Don’t have a lot to say today. Last night I took a little swim.


From the beginning of Lonetree, the character, I have sought after a moment of achievement that would complete the conceptual journey of a Druid’s life and give him a moment of absolute vindication. This was that moment, this was that achievement. Perhaps not the most difficult battle he (or the guild) has ever endured, but certainly the most meaningful for Me.

Archimonde, the World Tree is not yours. Her power does not belong to the Legion. Be gone from this world and leave the beauty of this land to Her stewards.

Archimonde is dead

Incidentally, there’s just a few boulders at the bottom. But damn is that thing deep.

Well of Eternity

Teron Gorefiend meets the Fruit Vendor in the Sky

Teron Gorefiend went down last night after a few hours of ironing out the construct/ghost management, including a second round of trash clearing. It was our third time meeting him but only our second real night of any significant glass chewing time. A special thanks went out to Karlott and Rimuni whose early handling of their constructs provided the stable platform from which we were able to finally tear the last 35% of his health away.

In this screen shot, I am being an ass. One of My favorite jokes in TBC has been the running (and ever-evolving) plot between Cro Threadstrong and the mysterious Fruit Vendor. Follow the link if you enjoy a good conspiracy theory. I have several of the best quotes shouted across Shattrath macroed for easy asshattery. I like to pull them out before and after boss fights, in the tradition of the great /y macro jokes. Typically for Blood Fist this involves yelling something obscene, silly, or quoted from either a different boss fight or encounter in the game or some in-joke amongst the guild. One of the classics is:


…a reference to the AQ20 Cenarion Circle NPC, Lieutenant General Andorov. This was often shouted after Andorov says the line “Remember, Rajaxx, when I said I’d kill you last? I lied…” During the BWL days, “Vael is emo” was often shouted and can probably be found in some archived screen shots of our glass chewing and kills of Vaelastrasz. We have another running joke which started in SSC by a fellow Druid who warned Me to “Watch out Lonetree” over TeamSpeak approximately 3 seconds after I died to a loose trash mob on the way to Leotheras. I thanked him for his posthumous (read: useless) alarm. The next time he died, I did a /y “WATCH OUT HONAS” and a new meme was born. This joke has since seen many variations and to be quite honest has nearly warn out its welcome.

I wish I could remember all the running jokes we’ve ever had, but some of them were fairly short-lived. Two of the longest living in-jokes however date from the Molten Core. The “Lilbilly giants” are two specific mobs so named after the tank that couldn’t help but face pull them on at least one famous occasion and possibly even more. The other in-joke is to casually ask at any random interval after a particularly bad idea is either offered or attempted if anyone is aware that “you can pull Golemagg from the bridge-” a reference to a nasty wipe caused by a hunter who shot Golemagg in the back of the head to prove a point and caused a stampede of angry mobs to stomp the raid into sticky red goo.

The Fruit Vendor saga provides Me with nearly endless entertainment and fascination. Why Cro doesn’t just move the damned thing himself is beyond My ability to comprehend but then that would ruin the nearly epic rivalry between him and a little old lady named Granny Smith. I honestly believe that the cart is not hers and does in fact belong to a mysterious and deceased fruit gatherer high above Nagrad. The two funniest quotes are, IMO:

“Does this fruit vendor not value his life? YOU ARE RUNNING OUT OF TIME FRUIT VENDOR!!”‘

Such drama, such passion… I love it.

Ah, another fine week for the Fist in first kills. Azgalor in Mount Hyjal and Naj’entus in Black Temple fell on consecutive raid nights. Naj’entus was particularly hard on the healers. We’d heard it was so, and that many guilds take 8-9 healers on their first attempts. Some of My healers are still a little green, a little undergeared, or both; last night they overcame those obstacles and pulled out a wonderful performance on our final attempt. Truthfully, the Frost Resist potions helped us a good deal, reducing our workload by a fair amount. But by the same token, a healing assignment shift was made before the last attempt and I think it made a significant difference.

Normally I am on board the flexibility train when it comes to healing assignments. I like to assign people to tasks which I think suit their talents. That is to say, individually rather than based on class. But lately I’ve been experimenting with class-based assignments which has admittedly worked out rather well in many circumstances. Traditional WoW wisdom like, Shaman are excellent raid healers, Druids are excellent tank stabilizers, Paladins are excellent single-target healers, etc. That’s all well and good, and yes I can and do shatter the Recount meters on Hyjal trash, spamming Lifebloom non-stop to great effect; thus proving that Druids performing this task are exceptionally suited. But this sort of rigid application of healing classes, I must remind Myself, is to be tempered by knowledge of your guild and its people. My healing all night in BT was nothing more than above average, output wise, but I think I mismanaged the assignments a bit, misusing strengths in favor of the “common wisdom” approach.

Once I swapped Myself off the MT and on to raid healing and began spamming rank 8 Regrowths on the raid the whole setup seemed to click better. The reason for this became obvious, in hindsight. Raid healing is more intensive on Naj’entus than MT healing, and required more of the seasoned, quick-response healers than Main Tank duty.

It hadn’t occured to Me to try it because, well, I’m not in the habit. The 2.4 patch has made this sort of tactic far, far more viable for Tree Druids than it ever was. Being high-Spirit oriented (rather than +healing, which many LB spammers are), utilizing the Idol of the Crescent Goddess I had no mana issues keeping the raid alive and ticking with dozens of little Regrowth crits. Sure, other classes might theoretically be suited better for playing whack-a-mole with Grid but again I’d forgotten My own rule: play to your strengths.

Now while all this may come off a little self-congratulatory, My point is not to declare My superiority or knock the abilities of the other healers in My crew. Rather, I think the message I would rather convey is to know your healers… know their strengths and weaknesses… know their personality, know their gear, and know yourself.  Don’t trust wholesale in the wisdom of EJ or its collection of theorists and practitioners. It’s far more impressive (and in My view, fulfilling) to know how to succeed with a non-optimal arrangement of people you like than it is to suffer the torturous process of wrangling a bunch of well-geared, fast-clicking whiners and egomaniacs.

ToL Druids: 3
Holy Priests: 1
Resto Shaman: 2
Holy Paladins: 2

Naj’entus: 0

Naj\'entus Fisted

On an unrelated note, what is with all the apostrophe bosses? Buy a vowel, Blizzard. Yeesh.


…the fishing bug. Again. Yesterday the Fishing Daily quest yielded a Weather-Beaten Fishing Hat. Since the patch I have been doing the Fishing Quest almost every day, and My efforts of late have also yielded a Magical Crawdad Box. I feel utterly compelled to attempt the Fishing Tournament once again for the ultimate fishing pole. I gave up on the idea long ago, both due to a couple of frustrated attempts in the past and the difficulty of finding time on a Sunday morning (I’m on PST, -3 hours off server time) to even attend. eBay taunts Me with its Gone Fishin’ Cards. Must… resist…

Yesterday was also a big day for UI improvements. Prompted by an update to (and My subsequent discovery of) the Fundamental UI, I also caught “Extensive Retooling of User Defined InTErface” syndrome, or ERUDITE for short. A debilitating condition, ERUDITE causes sufferers to spend hours staring at their AddOns as they reconfigure and reposition every on-screen element to a new matrix. To be fair, most of the AddOns contained in Fundamental UI were already in My AddOns folder, with the exceptions of Skinner and OneBag, both of which I am now utilizing. I displayed the artwork into WoW through eePanels2 (rather than Discord) and added My own signature to the action pane, but credit to the author for all the original pieces.

“Fundamental” UI “Fundamental” UI, MgT

Since I wasn’t installing a full UI, instead appropriating its artwork for My own use, I spent several hours last night recreating the basic setup. This involved recoloring and tweaking Pitbull, re-doing Bartender, setting up chat panes to fit, creating a dozen little FuBars, aligning everything, not to mention the time spent in GIMP altering artwork. I spent a long time in game just staring into space. I decided to make Myself available as an alternate for a Karazhan run, though I was never needed to jump in. Later, I was asked to substitute for another of My Tree druids in a heroic Magister’s Terrace, so the minor tweaks continued there. Ultimately I’m pretty happy with the setup. I used to need action bars in the middle of My screen, since I used them to heal along with a few keybindings. These days I have fully converted to an almost complete keybinding/macro setup for healing using My Nostromo n52. I still use action bars for damage spells, CC, and some other spells, but overall I can safely phase out the prominent action bar scheme and move into a cleaner UI.


I haven’t done web site design in years, and I’m way behind on design and technology. For now Blood For Life will use WordPress blog themes. I think this one looks a lot nicer than the gray, and it’s a lot easier to read. I guess I didn’t anticipate the blog’s appearance once a fair amount of posts were added.

I’m going to try to get better about categorizing and labeling posts, and adding improvements. Perhaps the writing will be interesting enough without a lot of bells and whistles.

Prompted by our initial success in Mount Hyjal this week I decided it was time to update My healing thread on our forums. This thread is not visible to non-guildies (yet), I’m afraid, but I mention it because it’s relevant to this meandering train of thought. Bear with Me. I went about updating the Strategy section with a list of every Heal Organizer setup I’ve saved and used with the guild, for almost every boss from Gruul to Kael’thas, along with notes on how I expect healers to operate on each fight. This sort of detail has generally not been available to the guild to peruse and is, in My opinion, long overdue. This got Me to thinking about just how much things have evolved from a healer’s perspective in this guild since we were farming Molten Core and grinding through Blackwing Lair. Such attention to strict healing assignments developed gradually, from the vaguest hints of order in Molten Core to the demanding rigors of BWL healing rotations, finally culminating in the absolute necessity for them with our advance towards Burning Crusade content.

Tauren have enough fingers on one hand to count the number of Blood Fist healers who were there in MC and are still healing to this day. I like to think I have a rare view on the evolution of raid healing in this guild and of what its core is capable, what it needs to succeed, and where it is likely to falter.

With all this in mind I thought it the ideal segue into a “themed” post I had in mind for this blog. From time to time I’d like to delve into the past with all its rough and tumble days of Druid healing in Blood Fist and on Earthen Ring. Very much a journal entry; Dear Readers, be warned. Without further ado:


I spent more time yesterday trying to find versions of Parrot and Pitbull that worked than I did actually playing WoW. This is typical, although a far cry from the “everything’s broken for a week” times in the past, before Ace2 took over My AddOns folder. Yesterday was a fairly non-stressful ritual of “Do a daily, run AceUpdater, repeat.” It made My initial foray into MgT a little more ambiguous, since I was stuck with the Blizzard party frames and no Parrot combat information zones, but we made it through with minimal difficulty. Of course it didn’t hurt that the crew was made of some of our best including a feral, a warrior tank, and two mages. Our second run, this time with a shadow priest in place of a mage, went even more smoothly when Pitbull finally kicked in.

So I managed to do two non-heroic runs, and pick up the Teardrop Crimson Spinel from the quest “Hard to Kill” and Kharmaa’s Ring of Fate from Kael on our first attempt. It was sad to see him fall so far since we killed him. He’s gotten really angry lately. So I thought about just putting the gem into the ring, enchanting it, and trying it out. Briefly however, quickly realizing what a waste of a good gem that’d be. I threw the change into the Sandbox over at Warcrafter and decided that I didn’t want to damage My brand new immortal mana pool for even a respectable increase in +healing. I’ve always geared and gemmed for Spirit and it’s finally paid off. I’m not about to start chipping away at it for a 110 level ring. I did however manage to pick up something useful aside from a gem for a future drop: Formula: Enchant Cloak – Steelweave which will be good for the guild. Apparently it drops like candy though and least one other guildmate picked it up.

I’ll do some Heroic mode runs for reputation sometime this week. We’ve got plenty of people dying to get in there. Decent gear for the more casual and the newer raiders in Blood Fist, so I’ll be happy to heal it to get them better prepared for our next destination: Mount Hyjal.

Delrissa was the worst fight for Me. We went in there without really knowing anything about her adds, which appear randomly like Moroes’s do. Their abilities and our choices for kill order and crowd control made the fight more hectic than it needed to be. Trees are, in My view, meant to stand in raids and offer tank stability through HoTs. We are capable of good raid healing but it’s generally a drain on our mana. Now, with the changes to Spirit regen and the cost of Regrowth, this has changed slightly. Druids will be able to offer more raid healing than before, and I will be more comfortable toting along three Tree druids to a raid, giving them raid healing responsibilities and seeing how they fare. So I think overall Tree Druids have more power to heal a 5-man effectively than ever before, and I certainly felt the effects of the 2.4 changes. However, there are still some tools we lack that other healing classes provide that make a few fights such as those in MgT a little more challenging. I have yet to attempt to solo heal a Heroic MgT or to run one with everyone having a full understanding of the fight mechanics, but I have a feeling Delrissa and Kael will continue to make Me miserable, although not ultimately discouraged.

I guess I have a cushy job as a Tree for the main tanks and don’t enjoy the 5-mans as much anymore (though managing the healing assignments and directing all the healers more than makes up for that). My Dire Maul farming days are long since over… I better shake the dead leaves out and keybind HT again. I still have to run Malta through at least once.


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