Building a Following

Broll Bearmantle by Mark Abadier
Broll Bearmantle by Mark Abadier
While there were dozens of equally useful followers to be had in Warlords of Draenor, the limited following size and specific abilities of followers means making strategic choices for which Druids we enlist into our service. To maximize your effectiveness, you will want to choose 5 followers which meet the following requirements:

  • At least 1 of each talent specialization: Restoration, Balance, and Feral (thankfully, Blizzard rolled Guardian and Feral specs into a single category for the purposes of followers)
  • At least 1 of each ability counter: Hazard, Minions, Spell
  • One follower whose Combat Ally ability you want to make use of while in the Broken Isles

You can use secondary abilities to help you choose among two or more followers who meet one of the above-listed criteria. Here’s a table summarizing the specializations, basic counter, special abilities, and combat ally abilities (if applicable) of all eight possible followers:

Spec
Follower Name
Counters
Ability

Balance
Hazard
+15% chance when accompanied by lesser troops
Combat Ally: Mylune will occasionally appear and play her forest song, summoning faerie dragons to assist you in combat. Also, this.

Balance
Minions
+15% chance on missions with Spell
Combat Ally: Nightmarish Visions: Summon Naralex who petrifies your enemy target, putting them to sleep and increasing their damage taken by 50% for 10 sec.

Balance
Spell
+15% success when accompanied by two troops
Combat Ally: Emerald Charge: Summon Keeper Remulos to charge to your target destination, leaving behind a trail of emerald fire that heals allies for 5% of their maximum health and damages enemies for 100% Firestorm damage every sec.

Feral
Hazard
-30% starting mission cost
Combat Ally: Can accompany you as a guardian in the Broken Isles when assigned as a Combat Ally.

Feral
Minions
+15% chance on missions with Hazard

Feral
Spell
+15% chance on missions with Minions

Restoration
Minions
50% chance on success to heal an expired troop for 1

Restoration
Spell
Chance to return from a mission with a Wild Mushroom, usable to heal troops for 1 vitality

continue reading…

Vocola: Part 3 — Movement, Mouse, and Camera

It was obvious pretty early on when setting up my configuration that spellcasting was not going to be my biggest problem; movement was. Because while using abilities and casting spells, opening and closing interface panels, and even targeting other players are very binary actions, it is infeasible to play without the analog mouselook feature (I tried). I have had good luck using a SmartNav: EG head tracker at work, an assistive device I had purchased out-of-pocket to reduce my use of the mouse as a software developer. This camera tracks the movement of a small, reflective silver dot that you wear somewhere on the top of your head. That movement is then translated into mouse movement on-screen. Once I was certain of its efficacy, I requested that my work buy one for my use at the office so that I could take the one I had purchased home.

To hopefully pique your interest, I have created a short video of me demonstrating all of the techniques in this post:

continue reading…

An Emerald Nightmare

This week marked the official start of our raid group’s ventures into the Emerald Nightmare, an event I’ve been looking forward to with no small amount of trepidation. Would I be competitive with other healers, especially those of my own class? Would I get stuck in a puddle of bad and doom us all? Would I have to use 3 ridiculously overpriced flasks instead of 2?

ursoc

My favorite encounter was Ursoc. He looked amazing, and I found the charge mechanic to be a lot of fun. We did struggle a little bit initially with keeping both tanks up, but then the other Restoration Druid — named Shae(llistrae)! — and I talked and divided them up between us, and things went a lot more smoothly. I also really enjoy the mechanic of 1-required bosses, followed by 4-bosses you can kill in any order, followed by two more bosses that must be killed sequentially, although it did make for a lot of pre-raid research that went unneeded the first night (and that will likely have to be repeated to refresh my memory).

Something I had not anticipated was how difficult the movement would be, particularly on the Dragons of Nightmare encounter. Because I couldn’t risk introducing latency by using voice commands to run/stop — as I generally do when playing in most other areas — I was forced to rely on my foot switches almost exclusively. At least partially due to the fact that my foot switches were positioned too low for my legs to reach them comfortably, by the end of the night, my knees were throbbing. Rather than pushing myself, I gracefully bowed out of our second night of raiding on Monday and am currently investigating other options for controlled movement that do not involve my foot switches.

I did develop a great system for healing using the in-game [raid#] macro parameter that I will explain in greater detail in a future post. I am hopeful that, if I am able to overcome these early issues, I should be fairly mobile while retaining my ability to blanket my friends in Rejuvenation at will.


And, in case you missed it, here are some other posts about first forays into Emerald Nightmare from blogs that I love:

Please feel free to respond in the comments with your own experiences in the Emerald Nightmare so far!

Raid Advice: Innervate, a Raid Cooldown

Innervate, a Raid Cooldown
Innervate, a Raid Cooldown
Raphael of Raid Advice wrote a great article about how to best leverage Innervate within a raid. Topics covered include:

  • Talents to augment Innervate
  • When to use Innervate
  • Prioritizing who should be given Innervate (with maths!)
  • A Weak Aura for healers (Druid and non-Druid alike) to know when they’re benefiting from the spell

Credit to the very talented wrathofkublakhan for first mentioning it on one of my favorite blogs, Coffee Cakes and Crits.

Nine Lives Later…

Last night I finally completed the quest for the Fangs of Ashamane. It’s a quest that sat in my log for weeks after repeated attempts to kill Verstok Darkbough failed miserably. I was forced to complete this quest because every time I would travel anywhere near Falanaar — to complete a world quest, for instance — I would get phased into the Fangs of Ashamane quest area and be unable to complete my intended objective. Oddly, players are unable to abandon this quest or I most certainly would have many times over.

At one point I (mostly) understood the feral ability set and rotation, but — as with all expansion releases — all of that experience is now obsolete. It didn’t help that my “cat stick” was around item level 680, but then my good friend Currant mentioned that I could purchase a 740 item level dagger, the Dreamgrove Blade, from Amurra Thistledew. That, combined with reading and re-reading the Icy Veins Feral rotation guide eventually allowed me to overcome this quest, though it was mostly through persistence. If it weren’t for the fact that the NPCs do not regenerate — allowing you to basically smash your face into them repeatedly until they succumb to your facerollishness — I might not have been able to complete the quest.

Webmistress Shinaris
Webmistress Shinaris

The moral of the story? When an NPC takes one look at you standing there holding a tree branch like you think you know what you’re doing and asks you, “Are you SURE you want to embark upon this quest?” take the hint.


P.S. With voice dictation, I just need to say Switch to Feral Spec to change my talent specialization. Here are the voice commands required:

<spec_name> := Balance = 1 | Feral = 2 | Guardian = 3 | Restoration = 4;
switch to <spec_name> spec = "/run SetSpecialization($1)"{Enter};