Thursday, August 28, 2008

Lessons in Lore - Dragons of Nightmare

Our guild holds weekly meetings in a secluded place in Duskwood. As the meeting was over, we heard reports of Horde camping some of the quest givers, and so about 25 of us formed a raid, mounted, and raced to Raven Hill to take down the griefers. Long story, short, they ran before we ever got to them and everyone soon disbanded to their various tasks.

Upon leaving, I took a quick detour into the Twilight Grove, the large central area of Duskwood. I had been here before, ages ago, just to look around, and it's really amazing. It's like crossing a line, one moment you're in human lands, and the next you're in the middle of an Ashenvale glade. The area is completely Night Elven in it's appearance. There's even a moonwell in there, along with a Great Tree and a portal to... nowhere.

Well, actually, the portal is an entrance to the Emerald Dream, but it has yet to be implemented in the game in any form. There are actually four of these portals situated around the world, with a fifth appearing in Northrend with the expansion. Each of these portals is guarded by a Dragon of Nightmare. Taerar was hanging out by the Duskwood portal last night.

So why are these Dragons guarding these portals anyway? And if they're part of the Green Dragonflight under Ysera, then why are they so big and nasty and mean?

Well, apparently, even though we can't get there, trouble is rampant in the Emerald Dream in the form of The Nightmare. The nightmare is sort of a large area of bad stuff that is moving around and swallowing up the Emerald Dream. I like to think of it as The Nothing from The Never Ending Story movie. Originally, the Emerald Dream was the world of Azeroth as it would have been without the intervention of mortal races. It's a natural paradise, and the Druids had a special connection to it being able to traverse it in a dream state and occasionally even affect the real world through it. This Nightmare is adversely affecting the Emerald Dream, corrupting it's once perfect nature. Ysera, who is the dragon aspect in charge of the Emerald Dream is now constantly fighting against this nightmare, along with the druids who are now trapped in the dream because of it, including Malfurion Stormrange.

The Dragons of Nightmare were once lieutenants of the Green Dragonflight, aiding Ysera. But somewhere along the way, the Nightmare got hold of them and turned them against their own kind. They were then sent out of the dream and into the real world to spread their evil and terror to the mortal kingdoms. Which they do by staying right next to the portals and killing anyone who approaches, naturally.

Taerar, who I saw in Duskwood, has lost his corporeal form and looks sort of like a ghost dragon. Ysondre used to be a great healer but has given way to darker magics. Lethon (which looks a lot like Lethan, Elio's owl) has become a darker shade of his former self, and wields a the dark power of shadow against his foes. Emeriss now looks like a rotting, diseased corpse of his former self.

The portals which they guard are located in Duskwood, Ashenvale, The Hinterlands, and Ferelas. I've personally seen three of these up close, while avoiding the dragons. The portal in the Hinterlands I've seen from above while flying over it. It's located in the Northern portion of the map. The Ashenvale portal is in the far East of Ashenvale, north of the road that leads to Azshara. The Ferelas portal is Northeast of the Twin Colossals, and the Duskwood portal is right in the middle of Duskwood, up a windy path in to the Twilight Grove.

The Dragons were introduced in Patch 1.8 and were able to be taken down by a Raid. They dropped some of the best loot in the game at the time. The four dragons randomly spawn at the different portals, so it's possible to see the same dragon at different places, though not necessarily at the same time.

Having two level 70 night elves, one of them a Druid, I'm really hoping that Blizzard introduces an Emerald Dream... something. It would be great if it was it's own expansion, but it's been suggested that it could be a raid instance, or another zone added in a patch or something of the sort. Honestly, I'd just like to see them continue the story of The Nightmare, and finally allow these portals to be more than just eye candy guarded by a really scary Dragon.

It looks like they are introducing a fifth portal in Northrend with the Wrath expanion, and there will be members of the Green Dragonflight assisting in the assault on Malygos and the Blue Dragonflight, so we might see some developoments with the Emerald Dream through that. One can hope anyway.

Thanks for reading, and have a good morning!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Last Week in Kara

Sorry about missing the post yesterday. It was a long day at work, and then I couldn't find a good topic on game mechanics that I really wanted to talk about. Before I knew it, the day was over! I might try and make a double post later in this week. Today however, is character day.

Bogdan and Nadya are now level 10. We don't play them much, but I still enjoy it when we do. We're about ready to leave the initial starting area of Azuremyst Isle and head to Bloodmyst. Hopefully we'll play them just a little tonight and head that direction.

Lal and Elionene, along with the second of our guild's two Karazhan teams, went back into the tower Monday evening, after clearing up to Aran on Thursday, and one shotted Illhoof, played a quick game of chess, and then tried to take down the self proclaimed new Lord of Kara, Prince Malchezaar. Our first attempt saw a couple DPS die quickly to enfeeble plus shadow nova. We still tried though and managed to get him to 17% before the tank, and subsequently the raid, wiped. Our next attempt, everyone was on the ball, and we killed Prince with no deaths whatsoever. It was grand, and we were so pumped we decided to go try and kill a dragon.

Netherspite is a really interesting fight, and only a few, if any of us, had ever done it before. We tried three times before calling it a night, and the last time we really seemed to understand the nuances, but still weren't able to get him below 36%. I'm confident after our next Prince clear, we will give it another go and get the big dragon down. Hopefully at that point someone will have the item to summon Nightbane as well, and then we will have tried every boss in the place. It's one of those things I never thought I'd be taking place in. When I was just playing for an hour or less a day in the early mornings, I never had any hopes of doing a 10 person raid and seeing the great instances that Blizzard has made. Now I'm potentially looking at the opportunity to raid in Gruul and Magtheridan in the near future. How cool is that? Of course, I couldn't have done it without my wonderful wife supporting me and raiding with me. Lal is the best.

Salthier has been focusing on mote farming and Primal Might making and questing with Lal for gear upgrades. He's basically rep farming for enchants and alchemy recipes, and for his own gear. I don't plan to raid with him unless we're in desperate need of a tank, but I might take him to heroics to get a few badges or something.

Looking forward to this week, we're hoping to do quests for the Cenarion Expedition in Blades Edge Mountains, and then run Steamvault for gear and reputation with Lal and Salthier. Bogdan and Nadya need to get a few more levels and figure out where to put those first talent points. If I can find the time, I've got a gnome rogue alt I'm messing around with, and could level him, or I could spend some time leveling my dwarf warrior, Frelon, who currently is my bank alt. Other than Kara, Elionene's only real goals are to get her Honor Hold, Aldor, and Kurenai rep to exalted, the latter two of which I can do solo, so I just need to commit some time to it. Of course with all of these options, time is in short supply. Hopefully I'll be able to accomplish most of it before Wrath of the Lich King comes out!

Thanks for reading, and have a good morning.

Monday, August 25, 2008

WoW Fiction

I've read a few of the novels based on the warcraft games and really enjoyed them. From time to time I mention them here, such as when I did the lore post on Velen after reading about him in Rise of the Horde, by Christie Golden. On WoW Insider, they run a column every week called Ask a Lore Nerd, where people write in, ask lore questions, and the lore nerd answers them. This week, the column was partially about the fiction novels for Warcraft, and whether or not they were canon and which ones would be important to read.

First of all, I've really enjoyed all of the warcraft books I've read. They're all by different authors, so they each have different styles, but it's a lot of fun to read about places and characters and events and then to go and see those same things in the game. A prime example of this is Lord of the Clans, also by Christie Golden, which among other things covers the events of Thrall's escape from Durnholde Keep. After reading the book, you can then go and actually participate in the escape yourself. You actually know what the Keepers of Time are trying to preserve. When they talk about Taretha and her fate that is unavoidable, you'll know what that fate is. It provides another level of immersion, and lets you appreciate all of the work that goes into the lore of the game.

The Last Guardian, by Jeff Grubb will give you the history of Medivh and Karazhan. It's very well written and actually ties into a lot of other characters in lore, such as Khadgar and Anduin Lothar. The time period it takes place in is during the first war, AKA Warcraft: Orcs and Humans, so if you've been playing Warcraft since the first game, you'll appreciate it even more. You learn who Moroes was before just an undead boss in Kara, and there are some nice recognitions of events from the book in some of the items that drop.

Personally, I enjoyed the War of the Ancients trilogy, by Richard Knaak, but a lot of people dislike the way he writes, and the fact that his own characters seem to take the spotlight away from the more lore established characters. To some extent, I can understand this. However, the introduction to the Warcraft Archive, that includes several warcraft novels, is written by Chris Metzen, the creative director behind WoW who is responsible for a lot of lore behind the game we all play today. In that introduction he tells who Knaak, who was known for his Dragonlance novels, contacted Metzen to write a book about Warcraft. Metzen, who was a fan of Knaak's works, readily agreed, and together the hashed out a lot of the lore related to the dragon aspects. From this came Day of the Dragon, by Knaak.

Day of the Dragon would be a good read going into the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, as it deals with the Red Dragonflight, and the Kirin Tor, who will both be in Northrend for various reasons. War of the Ancients is all about the first battle with the Burning Legion and the Kal'dorei of Azhara, 10,000 years before current WoW time. What some people have issue with is that War of the Ancients involves time travel, placing characters from Day of the Dragon 10,000 years in the past, front and center with major players like Tyrande Whisperwind, and the Stormrage brothers, Malfurion and Illidan. It's hard because time travel always adds complications to a story, and it might have been better if just told from the point of view of the Night Elves rather than injecting Knaaks personal heroes into it. But I can't argue with it too much because Knaak and Metzen have worked together to create these stories and characters. And supposedly according to the Blizzard developers, all of the WoW fiction novels are to be considered canon, and part of the lore of the game.

I'm going to try and read Tides of Darkness, by Aaron Rosenberg next. It takes place after the second war (Warcraft II) and is about Anduin Lothar, someone I would like to know more about. There are a couple more books to check out too. But more than anything, I'm eager to see the next book from Christie golden.


Friday, August 22, 2008

Silencing the Shade

Last night, our guild Karazhan team sought to kill Aran for the first time, and we succeeded! Last time we attacked him, he kicked our butts four times before we gave up. This week we downed him on try three, and there was much rejoicing. Now the libraries of Karazhan are open to our exploration, and we couldn't be happier.

Elionene went for DPS, and Lal was the off tank healer. The whole team did very well, completing through Aran in just over four hours. Our quickest time yet. Lal got a ton of spell caster items to add to her Holy DPS set. The Bands of Nefarious Deeds from Maiden have an apt name. She also got the Wicked Witch's Hat since the mage in our group didn' t need it. Elionene got a lot of bages, and a funky head piece. I'm fine with that. We hope to maybe go back for Illhoof, Chess, and Prince this weekend. We'll see if that works out.

Since it's role play day, I wrote a journal entry for Elionene and her point of view on the assault on the Ivory Tower, and the fight with Aran specifically. You can read it at my other blog dedicated for journal entries, here, or by clicking on the link on the right.

I don't consider myself a great writer. I do it because I like to and no other reason. One thing I would like to work on though is more character interaction and development. You'll probably notice the whole story seems expository, and it really is. As I write more, I'll work on making it a little more personable.

Thanks for reading, and have a good morning!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Lessons in Lore - Velen, the Prophet

I just finished reading Rise of the Horde by Christie Golden, and I highly recommend it if you haven't had a chance to buy it or check it out from the library. It's a telling of the history of the orcs before they ever came to Azeroth through the Dark Portal and their war with the Draenei. There are a lot of interseting lore characters that play into this story, Durotan, the father of Thrall, Orgrim Doomhammer, Ner'zhul, Gul'dan, Kil'jaedan, and many more. But having recently started playing a Draenei, and wanting to understand the concept behind them, today's (first) lore post will be about the leader of the Draenei, Velen, the Prophet.

Velen was originally one of three leaders of the Eredar, a peaceful and advanced race of beings who lived on their homeworld of Argus. The other two leaders, and worthy of their own posts, were Kil'jaeden and Archimonde. Sargeras, the Fallen Titan who was out to destroy pretty much everything, discovered the Eredar and rather than wipe them from existence like everything else, decided to use them for his cause. He contacted the three leaders and promised them power unimaginable. KJ and Archi thought that would be awesome. Velen, not so much. Being known as the Prophet, Velen had the gift of sight, and was able to see what his friends could not, that Sargeras' power would come with a price. The Eredar would be totally subject to the will of Sargeras and changed into Man'ari, something unspeakably horrifying and unnatural.

Velen voiced his concerns to Kil'jaeden and Archimonde, but they did not listen, and in the end Velen knew that he would have to take those loyal to him and flee, or else face a fate worse than death. In his plea to the Light for help, the Naaru, K'ure spoke to Velen and told him that he was indeed correct about the future that Sargeras would bring. With K'ure's help, Velen and his followers were able to barely escape Kil'jaeden, who had set out to kill Velen for being a "traitor" to the path of the Eredar. Kil'jaeden then vowed to hunt down Velen until he was killed.

After nearly 25,000 years of traveling from world to world, avoiding the new Burning Legion that sought him, Velen and his people settled upon the orc world. It had no name from the orcs, so Velen and his people called it Draenor, Exiles' Refuge, after his people, the exiled ones, Draenei. For 250 years, the Draenei lived peacably with the orcs, trading goods and supplies with the various orc clans. The Draenei built their capital city of Shattrath in Terokkar forest, along with the now ruined site of Auchindoun, which at the time was a large burial site. And in Shadowmoon Valley, they erected the Temple of Karabor, now known as the Black Temple and ruled by Illidan Stormrage. It was here that Velen made his home and lead his people.

On a ceremonial journey to Auchindoun, Velen had a chance encounter with two orc boys. Durotan of the Frostwolf Clan, and Orgrim Doomhammer of the Blackhand. They had been brought to the city of Telmor near the border of Nagrand in the Terokkar forest after being rescued by a Draenei hunting party from an ogre. Velen and the Draenei treated them well and kept them safe, returning them to their respective tribes the next day, and leaving a lasting impression upon the young orcs.

However, Kil'jaeden had not give up his search for Velen, and upon discovering again the location of the Draenei, he decided to go about things differently. Kil'jaeden corrupted the minds of the orcs and through their Shaman turned them against the Draenei. The orcs brought war to the unsuspecting Draenei, slaughtering them wherever they were found. Velen sought a meeting with Ner'zhul, the leader of the Orc Shaman, but was instead captured by a much older Durotan, now clan chief of the Frostwolves. Durotan had known from the beginning that something was wrong with the way the Orcs were shunning their old ways and killing the Draenei, but he could not risk the life of his clan by going against Ner'zhul. Velen tried to explain the truth behind the Draenei's appearance on their world, and the signifigance of Oshu'gun, which the orcs held as an ancestral holy ground but was in reality the site of the crashed Naaru vessel that had brought Velen and his people to Draenor. It as also why they could not leave the world again, as they had done in the past. Durotan could not accept this, but rather than hand Velen over to Ner'zhul, he released him and took instead two of the powerful Ata'mal crystals.

Velen, who now saw no hope for his people, began to prepare them for war. In the end, the orcs, fueled by Kil'jaeden and the Burning Legion, overran the cities of the Draenei and eventually the temple of Karabor. The last assault was upon the capital city of Shattrath. Velen had wanted to take as many of the Draenei that were left and seek refuge in the Zangarmarsh, which the orcs had not yet discovered. His lieutenants, however, convinced him that if the orcs arrived in Shattrath and found it empty, they would be driven to find the Draenei, wherever they hid. Thus it was that Velen said goodbye to many of his people, who stayed behind in Shattrath to defend it to the death, protecting those few who escaped to the marsh.

For 20 some years, Velen and the Draenei hid in the marsh, safe from the orc threat. During this time, the orcs had created the dark portal and waged war on Azeroth. Ner'zhul had attempted to create many more portals to other worlds to conqure, but his plan failed and the end result was the destruction of Draenor, turning it into the Outland we know today. Eventually, Illidan and his armies would come through the portal to overtake Outland from Magtheridan and the Burning Legion. Velen took this opportunity to flee, and leading an assault on the Blood Elf controled fortress of Tempest Keep, they wrested the Exodar section free and escaped into the Twisting Nether. The Exodar had been sabotaged however, and when the Draenei attempted to plane shift, they were hurled through the Nether, eventually landing on Azeroth in the Azuremyst Isles.

It is here that Velen dwells this day. He and the Draenei have joined the Alliance to fight back the Burning Legion and retake Draenor for their own. He can currently be found in the Exodar, in the Vault of Lights.

Here are some last interesting facts and observations on Velen. He is very old, having been around for over 25,000 years, and up until his exile to the Zangarmarsh, he had a very pale white skin tone. During the time hidden from the orcs and the destruction of Draenor, his skin turned to the more bluish tone he has today. Up until their arrival on Azeroth, the Draenei's defense had been to run away whenever they saw the Burning Legion coming. Now bolstered by the Alliance, Velen and his people are making a last stand for themselves. All of this culminates in what is currently the end game raid, the Sunwell Plateau, in which we as adventurers seek to stop the coming of Kil'jaeden. I haven't gotten to see this content, and don't know that I will before I'm level 80.

Please let me know what you thought of today's post. Too long? Boring? Did you learn anything you didn't already know? Want less history and more of my opinion? And feel free to offer up subjects for future lessons in lore.

Thanks for reading, and have a good morning!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Future Posts

I've decided to do something that I hope will be fun for me and useful and interesting to anyone out there who reads this blog. I'm adding a bit of structure to my posts and will be blogging about certain topics each day. I'll try and keep it up for a couple weeks and see how I like and how people respond to it. Without further babbling from me, here is what you can expect in the future.

Monday - This will be random topic day. I plan to use Mondays for Shared Topic posts from Blog Azeroth, and if that's not an option, then I will come up with something interesting or worth discussing on my own, maybe something that happened over the weekend.

Tuesday - Tuesdays will be about game mechanics. This could be a useful macro, addon, or just something about the user interface or game options that you may or may not have seen, heard of, or used before.

Wednesday - The middle day of the week will be for talking about our characters, both alts and mains. What's new, what's different, what's fun. Where we are at in progression and what we're looking forward to. New gear, what we're aiming for, that kind of thing.

Thursday - Lore day. Thursdays are all about the history of Azeroth, Outland or some of the characters, places and events in the history of Warcraft. I anyone has something they'd specifically like to know more about, just post a comment. Possibly going to be my favorite day of the week.

Friday - Role playing. I'd like to spend at least one day with either just an in character story or a look at where our characters fit into the grand scheme of things in the world of Azeroth. Possible ideas are a story of one of our adventures, or some history behind one or several of the characters, or maybe a telling of a role play event we were part of in the game with our guild or in general.

So that's what I'm thinking of. It's bound to change and be molded a little bit, and depending on the feel I get after a week or so, I may change things around. Maybe RP day will be Monday and Random thoughts will be on Friday, who knows?

Thanks for reading, and have a good morning!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Over a thousand word count

No, the post isn't actually long, but it has a few pictures, and since a picture is worth a thousand words...yeah, okay sorry...that was lame.

But I haven't had a lot of time to post lately, so today I have some pictures to share about what we've been up to. First up is a picture of Bogdan and Nadyezhda (Nadya), our baby Draenei who we've played a tiny bit. We've been focusing a lot on playing Salthier and Lal and getting them all geared out. Lal especially doesn't want to stop until she has the best Healing AND Holy DPS sets she can get. But anyway, here are the Draenei!


I actually want to play them more, but with the number of things left to do on Salthier and Lal, it doesn't really happen. I'm hoping in a couple weeks I'll be able to dedicate more time to them, as I'd really like to have a 3rd 70 before Wrath of the Lich King comes out.

Elionene has gotten a little play in this last week as well. Other than farming for primals, last night I got to take her into Karazhan were I finally got rid of my green quality boots and upgraded to the Fiend Slayer Boots from the chess event! Woot! And if that doesn't beat all, I won the roll for my Tier 4 helm. The stats are great! But it looks like I'm wearing a bucket on my head. An evil bucket. Yeah, I'll probably be sticking with Show Helm Off.


This last one is for Lal because she says, and I agree, that she makes one hot Blood Elf. Several of the quests in Shadowmoon Valley give you the opportunity to disguise yourelf as a Blood Elf, and each time she was amazed at how cute she was. It's almost enough to make her want to roll horde. Almost.


For future posts, I think I'm going to start delving into something I love to talk about. Lore. WoW Insider runs a Know your Lore column every week or so and I really love how they make some of the complex background easier to understand, and it's a lot more fun than reading stuff straight from WoW Wiki. Maybe I can do a once or twice weekly thing as well! I'm starting to get excited for where this blog might be going.

Thanks for reading, and have a good morning.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Mouse over Macro

Here's a short post about a handy tool. When making targeting macros, you can use a number of modifiers to the macro so that it does different things when you click, right click, alt-click, shift-click, etc. But you can even modify it to do something when pressed while you hover the mouse over something.

For an example, as a Druid Bear Tank I may want to Lacerate my secondary target while staying on my main target when tanking. I could make that secondary target my focus and use a macro that does this:

/cast [target=focus] Lacerate

But what if I want to lacerate something besides my focus? Enter the mouse over macro.

/cast [target=mouseover] Lacerate

Put this macro on an action bar, and assign it a key binding such as J or whatever you want to use. In my example while targeting and tanking the main target, I can hover my mouse over the secondary target (another mob on me) and hit J to lacerate him without switching targets, and then go right back to gaining aggro on the main mob. This is really handy for holding multiple mobs aggro as a bear tank, but it can be modified for a lot of different classes and spells.

Have you used a mouseover macro before? If so, when and where?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Focus Macro

There's a game mechanic called focus that is very useful in a lot of different situations. I don't know when I first found out about it but through reading various blogs and learning about helpful things to macro, focus came up more than a few times. I didn't actually implement it for anything until Lal had to Shackle Undead for the first time. I went back and found a macro for her to use, and it works like a charm. A good source for useful macros is WoW Wiki, which consists of contributions from a lot of people. I also had some help from guild members who use it, and doing Google searches for blogs and web pages that list lots of helpful information on creating and using macros. All of that to say that most of this information is not original. It's out there for all to research and find. But for me and the few people that might read this, here is what I know about Focus.

Essentially, Focus is a secondary target. When you click on someone or something, it becomes your main target. All of your spells and abilities when used will (if possible) affect that target. Using Focus and some simple macros, we'll be able to cast spells on a different target without switching from our main target. I find that it's especially useful for classes that use Crowd Control, so that they can continue to target the mob that is being killed, and keep the CC up on another mob without having to switch targets back and forth.

The Simple Version

So how does it work? I'll be using the Shackle Undead ability as an example, but it can be adapted for any other kind of spell. First, let's look at a simple version.

Hit Escape or click on the computer icon to access the game options. Then go to Keybindings and scroll down to the targeting options. You''ll see two options with Focus. One is Focus Target, and the other is Target Focus. That's not confusing at all, is it? Right. Set Focus Target to something easy, such as Shift-F. Set Target Focus to Ctrl-F. If those interfere with other keybindings you have, try and find something similar that's easy to remember. Focus Target (Shift-F) will now SET your focus. Target Focus (Ctrl-F) will make your focus your main target. We really only need to worry about Focus Target for now.

Now that we can set our focus easily, we need a macro to cast our ability on our focus target, and not the main target. Open up the Macros from the game menu (or type /macro) and click New. Select the "?" icon and type in a name, in this example we'll call it Shackle Focus. Hit okay.
In the macro text type the following:

#showtooltip Shackle Undead
/cast [target=focus] Shackle Undead

That's it. Drag that Macro out and put it on an easy to access spot of your action bars. You can probably even replace normal Shackle Undead with it.

So now imagine we're in Karazhan, and the tank has marked an undead patron for you to shackle. Before the pull, target your mark and hit SHIFT-F to set that mob as your focus. Assuming you're the main healer, you'll want to move your target back to the main tank and keep him alive. As soon as the tank pulls, hit your Shackle Macro and it should shackle the undead that is your focus target, while you have the tank targeted. Max rank shackle can potentially last up to 50 seconds, but lots of factors could contribute to it lasting less time. So while you're healing, just remember to hit your shackle every 20 to 30 seconds and keep that mob controlled until the group is ready to kill it.

Not a priest? Just change the macro to whatever spell you want. For mages who want to keep sheep up while maintaining DPS on the main target, just rewrite the macro as such:

#showtooltip Polymorph
/cast [target=focus] Polymorph

By the way, that first line of the macro is just there to make sure the icon for your macro looks like the normal icon for that spell. It might not even be necessary, but I like to put it in there.

Hunter's can use it to to cast a Distracting Shot on their trap target and keep it's attention on them, so it's always running to the trap and not the healers or anyone else.

#showtooltip Distracting Shot
/cast [target=focus] Distracting Shot

Warlocks can use it to keep up a Seduce, although it looks slightly different since it's a pet ability.

/cast [pet:succubus,target=focus] Seduction; Seduction

All of these rely on you setting the focus with Shift-F before the pull. And for subsequent pulls, you will have to reset the focus again. It's a small annoyance, but it's also possible to take it out altogether by using slightly more complex macros to both SET your focus, and CAST the spell.

The Not So Simple Version

#showtooltip Shackle Undead
/clearfocus [button:2]
/clearfocus [target=focus,dead]
/focus [target=focus,noexists]
/cast [target=focus,exists] Shackle Undead

With this as your macro, put it on your action bar, and then all you have to do is press once to set the focus and shackle, then press it again to re-shackle. Basically it takes out the SHIFT-F step. It also allows for you to clear your focus by right clicking the macro.
Here it is line by line.

#showtooltip Shackle Undead
Uses the Shackle Undead icon for the macro picture.

/clearfocus [button:2]
Right clicking the macro will clear your focus.

/clearfocus [target=focus,dead]
If your focus target is dead, it will clear your focus.

/focus [target=focus,noexists]
If your focus target does not exist (your focus is cleared) then it will focus your current target.

/cast [target=focus,exists] Shackle Undead
The actual casting of the spell. This is modified to only cast of you have a focus (exists), which will always be the case thanks to the preceding lines of text.

So with this new macro, target your mark to Shackle, hit the macro once to focus that target and shackle it. Then switch to the main tank to start healing. Continue to hit the macro periodically until the tank moves to your mob to kill it. When the target is dead and you move to a new group, simply repeat the process. It will automatically clear the dead mob from your focus target, and focus your new target.

Again, just replace the /cast line with whatever spell or ability you want to use. Here is a Warlock seduction macro, since it's a bit different with the pet again:

#showtooltip Seduction
/clearfocus [button:2]
/clearfocus [target=focus,dead]
/focus [target=focus,noexists]
/cast [pet:succubus, target=focus,exists] Seduction; Seduction

That's the basics of focus for crowd control. Hopefully you'll be able to take some of this and apply it in other places. As always, I'm willing to hear others thoughts on useful focus macros. And if you think anything I've put up here is complete rubbish, then feel free to say so too. I don't consider myself an authority on it, but I have had success messing around with it and using it as I play.

Thank you for reading, and have a good morning.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Sad Day in Wowville

Yesterday, two of my favorite people in all of Warcraft. Two people who I've run a dungeon every Saturday morning with for the last 8 months, let Lal and me know that they were leaving the guild.


It's funny how in just playing a video game, we've made so many friends. It might be hard to explain to people who don't play online games how people we've never met in real life can be our friends, but the time we've spent together and the adventures we've shared count for something. And we've even got to know a few of these people outside of the game through facebook, and email, and what not. Lal and I even had dinner with a guy from our guild when he visited Boston on a business trip. It was a lot of fun.

The two that are leaving Veritas are staying on the server and starting their own guild. They really just saw Veritas heading in a different direction than they wanted to go, and decided the best way to go the direction they wanted was to start their own guild. I respect that. It's still hard. Part of me wants to go with them and be a part of their guild. But a larger part of me cannot forsake the other friends and progress I've made with Veritas, a guild which I still really love. We could make alts and join them to the new guild, but I'm not ready for the duo-guilding that some people do. That's a little more complicated than I think I can handle.


For now, we'll make the best of the situation, and we'll still be doing Saturday morning runs, and even Sunday afternoon runs which we've affectionately dubbed "Afternoon Tea" with our friends, even if the title under our names is slightly different. It's not like they've left. It's just going to be different. And only time will tell what kind of different that will be.

Tomorrow I'll post a more uplifting post about focus macros. What? An actually informative and useful blog post? No fluff about characters and what level I've achieved? Yes. That's right. Actual, useful, information. Welcome to Good Morning Azeroth.