Friday, October 15, 2010

Field Report - On Priests, Rogues and alot more

This will be a random mash up of impressions so far. My addons still don't work which makes it really difficult for me to play at all. The fact that addons like Itemrack don't work makes it difficult for me to gem and spec my hybrids (my shaman most notably). So I've left those behind for now. I've always been one to level a new char rather than just respec something at 80 and learn it all at once. I prefer learning something skill by skill, and then really get the hang of that skills place in my rotation rather than accidentally missing something because I have too many things to keep track off. I can see that this could be an issue for level 80 warriors respeccing prot now, for instance. So having Blizzard throw all my characters into this where I feel like I have to learn my chars all over again makes me frustrated! But I'm probably more frustrated about my addons, so once I get those going everything will be fine (or so I tell myself).

Getting a group to try my new skills and specs out also takes too long for my short patience-span. Especially when I don't have the addons to make a proper job once I finally get a group! But I've still had the chance to try some things out, like yesterday and here are some short notes.

When healing an instance today (pos of course) I noticed several interesting things about Holy healing. First of all, Chakra seems really interesting. Tricky enough, but not too tricky to be really rewarding when used properly. I see this as the breaking line between the skilled priest and the not so skilled priest, especially in a tougher setting where choosing the right Chakra "stance" possibly will make alot of difference. Learning when and how to use Chakra will define holy priest healing.
Renew duration has been lowered to 12 sec (from 15) which I noticed at once. The old Renew glyph did this, but the new Renew glyph instead increases healing done by Renew with 10%. I liked having the choice of duration. Longer duration on hots is sometimes a good thing. Shortening the duration on Renew makes it even more spammy than before. Since it is still one of holy priests most important spells I smell alot of renew spamming in our future raid healing (if spamming it more than before 4.0 is possible).
Lightwell is awesome. I only tried it by myself, but if dps don't want to use it now I swear I will... force them to somehow! I've already mentioned that it now has an increased range and you don't have to actually target it to get the heal. It's like a heal on the go! You have to try it to love it. I think that the positioning of Lightwell will become crucial for its effectiviness (placing it in the ceiling like I did on Sapphiron won't make many people use it). It might sound obvious but the thing is that finding a good spot for it definitely isn't as easy as it sounds. By the tanks? By the ranged? By me? Somewhere inbetween? These are all good options and will depend on the fight.
As Malevica noted over at her blog, there seems to be a bug with Atonement right now. I had no issues whatsoever when healing UP on Zinn, but when switching to my lowbie disc priest and healing Maraudon I suddenly felt like my smites didn't heal anything at all. Sure the heals were small, but now I didn't even notice them. This sure explained it! Then the day after I did a raid with Zinn (regular old ICC) and smited my ass off thinking Blizzard would've fixed this already. I didn't notice any Smite-heals in Recount however but hoped that was simply due to recount not being updated properly. But when I tested it afterwards it was clear atonement doesn't heal anything at all right now, so I had been smiting all that for nothing (well nearly for nothing, I did some damage I suppose...). And we sure hope Blizzard hot-fix that one faster than a greased pig in a rocket!
Holy Nova has been moved. You don't get it until level 62 now. You know how I've always said "well at least priests have holy nova for aoe when lowbies!". Well not anymore. I can't figure why Blizzard would want to move this spell,  it's hardly OP since it's rather costly and mana inefficient.
Spamming Flash Heal will oom you. I just had to try it to believe it. Flash Heal costs 3 times more mana than Heal, and heals about the same. So it will, just as back in BC, become our "oh shit" button. It bother me because that means holy healing will become rather slow. With some 27% haste I feel like both Heal and Greater Heal (with a cast time for 1,9 sec each) are too slow for a regular raid setting. By the time my heal hits the target, everyone elses heal will already have done the job. This makes me think we'll have to rely even more on Renews and our instants, PoM and CoH than before. To be honest, I didn't use Flash Heal much before either because the heals from all the other healers made my instants perform better. As a holy you filled in the gaps with CoH, PoM and Renews. This seems to be the role we'll keep for Cata. Same thing goes for disc healing btw, Heal is waaaaay to slow.

Tanks seem to have really bad aoe threat for some reason. I haven't tried tanking with anything but warrior, but I definitely notice that Thunder Clap isn't the IWINTHREAT-button it used to be. This seems to be the case for paladins at least as well.
This might get better once we tanks now what the heck is going on.
Another thing I've noticed is that all tanks (at least warriors, dk's and druids) have a skill that reduces enemies physical damage by 10%. It makes me wonder if Inspiration is even worth taking anymore. It is far easier and reliable to have a tank applying this debuff than hoping the healer will crit a heal in the right moment. The tanks could just keep this in their normal rotation and voila, no use for Inspiration. Unless they stack of course. But reducing phys damage by 20% sounds a little too good to me.

I'm in something of a pinch with my rogue. Rogue is the only class I've never leveled to max level,  for a reason. For one I've never liked the combo point system. It's clumsy and retarded, but now they've changed it! I haven't tried the changes yet, but I can only think they're for the better. Also alot of the things that make rogueing fun, like you know stabbing stuff in the back, didn't work well either. A skill like Ambush, which sounds like it would be the most natural skill for a rogue to use, requires you to wield daggers, be stealthed AND bloody stand behind your target. What if casting Heal required the caster to stand upside down, be below 50% mana and target a gnome? It would be equally ridiculous. Blizzard have made changes to this as well - now you only have to be stealthed and behind the target...

I've always preferred subtlety spec for rogues. Because another issue with rogues in particular and melee in general is that they have to be really close to their targets, like all the time. Since I am used to be able to just point my finger/gun at something and it dies, it's always been kinda frustrating to have to actually adapt to the movements of my target. Freaky thing this. Because of this I immediately fell in love with Shadowstep. At least it takes me to my target at once, which I especially value when doing instances. Without it it feels like my target is half dead before I even get to it, which really is no fun. With shadowstep and some nifty using of Shadow Dance + spamming Garrote I've actually managed to outdps regular aoers.
But now I read on several rogue blogs that Sub is shite? That the only way to go is either assass or combat? I've never tried assass so I might do that. Mutilate could be fun. I've been combat several times but I never really liked it. If I wanted to play like that I'd be a fury warrior or enhancement shaman tbh. Or I just go Sub anyway. It might be good enough for the last two levels I have left to 80.

No need for all you feral cats to cry anymore as it seems feral druids got a stealth buff of majestic magnitudes sometime during the day. Something like 30% more damage? Now we just need retridins and dps warriors to catch up as well. Actually now Love thinks druids are a little too good and is trying to hide from the nerf-bat.

I'm quite sure we'll see Earthquake graphics change veeeeery soon.

Windows never seizes to amaze me. Now I have to start WoW as an administrator every time or it won't run. If I accidentally start it without administrator-power, I have to force shut it down because it is running somewhere in the background, I just can't see it. Why Windows is so bad is the matter for its own blog methinks...

I noticed that sound files don't stop playing when you zone away from an area. That means if some npc is talking to you in area A and you zone away from it by hearthstoning for instance, you can still hear him talking in zone B. At least that just happened to me. It was freaky running around in Thunder Bluff with Scourgelord Tyrannus screaming at me.

I didn't dare check out my blog reader yesterday. Today I did it reluctantly. I had 14 new posts to read which mostly didn't say much more than "OMG 4.0 WE'RE DOOOOOOMED!", or so it felt to me anyway. Trying to make heads or tails from anything right now isn't easy. Expect to see more rants like this one, about anything really. I'll probably stick in something totally unrelated just to rest my head (and maybe yours as well) from all this 4.0. The initial craze has subsided substantially. My blog had nearly 2300 pageviews yesterday (compare that to 150 on most other days), 95% of those were looking at my talent and glyphs guides for priests, but today it seems to already be calming down somewhat. I'm also trying to realize that I have to rewrite all of my guides now. At least that means I'll have plenty to blog about!

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