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 »