Thursday, February 17, 2011

Trinkets, regen, specs, oh my!

Lots of things have changed in the last week and a half since my last big post. I've acquired the Darkmoon Card: Tsunami, subsequently stopped using it (I feel like it'll be more useful in heroic fights), changed spec and healing style three and two times, respectively, gone from feeling like I have no mana to feeling like I have almost too much (hence the trinket switch), and heard that druids and shaman are likely to get their very own healing cooldown! It's been a busy, busy time.

I almost wish I'd sold the Darkmoon Card. Almost. When I did my mana experiment last Tuesday after the new mechanic and spec changes, I ran with this spec. It was pretty painful, to say the least. Keeping up at least three Rejuvs in order to supplement my faster Nourishes drained my mana faaaaast. So after the raid I took a trip to Shattrath, watched a quick Tauren Chieftans concert (I'm a complete fangirl :P) and came back with a shiny new card to show for it. But really, it didn't help all that much.

Wednesday I changed my spec, opting out of Efflorescence entirely. The mana situation didn't feel any better. If anything, it felt worse because I wasn't contributing as much AoE healing to the raid. But I've been in bad mana situations before. Gear fixes many things and I figured I would get used to it in time.

Then I went on vacation and wasn't in the raid Friday. The guild downed Cho'gall, woot! Disc was broken (and has since been fixed), but the fight came together well enough. We downed him again this week, a one-shot. I'm proud of us :). But while I was on vacation, I read a lot of blog posts. When you don't have WoW to crowd the downtime, it's amazing how much you can read! Anyway, I found Beru's post over at Falling Leaves and Wings about her experiences removing Efflorescence from her spec and why she's opting out of Nature's Bounty instead. She has a lot of numbers to back up her findings (I really should use World of Logs, just for my own knowledge, put that on the to-do list :P), but the gist of it was this:

Ok, I hear what you are thinking now “but all of those encounters have SO much raid damage that efflorescence really shines”. I agree! So I thought “ok, let me find an encounter without a lot of raid damage”. And you know what? THEY DON’T EXIST!

And thinking back on the fights, I tend to agree. So I removed Nature's Bounty, took back Efflorescence, and added Furor to my build (I'd been pretty much ignoring it before). And now my mana problems are non-existent. My second spirit trinket is now benched in favor of my Vibrant Alchemist Stone, which provides throughput AND a bit of a mana buff for when I use my potions. With the new spec, I'm having no more mana problems. Yay :).

Healing Cooldown!

Let's get ready to cooldown! Hmmm, sounded more epic in my head.

Anyway, a delicious post from blue Nethaera gives druids and shaman hope that we'll get a healing cooldown similar to Guardian Spirit or Hand of Sacrifice in the near future. Or at least it shows that the devs are thinking about it.

There's been a lot of cool ideas thrown around about what that cooldown might be. One of them I see a lot is Barkskin castable on others. I was thinking that was a cool idea, too, then something I read on Restokin got me thinking: Barkskin cast on others is just asking of a PvP-based nerf. The cooldown on your personal Barkskin would definitely be tied to the healing cooldown, which sucks on fights where big damage comes down on everyone (hello Nefarian!) and fights where the tank isn't the only one being beaten on (Maloriak comes to mind).

Jar's ideas over at Rank 4 Healing Touch got me thinking, though, that Nature's Swiftness isn't really a great talent anymore. It doesn't give tanks much health back with our huge health pools and even DPS aren't healed to full health with it (13% for DPS and 20% for tanks, he writes), so really it's a nice way to play catch-up when tank healing, but that's about it. And when we only get 41 talent points, having one point that does so little to actively affect your healing isn't that great. Augmenting Nature's Swiftness to make it more fun and interesting would certainly be cool. But what if we dropped the talent all together?

If there was a hole in the talent tree where NS used to be, that would make room for the healing cooldown talent we'd all like. A targeted version of Barkskin or an augment to Thorns (wouldn't that be interesting!)

Actually, if you can hang with me while I go stream-of-consciousness, a talent that made Thorns into a healing cooldown would be really cool. It would likely need to increase the cooldown on Thorns itself to 3 minutes or so, perhaps decreasing the damage dealt by Thorns by 25% and the duration by 10 seconds, but decreasing damage taken by the target by 30%. Admittedly, it's not an advanced idea, mostly modeled after the current healing cooldowns of other classes, but the added threat the tank is generating is a cool bonus. Maybe don't even nerf the damage dealt by Thorns. I'd sort of like that. It would get me to use Thorns more often!

Birthday inc!

I'm all full of exclamation points today :). So my birthday is coming up later this month and one of the things I'm getting is the ubercool Razer Naga mouse. I plan to map a TON of abilities to my shiny new 17 buttons and hopefully get used to them. Once I'm relatively comfortable with it, I'll post a bit about it and how things are going with the transition. I'm not kidding myself that it'll be easy or instant. It took me a while to adjust to mouseover macro healing, it'll take me a while to adjust to click-to-cast healing :P. But I can make it work!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

[Local Time] AFK!

I'd forgotten that I would be out of town this week! My Daddy turned 73 Friday, so Vivi and I went to visit him and Mom. So not much happened, but I still have stuff to talk about!

First off, traveling with a baby is MUCH easier when we can stop at McDonalds and let her play for a little while in between naps. Yay for growth :).

Second, my guild downed Cho'gall! Yay! Without me. Not so yay, but I'm happy for them. I'm glad we're still making progress, though :). Now we just need to hit up Al'Akir and Nefarion. I'm excited about our accomplishment as a guild and I'm really looking forward to killing him next week :).

My little lock didn't make 85 as I'd hoped /sadface. She did make it to 83, though, so I'm happy enough with that. Next week! Also, she looks like a Roman legionnaire now instead of a holy priest now that she's left Hyjal and entered Deepholm :P.

I talked a lot about healing and regen last week and my plans to change my trinkets and spec. Long story short: I picked up the second regen trinket, I'm still unsure as to whether I want to keep Efflorescence in my spec. Once I'm back home (yep, still out of town :P), I'll write up my feelings overall about both those things :).

And now, the new idle treeform animation that may convince me to take out my Treant glyph:

Skip to :52 for the treeform goodness :).

Monday, February 7, 2011

[Local Time] 2-7-11

Woohoo! It's been an amazing two weeks for my raiding guild! Last week we downed both Maloriak and the Twilight Ascendant Council for the first time, then this week we took both out on the first try! In addition, we also killed Atramedes and Chimaeron with relative ease, go us! Chimaeron went down on the second attempt, even! Then we got a full night of attempts on Cho'gall and got him to 8%.
This is my guild and Loot Pinata Chimaeron!

It seems like things have just clicked on the raid front. We aren't struggling with low DPS on encounters anymore and the mechanics don't seem to be tripping people up the way they were just a couple of weeks ago. I'm not sure if it's just getting back into the raiding groove or if the little gear upgrades just make a huge combined difference. Either way, it's a great feeling!

My little lock made it to 82 fairly easily, yay! She replaced her winged helm with something more drab: a whitish hood that, when combined with her new white robe, makes her look a bit like a priest. A convenient lure for the wary souls, perhaps? Mwahahahahaha!

I've been leveling her destruction because affliction has changed so much since I played her last in BC. Now I'm starting to look at it again. I don't yet know if I want to try to make her a PvP toon (or even engage in PvP on any toon), but if I do I'm sure it'll be afflic. I used to love the affliction playstyle, but it seems like the dot-and-forget thing is pretty well dead. I might run with it in a few dungeons (with dual spec costing only 10g, there was no reason not to buy it) and see how I like it. In the meantime, I'm happy playing with fire.

My tsunami deck is complete and the Darkmoon Faire is this week! Only I don't know if I want it anymore :P. With the patch coming out tomorrow that includes an alchemist stone for healers, I'm not sure if I'm better off selling the deck I made and just sticking with the cheap-to-make stone that's a throughput buff. I was lucky and picked up the Jar of Ancient Remedies off Maloriak the other day, so it's not like I don't already have a nice regen trinket. Most likely I'll heal Tuesday with the alchemist stone and see if my mana regen is a problem. If it is, I'll pick up the Darkmoon card. If it's not, then I'll sell it. Or maybe I'll keep the card anyway so I can have a regen set and a throughput set. I'm still undecided!

I'm wondering if I should drop Efflorescence. A lot of druid blogs are advocating it, and have some very convincing math to back it up, but I'm just not sure it's the best course of action for my 10man. We run druid, holy priest, shaman, so we do have lots of AoE healing. I'm usually a tank healer, so my AoE heals are sort of afterthoughts, but it's nice to have two of them. After the Tuesday throughput vs. regen experiment I may change my spec Wednesday and take out Efflorescence, see how that goes. Ah, the wonders of new mechanics!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Diapers & Dragons: Being a parent and a raider

I think I've mentioned a couple of times now that I have a baby girl. She's a little over 10 months old. And I raid regularly and if it doesn't count as hardcore, it's enough to satisfy me. My guild is 9/12 in 10man raiding now, with a small, close-knit group who's been doing 10s together since the beginning of Wrath, when we were the first ten people to make it to 80. I'm proud of them as a guild and I need no qualifiers about including raiders with children. Anyone can raid, it's all about priorities and setting boundaries and goals.

The nay sayers are wrong

When I got pregnant, I had a lot of people both in and out of WoW tell me to put my raiding life behind me. "You won't have time to play games," they said. My husband works while I stay home. I was told how he wouldn't be able to take care of the baby so I could play occasionally. And just give up the whole concept of us both raiding together.

I was heartbroken by this. These weren't just people who saw WoW as a silly, pointless game, but people who actually have kids and play the game. Surely they knew what they were talking about.

Except they didn't. I talked to my mom, worried and scared that I wouldn't have any free time for games or my own activities. I was looking forward to being a mother, but I didn't want that to be my only definition. She was understanding and patient and, like always, supportive.

"You can make the time," she told me. And I knew it was true because that's what she did. Her situation was different; both my parents worked, but they always spent lots of time with me in addition to doing their own things. Mom played volleyball in a work league for years (until her knees gave out!). She worked in the yard and did crafty things and went shopping (this is a hobby for her, you must understand). Being a mother was probably her most defining characteristic, but it wasn't her only one.

Armed with that confidence, I set out to have my own life in WoW, to keep being a raider. And it's worked out better than I hoped.

Communication & Compromise

My husband and I both play WoW. He's our awesome pally tank, while I'm the trusty tree healer saving his ass from the fire. We've enjoyed this hobby together ever since WoW was released and we played EverQuest together before that. Our WoW characters predate our marriage and playing games together is one of the cornerstones of our relationship. We love it.

He wanted to raid. I wanted to raid. So we sat down and talked about how it would work out. With the 25man guild we were in before Cata came out, it wasn't so hard to swap nights when the baby was young. But we still wanted to raid together and when we split into a 10man guild, losing one of us every other night didn't make for a great raiding environment. We talked about it and decided we wanted to make that happen and we would both do what we could to further that goal.

So he helps out when he's not at work, watches the baby for me sometimes when I need a nap or am making dinner. I try to let him have some time to destress before raids and on our days off from raiding. Neither of us is wholly responsible for our daughter, and that has worked out for the best.

Scheduling my time -- and baby's

The baby books tell you to get the baby on a schedule and keep it up. I second this, wholeheartedly. The first three months there wasn't much scheduling to be done. Vivi ate every two hours for 45 minutes or an hour, then slept until she was hungry again. My time was split between feeding her and sleeping myself. It got better, but during that time I didn't play WoW. I knew it was coming and I let my guild know that I wouldn't be around a couple of months.

Gradually Vivi began to have more of a schedule. The real turning point was the introduction of solid foods, so she would take a nap right after a big meal. Those touchstones throughout the day gave stability to her life, and mine, and a much-needed framework for my day and meeting my goals.

At around five months, Vivi slipped into a relatively regular schedule as far as when she went to sleep at night. Almost every evening she's asleep by 9pm. Now I take her at 8:30 for a bath, a book, and bed. That one thing is the backbone of my ability to raid. I would love for her to go to sleep earlier, but I have deferred to her body's clock. She can't get to sleep (without long bouts of crying) before then, so I don't push it. The baby will always come first, we just plan our lives around her :).

During the day I get about an hour for housework, blogging, and WoW during her naptimes. I try to keep it to things I can get out of easily if she wakes up early (dailies, gathering, leveling alts, research for raids or gear), but the extra time I get before she goes to bed means I don't have to stress about which boss a BiS piece will drop off. I've already looked at the loot tables and made my list. These are things I would have done on Tuesdays or when I was bored of playing (when you have all day to play, it's amazing how often you decide you don't want to :P). Now I do them in smaller pieces.

Honesty with the guild

I knew going in that having a baby would change things as far as raiding. I let my guildies know that, too. I told them when I could raid and let them decide how to work me into that schedule. It turns out that they are truly gracious, amazing people and scheduled raids so that I can make the whole thing. I cannot say enough how thankful I am that I'm friends with these guys.

If I hadn't been as clear or as up front about my limitations, I think there would have been more resentment. Communication is important in all relationships, not just the spousal ones. I was a recruitment officer for a long time and it caused fewer headaches for me if I knew that a recruit had family issues that might come up. I keep the guild up to date and they keep me raiding. It's a good balance :). 

Setting reasonable goals

This is something I've had a hard time with. My expectations of myself were far higher than my ability to reach them and I've had to tamp down the frustration with a heady dose of reality. I can run a daily heroic three or four times a week. I can raid three times a week. I will not have the gear I could get if I could run more of these things. I am not a failure for not managing to be the best.

This is the important thing and probably the biggest lesson I've learned. It's early in the expansion. I have time to catch up and my guild is making progress. I am okay.

Parent AND Gamer

I didn't want to be one or the other. I want to be both and show my daughter that I can take care of her needs and my own as well. I want her to see the confidence that I have and make that a part of her. I don't think parents who have no life outside their children are making the best choices for the child or themselves.

That doesn't mean it doesn't take work. The evening of every raid day is a little rushed, with making dinner and getting Vivi fed and in bed by 9. The schedule is just a bit tighter. And the morning after a raid, which ends at 11:30 (but I never get to bed before midnight), always comes just a little sooner than I'd like. But it's worth it. I have an adorable, curious, giggling little girl who is the center of my universe. And orbiting her I have a great network of friends and games that my husband and I rely on to keep us sane. Our full, rich life is totally worth it :).

Sunday, January 30, 2011

[Local Time]

When I started out as a newspaper reporter, fresh out of college, my editor told me I'd need to write 8-10 stories a week. That was a daunting task; researching, interviewing, taking photos (it was a small paper :P), and editing 10 pieces a week was more work than I'd ever done. But really, it wasn't so bad. The paper ran five days a week (one of those rare small dailies), and each day my section had a different theme. Big feature Monday, economy Tuesday, Schools Wednesday, etc. So I'd write the story for my section. Then I'd write a column that gathered up all the small-town bits that weren't really big enough for their own story. Then I'd write a feature for the front page. And maybe I'd cover an event. My point is, by breaking down the overall task into smaller bits and focusing on those, the deadlines themselves weren't so daunting.

Enter [Local Time]

I'm trying to keep this blog active and this is one way I can do it. Each week (or so) I'll post a sort of roundup of the things I'm working on and that my guild is working on. I keep writing and I keep an idea of what kind of goals I was working toward and how close I am to finishing them.

This week I've pulled my trusty lock out of BC storage. She was my PvP character in the closing months before Wrath came out and so she sports a full set of epic PvP gear (this is back when the term "welfare epics" was coined). Now she worked her butt off to get these epics, don't get me wrong, but it's not nearly the work load we see in Arenas today. Mostly she was a battleground toon and I liked it that way.

Anyway, she was level 73 on Monday and she's level 77 today. Big jump! A full rested exp bar and all the heirloom items I can get my hands on sure does help :). Unfortunately, I dropped Affliction and picked up Destruction. I say unfortunately because I have a great love for Affliction. Or at least I used to. I leveled Affliction all the way to 70 and then kept it up through the months of battlegrounds PvP. But I didn't play her much at all during Wrath (about two levels over the course of the xpac, total), so I know this is news to no one but me, but I miss all the instant dots that differentiated that spec. It's become less about the instant casts and more about lining up Drain Soul and Drain Life. And that's not really the spec I want to play. Destruction feels much more like what I'm used to, where I cast one or two spells with a cast time and finish off the rest with instants that really do damage. I suppose dots don't tick as hard as they used to. Ah well.

Who would get rid of these if they had the choice?!
She's still wearing her Vengeful Gladiator's Felweave Cowl, though. For those of you who either didn't play during BC or have forgotten the awesome, that's the purple demon wings. Every so often they flare out, flap, and then disappear. It's a really random but exceptionally cool animation that I am reluctant to give up. I've seen upgrades, but right now it's still not worth it to give up the cool factor. Probably once I hit 80 I'll let it go.

On the guild front, we're making serious progress! 7/12 is, I think, our official progression. This week we downed Maloriak and the Twilight Ascendant Council and I'm really proud. We came into both fights knowing the encounters (we spent last week beating our heads against both), but without a whole lot of upgraded gear throughout the raid. Either we were totally on our A game or the stars aligned (or both :P), but we were able to make the interrupts stick on the potion guy and we got all four Twilight Ascendants to right around 25% before the third phase.

We took a look at Cho'gall and tried to figure him out a bit, but we didn't really get that far with only 30 minutes left in the raid. Hopefully we'll get him down next week.

We've been plagued by DCs and bad lag on Tuesdays the last two weeks. I wonder if that's a sign from Blizz?


This coming week I want to get my lock to 82. I figure it's doable and probably easier solo than duoing (and I think I want to blog about making quests harder to do in a group :\). Hopefully I won't run out of rested and I'll still have time left over for flask farming.

Sell those Darkmoon cards! I have a stash of several leftovers from making the pieces of my Tsunami deck. The Darkmoon Faire is coming in a week, which means prices will only go up. I'd like to make some cash on these while I have the chance since the prices on them will continue to go down each month as more and more people get their decks.

Kill Atramedes and Cho'gall! That may be a little far-fetched, but right now I'm still riding high on getting two new kills this week. At least one of them should be doable, I'm just not sure which :P. I suppose it'll depend on which bosses we kill first and what our raid leader decides to do on our progression night.

Until next week, good luck!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

My dirty little secret

Hi everyone. My name's Raevyn and I'm an addon addict.

This is the exact opposite of my husband, who has Omen, DBM, and not much else. I laugh about my penchant for latching onto new addons along with everyone else, but it's not something I'm looking to fix. Around once every month a new addon will catch my eye or an old one will show me something new, and I'll frantically go about changing my UI to make it better. Unlike other addictions, my addon addiction is keyed toward making my life (in this case my gaming experience) better. For the most part, my addons reflect that.

Back in the early days of EverQuest, I tried to work with addons. They were cumbersome, gangly things that didn't really do much besides alter the appearance of your UI. I tried with four of five different styles but I could never get them to function well in the game. I think part of it is that Sony made modifying your UI a herculean effort, so few people used mods and fewer still made them. Blizzard has done just the opposite, making UI modification a cottage industry that's open to anyone with a little time and a clear idea of what they want to do.

Players can change the look of their bars, their maps, their buttons, their raid frames, their chat, their buffs, add timers, overlays, extra buttons, frames that indicate distances, aggro, healing done, damage done, and more! At the end of the day, with some time spent searching sites like Curse or WoW Interface your UI can look however you want it to. The problem, of course, is where do you stop?

My answer: I don't.

The shot above is pretty crowded. My Vuhdo bars are in the middle and my buffs take up a hefty chunk of space along the side while my bars crowd the bottom. I have countdown bars seemingly all over the place and healing done and received scrolls over the other spots. This is actually better than it used to be. I searched for a screenshot of an early UI compilation. I remember it well. My Grid bars were nearly an inch wide per raider and extended over half my screen. With everything else bumping up against that, I had a very small box in the middle that was my view of my character. I could see the fire so I could get out of it, but very little else.

The difference between then and now is pretty big.

Recently I went through and updated my UI to make it less cluttered and easier to see everything. I moved my player and target frames to the center of the screen under my character and took a lot of my superfluous buttons (the two blocks of bars on the left) and made them show up only when I moused over them, and not in combat at all. Then the bits that I need in combat, like healthstones and potions, I put on the other side of the screen. They only show up while I'm in combat. Overall, it's a lot easier to play with.

I use a lot of addons. I enjoy using them because each of them serves a purpose for me.

Vuhdo The big debate between Vuhdo and Healbot and Grid will rage indefinitely. I just don't really tend to get into it. I like what Vuhdo can do with hot placement. It's easy to configure and customize. Although I don't use it, I could easily configure it to use click healing. It's got a lot of features I don't use, but I'm ok with that. I'm comfortable with it. I used Grid for a long time, but eventually having to update two or three addons to get what I had in one, along with the easier to maneuver interface, led me away from Grid. My only real experience with Healbot was in BC and I didn't use it for long. I hear it's a very good addon. When people ask what they should use, I recommend Vuhdo, but I amend it with a caveat to use what they like. Every healer is different.

Shadowed UF I use this addon on every one of my characters. The amount of information you can display (or not display) on player, target, target of target, target of target of target, and boss frames is amazing. All I need is bars with numbers. This addon gives me bars with numbers, and I can say which bars have which numbers. For example, the percentage on the mana/energy/rage bar on my target is actually their percentage of health, rather than their percentage of power. I find that easier to look at than having another number up with the boss health numbers.

Prat A basic chat frame addon. I like class names in chat. I like to know the level of the person I'm talking to. I like having time stamps on whispers. Prat does all these things simply and effectively.

Bartender4 Gotta mod the buttons up! I use this to help unclutter my macros and to make the cool clusters of buttons that only show up in combat or on mouseover. Great for getting things out of the way and easy to configure my preferences for keybinds.

Quartz Everyone's go-to cast bar. I use it to show my own and my target's cast bars and the spells they're casting. Useful, functional, unintrusive.  I love it.

Tidy Plates/Threat Plates I totally grabbed this from Big Bear Butt's tanking guide when I was learning how to tank and now I totally love it for healing and my DPS characters as well. If you're a tank, the nameplates are green when mobs are aggroed on you. If you're not, the nameplates are green when mobs aren't aggroed on you. Perfect for fights like Omnitron Defense System where it's kind of important to know if an ooze is attached to me and if so, which one. I thought having nameplates in my face would be annoying, but I've embraced them. I can see mob health, aggro, and a cast bar for things I don't have targeted at a glance.

Satrina Buff Frames I've heard this is going the way of the dodo and I'm extremely sad. SBF is a huge asset, letting me move my buff frames from up top to a smaller list along the left side. Recently I've configured it to paste a big column showing the buffs (hostile) or debuffs (friendly) of my target. This makes it easier to figure out when it's more effective to use our now-expensive dispels and when the boss is about to start hitting extra hard.

ForteXorcist I used to use SO many of this addons cool features, but nowadays I really only use the cooldown bar. I've since moved the bar back down to the right hand side under my Skada frame, so the screenshot above isn't entirely accurate. It lets me watch how close my cooldowns are to being ready again. I suppose I could add a set of Power Auras to do the same thing, but I still like my bar. It stays for now.

Chinchilla Map This makes my map square on two sides and round on two sides. It also tells me who is pinging the map and what my map coordinates are. It can do other things that I'm not interested in. But that may change. I have been known to go back and make use of old features when I get a wild hair to do so :P.

Mik Scrolling Battle Text This is the addon I'd most like to either replace or get rid of. I like seeing my healing numbers, knowing what's coming in, but I'm not entirely sure it's not just background noise getting lost in the ocean of the raid environment. I haven't seen anything better yet, though, so right now it teeters on the edge of oblivion.

Power Auras Classic This is my current favorite addon. It does a little bit of everything if you take the time to configure it. It can also make your screen look like a complete mess.

Don't try this at home! Actually, do, it's funny to see all your various timers and auras up all at once and try to pick them apart. I have auras that tell me when my Wildgrowth and Swiftmend are off cooldown, when the haste buff from Nature's Grace is active and for how long, how long my Omen of Clarity has to run (thanks to Keeva at TBJ), how long my tree form has left, and then that cluster in the middle are mostly get-out-of-crap warnings for the Twilight Ascendant Council fight (thanks to Beru at Falling Leaves and Wings). There's also a couple that show me the number of Lacerate stacks I have up as a bear. Power Auras is imminently versatile and definitely a mod I use for many, many things.

Skada Probably my newest addon, Skada replaces the functionality of both Omen and Recount, acting as an aggro table during combat and a damage/healing done table out of it. I can track individual fights and Skada comes with absorbs built into the healing numbers, which gives me a better picture of disc priest output.

DBM/Spell Timers Duh, who doesn't use this (or its cousin BigWigs) for raiding? Get out of the bad, here comes the big boss strike, everybody turn away from the boss RIGHT NOW -- it tells you all that and more. I also download DBM Spell Timers (from the DBM site) so that I can see when druid innervates and brezes are up along with the cooldown on heroism. More useful to have in a 25-man raid, but still nifty. If something HAD to go and I'd already ditched MSBT, I'd probably get rid of the spell timers next.

I guess my point in listing all these addons is that they have a purpose (mostly). I'm fully addicted to making modifications to my UI in order to improve my game. I try new things, put them into practice, and if they work, I keep them. If they fall flat (as so many have), then I ditch them. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Hi, my name is Raevyn and I'm an addon addict. And I feel fine :).

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A little help from my friends

I mentioned last time about raiding and the niggly part of me that feels like I'm not doing enough to be prepared because of my responsibilities as a parent that come first. But I neglected to mention something very important: I'm getting to raid. And this is entirely because of the kindness of the eight or so other people I raid with.

See, at the tender age of 6 months Vivi finally decided she could go to sleep at a regular time, right about 9pm, each night. That's great, except before she was born, our raids started at 8pm. I was prepared to alternate raid nights with my husband, Grundle, to put the baby to sleep at the right time, respec as a bear as necessary (hence my numerous posts about tanking :P), and pretty much abase myself before these people to keep my raid spot as much as I could. But I didn't have to because they are awesome.

Instead, my raid completely changed the raid schedule to fit mine. We now raid three nights a week from 9:30 to 11:30, sometimes pushing midnight on Fridays. And all of us are pretty happy with it.

I know that everyone would probably like to push the raid schedule back toward 8, but right now Vivi is still stuck firmly at a 9pm bedtime (and since she wakes up at 5:30 to 6am each morning, I'd rather not push that wake up time any earlier if I can help it). We get our farm content down, though, and have at least a full raid day, if not more, for working on new stuff. It's a really nice balance and I am completely content with it.

I am also continually amazed that my guild is willing to do this for Grundle and I, to keep us raiding with them. It's really sweet and shows me just how much we mean to the rest of the raid.

Since we joined the guild at the end of BC our friendships and attachments have continually grown and that is awesome. I love being a part of this guild and when the guild we'd all joined decided to stop raiding and we put together our own raid team for Cata, it felt like a very natural progression. Of course we'd all stay together. Just like we had throughout Wrath.

So despite my complaints, which are entirely about my own failings and mental blocks, I'm having a really great time raiding in Cataclysm because of my friends. Thanks. I owe you big time :).
Me and my raiding buddies with our rustbound drakes, back when getting rustbound drakes was cool!