Dressing to Impress


Because there simply isn’t enough to keep me busy in Legion (har har), I often spend spare time collecting transmog items — the more Druidly, the better. In fact, six of my favorite words are You have not collected this appearance. When I first started “shopping”, I didn’t really make a plan, assuming that anything I managed to acquire was going to be great, but I eventually found myself running the same dungeons over and over, mostly because they were easily accessible. Even when I began to specifically target set pieces, I had a fundamental misunderstanding of how setting raid difficulty worked. As it turns out, setting your Burning Crusade raid’s difficulty to Mythic doesn’t actually set it to the highest available level of difficulty!

For the longest time, I had a certain sentimental item languishing in my bank. I had repeatedly tried and failed to find items that coordinated with it when I happened to stumble upon a post by FlashYou: Looking for Transmog? (Leather Edition) which renewed my interest in turning the robe into an outfit.

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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?


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!

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};

Mylune, My Favorite

Amazing Mylune Cosplay by Lyz (ButtercupBrix)
Amazing Mylune Cosplay by Lyz (ButtercupBrix)

Warlords of Draenor first introduced garrisons, faction-specific strongholds that over time developed into self-sufficient towns providing every service a player could need (with the glaring exception of a barber). And to fill out our garrisons, Blizzard introduced the followers system, a collection of NPCs of a myriad of races and classes that you could recruit into your service. You could then dispatch these followers onto missions that provided personal benefits including gold, gear, garrison resources, and the occasional vanity item. Unfortunately, this system came to be maligned by players as feeling compulsory but inspiring no feelings of personal involvement. Millhouse Manastorm withstanding, our armies of 20 to 25 followers had little charisma and, in many cases, no backstory.

Fortunately, Blizzard listened to the complaints of players and completely overhauled their follower and mission systems for the release of The Burning Legion. Now followers hail from the same class as the player, conveying an instant sense of relatability. There are fewer of them, and the storylines that end with their offer of service are more compelling. None more so — for me, anyway — than the dryad Mylune.

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Healing by Numbers: First Impressions

I originally wrote this post a couple of weeks ago, once the site domain name was registered, but WordPress wasn’t yet installed. I wanted to capture my immediate thoughts after my first experience healing a (non-heroic) instance without the use of my hands. In roughly chronological order they were:

  1. Now that he’s hit the level cap, Mr. Phae really wants to start instancing. I spent 3 hours today writing and testing macros, but I’m just not sure if I’m ready. Isn’t the best way to test code in production? Field test!
  2. I should probably do a random LFG through the group finder, but I think I’d rather kill my friends than perfect strangers. Let’s invite guildmates. They, at least, are stuck with me.
  3. Random Dungeon Finder says: Darkheart Thicket
  4. My auto-follow command uses my currently set focus. Should that be the tank? (In retrospect, no, it should not have been the tank.)
  5. Oh God, he pulled. Okay, what do all these buttons do again? Oh, that’s right I don’t use buttons.
  6. *awkward silence* … “Rejuvenate …2! Uh…. Also Lifebloom! I mean Bloom! Uh … I mean Bloom 2! GAH!! WILD GROWTH!!”
  7. Our Demon Hunter tank is great. He’s making me look almost passable.
  8. No, Mr. Phae, you cannot blow your entire mana pool in the first 10 seconds of the fight as an Arcane Mage and ask me to give you Innervate. None for you!
  9. Okay, I’ve got this … “Rejuvenate 2… Bloom 2… Grow 2… Essence!”
  10. Look at me!! I can run with my head tracker and still heal with instant-cast abilities! Hahaha!! I am the T2000! Except not evil or sent from the future or in shape.

The best part of the night had to be the Dresaron fight which, as you may remember, includes an AOE pushback called Down Draft. Previously, I would have struggled to move and mouseover heal, but I was able to use my autorun command, steer with my head tracker, and continue healing my group with instant-cast abilities until it subsided. It felt … strangely epic. By the end of the instance, our group had only a single death (I think due to a group member standing too long in a ground effect). Heroics will undoubtedly be a big step-up in challenge, but normal instances seem completely feasible!