.
  2. To intentionally enter into an encounter either alone or with companions such that victory is impossible, thus dying in a blaze of glory. Hey! You and I should totally go e-man Mount Hyjal later.

………………………………………………………………………………

There, now don’t you all feel smarter? I sure know I do!

What prompted this daily dose of random-ness? WELL! Remember that little doodle I did yesterday where I claimed I needed to tank the Lurker Below to wash of the taint of idiocy? Well apparently my raid leader reads my blog, because that’s exactly what happened.

But wait, it gets better!

I did fine, even with a slight learning curve (I got stuck under the platform once after a spout). Then we went and cleared the trash on our way to Leo. The moment the last mob went down, it felt like, people started to lag. One group seemed to be completely incapacitated. Then, as we watched, people winked out of the raid group one by one.

I heard mayhem coming from our other computer room where Mr. Tigerfeet, attempting to wrestle his guild into a coherent group to run Karazhan (an activity akin to herding cats), was having the same problem. His entire guild was having issues as well.

Friends, readers, colleagues, we were in the midst of a server crash.

So, with the raid dropping around us like flies a few intrepid explorers decided it would be a good idea to go take a look at Lady Vasj, just so we could get an idea of how her room was laid out before we actually got around to making our first attempt at her.

Well, by the time I’d had a good look around a good 3/4 of the raid were out of the game. I wiggled my whiskers and looked over at a rogue-flavored applicant that had been running with us that night. In the same instant we both expressed in /s our desire to go test our mettle, mano-a-naga.

We laughed, and with a nod of the head ran in to e-man Vasj. I tried to tank, he tried to dps. He pulled aggro early and died. I lasted slightly longer then died too. Upon our death the server decided it wasn’t going to coddle us anymore and we were booted. Now, I wasn’t paying ANY attention to this rogue before now, but when a server crash is imminent and someone agrees to run up and kamikaze with a crazy tank and risk a repair bill well, that guy is ok in my book!

I Drawded

… and did not use the litter box. Plz2b not hitting me wif newspaperk?

I need a new job, but don’t we all? After letting my skin crawl while I listened to a coworker, divorced for a week, natter on and on about the logistics of using a lawn mower as a nuptial conveyance for her impending wedding I turned to my good old friend the <Unemployed> shoutbox.

No surcease was to be had there so I arbitrarily decided that 1) SSC needed to be run tonight and 2) I needed to tank the Lurker naked, so as to wash from me the taint of sheer idiocy. I wrestled with this for a good thirty seconds before I did a little doodle to get it out of my system. Behold.

Hooray for Wipes!

I logged in this morning after a delightfully confidence-boosting one-shot of Kara last night to see the following thread on the <Unemployed> Forums:

Something Everyone Needs to be Aware of About T6

T6 you say? Tier SIX?!? I mean, I know we just downed Karathress last week, and took an exploratory jaunt into Mount Hyjal… I know, intellectually that Hyjal = Tier 6 content but somehow the fact that I was in Mount Hyjal meant I was now working on T6 didn’t quite click. Until today.

A call has gone out to all guildies high and low to start farming mats. Specifically Primals Shadow and Life, or others that will transmute into Shadow and Life. We’ll also need Fel Hide and I, as a skinner, have decided that’s where I can start to help.

Did I mention how… astounded I am? I mean, we just downed Karathress (I got to be there for that whee) and now we’re charging headlong into Hyjal and soon after that it’ll be Black Temple! Is this what progression feels like? It’s fast, exhilirating, enough to make my head spin! I know, that when I signed on with this guild that I would be getting geared quickly. I was told that as a bear tank it was insanely easy to get me ready for T6 content. (T5 isn’t terribly useful to me) But the sheer reality of the situation didn’t quite penetrate. During my first few runs I was doing a whole lot of “OMG we just downed Curator and I wasn’t screamed at ONCE!” – “OMG I can’t believe I’m in Gruul’s and Mags there’s so many PEOPLE!” – “OMGHOLYCRAPBBQ I’M TANKING AL’AR!” and so on and so forth.

During this whole ‘freak out’ time I was steadily getting upgrades. I don’t think a single night went by where I didn’t get some piece that I needed. In the case of my T4 Shoulders and Breastplate, I got both of those tokens in the same night!

I’ve always tried to hold myself a bit aloof of the drops. I knew I was getting geared quickly and systematically by my guild so that I could be useful to them in the coming progression encounters. I know that once I’m caught up the gearing progress will slow and I’m perfectly OK with that.

There’s a trade-off you get when raiding, I’ve discovered.

You can get gear quickly by running with a guild that has all your needed instances on farm, who know the encounters inside and out. This way is very quick and does grant you needed gear, but you don’t have much opportunity to truly learn the fights. For example: I know certain members of High King Maulgar’s council need to be kited and never touched by melee EVER, but I don’t really know why. Well, I know that bad things will happen, but the consequence isn’t real to me because I haven’t been through the learning process. I was just given a job and trusted to do it. If all you’re after is gear then this is a wonderful way to get what you want. You’ll join a guild, gear up to wherever they are in content, then hop to another guild that has the places you want to go on farm. You’ll get outstanding epics, amazing character stats, and be a very lonely person.

The other side of raiding is the one I’m currently enjoying. I feel like I’m being ungrateful for the speed-gearing process I went through. My beautiful, almost-complete full set of Malorne armor is wonderful, and I love it, but to me it’s just a means to an end. I got my first taste of that end last Thursday.

Thursday was our third attempt on Karathress as a guild. It also took us three attempts before we worked out the kinks and killed him. As a bear with my zomgarmor and my zomghealth I was tanking the shaman. Even with all my mitigation abilities he was still hitting me easily around 3,000 per swing. The first two tries I went down in 6 to 8 swings. It was in this encounter that our healers learned the value of pre-casting. Once they started doing that I stayed alive! It was a beautiful feeling. “Omg, look at my health! OMG it’s a yo-yo! OMG I’M STAYING ALIVE”

After two wipes where my face met the floor within the first ten swings I was ELATED. That feeling of being a part of a group and overcoming an obstacle that had beaten you into the ground before was just amazing. Then, once he died we went into Mount Hyjal to get a first look at everything. We made it to the 8th wave, but when wave 8 hit we still had some of wave 7 up and it was a wipe. That was ok though, because we were just going to take a look.

THAT is why I like to raid. I appreciate being geared quickly, I enjoy being a part of the group on those first kills. More importantly, however, I enjoy being there on the first wipes. I am really enjoying being present as everyone learns the encounter. It makes that moment when 2% ticks down to 1% and then 1% to 0% and the boss hits the floor all the sweeter.