Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Rethinking Spirit

In Hamlet's excellent articles on healing theory and practice he asks us to reconsider our stance on Spirit and  attempts to get us thinking about Spirit's value within our limited stat budget.

Parts one, two, and three especially he walks us through our character sheet and shows how Int, crit, and mastery increase the amount we heal. He then begins to set us thinking about our spells in a new light by separating those with cooldowns from those without and showing that the no cooldown spells are a sort of filler to be used when our CD spells are not available.

In this post he talks about haste and how haste's value is assessed for our stat budget. Haste is shown to work differently than int, crit, and mast in that it doesn't increase the amount a spell heals for nor does it effect our cooldown spells. Haste simply allows our casts to occur quicker and at certain values adds ticks to our HoTs.

At the end of our Journey with Hamlet we have learned much about how our spells work and about how we should begin to look at our toolbox. Haste and Spirit, we are told, must carry their weight if we are to allocate our stat points to them. And yet...Spirit still seems to have an ephemeral quality to it. We don't really have a concrete way to think about it other than saying X amount is like a Greater Heal (Hamlet uses Rejuv as he is primarily a Druid, I will be leaning on the Holy Priest's spellbook for my examples).

I first read those articles around February and only now six months later have I come up with a way to think about Spirit that relates it concretely to one of our other stats, namely Haste.

Healer Gold Again

One of the idiosyncrasies of the Proving Grounds is they are character based and not account based. Each toon must make his or her own journey from bronze to endless.

And so I have been working on my Warlords main alaphnull. Bronze and silver were a breeze as expected but gold took me a few tries. Not as many as with airibear to be sure but still a few.

Tonight I got gold in two tries and more than that the successful attempt felt really good.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Been a long time since I rock and rolled

A lot has happened.

So my SoO team's progress stalled out at 13/14 normal. There were many many problems but what it finally came down to was that the desire was present but the drive was lacking.

I was not happy with the results. Do I blame anyone? Yes. Myself.

So I hopped over to look at the Fullspectrum guild page again, like I do when I'm feeling that I have not put myself in the right environment to test myself and I applied.
They only accept 5% of submitted apps however so I needed a backup plan.

And then it occurred to me, "If Oatz can do it why can't I?"
Seriously. I have the drive, I have the passion, and most importantly I have the patients. I have been selling myself short because of personal insecurity for too long. I can do this, I will do this.

I so I informed my old guilds officer core and set out with the goal of building my own raid guild based off the example that Oatz and Fullspectrum set.

Monday, August 11, 2014

The perfect guild?

Brushing aside the fact that we each have a different definition of perfection, do perfect guilds exist?

I have to say yes. I've applied to one that I would have to say fits my definition of perfect. They are very selective though and as they only accept the top 5% of applicants I'm not holding my breath. I sure hope they accept me though.

So what is it that makes them so perfect, aside from their raid times matching my own?

For one they are highly selective which insures that all members fit well into the whole. Second they are driven without having names on their roster who are carries.

Honestly if I was to form my own guild I would use them as the model.
so who are they?

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Ten Questions

My answers to ALT: ernative's 10 questions


1. Why did you start playing Warcraft?
    Initially I started back in Vanilla when some EvE buddies began playing this new game. I had always had a fondness for swords and sorcery so I tried it out. I ended up only playing 3 months and stopping to return my full attention to EvE.
Then in 2009 my SO began to play WoW. I kept looking over her shoulder and marveling at what she was doing and then eventually rolled my own toon to play with her.
2. What was the first ever character you rolled?
    A Human warrior named Ectar. I figured that human and warrior would be the easiest to understand while I got used to the way the world worked. Coming from an AD&D background this seemed logical. Several dozen Hogger wipes later I gave up and rolled an Orc Hunter named Alaph. This guy made it to level 23 before I stopped and moved back to EvE.
When I started playing again I rolled what I now consider my true first character. My SO and I rolled mages, her a human, me a draenei. We terrorized the land spamming blizzard together and generally having a great time. That mages name was Airistal and she is now a goblin. I still love the draenei though and if I ever go back to playing alliance I will once again be draenei.
3. Which factors determined your faction choice in game?
    My SO wanted to be human so we were Alliance. I love the draenei but have always liked the Horde symbol and colors more. Thankfully I like goblins and pandas are neutral so I’ve had toons that I enjoy playing. I get teased a lot because even though I’m a guy I care a lot about how my character looks. I mainly play female characters because often I find the female model fits more with my idea of what my character should look like. Two main exceptions are draenei pallies and goblin shaman. Oh and anything Tauren. I really, really wish draenei could be Horde as they are my favorite race and would look good in red and black riding windriders.

4. What has been your most memorable moment in Warcraft and why?
    Defeating Ragnaros on 10N during Firelands was very epic for me. This was the first time I had raided with any level of competence and this was a massive accomplishment. I had also played a large role in our strategy for the kill. The joy we felt after weeks of hard work was amazing. Sadly we were not able to carry that same feeling over into Dragon Soul and I eventually left the guild with much heartbreak.

5. What is your favourite aspect of the game and has this always been the case?
    Raiding bar none. From the first time I was invited to do a Zul'gurub run as a 70 something to the most current runs through Siege I have always loved raiding and especially raiding with a tight knit group of devoted players.
6. Do you have an area in game that you always return to?
    I love my little farm on Half Hill. With each character I work to get my little hut all cleaned up and the pot bubbling with whatever delicious stew it is that is cooking in there. Logging in I can run down to the mailbox then tend to my garden. I am really hoping that Garrisons are able to carry over this feeling of this being my little space. It would be nice to see more interaction and to be able to do more from your own space.
   I suppose before Mists I would always go to the secret room in Dalaran. I worked hard to get all the books and it was nice to be up there alone sometimes.

7. How long have you /played and has that been continuous?
    I have a few days worth on an old account that I can no longer access. I also have main changed recently. I’ve played since 2009 logging some 40 hours a week or more when I’m in an active cycle. I’ve let my account lapse twice since then so no not continuous.

8. Admit it: do you read quest text or not?
    No! Emphatically no. There are two things that will make me read a quests text; 1)I can’t figure out what needs to be done to complete it, 2) transient guilt I feel when doing wiki lore reads. I really love the lore and love learning all the in-game and out of game history behind things. I’m a bit more interested in the story of the players and developers than I am about the characters and in-game figures. I absolutely love boss kill videos that include the player comms.
I seem to have gotten a bit off topic. I think my main problem is that I do not want to read in this medium. I love reading too, and on the computer no less but it is such a jarring pause to the action of the game. It is so unnatural. I enjoyed the way SWTOR did the spoken quests and would love if WoW at least had quest givers say their dialogue. I know it would be a ton of work but as is I just ignore the work they have done.

9. Are there any regrets from your time in game?
   I regret that I went back to EvE and didn’t get to enjoy Vanilla and onwards. Hindsight is 20/20 and I had a LOT of great EvE memories but I wish I could tap into the alternate universe where I had chosen WoW.
   In the same vein I wish I had tried a healing class sooner. I began healing at the start of Siege, or well that November anyhow and I fell in love. Not just with healing mind you but the healer community is absolutely amazing.
10. What effect has Warcraft had on your life outside gaming?
   Other than all the real life friends I’ve made I’m not sure. I’d love to say that raiding taught me something about organization and being a leader but honestly I transferred skills I learned in the military to raiding. Good question but I don’t have a good answer.  

Saturday, August 9, 2014

PGs are always on my mind

In the lull between wrapping up our adventures in SoO and our new adventures on Draenor I am back in the Proving Grounds working towards my proven healer title. This time around I'm going in on my new main toon Alaphnull, a spunky little goblin priest trained in the ways of Holy profiteering.

I'm using a google doc to track the gear I pick up that is above 463 ilvl and has spirit as a native stat. I've found it is rather difficult to browse through gear as we do for non-scaled items and this has been the best way to track all the items I acquire.

PG Sheet

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Echos of Light

Question, does echo of light take into account partial percents of mastery?

Methodology; cast a healing spell and examine the ticks.

Greater Heal 99409

2 Echo Ticks each 9957

so each tick was 10.02%

Mastery is 20.03.

Answer Mastery delivers 50% of total bonus per tick in two ticks. Crit is also applied.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The WoD Raiding Mainifesto

For me, and as such for Bandage Brigade, raiding is not simply a means to go forth and slay dragons and gather loot. For us raiding is instead a place for enthusiastic, dedicated people to join forces in order to tackle a larger goal while at the same time working to get the absolute most from ourselves.
I am not looking to carry warm bodies through the halls of evil each week in order to facilitate a disinterested and disengaged raid group.
The lessons learned in T16 will be applied moving forward and this time around I would rather take the night off as opposed to forcing myself to meet an obligation for which there is no passion and no enthusiasm.

Going forward into Warlords we will be looking to fill our ranks with those who are hungry to achieve. Those for whom simply downing a boss is not enough as they strive ever forward to be the absolute best in class. From the inexperienced but hungry eyed noob to energetic, self motivated veteran, coming up for T17 it will not simply be enough enough to just show up.

I am looking to fill our ranks with players who will fill our forums with discussions of class and spec and boss mechanics. Who will go on for hours about this or that gear and this or that rotation. People who desire a dialogue and wish to wear away the hours sharing new sources of knowledge and new found inspirations.

The new raid system will help facilitate a greater flexibility in who we are able to take with us and how we work to grow our younger raiders from within.

As we get closer and closer to this new paradigm becoming a reality I will go into more detail about our plans going forward.
For now I would like all prospective raiders to begin to consider their desired role, class, and spec and to begin sharing on our forums bits of knowledge that will eventually grow into the successful steam train that is
Bandage Brigade Core Progression Raid.

The times for our raids will be Tuesdays and Wednesdays as mandatory progression nights. Form-up will begin at 1930 hours server time. Raiders above the entry level are expected to have their gear properly maintained, have appropriate consumables on hand, and be on at form-up time. The first boss pull is expected no later than 2000 hours and the raid will not pull after 2230 hours wrapping up and ending after the conclusion of this last pull.
Those who wish to maintain core raider status will need to maintain 90% attendance, have a strong forum presence, and show competency with their respective role, class, and spec in regards to gear and play.

We will also hold a raid at the same time on Sunday evening to facilitate alternates, hopefuls, and core members attempting to fill in holes in gearing. The Sunday runs are optional and will not count against core attendance. We will run non-progression bosses or use it to reset an extended lockout.

I look forward to forging ahead in Draenor  with my BB brethren beside me! Come Raid With Us Yarrr!!!!

-alaphnull, raid ossifer

Holy Healing Gnatman

I was chatting with a fellow priest from guild the other day about priestly healing in WoD and given the state of affairs on beta right now he decided he better learn to play holy. Now honestly I'd say its a bit early to get all hysterical but...given the changes coming and the lack of legendary life vests that we won't have to lean on it may very well be worth having a good understanding of Holy going forward.

As always however I do recommend heading into the Proving Grounds and going for the hardest level you have available to get a real idea of what healing without all the bad-aids is like.

As for me, now that our raid team has wrapped up its pilgrimage into SoO I will be focusing on getting my Proven Healer title along with trying to find some dedicated souls to head into CMs with. I don't really care for the priest CM outfit but I really enjoy the CM environment and would like to push that as far as I can if I can find four other no-lifers to join me.

In the mean time here are some helpful hints for Holy from the worst priest in the game. YMMV.