Random Healing

January 11, 2010

Welcome to another exciting post here at The Conundrum Effect! I’m starting a new column here at the blog called Random Healing, and I’d like to share all of my experiences as I heal my way through the game. I’ve played healing classes before (Paladin, Druid, and Shaman), but never actually did any healing. I have always been a melee class, preferring to mix it up and get in your face. I like to keep things personal.

With the release of the Looking for Dungeon tool, running random instances has been all the rage. Most of you may know that my main is a level 80 Death Knight, and I’ve managed to PuG my way through four pieces of Tier 9 gear. And my god, it has been a pure, fucking nightmare! I swear to god that everyone and their mother plays a DPS class. Where are all of the damn healers?! This lack of healers led me to create … Her.

Istaria Glowember. No RP backstory for her yet, but don’t worry. That’s coming later on, probably as Cataclysm draws closer.

I simply just got tired of the 20 min wait times for random instances, only to have a healer bail out on us. So I said: “Fuck it! I’ll make a healer, and I’ll be a good damn one too!” With all of the daily Argent Tournament quests that I had been running getting Khelandros up to Crusader level, I had enough to buy two sets of heirloom armor. One set I wasted on leather armor for my rogue, so is now sitting by the wayside. The other set of armor went to Istaria. So she is now proudly wearing a Tattered Dreadmist Robe and Tattered Dreadmist Mantle, which gives me a combined 20% increase in XP gain from killing monsters and turning in quests. Not bad at all. I am now working on getting her a one-handed mace, the Devote Aurastone Hammer.

For Specialization, I had absolutely NO clue what route to take. I knew that I wanted to heal, so I stayed away from the Shadow spell tree. I have heard nothing but good things about the Discipline tree so I decided to head that route. I did invest three points in the Shadow tree, getting Spirit Tap. This ability gives me a 100% chance to gain a 100% increase to my spirit, which allows my mana to regenerate 83% faster, even while casting. Not too bad. More mana?? Yes please!!

My next 5 points went into Twin Disciplines, which increases the damage and healing of my instant spells by 5%. Ok, big whup, right? That’s what I thought. How many instant cast spells do I have at level 17? Two! A heal over time and a damage over time. This talent doesn’t do my fucking squat right now. But since I’m focusing on PvE and not PvP, I chose to stay away from Unbreakable Will. So that’s where my talents stand right now.

I actually was able to moderately heal my way through three Ragefire Chasims. My first run, I let the group know that I was new to healing and I needed to move slowly to get my feet wet. They were completely understanding and totally cool. The tank said: “Just keep me over 50% health, and don’t overheal and steal my aggro”. They were a great bunch and I was thrilled that the run went so well.

Follow on runs didn’t pan out so well, and while we did not wipe at all, the last run in the Deadmines was almost a complete disaster. The rogue thought he was the shit and decided that he could solo VanCleef, without telling any of us. The tank had to have been totally oblivious to the fact that he even had a healer. With every group of trash mobs, the tank and the rogue decided to each solo a small group, so I was healing both. At level 17, I have two heal spells, one heal over time, and a small pool of mana.

Guess what fuckers: If you don’t see a blue bar under my character’s portrait, I’m not fucking healing you. So, based on my experiences, I’ve developed a small list of my own Do’s and Dont’s for all of you non-healers.

Do’s:
Do be courteous and stop for mana breaks when your healer announces that he or she may be out of mana
Do remind your healer when you need a refresh of your buff, because chances are, I’m not monitoring it as a new priest
Do give your priest epic thanks at the end of your runs

Don’t:
Don’t run into a pack of trash mobs when your healer announces that they are out of mana
Don’t attempt to solo anything if you are not the tank (my job is to keep said tank alive so he or she can pull shit off your dumb ass)
Don’t piss your healer off, because I guarentee you that you will have one huge repair bill

Well, that’s all I have about my experiences as a healer so far. And to be honest, it’s been mostly good. Level 18 is coming up, so I’ll get a few more spells to add to my rotation, though I’m not sure of what they are yet. I’m very much enjoying being a healer, and may have found my true calling. Stay tuned for more updates to the Random Healing column, and the Conundrum Effect as well. Take care my friends!


A Meeting Undaunted

December 29, 2009

He strode through the halls of Ironforge, looking as menacing as most death knights do. He wore armor of the darkest black, though no longer adorned with the skulls and their dreadful grins. The armor, lined with silver, bore the markings of his family name. Glowember.

With each step he took, the floor lined with frost, leaving behind an icy footprint as he walked down the corridors of the ancient dwarven city. There was no wind down here, and as a matter of fact, had a musty heaviness to it. Yet the white hair of the death knight, let loose from his helmet, swayed as though a breeze swept by.

He kept his gaze straight, his eyes never straying from the path set before him. Distractions only cost him precious time. And then it happened. The menacing death knight, leaving a path of frost behind him, tripped and fell.

Landing with a clatter loud enough to wake the dead, he shot an angry glance at the object that caused him to fall. The figure stood, rubbing his head and his hind quarters at the same time, though not in a very coordinated manner. The figure stood slightly shorter than a dwarf, had long white hair and a beard to match. He turned to look at the death knight, and realizing what had just happened, ran over to help him to his feet.

The gnome reached the death knight, running at a full sprint. Unable to stop himself in time, the two collided with a thump and rolled over. Swearing and cursing louder than a drunk dwarf, the death knight finally managed to detangle himself from the gnome and get to his feet. Shaking his head, the death knight started off again, albeit a bit quicker.

The gnome, seeing the death knight walking away, gathered his oversized red robes about him and ran as fast as his stubby little legs could carry him. He caught up to the death knight and walked beside him, huffing and puffing heavily. He had to take two extra steps to the larger human’s one step, but was determined to keep up.

“Could you please slow down! If you walk too fast, I’ll never be able to keep up with you!” The gnome stated, in between breaths.

“That’s the point.” Khelandros didn’t waste any time.

Khelandros kept up the pace, all of the way to the gryphon master, the little gnome chatting up a storm. There were points in there that the gnome sounded like he was either talking too fast, or in a different language, but he thought he heard a name in there somewhere.

“So what’s your name, mister?” The gnome asked as he watched the death knight pay the flight master for his trip.

Khelandros never answered. He just hopped on one of the many griffons and took the sky, as fast as he could. He soared out through the great halls of the dwarven city and out into the frigid open sky of Dun Morough. Glad to be free of the chattering gnome, Khelandros sat back and relaxed, enjoying the peace and quiet of the trip.

“So um… where are we going?”

Khelandros’ eyes shot open. He looked down in horror to see the gnome dangling precariously from the leg of the griffon. His eyes, wide with fear or excitement, were looking straight ahead. He tried to get the griffon to land, swearing and cursing, pulling on the reins, but to no avail.

“You know, they’re very stubborn. They won’t deviate from their course for any reason.”

Khelandros knew that there was no getting past it. He would have to help the gnome. And by helping the gnome, he knew, that he would never be rid of him. With a deep sigh, Khelandros lowered his hand, grabbed the gnome by his oversized red robes, and flung him up onto the griffon into the spot in front of him.

“So what did you say your name was again?” Khelandros asked.

“Conundrum! I’m a warlock! Sowherearegoing? Iveneverbeenonanadventurebefore…” The gnome prattled on for the rest of the flight to Southshore.


Random Character Update

December 28, 2009

Hello everyone. I hope that the holidays have been kind to you, and that you got everything you needed from Greatfather Winter! Khelandros was able to get his hands on a Red Rider Air Rifle, which is used to complete one of the Winter’s Veil achievements, BB King. I was also able to complete all of the achievements required for Merrymaker, obtaining the title of Merrymaker, and getting me one step closer to completing What a Long, Strange Trip It’s Been.

So where have I been? Working. A lot.

With the holidays coming up, people here at work going on vacation, people calling in sick, and whatever other excuses you can think of, it’s been really busy here in the IT Call Center where I work. That, combined with school at night, doesn’t leave me with a whole lot of time to do any writing. I really do miss it though. I have been able to complete a few things on Khelandros:

Crusader – After becoming a Champion of all five capital cities, Khelandros was awarded with the title of Crusader. I was so happy to be done with the grind! But wait… what’s this? A new grind?! Yes… I have found that I traded one grind for another in the form of Champion’s Seals. These little buggers are the currency used for the items that I am after, namely Heirloom Items. So far, I’ve bought three pieces of Heirloom armor and passed them on to my low level Alt’s. Conundrum the Gnome has the Tattered Dreadmist Robe, while my Night Elf Hunter, Khelanor, is using the Stained Shadowcraft Tunic and Stained Shadowcraft Spaulders. I’m working at getting a full set of Heirloom Items for each class that I want to level come Cataclysm: Shaman, Hunter, and Warrior. Hail to the grind!

Pilgrim’s Bounty – This was the Thanksgiving meta-achievement that helped me, along with everyone else, raise our cooking skills very quickly. I was able to get the achievement completed on Khelandros, earning me the title of ‘the Pilgrim’. Not very Death Knight-ish, I know. It’s also not required for the above mentioned Long Strange Trip achievement. But still, I was able to level my cooking to a point that would allow me to complete the cooking achievements for the Feast of Winter Veil.

Tier 9 Gear – So I’ve never had any Tiered level dungeon gear. I think the closest I’ve ever gotten to tiered gear was two pieces of PvP gear that I ended up buying with honor points… well before Wrath of the Lich King launched. With the new Dungeon Finder tool, I have quickly gathered enough Frost Emblems and Emblems of Triumph to get two pieces of Tier 9 gear: Thassarian’s Shoulderplates of Conquest and Thassarian’s Gauntlets of Conquest. Each piece cost me 30 Emblems of Triumph, and with three more pieces left to complete the set, each one costing 50 emblems each, I’ll be in for another, arduous grind through random PuGs.

So that’s what I am working on in game at the moment. Tier 9 and Heirloom gear. Thankfully, I don’t have to worry about any more holiday achievements until February when Valentine’s Day comes around. Even then, I only have one achievement to go after… the dreaded Rocket’s Pink Glare. This achievement was bugged last year, and hopefully it’ll be fixed this year.

So that’s that. Looking forward to being able to get into the new instances and even attempt the raid on Icecrown Citadel. If I can manage, I’ll be sure to let you all know. Take care.

Until the next time…


A Gnome And His Imp

November 25, 2009

‘Always look before you leap’ was an old saying among gnomes, at least where Conundrum was from. Another saying is that ‘Nothing is ever lost. It’s just waiting to be found again’. This leads me to believe that gnomes lose a lot of things. I’m still not quite sure how I feel about that yet.

Anyway, the gnomes where Conundrum is from have a story about a famous gnomish explorer, adventuring in lands far away. Unfortunately, the old gnome ended up as dinner for a dragon after having jumped off of a cliff.

“But, wait! What would a gnome be doing jumping off of a cliff?”

Well, that’s just one of the many unanswered questions we have about why those silly gnomes do the things they do!

The truth of the matter is, the gnome was sent far away due to the unstable conditions of his experiments, in the hopes that further accidents could be avoided. Some hoped that he would BE the accident. Now, while he did end up as dinner, it was not to a dragon, and nor did he jump. He tripped, rolled, and fell off of the cliff. Over the years the conditions of his demise and the animal that did the eating grew at great lengths.

Arguments over this usually ended with a swift kick to the shins and an uproar of laughter from the dwarves of the tavern as the kicker became the kicked. Gnome punting was a favorite pasttime of the dwarves, as Conundrum was painfully reminded. Sorely, he rubbed his bottom in remembrance, as he trudged through the waist deep snow drifts of Dun Morogh.

He stopped a moment to untangle his feet from his unusually long robes, sopping wet from the snow. As he bent over to facilitate the detangling, he was bumped from behind and promptly fell face first into the snow. Sputtering and flailing his arms madly, sending showers of snow this way and that, he found his footing and straightened himself. He gave a glare behind him at what appeared to be a smaller figure, covered in the snow that he had tossed in his bid to remain standing.

“Master should watch where he is going!” The imp glared back, shaking the snow from his head and shoulders.

Conundrum attempted to make a mean face and return the imp’s glare. Well, as mean a face as a four foot gnome could make, being covered in snow and soaking wet. His shoulders shuddered from the cold and he turned, mumbling something about imp stew. The imp made funny faces at Conundrum’s back, sticking out his tongue and making gestures with his hands. After a moment of two of this, the imp got bored and grudgingly followed after him.

The pair walked for a little while when the imp gave a shriek and dumped himself into the snow. Conundrum tried to jump and turn in mid air, to surprise whatever monstrosity was coming after them. Now, have you ever seen a four foot tall gnome attempt to jump out of a three foot snow drift? The jumping doesn’t work very well. Neither does the turning. Especially in long, oversized robes drenched in melted snow. Again, Conundrum found himself deposited face first in the snow.

“Not a peep Karnam!” Conundrum said angrily, picking himself up. He started walking again, refusing to dust himself off. Karnam popped his little head out of the snow, snickered a bit, and followed his master.

Conundrum marched with a determined stride, the smoke of the Kharanos tavern rising just above the next hill. He stomped with each step he took, taking his frustrations out on the snow in front of him. Karnam watched happily, enjoying in the unfortunate misery of the gnome.

Conundrum took another step and promptly disappeared into the snow.

He could no longer contain himself. Karnam erupted with laughter.


Who is your RP Rival?

November 24, 2009

So I’ve been listening to this really cool podcast done by some friends of mine over on Earthen Ring. The podcast focuses on roleplay and lore, and the guys and gals over there are doing a great job! One of the topics they discussed back in Episode 4 is the reason for the post today: Character Rivals!

So that got me thinking about who Khelandros’ in-game rival was. For most death knights who participated in the Battle at Light’s Hope, their rival is Arthas or the Scourge. I’ve also run into a few who actually hate the Alliance or Horde, and have vowed to take up the mantle of the Lich King himself. One death knight I had the fortune of roleplaying with actually wants to turn the Scourge into a force of power and challenge Sargeras himself.

For me, I’ve taken things a step further in my opinion. Khelandros’ rival is someone to whome he is very close to. Their rivalry is forced upon them by an outside organization, but it is there nonetheless. Khelandros’ rival is his twin sister, Aeoar. In order to understand why, we have to take a step back in time to before Light’s Hope, when Khelandros was still an agent of the Lich King.

During the years Khel served under Arthas, Aeoar also served secretly for SI:7. The organization trained her as an assassin, using her to infiltrate various groups. She would gain valuable intel and report back to SI:7. She had spent a lot of time with one group called the Society of the Silent Blade, and had worked her way deep into the heart of the organization. Ironically, they used her as an assassin as well. They had targeted a certain death knight who was only known as The Dark Destroyer, who had been reported to be leading a contingent of Death Knights to assault Light’s Hope Chapel. He was her target.

Needless to say, Aeoar almost completed her mission. Up until the part where she looked into his eyes. It was then that she realized that her target was none other than her own brother. Her twin. She couldn’t do it, and was forced to abandon her mission. Her failure marked her for death by her employer and she quickly found herself without a home or any protection. She blamed Khelandros for loosing everything and vowed to fulfill the one mission that she failed.

So who is your RP rival? It can be an NPC, another player, or even one of your other characters. And if you aren’t sure, well, now’s a great time to think about it and give your roleplay even more depth!

I really appreciate you taking time to read through my thoughts here at The Conundrum Effect! Next scheduled post will be intriducing you to my wonderful gnome Conundrum! Until the next time myfriends…


Happy Birthday World of Warcraft

November 23, 2009

World of Warcraft turns 5 years old today! But I’m sure you knew that already, unless you’re a murloc living under a rock somewhere! So… Happy Birthday World of Warcraft! Thank you for everything you do for all of us subscribers, whether we show you appreciation for it or not. Thank you for 5 great years of fun, mystery, intrigue, and a great story. Thank you for the in game pets; I really like my Onyxian Whelpling, along with my Frost Whelp and Baby Blizzard Bear.

I’d like to take a quick moment to tell you about some of my first memories of World of Warcraft. Buying the game was actually an accident. I went into a local GameStop one night, three days after the launch of the game. I had a collector’s edition of EverQuest 2 in one hand, and a regular edition of World of Warcraft in the other. I asked the store attendant (who turns out to not know a THING about video games! I mean, really? You WORK in a VIDEO GAME STORE!) which game I should buy. She didn’t have a clue, but told me that if it made any indication at all, the copy of World of Warcraft that I was holding was their last one.

I bought World of Warcraft *sage nod*

I went home and installed it, having NO expectations, as I was transferring in from Ultima Online and Star Wars Galaxies. I create a Dwarf Warrior on Feathermoon, and logged in. The acronym WoW really stood out. I was amazed at the level of detail in the game right off the bat. No, not the graphics. I don’t have a good enough laptop or computer for that. What I mean is the quests! Yes! The quests that no one takes the time to read anymore. You know.. you turn on instant quest text so that you can immediately accept the quest. I’ve always kept mine on. Makes for a good read.

Other little things I found amazing while running around in Dun Morogh… I could hear the crunch of the snow under my feet. It was really cool! Oh, and cooking! Beer Basted Boar Ribs! Best thing on the planet! I must of have made like.. a lot!

Looking forward to the next year we have Cataclysm on the horizon. Old things will become new again! And I can’t wait. I will finally get to complete my in game family with the return of Khelandros and Aeoar’s father Khisanith and we will learn more about their Gilnean heritage!

Until next time my friends…


The Sword of the Death Knight

November 17, 2009

In a time long forgotten to the mortal and near immortal races of Azeroth, in a time when the world was still considered young, a group of beings known as the Titans entrusted the world’s safety to five flights of dragons. The Dragon Aspects and their respective flights watched over Azeroth and kept her safe. In the far reaches of the universe, the Betrayer saw the world shining like a beacon and was drawn to her powers. Sargeras sent his Burning Legion to Azeroth, bent on claiming the powers of the Well of Eternity for himself. His first invasion failed, foiled by the Dragon Aspects and Night Elven forces. His second and subsequent attempts also failed, but with each attempt, he gets closer to his goal.

The dragonflights have since been unable to focus their attention on the safekeeping of the world, having been attacked and utterly decimated by one of their own. Each of the dragonflights were spread thin, and fought for their survival against the Black Dragonflight and their master Deathwing. The mortals of the world were left to fend for themselves … but not completely. Each of the dragonflights left various relics behind, empowered to fight against the demons of the Burning Legion. One such relic, a massive runic blade by the name of Wyrmsfire, would find it’s way into the hands of a young Death Knight named Khelandros Glowember. And for a time, it would be used in a manner that went against everything the weapon stood for.

This is the story of the runic dragonblade, created by the Blue Dragonflight, deep within the howling caverns of the dragon graveyard. Here they would be safe from the attacking flights of black dragons and their master. Here they would be able to work unheeded, creating items of great power to aid the mortal races in their fight against the Legion. Here, work began on a block of crystal, blue in color and harder than diamond. Dragonfire melted the crystal down into a smoldering heap of a manageable material. Folded over and over again, heated and cooled, the material worked itself into some semblence of a weapon. Throughout the process, the weapon was infused with the magics of the dragons. The magics would take on the aspects of the frost and cold northern lands in which it was wrought.

In the final hours of it’s forging, the sword was engraved with runic symbols. In the draconic language, the runes read: Wyrmsfire the Blue. A single tear-drop fell from the dragon for whom the blade had been named. The tear fell upon the blade, filling the crevaces left by the mighty dragons claw. The runes began to glow bright blue, flames of a frostfire dancing upon the blade and sealing the sword with its magic. It was then that something unexpected happened.

It became sentient…