Dec 12, 2009

New Content agony

Happy to say that over two nights, my 25man raiding guild managed to kill 3/4 bosses in ICC. It was a painful adventure. Yay! Now on to the negatives...

As a healer we saw our healing corps go from 5 in TOC to 7 in ICC. The sad thing with this is... the guild has overinflated opinions of us healers. D: There was griping that we were wasting at least one dps slot on a healer. Even though we wiped a goodly number of times with those 7 healers as we were learning the fight and perfecting our strategy.

Many of the raiders in the guild have raided with the top Alliance guild on our server, so quite often comparisons come up in random conversation. It's a bit hard edged as most of us do not want to get compared, but as a benchmark it's useful to keep in mind. So, after my "sorry guys but 7 healers is pretty standard for new and hard content" was swept aside by those that think us healers are miracle workers and/or slacking on our jobs making 7 necessary, I just randomly asked if anyone knew how many healers that top guild ran with. Keep in mind that guild cleared 25man heroic versions when we never accomplished jack in 25man heroic. So the gear curve is steep. I was served back with "no it's not about the gear it's about the skill".

Digest that. Enjoy.

THEN there was a cloth spell-hit bracer that dropped and 2 healing priests and an elemental shaman rolled on it.

Needless to say I'm going to be either guildless or not raiding some time soon. Because I don't raid with assholes or jerks. I'm not competitive enough to put up with them, and have plenty of other toons I can level or play and enjoy without the aggravation of stupidity and greed in a 25man raid.

Let's go over the basics.

1. Loot items have stat budgets on them. Raw white stats, and green stats. Yes, duh.
2. Different classes and specs prioritize those stats, green and white, differently.
3. Some green and white stats are completely useless to some classes and specs.

Do we all agree with this summary? Good.

Progression is hard. It's going to take everyone getting gear and using that gear to move forward. The best practice is for items to go where they will do the most good. They will be used, and used for the longest time before getting replaced. This ensures that more people get more overall upgrades.

And, here's where I will lose some people. Armor classes exist for a reason. Guilds, especially raiding guilds, should be working to make people happy, and need to keep loot fair and balanced so that the whole raid can improve and move forward. It is not fair that a holy paly is the only one rolling on the plate gear, but then gets to roll with the holy/disc priests on the healing cloth, and also gets to roll with the resto shaman and the resto druid. FAIRNESS PEOPLE. I don't understand why guildies want to be dicks to each other. In fact it boggles my mind.

So, would I begrudge a holy pally from picking up cloth if no clothy wanted it? Not at all. Do I get a tad pissed off at a holy pally or a resto shaman taking that cloth from a cloth-only-wearing priest? Fuck yes.

Sadly, this has an added issue. The stats you find on "healing" cloth are at the very least marginally decent for dps. While there does exist one dps stat that is COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY USELESS for healers, aka spell hit. So, bad enough a healing cloth wearer might get ganked by their fellow healers from different armor classes (if your raid/guild leadership goes for that sort of thing). But the cloth wearing healers also have to consider competition on cloth items from dps cloth wearers. Sad, but true. But that's just the way it is. I can happily tell a cloth wearing healer "hey dude, sorry, but you know as well as I know that all those stats, while not super, are not bad for that dps" as long as I don't have to put up with a wrong-armore-class healer also ganking that priest's gear too. Priests can put up with some, but I don't think they should have to put up with that.

And now to the real issues.

2 healing priests rolled on cloth bracers with spell hit on them, against 3 cloth wearing dps and an elemental shaman. In my opinion, the healing priests were GOD DAMNED WRONG and need a re-edumacation on "let's not waste item stat budgets for your healing, when it is 100% useful to those casting dps and only 75% useful to you since you don't use spell hit AT ALL" and the shaman was marginally wrong for rolling on gear against those that have no other options in gear choices. They can't be like the shaman and choose to take some druid's leather, and still have zero competiton on dps mail too. It's not fair. Why do I have to tell people they aren't being fair? WHY CAN'T THEY FUCKING SEE IT FOR THEMSELVES and say "hey. This isn't cool. I wouldn't want to be in that person's shoes, so I'm not giong to do it to them."

My guild does use a dkp system by the way. But numbers were reset for ICC, so we have a lot of roll offs.

Dec 5, 2009

Northrend on the Horizon

My paladin alt is on the verge of entering that frozen land in the great north of Azeroth. I finally gathered up the gold to get dual spec, and have to actually consider my talents for holy, as well as reconsider my erstwhile levelling prot-ish sort-of talents. My group mates trust me to hold aggro but I'm not a very professional paladin tank, that's for sure! I had to beat my mage buddy into playing as frost for most of our leveling time because it certainly made my job a tiny bit easier, along with he stayed alive longer to actually kill the massive amounts of crap we were pulling..

So I've gotten the Dual Spec and now I'm staring at the Holy tree in bafflement. Did I mention I haven't hit a healing spell more than ten times during leveling? Lifeblood doesn't count.. neither does Lay on Hands. (Sadly I have hit that one quite a few!)

So, with experienced healer eyes but brand new paladin eyes, this is sort of what went through my mind choosing talents:

Spiritual Focus vs. Seals of the Pure : Though I hate pushback talents on all my healers, given the nature of pally "stand there and heal it!" healing, and the alternative with seals that seem to have nothing to do with healing, Spiritual Focus was an easy choice to go deeper into the tree.

With my shaman and priest experience under my belt, Divine Intellect and then Illumination were easy choices to move on down the tree.

In level 4, I need something to connect to Divine Favor from Illumination. Improved Blessing of Wisdom is only 2 talents, so to find where to put 3, I had to jump back up the tree. No offense, but my pally isn't raiding yet, and I have no troubles healing instances I know she's geared/level appropriate for, so that improved Concentration Aura talent seems silly while I'm trying to learn my holy pally business. My eyes glazed over at the hands talent choice in that level too. Who knows I'm probably just one of those bad pallys.

So I found those other 3 talent points fit nicely in Healing Light, level 2 of the tree.

Moving on down, we grab Divine Favor and then Sanctified Light. I don't know much, but I know pallys like crit! Last point I dumped into Improved Lay on Hands in level three. The text of Pure of Heart really interested me, but didn't seem immediately apparent in usefulness. As I do some healing and deal with all the northrend debuffs, we'll see if I revisit that choice.

Filling up Holy Power seemed like a no brainer, and then we have our point in Holy Shock, leaving 4 points to play with. I liked the Light's Grace and have high hopes for it! One point left, back to Improved Lay on Hands I go.

Now we're at level 8. This whole level looks good. My first choice is just to move down the tree, so 5 into Holy Guidance we go. I'll reconsider Sacred Cleansing later, maybe.

Level 9 is another level full of goodies. I really wanted Divine Illumination, mainly from all the OOM hell of prot tanking lately. My blue bar has been pissing me off a lot. So, grabbed Divine illumination and put the other 4 points into Judgement of the Pure. This was a tough choice as there seemed to be an interesting mix of "wait I have to do what to the bad guys?" and "mmmmm yummy haste". But with nothing else obvious in the tree jumping at me, I'll stick with Judgement of the Pure. I really do need to become a better pally.

Infusion of Light is sexy and an easy choice as I was so damned determined to move on down the tree! Even I know that holy pallys do cast judgement on bosses and mobs, so the Enlightened Judgements seemed like one of those talents I should have, even if I'm not 100% sure how I'm going to be using it yet. The last point to get to the final level I put into filling up Judgements of the Pure on level 9.

FINALLY the bottom of the tree. I know I've got it good, having never pally healed before Beacon. Trust me I know. That doesn't stop the excitement at finally having it.

So there was my stroll through my chosen holy talents. 51/0/0 The rest is just icing on the cake, right? On one hand I want to get to Conviction in the ret tree, but I know that bubble is somewhere in the prot tree. I guess I get to do some experimenting, if I really do get to play holy some as I move towards 80. At level 68 my pally had 5 in Divinity in the Protection tree, and 3 in Benediction in the ret tree, though I'm considering putting those back in holy's Sacred Cleansing talent.

Fun times ahead!

Nov 19, 2009

Velen's Prophecy

Silvery moon, washed in blood,
Led astray into the night,
armed with the sword of broken Light.
Broken, then betrayed by one,
standing there bestride the sun.
At darkest hour, redemption comes,
in knightly lady sworn to blood.

Prophet Velen

Nov 17, 2009

Dreams and memories

A hesitant hand carefully holding a fragile ink tipped metal nub slowly crossed a blank page...

I remember nothing of the darkness. Nothing. I was called Sefalira and I danced, and sang, and drank. Everything was dust, and nothing mattered. I was empty and hollow and it's a miracle I didn't die. I'm not sure how I did not, other than the rest of those struggling to survive wouldn't dare to let one more elf perish to the evil that had all but destroyed them. It had destroyed me.

But eventually, the emptiness became less painful. One dawn I blinked my eyes open and realised I could see the clouds above me. The carpet of green beneath me, where I must have fallen the evening before, was better kept than my own appearance. And suddenly I cared.

But I was still lost. Merely going through the motions of cleaning myself, walking through the remains of the city and staring determinedly past the ghosts of family and friends that haunted me. My self exile within a lack of memory was gone, but I couldn't allow the fear to return.

The small leather bound journal closed, while green eyes closed and a dark head of chin-length hair bowed for a moment. Her shoulders moved with a deep breath. Opening the tome once more, graceful yet callused fingers continued...

Where faith dwells, hope is never lost, young blood elf. Gaze now, mortals - upon the HEART OF M'URU! Unblemished. Bathed by the light of Creation - just as it was at the Dawn. In time, the light and hope held within - will rebirth more than this mere fount of power... Mayhap, they will rebirth the soul of a nation.
Blessed ancestors! I feel it... so much love... so much grace... there are... no words... impossible to describe...

Salvation, young one. It waits for us all.

It was the rebirth of the Sunwell, and that magical voice speaking in my mind with an essence of Light so pure and true that cleared what remained of the numbness. I was still young for an elf, but time had indeed passed. Only hazy memories remained of the dark places where my brothers and sisters had born me to, providing safety and security and ensuring I did not grieve to death. So there in the grass and the sunlight of a new day, finally, I awoke. And the dream of nothing was gone.

The Light restored me as if I had never lost the glow of the Sunwell, the love of family and friends, the care and protection of kin.

Again she closed the book, carefully wrapping it in a waxy leaf covering and binding it with oiled string. Tucking it into a traveling pack with the meanest collection of survival and utility gear, she stood quickly, resettling her sword. Lifting two fingers to her lips, a piercing whistle was answered by a shrill bird sound followed by a heavily pounding pair of feet. An immense bird with a saddle paused at her side, its head twisting and turning as it peered around the edge of the forest where her rider had paused for a short break.

"Sefalir" her soft voice spoke quietly, and while the bird crooned in response, the Blood Elf tossed her head back and laughed shortly. "Let's go meet those at Tarren Mill waiting for us, ladybird. Time that more were introduced to Zalam-njordil." A small crooken smile graced her mouth when she dropped into a curtsy made strange in her costume. Blue-scaled armor rested on her thighs and shoulders, while heavier green armor made of turtle shells rested on her forearms and boots. It was such a mundane appearance, except from the glitter of her green glowing eyes, the sheen of infused Light upon her blade and the shield now tucked at her back.

Nov 15, 2009


I really love the twins fight. When I manage to stay alive.


Sometimes I get myself an invite to my guild's ten man heroic team. We have a good set up, with 3 healers: my druid, @xparanormalityx's resto/elemental shaman, and a disc priest. Our tanks always included one paladin, the guild's MT, and then some trusted OTs.

Last night's was fantastic. Last week we got to Anub but just didn't have the dps needed to get into phase three. Well this week we went pretty smooth and started getting really smooth transitions into phase 3, but then the tanks would go splat. Our shaman heals the first 4 fights and dpses Anub so it was me and the disc priest healing.

Well, after the sixth wipe as we're confirming what is working and what isn't and trying to tweak it, I'm frustrated on vent with the pallyOTalt/boomkinmain telling me how to heal better and venting "A.M.G. you don't understand I cannot get you two tanks to full healing in phase 3. It's just not working." and I'm begging the ele shaman to help with some heals when the Disc priest pipes up "wait, what? We heal the tanks to full in phase 3?"


He's normally healed 25mans, and has always been third healer on the 10toc normal, so I guess it makes sense he just didn't have a clue that we want tanks to full health in phase 3.

So I fell out of my desk chair laughing til I cried and the hilarity. I was basically attempting to solo heal phase 3. And given the fact we got Anub to 300k health three times and 140k health another time, I was doing a damn good job! (warning: WoL gives him mega credit for all the bubbles he popped during phase 3, since he said that's mainly what he was doing, bubbling and renewing) Link to the combatlog


Assuming we all know our roles for given fights isn't a good thing. It doesn't hurt to go over the strats. As you can see.

Nov 6, 2009

More reason not to tank

Let's set the scene.

This week I was handed a very forceful, er, painful reminder of why I stopped tanking and that aside from heroics I should probably continue to avoid it. I tried to jump into a 25m pug for ToC that sort of fell apart and turned into two 10mans. They needed a tank. So instead of trying to get gear on my priest, I ended up bear tanking. Painful lessons, I tell you!

Aside from people not knowing fights and the problems that ensue from that, I realized that green goo is damn freaking hard to see when one is tanking Dreadmaw. Ugh! Needless to say, I had superb threat control, but went splat (sometimes before everyone else, sometimes not). Luckily I dodged getting saved, as I think my guild wants to do something different tonight with guild ten mans, a new development!

So, after that disaster I spent most of the week agonizing over bear upgrades which are few and far between. I hate fucking armor penetration. I don't want to play cat. I want to be a bear tank. I would give all the gold on my level 35alt (heh) for gdamn freaking TANK GEAR. In fact, the tier pieces piss me the fuck off with their green stats, while I stare longingly at the (2) and (4) bonuses. I ended up keeping my godforsaken trollwoven shoulders, with mental notes to upgrade belt for sure with crafted gear. Some day. When I'm rolling in crusader orbs and my main raiding gear has already been upgraded.

But, all this was really just lead in. Kalon has been my go-to druid-tank blogger since I stumbled across his blog. I throw his addy at would-be bears in every guild I've been in. It's good stuff.

Right now he's working on a series of posts to contradict, calm, or explain in depth some of the theory, worry, fear, and possibilities for bears in Icecrown.

Me, I'm a big yellow belly bear. I hate change. I grew roots and brownish leaves and went tree when I spent my entire TBC career swearing I'd never every NO NEVER heal because of the armor/stamina changes that happened when Wrath came out. Threw in the towel on tanking. Eventually I remembered how useful it is to have an offspec when the server seemed to suddenly swim in healers (not all good). Plus, it helps me and @xparanormalityx run the daily heroic on all our toons when we can heal/tank 2 of them together.

Why do these changes from "Chill of the Throne" terrify me? Let me tell you. I'm a versatile druid. I had the most fun in TBC in Zul Aman because I was required to use every single trick in my bag, constantly, on almost every boss fight. From battle rezes to innervates to add tanking to dpsing when the other tank had the boss. It was superb fun. But now there's this debuff.

For Icecrown Citadel, we are implementing a spell that will affect every enemy creature in the raid. The spell, called Chill of the Throne, will allow creatures to ignore 20% of the dodge chance of their melee targets. So if a raid's main tank had 30% dodge normally, in Icecrown Citadel they will effectively have 10%.

That blows. I started this by saying that I'm not a theorycrafter and I'm not a main-tank in a raiding guild. I tank heroics. So take all my thoughts with my limitations in mind, please.

I understand druids could tank naked. We don't need defense. Our only mitigation is dodge. Dodge and the silly crit bubbles we have now. Both of which hinge on agility. So, when it comes to bear tanking, primary stats are STAMINA, AGILITY, and then the green bonuses of MORE DODGE, EXPERTISE, HIT, ATTACK POWER, CRIT. That's how I would rank the green stats. Pretty simple compared to warrior tanks, pally tanks, deathknugget tanks. They get crap like Defense that actually does something, parry, block if you're not a DK, these other mitigation forces.

I see it like this. Druids need a lot of dodge because it's really our only mitigation. Stacking stamina is not mitigation, btw. Other tanks get the dodge inherent on their gear, but they also get those other mitigation stats.

Let's compare @xparanormalityx's prot paladin and my bear druid, shall we?

Armor:24189 (61.36%)Resilience:0.00
Defense:540 (-+5.60%)Def Rating:690 (+140)
Dodge %:25.89Dodge Rating:561 (+12.40%)
Parry %:18.38Parry Rating:188 (+4.15%)
Block %:16.88Block Rating:103 (+6.28%)

Armor:7324 (32.47%) 28127(64.87%)Resilience:0.00
Defense:417 (-+0.68%)Def Rating:86 (+17)
Dodge %:29.86 / 38.86Dodge Rating:285 (+6.30%)
Parry %:0.00Parry Rating:0 (+0.00%)
Block %:0.00Block Rating:0 (+0.00%)
(I had to edit this because the in game bear numbers were different)

prot pally stats vs. my druid's 40% dodge in bear form.

So, with "Chill of the Throne" my bear will drop to 20% dodge. Pyh's dodge will drop to 5% but he'll still have those other mitigation factors.

Armorylite is being a pain and not catching my druid's tank gear, so I'll update this soon once the changes happen.

Needless to say, I don't like having zero options to be a decent tank unless I do nothing but stack stamina. And this change will force druids to do that yet again, while as we geared up we were able to play with expertise, hit and arpen for threat generation.

I did say I was resistant to change, right? I like what Jacemora said.
All I know is I am glad I am not tanking anymore and I don’t have to worry about it

Nov 4, 2009

Nifty little meme

What is the name, class, and spec of your primary healer? Oh hell. Primary? Uhm. I can't pick. LheafZarixaanuValkure

What is your primary group healing environment? I'm a pugger and a raider. I find myself in 10s and 25s way more than heroics, though.

What is your favorite healing spell for your class and why? My favorite healing spells are, in this order, Chain Heal, Rejuvenation, and Prayer of Mending. I don't think I picked the 2nd and 3rd just to be difficult, either!

What healing spell do you use least for your class and why? Big heals are just not done. No Healing Way. No Healing Touch. GOD FUCKING NO Greater Heal. Ever. It's not on my bars. Wtf does it do again?

What do you feel is the biggest strength of your healing class and why? Used to be fast heals. I loved my shaman's haste. Then there was the great haste nerf in gear "upgrades". Bleh. Now, I heal more on my druid than any other. I love tree form and casting healing hots while moving. LOVE IT. Mobility. Win.

What do you feel is the biggest weakness of your healing class and why? I'm a jack of all trades so I specialize in none. I am a weak healer. I will never claim "hey I can solo heal this ten man" I will cry and complain and beg for a 2nd healer, and if I don't know them, or I do know them, I may ask for a third. >_> Just sayin'

In a 25 man raiding environment, what do you feel, in general, is the best healing assignment for you? I will hot people. Including tanks. I will avoid bad shit. You want a healer than lives and maximizes heals, I'll do it. I will not heal people through dumb mistakes, however. I suffer no god complex.

What healing class do you enjoy healing with most and why? I really love my buddy @xparanormalityx we can 2 heal ten mans we didn't think was possible. He has a shaman/druid. I have a shaman/druid/priest. Any combination of us 2 is win.

What healing class do you enjoy healing with least and why? Awesome holy pallys make me cry on all my toons. I will give them an assignment then grumble if they cause me to waste healing time.

What is your worst habit as a healer? Not healing. "I was breaking out the NPCs of ice tombs" = unhappy Hodir raid

What is your biggest pet peeve in a group environment while healing? If I battle res you for the love of god pick a good time to pop up and say something so I can keep your ass alive.

Do you feel that your class/spec is well balanced with other healers for PvE healing? Yep. I feel that because I heal with 3 different classes I really get a good feel for what I do best with them, so it bugs me less when I feel one doesn't do as well as a skill on another class type could.

What tools do you use to evaluate your own performance as a healer? Logs I take, recount, and if everyone lived.

What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about your healing class? I really don't want to tank heal. Really. Why must you make me?

What do you feel is the most difficult thing for new healers of your class to learn? Numbers don't really matter. No, really.

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)? I could care less about overhealing. How often was I casting in comparison to other healers, and did I myself stay alive? I was healing a LOT of people.

Haste or Crit and why? I love crit on my disc priest and my druid. I love haste on my shaman.

What healing class do you feel you understand least? Holy pallys.

What add-ons or macros do you use, if any, to aid you in healing? I use Grid, Quartz buff tracker on my target(s)/focus and surgetrack

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

Sep 21, 2009

Practice for roleplay

@Arcania was talking about RP on twitter today (as she usually does because she's awesome at it) and it got me thinking why I don't roleplay more on my toons. I come from a free-form roleplay world, pure fantasy, where really anything could go. After that, roleplaying in a world with so much lore and history leaves me feeling so challenged I avoid it.

So, I need to come up with some phrases and sayings and interactions that my toons would really have in the Warcraft world, seeing as how they're raiders and farmers. Will be tough.

Aug 29, 2009

A new plan

I finally took the plunge and put my druid into a progression based raiding guild. I feel guilty on multiple levels. I was first asked to tank with my druid for these guys almost six months ago, during a rough time with her first guild, the one she raided with in TBC, and I was working on my shaman and had almost totally given up on doing anything with the druid. I should have joined them then. But, I didn't. So we move on.

I'm healing with the druid, and I had what I thought was the best assignment for my first night raiding with them. Simple raid heals. It was great. But their raids are full of 2 disc priests, a holy priest, and some holy shamans. Needless to say my hots are too slow to tick! So I showed myself pretty shabby on the numbers when I wasn't dying due to unfamiliarity with the fights.

Vezax wasn't that surprising. I had done my homework. But everything I heard/read was that 3 stacks was pretty decent to have the green goo, get some mana back, etc. But nothing was happening. Then when I hit 5 stacks I hit a lag spike for some unknown reason and my jump out of the goo was slow and next thing I know I'm dead. Soooo frustrating. I'm not the type that's gonna jump in right away with my excuses. Lag spikes are random and I'm not sure what caused the problem there. It pisses me off as much as it makes me feel guilty for failing my job to stay alive. So, I feel like slime.

I think I'm really an anticipatory healer. I like to know the kind of damage that should be coming in because I'm really good at meeting those needs. But sudden spikes of unexpected damage tend to show me at a disadvantage. So with a new guild I'm struggling to learn how these tanks take damage. And their strategies are a bit different from the other guilds I've managed to run this content with on my other toons.

So, just, ugh. I need to learn more on how to maximize druid raid heals. And I really need that idol. As much as I love getting mana back from Lifebloom the GCD vs the healing it spits out seems not a good balance, and I much prefer Rejuvenation. /headdesk

Aug 4, 2009

Hit Bitch

Damn you, Blizzard, for creating party-only buffs!

If you don't play a shaman, or a select few other classes (maybe?), or try to compose a raid, you may not be aware that Blizzard did NOT make all buffs raid wide. But it is true.

Healing Stream totem, for a glyphed shaman, can pack a pretty heavy punch of healing when used appropriately (18-25%). So at times I have to nag my raid leaders to move me around in the raid, or at the very least remind them that my totem, which I am dropping, will only serve those in my party. If they're ranged and/or not taking much damage that may be a lot of wasted healing opportunity.

Mana Tide totem is party only, and can be extremely helpful for mana users, I especially like to keep healers in the party for that one. Sometimes they are spread out pretty far but if I am going to drop it I run to the one with the lowest mana or the inability to regen it (sorry druids with an available innervate lose out!).

Tremor totem. Ah the reason shamans are loved against the Cat Lady!

But then there is heroic presence. Oh how I loathe heroic presence (as a healer; I freaking love it as enhancement). For some reason draenai are on a shortage in my raids. And I hate asking my raid leaders to balance more_healing vs hit_capping_dps, but since my focus in a raid is healing, that's where I'm going to put my support.

I've always viewed getting hit capped as a standard part of dps raiding. On my shaman and shadowpriest (my only dps toons) I've set up my outfits to account for both situations to the best of my ability. I understand hit rating is a pain to get sometimes, and that keeping hit capped can severely limit gear choices and dps capabilities. But when healing is my goal, I'm going to fight to make sure my skills, every one of them, is used to the best it can be.

So, I don't like being dps' hit bitch. And having the same conversations over it every week in raids kinda drives me nuts.

Jul 14, 2009

Clutter and addons

The other night I spectacularly failed at offtanking Ignis (well his adds). I couldn't figure out the best spot for the camera that I could see both zones where adds spawned from, and my frame rate per second dropped to 2. TWO. If I was lucky. I was too stressed to be staring at that little number most of the time.

So, I am taking a look at my addon folder. The main tank thinks I have too many running thus explaining my horridly long zone in time. Me I just know my computer is a P.O.S. but hey whatever I'll see what I can do.

So what addons do I run?

ACP (addon control panel)
Cellular (tabs/popup window for whispers)
Chatter (alternative to prat basic functions)
Chinchilla (map)
ChocolateBar (new testing alternative to FuBar)
Converse (records chat windows)
Grid with a few additions
CT_Viewport (alters window with black bar at bottom for bars/chats)
InspectEquip (very nice when inspecting people)
Lightheaded (only turned on for alts leveling)
Loggerhead (so i don't forget to combatlog)
Obituary (reasons for death awesomeness)
Outfitter (tho I'm learning to deal with Equipment Manager on PTR)
OmniCC (is this really necessary with Ora? then again not everyone runs Ora)
Pitbull (unit frames)
POM Tracker
TotemTimers (until 3.2!)

That does not seem like a lot to me. I might be able to ditch Outfitter and maybe Omen since I'm more often healing than anything else.

Jul 12, 2009

Healing Assignment Redux

The question I pose is this: Any help on what to do with 2 pally healers and 3 tanks? And, should multiple holy pallys use the same judgement? We had 3 holy pallys, zero ret and prots. For the full story, read on.

Last night was a nasty night of wiping on Ignis. It's not a hard fight, it's just very chaotic with a LOT of things going on, and very healing intensive because of the constant raid wide damage.

Our main tank or an off tank was almost always the first to die. This is a great clue that healing assignments just weren't effective. So I've been struggling to come up with something better, but I have a massive problem. I don't understand paladin healers. I'm currently leveling a paladin but she's in her 20s and is more prot than ret at the moment. So I really have very little clue how raid healing works.

We started with 3 tanks, 7 healers. 2 bear off tanks and a DK main tank. 3 paladin healers, 2 shaman healers, 2 druid healers.

After the fifth wipe, I traded my bear out for my priest (we really had no priest buffs before then, too, no shadows) because I seriously failed grabbing those adds. 2fps is not helpful there. So one of the paladins went prot. That leaves us with a Prot paladin and a bear on the adds, and a DK main tank. 2 paladin healers, 2 shamans, 2 druids and a discipline priest.

So, the healing numbers of the paladins were really unimpressive. I am not healing lead in that guild, but often I step in and make solid recommendations (especially when healing assignments are bass ackwards). I know priest, shaman and druid healing even if I'm not a number whore about it. I try to use both class strengths and healer-player strengths to their fullest.

Any help on what to do with 2 pally healers and 3 tanks? I don't solidly understand pally skills. For some reason the RL who is a paladin healer had 2 pallys on the same assignment and then wondered why one of them had low healing numbers... *sigh* My other big issue is there is so little communication among healers. My other guild actually has a GUILDhealers channel for healer discussion. So I don't know that the pallys communicated beacon targets, that they worked together at all. Just, ugh.

And I really hate to make suggestions regarding pallys because I don't understand the spells well enough.

Jul 2, 2009

My raiding, looting and hybrid philosophy

WowGrrl asked why we raid?

I love teamwork. I lack the epeen to try and top numbers anywhere, whether it was tanking (look I can keep them ALL on me!), dpsing (I rolled a shadowpriest in The Burning Crusade for heaven's sake) or healing (hello, Discipline Priest here). I am in raids because I get a vicarious thrill in killing the monsters, in working with others (sometimes total unknowns, since I like to pug alot). That's why I'm there.

I don't consider myself a hard core player at all. I usually log into the game at least once every day, either for two hours after work or during the summer months for a majority of the day when not working/running errands. (I believe in making the most of my $15) I don't min/max everything I do. I have fun in the game, it's not a second job. But I treat people the way I would want to be treated, and I make sure fairness is always present where ever I am involved.

Looting is an integral part of raiding. Loot makes the killing of the bosses, the conquering of the instance, easier to accomplish and for those more focused on what a raid offers them, the loot is a personal reward for good performance, good attendance, etc.

When I led raids I figured it was the most fair approach to limit players to one upgrade. Those that hoarded their rolls and passed on obvious upgrades instead of letting the rolls fall where they may on an item and just dealing with chance on what loot will drop and what others will roll were not invited back to raid with me.

I've always played a hybrid class until recently (my low level alts don't really count) but I was a one-act hybrid in Burning Crusade. I only tanked on the druid. I only dpsed with the priest. Sure I picked up offspec gear when no one wanted it for their main spec, and I took my chances rolling on offspec gear with other offspec rollers. I think that approach has stayed with me. I had a raiding spot on my tank always. My shadowpriest was not so lucky because she wasn't awesome dps, but I didn't sweat that. I still managed to sweep through Mount Hyjal in a pug and get most of the way through Black Temple on the priest, too, also with a pug. (Okay so it was after the great nerf prior to WotLK getting released.)

My point is I do not see HOW THE FUCK dual specs has "dramatically changed" the raiding environment. Is it nice to have a flexible toon, on a night when you need a healer instead of a dps? Yes. But it does involve more work for the player to gear up all those specs. It naturally takes more time to gather 2 or even 3 complete sets of gear than 1. I do not believe hybrids, nor hybrids with dual specs, deserve access to more gear because of their flexibility. They raid the same number of times as others, with the same amount of lockouts. Their access should NOT be increased. There are other ways to gear up via crafting, heroics, and other raids out there.

If it hurts the raid because you're not giving this greater gear access to your more flexible toons, then you need to recruit more. And those with dual specs need to work harder on gearing their alternate specs.

That's just how I see it. I didn't get any special breaks on my druid in TBC and I won't give special breaks to dual specced hybrids in Wrath. They can pick a raiding spec. If it limits how often they raid because that spec is less needed, that was their choice. If they want to change specs in order to raid, they have to put the work in to gearing up that new spec.

My guild still hasn't worked out what is up with loot in ten mans. Still no hard written guidelines. (Hell I'm the one that copied and pasted the guidelines as they are now, which a raid leading priest violated.)

Jun 26, 2009

New and improved UI?

Maybe. You decide. I like it. My flickr set of screenshots

The "focus" would be above my target (on the right side) Here you don't see the rising list of buffs I add to a target (using Quartz)

Jun 8, 2009


I finally got my act together, and stumbled upon a great UI in the comments of Big Bear Butt's latest post about a screwy addon happenstance. It is Blacksen's UI, and while sure I pillaged it and tossed out a lot of the heavy memory hogs, I loved the basic pitbull setup and the general look of it.

So, here we have it. This is from our guild meeting. Notice the raid down the left? My tip tac addon in the bottom left above the chat frame is aggravating me. The druid target is a balance, but I am tree spec in this shot. Get the talents right! On the bottom right is my cellular tabs window for whispers. I can minimize it and that's also where Omen threat meter and Recount are, during real raids, when I want the info. (When I'm healing I usually don't have omen up, and I almost always open recount after a fight, rather than stare during).

May 19, 2009

Druid fail-tanking

Noth25, Oh I hate him.  And that was after Military Thaddius25 mini-bosses, where a mage got tossed instead of me, leading to a wipe.  On Noth, it was literally impossible to hold Noth off of the three 3 enhancement shamans, the boomkin, and the mages.  W.T.F.  Am I that bad?  From what I read I didn't think bear threat mechanics were that sucky.  But I woulda given an organ if I could get the Warrior Vigilance talent, for real.  Something, anything, to boost my threat.  So maybe in my head I expect bear tanks should be as high insta threat as paladin tanks, as warrior tanks, and maybe that's just wrong, and I need to "educate" the dps (who don't often run with druid tanks) on that fact.

I love to tank.  I'm just very persnickety about it.  Trigger happy psycho-dps that ignore threat meters piss me the fuck off, and if Im' raid leading they'd be better to NOT raid with me.  That said, I am such a fail tank in Wrath.  It bugs me.  

I tanked in TBC pretty much constantly.  I was a raiding and heroic machine, and Lheaf's reputations and her collection of T3 (which took forever to get the helm) speaks for itself.  I loved it.  I'd like to say I was damn good.  Grinding raids and heroics is about knowing the encounters and knowing the raiders/group members you're with, and anticipating how the 2 will meet.  I can handle that.

Maybe I just need to pop berserk at the begining of those fights and hope it holds, and get back into the habit of yelling at stupid dps on vent.  I can do that.  It does NOT make me happy to have the warrior-that-usually-tanks saying on vent repeatedly "guys let her get aggro/threat" and having the smart dps say it too.  I still feel like a failure.  

But hey last night I got the rest of my NAXX25 clear achievements so I never have to do it again...

Note: I would totally link Lheaf's armory (really you could find her, there's only 4 and she's the only 80) but she's wearing resto gear and I'm embarassed because now I can't change it due to maintenance, and I was playing with this post in my head since Sunday so I really shoulda known better.

May 16, 2009

shaman blog discovery

Just found Lyra at Healing Way thanks to a Wow Insider article.  Was added to my google reader right away, and I found an excellent article on the mess that the Blizzard devs have made of the Blessing of Wisdom vs. Mana Spring Totem debacle.

Great read!  In fact hopefully its in the right list of shaman articles to read...

Now, I need to write a post about arranging groups, which many many MANY raids, maybe because they are led by more casual leaders, think died with 3.0 thanks to so many buffs going raid wide.  Anyone that plays a toon with *some* party only effects knows how rough it is to get the raid leader to set up the groups a certain way.  

My pet peeve is running with healers that don't use raid frames and/or prefer to heal their target in the same group.  But hey I don't mind keeping Mana Tide Totem all to myself... until we wipe because they went oom...

Mar 10, 2009

Druid dual spec?

So I am quite happy being a feral mostly-tank flower and elixir farming druid. I don't have grand plans for her at all, even though she was my main in TBC. I have no idea what to do with the dual spec system for her.

Maybe I'll finally get into pvp and spec appropriately. I was planning on setting up a resto spec but with the lifebloom nerf, even though I'm not a micromanaging lifebloom roller when I heal, I'm still concerned about healing with her. But I honestly suck at lazer-chicken. So I'm at a loss.

Most likely I'll give resto an honest try or two before I decide if it's a viable off spec for me in 3.1

Mar 8, 2009

Cross faction kindness

My blood elf paladin (omg another hybrid!) has been level 10 for a year now.  Crazy, eh?  So, needless to say I don't have awesome rep with any horde players on my server.  I loved to world pvp (I still want my darn talbuk on my druid) and never hesitate to defend a city.  But while leveling my toons, I've always managed to get along peacefully with hordelings.  Case in point: Yesterday.

I've finally finished the Wrathgate quest line on my shadowpriest, and had just fluttered back to Wyrmrest Temple when a Tauren warrior a three levels lower than Zari begins a staring and emoting contest.  I'm a sucker for /beckon.  So I follow him over to a big giant/mammoth thing (what are those called again?) and help him kill it before it kills him.  This was after trecking quite a bit all over the tundra on my Great Big Elekk and him on his Kodo.  Yet I still followed him.  And it still worked out for the best.

I had warm fuzzies for the rest of the day.

Thankfully he didn't pop over onto an alliance toon to stalk me.  Then again I'm on the shadowpriest so little ya never know.  And I can't even remember his name now.

Mar 4, 2009

Allison on Wowinsider

Her article "Shifting Perspectives: Tanks, "Wrath," and crushing blows" is simply fantastic.

It's depressing to be nerfed, and still more depressing that it seems to be happening little by little and patch after patch, but it is also the correct approach.

Our health is being nerfed in 3.1, the scaling of said health is being nerfed, on top of yet another armor nerf whose compensatory mechanic (Savage Defense) does nothing to address the Druid's already poor magic mitigation.

That a voidwalker can substitute for a Druid on Sartharion 3D (and arguably does a better job) is no great recommendation for the mechanics of Druid tanking.


How all tanks mitigate and avoid damage needs to change to reflect how encounters have moved past one unwelcome form of burst damage (melee and crushing) to another (magic dragon breath!).

Mar 3, 2009

Positives and negatives

So Fel Fire's latest post, and really the entire clique series, feels very applicable to my current guild.  What's a day in guild on the 80 (that's still in the guild) without some QQ, no?

I wanted three more valorous tokens.  Then I could break my awesomely sexy outfit of blue and gold to get my tier shoulders.  I poked around all day Sunday and no one put it together.  We just didn't have the people on and hadn't planned a heroic OS or VOA (planning VOA is tough, yet I feel guilty when I've already pugged it and the guild wants to go).  So when my former GM asked if I wanted to go I jumped at the chance, and when there were dps slots left open I grabbed at some of my top guild dps just to see what they could do against a much bigger raiding-guild's dps.  It was fascinating.  (Getting whispers from my former GM about some current guild members made me, and those guild members, feel pretty awesome.)

But when it turned from a no_drakes_up into a one_drake_up fight and we actually did it, and the achievement flashed in guild chat, well.... there were some upsets.  Why do I feel guilty?  All I wanted was three valorous tokens.  


Feb 24, 2009

4Haelz: He Said, She Said

Reading my google reader at lunch today I saw this excellent blog post and decided to jump on it.  

Do you notice any trends in what gender fills what role while playing (healer, dps, tank, etc.)? Who talks more in Guild Chat or Vent? Who brings up what subjects? How is loot distribution handled? Are there favorites? Problems with gender? What about gender and sexuality differences? Unfair treatment? Harassment? Do people ignore sexuality and gender prejudices when they exist? Do they perpetuate or welcome it?

There have been quite a few well written posts on sexism and wow lately, from varying perspectives.  

Feb 22, 2009

Hybrid theory

I play some hybrid classes, yep.  But I'm pretty inflexible on the druid.  With her I will dps or tank, and courtesy of The Burning Crusade still cluttering up my brain I'm a much less confident tank than I should be, so I seek off-tank positions in 10 man pugs.  The other night in a heroic Naxx pug fully raid buffed she hit 38k health.  Can I just "AWESOME!"  Yeah I loved it.  But boomkin is a no go.  I just can't really figure out the rotation or track the procs very well.

The shaman I am now more comfortable healing than dpsing with enhancement, and I don't really play with the elemental build.  That's probably from endless heroics and raid healing for as long as she has.  I can still pull decent heroic dps but not in the 3k range.  And tho I have some elemental gear gathering dust in the bank, I just don't play with it.  Mainly because I'm not a rich wow player!

And now the priest, the last of my 70+ toons is leveling.  She went from 0-40 as holy, 40-70+ raiding as shadow, and 70-72 as deep discipline healing instances for guildies as they started leveling through those low areas.  But now she's back to shadow and I am rediscovering just how much fun that is.  Sure healing with discipline was fun, proccing bubbles around people and holy-bazzuka-ing, I mean hitting people with penance randomly in Dalaran, was fun.  But somehow the quests are more entertaining from a ranged perspective, as opposed to the shaman and druid.  

I guess my hybrid-ness isn't 100% since I haven't, or cannot, master all three specs of the shaman and druid, and I never claimed to be an excellent priest of any spec, but between a tank, a healer and a ranged dps I think I'll have things covered for pugging. 

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