Posted tagged ‘cataclysm’

Wrapping up Cataclysm

September 22, 2012

Not long now!

I’ve procrastinated tons and now I’m stuck with a long long to-do list:

- Collect 24 dailies to turn in
- Tune up my ret gear to make leveling faster
- Pre-order MoP
- Install MoP on my desktop and laptop
- Fix my laptop’s WoW UI

I think the only thing I’ve done so far is prepare enough food for me to not have to cook at all next week. (Why am I not surprised that food was my top priority?)

How do you measure an expansion?

In daylights, in sunsets
In midnights, in cups of coffee
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife
In five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure, a year in the life?

-”Seasons of Love” Rent

So many bloggers do their expansion recaps and it’s interesting to see who uses what as their expansion milestones. Some measure their expansions in class changes, some in game changes, some in tiers.

Me, when I think back on Cataclysm, the first thing that comes to mind is my guild chronology. I suppose then, that I follow the song and measure my expansion in love. Erm.

The Beginning of Cataclysm

Shortly before Cataclysm, the GM of my guild at the time asked me: “What are your plans? Are you staying with us? Will you still be playing your pally?”

I told him his questions were silly. I’d been happy in that guild for over a year. There’s no way I expected my feelings to turn very sour, very fast.

But they did, for a list of reasons too long for me to write out. So long, in fact, that I’m pretty sure I don’t even know all the whys to my change of heart.

I left, was devastated, held my ground, tried not to make an ass of myself (I slipped a few times), licked my wounds, checked out different raiding styles, got to know my inner-raider better, moved on, became a more grown up person.

More or less in that order.

I made up a lot of excuses for my not throwing much of a hissy fit. Mostly noble bullshit like how “I’m not like that” and “I’m going to be the bigger person” and “I learned my lesson last time”.

Yeah, that’s right! Bullshit!

The main reason I restricted my hard feelings to private conversations and comments on other blogs was because I didn’t want to burn my bridges.

Yep. Just in case I could be “just friends” with my ex guildies later on. It’s been a good plan so far. Since leaving the guild I’ve had good times with them at Blizzcon, in PuGs and occasional real life meetups. I’m proud to say I have the best ex-guildies in the world. So yeah, my advice to anyone grieving after a /gquit: never ruin the potential for perfectly good friendships down the road.

Those friendships might be a worth a lot more than your passing frustrations.

What else happened the beginning?

I remember there being a lot of bosses in three (four?) different dungeons. I liked that. On the progression race, having a lot of bosses clearly favoured guilds who raid more hours, but on the “I get bored of the same thing real fast” race, it was very satisfying. We didn’t have to start with the same boss every raid, or even the same dungeon. I like variety and I was served.

I remember the heroic 5s instances being a bit more challenging than we were used to. I liked that too. I didn’t find them particularly hard, even in PuGs, (maybe us holy pallies were just OP at the time), but they did force me to use all my spells, my teamwork skills and my favorite muscle, my brain.

Speaking of pallies and spells, the beginning of Cataclysm brought us Light of Dawn and Holy Radiance. Stirred us up a bit, after single-target healing for so long. I found we were still the most ideal single-target healers, but at least the addition of multi-target heals gave us the opportunity to take single-target healing vacations and try something new.

Then the middle of Cataclysm

I gave casual raiding a whirl. At the same time, I gave 10s raiding a try. Not that 10s are necessarily casual (apparently you get things thrown at your face, even through the computer screen, when you say offensive, sizist things like 10s = casual), this just happened to be a more laid back group who also did smaller sized raids.

My teammates were tons of fun (I do mean to crash their Mumble parties sometime in the near future!) but I learned pretty quickly that casual raiding is not for me. When I do something, I do it all the way. And while my pathological attachments to guilds may lead to believe otherwise, I’m not really a social person. Raid time is for raiding. Not telling stories, not waiting for people to log on, not reforging gear (unless there’s a strat change) and certainly not for going to the bathroom. I raided with them for about a year, but after some soul searching and a few entertaining (for everyone else) yelling matches between me and the main tank, I decided to be “just friends” with that guild too and move on to a more compatible team.

This is a good place to plug thoughts on 10s and 25s

Opinions on 10s vs 25s and on “the death of 25s raiding” never cease to be shared.

To me, it’s a personal thing. I’m a 25s raider. I like the occasional 10s as a side-raid to get to know my guildies (and more importantly, to get to know what my guildies are like when they’re drunk), but my little raider heart needs the beat of 24 teammates. I gave 10s a fair shot with Team Sport, but I missed having a large healing team, I missed being a single link in the chain, I missed the complex strategizing, I missed the large-scale wack-a-mole of 25s healing.

It’s not about what’s “harder” (I’ve found difficulty to depend more on who my teammates are rather than on my number of teammates), though I did wish 10s and 25s were treated like separate entities within the game. After all, the style of raiding is so different.

On those epeen sites, you can see the decline of number of 25s guilds. On recruitment forums, you can, however, see that there are plenty of 25s guilds. More guilds, in fact, then actual raiders. 25s raiding is not dead. Yet. Maybe one day Blizzard will decide that having a 25s tuning isn’t cost effective. I’ll totally understand and not be angry. However, I suspect that I’ll also stop playing WoW on that day.

What else happened in the Middle?

Heroic Ragnaros was a badass and gave lots of players nervous breakdowns. But not me. I was in a normal mode guild when the content was relevant. And when it stopped being relevant, I couldn’t really find the motivation to do extra hours when I could be doing so much fun stuff IRL.

There was a lot of questioning as to why Heroic Ragnaros was so much harder than final boss Heroic Madness. I question this questioning. It’s obvious, isn’t it? Heroic Madness is accessible to any somewhat disciplined raid team. Thus, for the first time, many, many players were able to end their expansion with a satisfying “I killed the last boss! On Heroic!”. And customer satisfaction is an important goal for a business, no?

I think it was a smart strategy to make the bragging rights boss (HRaggy) different than the satisfaction boss (HMaddy).

Also in Firelands, there was a lot of anger (and in my case, annoyance) when Blizzard decided to nerf Fireland by 20% in one go. I didn’t understand that one. The nerfs were supposed to accomodate guilds like the one I was in: normal mode with a slow and steady progression. Thing was, we were progressing just fine. We weren’t sick of the instance yet, we had to work for our kills but we weren’t discouraged either. Then Blizzard came in, yanked out the carpet, took away the discipline requirements for the bosses. We didn’t progress much faster after the nerfs, really. Once you take away the discipline requirements for a normal mode guild, you take away the discipline. Instead of killing bosses faster, we just goofed off more.

In the End of Cataclysm

When I left Team Sport, I went guild shopping which was scary and hard work. (I do have a post about it, but I never got around to finishing it. Post writing is also hard work.)

I did, in the end, find myself a home. I love my raidmates, I love the leadership, I love the raiding, I love my healing team, I love my fellow holy pally. They do tend to raid a tad early (I spend the beginning of my raids changing out of my work pants, stuffing my mouth full of food and trying to not to autorun into mobs), but otherwise I’m very happy.

I hope MoP does not have the same effect Cataclysm did.

ps. Important! If you are guild shopping and suspect your raiding interests to be similar to mine, I encourage you to check us out at http://www.occasional-excellence.com/ We still have a couple of open spots for MoP!

What else is at the End of Cataclysm?

Dragon Soul brought us LFR. I liked LFR. Early on, spending an extra night running it was tough, but I did like having it available if I missed a raid. It also made gearing up for my guild change much easier.

While, yes, the fights were stupidly easy and your LFRmates stupidly…stupid, I really didn’t mind LFR and I was glad to have that opportunity.

Dragon Soul wasn’t a well loved instance, and I do agree it lacked the epicness of Karahzhan, Ulduar and even Icecrown Citadel or the creativity of Zul’Aman (the original) and Black Temple. I didn’t hate it, though. I don’t think it would be my first pick for a final dungeon, but it had a few good moments. Notably the gamergasms Ultraxion’s Blue Crystal gave me time and time again, until Ultraxion started dying before the crystal came out (damn Ultraxion that minute-man!).

Of Blogging and Podcasting

I do miss blogging. I miss the excitement of watching my stat page, the amusement from reading search engine terms, the delight of discovering new comments and the satisfaction of publishing a Bossy Pally-approved post. And, most of all, I miss the friendships.

But at the same time, I don’t expect a sudden increase in post count. I’ve been having a lot of fun in the offline world – now that I’m no longer a student I’m finally living the life I’ve dreamed of since I was a kid. Between living it up and working a demanding job, I’m just too tired to be coherent. It’s a good thing, mostly, it just means that the blog will most likely keep its current posting rate and its current reader count of approximately 3.

I feel like I’ve grown away from the community too. I still subscribe to a lot of blogs, but it seems that everything I read triggers one of 3 reactions:

1) I’m not interested
2) I’m interested and I’m thinking about it, but I don’t have the energy to write a response
3) I want to throttle the writer and scream at them: “OMG HAVE YOU EVER EVEN LEFT YOUR HOUSE BEFORE!?!?”

I suppose that’s how life goes. You grow closer to some groups and away from others. I do plan to keep the blog somewhat alive, I’m not deleting the personal blog either (it may even get some extra attention in a couple of months when my big big big project/dream comes closer to fruition) and I’ve told Oestrus that I’m not against recording the odd episode of the Double O Podcast.

I think a post-MoP grind episode might be a good follow up to our pre-MoP episode. And who knows, maybe a reader/listener will suggest a topic they’d like to us discuss and we’ll be overcome with inspiration… It could happen!

My Take on the 10/25 Thing

February 7, 2011

It’s fitting that Naithin guest posted about 10s vs 25s on Thursday. After all, I’m a die hard 25 man raider. A die hard 25 man raider who just joined a 10 man guild.

Bit of background, differences of opinion with (some of) the leadership (understatement) and inconvenient raid times brought me to leave my 25 man guild. Instead of craving a rebound guild, my gquit actually triggered cravings to spend time around people I can get touchy-feeling with. But I didn’t want to lose my skills, or fall too far behind on gear, or to become too out of the loop for paladin blogging (contrarily to popular belief, you don’t have to play at Paragon’s level to read and translate EJ into plain English, but it does helps to step into a raid once in awhile).

That’s when my old healing lead, Vik, put me in touch with Thespius. Remember what Naithin said about backup players being hard to find for 10 man guilds? Well, it was a perfect match. Team Sport gained a backup healer and I got 6 hours a week of scheduled WoW time, which occasionally included raiding.

(more…)

Guest Post: Raid Size ~ Two Months On

February 3, 2011

Editor’s note: Naithin from Fun in Games was kind enough to write a guest post for me, and on a very current topic at that! (Someone’s got to write about current topics ‘cos the light knows I sure don’t.) It’s a fantastic post and he sets the bar high for when I finish my post for him. Enjoy!

How do you feel about Blizzard’s decision to, for all intents and purposes, merge 10 and 25 man raids? Is it different to how you thought you’d feel about it when you first heard?

When I first heard of the plans to make 10 and 25m share a lockout my response was immediate dismay. I liked doing both. I did 25-man ‘serious’ raiding with Surreality, and 10-man ‘funsies’ raiding with a bunch of friends scattered across a few guilds on the server.

It was our way to relax and unwind and how dare blizzard take it away!

I read further, and found out they also intended to give equal loot to 10 and 25 man raids. I didn’t particularly have any problem with this; it was about time so far as I was concerned. I mean, I only got into 25m raiding in the first place because you couldn’t finish gearing in 10s alone and I was tired of fail pugging 25s . . . Oh.

Oh.

Sure, I can write this as one continuous thought now but to think it actually occurred to me with such clarity would be to assume a degree of cleverness and self-awareness that, in reality, I didn’t possess. I’d done a pretty good job of tricking myself into believing 25-man raiding was what I wanted and the most fun and that it was the ‘real’ version of raiding.

Where that idea comes from I really don’t know. I’d seen first hand that in many cases the 10m content was legitimately more difficult and less forgiving of error than 25m, but nonetheless, it was how I and many others felt.

In actual fact, reaching the epiphany at the end of that thought process took me at least a month as I alternated between being pleased with how they’d handled the loot distribution between the raid sizes and mad at the loss of choice of doing both 10 and 25m if I wanted to.

The provided reasoning was sound, I could admit, but that didn’t mean I had to like it. The provided reasoning for multi-variable calculus problems are also often sound, and I certainly don’t like those.

In any case, eventually I did come to the end of that thought process, and realised that for me, 10m content was where it was at. This is pretty much in direct contrast with both Ophelie of- well; here, and Larisa over at The Pink Pigtail Inn, who strongly believe it is 25m or go home.

(more…)

Cataclysm Heroics Sanity Preservation Guide for Healers

December 28, 2010

You’re pugging heroics? What are you? A sadist?
- Guildie upon discovering that I PuG my heroics more often than not.

I think he meant masochist (my guildies a tough time keeping their fetishes straight)… unless he knows me better than I thought.

Once I got over my initial feeling of being left out (dissolved when other healers got tired of running heroics causing me to receive 3 whispers asking for heroic heals every time I log in), I fell in love with pugging. I’ve also learned to handle myself in PuGs, which has turned me into quite the slave driver, and yes, has really helped developed my sadistic side.

Introduction: What to expect

There are beliefs of varying levels of truth to the rumours going around about PuGs. Let me attempt to clarify them by drawing from my own experience.

Belief #1 – Heroics are too long for casual players.
Answer: Apparently the official forums are overrun with players accusing Blizzard of ruining casual play. Unfortunately, if you’re going to PuG heroics, you need to be prepared to spend at least 2 hours in there. At least. Most people are getting pretty good with the fights now, but during the first week of Cataclysm, I could easily spend 4 hours with a group in a heroic.

Belief #2
- People are jerks in heroics.
Answer: You always run the chance of being paired with the scum of humanity. Stories like this one tell of things you have to be prepared to face. But fortunately, they’re pretty rare. Most of the time, the people you’ll be paired with are just like you: looking to get their valor points and leave.

Belief #3 – Heroics are too hard to PuG.
Answer: They’re not. I pug a lot. And I mean, a lot. It’s only happened to me twice that I didn’t make it to the end: first group tried Corborus in Stonecore a few times then fell apart, second group wiped on Corla in Blackrock Caverns a few times, until I had to leave to run something with my guild. With every other PuG I’ve done, even my very first ones, where I cheated to get a 329ilvl, the final boss went down. Now maybe I’m on the ultimate battlegroup of excellence, but maybe a strategic approach paired with a lot of patience goes a long way.

So how does a healer cope with, as a guildie of mine puts it, “playing Russian Roulette with 5 bullets“? Let me tell you.
(more…)

Holy Paladin Reforging

December 22, 2010

Don’t we all love questions with no clear answers?

I’ve had a few people ask about reforging. Each time, I make my way to Elitist Jerks.

At first, the answer I got from there was “Definitely Haste. All Haste all the time OMG yes.

Then I went back and got the answer “Haste is nice, but Crit packs a better punch.

When I looked closely, I also saw “How about Mastery? Can we give Mastery a try?

Then I spoke with paladins who don’t frequent the various resources and received an overwhelming: “Moar Spirit plz!


For the time being, reforging isn’t a black and white issue. And I hope it stays that way- I love paladin healing right now: it feels as if each successful paladin has their own style and adapts in their own way to different content. Which is how healing should be. I don’t know about the rest of you, but the constant adjustments to fit each unique situation is the whole reason I fell in love with healing in the first place.

Love story aside, I’m going to take a look at the different reforging options. If you want a “do this” answer, scroll down a bit and you’ll find some reforging suggestions to fit your paladining lifestyle. And if you read all the way to the end, I’ll let you in on my personal strategy.

I’m going to inspire myself from the debate in the Holy Paladin thread on Elitist Jerks as well as use my own experiences to weigh the pros and cons. Two Three weeks into the expansion, I’ve done countless heroics, with pugs of all skill (and common sense) levels as well as guild groups, I’ve killed Conclave of Wind on 10 man, 25 man kills are Halfus (X2) and Argaloth (I’ve done quite a bit of log parsing from other guilds for Halfus too, to see how other healing teams are handling the fight), with a some wiping experience on a few other 25 man bosses. The only area I haven’t investigated much is the world of PvP, so you die hard PvPers are unfortunately on your own for this.
(more…)

An “In-Practice” Take at the Holy Paladin Nerfs

December 15, 2010

By now, pretty much every holy paladin blogger has posted their thoughts, comments, disdain and disgust about Tuesday’s holy paladin changes. In case you’ve been missing out, here’s what happened:

- Holy Light doesn’t pump up your holy power bar anymore when you cast it on your beaconned target.
- Light of Dawn, an already weak spell with the exception of how it transferred nicely through beacon, had it’s healing reduced by 40% so the beacon transfers don’t give healing envy to Word of Glory.

The rationale is that paladins have too much mana and are relying too much on the “pump up Holy Power via Holy Light and use Light of Dawn transfers to bomb the tank” strategy.

On the mana part, if you’re rubbing your eyes, I don’t blame you. When I started running heroics a few days ago, the idea of “too much mana” would be have had me laughing until my sides hurt. But, now that I’m decked in heroics gear and running with other heroically geared players, I kind of have to agree. Holy Light, with it’s low mana cost and long cast, becomes basically free with enough passive mana regen.

As for the “Light of Dawn abuse“, well, it was nice while it lasted. According to Tuesday’s raid logs, with a mix of 333-349 ilvl gear and 25 man raid buffs, my Light of Dawn was hitting individual targets for ~ 8k, occasionally critting for ~ 15k. Which looks great, but considering that everyone had over 100k hp and were taking insane damage left and right, LoD was actually crap for raid healing. Where it shone was through beacon. Say my LoD hit 5 targets for 8k for a total of 40k. Half of that (so 20k) was transferred to the tank, which is more than my ~15k World of Glory could heal them for.

How the changes affected my heroics healing

In all honesty, they didn’t. I kept the same “Holy Shock on cooldown, then Holy Light unless massive damage” strategy I used before. I couldn’t use Word of Glory as often, but, meh, other than making me crave haste (the instant cast component of WoG is nice), it didn’t matter. With heroics gear, Holy Light is basically free and Word of Glory is a weak spell. When my group didn’t screw up, I still ended fights at nearly full mana. I even started using Holy Radiance on cooldown.

How the changes might affect 25 man raiding

I raided Sunday and Monday, but I won’t get to test the changes until Thursday night. It’s difficult for me to predict how it’ll affect raiding. At our last attempts, our offtanks were too undergeared and our raid team too undisciplined (we have a lot of new guildies who are on their first raids with us and aren’t used to our ways) for me to get a clear idea of Cataclysm 25 man raid healing. Our attempts on Halfus Wyrmbreaker were under 2 minutes long and my tank was getting smacked with 40k-60k hits every 2 seconds.

To (attempt to) keep up with that kind of damage, I was using Holy Shock on cooldown and otherwise spamming Divine Light. Light of Dawn was a good option when I had at least 4 people in front of me (which didn’t happen often) so I might notice a loss there. Holy Light wasn’t in the equation at all when it came to healing in raids.

A Return to Wrath Healing?

We have too much mana… To which Blizzard responded by attacking the very mechanics they wanted our class to use. With our glorious passive mana regen untouched and with Word of Glory and Light of Dawn being so weak, I can see us going back to single or double spell spamming pretty quickly.

Aunna at Bandage Spec made some excellent suggestions that could solve our problem of being overpowered without ruining our new and improved playstyle. I have some suggestions of my own:

1- Nerf our specialization – 50% of mana regen from spirit is too much? Bring it down to 40%, or 35%.
2- Raise the mana cost and effectiveness of Holy Shock – Right now Holy Shock doesn’t do much beside give us holy power. It helps a little bit with raid healing, but that’s about it. Make it more expensive and more useful and it’ll put a dent in our mana bar.
3- Reduce the mana back from judging Seal of Insight or increase the cooldown on Judgement – Seriously, 3500 mana every time I use an 8 second cooldown spell? For real? No wonder my mana bar is full!
4- Increase the mana cost of Holy Light – It’s too cheap? Make it less cheap.
5- Buff Light of Dawn, but don’t let it transfer through beacon - Light of Dawn is a really week spell without the beacon component. With the amount of health people have, you couldn’t even notice the 8k heal. (Fannon as well as a few others have mentioned this too)
6- Make it harder to stack holy power, but buff Word of Glory – I don’t care how free and instant Word of Glory is, it’s not powerful enough to be worth working for. If it healed, for like, say 30k, I might be tempted to put some effort into getting 3 stacks of holy power.

So final words, if you’ve been worrying about the nerfs, you can relax. They haven’t affected us a whole lot. But! I can see the nerf bat heading our way again shortly, so gear up and farm heroics while we still have it sort of easy.

A Crowd Control Compendium

December 12, 2010

Last updated Dec 18, 2010 – Added some more suggestions, many thanks to you all for filling in the gaps. Changed the one mob per CC explanation and edited the Fear description.

As I was writing about heroics, I found myself listing off the various forms of crowd control (affectionately called CC). Because, to the greatest pleasure of those who complained about the lack of CC during Wrath, Crowd Control is back with a vengeance!

At least it is for now as we’re doing our best to run heroics in our soft and squishy greens and blues.

I’m sure someone has written a similar compendium at some point of another, but I’m not aware of any I could just link to so I made my own, for your enjoyment. Convincing your PuG to actually use CC is a topic for another day, but because knowledge is power and we all love power, here’s a list of all the forms of CC that I’m aware of.

And as usual, if you find anything missing, let me know and it’ll be added with credits given where they’re due.
* * *

Most of the time, nothing listened here will work on bosses (there have been exceptions over the years) but most trash mobs and mobs summoned during boss fights can be controlled using these abilities.

Complete CC

Complete CC keeps the poor creature from doing anything as long as the CC holds. This is your first resort for CC, and the most effective.

Frost Death Knights: Can do an AoE freeze that locks up all mobs within 10 yards for 10 seconds.
Druids: Can Hibernate beasts and dragonkin.
Hunters: Can Freezing Trap most creatures.
Survival Hunters: In addition to freezing creatures, that can also put them to sleep via Wyvern Sting.
Mages: Can Polymorph beasts and humanoids. Can also place a Ring of Frost on the ground, sealing all enemies that enter the area in ice for 10 seconds.
Retribution Paladins: Can Repentance demons, dragonkin, giants, humanoids and undead.
Priests: Can Shackle Undead.
Shadow priests: Can Mind Control.
Rogues: Can Sap humanoids, beasts, demons and dragonkin (must be done before the pull, when out of combat).
Shaman: Can Hex humanoids and beasts and Bind elementals.
Warlocks: Can Banish demons and elementals.Seduce humanoids and Enslave demons.

Note that a Warlock’s Seduction and Enslave Demon and a Shadow Priest’s Mind Control are more inconvenient to the player than other forms of complete CC, so don’t suggest them if other forms are available, unless you know the fight specifically calls for them. Though sometimes you’ll find a Shadow Priest who’s really into Mind Controlling and will jump at any occasion to use it.

Also note that with the exception of Frost Death Knights, each spell can only CC one mob at a time. For example, one shaman can Hex one mob and Bind one elemental, but one shaman cannot Hex two mobs.

Most of these forms of CC will break if the target gets damaged in any way, so be sure that CCed creatures are kept out of the way of AoEs and DPSers who struggle with targeting.

The typical order for casting CC before a pull is:
Rogue Sap -> Hunter Sets Trap -> Mage Polymorphs -> Mobs come running

Partial CC

Partial CC still gives the creature some freedom to cause mischief, but it can keep casters from casting long enough for them to move into melee range (called “silencing”), or roots melee into place. When a melee is stuck somewhere, you can move away from it, so it can’t reach you.

Rooting
Druids: Can Root melee.
Mages: Can Frost Nova to root targets in an area for up to (but usually much less) 8 seconds.

Silencing
Death Knights: Can silence for short bouts via Strangulate and Mind Freeze.
Boomkin Druids: Can cause a Solar Beam, which silences any creature standing within it.
Feral Druids: Can interrupt and spell lockout for 5 seconds with Skull Bash (both Kitties and Bears have their individual Skull Bashes)
Marksman Hunters: Can Silencing Shot for 3 seconds.
Mages: Can also silence for 4 seconds if they’ve specced into Improved Counterspell and time their interrupt well.
Protection Paladins: Can silence one target (and 2 other random targets if not glyphed for single target) for 3 seconds with Avenger’s Shield (and it has a bonus slowing effect when glyphed for it)
Shadow Priests: Can spec into Silence.
Rogues: Can silence for 3 seconds via Garrote, or can lock a creature out of a school of magic for 5 seconds if they time their Kick well.
Shaman: Can do an interrupt/ 2 second lockout via Wind Shear.
Warriors: Pummel causes a short 4 second silence and Arms Warriors can interrupt and completely stun for 5 seconds with Throwdown.
Protection Warriors: A well timed Shield Bash can lock a creature out of a school of magic for 8 seconds.

Fears

When a mob is feared, they can’t do anything. Most fears are pretty short in duration, serving more as a damage reduction technique than anything else, but a 20 second Warlock fear can serve as complete CC, as long as the target is second or third on the kill order or the fear is constantly refreshed.

Historically, feared creatures ran and grabbed the attention of more mobs. Nowadays, Priests , Warlocks and Warriors have glyphs available that remove the running effect of the fear. Not everyone grabs these glyphs though, so it’s worth asking your friendly priesty, warlocky or warriory teammate if they’re glyphed for fearing.

Paladins: Can Turn Evil one undead or demon target for 20 seconds
Priests: Can Psychic Scream 5 random targets for 8 seconds.
Warriors: Can Intimidating Shout 5 random targets for 8 seconds.
Warlock: Can Fear one target for 20 seconds and Howl of Terror 5 random targets for 8 seconds.

Slows and Stuns

Most classes have one or several abilities that will slow down a target (also referred to as snaring), practical for repositioning or kiting (running while being chased by a mob) and a short term stun that will completely take out a target for a few seconds. Since just about every class has these abilities or can have one of these abilities if they spec into it, glyph for it, stand on their head and recite the alphabet backwards 3 times, listing them all would be more confusing than anything else. However should you feel the need to ask for slows/stuns:

Hunters ,Frost (or specced into Slow Arcane) Mages and Death Knights (via Chains of Ice) are the go-to people for slows, with Rogues and Paladins being the experts of stuns.

Note that the Paladin stun, Hammer of Justice, has a fairly long cooldown, so it usually can’t be used more than once or twice a fight.

Many players have shared their class’ stuns and slows in the comments, so if you want to know more (or see what your or your alt’s class can do) have a read through the comments.

Now go forth and take less damage!

Note: Huge thanks to Blinky, Grimmtooth , Shopshopshop ,Windsoar, Poneria, Matt, Kirenaaz, Lady Erinia, Kaboomski, Niliin, Gaia , Velidra, Pewter, Talexei, Gilomor, Berry, Shealle, Tarinae , Deyndor , Skip , Khahan and everyone else who pointed out an omission for their help!

Let’s Talk About Spirit

November 29, 2010

I’ve been getting a lot of questions about spirit lately. Which took me by surprise at first (while I love getting pally questions, I don’t get them often!), but it makes sense: we’ve gone a long, long time without having to worry about Mana Regen. Suddenly we’re bombarded with the notion that our infinite mana pools are a thing of the past and that spirit, spirit the stat we snubbed throughout our whole healing careers, is finally useful to us.

It’s ok, learning something new can be a good thing. Hey, I learned something new! I learned that intellect directly affects our MP5 or mana regen. Apparently it’s done that all along but because mana regen has always been something that took care of itself, I never paid attention. And no one ever thought to pull me aside one day and tell me “hey, you don’t care about this now, but one day you’ll be happy to know that intellect increases mana regen“. Anyway, as I was double checking my facts for this post by playing dress up with my paladin, I realized that “AAAMG MY SPIRITLESS BRACERS ARE UPPING MY MP5″.

No, I’m not embarrassed. I’m not embarrassed because, according to the replies I got when I asked on Twitter, many of you didn’t know either.

So what about ‘em Spirit.

Do I need to start stacking Spirit?

I can sense the panic radiating from that question. Cataclysm drops in 2 weeks. Most of us aren’t raiding anymore, those of who are raiding, aren’t raiding too seriously. So close your eyes and take a deep breath. You don’t have to spend tons of gold regemming gear you’re going to vendor in two weeks after you respec to retribution to zerg your way to 85.

Besides, even if you’re still raiding, if you’re managing your spells right, you shouldn’t be having trouble with mana. Remember, Holy Light and Holy Shock are cheap spells, Divine Light and Flash of Light are expensive spells.

From my experimenting last night in ICC, I could get away with a lot of Divine Light and Flash of Light casting on every fight but Lich King (where I did run out of mana very fast, but in my defense, I think we lost Replenishment when our ret pallies left). I have 334 Spirit.

If you are struggling with mana due to gear level or a stubborn need to spam Divine Light, then feel free to add some Spirit gems or do some reforging, but don’t panic. Don’t panic.

What about Spirit and Cataclysm? What about that?

I’m unfortunately not the right person to ask about Cataclysm gossip. I like to discover things on my own and because I wasn’t in the beta, I shy away from the spoilers.

That said, rumor has it that our mana won’t be flowing as freely as it did during Wrath, but with intelligent spell choosing, it shouldn’t be a disaster. The Thinkers over at Elitist Jerks seem to be suggesting that our custom of gemming for intellect will survive the expansion, or at least, the beginning of it.

How does Intellect help me get mana back?

Intellect helps with mana in a few ways:
- It increases your mana pool
- It helps you get more mana back from Divine Plea
- It helps you get more mana back from Replenishment (Replenishment is a raid buff that certain classes/specs can trigger passively- Ret pallies, Resto Druids, Frost Mages and Destro Locks are the ones I’m aware of.)
- If you’re a Blood Elf, it boosts the mana you get back from Arcane Torrent

It also works with Spirit to increase the mana that regens happily on its own while you’re not worrying about it.

How does Spirit work?

You’ve stacked all the Intellect in the world, you’re cautious about your spell casting and you’re still running low on mana. Maybe you need more Spirit.

Spirit and Intellect work together to boost your mana regen. When you open your character panel, you’ve got three types of mana regen.


Let’s be creative and start from the bottom:

a) Combat Mana is the speed you’re regaining mana whenever you’re in combat, including when you’re casting.
b) Mana Regen is the speed you get your mana back while you’re out of combat
c)The MP5 when you mouse over the your Spirit tab is how much faster you’ll regain mana 5 seconds after you’ve stopped casting. It adds on to your Combat Mana while you’re in combat and it adds your Mana Regen while you’re not in combat.

The formula by which Spirit and Intellect affect these numbers is complicated and I’m not sure if the exact formula has been figured out for Cataclysm so lets just settle with both numbers increase mana regen and Spirit increases it more than Intellect.

For the visuals, I made a graph! (Don’t be scared, I’ll explained it below.)

Ignore the equations. This graph shows the story of me playing dress up with my pally.

The bottom (blue) line shows my mana regen (the MP5 from the Spirit tab) with different amounts of Intellect while my Spirit was at the human pally base of 108 (EDIT: the graph says 106, it’s just a transcription error and doesn’t affect the results at all). The next (pink) line up is the same thing, but with 215 Spirit. Next (green) line is with 384 Spirit and the top (purple) line is with 431 Spirit.

If graphs aren’t your thing and you’re still lost, the bottom line is this:

The more Spirit you have, the more bang for your buck you get from Intellect. If you need more regen, you don’t have to swap all your Intellect for Spirit. Just adding 100 or so Spirit (probably a bit more at level 85) can make a huge difference in how much Intellect is contributing to your Regen. And the more Intellect you have, the less Spirit you have to add to see that difference.

And that’s my lecture about Spirit. May your Cataclysm experience be rich in lavish mana pools.

Note: Big thanks to Lodur and Naithin for their help in sorting out the Intellect and MP5 mystery.

I’m going to slightly raise my face from the keyboard for a second

July 23, 2010

I’m going to be quite honest here. I don’t feel like writing a post today. Like most nights, I can barely keep my eyes open. I don’t know how you non-students manage this every day of your lives AND do stuff like eat/cook/take care of kids. I can’t remember the last time I’ve had the energy to eat supper, much less make it! I’m actually sort of looking forward for school to start again so I can do other things but work and sleep! (Although when I’m at school, “other things” constitute mainly of studying… I guess the grass is always greener.)

But even though I don’t feel like making a legit post. I have a couple of things to say.

First, I did write a post! Yay! Only it’s not here. It’s over at World of Matticus and it’s about the paladin changes in Cataclysm. Take a good look at it because you won’t see me writing about Cataclysm news very often!

Also, there is a sort of mistake in my post there that I’ll edit once someone with approving power gets around to approving the comment that pointed it out. Holy Mending is indeed the tier 8 2p bonus. I completely missed that when I was going through the list of Cataclysm skills. It looks like it’s going to be a permanent skill, taught at level 80.

There’s something else I’ve been meaning to say, but keep forgetting when I’m sitting in front of the computer.

I’d like to give some link love to my guildie Redhawk, space chicken extraordinaire, who blogs at Redhawk’s Gaze. He doesn’t just write about druid stuff, so even if fluffly bird druids aren’t your thing, you’ll still find plenty of interesting posts. He also updates quite a bit more than I do! So head over to his blog and give him a hug for me.

Shared Topic: How Will Cataclysm Change YOUR Game?

February 26, 2010

What is it with these really hard shared topics? When Rilandune from Heroically Random! suggested we talk about our playing plans for Cataclysm and Pheadra from DI The Tank suggested we talk about changes to the game we’d like to see, I groaned a bit and googled “Cataclysm”. I didn’t discover anything I didn’t already know, but for those of you who are even worse than I am with WoW news, here are some references you might appreciate.

Official Cataclysm Website
Official Cataclysm Forums
MMO Champions Cataclysm Thread

I’m going to announce something that will terribly shock you all : I’m sticking with my paladin in Cataclysm. Probably keeping my same playstyle too. Healing most of the time, tanking part time and dpsing when I’m drunk. I’m hoping my guildies won’t be sick of me either, I enjoy my Azerothian home and would like to stick with it.

I also expect to start another paladin to toy around with, just to see how the pally leveling experience has changed. One can never have too many paladins!

I guess I’ll eventually get a Goblin. Yes, I know I usually play Alliance. But given the choice between playing a short, green creature and playing a very hairy creature, it’s a no brainer.

What really comes to mind when I think of Cataclysm, though, is every time I hear the words: “This is my last expansion, I’m not playing anymore after Wrath.

To which my knee jerk reaction is, but…but…you can’t…I like you.

Granted, many of those who plan on leaving might not actually mean it. Once upon a time, I knew a fellow player that I didn’t like much (while I’m generally pretty nice on my blog, rumor has it I don’t like everyone all the time). He was always saying things like “Oh, I’m quitting WoW for Hello Kitty Online!” Each time I would rejoice, only to be disappointed a week later when Hello Kitty Online or Aion or that game with the half dressed chick in handcuffs that advertises on WoW websites didn’t deliver.

Still, I’m a little apprehensive of player turnover. Maybe a little excited, as well. I hate seeing teammates go, but it’s fun to hear from old long lost friends who’re stopping by to see what all the fuss is about. New expansions are the time, every few years, where I get to hassle people about how they never call or write or answer the emails I send them. Just because I’m answering-emailically challenged is no excuse for everyone else to not answer. I’m polishing my giant spoon as await the many returns.



So what do I hope for Cataclysm?

Rideable druids.

No, not like that you dirty people.

Since I often find myself playing lowbies with druid friends, it irks me to no end to run behind their travel form. Or, in later levels, to have stop and wait for them to catch up to my mount. Or, to just be separated in any way while running. I’m not clingy, I’m impatient. I want to ride my friends.

I’m having trouble coming up with significant changes I’d like to see. I went to suggest changes to the Auction House and Mail system, but those would be better suited for minor patch changes, not an expansion.

Having so little tangible information on the actual changes to the talent trees and gear stats, it’s difficult to say what else I would like to see. I know I want paladins to keep their versatility. I don’t mind that we struggle with raid healing more than the other classes since we also have the options of tanking and dps. (Then again, druids have more role flexibility than we do and aren’t as healing pigeonholed as we are.)

I like the removal of defense. I look forward to including uncritabileness in talents. While stat balancing is a meta game of it’s own, a meta game that I do enjoy, I wouldn’t be sad to have replaced with something… less… time consuming.

I realize that I’m finishing this on a rather uncomfortable note, but the time seems too early to work my dreams and wishes for Cataclysm. I live in the moment and my criticism, suggestions, opinions won’t be ready until I have more information to work with.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,970 other followers