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Kristin Marshall

Seattle - http://twitter.com/kristin

Kristin enjoys all things WoW, but is especially fond of raiding, collecting pets, and racking up achievements. She can be found healing all the things on her monk and playing on her many alts.

The quick guide to mistweaving

I didn't start my monk journey as many others did at MoP's release, but switched mains during tier 15 due to raid needs. My confidence was at an all-time low because monk healing felt so foreign, compared to other healing classes. After some time, I completely fell for my monk and want to share what I've learned along the way.

I'd like to get it out of the way now - this guide isn't meant for the advanced mistweaver. It's a quick guide to get you healing, stat. I'd like to cover in-depth mistweaver topics in the future, so don't worry! This is a resource meant for monks hitting level 90 and are interested in trying their hand at healing. It's meant for brewmasters or windwalkers curious about healing or even for those being thrown into a new off-spec.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Monk, Mists of Pandaria

Patch 5.4: Hearthstone game board model datamined

Patch 54 Hearthstone gameboard model datamined
The folks over at MMO-Champion have uncovered a Hearthstone game board while datamining the latest patch 5.4 PTR build. With the Hearthstone beta starting Soon, we're wondering how the model will be integrated into WoW. Will it serve as a simple doodad to decorate inn tables or will it play a part in an in-game Hearthstone event? Let the speculation begin.

I haven't had the opportunity to try Hearthstone yet, but from what I've seen so far, I'm definitely excited about the game. And if Blizzard manages an epic in-game tie-in to WoW for the beta or release, even better. Would you participate in an in-game cross-promotion? Even if I didn't give two hoots about Hearthstone, earning a mount or a pet is all the convincing I'd need.

Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria, Hearthstone Insider

Patch 5.4: Gahz'rooki converted to a rare drop

Patch 54 Gahz'rooki converted to a rare drop
Once patch 5.4 drops, the Battlefield Barrens world event will come to a close. Players will no longer have access to the Darkspear Rebellion Quartermaster, Ravika, who sells a variety of fun items, including Gahz'rooki's Summoning Stone. Battle pet collectors have been curious as to what will happen to Gahz'rooki next patch, and Mumper confirmed its fate:

Its definitely good to know that Gahz'rooki will be sticking around, albeit as a rare drop. We don't know where it'll drop or how rare it'll be, so farm the pet now while it can be traded for a Radical Mojo.

As for the quartermaster's other Battlefield Barrens-themed items, like Griftah's Authentic Troll Shoes, we're assuming that they'll disappear along with the event once the patch hits. Purchase them now while you can!

Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Breakfast Topic: Joined at the hip

Breakfast Topic Joined at the hip
A couple of months ago, my tanking partner of over a year decided to take a break from WoW to focus on real life. In my guild, our policy has always been real life over the game, so there were no hard feelings. Although I was happy for my raiding buddy, I wasn't looking forward to recruiting a new tank. After tanking together for so long, we could predict what the other would do and we worked very well together.

I eventually recruited another tank, but didn't feel as comfortable as I was with my old partner. "It will take time," I told myself. I was just making myself feel better, and to be honest, I still don't feel a connection with my new tank partner. I've not had fun raiding lately and that's a bad sign. The social interaction in WoW is as big a factor in why I play as the content is.

How about you? Do you have an in-game friend that you team well with? If you raid, how important to you is having a connection with others in your group? How do you feel when that dynamic changes, and what do you do if it does?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

Complete your For the Alliance achievement before patch 5.4

Complete your For the Alliance! achievement before patch 54
Last week, with the help of a great group of folks, I was able to complete the For the Alliance! achievement on my priest. But wait... Garrosh won't be around for much longer. I logged onto the PTR to visit Grommash Hold to see who's inside. Spoilers: It's empty. Well, there are a few of the standard NPCs around, including the Archaeology trainer, but there's no warchief to be found.

Not unexpected. At this point in the storyline, Garrosh is being the ultimate butt and everyone's pretty distracted. What does this mean for Alliance looking to complete the For the Alliance! achievement if there's no Garrosh? Sure, there will be a new leader to kill, but we really can't guess when the achievement will be updated once patch 5.4 hits.

If you can gather a group before then, do so! It's unfortunate that Orgrimmar can't be cross-realmed -- this part of the achievement must be completed with people from your server. To avoid being caught and overrun, arrange the raid via social media or within your guild. Word spreads quickly when these runs go public. Good luck!

Filed under: Achievements, Mists of Pandaria

Patch 5.4 PTR: Crazy Cat Lady/Man title added

Patch 54 PTR Crazy Cat LadyMan title added
When the Crazy for Cats achievement was discovered on the PTR, the first thing players asked for was a title to go along with it. Namely, something to do with being a Crazy Cat Person. Good news! We got what we asked for: The Crazy Cat Lady and the Crazy Cat Man were both added as titles in the latest patch 5.4 PTR build.

Keep in mind that you need 20 out of the 24 cats listed under the achievement. Overall, the achievement doesn't seem too difficult for a battle pet collector to earn, especially since one-third of the cats on the list are purchasable via NPCs. A few felines on the list are harder to come by, including the Nightsaber Cub and Spectral Tiger Cub from the TCG, and the Spectral Cub awarded to players participating in the Shanghai 2012 Battle.net World Championship.

I'm crossing my fingers for the title off the bat when the patch drops!

Filed under: News items, Achievements, Mists of Pandaria

Patch 5.4 PTR: Sky Golem mount allows for aerial flower picking

Sky Golem
Engineers have been kept waiting for the release of a few exciting new schematics. It's been too long! I have four engineers (I'm not crazy, I swear), so I was excited to see the new engineering mount updated in the latest patch 5.4 PTR build. We knew it previously as Sky Claw, but this awesome mount's official name is Sky Golem.

In the original build, the mount's tooltip indicated that it'd be able to carry an ally, but it seems to have changed. The new tooltip has been updated to say that instead, the claws of the mount can be used by herbalists to pick herbs. Now druid herbalists aren't the only ones that get to have all the fun!

We've been waiting a long time but keep in mind that things on the PTR are subject to change. I'm trying not to get my hopes up -- still -- but these recent updates are making it difficult not to. We'll keep our fingers crossed!

Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Lesser Voidcaller brings all the spirits to the yard

Lesser Voidcaller

Since the introduction of the new Raiding with Leashes achievement, I've been farming the old BC raids for new pets. I've only managed to farm up about half, but I'm sure Lady RNG will be kind to me at some point. In my collecting adventures, I've come across a few battle pets that are so irresistibly cute that I could care less about abilities, pet family, or how to obtain them. Lesser Voidcaller definitely falls under that category because of its unique idle animation that summons small spirits.

Lesser Voidcaller drops from High Astromancer Solarian in The Eye, so it's not tough to obtain. Before you engage the boss, be sure to at least kill the two packs patrolling the room, as the casters will use a mind control and force a reset. The entire room will pull with the boss if you don't clear it, but I've never had an issue AoEing everything, even on my squishier priest.

Lesser Voidcaller is of the Magic family and its abilities are as follows:

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade, Achievements, Mists of Pandaria

Blizzard announces Flexible Raids

Image
The community has been pressing Ghostcrawler for clues on the mysterious Big Feature coming to a future content patch, but the devs have insisted that there are a few great features coming soon. Blizzard has just revealed one of the new features for the next major content update -- Flexible Raids.


WoW has seen a shift in raid sizes, from 40-man to the current 10- and 25-man difficulties, but one size does not fit all. What about the in-between raids? Those nights players can't fill a 25-man or have a few more than 10 show up one night? Flexible Raids look to fix that.

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Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Lil' Bad Wolf packs a big punch against Critters

Lil' Bad Wolf packs a big punch
Real talk time: I've been feeling a bit agitated at the battle pet situation in patch 5.3. Naturally, I want to collect every new pet, but RNG is a cruel mistress. The new patch introduced an updated Raiding with Leashes achievement, which has players returning to the good old BC raids. BC was my favorite expansion, so I enjoy heading back to stomp all over Lady Vashj, especially. Which is good, because I've yet to see a pet drop from SSC. But I digress.

Reader SpaceBard suggested a rundown of Lil' Bad Wolf, one of the ten new raid battle pets in 5.3. We live to serve.

Farming Lil' Bad Wolf is plagued with RNG obstacles. First, the Red Riding Hood encounter must spawn during The Opera Event -- one of three possible outcomes -- and then, of course, the pet may or may not drop. This devilishly cute Humanoid's abilities are as follows:

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade, Achievements, Mists of Pandaria

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