Monday, December 27, 2010

holy power and procs

Holy Power and Latency

Something I've noticed is that there's a tiny bit of latency involved with Holy Power. Using Holy Shock (on anyone or thing) tends to be a pretty instant bump in my Holy Power bar, but gaining Holy Power through Tower of Radiance takes a little bit longer.

Blizzard has stated it's working as intended, I believe (though I can't seem to find the link). I imagine it's got the same Beacon lag we're already used to working with- the client has to check to make sure the heal lands before it awards the Power.

It used to frustrate me - I want my HP and I want it now!- but after getting used to it, this lag can work in your favor as well. If you've already got two holy power and Holy Shock is on cooldown, you can cast two DL or FoL, immediately spend the 3 HP you have built up, and you'll still have 1 left from the second direct heal (or 3 from an Eternal Glory proc).

However, Holy Shock will not work this way. If you have 3 HP and Shock, then spend your HP, that extra one is "lost".

A side note: Protector of the Innocent can proc Conviction, which is neat because pretty much every heal you cast has a chance to keep up Conviction the whole fight, and will likely get it rolling sooner.


Between Daybreak, Holy Power, Eternal Glory, and Infusion of Light, we've got a lot to watch out for. I have been looking for a one-size-fits-all answer to how to handle all of these things but the more I play the more I realize that it really does come down to the encounter, the people you play with, and what is happening around you. Which means that Blizzard may have done a fantastic job with "the right spell for the job" after all. No complaints here. :)

Anyways. Here are some general guidelines I try to follow to "boost my HPS" but there will be a lot of times in five mans where it's really not about HPS at all but being aware. So here's my priority (which goes out the window when I need to move):

Holy Power x3 gets spent ASAP
Eternal Glory gets spent ASAP (as soon as I see if it procced or not, so usually I will have one direct heal cast in between Holy Power expenditures)
Infusion of Light

Daybreaks when you need to move are a god-send. However, I have found myself casting those two Shocks in a row and getting two crits (wasting one Infusion). Okay, so it doesn't happen too often but often enough that I'm trying to program myself, when ideal, to Shock > Divine Light the tank (if he needs it), Shock for my Daybreak proc.

I'm sitting at almost 19% critical strike rating, which I believe is over 20% raid buffed (though in this brave new Shattered world I am still a bit shaky on what buffs are available) and gives me a 30% chance to crit with Holy Shock. That gives me an almost 10% chance that both of those Shocks will crit. So as our crit-from-gear goes up, it will become more important to put a Divine Light in between Shocks. A fast Divine Light is a ton of healing.

And again, if I have to move, I use all my instant-cast tricks up as I'm moving and there's definitely nothing wrong with that. Daybeak may be "lowest" on my proc priority but that doesn't mean it's the weakest because it's not, and I use it right away if I have less than three holy power.

Looking Ahead

And I haven't gotten into raiding yet, which may change everything I've ever learned about Holy Paladins. We start next week! My guild is just beginning to spec-check our raiders. I am hoping for a couple more upgrades before I make any declarations that I'm "ready".

Now that other raiders are getting into the raids, I've been grateful to look at WoL parses for some of the first kills to get more of an idea of what we will see. I'm hoping that my post for next week will be me tearing apart my own performance (though I hate making promises because stuff happens. But that's my plan.)

How are you managing your procs?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

random tuesday thoughts: wednesday edition

There's maintenance this morning so now it feels like a Tuesday even if my clock's computer saying it's Wednesday.

I want to experience more of the game before I blog about it because everything I do ends up teaching me something. A lot of my initial thoughts have been changed, though some have been reinforced.

We went into our first raid (Halfus in BoT) last weekend, and I was hoping to go back in there one more time but with Christmas this weekend it's likely to be another full week and a half before we do it again.

I gotta say, though. I was feeling pretty good about myself before we went in there. Most of my gear is heroic blue and I am a few upgrades away from BiS. I didn't go in expecting us to kill a boss or anything, but I certainly didn't expect to feel so... powerless. Humbled. Unable.

The tank damage for Halfus Wyrmbreaker is insane. That's the only word for it. 50k hits, and that was on 10 man.

(Though that leads me to another discussion point entirely: is one raid format going to be harder than the other? I'm running on the assumption that tank damage will be even higher in 25, but that's purely speculation on my part until I can look at WoL.)

I mean, I know that damage taken by both the raid and tanks will be affected by the dragons/whelps we get. And maybe we didn't get that part of the fight down, but even when we had it, I only barely 'had' it. I felt like I couldn't solo-heal the tank. And maybe that's part of the design, but the other tank healer was having problems as well. Are we supposed to bring three healers and have all of them focused on the tanks?

It's possible that when we go back in, our tanks will have a couple more upgrades (though only a couple. Our tanks are in GREAT shape to raid). And to be fair, I have a couple of things now that I didn't have before: a helm with a meta, two crafted epics, and the plan to get two more from rep before January 4th and at least one new shiny from valor points. (Thanks, random daily!)

With the upgrades we've both gotten the "easier" heroics have gotten a lot faster. Two days ago we went into Lost City for the first time, only we thought we'd already done it. So we didn't talk about fight strategies or even know what we were getting into, and it wasn't until the second-to-last boss that I realized this was new stuff. The achievement confirmed it. Yesterday, we got it for the random again, didn't bother with CC, Lux chain-pulled and I drank once.

To be fair, it was a guild run.

I keep hearing that pallies are OMG overpowered but I really feel that no matter what healer I had, I would have been able to keep up with him. I'm getting away with mostly HL spam, which any healer should be able to sustain.

And I'm also using Divine Plea between pulls and my JC spirit trinket on cooldown. Other abilities like the banana man, HoP, HoSac, and DS are all seeing liberal use as well. So it's not like I'm playing poorly. Or maybe I am because in a good group the healer's job is pretty easy and how can I trouble-shoot myself in a group that never goes south?

(I'd promise to pug more, but even my pugs have been awesome. Most often we've been placed with three other DPS from the same guild on another server, and they are just as prepared to play as we are. And believe me, I'm not complaining that I can't find any PuGs from hell. I am not, I swear!)

Sometimes I wonder if I am holding my blue bar too tightly, afraid to use anything other than Holy Light/Shock. I use WoG far more than LoD (in five mans, there often aren't enough people clumped together to make good use of LoD), and I only pop Radiance as a response to whole-party damage auras specific to a few boss fights (like the first boss in SFK, the sunbeam boss in lost city, the control room boss in HoO, etc.) I am loathe to use AoE heals in too many circumstances. On a 30 second cooldown, I don't want to use it before the boss's mechanics, and using it more than twice a fight means I'll run out of mana.

So I definitely wonder if I'm not having mana problems because I refuse to let myself spend, but I'm still learning. Our raid date is January 4th. In some ways, that feels like a long time, though it will be here before I know it.

I'm hoping to get into a 10 man or two in the meantime (something more than Baradin Hold. I don't really feel like that counts since on the first try we hit the enrage timer). But anyways. I'm devouring any and all posts that bloggers make about raiding the new content. If you've been writing, I appreciate it!

Friday, December 17, 2010

heroics are the hard mode of five mans

Preparation to raid in more ways than one...

There's a slight disconnect between the difficulty of the normal version and the heroic version for instances like Stonecore. In the vein of Icecrown Citadel, the heroic fights are ramped up difficulty with extra boss health, more raid and tank damage, and added fight mechanics. The fire on the ground will not be ignored. Neither will those adds, or the spikes. These fights must be executed the way our Blizzard Overlords intended, or there will be no justice points or loot.

And if you haven't gotten the memo, our blue bar is pretty flimsy. We are absolutely unable to heal through stupid; we lack both the brute force and the energy to do so.

It's been near impossible to train myself, but really, those dps do not need to be at full. Everyone just needs to stay alive. With the massive stamina boosts on gear, a 35% full health bar is painful to look at, but enough health for a DPS to survive if someone else is getting hammered or focused. I haven't seen many unavoidable damage types, so these encounters place emphasis on personal survivability and situational awareness.

Situational awareness and You

The less I stare at health bars, the better this whole Cataclysmic healing thing gets. The graphics for what's happening are everywhere, and with two second cast times on my bread-and-butter spells I can start casting and spend almost two full seconds watching the fight. I feel less like I am playing my own mini-game of whack-a-mole while everyone else is playing World of Warcraft than I used to. For now, we're all playing the same game: surviving the encounter.

It's true that the graphics have always been that way, but it has affected my decision-making in new content as though I were raiding. A lot of the attacks that are going to hurt the DPS are visible in the field before they ever tick on the health bars (tank damage, not so much, but properly-geared tanks are lasting so much longer without a heal. It's refreshing).

It's important, at these lower gear levels, to use all the tools available. Cooldowns are godly. I use HoSac quite often now. LoH is amazing if glyphed - 10% mana when the tank needs a huge heal. Divine Favor can potentially burn a lot of mana, but it's great to recover. Freakishly, I've been using it as a mana-saver, when the damage ramps up to still get away with casting Holy Light. Your mileage may vary.

(I'm a bit underwhelmed by our giant glowing angel, but I'm still finding uses for him.)

It's inferior from a time-management standpoint to cast Word of Glory with only one stack of Holy Power, and yet I find myself using it as an emergency on the move so I can use the self-healing of Protector of the Innocent. I haven't decided yet if this is a bad habit or a worthwhile use of time I couldn't be healing otherwise. I know some holy paladin theorycrafters are down on PotI, but I'm finding it well-designed for the encounters and I'm grateful to have it.

(I originally said it was mathematically inferior to cast a 1 HP WoG, but ithilyn corrected me. See comments below for some clarification.)

What are you experiences in the new heroics?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

queue queue moar: finding BRC for the first time

One of the newer features of LFD is that for the new instances, we have to discover them. Let's start with Blackrock Caverns, since that's the least-intuitive to get to. It's in Blackrock Mountain, so there are two ways to get there.

The first is a Mole Machine in Hyjal. If you're doing the quests there, you'll find a gnome (not a goblin: Shintar corrected my failing memory, it's a gnome), Finkle Einhorn, that says "This can only mean one thing..." and there will be a mole machine right next to him. I went back to take pictures, and he was phased out since I'd already done the quests. But he should be there (unless I'm clearly mistaken, which is possible), so if you could please pretend that the douchebag with the giant drake is actually just covering the NPCs, I'd appreciate it.

Goblin here:

Mole Machine here:

When you zone in, you'll be on top of this platform here:

You'll want to go up and out, not down and out:

Keep going up:

And up the chain (you can mount up here):

Take a right after you've crossed the lava:

There will be a hallway to the right after this archway, next to the Summoning Stone.

At this pile of junk in the hallway, take another right:

The portal is in sight!

When you get close enough to the purple portal, you should discover BRC.

If you're just flying in from the Eastern Kingdoms from the regular Blackrock Mountain entrance, you'll want to follow the chain that's held by this dwarf (the one with the flailing hand).

Don't worry, this is by far the most confusing instance to get to. The others can reasonably be reached with a map location.

healers and helms pre-raid

There are plenty of pre-raid gear lists floating around for healers of all stripes, but since I put together this list for my guild I figured I'd share it with you. There are a bunch of helms available, but if you're looking to raid, I hope you'll consider a helm with a meta. The bonuses from the meta gems are just huge, especially at these starting gear levels.

I've only seen one head enchant, available from Hyjal revered. The standard healing meta gem from Wrath does not have a Cata equivalent, so our needs will be changing. I've seen three options that are PVE-centric. Kurn's got a meta gem list here, but I cherry-picked these three from the list as the one that will probably win for PVE.


Paladin BiS has a list here, but I only see two options with a meta. Got 2,200 justice points? Otherwise be prepared to spend lots of time in Heroic SFK.


Resto Shaman Flow put together a pre-raid loot list. There are 3 (4 if you're an engineer) options with meta sockets.


Lissana at Restokin has a boomkin/resto pre-raid gear list here. All three helms have metas.


World of Matticus has a Quick Priest Gear list. Three helms with metas.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Janyaa started this with a blog post over at Muradin's Musings. Here we go:

1. Disk or Download? DL

2. Did you experience any difficulties? IE: Login servers crashing, late delivery, etc? I had to wait a whole 12 minutes on the login server to let me in at 2:00! I want my money back!!

3. What are you doing first? IE: Speed leveling to 85, rolling a new race, completely avoiding the new content, etc? Almost 83, with a smidgeon of mining to support my crafting habit. Hey, it's just a habit. I can quit any time I want!

4. Mt. Hyjal or Vash'jir? I got Coming Down the Mountain AND a frickin' seahorse!

5. Worgen or Goblin? Paladin?

6. Questing, dungeons or both? Both!

7. What was the first piece of gear you replaced and with what? Yeah, about that...

8. Did you take any time off from work or school? I wish I could have.

9. Will you be keeping the same spec and main, or changing to a different toon? I am resistant to change.

10. What's been your favorite aspect of Cataclysm so far? It's not Icecrown.

Read more:

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

are you 85 yet?

I'm kidding.

There are a handful of folks who are already max level, but I am not one of them. I just hit 82 last night and saw that I the XP needed to level went up quite a bit. Three people in my guild got the achievement, and I've seen a handful of bloggers put up their obligatory "I'm 85!" post.

I put up my first poll in the sidebar. Are you leveling as a healer?

Since my paladin is a team character with Mayhem (who, after a Worgen change, is now officially known as Luxinterior), I decided to keep (both) my holy spec(s). Considering how busy the quest hubs are right now, it hasn't mattered too much. It's been more important for me to tag mobs than it is to mow them down (which Lux does with efficiency anyways). Turns out all those hours camping HNMs in FFXI with keyboard spam weren't wasted after all!

As a side note, I was surprised at how many players don't understand how tagging in WoW works. I mean, I shouldn't be surprised. Yet, I was.

Post derailed! If you wouldn't mind taking the poll, I'd appreciate it. If you have nifty experiences to share while leveling your healer, I'd love to hear about it in the comments.

Monday, December 6, 2010

the real shattering

If you thought Azeroth being rent in two was painful and full of burnination, I have news for you. My guild is going through a shattering of its own. Months ago our healing officer announced that Wrath was his last WoW. His final raid was last week.

Which means. Ahem. They had to promote someone... Or something. So, "enlynn is an officer", take two!

I'm excited, I really am. I mentioned last week I had missed being healing lead. I enjoy it, even at its worst. You'd think being a leader when you're wiping all night is harder, but it's actually easier (for me at least) to keep plugging away and stay positive when I can hold myself to my ideal leader-like self. I say leader-like because, let's be honest, most healing teams really do take care of themselves once cooldowns, dispels, and buffs are coordinated. So I get all the perks of officery-ness without having to purge the grays from the g-bank or deal with the website. Sounds like win to me.

I look forward to blogging from an officer's perspective. And I really look forward to pushing Hard Modes in Cataclysm and writing about that. We finished up this expansion (and raided until the very last week, which should be an achievement in and of itself) 9/12 HM ICC 25, #2 on our server (yeah, yeah, Malf is marked for new players. Doesn't change my Lady D/Dreamwalker kills!).

I'm excited for Cataclysm because I've never hit the ground running with an expansion in an MMO like this before. When Wrath came out, Mayhem and I were still leveling up on this server/faction. I don't even think we purchased Wrath right away, we didn't need it until we were 68 and it was time to leave the Outlands. It's funny to think about how much has changed in the last two years.

It all changes tomorrow. Farewell, Lich King, The frozen wastelands of Northrend are soon to be wastelands again!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

a year, already?

Wow. It's really been a year of blogging?

A Year In Review...

I had no idea what I was doing when I started. I still don't, not really, but it's been fun. I made my first post the week after I started raiding with my first twenty-five man raiding guild. After a few months of membership, the healing lead quit the game and I was promoted to officer. I'm sure that the other officers regretted that decision ever since, because I went from being quiet to having an opinion about everything.

The guild ended up being more casual than Mayhem and I were looking for. We stuck it out as long as we did because the healing team really kept me going. The healer channel is definitely the coolest place in the game!

Back in September, we joined another guild that does hard modes. One thing I haven't enjoyed is being the low man on the totem pole, but we knew what we were getting into. It's the way of things for raiding guilds. It's been weird to go from officer to nobody, especially now that 4.0.1 has changed everything so I feel less like a healing expert than I used to. Not that I WAS an expert, mind you, just that I feel like even less of one now. I doubt anyone has forgotten that my second week in the guild I used DIVINE FRICKIN' INTERVENTION on the tank and wiped the raid.

Oh, and another stupid yet funny thing I did. I noticed that the Innkeeper lady in Stormwind has Sparkling Oasis Water for sale. I saw that, yet it never occurred to me that "requires level 80" meant "USE THIS NOW ENLYNN!". Anyways, just FYI.

A few interesting stats about bubblespec...

My top four (most visited) posts are:
quick thoughts on holy pallies
Healbot, Unashamed
yet another paladin preview post
Guest Post: Use Your Brrain

I've created 89 posts, but probably only half of those actually had any information in them. I've am thrilled to receive 79 comments!

Looking ahead...

I'm definitely gonna keep pestering Mayhem for some more guest posts, have no fear. With Cataclysm only a week away (it's Blizzard's way of congratulating me on a year of blogging!), there will be plenty to post about. I've been tightening up the tags/labels to make older posts easier to navigate, and updated my blogroll because there are some bloggers I enjoy reading who hadn't made it to my page.

Anyways, the long and short of it is: Thanks for reading.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Zen'kiki, the druid

It starts out innocently enough. Escort a young druid in training, Zen'kiki, and help him kill some of the diseased wildlife.

Zen'kiki tries his best to help. He really does. However, he pounces the wrong way when he uses cat form.

Moonkin form doesn't work out so well for him. He spams Moonfire on himself.

He didn't think to switch into bear form and take aggro until after the hawk was dead. But I do appreciate his fine efforts!

Definitely enjoyed the new Western Plaguelands quests. This one is fun.

Monday, November 22, 2010

pilgrim's bounty!

Just a friendly reminder: Pilgrim's Bounty is the best time of the year to level your cooking!

wow_ladies Levelling Cooking 1-300 during Pilgrim's Bounty

Pilgrim's Bounty Guide - Miss Mediocre

Easy and you end up with a sweet outfit. :)

Friday, November 19, 2010

save the words

I found this lovely word and thought, "Hey! That's kinda appropriate." And while I didn't feel I could adopt the word, I chose:

Friday, November 12, 2010

Guest Post: Use Your Brrain

Happy Friday! Here's another guest post by Madammayhem!

Wrath of the Lich King brought me from casual player to raider extraordinaire. On the verge of the Cataclysm, these are the most important lessons I can offer.

I can't take all the credit, though. I've learned so much from personal experience, yet so little compared to the knowledge I've garnered from those around me. Take what lessons you can from those who share your World, be they embittered veteran or plucky tyro. Here's a chronological account of what I learned from one prodigious hunter. Lets call him Brrain.

Week Two, 25 ICC:

Brrain: “This is Brrain. I need a heal.”

Healer: “Get out of the slime.”

Brrain: “Who's speaking? Who is that?”

Lesson #1 – Clarity. Be concise and precise. In the example, Brrain introduces himself and declares his need. All pertinent information is realized in his statement. It's important to note that this is Brrain's second week in the guild and his first raid with us.

Week Five, 25 ICC:

Leader: “Everyone switch targets. Everyone, please. I still see some people on the ooze. Hunters...”


Brrain: “This is Brrain. Who's talking right now?”

Lesson #2 – Tenacity. Focus on your goal. A single-minded pursuit can only achieve results. Many may try to impede you but if you stay on target, you will certainly prevail.

Week Nine, 25 ICC:

Brrain: “This is Brrain. Does anyone know how to train dogs?”

Tank 1: “Take the boss.”

Tank 2: “Got em.”

Brrain: “Anyone? Rescue...?”

Leader: “Beasts are coming up. Stop aoe.”

Brrain: “Guard dogs...?”

Leader: “Let's focus here people...”

Week Ten, 25, ICC:

Brrain: “Raidleader, this is Brrain. I'm gunna be late. I'm um... I'm bleeding. I got bit...”

Lesson #3 – Know your limits!

Week 14, 25 ICC:

Healer: “I don't know if I'm gunna be able to make it tonight. I feel a migraine coming on.”

Brrain: “If you just take a spoon... or your thumb... and put it in your mouth. There's a spot in your mouth... a pressure point. You can press on it and it... well, it won't make the headache go away, but it'll subside. (pause) This is Brrain.”

Healer: “I just don't think that's going to work.”

Leader: “That's fine, hon. I hope you feel better.”

Lesson #4 – Connect. Wow is a social game, after all. A little understanding goes a long way.

Week 16, 25 ICC:

Brrain: “Raidleader, this is Brrain. I'm missing Arcane Empowerment.”

Leader: “No one gives you Arcane Empowerment. It's an aura. If a person providing the aura is in raid, you get the buff.”

Brrain: “This is Brrain. Everyone else has Arcane Empowerment and I don't. I need someone to give me Arcane Empowerment.”

Leader: “Hmm... so you don't. Well, I don't know why it's happening but it looks like you're getting the same buff from the ret pally. He's talented for it. It's the same buff. It just doesn't show up on your bar. Don't worry—you have it.”

Brrain: “This is Brrain. I still need Arcane Empowerment.”

Week 21, 25 ICC:

Brrain: “Raidleader, this is Brrain. I'm still missing Arcane Empowerment.”

Raider: “Brrain, you have it! EVERYONE HAS IT! You can't not have it!”

Brrain: “This is Brrain. Who was that just speaking?”

Chorus of Raiders: “Brrain, you have the buff.”

Leader: “Brrain, the buff is provi... no... just no. Brrain, I hate to do this but we go over this every week, three nights a week. Please, don't ask again.”

Week 22, 25 ICC:

Brrain: “Raidleader, this is Brrain. I... I uh... (/sigh)... I need Arcane Empowerment.”

Lesson #5 – Caution. Know when to advance slowly. Some situations require finesse.

Week 25, 25 ICC:

Brrain: “This is Brrain. Who just said that?”

Raider: “Nevermind, Brrain. It's a wipe now. You have to stay out of the slime and switch targets when we tell you.”

Brrain: “Raidleader, this is Brrain. How do you turn someone up in vent?”

Leader: “Go to miscellaneous... ”

Brrain: “Raidleader this is Brrain. I can't see the names in vent.”

Leader: “... and then you click volume...”

Raider: “OH MY GOD!”

Brrain: “This is Brrain and I can hear you just fine now.”

Lesson #6 – Be prompt, or don't procrastinate. Remove obstacles to your success as they arise. Handle problems while they're manageable.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Guest Post

I have a neat surprise this evening. Since I've been pounding away at NaNoWriMo (20k, somehow or another), Mayhem is doing a guest post!

Wrath of the Lich King brought me from casual player to raider extraordinaire. On the verge of the Cataclysm, these are the most important lessons I can offer.

This may seem obvious, but don't name your character something you don't wish to be called. Also, take into consideration your name will likely be abbreviated.

I named my warrior Madammayhem. What a sweet name! Madammayhem, Consort of Chaos! Dame of Destruction! According to wowarmory, nine copycats agree. I am so completely awesome.

The reality of the situation:

Everyone calls me Madam. If you're not aware, “madam” isn't really a super cool thing to be called as a guy. Especially when they snicker afterward.

In my defense, I had no intention of raiding.

Since I did end up raiding, I tried to not let on that it bugged me. Sometimes when they called me, “Hey, Madam...,” I'd respond in the lowest voice I could muster, “Yes, sir?” I'd like to think it made them more uncomfortable than it made me, but maybe the joke just got old.

Regardless, I plan on getting a race change in Cata, so I think the accompanying name change will remedy the situation. Here are some of the ideas I'm considering; look for me on Pansyric, Sissypher, or Homogenous. What could go wrong?

At least I'm never confused for a forest.

I started playing late in BC and while everyone else was raiding, I was mucking through Slave Pens. I think I ran h SP every day. I loooooved Slave Pens. I'm a freedom fighter at heart and Naturalist Bite was always appreciative. Besides, Kara seemed so daunting. There were somewhat well defined entry requirements and even when I met them, everyone already had their single obligatory enhancement shaman. At some point, my then roommate convinced me to level a toon on her server. I begrudgingly left Slave Pens and rolled a warrior of the Alliance.

Then Wrath came out.

I approached Naxx in much the same way as I had Kara – I mean, cautiously. No, I didn't run more Slave Pens, but a lot of new heroics were involved. I got in too late.

Once I started raiding, though, I loved it. Each new major content patch found me delving into raids a little sooner until I jumped right in to ICC. Developers had made raids more accessible, a trend they intend to continue in Cataclysm.

Now I'm in the #2 Ally guild on my server after turning down an invitation from numero uno. I'm eagerly awaiting the race to 85. I can't wait to plunge head first into the new raids.

The Lich King is out of wrath, and I still have a full Rage bar. Bring on Deathwing!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

quick thoughts on holy paladins #3

Hand of Sacrifice


Protector of the Innocent


There are a lot more opportunities to use this spell than there were before.

Have you been getting more mileage of out HoSac?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

quick thought #2

glyph of light of dawn

i don't generally like trade-off glyphs. at first i was not impressed, but it's situationally useful. as in, when the boss as a raid-wide damage ability on a 20 second cooldown, it's pretty freakin' useful. Like, Infest on this LK kill. I have to say, I'll celebrate this victory: Protector of the Innocent is less than 10% of my healing!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

brez is back!

MMO-Champion has the 4.0.1 beta

Ok. So... druids got the battle rez back down to 10 minutes, give me divine intervention back!!

Also, shamans didn't get any love.

Buffs for paladins. Still doesn't change the fact that I'm a Holy Shock slave. Also, with the change to LoH and Beacon we're left with no choices for major glyphs. Hopefully something good will happen with Glyph of Divinity.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

one of the games i play

Muradin's Musings has a great post today about being an adult trying to survive the real world with the WoW gaming stigma. I got several paragraphs into my response before I realized it was probably a bit much enthusiasm for a comment. So how do you deal with nerd stigma?

If I am going to talk about my hobbies or how I spend my free time, I make sure the less-nerdy ones get first treatment. I read. I bake. I write. I love fantasy. (Oh, and I play some video games.)

I hide my shame by lumping WoW in as "one of the games I play." People make assumptions, thinking I'm talking about the Wii or the Playstation, and I let them. And if they press me to talk about games, I talk about doing Yoga on the Wii Fit, or playing Mario Kart, or... you know. Anything but World of Warcraft.

And why should I be so ashamed? The average American household has a television on for 6 hours and 47 minutes every day. HowstuffWorks suggests that MMORPG players spend a lot less time watching television and about 20 hours a week logged in. Why is vegging out on the couch for hours on end better than raiding?

I have a coworker who spends about as much time playing facebook games as I do playing WoW. For some bizarre reason, it's acceptable for her to talk about needing to check to see how her pumpkins in Farmville are doing, but I can't wonder aloud if my gems sold yet. (Don't get me started on how much time people spend on facebook and twitter!)

Janyaa questions if hiding our passion for MMORPGs is reinforcing the negative stigma. I personally don't see any good coming from telling my boss or my dad I play WoW. Blizzard tried to get me to connect Enlynn to facebook, but I still think it's way too soon.

Check out this post by MMO Fallout on game stigma.

There is hope, though. A writer I follow, Janice Hardy at The Other Side of the Story, did a guest post for Grinding to Valhalla where she talks (with no shame!) about being a gamer and relating it to her career. I was delighted to read her article and find out that a successful professional I respect plays the same games I do! I think the gamers in creative industries will, slowly, open the doors for the rest of the world. Yes, writers are expected to be quirky, but I'll take all the positive MMO press I can get!

I think there will be a day, someday, where MMORPGs get the same treatment as television, Mafia Wars, and even the time-sink we call social media. I would love to come out of the (gaming) closet, but I'm not ready to yet, nor do I think the world is ready to embrace us.

Oh yeah, and cheers to women gamers over 30! I never want to lose my sense of play!

So, how do you handle you handle the nerd stigma?

in before its too late

So I totally should have mentioned WEEKS AGO that I got my rusted protodrake! My new guild had a group going every week to Ulduar 10 that actually had room for us so we helped them get a few of the bosses that Mayhem and I already had (considering it was our first week in the guild, I was SOOO glad we already knew firefighter), and then spent a few weeks on Yogg.

I'm not usually the super-lucky type, but we g
ot our 310 mounts three hours before the server went down for patch 4.0.1.

We of course, went on to do Algalon. Screens below. I was blown away by how pretty that fight was, since I'd never seen it. I'm enjoying the Starcaller title, it's still (kinda) rare on our server.

I am so frickin' fast now!

Friday, October 22, 2010

how to make friends on the internet

1. create blog account. copy paste EVERYTHING from real tree druids like Keeva and just about every other resto blogger you've ever read. Including their guides, their diagrams, their art, and their BIOS. That's right, their bios.

2. when you're asked to take it down (a hint, in the real world the cease-and-desist e-mails will not be near as nice because, get this, what you just did in #1 is illegal, and they will be from lawyers), post snippets of private e-mails and bash the writer for (gasp!) wanting their stuff to be credited to them.

3. claim it doesn't matter because it's all just words that have been said already. funny, because that goes 'round in the publishing industry, too, but that wouldn't stop them from suing you if you took credit for Stephanie Meyer's or J.K.Rowling's work. Wait, you mean young boy must be a hero and vampire falls in love have been done before but they get copyright of their work? Holy crap, this must be new.

4. be obnoxiously snide in your own blog about how big bad Keeva is trying to ruin your blog. be even more obnoxiously snide to your posters and argue with them. yes, here's what i've been missing, folks! the key to an AWESOME POPULAR blog is to BE CONDESCENDING AND RUDE TO MY READERS!

I'm creating a new category for this bitch, called ARE YOU SO BAD YOU HAVE TO CHEAT AT WORLD OF WARCRAFT?. Yes. I love this idea already.

TreebarkJacket - the story

I am not linking the bitch because it doesn't need any more publicity. If you're google-savvy, I'm sure you can find it, but I encourage you instead to ignore the new internet troll and visit the links that Keeva posts to the original content that was stolen. I have a feeling the new blogger is going to disappear into obscurity soon enough. Our little internet blogosphere is small. I might be a little fish, but you don't mess with one of the big players without backlash. What a horrid, pathetic way to introduce yourself to our world, by making enemies with one of the sweetest trees you'd ever meet.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

quick thoughts on holy pallies

just a couple of observations i made in raid tonight...

1. they are changing Speed of Light, but until they do, if you proc Infusion of Light:
cast Divine Light and use the Speed of Light proc
THEN cast Holy Light and use the Infusion of Light proc

2. don't heal your holy paladin friends.
seriously. we don't need it. we're our own frickin' lightwell.

3. Eternal Glory is ridiculous.
three times on heroic princes tonight, i got 3 Word of Glory's from the same holy power.

4. Holy Shock must absitively, posolutely be used on cooldown.
i made a training wheel icon - gigantic so i can't miss it.
moar holy power. /yes

(we're still not rockin' those meters, but i feel like i actually sorta earned my spot tonight.)

week 2 of 4.0

Well, we survived the first week of patch 4.0.1, congratulations!

Last week I didn't get much raiding done because Tuesday was canceled, Wednesday we called early (too many people DCing every time they zoned), so we maybe got 3 good hours of raiding. Holy Paladin is... interesting. I jumped into it knowing I had a lot to learn, trying my darnedest to ramp up holy power and get as many Word of Glorys as humanly (spacegoatly?) possible.

It's hard, though, because even busting my ass I feel like I'm just not as useful as those priests and druids. Granted, druids didn't get drastic changes, but I giggle every time I proc replenishment. Hots are neat! Yesterday, I went into a 25 man run with my priest and I HAD SUCH A BLAST WITH CHAKRA. You mean they have a spell that changes depending on what chakra state you go into?! HOLY WORD CHASTISE IS AMAZING OMFG.

Muradin muses about holy paladins in 4.0 in her post "4.0 Healing is a Joke and Paladins are the Punchline." She pretty much sums up exactly how I feel about paladins right now.

Ghostcrawler talks about the present and future of holy paladins here. The long and short of it is, paladins are balanced at 85, not 80, and the spell we get in a couple of levels will make it all better (oh and the MS on Divine Plea is staying. Dfrnt classes r dfrnt!). I don't agree. I have a hard time swallowing that one spell will make the difference. Not when priests and druids have an entire arsenal of cool things. I'm not wishing for nerfs on either of them (I still play them after all), but you could take away one single spell from either of them and it wouldn't change the playstyle too much. Sure, it would suck to not have Prayer of Mending, but I don't think it would "break" priests. Right now, I feel like pallies are broken. The addition of one spell can not--and should not--fix that.

I don't mean for this to be QQ. I can envision the future, where mana is constrained. My paladin does have a lot more mana efficiency than my priest- I ran dangerously close to OOM yesterday on my priest several times, but on my pally I was able to heal heroic Saurfang using all Flash of Light and still couldn't put a dent on my mana pool. I'm not saying mana won't be a consideration for holy paladins, but having two cheap heals and a second resource could end up being more powerful than it is now. Currently, WoG is nice but not necessary. If it becomes necessary (and I think it will), that does change things.

But I just can't compare the fun I had playing my priest to the awkwardness I felt on my paladin. AND SERIOUSLY WHY IN THE HELL DOES DIVINE PLEA STILL HALVE MY HEALING?!?!?!?!

Sorry, I'm done now.

In the next few weeks, I may not be posting very often. Every year I do an excessive amount of cookie baking, and there's about 8 weeks left until Christmas, which means I'm already behind compared to last year. Yeeps. With Cata coming out in about 6 weeks, I'll need to have most of my baking done to start leveling. So, I'll be playing less, and at this point in the expansion I can't think of too many (pressing) blog topics anyways. Things may be quiet around here, but I'll be back to talk about my experiences in Cataclysm. And of course, I'll be passing along links from my favorite paladin bloggers!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

patch day thought

First it was twelve, which I thought was a lofty goal. Now we're at 18...

Why didn't Blizzard just call it a 24 hour maintenance?

Monday, October 11, 2010

four point oh healer linkfest

Ready or not, we're getting an extended maintenance tomorrow, Tarinae has the links and some information about the background downloader.

Priest - Discipline
I just discovered Type H for Heals and oh it is amazing! Check out Malevica's Discipline 4.0.1 Guide here.
Bob Turkey discusses talents here.
Avalonna has a guide for 4.0 here, and today Derevka from Tales of a Priest posted a Survival Guide for both Specs here.

Priest - Holy
Jinxed Thoughts on the Holy tree
Derevka from Tales of a Priest

Restokin's Guide
Keeva's Quick and Dirty Guide to living in 4.0
Rank 4 Healing Touch - ICC25 HMs in 4.0.1

Vixsin just posted her Resto Shaman Guide here!
Resto Shaman Flow speculates on 4.0

Blessing of Kings - Holy Paladin Spec
Best In Slot's consideration of holy stats in 4.0
Kurn's What You Need to Know in 4.0.1
The Light and How to Swing it - Cataclysm Heroics in 4.0

Other Stuff (the sky is falling!)
New Blizzard Party Frames - Type H For Heals
Healing in Cataclysm Part 1 - Bandage Spec
Healing in Cataclysm Part 2 - Bandage Spec
Gem Conversion - Revive and Rejuvenate
Currency in 4.0 - WoW Blue Post
Clique for 4.0.1
Healbot for 4.0.1
'Twas the Night Before Glyph-Mas

It's possible that most of our addons will be broken, but it looks like most of our popular addons have beta versions in the works to be ready for 4.0.1. Those project authors have been hard at work before it goes live. Also, if there are great links I've missed, please let me know so I can add them.

I wasn't an avid blog reader when Wrath came out. I was still new, and my biggest source of information online was the official WoW forums (I know...). Anyways, it's been amazing to me that each PTR build has been dissected and posted. We've seen videos, guides, speculations, anything you can dream of for a game that isn't even released for another two months!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

random mistakes and patchiness

Last week was a pretty bad week for raiding. Anything that could have gone wrong, did. DC's? Check. Computer problems? Awesome! Silly mistakes made by players who otherwise know whats up? Please, sir, can I have some more?

Yeah. We were struggling on Halion from silly things, we finally got him down to like 2% this was going to be it, we had this, and...

Divine Intervention.

On. The. Tank.

There are a ton of things I have done to wipe the raid in the past, and until last week, I could proudly say that DI was not one of them. Sure, I've had Beacon drop. I've cast FoL when I totally had the mana to HL. I've hit DP right at tank-takes-a-beating-phase. I've eaten goos, and I've even killed myself falling from the dream (or was it a nightmare?). But last week I DI'd the tank and wiped the raid. I guess there's a first time for everything.

(Ironic, too, that soon™ enough this won't even be a spell in my book. I almost made it!)

On a more positive note, we got Lady D on Heroic down yesterday, and I was able to complete Saurfang H too (the guild had it, I just hadn't gotten it with them). So we have three left! Although if 4.0 drops as soon as next week, that does throw a wrench into our progression plans. I'm trying not to be scared about the new paladin healing. I replaced my cloth chest with a plate one (my first piece of heroic gear on my main!), so I have two more pieces of mail then I'm wearing all plate.

Speaking of preparing for 4.0, Tarinae has some recommendations for in game currency if there's any BOA gear you've been thinking about picking up (do it soon!). Anything else you've been doing to prepare for the patch?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

do your orcs fit in a rage?

Supernatural Collective Nouns

A caucas of shamans
A coventry of warlocks
A lawn of gnomes! Tee-hee!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

i am not a forest

Hi, new raiding people. I'm working very hard to learn all your names, what you do, and how to work with you.

My name doesn't have funny characters. It's pretty much pronounced the way it sounds.

It's not Elwood.

It's not Elwynn.

I'm not a forest. I'm not even a tree! Er, wait... Perhaps I've just been confused a very, very long time...

Friday, September 24, 2010

10s, 25s, or banana?

Over at, there's a poll going for who's planning to do 10s or 25s come Cata. The verdict is in: lots of players want 10 man raids, and many players are calling this the death of 25s. In game, there's almost a venom that comes out with this discussion, as if there's a horde of players who have secretly hated 25 man raids and can't wait for them to writhe in a horribly-fiery-painful death.

However, there are a few advantages of 25s that I haven't seen discussed too much. I'm glad that there are a lot of players excited about the change to lockouts (it means that Blizzard made the right choice, and that lots of players are doing 25s when they don't want to). But I don't believe that 25 man raids will die, especially not by fire. There are advantages that larger guilds have in terms of logistics.

1. Maintaining extras in a 25 man roster is easier than 10 man. All raiding guilds want to have at least a couple of extra damage dealers and healers hanging out in the wings. So the guild over-stocks itself, knowing that every raid night, a couple of folks won't make it, and a couple will be benched. It's expected that in a healthy 25 man guild, there's a wait list (perhaps not over this past summer or fall, but, you know). In this case, you have anywhere from 7 to 14% (3 or 4 of 29) of your raid group sitting out each week. Ideally. Odds are, in a 25 setting, it would be less because the larger the group, the more likely there's a meeting/school event/birthday that keeps a raider away.

In a 10 man group, ideally, you still want to overstock but the line between too few and too many is less clear. Suddenly 12-25% (3 of 13) of your raid force is going to be sitting on a given night, if everyone showed (which grows more likely with a smaller group). If your main tank doesn't show, it could spell a cancellation. In a 25 man raiding guild, there's more likely to be someone who can switch specs for the night or be brought in.

2. 10 mans rely a lot more on 100% raider attendance. How many 25 man raids have you done in the past few months, shy a damage dealer or two? Or, even with the most borked raid comp you could think of? I can think of plenty times we've gone and done the easy bosses with 20. Hell, we've progressed with 24.

Try that in 10 man? There's achievements for that, but I doubt it's a healthy thing to try to do new bosses that way, and not consistently. Especially if healer mana is as constrained as predicted, doing a fight shy one raider on 10 man is a risky endeavor that will punish the healers the most. Culling a damage dealer prolongs the fight, dropping a healer could push remaining healers too much.

3. 10 man raids will be tuned for the same gear level and be harder. For the first two tiers of content in Wrath, I never did 25s, and I found 10s to be pretty hard at gear level. I think the strict 10 man progression raiders would agree, too, if you don't outgear the instance, 10s aren't exactly faceroll now. I never did ICC 10 without severely overgearing it. Period. I came in with 245 gear, when it was tuned for 232 gear. That's a big difference in spell power, luxury stats like haste and crit, and blue bar. That's extra gem slots, too! I'll admit, I have no idea what 10 man progression in Icecrown should have felt like, because I was already geared with 25 man ToC gear.

If 10s are being tuned without the lower gear requirement, a lot of players might find 10s harder than anticipated, especially since each player is 10% of the equation, as opposed 4% in a 25.

4. 10 man and 25 man often have different loot systems. I'm a huge fan of EPGP. I think it's pretty darn fair (I'm biased, as a player with 100% attendance who only takes what she needs). Since I do 25s and that's where my "best" upgrades come from, I could care less when I lose a /roll in a 10.

I suppose this statement relies soundly on a few assumptions. Most 10 man runs I've ever seen do a /roll, often limited what you can main spec per wing/per boss. I haven't heard of many 10 man guilds that have a formal loot system, and I have a hard time picturing how something like EPGP or DKP would work. I don't have any experience with loot council, but any system that favors attendance over a /roll is going to put the players is going to put the casual folks recruited to be available when you're short at a severe disadvantage.

ESPECIALLY if there's less loot per boss on 10. That could get nasty. In a 25 man, a casual member just helping out for the night still might walk away with some upgrades despite an attendance system (more drops per boss, the sooner stuff gets sharded/goes to offspec). In a 10 man, it seems less likely, especially if the 10 man is designed to "gear players up" more slowly than 25 mans, then more of your players are still waiting on specific upgrades. The regular raiders would be hurt by a /roll, but the casual would have no incentive to join if they have to pass to the regular raider.

Less loot in 10s also exacerbates the recruitment issue. Less gear going to offspecs could limit your raid's flexibility. It's been easy in Wrath to maintain a viable offspec (how many druids and paladins do you know that have three sets of gear?), because with the dailies, badges from two lockouts AND two/three weeklies, and drops from two lockouts, the gear is out there. In Cata, we'll only get one lockout, and we'll be capped on how many PVE points we can get in a week.

If 10 mans are designed to take more time to gear up, that further delays the drops going to off spec, limiting how many folks are going to be able to switch as needed. Players who value their flexibility may have incentive to do 25 man raids. I imagine that even 10 man raiders will be able to keep offsets, but they might have to mix and match some lower tier gear to do it.

While it's true that healers and casters maybe be able to use a lot of their main gear for their offspec, that doesn't help tanks, paladins, or enhancement shamans. Their offsets will be built from scratch.

5. 25 man raids, in Cata, can shift down to smaller raid sizes on short nights, while 10 man groups can not shift up. A low attendance night won't cancel the larger raid, assuming there's enough tanks and healers, as they can at least do a fight or two at the 10 man size.

6. Problem players and cliques can claim more authority in a 10 man raiding group. Lots of players like 10 mans for the intimacy (I do, too). I have accepted that in a 25 man environment, there will be at least a couple of absolute dicks. If I choose to progress in only 10 mans, I wouldn't put up with even one. I'd want to genuinely like and respect everyone in my 10 man group, while it's expected that in a larger group that just won't happen. Personalities meshing in smaller groups is more pivotal for group success than in larger raids.

Smaller groups can potentially be polarized by issues and personalities. Just like the difference in feel between a small business and a corporation, the comfort and intimacy can become a liability if not carefully handled. In that respect, 25 man guilds can promote emotional distance and professionality, which some players look for in their raiding environment.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to suggest that 25 man raids are less likely to get emotional or have drama explosions, because that's not true at all! What I am trying to say is that it rocks the world of a 10 man guild when 10% or 20% of your raiding force ragequits. That's the potential to call the raid for the night, which is quite a bit of power in the hands of one individual. In a 25 man raiding guild, the individual holds less power and therefore can't emotionally blackmail the group. Granted, these aren't the players you want in your raid anyways, but calling a raid early for a night or not raiding at all is dangerous for guild morale. I've always felt there was a higher potential for fallout in a 10 man group over the 25. It's more intimidating to risk pissing off 24 people than 9.

6. 10 man healers will (likely) be less specialized. This is quite a bit of speculation on my part, but I predict that Blizzard's motto for healers of using the whole toolkit will come out much more in 10 man raids than in 25's. In larger groups, there is more room for specialization, while in small groups there is a need for versatility. Healers who want to specialize could very well be happier in 25 man raiding group, especially healers who expect to be doing the same job all the time. That isn't to say that tank healers will never cast raid heals or vice versa, but I predict that I want to define myself as a tank healer, I'll need to stick to 25 man raids to do it. In a larger group, it's easier to specialize and expect to fulfill that role. A lot of healers will love the versatility of healing in 10 man raids (I like playing my priest and druid more in 10s than 25s) but some will still prefer to specialize.

7. Managing a 10 man really isn't that much "easier" than managing a 25, it's a busy job no matter the group size. I've done both, and obviously YMMV, but personally I've found being an officer in 25 to be simpler even if the volume of tells is always worse. With a larger team of officers, my role was clearly delineated and there was almost always another officer online to confirm policy or ask for support. Going back to the small business analogy, a 10 man officer is going to juggle more hats. The 25 man officer is going to take care of the assignments given to them, and deflect other matters to the correct officer. Established roles make for less stress and less stepping on toes.

If I were offered a leadership position again, I'd rather take it in a 25 man guild than a 10. The argument that no one will want to manage 25s falls flat for me. It's a lot of work and emotional investment to manage a guild, no matter its size.

TL;DR: If Blizzard stays true to their design mission of play the raid lockout you WANT to play, I believe 10 man raids will be a lot more prevalent, but I don't think it's the death knell for 25 man groups. There will still be incentives to do the larger raiding groups, and I think there will be enough players who genuinely want to do 25 mans to do them.

I have yet to see what raiding will be like in Cataclysm, but I have a good feeling I'll be playing with the folks I want to raid with, whatever lockout that ends up being. I voted "banana".

LICH KING UPDATE: I KILLED 25 LK LAST NIGHT, and completed 7 hardmodes this week! (My guild is up to 8 hardmodes, but my internet sucks so I had to step out for Saurfang, which really bummed me out.) BUTBUT shiny new mace and I just broke 43,000 mana!