Archive for add on

Tank Experiment: To Northrend

Posted in Tank Experiment with tags , , , , , , , on January 31, 2010 by Masscis

It’s been a week or so without a post. A lot has been going on, I’ll fill in the details sooner or later. Today’s post will focus on Mandylus, the Death Knight in my experiment. Yes, she has arrived in Northrend and is now level 72. I have picked up duel speccing on her, unholy for questing and 2H frost for tanking. I plan to switch to DW Frost as soon as I get some decent 1h weapons.

First off, the last time I reported on her status, Mandy was in her early 60’s. I pretty much made the run from 60 to 70 in about 8 hours. I want to give some credit to a couple of websites that have helped me out a ton. WOW Pro has some of the best free leveling guides I can find. Jame’s guides are some of the best on the site. I began using them when I was first leveling my warrior through to 80. I went back to using them for the DK and discovered they have an add-on version now. Let me just say this, the leveling guides helps but the add-on is just amazing. It’s a combination of Tom-tom and Tour guide. Jame has optimised routes and has a Tom-tom marker for everything. It’s light weight and just full of awesome. Of course, I like to run 5 mans while leveling and I’m decked out in BOA gear so I do get pretty far ahead of the guide at times. The add-on makes it very easy to skip ahead of the guide to get to proper level content. This is an amazing site, amazing add-on…amazing guide and I highly recommend it to anyone leveling a toon.

Next in my bag of tricks, Wow Leveling Builds. A site dedicated to optimizing your build while leveling. Every class, every spec is up to date for patch 3.3. This is where I found the 12/0/59 Unholy build that I’m using while questing. I picked unholy for the extra AOE abilities. Improved DnD and extra disease damage when using pestilence. I never die, get plenty of healing from Death Strike. Plus I get the permanent pet. This site is definitely a good spot to sent people for fastest possible leveling specs. They don’t have any explanations as to rotations but it wasn’t hard for me to pick up.

On to DK tanking. I’ve often talked about Death Knights as being crosses between Warlocks and Warriors. I still feel that statement is true when it comes to dps but tanking definitely feels like a perfect cross between Paladin and Warrior. Plenty of buttons to mash, rune strike may as well be heroic strike. Rune power is similar to Rage. Blood Boil has a definite Thunder clap feel. Yet, it’s got the “set it, and forget it” feel of Pally AOE with DnD and Pestilence.

So far, I’ve tanked 4 times on Mandy. 3 UK and 1 Nexus. The first run was the most interesting, I pulled the first group in UK and they went down quick. Second group, mobs scattered and it was hectic. The healer did an awesome job keeping everyone up. At this point I got worried because I was having major threat issues. After about the 4th pull, I remembered I wasn’t in frost presence…I know, fuckn’ noob. After that minor oversight we cleared the place with 1 wipe. I forgot to run out for the dark smash on the last guy… In the following dungeons, other than having a few new to healing healers it’s been smooth sailing and a ton of fun. I’m learning quite a bit but I also think my tanking experience on the warrior has saved me a few times. I have a leg up now though, I don’t have to learn the dungeons while learning to tank…just need to learn the class.

I would like to point out one thing to anyone bringing a plate tanking class up…do the colderra quest, all of them. By the time you’ve finished all the quest there, you’ll have 4 quest in Nexus. Get the book, scan the rift, kill the rock guys and kill Keristrasza. Not only will you get a ton of XP from the dungeon and quest, you’ll pick up a few blue tanking pieces.

In closing, even at leveling 70 I get in dungeons in about 10 seconds as a tank. I plan to tank Mandy all the way to 80 before I work with another of the classes. Once she hits 80, I’m going to put her in my wife’s guild, who’s short a tank atm. I’ll use her to help them progress and farm Frost Badges for Primordial Saronite to sell and craft Mandalus the BS legs. I’ll probably begin working on the druid next but I may try to bring the druid and pally up together. I find if I work with 1 class to long while leveling I get bored, so I don’t know where I’m going with it yet.

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UI of a Main Tank

Posted in User Interface with tags , , , , , , on January 14, 2010 by Masscis

A shot of my UI

I’ve talked a little about stats and gear, I figured I’d spend a little time with addons and UIs. I recently spent a good bit of time cleaning my UI up a bit and I’m pretty proud of the way it turned out. The basic design I was going for was to have the most important parts of the UI closer to the center and the least used towards the top and sides. At the same time, I wanted comfort to play a big roll.

I’m going to detail a bit of my UI for you. First, I’ll let you in on which addons I use…First are the ones you can see in the screen shot above:

  1. Elkano’s BuffBars
  2. Prat 3.0
  3. Bartender4
  4. X-Perl Unitframes
  5. Cooldown Count
  6. Recount
  7. Omen
  8. Deadly Boss Mods
  9. Sexy MiniMap
  10. MiniMap Button Frames
  11. IceHUD
  12. Scrolling Combat Text
  13. SCT – Damage
I have a few others that you can’t see.
  1. Gearscore
  2. Auctioneer
  3. onebag

Above, I’ve labeled the location of each visible add-on.

I’ll start with my buff bars.

Elkanos buff bars

As you can see, I have 3 columns set up. The first column shows general raid buffs. The second column shows my debuffs. These 2 columns set up automatically when you install the add-on. The third column is a custom one I created. It shows my “important” buffs or the buffs I want to keep an eye on. This column includes self cast buffs, food, flask, shouts cast by me or others and any procs I may have. In the screen shot you can see that mongoose has just proc’d. This way, while in 25 man especially, I’m not having to search through a list of 50 to 100 buffs trying to find how long my flask, shield wall or last stand has left. Having the shouts in the “self cast” bar, lets me quickly see if a fury warrior may be using commanding or battle shout. It’s also in the upper left corner, out of the way but yet there when I need it.

I have a fourth buff bar setup. This bar is scaled really big and sits in the middle of my screen. The only buff that it’ll list is when I get an instant slam while I’m dpsing. It’s by far the best warning I’ve seen to announce proc ablilities such as instant slam.

Above the buff bars I have a couple action bars set up. This is mostly none combat stuff; flask, food, hearth, professions and mounts. I do have a couple attacks up there though. I use a 9 button mouse and have these up there for special key bindings mapped to different mouse buttons. They include charge, autoattack and shoot/throw. I also have heroic throw, shield wall and last stand mapped to my mouse but they aren’t on the top bar.

Continuing on to the right top….Sexy minimap.

Sexy Minimap

This is really just for looks. No real function except the coords below the clock. I just like the looks of it really. Some may argue that the square map gives a little more viewable area but it’s just a light weight addon that looks good.

Speaking of looking good. Just above and to the left of the minimap is a little bar.

Minimap Button Frames

If you want a good looking UI, this little gem is a must. Every add-on has it’s own minimap button. This addon takes those buttons off of the map and puts them in this little box. Right click the box and it reveals all the icons inside….”It’s a secret to everyone!” It really cleans up the UI nicely. It’s small and can be dragged anywhere and with just a right click you have access to all your add-ons.

We’ll jump to the bottom left now and talk about Prat.

Prat

I downloaded Prat out of necessity more than anything. Last year I built a new computer. It was awesome. I built it with what I could afford and upgraded as time went on. When I upgraded the video card, while the graphics were amazing (Ultra FTW), I couldn’t read the chat anymore. All text whether they were tells, general chat or guild chat, had lines through them. Prat solved that issue, guess it was something with the wow font getting corrupt? I enjoyed Prat and never tried to actually fix the problem because I though the color coded class names was sweet. I later found out that you can change that in the default UI but whatever, I like my UI and I ain’t screwing with it.

To the right of the chat window….the 1 add-on every Protection Warrior should have.

Bartender 4

Face it, default UI just does not give you enough room to put everything close at hand like it needs to be. Enter, Bartender. This is probably the add-on I can’t live without more than any other. It gives you easy access to key binds…/kb, then mouse over the spell, esc to clear the current key bind and hit the key you’d like to assign to the spell. So easy. As you can see, my key binds are a little “odd”. I will be doing a follow up to this soon to explain them in full.

I have 4 bars cut into 2 rows. The top left bar has all my main abilities on it. The bottom left bar has lesser used abilities and need shift to modify. The top right bar is my shouts and in this screen shot my trinkets. On the bottom right bar I have my saves and heals. Notice the lack of key binds on the saves. I usually pull this bar up towards the middle of my screen during a boss fight. This allows me to click the spell I need while still keeping my left hand “home” for other abilities.

To the left of my main bars, I have recount and omen. I’m sure almost all know of these and don’t need any more explanation. I will say, yes, recount is helpful for tanks. I use it to see what kind of damage I’m taking and how hard a boss is hitting me. It also helps spot when that pesky warlock starts creeping up the treat table when his dps jumps up…lets you quickly call for a hand or intervene on him.

X Perl

I really only use XPerl for it’s ability to move my frames around. Being able to see the whole raid and whose dead is helpful but I don’t use it during a fight too much. I really like the focus frame which, when used, is situated a little below and to the left of my IceHUD action bars. I didn’t have a screen shot, sorry. I usually put the off-tank or highest threat dps as focus. Off tank when we’ll be switching up on the boss, that way I can watch his de-buffs. If there’s no boss switching involved, I’ll put a mage or warlock or whoever is giving me threat issues as focus. I have intervene macro’d to /tar focus /cast intervene. Works well…if they’re in range. All in all, if I had to change 1 add-on, it’d be XPerl. I want to be able to turn off my frame and my targets frame but can’t seem to find it in the options.

IceHUD

If yo look to the center of the screen shot, you’ll see IceHUD. This addon gives so much info, right in the middle of your screen it’s unbelievable. First, it has my health as the green arc on the right. My target’s health just outside of that. Below those 2 arc is where the bosses buffs show up. On the left, you’ll see my rage arc and just outside of that is the bosses mana/rage/energy arc. Below the rage arc is the bosses debuffs. I love this part of the add-on, it always puts debuffs I’ve applied first, followed by all other debuffs. Very easy to see when to refresh something. Below the arc in the middle you’ll see some basic info about your target…boss/elite/level etc. Just above that, you can see the number 5….this is awesome, it tells me how many sunders are on the boss without even searching for the de-buff!

Just to the outside of IceHUD, on the left you’ll see the outgoing scrolling damage text and on the right is the incoming damage text. Makes it easy to spot a bit hit or if I crit…fun to watch all those blocks and dodges stack up too.

I hope you enjoyed a look into what I see every time I sit down to play. Hopefully, next week I’ll have a write up on keybindings and why you should use them.