Developer and Player Disconnect

I usually don’t jump all over Ghostcrawler at the slightest provocation. (Though it does sound like fun) But for once I’m going to weigh in on what I feel is the obvious disconnect the developers seem to have. (I’m not judgmental…no not at all. Ghosty seems to indicate  Wild Growth needs its cooldown increased. I really want to talk about this because the problems with Wild Growth and Circle of Healing spamming have been here since BC. I remember being on Pookie and hearing healers complain vocally about priests CoH spamming and it being a sign of a poor healer. Since those days, those halcyon days in Karazan the spamming of these spells has been a badge of shame for any healer. To combat this kneejerk spamming Blizzard introduced a cooldown, currently at 6seconds. (more…)

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Published in: on April 28, 2010 at 3:56 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Pugscore!

Overall, I have held a secret disdain for GearScore. Partly, because I believe skill travels with a person and just because their gear isn’t the best doesn’t mean their ability isn’t there; especially true given the plethora toons players have. Being benched for a 10man on Zhavi, I snaked into a 25ICC pug last week with Jairone (who has returned from his sabbatical). I was more than a little surprised to see myself get slotted given on Delith. I loves her and I spend time getting her geared outside of raids but *shrugs* they took me; they were aware I already knew the fights and I think that helped. For a team that hadn’t worked together the run went very smooth, atmosphere was very calm and collected, and we got to Putricide in under 2 hours. Kudos out to Raiders of the Lost Pug for putting it together and making a pug not just successful but enjoyable to boot! Obviously, Gearscore can help with building a good pug (since RotLP were doing checks on everyone to get in) but I can’t entirely dismiss my initial reaction. Not when I have listened to a warlock in my guild explain to me that he doesn’t know what he is doing wrong because he has 5XXX gearscore and can’t crack over 3k dps using the standard rotation. Instead of breaking down and ensuring the gear he is wearing is maximizing his abilities and talents, he looked at the gear number.

This really has been the trend for Delith’s runs, traditionally I get her in a pug and they are just very calm events. Given how bad pugs I have been in, in the past it is very refreshing. Progression runs on Zhavi always end up stress filled nights, you want every kill to go perfect to maximize time on the progression boss (Lich King may you die a thousand deaths!) so there is always that edge on raid nights.  Hopefully, Delith’s runs will stay calm and wonderful events. I don’t have a complaint about her raiding for the last month. *knocks on wood*

Published in: on April 19, 2010 at 8:42 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Patch 3.3.3 Descends Upon the World of Disc

It is PATCH DAY!!!! *cheers are heard over the land*

There are two interesting changes for us Disc priests. Are they nummy morsels for us to love? Well…sorta

Renewed Hope is changing: 60 seconds instead of 20 but with a 20 sec cooldown.

Previously, this meant a disc priest could give their raid, constant 3% mitigation each and every fight. This is only a problem for fights like Sindrigosa where your disc priest can (and likely will) be frost tombed and the Renewed Hope falls off. Actually, looking directly at this fight I can see where the increased duration will come in handy. With so much raid damage flying around having the extra time on Renewed Hope will give more of a buffer if/when your priest gets frozen.

But the 20 second cooldown *shrug* I had written out this brilliant rant about it until my brain kicked in and I sat and thought about it instead of knee jerked it. 20sec out of the 60 sec the buff is active which means by the time it falls off the cooldown is over and you are casting it again. The only change I see is that instead of having the buff renewed with every shield I cast there will be a pause where for 20 seconds it doesn’t renew.

Overall, it is a gain. I don’t see this change affecting the way we cast PW:S or the amount of time the raid is receiving the buff, expect for specific situations such as Sindrigosa. For these situations it is a net gain for the raid as a whole. As the Disc Moto says: Less Damage Taken is Less Damage Healed.

Tier 10 4piece set changes!

10% increase to Circle of Healing and 5% to Power Word: Shield

I keep my eyes on the forums and heard the complaints that the bonus lacks the sexiness of hoped for after the lackluster bonus previously. Honestly, it doesn’t bother me. Looking purely from a disc point of view they increased the effectiveness of my core ability.

There have been some arguments that the division of the bonus is unfairly weighted to holy priest. First, their % is higher and in a single cast affects more members. Second, they can take advantage of the increased PW:S whereas a disc priest only benefits from the PW:S portion as they lack CoH.

To address the first complaint: Where they CoH% is higher, this spell is on a 6sec cooldown where PW:S is an instant cast on the Global cooldown. Also a holy priest has minimal control on who CoH will heal, what control they have is based on who they are centering the spell off of. IE choosing to cast it on melee vs. range clusters. Disc chooses who is going to get their shields with pinpoint accuracy. Ultimately, it doesn’t bother me that the coefficients aren’t the same. Do I wish they were the same? Sure! I want 10% more shields…what disc priest wouldn’t?

As for the second issue of fairness: This is typical of the problems endemic to gearing tier pieces for a class that has two viable healing specs. Do I think it is a problem? Yes. I would have preferred to see the bonus tied to a talent in Disc since CoH is a spell gained by Holy priests via a talent. I wouldn’t even ask that the spell be tied as deep into our tree as CoH is in Holy. Perhaps tie it to Improved Power Word: Shield, the spell isn’t deep in our tree which would allow it hybrid priests to benefit from it as well.

All this aside, it doesn’t bring a holy priest’s shields on par with a disc which would be my only concern. *Points up to the start of the post* Is it fair that holy gets 10% bonus to CoH and 5% Shields and disc only gets 5% shields out of the same gear? Nope. Short of tying the 5% to a talent (like the CoH is) I don’t see it changing however. I’m glad to see the bonus makes more sense and is a solid bonus to both holy and disc priests instead of a proc the way it was before.

Published in: on March 23, 2010 at 5:38 pm  Comments (2)  
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Preparing for Progression Nights

On top of the usual buff food, flash/elixer, and gold for repair bills there are some of things you need to do to be ready for the long pushes on progression night. One thing above all others though will help make progression night run more smoothly (assuming you brought those consumables 😉 )

Strategies!

Take the time to research strategies for the bosses you anticipate encountering or for bosses your group struggles to down.

TankSpot has some great video guides to go along with their written guides. Bosskillers has also added what they call a talk through with video to their written guides. Seeing the encounter goes along way with instructions. Even if your group uses a different strat. than the one shown you at least know what to look for in the fight. Usually over vent I hear “Now that we have all seen the fight….” I can’t stress enough how having seen the fight can help you execute the fight.

I really do feel that video guides are the way to go on researching a fight, however if you prefer to read the strat. both sites do offer well done written guides. If your team is having problems both options is likely the way to go. The more ways you have to do something the more likely you are to find what will work for your raid groups makeup and play level.

Class forums and blogs are another great way to get a handle on a boss. I keep an eye on World of Matticus and Plus Heal‘s instance forums for strats and to get an idea of where other groups are struggling compared to my own. Sometimes knowing other people beat their head on the same issues saps the frustration a bit. Plus Heal actually got me reading Upyursh (say that 5 times fast!) because of the well thought out posts there and the blog has some good break downs of the ICC fights as well.

I know research sucks and it means you can’t multitask because you have to pay attention, but it beats wiping. In my book anything that cuts down on wiping and the shrinking of my gold is a good thing. Take the time out of your day sit down and watch a video or two, read a blog or forum, and get ready to kill some bosses! 🙂


Published in: on January 20, 2010 at 9:50 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Addon Spotlight: Surgeon General

Our charter’s heal lead wasn’t there last Tuesday and by the power of healer voting I got to be the Temp for the day. The thought of being lead of the healers stresses me out at the thought. It is a balancing act of peoples’ strengths, weaknesses, knowing the fights, and typing assignments fast. (Really it is the last part that gets me) Except…that last part is a lie. Behold the power of Surgeon General! *cues the epic AWWWWWWW music*

A huge thank you to Tyrilian for letting me know /sg will pull up the menu for SG once installed. I didn’t have a chance to read over the mod before installing it again. I had it installed ages ago but never had the need to use it. Although, after that it was pretty straight forward to use and is updated for ICC. ❤ I auto populated my healers and only needed to add one, a priest rocking a disc/holy hybrid the mod didn’t recognize. The save feature meant I could assign people for all the fights I knew ahead of time and not worry about it for the rest of the night.

Pros:

Auto populate healers in your raid

Manual add anyone missed (great for dual spec people flipping between fights)

Announce assignments to custom channel or to raid

Multiple phase assignments options

Save assignments by raid, boss, and trash

Make change on the fly

Cons:

If you crash you will lose your assignments

Doesn’t recognize hybrid heal specs (ie disc/holy)

Honestly, I lucked out between SG making my life easier so I wasn’t freaking out about typing out assignments fast enough for everyone and our core heal group being all present. By no means will I say that being Heal Lead is easy. But if you had to step up at the last minute I would suggest Surgeon General for your assignment needs!

This mod has earned the Lenelie’s Voice Seal of Approval *loud stamping sound*

Published in: on January 12, 2010 at 10:57 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The High of the Game

It is amazing what a week makes!

Overall the changes with 3.3 haven’t affected my beloved Zhavi much at all. I’ve always consumed more mana in 5mans than 10-25man raiding and that hasn’t changed. Though, Heroic Halls of Reflection tested my love of mobs in waves. (Which I actually enjoyed during Hyjel…sick I know!) I found my self using Pain Suppression on the tank for added reaction time and Hymn of Hope for mana. That fight might be the only thing to get me to drink mp5 flasks. I always prefer the sweet taste of more spellpower to mana in the handy dandy flasks, but H HOF had me panting. And I liked it!

It has been a long time (read since General V in Uld) since I’ve strained my mana pool so thin. Perhaps it is the rush of knowing you are giving it your character’s all and then coming away with the win. There are certainly highs and lows with gaming and raiding specifically. Running to the wire always leaves me walking away with a high. I could tell you that I’ve had lows but given the time I’ve taken off both WoW and the blog speak enough to how burnt out I was feeling.

This could be on the mind because I watched a documentary on gamers last night. E-@thletes takes a look at competitive Counterstrike teams and tracks their story and performance through some competitions and the changing landscape of competitive gaming. The interviews are a few years old but general it documentary held up pretty well. The two followed in the movie are 3D and Complexity. I won’t give it all away because it is actually worth the watch. The Hub and I found ourselves pausing the movie to debate things said and behaviors we noticed. E-@thletes definitely engaged my mind in how I view the competitive nature of the games we play.

Right, now a lot of us are riding the wave of new content and shiny new toys. Inevitably, the lows will return. For now, I’m going to enjoy being pushed to the edge of my mana pool and be glad my tank is still standing and the boss isn’t! J OH! And if you get in a pug with a rest druid named Delith try not to give her too hard a time 😉

Published in: on December 15, 2009 at 7:06 pm  Leave a Comment  
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3.3 Has Landed!

Tuesday’s raiding was fraught with the usual problems of a patch day. Though no connection issues for our people this time which makes it highly unusual.

The new LFG interface is pretty snazzy. My druid got into a kicking little COS run using it. My expectations for the group were low, especially considering we had a pally in mostly blue/greens. Color me shocked when we stomped through the instance with 6+min to spare. Lost the roll, but then I don’t have epic flying on her yet…what! I’m cheap I admit that. The second time my under geared druid got thrown to the wolf that is Forge of Souls…I love the PUG I got stuck with though for putting up with me; first time there and I knew nothing about the fights etc.

Bringing us back to the Raiding…I was pleasantly surprised with Icecrown Citadel. Specifically the overall ambiance of the raid and the musical score. But what really peached me? Being asked to shackle! I’m not sure why shackling makes me giddy, but it does. There are casters on the way to Lord Marrowgar. Tuesday our 25man wasn’t able to get in sync to down him 😦 However, Wednesday our 10man group downed him and then danced upon the crushed bones of his body. *re-enacts dance for you* Like so. Although, we were stopped at Lady Deathwhisper. Partly due to dps on the shields and finally because of player connectivity.

I’ll point out Blizzard’s refusal to give me cool looking clothing persists, but I knew they weren’t going to cave to my demands for more style and less blah 😉

Published in: on December 11, 2009 at 8:47 pm  Leave a Comment  
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How do you deal with bad raiding environment.

Far too often for my own liking I am driving to rant out of game about the state of my raiding in the game. I raid as often as a I like, so the ability it certainly there. No, it really is the environment in which I raid. I came to my current group in BC as my hunter and still raid with them now as Zhavi. In that time we’ve seen some leadership change up and since Uld a major shift in the behavior of our raids. Looking back, certainly I am at fault in this as well. All too willing to bend until I break. Like Tuesday when having had enough I snapped in raid chat, healer chat, and then in my guild vent after the raid.

There is no excuse for letting a situation go this long. But ever there is a straw that breaks the camel’s back and Tuesday was it. Over the course of Uld and now ToC my raid group has gotten increasingly more hostile to eachother. It doesn’t matter if you are a tank, healer, or DPS we are going to yell at you. As I stated before we didn’t start out that way but really since Uld we have become that way. It isn’t always the leadership 9/10 it will be another member of the raid coming over vent to tell you how stupid you are for not doing X, Y, or Z.  No latitude for lag, disconnection, or anything else. No look at past performance to wonder why someone missed the charging yeti previously but caught this time. No, instead you will hear screaming over vent as at least 2 people, not the raid leads, rip into whoever did it.

Tuesday we raided VoA, ToC, and Ony. For VoA I ignored everything. I’ve been off almost 2 weeks from raiding because I knew this was grinding me down, I was tired of dealing with this crap. But a plea the night before that without healers the raid would be canceled saw myself signing up for a raid I knew I shouldn’t be in. Nothing confirmed this more when we wiped on Ony and my temper exploded. A tank invited me to a fight and I not only accepted, I backed up my argument and let it be known it was time to stop.

See our tank was given the wrong directions for Ony’s breath. As she flew over, not only was he out of range of us, he was in the middle of the fire. (The Shammy healer and I assigned to him not willing to stand in the fire to be close enough to heal him…go figure) A battle rez commences and the tank is back in the fray. However, the delicate tanking balance has changed. There are now 3 large dragonkin and the whelps. He has charged into the middle of them all to grab aggro. (See where this is going yet?) He has their aggro and only 2 healers, he hasn’t been fully buffed because on being rezzed he immediately charged back in. He died. Over vent I hear him telling the raid how he didn’t get any heals and that’s why he died and it is our fault. (that snapping sound you here is the last of my nerves after months of dealing with this coupled with the crappy way we have been treating each other)

I snap back that he was being healed and if he doesn’t know what happened not to say anything at all. All this is  said in raid chat as I don’t have my mic ( I ran it over and the hub spent time fixing it…don’t look at me like that I run over it all the time) Snapping in healer chat I tell the lead there and everyone else I’m done and tired of dealing with this BS. Because I really really am. I’m not the only healer to lose it in fact. Which tells me for sure I’m not the only healer tired of listening to this night after night. It isn’t that the tank talked out of his butt when I know I cast heals on him and saw two ticks of penance hit him before he died. No, I was tired of being in a raid environment where yelling at each other was accepted and condoned.

After the successful death of Ony and the raid was over my adrenaline and anger was amped up enough I walked over into my guild chat to talk to some other friends. Tank and the raid leader come in and I let it go. I really really am tired. Another healer in the chat stated “healers get blamed first every where whats the point?”

But do you? I know for a fact that until we started having problems with Hodir and Thorim the healers didn’t get yelled at this much. I know for a fact people didn’t come over vent and yell at each other. It wasn ‘t allowed it wasn’t accepted. So I put it to them Why are treating each other like crap now when we used to not? When I used to be glad to get on and raid with my friends instead of hate listening to the bickering and bitching all the time.

I say I am to blame because Tues never should’ve happened. I should have gone to my RL and explained what a sheer crappy experience raiding here has become and asked what is going on. I know he has a lot on his plate.

I put it to you in general. Is it acceptable to scream, yell, and treat people like crap? How do you handle it when your raids are ground down or demoralized?

Published in: on October 29, 2009 at 7:18 pm  Comments (6)  
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Zhavi’s Truisms and Random Thoughts of the Week

Sometimes I have random thoughts that materialize into nifty (to me anyways) posts. Sometime they are just the random cluttering within my mind. I would hate to deprive you of my random thoughts of the week please below. More often then not they are inspired by listening to healer chat. So sad.

Bad Raids and Bad Groups Happen.

Sometimes what is bad about a pug can be bad about a guild (charter) run.

Healers will always been the first to be blamed.

My humor and sarcasm are funnier to me than they are to everyone else.

I don’t care no one gets my humor in the middle of a raid when we keep wiping and people are yelling at healers.

Hating your raid group will wear you thin no matter how awesome they kill shit or how much you want the loots.

Hating the instance will wear you thin no matter how much you like your raid group or want the loots.

A bad raid environment or raiding culture is like paying someone to abuse you.

Not paying attention is the hallmark of a bad player.

Not caring is the hallmark of a burned out player.

Not paying attention because you don’t care is the hallmark of someone who needs to /log.

Knowing it is time to /log usually happens well after you are knee deep and sinking faster.

DPS will always whine when they grab agro and die.

Ignore DPS when they whine, they will always whine and ignoring them now will save you headaches later.

When a tank tells you I didn’t get heals for <X amount of time> he is…blaming the healer.

Remember not to attend all the fights dps and tanks invite you to.

When you do attend make sure you can back it up with something witty like, “That is funny I see that <insert actual spells cast> landed on you in that time.” Or if is DPS, “You are right I made the decision to heal the tank so we don’t wipe, my mistake.”

Make friends with a paladin. They will bubble you when it comes to wipe time.

Make sure to rez said paladin first if they do.

Everyone thinks they know how to play a healer.

Most of those everyones are mediocre at best.

Remember we play this because we want to not because we feel guilty other people can’t find healers.

Published in: on October 24, 2009 at 11:49 am  Leave a Comment  
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So You Want to be a Raid Healer

Reading Tankingtips reminded me the healer side of that coin. How do we get into a raiding guild or a prime slot on progression? So here is my take on the whole situation. I’ll be skipping the whole use a guild angle he had. I find it repulsive from a personal standpoint. Also at least on Silver Hand there are plenty of guilds that market themselves as leveling and gearing guilds already so I don’t see the point. I mean if you look in trade or general there are people advertising you a place to level your alt and get runs in with them. Why be deceptive when you can just avail yourself of these guilds? (Of course I am assuming this is true on other servers and may not be)

If you have come to 80 or are fast approaching the current end of your leveling affair you may have cast your sighs on end game raiding. Perhaps trepidation creeps in as you ponder how to go about becoming a raider. Luckily for you the path there is easier and a bit more straightforward than you think.

(more…)

Published in: on October 21, 2009 at 7:58 pm  Leave a Comment  
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