Thursday, April 30, 2009

Thoughts on Holy vs Disc, again

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I did Naxx yesterday with some alts in our guild. I haven't gotten any alt to 80 yet (on my mains server) so I "had" to go with my good ol' priest. I did it most for funsies and to gear some guildies since there isn't much for me to get in naxx 10man anymore. I have all the gear and achievements I want by now. I also wanted to give holy and disc another testing area. Remember when I talked about disc being the new black? Although the run to Naxx I mentioned back then got cancelled I still wanted to see if Holy really had become (basically) useless or if Ulduar just offered a new type of experience which demanded a different heal-style.
So when healing Naxx yesterday I noticed one big difference (besides the obvious, Naxx being far easier than Ulduar overall) - there is way less aoe dmg coming in. And when there is, it's usually far apart. I switched between the two specs back and forth during the run (we left Grobbulus, Gluth, KT and Sapph tho) and found that they worked about equally well. On bosses like Loatheb, holy has the clear advantage. You basically only use 1-2 heal spells during the entire encounter, and it's aoe spells. So what is the problem with Ulduar then? Well, even in Naxx I noticed that holy really has less regen. Significantly less. Fights which took me to 80% mana in disc took me to 20% mana in holy (yes we actually wiped on some encounters due to undergeared alts ^^). And even tho they nerfed disc regen, by making the shield slightly costlier I still nearly regain all the mana used on casting it when Rapture procs (shield costs 666 mana and Rapture regens approx 580 mana).
We had three healers with us actually, one disc, one holy and me switching and it made me also notice another thing, or rather get confirmation since I had foreseen the problem already. Having two disc priests in one raid is not such a great idea. Where most healers complete eachother, disc rather "take" eachothers heals. If someone already has shielded my target, it means I can't, and I lose alot of my buffs like the possibility of Rapture procs and Borrowed Time (and others).
So to the conclusion;
Although Ulduar demands more aoe-healing than ever, and that usually is where Holy comes to save the day, the regen nerf to holy makes it basically impossible not to oom too early. The encounters in Ulduar need more regen than Holy currently has, which is sad because healing wise Holy works well for many encounters and really being able to switch between them to use the priests healing possibilities to the max would be awesome. Hopefully they will solve this somehow.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

New patch, new fail

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I was lucky at first, and I usually am. Whenever a new patch comes I have some (most) addons acting up and all I need to do is update them and problem solved. We saw some entirely new issues with this patch tho, one especially annoying must be the talent-bug which can come in various shapes and forms. Some lose all their tp and skills. Some only lose their tp. Some lose half their tp or can't use some skills. Some lose their tp only when they log/zone/switch spec. At first I smirked at those affected, since it seemed I was off the hook on this one. Didn't notice any problems on my chars and could easily switch between specs and whatnot. A friend in another guild had some major issues where all her talents just went gone, she was basically laughed at by some GM (or at least so she felt although I think she over reacted) and quite understandably went rather bananas about not being able to play her main, at all, when new raid content was out. Some hateful mail to Blizzard later, she was given 2 months playtime as compensation. But where was I... oh right. I smirked because I had no problems whatsoever and Love said gleefully to another friend of ours, whos tp kept refunding, that it was all about skill.
Well seems karma got me on this one, or my skill just dropped low. I got it first on my retridin (69). I noticed that all of her talents where gone, but I could still use all the skills. Like Crusader Strike and Repentance etc. I didn't bother much since what I really cared about was being able to kill stuff.
But then some days ago, it happened again. On my (second) ele shammy (41) I was set back some tp. Instead of being to place as if I were level 41, I can place tp up to level 38. Wth? I checked the forums for some easy solution, because I didn't want to spend my hard earned gold on respecs just because Blizzard can't program properly. But I couldn't even see the problem mentioned. Weird, I thought. Isn't this one of the biggest issues in the new patch?
So I ticketed a GM. Yesterday. About 18 hours ago. It still says "Wait time currently unavailable".
Guess I should've seen it coming.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Reminiscing vanilla WoW

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I don't belong to that (crazy) group of people who claim that WoW was so much better before and it would be great if Blizzard started up some un-patched, or nearly un-patched, and un-expansed servers where people could enjoy the old times of WoW. I believe these people have either turned senile or just never were there. WoW was fun even then, unbelievable enough, but it has gone through some major changes, and trust me people - they were needed. So I thought we would recap some on those changes and maybe everyone will realise that although WoW isn't perfect, and never will be, it is alot better than it used to be.
The good ol' class roles:
Remember the old Tier sets? Remember when hybrid classes weren't hybrid? There was only one tier set and it clearly showed what Blizzard wanted each class to do. End-game for priest, druid and paladin meant healing. For warriors there were hardly much option beside tanking (a notion that is still hard-wired in many people). Remember when Mind Blast had "high threat"? I do. I tried to be shadow at 60 and all I ever got to do was heal heal heal. And I wasn't even very good at that, since I was shadow specced! But I couldn't dps in instances, because everything worth casting had high threat. Fortunately I could at least turn to pvp, but a whole part of the game was locked out to me because I was the "wrong" spec.
The good ol' raids:
Ok, I didn't raid much in Vanilla, but for a reason. Organizing 40 people (of which at least half just statistically have to be clinically dumb) was a stupid idea to begin with. But that wasn't the big problem really. The issue was having to spend hours and hours doing something to have a half decent shot at one gear piece every tenth run. What is the gear per hour on that?! When I raided MC and ZG I was one out of 9 priests. NINE! I'm not even counting in all the other clothies here, but I knew that I would have to spend many many hours in them raids before I could even begin to hope to get some gear. Call me loot-horny all you wish, but I want some kind of reward for what I'm doing. No wonder it spawned those weird dkp-systems for loot distribution. I'd go bananas too if 40 hours in raid wouldn't give me some sort of prio over the rest. Now you have to be fairly unlucky not to get loot at all on 2-3 runs.
And being one out of nine hardly made my effort feel like anything special. There were 8 other people doing the exact same thing as me, offering the exact same abilities and options. During boss-encounters now a days I often think "it's so great that they have me here since priests are such awesome healers", I would never get to think that being one out of nine...
I know some people say "well the encounters where much harder back then, it felt like a really awesome feat when you finally downed a boss". I agree Naxx is a cake-walk, but with Ulduar you can't really complain about easy killings anymore. And besides - a friend of mine raided heavily back in Vanilla and everytime I saw him play he mostly pressed one or two buttons (he played a lock tho, maybe an unfair example of easiness). So although I agree some boss encounters are easy today, back in Vanilla you could have people go afk in the middle of the encounter with hardly anyone noticing. Try doing that in Ulduar!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Gold flows - part 2

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Loves ownage of the AH goes on. Yesterday he had nearly 1100 auctions posted, out of approximately 14.000 total auctions on the AH. That made him alone more than 1/14th of the entire AH. That's freaky, wonder if you can get banned for things like that... The market has slowed down tho, like I said last time. He's still only selling glyph, and the occasional cheap blue that he finds, and now when everyone are done dualspeccing and dualglyphing he makes about 4000g a day (or so he claims anyway).
The downside is that you need a large stock of glyphs to make it work. Like I said, he had 1100 auctions up, and although that might be overkill you still need alot of glyphs to make good money from it. Otherwise bastards like Love will just keep undercutting you till they've forced you to so low prices that you actually lose money on the glyphs. (contra herb cost for inks) That's when he buys them and sells them pricier. He's very, very sneaky that Love.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Healing in Ulduar - Razorscale

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So I've done some Ulduar runs, three to be exact and we've downed all bosses to Freya so far. I thought I'd give some ideas on how the healing works (for me as a disc priest that is) on the different encounters, starting with Razorscale (skipping Flame Leviathan for obvious reasons).
What are the easy/hard parts and what to think about?
Healing Razorscale:
First of all, this is one of the easier fights in Ulduar. Basically just tell people to stay out of the blue clouds on the ground and you'll be quite alright. What problems can arise? The hard part starts when Razorscale lands. Prior to that she blasts down fireballs (or sumthin like it) on random target which is easily healed with a shield (glyphed) or flash heal. Keep Prayer of Mending up on any target (preferrably starting out on one of the tanks) and it'll bounce around doing good like it should. One can keep shields up on the raid if they like, but on this fight it's no necessary. Any dmg done to the raid can be healed and doesn't need to be prevented.
Like I said, the tough part is when Razorscale lands and she is kited (at least that is how we do it). I won't say anything about what the tanks are doing, because I honestly don't always know every class tactics perfectly but keep an eye on who takes damage and why instead. Now here is a problem with reach. Every so often the tank runs out of range, if you're not quick with running along. Might be worth keeping in mind. Another problem is a rather nuky blow that Razorscale does, which combined with the reach-problem could become lethal. But, again, this is a rather easy fight and just keep shield up on the tank and a Penance ready and there should be no problems.
To think about:
- The healing gets tougher when Razorscale lands
- She does a nuky blow, be ready for it
- Keep range to tanks who will run around

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Gold flows

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I don't care much about AH and making money. I usually don't have any trouble making it although I never do dailies and I never grind for stuff (well it has happened occasionally). I just level another alt with some herba/skinning proffession and that gives me all the money I need. That keeps me at about 15000g constant.
Love on the other hand is an AH-slut. He sits there several hours a day. And he was prepared for the 3.1 dual-spec changes and the money that could be made from that. Well I doubt he really knew the frenzy that would come, but he had actually stacked up enough inks, glyphs and spare time to satisfy the market.
On the first four-five days or so, from wednesday patchday to about sunday, he had made.... 60000g.
He uses alot of addons to keep it rolling, which actually doesn't require him to do much work at all, just log in and repost his glyphs all the time.
60000g in four days.
It has calmed down now, thank god or he would've capped his gold in no time.
So if I need anything ever I can just poke him for it! Yesterday he just gave me 1000g to dualspec my lock alt.
One could say I'm now his in-game luxury-wife.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Ganking

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Let me just say, I really dislike world pvp. Or maybe that's not the way to put it, actually what I really dislike is ganking. I think pvp can be fun but killing low leveled players just for the reason of ruining their gameplay is not my cup of tea. I don't gank people and I really don't like being ganked.
"Just don't play on a pvp-server" you think, and yes that is the way I have solved this problem. Unfortunately, before I realized how dreadful world-pvp (i.e ganking) could be I started a main together with some friends on a pvp-server. After leveling that char I decided I'd never go through that hell again and so I am staying away from pvp-servers from now on.

But I think there must be a way to solve this. I know many people think it's worth being ganked a couple of times for the possibility of doing it themselves to some poor lowbie. But honestly I don't care what they think, those are the people I don't like - I even tell my ganking friends that they're bastards and I never feel sorry for someone who's being ganked if I know they're doing it themselves. Setting them people and their opinions aside, and I do, I think there should be some system that prevents ganking. Ganking should actually be punished. The no-honor gain is clearly doing nothing. I'm not peace-loving, I am lazy. I do not like to get my game interrupted because someone is bored.
I have thought of many things that could change this, some are easy solutions and some less easy. One thought would be that if a char is grey to you, you can't attack him. But what about if the grey person attacks you first? Well that's another things of course. It would be like a semi-non pvp server. You can still attack green/yellow/red colored chars all you like, but the real low ones are off limit.
Or maybe a diminishing returns on kills? When you've killed the same person 3...4...5 times they become immune to your attacks for an hour or so.
How about a debuff on the ganker? For every grey player you kill you lose 10% stats for an hour or two.
And they really should have those sanctuary areas extended to the entrances of instances. So the area between the summon stone and the instance portal is a no-kill zone. Yeah that's a great idea.
Just some fast thoughts, I'll probably come up with more.

The new best priest

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The changes to priests (healing priests that is, I don't know anything about shadow) in 3.1 have really turned the tables on me. I used to love the holy-spec, it was versatile and easy to use, it has a remedy for every situation. But with the new spirit-regen nerf and changes to Serendipity the holy-spec regen has really gone lost. I have about 320mp5 which isn't anything fancy. But that was compensated by the fact that I had like 900 ooc-regen with my holy spec. Every time not casting would easily regain me the mana needed for the fight (I actually only ever oomed on fights like Patchwerk). And I realize 900 ooc-regen might be a little over the top, but now after 3.1 it has dropped to 500 ooc-regen. And honestly, that is basically nothing. The new Holy Concentration doesn't make up for it.
Ok ok, I haven't been all fair, I've only tried this new regen-nerf in Ulduar (and Emalon) so far, and seeing as those fights are really, really hard (well most of them anyway), maybe my old regen wouldn't have been enough either. I am currently dual-specced holy & disc and tried both out at various fights in Ulduar some days ago.
But then I look at disc and talents like Renewed Hope, Soul Warding and Rapture. Those combined are seriously awesome. With Rapture I actually gain mana from casting the shield (if it is soaked) and mana was rarely a problem for me in the Ulduar fights we tested (the first four bosses). If I just get the timing of the shields right for the event i.e learn when the aoe comes and who's gonna get it, there is no end to the possibilities.
I'm gonna do good ol' naxx again in some days and then we'll see if it's Ulduar that has sacked my holy-spec or if disc really is the new way to go...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Why DK's are (slightly) OP - Part 2

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So I thought of another thing... Yet again a warrior stands as comparison because warriors and DK's both have something like stances. Different "modes" in which the class works differently. Now let's look at that. To a warrior, a stance change comes with a major penalty. Not only does it cost alot of rage, it also impacts on what skills you are able to use. But how does it work for DK's? First of all, does it come with a rage penalty, or in their case, a rune penalty? No (at least I don't think so, right?). They can freely switch between stances without any problems. Secondly, are there some skills they can only use in some stances, or in their case, auras? No, they can freely use any skill they want in any aura they want. Great times.
Differences like these is what makes DK's so much better than other classes. Little things that are actually huge things.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Undying

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We did a retry on getting "the Undying" achi done yesterday, after having failed last time due to a minor mistake from one of our paladins. We made it without much hazzle. Actually, in 10man Naxx there aren't many bosses where there is any big risk of dying. Maybe Patch, but no. He is really easy on 10 man. Sapph, KT? Well yeah. If you have too many melee characters on KT that could become a problem. One of our melee, a druid, respecced boomkin to help solve that problem.
It's funny how I have looked upon people named "Uglyman the Undying" and thought "my, that is so cool!", but now that I have it it's just not all that anymore. Because I know how easy it was. In fact, bosses like 4Horsemen were easier when doing them the "achi-way" (splitting the entire raid equally over the bosses) than our usual way. Glory of the Hero was way harder imo.
But I know other people who haven't got the achi yet will look at me now and think "wow, that is so cool!" and that is what it is all for ;)
And the paladin who did the mistake last time wasn't with us this time. He cancelled in the last minute due to lack of sign-ups, but we got a full raid together in the end anyway. Dunno if I should think it divine retribution or feel sorry for him.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Sarth 3d

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Well, 1d wasn't very hard and 2d was doable. So my guild thought we should get to doing the real thing and tried 3d the other night. As you might imagine it turned into a 3 hour wipefest. This didn't make me (or anyone else I think) cranky tho. I wasn't really expecting to succeed (well deep inside I did or I wouldn't have tried) since it's one, or the one, most difficult encounter in the game so far. I actually had fun, because it finally gave me something to work with as a healer. Most encounters are fairly easy, and I dare say that most times we fail on something (which we rarely do nowaday, as naxx and everything is easy) it's not because of the healers (me), but because people stand in one-shot areas. Like the purple thingys on KT. Yeah, always blame the dps ;)
As for sarth 3d I think we all were on the same level of goodness (or badness, seeing as we failed). Yeah the dps was slightly low, but you can't do much about the gear in that situation. We tried some different compilations and the one I think worked the best was 2 healers, 3 tanks, 5 dps.
So we all basically had to try out different positioning and control-methods. Everytime we learned a little bit more about how to dodge waves, how to pick up adds, how to heal the tanks etc and so it felt ok to wipe.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Proto-Drake

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Flying a proto-drake (because we finished the Glory of the Hero thing yesterday and got our proto-drake mounts) feels like you will plummet to your death at any second. The wings move as if they're heavier than the body, and although I know it's all bound by the laws of programming I still feel uneasy when riding my proto-drake, eyeing my levitate button, just to be ready. You know, like you hold on to something in an elevator just in case the floor would fall out... Well maybe that's just me.
We did AQ20 today too, and only had some trouble on Ayamiss, because no one had bothered checking what to do when she/he/it paralyzes someone and how to get her/him/it down from being high up. Some wowheading solved those problems.
We cleared some trash to first boss in AQ40 and two mounts dropped. So getting those seems fairly easy. Really bothers me that you can't take those awesomely cool mounts outside the instance tho! You should at least be able to pay someone somewhere to be able to ride them anywhere, seriously.

We started out on a try for the "undying" achi in Naxx and everything went just swell (we were only 8 people too, trying for the "dedicated few achi at the same time) when it happened. On Gluth's decimate the retridin judges himself to death with SoB. Don't know if someone killing themselves counts (but I would think it does), but still... of all the ways to fail that achi.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Glory of the Hero

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Me and some friends have been working on the Glory of the Hero-achievement, where you do a set of achievements in the different heroic dungeons to get a cool proto-drake mount. And it has been a tough ride, with many wipes and many tears of joy when you finally hear that "clonk"sound from a succeeded achievement. But it has been fun! We're not completely done yet tho, we still have on measly achievement left to do - Make It Count in Oculus.
But why I really bring this up at all is because some of these achievements are really easy, some are fairly difficult and need plenty of planning and timing, and some are... nearly impossible.
Here is a little list of my personal favourites (from a healers perspective).
Zombiefest; This is a really fun achi majorly because of a major flaw (although it's not the only flawed achi) - all those zombies dying at once can actually make you majorly d/c. This happened to us on both our tries, where me and the tank both d/c'd simply because our connection to the server wasn't fast enough to process all that information. I know it's because I have a bad computer, because Love - who was sitting next to me - didn't d/c, and he is sitting on the same connection. The first time this happened we wiped big time. The second time we wiped too, but just after we got the achi fortunately. So be careful if you have a slow computer!
Volunteer Work;
An achi that is just enough difficult to still be fun. She hit's way harder when enraging, but it's copable with skills and timing (like moving from the whirlwind), which is what achievements should be all about imo.
Share the Love;
If you look beside the point that this achievement is bugged (which means you don't always get the achievement eventhough you succeed) it's a good one, since it isn't easy, but not extremely hard and boring. You can "help" the boss choose the right target (by placing them closer) and so this is mostly about gear and skill.
Good Grief;
Especially fun for a healer, since this is all about the healers skills. The dps/tank don't have to do anything different, but the healer has to nukeheal (I think I had something like 7,5k hps on this achievement). And this is where a holy-priest really can show their skills (basically spam PoH, CoH and PoM), so this was a fun achievement.

And then... the really hard, but fun ones;
Watch Him Die;
A really fun achievement, because it is extremely hard and all about skills. This is what I would call the Sarth 3d of heroic dungeon, because it requires everyone to do everything exactly right. I would never do it again, but it was really fun when I did ^^
Hadronox Denied;
The difficult thing about this achievement is aggroing Hadronox before she has closed the gates that spawn more mobs. This is a fun achievement because the mobs that spawn heal her when she kills em, if they don't go for the healer (me) first. This mean you really have to grab her in the neck and nuke her down. And that's always fun.

And the pain in the ass one - yes, there is one achievement that really should be removed from the game. It is all about luck and nothing about skills, and worst of all - the healer is basically useless.
Less Rabi;
Grrr, just typing it makes me angry. I was the only one in our group that hadn't gotten this achi, and everyone else had gotten it by pure luck. Like they went into the instance for the first or second time ever, didn't even know or think about achievements, and got it. Seeing as Make it Count really isn't that difficult I thought that this was really all that stood between me and my beautiful proto-drake. And we tried and tried and tried and tried. But seemed as if our dk's (our group consists of 2 druids, 2 dk's and me) just couldn't get the interrupting right. So yesterday we hired a resto shammie from my guild, got him to spec Reverberation (I paid of course) and got this done. But it still wasn't easy, oh no. Still took us about two hours and 20 tries-ish. Because even if you have the shammie just spam the earth shock/wind shock button, stuff can still go wrong. Interrupting him after the third transform isn't really about skills, it's about luck. Sometimes he uses quake and transforms while everyone is stunned. What is there to do about that?! And if you bring him below 50% too fast (and thus speeding up time between transforms) he can actually cast a new transform within 4 sec of the previous one. So although it's supposed to happen every 5 sec, it sometime happened every 4 sec and even 6 sec apart! And all I could do was stand and watch and hope the interrupters would get it right.
Well he drove me crazy, but we finally -finally- got this done last night. And I swear, it was the best moment of my wow-life so far.