Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Exploring my dark side

What? I play the classes which are the epitome of evil. Death Knight, Warlock, Shadow Priest... what would I possibly consider worse than that?

I spent some time over the weekend on a long-abandoned toon, on the server where D and I keep our small, low-level Alliance toons. Here's a confession: I actually have a Night Elf Druid. Yup - I'm not proud of it, but there it is. Colbi managed 4 levels over the weekend, from 26 to 31. She's now the proud owner of a Striped Nightsaber mount, which imho is totally worth all the pain.

I'm leveling her Feral, since my leveling buddy is a Disc Priest, but I'm also compiling a set of healy / boomkin gear just in case. It really has been pretty fun and interesting to see the game from the other side. I have to say, though, after 3 years it's really hard for me to be comfortable walking around inside Southshore. I keep looking over my shoulder. And everytime I see a Gnome, I shudder. I hear that's common even with people who always play Alliance, but I'm hoping to be able to overcome that panicky reaction.

There should totally be some kind of counselor this. You know, there's grief counselors, and marriage counselors, and those who deal with addiction and troubled teens, and gender issues... where is my cross-faction counselor? WTB WoW-Yellow Pages so I can look one up.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Managing Your Minions - the Bonus Pets

What are these 'bonus pets' of which I speak? Ah... those would be the minions that you can only control briefly. And not by giving them wedgies. Ba Dum Shhhhhh.

Enslave(d) Demon

The spell becomes available at level 30. For the cost of a Soul Shard, you can appropriate just about any demon you like of appropriate level as your own personal minion for up to 5 minutes. Your new friend will replace any existing minion you have out and comes with his own ability bar (leash not included).

Pros: The spell is introduced right about the time a young Warlock will be visiting Desolace, making her visit to Mannoroc Coven a much more pleasant experience. For some odd reason, the Maraudon instance is also located in this zone. Although you won't be back for it until the high 40s - early 50s, Enslaving in Mara is also a real blast. You'll also enjoy this spell in Felwood and Blades Edge, but don't expect much use for it in Northrend.

Cons: While Banishing works for both Demons & Elementals, that's the not case for Enslave. Your target must be a Demon. When the spell breaks, you're going to have to deal with it. If you've Enslaved an elite, just banish it while you re-summon your Void, Sac for the bubble, and run.


Speaking of Felwood, level 50-ish 'Locks should seek out Niby the Almighty while exploring the zone. He will start you on your quest to receive the Inferno spell. Back when Mal did this, D was for some reason not available to help me. I can't remember why. What I DO remember is that the end boss of the quest chain was an Elite and a total PITA for a nublock like me to kill. IIRC, it took me a good 5-6 tries, using techniques like 1) enslaving a nearby Infernal to tank for me, 2) Fearing, dotting, fearing - dying, and 3) slowly funneling the Infernal while keeping only one DoT on the boss.

However - this was by and large one of the most hilarious things I've ever seen in WoW, and you do not want to miss it. If you're looking for some background on why this quest exists, make sure to read the comments on Wowhead and watch the video.**

Primary use is to drop an Inferno on the boss when he's got about a minute or so to live for extra dps. You can also summon them in lowbie starting zones to watch the newbies freak out, but really, that's about it.

Cons: Unlike Enslaved demons, the Infernal will simply go "poof!" when his spell wears off. He will, however, still leave you without a pet.


There are two different ways to get a temporary Doomguard of your very own; both require you to be at least level 60. The easy way is by using the Curse of Doom spell. If a mob dies from the damage of that curse, a Doomguard will spawn (when that mob gives XP, that is). Note that the mob must die from that spell - easiest way to accomplish this is to apply the curse to a demon or elemental and then immediately use a 30-second Banish. As soon as the Banish wears off, hit it again, this time with the 20-second version. Your mob will break free just in time to die of the Curse.

The more difficult option involves a quest. In order to get started, you must seek out Daio in the Tainted Scar area of the Blasted Lands zone. He will offer you two quests: The Prison's Bindings and The Prison's Casings. Neither are particularly easy for a level 60 'Lock to complete, but with the help of just one high-level friend (and the key to Dire Maul) you can reasonably expect to knock these out in short time. Return to Daio to receive the Suppression quest. Make sure to pick up the item near your entrapped Doomguard - without it you won't receive credit!

Pros: You only get the little guy for 15 minutes, so make good use of him! He will substantially increase your dps in dungeons, so it's definitely worth it. Plus, he's so just so damn cool. His abilities include a Stomp and a Rain of Fire, so he offers some great AoE potential.

Cons: He's temporary. /sad face. Also, you need to make sure you're carrying around a supply of Demonic Figurines if you choose to summon him via Ritual; since bag-space is a premium for 'Locks, that's a consideration.

**There is an encounter in Molten Core where one member of the raid becomes "the bomb." One Warlock, Biny, received that debuff on his minion. He promptly dismissed the minion. This did not, however, remove the debuff. When he resummoned his minion, it blew up causing massive AoE damage to all players in the vicinity. He then began using this trick to blow up players hanging out in Stormwind, which is actually pretty hilarious when you think about. /salute Biny, now THAT's evil.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Malarea tries out the new 'Sacrifice' spell; merriment ensues

So, if you haven't heard, Patch 3.1.2 brought a rather shocking change to the familiar old Warlock standby, the Voidwalker. His Sacrifice ability was once saved for the squeamish, looking for an easy way to run from danger. No more - 'Locks everywhere are laughing in the faces of their enemies - for 30 seconds or until they have absorbed ~8k damage, at least. And then they are running.

I really had not paid any attention to specifics behind 3.1.2, and was only directed there this morning by my AzAdv editor on an unrelated matter. Imagine how my little black heart leapt when I saw the Warlock section of the patch notes! My supply of Mage Tears has been running a little low, so this looks like an awesome re-stocking opportunity. I adjourn now to Arathi Basin to try this out.

Attempt #1:
Okay - it appears my bubble isn't strong enough to hold up through 5 attackers at once. I shall be more crafty in the future.

Attempt #2: Hiding in the bushes, I'm able to pick off 2 or three. Until, that is, I screw up and use a Drain. /stupidlock

Attempt #3: I &%$ing hate Rogues.

Attempt #4: I achieve some marginal success. My purply-green bubble isn't made of steel, that's for sure. And it appears that I can still be stunned while wearing it which doesn't seem fair at all. In a one-on-one confrontation, I'm loving it. I think with some practice, and carrying around some Free Action pots, I could just about be a forced to be reckoned with. Sure.

*Definitely do check out the amazing blogs linked above - Mages or not, these are some awesome bloggers who really know their poop.

**Who knows the last time the word "poop" was used here? 50 dkp to the first correct commenter.

How To Set Up Equipment Manager

For fun and profit.

So patch 3.1.2 is now live and appears to be functioning rather well. At least, my home server is finally back up and running. While dual-specs brought a great deal of functionality to the game, something was still missing. No longer - we now have the Equipment Manager!

How to set it up, step by step

  1. Log on to any character with more than one piece of gear for a certain slot. This character does not have to have a complete 'set' of gear, you can set up your EM to switch as few or as many pieces as you like.
  2. Hit the ESC key, or click the computer icon for your Game Menu.
  3. Click 'Interface;' of the two tabs on the left, make sure 'Game' is selected. Select the 'Controls' option. At the bottom of this pane, click the box for 'Use Equipment Manager.' Click the 'Okay' button.
  4. Hit your C key, or click the 'Character Info' icon to bring up your character pane. You'll now see the Equipment Manager icon in the upper right corner. Click it.
  5. Clicking the 'Save' button at this point will save your currently equipped gear as a "set." Give your set a nice, short name and a relevant icon. For instance, on my Druid I named her usual set of gear "DPS" and chose the icon for Cat Form.
  6. Now, make your gear switches. For this example, I switched out to the Druid's basic set of cast-off cloth garb for a healing set.
  7. When you have made all changes, click the 'Save' button again, name your set, and choose an icon. I named my set "Healz" and chose the icon for Healing Touch.
  8. Click the icon for your first set again - your character switches gear!

Note that the equipment manager operates independently from the dual-spec interface. I'm actually thrilled about that, since I'm not springing for DSs on all my toons. Another great aspect of the EM is that if you keep your spare sets in the bank, you simply open your bank, open your character tab, click the gear set you want, and not only does your gear switch - your original set is placed in your bank, exactly where the secondary set was!

The only thing that the manager didn't solve for us is the need fill up so much storage space with gear sets. Unfortunately, those pieces of gear are still going to take up bank and bag slots. The ability to switch out on the fly, however, is an awesome utility. Especially for people like Tehrawr who often hearth at the end of a dungeon to discover that they're still wearing dps bracers, or something. Hey, she's Undead - we're lucky she remembers her name, for god's sake.

My full take on Patch 3.1.2, including the changes to one very dear-to-my-heart Warlock skill, is up on my Examiner page, be sure to check it out and tell me what you think!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Meta Lock

Just did a post for the Examiner that detailed a sample Demonology spec. I'm thinking of doing a weekly spec kind of thing, touching on sample specs for Locks, DKs, SPriests, etc... What are some really fun specs? They don't have to be the best at what they do, but they should have some type of fun mechanic, like combining Nightfall with a Glyph of Corruption for all those insta-Shadow Bolts.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Managing Your Minions - the Felhunter

This is the 4th article in this Warlock series about the care and feeding of one's summoned minions. For previous articles, see the Imp, the Voidwalker, and the Succubus.

Welcome to your 30th season, young instrument of doom! This is when your ability to summon the adorable Felhunter blooms. The minion of choice for Affliction Warlocks, the Felpuppy is really handy to have around in most situations. Upon visiting your trainer, you'll receive the quest to speak to Strahad Farsan in Ratchet. Luckily for you, you can also train for your mount at this level so that will save you a bit of time in completing Strahad's tasks.

Your shiny new minion arrives with the Devour Magic ability. Remember how I said that every Warlock needed to have macros for 3 of her minions' abilities? Devour Magic is macro #2.

Unlike a Shaman's Purge, Devour can remove good stuff from bad people AND bad stuff from good people. Where does this come in handy? Well, your 'puppy enjoys a rich diet of enemy HoTs, Polymorphs, Entangling Roots, and other Magic effects. He turns up his nose at curses and poisons, so it's important to get a good grasp of what type of mechanic each effect is. The easiest way to do this is just to mouse over the buff / debuff icon and check it out.

What you're looking for is the word, "Magic," in the upper right-hand corner. Now that looks yummy to him! Go ahead and target the player wearing the effect, then click the button to activate his ability. Poof - polymorph dissipates. This, my darling, is why Mages hate you. There are other reasons, too, but we'll get to those later.

That seemed easy enough - so why do we have to macro it? What if you're dpsing away on a mob, and your party member gets poly'd? Without a macro, you'd have to A) target the party member, B) Click the Devour Magic ability, and then C) regain your primary dps target again. Not only is that cumbersome, but it causes considerable delay in your response which lowers the dps and utility of both you and your afflicted party member.

Your macro will look different based on whether you're a keyer or a clicker. For instance, a simple "clicker's" macro could look like this:

/cast [button:2,target=player] Devour Magic; Devour Magic

Left-clicking the macro (Left-click is Button 1 on a mouse) will cause the Fel to Devour from your existing target, while right-clicking (that's Button 2) will ask him to Devour from you, the player. Easy enough, right? If you prefer to keybind your abilities, you can get a lot more functionality from a Mouseover macro. Look at this:

/cast [target=mouseover] Devour Magic

Mousing over your intended Devour target (whether that's yourself, your party member, an enemy player, mob, or just some guy next to you in Wintergrasp) and then hitting the key to which that macro is bound will allow your minion to target and cast independent of your own targeting! You've just eliminated all that cumbersome action from our original scenario. You don't have to mouseover the actual avatar; you can just mouseover the party-panel portrait. Note that those who must click their spells cannot, by definition, use Mouseover macros. It is possible to create a clickable macro using modifier buttons like Shift or Ctrl to give a few more options, but it's still more complicated and cumbersome with less functionality.

While the spell is designed to heal your Fel with each effect devouring, you can appropriate those heals for yourself by using the Glyph of Felhunter. If your focus is on PvP, you may choose that glyph and set the ability to auto-cast. Your Fel will probably find plenty of Magic to eat on his own, keeping you topped up, but the 8-second cool down will also probably keep you from having it at your disposal when you really want it. For all other uses, leave Devour Magic off of auto-cast so that you have it when you need it.

Fel Intelligence: Gained at level 32, this buff effectively replaces the Priest's duties in parties while providing some synergy with your own Life Tap and the Fel Armor you'll get at level 62. This ability should be set as "always on."

Level 36 brings access to Spell Lock, which is 'required Warlock-minion macro #3.' If the ability to Devour a Mage's poly didn't provide you with a sufficient supply of delicious tears, then adding a silence effect certainly will. Facing a Mage in the Battleground? Start casting an Immolate: if you're lucky, she will decide that you're Destro-specced and Counterspell it in hopes that she'll lock you out of your preferred school. Now she's confident that she has the upper hand and will hopefully go for her own major school. When you Spell Lock that - and you can, because it's your Fel's ability, not your own - you're now back on an even playing field and able to Death Coil, wind up a Fear, and start DoTting. She will not just hate you, but HATE you.

Here - have a straw.

Your basic Spell Lock macro for keyers and clickers looks like this:

#showtooltip Spell Lock
/cast Spell Lock

/y Silence! I kill you!

I'm compelled to yell the final line along with my 'Lock in my best 'Achmed the Dead Terrorist' voice. You can, however, take that part of the command out if you'd rather. If you're a keybinder AND situationally-aware enough that you notice some Mage in the back of the pack casting, you always use the Mouseover macro above, edited for the correct spell.

Finally, Shadow Bite becomes available at level 42. This is your 'Puppy's additonal dps ability. Mind you, it's still not great and won't come close to out-dpsing a Succubus, talented Imp, or FelGuard. I'm of the opinion that a Warlock is her own best dps-provider and minions are just there for the extra utility and the company. That having been said, extra dps IS extra dps so go ahead and leave that ability set to "auto-cast."

One interesting thing about Shadow Bite is that it contributes bonus dps based on how many DoTs you currently have ticking on your target. This is why the Improved Felhunter talent is in the Afffliction tree, and why he's the best minion for that spec.

This part of the series took some twists and turns, touching on some limited PvP strats, glyphing, keybinding and macros. The higher you level, the more you will find yourself needing this additional information and the more opportunities you will have to try out some of the cooler abilities. Be sure to check back often; the next part of this series discusses the Felguard, Infernal, and Doomguard!!

**Many thanks to Caitlynn of [Goddess of the Horde] for allowing me to test mouseover macros on her. She wouldn't accept payment for her time, so I gave her a Duel-icious achievement instead.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Preaching to the Choir - why seasonal PvP achievements were a VERY bad idea

PvPers: I am sorry.

You all don't want us there - we don't want to be there. The reward for the meta-achievement is not useful in PvP, and it makes no sense why players pursuing a PvE- and / or RP-based set of titles and achievements should have to ruin the PvP experience for those of you who actually enjoy (shudder) it.

I have nothing more to offer on this than just to point to





and many others and say, "Yah! What they said."

WoW Freelance Writing Gig

I've alluded to this a couple of times, and it looks like I'm finally at a point where I can start crowing about it. No, it's not THAT big of a deal, but it means a lot to me, so I'm happy to share this small success with the blogosphere.

You may notice that little logo over there on the left, you know, the new one. The one that looks like this: Go ahead, click on it, I'll wait.

YES! OMFG that's ME!! Fah reelz. I really don't expect that it will take anything away from here, since this is my little shadowy hideout for stuff about my other "Me"s. And yeah, they really are all kind of me, when I think about it. But I hope to have some good info there on the Examiner, too, and I'll make sure to point y'all in that direction whenever it's something I'd put in both places.

By all means, let me know what you think, if you have any suggestions, comments, or yes - even criticism. I can totally take it.


Okay, now.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Half-Assed Update Post - Partially Off-Topic

Okay, so I'm slammed today. First day of classes for the EMU spring semester was yesterday, and I'm taking 6 hours in a 7-week semester so I'm pretty 'up to my ears' in work. Read 7 chapters of Stealing Some God's Food, copy the definitions of some literary terms (what are we, 12? Okay, but I'm not going to color the correct spelling blue), and try to sort out the many different sources of information provided for my Technical Writing course. There's the main EMU student page, and then the "text" website (which is actually a subscription to the online content, no printed matter), and finally a class Wiki that we are all supposed to be helping to create.

Wait, what? Yeah, I know - we're totally learning how to create and maintain a Wiki in this class. Bonus! The markup language is kinda odd... it's not CSS or HTML, but still has some flavor of each, I think. I mean, thus far. All I've done is manage to activate my page, upload a photo, and create one bulleted list. We'll see. But I'm really excited about it, I totally dig this kinda thing. Don't get too excited yet, Kes, but I just might be able to offer you a hand on the TNB Wiki soon!

Meanwhile, I need to do the other two articles in my WoW-related freelance gig, and then come up with a good news-release kind of article for yet another WoW-related freelance gig. >.> More on that second thing coming soon, I promise, but for now let's just say I need to do a TON to get it to the point where I can start working it. Oh - I also need to learn how to be as good at Wordpress as I am here with Blogger. My local library had a grand total of ZERO books on WP, so I plan to check out the libary at EMU next.

WoW stuff - I did get my "Noble" title, that was no big drain on the brain. "Matron," however, appears to be beyond my grasp. I'm willing to bet that with a little luck and enough stabs at it, I could get the AV part of School of Hard Knocks. I'm also pretty sure, however, that there's no way in hell all of the above work will pay me enough to be able to afford the quanity of Xanax I'd have to take to get the WSG part. It's just not cost-effiective. And it's not like I had the Violet Protagonist (oh yeah, he totally is) up to this point, anyway, so what's one more missed title?

Speakin'a which, I was scrolling through some of the available achievements and you know which title I'd really like to have? "The Seeker". I think it fits me and my playstyle rather well - much better than "Matron" ever would. Just like for D, his most defining achievment was getting the "Explorer" title. It looks like I'm only ~600-700 quests short of hitting the 3000 quest mark, too. All in all, I think my time would be much better spent in poor, neglected Desolace than it would be in any Battleground. Other than Wintergrasp, of course. I still <3 Wintergrasp with big, pink, fluffy, sparkly hearts.

*Image curtesy of Zsuzsanna Kilián, located at

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Managing Your Minions - the Succubus

Previous articles were on the Imp and the Voidwalker if you need to catch up.

At level 20, your class trainer will offer you one of two quests, depending upon which one you visit. If you drop by the Undercity, Carendin gives you "Devourer of Souls." If you're closer to Orgrimmar - or even if you're not - you may prefer the chain that comes out of that capital city's trainers. It involves a little more work, but doesn't take you through a level 30 zone to kill a PvP target like the UC chain will.

Regardless, either chain is completed with a quest titled, "The Binding." Congratulations! It's a girl! Chances are that her "come-hither" moaning and tail-slapping will get on your nerves within the first hour or so. If that's the case, you can turn off pet-emotes. The "esc" key on your keyboard brings up the game's option list. Choose "Interface," and then "Sound and Voice." On the Voice tab is an option for "enable pet sounds" - un-check that and you're golden. Yay! Now you don't have to kill her yourself!

You will likely notice some big differences between your Succy and your Void. For one, the Succubus can't take the hits like Big Blue can. She makes up for though, with superior dps. For this reason, she normally gets the most exercise in dungeons and PvP. Let's take a look at what our Mistress of Lashes brings to the Warlock table.

Lash of Pain is the only real ability Miss Thang will have at her disposal. While her dps is mainly melee, this spell counts as additional Shadow damage. You can leave it set to auto-cast for all situations where additional dps is the Succubus's purpose.

Soothing Kiss - At your training session, level 22, this ability becomes available. Your Succy's kiss lowers her threat by a small degree. Keep in mind that if you're using her while soloing, you'll need to either keep your mob controlled with Fear or be prepared to spend a lot of time funneling health to your minion. Also note that Kiss will not have any effect in PvP, since players aren't bound by the AI's aggro mechanics. This ability isn't enough to keep her from taking some heat, but in party situations it will help her stay below the tank's threat.

Seduction becomes available at level 26. Although it's probably the most difficult form of crowd-control to master, Seducing a target can help you out quite a bit in both PvE and PvP. Take a moment to fully review the tooltip for this spell. While it has a 1.5 second cast time, it's also channeled. However, because the spell is cast by the minion, and not the Warlock, you can turn your attention to dpsing other targets while you have a mob Seduced. When the Seduce breaks you can count on its target heading straight for your minion - in most dungeons, this will mean almost instant death. For that reason, it's helpful to toss a Searing Pain just before the Seduce lands. That will raise you above your minion on the threat table.

Once you've gotten the handle of using Seduction to take a mob out of play, you can get fancy with some advanced techniques. Every 'Lock needs to have at least 3 of her pet abilities macroed and hot keyed. While the other two belong to a later pet, the first is of course, Seduction. Your macro will look like this:

/clearfocus [modifier:shift]
/focus [target=focus,noexists]; [target=focus,dead]
/clearfocus [target=focus,help]
/cast [pet:succubus,target=focus,exists,harm] Seduction; Seduction

What this does: First, it checks to see whether or not you have a target, if that target is a mob, and if it's still alive. If all of those conditions are true, it sets the mob as your focus target and then sends your Succubus into range to start channeling her Seduction spell. Here's the cool part - if you already have a focus target, and if that target is still alive, the macro sends the Succy to focus target for Seduction. Why is that important? Because it allows you to

- Send in the Succy to seduce her target, Mob #1
- Switch targets and start dpsing whatever is being tanked at the moment, Mob #2
- Re-Seduce Mob #1 without moving off of Mob #2!!

Holding the Shift key while hitting his macro will clear any pre-existing focus target and set the currently targetted mob as your focus. Too cool, right?

Lesser Invisibility is yours at level 32. I have found no use for this outside of PvP, although it can be fun for that purpose. Turn on your Succubus's Invisibility and park her on the flag in a battleground. Imagine that enemy player's surprise when she pops out and immediately seduces him!
So is she worth it?

Without picking up talents specific to increasing your Imp's damage, the Succubus is currently providing the highest dps of the standard Warlock minions. She is also the only minion with crowd control. It is definitely worth your while to learn to master her for when you need her, but don't be too bummed if pass her over for most situations. She's used to being ever the bridesmaid.

Next in this series: Get the most from your Felhunter!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

My Guild's Better Than Your Guild

Because it eats Ken-L Ration! But seriously, I digest...

Okay, okay, enough with the comedy! I planned a real MEATY post for you today.

>.> Yeah, I'm going to stop now...

I was inspired by Copra over at Blog Azeroth; if you love blogs and you don't visit BA, get thineself over there post-haste, my friend. Anyway, Copra asks the question, "What is a good guild?" Barring the obvious, of course, my thought is that a guild isn't so much good as it is 'good for you.'


The most important consideration in looking for a guild concerns the people and various personalities involved. Not just of the Guild Leader or Officers, because even one flaming asshat can ruin the sense of camaraderie. Spend some time getting to know the members and management, if you don't already. Do you have fun hanging out with them?


What are the guild's goals, and do they closely align with your own? If you prefer to spend your evenings in PvP while your guild is bemoaning your absence in Ulduar, this isn't the guild for you. Conversely, if you're itching to get to Sarth 3D and your guildies break out in hives over a wipe, you'd probably do well to move on. Not sharing a common goal is a sure recipe for an unhappy guild.

Treatment of Members

The one area where one could perhaps declare "good" and "bad" tendencies is in the guild leadership's treatment of its members.

  • Intolerance
  • Favoritism
  • Undefined loot distribution and other rules
  • Criticism given without suggestions for improvement
  • No regard for the guild's reputation
Any guild that makes up rules on the fly, resorts to ninja tactics while in PuGs, or treats its members poorly should be avoided like the plague. Otherwise, the best guild is the guild that's best for YOU, and the only way to find that out is to get out there and start making friends. With over 11 million players, there is bound to be a group of people just like you, somewhere.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Creating Synergy

D and I have been playing WoW together for years. That's so crazy when I say it out loud, but it's true. And over those years, we've discovered many leveling partnerships that worked great and a few that - well, not so much. There are several aspects to character choices which need to be taken into consideration, namely party role, armor class, and profession.

What worked?

Feral Druid / Shadow Priest

Once D's druid decided he wanted to be a bear tank, the idea of partnering with Anna's shadow-priesty goodness was just amazing. We had the roles down, his tanking and my dps & healing. He had no interest in my int & spirit cloth, and I wasn't able to glom onto his leather. And while we shared mining as one profession, he was usually content to herb and just hit nodes for the point. Also, if you accidentally flag yourself for PvP, and need a quick hiding spot, a Druid can be your best friend!

- How not to anger your bear: Follow the basic rules of thumb. If you pull aggro or prox an add, run TO your bear. Don't fear them off; he'll just have to chase them down, or wait for them to all come right back to you. For short fights, don't PW:S pre-pull. If he's not getting hit, he'll have a harder time generating the rage needed to keep the aggro off of you.

Death Knight / Discipline Priest

My little Lock n Plate has awesome AoE tanking, which keeps my squishy leveling partner safer. DKs don't need to be taking damage in order to generate the RP or runes necessary for their abilities, so a pre-pull Shield works great.

- How not to annoy your disc Priest: WAIT for the shield before charging in. It's one of his best methods of helping to heal / mitigate your damage, and if you don't force a D&D run for the mobs or you pull in mid-cast, you're going to have to beat the baddies back off your healer.

Warlock / Resto Shaman

Use your Void or Felguard to tank; although your bf is wearing mail, it's still harder on him to keep you alive when he's under fire himself.

How not to piss off your Shammie: When you get that HoT - tap. Then say "thank you." When you see your Shammie sit down to drink - don't tap. Bandage, Dark Pact, or sit yourself. It's pretty simple, actually.

What didn't?

Feral Druid / Rogue

One of us was always popping out of stealth with an opener - and ruining the chance for the other one to pounce. And we had to share out the gear.

Warlock / Priest

Not that it DIDN'T work... but it wasn't optimal. With the homogenization of gear and the change to outright +Spellpower, drops could often go either way.

Any Toon / Hunter

For one reason only - D doesn't like playing a pure dps class. Don't get me wrong, he loved the playstyle, the pets, and having the ability to kill several mobs at once, all while tabbed out to YouTube. What he didn't like was the feeling of helplessness that comes from not have a healing ability. Even when he was tanking, he still had some control over the damage being taken by other party members, and the option to pop and heal if the situation warranted it. I think D's Hunter will forever be a solo-artist.

Final Thoughts

There are far too many workable partnerships to detail them all here, but by keeping just a few points in mind, those who like to level with friends should have no problems choosing good questing partners.
  • Go for a different armor class
  • At least one toon should have the ability to either tank or heal
  • If both toons are dps, try making one melee and the other ranged or a caster
  • Level those secondary professions! Being able to bandage yourself or your friend can make the difference in a pinch, and it's always nice to bring a covered dish to the party.