Thursday, May 29, 2014

Been a While, This is the Goals Post


  • Individual sets for Holy and Disc
  • Garrosh Kill
  • Trinkets Dammit
  • All Tillers as Friends
  • T5 set, the angel looking one
  • Proven Healer
  • Not much really, might pick her back up in WoD
  • Oh yeah make the Darkmoon trinket for Airibear
  • Learn to play Mistweaver
  • in that vein, Gold Healer
  • Max out gathering profs
  • once druid is of level switch to leather profs
  • Max out Jewel and Enchanting
  • Make the panther mounts
  • Hit 90
  • Gold Healer for druid
  • max gathering profs
  • Hit 90, and then 100
  • Get ready to use as main in WoD
  • Alchemy, Flask Master, Engineering, Goblin
Minor goals, level and gain Gold healer on Shammy and Paladin. 

Wait for WoD to see if profession will be important or stupid, who knows. 
I want to get a pet team to 25 at some point I'm just not focused enough to actually do it. 

Friday, May 23, 2014

Holy! Disc! Holy! Disc! Holy! Disc!

Gearing in SoO has reached the point of being able to allow us to use generalized sets for farm content and then going back to a more focused set for progression.

Before continuing be aware of the following disclaimers:
I am not a 14/14H raider. Our group is still pushing normal progression so bear that in mind when I discuss available gear and the fights I'm planning for.
Secondly I'm not a master theorycrafter. I understand many of the basic concepts behind gearing and playing my class but if I attempt to dig too deep into the mathy parts there will be mistakes. Corrections are always welcome as are opinions.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Holy Malkorok Batbear

So our first attempt on Malk in Disc was disc-appointing.
This week I switched to Holy and last night went a ton better...but I can improve.

So I was thinking about the four piece bonus and wondering if it was really worth it. It took me a little while to really appreciate what is going on with it.
The idea is this: create a weak aura to track 4p stacks; before the pull pop off three CoH or PoM or whatever and see how long the 4p lasts; if it has a long duration then I can wait for mana to regen; does anything break it? combat start?; if not pre stack it then wait for pull.

Pre-pot, power infusion+synapse springs+shadowfiend, Halo, PW:San with 3 stacks on tank/melee area.
Settle into bind, bind, PoH and flash, flash, PoH/GH routine. Use FDCL procs to keep serenity up for faster PoH or GHs, these are lovely to drop on people who are plummeting to the ground right after a nice Renew. Divine insight myself as needed for soaking. CoH on CD to keep 4p up for PW:San renewal.

Now as we get near phase 2 I need to insure that 4p is at 3 stacks. Rumor is PoM has no effect as it doesn't bounce under Malks shields (so dropping the PoM glyph for a CoH glyph) but it can still be used to ping a stack of 4p instantly if I'm short before phase 2.

For phase 2 I'll drop a lightspring, guardian...whom?, the tanks, especially our blood DK Wort aren't really in as much danger as someone like Tonk or Fran so maybe one of them? drop PW:San then bind, bind, PoH my way through phase 2.
I would HoH but this didn't work so well with the debuff dropping on random targets. Maybe save HoH for near the end to top off shields? Also need to find time for Focus or hymn of mana.

Tonight should go a lot better

We got the kill

Monday, May 19, 2014

Lessons Forgotten?

So it occurs to me that I never really got around to posting what I actually learned from my PG runs yesterday.

  • The value of properly using CC
  • 8k mana can be a lot
  • I make poor spell choices under duress
  • control the room
  • cooldown use is poorly thought out
So as day one has ended I have to ask what is my goal for day two?
Well, today I want to focus on making better use of cooldowns. From my few CC choices to raid CDs I want to make a more informed and knowledgeable decision when I slam that key.

So there you go.
I think I need sleep first however. I'm very tired.

Emo Raiders

I want to try and get this down before work pulls me away. I was already removed from the initial thoughts by family related stuff so this won't be as raw as I wanted it.

In anything in life we have two separate states we approach problems from: 1) the outside looking in, whether before hand doing prep or after doing review and 2) in the thick of it.
With 1 we have the opportunity to be cold and analytically. Time is on our side and we can move at a leisurely pace without having to rush or make rash decisions.
2 on the hand puts us in a situation where stress and emotion begin to eat away at our careful planning. Suddenly we loose the ability to make informed and well thought out decisions and instead begin to act from either muscle memory or emotion.
This is why the military drills and drills and drills. Once stress clouds all rationality you will either act in a way you have trained your body to act or you will act in an unknown and possibly dangerous manner.

And yes I know I am taking a discussion of very serious real life activities and applying them to a "damn game" as the wife likes to say.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Something to Prove

My journey into the proving grounds may be a bit different that most people hope to accomplish when they step foot into the arena. The title is of little consequence to me and instead this is a sort of journey to learn healing or rather to learn to be a better healer.

I'll be tackling this problem as a Holy priest and will begin with a non-optimized set of gear comprised of merely a handful of pieces I can find laying about in my bank. Until I become comfortable with spell choice and predicting the incoming wave gear will remain as is, to emphasis it will only be once gear is the obvious limiting factor that I will make changes.

Little Boxes Filled with Health but They Don't All Look the Same

I played as a mage for years. DPS is easy...well comparatively anyhow. You have a simple job; maximize uptime of rotation in order to deal out the most damage possible. You don't pull....oh god do you not pull. You aren't responsible for anyone's life...arguably your own but that's just pickin at straws. It's an easy life to learn the ebb and flow of raiding. As you get a handle on the basics it is comparatively easy to add in more complex maneuvers like silencing, dispelling, and the like.

And then one day Blizzard's ever evolving machine deals your class a blow that drains the joy out of it. I want to be clear that this isn't a question of whether the decision was a good one or a bad one it was simply one that you personally did not enjoy.

Desubb? Sure but........

Real Life often interrupts my train of thought, mainly because I write at work. My job by nature allows sporadic and unreliable downtime mixed with massive uptime so often get into the writing zone only to be ripped away and my direction changed. This is one of those times......

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Raiding is easy

Is it?
The numbers are not on the side of the vitriol. My home realm of Area-52 has seen five guilds complete 14/14H mode...on either 25 or 10 man. FIVE!!!

Raiding is easy conceptually. During Vanilla and TBC raiding was much harder for a few reasons:

  • Tuning was much, much tighter
  • The larger raid size and more convoluted attunements made filling slots harder 
  • Internet connections were less stable
  • Our computers were less powerful
  • We were still new to all of this
  • The plethora of helpful sites did not exist
Blizzard finally realized that the strain was too much not just on the 1% of raiders but on their overhead for having to spend so much on the 1%. They are still trying to figure out the best formula for pleasing the majority of their population that numbers in the small country realm. Its hard to please them all.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Guess which MMO I'm playing?

I fire up the game and go to create a new character. First I need a race, there are two factions and each has different races. I find the one I want and then fiddle with it until I like the appearance. I also need to make sure the class I want to play is available for that race...annoying but traditional.

Ok done, slap on a name and I'm in a starting zone near some NPC with a marker over their head., click, OMG who cares just give me the quest already.
Finally. Now I didn't read any of that crap so I'll need some context clues and the mini-log to figure what asinine task I need to complete to get me that much closer to getting out of this damned starting area.

A few hours later and I'm level 10 and finally in a big city. There are banks and auction houses and other stuff. I still need to grind a bit before I can start in with the small group stuff....and it's gonna be a loooong annoying grind until I can do large group content with my friends. But hey at least the country side is pretty.

So which game? Not EvE-online, that's about all you can say.

Yes Wildstar has shinny combat and tons of customization and spiffy spaceman themes (see waterson I did there?) but is it enough? Wildstar is innovative but under the hood it is still the same damn game we've been playing for years and years. Start off weak, do some boring quests that I have no investment in and omg if its the 5th time I've done them they are groan worthy, grind, grind, grind until I come to the "end game" and can finally start playing.
Worse, Wildstar is behind the tech with it's end game. Do raids scale from 20 to 40 or are they fixed in size? From what I can tell they are fixed and holy shit did Vanilla WoW not teach us that managing forty peoples schedules, availability, gear, consumables, skill, etc etc was a royal pain in the ass? WoW's Flex technology is the new gold standard leaving anyone doing fixed raid sizes in the dust. Sure I might have thirty people on but odds are some can't make it, in Warlords I need only a third of my team to show up and I'm good, unless I'm doing Mythic and then yes I need all 20.
Wildstar is for old school hardcore types though so yeah!
Ok I hear ya and thats fine so long as they are ok with subscriptions in the EvE size group and not the WoW size group.

And speaking of EvE, when are we going to see a wow style Dev group look towards the stars and say "Hey why do players have to grind forever to be part of massive end game?"
In eve a new player has a role in large fleet battles from the very beginning. A fact that Goon Swarm has hilariously exploited in the past. Another thing EvE does that WoW/EQ clones do not is allows you to play any race with any skill with any of your friends. Why not have Horde Gnomes (well why have gnomes at all yuck) or Exile Chua? Why not a Panada Paladin or Wildstar equivalently restricted class/race combo?

Unless Wildstar plans to serve a very small niche community, like EvE does, they will find a similar fate to SWTOR. Why? Because despite all of the pretty dressing we still have the exact same grisly meat and potatoes. Why are my bags still filled with junk? If its junk and you know I'm going to sell it anyway just me give me the damn cash! Wanna innovate? Make everything that I can pick up have some use somewhere. Maybe I don't want it but someone else might. Why do vendors sell absolute crap that is easily replaced with only a minimal amount of grinding? How about they only sell the "junk" or greens or whatever that players sell to them and then the player gets a small percentage when someone buys what I sold to the vendor? They are like mini-auto-priced-auctioneers. Why make me go through the beginner area everytime I start a new toon?  I HATE the panda area and the Goblin area and even though I've only played one Chua and one other thing I already know I'm gonna hate redoing those damn zones again. Why not take WoW's proving grounds to the next level? If I've leveled up before just put me in the city where I can go to a dojo with a virtual group to test my healing or tanking and virtual baddies to play with my DPS, its not mandatory but it is available. Further if I do choose to go to the dojo give me an outward sign of how well I did so I can say "See healer Gold ON THIS SPECIFIC CLASS, I'm good to raid yes?".

When you look past the glitz and glamour you will see that Wildstar is...ok so the word clone is treacherous...similar to WoW...worse it's WoW during Cata not MoP. Stop changing WoWs clothes and claiming you are innovating, take some time to find out what players like and what annoys the shit out of them and fix that and then make your new innovative MMO. If you need some ideas go play EvE-online for a while and figure out how to integrate its good features with WoWs, slap on your snazzy graphics and different but not really that different combat system and put a game that makes me want to play it because its awesome and not because I really don't want to level a Druid for the fourth time...oh but its Raid Night, good bye Wildstar which my guild doesn't play and even if they did I still have a long grind until I'm leveled enough to raid, I may be tired of WoW but this is where my raid group is and where ten years of mounts and memories is and since Wildstar is basically the same but without my friends, my gear, my stuff, my investment, but all the same annoyances I'll just stick to WoW. Kthnks buy.

Friday, May 9, 2014

What rolls down hills, somethingsomethin, rolls over the neighbors dog

Its LOG, log, is big, its heavy, its wood.

12 Wipes O Wipping

Wednesday nights raid was a wipe fest. A good old fashioned slam your head on the desk wipe fest. The first half of the evening turned out to be tanking issues. Well I say turned out but it pretty damn obvious when Jugg turned his head to follow the out going tank and spewed hot lava all over the raid.

But once that issue was resolved...what the hell was the issue?
It didn't take logs to see that we simply were not able to live through the siege phase. As the hot tar poured out players were dropping like flies. Why?!? We've done this boss a dozen times before and while he wasn't on full farm status we should have been deep within the refine cycle (I realize I have explained boss cycles yet so I'll do that at the end).
I initially thought healing was the issue. It made sense, siege phase doles out high sustained damage that could easily lead to a wipe cascade if healers did not adapt quick enough.
So into the logs I went.
At first it seemed my suspicions had been confirmed. Almost every wipe was occurring at the 3 minute mark just as siege phase was ending. My own healing numbers seemed a bit down from previous nights with less atonement and more PoH. In addition to that Shade, our Druid, had been teamed up with our new, and temporary, healer Bludmace (shaman).
Could it be that Blud somehow was not able to help compensate Shade as well as Zya (disc) or Os (Holy Pally)? The numbers looked oddly in their favor. So it must have been me? I needed to know who was dying and when and so I turned to one of WCL's most innovative features, the replay.

By turning on advanced combat logs WCL is able to give a replay of the fight with all the actors in their appropriate positions. As it turned out this was very, very informative.
What I initially suspected to be a healer failure turned out to be a raider failure. For whatever reason on this night we simply failed to properly position ourselves as the beast bore down on us. Players would go flying wildly when Jugg blew them back and then would be out of range of healers or healers (myself =( ) would be out of range of them. So yes it was a healing problem but not a raw one.
Our old enemy raid awareness reared its ugly wiptastic head.