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?


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?

I Should Just Drop Group If I Hear…

Previously, I bemoaned the completely silent Pug.  I am reconsidering that.  A completely silent pug would be preferable to some of the things I’m hearing in party chat lately.

Now, the frustrating thing about the dungeon finder, for me, is that you don’t get payout unless you actually finish.  That is, if you’re going for VP.  So there is nothing worse than having to drop group halfway through.  It’s a complete waste of time.

I always have the option of sticking it out, but my conscience and, let’s be honest, downright rage makes me unable to continue on with those assholes.  Kicking the offending player is one option, but if it’s more than one (like they’re in the same guild) you’re sort of screwed.

But, I’ve decided, if they just BROADCAST that they are assholes from the start, it is probably more efficient to just cut my losses, drop group, and do something else until I can requeue.

How do you know that they are assholes?  Here’s the handy list of “warning words and references.”

  • Any reference to genitalia.  I should have known I was in trouble when the tank whispered me that his friend was “jizzing himself” over my gear.  Uh, thanks.  And stay away from my gear with that.
  • The “n” word.  It’s just an auto drop for me right there.  No good can come of that.
  • Spamming, including chat spamming or emote spamming.  Last night, the morons were repeatedly /rolling, cluttering things up so I couldn’t even inform them that I was abandoning them to their own idiocy.
  • “The last healer sucked.”  The last healer probably did not suck.  The last healer probably got fed up with you morons.  Chances are, I will too.
  • “FFS”.  This never fails to point out the asshole.  It’s like required training in asshole school that “FFS” must be appended to any obnoxious statement made.
What are the warning signs for you that your Pug is going to be a problem?

Friendly Competition and Misery Loves Company

Our usual heal team consists of 2 priests (a disco priest and me, generally as holy) and a resto druid.  Now, considering that priests are being horribly mistreated in this patch with respect to spirit gear, the other priest and I are both grudgingly grinding VP.

We are a little bitter about it.  And by a little bitter, I mean pretty fucking bitter.  Whenever plate, mail, or leather drops with spirit on it, we gripe.  Whenever someone gets an upgrade and cheerfully announces “Now I won’t have to grind for the VP version”, I die a little inside.  Since VP is our only GOOD option, we are siblings in solidarity or some such nonsense.  It’s easier to put up with bullshit when someone else shares your pain and is putting up with the same bullshit.

We have been pretty much lock-step in getting our VP pieces.  Neither of us caps every week, but we seem to be on the same VP collection schedule.  However, when other priest got his gloves while I was on vacation, and was therefore one piece ahead of me, I was twirling my virtual mustache yelling “CURSES!”  This made me want to grind MOAR VP.  Even though I have my 2 piece bonus and am much more comfortable with my mana and thoroughput, I must have ALL THE THINGS.  I am MOTIVATED, dammit.

How does friendly competition affect your in-game activities, if at all?

(P.S. Laral is a dirty smitey cheater and does not really need the gear.)

Taking A Break Did Not Make Me Want To Quit WoW

Hi everyone!  So, vacation is over… and I have been reading a lot of bloggers who take a break and say “you know, I don’t miss WoW, I like it better without WoW.  So long!”  Well that didn’t happen to me.

Don’t get me wrong, I was not missing WoW during the vacation.  I didn’t have the shakes or a real desire to play.  I looked at the guild forums once or twice.  But basically I had a nice, solid break, and that was good.

But, when I did get back, I still wanted to play.  It was still fun.  I reconnected with the guild and told them Twig stories from the vacation (the little weasel climbed up on Grandpa’s pool table).

Going away on vacation is completely different than taking a WoW break while at home.  When I have people visiting me, I still have the urge to check in.  I want to make sure raids get off the ground.  I want to talk to people online.  It’s really hard to get away from that.  But while on the road, that draw is not there.  The guild knows we’re out of pocket, and that’s that.

So, yay… I’m catching up on feed reader (since I didn’t even check that while on vacation.  Vacation is srs bzns.) and getting back into that raiding thing.  I’ve been practicing disc so much for Baleroc, I hope I remember how to do the Holy thing.


That’s right, we’re off to visit Papa Murloc in a few days.  See you after Labor Day!

Now, you ask, what is the difference between Papa Murloc and Mama Murloc?  Let me explain:

Mama Murloc says: “I hope they don’t stand in the fire.”

Papa Murloc would say: “Hey, shithead.  Get out of the goddamned fire.  Moron.”

I trust that Twig will pick up some exciting vocabulary.

(That is, if we get to go, due to hurricanes and whatnot…)

Walking the (Casual Raiding) Line in Firelands

Well you’ve heard me yabber on about VP and how I hate getting them, but how I don’t really have much of a choice in the matter.

Capping VP every week isn’t reasonable for my life as a casual raider.  But at the same time, we were very much struggling in the beginning without any T-12-equivalent gear.  Clearly some out-of-raiding work is required.

There once was an ex-guildie who strenuously objected that I did not do dailies.  To him, this omission meant that I was clearly not serious about raiding.  To me, dailies were lower priority than heroics to get gear.  He assumed I had time to do both – which of course was erroneous!  Based on the time I had, I chose to focus on heroics.

Right now, I’m doing some valor point grinding (not capping), and no dailies, because the dailies gear is not that good for my class/spec.  Maybe someone out there is incensed that I am not doing my dailies, or not capping vp.  I, on the other hand, may be irrationally stabby at someone who, after all this time, has not obtained a piece or two of VP or faction/dailies gear.

I clearly think that the person who expects me to do dailies is being a little too hardcore.  But am I being too hardcore in the (admittedly moderate) amount of work outside of raids that I expect?  At what point does “not being hardcore” morph into “not making the effort?”

Holy Priest Mana Management

I have mana issues.  A lot.  Looking at the upcoming spiritless cloth gear (bleh), I had to use some serious strategery for not going OOM as much…


My fellow members of Team Heal surprised me with Darkmoon Card Tsunami.  Apparently they love the lolwell so much, they want me to stay holy.  Awww.

I got the first piece of tier gear (chest).  In raiding I was already seeing a difference.  I just got the pants last night for the 2pc bonus.  It should be a pretty constant mana increase, since it will be kept up by my basic healing rotation.

And finally, I reforged down to the bare minimum of haste for 12.5% raid buffed and am relying on the mastery: echo of light.  In current content, because there’s SO much healing to be done, echo of light is not as much overheal.

Mana Cooldowns


So first, I tried those concentration potion doodads.  That doesn’t really work for me, since being out of pocket for 10 sec doesn’t work on most fights. I can barely have time for Hymn of Hope.  So I’m stuck with regular old mana pots.

Shadowfiend and Hymn of Hope

Now, you can get super extra mana if you cast shadowfiend then swing into hymn of hope.  But that would require being pretty low on mana to pay off… and I don’t want to wait that long for throwing the first fiend (so it can reset).  Plus, finding time to channel is something that is a challenge.  I decided that I’d be better off doing hymn of hope separately from shadowfiend at a predetermined time coordinated with the rest of the healers – while I toss shadowfiend as soon as feasible (i.e. at a mana level where I wouldn’t waste any mana returns) and toss it again right off cooldown.

Now on to using the fiend better.  See… I would wait too long to cast the damn thing.  And I might not cast him right when he got off cooldown.

First, I made a Power Aura to show when I’m at 70% mana, so I know to toss the first fiend then.  Well, I kinda stole it from Beru and then tweaked the mana level to one that I thought was appropriate for fiending.

Second, I used MSBT to create a more obnoxious noise for when fiend is off cooldown.  I had a noise already but it was clearly not annoying enough to get my attention.

Spell Choices

I’m not doing so hot here.  I’m trying to use Heal, though it pains me to do so.  I’m not sure why my fail here deserves its own heading, but there you go.

Lightwell Harassment

Toward the end of the last tier, we got a little complacent in our awesomeness and didn’t need to click the lightwell as much.  Now, I’m getting people back into the habit by harassing them over vent to CLICK IT during periods of intense AOE damage.  If my lightwell disappears before the cooldown is up, it means that all the charges are getting used up.  That makes me a happy camper.