Friday, March 20, 2009


This will be my final post for an indefinite period. I've just got too many projects. Drop me a line if you want to read my personal blog, or listen to the podcast I run.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Shadow Priest UI options

In light of my friends' recent UI-related posts, I thought I'd mention mine. It's pretty easy to set up, and there's not a whole lot of middle-screen-space taken up, so I dig it. The screenshot here is more or less what I currently use, with the exception of the bars on the bottom. I dropped that in favor of the standard WoW bars. Below is a list of UI mods I currently use going clockwise from top left:
  • Pitbull - delicious unit frames. This I use for player, party, and raid frames. My Focus and Focus Target are just below my toon in the middle of the screen, but I only use that for Mind Control purposes!
  • CT Buff Mod - On the right side of the screen, you can see a dropdown list of my buffs/debuffs and the time remaining.
  • (no longer used)BunchOfBars - Fully configure your bars. I like it, but it was too much work to make it perfect.
  • CT Mod - Another CT mod option is making the chat window scroll with the mouse wheel. I also use this to get rid of the dragon things around the edge of the default UI's buttons.
  • Recount - These are the damage meters I use to gauge my performance overall. Only I know what I'm doing and why I'm low/high etc, but recount is a good baseline from which to judge over time.
  • CooldownTimers - Directly to the right of Recount, I have my cooldown timers. This allows me to target anything--player or otherwise--and see how long I have left on buffs/debuffs.
I do hope you'll all find as simple a solution as I have. I didn't mention things like Gatherer, QuestHelper, and LightHeaded, but those aren't really relevant to my playstyle. Maybe I'll get around to doing another post about that. Whooo knows!?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Priestly Patch Notes: 3.1

I'd be remiss if I didn't post a log of the possible pretty patch notes pertaining to priests of a particularly purplish persuasion. Gleaned from MMO Champion, which is a little confusing to read until you scroll past the "undocumented changes" section, which I won't delve into here.

Spell changes:
  • Devouring Plague: This spell now has a new icon.
  • Shadowfiend: Health scaling increased. Now receives 30% of the master's spell power. Mana return increased to 5%, up from 4%. The Shadowfiend now receives mana when its melee attacks land, rather than when it deals damage. Movement speed normalized to player movement speed. Tooltip revised. (Anon's note: SQUEE!!!! I love you, ShadowFRIEND! Let's be together forever. It's only a matter of time before he's a proper combat pet.)
Talent changes:
  • Blackout: This talent has been removed. (Anon's note: I forgot we even had this.)
  • Darkness: This talent is now in tier-1, moved up from tier-6.
  • Dispersion: Now clears all snare and movement impairing effects and makes you immune to them while dispersed.
  • New Talent: Improved Devouring Plague (Shadow): Increases the periodic damage done by your Devouring Plague by 5/10/15%, and when you cast Devouring Plague you instantly deal damage equal to 5/10/15% of its total periodic effect. (Anon's note: This is too fantastic. DP is already my highest refresh-rate, and now with the instant damage, I'm going to be even MORE meticulous about cooldowns.)
  • Shadowform: Bonus damage from critical strike chance removed and replaced by the ability of those periodic damage spells to generate critical strikes. (Anon's note: Hmm... I'll have to see this in practice before I conclude anything.)
  • Silence: Range increased to 30 yards.
  • Vampiric Embrace duration increased to 5 minutes, up from 1 minute. PvP duration is now 60 seconds. Cooldown removed.
Exciting patch all around! With the changes, I think this will be my new spec. Comments?

Monday, February 23, 2009

Shadow Priests and Naxx 25 (Part 2)

The long awaited (or maybe not) second part to my ongoing series of raid strategies for Shadow Priests. Continuing now with the Arachnid wing of Naxxramas.

Anub'Rekhan (or, aaaah! beeeeeeees!)
This guy is a big crustacean-looking vampire-ish thing (he can't wait to drink your blood). I'm not even going to go into the strategy really, because all you do is deal damage. First you damage the boss, then you damage the Crypt Guards he summons, then you damage the boss again. You do all of this from the center of the room; a nice convenient circle where everyone (except melee and tanks) stands. Things to remember:
  • Occasionally, you will be launched into the air. Just ignore this and resume casting as soon as you are back on the ground.
  • People will probably be saying things in vent about swarms, healing tanks, and kiting, but really you can just turn your little bod in one spot and dps most of the time. If you have the mind flay glyph you may not even have to move back and forth in the circle.
  • He drops between 3 and 5 things you might want, so pay attention to the loot.
Grand Widow Faerlina (or, just say NO to religious fanaticism)
I just love the story behind this creepy lady. She's the only humanoid boss in the wing, and she appears to be leading an induction ceremony of some sort when you first come into the room. There are two ways to do this fight as a shadow priest, and which you do depends largely upon your group's gear level. If you're stepping into the room with mostly Ulduar-ready people, you will just kill the followers and Faerlina straight out. DPS fight all the way. You don't have to care about her abilities or anything. If, however, you are going with a less-geared group, you'll want to follow this strategy:
  1. At the beginning of the fight, you need to go stand close to the Worshippers, at least in Mind Control range.
  2. When Faerlina goes into a Frenzy after 50 seconds (you can do some DPS if you are close enough), Mind Control one of the Naxxramas Worshippers. NOTE: Do not try to Mind Control the Followers, as they are dumb and useless. Faerlina enrages, and the Worshippers calm her down by giving her a hug and telling her she is a pretty princess pants.
  3. If fire starts raining from the sky, move your cutie patootie.
  4. Calling things by pet names is a good way to both alleviate stress and annoy your guildies.
There are 4 worshippers, so you will potentially have to MC 4 times. If you have to MC 4 times, you are probably going to wipe anyway. After doing this strat with your guild a few times, you should just be able to burn down Faerlina and not even bother with the MC.

Maexxna (or, Oh what a Tangled Web we Weave)
The final boss in the spider wing of Naxxramas is a giant spider named Maexxna. This fight will test your attention span. It's very simple from the priest's perspective, but you do have to pay attention.

Basically all you have to do is DPS mister spider and watch for Web Wrap. Basically, Maexxna sends a couple of people flying to the back wall and wraps them guessed it...a web cocoon. Your job (if your raid leader assigns you) is to destroy the web wrap before it kills your raid buddy. I find that 2 Mind Flays and a SW:D take care of it nicely. There will be up to 3 of these all the time. Other ranged should be helping, but kill as fast as you can.

That's about it for this week's installment on Shadow Priesting in Naxx25. I do hope you've gotten something out of it. Now, wish me luck as I try to tackle the real world problem of fixing the computer that feeds my WoW habit. Toodles!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Keeping it interesting

Today was going to be "boss fight strategy" day, but I started thinking about another topic: how to keep the game interesting between level 80 and the promised difficult content in the Ulduar patch.

I got back into WoW after a three-month hiatus, and had to play catch-up to all my guildmates who bought the expansion at release. I sped through the content, didn't read quest text, and paid little attention to what I was killing and why. I then blew through heroics to get the gear and experience needed to raid 25-man dungeons and become part of the progression group. Now I'm burned out again after this short a time. I can't bring myself to join the pick up groups for 10-man dungeon achievements, I have no need to run heroics, and my general demeanor toward logging on to do anything on my priest is tepid, almost to the point of apathy. This is a problem, because I don't WANT to be burned out. I WANT to be excited about this game again. I could level my other toons, but they're all in the guild, and I'm always in "leave me alone and get off my lawn" mode when leveling. That said, here's a short list of things I can do to not lose interest in the game.
  1. Blog about it - done and done.
  2. Listen to podcasts that are still excited about it -
  3. Level on another server where no one knows me
  4. Read up on WoW lore and do quests in interesting places.
That's what I've been doing, but I am still trying to think of more compelling things. Any suggestions?