Thursday, April 8, 2010

Healing in Cataclysm: Shammy and Priests

I have read all of the changes currently released from Blizzard for upcoming Cataclysm. They have released certain information on different classes and all classes will eventually be released. You can find it at MMO champion. The most exciting changes IMO are to the two healing classes released so far. As of recently I have been healing a ton in ten man, some in twenty five, but generally I like playing all roles in game. But healing seems to be the most exciting toons to level to me, so I am super excited to read upcoming changes to shamans and priest. I have healed on my shaman for awhile now, and although my priest is only level 65, I feel like I know enough about healing to know which spells to use, and which ones are going to be awesome at 80. Plus I have gotten some great priesty info and advice from JBell and Paulo in game. So what changes are going to be sooo amazing?

SHAMANS; What did I find interesting?

Healing Rain (level 83): An area-effect heal-over-time (HoT) spell that calls down rain in a selected area, healing all players within it. There is no limit to the number of players who can potentially be affected; however, there are diminishing returns when healing a large number of targets, much like the diminishing returns associated with AoE damage spells. This should give Restoration shaman another healing tool that improves their group-healing and heal-over-time capabilities. 2-second cast time. 30-yard range. 10-second duration. 10-second cooldown. 

So what does this mean for shamans and their chain heal? Giving shamans another aoe spell is great. I can already see all sorts of issues in 5 mans or ten mans with this ability. How often do people stand in the same place all grouped up nicely to receive my pretty rain healing? Maybe I can train the dps to run to the rain if they want heals. This spell is very interesting and I am super psyched about it. I love pretty spells, and as you can imagine this one will be soooo pretty!

Spirit Link will likely be worked back into deep Restoration in some form. The idea is that you will be able to link targets together so they share damage. When we had previously tried to implement Spirit Link, it was hard to balance and a little confusing. However, we really liked the concept -- and so did players -- so we are trying to bring it back.

This sounds complicated but pretty exciting. I will link the rogue to anyone else. I mean they die too much. This ability will challenge the shaman in coming up with wise ways to use it.

PRIESTS; What did I find interesting

Leap of Faith (level 85): Pull a party or raid member to your location. Leap of Faith (or "Life Grip") is intended to give priests a tool to help rescue fellow players who have pulled aggro, are being focused on in PvP, or just can't seem to get out of the fire in time. Instant. 30-yard range. 45-second cooldown. 

I am super excited! Tamarind is not happy with this change. But I find it to be very interesting. Sometimes people are stupid. I agree they should probably not be in the raid if they are dumb and don't move out of crap. But sometimes they can't move. They may be stunned, or sapped, or w/e the case may be. I have a dk and I love my death grib ability. When I druid or shaman heal I have sooo many times wanted to yank someone out of crap, even if they are being dumb. I'm not saying I want to re-enforce their bad behavior, but this puts me in control as a healer. This makes me be a better healer and raider to be able to grab people to me and infuse them with the light. I think this change is awesome, and I am excited to see if my priest becomes one of my raiding toons in Cataclycm. (I can't raid on all of them.) But priests are seeing an exciting new spell in which I can see an infinite amount of uses. It will be interesting to see how the other members of the priest community feel about this.

In General, healers will be faced with new challenges. Managing mana pools will be more difficult according to Blizzard. Everyone is getting a heal to be used as a go to and a little one plus a big one for situational use, with maybe the exception of druids. But I am all for healing in the upcoming xpac. I can't wait to read what is in store for druids! (No pally toon yet, so I will for sure be ignorant of those changes).

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Don't Forget to Shadowmeld!

Shadowmelding can save lives! Why would people forget to use it? Sometimes it fails yes, but sometimes you can save your group. The most awesome thing happened to me in a random on my priest.  

BTW, Priest Shadowmeld> than others SM.

 Our tank decided to pull the whole room, which is okay! I am a good disco priest I can handle it... until I am silenced and everyone starts running into bombs. Okay so I hate Blood Furnace, boo silence... everyone is dying around me. Of course this makes me sad as a healer but... I can save from a wipe! I know these people don't want to run back in, they are relying on their healer to rez them, for some sort of solution. So as the last dps is dying off with a bunch of mobs on them, I fear the three attacking me, shadowmeld and pray. (Sometimes shadowmeld just doesn't work and they come back later to eat your face) But luckily, the room reset, and being the good healer that I was, I was at max range from everything when I slipped into the shadows. So once I watched the pat go by me, I carefully broke ran to a safe place and rezd my party. Maybe it was just Blood Furnace, but saving from a wipe always feels good. Thanks shadowmeld.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Day the Mage Loved the Warlock

So around 1am last night I decided to go on a ToC 25 raid on my mage. I mean, there is a chance for a trinket or something, so might as well. The raid was a struggle, I have never been in such a long ToC 25, and I joined at the twins. It seemed as though many people did not know the fights, but I stuck with it. I am definitely not one to give up on an unsuccessful raid, especially when the raid leader is trying her best to explain the fights to people who didn't know them. So after being in ToC on two bosses for two hours we finally downed Anub. By this time most people in the raid had won loot already, many dropped raid and there were a few left to roll on the mediocre loot that dropped off of Anub. He dropped some bracers I sort of wanted, because an upgrade makes me happy no matter how small. I rolled and it seemed like no one was rolling against me, of course my roll was a 26, so if someone rolled against me they would surely win. As the time went on to call the roll, the lock rolls--- a 28. Oh well, this has happened to me a million times. The other mage in the raid whispered me, "That sucks, his dps is like 2k below yours, wish you could have won". I am guessing the mage felt bad for me about my 5100 GS when he had a 5600 and he wanted me to win. He had complimented me on being able to push him since, despite his awesome gear and trinkets, I was barely behind him in dps. But oh well, just because I do have high dps doesn't mean I have more of a right to this gear than this warlock right? I was disappointed, but I whispered the warlock and jokingly told him he didn't really want those bracers. I was going to gratz him, when he told me he liked his own bracers better actually. I mean he was wearing pvp bracers but yeah they were ok, I still think the ones he won were probably better so I thought he was just teasing me. He walked over to me, opened trade, and actually gave them to me! He seriously gave me the bracers. Maybe he felt bad that he had decent ones already I am really not sure, but I have never been in a PuG where someone was truly so nice. Even if they were a minor upgrade or side grade what reason would he have to give them to me? A stranger? I was ecstatic, I mean sure I got new bracers but I also found someone who was truly nice in WoW. My response to him, "OMG you are the nicest PuG I have ever met!! Thank you so much!!!" He seemed happy that he made my day. I whispered the mage who was running in the group and told him what happened and he couldn't believe it. He said his own guildies wouldn't have done that. I am just happy to know that there are such nice people in WoW, because so many PuGs can be jerks. And what do you know this all happened between a mage and a warlock!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Princes Down

My ten man finally downed the blood princes. Not that we had made many attempts in the past, but I think we were going about ICC all the wrong way. On our first night we would clear everything up to Rotface and then move on to Dreamwalker. Then on our second night we would make a few attempts on a new boss, but we had different people show up on our second night. I mean, why would people want to come to a pure progression night if we aren't really getting anywhere. Last night our core group decided the best way to encourage people to come both nights was to leave some easy bosses alive for Monday night and go straight for some progression. And it totally worked! We downed Saurfang and went straight for the princes. We made about three attempts on them before our kill. We only had two tanks, using a dk instead of a ranged tank on Keleseth. We also learned the fight with two healers, our shammy/shammy team. 

A few tips to the frustrated healer: You don't need three healers, you might want to use three for learning but definitely not required if you usually run with two. MOST of the damage taken is avoidable by your dps, and as a healer you are in the position to know when they are taking hits that they shouldn't be. So communication is key, letting them know what you see as far as avoidable damage goes. The fight seems so confusing, but once you learn the abilities and where the damage is coming from it really isn't that bad. Make sure you stay spread out, stay away from the shiny orbs and fire orbs. These things might be pretty but are bad. The most annoying part of this fight for a healer is the shock vortex. We can heal through a lot of damage, but when people are knocked out of our range there is nothing we can do. So this is a big one to avoid. DBM lets you know if you are standing too close to this, so listen to your warnings! Once your group learns what to avoid, the role of healing is back to normal and not so chaotic. 

After our new raid kill we went to OS 3D. I had never even done OS on my shaman since she is my newest 80 so I got a ton of achievements really fast. I became Champion of the Frozen Wastes and Emeraldstorm of the Nightfall at the same time. Of course I didn't win the roll on the mount, but oh well we made progress in ICC last night. And I am still happy every new fight we succeed in our shammy/shammy team.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Kitties Rejoice!

I haven't been able to play my kitty a whole lot lately. But the new change for mangle still gets me excited! 
As always future patch notes can be found on the Public Test Realm.

  • Feral Combat
    • Mangle: The debuff from this talent now lasts 60 seconds, up from 12 seconds.
I mean how awesome is this!! Ok so I visited the forums and a lot of druids are confused by this. I understand that kitties can be quite the confusing class to play. A lot of people are upset because they feel as though Blizzard is trying to simplify their rotation (which is not a rotation but a priority system). In reality, this is a huge raid buff for kitties. No more having to mangle when you don't have a bear druid or arms warrior in your raid. Many kitties have the luxury of having these classes already, so their rotation is already without mangle and for them, this doesn't change anything. But for those who don't always have a bear or arms warrior you can apply mangle much less. It is kitty common knowledge that shred does more damage per energy than mangle. You still have to keep track of your buffs/debuffs ensuring that the mangle debuff is always up, you just don't have to renew it as often. This will increase your dps for sure. Whether it simplifies the system and makes you sad because you liked the challenge of kitty dps is another issue. It is a buff, and I think you will still have a pretty decent amount of buffs and debuffs to watch. 

Ele Shaman Tier 10: Go For the Four Piece Bonus!

Check out the changes on the Public Test Realm.
  • Shaman Tier-10 4-Piece Elemental set Bonus: This bonus has been slightly adjusted to account for the fact that haste now modifies Flame Shock's periodic damage ticks. The bonus now makes the shaman's Lava Burst cause Flame Shock to tick at least two additional times before expiring.
I have been sort of confused on how to gear my elemental shaman lately. There has been some argument as to wether we should gear T10 4 piece or T10 2 piece plus off gear. Also Blizzard seems to keep changing our set bonuses to confuse us. I mean if Elitist Jerks is arguing about it, then how on earth am I supposed to know what to do!? Well seems like they have finally settled on an answer after some testing on the PTR. So... without worrying about the future patch go ahead and get the four piece set bonus. Elitist Jerks says it is better even with the future changes to our flame shock. (Flame Shock: The damage-over-time component of this ability can now produce critical strikes and is affected by spell haste.)

"It's been established at this point that 4pc t10 is superior to 2t10+offset," says Masanbol. 

He also includes an updated BiS list. Which includes the Tier gloves instead of Tier pants. This is another choice I have been racking my brain on. This list includes heroic gear, so if you don't have access to heroic gear you may want to really analyze how these pieces work for you. It is probably better to get the gloves, and then get the same pants in regular 25 mode. If you are like me, and unable to roll MS for clothy gear then this list might have to be adjusted as well. But definitely get the tier chest, helm, and shoulders no argument there. Once you get to the point of choosing gloves over pants, this may come down to what is available to you and what you can get in the other slot. At least it is comforting to know that our 4 set bonus is worth it, and maybe it will remain as is for awhile so I don't get headaches from trying to choose gear.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Dual Healing ICC- Shaman+Shaman

Probably everyone I know is running ICC with only two healers. So I am sort of curious of what the two healer combos are. I know my friend Jessabelle has a priest/druid combo with shaman back up. This sounds like an awesome combo. I think anything combined with a druid would be pretty nice. Especially a disc priest or pally. Some teams that people might not think are so grand might be a holy priest/druid or pally/disc priest. I really think that any combo can work as long as the healers are working together. We usually run with a pally/shaman combo with two healers on the side if needed shaman/priest.

One combo I was pretty sure was a bad idea would be any two of the same class. I mean maybe holy/disc priest combo, but that doesn't count. How could a raid do well with two healers of any one spec/class. Well I was pleasantly surprised last night. In my ten man ICC, our pally has been taking a break. Our priest enjoys dpsing so I have been volunteering to heal, which I am completely happy with. But why not use our priest instead, because two shaman healers seem like a fail to me. We have two shaman healed a lot of fights but last night... was our first time one shotting Rotface. We cleared everything no issues with heals of course, and then came Rotface. We usually wipe a few times before we sloppily down him. But last night, with two shaman healers we one shotted him. I was actually surprised. My co-healer whispered me and shared his fears that he thought our combo was bad and that he thought we would have more issues. I completely agreed with him, and I am still stoked that we successfully have been healing ICC with two shamans. After a few weeks of this combo I feel excited to really feel as though we are a good team, and that it is possible to two heal with the same class/spec. I still don't think it is the best idea ever! But it works. I wonder if any other class has had the same success with two healing with their twin.