Thursday, May 27, 2010

Big News...

See anything different about the sidebars?

Do you?

Do you need a hint?

Yes, that would be my pally hitting 80.  I then went on to get a ton of pvp achievements (since the easiest libram for me to get was the pvp one) and ran my first heroic as holy.

Now comes the gearing and figuring out how to play in dungeons as ret.  I kinda have a handle on holy, though I need to work on my mana regen skills.
And because this picture makes me giggle...

No, that is not an Outlands set.  It just looks like it.  The skirt is a blue mail piece, and the shield is Zom's Crackling something or other.  Whatever happened to my nice drab gear?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Arena Toons!

Okay, so I rolled my 3 toons, and um, this is the greatest thing ever and how did I not know about this?  Dwarf braids!  And they spin!  Now why isn't this hairstyle available for my nelves?  I want this hairstyle Blizz!

So yes, that is my dwarf priest, spec'd pvp disc/pvp shadow.  I also rolled a gnome frost mage and a space goat ret pally.  And yes, the gnome is ridiculously cute, and if I didn't have issues with the short, I would so roll one just like her.  But having to mount just to be able to see, yeah, not going to work for me.

Yes, I posted just to show you spinning dwarf braids.  Now, back to pally leveling...

Main vs Offspecs Loot in 5 mans

I've been kinda pondering this because of the pally (78.6 and leveling!), and a post over at You Yank It, You Tank It made me decide to write about it.

I likely have a bit of a odd perspective here.  After all my first toon has the exact same gear for main and offspecs (though I do keep meaning to get her some tier 5).  And as for Lyllea, well, disc wants int and spellpower, thinks spirit is icky, and doesn't care much about mp5.  Most people see spirit or mp5 on cloth and go "healy gear" so I've had more than one argument about what should be main spec gear for her.  Mostly with caster dps, who are grumpy that the healer's rolling on gear they perceive to be theirs.  My philosophy on that is "it's only reserved for caster dps if it has to hit, otherwise it's fair game."

I'm of two minds on the "queue as what you're rolling on" idea.  On the one hand, I do agree that the tank or the healer should get first dibs on tank or healer loot.  In a guild run or a raid, I would never roll on tank or healer loot unless I was performing one of those rolls or none of the tanks or healers wanted it.  But in a 5 man, the rules are a little bit fuzzier, simply because I cannot count on my fellow puggers to observe those principles.  More than once during Lyllea's gearing process I lost nice pieces of healing loot because a tank or dps was building a heals set.  Didn't matter to them that I was the one actually healing their butt, all they cared about was getting themselves gear.

Rolling need on offspec gear almost seems like rolling need on the Frozen Orbs, simply a way to prevent yourself from being screwed.  After all, if I go into a dungeon with Adowa as holy, and want to get ret gear, it's going to be a bit of a struggle.  Loads of competition for dps plate and weapons, and there's sure to be some very annoyed plate dps if I started rolling on "their" stuff.  But I could wait in the dps queue, and get my pick of spellpower plate (not much competition there).    And then we have the time investment.  The healing queue's quick enough that I could probably run twice as many heroics as holy, getting twice as many emblems and twice as many shots at gear.

I don't really think there's a clear answer to the main/offspec thing in 5 mans.  I'm thinking that I'll probably do more or less what I do with shadow gear on Lyllea.  I watch to see if the caster dps roll need on the shiny before I roll.  If they need, I greed.  Same thing should work for plate stuff, especially if I announce at the beginning of the run that I'm trying to gear my ret set as well as my holy set but will pass if a plate dps needs.  Will I get screwed?  Probably, but at least this way I feel like I'm being fair.

And in case you were wondering, I'm currently the lootmaster for my guild and our loot rules for raids are...
1. Main spec before off spec, main spec being the spec you're in the raid for.  If we ask you to switch, you can pick which spec you want to be your main.
2. Once you win something you go to the back of the line
3. Hunters get preference over melee for ranged weaponry, melee get preference over hunters for melee weapons.
4. If you want something that isn't your armor type (like a caster druid wanting cloth), it's an offspec roll.
5. Patterns are open roll if you have the profession at a high enough level to learn the pattern on the toon you're on.
And the most important rule... Don't be a dick!
We pug a lot so they're pretty simple, but they work.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

10 Random Things about me (and nothing whatsoever to do with WoW)

I don't really have much to say, but I figured instead of my normal Random Tuesday Thoughts, I'd give you 10 random facts about me... Mostly because I can't really think of anything WoW related to say.

1. I get most of my vitamins in gummy form.  Yes, my daily multivitamin, my calcium, and even my omega 3 are all in gummy form.  I have to take a lot of vitamins and the gummy versions tend to be easier on my stomach.

2. My hair has not been its natural color since I was 14.  As pale as I am, my medium brown hair is too dark and so I lighten it with highlights or dye it blonde or red.  It was even blue for a short time.

3. Despite being a huge fantasy buff, I did not read the complete LotR trilogy till after I saw the first movie.  I had tried to read it when I was younger and gave up.  I made up for it later by reading not only the trilogy, but also the Hobbit, the Simarilion, and the Unfinished Tales.  At one point I could recite Elrond's lineage.  I think those brain cells are now dedicated to random wow and D&D lore.

4. The Hobbit (Rankin-Bass version) is one of my all time favorite movies.  I love the music.  And the idea of Elrond singing "tra-la-lala-laley, down here in the valley" never fails to crack me up.  In fact I wrote an entire fanfic about it.  And I am still amazed that I was not banned from church for wandering around singing "When there's a whip, there's a way" when I was 6.  It's a very catchy tune.

5.  I read War and Peace.  Twice. For the fun of it.  I blame my Russian novel kick in late adolescence.  And yet I can't get through Twilight.  Draw your own conclusions.

6.  I wanted to be head of NASA when I was little.  Then I learned it was a politically-appointed position and was sad.

7.  I was allowed to watch Monty Python when I was little, but not the Cosby show.  My grandmother, while sweet and wonderful, was also born in the deep south in the early 1900s and had some prejudices.

8.  I became a fan of Firefly when it was first shown on Fox.  I still love it, and I've gotten to meet several of the actors.  Jewel Staite is a sweetheart.  Yes, Joss Whedon is my master now.  I even liked Dollhouse.

9.  I am a Harry Potter fan mostly because I adore Jason Isaacs.  Tom Felton isn't so bad either.  And I'd listen to Alan Rickman read a phone book.  Man has a great voice.  I live in hope that the endless camping will be cut from the Deathly Hallows movies and they will add more Lucius.  You really can't go wrong with more Lucius, especially if you throw more Severus in as well.

10.  I am a gamer geek girl.  I have even used THAC0, though I prefer D&D 3.5's system.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

WTH do I do with the pally?

So the pally is halfway through 77, and I need to figure out what she's doing at 80.  Right now she's ret/holy, but hasn't healed a 5 man since that ok run, and I'm completely unenamoured of holy in 5 mans.  Things might change once I get some gear, but I a) can't stand the lack of group heal options, and b) am so sick of going oom it's not even funny.

I'm leaning towards keeping the current specs, using the awesome tank/heal combo in our guild to gear with instant queues, and reciprocating by queueing with the heal on his dps so his queue is shorter.  Lyllea doesn't need anything from emblems of heroism at this point, but I figure helping him is good for the guild and good for me.

Once I get full holy tier 9, I will hopefully be able to tag along on some of the positive push alt runs, get some gear, and maybe even pug my way into icc.  I honestly don't see me tanking any time soon (I really don't like being in charge), and melee dps is not my cup of tea, so I'm not sure what else I would do with her besides extreme soloing, and I plan to try that anyway once I have a viable holy set.

The problem is that holy pallies, while insanely kickarse at healing tanks, are kinda well, mediocre at any other type of healing.  I can run 5 mans on my druid without a problem, but I fight to keep a group up as a holy pally.   The idea of fighting through heroics, or of waiting for the dps queue (generally about 15 minutes), well neither appeals.  Honestly, that would be why Garetia isn't better geared, I can't stand the wait as pure dps, and if I have another option I will take it.

This might be why I don't see myself raiding with a non-pure dps class till after Cataclysm.  The gearing options are well, not as good as the hybrid options.  I don't really see a way around that for Blizz, other than giving priority in dungeon queues to the nonhybrids, which just doesn't seem sporting.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Healing 10 mans. Not as scary as they used to be.

Ran ICC 10 today as disc.  It went really really well.  Two healing with a shaman, and we made it through Putricide and even had a couple attempts on the Princes.  I got new gloves with to hit for shadow, a hat, and a new ring with a shiny red socket.   Still no offhand, but I continue to hope.  Having such a good run really did help with my confidence level.  It was odd at first, but I concentrated mostly on the tanks, threw in a prayer of healing now and again, and flashed and penanced like there was no tomorrow.  I need to remember that my flash heal hits harder than I think it does, so I use less greater heals.

I did respec back to shadow after the run.  Holy was a nice change of pace, but I missed my bubbles and face-melting is FUN!   Plus eventually our pro holy priest will return from Italy (volcano willing) and I'm more useful as healer/dps/mana battery.  But Tam, I will remember your advice, and I appreciate the help!

In other news, the pally continues her relentless assault to level 80.  She's 76 and spending a lot of time in Zul'Drak.  It's a zone none of my toons have really done yet, and it's nice to see new lore.  And kill trolls.  Killing trolls never gets old.

Arena-wise, I am still waiting on the aforementioned priest to return so we can discuss things.  Thanks to Cynwise for your advice, and I made a cute gnome frost mage.  Then I remembered why I don't play gnomes.  I can't stand being short.  Yes, I am weird.  I am a pervy elf fancier who doesn't do short toons.  I like the gnome models, but the shortness drives me nuts after a little while.

Now back to figuring out shadow gearing options in Rawr.  I realized I have an entire bag full of purple gear, and I'd like to winnow that down a bit.  Sure, I have 4 gear sets, but there is a lot of overlap, and I'm pretty sure I don't need 3 different sets of pvp gloves.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

ACK, my shield has a cooldown!

I respec'd Lyllea from disc/shadow to disc/holy mostly because we're trying toc 10 again tonight and the team of two disc priests wasn't really cutting it.   Okay, so part of that was having a healer and a tank who've never seen toc 10, but still more group healing power would help.

And yes, that was my first impression.  I'm very used to PW:S spam, so this cooldown thing is strange and alien. But I do love circle of healing's group heal and wow, I have a fail angel now.  My tank healing tools kinda stink (I miss my lasers), but Renew is actually half-way decent now.  Still doesn't make up for the shield thing.  
My keybinds haven't changed much (because confusing myself even more would be bad), but I think I need to stick Circle of Healing on its' own, really big bar.  I keep hitting divine hymn or desperate prayer or hymn of hope instead.

As far as I can figure, holy healing goes like this...
Flash heal or renew.  Throw a greater heal if you have 3 stacks of Serendipity (wth is Serendipity?). Repeat till coh off cooldown.  Then coh again.

I am probably vastly oversimplifiying, as I have many more buttons I could be hitting.  And I hear things about Guardian Spirit, so I should probably look into that.

This may end up being a very short-lived respec, or not.  I am supposed to heal ICC 10 on Sat, after all, and having the extra flexibility would be nice.  And I have all this tier 9 gear, might as well use it, right?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

How to Disc, a Simple Guide. Part 3, leveling disc and the disc ui.

First off, leveling disc.
It's not bad.  Really.  I leveled as disc from 60 to 75ish, and still am far more likely to do dailies and pvp as disc.  Your damage is nowhere near as good as shadow, but your survivability is, well, kinda ridiculous for a clothie.  If you don't want to dualspec, and still want to be viable in both questing and dungeon healing, disc is the way to go.
I followed this guide which I found on the forums.  It's a nice leveling build with decent damage potential and you can still heal in dungeons without any trouble.  Now, if you're wanting to just level in dungeons as a healer, you're better off going for the standard disc build, and glyphing flash heal and power word: shield.  Either build will give you some pvp survivability, and combined with heirlooms you should have no problems at all.

Now, the disc ui.  
There isn't much in here that's specific to disc, it's more of a general healer ui thing.

First you want a good set of raid/healing unit frames.  I really would not recommend the default ui for this.  Get Vuhdo or Grid or pitbull or shadowed unit frames or Xperl or something.  I heart Vuhdo and it's what I would recommend for healers, but try different ones out, see what you like. Some have click-casting, like Vuhdo, and some don't, and honestly I'd hit the plus heal forums ui section and look at what different healers use.

Second, you need to be able to see certain buffs and debuffs very clearly.  Your unitframes should be able to do this for you with some configuring, but it's also helpful to know things like "Borrowed Time is active" or "You're been silenced/locked out".  For that, I recommend the awesome that is Power Auras Classic.  You might also want a good set of buff frames, but that's more optional.  Just make sure that Weakened Soul and PW:S are really obvious.  Trust me.

Third, a good set of bars.  I use LunarSphere on my priest, because it doesn't switch bars when I switch specs, only when I switch forms (aka go into Shadowform).  This is nice cause it means I have all my healing spells easily available in shadow for when extra healing is needed, but I hate it for most of my other toons and use Bartender exclusively instead.  You can also set bars to fade out in combat or unless you mouseover them, which is a good way to have spells you need once in a while available but not in your face.  Dominoes is also a nice option for bars, but I've never used it.

Fourth, your standard ui stuff, aka Omen, Recount (with Recount Guessed Absorbs), and DeadlyBossMobs. You know, the addons pretty much every guild expects you to have to raid with.

Things to consider with a disc ui...
You're going to need to keep track of a lot of information, so minimize unnecessary info.  For example, do you really need to see your minimap in raids?  Why not set it to fade out unless you mouseover it?  Why not put your chat windows somewhere where they won't distract you?  Do you need to see combat text? Do you need to see how long your buffs have left or just when you need to reapply?  Think about things like this.

Put your raid frames near your toon.  This is some of the best advice I can give. If your eyes are glued to your raid frames and your raid frames are all the way over to the left edge of your screen, it's really really easy to stand in fire.  If your raid frames are near your toon (mine generally go under my toon) you can see when you're in ick.  Also, having your raid frames and bars right near each other means your eyes have to move less and it's easier on them.

Building the UI
Sit down with some paper.  Make a list of what you feel you need, then draw out where you want things to be.   The below is an example.  That's actually a combination of my pally and my priest's uis, but it gives you an idea.  And that took me no time at all in paint.

As you can see, I have my raid frames, my two main bars and my casting bar all right together and all right under my toon.  Things I occasionally need to glance at (chat, omen, hot tracker) are off to the sides, and stuff I only need to check once in a while (buffs) are at the top.  I use a Sunn Viewport Art panel at the bottom to arrange all this stuff on (you can see it in the left corner though it does extend all the way across the screen), and I use Align liberally to make everything line up.

And now that you have a layout for your ui, it's much easier to make it both look nice and be functional.  So that's how to build a disc ui (or really any ui), and we have now reached the end of the How to Disc series!  I hope you found this informative and useful, and if you have any questions please don't hesitate to email me or bug me in game or on twitter.

Arena Tourney

I signed up for the Tournament because well, I want the pet.  I have a guildie in the same boat, and we need a third.  Anyone just in it for the pet and want to play?  We don't care about winning or losing, we just want our murlocs.

I'm also trying to figure out what I want to play.  I know she's thinking either priest (probably holy) or shaman, and while I really like the idea of a plate wearer (yay survivability) I know that melee dps is not something I'm good at.  I have mobility issues.  So I'm trying to figure out if I go disc priest (yay familiar spec and abilities), go hunter (again familiar abilities) or try another class.  I could also try holy pally, but I probably shouldn't play a healer if she wants to play a healer.

I do like the idea of a mage, but since my highest level mage is 30, it may not be the best idea.  A boomkin's a possibility, or a lock (which has the same problem as the mage).  No matter what I'm going to be learning a completely new way to play so is it really going to make a difference if I'm learning a new class on top of it?  Plus, playing a mage or lock might inspire me to actually level those toons.

So what would you guys recommend for a complete Arena noob?  I've never even set foot in an Arena, only done BGs and I prefer to heal in those.  I can roll 3 toons total on the server, so I have some flexibility.  Hmm, maybe one disc priest, one ret pally, one frost mage?  Oh, and if you've got any good places to look for strats and addons and builds and all that stuff, please pass them along.

(and third part of how to disc (leveling and uis) is coming.  I got distracted by trying to figure this out)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

How to Disc, a Simple Guide. Part 2, stats, gear, and gemming.

Now disc stat weights, like those of most healing specs, are not set completely in stone.  Some stats are better than others, some are pretty much useless (spirit, I'm looking at you, get the gorram heck off my healing tier), but  how you weigh them does depend at least somewhat on your personal style and preference.

So instead of just rewording what Elitist Jerks has to say on the subject, I figured I'd tell you a) what all the various casting stats do for you, and b) what I do .  That way you can make a more informed decision.

First, stats you don't want if possible...
Spirit.  This does very little for you.  Seriously.  It's on healing tier cause holy likes it and because Blizzard seems to like pushing it.  It's like intellect's much more annoying little brother whose mom is determined to convince everyone is cute, not annoying.  Or something.  Not sure where I was going with that, but spirit, not worth it.  What it does for you is 0.365 mp5 per point. Mp5 is shorthand for restores X mana every 5 seconds.  Other stats give you much much more.  Heck, straight mp5 is better imho.

To hit.  To hit is for dps.  Your heals will hit friendly targets, period.  Sometimes good upgrades will have to hit on them because well, dps casters like the same stats we do.   This may lead to headed arguments, which often include gems like "Healers like spirit, not to hit!"  You don't like to hit, but heck trees don't like crit and yet they often end up with gear with crit on it.  Occasionally you have to put up with a stat you don't like or don't care about to get more of the stats you do care about.

Second, stats that are awesome and shiny...
Intellect.  You love this stat.  Trust me.  Intellect gives you 0.817 mp5 per point, ~0.0076 crit per point, and increases the size of your mana pool.  Since most disc priests don't tend to run with the regen holy priests do, a large mana pool is a must.   As a new 80, I'd even suggest gemming for int to begin with, and switching to other gems as you gain more intellect on your gear.  Basically as you stop running out of mana, start switching over.  Currently I run with roughly 30k buffed, and that is more than enough unless I'm shielding like there is no tomorrow, in a long fight, while constantly casting.  How big you want your mana pool to be is a personal thing, so kinda feel it out.  If you have a regen trinket like Solace, you need less int, and if you're constantly casting and dealing with high-damage fights, you need more.  It really does depend on what you're doing and how you're doing it.

Spellpower.  This is your favorite stat after intellect, or possibly before intellect.  Spellpower makes your heals more powerful, and thus makes you more powerful.  Power Word:Shield's absorption also becomes better the more spellpower you have.  Best stat ever!  Yes, I'm biased.

Crit. This is a nice stat, but how much of it you want does depend on what you're doing. Crit makes your spells more likely to critically hit, which means they hit with extra power.  If you're raid healing with PW:S and Prayer of Mending, crits are only possible with the heal from the glyph of PW:S and Mending.  But if you're tank healing, or throwing flash heals around like there's no tomorrow, well crits start looking much better.  Divine Aegis depends on us critting though, so I certainly never say no to this stat.  EJ recommends stacking crit once you've reached your haste cap, and while I personally don't do that (mmm, yummy spellpower), it's probably not a bad idea.

Haste.  Haste makes you cast faster.  It decreases your global cooldown as well, which makes even instant casts faster.  Your minimum global cooldown is 1 sec, so once you hit a certain point of haste it's not doing you as much good as some of the other stats could be.  Assuming the following raid buffs (Wraith of Air totem for 5% haste, and moonkin aura/Swift Retribution for another 3%) and our own talent Enlightment for 6% haste, and you really don't need much more to reach the hard haste cap for PW:S casting.  Basically, if you want all your PW:S casts to be as fast as possible, you need another 154 haste (or roughly 11% haste).  Haste can still speed up your longer casts even after it's no longer any good for PW:S, and the answer of when you stop wanting it is really complicated.  So complicated, in fact, that if you're really interested, I suggest you go read the value of haste on EJ.  I personally am quite happy with my current haste stat (451, way over cap) and would not go out of my way to increase it.

So those are the stats you're likely to see.  There's a minor one you might run into, straight mp5, and I'd say take that over spirit.  But otherwise, yup those are your stats.  Now, the idea here is for you to read this and figure out what you think you need, but just in case you want a simple this is what you should do, I give you...

How I gear, stats and gems...
Spellpower trumps everything else.  Spellpower is shiny awesomesauce as far as I am concerned.
More intellect is yummy too.
Haste and crit are nice, but I don't fret about them.
So my stat weighing looks like SP>int>haste+crit>>spirit and to hit.

I gem mostly for spellpower (runed cardinal rubies and whatever the sp dragon's eyes are called) with some other colors for meta activation. I use the 21 int+ mana regen meta, and I ignore socket bonuses unless a) I need one for my meta or b) the socket gives me more spellpower than I lose by not gemming straight spellpower.  In fact, my gemming is kinda messy right now, and I should clean that up.  I know why I have an int/sp gem, but why one sp/spirit and one sp/mp5 is beyond me.  (looks more closely...)
Okay, the sp/mp5 was apparently for a spellpower socket bonus, and the other two are for meta activation.  Nice to know there was some logic there.

Now if you want a list of gear you should get, exactly what enchants, gems, ect, well, see the first link? There's a really good place to start.  Heck, they even suggest buff foods.  Granted, they don't lay out exactly what gear a new priest might want, but honestly, run dungeons, run heroics, go by the stat weighings, and you'll end up decently geared.  Might even want to get your hands on full tier 9.  I had it for a while, before I replaced it with other stuff with better stats, but I 've still got the two piece bonus.  And I'm still rocking a badge trinket (all that int is not really useful to me anymore but as much as I want a heroic Solace I'm unlikely to see one any time soon), with Nevermelting Ice Crystal in my bags for when I'm tank healing and want more crit.

And if you're still completely at sea, you can always email me to ask questions, hit the plus heal forums, or hit wowladies over on livejournal.  There's a ton of resources out there, and I am really just scratching the surface of this entire subject.

Friday, May 14, 2010

How to Disc, a Simple Guide. Part 1: the tools, speccing, and glyphs (Out of date!)

So, you're a new level 80 priest, and you've decided to go disc.  Or you're building a offset for your guild's Lich King attempt.  Either way, you're lost in a sea of bubbles and need some help.  Well, don't fret, I'm here to explain the basics.

Healing, as we all well know, is not a rotation or a priority.  It's a set of tools and successful healing depends on knowing what your tools are, when to use them, and gearing to increase these strengths.  First off, what are disc's tools?  When should you use them?  And where the heck do all these talent points go?

Spec-wise, you've got a few choices. Wow Popular's Disc Build List is a nice place to start.  The top two disc builds are a bit different.  This one is what I think of as the standard disc spec, and this one makes your Renews a bit more powerful at the expense of your Greater Heal cast times.

Glyph wise, your standard majors are PW:S, Flash Heal, and Penance.  If you're using Renew over Flash Heal (I know some healers do, though I'm not sure why) you might want to switch in Renew for the Flash Heal glyph.  Minors are Shadowfiend, Levitate, Fading, and Shadow Protection.  You've got a bit more flexibility in the minors, but I do recommend Levitate and Shadowfiend.

Your Tools!
Power Word:Shield.  Bubbles.  If you're raid healing, this spell is your best friend ever.  If you're tank healing, this is still your best friend ever.  Bubble to prevent or decrease incoming damage, to buy time to get someone back up to full, or just cause you like putting dwarves in bubbles.  For tank healing, bubble to get Borrowed Time, a haste buff to get your next heal (Greater Heal perhaps?) off faster.   If you're a click-caster like me, bind this to something really convenient and obvious (like left mouse click) cause you'll be using it more than any other spell.

Penance.  This is the other iconic spell of the disc priest.  Healing with lasers, what's not to like?  This is a great spell for NEED HEALS NOW as well as for tank healing and it's also a damage spell.  If there's any sort of aoe damage going on, I'd shield myself first, since this spell can be interrupted which means you won't get all three shots off.

Power Infusion.  This is a great throw on a spell dps and watch their damage go up spell.  I tend to use it when I hear a call for Heroism.  This isn't really a healing tool persay, but you can throw it on yourself for extra oomph when needed.

Pain Suppression.  This is a great tank healing tool, just keep an eye on the threat meter.  Since this spell decreases threat, it's also a nice "oh crap that dps pulled aggro" button.

Prayer of Mending.  Start it on a melee, and just make sure it keeps bouncing.  I use a hot meter to keep track of it.

Flash Heal.  This is my go-to heal.  Really.  It's not much good on tanks (unless the tank is undergeared) but it's great for topping off dps.  My whack-a-mole style of raid healing is a combo of this and PW:S with the occasional penance.

Renew.  I mostly use it for an extra tank cushion.  Otherwise I don't use it at all.

Greater Heal.  Use with the Borrowed Time buff for tank healing.

Prayer of Healing.  Again, this is a spell I use with Borrowed Time, mostly when I'm raid healing in a ten man.  I don't use it that much, but I have it on my bars.

As far as the other healing spells go (Divine Hymn, Holy Nova, Binding Heal) I just don't use those much.   I have seen people use Shadowfiend in combo with Divine Hymn in heavy aoe damage situations, and I keep meaning to try it.  Unfortunately, when I'm in that situation I'm generally too busy going "ACK, MUST SHIELD EVERYONE!" to think about it.

Now, it must be said that healing is not like dps, where there is generally one right way to do things for max dps.  Healing is wildly situational, and given the depth and breadth of a priest's toolbox, it can be very confusing at first.  But there isn't really a right way to heal, and different people have different styles.  If you're doing your job, keeping the raid (or the tank) up, not running oom, and not just sitting back and watching the fight, you're doing okay.

Next time: gemming and enchanting, or what do you mean there's no right gem?  And why am I fighting with the caster dps for gear without spirit?

Well, that was annoying....

I got into a Black Temple pug tonight.  Full clear, only one wipe, which isn't bad at all for a PUG, especially one where not everyone is 80 and geared to the nines.

I did run into a new species of druid I'd never seen.  Dickus Leetus Arboretus.  I ended up putting him on ignore halfway through the run, since he had decided that telling us over and over again that he was the best healer there and how leet he was, ect.  That stuff gets old, especially when I look at Recount's Heals and Absorbs and well, I think the caps speak for themselves.

So if you're going to claim AWESOME ELITENESS OF HEALING, be able to back it up.  Cause otherwise, well, I assume you're overcompensating, and treat you as a joke.  An annoying joke, a joke with a FSKING special character in their name, but still a joke.  And just as an aside, people with special characters in your names, I hate you all.  I cannot type your names, and I never plan to.  Having to go look up a special characters table just so you can be Legolas or Killbot or something else, well, it does not make you cool.

At the end Skull of somebody or other drops.  I look, think "ooh, a nice replacement for Mark of the War Prisoner" for my shadow set.   I roll, and hey 100.  Yays, trinket is mine.  But noes, trinket goes to dickus.  Who has pretty decent gear with a lowest ilevel of 251, compared to my lowest ilevel of 200 (stupid offhand).

Just kinda annoyed me.  If it had been a heroic Solace or something like that, I'd be really pissed, but the Skull, while nice, is not that important to me.  Oh, and his trinkets were Purified Lunar Dust and Sliver of Pure Ice.  No clue how good those are for restoration.

I got to see the content, which was important to me, but now I feel like the raid was tainted.  Like if he hadn't been there it would have been better.   But now I know not to go on any raids he's on, or on any raids run by that leader.  And I got an achievement out of it.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Random Tuesday Thoughts

Well, it's another tuesday which means RANDOM THOUGHTS! (and yes, blogger says it is Wednesday, but in my world Tuesday isn't over till after I've gone to bed.  Yes, I just ignore the midnight day change thing)

I came up with the perfect worgen caster name, so I rolled a placeholder rogue (had to delete Aidelyn to do so, sadly).  I blame the datamined caster animations for female worgen.  Very cool-looking.

I've also been pvping more, on all my toons.  Though it is fail of a rather amusing sort when my elemental spec'd lvl 41 shaman is the top healer in Arathi, doubling the heals of any other toon.  Especially since I died.  A lot.  Squish, squish, squish.  I'm also getting slightly better at pvping on Lyllea, and just got enough honor for a mount.  I'm even (shock and horror!) pondering getting actual pvp gear.  The kind that doesn't come from VOA.  Oh, and one of those get out of jail free trinkets.  That'd be nice.

There was also a very odd toc 25.  I ended up tank healing (I never do that, and while I'm not bad at it, I am VERY bad at staying alive while tank-healing.  Wicked tunnel vision issues).  I died on every fight I never die on (Twins, beasts, Anub) and didn't die in Faction Champs.  For the first time ever.  I always die in that fight.  I credit my survival to my pvp gear (yay quicker cooldown on Psychic Scream).

My druid hit 70 so she could do the Northrend orphan quests, and my pally hit 325 blacksmithing.  Finally over the thorium hump, thank goodness.

As far as the leaks of Cat, I did pay some attention to them (worgen models), but I am kinda trying to avoid lore and zone changes.  Don't care about being spoiled for class changes, since that's so fluid anyway, and I like seeing the new character models early, but I am actively avoiding further lore/zone spoilers.  I have a vague sense of what's going to happen, and that's good enough for me.  Until then, I'll raid (guild has a toc scheduled tomorrow, which should be fun) and level alts and maybe gear them and pvp and generally just relax and have fun.

Ooh, and in the rumors that are hopefully true department, I hear that the Horde on Shadow Council may be tired of Wintergrasp.  Or at least tired of the lack of challenge Alliance generally offers.  What can I say, most allies on my server really don't care.  Be nice if the Horde didn't too, so that we had it a bit more.  Not that I can say much, the last time I WGed, I got stuck on a column for the entire fight.  Brilliant me forgot there's no flying once the battle starts.

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Paladin Charger to (alliance side)

This is one of my "Stuff to get done before Cat" walkthroughs.  The paladin questline is full of nice lore, and I think it's well-worth the gold and trouble.  You start with two quests, the Work of Grimand Elmore and Emphasis on Sacrifice.
So, starting with the work quest, you'll need to go get some stuff.  Grab your Argent Dawn commission and clear Stratholme for holy water.  Ideally grab 10 so you can also do a turn in quest at Light's Hope.  Then you just need 10 Arthas Tears (herb, generally found in W and E Plaguelands), 40 pieces of runecloth, and 6 arcanite bars (made via an alchemy transmute).  Running Strat should also get you to friendly with the Argent Dawn so you can get mana biscuits, head to Southshore, and get your horse food.

At this point you need to get the sacrifice questline done.  Go give some gold, get your censor, and head to the northwestern corner of Eastern Plaguelands.  Stand in green circles, cense them, and slaughter.   Return to your questgiver and prepare for some more dungeon-running

 Then here's the fun bit... Dire Maul West.

Assuming you've never set foot there, the easiest thing to do is to run into Dire Maul East, die, then run back into Dire Maul West.  It saves you running East for the key.
Now, you don't have to do all of West.  In fact, all you need to do is....
kill all the big patrolling tree guys in the first room.  Be careful, they knock back!  Then you head to the next room, down the stairs, and slaughter the boss.  The horse should then show up, talk to it, and get your barding blessed.  Then grab a Azerothian diamond and a pristine black diamond, and head back to Grayson.
Note: I did need to respec Adowa to prot for this, since she wasn't quite high enough level-wise to easily survive as ret.

Now you're almost done.  Just need to get into Scholo, clear down to the Osstuary and do some judging.  I ran into a slight hitch with needing the key to Scholo, and then getting hopelessly lost and then forgetting my satchel.
So, if you need the key here's the wowhead link to the questline
Otherwise, head in, and jump off the walkway to the right.  Kill stuff. Stay close to the wall, take the door on the left, and slowly make your way through the whelps room, down the stairs, and you're where you need to be.  Kill Rattlegore and all the other skelies, then make sure you have your judgements ready to go.  Your order is Wisdom, Justice, Righeousness, Light.
You'll get 2-4 spirits spawning, slaughter them, and repeat till the Aspect pops.  Kill him, switch judgments, and repeat.  The last series spawns slower, so don't worry.  Once the last Aspect dies, the death knight appears.  Kill him, use the soul in your bags (make sure it's in your bags first or it's a long ride back from the bank), and then you have your very own personalized charger.

I ended up waiting till 73 because I am paranoid, and also because I got distracted.  I did end up clearing Scholo by myself, and the only real problems I had were getting lost and forgetting my quest items.  Luckily the dungeon didn't reset, so I was able to hearth, grab them, clean out my bags, and head back.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Children's Week: bugs are annoying

Well, while most people are talking about the alpha Cataclysm leaks, I've been trying to get my pets for Children's week on as many toons as possible.  And I ran headfirst into an annoying (but not game-breaking) bug.  My hunter (and first 80 and former main) did the Northrend Orphan quests when they were first made available last year.  Sadly this means she CANNOT repeat them  for the other faction.  Heck, she can't do the quests for the faction she chose either. Now, I thought at first that this was because she's revered with the Oracles so the Frenzyheart Orphan not being available makes sense.  But after picking these quests up on Lyllea and Adowa, neither of whom has ever heard of either faction, I got rather frustrated.  So I went and killed Timbermaw (wtb Diplomat before Cat).

I had decided that tomorrow I was going to switch factions and try again, when lo and behold, posted on the subject complete with a couple blue posts, which I am reproducing in full...

We are aware of the issue that is currently affecting the Children's Week quest line in Dalaran which does not allow players who have completed the quest line last year to take part in it again this year. We do not currently have a fix planned to address this issue at this point in time.

 Bashlok -- Dalaran Children's Week Quest Line Issue
To clarify, this issue won't be able to be resolved for Children's Week this year. If you completed the quest previously you won't be able to complete it again for the other pet this year.

Now, I understand bad bugs. I accept that my hunter will not be able to get a Frenzyheart orphan. That's okay. BUT, this could have been handled better from the beginning. If you're not meant to repeat the Northrend Orphan quests, having the questgiver say so CLEARLY would have been nice. Or, having a blue post or log in post to that effect. Instead, we get no info for several days and then get told the issue cannot be resolved before the end of the week. While I find that annoying, I'm not going to quit over it. I am annoyed though.

So, if I were in charge of Q&A (or whatever department tries to find bugs) at Blizzard, what would I have done?
Tested the Northrend Orphan quests prior to release with a toon that had done them when they were available last year. Given that the Cat Alpha is ongoing (and most of my manpower's dealing with that) and most of the rest are working with bugs on live servers, it would probably be difficult to find the time. But an hour or two spent testing before this event started would have saved a great deal of player aggravation, GM time, and bad PR now. Plus, if the bug had been found ahead of time, other measures could have been put in place and there would have been more time to fix it. If the bug is something very complicated, Children's Week could have been extended or split. You could have two Children's Weeks, one for Old World and Outlands, and one for Northrend. I'd be like Greek Orthodox Easter and regular/Protestant/Catholic Easter. Two traditions celebrating the same thing, just at slightly different times. After all, given Northrend's relative isolation until recently, there's no reason their calendar and the Old World one would sync.

Just a bit of QQ and armchair quarterbacking on my part, but I really do feel that this should have been handled differently.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Random Tuesday Thoughts

The cataclysm leaks have started...cataclysm screenshot of Deathwing.  Dunno if it's legit or not, but it certainly looks cool.   I do promise not to spam alpha leaks, but I liked the look of this one.  My current plan is to link to others who have posted it rather than post it here, so those who want to avoid spoilers can.

Children's week is underway, complete with bugs.  I just want a little Wolvar to go with my little Oracle, and hopefully when I log back in I can get one.

I may have actually gotten the hang of feral kitty, but killing the ogres in Nagrand is a pita.  Stupid level 80s, stealing my quest mobs.

With the 15% buff live, I need to try to get into ICC again.  I'd like to get beyond Putricide.  Don't really care about the gear, but I want to see the fights.