Fraps'ing Your Way to Video Victory

It was brought to my attention by an awesome shaman that maybe I should blog about my process for recording and producing Fraps videos of our raids (or other crap I tend to record). And the little things that go into making a WoW video.

Let me preface the following post by saying that I’m not a videographer, a video producer, a hobbyist of video-making tendencies.. none of that. I just record our boss attempts/kills and sometimes add music.

My computer setup:

OPERATING SYSTEM: Windows 7 (Service Pack 2)
CPU TYPE: Intel® Core™2 Quad CPU Q8200 @ 2.33GHz
CPU SPEED: 2.36 GHz
SYSTEM MEMORY: 6 GB
VIDEO CARD MODEL: ATI Radeon HD 4600 Series
VIDEO CARD MEMORY: 3.24 GB
VIDEO CARD DRIVER: aticfx32.dll
DESKTOP RESOLUTION: 1920×1080
HARD DISK SIZE: 1.82 TB
HARD DISK FREE SPACE: 1.44 TB (79%)
DOWNLOAD SPEED: 1.63 MB/s (13.7 mbps)

(I totally pilfered that from my beta profile on bnet :>)

I generally have 30-45 fps in a major city even during peak times, even given my not-quite-awesome video card. So…Yeah I got no advice on that part. It is what it is.

My WoW Video Settings:

Fraps How-To: A Basic Introduction

Fraps is software that lets you record window content — games, browsers, etc. You can even record your desktop. You can download a trial (but only record limited-length videos), but I recommend buying a license. It will be money well-spent!

Here are screenshots of each of the Fraps settings screens to show how I have mine setup. Your mileage may vary depending on your hard drive space and personal preference for overlays, etc.

The General tab shows my current version and build of Fraps — I have the paid version.  The boxes that are checked are just some personal preference-type things about how Fraps window behaves. This part won’t make or break your vidya producin’.

The stuff on the FPS tab all looks really important, right? NOPE. The only part of this screen I actually use is where to put the overlay when it’s on the screen. Lower right (because it doesn’t cover anything too important).

Okay now.. the Movies tab is where the customization comes into play. I’ve selected a file path for saving movies after they’re recorded (done automatically after using the hotkey to stop recording). To make my life easier and my computer last a bit longer, I’ve selected a folder on my 2TB internal hard drive. Believe me when I say you will need a big hard drive if you are seriously thinking of working with video files. They can be monstrous in size and your computer will cry and kittens will cry, etc etc.

I’ve set up my hotkey to be F9 because, well, it wasn’t being used in-game. If you use default keybindings, you will want to unbind F9 because it’s default binding is to open one of your bags. You don’t want a bag opening at the beginning of every video you make, right? Esc > Keybindings > Open Bag # (look for F9) > Unbind Key. Done.

I also selected the “Record Win7 Sound” because this is what will capture vent/mumble sounds and game sounds. I suggest you don’t select “Record external input” because it will pick up EVERY LITTLE SOUND. I never realized how often I sniffle until I used that setting one night. The video had to be trashed. >___>

The Video Capture Settings is set to 30 fps by default. I picked 60 fps because it seemed the best. Things have been going okay so far…

As for the last of the settings on this panel, I just don’t use them. If you end up using them, let me know how it goes!

This final panel shows some screenshot settings. I don’t use them mostly because I use WoW’s default screenshot key (print screen). But if you’re not playing WoW and want a screenshot, Fraps will let you do that! I think the settings here are pretty self-explanatory, so.. :}

Produce That Vidya!

Now! So you’ve recorded some video of your awesome Blackhorn kill from last week but you don’t know how to get it on to Youtube! What do you do! I can show you how I do it on my Windows 7 PC. If you have a Mac, I’m sure there’s some sweet ass app you have that will do this a thousand times better… :|

First, you need to make sure you have a Youtube account. :|

Second, Open up Windows Live Movie Maker. Make sure it’s the Live version and not the previous Windows Movie Maker version (the previous is not as easy to work with and does not come with upload-to-Youtube-directly capabilities). If you don’t have WLMM, you can get it here for free.

Click to enlarge.

Third, Click the “Click here to browse for videos and photos”, find your raw Fraps video. WLMM will load it up.

Fourth, Make any edits to the video in terms of trimming out that accidentally recorded 10 min raid break >__>

Fifth, Add a witty title and credits pages, as necessary.

Sixth, Click the Youtube link, sign in, fill in all the field YES ALL THE FIELDS JUST TYPE SOME CRAP OKAY. You can always edit this later :>

Note: If you select Private at this screen, you will need to edit the video later to set it to Unlisted if you want to share it but not make it Public. Private means what it sounds like — only you will be able to see it.

Seventh, Click Okay (or save or whatever it says that isn’t Cancel) and your movie will be saved then published!

After the “Publishing” timer is done, you’ll be offered to “Watch Online,” “Open Folder” or “Cancel” (I think, I didn’t really pay attention xD Old habits!). If you click “Watch Online,” you will see this screen:

Click to enlarge.

Once your video is available, you can make minor edits to it or add music.

Other things to know:

– If you want to add music, make sure it’s of a free nature (and I don’t mean no cost; I mean not copyrighted!) You can add music in WLMM (there’s a button for it!) or you can add it after it’s uploaded to Youtube. Note: If you use Youtube, know that it will swap out any sound in the video for the music (that’s why it’s called “AudioSwap”).

– There are some pretty nice transition animations included in WLMM. Take a look for some fancy stuff!

– Be sure to save your movies at the highest resolution as possible for best playback quality.

– You may notice that most of my videos have a black border all around it. This issue is caused by what I call “double-letterboxing”: WLMM puts black bars on the left and right of the video (I think) and when it’s uploaded to Youtube, Youtube adds the top and bottom. I dunno man, it doesn’t really bother me. xD

Good luck in your vidya-ing ventures! Please let me know if you have any questions!

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Neav UI, Part 2

Okay this post is all the stuff I forgot to talk about in my previous post. Derp.

Other Cool Stuff About Neav UI

Actionbars

  • The screenshots on the WoWInterface page for Neav UI show only two action bars shown. I haven’t changed that on my own setup, but it’s available.
  • You can choose to hide/display the macro text and keybind text on the action bars.
  • There is a little game menu cleverly inlaid on the right gryphon: 
  •  There are two vertical action bars on the right side of the screen, as in the default UI, but they show up on mouseover. You have to have these bars enabled in the Interface > Action bars menu first, though.
Minimap
  • If you mouseover the minimap, the City/District/Location will display on the map. Also, a small bar will pop up from the top of the minimap that shows how many guildies and friends are online as well as your fps. Mousing over the fps indicator will show you a list of addon memory usage. 
  • The number in the upper-right corner of the minimap is the date (day only), but clicking it will open the calendar.
  • When you join the LFD queue, a capital L will show up in the upper-left corner of the minimap. Mousing over it will show your queue progress and provides teleport in/out access.
  • A capital N shows up in the bottom-right of the minimap to indicate New Mail.
  • And lastly, a capital P appears in the bottom-left for Battlegrounds/Arenas (I don’t arena, so I’m assuming arena activities use the same indicator?)

Miscellaneous Goodies

  • Castbar is class-colored, shows latency/cast time and has the option to show the spell icon: 
  • Item durability and total durability are displayed on the Character sheet (see screenshot below). That’s handy.
  • The !Beautycase addon changes the borders of certain things like the minimap, castbar, buffs/debuffs, etc.. It also changes things like Recount. Which is cool. 
  • The secondary manabar shows a smaller number below an arrow indicator. This number is your in/out-of combat regen rate. :O 
Other Things to Note
  • There is no bag addon. This UI uses the default bags (which is fine with me!)
  • It seems that all of the panels have not been modded — they are default.
Maybe, just maybe, my next post will include ALL of my thoughts. The first time. ;~;

Dreams & Fears: What the hell.

The Nightmare, Johann Heinrich Füssli 1781 (Source: Wikipedia)

I’m not sure why, but I have a lot of nightmares. A LOT. Last night was no exception and I ended up waking up my husband. Again.

I had a dream that he was annoying me with a camera (I don’t even..) so I went to our spare bedroom to go to sleep. The first weird thing is that the relation of my dream bedroom to my dream spare bedroom was very different than the real layout. It was like we were in someone else’s house. I digress… it only gets weirder.

So he comes in to see what I’m doing (god bless him, he never gets it when I’m upset) and I tell him “Trying to sleep!” He says “Okay,” walks out and shuts the door. Immediately after the door shuts, I feel a man’s hand sliding up my right thigh toward my hip. I am so freaked out that I can’t even breathe or scream. I was choking on my own breath.

This is when I wake up and hear my husband say “Are you okay!? Are you okay!?” Yep… it was his hand, but I didn’t recognize it in my dreamstate. After realizing what just happened (and that I was safe), I started to cry.

I hate my dreams.

Another recurring dream I have is being hovered over by a ghost. I can never make out whether it’s a male or female ghost, but I can always detect its presence. I wake up suddenly but still feel as though someone or something is standing over me and staring. It’s quite unnerving and I usually can’t go back to sleep. Let’s just say I really actually dislike Halloween a whole fricking lot. I’m afraid of the dark, Bloody Mary*, and being alone in the house at night. We all have our own fears; those are my big ones.

One last nightmare (for me): I dream that a spider is coming down from the ceiling onto my face. I’ve had this dream A LOT. Sometimes, I have run out of the bedroom because I *knew* there was a damn spider in the bed.

Is it any wonder why I’m so tired all the time? Why I don’t get enough sleep even if I am in the bed from 9pm to 6am? -_-;

Vanderbilt University here in town has a Sleep Clinic. Maybe I should get myself checked out.

 

*When I was young, I had an… interesting friend… who loved to do all of those things like Ouija boards, “Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board” things. She made me stand in the dark bathroom with her at night while she tried to summon Bloody Mary. Yep. I’m almost 30 now and *still* scared shitless when I have to use the bathroom at night.

Liz's Top 10 "Clapping" Songs

I am a very kinesthetic person — I learn best by doing/touching/feeling and most of my memories are tied to physical activities (i.e., smashing a finger in a locked car door (shh I know), riding bikes with my sister, being carried to bed by my dad after falling asleep in the living room). As a physical person, I am naturally inclined to like music with some kind of clapping sound, be it actual clapping or synthetic clapping sounds (percussion instruments).

I am also a MASSIVE DORK. I like clapping songs, songs with lots of percussion (Hello 1989!) and hip-hop/rap. There’s just a rhythm I enjoy. Nerdishly. :>

This is my list of favorite songs with clapping/clapping-esque sounds:

10. Straight No Chaser – “Tainted Love” (OH yes, them and not the original band TAKE THAT)

9. Phil Collins – “Something Happened On The Way To Heaven” (Another “jazz hands” song)

8. Céline Dion – “Regarde-Moi” (okay, no real clapping, but it makes me “jazz hands” >.>;)

7. LMFAO – “Party Rock Anthem”

6. Men Without Hats – “Safety Dance”

5. Adele – “Rumor Has It”

4. Robyn – “Dancing On My Own”

3. Ke$ha – “Blah Blah Blah” (NSFW!)

2. Timbaland – “Ease Off the Liquor” (aw hell, I love both of Timbaland’s Shock Value and Shock Value II albums)

1. Linkin Park – “Given Up”

 

Go forth and clap along like no one is watching!!

5.0 Shaman Talent Changes – First Look Part 3: Totemic Changes

I’ve discussed before my thoughts on the new 5.0 talent changes for shamans and healing-centric talents. Now I want to delve into the new totems coming in patch 5.0!

>>Level 15<<

Earthgrab Totem appears to be a new “root” mechanism for shaman wherein it actually stops other players or NPCs rather than just slowing/snaring them like the current Earthbind Totem does. I see this mainly as a PVP totem, but it could have uses in PVE settings where there are adds that need to be controlled.

Repulsion Totem is a straight knock-back or possibly fear-type ability, or so it seems. I’m guessing the enemies would flee away from the totem. Cool! Again, I see more uses for this in PVP than PVE, but you never know!

>>Level 30<<

Stone Bulwark Totem looks like it’s taken cues from the priest’s Power Word: Barrier — I like damage mitigation, so this seems like an interesting addition to the shaman arsenal.

>>Level 45<<

Windwalk Totem … I’m starting to think that a lot of the dungeon and raid fights in 5.0 will have some kind of gimmicky boss mechanism involving fear. <:\ Not sure if Tremor Totem is getting tossed, but this appears to be either an addition to Tremor Totem or a replacement for it.

Tranquil Mind Totem will bring a much-desired ability for shamans (especially me). Ever wanted to be able to PROACTIVELY guard against known incoming silences? I know I have! I’m kind of excited about this totem — I freaking hate HATE hate being silenced (as a direct-cast healer, silencing could mean death to my healing targets!). It also appears that Blizzard realized NO ONE uses the current Totem of the Tranquil Mind and have appropriately reappropriated the totem name. :)

 

I hope you’re just as excited about all of these shaman changes as I am! I can’t wait to get to level 90 and start THROWING TOTEMS. And mitigating all the damages. And stopping all the silences. :>

 

Q&A: How I Shaman Heal

After posting how I heal on my shaman to our guild forums, my GM and Raid Leader had a few good questions. I wanted to share both his questions and my responses, for funsies. :)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Answering Snack’s questions:
Q: Firstly, I had no idea that SLink totem was also a damage reduction buff – and it lasts the entire duration of the totem itself?
A: It does; keep in mind the short duration of the totem, though, at only 6 seconds. I wish they’d increase it’s duration to at least 12 seconds.

Q: I didn’t know much beyond Mana Tide totem other than it worked like Hymn of Hope – it seemed like something we might want to pair? Or, perhaps, to stagger on top of each other? It seems like something we could probably coordinate very well to work for maximum mana regen, on the longer more drawn out fights (Ragnaros? Possibly Deathwing?) or something else entirely?
A: I think there could be synergy between MTT and HoH. We will have to play around to see (testing in combat would be pretty easy I think?) I’m not sure of the duration of HoH, but it seems MTT is also a short cooldown. It used to be based on my amount of Spirit, but I don’t think it’s this way anymore (Shaman used to stack Spirit to be the “Mana Battery” back in Wrath).

Q: I’m very jelly of your ability to decurse AND dispel. ;~;
A: Isn’t it great? I try to dispel as much as possible, but Cleanse Spirit can drain me if I’m not careful (cost is 14% of base mana)

Q: What sort of things do you do to manage your abilities, since shaman seem to have nine million totems to manage on top of their heals, buffs, shocks, etc?
A: Do you mean in terms of UI? I have been using both the default UI and recently RealUI. I really like RealUI as it shows my Tidal Waves buff.

Q: Is there a particular reason you use Flame Shock over the other ones?
A: I use Flame Shock since it does damage (trying to be helpful for the raid). Frost Shock is more PVP oriented (it slows the target), but I could use that on trash (aren’t most bosses immune to snares/slows?). Earth shock doesn’t do as much damage since I’m resto.

Q: Do you try and use Telluric Currents during lulls in damage to keep a regen flowing in the midst of battle? (ex., Shannox, post Rageface, pre-burn?)
A: I try, but as I mentioned above, it’s often a decision between spending the mana on Lightning Bolt hoping I gain that plus more back OR casting a Healing Wave. My regen is decent enough that I can pretty much cast Healing Wave consistently throughout combat (but it’s not sustainable for a tough fight as HW does not do enough healing to overcome some damage).

Q: Also, I note Ancestral Healing/Ancestral Fortitude and it sounds an awful lot like my Divine Aegis, which seems really cool!
A: Ancestral Fortitude is a great buff — I try to cast a GHW to get it going on the tank.

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If you have any questions for me, hit me up in the comments or on Twitter @_Lizzia!

 

Earth, Water, and Lightning: How I Shaman Heal

~~This post is something I’ve been wanting to post for awhile but hesitated because, really, why do another guide? So this really isn’t a guide, but an insight into how I specifically play. It’s not about right or wrong (because I don’t think I’m really doing anything _wrong_); it’s for informational purposes for my healing teammates.~~

The healers on our raid team have had an idea to get together to discuss how we operate during raids to provide insight and opportunity for strategic planning. This is my contribution to get the ball rolling.

My background
I have been healing on a shaman since I started Cathrynis (Now Balma, the trollie) in late May 2011. I transferred Marsaili to Medivh in early July and began seriously healing on her. I have, however, been a healer my entire WoW career — from my first character, a night elf druid casting heals on Rick’s night elf warrior. I never really played the official healer role until I rolled my priest, Elizabeth. But when I did, it just felt right. I finally had a legitimate excuse for my constantly watching health bars and estimating incoming damage. I am a healer.


I am Dorflady. I whip my hair back and forth.

My character
I have set up my shaman’s talents and glyphs to provide the most throughput as possible. Note, however, that shaman sacrifice raw healing output to gain the utility of totems. As a shaman, I will never match or exceed a druid’s or holy priest’s awesome throughput. And I shouldn’t. I bring additional utility through my totems to hopefully make up for the lack of raw healing. Some days I recognize this sacrifice; some days I literally cry out in frustration. But everytime I slap down Healing Rains, Spirit Link Totem and Chain Heal, I am reminded why I heal on my shaman.

Talents & Glyphs
My shaman uses a pretty standard talent setup, found here. I have been thinking of creating two resto specs, one aimed at raid healing and one aimed at tank healing. This is a second raid healing-specific talent spec/glyph setup I’ve been playing with.

You’ll notice something about the resto talent tree — there’s not a lot of room for variance. Sure, there are some talents I don’t *have* to take. It seems, however, that I would lose even more throughput or utility by transferring talents from the resto tree to either the enhancement or elemental trees. I’m comfortable where I am currently, but I may play with that second spec some to see what happens.

Things to note with this talent setup:
1.) My Earth Shielded targets gain 18% healing effectiveness through Nature’s Blessing. This is one of a few talents that increases my tank-healing effectiveness.
2.) Ancestral Healing provides a buff, Ancestral Fortitude that mitigates damage.
3.) I gain instant-cast Ghost Wolf by talenting into Ancestral Swiftness in the enhancement tree. This ability is pretty awesome as it allows me to run faster — I tend to use it when I need to get near someone to heal them up. Fabulous talent.
4.) I have a 20% chance to heal a target for 1.4k when I dispel Curses or Magic from people.
5.) I have two important talents taken, Focused Insight and Telluric Currents, that allow me to either cut my mana cost or actively regen mana during a fight.

Glyphs
Glyph choices for resto shaman are quite limited.  There really are only so many glyphs that actually pertain to healing. My main talent setup uses the following glyphs:

Prime

  • Earthliving Weapon – Increases the effectiveness of your Earthliving weapon’s periodic healing by 20%.
  • Riptide – Increases the duration of Riptide by 40%.
  • Earth Shield – Increases the amount healed by your Earth Shield by 20%.

Major

  • Chain Heal – Increases healing done by your Chain Heal spell to targets beyond the first by 15%, but decreases the amount received by the initial target by 10%.
  • Healing Stream Totem – Your Healing Stream Totem also increases the Fire, Frost, and Nature resistance of party and raid members within 30 yards by 195.
  • Healing Wave – Your Healing Wave also heals you for 20% of the healing effect when you heal someone else.

Minor

  • Renewed Life – Your Reincarnation spell no longer requires a reagent.
  • Water Breathing – Your Water Breathing spell no longer requires a reagent.
  • Water Walking – Your Water Walking spell no longer requires a reagent.

I won’t go in-depth on these glyphs as they are pretty straight forward, but if you have any questions, please ask!

Mastery
The restoration shaman mastery is very nice for my current healing assignments. This mastery tends to wane in usefulness as we overcome raiding obstacles and learn the fights better — less damage is taken due to better damage avoidance, so the need to spike heal is less.

For the time being, I am enjoying the ability to bring a player from 10% health to 80% in one cast. :>

My mastery is called Deep Healing and it provides:

Spells, Abilities & Totems
This part of my contribution, I think, is the most important. This is how I actually do my healing. Since I typically raid-heal, that is what I will outline below.

Pre-pull
The first three things I do before doing anything else are 1) cast Water Shield; 2) imbue my weapon with Earthliving Weapon; and 3) drop my totems. Preparedness really does pay off when playing a shaman.

I will Earth Shield one of the tanks; either the one pulling the boss (who tends to take more damage) or the one tanking the boss.  As each fight is different, this strategy will and can change on the fly.

I then tend to cast Riptide on the tank as a buffer (because I still try to be a druid okay) if they will be in range of the melee players so I can cast Chain Heal, which is buffed by Riptide.

Depending on my mana needs for the fight (I’m looking at you, ugly Psider) or anticipated incoming damage, I will Flame Shock the boss to gain Focused Insight and then, depending on amount of incoming damage AND number of people being damaged AND ALSO how close together they are, drop Healing Rain. You may have noticed that Chain Heal is buffed by Healing Rain; the two are meant to be used together. So when I see someone standing OUTSIDE the shiny blue circle, I cry on the inside.

Note about Healing Rain: It costs me 46% of base mana, which is just over 10k mana. OVER TEN THOUSAND MANA. My mana pool is, fully buffed & with Power Torrent procs, ~120k mana. So this spell is essentially 8% of my entire mana pool. Suffice it to say that I simply cannot spam Healing Rain.

During the Fight
I typically try to keep Riptide up and Chain Heal when I can. I have had a hard time with melee not standing near enough to each other to make Chain Heal worth its mana cost. I realize that some fights require movement and being spread out, so I tend to switch to spamming Healing Wave. I save Greater Healing Wave for moments when someone is taking more damage than anticipated and I need to get them up fast.

Tidal Waves
Tidal Waves is a buff gained from the Tidal Waves talent in the restoration tree. Tidal Waves really shapes the actual feel of shaman healing — it’s almost like you’re waltzing with the raid. Riptide – Healing Wave – Healing Wave, Riptide – Healing Wave – Healing Wave. The 30% reduction in cast time really does help get healing to people that need it. This will come as second nature to new shaman healers (which is why I forgot about it completely!)

In-combat Mana Regen
Shaman have both active and passive means of in-combat mana regen. I’ve outlined these abilities below:

Active

  • Mana Tide Totem – See below.
  • Telluric Currents – Note: TC is great on a fight where I have some downtime, but know that I have to make a decision between losing a GCD to TC for mana regen OR using that GCD to throw out a Healing Wave. (Trust me on using HW; if I am at the point of considering TC, I probably don’t have enough mana to use Greater Healing Wave.)

Passive

  • Resurgence
  • Water Shield
  • Spirit – My in-combat mana regen is about 2.7k, which seems like a lot, but you have to consider the mana cost of my spells is rather high and my mana pool is rather limited (even with 2.4k Spirit and 5.6k Intellect).

Oh-Crap! Button
Most healers have an “Oh Crap!” button they hit when big, fast heals are needed.  I actually have a combination of buttons I press to produce the achieve the same goal:

1.) Unleash Elements with Earthliving Weapon
2.) Nature’s Swiftness (Note: Resto Druids have a spell of the same name but it does not do they same thing, exactly)
3.) Greater Healing Wave

If I have my wits about me (and a second to spare), I will also mash my Moonwell Chalice button before doing the above to make sure whomever I’m healing is at least brought back to 75% health.
I don’t have these abilities macro’d together as I would still be required to press a button three times (or three buttons one time each).

Totems
Shaman have an epic ton of totems. Totems, however, only have a range of 20 yards (I have it talented with Totemic Reach; without the talent, my totems would only reach 15 yards). There are totems useful for buffing your groupmates and debuffing your enemies.  Some totems are intended by the developers to be used in PVp situations and others in PVE situations.  The fun thing about totems is figuring out which ones to use when and where. Sometimes, I’ll find a use for a PVP-oriented totem in a PVE situation (a good example is Grounding Totem when being barraged by shadow bolts on what’s-her-face-cat-lady boss in Zul Gurub).

For my healing purposes and in consideration of our raidteam makeup, I tend to run with the following totems, at all times:

  • Stoneskin Totem – Our death knights provide a similar buff to Strength of Earth Totem with their Horn of Winter ability.
  • Flametongue Totem – Straight up spellpower buff
  • Healing Stream Totem – This is a workhorse totem. Can be up to 1.5m healing. When looking at my performance on raid logs, it’s important to remember how much healing HST does — You have to effectively combine the “Marsaili” row on Healing Done with the “Healing Stream Totem” row to get a rough idea.
  • Windfury Totem – Buff to our consistently melee-heavy raid composition.

I do weave in other totems during a fight as they are more like cooldown abilities.  These totems are very special and provide flavor and uniqueness to restoration shaman. One of them is why I love my shaman.

Mana Tide Totem – Once the great spirit-slaving totem of yore, MTT is now a mana regen cooldown useful for gaining back some mana during lulls of some fights. It has a short duration (12 seconds), but does provide a nice chunk of mana.

Spirit Link Totem – This totem can be confusing as when placed, it displays a circular, moving yellow graphic and appears to give health to raid/party members.  What actually happens, however, is not that simple. This totem provides two benefits: 1) 10% damage reduction and 2) health. The latter benefit is derived from redistributing the collective group health across all raid/party members during a 6-second period. Jadiera of Totem Forest created this nifty graphic to really show how this totem works and you should take a look at it to fully understand.

I will try to get into the habit of announcing when I’m going to drop Slink — this will hopefully get everyone aware and using their damage mitigation cooldowns such as Anti-Magic Shield, Plasma Shield (engineering tinker), or other similar cooldowns.

Something to keep in mind about Spirit Link Totem: I am apprehensive about just dropping it anytime. I feel that the raid should be healed up to some extent before using it as it does have the potential to kill people or wipe the raid due to low health and constant incoming damage. Most experienced shaman healers will disagree or question my hesitation and that’s okay. This totem is like driving on your own the first time ever: It’s really powerful yet very scary at the same time. The more I heal, the more comfortable I will get.

UI
Here is a screenshot of my UI, trying to be in-combat at a training dummy <:\ (Click to make bigger)

I think I’ve covered just about everything — please ask questions! You can email me liz at authorizedtoramble dot com or send me a message on Twitter. Or yanno, leave a comment. :>