It’s been a while since I posted. Okay a very long while. I’m still enjoying the game and Raiding 4 nights a week. Because my schedule is picking up I’ve had to take a slight step back, I’m fading away from the role of Healing Leader for raids. I’m also happy to say that besides my T4 Shoulders none of my gear needs replacing from the content my guild is running, because of that I have been sitting out of raids more frequently in order to rotate in players who are looking for upgrades. Which means I’ve had time for some new adventures.

When the announcement of the Recruit A Friend program was made, I was just starting to look around for a new in-game challenges. I have been reading Razors blog pretty much since he started and I loosely following his adventures as a new multiboxer. Inspired by his experiences, I even did a little Multiboxing of my own, to expedite the gold grind for my epic mount.

My set-up was not complete or even close to ideal but I did manage to get three toons moving together and casting spells on the same target. While I enjoyed the challenges inherent to Multi-Boxing the toons I was playing (2 Resto Druids and a Shadow Priest) lacked the synergy that a powerful multi-box team needs.

Multi-Boxing is not new to my server (Magetheridon, US) I’m proud to say that I died to the Zins more than once back in the Pre-Cross Realm Battleground Days. In fact the biggest, as far as I know, Multi-Boxing Guild in the game “The Zerg” is on the Horde side of Magtheridon. Having so many Multi-Boxers on the Horde Side makes world PvP out on the Isle particularly dangerous. When I was tooling around with my mismatched team I was an easy target for Savvy players who know just how easy it is to cut the head off a multibox team.

My short experience with multi-boxing taught me one thing the importance of Synergy. In a multi-boxing set-up the ways that abilities, match up and fit together is everything. Complementary abilities are multiplied when the control of them is simultaneous. Have you ever been hit by 5 chain lightnings simultaneously? Did you have a chance to react? I didn’t think so.

While 5 Shamans is a power house team my Hardware is probably not up to 5 Boxing. Since I can’t do a five box I went with the best two box I could think of Mages. The crowd control abilities of a mage just seem like they would be great when multiplied together, and with 3X the experience per kill I might even try a little AOE Grinding.

I’m not setting any leveling records, but so far the girls, Ahsee and Ahcee, are level 42. I’ve played about an hour a day with them bringing me to about 20 hours played. At first I quested them through the Dranei starting quests. At level 14 I switched to boosting (One upper level character grouped with lower level characters kills aggros and kills mobs which are close enough in level to the lower character(s) to provide them with XP) I boosted them through Stockades level 14-24, Scarlet Monastery level 24-40 and now I am in Zul’Farrack.

I must admit that Boosting with triple XP is insane. With a Lvl 70 Mage running my two lowbie mages through Stockades I was getting a level every run, or approximately every eight minutes. I just hope that I can get to level 60 before Blizzard hands out the nerf which I am sure must be coming.

I have heard the clamoring from bloggers about how OP the program is and how it will ruin the game for new players. I have to agree. If they were to get boosted through instances never touching a mob and leveling at an astronomical rate, they would miss many of the most important aspects of the game, they would never develop the interest required to make them long term players and I believe they would end up quitting the game shortly after their RAF expires.

For gamers like me who have leveled a toon in the Pre XP buff, pre-RAF World, of Warcraft the RAF is a golden opportunity. I am able to experience the play style of characters I would not normally have the pateince to level. Because of the RAF when the next expansion comes out I will finally have real alts to play.

Yes the RAF is essentially a way for players with extra money to buy a new game experience, but isn’t that what The Burning Crusade was, isn’t that what Wrath of the Lich King will be. If you don’t want to spend the money to “BUY” a new gaming experience you don’t have to. WoW still works. I equate it buying a SpeedPad. You can play without it and you can have a good experience, you can even be successful, but if you pony up the cash for an enhancement, you might, MIGHT, enjoy the game a little more. Is anyone going to begrudge me my enjoyment?

I have been a long time Healbot user and proponent. Recently I got an email from a reader Nebelmond that inspired me to give Grid another try. Usually, I use an add-on for a while before I write a guide and review, while I have used grid for about 3 weeks now I think that Nebelmond (who is German) wrote an excellent druid specific walk-through in his email to me so I figured I’d just pass it along. Enjoy.

Grid (and its configuration) differs from other add-ons and that makes it hard getting used to it. But investing maybe 1h of your time trying to understand it will pay off many, many times over.

I use Grid in combination with Clique. Almost everything I do in a raid is done with click-casting. The big advantage of click-casting is the tremendous speed increase while healing. This might not be obvious at the first glance but not having to manually change the target to cast a spell on it will save a lot of time and makes you react much quicker.

First of all I would like to point you to a very good Grid introduction at wowinsider.com where they explained pretty much the main concepts of Grid and its configuration. See: http://www.wowinsider.com/2008/01/22/raid-rx-unkicking-butt-a-grid-story/

With all those basics in mind you should make a list what you would like to see in Grid. Imho, this step is very important because otherwise you will be overwhelmed with all the features and information it has to offer. My List looks like this, in a raid I want to see for each group/raid member:

Returning from Kansas I was certainly tempted to tackle the Oz event instead of Romulo and Julianne but a promise is a promise and I told you all that I would take on the star crossed lovers next.

Based on Shakespeare’s classic tragedy Romulo and Julianne is a three phase two boss couples fight, similair to the Scarlet Monastery Armory’s, High Inquisitor Whitemane and Scarlet Commander Mograine.

For this fight you will kill one boss, then the other boss, and then both bosses together. To add to the complexity of the situation in the last phase you have to kill them within 10 seconds of each other otherwise they will respawn with full health and in all likelihood you will die.

Phase the first: Julianne

During this first phase you may want to have your off tank pick up Julianne and drag her to stage right. This is for the sake of repetition because in phase three the off tank will be on Julianne and he will, wait for it, have to pull her to the right. Read the rest of this entry »

I know it has been a very long time since I posted. I haven’t raided in a while and it has dried up my pool of inspiration a bit, I don’t think I’m the only one who is feeling under inspired right now.

Wrath of the Lich KingBlizzard is still struggling with the best way to handle expanding their biggest game. While the flood of “leaked” shiny new abilities and items may create buzz for their product, it has the (I hope) unintended effect of robbing player motivation for the game in it’s current state. Player burnout is on the rise again. The motivating effects of the Sunwell Content patch are no longer being felt by Mid-Level Raiding Guilds, the guilds working on the first in Mount Hyjal or Black Temple who are not likely to see the inside of Sunwell. These guilds whose players have experienced all of the Sunwell content they are likely to are facing serious problems with player motivation. Their Raiders have done their Dailies, earned their Exalted Reputation, and have farmed out Magister’s Terrace for their Pheonix drop, and now all they have to look forward to when they sit down for an evening is hard work and an uphill grind and all for what?

Before the release of The Burning Crusade, and after the last content patch many guilds faced a similar situation. There were shining new items on the horizon, and the greens players would be picking up on solo quests at level 61 were going to be better than anything the average Mid-Level Raider (AQ20, ZG, Onyxia) would see without putting in serious effort. Guilds who could have made it through AQ40 before the expansion stopped raiding altogether. Vanilla WoW was a lame duck. During this time the Buzz for The Burning Crusade was great, people were truly excited for it and in anticipation they walked away from the game… Read the rest of this entry »

I’ve been out straight. This coming week I’m away for business, but I will be back Sunday Night. I hope to do some writing in the evenings while I’m away so you may see a post before then on Romulo and Julianne (as promised, for last week).

I switched from X-Perl Unit Frames to Pitbull. I highly recommend it and should be pulling together a post on why I think Pitbull is superior for late next week.

Do you have a favorite add-on that you could not live without? Tell us all about post a comment here.

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