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I’m not an expeditous leveler, I never have been. It took me forever to get my first character to sixty. My close friend and former guild mate Buttercup is about as far opposite of that as could be. She loves leveling characters, and she’s good at it, her system is fast and effective albeit a little counter intuitive. I recently took up my lvl 30 Mage again and have decided to get serious about leveling her to 70 so I asked my friend for some advice. Since I could use to streamline my level process I thought some of you could use the information as well:

Yay! Now I can cross ‘guest blogger’ off my list of things to do!

Character Selection:

When choosing an alt, choose a different character and class from your main. Mix it up a little. Choose a model that you are willing to look at for hours and hours. Lifebloomer said something funny when asked why he chose a female for his character, “Why would I want to pick a male character? I don’t want to look at his backside all day.”(True Story) So don’t be afraid to pick a hot female night elf and /dance, a lot. Read the rest of this entry »

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My guild Resurrection is caught in a tail spin. After a meteoric rise to the top ten of alliance guilds on our server essentailly adding a boss a week starting around opera and making it all the way through to the last bosses in SSC and TK, the progression has slowed, sputtered and died completely. In fact it has been a solid month since there have been enough people online in time for invites.

A number of factors come into play when a guild starts to tank. In our case I think the primary reason for the sudden stop is that the core group was playing beyond their natural balance. They are burned out. 25 Man Raiding 5 nights a week, then running Kara/ZA on weekends is too much for most people even hardcore raiders to maintain. Resurrection’s attendance policy is not to strict but when there is a list of people 45-50 long who are just waiting to gobble up your raid spot the pressure to not miss a raid is high.

The guild leadership Myraculous and Heelium, the people whose example the guild follows, are guys with real lives both have young children and real jobs. They both maintained an insane raiding schedule with nearly perfect attendance for longer than I ever could (I lost my raiding spot because my real life took me away from raiding a few nights a week).

It was inevitable that at some point something in their lives had to give. They still need money and their families still want to see them, so WoW was it. Over the course of the last month they have scarcely been online. Read the rest of this entry »

Since I got a new computer I’ve taken some time to re-evaluate the add-ons I use. I no longer have to worry about memory usage so some of these may be memory hogs (user be warned).

Here is the most current list of the add-ons I am using. All of the Add-Ons listed here can be found at curse.com or wowace.com

  • ArkInventory– Bag Replacement Mod which can sort your bags, bank and guild bank. Also allows you to look at you bank inventory when you are not in a city and check the inventory of your other characters
  • Atlas & Atlas Loot– Dungeon Map Mod, shows you the complete layout of each dungeon, with the location of bosses and other points of interest. Includes Loot Tables on each boss so you can tell what the boss might drop if you ever down it.
  • Auctioneer & Auctioneer Advance– Market Analysis Tool, tracks the auction trends on your server so that you can post your auctions for maximum profitability. Comes with handy tools for finding potential money making oppertunities.
  • Bean Counter– Your personal WoW Penny Pincher, Bean Counter tracks all of your incomes and expenses helping you to see where your money is going.
  • Bongos2– Action Bar Replacement Mod, allows you to customize your bars to the size layout and functionality you need. Bongos2 is lightweight, reliable and a personal favorite of mine
  • Bottom Scanner– An Auctioneer family mod which tracks your activity in the Auction House
  • Cartographer– World Map Replacement Mod, used to make any task that requires traveling a whole lot easier, Cartographer and it’s associated add-ons make gathering, and questing a breeze.
  • CowTip 2.0– Tooltip Replacement Mod, allows for the relocation of your tooltips and gives you the ability to display significantly more information than the standard tooltips
  • Deadly Boss Mods– Raid Encounter Add-on, The original require add-on DBM is a set of timers and warnings that provide detailed insights into the workings of boss fights. DBM is required by nearly every raiding guild and is a good idea for anyone who plans on doing Player Versus Enviroment Play
  • EnhTooltip– Packaged with Auctioneer, this mod gives you increased item information included stats on market value and recent auctions.
  • FuBar 3.0– Information Center Add-ons, Fubar and it’s associated add-ons prvide information in an easy to access limited screen usage format, FuBar also acts as a handy parking lot for most ACE Based add-ons freeing up the area around your mini-map
  • HealBot– Frame Replacement Healing Add-on, a powerful add-on capable of displaying friendly unit Heath and Mana Bars, Debuffs, and Buffs. Healbot includes Click Casting functionality enabling the quick targeting that serious group healing requires
  • Informant– Another Auctioneer Pack add-on, this one gives you information about the use of different common items
  • Innervator– A recent addition to my interface, this add-on alerts you when it is appropriate to use your innervate for maximum effectiveness and so that you hopefully get two casts in during longer boss fights. Innervator will allow you to customize your warnings so that you can dial it’s alert in to your style of play
  • Lifebloomer– Another Unit Replacement Healing Frame, lifebloomer tracks the three druid hots on multiple targets and show your a Global Cool Down Timer as well making it possible to row Lifebloom on four tank targets with relative ease. This add-on also features click casting functionality for quick targeting
  • Omen– Aggression Management Add-on, Better than the more common KLHThreatMeter, this add-on track the threat for targets as well as the global threat allow healers to keep track of their aggro all around the room
  • Prat 2.0– Chat Add-on, Prat provides more functionality, and customizability to your chat frames, including the ability to easily copy and paste links in game
  • Recount– Combat Log Stats Counter, Like DamageMeters Recount collects information from your parties combat logs and reports on it allowing you to track, your parties production, Recount goes a step further allowing you to tweak your spell rotations for maximum effectiveness
  • SolarianAlarm– Boss Specific Add-on which marks the location of raid members when they are afflicted with Solarian’s Nasty Raid wiping ability. Makes the Solarian fight easier if not completely noob proof.
  • Swatter– Error Message Collection Add-on, keeps error messages from filling your screen during the least opportune moments, Swatter also makes it easy to report errors and bugs to add-on developers
  • VoidReaverAlarm– Another Boss Specific Mod, VRA shows the direction and range of incoming Void Reaver Missives, making it easy to get to safety during the LootReaver Fight
  • X-Perl Unit Frames– Unit Frame Replacement Add-On, X-Perl provides users with customizablity and improved functionality over the default Target, Focus, Party and Raid Frames. This add-on has a nice healer mode which show health bars in terms of their numeric deficiency making it easier to pick the write spell to heal with.

I am working on compiling a complete set of reviews and directions for each of the Add-ons listed above. If you would like to contribute a review please feel free to shoot me an email (lifebloomer)@gmail dot com. Credit will of course go to you. Here are the reviews I have completed so far;

  1. Lifebloomer
  2. Bongos2

There comes a time in every blogs life when he realizes that the free hosting he has been provided is limiting his ability to grow and change.

I’m currently working on a Self-Hosted WordPress blog which when completed (hopefully this weekend) will replace this Free Hosted WordPress location. I had no idea how much work it is to set-up a blog.

I have to thank my friends Phaelia and Josh for their advice and help, without them I know I would still be trying to figure out step 1. Here is some of the good advice I have gotten thus far.

  • When you decide on a domain name register it right away. Unsavory people can tell when someone has searched for the availability of a domain and will beat you to registering it in an attempt to extract money from you for your domain name.
  • Choose hosting that is right for you. Phaelia uses dreamhost and she likes it. Josh recommended hostmysite.com. I considered both sites and went with the more economical option; hostmysite costs about half as much as dreamhost and offers everything I’ll ever need for my little blog. Hostmysite has been pretty good to use so far and their customer support response time has been awesome. I wish that their Control Panel was easier to use, but they make up for it by almost instantly responding to any support emails you send, unlike the support for my favorite game which is slow and wholly useless…
  • Josh also recommended Google Apps for my domian email and analytics. With great analytics and mail capabilities you can tune in to your readership. The you can customize your blog’s content to what your readers are looking for.
  • Both Josh and Phaelia use Feedburner.com I currently use it for my blogs but with free hosted wordpress many of feedburner’s best features are unsupported.

The new site is not ready yet, but you can check out my progress at www.lifebloomer.com.

This blog will remain up until I am satisfied that the new one is perfect and is really working so don’t worry about changing your homepage just yet.

This week I finally broke down and upgraded my home computer. The last machine, a Dell Dimension 4700, was starting to have more bad days than good. It was loaded with Malware, some of which I could not get off no matter how I tried, and the Video Card was over-heating on a regular basis. My new machine, Dell XPS 630,  is pretty sweet but I’ve had to spend the last few days installing WoW and getting my add-ons and UI “Raid Ready.”

Last week, I talked a little about my favorite peripheral the N52te Speedpad by Belkin. As great as it is to have all those buttons at your fingers they aren’t worth a damn if you don’t have abilities assigned under them,  that’s where Bongos2 comes in.

Delevoped by Tuller, in his words, “Bongos is an action bar replacement designed to be both low memory, and easy to setup. It is not as feature rich as other bar mods, but should include the features most commonly used”. I find Bongos2 to be the most reliable and intuitive Bar Mod avaiable. 

To use Bongos with an N52te I recommend changing the number of bars (in the main options frame) from the default ten to eight. Then changing the size of each bar from 10 buttons to 14 (in the bar’s options frame) this will give you the same number of buttons as are found on the keypad of your N52.  In order to get the layout of the bars to look like the speedpad you can change the columns to five.
healingbar1.jpg
Now you should have a bar with fourteen buttons in three rows 5 buttons in the top two rows and four in the bottom. This is my primary bar while in normal and Tree of Life Stances (top left button assigned to push-to-talk).

Read the rest of this entry »

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