Project 5×2: Brainstorm

Begin the Brainstorm | The Challenge is ON!

Cynwise suggested a macroless setup.  It got my creative juices flowing a bit — reminded me of certain spells I took for granted.

I started to write out macros, using my favorite macros resource, Fitzcairn’s Macro Explain-o-matic.  I looked up using conditionals on /castsequence, I made sure I put aside some pet control, I looked up how to incorporate Soul Swap into a macro.

At first I thought it would be simply writing a handful of castsequence or modifier macros.

Hoo boy.

No matter how confusedly difficult it gets, I plan to see it as a challenge to demonstrate what I know about affliction PvE play (I’m not quite ready to tackle this for PvP), but also to learn more about affliction PvE play.  The things I take for granted, like spell usage.

Spell Usage | Difference Between Group and Solo

The more I wrote some snippets and thought about things, the more I realized that solo often has a laxer and Drain-Life-esque rotation than in group.

Group is typically the raid rotation, or close to it.  You use Haunt, you use Curse of the Elements, you use Shadow Bolt, you end with Drain Soul.  Solo, I typically toss out Corruption, maybe UA and a BoA, then pop a Shadowflame if I want to, and move on to the next mob, draining as necessary.  I even slap up Curse of Weakness more often than not in solo because I’m drain-tanking mobs, and it always helps that the melee mobs don’t smack off chunks of my health.

Can I add a Soul Swap macro in?  Do I even need Soul Swap, or can I still multidot old-school fairly effectively?

When I’m in raid, I of course need access to my Life Tap.  When I’m solo, or in a 5man (presuming the fight isn’t too terribly long), I Life Tap out of combat.

I need Fear and Banish at the ready in 5mans (focus macros are amazing), but not so much in raid or solo.  Can I fit both in one focus macro?  What if I need to control two targets?  (Multi-CC in Grim Batol comes to mind.)

I use my Doomguard in raids; I hardly ever use a guardian outside of raids.  (Maybe just for Infernally stunning fun.)

Dark Intent can be placed out of combat, but I still want the ability to place it on someone when I’m not grouped.  Doing dailies around Tol Barad & the Peninsula, I tend to trade buffs since it appears I can’t soulstone non-group members anymore.

The AoEs — Seed and Rain — have their places and times, so I’ll need to work up something for those as well.

Then there’s Soulburn, there’s Soul Harvest, there’s healthstones and soulstones and summoning.  If I’m expected to utilize the soulstone as a brez (combat!), can I fit it in somewhere?

Can I get a pet bar or a macro of pet control in there somewhere?

Possibly Using Addons | The One Ring

Originally, upon learning addons were okay, I thought of Dominos‘s advanced use.  You can add macro conditions to Dominos’s bars (the default is [combat]show;hide), and there’s a few dropdowns where you can use Bar 2 if you’re targeting a friend or Bar 3 if you’re targeting an enemy.  I thought of using those, to lighten up the macros.

Then, I used my hearthstone, which is in a ring I made in OPie, and it hit me.  The One OPie Ring.

Of course, if OPie is ever discontinued or breaks beyond fixing, you’re totally screwed out the ass, but as long as it works, it appears to be a wonderful idea.  You can embed rings inside rings, so it would make the perfect out-of-combat keybind.

You could make a Pet Bar inside one keybind.  You can make a pet bar, a stone bar, a CC bar, a consumables bar …all inside one keybind.

As long as you can macro it, you can fit it in an OPie ring slice.

Keybind Arrangement | The Nuke Center

The 2 key is my nuke button, since my 1 key broke its top off a long time ago, and the 2 key is still fairly close to my navigation keys (W, AD strafing, S).  I still use the number row (1-0,-, =) as my main bar, and then I have a Dominos bar for clicking set just above that one.

Then I have a plethora of OPie bars bound to nearby keys (alt-Q, alt-R, shift-F, shift-X).  Then I have even more macros bound to more keys via BindPad (Soulshatter is shift-Q, mounts are alt-E, boss macros are shift-E, etc.).

I wonder sometimes what would happen to my current setup if I used a Razer Naga or similar multi-button mouse.  (I currently use a simple USB Logitech two-button mouse with a scrollwheel.)  Or even if I had an actual gaming keyboard versus my compact laptop one.

I mouse-turn while casting spells, sometimes (Shadowflame is a cone, you can sweep it).  I have to move while casting my instants — that is the whole point of Fel Flame, isn’t it?  Do the navigational keys count in the 5 key count?  Do disabled players mouse-turn (alternating with movement keys?) or keyboard-turn?  Do they use that special clickable movement interface addon instead?  (Can’t remember the link ARGH)

Should I arrange my 5 keys in the 1-5 row or use multiple rows in a cluster?  Should I position them more like a PvP setup, curling around the WASD keys?  Should I position them on the right side of the keyboard, for better keyboard-to-mouse movement, if the player plays with a right-handed mouse?  Should I design the keybinds to operate separately — that is, there’s no “order” to press them in?

Does It Work? | Testing Needed

At the end, once I’ve got a setup I think with work, I’d like to try it out myself.  The big difficulty will be breaking my habits and trying as faithfully as possible to play in a disabled fashion.

I can’t remember the movement pad addon, but I’ll try using that.  I’d have to make a special profile for Dominos and OPie and BindPad, so I’m not tempted to use my many many keys.

I’m not sure whether I should just go pug something on Live with it, or whether those who are also working on this project can get a 5man together once on the PTR (for max-level testing), where we can test multiple classes and specs and ping ideas off each other.


This is an initial brainstorm of a post.  I plan to continue thinking and scribbling on this.  I encourage others to try it out for your class and spec, even if just for kicks.

If you’ve got other brainstorms going on, feel free to comment, whether it’s aff-locking or not.  I find my best brainstorming happens when I can think for a bit and then talk to others.

If you don’t feel like putting it in a comment, feel free to leave a link to a post in a comment or talk about it on Twitter (I’m @slowpoker).

Update: I’ve started a page to compile things.  Feel free to comment there to add references & links.

Project 5×2: Brainstorm

CC Tips

Okay, yeah, yeah, more like “CC Essay.”

I’m a warlock.  I’m going to talk about warlock CC.  But I’m pretty sure it could apply to any form of CC.

Epeen Points | I’ve gotten a whisper thanking me for my CC, that I “healed” as much just by doing my CC stuff.  I told the bear tank guildy I’ll go anywhere with him since he’s a great tank, and he said ditto back.  So, /flex, I’m good at what I do in instances.  Maybe not topping the charts in DPS (it’s a dungeon, who the flip cares about your DPS number so long as you get it done with the least pain possible), but I help out well enough.

Once, the tank mentioned he loved Fear because it never broke.  I was a bit sad to tell him I was just refreshing it before the duration expired.  Then it’s amusing when melee dps try to hit a Banished target and it just sits there immune to everything.  It’s highly annoying when I pull out my succubus to seduce something only to have someone run over and break it immediately.

So let’s talk about complete CC: the beginning casts, the refreshes, and breaking CC. By “complete CC” I mean something that prevents the mob from telling off your party members for wearing such horribly clashing outfits.

Textwall Crits for 9001 Damage | I’m going over four warlock CCs in detail (jump to: Seduction, Enslave Demon, Fear, and Banish), for either non-warlocks or warlocks who want to refamiliarize themselves with the spells.  If you want to skip to the part about executing warlock CC in party, you can.  Yeah, okay, it’s maybe two articles together, but I felt like going into the specific spell mechanics was still important.

Play on, Poneria…

CC Tips

[gear] 85 But Not Yet Raiding

My guild has tasked myself and my guildmates to plan out gear in order to get ready to raid.  Of course, we have a week or two on our raid calendar already for Five-Man-Festivals, and it’d be great to know what blues I ought to look out for.

Normally, I’d just go by my usual stat priority.

This is a gear list which means it’s super long, so I’m going to try to break up this post with a more! tag.  As far as I can figure out, my settings should still keep a full post in the feed reader, but let me know if it doesn’t. Go on, go on!

[gear] 85 But Not Yet Raiding

A Most Awesome PuG Group Experience

Dear Syl–you weren’t worth writing down your whole name & server, I guess,

You were a dick to us, all gogogo to get the sliver of experience you needed to hit 20. Frankly, as a veteran warlock, I was dismayed to see one of the class NOT using a demon of any sort for a good portion of dps’ing.  But the worst of it was when as you immediately dinged 20, you left us with a “cya losers.”

Well, you missed out on the fun & goodness of an awesome experience with four strangers.  The only really good pug experience I can remember with 4 complete strangers was the one time I got a non-fail Oculus group who also continued to do another random dungeon.  While that experience was awesome, this was awesomer by a few degrees.

Hope you enjoyed your 20 ding as much as we enjoyed not having you.

Sphaira, the belf priest from Ursin

P.S. My Recount was still up when I logged in.  It’s Sylidor from Lightninghoof.  Now I can /ignore your ass.

The Group
Honestly, I wanted to maybe submit this to’s newly redressed Classifieds for kudos, but I wasn’t sure if I could say an entire group was awesome.  Really, it started with our tank, but all four of you were amazing.  Also, I lament how you can ignore cross-server, but you can’t friend cross-server.  I totally would have friended you guys were you all on Ursin.

ILIAD, Detheroc (Belf pally): Iliad, you started off mentioning this was not only your first time through Wailing Caverns, but your first time tanking.  Maybe not your exact first time, but kudos to you for speaking up about it.  To tell you the truth, it was my first time through WC, too.  Since my mains are typically Alliance on Eonar, when I go over to my Ursin Hordies, it’s a whole new experience.  You did an excellent job. 🙂 You were amazing for watching mymana and even reminding me to drink up when it dipped too low.  After playing a raiding tree, I’m used to feeling like I have near-infinite mana, so it was refreshing and awesome to get a random tank who looked after my blue bar.  Thanks so much! 🙂

AYO, Moonrunner (Belf pally): Ayo, you were awesome, too, when Iliad had to afk for a few min, you picked up the tanking and did quite excellently.  You seemed a bit more intuned than Iliad in picking up things that wanted to smack me, but Iliad did say it was his first time tanking, so I don’t blame him at all.  You also led Val & me back to Rhy & Iliad when you guys found the boss we had missed in the western wing.  Thanks. 🙂

, Maelstrom (Undead mage): Rhy, you were just full of awesomesauce.  When no one seemed to know where to go, you picked it up for a bit and guided us through the bosses to do. I had a veteran Hordie RL friend come over about the time we got lost, and even he mentioned that veterans get lost in there.  You were quick to go read Wowwiki and show us the way.  I had Atlas up, but since I’m an Ally n00b to WC, I had no clue where I was or who we had killed, so I felt rather useless.  Also, you offered up water the first time we all appeared in WC, which is fully awesome.  Thanks 🙂

VALCURAX, Twisting Nether (belf warlock): Val, you replaced the dick lock in admirable fashion.  You were nice and just generally awesome.  When the group split to find the lost boss, I ended up with you, and you even tanked some mobs with your VW in order to scout out the place.  You let me put you on follow while I let my friend in.  Though I was a little annoyed that you nearly life tapped yourself to death a few time, you were a good representative of the warlock class. Thanks. 🙂

The Instance
Wailing Caverns.  We killed whatsherface in the beginning, which is when Syl dinged 20 and promptly left.  Val quickly caught up as we roamed around the cavern to the guidance of Rhyannyn.  After we had circled around, we went to go talk the druid guy into summoning the Murloc boss, but it wouldn’t answer.  At this point, we realized we forgot a boss, but we couldn’t figure out which one we had.  The group was nice and generally happy to each other as we roamed everywhere searching for what we hadn’t done.  At one point we split–Iliad, Rhy, & Ayo went west, while Val & I roamed around the east.  Iliad, Rhy, & Ayo found the boss we had missed, and as Val & I tried to navigate back to the west, Ayo thankfully said we should tele out/in, which returns you to the instance entrance! Problem solved! Ayo came to meet us and guide us back to reunite with the group. We killed Lord West-side-snake-guy, then performed a tele trick once again to summon Murloc Man.  Piece of cake.

After finishing the instance and a few dings in the place, Iliad asked if we would like to do another dungeon.  Unfortunately, some of us had to go, including me.  Had I not been about to have company over, I totally whole-heartedly would have healed you through another random, Iliad.  And the rest of you, would you have come.  You guys were full of awesomesauce.

Especially since, as Iliad pointed out, we had NO DEATHS and NO ARGUMENTS throughout the ENTIRE place.  Wicked cool, guys. 🙂  I left feeling full of win.  I hope to see you guys again, whether at 20 or at 80.

A Most Awesome PuG Group Experience

Dear Group

Still musing and putting all the thought down for the Spitfire thingy pondering.  Honestly, like  Blessing of Kings said, there’s many issues in the one post, so … maybe many posts…

This is a draft / sketch, if you will.  Unfinished.  Only 30 max of you read this anyway, so who cares. 😛

I was thinking about the roles and stresses each role has and what I, as a DPS, do for others and want back from them.  It’s similar to WowWiki’s PvE class articles, but here’s what I’ve picked up as a lock in dungeons & raids.  Purple means your warlock can do this for you; green is what you can do for your warlock; half-n-half is win-win for both. 🙂


Vigilance | AoE threat for trash mobs | Healthstones | Banish | Fear | Summoning | Felpuppy Spell Lock on caster mobs | Drain-tanking | Marking targets | Not dancing if I cast Rain of Fire | Watching my threat | Watching for patrols you might not see | Letting me know when you need another HS | Running to you when I aggro something |

SPECIAL NOTES: If adds come from a certain direction, put the tank between me & the adds.  E.g. hug the tank in BK-P2 or stand across from the doorway, not on the table, at Prince K in UK. // Put CoE on a boss when the tank pulls to get Omen to register, but don’t start DPSing. // Thank for good tanking at the end.


Healthstones | Soulstones | HoTs when I’m nearing OoM | Not Life Tapping to Death | Life Tapping during the HoT, not after | Staying out of abnormal air or floor distributions | Healing my pet | Using the SS when I cast it on you | Not dying next to a mob when you have an SS on you | Using my felpuppy to dispel that spell-reflected Corruption off myself |

SPECIAL NOTES: Thank healers for healing my minion.  I know I appreciate it on my druid when hunters thank me.  // Thank everybody who buffs my minion. // Offer a refill for anybody on HS after wipes. // Drain-tank or direct my damage to a mob gnawing on a healer. // If I have mage biscuits from another group, offer some.

Other DPS

CoE for casters | Not MD/ToT to me | Not having the same demon as me | Offering to trade off HS or Summoning |

SPECIAL NOTES: Offer extra mage biscuits to other mana classes.  // If a destro warlock is in group, switch to felpuppy.  // If another afflic lock in group, offer to switch to imp.

Buff Specials (since classes cross roles)

Buffing my pet | Wisdom on the Imp / Felpuppy | Might on the Felguard | Fortitude | Blood Pact | Divine Spirit | Fel Intelligence | Intellect | Gift/Mark of the Wild | Kings > Wis > Sanc | Wrath / Flametongue Totems | Demonic Pact (if demo) | Moonkin Aura | Replenishment (if destro)

Why Your Warlock Is Cursing You (/groan)

Unfortunately, all of these are true stories.  Please don’t be the story I have to add to the list.

Generally, don’t…

  • Sheep/shackle the mob I have 3 DoTs on already and then yell at ME about it.  L2SeeTargetDebuffs.
  • Continue to pull trash before Patchwerk in Naxx when all the casters (including the healers) just jumped through the health & mana-draining slime.  Yeah, it drains mana, too. It sucks.
  • Tell me to SS someone when it’s on CD.  Especially after someone used it last wipe.  Especially especially when I told you it’s on CD when you asked 30s ago.  I give you a blank stare of disbelief irl if you ask me this while I’m dead.  (my druid says replace ‘SS’ with ‘B-Rez’)
  • Ask me for a mage table.  Seriously, it’s happened.
  • Ask me to sheep something.  Yep, this one, too.
  • Tanks: say you got it, then force me to Soulshatter after I pull off you before my second round of DoTs expires on a boss without a phase change/threat-reset ability.
  • Yell at the healer for not being healed enough, but then say you still have your HS when I offer more.

Regarding soulstones:  Be intelligent with your SS usage.  You will never be soulstoned by me again if any of the following facepalming acts is committed.

  • You have the SS and are alive when it becomes obvious this is a wipe, yet you decide the boss wants a hug in his pull radius rather than running away to a safe rez spot.
  • You have the SS, can use it without pulling anything, and you release.  Bonus /headdesk: you say you were saving it for later.
  • You are the shaman with the SS and you use reincarnate instead.  Bonus /headdesk: you bitch about the expense of Ankhs afterwards.  L2Glyph.
  • You ask me to soulstone you because you can’t find / aren’t going to bother trying to find Icecrown Citadel from the graveyard.  For the 3D navigation impaired: Find ICC, look up & to the right, find the Argent Crusade banners, fly up to the level of the top of the banners, on that level, go in the door on the left (WG is to your right).  Corollary: I understand if it’s Gundrak, but I still probably won’t comply.
  • You die within 5 seconds of using the SS (on my druid, replace ‘SS’ with ‘B-Rez’).
  • You stand in The Bad and you/the raid/the RL tell me to SS you because you keep dying but your damage/tanking/healing is just so fucking awesome.  L2NotPissOffYourHealerCorollary: Lag used as a reason for dying will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Regarding portals that need clicking: Please fucking click it.  It’s always TWO other people.  Unless it’s a Doomguard, then it’s FOUR.  I click yours, you click mine, mkay?  Don’t move until the Warlock TV comes out of the floor or the Soulwell falls from the sky.  Moving cancels the casting and it’s just annoying to have to cast it again because you can’t be bothered to sit still for five seconds.  As a rule, I’ve found that placing the healthstone portal in the face  of a tank and/or rogue results in a faster click+click+summon.  Also, I will find a crowd of toons to sit the summoning portal on.  Granted, the LFG teleporter makes most of the summoning stories obsolete now.  But if you would like to piss off your warlock, feel free to

  • Invite me to a dungeon party, then ask me to summon you to an instance when you are originating from the same spot as me or closer.
  • Be in Dalaran, ask me to summon you to an instance, and when I agree, you port to Ironforge and say your hearthstone is down (whether it is or not, that’s just rude).
  • Leave the raid without telling anyone or asking for a summon back and then expecting me to do it anyway.
  • Not be in my dungeon party/raid but ask me to grab two buddies and summon you & your friends to [place].  Not even tipping me will make me a mage.  You get automatically ignored if you ask me to summon you to a place which is closer to you than it is to me.  Yeah, I /who random people whispering me.
  • Repeatedly ask for a HS but don’t click the portal.
  • Repeatedly ask for a HS but keep canceling the trade window by moving.
  • Refuse to click my portal after I clicked your mage table one.
  • Ask for a summon and then go AFK for 2min as we try to summon you.
  • Go outside to the instance portal and summon people whom I’ve already summoned inside the dungeon/raid.
  • Be silent when the call for summons goes out, but everybody then decides to ask for their personal summon in intervals of 2min 1s.  FFS PEOPLE.
  • You fall off Gluth’s pipe but whine that I’ve put the stone on the pipe and not on Grobbulus’s platform.  L2Walk or shut up and take the summon.

Dear Group

Hasty Tasting

So I’ve had the chance to test out the new glyphs which let haste affect a spell or two.  One of them I like, and one of them, ehhh, not so much.

Wicked Corruption

Originally, I wasn’t sure about the warlock glyph, Quick Decay.  I got it as fast as I could grab one and went straight to the dummy to test it out.  And, well, Corruption kept falling OFF.  Mainly because it only lasted for about 15s, and even then, it felt like it only lasted for about 12s.  Normally, I refresh my Haunt as it dies, and every once in a while I miss it for like a second because I wanted to cast a Shadow Bolt instead.  So I would start casting by 3s left on Corruption and I’d normally be fine.  But Haunt would hit and Corruption would fall OFF.

WTF Warlock Troubled Face.

And I read somewhere later that it had to do with how the whole buff interface showing 3s are left when REALLY it’s something like 2.3s.  >.>  /annoyed  But it was okay, just start casting 1s earlier.  Except that wasn’t okay, because I barely had time to cast Shadow Bolt.  Maybe one got in before I had to refresh everything.

Then they fixed it so Shadow Bolt refreshes the duration, in addition to Drain Life, Haunt, and Drain Soul.  First, I was worried, because I thought resetting the duration  my Shadow Bolt means Corruption will never tick.  That I’d have to do some weird Shadow Bolt stopcasting dance around my Corruption ticks.  Then I read about the difference between the duration and ticking.  The ticks work off when the server registers whether there should be one.  The duration is just the, well, the BUFF, the state that allows the ticks to happen.  The refreshing doesn’t stop the tick tock ticking, it just lets the server know that the buff is still there, that ticks still need to be ticking.

And it works.  I’ve watched my target debuffs sit there and bounce through Corruption being reset–15s, 14, 13, 12, 15, 14, 15, 14, 13, 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 15, etc.–and then I look at Recount, and Corruption is still a big chunk of my damage as it’s always been.

I like this glyph.  This is a keeper.

Quicksilver Rejuvenation

As a healer, I tend to stack more haste than I do on my warlock.  Neither of them, though, is anywhere close to “ridiculously fast” aka 1s GCD.  For Affliction, the only thing it really does is let me squeeze in one more Shadow Bolt, and now, more DPS via faster Corruption.  But squeezing in Shadow Bolts, it’s a discrete thing.  You can’t squeeze in half a Shadow Bolt casttime: it’s one or nil.  On the other hand of the haste v. crit deal, Pandemic is amazing, and so is crit.

My druid doesn’t have 7 bazillion haste on her, either.  I don’t really know why, maybe because I don’t do progression 10mans or 25mans, so I’m not under pressure and against odds to squeeze out more heals per second.  Since I transitioned from DoTs to HoTs when learning how to heal, and my affliction heart cried when they took away two DoTs from my rotation…I don’t find it too hard to keep track of 7 bazillion HoTs everywhere.  Vuhdo helps, certainly, but it’s not too difficult to keep a whole raid going of rejuvs and a few lifeblooms and some regrowths and a WG off cooldown.  I’m okay with rolling HoTs and letting them tick in rhythm with casttimes.

For my druid, I end up balanced.  I don’t really know which one is “better.”  I’ve read various resto druid blogs discussing it, and then I think…they’re all top raiders.  What do I do?  I do 5 mans for the most part, and a 10man every week or so.  The 10mans I do often aren’t the hardest I could be doing for my gear.  I’ve yet to see half of Ulduar, really, even though my gear says I could do ToC10 easily.  I’m not pressured to perform well for a raiding spot.  “Robes-style” means we take whoever wants to go, gear loosely permitting.

In the 10mans it depends on whether it’s a guild group or not.  I raid heal more often than not: in pugs, it’s my default assignment; in guild runs, if one of our holy priests is healing with me, I might actually get to tank heal.  In 5mans, I’m the only healer.  Duh.  Well what’s the dynamic of 5mans?  Especially now with the random LFG?  With the people in ICC gear pulling 5k dps on roic trash who like to do dungeons in under 15min so they can move on to the next and vacuum up the badgers?

It’s frakkin’ fast in 5mans. You have the sit down, buff up, drink some water in the beginning, but after that it’s go go go.  I’ve often rezzed someone with my brez just because it was faster and spammed my group buff while running.   Then you have the tanks who like to pull the next group while people are still looting, so they might start the next mob pack out of range of my heals. Or ranged dps who manage to spread out everywhere on Scourgelord Tyrannus.  Or melee who forget that the spinny weapon thing in Pit of Saron does damage.   In 5mans, I count on the fact that I have heals ticking when I can’t cast due to running or range or quick huge incoming party damage.  I don’t need to spam Nourish standing still unless people really push it.  I count on my HoTs ticking on the tank while he continues to run out of range.  Wild Growth often sees chained cooldowns because the glyphed version is enough to cover a party and a pet, so it’s a fast-casting, quick-acting AoE heal.  Tranquility even gets pumped every once in a while.

The hasted rejuv makes my HoTs fall off faster.  I found myself casting my heals more, but I didn’t need to.  I overhealed way more, and it was just wasting mana.  I kept having to Innervate myself.  In FIVE MANS.  Granted, in 5mans due to ridiculous pull rates, but I hardly Innerv myself.  I usually save it for the priests and shammies, and if I do use my own Innerv, I only do so when I get that “Not enough mana” error message and I’ve already potted.  Which usually only happens if I’m in a raid that’s challenging for my gear and/or I had to brez somebody.  Maybe it’s different in the 25mans and progression 10mans.  But my 2k Rejuv ticks were doing fine without haste, and my mana pool liked it more.

Those resto bloggers are right: I’m a 5man’r, a casual 10man’r.  Tenths of a second aren’t going to terribly matter to me.  This glyph ain’t for me, so I traded it back for my WG+1 splash.

Hasty Tasting