Thursday, October 9, 2008
Thursday, September 18, 2008
I got to tank a real 25man boss! And I got my Sunguard Legplates (100-badge tanking pants) to boot! (Which incidentally will last me until level 77, when I can have the Tempered Saronite Legplates crafted.)
We downed High King Maulgar after three real tries (and one accidental facepull), and Jah outbid me for the t4 shoulder token. The good news is he's no longer wearing rogue leather.
Then, on to Gruul. Our pally MT stepped down for the fight because he was worried about being able to keep up max threat gen throughout the encounter. I was silently fuming and glaring at the tank channel when Dak whispers me asking for my mitigation numbers...
"k then, looks like you're MTing gruul :)"
Craziest thing about it was I was getting rage-starved! You'd think with something that hits that hard that often, rage generation would be absolutely through the roof...but apparently not. So instead of keeping a steady ~1,000 TPS average like I've been trying to learn to do, my threat spiked between 800 TPS and 1,300 TPS. Our OT (feral druid) had trouble staying second on the threat meters, which led to Gruul hauling off and bitch-slapping lots of rogues. We had him to grow 11 and I think mid-50s percent of his health on our best attempt before we called it due to lack of DPS. (But for a 23-man raid with a mixed bag of gear and several brand new 70s along, we did AWESOME. And I had loads of fun.)
With the new pants, my tanking stats are now:
367 block value
Plus chump change for +hit and expertise, which is going to be my next gearing project. I figure the Girdle of the Fearless, Dawnforged Defender, and (ideally) Furies Deck card will be a good start and a huge boost to my sustained TPS.
Friday, September 12, 2008
Octale posted the official raid schedule for Versus the World today, and it's Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday. I.E., the three days of the week I know I'm going to have to work. I never have Thursdays or Saturdays off unless I ask for them, and Tuesdays seem to be holding steady as a 'morning shift' day, but...I don't WANT to tank off-night farm content and only see progression on Tuesdays. I want to be a progression tank, damn it! That's why I'm DOING all this!
A short post in the announcement thread to let them know I'm one of the people who will have a problem with the schedule, and hopefully a tall glass of something sweet and fizzy will calm me down.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Versus the World also made our first official (second overall) foray into Zul'Aman, stomped Nalorakk's face in, and called it for the night due to internet issues. Then someone said "Hey! We should do Kara for badges!" Then they nominated/forcibly volunteered me to lead it and MT it, and I found myself at the helm of a Kara clear with:
-One geared main-tank. (Me.)
-Two undergeared offtanks. (Two rockin' feral druids.)
-Two geared-the-hell-out healers.
-Various and sundry DPS.
Then after Opera we had to do some reshuffling and ended up with...
-THREE offtanks (prot pally, feral druid with DPS gear, feral druid with tanking gear)
-THREE healers (two resto shamans, one IDS/holy priest)
-Various and sundry DPS.
Nightbane took for-fucking-ever. It was hilarious. Aran was almost a disaster, since we actually got to the point where he did the poly-drink-pyro combo, and SURVIVED... Then we decided to call it after Chess and do Netherspite, Illhoof, and Prince later this weekend.
So, that's my tanking news for this week. I tanked half a pull of Naxx trash (the first group in the abom wing, if anybody cares), got my Sun Eater (yaaaaaay!), main-tanked and led Kara for the first time. I think I'm 22 badges away from my badge tankpants. (Omnomnom expertise!) I like having measurable improvements on a regular basis.
On the topic of alts, Jah and I decided it was worth the cost of a new account to set up two RAFs and start powering secondary toons up to 59. Right now we both have mages on our main accounts, then I've got a rogue on my RAF and he's got a paladin. I've been playing with a mage on the premade PTR (and getting exploded three ways into next year with them on the copy PTRs) and really like what I see, so I decided to make it one of the toons I'd take into the expansion along with Besh, Jabbers, and at a later date, Mandar and Brangwyn.
Since this is mostly turning into a place for me to keep track of my goals and progress on various toons, tomorrow I'll devote a blurb to WotLK Checklist 2.0, now that I've seen beta.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
That crazy little symbol up at the end of the title is supposed to look like a quarter note. I'm not sure if it does.
Anywho, Jah's warrior (formerly Nargle, now Kante) is going to be full-time deepz since it's looking more and more like I'll be a regular on VTW's tank roster. (That's me over there! FEAR THE COW.) I OT'd the last two guild-run Karas and picked up a Panzar'thar Breastplate, Boots of Elusion, Shermanar Great-Ring, and the Choker of Discipline. This brings me up to:
-14k armor, or 57.15% physical damage reduction.
-515 defense. Yay overcapped!
-22.69% Block (with successful blocks stopping 292 damage)
-13,812 HP completely unbuffed - over 14k with Commanding Shout up, finally!
-I've gone from 400-500 TPS average to 550-700 TPS average, spiking up to 1,000+ TPS on heavy-hitting bosses where I can spam Heroic Strike.
And...a grand total of 39 badges. My dilemma is whether to buy the Gnomeregan Auto-Blocker right off the bat to ditch one of my horrendous pre-BC trinkets, or save up for my original plan of Girdle of the Fearless/Sunguard Legplates/everything else. (Still working towards the theoretic 'best' set maximizing stamina, expertise/hit, and finding gear with high raw avoidance stats.)
I'm a little annoyed that I'm going to miss out on our first Gruul's attempts due to work, but I'll get a chance eventually. Meh.
Regarding the beta: I've satisfied myself that prot will still be amazing for tanking and be semi-workable for leveling, as well as druid healing still being fun. I'm pretty much done with my beta account except for the occasional respec-and-grind test. Trying to keep as much of it new and interesting when it hits Live as possible...
Reading Unbearably HoT's writeups of the Refer-a-Friend nonsense tempts me to scrape up an extra whatever dollars and powerlevel-transfer two alts on Sen'jin. However, to use the jargon my Econ professor has stuffed into my head, the opportunity cost of an RAF account + 2 new 60s + a Zhevra mount for my moocow is somewhere around a week's worth of groceries for dinner and lunch money. And since I'd rather be able to eat for a week than have easymode 60s right now, looks like that won't be happening anytime soon.
Monday, August 25, 2008
It was GREAT!
It's billed as not a quick badge run, but rather a first-come-first-serve roster to get people some free gear before the reset. And get gear we did - two upgrades for our hunter, one for our rogue, a DPS ring for Kante, an offspec sword for the holy pally, and Tier 4 gloves and the Eternium Greathelm for yours truly. We oneshot Attumen, Maiden, and Curator, took a second try on Moroes due to CC confusion. Other than that, it was a lot more cohesive than some guild raids I've been on. I was impressed.
I've been doing a lot of reading on Tankspot.com about Effective Health Theory, so I'm following it when it comes to gemming and enchanting most of my new gear. The gloves are going to get 15 agility to be part of my slowly-accumulating threat/avoidance set, the helm is getting straight 12 stam gems to make it more EH-friendly, although matching the socket bonuses would turn it into a good avoidance piece as well. I'm going to continue stacking stamina in the immediate upgrades I get until we hit up 25mans or Wrath of the Lich King is released - I was given the MT position in tonight's raid by sheer virtue of having almost 13k health unbuffed, where the other warrior technically outgeared me (several epics, no green gear, all enchanted) but only had 10k health.
Food for thought while I'm at work tomorrow - What badge piece do I want to pick up first?
Friday, August 22, 2008
In my case, it was my level 70 Tauren warrior - the one I've not played since the day she hit the level cap six months ago. The one with no tanking gear that I decided to go prot on for a change of pace...yeah. It's been interesting. I did manage to scare up a decent tanking set through a combination of clearing out Netherstorm quests and hitting the AH for 'of the Champion' gear, and massive amounts of instance farming has netted me decent pre-kara benchmark stats. (For those interested, I'm sitting at almost 12k health, 12.2k armor, 12%/15%/21% dodge-block-parry, respectively. And I'm raid boss uncrittable!) I'm really excited to start tanking seriously again.
An odd thing I've noticed about our new server is that it's extremely lacking in tanks and healers. Versus the World, on the other hand, is chock full of tanks...but also low on healers. (I think we have 3 at 70 right now.) Still, we've got almost enough class balance to start doing Kara, so we're hoping for great things.
I'm in the WotLK beta. Death Knights are cool, new feral tree is shiny, new prot tree is actually OK to questgrind with, and I'm really really excited for the expansion to come out. I don't think I'll be actively testing much more of the content as I want as much of it as possible to still be a surprise when I get there on release.
I leave you now with a picture of my latest accomplishment - Don Carlos' Famous Hats for myself and three guildmates.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Wiping on farm content is not cool. Neither is forbidding members to talk to ex-members and then calling them loot whores in /g. Nor a total and complete lack of progression, hell, we couldn't even keep 3/9 BT on farm reliably.
Neither is promising someone a raid spot and gear as an OT, then never *actually* taking them to Hyjal/BT, but instead 'requesting' that they heal farm content and then rolling over them when a tanking upgrade drops.
So that whole long post I had about staying with Legion 'cause I wanted to help rebuild? Did it sound like I was trying to convince myself it was worth it? I think I was...and I shouldn't have.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
DPS officer: Sure!
Me: Hey healy officer and raid officer, I'm gonna start signing up as my hunter for farm nights. Talked it over with the DPS officer and she okay'd it.
Them: Kay, sounds good.
*signup thread goes up for Tuesday T5 Night*
*puts down HUNTAR in giant orange letters*
*opens up thread the day of the raid and sees herself listed under HEALERS*
Wayne Brady is gonna choke a bitch.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
- Farm, farm, farm. Need to make up for all the money I dropped on healing enchants. (I mean, I'm GLAD I got four upgrades in one week, but...repair money.)
- Finish FAFSA. Mail.
- Take online placement test for school.
- Write up a REAL blog post.
- Fiddle with PSP some more, get shiny banners made for D&H.
- Try and find a quick easy way to get 15 more +healing so I can hit the 2k mark.
In the time between my last post and now, Legion has downed 4 new bosses (Azgalor, Naj'entus, Supremus, and Shade of Akama), lost our best-geared warrior tank and fire mage, and our second-best-geared resto shammy. They also almost lost me and Jah, too. I had gotten all of two drops since I joined the guild, the raid officer was trying to force us to progress against bosses for which we were MASSIVELY undergeared, and...
...I was handed a free ticket to Sunwell on a platter.
The above-mentioned tank was accepted into the #3 raiding guild on our server. They weren't recruiting healers, but I had told him I was dissatisfied with Legion and so he'd talked with the officers of his new guild and they first agreed to take me for a trial run, and after I spoke with them over Vent one evening they assured me of a trial position in the guild - no application or trial run necessary. I could even bring Jah along, though he'd start in their non-raider rank. It looked perfect.
Then the day of my new guild's formal invite rolls around, and I think to myself while I'm at work "Self, what's going to happen to Legion if you leave? What will your friends think of you? And how in hell are you going to get yourself and all 7 of your alts out of the guild when the servers are down until mid-afternoon and there are guaranteed to be at least 3 officers present no matter when you log in?" And I thought it over for a few minutes. "Your friends will all be nice to your face, but they're gonna be sad/pissed that you left for greener pastures - and considering this is a 4-nights-a-week-heavy-progression guild, you can say goodbye to the rest of your free time - and Self, aren't you starting work on your undergrad again this fall?!"
"Well..yah...and considering the reaction to when [tank guy] left, I bet I'd get about the same reaction...and frankly, I'd rather keep my friends and my position in this guild than jump ship for a bunch of people I don't know I'll get along with."
So, we're still in Legion. I'm not sure Jah is happy with it, but I talked with some of the officers (after finding out I might get promoted to that rank soon) and one of the things I've always enjoyed was bringing a group of people up through content, seeing them improve, and kicking ass while having fun. I won't get that if I'm essentially being run through BT and Hyjal and then tossed into the most time-consuming instance in the game. And since I think I'm going to have to become moderately fluent in at least three languages for my major...well, you get the idea. The casual atmosphere and raid schedule is probably the best option overall. We've even started to get better at the Tuesday "Fright Night" t5 runs - downed Vashj and FLK Monday, then cleared 3/4 TK with time to spare yesterday so we went to Hyjal and downed Rage. Tonight, they're taking advantage of that to clear the middle 3 bosses in Hyjal and take a few shots at Archimonde. (Rumor has it he's bugged - Doomfires aren't moving. We'll see.) Unfortunately, I work tonight so I won't get in on the action.
In other news, I no longer look like a priest. I replaced my PMC chest with the one off Azgalor, the shoulders with t5, and the belt with VR's leather healy belt. WOO! Ain't he purty? :)
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Yeah. I gave in. I'm a huggertree. (As opposed to treehugger...get it? Okay, I'll stop now.)
And...I think I like it better than dreamstate for raid healing. I can keep a tank up indefinitely by myself with rolling HoTs. It's like DS/EmpHT, but with a different rhythm. And a barky ass instead of having to look at my man-in-a-dress-lawl.
Anyway, Noodles (my pocket tank-heal-DPS-adin) and I were talking the other day about goals we had in-game. I realized I'd never really had any - except for a half-hearted ambition to someday kick Illidan's face in for being a crackhead, and to level stuff to 70 and raid. But this was mostly about goals for WotLK.
He said to me, What are your goals for before the expansion comes out?
And I said to him, Noodles, I don't really have any that I can think of.
So I thought of some.
Before Wrath of the Lich King (which is probably/maybe/possibly in 3 months):
-Get my rogue and shaman to 70 and geared out in high-end badge / farm content gear.
-1600 rating with our 2v2. Noodles and I run BM hunter-Ret paladin. It's better than you'd think. We've gone from 1383 in our first week to 1481 this week, and I'm 26 points shy of my axe.
-Full t5+ gear on my druid, Mandar.
-Help Legion kill Kael'thas FUNstrider, as the officers have taken to calling him.
With Wrath of the Lich King:
-Level Mandar as beartank feral and get him geared to be a dedicated tank at 80.
-Level Anezka (shamanub) as resto and get her geared to be a dedicated healer at 80.
-Level Cly (rogue) and Bran (hunter) to be, respectively, my raid DPS and PVP toons at 80.
-Pwn Arthas's face. Hard.
I think it's pretty doable. I can still hold my own in progression raids as tree, something I was worried about (and which directly affects my chances of getting t5/t6 quality lewtz), and I discovered last night that I'm capable of keeping 8 people alive all by myself on the Hex Lord Malacrass fight after the other two healers died. We wiped impressively nonetheless, but it was good fun for about five minutes on my part. (Raid leader: "Dar, you just focus on healing the tanks." Priest and pally: "OSHITZ WE DEADED." Mage: "Don't worry, Dar's epic. She never runs out of mana." And I didn't...but the DPS did. ;_; )
Re: the respec, I'd talked to our GM (who happens to be a fairly active 41+ resto druid himself) about making the switch, he told me my gear was probably fine for it, so I did it. Swapped some gems and some items (I've got stockpiled gear for respecs...glad I do, too) and showed up to the Azgalor attempts on Monday as tree. I told the healing officer this about ten minutes after they'd invited me. He didn't say anything. Sometimes I wonder if he hates me or if he just does this to everyone. At any rate, I think I'll keep it for a while longer unless I start running heroics on Dar again (unlikely). It's growing on me. (Har!)
In other news, Jah hit 70 on his warlock! We're in the process of farming MASSIVE amounts of primals to get him kitted out in his pre-raid epix: Spellstrike Hood, Spellstrike Pants, and Belt of Blasting. My little baby's all growed up. *sniffle*
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Hello, my name is Cly and I'm a Dreamstate resto druid. My gear is still floating around the level of late Kara and early SSC/TK, but I'm healing for my guild in BT and Hyjal and catching flack about my spec, which prompts this post.
As Dreamstate, I focus my gear around a balance of intellect and spirit (thank you, 2.3 regen changes!) with as much pure +healing as I can possibly lay my hands on. I don't stack spirit - it doesn't do as much for me as intellect - and I chase spellhaste like nobody's business. Reduced cast time on my two direct heals as well as reducing the time of the global cooldown? YES PLEASE! I don't have talented improvements to my HOTs, nor am I bound by the mixed blessing that is Tree of Life, so I rely mostly on direct heals to MH on tanks or Regrowth/Lifebloom to heal across a raid. As you can see if you click on the word 'Dreamstate', this build takes advantage of the talents Moonglow, Lunar Guidance, Nature's Grace, and Dreamstate in the Balance tree combined with (most notably) Naturalist, Empowered Touch, and Tranquil Spirit in the Restoration tree. The talents I take in Balance were originally implemented to allow full Balance druids to put out raid-effective sustained DPS, but with 61 talent points at our disposal we can steal them for a great (if nonstandard) endurance healing build.
Let's break it down by individual talents.
MOONGLOW: Reduces the Mana cost of your Moonfire, Starfire, Wrath, Healing Touch, Regrowth, and Rejuvenation spells by 9%.
-Ignore everything but HT, Regrowth, and Rejuv. This used to be the defining talent of a 24-0-27 healing build back in the days before BC, and now it's a great boost to the efficiency of three out of our four main healing spells.
LUNAR GUIDANCE: Increases your spell damage and healing by 25% of your total Intellect.
-This is how my +healing tops 2.2k in crappy Kara/ZA gear. This talent right here. Raid-buffed, I've got almost 600 intellect...Useful for maxing out underwhelming gear or taking advantage of great gear, or anything in between. Scales with raid buffs as well.
NATURE'S GRACE: All spell criticals grace you with a blessing of nature, reducing the casting time of your next spell by 0.5 seconds.
-Never rely on this. It's fun to play with, sometimes it helps you get off a clinch heal when the tank takes a spike, but never EVER rely on it as a healing tool. I have 11% spellcrit in my healing kit, fully raid-buffed. Most of the time I use the proc to Wrath the boss with a 1 second cast. (You never know. I'm pretty sure the difference between our 1% wipe and the winning attempt on Supremus last night was all the healers helping DPS on kite phases.)
DREAMSTATE: Regenerate mana equal to 10% of your Intellect every 5 sec, even while casting.
-The crowning glory of this spec, the reason I make the weird gear and enchant choices I do, the reason my mana regen is so damn high, the reason I can get away with using Regrowth spam as my raid top-off heal, and the reason I have only used six mana potions since I started raiding above the level of Karazhan. 15% additional spirit has nothing on this talent. Scales with gear and buffs, and gives me 60-65 mp5 in typical raiding setup.
This is the basis of the spec - the framework that lays the foundation, and we build on it with the Restoration side:
NATURALIST: Reduces the cast time of Healing Touch by 0.5 seconds.
-It makes spamming HT much more time-effective, that's about all there is to it. 3.5 second baseline cast time to a 3.0 second baseline cast time FTW.
TRANQUIL SPIRIT: Reduces the mana cost of your Healing Touch and Tranquility spells by 10%.
-Mmm. Mana efficiency. This, along with Moonglow, provides a 19% mana discount for HT. Decent stuff.
GIFT OF NATURE: Increases the effect of all healing spells by 10%.
-Mandatory resto druid talent. Scales with gear and buffs, et cetera et cetera.
EMPOWERED TOUCH: Your Healing Touch spell gains an additional 20% of your bonus healing effects.
-This tops off the dreamstate HT build and lets me do the crazy things I do with direct heals. Healing Touch rank 13 gets 100% of your +healing. I have right around 2k +healing buffed. (2000 x 1.2 =2400) so with my gear it's an extra 400 health (or 600 on crits) for my big OHFUX heal. Winnar. Maybe it doesn't seem like much, but...well, you get the idea.
And, perhapse the paragraph that should have lead off this post:
A Dreamstate druid is an endurance tank-healer who builds a large mana pool, a mountain of +healing, and more mana per 5 second regen than strictly necessary in an effort to provide their assigned tank with a constant stream of huge, reliable heals. When healing a tank, I rely on a spell rotation generally consisting of Regrowth - Rejuv - HT until the HOTs tick off, repeat. Or, if things get sticky, I ramp it up and just chain-cast HT.
No, you will not top healing meters with this spec. You will likely hover near the bottom if you're doing what I do - heal one or two tanks and spot the raid when you get bored - but in a clinch, Nature's Swiftness plus Healing Touch and if you're lucky, bam 10k health on a tank who's dropped to 1% and is freaking out because all his healers are going to land something just a fraction too late.
My gear is far from amazing. I'm still rockin' out the full Primal Mooncloth set, the ZA leather healy hat, gloves/weapon/boots/rings from Kara, a blue healing/haste trinket, and the offhand from Al'ar. But in a pinch I can solo-heal both the MT and the Hateful Strike tank on Supremus, or keep fifteen people up on Anetheron, or switch between three-shotting elementals and topping off everyone within two steps of me on Vashj.
We wiped 11 times on Supremus, each attempt getting better, and I kept dying first (and was thus at the bottom of the healing charts). Our healing lead whispers me, links the healing done chart, and asks me if [person on top of list] outgears me by THAT much...and one of my friends (who happens to be the DPS lead) tells me if I went tree, my HPS would go up by about 200...and one of my OTHER friends (the main tank and former recruiting officer) whispers me and says "O hay, we might ask you to respec tree, just fyi."
So I put on 3 pieces of my crap PVP gear, we changed the way we were kiting the pile o' rocks, and he died. And the next day, I found out that both my friend the DPS lead and the guild master (who is a restotree) stood up in O-chat and said I was doing just fine as a nontree, dammit.
Friday, May 16, 2008
Second: I finally got around to ordering a new laptop, making the jump to Vista, and sending out college applications. I'm hopefully finishing my last two generals this coming Fall and then getting into my major classes next Spring. Also, I has a job now. /win
Third: I took a break from raiding, respecced feral, cleared barely a third of my quest log, did one day's worth of dailies, and came out of the deal 400g richer. This was a welcome vacation - it also let me replenish my dwindling purse. (I spent roughly 1,000g leveling the hunter's leatherworking to 375, and I still need another thousand or so to buy mats for Belt of the Black Eagle and Boots of the Crimson Hawk. Ugh. Also, repair bills.)
Fourthly: I have a new pet alt...an enhancement shaman...who is friggin' awesome. Jack of all trades FTW, yo. (Which is the same reason I loved my pre-BC feral druid so much. I could tank, DPS, or heal up through BWL levels with just a change of gear.) She's level...34? 35? Anyway, almost to dual wielding capability, and I'm SO EXCITED. 'Cause I've been going through melee DPS withdrawal ever since I realized my fury warrior was trapped on a dead server and that I didn't ever want to level my rogue again. >< The shamanub gives me the opportunity to see big pretty numbers from up close again and keep hybriding it up.
Unfortunately, my work schedule doesn't allow for much available raid time, but I've managed to clear next Tuesday night of obligations. Theoretically it's a farm content night, so we'll see how it goes. Silly people and their not announcing what we're doing on the signup sheets...
Friday, April 4, 2008
So, a-hunting I did go for a new bunch of crazy people to share green text with. A couple of the guild's former drama llamas whispered me after we dissolved, wanting me to come join them in their guild (which was, ironically, stuck exactly where Stalwart had been - Kara on farm, 2/6 in ZA, and not enough people for Gruul's. They left because of a lack of progression. Lulz? Lulz.) but fortunately, a polite no was well recieved. So I check out the realm forums - nope, no luck there. But what's this? The raid progression giganto-post, listing each guild sorted by instance tier? Bingo!
And so I skimmed the list of SSC/TK guilds. Several of my friends had gone to guild A, just starting SSC and partway through TK. One of my friends had gone to guild B, further along than guild A but also larger. I had several RL friends in guild C, which is going through BT right now.
This was my line of thought. I'm a fairly well geared healing druid with an odd spec but definite healing power. Everyone needs healers, right? And most guilds have stopped requiring specs, right? So I *can* stay healing and they won't ask me to respec for DPS or something stupid like that...right? Provided they don't mind my 7k HP and Primal Mooncloth set and other assorted weird gear choices...and that weird spec I mentioned...Most people expect healing druids to be 41+ resto. I'm dreamstate-Emp HT, more of a 5man/outlast setup. (Hey, it works.) Will-they-won't-they, etc.
So I could app to guild A and be almost automatically assured of getting in due to friends in guild, app to guild B and have only what chance my application brought me, or app to guild C and abuse my contacts to bottom-feed my way through the last bits of endgame before WotLK.
I applied to guild B. (Which happens to be named Legion.) And I got in. And I've got to say, I'm really glad I did so. My friends in guild A are wiping due to silly stuff on content we've gotten on farm just since I joined. The ones in guild C are variously playing less often or gone entirely due to getting married. I don't feel like I'm tagging along and riding on the coattails of the better geared healers in Legion, considering I've been present (and an MT healer!) for most of the progression kills we've made in just the past month!
This post is a bit overdue. Stalwart started to fall in late February, I joined Legion mid-March while they were still working on Morogrim Tidewalker, and since then we've downed him, Fathom-lord Karathress, Al'ar, High Astromancer Solarian, Vashj, and the first two bosses of Mount Hyjal. Pretty good for a casual guild that raids two nights a week, eh?
And after I explained my spec's greatest strengths to the raid and healing leaders, they've put me permanently on tank healing duty.
And now, the promised blurb about my hunter. He hit level 70 and is now fairly decked out, which helps a great deal in the whole farming-money-for-repair-bills department. (Those dirty blood elves will never know what hit 'em...) I think I'm going to try and get him geared up to the point where he can start being useful in raids, maybe bring him to farm content nights or somesuch.
Sunday, February 24, 2008
All jokes aside, I do play far too many characters. My account holds two 70s, three more toons between 60 and 70 that I'm actively working on, and a myriad of alts below those. I've acted as class captain for rogue, druid, warrior, and priest, been a guild leader and a raid leader, and now I'm raiding casually and preparing my various alts for the Wrath of the Lich King expansion. (Provided I stick around that long.)
But anyway, on to the topic. I absolutely hate entry-level raids. Back in The Day, it was MC. Friggin' hate MC. Healed it on my druid, tanked it on my warrior, and DPS'd it on my rogue. Saw Rag's dead ass a few thousand times...but there is nothing more boring than doing the same instance over and over and never getting past it. (My druid was the only toon to advance into Blackwing Lair, which I deeply regret.) I suppose you can count AQ20 as an entry-level raid as well, but in my humble opinion it was a much better designed and more interesting instance than MC. ZG was alright. Except I hate the Panther, because she never dropped my druid's staff once in God-only-knows-how-many runs.
< / rant >
Now, there is Karazhan. I used to enjoy Karazhan. I have run it on my druid and priest, my former roommate's mage, and will probably have to run it on my hunter. It's getting old. Yes, it's wonderfully organized so that you don't have to clear -every- boss to fight the final Big Baddie. Yes, it drops two pieces of tier 4 and many good items. Yes, you get a ton of badges per clear. Yes, you can clear it in four hours or less if you're good.
No, it is NOT fun the five-hundred and seventy-eigth time.
I realized this after DPSing and off-tanking a four and a half hour Karazhan clear on my druid, then hopping over to my priest a day or two later for her guild's Kara attempt. Three hours to get to Opera. Opera event downed at three and fifteen. I leave to go eat dinner. Come back, do some alting, and the raid's at prince. Get a request from our GM to come emergency heal - they lost someone.
"Sure, I'll come" I say. Nevermind that I'm undergeared for the latter half of the instance, I assume he's thought of that.
I log over, get the summon, run up to Prince, and find the holes in the group have been patched with members of a tier 5/tier 6 guild one of our friends is in. (Uh oh.) One attempt at prince, one wipe later, one of them immediately starts pinning the blame on me - my healing style, my spec, my gear, etc. (If you want me to 'keep the tank topped up so the other healers can deal with spike damage', yes I'm going to overheal a ton. I never went below 3/4 mana and I was spamming rank 1 Greater Heal, which did the job nicely for my gear level.) Blah blah, I'm a skill-less noob, blah blah blah.
Or maybe I don't hate entry-level raids for the fact that they're entry-level raids. Maybe I hate the people who assume that because you're still doing them, you don't know jack.
Here endeth the rant. Next up: My beloved hunter alt, the imminent dissolution of the guild I helped found, and druid PVP.
Thursday, February 7, 2008
For starters, Healers FOR SHAME. If you are always trying to be top on the healing charts why don't you flip over to your over healing meter and check it out, I am willing to bet you are on the top of that one also. Why don't you just take that number due to over healing, and calculate how much mana that is using your (and I'm giving you the serious benefit of the doubt here) MOST efficient heal, and lets see how much you've managed to waste and see how much longer you could have stayed up and healing. Not to mention lets check how many times you have died compared to the other healers due to pulling aggro to early in the fight or some such nonsense. Or you may be wondering why your constantly poping mana pots every 2 min when all the other healers are still at half mana. It's all well and good if your saving the group from a wipe, or you just have to do that much to keep up and under geared tank but if your just spamming heals to try and make it to the top, just stop it your making yourself look like an ass. And probably causing problems for your raid when you go OOM way to early in the fight.
Ok now don't think your gonna get it easy all you DPS freaks. I swear to go if I am in another raid where there is someone who cant wait for 3 sunders on a boss fight. Or thinks they are leet enough that they can ride the edge of the threat meter and just be a hairs breadth from pulling aggro off the tank, I'm going to reach through the Internet and choke the life out of you. Please save me the trouble and learn from this post, or go play tic tac toe in your sand box in the backyard, AND STOP WRECKING RAIDS FOR PEOPLE. People it's not that hard, don't go crazy just because you can, if you have to fine. But if you have stuff on farm and your constantly pushing less then 5% threat away from pulling off the tank BACK THE HELL OFF. Nobody appreciates having to heal you, and I know damned well your tank doesn't want to waste time taunting off you mid fight(presuming thats even possible giving the situation and many bosses Immunities to taunt). So there you are, at the top of the dps meter, just pulled the aggro off the tank, great now what do you do, oh wait I'll use my aggro reduction ability, WRONG ASS HAT for that to work you now need to get BELOW the tanks threat by a significant amount in order for him to regain aggro, and I don't know about you. But I am pretty sure your gonna go squish when Gruul decides he wants to take a swipe at you cause you just surpassed all 3 tanks at growth 8, GG DIAF.
Moral of the story kids, barring an emergency situation, Stay 10% below your threshold for pulling aggro off the tank, use your aggro wipes early and use them often, and Hunters for the LOVE OF GOD, if you feign death and drop aggro onto a healer cause you were to stupid to FD 5 seconds ago save us all some frustration and durability and go play Hello Kitty (http://www.sanrio.com/activities/) and leave the rest of us to a game that actually requires you to have the ability and intellect to wipe yourself after using the restroom.
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
First of there is Omen, omen is a Threat meter and Yes I have use KTM(KLH). But I have found that Omen updates much faster and has proven to be more accurate on a number of occasions. Next Is some type of Damage/Healing Meter. Currently I use Recount, it is out of date but has not broken yet. The reason I use Recount is not only does it Provide Dmg/Healing/Over Healing It also records who breaks CC, Where your dmg is coming from, How often you miss, Where you take dmg from and what ability that mob is using. It really breaks everything down so you can disect it and figure out where you are having problems or where you can improve (which reminds me to post another topic about DPS meters and how to NOT use them).
Everyone who has ever so much as looked at the Auction House should download Auctioneer, it's far to handy not to have. If your sick and Tired of Alt-tabbing to look at drops off bosses you can't go wrong with Atlas Loot Enhanced.
Another must have is a coord addon, the one i currently use is Location Fu, I know it doesn't list the cords as 00.0 , 00.0 but common if you cant find something without needing to go to the tenth degree of a cord you need to just quit and go play Hello Kitty Island Adventure or something. All of the FuBar addons are great in my opinion pick and choose your own at will you cant go wrong, they are updated very often and even if they are not they don't seem prone to breaking easily.
Finally a new little Gem I found recently is Quest Helper, this little buddy uses some free ware databases and will actually make way points on your map for your various quests and plot a suggested path to take to do as many as possible and then return and do mass turn ins so as to reduce the amount of total run time. a warning that it does miss some quests but by and large It does help reduce questing time in my opinion.
And last but not least, something no raider should ever have to live without Ratingbuster this little guy is a god send, it looks at a piece of gear you mouse over vs. what you are wearing and it tells you what you gain vs what you lose it calculates all stats down to HP/MP/+DMG/+Crit blah blah blah, no more need to do Agility/Str/Int/+ to crit/ + to hit conversions to find out what % it will increase your actual output by, it gives it to you in an instant. And finally you should have some type of boss mod, I use Deadly Boss mods, there are many others and probably some others that are better out there at the moment, but I just haven't spent the time yet finding one.
My very first passion was my druid, I loved the flexibility of being able to respec and play the game 3 different ways at will. I primarily found my best fit healing in Tree form, however I started healing for MC raids pre-tree and enjoyed that just as much. I also enjoyed Tanking in bear form and DPS'ing in Cat, however this takes a huge amount of time to get 3 sets of gear built up all of which can compete at the same level as the other so I found myself constantly updating my 3 sets. I never really got into Moonkin at that point due to not really wanting to try and come up with a 4th set. And thus I took my first break from WoW while because I enjoyed my druid and still do, he was never really the best at what he did and I became locked in as a healer as my guild progressed through Gruul's, and I shortly discovered that I really was'nt a healer, Don't get me wrong here I was rather good at it, I was usually 2nd of 3 in kara or 2nd of 5 in Gruul's and mostly was battling for 1st with a very well geared and exceptionally skilled priest. But I just got bored with it, I wanted to be In the action taking the hits and dishing it out, and When the original Druid Nerf's came out shortly after TBC's release, it made Cat's not a very viable source of Raid DPS. So I switched to my warrior.
I figured I would try raiding as MS or Fury. So I dutifully Leveled my Warrior to 70 got my Gladiators Right & Left Ripper and started stacking up the +hit/+crit/+AP gear. And thats where I hit a road block, Not a lot of people wanted Raid DPS warriors. Sure everyone cries for a MS PvP War, But I'm not much for PvP I truly enjoy PvE raid encounters the most. So I found myself being pressured into becoming a Tank, Something I had done as a Druid and was not particularly found of. While I did become a staple of every group for a small amount of time, and successfully Tanked for a guild up to Curator a few times. I decided I would cut that venture off short because what I really wanted was to be able to spit out Raid DPS.
So now I have my warlock and I am hoping that I have finally found my niche. I have leveled Mages up to a certain point (mid 40's pre-TBC) But there was a little bit of something missing for me. So I switched to the warlock and I think I've found what I've been looking for, Warlocks can indeed rip out massive dps in the long and short term(Boss/Trash mobs) and Depending on Spec and Hit some very impressive numbers as well as be incredibly efficient. It all depends on how you want to spec it out, Right now I am currently looking at doing the cookie cutter 0/21/40 Destro aka Shadow Mage spec for raiding, and it looks rather promising. You can give great debuffs via Curse of Elements and Curse of Shadows, you really should not be CC'ing in Raids due to the unpredictability of Fear UNLESS you are prepared to use Curse of Recklessness to Yo-Yo the mobs a little bit. You can easily dot up multiple mobs and have some nice sustained dps via your Dots and then start racking up some dmg with SB/SP depending on how fast the mob is dropping and how you want to spec (Pure Shadow/Pure Fire/Hybrid). On top of all that you have Pets that you can buff yourself and other's with. And you are basically an Eternal Mana Battery assuming your healers will toss you a couple HoT's every now and again, and you keep a good stock of Health Pots and Soul stones to Health stone with, and Sacrifice your Void/Felhunter depending on which works out better for you 4%MP or 2%HP per 4 second. So basically I'm saying Warlocks are my favorite class for the moment, They seem to be capable of the same DPS as a Mage but they play style has enough to it to keep someone like me entertained.