Trinkets for the Packrats
In the comments section a couple of days ago, Xeppe asked me about the trinkets I use, since I noted that I tend to swap them out depending on fight. I've been wanting to make a gigantic trinkets post since the beginning of this blog and I just never got around to it. This is me still not getting around to it.

I will, however, list out the trinkets I carry with me everywhere, and talk about them a bit.

I absolutely love trinkets. I know that most people tend to stick two trinkets in their character screen that have the best ranking on the Ultimate Trinket List and forget about them, but not me. So many trinkets are unique and whimsical in their usage that I prefer to mix them up and try them out in different scenarios.

Once upon a time, I hated using trinkets with a "use" effect, because I am truly terrible at remembering to actually use them enough to make them worth it. Then Paolo walked into my life and taught me to bind my trinkets to my most commonly used heals, and I felt the warmth of a whole new world opening up to me.

Having multiple trinkets allows me to customize my gear for a specific fight, or a specific strategy. Nowadays, since we've been running ICC with the buff, I haven't been playing around with my trinkets nearly as much, simply because everyone's health pool is larger and my heals are so much more powerful that it's pretty much a moot point. But back when the fights were fresh and new and challenging and there was actually the chance I would run out of mana or not heal fast or big enough, my trinkets got a lot more use.

Case in point: When we were learning the Blood Prince Council fight, we tried a lot of crazy strategies. At one point we even tried using three tanks just to try and get some of the mechanics down. With three tanks, not only did the fight go on for a very long time, but we also lost our source of replenishment since our ret pally switched to his tanking spec. I guarantee you I got a lot of use out of my trinkets during those attempts, because it was the first time in a long time where I used every mana return ability I had and still my blue bar went empty.

So, here's a list of the trinkets I keep on me at all times for healing:

  • Ephemeral Snowflake - This trinket is summarily hated by theorycrafting priests all over the internetz. If you run the numbers, that 11 mana per heal is not very impressive. Maybe it's great for druids with their constantly ticking HoTs, but for a Disc priest who runs with a Druid and therefore never even bothers with Renew, it's pretty lackluster. However, I like the 20 second haste buff on fights where I will be spam healing the tank (i.e. Festergut). Truthfully, this is also one of my higher iLvl trinkets, so when I want to log out with my highest score possible on WoW-heroes (so that I can preen proudly at my toon), I equip this. Mostly just to give Paolo a heart attack though.
  • Talisman of Resurgence - I carry this trinket around mostly for my shadow set actually. But for disc, the Intellect on it is very nice, especially for fights where I will be bubbling a lot and I want a higher return of mana due to Rapture. The spellpower proc also means that my bubbles will be bigger when the trinket is used, however, see below for why I rarely use this trinket on my Disc set out of pure annoyance. To be totally honest, I don't find much use for this when healing.
  • Je'Tze's Bell - Of course I carry this with me all the time. I had to have this trinket, and saved up a long time to buy it on the AH. Hello, my name is Jessabelle. Now, all that aside, this is a good default trinket if you have nothing similar that does a better job. It has a solid full-time spellpower boost (so no problems with overlapping bubbles), and the mana regen occurs often enough in the background to give me around 30 mp5. I don't use this trinket very often anymore due to the fact that I have better ones, but I refuse to DE it, and I carry it around because IT'S MY DAMN BELL.
  • Ancient Pickled Egg - This is actually the same thing as The Egg of Mortal Essence which you can get with badges (this is something I picked up from Coren Direbrew). It cannot be DEd either, so it sits in my bags making everything smelly for the most part. I like the solid spellpower boost which is always a good option when there is no need for anything particularly special for certain fights. I will occasionally use this trinket when I have absolutely no mana concerns in a fight. Because there is no "use" ability, it's pretty much equip and forget. The haste proc is nice, but since it is a proc, and not a use effect, and therefore I cannot bind it to a spell I cast when I need the haste and therefore direct its use, I don't equip this trinket for any fights that would give me a particular challenge.
  • Majestic Dragon Figurine - This is one of my favorite trinkets, though I haven't used it at all in ICC, since I'm running Disc. I love this trinket for Holy, and even use it on occasion when I'm running around in Shadow. When I use this trinket as Holy, I always keep an eye on how many stacks of the buff I have, and I always try to maintain my 10 stack. It gives me a nice little 25 spellpower boost (around 30 with kings) as well as some good solid mana regen. And I find it fun, and a nice little challenge to keep it fully stacked. I like fun trinkets.
  • Spark of Hope - I was really lucky to get this trinket, and it is a very good one, especially for Holy Priests. Love that spirit, always! It's still good, even for a Disc Priest, even though we don't get nearly as much use out of Spirit. Fights that have wonky mana debuffs are perfect for this trinket. The best example I can think of is Vezax, but if you ever run into a fight where there is some form of mana burn, this is great for that fight too (such as those nasty mana burn spots on the ground in Valithria). When no amount of mana regen is regenning fast enough, the absolute reduction of mana cost for your abilities is always a great thing.
  • Sliver of Pure Ice - That spellpower is delicious. There are two ways to use this trinket. You could use it as a second mana pot - put it right next to your mana pot button, or make some kind of macro that will attempt to use this first, and if it is on cooldown, use a mana pot (I'm terrible with macros, so if someone knows specifically how to write that up, I'd appreciate it). Or, you can do what I do, and simply bind it to a spell you use quite often (I use it with Prayer of Mending). Use it when you come back from a battle rez. Use it when you oopsed into the mana burn spot in Dreamwalker. Or, if you prefer to get maximum usage out of it, even if not always at the best time (and therefore consider it more of a background mana regen device), bind it to a spell.
  • Purified Lunar Dust - This is essentially an upgrade to Je'Tze's Bell. For maximum standard spellpower and regen increase, I will on occasion equip them both. Unlike my bell, however, you can purchase this one with 60 frost badges.

A lot of these trinkets share certain aspects in common, and depending on your Priest spec, they may be more annoying than useful.

  • Use effect that increases spellpower: I'm sure lots of people love this, and for Disc priests, spellpower is king. However, I personally hate spellpower procs, due to the bubble breakdown I've mentioned before. There is nothing more annoying to me than trying to put a fresh bubble on someone, and being told that I can't because a "more powerful spell" is in effect - even though usually that is blatantly untrue. Theorycrafting wise, these are probably still best, but personally, if the fight is a stressful one, this can set me off into a very undisciplined rage, if you catch my drift. Therefore, if you're disc, you probably don't want to bind the use ability to a spell you use a lot if you will get as frustrated as I do. Bind it to a spell you use when you need a burst of throughput, such as Pain Suppression, or Power Infusion. For Holy, anything goes, and I'd recommend binding it to an often used spell to maximize its usage. Otherwise, you could throw it in with something like Guardian Spirit, though that might be overkill for most normal encounters.
  • Use effect that increases haste: As a tank healer, I really like these kinds of procs. When my trinket goes off, I shield the tank and cast a greater heal. However, unless it is a fight where I really need to be spamming a single player, the proc will usually go to waste. The best way to use this kind of trinket is to bind it to something that you use when you really need to cast fast. For instance, if you ever use Greater Heal, particularly for tank healing, that is likely the best heal to bind it to. Other options might be Power Infusion, if you use that on yourself. Power Infusion + haste trinket might be more speed than necessary. Similarly for Holy, you could bind it to Guardian Spirit, but again, this may be overkill. You might try binding it to Prayer of Healing instead. I'd recommend trying it with a few different spells, and see which ones give you the most benefit.
  • Chance on spellcast or heal to increase mana regen for xx seconds or return mana: This basically works as a background mana regen feature. The shorter your general casting time, the more likely you will get a solid benefit from this. You can run the numbers for yourself, but trinkets like this are really great for long fights that will require... well, longevity. Using a trinket like this also means that you can swap out some of your other gear for better throughput stats. This is always a good default for healers, as far as I'm concerned.
  • Reduction of mana cost vs Return of mana every cast: There are a few trinkets that have one of these abilities (see Spark of Hope and Ephemeral Snowflake). Reduction of mana cost is superior if it applies to all your heals. It is always better for your mana to spend less of it in the first place than to get some back after you've spent it.

If you make good use of your trinkets, they can really help you in "edge" encounters - this could mean heroic fights, or fights where you feel your gear is not really up to par, or where you are missing essential buffs (i.e. Replenishment). Trinkets give you the ability to tailor yourself to a fight or to a group makeup - use them wisely and with lots of thought.

When it comes to bindings (Clique is fantastic for this by the way), here are some tips to help you better organize trinket swapping:

  • When you write your macro for using a trinket at the same time as casting a certain spell, instead of writing "/use Sliver of Pure Ice" into your macro, type "/use 13" for the upper trinket, and "/use 14" for the lower. (I think that's right - please correct me if I'm wrong)
  • If you set your macros this way, try to always equip a similar trinket in the same slot. For example, you might choose to have your upper trinket slot saved for throughput pop trinkets. Then, whether you use a trinket that increases your haste or spellpower depending on the encounter, you are less likely to need to change the macro, since you would probably bind it to the same spell anyway.
For instance, let's say on one fight, I am going to equip my Ephemeral Snowflake to give me some added tank healing burst on Festergut. I want the haste instead of the spellpower, because I'd rather have faster smaller heals than larger slower ones. In another fight, I might want to use a trinket that has a spellpower pop effect instead. When I swap the trinkets, I just make sure they are both in the upper slot, and the same macro will work - I don't have to make any annoying macro changes.

Perhaps I'd keep my lower slot for mana trinkets, such as Sliver of Pure Ice which has a use effect, or in another fight Purified Lunar Dust, which does NOT have a use effect. I bind the use of that trinket slot to Prayer of Mending, and then throw in a suppression to my macro so that I don't constantly have to hear about how that item isn't ready yet when Sliver of Pure Ice is on cooldown. Or, for that matter, due to the fact that there is no use effect for Purified Lunar Dust.

Copied and Pasted directly from Wowwiki article on macros:

No Error Text or Sound (Improved Again)

This is just like the one above but with an added tooltip that matches the original skill, and doesn't disable sound for the skill's error messages. Sound and error messages for the trinket use are still suppressed though. If you set the name of the macro to a blank space, you can't even tell it's a macro. This one is designed more for trinket use than anything else, but it's here for when you only want to silence one of the two skills this macro uses.

#showtooltip ExampleSpell1
/run sfx=GetCVar("Sound_EnableSFX");
/console Sound_EnableSFX 0
/use ExampleTrinket2
/run UIErrorsFrame:Clear()
/run SetCVar("Sound_EnableSFX",sfx);
/cast ExampleSpell1

If you're running low on characters and you're using this for a trinket, you can replace the use command with "use 13" (for upper trinket) or "use 14" (for lower trinket).

  • Credit: Vandalite of Feathermoon, and Xaeros of Shadowmoon for the macro this was based on.
  • Use: Replace "ExampleTrinket2" and "ExampleSpell1" With your cooldowns and abilities, then drag to your bar like a normal macro.
  • Works in 3.3.2

I should note that I am pretty much useless at macros, so I may be incorrect on some of my assumptions here. I know there are lots of folks who are much better at Macroing than myself, so if you see any errors, please correct me in the comments, and I will change this. Some of the things I've recommended are things I've been thinking about doing myself but haven't yet done, so if you have problems with it, again, please let me know so I can make the relevant changes. People who help me correct my stupid mistakes in comments are my heroes.
For the Love of Community
As a big advocate of the WoW community, and a (hopefully) somewhat active member in it, you can bet your sissy robes I'm pretty much a dorfish cheerleader for WoW Community.

I'm not just talking about the blogging or podcasting community. I'm not just talking about the world-first raiders. I'm talking about the wow-playing community - which includes all those random people you meet in pugs.

Now, I ask again: How do YOU feel about the WoW community?

The following thread made me start thinking about this question a lot - and when I spotted it on the WoW forums, and read Nethaera's response, I just had to share it. Every now and then Nethaera chimes in on a thread, and just adds a lot of life and warmth to it - she has this amazing ability to give someone a very gentle smackdown. You know, the kind where you're laying on the floor wondering what the hell just happened, but your face doesn't hurt one bit. This girl's got skills, man.

In the forum thread, the OP tells the story of a random heroic run in which the tank was pretty much an outright jerk. The details aren't really that important, since it's pretty much the same story you hear all over about random PuGs and a specific category of self-righteous tanks. The OP feels pretty desolate about the state of the WoW community due to the asinine antics of the tank and the sexism and vitriol spewed forth from one of the DPS.

These kind of ppl disgust me, depresses me since it shows that not even in a game where the goal is to relax and have fun, people are just as cruel and heartless as in the real world.... I know this behavior has been around in vanilla and in BC but honestly it seems to be more virulent and frequent. I will forever never understand how people can and will act like this to other humans. Perhaps i should consider quitting despite enjoying the game and maybe the expansion coming up.

I sympathize with the OP, I really do. I don't think he is a whiny player, or pathetic for being sad about the state of people with whom he is playing this game. Running into a PuG with one jerk and three average, quiet people will generally be scalded into your brain as "that shitty pug with the jerk". But the truth is, out of five people, that's one bad apple. Maybe the other three aren't particularly stellar examples of warmth and comraderie, but often times in LFD pugs, people just decide not to talk in order to avoid potential conflict with random jerks.

It reminds me of my dating days. Back in my youth (ha), when I lived in the dorms, I didn't really care much for college guys. So I fell back on what I felt most comfortable with: teh internetz. I dated people I met through online personals, and I was never really ashamed or embarassed by it. Truth is, the folks I met online are still some of the best people I've ever met - because I was able to relate to them through conversation instead of just both being in the right place at the right time. Hell, I met the guy to whom I'm engaged through an online personals site.

My mother, however, was not very fond of this concept (once she met my fiance though, she decided internet matching was a fantastic idea and promotes it to any singleton that will hear her). She was always worried about me meeting "creepy internet people". I think it never occurred to her that by her definition, I was a creepy internet person. One day I explained to her that the percentage of creepy people in the general internet population is the same as in the "real world" of folks hanging out at a bar - but if you talk to them over the internet, you have a safer way to weed out the creepies before actually meeting them face to face and putting yourself at risk.

The sad truth is, it's not that the WoW community sucks. In general, people are just more likely to be jerks to strangers - internet or no internet. The internet just allows you to meet a hell of a lot more strangers. You get jerks on every forum, and the WoW forums are certainly no exception.

In fact, the WoW community is actually pretty stellar. It's huge, and all encompassing. I think in order to get a feel for how great the community is, you actually have to step outside of the game. You even need to step away from the forums. Check out some blogs, some podcasts, twitter, conventions... truthfully, you could probably just ask around your workplace or school and you'd find someone else who plays WoW.

The thread in question got very big, very quickly. It's probably because Nethaera stepped down and got a little stern with the community-downers (as a side note, I really don't understand jumping on a community forum to ... bash the very community hosting that forum).

My input? The community is amazing. I love it. That said, bad impressions often last longer than good ones. There are always people looking to stir up things or cause some trouble, but I would strongly advise you not to let these types of experiences swallow up all the other good ones you've had or could have in the future.
And later in the thread...

I'd say it's an understatement myself. I've seen a lot of things and met a lot of people over the years. Yes, it is an amazing community of people. Take a look at the 5 and 15 year anniversary photos. Take a look at all the fan art. Look at the fansites or listen to the podcasts. Check out some of the WoW Stories, the comics, the craft projects people make, the cakes and cookies they've baked, the machinima that has been made. Check out all of the guilds that exist and the challenges they've taken on. And then there are all the things you don't see, because people don't generally go around saying, "I did x, y, z nice things for people today."

I've gotten hugs at BlizzCon from these people and watched the joy that has been shown as they met up with friends they've never met before, or reunited with ones they hadn't seen in awhile and much much more.

I get tired of seeing the community as a whole get a bad rap because of a few inconsiderate people who haven't learned how to play nice with others. It happens, but those people are not the entirety of the community and even those people can be amazing at times when they choose to be.

She chimes in multiple times later in the thread, and I encourage you to go through and at least read what she has to say. Her eternal positive attitude is personally inspiring, and it's not just because of the game.

Three cheers to the WoW community - and if you're reading this, you're an integral part of it. You, reader, are the WoW community, and I think you're great. It's people like you that make this game much bigger and better than the pixels from which it is constructed.
Azuregos Gives Me the Chills
Over the past week or so, I've been focusing my in-game energy on achievements. Loremaster, in particular, has been my goal, with a few straggling achievements I hadn't captured before on the way.

As someone who is a bit of a completionist, and also faintly bored with activities in Northrend at the moment, I rather adore achievements. In addition, one of my major goals before the release of Cataclysm was to finish off my Loremaster achievement, since I expect some of these quests will disappear, and this is a good way to make sure I get to see much of the lore and many of the zones before any incoming changes.

On the way, I'm finding new things I want to collect, in addition to experiencing content in a new way. I always hated old world dungeons, mostly because I always wound up lost. Now, however, having run Scholomance 18 bajillion times and Stratholme 16 million, I'm finally getting the hang of them. I even have a rough idea of how to get around Dire Maul. I'm getting lots of great blogging fodder, let me tell you.

For instance: Have you met Azuregos?

Now, I don't really mean to be a jerk, but when I spotted the member of the blue dragonflight wandering around Azshara (with his spirit form following closely behind), I thought to myself that he must be pretty bored and out of shape. And then I thought of the hateful Oculus and Malygos-Mc-Jerkface, both wretched relics of the blue dragonflight, and I decided right then and there that I was gonna pwn this noob.

Well. Let's just say that the noob was pwned, but the pwned noob was not a member of any dragonflight. Hmph.

After the walk of shame back to my corpse and my following resurrection, I noticed a strange debuff. Something along the lines of Mark of Frost. "Whatever," thought I, "I learned my lesson."

Apparently i didn't, though, because not long after returning to my body, I heard the sounds of another battle with Azuregos from a party of strangers. Wanting to lend my aid in any way possible, I ventured forth towards the dragon.... and immediately froze in place.

Hilarious consequences ensued.



Yeah. That's me in the middle. Frozen solid in the middle of the air.


He's not really very conversational once battle begins, for the record. (And before anyone asks, yes, this is my raiding UI - I was too lazy to set it up properly for non-raiding stuffs)



The party beating the crap out of Azuregos did not really find my situation all that sympathetic. In fact, they were kinda jerks. Oh, also, they thought I was male which really irritated me. Also, please note my waning health. Also, please ignore my annoying guildmate who keeps beating me to the awesome achievements.

The party of strangers defeated Azuregos after a few minutes, and seconds later my debuff faded, releasing me from my icy prison. As it turns out, the group was not in a party, as the individual who first struck the dragon taunted them by the fact that he got to take all the EPIC LOOTZ. I congratulated him on his many new level 60 epics, assuring him they would be very useful at level 80. The best part was when he starting jumping up and down in glee, insisting that Shadowmourne had dropped, apparently assuming that since no one else could see the loot, we would all be devastated and jealous of his treasure. I found that particularly hilarious, and after quickly dispatching a wandering elite giant nearby (so that I could feel better about myself), I left the remains to the dragon-killing strangers who were bickering about hunter loot.

When I joked about how fundamentally useless most of the loot was to a level 80, the warrior who had won all the loot asked angrily "Well then why the hell were you bothering to try and kill him, hunh?"

And this struck me as pretty sad. We talk a lot about loot, and gearscore, and I give lots of advice, and get just as excited as the next person when I great upgrade drops... but it's never really been about loot for me. Sometimes it's fun to collect things (I'm currently expanding my dwarf's wardrobe with fun old world sets), but if the only joy you get out of killing a dragon is from the treasure that remains after his death, you are entirely missing the point of why people spend so much time playing this game.
The Newest Dragon's Hoard
Well, I know it's not particularly useful, seeing as how you're all pretty handy, but I like having this kind of stuff on my blog and in the history anyway, so it is now time for the non-priesties to step outside and have some kool-aid while we holy and disc types have a little chat about Ruby Sanctum loot.

Giggity.

SO. According to WoWhead, there are only 9 epics that drop in 10 man Ruby Sanctum. And the only item a healing priest would really want is Abduction's Cover. And to be quite honest, I'm pretty meh about it. I'm currently rocking Volde's Cloak of the Night Sky, which can be purchased for 50 frost badges. For many of you, that might be pretty steep, and the Ruby Sanctum drop is an okay alternative. Personally, I hate mp5, and I would rather have the spirit (and for you Holy types, the Spirit is definitely better). However, Abduction's Cover has a red socket instead of a yellow, which means more spellpower, and that's always a solid choice.

All in all, pretty dull for us Priesties. So... let's take a gander at 25 man Ruby Sanctum.

WoWhead lists 16 different drops. Of those 16, there are 4 healy priest options.

  • Bracers of Fiery Night - Yummy. Crit + Haste is always my ideal, since mana isn't really an issue for me right now. True, you'll be competing with every other caster for it, but you could try to just let them die and maybe then they won't notice... Remember, as a healer, you hold the power! I'm currently using Bracers of Dark Blessings, of which I'm not too terribly fond (blue sockets and spirit socket bonuses make me cringe). You can bet I'll be pugging RS25 for these suckers.
  • Cloak of Burning Dusk - Vastly superior to Abduction's Cover from 10 man, and not just because of the difference in ilevel. The itemization of crit and haste in one item makes me shiver with delight. Nom.
  • Ring of Phased Regeneration - Not really much to say here, although again, that red socket is nice. I could use this as a standard upgrade from my Signet of Putrefaction, as long as I don't mind giving up the haste (and I don't) for the benefit of the crit.
  • Glowing Twilight Scale - Now this is what makes me particularly interested. I love trinkets, and I collect them and never ever throw them away. I like to mix up my trinkets based on the fight, based on my healing assignment, based on whatever my gear is currently emphasizing. What I love about this trinket is the solid spellpower bonus. As for the proc, I'll wait and see what the theory-crafters tell me. Someone go run the numbers, quickly! The shield spamming Disc priests want to know if it will proc off of the shield-heal-glyph! For me, as a tank healer, I'd love to try this out on Festergut.

Really, at this stage in the game, the only loot that interests me that much is new trinkets. TRINKETSHHHHHH. I love adding to my collection. But, for those of you who are aching to know what the potentials are for loot from Ruby Sanctum, now you have it. I can't wait to see what the heroic opportunities are!

Any word on the exact day we'll actually get a chance to infiltrate this rosy garden of dragonry?
That's What She Said
Yeah. I like it hard. You heard me.

>.>

I make things difficult. And no, I'm not just talking about the fact that I may or may not be *slightly* neurotic and therefore complicate the life of any poor sucker within a 10 mile radius, but sincerely and truly, I seem to be on some lifelong goal to make every task I endeavor to perform 10 times more difficult than it needs to be.

And I'm proud of it.

When I was in college, I had a roommate for my last couple of years. My roommate's parents were professors at the university we attended, so she had the benefit of free tuition. She worked a job for money, yes, but her parents also gave her a generous (well, it seemed generous to me anyway) stipend every month to pay her rent, groceries, etc.

I, however, busted my butt in college. I grew up in Texas, but went to college in Ohio, and I paid a fortune in out of state fees my first two years***. And with the exception of my first year (it took me five years to finish up my Bachelor's), I paid for it all myself, mostly through loans and scholarships. I know a lot of people had their parents support them while they were in college - but I refused it. My parents would send me checks and I would rip them up and send them back. I didn't want anyone's help - I wanted to do it the hard way. Not because I had to, but because I had to prove that I could.

And I judged my roommate. I felt like I was superior to her, because she struggled to make ends meet, even though she didn't have to pay tuition, even though her parents gave her a monthly stipend. I judged everyone I came into contact with. I looked down on everyone who didn't work as hard as I did, and take the hard way, like I did. This meant that I was a pretty crappy friend and girlfriend to everyone during college.

It was wrong of me. I'll give myself the benefit of the doubt, and say that I was young, and proud, and coming into my own, and determined to follow a very specific path. Years later the path suddenly became much less clear, and I got a taste of my own medicine. So now, even though I'm still the kind of person that insists on doing things the hard way, I learned a very important lesson - stop judging others who are more rational than proud.

I leveled my priest holy, and it was hard. I also leveled solo through most of BC, and it was hard. I refused to run dungeons with anyone more than a level or two above me. I wouldn't accept gifts of great gear from people that would make it easier. I felt bad looking up things on wowhead, because it made things easier.

Do you get where I'm going here?

So is it really a shock that I hate the ICC buff? Or rather, that I would prefer to not use it? The main difference is that it doesn't just affect me, but nine other people. So I caved because I understood it was what others wanted. And I don't think less of them for wanting to do that, and I sure as hell don't think less of the other million WoW players that use it. Never confuse the expectations and desires I have for myself as something I think others should try to live up to.

I actually think the buff for ICC was a fantastic idea on Blizzard's part. It was a great way to add a granularity to the difficulty level of the major battle raid in WotLK. I fully support their choice and creativity in offering this buff up - and I love the fact that players have a choice whether or not to use it. I felt that it was implemented a bit soon, but aside from that, I think it is for the benefit of all players to have that option available.

I also refuse to use a dishwasher, and wash everything by hand, mmmk? I don't use a mop, I get down on my hands and knees and scrub the floor like a Cinderella wannabe. I have very good logical reasons for all these things I do that are far more difficult than the norm, but I'm not really a role model of rational behavior over here. Don't take one blogger's thoughts and opinions as canon.


*** For the Non-Statesiders among you, what this means is that my public university education (tuition and fees alone) cost about 30,000 US dollars a year. When you go to a public university that is in-state, it is much cheaper.
Patch 3.3.5 LOLnotes
So, looks like I came back just in time for some patch goodness.

I am very pumped about Ruby Sanctum. No one ever wants to run OS anymore, and I really enjoyed OS. I like the shorter raids that are mainly built around one monstrous baddie to fight. Of course, from what I understand, though the Ruby Sanctum infrastructure will be implemented in this patch, we won't actually get to see the new raid for another week or so. I'll try to be patient:
Please note due to the way this patch is being applied in all regions, this dungeon will not immediately be available in North America. Stay tuned to our General Discussion forum for an official announcement on the opening of the Ruby Sanctum.

Then there's this Real ID thing. I know there have been a lot of concerns over this implementation, and as someone who values their privacy, I can understand. I deleted my facebook account for that very reason. Well, some variation on that reason. So, in order to keep this Real ID from violating my privacy, here are my major concerns.

  1. Real ID needs to be on an individual basis. In other words, I create some kind of Real ID connection with Fulguralis, which he accepts. Then, when I'm on my SAN toon, he can send me a tell and let me know that something exciting is going down on my home server. We already know each other's real names (his real name is Alfonzo Illustriatza Calcaterra, btw, google that shit), so I have no concerns. This is a direct one to one connection that no one else can see. I am okay with this. From what I understand, this is how Real ID will work.
  2. Now, here's what I'm really hoping will be implemented. One day Alfonzo tells me my ass looks fat in that sissy robe, and I tell him he casts like a mage, and we decide that we no longer want to be connected. I am hoping that Blizz will allow us to sever that connection, so that AlfonzoFulguralis will no longer pester me with Jenny Craig propaganda while I'm goofing off with my SAN friends.
  3. I would love love love it if we could make Real ID connections with friends on European servers, but I seriously doubt that will be possible. If we can, you can all get in line behind me as I try to pester Tam into accepting my Real ID connection invitation. I will assault him with annoying Americanisms and pictures of George Bush and Rhett Butler until he accepts**.
  4. I'm assuming we will be allowed to have cross-faction conversation connections.
  5. ETA: Whoa. I just caught this - thanks to Lissanna and Wow.com. DO NOT WANT.
IF YOU OPT-IN TO THE REAL LIFE FRIENDS FEATURE, THOSE PEOPLE YOU DESIGNATE AS "REAL LIFE FRIENDS" WILL BE ABLE TO SEE THE NAMES OF YOUR OTHER "REAL LIFE FRIENDS," AND YOUR NAME WILL BE VISIBLE BY THOSE PEOPLE THAT YOUR "REAL LIFE FRIENDS'" HAVE DESIGNATED USING THE SAME FEATURE.

So, to continue in that line of thought, there will be massive changes incoming to the chat UI. These are the sorts of things that sail miles over my Dwarven head, so I'm just going to copy and paste some of the details, because until I see them in action, it means nothing to me.

  • Players can now right-click on any chat type (Whisper, Trade, General, Party, Raid, etc.) and choose to move conversation types into separate windows. This will move that chat type to a separate tab in the Chat frame which can be undocked and moved anywhere on the screen.
    • Using the Move to Whisper Window option on a Whisper will place the conversation with that player in a separate tab.
    • Any time a conversation with another player is put into its own tab, the tab will glow when a new message is received.
  • Hovering over the Chat Frame and using the mouse wheel will allow players to scroll through chat text.
  • Players can select Classic Mode under Interface Options to keep the Chat Frame functionality closer to what it was prior to patch 3.3.5.
  • The Simple Chat User Interface option has been removed.

Now, this next part is pretty freaking cool. Apparently Blizz is implementing a system that will essentially learn from the behavior you portray on your toon. I suspect this is something they have been able to do for a very long time, and because of the controversial nature of it, have shied away from it. This is one of the first implementations of it we have seen - but I suspect we might see more of it in the future. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing, but from the perspective of Blizzard, it certainly ought to reduce the amount of in game tickets they have to resolve.

The functionality of the Vote Kick feature in the Dungeon Finder will now behave differently according to a player's history with the system. Players using the Dungeon Finder who rarely vote to kick players from a group, or rarely abandon groups before a dungeon is complete, will find that the Vote Kick option will have no cooldown. For players who frequently abandon groups or vote to kick other players, the Vote Kick option will be kept on a cooldown. This functionality will adjust itself as a player's behavior while using the Dungeon Finder changes.

One final thing regarding the Real ID. I know it will be tempting to release your ID information forth into the blogosphere because it's a great idea to connect to all your blogging friends. I think that's great, and I think that's wonderful - however, I will not be doing that. For once, I really do value the privacy of my name, but it's also because I'm a horrible multi tasker when it comes to conversations. I get incredibly overwhelmed when multiple people are talking to me at once, and I'm useless at whatever I'm attempting to get done. So, please don't take it personally or as an insult. When I'm feeling chatty, I jump on SAN or open up Twitter. What I like about these options is that when I'm DONE feeling chatty... I can log out.

So, the big question is... Whatever happened to 3.3.4?

** I would never actually do this, and if anyone does this to me I will find out where you live with my super mapping abilities and plant 8000 pink Ashlee Simpson barbie dolls in your yard.
Absence Makes the Heart Grow Moldy
I am a perpetual burnout. It's a side effect of being overly focused. When I was in college, I minored in Classical Civilization, and I read all the prose about philosophies revolving around the concept of moderation, and I have a great amount of respect for moderate lifestyles. Unfortunately, I'm completely incapable of following such rules.

You know that annoying person who finds a song he or she likes, and then plays it, on repeat, for six weeks straight? That's me. Or the chick who falls in love with a certain drink, and will drink nothing but that, and copious amounts of it, for possibly years on end. Me. Or the gamer who gets wrapped up in a game, and can't pay attention to anything else for hours, days, a week or more. Me again!

One of the (many) problems with having an overly focused brain is that I get so wrapped up in something, that one day I just snap and lose any and all interest in it. The past couple of months have been that way for me in WoW. I hated going downstairs on Monday nights to raid for two hours, and that was the only time every week I would play. I dreaded Monday nights.

The burnout started building pretty slowly. When we started our ICC raiding team, I was completely focused, and very excited. I was blogging every day, and spending hours putting together my posts. I was running our raids and doing research and write ups for our strategies. I was building SAN with Tam. I was reading hundreds of blogs and getting very connected to everyone in the community.

Then little things started to grow into big things. Small arguments within our ten man raid grew into bigger ones. Some were petty, some weren't. But, as the person who put the team together, and as someone who is generally fairly approachable, all complaints came to me. It got to the point where it felt like everyone just came to me to complain about everyone else, and there was nothing I could do about it. There was drama in the blogosphere as well, and administrative problems in SAN. I spent entire days fielding complaints and strategy conversations on google chat and even the pleasant twitter chatter started to become overwhelming for me. I'd try to make light hearted wow-conversation with guildies in gchat, and it would get twisted under the assumption that I must have some agenda for our raiding team.

This sort of thing happens to me all the time. It's not because I'm "such a nice person" and therefore always a victim, woe is me. It's because I am a control freak, and try to take on too much at the same time. I'm a perpetual diplomat, trying to make peace between multiple opposing parties. I accept full responsibility for it. At the same time, I don't want people to be mad at me. I'm a wimp at heart, and therefore it makes it very difficult to be a raid leader when you can't just tell everyone to shut up, grow up, and either have fun or GTFO. But since everyone on my raiding team is someone I have seen face to face, and someone I intend to have in my life for the next 20 years, long after WoW has faded away, I fear burning bridges.

So, I gave my fiance the reins of the raiding group. It's a lot messier now. We used to have a sign up every week, and everything was carefully planned to maximize raid buffs and efficiency. But that is simply not how my fiance rolls. But despite the fact that everything is not planned out on one of my famous spreadsheets... the raid goes on, and it's working just fine.

I very rarely speak in vent these days, and to be completely honest, once we started using the buff full-time, I no longer had any interest in running ICC anymore - it just felt pointless to me***. However, I was unable to find someone to replace my priest, so I grudgingly remained. Whenever someone tries to talk to me about raid strategies, or complain about someone in the group, I completely shut down. Nope. Sorry. I don't want to hear it or talk about it anymore.

I guess you could call it unfortunate that I burned out so badly. The truth is, it's not the first time. I burned out from 25 man raiding for nearly identical reasons. I get too involved, too invested, and then I crash. After I crash, I play the avoidance game... I avoid people who I know will want to talk about the subject. I avoid emails related to the topic. I even avoid my dearly beloved twitterati. And I should add to that last statement that twitter is pure frivolous fun. For all my friends on twitter, I'm sorry I just sort of disappeared for awhile - I really needed a break.

So that's the story of Miss Medicina's nearly 2 month absence. In addition to all my tumultuous feelings about WoW related business, I also had the job on which I was completely focused. All the energy I had put into WoW I redirected into my job, no matter how temporary I knew it to be. And I think it was really good for me, I do.

As I'm slowly starting to ease my way back into the wowniverse, I'm going to try and be a little more careful about it this time. If someone starts raising a ruckus about something in the game, I'm just going to walk away, instead of getting so emotionally invested that I burn myself out again.

It comes down to that same old phrase that we all love and hate: It's just a game. And yes, it is just a game, but yes, the people within it are real. However, I'm not going to ruin relationships with real people over a fantasy game. I'm not going to get into fights and arguments with people that will do nothing but upset me over a giant mass of pixels. I have to keep things in perspective or I will simply go insane. In the past, I've had very good real life friends who have used the game to hurt me - and that is a direct result of us putting too much emphasis on the game, and not enough emphasis on the people who are playing it.

We are all victims of the desensitizing that can happen when you are interacting with people in an abstract space instead of face to face. We do things to one another's avatars that we would never do in real life (Trust me, I've never licked anyone at a dinner party). We all simply have to keep enough perspective to remember where to draw the line.



***I've given my thoughts on the buff before, and I've had my fair share of criticism about my perceived elitist attitude about it, so let me clear it up now and just say that I have nothing against people using the buff. I don't look down on people who do. It's just not something I enjoy. It's a very prominent aspect of my personality that has surfaced in many other ways in this game and outside of it. Maybe I'll get around to explaining it in better detail one day, but for now, just know that if you are in favor of the buff, I have no problem with that. It just sucks a lot of the fun out of it for me, specifically. Trust me, I'm well aware of how annoying it is that I always want to take the hard way!
The Path Less Traveled
Oh, so I lied. It wasn't Upper Blackrock Spire that is included in today's Map 'O Misery. It's Lower Blackrock Spire. Psh. Which apparently I knew when I created this map several days ago, but forgot when I mentioned this in my post over the weekend.

What's fantastic about this map is that the base map I used actually included a handy dandy streamlined path that tells you the optimal way to travel through LBRS. As you can see, I completely ignored that. This map also includes a lovely new symbol for every place I fell down a pit and OUT OF THE INSTANCE. Grr. At least I didn't die. Basically, every place you could fall, I fell. Sometimes multiple times.

I think I spent an hour on one level running around aimlessly. At some point I found these spiders, and I killed some, and then thought that was it, and turned around and ran around some more. After finally getting frustrated enough to dig up a map through google, I realized I was supposed to continue past those damn spiders. So that's my tip for you folks working on your achievements: Go forth to the spiders, slaughter them, and then continue going past them dammit.


There you have it, isn't it lovely? I would love an addon that worked a bit like a GPS tracking waypoints and paths so that you could see exactly the path I took. I mean, I did my best to try and recreate the effect, but it would be even better if you saw the real thing, with little waypoints that marked everytime I fell down a pit or died.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Last night I went through Upper Blackrock Spire with my fiance, and I think I drove him nuts.

"You don't have to kill that... WHERE ARE YOU GOING? ... Where the hell ARE you?!!?!"
"IDK IN THE ROOM WITH THE THINGIES"
"...."
Jessabelle has earned the Achievement Leeeeeeeeeroy!
"Wheeeeeeeee!"
"Okay, Jessica, hold on a second, we have to channel this thing."
"Loots!"
"Wait until this guy is dead, so that... where did you go?"
"Hey honey can you come help me? There are all these guys up here, and they keep knocking me back and stuff."
"What are you... "
Jessabelle has died.
"ARE YOU IN THE OTHER ROOM???! Dammit, why are you dead?"
Boingo has died.
"..."
"At least I have chicken."
1000 Words is 999 Too Many
I do believe I've mentioned on numerous occasions that I am very fond of maps. Maps are like graphs or charts in the fact that they display very useful information, but they are also more "user-friendly". There's that old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, if you throw a bunch of data into a map, it says both a thousand words and a thousand numbers in one easy to understand package. Maps display information in a way that just makes a lot more sense. You can look at a chart of data and it might mean nothing to you until you put it on a map - the spatial environment being pictured gives you a lot of context.

For instance: Let's say I told you that I decided to go back and try to clean up some achievements I'm missing, such as the old world dungeons. And then let's say (hypothetically of course) that I told you "I got a little lost". I count only five words there. Let's see if a map really does give it a bit more context, and if it's really worth a 995 more, shall we?



In my line of work, we also always include a section in our research called "Exclusions & Limitations" (which for those of you not in Academia, that's the section where you add all the shit that makes everything you just did completely moot and pointless), so here I shall tell you that does not include the 20 minutes I spent lost trying to find the damn graveyard because I went AFK and something 40 levels below me meleed me to death.

Next time on Miss Medicina... I venture into Upper Blackrock Spire!! As a little spoiler, remember how I told you I have a problem falling off of ledges in Oculus? UBRS has giant holes...
OT: On the Importance of Laundry Detergent
This has absolutely nothing to do with WoW. Now that my Census job has slowed down considerably, I am very slowly starting to play WoW more... when I'm not glued to Civ IV. Sorry. I've been a Civ kid since... well, since I was a kid playing the original Civ, so, it was inevitable.

This is about how unpleasant it is to be a ridiculously clumsy and absent minded person. I don't know why I don't think before I rush headlong into something. I am just not a patient person. This has been demonstrated countless times via my cooking experiences (setting fire to the kitchen (don't put out a grease fire with water folks!), exploding eggs, nearly gassing myself to death with ammonia + bleach (okay that last one was not actually a cooking exercise per se, but it falls under the realm of household adventure, so whatever)), but I also just have a tendency to not look where I'm going.

I swear that when I was younger I had a much better sense of humor about the whole thing. But now I'm older, and my knees hurt and I'm somewhat unstable on my feet sometimes. I used to laugh every time I faceplanted. Nowadays I don't laugh until much much later.

For instance. A couple of days ago there was a massive BP-esque spill in the laundry room. Apparently the washer was having such a bouncy good time, it knocked the liquid detergent and the laundry basket to the floor, where the detergent proceeded to coat the entire concrete surface. Upon seeing this, instead of analyzing my surroundings carefully, I jumped right in to pick up the laundry basket in a fit of rage (obviously the whole thing was somehow my fiance's fault. Don't ask me how. Significant Others are there to be blamed) and then went sliding across the floor and fell on my ass.

And then immediately checked to make sure that my engagement ring wasn't damaged. Broken legs, concussions, and bruises be damned, HE BOUGHT THIS SHIT AT JARED'S.

"Whoa. You okay?" my ever chivalrous heroic fiance asked from the safety of the other side of the laundry room.
"GO. TO. HELL." I growled. And then I stripped out of my detergent coated jeans, whilst simultaneously doing the electric slide all over the floor.

Clumsy + Enraged + Slippery Surface = Very Funny Two Days Later.

Then I went to try and take a shower. Still covered in liquid detergent, this proved more difficult than I anticipated, as I found the combination of Liquid Tide and, well, Liquid Water provides a very dangerous scenario in an environment that is built of mostly rounded surfaces. The shower turned into a bath, and I pretty much seethed my way through the next 30 minutes of scrubbing.

And then I totally bawled like a baby, and ran straight to the liquor cabinet in my towel.

So, you see, it's not really that much of a role-playing leap that my priest falls off of every ledge in Oculus. I'll bet when she lands into ghost form, the first thing she does is to check and make sure her Ashen Verdict ring is safe.



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Dungeon > Chores
So, although I'm "officially" still on hiatus and completely uninformed on current WoW happenings, I feel the need to celebrate the unofficially sanctioned Celebrate Geeky Women month. Happy June second!

Why Geek Girls Are Better

"Honey, I need you to take out all the trash."
"Okay, I will in a few minutes, I'm in a dungeon."
"Oh! Which one? That's fine, I know how long it takes to queue up for that! Take out the trash after the abyss crystals."

The GeekGirl/GamerGirl will understand that asking you to abandon a dungeon immediately means trashing possibly an hour of your time, as well as screwing over 4 other real human beings. She gets that it's not just a computer game that you can pause, and that it would be very rude to just bail on other people to do your chores. (Hopefully you get right to it after your dungeon though!)
Girls Gone Geek
I heard the most depressing news today. My dear friend known ‘round the blogosphere as Fuubaar confessed to me that she had never been to a Rennaisance Festival. After I finished bemoaning this great tragedy in caps, I started to think more and more about this travesty.

This year we and several friends are going to GenCon. For me and Fuu it is our first time, as well as for another of our female friends. Last year was the first time for another of my female friends, though the guys have gone every year for nearly a decade. In the past year, I started playing Dungeons and Dragons for the first time, and I love it! I’m going to bring a very excited Fuu to her first RenFest this year.

I’m sure if you ask Fuu, she’ll tell you all the details about why she has only recently begun to experience these fun things, but I can relate to a lot of it. We’re geeks. We’ve always been geeks. But we repressed it when we were younger – it’s just not sexy to be a geek, didn’t you know?

Well screw that. I think geeky IS sexy. Gamer girls unite! I’m starting a new club, and it’s called Girls Gone Geek. And I declare the month of June Celebrate Geeky Women month.

So if you’re a guy, make sure that girls know it’s not unattractive for them to be gamers and a little geeky. Tell them it’s okay and encourage them to go do fun geeky things that they might have felt ashamed to do before. From what I understand, lots of guys would love it if their significant others were a little geekier and more into gaming!

And if you’re a girl? Do something particularly geeky this month. Break free from the patriarchy or something, ladies. Go to an arcade, have an all night wow-a-thon, tell the girls at work all about your tauren. If they look at you weird, tell them to go shove their eyeliner up their ass while you go get exalted with the Ashen Verdict.

Any other suggestions for fun GGG things Fuu and I can drag ourselves into? We’ve also decided we’re going to start brewing mead, so if you have any great recipes or links, send them our way!
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Miss Medicina by Miss Medicina is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
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