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.

Fade: It’s not Just for Tank Fail

In some fights, I use Fade… never.  There’s one boss, the tank is doing his job, and all is right with the world.

However, if there are adds, they pop up and make a beeline for a bite-sized gnomish snack who has a ton of healing aggro from sprinkling raid heals liberally.  FADE FADE… what do you mean it’s on cooldown?  30 seconds is quite a long cooldown when things are chomping your face off.

The easiest thing to do is glyph it so your cooldown is 21 seconds instead of 30.  Remember, folks, you can carry around some dust and glyph fade for specific fights.  If you’re working on a boss with a lot of adds, spend the cash, take the 30 seconds, and get it done.

Now, for pure awesomeness, if your talent build allows, you can put 2 points into Veiled Shadows.  That shaves another 6 seconds off the fade time and also a minute off your shadowfiend time.  I wouldn’t take this talent unless you find yourself with extra points and low on mana.  I do have it in my holy build because fiend coming off cooldown sooner is absolutely awesome.  I do not take it on my disc build because I don’t have the extra points, and I usually find myself in good shape mana-wise.

So glyph + talent = 15 second fade cooldown.  This will get you through most boss encounters, since adds are generally not released much more often than once every 15 seconds.  I have found this combo helpful on Rhyolith and Alys for prevention of face-biting.  Let those adds chew on the druid for a while.

From Impossible To ROFLSTOMP: Too Much, Too Late

For a long time, and I’ve lost count at this point, we were banging our heads against bosses in FL and grinding the crap out of VP in order to actually be able to defeat them.  This week, we trounced them, despite some huge errors (I totally effed up my Baleroc stacks, which would have caused a certain wipe last week, and flat-out DIED on Alys).

So I’m left with 2 logical principles (I won’t belabor this since other people have done a more thorough analysis.)

1. If Firelands were incorrectly tuned from the start, why the fuck did it take so long to realize it and tone it down?  I mean, you couldn’t tell this 2 weeks in?  A month in?

2. If Firelands were correctly tuned from the start, why the fuck is this nerf so big?  It’s not like 4.3 is coming tomorrow and everyone must see the content this week zomg.  In theory, smaller tweaks would help struggling guilds “get over the hump” without just handing us the loot and sauntering off.  Usually they nerf the crap out of content when it’s no longer significant, not when it’s still the central show in town.

That is all.  Carry on.

Something About Mohammed and a Mountain

Sleep disruptions.  Sigh.  We haven’t had this problem on such a scale since the Mouse incidents of 2010.

Twig will not sleep in her room.  Twig wants to sleep in OUR room, preferably in OUR bed.  She will not stay in her room.  She will not sleep.  She will stubbornly stay awake until we are ready for bed and SNEAK into our room, if necessary.  She has even professed a love for the Daily Show in an effort to con us into letting her stay up.

So we have resorted to one of us sleeping in HER room, to get her back on the path to NOT BEING IN OUR BED.  This means that at a reasonable hour each night, one of us is camped out on Twig’s floor.  Yay.  As you can imagine, this is not conducive to many things, including playing WoW.

I’m looking forward to roflstomping the lands of fire this weekend.  Obviously, because we are short healers, I have to go to the raids, so Gnoble will be on Twig duty for raid nights.  I’m sad he won’t be able to go, but I won’t be sad when, after a nice, successful roflstomp, I’m curled up in BED and not ON FLOOR.

All Work and No Play: Nerfs, New Patch, Blah Blah

As you have heard me whine pitifully, I have been grinding VP since 4.2 damn well came out.  This is because the VP priest gear is far better than the drops in Firelands.  Also, unbeknownst to me at the beginning of the expansion, we’re getting nowhere fast with bosses, hence not many drops.  I felt a sense of accomplishment when I finally got over the hump of VP grinding, and I only have a few teeny pieces left to get.

Now, we’re getting nerfs.  And I’m a big fan.  Yay, finally going to get to see the content, and get some gear, which will make it easier to … see the content!  However, if the nerfs are here, it means that 4.3 is on the way.

So, I just spent this entire tier swearing and cursing about stupid VP and spending un-fun time grinding VP (which was really the only option if I wanted to raid), and then just as I’m finished with the gross grinding, it’s time to start all over again with grinding the NEXT tier.  

On the one hand, I am not enthralled about Firelands, so a new tier of content would be nice.  On the other hand, I have had NO time to rest on my laurels.  If the next tier is all about grinding the VP again, I might perish.

I didn’t feel this way when 4.2 hit.  When Firelands emerged, I had been working on my gear, sure, we all do, but never to the point of hatred.  I feel worn down by this relentless grind this patch more so than any other patch.  I’ve barely scratched the surface of the molten front dailies, but the stupid repetitive things bore the shit out of me just like VP grinding does.

It feels like this last patch has been time sink for the sake of time sink, and I’m not sure I have the mental fortitude to “do what it takes” if the next patch is m0re of the same.

Santa, Baby, Put A Nerf Bat Under The Tree, For Me

I know that I should want to do raiding “the hard way” and feel so accomplished when we actually kill the thing.  I should.

However, there comes a point where you just don’t want to wipe anymore.  I am to that point.  I just want him dead and I don’t really care how we get there, so long as in the end, the boss is dead.  Dead dead dead.

This weekend, we tried the infamous 1-tank method for Baleroc.  It did not go well.  Oh boy, did it not go well.  The tank died within 2 minutes into the encounter, each time.  With 2-tanks and 3-healers, at least we REACHED the enrage timer alive.  This time, not so much.

Dear Baleroc. Go have a drink on me. Just leave your loot behind. I won't tell.

I’m not disappointed in these nerfs.  Maybe I would be upset with the nerfs if we were on the cusp of winning.  But right now, it seems like it would be a long uphill battle.  I remember wiping for weeks and weeks on Arthas.  Maybe 2 months.  It was soul-killing.  (I think, in the end, it was somewhere around 80 wipes before the kill, and the kill did come after the nerf.)

Arthas can suck it! And, yes, I totally ripped this picture off Alas's blog.

No, I am awaiting the nerfs with glee.  If I had to pick the lesser of two evils, I’m going to say that I’d rather take a win on a silver platter than continue to be demoralized.

The So-Called Fight About 2-Healing

Sometimes, things in the blogosphere surprise me… particularly which posts and issues get attention and which do not. I thought I’d tell a little about my “Wait WHAT?” moments of this week. (Warning: this is a little meta and quite boring.)

Trying To Find Content

It’s Monday morning. I haven’t posted a blog post since last week. Last week, I only had 2? 3? posts. Something like that. And the week before, I was on vacation. What should I write about? Oh, 2-healing came up this weekend. I freakin hate 2-healing.

I Post

Shortly thereafter: Post up! Yay! Content! I’m a little disappointed that I ended it with a question for discussion like I did with the last 2-3 freakin posts, but oh well.

I Get An IM

Just then, Lono pings me asking about 2-healing… as if he read my mind (but apparently has not yet read my post – which causes me to snicker). We rationally and politely discuss strats for Baleroc, including 2-healing, 1-tanking, and 1-tanking with a DPS soaker for the decimation blades.

You don’t need to hear what our positions are. We already posted them. Duh. Rehashing would be boring.

I Get Another IM

Later that day…

Lono: OMG ZEL!
I just read you latest post
me: yah?
Lono: yah! you’re trying to weasel out of 2 healing by gathering interweb support
I’m on to you
/suspicious eyes
me: I wrote that before you started harassing me

At which point, he tells me he’s gonna write a rebuttal.

It doesn’t appear soon enough. I pester Lono. I wanna read it!

The Rebuttal

The rebuttal is, as expected, a rational and respectful disagreement about a proposed raid strategy. Basically he’s making the same points he made to me earlier that morning. I don’t find the post aggressive or offensive. It’s a disagreement about ideas. And honestly, not all that different than some comments I received on the original post.

Attracting Some Notice

Suddenly, there are more comments! I think Lono has more readers than I do… (OK, I might be jealous)

The next day, I see 2 pingbacks from other blogs (Repgrind, Slice) in my email and remark to the husband “oh, there are multiple blogs talking about the same issue in the blogosphere. I bet MMO Melting Pot picks this up.”

5 minutes later I get a pingback from MMO Melting Pot. LULZ!!! Hey, they even quoted me swearing profusely. What is better than that?

Why this probably got more attention than usual: Tobold posted on it (which I did not realize since blogspot doesn’t do pingbacks)!  I’m relieved that I didn’t get trolls.

Comments That Are Not OK

Of course (and this is the whole point of me writing this), some people were absolute dicks to Lono which is not cool, regardless of his opinion on this (or any) issue. I’m wagging my finger at you nasty trolls.

Also, as a complete surprise to me, some commenters made far-flung assumptions about Eff the Ineffable. I admit, I was sparse on background information. Lono was too. This was about the issue of 2-healing essentially by itself, not a commentary on our guild. For people to extrapolate bad things with little to no information was baffling.

(Don’t even get me started on “the twitterz” which I thankfully was not watching.)

I Get Philosophical

One Monday morning, I gave my thoughts in a half-assed off-the-cuff post and it turns into a big fucking deal. And it’s not. As you can see, Lono and I respectfully disagree on a raid strategy. It isn’t the first time and it won’t be the last time.

You know I’m a big pansy about people in the blogosphere being nice to each other and avoiding personal attacks. However, this is a disagreement about ideas without any hint of personal attacks. It’s normal. It’s what bloggers DO. How does it lead down the road to anger and name-calling by commenters?

TL;DR

How can I TL;DR this when I’m not sure I have a point? I’ll try…

1. Murphy’s law of blogs: If you write something without much thought, it will get the most attention. If you put a lot of time and effort into something and proofread it thrice, it will likely be ignored without comment.

2. Respectfully disagreeing on ideas is OK.

3. Personal attacks are never cool.

4. Don’t assume.  Something about asses, and I’d rather not be an ass.

P.S. If anyone tries to troll THIS post you’re totally missing the point to CEASE AND DESIST!

You’re Doing So Well That Here’s More Work

2-healing.  That notion has reared its ugly head with enrage timers.  It’s only worked once, on Baleroc, with a very specific composition.

I hate the idea of 2-healing.  To me, it feels like a penalty for doing well.  We’re finally able to handle the encounter without shitshitshitshitohshit moments, without running oom halfway through, without randomly losing people, and suddenly it’s time to take a member of our team away, so we can beat the enrage timer.

Oh. Hell. No.

I really don’t want to create an us-versus-them mentality with the DPS.  I really don’t.  But when they try to take a member of Team Heal, it makes my blood boil.  I know, I know, it’s not Team Heal versus Team DPS.  It’s just Raid Team.  And we should do everything we can to benefit Raid Team, right?

So, tell me, dear raiding healers, how do you feel about this 2-healing thing?  Do you use it for certain encounters?  If so, what is the rationale?