Grouping with others

Grouping with others is a fundamental part of the game, hence the “multi-player” part of MMO-RPG.

Could you solo your way from the starting zone all the way to the level cap? Yes, you most certainly could. It would be more difficult, but it could be done.

Then again if all you want is a solo game you are pissing away $15 a month on a subscription.

There will come a time when you simply cannot progress through the game any further alone, the challenges are simply too great. Thats when you fall back on the old adage that there is strength in numbers and group together.


Class Roles Within a Group

There are three primary roles that a character can fill within a group.  Take a few moments to give it some thought when creating your character. It will not matter much at the start, but it will have a great impact on you later. All the roles are important. In fact without all three you generally don’t have an effective  group.

Healers: (killing with kindness)

Generally considered a supporting character, since their job effects the group rather than it’s opponents. Their job is to keep the group alive so it can do it’s job. Whether that be killing NPC monsters or other players in a battleground. The healer may not do the killing, but he enables it by keeping his own teammates up.

Priests, Druids, Shamen, and Paladin may be healers.


Tanks: (your welcome)

A tanks job in a nutshell is to get the attention of the NPC’s that the group wants to kill and keep them focused on her. They are a jealous lot, these tanks, they don’t want the mobs beating on anyone but them. They piss off the bad guys, take a beating, live through it, and generally eat the biggest repair bills.

Warriors, Paladin, Druids, and Death Knights may be tanks.


Damage dealing: (when it absolutely, positively, has to be dead… now)

Damage dealing, also knows as Dps, is by far the most plentiful of the class roles. It’s job is exactly what its name implies. Doing as much damage as possible to their target as quickly as possible. Dps is also by far the most popular role to put your talents into while leveling. Things die much faster, making the whole questing experience more enjoyable. Well, to me at least.

Dps can also be divided by how the damage is done.

While all can attack up close and personal, some have no choice but to stand toe to toe with their enemy. Perhaps they just want to see the look on the mobs face when they realise its over. Those that have no choice but to engage in melee are much better able to handle it.

Shaman, Rogues, Druids, Paladin, Warriors, and Death Knights are all proficient at melee Dps.


Then there are those who would much prefer to stand at range and destroy their opponents with arrow, bullet, or spell. They all can do melee damage, but it goes without saying that a rogue with a pair of daggers will hurt much worse than a mage smacking someone over the head with their walking stick.

Ranged Dps classes include Druid, Shaman, Hunter, Warlock, Priest, and Mage.


Generally a group will consist of one character acting as the tank, one acting as the healer, and three acting ad Dps. There are other ways to build a group, and I have seen them work, but this is by far the most common.


Group Dynamics(or how not to be an asshat) 

So you have yourself a group now. Your group might be for killing Hogger or storming the Icecrown Citadel. It does not really matter at this point. What does matter is how you handle yourself. Here are a few simple tips on avoiding becoming that guythe made everyone’s run miserable.

Yes, I know, none of this will possibly apply to you. You, like me, are a veritable font of niceness and compassion.

I tell you what, that does not matter right now. The group you are with, unless it is people you know from outside the game, have no idea that the person behind your keyboard is a nice guy.

As a matter of fact, there are folks out there who routinely forget that the other characters represent actual people sitting in front of actual computers at all.

You know, the kind with real feelings and such?

Speaking of groups I had a few friends of mine start playing about a year ago. Some of the nicest people you ever want to meet. Within a matter of days they had developed a reputation for ninja rolling on gear. Their groups constantly broke apart underneath them, calling them every name in the book.

It was actually to the point where they were considering leaving the game, since it was obviously full of asshats.

Then we talked, and I was able to see what was going on.

An item would drop in a dungeon and they would see “need, greed, or pass”. It never occurred to them that since his Paladin wore mail and her Priest wore cloth that rolling “need” on a bind on equip leather item for their sons hunter (who was not in the group) was wrong.

In their mind, they did need it for their son.

Odds are had they mentioned that at the start of the run (or when it dropped, if no one could use it) things would have gone much smoother.

Where am I going with all this you ask?

Simply keep a few things in mind and grouping while you level can be some of the most fun you will have in the game.


Point one:  Don’t forget that the other characters are played by real people as well. Treat them as you would like to be treated.

Point two: Discuss loot rules before entering into an instance. If something comes up during the run, ask.

Point three: Before you call someone out for not doing something the way everyone else does it consider that they might not know what everyone does. Talk before accusing, after all it may simply be a misunderstanding.

Point four: Most importantly, remember that this is a game. If you choose to group up make sure you are all having fun. Nothing in the game world is worth treating others badly.


The same, except completely different

There was a time, not so very long ago, that a young Draeni named Drupadi crawled from the wreckage of the Exodar. She was a cheerful young thing for the most part. She was excited and eager to go leave her mark upon the world.

Through the twisted wreckage of Bloodmyst isle, through the steaming jungles of Stranglethorn, through the burning sands of Tenaris and the frozen wastelands of the north she has fought long and hard to make a name for herself.

She was hoping for something more along the lines of “hero”, but I guess Brewmaster will serve while she works on it.

Besides, it sounds like a good way to have some fun with friends after a hard days adventuring.

After all, why else would one go to the tavern but to hoist a few and laugh with friends?


Then there was another.  Diashan, twisted by Arthas, was made into something both more and less than human. Every day she fights her own battles with the voices in her head. The same voices she has heard since her reawakening. 

Some say the Ebon Blade wants to hunt down Arthas to avenge what has happened to them. For some that may even be true.

Diashan just wants him the shut the hell up.

She has only found one way to do that so far. It may not make the voices go away, but they become muffled and indistinct. So do the memories of what she has done.

You can find her at one of the back tables of the Booty Bay inn, drinking alone. On a good night no one will get hurt.

She considers her title more a mark of her weakness than a thing to be celebrated.

It would do you well not to remind her that she has earned it, or why. 


Rolling up my sleeves

As I said in yesterdays post, Dechion’s place is going to be taking on a new direction.

I thought a good bit about this last night. There are ten classes, call it nine since DK’s start at 55, and are well covered.

Even if I just gloss over faction specific or race specific information that’s an awful lot of ground to cover, just to get the basics down.

Then we start getting into professions…. (I call can ‘o worms on those, lots to go over there)

I can do this but it’s going to take some time to really get the ball rolling. Honestly I am not sure if the current layout of the blog will handle what I want it to be able to do.

I suppose i’ll burn that bridge when I come to it.

The first thing that needs to happen is a re-labeling of all my older posts. Some may be more relevant than others, but all deserve their place in the tag cloud. When I originally went through and posted things I did not so much keep track of how I tagged things.

One example, I had tags for Wow, WoW, Warcraft, and World of Warcraft…

Kinda makes it difficult to find things.

Well, that and the fact that nearly every post was tagged with one of those and little else. Over 250 posts and even I had a hellava time finding anything. Everything having the same tag is as good as nothing being tagged at all.


So, my plan for the next few days is to go through and organise the site to be much more user friendly. With any luck I will be able to adapt the current format to my new needs, if not… well lets just hope I don’t have to go there. I really like this theme and would prefer not to have to change it.

Another major change that is going to happen is the posting schedule. Up until now I have simply posted as the muse took me. Sometimes more than one a day, sometimes only a few times a month. This needs to be more regular.

The types of posts I am going to be working on take a lot more time than something like what you are reading now. Particularly since I need to double check all my information. I don’t actually play every class, so I will be learning a good bit of this as I go.

So, while I will still drop in the occasional odd day post like this one, as the muse takes me,  from here on my plan is to post once a week.

Tuesday sounds like a good day.


Until next week, Keep your powder dry.

Good hunting.

Changes in latitude, changes in attitude.

For a while now I seem to have lost my direction, both in game and with the blog.

When I first started this blog way back in the dark days of the Burning Crusade it was designed to be a place where I could keep the little guides and lists I created. I did not really didn’t think that many folks would read my random drivel.

At the time I was running Karazhan on my priest while working on gearing up my hunter.  The kind of things that I was creating for myself at the time were also of use to others. So I published my little guides and lists, they were well received. Every now and again I would plug in a little story about my time in game and try to make it funny. Those were fairly well received as well.

I became a story teller, gathering folks about the campfire that is my blog. Sometimes we would run long into the night with grand tales, sometimes we would just tell a joke or two and call it a day. I miss that time.


I know that both the quality and quantity of posting here has steadily declined since I finalized my “how to gear your fresh 80 for Naxx” guide. Believe me, I have seen it.

More, I have felt it.

As the Burning Crusade drew to a close and Wrath descended upon us I tried to keep up content similar to my earlier work. There came a problem with this however. A problem that was mostly the result of my place within the game.

I am not raiding other than the occasional Naxx pug. If I am not raiding I can’t really justify writing about it. There are others that do a fine job of it. 

I have never been much into the PvP thing, so I have not written much on that topic. Well, I have written about how getting camped sucks, and a little about leveling in Alterac Valley. (which got the crap nerfed out of it yesterday, no more AV for me…) 

I have always been one to put together little guides and gear lists and such. That was just my thing, somehow I got away from it. My hunter is already well enough geared that I won’t be replacing anything outside of raid drops, so lists became immaterial to me.

 My time in game has been a real joy the last several months. No drama, no horrible pugs, no loot ninjas, although I felt like one last night in BRD.

The first guild group I went with I brought my Death Knight. In five runs she ended up with both the tanking and Dps trinkets, even though she is only 75. The second group I brought my hunter Drupadi and she left with a shiny new Brewfest Ram. That’s not the point of this post though. 

This all left me with a big hollow feeling about where to take the blog from here. I simply could not think of anything to write about that was not already being covered elsewhere and better. I had actually narrowed it down to just a few choices. I figured I could do one of three things.

  • Keep on doing what I have been for the last couple of months, simply stringing nearly useless posts together until the Cataclysm comes, giving me new things to write lists and guides about.
  • Go on hiatus until the Cataclysm beta hits, then start writing my guides and such as soon as I can beg/buy/extort a beta key from someone.
  • Simply close my doors as so many others have before me.

To be quite honest when I sat down to write this morning I was planning on going with the second, and hoping it did not turn into the third.

 As I was writing up the “so long and thanks for all the fish, I might be back come next expansion” post this morning something happened. I was chatting on Twitter as I do most mornings when Copra made an interesting observation.

He noticed a trend of writing more towards the long time player. There is little out there for someone just starting out. Once mentioned it was obvious.

This is perfectly understandable given that most of those who have branched out into reading blogs already have the basics down. Not everyone mind you, but most.

Well, I pondered, What about the newcomers that do go hunting for information online? Do we leave them to the tender mercies of the official forums? Throw them to the wolves of the account stealing, paid for guide writing, blog scraping, gold sellers?


I may no longer be running around with the raiding pack, but that does not mean that there are not guides I can write.

I can find tons of posts on how to gear for end game, how to spec for endgame, which pets and addons and this that and the other for endgame.

I can find a goodly number of articles written on how to get from one to ten, even a few that make it to the twenties.

Then there are crickets chirping from there until eighty.

I now have my new direction, a new focus if you will. I am ready to sit back down by the fire and tell tales to the new players among us. It’s just going to take me a bit to get started.

First things first, this place needs a facelift. 


There are going to be a few changes coming around to Dechion’s place, bear with me.

The new banner was the least of them.

Beastmastery is dead… not!

There has been much discussion lately about Beastmastery huntering. Most particularly whether it is broken as a viable spec.

Is it tops for raiding?

Nope, mathematically that goes to either Survival or Marksmanship depending on gear level and the content you are facing.


Is it tops for Battleground PvP?

Um… I don’t think so…. thats where you go and fight other people right? I think I read about that somewhere.


How about 5 man instancing?

It’s not the best but it will do a better job of holding it’s own here.



Don’t ask me, I have not been inside one since season 2, and that lasted all of about 2 weeks before I decided it wasn’t for me.


Well, how about leveling and other solo work?

Not just yes but HELL YES. 


Beastmastery is, in my opinion, the absolute best for working alone. I particularly like it when paired with a tenacity pet, my personal favorite being a boar. Heres why I think the way I do.

The combat system in WoW, actually in every multi player I have ever been in, is based on the trinity of Tanking, Healing, and Dpsing.

The Beastmastery tree has talents to increase the Hunters personal Dps, this is true. It’s biggest benefit comes in how it helps out your pet.

There are talents that increase you pets health, his damage output, improve healing received, cleanse debuffs, remove snares, and shorten the cooldowns on special abilities just for a few examples.

Combine this with a properly specced tenacity pet and you have a soloing machine. A machine capable of taking on group quests while they are still red and pulling it off solo, or of surviving against overwhelming odds.  

The reason is simple. A well specced, well played Beasmaster Hunter is a trinity all by themselves.

All three phases are covered, particularly if the Hunter is a Draeni with Herbalisim. (Nothing quite like having three HoT’s ticking on your pet) 


When it comes to Dual specced Hunters the venerable Ghostcrawler talks of Beastmastery as the most popular “secondary” spec.

I think that maybe, just maybe,  it’s really the most popular primary spec.

Afterall, it’s the one most default to when they are out in the world alone. Maybe the others are simply secondary specs, for those times we decide to come back out of the wilds with a specific task in mind, like Pvp or grouping with others.

Top ten thingsh I love about Brewfest.. Hic!

Brewfest is upon us once again.

My most favorite of all the Wow-holidays. Here are the top ten reasons why, possibly misspelled or out-of-order. Afterall, it is brewfest. Hic!

10. Getting hammered (fun all by itself)

9. Getting hammered and jumping off the Scryers tier (Shattrah is creepy when it’s empty by the way)

8. Getting hammered and repeatedly taking Coren Direbrew’s lunch money.

7. Getting hammered and dueling someone else who’s hammered. (bonus if you both healers)

6. Getting hammered and doing the ram racing quest.

5. Getting hammered and dancing in Dalaran. (preferably in the fountain)

4. Getting hammered and throwing the empties at dark iron dwarves.

3. Getting hammered and chasing Pink Elkk.

2. Getting hammered and chasing Wolpertingers.

1. Getting hammered and…. and… I think that about covers it. Thats ten right? I think so, but I can’t really be sure.

After all, it’s brewfest… I’m hammered.

Well, this should keep me busy

I was sitting about thinking this morning about the coming expansion. Not specifically about the new content, but about where I want to be when it happens. When Cataclysm hits I want to be ready for it. I don’t want to be running around like a nutcase getting worked up about what could have been done slowly and peacefully.

Most importantly I don’t want anything interfering with the world event. Last time I was still leveling my new hunter when the zombie invasion happened. Instead of throwing myself into the world event and have fun with it I found myself irritated.

I was wrong.

Next time around, whatever I am doing, wherever I am, I am dropping it to enjoy the events that will herald in a new age for Azeroth. Ready or not, I am going to enjoy it to it’s fullest.

Ask my friends, I rarely make the same mistake twice. (I do make plenty of original ones though)


One thing this leaves me with is questions about how to get everything ready in the background while still having fun in the now. Cataclysm may be nearly a year away, although I am betting early to midsummer. The answers to these will put things in perspective for my time played on alts.


What characters do I want to continue advancing with?

What gear will they need to have on hand when the time comes?

Which are going to get parked for their professions?

Speaking of professions which will I be wanting to have and on which characters? 

Which characters will simply get deleted to make room for new ones?

If  I am rolling new ones what will they be needing?


I think I will start off saying I plan to level at very least my hunters Drupadi and Dekado on Keal’thas (both factions) and Dechion on Draenor (Alliance).  I plan to stick with the character I am most familiar with, and having all the UI’s identical will let me slide from one to the other seamlessly.

It is also very likely that I will level Shamanka (my Shaman) to the cap. I enjoy healing, but I have come to really not like my priest much. The Shaman is the logical choice for me in that regard, as I have found that I really enjoyed group healing much better than single target healing.

The only thing those characters will need is to finish leveling the ones who are not there yet to 80. Whatever gear they have on when they ding is more than enough to keep leveling with.

Profession wise they all the hunters will end up carrying Skinning and Leatherworking, I have yet to decide about the Shaman. She will dual gather while leveling and I’ll sort it out later.


Now pondering for a second my profession alts I do believe I am looking at my 80 Priest Morham with Enchanting and Inscription on Draenor and Diashan the 75 DK with Jewelcrafting and (soon to be) Inscription on Kael’thas. Other thank a bank/AH toon on each server I don’t really need any other profession alts. 


When the expansion hits I do plan to level a hunter up in every starting zone. As such I am going to want a few odds and ends for them. A bag of goodies as it were.

I will pack a crate or two with some starting gear. Things like a set of bags, some cash, perhaps a couple of BOA items. What goes in the bags is far less important than the bags themselves. 


Let see, three characters to finish leveling.

All their professions to level.

Money to save up.

All the while not taking any of the rare times I get to run instances away.


Thats quite a list of things to do, good thing I have a long time to do it.

My thoughts on the Blizzcon live feed

For a while now the Internet has been abuzz with information about Blizzcon.

Each and every statement has been picked apart and analyzed, hoping to somehow squeeze more information out than was originally intended. Honestly, as a group the Wow playing blog reading/writing community has quite a knack for figuring things out.

That’s why I don’t have a single thing to say about all that.

I’m not even going to go into the faction change service that went live this week.


What I will do is share a few thoughts on the Direct TV coverage of Blizzcon.

What I liked:

  • I did not have to stand in line for anything.
  • That goes doubly for the restroom (unless one of my teenagers decided to camp out)
  • I did not have to eat con food, although I hear it was not half bad.
  • No travel was involved.
  • The live stream did not sell out in 53 seconds.
  • The coverage of the panels was well done for the most part. Excellent visuals, and good sound quality.
  • The interviews in between panels, while not the best in the world, were a damn site better than empty airtime.
  • If I missed something I was able to go back and watch it later.

Things I did not like:

  • No choice in streams, one program – you get what they feed you.
  • The schedule was confusing, this should simply have been done better.
  • The setup for the replay was horrible. Seriously Direct TV, this was a shot at new customers, you fail.
  • The playback was in 15 minute blocks and not labeled as to content – just time stamped.  
  • The time schedule was not even included on the same page as the time stamped footage. I actually found myself checking live blogs to find out what part of the stream to go back and watch. 
  • I would like to have seen more of what the convention floor looked like, but thats just me.
  • I was not able to choose which panel to watch, nor was I able to sort the programming by panel on the replay.

What I would like to see next year:

  • First and foremost I would like to see Blizzcon somewhere less that 2000 miles away. They mentioned looking into another venue, might I suggest Chicago or Indianapolis? Just being selfish here =)
  • As for the live stream a broader variety of coverage would be nice. Perhaps record the panels that are not going to be broadcast live and add them to the replay.
  • After each panel is over have your folks list it as one cohesive segment as opposed to the time stamp method.
  • Post an actual guide to the programming schedule, and update it as it changes.


I suppose the live stream is a mediocre substitute for actually being there, but it is the most many of us could do. Reality being what it is I could barely find the time to watch the coverage before it was closed out a week after the fact.

Oh well, maybe next year.

I guess I have a one track mind

Many moons ago I started the first of my characters to make it to 70 and dabble in raiding. It was not may first toon by any means, actually I believe it was my fifth. I tried I Rogue first, then a Warrior before settling in on a Druid who made it to the mid 30’s.

Later after moving servers I tried out a Mage (who became a banker) before really hitting my stride with my first Hunter, Decado. I plowed through leveling, loving every minute of it, until I finally capped out at 70.


I raided with him in Kara until the guild started having problems with it’s healing corps. I benched him and started leveling Bandade the Troll Priest to help out. I was in the mid 40’s when the guild imploded.

Several friends and I then decided to switch not only factions but servers. We rerolled Alliance. Once again for the benefit of the group I rolled a priest, but this time he capped out. I raided with Morham the Priest as far as SSC before the nerf and BT afterwards. I was decent at my job, my charges rarely died unless they did something silly (or we wiped).


I found my self missing something though. I enjoyed running with my friends but I really did not care much for healing. It’s fun in it’s own way, but just not my thing. I rolled a new Hunter, Drupadi, to goof around on whenever I was not actually in a raid with the priest. She became my main in all but name by the time she hit level 10.

Drupadi and Shadow

Then came a time when she hit 70 as well. I would log in to play, but found myself not wanting to be on at raid times. It’s not that I did not want to raid, it’s that I would have to log onto the priest to do it. My guildmates would not have demanded it, but I would have felt like an ass if I did not. So I went alone to another server and rolled a baby Hunter, Dechion.


Almost a year later that Hunter alt is now in his 70’s as well.

Hopefully that answers a friend of mines question about why I have so many Hunters.

I find that I have played every class in the game, and yet it’s the Hunter I always come back to. I think it’s time to quit pretending I am ever going to level anything else and just stick with what I know.

I can finish leveling all of them to 80, and maybe later to 85.

I can see the new zones and new quests with fresh Hunters, every starting zone will have them availible.

Like it or not I am a Hunter at heart, I guess I just have a one track mind.