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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?

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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:

I’m a bit fired up about this topic so please excuse me if the tone is a bit rant-ish, I tried to keep it informative, maybe even inspirational. Thanks to Phaelia (My Hero) for helping me to solidify my arguments.

My UI

Last night I was running ZA (my favorite instance, NOT) and I started noticing that although there were three healers I was the only one casting heals on anyone besides the tanks, funny that doesn’t seem right. Druids aren’t exactly efficient raid healers. So nonchalantly and surprisingly friendly(for me) I ask the Paladin which add-ons he uses. “None, I don’t need them to heal.” WHAT!?!

“Really?” I say “I find that they help me quite a bit.” To which he replies “That’s cause you’re a N00b!” hmmm. At this point (third boss in ZA) in the raid I am doubling his healing done with 44% to his 22%, and doing it with less over-healing and less gear and I’m the noob. The Priest chimes in at this point to say that he doesn’t use any add-ons besides the guild required, Omen, and DBM. I’m befuddled. I’m out healing the Priest by 12% (he’s at 32% if you’re not good at math). Curious I check the Priest’s gear to see what he’s wearing to try to determine if he’s working to his potential or not and he’s in a mix of T5 and T6 and being out-healed by a Druid in T4 and welfare epics. So healing to his potential? No!

It’s sad to me that there are still people out there who WASTE their gear by not providing themselves with all the information that Blizzard has made available to them. They are at least as gimped as a raider who decides not to enchant, and sockets with green gems because they want to save money, Or who doesn’t use consumables because they don’t see a difference in their damage.

Read the rest of this entry »

Yesterday I realized just how much I miss when I go away for a few days. While I was in Baltimore Mirari AKA Stephen Schmitt released an update for Lifebloomer. Since the he new version has some new features that I find very helpful I figure it is time for a revitalized write-up. .

Lifebloomer 1.5 Released

Lifebloomer the most helpful Restoration Druid Specific Add-on I have found, has been updated for 2.4.

Lifebloomer is helpful for monitoring and rolling stacks of Lifebloom on your Tanks. With bars to show the duration of the three Druid Heal Over Time (HOT) Spells and an indicator for Global Cool Down (GCD), this add-on is my primary method of healing during Multi-Tank fights.

Those of you familiar with Lifebloom will find the addition of Healing and Damage indicators on each Unit Frame. A simple color coded number shows you at a glance which of your tanks are still taking damage and how much they are taking, the numbers indicate damage to the target with and the colors show whether or not the target has aggro. Yellow numbers mean the target has aggro and blue show that the target is aggro free. During four tank trash pulls it is hard to tell if a tank is still taking damage (your heals can be so l33t) and you don’t generally have time to watch four targets that closely. With the addition of the damage/aggro indicator you can suspend unnecessary healing or add more HoTs or throw a Direct Heal if your HoTs are not keeping up. 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

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