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6 Steps to a Fresh UI

Monday, September 13th, 2010

With Cataclysm looming, we all know that there will be serious addon issues that arise.  Every few months I take an afternoon or so to do a complete UI refresh on my system.  It helps to keep the game from getting bogged down, keeps things up to date and gives me a chance to experiment with some new ideas I’ve had for the game’s look and feel.

I thought I would share my recommended process as it might be something you find useful to prepare yourself for the coming chaos.

Step 1: Take screenshots of your current UI.

Multiple characters, in combat, out of combat, under whatever conditions you think are important.  This will be helpful later when you’re trying to set up addons to look a certain way and so you don’t forget about anything!

Step 2: Move/rename your addon related folders.

You want to start from scratch, eliminating any settings or saved variables that might be left around. The folders you are looking for are your Interface/Addon folder and your WTF/{AccountName} folder.

Step 3: Play WoW.  Naked. (The game, not you… that part is up to you!)

Play around with the in-game Interface settings.  The idea here is to step back and decide what the Blizzard UI is really lacking for you.  I wouldn’t recommend jumping into a raid, but maybe a dungeon or some farming and dailies.  Make a list of what you find annoying or unusable without addons.

Step 4: Set up your action bars so they are usable from the Blizzard UI. (Optional, but highly recommended)

If you’ve been using a bar mod for a long time, your action buttons probably aren’t logically set up to be used with Blizzard’s UI.  I recommend changing that, in case you happen to play at someone else’s place or in case your addon breaks for some reason.  (This is called “degrading gracefully”) Later, when you reinstall your new bar mod, set up your bars around your action buttons, not the other way around!

Step 5: Research your addons.

Maybe you’ve got an addon you’ve been using for a while, but it’s no longer being maintained.  That’s a disaster waiting to happen!  Try to find out if there is a supported addon with equivalent functionality.

Step 6: Install the addons you find necessary.

Enable them ONE AT A TIME and configure it to your liking.  This way you don’t end up with random UI components that you can’t find the source of.  Repeat until all your addons are set up.  If you simply can’t get something to work or look how it did before, you may want to explore your previously saved screenshots and saved settings files.

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Fun Guild Event 7: Themed Screenshot Contests

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

With how slow things are getting in the game right now while everyone is impatiently awaiting the Cataclysm, it’s the perfect time to bolster your guild’s cohesiveness with some fun guild events!  You can check out the list of fun guild events I wrote last year, or try this new one I’m adding to it: 

Themed Screenshot Contests

 This contest is perfect for this time of the season, because even your guildies who have temporarily suspended their accounts could participate if they’ve saved up some decent screenshots, and it can keep your guild forums active during downtime.

 What you need to do is come up with some sort of theme appropriate to your guild.  Some ideas are:

  • Best guild moment (maybe an important achievement or boss kill)
  • Best guildie mistell (because we all SS them for blackmail purposes, right?)
  • Screenshot of a suggested “guild headquarters/hideout” (good opportunity to explore all the cool hidden places that might be gone soon!)
  • Screenshot of “Guildiewhodiesalot” dead in some awkward/funny position or situation

 If you get some solid interest, I suggest turning this into a monthly contest!  Schedule the first 3 weeks of the month for submitting screenshots and allow the last week for voting.  Of course, prizes are great motivators.  Depending on your situation I might suggest a game timecard, a pet/mount from the Blizzard Pet Store or the right to redesign the guild tabard for the next month.

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Dungeon and Heroic Gear for Needy Ret Paladins!

Friday, July 24th, 2009

instance_portalMaybe you read my Pre-raid Gear List for Anti-social Ret Paladins and thought to yourself, “But I’m not anti-social!  I hate rep grinds and wasting gold on gear.”

Then this is the list for you.  If you feel lucky enough to win the RNG game, or you just plan love to run dungeons and heroics, you can find a list of gear you’ll want to keep an eye out for.

I’ve also included Dungeon quest rewards in here, so you should pick up those quests for guaranteed ‘drops’.

Which dungeons should you be running the most, though?  Well, going through this list… the dungeons with the most possible upgrade are Violet Hold (7) and Halls of Lightning (9).  Chances are, something will drop that you’ll need.  What ones aren’t worth your time?  Azjol-Nerub (2) and Old Kingdom (2).  Yay!  No one likes those ones anyway, right? :)

Make sure you also check out all the non-instanced gear, there are some amazing items there if you’re willing to work for them!  Certainly the best gear set will come from a combined effort of instances and solo stuff, but not everyone has both as an option.

Head

Neck

Shoulder

Back

Chest

Bracers

Gloves

Waist

Legs

Boots

Finger

Trinket

Weapon

Libram

  • [Libram of Reciprocation] 15 Emblems of Heroism
    As of 3.1, this Libram is pretty useless.  This may change in 3.2 when they get rid of Seals of Blood and Martyr, but right now I can only see someone picking this up to finish off their Superior achievement.
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Pre-raid Gear List for Anti-social Ret Paladins

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

World of Warcraft Paladin

Disclaimer: This post was accurate as of patch 3.1.3.

Quite a long time ago, I wrote a post for Hunters similar to this.  Well, I find myself in a similar situation once again:  Hoping to upgrade my gear, but not always able to run heroics, and certainly not a big fan of relying on random drops.

So here’s a list for fledgling Retribution Paladins who would like to upgrade their quested greenies without having to depend on groups or the dreaded RNG!

Note: This list doesn’t include any items that require a specific profession to be equipped, such as Engineering helms, Jewelcrafting trinkets or Blacksmith weapons.  If you have a crafting profession, be sure to check your profession trainer to see what you can make!

(See the list after the break!)
Read the rest of this entry �

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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.