Posts Tagged ‘HoT’

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.


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.

Cataclysm Changes: Restoration Shaman

April 11, 2010 Leave a comment

So we’ve had the Shaman class changes for quite some time and I’m certainly curious to know where they’ll take Shamans (especially Restoration) in the near future. Some of the changes are very welcome, some of them are not so welcome, but as always Blizzard are likely going to deviate from their plans anyway before Cataclysm actually hits. I have to say, there are going to be a thousand posts all over the world giving a thousand people’s different opinions, so why this one is worth reading is beyond me. That said, I’m usually pretty uncaring about things like what other people think, so I’ll ramble on as usual.

The biggest change is a healer-wide change in that three primary heals exist (instead of just two) on top of the situational heals we already have (i.e: Chain Heal, Riptide, Earth Shield, etc):

  • Lesser Healing Wave: a fast but less mana efficient heal.
  • Healing Wave: a new spell added in Cataclysm that is our regular spammable heal.
  • Greater Healing Wave: what Healing Wave currently is, a powerful but less mana efficient heal.

The idea behind this is that while spamming Healing Wave, our middle of the line heal, might be enough for lower geared content, at some point healers generally will need to deviate and change how they heal based on the situation. Always using your LHW or GHW will give you mana problems (as opposed to now, where running OOM is a problem of yesteryear) so careful moderation of what spells you use is going to be more important in Cataclysm than it ever was in Wrath. Think of this as the downranking of Vanilla and TBC. The good news is that as a Shaman, both of our heals are already quite useful in situations (unlike say… a Paladin spamming Flash of Light while tank healing or a Priest spamming Greater Heal), so the need to switch between three will seem less new. The other good news is that I’ve played many an MMO where this heal-switching was necessary to keep mana up, so it’s almost second nature right from the bat.

On a more Restoration specific note, we get three shiny new abilities that serve a reasonable purpose:

  • Unleash Weapons: uses your current weapon enchant to apply a various effect to the Shaman. In the case of Earthliving Weapon, it will heal the target slightly and boost your next healing spell by 20%.

What I’m seeing this effectively meaning is that we get a little extra cooldown to blow when damage gets a little heavy or when somebody needs a little instant heal just to keep them up. For AoE situations, having a boosted Chain Heal might make the difference between somebody living or dying, the same with any heal. The cooldown is only 15 seconds so if it gets wasted on overheal, then it’s not such a big deal as say… having your Nature’s Swiftness sniped a split second earlier.

  • Healing Rain: A non-channeled spell that creates a HoT zone (imagine a Blizzard or Rain of Fire that heals) for ten seconds.

So I’m seeing what is effectively a channel-free Tranquility, which is going to be very nice for AoE heavy fights, and because the cooldown is as long as the effect, it can be kept up indefinitely. That said, keeping Healing Rain up as well as having to manage mana by using your other healing spells is going to be quite difficult, so I can’t imagine it being used all the time, more of a preventative measure for incoming damage (as a buffer similar to any other HoT). Tally total is one extra single target heal, and one extra raid heal, firmly cementing Shamans at the heart of “jack of all trades”.

  • Spiritwalker’s Grace: Stops your spell casts from being interrupted by movement and weapon swings, allowing a Shaman to move and shoot.

Oh my god, it’s like my Ragnarok Online Scholar all over again! This seems very PvPesque, but if the overuse of movement fights from Wrath spills over into Cataclysm, then this will seem very useful, especially with some of the longer cast times like Chain Heal. It also means I no longer have to make excuses as to why I stand in fire to “finish my cast”.

Something else of note seems to be that Shamans lose the ability to remove Poisons but gain the ability to Dispel Magic. Now, lore-wise Shamans are much closer to Poison (being all close to the elements of Nature and whatnot), but utility-wise (at least if things stay similar to Wrath), then this is a much welcome change. I don’t think I’ve even seen Poison used in a raid since Naxxramas, and yet Magic debuffs seem to be appearing left, right and center. Dispel mechanics generally are changing too, Dispels are going to be considerably more expensive, and will cast on a target even if there is no debuff (as opposed to the “nothing to dispell” cast cancel there is now), so no debuff is wasted mana. A lot of people appear to be quite upset about this, because if three healers all try to Dispel the same thing then two of them are going to inevitably waste mana. Simple solution? Assign one healer to Dispel duty, I’m sure that’s how it used to be and I’m sure that’s how it will be again. It appears that we’ll be losing our ability to remove Diseases too, so that instead of four removal skills we have now (Poison, Disease, Curse, offensive Dispel) we’ll only have three (Curse, offensive Dispel, friendly Dispel). Cleansing Totem is also kaput, as the decision to Dispel should be a ‘taxing one if made incorrectly’ and that having a Totem simply cleansing at random makes life too easy.

Last but certainly not least (far from it) is the return of Spirit Link, whereby you can link two party members together and share damage split between them, kind of like a castable Hand of Sacrifice. For example, taking a current fight like Festergut, where tank damage is critically high for whoever is tanking after the second Inhale, being able to drop a Spirit link on a second off-tank (good news everyone!: we might need more than two tanks per raid if we ever have the use for a “soaker tank”) could make healing a whole lot easier, as two targets taking half damage is a lot safer than one target being potentially wiped out by two unlucky strikes in a row. I can see a difficulty with this skill in that you’re going to need to be able to pick two targets, cast a skill on each and link them, something that might be quite taxing if you’re in a bind and need to do it quickly to save a wipe. It also opens up a whole can of griefing if I ever want to get Njev killed.

I’m not too upset about the Shaman changes, I’m most skeptical about Spiritwalker’s Grace (since I can Riptide on the move anyway and I’ll never be moving for more than two or three seconds), it seems very PvP focused, but perhaps a PvE encounter will surprise me. The three heal model that is being put in is very welcome, in my opinion, and Healing Rain (at least if left untouched) will just give us another AoE skill (it’s not really all that different to Wild Growth apart from more/less targets and it has a cast time and longer duration) to play with, not that we don’t have enough buttons to mash already.

Bang, and the Dirt is Gone!

April 4, 2010 Leave a comment

We lost a good player this week, he left of his own accord and he will be sorely missed. Yes that’s right ladies and gentleman, Edicia has left the building. After not having Trauma drop for the second week in a row, he suddenly has a few ‘game problems’ by which is game keeps logging him in and out unnecessarily. Course, we all have a giggle about it saying that we’re probably better with no Paladin than that Paladin, and he eventually gets online long enough for Esmi to call him out with “it’s convenient that your game decides to break down again after your loot bosses are dead, eh?” BOOM, HEADSHOT. He leaves the raid and the guild, and Gnoor happily bans him from the healer channel, and we get a couple of good BQL fights in before we call it for the night.

BQL is our new progression boss and I’m struggling a bit to get my head around healing it. There’s a main tank taking physical damage and an off tank taking what I could consider passive damage (in the sense that it doesn’t proc Earth Shield), an arse load of AoE aura-type damage, and every ninety seconds or so, a fuckdickton of raid wide damage and that’s assuming nobody screws up. The regular healing is fine, I put my Earth Shield on whoever seems to take a lot of damage (since it’s no good at all for the off tank here), and Chain Heal the melee and tanks while topping anybody up raid-wide with LHW as needed. Then comes the Blood Whirl, I just have no idea what to do. Among spreading out between 25 people with 6 yards between, and them taking 10k hits every 2 seconds for 6 seconds, I have barely enough time to get off two, maybe three Chain Heals at most. We’re getting better at it, but we always seem to lose somebody at the Whirl. On top of that, our DPS haven’t got the hang of bite timings either, so if we make it to the second Whirl then one DPS will undoubtedly get MCed because he’s too busy being Feared to go bite someone, and he doesn’t do it earlier because [insert viable mechanic here].

We’ll get it done, our attempts are slowly getting better, but it’s a long way to go. We’ve never hit the berserk timer as of yet, we usually wipe before that, but our best attempts (even with 10% Wyrnn-goes-apeshit buff) are sitting around 45-50%, we just lose vampires to stupid mistakes and even worse, my mistakes.

What with Edicia gone, we’re short of a Holy Paladin and as much as I’d like to help, I doubt I’ll be allowed to. Squiggle is now level 79, I’m going to get her to 80 tonight and then just go farm the hell out of Sholozar to buy some 226/245 epics, at least (while I wait for Veir to get to 80, anyway), then do the usual Heroic spam to get T9 and whatever else I need.

Speaking of Tier pieces, I read somewhere (I can’t find the exact post, it was on MMO-Champion somewhere in the mess they call a forum) that the mechanics for the Holy/Disc Priest’s T10 were unusual in that the Flash Heal HoT that it applied could ‘stack’ in a sense. If a HoT was applied while a HoT still existed, for the majority of skills (Renew, Rejuve, just about everything) then it would simply reset the HoT counter back to its full duration and anything remaining on the old duration would be ‘zapped’ (or lost/wasted/etc). For the Priest set, it just adds on the healing left on the old HoT to the new HoT, so the new HoT is even more powerful. Using this method, one could effectively stack up Flash Heals (especially as Disc if you’re ‘tank healing’) and get a HoT rolling for several thousand heals per tick.

I was wondering if the same thing applied to the Shaman’s 4 piece bonus on their Resto T10, and it does. Now, without raid buffs and full testing it’s going to be difficult to tell just how useful it’ll be. For various fights (here’s looking at you, Festerbutt), having a HoT that could potentially stack up is going to be incredibly useful for the first couple of phases (until you switch into tank healing, at least). The question isn’t, though, ‘how big can my pretty green numbers get’, but moreover ‘how much actual healing do my pretty green numbers do and how much is wasted?’. If the majority of the HoT is just going toward overhealing, I’d be happier with just keeping the two piece set bonus and using regular ICC drops for the rest.

Then there’s the little issue of homogenization between classes again. Now, I know Shamans are wildly different to the next healing class in a lot of ways, but I can’t help but feel that they’re pushing us towards the Holy Paladin’s regen method. Stacking crit on our Tier gear (when they know that most people look for Haste, at least according to ElitistJerks) just makes me feel like a Paladin all over again, except instead of Illumination I get Improved Water Shield. With such a move, it makes me wonder about the viability of the four piece bonus at all. Yes, you’ll have a HoT ticking and your high crit will mean it’s around even more often than usual, but if my Chain Heals aren’t landing fast enough because I’m losing a rather healthy stack of Haste to use the four piece bonus then what’s the point? Maybe I’m just fussing over .1 of a second on a cast time, and maybe it’ll work out fine, but I’m happy with my Crit level and I’m happy with my Haste level, in fact I’m happy with everything. I never run OOM when Chain Healing, so then stacking Crit for mana regen is pointless, and egh, I don’t know. Shamans are blah right now.

I’ll just keep two gearsets, the Tier10 set for AoE spam happy fights, and a dedicated healing set for fights where I’m single target healing. I can do both, and while that makes my class awesomely versatile, it also means I’m going to have to fork out a few more Emblems and gems for a gearset to match every capability.