Flask Half-Empty

ramblings about warcraft, other games, & randomness

Category Archives: newbie blogger initiative

MMONBI 2012 – That’s A Wrap & The Final Challenge

Can you believe it is May 31st already? It feels like it was just yesterday when I discovered the MMO Newbie Blogger Initiative! For me, it’s been an awesome month of meeting new people, learning from one another, and discovering that blogging is a fantastic outlet that serves as both a fun hobby and a great vessel for networking. Hats off to Sypster for starting the Initiative and also to all the sponsors and participants for making it all an amazing experience!

Despite the month being over, I know that it’s just the beginning of my blogging adventure. There are so many more websites to explore, blogs to follow, and even people to meet through Twitter! As an innately introverted person, I think the blogging experience (and all the networking it comes with) has been very eye-opening in terms of putting myself out there to meet other bloggers, gamers, and hobbyists alike. I’m still tentative about what I publish and worry about judgement, but I’ve been truly humbled from the support of those who I’ve received comments, pingbacks, and even had an opportunity to chat with — I didn’t expect people to really read my ramblings! I still have yet to work on many of the hints and tips given, but those will come in time. I truly mean it in giving thanks to everyone that’s been supportive and for all who have given inspiration to myself and fellow new bloggers.

Week 5 Challenge: Sponsor Fellow New Blogs!

We’ve finally come to the end of Ambermist‘s MMONBI weekly challenges! It’s sad that we’re at the end of the challenges, as I’ve looked forward to them every week. Perhaps we’ll have some more in the future! In this final challenge she asks us to find and introduce three other blogs that participated in the NBI, with reasons for why we liked them. This was a tough one, as there were just so many participants and a ton of great blogs out there, covering a multitude of different games and topics! Since I also blog mostly from a WoW background, let me introduce you to three new Warcraft-centric blogs that I have very much enjoyed reading thus far!

URL:  http://healingmains.com
Authors: Eluna & Brae

First up on my list are the two lovely ladies that post at Healing Mains! I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading their posts about user interface and addons for healers, as well as raid healing perspectives and guild management. Their posts regarding raid leading are also very insightful in showing how crucial the job is, especially when also healing! All in all, they cover about every aspect of healing that I enjoy in the game and remind me of why I’ve been so fond of healing all this time as well. I can’t wait to see what have in store for us in future posts!

URL: http://warlockery.com
Author: Amijade

Next is the blog of Amijade the Warlock — her dark humor and delightful prose from a warlock’s perspective have me smiling and deeply nostalgic of the days when I also frequently played my own lock. Her writing is what I really enjoy most about the blog — each post has incredible detail and is a great story in itself. She currently has a neat transmogrification contest going on right here — the Great Warlock Epitome Transmog Contest, where you can submit entries on how you feel the warlock class should be portrayed to the public! Very cool!

URL: http://mechalis.wordpress.com
Author: Prinnie

At That Was an Accident!, Prinnie takes us through the (mis)-adventures of Thermalix, Mechalis, and their many other Goblin friends on their journeys through Azeroth. Not a big fan of Goblins? Never fear, she also has many very interesting posts from a hunter’s perspective, several very spiffy transmogrification posts, and even this little gem where she has the cure for people who fail, a pill named Dammitol! I wonder what kind of hilarious adventure she will have to share with us next!

And a few more…

  • Image Heavy – A lovely screenshots and art collective, detailing adventures in Azeroth
  • Argus or Bust – Fantastic posts about shaman healing and also roleplaying in WoW
  • Gaming for Introverts – A very well-thought-out and insightful blog that examines the dynamics of various games

Please do check them out, as well as the many other participants of this year’s Newbie Blogger Initiative! Additionally, Syp posted a list of new blog participants, as well as several sponsor articles with helpful information. Shadowspawned has also compiled lists for newbie bloggers as well as all the sponsor blogs. The turnout was really incredible, and it’s inspiring to see so many fellow new bloggers out there! Here’s to hoping this is just the beginning, and I’ll see you guys around! :)

Week 4 Challenge: Tons and Tons of Totems

We’re nearing the end of May and the Newbie Blogger Initiative! For this week’s NBI Challenge, we were asked to research a topic that we have little knowledge about, learn something new, and report our findings! I chose to do some reading into shaman totems. While I have a shammy alt in the mid-50′s, I’ve always been confused about which totems were appropriate in which situation. Sure, I understand to drop an Earthbind Totem in a battleground to gain some distance from an enemy. But what if you’re in a raid with multiple shamans? Who drops what? And when? I didn’t have to dig too far to find a ton of information, so I’ll just cover some of the basics in this post — minus all the footnotes, of course! ;)

Indomitable totems are immune to Assault Drake’s Twilight Barrage!

Week 4 Challenge: Learning is Fun

Totems are the trademarks of the shaman class, and they serve as an essential tool in calling forth powers from each of the elements to aid in battle. There are four elements that shamans can call totems from (one of each element at a time) — Earth, Fire, Water, and Air. Totems can’t be moved around, but they can be easily summoned and recalled. They not only provide nice enhancements to the shaman casting them, but other group members who are within range can gain from totem buffs, too.

Totems can be learned by shamans after completing a series of class-specific quests. The first totem that is learned is the Earth Totem, which has generally defensive capabilities. The second totem learned is the Fire Totem, which can deal fire damage as well as enhance damaging spells. The third totem is the Water Totem, which provides several restorative attributes. And finally, the last totem learned is the Air Totem, with many speed enhancing benefits. A shammy can only one totem of each element at a time. For instance, it’s not possible to have both Flametongue and Magma totems up at the same time since they both are Fire Totems.

Since Cataclysm hit, we were met with several new totem designs, as well as new races available for the shaman class. No longer did all shammies sport the same totems! I hopped onto the beta servers and rolled a premade shaman of each race, just to look at the different, shiny totems. Here they are below (including the Pandaren model, from upcoming Mists):

(Click on images for larger view… It took me longer than it really should’ve to take these screens!)

Troll Totems

Tauren Totems

Orc Totems

Goblin Totems

Draenei Totems

Dwarf Totems

Pandaren Kegs Totems

Most of the totems don’t stack, and since many provide a buff to the entire raid it isn’t necesary for more than one shaman to drop a Flametongue Totem, for example. This can go even more into detail regarding specific shaman specs in the raid composition, such as if you gain the Totemic Wrath buff from an elemental-specced shaman, then there is no need for anyone to drop a Flametongue Totem (See: Wowpedia, Which Totem to Drop). It gets pretty complicated, as several of the totem buffs not only work with additional buffs from shammy talent specialization, but also match similar buffs from other classes! (ie: Paladin Blessing of Might vs Mana Spring Totem.) Thankfully, Zarac over on Wowhead made this handy dandy map showing the cross-over of all buffs, which makes it much easier to decide what combination(s) of totems to use in which situations. Of course, considerations should always be made depending on whatever spec the shammy is, and if still leveling or just playing solo then the selection in totems is less rigid and complicated.

This led me to think — are there addons that can simplify totem organization?? I remember how much I loved the paladin addon, PallyPower, back when you had multiple paladins in raid and didn’t know who should use Blessing of Kings, Might, Wisdom, or even Sanctuary. And then there were all the different auras! Nowadays, we have it far too simple — more than often, I’ll have a druid in the raid with Mark of the Wild, and I only need to throw up a Might. With the many totems that shammies have, it seemed logical to have a kind of ShammyPower or similar. Upon searching, I ran across a very old (2008!) blog post by Salanthe over at Totem of Wrath about this very issue. In addition, I found two addons — Totemus and RaidTotems — but it seems that neither have been really up to date. My only assumption is that people use other trackers (maybe Power Auras, etc.) instead.

Overall, in my brief researching of totems and shamans in general, I learned a great deal about one of the remaining classes I’ve had little experience in playing! Despite that, I feel like I’ve definitely only scraped off a tiny tip of the iceberg in terms of all the shaman databases out there …and I haven’t even touched lore! For now, I’m somewhat satisfied with what I’ve learned in regards to my lowbie shammy alt, but I definitely know there’s still a lot more to learn if I ever intend on raiding on her! Such is the never-ending thirst for more knowledge… :)

The First

Oh my. Getting back into the groove of blogging after 4-5 years or so is quite interesting. Granted, back in the day I only posted entirely random rants about nothing of real importance on LiveJournal. Oh, the days of angsty rants about school and stupidity! After SixApart bought out the company, I lost motivation and no longer had much time for writing. It’s funny now to see so much social media being used everyday — *puts on hipster shades* — I really truly remember signing up for Twitter and Tumblr in their early stages, then abandoning them because I couldn’t find anyone else I knew there. Nobody had one!  Yet now it seems everyone has one, and I’m the one stumbling back towards remembering how things are done. It’s pretty silly. Maybe it’s a sign I’m getting old… :)

On that note,  The Newbie Blogger Initiative was the most fantastic discovery I found while browsing various MMO blogs this past week. I tend to consider myself a lurker in most forums and news articles. I read and observe — a lot. A disturbing lot, to the point where I sometimes I’ll have so many thoughts about different topics that I feel I could write a book. A recent close friend of mine started her adventures in Azeroth, and there has been so much information (game tips, bits of lore, personal experiences, and more) that I just want to share but can’t sanely possibly spam her chatbox any more in-game. (Sorry, friend, I don’t mean to keep critting you with walls of text while you’re desperately trying to quest!) But in reality, would I have the motivation or attention span to write a book? No, hardly feasible nor effective in my case. I’m not sure why it didn’t dawn on me to start a blog, either! Logic, I have none!

As evidenced in this post, I often fall into tangents, drabble on senselessly to the point of being verbose, and am easily distracted by shiny thi-ooh, what is that sparkling over that there yonder? I kid, I kid. Maybe.

But in all seriousness, I’m incredibly excited to have finally peeped in on the Blogosphere. I have no guarantee that my posts will be thoroughly riveting every time, but I’ll be more than thrilled to find other people who have shared similar experiences with me in the MMO universe. And at very least, I’ll be happiest that I’ve finally settled on somewhere to collect all my thoughts. At present, I’m working on an actual game-related post as well as finishing the info on the About page! So stay tuned…

Thank you again to Syp for starting the Initiative and for all of the supporters for giving us newbies motivation and encouragement!