Rummys Blog An world of endless Monday

Tuesday, 17 November, 2009

Loot free zone

Filed under: World of Warcraft — Andrew.Rowbottom @ 12:51 pm

Apparently the minor-gods of Ulduar are not my friends, pills I can’t think why.

So ‘nother Ulduar run, ‘nother night with no loot. Not even stuff I could use if I weren’t so uber-epiced out.  I’ve stared considering rolling on “staff” drops just so I can pose with them in Dalaran. Staffs have such awesome animations. Oh and while we’re at it, I want a new shield. I’ve been staring at this one practically since I started raiding Naxx, and I’m bored with it. Yeah, and a chest-piece that doesn’t go all the way to the ground, oh and maybe a free upgrade to T10 with those groovy shoulders and ….

It’s not just the Ulduar bosses that don’t like me, my DPS ran away while I was “iron-root”ed after the micro-boss was dead.  So I’m stood there healing myself, waiting for the iron-roots to sod off.

You know, just like when the adds disappear after the boss dies muttering things like “Oh! Is that really the time? I think I left the oven on. I’ll just go and check.

Anyway, Iron Roots doesn’t do this, it just sits there waiting for you to die. Except a 733T healer like me don’t die that easy! Of course I could have called for help, but, I was healing myself, and anyway my mic wasn’t working in vent – Again! And I was too busy smirking to myself. Secretly I was hoping they’d die horribly and pathetically to some trash because they were a healer down. That’d teach them a lesson! But the bastards came back and freed me.

The mic problem? Thank you for asking. It seems some idiot had set the mic volume to zero. I’d blame the cat, but we don’t have one.

And the fading sound problems? Last night it cleared when I accidentally unplugged my headset and plugged it back in. Who can say?

And the “freezes”? yeah, they’re still there too, still haunting my life once an hour or so. I’ve got my raiding set stripped down to 33 addons, most of which I can actually name. I’ve tried the latest beta and the oldest versions of “Power Auras Classic”. I’ve tried reloading my UI before and after each boss. No joy.

Anyway next run I’m actually going to bite the bullet and do without P.A.C, god help me I love it so.

Aaaannnddd. I was a naughty boy, I was pugging a DTK group for the daily heroic. Eventually we got a tank (tanks are still in short supply on Darkspear-EU, healers too for that matter) and just started on the trash when I got the whisper to go raiding. I bailed on them! A couple of hasty whispers and there I was gone! I’m not proud, it was not nice, but at least it was before anyone got saved to the instance.

Wednesday, 11 November, 2009

Woe is I.

Filed under: World of Warcraft — Andrew.Rowbottom @ 12:37 pm

My sound issues are back. I can tell when they’re coming because I stop hearing water shields, info sometimes vent fades out. I know if I wait long enough it will recover, pilule but changing the Sound configuration from Default -> Speakers (or the other way around) seems to fix it for Wow. In Vent I have to change it to/from Direct sound. On the plus side, cialis 40mg once I’ve done this it seems to keep on working for the remainder of the night.

I’ve started on a raid UI which has a number of unwanted UI elements disabled, no chocolate bar, no fubar, no fancy map, and so on. Unfortunately the freeze is still there! Possibly more frequent, certainly longer. I’m thinking its either Vuhdo or Power Auras, though I can’t rule out other rubbish. DAMN!

Some Days

Filed under: World of Warcraft — Andrew.Rowbottom @ 12:36 pm

Some days things are all hunky dory, youth health you get in the zone, doctor you heal away, no-one dies, except the boss and your place on the healing meters is ….. Third out of 3! But it’s a good day and you don’t give a fuck.

Other days you get an invite to do a bit of dragonslaying and you’ve no idea what’s going to hit you. In my case 1 fatal wing buffet and 2 fatal cleaves, and that was only on the first attempt. On other attempts I got another cleave and whelped to death. Not my night.

I get battle rezzes so fast now I think all our druids have a macro hotkeyed!


After that we had a shuftie at Trial of the Crusader (or whatever it’s called). Plenty of running around like headless chickens! I admit, I was completely thrown when I got Snobolded!

Run to the melee! Where the hell are the melee? I have no frikkin idea! I keep track of the tanks so they don’t go out of range, and the melee are always somewhere near enough to get healed, so what to I care? But exactly where are the damn melee? Not a frelling clue!

This isn’t how it works! Either I run to the tanks or the melee run to me. That’s how it works! That’s how it always works!

I usually find wayward tanks by running around wildly until, by coincidence, they come into range of chain heal and then I follow the yellow lazor beam! That doesn’t frikkin work when there’s a god-damnit-to-hell Snobold interrupting all your casts!

Kudos to Blizz for coming up with another bloody new fight mechanic.

Anyway, it turns out the little buggers were hiding out of sight behind the boss. Dozy sods! how am I supposed to find them when they’re all the size of gnats bums! (I like to keep my Camera zoomed way way out).

I’m off to Elwynn Forest to take some candles…. lets see how those Snobolds like the idea of that!

Tuesday, 10 November, 2009

Ulduar pt2.

Filed under: World of Warcraft — Andrew.Rowbottom @ 12:55 pm

So, approved last night, pharm another visit into Ulduar, order not as awesome as last Thursdays, unsurprising really, the bosses were harder. For the most part they were two shotted, so not bad.

Unfortunately signups seemed to be a little awry. We ended up with one of our tanks coming on his hunter alt as DPS, and another munqui came on her alt healer priest when she normally raids Rogue. I’m not even sure she was signed up at all.

Healing was OK, but it’s a little difficult to really shine when you get a recount meter like this one:

TopHealer

4.4k HPS and damn near 50% of the healing! I hate him! Me and the other healer think he might be a T1000.

Unfortunately although my sound was working fine (new drivers, low quality sound and low number of channels) I was once again getting a 1 second “hitch” a couple of times an hour, no more often than that. It definitely killed me once on Hodir: I saw the blue circle on the floor, started running, got the screen lock, 1 second later I’m well clear and very dead! Vent worked fine through these hitches and there was no disk thrashing. Looks like I’m really going to have to invest time creating a “RAID UI”.

Vuhdo. I’m really quite OK with this now that I’m using Powa Auras for shield warnings.

I do have a problem at the moment with “suicide monkeys” though, last nights layout looked like:

VuhdoAndPowa1

Me and my tanks are coincidentally at the top, unfortunately the poor rogue at the bottom right was prone to getting splatted and, frankly, he was well out of my “focus” area and so late getting heals. I think Vuhdo will let me manually sort. When I usedhealbot (all of two weeks ago) I used to tag “special needs” players as “targets” which pulled them up with the other “special needs” guys (aka tanks).

This clip is bigger than it needs to be because

a) it show of my Watershield powa aura which triggers on 1 charge. If you squint you can actually see the I still have an orb on me. Powa auras is definitely encouraging me to look a teensy fraction to the right of my health bars, only a good thing!.

b) it pretty much encapsulates everything I “see” when I’m raiding. I could nearly raid on a 450×220 pixel screen.

If you look at Vuhdo in this shot, you can see

  • the Earth Shield icon on the tank, the triangles disappear one by one leaving the white square that only disappears when ES finally drops off. Can you guess how many orbs are left? I can’t, though it might be a full set of 8.
  • It also shows the aggro indicator >> <<.
  • You can see mana bars under the names (I don’t mentally see these)
  • The class colours
  • The countdown left on the riptide on Smythy (1 second), I try to start a Chain Heal between 6 and 3 seconds left.

And, at the bottom of this screenie was:

Achievement

Whee!


And finally just before logging out I discovered I’ve got 51 conquest emblems, more than enough for a T8.5 chestpiece and leaving me within a couple of heroics of getting some new gloves.

Friday, 6 November, 2009

Excitement

Filed under: World of Warcraft — Andrew.Rowbottom @ 1:31 pm

‘Nother Ulduar raid last night. I’m beginning to wonder if any non-tier Resto shaman gear drops in Ulduar 10, one health I saw a fair bit of plate, ask cloth and leather, but no mail! No worries, it was a very good raid, with only one wipe!

As is normal at the moment I was propping up the meters whatever my assignment. I can’t get too worked up about this, my gearing is really quite a substantial bit below the other two healers. I guess this is a result of all that time spent not raiding while my phone line was knackered and a strange desire not to grind heroics for emblems (both seem to be cured now). In early Ulduar my gearing isn’t an issue, top end Naxx gear and some extras is still serving me very well in here, but I think there may be an issue if/when we move onto TotGC.

After the run a group of us went and did the Daily Heroic, Culling of Stratholme again. It was almost ridiculously easy, hardly any healing required at all. Last time I did a run this easy I got quite upset about it, feeling useless and unloved (awww), but this time I was happy to stand there lobbing out the occasional Flame Shock and odd Chain Lightning. Of course another reason for not getting stupidly upset was because I’d just had a fun raid and I got me me a couple of badges of Triumph. Just enough to buy a replacement [Totem of Calming Tides], its an iLevel 245 instead of 200, that’s a huge upgrade and more than makes up for the lack of drops in Ulduar.

A good night!

Addons

Before the raid I disabled a bunch of unwanted addons and that annoying one-frame hitch seems to have gone, or at least become too small to notice, so thats good. I still had some issues with larger lockups earlier on in the raid, a good couple of seconds or so during which the screen froze and sound stuttered. I think it might be related to sound since I had several issues getting vent working (even without WoW running), and losing sound during the game. After reducing the “software” sound channels to low and disabling the “SFX” part of Vent the problems seemed to go away. Unfortunately disabling the SFX in vent now means that my ears are once again vulnerable to people screaming down their microphones 🙁 . If that starts up again I’m not going to be an asshole, I’m going to pipe up!

I have a strange vent problem, Push To Talk used to be keyed on ` (grave), but yesterday everytime I pressed that key I just got continual “bing” noises and no chat! Temporarily its on PageUp, but that is too far away. Anyone got any ideas?

I used Vuhdo again, and I might be becoming a convert! It’s harder to setup just right, but it displays a little more information. Specifically the countdown on the riptide buff is really useful for finding just the right time to cast a Chain Heal, or see if I’m too late to use it advantageously. I’m unlikely to go back to healbot!

Vuhdo’s Earth Shield display is still useless (for me), but during the early part of the raid I snuck some trash time to configure Power Auras to show when I’ve not got watershield and also when no-one in the raid has earth shield. It worked a real treat! I need to adjust it so it shows at 1 charge rather than 0 charges, but that’s fine tuning.

Power auras is a bit difficult, changes don’t seem to “apply” unless you disable/enable power auras, and sometimes mount/dismount or possibly recast all over the place. So you’re never quite sure if what you think you have done is what you intended because the “aura” isn’t showing. But when the changes have “taken” it’s great!

An unintended consequence seems to be that I’m looking at my character a little more often to check on the “auras” and this is helping me “get out of the goddam fire!”. Helping mind, Flowersz still likes to toast her toes (hooves?) every once in a while.

DPS

Well, not really, on the second attempt on the Iron Council Flowersz was assigned tank heal and interrupts! Whoa! That’s DPS isn’t it?

As I could have predicted I didn’t do so great a job on it, I only managed 7 interrupts. On the plus side, that seven more than I normally manage! Grounding totem also took out 4 Chain Lightnings. So my contribution was 11 spells that didn’t happen. and a near OOM from spam healing. The OOM got sorted out (Mana Pot + Mana Tide) and a bunch of help from the other healers, but I wasn’t happy about it at all. No, not at all.

I did misunderstand, I thought I was supposed to interrupt Rune of Death, but apparently that’s an instant spell which would explain why I never managed it 🙂 . Fortunately I was just trying to interrupt everything.

Now I just need to move my interrupt from all the way over there —————————————————>9
to somewhere more suitable, oh, and macro it so it does a stopcasting as well. Purge probably needs a treatment too.

Pets

Everyone seems to be going on about the Pandaran pet. I saw one in Dalaran, not bad, not buying one, and I don’t think vanity items are gamebreakers. If they sell armour paint I suppose the pvpers might grumble.

I did wonder though, is this a sign that blizzard are no longer seriously interested in China? The Chinese govt has previously objected to pandaren in the game, but for various reasons I believe WoW isn’t currently playable in Asia, so maybe this is blizz “cocking a snoot!”

Thursday, 5 November, 2009

Addons and UI

Filed under: World of Warcraft — Andrew.Rowbottom @ 1:27 pm

Three posts in a day! Aren’t you the lucky ones!

I have around 100 addons and I’ve been thinking of the ones I could live without. That was hard, price so I flipped the question, which addon’s couldn’t I live without when raiding. The list is surpisingly small:

  • Deadly Boss Mods
  • Got Wood (for my audible totem death announcement)
  • Vuhdo/Healbot (until I learn to mouseover heal)
  • Buff Enough

of course there are addons that I really want, but I can’t convince myself that I couldn’t raid without them or use the default UI to fix up.

  • Bartender – I suspect that despite my love of this addon it doesn’t really do much, I don’t click on any of the icons, ever!
  • Autobar – I *do* click on the buttons this provides, but not when raiding? Fire-elemental totem is the only one.
  • ArkInventory – OK, a “one bag” addon is pretty damn nice, I could live with a macro that opened all my bags at once but I like the search facility too. Finding flasks and food could be tricky without this.
  • Prat – For the “special” noise when someone types my name.
  • Durability Fu – it’s nice to see when I’m going to have to repair.

Addons I’d miss but absolutely never use when raiding:

  • Outfitter
  • Gatherer
  • Cartographer
  • Chinchilla – mini-map mod, comes with coordinates.
  • Altoholic – I use it, I think it displays which character has currently got my stock of Cardinal Rubys (or that might be ArkInventory), but otherwise I think it could go.
  • Tom Tom arrows
  • Light headed
  • Guild-fu – so I can see who’s online and where they are.
  • Auctionator. The AH is just too painful without some kind of simple addon.
  • Clear Font

Which just leaves the other 80 addons! I’m inclined to go on a really radical clean-out and then start adding back in as and when I get desperate.

Glyphs

Filed under: World of Warcraft — Andrew.Rowbottom @ 12:59 pm

It has occurred to me that I’ve been missing out on another way to customize my shaman for raiding.

We all know about swapping gear in and out depending on the fight, information pills long fight – swap in some mana gear, hospital 5 mans – swap in haste and so on.

I have to admit that in general when raiding I don’t actually bother swapping my gear around much within a raid, healing mostly I “customize” based on the party makeup rather than the boss fight, and most of this customization comes from the totems. This is due to laziness, and partly because I’m carried nicely by all the other nice healers in my raids.

So I’m lazy, I do use flasks and buff food, and again I usually pick based on the raid makeup, spending around 25g per hour on “consumables”.

But what about glyphs. I’ve been changing my gear (occasionally) and picking my flasks, but I’ve not replaced a single glyph in ages! I re-talent more often than I change glyphs!

Here are the resto shaman glyphs in the game, I’ve put a * by the ones I carry, and the numbers in brackets are a typical cost in gold.

major

  • * Chain Heal (15) – 4th bounce added, not a lot of healing, but it is there
  • Earthliving Weapon (4) – extra 5% change for the small earthliving Hot
  • Healing Stream Totem (0.5?) – a little extra healing from your Healing Stream Totem
  • * Healing Wave (35) – heals self, good for AOE, IF you’re using HW
  • Lesser Healing Wave (25) – 20% more heal to Earth Shielded target, aka the TANK
  • Mana Tide Totem (9) – Mana Tide boost, nice if you use it
  • * Water Mastery (5) – more mana, I can’t see a reason not to have this one.

minor

  • Astral Recal
  • Ghost Wolf
  • * Renewed Life
  • Water Breathing
  • * Water Walking
  • * Water Shield – irresitable, I can’t think when you’d ever swap this out

So, how does glyph selection pan out in “real life”? Well, the minor glyphs, apart from Water Shield don’t generally give you much. Renewed Life has some occasional utility in Raiding and 5 mans – the desire to die again immediately after a Rezz is very high so even a little boost could be helpful.

The Major Glyphs however all have some decent utility, though they are all “gentle” effects.

Water mastery – Just take it, even with a Ret Pally you just don’t want to gimp a spell you always have up.

Healing Stream, if you are dropping this, because you’re not dropping Mana Stream then the effect from this does gradually add up, in an AOE heavy fight the small boost is multiplied by 5 players.

Chain heal is clearely a raid healing glyph

Earthliving Weapon, last time I looked at this it was a pretty small effect, probably has more useful if you are raid healing with CH where it gets a decent chance to proc

Healing Wave, useful if you are tank/off-tank healing, self healing can be nice, otherwise I find I don’t use HW as much as I used to, LHW seems to be more useful in Naxx/Ulduar raiding and 5 mans. HW seems too slow.

Lesser Healing Wave, nice for pinch healing on the tank. I use LHW quite a bit in raids, and I usually keep an eye on the tank and drop a LHW on him if things are looking worrying.

Mana Tide Totem, if you use this totem then its a decent glyph. I’m starting to use Mana Tide more often now that I’ve got a fair bit of haste.

I’m thinking

for 5 mans:

Water Mastery, LHW, (Healing Wave or Mana Tide or Healing stream depending on group)

Raid healing with some tank fillin – 10 mans

Water Mastery, LHW, CH or Healing Stream

Raid healing, Zero tank healing – 25 mans

Water Mastery, CH, Earthliving  or Healing Stream

Tank healing

Water Mastery, LHW, (HW or Mana Tide)

So a fairly safe “base” pair is Water Mastery, and LHW (since I hardly ever 25 man), leaving the third glyph as Chain Heal/Healing Wave/mana Tide/Healing Stream with a cost of around 35g per change.

Which, so long as your assignments only change once an hour or so works out about the same as flasks.

At the very least I’m going to replace my Chain Heal glyph with a Lesser healing Wave Glyph, 4 hits is yummy, but that last hit isn’t for a lot and counts zero if my tank dies waiting for a full-up healing wave.

40, 000 litres!

Filed under: General — Andrew.Rowbottom @ 12:25 pm

I was watching Stargate Universe last night, valeologist so far I’m doubting it will go to a second season. But last night had me raging in bed – I was supposed to be grabbing some low energy TV before sleepy time.

The “main” plot was about how 40,000 litres of water had dissapeared and the trip to an ice planet to replace it. The “sub-plot” was about some dust like aliens that had come aboard from a desert planet in a previous episode.

So what got my goat up?

Well, mostly it was about 40,000 litres of water dissappearing, the spaceship has a recycling system. But that wasn’t getting the water back, which means it has to be somewhere else. For the moment lets assume it’s gone “somewhere-else”, we don’t know where. So the crew decide they’ll send 2 people to get some ice from a conveniently nearby ice planet.

The mission to the ice planet to get more water (ice) seems OK, except 40,000 litres is 40 metric tons. That’s a lot of tons for 2 people to move. Also, I happen to know that 40 tons of water is exactly 40 cubic meters. That’s 40 of those huge bags that DIY shops use to deliver sand, and pebbles in. That’s an awful lot! It’s more than a full-sized articulated HGV can carry! So the search around the ship to see if anyone has stolen it and stashed it under their bed seems a bit, well stupid really!

Ok, so onto the alien dust specs. It seems these little buggers are responsible for the water going somewhere, but they’re teensy, and though there are a lot of them they still managed to fit in a container that was small enough and light enough to be carried by a single person. 40 tons is absolutely not carryable by one person. These little dust specs must be “trans-dimensional” beings capable of moving water from the real universe into “somewhere-else” so it doesn’t exist in this universe anymore. Cor! Blimey! You’d think that would be worth a mention somewhere in the storyline wouldn’t you?

Oh, and sticking with the little aliens, the cure was to lure them into the aforementioned canister and chuck them out the window. But life isn’t like that! If they missed enough to breed (traditionally 2) then within a few weeks the poor buggers on the spacecraft are going to be back where they started, life has an annoying habit of reproducing, potentially exponentially! Think rats!

I know what you’re thinking, “bloody nitpicker, I bet he whinges that you can’t hear sound in space”.

Well, I’m actually pretty good at suspending my disbelief, for example I’m happy with the miraculous:

Warp Drive – pretty canon in the SF universe and always necessary for plot.

Planets the size of a small town – have you ever noticed that people visit a planet and just so happen to land within an hours walk of the planetary leaders. Also necessary for plot.

Mind Reading – Magic! Fair enough, magic is a whole ballpark of the impossible.

Teleports – Magic again, saves on the boring travelling bit.

Its when you get down to the mundane, that I start having trouble. At least give me some kind of fantastic gobbledeygook explanation so it’s no longer mundane, and that’s what was missing in last nights episode. The scriptwriters didn’t even seem to know that there was anything wrong with the plot. Where do you hide FORTY FRELLING TONS! They certainly didn’t care enough to try to explain it away, and that’s plain sloppy.

rating: 2 stars (or less)

Wednesday, 4 November, 2009

Industrial Suckage

Filed under: World of Warcraft — Andrew.Rowbottom @ 12:34 pm

Did a fail pug on the daily heroic: Violet Hold last night. It was full of fail, pharm but sometimes that happens. What sucks particularly is the Violet Hold setup that means you have to do the whole n portals thing again every time you wipe. That really sucks, advice you’ve got to waste loads of time just to get back to where you were, with a fair chance that you’ll wipe again! I understand now why whenever I’ve wiped in here the group has immediately gone somewhere else.

My UI is beginning to crumble, several times I had 10/15 second freezes on top of the smaller freezes, fortunately these only seemed to happen when loot was popping up. A full rework is seeming more and more necessary.

This post brought to you by click click click. WTF! Do something damn you!

Just a couple of links:

Filed under: General — Andrew.Rowbottom @ 12:27 pm

First off: here’s a link that’s going to die….

Ocado are selling something called Marshmallow Fluff. What amuses me is the text:

Spread directly on toast, health scones or tea cakes as part of a balanced breakfast.

Oh yeah, that’s really going to “balance” your breakfast!

And then I had a smile at the BBC article on How dangerous is horse riding. The last paragraph particularly made me smile

Mark Weston, director of Access, Safety and Welfare said: “The health benefits of horse riding are well known, how anyone can maintain that taking a class A drug has such benefits beggars belief.

I doubt that anyone has said any such thing! What I think they said was that horse riding is dangerous, not that class A drugs are beneficial.

Spin me until I’m dizzy!

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