Tuesday, October 28, 2008

What you can learn from these real trees

One interesting thing that playing a resto druid in this game has given me is a greater appreciation for all things arboreal. During my cross country drive a couple months ago, somehow the most amazing trees would catch my eye wherever we went. It was like I had this "track cool trees" ability turned on. I would definitely say that us resto druids have a great pride and love for our tree form. So with this is mind, I present to you some amazing real life trees and what we can learn from them.

1. Tree of Life, Bahrain

This 400 year old mesquite tree stands out in the middle of a desert in Bahrain in a place completely free of water. The mystery of the survival of the tree has made it a legend, and many come to visit what they call a representation of the magic of life. A local legend says that the site where the tree is located was the actual location of the Garden of Eden.

I especially love this tree. In one way it looks kind of lonely and sad to me, though in another it just seems so mythical... so magical... so inspiring. What can we learn from it? Well if this tree can somehow survive without a known water source, we can certainly learn how to not run out of mana, can't we?

2. ChĂȘne-Chapelle of Allouville-Bellefosse

This amazing oak tree is known as the most famous tree in France. It is actually a tree and a religious chapel in one! In 1669, two priests decided to build a chapel in what was at the time a 500 years old or so oak tree that had been made hollow by a lightning bolt. The priests built a small altar to the Virgin Mary and later on, a second chapel and a staircase were added.

Let's say a raid is going poorly. What to do, what to do? Well if you are lucky enough to have a resto druid with you, obviously the tree can not only heal, but can do double duty as your own personal traveling chapel. Have all raid members kneel in prayer before the tree.

3. Old Tjikko, Sweden

Old Tjikko has been determined as the world's oldest individual clone-tree at 9,550 years old. The tree has survived this long due to a cloning process that many trees are able to take advantage of. Parts of the tree may die and regrow multiple times, while the tree's root system remains intact. For example a trunk may only live for about 600 years, but when one trunk dies another eventually grows back in its place.

I think Old Tjikko gives us a couple lessons to think about. First of all, us trees are resilient. Cut us down? We'll just clone ourselves. We aint going anywhere. Deal with it. (Heh) Secondly, I think this tree reminds us that looks are deceiving. You look at the picture of this tree and maybe think "What? That's the oldest tree in the world?" So maybe you encounter someone in a raid or an instance and at first glance they may not be as well geared. Well, as has often been mentioned elsewhere, gear doesn't tell the entire story. This person's skill may outplay their gear. Just remember Old Tjikko. :)

4. Pando, Utah

Aspen trees form large stands of genetically identical trees. These trees are almost like stems connected by a single underground root system. The largest known fully-connected Aspen is a grove in Utah called Pando. It is claimed by some to be the largest organism in the world, by mass or volume, with an estimated weight of 6,600 tons. The name Pando comes from the Latin for 'I spread'. It has also been nicknamed the Trembling Giant, after the aspen's rattling leaves.

I think Pando teaches us that you mess with one of us resto druids, you're messing with all of us trees. We may not all be genetically identical, but we're a tight knit bunch. Its sort of like there is this tree sisterhood/brotherhood that doesn't need to be said or defined... it just is.

5. Kite Eating Tree, Peanuts

And finally, what does the kite eating tree from the Peanuts teach us all? Do not fly kites around us trees. To us, they are nom noms. Ok? Ok.


Friday, October 24, 2008

This zombie craziness and using it for another purpose

I am sure most of you have seen this zombie craziness going on right now. There I am in Nagrand the other day and this is what I come across:

Well when I realized that in zombie form, you can port from Shatt to the Horde capital cities, the little wheels in my head quickly started turning. The first thought in my head was, "Oh, could be an easy way to get to Orgrimmar to do the achievements related to fishing there!" So I tried that last night.

I went to Shatt, became infected, then waited to turn into a zombie. Then I ported from Shatt to Org. Now as soon as I ported, I was booted out and it took me a bit to log back on. When I was able to log back on, I had died! But the good thing is that the place where you port into in Org is a little hut area on top of water. Right below it there are a bunch of rocks and stuff where you can rez and easily hide. So that is what I did. From there I just cast a line and fished up one fish, getting the achievement to fish something in Stormwind and Org.

Well then I decided to try to stealth around in kitty form and check out the city and see what else I could do. I ended up going into Ragefire Chasm and killed the main boss in there. I was going to try to fish for Old Crafty inside the waterfall in the Valley of Honor, but I had died so much finding my way and getting into Ragefire Chasm (being detected by guards) that I left it for another time. I wonder if Elixirs of Camouflage or anything could help being detected by the guards so much...


Monday, October 20, 2008

Post Patch 3.0

A number of things to talk about post patch:

1. New talents:
Well originally I had picked up the Living Seed talent, but after one night of raiding with it, I found that it didn't proc enough at this point to justify those points. Maybe I'll pick it back up later on, but for now I dropped it. I do really like the new Wild Growth spell however! I am using it a lot. From a night in ZA, my top healing spell was still Lifebloom (34.2%) followed by Rejuvenation (32.3%) and Wild Growth (22.8%). Oh and the honor of my first ever Revive went to Atania. :)

2. Group buffs:
A big yay for buffs being shared raid wide now! Now I don't have to bring as many Wild Quilvines as before. Plus its nice that we don't have to configure raid groups to make the best use of group makeups, but that the buffs just count for all 10 members now.

3. Where is my mana?:
A big boo to the stupid rule where you can only take one mana pot during a boss fight. I had become accustomed to timing out the use of pots plus my innervate very precisely so as to never really run out of mana. Now even without the stupid mana pot rule, I feel like I'm burning through my mana much faster than pre patch 3.0. I spoke to another healing priest and pally who observed the same thing.

4. Ridiculous nerf part 1:
So Kara post patch.... it was pretty ridiculous. However we were able to finally do a full Kara clear and take down Netherspite. It had been a long time since we even tried Netherspite since we took some breaks from raiding and then started ZA. Anyways, here we are with Netherspite after we told him where to shove his crazy beams.

5. Ridiculous nerf part 2:
Ok, so ZA post patch? Ridiculous x 2. Our first night we did our first clear of ZA ever with not a single wipe during any of the bosses (we had one silly wipe on trash). This was particularly crazy considering that we had never even seen bosses 4-6 before. We did the last boss Zul'jin without our top dpser who got stuck outside the flame wall (oops). What was particularly nice about this night was that every single drop was a useable drop or upgrade for someone in the group. Nothing was disenchanted!

Because it was such a profitable night this first time, we went back to ZA for a second clear. This time we wanted to make sure we made the entire timed event (first night we only got the first two timed chest rewards). This time we got the first three timed chest rewards, but failed to make the fourth. Though I guess it doesn't really matter now since the fourth timed chest reward is the same as the third since they got rid of the Amani War Bear mounts.

Anyways, some pics... hopefully my instance screenshoting skills are increasing...

Apparently patch 3.0 did not fix the crooked shield issue...


Friday, October 17, 2008

Random stuff

I have been ridiculously busy with work this week, so not much to report on. I will share a couple of random points though.

First, did you know that there is a real life Badlands? It is a national park in South Dakota that I drove through in September. Here is one of my pics.

Just because work has been so prominent in my mind this week, doesn't mean WOW speak has gone out the window! I think I've mentioned before that I work in healthcare, specifically consulting to hospitals. I was in a meeting this week where they were talking about their LOS. I'm thinking to myself, of course... line of sight is very important. When I can't see Jess or Wut or whoever... I can't heal them. I was quickly then reminded that LOS in hospital speak stands for length of stay. Heh.

Have you ever mixed up work speak with wow speak?


Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Patch 3.0 went live last night and I was able to get on around 9:30 EST. It was pretty chaotic, dealing with all the lag, server crashes, and other toons. But I did have the chance to go get K a new haircut and went to see the druid trainer. The rest of the time I tried to figure out how to reconfigure my action bars and how to reorganize my bags and bank with all this new bank space. I didn't realize they were going to free up space from badges of justice and marks from battlegrounds as well!

Then I went to go see Jess spank some mobs around out in Nagrand, plus I wanted to see how wild growth works. Jess is so excited by her new warrior leetness, that it wasn't even noticed that I had changed my haristyle! /sigh.

Ok so I guess this means I really need to go about ordering Wotlk. So question readers... how are you ordering it? Pre-order via Amazon? I've heard some things that some people got BC late from Amazon. Pre-order from Best Buy since I have the backup to go to the store? Tell me, what are you guys doing?


Thursday, October 9, 2008

Taking this tank-healer relationship to the next level

I've known and played with Jess on this little game for about a year and a half now. Over that time Jess has become a very good friend, and we know a scary amount of information about each other. In fact I've had a couple of guildies assume that Jess and I must know each other in RL, which we don't.

Well I thought it was about time that we take this tank-healer relationship to the next level. I mean, I felt that I had a right to know whose tank ass I'm healing here (not that it would affect the green swirlies being sent Jess' way, well maybes...). Plus I wanted to share some pictures from some trips that I've talked a lot about with Jess. Thus, I proposed that I would share these pictures, which would include pics of me of course. I asked Jess, "Do you think you can handle it"? To which Jess philosophically surmised as only a warrior can, "I suppose I can deal".

It felt like it did when we first started using voice, kinda new... kinda strange. Jess' first comment to me was "Your hair isn't blue". And my first thought was 'You don't have a white ponytail'. It was definitely weird, but pretty cool finally knowing what someone you've known as long and as well as we have looks like, and how it may compare to some mental image you've held in your mind. How about you all? Have any of you shared your real life gear with someone in game? Reactions?

Anyways, now this thing with Jess seems kind of normal, and I feel like I'm sort of past it. Or I have other things on my WOW mind, like patch 3.0 hitting on Tuesday. :)


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Feloreynn and reminiscing about being a young nightelf

This is Veloreynn, who I sometimes call Feloreynn because she has an uncanny knack for finding the elusive Fel Lotus. The two of us are crazy psycho herbalists and do A LOT of herbing. Sometimes I'll come on and ask her "Hey Vel, how's the Fel outlook today?" And Vel will respond like "Outlook good in Terokkar but only 6% chance in Netherstorm" or "Clear skies in Zangarmarsh but stormy in Hellfire". Anyways we are dorks.

Well we had a conversation last night as to which one of us was going to drop alchemy to pick up inscription for the guild. It made most sense for one of us to pick it up since we both herb like mad and are main toons. After some discussion, we decided that Vel would pick up inscription next week. Neither of us really cared either way, but as I am also planning on quickly leveling up fishing and cooking, we decided Vel would do it. I am going to be sad to be losing my fellow alchemist, as the two of us have supplied flasks and pots for the guild. I will have to step up production!

So in preparation, I have been roaming around the old world picking Azerothian (is that a word?) herbs so that Vel can powerlevel inscription up to 375. Its kinda neat going back to some of these places that I haven't been to in a long long time (remember I'm a mainaholic) and makes me reminisce about being a young innocent nightelf.


Sunday, October 5, 2008

Gruul's, the defensive event thingie, and belated blogaversary

We did Gruul's last night with the guild Captain's Crew and some other Left Claw friends like Suzzy and Ratshag (who was too leet in his T5 or T6 or Twhatever gear he's got on and ended up a squished priest a couple times). We were able to get the first guy down on the third attempt, but by the time I was able to adjust the way I wanted to, the bugger (who am I Ratters?) had already disappeared, thus making me yell out "Damn it all to hell!". So many thanks to Kaho for grabbing the pic above. We then put in a couple attempts on the last guy where I think we got him down to 13% before we had to call it.

A couple thoughts on my first 25 man. I definitely liked experiencing it for the first time, and seeing something new was cool. But it was a huge change and in a way it felt like I had sensory overload. Compared to what I was used to, it was a lot of people's voices over vent, half of which were new, and a lot of people's asses in my face (though there were some hawt asses in Captains Crew, I'm telling ya... especially a certain priest named Rapunzel...).

A 25 man just seems to take tons and tons of planning and oversight during the raid. Jess did do a great job as the raid leader with great help from Mumu. Even though Vel and I heckle him mercilessly (who, us? Passing notes in the back of the class while Jess is lecturing?), Jess' raid lectures/dissertations are quite necessary.

So I hear that most 25 man raids have a raid nazi, someone who sorta enforces some rules (minimal chit-chat, minimal or scheduled afks) during the raid. I know that last night definitely was not run in a serious raiding manner, and it was really more for fun and to experience new content. It was our first time so things were more lax. However, if we were to go again, I think we can go a little faster and spend our time more effectively. For those of you who do 25 man raids regularly, what kinda rules does your raid nazi enforce?

Now before Gruul's I wanted to grab some of those unstable flasks for Gruul's incase they came in handy to anyone. Four of the flasks are only buyable from a vendor after what I call "the defensive event thingie" up in Blades Edge. Ok, so its technically called the Bash'ir Landing Raid, detailed here. It seems to occur on our server every two hours on the even hours. As many times as I've been there, I wonder how I had never seen this event before? Anyways, I called two guildies to come help me (thanks Sin and Nio!) and a horde character ended up calling some of his guildies, so we had maybe 7 or 8 people. We were able to get through phase 1 so I got to buy a bunch of flasks. We also got through phase 2 and the vendor who sells gems showed up. I think we failed the last phase though.

Finally, last night was not only The Left Claw's first foray into a 25 man, but it was also the one year blogaversary for my fellow guildie blogger Jess at Pretty in Plate. Happy 1 year anniversary or birthday or whatever Jess! Did you even realize yesterday was your blogaversary Jess?!?!


Friday, October 3, 2008

Left Claw in a 25 man... finally?

I have mentioned before that one of my goals before the expansion is to get the Left Claw in a 25 man raid at least once or twice, just to experience it. Well with our friends from the guild Captains Crew, it looks like there is a very strong possibility that we will have enough toons to do Gruul's this weekend! Hopefully it'll be ok if we don't have exactly 25, since a good number of us are geared way past Gruul's. Anyways, I am looking forward to this first experience and hearing how things are going to be on vent.

Hopefully Jess' ponytail won't get too frazzled from the stress.


Thursday, October 2, 2008

Four hawt Claw gals...

...enjoying some nom noms. And where was the lone male toon, Wutan, in this 5 some? Hmmm, I'm not sure. Maybe off to fetch some more nom noms for us gals. We're a hungry bunch.

Poor Wut, doing the girls' dirty work. But hey, pretty representative of RL isn't it? :)


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Using WOW as a bet

My guildie Nio is a big Minnesota Twins fan. Knowing this, I have been pulling for the Chicago White Sox whenever they play. Its not that I'm a baseball or White Sox fan at all (though I must admit that as a Chicagoan it is nice to see the Cubs and Sox in the post season). I've only been pulling for the Sox to irritate Nio.

So when the Twins and Sox played last night in a one game playoff to win the division, a friendly little wager was placed. At first Nio suggested wagering 100g. Hmmm... 100g doesn't really mean much for anyone anymore does it? Then Nio said ok... loser must follow the winner around for one night on WOW, doing everything that the winner does. If the Twins won and Nio won the bet, there probably would have been a lot of hanging out in Nagrand involved for K... and I'm sure my ass would have been sore at the end of the night from excess rock sitting.

Well, Chicago won. So now, what to do, what to do. Maybe I'll start out with a little mote farming up on the Elemental Plateau, followed up by a little fishing and herbing, and wrap up with a little heroic instance run. Hmmm choices, choices... (strums fingers evily).