Archive for the ‘Beta’ Category
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?
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 »
I made this cake for Brade’s brother’s birthday (inside joke), but I think it turned out really well!
There isn’t a whole lot new on the WoW front. We finished getting everyone a firehawk last week, so I can finally say that I am (mostly) done with Firelands! We have an out of guild tank that has been helping us for the past month-ish and so we will probably do one more run to send a firehawk his way as a thank you. But other than that, I think we’ve likely put that fiery lord to rest once and for all.
We are still trucking along clearing out Dragon Soul every week. And, honestly, I think that is note worthy. I know that there are a lot of people who have stopped this effort, and each week that we get a full raid team together to continue pushing through I am grateful. Ends of expansions are hard. Motivation is lacking. This year it has the misfortune to compete with summer. And, honestly, after seven months of clearing the same content to be able to come together as a team and do it one more time each week shows dedication. And that, in my opinion, should be heralded.
I am a little more than disappointed with beta testing right now. I am not going to lie, I’m sitting somewhere at level 88 (or like a bubble from it, maybe), and lost some desire to continue my level push when Diablo came out. It had long been my intent to make a pre-made 90 to hit the raid content when it became available. Except that they have started some of the raid testing, and announced that they would not have pre-made 90’s available yet. I was disappointed, to say the least, but started looking at my schedule to find some time to push my character to level 90. And then they announced the raid test times…which so far are all when I’m still at work.
I understand that Blizzard is in the same time zone that I am, and that they want their folks to be able to go home at a reasonable time every evening. But man does it really suck to want to be a part of beta testing for raids and realize that it’s not going to be a possibility because you are on the west coast and have a commitment that keeps you from being at home during testing times. That has pretty much driven any desire to continue to level to 90 right out. The reason to get to 90 was to get a feel for how my class plays in a raid setting at max level, and realizing that it is unlikely for that to be an option for me pretty much bums me out completely. Read the rest of this entry »
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 »
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.
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:
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.