Archive for the ‘Addons’ category

Quest Helper

October 29, 2008

I wanted to share a great little addon with you.  This addon was recommended to me by Mugglebane over at The Sacred and Profane.  It’s called Quest Helper and does exactly what it sounds like!  Helps you get your quests done in the most efficent manor.

What it Does

  • Scans your quest log and uses it’s database to tell you where to obtain your quest objectives and plots out an order of opperations that minimizes travel time.
  • The path and order of operations are plotted out on your map with helpful icons at each stop (? marks for turn-ins, boxes for item pick-ups, mean faces for killing mobs)
  • Your quest tracking updates as you complete quests and reorders itself to put the quest you are currently working on top.
  • If you have Cartographer, a colored arrow and simple directions are displayed on your screen.  The arrow will change colors based on your proximity to your quest objective and the directions will tell you what objective it’s pointing you to for which quest.
  • It perodically re-evaluates your position and recalculates the most efficent path to take.

Things to Keep in Mind

  • The pathing calculations are based on straight line distances.  This can make it a little misleading.  I’m thinking of places like Stonetalon Mountains where there isn’t a straight line path to anywhere!  you’ll get half way to your destination and all of a sudden it tells you to go do something else because by now you’re closer to a new quest objective that you are to the original.
  • It doesn’t give you details about what the quest entails, just points you to where the quest objective can be obtained.  This probably won’t be a problem if this is your second or third toon to levlel, but if you’re like me and leveling on the other side you may need to look up quests on WoWHead to know what it is you’re suposed to be doing once you reach your destination.  LightHeaded can be helpful for this.  It adds another panel to your Quest Log that displays WoWHead info about each quest.
  • This does not take dificulty into consideration.  It won’t care if the quest is too high or too low for you to complete.  If you want to work on a different quest, simply head in that direction and once you are closer to it than to the previous quest it will update your pathing information and quest tracking.

I hope you find this addon helpful!  I have found it to be really great for the Recruit-A-Friend questing.  A normal quest guide that I would normally follow has way more quests than we need to do to level.  We go to a quest hub, pick up all the quests, follow Quest Helper’s directions until we have leveled enough to move on to the next zone, delete the quest log of any unfinished quests, rinse, and repeat.  It’s working quite well for us!

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Inscription Leveling and Addons

October 15, 2008

About all I had time to do last night after I got home was level Inscription to about 55.  Banana Shoulders has a great guide that I’m following (as a side note, go to her site and don’t read it out of your reader, it’s been updated!).  I meant to keep track of my mat usage to compare and see if there were any obvious changes from PTR/Beta to the live version but I was halfway through before I remembered that intention… sorry guys 😦  I did get really lucky and got points on several yellow and green recepies.  I wonder if Blizz decided to make leveling a little easier for a few days?  Doesn’t seem likley… think I’m just lucky! 

I’m really liking the profession, it’s kind of cool.  The only think I don’t like is how long Milling takes.  Is there an addon to perhaps automate Milling?  So I don’t have to click on stacks of herbs.  I guess I’m wishing it was more like smelting… click “Mill All” and watch TV for a while 🙂 

On another note, I think I’m going to overhaul my addons and interface tonight.  I’m just going to take the opportunity to evaluate all my addons and figure out if I really like them or if I’m just keeping them because I’ve always used them.  The one I’m not happy about is Bongos.  As I understand it’s no longer supported and doesn’t work with the new patch.  I really liked Bongos… I guess I’m going to have to give Bartender a try.  Anybody have recomendations?  What addons can you not play without?

Here’s my favorites (links to be added later)

  • XPerl – UI
  • Bongos2 – Bar/button mod, what I haven’t seen anywhere else is the ability to move the mini map
  • Fishing Buddy – the best fishing mod I’ve found, allows a double click over water to recast, will also automatically attach lures and change your gear if you have any.  If you are interested will keep track of what you catch
  • Smart Buff – again, the best I’ve seen for this type.  Scans for castable buffs on self/party/raid, has MANY settings for who gets which buffs and will cast group buffs when applicable.  It works with any class and will cast buffs with the scroll wheel or on click of a button.
  • Meta Maps – I’m not particuarly attached to this one.  I just need a easy to read and preferably moveable coords and when I pull up the map I want it to not take up the whole screen and allow me to move while I’m looking at the map.  The placeable markers are nice but I’ve never actually used that functionality.
  • Gatherer – This on keeps a record of herbs/mining nodes/treasure/mote clouds and will display known locations on the map so you can plan loops for farming.  Also has a HUD.  When the database gets full it can be a bit sluggish.  If there’s a better addon I’m open to sugestions.
  • Advanced Trade Skill Window – This changes the profession window, makes it bigger and easier to read (the built in window is very dificult for me to use).  It takes into account mats that are purchaseable/on alts/in the bank to tell you how many items you can make.  Also allows customizable menu organization.
  • ArcHUD – Places small arcs around your character that are customizable.  I have my health, mana, and cast bar and the other side has the same for my target.  It’s highly customizable (I think you can put up to 10 arcs on each side with all kinds of information) and very non intrusive.
  • Proximo – Arena addon that displays your enemies and their class/spec when you or your partners target them.  Again, not attached, this one just works well

Those are the big ones.  If you know of one that does the same functionality but is cleaner or better let me know!  Also if you know if something that I HAVE to try out I’m very opem to sugestions!

Hope you all out there on the Intarwebs are having a great day and not getting rained on like I am here in Austin!

Boss Tactics: Maiden of Virtue

January 30, 2008

This fight is optional, you don’t have to do it unless you want to get Keanna’s Log for the quest and even then you don’t actually have to do the boss to get to it, just some difficult trash pulls. The hallway leading up to Maiden has 3 rooms on the left side; you’ll need to hug the right wall as you move down to avoid the trash in the rooms. The middle room (with the Lions outside the door) has the Log in it. If you don’t want to deal with the trash, wait for a soft reset (30 mins after leaving the instance) all the trash associated with a boss will despawn if the boss has been downed. To get the Log all you need is a buddy. Get another person to form a raid group with you (open your Social tab, default key is “O”,  go to the Raid tab and at the top is a button “Convert To Raid”) they don’t even have to go into the instance you just have to be in a raid to get through the instance portal. Go in there after a soft reset and loot your Log!

Encounter Mechanics

 maiden-pre-fight-small.jpg

Maiden is a single phase fight with a couple of abilities. She is a Pally and does an AOE called Holy Ground (like a Pally’s Consecrate), and is therefore hard on melee. She casts Holy Light (just like a Priest’s Holy Light but Fire damage) on a random raid member; this must be dispelled immediately as it will kill very fast. She casts Holy Wrath, a chain spell (again on a random raid member) that will chain to nearby raid members, increasing damage each time it chains. Deadly Boss Mods will tell you if you are too close (you do have DBM right?).  Every 30 secs she stuns everyone for 12 secs (Repentance). Damage will pop you out of the Repentance so this isn’t an issue for tanks and melee because of the Holy Ground. I’m sure you can see the issue here; healers are stunned. The best way to deal with this is to have a Pally cast Blessing of Sacrifice right before she casts Repentance. This will share all incoming damage and pop the Pally out of the repentance to continue healing the tank. If there is no Pally, one healer needs to put himself into the Holy Ground just before Repentance so he will be broken out (or the tank can move Maiden to the healer), move back, and continue healing. As a side note, she won’t cast the Holy Fire or the Chain during Repentance.

The usual strategy is to have all ranged pick a pillar and stand in front of it (you can also each stand between 2 pillars, doesn’t matter, just have everyone do the same thing).  You will be spaced well enough to avoid the chains and when Maiden is tanked in the middle of the platform you will be outside of the Holy Ground. Melee stand just at the edge of range in a triangular or square pattern to avoid the chain. We also have our melee run out and bandage periodically to lighten the load on the healers. If you can keep the tank alive through Repentance and dispel the Holy Fire quickly it should be an easy win.

Key Players

As I’ve mentioned, this fight is much easier with a Healadin for Blessing of Sacrifice. A Shaman dropping a Grounding Totem will help with dispelling the Holy Fire. The only requirement is to have 2 players with the ability to dispel the Holy Fire. The players directly across the circle from you will not be in range for dispelling so you need to position your 2 dispellers 180 degrees apart (I have read that if everyone comes up the steps just a little, everyone will be in range and out of the Holy Ground but I have never been able to make it work, I still recommend at least 2 Dispellers placed 180 degrees apart)

Shadow Priest Specifics from Vladvin

The main thing to note here is to make sure to refresh your DOT’s before Repentance. Even if you are overlapping them, it’s better to maintain the DPS on the boss while you are stunned. I’ve never tried this, but aparently if a Priest casts SW:D during the .5 second cast of Repentance the knockback will break you out of Repentance since it occurs after the global cooldown.  It would require some fancy timing, but a neat trick and no harm done if it doesn’t work.  Since you have the ability to dispel Holy Fire, you may need to do so to help out if a healer goes down or if your group doesn’t have enough that are able. Raid utility comes before personal DPS output!

Holy Priest Specifics from Galadria

Either a Priest or a Druid should be assigned to Raid healing.  Keep HOT’s on the Melee, but ask them to run out and Bandage if the HOT’s aren’t keeping them up.  There are several ways to aid in Dispelling Holy Fire.  There are a couple of addons that will show you who has a dispellable debuff, the one I use is SmartDebuff.  Most UI’s and Raid Frames will have an option to show who has a dispellable debuff, I use XPerl and anyone with a Disease or Magic will flash red (and most UI mods will have options for notifing you of dispellable debuffs).  Deadly Boss Mods will also flash on your screen who has it.  Your main job in this fight is to make sure no one dies from the Holy Fire.  Dispell it and get them at least close to topped off incase they get Holy Fire twice in a row.

Priest Loot

Object of the Encounter

This fight is a healer check. Moroes gets a little hectic when you get lots of Garrotes but Maiden is the real gut check for your healers. Holy Fire must be dispelled very quickly and Maiden is the first boss to hit reasonably hard and you have to deal with the Holy Ground on top of that. Your MT healer has to be on the ball to make sure they don’t get stunned by the Repentance, or all of your healers have to make sure the MT has fresh applications of ALL available HOT’s right before Repentance just in case the assigned healer doesn’t make it into the Consecration to come out of the Repentance.

SuperCoolPoints

One of my favorite lines from this movie:

“Spartan! ”

“Yes, Milady?”

“Come back with your shield, or on it. ”

“Yes, Milady.”

Priesty’s Little Helpers

September 18, 2007

Today, my friends, I’d like to introduce you to some of the addons that are near and dear to my heart. There are some people out there who dislike the use of addons and think it makes the game too easy… I am not one of those people! I’ll take anything that has a clean interface, lots of options to suit my ever changing moods and doesn’t clutter up my screen too badly. I’m not actually going to link these addons, there are several sites that will provide the download and I don’t want to advocate one over the other and I know that some work for me and others don’t… go Google the name and you’ll find it. Here we go:

  • VisualHeal – This one is one of my favorites. It adds a movable bar that shows up whenever you cast a heal. This bar shows your current target’s health and the expected value of the heal (and it seems fairly accurate). The extra bit that is your heal will change color (red>orange>yellow>green) based how much overhealing you will be doing by completing the cast. It will also show the expected value of a fellow’s heal (provided you both have the addon) in a dark green so you can judge if both of you need to complete your casts.
    • Pros: Very simple and clean, only takes up a small amount of screen space and goes away when your not casting a heal, if your groups other healers don’t want to use it, the bar can be turned off so they can’t see it, but it will still show their casts on your screen.
    • Cons: Is always going to be an estimation as there is no predicting a crit, doesn’t work for HOT’s.
  • SmartBuff – This one tracks the timers on buffs for yourself and everyone on your party/raid. When the timer reaches a predetermined threshold it will make a noise and/or splash a message on the screen. You can then scroll the mouse wheel, or a click on a movable button to cast the buff. There are MANY settings you can play with to suit your situations as well the ability to save and automatically switch settings on joining a raid/group.
    • Pros: Makes keeping a group/raid buffed easy, keeps buffs with annoyingly short timers (like Inner Fire) up all the time, it will cast group buffs when there are enough players missing the buff or singles if there aren’t enough, tracks reagents remaining in your bags, takes up no screen space unless you decide to use the button instead of mouse wheel.
    • Cons: has LOTS of settings so you have to be careful and make sure it’s doing things the way you want, it does not actually track buffs on other players it remembers the last time you cast them so if you cast manually it will think you need to re-cast before you actually do (you can fix this by leaving it disabled for about 5 mins and re-enabling it so it’ll loose it’s memory)
  • Perl – This one is a custom UI.  I could write an entire post about Perl but I’m just going to say I like it.  It replaces the normal party frames with sleek black boxes.  It has some nice options for cast bars, color coding for health bars, etc.  I think this is one of those things you just have to try out.  I’ll put in a screen shot when I get home tonight so you can get an idea of what it looks like.  I didn’t think I was going to like it, but my husband made me try it out and now I love it.

Those are the biggies.  I use a couple of small addons that aren’t really worth mentioning.  Most of those functionalities are available through the big packages (Titan or Cosmos) but those seemed like more trouble than they were worth to get set up.  Another I’ll mention is CTRaidAssist.  I installed it this week to try out with raiding.  The standard raid interface doesn’t show buffs and the debffs are really small and hard to see.  I liked the fact that CTRA showed buffs and debuffs clearly but I found it really hard to use.  When in a raid I do a lot of selecting with my mouse.  I was finding that I had to click in just the right place on the frame to select the target I wanted… that just doesn’t work for me.  And Sun night I couldn’t select the hunter at all, no matter where I clicked.  I’m open for sugestions for raid UI’s since I will be getting rid of CTRA.  What I really want in raid is to be able to see at least my buffs clearly, and have my curable debuffs show up clearly (maybe change the color of the frame so it jumps out at me).  CTRA does both of those things, but sadly I won’t be using it any more.

The moral of the story is:

  • Find the things out there to make your gameplay more enjoyable.

Tune in next week for:

  • Some thoughts on soloing as a healpriest.

Even though no one got last post’s movie quote, I’m going to give you another… “You don’t understand how serious this is, they killed my dog!”  As always, 10 SuperCoolPoints.