Tuesday, June 1, 2010

What is the pace for a heroic?

I don't generally like tanking all that often. It's fun to do every once in a while, and I'm pretty decent at it now, but i'm never quite sure how fast to go. Honestly, healer's mana and rune cool downs provided I'd chain pull instances without skipping a beat but that's stressful for no reason. I methodically pull. Maybe I wait a little too long between pulls (I feel like it's maybe a solid 4 or 5 seconds after a pull finishes before I even start moving again). What I'm trying to say, is that I treat each pull as an encounter, and make sure everyones mentally ready for it, but it's kind of at a walkers pace when I could easily jog.

As a side note, most of my waiting time after pulls is to allowed death and decay to come off cool down, or to refresh bone shield and then wait for rune to pop up again. I think I might fair better with another class who is more instanteous. Runes and staggered enemies are infuriating. Only thing I REALLY like about tanking with my death knight, is that positioning and caster aggro is a breeze to manage.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

How has life affected this little shaman?

So, now being a part of a 25 man guild, that tends to raid on days I'm not available, with everything till festergut being "farm" content, loot is spreading quickly. Black Bruise dropped and my computer problem froze from excitement. I'm not kidding. If I hadn't been shouting in vent all day "man I want black bruise! I need a new weapon. It's so annoying the first viable weapon for me drops from festergut" I would have missed the roll. A rogue rolled for it offset (we have two muta rogues! weird right?), but the guild is pretty tightknit, so they're very aware of gear discrepancies. They waited for me to unfreeze, and gave me the SHINY NEW WEAPON YAY!

On top of that I got a helmet I'm probably not going to wear, and some shoulders I probably won't wear either. I was the only one that even rolled for them, so at least they're not being shared. I think I'm coming up on the day where I have to actually sim something, for the first time in my life and see if 2 piece tier bonus and 2 264 pieces are better than straight 4 piece tier bonus.

Oh and I want to kill myself, hitting the 4 piece bonus means i have to COMPLETELY change how I gem now. So suddenly AP dies in a fire and haste is the best thing in the world ever. I bought 9 gems. I gotta go and fix my gear I guess.

It's good to be swimming in options.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

25 mans!... and lag!

So my guild and a few others decided to do this "cooperation" thing, and we went to do icc 25. The only remaining person from my old guild went with me, and we whispered as it went on. He got a delicious staff, despite being the low roller. He was the ONLY person in the raid that claimed he was rolling on offspec beforehand (he is shadow, but he healed today). It's nice cause he didn't have the option of rolling on anything all of ICC 10 (NOTHING caster dropped)

I, on the other hand got the exact opposite deal. There was only one agi item, (a ring! so you know everyone wanted it) and I had lowest roll. Otherwise no chance to roll on anything. No mail even dropped. It's okay because we got a TON of frosts (6+5 for the frost giant raid weekly) so I can afford another tier piece when I feel like it. It's actually a difficult decision now, and I think I'm going to go with the chest piece because the legs can drop in VoA. Mostly I'm enjoying the greatness of being able to rocket through ICC whenever I want. I hope in 25 man the token drops and I can get me a delicious 25 man version of the gear. I will be tons happy then.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010



I got recruited by a guild that knows what they're freaking doing. Although it consist of some of the most vocal and annoying people on my realm, progress with mild irritances > banging my head against a wall and being happy.

It's not so much that I don't like my guild or anything, it's just its finally a chance for me to do what I originally specced to do. I was recruited based on my performance as a DPS. I was recruited based on my Enhancement. Heres the best part, I was recruited because they WANTED MY BUFF.

Holy christ on a stick. When the rogue got to morrowgar and said "I love that we have an enhancement shaman here" I just smiled ear to ear. People that know how valuable I am, is amazing.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

I'm bailing on my server.

I don't like not having progression. However I'm not going to transfer with money or anything. I just up and started a Hunter on a different realm. Right now it's pretty fun like it always is. Hunters have been a class that appealed to me without me being able to get into them. I like the customization of having select pets, and man I can't wait to join a 25 or 10 man group that I can weigh my pet benefits for the good of the group. Wolf? fuck no, I'm bringing a wasp!... or a worm...

Also does it seem weird to anyone that worms are exotic? Really? worms? is seeing a creature burrow from the soil that strange to these guys?

Anyways I'm starting survival, although I don't know if I'm going to stay that way. Mostly I'm doing it cause I'm a leatherworker, and I'm the guy that whenever they see passive effects all I see is "delicious talent points, use them here". So improved tracking was nice for me.

Blizzard seems to hate that about myself. I love passive talents. I'm that guy that played Naix in DotA because managing anything more than clicking was painful. Then again I love sub rogues, and its useless talents, scattered all around the tree.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I hate arcane mages

At some point, somewhere blizzard decided to make classes more dynamic. For instance, though I never played back in burning crusade, enhancement shaman was very much a strength based dps, with as far as I can tell, no access to wolves, no maelstrom weapon, and shields that costed mana. Basically they were a "hit storm strike" class.

Blizzard has done a fantastic job of keeping most classes dynamic, having a FCFS system, or a fairly length rotation (unholy and blood DK's tend to be rotational, but since the cool downs come at different times it really feels FCFS)

This has not happend with arcane mages. I've said I loathe elemental as a valid dpsing spec. It's essentially "spam 1, dont let 2 drop too long, and hit 3 when it comes up"

Arcane mages are worse. "hit 1 four times. hit 2. repeat"

I hope arcane gets nerfed into the ground. There is no reason to be proud of your "fantastic deeps" if you're not even struggling to do the said rotation. "But what if I have to stop casting!" oh no! what if everyone else does? Either this, or it needs to be reworked heavily.

I like how DK's function. I like how enhancement functions. I've toyed with destruction and affliction, and they're VERY hard for me to get used to which is unbelievably great. Most caster classes are very lucky, in that for the most part their rotation is unfettered by positioning but man, I can't get used to that. On my affliction lock I end up standing about 10 feet from a monsters face, just because I'm so very used to melee.

My problem is still not with casters as they have their own issues over melee, its with simple rotations. Arcane is the newest of my hatred.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Is everyone on my server miserable or am I awesome?

No seriously! Enhancement is not a particularly strong spec, granted it's one of the few classes that scales from pretty much every buff in the game, except divine spirit I believe.

However it's not a top preforming spec. It's the better than elemental, but everything is. I don't actually know exactly where we stand but I'd assume out of 23 dps specs, I'd say enhancement is around 13-15th best or something. So while I am in generally middle of the line gear, and I'm doing the second best in terms of damage.

I'm sure I'm doing my share of skilled damage. I know my class inside and out (although I just realized I should gem expertise instead of enchanting it, how fun is it to realize that? Yay math.) I know my rotation, I know my gear, I know what classes benefit most from me. Could it be everyone lags? Are people just sandbagging and expecting to be carried? I honestly don't understand it.

At least VoA pug was completed. Success. 25 people with 2 more frost emblems.

DK tank is starting to fall into welled oiled machine territory. If I get an over-geared healer, it's not even worrisome. However I have really fun stories, consisting of forgetting minor details, or luck based pulls where crazy things happened (getting punched down stairs, floating slowly woo)

Ran naxx because I picked up an older weekly. Started with 5 people and it did not work. I had 34 stacks from the add before I finally kicked the bucket. picked up another 2 guildies, and bam completed with no ill consequence. I don't think I'll ever be a very good tank, but hey

melting faces is cool.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Gear + Effort = More effort

Well blizzard finally decided to toss the RNG in my face. I had to tank FoS. And not just regular old FoS, oh no. heroic!

This is how it went down.

We all pop in. Shaman healer goes "I'm not healing a DK and drops" Prompt vote-kick. Confidence in me looks very high. I state "yeah if you're lazy it's not good to heal me, i can get you killed." Breaks the ice, everyones in a pretty decent mood. Had an overgeared warrior, a death knight and a hunter with me. Generally when I say "overgeared" i mean "to the teeth" Rocking 264 gear all over generally. How he managed not to pull off of me every pull is nothing short of miraculous, and awesome huntering.

Our replacement healer was a paladin, who, not only didn't bring anything to drink, but seemed to ignore the fact that he may have had to do something. Generally I don't pay too much attention to my health (or rather I'm trying not to as much) but when healer bob decides "I'm too good to have to heal" people die. He left at the first wipe, which was really nothing more than him not healing. Not more than one flash heal occurred, and I'll give you a hint, casters did not kill me. my love, anti-magic zone prevailed greatly against casters, so I died to simple "being beat in the face" damage

We finally replaced him with a tree, unsure of his healing. Sweet, new healer, new tank, we're a winning combination!

But in all honesty, he did a fantastic job.

Devourer was a story all his own though. I kited him out of his little puke puddles, and such thankfully. (kiting is so hard to remember to do. positioning is so easy, but after I'm comfortable its so weird moving things) It was all pretty smooth until laser beam time. our healer and overgeared warrior get caught in beam of awful. Oh no healths are dropping. Phantom blast is coming! anti magic zone! phew! Another! anti magic shield. Phew! another! oh crap, eat the damage, DEATH STRIKE DEATH STRIKE! eat more damage! and his limb corpse falls over. Check my health, 1300. I cry a little bit.

Tanking is freaking scary. I hope i don't get shoved into H PoS anytime soon, let alone H HoR

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Oh hey there silithus. I see you have a prisoner.

Imagine if you will a game where you have to go to the ends of the earth to get materials to create armor that will not benefit you at all in order to shred it from this cosmic plane so you could use the base materials to become more proficient at enchanting pants to let you hit someone with a stick a wee bit harder.

Welcome to blacksmithing and enchanting at skill levels 270.

I've been fiddling around silithus for the past few days, as jaxx was our weekly, and lets face it, no one on this realm is doing it. I've delighted in the time off to properly level my trade skills on this budding DK because I want delicious stamina any way I can get it (well in theory I want lots of dodge, to artificially inflate my bone shield uptime, but thats another story entirely)

You know what, I've lost all interest in this post. Silithus does that.

Well I want to make a BM hunter too, so I can tame a silithid and bite someones face off, but thats another matter entirely.

Monday, March 15, 2010

DK dings 80. Adventures!

So my DK hit 80. I've been mostly having a field day with her. She's undergeared enough where things are dangerous, and she doesn't have enhancements "spirit wolves of might as well be invincible for the next 45 seconds". I can't heal myself whenever I want, so I can't piss off healers for no reason, not that I ever do, but the OPTION to is closed, so that's sad.

I started by buying a few tank pieces until it let me queue as a DPS. I do love that blizzard doesn't care if your gear actually functions well. Dungeon popped and my frost DPS journey began.

Loading screen. Oculus. Oh boy. Two drop right off. Healer says "Neither of you are geared enough for this place" and drops too. Tank and I chuckle about peoples attitudes. We get 3 more. The two dps have never been here, the healer is "undergeared" like us. Ragtag, my style. Tank cleans up garbage while I give a brief summery of how the dragons work. No big problems. It's an incredibly slow run mostly due to the seemingly random nature of how they designed the place. I tried to make the most direct route so people don't get lost. Pretty much works except on occasion where we all dismounted while a dragon was eating our faces, and wiped us.
Long story short, another wipe at Eregos mostly having to due with 2 newbies, but we tried it again and preformed beautifully. (Ps: I was ruby dragon. So easy.)

I mostly kept queuing as DPS and continually getting the "you're not geared enough" spiel over and over. I don't think I ever did less damage than the tank in any run and on a few WONDERFUL occasions i out-preformed geared guy reliably throughout the instance. Why this is fantastic is because I'm literally in worse gear than blizzard approves of. I'm not enchanted almost at all (I managed to get sons of hodir rep completely done since I had a stack of about 300 relics in my bank so I had pretty awful weapons I could actually runeforge). But sure ret pali guy. 4000 gs and 1.5k dps is necessary to participate. Lord forbid I go in with 2400gs and 1.5k dps! Oh wait...

I did eventually pick up enough from heroics to tank (although I'd really love a 2h weapon, so I could runeforge some defense and get some flexibility). I got a few glyphs and ran a few regulars with an encore performance of the oculus incident down to the "you're not geared enough" comment. Yes, not geared enough for regular oculus, when I'm rocking 540 defense. Ok jack.

Playing as an unholy tank feels very satisfying. I've played each tank briefly at mid levels just to get a feel for it. Warrior is frantic and versatile. Paladin is solid and autopilot. Bear is swipe and maul. Unholy feels very niche-y, which it is, but it's a good niche. I feel like a tank, instead of "that guy with more health than everyone" Preventing possible wipes by tossing up anti-magic zone is AMAZING. I really wish I had more talent points though, I can't seem to go for what I want.

This is what I'm rocking currently. Although it's only from experience in regular instances, my necrosis does literally nothing, clocking in at a typical 0.3% of my overall damage. Sure its only 1 talent point but I'm considerably constrained in other ways. I want points in dirge,unholy blight and virulence. Potentially I could shed points from necrosis, black ice, and 2 handed weapon mastery, but I'd never get to max desolation, and that's a full 1% dps increase I'd be missing. I tried the glyph of scourges strike but I really didn't like the uneven diseases, and diseases off my main target falling off (tabbing could work, but the more stuff there is, the more annoying it becomes). I do need to learn to refresh disease around the 3 second mark though. Refreshing before the last tick is a pretty huge dps loss when you consider how often you might do it.

Anyone have a internal dot ticker so I could determine when would be the best time to pestilence for a refresh?

Anyways, I wish bone shield lasted longer, it was off the GCD and didn't cost an unholy. Cmon blizzard add a talent called "improved bone shield" which increases the internal cool down by 1 seconds at 5 talent points! PvPers aren't going to like that huge investment, and tanks will eat faces for it.

Still, I consider AMZ so tree defining. Role defining. Wish it was on a SLIGHTLY shorter cool down, it doesn't exactly prevent a ton of damage. Feels good to soak up an entire blizzard with it, or just generally pretend as if a spell didn't occur. Man, I'd kill for a glyph for AMZ that lowered the cool down, or raised the damage it could take. I don't think a duration increase would do tanks any good; the 10 second window is pretty much perfect.

Ah well. Experiments!

Friday, March 12, 2010

I got to dps!

I got to DPS!

I also decided on the war token from the emblem vendor and remembered I could pick up my "revered" ring from ashen verdict!

Today was a good day for dpsing.

But most importantly, I GOT TO DPS.

And I did fantastic. Jaraxxus interrupter. Snobold getter offer? Hex the whatever the hell I want because hex is awesome. I can pretty much do no wrong when I dps, especially when I'm easily the most versatile of them. Fire resistance? No problem. 20% melee haste. My pleasure. Persistant snare aura during faction champs? I'm there.

I love half guild runs. We get to take the non-retard portion of our guild, and the non-retard portion of another guild, and be AWESOME, and pretty much one shot every boss attempt the second I arrive on the scene. (which makes it all the more awesome I was there, because they were wiping beforehand.)

I suggest everyone let their offspecers take a day off, by doing a half guild run. Only really works for 10 man guilds, where you can either do 5/5 or 12/13s but trust me, the "A-game" folk will really make it shine. When given the chance to FINALLY preform their main spec, they will never disappoint

PS: there might have been some dps. you know, just in case you didn't know.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I'm blending in and becoming a unique snowflake!

I've taken it upon myself to make a frost/unholy DK! gasp. One side tanks, the other side dpses.

Now the typical arrangement would be unholy dps, frost tank, and you would be right, but clever titles imply that you should know better!

I'm frost DPS, and unholy tank. Frost DPS reminds me of a pure distilled version of enhancement DPS. Icy touch/plague strike are my shocks, obliterate is storm strike, and blood strike is lava lash, and hey killing machine reminds me a lot of this talent called maelstrom weapons. I dual wield, I provide the 20% melee bonus, I give 155 agi/str. I've stated before I hated DKs (or if I haven't I'm sure its leaked into my rantings) and that is precisely the reason why, because they COPIED my class.

Now I'm all for classes being similar as long as they're intrinsically different, but the similarities are just too close here, so it tends to bother me. On the other hand, it's like a second class I can play, and get away with DPSing, and still provide all the buffs I'm used to providing.

However the tanking thing I haven't started yet. I wasted the money, and put full talent investment into a "tanking" spec for unholy (which basically consist of points into boneshield/AMS+AMZ plus the default 5/8/5 build all good dks use.) I need to make a lot of startattack macros and bind runestrike to everything (is there ever a reason to not do this?) Just a few levels and I can start the rep grind for starter gear.

I'm hoping I can encourage a little diversity in the guild (currently, I'm the only shaman. We have tons of dks and not so curiously none of them are frost DPS or unholy tanks) It's getting tiring to see the most cookie cutter stuff I can possibly see. The only chance I'm seeing of "unique" is a mage trying to be arcane, not liking it, since they leveled frost, and being frost. I can deal with it, but jesus, it's like no one else even tries other specs. FOTM club, this group is. Weird thing, is that everyones stuck like 4 patches ago, with destruction running rampant, blood is everywhere!

And I mean the specs.

Anyone else a fan of these "not as common specs?"

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Give 70% effort!

I've been very unenthusiastic about my role in raids. I just heal all the time. I'm growing tired of it. I'm leveling a DK, so that maybe, I'll have a shot at what I want to do. ( i won't! but I can dream)

When I'm playing my character, and I'm not playing for myself, but for the group, thats fine. However if others aren't putting forth the effort to maximize their efforts, why should I?

I pointed out to my guild that in order to kill festergut (or was it rotgut? who cares!) we'd essentially have to be doing 5k dps each, without accounting for the tanks, without accounting for movement. A few people asked if I was serious, and I said I absolutely was. I guess it wasn't enough of a wake up call though. Effectively all I've done, is made our best geared member, more concerned about her dps because shes a clicker (pst: best geared doesn't mean best dps by ANY stretch of the imagination) and thats pretty much it. Everyone else seems content to do sub 3k on training dummies in full t9.

At the very least my co-healer is falling into his groove, and is finally starting to even out my healing numbers.

I think I should transfer.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Old Healer Survey

What is the name, class, and spec of your primary healer?

Wouldn't you like to know? Resto, with a mix of enh for pve and ele for pvp.

What is your primary group healing environment? (i.e. raids, pvp, 5 mans)

10 man raids and 5 man heriocs.

What is your favorite healing spell for your class and why?

Riptide. I like the water. I also like that it's pretty much my only mobile spell.

What healing spell do you use least for your class and why?

Lesser Healing Wave. tends to not heal enough, and tidal waves has healing wave be about same length.

What do you feel is the biggest strength of your healing class and why?

Flexiblity. Druids are raid healers. Disc is single target. Holy is raid. Pally's are tank healers. Us shammys? We can do whatever we want.

What do you feel is the biggest weakness of your healing class and why?

Mobility. We have none of it. If you want healing on the move call someone else.

In a 25 man raiding environment, what do you feel, in general, is the best healing assignment for you?

For me specifically? Put me in the tanks group, let healing stream do whatever it wants, and put me on chain spam duty.

What healing class do you enjoy healing with most and why?

I personally like disc best. Their bubbles interact nicely with shaman. See bubble spam tends to stop damage, and shaman are particularly good at fixing "oh crap" moments. It gives a nice few moments to triage properly.

What healing class do you enjoy healing with least and why?

Probably Holy Paladins. Sure they can handle the tanks all by their lonesome, but that leaves me with 7 other people I have to take care of. I can do it, but I don't like it. If I can three heal, I'm at my happiest.

What is your worst habit as a healer?

Knowing when to use my cool downs. Nature's swiftness tends to be very no-brainer for me, but tidal force is far more complicated to know when to use. The only encounter I've gotton used to it, is during marrowgar. I tend to burn NS pretty quickly there, so TF acts as my second "I"M FALLING BEHIND ON HEALING" cool down.

What is your biggest pet peeve in a group environment while healing?

Ranged that spread out, in an encounter that requires no spreading out. Way to gimp my performance for no reason whatsoever.

Do you feel that your class/spec is well balanced with other healers for PvE healing?

Personally I think we're sort of unfair. Other classes are pretty pigeonholed into their roles. Shaman can be a little too flexible on pretty much stationary fights.

What tools do you use to evaluate your own performance as a healer?

I briefly glance at recount to see what % of healing I've done. If I've done about 40-50% in a two healer encounter I'm good. Mostly I just want to see if I'm being carried or I'm carrying. or (heaven forbid) my partner(s) are doing their job.

What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about your healing class?

I feel like people there is a very "you are an AOE healer" mentality. If I was to list where I thought classes were in terms of a "Tank to Raid" ratio, Druids are 15:85, Pallys are 85:15, Holy Preists are 25:75, Disc is 60:40, and we're floating around 35:65 I'm not saying we're fantastic at tank healing, but given a 3 healer scenario I think we do best in a "floating" position, where we take care of damage that the "raid" and the "tank" healer cannot do themselves.

What do you feel is the most difficult thing for new healers of your class to learn?

That given our flexibility, gemming and glyph for us, is pretty much arbitrary. Not that there isn't a good way to do it, it's just that it's meant to mesh with your play style. Need more mp5? Gem for it. Want haste and sp? Gem for that instead. Do you have reflexes like an old dog? Go ahead and gem for the 3% +crit heals meta. They'll actually do just fine.

If someone were to try to evaluate your performance as a healer via recount, what sort of patterns would they see (i.e. lots of overhealing, low healing output, etc)?

Healing Wave > Riptide > Earth shield > Chain Heal > Healing stream. Fairly low overhealing. Maybe 20% I'll probably be clocking in at about 3500 HPS. My activity will probably be fairly low. I'm pretty twitch-healer oriented. I don't think about where damage comes from, I just heal it, unless it's super obvious (oh look sally's standing in the death and decay. Time to heal!)

Haste or Crit and why?

I prefer haste just because of the nature of style. I react to damage as it happens so I need higher amounts of haste to compensate. I'm very lax about haste/crit gear though. I'm pretty sure mine is pretty balanced, if not actually crit heavy.

What healing class do you feel you understand least?

Paladins. I've played preists enough to get the gist of how they function. Druids I'm a little fuzzy on, but nothing is terribly complicated about stacking hots, in specific ways to get healing accomplished. Paladins I understand have 3 heals, but its the support structure proping it up I don't understand. Talent trees are generally pretty clear on what something does, but the holy tree is oddly devoid of that information. I don't know what sacred shield does. I don't know how divine plea works. Or what hands can be used on who. Stuff like that. It easy enough to get "flash of light, holy light, holy shock" but the rest is when it goes to hell.

What add-ons or macros do you use, if any, to aid you in healing?

Chain heal is bound to 3. Healing Wave is bound to 4. If I hold shift and push either of those buttons, I have natures swiftness bound to it. Shift3 for CH; Shift4 for HW. Shift+E happens to be trinket+tidal force.

I'm learning how to use grid. Mostly I'm using it in the same way I used xperl. As a means to track where my earth shield and riptide are, and who has aggro. Aggro is clearer on grid, but ES and riptide were easier to track on xperl. I wish squares had more corners, ya know? :P I just want to know every heal on a person if at all possible.

Do you strive primarily for balance between your healing stats, or do you stack some much higher than others, and why?

I balance the crap out of my stats. It's taken literally having my guild carve out 2 +20 haste gems for me, before I even changed my sp/haste gems out.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


People love to min-max things. They love the ability to quantify how much something is worth. I, for one, am okay with cookie cutter.

I hate, however, when someone tries to tell me whats the best usage of "wiggle room" i have outside of my cookie cutter builds.

http://www.wowhead.com/?talent#hZ0xxZx0ezIeoxkrIRt:ZcMm This is the most cookie cutter "base" of the resto shaman. I even included minor glyphs for your viewing pleasure.

Now, heres the thing. I intentionally left the glyphs open. Other classes tend to have what I like to call "BiS glyphs" That are without a doubt better than anything else the class offers. Some of them aren't even hard decisions (shadow priest! fire mages!) Resto shamans have what I call the play style oriented glyphs slots available.

25 mans will completely disagree and override you. Chain heal is awesome, they say.
10 man logic will always tell you, no, you hate chain heal. Stop trying to use it, cause there simply is a good time to.

actually my logic will tell you that. I do most of the healing in any attempt now anyways, and it's exactly what I mean. I've glyphed Riptide, Healing Stream, and Healing Wave. I actually intend to get rid of riptide as well, and probably go for water mastery or earth shield.

Here's the thing. I don't notice riptide's extra duration doing anything. If I cast it on the tank, I'll probably be overriding it again anyways. If I cast it on a dps, they'll be at full for most of the ticks. All it allows me is a launching point for chain heal, and I can assure you I rarely have that luxury. I am primarily a tank healer. As I've said before, I do most of the healing on a given attempt.

Let me illustrate a picture of our recent ICC raid.
We have me; Resto shammy. Then Holy paly, tree druid, Prot paly, bear druid, DK, Rogue, Warlock, Hunter, and wild card A. (actually dk should be wild card B, but its always a dk. ALWAYS)

during trash I healed far less than tree and paly. I was still trying to figure out grid, and had it set up as my baby druid. Therefore I had it set to track rejuv, life bloom, and regrowth. I cannot tell you how comfortable I was healing that day. I saw rejuvs on everyone. I never had to wonder "hey, does this person need help?" Never. I pretty much sat there and riptide'd when I got bored, and CH if someone was getting low. I was my most comfortable ever during ICC.

During marrowgar this changed quickly. I'm the raid leader so this is how the group was set up. Ranged away. Melee inside hitbox. Everyone on spike duty (because we're not 25 man, we don't have the fun of "LET THE RANGED GET IT") Tree on raid. Paly on tanks. I'll mop up your mistakes.

Boy did I ever mop. We never got marrow below 50%. I however manged to pull of 70% of the healing, which means my healers are either terrible, or I'm the most cruel heal sniper in the world.

This is literally what I have to deal with. Me essentially single healing any encounter with a gimped healer at best. I had a lovely 60/40 on ony, probably the messiest attempt ever (all ranged but 1 died before phase 2 started. That one ranged got ony down on his own, then proceeded to fall over with my healer partner, It was then a one heal, one dps, two tank affair with me dying MOMENTS before the kill, woo!)

So I have to shift. I originally had glyphs, CH, LHW and Riptide. I did this because I had a great shammy partner, and we 2healed pretty much everything together. It's not so much now. I'm not the "sort of raid heals" guy I used to be, and I can't depend on anyone to keep me alive either, LEAST of all myself. I get to choose who goes where, what groups are around, so I shove tanks and those void zone abusers in my group and hopefully let healing stream take care of them as it can.

Anyways, back to the talents. Elemental weapons are so worth it!....?

That's DISGUSTING. I would rather put enhancing totems, guardian totems, I'd say I might even go with healing focus over them. everyone takes improves shields anyways, I don't even know why anyone wouldn't, but hey, my ex-co healer didn't and she glyphed water mastery too. I don't argue with results. I just hate that people are willing to quantify the wiggle room. They don't much change throughput, and don't effect mana regen, so I've never understood the love for 60ish sp. I like enhancing totems. 23 extra str/agi is nice. 20 sp is also nice. Having it applied RAID WIDE makes it amazing. Plus it lets me override horn of winter, which is always a plus.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Blue posts and the world debates.

Theres a lot of concern for the state of stats for tanks, and healers and changes that will come cataclysm.

I think many people are freaking out about nothing. The gear simplification means there is LESS of a chance to have gear that doesn't match up to what you want. Resto and Ele will want the same pieces, since they'll actually want the same stats. No longer will look at gear with a distaste in your mouth going "ew mp5", you'll be thinking "sweet more hit!"

I'm pretty positive after the clunkiness of the few seconds of having less than ideal gear, questing, and getting better optimized gear. We'll all be screaming to the blizzard gods, thanks for the gear simplification.

Runeforging worries me however. That's spreadsheets waiting to happen. Mastery however excites me. Maybe I'll be able to get a rogue with a delicious high energy regen rate, thats individual abilities don't do much damage.

Mostly I'm just excited about the simplifications. Every change makes sense to me, and I see the reasons for them.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

I have jumped on the pvp bandwagon

and I am loving not playing my main specs.

I've hated elemental for a long time. Simplicity isn't something I particularly like. The ease of keep flame shock up, and spam lightning bolt until lava burst comes off cool down, is as far as i know, the easiest rotation in the game. Enhancement is far more complicated and its great to preform your rotation well, to get applause from simply being your spec.

However pvp doesn't reward complicated. Trying to maintain a decent rotation while improv-ing based on posititioning is AWFUL. So I went with elemental, and I like the simplicity. It's very cat and mouse. If someone closes in, you create gaps, and get back to range. Charge? TS. Intercept? Root with earthbind. Hamstringed and they trinket out of earthbind? Frost shock and wolf away.

I love that kind of thinking. Enhancement isn't conducive to my style of thinking in that respect (although I'm having a hell of time staffing warriors to death by accident on occasion. Imagine how it makes them feel)

Also just as a note, I do not dislike warriors by any measure. I just seem to have a lot that pick on me.

However its very difficult to get pvp gear. As of now I've only got a necklace, a cloak and a totem. The totem is neglible from any elemental totem, thankfully the necklace and cloak DO make a sizable difference as I already don't die from a rogue deciding to hit me till i die.

Oh and this goes without saying, but a PVP spec helps SOOOOOOO much. :P

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Raid leading, and destruction.

I am a core raider in my guild. Everyone knows this. There are a total of two good healers. One is me, the other has been here forever. She decided to transfer because she was probably tired of being limited by the rest of the group. She re-rolled her character same name, same class and all, for what appears to be 3 reasons to me. Guilt, Friendship and Community. I know she enjoys healing and enjoys us.

This brings me into a difficult position because currently, I have no viable healer other than myself. Our lead dps has a heal alt, but he stepped down as raid leading, probably because of said difficult.

Oh yeah ps: I got drafted into leading raids, because I said I wanted to do ulduar? So apparently, because of my good job at explaining and taking feelings into consideration, thats my job now. Sucks!

Basically my guild is dwindling. There are transfers from the younger players out. Older members are throwing the towel in. we have a revolving door of genuinely bad players, its very disappointing. It's not an issue of gear, because in general my gear isn't particularly good but I show very decent numbers, but some of our most geared players floating around 5.2kgs aren't able to pull 4k dps single target patchwerk. I don't like basically single healing anything with other healers.

Should I jump ship too? hmm

Monday, February 15, 2010

Being the odd one out

My guild is not a group of active raiders. We have members consisting mostly of their 30s and onward. Heck, one of our officers is 59, if I'm remembering right. That is not to say, we don't raid, but it is to say, our raiding time is a bit more limited than most, and getting scheduling down

I'm still pretty young (I guess?) so I have loftier expectations of raiding. I want to push icc content, and thankfully we downed anub'arak this week, so in the future, icc looks doable.

However, this week I still wanted to persue ICC goals. I preform to the best of my abilities while dpsing in a PUG 100% of the time, for exactly what I'm going to describe to you. I ran a mostly guild rep run a while back with another guild, one that I hadn't had much interaction with at all. Theres about 7 or so guilds that raid, and 2 or 3 of them are pretty elitist/cliquey. This group saw I preformed my role to the best of my ability, and their raid leader, asked if he could jot down my name.

I LOVE getting asked for friend request, not because I want friends, but because it shows me that people are willing to rely on me, if they find themselves short a person on random day.

So today I get a whisper, from said raid leader, asking "hey your enhance right?" and my immediate reaction knowing he was in ICC, was "and resto, if you need it" because healers are NON-existent, so any shot for a raid, is one I want. Apparently they run a VERY range heavy group full of mostly younger members who knew each other on a first name basis, and were on lady deathwhisper. It's a completely different dynamic than my own guild, which is incredibly melee heavy, old, and we all refer to each other by our characters name at the time, for the sake of ease of anyone not completely in tune with us.

Well I was brought in to physical dps, which was a bad decision for them, but fine nonetheless as I'm sure said raid leader considered this when inviting me along, rather a good dps, than another facerolling dk.

I've never done the deathwhisper fight from the perspective of picking up adds (normally they'll stick me on a shield) but hey, when you have no physical, you got no physical. I did ABYSMALLY, but we one shotted the fight. I did my said role of killing the specific add.

Now when I say I did abysmally I'll try to paint you a picture, this morning I went to the doctor, to treat a huge swelling in my neck, which as far I know, may be mono. I'm am not in the best state of mind, and it may show in my writing, I don't know, but I'll tell you what, when I died, for seemingly no reason, then ankh'd into a death and decay, I felt outright embarrassed. They called for a battle rez on me (their tank, no less. I felt horrible). Sure the rest of the encounter I preformed fine, but I felt like everyone was judging me, although it was far from the truth. They were all ecstatic that they finished the fight the second I joined. Trash occurred, and I tried my best to make amends by pushing out as much dps as my tiny little shammy body could, and it happend until we got to the stupid dragon.

I HATE dragons. There's something about their hit boxes that are misleading to me, I always end up standing in front of them and going splat. (I do the same thing every time I get to dps ony, I'm surprised it hasn't become a running joke yet).
Of course I'm the only one who died on all of trash, and again, I feel the sting of guilt. I hugged my rezzer, and mana/healed up on my own. I don't like wasting resources.

The gunship battle was next and while it was everyones first time there I was the on the boarding party, and through some combination of luck and awful, the entire front side of the ship decided to aggro me and kill me. That attempt was THANKFULLY a wipe, and I saved face a bit.

The second attempt was a lot smoother. I died again, except through no fault of my own. The pilot the tank was supposed to tank, decided to ignore his taunts and attacking and eat my face off, despite none of my dps being on him. It was like my mere presence in ICC that day was a mistake. I'm glad the tank noticed that was the problem too, or I'd probably have to deal with a grumpy raid leader about how I couldn't manage to stay alive.

Loot dropped, and I asked If I was allowed to roll. I beat out the hunter, which again made me feel terrible, as he/she was sporting 232 bracers, and was generally topping the dps meter. I've made it a point to save for some crafted 245 bracers for him/her and give them to her in good faith. My leatherworker tends to depend on me for mats anyways, so I'm excited to help out another guild.

We got to saurfang naturally, accidently started the battle and took it as a "well lets learn on the go" attempt. I made observations while we trucked along, barely getting anywhere but it provided them with insight into how the fight works. They took a break to "video watch" and then came back. I knew my roll was that of patchwerk dps so when I loudly proclaimed "FINALLY A FIGHT I WONT DIE ON FIRST THAT I'M THE ONLY ONE THATS ALLOWED TO FACEROLL" the entire group snapped into laughter and had a good time of it. We didn't down it as our healer fell asleep on us (quite literally, 8 minutes into the fight she greyed out to afk) but it was a good attempt and it was fun.

I still very sorry to that guild, that I wasn't preforming to the standard I normally hold myself to when dpsing but alls well that ends well. That hunter will possibly see a neat wrist replacement in their mailbox, and I walked away with a shiny bracer myself. It's an odd situation though, being that one person, pugged in, failing. I don't much like it, but they were good sports about it.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Gearing up in 3.3

I started writing this article, thinking I would eliminate item pieces from which you couldn't get an equivalent emblem piece. This left me with basically feet items, and weapons. due to a simple overlook, I also realized even feet items and weapons could be bought. Silly me, however I do believe those pieces and trinkets and rings, and even back pieces tends to be some of the hardest to come by. This is due to no small part that the valor and heroism vendors give very lame pieces for their cost, especially that shifty valor vendor.

Instead of telling you what pieces to get, I'm going to guide recommendations. In general every class of every spec is going to want to hit the tier 9 four piece, and then get either a 245 helmet or 245 shoulder. I'll let you use your best judgment. Personally I went with the 245 shoulders, because the tier 10 shoulders are cheap, and gets you half way to that tier 10 2 piece bonus if you so wish. You should also pick up the "ranged" slot piece and a single ring from that triumph vendor.

Get that trinket too, unless you're a healer. If you're a healer you should heavily debate the merit of the trinket. Use trinkets I find to be too cool down oriented, and healing I've always found to be too reactive, to make significant use of. If you're the kind of healer that has multiple "oh crap" buttons, you might like it. I tend to rely on pure and simple skill, and forget I even have cool downs until I see single digit percentages.

Now trinkets are your first goal for gearing, since there aren't a ton of them. I will from this point call trial of the champion, pit of saron, forge of souls, and halls of reflections "the new places". These places have very few trinkets for classes, but for the few they do, they're some of the best stuff you'll find. Weapons are good here too. Really anything you find in these instances will outclasses anything you'll find if you haven't been raiding. Don't assume the good stuff is in the heroic mode only either. Regular modes of the new places have been jammed full of loot that while not quite as good as heroic mode, will be the only place you'll be finding stuff. Me personally? I've run regular HoR a crap ton to get "muddied boots of brill" because there simply isn't as good a boot elsewhere.

Like I've said, keep a special eye out for rings, boots, cloaks, trinkets and your weapons (or shields and off hands, you know). Doing this, along with triumph and conquest gear will mean you'll keep your ilvl average at a minimum of 219 (stuff from heroic toc) all the way up to 245 (stuff you actually get from triumph guy, love you triumph guy!)

Now trinkets, once again, are a tricky bunch. You have to get two of them, and the ones from the instances might not be good for you. This is the only time I endorse heroism vendor guy. His trinkets are solid until you find something else you may prefer more. Once again, personally I have the mark of supremacy from triumph guy, and mirror of truth from heroism guy. I could have gotten the needle encrusted scorpion, but armor pen ain't such a hot stat for enhancement shaman, so I passed on it.

Try and research your class about trinkets, and don't trust item levels for them at all. Darkmoon cards are amongst the best trinkets you can find, for instance, but their ilvl 200 is very deceptive.

Don't you just hate trinkets? Yeah me too.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Low population server

I wake up most mornings, and log onto wow, not having a particularly hectic job, and a great deal of time to waste. One of the most disappointing things I deal with is not being able to see content due to my realm choice. When I started wow, I picked mal'ganis. This was the server my significant other was on, having a mid-level warlock. It was a high to locked population server. I had lots of alts and I have about 8 characters hanging around level 50 there right now.

Trade chat was just terrible there, I couldn't stay. There was an elitism there that just angered me. Everyone required gear scores, and achievements for content. I never reached 80, but I knew I wasn't going to like it if I did.

Sweet relief came when said significant other had a friend that played on a "recommended/new players" realm. We were very much for the prospect of synchronized leveling. While I eventually would outpace (I'm floating around in t9/t10 and shes still in tanaris). Said friend was originally one of the top alliance guilds. Literally number one in the server. Given that alliance was the unpopulated side, it didn't mean much, but it was neat being the only lv20 in a guild of several 80s with no alts visible. Drama occured, guild split, faction transfers happend. Now I'm in some random algamation of the original guild, which I enjoy very much other than their distaste for my pronouncation of the most common resource in the game (mana)

Now while very much my own fault for sticking with this server, theres a ton of downsides. There are literally 5 or 6 guilds taking on higher level content and by higher level, I mean naxx and up, not icc. There is a gross imbalance in the H:A ratio with my last informal records being about 8:1. There's simply not a lot of options for guilds. Our guild is probably 3rd for our faction, and the problem we face is getting enough players for a ten man. Doing a quick scan for main specced healers there were literally only about 160 or so who were even in heroic gear. Now granted these numbers may be skewed. Maybe some of those healers are dps specced primarly, maybe some pvp. I know I myself get shoehorned into heal due to the general lack of healing avaible (but hey, if we get a lolret, he'll be forced to spec holy, as I put out just disgustinly good dps as a shaman being the only one who seems to care about his terrible hybrid specced class. ;])

I don't really know where to turn at this. I would faction transfer to once again join the guild that split off from me original, but I don't consider it of vital importance, plus my guild is just a good set of people, and I don't want to further halt progress (apperently ktang! of heroism is that important?) My only problem is specifically I'd like to play my spec. I don't like healing, (if my first post didnt make that clear) and I'm one who strives for perfection within reason. When I heal and I see only one melee dps hitting marrowgars spikes I cry a little. Especially when we only have one ranged dps...

Oh limited options, how you pound me in the face. Maybe I should rerollon a medium-high pop server...