Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Restoration Druid Guide Part 5: Legendaries, Gear, and Your Artifact


I know you want me to give you a Best in Slot list.  There's so many options with different stats that knowing which gear is RIGHT is a huge pain in the butt, made no easier by all these differences because of random sockets and the forging system.  Unfortunately, I can't give you a BiS list.

In general, whatever has a higher item level is what you should be equipping.  The exceptions to this is in jewelry and trinkets, where certain stats and effects may make something pull ahead of items with a higher item level.  Generally, we tend to prefer trinkets with a large amount intellect instead of fancy effects that are less reliable.  The exception to this is obviously the legendary trinkets, Velen's Future Sight.  Your best in slot will also vary based on what content you do.  Obviously if you only raid and don't do mythic dungeons, mythic dungeon items will not be applicable to your BiS list.  My recommendation is to visit AskMrRobot.com, and have it calculate your best in slot based on what content you actually do.  You can change it up as you wish and sub things in that you believe are better.  That's what I do to generate my list of desired gear.

Legendaries



We can only equip 2 legendaries currently, so which 2 do you can to have?  I will break down which ones are most desirable.  Generally right now in 7.2, the best ones are Velen's Future Sight and Aman'Thul's Wisdom because of how insanely they synergize with each other and with our tier 19 bonus.  It is expected for this to change when Tomb of Sargeras comes out and most are not longer using the tier 19 set bonus.

Velen's Future Sight - Currently arguably our most BiS trinket no matter what you're doing, this is a great little bit of gear.  It has really good stats even without the on-use ability, which will typically make up 5%-7% of our overall healing.  One of our problems as druids is that because we work primarily in heal over time spells, sometimes a HoT like Rejuvenation will heal someone to full but still tick, which is basically wasted.  The ability of this trinket will let us better redistribute the overhealing from our HoTs.  This would be great to use during a Tranquility, or after we pop Essence of G'Hanir paired with a Flourish for a strong burst heal that will do less overhealing.  If you are unsure when to use the ability, try pairing it with Essence of G'Hanir for the best results.

Aman'Thul's Wisdom - Also a very strong legendary and probably BiS.  It synergizes extremely well with the trinket and our set bonus, so having them together is amazing.  This item basically created more healing for less mana, and is especially useful for if you pre-cast Rejuvenations on players before the fight starts.  I do this, especially on tanks.

Tearstone of Elune - If you don't have one of the aforementioned, this little piece of jewelry will be amazing for you.  We use Wild Growth all the time, and with this ring you get free Rejuvenations which, of course, synergize with both the above legendaries as well as your set bonus AND our artifact ability AND our talent Flourish.  It also builds stacks of Harmony.  What's nice is that since Wild Growth is a smart heal and will automatically target the lowest-health players, the added Rejuvenation is less likely to result in overhealing.

Prydaz, Xavaric's Magnum Opus - This isn't a big healing boost item, but it does provide some utility.  Generally I would stay away from it because I tend to favor raw numbers, and druids have amazing utility anyway.  The equip effect is made even sketchier considering you can't control it.  It also has the downside of the effect being only on yourself.  However, if you are like me and have a tendency to stand in the fire, this item may be the difference between life and death and could be very helpful.  Its secondary stats are pretty good though, so if you happen to get this, don't feel bad about it.  You're still lucky!

Ekowraith, Creator of Worlds - Also a utility legendary, with a small healing boost.  It will make our tier 3 talents and Ysera's Gift slightly more potent.  If you got this legendary, don't worry, it's also decently good.

Edraith, Bonds of Aglaya - This is more of a legendary for single target healing, which is not something druids generally tend to do much of unless you are a big fan of Mythic+ dungeons.  If you pop this on a tank (especially in combination with Cenarion Ward!), you can be assured the tank will be okay and move onto topping up other people, which would definitely be a plus.  Synergizes well with Prosperity.

The Dark Titan's Advice - Also more of a single-target healing legendary, though the extra healing can be unreliable.  For a Mythic+ or similar content where you will be concentrating most of your heals on a single target like the tank, this legendary would be amazing.  However, dungeons aren't something I do much of, and Lifebloom already has a tendency to overheal when it expires anyway.

X'oni's Caress - Also more for single-target.  This would be very good in a Mythic+ where the tank is taking high amounts of damage and you need a little more punch to keep him alive.  Ordinarily, Ironbark is purely a mitigation ability, but paired with this it increases the potency of your HoTs.  It synergizes well with Stonebark if you choose to take it.

Sephuz's Secret - This can situationally be decent, but I would not want to use it if given an alternative.  I don't like relying on random procs.  In Nighthold, we don't do a lot of dispelling or interrupting except on very few fights.  It may be better later on in another tier.

Essence of Infusion - It wounds good on paper and it can be great for group healing, but I wouldn't choose this item either.  Tranquility is plenty powerful on its own and the effect of this item would likely translate to pure overheal unless you had Velen's to offset it.  Nighthold bosses also have less cyclical high damage phases so the effect of this legendary would be wasted on most fights.  On a boss with a cyclical high damage ability it might be worthwhile.  Synergizes well with Inner Peace.

Our Artifact



Our artifact weapon is G'Hanir, which is pretty much a tree branch.  Why not right?  Some people make a big deal of scientifically mapping out which talents to take and when, but honestly, I just put them wherever.  Go for your gold traits first.  At this point, you will be gaining Artifact Power so fast you can fill up most of your traits in a couple days, so it's really not gonna matter which order you slot them in.  However, what IS important is making sure your artifact appearance matches your transmog.  As for relics, really just go for whichever one has the highest item level.  It doesn't have to be complicated!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

My New PC and Desk Set-up (aka The Girl Cave Part 2)


A long while ago I did a post describing my desk setup.  At the time it got a lot of attention, but looking back on it is so cringe!  I now have a desk setup I am much happier with.  Of course, it will never be perfect.  There will always be something to tweak or change, but this is the best I've flt about my desk setup since, well, ever.



Here's an overview of what it looks like.



We'll start from left to right.  The desk is from a company called Merax and I got it on Amazon.  Actually I got almost everything from Amazon.  The legs of my desk are spraypainted lavender.  Of course, like in the first desk setup post, my remote is close at hand.  My monitor is from HP and I have the same Logitech keyboard.  I also have the same Bondidea N86 mouse, which I love.  Unfortunately, it doesn't come in pink anymore.  I got my Sailor Moon mousepad from a seller on Amazon.  I wish it was a bit brighter and the edges are slightly frayed but I still love it.


I got the purple vase from a garage sale, and I am so in love with it.  I always keep fresh flowers in it.  These ones I got and I wanted to be surprised at which color they turned out to be.  Next to it is a book I'm reading now and a to-do list pad on top of it that I got at Wal-Mart.  I am one of those people who loves to-do lists.  Next to that is my pen holder I got from Amazon that has in it my Sailor Mercury pen, my Ravenclaw pen, a couple other random pens, my scissors, and my Skullcandy earbuds.  Next to that is a little stand that I keep my phone on.



Above that area on the wall I keep my controllers tidy with stick-on wall hooks I got from Amazon.  On the top is a Wireless Windows XBox controller that I sometimes use when playing compatible games on my PC, then below that I have a pink wireless PS3 controller from Rock Candy, then below that I have my white PS4 controller with decals from DecalGirl on it.  Below that is my Skullcandy wireless gaming headset.  Next to that on the board is a calendar I got from a gift shop, and some random notes and stuff stuck in pins next to it.



Finally, on the edge of my desk is the cage that my gargoyle gecko lives in.  I go days without seeing him.  Sometimes I don't even know if he's alive so I check.  Above that is my Brightwing plush.  Next to the cage I keep a water bottle and a spray bottle since it's just handier to keep it there.



Below my desk is where my PC lives.  I LOVE my PC.  I built it myself and named it Faerie Dragon.  The case is a white BitFenix Prodigy which I spraypainted the handles and added a different front cover that fit my color scheme more.  The decal on the front is from RedBubble.  In it are an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080, Intel Core i7-4790, 16 GB of ram, a Gigabyte Z97N WiFi motherboard, Western Digital 1 TB hard drive, and Windows 8.1 OS.  The filing cabinet, with the handles spraypainted, is from Amazon.  The USB hub stuck to the side is also from Amazon.  I have an audio extender cable coming out of the side, stuck to the side of the desk with a cable clip.

As you can tell, the cable management is much better this time around compared to the previous post.  Some products I love for managing cables are cable clips, cable tie mounts, simple thin zip ties, thick reusable zip ties, and mounting tape.  I got most of the tips for managing my cables from a YouTube channel called TechSource, which was super helpful.

I obviously have other things I sometimes have on my desk, like my transmitter for my headset, my XBox controller receiver, and my external disk player, and stuff like that, but I hate clutter so if I'm not using it, it gets put away.  This iteration is definitely less cluttered than it was in the first post.  I really prefer it this way with such a clean and simple look.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Resto Druid Guide Part 4: UI and Addons


Your user interface is very important.  It's how you get information about the encounter, know who and when to heal, and react to threats.  It doesn't have to be fancy or unrecognizable from the original UI.  It just has to be functional for YOU.  Ask 10 people what their UI looks like, and you'll get 10 different answers.  What they all have in common is that their UI is optimal for what they do, because everyone plays a little differently.  I'm not going to go over what my UI looks like and how to get it, I'm going to go through what raiders (specifically resto druids) should have on their UI.

1. Functional raid frames



Your frames are your bread and butter.  I personally use VuhDo.  I like how it is versatile and highly customizeable, and attractive compared to other frame addons.  Configure your spells in a way that will be the easiest for you to remember where everything is.  Healbot is another viable alternative (and what I started with), as well as Clique + Grid.

2. A boss mod



Most raid groups require a boss mod.  It will call out mechanics for you and tell you when you're standing in fire.  It also makes it easier to coordinate healing cooldowns by alerting you of high raid damage.  I use Deadly Boss Mods, but I know some guilds also use BigWigs.

3. Bars



Presumably you can use the default bars, but I like to use Bartender.  It sleeks up your UI and frees up space for other things that could be more helpful to you for healing, like auras.

4. A meter



Numbers are not everything, but it's still important to pump out as much healing as you can consistently in order to be useful to your raid.  Therefore, you should be using a meter to gauge your progress.  You can also use it to observe other restoration druids who may be doing better than you, and you can perhaps notice a way to improve.  I like using Skada, but Recount is also popular.  Not to toot my own horn, but that's me on the top in that picture ;)

5. Logging


This is probably more advanced, but when you want to  get into progression content, you should really look into logging your performance.  You can analyze in detail everything you did, and everything you did wrong.  You can see what you did wrong in order to know what you should do better next time.  You can input the logs into the website Check My WoW, which will analyze it and give you point of improvement.  I've found it to be very helpful.  I log raids using Warcraft Logs, which I upload using Loggerhead.

4. Auras

Speaking of auras.  I use WeakAuras.  It adds an icon to your screen that makes it easier to keep track of cooldowns or charges for spells.  Because I use VuhDo, I can take most of my healing spells off my bars and just make auras showing me the cooldowns.  I would not be able to heal without my auras.

Here are the strings I use for my resto druid.  You can import them into WeakAuras:

Cenarion Ward



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Efflorescence



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Essence of G'Hanir


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Flourish



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Ironbark



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Nature's Cure


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Rebirth



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Swiftmend


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Wild Growth


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Here's what they look like together:



 I keep this setup under my player frame, which is to the center left of the screen so I can easily glance and see them without losing sight of the fight.  Most players typically look at the middle area of the screen so it's best to keep all the important stuff where your eyes are, without overcrowding the space.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Resto Druid Guide Part 3: Spells


In this particular section I will go over some spells that are specific for the restoration spec, and give tips on when and how to use them.  I will be leaving out talent spells as I already went into detail about them in the Talents section of the guide.



Efflorescence - This is our ground area heal.  You place it on the ground under a group and it will heal them.  Make sure it is under a group of at least 3.  I usually find that it's best to put under melee.

Essence of G'Hanir - Our artifact ability.  It's best to blanket as many heal over time spells as you can, then hit this bad boy.

Healing Touch - This is our spell we use when we're not doing anything else.  It's a slow heal that costs a medium amount of mana.  It doesn't do much healing so we won't be using it unless we literally have nothing else do do.

Innervate - Allows the target to cast spells for no mana for 10 seconds. I really recommend using it on yourself.  You can use it to chain Rejuvenations in preparation for using Flourish and Essence of G'Hanir, along with a Wild Growth, for some very strong burst healing. I also recommend placing Efflorescence before popping those abilities.

Ironbark - This is a defensive cooldown we can put on the tank.  You can put it on them at the start of a pull to make it smoother, or wait until the boss is about to do a strong attack to provide the tank with extra protection.

Lifebloom - This is a heal over time spell that you can have one one target at a time.  Normally I recommend using it on a tank.  If you're healing with another restoration druid, you should coordinate so you each have your Lifebloom on a different tank.  Make sure you keep your uptime on this as close to 100% as you can.

Nature's Cure  - This is our basic dispel.

Rebirth - Our battle resurrection.  I really recommend saving it in case the tank or another healer dies.  But of course, if your raid leader calls for it, use it.

Regrowth - Our quick OH SHIT heal.  It takes up quite a bit of mana but has a short cast time, so use it if your tank is about to die.  We will occasionally get Omen of Clarity procs to make it a mana-free cast so make sure you use them.

RejuvenationThis is really what druids are known for as healers. This is our main heal over time spell.  You can blanket the raid in it, but that will burn mana quick, so I recommend keeping it rolling on the tanks and then sticking it on someone who is low on health but not in much danger of dying.

SwiftmendYou can use this on a target with one of our heal over time spells and it will instantly heal them for a small amount.  Good to save for an emergency since it's instant.

TranquilityThis is our major raid cooldown.  Use it when you can stand still for a few seconds because it's channeled unless you have a point in the trait that makes it castable while moving.  Save it for high damage phases.

Wild GrowthThis is our blanket smart heal heal.  It has a short cast time, and will put a heal over time effect on the 6 members of your group.  It is usually a top 3 heal so make you use it on cooldown of more than a couple are injured.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Resto Druid Guide Part 2: Stats, Enchants, Gems, and Consumables


Stats

Restoration druid has a few best consumables to perform at our maximum.  We will always want intellect, but our secondary stat consumable of choice will vary.  Most guides consider haste the most important stat because it lowers our global cooldown.  Because most of our important spells have no cast time, it is very essential to have a low global cooldown.  However, this also means that we are using mana at a faster rate.  I recommend subbing haste enchants/gems for mastery at lower gear levels, and if you are poor at managing mana.  Mastery will also be mroe useful if you are healing a smaller amount of players, such as in a Mythic+ dungeon.


















Consumables

The flask we need to be getting is Flask of the Whispered Pact.

Our food of choice will always be Lavish Suramar Feast if it is available.  If you choose to go for haste and the feast is not available, then your best option is Azshari Salad, followed by Suramar Surf and Turf (cheaper option), or Deep-Fried Mossgill (cheapest option).

If you choose to go for mastery, your best food option is Nightborne Delicacy Platter, followed by Barracuda Mrglgagh (cheaper option), or Pickled Stormray (cheapest option).

You also want to always have a Defiled Augment Rune active on your druid during at least progression fights.

You can use either Ancient Mana Potion or a Leytorrent Potion on fights where you know you'll have the opportunity to use it.  You can pop a Potion of Prolonged Power to get a head start by popping it 1 second before the fight starts, and you could use that as an opportunity to DPS before the damage starts to roll out.  You could even pop it again during the fight if you don't think you'll need to use a mana potion during the encounter.


Gems

You will always want one Saber's Eye of Intellect on your gear.

If you choose to go for haste, then you should use Quick Dawnlight, or Quick Azsunite (cheaper alternative).

If you choose to go for mastery, then you should use Masterful Shadowruby, or Masterful Queen's Opal (cheaper alternative).


Enchants

The neck enchant you want is Mark of the Ancient Priestess.

For your cloak, you want Binding of Intellect, of Word of Intellect if you need something cheaper.

For your rings, if you are good at managing your mana and want to go for haste, I recommend either Binding of Haste, or Word of Haste (cheaper).  If you would rather go for mastery, you should use either Binding of Mastery, or Word of Mastery (cheaper).

Friday, May 26, 2017

Resto Druid Guide Part 1: Talents

We're finally getting around to updating the Resto Druid guide for Legion.  I just graduated from college and now have much more free time to play and write, not to mention the mental capacity has been freed up.  Today we are looking at talents.  Many talents are situational and will depend on the fight at hand.  They are also based on my personal preferences and playstyle, so what is best for me may not be best for you.


Level 15. Prosperity / Cenarion Ward / Abundance
Each of these talents have merits in different situations. Most people consider Cenarion Ward the default choice, and it is a strong talent, but I really hate having an extra button to push.  To remember to use it, I have a WeakAura that stays up and has a cooldown timer on it so when the spell is up, I will remember to press it.  I have it bound to a mouse button to make it even easier.  Prosperity is a good talent when paired with Soul of the Forest because it puts Swiftmend on a 27-second recharge time with two charges, so when paired with Wild Growth it will boost your healing.  Unfortunately, this combination got nerfed and now isn't as strong as it used to be.  Most people discount Abundance as a talent because you are unlikely to be casting Healing Touch all that much anyway, and it does not heal for very much compared to how much mana it costs.  However, if you take Moment of Clarity as your Level 100 talent, you will get 3 free Regrowths in a row when it procs, and because of the Power of the Archdruid talent on your artifact, you will sometimes get 3 free Rejuvenations, which make Abundance a bit less mana intensive to manage.  Even so, it is still inferior in terms of raw healing output compared to Cenarion Ward.  I think this talent tier depends more on your individual playstyle and the mechanics of the fight at hand.  You should play around to see what suits you best.

Level 30.  Renewal / Displacer Beast / Wild Charge
Displacer Beast is always what I have up.  Renewal could be useful if you're soloing, but why would you solo as resto anyway?  Displacer Beast is great for avoiding mechanics on fights and running back after a wipe (which of course was not your fault).  Wild Charge lets you swim faster but that's really... it.  I can't see it being very useful in any situation because you will generally want to stay AWAY from where people are taking damage, and if you need to go somewhere fast you can just pop Dash or Displacer Beast.

Level 45. Balance Affinity / Feral Affinity / Guardian Affinity
I always choose Balance Affinity because it extends the range of your spells by 5 yards, which can be helpful in a fight where everyone is fairly spread out.  Since the fights in Nighthold tend to be in more enclosed space, range doesn't tend to be an issue though.  Guardian Affinity can also be very good because of its flat passive damage reduction, which in progression can be very helpful.

Level 60. Mighty Bash / Mass Entanglement / Typhoon
Again, this will vary based on the particular fight.  I tend to choose Typhoon because sometimes things will get healing aggro and I can knock them back in time for the tank to get aggro on them, like the scorpion adds on Skorpyron or the adds on Tichondrius.  You won't generally be called upon to stun any enemies since you will always be at range and melee should be able to perform that job.  I really can't think of a current fight where Mass Entanglement would be useful.  It would be useful for slowing the droplets if you were going for the achievement on Immerseus, but that's about all I can think of.

Level 75. Soul of the Forest / Incarnation: Tree of Life / Cultivation
Incarnation can be good if there are heavy bursts of damage and you need an OH CRAP button similar to Tranquility.  Soul of the Forest provides a solid buff to your Wild Growths.  Cultivation adds a second HoT on the target if they dip below 60% health.  I don't ever choose Incarnation because the Inner Peace talent in the level 90 tier provides a CD reduction to Tranquility so Incarnation is not needed.  Cultivation can be useful ASSUMING your group is going sub 60% health often enough for it to be useful.  Generally, Cultivation is going to be your highest output talent.

Level 90. Spring Blossoms / Inner Peace / Germination
I usually pick either Spring Blossoms or Inner Peace.  Germination can be useful in smaller groups like dungeons where you have the time and mana to apply extra Rejuvenations to people.  On a fight like Tichondrius where you do not have to worry about mana and people are taking constant ticking damage, this can be a great talent, especially paired with other talents that will affect your Rejuvenations like Flourish.  Spring Blossoms will be good on fights where people are stacked and you can see the benefit.  Spring Blossoms is also useful because it will interact with your mastery and is affected by your artifact ability and Flourish.  Inner Peace tends to rely heavily on damage patterns that will line up with the 2 minute cooldown of Tranquility, otherwise it is a wasted talent.  You have to actually have the opportunity to use Tranquility enough times for it to be beneficial.  Obviously if you were healing a regular dungeon, you wouldn't go with this talent.

Level 100. Moment of Clarity / Stonebark / Flourish
I LIKE Moment of Clarity because it's simple and doesn't add an extra button I have to push, but most people would pick Flourish because it is better in terms of heal per second increase.  It also has a problem in that many times when the Omen of Clarity procs, everyone will already be at full health so it is basically wasted.  What is nice about Flourish is that you are able to control it.  My reason for not liking Flourish is that it adds an extra button that I have to push.  What makes it easier is binding the spell to a key and making a WeakAura to alert me when it's up so I remember to press the key again.  I will include all my aura strings in the UI section, coming soon.  Stonebark is weaker compared to Flourish in most situations, it it could still be superior in fights like Mythic+ dungeons where the damage on the tank will be very high and spiky.  In a raid environment where other healers have tank cooldowns available, Flourish is just better.  Additionally, if you pick Spring Blossoms, Cultivation, and Cenarion Ward, they will also be affected by Flourish, which when paired with the G'hanir ability is pretty insane.


Saturday, May 13, 2017

A Guide for First-Time Con-Goers!

Convention season is now underway!  While it's an exciting time, those of us who have attended a few know some insider tricks that newbies may not.  Above all, remember to have fun!  There is no point in going if you don't have fun.  Here is my list of tips I wish someone had told me before my first convention.


1. Shop around for hotels.  There will usually be a discount for whichever hotel the convention is in, but many nearby hotels will also have discounts for congoers and shuttles to and from the hotel.  Make sure to hit up the con's website for a list of hotels nearby that will have con discounts.  You could save a lot of money for an hour of work.  Don't splurge too much on a hotel because you probably won't be spending that much time in it anyway.  You'd probably rather spend that money on a plushie anyway right?  Also consult your friends to see if any of them wanna tag along so you can split the cost of the room.

2. Make a packing list.  Don't just throw things in your bag and hope you brought the essentials.  Make a list of everything you want/need to bring, and don't be afraid to add to it.  The smart thing to do is start your list a week or so in advance before you pack, and add to it over the week.  That way you're less likely to forget anything important.  You do NOT want to have to Google the location of a gas station nearby just to buy a phone charger at two in the morning.  My advice to is to make sure you remember your money, and credit/debit cards, your I.D., and any insurance/health cards, clip or rubber band them so they're together, and keep them on you at all time.  You never know when you might fall drunken down the stairs and need to hit up an ER.  Also make sure you bring clothes, hygiene items (don't be that stinky guy in line at the food booth), chargers, any electronic you wanna bring like your phone or laptop, and any cosplays you need to bring.  Also don't forget your medications if you take any.  That being said, don't bring anything super expensive.  You never know what could happen and you don't wanna be out a $2000 laptop because you lost it in the hotel.

3. Plan your trip to a T, but don't be afraid to deviate.  Cons usually post their programming weeks in advance, and some even have apps to help you plan out your personal schedule.  Make sure you consult this information so you can efficiently go from one thing to the next and you don't miss  out on something you find interesting.  However, don't be afraid to do something different than you had planned if you see something cool.


4. Make sure you consult the weather gods.  You never know what might happen weather-wise.  I always bring a sweater even if it's super hot, and a skirt and shorts even if it's super cold.  Make sure to Google the weather conditions for the days you'll be away.  It's always good to bring at least one pair of sneakers even if it seems like flip-flop weather, and an umbrella even if it's super dry.  You never know what the weather has in store for you!  Also make sure you are dressing comfy.  You will do a lot of walking, so comfortable shoes are a must.

5. Don't spend all your money right away!  Make sure you look around to see everything you may want to buy and where it is.  Prioritize the things you really want with the stuff that might just be kinda cool to have.  Also don't buy things you don't have room for.  Don't go buying a dozen plushies when you don't have a shelf to put them on, or no wall space for the 6 posters you bought.  Put some serious consideration into your purchases or you may experience some buyer's regret.  On the last day of conventions, items are also usually on sale at the vendors so if there was something you have your eye on but don't really need, see if it's discounted on the last day.

6. Read the rules.  Make sure that badass sword that is essential to your cosplay is even allowed.  Many cons will not allow real weapons.  Be sure that everything you want to dress up as is allowed so it doesn't ruin your plans.


7. Don't go crazy buying food.  I know, it's tempting to go to the fancy hotel restaurant or that cool place across the street, but trust me, it isn't worth it.  That fancy overpriced food will last an hour, but the plushie you could have bought instead will last a lifetime.  If the vendors are selling cool expensive Japanese candy, just make a not of what it is and price check it on Amazon.  It will probably be cheaper, though as previously stated, it will likely be discounted on the last day.  My first anime convention a girl I was with bought a bunch of boxes of Hello Panda at a discount on the last day of the convention!  Just eat whatever food is in the consuite or is free at the convention, plus cheap stuff like McDonald's.  You can go back to eating healthy when you go home.

8. Don't be a dick.  Make sure you are practicing hygiene so the people around you don't suffer.  Always ask permission before taking pictures of people in cosplay.  For the love of god, just because a girl is wearing something skimpy does NOT mean she wants you to grab her ass!  Just be nice to everyone else so it's a good experience for everyone.


9. Get there a bit early.  It's a good idea to get there a bit early, maybe even the day before the con.  This is a good idea because you can explore and make a mental map of the hotel or convention hall so you're not so lost when you're trying to get to that anime screening in 4 minutes.  Cons will also usually post maps online.  Study them, grasshopper.  The cons I've went to even had maps on their mobile apps for easy viewing.  It's also a good idea to get the the registration area early, before the throngs of people show up.

10. Don't be shy.  This is a great way to meet people just like you.  Go to the room parties, go to the panels, watch the anime screenings, compete in the tournaments even if you're super bad at the game, hit up the rave later!  This is one of my biggest regrets.  When I've gone to cons I am always too shy and I don't make a single friend.  Don't be afraid to strike up a conversation with someone you don't know.  You could make a great friend.

This post was inspired by a request made by someone from Vegas.com, who requested me to write something for Vegas's own LVL UP EXPO.  I am NOT getting paid for this.  I just thought it would be fun to write!   For those attending LVL UP EXPO, check out the Vegas travel deals page for great money-savers!