A Bear with Soul or How to Hold Up a Boss Fuzzy Style

After giving Rython a chance to expand my (and hopefully your) knowledge of tank prep, I got to thinking, “Who else could I tap with extensive raid knowledge?” ideally to pump them mercilessly for information and gleefully pass it along to you. Soulecho came to mind immediately. In BC Rython and Soulecho were the Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid of tanking. No, no the metaphor works I swear! Two tanks holding up a boss, keeping him busy while the rest of us (the Wild Bunch) loot to our hearts content. (Or am I the only one that sees raiding as a western?)…

Where was I? Oh yes! Soulecho has been a fuzzy tank since I started raiding with my hunter in BC and he still does OT duty come Lich King. So with all this bear experience who better to give aspiring fuzzy tanks some tips and hints along the way?

Do you know who Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid are? And if so which would you be?

I’d like to be Butch, but the way raid leaders treat me as primarily as an OT all the time, although I have Mt capability, I’d say I’m the Sundance Kid atm.

I know that the mechanics for bear tanking works different from say Warrior or Pally tanking. What would you say is one of the biggest misconceptions you find about bear tanks?

The first is in alignment with my entering statement, that we can’t be Main tanks. The idea that most fights have to be done by warrior, pallies, or even now dk’s is ridiculous. I know most bear tanks, which are good at what they do, are very good and have the capability, given the place and time to do it, are main tanks. Really that’s the one that comes to my head at the moment when it comes to misconceptions

I hear a lot of new bears talking about how they are ready to tank because of their huge health pool, but is that all there is to it?

Health is a big part of it, but I find the idea of bears stacking 24 stamina gems into all of their slots, a very bad move. Mainly because druid tanks are not only about health, they are about health, dodge, and armor. So if you avoid putting any dodge or agility on and in anything you lose a vital part of what bear tanking is and will be vulnerable to taking more damage. Because no matter how much health you have, if you have no dodge or armor you will die super fast.

For that new to 80 bear just now looking to heroics how do you start weighting your stats?

The main stats as a tanking spec to worry about are stamina, agility, armor and dodge. Now dodge comes with a lot of agility as well as armor. You want to build these all respectively while gearing up. But once you feel comfortable with a good enough dodge and armor check, then good idea to build into health

What are your go to abilities/talents? Is there an ‘OH SHIT!’ one, or one to pull it out of the fire?

My “oh shit” abilities are frenzied regeneration + survival of the fittest. With these two combined I get a big boost in health plus a boost form healing cause of my frenzy glyph

Is there an ability lot of people over look that you find is a gem?

Barkskin end of story

Take on upcoming 3.10 patch changes?

Well so far the only druid change is a big one, and currently I don’t like the idea one bit. I mean a temporarily shield that takes one hit then we go back to normal, plus having lower overall armor to somehow compensate for giving us a damage shield. It’s blizzards version of trying to fix things. But as usual they fail at most things

Best advice for new Bears?

Don’t do more than you can handle, start light, and build up. When wrath came out I was stuck dpsing for a while because the gear I had from BT and Hyjal didn’t scale for shit so I had to back off and chill out a bit until I build up again. Now I’m on top of the world once more.

Summarized: Use BARKSKIN! Start slow and build your tank gear, keep your stats balanced between health, dodge/agility, and armor, and last but not least always remember to…have fun! (Ok I added that last one but come on!)

Published in: on February 24, 2009 at 4:02 am  Comments (1)  
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Understanding why you want to wear these clothes

Today will be will be discussing…stat weights. To begin we have a few of the many tools out there that allow you to weight stats to sift through gear.All numerical values I use in the example have not been checked for accuracy and exist to illustrate a point.

Rawr

Loot Rank

WowHead

Tank Points

While these are all good tools to use, they are useless if we do not have an understanding of what stat weighting is.Essentially you are giving a numerical value to a stat, the higher the value the more important you find it to be. I admit this is a very simplified explanation but for a more detailed look please see here! The good people at LO happily educated me on the math involved. So lets jump right in and set up some guidelines. For todays example I will break from priests and look at tank stats.

Our tank in todays frigid Northrend wilds needs to start somewhere when looking at his gear to take on forces arrayed before him. But where to start? Everywhere I looked they all said the same thing 540 Defense! But after hitting the magic 540 where do you go from there? Well if you followed the link you would just browse the well done guides and let them lead you by the hand like I did. But you are here and I like the company so lets continue.

Next you will be looking for evasion, hit, expertise and health. All these things will make my life as a healer easier. Now lets assume you have been gathering gear to make 540 def. and now are looking to round yourself out with the other stats I’ve just listed? Its time to create your stat weights!

To do this will we ill need to assign a value to each stat. I prefer to keep my numbers smaller as I find I value certain stats close enough not to warrent a larger spread. You however may be different and see a lack in your gear that desperately needs to be filled. If so you will want a larger spread of numbers.

Example: Currently I weight haste at .06 and crit at .04 I keep all my numbers under 1.

No method is the end all be all. However the larger the number the more ‘weight’ you are giving the stat. So looking at our tank who we will state has the requisite 540 def., how do we want to weight him? First lets go with multiples of 10 up to 100. ie 10, 20, 30

Evasion (why let the boss hit you in the first place?) is split between Dodge and Parry so lets go 50/50 for the sake of argument. ( I have not checked the mat because when I poked around Tank Spot I noticed they had already weighted all gear and posted lists, making me ponder my warrior tank getting dusted off)

Hit (I find this an often overlooked tank skill) you can’t cause threat on a boss if you can’t hit him. We have a hard target of 8%, but we can’t neglect our other stats in the hunt for threat. so we will weight this 30.

Health, need a good bit of HP to be pounded by a boss. So this I’ll give a 40.

And there we have our sample weights! Plug this into Wowhead, Rawr, or Loot Rank and let them compare the gear for you! Tankpoints is specially designed to help tanks with all requisite math built into the mod. YAY!

Well I hope this helps you understand weighting a little more.

Published in: on February 21, 2009 at 4:23 am  Leave a Comment  
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How a Tank Gets Ready-Guest Post

I was going to make this Raid Prep 2, but my Main Tank, Rython, gave such an indepth analysis of what he does to prepare for raids I thought I’d just let him speak for himself and then I’d follow up with Raid Prep 2 in a day or so. But really you need to get to know my tank first.
A little background is in order for you to truly appreciate why I would think of this Prot War as my go to guy. Rython was our MT all through BC to start with. While tanking duties were shared on some fights if I had to say who was the MT leader, Ryth would be the name you heard. Back in the days of BC raiding I sat my hunter butt in the melee channel with the tanks and melee dps. (If you haven’t just sat down and listened to the way your tanks and melee interact, do so. It will tell you volumes about your raid.) Rython has a cool head, talked to the melee and the hunters for that fact. I’ve found some tanks unapproachable but never Ryth. These days when I raid with Wild West (yes I’ve started bringing my healer) I hear Rython handing out raid assignments. There is a deep trust between the raid leaders and Rython to make the right choice.

“At this point in the game, with just farming old bosses I don’t actually do much prep. I just make sure I have a full stack of everything and that I know where we are going and when XD.

When we first started raiding wrath content things were very different (and will be in Uldar again) For every new encounter I watched a video first. I was especially interested in kite paths and movement mechanics. I’m a very visual person and I have to see something to really understand it. I do read up on the encounters as well, then watch the video again.

If something is important and their is a way to practice it before the raid I try to do that as well. Malygos is a perfect example of that. I think I put in a full hour of “Aces High” before I really felt comfortable in phase 3.

Closer to raid time I also look at the roster and see who we have to work with. I don’t handle slotting but if I see an issue the leads may have missed I’ll send a tell to them.

I imagine most people would be surprised (and maybe some wouldn’t) to learn just how much I research equipment. I knew the stats and tankpoint value of every piece of tank gear in the game before I stepped foot into naxx. I also study the points page before each raid.

This leads me to a bit of a tangent: as the main tank I feel its my responsibility to have the best of everything, and I do everything possible to that end. Of course we are on the LO system, and main tank gearing is not an option.

I remember on several occasions in TBC our other tanks with more points passed big upgrades to me to help our progression. And while I appreciate that greatly when it happens, I don’t expect it. I work hard to ensure I have the most points when those rare best-in-slot pieces drop. I probably pass on off-set and 2nd best gear more than any other person we raid with.

It typically works out quite well. I’m extremely well geared at this point, one of the best geared tanks on the server in fact (I’ve been lucky too, I admit). We almost never wipe because I died early, though of course our healers deserve the lion’s share of the credit for that. I just want their job to be as easy as I can make it 8-)”

Of course I wanted to know more! So here is a list of some prep points Rython does. (Do any of them remind you of Raid Prep 1?)

What materials (ie potions) do you gather before going to a raid?
Runic healing Injectors and Indestructible Potions. The indestructible is for tanking bosses that hit hard. You can use two in a fight by popping the 1st right before combat.

Do you bring any crafting materials along for a raid?
I actually carry all the raw gems on my person (I’m a JC) and for uldur I also plan on having all the enchanting kits/mats I might need sitting in my bags ready to go. I did this for naxx and there’s nothing like getting a new piece of gear and using it against the next boss.

Do you bring off spec gear with you?
I don’t bring my dps gear, due to space limitations and the sad fact that prot specced warriors just can’t do worthwhile dps no matter what they are wearing. If we ever get dual spec, that will change.

Anything you feel is a must have/must do for a raid?

I would never want to go into a raid not knowing the encounters. Learning by dying is….. much less fun than winning, imho
I’d also want to make sure I’m comfortable with my interface. Changing your key bindings or frames right before a raid is bad juju

Published in: on February 17, 2009 at 7:10 am  Leave a Comment  
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How to tell your guild, you’re just not into them

Ok  lets start this by making sure my friends know I’m not leaving Eastwind *pets EW* *sends EW chocolates* But a friend ingame mentioned to me, last night in fact, that he was mulling over the decision to leave his guild. What a coinkydink!  Matticus put out this challenge for Valentine’s day themed post. So today we look at the pain of Valentine’s breakups.

1. Decide if you want to leave on a good note. For me this is a no brainer Regardless of what has gone down in your guild there is no reason to leave with a sour taste in everyone’s mouth. You will just come off as a jerk and since you are leaving any derogatory comments will be dismissed. Besides why burn bridges unless you have to. **if you decide not to leave on a good note please skip to step 5,  if you have no friends in the guild go straight to /gquit.

2. Talk with officers or Guild leader about your reasoning. It has been a standing order in all the guilds (2) I’ve been in since BC that officers should contact any members leaving to find out the reasons. Not to try and pressure them to stay but to find out the reasoning. Officers aren’t mind readers. Perhaps your problem is something they can fix if they only knew about it, or something they can work on to make the guild better as a whole if you are leaving regardless. You are a member of a guild; it is your responsibility to let them know if/when problems arise. Nothing hurts more when people up and leave out of the blue. (An opinion I’ve held long before I got the officer tag slapped on my back. Also one I’ve put into practice when leaving guilds. I know its shocking! I haven’t always been with EW)

3. Decide if you are looking for a guild on the side or fly solo for awhile. There are benefits to both. I’ve never really flown solo. Every time I’ve moved guilds; it has been to be with friends I play with more, or who are actually online. When the hub was playing, he would always fly solo, to either give himself time after leaving a guild to ensure he was going where he really wanted (and not a grass is greener scenario) or to avoid the title guild hopper. I bounced more in Vanilla or Classic WoW than BC, 4 guild moves total and 1 of those shouldn’t really count since all the other members left for EQ2 leaving me alone.

4. Let an officer know when you are ready to do it. I know it sounds redundant but I like to give the, “Hey I’m disbanding now” heads up to people. Its giving that last impression which can be lasting.

5. Say your goodbyes. More than likely you have friends on when you are going to /gquit. Say goodbye, if not in chat or tells at least in a quick mail. Who wants to log in and see their favorite tank has left the guild and you forgot their name has some weird character in it and can’t spell it!

Overall I believe in leaving any group of people on a good note. I will admit I’ve left one before with a sour taste in my mouth, but ultimately you do what is best for you and conduct yourself how you see best. Now for those in awesome guilds, its the day after Valentine’s did you give your guild roses and chocolates?

Published in: on February 15, 2009 at 9:04 pm  Comments (2)  
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Its time to be a Boyscout! Raid Prep 1

This is in response to a good friend’s foray into raiding with his guild. I wasn’t there on the raid but having heard the nature of their troubles, both from him and those there, I thought of some steps to help remedy the pains.

Pre-raid Preparedness

1. Read up on your raid. Going to Naxx10 for the first time? Or perhaps your group is running into the same problems over and over. Take the time to research where you are going so you know what to expect. Also know that just because a strategy is posted and popular, it may not be the used. The old adage “there is more than one way to skin a cat” applies. Strat’s change, especially based on group make up, but being prepared for phases and boss abilities goes a long way to raid success.

2. Check your spec. Don’t come to a raid in a pvp spec. If you are a healer come optimized for healing. The same goes for a tank, don’t come ready to pwn noobs, come ready to pwn bosses! By no means am I advocating everyone must play cookie cutter but if you aren’t an experienced raider especially this is important. Take advantage of other’s experience to help guide your spec choice. Or perhaps you pvp on the weekends and have forgotten to switch back? Go offspec to help a friend in a bind? Bottom line: Take a look and make sure you are spec’d ready to rock.

3. Get your consumables. Get the food you want most, don’t assume someone will foot the bill for you and lay down Feats all night long. Get potions/elixirs, these make the night easier. Both of these can make up for gear defencies, especially for the starting raider. Are you under the hit cap? Chomp on some +hit nummies. Not enough Attack power to squeak those dps races? Chug an AP potion or elixir. And let us not forget the all important runic mana and health potions!

4. Make sure you are repaired! Don’t be the one showing up unrepaired and make everyone wait while you run back to repair or worse yet drop a bot for you. (I’ve been on raids where enough people have forgotten to repair they just dropped a bot to cut down on time)

5a.Bring your off spec gear if needed. Now this applies to 25mans way more than 10 mans that’s for sure! But I noticed on a few fights that our Pally tank would switch to healing for a fight he wasn’t needed on.  (Likely because we had two warriors fully capable of tanking that night) I know Wild West’s druid tank always keeps kitty gear with him, just incase. I myself keep +hit gear incase of MC duty. I said ‘if needed’ for a reason, I like to check with my raid leader and see if I need to bring my +hit gear or not.

5b. Bring your resist gear. Now this isn’t as needed if you are going with a group that hasn’t been inside Naxx for the first tiem. However, even if it’s your first time, if you are going with raiders experienced with the instance bring your resist gear! I may or may not have fallen prey to this *whistles and looks innocent* So I’m telling you, if you think you might make it to big bad frosty dragon, get your gear made and have it on you.

6. Prepare yourself that you are going on a raid. It doesn’t matter if you are in a casual guild that hasn’t raided before, or if you are brand new to raiding and going with an experienced group of people. Raids can be a fun and oddly relaxing event, but nothing spoils that more than attitude. Be in the game, pay attention to the instructions being given.

I’m not asking for Herculean efforts, some of these will only need to be done once, or just as refreshers. I make them my quick check list before a raid. Helps me set the mindset…speaking of that will be the next post!

Published in: on February 12, 2009 at 5:01 am  Comments (1)  
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The Addon Debate

*tosses hat into the ring*

This is late coming given the date the little wow blogosphere exploded over the topic. But I like to sit back and digest the views of others before throwing my hat in the ring. Mostly, just because I see it one way doesn’t mean the rest of the world does, and sometimes it gives me a fresh perspective. Mostly it makes me talk to my husband about it that then makes me look at it differently. What can I say; I like being married to the devil’s advocate.

Lets start where I started Vonya’s, WoW’s resident Ego ;), post.

I’d like to begin by starting where I agree with Vonya, who was much maligned for her post after reading those comments. Her statement that a player should be able to play the game sans addons is a good one. Why? Well even with the advance release of patches and content to test servers, allowing for mod makers to get a jump on fixing their addons, they still do break. Even if all my add-ons broke today I’d still be able to play the game. My reaction times might be slower but I could still do it and not too shabbily. I may even remember how to watch for tanks building threat instead of trusting to Omen to tell me.

So to sum up. You should regardless of class be capable of playing with the base UI. I’m not asking for your best game face here, just be competent.

Where I disagree:

The definition of addons, and perhaps I disagree less with Vonya and more with the commenters to the post. Specifically, Shatter’s response to Piper. Piper wisely asked how well she would do if Vonya found herself sans n52 game pad. A valid question given then post. So let me define addon as I see it.

An add-on is any program or item that is not either included in the game or needed for game play. A keyboard and mouse are not add-ons because they are required to play the game. A game pad however is an add-on because it is not a basic equipment to run the game. It’s a nice item that lets you add more buttons to push. It also allows you to create macros which break the game. See the users of the G15 gaming keyboard who found out that using the advanced features of their gaming keyboard broke Bliz’s rules by letting the macros play the game for them.

In my humble opinion it’s jsut as bad if you can’t play without a game pad or if you can’t play if your add-ons in game break. The result is the same, you are dependant on an item outside of the basic game to play, without which you are either unwilling or unable to play without.

Please don’t take away that this is a slam in anyway on Vonya or anyone else who plays with a gamepad. Honestly its not, but the attitude expressed by the commentors that there is a difference between a hardware add on and a program add on I find erroneous.

Oddly it wasn’t until I read Vonya’s post and decided while on vacation that I might actually like to get one. Of course I forgot all about it in the hubbub of coming home and getting resettled in. (It takes me awhile to get past the vacation mindset) Mind you my computer desk doesn’t have the area available to put one…anywhere actually. But I brought it up to my hubby along with the comments made and my take on them. I usually don’t bounce post ideas off his head as he doesn’t play anymore and so relating to the game isn’t there so much. *sighs and remembers the halcyon days of raiding with her hubby* But he was right about the meat of the idea being lost.

So I ask you, my super short list of readers. Do you use addons? Can you play without them?

Published in: on February 10, 2009 at 2:24 am  Comments (4)  
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How to deal with the Noobs in your Game Life

We all have them those love-able friends or guild-mates that are totally clueless in the game. You take them along because you feel obligated out of friendship or duty to try. They are worse than the strange noob you meet in a pug, their your friend. But what do you do when they’ve made the same mistake for the 16th time, refuse to listen, still want your help, but you are on the verge of killing them? Below are a list of noobs and how to deal with them. You will find a prevailing theme to my solutions however and I will sum it up at the bottom.

Warning: All hypothetical situations listed below assume you have already exhausted speaking with and trying to work with the offending noob on said behavior. These are extreme actions to take for extremely bad players.

1. For the healer that AFKs in the middle of your fight. Let them die. That’s right I told you to let your healer die. How is your healer going to learn not to afk in the middle of a fight putting your toon’s life at risk if their’s is never at risk? Of course this is hard to accomplish, I admit but when pulled off and they find themselves the only one dead? Priceless. (A hunter can facilitate this by Misdirecting the offending mob onto the healer, but it does require willingness of the hunter to do so.)

2. Your hunter making a case for the huntard classification? (A personal pet peeve of mine, actually these are ALL pet peeves) This all depends on what flavor of noob he has taken, because with a hunter there is more than one. The most pervasive seems to be not keeping a pet on passive in a 5/10/25 man. Now if your team is far enough back, do not enage. Let the pet die, let the hunter die call it a day.  Hunter shooting before the MT has a chance to establish agro? Letting him die may prove difficult with that pesky Feign Death ability, which usually gets your healer killed. (If the healer is the same as above this could be a boon *wink*) What to do then? Work out with your buffer to ensure the pet and hunter no longer receive buffage/heals.  Remember FD can’t save them from splash damage.

3. DPS class taking aggro off your tank? Now this has been reduced in most situations with the boost to tank threat. However, it has been my experience especially with dps spec tank classes and hybrids it still happens. (this means YOU ret pally, dps warrior, and death knights) Most often aggro stilling happens on the initial pull when they dps first, say on an line of sight (LOS) pull. If you are the tank, let them tank it, as my husband used to say for his sheeped mobs “You spank it, you tank it!” This will put pressure on your healer so be prepared to take back aggro if needed. If you are healer, decide FAST if your group can live if you let the idiot die. Respond accordingly.

4. Group unable to follow commands? Is “Don’t stand in the fire!” too difficult for them to understand? Let them die. Take a single wipe if that’s what it takes. But only ONE! They don’t get more of your time if they can’t be bothered to listen.

5. Tank unable to keep aggro? Well…*looks around* your choices used to be limited, but not so now. Bring someone along who can pick it up and tank it if needed the afore mentioned tank class in DPS spec would be ideal in this situation. A hunter with a tanking spec pet would work nicely as well for a quick catch of aggro loss. A rogue skilled in evasion tanking would work as well. Look at that! Not one mention of letting him die! I am getting creative 😉 (Although I ask you review the expectations of your tanks, do not have the same expectation of a dps warrior off-spec tanking as you would a prot warrior etc)

Sometimes dying consistently over and over is the only teacher for your noob.

Make the noob in your life realize they are nooby, but just because you are nooby today does not mean you have to be a noob tomorrow. Skill can be learned if you are willing to put forth the effort. If they are willing to put that effort in then by all means work with them. But there are those who don’t care, its all about their fun regardless that it takes them 2 hours to do a 30 minute run, never once considering the other people in their group are not there for their sole amusement.

Accept that perhaps its time you learn to say No. They are your friends, your beloved guildies but you, not they, are in charge of your enjoyment of this game. They are entitled to your friendship and that shouldn’t change if you decided to run with others successfully. Strong friendships endure guild changes, classes changes and not doing something together all the time.

I’ll admit I’ve been a noob, I’ve been a hunter noob and a dps warrior noob. But those times are few and far between. (Except for my warrior who is on a shelf and I will likely be a noob again if I dust her off)

You too can prevent Noob. ™

This has been Zhavi the Priest saying thank you

Published in: on January 18, 2009 at 2:18 am  Comments (2)  
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Holy Priest Healing Mantras and Musings…

Say these with me now…

v     Renew is my friend

v     I am one with PoM

v     I am one with PoH

v     I will not shield the tank if there is a Disc Priest

v     I will learn to dance within the 5SR

I know you are reading this going..WTF you just respec’d Disc woman?!? And you are right I did and still am Disc spec. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t pick up something out of being holy OR that I totally made this post and forgot to post it before posting the change…*pulls out her halo and tries to distract you* Look the tank is dying! *points behind you*

I would like to go over the choices I made while holy, why I made them and how they affected my healing and play style. Because maybe you are looking at holy with the big eyes going “Maybe its for me?” And if so, and if you were like me having been shadow all the way to 80, I might be of some help with your decision. I can SO be helpful incase you are thinking what I think you are thinking…*grumbles*

Deep Holy

First let’s assume we are looking at a deep holy spec, and skipping lolwell. (This is not to downplay this spell AT ALL! It is still good so long as you can train your team to use it. My current raid group does a wonderful job, but I didn’t want it) If you are willing to take the time to train the group you are running with to run over and click it them rock the house with it! Its great for splash damage healing etc. I decided to sacrifice that point to Desperate Prayer instead. I know a lot of people have QQ about how it used to be a free human spell and isn’t anymore, all I will say to them is…BITE ME!!! *huffs* Hymm of Hope used to be Draenei only and they took it from me and made it suckier and then gave it to all priests…*shakes fist at Blizz*But I love Desperate Prayer regardless of the bad rap it gets on the forums.

I like an OH Sh** heal for myself just me no one else…*cackles* (and incase you wonder I kept this spell in Disc as well for the same reason)

So we are no Light Well and yes Desperate Prayer thus far

Next I decided I wanted Surge of Light, with the Flash Glyph the spell is darn close to Greater Healing for HPS AND it casts faster. Meaning less worry about overheal (because while yes you get the mana back with your talents it takes you out of the 5SR AND you don’t get 100% back so still mana spent) Now to take SoL I have sacrificed another talent that I think is great Healing Prayer, and while I think the mana reduction in this talent is FABULOUS it was a choice of niche for me. I wanted to be the Flash queen. FH back in the Kara days was a the sign of a bad healer. You wanted to down rank your Greater Heal to 1 or 2 and be constantly casting it and stopping the cast if unneeded with a stopcast macro. Those days are long gone. Downranking is gone from the game all together and while stopcasting is a great tool to help you squeek out some more time oo5sr FH has really come into its own as a staple spell (when glyphed) SoL gives me a free hasted FH and with so much causing SoL to proc it seems silly not to take advantage of this. SoL lets me cheat the 5sr for extra mana returns. Is it guarnteed timing? Well no. I’m not about to tell you to start relying on a proc either. What I am saying is that it helps and as a holy priest every little bit helps. It’s like a mini gift you get that pops up for you. Poof! Here you go some more time oo5sr.

Surge of Light over Healing Prayers for more chances oo5sr

Guardian Spirit was taken all the way down at the bottom. I don’t feel like I need to justify why I took the spell. But I do want to say this, if you want to get bigger heals off because you know the damage will be big. Use GS! Don’t fret about using it and not having it up when you really need it. Otherwise you won’t be using and if you don’t use it there is no point in having it. An unused spell not matter how great it is, benefits no one.

Round up:

Holy was all about retraining my reflexes. It is about staying outside the 5 second rule to maximize mana returns. Holy is about having a toolbox full of useful spells and learning when it is best to use each one. Your heals are situational, CoH isn’t the answer to everything, neither is renew. Learn when to use which spell in your game environment to maximize Heal Per Second and your mana.

Give me a few more raids with Disc and I will probably have a musing and mantras post.

Published in: on January 15, 2009 at 3:11 am  Leave a Comment  
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First Impressions of Discipline Spec

Yesterday, after checking first with my raids Heal Lead, Zhavi made the change over to Disc. Our raids run two priests deep for 10 mans and having 2 holy is a bit of overlap and Ty was happy to give me the ok. I’ll admit I took the cookie cutter build, why mess with success, especially when I’m new to the disc game. I can always respec to play around with the build later.

Speaking of respecing, I did it right before our Naxx 10 Day 2 run. Nothing like cutting it to the wire to get me jazzed. (Do we see a theme? Respec and run the same day!) I availed myself on Takton, a lovely pally tank I’m friends with, to give it a quick visual test. New procs and abilities means I need to know at a glace whats up and fading etc. (Kudos to Blizz for making the Grace buff a pretty and clean buff to see) I’m still learning to keep an eye out for Borrowed Time to make sure I don’t miss out on using it however.

Overall my foray into Disc has been sucessful I found the build to be pretty solid. Of course I admit like all things I researched the hell out of the change before making it. And this gets to the meat and potatoes of this post. DO NOT OVER THINK OR LIMIT YOURSELF BASED ON BUILD!!!

If you are familiar with Discipline since Lich King then you know Disc is an awesome Main Tank healer. With damage mitigation and a huge mana pool they have the tools to keep your tank alive. With the changes to Tank threat,Power Word: Shield no longer cause tanks to swear at priests under their breath while gritting their teeth to hold agro. But are they just for Tank healing?

NO! But they aren’t going to be your OMG the entire group has taken damage. Heal them all STAT! healer either.

I walked into Naxx last night with the mindset I am a MT healer, that is my job and I will do it damn it! Ty however challenged me (though he didn’t know I was walking in with that mindset to my credit at least) and in the end I think on Day 1 of Disc I may have just opened my view to what a priest (any priest) can do with their abilities.

Lets give you the set up shall we? 1 Holy, 1 Disc, and 1 pally for heals. Everything is pretty smooth and we are about to do Grobbulus after seething about the frogger and lag. (but that is rant in the making) Now after reading the above we know what I’m expecting…to be given MT duty. (All the forums, blogs, and sites I can find say Disc = MT heals, raiding healing = talk with your raid leader to fix.) Instead Ty comes over vent to let me know that I will be on raid healing duty and to remind the new pally not to dispell at all during this fight.

I didn’t bat an eye, said ok, and then pondered…wait how am I going to do this I’m all damage mitigation and longer heals? Had I been holy I’d have a plan but suddenly my thoughts are Wait how am I going to pull this off and not get us all killed? Good for me I think fast on my feet…well sometimes. My plan was simple, take advantage of disc to the best of my ability and keep people alive. To execute I slapped a shield on anyone with his debuff about the time it ticked down to 1 (<3 Grid!) and then followed up with a flash heal. And it worked great. I still need to work on my mobility with healing but I promise you I got LOTS of practice last night.

Where I think Disc really shone was when one of the MT healers got the debuff. Smack a shield on the tank while the healer runs to the wall, pop a hasted  Penance, shield the healer, hasted Flash heal. Continue as needed!

What this taught me:

  • Don’t think too rigidly about any class or spec. This is true of WoW, WAR, of for that matter life.
  • Disc can raid heal, just not instant group heals ala COH
  • Continue to trust Ty
Published in: on January 9, 2009 at 6:18 am  Leave a Comment  
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Priestly Gear

I truly pondered making this the “omg this is what I wore my first Naxx” post. But thought better of that and decided to give you information on gearing instead. But if you haven’t noticed by now I’d rather find the good info than come up with it on my own. Let others break their backs and calculators coming up with it all so I can reap the rewards! Below are links to your gear guides.

Matticus Newly Minted lvl 80 Gear Guide

Plus Heal Priest Gear Discussion

Dwarf Priest Gear Guide

Loot Rank CoH Spec Priest Guide

I have these posted in this order for a reason: it is the progression of gearing really. Matticus has given us a great guide to getting your foot in the door for raiding. Dwarfy gives us the end guide to where you should be given the current gear in the game. Loot rank is a great tool to weigh the stats you are looking for and filter the gear that best matches what you want. For priests Dwarfpriest has already weighted in holy and disc templates for us to use. Then just filtered by content etc and get results based on what skills you have and what gear you have access to…Brilliant!

As a side I keep two mods to help me in game when looking at an item: Ratingbuster and AtlasLoot. They with on the fly decisions and make sure that just because the stats look better I really am getting the bump I want from any time.

This makes me think a UI post is in the future…

Published in: on January 6, 2009 at 4:32 am  Leave a Comment  
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