Saturday, February 28, 2009

Time vs. Skill: The Gear Facade

I was reading the last GoW post again, one I had read but didn't have time, at the time, to comment on. After leaving my own congratulatory comment, I noticed someone else's congratulatory comment had a link to a post after it.

Part Time Druid posted about Time Versus Skill.

I can't recall if I've ever posted about this issue before, but PTD hit my nail on the head with his post.

Er, minus the factor of children, that is.

It's something that bothered me a whole bunch and still does, not because I necessarily begrudge the people with more time the gear that I only wish I could get, but because I sit there and stew with the fact that if I had more time and if I had gotten into that raid, that I'd be the one with the phat lewtz. And if I'm already a good player, how MUCH better could I be if I had the gear? If I'm already competing with DPS that outgear me in amount of damage I can put out, how much better would I be if I had their gear?

People assume that I have skads of time to play because of my alts, but honestly, leveling is cake compared to end-game stuff. I can log in for no more than 10 minutes and complete a quest and continue to level. But grinding for gear, instancing, raiding, etc... that takes time.

And then what really upsets me is that people who see me standing side by side with another (insert class here) will inspect the two of us, and think that the other person is a better player because they have better gear.

Gear is a trap. It fools you into thinking that someone is a skilled player if they have really good gear.

How often do you pull in a PuG member to a raid or a heroic and you armory them and say, "Oh, wow... look at his gear! Grab HIM!" and he turns out to be a total dippitydoo? Can't tank, can't heal, can't DPS... and you realize that he only got that gear because his sorry ass got supported all the way through raids X, Y and Z.

That isn't the case with everyone. Some people with lots of time on their hands ARE very skilled, be it that they're a "natural", or all that time they have they actually spent not just on getting gear but also on learning how to play their class.

Gearists annoy me. You can have someone with a zillion and ten mana and spell power healing you and run out of mana before the fight is over with because they don't know how to play their class. You can have someone else with limited mana and spell power do just fine because they do know how to play their class.

I don't know about you, but I'd rather take option #2 and have a sense of satisfaction over the accomplishment, rather than option #1 and be frustrated that zomgepic boy (or girl) can be outplayed by my Guild Leader's 1 year old daughter.

Anyway, thank you PTD for causing my rant! We all appreciate it. :)

"Reset Button"

My husband was pondering the other day that he wished that Blizz would instigate a reset button, that allowed you to drop your character's level to 1 but keep all the hard earned gear and rep that you gained throughout your trek to level 80 and beyond.

This way, you could get the joy of leveling your character all over again, yet not have to lose all the purplez. And Blizz would get to keep people in the leveling game! For people like me, who LIKE leveling, this would be ideal, right?

I suggested that he simply roll another paladin on Alleria. He has enough open character slots.

He admitted that is likely what he would do, and then Vialora chimed in and suggested that we all get a second account, so we'd have the refer a friend bonus and mounts, and make Horde DK's on Alleria! ... to which I said we'd have to roll something else, level it to 55, then make DK's because as far as I know, DK's are still account bound to 55+ players.

He sputtered and grumbled and then admitted that damn it, that's no fun.

They then suggested that we just start leveling together again, they'd each roll something and I could delete something and play with them.

To which I nearly had a heart attack!

DELETE one of my characters? Are they INSANE?

Not the least because I KNOW my husband... my Mage is still level 62 sir!

So we made a compromise. If he could prove to me that he would really honestly level this character and not just make it and let it stall out at level 12 or 14... if he could get this character to level 30 in a timely (timely for average players, not timely for me) manner... I would delete one of my currently lesser played characters to level with them. I'd catch up to them at level 30 and away we'd go.

At first he said that I'd never be able to catch up to them at level 30 if I was just starting out.. then he paused, laughed at himself and said, "Yeah, nevermind. Level 30 it is."

Honestly, it's the idea of NOT having my high level character hanging around just waiting for me to hop on and play that's the problem. I probably wouldn't mind leveling over again. I'll probably tear my hair out because Boon and Vialora won't be leveling as efficiently as I would want to! but meh, the sacrifices one makes for friends and husbands.

So the question is... who should I reroll?

Kava the rogue?
Kiya the hunter?
Keyami the warrior?

The likely classes of Boon and Vialora are going to be a retribution paladin and restoration druid.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Riding the Pony Express...

The title made more sense in my head...

While I'm at work, I spend a portion of my time (or a good portion of my time, depending on the way they schedule appointments. Stupid work.) on the game.

I can't instance (having to go randomly AFK immediately tends to make groups go WTF?), so that leaves doing dailies, farming or leveling.

I've dailied myself out. Farming has never been my favorite chore (though the other day I did spend 2 hours farming! I wanted to tear my head off by the end of the last stack of Saronite..).

Now leveling on the other hand. I like the leveling game. I bet you couldn't tell that.

I've a few characters I can't level without Boon because I made a solemn promise I wouldn't (and that explains why my poor little mage is still sitting in Zangarmarsh!) but there are a few that aren't linked to any of his. And those... well, I TRY to pace myself because they have to last until the next expansion... I try, really I do!

Keiji, my death knight, has hit level 77. She is currently unholy and I have intentions on seeing if I can be an unholy tank.

Until the point in time when I decide to go instancing though, I've been leveling relatively slowly. I think she was 70? last week sometime. The way I've been doing this is I'm making sure to finish all the quests in the zone before I leave it. It's not optimal for leveling efficiency, but this way I'm forced to spend a little more time running around in a zone. So far, I've finished Borean Tundra, Howling Fjord, Dragonblight and the Grizzly Hills. My next step is into Zul'Drak. I'd like to get some instancing done, but I think I'll go in as DPS, considering it was just this last week I decided to be a tank with Keiji, thus I have limited tanking gear (and am not specced quite appropriately just yet).

I have a lot of work to do on her (yay!) in terms of figuring out gear, rotation, and all that fun fun stuff. :)

The bear dinged 72 whilst tanking Utgarde Keep today. I wasn't intending on leveling her, as she's paired with Isabeaux the Mage, but hey, the guild needed a tank for a run. What is a bear to do? Besides that thing we do in the woods.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

"Warlocks etc."

Today I was pleasantly surprised, superbly pleased and understandably nervous to find out that my blog was linked by BRK in his "big list o' blogs" list.

However, his title for me made me giggle and when I said to my guildies who pointed out my brief moment of fame that my BRK given title was funny... they did say, "Well, you do have a lot of characters... so, etc."

It makes me reconsider, yet again, to rename my blog since my focus shifted from only warlocks to ... everything else.

I do wonder how, where and who BRK got my blog from. I think I've posted a comment in his blog maybe once or twice since I've started reading it.

Anyway, to anyone who wanders here from there.. hello!

In other news on the warlock front, my switch to Haunt has paid off. Pitifully enough, my DPS has soared, when I can keep my rotation straight and when I don't have to stop casting on the boss to kill something else.

Even sadder, my trash DPS has plummeted. I find myself wanting to cry... and nothing is more pitiful than a warlock sobbing. Unless it's a gnome warlock sobbing...

I find myself, on trash, slapping a corruption on everything then using Rain of Fire instead of Seed of Corruption, as the situation requires obviously.

I also find myself unaccountably yanking aggro from the various tanks I've run with lately and I'm not quite sure why. Sometimes, I literally am doing nothing more than standing there, waiting. Boon has the theory that it's my Fel Armor healing that's yanking initial aggro from some things off of the tank.

I think the game just really likes me. I have red hair and a nose ring, what's not to like? (Er, "I" as in Kikidas, not "I" as in the blogger.)

And I need to re-work on my Retribution Paladin Glyphs post, as I've just listed what each glyph does and that's about it, and I really want it to look more like the post I did on Restoration Shaman Glyphs.

And I need to re-glyph Kvasira and Kikidas, because right now Kvasira is incorrectly glyphed with Command and Kikidas hasn't had her glyphs looked at since she hit 78 or something insane like that.

And now, off to play Kathe, the poor neglected bearcat.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Group Etiquette and etc.

Something that has always fascinated me is the various bits of group etiquette that seem universal and others that I would think should be universal, but which are not.

Apparently, each realm has it's own standard of group etiquette and loot rules and the like... which is amazing.. and makes you wonder how your own realm developed its own etiquette rules. Did one person just randomly say it, and then it spread like wildfire?

The most common series of rules is the idea of 'Need before Greed'.

However, the definition of need and greed can vary greatly depending on who is doing the looting and what their definition of something they NEED may be.

So, let me clarify.

Need Before Greed
An item drops. It's an upgrade for you, for your main spec. Not an alt. Not your offspec. The spec you are currently playing when it dropped. You say, "That's an upgrade, may I need on it?" and nine times out of ten, the group says, "Sure!"

Caveats to that rule seem to crop up only when high-value items drop and people then wince and say, "But but but... that sells on the AH for $$$!"

In MY opinion, that doesn't matter. It's an upgrade for said person. They get it. End of story.

If it's an upgrade for two people, then they should both roll for it. If Person A had already gotten a piece of loot over Person B, then they should be fair that Person A passes so that Person B gets a piece of gear, too. Once both have gotten one piece each, it goes back to whomever rolls highest next.

What does not count as Need rolls?
  • Enchanters needing on greens/blues/epics and keeping all the shards because they NEED enchanting supplies.
  • Frost Orbs are greed items. EVERYONE can use them. EVERYONE gets a chance to roll on it. It's always best to ask ahead of time what is the rule on Frost Orbs. Is it a greed roll or a need roll? Even if it's the last one you need to make your zomgepic!, it is not a need roll.
  • Sidegrades are not need rolls. If it isn't a clear upgrade, and someone else can use it, please be nice and pass on it. If it isn't a clear upgrade and there is a disenchanter on the group, maybe consider passing on it so someone gets a chance at a shard.
Just because you can see it, skin it, pick it, doesn't automatically make it yours.

Always ASK at the start of a group if there are any other miners, skinners, pickers. If there are, set up a fair way of distributing any potential resource.

Let's not forget kindergarden rules... Share, because you'd hate it if some other person kept running ahead of you to steal your resource, over and over again and you get nothing.

Likewise, be nice to your skinners. Loot all bodies, even if the thing that drops is vendor trash and you don't really want to pick it up. At least open the body so someone else can take the gray gold and so the skinner can skin the body.

The Big No-No's
  • Needing on a BoE (or BoP) item that is not an upgrade after everyone else has Greeded on it. (This is known as Ninja'ing) You get one free "Oops!" before you get labeled (and probably kicked). There is a confirmation window that pops up when you hit NEED on an item. One time is pushing it into the realm of "You're saying you can't read? Okay. Don't do it again.".
  • Greeding on a BoP item that you don't intend on using if there is a DE'er in the group. Saying 'I need gold!' is not acceptable. Everyone needs gold. And you get more gold from the DE'd shard than you would from the item itself. Taking an item from the DE'er to vendor is basically stealing shards from the group.
  • "Stealing" resources after you've set up a fair-use system.
  • "I need that.", "I need that too.", "I need that also, I'm going to roll on it against you!" Be nice. Play fair. Share with others.
  • If there is no DE'er and everyone is greeding on things to vendor, once you get your greed item, pass so others can get something as well. Once everyone has gotten something, it's okay to go back to greeding. But no one likes to see, "Kikidas has won...", "Kikidas has won...", "Kikidas has won..."... well, I like to see it, but it undoubtedly makes everyone else feel a little cheated.

Raid Marks/Kill Order and Other Party Irritations

DPS: This doesn't have as much to do with etiquette as it does just standard good sense and tactics. Divide and conquer is supposed to be OUR motto. But it works in reverse. Don't try to be a hero (unless you know you can do it and not cause your healer to have to stop healing the tank to heal you) and tackle that one mob over there. Protect your healer, but let the tank get first dibs at it.

A kill order is a very simple thing to follow. Skull. X. Next. There's a reason the tank or whomever is marking picks one to kill first. Often, it's because that mob does some nasty AoE or ability or heal, or some other thing that otherwise makes it a pain in the ass that needs to die as soon as possible! If you're off spending your abilities and damage on a different target, the skull isn't dying as fast as it should be, which means it's having more time to do that annoying thing we all don't want it to do.

Likewise, the tank is expecting the DPS to unload into skull, so they aren't trying to stack threat as quickly on the other mobs. Which means you're more likely to pull the aggro from the tank and either die because the healer has a 'kill order', and you're low man on the list, or because the healer isn't expecting you to be tanking and is healing other people instead.

Something I am guilty of, and often, is opening up with my abilities before the tank has solid aggro. Granted, the time they need for solid aggro has decreased significantly, but it is still not at time-zero. Nothing pisses off a tank more than when the DPS opens up with both barrels the very instant that the tank hits the first mob, especially if the tank is pulling with a weapon rather than charging in.

(In my own defense, sometimes I really AM doing nothing but standing there and the mobs want to come say hello.)

Many DPS classes have extra abilities, such as removing curses, diseases, healing, bubbling. Do not get so focused on GOTTA PEW PEW that you forget that you can have a very important role in keeping people alive, well and very importantly, keep your healers bubbled when they're about to get walloped.

Nothing, NOTHING, is more irritating when you have someone getting eaten alive with diseases or poisons or magic or curses, seeing someone who can REMOVE said things... and noticing that they aren't.

Help your healers out. They have enough on their plate with healing.

Tank: Most often, you tanky types get marking abilities. This is because we're expecting you to lead the show. What this means is we want you to know what mobs need to die first and fast, and if you don't know, please be nice enough to let someone else mark, or ask what needs to die first. Nothing frustrates people more than when the healer that isn't marked to die first keeps healing everyone we're trying to kill.

The other thing is that you set the pace. In this era of endless mana, there is rarely a time when we need to stop between trash pulls. The only time to stop is if you need to explain something. If the last mob is dead and your group is alive and standing around and no one has said 'afk', 'brb', 'bio', 'wait'... you should be marking the next group and getting to it.

Be aware. Situational awareness is something we all need to have, but you tanks need to have it especially more than the rest of us. You're the one dictating where the fight is going to take place and what position you're going to hold the boss in. If it's a place where the DPS can't get to the boss, or if you're trading off taunts with another tank and the boss keeps hopping about... you're going to irritate the DPS and likely decrease the amount of DPS being done overall.

If you're staying where a pat happens upon, be ready to pick up that pat. Nothing irritates the healers and DPS more than when a mob starts in on the raid and starts one-shotting people here and there. Your DPS and other classes that CAN, will try to help you out with a taunt or a stun or some other thing to get the mobs off of the squishies... but it's your job to be aware of these things.

Healer: The biggest job of the healer is to keep the tank alive. In these days of increased tank aggro, we usually only have to heal splash damage from something's AoE on people who aren't the tank. However, there are the "Heroes" out there that love to pull aggro. (K, I'm looking at you.. er, me. Damnit.)

Don't let the tank die to save the people who aren't doing their job. If they feel they can tank it, then let them tank it or die trying. If a ret paladin consistently doesn't bubble when they're about to die, or any class with healing abilites refuses to cast any healing spell on themselves... let them die. Or they never learn.

However, when the tank isn't hurt, please don't let the DPS sit around half-dead from splash damage. We hate dying due to splash damage.

The one thing that really irritates me about healers is in raid situations. You're given an assigned person to heal. You're either on main tank, off tank, or raid healing. Do NOT stop healing the main tank or off tank because the raid is taking some damage. Let the raid healer do that. That's their job. Not yours. No one will be happy if the main tank dies because you were busy healing the rogue of some splash damage.

If you're assigned to healing the Main Tank, do not stop to heal the Off Tank. Let the OT healers do that. I don't care if you're sitting there twiddling your thumbs. There's a reason we have someone assigned to doing one job. So that as soon as the MT starts to take damage, you are ready to go, no spells on cool down, no need to retarget or whatever... you just heal.

In this age of endless mana, there is almost no reason that on fights where the tank takes spikey damage, that you can't ABC, just learn to Esc or move if the heal isn't needed. But nothing irritates the tank more than when they get hit every 2 seconds for 10k damage, and they go 4 seconds before they get their first heal. (0-2 seconds for damage to be taken, ~2 seconds more for a heal to be cast and lo, the tank has taken yet more damage!)


And I'm spent! Comments welcome. :)

Retribution Paladin Glyphs

This post is going to focus mainly on the glyphs (mainly major) that are beneficial for retribution paladins, and you will see why Blizzard really doesn't love us. :(

Major Glyphs

Glyph of Avenging Wrath

  • This glyph has the potential to really boost your DPS, if used at the right time and in the right cirumcstances.
  • It reduces the cooldown of your Hammer of Wrath by 50% when Avenging Wrath is active. What this means it that if you save your Avenging Wrath to when a boss has 20% or less health, then pop it, you can cast Hammer of Wrath every 3 seconds.
  • The thing to consider is the fact that this is a glyph that only applies at a very specific set of circumstances. You need your avenging wrath to be on cooldown and the boss has to be at 20% or less health, and for the best use of this, once the boss hits 20% or less health, and you pop your avenging wrath and start hammering away, it needs to live for 20 seconds to get the MOST use and DPS out of this combination of things.
  • That set of circumstances often applies to most raid bosses. Go go HoW!

Glyph of Consecration

  • Now, back in the OLD days, a lot of people I spoke to said that they never used Consecration, simply because of cooldowns and the lack of damage/mana spent. But these are the new days. We young whippersnappers are slapping down consecration on a regular basis, and what's more... we're dancing in it.
  • The glyph itself is pretty simple and straightforward, this increases the duration and cooldown of your consecration by 2 seconds.
  • What this means is that there will hopefully be one less time when your consecration goes off at the same time you need to hit another ability or spell. It puts it on the same timer as your divine storm, judgement* and 4 seconds longer than your crusader strike.
    *If you have four pieces of your T7 set, judgement cooldown is 9 seconds, not 10.
  • Paladins don't think of ourselves as having a casting rotation as strict as say, a mage or warlock, but in actuality, we do. It is possible to screw things up so that instead of being able to use crusader strike every 6 seconds, we're actually using it every 8-10 because we hit a cooldown right before crusader strike is up. If we start our rotation wrong, and we say to ourselves 'zomg, need to keep judgement of wisdom up!' and we hit judgement before we hit crusader strike EVERY TIME... it eats into your DPS. But that's a whole other story in and of itself.

Glyph of Crusader Strike

  • Crusader Strike is the bread and butter for single target DPS for us RetLoL's. We loves our Crusader Strike, yes we do!
  • Now, if this glyph increased DAMAGE, I would be in hog heaven. However, a decrease in mana is still not a bad price to day, considering our ever shrinking mana pools. Having to replace your Seal of Command or Martyr with Seal of Wisdom because you're running out of mana, even chain-casting Divine Plea... makes us sad pandapaladins.

Glyph of Exorcism

  • One word. Nifty.
  • If this glyph doesn't change when Exorcism affects all creatures, not just undead, it will be a handy ability to have. Finally, we can pull a caster without having to find a hill to hind behind or a corner to duck around! However, it's PROBABLY more for solo-play than group-play.

Glyph of Hammer of Justice

  • HoJ has its uses in PvE, but I don't know if an extra 5 yards is worth it. I can EASILY see this being useful in PvP.

Glyph of Hammer of Wrath

  • Free HoW? Pair that up with Glyph of Avenging Wrath and you're one hammer swinging bad-ass.
  • However, again I find this glyph very situational. Yes, you do cast your hammer of wrath frequently, but usually just once on your average fight... boss fights is a different story. And again, if you're pairing it up with Glyph of Avenging Wrath, this is definately a nice one to take. Lets you whackitywhack for free!

Glyph of Judgement

  • This is a must have for us, imnsho. Not only do our judgements cause Heart of the Crusader, but also have the potential to put up Righteous Vengeance, two very important things.
  • We should be judging whenever the cooldown is up, not just when our judgement is going to fall off the boss. The duration of Heart of the Crusader is shorter than the duration of our judgement, so please, pretty please, especially if you are the only ret paladin in your group, JUDGE. Cast your righteous vengeance on them! Be the Judge, Jury and Executioner!
  • In short... increasing the damage of our judgements? Gravy.

Glyph of Seal of Command

  • I currently HAVE this, but that will change since I've started to use Seal of the Martyr and I no longer really use Seal of Command. But it's very useful for times when you aren't using seal of the martyr (pvp?).
  • No seriously, if you're thinking that Seal of Command, thus buffed with this glyph is better than Seal of the Martyr, I'm proof that it isn't. I switched mid-raid from Command to Martyr and saw my average DPS jump up from low 2k to high 2k-low3k.
  • In more concrete terms, Command is a flat boost to damage, whereas Martyr seems multiplicative. What it multiplies with, dunno!
  • Here's some info on Seal of the Martyr from WoWWiki. Martyr can crit (and be missed, dodged and parried) and scales on a 27% of weapon damage (or so I gather).
  • Don't let the healers gainsay you from using this. (where "this" is seal of the Martyr) Yes, you do have to be careful. Yes, you need to use it responsibly. Yes, we will laugh and point if you kill yourself. But Judgement of Light will help heal a portion of your damage and that's also why we have Art of War. (Well, that and Loatheb. Be kind to your healers on Loatheb. Heal thyself.)

Minor Glyphs
We're a little screwed on the minor glyph side, with the only direct benefit coming from one glyph, all the others being pluses for pre-raid buffing or self-buffing the regular blessings as opposed to greater blessings. Boo.

Glyph of Sense Undead

  • This is the only directly beneficial one to us pallies. 1% increased damage to undead when we're sensing them? Okay. I'll take that. I just need to remember to switch to Sense Undead when I walk into Naxx.

Glyph of Blessing of Kings

  • Typically a pre-raid issue, it's useful to keep us from burning out on mana when we're buffing a full raid with Kings, or if we have to buff on the fly in a fight or some such. Why don't see get glyphs that make our spells reagentless? *pout*

Glyph of Lay on Hands

  • Again, not a direct boost to us, but useful if we're having to save someone with a mana bar... or, in worst case scenarios, use it on yourself if you're almost out of mana, to give yourself a mana injection... though, I still prefer to save it to, I dunno, save someone?

Glyph of the Wise

  • Useful if you're low on mana in combat and have to wait for yourself to passively generate enough mana to slap on Seal of Wisdom. Hopefully you've enough awareness of the fight you're in, your own mana bar, and you're using Divine Plea on a regular basis, you should have plenty of time to either eat/drink, Divine Plea, or slap on your seal of wisdom.

Glyph of Blessing of Might/Glyph of Blessing of Wisdom

  • These are both glyphs that make your regular blessing of might or wisdom last as long as a greater, without using a reagent. Personally, I prefer kings on myself anyway.
  • This does not apply to anyone else you cast said blessings on, they get the ghetto-10 minute.
  • Did I already say I prefer Kings on myself?

So, pick your glyphs with care and thought. We don't have a huge selection with our minors, but then again, who does? However, our major glyphs can really boost our DPS! And that's what we're all about, the deeps.

Go out there and represent!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Giving up the Ghost

... I tried, really I did. And in a perfect world, I did well.

But as soon as I started missing Shadowbolts, my DPS tanked.

And I hit a plateau with my DPS that I felt I should have been above.


I went and got Haunt. Stinky yucky Haunt. And I immediately went to the Heroic Dummy and shot at it a few times and sighed sadly as my DPS effortlessly jumped up higher than I've ever gotten it with intense concentration.

Damn you. Damn you to Hell!


Where YOU is Absitively the Warlock, as well as Blizzard in general.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

(S)paceman (S)pif!

The other day, I checked my email and lo and behold, I had email!

The joy was overwhelming!

One was Abigore, who still cannot post on my blog at work, and refuses to not game when he's home to catch up on his blog commentary (tsk tsk, shame upon you!).

One was a survey on WoW being conducted by a student over in some big prestigious university in France.

And the other was an enhancement shaman who says that he's new to the blogosphere and was wondering if I would go read his blog.

So, a few cool things!

1: He's close to perfection, P being only a few letters removed from K. (LMNO)

2: He begins all his alts (yes, another altaholic in the blogosphere! YES! WE WILL TAKE OVER THE WORLD ONE DAY!) with Pif, named after his enhancement shaman, Pif. If he began them all with P and left out the 'if' and just kept it at P, it would be better, but still not as iconic as K.

3: He reads my blog AND has a link to my blog on his own blog!

4: He seems sincerely interested in promoting his chosen class (enhancement shaman) in a well informed, well written, witty and charming manner.

5: He seems to have a thing for Jackie Chan, this is never a bad thing.

So everyone who is interested in a new kid (get it? space goat, kid? Spaceman Spiff? pif? goat? kid... oh, I give up!) please go say hi to ShamWam and maybe leave a friendly comment or two.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Pushin' 1800

I took Kikidas into a few heroics yesterday (Thank you, Boon!) and watched as her DPS on bosses climbed from approximately 1400 to about 1800 as I got an upgrade here or there.

Granted, as a mostly affliction warlock, my overall DPS still needs some help... but my DPS on bosses was actually pretty nice. I find myself all nostalgic about the good old days.

My rotation on trash is to slap Corr/CoA on them all and then SB spam until I need to reapply.

My rotation on bosses is currently UA, Corr, CoA, SL, SB until I need to reapply. I think this needs working on. I have improved SB, so I may try to hit SB first to apply the debuff before I apply the others. And with the loss of SL coming soon, I will soon be able to start SB spam far sooner. I think I need to go back to the training dummy and smack it around a bit until I'm sure I have the best rotation I can get out of my hybridized spec.

One of the things I took OUT of my talent build was Dark Pact. I love it and I miss it, but with a pet that sometimes winds up dying in boss AoE/Splash damage, I can't rely on it.

So I'm having to be more conscientious of my mana bar than I have been in the past, in terms of when it's safe to life tap and when I may need to drain life or if the healer has the time to spare to catch me up.

Either way, having fun! And.. given that my guild seems to have way too many melee DPS and no ranged DPS, hopefully in a bit I can be an alternative DPS for when we just can't swing another melee'er into the group.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Restoration Shaman: Talent Tree

Here is my current build.

I'm going to explain the things that need explaining, rather than the 'No, really?' ones. Or the ones I'm thinking of changing, or some such.

5/5 Ancestral Knowledge: Because 10% extra intellect is sexy.

3/3 Improved Shields: Because Mana Shield and Earth Shield boosted by 15% is also sexy.

3/5 Thundering Strikes: Actually, I only need 2/5 so I'm going to put this down to lag and me clicking one time too many. However, increased crit strike chance on spells by 3 (or 2)% is pretty nice.

And I need it for:

3/3 Elemental Weapons: Increasing the bonus healing on my Earthliving Weapon by 30%? Now, some may say... big deal, so what? And I've never been very good at figuring out numbers. But it would seem to me that 30% bonus healing ... is good?

3/3 Ancestral Healing: Increases armor by 25%... it's nifty, definately nifty. But I'm thinking of putting these points elsewhere. Especially as thus far, in raid situations, I tend to be on raid healing, and most of the time, those people don't need increased armor.

0 Healing Grace: In raids, you usually aren't worried about threat, not since they boosted the heck out of the threat generation of tanks. And... we really don't have many cases where we're worried about people dispelling our spells. I can see where in PvP that would be quite useful to not have your Earth Shield dispelled from you.

0 Healing Way: This would seem like a big one, and it IS a very nice boost!... if you're using Healing Wave very often. Maybe it's just me, maybe it isn't... but for the vast majority of my healing, I'm not using Healing Wave. I tend to use a lot of Lesser Healing Wave, Riptide, and Chain Heal. I use Healing Way on the tank and usually just need to hit him (or her!) with it just once before I go back to using something else.

0 Nature's Guardian: If I fix Thundering Strikes and possibly move points out of Ancestral Healing, this is where I'd put it. Sure, the 10% healing is nice (but only 10%), but it's the threat reduction that makes me go 'mmmm'. Now, in raiding situations, this is unlikely to either help (one shot = dead = 0 threat anyway!), but in 5-mans (I'm looking at you, Skadi's gauntlet!), losing threat by being hit may help keep you alive. Otherwise, you're having to try to juggle healing the tank, healing yourself, healing the DPS and using Windshock on multiple targets... usually ends in SQUITZH)

2/2 Blessing of the Eternals: Crit by 4%, and increases chance to apply Earthliving by 40% to targets under 35% health? Why would you not take this?

2/2 Improved Chain Heal: Maybe it's the fact that Shaman have an 'AoE' heal that we can spam pretty quickly, which is a smart heal... but I tend to get put on raid healing a lot. So... 20% increase to it. Yesplz.

3/3 Ancestral Awakening: When I crit, someone else pops in and heals the most hurt person by 30% of my crit amount? Small beans, but it's one less thing I have to do immediately.

2/2 Improved Earth Shield: Now, some restoration shamans don't have this, but I think it's pretty important. It goes along the line of 'healing I don't have to actively do', increases charges by 2 (so, instead of 6, they have 8) and increases the healing done by 10%. This gives the tank time to get aggro before I start healing threat, and gives me a chance to drop totems where I want them while the tank is being passively healed.

5/5 Tidal Waves: After Riptide or Chain Heal, my spell casting on my next two Lesser Healing and Healing Wave decreases by 30%. My roughly 2.5 second Healing Wave becomes a roughly 2 second Healing Wave. My Lesser Healing Wave takes a mere second to cast. It also boosts the effect of my Healing and Lesser Healing waves by 20/10%. I consider this such a big boost to how I actually heal that I try to use Riptide or Chain Heal even when I really don't NEED to, to clean up splash damage or some such.

One of the hardest parts of leveling up, for me, is putting in talent points. Because each individual point, by itself, really doesn't mean very much. And you have to plan out where you want things to go so you can get to what you're really after. So, looking at each individual talent and what it does in and of itself, while a nice exercise in 'Hey, that sounds nifty', what I'm really after is the overall effect of the talents put together into a solid whole healy shaman.

Each little part, especially with the addition of glyphs that suit your play style and heal style, make you into one heck of a healbot.

Now, every player will likely talent themselves slightly differently. So please, feel free to poke holes at what I have down here, give your insights to the benefits of ancestral healing, healing way, thundering strikes, elemental weapons... etc.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Fall of Naxxramas (10), etc, etc

Yes... Knights of Utopia has cleared Naxx-10.

(Woot woot!)

We tend to run a very melee-heavy raid, which just won't work with K'T... so we had our resto druid respec Boomkin and I took my restoration shaman instead of my retribution paladin.

We had 3 DK (1 tank, 2 dps), 1 rogue, 1 warrior (tank), 1 boomkin, 1 hunter, 1 paladin (healer), 1 priest (healer) and 1 shaman (healer). And of course, what would drop?

Yes, that's right. On K'T we had 2 ranged dps and 5 melee classes. We're insane, what can I tell you!

And yes, of course Death's Bite dropped! I sobbed brokenly as I congratulated the DK that won it. And drooled on it, so that it slipped out of his hand and broke his foot, but hey.. I can't help myself.

I was playing around with and I can't seem to upload Kikidas into the system so that it actually takes a look at her freakin' stats/abilities. Because I don't HAVE Haunt, because I WANT to try a UA/Ruin build first. Because I want to actually have some utility on things that live less than 2 minutes. :P So sue me. And get off my back. My blog. My warlock.



So I was playing around with and I can't figure out how to upload Kikidas. Anyone have any suggestions? They have a little 'input your realm and name here' (get) option, so if they don't really get the character, why do they offer that?

I played around with the dummies in Stormwind, swapping around gear and playing with rotation and abilities. I seem to push about mid 1500's. Now I need to get out of my crappy greens and find some dungeon drops.

In a sad sad side note, I was in regular Halls of Lightning yesterday with a somewhat underleveled group. A 78 DK tank, a 77 disc priest, a 78 mage, an 80 rogue and myself. Right? Okay... so will be a little tough, but should be doable, right?

The TANK... spent most of his time running away from fights and not tanking. No, that isn't me being sarcastic. He literally would turn and run away from a pull. Because he wanted to pull them to a very certain spot and if that didn't happen, he'd RUN AWAY. Because when an underleveled tank would face pull, that just didn't work for him, nosirree. *sigh*

He'd also let mobs get behind him and whack away at his back. So kept dying. When we accidentally pulled the boss the first time, he ran away, even though the group was at full health, full mana and was just waiting for him to pull the boss.

When he said he was doing that because he liked to pull the mobs further back rather than fight where they were, I very astutely pointed out that as the tank, he had these nifty abilities to hold aggro and move the mobs wherever he wanted them to be. Not only the ability to move mobs, but a neat benefit to that would be that his DPS would live and his healer wouldn't get one shot trying to keep the DPS alive!

We got through the fist boss (sob) after way too many wipes and time spent staring at the screen going, "Did the tank just run away, again?" ... with myself and the rogue tanking the lieutenants... thank god for fear. >< ...

... and then on our way to the second boss, even though he had asked for marking abilities to mark the mobs, he wasn't putting up away (I don't have the time! says he), so I go after what he seemed to be attacking first. And it said 'zomg, warlock! love warlock!' and came to try to hug me.

I did a death coil to make it go away from me and back up the stairs. The tank still was ignoring it. So it came back to me. So I did what any good warlock would do...

If I'm going to die, damnit, I'm taking the group with me!!! I feared it... and it went running to another group, naturally.

The priest said, "You gotta hold aggro." ... because the priest was getting whacked like every single time and almost dying ... a lot.

When the tank was like, 'wah, it wasn't my fault! someone pulled another group!'

I said, 'Nope, not your fault. But you still have to hold aggro. I accidentally grabbed another group because I was being attacked. Sorry guys.'

And the tank says, 'emo emo, QQ, I'm gone!' and leaves.

And we pull in a level 80 feral druid and the run goes super smooth after that. (one wipe on Ionus, but that was more bad luck than bad skill)

Amazingly, I think it had something to do with the fact that the tank didn't run away from pulls? Possibly? I can't tell for sure.

I mean, obviously the extra levels on the tank undoubtedly helped, but I really don't think that was the reason we had a problem in the beginning. Just really don't think that was the case at all.

And then back to raid stuff, we took a shot or three at Malygos. Gonna be interesting to see how next week goes.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

And Kiki makes 3!

I hit level 80 tonight with my warlock, by doing a bunch of low level quests just to finish them out and have quest-hubs to work out of.

Which means that I need to work now on getting her raid ready! Because multiple-raid-ready-alts is my middle name. :)

Well, it isn't actually, but it's a nice thought.

In other less exciting news than my third level 80, our guild downed Sapphiron and took a few shots at Kel'thuzad this last week. We're going back in for Kelly on Monday.

And we're regularly clearing OS and VoA.

And we're teaming up with another smallish guild to run 25 mans.

It's kind of sad really that Karika's gear is typically either from heroics, or 25-man Naxx. I have this odd feeling like I'm skipping a step somewhere...

Monday, February 2, 2009


One thing I've noticed about a few places in regards to exploration.

Some zones you can walk one step in any direction and discover 1/4 of the map.

Other zones, you have to find that one exact spot to stand in or you won't discover the last smudge on the map that you need to get the exploration achievement.

There's something else too... most of the time, even though it's part of an already filled in map, there are still places to discover on the map!

And if you're trying to ding 78 with 1/4 of a bubble (which is a huge ass chunk of xp still) left to go, you want to hunt out every one of those nooks and crannies.

I was half-way through Icecrown, with only three spots in Sholazar and Borean Tundra to explore, when I dinged 78.

And dear lord... level 78 was EXPENSIVE for a warlock. I think I easily spent 200 gold just getting new skills.

Maybe I hadn't leveled when I hit 76, who knows.

Regardless... ding!

Sapphiron, Elders and Warlocks

The other day in our weekly Naxx-10, we not only downed Gluth for the second time as a guild, but then proceeded to one shot Thaddius, a boss we've never seen before but practiced for a LOT in Tempest Keep: Mechanar.

Of course, then we portaled out after Thaddius and got teleported immediately to Sapphiron's lair.

So, here's our newbie guild, no frost resist gear what-so-ever, and we're in Sapphiron's Lair.

We wipe a few times learning how to ice-block and dealing with his chill ability. The constant stream of damage from the AoE aura also didn't help any.

We're going back in to take another shot at him. Our OT is going to respec DPS for the evening and we're going to take 1 tank, 3 healers and 6 DPS.

In other news, the only thing Kvasira needs now to get the Elder title are the Elders in the Northrend Dungeons. While I was going around and getting Elders, I also earned the World Explorer title.

And then in my final bit of news, Kikidas is less than 1/4 bubble from 78. Exciting, I know. I have this plan to see if I can ding on exploration discovery XP.