Twitter Updates

    Monday, June 29, 2009

    Some Cool Stats

    Well I haven't checked out my Google Analytics for a long time, but I thought I would post some cool stats (well I think they are cool) about my blog hits.
    • 8000 overall visits
    • 5000 absolute unique visits
    • Hits from 84 countries including big numbers of hits from; USA, Canada and Australia; as well as lots of small numbers of hits from; Guam, El Salvador, Vietnam, Martinique, Nicaragua & Georgia
    I never dreamed that my blog would be viewed by such a large and wide spread audience :) thanks for everyone's support :)

    What Achievements Made you Crazy?

    Well last week I was travelling and my work laptop just couldnt handle dal let alone raiding so what else is their to do? Those annoying achievements that take you all over the world haha

    Well with Midsummer I decided to do;
    While I was at it I thought why not go for, World Explorer

    I unfortunately became slightly obsessed with finishing it, I managed to get over half done while I was travelling but figured I NEED to finish these so spent a fair bit of time over the weekend.

    Now I have a new title (i'll probably never use haha) but I can sleep again haha

    So my question is what achievements have you gone mad over and needed to finish?

    Monday, June 22, 2009

    Updated User Interface

    Well it's been a while since I posted my UI, so I thought I would take the time to write up some of the changes I've made and a quick overview of what I have built my ui the way I have.

    As you can see my objective for my ui is to create a minimalist view that presents the most important information from the inside (where my toon is) out. I of course am a raider so as much as possible is either hidden or set with a mouseover opacity change (like Dominos).

    The above is a breakdown of my ui, the blue frame highlights my focus and contains the following essential, important modules highlighted in red.
    • Grid - I use grid although HealBot is supposed to be good as well. I added a couple of Grid addons to place corner warnings for stacks etc too and invert the colors! Makes it so much easier to see who needs heals I think (see my config guide).
    • Decursive - great for single click (left or right) decursing/cure poison, I use this for dispell intensive fights like Yogg. When I don't need it gets hidden :) I know some of you would say "Why do you need a second unit frames?". I have found that decursive allows me to dispell much quicker than Grid + Macros.
    • HotCandy - I think this is a real essential for a HoT based class like druids, will track your LB stacks etc, I've tried many different things but keep coming back to HotCandy, one day i'll just stop trying and stick with this gem.
    • Dominos with ButtonFacade - I use this small dominos bar to highlight my primary spells that have cooldowns, namely; Wild Growth, Nature's Swiftness, Swiftmend, Innervate, Tranq and Rebirth. It's used as a reference and I do not use it to click etc.
    • Quartz - Cast bar filled with win, I have grown to really appreciate this cast bar addon, it is especially useful for us Aussies who have latency issues, a nice presentation of when you can start casting your next cast makes it really great for those 'heads down healing' occasions.
    • SatrinaBuffFrame - I have SBF split into 2 frames, this central frame is used for debuffs. The reason I have it in the centre is to ensure I dont miss anything important, this is especially great for fights like General where you need to be watching your stacks :)
    The next 'ring' of addons are about presenting information that is not 'critical' to my raiding.
    • oUF Nivaya - I have dropped Pitbull, I feel that PB was overkill for what I wanted, ouF really works well and it is light. Nivaya has the advantage of a ui to modify the appearance and move things around. Reality is that I use Grid to know even my own health which is why my unit frames are not in the top list :)
    • Doom Cooldown Pulse - this is a cool mod that will prompt you as key abilities come off of cool down. This is a great trigger to hit spells like Wild Growth :)
    • Prat - Chat customisation, I have prat setup to also announce important messages in our healer channel to the centre of my screen, calls about people being down etc.
    • CowTip - I turned this on the other day, so far I like but not sure if it's too much info for my everyday need.
    • Recount - Damage/Healing Meters, some guilds ban these because people tend to try to top the lists so use this with smarts, fact it's a great tool for breaking down your performance and comparing it to others but nobody cares too much about being up the top of the list as long as your assigns don't die!!
    • Minimap Button Frame - MBF is cool, it grabs all the icons around your map and puts them into a frame that you can move around, the idea again is to remove the stuff you don't need to see all the time.
    • Chinchilla - Map movement/customisation
    • RangeDisplay - displays the range of your target and focus etc.
    • Autobar - is a great dynamic bar mod that will give you all you need. Very neat!
    Other modules that arent visible but still very useful.
    • Deadly Boss Mods - must have for raiding, timers and notices etc
    • oRA2 - A CT_RaidAssist alternative, another requirement for raiding in most guilds
    • Minimalist - does a few things like hiding chat rubbish and buttons etc but also automates a few painful things like repairs and selling grey items.
    • Postal - replaces and enhances the wow mail system, much better
    • WIM - adds a nice chat interface for whispers similar to MSN
    • ArkInventory - consolidates bags and also allows viewing all yours toons at the same time.
    • Cartographer - world map replacement
    • QuestHelper / Better Quest /QBar - are my quest addons of choice, QuestHelper is used for levelling, Better Quest is used for replacing the quest log.
    Would really love to hear what people think of my ui and the approach I have taken.

    Tuesday, June 16, 2009

    Addon Review: ForteXorcist

    I really like the idea of this addon, I was previously looking for a way to show me which spells where available and not on cooldown; Wild Growth, Swiftmend etc.

    I found ForteXorcist over the weekend and the idea is great, the mod looks great and it does what it says it does :)

    I however ended up removing it for a couple of reasons;
    1. The icons group up and it makes it difficult to see when they are all coming off cooldown at a similar time
    2. The spell timer didnt seem to play nicely with stacks of lifebloom etc (jumping from 1 to 3 to 1 all the time)
    3. It didnt really meet my core requirement in that I am wanting to clearly see what spells I have ready to cast.
    All in all the module seems like a well designed one, it does what it is supposed to do well however it's not for me.

    I've gone back to having my bar of spells above my grid (nice and small) where I can see if a spell is up or if it is on cooldown (and how long till it's up).

    What I really want is a mod that will present my spells effectively hiding spells that are not available.

    Any ideas?

    Addons: Equipment Manager Enhancements

    The new(ish) Blizzard Equipment Manager is fine, the reality though is it is missing some of the key features that other outfitters have/had. Although i'm a bit of an addon junky I do prefer to use standard features where possible. When outfitter announced they would not be developing (that may have changed again since but who keeps up with it all) on the back of the changes to the terms of use dictated by Blizz I decided to give the Blizzard EM a go. This is a nice quick post to highlight a couple of small yet very nice addons by Tekkub that make the standard equipment manager more useable :)


    Basically this adds a new button to your Blizzard Equipment Manager for updating your sets, basically removes the annoying prompt warning you you're about to overwrite a set :)


    This is a great little addon, basically you set your default set for each spec and when you switch specs in the game it will auto enable that set. No more healing in moonkin gear for me!

    Friday, June 12, 2009

    A little down time

    Well over the weekend I'll be doggy sitting for dads 2 puppies (not that they are still puppies) so will be having some down time from wow, this could be good :)

    Friday, June 5, 2009

    DKP & being Master Looting

    Well I have recently started to assist on raid nights with Healing Assigns as well as being Master Looter when needed.

    I thought I would outline how I manage this and person this could assist others with their own ML responsibilities. My priority when implementing these mods and processes was to avoid alt-tabs as much as possible. As it stands I do not need to check websites/spreadsheets or anything else like that.

    A bit of background; I have done a fair bit of web dev work in the past, primarily dealing with php/mysql etc so some of these things may not be achieveable for others but if you need some advice I'm happy to help :)

    Our guild website uses bbdkp and I have made a few mods for this as well;
    • DKP Export - I have built a function that will export the current DKP table into a lua file that can be picked up by the WebDKP Addon.
    • WebDKP Import - I have also built a WebDKP Import admin module that picked up the WebDKP Addon lua (that includes who got what item for what cost etc) and loads in all the items against the selected raid.
    Non DKP Mods
    • Raid Signups - I have built a customised Raid Planning addon for phpbb that allows creation/management of signups. User notices when they haven't signed. Raid Planning from admin panel and export of the planned raid into a lua file that can then be picked up by phpRaidViewer
    • Registration Changes - I have made the site only allow registrations for those people who exist in the blizz armory. This means I dont need to manage access to strictly because if your a guild member you can see all forums (with the exception of officer forums etc)
    Ok back to what the post was really about :) When I'm Master Looter I do the following (it's important to note that we use a DKP Halves system);
    • Prior to a raid I download the latest DKP table and overwrite my WebDKP.lua in my SaveVariables folder
    • When a looting round commences I load my WebDKP > DKP Table (please note I have not yet looked at the bidding system)
    • use /rw to call for psts when somebody whispers me to advise they are interested I click their name on the DKP table (highlighted in blue below). I then make sure that I'm sorting by DKP and the highest selected player wins the item. I do a quick calculation to work out the cost being half their current DKP total and then award the item to them (using the standard ML functions - right click on item - select toon)
    • WebDKP then will prompt me with a dialogue for the awarded item to provide a dkp cost, I enter the amount and hit OK
    At the end of the night all loot has been recorded with their costs in the WebDKP.lua file. I go to our forums and because we want to add the nights DKP to the total after the purchases (i.e. If I start on 100 DKP and get 1 item my DKP should be 50 at the end of the raid, then I get awarder 30 DKP for the night so new total is 80) I do the following:
    • Create Raid and only add a Non-Raider to the list
    • Click Import WebDKP, select the raid (that was added derrrr), copy in the entire contents of the WebDKP.lua file and hit Import.
    • Edit the Raid and add the attendees, making sure you remove the Non-Raider from the list

    Screenshot of the Week

    this is my with my 4T8 set and my new staff (although the staff was an offspec role I think it looks cool)

    Tuesday, June 2, 2009

    Tranq & Wild Growth: Often Forgotten and Misunderstood

    A comment on my prioritisation post made me think that perhaps this was a worthwhile topic for a full post :)

    Lets start with Tranquility, this is clearly the spell that is often forgotten. I think that many druid are a little reluctant to hit that button, it's such a great spell and it does have that 10 minute cooldown.

    Firstly 10 minutes really isn't that long, if you progressing through Ulduar this basically means you can use it every 2 attempts (not taking into consideration trash). I guess a simple way to look at this is if you go more than 2 bosses without using it then your not getting much out of it :)

    Secondly I personally use tranq as a catch up spell, it is a great spell, can be a little mana hungry but is a great way to catch up on heals if your raid is taking a lot of damage or you happen to be down a healer or two.

    Wild Growth on the otherhand has quickly made its way into the basic play style of many resto druids.

    Fact is that Wild Growth is considered a "smart spell", meaning it should target those who are in the greatest need of your heals. Even post nerf (intro of our cooldown), it is a powerful raid heal which has the potential to take up a large percentage of your heal stats.

    Their are still some druids out their not using the spell to its full potential and I recommend you have a play with it.

    Also it should really be even more powerful in 10man content as your healing half the raid!