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.
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 :)
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.