Twig’s Reactions to Blizzcon

Hi everyone.  Twig here (your favorite 3-year-old).  I thought I’d give you my in-depth analysis of Blizzcon news about Wow.  Mom’s analysis would be lame and cursory.

Panda!!!

Guys, I’m so excited, they’re making my favorite movies (Kung Fu Panda, of course) into a video game!

Racial Bonuses

Shall we look at the Panda racials?

Bouncy: reduces fall damage by half.

Po can definitely bounce.  Not only does he fall down the stairs, multiple times, but his belly makes that “BOING” sound whenever anyone hits it.

Inner peace: double rested XP.

This was one of my favorite parts of the movie!  That rat, I mean “Red Panda”, finding inner peace.

Gourmond: +15 to cooking.

Papa Goose was a noodle chef.  Looks like the panda doesn’t fall far from the tiny goose tree.

Epicurean: double stats to food buffs.

Do I really need to tell you how much Po loves to EAT?

Quaking Palm (from the live stream): Puts a target to sleep for three seconds.

Ok, so in the movie the “special hold” actually obliterates all the things, but let’s not nitpick.  It ain’t the Vulcan Neck Pinch.

Go watch the movie.  Slackers.  Or you’ll be totally unprepared for this expansion

Pandas Can Be Good Or Evil

This is a stinky lie.  There is no such thing as an evil panda.  If you choose Horde, you should automatically transform into a leopard or peacock or other suitably evil race.

Monk

OMG!  Panda has a stick just like Po in the freakin movie!  And in the action figure.

I guess other people can have sticks too.  Where’s the monkey or tiger race?

6 Talent Points

Score!  I can totally count to 6!

Granted, I, being awesome and all, can count to 20, but the rest of them (who are clearly not as awesome as I am) can at least get to 6.  Yay for Blizzard making the game accessible to the average preschooler!

A New Continent

This is totally plausible, guys, that there’s a continent that we never discovered before.  Hell, I just noticed that we have a hot tub in the back yard and I’ve lived here, like, since I was crawling.  Let’s cut them some slack for not stumbling over this continent until now.

Minipets Can Battle

OH. My dreams have been answered.  Ima gonna get mah core hound and roast you guys with fire (Gramma Murloc says not to stand in it).  Mom also says that pokemon cards are too pricey, but we’re already paying for a Wow subscription.  This is what Dad calls “revenue neutral.”

It won’t be revenue neutral when I buy this little bugger from the Blizzard Store.  Eat my Lightning!

Year Long Paid-Up-Front Subscription = Free Stuff

You buy a 12-month pass and you get a mount, Diablo 3, and a beta invite.  Now, being that this is the ONLY way a 3-year-old is going to get into a beta, I heartily support this plan.  My feedback on bugs and features will be legendary.

This is what Dad calls “bundled goods and services encouraging overconsumption.”  Then Mom did an eyeroll like she does when he talks about “the deficit.”

Challenge Mode Dungeons

Mom was muttering something about “more gogogogo stupid DPS”.  Even I know that there is no such word as “gogogogo”.  When it’s time to slow down, do you say “stopstopstopstop” because that’s the opposite of “gogogogo”?  You grown-ups are confusing.

PvE Scenarios

No tank?  No healer?  No problem!  Which is good because nobody except Mom wants to play a healer.  I worry about her sanity.

Final Analysis

Is this expansion going to be awesome or what?! (Mom says “or what.” Mom is also babbling something about Republicans of the Old Space Wars, or something of that nature.)

Holy Priest Mastery Versus Haste (Fortunately, No Math)

I’ve been displeased with my thoroughput lately.  Well, I know, Holy Priests need a buff, and we will, but still… need more.  Plus, for the first time this expansion, my mana is under control.  Probably because things have been nerfed to high hell.

On Friday, I raided with my mastery-heavy build with only the 12.5% haste, buffed.  This turned out to be quite painful because for the first time in a long time we did not have the 5% haste buff.  The. Horror.  (Which is what prompted me to try a haste-heavy build.)

On Saturday, I reforged all the things and raided with a haste-heavy build.  My goal was to be able to hit the 12.5% mark unbuffed, but I was just shy of that.

I’m comparing logs for Beth (Friday) and Majordomo Jerkface (Saturday) because I did a similar total amount of healing and both of them have similar AOE HEAL ALL THE THINGS phases.

Friday (Mastery build). Echo of Light was 13.1% of my healing and 30.8% overheal.

Saturday (Haste build). Echo of Light was 11.9% of my healing and 30.3% overheal.

What does this mean?  It’s not conclusive that haste is better than mastery by any stretch.  However, the shift from mastery to haste did not harm my performance.  I’ve since swapped in a couple of haste-heavy sidegrades I had sitting in the bank, and we shall see how it goes next week with an even-m0re-haste set.

But HOLD ON THERE, you say.  This is post-nerf.  Generally speaking, at the start of an expansion, when things are extremely difficult and nobody is geared yet, holy mastery is less overheal because people are generally at lower health and benefit from more ticks of the Echo of Light HoT before being “topped off.”  Or they are never topped off because the healers are struggling.

A fair point.  The furthest back the logs go is August 26, well before the nerf.  For Beth’tilac on that date, Echo of Light was 12.2% of my healing.  And overheal was 32%.  Just because we were earlier in the expansion AND the fight went on longer (so more healing was needed at the end) did not affect the overheal of mastery.

Now, don’t go running off to reforge all the things to haste just because MY logs are supporting the change.  You need to look at your own logs.  It’s quite possible that Echo of Light won’t be that much overheal for a different team that has a different healing style.  We tend to be a nervous bunch and try to keep people close to topped off.  We also don’t do hard modes.  And, we have a druid hotting all the things.  Any of these factors can change how effective your Echo of Light is.

Using Jaws of Defeat Trinket and Other Cooldowns to Burst Heal All The Things

This is the part where I brag about getting the Jaws of Defeat.  Note that it is an on-use trinket, as follows:

Use: Your next 10 spells cast within 20 sec will reduce the cost of your holy and nature spells by 110, stacking up to 10 times. (2 Min Cooldown)

Ok… in order to get the most out of this trinket, you want to cast 10 spells in the next 20 seconds.  This might be hard to pull off if you’re not spamming your 1.5 second heal or casting instants on the GCD.

For the Discipline Priest

Power Infusion.

Infuses the target with power, increasing spell casting speed by 20% and reducing the mana cost of all spells by 20%.  Lasts 15 sec. (2 min cooldown)

So… a haste buff so I can squeeze more spells into the 20 second window?  Yes please!  Also, note that both spells have the same 2 minute cooldown (and a close duration).  It’s quite easy to macro those suckers together.

For the Alchemist

Lifeblood

Uses your skill in Herbalism to absorb energy and nutrients from the earth, instantly healing minor wounds and granting 480 haste rating for 20 sec. (2 min cooldown).

This is basically the same reasoning behind macroing with power infusion.  A haste boost allows you to cast more spells, ideally hitting 10 within 20 seconds.  The cooldowns also line up with both being 2 minutes.

For the Resto Druid

Tree Of Life

Shapeshift into the tree of life, increasing healing done by 15% and increasing your armor by 120%. Also protects the caster from Polymorph effects. In addition, some of your spells are temporarily enhanced while shapeshifted. Lasts 25 sec. Enhanced spells: Lifebloom, Wild Growth, Regrowth, Entangling Roots, Wrath.  (3 min cooldown)

Now, when you hit Tree of Life, you’re spamming all the things.  Lifebloom multiple targets, instant regrowth, etc.  What’s not to like about a reduced mana cost for the spam-frenzy?  Now, the cooldowns don’t quite line up, but it might be worth delaying triggering the Jaws until you trigger Tree of Life.

Holy Priest: They Like Us, They Really Like Us

Oh hay, there’s a change to the 4.3 patch notes.  For priests.  And both items pertain to Holy Priests:

Guardian Spirit’s healing bonus has been increased to 60%, up from 40%.

I felt like the BEST use of this spell is when a tank is plummeting to death, and you just hit it, wait for it to proc, THEN heal.  Now, it seems more robust.  I noticed that similar heal-enhancing abilities were not increased in this same patch (i.e. Vampiric Blood).

Holy Word: Serenity now has a cooldown of 10 seconds, down from 15 seconds.

10 sec cooldown is appropriate.  This brings it in line with Penance (glyphed), disc’s main single-target heal-bomb.  Suck it, bubbleslingers.

Transmogrification And Dressing Your Gnome

Woot!  Transmogrification!  Awesome.

I’m excited!  Remember how when you got a new piece of gear, you could not WAIT to see how it would look?  Sometimes it was awesome.  Sometimes it was not (remember the Outlands clown suits?).  But it was usually different.

I set forth to find the coolest gear evar, at which point I remembered that my priest is a gnome, and the gear must look good… on a gnome.  This is a very difficult proposition.  There are a lot of perfectly nice outfits that look ridiculous on a gnome.  So here are the criteria for transmogrifying a fantastic outfit.

  • Less skin.  No low necklines, belly cutouts, leg cutouts, low back, or, god forbid, side-of-boob showing.  Sometimes a shirt can fix this.  Sometimes not.
  • No vests.  Robes ONLY.  Please, do not make me look at teeny gnome legs.
  • Less ornamentation.  On a tiny gnome, very ornate or intricate designs just get lost and end up looking… well, silly.
  • Smaller is better.  Huge shoulders look ridiculous.  Big hats look like a bobble-head.

With that in mind, I hit the wow model viewer.  As might be expected, the robes that were modest and solid-colored were primarily the low level ones.  Which suits me just fine, since I don’t want to look like everyone else.

The Aurora Set. Very cute. I might put a shirt under it for the low neckline.

I’m going to be lazy and send you to the World of Wardrobes Aurora Set page to find out where to get these items.  They have the links to all the pieces of the set AND pictures of how it’s going to look on YOUR toon.

(At this point I was thinking “I know!  I’ll post something revealing that looks hideous on a gnome!”  Except… trust me, you don’t want to see it.  It looks like a toddler who just raided mom’s lingerie drawer.  Like those damn halloween costumes for little girls that are getting skimpier every year, don’t even get me started.)

Now, because I’m a dork, I’m creating a SILLY set.

We're going to pretend that my hair doesn't clip in the wow model viewer.

This outfit is pretty easy to get (on the AH).  All BOE Greens, no farming required:

I know that many people are hitting up the “super awesome” tier gear.  Anyone out there like me who has a transmogrification plan that is off the beaten path?

From Casual to Casual-er

I’ve been playing EVEN LESS lately than usual.  Hey, George R. R. Martin isn’t going to read himself, nor is Dr. Who going to watch itself.  However, I had already cut out “nonessential” activities to accommodate my casual gaming.

Shit I Didn’t Do Before

  • Dailies
  • Cap VP
  • Holiday Events
  • Achievements
  • “Fun Runs”
  • Collecting of Mounts/Pets/Etc

That’s a lot of stuff that is quite time-consuming, if I do say so myself.  But wait, I cut out even moar.

Shit That I Don’t Do Now

  • Get any VP outside a raid 1
  • Gather and Craft 2
  • Get Online Just to Blather with People3
  • Auction House
  • Alts At All (not that I spent much time on them before)

Now, this is not a sustainable model, by any stretch.  When the next patch comes along, I’m going to have to step it up.  But, for now, I can maintain this holding pattern and still manage to raid.  I should point out:

Shit That I Still Must Do

  • Don’t Flake on Gear Upgrades.  This means:
    • keeping track of rep as it accumulates so I don’t miss an upgrade by weeks cause I wasn’t paying attention
    • remembering (with spreadsheet) which drops are good and which are not. 4
    • get VP gear as the VP comes in.5
  • Enchant and Gem all New Gear
  • Reforge ALL THE THINGS when new gear comes along.  Hey, can’t be a slacker and eff up my 12.5% haste.6
  • Make sure to have consumables for raid time
  • Read the logs after the fact
  • Read strats/watch videos
  • Keep Addons Updated
  • Remember to sign up (it’s easy to forget if you’re not in game much)

That’s still a decent amount of work, even if most of the tasks are only necessary when I get new gear, which happens almost never.7

  1. It helps that I get near cap post-nerf just by raiding.  It also helps that I just got my last desired VP piece this week.
  2. Except the occasional herb run through Vash.  I find it relaxing.
  3. It helps that Team Heal is on GChat.
  4. So you don’t *COUGH* bid on the wrong damn staff and have to trade it 2 minutes later and redo all the gear lists…
  5. I may have finished the VP grind for my main spec, but there’s always the shadow set. Unspent VP does nobody any good.
  6. Reforge Lite is one-click awesomeness.
  7. I went a little footnote-wild in this article, I know.

Epic Fail on the Chakra Uptime Front

Sooo… Despite the fact that Chakra state lasts indefinitely until cancelled or changed to a different chakra state… I’m still not at 100% uptime for boss fights.

Look at this.  What the hell?

Last I checked, 49.5% plus 41.3% does NOT equal 100%.

I know exactly what is happening.  I trot in after a wipe, we pull the boss, I’m healing away, I go to use Holy Word and discover it no worky.  Why does it tell me that my target is invalid?  Why there no targeting circle?  Oh right, no Chakra.

Now, I had a weenie little power aura, but I could ignore it too easily.  So here’s my new power aura, which triggers whenever I enter combat without a chakra state on.

Version:4.22; b:0.1373; g:0.7843; icon:priest_icon_chakra_blue; buffname:Chakra; unitn:Only for raid/group.; texture:14; alpha:0.7; aurastext:No Chakra, Dumbass; inVehicle:0; stacksOperator:=; PowerType:0; textaura:true; combat:true; size:1.57; y:184; texmode:1; inverse:true; ismounted:0

Copy the string above and you can behold the awesomeness of this power aura in YOUR interface.  (I’ve also added it to the power aura page for posterity.)

From Hot Lava to Tornadoes

Guys it’s like one of those SAT problems…

Hot lava: jumping fail

Tornadoes: ___

(a) pudding

(b) 17th century

(c) a big word you’ve never seen before but looks slightly dirty

(d) running fail

And the answer is OMG SAT FLASHBACKS ARRGH.  I mean (d).

I am just the WORST at those stupid Alys tornadoes.  And, I’m embarrassed to say, I never even saw them before they were “slowed down” in the nerf.  Pre-nerf, it must have been unbearably twitch reflexy for all but the most coked-out ferrets.

So, uh, since I super-suck, I cheat, and through cheating I live.  I keep desperate prayer on cooldown and save it for lava runs.  I inevitably get to low health through my own stupidity and need my insta self-heal.  Also, I use body and soul for the speed boost.  My bubble isn’t that strong, but it helps.  I haven’t had to use Guardian Spirit.  Yet.  With my luck, I’d croak right as the buff ran out.  Or croak, it procs and saves me, and then I subsequently re-die.  Because that’s just what I do.1

Now, if I were a non-healing class, I’d maybe have to L2P.  Ok, no I wouldn’t.  I’d still use something cheaty like dispersion.

I’d truly like to have better reflexes and save my “oh shit” cooldowns for other things.  But that’s not in the cards for me without some serious robot devil hands.

Score! Now I can beat tornado-frogger!

Better a live priest without any cooldowns left than a gnome-shaped splotch on the floor.

  1. Fact: I re-die at least 50% of the time I’m battle rezzed, though in fairness, many of the subsequent deaths are not my fault.

There is no Best Healer. There is Only Team Heal.

We seem to be down to 3 main-spec healers in Eff (mah guild).  Strangely, this was not caused by anyone leaving the guild, but rather by some healers deciding they’d rather do other stuff, and others being largely unavailable.

So, we’re down to 3 main-spec healers, and one has been out of pocket due to RL lately.  Before that, I went on vacation.  So for most weeks in the last 2-months, we’ve had to sub in an off-spec healer.  This makes the off-spec healers cranky, and, to be honest, it makes the healing fall a little behind.  Nobody’s that awesome on their offspec.  I sure as hell am not.

What we need:  One (1) Main-Spec Healer who:

… really likes to heal.  Seriously, we don’t like drafting unwilling victims to team heal.

… is not a priest.  Yeah, we already have 2 on Team Heal and 1 as an off-spec sub.  We’re bursting with priests.

… likes being part of a TEAM.  One night, mah husband, who apparently wants to sleep in the cat pan, told me that Laral is our strongest healer.  I passed on the compliment, and Laral’s response was: “There is no best healer.  There is only Team Heal.”  Which is true.  We stick to our assignments, keep people alive, and try not to stress about meters.

… doesn’t mind sitting out now and then.  I’ll be honest, sitting out rotation for healers hasn’t exactly happened much in the guild’s history because we always seem to be one short.  But if we actually had enough, I suppose it would be possible.  Even so, it would be rare.

So, uh, do you want to join our merry misfits?  We’re 6/7 on Firelands now (which isn’t saying much post-nerf).  Again, check out the guild info page which has all you need.  Our raid times, our logs, blah blah.

Questions?  Send me a message or email our fearless leader alas [at] kissmyalas [dot] com.

4.3 Patch Notes for Priests: featuring Improved (and finally useful) Divine Hymn

Yesterday, I was, as usual, being a total noob.  Here’s how the conversation went:

Laral (our disc priest): Hey they’re lowering the cooldown for Dhymn for holy priests.

Me: [expletives and exclamations of glee] Where?

Laral: Patch notes (OMG UR A NOOB)

Yep, I completely missed the patch notes.  Bad blogger, bad!

Well, let’s see what this patch holds for Healing Priests.

Discipline

Atonement has been limited by range until now, but discipline priests cannot be contaaaained.

Atonement will now account for the target enemy’s combat reach when calculating proper range, enabling it to be used on large creatures such as Ragnaros and Ala’kir.

So, they get MORE buffed… yay?  Stupid smitejerks.  Grumble.

Divine Aegis has a new spell effect.

Translation: Previously Divine Aegis had its own spell effect that looked like a cool soap bubble.  We made Divine Aegis look exactly like Power Word: Shield as part of an insidious and cruel psychological experiment to see if we could get discipline priests to totally lose it. We’re sorry.  Please don’t flog us.  We’re fixing it.

I suspect the “new” spell effect may well look exactly like the old spell effect before they screwed with it.

Holy

But Discipline priests are boring, overpowered, and usually have fleas.  Now we get to the good part:

State of Mind has been redesigned and is now called Heavenly Voice. Heavenly Voice increases the healing done by Divine Hymn by 50/100%, and reduces the cooldown of Divine Hymn by 2.5/5 minutes.

This, my holy friends, is bad-ass.  We get rid of a shitty and useless talent and get a 3-minute cooldown on Dhymn, same as Tranquility, basically giving those cheater resto druids the finger.

The only bad thing about this, and I do mean ONLY, is that we’re going to have to move 2 talent points around, and it might be at the expense of other things you like.  I’m probably going to take the 2 points out of Veiled Shadows (my reduced cooldown on shadowfiend), since my mana issues are resolving themselves.

But, you say, Dhymn sucks?  Well it won’t anymore!  First, the aforementioned talent doubles the healing thoroughput.  And the base spell itself is getting a buff:

Divine Hymn now affects 5 targets, up from 3.

This change is technically for all priests, but come on, it’s really a buff for Holy.  The rest of you have had your own buffs already.  Shoo.

Glyph of Circle of Healing now also increases the mana cost of Circle of Healing by 20%.

I hate “tradeoff” glyphs.  Whether you take this glyph will depend on whether you’re doing 10’s or 25’s, and how your mana holds up.  Since I usually do 10’s, it’s pretty likely that I’m not getting 6 targets anyway, so I’ll unglyph that sucker.  And instead use one of the other highly attractive major glyphs for holy priests.  /sarcasm

And finally, the awesomest change ever:

Spirit of Redemption has been rebuilt to address a few functionality issues and make it more responsive. Spirit of Redemption otherwise remains unchanged.

Ok, I lied.  Failangel is always lame, buffed or not.  It’s like multiplying zero by a million.  It’s still zero.