Archive for the ‘Alt-aholic!’ Category
At some point the weekend before last, I got a bee in my bonnet to level another character on the live server. For whatever reason, rather than leveling my priest which was my original intent (some how I have five healers at 85, and the priest just can’t seem to make it into the line to level), I opted to dust off my mage who hasn’t been played outside of leveling JC early in the expansion. Now, I must say that rather enjoyed putzing around with her again, and leveled/quested/dungeoned as frost. She has pretty much always been frost, aside for a short period of time where she was arcane at the tail end of WotLK.
Anyhow, I came home Monday night jet lagged and exhausted from my trip home, and needing something completely mindless to keep me awake so that I didn’t go to bed at four in the afternoon. Being the stellar pocket tank that he is, Brade carried me through all of the level 84/85 instances and before I crashed for the evening I managed to hit 85 (hoory!). So I did what every freshly minted 85 would do and hit the AH to fill my bags with PvP gear, and my sexy goblin body with any gear available that I could wear. Read the rest of this entry »
I am the owner of three raid ready resto druids, each of varying gear levels. One who is almost full BiS and raids progression 25 man raids. One who is in a mix of LFR and normal mode gear and putzes around in a one day/3 hour a week 10 man alt group that just started toying with heroics. And lastly one who is a mix of BoE, VP and LFR gear, whose raiding pretty much extends to one LFR per week. One of the most rewarding things to come out of all of these druids is that I get to experience raiding in different raid formats, and at different stages of gearing. This helps me to better understand the different struggles and limitations that druids experience in more diverse settings than my main raid, which helps me better understand is happening at different levels of play. However, one of the side effects of this is that I also have the opportunity to observe my own faults along the way as well.
This post is going to talk a little bit about my experiences with the latter.
I pretty commonly log every raid that I participate in, be it a PuG BH or a LFR experience, so that I can take a look at how I did and analyze my play to look for areas of improvement. Earlier this week, I did the back half of LFR in an attempt to acquire any of the following: A helm (for the LOVE OF GOD, could I please get a meta gem already?!), an off hand or a Maw. When I finished, I perused through my logs, and noted that I had fairly exceptional uptimes on LB and strong uptime with Harmony for each of the four encounters that I participated in that night. Which, in turn, got me to wondering if I was as cognizant of these things when I was raiding on Beru. So I took a look and here is what I found:
Aryas - LFR Warmaster Blackhorn
Beru - Heroic Warmaster Blackhorn
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This past weekend I did something that I’ve not done in quite some time. I played WoW. Lots of WoW, in fact. Not only did I play WoW, but I craved playing when I was doing other things over the weekend. I was somewhat surprised by this strange desire, as it’s not something that I’d experienced for many months. I’m sure there are a number of reasons that I could list off that lead to my disenchantment with the game, but I’m not really here to talk about that. Rather, I wanted to share the unexpected enjoyment that I found from a fairly unexpected source.
The Scroll of Resurrection
I know that there have been a lot of opinions tossed about regarding this feature, but I wanted to share my experience with it, and tell you how this feature managed to revitalize the game for me. You see, on Thursday night I decided that I wanted the stupid spectral mount. I had an inactive account that I had created for the RAF promotion and that I suspected would be eligible – but I had recruited a friend to accept a scroll in the event that my “master plan” was faulty and wouldn’t work. Well, as it turns out, I was able to send a scroll to myself and I resurrected the account and signed up for a subscription so Beru could have her “ooohhhhh shiny”.
But then something clicked in my mind and I thought to myself “Self, what if you could make a level 1 character on this account and boost it to level 80″. I didn’t know if it was possible to do, but I figured “why not!”. I have a good number of friends who play only alliance, and it would be fun to be able to putz around with them when I had the time available without bemoaning the fact that I am HORDE4LIFE. I looked into it to see if you could boost a new level 1 character to level 80, and sure enough, right there on the “redeem your rewards” page it very clearly stated that you could create a new character and utilize the level boost on that toon.
And thus a level 1 worgen druid was born. Read the rest of this entry »
I spent some time yesterday running instances with Elentari. She’d recently hit 85 and was all shiny and ready to hit heroics. I ran her through Ahune the Frost Lord (hello haste cloak!) and then thought “I have time to run my daily heroic” and queued up. I notice that healers have the call to arms buff (or whatever it’s called) and figured that I shouldn’t have to wait too terribly long for my queue to pop up and get started.
Sure enough, within a couple of minute my queue flashes up on my screen and I find myself looking at the Grim Batol loading bar. Now, this instance can be a nightmare if the group is careless/doesn’t know what they are doing, but I’m down with it. I mean, I’m a fresh 85, but it’s not as if I don’t have experience healing this zone as a new druid. We start the instance and the third pull the tank falls off the edge. I have no idea how this happened, but there you have it. Of course, PuGs are now too good to use CC *ahem*, so all of the mobs are running rampant and we naturally wipe.
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Folks, I’m tired. Literally exhausted – as opposed to metaphorically exhausted. Although I suppose that there is a a little from the later as well. However, I was up most of the night with a toothache last night and so if I seem slightly incoherent or completely off my rocker, it’s because I’m pretty much fueled on 100% caffeine right now. I am also craving a calzone, but have no clue where to obtain said desire from my office. Anyhow, let’s move on to the musings, shall we?
We are currently working through out last Hard Mode – Heroic Ascendant Council. And I’m going to be brutally honest here, I’ve about had it with the fight. To the point that I almost don’t even care if we kill the damn thing. And here’s the kicker – our failing is 100% our lack of execution in phase 2. I find that I’m completely out of words to say to people short of “please just stop fucking up and pay attention to what is going on around you, because if you fail this mechanic one more time, I swear to christ I’m going to reach through my monitor and chew your ass in person”.
I mean, I’m at a loss. The second phase of the encounter is 100% about personal responsibility – and there is no one that can control that aside from the player responsible. And it’s frustrating the ever living hell out of me. And you know what, I’m going to just go ahead and say it: phase 2 of this fight is just fucking stupid. There. That felt pretty good. I get that fights should be challenging – and I enjoy that. But there gets to be a point where too much is too much, and encounters cross the line from fun and a “challenge” to ridiculous and frustrating.
I feel that this encounter has reached that point. Any fight where one person’s error can irreversibly fail your raid, is not fun. It’s just not. Should there be consequences for failing a mechanic? Yes. Should the failure of one individual cause the entire raid to end up on their ass, and running back for another attempt? No. I do think that consequences should be devastating - but I also think that you should have at least a chance, even if it’s tiny, to succeed with strong teamwork should an error occur. It is not fun for the person struggling with the mechanic (and knowing they were the reason the raid wiped), nor is it fun for the raid.
Not only that, but with Firelands breathing down our neck, I’m feeling incredibly pressured to push us through this monstrosity of a fight (pun intended, har). And to continue being honest, it’s taking its toll on me and I’ve found myself not only growing increasingly negative – but becoming a person that I don’t like in the process. After last night’s raid, I literally needed to step back and re-ground myself. Remind myself of my own goals, who I am as a person – and how I want to be as a leader.
I’m all ears if anyone has tips or tricks they use to keep people from blowing each other up during Phase 2. Lord knows I’m neck deep in frost orbs and chain lightning right now. Read the rest of this entry »
WARNING! THIS POST MAY HAVE LORE SPOILERS – OF COURSE YOU HAVE PROBABLY ALREADY SEEN THEM IF YOU PAID ATTENTION WHILE QUESTING IN MOUNT HYJAL.
I recently decided that I was going to push my second druid, Elentari, to 85. She used to be my “mini-me”, before Beru became a troll. Now, however, she is my swift flying, fast herbin’ tauren druid. I have learned a few things while I have been leveling her – such as if you wear all of your heirloom gear through level 81 you cannot queue into the LFD becuase your iLevel is pitiful and you must visit the Auction House to put yourself in order. Through use of said LFD, I have also reconfirmed (again) that some people completely subscribe to the internet fuckwad theory.
But that’s not what I wanted to talk about - let’s get back on track, shall we?
As you may recall, I have been working my way through the Warcraft novels, and I’ve recently just started the third book in The War of the Ancients Trilogy. The battle with the Burning Legion is still raging, Illidan just had his eyes burned out by Sargeas, Tyrande is being held hostage and Malfurion is becoming a bad ass. I also just met Maiev Shadowsong, and it took me practically being beat over the head to realize that Jarod Shadowsong was her brother (never put two and two together!), but I did figure out what her role will be with regards to Illidan without much trouble.
As I’ve been reading, I’ve also been questing in Hyjal with my mini-me. Now, this will be my third trip through Hyjal but I never really gave the quest lore that much thought on any of my other trips. So here I am putzing around Hyjal - and to be honest, it’s almost like I am doing it for the first time with the new in depth lore knowledge I have acquired. Which is actually pretty neat. I’ve really enjoyed this trip through Hyjal.
As you may know if you’ve quested through the zone, I am tasked with asking the ancients to help in our fight. And one of those ancients is Aviana. Of course, I’ve just recently met Aviana in my reading, when Krasus and Malfurion take a visit to her. So imagine my surprise when I open up one of the quest givers and she asks me if I’d like to learn more about Aviana.
Hell yes I would!
So I enthusiastically click the option to educate myself – and I learn a few things:
- Aviana fought valiantly in the War of the Ancients, against the burning legion.
- Aviana died in that battle, overcome and unable to continue her defense.
- Rumor has it that Aviana’s blood even fought as she died – casting itself on the legion and destroying anything that came into contact with it.
Which is great! Right?
Except, it’s not! Because Aviana/Cenarius/etc haven’t joined the battle in the book yet! So now I not only know that they will be fighting against the legion - but that Aviana will die in that battle. WAY TO SPOILER YOUR BOOK BERU! /facepalm
But it gets better! Oh yes! As my mini-me continues through the quest lines (I stopped clicking optional “information”), I am tasked with freeing Jarod Shadowsong (to which I went, out loud mind you, ”wtf, he’s 10,000 years old!). I am advised that Jarod was instrumental in convincing the ancients to fight alongside the elves – and not only that, but that the ancients had so much reverence for his command, that they permitted themselves to be commanded by him throughout the battle.
Now, I pretty much knew that Jarod was going to be an important figure as the fight progressed because I had just read about how he was able to convince the tauren and dwarves to help the fledgling night elf lines in one part of the battle, and how he could see things in battle to which that priss Stareye was completely oblivious. So I knew he was destined for greatness. But I didn’t know just what he was going to be able to accomplish. Not until Mini-me had to go and ruin it for me.
THANKS A LOT MINI-ME! WHY DON’T I JUST GO READ THE END OF THE BOOK FIRST SO I FIND OUT HOW IT ENDS?!?!
(really, though, I’m enjoying both the books and leveling mini-me quite a bit. I was just highly amused at inadvertently spoiling myself and then pretty much facepalming myself in real life at the situation!)
Last week I had the luxury of being a complete and total bum. That is to say that I took vacation time with the sole purpose of pretty much doing, well, nothing. Ok, that’s not entirely true. I had wanted to get old update posts hosted on a different web host transferred over to the new host before the paid time expired on the old host. However, my laziness won out and that task totally did not happen.
Sometimes you just need a week of lazy. But lazy or not, the world (of warcraft) still turns. And things must go on. So in order to get back into the swing of things, I thought I should go ahead and let everything that has been gathering in my brain for the past week air out, so that I can perhaps get some fresh thoughts in the old belfry.
We have started work on our 6th hard mode: Conclave of Wind. We spent about 3.5 hours with it last night, trying to work through the kinks and really with a few tweaks I think we should net a kill fairly soon. We had the basic issues that everyone has with Rohash’s platform – but as people got more comfortable with it the mistakes slowed down. We didn’t really have issues with surviving the ultimates – and generally had both Rohash and Anshal down to ~30% before entering the second ultimate.
Really, the only bad thing about the encounter, in my opinion, is that it is very reminiscent of Vaelstraz in the wipe/run back repeat approach. When first learning the fight, you tend to wipe very early into it…repeatedly. With there being no trash to clear, and the wipes coming very close together, this means that you have wipes in very quick succession while trying to work through all of the mechanics/kinks. That in and of itself is one of the challenges in the encounter to my mind. It’s hard to keep people fresh and on their toes for wipe after wipe, with little or no reprieve in-between.
It’s my hope that we can shore up this encounter and net a kill tonight so we can start a new hard mode next week – but it may take us another night or two to work through everything.
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Be Warned, this is a fairly long Monday Musings! I’ve been so busy that I’ve not been posting with the frequency that I normally do, so I have a million things floating around in my head to get out!
On 4.0.6 Resto Druid Specs, or Is Nature’s Bounty Worth It…
For the sake of science I decided to try out a spec with Nature’s Bounty in it for this week’s raids. Here is what I went with. I will admit that while I really liked it on Heroic Chimaeron, I found it lack luster in a lot of other places, especially on Nefarion where I thought it would really shine in phase 2. This leaves me questioning if it was worth the loss of points from Furor to pick it up.
I’ve also seen a lot of other specs floating around out there, some drop LS and Efflorescence, some drop a point or two in GotEM, some drop Nature’s Cure and Nature’s Swiftness. And even considering all of those other options to find the points for Nature’s Bounty – I’m still not sure that it’s worth it. Personally, I just can’t give up my cleanses or Nature’s Swiftness. I get that some folks are comfortable with that decision, I am not.
The most common arguments that I hear for dropping other things to pick up Nature’s Bounty are that the other talents just aren’t competitive with Nature’s Bounty. In this light, a lot of people seem to be giving up efflorescence to pick it up, stating the efflorescence just doesn’t heal enough for 3 talent points into it. So I decided to look at my numbers for the past few raids that I’ve had Nature’s Bounty in my spec to see exactly what benefit it provides and how it performs
Even though I’m including my Regrowth numbers – they are a bit misleading as I would have still cast those regrowths, just now perhaps I had more crits from them. So when you see the regrowth numbers, take them with a grain of salt because they don’t really accurately reflect the healing I’m attributing to them. Really, all that is gained are a few more crits – so when trying to evaluate them for Nature’s Bounty’s vs. Efflorescence purposes the values are somewhat inflated.
If we look at my Heroic Chimaeron kill – where I felt that I got the most bang for my buck with Nature’s Bounty and really tried to weave nourishes in, Efflorescence accounted for 5.3% (361,226) of my healing – where nourish accounted for a whopping 2.8% (192,413) of my healing. Let’s go ahead and throw in Living Seed at 1.1% since I have to waste points there to get to Efflorescence. And we can look at my Regrowth crits (I had 34 of them) since presumably they’d be higher – bringing Regrowth to account for 3.00% of my overall healing done. When all is said and done – Living Seed + Efflorescence accounted for 6.4% of my overall healing and Regrowth + Nourish was only 5.8% of my healing. And that was with my really trying to give Nourish a fair shake.
Now, I know you are thinking that Chimaeron is a “perfect” fight for Efflorescence, and boosts the numbers. And that’s a “best” scenario. And I hear you. So let’s look at my Atremedes normal kill then. Efflorescence was 5.4% of my overall healing, regrwoth was 3.2%, living seed came in at 1.6% and nourish was a weak .8%. Again this puts Efflorescence + the lackluster living seed at 7% of my total healing and regrowth and nourish at only 4%. Although to be fair, with all the movement in this encounter nourish isn’t really super stealer, even with its 1.5 second cast time.
Ok, I hear what you are thinking now “but all of those encounters have SO much raid damage that efflorescence really shines”. I agree! So I thought “ok, let me find an encounter without a lot of raid damage”. And you know what? THEY DON’T EXIST! You know what else? This is even truer in Heroic Mode! There wasn’t a single encounter where there weren’t times that the raid is taking heavy damage.
In the interest of being thorough, however, let’s look at two more: Nefarian and Cho’Gall.
Nefarian – the one encounter where I really, really wanted to love Nature’s Bounty and Nourish: Efflorescence 6.1%, Living Seed 1.3%, Regrowth 3.4% and Nourish 4.3%. Efflorescence + living seed come out to 7.4% and Regrowth + Nourish come out to 7.7%.
Cho’Gall – Efflorescence 3.8%, Regrowth 3.2%, Nourish 3.0%, Living Seed 1.3%. Efflorescence + Living Seed come out to 5.1% and Regrowth + Nourish 6.2%.
Now, that the numbers are out there, let me also go ahead and state that every single encounter I was absolutely sucking fumes at the end. Gasping for more mana. Sometimes before I should have been.
My conclusion after a week of raiding with Nature’s Bounty? I do not think it was worth the points I gave up in Furor to get there. I also do not think that it’s better than Efflorescence. In fact, I think I’d even go as far as to say that, at least for 25 man raiding, it’s worse.
Has anyone else that has run any numbers with it that has any thoughts?
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When Blizzard announced/introduced their very own version of Power Auras into the default UI I was very skeptical. Were they going to be customizable? Will they show what I want them to show? Will they be adjustable at all? The answer was largely “no”. When I got into the PTR with Beru, and then subsequently into 4.0.1 when that went live, the first thing I wanted to know was how to turn the god awful things off.
They interfered with my current UI, I couldn’t move them, and about the only thing they show for resto druids was Omen of Clarity. Where was my low mana warning, and Innervate Ready, or Swiftmend Reminder? The bottom line was that, for me, the default auras were useless and in the way. I was going to continue to utilize my beloved, and highly customizable, Power Auras Classic. And after disabling the default auras I didn’t really give them much more thought. Read the rest of this entry »