Archive for the ‘Alt-aholic!’ Category

Dear Ghostcrawler, I Promise I’m Trying! I Really Am!   21 comments

A while back Ghostcrawler wrote a post regarding the relative difficulty of dungeons and their heroic counterparts.  He said a lot of things in that post that made me really respect him a lot more than I already did, but for the purposes of this story I want to highlight a bit of the post that has to do with group coordination – and more specifically crowd control.

Tanks, you can’t pull and AE every group in a Heroic (again, until you overgear the content). It’s a good idea to crowd control at least one target — and sometimes two. As long as you have someone with a long-duration and/or renewable crowd control and someone else with a short crowd control such as a stun or even a snare, you should be fine.

Before I get to exactly why I’m highlighting this, I want to look again to commentary that Ghostcrawler made.

This time I’d like to point you towards a post he made regarding tank threat, more specifically he talked about how sometimes when pulls go bad, it’s not always the tanks fault.  In fact, sometimes other players in the group are equally, if not more, responsible for supposed “poor” tanking.

We do want players to pay attention. We don’t think it’s too much to ask for DPS and healers to wait a couple of GCDs for the tank to get the enemy under control — we’re not asking for five stacks of Sunder Armor these days

Ok, ok!  I know that by now you are probably wondering where I am going with this!  Well, I’d like to tell you the story of the little orc that could (also known as Kitai). Read the rest of this entry »

Monday Musings: Is Nature’s Bounty Worth It Edition   7 comments

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
comparatively.

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?

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted February 14, 2011 by Beruthiel in Alt-aholic!, Druid Healing, Raid Leadership, Raiding

A Second Look At WoW’s Default Auras   23 comments

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 »

Posted November 11, 2010 by Beruthiel in Add Ons, Alt-aholic!, Deep Thoughts, Power Auras

Relearning to Heal   26 comments

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

As timely as it may be, this post isn’t referring to the upcoming Cataclysm changes. Although, I do think the title would be appropriate for that as well! What I actually want to talk about is, well, relearning to heal! Have I confused you yet?

Awhile back you may recall that I mentioned I am working on leveling a mini-me. That is another little druid to tinker around with, who is, down to her professions, an exact copy of Beru. I have gotten her up to level 70 through a combination of questing and LFD healing, and on my journey I have had to relearn how to heal without all of the tools and gear that Beru has available to her. It has been quite the challenge, and anyone who says “healing is boring” should go make themselves a mini-me and challenge themselves.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted September 15, 2010 by Beruthiel in Alt-aholic!, Druid Healing, Healing

Monday Musings   11 comments

On Raiding –

HM LK

We are still working at HM LK in our 10 man group. We went in last night, after having a not so great Tuesday, and did alright. We had 20 pulls left for the week, and spent 3 hours on 15 of those pulls. It was a fairly productive night of work with him, and I didn’t feel like killing kittens when we were finished. Of our 15 pulls, 5 of them made it into the final phase. Several of them had RNG mishaps – the disease dying on a ghoul that delayed behind while we were moving for the transition, the disease stacking poorly on shamblers and going into the final phase with a shamble up, etc. But all in all – it was a very good night’s worth of work.

We actually started working on our new soaking strategy, and had a few pulls where the soakers were doing great…but we failed at defile. So, as we took a few pulls towards the end of the night, and it became clear that our focus was spent, we decided to “practice” our defile. We flipped the sucker to normal and spent about 30+ minutes just practicing defile and soaking in phase 3. Sure, things line up differently, but we forced ourselves to learn how to move from the defile. I felt it was very productive.

The group as a whole has been dedicating more time to the encounter, which is commendable because this is their off time. The end results being: getting into the first transition in less than two minutes, getting out of the third phase in four valks (less if our warlock gets picked up), having only one raging spirit up as we come up from the first harvest soul, and learning to maneuver with/around defiles in our final phase. I think we should have a kill soon. I hope. It needs to happen before 4.0 hits – I am concerned that I will not be able to deal with the tank damage with the changes to my class.

25 Man Progress

We are still chugging along. We made some progress on HM Halion again this week, which is always encouraging, and the majority of our raid team seems to want to go back in for Alone in the Darkness. We plan on taking a few pulls on this next raid reset, having cleared Ulduar out with the weekly this week. We are continuing to feel out our raid team very carefully as the end of the expansion looms even closer.

On Patch 4.0 –

I am concerned. As a guild, we tend to raid until one or two weeks before the expansion releases. My biggest concern is with our ability to be able to continue and do this with the class changes coming in 4.0. Most notably with healing. My concern lies in the fact that everything the devs have said regarding healing in Cataclysm, and the direction they are taking, being a very large move away from the WotLK healing model. So…exactly how are we supposed to continue healing in ICC with a new and vastly different tool kit that was specifically designed for a completely different healing model? We are supposed to heal “spammy” damage with a toolkit focused on “non-spammy” heals? Am I missing something here?

Perhaps I’m just being a worry wart, but I am hugely concerned by this. Maybe everything will be ok, maybe it won’t.

On Alts –

Elentari – She is about half way through level 70. I actually have some really interesting thoughts on how healing on a low level druid without all of the tools that you may be used to on a higher level druid can make you a better healer, that I’m debating doing another post about. Other than doing the daily with her, I’m just stockpiling some of her rested XP. She also learned the Crazy Alchemist’s potion – so I’m pleased about that!

Nadine – She has made it to Northrend and is about half way to 72. I have truly enjoyed the Northrend questing with her, and found the Vyrkul storyline that I’ve seen in Howling Fjord to be fantastic. As horde I always wondered why we were battling against the Vyrkul – so much is explained in the alliance story line!

I’m still trucking along with tanking, and so far, it’s not bad. I think my biggest complaint is that Righteous Fury isn’t automatically active when you switch over into a prot spec. I often do the first pull of an instance before realizing that I don’t have it turned on. Also, Divine Plea solves so many problems. Why aren’t paladins given this sooner?!?! (I know, I know, they do in Cataclysm).

All in all, I’m mostly enjoying my space goat. And since she’s on my second account, it gives me something to do while camping for my Frostbitten achievement on Beru.

On Achievements –

Speaking of achievements, I only need Dirkee for Frostbitten. I managed to snag both Aotona and Vyragosa yesterday. And actually, I only snagged Vyragosa because I’m such a fail ret paladin, and after dying (again) I tabbed over to Beru – and there she was! I was so excited. Now if only Dirkee would spawn, I’d be finished with this horrible achievement.

Of course, then I will continue to work on Bloody Rare. But supposedly the TBC rares are easier, due to the zones being less crowded.

On Cataclysm –

There are changes a brewing. We are having some discussions currently about the direction we’d like to take the guild in Cataclysm. We will also be offering folks the opportunity to switch their mains in Cataclysm. This is something that I’ve given a lot of thought to, as I’ve been fairly unhappy with what I’ve been seeing reported about resto druids in the beta. Not only that, but the seeming lack of concern from the devs regarding the feedback they are receiving from druids in the beta.

I am worried, and I have considered moving to one of my other healers for the expansion. But, I’ve been a druid since Vanilla. I just can’t see changing now, especially with all of the work I’ve put into Beru. So, for better or worse, I’m going to stay a druid. I spammed healing touch, I rolled Lifebloom, and I learned to love rejuv. I’m sure I’ll fare fine with whatever changes come my way.

Speaking of Cataclysm, we opened up a fun little contest to the guild to guess the release date of the expansion, and we’ve gotten some very interesting guesses! Personally, I picked 11/18/2010. When do you think it’s going to release? :)

(quick edit! I am a little behind in replying to comments. I promise, it’s coming!)

Posted September 13, 2010 by Beruthiel in Alt-aholic!, Just for Fun!, Raiding

Monday Musings: I Hate LK Edition   8 comments

It’s Monday again. And today definitely feels like a Monday. Honestly, I think the only thing that is getting me through today is the fact that I know we have Shadowmourne chest goodies to pass out tonight, and are bringing another group of contest folks in for our Lich King kill – which is always extremely rewarding for everyone involved. So what has Beru been up to lately? Let’s find out, shall we?!

On Raiding

10 Man HM Lich King – I officially hate this fight. It has gone from fun, to frustrating, to completely un-fun for me. At one point in the raid last night, I quite literally wanted to cry out of frustration. What I used to find “challenging” is now just 2-3 hours of high key stress. Last night we pushed into phase 5 a few more times, and survived harvest soul a few more times and worked on dealing with the Vile Spirits. We got him down to 27%. We are so close to a kill. I have no doubts that a few more times into phase 5 and we will see our kill. But oh Christ, that means more attempts.

So what’s the problem? It’s the fight itself. I know that I’ve mentioned it before, but I am two healing it with a Disc Priest. I do not recommend doing this if you want to keep your sanity. Every pull I am keyed up. Every pull I almost lose a tank. Every pull I struggle with keeping my mana in check as I try to manage everything from a healing perspective. Every pull I am quite literally on the edge of my seat hoping that I can keep it together. And I’m going to be honest here, if we don’t get it soon I just don’t know how many more pulls I’ve got in me before I completely lose my sanity.

I think part of our problem is that we only see the fight one time a week. So it takes us roughly an hour to “relearn” what we worked out last week. Then we have an hour where we have some great progression attempts. And then our attention starts to decline and we take steps back in progress, which is understandable because of the level of constant attention the encounter requires each and every pull. After talking with Brade this morning, and looking at our absentee list for our 25 man roster for the week, and seeing that we are out two main healers and a main tank – we may make an exception this week and not push HM RS as was originally planned and give our 10 man team more time with HM LK.

I know the fight is supposed to be a challenge. But there is a fine line between challenging and poor design. And HM LK, in my opinion, is more of the latter. A fight requiring an almost exact raid composition (which we do not have) is not good design, we should not be at a disadvantage because of our healing composition – and yet we are. We should be able to take 10 skilled raid members into the encounter and have the same challenges and successes with the encounter as any other 10 people at the same skill level. A fight leaving little to no room for even a small error isn’t fun, it’s frustrating. I can honestly say that I will be glad to have this finished for the 12 people that have put the time into this encounter, so that I never have to go back.

I’m sure once we knock out that last 17% I’ll have more thoughts to add, but for now I think I’ll just suffice it to say that I find this to be one of the most un-fun encounters that I’ve experienced in my 6 years of the game.

25 Man Heroic Halion – We have been sort of almost half heartedly working on this encounter. Our raid team as a whole has a bit of malaise floating around, and so we are trying to read the guild very carefully as we work progression. We usually spend about one raid night a week working him, if that, and have started learning phase 2. That is to say that we’ve worked through phase 1 and the transition into phase 2, now we just need to survive phase 2 so we can start learning phase 3.

Personally, I think I’ve come to a bit of a peace with this encounter. I’d love to finish it out before the expansion, and I certainly think that we are capable of doing it. But on the other hand, if we don’t I’m not going to be devastated over it either. We intend to keep picking at it each week and giving it a good effort – but I think that most people feel a bit how I feel.

On the Topic of Feminism and WoW that has Permeated the Blogosphere

I’m not going to be making a post on it.

But Beru, you are female and play WoW, why not?!?! The answer is simple. I’m oversaturated with the topic. I have gotten to the point that 90% of the blogs that are now posting on it, I just don’t read that post. I play WoW as a form or relaxation – and while I certainly have opinions on the topic (and many others), I don’t really want to integrate them into my entertainment. It’s largely the same reason that I don’t see 90% of war or politically driven cinema. If I go to a movie, chances are that I just want to unwind for a bit, or let my mind be engaged, depending on the type of film. I do not want to be preached at while I’m trying to unwind.

In my opinion, and for me (not that it’s the same for everyone), I want to bifurcate these types of issues from the venues that I chose to help me relax. I’m not saying the issues aren’t important, and that there aren’t issues to be addressed. I’m just saying that this isn’t the place I want to address them, if that makes any sense at all. As such, I won’t be saying much more, if anything, about the topic here. If you are interested, there are a plethora of other bloggers discussing it, I’d recommend starting here: http://mentalshaman.com/

On Alts

Mynn – This weekend as I was camping mobs for Frostbitten, someone said “I’m bored, let’s go do an ICC 10!”, and I was like “I’m in!” – because after days of camping rares anything to get away from it for a bit is good. Surprisingly this was a fantastic alt group, with a main or two thrown in, and we ended up going 10/12 HM (no Putricide) and most of the group just needs Metas and HM Putricide for a 310 drake. I’m hoping to find a time this week to take this group back in to complete this (although it will be two weeks for me, as I’ll need to take Earenn in for bubbles on LK this week, the week after one of the other priests should be able to do the same for me so Mynn can get the achievement!).

It ended up being a whole lot of fun and I’m looking forward to finishing it out.

Elentari – She’s just about ready for Northrend, sitting at level 67. I went back to try and catch her alchemy up – only to realize that I didn’t have a philosopher’s stone. I went to make one – only to find that all of the black vitriol on the AH didn’t have a buyout and was put up for 48 hours (ps…people who don’t put buyouts on things like that suck!). I also need to go and get her potion mastery quest so that I can get it completed before she heads to Northrend. I expect that she will be hopping around Northrend soon enough though J

Nadine – So I finally spent some time playing my alliance paladin yesterday. I managed to get her three and a half levels and she is now halfway to level 64. That means that she only has four and a half more levels until I can start in on the Alliance side Northrend quests, which I’m extremely excited about!

I also tanked my first few instances with her. The first one I did, I felt a bit clumsy for about half of the zone until I started to get the hang of paladin tanking. And then the next epiphany that I had was “OMG THIS IS SO MUCH EASIER THAN WARRIOR TANKING” immediately followed by “wtf…where is my AE silence button, I want to get these casters in here, oh right, not a blood elf”. Which actually brings me to the next, somewhat interesting point about Nadine…

I am finding that being a Dranaei is…different. Out of all of my characters this is the first one that I have ever felt outwardly…well, Skanky, for lack of a better term. Perhaps it’s because I’ve spent so much time on the Horde that I feel this way, but I have several Blood Elves and I’ve never felt so…well, sexualized I suppose! My Dranaei just seems so, er, come hither, sex kitten to me. I don’t find it disturbing as much as I find it interesting, well actually more bizarre than anything else I suppose! It makes me wonder why female tauren can’t be a bit more feminine…and y’know at least sound like they are female when they talk! Just sayin’ :)

On Achievements

I’m still trucking along on my quest for Frostbitten (need 8 more) and Bloody Rare. I am questioning daily what made me think this would be a good idea! I’d also like to pick on a good number of the Ulduar achievements that I’m missing in both 10 and 25 man. Oh – and Earth, Wind and Fire! Yes, please!

Anyhow! That is what has been going on in my corner or Azeroth! I’m still trucking about and trying to get a few things accomplished before Cataclysm Launches! How’s everything going for everyone else out there?

Posted August 30, 2010 by Beruthiel in Achievements, Alt-aholic!

In The Absence of Go Go Go, or How Taking Your Time Can Be Rewarding Too!   12 comments

Last night I had a rather rare experience, I entered a group through the looking for dungeon tool in the upper 50’s bracket and found that I was the only person utilizing heirloom items. I was intrigued. On my first interaction with the group I had the feeling that these were players that had just recently stepped into the game without a lot of experiences, and that these may well be their first characters, and first treks through Azeroth.

The instance that was selected for us was Dire Maul East. Now, having LOVED Dire Maul back in vanilla, I am intimately familiar with the zone. But…as I find myself in this bracket in the LFD tool, I have come to realize that if you don’t know where you are going in this very large instance, you are likely to get lost in all of the corridors. This wing is especially tough as in order to have the tree bust the door down you have to clear the other mini-bosses in the zone (a change that was made back in vanilla to hinder quel’serrar farming). So, if you didn’t know that, or know that there are 4 bosses (if you include Pulsin) that you have to clear first, I could see how this zone could be frustrating and how you could get lost in the maze.

However, not to be daunted, the tank laughed and said “I’ve never been here before, I’ll need some help”. No one in the group complained and no one in the group dropped. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted May 18, 2010 by Beruthiel in Alt-aholic!, Just for Fun!

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