Blessed “B”

December 10, 2009

This post was inspired by and is in response to Arioch’s post today.


Keybindings have always been near and dear to my… fingers. The friend that got me started on WOW didn’t tell me I had to use them or exactly which ones to use… but he made it clear that if I clicked my abilities there was a special place reserved for me in geek hell. So I used keybindings.

Things get tricky when you have a major case of altoholicism, but I have a basic pattern I use for every single one of my characters, and it works out well. I have around 10 characters I’ve logged onto for awhile in the last month, probably gotten a level or two then gotten back on my mage. I know I have a problem, I’m working on it.

Back to the task at hand: I want to describe to you not just which buttons do what, but my thought process behind each one. If a keybind doesn’t feel right, I change it. No point in adding awkwardness to my own character when I’m already trying to learn a new boss fight or in the middle of an arena or some such.

I move with WASD. No, I’m not a “omg keyboard turner” relax, I’ve rebound A and D to strafeing, highly useful when kiting. I turn with my mouse, I strafe with my keys. I once tried binding “S” to Power Word Shield on my priest… lets just say that didn’t work out. “S” is backward.

My main spam spell is on “R”. My rogue friend said to put it on “E”, but I highly disagree with him on this point. I’m already resting my hand on WASD (Even when I’m at work, they are my home keys. And no, I don’t play WOW at work. I wish). By putting my “trigger finger” on R, I can move it to E, 4, T, or F at a moment’s notice. On caster characters it’s my main spell, on melee it’s usually an opener/spam of some sort.

R: Arcane Blast (pve), Frostbolt (pvp), Icy Touch, Sinister Strike, Smite, Immolate, Judgment of Light, etc.

E is a button that is either used as my “secondary attack” or one that procs off of my “R” button. Or a short term buff. It has a very specific use, something I want to have right there when I need it.


E: Arcane Missiles (pve), Icy Veins (pvp), Plague Strike, Slice and Dice, Shadow Word: Pain, Shadow Bolt

F is my button for short-term cooldown spells that I can hit when I want to but I probably use more than I should. Or just my 3rd attack. All my F buttons are instants.

F: Fire Blast (pve rarely, pvp a lot, with shift it is Arcane Explosion), Blood Strike, Corruption, Backstab (Ambush)

T: Spellsteal for when I need it. In pvp I also have it bound to 1 because I use it a lot more then.

4: Remove Curse. Again, for when I need it.

3: Every Blood Elf For Herself/pvp trinket. Ever since I farmed enough honor at level 29 I have had my pvp trinket on 3 on every single character I have. My middle finger is “always” on W unless I can’t move… then it’s free to hit my trinket isn’t it?

C is mostly for crowd control, or just for big attacks I don’t use as often.

C: Frost Nova (with control is Water Elemental’s Freeze), Sap, Scourge Strike (with shift is Chains of Ice), Curse of Agony

B: is for my backpack!!! (ok, it’s actually “open all bags”) I cannot STAND it when people bind something else here. I once tried to get on a friends account to do dailies for him or something… and he put his pvp trinket on B. /facepalm. In the course of just doing argent tournament dailies I must have hit his trinket a dozen times. So frustrating.


Z is for sleeping. Haha, no, it’s for silence. I levelled my mage as a Blood Elf, so it was always Arcane Torrent from level 1. I even macroed it to yell “SILENCE!” when I did, but it scared my little sister because she thought I was yelling at her every time. So I took the macro out.

Z: nothing. Haha I’m human now, but counterspell is Shift+Z. Also Brain Freeze/(shift) Strangulate.

I love Z because it’s close, real close to my “A” finger, but there’s no way I’ll hit it by mistake. My pinky rests on shift anyway, so Shift+Z counterspell is just second nature to me. I once tried moving Counterspell to just Z, and macro’ing shift+z to counterspell my focus. No way, I accidentally counterspelled my focus twice, never going back. Shift+Z is counterspell, it is so engraved in my memory I cannot go back.

` is my panic button. Nuff said.

`: Ice Block, Barkskin, Lifeblood, Enraged Regeneration, Vampiric Blood, you name it, it’s here. Sometimes with alt/shift/control, but it’s there. My only disappointment with it is that I sometimes hit Ice Block when I hit escape… embarrassing at the start of an arena 😦

Q. Ah… Q.Q is a great button. Easily accessible, I use Q for so many things, so many macros that do different things. It’s probably my favorite button. It does something completely different on every character, but I know when in doubt press Q.

Q: Arcane Barrage (pve), Arcane Power + Arcane Barrage (pvp) +shift Ice Lance (pvp) +control POM+Hand Mounted Pyro Rockets + Frostfire Bolt (pvp) +alt POM + Polymorph (pvp)

Also Death Grip, Taunt, Charge, Dark Command, Growl, Stealth. Q is a busy button.

G. Oh boy, G is a very very very important button, one that I have spent hours perfecting. On any character other than my mage, it’s just some buff. Blessing of Might, Demon Armor, something. On my mage…

G: POLYMORPH! The macro looks something like this:

#showtooltip Polymorph
/focus [nomod]
/clearfocus [mod:shift]
/cast [nomod] Polymorph
/cast [mod:ctrl, target = focus] Polymorph

I’m at work and not at home, I can’t look it up exactly but I’m pretty sure this is what it looks like. Basically, hitting G will make my target my focus and sheep it. If I feel like focusing a party member, I can “try” to sheep it and get the same results. When I’m tired of focusing, Shift+G just clears my focus. Control G sheeps my focus.

This macro took a long time to perfect, but I learned something very important that would have saved me a lot of headaches.

If you have a macro bound to “G” with a shift modifier, but you have some other ability bound to “Shift+G”, the other ability takes precedence.

So be extra sure that you have nothing bound to “Shift+G” or “Control+G” if you want this macro to work. With bartender what I did was bound those to my polymorph macro, then hit escape to clear all bindings from that button, then rebound G to it. It works.

This post is now twice as long as any of my other posts. Hooray.

Until next time,

Om nom nom


Awesomely Awesomeness

December 9, 2009

That’s my general impression of the patch. After the extended extended maintenance, and in between huge amounts of server lag, I actually got to fool around with some of the new stuff last night. It was awesome.

I think the reason for all the lag was that everything in the game was blinded from overexposure to pure awesomeness.

Random cross-server LFG = awesome. I got a dk friend of mine to tank, the two of us queued for a random heroic and had a full group and were teleported to the instance within 5 seconds. Awesome! Cleared it in no time, got loot, EMBLEMS OF FROST, gold, got some disenchanted mats (whee!) and teleported back. Signed up for another one, same song different verse.

A little later I queued by myself… took about 2 minutes to find a group for just a dps. Pro-tip: bring your own tank or healer. This is a BYOTOH party.

Arcane empowerment = awesome. I do more damage. Can’t complain.

Getting TRIUMPH from heroics = awesome. I now have 51, I need to decide what to buy. I can get my 3rd piece of tier 9… I’m considering pants to upgrade from my t7.5, but it loses hit rating. Thanks to an-awesome-new-staff-that-I-won’t-bother-linking-because-I’m-lazy-but-I-got-it-in-the-new-5-man I’m really close to hit cap for fire. I’ve always loved the fire playstyle but lacked the hit rating neccesary for raiding. I’m close.

(Could someone please help me set up rawr? I think it would help me with my upgrade choices, it seems like easymode to everyone else I’ve read talk about it but it seems more complicated to me than a feral druid’s rotation, which I haven’t done but have heard it’s complicated.)

If you don’t want to be spoiled about the new 5-man dungeons, you can stop reading now.

Until next time,

Om nom nom



Ok, if you didn’t want to know about the 5-mans, didn’t want to be spoiled, you wouldn’t be reading a WoW blog. You would be playing it already.

The new 5-mans = awesome! I loved running it with my friend, with all our “strategies” made up in 10 seconds before the pull thanks to a quick glance at wowhead. I didn’t read through all the strats, didn’t watch people on the ptr do it, just did it. It was epic.

I loved Forgemaster Garfrost. He was the best. He was also the hardest for our group, wiped 4 times. Fun mechanics, a cool strategy made it a fun fight.

And then my favorite part: Hodir 2.0 AKA the tunnel up to Lord Tyrannus. I loved it, so much fun dodging a gazillion patches of ice and facing down unending waves of scourge. Our group was pro, no one ever got hit by the ice so I don’t actually know how dangerous it is. But it felt awesome.

This patch is full of win. I love it. It has inspired me to write my longest blog post yet. I will gladly continue to give Blizzard my $15 a month as long as they keep this up.

What’s a few hours downtime compared to a few weeks epic adventure with friends?

Until next time,

Om nom nom (now with 3% more nom)

Too Many Warriors

December 9, 2009

Note to self: Do not attempt to pug a raid on Monday nights. Thank you.

This is not a happy story. This is the story of the worst Onyxia pug I have ever had. Onyxia 10-man, by the way.

What makes this the worst, I think, was that I should have known better. In so many ways. For one, all the good healers and tanks are already saved to every raid by Friday. Weekends and the dreaded Monday before reset are straight out. Unless you are lucky/dedicated enough to be in a guild. Good for you.

I’m sick of wielding a dagger. I got that freaky curved thing in HTOC, I can’t even remember it’s name it’s so awful. Spectral Kris, there we go. Blugh.

I want a staff. Short of that, I’d be willing to settle for a sword. Daggers are for warlocks and rogues, not mages. I knew there was a caster sword in Onyxia, so I tried to form a raid for that.

We start this adventure in one of the scariest place in wow: the LFG channel. I look for healers and manage to find a pally, a priest, and a shaman all willing to heal Onyxia 10. Then I ask for tanks. I haven’t even asked for dps yet, but I manage to find 4 more of those before anyone even mentions a desire to tank.

Then a tank pops up on the LFG interface. A warrior, with both tank and dps checked next to his name.

“Hi, would you like to tank Onyxia 10 with us?”

“no i wanna dps”

“… then take tank off of your LFG”

“well i can tank cuz im a warrior but i wanna dps”

About 10 minutes later, I manage to convice him to tank for us. He only has 31k hp, I’m willing to try it but his attitude is getting to me.

Holy pally leaves, gets replaced by another dps, a warrior.

I ask in my guild, we just need one more tank, and a warrior whispers me says he’ll try it. He only has 29k hp… but I want to get going, it’s late, and I’m tired, and I want to raid get loot.

I make a port to Theramore, we get to the stone and summon people. We zone in, jump down, buff up, and pull. We one-shot the place. And by that I mean the first trash mobs one-shot us.

Apparently the priest “got too close” and it was his fault the 2nd mob went after him, not the tank’s. Yeah.

So we run back and rez, priest leaves the group. And our hunter never got his summons. So I look for more people, find another holy pally. Resto shaman leaves, replace with an elemental shaman. (side note, Elemental Shamans are MY BESTEST FRIENDS! More on that later)

We run outside to summon… and there are 2 horde raids in the middle of summoning their people. Or just a 25-man raid, whatever. A lot of horde. In our way.

It turns into a (somewhat) epic pvp battle, lasting a good 30-45 minutes. They had like 8 paladins in their 25-man raid, highly frustrating. I even changed into my epic pvp spec/gear, just to try and summon 2 people. We finally get everyone inside, rebuff and go. Now, we’re down to 2-healing this. Our healers are pretty geared, our tanks are not. We pull the 2 trash mobs… and wipe again.

I have never, EVER had fully degraded gear 2 hours into a raid without ever seeing a boss. And I repair fairly often. There must have been a few more wipes I have subconciously blocked out of my mind, I don’t want to think about it anymore.

The moral of this story is obvious: Eat more strudel.

Until next time,

Om nom nom

Pick me! Pick me!

December 8, 2009

There comes a time in the life of a wow addict player when they will want to join a group or raid. Each class/spec can bring something different to a raid, and a smart raid leader will plan accordingly.

While a pack of 10 paladins could get through a raid without too many problems (except loot drama, but that’s another story), they would be much better off if they brought a druid along for Mark of the Wild. (someone please tell me how to put in wowhead tooltips).

Or said paladins could bring a death knight for Horn of Winter, and if he’s frost, Improved Icy Talons.

Or a shaman. Hoo boy, these guys have a ton of buffs. They keep several of them in these little stick things they carry around and leave on the ground at various times and places. I think they call them totems. And then they have BLOODLUST! No namby-pamby heroism, no. I may currently be human but I’m just spying. Really.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, arcane mages have just gotten a raid buff that people may actually want. Sure, intellect is nice… but no one, and I mean NO ONE cares that you are sitting there with 30k mana. How much damage did you do? That’s what matters. Intellect will only ever be “nice”, until Cataclysm comes out. Wow, another topic, but that sounds amazing. Remember that in Cataclysm spellpower will become part of intellect… and if you have intellect you should be able to figure out what that means.

Back on topic, whenever arcane crits we will now give 3% more damage to the raid, exclusive with BM hunters and ret pallies. And boy, there aren’t enough ret pallies to go around.

If somehow you are in a group that is devoid of hunters and pallies, you now bring something else to the table, beyond the actual table. No one will brag about having 60 strudels in their inventory, no matter how much of a blessing that actually is. They only care if they did 5.1k or 5.2k dps.

Until next time,

Om nom nom

Not Gonna Do It

December 8, 2009

I am not going to do what almost everyone else is doing. I like setting my own trends, not following the cookie cutter talent specs or raid strats, I prefer to go my own way.

In this spirit, I am not going to comment on any major in-game happenings that may or may not be happening today. I will instead share a poem:

Purples are dropping
And bosses are too
The new raid has come
Come get your free loot
Hardcores are whining
Dumbing down the game
Arthas is calling
Yell: looking for group

Subliminal message complete.

Nom nom om.


December 7, 2009

I, like many of you (not that anyone’s reading this, but I’ll say it anyway) am addicted to this game we like to call WOW. There is a reason we call it WOW, and I’m sure it has nothing to do with the fact that it’s a handy acronym for World of Warcraft. Of course, it’s because this game is amazing. Or maybe it’s because no matter how frustrated Blizzard makes us when they change up our favorite class (mage of course) but because no matter how hard we try, how busy our real lives our, we just can’t quit this friggin’ game.

I’ve tried. Several times. The last big time I tried to quit, I ended up with a 2nd level 80. Yeah that didn’t work out.

But I have a real life. A very busy one. One that leaves me with very little time to play this awesome game.

I’ve been in 3 raiding guilds. I think I’ve made a total of 3 guild raids, ever. I just can’t commit the time.

So I never have time to play… and still have 40 days /played since I started playing this game almost a year ago. Yeah. I have problems.

…That I will promptly ignore the next time I kill a pally.

Until next time,

Om nom nom

The Emotions of a Mage

December 6, 2009

Thoughtful post time. What made you decide to become a mage?

1. Did you crave some delicious, better tasting, more filling Strudels?

2. Did you feel like being at everyone’s beck and call for instant and thankless transportational services?

3. Did you want that giddy feeling you get when you turn a rabbit into a sheep?


For me, I rolled mage as my very first character on a friend’s account, because mages are awesome. No really. That, and my friend had been telling me about the game for weeks, and I had done what any other incredibly geeky but time-and-money limited guy would do. I went to and read EVERYTHING. I knew almost every class ability in the game. I knew the mechanics for the (then) top raid encounters (right before WotLK came out). I knew WAY too much about the game before I even made my first character.

What really made me roll mage, was my friend telling me that they were awesome at pvp, especially in 2v2 arenas with a rogue. My friend plays a rogue. Go figure.

My favorite class in the game is rogue… at least I think so. I’ve only gotten to 19. 3 times. And yet my mage is the one at 80. Hmm.

And then of course Blizzard takes a sledgehammer and pounds on 2v2 until it dies a very painful death, and now we can’t get shoulders or weapons with 2’s rating. Weapons are kind of important for a rogue… and my friend barely wants to do arena anymore.

I consider myself a pvp’er. My lifetime highest 2v2 rating is 1250… but I’m working on it. Really.

Until next time,

Om nom nom.