Addons, a blessing and a Curse

Once upon a time I was a clueless nub.

Actually some would argue that I still am, but that’s not the point.

When I first started playing Wow I distinctly remember thinking how great the user interface was compared to other things I had played in the past. How everything was a keystroke away, it was great.

I was still working my way through the Barrens (one of my favorite zones) on my young Tauren Druid when the first major content patch I was there for hit. The thing I remember most about it was how it effected the friends that had already been playing for a while.

Their Wow broke, and other than chatting for a few minutes here and there they really didn’t play for a couple of days. They spent all their time doing something called “rebuilding a UI”. My Wow worked just fine. Other than taking a while to download and install the patch I just kept right on trucking.

 

A server move and reroll later I found out about these wonderful things called addons. It was said that they would make my game easier, faster, and more efficent. After reading up on it I downloaded and installed two.

Auctioneer, which I still use for all my auction house needs.

Meta Map, which did two wonderful things for me. It gave me the option to fill in unknown zones on my map and it put coordinates where my clock is now.  Meta Map my old friend, it was your coordinates and the notes I found online that helped me find Mankirk’s wife for the very first time.

I kept the two of these updated using the borked method. That is, I used them till they broke for some reason. Once they were borked I would go find an update.

 

That was then, this is now. The last few days have really driven home for me just how dependant I had become on addons. I have gone from two fairly non intrusive ones in my early days to eleven now.

Auctioneer, As I said it still does the job for all my auction house activities.

Cartographer, More versatile than Meta Map was, it also plays nicely with my other addons.

Questhelper, I can’t imagine leveling without all the way points anymore. The notebook full of chicken scratch is long gone.

Identity, lets folks know which alt is mine in chat. A good thing when you have a ton of alts like me.

Possessions with it’s plug in Whohas allows me to check the inventory of each one of my toons without swapping over. Remember what I said about alts? Well finding who has a stack of something in their bank got really easy with this one.

Lightheaded, looking up a quest on Wowhead without tabbing out? Sweet, sign me up.

Deadly Boss Mods, instances seem to be designed with everyone using this in mind. Required by every raiding guild I have ever been in.

Omen threat meter is another one that I cant even picture raiding without. I am looking forward to Blizzard making this available in game, if only so every one will always have the same version.

Decursive is actually in there because one of my raiding guilds required it. I don’t recall the last time my hunter was on decursing duty, but whatever…..

X-pearl unit frames is probably the most visible of my addons. I only use a fraction of what it can do, but what I use I have a lot of trouble getting by without anymore. I certainly don’t want to try healing without it, I use it’s raid frames for that.

Last but not least is Recount. For the most part I keep it turned off, but it’s nice to be able to spot check my Dps on a given fight. I have yet to ever post it in chat though, even when I am top Dos. I hate it when folks do that.

 

Nowadays I am a little more organised with my updating as well. I use the Curse client to keep track of them all and update them when new versions become available. It’s so much easier than the borked method. 

Once upon a time I just logged in and played on patch day like nothing ever happened. Not so much any more. Like my friends years ago I am now so used to running with addons that I can hardly function without them.

Well, I guess it was finally my turn to spend a couple days tinkering just to get the game playable again.

 

Shifting gears for a moment, It doesn’t help that I spent nearly a full days playtime just getting my video to work again. I would rate Dell’s tech support as somewhere between “I want to reach through the phone and pimp slap them” and “Someone actually gets paid to be this ignorant”. Suffice it to say I was not pleased.

Basically they told me that their site carrying two year old drivers instead of the ones Intel had updated was my problem. Thank goodness for the Blizzard support tech that walked me through the manual update, even showing me how to bypass the “it’s not a Dell brand driver”  problem and go straight to Intel.

If by chance you are having similar video problems with swirls appearing, buttons not being visible, and/or parts of the login screen being all out of whack try the solutions listed HERE. Blizzard has posted a list of the solutions that have worked on their tech support forums.

 

Note: I am not linking all the addons here because the links will likely lead you to something out of date. Even if the link is good now then in days to come it won’t be. I have had good luck going to Curse.com and using their free client to manage my addons. Your milage may vary.

Thank you Jewelcrafting

Hello Jewelcrafting,

When I was growing up my parents told me whenever someone does something nice for you you should tell them thank you. Since I can’t actually talk to you personally I figured an open letter was the next best thing.

You see, I know two very deserving adventurers, both in their 70th season. Their mounts were tired, their feet were sore, in short they deserved to fly. Unfortunately it was not allowed in Northrend.

Yes I know it is now, and yes I know you just prospect ore and cut gems. I understand that you did not make it possible to fly, the wonderful Tome of Cold Weather Flight did that.

In a way you did make it possible though.

You made it possible by learning to prospect Titanium.

The day you first mentioned that you had put in an order for that shiny new prospecting hammer I went shopping. Just over 1000 gold later I was the proud owner of twelve whole stacks of Titanium ore. I cleared out a bin in my bank and held on to it for you, so you could prospect it later.

Then people started asking around for ore, apparently they wanted the gems that might hide inside them. Well, being the kind sort I decided to post it back in the auction house where I had found it in the first place. I did not really need the gems right this moment, perhaps others would benefit.

Imagine my surprise when I found the prices were now closer to 400 gold a stack. I had only paid about 80 or so… I guess people really wanted to feed you this ore. People were more than willing to turn the thousand gold I had spent into forty-three hundred.

That was more than enough to pay for flight training, cold weather flying, and a bird apiece for both of those deserving adventurers. There was even enough left over to pay back the nice banker the thousand gold I had tied up for the last month.

I really like being able to help others out, and providing these two with the tools for flight was really kind of you.

So thank you Jewelcrafting, for giving free mounts to my friends.

Good hunting,

Dechion

Why I love being a healer

So, as I said yesterday I have started leveling a Shaman.

I found that I really am enjoying the playstyle, I might just end up with a banker a bit higher than level 16. Thinking more on it I am pretty sure it’s because I actually enjoy healing. I know that this toon has the capability of being a healer and I do miss that.

It kinda got me to thinking about the time I spent with my last healer. The raids, the saves, the 1% wipes. It also got me thinking about one of the first heroics I ever healed.

Sometimes being the healer is far more fun than it should be, this was one of those times.

Fade back many moons ago, all the way back to the Burning Crusade…. 

Once upon a time I was in Zangermarsh farming on my priest. Have I mentioned how much I hate farming?

Just grinding the same mobs over and over to pick up the 832 motes of primal boredom to finish crafting all my epics was enough to make my eyes bleed. I killed so many of those damn bog lords I started to get blamed for global warming. Seriously, I ground out three full levels soloing those damn things to gather all the primal life I needed for the gear and enchants.

Anyhow, here I am farming my little shadow priestly butt off in Zangermarsh when I had what I would later look back on as a classic asshat experience. A rogue comes along, I can’t recall his name so I’ll just call him “Asshat”, it’s easier that way.

Anyhow Asshat comes along and and starts grinding the same bog lords i’m going after. I think “well I was here first, but we can share the area, it’s only two of us”. Now this was back before dotting up something tagged it for you (great change if you ask me). So I start off, dot, dot, grey! dammit he tagged it before my first dot ticked. I hate it when that happens.

When this happened to the second or third mob in a row I politely whispered him and asked him not to do this, the area has more than enough for both of us. He didn’t bother responding. Well in a way he did.

He decided to wait till I was in combat and train five or six mobs onto me, then vanish. Much pointing, laughing, and spitting on my body ensued after this. I decided not to play with kids and went to farm somewhere else, but I remembered……

Fast forward about a month, the mid 60’s have given way to 70.

Shadow has given way to holy.

One Saturday morning I had a few hours to kill, none of my friends were online and I despise dailies. I was about to log off after running laps around Shatt for a while when out of the blue I get a whisper. A well geared 70 prot warrior has a full group in need of heals, would I be interested in shattered halls?

He tells me it’s mostly a guild run, only myself and one pugged dps. I think for a moment and decide “what the hell, why not”. I join group, start flying into hellfire, and log into the provided vent server. I say my hello’s and such as I start looking over the group I am planning to heal.

Take a wild guess who the other pug is. Go ahead I’ll wait.

Wow, you’re good. You guessed Asshat the first time out.

I whisper the Warrior with the short version of the story, he offers to boot Asshat for, well, being an asshat. I suggest a different approach, and proceed to comparing notes with the three of them. Since Asshats mommy won’t let him install vent he hears none of it.

We pull, We clear, We are having a blast, But Asshat keeps dying for some reason. He can’t seem to control his aggro (the hunter misdirecting onto him had nothing to do with it, honest) and he always seemed to run out of health when the boss was at about 2%, curse me as a crappy healer.

Hell at one point Noob had to hearth and repair, only to be summoned back. We one shotted the whole place and the only one who ever dies was…. you guessed it, Asshat. Thats ok though, he died enough for all of us.

What started as a little bit evil quickly turned downright fun, and just snowballed from there. 

You  see it all started as “lets just let him die a few times on trash pulls”. It made the shift to outright evil when the others started having fun. It eventually became “how many times can we lose this guy and not wipe?”.

Apparently Asshat liked to herb other peoples trees in skettis as well. Oh, and he also had a habit of coming in on folks who were fighting a mob on top of an ore deposit and mining it out from under them. Irritating habits to say the least.

Needless to say each one of them had already had problems with him in the past. They just had not heard of other folks having issues with him till I brought it up. That’s when we all decided he was simply an asshat.

I honestly had more fun watching him die than most of the times I have kept people alive as a healer.

Perhaps I should have just stayed shadow.

Just like the three stooges, but there’s only one of me

It happened again this weekend.

I had one of my (patent pending) wonderful ideas. The kind that make those who know me roll their eyes and wait for it to go away.

The idea was simple, in the next patch Shaman will get their travel form at level 16. Oddly enough that is exactly high enough to talent into improved ghost wolf. How cool would it be to level one up to 16 as my banker toon? Extra fast running around the bank/mailbox/auction house circuit without having to mount and dismount.

Sounds reasonable right?

So here I am bumbling my way through the starting zones, the only saving grace being that I know the quests.  

Funny thing is I found that I like the playstyle.

It plays a lot like my Druid, at least at the levels I have made it to. Well, there is no shape shifting, but similar.

I can do ranged damage and pulling, heal myself on the go, and bash things in the head with a big honking mace.

I particularly like the last part.

This is a banker that may actually get some playtime.