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Posts Tagged ‘Healing’

Eleven Men and an Owl

August 3, 2010 Leave a comment

Cliche is a new raiding guild created by a real life friend that I’ve decided to realm and faction change to join, it’s actually pretty exciting, we raid on two days (four hour raids) as a ten man group, and in the two raids I’ve been to I’ve already seen the difference. No more having to co-ordinate twenty five people with flasks and enchants, the people we have are trusted, smart and generally good at what they do. We did ICC10 today, had a handful of good attempts at the Lich King (3%, gutted!) and generally had a lot of fun. I’ve finally got my two first characters (Priest and Paladin) on the same realm, which is nice, although it means I had to leave Mist behind.

Not that it’s the same as it used to be. The officers don’t care anymore, the guild leader is AFK most of the time, the second in command is an arrogant idiot who refuses to admit that despite having a problem, there are solutions, and the other five officers don’t actually do anything at all. Whining asides, it’s nice to have a clean sheet, and as soon as we have the Lich King on farm, we’ll start doing some ten man progression. Played Shadow for all of today because we lacked a decent ranged DPS and had too many decent healers, no loot and a lot of repairs, but worth every gold for the fun I got in return. I just hope that blasted Warlock doesn’t outroll me on all of the Cloth gear.

More Paladin Musings

July 8, 2010 Leave a comment

Faith mentioned something to me yesterday that I’m not sure is a good or bad thing, at least not until I test it. Holy Paladins are probably the least squishy healer out there just because they have: plate armor; shields; a tank-based sub-spec. Even completely unbuffed my armor can mitigate 60% of all incoming physical damage, avoid 14% of it through defenses and cast a variety of bubbles on myself to reduce or entirely mitigate anything left. The only place they seem to fall down is magic damage, and being a Blood Elf, I have a 2% gain over any other Alliance Paladins right off the bat.

But I won’t ramble too much about defense, I’m a healer, not a tank. What I will talk about though, is the Divine Sacrifice Paladin, a Paladin who ventures 17 points into the Protection Tree to pick up Divine Sacrifice (redirect 30% of all damage to the party onto the Paladin) and Divine Guardian (provides a 20% shield wall to all raid members for 6 seconds). So you’re giving a 50% reduction to your whole party (usually all healers together, though as a Paladin you should probably be in with the tanks for this very ability) and a 20%  reduction to the whole raid. If you’re expecting a 10k*25 hit on your group, this ability alone can mitigate 50k damage in a single GCD. Of course, you’ll also be taking 8k+(30% of 8k * 4)22.4k damage from the AoE itself plus the redirects, so this skill is pretty much bound to Divine Protection or Divine Shield, lest you get yourself deaded. However, in order to pick up Divine Guardian, you’re going to need 3 points in Improved Righteous Fury (6% damage reduction for all incoming damage), so that figure will shrink once again, and then, right at the bottom of the list on the RNG you could even go so far as to pick up Blessed Life for a potential (10% chance) of reducing the damage of a single hit (though each hit is rolled separately, so you might get all or you might get none!) by 50%!

So musing rambles asides, I was seriously looking at the idea of getting Blessed Life for the 10% chance of a half damage hit. In places like ICC where raid damage is usually significant I can see this being quite a good thing to take, the only problem is I need to pull 3 points from somewhere else. Oh, I know, from the Protection tree.

Why am I so anal on being a good damage sponge, anyway? Well, with Mist being heavy on Resto Shamans, I’m going to almost always be able to expect a Mana Spring totem down, and by default all Resto Shamans (should) have the improved version of this, providing it with a further 20% extra healing which is the same as our Improved Blessing of Wisdom. Because the Shaman talent is mandatory, and our talent is only optional, I can afford to skip on this talent for any raid that has a Resto Shaman in it. So now I have two spare points, both of which I point into the next talent over, Blessed Hands. Now I know it’s not my job to watch the threat of DPS, but giving a DPS of my choice a 40% threat reduction/removal over 10 seconds (probably Runningwater and his Swipe happy playstyle) is rather nice, but more importantly, being able to give a tank a 40% shield wall for as long as it takes them to absorb 30k damage on a single GCD seems unfoundedly useful. Maybe. On the other hand, because this is always capped at 30k damage (my ICC25 buffed HP as the caster), I can’t help but wonder if it’d be better to absorb that 30k over a long (untalented) or short (talented) period of time. A lot of care has to be taken here too, because a tank taking two big hits in a row could leave me with half of my HP wiped out, which is where things like Divine Protection and Improved Righteous Fury come in.

Holy Paladins are tank healers, yes, but that’s only one of their two niches. Their other niche is raid utility. We have Blessings, we have Hands, we have Aura Mastery, a ton of raid-wide skills that might make or break a hard mode, and I can’t help but think that any Holy Paladin who puts their spare 17-20 points into Retribution probably have a lot to answer for in terms of why they’re being lazy and aiming to crit high for the sake of the meters than make the life of the other 24 players that little bit less taxing. The reason I’m going for these changes is because I’m pulling talent points out of places that they were otherwise wasted. Improved Blessing of Wisdom? Same as the mandatory Shaman talent in the Restoration tree. Improved Devotion Aura? Same as the mandatory talent in the Protection tree for tanks and the Restoration tree for Druids. A lot of the talents in my build can be done the same or better by other players, which means that rather than create duplicate effects, I might as well go for something unique that no other player or class can do, like my 20% raid-wide shield wall or my 40% single target sacrifices.

RealID

July 7, 2010 Leave a comment

Am I the only person who thinks that this is a welcome change? There are two things regarding RealID, the first being the usage ingame that allows me to talk to people regardless of which realm, faction or character I’m playing, and the second being the change on the Blizzard forums whereby all posts will be submitted using the person’s first and last names. Now to me, I’m more than happy to admit that my name is Jake Winters and that I live in the UK and am a University student studying Business and Law at De Montfort University, who uses the online alia of Astarael, Arcticious, ArcticTerrorist, Squiglet, etc. Go find me, I don’t care.

People argue that employers might google their name and find out that they play WoW, so what? You play it in your private time, no employer should discriminate on the basis of a game as long as it doesn’t interfere with your working life, and you only need to worry if you’re so scrubby that your references all say “only turns up to work half of the time, mysteriously ill the other half and plays WoW a lot”. The majority of people have names so common that you could google it and spend six hours finding everybody except the person you’re looking for. Think about it, how big headed must you be to think that people would go around googling you for fun. You’re a person, there’s six and a half billion others on the planet, get off your perch and stop thinking that just because you make a post, all 11 million WoW players are suddenly going to come banging on your door and sending you anonymous phonecalls. Seriously.

MMO-Champion won’t make a similar change because it’s “bad”. The only bad thing about it is that it might lead to a few hours of downtime, the good thing about it outweighing that tremendously in that the forums might actually see a decent post once in a wee while, rather than every other thread being a troll or flamer or god knows what other forum buzz words are used in regards to users.

I have to admit that I don’t use the Blizzard forums, and I rarely post on the MMO-Champion forums, but the reason for that is the reason that RealID is trying to diminish, there’s just no point trying to find a decent post in a haystack of shit.

Ranting asides, I’ve found myself on The Sha’tar again playing my Holy Paladin, and absolutely loving it. I feel inspired to play once again and I’m hopefully joining Mist again, something that I regret ever leaving dare I say. It’s one of the few (probably the only, now) place I felt like my voice was loud enough to be worth hearing, and the only place where I could be given the honest truth about my performance, rather than sugar coated and ignored (good or bad). Of course, that was a year ago (last June-September), things might be different now but I doubt it, Faith is still the guild leader (me and Faith made the best Holy Paladin duo), and Runningwater is an officer (good choice as far as my opinion is worth), so it’s twice as awesome as it was before.

I spent the last week doing dailies, playing AH and farming to get my Paladin’s epic mount (something I’d neglected to do for many months). I even had the Argent Tourney mount (150 Champion’s Seals back when I did the 7 Tourney dailies per day during 3.2) that I couldn’t use until I got epic flying, and now I can flap around Dalaran on my white and gold hippogryph thinking “vroom”. I also took the time to level a farming character, or at least level a Death Knight’s professions up to Outlands standards (he’s only 59 at the minute, I started him two days ago so he’s a work in progress). He farmed the majority of the Azerothian ore required to turn my Paladin into an Engineer, something which he is now a proud Grand Master at, with 340 Haste enchanted gloves and Nitro Boots to show for it. These two enchants were the primary reason for the change, I must say. Divine Plea in its current capacity is a 60 second CD that gives 25% mana back over 15 seconds at the cost of reducing all healing via spells done by half. The Engineering glove enchants are a 12 second CD that gives 11% haste over 12 seconds on a 60 second CD. The result? Offsetting my rather poor healing output for this 15 seconds every 60 by boosting my haste considerably, and gives me another CD to play with in terms of output boosting.

Divine Plea + Gloves + Avenging Wrath.
Divine Plea + Gloves + Illumination (2p set will make this exceptional).
Divine Plea + Gloves + Talisman of Resurgence.
Divine Plea + Gloves + Divine Shield + Divine/Hand of Sacrifice.

Four ways to offset my healing output during Divine Plea moments. Given that Illumination and Avenging are both on a 3 minute CD, having four minutes of boosted healing in a three minute window seems a little unusual, but ignoring the above musings and only taking the first three options listed, if I cycle Avenging Wrath, Illumination and Talisman of Resurgence, it means I (once again) free up my Sacrifices for more important raid damage moments, rather than binding them to Divine Plea to stop myself being kicked in the cunt. After all, the last thing you need to do is pop Divine Plea + Gloves + Divine Shield + Divine/Hand of Sacrifice during a moment where healing is going to be absolutely needed, and sure the 20% raid-wide shield wall will be beautiful for mitigation, but surely a 20% shield wall with no healing offset would be far more useful. For that reason, it’s probably best to just keep the Sacrifices off CD until needed, rather than binding to Divine Plea. Or, I could bind Hand of Sacrifice with Talisman of Resurgence (which seems a bit weak on its own) since it’s the weakest of the three options, and it still leaves my most powerful CD untouched for those burst damage phases. With a 25% buff in ICC, I certainly have enough HP to suck up 30% of a tank’s incoming damage for a few seconds, because chances are I’ll Sacrifice my Beacon target and simply heal myself for the duration of the Sacrifice, which should be easy enough even without the use of Divine Protection (the Forbearance CD being saved for Divine Sacrifice later on).

Enough musing, though I’m sure this might be of interest to Sheepless (though I heard he’s one of those very naughty Holy/Retribution crit stackers!), I’m feeling great about playing a Paladin again, and now that I’ve got the hard part (well, I think that the hardest part of Paladin play is the mana management and healing reductions) nailed down, I should be able to heal just as well as Faith. Except without the 277 gear. And Val’anyr. God I want a Val’anyr.

Going Social

June 27, 2010 Leave a comment

My Druid is finally 80, I have to say that now I’m not suffering from “OOMitis” and “tooscaredtocastStarfallbecausealltankssuckitis” I feel a lot happier with playing Boomkin, the only thing I’m struggling with is the whole Eclipse mechanic, or more specifically, how to get the ball rolling the very first proc. It seems like a very luck based class, if I don’t crit then I don’t win, effectively. I’m going to main spec as Resto, but I’m running instances as Boomkin because it’s: a) more fun; b) easier to slack since a bad DPS isn’t going to let down the group with just “low numbers”.

I’ve given up full time raiding again, because I don’t have the time or commitment, because this is the seventh month that Icecrown Citadel has been out and because there’s nothing new at all. There’s only so many times I can hear “BOOOOOOOOOONESTOOOOOOOOOORM” or the likes from some of the awfully voice acted bosses there and even the thought of downing the Lich King (which we haven’t, even with a 25% buff, though I don’t think we’ve had a raid since it came out due to lack of attendance) isn’t enough to inspire me. I’m going to go back to my happy go lucky lifestyle of dipping into PuGs when I feel like it, and not when the guild has a slot open. I’ll probably stick to ten mans for a bit, just to find my Resto feet, since I’m still not comfortable with Druid healing (how hard can spamming Rejuve be?) and go from there. Hopefully Cataclysm is closer than we think and we can ditch ICC for a considerable amount of time more (at least until Bolvar makes an uninspired return a la cliche style).

I’m going to try find one of those scrubby little casual guilds on my Druid, because I have four characters in Wrath of Wisdom and sometimes I fancy a change. It’ll also give me less reason to raid, or if I do, the knowledge that raids are probably only going to last a couple of hours at most, rather than a three hour slog of what feels more like a job than a hobby.

The only thing I’m not looking forward to now is the emblem grind to get another two specs geared up. Oh. Joy.

Alts

June 1, 2010 Leave a comment

Pretty sure I should be looking for a summer job and trying to keep a roof over my head for the next four months until I get more wonderful student loans, but instead I’ve decided to start playing Arcticious, my now level 72 Druid again. Been playing Resto, the problem is in the month or so that I haven’t really played him I’ve forgotten everything, and I’ve had a few near misses (and indeed, a few dead tanks) recently as I picked up everything from seemingly scratch again, but I’m back into the swing of things. I really don’t feel like leveling through Northrend for the fifth time so I might just dungeon spam my way to 80, it’s slower but Arcticious usually sits AFK for so long between plays that I’m always sitting on top of rested experience.

Sincraft is the same at the minute, I’m not too worried about leveling him in Northrend since I’m still not quite over my love for Killing Spree and whatnot, and I actually enjoy PvPing with him from time to time so that gives me an opportunity to break up questing with something fun. Not sure how the Northrend dungeons will go down, there seems to be quite a lot of lazy AoE pulls and without a reasonable AoE ability (I hardly consider Blade Flurry an AoE ability compared to something like Hurricane or Starfall) I’ll feel quite left behind, especially as people start paying attention to things like DPS and activity in later levels (whereas I could get away with it in Outlands).

I had a rather enjoyable raid with Wrath of Wisdom today, we did ICC25 from scratch (with the new 20% buff) and got through nine of the bosses, resulting in me getting quite a haul of reasonable gear:

  • Tier 10 leggings and a Tier token to up them to 264.
  • Two new rings, the Exalted Ashen Verdict ring and a Lady Deathwhisper (keep thinking Deathstrike because I’ve been obsessing over Marvel lately, stop that!)
  • Two offspec pieces, primarily Nibelung and some 264 legs from one of the Plague bosses (I forget which).

The problem now is that I’m exceptionally short of money again, I had around 2k across all of my characters, which has dwindled to a horrendous 300g due to the excessively overpriced enchants I’ve had to buy. Oh well, the price I pay for having an offspec, I suppose.

I was feeling relatively enthusiastic for this raid, I don’t know why, perhaps I was just in a good mood generally, but it didn’t seem to drag anywhere near as much as usual (wiping for three hours on content that we should have realistically walked all over two buffs ago is a bit of a downer). Only two Holy Priests in today, I got to stretch my legs because of that, though we still seem quite heavily off-balance in favor of HoTers, so I’m expectantly waiting on Sintharia’s return to fix the balance again. I have to say, recruiting a third Holy Priest when we only have two (or even one) of every other class of healer seems a bit awkward, just because we don’t really synthesize well in a raiding environment, and I feel like perhaps it’s my fault for stepping down on Totem, but on the other hand, when I did we only had one Holy Priest (Naytha) anyway, since the other one had gone AWOL (and still is?). On the other hand I guess it’s a good thing too, because it eases the need for me to attend three times a week, we can cycle a Priest in and out whenever, and I can take some time out if I want to without detrimenting everybody else.

It’s 3 AM GMT and I’m sitting on Sincraft waiting for a BG to pop up, even if just to Ambush some clothie then Alt-F4. I should sleep, really, but meh. No rush. I have all summer.

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.