Archive for the ‘MoP’ Category
I found this picture on the internet. Google links it back to ectmmo.com – so credit to them, I suppose!
I have now had experience with all six of the raid bosses that are currently available, as well as the two world bosses. As I have approached raiding this expansion, it has been with a love/hate relationship with my mana bar. And by love/hate, I suppose it’s probably more like a 20/80 split. There have been so many times that I’ve approached the end of an encounter cursing that damn blue bar. Cursing the raid wide AE damage pummeling the raid. Cursing my relative inability to efficiently deal with it.
And one night, as I was trying to squeeze out one more spell at the end of Elegon, in hopes that it might keep someone alive long enough to do just a tiny bit more damage, I couldn’t help but wonder: who decides what makes healing fun?
I mean, I know that the devs are invested in making the game engaging for everyone. But as we are immersed in yet another healing paradigm change I once again revel in the shortcomings of our toolkit, that are always highlighted the strongest when mana is an issue. But I don’t necessarily want to talk about how Mushrooms fell flat, or how Rejuv is still our way to get a raid topped up in high damage situations, and is so expensive that it’s laughable to think it can be effective – which means you have to throttle the one of the only tools you have to work with in those situations.
Rather, what I want to think about is why the devs seem to always go back to “making mana important” or why making your mana pool so tight that it’s borderline frustrating to work with equates to fun. Read the rest of this entry »
Good Luck on your first journeys through Pandaria, Everyone!
Be sure to take some time to enjoy the beautiful scenery of Pandaria – if you don’t, you will really be missing out on one of the best things about the expansion.
You will likely see me resurface in approximately one week (when I am forced to return to work!).
Everywhere you look, Pandaria is all the rage. People are preparing, excited to start their new adventures, counting down the days until Tuesday, September 25. And while I am usually one of those people, I’m having a hard time working up to the frenzy that usually surrounds a release. I know that the expansion is gorgeous – I marveled at the detail in the beta. I know that there are a lot of things that I’m looking forward to doing. I’ve got gear lists running out my ears, new raid bosses to explore and pokemon to play.
But when I think about next week, it’s with a little bit of regret and fair amount of sadness. And, I suppose if I’m being honest, a case of the jitters and nerves.
Let’s back up. I suppose this story needs to start at the beginning.
When MoP was released, I did what I do every expansion year: I requested a week off work, and got ready to hunker down. Brade had done the same thing. We’ve leveled every expansion together since TBC. And even though he drives me absolutely nuts leveling with him because he often forgets I’m there, doesn’t give me time to read all the quests, doesn’t account for my OH SHINY distractions and tends to be very particular about the pace at which he does things, it’s just something we’ve done together time after time. Once we’ve deprived ourselves of sunshine and sleep to reach max level, we start the gear grind together (which is significantly less rage inducing on my part!). This process is just as much a part of the expansion for me as having a gear wipe, relearning my class and spending several hours leveling fishing. Read the rest of this entry »
Our last raid of the expansion was last Wednesday. We came, we saw, and we kicked Deathwing’s ass…again. But then we told everyone to take two weeks off. Go recharge. Refresh your batteries, and your mind, so you are ready to go when MoP launches. Of course, having all this down time makes me wonder what to do with myself as we wait for Tuesday, September 25. Oddly, I’ve found myself playing more WoW than I was before! I have good reasons though, I swear!
So during this down time, I’ve decided to take advantage of the faster Cataclysm leveling and push both my inscriptionist (warlock) and my enchanter (priest) to 85 so that they are ready to handle their respective professions. It’s been relatively quick, and my priest only has a level to go – after about two days of playing her somewhat sporadically. One thing that has surprised me a little bit is how much I’ve been enjoying priest healing. I’m not really sure why I didn’t level her sooner, maybe burn out – as 5 of my other classes at 85 were healers, but I think she is becoming one of my favorite healers to play, usurping a spot left vacant by my paladin. It’s really a bit odd – I loved my paladin up until 4.3. And then the playstyle just felt a little flat to me and I stopped playing her. I don’t know if I can really explain it better than that – paladin healing just didn’t feel as involved for me as my druid or my shaman. Maybe it’s different now that 5.0.4 has hit – but I’m having such a blast PoMing my way around (seriously, does PoM not have just the best sound ever?) that I wonder if my poor paladin isn’t going to have the fate that my priest did this expansion. Max her trade skills, let her collect dust.
Anyhow, outside of the leveling bit, I’ve been doing quite a bit of reading (loving these Rizzoli and Isles novels that the show was based from!), some more cooking and trying out new recipes (some with more success than others), and debating if I should dig out some of the games collecting dust that I’ve never played, or started playing and never quite finished. Tate list is embarrassingly large. Lets see…what is on the list of shame:
- Mario 3D (in progress!)
- Kingdom Hearts for the 3DS
- Super Princess Peach (where Peach has to rescue Mario!) on the DS
- Bowser’s Inside Story (where the game is from Bowser’s PoV) on the DS
- Epic Mickey, just need to finish! And it’s such a fun game.
- Zelda (both of them….) on the Wii
- Final Fantasy…whichever was the last one that came out on the PS3 (I started it, just never quite finished!)
- Oh…and uh, Final Fantasy 12 (maybe?) was that the final one released on the PS2. (I think my PS2 s still hooked up…)
- Dance Central on the Kinect (I still don’t have all the songs unlocked!)
- Disney Adventures on the Kinect (may or may not still be in the packaging)
- Super Mario Galaxy…the first one!
- Guitar Hero Aerosmith
- Portal 2 – lost when my HD crashed. I’ve reinstalled, just never gotten back to it.
- Skyrim. I think I have like, 2? hours of time played.
- Diablo 3 – I know that I’m no where near with finished with this game, I just haven’t gotten back to it in awhile.
- Golden Eye – the remake – for PS3. Also may or may not be in the packaging, but in my defense I totally played the shit out of the original.
I’m sure this is only a fraction of my list, and if I sat down at home and went through my piles I’d have more to add. And perhaps some day I will get to them – if only that pesky WoW wasn’t in the way. I guess my thought process is that these games will always be there, but WoW is more fluid and ever changing that I don’t want to miss anything. But I can’t help wonder what I have missed because of my time in WoW. Bah. Well, anyhow, I think I might try to make my way through a game or two on this list in the next two weeks. Besides, if I don’t shorten my list how on earth will I convince Brade that I need Luigi’s Mansion 2 when it finally decides to release?
Anyhow, down time. I’ve plednty to do, just never enough time to get to it all. Or I just don’t make enough time. Probably a little bit of both!
What are you doing in the down time before MoP?
We had our final raid last night, and I decided that I would play around with Soul of the Forest a little bit. I know, I know – after last week’s raid disaster you’d think that I would just go with what is familiar to me. But between last week and this week, with the help of a friend, I managed to get my groove (and confidence) back. As such, I ran a LFR on Tuesday night where I played around a bit with Soul of the Forest, and then used it for the first six fights in Dragon Soul last night (I used ToL for spine and madness due to mana concerns on those two encounters). I’m not sure that I’m drinking the Soul of the Forest koolaid, but I’m not dumping it into the nearest potted plant either.
Yes, I am starting backwards! And I’m going to answer the ultimate question on everyone’s mind “which is better – SotF or ToL”?
Ultimately I think the choice between Soul of the Forest and ToL is going to come down to two things: Your preferred play style and mana constraints of a given encounter. While Soul of the Forest looks to be providing more output, just based on numbers alone, the other benefits to ToL should not be discounted and will be equally as valuable.
Early Thoughts on Soul of the Forest Read the rest of this entry »
I’ve gotten a few questions about what we should be doing once 5.0.4 goes live on Tuesday, so I thought I’d put together a quick FAQ on preparing for the patch and offer my thoughts on the changes that you will be faced with.
How Should I Spec?
I think the first question that is on the forefront of everyone’s mind is “what do I do with these new talents”. Here is my recommendation:
I’ve already talked a lot about the talent trees in other posts, so I’m not going to go into too much detail again here. I will say that you should explore the other options in the 45 and 75 tier if you haven’t had a chance to play around with them on the beta. I would also encourage you to play around with the level 60 talents to get a feel for them as well if you haven’t been on the beta. However, when push comes to shove, these are the talents that I think will work best at level 85 for our last few weeks of Cataclysm.
What haste breakpoint do I need?
Since we are still at level 85, our haste breakpoints will remain the same. You will still want to have 2005 haste. Keep in mind, however, that you will be losing your idol. So if you had any haste on your idol, you will want to be sure to find somewhere to reforge or regem so that you are at 2005 again.
Do I really only have 100k mana?
You do! You will also be losing revitalize as a source of regen and intellect no longer has an effect on your mana pool or regen. From my play on the beta, I think that you will probably feel the pinch a little, but not an extraordinary amount at level 85. If you find that you are running out of mana too quickly during encounters try backing off of your rejuv use some. If that still isn’t sufficient, reforge some of that spirit back onto your gear. I ran at about 2600 spirit at level 85 on the beta, so if you are one of the players who dropped down below 2000 you will likely want to reforge some of that spirit back before stepping into your first post-5.0 raid. Read the rest of this entry »
Heroic Scarlet Monastery
I finally had some time this weekend to get into a couple of LFR groups and do some raid testing. Having been unable to participate in almost all of the other testing because of the times testing was available, I was excited to get in there and see how druids played out in a raid setting. Even though this was just LFR, and the weakest of the 25 man raid settings, I was able make a few observations with regards to our stat priorities and our toolkit. As such, I wanted to talk a little bit about how I felt we fit into the overall picture.
I did two front half LFRs comprising of three bosses. The first one I did we couldn’t get past the second boss – as in grand LFR fashion a wipe meant half the raid dropping and having to refill (even in beta!). The second one I was able to kill all three bosses in the first half of the zone. Overall I found the bosses to be fairly fun; however I strongly suspect that the second boss will see a nerf to phase 3 in its LFR version before it goes live.
Let’s move on and talk a little bit about the healing. If you have any specific questions about the raid or bosses themselves, let me know and I’ll try to answer them to the best of my ability! Read the rest of this entry »
Above is a video from heroic Scarlet Halls. The zone combines the old Armory and Library from Scarlet Monestary. I really enjoyed the zone, and thought the upgrades to the encounters were fun.
I am running the same spec and stats as I have for the other heroic videos I’ve posted to date. I had a few folks ask how I was specc’d so I thought I’d take a little bit of time to talk about what I’m thinking regarding my resto spec as I move from the beta to live.
Tier One: In this tier I’ve been playing with Wild Charge, which is what I have indicated above – however I believe pretty firmly that Feline Swiftness will be the superior ability for PvE, and what I will be taking on live, provided nothing changes in that tier.
Tier Two: I strongly feel that Nature’s Swiftness is the best contender in this tier for PvE. Cenarion Ward has some potential, but not enough to make me beleive I should drop NS to pick it up.
Tier Three: This tier is almost optional for resto, as such take whatever you want. I found typhoon to be very valuable while leveling, and of the abilities available has the most potential to be useful in PvE – but I don’t anticipate getting much use of it in raids.
Tier Four: As I stated the other day, in this tier I prefer ToL over Force of Nature. A lot of this boils down to the fact that I want to retain control of my heals and not give that up to the treants AI. Assuming that the two have roughly the same output potential, I think that this tier is ultimately going to come down to your personal preference as a player.
Tier Five: This is another set of talents that are almost optional, and you can likely take whatever you want. I have grown quite fond of might bash. It is quite good while leveling and is a like a Druid Hammer of Justice, which can be useful on trash, etc. The only downside is the limited range, but of all of the abilities I feel that this will translate the best into a PvE setting – but is certainly not game breaking. Take whatever you want in this tier, but don’t undervalue the power of a well timed stun!
Tier Six: I talked at length about this tier the other day, but I’ll add a few thoughts here as well. Of all of the healer classes, I really feel that Druids received the weakest final tier. However, lemons/lemonade, etc. As such, your choice in this tier is going to really be driven by your preference, assuming that all three remain relatively equal in thruoughput. If you want to work with weaving wrath in for one, more powerful, heal – and find this game play intriguing, you may want to opt for Dream. Personally, that style of play does not appeal to me. As such, I have opted for the boosted healing found in Nature’s Vigil, and anticipate that this is what I will select on live as well. I am still toying around with the boosted stats found in Heart of the Wild – but not thrilled with anything else about the talent.
What are your thoughts on the talents as we push closer to release? Which a abilities do you think you will be favoring?
Have a video of Heroic Scholomance.
Yesterday Blizzard’s devs dropped a bit of a bombshell on the raiding community that was met with mixed reactions. Namely, they revealed that while there are three instances comprising Mists’ first raid tier, only one will be open at launch. Not only that, but they alluded to the first instance, Mogu’shan Palace, not being opened until the second week the game is live. There was talk about how second two zones in the tier were tied together in a story arc, that admittedly looks kind of cool, and would be released a few weeks after Mogu’shan Palace became available.
These announcements were met with a combination of sighs of relief from some and anger from others. I wanted to take a minute and explain my thoughts on the topic, which may well be a minority opinion amongst progression raiders. I like that the instances will be gated. Let me see if I can articulate why I feel this way. Read the rest of this entry »
This weekend I spent some time in the beta trying to get a feel for both mana and healing at level 90. Since I learned early on that I was likely going to be unavailable for just about all of the raid testing that was happening on weekdays while I was still at work, I was fairly unmotivated to continue my level push to 90. I wasn’t going to be able to contribute where I wanted, being raid testing, and there were better things I could spend my time on. However, after the surprise round of weekend testing (which was blatantly obvious in being scheduled to combat a Guild Wars 2 beta weekend), I decided to get my ass in gear and push out the last two levels on the beta. Granted, I would be shocked if we see another set of weekend raid tests, but nonetheless if they are appear, I will be ready.
Anyhow, this is just a really long winded way of saying “I’m not qualified to tell you how your mana is going to be in raids”. I’ve talked to a few people who are doing some of the beta testing, and they’ve indicated that mana is tight – but that it’s tight across the board and all healers are in the same boat.
What I do feel qualified to spend a little bit of time talking about is how your mana and spells feel before you enter a raid environment. I spent quite a bit of time on Sunday running five of the nine heroics available: Gate of the Setting Sun, Scarlet Monastery, Scarlet Halls, Scholomance and Mogu’shan Palace. I ran all of them with Brade tanking and three PuG DPS. I’ve captured FRAPS of all of the bosses for each instance, and throughout the week I will be posting them, starting with Gate of the Shattered Sun below. I intend to run the last four of the heroic instances throughout the week, and will also offer some feedback on those as well. One thing that I’d like to make a note of with regards to these videos is that we moved the beta off of my SSD to free up space on it, which means that the beta is now running on the same drive that I assigned for FRAPS to write to, which in turn means that I have a little more lag running FRAPS and you may occasionally see some choppiness in the video as a result.
Now that I’ve gotten all of the qualifiers out of the way, let’s get down to my thoughts, shall we? (Man, no wonder my posts can be so long, it takes me hundreds of words just to get to the point!) Read the rest of this entry »