Tips for Newbs in Naxx

There's some stuff in Naxx that seems so obvious that no one should ever have trouble with it...yet your first time or two in, you are almost guaranteed to mess it up. Here are some tips which I found helped me a lot. :)

1. Turn UP your spell effects. Many bosses in Naxxramas use AoE abilities, and it's essential to be able to see them and move out quickly. Even if you must have all other settings at the bare minimum, you really can't get away with not having your spell effects up.

2. On Heigan, face the platform and strafe. This is much, much easier than facing and running forward, and makes following others less tempting. Just remember not to strafe all the way to the wall on the end sections, as you will not be able to get back out in time.

3. Don't hug Zeliek. There seem to be an awful lot of strategies for the Four Horsemen, but this one point is important. He casts a chained holy attack--a little like chain lightning, but it can jump to an unlimited number of targets and the damage increases every time. Here's a picture:

To be fair, it's a little bit simplified--you'd need more than one person standing in the wrong place for the spell to jump to anyone standing at max range. On the other hand, standing too close to the melee puts you at risk of taking damage even if the other ranged DPS are safe, and that's rough on the healer. It is best simply to NOT stand anywhere between melee range and max casting range. (Also do not stand within melee range unless your raid leader has told you to do so--having too many people in melee with Zeliek can also cause deaths.)

4. Run behind the slimes on Frogger, not between. It's tempting to squeeze in between to slimes, but even with perfect timing, latency can still be an issue. Instead, wait for a fresh slime to spawn, and run directly behind it. You should be able to make it through running diagonally from left to right, moving with the slimes somewhat.

5. During the Grobbulus fight, when you drop your poison cloud you will raise your hand. If you just can't watch your buffs to see when you're going to drop the poison cloud, watch your character--there is a distinct animation when dropping the poison cloud, giving you enough warning to get out before it ticks and kills you. (I am going to assume that you know where to run to when you get injected--this is just a little trick to make sure you don't kill yourself.)

6. Run forward and hit your jump key right as you reach the edge to get to Thaddius's platform. If you jump to soon, or walk up to the edge and then jump, you're not going to make it. Rather than relying on a friendly mage to cast slow fall, it's worth it to put the time in to practice and get it right. Blackfathom Deeps has an excellent area for practicing your jumps in--if you've been there before you should remember the broken walkway. (I know I do--I had to be summoned across by the party's warlock because I just couldn't get across.) If you're not comfortable starting with something so challenging, I'd recommend Wailing Caverns to start with--you can always go back to BFD when you're a little more confident. Once you can make all of the jumps in BFD, Thaddius should give you no trouble at all.

7. Watch your charge and keep an eye on Thaddius. Your raid may have someone on vent calling out when the polarity is about to shift or when it has shifted, but nothing beats being completely aware of the situation yourself. Make sure you have your UI set up so that even if you are healing you are able to see when he begins to cast Polarity Shift. When he starts the cast, switch to watching your charge--as soon as it changes (if it changes) run straight forward, through his legs and out the other side. Do not rely on anyone else to time your movements on this fight--vent can lag, but that doesn't mean it's the lag that will get blamed if someone crosses the charges. ;)


baby in need of a heart transplant

EDIT: Looks like things worked out for them--the donation button has been taken down and the website now says: "Thank you for your prayers and support!! Because of you we are currently en route to a transplant facility! Details to come!"

This is the part that really gets to me:

"The baby's parents have health insurance but it does not cover transplants. And the family makes too much to qualify for coverage under Oregon's state health plan."

I can't imagine how horrible that would be, to think you're doing everything right for your family and then find out that you might have been better off if you had done nothing at all. Life just seems so unfair sometimes.

On the one hand, the family does seems to be fairly well off, looking at the photos they have up on their site. I'd like to see more of what kind of effort they're making (selling their home? taking out loans? trying to work out a payment plan with the hospital?). And I can understand why, if it's such an expensive surgery, the hospitals would be unwilling to just do it for out of state patients.

On the other hand, there's no way any normal people have 1.5 million on hand, and he's a cute little guy.

I guess I'm just sort of on the fence about this...I want to help, but I don't want to feel like I'm being taken advantage of. 1.5 million is a lot, do they have any plans for what to do with the money they receive if they don't get enough, or if the baby dies before the surgery?

I'm still deciding for myself, Jon and I will talk about it when he gets home. We won't give more than we can afford, but it's not too big of a loss to us to skip a couple meals out and stop buying oreos and chips for a while, and if what we give helps to save a life than it will be more than worth it.

Click here
for a link to their website.

More stomping, less howling...

I haven't been keeping track of all the pet changes on the PTR right now, but the ones that affect me seem pretty interesting.

Wolves are getting their howl changed quite a bit:

-Furious Howl now only affects the hunter and her pet (currently bugged so only pet gets the buff?), but it now stacks with other AP buffs. It's about time, and I am just thrilled about it. :)

-Duration increased to 20 seconds from 10, but cooldown increased to 40 seconds. The AP amount looks like it has been increased to make up for this. I'm not too excited here, honestly--I liked having my buff up all the time. We'll have to see how it pans out, but mostly I think its just stupid. Having to time big shots to get the buff? Still not being able to trigger the buff manually because the cooldown will be short enough to put it on the pet GCD? Fail.

Hydras (and all other Tenacity pets) are getting some love, though--Thunderstomp will now be a Tenacity talent instead of for Gorillas only, so I won't feel bad about avoiding the buttscratching, banana-stealing nuisances. Sassy already stomps around quite well, I think she's been practicing.

One thing I haven't heard about is Bad Attitude, which seems to be bugged for me (no idea if it is on the PTR, this is on live). It's a 2-minute cooldown, so even with full points in Longevity it shouldn't be on the pet GCD, I think--but it's acting like it is, and I have to spam the crap out of it any time I want to use it, just like I used to with Roar of Recovery. It's way too long a cooldown to leave on autocast and hope it's up when I need it, though. Not happy about it. I'm thinking of taming a normal croc to test it out, but I'm not sure where to go with it after that. Maybe I should skim the o-boards first.


Tagged! And we woke up 3 days later with radio collars on.

So it seems we've been tagged, which means we are now obligated to post the sixth screenshot that both of us have made.
Here's a link to the gentleman who tagged us: His name is Bob.
A long time ago I made mine, in Molten Core, shortly before we fought Magmadar. Back in the innocent days, when Hunters would get 2 points of ranged attack power for every 1 point of agility, and raids were a pain in the butt with 39 other people. Much has changed since then.

Kate's was on her Hunter, Izsera's, parent server, Moonrunner, we were making a guild there with some of her friends from the My Little Pony Arena (Sidenote: I always have pictured that as something more violent than it really is) and she was having fun with the Guild Tabard maker. Her original name was Medley.

The people we're tagging, although not hunters, are still guildies. Hopefully this doesn't proc some kinda crazy curse.


The best thing about WotLK.


When you can't find a PUG...

"I've been sitting in LFG for the past two hours...there's just nobody on."

"Hmm, have you tried /who?"

"Yeah... everyone in Dalaran is busy looking for those books, and there aren't any level 80s in IF or Stormwind."

"What about Darnassus?"

"Are you serious?"

"Um. Yeah, nevermind, that was a stupid idea."

"I haven't checked Shattrath, though--hang on a sec."


"Hmm... well, I've got DPS. Pass me lead?"

Illidan joins the party.

Kael'thas joins the party.

"What the... why are there raid bosses in our group?"

"Well, it's not like they were doing much, just sitting around Shattrath twiddling their thumbs. Actually, there's a lot of them there, seems to be where all the unemployed bosses go. I could have picked up Vashj, too, but I don't want the competition on Hunter loot."

"She has Hunter loot!"

"Yeah, but the Drake-mounted Crossbow would be an upgrade for her, too. Anyway--"


"--like I was saying, I know that, we still need a healer. Any suggestions?"


"Okay, BRB. I'm finding a list."


"Back. Looks like we have two main options. Personally I'd rather go with Delrissa, but she's probably busy. I know there's a bunch of people still running Magister's Terrace for that white hawkstrider."

"And the other option?"

Freywinn joins the party.

"You have got to be kidding."

"Hey, finding a boss that heals isn't easy. Anyway, we're going to need to summon him; he doesn't have a flying mount so he's kind of stuck right now. We should probably start heading for the stone. Everyone know how to get to Utgarde Keep?"


Thank goodness I don't have to try to find a group for H UK anymore--it was the Heroic daily yesterday and I finally got my Plunderer's Helmet. Re-gemming my gear so I could go for a really nice meta gem was a pain, and I'm back under 4k AP again, but barely, and I gained about a percent of crit.

The guild put together a couple of 10-man Naxx groups to gear up some newer 80s later on, and I finally got to see Sapphiron down. We're planning on going back in for Kel'thuzad tonight, right before we do 25-man Sapph and KT. I'm not sure whether I'm hoping for the UglyGun or not...still, it should be fun. :)



Today was Jon's day off so we spent it getting some shopping done, including stopping in at the GameStop at the mall. We picked up a copy of Portal (okay, Jesse, you can get off our back about it now) and just finished it.

Dang that game was freaky. I think it might give me nightmares. But it's okay, because Jon and I finally got to play a game together (no! put the portal over there!) and we had a ton of fun. :)

Now we need sleeeep.....


She's terribly cute, you know.

Ah, how I love my wife. Kate's recently decided she wants to test out a druid. I was watching her play through the night elf quests, and I noticed she'd let her health get extremely low. I mentioned that she should cast Rejuvenation on herself, as it slowly restores her health.

"But it's on cooldown!" she said, referring to the delay that some spells have before you can cast them again. I was confused. You see, my years of playing as a druid had led me to believe that Rejuvenation doesn't have a cooldown. I peered more closely at her screen to confirm my suspicions.

"Rejuvenation doesn't need to cool down, you can always cast it," I replied, pointing to the spell's details, which indicate nothing about a cooldown. She read it closely, then looked up at me, pouting angrily.

"It's too dark, it always looks like it's cooling down," she said, a cute little frown on her face as I laughed.



I was sitting around in Darnassus (for you non-WoW folks, that's not a bad word, it's the Night Elf capitol city) when someone posted in Trade Chat looking for more for Onyxia. Jon knows (along with maybe one of two other people) that she's one of the bosses I've wanted to fight since I started playing--I mean, big black evil dragon? With cute little baby dragons (which admittedly are also evil)? Yes please! I was a little hesitant since the lock putting the group together was only level 60, but he did have an 80 prot pally along so I was willing to give it a try.

After finding a couple other people, losing the pally, and picking up a warrior, the group was:

Me (80 Hunter) and Sassy (80 Hydra)
60 Warlock
79 Holy Priest
60-something Warrior
60 Death Knight
80 Warrior

The 80 warrior wasn't prot but was going to tank--I had Sassy along just in case we needed an off tank for anything, or the tank DCd. Everything went pretty well for the first phase, despite most of us not being familiar with the fight. Once adds came out, though, the lowbies started having trouble--5k health just isn't enough when you have 3-6 little dragons nibbling on you--and then the floor started spitting lava (thank goodness I had some practice with that sort of thing), and avoiding that as well as the aoe flame breath thing was a little much for them. So it was me and the Warrior, me putting everything I had into it while watching his health--when he hit about 20% I switched Growl on and hoped Sassy would survive long enough to let me get a couple kill shots in. With the damage the tank was taking I really didn't expect to live long if he went down.

He died, Onyxia went straight for me--Sassy didn't have quite enough threat built up. Shadowmelded, but lagged a bit, and ended up moving before my pet had enough time to get aggro back. Feigned death--was resisted. Ran around the room for about a minute just trying to stay ahead of her, me at 4k health because I'd been careless with the AoE earlier, and spamming my Lifeblood button hoping it would get off cooldown before I got hit. Sassy finally grabbed her, and I went back to DPSing.

I went OOM, and ended up spending a while in Viper, panicking and hoping that I was doing enough damage (I have no idea what the enrage timers are on old bosses, but it felt like I was taking for ever). Most of the others had released, assuming that it was a wipe, and were talking about respeccing for more DoTs (no, really, I am not making this up). Suddenly Sassy was at half health--aaagh, Mend Pet, search for Last Stand button, panic about my mana, switch back and forth between Viper and Dragonhawk to get the most out of my Arcane Shots without going OOM** hands were shaking a bit with the excitement/stress/panicpanicpanic.

It took me a while to realize we were actually going to be able to kill her, it wasn't until she was down to 96k (that's when I looked up) that it finally hit. I looked down at the chat log and apparently they'd been cheering me on for a bit but I hadn't really noticed....

And then I was the only one who got the achievment. 0.o

Anyway, I know it's nothing special for most folks, but I was just so excited, never having done it before. (And so proud of my Hydra. *snuggles Sassy*)


I feel so dirty....

I knew this day was coming, and I've managed to hold out for a long time. My recalcitrance had become nearly legendary among the guilds I run with, and I could even maintain a certain devil-may-care, maverick attitude about it. But curse it all, they just kept making too many add-ons too fun and useful!

I still maintain all my opinions and prejudices, namely that they can cause bugs in the game, that they can devour system resources like an Arrakis sandworm devours a harvester (and for any who didn't get that extremely geeky reference, I take this opportunity to recommend Dune, by Frank Herbert. Read it!) but still, I broke down. Curse my human weaknesses! I blame Kate, who kept on showing me such useful and pretty little programs to download!

I'm sorry, I just can't continue, I'm afraid my emotions might overwhelm me. Anyway, they fed us at work on Saturday at least! Croissants, a fruit platter, donuts and danishes in the morning, and pizza in the afternoon. They even went around with a list and got everyone's preferred toppings. Unfortunately, I got stuck on a call and apparently my preferred toppings (sausage and mushroom) were more preferred than everyone else's, and my pizza was gone. Ah well, so I just had a bunch of everyone else's! Also, mom and dad took david, sarah, myself and kate out for dinner at Red Robin. Good food, good times.


Carrots + WoW (but no Carrot on a Stick)

For some reason, until today I had never tried to eat a whole carrot. I peeled too many to fit in with the carrot sticks, though, and it was tasty. I might go have another. They make a wonderfully crumb-free gaming snack, and unlike celery don't get stuck in one's teeth or require dip to achieve maximum levels of yum.


Got a very pretty bow for my Hunter and things are going much better with the guild and all. Actually getting some gear now (a cloak and some other stuff besides the bow), and I passed 3k DPS for the first time (I think I was doing like 3.2-3.4, I can't remember off the top of my head, but it was good). Pugs have been painful lately but Jon is having fun with his Unholy-specced DK tank so when he gets home we've already got half a group to finish just about anything.

It's a little sad, though, that even with BM being overnerfed I am consistently first on the damage meters with full pugs (lower if it's a guild group, thank goodness). Sometimes Jon's second, and that's while tanking. I know rep-grinds are a pain, but there really has to be some sort of pre-requisite to running heroics, otherwise it's just a waste of time. Preferably it would be something that taught DKs not to Death Grip everything, Hunters to stop smashing their faces against the keyboard, and Priests to pay attention to their surroundings and move out of the AoE...

I've been working on my Warrior a bit too, it's fun switching from ranged to melee for a bit. She's Arms at the moment but when I log on I will probably switch to Fury just to try it out, now that I have two good one-handers and Berserker Stance now. I might try Fury 30-ish to 60, since I've done Arms up till now, and switch to Protection once I hit Outland. I'm pretty sure Prot is the way I'm going to want to go at 80, since I've had nothing but good experiences with that spec so far (only bad teammates), but I want to make sure I give the other specs a fair chance.

I'm halfway tempted to work on my BE pally and Troll hunter as well, but Hellen (my Warrior) takes top priority since I've already spent so much time on her. Planning on buying her the exp bonus shoulders, too. And I might need to make her some glyphs.

But first I have dinner to make, dishes to do, bathroom to clean, mail to get, among other things. I'm trying to treat 'em all like daily quests...if only I was getting some rep for it. XD