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    Sunday, 14 September 2014

    Sunday Screenshot #43

    Continuing on from my last post about how I dislike Evlyxx's new look, which all revolves around her face I thought I'd share a series of screenshots that I have uploaded as a video to my YouTube channel (please subscribe and leave comments).

    The biggest changes are on the last 3 faces, the new versions don't look like the originals (although they are probably the worst of the original faces in terms of both quality and "prettiness") if I had one of those as my toons face I would feel like I'd been robbed!

    Thankfully, I've discovered I'm not a lone dissenter and I really hope that the issue is one of the "beta" issues seen so often before.

    If you have beta or PTR access I urge you to go and check the new models out and see what you character looks like after the change. It is possible to switch between new and old models in the menus go to System > Advanced and tick/untick the option Show New Character Models.

    Other related articles/forum posts you may want to read:
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    Wednesday, 10 September 2014

    Evlyxx: The New Model

    Evolution of a brand happens and when Blizzard announced that the character models were to be revamped there was much excitement and much nervousness. But at BlizzCon 2013, Blizzard knocked our socks off with the new character models and I was one of the millions of players that rejoiced at the way the new models where so close to the original, but better! So far, I have not heard a single dissenting voice about the models, sure people whined that the NElf had no fangs, but she did, and ofc the female Draenei April Fool caused a ripple but no one seems to have moaned about their toon being ruined.

    But today for the first time I've been having some doubts because the female human model looks kind of odd. To show you what I mean I put Evlyxx to the test on the beta realms by using the diable new character model feature so I knew it was a direct replacement rather than me getting something wrong elsewhere.

    Undressed the human female form looks very unchanged:

    This is great and adding some armour shows some subtle changes in posture, notice the neck and shoulder area and the way the robes hang differently near the feet:

    I'm sure you'll agree it all looks rather good and nothing much to complain about.

    Until you look at the face. The changes are, quite sublte and revolve around the mouth being a different shape and the eyes being less animé style and also being furter awayy from the eyebrows but it makes such a huge difference to the character. She looks as if she is in deep thought and less friendly, meaner, more grumpy even. If it were a person I was talkking with, it is if she is not engaged in the converstaion with me but had her mind on something some place else. In short, Evlyxx no longer looks like Evlyxx it is as if someone kidnapped her and replaced her with an evil clone of her.

    Maybe I'm being petty, maybe there are some tweeks left to come from Blizzard but right now I'm a very unhappy bunny about potentially having to use the old character models when using Evlyxx, especially after being a fan of the new models for so long, maybe I'll warm to the new look, who knows. Have you checked your toon out to see how it changes when using the new model? If so I'd love to hear your thoughts.
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    Thursday, 14 August 2014

    13 November 2014: The Warlords are Coming

    The cinematic is incredible and really makes me wish that Blizzard had tackled the soon to be released movie in house. Sure te resources needed would have been far more than that required for a 5 minute trailer but, we've waited 8 years already and still have another 2 more years to wait, surely it must have been a possibility.

    Blizzard have thrown us all a major curve ball with the release date of Warlords of Draenor coming on a Thursday as all previous Warcraft realeses had been on a Tuesday. My predicted date of 23 September was very, very wrong. I also think that Blizzard could have pushed it back a day and made the release date 12-13-14!

    That said the exact day is pretty much irrelevant and it seems that Blizzard expects us all to endure another 3 months of Siege of Orgrimmar. I'm both saddened and happy at this as it does give my guild 3 more months to kill Garrosh HC, well most likely 2 as once the pre-oatch gives us mythic I don't think we'll have the personnel in place geared and experienced for such trials but I'd love to be wrong.

    Anyway that means 2 more months to get things done like a few more alts through Challenge Modes and finishing off my Legendary Cloak collection and a few other goals. I won't be ending my subscription between now and then. Will you? If not what are your goals between now and November?
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    Tuesday, 12 August 2014

    Sunday Screenshot #42

    This end of expansion lull I have been fighting has finally arrived. I'll admit that things have slacked here at Evangelysm and while I am slacking I really am still focuses on the blog, I just struggle currently to invent content that is worthwhile posting about.

    I'm in the beta but to be honesst I am not keen on spoiling the new content befoe live and so am spending my time in game slacking on alts and slacking at picking up the legendary cloak on as many of my Shadowsongsters as possible in preparation for leveling them uo in Warlords. I'm also leveling my Hordie alts and it is there that I obtained this weeks image. Clearly someone had too many banquests and too much time!

    How are you spending the lull period? Are you even still playing WoW?
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    Tuesday, 5 August 2014

    Why You Should Play a Human

    A recent forum post that made me giggle asked a really stupid question. I decided to answer that question and thought I'd share that with you all.

    • Trolls - look deformed with the curved spines;
    • Orcs - look deformed with the curved spines;
    • Taurens - scratch their backsides, helms look ridiculous and appear to move too slowly;
    • Undead - armour looks awful as half of it is missing;
    • Blood Elves - males look effimate and females look like they would snap in battle;
    • Night Elves - males look like they are crapping themselves when they /walk, females bounce when standing still;
    • Gnomes - annoying high pitched voice, get line of sight issues and get lost in crowds;
    • Worgen - female models are awful and the males sniff all the time;
    • Draenei - they have tails, squid like tentacles and legs would break under the weight of the upper body;
    • Dwarves - females have blow up doll faces and males can't be clean shaven;
    • Humans - look like humans!
    That is ofc just my view and people may disagree, that is your prerogative. That said, I do play all races with one exception, worgen as I really do think that the female model is awful as are their animations. The male sniffing was too much for me to cope with when I rolled a male hunter so much that I ended up race changing to, yes you guessed it, a female human.

    What is you favourite and least favourite race?

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    Friday, 1 August 2014

    Thok Cooldown Rotation

    Thok positioning (courtesy of FlaskUp)
    Its been a while folks, but never fear I am still here! Or maybe that should be a reason to be fearful? Anyway, been doing some HC progression and needing to buff up the knowledge on Thok, Man the coordination there is intense, so I've been researching a bit deeper and the raid cooldown usage is indeed the key. 

    This is NOT  JUST HEALERS, everyone who can assist should assist and so we don't all splurge our CDs at the start we need an action plan. Because the team make up varies week to week I have put together the action plan below which states roles not classes. Some weeks we'll have extra CDs to use, in which case people not specifically assigned should use theirs at a point that isn't mentioned, prefarably near the end.

    The rotation below is for the 1st and 3rd Cry in the Darkness phases. The 2nd of these phases will see the raid have no raid wide cooldowns available, kill the bats and last as long as we naturally can with an aim of hitting 7-10 Screeches.
    • Screech #06 – DPS 1 Raid Cooldown
    • Screech #09 – DPS 3 Raid Cooldown (if available)
    • Screech #11 – Healer 1 with a Blessing of Protection so no interupts
    • Screech #14 – Healer 2 with Blessing of Protection  so no interupts
    • Screech #17 – DPS 2 Raid Cooldown
    • Screech #19 – Devotion Aura
    • Screech #22 – Healer 3 Cooldowns and players personal Cooldowns.
    • Screech #24 – DPS 4 Raid Cooldown (if available)
    • Screech #27 – Stack up!
    • DeathKnight: Anti-magic zone talent (spellid:51052) 75% spell damage reduction, 10 seconds with a 2 metre range.
    • Druid: Tranquility (spellid:740) channeled, 8 seconds with a 8 metre range.
    • Monk: Zen meditation (spellid:115176) redirects 5 harmful spells, 8 seconds with a 3 metre range.
    • Monk: Avert harm brewmaster(spellid:115213) 20% all damage redirected, 6 seconds with a 3 metre range.
    • Monk: Revival mistweaver (spellid:115310) (instant/3 metre range).
    • Paladin: Devotion aura (spellid:31821 20% magic damage reduction, 6 seconds with a 3 metre range.
    • Priest: Divine Hymn (spellid:64843) channeled, 8 seconds with a 3 metre range. - HOLY ONLY
    • Priest: Lightwell (spellid:724) 15 charges or 3m/3 metre range. - HOLY ONLY
    • Priest: Power Word: Barrier (spellid:62618) 25% damage reduction, 10 seconds with a 3 metre range. - DISC ONLY
    • Priest: Spirit Shell discipline (spellid:109964) absorption shields, 15 seconds with a 1 metre range. - DISC ONLY
    • Priest: Vampiric Embrace shadow (spellid:15286) 10s-glyphed or 15s-unglyphed/3 metre range. - SHADOW ONLY
    • Rogue: Smoke Bomb (spellid:76577) 20% damage reduction 5-7 seconds with a 3 metre range.
    • Shaman: Healing Tide Totem (spellid:108280) 11 seconds with a 3 metre range.
    • Shaman: Ancestral Guidance talent (spellid:108281)  Level 75 Talent TAKE IT!
    • Shaman: Spirit Link totem restoration (spellid:98008) 10% all damage reduction, 6 seconds with a 3 metre range.
    • Warrior: Demoralizing banner (spellid:114203) -10% damage dealt by all enemies, 15 seconds with a 3 metre range.
    • Warrior: Rallying cry (spellid:97462) temporary 20% increased health, 10 seconds with a 3 metre range.
    • Warrior: Mass spell reflection talent (spellid:114028) reflects 1 spell, 5 seconds with a 1 metre range.

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    Wednesday, 9 July 2014

    How to: Bind a Macro to a Key Without Using Addons.

    With the Warlords of Draenor beta being addon free, I've been looking around for a way to bind a macro to a keybind.

    Hunting around I discovered a script that allows just that (which sadly doesn't fix the issue as scripts are also currently banned on beta). However, as I'm hoping to free myself of as many addons as possible when warlords hits the streets sometime in 2015 (?) it will be some use later on.

    The command you need to run is:
        /run SetBindingMacro("SHIFT-A", "MacroName")
        /run SaveBindings(1)
    I use a macro on a hotbar for this and recommend you do too as I'm not too sure how it behaves if you simply type it in on two lines. Of course, when you do this, you need to change the exact wording to fit your needs:
    • Replace SHIFT-A with whatever key you want to bind the macro to (e.g. A, ALT-A, CTRL-SHIFT-A);
    • Replace MacroName with the name of your macro;
    • Replace the 1 in the SaveBindings call to a 2 if you use character specific key bindings which I don't as all of my character use the same bindings;

    You can also replace MacroName with the name of a spell or other ability, which can be useful especially for pet abilities.
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    Monday, 30 June 2014

    Getting Ready For Realm Connection

    With the connection of Aszune and Shadowsong announced as being July 2nd, I decided to check out the web for a list of common issues post connection, so I could be prepared for the worst, should it happen. What I found was reassuringly few problems but the ones I did find were fairly major ones.
    PROBLEM: ALL characters vanished during the connection process. Blizzard is did restore the toons and did make this their no1 priority but still there can be delays.
    SOLUTION: Open ONE ticket to request ALL your characters be restored and list ALL character names, guild names and specify the server name.
    PROBLEM: Players who have deleted characters and created new ones to replace them have seen the deleted character(s) reappear and the new one(s) disappear after the realm connection.
    SOLUTION: Deleting the "deleted" character, switching to a different realm and then back to home realm will update the character list to restore the "missing" character. If that fails, log out of then back in and if you're still missing a character, open ONE ticket to request the missing characters be restored and list ALL character names, guild names and specify the server name.
    PROBLEM: Guilds have disappeared.
    SOLUTION: If you're not an officer, don't panic let your officers do that! If you're an officer, still don't panic raise ONE ticket explaining the problem and let your other officers know you've done it. No point slowing the Blizzard folk down with duplicate tickets..
    PROBLEM: All mail went missing. Blizzard will try to restore the missing mail but they can't guarantee they will restore everything and they won't accept your word for what went missing!
    SOLUTION: Make sure to empty out the mailbox for ALL your toons and avoid sending mail unless absolutely necessary.
    PROBLEM: Auction Houses have lost all auctions. Blizzard restored the deleted auction items to the players who had posted them but it can take days and that's several days you won't able to sell those items and earn gold.
    SOLUTION: Don't post auctions that will end after 2am Wednesday morning. To be 100% safe, don't post any auctions AFTER 2am Monday morning.
    PROBLEM: Raid lockouts are lost. That means any old raid saves may be lost. Also if the connection gets postponed to Thursday, we may be at the start again on Thursday.
    SOLUTION: We will get 2 lockouts, progress will be hindered BUT we get 2 shots at loot.
    PROBLEM: If you have the Valor of the Ancients buff you'll lose the buff during connection. Unfortunately, the system still retains a memory of the VP already earned by character for the week.
    SOLUTION: You'll need to cap on a different toon. However, this will only be a problem IF you cap between the weekly reset and for the server shutdown prior to the connection. As our connection is Wednesday morning, don't cap until after the connection. You could also get close to cap so you'll only need a quick HC or a few daily quest hand-ins to cap.
    Hopefully, as we're far from the first realms to be connected, whatever was causing some of the issues above has been fixed. But it is still good to be prepared and if something major goes wrong don't panic, it will most likely not only be you and simply raise a ticket and give Blizzard as much info as you possibly can and be patient.

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    Sunday, 29 June 2014

    Sunday Screenshot #41

    Got a few minutes yesterday to take a peak into the Warlords Beta, something I never had the chance to do with my alpha access, on loading up you are presented with the image above as a splash screen. I was expecting the images to link to other items, but currently they don't.

    I'll be taking a better look round over the next few days and will most likely post a few things here also.

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    Thursday, 26 June 2014

    Malkorok Sucks Balls?

    Just a quick post on my latest kill, Heroic Malkorok. Horrible fight, really bad for discipline healing too just because of the way it works, all heals are converted to a shield (just like normal) and that means the person who needs healing most isn't the person with the lowest HP but the person with the weakest shield.

    That mechanic works great for all healing classes except for atonement healing as that targets the person at lowest HP, if that is your tank disc priest is happy priest as you can smite and heal just as before. If that person is a ranged DPS it sucks as all atonement healing could be hitting someone who has a full shield than your atonement is converted into over healing and you've got a sad disc priest.

    Sure disc isn't a one trick pony, but if you gear for that one trick, and which disc priest doesn't? You are left high and dry spamming prayer of healing, Power Word: Shield on tanks and puddle soakers and hoping your DPS are smart enough to pull big numbers before your mana pool gets depleted because you've reforged and geared away from spirit.

    Anyway, my kill I felt like a spare part because my numbers sucked, big time sucked. I've done more research into why and it seems I did only one thing wrong I used smite instead of prayer of healing.

    I'll know this week to sort the groups so I have a tank in each group and can then spam Prayer of Healing on the two tanks. Simple fix, should provide better output but engaging gameplay? Hardly it is almost as bad as the PW:S spam from ICC. But hey, if it gets us to Spoils I'll be a happy disc priest, and if I replace my normal mode Sullen Fury with the HC one, I'll weep tears of joy.

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    Monday, 23 June 2014

    Connected At Last!

    Aszune and Shadowsong to be connected together soon after June 25th 2014
    Princess Aszune and Maiev Shadowsong the namesakes of our realms
    Well OK not actually connected but that days is not far away as this week the announcement that I have been praying for each week finally came. Shadowsong EU is to get connected, To Aszune. Wait what realm? I'd never heard of it during my research into realm pops so this one had slipped through my radar completely, the cynic in me made me suspect that this realm connection was to a Horde biased realm and that wasn't going to help Shadowsong at all. So I got out the old detective kit and went searching for some positive news.

    What I found was, thankfully, all good. Firstly I discovered that Aszune has a similar population balance to Shadowsong, both realms have approx 60,000 characters with an Alliance heavy faction bias. This means that it puts the realms into the same character population bracket as Magtheridon.

    Of these characters about 20,000 on each realm are 90. So however you look at it there will be double the number of characters around to raid/PVP with which is bloody awesome. However, the physical trip to Aszune (OK it is virtual but I sent atoon there) revealed a realm that felt quiet just like Shadowsong. This isn't what Magtheridon feels like and there the population is 60k per faction. The merged Aszune/Shadowsong will have almost 100k Alliance. I suspect therefore that many of the realms characters are inactive. So while it may be good it won't feel very busy, but it will feel busier..

    A look over at WoWProgress and Guild Ox shows that the raiding is very similar on both servers although Aszune is rated marginally higher than Shadowsong, this is good for my raid team even though we will drop in the 10 man (from server 9th to server 21st) and 25 man rankings (from server 5th to server 9th). 

    PVP on Aszune is also ranked slightly higher than it is on Shadowsong, this is again good news for my RBG team but will mean that we have more competition. We will still be ranked no 1, but we're only a few points ahead of the top 3 RBGs teams there so we will need to keep focused and work hard for our ranking from now on.

    The chatter on Shadowsong is very positive about this and a few Shadowsongsters have made friendly posts on the Aszune realm forum although at the last look the same hasn't happened on the Shadowsong realm forum but at least the two communities are talking to each other which can only be good. I know my guild will be having a recruitment drive on Aszune soon and hopefully this will be the beginning of something great.

    And finally, if, like me, you're thinking who/what/where is the realm named after.....
    WoWPedia wrote:
    Aszune was a night elf princess. Long ago she mocked the Oracle's wisdom. As punishment, she was transformed into living stone. Only the retrieval of her gemstone heart could end the curse.

    Thrall happened upon the statue in the caverns of Stonetalon Peak during the Third War. The statue's magic created an impassable barrier, and the voice of Aszune spoke in Thrall's mind. The imprisoned spirit told him that she would not allow passage to the Oracle's domicile until her heart was returned to her.

    Thrall found the heart in the possession of a red dragon. The dragon was under attack and nearly killed by harpies that were after its treasure. Thrall retrieved the dragon's magical amulet and gave it to Aszune. With this act, he ended the curse, allowing her spirit rest, and also the barrier that denied him access to the Oracle was lowered.[1]

    The essence of Aszune's heart had come, through unknown means, into the hands of the Kirin Tor of Dalaran (after the city was destroyed too, it seems). They locked it away in the dungeons beneath the city, where it was eventually found by Lady Vashj.[2]

    The Pillars of Aszune is a series of arcs on the Broken Isles that lead to the open sea. When Maiev Shadowsong was fighting off the Naga forces, her runner got through the Pillars of Aszune to reach Malfurion Stormrage on Kalimdor.[3] The name of the pillars implies that Aszune lived before the Great Sundering and was rather famous.

    Nothing is known about Aszune beyond the information revealed in the above missions of Warcraft III. Her title suggests she might be related to Queen Azshara, but no information on this has been established. She makes no appearance in any document pertaining to the War of the Ancients - if she was indeed related to Azshara then she was likely imprisoned some time before the war, as no relations of Azshara would have gone undocumented afterward. However, there are a few obscure highborne princes featured in World of Warcraft, such as Prince Tortheldrin and Prince Toreth (and possibly Lord Talendar in The Frozen Throne), and she could have been their equivolent for the Kelani Magi, who had some connection to the caverns and ruins beneath Stonetalon Peak. She was also cursed for her arrogance, a trait typical of the Highborne. Her name appears to be somewhat similar to Queen Azshara's."
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    Sunday, 8 June 2014

    Sunday Screenshot #40

    Decided that this week is the week to bring you guys up to date with my latest and greatest kill shots as it seems to have been months since I did the guild killshot pictures. So forgive me if there are any repeats!

    And now for some non-heroic ones

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    Saturday, 7 June 2014

    Working Together Brings Greater Success

    My guild, Exhumed of Shadowsong EU are trying to build a Mythic raid team for Warlords. This is no secret in the guild or outside and that goal is something I am not just saying to make people feel good. I am heavily invested in this goal as I play the game for raiding remove raiding from my game time and I'll stop playing WoW all together.

    One of the current main obstacles is recruiting new people because Shadowsong has a tiny population and too many raid guilds. However, I'm personally working hard in game to get that happening for us so Exhumed isn't a casualty of the conversion to Mythic raiding and there will be guilds that die because of this. 

    Recruitment is the primary reason we are putting together 25 man raids on a Sunday and Monday. Having experience from the real world of being a manager of people, I know that the best way of building a team is not to lose the team members you already have and to treat them so well that they not only want to stay, but they bring their friends here too because they're always telling their friends of what a great place it is here.

    There is also a benefit to the team in keeping changes to a minimum and research has proven that teams, like individuals, experience a learning curve and as their members become familiar with one another the team becomes more successful and almost three quarters aviation "incidents" happen on the first day of flying together. I guess that is why our raid team does so well given that we only raid 6 hours per week.

    However, you cannot always keep everyone happy enough for them not to leave for something better and if someone is set on achieving something we cannot offer them I'll gladly help them achieve their goal. But that means that they need to let me know before they go and sadly, that is something that didn't happen recently with one of our key raiders who left us because he didn't think we will be able to expand to 20-man, he may be correct but if I had known 3 weeks ago that he felt this way and was considering leaving I could have talked to him about why I think he was wrong and how I feel it can offer him what he would like to get out of the game in the future. If after that talk he still wanted to leave, I would have at least known and started recruiting specifically to fill the position while he was looking for a new guild, just as an employer would in the real world when you hand in your notice.

    I consider all guildies friends and I'll always try to help my friends achieve their goals, even if it means having to wave to them as they leave. So I've asked my guildmates to speak with me if they're wanting more than the guild can offer them so hopefully we can work something out that means they don't have to leave us unless it is truly something greater than the guild can offer. 

    Am I being reasonable? Should I expect people that act like friends not to do things secretively? I think the answer to both those questions is yes. But then I guess that just my old fashioned ways from another era.

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    Monday, 26 May 2014

    Vision or Delusion? You Decide!

    Been thinking a lot about this recently and how we can get the benefits of a big server without moving everything off of Shadowsong.

    What we're after is a bigger pool of players to recruit from than Shadowsong is able to offer us. Somewhere like Silvermoon is perfect as it has a big Alliance heavy population. It is a perfect realm for what we want, but none of us really fancy the expense of moving 600 characters to a different realm, and I'm sure Blizzard would hate such an influx to what is already the EU's most populated Alliance biased PVE realm.

    The question is do we have to?

    With the way the game is moving I have always believed that Blizzards ultimate goal is to have 4 "servers" in each region, PVP, PVE, RP and RP-PVP. If I am correct our current server based communities will become irrelevant and our recruitment pool will be everyone within the PVE environment in the EU.

    Therefore, I have thought about ways we can be "ahead of the curve" and solve our current recruitment issue and I thik I have a crazy idea that might just work. 

    Create a sister guild, called Exhumed, on Silvermoon and join forces to raid with them. The only two issues I see are:
    • our current website cannot  deal with non-Shadowsong "guildies" and that makes managing event signups difficult;
    • Mythic raiding will not be possible cross realm;
    • No cross realm chat;
    Both the first problems are easily solved by having those Mythic raiders transfer to Shadowsong, which then only leaves the signup issue for normal (aka  flex), heroic (aka normal) and RBGs, which can be resolved by creating alts on Shadowsong purely for the purpose of signing up to events. The third problem is a big one that I cannot think of a way to solve, and may be the showstopper.

    Not sure if this is a vision or delusion but I've put it to my fellow officers and get their opinions on the matter. No doubt I'll be declared a crazy fool!

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    About the Author

    By day I'm an IT Server analyst for a major telecoms compnay in the UK and I've been playing World of Warcraft since November 2005 when a pair of colleagues bullied me into playing! I have evolved into a raider (summer 2006), an auction house wheeler dealer (2007), a guild officer (2007), an altoholic (2008), a raid leader (2008), a Warcraft blogger (2010) and a PVPer (2012)

    My main has, and always will be Evlyxx, a priest and I love to heal. I started as Holy in vanilla, dabbled with the shadow side during the middle part of Burning Crusade, before returning to Holy but I have been mostly Discipline since mid-Wrath.

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