Elemental, Meta, Shaman, WoW

TTT updated, other stuff

Over at the Elitist Jerks forums, masanbol has posted a major update to the Elemental Shaman Theorycrafting Think Tank (TTT).  This is sort of a one-stop shop for endgame elemental – a concise and complete collection of most of the most useful things we need to know.  As of yesterday it’s also fully up to date for patch 3.3.3, and covers a range of areas including an introduction to the class with writeups for all our spells, priority rotations in various circumstances, CL use, haste caps (are there any?), glyph and gem choice, BiS lists and so forth.

You can read the new article here.  If you have feedback relating to the article, you can post it in this thread but remember to follow the EJ forum rules if you post.

Other stuff

I promised other stuff and do not intend to disappoint.  Last week Planet of the Hats quietly passed its six-month “blogoversary”.  Celebrating such a thing seemed to me tantamount to a sort of nerdy equivalent of teenage romance which, while I’ve nothing against in principle, seems like it’s not really my style.  But I’ve changed my mind because it’s actually a good opportunity to reflect a bit.

As most readers will be aware, I like to draw parallels between aspects of “real life” and aspects of the life of the WoW community.  Six months ago, I think the elemental shaman community was in a pretty dark place.  We had just lost the single biggest authority on elemental shaman theorycraft and, at the same time, the TTT article and spreadsheet which backed it up.  I personally felt a bit rabbit-in-headlights about the whole thing because of how exclusively I had relied upon those resources.  I wasn’t aware of any other up-to-date, accurate elemental resources at all and, from my vantage point, the elemental community seemed small and vulnerable.

I qualify these observations with from my perspective because I really do mean that – I was a distant observer who stopped by now and again for my regular dose of L2P.

At the same time, my “real life” situation was also in a bit of a tricky place.  This time last year even walking was a serious challenge, and my whole life was suddenly and unexpectedly being put on hold.  By the end of the summer I had had to accept that things were going to take longer than I had hoped to be resolved, and in the process I’d watched the last-ditch deadlines for handing in all my assignments in time to graduate fly past while I was unable to work on them.  So I was stuck in limbo while most of my friends moved on, with no idea when I might be able to get going again.  I was a long way from being depressed, but I needed to do something and the Internets provided something of a recourse (thank you, Internets).

The confluence of these circumstances is what created Planet of the Hats.

Six months later a lot has (from my perspective again!) changed.  I’m back at University part-time finishing up my work from last year.  It’s tough but I’m just about managing.  Ironically this has meant that I have much less time and energy to spend on this blog than before, but that feels OK.  Why?  Because the elemental community seems to me to be in a much stronger place than it was, and I don’t mean because of this blog.  I’ve become aware of a greater diversity of theorycraft tools (in addition to the spreadsheet I wrote) for elementals and become better at using them myself.  I’ve found other elemental shaman blogs and guides on forums and social sites.  And some fantastic new authors have joined the elemental shaman blogging community too.  In addition I’ve got more involved in some shaman forum communities and found that they are not so anaemic after all.  And of course, the elemental TTT which disappeared right before this blog was created is finally back again and fully updated.

It still seems like an uphill struggle in both arenas – and I’m horribly, horribly aware of how much I want to do in terms of updating old guides, writing new articles and whatnot – but in the sense of a journey that’s worth taking rather than an impossible goal to reach.

By the time I write everything I want to on this blog, Cataclysm will probably be out and I’ll have to decide whether I want to start all over again :)

Thanks

Anyway, there are now plenty of great elemental resources out there and a strong community to turn to for help also.  So if this blog is what you rely on I’d encourage you to spread the net wider, so to speak.  But at the same time I really want to thank everyone who reads – especially those who comment! – for your support over the last six months.  And I have been greatly humbled by those who have enthusiastically linked others here or otherwise promoted my stuff out of their own generosity, whether on their blogs, or on forums, or to friends in-game, or whatever.  I hope I have been able to reciprocate to some degree (though I think I need to update my blogroll a bit) and that this has managed to be at least to some extent useful to those who visit.

Huge thanks are also due to those many people whose past and continuing efforts have made possible my own attempts at elemental theorycraft, and to whom the elemental community including myself owes so very much indeed.

I also want to extend thanks to everyone who puts effort into the WoW community as a whole, especially the elemental shaman parts of it, because it’s above all the community which makes the game what it is.

And while I’m not too keen to name names in general, I will specifically thank my guild, Fancy Hat Club, for providing that sense of WoW community for me over the past year.  You’re a truly fantastic bunch of people, and it continues to be an absolute pleasure to play with you and just generally hang around with you.

So thanks everyone!  And here’s tae us, wha’s like us.  Aye.

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Discussion

12 thoughts on “TTT updated, other stuff

  1. I think this resurgence in the community is in large part due to your own efforts of giving us a very good blog with a focus on theorycrafting, and an ‘up to date’ spreadsheet. While you were certainly not alone, and the community would have won out anyways, I think you hastened the process somewhat ;)

    Posted by pewter | April 22, 2010, 4:32 pm
  2. It’s probably worth noting that elemental has only ever been an offspec for me during WotLK (main is resto) but the EJ Elemental TTT was always a place of solace for me. It made it easy to ensure idiots like myself weren’t dicking up our offspec/pvp specs. I remember the day Bink left and the TTT article was taken down. It occurred to me that I really didn’t know much at all about the class I play, I just followed instructions. I suppose this is as good a time as any to thank you for your contributions to the elemental community. ZAP was a life saver for me during those dark times, as was this blog. You filled the void and continue to forge a path for elemental theorycrafting. Thanks a lot indeed, there would be a lot of very lost idiots without your guidance.

    Posted by Staplecrab | April 22, 2010, 5:28 pm
  3. Thank YOU!
    The whole work of the shaman community has helped me keep up the somewhat good work on my main character.
    I can only believe this community will grow even stronger for Cataclysm.

    Posted by Hexlol | April 22, 2010, 6:51 pm
  4. Thanks for the incredible work you have done with your blog and ZAP! As one of the more experienced elemental shaman in my guild, I often close my answers to questions from guildmates by referring them to your posts and spreadsheet.

    Posted by sefshields | April 22, 2010, 9:09 pm
  5. All of this only half a year? Jeez man … now I feel like an underachiever.

    The quality of your blog alone is enough to qualify you as one of the best Elemental resources out there. But when I took a look at your ZAP spreadsheet last week (as my guild asked me to dust off my set), I became quite convinced that you’re a veritable Shaman Yoda. A quick tour back through the EJ forums I hadn’t visited since Ulduar confirmed it; your hard work has gone a long way.

    Here’s to another 6 months and then some.

    Posted by Vixsin | April 23, 2010, 2:44 pm
  6. Keep it up Charles! I always get excited when Planet of the Hats pops in my google reader, your writing is so refreshing compared to any other wow blog out there.

    You’ll sure get a /hug whenever I meet you in Dalaran! ;)

    Spasi , Shadowsong-EU

    Posted by Spasi | April 24, 2010, 12:33 am
  7. Glad to see the Elemental Think Tank is back up and updated! I was super bummed when I started playing again a few months back after an extended break and found it gone. Community is important and I was wondering if there was no ele shaman community anymore. I was even tempted to switch to my hunter alt as the hunter community led by sites like warcrafthuntersunion.com seemed really strong. When I then found your ZAP spreadsheet and this blog (and then all the other blogs you link to) I was so happy! Thanks to you I have stuck with my shammy and love it.

    Posted by Stamm | April 24, 2010, 4:55 pm
  8. Couldn’t agree more with all that’s been said so far. After Bink left, I felt adrift in a sea of everyone getting better but me. Then I discovered this wonderful site and resource. Amazing work, keep it up and know that the whole of elemental shamanism is a much better and brighter place with your site in it.

    Posted by Rumble | April 25, 2010, 2:02 am
  9. See now, I’ve already posted saying thanks, and now y’all have posted saying thanks too, so do I thank you for the thanks and then you thank me for thanking you for the thanks and WHERE DOES IT END?!

    Um – well yes. All the kind words are very much appreciated indeed. :) It’s comments like these which remind me how great it is to be part of the elemental/WoW community.

    Posted by Charles | April 25, 2010, 4:18 pm
  10. Another kind word for you! As the lead elemental in our guild, I often refer others to your resources. And as someone who has also struggled with RL issues, I appreciate your discussion of game-life balance. You do great work in both realms, and it’s of great usefulness to the entire elemental community.

    Posted by kitsambler | April 26, 2010, 1:45 pm
  11. Just a nice safe ‘grats’ on your 6 month blogiversary ;)

    I know nothing about shaman whatsoever and Kum is beached at 20 so you’ve been no use to me whatsoever :D

    Posted by Tam | April 26, 2010, 3:41 pm

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