Archive for June, 2009

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Misdirection: Ten Do’s and Don’t's

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

Disclaimer: This post was accurate as of patch 3.1.3.

Misdirection.

Every hunter gets this ability at level 70, but even by level 80 some have yet to master the skill. It’s not just another shot to be thrown into a rotation, it’s situational. I would say “There isn’t a right or a wrong way to Misdirect”, but that would be lying.  So here’s some advice!

DO use a focus macro.

The default functionality of Misdirect works like this: Target who you want to Misdirect to, cast the spell, then target the mob you want to Misdirect. For initial pulls, this isn’t so bad. But what if you need to misdirect in a hurry? That’s where a focus macro comes in. With this, you can Misdirect without changing targets.

I have found the easiest way to set your focus is to have a mouseover macro. This way you can even change your focus mid-fight without changing actual targets. It looks like this:

/focus [target=mouseover]

I have it bound to Ctrl+F. This way I can just mouseover the target frame, raid frame or the actual character themselves and press Ctrl+F to set my focus.

Then, to Misdirect, you can use a macro like this:

/cast [target=focus,exists,nodead][target=pet,exists,nodead] Misdirection

This will cast on your focus if they are alive, or your pet if you don’t have a focus or your target is dead.

DON’T Misdirect to the wrong person.

This may sound simple, but it happens more often than you’d think. Always check who your focus is before you Misdirect. Is it a Bear who is temporarily in Kitty form? Don’t MD to her! Is your focus dead, meaning your MD will default to your pet? Don’t MD to him! Pay attention to tanking assignments, they aren’t just for healers and tanks!

DO use your heavy hitting abilities when Misdirecting.

The amount of threat generated by your Misdirection is dependent on how much damage you do. So do as much damage in 3 shots as you can! Use it right when you pop your trinkets/cooldowns. Or, use Multi-Shot/Volley to pull entire groups.

DON’T use Distracting Shot when Misdirecting.

Distracting Shot changed when 3.0 came out. It used to “cause a large amount of threat”, and was generally used in coordination with Misdirection. But now, it acts as a Taunt. This means that even if you have Misdirect up, Distracting Shot will pull the target to YOU, not THEM! I learned this the hard way!

DO use Misdirect during fights.

Misdirection isn’t just for pulls! It’s good to use during boss fights. There are some fights where it’s especially hard for tanks to build enough threat, be it from not having enough rage generation, or the DPS getting outrageous buffs, or high mobility/target switching fight. Every little bit helps! And remember, your Misdirect not only gives the tank more threat, but it pauses your threat gain for the next 3 shots. This means you can wait just a bit longer before you have to Feign Death.

DON’T use Misdirect all the time.

Take a look at your threat meter of choice before you Misdirect. Does the tank have a decent threat margin? Is the off-tank sitting in second place? Yes? Then don’t Misdirect. Use that GCD for something more productive. Don’t just blindly use Misdirect every time it’s off of cooldown, save if for emergencies if it’s not needed.

DO use Misdirect to help with tricky ranged pulls.

Hunters ranged shots having a huge range on them, especially if you happen to have Hawk Eye. It’s much larger than most tanks pulling abilities. So if there is a pull that is particularly difficult, whether it be because there are adds patrolling the area or the mob needs to be pulled back somewhere, volunteer your Misdirection services.

DON’T think you get to decide when pulls happen.

Just because your Misdirect means you can put the mobs to the tank does not give you permission to start pulls when you see fit. You need to wait until everyone, especially the tank, is ready and expecting the mobs, even if it means waiting for that patrol to make another cycle. Now that Misdirection has the same cooldown as it’s duration, you can keep it up and ready to go indefinitely.

DO Misdirect to your pet when soloing.

Sometimes, Growl just isn’t enough. If you’re not a Beast Master, chances are your pet doesn’t do a very good job of holding aggro off of you. Sure, most things are dead by the time they get to you… but popping MD right before you start shooting can give you a little extra time.

DON’T use DoTs when Misdirecting.

Most Hunter priority lists start with a DoT, Serpent Sting, to be precise. Well, make sure you modify your rotation a bit when using Misdirect! Serpent Sting ticks will use up a charge of Misdirect, but won’t do much threat/damage.  Don’t start with it, even if it goes against what you’re used to!  This also applies to Explosive Shot, it has a strange behaviour when it comes to Misdirect, so don’t use it.

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Losing my Tanking Virginity

Monday, June 15th, 2009

When I first decided to level my paladin, I knew I wanted to try my hand at tanking.  I’ve DPSed on my hunter, I’ve healed on my priest, but I’ve never leveled a character that could tank.

I still managed to get to 75 without giving it a try though.  I’ve run my fair share of dungeons, but with all the Death Knights and Druids around, tanking always seemed to be covered.  I got to DPS, which I really enjoy! (Or ocassionally paladin heal, which I don’t enjoy so much.)

To be honest, I was scared.  How do you tank for the first time with a bunch of strangers?  What if I can’t handle it and cause the group to fail? Ah!  /stress

Well, after getting a hand from Psynister’s tanking guide and reading a bit of the Basic Training forum at Maintankadin, I felt I was ready.  I had my Cobalt Armour all ready to go, and I queued myself up for Utgarde Keep and The Nexus. (You always want your first time to be somewhere familiar and with someone below your level… right?).

Unfortunately, no one else wanted to run those.  So I gave up and shoved myself in the Azjol-Nerub queue.  Have you ever been to AN?  I have only been there twice before.  But the first boss is not friendly.  Once you start on your trash, they keep coming in waves followed by the boss.

[Healer]: WAIT FOR MANA!
[Hunter]: ya srsly!

>.< It was only my first boss fight and I was already getting yelled at!  I tried to explain to them that I wasn’t pulling, the pulls chain pull themselves.  We made it through the fight, even though I died near the end.

The second boss pull is also pretty similar, stuff just keeps coming.  We all survived even though I forgot to move out of the green stuff.  Last boss went pretty smoothly, and I picked up a tanking ring.  I was pretty happy with the run, considering the only person who died was me, and it isn’t really the best instance for your first time tanking.

ghugh_AN

[Healer]: Anyone want to run Old Kingdom??

Well, at least I knew I wasn’t too bad, since they didn’t kick me from the group after the run!  I told them I’ve never  been in there before on any character, so I took a couple minutes to get a quick overview of the place.

And this run went much more smoothly than I expected.  In fact, the one problem was the hunter.  He was a bit too eager.  He decided that since he has Misdirect, he is allowed to decide when to make the pulls.  He also had his pet on Defensive, so whenever he tried to misdirect, his pet would run over and steal aggro.  Argh. I tried to tell him to put his pet on Passive, but he wouldn’t listen.

All in all, the run went well.  I picked up another piece of tanking gear! We had 2 or 3 wipes, but they were all caused by the Hunter’s stupid misdirecting when a pat was near, or misdirecting a group when I was pulling a different group.  I think I did pretty well!

I didn't get a screenshot of the text... Whoops!  I swear it was Ghugh!

I didn't get a screenshot of the text... Whoops! I swear it was Ghugh!

/sigh of relief

Oh, and look at Ghugh’s new spikey shoulders!  Aren’t they pretty?

ghugh_shoulders

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This Week in Raiding…

Saturday, June 13th, 2009

Unfortunately I wasn’t there for Tuesday night’s raid… got sucked into going to see Up again with some friends!  (If you haven’t seen that movie, you should!  It’s great!)

I went to the guild forums the next morning to find a WWS from the raid.  They’d knocked out everything from Flame Leviathan through to Auriaya… in only one-shot each!  Holy crap!  Wish I could have been there!

It was incredibly exciting to see that we could move through so quickly and efficiently, since it means we’ll be able to spend at least a full night simply pounding away at new boss.

Tigerfeet wrote a good post about our pacing in Ulduar, actually.

Wednesday night we took out Freya, Hodir and finally got Thorim down for the first time.  I’m really happy with my DPS.  While you can’t really see it from the WWS, on fights where DPS matters, like Thorim, I kicked some hella butt!  Freya, not so much… because I don’t feel the need to pad the damage meters and waste arrows shooting at Freya when there are no adds.  I also am very cautious about damaging the “triplet” adds when they appear, I usually hold back a lot or stop DPS completely if things seem to be going to quickly.

But I showed Thorim and his little ant trails a thing or two!

Thursday night was all about Mimiron.  No trash or anything, just him.

We spent 3.5 hours taking him on and it was amazing.  No, we didn’t get him down in the end… but almost every attempt showed improvement by everyone, and it was really good to see people learn and adapt.  After our first attempt or two, I actually really had my doubts… but our last 3 or 4 attempts all made it to Phase 4, our best making it to 1% but not having enough people remaining to take all 3 parts down at once.

I’m really excited to get back in there next week!

And I don’t want to sound selfish or anything… but I really want at least 1 new piece of gear, it’s been a couple of weeks.  Two pieces of tier dropped even, and I was very sad because I knew they wouldn’t go to me :(   Maybe next time!

More importantly, we’re going to get Mimiron down next week, no questions about it!  BRING ON THE GENERAL!


treasure_chest1This Week in Raiding… is my weekly Saturday post where I allow myself to brag about new gear, bosses, achievements, and such.

Come back next week for another dose of epeen and QQ!

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The Healing Properties of Peacebloom (RP)

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009

peacebloomFerguson quickly stashed his broom in the cupboard.  Sweeping up the bedchambers was his last and least favourite chore of the day, and he was excited to have a few hours to himself before his curfew.  He rushed out the back door of the Abbey, shielding his eyes from the low evening sun.

He knew exactly how he would spend his free time.  He jogged down the street until he reached the Andorhal Library – his home away from home.

As he rushed towards the desk he called out to the librarian.  “Evening, Louisa!”

“Ah, Ferguson… what a surprise!”  She grinned and leaned to look out the window. “Sun’s barely even touching the ground and you’re done your chores already?”

“You spend 12 years doing the same chores each day, you get pretty good at it.  Father Argus heard rumour that there were some new books coming in today… I wanted to see if there was anything interesting!”

“Anything… about Herbalism, you mean?  Indeed, indeed!  I believe we received something about the healing properties of Peacebloom… let me have a look here.”

She started flipping through the large registry on the desk.  Ferguson could barely contain himself.  It was well known that he had an affinity for all kinds of agriculture, it was expected that someday he’d become the head gardener at the Abbey once he attained full priesthood.

“Got some bad news for you, dear.  Book’s already been lent out!”  Ferguson was both disappointed and confused.  Who else in all of Andorhal would care about Peacebloom?  “Says here it was checked out just an hour ago by… Anabelle.”

His little sister.  He should have known!  He must have let it slip that he was heading to the library, and she knew this would be the perfect way to torment him.  He grunted quietly, trying to remain calm in appearance.  “Thanks, Louisa… I’ll just have to wait for another day.”

Once he was out of sight of the librarian, his calm walk turned into a passionate run.  How dare she!  I’m going to get here this time… Very un-priestly thoughts rushed through his mind as he ran to Anabelle’s favourite hiding spot.  As he approached the thick tree that overlooked the river, he could see there was indeed a dark-haired girl sitting against the opposite side.

“Alright you little snot, give me the book!” Ferguson jumped out from behind the tree to snatch the book from his 12-year old hooligan of a sister.

But it was not his sister.

It was a girl about Ferguson’s age, reading through the book his sister must have hidden here.  She had stunning black hair, tied with a green bow, and her crystal blue eyes were wide with surprise and guilt.

“Oh, I’m so sorry!  I didn’t mean to… I mean… I just found it sitting here!”  She flushed and dropped the book, then turned to run in embarrassment.

“No!  Wait!”  Ferguson called out.  The girl froze in her tracks.

Ferguson picked up the book and walked up to her.  After an awkward silence, his hand shot forward towards her.

“I’m Ferguson.  I stay down at the Abbey.  Who are you?”

She took his hand and shook it cautiously and smiled.  “I’m Marisa.  We just moved to Andorhal last week… nice to meet you.”

Ferguson grinned.  He’d never met a girl with such a beautiful smile!

“So, uh, you like plants?” He passed her the book, and the two began walking back to town together.

“Oh, very much!  Actually, I hope to run my own flower shop someday!”

It seemed Ferguson had finally found something that interested him even more than gardening.

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6 Ways to Deal with Blogger’s Block

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

Lately I just haven’t had much idea of what to write about.  Of course, I can keep everyone updated on where my alts are and how we’re progressing in raids… but I like to post useful, helpful posts on occasion.

The problem is, I haven’t been able to think of what!

I’m sure I’m not the only one who comes up against this issue once in a while.  So I’ve compiled a list of resources that I find helpful in this situation.  These are all ways to jump start your writing.  If you have any other tips, please let me know!

Blog Azeroth Shared Topic

Every week, Blog Azeroth/Twisted Nether writes a topic that they’d like to get others opinions on.  Not only is this a great way to get inspiration for what to write, but it’s also a good way to get your name out there.  Post in the forums and let them

Blog Azeroth Forums

The rest of the forums are also a great place for ideas.  There’s a Blogstorming forum as well as a forum for swapping guest posts.

Other Blogs

If you’re a WoW blogger, chances are you also read a lot of other WoW blogs.  Find an interesting post?  Don’t just comment on it… write your own post discussing why you agree/disagree with it, or expand on the topic.  Bloggers love to have such in depth feedback, just be sure to link back to the original post you enjoyed!

Twitter

Twitter is a great place to meet other WoW players and discuss the game with them.  It’s also a great place to get blogging help.  All you have to do is ask!  Ask if anyone has a topic they would like covered, ask opinions and do an analysis of them.  You can also just listen: “I wish there was a post out there about …” or “Can someone write or point me in the direction of a post about …” are good starting points if you see them.

Official Forums

Nibuca (Mystic Chicanery) made this suggestion to me, and I think it’s a great idea.  It never would have crossed my mind as I avoid the Official Forums like the plague!  Just venture on in, head to an applicable forum (Achievements, Hunter, Quests, etc.) and find the first question you can answer, then write a post about it.

Write a story

I was never into creative writing much, but I’ve found I quite enjoy it now that I’ve written a few things based on my WoW Characters.  You’ll never know until you try!  Expand on your characters, give them a history.