Thursday, April 28, 2011

Wow, that's a lot of red  thunderstorms/tornadoes/ weather that is trying to kill me headed this way. Eeep.

Anyway, I did run Zul'Aman before the weather decided to kill me, and it was fun. Loads of fun. Many purples, and Fun! I managed to pick up new shoulders, a dps caster robe, and gloves, and had a neck drop as well (since I was healing and the neck had to hit on it the mage got first dibs and de'ed it, sigh)

Zul was a blast, and I look forward to (very slowly) finishing the quest chain (stupid two-heals spec!) and running the other dungeon and yes...


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Patch 4.1 Doom, more doom, changes, and oooh, videos!

My computer just downloaded a ton of stuff, we have extended downtime, and they released the video for 4.1....

So, why are there no female trolls in this? Great trailer, but um, why?

And watch this trailer while you're at it. Not because of lack of females, but because it does help with some of the lore of 4.1 and also it is awesome. Plus, Zul' Aman has returned as a dungeon.

Anyway... PATCH STUFF! I am picking out the stuff I care about, so go read the patch notes for full details!
1. I love the idea of guild challenges and am looking forward to them
2. Call to Arms, eh. I'll be more likely to queue if I can get a shiny, but I rather doubt it'll favor healers any time soon.
3. Disc gets nerfed. Owie, Power Word: Barrier cooldown now 3 min, and Power Word: Shield only lasts 15 secs. I said my piece on why I don't like this a while ago, I see no reason to repeat it.
4. No more hunting for corpses for rezing. Good!
5. Interrupts off the global cooldown will now always hit. Tanks and healers no longer have to worry about their interrupts missing because they're not hit capped. YAY!
6. DKs get a battle rez.
7. Lifebloom nerfed, tranquility's cooldown decreased, and efflorescence (aka the green circle) has been redesigned. No clue if resto druids are celebrating or complaining.
8. No more pet happiness system. Oh well. Guess I can clean the pet food out of my hunter's bags.
9. No more pet leveling, anything you tame is your level.
10. Righteous fury now persists through death. Pally tanks everywhere are celebrating.
11. Dispel Magic now only works on the priest as a baseline. So, was shadowpriest dispelling really a big problem? This really annoys me, since I liked being able to help out the healers by dispelling when in shadow.
12. More mind sear damage is nice.
13. Spirit Link totem sounds cool, pity it's a totem. Looking forward to experimenting with it.
14. Dungeon finder now taking armor into account. About time.
15. You get valor points the first 7 times in a week you queue. HAPPY DANCE TIME!

There's also tons of dungeon and raid changes, class changes I don't really care about, guild changes, battleground stuff, world changes, and even UI changes. Go read the notes here,  Me, I'm going to watch Doctor Who, eat fresh strawberries, and plot hitting the new dungeons ASAP.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Friday Funnies

Funny screenshots, because I can!

Yoga on wolf-back.

WWF Redridge

HELP! My guildie's head's being eaten by a FISH!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

New UI Details.

Since I've been fiddling with my UI (again), I figured I'd show the latest incarnation. First off, Lyll's disc setup in a 5 man....
We have the following addons (from lower left corner and going clockwise)...
Shadowed Unit Frames (for my frame, target frame, and focus only)
GupPet (yay pet and mount)
Chatter (chat box mod)
Decursive (those grey squares above the chat)
Chocolate Bar (and assorted plug-ins)
Satrina Buff Frames
Sexy Map
DoTimer (trying this as a replacement for Forte, and so far I like it)
and in the middle is Vuhdo.

Here's the same setup in a raid as holy... You can see BigWigs in here too

And then we have it on leveling alts, first a DK...
 And then a warlock...
You can tell these aren't healing toons because I've done nothing to customize Vuhdo (I'm lazy).

So far I'm pretty happy with this UI, and its' ease of setup across different toons. Only things I really need to customize per toon are the Power Auras (if I bother), Vuhdo, and any sort of special resource (runes, soul shards, holy power sort of thing).

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Call to Arms, Goblins, and other stuff

I've spent some time pondering the Call to Arms, and while I honestly don't know if it'll work or not, I do think there's a couple things Blizz could do to make it more likely to succeed.

1. Allow the call to arms person to queue with one other person and they both get the goodie bag. This would still help with DPS queues, while ensuring that the tank/healer has a friend with them (because instances are more fun with friends).

2. Add mounts that aren't so easy to farm for. Say, raid drops from BC like Ashes or the horse from Kara. I would never suggest adding achievement mounts (ulduar and icc drakes), but how bout the Time-Lost Drake drop, or the Deepholm one?

I've actually run some randoms lately (mostly on the druid), and the only bad behavior I've seen  has been from tanks. One tank dropping after the first boss died, and another dropping after he died (he went out of range of the healer and pulled). But for the most part, groups have been pretty decent.

I also finally got around to rolling a goblin. There's some good moments, but for the most part the starting zone left me cold. There's not the same sense of cohesion that I felt the worgen zone had. I think, like Uldum, there's too many pop culture jokes. I do have one random question though. Do goblins always stand on their mounts, or is that just a starting zone thing? Also, enhancement is really fun. Why did I not know that?

Raiding-wise, we bashed our heads against Atremedes all Thursday night. Part of the problem is my not-so-awesome holy skills. Body and Soul is a great great thing for that fight, but my unfamiliarity with Holy raid healing meant I did stupid stuff like stand in fire. We're hitting Bastion tonight, so I'm going to get some practice with holy in fights I know, which will help.  I felt like a complete failure after Thursday, and I'm hoping tonight will be better.

In the meantime I will probably go back to fiddling around with my lowbie Horde alts. My blood elf DK finally wandered into Hellfire, and was promptly squashed by a fel reaver. It's kinda odd to not be able to fly in Outlands yet, but it's very cool to see things from the Horde side. Plus, with warlocks getting pets of both sexes (YAY!), I can run around with an incubus.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

There was uproar (but I am momentarily ignoring it in favor of screenshots)!

I am ignoring the Call to Arms thing not because I have nothing to say, but because it's late, I'm tired, and I have other stuff to post. Stuff that doesn't require me to be coherent!
 Hey, look, we killed Omnomnom...

 Then we killed Chimereon. Both in the same night. Two first boss kills in the same night is awesome.

 Then I managed to get going down because I forgot I was on the pally who does not have levitate...

 Then we killed Meloriak? I think that's his name. We said hi to blind dragon guy, but his sonar threw us for a loop, so we're going back next week with jamming devices.

 A shaman hit 80, and now I've gotten one of each healing class to 80. Next stop, 85!

And a paladin hit 85, while looting a chest. It was the most epic ding EVER, and was totally accidental. Sadly, the trinket I got is an agility one, but yay gold?

In random otherness, Lyl is now disc/holy. I needed better raid tools, darn it. Stupid alchemist dragon guy with his massive aoes....

Thursday, April 7, 2011

How to Disc, a Simple Guide. Part 1: the tools, speccing, and glyphs

So, you've decided to jump into Cataclysm healing with bubbles, or you're tired of getting trounced on the meters. Either way, welcome to the bubbling side, we have Power Infusion but sadly, no cookies.

First off, disc healing is no longer about spamming PW:S. You do not have the mana pool to support it, trust me. So, here's your spells and when you might wish to use them. Keep in mind that there is no healing rotation, and this is just one way to heal. Also, I'm raid healing, so I talk about spells more from that perspective.

Power Word: Shield-> still important, still useful, but now costs more. In raids I try to keep this up on the tanks, and throw it on dpsers or healers in immediate danger. Try to avoid having shields fall off, you really do want damage to break them for the mana return.
Flash Heal-> Honestly, the only time I use this spell any more is when I hit it by accident. It's expensive, and if I need a fast heal, I have other spells.
Penance->Your fast heal. Also the "crap, about to die" heal and the "yay I can stagger the tank" heal.
Greater Heal-> best used with the borrowed time buff from a pw:s cast. When I need a heal and penance is on cooldown, this is my go-to.
Prayer of Mending-> Keep this Frisbee of healing goodness bouncing. It's cheap and a smart heal.
Prayer of Healing->This is your group heal. It's best used with Inner Focus, and remember it's a group heal, not a raid heal. You need to cast it on someone in the group you want to heal.
Renew->useful as an extra tank cushion or a on-the-move heal for someone who needs to be topped off but isn't going to die immediately
Power Infusion->If you're down to the wire on an enrage, throw on a dps (mage preferably). Otherwise, keep it for yourself for a little extra healing oomph
Pain Suppression-> Your tank-saving cooldown. You could possibly also use it to mess with your tanks, but I wouldn't recommend it.
Leap of Faith-> a way to pull people out of bad stuff, or a way to mess with fellow raiders. You can also use it to help kiters.
Inner Focus->Try to use before as many prayer of healing casts as possible if you're raid-healing
Power Word: Barrier-> great for incoming heavy raid damage, just keep in mind the long cooldown and that people have to stand in it

Inner Fire vs Inner Will->Inner Fire's best used for tank healing, where you need more power to your heals. Inner Will's great for raid healing, as it lets you throw more shields about without going oom and yay faster movement.

Now to the specs and glyphs. Disc priests have a choice to make, spec into Archangel and smite-healing, or not. Archangel does not return enough mana to make up for the mana you used smiting, and you don't have control over who gets healed with the smite. It automatically heals the lowest target within 15 yards, including temporary targets and pets. I'm currently spec'd into archangel, but I'm going to redo that, as I'm really not using it. I like the idea, and I'd say try it both ways, and see which works better for you.
Disc spec without smite and archangel
Disc spec with Archangel
There's some optional points in there, especially in the shadow tree. Personally I'd pick up the spell haste, but that's optional.

Primes: Penance, PW:Barrier, PW: Shield, and/or Prayer of Healing
Majors: Divine Accuracy (for smite builds), Prayer of Mending, and whatever else you'd like to take
Minors: Shadowfiend, Levitate, and whichever other one sounds appealing

Next up, updating the gearing post!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Things I'd like to add to the game...Visual Customization

After reading the latest Dev Q&A on weapons and armor, I was rather disappointed at their comments on the barbershop and visual customization. Personally, I would love more customization, even if it's just more hair colors and hair styles available in the barbershop. I was trying to think about how I would add this, and here's what I've come up with.

I wanted to include as many professions as possible, and allow players to create new looks or copy existing NPCs. I also wanted to give people a reason to go run old content and have players talk about what they're wearing.

Engineers would make a camera-like device. Using it would allow a player to take pictures of any npc. Then you would take the picture and find a tailor, leatherworker, or blacksmith (depending on whether you were wearing cloth, leather/mail, or plate). Give them the picture and they'd be able to change your armor to match it. Now, if you want to look like you're wearing a particular piece of armor, you need to go get that piece if you can't find an npc wearing it. Basically you need something for the crafter to work from, which is pretty reasonable. Photos could even be sold on the AH, so if you manage to get a shot of a rare npc, you could get some gold.

Now, this could cause some PVP problems, but the system could simply be set so that your armor reverts to its original appearance in arenas and bgs. Plus, inspecting you would show the original armor.

I'd also love to see the addition of dyes, made from milled pigments by alchemists.

And yes, this is because I totally want to wander around in a green and silver version of the blood elf guards armor. Plus, my paladin could run around in a dress, and my mage could look like she's wearing plate.

Monday, April 4, 2011

I talk about disc healing

I am a healer again. Okay, I never really stopped being a healer, but I wasn't healing in raids, or 5 mans, or pvp. In fact until last night the last time I'd healed was Oscar Night.

But we had a bit of a raid problem. There's been some reshuffling, and well, you don't really need two shadowpriests in a 10 man. So our awesome resto druid has gone to the dark side, summoning demons for fun and dps, while I've gone back to bubbles.

I managed to top the charts with hps, which does not feel right. I suspect it has something to do with how my shields are counted vs normal heals. My guess (based partly on the overhealing numbers) is that when a shield absorbs X damage and is used up, all X is counted as a heal. It'd actually be quite interesting to see if that even takes armor and other mitigation into account. I know that disc priests have gone from looking horrible on the meters to looking a little too good, which is sad. I honestly do not feel OP. In fact, I feel underpowered, at least when it comes to effective raid healing tools. I end up resorting to shields, simply because I don't feel like I have much else to do. Even with popping Inner Focus, my PoH hits for laughable amounts, so my shields end up being the only way I have to buy time to get people up with Penance and/or Greater Heal.

50% of my healing done last night was PW:S, with the PW:S glyph being another 12%. That seems like quite a bit for one spell, and given the incoming nerf in 4.1, it worries me. I generally have Weakened Soul up on about 3 targets at a time, two of which are our tanks. I'll keep practicing, and working on using my other tools more, and hopefully I'll get to a place where my comfort level is higher.

And in other news....
5/12! Elementium Monstrosity down, with a couple sub 1% wipes.