Assorted Tips and Tricks: Recruit a Friend (RAF) Edition

Recently, Zarhym posted a confirmation that Monks will be eligible for Recruit a Friend (RaF) benefits. For those of you who want to get a Monk to 90 as quickly as possible, perhaps for a new raiding toon, this is great news! Since an RaF link is active for three months, and since leveling RaF characters earns you levels you can grant, you can get started on preparing your Monk immediately. I recently leveled up six characters to 80 dual-boxing using RaF, so I thought the timing was appropriate for a post detailing the lessons I learned along the way.


I won’t go into too many details about the Recruit a Friend program. For more specifics on RaF, check the Recruit a Friend FAQ, Procedure, and Rewards FAQ pages on Blizzard’s site. Additionally, I’ll be writing from the perspective of someone dual-boxing, so not all the tips will be helpful if you’re leveling with a friend, but there’s some stuff in here for you folks as well. You’ll need a computer that’s powerful enough to handle running two instances of WoW and alt-tabbing between them without too much of a delay, but not much else is needed. On with the guide…. Continue reading

Wrapping Cataclysm Up (Update)

Two months! Ack!

A few months ago I put together a list of goals I want to meet before Mists of Pandaria is released. I’ve made some solid progress towards a number of those, and with the Mists release date being announced, I thought an update was in order. I also thought I should add a few goals just to push myself, so I’ll list those new ones as well.

On with the update! Continue reading

Wrapping Cataclysm Up

We’ve reached that point in the expansion where the end of progression raiding is in sight, there are no more content patches to come, and we’re simply waiting for Mists (if you’re not one of those folks hanging up their transmogged hat). It’s a bit of a quiet period, and for me, it’s a time to set goals.

At the end of Wrath, I set a few goals for myself. Some of those were group goals. For example, I wanted the Lich King kill that eluded me. Others were individual goals – I wanted to hit 40 exalted reputations. In the last few weeks of the expansion, I was able to complete both of those goals, with some help from Apotheosis, the guild I had just joined.

Since my guild is now over halfway done with heroic tier 13, I thought I’d sit down and make a list of goals to hit by the end of this expansion. So I did. Here’s what I came up with, separated into goals to complete as a group, and goals I’ll work on individually.

Continue reading

Blogging Challenge Day 10: Blog and Website Favorites

Day 10 of the great Blogging Challenge! Today’s topic: Blog and website favorites. This is going to be a tough one; there are so many great blogs and websites out there! In order to avoid driving myself crazy thinking about possibilities, I’m going to group this into two categories: rogue resources and blogs I can’t get enough of. I’m going to keep the lists to three each, and there are any number of others that keep me tied to my seat as I read, but I hope you enjoy this selection as much as I have.


Rogue Resources:

Elitist Jerks: Thanks to Aldriana, and many informed posters in the rogue forums, is an invaluable resource. Specifically, though, raiding rogues must read at least two posts in the forum. First, the thread for their spec: Assassination, Combat, or Subtlety. Second, the Raid Mechanics thread for the current tier will help you determine how to approach a given fight in your raid. This is a great site to find out which gear, gems, enchants, etc. are upgrades for your spec, and, in the case of gear, where to get them. When I make a gear sheet, I always verify it with this site. One word of caution: be careful with trinkets. I’d trust the list on the elitistjerks site (look in your spec’s thread) for up-to-date values. This site also covers PvP, which is great to see.

ShadowCraft: This site does a number of things well, although it can be a little tricky to use. First, it will calculate the best gems for you to use in your gear. Second, it allows for quick reforging calculations with a graph for expected theoretical DPS increase. You can also use it to project upgrades. You’re not sure whether to use your new offset gloves and break your set bonus, or downgrade a different piece to retain it? Select one gear set, optimize gems and reforge, and write down the DPS. Repeat with your other gear set(s), and you’ll know whether to roll on that piece in your next raid. Note: they are continually updating this site, particularly around the time of new patches and hotfixes. Make sure to regularly clear out all saved data and shift-reload to get new javascript code, since you don’t want to base gear decisions on outdated information.


Blogs I Can’t Get Enough Of: Continue reading

Blogging Challenge Day 8: Ten Things You Don’t Know About Me

After a short Day 7 entry of the 20 Days of Blogging Challenge,  this will be a longer entry. Today’s topics is things you don’t know about me. Since my blog started fairly recently, that’s fairly easy, but I’ve tried to pick things not related to Warcraft as they’re unlikely to come up very often in future blog entries. So, without further ado, here’s my list:


1. I love air hockey. I have my own full-sized table and have competed in tournaments; I even won a division trophy at nationals a few years back.

2. I have way too many collections. A non-exhaustive list of things I have too many of: books by Isaac Asimov (120+), chess books (200+), DVD’s (2200+ titles, twice that in discs), CD’s (3500+). Thankfully, we’re in the digital age so most of the actual media can be packed away in the attic.

3. I was really, really good at chess when I was a kid. My elementary school system had a robust chess program, and I took full advantage of it. Every few years, I study up and get better, but I’ve settled into the very high C, low B range lately. When I was in college, I volunteered at the local elementary school as a chess coach; that was a rewarding way of giving back.

4. I researched baseball statistics heavily for a number of years, participating in online communities devoted to making baseball statistics more widely available. My biggest personal contribution dealt with capturing the order of players’ tenure with teams before and after mid-season trades, and enabled major sports sites to display their data in correct chronological order. I also spent some time working for keeping score for their backend feed.

5. I’ve had the same personal e-mail address since 1996. At this point, most of my online accounts are set up using it, so I’d be in big trouble if that ISP went out of business.

6. I’m a bit of a hardware and software geek. My day job deals with software development, although I don’t do any for pay these days. At home, I have two storage servers, running Debian Linux and hardware RAID. I’ve also run Cat-6 to every room in my house, so I can access those servers from anywhere.

7. The best night of my life was seeing U2 play in Dublin. I’ve seen them play ten times (maybe more, I’m losing track at this point), but the atmosphere in Dublin was electric, and I was practically on stage. Here’s a picture I took there:


My View of U2 in Dublin


8. I love lists. I checked the Book of Lists (and its companion volumes) out of the library when I was a kid, and I have been hooked on making my own ever since. Two examples:

Saddest Songs of All Time: Strange Fruit (Billie Holiday), Julia (The Beatles), Brick (Ben Folds Five).

Movies That Were Well Made That I Never Want to See Again: Requiem for a Dream, House of Sand and Fog (what are you doing to me, Jennifer Connelly?), Boys Don’t Cry, Revolutionary Road.

9. My favorite video game of all time is Banjo Kazooie. I like it for some of the same reasons I like WoW – each level is a new world, and you gain new abilities as you progress. It’s one of the few games I’ve ever completed.

10. I used to debate in college on nationally-ranked teams, and I miss it. Similar to my experience with chess, I coached a HS debate team while I was student teaching and had a blast helping them get better.


So there you go – now you know more about me. If you have any of the same interests, or if you have your own entries for the lists under bullet point 8, I’d love to hear them!