Monday, November 30, 2009

Random Weekend Amusements

Ulduar 10 with three pally healers. Yes, the holy trinity. And we only died once (or rather I only died once). Granted we only did trash and attempted Kologarn, but still, go Holy Trinity!

(during a Heroic MT run)
"Fail parley, move on to violence."

(random guild chat discussion)
"So, leveling-wise we have two pallies, and one disc priest to add to our stable of three holy pallies and one holy priest. What happened to all the druids?"
"They rerolled pallies, or Horde, or both."
"Ah. So raid heals will be lacking, but darn it, the tanks will be golden."
"Pretty much."
"And you're not going holy, are you?"
"Nah, disc for life baby!"
(I am willing to go raid-wide damage mitigation (yay PW:S), but I refuse to give up my healing lasers. And yet I rarely use my healing lasers. Go figure.)

(MT again)
"Ooh, I figured out how to configure Vuhdo so I can see your health percentages with PW:S on you."
rest of group facepalms and starts looking into new healer recruitment
(in my defense I keep the tank selected, and xperl does show me health as well so no one was likely to die, but it was funny. I should probably figure out where greater heal and penance are bound so I can cast them without having to select the tank and hit the button. After all, flash heal can't cure everything.)

And very late last night I confused our jcer by asking for gems, then remembering a) Lyllea's a jcer, b) I got a very shiny gem from the MT quest, and c) I can use Dragon's Eyes. So now one of my new shinies Rod of the Blazing Light is all nicely gemmed, and I got Vial of the Sunwell the same run. What can I say, RNG was kind.

So yes, it was a fun weekend. I got to dps in Nexus (and wow does my shadow dps stink), healed UK, MT, and heroic MT, leveled, ran a bit of Ulduar, got my jcing to 425, and even managed to convince the dragon guys they like me enough to give me a tabard.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Patches, alchemy, boomkins, and face-melters, oh my!

Well, a bunch of stuff has happened. We're all waiting with bated breath for 3.3 (or rather some people are), I switched to transmute specialization (so so worth it), my druid went crit chicken, and my dear leveling priest has gone to the dark side.

First off, 3.3 (and the transmute thing)...
I'm hoping we get a couple more weeks, but I doubt it. I've been making a nice chunk of change off the epic gem market (140-160g per gem and the only gem that costs me more than 20 g in mats is the red one), and I'm not thrilled with that changing. On the plus side, I now have a miner at 450 (and hopefully her jcing will catch up soon), so if titanium ore goes through the roof I can get some of that market. But I have greatly been enjoying the log on, transmute (I keep the mats in bulk in my bags) go squee if I get a proc (I got 5 cardinal rubies once), mail to bank alt, log on to bank alt and put in AH, get 140-160 g. Repeat as needed, and occasionally check market for underpriced gems and scoop those up for more profit. In fact, the epic gem thing has paid for cold weather flying and dual spec for Lyllea, and I'm hoping that it'll pay for the same on both Monera (the druid) and Adowa (the pally).

As far as transmute mastery vs the flask mastery (or whatever it's called), flask mastery allowed me to justify using frost lotuses rather than selling them. Lotuses go for 40g or so, and a flask goes for about 30, so the guaranteed 2 proc made it economically viable. But I have lousy luck with getting frost lotuses, so I wasn't really making many flasks. However, every time I logged in, I transmuted a gem, so in the end, switching just made sense.

Now for crit chickens. I switched the druid from feral mostly because I have two heirloom cloth items, the chest and the shoulders, and I wanted them to be useful. Plus, the boomkin rotation was a bit easier to figure out, and I can heal better with boomkin gear than I could with feral. Sadly, I now know why they're also called oomkins, but it's not much of a hardship for me to have water on hand. Of course, I stripped the heirlooms off Monera so that Lyllea could use them, but once she hits 80, back to the boomkin they go. And, can I put in a vote for different forms or at least different color choices like the cat and bear forms now have? Please?

Last but not least, face-melting. I dual-specced Lyllea earlier this week, and then promptly got my face eaten by undead. I went back to disc since disc makes her hard as heck to kill if she doesn't go oom, and went on my merry leveling way. But I knew sooner or later I would have to learn to shadow for gearing purposes (a badly geared dps can be carried through heroics, but less so a healer), so I hit, got some glyphs, and figured out some semblance of a rotation/priority. I played with it for a while last night, and WOW! I can kill two to three mobs in the time it used to take me to kill one, I can still PW:S to my heart's content, and I can still heal me if stuff goes south. I love disc, but for leveling and running around, shadow beats it hands down. I do think being disc this long (and being disc in bgs) has helped me a lot in learning how to heal, but at this point I think I can safely switch to shadow for most stuff without losing what healing skills I have acquired.

Now, which spec would I recommend for leveling? If you want to heal end-game, going disc (aka lolsmite) will help you get a handle on the tools you have, especially if you wander into bgs from time to time and try to get the most heals. But once you go shadow, going back to slower pace of lolsmite will probably be frustrating. Thus, I'd go disc till 67 or so since by then you have almost all your healing spells and hopefully a good grasp on them, then dual-spec to shadow and go nuts. Heck, you could even go holy/shadow at that point if you're planning to go holy end game.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Possible Guild Names

The drama has been resolved, and I am back in Silver Dragoons at the moment (and likely for good). But since there is a well-known RP guild on Shadow Council called The Silver Dragoons, we're going to be changing our name. And this seemed like the easiest place to stick the list of possibles for guildies to see...
Note, names are in the order I wrote them down, and no, I did not come up with all of them. I play D&D (the old school version with paper and pencil) with some of my guildies, and we did some brainstorming. Most of these are either a bit silly or have some guild/pop culture reference, or possibly both. And Eg is our mage of awesome/new guild leader/the mage who originated the "It's not a raid till the mage dies" saying.

1. Unbreakable Eg
2. Council of Madness
3. Shiny Boomage
4. Squirrely Wraith
5. The Mage Dies First
6. Oooh Look SHINY
7. Big Gorram Heroes
8. Show Me on the Bear
9. Bad Touch
10. We kill... oooh shiny!
11. Justice League of Azeroth
12. Cloth Equals Death
13. Druids R Us
14. Wonder Guild Powers Activate
15. Puddlemere United
16. Chudley Cannons
17. Distracted for Life
18. May Explode When Used
19. Bacon
20. Ministry of Silly Walks
21. Space Goats Can't Land
22. Poke It with a Stick
23. Pure Gibberish

Sunday, November 15, 2009

I am slightly less fail now!

I got bored the other day and gearchecked myself. It was enlightening, to say the least. This would be it. Now, some stuff I knew, like the glove enchant being eh (it was in the gbank), but other stuff, well that was a bit of a shock. Beserker is nifty (ooh, lookie at all the AP and I really don't die much). But, given that my guild may have gone exploding (we'll see, there's a meeting soonish), I figured it was time to make myself slightly more appealing to gearchecking PUGs.

First off, the stupid helm enchant. I can hear those of you in the back yelling about "You've been 80 and raiding since April, why didn't you have a head enchant?" Mostly because I didn't realize I could have one until recently. So a month or so ago, I wandered up to Icecrown and spent a day unlocking the Ebon Blade quartermaster, bought the tabard, and then more or less stopped running heroics. Needless to say, this was not thought through well. So I sat down today, and finally made it to Revered though two heroic runs (CoS and I got the drake and AN for the daily heroic) and the Arcanum of Torment is now mine.

Second, getting the wolf up to 80 so I don't have to listen to "you have the wrong pet" remarks anymore. Thanks to the two heroics, one Ony 10, and the slaughter of hundreds of scarlets (because killing scarlets never gets old) he's 79 and a half. I even managed to only have him die once on Ony (a new record for me).

Third, getting the offhand enchanted. A guildie leveling enchanting stuck the exceptional agility enchant on for me.

Now all I need to do is get a wrist enchant, or I may not bother. The wrists are one of my lowest i-level pieces, and it might make more sense to go get the thrown weapon from badges (yes, the thrown weapon is better than my bow, and yes, that annoys me) and get a nice enchant on that.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The DPS survey

What is the name, class, and spec of your primary dps?
Garetia, marksman hunter

What is your primary dpsing environment? (i.e. raids, pvp, 5 mans)
10 mans, with the occasional 5 man heroic

What is your favorite dps spell/ability for your class and why?
Kill shot, with Chimera coming in a close second. Yay massive dps.

What dps spell do you use least for your class and why?
Silencing Shot. I think I've used it twice, maybe. I know some Marksmen have it macroed to all their damage spells, but I've always been reluctant to use the extra mana.

What do you feel is the biggest strength of your dps class and why?
Flexibility. We can kite adds, trap them, volley the crap out of them, or dps the heck out of the boss, depending on what the raid needs. I've kited Gluth trash, been on bomb-killing duty with XT, and trapped the heck out of casters.

What do you feel is the biggest weakness of your dps class and why?
Our reputation. And also, for Beastmasters, the pet AI.

In a 25 man raiding environment, what do you feel, in general, is the best dps assignment for you?
Anything that involves volley. I like volley. And I can do massive damage with it.

What dps class do you enjoy dpsing with most and why?
I like mages cause if the tank loses the mobs, they tend to go for the mages first. It's why my guild has a saying "it's not a raid till the mage dies"

What dps class do you enjoy dpsing with least and why?
Feral kitties, because we're competition for the same weapons and they get first dibs.

What is your worst habit as a dps?
Whee, dps dps dps, crap here comes the boss. FD. My spec is a bit bursty, and if my first few shots are crits, hello boss. I should really misdirect more.

What is your biggest pet peeve in a group environment while dpsing?
People telling me I have the wrong pet. My pet is my choice, and it's maybe 10% of my dps. If I'd rather have a raptor than a wolf and lose about 60 dps, well, that's my choice. And if I'm bringing a non-80 pet to a heroic, it's cause I need to level it and quite frankly, my dps by itself is more than enough for a heroic.

Do you feel that your class/spec is well balanced with other dps?
Yes, I think we are.

What tools do you use to evaluate your own performance as a dps’er?
Recount, and Ensidia Fails so that I can keep track of the times I do something stupid and try not to do it again.

What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about your class?
That we're all huntards. I think all those idiots are now face-rolling DKs. Competent DKs, I feel your pain.

What do you feel is the most difficult thing for new dpsers of your class to learn?
Pet control. No matter what your spec, keeping your pet alive while getting the rotation going and keeping it going is a challenge.

What dps class do you feel you understand least?
Warriors. Rage is confusing.

What add-ons or macros do you use, if any, to aid you in dps?
I use a hunter mark and pet attack macro so that I don't forget to mark things. Also, I use Power Auras Classic to tell me when I'm in Viper or trinkets have proc'ed or Furious Howl has popped.

What stat to stack, and why?
Agility and AP are both yummy.

And my own question: what's your offspec (if you have one) and why?
Offspec is beast master, so I can solo old content and do group quests by myself.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Mindset Difference Between Healing and DPS

As Lyllea (my disc priest) continues to level and run dungeons (Nexus, Mechanar, and Botanica last night), I've really noticed a massive mindset difference.

It's easy to figure out whether you're a decent dps or not. Are you winning the Omen game (aka pulling threat off the tank)? Are you killing the things that are supposed to die in the marked order? Are you staying out of the bad stuff on the floor? Are you doing decently on recount? If the answer to the first one is no, or yes with the immediate reaction of an aggro dump or bringing the wayward mob back to the tank (for those times when your aggro dump is on cooldown), and the answer to the other three is yes, then congrats, you're a decent dps.

Now, are you a decent healer? This question's much harder to answer. Can you keep the tank alive? But is he appropriately geared and speced? Because if he isn't, well, then the best healer in the world's going to have some issues keeping him alive. And guess what, if he dies, then it's seen as your fault, even if his defense is so low that the boss one-shot him. Now, it is not your fault. Tanks range from the frighteningly idiotic to the inexperienced to the awesome and you're going to run into and possibly attempt to run a dungeon with all of them.

And then there's the rest of the group. Are the dps dying frequently? Are they pulling off the tank? Are they all in cloth and really squishy and gorram it I do not have enough heals to keep all these idiots alive? Then you look above and see that winning the Omen game and not doing anything about it makes them bad dps (or there's an inexperienced tank and if that's the case, the mobs are probably trying to eat you too). And bad dps go lower on the healing list then good dps (who are lower still than the tank). Now that probably won't stop you from going "Frack!" (or the non-work safe curse of your choice) and it probably won't stop them from blaming you, but at least you know why they died (and can stick them on the No Heals list (aka the Ignore List) should you wish to).

What this all amounts to (for me anyway) is that I feel like a good healer after a good PUG and a bad healer after a bad one. Now, I have my healing flaws. It took me too long to figure out where the heck Greater Heal was (apparently I don't have it keybound in Vuhdo and I need to figure out how to keybind to my 4th and 5th mice buttons) and I still don't know all my keybindings. Levitate does not substitute for Circle of Mending. Though it was kind of funny to see the floating dps just before he died. And don't even get me started on Dispel Magic and Abolish Disease and when each one is required. I should figure out what Vuhdo's trying to tell me with the changing box colors, I really should, but in the middle of a battle it's just easier to hit both and see if that fixes it. And if neither one does, I shield them. Because PW:S fixes everything. Except death, sadly.

I'm attempting to cultivate a "Any PUG I learn something from is a good PUG" attitude, and apparently I don't suck as a healer, but when the only real feedback I get is from my fellow PUGers, it's a bit of an ego rollercoaster. But in the end, the lasers make it all worthwhile. Yes, I can heal you with LASERS! It's awesome.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Well, it's been an exciting couple of weeks here.
First, Lyllea is Hallowed, has hit 70, and her crafting skills are well within Northrend levels. Yay.
Second, I tried to heal UK. Tried. With a tank 4 levels higher than me, and 3 mages, it did not go well. On the plus side, I now know my keybindings slightly better, though I will be putting them on a sticky note by my monitor. Not being able to find greater heal when I need it is BAD. And it's not like I would have managed to get any gear from it anyhow, with 4 people rolling on cloth.
Third, I attempted Sunwell. And got squished. Over and over again. I still say we should have been freezing trapping those scouts, but the tank overruled me. On the plus side, I managed to break 11k dps at one point. Volley for the win.

I have been paying attention to the AP debate, but since I don't have enough AP to worry about it, I'll just point you there for a nice breakdown.