Archive for the ‘surveys’ Category

The latest challenge from Z & Cinder is a list of questions to answer out-of-character if you’re comfortable enough to talk about your real life, or in-character if you’d rather not talk about your real life. It’s a long-ish list (26 questions), so they’ve said that you don’t have to answer them all if you don’t feel so inclined — so I’m going to cherry-pick the ones that have easy answers 😉

1. How do you drink your tea?
I’m a Latter-day Saint. I don’t drink tea.
Well, I don’t drink black tea or green tea. Herbal teas, though, I like when I’m not feeling well in the winter. I drink more hot cocoa than herbal tea, though; from about October to March, I go through great volumes of hot cocoa. I make my own hot cocoa mix using a recipe developed by my mother.
I tend to drink hot cocoa and herbal tea tepid — not much warmer than room temperature — because I set the mug on a corner of my desk where I won’t accidentally knock it over and then get absorbed in work (or blogging) and forget about it for awhile. I’ve gotten to the point where I actually prefer my cocoa tepid because I can taste the chocolate flavors better that way. When it’s hot, I mostly just taste the sugar.

3. Favorite season
Spring or autumn, especially those lovely few weeks on the cusp each way when I can regulate the temperature of my house without needing either the furnace or the air conditioner simply by opening and closing the windows. I love all kinds of spring flowers — crocuses, daffodils, tulips, lilacs, irises — but I am also rather fond of my roses and California poppies that bloom and bloom and bloom all summer long.

5. Dogs or cats?

7. How many kids do you want?
I used to say “no less than four, no more than six, in other words, five” — but now that I’ve spent the first ten years of my marriage wrestling with infertility, I’ll be happy just to get to three by adoption.

12. What is your family ancestry?
English, Scots, Swedish, and Norwegian

13. What scares you?
Student evaluations. I always put off reading them for as long as I possibly can on the excuse that I can’t ever afford to lose a day of productivity to being in a state of emotional turbulence over the negative things my students have said about me.

14. What are you most grateful for?
My family. I have awesome parents. I have good relationships with my siblings. I have a wonderful husband and a darling child.

15. Dream job?
I’ve got it! I teach at a small two-year college where teaching is my only responsibility — no expectation whatsoever that I will do research. It is exactly the kind of job that I imagined and told my mentors and peers was my career goal to get myself through the long difficult years of graduate school.

16. Do you believe in aliens?
There’s a bit in one of the Narnia books where Aslan tells Lucy that there are many people’s stories in the world, but he can only tell her about her own. There’s a bit in Latter-day Saint scripture where God tells Moses, “And worlds without number have I created; and I also created them for mine own purpose… But only an account of this earth, and the inhabitants thereof, give I unto you. For behold, there are many worlds that have passed away by the word of my power. And there are many that now stand, and innumerable are they unto man; but all things are numbered unto me, for they are mine and I know them.”

17. Favorite sport?
Quidditch? Nah… even if I were a Wizard instead of a Muggle, I’d probably not pay any more attention to Quidditch than I do to Muggle sports.

20. If you could be a teacher, what subject would you teach?
I am a teacher, and I teach CHEMISTRY!

24. What superpower would you choose?
teleportation and telekinesis

25. Favorite animal?
I am quite fond of horses, but realistically, I will never be a “horse person”.
I adore guinea pigs, and I look forward to when my son will be old enough that we can get guinea pigs “for the kid(s)” as an excuse to get them for me.

26. Biggest accomplishment?
Getting my PhD, I guess. I still marvel sometimes that I didn’t get kicked out of my program for being an underperforming student and that my thesis committee let me get away with a doctorate even though my research project only produced one paper that wasn’t published until some months after I finished my dissertation.

27. Do you dare to show a real-life picture of yourself?
I suppose I dare. This is cropped from a picture of BTH and myself taken a few years ago — that’s his shoulder in the bottom left corner — and is rather more glamorous than I usually look.


As long as I’m answering survey questions about myself IRL, I ought to answer these questions that Alunaria gave me for the latest round of the Liebsters couple months ago…

1. Which World of Warcraft quote is your favorite?
I like to use this on my students after an especially bad exam:

2. If you could bring back one NPC in World of Warcraft, which one would it be, and why?
I can’t think of anyone in particular that I’d like to bring back from the dead. I guess I’d like to find out where Wrathion disappeared off to during Legion and what will happen when he meets Spiritwalker Ebonhorn, aka Ebyssian.

3. What is your favorite thing about the blog of the person who nominated you for the Liebster Award?
Alunaria always takes such beautifully framed screenshots with such wonderful character expressions!

4. What is the biggest challenge you have had to overcome in World of Warcraft?
I think I might be in the middle of it right now… This semester is being utterly exhausting, and while I want to finish my Legion solo-play goals, I’m also feeling more and more behind the Battle for Azeroth curve. I’m wishing now that I’d gotten all my alts to level 110 and through their Order Hall Campaigns much earlier, instead of waiting until the 11th hour to do those things, so that now they’d be further progressed on their Legion rep grinds.
In-game, the Lightning Forge and Chi-Ji’s Challenge scenarios for getting the Legendary cape during Mists.

5. If you could give someone 5 million gold in the game, who would it be, and why?
You mean, if I could ask the Devs to give someone 5M gold? Because I sure don’t have that much moolah myself. Uhm… probably BTH, because maybe I could convince him to re-sub to WoW and come run dungeons and old raids with me occasionally if he could perpetually fund it with the WoW Token instead of with our bank account.

6. Which one of your own blog posts is your favorite, and why?
Oh, gosh, I can’t possibly choose. Everything on my Stories page, and everything on my Drawings page, and everything on my Transmogrification page….

7. If you could bring one World of Warcraft creature into the real world, which creature would you pick?
Kodos! Or maybe faerie dragons.

8. If your World of Warcraft-friends had to describe you with 3 words, which words, do you think, would they choose?
Altoholic Tauren Transmogrification

9. What is the best advice someone has ever given you in World of Warcraft?
Play what pleases you.

10. What is your ideal way for World of Warcraft to end?
A lasting peace between the factions is finally achieved, removing the “War” from “Warcraft”.

11. If you could change one thing in the game, what would you choose – and why?
More hairstyle sharing between races — and more new hairstyles for everybody!
On the one hand, I get that a unique set of hairstyles is part of the appeal of playing a character of a different race.
On the other hand, there are so many hairstyles that are unique to one race, or only shared by a few races, that I would love to be able to use on characters of the races I play the most.
Right now, I really really want to use the long-braid-pulled-over-the-shoulder style that Night Elves, Dwarves, and Blood Elves have on my Human because of how Jaina is wearing her hair that way in Battle for Azeroth.

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Zeirah and DeezWurds and RepGrind have all tagged me for the latest iteration of the blog survey meme.

Aww, thanks, guys!

Zeirah asks:

If you couldn’t blog about WoW anymore, what would you blog about?
Before I began playing WoW, I blogged about Harry Potter on LiveJournal for several years. WoW came into my life at about the same time as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was published. By the time I started this blog, about two and a half years after I began playing WoW, I was barely posting in my LJ anymore — and by now, I haven’t logged into LJ at all for a few years.
Eventually, I will drift away from WoW, and maybe when that happens I will have drifted to something else that I will feel like blogging about — but for now, I really don’t know.

What’s the best and worst thing about blogging?
The best thing is the people I’ve gotten to know! Though I recognize that it’s not likely to happen, I would be delighted to meet you folks in person. For instance, if I ever manage to go to Australia (and to the right part of the continent), I want to do lunch with Navimie and Cymre 😀
The worst thing is when it’s been nearly two weeks since I’ve posted and I feel like I ought to make a post just to keep from having too long of a post drought, but I can’t think of anything to say.

What’s your favourite achievement in WoW?
The original “Loremaster” was my default answer to this question for years, because I worked hard to get it with Kamalia in late Wrath.
Maybe it’s really the one(s) to fish up all the coins in the Dalaran fountain, though. I wrote down in a notebook all the little tidbits of lore from the flavor text on all the coins when I did the original achievement back in Wrath. I’ve been meaning to set aside some time to do the new version of the achievement for the Legion Dalaran fountain.

How long have you been playing computer games?
We got our first computer at home when I was maybe seven or eight? It was an Atari, but I don’t know what version it was; it was the late 1980s, and the machine took two-and-a-half inch hard-cased disks, not five inch floppies. It had two external disk drives — one to put the program disk in to read, and the other to put a blank disk in to save files to. Donald Duck’s Playground was the best game! At school, in elementary school, I played Oregon Trail and various versions of Carmen Sandiego. As home computers got better, I played Jinxter and Matterhorn Screamer and Logical Island of the Zoombinis and the Animaniacs’ Variety Pack. I got really good at Smoocher and Barney’s Balloon Bop from the Animaniac’s Variety Pack while I was in college. We had Myst, too, but I never played much of it.

If you could have one day to do anything in, what would you do?
In the morning, I’d like to take a riding lesson and then go for a trail ride. I took English riding lessons for about a year and a half during graduate school. That was over a decade ago, though, so I’d have to start back at the beginning. After a picnic lunch and a siesta, it would be pleasant to go canoeing on a lake in the mid/late afternoon. Then I guess I’d want to go out to dinner at a moderately nice restaurant, maybe the sort that has a dance floor and a live swing band. To finish the day off, ice cream sundaes at a local business ice cream shop that makes their own stuff. But I don’t want to do those things by myself, or even just me and BTH. I’d want to do all that stuff with my whole immediate family. That would end up being a pretty expensive family reunion — but if I can really do anything, I have the funds for whatever I want to do, right?

What’s your favourite food?
Bread. Seriously. I mean, I thought about saying “chocolate, 60 – 70% cacao”, because I do love the stuff… but that’s so trite and boring. Give me some good bread and some butter to put on it — yum! As long as it’s quality stuff, I love all kinds of bread. There’s this faculty development lunch meeting once a week that’s catered by campus food services; one of the types of rolls they make are so good that when those rolls are on the menu, I might eat four rolls and skip dessert. I like to bake bread, too, but I don’t do that nearly often enough.

Where do you prefer to go, Mountains or Beach?
I’d rather go up in the mountains. The beach can be lovely, but I dislike how sand gets everywhere. I’m terribly out of shape and I huff and puff and my legs and feet get tired and I whinge and moan about those things when I’m hiking — but it’s worth it to see the rocks and the streams and the trees & other vegetation and to hear the birds singing and to get up to an overlook and see a magnificent view.

DeezWurds (Marathal, I think?) asks:

In the event of a Zombie Apocalypse, are you prepared?
Nope. When the Rash illness comes, hopefully I’ll be one of the ones who just dies quickly and stays properly dead…

Have you ever had someone you never would have thought would ever read you blog, mention something you wrote?
I was really tickled when Alternative Chat once metioned something that I’d written.

Of course I have to ask. Alliance or Horde, but also, One Main? or Army of Alts.
Horde; Army of Alts. Did you really have to ask that about me? 😛

Have you ever had the opportunity to attend Blizzcon, or some other large gaming convention.
No. I’ve been to a couple of American Chemical Society national meetings and to an Experimental Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Conference, though. I should probably try to get to another ACS national meeting one of these years, or maybe the next Biannual Conference on Chemical Education.

Do you think Warcraft will ever end, and how do you see them ending it.
I kind of hope that Warcraft won’t go on “forever”. I know that I start to get tired of a book series when it gets longer than about seven or eight books; I stop keeping up with it, and when, a few years later, I see the books that were the newest ones at about the time I stopped actively following the series at the library, I can’t muster up enough interest to pick them up and read them. Ideally, I’d like to have WoW have the last patch of its last expansion at about the same time that my own interest in the game completely wanes, so that later on, I don’t find myself wondering if I want to get back into the game and trying to catch up on everything that I’ve missed.
I’m honestly wondering where WoW will go from Legion, however. If we’re actually going to go to Argus and take on Sargeras in 7.3, what could top that? I guess Sargeras could run away and we’d have to chase him down for the next expansion. But after that, what? If the plot takes a sudden dramatic turn from everything we’ve done so far, then I couldn’t say what that might be or how it might ultimately end — though I am a fan of Rossi & Stickney’s predictions that killing Sargeras will result in a “good job breaking it, hero” moment, after which we’ll have to spend the next few expansions taking care of the Old Gods for reals.
It would be nice to see how various dangling plotlines resolve and clean up and settle down on Azeroth. Although those kinds of stories might not make for very exciting questing, I think it would be a nice “closing the game” touch to have the last patch ever be “clean up/resolution” type quests that actually phase the world to leave Azeroth in a more comfortable and hopeful state before the final log-off… Things like seeing a partial restoration of the Vale of Eternal Blossoms, taking all those places where the player’s actions are supposed to have saved a town and actually having the town be saved (instead of continually under attack so that the players who are still leveling have things to do), and so forth.

What in all the years you have played games, has been your favorite to play.
My favorite game ever? Oh, my, how am I supposed to choose?
My favorite outdoor game is croquet.
My favorite card game is SET; I also enjoy Dominion even though I’m really bad at it.
My favorite board game is Catan — the recent Explorers & Pirates expansion is especially fun to play; I also like Ticket to Ride a lot.
My favorite computer game is probably WoW, though the ones I mentioned above in my answer to Z are also games I really enjoyed during the periods of my life when I was playing them.

And a final one. Should Tauren be allowed to play Rogues? 😛
Well… yes and no. Not so long ago, I would have definitely said Yes. I think there’s plenty of lore precedents for Tauren Rogues of the Outlaw/Pirate variety. It would be fun to play a Tauren Outlaw Rogue. There’s not so much lore precedent for the Subtlety or Assassination varieties, though. I think I’d have the same sort of cognitive dissonance over the idea of a Tauren Subtlety or Assassination Rogue as I do with Tauren Shadow Priests. Tauren also have a rather boring Stealth pose and animations. If Tauren Rogues became a real thing, I’d feel obligated to roll and level one… but I am really happy with my current Blood Elf Rogue, and I think I’d want to keep her as my “main” Rogue.

RepGrind asks:

Do you have a favorite mount or type of mount? (horses, dragons, mechs, etc)
All of my major characters have unique mount macros for their specific mount preferences. Actually, they all have at least two mount macros — one for ground mounts and one for flying mounts. Some of them have more than that to sort different types of ground mounts or flying mounts. Kamalia has four mount macros: one for kodos, one for other ground mounts that I like that have a smaller profile than kodos, one for dragons, and one for smaller flying mounts.

Do your characters have individual personalities?
I would like them to, but I feel like the ways in which I have outlined differences in their personalities to myself are not very well developed — that I use those personality traits in a cardboard/type-casting/one-note kind of way. I don’t think I do very well at making their personalities truly individual when I write stories.

Transmog, yay or nay?
Yay Yay Yay!
Although I was into in-game fashion before Transmogrification, the feature took over my game goals — since Transmogrification debuted, I’ve only really cared about the looks of gear. I choose what content to do and what gear to try hard to obtain based on what it looks like, rather than what its stats are.

Do you have pets?
I’m so glad you asked! Here, have some pictures of my adorable cat being derpy.

What is more important to you, a good storyline or plenty of endgame activities?
A good storyline, because I’m going to be playing through it with a lot of characters. It’s a close call, though, because I also want a variety and abundance of endgame activities — preferably ones that continue to engage with the storyline — so that my lots of characters have a good range of choices of things to do at max level.

How did you get started in blogging?
I got into blogging originally because I wanted to write my thoughts about and post my drawings inspired by the Harry Potter books. I started blogging about WoW when I wanted to participate in conversations about and share my creative projects inspired by the game. Blogging provided an outlet to talk about and document my involvement with these fandoms in more detail than my parents and siblings care about knowing.

What kind of car do you drive?
My car is a 2007 Mitsubishi Lancer that I paid $4800 cash for in 2012. When I need a “new” car, I look for something 5 – 7 years old that I can get for about $5000 and is still in decent condition. And then I drive it until it is really truly dead — needs repairs that would cost more than the worth of the vehicle — before I replace it.

Most of the folks I would think about tagging have already been tagged by someone else, so I’m only going to tag three: Gnomecore, Syrco Owl, and Awaiting the Muse.

Tell me, tell me, would you please? —

* What locations in WoW have the best background music?

* Are there any ways in which WoW (or other games) has influenced or inspired things you do in your pay-the-bills career?

* Which calculator format do you prefer — TI (enter numbers and operations as you would write them on paper) or HP (reverse Polish)?

* What was the most memorable book that you read/movie that you watched last year? What made it so memorable?

* If you could take six months off from your current job and go back to college for a semester and study anything you wanted, what class(es) would you take?

* Give me a recipe for something that you like to make for dinner when you don’t have much time or energy for cooking.

* My current favorite chocolate bar is Chocolove’s “Holiday” bar, which is 55% cacao chocolate with pecans, currants, dried cherries, walnuts, hazelnuts, candied orange peel, and candied ginger — every square is a different delight! What’s your favorite sweet treat of the moment?

If I didn’t tag you but you still fancy answering any or all of these questions, please feel free to do so in the comments!

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The Liebsters are going around again, and I got tagged by Zeirah.

Let’s get to it, then.

What makes you smile?
A beautiful sunny morning, in any season of the year. Spring flowers. Birdsong. Silly things that my husband says or does. My supremely cute nieces and nephews.

Where do you see yourself in 50 years?
In fifty years, I will be eighty-five. It would be nice to have a few grandchildren, but first I have to have children… I would also like to have served a mission (or two) with my husband. By eighty-five, though, I very well might be beginning to lose my mind to Alzheimers — my maternal grandmother had been suffering from Alzheimers decay for two or three years prior to her death at age 87 three years ago.

Is there one class in WoW you haven’t been able to really gel with?
After playing all the classes to 90 during Mists, there are things I enjoy about the gameplay of all of them. I was quite pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed playing my Subtlety Rogue and Destro ‘Lock while leveling through Pandaria. The Cataclysm revamp of the Warlock class definitely played a big role in that; I hadn’t really been able to “gel” with my Warlock before that. Currently, the class I seem to be struggling with the most is Mage… since the 6.0 changes, I’m not really “click”ing with any of the Mage specs.

What is your biggest problem/challenge when it comes to blogging?
I have never been good about seeking out new bloggers — I generally find new blogs to read when bloggers I already read link to them. I am also really terrible about commenting, especially lately.

What is your dream career?
I am living my dream career right now, teaching chemistry full-time at a small, two-year college where all I have to do is teach and I don’t have to try to do research unless I really really want to. Unfortunately, this small, rural town is not so great for my husband’s career, so I doubt that we will actually stay here for the remainder of my career.

What is the one thing in WoW you love doing the most?
Just one thing? Either leveling alts or Transmogrification, though I haven’t done a lot of either lately. I have this long list of not-so-new-anymore Transmogrification kits that I need to take screenshots of and then get posted…

What is your favourite book?
If I could have only one book for the entire rest of my life, I’d take a Book of Mormon.
Or, if I could get away with it, the quadruple combination of the Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price in a single binding.
As far as secular books go, well, there are way too many books that I adore for me to choose just one favorite. Do I choose the authors that I discovered just recently and have been devouring, or the favorites of my teens and twenties that I return to and reread every five years or so, or the books that I loved during my childhood (even though I haven’t reread them for ten years or more)? I have favorite textbooks, too…

If you could choose the next playable race, what would it be?
High Elves for the Alliance.
I suppose that if that happened, it would most likely be paired with Ogres for the Horde, though I personally am not all that interested in/excited about playing an Ogre unless Blizz manages to make the Ogre women as awesome as Four.
Tuskarr. Or Vrykul. Saberon, perhaps, so that we can have “cats ‘n’ dogs” interactions with the Worgen?
Just adding the sub-races to the existing races — Taunka and Yaungol for Tauren, and so forth — would be great.
Centaurs and/or Tol’vir would also be pretty neat, though the “where are my pa-a-ants?!” issue will probably prevent them from ever actually being playable.

What is the most delicious food you have ever eaten?
Godiva Belgian Dark Chocolate ice cream was so so good, for the brief time that it was on the market. I love dark chocolate, and I love ice cream, and a really truly good premium dark chocolate ice cream is the best of both!

Who is your favourite WoW character?
Draka. Aggra. Baine. Jaina. Lor’themar. Dezco — though his arc in Warlords has become even more heartbreaking (a post I need to get around to writing). I haven’t done enough of the Alliance storyline in Draenor yet to know how much I like Yrel — though I was impressed by what I saw of her in the Horde storyline.

What do you think the next expansion should be about?
I don’t have any great ideas about what the overall theme of the next expansion should be — but I think it’s high time that we found out what Magatha Grimtotem is going to do with the Doomstone. Figuring that out — and stymying her plans — could be the focus for a whole zone storyline plot! Or a dungeon, at least, though I think it would be more fun as a zone questline.

Has Fel Fashion been nominated yet? or Anou’s Armoire? or rhuanious? or Dwarven District? or Kallixta’s Notes? or WoW Storylines? No? Then I tag you.

Here are my eleven questions, and my eleven factoids about myself in the form of my answers to my own questions:

1) What is your least favorite color?

2) What music do you like to listen to when you’re in a thinking sort of mood?
wind quintets, Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings soundtracks, FFVI soundtrack

3) Who is your favorite Garrison follower?
Leorajh, because he’s adorable

4) Should Farmer Yoon date Gina Mudclaw (whom he has a crush on) or Tina Mudclaw (who has a crush on him, but can’t decide whether she likes him or Farmer Fung better)?
Gina — choose the smart girl!

5) What is/are your favorite Tier set(s)?
T4 Shaman, T4 Paladin, T15-LFR Warrior, T1 & all of the BC Druid sets

6) Chocolate & peanut butter, or chocolate & mint?
most of the time, chocolate & peanut butter; for many years, I thought that mint ruined perfectly good chocolate, but then a few years ago I found a couple of brands of chocolate (Chocolove & Lindt) that made mint chocolate bars that, somewhat to my surprise, I really liked, and now I occasionally get in a chocolate & mint mood

7) If Arakkoa were made into a playable race, would you rather be the cursed, flightless Arakkoa that we first met in Outland, or the flying “high Arakkoa” that we meet in Draenor?
I think I’d like to be a high Arakkoa and have a special racial flying ability similar to the Worgen racial running ability (although I suppose that would not be so useful in no-player-flying-allowed Draenor). I also think the high Arakkoa would be more fun to dress up!

8) What is your favorite RL holiday, and what special foods must you have to eat for that holiday?
for Christmas, I want homemade truffles and toffee and caramel popcorn balls — but Christmas is not Christmas without peanut butter smoothie, a delicious confection of white coating and rice crispies and crunchy peanut butter

9) Did you make a pie for Pi Day? If so, what kind?
I made Nutmeg Maple Cream Pie for Pi Day this year

10) What utensil do you prefer for eating rice?
I grew up using a spoon to eat rice, so I prefer a spoon. My husband prefers a fork. When I cook rice as the starch for a meal, I set a fork for him and a spoon for me.

11) What new attraction would you love to see at the Darkmoon Faire?
I think the Faire ought to have a Ferris Wheel, but the Carousel already grants a nice XP & rep buff, so what could the Ferris Wheel do that would be complementary? Maybe a luck buff that would increase your chance to get a useful loot drop from dungeons or raids for the next 12 hours? If the Faire did have a Ferris Wheel, then there should be an achievement for taking a picture of yourself right at the top!

I also tag Navimie, Prinnie, Plaid, Tome, Cymre, and Matty, because I’d rather like to see your answers to my questions! But don’t feel obliged to answer my questions if you don’t want to.

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A World of Warcraft 10th Anniversary survey from the Godmother.

1. Why did you start playing Warcraft?
I began playing World of Warcraft seven years ago (as of yesterday, in fact) as something to do with my new husband. We’d already spent the first month after our wedding playing through Final Fantasy III.

2. What was the first ever character you rolled?
Kamalia the Tauren Resto Shaman was my first character, and I still consider her my main. Kamalia is the one who does just about everything — she gets the Loremaster acheivements for each new zone, she maxes out the most factions, she chases the most achievements, she does the most with the secondary profession skills, she raids first and most completely. During the earliest days of a new expansion, I spend almost all of my playtime with Kamalia. As an expansion draws on, though, I spend more and more time with alts, until by the the latest days of an expansion, I am spending almost all of my playtime with alts.

3. Which factors determined your faction choice in game?
At the time that I began playing, BTH wanted to be able to play with some RL friends. They were already Horde, so we rolled our new characters as Horde. We did in fact play with those RL friends for some time; they made up part of one of the very first guilds that we joined.
I also quickly fell in love with the Tauren people, so I continue to play mostly Horde because I want to play mostly Tauren.

4. What has been your most memorable moment in Warcraft and why?
Many of my most memorable moments in WoW have a strong postive social component — my BC guild’s first Zul’jin kill; joining a new guild mid-Cataclysm and being delighted by how friendly everyone was; participating in Transmogrification runs of old content raids with blogger friends; helping Cymre to get her Val’anyr; tagging along with Navimie to Navispam Vidyala, Voss, and Rhidach.
Others involve challenging things that BTH and I did together — playing our Hunters through the pre-Cataclysm version of the Nesingwary quest chain in Stranglethorn Vale when we were still somewhat underleveled, so that it took us most of the day and we had to really learn how to work together and use our available abilities to their best extent; attempting to duo Naxxramas in late Wrath, when we were in partly-Heroic ICC gear, and getting through most of it before having to call in a few extra DPS from our guild; duoing ICC several months ago, wearing Mists raid gear, and succeeding by swapping out my DPS character for a healer character for Valithria and LK himself.
But perhaps my most memorable WoW moment happened before I even started playing the game. BTH and I were still just dating at the time. Burning Crusade had only been out for a few months, and BTH had talked enough about the game that I was intrigued, so when he suggested that he show me some of the gameplay, I agreed. I remember so clearly watching him playing his then-Dwarven Paladin in Terokkar Forest, marvelling at the strangeness of the warp stalkers and noticing how the male and female Blood Elf mobs at Firewing Point had different death animations. I liked the richness of detail in what I saw of the game world, and it was interesting enough that when he suggested, after we got married, that we play the game together, I readily agreed.

5. What is your favourite aspect of the game and has this always been the case?
I’ve always enjoyed healing. Kamalia wasn’t even level 60 yet when I began rolling alts to explore other classes and races. I’ve also been interested in in-game fashion from very early in my WoW career; one of the first WoW blogs I started reading regularly was an RP fashion blog. This blog has always been a little about healing and a lot about alts and fashion. Although healing and exploring the breadth of the game with alts are still some of my favorite aspects of the game, Transmogrification instantly became my most favorite aspect of the game as soon as it was introduced.

6. Do you have an area in game that you always return to?
I love how peaceful and serene Thunder Bluff and Mulgore are. It’s my favorite place to station a Horde bank alt, and other Horde alts that aren’t doing anything in particular often end up just hanging out there, too.
Almost all of my Horde characters have spent some time in the Ghostlands because there are some great items available there from quest rewards and the Tranquillien faction. Similarly, almost all of my Alliance characters have spent some time on Azuremyst and Bloodmyst isles for the unique quest reward items found there.

7. How long have you /played and has that been continuous?
Kamalia’s current /played is 148 days, 2 hours (23 days, 2 hours at level 90). If I add up the /played of all my current characters, I get 449 days, 5 hours — and of course that doesn’t include all the time I’ve spent on the many alts that I’ve deleted. And yes, that has been more or less continuous. Though I’ve had some secondary accounts that have come and gone, I have never unsubscribed from my primary WoW account, and I haven’t taken any breaks from playing that were longer than a week or two.

8. Admit it: do you read quest text or not?
I try to read the quest text completely the first time I play through a zone because I want to understand why I’m doing what I’m doing and because I want to know the story and the lore. In recent expansions, though, BTH has wanted to go-go-go so quickly toward the new level cap that I haven’t really been able to fully read all of the quest text with Kamalia. Then, I’ve had to remember to take the time to read the quest text with subsequent alts. By the fourth or fifth alt through a zone, I don’t read the quest text anymore — but by the eighth or ninth alt, I start reading it again because I’ve forgotten just why I’m supposed to be killing ten rats and collecting five gubbins.

9. Are there any regrets from your time in game?
During Cataclysm, I intensely regretted not getting my Druid leveled and ready for raiding quickly enough to participate in very many guild alt runs of the T11 raids before Firelands dropped. Thus, I wasn’t able to get the T11 Druid shoulders, which I coveted from the first moment I saw another character wearing them. I regretted it so much that last summer, when the Druid T11-lookalike shoulders showed up on the AH of a different server than where my Druid resided, I barely batted an eyelash at spending $50 in Real World Money to do a there-and-back-again transfer of my primary bank alt to that other server to get them for her.

10. What effect has Warcraft had on your life outside gaming?
When I’m talking to my family about what I’ve been doing lately, I find myself glossing over the amount of time I spend playing WoW as much as I can. I try to avoid talking about the game with my Dad and try to hide my gaming time when I’m at my parents’ house because he disapproves of the amount of time I spend playing and thinks I should just quit entirely. My Mom and my sisters are more understanding, though they still think the time I spend playing could be better spent in other ways. I can talk about the game with my brothers, though we do it when Dad isn’t around. I also feel like my mind is a lot more shallow and frivolous than the rest of my family, due to the amount of time I spend thinking about the game instead of more serious topics — but then, that’s not really a new phenomenon. I’ve lived with my head in the clouds of fantasy worlds ever since I first read the Chronicles of Narnia and the Prydain Chronicles when I was seven.
Playing the game caused me to become even more distracted from my graduate school research than I already had been before I began playing. The allure of Azeroth definitely contributed to the overextension of the time it took me to complete my research and then my dissertation. This summer, I spent a lot of time trying to accomplish in-game goals before the impending collapse of my free time due to moving and starting my exciting new teaching job — a job that is exactly what I spent the last three or four years of graduate school telling mentors and fellow students that I wanted to do — at the expense, however, of preparing for said new job. Now, with just a week and a half to go before classes start, I’m feeling that I will not be as ready as I would ideally like to be for the first few weeks of the semester.
More positively, WoW and the friendships I have made through blogging about WoW have been helpfully therapeutic as I have wrestled with infertility over the past few years.

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As it turns out, I was also tagged for the Leibster meme by Chatmay — thanks!

1) How long have you been blogging? Why did you decide to start a WOW blog?
I began keeping a LiveJournal sometime in late 2001 or early 2002 to participate in the Harry Potter fandom. I began reading WoW fansites and blogs sometime around late 2009, when my Druid was reaching level 80 and I wanted to learn more about how to play the class well at the level cap. In early 2010, a healing survey was going around the blogs I was reading, and I wanted to participate. I was also, by that point, starting to have more to say about WoW myself than was reasonable to put in comments on other folks’ blogs.

2) What has been the highlight of your blogging career?
Running the Great Noblegarden Egg Hunt in 2011 and 2012, and having my “What My Characters are Wearing with their Shado-Pan Helmets” article featured on WoW Insider.

3) What games do you play besides WOW?
I don’t play any other computer games, though I am now quite tempted to ask for an iPad for Christmas so that I can use it to play Hearthstone! 😛
I enjoy most table games, though I’m terrible at trivia games and don’t like Monopoly very much.
BTH, on the other hand, plays lots of other computer games. He enjoyed Skyrim so much that he jumped into the Elder Scrolls Online during the early access period and will be letting his WoW account lapse until patch 6.0.

4) What hobby do you spend the most time on besides gaming?
I used to spend a great deal of time crocheting afghans, most of which I made as wedding or baby shower gifts, but it’s been quite awhile now since any siblings or friends got married or had their first babies. More recently, I made dragons. I’m currently working on another WoW-themed sewing project that I’ll reveal when it’s finished.
Every few months, I treat myself to a book binge — I check out a pile of books from the library and mostly ignore WoW for a week or two until I’ve read them all.
I also enjoy baking and cooking. Borrowing an idea from my Mum, sometimes I check out a cookbook from the library, then photocopy out recipes that I tried and liked or recipes that looked interesting to try later.

5) What kinds of foods do you like and when do you snack the most?
I have a raging sweet tooth. I love chocolate, ice cream, cookies, pie, yogurt, fresh fruit, cake. I like fruit pies best — especially for breakfast! I tend to think of bread as a platform for butter, honey, and cinnamon — it’s a great snack!
I snack the most at the computer, when I am playing WoW. It’s a very bad habit that I have been trying to break.

6) What period of time/expansion have you enjoyed the most in WOW and why?
I began playing during Burning Crusade, so I’m rather fond of it. I’ve actually quite enjoyed Mists; deciding to drop out of guild raiding and just do LFR suited me and my altoholic playstyle really well.

7) What is your favorite profession in WOW? What is the rarest pattern you have made in a profession?
My favorite profession has been, at various times, herbalism, fishing, and archaeology. I’m not quite sure what it is right at the moment.
Probably the rarest pattern I own is the Black Belt of Knowledge; I saw it on the Winterhoof AH not too long ago and the price was low enough that I could actually afford it, so I snapped it up. I haven’t actually made one yet, though…

8) How often do you twitter about WOW? In one day?
Well, I don’t even have a Twitter account to begin with, so… never.

9) Do you attend any conventions for comics, anime, WOW, gaming, etc.?
I went to a couple of Harry Potter release parties — one for the Prisoner of Azkaban movie and one for the Half-Blood Prince book — but those were relatively small gatherings of a close-knit circle of LJ/fansite friends. Other than that, I haven’t been to any cons.

10) Tell about a close friend you have had in WOW and whether you are still in touch.
One of my first WoW friends was Kirina, one of the inspirations for me starting my own blog. By coincidence, she was on the same server that I was at the time, so we were able to meet up in-game a time or two. Eventually, we both transferred off that server. Sadly, we’ve lost touch. She stopped blogging sometime in 2012. It must have been before the advent of the battletag, because I don’t have her on my battletag friendslist. She’s still playing, though — I just Armory-stalked her, and she’s wearing a sweet Transmogrification kit that I might just have to borrow…

11) Random WOW fact or adventure you have been on.
Whereas I play WoW as a “breadth” game, BTH plays WoW as a “depth” game. He plays to raid, to defeat the bosses on the hardest possible difficulty settings and get the best possible gear. Thus, he always ends up being one of the best-geared bears on our server. In late Wrath, he decided he wanted to try to duo Naxx. We did pretty well until we got to Construct Quarter; though we squeaked through Patchwerk, we had to call in a couple of guildies to help us down Gluth. Now, of course, we can duo the whole place easily. Recently, we duoed ICC with his bear and my best-geared DPS, my Warrior. We had to bring in my Paladin for Valithria and the Lich King, though.


Prinnie, finding no-one on her blogroll that was yet untagged, wrote some free-for-all questions.

1) What’s one thing (other than sheer inertia) that could make you stop blogging?
I’m taking “sheer inertia” to mean the kinds of massive lifestyle changes such as getting a demanding new job, getting married, or having a baby that tend to derail playing and blogging about WoW. If I got tired of WoW and wandered off to do something else, that would probably spell the end of this blog, too — but it wouldn’t stop me from blogging in general, because I’d probably revive my LiveJournal to start talking about my interest in whatever that “something else” happened to be.
I try to not get involved in the kinds of controversies that get people flamed so badly that they decide to quit blogging altogether!

2) What’s your favorite word, and why?
I’m exceedingly fond of “miscellaneous” and its derivative “miscellany”. I think it’s a better word to describe a collection of not-necessarily-related items than “random”.
I’ve been fond of “eclectic” to describe my tastes since high school.

3) If you could choose to never ever write about a particular topic again, what would it be?
See above about trying to stay out of controversies as much as possible — but if I never felt like I had to respond in some way to a sexism-in-WoW discussion ever again, that would be wonderful. Preferrably, it would be because Blizzard had stopped even inadvertently giving people reasons to poke the coals.

4) Does your family know about your blog? If so, what do they think of it?
Some of my family know about this blog. I don’t talk about it much with them because they think I play too much WoW anyway and they think that blogging about it is rather silly. And, too be fair, much of the content of my blog is rather silly.

5) What’s the least realistic goal you’ve ever set for yourself?
The ones that seemed utterly realistic at the time, then failed to happen because they relied, in part, on circumstances beyond my control. Like, getting married before I graduated from university when I didn’t even date while I was in high school. I was about halfway through graduate school before BTH finally came along.

6) Have you ever played a game so much your eyes glazed over? What game was it?
When I roll a new alt in WoW, I like to try to play the character all the way through their starting zone in one sitting. Sometimes I stop halfway through, but when I succeed, I always feel pretty glazed-over by the time I’m done!

7) Let’s say I gave you 100 cupcakes that are super delicious. What would you do with them all?
Well, I’m a chemistry teacher, so I’d decorate them all with the symbols of the elements and make a periodic table of cupcakes.

8) Find the closest object to your right that has text on it. Find the third word in the first sentence. Tell us what it is, and then write a new, amazing sentence for it. (If it’s “the,” or something like that, I may cry.)
Immediately to my right is a pile of used computer games that BTH bought a couple of months ago. Looking at the text on the back of the cases, the third word in the first sentence on the top game in the stack is “to”. Boring! The third word in the first sentence on the next game is “Crysis”, the name of the game. No thanks. The third word in the first sentence on the third game in the stack is “legend”. Ah, now we’re getting somewhere. Let’s look at the last game, just to be sure… “nothing”.
In a time of crisis when nothing is certain, the seeds of legends both good and ill begin to grow.

9) Is a bad idea better than no idea at all? Why?
Yes, because at least then you are doing something, rather than nothing at all.

10) What’s one thing you’d like to write about on your blog, but probably never will?
Though I may occasionally mention it very briefly, in passing, I will probably not ever write much about how after nearly seven years of marriage, BTH and I do not yet have children because I have anovulatory PCOS and can only afford, financially and emotionally, about three months per year of the infertility treatment roller-coaster.

11) What’s the dumbest question you’ve ever been asked?
I’m sure I’ve gotten some real doozies from my chemistry students, but I guess none of them were so truly inane that they stuck in my mind. The dumbest questions, of course, are the ones that can be answered by pointing to a specific sentence in the lab manual and saying “it’s right here, didn’t you read this before you came to class?”


Likewise, Martha, finding no-one left to tag, wrote up her own set of free-for-all questions.

1) What is one quest/grind that you never want to do again?
I was so glad when mounts went account-wide so that I’d only have to do the Netherwing and Mag’har grinds once! I’m getting pretty tired of the Argent Tournament and the Shado-Pan by now, too. I’d also like to never do the Aldor/Scryer grinds again, but I’m a cheapskate concerning things that aren’t clothes for Transmogrification and would rather farm the rep tokens than buy them from the AH.

2) What is one quest you wish was repeatable?
I’m not thinking, off the top of my head, of a quest that I really wish was repeatable. I think that Mists did rather well at identifying the quests that people would like enough to want to repeat and turning them into dailies. They even turned some older fun quests into dailies for MistsRiding the Storm, one of the possible end-quests of the Shan’ze Dao sequence of Shado-Pan dailies, is, at least to me, pretty clearly a reworking of the popular Drakkensryd quest from the Storm Peaks back in Wrath.

3) What is your favorite critter?
the Armadillo Pup, though the Bandicoon/Masked Tanuki (raccoon) is a close second

4) What’s one thing Blizzard could offer a micro-payment for that you’d love to see?
Armor dyes. A permanent version of the Hallow’s End broomstick mount (though I would rather see that be purchasable with the in-game currency from the holiday). The ability to pick which boss of a variable boss encounter such as the Karazhan opera you’d get to fight. The ability for a max-level character to bypass the once-a-day lockout system for Heroics from past expansions — perhaps allowing you to run a given Heroic five times in a day, similar to how you can run five ten Normals within an hour before you hit the “you have entered too many instances recently” wall.

5) Name one blog you read every day (or at least every time they post).
Alt:ernative and The Daily Frostwolf — it continually amazes me how these ladies can make such thoughtful posts every single day

6) If you lost everything and had to start over again, would you keep playing WoW or quit?
I would certainly feel like just quitting at first! But when I was done sulking, maybe after a week or three, I’d probably start playing again.

7) Do you think WoW will exist 5 years from now? How about 10?
Five years from now? Certainly. Ten years from now? Maybe.

8a) For the older crowd: What did you do for fun before video games took off?
Well, I still love to read books and do textiles-related crafty things….

8b) How much money would someone have to pay you to disconnect all internet service (phones web-browsing included) at home?
They couldn’t pay me enough. I don’t have a smart phone, but I need a high-speed internet connection for my computer! Gaming and blogging aside, I value the internet-based services that allow me to stay connected with my family even though we are scattered all across North America. I recently applied for a job at a well-reputed, fully accredited online university, for whom I would work from home over a high-speed internet connection. Also, it’s so very pleasant to watch General Conference from the comfort of my own living room over streaming internet!

9) If you could have any animal as a real-life pet what would it be? How about as a WoW hunter pet?
I had guinea-pigs from relatively early in my childhood until I left home, and I would like to have them again — when I have a lawn to graze them on in the summer months. I’d love to have a guinea-pig battle pet!
I’d also be happy to have a cat or two, after we settle down.
I’ve wished for a long time that my Hunter could tame hooved mammals such as zhevras, giraffes, and the okapi in Sholazar Basin. I’d also like to be able to tame more of the really large animals such as kodos, clefthoofs, elekks, and mushans.

10) What is the weirdest/silliest skill that you have learned while playing WoW?
Recognizing the flight path landing sound effect when I am tabbed out or even, if I have my volume turned up loud enough, AFK

11) If the real-money auction house had actually worked and you could make a living just playing WoW all day -– would you?
No. I don’t have the patience to make in-game gold from playing the AH, so it would be even stupider and more frustrating to me to try to make real money from the game!

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Whenever a new varation on the “answer N questions and then tag N other bloggers to do the same” meme goes around, I always get a little giddy with anticipation wondering who is going to tag me.

This particular variation on the theme is called the “Liebster Awards”, and it works like so:

1) Acknowledge the blog that nominated you and display the award badge
2) Answer the eleven questions given to you by the blogger who nominated you
3) Provide eleven miscellaneous facts about yourself
4) Nominate eleven blogs of relatively small readership that you think deserve to be better-known
5) Notify the bloggers that you’ve nominated them
6) Compile eleven questions for your nominees to answer

Step One
The lovely Amerence gave me the tip of the hat. Thank you, darling!

Step Two

1) When did you start blogging; What it’s all about and why?
I’ve been writing here at Kamalia et alia since March 2010, when I wanted to participate in a healing survey that was going around the blogs I was reading at the time. Prior to that, I’d been participating in the Harry Potter fandom and writing about my RL (mis)adventures using LiveJournal since 2001 or 2002. My poor LJ, it’s been so abandoned and neglected since I started this WoW blog and began using Facebook to keep up with my closest HP-fandom friends.
To me, blogging is partly a way for me to record the things I’ve enjoyed about the game and partly a way for me to share my love of the game with others. It’s also been a great way to make new friends, given that I am kind of shy and don’t tend to make friends or even just talk to new people IRL unless the other person approaches me. I have often, over the past decade or so, felt like I have more friends online than “in-person”.

2) Post your most favorite Screenshot of all time!
Ever since Cataclysm, my default answer to the “favorite screenshot” question has been this picture from when I was out exploring the newly-Shattered world, enjoying finally being able to FLY IN AZEROTH!, and got stuck on a tree branch that wasn’t just an ordinary tree branch…

3) Favorite city in WoW to hang out in and why?
Thunder Bluff, of course! It’s relatively quiet and peaceful. If I’m going to be tabbed out or AFK for awhile, I will often log into a character who is in Thunder Bluff because I find the Thunder Bluff music to be calm and relaxing, so I don’t mind listening to it looping.

4) Do you play other games besides WoW? Do you use any console besides your PC?
When it comes to computer games, I just play World of Warcraft. We don’t own a console, or even a TV. I’m very fond of table games such as Catan, Carcassonne, Dominion, Ticket to Ride, etc.

5) What’s your favorite Transmog gear?
There are so many sets I adore, but I’m particularly fond of the Shaman T4 “Cyclone” set because not only is it a very, very stylish set, Karazhan was also my very first raiding experience, and I was fortunate to be in a friendly guild for it.

6) How many WoW characters in game do you have? Do you play them all equally?
Hmm, let’s see… eleven on Bloodhoof, eleven on Winterhoof, eleven on Argent Dawn, and four on Thunderhorn makes thirty-seven. I’m usually only actively playing — leveling or doing dailies/farming/LFR at max level — three to five of them at any given time, and my Tauren get the bulk of my attention.

7) What’s your current achievement score? What’s your most favorite one and why?
I currently have 12600 Achievement Points. The two that are the most meaningful to me are having completed Loremaster before Cataclysm and, more recently, having completed The Black Prince, Chapter V and obtained my Legendary cloak.

8) What was your most memorable experience since you started playing WoW?
I don’t really remember my first Wailing Caverns run itself, but I do remember the nightmare-loop I was stuck in after I went to sleep that night, dreaming about being lost in the Wailing Caverns!

9) How many total deaths of critters do you currently have? What are your thoughts about these creatures since they can battle now with your own Pet collections too.
Kamalia has a critter kill count of 9721. I’ve always felt a little guilty about accidentally killing critters with AoE.

10) What is the first word that comes to mind when you think about WoW and why?
“Wonderful” sums up the World of Warcraft in one word pretty neatly, because I love the art of the game and because there are so many great things to explore and do within the game world.

11) Warlords of Draenor is coming up soon! It’s the new expansion everyone is talking about! What are your expectations?
I expect a breathtaking new world to explore, filled with interesting characters to meet and fascinating stories to experience that will encompass a wide range of emotions. I will play through the Horde storyline first, leveling Kamalia to 100 in tandem with BTH. I plan to play through the Alliance storyline next, before I level any Horde alts, because, like Matthew Rossi, I’m feeling rather bored of orcs and their turmoils and am more excited about discovering what the Draenei were like when they were a flourishing civilization. I expect to spend a lot of time managing my Garrison.

Step Three
* When I was very little, I was a strawberry blonde. As I got older, my hair got darker; it was never the true bright shiny new copper penny color, it was more like the color of an old dull penny. Now my hair only looks reddish in just the right sort of sunlight, and I wonder if it is the color called “auburn” or not.
* During my teens and early twenties, I collected every color of Crayola crayons that I could find. Crayola hasn’t produced any new or interesting crayon colors for several years, though.
* Shortly after I first started this blog, BTH got transferred to Halifax, Nova Scotia for work. We lived there for a year and a half, then returned to the Twin Cities. About a year and a half later, BTH got transferred to the Halifax project again, and we will probably have been here in Nova Scotia for another year and a half before he gets assigned to a different project.
* I had a great temerity about fresh hot peppers and only ever used the canned green chiles from Old El Paso until my Mom gave me a Mexican cookbook for Christmas this past year. Now I enjoy using poblano, jalapeno or serrano, fresno, ancho, and chipotle peppers — but I am still timid about the really super hot peppers!
* I enjoy baking and would much rather bake my own bread than have to buy it. I take pride in doing the mixing and kneading by hand. When I do buy bread, I prefer to buy it from a small, local-business bakery.
* My Mom used to think she was descended from Priscilla Mullins, who came over on the Mayflower. Now, she’s not so sure if that ancestry has been correctly traced. We do know for certain, however, that we are descended from Joseph Knight, Sr., who, with his family, was one of the most staunch friends and supporters of Joseph Smith, Jr., during the early days of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
* I’ve really enjoyed judging Dragonray’s Mog the World in 80 Days competition. I usually give 8.5/10 as my top score, but I have given a couple of 9.0s and even a 10! My favorite sets are the ones that effectively use both the colors and the motifs of the chosen flag while still being an oufit that I feel like I would be able to wear without having to explain that my outfit was inspired by the flag of a certain country and, more importantly, being an outfit that I would enjoy wearing myself!
* This winter, I’ve become addicted to Tim Hortons hot chocolate. I drink at least one cup a day, usually two and sometimes even three, and I go through about a cannister a week.
* Although the official timeline on pages 28 – 31 of the World of Warcraft Ultimate Visual Guide allocates only one year apiece to the events of classic WoW and each of the expansions, it’s never made sense to me that all the war campaigns and especially all the buildings and construction that happened in each expansion could really be done in just one year of time. My headcanon is that the events of classic WoW and each of the expansions took as much time in Azeroth as we spent playing those expansions in “real time”.
* Despite what I said before about the $60 cost being prohibitive, I am really quite tempted to just boost my nine sub-level-60 Mages up to 90. It would be quite the heap of cash if I boosted them all at once, but if I boost them one at a time, as each one reaches level 60…
* I love a good bad pun, especially when I’ve managed to come up with it myself, so here are some lobsters that I painted in June 2011.

Step Four
(in no particular order)
Parallel Context
Plenty of Paladins
That Was an Accident!
The Pixel Lives of Lorelei/Zazzy Mogs
Mog’s Addiction
Ironyca Stood in the Fire
Jaedia’s Menagerie
Awaiting the Muse
Azerothian Life
Pretty Fly for a Draenei
Red Cow Rise (Akabeko, I miss you!)

Step Five
Oh, dear, I guess this means I have to go make comments on all these blogs, don’t I? Perhaps I’ll just leave comments for the folks that don’t stop by here regularly, and leave it up to the folks who do stop by regularly to decide whether or not they want to play along.

Step Six
1) Tell me about a game or games — video or table or both! — that you are really enjoying right now.
2) What classes, races, or roles do you find yourself most drawn to in RPGs, whether in D&D, a single-player video game, or an MMO?
3) When you make your first character in a new game, do you try to make a character that is in some way an avatar of your RL self, or do you make someone entirely different?
4) Describe a typical session of playing your current favorite video/computer game.
5) What was the very first computer/video game you ever played? How old were you?
6) Do you have more than one blog? If so, what is/are your other blog(s) about? (Blog names/links not necessary, and you don’t have to include personal/family/work-related blogs unless you really want to.)
7) Name three non-WoW/game-related websites that you visit frequently.
8) What was/is your favorite animal to see at the zoo?
9) Cake or Pie? What is your favorite flavor of your preferred dessert?
10) What toppings do you like on a pizza? on an ice-cream sundae?
11) What is your favorite writing instrument?

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WoW Insider‘s Breakfast Topic this morning requests retrospectives on the Pet Battle feature. This reminded me of Navimie’s “10 Days of Pet Battles”, which I bookmarked even though I wasn’t into pet battling when she first published it because I’m fond of survey memes and thought it would be fun to do sometime down the road if I ever did get into pet battles. I’m still no Pet Battle pro, but I think I’ve got enough experience now to give at least short answers to Navi’s questions.

1) Your first day pet battling.
I wrote about this when it happened; I was given a Pandaren Air Spirit for #FFW2102 and felt that I shouldn’t let such a fancy pet lie idle.

2) What pets don’t you like and why?
Snakes and spiders really annoy me. Too many times I have pulled a pet off the front line too late and it died from poison ticks a round or two later. I think I might have a snake or two in my collection, and maybe even a spider, but I won’t be leveling them. Okay, maybe the snakes, because I did like catching garter snakes when I was a little kid. But not the spider!
I don’t like the various diseased undead pets because they are just too creepy and icky. I have tamed a few of them to get “tame a pet in X zone”, but I’ve released all of them except the Scourged Whelpling. I kept that one because it is one of the few tamable (as opposed to dropped) dragon whelps.

3) Who is your favourite pet? If you could bring it out into the real world, tell me what you imagine you would be doing.
I’m not sure I have a favorite pet, because so many of them are wonderful in such different ways. But if I could bring one out into the real world, well, I’ve been reading books with gryffins in lately, so right at the moment, I’d probably choose one of the mythological creatures such as the gryphon hatchling, the hippogryph hatchling, or the wind rider cub. My sister’s dog might like such a playmate while it was little, and who hasn’t wished they could have their WoW flying mount in the real world?

4) What was the most epic pet battle/capture you ever had?
There was once this battle where I’d managed to cage a rare specimen of a pet I wanted, but I won the battle only by the slimmest of margins — I was quite worried that I might end up losing it. Alas, I don’t remember anymore even which pet it was that I captured, so maybe it wasn’t that epic after all? I prefer to run my pet battles relatively close to the edge, with pets fairly close in level to the enemy team, ending with all of my pets at low health. I get better XP, and it somehow feels more sporting that way. So, in a way, most of my pet battles are a bit dramatic.

5) What pet do you want more than any other pet? What would you do to get it?
Last May, I made a list of my ten most-wanted not-yet-obtained pets. Let’s see how I’ve done with acquiring them:
1) Dragon Whelps — captured Scourged and Infinite Whelplings
2) Civet/Otter/Mongoose
3) Tanuki/Bandicoon
4) Bucktooth Flapper/Thundertail Flapper
5) Hedgehog
6) Red Panda — the Pet Battling Monk declared her disinterest in doing the Beasts of Fable by purchasing a Sunfur Panda off the AH. She also declared her disinterest in doing the Pandaren Spirit Tamers by purchasing the other three Pandaren Elemental Spirits from the AH. She does, however, plan to do the Celestial Tournament, and Xu-Fu will be her first pick!
7) Anubisath Idol — named “Tartan” in honor of PlaidElf, who was helping me with AQ40 when it dropped; she already had one
8) Qiraji Guardling
9) Unborn Val’kyr — I’m still looking for an Unborn Val’kyr, though I don’t actually go hunting for her that often. I really should start checking the spawn sites in at least one zone (probably Howling Fjord) at least once a day, and then eventually patience and persistence will pay off (hopefully with at least an uncommon on the first try!).
10) Direhorn Runt — bought on the AH after proving to myself that trying to farm it would be exceedingly boring

6) What pets have you got in your favourite team(s)?
The Phoenix Hatchling rocks in my Cassandra Kaboom team; he could beat her whole team single-handedly when he was still a couple levels lower than them. Likewise, the Anubisath Idol is excellent against Grazzle the Great’s three Onyxian Whelplings. My other Kalimdor and Outland teams work, and some of them are even getting to the point where I think I can probably put in a carry pet or two, but they’re not really awesome yet. I’m also currently working on leveling enough of the right families of pets to defeat the Northrend trainers.

7) Do you use mods? If you could only have one pet mod, what would it be and why?
I only use one mod, Pet Battle Teams. I picked it up when the Pet Battling Monk got to Outland and the number of different team compositions got to be so many that I wanted to have saved teams instead of recreating them from scratch, using my paper notebook, each day.

8) What is the stupidest thing(s) you have ever done in a pet battle?
Oh, the same stupid things everyone does — not checking the health of my team before a battle or not checking if the team I currently have loaded is an appropriate level relative to a wild pet. I also have a bad habit of leaving DOT’ed pets on the front line for too long, so that they die from the DOT even after I swap them out.

9) What is your favourite pet ability? If you could have a pet with your favourite abilities, what would they be?
Cauterize is what makes the Phoenix Hatchling so great against Cassandra Kaboom’s triple mechanical team. The Dark Phoenix Hatchling, which doesn’t have Cauterize, isn’t nearly as effective. The Anubisath Idol’s Deflection makes it a star against a dragonkin’s Deep Breath; on the flip side, when the dragonkin is mine, Deep Breath is pretty awesome. Pump, another two-round charge-and-blast move, is great, too. I use the Pandaren Air Spirit in a lot of my high level teams because I can set up Renewing Mists, then let it heal my other pets when they are on the front line.
Because I don’t have very many high level pets yet, I’m not very good with the subtleties of how pet abilities interact. I can about manage to properly use one pet’s coordinating abilities. I need someone like Liopleurodon to tell me how to make a team where pet A uses an ability that empowers the abilities of pet B.

10) Design a pet! What model would your pet have, where would it come from and what abilities would it have?
I really really want a Kodo Runt pet! It would be found with roaming kodo in either Mulgore or the Barrens, and it would have the same moveset as the Clefthoof Runt and Stunted Shardhorn.

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Shaman class feedback

Because I can’t resist a good survey, and this time it’s Blizzard doing the asking.

What type of content do you focus on? [PvE/PvP/Both]

If PvE, what type of PvE? [Heroics/Raids/Other]
25man raiding as a healer

What are your biggest quality-of-life issues? (For instance, no longer requiring ammo could be considered a quality-of-life improvement for hunters.)
At the moment, my biggest quality of life issue is the fragility of Water Shield. It’s fine that Resto Shaman are so very dependent upon Water Shield for mana regen, but I feel like I spend too much time maintaining my Water Shield when I could be healing instead. It’s annoying that the damage wave that comes immediately after the pull on the Beth’tilac and Alysrazor fights knocks off Water Shield, forcing me to spend a GCD at that early, everyone-at-low-health moment to refresh it. It’s even more annoying to have to spend every fourth or fifth cast during the incredibly healing-intensive scorpion phases of Majordomo Staghelm or second phase of Beth’tilac on putting my Water Shield back up instead of casting a healing spell.
Perhaps some numbers would be helpful: When my guild was in the Firelands this week, I cast Water Shield four times during the Shannox fight, three times during the Rhyolith fight, three times during the Alysrazor fight, and I didn’t need to refresh Water Shield at all during the Baleroc fight. In contrast, I had to refresh Water Shield ten times during my guild’s Majordomo Staghelm kill, and I refreshed it fourteen times during our Beth’tilac kill. Three, four, maybe even five refreshes of Water Shield per boss fight is manageable, but I think that ten or more is excessive.
I’d love to see some talent/glyph changes to Water Shield for Resto Shaman to bring it more in line with the way Lightning Shield works for Elemental Shaman.

What makes playing your class more fun?
In general, spells that are both useful and interesting. Riptide, Healing Rain, Telluric Currents, Unleash Elements, Spirit Link Totem, and Spiritwalker’s Grace all changed the healing playstyle by adding more variety and power without making my job more complicated than I could manage. Lava Burst made questing/doing dailies more fun because mobs started to die a lot faster once I was able to learn that spell.

What makes playing your class less fun?
As mentioned above, having to refresh Water Shield too often. Having to remember to re-drop Healing Stream Totem after I’ve used Mana Tide Totem, or Wrath of Air Totem after I’ve used Spirit Link Totem. Boss encounters that require the raid to be too widely spread out for Chain Heal or Healing Rain to be very effective.

How do you feel about your “rotation”? (Rotation is the accepted order in which abilities are used to maximum efficiency.)
Healing isn’t a rotation as such, but I like the way things are working at the moment pretty well. I enjoy the synergy of Healing Rain and Chain Heal. I like using Unleash Elements to put a small heal on a DPS so that I can power up my next big heal for the tank, or using UE on the tank himself, to give a bit of breathing room while I spool up that big heal. I try to use Riptide as soon after my Power Aura that it’s off CD pops up as I can, but I usually deliberately avoid using Chain Heal on my Riptide targets so as to avoid consuming it. Keeping Tidal Waves up and getting as many of the HOT ticks as I can is more important to me than getting the boost on my CH.

What’s on your wish list for your class?
Something to help Water Shield continue to provide good mana return without having to put it back up every fourth cast during extremely healing-intensive encounters or encounter phases.
To have the healing from Healing Stream Totem benefit the whole raid, not just my own party of five.
A “Mass Water Walking” spell that applies Water Walking to an entire party or raid. If this was done for Shaman, Mages and Priests should be given “Mass Slow Fall” and “Mass Levitation”. They’d still want the single-target versions for situations where only one person needs to be targeted, such as setting off Magma Traps in the Firelands!Ragnaros encounter, though.

What spells do you use the least?
All totems that are NOT Stoneskin, Flametongue, Healing Stream, Wrath of Air, Mana Tide, Spirit Link, Stoneclaw, Searing, Magma, or Fire Elemental. I can’t remember the last time I used Frost Shock.

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The Circle of Healing 2.0 survey has been such a great thing that it’s not really surprising that the Tanks want in on the fun. I’ve seen two modifications, one by Restokin‘s guest Bear, Garnaph, and another by Orvillius of D/E the Tank!.

In addition to my Holy-specced Blood Elf Paladin, Kiraleia, I’ve also been leveling a Prot-specced Tauren Paladin, Karelia, through LFD. I’ve enjoyed tanking with Karelia enough that I started to get curious about how the other shield tanking class played, so I rolled up a new Warrior, Katebeka, for the purpose. BTH has been a devotee of Bear Tanking ever since it first became a truly viable role back in BC, and between the fun he seems to have with it and BBB‘s enthusiasm for it, I’d also like to try Druid tanking at some point. I’ve never been particularly interested in Death Knight tanking, however.

Because my experience with tanking is limited to low-level dungeons — Karelia had only gotten as far as Razorfen Kraul the last time I played with her — I’ve decided to give BTH a guest-posting posting opportunity and have him fill out the Tanking Circle survey, instead.

BTH says:

My main, Ronada, is a Druid tank that’s been tanking since Kara. I also have a Paladin tank, and I’ve played a Warrior up to level 80 in WOTLK, but I didn’t tank a lot on him.

1. What is the name, class, and spec of your primary tank?
Ronada – Feral Druid

2. What is your primary group tanking environment? (i.e. raids, pvp, 5 mans)
25 man raids

3. What is your favorite tanking ability or CD for your class and why?
Berserk. Sure, it doesn’t help my mitigation, but it’s great for keeping aggro on pulls. While our Swipe aggro comes and goes, generally it’s not been competitive with the aoe of other tanks.

4. What tanking ability or CD do you use least for your class and why?
Challenging Roar. It’s not a permanent solution to any problems.

5. What do you feel is the biggest strength of your tanking class and why?1.
Greater raid awareness. A Druid has a simpler rotation than other tanks, which makes it easier to pay attention to what’s going on in the raid.

6. What do you feel is the biggest weakness of your tanking class and why?
The lack of Bear gear is a serious weakness.
In the Firelands raid, there’s only 1 item in each slot that’s fit for a Bear (Haste does not fit Bears). Every item we get has to be reforged to Dodge. I have almost no options for deciding if I’d rather go with Mastery for bigger shields or Crit for better shields, or Hit/Expertise for more steady threat. Every Bear is going to be wearing exactly the same pieces, and reforging them in exactly the same way. Blizzard hasn’t made gear with both Agility and Dodge since BC, which is why I maintain that I haven’t seen a non-trinket Bear item in 4 years.
I have to compete with the other Ferals and the Rogues (4 people, in a typical raid with our guild) for leather, whereas there are only 2 people competing for plate tanking gear. The accessories are worse because there are generally about 7+ people competing for them when you add the Hunters and the Enh. Shamans. Add this to the fact that plate tanks can choose from more gear because they like any item with Mastery on it, regardless of whether there is Dodge/Parry on it. When my Druid got to 85 there were 4 Reputation reward items I could get. With my Pally, there were ~8. During progression, I’ve consistently had a lower Wow-heroes/Gearscore/ILevel than the other tanks in my guilds.
People say our lack of magic mitigation is a weakness – but it’s not as big a deal as most people think. Like the Warrior, we’re generally passed up on fights that deal a lot of magic damage. However, most fights where you think a lot of magic damage is going to occur, the actual amount of tank magic damage is less than 20%, which means we do as well as any other tank. But the perception is there.

7. In a raiding environment, what do you feel, in general, is the best tanking assignment for you?
Boss tanking.

8. What tanking class do you enjoy tanking with most and why?
Druid. I enjoy tanking on my Pally, but I just know my Druid’s CDs and rotations so much better that I can focus on the fight instead of my class mechanics.

9. What tanking class do you enjoy tanking with least and why?
I haven’t tried DK tanking. I didn’t enjoy Warrior tanking, because it seemed like there were too many buttons, and I couldn’t pay attention to what the mobs/boss were doing.

10. What is your worst habit as a tank?
Pulling trash too aggressively. (As his usual healer, I absolutely agree!)

11. What is your biggest pet peeve in a group environment while tanking?
When another tank taunts a mob off me unneccessarily.

12. Do you feel that your class/spec is well balanced with other tanks for PvE tanking?
I do.

13. What tools do you use to evaluate your own performance as a tank?
Well, I view the damage taken logs and death logs in Recount to determine what sorts of things are killing me. I also visit online weblogs, but there aren’t a lot that focus on the tanking aspect of feral druids.

14. What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about your tanking class?
Some people think I do more threat than them overall – but I only really can pull ahead when I’m using Berserk. On long term fights, generally the other tanks can pull more threat.

15. What do you feel is the most difficult thing for new tanks of your class to learn?
How to do Cat DPS when you’re not tanking.

16a. If someone were to try to evaluate your performance as a tank via Recount or World of Logs, what sort of patterns would they see (i.e. too much damage taken, not enough cooldown usage, etc)?
I always forget to use my potions.

16b. So, how about that whole Vengeance mechanic, eh?
It’s stupid, because Vengeance’s worth is inversely related to the strength of my gear. As my Dodge increases, my Vengeance goes down, which reduces my shield and threat. Also it means that the tank who has threat, keeps threat from the other tanks, but in an AOE situation it leads to one tank having no mobs and the other tank having all the mobs. Until the second tank dies, of course.

17. Dodge or Mastery, and why? or Stamina, Combat Table Coverage, or total Damage Reduction?
I prefer Agility, but then Dodge. I have reforged every reforgeable item to Dodge. For me, the debate is more if I should gem/flask/trinket for Agility or for Stamina. I take a midway approach – I gem and flask Agility, but trinket Stamina. I do use Agility trinkets on fights where aggro is a concern but tank damage is not – especially trash.

18. What tanking class do you feel you understand least?
Death Knights

19. What add-ons or macros do you use, if any, to aid you in tanking?
ICE hud, Omen, I was using and liking ThreatPlates for a while but then they changed it and I haven’t taken the time to get it working since then.

20. Do you strive primarily for balance between your tanking stats (stam, mastery, avoidance), or do you stack some much higher than others, and why?
I strive for balance. By being in the middle, that means if a certain fight requires more stamina or more avoidance, I can make the change without re-gemming – by changing flasks and trinkets. I believe that a 40 Agility gem is worth the same amount as a 60 Stam trinket.

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Like Jasyla, one of the reasons that I started my blog was to participate in Miss Medicina’s Circle of Healers survey. In the past year and a half, the game has changed quite a bit, and so has the blogging community, so Saunder has started it up again.

Lodur tagged the whole Resto Shaman community in his answers. Fannon beat me to tagging Glorwynn, who was at the top of my list if people whose responses to this survey I wanted to see, and she tagged me instead. 🙂

So here’s how it works.

Post this questionnaire, with your answers, on your blog. Pick the healing class you know most about (or is the focus of your blog) for the questionnaire, and then send it over to another healing blogger you know and love who heals with a DIFFERENT class. Include a link to the blogger who sent you the questionnaire, as well as a link to the blogger to whom you are sending it.

1. What is the name, class, and spec of your primary healer?
My main is my Tauren Resto Shaman, Kamalia.
During the past month, I’ve also spent a lot of time leveling a Blood Elf Holy Paladin, Kiraleia, through LFD.

2. What is your primary group healing environment? (i.e. raids, pvp, 5 mans)
Kamalia does most of her healing in 25 man raids. Since Patch 4.2 dropped, she’s been doing Heroics again, but I’m not especially diligent about doing them every day, and I’ll probably stop doing them once we get three or so Firelands bosses on farm.
Kiraleia, who is still leveling, does all her healing in 5 mans.

3. What is your favorite healing spell for your class and why?
I was pretty excited about Healing Rain when it was first introduced in the Cataclysm previews, and it has lived up to my anticipation. It may not be as pretty as Efflorescence or Sanctuary, but Shaman already have Chain Heal to be flashy with. I love the way you can actually see raindrops falling if you’re zoomed in close enough or otherwise have a good angle on the spell effect. I love the way a well-placed Healing Rain will top off the people who haven’t lost much health while simultaenously providing a buffer for the people who are really hurting until I or another healer can get off a big, slow heal. Once I’ve learned the mechanics of a fight well enough to not feel completely like a headless chicken, I enjoy the challenge of figuring out better ways to place my Healing Rain circles.
With Kiraleia, I really enjoy the Holy Shock + Word of Glory combination. It feels exciting and dynamic to play to me, in a similar way to juggling DPS buff stacking and procs, and it’s been a good match for most of the tank health and damage pattern combinations I’ve encountered in low level dungeons.

4. What healing spell do you use least for your class and why?
With Kamalia, probably Healing Surge, with Greater Healing Wave not far behind. I treat Healing Surge as a panic button, but I should use Greater Healing Wave more often than I do.
Kiraleia still has a pretty limited toolbox, and I don’t think there’s any particular spell I really neglect. I use Holy Light and Flash of Light both pretty regularly when people are taking damage and Holy Shock is on cooldown.

5. What do you feel is the biggest strength of your healing class and why?
Despite the loss of some of our niftiest totems, Shaman are still one of the most versatile healing classes, able to quickly shift the buffs we offer or the roles we fill to adapt to a changing situation. I also really enjoy the active mana regen mechanic of Telluric Currents. Although the damage my lightning bolts do is pretty pitiful, by pure DPS standards, it makes me feel like I can still contribute to the success of the group even when I’m temporarily too dry on mana to heal effectively.
I feel like I can go a lot farther on low mana (40% or less) with Kiraleia than I can with Kamalia because of the effectiveness of Holy Shock + Word of Glory, the talent that allows a free Holy Shock to proc, the talent that allows Word of Glory to sometimes not use up Holy Power, and glyphed Beacon of Light.

6. What do you feel is the biggest weakness of your healing class and why?
The current mana management mechanics of the Shaman and Paladin classes are simultaneously a great strength and a great weakness, precisely because they require the active monitoring of the player. The Paladin healing spells are probably powerful enough to make up for the quantity of GCDs that the player has to spend on maintenance rather than active healing. The Shaman healing spells may or may not be. I’m not sure that I, personally am attentive enough for these mechanics to always be a strength, instead of mostly being a weakness.
Before Patch 4.2, I could keep greater than 80% uptime on Water Shield just by having made an indicator on Grid to tell me if I had it up or not. With Water Shield falling off so much more often since the patch, I’ve had to make a Power Aura to make it much more obvious that I need to refresh it, and it’s annoying how many GCDs I have to spend on doing so.
Shaman also have to remember to spend GCDs on refreshing our standard totems after using our Big Damn Cooldown Totems. Sometimes the lag between the end of MTT and when I either remember to or have a GCD free to re-drop HST can get quite long, and that’s a lot of healing lost and extra damage taken from the missing resistances.
Paladins can regenerate mana in a steady stream by Judging on cooldown, but they have to be in range of a mob to do it, and they have to remember to do it. I haven’t quite made a Power Aura for the cooldown of Judgement yet, but I probably will soon. And, of course, they have to spend all those GCDs on it.
I’d like Blizz to do something about the charges of Water Shield to bring it more in line with a DPS Shaman’s Lightning Shield or even just the 10 charges of Earth Shield. I don’t necessarily think the Judgement mechanic needs to be tinkered with, however, because it’s kind of nifty and certainly gives the Paladin class a different and distinctive flavor among the healers.

7. In a 25 man raiding environment, what do you feel, in general, is the best healing assignment for you?
I try to keep whichever tank I’m Earth Shielding either targeted or focused, and I have the talents and glyphs that buff heals to the person with my Earth Shield. Because of this, I tend to do a lot of tank & melee healing and am less effective at healing the ranged DPS. I am comfortable, however, with being given either type of assignment.
My Paladin is still low enough level that her abilities are primarily focused on tank healing. Having done raid healing with the range and clustering limitations of a Shaman’s Chain Heal and Healing Rain, I think I’d be fine with a raid healing assignment as a Paladin once I had enough practice with the AOE healing tools that a Paladin doesn’t get until fairly high level.

8. What healing class do you enjoy healing with most and why?
9. What healing class do you enjoy healing with least and why?
This depends on group size, really.
In a 10 man, I think it’s better to have all the healers of different classes than to have two healers the same because of how well the classes synergize with and complement each other. In a 10 man, bringing two Shamans won’t make up for the things a Shaman can’t do quite as well as some of the other healing classes. In 10 man, the personality of my fellow healer(s) makes a bigger difference to me than what class they play. Druid, Paladin, Priest — they’re all good, but I’d prefer a Holy Priest to a Disc Priest (although that may be an outdated preference based on not understanding very well how Priests work).
In a 25 man, however, it’s fabulous to have doubles of any healing class, or even of more than one healing class. In a 25 man, it’s great to have two Shamans, because then we can have a Healing Rain for both the melee and the ranged and double the MTT and SLT goodness. In a 25 man, I like to see representatives of every healing spec on the team.

10. What is your worst habit as a healer?
I’m terrible at using my cooldowns, such as they are. When I’m in a 25 man with another Shaman, the other Shaman will inevitably beat me to recognizing an appropriate moment to use SLT. I still fumble with my Paladin’s Lay on Hands cliquebind and too often don’t get it out in time to make the save.
If I work at it, I can train myself to (usually) remember to use a spell CD, but I totally fail at remembering to use trinket CDs. I almost never remember to use my Tyrande’s Favorite Doll mana return in between triggering it as part of my MTT macro.
I’m also bad about spamming my efficient heals, such as Healing Wave and Holy Light, when I should be reaching for my more powerful heals, such as Healing Surge or Greater Healing Wave and Flash of Light.

11. What is your biggest pet peeve in a group environment while healing?
In a Heroic, that one ranged DPS who won’t change position to stand in the Healing Rain that I’ve managed to place just right to catch everyone else.
Leveling tanks who pull more damage than my Paladin can keep up with, then blame her for the wipe.

12. Do you feel that your class/spec is well balanced with other healers for PvE healing?
Indeed I do. As I wrote above, I think that a more diverse healing team is stronger than one with too many multiples of the same spec.

13. What tools do you use to evaluate your own performance as a healer?
If I’m running out of mana excessively fast, I’m probably doing something wrong. Either I’m not paying close enough attention to where I’m standing relative to the rest of the raid, particularly the ranged DPS, and am wasting my Chain Heals and Healing Rains on poor targeting/placement, or I’m spending too much mana healing myself from what should have been avoidable damage.
I used to monitor my spell distribution in real time on Recount. Ever since Patch 4.1, however, I’ve been experiencing severe frame rate freezing whenever I target a boss or add for hostile actions such as lightning bolting or judging. I have therefore been keeping Recount disabled on Kamalia and Kiraleia.
I do usually go look at the WoL parses for my guild’s raid nights, but I don’t generally do it right away. I look at my spell distribution and the uptime of my shield spells. If my guild’s other Resto Shaman was in the raid, I compare what I was doing to what he was doing.
But really, as long as my numbers are in the ballpark with the rest of the healers, and I’m not dying to stupid stuff, and I’m not letting my healing assignments die unneccessarily, and I’m pacing my mana usage appropriately for the fight, I figure I’m doing well enough.

14. What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about your healing class?
That Shamans are still all about the Chain Heal LOL, I guess. And I’ve heard that at low levels there are folks who think that all Shamans only want Agility, when in fact it’s only the Enhancement Shamans who want Agility and the Elemental and Resto Shamans want Intellect.
As for Paladins, it’s probably the one that I haven’t yet realized that I have myself about how the class works.

15. What do you feel is the most difficult thing for new healers of your class to learn?
Remembering to keep up Earth Shield and Water Shield, and getting to have an instinctive feel for the range of a Chain Heal jump and the size of the Healing Rain circle.
As a leveling Paladin, I’ve been struggling with trying to figure out whom to Beacon in any given 5 man group.

16. If someone were to try to evaluate your performance as a healer via Recount or World of Logs, what sort of patterns would they see (i.e. lots of overhealing, low healing output, etc)?
I use Riptide and Unleash Elements more or less on cooldown (I have Power Auras for that). I don’t use Greater Healing Wave and Healing Surge as often as I should. Earth Shield or Riptide is often my third greatest percentage heal, after Chain Heal and Healing Rain, again meaning that I should probably be doing more active healing with spells like Greater Healing Wave. I use MTT fairly regularly, and I use TC lightning bolt regen at some point in most fights, but I forget to use mana/concentration potions and my healthstone. I’m slow on the draw with SLT. Because I food and flask buff for Spirit, not Int, I am usually not in the top three of a 25 man healing team, but I am not so far behind that I could be accused of not pulling my weight.
My Paladin’s meters would see her using Holy Shock on cooldown with Holy Light as the usual filler, interspersed with Judgement at least every minute and occasional panicked Flash of Light spamming. I use Word of Glory frequently, but not immediately upon getting to 3 charges of Holy Power. I will throw Holy Shock on random targets in between pulls just to keep 3 charges of Holy Power up, so that I can unload a fully charged Word of Glory as soon as the tank aggros the next pull. Word of Glory most often goes to the tank, but sometimes I use it on a DPS who is taking an unusual amount of damage. I bounce Beacon around to whichever DPS seems to be the squishiest — or the greatest aggro magnet — in the moment, but don’t often put it on myself because I already have a talent that heals me whenever I heal someone else. Perhaps my greatest misconception about Paladins is that, in a 5 man, I shouldn’t just Beacon the tank?

17. Haste or Crit or Mastery and why?
I’ve been running a Haste/Mastery build. The Resto Shaman Mastery is made for difficult content where health levels are often very low. Haste is always yummy for swifter cast times and more ticks. Crit was nice, but not worth favoring over Haste or Mastery because my proc-on-Crit effects were not a great percentage of my overall healing. With Crit having become more important in Patch 4.2, I need to see if I can reach the 2005 Haste threshold, and if I can’t, I suppose I should prune my Haste back to the 916 threshold in favor of picking up more Crit.

18. What healing class do you feel you understand least?
I read enough Druid blogs that I feel like I sort of understand how they work, but I don’t have a lot of hands-on experience with Druid healing. Although Kerisa has a tree spec and glyphs drawn from my blog studies, I was too intimitated by all the LFD horror stories to queue her up as a healer for very many dungeons in Wrath. I would like to try Druid healing with her again sometime, but first I’d have to get together a tree gearset….
I don’t understand Priest healing very much at all. I don’t read very many Priest blogs — but the ones I do read, Disciplinary Action and Murloc Parliament, have gotten me interested in trying it. I have a level 20-something Priest who is currently rocking a solo questing focused +Smite Disc spec, and I intend to pick up a Holy second spec when she hits level 30, but it’ll probably be quite awhile before I get around to doing any serious healing with her.

19. What add-ons or macros do you use, if any, to aid you in healing?
I use Grid+Clique for raid frames & spell targeting and Power Auras to track my various buffs and cooldowns. I have Mana Tide Totem macroed to Tyrande’s Favorite Doll and a /say announcement that I’ve dropped it. I use macros for Word of Glory and Wild Growth in Clique. My Paladin uses Fannon’s focus-the-tank Judgement macro.

20. Do you strive primarily for balance between your healing stats, or do you stack some much higher than others, and why?
By the end of T11, I was trying to keep Haste and Mastery mostly balanced and reforging out of Crit. My guild was doing a mixture of normal modes, for which Haste was favored, and hard modes, for which Mastery was favored, so I wasn’t comfortable with stacking either stat at the expense of the other. I’m not quite sure yet what I’ll be doing in T12, but I’m leaning toward trying to balance Crit and Mastery after having gotten Haste to a threshold value.

I’d like to tag…
Rades of Orcish Army Knife because I know he’s got some healers hiding in his string of alts,
Akabeko of red cow rise because she wasn’t blogging yet the first time around and I’d love to see what she has to say,
Apple of Azeroth Apple because if I’m remembering correctly, her Lisan is the Holy variety of Paladin, rather than the Prot or Ret variety,
and Zelmaru of Murloc Parliament because I could have sworn that she did the Circle of Healers v1.0 as a Druid back in the day (but I can’t find it on Miss M’s list) and she’s now healing as a Priest instead of a Druid.

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