Friday, August 28, 2009
Well yes I've talked about my shaman before and how I dislike resto as an offspec. I could even bring up my druid who I respeced almost daily during BC... but this isn't about Hybrids!
This is about dual spec on my mage. I love it. Totally. What? Pointless you say? Waste of money?
No my mage isn't speced dps/tank or dps/heal or dps/pvp. My mage is speced arcane and fire PvE raid spec dps. I do this because it gives me a choice. It gives me the chance to tune my spec around the fights at hand.
Now yes Fire typically comes out on top when it comes to most fights. But there are several fights where arcane comes out on top and this will be even more true once 3.2.2 comes out.
Arcane is better for movement fights and fights that required controlled burst damage. I also use it on fights that I can abuse Shield procs for Incanters Absorption.
I'll use Arcane on fights like XT reg, Ignis (Flame Jets and breaking golems with Abarr), Iron Council (Spell stealing runemaster shields and standing in deathrunes mmmmmm) Thorim and Faction Champions.
Fire I use on pretty much everything else. I really prefer arcane over fire but I can't stand being a liability in raids because my spec suffers on certain fights. So instead I get the best of both worlds.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
I participate in what can best be described as a Raid Alliance, though in reality it is more of a glorified pug. Marrus is the guild leader and raid leader for the Guild The Tempest. The Tempest however is a small family and close friends guild. In fact its just like my guild Shadow of Teldrassil. I created SoT as a place to call home where friends can come and be themselves. Most of the members don't raid but some occasionally do join me. I however, raid with The Tempest quite regularly.
During the week we get 10 man runs together with 5 Tempest members, me and 4 others. Kobeck was one of the other 4 but due to College load he is taking a break from organized WoW. My wife also occasionally comes as does Codoy and Caspien when they are on and we need people. But for the most part the other 4 people are totally random.
Ok so that was a wall of text to basically say this... I play in a small guild where in the new system I would be the top contributor to the guild leveling system. In fact I would wager that my 6 80's would contribute 1-6 in that list. But if the system takes in account the top 20 players then the other members who aren't as active or don't raid won't contribute as much.
It is unclear as to how this will affect the guild progress as a whole. I also wonder about The Tempest. Even though as a gathered force we are clearing new raid content, no single guild can take all the credit for it. Also one of the perks mentioned is increased gold and a raid resurrect. How will these work if not everyone in the raid is a member of the same guild?
Of course the obvious solution would be to merge guilds but that may not really be an option. Though we get a long together great in raids and could also in a guild, I cannot say the same for the members of their guild I haven't met, as well as the members of mine who haven't met them. I don't want to destroy the family atmosphere in either one of the guilds just so we can be viable as a raiding guild.
This is still all a long way off but it is tickling in the back of my mind every time I log on.
I'm going to level primarily as Feral but will likely try and get dual specs at 40. Hopefully my experience with the AH will grant me 1k gold by then. He currently has 10g thanks to signing a guild charter.
[Trade:Thunderbluff] Mootoo: Professional Guild Charter signer lf Guild Charters to sign!
With Cataclysm coming in about a year from now (my guess) I figure that this is my chance to see all the horde zones before they all change. This is on Ravenholdt an RpPvP server so will let me level on a pvp server something I've always wanted to do... don't think I will be doing a lot of RP but ya never know.
I like doing character updates because it lets me mark my progress through the game and lets me look back for nostalgia reasons. I try not to do them too often until things have changed significantly. So here is my last update lets see what has changed! As before new changes will be in red.
Durotan Server US
Ardarin - 70 Human Death Knight Blood Tank spec. Mostly to prove that you don't need to be "Frost Spec" to tank. Dead. This toon was deleted to make room for Skylu a lvl 21 priest who will get little play time. Was created to play with my wife but unless I get a drive to level her... you won't hear about her.
Artorin - 72 Night Elf Druid. Feral Druid. I respeced him Resto and since 3.2 came out he has been leveling entirely through PvP. He is now level 74 and with 14.5k hps and 427 resilience is damn near impossible to kill. Even though I'm facing enemies 5 levels higher then me I can only be killed by 2-3 targets if not more. AV seems to give the most xp and even with the level 80's I'm consistently at the top 3 in healing if not first.
Arravis - 80 Night Elf Hunter. Marksman Well with the trial of the champion I've picked up a few pieces of gear to replace what blues I had in addition to the new gun. My Zuldrak wolf also hit level 80 and has been renamed Marrus (who is the MT of our raids nothing like messing with peoples addons)
Gandreolf - 80 Human Mage. Arcane Spec Has actually become my pseudo raiding main at the moment. He has been through all the new Trial of the Crusader 10 man fights and has also gained Dual Spec and is Arcane/TtW fire.
Jadedfury - 71 Human Rogue. Combat Spec Not much has changed other then being 73 now... this is the toon I really want to be level 80 but for some reason have a hard time playing.
Lanora - 80 Draenei Priest. Holy Spec So yeah... back to Disc spec again and has seen some raid action due to having our tolerance for sucky healers reach its max. We have been lucky on healers in the next few weeks, however, so she hasn't gotten to raid since the second week ToC 10 was out.
Llina - 80 Human Paladin. Protection Spec Yep... still Protection... not much has changed except for some Naxx 10 raiding here and there... I swear that place will never drop tier gear any of my characters need... Ok so... literally nothing has changed since this last update... other then I ran H ToC 5 man twice and a Drak tharon heroic once....
Saravid - 80 Draenei Shaman. Elemental Main / Enhancement Secondary. So... my shaman hasn't seen much love lately. I haven't been farming heroics or running ToC because she doesn't need anything. Also because of group makeup lately my mage has been in a better place for dps.
Skillet - 34 Gnome Warlock. Affliction Spec Um so ya... this toon is lvl 69 atm. We used RaF grant a level to get her to 60 and then I caught up to my wife's DK to play with her. Slowly leveling to 70 but enjoying the end bracket pvp while I can.
Skyru - 75 Draenei Warrior. Protection Main / Arms Secondary Well I've posted that this toon has since hit 80. I really love playing my warrior but our raid leader won't let me tank till I grow up. Well he is sitting at 30k hps and 50% something avoidance as well as being hit capped and expertise capped. Maybe I can convince them to let me into Uld 10 tonight!
Sunday, August 23, 2009
I'm ok with the cross realm lfg... even if I think virtually no one will use it. I'm ok with worgen and goblins and all of the new race/class combination's. I'm iffy on the reusing of dungeons and content but I think if it is done right... that I'll be ok with that.
For the most part the new changes in the expansion look pretty good and I can see working. At least if they are done right. There is one... tiny little thing... I don't get at all.
(pulled from mmo-champion on the blizzcon panels)OMG I JUST GOT THE LEGENDARY DEFIAS CHEST PIECE OF THE BOAR!!!!!!!!!!!!
In World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, there are plans to streamline the statistics found on items. We want to remove all unnecessary stats, make all existing stats understandable, and make all "core" stats more appealing. Here are some examples of such plans.
- MP5: This will be removed from items and replaced with Spirit. All healers will be given a meditation-like ability.
- Spell Power: Spell Power is being removed from items as well. Don't panic, we'll be improving Intellect so that it provides mana and Spell Power.
- Attack Power: We're removing Attack Power from items as well. Instead, we're allowing Agility to provide the necessary Attack Power for leather and mail wearers. Strength will provide the appropriate amount of Attack Power for plate wearers. This means leather and mail items will no longer be desirable for plate wearers.
- Defense: The Defense statistic is also being removed from items so that players no longer have to worry about juggling around "the cap." Tanks will receive the necessary anti-crit from talents, like Survival of the Fittest.
- Armor Penetration: This ability is too confusing and "mathy." It is being replaced with Mastery, a stat that makes you better at what you do. More on that later!
- Haste: Will also increase the rate at which you gain energy, runes, and focus. Retribution paladins and Enhancement shaman will have a talent that allows them to take advantage of this benefit.
- Block: Block Value is being removed. Blocking will now always mitigate a percentage of damage.
- Stamina: Players will notice more Stamina on gear as Defense, Spell Power, Attack Power and Armor Penetration are removed.
Seriously??? WTF??? The current stats were too complicated? For who? The super casuals who don't raid? Why do they need really good gear in the first place? You can kill anything in northrend butt ass naked. It sure as hell isn't too complicated for me. Having varying stats on gear and having to make... OMG A CHOICE is one of the things I really enjoy about the endgame.
I mean its simple... the hardcore raiders and theory crafters love putting in the time and effort to figure this stuff out. You need a certain amount of armor pen before it starts beating out your other primary stat... and sometimes can be worse if you don't have all the armor debuffs required. Why is this a bad mechanic? I ask again... who is it too mathy for? The answer has to be the scrubs and the developers. Is it too hard for them to balance the game? Well they are removing the need to balance anything ever... and at the same time making the game extremely dull.
I understand the removal of MP5 and switching to spirit... even if I think the reasoning is thin. What I don't understand is removing spell power and attack power from the game. So now everyone gets to be like ret paladins and warriors.... start stacking that base stat! Oh all those GEM CHOICES forget those... casters don't need any red gem sockets ever again because all you need is loads of intellect.
I've gotten the sense that they have been making the game easier... but this truly is dumbing down the game. OMG THAT NEW CHEST PIECE HAS 5 MORE INTELLECT WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.
Whoever thought... that those of the boar type armor pieces would become best in slot itemization? How does any of this remotely make sense??? If these changes really do go live like this... I think it will be time for me to find another game. Because... I quit runescape for a reason damnit and it wasn't just so I could have shinier graphics.
Friday, August 14, 2009
As a result he gets lag spikes and sometimes can't see the fire he is standing in and well... he dies... A LOT. If there was some figure for the person who died the most number of times in our raid... he would be #1 hands down. This wasn't a big deal at all during Naxx and was tolerable during Ulduar, though a number of fights we struggled on for a long time due to healing. The straw that broke the camels back was the new 10 man raid.
We attempted the CoT 10 raid the same day it came out... we wiped a lot but hey, it was a new instance and most people were getting used to mods and what not. For the most part our failing was due to poor coordination. Anyway later in the week we made some serious attempts on it. Ok... lets face it we spent the entire night wiping on it. This was Sunday I believe... Friday night we downed them on 25 man but for some reason on Sunday we just couldn't manage.
It was all too apparent that our problem was healing. I came into the raid on my priest because we are low on healers. Now my priest is from my 10 man Naxx era and is completely geared in ilvl 200 gear and has nothing above or below that. Compared to the holy priest Plus... who has mostly ilvl 226 and nothing under 213. Well... I beat him in healing(and had less overhealing). My priest is also Discipline... and I beat him in healing. Heck on one attempt I nearly solo healed Icehowl but got frozen followed by the wall pound thing and just couldn't keep myself up but Icehowl was down to half health. That proved to be our best attempt and the only other that got to Icehowl... ended by Plus not moving out of the way of the charge.
Needless to say... a lot of us were pretty livid about the whole night. Everyone pretty much decided that Plus had to go... I really feel for raid leaders that tell someone that they are getting replaced. In fact from what I hear he begged for another week to improve and I really feel bad about the whole thing.
Ultimately this means that I'm stuck healing full time on my priest. We pugged 2 healers last night (holy pally and priest) and one shotted the first encounter, and then 4 shotted the second boss. I beat the other holy priest again... which is really weird but the holy pally beat me.
I still feel bad even if the right decision was made.
Saturday, August 8, 2009
I got to a point though where there just wasn't much I could do on Artorin... so I started leveling alts. My hunter Arravis was next due too the speed and awesome fun I was having leveling. I saw a paladin tanking in shadowlabs that pretty much used no CC. BWUAH? U CAN DU THAT?? So I leveled a paladin to tank and got into healing and retribution at the same time. I had a tank, dps, and everything else in my druid... but I still wanted a dedicated healer. Thus Lanora my priest was promptly leveled to 70 about 2 months before WotLK was released.
There are a lot of people who don't really get into Alts and really I don't blame them. For me though, leveling alts is born out of my desire to be self sufficient and know... well everything! Learning to play a new class is a reward all of its own, and I don't mean just playing a toon to 20. For me everything starts falling into place at level 60.
For me, leveling all of my characters is born out of setting lots of little goals for myself. What started out as having a dedicated healer, tank, and dps turned into picking one of every class and finding a spec and play style that I enjoy. What started out as having an alchemist at 70 to support my druids consumable addiction turned into being completely self sufficient with professions.
What do you choose and why?
So you have one level 80.... and you are kinda getting bored with him... after all you can only do the same daily 500000 times and all the raids have lockouts. Well the obvious choices are, play less, or roll an alt! If you still really enjoy the game and are comfortable with the amount of time you play then the second option is the best choice. But what do you choose?
From my observations playing an alt works best when that character is born out of either necessity or mirroring.
Necessity may not be the best word, because what I mean by it is that often times you pick a class to perform a role that you cannot. Or maybe not can't perform... but it doesn't feel comfortable. This could be you rolling a priest to heal or warrior to tank or a mage to dps. Whatever void you have at 80 this character is meant to fill. This is also more challenging because it is typically a complete breakaway from what you are used too.
Mirroring is referring to a class that plays very similarly to your main character. This is for instance a ret pally rolling an enhancement shaman or feral druid rolling a rogue. The advantages of this are that there is very little learning that needs to be done. You already feel comfortable in the role at 80 and picking a class that is similar will help you get into that class much more quickly.
Whatever you choose it needs to be a class that you are comfortable with, otherwise you will never enjoy leveling that class. Often times you can tweak this with different specs. There are preferred leveling specs for all classes but you don't have to follow them! If you find another spec feels more natural don't be afraid to level with that suboptimal build. I assure you that you will have more fun leveling with a natural spec then with one that you are using because that's what people told you to use.
Ok I got my class now what?
Well now I have my new class... but where do I go and what do I do? The answer to this again has two variables. Do you want to level for speed or for adventure?
If your new toon was born out of necessity (in other words you want this toon to play at 8o) then your choice is likely going to be leveling for speed. You want to get a level 80 as soon as possible and there are many ways to do so.
- RaF (Recruit a Friend). Ideally you would... ya know... have a friend? But if you don't consider spending a little extra cash. With triple experienced + any bonuses from BoA gear this is by far the fastest way to 80. Albeit this is also an expensive choice.
- BoA (Bind on Account) gear. Which I sort of mentioned above. With this you are looking at getting to 80 with 90-80% less time played.
- Find a leveling guide. This will be in the form of a quest guide that is hopefully easy to follow. There are a number of free ones out there on the internet but don't be afraid to support someone's excellent writing by buying one.
- Use Quest Helper or Carbonite. Head on over to curse.com and pick up one of these if you are unfamiliar with the quests. This will literally point you in the direction of the quest you are working on. While I never use them my wife and brother do.
- Pick a new starting zone. Even if you are still rolling the same race as your main, head over to another zone and start from the very first quest. You will feel a little lost at first but if you read over the quests as you are doing them, you will find a lot of the quests actually have a point!
- Pick an alternate leveling path. Whatever zones you did on your main... skip them. Go to a zone you've never been to. Especially now with getting mounts much earlier even the more barren zones (pun intended) become more condensed. If there is a zone that doesn't seem like you can find any quests for, look it up on wowhead. There is a chance there is a hidden quest hub or some poor goblin injured in a cave that needs your help.
- Explore the lvl 60 zones. If you are like me and started after Burning Crusade was released then there is a good chance you barely scratched the surface of these zones. Winterspring, Eastern Plaguelands, and Silithid. Check out these zones, they have a number of great quest lines that you can easily have skipped over. Ever wonder where Tirion Fordring came from? Go check out his quest line in Eastern Plaguelands.
How do I handle multiple toons?
Well there are two mods that I can recommend. The first is Altoholic. This mod will tell you everything from whether your other toons have mail and when your profession cds are coming up, to comparing items in the auction house to another characters gear. You can see all of your characters professions to see what materials are needed or even if the recipe you just got can be learned.
I personally don't use Altoholic because I find managing everything to be half the challenge. However, the other mod I do use and will recommend is Arkinventory. I cannot recommend this mod enough. On the surface this is a bag mod that puts all of your bags into one giant one. But it does so much more then that. You can set up Arkinventory to sort your gear into virtual bags for you! It has many default setups such as sorting out consumables, trash, boe gear, bop gear, and profession supplies, but you can also customize the bags in countless ways.
Where Arkinventory really comes in handy for alts is that by hovering over any item in the game, it will tell you how many of that item is on what character. You can also look at the bags, bank, and guild bank of your other toons as it caches the data while you play.
I'm sure there are plenty of other Mods out there but I try to run with as few as possible.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
The argument is that because hybrids have the ability to heal or tank, in addition to dps, that they shouldn't be able to do as much damage as those who are pure. Pure dps refers to Hunters, Warlocks, Mages, and Rogues. Hybrids refer too... well everyone else.
There are 2 points that I want to present.
- Pure DPS are less limited by threat due to having Threat Dumps.
- Hybrids CANNOT dps while healing.
Threat Dumps refer to Feign Death(hunters), Soul Shatter (warlocks), Invisibility (mages), and Vanish (rogue). Pure classes have the ability that, if they pull threat, they can get rid of that extra threat and not get eaten by the boss. Now all dps (except hunters) have threat reduction talents so that they can deal more damage without pulling aggro. The difference though is that when a hybrid pulls aggro... they have no option but to stand there and get squished.
Priests come closest to having a threat dump in fade... but that threat gets returned to the priest once fade wears off. Additionally that talent is more to compensate for healing priests being extra squishy compared to other healers.
I'm usually second in dps in our 10 mans and top 5 in 25 mans on my shaman. Yay for me right? Well on fights like Hodir I'm constantly riding the threat line of our tanks. This means that if I'm not careful I will pull aggro and die. This means sometimes I actually have to stop dpsing to let the tank build up. The pure dps... just reaches the threat cap and pops their respective abilities and go right back at it.
What happens in the above scenario when the tank dies? Or in our case gets flash frozen and bubbles /glare. Well MR. Hodir comes over and smacks me with his big giant mace and then turns around to go after the rogue. The rogue says LOLVANISH and Hodir goes to find someone else.
For the record... being able to heal isn't going to save you from a boss one shot... nor is throwing on a shield or switching to bear form. If you pull aggro as a Hybrid you are left to the mercy of the tanks taunts (though I did survive a melee hit from Archavon once).
The second point is really the one I've been thinking of a lot lately. You see I've talked about it before, and while yes being able to spot heal can save an encounter... so can some extra dps. Blizzard says that because we have the ability to heal, that we should be lower then pure classes in terms of damage. Why? My role in a group is DPS the fact that I can heal alone IS a dps decrease.
When I have to stop and heal myself, or a tank, or that dps who wouldn't get out of the fire, I'm losing dps. The time it takes for me to cast a lesser healing wave is the same amount of time that I could have been casting a lightning bolt. The last time I can ever remember going an entire fight without casting a single heal is Patchwerk. Every other fight I've done there are times where I have had to stop and heal "someone". That ability to heal costs me damage.
Don't get me wrong... I love playing a hybrid... but there are times I wish I could just straight dps through a fight... just to see what my actual potential is. I may never catch the rogue in our group in damage... but I hope that it isn't because of some "5%" difference inherently between us. There have been a number of times where I have been low on damage... only to flip to the heal meters to see the missing dps in hps.
I'm very competitive... to the point where I want to start bringing my hunter into raids just so I can focus on one job... Killing stuff.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
The problem though is that I have 6 characters at 80... and I want to play ALL OF THEM. On top of that I still want to level my rogue, druid and warlock! This patch helps with all of them but perhaps too much...
But I digress... here are my plans for the next few weeks.
- Upgrade my shaman with all epic gems. I've got a bunch of titanium stored up on top of my paladins transmutes, emblems of heroism, and honor on various characters. The honor especially I think will be a big source for most of the gems since I pvp occasionally but never really seek rewards. I've been saving JC tokens but I still need a bunch more to get all the patterns I need.
I think I'm going to offer prospect services for a fee of say 5g a stack of titanium... and use the titanium powder to shorten the time it will take to get the patterns I want.
- Finish gearing my hunter and warrior to start Ulduar. Assuming of course that we are still going to do Uld 25 runs, I've been working on getting my hunter caught up. Our raid group doesn't have any MM hunters, enhance shamans, or blood dks so there is a 10% attack power increase that they don't have. I'm hoping I can bring in my hunter since one of the previous hunters, switched to her paladin.
I've also been trying to get my warrior ready to tank Uld 10 on nights where Kobeck can't show up and also because the armor pen would be huge for our hunters and rogues.
- Level Artorin through PvP. About 2 weeks ago I respeced my druid Artorin PvP resto and have been having so much fun! Artorin is currently level 72 but, thanks to all the lvl 70 pvp gear, he is sitting at 12.5k hps and 361 resilience. This makes him fairly hard to kill even for level 79 twinks that I run into. I don't feel like I'm gimping the team either seeing as how I usually come in the top 3 for heals and my druid makes an excellent flag runner.
With the new patch allowing experience gains in BG's I'm really looking forward to leveling him entirely through BG experience. Likely I will switch to balance or feral as I progress in levels and my level doesn't put me at a disadvantage. Isle of Conquest here I come!
- Get everyone flying! I never bothered to get flying on my rogue but now, with the addition of the cold weather flying tome and reduced cost, I plan on getting her flying as soon as possible! That also goes for my warlock who is sitting at 63. All said and done I need another 4200g or so before all of my toons can fly.
- Make more gold... Since this is really required for all of the above... I'm really going to have to focus on churning out some gold. Historically I'm pretty good at doing so... but I find making gold in the long run to be very boring. I have a lot of tools at my disposal... since I have every profession in the game at 440 or above. Making gold though requires a lot of motivation on my part because there are so many things I'd much rather be doing.
My 10 man group finally downed Mimiron last night and I'm really glad we did since the new patch came out today! As an elemental shaman I was assigned to tank the head during phase 3 and 4... and I found out last night during our kill that grounding totem works!
Being able to shave off 9k damage every 15 seconds helped a lot when 2 of our healers died to the laser barrage thing. I mostly just healed myself for the last 30 seconds of the fight trying to give our lone remaining resto druid a chance to keep everyone else alive. I have to give props to Zolair he did a great job keeping up the raid.
I didn't take any pictures of the kill... because well... I didn't even think about it I was so excited to finally have him down. What I did take screen shots of though... was the trip down to see General Vezax. I knew there was little chance of us killing him but just the high spirits of the group and the awesome visuals of the trip down really put me in a good mood last night.
Anyway here are some screenshots of the journey down... I hope to get back in there when I'm on my own to really take every inch of the place in.