The Cranky Sysadmin A world of technology, fun, and ignorant rants.

January 29, 2008

Ep The Shaman reaches level 48

Filed under: World of Warcraft — Cranky Sysadmin @ 11:01 pm

I’m going straight down the enhancement tree to shamanistic rage at level 50. Shamanistic rage should improve my uptime as it reduces damage and adds mana on some melee strikes. After that, I’ll start putting points into restoration. The damage of enhancement is fun. The repair bills are higher then a hunter though. These days, I usually open by body pulling the monster, storm strike, keep lightning shield up, and storm strike again when it becomes available. I don’t usually use lightning or shocks except on casters, then the opener is: Get close enough to cast shock, cast lightning, wait for their cast, cast earth shock, and melee them down. I’m still using Jamie’s guide. I’m in the hinterlands with a few odds and ends to finish off. I’m about 2 levels ahead of where Jamie expects me to be.

January 23, 2008

Preparation for the Gnaked Gnome Race.

Filed under: World of Warcraft — Cranky Sysadmin @ 10:42 pm

BRK is organizing a Gnaked Gnome Race on the Drenden server. The goal is to take a level 1 gnome from the starting area to Menethil Harbor. The first one to the bridge wins um… Some unspecified thing. If you’re interested in participating, go hit BRK’s site.

I was curious how hard the run would be, so I created a gnome warrior on some random server and set out. If you go the obvious route, there are several danger points along the way:

  • The trogs in the first tunnel
  • Random mobs in Loch Modan
  • Orcs in the pass
  • Random mobs in the wetlands

I decided to try the less traveled path up behind Ironforge. This path is shorter and has different dangers:

  • The trogs in the first tunnel again
  • falling
  • getting lost
  • Sludginn
  • murlocks

I managed to make it without dying in a little less then 18 minutes including some time spent taking screenshots of the air strip. I may have to try the official run and see how well I do.

January 21, 2008

Ep hits level 41

Filed under: World of Warcraft — Cranky Sysadmin @ 8:41 am

I’m using Jamie’s Alliance Leveling Guide to level my shaman. It’s a great guide with a priority on speed, but you also get to see a lot of azeroth in your travels. The STV questing can get a little tedious, but there are options like dustwallow marsh at those levels since the patch. The new bonus to experience means I don’t have to do any real grinding sessions where they are indicated in the guide.

I do have my mount. Ep has herbalism/alchemy, so the money doesn’t roll in like having herbalism/skinning, but it’s not so bad. A lot of the herbs sell for a lot on AH, so when I’m done leveling my alchemy past a particular herb, I sell the excess on AH. Briarthorn and Goldthorn seem to be particularly profitable on my server. Having a bank character helps a lot when using the guide. I just mail everything to the banker and continue questing. The banker is right in a major city and does all AH and banking. It saves an amazing amount of time.

Ep picked up the dual wielding talent at level 40, and I bought two 1-hand maces. Ep’s damage went up a lot with that change. While dual weilding with 2.2 speed weapons, windfury procs at least once, and sometimes 3 times during any fight. I’ve read that it’s more efficient to have slower weapons so that windfury has less of a chance to proc in the invisible 3 second cooldown. That could be, but dual weild is still a huge improvement over a 2 hander. At 41, Ep got the stormstrike talent. I haven’t had a lot of time to play with stormstrike, but it looks like I may never pull with lightning again unless I need to pick a mob out of a group. Chain heal is another level 40 spell. I haven’t put it on my bar yet as I haven’t grouped yet with Ep. Also on the level 40 skill list is the ability to wear mail. I notice the higher damage mitigation while wearing mail. All in all, level 40 and 41 seem to be very important level-ups for an enhancement shaman.

January 14, 2008

Ep the Shammy hits level 32

Filed under: World of Warcraft — Cranky Sysadmin @ 10:19 am

The new leveling speed is great. I went from level 28 to 32 this weekend with limited play (servers at work having a hard time, so me to the rescue). The big skills that I’ve noticed are:

  • astral recall (I’ve ditched my hearth stone)
  • mana spring totem
  • windfury weapon and totem

I read at elitistjerks that windfury weapon is better then other imbues except in special cases. I’m not sure I like the proc nature of it. I was used to rockbiter’s constant addition to damage, but it is fun to see a monster’s health go from half to zero after a windfury proc.

I have done no instances on Ep. I should so I can get used to the class in groups, but I also want to make 70 as quickly as possible and I know that grinding and questing is the answer there. Maybe I’ll keep my eye out on the weekends for openings and level otherwise.

January 9, 2008

SOP Changes for the Shaman

Filed under: World of Warcraft — Cranky Sysadmin @ 9:28 am

I’ve switched my gear on Ep, the shaman. I no longer use a mace and shield. I’ve switched to a 2 hand mace for the extra damage with the +7 impact enchant. The extra damage allows me to forgo the inefficient flame shock on most pulls. My standard opening is now lightning, lightning, and maybe another lightning, then melee the mob down. I can go a lot longer now between drinks with this method.

I’ve been working on my macros in preparation for healing in instances. I’m also looking into getting the grid addon. Having played mostly a hunter, I haven’t needed anything like grid. I’ve put “focus=target” on one of my bars, and “/cast [target=focus] healing wave” on my hot bar. When soloing, I set the focus to me, but it gets me in the habit of mashing the right key. I’ll be needing a macro for lesser healing wave, and chain heal when I get that. I’m thinking of macroing my totems, but I haven’t seen many patterns in my totem usage yet beyond dropping searing totem and…. something…. maybe….

I haven’t gotten used to enhancement shaman gearing yet. It seems similar to hunters with priority focuses being a little different. I look for int, sta, str, and agi, and I eat buff foods for mp5, mostly ignoring spirit.

A Shaman Can’t Take on Two Mobs?

Filed under: World of Warcraft — Cranky Sysadmin @ 9:12 am

I’ve read in a few places that a shaman has a hard time with multiple mobs if their level is higher then the shaman. I’ll admit that a hunter does better as the number of mobs increases, but a shaman can hold its own against 2 mobs even if they are orange. I was carefully (well, maybe not so carefully) pulling gouls in duskwood. Zap, Zap, melee, done. A couple of times, I ended up pulling 2 of the level 28 gouls next to the underground complex. My natural reaction was to press 9, which is bound to freezing trap on my hunter and stone claw totem on my shaman. I then burn down the original mob and then focus on the add. This process is very mana intensive, but I’m going to work on that and see if there are other solutions.

January 8, 2008

The Surprising Goodness of the Shaman

Filed under: World of Warcraft — Cranky Sysadmin @ 4:39 pm

Ep, the Shaman is surprisingly fun to play. I like the utility of hunters, and shaman have many similar characteristics.

  • Fighting a Mob and you pick up an add? A hunter can drop a freezing trap. A shaman can drop a stoneclaw totem.
  • Need to kite a mob? hunter uses concussive shot to slow down the mob. A shaman can use earthbind or frost shock.
  • Need to pull a mob away from a group? A hunter can either pet pull or shot pull (with misdirect at level 70). A shaman can pull with lightning or a shock.

Shamans have much better melee capability then hunters. Shamans can kill mobs of much higher level just like hunters. Shamans can self heal. Shamans have an array of cool group buffs and can pretend to be a main healer.

Hunters have some advantages that I like: Hunters rarely have to melee if played competently. Send in a pet and fire away. Hunters have superb agro control with feign death and disengage. Hunters traps provide superior crowd control.

So far, I’m very happy that I chose a shaman as my healing alt.

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