OK, look. We know according to current lore, blood elves cannot be druids. The quel'dorei left behind Nordrassil and any tree-hugging ways they might have had when they were banished after the War of the Ancients, thousands and thousands of years ago. Blood elves are all about the arcane, not about nature magic. But apparently, there's a huge contingent of people out there that would still like to be able to play them in game.
It's doubtful we will ever see that particular race and class combination come into play. However, the magic of transmogrification can at least give you the look you're going for. There's no shape-shifting or nature spells with this look, and you'll need a leather-wearing class to pull it off -- for blood elves, that pretty much means a rogue. But if you're dead set on blood elf druids and you'd still like the look of one, even if you can't play the class ... well, this combination ought to do the trick!
Being honored ingame with an NPC or an item is, I think we can all agree, the height of player cool. Not that this will ever happen to me, mind you. Realistically, the only thing I expect to get from Blizzard is a letter bomb, or possibly a bloodstained horse head for going live with that article on the Death Grip bug, and perhaps I deserve it. To this day I feel kind of bad, or at least I do until I remember my guild leader's Death Knight sending a goblin NPC flying off the dock, and then I laugh and laugh, and realize that I am a terrible person who should probably be locked up somewhere.
It's fun to wonder, though, and I've settled on two wishes. The first would be making my beloved main into a Thunder Bluff NPC among the Druid trainers, kitted in full Tier 6 with an Origin of Nightmares. She would be friend and counselor to all young Druids and full of unsolicited advice for them, most of it incorrect. The second, less dignified, and perhaps more realistic legacy I would leave to the game is a series of cow-shaped impact craters at the bottom of various Northrend cliffs and in Crystalsong under the Dalaran sewers' exit pipe, in tribute to the several falling deaths incurred while mindlessly jumping from heights without the benefit of Cold Weather Flying. Little signs could be posted below informing players of the sites' historical significance, although I'm not sure how Blizzard could squeeze the phrase "Oh shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii.........." onto the flavor text.
On the chance that Blizzard ever decides to honor your august self ingame, what would you want honored and how?
A little while after BigRedKitty closed shop on his blog last week, there was another post from TJ on there asking for help with a "secret project" (that lots of you let us know about -- thanks!). And now, the secret has been revealed: a few of BRK's fans have put together a goodbye video for the knowledgeable Hunter with the big red cat, and you can watch the whole thing above.
Very touching, and very cool to see a community come together to thank someone who's done a lot for them. BRK also reported on his blog this week that he hasn't left Warcraft for good, but it does sound like the choice to focus on his real life and family rather than what happens in Azeroth was an excellent one. We've also heard, through the grapevine, that Blizzard may be honoring BRK in their own way in the future, much like they did with Phaelia of Resto4Life. We'll keep an eye out for nay Big Red items we may come across.
Our good friend and colleague Daniel "BigRedKitty" Howell has announced on his blog that he is taking a break from World of Warcraft. He's taking time off of the game and his blog to, as he says, "rededicate myself to my family." He thanks readers for their attention and kind words, and hopes that everyone will understand his decision, as well as examine their own lives to make sure that they focus on what's most important to them.
We of course wish him well -- BRK was an excellent contributor to our site and podcast, and we commend him on making the decision to do what's right for him and his family. We hope that everything turns out OK. And as many of his commenters have said, we wish him the best of luck in everything, WoW-related and otherwise.
Phaelia of Resto4Life, you'll remember, also closed her blog down recently, also choosing to focus on her family (and the sapling about to grow into it). Trying to figure out a good balance between your free time and your work and family life is a tough thing -- our Azeroth Interrupted column has covered exactly that battle. And as even Blizzard says, if any other part of your life is suffering because you're choosing to play this game or be a part of this community, it's time to make a break. Raiding the wilds of Azeroth is a lot of fun, and it's possible to do it while leading a healthy life. But if that balance ever gets thrown off, it's time to take a step back and do what's right for you and those closest to you.
Blizzard has been known to insert tributes in-game to the player community, the most notable of whom was Breanni, the mascot of WarcraftPets.com. Breanni was honored with an appropriate NPC in Dalaran selling cool vanity pet-related items. While getting a full-blown NPC named after our characters is probably way out of our league, a nifty in-game item is easier to fantasize about. Blizzard does it all the time, after all, with numerous items named after their employees or their characters, from ice cream to epic shields.
It's daydreaming time. If you were to get an in-game item named after you, what would it be? Give it a name, describe what it can do. I honestly wouldn't mind a gray item myself, as I think many of the coolest stuff in the game are gray. On second thought, a gray would probably be way too cool for me. At best, I'm probably better suited for an "of the Whale" forgettable green. How about you? What would your World of Warcraft item be?
It is, of course, a leather healing chestpiece, complete with a name that refers to one of Phaelia's main reasons for stepping down. MMO Champion lists as a drop off of the 25-man version of the Iron Council (I would have guessed Freya).
Sad news on the druid blogger front. Phaelia of Resto4Life fame will be closing her doors on March 19th.
Resto4Life is, in many people's opinions, is one of the best Druid healing blogs out there. Phaelia is one helluva intelligent resto druid, and a funny blogger to boot.
Phaelia posts that she's ending her bloging for a number of reasons, chiefly among them is that there is a new baby tree that her and Mr. Phae are expecting. So despite our sadness at seeing her go, there couldn't be a better reason!
The community over at Resto4Life is really quite a good one, and as such Phaelia is going to make a final post in March comprised of all the reader submitted screenshots and artwork she gets. And to add to the coolness of it, she's randomly awarding a Belkin Nostromo Speedpad N52TE to someone who submits some artwork, purchased with the money she's made from the site.
Class act all around, and a great site that will be missed.
Phaelia's got a guest blogger over at Resto4Life who's extolling the many virtues of Shadowmeld, definitely one of the more OP of the racial bonuses after the big change with the Wrath release. Previously, the spell could only be used out of combat, which made it very useful for, umm... hiding while AFK? But with the change of letting you use it in combat as a temporary threat wipe, the skill really opened up to be extremely useful for all sorts of things. If you're a Night Elf and you don't have Shadowmeld on your action bars, it's time to put it back.
Flipping on Shadowmeld has its disadvantages (almost any action takes you out of stealth and puts you back into combat), but if you need to duck out of combat for a quick drink or a quick change of gear, you can do it. And it can easily buy you some extra time to summon a mount or get away from trouble if you happen to be in PvP outside. And while it's not quite as powerful as Vanish, you can even use it in the Arenas to drop out of combat (hidden, as when you start drinking you'll lose your stealth), and grab a few seconds of drinking before you get brought back into the fight.
None of these uses are exactly gamebreaking -- the Shadowmeld action is pretty fragile, so you're going to have to be fast if you want to put that second or half second of dropping out of combat to good use. But when time is short and you've got to use every little ability you have, it's important to have Shadowmeld around. Ducking out of combat for just a moment might be just the boost you need.
Additionally, we talked with Phaelia about how she started in WoW and decided to start blogging about it, and we answered your emails, including what's up with those dragon heads you sometimes see outside of Stormwind and Orgrimmar, and the best glyphs for healers. If you've got a question or comment for the show, send it along to theshow AT wowinsider dot com, and you might even hear it on next week's show.
Lots of ways to listen to the show after the break -- don't forget that the earliest you can listen to the show is on Saturday evening: we've got the Ustream recording up right after we finish making it. But the best time to listen to the show is during, because every Saturday we do this live on our Ustream page (and you even get to attend the non-recorded aftershow). If you've never been, check it out next week.
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Our weekly podcast (we're working on a new graphic for the new theme, don't worry) goes live again as usual tomorrow afternoon at 3:30pm Eastern over on Ustream, and this week we are thrilled to welcome one of our favorite bloggers: Phaelia of Resto4Life. Listeners have requested some Resto talk, so we invited everyone's favorite tree Druid to come and let us know what things are like from the healer's perspective. And speaking of healers, we also invited a Priest and a Paladin along: Matt "Matticus" Low from World of Matticus (and our own Spritual Guidance column) will be on as a man of the cloth, and our producer Elizabeth Harper will be aboard as a woman of the plate. Looks like I'll have to rep Resto Shammy so we can get all the healers in the mix.
Additionally, we'll be talking about patch 3.0.3, and all the chaos in the runup to the expansion, including where we're going to get our copies, and what we're going to do right after install. And we'll take a look back at the beta, and see if there's anything else we'd like to say about it one last time before we step into the same place on the live realms. If you've got questions or comments for the show, feel free to drop us an email at theshow at wowinsider dot com, and you might even hear it on the air.
And of course you're welcome to join us during the recording for the live chat, our in-show polls, or a (hopefully not shortened this week) aftershow session with the guests. We'll be live at 3:30pm Eastern (time zone calc) on the Ustream page, or you can just join us right back here -- there's an embedded stream right after the break. See you then!
And Phaelia's got it down -- from setting up button mods (she's using Bartender, one of Adam's essential addons for 3.0.3) to configuring the keyboard itself and even putting in macros for all three Druid forms, if you've ever wanted to use the Nostromo, there's probably something interesting to learn here. Seems really complicated to me -- I'm not sure if I'm willing to commit that much work into getting my interface exactly right, especially if there's a chance that a big patch could wipe it all out.
But I can see how half the fun of playing the game is getting the controls just perfect, and if tweaking things that much makes you play that much better, more power to you. If you want to dive into the world of custom controllers, Phaelia's guide will probably be invaluable.
15 Minutes of Fame is our look at World of Warcraft players of all shapes and sizes – from the renowned to the relatively anonymous, the remarkable to the player next door. Tip us off to players you'd like to hear more about.
On a list of player names that serious WoW hobbyists should know, Phaelia definitely makes the cut. WoW Insider's Dan O'Halloran summed up why in his post last fall outlining druid blogs you should be reading: "Phaelia started Resto4Life.com back in March to educate herself about playing a better healing Druid. Turns out, she's educating the rest of us as well. Her entries delve into the many facets of a Tree Druid's gameplay: Re-evaluating Spirit, mp5 vs. +Healing and Getting More Out of Innervate are just a few of the many treasures to be found on this blog. Updated frequently with a friendly and informative tone, Resto4Life is the Big Red Kitty for Restoration druids." 15 Minutes of Fame visited with Resto4Life's creator, Phaelia of US Scarlet Crusade-A, about the many attractions of the Druid class.
15 Minutes of Fame: How did you get into WoW, Phaelia? Do you come from a gaming background? Phaelia: I started playing WoW during the first open beta. To be honest, I was less attracted to WoW than turned off by the idea of giving over another five years of my gaming life to another game from Sony Online Entertainment. I began my MMO career as a sophomore in college, and while quitting EverQuest 1 left a void in my gaming lifestyle, I knew I didn't want to play another game from the same company. Blizzard turned out to be the breath of fresh air and fun that I was looking for!
Since this column has been dominated by news of the Ferlol kind lately, I thought this week would be a good time to bring some true leafy fun into the mix.
I am still working avidly on a gearing for Karazhan list for Restoration Druids, with research and insight provided by Bellwether of 4 Haelz, with full expectations of having it ready for you to enjoy next week.
In the meantime, here is a wonderful opportunity for Treelovers to show their Bark is stronger than our Bite.
Phaelia, the mind and heart behind Resto4Life, decided that Arbor Day was the perfect time for Resto Druids to let their imaginations bloom.
My main is a tanking feral druid who respecs to PvP resto pretty regularly (you know you're playing a hybrid class when your local trainer publicly thanks you for financing his boat payments), and every week I find myself staring at my talent calculator wanting to take a shillelagh to Nature's Focus. The Druid restoration tree has a lot of talents that leave you wondering what you're supposed to be using them for, and I nominate this one as winner, class, and show. Which says something, given the number of resto talents there are that either: a). make no sense if you take the 41-point talent Tree of Life, which virtually every raiding resto does, or b). also make no sense if you mostly PvP.
She has taken it upon herself to cut down her addon list to what is really necessary. After all, load in and zoning times are important, too. After deleting some that were rendered obsolete by recent patches, some that weren't that great after all and some she couldn't remember what they even did, she got down to 79. Yikes.
I recently got a new rig so I have very few addons going right now. But I do have to clean out my Interface folder on my old rig which I still play on. One addon for sure I couldn't live without though is Outfitter which automatically switch gear sets between Druid forms.
Does your addon folder need spring cleaning? What addons can you simply not live without? Are you an addon addict or an addon newbie?