Do Not Downrank that Heal (to Save Mana)!

10 months ago and at level 70 downranking your heals was a standard way to save mana, e.g. by spamming downranked Greater Heal continuously but still staying with almost full mana (because of mana cost and mana regen).

However, this all changed in the patch 3.0.2 (Downranking from WoWWiki) :

With the release of patch 3.0.2, downranking was essentially eliminated for its ability to conserve mana, as all spells are now reliant on current base mana. It can still be used as a choice should a player want to use a faster spell

So if you downrank your heal, you'll be using the same amount of mana but heal a lot less. Generally this is a bad thing (there are exceptions, if downrank is faster to cast but this is pretty rare).

And this is exactly what I did all the way from level 70 to 80, and even *on* the level 80. I downranked all my heals, I was healing about 2/3 of my max heals but I was using the same amount of mana. I did Heroic Culling of Stratholme like this (not easy), I did Spider Wing of Naxxramas like this. Basically using level 70 heals all the way.


For the sake of it? Because I'm crazy? Well, yes, but that's not the case here.

I use combination of addons called Grid and Clique for my heals. Grid is super simple, but modifiable, group/raid frame. And Clique enables you to bind any spell in your spell book to keypress-combinations used with different mouseclicks & cast them on mouseover (so no "targeting" in a sense). All this works beautifully apart from this one small thing...

When you "map" a spell with Clique (e.g. by holding down Alt and right-clicking a spell in spellbook with Clique config open, that spell is mapped to Alt + Right-click), it essentially maps the certain *rank* of that spell. Now you probably see why I was using level 70 heals all the way...

I've been using Clique for a very long time, so of course, I had mapped my level 70 heals to it. In came the expansion, I never went to see Clique's config - why should I, spells were already mapped and I was mostly dps leveling my way up - so all the spells were at level 70 rank.

I'm so happy the fellow priests noticed this when we were doing Naxxramas (don't remember the exacts, but I was throwing 7-8k crit Greater Heals, when it should be closer to 11-14k range). So I remapped all my spells and now it's good.

Conclusion: Addons are very helpful, but don't rely on them to work as you think they work, make sure they do :)

Zemalf out, See You in Northrend!


Be Prepared for WotLK: Badges of Justice

Continuing the series 'Be Prepared for Wrath of the Lich King', this time on Badges of Justice you have lying around.

In Wrath of the Lich King, there will be new "badges": Emblem of Heroism, similar to Badges of Justice, but for level 80. Badges of Justice will continue dropping in level 70 heroics and raids, but you can only use them to level 70 items.

If you have plenty of Badges lying around, you might want to make use of them now - or actually not lying around anymore, as they are in your Character windows Currency tab, but anyway.

More and less you have two options:

1) Use Badges of Justice to optimize your gear for leveling, that starts after a week from now, by buying items that will help you do more damage, and thus, level more quickly.

* use lootrank.com to evaluate which items you could possibly buy. You don't have to do theorycrafting yourself, as you can take advantage of the templates dwarfpriest has gracefully submitted to lootrank.com for all of us.

2) Use Badges of Justice to buy uncut Epic Gems, 15 badges a shot. You can use the gems yourself to help the early leveling, or you can sell'em as they're not bind in anyway to you:

* Cut the gems yourself, or find Jewelcrafter to cut them for you, and socket the gems to your current gear to boost damage.

* Sell the gems! Prices are going down fast, but you still might fetch several hundreds of gold if you're quick. Check the Auction House for the prices, and decide if it's better to sell the raw gems or the cut ones.

I'm going for a combination of these, I'll be buying couple of items I can use, which will even out my shadowpriest gear in different slots, and the rest of the badges I'll be putting on gems, which I will sell. If it happens that I can't sell'em during this week for reasonably good price, I'll get'em cut for +Spellpower & possibly +Hit gems and use them then.

One more tip: It's only a week to go until expansion is live, so make a use of it and empty your bags and bank from unneeded trash and sell'em at Auction House. After doing that you might want to empty your quest log (by doing the quests preferrably, not just abandoning them) to have a fresh start with the quests from the expansion.

If you're in a guild, or even responsible for the guild bank, you might have a lot of work to do when emptying the guild bank and selling the items, but it pays off with more room in bank for the new mats and items, and of course, some much needed gold for the guild.

That's all for now. See you in Northrend.

Blog Watch: 1M Milestone For Dwarfpriest

A Dwarf Priest achieved 1 Million page hits. Congratulations!

Short story: if you haven't visited the best priest centric blog there is, or one of the best WoW blogs/websites in general, you're missing out a lot, so visit A Dwarf Priest now, subscribe and never look back.


Be Prepared for WotLK: Leveling

The Wrath of the Lich King expansion is upon us, and for many it means leveling our character to the new level cap of 80. It's been ages since I've done any leveling, and just a week ago I took and leveled all my alts at least two levels, just to get a hang of leveling again.

So here's a quick post with some tips for leveling:

Spec and gear for the most damage

Forget healing. Concentrate on Damage!

You should be geared, and Your talent points should be distributed, to maximize you damage (and thus maximize your experience/hour for example).

For example, I will be very dark shadow priest as soon as the expansion launches, as shadow talents improve my damage output the most.

Get some questing addons

Two I use the most are:
- Tips directly from Wowhead to aid your questing
- Calculates the most efficient path to do the quests you have

And to take these two to a whole new level:
Cartographer 3.0
- Maps and notes
- Waypoint arror deluxe

Don't forget to have fun

It's new expansion! so enjoy it, don't let it swoosh by too fast :)


Achievement Hunt: Two new videos

As I posted before, I'm heavily into the achievements. I love'em. Rigth now, they keep me busy and they keep me in the game until the expansion comes out. I should probably be leveling some of my Alts, but getting the next (and next, and next) achievement is just so addictive and fun!

I have noticed that some of the achievements are pretty hard or so into detail that they are pretty hard to do without guide, so I look up achievement info from Wowhead achievement pages.

The guides and instructions are great, but it's fun to show things on video as well, so I just posted two youtube videos showing how to do couple of the achievements I did yesterday. One being for the Quests and The Burning Crusade: Blade's Edge Bomberman and the other is The Lurker Above for Fishing (and Accomplished Angler).

Check them out if you need help on doing those:

WoW Achievement: The Lurker Above (Fishing)

WoW Achievement: Blade's Edge Bomberman

Do subscribe to my videos if you like, as I'm posting some WoW videos every now and then.

Quick note to other WoW fishing enthusiasts, if you haven't found El's Extreme Anglin' yet, go there now :) It's the best place for any kind of WoW Fishing info, and even that it's concentrated on fishing profession, it's one the best WoW sites in general because of the superb quality in all aspects.


Gone Fishing.

I didn't play WoW between the 2.4 patch and just-launched 3.0.2, and during those months several of my old WoW friends have moved on, and some of them I miss already. Happily, I'm in active guild (and they didn't kick me out or anything) and my friend list is not totally gray (everyone offline), so I won't turn too lonely in game :)

But that wasn't what I planned to write about as the new patch 3.0.2 brought a load of new features to the game, which will keep me busy too..

Hail to the WoW Achievements!

I had a post earlier this year about What kind of bartle player you are?. This of course refers to the Bartle Test, which categorizes players depending on what their interest in game is. I was somewhere along achiever-explorer-socializer-killer lines, in that order. And at least the achiever part is dead on..

With the new Achievements in 3.0.2, I started rethinking the whole thing, and realized that I must be quite a bit on the "achiever" side, as I immediately started checking the achievements and planning how I can start working my way towards the more difficult to reach achievements.

So I'm doing all kinds of odd things around Azeroth and Outlands, just to get achievement unlocked, couple of points and possibly a mount or title at some point. Some couldn't care less about the achievements, but for me, they're something to work towards, keep me busy and feel that I achieve something. Even that I don't actually achieve much, but anyway :)

At the moment, I'm concentrating on fishing - for those who know me in-game, no big surprise :) The Accomplished Angler achievement for title of "Salty" is what I work towards. The achievement requires a murloc-ton of running and fishing rare fish in hard to reach places, including raid instances SSC & ZG and opposing capital - Orgrimmar for me. Before I had no reason to go and bug Hordies in any way, but now I have a reason. Fish.

After I get the fishing achievements done as far as I can pre-expansion, I'll turn my eyes on Cooking and start pursuing the Hail to the Chef and title "Chef" to go with the "Salty" from fishing one.

Heck, when the expansion is out, I might even try to shoot for the Realm First! Grand Master Angler, but I think it might be really hard and would need me to get the game as soon as possible.

That pretty much describes the game experience for me, there's always something to look forward to. At some point I might (again) get bored, and take a break, but I don't see why I wouldn't keep playing/returning to WoW every now and then. When the expansion is launched and level cap is opened, the leveling start again and the brand new gear will be there to be looted - so again, there will be something to look forward to.

So WoW is quite a bit about achieving and pursuing something. And at the same time exploring things you've not seen or experienced before. But one can't deny the social aspect of the game, the friends you have in the game can also be the reason you keep returning to the game.

Perhaps that's what has made WoW so popular - something for everyone.


Back in WoW: 3.0.2 Patch is Here.

Those darn Wrath of the Lich King ads and the Blizzcon news I ran into. It's been 7 months since I started the break from WoW. But I couldn't resist too long.

I'm back in WoW.

Yes, I resurrected my account and installed the game to my repaired laptop. So I enter the game just when 3.0.2 patch enters the realms, so I handily avoided everything between 2.4 and 3.0. And a month before the new expansion. Just in time to get myself ready for the level 70-80 grind (Bye bye Holy Priest for a while, welcome the good'ol Shadow!).

There's loads of info about the new patch and such around, here's the one for Priests: Patch 3.0.2 Priest Survival Guide by Dwarfpriest.com. btw, I was so glad that the dwarfpriest blog/site was still around, and bigger than it was when I last visited, helped me a lot to read all that info while waiting for the patch downloads after install. So with such quality info I'll probably survive my comeback.

Anyway, I picked up the little things from 3.0.2 patch notes. And it's the little things that matter the most :)

Macros and key bindings are now saved server-side so there is no longer a need to reconfigure them when logging in using another computer.

- So good! I wish this had been around already, so I wouldn't need to reset every macro I ever had. But for the future, very nice.

Once a vanity pet or mount is learned, the icon will disappear from within a player’s inventory and reappear in the appropriate tab under the pet tab under Character Info. Say goodbye to your vanity pets and mounts taking up bag and bank slots!

Lost pets and mounts (one time quest rewards) can be recovered by visiting a stablemaster.

- YES! at least 10 or 20 slots freed from bank and bags. So good.
- And if the other one means that I can get the pets and mounts I had to delete to free some space in bank, it gets even better.

There was also some info/news about Badges of Justice and Battleground Marks being stored in the new "Wallet", freeing even more space in the bank - but I didn't find this from patch notes.

Of course there's a whole lot of class changes, new talents trees, addon problems/downloads/installs and all that which makes your and my head hurt.

But I don't stress about that right now, I have to learn the game again. It took a while to remember how to move the toon like I did 7 months ago with the camera/mouse (mouse right-button pressed worked). But I figured it out, so maybe I'll survive. And I got Pitbull unit frames and Clique setup already, so maybe even some healing when I get into the game after patch is out in EU servers.

But before that I'll be attending the preview of all previews today, Max Payne the Movie.


Eve Kick-Start: Fitting Your Ship

I'm not an expert on fitting internet spaceships and there's plenty of suggestions around forums and net how to fit basically any ship at any point of EVE Online.

However, I'll write up some basic info about fitting your ship, as I was pretty overwhelmed when I first opened up the in-game market to take a look what is available.

You're fitting you ship for a purpose: to maximize cargospace, make the ship faster, be able to mine ore, be able to do damage to opposing ship, etc. And most of the time it comes down to...


1. Be able to sustain more damage than the other fellow can.
2. Be able to do more damage than the other fellow can.
3. Be able to evade hostile contact or break that contact.

A Comprehensive New Player Guide to Tanking


To start this, to try different fittings for your ship, you don't want to spend ISK to see it won't fit or just isn't what you wanted. Luckily there's an excellent tool for this, called Eve Fit Tool (EFT). Download the tool and try it out.

Second, there's a post with all ships setup threads in the forums for your pleasure or even more in the Battleclinic.com's Ship loadouts tool, so you don't need to figure out it yourself. I know I was flying my first frigates without knowing why I fitted it like I did, I just followed guidance :)


You should also pay attention to the bonuses your ship has, and fit it accordingly (most of the time) - ship type's bonuses are listed in the description part of the ship info. For example, if the ship has bonuses for cargo space or mining yield, it's not probably the best mission runner for you, but it will be great miner instead. Or if the ship has bonuses for small hybrid turret damage, you are very likely to have the best results using those small hybrid turrets. There are exceptions of cource, especially later in the game and PvP, but I don't know anything about that yet, so just believe me: take the benefit of the ship bonuses.

When fitting the ship, you'll bump into cpu and power capacity, which different item modules eat away (some more, some less, some nothing). The cpu and power capacity of the ship increases with your electronics and engineering skills - which is why they were mentioned as one of the "core skills" in the Skill Training installment of Eve Kick-Start. So keep in mind that it's not just the getting the skill to get into a ship. It's also about flying it well and there's quite many skills which help you fly any ship better.

Other than that, it's all about figuring out what you want and then getting the best tools (you can afford) for the job. When looking and comparing the different kind of modules of the same type, keep an eye on the Meta Level of the item. Meta Level is a quick indicator of how good the item is, higher being better. For more detailed comparison, take a look at item info (that blue 'i') - go to the variations tab - and at the bottom of the window you'll see button to 'compare' - Click, and you can easily see the attributes of the different variations.


When you're starting out, you're initial ships will be frigates. Your edge flying a frigate is speed. So take an advantage of that and improve it even further. By doing this, level 1 missions will be a breeze.

Look for ship fittings which includes Afterburner I & Nanofiber Internal Structure - These increase you speed - most level 1 mission foes will never catch you or even hit you. Fit your ship with long-ranged weaponry and look for more range from ammunition. For example, In my Tristan (Gallente Frigate II), I used this setup:

[Tristan, Newbie Edition]
Nanofiber Internal Structure I
Nanofiber Internal Structure I
Shield Power Relay I

Small Shield Booster I
1MN Afterburner I
Cap Recharger I

150mm Railgun I, Tungsten Charge S
150mm Railgun I, Tungsten Charge S
Standard Missile Launcher I, Flameburst Light Missile
[empty high slot]

Hobgoblin I x1

It was easy to fit with new character (Electronics 2 and Engineering 2 I think). The setup takes benefit of the speed. And Tungsten charges in the Small Railgun Is increase the optimal range to over 16 kilometers, where most level 1 mission enemies can't even shoot! And when they do, Small Shield Booster I was a plenty to deal with it. And with one missile slot empty it handled level 1 missions very nicely.

OK, there's a small introduction to ship fittings and early frigates. But you'll be quickly going for destroyers or cruisers, especially if you chose military career - and to get ready for that and everything else you want to know, read up from forums Ships and Modules Resource Thread in the forums. And keep in mind the forums Ultimate New Player Guide Collection.

Fly Safe! Always have a skill in training, Keep your clone up to date and Insure your ship.


Eve Kick-Start: Tutorials and Beyond

Continuing the EVE Kick-Start series (previous parts covered Character Creation and Skill Training)

After creating your character, and it's the first time you're playing EVE Online - do the tutorial. Seriously, do it. You gain basic knowledge of the game AND get a lot of useful equipment, including ships.

Eve Kick-Start: Tutorials and Beyond

So do the tutorial, and do the 2 part mission you get from the agent during/after the tutorial. After this the agent adds an Event-Agent to your People & Places (menu there on the left which you should be familiar after tutorial).

Go to the station the agent is, and do the 10 part mission from the Event-Agent after the 2 part tutorial mission. This will net you about 500000 ISK, implants, basic skill books and on top of that you'll get your first new ship (as a side note, that ship you'll get will be superb for early mining, which is a great way to get money in Eve).

After doing the 10 mission arc, you can do whatever you want. That's Eve - a sandbox.

However, I highly recommend doing the 10 mission arcs for the other careers of your race as well (2 in addition to the one you already did). You can find them from the system list below.


Do the 2 part tutorial in each station, then start the 10 part mission from the Event-Agent.

Amarr: Conoban, Deepari, Pasha
Caldari: Jouvulen, Uitra, Todaki
Gallente: Trossere, Couster, Clellinon
Minmatar: Malukker, Hadaugago, Embod

To get to the system you want: Go to the star map (F10), Go to search window and type in the system name (or the start of it). Right-click, set destination.

The autopilot you're way there -or- do it manually 'warping to 0' to each gate waypoint, jump through, rinse and repeat until you arrive at the destination. Watch out for low-security systems, as you are more likely to get shot there, set you're autopilot accordingly (should as default avoid low-sec systems).

Like said, doing all the 10 part missions will net you a load of early ISK, equipment, implants and ships. After this I'd recommend you to at least some mining, as it is one of the best, if not *the* best way to make early money. Or try the missions, especially if you chose military career, but do buy some better equipment for your ships (or actually better ship even).

You'll also want to join a corporation at some point, there's a plenty of rookie friendly corporations out there, so just pick the one that looks to suit you're play style and future plans. You can find corporations using the corporation tap on the left menu (NeoGon they call it), and use the search or look at the adverts. You can also join the Recruitment channel if you want. Eve University is on of the best bets early on, as Eve Uni specializes in helping and training new players, so definately check them out.

As a last tip, or more of a reminder for new pilots: you're not safe anywhere in Eve. You can be shot at any point. You are *relatively* safe in high security systems (0.5 and above), but don't count on it, so...

Never Undock with Something You Cannot Afford To Lose

That ends this segment of Eve Kick-Start. Fly Safe, keep you're clone up-to-date and insure your ship :)

All Things Eve (Further Reading)

Into Eve Online
Risk and Reward in Eve
Eve Kick-Start: Fitting Your Ship

Eve Kick-Start: Creating a New Eve Character
Eve Kick-Start: Skill Training for Newbies
Eve Kick-Start: Tutorials and Beyond


Eve Kick-Start: Skill Training for Newbies

As I mentioned in the previous post about Creating a New Eve Character, I was once new to EVE Online as well and wanted to share the experiences I've had, and hopefully help the new players to get the most out of EVE.

Eve Kick-Start: Skill Training for Newbies

As you may already know, skill training in Eve is time based. And you can train any skill you want (taken that you have the prerequisites for the more advanced skills). Thus, you're not tied to any "class" choice or anything like that. How fast you gain skillpoints, is based on the attributes of your character. After the skill is trained, you have that skill, and attributes won't affect how good you are using that skill.

Early on you might want to train some skills towards your early career (mining, industry, trade, etc.) or train up core skills - like engineering, electronic and mechanic - which any pilot needs as they boost the abilities of any ship you choose and enable you to fit the usual modules you need. Whatever you choose, train the ten core skills listed below.

If you like more in-depth info about the skills, look for that in the EVElopedia Skill Guide, Useful Thread on EVE Forums about Skill Training, or one of the short lists about those skills: EVE Skills Roadmap.

Below is a list I've compiled from several sources, including the wonderful New Players: Very First Steps -guide.


Train all these skills to level 3, before going for 4 and 5. The numbers behind the skills is my recommended order what to train to 4 and 5 first.

Engineering (4): maximize the power grid.
Electronics (1): maximize the CPU.
Energy Systems Operation (2): max the capacitor recharge rate.
Energy Management (3): maximize the capacitor capacity.
Shield Management (5): maximize shield capacity.
Shield Operation (8): maximize the shield recharge rate.
Mechanic (6): maximize hull strength.
Hull Upgrade (7): maximize armor strength.
Navigation (9): maximize armor strength.
Spaceship Command (10): maximize armor strength.


Energy Grid Upgrades: reduce the CPU need of power modules.
Weapon upgrades: reduce the cpu needs of weapons
Control bursts: reduce the capacitor need of weapons

Summary - early on, concentrate on the core skills, and then go for the skills you need for the things you want to do and want for new ships, equipment or career.

Recommended order to train the core skills: Engineering, Energy Systems Operation, Energy Management, Electronics, Shield Management, Mechanic, Hull Upgrades, Shield Operation, Navigation & Spaceship Command. First take all to 3, then to 4 in this order and then to 5.

As a last tip for this entry, download EVEMon - Character Monitoring and Planning tool. In short, it's a tool for keeping track of your EVE Online character progression and planning your skill training in advance (and offline even). You can easily find the skills needed to fly the ship you want or equipment you want to fit and so on. In addition to this, it helps you schedule the skill training based on your play time. Even if you don't understand all this, just get EVEMon :)

All Things Eve (The Full Series)

Into Eve Online
Risk and Reward in Eve
Eve Kick-Start: Fitting Your Ship

Eve Kick-Start: Creating a New Eve Character
Eve Kick-Start: Skill Training for Newbies
Eve Kick-Start: Tutorials and Beyond

Eve Kick-Start: Creating a New Eve Character

I'm new to EVE Online. My character, Araihs Revlis, was born on 15th of September 2008, 14:01 game time. So that makes me 3 weeks old today. With my Eve newbie experiece, I'd like to share some tips that helped me during these first couple of weeks in Eve. Starting with character creation.

(This post was written in 2008 and the character creation has changed significantly since then. You can read up on Character Creation and Character Creator in EVElopedia.)

Eve Kick-Start: Creating a New Eve Character

As I first started Eve (with 14 day trial), I created a Gallente with industrial career and perception attribute at 3 (Gallente Intaki) - this made it hard (time consuming) to train and fly new ships. During the couple of days with the industrial character, I noticed that perception is quite important attribute in Eve. Attributes of the character affect how fast you gain skillpoints (different attributes for different skills), so having signicantly low attributes makes some skills take a longer time to train.

I researched a bit, and found several articles about creating optimal character for Eve, but several were concentrating on how much time it takes to train all possible skills in Eve, which is a bit too longterm for me, as I don't plan to fly every ship in Eve (and if I do, I'll create Alts to be honest). For those interested, optimal character build for training all possible skills in Eve promotes high perception and low charisma, as a lot of skills (ships for example) use perception and less use charisma (apart from Trade and Leadership).

But I wanted to create more balanced character. Thus, I re-rolled and created Araihs. I chose Gallente Jin-Mei, Saan Go Caste, as I didn't want to hinder any attribute. A simple guide: Tips for Eve Online Character Creation was the one I followed, and succeeded in creating balanced character which enables me to enjoy and follow whatever career I choose in Eve, without any skill training taking too long.

So here's a tip#1 for Eve newbie: Create a balanced character (all stats 7 or above), and with slightly higher perception and intelligence. With balanced character build in Eve, you can train any skill in reasonable time, which makes it easier (and fun) to try out all kinds of things when you're new and exploring all the possibilities in Eve and have all options open for the future. If you want to specialize at some point, you can for example create a high-perception character to train and fly ships and specialize in combat, but for your main character it's good to have all options open, at least that's how it is for me.

As for career and specialization, I would recommend any new Eve player to choose Military career and one of the specializations under it. Why? because Eve is about Internet Spaceships after all - and with Military career you have the prerequisites covered to train your race spesific Cruiser and Industrial from day 1 and fly better ships than that rookie frigate right from the start if you want (better Frigate or Destroyer). And you can equip all kinds of cool equipment without training any skills.

Even if you want to pursue Mining, Trading or Industrial career eventually, flying better ships makes the start more fun as you're training the skills you want. Of course, if you want to start as mining pilot for example, by all means go for it, but be ready to train those ship skills!

If you're undecided, all the starting attribute for any race and bloodline can be found from EVE[geek]. Be sure to bounce back and forth during the character creation, checking the attributes and the skills with the two tabs in bottom left to see how the choices affect starting attributes and what skills you'll be starting with the chosen starting career and specialization.

Now that we have character creation covered and to kick-start your Eve experience, dive in the game! Or read up a bit more - Guide & FAQ : New character creation from EVE Online forums.

One last thing - if you're the kind of player who likes to study and read as much as possible about the game you play or want to play (I'm like that), then you'll also want to checkout the Ultimate New Player Collection from EVE Online forums.

Do you have any tips on character creation? Please add your comments then :)

All Things Eve (The Full Series)

Into Eve Online
Risk and Reward in Eve
Eve Kick-Start: Fitting Your Ship

Eve Kick-Start: Creating a New Eve Character
Eve Kick-Start: Skill Training for Newbies
Eve Kick-Start: Tutorials and Beyond


Risk and Reward in Eve

I've been mostly trading the last few days in EVE Online. My ISK balance has been steadily improving, so it's been good.

Risk and Reward in Eve

Two times I've been blow to pieces when hauling in low-sec, both times my industrial has been empty. The first time I got pod-killed as well, second time I managed to warp my pod to safety (after first undocking straight into the only other pilot in the system, who happened to be a pirate, duh).

Since then I've plugged myself with attribute enhancing implants to boost my skill training, and because of this I've been more and less travelled in high-sec only.

This morning I spotted lucrative trade route, but the buying end of the route was in low-sec, and then I realized that if I go for it, I can lose it all: If I make it to the station and make the purchase, most of my ISK will be tied to the goods in my cargo. If I get destroyed after that, it's all gone. If I get podded, I lose substantial investment I made in the implants. Even that I checked the system stats for recent activity, and it looked "safe", I didn't do it. I had too much to lose.

Then it hit me. This was fear. I was afraid to lose it all.

This is what makes Eve unique from anything I've experienced in massively multiplayer online games. I can actually lose something if things go bad. So it actually possible to risk it all (not recommended!). In other games I've played, like WoW, what you risk in the end? Not much. Your risking "to waste time" if you die, but that's pretty much it. In Eve, it's a whole new ball game.

Thus, I have to constantly evaluate the risk and reward of every action in Eve. And this is why I've enjoyed Eve so much. The rush after succesful "risk-run" is amazing!

All Things Eve (Further Reading)

Into Eve Online
Risk and Reward in Eve
Eve Kick-Start: Fitting Your Ship

Eve Kick-Start: Creating a New Eve Character
Eve Kick-Start: Skill Training for Newbies
Eve Kick-Start: Tutorials and Beyond


Into Eve Online with the same old, now fixed, laptop

Whoo, I got my laptop back, the video card was broken - so much for trying all kinds of "fix Vista" attempts and trying/installing all kinds of tools and drivers. Well, anyway, the laptop is back and it's been working nicely.

Into Eve Online

I couldn't stay out of massively online games for more than six months it seems as now I'm playing EVE Online - which is "Elite like", scifi/space game - where all the action happens in one universe (no realms, everyone plays on the same server!). Oh, and I just found out, that one can be "healer" in Eve too!

There are no classes in Eve - just skills, but training for the right skills and buying the right stuff for one's spaceship, other ships shields/armor/hull can be repaired remotely, thus healing! Yay. Not that I'm necessarily gonna play like that, I'm more into mining and trading in Eve at the start, but the options seems endless.

(for those not understanding the fuzz about healing, just look at what I posted about WoW, and you'll understand)

I totally recommend checking Eve out, as it's free to download (no need to buy the game from store or anything, just download), free to try for 14 days, and it's whole lotta fun (at least for me).

I'll be (most likely) writing more about Eve in the future, but while at it and if you're interested, and were or are playing WoW, check CrazyKinux's blog for EVE Online questions for WoW Players and then Hammer's Eve for some good guidance.

All Things Eve (Further Reading)

Into Eve Online
Risk and Reward in Eve
Eve Kick-Start: Fitting Your Ship

Eve Kick-Start: Creating a New Eve Character
Eve Kick-Start: Skill Training for Newbies
Eve Kick-Start: Tutorials and Beyond


The Day My Laptop and Vista Stopped Working

First blog entry in a while! If you subscribed when I was still active in WoW, sorry but no WoW stuff :( Just random rambling story about my struggles with my 10 month old laptop and Windows Vista.

I started having problems with my Acer 7520g laptop with Windows Vista Home Premium a while ago, problems being computer/Vista crashing or freezing and not coming back up.

I had some crashes prior to this, but nothing too serious and everything seemed to work fine, so I shrugged it off as "normal windows" behaviour.

After 9 or so months, the system got frozen for the first time. Suddenly everything stopped, screen was frozen, the picture got bit "blurry" (looked like less colors with some purple pixels on screen) and I could only restart the computer with power switch.

After first such freeze everything worked fine, Vista restarted normally, so I once again thought "it was just one of those times". But at this time I took backups of my latest files, just in case.

Second time, computer froze exactly like the last time (couple of days later). This time, Vista started loading normally, but before the login screen should've been up, the computer stuck on black screen and nothing happened. I went to repair the windows (as system suggested when I forced boot with switch).

The Startup Repair did it's thing, but Vista still didn't start. So I went back to repair, and this time used System Restore, which worked ok, but after the restore Antivirus software started malfunctioning (Norton Internet Security). I uninstalled it, as at that point I suspected it was the source of the crashes, and installed new firewall (Comodo) and antivirus (Avira) and everything seems to be ok.

I also installed Speedfan to check if the laptop was overheating (which could've caused such freeze). Both HDDs were showing about 40-45 celcius, Core was at 60-65 and Temp1 (GPU?) at 60-65. So these seemed fine (bit high, but nothing too dangerous). So I figured everything was ok now as the computer started fine when I restarted it after all the installs and fixes. So I turned off the computer that day.

But the next day when I turned on the computer, it didn't boot. Startup repair didn't work. System restore didn't work (tried all the Restore Points I had). Vista did start in Safe Mode, so I managed to take last backups of my files. After trying everything, it seemed that restore to factory settings was the only way, so this is what I did.

I booted the computer, pressed Alt Gr + F10 to bring up the Acer eRecovery as instructed in the manual. I chose to reset to Factory settings (I don't have user defined recovery point, just the "day 1" settings. The factory recovery seemed to go ok. Recovery was finished, and system went to reboot and start Vista when I pressed OK. Vista started "the first time install" normally, "Please wait" and "loading mouse cursor" showed on screen, just like the first time I turned on the computer 9 months ago.

But suddenly screen went black, and all I could see was Black screen with white underscore flashing on top left corner. There was no response to key presses or anything. After letting the computer stay at this stage for a long time, I turned off the computer and back on after a while. When Vista started it showed error message, something like this: "Unexpected error has occurred and Windows install could not be finished. You can reboot and start Windows install again. Press OK to reboot". I let the Vista start once more, just in case, but I got the same error message. Safe mode didn't work (as Vista wasn't installed yet).

So I went to eRecovery again, and reseted to Factory settings again. The install went ok, just like last time, but when Vista was finalizing the install, it stopped like last time (Black screen, white underscore flashing in top left corner) and install could not finish.

So now there is no working OS in the computer and eRecovery to reset factory settings is not working.

After the initial crashes I ran hard drive check to see if it was ok, and got no errors (although saw lot of blue pixels on the screen when it ran, but didn't think it was too serious). I also ran the windows memory check, which didn't report any errors (didn't report "no errors" either, but I think that's normal).

I'm guessing there is something broken in the computer, either memory or hard drive, or the eRecovery partition is somehow corrupted.

I'll try to create bootable Vista DVD on another computer, and run some tests again, in case I Vista doesn't crash from DVD as well (which would indicate definate error with the memory).

After this, I'll be returning the laptop to Acer service, and hopefully get fully functional, error-free laptop back (whether it being repaired or a new one). Wish me luck!


Taking a break from WoW

The boredom came after six months for me.

I played way too much and I simply got bored.

And playing through the end-game content felt like work more than fun game.

With all the grinding needed to keep up with raiding is just too much.

Early in the game, rewards (e.g. gear upgrades) come every hour or even every minute - at the end game rewards come monthly. Weekly or daily if you're extremily lucky.

End game is just too slow for me. I might come back some day, but it'll be more casual.

I have subscription until end of May, so I'll be playing a bit every now and then, but it's very likely I don't renew the subscription anymore.


Forum Watch: (Priest) 2 years healing in raids, now losing spot

A Human Priest named Lizarb made a rare thing in WoW forums priests community and created nicely structured post about the problems of the healing priest in raids. She has been 2 years healing in raids, now loosing spot (repost on US Priest Forums too).

As a summary of the post: in her guild healer spots previously filled with Priests, have now been conquered by other healer classes for greater Utility and Survivability. Priests are no longer needed for raids as other classes can do the same job better.

I'm relatively inexperienced raider compared to her, as I don't know pre-2.3 WoW, but from what I read from the post, makes sence:

I get one-two shotted in raids/instances if something bad happens. I'm still using Primal Mooncloth Set as the +healing and mana regen is ridiculously good, compared to early/mid raid drops. My Power Word: Shield hardly saves anyone.

I've been relatively happy with my priest, and I think I still am, but I still feel that many aspects of the (healing) priest could be improved.

But you better read the original post by Lizarb yourself, and if you feel like it, post your comments to either the original European thread or the re-post in US forums, whichever you have access to.


Blog Watch: Interview with a Gold Seller

I was pointed to the blog in question by Matticus' post at World of Matticus.

And whether you approve gold selling, buying it, cheating in a digital game or are very much against all that, I think one of the most interesting blog posts last week was Tobold's MMORPG Blog: Interview with a Gold Seller.

I found it interesting, because it made me think again (yes! it happens, thank you very much): What kind of player I am (how I play), and why do I play WoW (or any other game).

When I'm playing a single player game, I don't use cheat codes or such, as that would be cheating and what's the point in cheating yourself?

In a multiplayer game, I play with what is given to me, as doing something against the rules would be cheating, not only against yourself, but against everyone else in the game too. Remember, you are not alone.

So personally, I would never buy gold, items, leveling service or whatever these companies offer, because that would take away everything I love in World of Warcraft:

What I got, I have earned. What I got, I had others there to help me. And what I got, I can help others with.

And where's the fun in buying bytes with credit card, when I can have the most fun trying to figure out a virtual economy and play a little business game inside the fantasy world?

When someone finally gets that *ding* for level 70 or gets that Epic Flyer after hours of grinding, I'd cheer her, she worked for it: She earned it.

But if someone would pay real life currency for the same, it wouldn't be the same, would it?

I don't admire people for what they wear, I admire them for what they are.


Two (Healing) Addons to Rule Them All

The most useful healing addons right here. Individual needs and preferences apply, but these ones I love the most.

I'm addon "freak", I use them a lot, so I reckoned to make another topic out of it.

I'm constantly tuning my UI, removing unused addons and adding new ones. I like it simple but my screen always ends up cluttered, as I feel that I need this and that.

I prefer Ace addons, as they're constantly maintained (a blessing after patches). With WowAceUpdater it's easy to install new addons and it keeps all my installed Ace addons up-to-date with single click. As all Ace addons use the same library, the addons are lightweight for cpu (compared to having same number of independent addons)

I use Omen and BigWigs, which help a lot in raids/groups.

I have Pitbull unitframes (even more important after, for some reason, my Grid started malfunctioning).

For heals I use Clique (different mouse clicks with different modifiers (alt/ctrl/shift) to do mouseover heals on frames/player).

For decursing I use, well, Decurse. And tons more (e.g. Fubar,Bartender3,Buffalo2,AuctioneerAdvanced,etc)

But if I would recommend two addons to all healers (and all casters, and they benefit melee too), it would be these:


Here's why Quartz and VisualHeal are sooo good:

Shamelessly ripped from my own posts on several forums (as I love these addons so much I'd love to more people getting the benefits, and as they will benefit even more if others would use them too).



Holy efficiency! I stumbled upon this castingbar replacer - and even that it's very very simple - Quartz is absolutely, hands-on, the best addon I've ever seen!


Because Quartz adds "latency" to your casting bar. Without going into any client-server jargon, you're normal casting bar is showing how your client sees the casting time, but because of latency, your spell is actually going off at server before your casting bar reaches the end.

What this means? And How Quartz helps.

It means that if you have 200ms latency for example, you can see that visualized in Quartz and start your next spell / action 0.2s before your casting bar is actually full and the spell still goes off! So with ten spells, you have saved 2 seconds. With 500 dps, that's free 1000 damage more. make it 100 spells and it's 10000 damage! And all this just by tackling the latency with Quartz. If you experience 500ms of such latencies, it comes even better! Don't let lag and latency get you, get Quartz


Healing Visualizer for both Healers and the ones healed

For healers: VisualHeal shows where target's health will end up after the heal hits
--> cancel unnecessary casts which would cause too much overheal

+ it shows if someone else has same target and is also casting heal on it
and it adds all this to the estimated health after your heal hits --> you can cancel cast if it would mean too much overheal, as the other healer has the target covered.

For others: VisualHeal shows incoming heals to you = where your health will end up when heal hits you --> can use abilities accordingly.
- low health & no heals coming? better use some "saving" ability!
- low health, but two heals incoming. Great! Keep pounding.

For all this to work, everyone needs VisualHeal, so once again, get it!
Must for healers. Recommended for everyone else too

+ VisualHeal shows up in unitframes too if they support it (PitBull does), so if every healer uses VisualHeal, it can be easily seen who is not healed yet = less parallel healing

So I'd say that every healer (if not everyone) should install VisualHeal (make the bar invisible if you want, but do have it). I'd think it will help you and your guild a lot, especially in 25-mans.

Where to Download Addons

Get WowAceUpdater! Keeps your addons up-to-date, and easy installs for every Ace addon. That is the best way to get Quartz and VisualHeal (and Omen, BigWigs + loads of other goodies), and keep them up-to-date.

EDIT: Unfortunately WoW Ace Updater is no longer with us, as wowace integrated with curse.com, and for me, curse updater just isn't very good (tbh, it sucks big time). New and improved alternatives for easy addon maintenance: Wowmatrix and WUU - WoW UI Updater.

There are many other places too to get addons, like Curse.com (they also have installer, which isn't nearly as good as WowAceUpdater) and WoWInterface.

More "Healing Addons That Rule"

Three (Healing) Addons to Rule Even More


Are You a Mature Guild Member?

After reading Matticus' post "20 Characteristics of a Mature Guild Member", I realized that those characteristics pretty much summarize what I respect the most in my fellow players.

I feel that there is great wisdom hidden (or in plain sight) there.

So I highly recommend you to check it out, "evaluate" yourself and see if there is room for improvement. I certainly spotted some weak points I have.

(posted on mobile, edited the previous version)


You Are Not Alone

I might be happy with my new gear or the fact that we downed three bosses in Zul'Aman. I might be looking forward to my upcoming gear upgrades or that we might be able to pull ZA timed event for two bosses next time, and the sweetest staff might drop.

But none of that really matters.

In the end, I look forward to healing my favorite tank through heroics and more than gear, I'm looking forward to doing all the things together with someone, whether it be gearing up or raiding, it's about other players. It is a multiplayer game after all.

When I switched guilds recently, and old guild friend says "You are genuinely one of the nicest people I've met on WoW", I knew I've done things right. And *that* makes me truly happy.

Moving on to an related issue - in his post "Raiding is Hardly Hardcore", Matticus lists some very important characteristics of a good raider:
* A quick 30 minute buff after a player dies
* Staying quiet and doing as the raid leader says
* AFKing only when necessary and only on trash
* Showing up on time

Notice something there? None of those have anything to do with gear or how skilled one is. Every single one of these can be done if one wants (and learned, if you will).

And I say, you nailed it Matticus! If I solo/grind/quest, I can waste all the time I want. But when I'm with 9/24/n-1 others, who am I to waste their equally valuable time with: "dinner, brb 30 mins", "just a sec, I gotta put these items in auction" or "oops, I'm out of reagents" and such.

Whether you call it hardcore raiding, maturity or dedication, or how I like to play, it all comes down to one thing: selflessness. You are not alone.


Baby Steps to Better Gear

I have wrote about gear quite a bit in the past, don't know why, but probably because that's one of the forces that drive me in WoW (getting better).

In case you've missed the earlier pieces, you might want to check out the older posts:
Evaluating Gear Upgrades
Forum Watch: Crafting or raiding for gear?
Leveling a Priest as Shadow, but Gearing to be Healer at Level 70
Healing Priest Badge Gear
Blog Watch: Pants of 100 Badges

I'm currently stocking Badges of Justice for 2.4 to get all the goodies from there. I think I'll go for some current BoJ rewards before the patch thou, like Light-Blessed Bonds and Essence of the Martyr.

Which brings me to the first problem; Trinkets. For some reason I just love Bangle of Endless Blessings, it seems to proc often enough for me to never run out of mana. And I can't seem to let go of my last blue. And when spirit gets even better in 2.4 (with better regen with good int), I just might stick with Bangle for good :)

The second problem is that every upgrade seems so small nowadays, I get like +10 healing, and maybe +3mp5 out of the new gear. I'm taking baby steps with gear upgrades and still I'm very happy with it :) WoW is so odd sometimes. I have Robes of Heavenly Purpose sitting in the bank, as I can't let go of Primal Mooncloth Set yet (I don't have belt and/or shoulders to go with the RoHP). Well maybe I figure it out, Belt of the Long Road maybe (as I have Pauldrons of the Solace-Giver from Curator already).

Lootzor ranking I'm using now (All non-PvP healing gear)


Understanding High Level Enchanting

In case you've been wondering why I haven't posted anything for a few days, keep reading, you'll soon find out.

Leveling Enchanting

I dropped my leveling profession (Skinning) a while back, and started leveling Enchanting. Rather quickly I was up to 300 and soon I was up to 350 already. How did I level it? I used "power-leveling" guide: Enchanting 1-300 & Enchanting 300-375 from WoW Forums. These guides provide the formulas/enchants that are the most economical to level your skill.

I've had 300 Enchanting Alt for a while, but I've never had this a skill higher than that in Enchanting. Up to 300 you can just keep enchanting with the mats you get from disenchanting (and "waste money" if you have plenty). To some degree you can continue a bit after 300, but soon you will have to start finding people with their own materials as the enchants get so expensive, you'd have to be Scrooge McDuck to pay for all that. (This is why you see all the "free with your mats" in the trade channel, as players are trying to level their skills).

High Level Enchanting

For leveling, you can use the guides. But when you hit 300 and especially 350, you notice that the good'ol Enchanting Trainer doesn't have any more enchants for you. Bummer. You have to buy the formulas: from AH, normal vendor or reputation vendors. And for the most rare (and thus, most potential profit), you have to get the formula yourself, as the formulas are Bind on Pickup and only drops for enchanters. Here's the list for Enchanting BoP Recipes.

And now we get to the part why I've been a bit quiet blogwise. I've been grinding for the static enchanting formula drops in Blade's Edge and Netherstorm. And let me tell you, I don't want to see another Bloodmaul Geomancer ever again! Geomancers can be found from Blade's Edge Mountains, and has rare drop: Formula: Enchant Bracer - Spellpower. The problem with these fellows is that they share spawn points with Bloodmaul Skirmishers. So to get Geomancers, one has to grind endlessly on Skirmishers and wish that Geomancer would spawn in their place.

And while running around killing Skirmishers and hoping to see Geomancer, someone else might run in and down "your" Geomancer in front of your eyes. And the drop being rather rare, it can take a while or you might get lucky.

I didn't get lucky.

It took three days, maybe 10 hours of playing and hundreds of slayed Ogre's (I stopped counting after day 1). This morning I logged in to continue the grind, and BOOM, second Geomancer popped up the lovely "Looting this item will bind it to you" dialog. I've never been happier to click YES on that :)

Luckily, with Formula: Enchant Weapon - Major Spellpower and Formula: Enchant Bracer - Major Defense I was very lucky, as I got those from second and maybe 10th mob.

Making Money with Enchanting

So, to make money with enchanting you have two choices/options: disenchanting and high-level enchants. The Disenchanting option I covered to in earlier post "How We Make Our Gold (with Auctioneer)".

With High Level Enchants I'm not experienced enough to tell how much profit there is, but I do know that you have to do your share of instances, heroics, raiding and grinding - and get lucky while at it - to get that recipes to drop and then win a roll on it if other enchanters are around.

But one thing is certain: remember to tip your enchanter when getting the high level enchants or don't be suprised if the enchanter actually asks for gold to do the enchant.

Chances are she has grinded her eyes out to get that enchant.


Leveling a Priest as Shadow, but Gearing to be Healer at Level 70

So you level your priest as shadow (you should, it's just way faster), but you want to heal when you hit 70. What to do? How to get gear?

Leveling a Priest as Shadow, but Gearing to be Healer at Level 70

Tailoring is not needed, but the tailored sets are soo good that it's recommended.
The sets are better than T4, maybe even T5 in some uses.

Primal Mooncloth Set
Whitemend Wisdom Set

Here's what I would suggest (what I did):

Plan your gear ahead. Use the resources, for example:
Kaliban's WoW-Loot List (Priest)
Best Casual PvE Healing Gear by A Dwarf Priest

1) At around lvl65 (or whenever you hit Nagrand), start taking healing gear as quest rewards over the dps gear.

2) And start going to outland instances as healer (you can very well as shadow) and pick up gear there. Or if you go in instance as dps, ask if you can roll for healer gear if such would show up.

3) Work on the reputation for certain factions to get healer gear from rewards (Like Watcher's Cowl from Cenarion Expedition, Lower City Prayerbook, etc.)

4) And if you like, level tailoring, and work on the PMC set while doing the above

This way I had couple of pieces of PMC done when I hit 70 and I had healer gear from normal instances and some quest rewards. When I finished last piece of PMC, I respecced holy, and started doing heroics for even more healer gear.


Forum Watch: Most Viewed Topic in WoW-EU Priest Forums

In WoW-Europe.com Forums -> Priest, the most viewed thread is the most unlikely one.

The Most Viewed Post is an innocent "Hi, it's me" post, which wind picked up. It has most replies too. See for yourself: Steve

The stickied Complete Priest FAQ is something to look into if you're new to playing a priest or to the forums.

Oh, and you might want to know that I'm happy with (planned) 2.4, I posted as a countermeasure for all the whining / rioting going on in the forums (but it will most likely pick up more whiners than happy faces, which is just sad).

For you in the US, look into US-side Priest Discussion for similar and remember to contribute if you feel like it.

Blog Watch: The Best Priest DPS Guide Ever!

If A Dwarf Priest didn't have Exalted reputation inside the Priest Community already, she more than deserves it now.

She brings us Priest DPS Guide, the most important information you ever wanted and need to know about Priest DPS:

The Best Priest DPS Guide Ever! Period. Exclamation mark!

I'm amazed. Just amazed. Such a great guide with detailed information, flowcharts and all.

What are you still doing here? Read A Dwarf Priests' DPS Guide, Now!


Blog Watch: Get That Alt Moving

Love is in the Air is over already but Lunar Festival is still on-going.

I never realized to exploit the "teleportation service" Lunar Festival offers until I read the WoW Insider post on How to use the Lunar Festival for easy lowbie travel.

In short, you can gather the flights points and go train your weapons skill in all the major cities in Azeroth for your lowbie Alt. By doing this, for example if you're Alliance, you can skip that dangerous run to Ironforge from Wetlands with your Night Elf / Draenei.

So if you have lowbie Alt or you're planning to have one, or even brand new character, I recommend you use the Lunar Festival to it's fullest as it won't be back until last year.

For female characters, get that beautiful festival dress as a bonus (the male "pyjamas" I don't recommend for anyone, not even gnomes).

Additional tip: Remember that as a Druid you can move around quickly during Lunar Festival with the Moonglade Teleport spell.

Blog Watch: Pants of 100 Badges

I think everyone reads WoW Insider, but I still pinpoint their post today about New Patch 2.4 Badge of Justice Gear. They previously posted about the badge prices of the new gear and now they continue on the subject.

Of course the original source is the good'ol mmo-champion where patch 2.4 PTR news have been covered almost live. So that's the real place to go and check the new Sunwell badge loot.

The new healing cloth items have so much spirit one might get drunk just by looking at them, just look at this chest piece. I know that these are still in PTR, and prices/stats can change or they might even cancel the whole thing (unlikely thou), but I just wanted to say: mmm, Pants!

Now excuse me, I gotta go back and get some more Badges of Justice. You should too.


Forum Watch: How not to make an application

This time on Forum Watch: Something less serious.

I have to warn you this is not for the faint of heart, innocent looking guild application turns into quite legendary thread with plenty of plain weird activity like raiding with broken nose and.. A Fist!

Some say we now have our own Leeroy at Eu-Aggramar! I'm not sure about that, but I can say that this is very hilarious stuff indeed.

Our Realm Forum (Aggramar) thread "Crazy world, Special people and Russian Mafia" links you to the forum of a guild called 'Rising' and a topic called "How not to make an application - Warlock 70" there.

I think this quote from the topic really sum it up!

"Please create a 'Hall of Fame' section and insert this thread"


The Most Important Info About Patch 2.4

There's a shipload of news pouring from the test realms.

But there's really just one thing you have to know when the patch comes out and I was a bit surprised that there wasn't a lot of information on the subject.

There are all kinds of news about The Kaliri have learned to fly up in Skettis, all kinds of new items and constantly updated news from PTR.

But there is only one thing I need to know about patch 2.4.

And this is the question you will see the most in Trade Chat when patch goes live.

How Do I Get To Sunwell Isle?

Yes, that is all you *have* to know about patch 2.4.

(true, if you don't want to see the new content, you don't even have know this)

Here's what I found:

* You can swim north of Silvermoon City.
* There is a flightpoint in Sunwell Isle (connected to EPL, Ghostlands and Silvermoon City).
* There might be a boat ride, but it's not confirmed.
* At some point, there will probably be a portal to Sunwell Isle from Shattrath.

Luckily, this information can be found from WoWWiki, but it's not near complete yet. However, WoWWiki is very likely to be updated with the latest information when it comes out.

Shared Topic: How did you come up with your character names?

Bunnyfer at Blog Azeroth suggested this Shared Topic:

How did you come up with your character names?

Most of my character names come from some mythology/history (e.g. Viking, Kalevala), but Zemalf is a different story.

A thread with similar question came up at WoW Eu Priest Forums couple of months ago, so I kinda had the answer prepared for this topic:

I was playing very old rpg called Nahlakh (1995). For those who don't know the game (I assume most), Nahlakh was a classic Gold Box style RPG with innovative combat system. And a lot of combat there was - if you like grinding in WoW, you would've loved Naklakh.

Anyway, my party of 8 in the game were called: Drazzilb, Zemalf, Relaeh, Feiht, Regnar, Knat & Kresreb and one I don't remember. See if you can crack the code and figure how the names were formed.

Zemalf stuck with me since, no connection to playing a priest on World of Warcraft thou, it's just "my name".

With the gamertag, I can also be found from Twitter as @Zemalf and FriendFeed. Even on my website, this name stayed with me, as I took the name and domain Zemalf.com for it.

I've seen couple of other "Zemalf's" out there, but usually it's me :)

In YouTube, "zemalf" was taken the time I got around to it, so my channel and username is TheZemalf. (also TheZemalf on Steam).

Forum Watch: Crafting or raiding for gear?

I'm checking up on forums from time to time, here's some I picked up today.

Welcome to the first edition of Zemalf's Forum Watch :)

crafting or raiding for gear? for healing (WoW EU Priest Forums)

My answer (posted at thread as well):

I have 6 tailored epics (PMC Set, Whitemend Set, Boots of the Long Road) + 1 blue (White Remedy Cape) not yet replaced.

This is what I pretty much had before Kara, or shortly after starting it. With these I'm pretty much overgeared for most of Kara, but there's still upgrades and items for different slots there.

I've complemented my gear with drops from heroics and badges of justice items. And I continue to do so.

So, at least if you have gold, the fastest way to gear-up is tailoring. You can almost gear yourself all the way with tailoring, which makes you ready for heroics, which you can do to gear up more, all without raiding.

I don't see raiding as a method to gear up, gear comes as a added bonus, which enables you to raid more efficiently or in more difficult raids. And as I can speed/ease this process by crafting, I did.

Continued, Other professions

Of course, there are other crafting professions than Tailoring, but there's not much in them for Priests. Engineering has Goggles with +Healing, but those are more +dmg oriented and they're not actually very good either (unlike Mail/Plate goggles).

Enchanting is great compelement to Tailoring, even just for the +Healing Ring Enchant that you can only do them yourself on your own rings.


The "right" way to Mechanar

Why no-one told me that you can go left in Mechanar, and you don't have to go right?

I bumped into Eternalone's post in WoW EU Forums: Heroic Mechanar: TEH way to do it

Unless you're doing a rep run, you most likely want to go through Mechanar as fast as possible (e.g. the Heroic Daily) - if so, read on.

To summarize the way to do Mechanar the fastest, I quote original poster from the thread at forums:

I always considered that the fastest way to clear mech is to go left, pull the mini boss, go down the stairs, clear up until the first boss, pull the second mini boss straight after him

Malleus goes a bit further in the thread, and offers the reasoning behind "left is right, right is wrong" in Mechanar, by analyzing why the left side is faster, but the quote above summarizes it.

I don't think I'll go right (in Mechanar) ever again :)

A Dwarf Priest Goes Comic

I've gotten my share of comments about wearing robes (being a male dwarf priest). I do wear pants underneath (most of the time). And yes, replacing words with "pants" never gets old. If you want to know what the heck I'm talking about, read on.

A Dwarf Priest shows that she has exceptional talents outside blogging and WoW: Bow before excellent web comic! Superb job, I suggest everyone check the comic out now.


Downrank that Heal

I mostly use Greater Heal Rank 1 as my "main-heal". And throw Greater Heal Rank 7 only if max heal is needed. With Renew+Prayer of Mending and occasional emergency Flash Heal, I'm set.

There's no point to overheal if downranked spell does the job.

This saves mana, and thus, might be the edge you need to conquer some battles.

Especially as a Priest, you will still need to dance in-out of the 5 Second Rule (Mana Regen at WoWWiki), but don't overlook downranking.

What I do is this:

I have macroes for max and min rank for each spell (and some middle ranks too, like GH Rank 6).
I cast different ranks of spells on myself several times, and count the "average heal" for each rank.
I then update the macro names like:
"2000 GH1" - for Greater Heal Rank 1 which heals 2000hp on average
"3800 GH7" - for Greater Heal Rank 7 which heals 3800hp on average

I update the macroes/buttons every now and then when gear has upgraded.

So when I place the buttons on my action bar, I can easily see what I need to cast if I need to heal, let's say, 2500hp or 1200hp = I can throw big or small heal depending on what is needed.

I use Clique for heals, but the buttons are there to remind me that Greater Heal Rank 6 heals this much and Flash Heal Rank 1 heals this much and so on.

In most cases you do fine by spamming the max rank, it saves mana and makes you more efficient healer.

For theorycrafters, it's about Heal / Mana. Use the Priest Healing Calculator to see the differences of the ranks.

Evaluating Gear Upgrades

It's very useful to plan out your next gear upgrades, and different loot lists help, but you can do it yourself too with several available loot / gear evaluators.

A Dwarf Priest was kind enough to notify me that she found out about gear/loot evaluator which counts spell haste too: Loot Rank

Here's link for Loot Rank PvE Search up to T5.

Lootzor.com shows heroic badges cost right the report page, so don't abandon it either.

Dwarf Priestress' "Best Casual PvE List" was also updated with Voodoo Shaker (which was not showing in lootzor.com - but shows in Loot Rank!)

Now if only someone would enlighten me if some of these evaluators notices set bonuses too :)


Spirit, Int, Patch 2.4 & You

The formula for regen based on spirit is going to change in next patch (at least it has on PTR). In short, the amount of mana regenerated based on spirit will increase based on Intelligence. It's too good to be true, but still worth dreaming.

Take a look at HealerLFG for superbly visualized info about the subject: News from the PTR : Intellect > Spirit Regen
(I love spreadsheets and graphs, such a great post!)

Some additional number crunching:

Source: Richelieu's post at Elitist Jerks:

MP5 | Outside 5SR MP5 | Inside 5SR
Live: 361 195
PTR: 480 237
Net Gain: 119 42

These values are for a holy priest with 3 points in Meditation and the PMC set, with no buffs, with identical gear and talents, Spirit of 359, and Intellect of 501:

Source: New Regen model (PTR) post at WoW EU PriestForums:
mp5 = 683.4 mp5
instead of :
mp5 = 406.25 mp5

Numbers with 600 int and 600 spi

Additional Info about Patch 2.4:
2.4 Test realm patch notes at mmo-champion
Patch 2.4 in WoWWiki

Reputation Grind & Calculator

We all need reputation, in WoW for Heroic Dungeon keys, reputation rewards, cool mounts, etc.

To see where you are, and what to do next, look here:
WoW Reputation Calculator

If you want more detailed information, click on the links under spesific faction.

or if you want more, look no further than WoWWiki for the best resources on how to get high reputation (the fastest, easiest, etc): WoWWiki Reputation

EDIT: I just found a post in WoW EU Forums about this: WoWJuju RepCalculator. Same thing as the WoW Reputation Calculator, but with a bit more extended interface.

Healing Priest Badge Gear

Gearing through badges of justice is great way to upgrade and get ready for raiding (and heroics are fun, at least for me)

While patch 2.4 might bring some new goodness in badge rewards, here's where we (healing priest) are now...

I Posted this on EU WoW Priest Forums and decided to add it here as well:

I don't know about you, but I want to use badges on gear that last for as long as possible
e.g. items that are not immediately replaced, or if they are replaced, it's lucky/rare drop from hard boss

Of course, one has to consider what to replace with badge reward and what not.

Here's a list of heroic badge healing priest rewards.
The number being how high the item ranks compared to other low raid items
(Karazhan, Gruul’s, Mag’s Lair, Zul’Aman)

1 Wristguards of Tranquil Thought 35 Heroic Badges

1 Light-Blessed Bonds 60 Heroic Badges

1 Achromic Trousers of the Naaru 75 Heroic Badges

! Voodoo Shaker 35 Heroic Badges
2 Tears of Heaven 25 Heroic Badges

2 Carved Witch Doctor’s Stick 25 Heroic Badges

1 Essence of the Martyr 41 Heroic Badges
14 Icon of the Silver Crescent 41 Heroic Badges

3 Kharmaa’s Shroud of Hope 60 Heroic Badges
5 Bishop’s Cloak 25 Heroic Badges

5 Necklace of Eternal Hope 25 Heroic Badges

6 Cowl of Naaru Blessings 50 Heroic Badges

6 Band of Halos 25 Heroic Badges

Items ranked using a formula (stats weights: .15 stam / .2 int / .35 spirit / 1 mp5 / .03 spell crit / .25 heal / .1 spell haste). Bonuses, unique effects, and trinkets are all rated on a conversion system to the aforementioned stats, and then ranked.

List shamelessly ripped from A Dwarf Priest: http://dwarfpriest.com/2007/09/30/best-casual-pve-healing-gear/trackback/

Additional Gear Ranking Resource (for your own ranking for example): http://www.lootzor.com/


St. Valentines day in WoW

A Dwarf Priest did super job covering The Lunar Festival, and now she continues doing great job when revealing the secrets of "Love is in the Air" , an event surrounding Valentine's day.

As I started playing WoW last October, this is the first Love is in the Air for me, and I've been waiting for it to get my Lovely Black Dress.

Let's see if I can get lucky and get this very rare reward of the event.

Oh, and I'm not wearing it on my main, Zemalf the Dwarf Priest :) But it will look, oh so sweet, on my female Auction House Alts.

I'm also looking forward to giving presents to some of the in-game friends. So awkward situations might be ahead when I'll be handing Heart Candy to a female toon, and the player behind the other screen turns out to be teenage guy.


Regular Half-PUG Heroic Runs

Heroic Dungeon runs can be pain with bad PUG. Solution: Run with people you know - guild mates, in-game or real-life friends.

Doing Heroic Badge Farming is just so much easier when everyone knows what they're doing and know what the others in the group are doing without telling and keeping an eye on them. Same marks, crowd controls fly without asking, looting goes without drama.

I've been lucky enough to find heroic-loving-Warrior-Tank and equally-heroic-loving-Hunter who seem to do heroics together, and they occasionally ask me to join them for heroic - I guess my healing has been good enough :)

I've known them and we've been running heroics together longer than I've known any of my guildies and I could say I've become friends with them (in the game), especially with the Warrior Tank.

Playing with guildies and helping them is one thing I enjoy, but I would go to the world's end with these two.


Because I trust them.

With the three of us, we PUG the rest of the group (usually Mage and Lock), or are lucky enough when our A-List friends are online.

So most of the time we are group of 4 who have run that instance several times, or sometimes all 5 know each other. Even "the worst case" of us three with two "randoms", it's always a blast.

And after time, some inside jokes start to form (not the ones causing hah-hah-wipes, but just making comments only possible when played with someone for some time).

Like Auctioneering & Raiding, these heroic runs with in-game friends are the things that keep me coming back to the game.


Tailoring - Is There Profit?

Insider Trader at WoW Insider covered Tailoring today.

This got me thinking, again, is there profit in Tailoring? Or is it just for gearing your cloth caster (in which, it *is* that great)?

I only picked Tailoring for gearing, and I'm still wearing my Primal Mooncloth and Whitemend Sets, in addition to the Boots of the Long Road which recipe I ripped cheaply from AH. With just Tailoring I outgeared Kara in the respective slots before I even went it. So that's a no brainer.

Profit I make with Tailoring, comes of making occasional Whitemend Hood or other recipe requiring Primal Nether. I guess making Bags would give some gold, but I never got into it.

Have you made pouch-breaking profits of Tailoring? Please share your knowledge :)


Don't Break My Shackle!

Especially in Karazhan Shacking is Priest's bread and butter. Dwarf Priest intro/guide to the Priest Crowd Control is good place to start.

Set up your focus macro for both shackling and emergency re-shackle using netherweb net (if you're tailor) and your set to go.

But I just wish there would be some way to make people not to break my shackle :) That's the one reason, I always hit BINGO in Karazhan.

I'm now using CCBreaker (attaches to Fubarnicely) to both get one more way to get warning about shackles breaking and get history who keeps breaking my shackles - so I can try to educate them to not to do it in the future (Paladin Consecration is the hardest as they don't have to target the shackled foe). Just reminding "don't break my shackle" usually works, but when it doesn't it causes so much irritation (and wipes, when things go bad).

I guess I could also use Tattle addon or similar addon to rant about the breakage "live".

So everyone - don't break shackles (or any other crowd control for that matter)

How we make our gold

This topic was inspired by discussion thread at Auctioneer Addon Forums : "How we make our gold using Auctioneer"

I play a Dwarf Priest, specced Holy. So I heal, and grinding for money is both hard and boring for me. So how do I finance my raiding, gear and everything in between?

I use Auctioneer addon, or to be more precise, a collection of addons called Auctioneer Advanced Suite. The bundle consists of all kinds of tools to create profit in the virtual economy of World of Warcraft. For example, there are tools to buy items for disenchant and disenchant those items one by one. In short, all the tools are there to find profitable items from Auction House: either for resale, disenchant (to sell the disenchanted materials), prospecting, etc.

So always before and after I log in with my main, I log in to one of my Alts, who sits at one of the main cities (near auction house/bank). I go to Auction House, and start scanning the items there and start buying items that I can make profit from. When done, I go to mail box, get all items out, disenchant the ones I want, head back to Auction House, and place everything on sale (unless prices are very low at that point). This takes about 5-15 minutes per log-in, so I use about half an hour daily for this and make anything from tens to hundreds to thousands of gold weekly with only buying and selling items others have collected/grinded.

Sometimes I find super-bargains, where items worth 1000g is put on sale for 100g or even 50g. But most of my profits come from buying disenchantable items cheaply, disenchanting them and selling the materials. Sometimes I buy materials for crafting professions, like leatherworking or tailoring, create some items either for sale or to be disenchanted.

All this has given me heaps of gold, epic mount, all the materials/recipes/items gearing up I have needed to buy. I don't have to think about "can I afford to buy" potions/elixirs/flasks/other consumables, I just get what I need and want, and I know when to buy'em with good price, as I have data what they usually sell for.

Like said, I don't like to grind for primals/herbs/ore/leather, but I enjoy playing at Auction House so much, that I think I wouldn't play WoW so much if there wasn't well implemented Auction House and so great addon(s) for it.

If you want to join the fun, head to the Auctioneer Addon website, download the latest preview version, check the forums there for latest tips and start learning your way around the addon when you get in the game.

So are you an auction house addict like me?

How do you make your gold?