Monday, October 25, 2010

On the 12th day of 4 (a song parody and random patch thoughts)

It may not be 12 days, but the song parody popped into my head and I ran with it. Just pretend I wrote this a few days ago, k?

On the 12th Day of 4 (because 4.0 is too many syllables)
(sung to the tune of 12 Days of Christmas)
On the 12th day of 4, Blizzard gave to me...
Twelve pallies quitting
Eleven mages porting
Ten tauren a-punting
Nine gnomes giggling
Eight rogues a-ganking
Seven PVPers qqing
Six alts a-leveling
Five Tricky Treats!
Four Hallowed Helms
Three Sinister Squashlings
Two squishy tanks
And a disc priest going shadow!

In actual news...

The meters and I are having a hps love affair. I know it's not right, but damn, they actually count my absorbs without extra addons now.

Heroic 10 man PP is hard. Having two shadowpriests and multiple shadowy apparitions running about makes it more hard. Guess what, even putting on costumes didn't help, cause the apparitions were wearing them too. Best part, you cannot pass Unbound Plague to a shadowy apparition. This caused many deaths.

I like the flexibility smite-healing gives me, but most of the time I'm still healing, not smiting. 

The druid is much more fun than she used to be. I like rolling Lifeblooms on the tank, and I never used Nourish, so I haven't had to adjust much.

The pally is much less fun. Completely new melee dps rotation thingy, plus complete change in how she heals means I don't have much clue what I'm doing on her, and well, my brain cells have other things to figure out. 

I got to see ICC-geared tanks go SQUISH in Ulduar. To trash. Two-shotted. Ouchies.

Rogues are ridiculously fun now. Part of this might be that the rogue in question was level 9 when the patch hit, so it's not like I had to relearn how to play her. This is great, it gives my brain a nice break. Plus, heirlooms+recuperate = I STAB YOU IN THE FACE REPEATEDLY.  Seriously, she's hard to kill now, and herbalism gives her XP. I am saddened by the loss of my Lifebloom heal though.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Disc in 4.0: A FAQ for this brave new world and for confused raid leaders...

1. WTF is my disc priest on the dps meters?
Blizz, in their infinite wisdom, gave disc a few new tools. Among these new tools are Atonement, Evangelism, and Archangel. Atonement heals people when we smite, and damaging stuff gives us levels in Evangelism. We can use these Evangelism levels with Archangel, which gives us mana and increases our healing power for 18 secs. So your priest is smiting to heal people, make their heals more powerful, and get mana back.

2. What role is the disc priest suited for?
A disc priest still has the shields of awesome we have come to know and love. Our tank healing is still quite strong as well, and our group heals not quite so strong. In a 10 man, I'd bring a disc priest in as a tank healer, or as a supplementary healer. Personally, I act as a supplementary healer with a holy pally and a resto shaman. My strong tank heals help keep the tanks up (and wow, do tanks get hurt more now), and my bubbles help prevent damage. I've also got that frisbee of healing goodness bouncing around the raid, and in a pinch I can group heal.

3. Why should I bring a disc priest to raids instead of a shadow priest if they're going to be dpsing anyway?
Well, a disc priest is not going to be dpsing all the time. It's an occasional thing. Also, while a shadow priest does do much more dps, their healing is dumb. A disc priest can smite, turn around and save that mage standing in the bad stuff with penance, throw a few flash heals on people who are getting low, then smite again. Yes, the disc priest is not going to be high on the dps meters, nor should we be. We heal, with a side order of dps when possible. A shadowpriest hurts, with a side order of unintelligent healing.

4. Should disc priests be able to roll main spec on gear with to hit on it?
Honestly, I'm torn on this one. Yes, to hit now has some value for disc priests, but I think it has much more value for the dps casters, and given the amount of competition for cloth, I'd say no. Even if I do want those stupid bracers that drop every week and every week a dps gets them. Grr...

5. Why did my priest suddenly sprout wings?
We drink too much Red Bull now.
Seriously, your priest has wings because they popped Archangel, which increases healing power and mana regen for 18 seconds. The wings are just a lovely side effect.

6. What's that big golden dome thing?
Power Word: Barrier. It's your friend and a group shield. Stand in the dome, please.

7. How has disc healing changed since this new patch?
Well, it depends on the priest. It is currently possible to heal as we've been doing, but given the changes to our class and Blizz's stated intent, many of us are trying this new smite-heal thing.  We still bubble, we still penance, we just smite stuff and pop wings occasionally. Think of it like a holy pally dpsing to get haste or mana or whatever the heck they get when they dps.  For well-geared priests, PW:S, Penance, and Flash Heal are still the winners, with Prayer of Mending (whee frisbee!) and the occasional Renew making an appearance. Less well-geared priests may have switched to Heal. And, of course, everyone tends to heal slightly differently, so one disc priest may Renew every chance they get, and another may Penance, and a third may flash heal.

8. How can I help my priest come to terms with these changes?
Normally I'd suggest running older content, but since I saw two ICC-geared tanks get two-shotted in Ulduar this week, older content might not be so good. Give your priest time to come to terms with their new healing. Don't immediately throw them into the deep end, and give them the freedom to screw up. Switching back and forth between dpsing and healing's a BIG shift in our thinking and the way we do things, and it's going to take some time to become comfortable with it. Give then that time, and be thankful we're trying to learn this new style now, rather than when Cat hits and you want to get into that shiny new raid content.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Patch Impressions... and a NEWSFLASH of AWESOME!

Well, once I got over the "ACK! WTF!" anyway...

First off, tanks are squishier. I actually sorta have to pay attention in heroics. And my mana regen as disc, well, let me put it to you this way: I started a run at 40% mana and by halfway through was full up. Yes, I was healing and using more Penance than I normally do, and my mana regen is BETTER than it was. Go figure. Lyllea is currently rocking a PVE smite spec, which means I get WINGS. WINGS!

That would be Archangel, btw. I smite, I hit it and my healing gets better. Very cool. Also, notice new UI. Some stuff will be changing, but I like it atm. My guild ended up doing a great fun run tonight to get everyone used to the changes. Serpentshire Cavern, Blackrock for Leroy, and then we 11maned Obsidian 25. It was awesome!

Focus is weird, not bad, but weird, and it's going to take me quite a while to get used to it. But oddly enough, hunters are not the most confusing class atm. Neither are druids (boomkin is awesome even with the Insect Swarm bug), or priests. Yup, the pally's thrown me for a loop. New resource+new attacks/spells=confused me.

All my 80s are mostly set up (the pally still needs work), and I ended up taking a brain break for a bit. Hit my baby mage, did a random, and discovered that nothing much had changed, except for one tidbit of great!

Mining gives you XP now!!!!!

It's so cool. Yup, tons of stuff is broken, one of my addons won't let me log out, and I can't figure out how to pally or tree, but MINING GIVES XP AND I HAVE WINGS! Best patch ever.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Patch Day Survival Guide

1) Relax. Do NOT panic or freak or stress out. Stuff has changed. Hopefully it has changed for the better.

2) Things will be broken and/or screwy. Accept this. I would not recommend attempting anything major, like progression raiding, for a day or so. Maybe go do a fun run or two. That should help you get used to the new way of things while giving you a nice cushion for failure.

3) Update your addons. While you're at it, figure out what addons are musts and update them and get alternatives for them. For example, one of my musts is vuhdo. If vuhdo is borked, well, I know that my options include healbot and grid/clique. It's also a good time to see what addons you can live without, and a good time to check out the changes to the default ui.

4) Your class has changed. Find info on said changes. Here's a lovely compilation for patch 4.0.

5) Don't overwhelm yourself! If you have more than one toon that's changing dramatically, focus on one at a time. Allow yourself to process and understand the changes on one toon before moving to the next.

Again, relax. Don't stress out too much. It's a game. And to hopefully make you smile and remember why you love wow I give you random awesome machima!

Boom De Yada

Lament of the Highborne

Big Blue Dress

DON'T PANIC! Keep calm and carry on.

It's a brave new world out there now. 4.0 is hitting (and breaking) the servers, and well, I dunno about you but I thought I had another week or so to prepare.

So, yup, I am NOT prepared. I know what pet I'm using (yay Dragonhawk), but I have no idea of hunter specs, rotations, or glyphs.  I know disc has two viable specs, smite and um, not smite, and there's this handy-dandy explanation and specs and stuff which I will be using. But shadow, yeah, shadow I have no clue. My current rotation was working in the Cat beta, so I may stick to that. As far as the pally and druid go, well, um, I know I have holy power on one and an eclipse bar on the other.

My current plans when the server comes back up are....
1) Cut and post every bold and bright cardinal ruby I can get my hands on. Lots of regemming will hopefully=good profit.
2) See what the glyph market looks like. Jump in. Again, hopefully yay profit. My gold reserves are low due to gearing Adowa, so I'm trying to get some saved back up before Cat.
3) Go get the corehound I want
4) Get Lyllea's shadow spec figured out.
5) Make a ton of mouseover macros for disc healing. I'm expecting Vuhdo to be borked. Actually I'm expecting my entire UI to be borked.

It was rather interesting seeing what people were doing last night. Many of my guildies were trying to get Explorer or Dungeon Hero achieves. Me, well, I spent 8ish hours getting this

 an item with a 1/1000 drop rate of elites in Winterspring. And why?
Because a) I knew I wouldn't be able to do it once 4.0 hit, b) it's a piece of WoW history, and c) it looks DAMN sexy. Yup, I got me the epic quiver from Vanilla WoW just before quivers turned into bags. I'm kinda hoping the appearance stays after it's changed, but I'm not expecting it. Oh, I really wouldn't recommend farming for something with a 1/1000 drop rate when you've only got hours left before it's gone forever. It's a BIT stressful. So go get those Azure Whelplings now folks! (I got one yesterday, but I'm going to try for at least one more so I can keep one and sell one for a ridiculous amount of gold).

Sunday, October 10, 2010

BETA: Random Useful Links

I have been wandering round the net, as I am prone to do, and I found a couple useful beta info thingies. Figured I'd share...

First, for all you hunters out there. You know our pets are changing (like our class and our resource), but do you know how to select which pet to bring to a raid? Our viable options (viable as in you can justify them without going "cause I want to") will vastly increase. You want a buff, well, our pets are bringing all sorts of sexy buffs. And by sexy I mean stuff like Heroism, Blessing of Kings, 5% crit, 8% spell damage, good stuff like that. Now, the beast masters get the best ones, cause well, they're all about the pets, but there's a lot to love for all of us. Only problem is deciding what's best for any particular group.

Well, thats where this awesome Petopia thread comes in. Scroll down to see a lovely flowchart which walks you through a pet selection process. Plus, it lays out the pvp abilities as well, and has a spreadsheet! Great thread, and one I know I'll be referring to when I request Gariath bring a particular pet. Me, if I'm raiding on my hunter I'm probably bringing Eriador, my dragonhawk. I miss having him around.

Second, archeology. I fiddled around with this in beta, it's nifty, and hey, here's an excellent guide to it, written by Mitarn.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to keep hunting a dragon. He's got this sinew that, when combined with a leaf and patch 4.something, will turn into a 24 slot bag.  Here, dragon dragon dragon!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Time to cash in those emblems and honor! Now what do you spend them on?

Well, Tarinae over at A Healadin's Tear has posted a lovely entry on the emblem/honor change that's coming, and what everything will cost.
It's a really good post so go read it, then come back...
You back?

Now, like me you may now be wondering "Wtf do I spend my emblems and honor on?" Especially if you had been saving them, thinking that they'd have a better transfer rate and thus you could get a head start on gear when Cat hits.
First off, emblems.
You can...
1) get an offset/leveling gear. For example, my druid may be leveling as feral so I could use her emblems to get some good feral gear for leveling.

2) if you have all the offsets and/or leveling gear you could ever want, how about heirlooms? You may have gotten all the ones you need for your worgen or goblin, but having a few extra around never hurts. So, here's the ones I'd recommend based solely on how many different specs/classes can use them...
   First off, the Swift Hand of Justice.  This trinket is at least vaguely useful for every class and spec in the game. Sure haste isn't great for everyone, but self-healing is. No matter what alt you roll, they can use this trinket.  The other trinket I'd recommend,  Discerning Eye of the Beast, is a nice one for any mana-using class.
   Second, armor. Given the xp bonus, giving a new alt the shoulders and chest is a great thing to do. Obviously, the cloth ones can be used by everyone, and they're great for mages, warlocks, priests, resto and boomkin druids, elemental and resto shamans, and holy pallies. If you don't already have them, I would make these your next heirloom investment.  The plate's next, since DKs, warriors, and prot and ret pallies can use them, then the physical leather ones for hunters, feral druids, and rogues. You might want to look into getting the PVP leather shoulders for 200 Stone Keeper's Shards instead of the pve ones, since the pvp ones have agility. Once you've bought all of the above, you've got armor for any toon you might want to level.
   Third, weaponry. The caster staff is going to be a decent choice for many classes, even elemental and resto shamans (since offhands are not so easy to come by). The only caster spec the staff is useless for is a holy pally. If you're looking for physical dps weapons, the choice is a bit more complicated. The two-handed axe is a good way to go for pallies, warriors, and DKs. It's at least usable by enhancement shamans, though dual-wielding is probably the way to go there. For feral druids, rogues, and enhancement shamans, the Venerable Mass of McGowen is a good one handed choice.  It's also not a bad choice (but not ideal) for prot warriors and pallies.

If you're rolling a particular class come Cat, and want to get heirlooms for that, I'd suggest Psyinster's Heirloom Purchasing Guide

3)Epic gems. Or Primordial Saronite. Stuff you can sell in the AH for gold.

Now, what to do with all that honor? Honestly, I'd say MOUNTS! There are several pvp mounts you buy with honor, and a full list of the alliance ones is here. At 50k a piece, they may not seem cheap, but you can make 10k honor in an evening just through random BGs and Wintergrasp. You could also invest in pvp gear, and I'm planning on getting one pvp trinket for each toon, just because I figure I will do some leveling in BGs and it'll come in handy.

Hopefully I gave you some ideas. I'm sure I missed stuff you can buy, so feel free to mention them in comments.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

I'm not sure how this happened....

Here's the situation. Lyllea runs with Murderotica, and I love them. She does their heroic icc 10 man group.
Garetia runs mostly with Silver Dragoons. She does icc 10 with them (except for this week when she went with Murderotica's B icc 10 because I knew I wasn't going to make SD's run).
And now we have Adowa. The B Icc 10 needs melee dps. I have a pally. Said pally is ret/holy. And I have fun with the B icc10 and Garetia can't run with them (because she's committed to SD).

So I volunteered to be melee dps. And now I have (or will have) 3 raiding toons. One healer/ranged, one ranged, and one melee. So, time to be horribly confused....

I now need to keep 3 gearing things in my head. Lyllea's automatic at this point, and her major upgrades are going to be from getting tokens for the upgraded tier 10.  Oh, and I should probably occasionally pug icc25 for the stupid trinket.

Garetia's not too difficult, I just have to keep checking the spreadsheet to make sure armor pen isn't better than agility. As far as secondary stats: crit yay, arp and ap yay, expertise and haste boo and to hit is double boo. She's decently enough geared that I'm not worrying about her much.

And Adowa. So far I have strength is awesome. I would guess crit is good, dunno about haste, and I should probably find out what my hit cap is. I should also check her spec and figure out what upgrades to buy. Is tier 9 decent for ret?  Oh, and professions. Obviously I need to max her BSing, and um, wth does engineering give me other than goggles? Not that goggles aren't awesome. And of course, what do I need to get from heroics vs badges, and what reps should I pay attention to?  Also, what do I do while waiting for the queue?

We're not even going to discuss my needing to get used to moving around a LOT more.

Yes, eventually I'll figure this all out. Just not right now. After regemming Garetia and fiddling with Adowa's gear, my brain's fried. Time to go to bed.