Friday, March 11, 2011

Please hold those in Japan in your thoughts.

As you all might already know, a 8.9 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Japan late Thursday night (PST). The death toll is (as of right now) 24, with many many more injured. Tidal wave warnings have been issued and the damage is enormous.
I would just like to ask you to keep them in your thoughts, or prayers if your beliefs call for that as well. Just remember these are our brothers whose lives have been devastated through no fault of their own.
There have also been heightened tsunami alerts around the pacific, so keep an eye out for those in hawai'i and australia and the philipines and the like. My heart goes out to all afflicted.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Tips for Fire Mages 2: Electric Boogaloo!

Okay! So last post we talked all about rotations for a fire mage roaming the World of Warcraft (or talked a little about them). Today it's all about what you need to get into those rotations with maximum efficiency.
First up, talent points. Now since this is a PvE spec, we won't be needing the primarily PvP talents that lay in the Fire tree, namely Molten Shields and Blazing Speed. The movement boost is nice, but we're already mobile enough with a castable-while-moving Scorch. That said, here's my spec:
Altradine [Nathrezim, US]
A few words about my spec. There's a bit of wiggle room with this tree, but there's also a few necessary talents. I've grabbed Cauterize, because it gives me a bit more utility in various situations in raids and dungeons, as well as soloing. The best way to use it is as soon as it pops, it'll take any blow that kills you and brings you back to 40% health, but for the next 6 seconds you'll tick for a total of 48% of your health. That's 8% you need to mitigate or heal. In a raid or dungeon situation, that's no problem - your healer will notice your health is dropping quickly, and should heal you through it. When soloing, however, it's best to throw your DoTs on targets, get Cauterized, and then pop Ice Block; this will negate all the damage you'll take. I know a lot of people skip over this, but for the time being it's incredibly useful. Often it leaves me the only DPS alive.
And obviously, we're going to grab Improved Hot Streak, after grabbing Hot Streak, of course. Then we're going to grab the various AoE talents that make our class so damn awesome. Impact is necessary for this, as it facilitates our DoT spreading, especially tossing around Living Bomb ;)
So that's my talent spec, and like I said, a bit of wiggle room, but it's necessary to get a few key talents. You can throw a few points into the speed boost talents, or you can toss more into Burning Soul, but I just put my last throwaway point in there for a bit of utility.
Then there's the other trees. We'll just throw a few points into Piercing Ice for some extra crit, and then some points in Netherwind Presence for a bit of extra haste. Nothing else in these trees really helps more, so feel free to dump the rest into Fire talents.
So that's our spec!
Let's discuss glyphs quickly...
Prime Glyphs:
Glyph of Fireball - 5% increased crit with fireball, our main nuke. Good for building more Pyroblast!s.
Glyph of Pyroblast - 5% increased chance to double damage with our best spell? Yes please.
Glyph of Molten Armor - blanket 2% crit to just boost our damage and our Hot Streak procs.

Major Glyphs:
Glyph of Dragon's Breath - nice CD on our best AoE, plus useful for soloing, as it keeps your enemies disoriented.
Glyph of Polymorph - removes all DoTs from our polymorph'd target. Great for CC'ing in dungeons (next post!), as well as PvP, as it keeps your target free from damage when sheeped.
The others are optional, and pick as you see fit, I have Evocation for some self-heals. You can pick Blast Wave or Mana Shields, but they aren't that important otherwise.
Trivial. I usually always have Glyph of Slow Fall so I don't have to use a reagent, and it lets me survive some falls (obviously). You can reduce your mana cost for some meta spells but that's all flavor!

I hope this was helpful to you, let me know if you have any questions or suggestions!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Tips for Fire Mages, volume 1.

(warning: lots of jargon and technical details ahead :)
Alright, so now we'll focus on the Mage side of things instead of the Paladin side.
Personally, I play Fire for raiding/dungeons/PvE, and Frost for PvP (like everyone else?). I've always loved Fire since Vanilla, but until recently it hasn't been viable for DPS. Arcane just took a solid lead during the Wrath era, so Fire just kind of got shoved to the wayside. Not so in Cataclysm. With patch 4.0.1 came immense changes to the core Fire mechanics, so much so that it became the de facto raiding spec come Cataclysm. We've become masters of on-the-move casting and DoT-throwing. With that in mind, here is a small batch of tips for those looking to make the switch from someone who considers themselves a pretty good Fire Mage.
First off. Always make sure you have your DoTs up. These include Living Bomb, Ignite (procs automatically as you cast), Living Bomb, Living Bomb, and of course, Living Bomb. Without these (this), your DPS is going to suffer immensely. Living Bomb is out bread and butter. Not only does it tick off a healthy chunk of damage every second, it explodes at the end of its duration and damages all enemies near the afflicted enemy. Not bad, if I had to say. This is key to the rest of our rotations.
Now about your spells. If you've spec'd right, you'll have Critical Mass maxed out, so we're going to toss a Scorch at first to throw the 5% crit chance debuff onto the mob. Then, we're going to Fireball til we run out of mana (or at least start to get low), throwing down an Impact-ed Fire Blast when we can.
The most important part is knowing when to use Combustion. If you're in a boss scenario, you always want to wait until you have the DoT from Pyroblast! (yes, with the exclamation point, this is the one that procs from Hot Streak, then throw down the Combustion. It not only does damage (negligible, but appreciated), but it totals all your DoTs, duplicates them and combines them, then ticks away for that amount of damage. It's a double-DoT that's capable of critting. It's probably the best thing to happen to fire mages since man discovered fire.

aaaand now we're out of the woods, because that's all for today. If you have any tips or things to add, let me know! Next post we'll talk about viable specs and glyphs. Until then!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Yes! Tanking!

So I finally hit 85 last night (took me forever but whatever! I'm there!), and now I can finally tank instances with my guild and whatnot. It's a great feeling, because now I can remove my leveling spec and focus on end-game stuff. I've been waiting for so long, it's nice to be able to fill in roles!
I'll probably start posting with strategies and updates on my raiding progress now, so expect more on Cataclysm endgame content!
In other news, thanks to all my followers! I'm so excited to have such a large following so quickly, and I'll be sure to say what's up to you all as well!

By the way, here's a link to my armory profiles...

Altradine (mage)
Valaed (paladin)
If you see me in-game hit me up!

Oh yeah, I forgot, I'm going to also be talking about a bit of music on this blog, just stuff I'm listening to while I play/blog/go through the day. I'll go more in depth next post but this week I've really been digging Radiohead's new album The King of Limbs. Go check that one out!

Almost 85!

So I'm about three bars from 85 on my paladin, and just as I'm about to turn in a bar's worth of quests I get DC'd. It's like Blizzard is conspiring against me...I really wanted to get to 85 tonight too haha. Oh well. I'll pick up my tanking spec tomorrow I suppose!

UPDATE: Unfortunately my asshole internet provider (Time Warner/Cox) decides to throttle traffic to Blizzard servers whenever they feel like it. No logical reason, they just do. I don't understand. This is not good business.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Holy Power generation, and healing.

Alright, well, apparently in 4.1 we're getting a few changes to our rotations as Ret. Word of Glory is now on a 20-second CD if you aren't holy. Kind of takes away from the Ret pally's survivability toolbox, but as it stands I don't think we really need that outside of an unfairly balanced PvP environment. We're damage dealers, not tanks, and with any luck we'll get some kind of buff or new talent to replace the now-nearly-worthless Selfless Healer. Now we'll have to think twice about it, which I'm not really sure is a bad thing. In other news, Divine Storm is getting [meta]-buffed, as it now grants one HP when it hits 4 or more targets. Which only makes sense, as DS and Crusader Strike share a CD, forcing you to choose between AoE and single-target attacks. This should be a nice boost to Ret DPS, especially in dungeons as players gear up and we're able to AoE a little more. My only question is why wasn't this already implemented, Blizz?
Now about healing.....I'm ooming all the time, even though I'm popping all my mana CDs, which keeps me on my toes, I suppose, but makes it hard for hard-headed tanks to realize that this isn't Wrath anymore. Unfortunately....both tanks and DPS don't realize that the healer now needs to drink, which expounds upon the problem of bone-headed DPS taking way too much damage, or forgetting to sheep, or AoE'ing CC'd targets,  or what have you. I've been there as a DPS, it's not that hard to realize something is going to hurt you! They make it pretty clear!
So in summation...please don't stand on top of something that's smoking and rustling like it's going to stab at you. Don't stand in the huge purple circles of death. PLEASE don't attack the feared/sheeped/repented/what have you'd target.
your neighborhood/guild healer

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Before I get into the meat of my nerddom...

I thought I'd just say that the new Odd Future is so swag.
just so crazy, so good!
controversial hip-hop outfit, what do yall think about em?

What's up everyone?

Just a little note, I started this blog to capture my musings as I traverse through the world as a Mage and a Paladin. 85 mage, 83 pally. Sometimes I mix up my bars, and then people get mad.