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Posts Tagged ‘Discipline’

Rogue Agent

May 26, 2010 Leave a comment

So I got my Rogue to 60, little Sincraft is growing up fast. He’s no longer my bank alt, that responsibility has been given to Shiftstorm, my forgotten and unloved Druid. Seriously what’s with Druids? I thought they’d be one of the classes I’d love but they just don’t work at all. Feral of both sorts is just bland, Buttkin is horrifyingly dull, and Resto is so undeniably faceroll (REJUVEREJUVEREJUVEWILDGROWTHOSHI-SWIFTMEND) that I can’t help but feel like there’s barely any skill involved at all. Anyway, back on track, Rogue is proving surprisingly fun to be honest, it beats Feral Druid by a long shot and although it will never become my main (I love healing too much), it seems like something I’ll put some time into. That said, I felt the same about Shadowgrasp, Totemshock and Squiggle, and all of them are sitting on the bench now, so we’ll see where he goes.

I can’t help but jizz every time I use Killing Spree with Blade Flurry, just seeing a stream of numbers hurled across my screen gives me that warm, fuzzy feeling inside, the same feeling I get when I eat babies with mint sauce, or throw badgers into cement mixers.

Short post, Wrath of Wisdom finally got to Lich King, the one night I wasn’t there too. Naytha apparently went Disc, not sure how that went given that Lhuranan is usually a bit cautious about healers changing specs, but they got Sindragosa down before the 15% so it’s all good.

20% buff starts tomorrow, so we should have no excuse not to have it down within the next two or three weeks, especially if we extend the lockout. That said, I’m not a huge fan of extends but in this case I’ll let it slide, we really want this kill. We really need this kill. I’m just worried that people might get ahead of themselves and think that we’re cut out for Heroic just because we down him once. My opinion? We should have him set to at least “on farm” (as in, five wipes or less) before we start playing with the big boys. We definitely need to gear up the huge influx of trialists we’ve got in the guild anyway, I’m not sure 232 gear is viable for ICC Heroic.

Roll Call

April 30, 2010 Leave a comment

Before I swing into what I really feel like bitching about right now, I just want to repeat something I’ve said in a previous post: if you’re not a tank don’t fucking tank. I’ve been wanting to write this post generally for a few hours now, but before I did I thought I’d log in my little Druid and do some dungeons to pass the time, and what did I find? A nightmare. Two actually.

Perhaps it’s just my Druid that’s bad, but I doubt that’s the case, excusing the ego. I had two groups, neither made it past the second boss before breaking, and both times the tank was not actually a tank. First group: Death Knight, level 74 so slightly over what the usual UK requires, and a bolstered HP pool, which made me feel slightly more comfortable, until the first pull. Mage dead right away, I had to blow everything except Tranquility to keep the tank up, and the Paladin ended up bubbling too. I checked the armor and spec, it was terrible. DPS gear, not a shred of defense, and not a single talent useful for tanking. And no Frost Presence either.

She changed to Frost, and it made not a shred of difference. I recall having a discussion with Sinespe about the viability of non-tanks doing the tanking job in instances, and I have to say after my experience earlier, unless you’re some legendary player who knows exactly what to do and when, you’re going to get smacked around a lot. It’s not fair on the DPS that they have to restrict their abilities to compensate for your shitty agro, and it’s not fair on the healers to have to overclock their healing just to keep you up. Yes, I enjoy a challenge when I heal, but I enjoy a challenge that might be a stray patrol or an ‘oh shit’ situation, not a challenge that is an entire instance of double damage. Anyway, I called her right there and then and said “Frost Presence does not make you a tank, if you’re not going to at least gear/spec to your role then get the fuck out and l2play”, which was immediately followed by a vote kick (not started by me, which means somebody obviously agreed with me) that passed. The Warlock in the group then said “I have a tank, gief leader”, which I did, and another Paladin joined. What was he? Ret. Ret fucking Ret. With Righteous Fury. And no Shield. Fuck.

Anyway. Second group. Paladin tank, not so much health but I didn’t mind, after seeing Katala’s tanking setup I’m used to assuming that a lower health pool usually means avoidance out of the arse. I was wrong. The tank held no agro at all even with Righteous Fury up, and every pull he’d scream “DON’T AOE I CAN’T HOLD AGRO”. Now, is it me or do Paladins have built into their rotation two perfectly good AoE abilities already? If you can’t hold agro on Blizzard or Volley then you need to step out of the fucking game for a minute and l2tank. Anyway, the first boss went down, though I pulled agro on the trash afterwards (apparently Wild Growth is too AoE for his liking too), at which point I just gave up and logged out.

So yes, perhaps me yelling at them was the wrong thing to do, but obviously these people had 80s already, else they wouldn’t have been packing Heirloom items. They should know better by now, after this many levels of shit groups and bad tanks, that if you want to be a tank you need to put some fucking effort into it. Seriously. It’s shit like this that makes me look forward to getting my Rogue to 80 so I can at least have two allies on my side:

  • Tricks of the Trade: because boy, bad tanks need all the agro they can get.
  • Vanish: speaks for itself, no corpse runs fuck yeah!

Which brings me on to my main point of interest for this post, my Rogue. After the clunky start with it, not knowing which spec has what rotation and what weapons to use (most confusing class I’ve played to date in terms of information-needed-to-be-at-least-average), I’ve finally found a comfortable position for PvE as Combat, and while the weapon set up is less than reasonable (since I need to use either Dagger/Fist or Sword/Axe, but there are no Heirloom Axes/Fists), I still manage to turn around a reasonable level of play. I’m quite looking forward to level 80 to be honest, Rogue is the first melee class I’ve played and thought “wow this is actually quite good”, though I wonder if play style at 80 is fun enough to offset the stupid wait times for dungeons and the pressure to perform on Recount in raids. Combat is fun, not as much Stealth as I’d like but Subtlety feels quite weak, and Assassination is too ability-reliant to be particularly viable at low levels, whereas in Combat I can at least mash people’s faces with auto-attacks because Imp. Slice and Dice comes in right at the top of the tree.

My Rogue is 41 now, I’m hoping to get it to 80 before the end of May, though no pressure if I don’t since it’s exam season soon and I really should be revising. To be honest I just want to use Tricks of the Trade on bad DPS to get them killed, once I’ve done it once I’ll probably quit my Rogue forever.

Speaking of class changes, I need to get back into Disc play again, I feel like my Priest is very one sided right now. Holy? Great! Disc? Rusty. l2play.

Hardwired

April 21, 2010 2 comments

So not so much a WoW blog as a real life blog, I mentioned recently that my computer was having a few issues with running Warcraft, and that I was taking a step back from raiding until I could get it fixed. What with it being my depressingly void 21st Birthday on Monday, I got a bit of spare cash to buy the parts I wanted. Bought an extra 4GB of RAM, a second monitor (obviously not needed to run Warcraft, but at least now I have an excuse to watch the DVDs I borrow) and Windows 7 (which I’m backing up files ready to install as I type this).

I did a raid on Monday (I got the parts that day) and managed to get through the whole thing with every graphical setting known to man on max without a single crash, error or even screen stutter. Better yet, I managed to do some pretty nifty healing, as much as Lhuranan anyway, so I presume that I have my mojo back once again. Not sure I’ll be able to do tonight, depending on how long 7 takes to do, but I’m in no hurry, I did say I’d be gone until this Friday and I’m under the impression that I won’t be docked DKP for skipping until that point (conversely, I’m under the impression that I won’t be given DKP for Monday’s raid since I wasn’t meant to be there).

I made a new Priest ready for Cataclysm, Telyth. Level 16 at the minute, the grind to 15 (and the ability to use LFG) wasn’t too bad, though I thought that Westfall was a bit quest-starved, but maybe that’s just me. I’m playing as Discipline for a change, I leveled as Holy last time so I’m going to mix things up a bit, maybe change to Shadow later on (I’ve been playing Shadow since 3.0.3, I know how it works). I’m also planning on reviving my Discipline Priest guide, as well as drafting up a shiny new Holy Priest guide, see if I can get a bit of interest on those. Hoping Esmi might run over the Disc one to double-check I’m not talking rubbish, since she’s the authority there, and I’m pretty sure I can write Holy from experience alone.

Something really bothered me yesterday though, I was in my first ever LFG on Telyth, with a Rogue, Warrior and Hunter, (the Paladin tank had left already). The Rogue would Sap mobs every now and again (usually the casters), but other DPS would just break it by targeting that mob directly. All I did was make an idle comment of “if the Rogue Saps it, there’s no need to DPS it right away”, and the Rogue turns around and tell me to “shut the fuck up”, followed by a stream of abuse about how I owe him for saving my life (I had mobs on me, he pulled them off me, I didn’t ask him to), and that I know nothing about the game and that I’m a “low life” “retard” “noob” who needs to (again) “shut the fuck up”. Now, I’m so weathered to this sort of abuse that I just shrug it off and carry on dungeoning, the problem was that it’s not the usual sort of abuse, especially when it’s unprovoked. If I were a run of the mill level 15, first character, never played WoW before and had no idea what I was doing, comments like that would just make me want to curl up and never play WoW again, that’s how negative I felt afterwards. I immediately filed a ticket about it, and a few hours later (inconveniently during our Marrowgar 10 attempt, which caused me to have sucky healing for him and Deathwhisper while I chatted) a GM popped up and asked me about the character in question. I gave the name and a synopsis of what had happened, and the GM vanished saying “he’d fix it” but “I couldn’t know about the outcome because it wasn’t really any of my business”. Now, in the real world, somebody mugs me and I’m more than welcome to sit in the public gallery to hear his sentence. Why can’t I find out if the Rogue got a similar punishment?

We know this story anyway. He’ll get a slap on the wrist, and that’s it. No suspension, the GM won’t bother doing anything at all other than sending a macro’d “be nice” mail to him, and the world will keep turning and he’ll keep being an ass. I don’t mind, I’m not some self-righteous sword of justice wanting to bring redemption upon his head, I just thought it was a bit of a stupid thing to say.

Speaking of negative players, Sheepless recruited a Warrior DPS yesterday (by the name of Yoshi (stupid letter accents included if I knew how to type them)) who immediately gained a less than favorable response from the guild. Njevarfu, Tomjones and Yaoigirl all messaged me within 10 minutes of each other saying how they’d taken a dislike to him and how immature he was. Now, I was polite as usual and hey, until he’s shown his real stuff (he might be the next Slater, or better; conversely he might be the next Edicia) I don’t want to judge him, so I stayed friendly, though apparently I shouldn’t have because Tomjones is now using me as some sort of ‘question funnel’, making me ask the questions that he either can’t be bothered to or just doesn’t have the nerve to. Age, old guild history, play time, the usual suspects, though I can’t help feel a little bit distasteful towards the conduct. It’s fair to say that perhaps TJ or Slater should have done the recruiting interview (since they’re the Warrior class buffs), but on the other hand it’s also fair to say that TJ should be able to ask the questions he wants in the open without needing to masquerade behind another player. It just makes me feel a bit ‘bleh’ about being used, it left a bitter aftertaste that I didn’t even get a “thanks” for my time afterwards either, it’s not my job to do it and I did it anyway.

Anyway. Bitchiness asides, I really shouldn’t whine about officers because I know that both Sheepless and Esmi read this. On the other hand, my blog, my rules, I did warn them before they read it, so whatever.

I’ve got another 20 minutes of file backups (moving them to my netbook while I wipe my desktop) to do, then my flatmate and I are heading to Maplins to spend some more money on computer parts. Hopefully I’ll be all sorted by the time I have to raid this evening, but if the case is that I’m not, then it’s not a big deal, Wednesday signups are usually massive anyway, free badges and stuff, and my attendance isn’t expected anyway.

Homogenization

April 14, 2010 Leave a comment

I love how Blizzard want to give healers their own ‘niche’, when really all they’ve done for Cataclysm is turn them into the same class with different icons and armors. Priests, Paladins and Shamans all have three primary heals: a fast cast and mana inefficient heal; a go-to heal for all occasions; and a big hitting and mana inefficient heal.

Shamans are the new Druids, with AoEs out of every orifice, but maintaining some slither of tank healing. Priests are the new Shamans, with roles in everything thanks to Chakra. Druids are still Druids, with an “oh shit” button. Paladins are just… I have no idea. Take this quote for example, directly from a blue post found on MMO-Champion:

We want paladins to be slightly more interchangeable with other healers. In Cataclysm, you should be able to have a Holy priest on the tank and a Holy paladin on the raid.

No. No no no. I’m all for giving Paladins a bit of oomph in the AoE arena just because that means we might be able to do Halls of Reflection without having to mash my Holy Light button on one target at a time and hope that it works. Instead Blizzard have gone too far the other way, they’ve not only changed Beacon around so much that it now looks like more of a chore to maintain than a help, but to imply that they’re potentially better raid healers than a Holy Priest? Pah.

It seems to me that every class now has a ‘raid’ and ‘tank’ healing ability, and the whole homogenization thing is only furthered by the fact that every talent tree has near identical masteries (add a HoT, heal more if they’re low, add another HoT, and maybe another HoT), so now the only difference between healers is how pretty the skills look.

  • Flash Heal, Flash of Light, Lesser Healing Wave, Nourish(?) are all the quick identically mana inefficient heals.
  • Heal, Holy Light, Healing Wave, no idea of the Druid spell, but they’re all the identical go-to heals.
  • Greater Heal, HOLYLIGHTMOTHERFUCKINGHOLYHOLYLIGHT (new Paladin talent for Holy), Greater Healing Wave, Healing Touch are all the powerful but identically mana inefficient heals.

Perhaps I’m musing over nothing, I think it’s nice that some classes have a bit more power to vary their roles (ever been in a ten man with two raid healers only to find that your group has recruited a third raid healer?), but they should at least have some niches. And they really don’t have that many as they are, so why change them?

  • Tank Healer: Paladin, perhaps Shaman.
  • Raid Healer: Druid, Holy Priest, perhaps Shaman.
  • Raid Migitation: Discipline Priest.

There are only three roles. The only healer that hasn’t been turned into an idle clone right now is the Discipline healer, who’s only “still going” because they can bubble and no other healer really can. Holy can do everything, Paladin can do everything, Druid can do everything, Shaman can do everything. Even the only thing that really made the Shaman that desirable has been given to Mages. I don’t understand why they’re adamant that “take the player not the class” can still stand when they go sharing some skills but not others. Where’s my Rebirth for my Shaman, or my Divine Sacrifice for my Priest, or my Guardian Spirit for my Paladin (oh wait, Guardian of the Ancient Kings pretty much covers that in a different-but-similar way), instead you go giving my Paladin Wild Growth, my Shaman Tranquility, my Holy Priest epic tank healz and to top it off, you go telling Discipline that “shielding isn’t always the answer”, so what, another Holy Priest except with different buttons to mash?

I’m fine with the Cataclysm changes, really I am. Shamans got some good stuff, Priests got some excellent stuff, Paladins got some cop-out stuff, Druids got some… same stuff (i.e. nothing new). The fact that healers now have to be mana smart, and that my HoTs can crit and be hasted more than make up for the dribble that was the Paladin release and some of the less-thought-through changes like Life Grip, but I like to have my musing and whining, just to look back in a couple of years and say “yeah, god that was a stupid thing to muse about” or “I was so right about these changes”.

I’m leaning on my Priest rather heavily at the minute as my favorite for Cataclysm. Holy looks pretty awesome, it’s versatile and I get all of my favorite skills made even better (Renew critting, holy shit about time), and Disc might be okay depending on how the shielding changes are made and how much more ‘favorable’ healing might be versus shielding. I still have a few months to make up my mind, so I’ll probably lean another way in a couple of weeks, I should probably keep a tally chart and just see which way I’ve leaned the most until release. Yeah, let’s do that:

Shaman: 1
Druid: 1
Priest: 1
Paladin: 0

Shortfall

April 9, 2010 Leave a comment

Now I don’t want to seem like a hypocrite, I’m fairly relaxed about loot but certain things piss me off. Primarily ML who don’t list the loot rules before an instance starts. That’s your job, do it properly. If I roll 80 and some Druid rolls 60 on a Stave I’ve been wanting for several months in ToC10 then by god I probably should get the stave. But because you didn’t list the rules of looting, I’m wagering under the apparent misconception that I’ll be receiving it, and the Druid will have to try again. Obviously that wasn’t the case, else I wouldnt be mentioning it as an example, and the Druid got the stave because “it was fair”. To be honest, I’d hardly consider it fair that a Druid put in minimal effort, died a lot, didn’t bother Flasking or Potioning and generally did nothing but relatively weak DPS (even for his gear) then be given items as rewards, when the Shadow Priest who topped DPS consistently in his off spec using Flasks and Potions got nothing.

The argument was also that “you’ve had something in here already”. Not that I rolled for I didn’t. A cloth item dropped, no-one wanted it, nobody disenchanted it, and you assumed it’d be an upgrade so you gave it to me. So yes, I got an item, but no I didn’t want it. By those rules surely I can give you (the Holydin) a Leather piece with Spirit because “I think it’s an upgrade” then deny you that 232 slotted Shield you’ve been after for however long you’ve been after it.

So anyway, that’s my little bitch about Master Looters who don’t do their job properly.

On the other hand, sometimes strokes of luck do occur. Veir was running his first ToC25 today and the ML hadn’t actually put ML on, so it was Need/Greed/Disenchant as usual. A 245 Robe dropped that was a rather comfortable upgrade, and a Paladin rolled on it, only to give it to Veir afterwards. I was quite pleased to see that some good people did exist, and to give it to somebody deserving (perhaps I’m biased, but the healing he pulled off was nothing short of legendary given the circumstances) was just icing on the cake.

Veir goes home tomorrow so it’s back to raiding as usual. I’ve missed a couple of raids (just one a week, so I’m still doing the Wrath of Wisdom ‘minimum’, though I’d like to do more) in lieu of spending time with him in real life, which I would always do given the choice between him and WoW, but we’ve still made good progress in the raids I’ve been in.

My mojo is still off walkies, perhaps it’s just that I’m subconsciously distracted by Veir, perhaps I just need to rethink my healing. I’m gonna try find a couple of thousand gold from somewhere soon to regen myself a bit more towards SP/Haste, rather than just Haste, given that I’m now smacking the soft cap into a bloody pulp and taunting the hard cap in a threatening manner too. I’d certainly like to pick up a few shortfalls on my gear, especially my weapon since an upgrade there will make the difference between 2.8k and 3.1k unbuffed Spellpower (a significant amount for healing, I’d certainly say), though a better trinket would be nice too (the Abacus from Gunship25 looks nommy).

Squiggle finally hit 80 and I’ve got enough gear now to tank with her. The good news is that I feel quite happy tanking some of the older stuff (up to ToC5 HC at least), the bad news is I still have a couple of blues and anything ICC5 is going to smack me around a bit. I had an awful (worst ever) run in PoS yesterday, it was late at night and I had a Disc Healer, which is okay if played properly but with AoE damage spilling everywhere, it wasn’t so good when played by whoever played it. Anyway, I was only just defense capped when using an Elixir, and some of my gear was still blue, but we managed to do quite well, a stumble on Garfrost because my stacks crept over eleven but otherwise great. Wiped on the trash pull up the stairs because the healer was twiddling her thumbs (they admitted fault, which is fine), and wiped again on the cave/mountain gauntlet because I pulled before the healer was caught up (despite me asking “ready to go?” and them saying “yes”, still my fault I guess). We votekicked the healer and got a Shaman, then wiped (my fault this time) on the last boss because I got punted in the wrong direction and got two shotted by the empowered boss, but finally got it down (on the fourth run) and I got my Rimefang’s Claw from it, something which made me very happy.

All in all, nothing of major bloggage, just WoW at its best and worst. Hoping to get a ToC run on my Priest again this week so I can get my fucking Stave, otherwise I’ll just have to run FoS normal and get the Blood Boil WASTEOFITEMLEVELS Lancet. Yes, I want a Stave because they’re pretty and I don’t care about my Priest. No I don’t care that you’re going to tell me that I’d be better off with a main hand and off hand frill. Stubborn goat is stubborn.

Miss Medicina’s Healing Questionnaire

March 16, 2010 Leave a comment

What is the name, class and spec of your healer?
Totemshock, a Restoration Shaman.

What is your primary group healing environment? (i.e. raids, pvp , 5 mans)
Since I joined Wrath of Wisdom, my primary healing environments are 5 mans or 25 mans. The daily Heroic is pretty boring as a Shaman, I usually spend my time throwing random Lava Bursts or Chain Lightnings around between heals, which are mostly just Riptide or Lesser Healing Wave. The only Heroics nowadays that challenge me are the new Icecrown wings, because there’s a considerable amount of damage flying around for all players, not just the tank. In 25 mans I’m usually asked to heal the tanks and melee, which is my perfect job because of the way that Chain Heal bounces. Other times I’m just told to raid heal whoever, and perhaps my favorite role so far has been tank healing Tomjones during our Blood Princes encounter, a healing feat which tested more than anything my ability to heal smartly, rather than just chain spamming and running OOM within a few seconds.

What is your favorite healing spell for your class and why?
It’s a toss up between Riptide and Earth Shield, the former because it looks pretty and is useful for topping up people on the move, and the latter because it’s a lazy heal, I can dump it on the tank and forget they exist for eight charges.

What healing spell do you use least for your class and why?
Gotta be Healing Wave. That’s not to say I don’t use it, it’s particularly snappy when I need to top somebody up for a bigger hit than a Lesser Healing Wave (and with my current Haste rating, I can usually do that in just over a second), but usually for all healing purposes, it’s either Lesser Healing Wave (for 5 mans) or Chain Heal (for 25 mans). Healing Wave has found its way onto my ‘top heal’ list in the Dreamwalker Valithria fight, though, as it’s the most powerful heal I have, and as one of Wrath of Wisdom’s portal hoppers, powerful healing is what I really need.

What do you feel is the biggest strength of your healing class and why?
Shamans are pretty unique in that they have no specific role, and can fill in just about anywhere. As I’ve mentioned, I’ve been a tank healer, a raid healer, or an all-out-balls-to-the-walls freelance healer. That asides, the huge range of Totems we have, as well as the fabled Heroism/Bloodlust make us remarkably useful for any raid group.

What do you feel is the biggest weakness of your healing class and why?
Being good at everything means we’re not particularly ‘perfect’ at anything, which is a small price to pay really. I guess the biggest weakness of Shamans is the stigma attached to them that suggests they’re an easy class to play. Many a time have I heard from some swoony DPS (shut up and go mash your fucking keyboard you dispensable scrub) that Shamans only ever spam Chain Heal and that’s it. To a point, it’s true, depending on the encounter (looking at you Festergut), but to say that a Shaman is any more or less difficult than a Rejuve spamming Druid, a Renew spamming Priest or a Holy Light spamming Paladin is just silly. Every healer class has its share of abilities for different situations, and to stigmatise one class as being ‘easy’ is just naive.

In a 25 man raiding environment, what do you feel, in general, is the best healing assignment for you?
I don’t have a particular assignment I think suits me best, and having the ability to fill in many different roles means I can switch it around a bit and not get bored. Tank healing is perhaps the most taxing of things I’ve done, with raid healing being fairly casual, Chain Healing with Healing Waves on the tank if I see them drop a little low.

What healing class do you enjoy healing with most and why?
My Shaman, which is why it’s my main. Holy Priest isn’t a bad class to play with but in my current gear (perhaps it’s just my play style) I find myself being hard pressed for mana during even the most simple encounters, and I highly doubt I could walk into ICC10 and heal through Marrowgar, letalone somebody like Valithria. Holy Paladin was very heavy work, especially because I ran with a pretty strict 10/25 man guild. The use of CDs being the deciding factor of a Paladin, popping Divine Plea at the wrong moment could be the difference between you having mana or not and the tank getting that 20k crit or not. Not that I’m shying away from hard work, but I like being able to play whack-a-mole on the raid, tank healing was just me sitting there pressing Holy Light on the same person over and over. Shamans have variety, and that’s what I like.

What healing class do you enjoy healing with least and why?
Druid, on the basis that it’s the only class I don’t have at 80, and low level healing is just a nightmare. I don’t really get the Druid healing plan anyway, it just looks to me like you faceroll as many HoTs as you can and relax. My problem with a Druid is that I don’t have a particularly useful ‘Flash Heal’ until I get to 80, I either have to waste a Glyph spot on Healing Touch (to make it into my Flash) or go with Swiftmend and just hope the tank doesn’t lose too much HP in the 15 seconds afterwards. I’m no Druid expert and as much as I’d like to have a play with them, I just don’t have the motivation to level another character so soon after my clusterfuck of Squiggle/Shadowgrasp and full time raiding with Totemshock.

What is your worst habit as a healer?
Panicking. Oh god. If I see somebody drop low or somebody gets a debuff they shouldn’t or fail at a boss mechanic and there’s a bit of extra damage, alarm bells start ringing in my head and I think “oh shit please don’t die”. Usually I save my Nature’s Swiftness for moments like this, but sometimes (it happens less and less often as I get used to screw ups happening) I just kind of freeze, and then end up mashing whichever button is under my finger at that given minute hoping that it works. The good thing is that in 25 mans, I have a bit of cover for times when this happens, and it means I can cover someone else if they too have a similar “oh shit” moment.

What is your biggest pet peeve in a group enviroment while healing?
Every healer’s worst nightmare, bad players. If you stand in fire or whirlwind or cleave and you die, don’t blame me. Just don’t. I’m sick of being blamed because you assume that “I have Tier9 this Cleave won’t kill me and if it does it’s the healer’s fault”. If you want to pull that extra pack of mobs or get hit by two consecutive Shadow Blasts then go ahead, be my guest, but there are two things I won’t do. First of all, I won’t heal you when you have half a ton of agro on your ass. Why? Because then I’ll have that same half a ton of agro on my ass, and your equipment is far less important than mine when repair bills are involved. Secondly, then, because I can’t. If you get whacked by two 20k hits quarter of a second apart, what the hell am I supposed to do about it? You stood in that void zone or you intentionally didn’t move from a Nova, enjoy your death. I’ll res you when we’re done, otherwise shut the hell up and go wallow in your laziness and stupidity.

Do you feel that your class/spec is well balanced with other healers for PvE healing?
Every healer spec seems to have its niche, Paladins are tank healers, Druids are raid healers, Discipline Priests are damage mitigators, Holy Priests are raid healers, Shamans are bits of everything. I guess Shamans are quite powerful in terms of the fact they have no really significant drawbacks, and we do hold one of the most sought after raid buffs in the game, and are the only class who exclusively does. In one way I feel that this is probably a good thing, because it means I’m more likely going to be invited versus that scrubby Holy Priest in blues, on the other hand I can’t help but feel that when I do want a break, I’m going to be causing the raid to miss out on a massive buff because no other class can do what I can. Overall though, balance is nice, and I think there’s quite a nice balance overall between healers, but more importantly, it’s balanced while still being unique. I don’t like this homogenization rubbish, I don’t want every healer having a nuke, a shield, a big heal, a quick heal, a heal for Sunday’s only and a heal that can only be used when Neptune is lined up with Alpha Centauri, so the fact that all healers have something different but are all equally useful is one thing I think Blizzard has nailed right on the head this patch.

What tools do you use to evaluate your own performance as a healer?
First and foremost, did everybody survive? If yes, then great, I did my job as a healer. If no, then I ask myself who’s responsibility that person was, and why they didn’t do their job. I also ask myself why I didn’t cover for them, because I probably should have. If it’s my responsibility then I ask why they died, was I too slow at reacting, did they stand in something bad, a multitude of reasons. I use meters as guidance, because despite the extremist view of them being e-peen only, they can be quite helpful. Am I overhealing too much, was my mana regen too high and could I forfeit a bit of it for more throughput. How did my healing compare against other classes and specs. I’m quite competitive, my fellow Resto Shaman (Lhuranan) is of a similar gear level to me and I can’t help but feel slightly aggressive when I’m healing because I like to know I’m pulling my weight. That’s not to say I want to go crazy on overhealing just to prove a point, but I know if he’s sniping every single heal from under my feet then something’s wrong. Overall though, the main evaluation is ‘did we wipe?’ If we didn’t then I did my job, as did everybody else.

What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about your healing class?
That we’re easy to play, or that we’re only useful for our Heroism/Bloodlust. As I said before, Shamans aren’t a one button class, no class is, if they were then it’d be boring. Additionally, I’d like to think that even if Heroism were removed from the game, or never existed at all, that my Shaman’s raid spot would still be validated by what I bring to the raid, which is more than just spamming Chain Heal.

What do you think is the most difficult thing for new healers of your class to learn?
Every healer has three things to learn, regardless of class:
1) Be thick skinned. More often than not you will be blamed if somebody dies. Ignore them, be polite, kill a kitten, just don’t aggressively confront them.
2) Analyse the situation in a diplomatic manner. If somebody dies, be willing to admit that it might have been your fault. If it wasn’t, then be diplomatic and say why that person did die, and if they repeat the mistake, be ready to jump in with a quick heal to save the situation.
3) Don’t play god. You might be able to keep everybody alive but there’s no reason to be a dick all of the time. Yes, DPS are expendable and your job is probably more important than theirs in 90% of situations, but unless you’re feeling particularly vindictive (which I usually am, so excuse my hypocritical posting here) then even if somebody stands in fire or void zones, don’t let them die ‘just to teach them a lesson’.

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)?
People who read meters and treat them as the do all and end all of healing should be shot, carved up, and fed to retarded Rogues who dual wield Fishing Poles. However, in a 25 man situation, analysis of meters is not a bad thing, and I tend to always look at my own with a grain of salt. I tend to find that my overhealing is quite low, Chain Heal is a smart heal and if nobody needs healing, it won’t jump, which cuts a lot of my overhealing right down (versus say the Holy Paladin who’s overheal splashes to their Beacon whether they want it to or not). My skill usage is usually aimed at Riptide and Chain Healing, with Lesser Healing Wave and Healing Wave hits cast to snipe up low HP raiders who need it, but whether or not somebody reads my meters and disagrees with how my skills come in order of use, they can screw off, my healing style is my healing style and it’s one of the few things I won’t back down over, especially when I know in my mind that I’m doing a bloody good job.

What healing class do you feel you understand least?
I mentioned this before, but Druid is my weakest class knowledge-wise, my Druid is currently sitting at level 42, ungeared and on the rested experience cap. Low level healing is quite mana intensive, especially with each Rejuve cutting up a good 7-8% of my mana, even with Innervate on CD I still have to take breaks from time to time. It’s been quite a turn off, actually, making me not want to level it at all. My recent subscription to ‘Through the Eyes of a Tree’ should hopefully bolster my knowledge a little more, however.

What add-ons or macros do you use, if any, to aid in your healing?
I’m proper hardcore, me. No add-ons or macros at all, basic Blizzard frames, I don’t even use raid frames, I just click people on my screen and then move my mouse to click on Chain Hea—. Most useful add-on I have is XPerl, it shows raid frames in a stylist and condensed manner, it highlights people with diseases, poisons, curses and magic effects, it can show low mana, HoTs, everything. Bartender keeps my bars tidy, Satrina Buff Frames keeps my buffs tidy, DBM keeps my play style tidy, and MikScrollingBattleText allows me to track who I’m healing and for how much, skill cooldowns, buffs I acquire and other general things.

Do you strive primarily for balance between your healing stats, or do you stack some much higher than others, and why?
I’m pretty cookie-cutter, I use ElitistJerks quite a lot because, to be honest, they obviously know their stuff. If they say our best EHPS stat is Haste, then I’ll likely stack Haste, if they say Crit, I’ll likely stack Crit. That said, I do have an affinity towards Haste on most of my characters, because I prefer a quick paced play style with faster hits (like a Shaman or Affliction Lock) versus something slow and clunky (Warriors, hi!). The majority of my gems are Haste, with a couple of hybrids to meet my meta requirements, meaning I can use more Spellpower oriented things outside of gear (Fish Feast, Frost Wyrm Flasks, etc). I’m almost at the soft cap for Haste, my Chain Heals are about 1.7-8 seconds, and just over a second during Heroism. The only other stat I’d consider chasing would be spellpower, but my heals are fairly heavy hitting as it is, and what with the Icecrown Citadel nerf to dodge, the damage comes in less heavily than it did in ToC, meaning that I don’t have to stack my heals to the roof per hit, as long as the throughput is generally good.

Introductions Suck

March 15, 2010 3 comments

So I’ve been playing World of Warcraft since November 2008, not all that long ago compared to some of the Vanilla veterans, so with that being said, I’ll clarify now that I know nothing about Vanilla or The Burning Crusade other than idle banter and speculation. I’m now into my seventeenth month of play and I have a host of characters that I should probably introduce. As the blog title suggests, I have a bit of a thing towards Draenei, they look quite cool and their current racials are definitely quite staggering. The blog generally is just a collection of my rants, experiences, more rants, and even more rants about anything I encounter in my day to day play. It might be people, guilds, content, even me, yes most of the time I’ll just rant about me. But enough of that, an introduction to the characters that I’m likely going to be ranting about.

Péndulus is a Draenei Death Knight, level 71, Unholy specced and geared to tank. He’s mostly my Blacksmith alt, a project I picked up when I was bored and then ultimately became even more bored. I highly doubt he’ll be used any time soon, he’s been idling in Dalaran for so long that he’s hit the rested experience cap several times over.

Shiftstorm is my Night Elf Druid, only because Draenei can’t be Druids (fuck you I can turn into a wolf as a Shaman, why can’t I turn into a bear as a Druid?), another failed project currently sitting at level 33. I wanted to make a tanking class along with my partner Veir, but after realising that Druids were horribly Swipe-whoring I gave it up in place of a Paladin, who doesn’t have to sit twiddling her thumbs whilst rage generates or whatever.

Squigstorm is my Draenei Hunter, mostly a PvP character, a lowly level 21 who dominated the 10-19 bracket and intends to do so for the 20-29 bracket. Something about Hunters enticed me to play them right from the off, yes, Disengage. After playing Ragnarok Online for many years and seeing Hunters firing arrows at people point blank, I always thought it’d be interesting to see them be able to do the opposite of what the melee want, instead of closing the distance, make it greater. Nowadays I find myself dumping half a dozen arrows into some poor Orc’s face, Freeze Trapping, Disengaging them dropping the rest of the dozen arrows into various other orifices. I don’t really have plans to level him all that much, running around with Doris the Dragonhawk annoying the tits offa people with traps is plenty fun enough for me.

Squiggle is my Draenei Paladin, my new leveling project because tanking is the only role I’ve never really played (apart from Péndulus who I obviously got bored of). Currently sitting at level 70, the same level as Veir, and anxious to start tanking the content that I know about. After tanking through the majority of Vanilla and The Burning Crusade, I’m proud to say that I’m a filthy casual who enjoys the Wrath content more than the stupid-pull-let’s-CC-this-fuck-we-wiped content that made up the previous two games. Incidentally, I have a level 80 Blood Elf Holy Paladin on another realm who ran through the majority of ToC10/25 content (and some Heroic, too) during 3.2, so this one won’t be off-specced as Holy unless I decide to lose my mind again.

Pendulus is my Draenei Priest, level 80 and specced Holy. Previously my main, now taking a back seat to my Shaman, my Priest is sitting in Tier 9.10 gear and a slither of Triumph welfare items and ToC10 loot. Currently off-specced as Shadow, but will likely change back to Disc, I’ve played Affliction Locks recently and it makes Shadow look like pants.

Sincraft is my bank alt Rogue, the only Human in my arsenal and not even dressed to impress. As a bank alt, I feel he should have his own guild, Diamond-Tipped Cane, top hat and tuxedo, the usual bank alt rubbish. Instead he sits with some un-used Leather Heirloom shoulders and his two level 1 daggers outside the Exodar bank and mail box, being my transfer dummy for all of my unused rubbish. Doesn’t even have bags, some bank alt.

Totemshock is my big boss main, a Draenei of epic power, sitting in mostly ICC25 gear as part of Wrath of Wisdom, my also epic guild. I managed to join Wrath of Wisdom a couple of weeks ago after impressing the recruitment officer (god knows how, I surely don’t), passed my trial within a week (the poor Shaman who was recruited at the same time as me took twice as long) and am a fully fledged raider. I play Restoration most of the time, I only usually use my Elemental spec to PvP with (despite being a PvE spec), my DPS isn’t high enough for ICC25, and my healing is just too good to miss. We only have one other Resto Shaman in the guild (<3 Lhu), and we make quite a good team, he’s particularly competitive on the meters so I have to stay on my toes.

Shadowgrasp is my final, smallest (in more than one way) contribution to this blog, my little Gnome Warlock, Affliction specced and level 76, I play him when I’m bored, and boy does Affliction rock. I haven’t been in a PuG for as long as I can remember where I haven’t done at least 50% more damage than the next best DPS. That being said, putting out so much damage means I spend half of my OOC time Life Tapping, to much annoyance of the healers. Also a town-stalker, he’s sitting on his rested experience cap, which means most dungeons I run give up about 20% of a level. Cha-ching.

Now by no means will this blog be anything so much as accurate in information I give, I play my own way regardless of what wowhead or elitistjerks say, sometimes I just deviate from their advice because I can. What I’m trying to say is to take everything with a pinch of salt, if something I say displeases you then don’t read (or alternatively, leave me a comment that I’ll just delete anyway), and enjoy the rambling rantings of a Squidgoatpriestshamandeathknighthunterwarl— you get the idea.