Category Archives: how-tos

WoD 6.2: Taming the Fel Wolf

So if you’ve spent any time in Tanaan, you’ve probably noticed that there are a ton of super cool glowy green wolves hanging around.  You’ve also probably noticed that they are classed as Aberrations, not beasts, which means that not only can we not track them, but we also can’t tame them.

…not the normal way, anyway.

You see, way down south there is an Eredar NPC called Fel Rangari Anaara and she drops an item that lets you tame one of those cool glowy wolves.  There is, of course, a catch.  The catch is that she is hunter-only– any other classes that try to kill her (or help you kill her) will be almost instantly destroyed– and you’re going to have to pull almost every skill you’ve got out of your toolbox in order to do her in.


So how do you do it?  Here’s how.

First, clear the area of as many trash mobs as you possibly can so you don’t aggro them during the encounter.

Next, begin the encounter.  I popped Stampede right away for immediate burst and then proceeded to begin slowly working her down.  There are a couple of important tips and tricks to be aware of during this encounter, namely:

  • KEEP MOVING, because she will throw Bads at you that WILL do serious damage to you if you stand in them.  Having Aspect of the Cheetah on (with the glyph that removes the daze effect) is a big help.
  • Every so often she gains a buff that does serious damage to your pet.  Keep an eye on her active buffs and use Tranquilizing Shot to remove this as soon as possible.
  • She will use Soothe Pet on occasion to knock your pet out of action.  Use Master’s Call or Bestial Wrath (if you are BM) to wake your pet up.  You can kite her a bit with Concussive Shot if these moves are on cooldown.
  • She will cast a heal on herself two or three times during the fight.  Interrupt this with Counter Shot immediately or she heals back up to 100%.  Which is a big pain in the tushie.
  • She goes invisible every so often; use Flare to find her.
  • Be very careful with AOEs like Barrage because it’s very easy to aggro nearby mobs like seagulls and whatnot.  (You can see in the above screenshot that I did just that and had to trap it to get it out of the way.)
  • Keep Mend Pet up constantly

You can also take advantage of garrison followers,  items like Mecha-Blast Rocket, and that one move that calls a bunch of garrison grunts to fight for you.

This encounter will probably take you a couple of tries to get the hang of movement, her abilities, and the rhythm of the fight.  Don’t be afraid to use a flask, use the nearby, and pop a food buff.  If you flub up, feign death and try again.

When all is said and done, though, it’s totally worth it:

WoWScrnShot_070515_142610So yeah, pretty neato!

Questions or comments?  Lemme know!

Beast Masters, have I got a WeakAuras script for you

Focus Fire is a very finicky and situational buff that Beast Master hunters have to be juggling a lot in order to maintain our top DPS.

WeakAuras is an addon that lets you import scripts that can tell you when and where to push buttons and things.

You can see where this is going.

Yes, there is a WeakAuras script that will display little bouncing icons telling you when to use Focus Fire and when to wait.  I put off installing this script for a while, because as I’m sure all three of you long-time readers that are still here recall, I was always proud of eschewing macros and scripts and things for, well, doing things the hard way.

Obligatory old-school raiding screenshot to break up the text.
Obligatory old-school raiding screenshot to break up the text.

But this script is great and, honestly, probably necessary because of just how much micromanagement you’ve gotta do with Focus Fire in order to get the most out of it.

Basically, install WeakAuras and then copy paste this entire script in.  Next, head to the nearest training dummy or proving grounds and watch in amazement as you’re suddenly doing more DPS because you’re timing Focus Fire correctly thanks to the WeakAuras alerts and warnings.  (With thanks to Summonstone for the tip-off).

Alrighty, that’s your guide for today.  Next time on How To BM Hunter: Ten Trillion Cooldowns, Juggling, and YOU!

The Quickest Noblegarden Guide Ever

1. Go to a level 5-ish “starter town”: Goldshire, Dolanaar, Razor Hill, Brill, etc.

2. Find eggs that are hidden around the town. On some low-pop servers people are running around grabbing eggs as they find them, on others people are camping egg spawn points which means you’ll probably have to also.

3. Open the eggs as you get them, inside you’ll get a lot of chocolate which you can use as currency and occasionally also some toys and items.

4. Visit the Noblegarden quartermaster (there is one in every aforementioned starter-town), any of the items you need for the achievement if you want it, and/or did not get inside eggs, are available to buy for chocolate.

5. ???

6. Profit!

I’ve written before about how I’m not really big into the holiday achievements partially because they are stressful (and thus, in my mind, counter to the point of having a holiday) and partially because I’ve already done them all before. However, with the new Noblegarden, I hadn’t done it before, so I went out and spent several hours yesterday collecting eggs. Not for the achievement and title, though I am definitely scooping up a few of the fun ones along the way… but because I can add more toys to my collection. My motto: one can never have too many toys for one’s backpack.

Oh, and my toons look superfriggin’-cute with bunny ears.

[Insert screenshot here that I’d post if the realms weren’t down. Feel free to pretend it’s the greatest screenshot you’ve ever seen.]

How to: Make a World of Warcraft Movie

Loronar asked me to write up a little tutorial on how to make a WoW movie.

Sure thing!

This is going to be super basic. No need to download too many fancy programs. This means you won’t be able to do too much fancy stuff with your movies, but you WILL be able to make a basic movie and add your own sound and that type of thing.

This tutorial is written for Windows XP because it’s what most people use and because sadly, there does not seem to be a good solid program yet for Linux that works well with WoW/Wine. I’ve looked. I imagine they’ll have one out probably in the next couple of years but until then, I use Windows for my movie-making needs. (I imagine the tutorial for Vista would be similar– but I’ve never used Vista so I can’t say.)

How to Make a World of Warcraft Movie:

1.) Download Fraps. Fraps is the only program I’ve found thus far that works as well as it does. There are other free, open source programs out there which I’d rather be using but most of them are still sort of “in beta” and do not work with WoW, at least not as well as you need it to. So for now there is really one thing you can use to record a movie if you are on Windows, and that is Fraps.

You will need to pay a one-time fee of about $35 to unlock the full program (being able to record more than 30 seconds at a time). If you don’t feel like paying a fee I’m sure there’s other ways to “acquire” the full version. But you didn’t hear that from me. =P Myself, I just coughed up the money.

Basically after you pay you’ll be able to access a “members only” section of the site, and download a full version.

2.) Install Fraps. Straightforward enough.

3.) Open Fraps. You have some options in here you can play with. The options are pretty self-explanatory. I myself left pretty much everything at default, although I did disable sound recording so I could record my own sound (also because it saves a little disk space). On the subject of disk space, the movies you are going to be recording will be huge initially, so make sure you have a lot of hard drive space available.

4.) Minimize Fraps and boot up World of Warcraft. You will notice you have a number in the upper left corner of your screen. This is not going to go away so long as you have Fraps running. It displays your Frames-per-second. If the numbers are yellow, it means you are not recording, if they’re red, it means that you are. The numbers will not show up on your finished movie, so don’t worry. Now let’s say you just want to record a test movie to make sure everything’s working right. Press F9. It’ll probably open one of your bags, but wait, it also makes Fraps start recording! See, the little number in the corner turned red. And if you have a computer that boasts pretty good but not excellent stats, as mine does, you will probably notice that your game is slightly choppier now. You will lose some FPS while Fraps does its thing, but unless your computer is really outdated the game should still be playable, if a little bit choppier.

5.) You can run around for a bit, shoot some stuff, whatever you want to record. Then press F9 again to stop recording. The number will turn yellow again and your game will probably get a lot smoother. And your bag will either open or close again. (You can go into the options and set the default recording key to something else if you don’t want it to also open your bags. Or you can just do what I do and open your bag before you record, so it closes it when you start.)

6.) You now have a movie in your Fraps folder, which by default is C:/Fraps. But you’re not finished yet because maybe you want to add music– not to mention the movie is way too big to upload to YouTube right now. Fortunately, Windows comes with something called Windows Movie Maker. Just go into your Start Menu and find it, it’s not in any subfolders or anything.

7.) Open Windows Movie Maker. You have a sidebar that gives you some options, you want to click on “Import Video” and navigate to your Fraps folder and import your movie. Now it’s going to show little thumbnails of parts of your movie in the main area. Drag each of these parts, in order, down to the timeline at the bottom and arrange them one after the other. You can press play to preview your movie and make sure you got all your thumbnails in there (one time I forgot and finished/uploaded an entire movie before I realized that a portion of it was missing– do not let this happen to you! =P)

8.) So you have what we in the industry call “picture lock”. (Look Mom, I’m using my degree!) This means that the picture part of your movie is all finished and you just need to add sound. Go back to the sidebar and click on “Import Audio or Music”. Now you can navigate to maybe some music you want to add, or some narration that you made, and import it in. It’s going to show up with all your movie thumbnails. You can drag it down to the bottom section of the timeline and move it around so it starts and ends when you want it to. You can also trim your song if maybe it’s too long, you do that by finding the end that you want to clip, waiting until it turns into a little double-headed red arrow, and then dragging it down so it matches up in length with your movie. If you have more than one sound file you’d like to use, you can upload more than one and put one right after the other.

9.) Now I should warn you– chances are your audio clip is going to be very very loud by default. To fix this, click on your audio, go into the “Clip” menu at the top of the program, go into Audio, go into Volume, and set it so it’s a lot lower. (You can also fade your audio in and out and a few other basic things here.)

10.) Alright, you can play your movie back and if everything looks good, head over to “Save to my computer” on the sidebar. It will give you some options about what to name your movie, where to save it, what size you want it to be, etc. If you want to make a fairly-decent-sized movie you can upload to YouTube or Blogger, I recommend saving the movie as “Other Settings: High Quality Video (Large)”. Eventually it will get to a part where it has to process your movie; depending on how long your movie is this will take ten or fifteen minutes or so.

11.) After processing you’ve got a nice little WoW movie sitting on your desktop (or wherever you decided to save it)! Congrats! You can now upload it to YouTube, Blogger, or something similar– be aware that the uploading process for both of these also takes ten or fifteen minutes or so.

And there you have it, that’s how you make a WoW movie with minimum amounts of fuss. Have fun filming!

Linux and WoW – a Q&A

Mirsh recently wrote up a little Linux guide over at his blog and since Linux is my operating system of choice, I figured it would be good for me to write some stuff about it as well.

As you may or may not be aware, I play WoW exclusively on Linux. I have never logged into any of my characters on a Windows or Mac machine; they have all been leveled exclusively on an unsupported operating system. It takes both some work and some luck to get WoW running well on Linux– fortunately I was willing to do the work and I had luck on my side.

So let’s begin:

What is Linux?: Linux is a free, open-source operating system based on UNIX. By free and open-source, I mean that everybody can use it and its components for free, and you can also modify them to fit your liking if you so wish.

Why do you use Linux?: Many reasons. For starters I wanted to support the free/open-source software movement because I agree with much of the philosophy. Secondly, I wanted to learn more about computers, and let me tell you, I have never learned more about computers in my life than I have since I installed Linux about a year ago. Oh, and of course, the “free” bit is a huge plus. I got sick of having to call Microsoft and explain to them why I was installing their software again after a reinstall, I got sick of the way certain music formats that I downloaded would only play on certain media players and then on certain mp3 players, and I got sick of having to pay to use so much software. Linux is free to install as many times as you want, supports free and open music formats, and has all sorts of good quality software completely for free. I’m all over that.

How come more people don’t use Linux, then?: Although Linux is pretty big in the server market, I believe the current desktop Linux usage is 1.3% or something, possibly less. There are a few things holding this back, I think… one is that it’s very hard to find computers with Linux pre-installed on them, whereas you can easily buy computers with either Windows or Apple software installed on them. (Note: Dell very recently started marketing computers with Linux, so this is changing.) Secondly, a lot of people see Linux as being difficult to use and firmly in the realm of computer geeks. I think that while this used to be so, this is changing as well. The most difficult part of using Linux in my experience has been the fact that because so few people use it, not a lot of things are officially supported for it. So getting stuff like your scanner, your printer, etc. to work can take some doing. But even then if I can do it, I think most people can. =P

The Linux geek readers want to know… what distro do you use?: Kubuntu 6.06 Dapper Drake, currently. It is the only OS installed on both my desktop and my laptop computers. I originally was going to dual-boot with Windows but it messed up somewhere along the way, so I said “screw it” and went completely Linux. I haven’t looked back. 😉

Now on to everybody’s favorite MMO…

WoW isn’t officially supported on Linux, correct?: That is correct. WoW is supported on Windows and Mac. If we Linux users want to play WoW, we have to install some other software to help us. I should also mention here that the Blizzard response to Linux-WoWers seems to be unofficially positive; that is to say, people occasionally post “Linux and WoW” guides on the forums and “Blue” will respond with stuff like “great guide” and “thanks for helping the Linux users”.

But didn’t some guy get his account banned for playing on Linux?: From what I have been able to gather, he was also using a unique keyboard and that is what got him banned. There have been stories of a “mass banning” of Linux players, but this later turned out to be a mistake and Blizzard apologized to everybody and gave their accounts back.

Okay… so what software do you have to install to use WoW?: There are different programs you can use, but I myself use Wine. From the Wine website: “Wine is an Open Source implementation of the Windows API on top of X, OpenGL , and Unix. Think of Wine as a compatibility layer for running Windows programs. Wine does not require Microsoft Windows, as it is a completely free alternative implementation of the Windows API consisting of 100% non-Microsoft code, however Wine can optionally use native Windows DLLs if they are available.”

How do you get it set up?: At its core, the idea is that you install Wine, and then install Windows software through Wine and it will run for you. WoW requires some special tweaks and configuration, and I should also mention here that it seems to be very hardware-dependent: some people can’t get WoW working at all and for others it runs flawlessly.

I followed this guide basically to the letter.

Some people have framerate issues which can often be solved by trying the methods offered here.

Any further questions can be posed in this thread on Ubuntu Forums and answered by very helpful people.

(Note: the above guides are tailored to Debian-based distros such as Ubuntu. Directions will be slightly different on certain other distros, but still follow the same basic idea.)

Do you encounter any problems while playing WoW in Linux?: For the most part, my WoW experience has been a very smooth and enjoyable one. We have to thank the Mac people here really; Mac and Linux are both built off of the same UNIX core so because WoW includes components that help it run on a Mac, we can also run it with very little problems in Linux.

Occasionally I have run into quirks but these have inevitably ended up being Blizzard problems or occasionally Wine problems.

An example of a “Blizzard problem” would be the recent “voice chat patch” where sound was suddenly messed up for a lot of people, myself included, not just Linux users. Blizzard released a mini-patch not long afterwards that fixed this problem.

An example of a “Wine problem” would be a recent Wine update that caused the game to crash on exit. This was worked around either by downgrading your Wine version or by alt+tab’ing out of the game and closing it via a script. This bug has been fixed in newer Wine updates.

Is there anything about WoW that flat-out doesn’t work in Linux?: At the moment I can’t really think of anything. Voice chat still has some issues but I know of some people who have gotten it to work. You used to not be able to change video settings in the game because it would crash, but Wine has fixed that since then.

There is/was (not sure if it’s still there) a bug that caused the game to lose sound when you alt+tab’d if you were playing fullscreen. This was easily worked around by setting the game to “Windowed Mode” and then maximizing it.

Okay, but the game works better natively in Windows/Mac than it does in Linux, right?: Maybe it does, but not to a discernable degree for me. People who are into having THE ULTIMATE BEST FRAMERATE POSSIBLE
may very well be better off sticking to playing the game natively. But the game still seems to run at about 50-70 frames per second for me, dipping lower in the cities of course, and this is very, very playable. The only time I have played WoW on Windows was for a few minutes when my sister was playing on her computer and she asked me to take over for a bit. So I did, and I really noticed no difference in graphics quality or framerate between WoW on Windows and WoW on Linux. But then again, I was only playing for a few minutes.

Any lag you experience will be lag you would have experienced on Windows anyway. My boyfriend plays on Windows and he actually experiences far more lag and slowdown than I do. I am inevitably always the first person to get out of the new-continent-loading-screens, and my game does not slow down at all when I alt+tab to check WoWhead or Thottbot, whereas it does for him. =P

And you named your pet after the Linux mascot as a tribute?: Yes.

Wow, you are a geek. And awesome.: Why, thank you, on both counts =D

Alrighty, that does it. Hopefully I covered a lot of frequently asked questions there or gave you a general idea of what it takes to run WoW on Linux. Also, hopefully I didn’t bore you, I realize this was a rather long post.

Please, if you have any comments or questions, ask away! If I get a lot of them I might make a “part two” to this series with actual reader questions, rather than ones I made up on the spot.

And here is a rather old screenshot of me playing WoW on Linux. Normally I play fullscreen, but this screenshot was taken to show that I am, in fact, playing on Linux (or at least a KDE-based UI.):

The game runs just as smoothly windowed as it does full-screen. And as you can see, add-ons work just fine in Linux. I believe there’s even a Linux version of the Ace2 updater, though I haven’t looked into that yet.

Happy questing, and as always, thank you for reading!