Thursday, July 28, 2011

Holy Paladin Talents - where does that last point go?

Ever since the change was made in Cataclysm to force you to have 31 points in a given tree before moving on, the talent builds have gotten very lackluster and a lot of the 'options' that we pretended we had in Wrath and BC moved away.  In reality this just helped out the guy who would have built a 16/10/5 Holy build and tried to play it off.  Instead each tree seems to have 2 or 3 talents that are 'optional' for that build, but seem more inclined for solo play or PvP (which let's admit it, is generally solo play with a bunch of other individuals).

So where does this leave the up and coming player?  What talents are 'required' and which are optional?  Is there any real flexibility in a raid environment?

The answer, as usual, is "it depends".

Talents I consider 'optional'

If you read EJ, at least their warlock guides, you'll see that the talent builds have a lot of 'optional' marks, though there's really only 2 or 3 points to play with.  The same goes for the paladin, and I'm guessing every other class out there.  So, here's my list of 'optional' talents for the Holy Paladin.  Remember, even with the 'flex' points that you have, you still need 31 to move on.

  • Protector of the Innocent (T1) - Technically one point here can be pulled to fill in a gap somewhere else.  Personally I really like the extra self healing, as every GCD not spent on me is one I can spend elsewhere.
  • Arbiter of the Light (T1) - This is a ret or prot talent plain and simple.  This doesn't even belong in a PvP/Arena build.  Stay away.
  • Last Word (T2) - Generally only one point gets put here.  With the crit we pack on our gear already, a 60% bonus crit on a target that is sub 35% health is a situational talent at best.  While the 200% crit bonus makes it a little more attractive, it's kind of overkill.  Losing a point here is certainly viable.
    • Because of talent point availability, you'll need to max out one of these two talents to move on to Tier 3, either that or take a ret/PvP talent, which doesn't make a lot of sense.
  • Blazing Light (T2) -  I put this in italics, because it's really a shockadin/PvP talent.  Great for soloing or for something like Chimearon burn phase.  I'd question this talent in a group outside of PvP/Arena.
  • Denounce (T3) - I put this in italics, because it's really a shockadin/PvP talent.  It can prevent your target from getting a critical strike, but since all tanks are crit immune anyway, it's pretty pointless for PvE - to the point where I'd really question a group healing build that had one (outside of PvP/Arena).
  • Enlightened Judgements (T4) - A lot of paladins take 1 point here to get hit capped.  The 2nd point really only provides a little more range (5yds), and a touch more self healing (1400-2800).  Personally I say skip the 2nd point here.
  • Sacred Cleansing (T4) - This is the first real talent that you can skip in a large raid, as long as you have enough other cleansers in your raid.  If you're doing 5 mans, any kind of Pugging, or just don't want to lose a powerful utility spell - put the one point here.  If you're really starving for poitns you can take one somewhere else.  Now if you're doing 25m HM content only (or trust your other healers to get all the cleanses) then by all means, skip it.
  • Aura Mastery (T5) - I put this in bold because it is a rediculously powerful raid CD, and if you skip this point so you can have harder hitting exorcisms or something I will track you down and beat you to death with your own mouse.  There is so much fire damage in T12 that this should be used almost on CD.  Don't leave home without it.
  • Tower of Radience (T6) - There is a lot of debate around this talent, especially in the 10m circles.  If you're running a high Mastery build and just slamming huge Holy Lights (with fewer Divine Lights) into your BoL target, this isn't worth maxing out.  It's great for generating HP if you're doing a fast DL build with lower Mastery and you spend more time casting on your BoL target (I know I do).  
  • Blessed Life (T6) - Taking 1/2 points here is all you need, even in a full PvP/Arena build.  You're either getting hit so often that it won't matter (with the 8sec ICD), or you're not getting hit very often at all, in which case your raid probably isn't, so you don't need the free HP.  Most fights you can pick up 4 or os extra HP every minute or so.  A lot of AoE affects don't trigger this though, so YMMV.  You can drop a 2nd point here if you skip LoD.
  • Light of Dawn (T7) - our 31 point talent, this baby is either zomgwtfop, or extremely lackluster, depending on your raid.  If you're not getting six people (glyphed), your HP is probably better spent on hitting a single target with WoG, especially now that it's been buffed.  If you're finding yourself in a lot of stacked spots, it may still be worth it.  If you're not hitting 5 or 6 people though, drop this and use WoG.  My only caveat against dropping it is that we only have HR at that point for any kind of AoE heal.
After you put 31 points in your Holy Tree, you can start to branch out more.  Using a lot of WoG?  Pick up Eternal Glory for some free HP.  I can't confirm this, but I believe the ICD on this has been removed, so you can get back to back procs.  Also, if you're not using WoG, drop EG entirely, and dip down to Pursuit of Justice in the Ret tree.  It's more speed than you get from an enchant, and it lets you play with other enchants. If you have some overzealous DPS, you can also cut down your Crown of Shame CD by picking up Gaurdian's Favor instead, but remember - this completely removes any free HP you'll get from Eternal Glory.

It's more than it looks, but that's what there is

So in the end, there are a few more options than an initial pass might reveal, but the base 31/5/5 build is still really solid.  If you have the raid comp to let you play with some extra talent points here or there, I say go for it.  In the end, I don't think any one 'valid' comp will make or break your raid, unless there's some kind of gimmic you need the HoP CD reduced for.  Be prepared to defend your choices if you stray outside the norm, but know that we're still the kings of single target healing.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

OT - A salute to the greatest Canadian ever

No Ed - I'm not talking about Celine Dion here.  I'm not even talking about Gordy Howe.  I might be talking about Deamill, but he's still no doctor.

No, I'm talking about a man who changed the face of Canada forever.

Tim Horton.

Now, I don't know shit about the man himself, other than he played hockey and died in 1974.  I don't even know how much he had to do with the franchise as a whole.  What I do know is that Timmy's is everything Dunkin' Donuts wants to be when it grows up.

My first taste of the double-double

Now I don't normally drink fancy lattes or mochas, I tend to keep my coffee simple.  I usually drink French Press or drip coffee, but will get an Americano if the place doesn't have basic coffee.  I also have been known to order two or four shots of espresso and just drink them like - well, espresso.  The key point here is that 95% of the time, I drink plain old black coffee.  Like Dennis Leary said, coffee needs a cup - that's it.

Now when I first started working in Canada I was living in a Marriott hotel, and the only to-go coffee I could get was a Starbucks.  Now while I appreciate what they've done as a chain, I really don't enjoy Starbucks.  Every day though I'd get my Pike Roast coffee, walk the 3 or so blocks to Gulf Canada Square, and start my day.  Of course, there was one sight I always saw, and that's the line going around the corner at the Tim Horton's.  I couldn't figure it out.

So one day, after I'd complained (not for the first time) about some other coffee shop called "The Second Cup" and thier distinct lack of regular coffee, my team dragged me to Tim Horton's.  I of course ordered a black coffee (mocking those that ordered it with cream and sugar), and then I almost died.  It was delicious, and oh so amazingly strong.

So then it started, this love affair with Timmy.  First, it was delicious, and second, it was super cheap.  One twenty-five for a large coffee?  Yes please.  I expanded into the double-double on a bet, and I was hooked for life.  Real cream.  Real sugar.  As a going away gift my team bought me a 64oz mug (it was larger than my laptop), to help feed my addiction.

A recent reunion

So now I've been without the love of Timmy for about four years.  Then, just a few weeks ago, my in-laws returned from a foray into the Canadian wilderness and returned with a tin of Timmy's just for me.  My wife doesn't understand it, but she's certainly ready to drink the coffee.  I have to ration it out though.  This is my last can of Timmy's until September, when some friends of mine are going to Canada for an endurance race.  I'm trying to bribe one of them to smuggle a case across the border for me.

So to all the Canadians that I play with, I envy your access to this delicious nectar. Forget oil and gold, Timmy's is your greatest natural resource.

Tomorrow - Naga bindings!

Monday, July 25, 2011

84 to 364 in just over 24 hours of /played

Just over a week ago now I was faced with a difficult quandary - stop playing, find a new home for my Paladin, or find someone to take a chance on my Warlock.  Of course, this was me taking a chance as well.  I mean, I've spent the last few years healing, and the years before that tanking, with only some side jaunts into the realm of ICC ranged DPS (after the 30% nerf) or as a fury/slam warrior.  Could I do it?  Could I find that guild to take a chance?  Would it really be all that I hoped for?

It was certainly time to find out.

So after an application and an interview, I transferred servers and started getting raid ready.  Let me set the stage and timeline for you here.  First, I was installing new floors (finishing them actually, and damn do they look good) and so tensions were high in the house.  Then I'm juggling qutting or taking a lock spot.  Fortunately my wife is awesome, and while I'm sure she'd like it if I played WoW (or other games) less, she knows it's better than me joining a bowling league.  

So there I am on Friday night (the 15th), taking a quick hour to push my lock to 85.  As soon as I hit, I get him some VP bracers, JP boots, and some relatively inexpensive BoEs off the AH.  I grab the tabards I needed, and started hitting the heroics.  I thought about hitting the Firelands quest areas, but I'm not keen on suicide.  I was a fresh 85 lock on a PvP server.  Nothing screams "I taste delicious" like someone wearing magic-toilet paper (thanks for that phrase Cyn!) that isn't even heroic level, but just some greens.

Instead, I take stock of what pieces I need first, and what I can get my hands on in a hurry.  The first thing I noticed was that in my original leveling (since I stopped him at like 83 to go back to the Paladin - raid needs come first) I completely skipped Deepholm.  Now, I don't mean I did part of Deepholm and stopped just short of the Therazane folks.  I mean I somehow skipped the entire zone. I think I was just a little tired of it by the time I was leveling the lock, and did I mention I was on a PvP server?  So I started the zone while queueing for heroics.  I'd slapped on the Dragonmaw/Wildhammer tabard, figuring the neck would be a good holdover (I didn't know about the neck from Firelands questing), and off I went.

24 hours of /played later

I'd server transferred, faction changed (human was the only race I could stomach as a lock), hit exalted with Therazane, capped my VP twice, nabbed two epics from Firelands T12 raids (MH BoE dagger and OH), and am now sitting at a 364 iLvl.  While it took a fairly intensive week to do it, I'm so far ahead of where I was, it's not even funny.  I certainly wouldn't want to do it again any time soon (that was a LOT of PuG Zulroics), but I will admit that it took a lot less time than I'd anticipated.  Of course a lot of it I owe to the guild that I'm trialing with.  They took me into T12 content when I was pretty undergeared, hooked me up with a BoE dagger, and have been pretty awesome all around.  

I don't think I'll get to raid tonight, but that's ok.  I'm on standby while they go for a repeat on Domo and try to get Rag for the first time, and I can use the time to work on my PvP gear.  I don't know if I like PvPing as DPS as much as I did on my pally - it's a lot different.  I think in a random, where I don't have my wingman Wombcrusher looking out for me, the Lock is better.  I've noticed that healers in PvP that don't have a good peeler with them just get crushed.  Because I know this however, I can keep a good eye out on any healers in my area and save my fears/deathcoil for helping them.  


I've thoroughly enjoyed the last 10 days of warlockery.  It's pretty impressive to watch my DPS get better every day, and not just because I'm adding epics.  I know my rotations are getting tighter, and I'm building that internal timer that I need to keep my DoTs rolling.  I had the same timer with my Paladin, where I could just feel when things were coming up.  I used to joke that my healing was done on a metronome in Wrath, you just knew that a heal was landing every second (hello haste cap).  Now I'm working on that for the lock.

The hardest part I'm having is, is it worth hard casting a 2nd Shadowbolt to get the 3rd stack of Shadow Embrace up (DoTs tick 5% harder), or is it better to get the DoTs up and ticking, and let the 3rd stack land when it can.  

I guess the other issue is what to do with that last little bit of time between the 2nd and 3rd Haunt.  With an 8sec CD and a 12 sec buff, there's a little wiggle room, but not much.  I'm guesing add in another SB, and maybe a lifetap.  I've certainly discovered that tapping early and often is better, since I don't have Mana Feed in my Affliction build.

CoE, SB, Haunt, UA, Cor, BoD, SB, SB, Haunt, UA, SB, SB, SB - I'll get my metronome set yet.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

More maintenance, VP changes, and some butterflies

First to Saunder - man, that would suck to have maintenance occur at that time.  It is too bad that the Oceanic folks don't have servers that are a little closer to an AUS timezone.  I mean, even if it was just a little closer that might be better.  Of course you live in Australia/New Zealand - and imo that's just the cat's meow - so you don't really have anything to complain about.  Man I loved visiting Kiwi land.  Friendliest people I've ever met.  Heck, they make Canadians look like the guys from Deliverance.

More Maintenance

Again, sypmathies to the Oceanic folks, as once again the servers were down for maintenance to repair some issue with Honor points that were supposed to go out yesterday.  These points were Blizzard's attempt to make whole the people who bought the new honor gear at the end of last season, only to discover a week later that a whole new tier of equipment had been added for the same costs.  I would have been upset myself, but the fix seems to be a general bandaid instead of actually adressing the issue.  While it probably could have been addressed faster, or cleaner, it's at least something other than a giant middle finger.  

Elegant?  No.  Efficient?  Yes.  Well, other than that whole second day of maintenance thing.  

VP Changes to T11

Also updated this week (or hotfixed in, though why they wouldn't wait is beyond me), T11 bosses now award 35VP each, allowing you to pick up 420VP if you do all 12 T11 bosses.  I don't know if the BH boss was included in this or not.  While there's certainly those that think this is a "Slap in the face" to raiders in Firelands, becuase now you can get T12 without actually doing T12 content - this really doesn't change anything.  You're not going to get more VP than before, it's just another way of getting it.  Maybe this will save you from the ZG run I had, where one DPS would AFK, the tank was sloooowwwww, and his 2nd DPS buddy was pulling 6k.  I had been 85 for like 12 hours and was doing better than that.  I think that run took 2.5 hours to complete, but time slows when you're that numb from pain.

So what does this really do for you?  Well, to start, if you're not raiding, you can cut out 1/2 (or even all) of your troll dungeons if you're actively clearing 12/12 in normal T11.  The upside to this is standard heroics take less time, have a greatter margin for error, and may even have faster queue times.  Granted, you have to run 2 regulars to equal one troll, but some days it may be worth it.  Too bad you can't queue for either/or at the same time.

My butterflies

Last week after Team Intensity broke up (or at least stopped raiding and started seeing other people), I had an opportunity pop up that I've managed to make work.  I moved my Warlock, and have been raiding on him - or trying to.  I hit 85 about 5 days ago, burned through about 15k in gold to powerlevel alchemy and buy some BoEs, slapped on some VP bracers and JP boots, and a whole lot of enchants.  So after being 85 for less than a week, I've got 4 pieces of BiS gear, almost got myself a new neck (have I mentioned my distaste for dailies?), and even managed to snag myself a nice dagger upgrade.

The problem is, last night was my first raid with my new guild.  While I only had one death that I would attribute to my failure (I ran between two lava sprinklers on Alysrazor), my DPS numbers were (in my opinion) low for the gear I'm sporting.  Some things will come with a bit more practice (choosing BoA vs BoD, manually keeping my pet on one target instead of having them run around, when to apply CoE vs leaving it off, life-tapping on the run, etc), and others will come as I get used to the rotations.  

Right now there are three, maybe four, things that I'm going to focus on tonight to try and boost my DPS.

  • Take my pet off assist, and have them manually attack the target that will live the longest/move the least.  Watching my Felhound/Felgaurd run around chasing Riplimb made me sad.
  • Less chasing targets to apply DoTs.  I spent a lot of time moving when I should have just planted and casted, waiting for the target to get back into range.
  • SWITCH TO SOULFIRE AT 25%.  This alone, especially on bosses or adds that live longer than 8 seconds, will push my DPS way up.  Soul Burn for the instant at 26%, and away we go.  Of course I have to keep my DoTs up while doing it, but still.
  • Immolation Aura and Shadowflame.  When I can, get into melee and get these rolling.  Great for Alysrazor and Beth where you're stacked up on them.  Less so on Shannox where there's traps everywhere.
I've also been tempted to pick up Destro as an off-spec.  I know it's a few % lower than Demo according to the fine folks at EJ,  Bane of Havoc looks to be pretty nice for those fights where it's a little tougher to get in ranged of that 2nd or 3rd target.  Affliction might also be an option.  I'll have to spend some time this weekend playing with the two builds to see which I like best.  The only reason I lean towards Destro is that the defensive CD is pretty amazing.  I certainly appreciate whenever someone can reduce the amount of healing they need due to unavoidable damage.

So we'll see what happens.  Right now I'm just practicing my rotations and trying to stay out of the bad.  Oh, and if anyone knows of some decent Warlock blogs, that'd be awesome.  Don't fear, my Paladin isn't shelved forever, and I'm still going to write about Pallies (especially now that even Kurn is on board with Mastery) - but there's going to be some Warlockery thrown in from time to time as well.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Maintenance.  It happens pretty much every Tuesday morning, and generally lasts for five hours, plus or minus 20 depending on if it's a major patch day or not.  It's happened every Tuesday since the creation of Azeroth, and really shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who's played the game for more than a week or two.  Every Tuesday, around 3AM, the servers go down.

So naturally, I felt a little bit like Gomer Pyle when I woke up this morning to find the servers were in fact, down.

See, Blizzard normally puts up a little message on Monday evening letting you know what's happening the next day.  Servers will be down, rolling restarts, whatever.  While I was a little suspicious that there was nothing on the page, I chalked it up to the fact that hotfixes were being applied instead.

I was wrong.

While I had every intention of finishing my Alchemy powerlevel this morning, I instead spent 15 minutes looking for confirmation that maintenance was happening, and another 15 trying to figure out why I couldn't download SC2 again.  I'm not real quick before my coffee.

Tonight I'm off to see Harry Potter.  Yes, I know Snape kills Dumbledore (AMG SPOILER FROM BOOK 6!), and while I didn't really enjoy 7.1 (I prefer the books to the movies), I am interested in seeing how they end it in the movie.  Personally I'd rather see Transformers or Captain America, but my wife wants to see Harry Potter, and I want to keep eating my wife's cooking.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The plug has been pulled

Last night, after some serious wrangling to get folks to talk about the elephant in the room, Team Intensity decided to forego any more raiding - probably forever.  For most of us, it's the camaraderie that keeps it all together.  The years of jokes, history, love(fear?) of Old Greg, and the way we all mesh as a group.

Unfortunately, the nature of Cataclysm and Firelands has kind of worn on us.  Now, don't get me wrong.  I still think WoW is a great game, and the mechanics of the bosses are pretty cool.  I like the zone as a whole, and I think they're doing a great job of telling the story.  Unfortunately, this doesn't hold true for everyone, and if there's one part of the game I'm 150% done with, it's that of recruiting and running a guild.  Just thinking about trying to recruit a couple of people makes me queasy.

So where do I go from here?

Right now I'm still trying to figure out what I want to do.  Like I mentioned yesterday, I haven't done a single daily quest for the new zone, and the only way I'd hit the ZA/ZG VP grind is with a guild group of folks I was raiding with.  It's not that the PUGs are terrible, it's just not enjoyable to zone in - maybe exchange three lines of "hello" (if you're lucky), and then start running the zone.  The DK that doesn't understand that if you don't wait for a warrior's Thunderclap to go off, he won't have any threat.  The tank who says "CC GO" over and over - without marking a damn thing.

I've said before that I'll know I'm done with WoW when I'm no longer willing to pay the $55 to transfer a raiding toon (with faction change if necessary) to a place I want to be.  While this thought isn't dead yet, it's the other things involved that make me nauseaus.

For a minute I thought about grabbing my almost (2 bars) 85 warlock, and transferring to Vidalya's server to fill her need for a warlock.  I mean, maybe going to a DPS role would reignite the spark of Firelands (ahahaha - I'm so clever), but then I get this thought chain.

OK.  So we're a brand new 85 warlock.  First thing, get that shoulder enchant rep going to at least Honored doubletime quick (Therazane), immediately follow up with the head enchant group (Hyjal).  So now I've got two factions I need to grind immediately, even though Blizzard teases us with setting the Arcanums as BoA ( account), you still have to have the rep to use them.

 While I'm doing this, I can grab the BoE boots for JP, and spend what VP I have on my pally for the BoE bracers.  This, plus some quick AH action should have me geared enough to at least enter ZA/ZG.  Since this guy was a double gatherer, I can spend my queue time gathering enough mats to power-level him up in say, JC and Alch (or maybe just Alch and keep the Herbalism - but really, you should have two crafting professions if you're going to be serious).

 So now I'm grinding this, which of course will grant me my regular VP/JP gains, plus rewards from the Firelands/Hyjal dailies, and whatever my 100k+ bankroll can get me off the AH.  All told, I should be 100% raid ready in about a week - if I'm reliant on PUGs for my dungeon runs.
And you know what?  The thought of doing all that just immediately turns me off to the whole thing.  I think raiding on my Warlock would be awesome.  I'm sure Vadalya's group is great, and hell, I wouldn't even mind being Alliance again (though I do hate me some Gnomes - and Worgen - especially Worgen Gnomes).  In fact I'm sure I'd play a Human for the Rep gains alone.

I'm certainly not adverse to dropping the cash to make it happen, I just don't relish the thought of having to run all those dungeons again - plus dailies - just to get raid ready.

And so,

I have no doubts that with some looking I could find a guild that meets my needs/wants/desires - and might even have some personalities that I agree with.  I'm not going to say that I'm totally adverse to the idea either. I drew up a list of requirements that I'd have for any guild though, and I know it will be tougher to find this layout.

  • PVE Server - I'm just tired of the idiocy I've found on the PvP realms.
  • Horde/Alliance - either way, I don't care.
  • 10m raiding - I'm not interested in 25s at all.
  • 2 or 3 days tops - weekdays only - and starting no earlier than 6 PDT.  
  • Enough of a roster that I can miss a day if I need/want, but not so many people that it's 19 people clamoring for 10 slots (a guild that had multiple raid groups would be OK).
  • Enough of a roster that getting a couple of guildies for heroics/dailies isn't a huge issue.
  • Progression - don't care if they're 7/7 or 2/7, just as long as bosses die in a reasonable fashion.
Not shutting down

So barring me finding that kind of group, or suddenly deciding that in fact I DO want to go through what it would take to get a toon raid ready, my WoW time will certainly be much more limited.  I'll be spending some time in BFBC2 shooting faces and healing my teammates.  On Sept. 6th I'll be taking up arms against the forces of Chaos, introducing them to the Emperor's justice by way of Chainsword and Bolter.  

As soon as ToR is out, I'll be rolling some type of force using healer (Jedi/Sith - whatever), as long as I can heal with a lightsaber, I'll be happy.  If the 40K MMO ever becomes a reality, I will once again be the will of the Emperor as either a Chaplain or Apothecary.  Who knows, we might actually see D3 launch sometime this year.  Hey, dreams come true every once in a while.  

So while the WoW content might be light, I'll be around still.  I need an outlet for my writing, and I still like WoW.  Hell, I spent 30 minutes today helping out someone who emailed me about 2 healing content.  I may just be burned out on healing, the Horde, and the grind.  It has been a 7 year commitment (albeit with breaks here and there).

For this week though, I'm focusing on one thing - getting my new flooring in.  Right now my man-cave looks like a bachelor pad, with the mattress on the floor.  Fortunately my wife put the second coat of paint on this morning, and I can get straight to the floor as soon as I get home - well, right after I reintroduce myself to Mr. Gustav.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

In which I am a baid raider

I think it's kind of strange.  4.2 has been out for about what, two weeks now, and it already feels like it's been forever.  Right now I've killed 4/7 in Firelands, and have completed about three quests in the new Hyjal - just enough to see Thrall get smoked by the new fire druids.  It was entertaining, though you have to ask yourself this - if Malfurion, Thrall, etc can all get stomped by these guys - what are we supposed to do?  I mean, if I've got to go take this idiot out, how come I'm not the one getting all the love?  Fuck Rhonin, where's the book about me?


So as a raider, I'm supposed to be doing everything I can to help out my raid team.  This includes things like being on time, having flaks (or using a cauldron), having all my gear enchanted with the best/correct enchants, eating buff food, etc.  Another part of that is making sure that I'm supplementing my raid drops with as much of the farmable/crafted gear as possible. And this is where I'm slacking.

I admit that the first week 4.2 was out, I didn't max out my VPs. This puts me slightly behind the curve.  I also have done exactly zero of the new daily quests.  This is mostly because I know that right now it's a PvP gankfest over there, but mostly it's a serious lack of care.  The rewards aren't that great, and are marginal upgrades over my raid gear. 

So, for the last two weeks I've been a bad raider.  I could blame it on the fact that I'm installing new floors in my house, that we've raided about 10 hours total in 4.2, or that I chose poorly for rolling on a PvP server.  Really though, I'm just not keen on doing the daily quests.  I didn't do most of the quests for ToC, and unless I decide to move/reroll on a PvE server somewhere and am trying to gear up a new toon, I won't be doing them. 

Of course we've two healed our way to 4/7, and I even ranked on Aleysrazor - so I think I'm doing pretty well for myself. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I love being right

Back when the changes were announced for our mastery in 4.2, I stood up against the tide and stated that the changes were good.  Maybe even amazing.  Do absoloutely nothing, and you automatically get a 10%, stacking, FIFTEEN SECOND LASTING, shield for almost every heal you throw out.  The fact that folks didn't jump up and cheer for this still boggles my mind.

Now, some of the top guilds are even bringing a mastery stacking Paladin to the raid, for the sole purpose of dropping gigantic shields on the tanks.  Stacking full mastery, with reforging and gems, is delivering a mastery rating that gives you a shield that is 35% of your total heal.  This is even higher than I anticipated, and the possibilities just boggle the mind.

Not everyone can be special

Now, this type of healer is a very specialized role.  Heals will be slower, mana return will be lower, and your ability to crank out AoE healing will be greatly reduced.  What you will be however is a shield generating machine.  You'll probably be leaning on Holy Light a bit more, with Divine Light tossed in for those big moments, but look at the shields you'll get.

A 20k Holy Light crit will net you a 7k shield, and I think we can all agree that prevented healing is better than reactive healing (which is why we all love our Disc preist buddies).  Even if you just roll Holy Lights without regard for incoming damage, your shields will continue to stack up for those moments when you really need them.

Unfortunately, you need to really be a part of a balanced heal team where everyone knows their role for this to work.  This setup, while powerful, will probably have reduced results in our 10m where I'm paired with a priest and we try to two heal everything.  I need to have faster heals, and as much mana and mana return as I can get.  I can't afford to simply heal the MT, though I do spend more of my time doing that than healing the raid. 

It's all about balance

And I'm not talking about the feathered bigfoot known as the critchicken.  What I'm talking about is finding the balance in your stats, and the balance with your healing team.  If you can afford to stack Mastery, then I say go for it.  Personally, I'm still putting Spirit at the top - enough Haste to give me the 1.99 second HL/DL casts, and enough crit to keep Conviction up over 90% of the time.  Everything else I'll put into Mastery if I can

Friday, July 1, 2011

World PvP

This is what I think of when I envision world PvP. It's not evenly pitched battles that raged for hours between Taren Mill and Southshore (did those really ever exist?), becuase that generally was just a handfull of 60s making life difficult on toons trying to level in the Highlands. Same goes for Crossroads raids. LOOK MA, I KILLED THE FLIGHT MASTER LOLOLOLOLOL!


Anyway, this is my vision of world PvP - and I think deep down inside, it's what most of us consider to be successful PvP as well. Remember, unlike sex, PvP is ALWAYS consentual. There are no grey areas in this discussion, no room for debate. Cry foul all you want at the fact that you just got rolled by someone 4 times your level, the point here is you consented to the treatment you're now recieving.

Play on a PvP server and left your starting zones? Consented.
Flagged for PvP? Consented.
Entered a PvP zone (enemy capital, Baradin Hold, Gurbashi Arena, etc, etc)? Consented.
Attacked someone (by hook or by crook, you still did it) who was flagged as PvP? Consented.

Put a post up on the world forums stating your intention to hold a mass gathering of folks in a PvP zone, on a PvP server, then added the line "Please don't come mess this up"? Yeah - you consented.

Ambushing a group of players when they least expect it.  "That's the way dad did it, that's the way America does it, and it's worked out pretty well so far" (Tony Stark).