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

December 27, 2008

I’ve Got Friends

Filed under: World of Warcraft — Cranky Sysadmin @ 7:00 pm

This post will focus on reputation rewards for the restoration shaman. There are lots of factions to look at in WotLK. Most of them have at least something for the aspiring pre-raid Shaman. Some of the equipment is as good as you can get in raids currently. This will probably change as Blizzard ships content patches out with higher level content. This is going to be a fairly simple list with some comments.

Alliance Vanguard
Revered
Lordaeron’s Resolve

Horde Expedition
Revered
Warsong Stormshield

The Items from Kalu’ak are starter items and should be replaced quickly… except for the cool fishing pole of course.
The Kalu’ak
Honored
Cuttlefish Tooth Ringmail
Revered
Totemic Purification Rod

There is no tabard for instance rep grinding, and the quest line to start getting Hodir rep is long. I assume this will be a requirement in raid guilds as things mature, much like the shoulder enchants from Aldor and Scryer were in BC.
The Sons of Hodir
Honored
Lesser Inscription of the Crag
Lesser Inscription of the Storm
Revered
Giant-Friend Kilt (leather)
Exalted
Greater Inscription of the Crag
Greater Inscription of the Storm

Outside Naxx, mail belts are hard to come by. I would consider the one from Ebon Blade rep.
Knights of the Ebon Blade
Honored
Dark Soldier Cape
Exalted
Kilt of Dark Mercy
Belt of Dark Mending (cloth)

Argent Crusade
Revered
Battle Mender’s Helm
Exalted
Signet of Hopeful Light

Personally, I wouldn’t go for the cloth chest. I include it because the stats are nice tough. The Spell Power/Crit arcanum is for those who are doing more LHW spamming.
Kirin Tor
Honored
Helm of the Majestic Stag (leather)
Shroud of Dedicated Research
Revered
Arcanum of Burning Mysteries
Exalted
Ghostflicker Waistband (leather)
Robes of Crackling Flame (cloth)
Pattern: Sapphire Spellthread
Design: Runed Scarlet Ruby

Again, I’d pass on the cloth sandals, but the stats are not awful. The Spell Power/mp5 arcanum is for a more traditional mostly chain heal healing role.
The Wyrmrest Accord
Revered
Arcanum of Blissful Mending
Gavel of the Brewing Storm
Exalted
Grips of Fierce Pronouncements
Sandals of Crimson Fury (cloth)

Frenzyheart Tribe
Revered
Scavenged Feathery Leggings

The Oracles
Revered
Design: Sundered Forest Emerald
Sharkjaw Cap

December 23, 2008

Miliary Wing Down.

Filed under: World of Warcraft — Cranky Sysadmin @ 4:41 pm

No shaman healer loot dropped, but we completed the military wing in 10 man last night. We called in a 3rd healer on the four horsemen as an off healer wasn’t enough with the strategy we used.

Instructor Razuvious: The healers are expected to heal the understudies, and the occasional raid damage. This isn’t a terribly taxing healing assignment. just keep the understudy up, and keep your raid buddies up.

Gothik the Harvester: This is a fun fight. The group divides in two. One on the “living” side and one on the “undead” side. I took the living side, being the less geared and skilled healer. This is a more demanding assignment. The tank gets spiky damage. Expect to draw agro as new mobs spawn. You’ll have to wait on each spawn for the tank to collect the spawns. I didn’t, and I caused our DPS DK to die trying to save me from all that heal agro. We still one-shotted the fight.

Four Horsemen: (the link is actually to their loot chest). This is a very demanding fight. Any mistakes can cause a wipe almost immediately. I don’t understand the full mechanics, but if any horseman is unattended, it will wipe the raid. The first 2 horsemen are a DPS race. Be sure to use your heroism/bloodlust as soon as possible. In our group, heroism makes up the whole DPS difference we needed to win the fight. The raid takes a lot of damage, and the healers have to move from place to place to avoid getting too many marks on them. You must pay attention to the raid announcements and to the voice chat.

December 18, 2008

First 25 man Naxx

Filed under: World of Warcraft — Cranky Sysadmin @ 9:10 am

Last night was supposed to be a pretty pedestrian 10 man Naxx run, but our guild master decided to try to gather 25 good men to clear the spider wing. It worked out well, and I learned some new things. First, the loot. Most of the caster drops were druid and priest items with lots of spirit on it, including a ring, the Lost Jewel. It’s 25 man with lots of folks who can use spirit more then me, so I passed. I didn’t pass on the Cloak of Averted Crisis from Maexxna. Only the 2 resto shamans rolled, and I won. This seems to be close to the best resto shaman cloak in the game. Now, a bit about the bosses:

  • Anub’Rekhan: In 10 man, this was a fairly smooth fight. The tank dragged him around the room and I stayed a little ahead to get some heals on him. In 25 man, it was a little strange. The tank faced him so that I could never get a heal on him during the swarm phase. The MT healer was on the outside ring, past the river of slime. Before the swarm, I applied Riptide, and then moved back with the rest of the raid. I think it’s possible to tank Anub so that the healers can all access the tank. I’ll ask about that next time.
  • Grand Widow Faerlina: From a healer perspective, this is a straightforward fight. Stay out of the rain of fire (which seemed to follow me around a lot, but I might just be paranoid). Cleanse poision for those who move out of the totem range. Heal, heal, heal. There is a lot of raid damage to contend with. Sadly, on our successful attempt, I died early. I got a 12k melee hit from Grand Widow. I was moving out of yet another rain of fire when I moved past her and got hit. She had just been moved about 30 yards out from the dais and I strafed right into her. I’ll know next time to look for her where I don’t expect her.
  • Maexxna: We one-shotted her. The web spray incapacitates the raid for a few seconds, so get hots up on the tank before this happens. Otherwise, as a healer, just heal away and cleanse the tank.

December 16, 2008

Construct Wing Conquered.

Filed under: World of Warcraft — Cranky Sysadmin @ 4:53 pm

Our initial plan for last nights continuation raid was to hit a few of the gear check bosses. We ended up starting with Patchwerk and then cleared the whole construct wing. Loot for Shamans was meager. The Drape of Surgery dropped. I passed since my Wispcloak is better for me and my mana issues. Here are some notes on healing this wing. There is a lot to pay attention to.

  • Patchwerk: During the whole fight, the 2 tanks take heavy damage. There is little raidwide damage to worry about and chain heal didn’t seem as effective as LHW spam. Riptide on the tanks is nice here too.
  • Grobbulus: Lots of raid wide damage. When you get injected, you must go away from everyone else to some place where Grobbulus has already um… deposited a green cloud until the effect fades. Tank damage was light to moderate.
  • Gluth: The decimates cause everyone to lose 95% of their hit points. My first actions are to riptide the tank, chain heal the tank, and chain heal the off tank. After that, work fast to top off the raid. Chain heal really shines in this fight.
  • Thaddius: Phase 1 is pretty simple for healers. Follow your group and heal away. The tanks take fairly heavy damage, and there is plenty of group-wide damage to keep up with. Mana seems to be refreshed at the end of phase 1. I don’t completely understand the polarity shifts in phase 2 as this was my first shot. I just moved away from everyone and healed. Apparently, you’re supposed to hang out with people who have the same polarity as you so the damage goes up. If you are near folks of the opposite polarity, you all receive a lot of nature damage. Tank damage is moderate in this fight.

December 14, 2008

First Naxx Run

Filed under: World of Warcraft — Cranky Sysadmin @ 4:38 pm

Last night was the first time I ran 10 man Naxxramas. Myself and a paladin healer were the main healers with the paladin tank occasionally switching gear as needed. We cleared the spider and plague wings. That’s not bad since this was the first go for about half of the raid. After that, we flew over to The Obsidian Sanctum to down Sartharion (no adds as this was the first time for most of the raid). I died several times in Naxx. Notably, I died very early on Heigan the Unclean. Five others including the raid leader died within about 5 minutes. The 2 tanks, a rogue, and the other healer spent 11 minutes doing the heigan dance and finally got him down. I tried to memorize the lava pattern for the next run.

Now, on to the good part…. Well, I should probably go into some detail about the fights, but as a healer, most of the fights look similar. Heal, heal, heal, avoid damage. What’s really important is the glorious loot! There were lots of drops, but I’ll focus on the stuff which was interesting to a Shaman.

The first thing to drop which demanded that I roll was the Band of Neglected Pleas. I rolled, and a mage rolled. I lost. A mage? Really? I would have thought that something which replaces the mp5 with hit would be better for a mage. Well, that’s fine. I’m mostly in it for the Badges… I mean Emblems.

The next thing to drop was the Aegis of Damnation. The other healer and I rolled. I won, but upon further consideration, I let him loot it. My Zom’s Crackling Bulwark is better itemized for a shaman that spends most of his time throwing chain heals around.

The other interesting thing to drop in Naxx was the Iron Rings of Endurance. I was the only one interested in these and they were a big upgrade from the blue BoE I picked up on AH.

From Sarathion, I won the Satchel of Spoils. It had 5 emblems and 50 gold. More badges to save up for the next patch.

Our guild is getting very active in the 10 man scene. I expect to see 25 mans form soon. In the mean time, I’m saving up my coin for a Titansteel Guardian. Even after the nerf, it will be a good mace all the way through Naxx and beyond.

December 12, 2008

Blog outage

Filed under: System Administration — Cranky Sysadmin @ 10:37 pm

As I’ve mentioned before, the server which hosts this blog resides in my closet. Last night there was a power outage which lasted until a couple of hours ago, so blog.2gn.com bit the dust during that time. My apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused.

December 11, 2008

Ve Dings 80. What’s Next?

Filed under: World of Warcraft — Cranky Sysadmin @ 9:43 am

Ve, the shaman dinged level 80 about two weeks ago. I like raiding and I started to enjoy PvP at 70, so I am beginning the process of preparing for these activities, especially raiding. My activities fall into several general categories:

Making money to buy enchants and gear.
Grinding rep for enhancements and some gear.
Running instances for healing practice and rep.

Since most folks are still leveling, many of my activities in these three areas will probably change as areas get more crowded. I farm as resto. It’s less efficient, but I seem to be doing ok without respeccing to elemental or enhancement.

Making Money

Quests:
While I still have them, quests are an ok way to make money without getting too bored. At the level cap, the experience gets converted to gold. I’m a bit tired of questing though after ten levels of quests getting to 80. For those who solo most of the time, you probably have tons of quests in Storm Peaks and Icecrown which are not complete. Depending on where you leveled, you may have a bunch of quests in Sholazar Basin or Grizzly Hills which may be easy to knock off.

Crystaline Elements:
The new motes of elements are crystaline elements and the new elemental plateau is the western cliff of Sholazar Basin. Right now, there are very few people farming this area. It looon Perenoldks like two people can farm the area without competing, but three or more people means waiting on spawns. Sadly, the auction house prices on Perenolde for crystaline and eternal elements are low for the work you do. I expect this to change as more people hit 80 and start crafting things. I’ll save my eternals until then.

Other materials:
Northrend skins, ores, herbs, and cloth all seem to be selling for good amounts on Perenolde. Azeroth and Outland herbs are selling for a fraction of their original value. On most mature servers, I would expect to see the same patterns.

Craftables:
As with materials, Northrend potions, elixirs, and buff foods sell really well. Azeroth and Outlands goods are not selling well. The same seems to go for other crafting professions, but I only see that from the perspective of a buyer. Epics don’t seem to sell at what their potential suggests. That’s good for the buyer, but not so good for crafters.

Fishing:
Following what I knew from BC, I couldn’t justify leveling my fishing score until recently. That seems to be a mistake. The buff foods from fishing/cooking sell well. The big seller is pygmy oil made from the pygmy suckerfish. The oil sells for 400G per stack of 20 on Perenolde. It takes me about 35 minutes to fish up a stack on average. (4 casts per minute is 140 casts for about 14 fish. Each fish makes 1 or 2 oils). This is ok money for something you can do without paying a lot of attention.

Reputation

I’m mostly interested in Kirin Tor rep for the Spell Power/Crit head enchant, Wyrmrest Accord for the Spell Power/mp5 head enchant, and Sons of Hodir for the shoulder enchants. Most of the epic gear will get replaced after a few trips into Naxx, so I’d rather grind money then rep after getting my enchants. Kirin Tor and Wyrmrest both have tabards available at friendly which you can wear to gain rep while clearing level 80 dungeons. For Sons rep, you’re stuck doing daily quests.

Instances

There is a lot of pre-raid gear available without even stepping foot in a dungeon so the main reason I do dungeons is for healing practice and reputation. If something nice drops in a dungeon, that’s a nice bonus. Heroics are nice for the new emblems of heroism, but I think I will save the emblems for a later patch.

December 9, 2008

What One Learns from Web Logs

Filed under: System Administration,World of Warcraft — Cranky Sysadmin @ 8:43 pm

This post is only peripherally related to WoW, so if you need WoW info, look at some of my other posts. If you’re interested in web traffic and how to analyze it, you may want to look elsewhere too, but that is the topic I am learning about now. If you run apache on your own server, you may want to consider an upgrade from the venerable webalizer or manual log analysis to awstats. It’s free, and runs on most unix flavors. The instructions even state that it will run on windows and parse IIS logfiles. Awstats is capable of slicing and dicing your logs in many meaningful ways so you can count visits, pages per visit, time visited, user-agent metrics divided by month, day, and hour. Many of the metrics are probably inaccurate like time visited, but they are still interesting metrics if you take them with a pinch of salt.

What have I learned from looking at awstats for blog.2gn.com? Well, the main search terms folks use to get here ,largely from google, have to do with shaman preparing to get into naxx. I’m trying not to use key words which will mislead search engines about this article right now, so I won’t list the whole pile of keywords. I’ve learned that there are some regular readers, and most folks add something on this blog to their bookmarks. I don’t know how awstats tracks that and I suspect it’s inaccurate, but it’s nice for the ego. I’ve also learned that there are enough readers so that I should pay more attention to the uptime of the server, which sits in my closet.

I am using awstats to decide how much time to spend on this blog, where I should consider expanding (I like hunters, but they are covered well by BigRedKitty). I am also considering advertisements, especially in this economy. I’ll probably experiment by writing articles on paladins, and death knights if I feel I can contribute something.

Writing a blog is an interesting hobby. I recommend it. Writing a good blog is probably beyond my skill, but I’ll try.

Pre-raid Crit Gear for Resto Shaman

Filed under: World of Warcraft — Cranky Sysadmin @ 9:42 am

Josh commented on my healing gear post that I should do a crit gear list for resto shaman since healing has changed somewhat. The list below is mostly BoE, quest gear, and rep gear except where there was nothing good for that slot. In those cases, I included dungeon drops. The epic BoE’s tend to be very expensive, but keep an eye out for bargains.

maces:
Gavel of the Brewing Storm Requires The Wyrmrest Accord – Revered
Titansteel Guardian BoE Blacksmithing

shields:
Tor’s Crest Utgarde Pinnacle normal

amulets:
Raine’s Choker of Combustion BoE world drop
Choker of Binding A Hero’s Burden
Titanium Spellshock Necklace BoE Jewelcrafting

rings:
Ring of Temerity The Struggle Persists
Titanium Spellshock Ring BoE Jewelcrafting

cloak:
Polished Protodrake Cloak Post-partum Aggression
Bloodbane’s Fall The Fate of Bloodbane
Deathchill Cloak BoE Tailoring

chest:
Dark Nerubian Chestpiece BoE Leatherworking
Chestguard of Unwanted Success Battle at Valhalas: Final Challenge

feet:
Treads of Altered History The Culling of Stratholme, Chrono-Lord Epoch

hands:
Grips of the Warming Heart BoE World drop
Gauntlets of the Windreacher

head:
Sharkjaw Cap The Oracles – Revered
Nightshock Hood BoE Leatherworking
Battle Mender’s Helm Argent Crusade – Revered

legs:
Dark Nerubian Leggings BoE Leatherworking

shoulders:
Stormforged Shoulders Diametrically Opposed

belt:
Nightshock Girdle BoE Leatherworking

wrist:
Dragonflayer Seer’s Bindings Utgarde Pinnacle normal
Bands of the Sky Ring The Oculus normal

December 4, 2008

I Need More Then 1 Hot-key for my Shaman?

Filed under: World of Warcraft — Cranky Sysadmin @ 10:45 am

All of these new talents in the shaman tree seem designed to make us more rounded healers. There is an article on Elitist Jerks which points to more LHW spamming and the comments suggest that LHW spam is a serviceable way to keep a tank up. In BC, I always stressed out about MT healing. The only real tool for fast heals was a Nature’s Swiftness / Healing Wave macro. This is on a 3 minute cooldown, which limits its utility for MT healing. Lesser Healing Wave is fast, but was very mana inefficient. This doesn’t seem to be the case anymore.

One of the suggested builds looks something like this. Without even looking at gear, this puts your critical chance at around 14% (5 from thundering strikes, 5 from tidal mastery, 4 from blessing of the eternals). With blue gear, this should put you at near 30% crit walking into Naxx.

What will my grid/clique setup look like with these changes? If I’m MT healing, I’ll probably put LHW on button 1, chain heal on button 2 and healing wave on button 3. Cleanse will probably go on shift-button 1. I’ll probably redo my emergency heal to include Tidal Force/Nature’s Swiftness/Healing Wave.

Our guild’s first Naxx 10 run which I’m involved in is on 2008-12-15. I’ll try to wws the stats and get a feel for the new resto healing regime.

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