Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Your UI, or User Interface, is the graphical organization of your charater frames, raid frames, and your bars/buffs/minimap; pretty much everything. I'm very A.D.D. with my UI, and it changed almost weekly until I found one that I have stuck with for a while.

If you go to www.wowinterface.com, there is an entire subcategory of downloadable UIs. My personal preference is to keep it minimalistic. I hide all my bars (even buffs like fort and inner fire, until I mouse over them), and keep things neat.

The current UI that I am using is called QuseUI, and it's available for download on www.wowinterface.com.

Another great resource if you're just starting off designing your UI is the Elitist Jerks SubForum - User Interface and Addons. Not only is there an extensive thread listing hundreds of downloadable UIs, but there is a UI help center, a thread dedicated to the art of interface design, and a WHAT'S THAT MOD??? thread if you're looking for something in particular to enhance your gaming experience.

If/when you decide to download a UI, installation is very easy. All you have to do is download the UI. Then, extract either the .rar or the .zip file to your desktop. One of two things should happen: One folder appears, with 2-3 folders inside. The first folder should be the title of the UI, and inside, the folders will be labeled Interface, WTF, and sometimes there is a folder labeled Fonts. Alternatively, the folders inside the original folder will appear on your desktop alone.

Open the WTF folder. Open the Account folder. Inside the Account folder, there should be one folder. Rename this folder, in all caps, your account name. Open this folder that is now labeled your account name. There should be two folders within this folder. Saved Variables is one of them, leave Saved Variables alone. Rename the other folder your realm name. If you realm name has two words, as mine does, make sure to add the space. Ex: 'Dark Iron'.

Open this (the realm) folder. There should be one folder inside this one. Rename this folder with your character's name.

At this point you can close all open folders, and open World of Warcraft. When you first log in, things are going to be all over the place. Don't panic!

Check back to the page where you downloaded the UI. Sometimes, if you're lucky, the author will post a command to align all of the addons as you saw in the picture.

If you're not so lucky, there should be a list of addons on the page. Open each individual addon in game. For example, if you see pitbull on the list of addons, type /pitbull in game. The pitbull options menu should come up. Select 'Profiles' on the left side of the menu, and go to the Copy From drop down menu. There should be a profile with a title that corresponds with the UI that you downloaded. Select this.

Rinse and repeat for all visible addons.

I hope this has helped some people with UI troubles. I'm pretty experienced with downloading/adjusting UI's, so if anyone has any questions, or maybe wants a few more available websites for downloaded, just contact me and I'll help ya out :)

Sunday, July 19, 2009


I'm a little upset about this, I'll admit.

The background downloader for the 3.2 patch appeared yesterday, and the feelings of tension in my guild certainly will not improve with this news. One of our main goals for Ulduar was to really push server firsts and to just GET to Algalon. I'm not really sure if we are going to reach this point. My friend Adam suggested an ETA of 2-3 weeks. With Firefighter and Knock, Knock, Knock still on the plate, with little to no real attempts put in, I'm worried that some of the people in my guild will crack under the pressure, especially with the summer crunch closing in. People are dropping left and right, 'I have camp', 'Vacation!', 'I just can't make it'. All the usual, and unfortunately legitimate excuses are being thrown at the officers. Raiding has become more of a chore.

Luckily, last week I was able to escape to the east coast shore for a bit of beach time with my boyfriend. It was very relaxing, and we were both eager for the break in raiding. Now that we are back, we are excited about the mass influx of applications on our forums. Including Bellwether (!), a good resto druid friend of mine, whom I am excited to get into some raids.

In other, ten man news, Algalon hits like a freaking truck. He has a one second, dual-wielding swing timer, that makes me want to cry everytime our tank gets two shot. A basic healing strat, should you be curious, is to have two healers on the alternating tanks. One who is consistently spamming quick, small heals, and another who is consistently spamming large, slower-casting heals. I.e. a Disc priest spamming flash heal with a paladin spamming holy light. Then you want to have one healer healing the raid (focusing on the hunter killing the stars). You need either a holy priest or a resto druid. Unfortunately, Algalon is not a fight that you can complete without a specific comp. There is, however, a little wiggle room.

Our healer comp for the past three weeks has been two priests and a resto sham. Very less than ideal. However, it is do-able.

Have one of your priests spec as such: http://www.wowhead.com/?talent#bVcbuhhVRIoffktbxxcc

This priest and the resto shaman will be healing the tanks. The priest will be spamming greater heal (should have around 400 haste), and the shaman spamming lesser healing wave. The rotation for the priest will be Shield > Penance > Greater Heal. Spam greater heal until the penance CD comes up, and the same with the Weakened Soul debuff/PW:S.

I CONSTANTLY forget to use Power Infusion. I've made a macro, so that every time Power Infusion is off cooldown and I try and use Penance, Power Infusion is activated as well.

/cast [target={YOURCHARNAME}] power infusion
/cast penance

You can use this macro to cast penance normally, as well.

Thanks for reading, you can contact me via email, or in-game. I am Bellezza, Bellzilla, Bellerina, Bellebelle, and Sashafierce on Dark Iron :)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A Little Bit of Everything?

Well then, have you forgotten about me yet? Because with everything that's been going on in the past few months, I'm afraid I'd certainly forgotten about this blog. I was waiting on an Arathi Basin queue with a few guildies when I received a tell from Ashbrielle, a hunter, asking whether I was going to update my blog anytime soon. So now, a few days later, I'm back (?) and I come with updates!

My priest, Bellezza, made it to 80 within the first few days of the expansion. Bellerina the drudru followed, with shaman Bellzilla bringing up the rear. They are all specced for healing, and I had a blast learning the different classes.

After Wrath hit, I was recruited into Vigilant, the top Alliance side guild on my server (Dark Iron if you'd forgotten). We rushed through all the content, even getting the server first Sartharion kill along with the Obsidian Slayer title. While we farmed content and worked on raid achievements, I worked on professions, leveling jewelcrafting, cooking, and fishing. I started reading up a lot more on priests and healing, theorycrafting and UI modifications for the most efficient output. All to prepare for what?


Yes folks, Ulduar hit us like a brick in the face. The first two days of Ulduar were exceedingly painful. Glitches galore, ranging from bugged boss mechanics to server crashes, blue bar of death and constant disconnects. We were able, however, to brute force most of it, getting the first Alliance side Yogg-Saron kill in both 25 man and 10 man. Three weeks have passed and we remain the lone slayers of this decidedly disgusting, yet really fun boss.

After downing 'ole Yoggy, we immediately went to work on some of the hard-mode encounters. So far we've downed 'medium' mode Iron Council with some considerable attempts on Thorim, Hodir, and Freya. The Keepers, however, were impossible to kill on hard-mode for about a week, so hopefully we'll be able to make some better progress this week.

Boss encounters aside, there have been some really cool changes to the priest class that I'd like to talk about.

This spec is what I would recommend for a holy priest: http://www.wowhead.com/?talent#bVcbuZfxx0f0qih0euAo:0NfzV0

Some things to think about:

Normally I wouldn't pick up Healing Focus, mostly because this and Concentration aura no longer stack. However, something to keep in mind is that Ulduar is HUGE. You're going to be spreading out a lot, and oftentimes you won't be in range of a holy paladin. (My guild also doesn't have one at the moment, so it's near crucial for me. Damn you for leaving, Bosque!)

It's all cookie cutter, until we get to the new Holy Concentration, which, despite previous gripes, I actually rather enjoy. Granted, it's made holy priests just like all of the other healing classes in the sense that without the old clearcasting mechanic, there is no need to work in the five second rule, and you can just keep casting. The new mechanic works just as improved mana regeneration. Also, it procs off of EVERY crit. Not just a select few. This coupled with my spirit greatness deck results in around 1600 MP5, which is super useful. If this procs while you are running a tad short on mana, I would recommend not casting for the duration if you can, to get some mana back, only healing with SoL procs and at the direst of need.

Serendipity is probably my favorite reworked spell. Three flash heals/binding heals will reduce the cast time of your next greater heal OR PRAYER OF HEALING (!!!) by 12%. This is HUGE for raid healing. HUGE. With considerable haste, this can drop the cast time to around a second and a half. With the tier 8 two set bonus, which increases the crit chance of Prayer of Healing by 10%, you're guaranteed at least a 30k+ heal, especially now that Prayer of Healing can be cast on other parties. I've found this useful in fights like Ignis, XT, and especially Mimiron. Be cautious, however. Even though the cast time is shorter, the mana dump is not. It's definitely costly, so use at your disgression.

Empowered Renew is another really cool talent. It works roughly like a shaman's riptide, with an initial heal followed by a hot. The initial heal, for me, hits for around 1k with 2k+ ticks. It can also crit, which procs the new Holy Concentration, which definitely works for me!

However, with buffs to certain talents also comes nerfs to other aspects of the class. For example, spirit as a stat for priests took a fairly massive nerf. The amount of OOC regen that you used to gain from spirit for a hit, making intellect a more useful mana regen stat to aim for. This doesn't mean spirit is useful. For Ulduar raiding I would recommend around 900 of each stat, not forgetting haste of course.

To compensate for this, I'm using Flasks of Pure Mojo, which is pure mana regen, and sometimes even Flasks of Distilled Wisdom, the old-school intellect flask.


I hope this has been helpful, and I hope to update my blog as I find more time with summer on it's way ^_^


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wrath Upon Us

So, it has been quite an eventful two weeks on the Dark Iron server. I thought I'd throw up a quick update of what's been going down, because in less than 24 hours my soul will have been consumed by the expansion.

1. Kil'jaedan dead! That's right, I was invited by my friend Sayedie to accompany her guild to clear the Sunwell. It was by far the most intense fight I've ever had to heal, and the most absolute chaos to survive through. Well done Vigilant! And congratulations to everyone on loots! PS. Sorry if the pictures are big. What's 'edit'?


2. Black War Bear: Check! In our exceedingly annoying boredom, the guilds Vigilant and Fear Engine put together two late night raids on all four horde cities, and we were able to get our cool mounts for the occasion. We were also able to defend our cities from any invading horde, as shown in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SaSzaxSg2z0

Here are some screenshots that I think commemorate the event accordingly. This was the most fun I've ever had in WoW, period.

Thanks to everyone who woke up at 3AM server to get this done, I'd say it was worth it.

3. Lich Invasion? Two days ago, massive frostwyrms swooped over the Stormwind Harbor, eliciting mixed responses. While the effect was cool, and it was semi fun to watch, there wasn't really anything we could do. The guards were defending the city well enough, and whenever we killed one, nothing happened. I did, however, manage to snag a few pics, so enjoy!


It's been an amazing few weeks. I've been having the time of my 'life', if you will ;)

Grats to everyone who has been downing new bosses, seeing new content, defending cities, etc., and I'll see you all in Northrend!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

My Attempt at PvP

So, while I initially expressed my extreme dislike at anything at all related to PvP, I have to say... I have changed my mind. Let me explain.

What started this whole bit was my (horde) friend telling me that his guild, has a 'if it's red, it's dead' policy for anyone they spot in world PvP, and that they are going to strictly implement this while leveling in Wrath. My first reaction? GREAT. Not only do I level slowly to begin with, but if I'm getting ganked every other step I take, I'm never going to hit 80!

The solution? I decided that I needed some practice in the field, and maybe get some gear with resilience to level with. Some friends of mine; Iliana, Aegus, and Marilyn, all of whom are infinitely better at this whole PvP thing than I am, were doing some BGs already, and offered to let me come.

At first, I tried to heal in BGs as holy. This, my friends, was not fun. At all. Not only was I being torn apart based on gear (I have 34 resil! That isn't enough?), but I had no defense; i.e. pain suppression, reflective shield, lessened mass dispel cast times, etc. After one BG, I went to the priest trainer and respecced. I was kind of making it up as I went, but this is what I came up with. Please note that this is strictly a Battleground spec, and I wouldn't use it for arenas.

After respeccing and trying again, I noticed a significant difference in survivability. In fact, after gaining a little confidence, I was able to 1v1 other players of decent pvp gear and somewhat equal skill (which isn't saying much).

Some things I recommend:

1. Keep Power Word: Shield up on (especially) you, and your friends as often as possible. If you don't have a shield on yourself, at least, you're going to be ripped apart rather quickly. Having the shield and prayer of mending up on yourself gives you a second to start casting a big heal in the time that it takes for whoever is attacking you (mostly melee more than anyone else, I noticed) to break the shield down. Hopefully someone is working to defend you (<3 Aegus), and you can manage to stay up while you're being beat on.

2. Stay mobile. Don't be a sitting duck! You'll piss off more melee this way, and you can trigger the 'Target must be in front of you' for casters. This is the glory of a priest's versatility. Shield, PoM, renew, and started movin'. If you have a rogue, warrior, shaman, or all three with you, there's an excellent chance whomever is attacking you will be poisoned, hamstrung, or earthbound, but if you're just standing there, you're going to be eaten alive.

3. Note: This ONLY applies if you're a Night Elf! (rawr). If you're being targeted by a pet of any kind, whether it be hunter, warlock, or even a shadowfiend, you can now use SHADOWMELD (!) and it will automatically remove you from combat, and, therefore, drop you as a target. Why is this important? When you are removed as a target, the pet in question will run back to it's owner and leave you alone. What I've been noticing is that many warlocks and hunters will sic their pet on a healer and start nuking someone else. Therefore, it will generally take them a second to realize their pet is either a. doing nothing, or b. attacking whomever they are attacking, and not the intended target. This may only grant you a bit of time, but it's definitely helpful if you're being silenced/poisoned/annoyed.

4. If you're doing Battlegrounds with some friends, convert to a raid before you queue up, and give each other raid marks. As a healer this is really helpful, because you can see where the people who matter are through buildings/hills. It's also helpful if you're hesitant about running into help one or two allies against a group of horde. If you know your friend is in there, you're gonna want to go in and help.

5. Try to remember to equip your PvP trinket, and if you don't have one, I seriously recommend getting one. Try to get the two minute one, as well, as it only costs about 8k honor. The trinket is highly useful in PvP situations, but also in PvE situations, so it's definitely a worthwhile investment.

Some spells to focus:

Prayer of mending, and flash heal are going to be your main direct healing spells, with power word: shield as a primary spell always. I've also found binding heal to be invaluable as well, and greater heal if you are specced into Divine Fury, and especially if you have some haste going on. Renew is semi useful, but your GCD is generally better used on a flash heal, as renew doesn't tick for as high as a PvE priest, and if your target needs fast heals, renew probably won't tick before they die.

Anyway, I've been having a surprisingly fun time learning this stuff. If you have any suggestions/comments/questions on anything I've posted, please leave a comment, or e-mail me at starshardsftw@gmail.com.

Thanks for reading ^_^

Thursday, October 23, 2008

3.0 and Achievement Madness

First off, I'd like to apologize for the significant lack of updates in the past few weeks. Midterms have really been kicking my butt lately, not to mention the overwhelming new achievement system. So where to begin?


In a previous post, I explained some of the talent specs I was throwing around. The spec I ultimately decided upon was this one. I sacrificed Guardian Spirit for Meditation. I was reluctant at first, but it was a very good decision in the long run. More on this later.

Some things I've noticed:

Critical chance seems to be just as important as I'd previously assumed. Almost everytime I crit off of a heal, something procs. Whether it be Surge of Light (my favorite new talent, hands down), Holy Concentration, or Improved Holy Concentration, it's almost guaranteed that some sort of red text will pop up on my screen dictating what my next spell should be.

Surge of Light: This talent used to only apply to mana free, instant cast smite bombs, but as of patch 3.0, it now also applies to instant cast, mana free FLASH HEAL. Yes, you read that correctly. This is a wonderful change, especially if you're trying to pad the healing meters ;) You're able to get that quick heal on someone who took a bunch of damage, before another healer can even finish their cast. It's also great for regenerating some mana, although I'm not sure if the 5 second rule is still in effect because of the changes to mana regeneration. I'll be sure to get some research done on that and perhaps have a post dedicated to it.

Holy Concentration/Improved Holy Concentration: If you spec into both, you have a 45% chance to proc both a mana free cast, and two 30% faster casting spells. This helps with mana regen, and quicker heals on tanks. A win/win situation. There's really no reason for you NOT to spec into this.

Mana regeneration as of 3.0, is, to put it quite plainly, painful. Granted, my guild doesn't run with either a shadow priest or a ret paladin, or even a survival hunter for goodness sake (/sigh), but even so, I could still potentially see myself having mana problems. What with the loss of downranking, and with the addition of the 'potion sickness' debuff, it's really difficult to keep mana, and raid members, up. Some things I suggest: don't wait until the last minute to use a mana potion. I know it's worrying to use a mana potion at the beginning of a fight, but really, using one when you're out of mana is almost useless. Try to start off with using a shadowfiend, too, because if you use it early in the fight, there's a better chance that the cooldown will complete before the fight is over, giving you some extra mana towards the end of the fight, when you could potentially be out of mana.

Also, do your best to practice canceling spells mid-cast if someone heals your target before you do. Granted, if you are specced into Serendipity you gain some mana back, but it's only 25% of the spells cost, and any time you can avoid spending mana is preferable.

Another thing to consider: Circle of Healing is obscenely overpowered now that it has a 'smart' heal effect. What this means is that instead of only healing your target's party, some of whom may or may not need a heal, it heals your target, and four other people near your target who DO need a heal. So, if you're targeting a tank and hit circle of healing, it's going to heal the tank and then perhaps hit four melee who may have been taking some AOE damage. Basically, Circle of Healing is going to search for the people who need the healing the most in it's radius, and heal them over someone who doesn't need the heal. This is GLORIOUS. Every time I hit Circle of Healing, it heals for about 6000, and all to people who need it. This results in not ONLY a more effective and worthwhile spell, but also owns the healing meters. Three of our top four healers in Sunwell were Circle of Healing priests, the other being a Wild Growth spamming druid.

Now, enough of silly talents, lets talk achievements.

What a way to bring people back to the game. I have seen more people on consistently in the past week than I have in, well, forever. Exploring, doing quests, finishing dungeons, raiding classic instances, searching for pets, grinding rep, leveling skills and professions; you name it, chances are someone is doing it. Some achievements I've been focusing on have been the exploration and reputation specific achievements. In fact I am now Bellezza, Guardian of Cenarius. If you are looking to get this title, you need to be exalted with the Cenarion Circle and the Cenarion Expedition. I was already exalted with the Expedition, so Circle was the only one left. Not too bad, I thought. I looked at my current reputation: Neutral. Lovely.

Off to Silithus!

This is how I spent my Sunday: Grinding Twilight Cultists. All day. Literally. Getting Cowls, Robes, Shoulders, summoning elementals, killing ?? bosses that you needed twenty people to kill at level 60, and turning in texts. And bugs. Oh, lots of bugs. However, it paid off in the end. Special thanks to my friends Iliana and Aegus for helping me :)

For those of you reading this, thank you. If you have any feedback or questions, feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me at starshardsftw@gmail.com.

Also, /cry for the loss of Starshards and other priest racials. You will be sorely missed. This is a travesty for priests everywhere.

Monday, October 6, 2008

3.0 Priest Talents

I'm not one of those people who spends all of their waking hours on the Player Test Realm, tinkering with specs, working out mechanics, reporting bugs, owning Sunwell. I do, however, enjoy going to WoWhead and messing around with the talent trees they've posted. Some of my more recent discoveries have been cause for extended thought.

When the Wrath talent trees were initially released, there were some talents in the priest tree that were easily overlooked in favor of more beneficial talents. "Serendipity", for example. If your spell healed the target for less than half of it's intended effect, you were refunded 25% of the mana spent. The situational factor of this spell made it basically null and void unless you were doing a fight like Anetheron. Even then, in my opinion, it's not worth the talent points. So, I skipped over it and happily spent my valuable points elsewhere.

A few days ago, I decided to check up on things with regards to the talent trees. 2/2 Healing Focus, 3/3 Improved Renew, okay, things are looking good. Then I skip down to where Serendipity had been, only to find it had been changed. If you spell heals the target past their maximum health, you are refunded 25% of the mana it cost. Hold on. Wait a second.

Really? That's amazing! Everytime I overheal, I get mana back?


However excited I was about this, I was initially a little torn between the new and improved Serendipity, and the talent called Test of Faith. Test of Faith increases healing and spell critical chance by 6% on targets at or below 50% health.

When 3.0 comes out, and I'm still at level 70, I'm well aware that I won't be able to spec into Guardian Spirit immediately. The 30% of mana regeneration while casting that comes from the discipline talent Meditation is too valuable to lose. I will be able to go down far enough into the holy tree to get either Serendipity or Test of Faith.

With the newfound importance of crit chance, Test of Faith seems like something interesting to toy around with. However, I think that Serendipity will be altogether more beneficial for mana conservation.

It's a tough decision though. As it's looking now, priests don't seem capable of quickly running out of mana. With improved Holy concentration, after ANY critical heal, your next spell cast has a 45% to be mana free. If your next spell is cast outside the five second rule, AND overheals your target, not only do you gain the mana back from 'While Not Casting' regeneration, but you GAIN 25% of your spell's cost BACK. Also, if you spec into the Surge of Light talent, your spell criticals also have a 50% chance to proc your next flash heal into costing 0 mana, and INSTANT CAST, but incapable of a crit.

What does this mean? It seems to me that Blizzard is wanting priests to maybe start gemming or enchanting for crit chance. Here's a sum up of why:

-A spell crit has a 50% chance of giving you an instant, mana free flash heal.
-A spell crit has a 45% chance to have your next heal be mana free, and give you 30% spell haste for your next two heals, or 20 seconds.
-Spell crits also give your target inspiration, increases armor by 25% for 15 seconds.
-If your spell crits, there is a good chance that it will overheal your target, giving you mana back.

I don't think that critical chance will replace say, spirit or bulk healing with regards to what priests will stack in the expansion, but it's certainly something to think about.

Here's a link to the spec I will be most likely using at 70: http://wotlk.wowhead.com/?talent=bVhbzhZfbxcf0qihVcob

And the one I'm planning on using, at this point, at level 80: http://wotlk.wowhead.com/?talent=bVhbzhZfxxcf0qihVIot

Let me know if you have any thoughts about it, I'm really interested in the new stats.