Archive for the ‘MoP’ Category

Fixing the Forest, Part IV – Symbiosis   23 comments

I’m not going to lie, I’ve been avoiding this post. At first it was because I told myself “I want practical experience with symbiosis before writing about it”, but even as I sit here today I’m trying to think of other things I can do to avoid talking about the big pink elephant in the room that is Symbiosis. I suspect that part of the problem that I’m having with this is that I can see a good number of things being really great for our PvP Resto brethren, but it still doesn’t remove the underwhelmed feeling that I get when I think about the ability for PvE restos.

The Problem: I think the biggest issue I have with symbiosis is that I don’t really feel compelled to utilize it. That is to say that in most circumstances, the things that I gain from the ability just aren’t something that I resort to when the shit hits the fan to make things better. While some of the abilities can potentially be lifesaving for me individually (ice block, ice bound fortitude), I am having a real issue resolving the fact that I feel really indifferent about having to use our staple “new” ability for this expansion. I understand that it’s going to share around some raid utility, which will be more important in smaller raids and groups than larger raids, and that we shouldn’t throw the baby out with the bath water before we see how it works in a raid setting; but to me, the fact that I can completely ignore the ability in my most “oh shit” moments to date and still be just as effective as I was before symbiosis is really hard for me to reconcile. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted May 16, 2012 by Beruthiel in Beta, Druid Healing, MoP

Shado-pan Monastery and Mogu’Shan Palace, Druid Style   Leave a comment

I had time over the weekend to run the two new instances on the beta. I was level 87 when I did them, and was 100% in the Cataclysm gear that I transferred Beru onto the beta wearing (appx. 405 iLevel, 2700 spirit). As long as I was smart about healing my mana felt fine. I still  had to be careful not to heal poorly, as doing so did mean that I felt a pinch on my mana, but as long as I made good decisions I was okay. One thing that I will comment on is the new cooldown on the dispel mechanic. We had a particularly bad trash pull in Mogu’shan palace in which the mobs put out a fairly nasty debuff. I will say that the cooldown on dispelling in a 5 man definitely made me think about who to dispel and who to let the debuff tick on and try to heal through. I actually kind of liked having to think through this in the intimate setting of five mans, but do have some concerns as to how it may play out in a larger raid setting.

The other thing I’d like to comment on is Symbiosis. When I remembered to put it up, I tried to put it up on someone that it would be moderately useful. However, I failed to actually utilize any of my abilities gained. Ok…well, I may have lifegriped and over-eager tank who wouldn’t give me a second to drink before charging to to pull trash, but outside of that, I really didn’t use it at all. To me, this seems to be somewhat problematic. While I wasn’t trilled about mushrooms, at least I try to use them, and try to find ideal times to benefit from them. With Symbiosis I can honestly say that at this juncture in my play, I may as well not even have it as an ability. Sure, it’s my fault for being shitty and forgetting to utilize it as much as I could – but if I’m going to be honest outside of the time I gave it to a mage and a DK, I gained no benefit because the other members of my group gave me nothing particularly useful to make me want to use it. Part of that may be because Monks currently give me swim speed (not final….), warriors give intimidating roar, shaman give me spiritwalker’s grace and I get cleanse from paladins. None of which are particularly helpful (or at all) in the majority of situations. I think I will probably do a separate post about this problem – but I did want to mention it now – in case you were wondering what I thought of it/if I used it.

As for the instances themselves, I will say that I was very impressed. They looked beautiful, the mechanics in them were fresh and interesting and I enjoyed my participation in them – even when things didn’t quite go my way.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to let me know.

Posted May 14, 2012 by Beruthiel in MoP

Fixing the Forest, Part III: Level 90 Druid Talents – A Resto Perspective   23 comments

Apparently while I was somewhere over the Rocky Mountains yesterday, Blizzard made a change to the level 90 druid talents. I think that it is safe to say the it was pretty unanimously agreed upon that a change was needed, as the old talents were very lackluster and didn’t really offer any dynamic decisions. Druids sat by the wayside turning green with envy as other classes were tended to, and growing ever greener as new things were announced and druids seemingly continued to be overlooked by the developers. Well, the crab himself emerged and gave us a bit of hope and a lot of needed developer presence. While my green isn’t entirely gone, I have gone down a few shades with yesterday’s announcement. While I’m still pretty sure that none of the devs are playing a druid, at least I know we are finally getting some much needed attention.

The question that we have to address with the announced changes is “are these the changes we were looking for?”.  Well, in an attempt to answer that from a resto perspective I think we need to take a look at what we were presented and talk a little bit about what the changes offer us. As such, let’s take a look. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted May 8, 2012 by Beruthiel in Druid Healing, MoP

Stormstout Brewery, Druid Style   Leave a comment

I had a little bit of time today, so I decided that I’d run Stormstout Brewery. It was the first instance I’d done since hitting 86, and I wanted to get a feel for how my mana held up and if healing felt any different, or more strained. Ultimately, my mana was fine. I was never at risk of being completely dry, including a pull where I aggro’d an extra pack, we lost a DPS and a DPS went AFK (it was a VERY long pull). My healing felt pretty good and aside from not understanding some mechanics (more on that later), I didn’t really ever feel that I struggled to keep my group alive. Now, the video capture that I did here, was from the second time that I cleared through the instance. Since I knew what to expect, I thought “hey, let’s fraps!”.

While this was largely the case, when we got to the final boss in the zone, I was humbled to realize that he uses different mechanics and isn’t always the same. So imagine my surprise when I didn’t have my “bubbly” jump really high debuff and instead something else happened. It took me a few cycles before my brain clicked enough to realize what the bubble debuff did, and once that happened, we were set. However, until that point there was sheer panic on my part the very first time I encountered the bubbles and couldn’t heal. A little less panic when I actually figured out how to pick the damn bubble up and realized there was just no healing in that phase. And finally bliss when the lightbulb went off and I figured it out. However, I decided to keep this boss in, rather than re-capturing, because I think it illustrates that we still have the capability of dealing with things when everything goes awry.

The one thing I will say is that I didn’t really use mushrooms nearly as much as I did in the Temple of the Jade Serpent. Partly because there wasn’t really a great place for them, and in the occurance of the last boss, because when everything went to hell in a hand basket “OMG MUSHROOM” wasn’t really the first thing I thought of in terms of (barely) keeping things together. Regardless, I hope you enjoy and please feel free to let me know if you have any questions!

Posted May 1, 2012 by Beruthiel in MoP

A Picture and A Thousand Words   5 comments

Ok, this post likely isn’t going to have one thousand words, but it does have a picture!

At some point after they opened level to 87, my resolve not to level and to just wait for level 90 pre-mades eroded. I blame wanting to play around with Symbiosis. Anyhow, resolve gone. So Brade and I have been putzing around a little more on the beta; him because he wants to get a feel for the monk class as he’s thinking about rerolling due to years of frustration with feral druids by the end of each expansion (maybe I’ll get him to do a guest post on that…) and me because, well, symbiosis! Because of some of the bugs with swapping specs currently, I’ve been leaching off of his damage while leveling because I grew tired of having to respec, reglyph and fixing my action bars constantly, which means I’ve been leveling resto (or mostly bouncing around looking at things while aimlessly tossing a rejuv on him and going “OH, SHINY!” as I’m distracted by the beautiful scenery, while he kills shit. Don’t judge! He likes doing that spinning crane kick thingie anyhow, I’M REALLY JUST HELPING HIM DECIDE IF HE LIKES THE CLASS!).

Anyhow, after dinner last night we sat down to play a little bit and decided we might as well do some of the quests (we generally had just been running through the one instance available to us). While doing this, we learned a number of things, the most important of which is that currently no drops are shared between party members – and the new vehicle frame is kind of bad ass. Anyhow, we got to this quest last night that wanted you to go meditate at various shrine things. And so we did. Until we got to the final one and found what you see in the above picture.

Yes, folks, that is a very long line to complete this quest. I felt like I was at the DMV, “take a number, and wait for it to be called, please”. Apparently the quest can only be completed by one person at a time, and is very buggy (welcome to beta, folks!). After standing in this line for about 10 minutes, Brade and I were like “fuck this, let’s queue for that instance again!” and departed. However, I woke up early this morning and rushed through my morning routine so I could log in with the hopes of quickly finishing the quest outside of prime time…and there was still a line!

All I could do was laugh.

I suppose the fact that people were moderately civil enough to form the line to begin with should be appreciated. But good lord! All I could think was “this is like the Vaelstraez of cockblocks for questing!”. I went back and shared with Brade that while the line was appreciably smaller, it did, in fact, still exist and I was out of time and needed to go to work. However, to my surprise, rather than lazing in bed for a bit, he apparently got up, stuck us both in the line, went about his morning routine, and completed the quest so that we could move on (true love right there, folks!). 

This post doesn’t really have a point, it’s just that I have been so amused by this quest, that I thought I would share. :)

As a side note for those putzing around in the beta, I found a fairly irritating bug last night while healing a Guardian Druid (aka a bear). Just as a head’s up, and this is only prevalent when healing a bear, your lifebloom does not currently refresh via Healing Touch, Regrowth or Nourish. To keep a three stack up, you must refresh it by adding another lifebloom.

Oh, and for those interested, I parsed a couple of my forays last night (including the one with the bear tank). Feel free to peruse them as you will.

Posted April 18, 2012 by Beruthiel in Beta, Just for Fun!, MoP

Temple of the Jade Serpent, Druid Style   9 comments

I had some time this weekend to fraps the four bosses in the first instance in the beta, Temple of the Jade Serpent. At level 85, I’ve yet to have any mana problems, but will touch back on this subject when I hit 86. I haven’t reforged back any spirit, and I’m still sitting at about 2600. A few things to note: I had some trouble dropping mushrooms on the last boss, I would drop them, but the third shroom just would not drop. It was getting increasingly frustrating. Tree of Life, when utilizing the lifebloom glyph, is currently instantly adding 3 stacks of lifebloom to each target you cast the spell upon (you can see this on the third boss). And lastly, I found a particularly nasty bug on the last boss involving ToL and Mushrooms. If you pre-plant your shrooms and swap into ToL during the shadow phase of the encounter, and then try to detonate them, you will critical error out. I only caused us to wipe three times to this ;)

I’m a little clunky as my keybinds still aren’t second nature to me yet, but it should give you a relative feeling for how healing is looking so far.

Please don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any questions!

Posted April 15, 2012 by Beruthiel in Druid Healing, MoP

Mini-Post: Making Mouseover Macros (or, surviving beta without addons!)   14 comments

One of the first things that most people who log into the MoP beta quickly realize is that they no long have access to their lovely UI that they have slaved hours to perfect on live. There are a number of reasons for this, with the most prominent being that Blizzard needs to test things and know that when something isn’t working as intended it’s their problem and not some third-party addon glitch. In time, addons will be permitted, however there is a great deal of testing that you may want to do in the interim, and you want to be as functional a player as possible.

Ugh! You think. You’ve been healing with grid and clique, or Vuhdo, or some such similar raid frame setup for ages. How are you ever going to manage your way through anything without these tools?!?! Don’t worry! It’s really not all that bad and there are a few things that can make it significantly less painful!

First of all, pull out your raid frames and  utilize them as your party frames. You can move them around, and you aren’t constantly squinting at the top left corner of your screen to see your party. This is probably the single, most helpful, thing that you can do for yourself.

The second most helpful thing that you can do, is create mouseover macros for yourself. I know, I hear you asking “wtf is a mouseover macro, and why do I even need it, Beru?!”. Well, let me tell you a little bit about what a mouseover macro does! It allows you to heal a target without having to click on that target to select them first. So basically, you just need to mouse over the target (as you would with Clique) and then activate the keybind that you’ve selected to bind your heals (sadly, blizzard doesn’t have a way to bind to your mouse in their default UI, so everything must be keybound). It saves you from having to first having to select the target you want to heal by clicking on them, and then subsequently clicking the spell you’d like to cast.

So, how do you create these magic mouseover macro things? Well, it’s pretty simple!

  • Open your interface menu (click “esc”) and select the “macros” option.
  • When the macro menu opens up, select the “new” button.
  • You will now be given the option to name your macro and select an icon. Do not worry about selecting an icon, you will not need it (more on this in a bit!), but go ahead and name it – I tend to just use the spell name.
  • Once you’ve done that, you will now have the option to fill out the macro text. Use the following text (there are two lines in the macro, just as shown below):
    /cast [@mouseover] (enter spell name)

    • i.e. If I wanted to create a macro for healing touch, it would look like this:
      /cast [@mouseover] Healing Touch

      • Note that capitilazation and spelling are important, as your macro will only work properly if everything is spelled correctly and your spell names appear just as they do in your spell book. As an option, when you are entering the spell name, you can open your spell book and shift click the spell and it will automatically enter it into your macro.
  • Now, drag the icon for the macro (it will start as a “?”) onto your action bars. You are finished! Heal your way to glory!

But…won’t I be looking at a bunch of  “?”, Beru? I’m so glad you asked! No, you won’t! That first line of the macro (#showtooltip) will automatically change the icon to the default icon the first time you cast the spell, and it will look just as it does in your spellbook.

Once you become more comfortable with creating macros, you can do all kinds of crazy thing with them – but this particular macro will make healing on the beta much more intuitive and fluid. Good Luck on your early panda adventures, and don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any questions!

edit: As of the current version of the beta (v._____) you will need to add an ! before the following spells for your mouseovers to work:

Healing Touch
Iron Bark
Nature’s Cure
Incarnation: Tree of Life (even though it’s not a mouse over, in hindsight, I’m not even sure why I’m macro-ing this…)

They would look like !Healing Touch in your spell name, for example. Note that this is likely a bug and will be fixed in future beta builds.

As an additional note – it seems that the current beta build has broken [target@self] macros for the time being as well.

Posted April 13, 2012 by Beruthiel in Beta, Healing, MoP

Fixing the Forest, Part II – Searching for Solutions   43 comments

Last week I explored the problems that we saw in hard mode raiding with the resto druid toolkit. The identified issue was our significant lack of ability to deal well with burst AE healing situations. The next step is looking for ways to address this issue in MoP. To do this, I think we must first start with the solution Blizzard is proposing, and then discuss what issues we may have and why we may need changes to that proposal to make sure that it solves the issue, rather than exacerbate the problem. Since I’m a pretty firm believer of “don’t bring me a problem unless you have a suggestion for a solution”, I also think it’s important to offer some alternative thoughts on how the issue can be addressed.

Blizzard’s Fix – Healing Mushrooms

In recognizing that something was missing in the resto druid toolkit, Blizzard made an effort to fill in the gap for MoP by implementing a change to the current level 85 ability that druids received in Cataclysm – Mushrooms. Rather than detonate them so that they explode, if you are a resto druid your mushrooms now “bloom” and heal. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted April 10, 2012 by Beruthiel in Druid Healing, MoP, Mushrooms

Fixing the Forest, Part I – Analyzing the Issue   25 comments

It has come to my attention that as we move forward in trying to find a “good” place for druids with Mists, the first step in doing so is to pinpoint what needs to be fixed. And to do that, it’s important to explore where druids struggled in Cataclysm. In a world where there are not only multiple raid sizes, but multiple difficulties of each encounter, this becomes increasingly difficult to do. The issue is that not all problems are seen at all levels of play, so while you may have one druid screaming from the rooftops about the quality of their life, you may have another sitting around scratching their head going “I don’t know what they are talking about, I feel fine”.

This great diversity leads to a pleothora of thoughts on what is, and isn’t, working for druids currently. That is to say that where a druid whose raid experience is solely with LFR is likely to have a different perspective on druid healing than a druid who is running normal mode raids. And that druid is likely to have a different perspective on a druid who is healing in hard mode raids. As each raid difficulty grows, the challenge that each druid faces changes. Where mechanics seem fine in one setting, when they are being pushed in another they may feel underwhelming or insufficient. However, those who don’t experience that, don’t have a full understanding of those struggles.

As such, I want to take a few minutes to analyze the issues that arose in Cataclysm for those who were experiencing Hard Mode 25 man raid content. Which is where I, personally, feel many of the shortcomings of the druid class were highlighted throughout the Cataclysm expansion. It is my hope that in doing so, we can come to a consensus on what issues need to be resolved in Mists to put druids in a better place moving forward.

The Issue: Druids lack a effective and efficient way to deal with burst AE damage to the raid. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted April 4, 2012 by Beruthiel in Druid Healing, MoP

Mincing Mushrooms – Beta Problem One.   42 comments

So I obtained that illusive beta code, and have been putzing around a bit on the beta. I haven’t done a lot, and I don’t know how much I’ll do until the pre-made 90s become available in the later stages of testing. I have this whole thing about not wanting to spoil the new content for myself before release, but it is conflicted with my desire to try and do my part to make sure that druids are in a good place at launch. Anyhow, in the time I’ve spent in the beta, I have decided that mushrooms have an even bigger problem than their clunky drop 3 and detonate mechanic.

Six Yards

If mushrooms are (unfortunately) supposed to be our magic “fix” for this expansion, we have a very serious problem. Have you ever wondered exactly how big six yards is? The runes in the picture above illustrate it pretty clearly. That is me standing in the middle of my mushrooms detonating them. That is also me starting to panic slightly.

Why? Well, six yards is an absolutely miniscule space. People will literally have to be in each other’s models to receive a heal from mushrooms. And there is no chance in hell that any encounter with a “spread out” mechanic is going to have a viable use for this ability. In my opinion, the range is now our number one concern with this terrible “new” spell. It’s worse than the placement and detonate problems (which are still awkward and cumbersome). It’s worse than the targeting problems (which are still clunky). The six yard range pretty much makes this ability next to worthless in most situations.

In all of my optimism, I just do not see a way that this is going to be practical or competitive when we look at what our counterparts on the healing team are going to be able to do. If the devs want mushrooms to be any sort of “fix” or expect them to provide any sort of “competitive” healing, this must change. There is no “but” or “what if” – if this is our fix to burst healing, it must do better than this.

Our “Fix”

I will admit that I’ve been growing increasingly disappointed as I’ve watched more and more news release surrounding the other healing classes and some of the new abilities and tweaks they are receiving, yet continue to see nothing “new” or “exciting” for druids. Not to mention that Monks at the moment look like they are going to be the healer to end all other healers – but that is a conversation for another day. As I see other healers start to flourish in the beta with their new toys, I can’t help but wonder “what about me?” as I watch druids continue to stagnate. I mean surely Blizzard can’t leave druids out in the cold for another expansion, can they? Surely they have some nifty new thing up their sleeve that they just haven’t released yet, right?

Please, Blizzard, I have faith in you. Do not disappoint me by telling me that all I get are these shitty mushrooms and “symbiosis”. Please don’t make me go through another expansion where I go from “undesirable” to “overpowered” back to “undesirable”. I’m tired of fighting to prove I’m just as viable and versatile as any other healer (hint: I’m not). I’m tired of working twice as hard to get the same results. Please do not leave us with this lackluster “fix” and call it a day.

If you are dead set on these mushrooms, please at least make them viable and competitive. They are going to need a lot of work, and some significant changes to get there. Let’s start with increasing the range to make them useful if your raid isn’t piled on top of each other in the tiny confines of six yards. Once we’ve fixed that, we can talk about ways to make them more desirable. But before we can get to that step, this must be resolved.

Posted April 3, 2012 by Beruthiel in MoP, Mushrooms


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