Real ID: here’s some info, now stop with the righteous indignation

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I was going to write an actual post about numbers and the top 5 specs for each class from data mined from the top 20 PvE guilds in the world, but instead, I'm going to just put this all down so I don't have to type it over and over and over again.

But I have to hand out my email!

Once. From the Real ID FAQ, yes, you have to hand out your email to someone you know in order for them to real-ID-friend you. (There really needs to be a convenient way to verb that.) Furthermore, it's not automatic friending, so if you see a name you don't recognize trying to friend you? Deny the request. The other person is never notified of that. Got an asshole ex trying to friend you on Real ID? Deny the request. Got someone trying to friend you that you just plain don't want to know the identity of all your alts? Deny the request. If someone puts in an incorrect email address, or their request is declined, the requester is never notified. If you have a friend who constantly has keyloggers or has been hacked or what-have-you, don't give that person your email address to begin with. Or make them give you their email address. It's common sense. Why don't more people have it?

But then my email address is saved in their client forever and ever!

Incorrect. From the Real ID FAQ, mutual Real ID friends (and their Real ID friends) will see your first and last name, as well as what character you're on, what zone you're in, and the special Real ID stuff like status messages and presence. It explicitly states in the FAQ that your email address is not displayed in the Real ID friends list.

But you said friends of friends! HAX OMG

Shut the hell up. From the Real ID FAQ (do you see a trend yet?), yes, when you click on a friend, you can see the names of their friends, so if you have mutual acquaintances, you can quickly friend them. However, since your email is never displayed in the Real ID friends list, you don't know your friend-of-friend's email, and they don't know yours. You don't have to hand out your email, they don't get to know your email, and it's easy to make friends. If you don't know who this person is who's trying to friend you? Deny the request.

But what if they harass me?!

I bet you see where this is going. From the Real ID FAQ, not only can you contact a GM - just like if any other player was harassing you - you can block individuals from communicating with you anywhere on

But even after you assuaged all my fears, I still don't want to use it!



What, do you think there's more to it than that? If you don't want to use Real ID, don't approve any Real ID friend requests. If you opt in then later decide you want to opt out, remove all Real ID friends from your lists. Friendship is a two-way street on Real ID (unlike WoW in general), and if you remove someone, they don't see you anymore.

Guess where I got that information?

If all else fails, you can turn on Parental Controls. They'll be updated to disallow Real ID.

The TL;DR Version

  • People you are Real ID friends with do see your first and last name (the ones set up as your primary contact in

  • People you are Real ID friends with do see your character, realm, and zone.

  • People you are Real ID friends with do see what game you are playing - WoW and Starcraft II support Real ID right now. You can safely assume Diablo III will as well.

  • People who you would like to be Real ID friends do need your email address once, or you will need theirs once.

  • People you are Real ID friends with do not see your email address in their friends list, nor do you see theirs.

  • Friends of people you are Real ID friends with do not see your email address in their friends-of-friends list, nor do you see theirs.

  • Read the FAQ before you start freaking out next time, internet.

Worst case scenario: someone finds out your real name, and it turns out it's your boss, and he notices both of you are signed on during work. Whoops!

Let's stop the pointless panic and the rumormongering, folks. Let's save the panic for actual crisis scenarios, when things are actually wrong, and stop the "ZOMG HORRIBLE IDEA" righteous indignation over Real ID.

The Putricide tango; or, anecdotal advice on positioning the Professor

putricide<em>farnsworth</em>motivatorProfessor Putricide is starting to be a fun fight for me. The first few times we were in there, even as late as last week, I felt kind of like I was running around like a chicken with its head cut off. After looking at it longer, I was doing a lot of unnecessary kiting of Putricide on phase 1, and phase 3.... well, we haven't gotten _seriously _into phase 3 yet, so we'll let it slide for now.

However, on phase 2, I finally perfected a little dance that I do with the professor that seems to keep things in line. I'll even throw in some MS Paint directions for you on how we do phases 1 and 2. This does operate on an assumption that may be fairly big: that you get the professor to phase 2 during or shortly after the first Gas Cloud (orange add) spawns. (At one point, we got him to phase 2 almost before it spawned...) If this is not the case - if the Volatile Ooze (green add) was the most recent spawn - then flip all the directions. None of this is perfect, but if your tanks are flailing their arms wildly during the Putricide fight, maybe this will help give them a place to start, then you can adjust it to fit your raid's needs.

As always, click to embiggen.

Phase 0: Understand the Layout


The black square at the bottom is the entrance. The gray circle is the circle that is on the floor of Putricide's room - it actually has four little spike-like "corners" near each of the ooze nozzles, and two more closer to the entrance of the room. The brown rectangle is Putricide's table; when you enter the room, he's just south of it. The orange circle and green circle represent the ooze nozzles.

Phase 1: The Pull, and the Easy Part

Putricide isn't really dropping anything besides neon green ooze puddles on the floor that your off-tank, in the abomination, will be eating. If you can do so without dragging him too far away from the top part of the room (where he'll be for most of phase 2), do so. Have your DPS control themselves, and between 83% and 85% (depending on how many dots people have up, how quickly people respond to directions, etc.) have DPS stop on Putricide, burn down any adds that are up, and let the abomination eat ooze puddles that are on the floor. There should be plenty of time to do these things if people are on the ball. During the pull, we have our off-tank charge in to the table, then I pull Putricide off of him, leading to an initial pull where he's right here:


Then during or after the period where the DPS is burning down the green slime, I'll typically either try to hold him by a slime pool, or move him to here, which is often roughly the same thing:


I usually hold him here for the rest of phase 1; an orange Gas Cloud will spawn, and your raid should burn it down before continuing into phase 2 - this starts at 80%. Let the abom mop up spare puddles, let the DPS burn down the Gas Cloud, then burn the professor into phase 2.

Phase 2: The Putricide Tango in Earnest

This is where the fun part starts. This is also where I used to run around like a kid high on Pixy Stix, leading to me running out of range for heals sometimes or leaving Choking Gas Clouds in weird spots for the DPS to maneuver around, which is just all kinds of nastiness. This works much better. Step 1 is to pull him near the orange slime container, as close to the alcove where the tables are as possible. Trust me, it makes sense.


Putricide will do these three abilities, and in my experience they always come in approximately the same order: Malleable Goo (very easy to avoid if your DPS is on the ball), then Unstable Experiment, then Choking Gas Flasks. Sometimes the last two get swapped, but they're always very close together, and they're your signal to move! Think of them as traffic cones telling you to get the hell out of the way. They are not, in any way, snow cones. Drag Putricide to the opposite side of his alcove, again, as near to the corner as you can manage.


During this time, a green slime will have spawned due to Unstable Experiment, and your DPS will have burned it down and will be back on the Professor. He'll once again use Malleable Goo, Unstable Experiment, and Choking Gas Flasks, and the original set of gas flasks will have gone away. Once he tosses down the new one (and the orange slime is probably chasing someone), here's what you do (I bet you'll never see this coming):


Stunning, I know. However, essentially, you'll be alternating between those last two dance steps for most of the fight. It's not a very complex tango. Po
sitioning adjustments will have to be made, of course, if Putricide drops a slime puddle right where you expect to be standing, but most of the time, it won't be an issue. Enjoy your dance time with the Professor - tanking it is honestly a pretty effortless job, other than paying some attention to what's going on - and watch his health very carefully.

Stop before 35% (I'd say 38% to 40% is safe, assuming you're not bumping up against the enrage timer), eat all the slime pools, and burn down any adds that are up, then knock Professor Putricide down to 35%.

Phase 3: ???

I told you we haven't finished this one yet. I have a pretty good idea of how to do it, though. Truthfully, we need to make that phase transition a little more masterfully - I wasn't watching Professor Putricide's health as closely as I should have, and so my warning for the phase transition as a Gas Cloud was spawning went something like this: "sh*t, he's at 36%, stop and burn that--oh, well, never mind." Then the orange cloud zoomed around at full speed and smacked us all in the face.

Phase 4: Profit!

Collect yer phat lewtz.

Dualboxing melee

RetributionAura I mentioned this to The Mighty Gresh on twitter - I started dual-boxing again (so I could power-level my rogue to 60 using Recruit-a-Friend [so I could pickpocket junkboxes for Insane in the Membrane]). I'll actually be leveling two or three alts this way - since Lasombre (the rogue) is already 18, I needed a quick way to boost Sigrat (the paladin) up to join her. And so, I started a relay race, only using a dwarf instead of a baton: this involved creating Bubblesqueak (the mage) to lead Sigrat around and have him kill stuff until they hit 18, then passing Sigrat off to Lasombre... but wait, you say, you put the mage in the lead? There's a method to my madness:

  1. I wanted to make sure I could get Sigrat's keybindings set up ahead of time, and

  2. It's easier to pull with a mage, on account of having a ranged attaack with a range of greater than 10 feet, and

  3. There have recently been changes that made dual-boxing a melee character ... well, possible.

It's still a touch awkward (namely if you try to attack with the melee character while the monster is still running towards you), but it's a far sight better than having to run through the mob and flip it around. Here's the guide. (Thanks to the folks at for figuring this out well before I ever needed it.)

  • Besides the required keystroke passing app (I use Keyclone), you'll want to have an addon that allows auto-following after combat. I'm currently using Jamba, last time I used TwoBoxToolkit. I can vouch for both; though Jamba's got features above and beyond TBTK, and makes configuration a lot easier (plus has some graphical niceties like a small window on my "master" character showing how close everyone on my Jamba Team list is to leveling, whether they're following, etc.), TBTK will get the job done.

  • On the character or characters who will just be following you around, turn ON click-to-move (Main Menu > Interface > Mouse > check Click to Move).

  • On the same character(s), go into the key bindings and bind something to Interact With Target. As the name implies, this is essentially a keybinding for right clicking. I set mine to the same key that, on all my other characters, makes pets attack. It's fitting. :)

  • And last but not least, you'll want a macro you can hit to make this character assist your "master" character. I use a simple macro that says "/assist party1" because my dwarfadin will actually be following two different people. For ease of use I actually worked this into my other macros - I macroed together "/assist party1" and Judgement of Light, for instance.

  • On the "master" character, combat goes like so:

    • Engage target. For ranged classes, pull, for other classes, wade into combat.

    • Once the target's positioned, hit the keybinding that corresponds to the assist macro on the follower, then the keybinding that corresponds to the Interact With Target keybinding on the follower.

    • ???

    • Profit!

Because of the way that assist, click-to-move and the Interact with Target keybinding work, your follower will target your target, then "right-click" it - i.e., pull out their weapon and run into melee. This way you're not strictly limited to having a ranged follower or healbot follower for ease of use. I was actually considering having him level up holy and using my rogue to do all the damage, but it's just more fun this way.

How I joust

I've seen a lot of people talking jousting lately - people who are just now getting to the tournament level, people who've hated jousting all along, people who actually refuse to do Trial of the Champion because it involves a short joust at the beginning... and realized a lot of the frustration stems from the fact that the instructions you get on how to joust aren't really all that great. Stationary targets are fine and all, but what about when the target fights back? And moves?

This is a short example video of how I joust. It may not be the greatest demonstration in the world, but it should give you an idea what I do. Barring the few times I've mysteriously gotten 2500ms+ ping, or down in Icecrown when I accidentally tagged 3 Commanders at once (ouch...), I boast a 100% success rate.

Jousting? Yeah, I got that.

I'll add this note for Nibuca's sake: a few people have told me they don't "get" strafing. It's also probably true that what I do isn't strictly strafing - it's a combination of strafing and mouse movement. Anyhow, for those of you who still have your movement bound to the default keys, Q strafes left and E strafes right - moving you left and right without actually turning. It's great for getting at range from someone.

For those of you using the n52 or n52te, with movement bound to either the keys or the joystick, you can simulate the leftward movement I do in the beginning of the video by moving the joystick/keys left while mouse-moving to the right - it ends up with a pseudo-strafe rotation that still leaves you facing your opponent (even if it doesn't look like you are). The right movement is exactly the reverse - joystick/keys right, mouse move left.

Forced Conscription: when to use Army of the Dead

Spell<em>DeathKnight</em>ArmyOfTheDeadEvery max-level DK has a delightful little spell at their disposal called Army of the Dead. For those of you who haven't seen it, quizzed your friendly local death knight about it, or read the link, here's the lowdown on it:

  • 6-second channel, totally unlike any other DK spell. Each second summons an Army of the Dead Ghoul. They like to arrange themselves in a half-moon around you; it kinda looks like Thriller.

  • It has a 20-minute cooldown, halved to 10 with 2/2 Night of the Dead. Unholy DKs will have this roughly every boss fight in a raid; others might have it every other boss fight (or every fight if you wipe a couple times.)

  • While channeling, the DK takes 50% less damage from all sources. All of them.

  • Once summoned, Army of the Dead Ghouls behave a lot like the unnamed ghouls summoned when an non-Unholy DK casts Raise Dead, leaping straight into combat with a delightful "eeeeaugh!" - but with one important difference: Army of the Dead Ghouls will taunt enemies. They will taunt anything not marked as a raid boss. This includes trash, instance bosses, adds of raid bosses, you name it. On the other hand, they will not taunt anything whose level is ?? (Boss).

  • From my personal experience, they don't like to change targets once they're on a given target, but their given target at the beginning will be slightly random if there's multiple choices because they're summoned in a wide circle around you. However, sometimes they do seem to change targets, and I can't find any rhyme or reason why.

As you can imagine, the Taunt feature is both a lifesaver and a total pain in the ass. For example, I once saved a Heroic UP run after the tank was wiped at 5% on Ymiron by letting my Army tank the boss. Sure, he only has to hit them once or twice to smush them, but that's 6-12 hits that I or someone else doesn't have to take. But at the same time, you've probably been in a group with a DK who's summoned zombies that bring Gluth's dinner to him like they have invisible maitre'd outfits on.

Make no mistake, the ghouls are a DPS boost - a pretty significant one. Not quite the most damaging thing you can do with 5 seconds of your time, but on fights where you can use them, it's worth it. That said, where should you go for it? Here's what I've found, in the places I've been.

L2joust the Stoppable Force Way


I see comments like this every day, whether it be in BA chat or Twitter or what-have-you:

Leafy: Anyway, now I am going to drive home and then fail to joust for a while.

It pains me to see so many people having such a hard time with jousting. It doesn't require any twitchier reflexes or awareness of movement than, say, a typical raid boss - and not even a particularly hard one. If you possess the following skills, you can joust:

  1. The ability to reach numbers 1-4 on your numberpad.

  2. The ability to strafe in a circle, whether by using the keybound strafe buttons (Q and E by default) or by "fake strafing" (holding your right mouse button down and moving it one way while using A and D or the left & right arrow keys to move in the opposite direction).

  3. Two functioning brain cells to rub together.

*BIG FAT BOLD DISCLAIMER: *Now, I am fully aware that there are multiple strategies for jousting. Everyone has their own strategy. However, I have been using this strategy since day 1, and I have never lost a jousting match except to (1) players or (2) complete disconnects. This works on valiants, this works on champions, and (as long as you drag them away from other enemies) this works on Boneguard Commanders. (Side note: get the Commander at the back near the stairs and drag him up them while fighting. You'll thank me later.)

ANOTHER BIG FAT BOLD DISCLAIMER: This is going to be very hard to do correctly if you still click your skills. I have nothing against keyboard turners - you can keyboard turn and do this, probably - but if you still click skills to activate them, this more than likely will not work for you. Caveat emptor.

If you have your own thing that works for you, fine - DO IT. This guide is for the completely hopeless, for the totally-given-up, for the people who pitch hissy fits at the thought of having to joust again. Read on.

  1. Mount up. Doesn't matter what mount. Keep pressing using your _Defend ability (4) until there are 3 little green shields circling your mount_. Now you're ready.

  2. Walk up to your enemy of choice. Stand behind and a little to the side of them. Open the dialog box. Accept, and:

  3. IMMEDIATELY STRAFE LEFT. Even better if you do so in a partial circle. While strafing, as soon as you can do so, launch a _Shield Breaker (2) and keep strafing_.

    • *SIDE NOTE: *A lot of people recommend meleeing here: this is worthless on Champions, in my opinion. Remember, Champions start off with three shields, and Valiants with two, so you're only doing 10% of a melee hit to a champion. Regardless, if you can launch one as soon as you speak to someone, do it on Valiants. For Champions, start strafing instead.

    • For the rest of the match, strafe in a circle around your opponent. They will usually try to move away: pursue them, then keep moving in a circle. This keeps you from being an easy target, and keeps you in range to do Shield Breakers and Charges.

  4. As soon as the cooldown is up, launch a second Shield Breaker. Champions will now be at one shield; Valiants will be at 0.

  5. Charge! Valiants will take the full brunt of your charge, Champions will take most of it and lose their shield.

  6. While you are charging, start hammering the _Thrust button (1)._ You'll get one melee hit during the charge.

  7. The charge is going to carry you a ways past your opponent. Wheel around to face your opponent, press Defend (4) and when you reach your opponent, press Thrust again. Thrust is on a separate cooldown from the rest of the mount abilities, so you're able to Defend and Thrust literally at the same time.

  8. Return to step 3, and continue until your opponent is defeated. Circle-strafe, shield-breaker, charge, thrust, circle, defend, thrust, repeat.

  9. Rejoice in your victory.

Once the fight is over, heal up_ and get three layers of Defend again_. Repeat the process until your dailies are over. That's all there is to it.

Archiving your combat log and screenshots (for Windows)

(3:37:17 PM) Nibuca: Lesson learned: make sure to delete your wow combat log more often than once every 4 months

For those of you who log, for use with WoW Web Stats or one of its ilk, you may not have noticed but there are a couple interesting facts about the WoW combat log:

  1. It's super-verbose, meaning it grows really quickly as a result, and

  2. WoW never deletes it, archives it, or starts a new one - when you turn off then turn on logging, WoW will gleefully keep appending to the same file.

As a result you can end up with a combat log over 5 million lines long, like Nibs above. Yikes! Well, if you're a Windows user, I've got a solution you can use to automate some of this, to take the tedium out of needing to edit a log or archive it manually. Follow me past the break...

The Blizzard Authenticator: a journey in pictures

BlizzardAuthenticator As we were warned by quite a few WoW bloggers this past week (including Kestrel, Anna, Rohan and World of Snarkcraft), a rather sophisticated WoW phishing scheme has been circulating disguised as a 3-day suspension notice. While, yes, Blizzard has pounded it into our heads that they will never ask for our username or password, sometimes in a moment of panic or unclear thinking or, hell, just haven't had caffeine yet, you may still accidentally compromise your account by falling for one of these scams. Furthermore, there's always keyloggers out there, waiting to snap up your info next time to log in and transfer it to more malicious sources.

The Blizzard Authenticator is the best thing we've got for now, and it's a damned far sight better than having no authenticator at all. However, I've heard a lot of recent confusion from different sources - how does the Authenticator connect to my account? How does it "know" it's me? That sort of thing. Well, I'm here to not just tell you, but to show you - I'll walk you step-by-step through connecting an Authenticator to your account or unmerged WoW account, and using it to log into WoW.

Leveling unholy

Gotta love it when other people do the work for you, right? Geistig over at Skeleton Jack has a great post on leveling Unholy, for those of you who like the idea of ridin' around with your best ghoul by your side, being nigh unkillable in an entirely different way, and - oh yeah - moving really fast. Trust the lady, read the post, try the spec if you're still comin' up in the world. :)

She mentions it briefly, but I can't emphasize it enough - if you're leveling Unholy, take On a Pale Horse. Frankly, I still miss the mounted movement buff today, given the sheer size of Northrend.