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It was very easy to entirely disregard the efforts of my other team members in the DPS role, my main questions were something like “Is the tank keeping aggro?”, “Is the healer keeping me topped up while I’m not doing something berserk that might, just might, make everything go pear-shaped?” and that was it. Yes and yes*. Wicked.

* Added on behalf of the Padding The Ground For Obvious Falling After Ego Bloat Moments: Sometimes the answers are “Yes and yes, ooh, wait a minute, no! Eeeeep!” and various other combinations. Yes, I have moved while Flame Wreath was up.

But at the tanking station, bad group members have like a neon sign above their heads. With best friend Bupu at the back healing, we have both ends covered, and have started keeping a friendslist of “good PUG people”, really, really bad ones get put on the ignore list. Seriously. I have been known to get enormously stressed out while tanking, not in the usual run of things, the “when things go right” run of things, but the other times. The other times like when the mage takes it upon herself to decide it’s time to pull, at this point I have no rage. At all. And use a Pyroblast to do it. This actually happened! To make it worse, she then tried to make out like I was the “nab”.

Mage: Well why don’t you just get aggro after I pull?

Me: *blink* *blink* *blink*. Because you’re, like, using a six-second cast uber-fireball to tell them that we’re here! Hello? I ain’t a paladin, lady! Druid. Drooo-id.

We teamed up with one hunter for Auchenai Crypts who was a disaster in all ways, but turned up again in a group for Shadow Labs and he looked to be shaping up to a promising hunter, I walked him through his first Misdirection, the first one he let the buff run out before firing but he got better, as for the Crypts shenanigans, who knows, people have off days. I know I do.

I’m getting better, and calmer, at the tanking though. It’s going very well, thank you. Did Botanica tonight and only suffered one wipe. That’s pretty good going!

Weird thing that happened today. Out with Bupu doing the quest line to get an Arcatraz key and clearing up some of the demon pooches around that area, one dropped Valanos’ Longbow. Nothing strange about that, true enough, I won the roll and we carried on. The next mob? Dropped Valanos’ Longbow. I won the roll again but gave one to Bupsy so we could both enjoy the warm glow of the auction monies. I might actually see if that promising hunter wants it…

(picture by Kody and was the winner of Big Bear Butt‘s design a t-shirt contest a while back).
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When I first installed Satrina Buff Frames it’s main purpose was to patch over the shortcomings of the otherwise very pretty SpartanUI, putting the buffs back in the top corner of the screen instead of making my eyes bleed trying to squint at the tiny space given to them by the fancy all-in-one-combined action bar. Any thoughts of what else it could do were immediately ignored and, to be frank, considered strange, alien and scary; separate frames, filters, lions, tigers and bears? Oh my!

But nothing breaks through that comfort zone like an emerging problem, this being that when tanking an instance, it’s very easy to lose my standard three druid buffs amongst the milieu of others bestowed upon me by my team-mates. I need to know, at a glance, exactly where I stand with Thorns and Omen of Clarity particularly, and when my Gift of the Wild runs out, then I know everyone else’s has as well.

Currently I had the default two frames, one for buffs and one for debuffs. A third frame was created and filters dropped in to show any buffs containing the strings “of the wild”, “thorns” and “omen of clarity” (using the suffix “3:n~”). Since I know it will be just these buffs, I could limit the number of buffs shown to four (three wasn’t an option) and have them displayed as tidy bars with a width of 200px, and lo:

Instant visual gratification, all kept tidily in the top corner of the screen! Lightly garnish with disabling the buffs from being shown in frame one in the Spells tab, and never again may I start on clouting a pack of mobs only to realise that Thorns expired some time ago.

Satrinas Buffs Frames. It’s what’s for dinner!

(edit: on writing this i thought “hey, what about aspect of the wild? eh?” and so the filters have been modified so that any nature-concerned hunters I may travel with don’t mess up my tidy bars) :p

Zul’Farrak was the staging ground for Wintersong’s second big tanking adventure and wouldn’t you know it, I’m quite enjoying the role as well as learning vital lessons about what a tank has to deal with regarding cocksure DPS members. It hurts more than a little that the class I’ve had the most trouble with so far is the hunter and, yes, part of me is thinking “Well, you know, they’re just making the same mistakes that I did, granted not at ZF level and totally not multi-shotting around sapped mobs but still, show a little patience,” while another part of me won’t have any of it.

This blog may have become more of an alt.place these days, but I’m still a hunter at heart, I still adore the class and I still won’t put up with any reasons to keep the term “huntard” in existence. The next hunter I see doing any more than two melee swings is going to be on the receiving end of a Feral Charge. Preow.

The good part of the whole ZF experience was, having just slipped into level 48 the night before going to the top of Zintha’Alor for the Mallet, the combined XP total of one and a quarter runs (server restart forced the quarter) and seven quests to complete while in there took me all the way to 49. Hail to the night! The easiest level I’ve ever completed. I even managed to impress myself and the healer by having Innervate easily accessible even when shapeshifted to cast during a particularly bad pull before going back to bear. Not bad for a beginner, even if I say so myself.

WoW Insider has an interesting piece about the expectations of women in WoW, the glass ceiling, the opinions of stupid boys, the Don’t Make Me Put On My Feminist Hat… It deserves reading.

The Midsummer Festival draws to a close and, sadly, Anj didn’t manage to see Ahune die. A last-minute try was attempted and theoretically it should have gone well, I was in charge of killing the elemental adds while the rest of the group repeatedly hit the big rock guy until the Nuke Ahune window opened. I’m pretty sure I was doing my job well enough but the healer kept getting aggro and we died. A few times.

Ahune

Ahune, the Frost Lord, didn't bring a bottle.

Ah well, never mind. Both Anj and Alysha managed to honour or desecrate every available fire including the Horde cities while the other girls all got a nice dress out of it with matching shoulder pads, not to mention getting every last drop of value from those lovely buffs. The Festival Fire buff alone was almost always my second-highest damage output, it was very impressive! Life is harder now. No pretty tabard, but fun times a-plenty so it’s all good and who’s complainin’?

That and Wintersong has her first proper go at tanking! Went pretty well all points considered, even though level 46 in Uldaman is a little above the requirements. You’ve got to be gently eased into these things.

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