January 30, 2008

How I Stopped Worrying and Loved the Hunter

It's been almost embarrassing to admit it, with all the great hunter blogs out there extolling the class as well as the fine examples in my guild, but after getting my own hunter to 70, I just really wasn't feeling it. It just all felt so complicated, so much micromanaging to play a dps class.

And then there's the pulling. See, I don't actually like pulling, as far as I can tell. Perhaps it stems from being a mage, but there's something intrinsically suicidal about having one's job be to run ahead and shoot things in the face.

I did regular Shattered Halls run followed by heroic Ramparts a few weeks back, and although it was a good guild group and things went smoothly enough, I'd never felt more off my game. (Also, my gun broke in the middle of Ramparts. This didn't help any.) It's like the 5 man hunter playstyle just wasn't meshing with my own finely attuned PvE ranged dps skills. Sure, I appreciated hunters more than ever, but did I really want to play one?

And so my hunter went back to sitting dormant in Skettis, earning me a few gold here and there with daily quests, until The Boy and I decided to form a 2v2 team with our alts. I named us the Dark Iron Scraps, and up until this week, the name was the best thing we had going for us. Quite frankly, we started with no gear and 11k health between the two of us. His mage was sporting PvE tailoring epics, and I was in... well, quest greens, some of which were leather. To be frank, we're still pretty atrociously geared, we've lost at least 80% of our games, and our rating is abysmal.

But back to huntering, because here's the thing: I respecced for arena this week, and suddenly I'm having fun with my hunter! Ramekin's now 0/42/19, and for being such a noob, he's the most godawful arena pest you've ever laid eyes on. My other arena partner, A Moonkin in San Francisco, says he could've told me that months ago:

Me: Wow, my hunter is annoying now that I've respecced for arena.
aMiSF: Well, duh.
Me: Heh.
aMiSF: Oh, you have buffs on you? Lemme get rid of those. What's that, you want to heal? Well we can't have that do any good, let's just cut that in half. Oh, you want to cast spells too? Now now, none of that.
Me: Just think of these as gifts. Like this lovely scattershot.
aMiSF: Oh, and here is an animal for your face. You can't CC him, so just deal with it.

January 28, 2008

AllPlayed: Revisiting /Played Time

A while back I wrote about adding up all the time I'd played on all my WoW characters. This past week, I was informed of a mod that will actually do this for you. AllPlayed is an add-on that does exactly what I did without all the pesky screenshotting and adding up the numbers. If you're an Ace fan, you'll be pleased, and if you use FuBar, doubly so, because AllPlayed is an Ace2 mod that displays on FuBar itself, like this:



In addition to displaying /played time for each of your characters, AllPlayed lets you monitor how much gold you have on each character, as well as the amount of rested XP they've accumulated. Good stuff.

If you have WoWAceUpdater, you can pick it up during your next add-on update. If you don't use the Updater, you can download it here from Curse.

January 27, 2008

Screenshot Sunday: Death By Spine



Today's Screenshot Sunday comes from the Naj'entus fight.

With SSC and TK on farm, my raid's attention has turned to new encounters in Mount Hyjal and Black Temple. On my mage, I don't really get too excited about Hyjal (yay, another wave of trash!) , but I really like the feel of BT. High Warlord Naj'entus is the first boss in the Temple, and is reached by entering through a crack in the wall and fighting your way through the sewers.

The fight itself is noteworthy primarily for requiring everyone in the raid to have at least 9k health. For mages, this means throwing on all kinds of PvP gear, or old mage tanking gear from the Maulgar fight.

The reason you need at least 9k health is that every 45 seconds or so, Naj'entus puts up a tidal shield, a giant bubble effect that makes him impervious to all damage. In what I consider one of the coolest fight mechanics in the game, there's only one way to break this shield. Periodically during the fight, Naj'entus will throw a needle spine at a random player. (You can see Firkin dead to one above.) Another person in the raid must pull the spine out of the targeted player's body and then throw it to burst the shield bubble. When the tidal shield breaks, everyone in the raid takes 8500 frost damage.

Naj'entus went down for us last week along with Supremus. The first few fights in BT and Hyjal are definitely easier than Vashj or Kael, which is a nice break. As The Boy put it last week: "You've beaten Kael'thas. Here, have a cookie."

January 22, 2008

Nerf By Numbers


I've been thinking a lot about arena strategies and gear over the past week, now that I'm doing shadow priest/moonkin and hunter/mage 2v2s regularly. Admittedly, the hunter/mage combo has a definite 'losing for the epics' feel to it, as The Boy and I only have about 12k health combined on our alts.

Reading 2v2 arena strats requires a certain amount of tolerance for the old rock/paper/scissors class-based QQing. Just for fun, I thought I'd do a little Google survey to see who the teeming millions think really needs a nerf. Apparently paladins aren't overpowered at all!

January 21, 2008

Screenshot Sunday Aggro, Oh Noes!

Where was Screenshot Sunday? It's indefensible and kind of sad, really. Like inviting everyone to a party and then not being at home. Plus, it makes the moonkin angry. And you won't like him when he's angry. Could it possibly still be Sunday for some GMW readers? I hope so. I really do.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend, all you lucky folks getting tomorrow (today?) off. And for everyone else... well, hopefully you're all asleep by now and reading this on Monday.

January 16, 2008

If Only.

Me: It's snowing!
Moonkin in San Francisco: Huh?
Me: Snowing! ...Okay, more like heavy flurries, but I'm in Georgia. Work with me here.
Moonkin in SF: You should go to the store and buy up all the milk and bread.
Me: Yeah, seriously. If only the grocery store worked like the Auction House.

January 15, 2008

Vashj Phase 2 Tips (From a DPS Perspective)

Last night my raid went back to Serpentshrine Cavern to get Vashj's vial for a few more raiders. It took us one wipe to get back into the swing of things, which got me thinking about all the complexity involved in learning the Vashj fight. I thought I'd share a few tips and one handy map that helped convert SSC to farm status for my raid.

Vashj's second phase is really the worst, because you've got to have people handling enchanted elementals and tainted elemental spawns, tanks picking up elite naga, dpsers kiting coilfang striders, and healers healing everyone through all that chaos plus Vashj's forked lightning.

You can cut down on the initial chaos by making sure everyone in your raid doesn't just know strats (you have read the strategies on Bosskillers and MMO-Champion already, right?), but has also taken a look at a map or video of the fight and knows where they should be standing in phase 2.

Work out your positioning ahead of time, especially for the elemental dpsers. There are a lot of labeled maps for phase 2 out there, but most of them are pretty vague and just divide the elemental sides into four areas.

Our favorite map is the one below, by Starslayer of the guild Stack and Die. It not only labels the north, south, east and west sides of Vashj's platform, but it also shows every spawn point for the elementals. This lets you assign your elemental dps to specific spawn points (ie, South side, spawns B & C) instead of just a vague area. Be sure to assign less mana-dependent dpsers (hunters are great for this) to cover areas that have an additional elemental spawn.


Once you have your positioning worked out, it's also worthwhile to remind everyone that healing becomes even more complex than usual in the Vashj fight since the healers will also be the go-to people for tossing tainted cores to eliminate Vashj's four shield generators. This is one of those fights where it's critical that everyone make not dying their number one priority - it's a dps race, and it's unlikely you're going to have the druid mana for more than one or two rebirths.

Everyone needs to do their utmost not to die here: squishy folk should use pots, healthstones, and above all stay out of the way of striders and naga. Be aware that naga cleave and sometimes take a few seconds to get picked up, and avoid standing at the very edge of the outer ring where a newly-spawned naga could one-shot you into oblivion.

Once you've looted the fourth tainted core (and tossed it to the final receiver using your tainted core macro*), hold off on dropping the fourth generator for a second and assess your situation.

How are you looking on striders? One or more coilfang striders up at the start of phase three can really undermine your transition. If you can, finish off any remaining striders below half-health, switch your dps to any existing nagas, and use your timers to deactivate the final generator right before any more adds spawn. This way, you'll be spending most of your time in phase three killing Vashj, and not dealing leftover adds.

Of course, if you've got that kind of coordination going on at the very end of phase two, you're well on your way to beating Vashj anyway. Good luck!
___________________________________
*You do have a macro for tossing tainted cores, don't you? The usual one is:
/use tainted core /y <-------TAINTED CORE TO %T /ra <------ TAINTED CORE TO %T /script SendChatMessage("YOU HAVE THE CORE!!!", "WHISPER", "common", UnitName("target"));

January 13, 2008

Screenshot Sunday: World PvP Remembered


This week's screenshot features one of my favorite moments in World of Warcraft ever, as well as my first real taste of WoW celebrity. Operation: Everything Must Die was a 900+ person world PvP raid orchestrated on Dark Iron by the Penny Arcade Alliance (with which my guild, Annarchy, just so happens to be affiliated).

On November 29th, 2006, just days before dishonorable kills were removed from Blizzard's honor formula, we canceled all scheduled raids in the 12-guild Alliance just moments before they were about to begin, and launched a multi-pronged attack against every major horde city, with additional groups of lowbies sent to Brill, Tarren Mill, and Crossroads.

The shot above is from my mage's archives, and made the rounds of WoW blogs and websites back in the day (in most, you can still see the green bar representing my Brood of Nozdormu rep on Firkin). Just moments before this picture was taken, Annarchy and the Disciples of Divx were stationed at the bottom of Darrowmere Lake waiting for the signal to invade the Undercity, with warlocks providing underwater breathing to everyone as we summoned more people in. As the attacks on other cities got underway, we surfaced and grouped up to charge.

Once inside Undercity, the lag made every cast a thirty-second affair. With the news that Cairne, Thrall, and Vol'jin had bit the dust, we killed Varimathras and had Sylvanas to 50% when the server went down for the first time. Dark Iron never really recovered for the rest of the night.

Thinking back, it'd be nice if Blizzard provided a little more incentive and technical support for large-scale world events like this (fingers crossed for the Sunwell opening events not being as laggy as the AQ gates). Right now, forming a world PvP raid to kill a racial leader gives a small amount of gold per raider, plus a chunk of honor. Though I'm not sure exactly how much you get these days, I do know that I see far fewer capital city raids than I used to; with a few exceptions, people have found better ways to spend their time.

Back in December, Eners on Drak'thul gave a number of suggestions for how to encourage raids to take on the racial leader, instead of abandoning this aspect of the game entirely. His thoughts:

  • Boost the gold and honor reward for killing faction leaders
  • Create a cool buff (like the Warchief's blessing, or the turn-in for Magtheridon, Onyxia, or Nefarion's head) that would increase honor gained by everyone involved in the kill for the next hour
  • Make a new title for players who've killed all of the opposing faction's racial leaders
  • Develop a quest or quest line that rewards honor or rare loot for killing racial leaders
Silvais of Dragonmaw server adds one more suggestion to the mix: why not let each racial leader have a small chance of dropping a unique version of their race's mount?

How about you guys: have you raided the opposing faction's capital cities? What kinds of changes would make you want to go mano-a-mano with Thrall or Bolvar?

January 8, 2008

Icy Veins and the Raiding Mage

2.3.2 hit the World of Warcraft today, bringing several changes for mages. Mana gems have been buffed to have multiple charges, and the former staple of the frost tree, Ice Block, is now trainable for all mages, replaced by the talent Cold Snap, which has been moved down in the tree. Taking the place formerly occupied by Cold Snap is Icy Veins, a new frost talent much anticipated by the raiding mage community. How will Icy Veins affect raiding mages? Let's take a look.

The Basics
Icy Veins is an instant cast spell that lasts 20 seconds on a 3 minute cooldown, and is located 11 points into the frost tree. Its tooltip says that it "Decreases casting time of all spells by 20% and increases the chance your chilling effects will freeze the target by 10% for 20 seconds." The "decreases casting" part is a tad misleading; instead of directly reducing your cast time, IV increases your spell haste by 20%*.

What Spells Does Icy Veins Affect?
Icy Veins works on all three schools of magic that mages use. If you have the talent Frostbite, any frost spells you cast while IV is up will also gain the 10% bonus to freezing procs. If you don't have points in Frostbite, you'll only get the haste benefit (which is still nice on its own).

Will Icy Veins Stack With My Arcane Power/Heroism/Combustion/Quagmirran's Eye/Troll Bezerking/Mystical Skyfire Diamond/Bloodlust/Spellstrike proc/etc?
Yes. (Math-happy theorycrafters out there, please note stacked haste effect math gets a little tricky here.)

So Icy Veins is a Good Talent for All Mages?
Icy Veins has great potential for deep frost mages, PvP mages with points in frost already (that should be all of you, right?), and progression PvE mages who aren't hurting for mana and can afford to put 11 points into the frost tree. In PvE, your particular mileage may vary depending on your gear, group composition, the encounter in question, and your playstyle, but some of the initial number-crunching from the PTRs suggests that 10/48/3 fire mages who drop clearcasting to pick up Icy Veins will see their dps go up by ~2.5%.

A 2.5% DPS Increase! Wow!
I agree, but here's an important caveat: the only thing Icy Veins (and haste in general) does for a fire mage is let you burn through your mana bar faster. If you're OOM by the end of the fight anyway, this talent is virtually worthless to you.

Wait, Why Would Anyone Give Up Clearcasting? That's a Lot of Mana!
The general thought process is that the changes to mana gems in 2.3.2 should offset the loss of clearcasting procs. Plus, fire dps is pretty efficient these days anyway.

GMW, Tell Us! Are You Changing Your Spec Again?
I am indeed.

So, Tell Us How You're Speccing Firkin in 2.3.2.
With pleasure, my capital letter overusing friends. Here's my thought process.
Before 2.2, arcane was the name of the game. I switched back to the classic 10/47/3+1 build in 2.3, as it once again offered the best dps and mana efficiency for progression raiding (and vastly decreased my weekly mana potion budget).

In 2.3.2, I'm thinking the best raiding mage builds will be 0/47/11+3. I'll keep all the old fire talents from the classic build, along with 3/3 Elemental Precision. To that, I'm adding 5/5 Improved Frostbolt and 2/2 Improved Frost Nova to pick up Icy Veins in Cold Snap's old spot.

The three remaining points will be heavily debated on forums and blogs. The major options I see for them are:

  • 2/2 Arcane Subtlety and _______ - The conservative choice, this lets you keep your 40% threat reduction in arcane for AE spamming on AOE packs.
  • 3/5 Impact - For a Blackout-like stun effect. Fun in PvP, sometimes handy in PvE, but I won't be doing it because I date a tank, and he gets grouchy about random stun procs.
  • 2/2 Blazing Speed and _______ - A talent I've wanted to play around with but never gotten around to, but the proc is probably a bit random to provide a significant benefit. On the other hand, there are a ton of endgame raiders walking around with [Boar's Speed] on their PvE boots, on the premise that every little increase helps in fights with lots of maneuvering.
  • 3/3 Improved Frostbite - For the PvE/PvP player, there's a certain logic here. Icy Veins provides a direct boost to Frostbite's freezing effect, which is something that you almost never want to happen in the controlled environment of PvE raiding, but is great fun in PvP. But since a fire mage won't be casting frost spells in PvE (at least not 97% of the time, and 2% of the remainder will be on Frostbite-immune bosses), this combo lets you have your cake and eat it too.
  • 3/3 Improved Flamestrike - I'm leaning towards this one. I'm not sure how dangerous skipping Arcane Subtlety will be on trash, but a 15% crit bonus on Flamestrike means that I could default to spamming that instead of AM if I need to.
  • 3/3 Improved Blizzard - As with Imp Flamestrike, the idea is to come up with something to replace AE spam on AOE packs. Used correctly, Imp Blizzard is actually a really excellent utility tool for AOE pack control, but for a fire mage it won't compare in terms of damage.
I Have More Questions About Icy Veins! Where Can I Turn?
Lhivera posted this great Q&A on the talent on the official WoW boards. In addition, the Elitist Jerks forums are always a good source, but you may have to dig around a little (or a lot).

_________________________________
*Math-happy theorycrafters should note that +20% spell haste is not the same as -20% cast time; it works out to more like -17% cast time.

Kael'thas Sunstrider: Welcome to the Future


So you've braved your way through SSC, soldiered on through Tempest Keep, and are now staring at the lord of the blood elves, Kael'thas Sunstrider. Congratulations! Are you prepared? Of course not.

Oh sure, you've got the gear if you've killed Vashj, but if ever there was a learn-by-doing fight, Kael and his buddies are that encounter.

Yes, I said buddies. Did you think we were killing a limping, half-dead blood elf leader only kept alive by the power of a giant pulsing crystal strapped to his chest? Nope, this is the Eye, where you fight Kael and friends in all their shining, unnerfed (okay, slightly nerfed, but still pretty difficult) glory. Let's introduce the players:

The dude in the center there is Kael. You might recognize him from the giant statues of himself he had installed in this very room. A little gauche, if you ask me.

To his left and right are his four advisors, each with their own M.O.s: Thaladred of the mighty hammer and six second attention span, Sanguinar the constantly-fearing warrior, Capernian the constantly-conflagging mage, and Telonicus the stun-happy engineer. In phase one, your raid gets to fight and kill them, one at at time.

Once you've killed his advisors, Kael summons up seven legendary weapons for you to fight. After your tanks get the positioning right, phase 2 isn't so bad; most of them will die in your raid's massive cloud of AOE. When a weapon dies, you have 60 seconds until it despawns, during which time anyone (or really everyone; they're multi-drop) can loot the weapons for use in the rest of the fight. So every time we fight Kael, I get to equip the [Staff of Disintegration]. Shiny!

Moving onward. Yes, I know your raid's still fighting weapons, but take a look at the clock. It's been about two minutes since phase 2 started, hasn't it? Think back to those advisors you killed in phase 1. Wouldn't it be really inconvenient if they all came back to life at the same time, right about... now? Well, Kael thinks so too. So good luck with that!

If you've got the weapons down and looted them while studiously avoiding Capernian and Thaladred, you're making nice progress. Now focus fire on the advisors: melee on Telonicus, ranged on Thaladred, warlocks tanking Capernian in one corner and a regular tank tucking Sanguinar in a different corner. We like to do Telonicus, Thaladred, Sanguinar, and then Capernian, but be sure your Kael tank has looted the shield and is ready to go, because Kael's going to start phase 4 whether you're ready or not.

Sometimes one must take matters into one's own hands. Kael really hates dirty work, but it's hard to get proper help these days. While you finish off the last advisors, your tank had better grab him. Pretty soon, he's going to start flame striking all over the place, and once he starts casting shock barriers and pyroblasts... well. Let's just say that if it weren't for that legendary shield ([Phaseshift Bulwark]) your tank grabbed at the end of phase 2, there'd be no way he could eat an 50k fireball, much less two in a row if your raid doesn't dps that shock barrier down and kick Kael in the face before he casts another one.

Speaking of kicks to the face, did you bring enough melee dpsers? I hope they looted that dagger from phase 2, because any second now Kael is going to start mind controlling random members of your raid, and someone's going to have to shiv them with an [Infinity Blade] to dispell it. Also, how are you on phoenixes? You remember those little guys from A'lar? Pretend they had a constant AoE pulse and could resurrect themselves, and you've got a pretty good picture of phase 4.

But you've made it! You've killed phoenix eggs, you've destroyed shock barriers, you've interrupted pyroblasts and shanked mind controls and spam-healed your tank like there's no tomorrow. Kael's down to 50%, how much more complicated could this fight get?

Honestly, that depends on how you feel about gravity.

In just a few seconds, Kael's going to teleport you to him and turn off the room's gravity, then start chaining nether beams through the raid. So spread out along the X, Y, and Z axis (aim for ~10 yards above the ground) until the gravity lapse ends. Once you get used to swimming around in mid-air, phase 5's pretty easy, and then you can take a congratulatory screenshot like we did. Huzzah!

Come to think of it, after looting his body of all the shinies, we totally forgot to check Kael for a pulse before portaling out in our rush to Hyjal! Damn. I guess we'll have to scrounge up five luckless adventurers to finish off the job once Sunwell hits. Any takers?

January 6, 2008

Screenshot Sunday: Bear Conga Line


Screenshot Sunday is the start of what I hope will become a weekly feature here at Girl Meets WoW. Every Sunday I'll be showcasing some in-game photography or conversation-starting screen caps from my own playtime or from you, the GMW readers.

So if you've got a really unique or interesting shot from WoW you'd like to share, feel free to send it along. But seriously, I mean unique - what's up with the ones at WoWInsider lately? "This is my character waiting to cap the flag in WSG. I was bored, so I thought I'd share that boredom with the rest of you." I know you guys can do better.

This inaugural Sunday screenshot is a leftover from my guild's New Year's party on Dark Iron. Have I mentioned we have a lot of druids? I believe I have.

January 4, 2008

Save the Virtual Whales!

image by erikogan

Far be it from me to speculate on how things are going over at Massively, but this recent post about the horrors of (*gasp*) killing adorable virtual creatures for XP and money has me cracking up:

At least with humanoids, there's provable intent to cause harm. With animals, you're just treading on their territory, and you should leave. I'm under no illusions about where my meat comes from, but this isn't about survival. Gaming or not, this is poaching.

...A warrior should practice his combat skills on opponents who behave like he does, not on creatures with their own innocent agendas.
What's next? Refusing to invite rogues and druids to groups for wearing leather? Boycotting the Ironforge meat vendor? Releasing your hunter's pet back into the wild while singing "Born Free"?

Honestly, I've got no problem with real life vegetarians, but I think some people need "it's just a game" tattooed to their mousing hand to remind them before they go and type something absurd.

2007 Blog Facts, Numbers, and Wrap-Up

I know it's already January 4th, but I had a fel reaver filled party to recover from, and better late than never, right? Besides, this one post will take care of two topics: stats on this blog in 2007, and my New Year's resolution to shake off the mask of anonymity by adding in the names for my guild, my characters, and my server.

Let's get started, shall we?

About You
48,902 people visited Girl Meets WoW this year! That's
68,498 visits, for a total of
112,117 pageviews.

Much of the traffic came from posts about Brewfest, Hallow's End, and patch 2.3.

About Me
Since I started this blog on September 25th, I've made 85 posts and received all kinds of great feedback in comments and emails. (If I haven't replied to your email, fear not - I'm slowly but steadily going through my current backlog, but I'll get there.)

I've also finally been found out as a blogger by my guild just a few days ago, which means my New Year's resolution of telling my guild about my blog and my blog more about my guild is complete as of this post.

My Guild
I've been playing on Dark Iron with the fine folks of Annarchy since August 2005. We're a huge but close-knit group of mature players who span the spectrum from hardcore to casual (however you like to define those terms).

We rolled up as part of the larger Penny Arcade Alliance on DI, and are sworn rivals of the awesome but outnumbered horde of Panda Attack and Djork (the fine fellows who came out for our New Year's party the other night).

My Characters
Firkin is my mage, and has been my PvE raiding main since I rolled on Dark Iron. I'm starting to PvP with him a little bit (I need some more stam gear for Hyjal), but he's mostly a squishy carebear.
Inaara is a shadow priest I created to play when my boyfriend first joined the server on his warrior, Pyetr. I've been playing some 2v2 arena with her, and generally trying to become a more competent PvPer in battlegrounds and arena as well. I also take her to farm-status 25-man content on occasion, and flip between mage and shadow priest as my Zul'Aman group needs change from week to week.
Ramekin was my very first character, a hunter who I server transfered to Dark Iron and recently leveled to 70. I've written more about him here, but right now I'm not sure what my goals are for him besides grinding out quests for money.
Hooloovoo is my leveling alt, a level 39 enhancement shaman. He's a lot of fun to play.

For some reason none of them seem to be displaying correctly in Armory at the moment, which is fine with me since I think I logged Firkin out in his laughable PvP set last night.

So that's that. A little anti-climatic, perhaps, but I didn't actually intend my blog anonymity to last this long. I figured at least one of my 300+ guild mates would find me out within a month or so, but it ended up taking three and a half. Go figure.

Anyhow, it's been a blast so far. This blog's popularity has far exceeded my expectations, and I've had a lot of fun reading through the comments and talking to my guildmates about it over the past few days. I hope you'll all stick around in 2008!

January 2, 2008

OMG WTF Acronyms

To everyone searching for "WoW WTB" and finding my blog: it stands for "want to buy."

Also, WTS is "want to sell," and Blizzard has a whole list of common World of Warcraft terms and their meanings on their website. You might find it helpful.

As for everyone else, what can I say? It's noob season.

AOE Farming On Your Mage: The Lazer Chicken Method

Have you ever been questing along when all of a sudden a frost mage comes around the corner on his mount, aggros a dozen mobs, freezes them in place, and then AOEs them all to death?

If so, you've witnessed AOE farming, one of the more unique tactics used by mages for leveling or grinding.

AOE farming has never really clicked with me (and with the buffs to quest XP in 2.3, using it to level seems counterintuitive), but there are many people who swear by it. You can even go on Wowwiki and find a list of good locations for AOE grinding by level, if you're looking for the perfect spot to farm.

On the other hand, maybe you'd really like some details on how to get started. If so, friendly boomkin (and sometime mage) Delos of Lazer Chicken has the goods on the best talent points, gear, and strategies in his guide to AOE farming as a mage.

A lot of great points are covered, including the slightly tricky detail of transitioning from gathering up mobs while mounted to dismounting and freezing them in place. Says Delos:

When I have them reasonably tight together, I run through the center of them once more and simultaneously jump (on my mount) and cast Frost Nova. This is an important step because it does three things. One, the mobs move tighter together because they are mindlessly moving inwards towards you. Two, you frost nova them in place when they are in this close bunching. Three, because you jump you make it so that you are out of rage of their melee, at least by a couple of yards and can begin your Blizzard immediately.
If you're looking to try out AOE farming, I can't think of a better place to start than this post.

January 1, 2008

Ringing in the New Year!




My guild invited our Horde friends to a party on Dark Iron. Then we rang in the new year with a few Fel Reavers, and a race to see who could kite one to Shatt first. Once you get them into the city center, A'dal one-shots them, which makes you wonder why we're worried about the Burning Legion invasion in the first place.

Happy New Year, everybody!