Friday, January 28, 2011

Header Contest Results - Better Late Than Never

The winner has been posted on the site for a while now, but I wanted to make sure that I formally announced the winner.  Thanks to everybody who voted.  When the voting closed, we had 103 votes, which was a great turnout for the voting.  And now, the formal results.

Grand Prize Winner
Prize - Header for Redhawk's Gaze for Full Length of Cataclysm, Sidebar Credit to Site, Two 3-Month Game Cards and Two Vanity Pets (No mounts or plushies) of your choice. ($80 value)

Kevin (I'm not giving out full names here.)

Second Place Winner
Prize - One 3-Month Game Card and One Vanity Pet (No mounts or plushies) of your choice ($40 value)

Jason from the WoWPhiles Podcast

Third Place Winner
Prize - The Shattering Novel and One Vanity Pet (No Mounts or Plushies) of your choice ($25 value)

Matthew (Again, No Last Names)

Congrats to the winners.  You will be contacted soon at the e-mails you provided in order to get your prizes.  And thanks for all the entries and the votes given during this contest.  I'm sure I will be doing another contest in the near future again so keep coming back to the site.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Moonkin PvP Tricks in Isle of Conquest

In the final part of my PvP series, I go through the last of the battlegrounds, Isle of Conquest.  While it is a mix of Arathi Basin and Alterac Valley, there are some specific things you can do as a moonkin.

1) Starfall At Docks Is Win - One of the most commonly used strats in Isle of Conquest is to have stealther go over to Docks, let the other team purposely take it, then destroy the catapults and glaives that come up.  Then once you kill them, you kill the other team and then capture the node.  Starfall allows you to hit all the catapults and glaives at once which makes it much easier to destroy stuff.

2) Typhoon at Hanger - Since Hanger has a nice drop off right near the flag, you can use your Typhoon to knock people off.  It may or may not kill them, but you can keep them away.

3) Wall Strategy - The big question is where should you be as a moonkin when it comes to taking down the wall.  My personal preference is to be inside the keep and running bombs.  This is for a few reasons.  One, you can be the bomb protector and prevent the enemy from disarming the bombs, usually by using Typhoon.  Two, you can graveyard camp and have a chance to get some extra honor.  Three, once the wall goes down, you are right there to help kill the boss.  The most ideal way to get in is the hanger and parachuting into the keep.  However, if you are at the docks, just get a catapult and catapult yourself over the wall.

4) PvE Gear Once Enemy General is Open - You can change gear in the middle of a BG.  Once the bosses room is open, if you have PvE moonkin gear, you might want to use it here.  Main reason is that a lot of Isle of Conquest becomes who can kill the other general quicker, something that is not even true in Alterac Valley.  Seconds may determine the winner and the loser.  In that case, you want to maximize your damage.  This is even regardless of the enemy being around because the enemy is going to focus on tanks and healers to try to wipe the group.

5) Typhoon Down the Stairs - If the enemy decides to rush your team in their general's room, you can give your team a few extra seconds by Typhoon down the stairs.  This will knock them back down and give you a few seconds to possibly finish off the boss.  Wild Mushrooms on the stairs also works incredibly well, especially when combined with Fungal Growth.

And that is is.  If you noticed trroughout this series, I very rarely talked about how to PvP, but just things we can do as moonkins.  Unfotunately, there is no blog post I can write to tell you how to PvP.  I can give you tips and tricks to use, but you have to just practice PvPing and honing your skills.  Just like you don't know every boss mechanic until you step into the raid, you won't recognize situations until you PvP.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Moonkin PvP Tricks in Alterac Valley

Part 6 of the moonkin PvP tactics takes us into the first 40 man battleground, Alterac Valley.  There are a lot of tactics you can use here to help you win in terms of protecting flags, capturing flags, etc. that have been covered already, but there are a few things moonkins can excel in with this battleground.

1) Remember Your a Druid - You can stealth all the way to the other base and capture the closest graveyard.  In fact, if you are in pre-made AV groups, you will be told to stealth all the way and take the closest graveyard to the enemy general.

2) AV Rezzing - AV may be the one battleground where you can get away with rezzing a teammate.  Especially if you are on the opposite end of the battleground.  If you see people go down, tell them not to release and you can rez them right there.  The only case where you couldn't is if somebody takes their insignia which despawns their body.

3) Choose Your Role Before Hand - If your group needs a tank or healer, you can't change specs when the BG starts so you have to do it before hand.  You can change your gear out at any time though.

4) Typhoon in Towers - It may not kill the enemy, but it will keep them away long enough to either capture or recapture a tower.  The best way to do it is to go into the flag room and stand with your back against the wall so you can see people coming in.  This is also one of the best places to use Wild Mushrooms + Fungal Growth.

5) If You Are a Recaller, Recall in Cat Form - Main reason is that you may need to stealth as soon as you recall in order to go get your bunkers back.  If you protect the bunkers/towers, your general is stronger and will take more people to kill.

However, the biggest piece of advice I can offer is find a good pre-made.  This BG is the equivalent of trying to herd cats unless you have a great pre-made group.  On AV weekends, I usually try to run with a group called QueueQ, which runs pre-made BGs across servers which helps to get 40 people doing the same thing.  I don't know what their win percentage is, but it has to be in the high 90%.

Also, I have not forgotten about the prizes for the header winners.  Hopefully, by the end of this week, I will have it at least announced.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Moonkin PvP Tricks for Battle of Gilneas

In part 5 of my moonkin PvP series, I talk about some of the tricks for Battle of Gilneas 10 man battleground, which is my favorite 10 man BG of all of them for some of the same reasons that Arathi Basin is my favorite 15 man BG.  Unfortunately, there are not as many tricks for Battle of Gilneas as there are for Arathi Basin, but I have a few tips.

1) Keep Them In the Water in Waterworks - Seeing the enemy coming trough the water at Waterworks is basically watching your enemy and loling at them.  Unless they have waterwalking, they are not going to cross that stream quickly.  Typhoon them backwards if you can.  Since Waterworks is set up on a slight incline, you can attack without them attacking you. 

2) Stealth Is Your Friend - The difference between a loss and a win in Battle of Gilneas may be a ninja cap.  I have been behind by 500 points in Battle of Gilneas and have come back to win by capping two nodes and holding them.  Use the fact that you are a druid to ninja cap.  And heaven help the enemy who is by himself holding a node.  If he is melee, I'm going to stealth behind him, Typhoon him away from the flag, entangling roots  him, and then capture the node.  If caster, add a Solar Beam in.  From there, I will proceed to kill him.

3) Roots and Cyclone on the Road - In most BGs, you are told to explicitly not fight on the roads.  Battle of Gilneas may be the exception to that rule.  If the group is using a zerg strategy, they can easily capture a node.  This is where roots can help you lessen their zerg numbers.  If you see them moving as a group, try to roots a few members.  Their delay in showing up may be the difference between keeping the node and losing it.

And that is it for Battle of Gilneas.  This BG is alot more about coordination of your group.  The more coordinated you can be on kill targets, etc., the easier this BG is.  Tomorrow, I will be talking about tips on Alterac Valley and on Wednesday will be talking about Isle of Conquest.

Friday, January 21, 2011

I Don't Work on My Birthday (So I Give You A Secret Santa Guest Blog Post by Leafshine)

You know when people have their birthdays around Christmas time and you occassionally get a gift that they tell you is for both Christmas and your birthday.  This kind of thing happened today.  I got a Blog Azeroth Secret Santa blog post yesterday, which is both a Christmas and a birthday present.  Today's Guest Blog post is by Leafshine of Lust for Flower.  I hope you enjoy the blog post.

You know how at every Christmas party, there’s someone who turns up late, brings a rubbish Secret Santa present, and generally embarrasses everyone?

Hello, sorry I’m late, sorry this is late and so shoddy. Where’s the dancefloor?


In fact, I’m so very late with this that it barely counts as a Christmas present at all does it? It’s more of a New Year’s gift. And that gives me an idea…

Best in Slot Healer Resolutions for 2010

As told by a slightly drunk Leafy to that pretty woman from accounts in the inappropriate dress…

1.  Take a while to sit back and enjoy the lore - this expansion is just chock full of the crunchy, lovely lores. Each new zone is much more a geographical representation of a storyline that a place where you quest. And, if you’re into the healz, as so many of us are, there’s so much world-healing to be done. Have you seen my newly-erected world pillar? Feel free to touch it. It’s rock hard. Literally.
2.  Learn to Love Ultimate Triage - remember that dreadful quest in Theramore, back in the day? Where you had to triage patients to get the next level of First Aid? That’s our new playstyle, that is. And there’s only one way to prepare. You’re going to need wit, humour and an eye for damage. So, rent entire series of M*A*S*H, and get to grips with life in wartime…
3.  This space to let. Apply Leafshine t. Druid, that inn in the Dwarven section of Stormwind, Eastern Kingdoms. Reasonable rates.
4.  Come to Terms with Your Inner Healer - This is clearly an expansion where Blizzard expects - nay, demands, that we are altaholics. The 80 to 85 content is barely going to cover an average weekend holed up in a dingy motel while the heat with the cops dies down after the last time you… Oh. So other people don’t spend time like that? Never mind. The 80 to 85 content isn’t going to last very long at all, so you’re going to be levelling alts. And you’re going to end up dual-speccing to healing. Face it. You’re too used to not queueing for randoms. However attractive standing at the back and pewpewing might seem, given a 20 minute wait for some hardcore Stonecore, you’re be back in bandages as soon as you can say “dual-spec me harder, baby”.
5.  Don’t Leave Your Staff in the Ground - you just know a Worgen will urinate on it to territory mark. Bad dog!
6.  Make your homepage. You KNOW it makes sense.
7.  Don’t Hit On The Stonemother. She’s Ratters’ Girl Now. (Link:
8.  Make a Point of Admiring Druid Healers’ Gear. It ain’t going to make them feel any better about what’s been done to tree form, but you have an outside chance of scoring, so it’s got to be worth a go, right? “Hey, darlin’, that Tier 11 you’re wearing would look great on my floor…”
9.  Race and Name Change - You’ll need this to keep raiding if you’ve followed New Years’ Resolution #8 closely enough.
10.  Don’t Stand In The Fire. Unless you really need that Feat of Strength.

Now, fetch your coat, and let’s blow this place…

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Moonkin PvP Tricks in Warsong Gulch and Twin Peaks

In the 4th part of my moonkin PvP series, I'm going to cover both Warsong Gulch and Twin Peaks together since they are very similar.  The main difference is location and number of entrances into the base, with Twin Peaks having more entrances into the base including a water entrance a lot like Team Fortress 2.

1) Most Powerful Weapon - Entangling Roots - The use when trying to get your flag back is obvious.  You use it to slow down the enemy flag carrier.  However, if you have melee that is annoying your flag carrier, roots can help your flag runner get ahead and not be snared, slowed, etc. by melee.

2) Think of Your Flag Runner As A Demolisher from Strand of the Ancients - Your Remove Corruption does wonders here.  It can keep your flag carrier alive with constant decurses.  If you are tasked with staying with your flag carrier, be ready to decurse.  Also, you can use your Typhoon to keep people away from your flag carrier like you would a demolisher.

3) Druids Are Great Flag Runners - When you get adequate resilience (3k +), druids are great as flag runners.  We can carry the flag in travel form which means we are the fastest flag carrier.  In addition, we can switch to bear form during heavy damage times or we can switch to moonkin form to get pesky attackers off of our backs.

4) Cycloning Flag Runners - If a flag runner has a great healer, you might think it is easier to cyclone the healer and go after the flag runner.  However, the opposite is more likely true.  Let me explain.  If you cyclone the healer, that gives the flag runner time to retreat.  They key is you want to kill the flag runner and him not to run.  If you can cyclone the flag runner then kill the healer, you can then kill the flag carrier with no problem since he can't run.  The one exception to this trick is if the timer has already weakened the flag carrier.  In that case, kill the flag carrier and cyclone the healer.

5)  Aquatic Form - As I mentioned, there is a water entrance into the flag rooms at Twin Peaks. (At least for the Alliance attacking the Horde.  I'm assuming that is true for the Horde as well.)  Since you can travel faster in Aquatic Form, this is likely the druid's best route of  attack and the best route to leaving their base. 

As you may have noticed, there is a new header on the top.  That is the winner of the Header contest.  I will be making a formal blog post in the next couple of days to announce the full list of winners.  Thanks to everybody who voted.    

Friday, January 14, 2011

Moonkin PvP Tricks in Strand of the Ancients

For the third part of my moonkin PvP tricks, I round out the 15 v. 15 battlegrounds with Strand of the Ancients.

1) Strand of the Ancients Isn't About PvP - This is a general rule, but it relates to specifically what we can do as moonkins.  Your focus should very rarely be on players in Strand of the Ancients.  If on defense, your focus should be on killing the demolishers.  If on offense, you should focus on keeping players off of your demolishers.  This means more than nukes, moonkins should be using slowing and controlling players and demolishers.

2) The Moonkin Typhoon Demolisher Weapon - On offense, one of my favorite tricks is to get on a demolisher and turn backwards.  Given the speed of the demolishers, the defense will always be chasing you.  This means the more you can keep them off of you, the better it is.  Typhoon is perfect for this.  The demolisher is shooting forward, I'm typhooning backwards.

3) Entangling Roots + Solar Beam = Control - Melee is fairly easy to keep off of demolishers when you are offense.  You Typhoon plus Entangling Roots and you can keep them controlled.  Casters are a little more difficult.  If you see a caster just destroying your demolishers, you can still Typhoon them for a snare and may push them out of cast range.  However, you can Roots plus Solar Beam to keep them silenced.  And since Roots won't break until damaged, you don't have to damage them and keep them there.

4) Fungal Growth Helps - When you are trying to slow demolishers on defense, you will need all your tools that can slow.  You can roots the demolisher.  Typhoon can add a snare effect.  However, having the talent Fungal Growth helps a lot.  One, you can send your treants on the demolisher and when they go away, they create an area that snares.  Two, you can use your Wild Mushrooms to cause damage and create and area of snares.

5) Remove Corruption - There is a spell that is in your spellbook that you may not use to often, especially as moonkin.  However, if can be used to help your demolishers.  Of course the defense is going to throw up DoTs on the demolishers to kill them.  Remove Corruption can remove a poison and a curse from the demolisher.  It is not as powerful as what resto druids can do since it will also remove magic effects, but  it may be the difference maker.

And with that, we are done with the 15 vs. 15 battlegrounds.  Next week, hopefully I will get to the 10 vs. 10 battlegrounds and the 40 vs. 40 battlegrounds.

Today is the final day for voting for the Header contest.   The winners will be announced over this weekend or Monday.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Moonkin PvP Tricks in Eye of the Storm

Continuing the series in tricks and tips for moonkins, we move to what is probably my second favorite battleground, Eye of the Storm.  While alot like Arathi Basin, there are a few particulars you can do here to give yourself an advantage.

1) Create Line of Sight Issues - One of the first things you may notice in Eye of the Storm is the nodes you are capturing have a few areas to create line of sight issues.  From each of the nodes being elevated slightly to a lot of pillars, blocks, etc.  The best way to think of each of the nodes as each one is a little arena.  As moonkins, we have several ways to do this.  My personal favorite is to use Typhoon to knock them off the elevated platform.  However, there are several tactics you can use from Cycloning to get around a line of sight to Entangling melee.  The more you can create this issues, the better is will be for you.

2) The 5 Locations of Typhoon - Yes, there are 5 different locations you can Typhoon someone and kill them in Eye of the Storm.  The most obvious is easy, which is the center.  However, do you know about the other 4?

A lot of times, especially with opponents who zerg nodes, they will all be piling into an area.  Sometimes when you are attacking them, they will move to the back area of nodes.  When they do that, you can Typhoon them off the node completely to their deaths.  That is why it is important to never go around to the backside of a node.  Let them go back there when you are fighting them and then you have an easy honorable kill.

3) Flag Defense > Flag Running - Any druid can be an effective flag runner.  However, if you have a feral or resto druid, you may want them to carry the flag over you.  Since you are one of a few classes that have a knockback, you would be more effective in maintaining control over the middle if the battle comes down to a 2 node versus 2 node battle for the flag.  The preferred route is to capture 3 or 4 nodes though so you don't have to worry about flags at all and play defense at the nodes. 

4) Protect the Flag Runner - This is more of a general moonkin trick with any battleground that involves flags, but you have several different ways to protect the flag runner.  First, you can Roots the melee giving the flag carrier time to run.  Second, you can get close to the flag runner, turn around towards the attackers and push them back with Typhoon.  This tactic is great in this battleground.  Third, you can use the 1-2 punch of Roots plus Solar Beam to control the casters.

5) Don't Fall off the Base - Yes, for some reason, it is really easy to do (or maybe it is just me), especially if you don't have Slow Fall.  However, if you do, just switch to cat form to mitigate some of the damage and then remount on the ground after throwing some HoTs on yourself.

Final reminder:  The voting for the Header contest closes tomorrow.  Please get in your final votes now.  We are 4 votes away from 100 votes.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Moonkin PvP Tricks in Arathi Basin

This week and likely into next, I'm gonna do a series of tips and tricks for moonkins in each of the PvP zones.  Today, I'm gonna be starting with what I think is the pinnacle of 15 vs. 15 PvP, Arathi Basin.  It is a very fluid battleground where the difference between a win and a loss is coordination, focus-firing, and moving quickly.  While I'm smart enough not to give out my guild's strategy for Arathi Basin, there are a few tricks you can use as a moonkin when PvPing in that area. 

1) Typhoon Off of Lumber Mill - Woe to the healer or caster who is standing away from the flag and near the edge.  Usually, the very next move will be for me to come up and  Typhoon you off the edge.  If you have taken any damage before that, you will likely be dead unless you can heal yourself or a priest life-grips you back.

2) Moonfire/Sunfire Is Your Friend When Defending - Arathi Basin is the main battleground where you may be defending nodes, although the new Battle for Gilneas also has you defending nodes. (My personal favorite node to defend - Lumber Mill. See Trick 1.) Even if it is not the main battle you are fighting, you can use Moonfire/Sunfire to your advantage.  One, it is an immediate strike which will interrupt anybody taking the node.  Second, it is a DoT which will further prevent tha person from capping the node.   When I'm defending a node, the very first thing I try to do is to Moonfire/Sunfire everybody so they can't cap it until it wears off.  I will also add in that Typhoon works well for keeping people off nodes as well.  Not a DoT, but at least it will blow everybody the opposite direction and snare them on the way back.

3) Cat Form Saves Lives - If you happen to be on the unfortunate end of a moonkin or an elemental shaman and are flying off of lumber mill yourself, remember that you take less damage in cat form.  Nine times out of ten, you will survive a fall from lumber mill as a cat.  This goes to a bigger issue with moonkins that I have talked about before, and this is to keybind your forms.  You should do this anyway for a bigger PvP trick for druids which is to shapeshift often to get out of Frost Traps, Stuns, Snares, etc.

4) Get to Blacksmith Before Anybody With Aquatic Form - There are not a lot of times where we get to use Aquatic Form as druids, but Arathi Basin is one of them.  If you do not have Water Walking, you can swim faster in Aquatic Form from your base to Blacksmith to  help defend or pick up the node.  This is one of two druid shortcuts in Arathi Basin, with the other being...

5) Cat Form Drop to Gold Mine - You take very little damage from the fall and can assist in a battle at Gold Mine, which may be the difference in taking or defending the node.

There are a lot of general PvP tactics I could throw out and I will hopefully cover some of those as time goes on, but these are some cool tricks you could do to help you win Arathi Basin.

Just a reminder about voting for the Header Contest. Friday will be the last day to vote for the winner so please go and support your favorite.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

When To Decide To Change Your Role

Last night, I had a conversation with my GM about changing my role in raids.  For most of ICC, I was one of the core raiding team.  I enjoyed it and I still enjoy raiding when I can at level 85.  However, there have been several things in my life that made me purposely asked to be put as a backup to our other moonkin.  Many guilds are getting to the point now where they are deciding and settling their core raid team.  Here are some things you have to look at when deciding whether it is time to change your role on a raiding team/guild.

1) Look At Your Personal Life - I'm gonna be moving and getting a new job probably within the next month.  I don't know how these things will affect my playing time in game.  The more uncertainty there is in the short term, the more that you should be willing to move to a backup role.

2) Look At the Future - If you think there is a reasonable chance that you will not be able to raid consistently during Cataclysm, then it is better to step aside.  Having served as an officer in a guild before, there is nothing more annoying than gearing somebody up who isn't able to come regularly.  That is gear that somebody else can use regularly.  I am getting married this year to the love of my life.  As much as I hope that I could play 3.5 hours a night for 3 days of a week, it is likely not going to happen.  I still will be able to play, but maybe not a hardcore raider's schedule.  It would be unfair for me to get geared up in raids before other moonkins in the raid if I may not be able to put it to good use for the guild. 

3) Look At New Opporunities - My guild just started our PvP division, Vanguard.  I have been trying to do both rated and unrated battlegrounds as much as possible.  What I'm finding is that I'm really enjoying it.  I even wanted to be one of the battleground leaders.  Since this is an opportunity to step up and be a leader in my guild's PvP division, I decided that my role has to change in order to be the best PvPer I can be.  It is not that I will never raid, but when you are leading battlegrounds, you don't need PvE gear which means I have to finish getting the PvP set done to be effective at PvP.

So basically, I'm going to be moving in my guild from the PvE to the PvP division.  This probably means more than likely, you are going to see a few more PvP articles in this blog. You may have noticed this already this year anyway since 3 of my first 4 blog post in 2011 (not counting the Header Contest voting and site statistics) are PvP related.  I'm still gonna cover PvE raiding as well as general WoW talk, but you may notice an increase in PvP moonkin talk from what it was before.

Also, just a reminder to keep voting in the Header Contest.  We have over 80 votes already and would love to see it jump to over 100 at least.  Voting will close on January 14th.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Playing Too Conservatively

Last night was a frustrating night of raiding for me.  I don't know what was going on, but I was constantly behind our other moonkin in DPS.  When I have issues, I always go back and review my spec, spend some time on the target dummy, and make sure my gear is enchanted, gemmed properly, etc.  I noticed two big things.  One, I really need to finish grinding out Hyjal and Therazane rep to get those enchants.  Second thing I figured out took a little bit of thinking.

When we are trying to find DPS problems, we check the spec, rotation, etc. to make sure it is all correct.  I thought the spec I had was good to keep mana mangement better.  I had both Moonglow and Dreamstate, two major mana saving capabilities.  However, looking at the other moonkins spec, I noticed one major thing.  He had neither.  He was going with a more damage oriented raid spec, I was going towards a mana conservation spec, and he was winning.

I mentioned a few blog post ago that I figured out in 25 mans that mana doesn't seem to be as big of an issue as in 5 mans or questing.  This is where I started putting the pieces together.  Why would I take a mana conservation talent over damage talents like Owlkin Frenzy and Master Shapeshifter?  I haven't had mana issues.  The reason I took it initially was obvious.  I specced this way right when I hit 85 when I was having serious mana issues.  Now, most of my gear is 246 with a few epics from Wildhammer Clan. (Yes, despite my advice, I loved the Wildhammer questline, so I was almost revered with them before hitting 85.) and the mana issues seems to have resolved a lot, especially with going with spirit for hit.  The reason I had kept the spec for so long was I was playing on the safe side of mana while ignoring what the main role of moonkin is in the first place, damage.  I was playing too conservatively.

After changing my spec, I decided to go whack on the target dummies for a while. (No comments from the LeetSauced group.  I know you want to, but no.)  I found it was a DPS increase despite not being able to proc Owlkin Frenzy since nothing is hitting me.  I'm sure in a raid enviroment with some fights have raid wide damage, it will proc to give more DPS increase. In addition, I was playing too conservatively with my trinket.  I have the Figurine - Jeweled Serpent, which is an awesome caster trinket and a reward for being a jewelcrafter.    Besides having a little snake follow me around for a bit, which is cool, it is a huge DPS boost.  However, I had it macroed to each of my nukes.   This would have been the conservative route.  The better route was to not macro it and hit it when I proc the next Eclipse after it comes off cooldown.  Again, doing this lead to a DPS increase.

When you are diagnosing problems with your damage or whatever your role is, look at all the normal stuff.  However, also look to see if you are playing too conservatively.  If you had your spec when you hit 85 and did not account for new gear, you likely are playing as a new 85 versus a geared level 85.  If you can change it, you can take away the conservative choices you made early and make you more effective in the job you are doing.

Also, just a reminder, please vote for the winner of the Header Contest.  I'm sure the makers of all 3 headers would greatly appreciate it.

P.S.  After posting this blog post to Twitter, I got the natural question of what is my current spec.  For my new moonkin spec, I would refer you to Quieth's Quips Guide to Moonkin.  He has a damage focused spec and a mana focused spec.  I went with his damage focused spec.  This only goes to level 79, so you will want to pick up the two talents in Resto to get to Master Shapeshifter.  I also put the last point in Solar Beam.  He also has an in-depth guide to moonkins that go into more details than my quick and dirty moonkin guide.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Get Your Honor For Nothing, Your PvP Gear For Free (Until Yesterday)

Thanks to Outlandish Podcast for this Awesome Parody Song

I am not one to use exploits to further myself in the game.  I may take advantage of people who put cut green gems on the AH for less than 9 gold or take Jeweler's Settings for Jewelcrafting, turn them around, and sell them on the AH for 5 times their vendor price, but I don't try to mess with game mechanics.

That was until last week.  When Blizzard, for some reason beyond me, set the honor for winning Tol Barad on offense at 1800.  The problem when Blizzard raised the honor for winning a Tol Barad to that level was their was no reason to defend it.  This in turn lead to less Horde being in Tol Barad for defense, which means everybody who queued on the Alliance side did not get in.  It also provided no incentive for Alliance to queue for defense which lead to a similar problem for the Horde.  This lead to what became known as the "bridge exploit".  In between the Tol Barad battleground and the Tol Barad dailies section, there is a bridge connecting the two areas.  Someone found that if you crossed the bridge into the battleground at the very last second even if you weren't actually queued for the fight, you would get the 1800 honor.  I tried it once to see if it would work and it actually did.  I did it on a Saturday morning when the server was light.  (It was like 4 AM server time, but 7 AM on the East Coast.)  I tried to do it again, but between gankers (mages with their Ring of Frost or Frost Nova and people not calling out the time to move, I was not able to get it again.

Yesterday, Blizzard came back from their Christmas/New Year vacation and they decided this was the very first thing they were going to fix.  They decided to lower the honor to 360 for a win and less for a successful defense.  The bridge exploit is not fixed, but they are working on it.  I have a simple way they can fix the bridge exploit once and for all.  Make the honor for a successful defense and offense the same.  This way, everybody will try to queue to win in.  It may be harder to win on offense, which the developers wanted after the steamrolling people did to Wintergrasp, but it will prevent people from gaming the system.  A defense in Tol Barad is easier than it was in Wintergrasp, but it still takes coordination.  Plus, I'm sure they are using the same balancing system they used in Wintergrasp to even out the sides so eventually, the other faction will win.  I'm okay with 360 honor for an offensive win, although I did love the 1800 honor I got one time.  But a successful defensive win should offer the same thing to incentivize people coming in and playing and not making the opposite faction resort to exploits to get their honor.

Just a reminder, please vote for the winner of the Header Contest.  One of the few elections where your vote actually does matter in determining the winner.  Show your support for your favorite.

Monday, January 3, 2011

My First (Real) Arena Experience

This past week, I finally started an arena team as part of the requirements to be on the rated battleground team in Conquest. (Yes, we are recruiting for Legion, our PvE section, and Vanguard, our PvP section.  See site on sidebar for details.)  My 3 vs. 3 team, Poker in the Front, consist of a Holy Pally, Rogue, and myself as moonkin.  We did pretty good the first week going 7 - 6 and when I actually get some noticable resilience gear instead of going off a pseudo-glass cannon principle, I'm sure that will improve even more.  If you are a moonkin looking to get into some arenas, here is some of the things I have learned that will hopefully help you out.

1) Don't Forget You Can Stealth - Some classes don't have this luxury in arenas, but druids can start off a match stealthed.  In fact, two members of my 3 vs. 3 team can stealth, and most teams aren't insane enough to rush a holy pally with two members not showing.  This gives you time to map out your strategy, especially if you know who you are up against.

2) Check Their Buffs - One of the things that I had to pick up pretty quickly is to tell if we had a druid or a rogue we were against since both can stealth.  The easy way to do it besides waiting for them to show is to check their buffs.  If they have Mark of the Wild and no druid showing, it is a druid.  If they don't have Mark of the Wild, it is a rogue.  If everybody starts off a match stealthed, assume it is a 2 rogue, 1 druid comp.

3) Healer First - Our team's first goal in any match was to find out who the healer was.  Not all comps have a healer. (Three feral cat druid team, I hate you with a passion.)  From there, we would either start off sapping the healer or entangling roots and Solar Beam the healer.  If the healer can't heal himself, he is as good as dead.  Once the healer is dead, you have probably about 80% chance of winning the match from there.

4) Protect Your Healer - If I saw people grouping up on my healer, I would do what I could to help out.  That typically means the first thing I would do is Typhoon the other team to get them away.  From there, I can Entangling Roots, Cyclone, etc. to give my healer some time to recover.  Sometimes he can, sometimes he can't, especially if he has DoTs on him.

5) License to Starfall - Starfall is incredible in arenas.  It can damage their entire team at once.  Plus, since it is automatically multiple mobs, you get the 20 star upper limit.  I wouldn't use it to start until you have controlled the healer, but then, bust it out.

6) Heal - Remember as a caster druid, you don't have all the heals that resto druids do, but your heals you do have still hit pretty hard due to your intellect.  Don't be afraid to throw some HoTs on you or your teammates.  Tranquility is also awesome to keep up the team if you are not the focus.

7) Try to Proc an Eclipse - Eclipsed nukes can take anything down relatively quickly.  You are talking upwards of 30k Starfires and 20k Wraths in people with resilience and much more if they don't have any.

8) More Resilience, The Better (To a Point) - Many blog post ago, I mentioned that when choosing between PvE and PvP gear, you will always want to go with PvE gear for PvE content and PvP gear for PvP content.  This holds true 95% of the time.  However, there is a point where you have high resilience, but you have sacrificed damage.  You have to find a balance.  This means that it may be okay to have your resilience set with maybe a weapon that is PvE that is more powerful.  In Wrath, I was using Neiblung as my PvP staff due to the valkyr proc.  I haven't found anything like that in Cataclysm yet, but I'm sure I will find something like it.

9) Have Fun - When first starting arenas,  you are going to lose.  Just count on it.  You will get better over time.  Just like PvE, it takes practice to get your rotation and dynamics down.  The difference is PvP tends to be more jerk reaction.  The quicker you can react, the better.  But it takes time to learn this.

10) Communication Is Key - If you can't be in a Vent or Mumble server with your teammates, down join their team.  The key to arena is constant communication.  The more you communicate, the faster you can react, the more successful you will be.

As I said, these are things that I'm still learning.  I'm not great in arenas by any stretch of the imagination.  But I had fun and I look forward to doing this weekly with my team members.

Just a reminder, please vote for the winner of the Header contest.  We have had 31 voters so far and all of them have gotten votes as the favorite.  If you want to choose what the Header for the blog will be for the rest of Cataclysm, please go and vote.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Site News: 2010 Retrospective of Redhawk's Gaze

For the first time on Redhawk's Gaze, my actual cat. Meet Abby.
This is the time of the month where I thank everybody for coming by the site and I will start off no different this time.  In December, we went over 6,000 pageviews and had approximately 5,000 visits, both increasing over the previous month drastically.  All I can say is thank you for your continued support of this site.  I will continue to bring you the best in moonkin theory and the World of Warcraft.

However, this was also the end of 2010 and I wanted to look back over the past year and see where we were to where we are now.  Here are some interesting statistics about the blog for 2010.

From June 2010, the first time I collected data through Google Analytics, we have had the monthly visits increase by 736% and pageviews increase by 665%.

From June 2010 until December 2010, we have had over 18,000 visits with over 13,000 unique visits.

From June 2010 until December 2010, we have had almost 25,000 pageviews.

The day with the highest number of visits was October 13th, which was the day after both the LeetSauced Podcast and the Raid Warning Druid Roundtable was released.

The top 5 countries that visited the site were the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and Sweden.  The first South American country is number 16 with Brazil.  The first Asian country is Singapore at number 21.

The top 5 cities in the world that visited the site were London, New York, Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne.

The top 5 blog post for 2010 by visits were the following:
1) Recommendations for Cataclysm Guild Reputation (Blog Azeroth Shared Topic)
2) Cataclsym Druid Changes - My Possible Moonkin Build
3) Moonkin DPS Rotation - Present and Likely Future
4) Hey Moonkins, Check Your Gear (So You Don't Get Screwed on 4.0.1)
5) Level 85 Pre-Raid Gear Recommendations for Moonkins

The top 5 most commented on blog post for 2010 (minus contests) were the following:
1) Thinking Without Portals
2) Operation Gnomergan: How It Should Have Been Handled
3) Signs of a Bad Moonkin Player
4) WoW As A Scapegoat
5) 3 Way Tie: 3 Week Gameplan: Final Things To Do In Wrath That Every Raider/PvPer Should Do; Sickness and WoW: When to Sign Out for the Night; and To Starfall or Not To Starfall (Actually, That Is Not a Question, I'm Going to Use Starfall)

I hope you enjoyed this retrospective of the site.  As great as 2010 was, I'm sure that 2011 will be even better.  Thanks for all your continued support, reading, commenting, etc. and I hope you continue to come.

Also, please remember to vote in the Header Contest Results.  One of the 3 finalist will get to be the header for the rest of Cataclysm, so I hope you give them all the support you can. 

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Header Contest - The Final Three

Thanks to everybody who entered the Header Contest for the site.  As promised, I am going to announce the top 3 place finishers for the Header Contest and will tell you how to vote for the winner.

Finalist #1

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Finalist #2

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Finalist #3

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There are your three finalist for the contest.  Here is how the voting will occur.  Thanks to MicroPoll, I have set up an online poll on the bottom of the page.  I have set it up to only vote once per IP address to not allow multiple votings by a few people.  I'm also not listing who made which one to avoid any popularity contest until after the winner is chosen.  I want it to be based solely on the work they did.  So to the finalist, good luck.  May the best header win.  Voting wil close 2 weeks from today.