Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Obvious Topic of the Day: Patch 3.3

So a lot of exciting things coming along with patch 3.3. I am sure everyone has already gone through the patch notes and I personally can't wait to get my little pug pet. But what are the most exciting changes to the toons I play? I am not going to link all the changes to my classes, only the ones I took note of.


  • FROST MAGES INC--> Glyph of Eternal Water: This glyph allows for a summoned Water Elemental to last indefinitely, but it can no longer cast Freeze.
    • Ok so what mage isn't going to want to get a new perma pet? I switched my fire spec to frost last night so I could get started right away, well after I have the glyph of course.  I am super excited to see the new frost dps capabilities even though I have never been a frost mage for raiding. Who wants to sit around frostbolting all day? Well I do if it means I get a cute little elemental pet to follow me around, and this one won't yell at me like the lock pets do... 
  • Arcane Mage- Arcane Empowerment: This talent now also grants 1/2/3% increased damage done by the mage's party or raid for 10 seconds after the mage gets a critical strike with Arcane Explosion, Arcane Missiles, Arcane Barrage, or Arcane Blast. This effect is exclusive with Ferocious Inspiration and Sanctified Retribution.
    • Ok so I chose to keep arcane as my main spec, and this is why. Fire is not getting a major buff for the raid, but who wouldn't want an arcane mage after this awesome bonus? 3% increased damage anyone? 
  • Fire Mage-  Improved Scorch: The debuff from this talent no longer stacks, and instead can apply the full effect from a single cast of Scorch.
    • Biggest thing about this means I can use my glyph of scorch for something else, I don't need it to apply scorchx5 instantly.
DRUID: Nothing going on too much here, no big changes, 10 min brez is awesome, but my druid isn't changed around a whole lot. I am mostly shocked by the new T10 set bonus for my resto set. There is a good tanking bonus, but I usually do feral dps and don't tank so much on my druid anymore. 

  • So T10 2 set bonus: Item - Druid T10 Restoration 2P Bonus - The healing granted by your Wild Growth spell reduces 0% less over time.
    * Item - Druid T10 Restoration 4P Bonus (Rejuvenation) - Each time your Rejuvenation spell heals a target, it has a 2% chance to jump to a new target at full duration.
  • WHAT!? I mean this is the most awesome set bonus ever. I checked into my other classes set bonus and the feral druid one, but this one beats them all. I mean reducing my wild growth by 0%? That is just amazing and I am psyched to work toward getting this. The four set bonus is just as exciting, that means no mana for me, just a completely free heal.
SHAMAN: For me nothing too much going on here. Although I am still looking forward to:

  • Earth Elemental Totem: The cooldown for this totem has been reduced from 20 minutes to 10 minutes. Cannot be used in Arenas.Fire Elemental Totem: The cooldown for this totem has been reduced from 20 minutes to 10 minutes. Cannot be used in Arenas. I sometimes forget to use my elementals in boss fights, but now it becomes a must for every fight.
  • Rune Strike: Threat generated by this ability increased by approximately 17%.- I only tank on my dk, so I am excited to be getting a buff of any kind for my poor tank. I have felt so abused before but now I can at least have more threat, yay, I am happy.
I am always a little sad when a new patch comes out, having four 80s I want to get them all completely geared out before something new comes along. But I am excited about the changes coming out. I love the new PuG system, and I am super excited about the new instance. ToC was a bit boring, and too short. I mean I loved it at first but it got old quickly, so I am happy to see some new content.  Yay the patch is here, so good luck to all trying to log on tonight, our server is famous for having issues on patch day, but to be honest this comforts me because I have a final in Ethics tonight keke. So I hopefully I won't miss too much of the patch fun.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Main Toon

It seems as though everyone has a main toon they prefer to play with. Everyone I know tries to gear one toon over another, and wants one of their toons to be their progression toon. I am facing this choice now, because I think I want to become more serious about raiding. I want to have a toon that I focus on, and right now I play all of my toons and three of them around the same amount of time. I raid with all toons and all specs that I have, but I am feeling like this is holding me back from having one amazing toon. How do people decide which toon they want to focus on if they love all of their toons and specs.

I kinda feel like I want to focus on healing. My main has always been my mage, but she is probably the toon I play the least in 25 man raids. I also try for achievements on my mage. But people are always in need of healers. I enjoy healing, but I feel bad because my mage was my first toon. It seems stupid I suppose, but I really don't know how people choose what is their main toon. I wish someone could tell me how they choose what toon they primarily want to play, don't you get bored? I have fun with diversity, so I am afraid if I start becoming a serious raider I will get bored on the toon I choose. Ah choices, choices, is it really necessary to have a toon that you consider your main toon?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Know Your WoW: Shamans

Ok so I quickly wanted to mention the most basic thing a shaman or basically any WoW player should know. I am no expert by any means, but there are way to many shamans running around with gear that makes me go huh? Also too many people have no clue what the shaman trees mean. Cuz when I'm in a PuG I have seen way too many people say, what is an elemental shaman? Is that melee?

Enhancement- This tree is all about melee dps. You don't need spell power gear in order to have good dps in this spec. You should really be gearing like a hunter most basically. Take gear with agility, hit, crit, attack power. Things like this. Since both mail melee toons use mana this gear will come with intellect on it. With this intellect you will get some attack power because of Mental Dexterity. This means you want a ton of attack power to increase damage from your attacks that are spells. Please stop equipping spell gear you really don't need to, I know a shaman can be confusing but, you are melee stop rolling on caster gear.

Elemental- This tree is basically a casting tree. That is pretty much it, they cast spells and need normal spell gear. Don't get gear that has attack power on it, for some reason I have seen this, IDK?

Resto- This is the shamans healing tree. Yes they use spell power gear as well. I don't think there are as many misconceptions about this tree, resto is pretty obvious they are the ones with beams of healing around the room.

I say these things, because many shamans seem to be confused about their own class. When I inspect them their gear is confusing having both melee and spell power gear which is unnecessary. Also people ask shamans what spec they are, and when given a reply of, " I am enhance" they are left going uhhh...

Now you know, at least know that enhance is melee and elemental is a caster, see simple!

Leading the Raid

Over the last few weeks I have kind of been critical of my leading style. I have been thinking about what makes a good raid leader, and what kind of raids I enjoy leading, and what types of lead roles I prefer to have.

The Makings of a Good RL:
  • Communication!
    • It is absolutely essential for a RL to call things out, from everyone get near the snow mound, now get on the snow mound to hey DruidKittiez please battle rez that dead healer and then give them an innvervate.
    • Tell your healers what the tanks are doing, in a long phase fight they may forget. Now Bob is going to dps and Joe is going to be on Acidmaw and Frani on Dreadscale. Tank switches are essential info for healers and it doesn't hurt to get reminders from the RL.
    • Control the fight when something goes wrong. Frani is down! Joe taunt. Seems obvious but some tanks aren't always ready for this situation or they are off tanking something else and don't realize, and the RL's encouragement urges them to take quick action.
    • Reminders when you see something going wrong, like healers spread out so you don't all get frozen, or spit on by acid. Dps move out of the freaking fire, but in a nice way ya know?
  • Observation!
    • In order to have effective communication you MUST observe what is going on in the raid. You can't call things out if you don't know when your healers are dead or alive, and who has aggro, and when that dps is standing in the fire.
  • Control!
    • You must be in control, and people have to listen to you. Maybe this isn't something you can obtain and usually RLs have this naturally if they are good.
    • Don't let someone who is a strong leader take control from you, be confident in your choices and have them whisper you ideas, not call it out over vent. This will only confuse the raid.
  • Sacrifice! 
    • sacrifice? huh? Well you have to realize that in order to be a good RL, you have to sacrifice your own job in the raid to ensure that everyone else is doing theirs. Your dps should be lower because of this, and if you are healing, hopefully you are good at balancing both, and you probably shouldn't be the MT healer. 
    • I don't feel as though tanks should RL, but hey if you are good at doing both. I have seen over and over again, tanks having the inability to see things going on around them because of a huge boss hovering over them.
Different Kinds of Raid Leading:
  • 25 Mans-
    • In these types of raids, it is a good idea to set up different types of leads so their are people focusing on their own group and ensuring this group is doing their job. The RL might also be the heal lead or dps lead, but not both.
    • Trust your fellow leaders! Choose people you work with together well and assign them to help you if they are strong leaders. 
    • When picking a leader choose someone who knows different classes so they can make appropriate assignments. Nothing like a heal leader who thinks it is a good idea to put the druid on MT healing and the pally on raid healing, I mean maybe it is possible but use your resources wisely.
    • Choose a master looter, this makes your job much easier, and loot should be the furthest thing from your mind because you should be organizing the next fight, going over the strat and making assignments during loot or right after loot.
    • I personally sometimes get overwhelmed when leading 25 mans, so I much prefer a 10 man raid.
  • 10 Mans-
    • This is my favorite raid to lead, only 10 people so much less micromanagers needed.
    • You can do all of the assignments, plus manage master looting with no problems. If you want to have someone doing healing assigns you can, but should not have a problem doing it all yourself.
    • You have much more control, and you can see who is and who is not doing their job, and you have time to whisper them and talk to them on a personal level without calling them out in front of everyone.
    • For me it is much easier to be a strong raid leader in a 10 man, I feel much more comfortable being a good communicator in these raids, and I think communication is really vital to a raid's success.
  • PuGs-
    • Decide if you are willing to lead PuGs. I have decided a long time ago that I won't RL PuGs anymore.
    • No one knows you in a PuG, they don't usually care what you say, they are usually slow, and they get angry really easily.
    • If you screw up, people blame you even when no one listened to you in the first place.
    • Many times you can get lucky in a PuG and have no issues. I use to start up 25 man VoAs, and Naxx PuGs, but I found that it is too stressful to organize a PuG, at least for me.
    • Many times trying to find more people is the most frustrating part, and a lot of times no one is willing to help you. You have to spam trade, and LFM, and many times impatient people leave while waiting.
Premiere Leading Roles(in 25 mans):
  • Heal Lead-
    • This is probably my favorite assignment, preferably while not being RL. I like to organize the healers, and I try to understand different healing classes, and usually the healers are the most cohesive group realizing they have to work together to get things done.
  • DPS Lead-
    • This is a good assignment for me. It is easy to explain the dps's job, and to watch them to know who is standing in fires, etc. 
  • Tank Lead-
    • I don't tank a whole lot in raids, when I do it is typically a ten man, so there is no tank lead in those raids. But the tanks have to work well together and communicate with each other so this role is vital and someone needs to take charge and be a voice for the tanks. Good tanks are good communicators anyway.
  • Raid Assistant-
    • When I am a raid assistant, I feel like I should be looking for back ups, in case someone leaves the raid. Also maybe whispering the RL if someone isn't doing their job. Generally backing up the RL if he needs it.
  • Master Looter-
    • Booooo!! Much drama occurs around this position, and plus it is just not fun IMO, but there are few people out their who don't mind at all to take this job, so thank you master looters!
  • The BIg One! (Raid Leader)- 
    • This job comes with responsibility, and when you are a member of the raid you don't realize the pressure a RL faces. I will do this job, and I think I can do a decent job, but sometimes I prefer to sit back and be focused on a smaller group. So take this job with caution!
Raid Leading can be really rewarding, and I really enjoy being a part of the leadership in some way. It seems as though certain people are just made to lead, and WoW is no different. I kind of think the people who lead raids in WoW, lead in their real lives and maybe I am wrong, but good leaders just have a quality about them that people like to follow and trust.
So for me, I will enjoy my time raid leading, and trying to improve so that raids I am a part of can succeed.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

ToC Ten: Another Day, Another Raid

I have done ToC 10 what seems like a million times. Since the release of ToC, I have cleared it every Monday night. But last night I decided to join up with some of my friends and fellow bloggers instead of my usual hard core group of acquaintances who just clear it with no problem week after week. I first came in on my mage, which is the toon I usually bring in there. Of course my dps would help since many of the people coming with us had never stepped foot in there. Hey it is more fun to wipe with close friends, than clear with people you like, but is more of a business relationship right?

Well of course my mage was doing the dps I expcected but it seemed as though we had problems healing. So after some discussion and acceptance of losing my dps, and wipes of course, I switched to my shaman to heal. Yay now this place is like a new raid altogether. Luckily for me my druid was saved, so i really got to experience something new. I love learning how to play on my shaman.

I am totally not one of those shamans who is obsessed with chain healing, so I quickly volunteered that I would be perfect for tank healing, especially since the other two healers were a holy priest and resto druid. This group make up seemed to work really well, and I worked really hard to keep an eye on my mana and keep my water shield up, and I did a good job, much better than when I started out healing a few weeks ago. I really like being the tank healer as well, since I am so use to raid healing on my druid. So I learned some things about my class that many raid leaders don't know.

So some perspectives from a noob shaman healer:

  • Shamans are awesome tank healers! 
    • With earth shield I kept the tank buffed with a little heal when he got hit, a great controller of spike damage as far as I could tell.
    • My riptide was a great way to top off the tank or even a raid member, and provide the spell haste I needed to my other heals so that I could keep the tank topped off at all times.
    • Lesser Healing wave made it to where I almost didn't need to cast healing wave, because the tank with my other heals, rarely needed that huge crit
    • But I think healing wave is what really makes shaman a viable tank healer, this spell will heal the tank for probably 1/3 or so of his or her HP.
  • Shamans should not spam chain heal, and is not the only thing they are useful for
    • In most fights last night my chain heal only hit one or two people because people were so spread out. I am so glad I am not a veteran shaman because I don't have to break the habit of spamming chain heal, I just am trying hard to not get myself into that habit.
  • I love Mail!
    • I did notice a difference in my survival rate from my druid in faction champions. I mean maybe I shouldn't have because my druid gets a buff from tree form, but maybe it was the extra HP on mail gear that made me feel a little more safe taking hits.
  • The biggest thing I learned last night, is how important it is for the healing team to be in sync.
    • When you blog, you read a lot of blogs from other healers. It is so helpful to know what other classes' strengths are! This will help you to gauge what you should be focused on during a raid, and how to help your healers. When that druid healer is running from legion flames I am not too worried b/c they can rejuv and swiftmend themselves, which is what I do on my druid. But on my shaman send me heals please, because my riptide doesn't quite cut it. 
    • Knowing the other classes you are healing with is priceless, and makes any healing team stronger.
Maybe this is why after the switch we cleared three bosses, before it was our bed time. Two of us have tried to familiarize ourselves with other healers strengths and weaknesses by reading blogs and studying other classes. I think this made us more in sync and aware, which made us succeed. Next week I am certain we can clear the entire raid, too bad our bed time was at 11 last night. But I am definitely looking forward to next week, and now my friends may trust me to bring my shaman yay!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

First Trip Into 25 Man ToC

I use to be the type of person who would PuG any puggable raid, but lately I have been ultra lazy in my pugging, not even completing VoA 25 on all my 80s yet, which is sad. But i just needed a break from pugging and I am still on that break. So I was ultra excited and nervous for our guild alliance to attempt 25 Man ToC. I was chosen as RL, because I have cleared 10 man a million times, I was capable right? I was so nervous because we had been on break for so long, and now coming back to a raid that many others haven't even seen.

I was pleasantly surprised by what we accomplished in the short two hours of actual raid time we dedicated to the raid. I thought we would struggle on the first boss, I mean many of these people haven't even been in here before, but was ecstatic when we one-shotted the Beasts Of Northrend. And only a few attempts on Lord Jaraxxus we got him down as well yay!

I thought all of our alliance members were doing a great job, and I was proud of our healers especially, since I was leading the healing team specifically as well as the raid. Plus I got a new item, which I haven't in some time from an actual drop, very exciting to receive Boots of the Unrelenting Storm.

When we got to the faction champions, I was a little worried and for good cause. I mean how do you formulate a good strat for this fight? I did the best I could with the help of other veterans of ToC, and we attempted to take down the holy priest then the resto shaman. I assigned people to do interrupts on the pally healer, and shaman until we got to that point. After two healers down we had hoped to kill a dps but unfortunately we never got to that point.

 Ah, oh well I was happy with our achievements for the night, so I promptly called the raid at designated end time. I am still feeling as though it was a success, and although I am sure I could clear this each week in a PuG, I was happy because we did it with friends, and our alliance.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tidal Force: What is it Good For?

Ok so I still consider myself really new to shaman healing. I am trying to use all my abilities in the best way I can, and am still running five mans to practice. I think I have pretty much mastered healing in five mans, so I want to start looking at healing more seriously and refine my raiding skills. First I have a problem with mana, but maybe that is my gear and mostly not remembering to use my water shield. Otherwise I think I am use to having a huge CD like innervate for me to regen a ton of mana. And no, mana tide totem is not the same!! But my biggest issue with healing is wondering if I have a good spec.

I have checked many shamans healing specs, and I have found that all the ones I have checked out have Tidal Force. I find myself never using this spell, and I would love to know when other shamans use it, or even if they are specd into it. For my mage I put crit increases into macros, so that I get all the use out of it I can, but is healing the same, or do you use it for only boss fights? Or do you not use it at all. I want to use this spell because I am sure it makes my healing more powerful during the time it is up, but is it worth the talents? So far I find myself never using it unless there is a ton of damage going around that I don't feel like I can handle. Maybe this spell is more useful than this?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Questionnaires Are Fun!! Tanking Time

Ok answering these questionnaires is just fun! Since I have healers, tanks, and dps I wanna do them all! Ok so I refuse to answer the one for dps, I love dpsing but eh doesn't seem as useful. Tanks and healers really need to understand each other, since they work closely together in raids. Since I have two tanks I am just gonna answer for both.

What is the name, class, and spec of your primary tank? Frostblood, Death Knight, Blood & Frost/ and Kailanii, Druid, Feral

What is your primary tanking environment? (i.e. raids, pvp, 5 mans)
Mostly five and ten mans, tanking is the job I do least in raids, but I have put time and effort into learning my classes and how to be a tank when a tank is needed, and DK tanking is just fun!

What is your favorite tanking spell for your class and why?
For my DK, it is Death Grip, I love add tanking and I love being able to stop those spellcasters!! For my druid it would have to be swipe, I mean seriously who said Bears can't add tank?

What tanking spell do you use least for your class and why?
Honestly, for my DK I use everything we have, rune strike is easy to use in my blood spec but when I am frost I forget to use it, IDK why, so maybe rune strike is my least favorite as a frost, which oops it is supposed to generate my threat, bad DK! For my druid, I don't have a least favorite ability just wish I had more awesome CDs like my DK does.

What do you feel is the biggest strength of your tanking class and why?
DK biggest strength, is AoE threat, I love add tanking! I actually think I am meant to be an OT, main tanking gets sort of boring for me. I also love the many CDs my DK has especially in blood spec! The biggest strength on my druid is that I am a big punching bag, seriously we are so fat I don't think the damage can penetrate to us! I don't see how we dodge so much though since we are so heavy and slow lol.

What do you feel is the biggest weakness of your tanking class and why?
DK biggest weakness has to be being healed. I swear people have a much easier time healing me when I am on my druid, and when I am blood over frost specd. DK have a tendency of taking huge damage even when def capped. Biggest weakness for my druid is not being able to see. It sounds stupid but my butt is so huge, I mean I can hold aoe aggro, I can easily hold boss aggro, but I can't see around my huge butt!

In a 25 man raiding environment, what do you feel, in general, is the best tanking assignment for you?
As a death knight my best assignment would have to be adds, I would say a lot of times we can compete with pallys for threat on adds. I have stolen many a threat without taunting with that crazy D&D combined with howling blast. My druid should be the main tank, on the boss since bears have huge health and dodge.

What tanking class do you enjoy tanking with most and why? 
This really really depends on the person not necessarily the class. I have tanked with every type of tank in raids, and I honestly love being with a pally the most. But seriously anyone who has any sense is fine with me.

What tanking class do you enjoy tanking with least and why?
I would say a DK, I know it is sad I love DK tanking, and I created my DK so that I didn't have to pay respeccing bills on my druid, I mean I heal, dps, and tanking just doesn't fit into dual speccing unfortunately. I still tank sometimes on my druid, but my DK was made to be a tank, and the class has some weaknesses still.

What is your worst habit as a tank?
I would say on both my tanks getting too much involved on threat and not paying enough attention to my own health. It usually isn't a problem cuz on my DK I heal myself with my rotation, but I should probably be quicker on blowing CDs and using them more often so my healers don't have to work as hard.

What is your biggest pet peeve in a group environment while tanking? 
Impatient DPS, when I say I am doing a LoS pull in a five man, and they start dpsing before the mobs are around the corner I want to let them die. Same as in raids, I usually tank adds and many times dps will hit them before you have even looked at them! Seriously get some patience, I should just let you die.

Do you feel that your class/spec is well balanced with other tanks?
I think DK are balanced ok, for tanking with other classes and not really with their own class. They are a little weak to have two DK tanks in a raid, it can be done, but not ideal IMO. Druids are awesome tanks to have by anyone's side, I mean they are fierce and can take a crap ton of damage cmon.

What tools do you use to evaluate your own performance as a tank?
Omen for threat! Honestly I don't really use recount for anything but to make sure the dps are doing their jobs. I also use tanktotals to see how much my talents are mitigating damage, I love it!

What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about your class?

That death knights suck. I mean yeah a lot of them do, but there are a lot of really good death knight tanks. As far as druids go, that we have poor AoE threat. Are you kidding me? 360 degree swipe equals crazy AoE threat, and I can def. hold my own on trash mobs against other tanks.

What do you feel is the most difficult thing for new tanks of your class to learn?
As a DK people have to learn not to suck. Learning which spells generate the most threat, and using your CDs. I am thinking Blizz gave us so many so we could use them regularly. As a druid, for some reason people have problems understanding AoE threat, you don't have to sit there and attack each target immediately just swipe, swipe, and demoralizing roar!

Effective Health or Avoidance and why?
I really try to balance these for both my toons. My DK probably has more avoidance than effective health, but I feel this is necessary for DK because healers can be overwhelmed with DK's and the big damage they take. Druids have a huge health pool, but also love the dodge.

What tanking class do you feel you understand least?
Probably a warrior. I have no idea what they do except for charge things. O and I love their vigilance but what else do they do?

What add-ons or macros do you use, if any, to aid you in tanking?
Just omen, to help me keep an eye on my threat. Maybe I should look into more add-ons for tanking, hmm..

Monday, November 2, 2009

Caster vs. Melee: The Battle of the DPS

Of the raids I have experienced I have done them as both melee dps and caster dps. I love to hear people say, oh well everything is so much easier for melee and others say that ranged dps have it much easier. It seems as to me that I have a distinct advantage of experience this game in the eyes of both, not by my own choosing but chance of the toons I chose when I began playing this game.

I would like to argue that both types of dps have problems in some fights while the other side excels. Neither is distinctly easier or has a better dpsing life than the other. The game is well balanced and many fights cater to one or the other, or neither in particular.

RANGED- Ranged dps generally have to worry about cast times, and all have a mana pool that they must work with. You would think that since you are ranged and don't really have to move that you can just stand there happily and spam cast spells. In many fights this is the opposite of true. Melee need to understand, when they are running around all of their attacks or spells are instant casts, they only have to think about the global cooldown, not long cast times when they are forced to move. Many times when I am on my mage I have to interrupt a 2-3 second cast in order to blink out of some fire or ice, or poison, etc. Trust me this weighs heavily on my dps because most of my long spells hit/crit anywhere from 8-13k so interrupting one is not favorable, but this happens many times in one boss fight. Even my elemental shaman has to interrupt a spell in order to quickly get off an interrupt. It goes for AOE damage as well. For my mage it is channeled for my shaman it is a cast. For both it is interrupted when something appears that I have to move out of.

Also, many ranged have more jobs than melee that they must worry about. As a mage, at least, I have to worry about counter-spelling in many fights, many times spell stealing buffs that could increase damage on a tank, and sometimes crowd control is needed in a boss fight. if I'm playing on a melee dps I don't have to stop casting a possible lengthy spell to get an interrupt off, melee simply interrupt after an attack and before another attack. It does not weigh as heavily on melee dps.

Another downfall of being a ranged dps is a mana pool to worry about. Sure in most boss fights it is no problem and we don't have to worry about it, since most ranged are geared when they start to raid. But what about those long fights? Or when we die and recieve a brez and begin with hardly any mana? Well this can make a huge difference trying to take the time to build back mana, for a mage by evocating or a mana gem. While melee can just pop up and dps away.
On top of all that, us ranged dps are generally wimps! Most ranged dps wears cloth, and are considered squishy. We have to be much more aware of standing in fire, or poison clouds, because we die much quicker. Ranged have to be a little more aware of their surroundings as far as AOE damage goes.

Please Note: None of this really applies to hunters, are they like the ultimate mix? I don't know too much about them so I can't argue what trials they face during a boss fight.

MELEE- So clearly after all of that the melee have the true advantage? Not so much... So many people complain about melee dps, saying that they just get to dps and don't have to worry about their surroundings because they just follow the tank. LOL. Sorry but this cracks me up. Yes as a melee one distinct advantage is that you have instant attacks and you don't ever have to worry about interrupted cast times in order to move. Think about this one large disadvantage of being melee: In many fights the boss moves around, all the while the melee should be expected to just keep right behind him no matter where he goes. Well guess what, this game has lag, which means sometimes you think you are there but you are out of range, and many times the tank moves the target and you have no idea what the tank is thinking so you can only attempt to keep up and continue attacking. Although you aren't facing cast times, you are facing keeping up with the boss, and for sure going out of range at some point if you are not very aware of where the boss is at all times. It is even worse when the ranged pull aggro. Should I run, should I wait? All the time the ranged are happily dpsing away. Oh and guess what shocking thing I have noticed when I am a kitty, sometimes the tank is not aware that you, all the melee dps, is taking damage and the tank should really move the boss. Instead it is up to you to notice and move your own ass out of there.

Think about this fight: In XT my kitty has to run out when she gets a gravity or light bomb. My mage one blink and dps away, or the group is already spread out so no worries just keep dpsing. While my poor kitty is doing nothing but running back and forth not accomplishing any damage. Oh yeah and don't forget about those wonderful boss fights that the boss does a knock back/stun. For melee this interrupts their dps, and forces them to run back losing dps time, lucky kittys with their feral kitty pounce don't have to worry about this one as much as those poor death knights. One more fight I would like to mention that melee is at a distinct disadvantage is Emalon in VoA, I mean really we have to run out of Nova run over to the add on the other side of the room, when do we get a break? My mage... umm rotate and dps away.

Another rule to melee dps, ALWAYS stand behind the boss. In many cases this is impossible. Not only does this test your expertise rating, which should be capped but tests your dps. Ok so many melee don't have to be behind the boss to do their maximum damage but druids definitely do, and some specs of rogues. And I would be pretty confident in saying that most dps will go down when melee is forced to stay in front of the boss, due to the wide amount of different stats you require to do maximum dps in front of the boss, expertise and armor penetration, who even knows what that is? Also many times there is a debuff placed behind the boss, like a fire from those stupid snobolds in ToC, ok so now where do I stand? Another melee dilemma which decreases dps.

I have noticed that some fights such as XT and the Twins in ToC are awesome for my mage, my dps is wonderful. Fights such as Malygos and Hodir seem to be great for my druid. So let's stop arguing about how the other side has it so much better. Each class has its own difficulties they must learn to overcome to compete as a dps. From my own experience, it is well balanced in a dungeon overall, and my dps equals out to about the same on both toons. If you are a good player you can achieve amazing dps no matter what class you play.

Kologarn: A Kitty's Worst Nightmare

Although many people are above and beyond Kologarn, I still visit him sometimes and as a mage I love him, but when I am on my druid proudly pulling over 5k dps and usually 6k on the other bosses, I want to complain and cry and whine for a long time, until someone says just go resto so you don't have to complain. I had troubles a long time with Kologarn as a kitty, because if you get behind him to shred you fall a long way down and then die. So you are pretty useless dead, and dead dps is worse than the horrible shredless dps that I had become accustomed to.

Then one day, I was running 25 man Ulduar with two other kittys and I thought maybe they know a secret that I don't. Well one of the kittys was right next to me in dps which was number 5 or 6 on the dps meter, which is just not okay because we were on top before this fight! The other kitty was second in dps which she had been beneath me in most of the other fights. Yay there is a way to dps that stupid giant man with all of his arms. Apparently the way to dps Kologarn as a kitty is to stand in the middle get your savage roar going and swipe, swipe, swipe. Yeah, so okay you are dpsing all three arms, but whatever you aren't doing crappy dps by focusing on the right arm and doing 3k dps. Note: By doing this method you really should have the right arm targeted keep your mangle debuff, rake debuff active, and rip when full on points. This way you aren't forgetting your primary job of dpsing the right arm, but keeping the bleed effects on it will be sufficient. The swipe you are using while waiting for the bleed effects to be re-applied will be more dps to the right arm as well as overall, than you would have if you were sitting there spamming mangle which is high energy and not efficient dps. At least after fighting this boss tons of times, this is what I have found works for me.

I have now done the swipe-lazy method on this boss in 10 man and 25 man, and there were no issues with getting the right arm down, so feel free to swipe away. The raid isn't harmed and it can save you your sanity, at least it did me, I don't enjoy feeling like I suck. If you already knew this then great, but I see lots of new feral dpsers running around out there, so don't let Kologarn get you down.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Tree Stats

We have a few guildies leveling druids, and wishing to become healers, and therefore asking me how I do it. I always say healing is easy, and in raiding I usually do very well on the meters (although healing meters are only so useful for gauging a healers abilities). Although I find healing easy, and by easy maybe I mean I get into the habit of it and become so quick, I begin to get bored, I think it is important to know how to begin as a new druid healer.

I want to write a full resto druid guide, but for now, I will start with basics for those who have leveled to 80 and now want to become a tree. Your tree spec should be similar to my druids. Tree stats IMO go as follows: Spell Power>Spirit>Haste> >Intellect> Mp5> Crit
  • SPELL POWER- Spell power affects how big your heals are including your HoTs. This is the main focus on most casters whether you are dps or a healer. This should be what you gem for mostly, in your gear to increase your heals.
  • SPIRIT- Focus on getting your spirit high enough to sustain you through a boss fight, and you should never have to worry about running out of mana. Spirit gives us a small buff to spell power in tree form as well so, get plenty of spirit and spell power before you start raiding.
  • HASTE- Although most of our spells are instant casts, haste is an important stat for druid healers. Haste reduces the global cooldown on our spells which means, when we want to cast  Rejuvenation on many members of the raid we can do so much faster because our spells will be ready to cast quicker. As far as our casting spells such as Regrowth and Nourish these spells cast time will be reduced. Being quick is one of the most important parts of being a healer.
  • INTELLECT- I would put this stat above Mp5 because it can also add to your crit rating. Although crit isn't great for druid group healers, it is a useful enough stat to find important. Also having a larger mana pool is always nice, can't rely on unlimited amounts of spirit to keep filling your pool back up.
    • I almost forgot about this stat lol, because I don't really look for how much int is on my gear, thanks for the reminder Finwe.
  • Mp5- This stat recently was buffed for all classes, so druids now benefit more from it. But again, it is inferior to spirit because spirit gives us spell power. Mp5 increases mana regen while casting, but druids spend much more time in the five second rule than many other classes. The five second rule is important to understand for healers, so quickly review it here.
  • CRIT- is not that important of a stat for druids. It doesn't affect our HoTs, but it does regrowth and nourish. Since many of our spells aren't affected and we are meant to be healers who top people off, and mitigate damage taken by keeping HoTs on the raid, we don't need giant crit heals. 
    • Side note to crit, many druids are now relying on nourish for tank healing. If you find yourself tank healing a lot then crit becomes much more important. It depends on how often you raid or tank heal. If you use nourish a lot and it is one of your primary spells then crit is great for you.
This should be able to get you started on druid healing. Understanding why these stats are important should help you to realize what your focus should be on during a raid.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Shaman Healing: First Impressions

So, I finally had the chance to heal in a 25 man raid on my shaman last night. Although it was only Naxx I think it was a good starting point. I was pleasantly surprised that I wasn't completely bored out of my mind, and maybe that was because we chose to have only four healers. I have been anticipating healing on my shaman for some time now so that I could compare it to druid healing.

On some fights i was reaching 5k hps, which my druid rarely reaches. I know hps is not a great way to see how well you are healing, but it is fun to look at anyway. I was lucky enough to run with a druid healer that I trust very much and I know she is very competent so I was keeping an eye on comparing myself to her, since I can't heal on both my toons at the same time. In some fights the druid beat me in healing, but for the most part of the night I was out healing her and I don't think that really means a whole lot, except to know that shamans are just as good at group healing as druids. When I first healed on my shaman in five mans, I thought they would be amazing main tank healers because of the huge crits, overall I think shamans are pretty versatile and can fulfill any role the raid needs.

Overall this new healing class was loads of fun, and I think I did well for my first big raid. Some things I missed about my druid, was that precious instant group heal Wild Growth. I also missed being able to run around arms flailing about, all while throwing heals to people. Shamans really can't heal on the run which is a huge drawback in many fights, and I think druids excel at these type of fights over any other healing class. I also missed my innervate, because I suck at keeping my mana shield up and I was having mana issues on a few of the fights. I actually had to ask for a druid's innervate at one point, which I hate because I don't want to have to rely on others if I can help it.

I am glad to finally have two raid healers at my disposal. I can't say that I love one more than the other, because so far my shaman is tons of fun. I think it is beneficial for me to have both because I like being able to see where different classes are coming from, as far as bragging and complaints. I am sure once I truly become and expert at shaman healing I will be able to write about the ins and outs in more depth, but for now I am having a blast learning this class. O and BTW I am dual speccd elemental, and from running a few ten mans and many five man heroics I can see the potential this class has for Amazing dps, so lots to look forward to on my new raider.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Miss Medicina's Request

My friend, Miss Medicina, wrote a post on her blog calling out to healers of different classes to answer a healing questionnaire. It seems as though she can read my mind about my little druid, because I was planning on posting some comments on druid healing stats. I will put that off for now and answer this questionnaire.

  • What is the name class and spec of your primary healer? Kailanii, Druid, Resto of course. Note: I have a resto shaman in which I am determined to learn inside and out, in order to educate those who are unfamiliar with the style of shaman healing.
  • What is your primary group healing environment? (i.e. raids, pvp, 5 mans) I have healed extensively in all of these situations, but mostly focused on 10 and 25 man raids.
  • What is your favorite healing spell for your class and why? This is so hard! Although I complain about being forced to heal, I love all the druid's spells, if I had to pick only one I would choose Rejuvenation combined with Swiftmend, is that cheating? that's two spells. Anyway this spell is so powerful, it could save anyone near death if used quickly enough.
  • What do you feel is the biggest strength of your healing class and why? I feel as though druids are awesome back up healers. Don't get me wrong, a druid can tank heal if needed, but being able to keep the group topped off with health, and backing up the tanks with HoTs makes every healers job easier.
  • What do you feel is the biggest weakness of your healing class and why? Druids obviously don't have huge crit healz in most situations, we can in no way match pally single target healing, but it doesn't bother me, I love my HoTs.
  • In a 25 man raiding environment, what do you feel, in general, is the best healing assignment for you?Druid healers are best at group healing. They can keep their HoTs on the tanks, while topping people off and keeping group members alive. We can be a force when group healing, by keeping HoTs on people we know will take damage, and with our wild growth available. Druids can be very quick to react if needed in raiding situations.
  • What healing class do you enjoy healing with most and why? Although I have been annoyed with priests lately, I would have to say holy priests. These healers are very versatile in most situations, and I would say I don't like raiding without one. Only thing is, in smaller raids they want to raid heal assuming druids should tank heal, druids as well as priests are better used in a raid healing situation.
  • What healing class do you enjoy healing with least and why? Paladins. I just don't like having more than one. They have weak group heals and as far as I can tell, are not as versatile as the other three classes.
  • What is your worst habit as a healer? When I heal in raid situations I forget that there are other healers. Sometimes in ten mans it results in me being over 40% of the healing done. I am starting to believe that the other healers don't suck, just that I can't help but keep people at full health. I need to be more patient with my fellow healers.
  • What is your biggest pet peeve in a group environment while healing? What pisses me off while I am healing, is people who stand in the fire, stand under the falling icicles, stand in front or behind the dragon, etc. Seriously I have a dps MAGE nonetheless and I don't die because I move. This causes unnecessary damage, and believe it or not, healers don't want you to die.
  • Do you feel that your class/spec is well balanced with other healers for PvE healing? Yes, druids are great for any raid, with any class combination. Only thing I don't like is having three druids in a ten man, I mean we are awesome but I like variety.
  • What tools do you use to evaluate your own performance as a healer? I use recount to evaluate my overheals and try to reduce these as much as possible, with HoTs being overheals it is pretty hard. I also use it to see my HPS but this can change so much depending on the fight, so the best way for me to compare myself is to see my percentage of healing done in any one fight. As long as people are alive and I didn't feel really stressed out during the fight because I am doing almost half the healing in a raid, then I am happy.
  • What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about your healing class? As far as I know, people really don't know much about healing druids. They know we have the most powerful HoTs of any class, but does anyone really know what that means? or where to assign us? Druids are powerful group healers, OT healers, and can manage on a MT. We are more versatile than people think, and we are similar to a holy priest in that way. 
  • What do you feel is the most difficult thing for new healers of your class to learn? I think it is hard to understand how a druid heals. On my shaman I wait until someone takes damage then I heal them. As a druid, you have to learn when to apply a HoT in anticipation of damage. You have to keep your HoTs up according to how much damage a player will take. This requires knowing raid fights and how they work in much more detail than other healers.
  • 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)? Usually recount shows me as a druid as first or second on healing, but unfortunately I don't run with a lot of other druid healers. From memory when I have, they usually do well on the heal meter as well unless they are newer or have poor gear. Overhealing is much higher for druids now, because HoTs can now overheal, so you can imagine.
  • Haste or Crit and why? Haste by far. Haste speeds up our global cool down on our HoTs and reduces the casting time on our few direct heals. Crit does not affect our HoTs so it is a stat I never even consider trying to obtain.
  • What healing class do you feel you understand least? I suppose I would say paladins. I have a shaman, and a low level priest. Priests have many similarities in their roles as a druid in raids, but I am unfamiliar with paladins spells. All I know is they never run out of mana and they have big crits.
  • What add-ones, if any, do you use in healing? I have been healing since Kara and I never used any add-ons for healing. I now use de-cursive in order to remove de-buffs. I have also recently started using Grid, which I really like so far. I think it is important for healers to have this one, or another that shows heals incoming to the raid. This way people don't waste other healers' mana because they can see what HoTs are on them, or what heals are being cast in them.
  • Do you strive primarily for balance between your healing stats, or do you stack some much higher than others, and why? Spell power and spirit are the best stats for a druid healer. I don't ever worry about getting crit, if it is there, fine. I try to get haste capped, and I will grab Mp5 if it happens to be on the gear.
So since I am new to the blog community, I don't have many friends that heal and write blogs as well so I can't really send this to anyone else. But thanks Jess for the great attempt to have healers better understand each other!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Hallowed

Many people are working toward their achievement What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been. The meta-achievement Hallowed Be Thy Name is required to get this achievement. Who wouldn't want an awesome Violet Proto Drake. But this achievement is quite special, because it requires a full year of dedication in order to obtain every Meta-achievement to get this drake. So better get started now on becoming the Hallowed.

Yay me I finished this achievement on my mage the first day of Hallow's End this year. Yeah that is right, I had to wait a full year to obtain the Hallowed Helm . It was the only thing keeping me from grabbing my achievement, and for some reason no matter how much I trick-or-treated or went and killed the HH, this helm never dropped for me. I guess it is worth is since I did get the Headless Horseman's Mount last year, I mean it is IMO the coolest mount in game.
So, in order to do this meta-achievement be prepared to spend a lot of time in game, trick-or-treating, and make sure you down the HH every day. Get the quests required done early because these are easy. If you have any dwarf or orc friends hook up with them so you can throw a pumpkin on their heads, thanks jessabelle for being a cute little dwarf. Try to get this part done early, so the best place to hang out is in Dalaran for this one. Last year I spent about an hour right outside of the little Horde area to catch the trolls, orcs, and those rare little tauren females. I mean what woman wants to be a giant cow anyway?

As far as getting the candy from every candy bucket, this is a great achievement. Even if you aren't trying to become the Hallowed, then you should definitely spend some time doing this, you can get loads of money quite easily, and it is a nice break from doing those boring dailies.
This Meta is one of the hardest out of all the holidays, and it requires lots of time. You have two weeks, so good luck and have fun!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Mage Guide 101

Ok, so I am way to lazy to attempt to take my mage guide from my guild's website to here so I will just link to it. My Mage Guide With Specs. This guide includes the three viable mage specs for pve raiding in WOTLK. These include, FFB, Arcane, and Fire. I do not have a frost spec, I am sorry I don't like frost and I know only like two people who use frost as a raid spec. This guide focuses on maximum dps and frost is not among the best dps specs. This should give a good idea of rotations for all three specs for raiding.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Raiding Alliance

So it seems as though my raiding alliance is having some issues. Although, we had a very strong raid group who was doing decent in Ulduar, the officers took off for one week, and now that we are back, our sign ups are very low. For our 25 man Ulduar we only have four people signed up. I mean I have worried about sign ups before on the day of the raid but then we usually have about seventeen people signed up. What on earth happened? Is it that raiding alliances just don’t work and just can’t last? We have been raiding together since BC and seen many people come and go. But have always had a core group of raiders and always been able to supplement with friends and people joining the alliance. Maybe it is just that this alliances time is coming to an end. With the release of this latest patch and ToC people seem to be able to pug almost everything, or simply gain massive amounts of emblems from heroics. Maybe people just aren’t that into raiding anymore, unless it is with their own guild.

Whatever the case may be, I am definitely feeling discouraged about our alliance, and worried if I will ever see the end of Ulduar. Sure I get to clear ToC every week, and have downed Onyxia with my ToC group, but I want to see all of the bosses in Ulduar, I can't just skip it!? I mean I know a ton of people who skipped the experience of clearing EoE but not me, I want to see all the bosses, and don't forget the achievements. Maybe it is time to call an end to this alliance, or turn it into a raiding guild so we can do some serious business! I don't know but I am sick of wiping on Hodir. Seriously stay out of the freaking things falling from the ceiling, move the whole time, and jump on the snow on the ground! C'mon it isn't that hard. I cleared it after three attempts in ten man, how can this many attempts be ok? It isn't! so let's clean this up and either call this group, or get something accomplished!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Patch 3.3.0

Looks like Patch 3.3.0 has been released to the test realm. I always get a little nervous when they release information on a new patch, cuz I always feel like I have so much left to do in the current patch! WAH!! Oh well, I have to face the inevitable and look forward to the new content like everyone else.

Well unfortunately there isn't much to comment on this new patch. After reading the notes essentially nothing has changed to any toons I have. The only notable exciting change is the new raid.

  • Icecrown Citadel 
    • The Forge of Souls, the first wing of the 5-player dungeon, is currently available for testing. 
    • Additional Icecrown Citadel dungeon and raid content will be made available in future test builds. 
Keep in mind that these patch notes will go through several revisions and additions, maybe even some more class balancing, which is everyone's favorite topic. There will definitely be more to come on this topic, but for now have fun to those lucky enough to be on the test realm.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Brewfest: It's Not Too Late

Of course, most people are all about the holiday season right now. Brewfest is almost over as well as Harvest Festival. What the hell is Harvest Festival you may ask. Ya know me too, but I have to say my one quest that I turned in did earn me an in game mail with a new item that allows me to conjure food/water how exciting! Except oh wait, I am a mage how on earth does this help me? Oh well a worthy quest to do for my alts I suppose.

So of course, you really want to be called the Brewmaster and who wouldn't. Well if you have been slacking off a little bit lately, no worries, as long as you have done some of the quests it isn't too late. I found out a lot of people I was playing with were not aware that they could buy the Brewfest outfit, go dance drunkily in Dalaran and then return it for your full 350 tokens. Which gives you plenty of tokens for your Brewfest Club of the Month, and if you need it, you can transform your mount, if you haven't been fortunate enough to have a Brewfest mount drop for you. So drink a lot, because that is the only way to be The Brewmaster

No crying though, although Brewfest is almost over Halloween's End is incoming! Although I already have one of the most desirable mounts, the Headless Horseman's Mount, no worries trick-or-treating all over Azeroth is sure to be entertaining. I was one quest away from being awarded Kayllnn the Hallowed so I will be joining the countless others in the celebration.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Too Many Toons Too Little Time

Right now I am struggling for more of a balance in WoW. It seems easy when you are in a guild and you raid with your guild and then you do your dailies and that is it. But what do you do when you are GM of a guild, officer of a completely different guild alliance, which my guild is not a major part of, and raiding with another group of friends that is not part of either my guild or my alliance? Yeah plus having three 80s and trying to learn how to play each one and actually be good.

My guild use to be a very small guild consisting of some people who have played together for a very long time. We have grown to having over 25 individual 80s not counting their numerous alts, which means now our guild can raid 25 mans! We currently have two ten man Ulduar teams which seems to be working but every once in awhile we want to do something as a complete guild which means I have the responsibility to set up a 25 man raid, and lead it. Running one ten man a week for the guild is ok, but those weeks when we do a 25 man raid gets complicated with all the other raiding I do, but of course my guild comes first, although I never thought we would make it this far or be able to have a full 25 man raid.

My guild alliance is very near and dear to me as I have been with it since it was created. We have worked hard to have a casual raiding atmosphere using multiple small guilds and we raid twice a week at least. We are currently in Ulduar 25 and progress seems like it has slowed quickly. For some reason we have major problems with Hodir and can't get past him. I have downed him in ten man but it is much harder to have 25 people organized than 10. I am glad our alliance is taking a week off I definitely need the break and the time for my Brewfest meta-achievment.

As far as Monday nights, this is definitely my favorite night to raid. 25 man raids can be tiring and trying to help organize and lead, whether it be healing lead or just helping replace people, or on rare occasions just raiding, I find myself having more fun in ten mans. My ten man ToC group is awesome, they are focused, and all very good players. Luckily we have been clearing ToC for a few weeks now and some attempts in heroic. Hopefully we can clear heroic soon, but the difficulty level is much higher. This raid is more like a nice break for the week, as I can just sit and dps, and I am in no way a leader in this one which is very relaxing.

The one thing I like about raiding with three different groups is that I can raid with all my toons. My guild gets dibs on my tanking death knight since that is what we need right now, tanks, but of course whatever the guild is in need of that is which of my toons they will get. In my raiding alliance I bring my druid although I have a hard time being able to dps because of the lack of healers signing up each week. My ten man ToC gets my mage which I could not be more happy about because they have never asked me to heal, and they barely even have knowledge that I am able to. I feel like I need a clone, my mage gets one...

So the question remains, how do I do all of this and do fairly well in law school. I mean ironically I am sitting in Constitutional Law now and they are having a discussion about gay marriage, how do I manage this? Not to mention my friends in RL think I am crazy for doing all of this and yes some how I hang out with them too. I guess I will just continue to be spread too thin and be tired for classes every day because of this silly game. So when you guys are raiding with me and I have just scrounged up enough money for reagents and repairs now you know why I don't do dailies!

Druid Healz

So... I am considering re-speccing feral/feral. I am currently resto/feral dps. I really hate raid healing, I mean I don't mind doing it every once in awhile, but really overall I don't like it. I would like to keep my healing spec because I like being able to heal in 5 mans and I don't mind healing sometimes on occasion in ten mans. Healing in a 25 man raids sucks, it is either really hard or mind numbingly easy and absolutely boring. In Ulduar healing is pretty taxing, a lot of damage goes around. Regardless I am not a big fan of healing and just because I am good at it, which is the raid's excuse for forcing me to do it, doesn't mean I want to do it. Why do I sign up for raids to have fun, when I am forced to do something I don't enjoy. Of course if I refuse I feel very guilty so that is the dilemma. I may just respec in order to never heal in a raid again. I have tried to insist that feral is my main spec, but maybe the RL doesn't believe me? By the way is dps totally useless? Notice in 25 man I am usually around 5-6k dps depending on the boss, cmon stop forcing me into this. I'm not sure where to go from here...

ToC Nerf

It seems as though every time Blizz releases a new raid they also decide to nerf it soon after. Only a select few people are able to complete the fight the way it is? I'm not really sure, but it seems as though by nerfing the pvp boss in ToC it will allow almost any group to clear it with ease. This boss had previously been the one thing stopping everyone from having ToC on farm, and allowing only really coordinated, geared groups to clear this raid. Of course when I am healing I like the nerf because the raid damage is really not that bad anymore, but ya know, cmon this is one fight that made me feel good about clearing ToC in two hours every Monday night. I guess it is time to focus on heroic ToC maybe it will be more reasonable to clear.