The Evolution of a BG Noob: Let the Battles Begin

Paladr at level 48Gitr finally got into some PvP with Paladr this week. Other than about 2 hours of total time in WSG matches for over 40 days played, this was my first entry into hard-hitting PvP. Of course, Deadr grew up to level 66 on a PvP realm and was the victim of hundreds of gankings, world PvP is nothing like fighting in a battleground setting, that is for sure.

This will be an ongoing series of my personal exploits in BGs as a complete and total noob for this kind of playstyle. See it as your one opportunity to openly laugh at me and have a good old time at my expense, because I’ve made some seriously dumb mistakes, but learned a lot already. I’ll be as transparent as possible in an attempt to comfort other noobs who are coming to learn from scratch.

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Taming Ironback, the Rare Hinterland Turtle

It was a quiet evening in the lowland of The Hinterlands, killing turtles and making a path to get Lard’s lunch off the North coast. Paladr was enjoying the scenery and the challenge of wearing down multiple tank-like hard-shells when an unusual sight caught his eye underwater off the coast: a red nameplate hovering over a turtle.

Ironback, rare spawnSeeing that the UI indicated a level 51 gray elite named Ironback, I sat up a little bit when I saw SilverDragon pipe up that it had spotted Ironback. A quick hop on over to Petopia, and I learned that Ironback is a rare elite beast that just so happens to be tamable. I wanted him for myself, or Huntr, actually. As a level 62, it should be a pretty easy feat, but still a special pet due to the rareness. Some research reveals that the respawn time is between 12 and 24 hours. Time to go fetch Huntr, and quickly.

The Location

Spotted IronbackAs I mentioned, Ironback was swimming along the northern coast of The Hinterlands, just East of the waterfall from the highland. The approximate coordinates came out to be 83, 48.5, just to the west of where Paladr accidentally aggroed him and had to die to leave Ironback there. /silly pally. Let the screenshot and dot speak for itself. The map location will read The Overlook Cliffs.

The Tame

The steps are about as mundane as possible, with only two things to really be aware of:

  • opposing faction on PvP realm
  • Gammerita – a roaming aggressive turtle who will aggro you if she wanders while you are standing on the shore

Of course, the basic tactic is to drop a Freezing Trap to ice block Ironback while you tame him. So, place the trap on the shore and swim out and hit him with a Concussion Shot and spin 180-degrees and swim back to shore and just past the trap and immediately start spamming Tame Beast, which you conveniently have on a toolbar, right?

Moment of Taming If all goes as I have foreseen, your tame should end at the exact moment the ice block breaks. There is an awkward moment when it does, because you are not quite sure if OldIron is a friend or foe until you see him join you at your side. Feed him some fruit and he will begin to smile. Congratulations, you now have a pet with a great skin, cheap food, and more armor than he knows what to do with.

Taking OldIron fishing

Of DPS and Druid Lootz

So there I was – back at work after a 5-day weekend and surfing my guild’s officer forums. Typical stuff mostly, monthly promotions, new applicants to mull over, conflicts with the raid schedule, pie or cake – blah, blah, blah. One thread caught my attention though and it had to do with the guild’s druid-folk and loot priorities. Feeling like I had bear in that race I dug in.

Seems the guild master decided to post some rules on druids and what they could roll on in Kara’. A good thing – since lootz = dramaz and druids are all about the drama.

Here’s what the decision looked like:

  • Tank Feral Druids have priority on Leather Drops that are tanking specific
  • DoomChicken Druids have priority on Leather Drops that are caster specific
  • Resto Druids have priority on Leather Drops that are healzor specific
  • DPS Druids CAN NOT roll on DPS Leather – Rogues only

[Cut to Guild’s Druid Class Officer]

<Go Cat Form!>

/target Guild Master

/mangle /mangle /mangle /mangle

After about 10k of damage and a lot of forums screaming – one of our tanking druids went bear form and sat on the class officer. She immediately calmed down enough for us to call in a medic. Moments later one of our resto brethren tossed off some heal-dotz and after a few minutes, both had calmed or coagulated enough to carry on a reasonable conversation….

Still spitting and snarling through bits of the GM’s robe, the class officer pointed out the following:

A feral druid brings utility to the raid that is more than just dps. Innervate for a caster, battle rez for anyone, group healing through improved leader of the pack, increased damage from bleeds with mangle, etc. Not to mention off-healing, cleansing, and buffz. Long story short – don’t neglect druid loot because druids bring diversity and flexibility to the raid – something rogues can’t do.

Then the rogue class-leader came along….He obviously felt that the GM’s decision was both wise and just.

As far as he was concerned, druids had three roles there were going to be relegated to in the guild:

  • Healer
  • Tank
  • Caster DPS

And that was it. The bears could tank and tank well – the healers could tree it up and cast happy-dotz all they wanted – and the Boomkin were given free reign to nuke and nuke and nuke and nuke. But the catz? No – it’s nice they can dps and all, but the catz need to pick a different spec. Leave the damage dealing to the adults.

The difference in their arguments came from the stances each class officer had taken – both were as timeless as the classes themselves.

  • Druid: We are versatile – Gear us with versatility in mind
  • Rogue: We only have so many drops – don’t let other classes ninja them – there are other ways to gear druids or warriors to dps that don’t include giving them dibs on our leather Kara loot

A lot of this seems to come down to the fact that the work Blizzard has done to allow hybridization and to improve the itemization of gear to support it, are still hit and miss. For the druid class, the problem seems to be one of too many options. They can *do* almost anything – but the fact leads many to view the class as greedy and overreaching. For the rogues comes the problem of specialization – what can they really do other than put out damage, manage aggro well and provide some limited CC? With such seemingly limited versatility, allowing them members-only access to dps leather can be viewed as greedy and unfair.

Which would you prefer in your raid? Do you go for hybrids and versatility or do you prefer to maintain specialist characters for specialist slots?

In a number of guilds on the same progression level (through Gruul) I am starting to see a great deal of acceptance and preference for characters that bring options to the raid leader. DPS slots that have traditionally gone to rogues or hunters are now being parceled out to appropriately specced Shaman and Druids. Does this break down as you try to extend into deeper content or are single function classes like rogue and mage becoming obsolete while the hybrids take over?

Drop us a line and let us know how your guild handles things.

Everything You Need to Know About Guild Banks

Shattrath City Guild VaultWith the arrival of Patch 2.3, one of the most exciting things to me, both as a Guild Leader and a helplessly addicted Auction Hall player, was the addition of the long-awaited guild banks. Man, oh man, I’ve been waiting for this feature. Nothing sucks more than losing a newly crafted Lionheart Helm (back in the day when that was the best) because you started playing an alt and forgot it in the mailbox for an entire 30 days after an expired auction. Guild banks will allow us to throw everything for sale into the bank, and as GL, I can buy my own stinking tab for a while to store more than my mule can handle without worrying about losing stuff in the mail.
Before I logged off Tuesday night, I got on my GL toon and went to Shattrath City to investigate the process of getting a Guild Vault going. What took me 5-10 minutes should be a breeze for you now, so thank me later, ok?

  1. Prance, gallop, run, or fly into a major city and find the bank. Near the bank will be a Guild Vault, each with a unique look for the city. Orgrimmar’s, for example, is a pot of gold (Lucky Charms, anyone?).
  2. Buy a Vault Tab

  3. Ensure you have 100g on yourself, because that’s what it’s going to take. Ouch, I know, but check out all the space! With each tab you buy, you get a whopping 98 slots. That’s nearly an entire personal bank per tab, so for the initial investment for a small guild, it’s definitely worth it. The next two tabs increase to 250g and 500g each.
  4. When you’ve got your tab, go to Guild Control and set the permissions for the guild ranks. You can customize the ability to view, deposit, and withdraw for each rank indivudually, including withdraw limits so new initiates can’t ninja the guild’s vast stockpiles of valuable raid mats. This will take a little bit of time at the beginning, but your stuff is worth it, right?
  5. Fill the VaultStart filling up your slots to your heart’s content. It will take a little while to figure out a system for storage for the different items based on permissions and the little details like that, but again, the time spent now is worth it.
  6. Log in to your alts and open the doors to the vault to your guild and start a bank party today. Drinks are served in the nearby inn, of course.

NOTE: I noticed tonight that the vault does not stack items. I think this is to trick us into buying new tabs when we don’t need them, but I digress. To get things to stack, place them in your bags (carefully if you have a low withdrawal limit) where they stack, and then re-deposit them into the vault.

Thunder Bluff Guild VaultNOTE: This just in from Druidr, my newly bear formed alt: the Guild Vault in Thunder Bluff is just outside the bank! Don’t go running all over the place looking for it in a tent. It’s right in front of your eyes, but it looks like a plain old totem. This makes Thunder Bluff quite possibly the best place in all of Azeroth to be a blacksmith/miner. You have the mailbox, AH, trainers, forge, anvil, AND Guild Vault all right in one area. Paladr is very happy now.

Portable Macros

Dear Growl,

I love macros – and I have over a dozen of them written for different characters on all of my servers. Last week I bought a new computer and installed WOW on it. But now it looks like I need to re-write all of my macros on this new install! What a pain! Is there any way to bring my old macros over to my new computer?

Thanks!

Wardance
Thorium Brotherhood US

Great question Wardance – and the short answer is “Yes” – you can take your macros with you when you change computers. It’s actually a pretty easy! I’ll even use pictures to show how to do it! If you can’t read the thumbnails – just click the image for a larger view!

First off you need to understand that there are two kinds of macros. For simplicities sake we’re going to call them:

General Macros and Character Specific Macros

What’s the difference? Easy – just open up your macro interface while you’re in game. You’ll notice that the macro creation window has two tabs.

General Macros

The default tab in the macro creation window are for macros that will be available to *every* character you play. No matter which toon you’re logged onto – you can always open up the macro creation interface and those same macros will be available to every character in your account. The default tab is a great place to put commonly used macros that all of your characters might use – like common emotes, bandage macros, and trade or guild barkers.

The second tab is character specific. In other words – if Wardance is logged on and he creates a macro in tab-2 (Wardance’s Macros) – those macros will *only* be available to that character. This tab is a great place to put macros that your other toons don’t need access to. For example – the hunter you have on the same account isn’t going to need a macro that will help him spam “Sunder Armor and Shield Block.”

Blizzards developer trolls save these macros in text files and store them on your hard-drive. By knowing where you look for the files themselves, you can easily take them with you to another install of World of Warcraft by simply copying the files to a memory-stick or a portable hard-drive. The files are quite small, so you shouldn’t have a problem taking them with you.

The first thing you need to do is learn where your macros live. For most players on Windows Systems you’ll simply need to look on your hard-drive for your World of Warcraft installation.

PC Users:

Most likely your WOW install lives in one of two places:

C:\World of Warcraft or C:\Program Files\World of Warcraft

Mac Users:

Just open your Applications Folder – it’s in there (too easy!)

One thing to keep in mind is that the Mac and PC Installs are virtually identical in regards to the folder structures that we’re going to be working with. I use a mac much of the time – so the majority of the screen shots will be from a Mac. PC users – don’t fear – your World of Warcraft folder looks virtually identical. For what we’re here to do today – all of the folder and file names are exactly the same.

So – the next step is to find the WTF folder (no jokes please) – the WTF folder holds user interface (UI) and addon information for each of your characters. Inside of the WTF folder is a folder called “Account” that includes all of the registered accounts you use to play the game.

Select your account name and open that folder. Inside are a number of files – look for the following:

macros-cache.txt
This is where Blizzard hides your General Macros. To take these macros with you – simply grab a copy of the file and move it to the same location on your new computer.

To find your Character Specific Macros, look at the other folders here. If you play characters on multiple servers, you’ll see a folder for each server you play on. Find the server that houses the character whose macros you’d like to copy and open that folder.

Inside are folders for all of the characters you “own” on that server. Find the character who’s macros you’d like to bring with you and open that folder. Inside you’ll find another macros-cache.txt file. In this file are all of that characters custom macros.

Now this is pretty simple to do, but there’s actually an easier way to bring not only your macros, but also all of your key-bindings, addon settings, and interface settings along to a new computer. Simply copy the entire WTF folder and place it on your new computer.

If you choose to do this – use caution. Corrupt or overly large WTF folders are often the cause of a great deal of problems for WoW players, including graphical problems and increased lag.

That said, if your current install is problem free, it’s often not a bad idea to keep a backup of your WTF folder on a thumb-drive or external hard-drive. I travel a lot and often swap between a work laptop (with WOW on it) or any of two or three different Mac or PC laptops that belong in our family. I always keep an updated copy of my Addons folder (to keep all of my addons updated) and a copy of my WTF folder. If I’m going out of town and plan on playing a little WoW – I’ll make sure to update the install on the computer that I’ll be bringing with me – with the most recent versions of both of these folders. That way – all of my addons are current – and I don’t have to recreate any of my UI settings or rewrite any macros!

When Things Don’t Work

I found my macros files on my old system and went to copy it to the WTF->Accounts->Account Name folder on my new computer. But the folder wasn’t there. Did it get deleted? Am I looking in the wrong place?

No – chances are – you’re working with a brand new install and haven’t yet logged into the game or played a character on this new install. Until you log into the game and into the game world on a character – the folders you’re looking for won’t exist. The same can be said for your character specific macros. If you’ve never logged that character in on your new system – that characters folder won’t exist. Log into the character first – then close out of the game and find the folder!

That’s all for today! Macros are great tools and can help give you the edge in a number of situations. Don’t lose all the hard work you’ve put into those macros by not knowing how to back them up! If you run into questions or know of other great ways to make your WoW more portable – e-mail to us here at Gitrknowswow!