Archive for November, 2008


Seri sez: Account Security – If you’re not paranoid, you should be.

November 27, 2008

Sorry folks, no pictures this week… just a big wall of text. Really, I’m lucky I got this much done with the NaNoWriMo deadline looming. 12.5k to go!

I’m not sure if there has been a rise in WoW account theft/hacking since the expansion or if it’s just sheer coincidence that two people I know were hacked in the last week. Nonetheless, it is a matter that deserves community attention.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that pretty much everyone knows someone whose account has been compromised. Horror stories abound, from characters deleted/transferred/liquidated to guild banks emptied and candy stolen from babies. The sad and inescapable truth is that there are a lot of truly despicable human beings (and I use the term loosely) out there who think nothing of preying on others for personal gain.

Just because you’re not paranoid doesn’t mean no one’s out to get you.

While the theft of virtual valuables may not be quite as extreme as busting kneecaps for ‘protection’ money or swindling old ladies out of their retirement fund, it can be a violation on a very personal level… kind of like coming home to find your underwear drawer empty and your cat missing.

To safeguard your account…

Choose a secure password and change it regularly. 8 characters minimum. No dictionary words. No dictionary words done ‘133t’ style. Use a mixture of letters and numbers, upper case and lower. Throw in a symbol or two. Don’t use your birthday! If you have trouble remembering the password… great. It’s a lot less likely to be guessed. Eventually you’ll have it memorized, I promise.

Don’t use the same login/password combination for multiple online services. One of the most common methods of gaining login/password information is for a savvy hacker to trick you into following a link to a fake login page for a bank or other common online service (eBay, Paypal, Amazon, etc.) and use that login/password combination at other common online services to see if they work. Of course, you can’t change your WoW account username, but using a different password than you use for other online stuff will protect you against this sort of attack.

Always be suspicious of links in e-mail and web forums. Speaking of links, you should never click blindly on links you’re given in e-mail/forums (or even blogs, really). A link may not be necessarily what it claims to be. It could send you somewhere entirely different from where you’re expecting, and you might not realize it until it’s too late. This is how keyloggers are commonly spread, and how malicious e-mails trick you into visiting fake web pages as mentioned previously. When in doubt, right click the link and there should be an option to copy it. Paste it manually into your browser address bar and look at it before you hit enter to load the page. Is it supposed to go to eBay? Why does it go to ‘’? Check the domain name. If it doesn’t match where you’re supposed to be going, don’t load the page!

Don’t open attachments from untrusted sources. (And think carefully about who you trust!) Viruses and keyloggers are often spread through attachments. If you don’t know who it’s from, don’t open it. Caution may be warranted even if you do know the person, if they are what you would consider to be technologically challenged.

Don’t share your login/password. When you give someone your login/password, you’re not only trusting them to not give it out you’re trusting that their security precautions are as rigorous as yours. All the security in the world won’t help you if you give your buddy your account info and he has a keylogger.

Invest in an authenticator. These little things are a marvelous way to keep your account safe for a small one-time investment. When your account is protected by an authenticator, even if a hacker gets access to your login/password they can’t log in unless they have the code from your authenticator, which changes every minute or so. The down side? If you lose it or don’t have it with you, you’re locked out of your account until you find it (or until you contact Blizzard and jump through whatever hoops they require). Also, if you do share your login/password with someone you’ll have to give them the PIN from your authenticator and they’ll need to enter it in quickly before it expires. Note: For the International audience, authenticators are also available for Canada/Australia/New Zealand/Latin America, Europe and Korea.

Run virus/malware scans regularly and update your virus definitions religiously. (Especially if you use Windows.) You can never be too careful. Get yourself a scanner and schedule it to run automatically overnight so you don’t have to remember to run it yourself. No, I don’t really have any to suggest… I’m a blogger not a security consultant. I use ClamXAV on my Mac. YMMV.

To safeguard friends, family and guildies…

Be at least peripherally aware of their habits and/or alert for strange behavior. I once noticed a level 70 guildie had been hanging out in Azshara for hours, so I sent him a whisper just to ask how he was doing. He replied, and I was relieved. I told him that I had been concerned because he hadn’t said a peep in guild chat since logging on and he’d been hanging out in Azshara for hours… something very unusual for him. He was thankful that I’d been looking out for him!

If they ask you to log them in, ask them to change their password first or remind them to change it when you’re finished. It may seem silly, but what is it they say about an ounce of caution? Yeah. If nothing else, it gets them to change their password if they haven’t been.

Submit a ticket if you are suspicious. Although a GM will never boot someone or restore gold/items unless the request comes from the account owner, it’s good to start a paper trail in case they need to build a timeline. You won’t get anything but a canned response, but that’s OK. It’s all about due diligence.

If you are a guildmaster…

Take extra precautions. You are more vulnerable than anyone in your guild if your account is hacked. A GM friend of mine logged in the other day to find out that not only had her main character been stripped bare, others had been deleted and her guild had been disbanded. When I was a guildmaster, this sort of thing was my personal nightmare. I still worry about it, due to the sheer amount of time I have put into growing my characters, though at least now the fate of a guild isn’t in my hands.

Set withdrawl limits. The only person who should have unlimited access is the Guildmaster, who should be rigorously following the aforementioned account security suggestions. Remember: Even with limits, the more characters a player has in the guild the more an intruder can steal from the guild bank.

Review your transaction logs for suspicious activity. You don’t have to keep track of everything everyone takes out, but get in the habit of checking the transaction log every day just to make sure no one is making mass withdrawls. If you are suspicious about someone, bump them down to a rank that has no withdrawl access until you get a chance to talk to them and verify all is well.

Picking up the pieces.

If your security precautions ever fail you, don’t panic. Blizzard can and will restore your items once the account is back in your hands. Here are a couple things to note:

  1. It may take several petitions to get everything restored. I hate to say it but… GMs can be lazy. When one of my officers was hacked earlier this year it took several weeks and numerous petitions to get everything back. They just kept leaving stuff out.
  2. Check your billing info. Someone I know once had his account hacked and didn’t realize that they’d changed his account to bill to a stolen credit card. A couple months later, Blizzard locked his account and it took a lot of jumping through hoops and a cashier’s check to get it turned back on.

You may be thinking to yourself, “Isn’t this overkill?” That’s really for you to decide. Just by reading this and thinking about it you’re already way ahead of the curve. If I’ve said even one thing here that affects (or reinforces) the way you approach account security, then I consider this article a success. We’ve all put in the time and the effort to get where we are, and while stolen items/gold/characters are only temporary losses they are still an interruption of our enjoyment of the game. Don’t let it happen to you!


Jov sez: Wrath, Week 2

November 25, 2008

Stats: Joveta, lv 74 Holy Priest, currently specced 14/46/5 for ease of questing, getting shunted into DPSing instances surprisingly often, and pwning healing instances the rest of the time.  I’m going to continue with the potpourri “everything” updates, simply because there’s so much out there and I have no idea where to focus.

Wolvar Rock


Nothing much else needs to be said.  How much more amazingly great can you get than little badger/wolverine people?  They’re fierce, they’re adorable, and they’ve got bushy tails.  The first time I saw one I was riding through Dragonblight picking up flightpaths.  I just stopped, squealed, and let them beat on me for a bit while I went off to Tarsus how completely adorable they are. (Disclaimer:  My favorite class in D&D is druid.  Whenever I play a druid, they have a Badger or Wolverine as their companion.  I’m not hugely fond of the “real thing” as far as those particular critters go, but for whatever reason, they’re just my pet of choice in any given game situation.  I’m not a fanatic badger-lover, I’m a GEEKY badger-lover.)

Alchemy, however, does not

25 Elixirs and Potions of green and yellow skill for one skillpoint.    Saying that again, it took me TWENTY FIVE items (not counting procs) of level which should have me getting a point every 5ish at most to go from 414 to 415 Alchemy.  You can bet I was ready to kill something.

In the spirit of full disclosure

And to counter the razzing I’ve been giving Seri for abandoning the Priest Path of Good Stuff…  Our guild is rather abruptly looking at a future with no Resto Shammies on the roster.  This means (after some discussion with the guild leader) my Resto Shammy side-side-side project might be seeing a bit more raiding time than originally planned.  I’m not entirely certain how I feel about this; I enjoy Shaman (though not as much as my beloved Priests) and I did bring it up to the Guild Leader as a “just in case,” I suppose without really realizing how likely the “just in case” could be…  In the meantime, I’m left frantically scouring PlusHeal‘s Shaman forum, EJ‘s Class Mechanics forum, and Too Many Annas to try and de-noobify myself as much as possible.  For a just in case.  Yes, I’m like that.


Old Kingdom is the best instance since Shadow Labs

And for much the same reason.  Time for Fun was my favorite fight until I got to Herald Elephanthead in Old Kingdom and…  I don’t care if he’s got tentacles, he’s my new favoritest favorite thing ever.

And finally,

Different isn’t bad

Really, it isn’t.  Since Wrath released, through various communities, fora and general “word on the street” level chatter, everyone’s been bitching at everyone else over the stupidest stuff.  If you level faster than me, you’re a loser with no life.  If you level slower, you need to suck it up and l2p.  If you’re a hardcore raider, you’ve got it in for casuals.  If you’re a casual, you’re ruining the game for the hardcore.

Do you see how stupid that all sounds?  (Of course you do…  the class of person reading this blog is much higher than the bitchy idiots with nothing better to do than piss and moan over what other people are doing in the game.)  Just…  remember it.  What should have been drummed into everyone’s head in kindergarten when we were learning to share and using the Crayola “you couldn’t cut yourself with these if you wanted to” scissors was just because someone or something is different than me, doesn’t make them bad.

Seriously, people.  Grow up.


Seri sez: Hey you, get off my server.

November 20, 2008

launchLaunch weekend is a weekend of growing pains for all MMOs. While some (perhaps wisely) have decided to avoid the hassle of quest zone overcrowding by sticking to instances or holding off on installing Wrath all together… I am not one of them. I knew going in that it wasn’t going to be pretty. I remember the TBC launch–hell, I remember the original WoW launch week and how packed the newbie areas were.

I’ll spare you the gushing over new content, save to say that I absolutely LOVE some of the new quests, because I’ve been reading a lot of that this week. I’m not even going to whine/speculate about whether or not Wrath is too easy and what the future holds for raiding because TentyFifthNovember has already cleared Naxx, Sartharion & Malygos. (Seriously, folks, as Jov pointed out to me: A world-first guild clearing all Wrath launch raid content in under 72 hours isn’t as impressive when you consider that they were farming said raid content in the Beta. Most of that time was spent just grinding their raid team to 80.)

No, I have a very special rant prepared for you today. I thought I was prepared for the tomfoolery that would be rampant in Northrend, ready to roll with the punches and just accept it as it came; as it turns out, I was mistaken. This one goes out to all the asshats that made my life difficult during launch weekend. You know who you are, and if you’re reading this you should be ashamed of yourself.

To the roving bands of Alliance AOE farming quest mobs… guess what? We can do it too and it doesn’t take five of us.

To the folks who reactivated for the expansion, crowding our quest areas and bloating our queues… You’ve already demonstrated that you have better things to do. Let those of us without real lives enjoy our virtual ones first. (Yes, even my intrepid guildies. I e-heart you, I missed you, come back in a week. XOXO -Seri.)Die in a fire!

To the jerks that had no concept of waiting their turn for a named quest mob… die in a fire.

To the inconsiderate punks looting ground spawn items while I’m standing IN them fighting a mob… may all your nodes be ninja’d by chinese gold farmers for all eternity.

To the AFK characters on large mounts parked on top of quest givers making a simple turn-in a two minute hide-and-seek click-a-thon… move your ass! It’s not funny, and I don’t care if you didn’t do it on purpose.

And last, but certainly not least:

To the blueflagging cowards that ganked me because I happened to be flagged after accidentally stumbling across an enemy town… there will be a reckoning. I’m making a list; your time will come, and I leveled a char from 1-70 on a PVP server so I know all sorts of ways to make your life hell.

Although the crowds have already started to thin, please try to be considerate members of the WoW community on your adventures through Northrend and remember–I’m out there, I’m watching, and I have a vindictive streak.

P.S. Don’t ask a Rogue below level 75 to open a Froststeel Lockbox or they just might burst into tears. Or stab you. It’s kind of a fifty-fifty chance thing; even if you like seeing Rogues cry, is it worth the risk?

Lockpicking 375 requires level 75!


Jov sez: Notes on Wrath

November 18, 2008

Ready for it?  The quick and dirty recap of my first few days in Wrath.

Stats: Joveta, a lv 71 Holy Priest, currently specced 14/43/5 for maximum familiarity + damage boost.  My first upgrade is in my bags waiting on another 1/2 level (Life-Staff of the Web Lair from Azjol-Nerub to replace my BT priest onna stick.  I’m not worried about the health nerf too much).  I’m currently hearthed to Dalaran and totally in love with it.


Wrath is like Disneyland:  pretty, fun, and full of lines.

So there I was, on the Ancient Lift wondering what was up with it and where it would take me.  I step on a gondola and off we go down the mountain!  It was fast!  It was pretty!  It was full of people!  I couldn’t resist a /yell of “WHEEE!” on my way down.

And at the bottom?  Walrus-people.  How awesome is that?  I know I’ve been on that ride at Disney Land before…

(Also, Grizzly Hills is Frontier Land.  I don’t care what any of you say.  It totally is.)

Dear Pack of Power-leveling Noobs:  Please stop stealing my quest mobs.

The primary reason Jov is still lv 71 is because I HATE fighting for quest mobs.  Seriously, I hate it.  I’m not a terribly competitive person, and I hate the meanness of the “every man for himself, tag stuff as quick as possible, SWD spamming” attitude I have to take to get anything done.  I’ve said from the start my primary plan is to sit out the first week, let all the crazy power-levelers get ahead of me, and then do my questing and leveling in peace.

I’m sticking to that.  The only quests I’ve done for the most part are chains leading to instances, or things that don’t have me waiting an hour to kill something for a quest.  Lots of delivery, lots of “go here, do that” and the like.  Most of my XP has probably honestly come from discovery and instancing.

Ode to Lorem:  Nerf Paladins

Our server-first 80 is a Ret Paladin in my guild.  I don’t feel too bad about my lack of levels comparatively; he’s also the guy I’ve seen take alts from 1-60 in a week.  He’s always crazy-fast about leveling.  (He could totally make a mint selling his services to power-leveling companies. *cough*)

OMGSPIDERS! And other tales of instancing in Wrath.

It’s usually a good idea to read up on boss strats before going into an instance, as we learned from Azjol-Nerub over the weekend.  We downed the first boss, killed a few waves of trash (“Where are they all coming from?!”  “That one did a yell calling for reinforcements.”  “Oh good, I thought I’d ass-pulled!”) and then Seri tabbed out to look up the boss strat.  The spider boss.  Who decided to eat my face as she was reading us the strat over vent.  (“I was tabbed out and all of a sudden heard Jov going ‘EEEEEEEEK’ so I tabbed back in and..  hello giant spider!”)  (Also, Jov is severely Arachnophobic.  So I felt justified in screaming on vent like a little girl when the giant spider ran up and tried to eat me.  Shaddup.)

Tarsus fails at falling.  He was the only death on the way down the hole after the second boss.  We’re trying to get that added to his guild note.

Utgarde Keep is…  neat, but some strange combination of boring and a pita.  It’s quick, it’s linear, but the bosses are annoying and all the trash is exactly the same.  I really love the “Hall of the Mountain King” feeling to the architecture, however.  (I do wish I’d remembered to take a screenshot of myself with Currant at the meeting stone, however.  I’m certain he was wondering who the crap the belf priest who was waving, hugging, and cheering at him was…)

Nexus is my new favorite instance.  It’s Dire Maul/Botanica feel, coupled with actual FUN boss fights (each of the bosses have gimmicks, but they’re FUN gimmicks) make it feel faster and lighter than Utgarde.  Of course, that could also be the lighting.

Who is this rogue and what has it done with Seri?

One nice thing about Seri focusing on leveling her rogue is the fact we actually get to instance together.  Not that Seri turned down opportunities to go lawlsmite and stick me on heal duty in the past, but the group we’ve been running with since the Expansion released of Warrior/Priest/Rogue/Mage/Wildcard has felt like an unstoppable instancing machine.


Seri sez: I am what I am.

November 13, 2008


Retrospective posts seem to be the order of the week around the WoWBlogosphere, and this is no different. I have so many great memories from both classic WoW and BC that when I sat down and went through my screenshot collection I was just overwhelmed. But as I sit here looking back, I also have my eye to the future and what the expansion holds for me. I thought perhaps you might like to get a glimpse into the evolution of Seri. (And yes, these are all screenies of my actual characters!)

It all began with a Forsaken Priest. I came to WoW from EQ, where my favorite chars were a Cleric and a Ranger. I thought healing was the best thing ever, so when I got together with my spouse (though we hadn’t married yet back then!) and some buddies to play WoW, I rolled a Priest on Blackhand. Sadly, this char only made it to level 25 or so because my interest in playing was somewhat greater than Mr. Seri’s. Also, our leveling buddies swiftly out-leveled us because we were only playing a few nights a week.

It’s probably a bad sign that such is a rather alien concept to me now.


Once I was playing WoW more often (and had fully made the switch from EQ) I rolled a warrior on Whisperwind, where a bunch of folks from my EQ guild had settled. Why a warrior? I’d tried warriors in EQ but found it frustrating to do much of anything without a healer around. Warriors in WoW are much different, and I initially liked mine a lot. Although I have always had a horrible case of alt-itis, I leveled this char all the way to 40-something before my next big distraction came around: Roleplaying.

I started a new character on Scarlet Crusade shortly after it first opened, because as a long-time Roleplayer I wanted to see what Roleplaying in WoW was like. I don’t remember why I picked Mage for my first char on SC, but… it stuck. I started out playing there one night a week, but over the course of a few months I was hooked and eventually made the swap full time. I loved the flavor that Roleplaying added to the game, and I met a lot of new people that made my journeys through Azeroth so much more engaging. I began to write stories about my characters and build backgrounds for them. What fun! My Mage was my first 60, and the first char I ever raided with. Of course, this was back when raiding Stratholme and Scholomance was all the rage. Yes, that’s right… we used to take 10 people in there at the same time and thought it was challenging.

krys-60I also made my first foray into larger scale raiding with my Mage. I joined a community raid group (with Jov and some other folks from our guild) and took my first steps into Zul’gurub; I still remember how nerve-wracking that first trip was. Little did I know what a big role raiding would play in my future, once I got used to it! My Mage made it as far as MC before I just lost interest in her. Part of it was having someone who had become a good friend to me quit the game, and part of it was an inferiority complex regarding another good friend who is hands down the best Mage I have ever had the fortune to play with. Have you ever met someone who just got their class on a level so high that you felt completely and utterly outclassed? Yeah, that was me. I’m sad to say that even when I picked up my Mage again in TBC I just couldn’t make a connection with her. She never made it past 66.


Leaving the Mage behind wasn’t terribly hard, because I was completely and utterly enamored with my Druid. I had leveled her quietly after my Mage hit 60, just for something to do and because Druids seemed neat. Little did I know! I don’t remember having as much fun leveling any char as I did leveling this one, and it was mostly solo at that. Somewhere in the 50’s I developed a crazy fondness for Balance. This was before Moonkin form, even. I was Balance before Balance was cool. When I started raiding with my Druid, it was pretty much game over for my Mage. She quickly turned into my main and was for a long time… probably the longest of any of my mains to date. With her I saw MC, BWL, AQ, Naxx… all primarily as a healer because that’s what our raid group needed. It was my Druid that taught me to love healing again, after so much time spent doing other things.

It wasn’t until BC launched that I went back to my Boomchicken ways, and I remember being just blown away at the difference in how the spec played with the new talents. Over the course of my Druid career I did it all… caster dps, melee dps, tanking, healing… I loved being a hybrid, someone who could fill any role even if tanking was not my favorite thing to do. (By this time I had transferred my old Warrior over to Scarlet Crusade and finished leveling her.. if I needed a tank, I tended to prefer to use her!)


And then a funny thing happened. Ok, well, it wasn’t particularly funny but as my interest in raiding became more dominant and my interest in Roleplaying dropped to pretty much nil I decided to join a raid guild. Well, to be fair, I was already a member of said raid guild, but it was a Horde guild and I was just a part-time raider. I decided to take the plunge, make the switch and be a full time Horde raider.

I had created and leveled Seri back when BC launched, leveling her alongside a friend who had basically made a swap to full time Horde. (I mentioned the alt-itis, right?) It was a part time gig for me, much like my Mage dabbling back when I was test driving Roleplaying. The result was similar too. My enjoyment of my Priest came to rival my enjoyment of my Druid, to the point where I was able to set my Druid aside and fully embrace la vida Priest(a).

The rest, as they say, is history.

Now, here I stand at another crossroads. The dawn of a new expansion is a time when raiders think about shifting roles and doing something different. Although I still love healing (and my Priest), I feel like the time has come to do something different for a while. And so, on this day when we all (or most of us, presumably) take our first steps into Northrend, I’m going to be taking my first steps with my Rogue instead of my Priest.

Don't be a stalker!

Why? I like to stab things. But, more than that, after playing a healer for so long playing a Rogue feels rather liberating. The only buffs I have to worry about are self-buffs. I don’t have to rez anyone (jumper cables not withstanding). No one complains that I didn’t heal them fast enough to keep them alive. In general, my having an off night shouldn’t mean the raid wipes on farm content all night. It sounds like Nirvana to me.

But fear not, gentle reader, we’re not going to be turning World of Snarkcraft into the Holy Priest and Rogue hour. I still have a lot of love for my little Priest, and I’ll continue to share my Priest/Healing knowledge and perspective with you every Thursday. I hope that you all have as much fun leveling to 80 as I intend to. Just remember, as you venture out into the world of launch day queues, crashes and highly competitive questing, the best way to tag a mob when there is a lot of competition is SW:D.


Snarkcraft Mailbag: 11/12/08

November 12, 2008

It’s that time again, kids. What time, you say? Time for another peek into the World of Snarkcraft Mailbag! I know you’re excited, but try to pace yourself… especially if you’re going to the Midnight Launch tonight. You’ll need your strength for the all-night WotLK marathon!

A.Y. writes:

So I have a level 70 priest (<name redacted> on Dark Iron). I stopped playing for about 4 months and now that I’m back everything is different. I’ve been reading your blog about disc healing. I leveled disc and have ALWAYS been a disc healer, but coming back from not playing into the world of new talents and nerfs, I have no idea what to spec. Right now I’m holy because I heard disc isn’t good anymore, which made me sad.

What build would you recommend for Disc PvE healer?

Seri sez:

Lies! Vicious, vicious lies. Discipline is more viable in PVE than ever before!

With Wrath going live tomorrow, your first priority is probably going to be leveling. If you’re going to be doing a fair amount of soloing with occasional instancing, I recommend you go with a Disc/Holy hybrid spec and Smite/Holy Fire with impunity. If you’re going to be grouping/instancing and you like Discipline, go deep Discipline and shield/heal your party while they do most of the grunt work.

When it comes to your spec at 80, you need to ask yourself (and maybe your raid leader): Am I a tank healer or a raid healer? Discipline priests make great tank healers but gimpy raid healers, so you’re going to be better off going Holy if you’re not part of the tank healing team. For 5-man content, either one should work just fine. Go with what you’re most comfortable with.

Make no mistake, Discipline healing does come with a learning curve now. Fortunately for you, I covered this recently so you should be able to get up to speed fairly quickly! Both of the specs I’ve suggested here are just that: Suggestions. You can wiggle the points around a bit, and Jov has a few things to say about specific talents and when you may or may not want to take them. Read on!

Jov sez:

I ain’t gonna lie, I keep talking about trying out the toys in the Discipline tree, but I’m a holy-healer through and through. All that being said, I’m going to recommend a 55/5/0 build as a solid lv 70 build for a raid environment. I know there’s a point missing, and that’s really intended to be something you can stick wherever you want depending on your group makeup. This isn’t intended to be a “leveling build” (I’ll get to that in a few minutes) but the build that will give you the most bang for your healing buck and emphasizing Disc’s shield shenannigans, without talents that will be overwritten by others in the group. (For an awesome and complete list of buffs, what they overwrite, and what overwrites them, check out Dwarf Priest’s Raid Stacking 101.)

First off, you’ll notice I picked up regular Divine Spirit, but not the improved version. If you go anywhere with a shammy, and they drop a Flametongue Totem (which is pretty common for resto and elemental shammies to drop) your Improved Divine Spirit is now two wasted talent points… er… I mean two free points you can now spend elsewhere! So spend ’em elsewhere.

Second, starting at lv 71, Inner Fire grants bonus spellpower, making the improved talent much more attractive. It’s vastly more useful than reduced threat (not that tanks have problems with threat now, anyway.)

Third, Enlightenment is taking the spot of Divine Fury from the holy tree. Not only does it reduce cast time of all your spells (as opposed to only a few with Divine Fury) it increases your Spirit and Stamina as well. It’s like a two-fer. Good with a bonus side of awesome.

Next, skip Reflective Shield. We were all (read: Seri) very disappointed to learn that either through bug our stealth-nerf, the damage reflection component only reflects damage done TO YOU. If you shield anyone else, it’s just a shield. Very meh for 3 talents, and the only “shield” talent I’m advising you (strongly) to skip.

Finally, if you’re raiding with a prot pally, skip Grace. We’re back to that stacking thing again, Grace is awesome, but Sanctuary is much better and overwrites it. Put those points elsewhere.

However, with Wrath opening up tomorrow (or tonight if I can get it installed and patched quickly enough!) most of this is going to be pretty moot for you. For leveling, I’m going to suggest 31/25/5, moving to 38/28/5 at 80. This build isn’t interested in which buffs overwrite others, it’s simply a means to maximize your damage while minimizing your downtime. (At lv 80 if you immediately jump into raiding, look at 55/16, continuing the earlier Discipline raiding build. The important bit is to get Inspiration, finishing out Divine Fury is optional, you can just as easily go back and snag a couple toys from Discipline.)

Have a question or topic request for World of Snarkcraft? E-mail us!


Jov sez: Sappy Sentimentality, Just in Time for Wrath

November 11, 2008

Jov, another faction, circa lv 35As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a horde re-roll.  Specifically, Joveta was created in March of 2008.  Before that, I’d been playing an Alliance priest, druid, and sundry other alts since March 2005, and all of that time was spent in the same guild, playing with the same people.  It was an RP guild, and a family.  WoW was my first MMO, and almost my first computer game.  I had no idea what I was doing.  They taught me what instances are, donated cloth and greens to help me level my tailoring and enchanting, and some even chipped in for my first mount.  They taught me how to play, not just how to heal, but how to exist in a MMO world.Alliance shadow, circa TBC launch

I was bit by the raid bug in December 2005.  A community group made up of members of small RP and Friend and Family guilds took me in, and I healed my way through every encounter in Vanilla WoW excepting C’thun and Naxx.  They had patience with me when I dabbled in the darkside about a month before TBC’s release.

Like many others, the release of TBC was a time of upheaval.  For several months, my guild had been slowly bleeding members.  We didn’t actively recruit, and the slow trickle of people moving on, leaving the game, and other things outpaced the influx of new members.  TBC’s release exacerbated the problem.  We went from regularly having upwards of 20 people on a night to 5-10.  People went hordeside, or found new guilds, or stopped playing.  It was alright, the people I still saw were some of my favorite people in the game, and the guild remained a family to me.alliance, current

When we started raiding with an alliance made up of friendly guilds leftover from my time raiding pre-TBC, some people began logging in again, but we lost much of the feel of the guild as we became less an RP guild that raids than a feeder guild to gear up and app to raid guilds.  It was disheartening to myself and others, and all of the people I was closest to decided around that time to make their horde characters their mains.  I took the plunge, rolling a blood elf priest (for the better quest zones and the mount.  On their own, I actually dislike blood elf models and animations) hoping that playing my favorite class would provide incentive to actually level.  At the time, I had no real intention of raiding in this expansion, though I joined the raiding guild all my friends were in as a Friend/Family member.Jov current

I went on my first Hyjal run in early July as a spot-filler, still wearing late-Outlands blues interspersed with a few Kara epics.  I must have done something right, because by the end of the month I was moved from our Friend rank to a trial raider.  With my friends horde-side, I’ve cleared all of T6 content excepting Kil’Jaeden, who I expect to drop (his pants) tonight.  (edit:  He did.  Go team!) I love everyone in my guild dearly, though sometimes I do get sappy missing all the people and characters I knew over my time in WoW.

  • Yuki:  You took some noobs under your wing back before any of us hit lv 30, and from that time we never did a raid or instance without you.  You taught me to not-suck, and you were some of the most fun RP I had across multiple alts.  I only wish you played horde on Scarlet Crusade instead of Feathermoon.
  • Kat:  I know I still talk and banter with you regularly horde-side, but I miss the goggles, engineering, and boomchicken shenanigans we got into over the years.  I hope your plans work out for the best.
  • Karwyn:  A tauren with a ring on the horn is awesome, but I often miss the night elf in skank plate, monster-sized BWL shield, and braid permanently affixed to the boob.
  • Oreo:  Your relentlessly cheery disposition when faced with adversity coupled with your amazing talent on any character you choose to play makes me feel honored to be your friend.
  • Sami:  Many names, many characters.  I know it sometimes feels we snark more than talk, but you’ve always been there for me.  I only hope you can say the same for me.
  • Naimh and Eirik: I don’t know where you transferred, and I’ve not seen you since well before TBC’s release, but you two always made me smile.
  • Dudds:  Thank you for always carrying around your Wrath set to change into at a moment’s notice.
  • Everyone else:  I’ve not always been the easiest person to get along with, but to those I rarely see:  I miss you all.  To those I still see:  I love you all.  To everyone reading:  I thank you all.

Seri sez: The Ethical /gquit

November 6, 2008

crossroadsAt some point in every raider’s career, they find themselves at a crossroads. Leaving a guild isn’t always easy, but can be necessary as you (and your guild) change and grow over time.

If you’re like me, you’ve probably formed a pretty strong attachment to your guild for whatever reason. Maybe I wasn’t hugged enough as a child, I don’t know, but I’m a social creature (when it comes to online gaming, anyway) and my guild is something of a virtual home for me. It’s hard for me to imagine wanting to leave, but you know… nothing lasts forever and some day that day will probably come. I expect that it will be a difficult, emotional, decision and that Jov will probably get exasperated with me and tell me to stop being emo. It’s what friends do. (Or what she does, anyway.)

For others, changing guilds is sort of like changing socks; when the pair you’ve got starts to stink, you’ve got a whole drawer full of socks to choose from and think nothing of tossing the old ones in the hamper (or on the floor). Although acute manifestations of this ‘dirty sock syndrome’ can lead to the dreaded ‘guild hopper syndrome’ there’s nothing wrong with being of the mindset that you pay your $15/month to play how/where you want.

crew-socksSometimes I envy the folks who don’t seem to agonize over a /gquit, but more often I just end up having to clean up after them when they bail on raid night with an armload of plundered booty from the guild bank.

Yes, this is a game and (presumably) we all play it for recreation/fun. No one wants you to stick around in a situation that makes you unhappy, but for the love of Jaina you don’t have to be a jerk about it.

Angry Raid Leader covered many of the key points I wanted to make in a semi-recent article. I love ARL’s rants, they always seem to hit the nail on the head and as a former raid leader and current class leader I can definitely sympathize. My list is slightly different from ARL’s, but if you’ve read his article you’ll see similarities.

In the interest of promoting and perpetuating clean breaks throughout the WoW community, pursuant to a more harmonious raiding environment for everyone:

  • Don’t /gquit without talking to your GM first. No one likes to be blind-sided, least of all a busy GM. Give them some notice, at least 24 hours prior to the next raid you were expected to attend.
  • Don’t be a loot whore. If you’ve decided to leave the guild, don’t spend your last raid(s) making grabby hands at all the shiny stuff.
  • Don’t lie to your GM about why you’re leaving. They’re not as dumb as you think they are. Chances are they’ll find out later anyway and they’d much rather hear it from you.
  • Don’t encourage other people to go with you. Sure, sometimes you are close friends with someone and where you go they go, but don’t use your old guild as a recruitment pool for your new one.
  • Just say no to drama. Although it may be tempting to post a scathing exposé to the guild/realm forums, nothing good will come of it. I promise.
  • Don’t raid the guild bank. You may think you’re entitled to a little something for the road. You’re not.


Although the degree of finesse you exercise in extracting yourself may seem less important if you plan to transfer servers, regardless of where your new guild is located making poor choices about how to handle the situation can come back to bite you in the ass later. After all, recruitment officers do research.


Jov sez: Do as I say…

November 4, 2008

Becoming the perfect Priest is more of a process than an event, and everyone (even yours truly!) is still a work in progress.  Shocking as it may seem, my perfection is still largely theoretical, as I choose to illustrate now with a few points.

1.  I’m a lazy item enhancer.  Seriously, Seri wouldn’t approve my application.  Sure, I gem my gear, enchant my weapons…  I’m all for useful bonuses.  Cloaks, however, are totally not worth it.  If it’s not a Resist cloak enchanted with the necessary resist bonus (Fire for Rags, Nature for AQ40, and more recently Shadow for Mother) I just don’t do it.  (I know, I know, Subtlety.  But have you SEEN the threat gen of tanks since 3.0?  2% less threat on my part is totally not worth the farming up of 8 Primal Shadow the enchant needs.  So nyeh.)

2.  My rarely-played, mostly-retired Alliance priest (and my resto druid, for that matter) still has mp5 gems in her gear.  Yep!  Me, the first one in the parade screaming against the use of Royal gems still has them lurking in the back of her closet.  This is related to the point above, I don’t have money on that side of the fence anymore (as I sent most of it over when I rerolled) and the urge to do dailies to improve gear on characters I play once a month is…  not really there, actually.  New gems in new gear (if applicable) will be fixed, however.  Promise.

3.  Healer Tunnel Vision: I has it.  My UI was designed to keep my chat frames, Grid frames, and all the information I need as close to “together” as possible.  This is because I know the more different places I need to look for information I have, the more likely something is going to be totally missed (like the whispers for Fear Ward rotation on Archi… oops.)  I may not be standing in the fire, but only because my eyes are locked to the bottom 1/3 of my screen.

4.  In the spirit of tracking improvements, I flash healed my way through Molten Core before I learned what downranking was.  (This was before Flash was good for anyone but pallies, fyi.)  My knowledge of my class consisted entirely of “I read the tooltips on my spells and talents” through 6 months of pre-TBC raiding.  A few friends eventually took me under their wing, and introduced me to a whole new world of not-sucking.

5.  For the longest time, I did no actual research on my class.  I’d read the stickie’d priest posts on the official class forums, but felt for the most part that they were entirely filled with whining and emo.  I avoided them, and got my information by waiting patiently for my friends to tell me what I needed to know.  Eventually, I found out they were getting their information from a site called Elitist Jerks and gave it a poke.

6.  Also related to the above, I had no idea that WoW Blogs existed before ~6 months ago.  Yes, another blindingly obvious possibility that I didn’t even think of until someone (in this case, Seri) pointed ’em out to me.  (I also never followed blogs in general before then because I had no idea about rss and feed readers.  Yes, I’m totally participating in this century, why do you ask?)

So there’s me: practically perfect in every way or a totally clueless noob who needs to unplug?  You decide (but don’t tell me… my ego is a precious and fragile thing.)


We interrupt our regularly scheduled program…

November 1, 2008

… to wish Seri a very happy birthday.  ❤